1 Thursday, 27
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.41 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I understand there is
9 some matters you want to raise.
10 MR. NICE: Just short administrative matters,
11 and probably better raised first thing in the morning
12 rather than at the end of the afternoon. I suspect we
13 are not going to have a full day's evidence in any
14 event, and therefore better if we organise these things
15 now. It will only take a few minutes, one way or
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
18 MR. NICE: I don't know if we are in private
19 session already.
20 JUDGE MAY: We want to go into private
22 MR. NICE: I think it probably safer to go
23 into private session.
24 JUDGE MAY: Before we do, tomorrow, unless
25 there is any objection, we shall sit at 9 and finish
1 at 12.30.
2 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
3 [Private session]
13 page 13125 redacted – in private session
24 [Open session]
25 MR. NICE: So there is one more witness about
1 a checkpoint. He's been -- his statement has been
2 served on the Defence some time ago, and I've notified
3 them that he is, of course, a witness we intend to
5 Last point, rather more substantial in a
6 sense: There are a number of witnesses who, in our
7 last amended overview of witnesses, we indicated were
8 witnesses whose transcripts could and should be
9 adduced, and who needn't give evidence directly. For
10 example, there is a man called Remi Landry, whose
11 transcript is identified. We've had no response, and
12 there are a number of witnesses here as to our proposal
13 made clear on that amended overview. We've had no
14 response as to whether those transcripts can be read,
15 and it's becoming pressing that we do have a response.
16 JUDGE MAY: It may be helpful if you would,
17 today, identify those who you wish to read.
18 MR. NICE: Certainly.
19 JUDGE MAY: So that the Defence can know.
20 MR. NICE: Well, the Chamber will remember
21 the tabulated document, the amended overview.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I have it.
23 MR. NICE: And they are all there.
24 JUDGE MAY: It's dated the 10th of November.
25 MR. NICE: That's right. And they are all
1 identified there.
2 JUDGE MAY: I am not sure, looking at it, I
3 can follow which one it is. It may be simplest if you
4 just identify those.
5 MR. NICE: Very well. Yes, it's not to be
6 called transcript; I think NTBT, but never mind. The
7 next witness is a witness who has given evidence
8 before, on two different occasions, and under two
9 different settings. I am happy to say that, and
10 probably much to his credit, he doesn't seek
11 protection. And I'll call him now to the stand.
12 MR. STEIN: May it please the Court. May I
13 have one moment?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. STEIN: Relative to the transcript
16 witnesses, please just give us a list and we'll
17 respond. I can't read it from the overview.
18 Relative to the new witness they want to add,
19 that will be in the same situation as Mr. Beese. We
20 were given his statement on December 9. Maybe we can
21 argue both of those tomorrow.
22 MR. NICE: Or even this afternoon, if we run
23 out of evidence.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
25 MR. NICE: Because the producer of the maps
1 is not in a position, I think, to give the evidence
2 today or tomorrow, and the witness who can assist us
3 with the overview is not available today, but will be
4 available tomorrow, if that's the position reach.
5 MR. STEIN: The other two matters are there
6 is apparently a video, fly-by video of the valley that
7 they want introduced. We have not seen it. We need to
8 see it and go over it with Mr. Kordic. To do that
9 requires some co-operation with the detention centre and
10 some advance planning. The sooner we can get it, the
11 better. He's clearly in a better position to determine
12 what it is than we are.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, is that video
15 MR. NICE: There's certainly a copy of it
16 available, and I'll make it available to them as soon
17 as I can. Mid-morning break, I should think, is a
18 probability. I'll check with Ms. Bauer, who is dealing
19 with it this morning.
20 MR. STEIN: When we get it, I understand
21 we'll need some intervention from the Court relative to
22 the detention centre, but I'll work the details of that
23 with the legal officer.
24 Last but not least, would Your Honour please
25 consider that we now have about three and a half linear
1 feet of documents to review from the Prosecution, with
2 more coming.
3 Would you also please consider that as a
4 result of the ex parte applications, we're starting to
5 get that which we sought for some time from third
6 parties and other people involved in producing
7 documents and things relative to the former Yugoslavia,
8 and of course we're busily working on a motion to
9 dismiss for the close of the case, my point being, to
10 throw another egg on the pile, the more time Your
11 Honour can give us in the schedule between the close of
12 the Prosecution's case and the beginning of our case
13 would be greatly appreciated.
14 JUDGE MAY: We have that in mind.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may, just for
16 the record, the first matter my colleague raised, the
17 issue of the tape, we do not have a position on that
18 issue, since it is irrelevant for my client.
19 As to the second issue raised related to the
20 tapes which will show us the Lasva Valley, I of course
21 join what my colleague said, because it will be very
22 difficult for us to make any comment on that material
23 unless the client will see it himself. That is a
24 critical point.
25 JUDGE MAY: No doubt you can make
1 arrangements, too, with the Prosecution to have a copy,
2 if there is one, or share one with Mr. Kordic's
4 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, sir.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
8 Your Honours.
9 With regard to this witness, I do not mind
10 him being led through a number of questions, except 8,
11 14, 16 and 17. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
13 MR. NICE: May the witness come in?
14 Just harking back to the question of
15 transcript witnesses, I thought I had prepared myself a
16 little better for this than I was allowed to recall.
17 The very last two pages of the amended overview of
18 witnesses, pages 21 and 22, have those transcript
19 witnesses extracted and separately listed, so I'll make
20 that available, in a copy form, if they haven't got the
21 document with them.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
1 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
2 and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: IBRAHIM NUHAGIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
7 Examined by Mr. Nice:
8 Q. Give us your full name, please.
9 A. Ibrahim Nuhagic.
10 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, before the conflict, were you
11 resident in Ocehnici, which was a purely Muslim town in
12 the Busovaca municipality?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I think there was some nine Muslim families
15 there in a total of some eight houses.
16 A. Quite true, eight households. How many
17 members, I wouldn't really know.
18 MR. NICE: May the witness have on the ELMO I
19 think the only exhibit in his evidence, which is
20 Z1694. It is an extract from a map with which we are
21 familiar, and if we look at the bottom of the map off
22 the screen at the moment -- if the usher could help us;
23 thank you very much -- Mr. Nuhagic, do we see
24 "Ocehnici" written across an area close to Donja
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was Ocehnici close to the Draga barracks?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Under whose control were they before the
6 A. The HVO's.
7 Q. On the 27th of January of 1993, did HVO
8 soldiers come to your village, they searched the
9 village, and did they confiscate all weapons, including
10 hunting rifles as well as machine guns?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How were they dressed?
13 A. Camouflage uniforms, HVO flashes.
14 Q. Did they have anything on their faces?
15 A. The majority of them had masks.
16 Q. Were all the men in the village detained and
17 taken, via the police station at Busovaca, to Kaonik
18 camp, which we can see at the top of the map?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. During that time, that is, the time of
21 passage from Ocehnici to Kaonik, did you have to keep
22 your arms behind your heads?
23 A. We did, all the way to the camp.
24 Q. Were you mistreated in some way and were you
25 the subject of threats?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What was the mistreatment and what were the
4 A. The mistreatment meant beating. The threats,
5 that they would cut off our ears or slit our throats.
6 But mostly blows all the way to the bus, and we could
7 not get on to the bus without being hit, without being
8 struck by them. And then again as we were getting off
9 the bus, they would beat us once again, because there
10 were two lines of soldiers, soldiers lined up in two
11 lines, and as we got off, they would beat us.
12 Q. I think there was a batch of soldiers who
13 came from a vehicle, which had a mounted gun on it,
14 which were particularly bad at the beating; is that
16 A. Yes. At the bus stop in Busovaca.
17 Q. Incidentally, when these things were
18 happening in Busovaca, were there pedestrians on the
19 street able to see what was going on or not?
20 A. It was night-time. There were only HVO
22 Q. Thank you. In Kaonik, is it the case that
23 you were not beaten, but that you heard other prisoners
25 A. Yes, because I was beaten on the way and my
1 back was hurt.
2 Q. Did you learn of other prisoners being taken
3 to dig trenches?
4 A. Most of them went to dig trenches, or most
5 all of their able-bodied, except for myself, because I
6 had been hit, and a few people under age who did not
8 Q. Did the International Committee of the Red
9 Cross intervene, and were the prisoners, including
10 yourself, released at the beginning of February?
11 A. Yes, they did come, but they were not
12 released immediately.
13 Q. But eventually?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In April, namely, on the 16th of April, could
16 you both hear and see shooting taking place near to
17 where you lived?
18 A. Well, one could see from Kula, Polom,
19 Solakovici, and other places, that is where there was
21 Q. Did you know or know of a man called Mirko
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What was his function at the time?
25 A. He had a unit, an intervention unit called
2 Q. Did you see that man in April of 1993, on the
4 A. Yes, at the bus stop.
5 Q. What was he saying on the broadcast you saw?
6 A. Those announcers, or cameramen, asked him
7 whether the troops, whether those fighters obeyed him.
8 And he said they obeyed him very well indeed and were
9 doing their job. And he mentioned Polom, Kula,
10 Loncari, as those who had done their job particularly
11 well. And the cameraman asked him, what was that job,
12 what did they do, and he said with time will show.
13 Q. On the 19th of April of 1993, were you in
14 your village when soldiers came again?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How were they dressed? What units did they
17 come from?
18 A. All I know is this Nikica Grubesic was their
19 chief commander. But what were they, what were those
20 units? They were HVO fighters.
21 Q. How were they dressed?
22 A. Camouflage uniforms. Military with HVO
24 Q. Did you say anything about masks or not?
25 A. Masks, yes.
1 Q. How did they attack on this occasion?
2 A. Well, they simply came, entered the village
3 and, whenever they found somebody, they killed. They
4 immediately set houses on fire, killed the livestock in
5 stables. Those who managed to escape, they did, but
6 they slew all others they found. And my neighbours,
7 those who survived, they were in a shelter, and so that
8 they couldn't find them.
9 Q. When they set alight the houses, how did they
10 do that?
11 A. They mostly used incinerating ammunition.
12 Q. Where were you precisely at the time of this
14 A. I was -- it just happened that I was in an
15 outside Nuhagici. And as I was coming out, my niece,
16 standing outside the front door of my house, told me,
17 "Uncle, get away, so that you do not come with us."
18 And that is what I did. I began to flee and they
19 opened fire after me. I don't know how many bullets
20 they fired. But I began to run in eights, that is, to
21 run in zigzag, so that I fell. And that Croat fighter
22 who was firing at me thought that I -- that he had hit
23 me and that I had been wounded.
24 Q. I think, in due course, you returned to your
25 own house; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct. I went back to my own
2 house at night, when everything was quiet, when nothing
3 could be heard, and it was dark. That's when I went
4 back to my own house, to see the -- my family members
5 who had been killed: my mother, my sister, my
6 brothers, two daughters, who had stayed on in my
7 house. But when I got to the house, you could only see
8 the embers. They had tried to flee from the house, but
9 there was a burst of gunfire and they were hit from the
10 house. So that they burnt to death.
11 I have seen -- I saw a great deal of trouble
12 and had a very hard time putting out what remained of
13 the fire. My uncle turned up and he told me to take
14 care of myself, because what had happened, had
15 happened, and could not be put right. But I thought,
16 when I saw these victims of mine, I wished that I had
17 been among them.
18 Q. And you listed the family members. Your wife
19 was --
20 A. Yes. My mother, my wife, my sister, and my
21 brother's two daughters.
22 Q. The uncle who spoke to you, did he tell you
23 that he had been trying to get the livestock out of his
24 burning barn and had been shot?
25 A. Yes, from my yard. They shot at him when he
1 turned up in his own yard to go to his shed to save the
2 cattle. And they shot at him and wounded him.
3 Q. Did he tell you that his relations had been
4 killed by a burst of fire when they tried to run away
5 from their house?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was it you who heard the HVO soldiers looking
8 for him, asking where he had hidden, or did he tell you
9 about that?
10 A. Yes, I heard, because I was down by my house
11 and his house.
12 Q. In the course of this attack, did you hear
13 soldiers speaking to each other, and if so, what names
14 did you hear them using?
15 A. Well, most of them were nicknames, like Zara,
16 Kole. So there were nicknames: Cigo and others. They
17 were all nicknames, and I know them by heart, all these
18 nicknames, and the real surnames.
19 Q. Did you know any of them as individuals? Did
20 you actually know who they were?
21 A. Well, I knew them from before, but as they
22 had masks on, as they were wearing masks --
23 Q. So the man Zarko, was he also known as Cigo
24 or Cigo?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. The man Zeljo, who was he?
2 A. Zeljo Vujica.
3 Q. Was there a man, Zarko Cosic, or was that the
4 same name?
5 A. Kologranic, not Cosic.
6 Q. And there was Mladjo?
7 A. Kologranic.
8 Q. Was he known by another name as well?
9 A. No. Mostly he was known as Kole.
10 Q. Was there a Zarko Kologranic, or not?
11 A. Well, those are the three brothers, yes:
12 Kole, Ranko and Zeljo.
13 Q. Before this attack, had you heard of
14 something that that man Zarko Cosic had said?
15 A. Well, several days before that, he was in the
16 village. And he said, if anything happens to any
17 member of his family, if he were to be wounded or
18 anything, our village would be burnt.
19 Q. To whom did he say that?
20 A. He told my sister that, my sister that was
22 Q. And I think following that attack, you spent
23 some three months in the house of a relation in
25 A. In Busovaca and Skradno, yes.
1 Q. So you were, I think, expelled from where you
2 were living on at least three times, or three times, by
3 the HVO?
4 A. Yes, the HVO.
5 Q. I want you to tell us, please, how you
6 learned of who had done this attack. Don't tell us
7 immediately who it was, who, as you understood it, was
8 in charge of the attack. Tell us, first of all, how
9 you heard about it. From whom did you learn who was
10 responsible for the attack?
11 A. For the attack, well, it could have been none
12 other than Dusko Grubesic, who was in command with a
13 unit. And Dusko, we know who Dusko receives his
14 assignments from.
15 Q. Well, before we come to those names, really,
16 I wanted you to tell the Judges how you learned about
17 it or how you knew that to be the case. Just explain
18 how you would know that. Is it something that somebody
19 told you or was it something that you saw yourself?
20 Just explain it so that they can follow.
21 A. Well, I don't know -- I didn't actually
22 understand your question.
23 Q. My fault. The Judges will want to know how
24 it is that you knew who was in charge of this attack.
25 Can you help us? Is it something that somebody else
1 told you or was it something you could work out
2 yourself from what you saw of the soldiers? Just
3 explain it, please.
4 A. Well, the only thing that I saw was on
5 television. I saw Zoran Maric when he said that in the
6 area, only one plant should be allowed to grow. And we
7 couldn't understand that until the events that took
8 place happened.
9 Q. When did you -- this is paragraph 18, Your
10 Honours -- when did you see Zoran Maric, who I think
11 was the president of the Busovaca municipality, when
12 did you see him saying that?
13 A. Well, it was when the soldiers took their
14 oath at the Busovaca stadium. That was when he read
15 that out, what should be done, what they should do.
16 And that's the only thing that I remember, because I
17 didn't watch television, nor did I have time to watch
18 it, because I was outside mostly farming, and of course
19 much more of that could have been seen had I had the
20 time to watch television.
21 Q. Now, you tell us that Dusko Grubesic was
22 responsible. Why do you say that? How do you know
24 A. Well, he was the commander of that unit.
25 Q. Very well. And how do you know that it was
1 that unit? Name the unit, please, and then: How do
2 you know that it was that unit that committed these
4 A. Well, there was no other unit.
5 Q. How near was this unit to Ocehnici at the
7 A. Well, the command in Busovaca was, say, two
8 and a half to three kilometres away.
9 Q. Do you understand why Dusko Grubesic ordered
10 the attack, what the reason was?
11 A. I don't know that.
12 Q. Do you know of any other names of people who
13 were involved in this attack as leaders, commanders, or
14 whatever else?
15 A. Well, only Pasko Ljubicic. That was the
16 leader of the group in the village.
17 Q. How do you know that?
18 A. I learned that later on.
19 Q. From whom did you learn it?
20 A. Well, from my own -- well, my people and some
21 of the soldiers that I was acquainted with. We would
22 meet on the street and we would sort of chat.
23 Q. When you say "some of their soldiers," is
24 this soldiers who told you they had been involved in
25 the attack or was this soldiers who told you they had
1 learned themselves about the attack?
2 A. No, they did not take part. The ones that
3 did not take part in the attack.
4 Q. Very well. And in which group or unit were
5 the soldiers who told you these things?
6 A. Well, they were in that same unit of that
7 Nikica Grubesic person.
8 Q. Is that the Zrinjski Brigade?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Was anything said about a connection between
11 something that had happened at the Draga barracks and
12 this attack?
13 A. I didn't understand your question.
14 Q. My fault again. When you heard about what
15 had happened --
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
17 I apologise for interrupting, but we have a comment to
18 make with respect to this.
19 We are dealing with multiple hearsay. The
20 witness answered this question. He said he did not
21 know the reasons why the commander issued orders for an
22 attack on the village. He said that quite certainly,
23 and now I have the feeling that they wish to bring him
24 back to the same question. So that is my objection.
25 Thank you.
1 MR. NICE: We're dealing with a witness who
2 has understandable difficulties in following the
3 technicalities of question-answering in court, and I
4 hope the question that I asked is not in any sense
5 offensively leading or tendentious and gives him an
6 opportunity to refresh his memory of something that I
7 have reason to believe he will be able to tell us.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think the fairest
9 question is to repeat the earlier question: "Do you
10 know any reason that there may have been for this
12 MR. NICE: Very well.
13 Q. You heard the learned Judge's question,
14 Mr. Nuhagic. Do you know of any reason that there may
15 have been for this attack?
16 A. The reason is that -- and we should be quite
17 clear about that. It was not only my village, but this
18 happened elsewhere as well, that it should have been
19 cleansed of the Muslims.
20 MR. NICE: I think I'm going to move on,
21 then, Your Honour. Paragraph 14 in the summary --
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
23 I apologise once again for interrupting, but with
24 respect to this particular paragraph, we also say that
25 this is multiple hearsay. We consider that in this
1 case, too, the provisions of Article 80(D) should be
2 applied, because I think that in order to ensure a fair
3 trial, that is far more important than the probative
4 value of this particular paragraph. 89(D).
5 JUDGE MAY: Let's hear the foundation for the
7 MR. NICE: Yes. I think the paragraph, as
8 drafted, may be a little misleading, and it may be the
9 material is rather more direct than appears.
10 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, do you know a woman called
11 Hasija Beslic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Just "yes" or "no" to this question. Was
14 there an occasion that you can recall when you were
15 talking about her -- with her about what are called
16 safety papers or papers that had been issued for
17 Muslims? And again, just answer the question "yes" or
18 "no." Was there an occasion when you had a discussion
19 with her about those papers?
20 A. Yes. I had that document too, and
21 regardless, everybody had those documents.
22 Q. Did you and she see and talk to someone else
23 about those papers on the occasion that you discussed
24 matters with her?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who was that person?
2 A. Dario Kordic.
3 Q. So now approaching it in a little more
4 detail, the papers were issued by who and for what
6 A. Dario Kordic.
7 Q. And what were the papers supposed to do?
8 What were they supposed to achieve?
9 A. Well, when the soldiers would come in the
10 evening or during the day, we were supposed to show
11 those papers so that they should not disturb us; that
12 is to say, the soldiers.
13 Q. In your experience, were the papers effective
14 in what they set out to do?
15 A. No.
16 Q. The conversation you had with Hasija Beslic,
17 what was the topic of the conversation?
18 A. Well, we talked, and I was present when --
19 with Dario Kordic, because they knew one another in the
20 same company. They worked in the Vatrostalna company
22 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... and
23 Dario Kordic knew one another?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what did she say to him about the papers,
1 and what, if anything, did he reply?
2 A. Well, she said that the papers, the documents
3 were worthless, that they weren't -- that they were
4 useless. It was -- they weren't serving their
5 purpose. And he said that they would be worth
6 something because what had happened would not happen
8 Q. Did she give him any examples of what had
9 happened, in contravention to the protection that the
10 papers should have given?
11 A. Yes. She told him that they were worthless,
12 because soldiers still came up and expelled people from
13 houses, and would send several families out of a
14 house. And he said that this would not happen in the
15 future, but the next night, and the night after that,
16 and after that, things were repeated.
17 Q. At whose house; your house or at houses of
18 other people?
19 A. Well, my relations' houses. And I was
20 expelled from the three houses: from the first, the
21 second and the third, all my relatives' houses. And
22 from the third house, we were all expelled and went to
23 Skradno. We were taken there, actually.
24 Q. When you were expelled, was anything said
25 about the report or complaint that you'd made to Dario
2 A. Well, the soldiers said -- told us, when they
3 came to expel us from our houses, they said, "You
4 complain to Kordic, to Dario Kordic. He gave you
5 security papers, whereas in fact he allowed us to do
6 what we are doing now."
7 Q. Those soldiers, do you know anything about
8 the unit from which they came?
9 A. Well, the unit of Dusko Grubesic, Zrinjski.
10 Q. This whole incident, the incident with Hasija
11 Beslic and the couple of nights that followed, roughly
12 when was that? Can you help us? What month, if you
13 can. If you can't, don't guess.
14 A. Well, it was in June, perhaps the beginning
15 of July, thereabouts.
16 Q. In August 1993, were you taken from where you
17 were then living to the village of Skradno?
18 A. They took me and my relatives, yes, three of
19 my relatives, and with their families.
20 Q. While in Skradno, was the area patrolled by
21 the HVO?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And while there, were men taken to dig
24 trenches in Kula, Strane and Bare, to your knowledge?
25 A. Yes. Yes, I am aware of that. Yes.
1 Q. You yourself, were you taken trench digging,
2 or were you allowed to stay in Skradno?
3 A. I was injured, and, as I was getting old in
4 age, they didn't take me, but they took the younger
6 Q. Throughout this period of time, did you watch
7 television from time to time?
8 A. No, we didn't. We weren't able to because we
9 didn't have any electricity; we didn't have all of
11 Q. Again, probably my fault for the way I asked
12 the question. The whole period of time, starting from
13 before the first detention, did you see Busovaca
14 television at all?
15 A. Yes. Yes, in 1993, and in 1992. It was
16 expressly Busovaca television, from 4.00 to 6.00 in the
17 afternoon. And there was nothing else to watch. It
18 was HTV, Croatian television.
19 Q. Did you see Kordic on the television, ever?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who were the other leading political or
22 military figures that you recall seeing on the
24 A. Dario Kordic, Blaskic, Tihomir Blaskic, Ignac
25 Kostroman, Anto Valenta.
1 Q. What position or rank did Kordic have, so far
2 as you could judge, in the HVO?
3 A. Well, it was like this, you see. He would go
4 step by step upwards. I didn't hear his rank, but I
5 heard tell that he came up to the rank of colonel, rose
6 to the rank of colonel.
7 Q. You say it was a step-by-step progress.
8 Where do you recall his starting? And in what
10 A. Well, he started from a municipal clerk, an
11 ordinary municipal clerk.
12 Q. Were you at any stage aware of his
13 involvement in any political party, and if so, which?
14 A. I know before, in the company he worked in,
15 he was a member of the Communist Party.
16 Q. And on the television, on Busovaca
17 television, was he associated with any political party
18 or grouping?
19 A. No. Later on, in 1993, and in 1992, the
20 middle of 1992, when there was all the bombing by the
21 former army, the Serbian army, then he started wearing
22 a uniform and became a military man.
23 Q. In the course of the television programmes,
24 that's the Busovaca television programmes, was there
25 anything said generally about the state of Croatia
1 itself that you can recall, or not?
2 A. I don't remember. The only thing that I do
3 remember is that when we were sent off to the camps,
4 some of the soldiers would shout out that this was
6 Q. Do you recall a particular news broadcast
7 where something was said about potatoes?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When was this, and who was speaking?
10 A. It was in the month of June, the beginning of
11 June, when Dario said that we should plant as many
12 potatoes as possible. But when the time for harvest
13 comes, then it would be decided who would reap the
14 benefits of the harvest.
15 Q. And the potatoes that were being planted had
16 been provided by whom; do you recall?
17 A. From humanitarian aid, some of them would
19 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. If you
20 wait there, you may be asked some further questions.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
22 JUDGE MAY: Go ahead.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I
24 was waiting for your leave, Your Honours.
25 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, may I introduce myself. I am
1 Mitko Naumovski, an attorney from Zagreb, one of the
2 Defence counsel for Mr. Kordic, and I have a number of
3 questions for you.
4 In view of the fact that we understand one
5 another when we speak, wait a few minutes before giving
6 your answer, for my question to be interpreted into
7 English and French. And I will do the same.
8 Mr. Nuhagic, a few brief questions regarding
9 the actual position of your village. You lived in the
10 village of Ocenici, didn't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And did your part of the village have a
13 special name, that is Nuhagici?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In this part of the village there were about
16 eight houses in all, Muslim households?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in another part of the village, another
19 part of the same village of Ocenici, who lived there?
20 A. The Vujica.
21 Q. So they were Croatian families?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How many houses did they have?
24 A. Four houses. Those that were closest to my
25 part of the village.
1 Q. To the west of your village was a large
2 forest area called Polom, was there not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Would you agree with me that the HVO defence
5 lines went along the western edges towards the woods in
6 Polom in January '93?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In view of the geographic position of the
9 village, there wasn't a traditional front line, but
10 there were just patrols?
11 A. No. It was a classic front line.
12 Q. Do you mean to say that there were troops
13 there, stationed permanently?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell me, please, in January '93, how many
16 young men from Nuhagici had left the village, before
17 the events that you described?
18 A. Five.
19 Q. And those five men, can we agree that they
20 were members of the Territorial Defence?
21 A. While we were in the village, they kept guard
22 duty, yes.
23 Q. And in January they left the village to go to
25 A. Yes, to Fojnica, Kacuni, depending where
1 people had relatives, family members, relations.
2 Q. Would you agree with me that in January,
3 therefore, before the events of the 27th, on the other
4 side of the front line held by the HVO, were soldiers
5 belonging to the Territorial Defence, who held
6 positions facing the HVO positions?
7 A. I don't know that, because I was in an area
8 controlled by the HVO.
9 Q. I know that you were not a military person,
10 as you have already told us, but perhaps you can answer
11 a question regardless of your lack of military
12 expertise. In the course of the night, would these
13 young men come to your village in secret?
14 A. No, no.
15 Q. Tell me, please, very briefly, a couple of
16 questions regarding your detention in the Kaonik
17 prison. Since you were injured, you were taken to see
18 a doctor?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You were taken to the medical centre in
21 Busovaca, were you not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. During your detention in Kaonik, nobody hurt
24 you, and they treated you relatively well, didn't they?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I think that you have already told us that
2 you were not taken to dig trenches.
3 A. I did not, because I was injured. I went to
4 see a doctor, and then I was taken back to the
6 But I didn't dare say what had happened to
7 me. I lied. I said that I had fallen in the barn when
8 I was feeding the cattle. If I had said the truth,
9 then I would have suffered in the same way as the other
10 detainees. I would have been beaten again.
11 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, nobody told you that you should
12 lie; that was your own decision?
13 A. I could not -- I couldn't even go to see the
14 doctor on my own to tell the doctor the truth. I was
15 not alone.
16 Q. Very well. Let us go on to another topic,
17 and that is the attack in April, as you described it.
18 You mentioned a person called Zarko Cosic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can we say of him, that he is, in a sense,
21 your neighbour?
22 A. He lived near Draga, near the road down
24 Q. You said today what he told your sister a
25 couple of days prior to the events?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can we agree that what he said was that he
3 would personally carry out the threat if anything
4 happened to any of his family?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you recognised him as one of the persons
7 who was in the village?
8 A. Yes, I recognised him, because he was known
9 by the nickname "Cigo" from before.
10 Q. Today you mentioned the surname "Grubesic,"
11 but you used two first names. You mentioned "Nikica"
12 and "Dusko." Do you have two different persons in
14 A. Possibly Dusko Grubesic. I may have used the
15 name "Nikica," but I meant "Dusko Grubesic."
16 Q. And who was Dusko Grubesic?
17 A. The commander of the unit.
18 Q. You mean of the Busovaca Brigade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Very well. And who is Nikica, then, Nikica
22 A. I may have been confused.
23 Q. So you made a mistake?
24 A. Yes, it's possible that I made a mistake.
25 Q. Very well. If I understand you well, you
1 are -- it is your conclusion that the commander of the
2 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski in Busovaca Brigade gave the
3 orders for the attack. That is your own conclusion?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Nobody told you that explicitly, that he had
6 given the order?
7 A. Surely, the soldiers wouldn't have themselves
8 made this thing up if they hadn't been authorised to do
9 what they did.
10 Q. So you're telling us now that your conclusion
11 is based on talks with various people following the
12 event in April '93?
13 A. [No audible response]
14 Q. Did you understand me?
15 A. I beg your pardon?
16 Q. I was saying -- let me repeat my question.
17 It is my mistake if you didn't understand me.
18 It is your view and your conclusion that
19 Dusko Grubesic issued that order on the basis of
20 conversations you had subsequently with various people?
21 A. Yes, because when the shell fell close to
22 Draga, when two persons were killed, Ivo Kristo said
23 that the shell was coming from our side, that is, from
24 above the Nuhagici village, and they started fleeing to
25 Tisovac. But near the command at Tisovac, they were
1 met and asked where they were going, and they said that
2 there were shells coming from Ocehnici and Nuhagici,
3 shells were coming aiming at Draga. Then Ivo Kristo
4 said that they should go back, that there would be no
5 more shells coming from Nuhagici.
6 Q. How do you know these things, please?
7 A. I know because my brother was listening to a
8 conversation when they turned them back from Busovaca.
9 He told me that this was what Ivo Kristo had said.
10 Q. And who told your brother?
11 A. He heard it himself.
12 Q. You mean he was present?
13 A. Yes. They were on the road, and his house
14 was next to the road.
15 Q. Tell me, please, when was this shelling of
16 the Draga barracks? When did it take place; on what
18 A. It was the same day, on the 19th of April.
19 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, I understood what you had told
20 us about that event, but I must tell you that when you
21 made your statement to the Tribunal's investigators on
22 the 10th of September, 1995, your first official
23 statement to the investigators -- do you remember that
24 first interview? I assume you do. You said,
25 explicitly: "I read in a book that Dusko Grubesic was
1 the commander of the Busovaca HVO and that he had
2 ordered the attack on Ocehnici." You said this, that
3 you had read it in a book, in your statement. I can
4 show it to you.
5 A. That's quite possible.
6 Q. In view of these differences between what you
7 said in your previous statement and what you said
8 today, that in fact you don't know who had ordered the
9 attack or, rather, you don't know where you got the
10 information from?
11 A. [No audible response]
12 Q. Could you please answer my question? If you
13 didn't understand me, I can repeat it.
14 A. Yes, please repeat it.
15 Q. In view of the fact that you allow for the
16 possibility that you may have read that somewhere, can
17 you agree with what I'm saying, that actually you don't
18 know, with any precision, who had issued the order for
19 the attack on your village, but you simply don't know
20 who you heard it from?
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's consider whether
22 that's going to help us very much. We've got the
23 evidence that he said that on one occasion that he was
24 told this, and he said that he read it, it's possible
25 that he read it. Now, we've got the evidence, and it
1 doesn't seem to me that any further cross-examination
2 is going to take the case much further. If you would
3 like to move on.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
5 Your Honour. I agree, we can move on.
6 Q. Just a couple of questions about your stay in
7 the village of Skradno.
8 Mr. Nuhagic, you were in the village of
9 Skradno from May until September of 1993; isn't that
11 A. That's a mistake. Not from May but from the
12 end of June or after the second half of June that we
13 went to Skradno.
14 Q. But you said today "from August." Now you're
15 saying "the second half of June." But I have to tell
16 you that when you were interviewed or when you
17 testified as a witness in the Blaskic case, on page
18 5237, lines 2 to 4, asked by the Prosecutor, you
19 confirmed that you had been in Skradno roughly from May
20 to September 1993. That is a quotation from your
21 testimony in the Blaskic case.
22 A. I know that it was from the end of June. I
23 didn't write those things, so that -- I didn't take
24 note of those things so I could have the exact date. I
25 never knew any of this would happen and I should keep a
1 record. But the important thing is that I was there,
2 and from Busovaca I was taken to Skradno.
3 Q. If I understand you well, you are allowing
4 for the possibility that this may have been from May to
5 September, as you said earlier on, testifying in
7 A. I do not allow for that possibility, because
8 I know I was sowing potatoes in Busovaca in June.
9 Q. Very well. Then we can move on.
10 You went to Zenica in September 1993 or,
11 rather, you left Skradno in a so-called private
12 exchange. That was an undercover exchange, as people
13 used to call it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So this was your personal decision and the
16 decision of your sons, who helped you in doing it?
17 A. No, it was allowed. An illegal exchange was
18 allowed. I think that that is what was said in
20 Q. If it was allowed, why would it be called
21 illegal, then?
22 A. The municipality, the police, nobody opposed
23 the fighters of the HVO who were from the surroundings
24 of Zenica, Travnik, or I don't know from where, for
25 their families to be brought over and for us to leave.
1 Q. Very well. I understand. Those were private
3 A. Yes. Yes, one could call them private.
4 Q. Very well. Thank you.
5 A. Unofficial.
6 Q. While you were in Busovaca, before going to
7 Skradno, would you agree with me that there was a large
8 influx of refugees, of Croats coming to Busovaca?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And those refugees exerted a great deal of
11 pressure on the Muslims in particular but also on the
13 A. I don't know. I know that the fighters, the
14 soldiers, were those who were exerting the pressure.
15 Q. Yes. Yes. But, as you come from those
16 parts, you know the locals. There were many soldiers
17 who were driven out, not just their families?
18 A. Look here. Let me tell you. The people who
19 put on a uniform, even the people I knew from a year
20 before in Busovaca, once they put on a uniform, it is
21 hard to -- we hardly knew each other.
22 Q. In view of the fact that you were exposed to
23 a certain amount of pressure in Busovaca, would you
24 agree with me that in Skradno you were relatively
25 better protected than in Busovaca?
1 A. No, it couldn't be put that way.
2 Q. But nevertheless, we must agree, you were not
3 exposed to so much pressure, not counting individual
4 misdeeds, but generally speaking?
5 A. I personally was not exposed to such
7 Q. Tell me, please, when mention was made of
8 Skradno, you said that people were taken to dig
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you know, from what those people told
12 you, where they went and what they did?
13 A. Yes, because when a courier comes to pick
14 them up, he says where they were going: to Kula, Bare,
16 Q. I just wanted to ask you one thing about it.
17 Those people who had this labour obligation, did they
18 tell you that there were Croats working with them, and
19 a few Serbs, those Croats who were unfit for military
21 A. No, they didn't.
22 Q. Thank you. You repeated today, and I think
23 you confirmed, that you rarely watch television, that
24 you didn't have time for that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But nevertheless, you said that you
2 remembered a few things. So you remember, I assume --
3 maybe that's a better way to put it. You testified
4 about this in the Blaskic case, that is, about the
5 people you saw on television, and you recounted things
6 that you remembered from those programmes. Do you
7 remember that?
8 A. I don't remember very well; only the things I
9 know about the president of the municipality and about
10 Mr. Dario, the things I said before.
11 Q. Yes, but that's precisely where the
12 difference is. In the Blaskic trial you remembered
13 what Zoran Maric said, and what Anto Valenta said, on
14 one occasion.
15 A. Yes. I just remembered.
16 Q. But you didn't remember any other event?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Let us comment briefly on what you said you
19 heard Zoran Maric say on television. You said that
20 this was when the swearing in of the HVO was taking
21 place. Do you agree with me that that was in the
22 second half of August 1992; it was in the summer?
23 A. I don't remember exactly the months or the
24 date, but I know very well when packets of cigarettes
25 were being distributed to the soldiers.
1 Q. Mr. Maric held a lengthy speech on that
2 occasion. Do you remember that? It wasn't short.
3 A. Possibly, but I wasn't really interested. I
4 wouldn't go into the house, unless one of the members
5 of my household told me.
6 Q. So you didn't watch or listen to the whole
7 speech delivered by Zoran Maric?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. I have a few sentences from what he said.
10 Perhaps that will refresh your memory. Let me read it
11 out, briefly. Do you remember --
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Wait a minute. Wait for me to read it out
14 slowly, for the benefit of the interpreters. Do you
15 remember Mr. Maric saying the following, and I quote:
16 "We will fight for love, peace, and
17 equality. That is precisely why we say it today, that
18 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is not a
19 community where other peoples will be second-rate
20 citizens, but a community of love and equality."
21 Do you remember these words?
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. Thank you. Let us move on. Today you spoke
24 about Mr. Dario Kordic, and you said that he was
25 promoted gradually and he reached the rank of colonel.
1 You don't know that from personal knowledge; you heard
2 about that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So it was something that was being talked
5 about in the village; you can't identify a specific
7 A. Yes, because I didn't see his rank, but I
8 heard tell that among the people.
9 Q. If he moved up gradually to the rank of
10 colonel, did you hear what rank he had before?
11 A. No. I just heard that he went up in the
13 Q. Would you agree with me, Mr. Nuhagic, that in
14 fact you don't know explicitly which positions
15 Mr. Kordic held from 1990 onwards?
16 A. In 1990 he became an employee in the
17 municipality. While he was in Vatrostalna, he was a
18 reporter. He joined the Communist Party. And then he
19 became an official in the municipality.
20 Q. And after he started working in the
21 municipality, you don't really know what positions he
23 A. No.
24 Q. Very well, then. Then we won't go into that
25 any further.
1 As for Zoran Maric, we mentioned him a moment
2 ago. You know that he was formally president of the
3 municipality and the president of the HVO?
4 A. I know he was president of the municipality.
5 Q. Did you see on television, occasionally,
6 reports from press conferences?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So you don't know anything about these
9 conferences, who spoke, and when, and so on?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Today, you said that you do remember seeing
12 Mr. Kordic saying something about potatoes on
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Where were you when you were watching this?
16 A. In Busovaca.
17 Q. What kind of a programme was that?
18 A. They had a meeting without TV cameras. When
19 they finished the meeting, then Miro Dzakula would go
20 to the municipality, and I remember this was stated
22 Q. I'm sorry, who was Miro Dzakula?
23 A. He was some sort of a donator. He would
24 treat them, when they had meetings, with refreshments.
25 Q. What kind of meetings? At the municipality?
1 At what level?
2 A. In the municipality.
3 Q. And this feature that you watched, what was
4 it about, on television?
5 A. I'm afraid I couldn't tell you. I don't know
6 what the topic was.
7 Q. In view of the fact that Mr. Kordic
8 personally had nothing to do with humanitarian aid, I
9 have to tell you that Mr. Kordic never spoke about any
10 such things. So my question is: Are you quite sure
11 that he said that, rather than somebody else that you
12 saw on television?
13 A. And this was at the end of the meeting, when
14 he was interviewed by television.
15 Q. I beg your pardon. My question was a bit
16 different. Are you sure that it was Mr. Kordic who
17 spoke about humanitarian aid, and not someone else?
18 For instance, do you know who headed the Red Cross in
20 A. I do not know, but I know that the potato
21 came through humanitarian aid.
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. There were two
23 questions there. One at a time, so the witness can
24 deal with them. It's now eleven. Have you got many
25 more questions for this witness, Mr. Naumovski?
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
2 I think in some 15 or 20 minutes I could finish, maybe
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now for
5 half an hour.
6 MR. NICE: Would Your Honour explain the
7 position to the witness about contact, because there is
8 no interpreter available for me to explain that to him,
9 and it -- and maybe he hasn't been told beforehand of
10 what the regime is.
11 JUDGE MAY: We don't usually mention it in
12 this adjournment.
13 MR. NICE: Very well.
14 --- Recess taken at 11 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.37 a.m.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
18 Your Honours.
19 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, may we resume? Let us just
20 round off the topic that we were talking about before.
21 While in Busovaca, did you know one Stipo
23 A. No.
24 Q. Now, as I have said, you did not answer the
25 question that I asked you before the break, so I have
1 to repeat it. So are you quite sure that it was not
2 somebody else who spoke on the subject of humanitarian
4 A. I don't really know why you are so interested
5 in those potatoes and humanitarian aid. Municipal
6 authorities know all that.
7 JUDGE MAY: We have the point. I think
8 you've dealt pretty thoroughly with that,
9 Mr. Naumovski.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Now, let us move on, since we've touched upon
12 Mr. Kordic.
13 Mr. Nuhagic, tell me, please, did you ever
14 meet and come to know Mr. Dario Kordic?
15 A. Yes, yes, when I was with Hasija Beslic, when
16 she was telling him about those documents that he was
18 Q. Would you tell us, please, who is Hasija
20 A. Hasija Beslic? Well, she's just a woman who
21 used to work at the Vatrostalna in Busovaca with him.
22 Q. Where did she live; in the town?
23 A. In the town.
24 Q. Until when was she in Busovaca? Is she still
1 A. No. She left in the month of September, as
2 everybody else.
3 Q. And where was it that you met Mr. Kordic?
4 A. Opposite the so-called hardware store or the
5 department store. There's a church there and just a
6 small square, a small triangle.
7 Q. And what were you doing in the town on that
9 A. Well, I was walking with that Hasija, whom I
10 knew from before, because a neighbour from the village
11 that I knew was staying in the neighbouring house.
12 Q. And did you see the kind of permit or
13 certificate that she had and who signed it?
14 A. Sir, I had such a certificate, and all the
15 people of Muslim ethnicity. Let's not talk too much
16 about that certificate.
17 Q. No, no. I'm not saying you did not have a
18 certificate. I'm just saying the Court saw different
19 signatories on such certificates. Some were signed by
20 Mr. Maric, some by Dusko Grubesic. And my question was
21 what kind of a certificate this lady had and whose name
22 was signed there?
23 A. I don't know. She said the types of
24 certificates were issued so as not to be disturbed by
25 Croat troops, because they are worthless.
1 Q. But that conversation that you are talking
2 about, it involved Hasija Beslic, and you were only
3 present there; is that so?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. She complained that she was being harassed,
6 disturbed by troops, and you say that she said
7 Mr. Kordic said that it would not happen again?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And after that conversation, do you know what
10 happened then to Hasija Beslic?
11 A. Well, we parted our ways, because she went
12 home and I also went to the place where I was staying
13 in Busovaca on a different street.
14 Q. No. What I wanted to ask you was: Do you
15 know if soldiers came again to her place?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Does that mean that you saw her on different
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I mean, today you mentioned only one
21 conversation with her. That is why I'm asking you
22 that. When you were present at that conversation,
23 could you tell us, was there somebody else present?
24 Was Mr. Kordic alone?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Completely alone, all by himself?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. You don't know where he was
4 coming from, where he was headed; you don't know
5 anything about that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And I agree with you. I believe I understood
8 you well. You did not mention your case, where you
9 lived, what you were, or anything like that?
10 A. No, I did not.
11 Q. And you say that after that conversation,
12 soldiers came again to the place where you were and
13 said or, rather, showed that they did not like your
14 having a complaint to Kordic?
15 A. Yes, and Hasija did the same thing. I didn't
16 show the certificate, but she was safe.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Nuhagic, let us try to be quite
18 precise. Today, when asked by the Prosecution, you
19 answered that soldiers came to your house and said that
20 you complained to Kordic?
21 A. Yes, to my place, and Hasija's, and everybody
22 else. "You complained to Kordic about those
23 certificates that you have, but they are worth
24 nothing. He knows about all this, that you are being
25 disturbed, and about everything else."
1 Q. Yes, yes, I get your point. But will you try
2 to distinguish between when you talked with Hasija
3 later on and what you personally know? So will you
4 tell us, when the troops came to your house, what did
5 they exactly tell you, you personally?
6 A. Me, personally, and to one of my relatives, a
7 second, third relative of mine, when we would show the
8 documents, they say, "They are worthless. You went to
9 complain to Kordic, Hasija Beslic, and everybody else,
10 but whoever does that, we don't."
11 Q. I must ask you this once again. You said
12 explicitly today that those troops said to you that you
13 went to complain?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That has been said several
15 times. Now, we've got the point.
16 A. I should like to ask to go back not to some
17 questions, because there are various paragraphs and
18 items here. Let us follow those.
19 JUDGE MAY: Let us decide how the questioning
20 is done here, but we'll make sure that you aren't
21 harassed by going back over old matter. Yes.
22 Have you got very much more, Mr. Naumovski?
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Just one
24 question more.
25 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, will you agree with me on one
1 point: You gave two statements to the investigators of
2 The Hague Tribunal. Do you remember that?
3 A. Yes, there were.
4 Q. In 1995 and 1999?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you also gave a statement to the Zenica
7 police in 1994?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So it means three. And you also testified on
10 two occasions: in the Blaskic case and in the
11 Aleksovski case. Is that so?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So it was five times that you gave the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So will you agree with me that on no one
17 occasion in any of those statements, or in your
18 testimony before the Court, did you mention the
19 conversation with Hasija Beslic and the humanitarian
21 A. Well, that was in '94, or '95, when I made
22 that statement. Perhaps it simply -- I simply didn't
23 remember that, because what I told you -- I mean, the
24 record would not show everything that one says, does
1 Q. No. But, very briefly, can we agree that you
2 never mentioned that before, that this is the first
3 time that you mentioned it, in the year 2000?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. I have no
6 further questions.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nuhagic.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. My name is Goran Mikulicic, and with my
11 learned friend, Mr. Kovacic, I represent the second
12 accused, Mario Cerkez.
13 Now, first I should like to express my
14 sincere sympathies, condolences to you, for all the
15 losses that you suffered during the events in
17 Now, Mr. Nuhagic, let us go back to 1992 for
18 a while, when the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
19 attacked. At that time, sometime in mid-1992, Busovaca
20 was attacked too, wasn't it?
21 A. Excuse me, but with that Mario Cerkez, I
22 heard about him now here, at the hearing that he was
23 part. And as when I was preparing, I was told that,
24 but as I said, I had nothing to do with him, because he
25 did not come from my municipality, that Mario Cerkez.
1 Q. Yes, Mr. Nuhagic, we understand that, because
2 you are from the municipality of Busovaca, and all that
3 you said refers to that municipality, does it not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But I shall be very brief, so will you please
6 try to answer it.
7 Is it true that sometime in mid-1992,
8 Busovaca was shelled by the JNA?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And as a village inhabitant, like your
11 neighbours, did you think that you might be attacked by
12 the JNA?
13 A. Well, yes, it was shelled. Even Draga, which
14 was quite near me.
15 Q. And Mr. Nuhagic, did you undertake any
16 measures to protect yourselves in the village?
17 A. Only a shelter. When the alert would go on,
18 then we would go downstairs.
19 Q. But apart from that, did the villagers
20 organise themselves; that is, did you go on guard to
21 take -- to be on the alert, to see that the attack --
22 A. Not in 1992, when the shelling happened,
23 because there was no need for them.
24 Q. And later on, in 1993?
25 A. Oh, well, in '92, but it was very late in '92
1 we had some guards.
2 Q. So you had your village guards, which you
3 organised yourselves, didn't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So, Mr. Nuhagic, and those village guards,
6 were they armed with anything?
7 A. Well, a hunting rifle, a carbine and
8 something -- something automatic, those drum rifles or
9 Kalasnikovs. I don't know what they are called, but
10 they came from the Territorial Defence.
11 Q. But could you remember, because it was a long
12 time ago, how many pieces of weapons did the village
13 guards in the village have?
14 A. Five pieces.
15 Q. And those village guards, Mr. Nuhagic, did
16 they receive orders from somebody?
17 A. Well, it was organised in the village, and
18 they -- there were neighbours, Croats, so we had
19 contact with them in '92, in late '92, and in the
20 beginning of 1993.
21 Q. But did those village guards have a
23 A. Well, no. Only we who were in that village.
24 I don't know about others.
25 Q. Very well. Were you also one of the village
1 guards, Mr. Nuhagic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you. Mr. Nuhagic, I have
4 no further questions.
5 Your Honours, I have no further questions for
6 the witness. Thank you.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
8 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, you've been asked about saying
9 in your -- one of your statements to the Tribunal
10 investigators that you read in a book about Grubesic,
11 Dusko, being the commander of the Busovaca HVO, and
12 ordering Ljubicic, Pasko, to attack the village.
13 You've also given us an account of how you learnt of
14 that from your brother. When, after the attack, did
15 you first meet your brother? How many hours or days
16 later was it that you met him?
17 A. Well, it was two or three later, that we were
18 in Busovaca, and he was there too, and that is when he
19 told us.
20 Q. Now, we've taken the awful experiences you
21 suffered very shortly, in the interest of saving time,
22 and partly in the interests of saving your feelings.
23 But you met your brother two or three hours or two or
24 three days later?
25 A. The next day.
1 Q. The next day. And he then told you what
2 you've told us today; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. And is it right that before you made the
5 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor
6 investigators, you had made a statement to the Bosnian
8 A. I did give some statements, but that was a
9 long time ago, and I cannot really remember it all.
10 And besides, we were still afraid of the war and --
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I, rather than go
12 through the exercise of putting a document before the
13 witness, read to the Court, and my friends have got it
14 to follow, that in that statement he sets out --
15 JUDGE MAY: Can you identify the date,
17 MR. NICE: Yes, of course. It's an official
18 record written on the 26th of March of 1994, according
19 to the record itself, based on an interview conducted
20 with this witness. And it's at the second page in the
21 English translation.
22 Q. And what the witness told the investigators
23 was that: "The Croat population from the area..." I'm
24 sorry, there is not a document before the interpreters,
25 so I'll read slowly:
1 "The Croat population from the area set out
2 towards Tisovac. On the way they were met about Dusko
3 Grubesic, commander of the Zrinjski brigade, who had
4 been told by Ivo Kristo that the grenades came from our
5 village, which was not true. Grubesic then ordered
6 Pasko Ljubicic to take his group and head towards our
7 village of Ocehnici."
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was that what you told the investigators, and
10 was that what you had been told by your brother?
11 A. Yes, said to the investigators.
12 Q. Busovaca itself, the area to which the
13 villagers were fleeing, was that an area known to you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. We can see from the map, and having some
16 knowledge in this Court of the geography, we can see
17 that the areas are quite close together, but the map
18 doesn't show if they are connected by any road or
19 track, other than the main road going to Busovaca and
20 then coming out again. Was Ocehnici connected directly
21 to Tisovac, or would you have to go via Busovaca?
22 A. Via Busovaca, yes, through the village of
24 Q. And at the time that the villagers were
25 moving to Tisovac, was there anything located at
1 Tisovac of which you were then aware, any particular
2 building or any particular operation or base?
3 JUDGE MAY: I think this goes out of the
4 bounds of re-examination.
5 MR. NICE: As Your Honour pleases.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NICE: That's all I ask.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nuhagic, that concludes your
9 evidence, and you are now released. But before you are
10 released, I wish to record the thanks of the
11 International Tribunal to you for coming here to give
12 your evidence.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE MAY: How long do you anticipate in
16 chief with this witness?
17 MR. NICE: Well --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please,
19 Mr. Nice.
20 MR. NICE: Within the next hour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. And that's the final
22 witness, of course.
23 MR. NICE: That is the final witness this
24 week, apart from the witness such as he, to the extent
25 that he is a witness, who will be able to help with the
1 video of the area. J.P. Capelle, who can be called
3 JUDGE MAY: That's provided the Defence have
4 had the opportunity of seeing it, of course.
5 MR. NICE: Yes. We are making arrangements
6 to copy the tape now.
7 JUDGE MAY: And leaving time for the
9 MR. NICE: Yes. Well, there's the argument
10 this afternoon or tomorrow morning on three witnesses.
11 I don't necessarily think they'll be long, because
12 there have been very full skeletons served in respect
13 of one of them.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
15 if I may say something not related to the witness and
16 something related to the witness himself, I think it is
17 impossible for us to get through the plan that the
18 Prosecutor has in mind for tomorrow, because I don't
19 think we'll be able to organise, this evening, the
20 viewing of the tape in the detention centre with
21 Mr. Kordic. That's the first point.
22 My second point is that we should like to
23 allow the questions, except for paragraph 6, 7, 8, 9,
24 13 and 17, no leading in those paragraphs. Thank you.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness is standing.
2 Let us deal with the formal matters. Let the witness
3 take the declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
5 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
6 and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: SALIH HAMZIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Take a seat, please.
10 Mr. Kovacic wanted to raise something.
11 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I hate to disturb,
12 but on the earlier experience, it will be technically,
13 if not impossible, but very difficult, to have this
14 videotape this evening in the detention unit. So I
15 would suggest we, of course, by mutual effort, can try
16 to succeed, but as a contingency plan, perhaps tomorrow
17 we can have a short break after we see the tape. Then
18 we can discuss it with the client.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we'll discuss it at
20 the end of the day, when we know how much progress
21 we've made.
22 MR. KOVACIC: Exactly. I just mention it as
23 a contingency.
24 And if I may, I would kindly ask Prosecutor
25 Nice not to ask a leading question on 17, paragraph
1 17. I think that was mentioned by Mr. Naumovski.
2 Thank you.
3 Examined by Mr. Nice:
4 Q. Your full name, please.
5 A. Salih Hamzic.
6 Q. Mr. Hamzic, did you work for Radio Zenica in
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. In April of 1992, did the Radio Zenica
10 personnel hold a meeting to plan a strategy for the
11 radio station, and if so, can you just tell us, in a
12 sentence or so, what that strategy was?
13 A. Yes. At the beginning of the aggression on
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the beginning of April 1992, we
15 had a meeting, and at that meeting we decided, because
16 we had seen that there was an aggression being launched
17 on Bosnia-Herzegovina, that we should protect Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina, defend it. And bearing in mind our
19 contacts with Radio Sarajevo, we also decided to follow
20 suit and work in that manner.
21 Q. In May or June, were there television
22 programmes which included participation of Dario
23 Kordic, Blaskic, Praljak, and other officials from the
24 Territorial Defence, each of those people giving their
25 explanations and comments on the war?
1 A. You said "television programme." There were
2 only press conferences.
3 Q. Yes, thank you.
4 A. The television programme, there was a local
5 station, Zeta, and it broadcast reports from Busovaca
6 and, of course, from Zenica. That was the television
7 programme, as far as I know.
8 Q. My mistake. I apologise.
9 Who led the programmes that involved, amongst
10 others, Dario Kordic? Who was in charge of them?
11 A. At that time, all the journalists led certain
12 programmes, depending on their shifts. However, most
13 of the programmes were led by Ivica Tomic and Anton
15 Q. Were they, each of them, members of the HVO?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I think you knew Kordic from before the war,
18 he then being a journalist for the Busovaca branch of
19 the Vatrostalna company in Zenica.
20 A. Yes. At the end of -- that is to say, at the
21 beginning of the 1970s, Mr. Kordic was in charge of a
22 particular programme. I think it was a 20-minute
23 programme from the Vatrostalna company and the branch
24 in Busovaca. So I know him from that time.
25 Q. It's come up on the translation as "the
1 1970s". What period are you actually referring to?
2 A. I apologise. I didn't mean "the '70s." At
3 the end of '70.
4 Q. At the time that you knew him in this
5 capacity, was he, in your judgement, a silent and a
6 serious person and, indeed, a polite one?
7 A. At the time when I co-operated with Kordic, he
8 was quite a normal person, a very natural one, and a
9 calm person.
10 Q. By the time of the television programmes in
11 May or June of 1992, what, if anything, did you notice
12 about his appearance and demeanour?
13 A. You once again mentioned "television
14 programmes." It was a radio programme, radio
16 Q. Sorry. The same question, though.
17 A. In May and in June 1992, Kordic, on several
18 occasions, would come for a guest appearance and take
19 part in an open type of programme which was broadcast
20 at the time by Radio Zenica. I saw him on several
21 occasions wearing a camouflage uniform. I think he had
22 a cap on his head. And he had bodyguards who were
23 wearing black uniforms.
24 Q. What about his demeanour and what about the
25 security that surrounded him even farther afield than
1 the four bodyguards?
2 A. At one of those guest appearances on the
3 programme, I remember that the street in which the
4 Radio Zenica building is situated was blocked. At that
5 time already, we were not able to contact Mr. Kordic in
6 the normal way. That is to say, he was a little
7 superior in his demeanour.
8 Q. Did you notice anything, in the course of
9 these broadcasts, about the language that he used or
10 the terms that he used?
11 A. Yes, I did. At the time, terms were
12 beginning to be used such as "Chetniks," "Ustashas,"
13 and in Mr. Kordic's conduct, and felt a sort of
14 superiority in respect to the TO, for example, at the
15 time. There was this sort of distance set.
16 Q. When you say that certain terms were used,
17 are you saying they were used by Kordic or not?
18 A. I think he used them, yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: Just going back to the street
20 being closed, I take it that was in Zenica, was it?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I was talking about Zenica.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. In the course of the broadcasts, did you
24 notice the way he spoke, the way he dealt with the
25 current issues, and the way he dealt with the
1 contribution, good and bad, of the different parties?
2 A. At the beginning, that is to say, at the
3 beginning of May, everything was quite normal. He
4 would speak about communality between the HVO or TO.
5 Later on, when he would come for a second or
6 third time, these relationships began to cool, and I
7 gained the impression that what prevailed was a certain
8 feeling of raising the HVO, glorifying it.
9 Q. Did you on one occasion speak to Kordic about
10 one of the broadcasts?
11 A. Yes. I think that, as far as I am able to
12 recall, it was the last time that I, in fact, had
13 contacts with Mr. Kordic. Before the programme went on
14 the air, we got cigarettes as presents, and some wine
15 or some alcoholic beverage, and after the programme
16 itself, when Kordic was leaving the studio, I told him
17 words to this effect: "This isn't leading anywhere.
18 That is not the way things should be done."
19 Q. What was it about the event that had led you
20 to say that?
21 A. I was irritated by his very appearance and
22 conduct, and the speech he made, and his participation,
23 in fact, in the programme. And that was my normal
24 reaction to what I had heard. And as I knew Kordic, I
25 decided to react. And it was well intentioned, might I
2 Q. Can you help us at all with the detail of
3 either his appearance and conduct, or the detail of the
4 speech that night, that led to your taking this
6 A. I said a moment ago that in this entire
7 conversation, one side would always -- the scales would
8 be tipped, so that one side would always be above the
9 other. And you could always feel this heightened
10 superiority on the part of one side. And in that
11 sense, that is the sense that I took him to mean, and
12 that I reacted to and said what I said to him.
13 When I told him that, Kordic didn't answer.
14 He just passed by me.
15 Q. From all that you saw of him, and all that
16 you knew of him, what was his role, as revealed on
17 these broadcasts in Central Bosnia?
18 A. Let me say once again the following: As far
19 as I know, and in my opinion, he was the chief, the
20 boss, so to speak, the number-one man.
21 Q. Turning now to the station again. Was there
22 a suggestion made at some stage that the station might
23 need extra protection?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who made the suggestion, and what was the
1 nature of the suggestion?
2 A. The suggestion came from Mr. Tomic and
3 Mr. Mrkonjic, that is to say, the head of the HDZ in
4 Zenica. And at the time, I think that it was
5 Mr. Sakic, Dominik Sakic, I think was the man. And the
6 purpose of the proposal was to secure the building,
7 provide security for the building, and to position
8 members of the HVO to do this.
9 Q. In fact, did the radio station have its own
10 security service on site?
11 A. Yes, it did. And it is common knowledge that
12 every radio station must have its own security.
13 Q. What was the response of the radio station to
14 Tomic's offer?
15 A. I can only give you my own response, which
16 was in the talks with Mr. Tomic and Mrkonjic. That is
17 to say, I quite simply answered their question by
18 putting a question of my own. And I asked him, "Who do
19 you want us to protect the station from?"
20 Q. What sort of answer did you get?
21 A. Well, of course, I didn't get an answer.
22 Q. Were you concerned at that stage to maintain
23 the independence of the radio station?
24 A. I don't know in what sense you mean,
1 Q. At the time we are talking about, was the
2 radio station controlled by any political faction, or
3 was it free to broadcast generally, in accordance with
4 its own policy?
5 A. Radio Zenica, at the time and today, is quite
6 open. And at the time, as we are talking about that
7 period, it was quite an open, a very open radio
8 station, open to everyone. And the radio station was
9 never influenced, under the influence of any military
10 formation or political party.
11 Q. In the event, did you allow the HVO to guard
12 the radio station?
13 A. Of course not.
14 Q. Did you notice that attendance at the radio
15 station of local HDZ and HVO members declined towards
16 the end of 1992, and that they started sending their
17 information reports for broadcast by fax?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were you ever able to work out a reason for
20 this change of behaviour?
21 A. I didn't, but I can -- I have my assumptions.
22 Q. We may not want them. On what are they
24 A. Well, my assumptions are based on this --
25 purely on this cooling of relations between, let me
1 say, the HDZ, HVO, and the TO, and their visions of
2 defence against the aggression, and so on.
3 Q. Did the radio station, from time to time,
4 receive threats?
5 A. Yes, it did.
6 Q. Initially, did you treat them fairly
7 lightly? You didn't take them too seriously?
8 A. That's right, because our radio programmes
9 were open, of an open type, with call-ins. These
10 threats did exist, but I didn't take them seriously,
12 Q. Did they get worse, the telephone threats,
13 towards the end of 1992, become more violent in their
15 A. I really couldn't say, but I can say -- what
16 I can tell you is that in the autumn of 1992, something
17 happened -- some strange things happened, whether due
18 to circumstances or not, I don't know, but --
19 Q. Tell us about those things.
20 A. One of my colleagues at work -- Bogoljub Ilic
21 was his name -- at the time, in the evening, was
22 captured and his head was shaved. And we didn't know
23 by whom. At the time, the director, a woman -- she was
24 a woman director of Radio Zenica, her name was Medina
25 Delibasic, and her flat was broken into and looted.
1 Her property was taken away.
2 At the same time, my flat was broken into as
3 well, but, luckily, nothing was taken, because they
4 were prevented in doing so.
5 Q. Was there some digging of trenches in the
6 area of the radio station in the autumn of 1992? If
7 so, by whom?
8 A. Yes, there was. In the autumn of 1992, this
9 began, as far as I know -- that is to say, there was a
10 military demonstration by the HVO. We asked for
11 protection, and then the members of the TO of the day
12 dug several trenches as fortification for the
13 television building.
14 Q. That level of protection, did it involve the
15 stationing of soldiers in the radio station itself,
17 A. Of course not.
18 Q. How near to or far from the radio station
19 were these protective trenches dug?
20 A. Well, I can just give you an approximation.
21 One of them was some 15 to 20 metres away, on the
22 right-hand side. On the left-hand side there was
23 another one, some 20 metres off, and one was across the
24 Bosna River, as far as I recall.
25 Q. In December, 1992, was there a bomb that went
1 off close to the radio station?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us a bit more about where it
4 went off, and what its effect was?
5 A. What happened was that towards the end of
6 1992, after we had had a New Year's celebration, across
7 from the entrance to the Radio Zenica building,
8 opposite the entrance, at a window of a cafe, a bomb
9 was placed. The bomb exploded precisely in the
10 evening, sometime after 10 p.m., when we were going
11 home. Luckily, nobody was injured, because we left the
12 building in groups, three to four people to a group.
13 But the windows and doors of the building were
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, are you moving on to
16 April '93?
17 MR. NICE: Yes.
18 JUDGE MAY: Before you do that, there is
19 something I want to ask the witness about.
20 Mr. Hamzic, first of all, what was your job
21 at the radio station? What did you do there?
22 A. At the time, I was the main technician,
23 working on the production of programmes.
24 JUDGE MAY: And are you still employed there
25 or are you working elsewhere?
1 A. Yes, I am still employed.
2 JUDGE MAY: I want to go back to May and June
3 '92. This was the period in which Mr. Kordic was
4 coming to make broadcasts; is that right?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 JUDGE MAY: And can you give us any idea of
7 how many he might have made, or how often he came,
8 whichever is the easier way of looking at it?
9 A. As far as I can remember, two or three
10 times. Let's say three times, as far as I can
11 recollect. Because I wasn't always on duty at the time
12 that he appeared.
13 JUDGE MAY: And after that, he made no
14 further broadcasts; is that right?
15 A. I think that at the beginning of June, again
16 as far as I can remember, that was the last time.
17 Whether it was the end of May or the end of June, but
18 not after that.
19 Of course, later on those press conferences
20 or some sort of reports were broadcast from Busovaca.
21 I think that this was at the Tisa Motel. Of course,
22 our reporters covered those events, and we had those
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
25 MR. NICE: May the witness see --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. NICE: May the witness see an exhibit.
3 It's a plan, and it's 2282,4. It has one marking on
4 it, but I hope that that won't inconvenience the
5 witness or lead to any objection.
6 Q. I'm sorry for not having given you the
7 opportunity of looking at this map before. Disregard
8 the single marking on it, and if you're able to, if
9 this map helps you at all, point out where the radio
10 station was first.
11 A. I can't see it very clearly.
12 Q. The general area will do for these purposes.
13 It may not show it in detail, and if it becomes
14 necessary, we can always get a more detailed map. And
15 if the map is inappropriate or doesn't cover the area,
16 you must say so. But taking your time to familiarise
17 yourself with the map, see if you can help us with
18 where the radio station was. You can see the bend in
19 the Bosna River. We can see the bridges named, so that
20 should give you points of reference.
21 Now, if the usher will give you a pointer,
22 and if you would be good enough to point on the
23 overhead projector, which is on your right-hand side.
24 If you could point it out on the map or tell us.
25 A. I'm not sure. I can't see things properly.
1 I'm afraid I can't find my way on this map. I just
2 can't see.
3 Q. Can you -- we'll come back to that in a
4 minute. Can you tell us what road or street the radio
5 station is in?
6 A. I'll tell you the address of the radio
7 station. It's along the bank of the Bosna River. The
8 road along the bank itself, the embankment itself, is
9 called the boulevard, and then just behind that road is
10 the road called Fadil Spanac, as it was called, and now
11 it is Seid Serdarevic [phoen] Street.
12 Q. And to which bridge is the radio station
13 nearest, if you know the names of the bridges?
14 A. The closest bridge is the bridge across the
15 road from the central mosque. It is a pedestrian, a
16 hanging bridge. And then the next bridge is next to
17 the Hotel Metalurg.
18 MR. NICE: Yes, very well. Your Honours,
19 just give me one minute.
20 Q. Although the map doesn't show it, is the
21 station within the bend in the river or is it on one of
22 the bits of the river on either side of that bend?
23 A. I think it is here, where the circle is
24 [indicates]. I think it is roughly there, roughly.
25 Q. Now, you spoke of the trenches being dug to
1 one side and the other and then on the other side of
2 the river, and that stimulated me to ask you to look at
3 the map. At the point where the radio station lies, is
4 there anything, apart from the boulevard, between it
5 and the river? Can you see the river from the radio
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then the trenches were how far the other
9 side of the river, immediately the other side or some
10 distance away?
11 A. Some distance away, some 20 metres away from
12 the river, 15 or 20 metres away from the river. I
13 don't know exactly.
14 Q. Let's move now to the 19th of April. Were
15 you on duty at the radio station on that day when you
16 received a phone call?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The person who spoke, was it a man or a
20 A. What do you mean, "on the phone"? I don't
22 Q. Was it a man speaking to you on the phone?
23 A. A man was speaking to me on the phone.
24 Q. What did you notice about his voice or
1 A. In my judgement, I think he faked his speech
2 or accent. It wasn't authentic Croatian but a faked
3 accent, in my opinion, and I think that the line
4 itself, or the call, again in my judgement, I think was
5 not made from Zenica.
6 Q. What did the man say?
7 A. When he called, of course, he didn't
8 introduce himself. He asked for information regarding
9 the position of the Radio Zenica building. I asked him
10 why. He again asked and insisted on his question,
11 "Please tell me, where is the Radio Zenica building
12 situated?" After he repeated this request two or three
13 times, I asked him, "But, sir, why do you need the
14 building of Radio Zenica? What for?" He insisted
15 again that I tell him where it was. And then I
16 answered, "Sir, when you get to Zenica, ask anyone in
17 the street. Everyone will tell you where the building
18 of Radio Zenica is." That was my answer.
19 Q. How did the conversation develop?
20 A. After insisting once or twice -- I can't
21 remember exactly -- I asked him once again, "Why do you
22 need the building of Radio Zenica? What for?" He then
23 quietly told me, without any insults or any offensive
24 words, he said, "Sir, we are going to shell you in ten
25 minutes." That's what he said to me. My answer was --
1 of course, I laughed, and I answered, "Are you
2 serious," because I was laughing. I just couldn't
3 understand what it was all about. He repeated the same
4 statement, "Sir, we are going to shell you in ten
5 minutes' time. Look for shelter. You're a good man.
6 Take shelter." That's what he said to me.
7 Q. Did you say anything else?
8 A. When he said this, I laughed again. I didn't
9 take it all seriously, I thought it was quite
10 impossible, and I said to him, in dialect, "If you want
11 to fight, come, and we'll shoot at each other, we'll
12 have a shoot-out," that's what I said, "rather than
13 this," and then the line was disconnected.
14 Q. Did you take this threat seriously initially?
15 A. Of course not, because there were threats
16 before, and if one had taken each threat seriously,
17 where would we be?
18 Q. Sometime later, however, did you notice
20 A. After that conversation, there was an
21 intermission on the programme, if I can call it that,
22 because at 12 we would transmit the radio programme
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in the break before linking
24 up, I went out to a small corridor just in front of the
25 studio to have a cup of coffee and a smoke, and I
1 noticed -- some 15 or 20 metres away from me, I saw
2 smoke. This could have been in front of the department
3 store called Bosanka today. In those days, it was the
4 Belgrade Department Store.
5 Q. What did you see? People injured, and so on?
6 A. From the window, where I was in the corridor,
7 I can see the street in which the radio station is
8 located, and there is a passage leading from the spot
9 where I saw the smoke. I also noticed then that a
10 group of people were on a stampede, if I can put it
11 that way. And they were dragging the wounded. I saw
12 the wounded. They were in a panic, and they were
13 fleeing without any -- knowing where they were going,
14 in panic. I still didn't realise what was going on.
15 And then I leaned over the window and asked, "What's
16 happening?" And somebody answered from down below,
17 "People are getting killed up there."
18 Q. Sometime after that, did you hear something
19 else in the area of the station?
20 A. You see, the first shell I didn't hear, and
21 when the people were running away, then I heard another
22 three or four shells, one after the other, at a very
23 short distance away; I really don't know how far away,
24 but it was very close by. From one of the explosions
25 of these shells, the whole building seemed to be
1 moving. It was in the daytime. It was sunny. There
2 was -- the light was on in the studio, and suddenly the
3 light went off. Everything turned dark, probably from
4 the dust.
5 Q. You heard these shells. From where you were,
6 you had no opportunity to see any of them landing?
7 A. No, I couldn't see where they landed, but I
8 heard them very well. Extremely well.
9 Q. Did you see any shell craters or such like
10 afterwards, and see how close to or far from the radio
11 station they were?
12 A. Of course not at that very moment, but later
13 on, a day or two later, I went to see where they had
15 Q. And how near or far from the radio station
16 were they?
17 A. I think that the farthest one was maybe 30 to
18 50 metres away, and the others were all within a radius
19 of some 15 metres. One of them, the one but last of
20 the last one, went right at the building, but since
21 there was a large tree in the street in front of the
22 building, this shell scathed the tree and hit the
23 corner of the building and landed in front of the
24 building on the lower side, towards the River Bosna.
25 It destroyed the bus stop there, and I think a car.
1 Q. Does the building still exist, the building
2 in which you were working at the time?
3 A. Yes, it does.
4 Q. We don't have a photograph of the building at
5 the moment. We'll have one taken, to assist the Court
6 in due course, and it may come in through another
8 Would you recognise the bus stop that you are
9 speaking of, in case that we can locate the building
10 rather more easily at the moment?
11 A. Would you recognise the bus stop?
12 Q. Can he look at 2281, please.
13 A. Yes, I could. Yes, that's it. It is still
14 there, only it's been rebuilt. That is it. And there
15 is the hanging bridge right next to it.
16 Q. Just look at --
17 A. And the building is roughly across the
18 street. This is the River Bosna, and the building is
19 across the street. That's it.
20 Q. If you would like to look at this one,
21 2282.1, please. It may help you as well. Does this
22 help us all in relation to where the radio station was
23 or not?
24 A. I didn't quite understand your question. Can
25 you repeat it, please?
1 Q. Does this photograph help us to identify
2 where the radio station was? Is it shown in this
3 picture? Is it somewhere near to what is shown in this
5 A. This photograph shows the cinema building,
6 which is over there, and this is where the shell fell,
7 I think, and this is the department store. And from
8 this point, the radio is maybe 30 and a couple of
9 metres away or, rather, between 30 and 50 metres away,
10 from this part.
11 Q. Well, we'll rely on the other photograph and
12 get better photographs to help the Chamber later.
13 Were workers evacuated from the building to a
14 nearby shelter, and did you then go back to the radio
15 station with another colleague?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was the radio station no longer working
18 because the power was off?
19 A. Yes. When the shelling took place, then I
20 suggested that we go three by three at a time, because
21 we were on the ground floor, and the walls of the
22 building were thick, that we go to the nuclear shelter.
23 Q. Yes. I don't think we need go into this in
24 any more detail, because you, having gone back and
25 found the power off, did you then succeed in fixing the
1 radio station so that it could play a tape of music?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did the telephone start to ring?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was one of those callers a man whose voice
6 was similar to the voice you'd heard earlier?
7 A. Let me see. I was in a state of shock. A
8 male voice called up again and said, "Balija, you
9 haven't been hit yet. We are going to shell you
10 again." Whether it was the same voice as the first
11 time, I really couldn't say, because I was in shock and
12 I couldn't register such things.
13 Q. Did the shelling continue that same afternoon
14 or not?
15 A. As far as I can remember, it did not.
16 Q. Did the ABiH come and order the station to
17 move, a couple of hours later?
18 A. Yes, that same afternoon.
19 Q. Was there shelling of Zenica city centre
20 intermittently from then on and until February 1994?
21 A. As far as I know, yes.
22 Q. Just to deal with this: You have -- don't
23 tell us what your view is, but you have a view on where
24 the shells came from; is that correct? Just "yes" or
25 "no" is all I want.
1 A. I assume I do.
2 Q. And did that come from what other people had
3 told you, or from anything that you saw yourself? Just
4 tell us that. Don't tell us your conclusion.
5 A. It was based on what I saw.
6 Q. What was it that you saw that enabled you to
7 draw the conclusion?
8 A. At the time, the shelling was always coming
9 from one and the same side, so we knew where to seek
10 shelter; not the first one when it landed, but from
11 then on we knew where we should seek shelter.
12 Q. And from what side of Zenica was it coming?
13 A. It was coming from the direction of Vitez and
14 Busovaca. In those days I think it was more from
16 MR. NICE: Those are all the questions I need
17 to ask of this witness, subject to correcting it from
18 material, if I am able to, the unsatisfactory position
19 about the photographs, which isn't the witness's doing
20 at all, I should say. It should have been sorted out
21 by me earlier.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now until half past
24 Mr. Hamzic, will you be back, please, at half
25 past two to continue your evidence, and we'll finish
1 it this afternoon. Could you please remember, during
2 this adjournment, and any others there may be during
3 this case, not to talk to anybody about your evidence
4 until it's over, and that does include the members of
5 the Prosecution. Would you be back, please, at half
6 past two.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: We don't have another photograph,
4 I think, that shows the radio station itself. I think
5 its position is probably not a matter of contention,
6 and if necessary, we can produce a photograph in due
7 course. It lies, I think, between the boulevard and
8 the next road in, pretty well in the area where the "M"
9 is marked. If there's any dispute about it, we can
10 always agree amongst ourselves.
11 That concludes what I want to ask the
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
15 Your Honours.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
17 Q. Mr. Hamzic, let me introduce myself. I'm
18 Mitko Naumovski, I'm from Zagreb, and I'm the counsel
19 of Mr. Dario Kordic.
20 I usually begin by saying to the witnesses
21 that we understand one another as soon as we utter our
22 thoughts, so would you please pause before answering my
24 Mr. Hamzic, if I understood you well, you
25 spent years working as a sound engineer for Radio
1 Zenica, didn't you?
2 A. [No audible response]
3 Q. Did you hold the same job in '92, '93?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You merely nodded in answer to my first
6 question. I'm afraid you have to give your answer.
7 Did you serve in the army? Did you serve
8 with the former state's army?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you perform any military duties during
11 the war, were you mobilised, were you under labour
12 obligation, or anything like that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So you were mobilised, and your obligation
15 was to work at the radio station, was it?
16 A. That was my labour obligation.
17 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, throughout 1992,
18 you say you -- you told us which particular programme
19 you produced, and you said it was based on the strategy
20 of the Bosnian Radio or, rather, the strategy of Radio
21 Sarajevo; that was the one that was implemented there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Very well. Will you agree with me that that
24 decision was not taken unanimously at the radio
25 station, that some people did not agree with that?
1 A. At that meeting, as I already said, there
2 were no different views, as far as I know.
3 Q. Let me then phrase it this way: Ivica Tomic
4 and Anton Mrkonjic, they were journalists at the Radio
5 Zenica, too, weren't they?
6 A. Yes, except that Mr. Tomic at that time was
7 the editor in chief.
8 Q. And when did they stop or, rather, when were
9 they prevented, barred, from continuing their work
10 because they were members of the HVO, as you said?
11 A. They were not barred from continuing in their
12 jobs. They stopped working themselves, as far as I
14 Q. But will you tell us when?
15 A. I think it was August, sometime in August,
16 '92, when Mrkonjic joined a military formation, and
17 Tomic perhaps followed suit a month or a month and a
18 half later, or perhaps a little later than that.
19 Q. Right. So if I understand you well, we can
20 agree that in the latter half of 1992, people who
21 worked at Radio Zenica and were members of the HVO
22 stopped coming to work, generally speaking?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So some people continued to come to work; is
25 that what you are trying to say?
1 A. Specifically, Tomic continued to come --
2 Q. No, no, no. I said "generally." After
3 Mrkonjic left, shall we say, late 1992.
4 A. I am referring to the two of them. That is
5 quite correct. After that, they did not come again.
6 Q. But tell us, Radio Zenica was a civilian
7 institution, wasn't it; it wasn't a party station?
8 A. I already explained it once. Quite true, it
9 was not a party radio station. Of course, it was a
10 civilian station, yes, naturally.
11 Q. I'm asking you that because you said that you
12 had accepted the assistance of the TO at some point,
13 and then the TO dug some trenches, as you told us,
14 around the building of the radio station?
15 A. Yes, but we did not accept the assistance.
16 Q. But at that time, in the town of Zenica, we
17 had the HVO and TO both active in the town. How is it
18 that you were not helped by both sides and that you did
19 not ask both sides for help?
20 A. I have just explained it to you. The HVO, in
21 the autumn of 1992, the HVO has already begun to
22 demonstrate -- to give demonstrations of their military
24 Q. You mean in the town?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Yes, right. But before that, and you don't
2 have to be very accurate and I know it is difficult,
3 but just to give the Court an idea about the town of
4 Zenica, how many Croats were there, how many Serbs, how
5 many Muslims were there, roughly, just approximately,
6 just to give some idea?
7 A. Well, approximately, say, of about 30
8 employed -- and I'm not giving exact figures; we're
9 agreed on that -- so some 10 or perhaps 12 were
10 Muslims, as many Serbs, perhaps, and the rest were
12 Q. You say "Catholics"; you mean Croats?
13 A. Of course.
14 Q. But I am referring to the town. What was the
15 town population and what was the composition in the
16 town, just to give an idea to the Court?
17 A. I think that the ratio was roughly -- well,
18 say, 50 percent Muslims, 24, 25 percent were Serbs,
19 and then 23 or 24 were Croats. That would be roughly
20 -- or Catholics, if you like, or Croats.
21 Q. My colleague Mr. Mikulicic gives me this
22 census, and we think that there was about the same
23 share of Croats and Serbs, about 50 percent each; that
24 is the census of '91, and the Muslims were counted for
25 50 percent?
1 A. I just told you that I do not really have any
2 accurate data.
3 Q. All right. All right. So tell me, please,
4 when these two Croat journalists left Radio Zenica,
5 Radio Zenica went on with its programme policy
6 throughout '93, and I guess '94 as well?
7 A. Yes. The programme was based by the
8 programme concept of the Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. I see. And you covered the events that
10 happened in '92, especially as of April onward, when
11 the war broke out, when the aggression took place, so
12 my question is within this context. Did you have a
13 programme about when the Territorial Defence -- rather,
14 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina took over the big JNA
15 barracks in Zenica, where they found tanks and guns and
16 other weaponry like that? Do you remember that?
17 A. Of course I do.
18 Q. Was it covered in your programme --
19 JUDGE MAY: How does this arise from the
20 evidence in chief?
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Well, I think
22 it has to do with the programme orientation, with the
23 policy of Radio Zenica.
24 JUDGE MAY: The witness merely gave evidence
25 that there was a press conference, press conferences in
1 May and June, 1992, to which, as I understood it, both
2 sides were invited. You can ask about them, but as for
3 the rest of the orientation, it doesn't appear to me to
4 be relevant.
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
6 Your Honours. Of course I will ask that too.
7 Q. So just a few more questions on the same
8 topic, and then we shall move on to other matters, and
9 then a couple of questions about Mr. Kordic.
10 Just very quickly, you mentioned an explosion
11 in late December '92, in a cafe which is somewhere near
12 Radio Zenica -- rather, near the building in which the
13 Radio Zenica had its premises?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was the perpetrator established? Was the
16 perpetrator, the one who planted the bomb, was he
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you have any idea about the results of the
20 investigation, who the bomb was intended for, and
21 things like that?
22 A. I do not know what were the results of the
23 investigation, but the fact is that a bomb was planted
24 in the evening when the cafe was closed. And the door
25 into the building is right across the street from the
1 cafe or, rather, right across the window of the cafe.
2 Now, who it was intended for, you can draw your own
4 Q. Right. But you do not know details, do you?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. You also mentioned some strange
7 circumstances, as you put it, in the autumn of '92, and
8 you mentioned some trouble that some of the people from
9 the radio desk faced. That is something that you
10 said. But did you find out -- was it established who
11 committed all these offences?
12 A. No.
13 Q. A little while ago we spoke about the help
14 or, rather, that the Territorial Defence took it upon
15 itself to protect your building and dug trenches
16 around. And I forgot to ask you the following
17 question: Why didn't you ask the civilian police for
18 help? Because, after all, it was the police which was
19 responsible for the protection of law and order and
20 things like that.
21 A. I guess -- excuse me. I guess that the
22 police, the civilian police at the time was responsible
23 for public law and order, and we felt that something
24 was about to happen, or that something was happening.
25 We asked the TO to help us, which was only logical.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us move on to
2 another topic. You said that you received threats at
3 specific intervals in the autumn of '92. Was it
4 anything personal, or did it have to do with your work
5 at the radio station?
6 A. It had to do with my work at the radio
7 station, because they knew when I was on duty, when I
8 had my shift. Everybody knew when sound engineers took
9 their shifts, and that is when the calls came.
10 Q. But we shall agree that you do not know who
11 made the call, where he made the call from, or anything
12 about that?
13 A. I do not know who made those calls.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, a few questions concerning
15 Mr. Kordic. We agree that you knew Mr. Kordic at a
16 time when he worked as a General [as interpreted] for
17 Vatrostalna in Busovaca. And he would come to the
18 radio station, and you were asked by the President of
19 this Court, and you said that he came two or three
20 times. I'm sorry, I see that it says "general." That
21 is a mistake. Of course that is a misprint. He was a
22 journalist at the Vatrostalna. Mr. Kordic was a
23 journalist at the Vatrostalna.
24 So you said that Mr. Kordic came on three
25 occasions, when you were asked by His Honour about
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but that related to May and
3 June, 1992. Now, you apparently are asking about the
4 earlier period, when he came as a journalist to the
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] My fault
7 entirely, Your Honour. I meant '92. I had only one
8 question related to Vatrostalna.
9 Q. So in May and June of '92, you say Mr. Kordic
10 came to Radio Zenica on three occasions; is that so?
11 A. I said about three times. I am not sure I
12 know how many times. I was on duty then. If other
13 colleagues were working in the shift, then I don't
14 know. But I think that he was there on two or three
16 Q. Perhaps I will jog your memory if I tell you
17 that he came to Radio Zenica twice: in March '92, at
18 the time of General Kukanjac, from the JNA; that was
19 before the war broke out. And the second time, perhaps
20 it was late May or early June, as you said. So it
21 would be two times. Can we agree on that?
22 A. Possibly, except when I worked; I know this.
23 You know, if another colleague was on duty, then --
24 Q. Right. Right. During your
25 examination-in-chief, you said that programmes with
1 Mr. Kordic were mostly done by those two journalists,
2 Tomic and Mrkonjic?
3 A. I said mostly, by and large.
4 Q. Perhaps this will jog your memory. Both
5 programmes, as far as we remember, or as far as we
6 know, with Mr. Kordic, who was a guest on those
7 programmes, were hosted by a lady colleague of yours, a
8 Muslim, who was a friend of one Filip. So you must
9 know her as your journalist at that period of time.
10 A. That colleague's name was Aida Hadzimeljic at
11 that time. I do remember what you said about Kukanjac,
12 and I think that indeed it was she. But the rest of
13 it, I stick to what I said before.
14 Q. Very well. Radio Zenica records its
15 programmes like any other radio station, so I suppose
16 you did the same thing; you recorded them on tape,
17 didn't you?
18 A. Yes, of course. But in '93, as there was a
19 shortage of tapes, or any kind of recording material,
20 the tapes that we had used before to record various
21 programmes on them, we began to reuse them.
22 Q. Let me then ask you specifically. The tapes
23 of those two programmes, where Mr. Kordic took part in
24 your programmes, are they still in existence, those
1 A. No, as far as I know. But in about one of
2 the programmes, there was a text in a newspaper and a
3 photograph. The paper was called Nasa Rijec.
4 And when you mention Kukanjac, I believe that
5 on the photograph there were Kukanjac, Kordic, and the
6 third one, was it Suvalic or somebody else, I don't
7 know, but that can be found in the archives, in the
9 Q. But you are positive that the tapes do not
11 A. Listen, I am telling you about the radio
12 station, and to my knowledge, they do not exist at the
13 radio station.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, on those two
15 occasions when Mr. Kordic came, we shall agree, I
16 guess, that he never said anything bad about Muslims.
17 A. I'm sorry, I've got a cold. He did not say
18 anything bad about them, but neither did he say
19 anything good about them.
20 Q. But he referred positively to the HVO, as you
21 said, he referred favourably to the HVO, and that is
22 what you held against him when you said, "Well, it's
23 not the right thing to do," or something to that effect
24 that you said to him?
25 A. Yes, you are quite right. But that was not
1 the reason why I said that. I meant, "Why don't we
2 have the Territorial Defence here? Why aren't you
3 together?" That is what I meant. That is what I
4 meant, and that is why I said what I said.
5 Q. The first meeting, you know that there were
6 talks with General Kukanjac, so let me just draw the
7 attention of the Court to this. It had to do with
8 problems related to the Yugoslav People's Army or,
9 rather, the attitude to the JNA. That was the subject
10 of the talks. Why else would they invite General
12 A. I do not think that I was on duty on that
13 particular occasion. I think I was in the building
14 itself, but I wasn't doing that programme.
15 Q. Right. But do you remember the second
16 occasion? What was the subject of the second
17 programme, the one that was done in late May/early
18 June, '92, if you were there, of course? If you were
19 not --
20 A. I was there, and the subject was the defence
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And then the -- it wasn't said,
22 but one could feel it in the air, that it wasn't a
23 common stand. Yes, we started off together, but now
24 somebody was trying to stand apart, to feel above the
25 rest, to somehow assume a different position. Of
1 course, we were bothered by that.
2 Q. But we agreed that Mr. Kordic did not say
3 anything bad about Muslims, nor made a deprecating
4 gesture, or anything like that?
5 A. No, nothing bad, but he wasn't for
6 co-operation. You know, he put it, perhaps, in not so
7 many words, but he somehow made it known that he wasn't
8 for co-operation.
9 Q. Very well. Towards you personally,
10 Mr. Kordic was always proper in his behaviour, wasn't
12 A. Towards me personally, yes, he was proper and
13 correct, up until the last meeting. That last meeting
14 there, we were a little -- how shall I say it?
15 Q. Before we conclude, and I just have a few
16 more things to ask you, you said today that Mr. Kordic
17 used some terms like "Chetnik," "Ustasha," things like
18 that; and if he did, as you state, this was in the
19 context of the joint struggle against the aggressor,
20 was it not? Those were the subjects of discussion and
21 the main topics discussed on the programme?
22 A. Well, I don't want to say which context; I
23 can't really say, but I do state that these were the
24 terms used.
25 Q. You told us today -- well, can we agree that
1 that was your conclusion; that is to say, that
2 Mr. Kordic was a number-one man, or words to that
3 effect, in Central Bosnia? That is the conclusion that
4 you reached, was it not?
5 A. Well, it's not my conclusion.
6 Q. But you presented it to the Court?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But do we agree that you don't know exactly
9 which duties and in what period he performed them, that
10 is, from 1990 onwards?
11 A. In 1991, I know that he attended to military
12 matters in the Busovaca municipality, for example, but
13 what duties he performed afterwards, I don't know. But
14 I know that he was the boss, as they say. Everybody
15 had to ask him for everything.
16 Q. Mr. Hamzic, do try and speak in more precise
17 terms. You cannot give me any concrete example, can
18 you? For example, do you know that Kordic was the
19 vice-president of the HDZ in Herceg-Bosna, or anything
20 of that kind, or what people went to ask him?
21 A. Well, I don't really know what you have in
22 mind. I don't know.
23 Q. Well, you said that he had to be asked about
24 everything, and I say that you do not have any facts to
25 base that assumption of yours on. It is the conclusion
1 that you have brought in on the basis of stories told
2 by people.
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
4 Mr. Naumovski, I think that we have already intervened
5 to tell you that you shouldn't enter into a debate with
6 the witness. Put questions to him, if you wish, but
7 this is not the place for arguing with the witness.
8 He told you what his impression was; that is
9 all. Now, if you have any specific questions, put them
10 to him, but do not argue with him. It is, of course,
11 up to the Chamber to draw its own conclusions on the
12 basis of all this.
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
14 Honour. I accept what you have just said absolutely,
15 and if the witness agrees that it is only his opinion
16 and his conclusion, then I have no further questions to
17 ask him in that regard.
18 A. Well, it's not only my opinion. That was
19 what the situation was like, and I personally was not
20 in a situation to be able to check it out. But I think
21 everybody knew that, and that was my conclusion.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Well, very
23 well, then. I have no further questions. Thank you
24 for your patience, and I should like to thank the
25 witness as well.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Hamzic. My name is
3 Bozidar Kovacic. I am Defence counsel for Mr. Cerkez,
4 together with my learned colleague Mr. Mikulicic, and I
5 have a few questions to ask you by way of clarification
6 and to place what you have said in real time.
7 Tell us, please, Mr. Hamzic, you said that
8 you were not the -- that is to say that you were the
9 main technician, but let us just make it clear. You
10 were not an editor or a journalist in the programme,
11 were you?
12 A. No. Journalists are something else, sir, and
13 technicians are something else again.
14 Q. Very well, thank you. So you were on the
15 technical staff of Radio Zenica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. But you did work there for a long time, and
18 could you, please, in the briefest possible terms,
19 although you did touch upon this in direct, the ethnic
20 composition of the Radio, that it was balanced, but you
21 did mention the lady director, Medina Delibasic, if I
22 understood you correctly, and she's of Muslim
23 ethnicity, is she not, judging by her name; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You also mentioned your colleague, Bilic.
2 He's a Croatian, is he not?
3 A. I can assume that he is of the Croat
4 ethnicity, judging by the surname. Of course, he
5 doesn't have to be, but I would say he is.
6 Q. Sir, I mention Bogoljub Ilic, and by
7 nationality, he is a Serb.
8 A. Very well, then, we have a Serb.
9 Q. And then you mentioned Ivica Tomic. He was
10 evidently a Croat because he was in the HVO; is that
12 A. Well, I know he was a Catholic, but --
13 Q. Very well. The other editors were of a mixed
15 A. Of course.
16 Q. Tell me, please, so you lived in a
17 multi-ethnic community in Zenica? That is something we
18 are able to conclude on the basis of what you have told
19 us; is that right?
20 A. Yes, just as I do today. I live there today.
21 Q. And your education also took place in Zenica,
22 didn't it?
23 A. Yes, but I also went to additional training
24 courses in Sarajevo and Belgrade.
25 Q. Yes. But your childhood is linked and your
1 maturity is linked to Zenica, is it not?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I now have
4 several more questions to ask you and make use of your
5 expert knowledge. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 [In English] but I think it will be really prudent just
7 to get the basic information from this witness, because
8 he is the expert in the field, on what radio programmes
9 may have been heard by the population in the
10 municipalities we are dealing with, and probably about
11 TV programmes.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, if the witness can help
13 us. At what stage are we talking about?
14 MR. KOVACIC: '92 and '93, possibly.
15 JUDGE MAY: And in which areas are the
16 programmes to be heard?
17 MR. KOVACIC: That is exactly what I would
18 like to ask him. He was a technical director, a
19 technical -- main technician, as he put it.
20 JUDGE MAY: You want to ask him where the
21 Radio Zenica programmes could be heard?
22 MR. KOVACIC: Exactly, sir, yes.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Perhaps the witness
24 can answer. In '92/'93, where could Radio Zenica be
25 heard, roughly?
1 A. Would you like me to tell you the kilometres
2 or the places where it could be heard?
3 JUDGE MAY: Presumably, it's the Lasva Valley
4 you're concerned about.
5 MR. KOVACIC: Exactly, sir.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. In the Lasva Valley,
8 A. At that time, the programme could be heard in
9 Busovaca and the villages around Busovaca, also in
10 Vitez and the villages surrounding Vitez, in Zenica,
11 and on the other side as well; I don't think you're
12 interested in that.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. What about Novi Travnik?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So this means all the municipalities in the
17 Lasva River Valley; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In view of your profession, at that time
20 there was also the television station, and was it also
21 viewed in these same areas?
22 A. No. It was a local-type television station
23 for the town.
24 Q. It only covered Zenica, you mean?
25 A. Yes, just the town.
1 Q. Could you tell us, please, something else
2 about some other local television stations in these
3 three municipalities: Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca?
4 Do you know about them or don't you, for example, in
5 the course of 1992?
6 A. I can only -- I apologise. I've got a bit of
7 a cold. I can only speak about Zenica. I don't know
8 about the others, because I did not leave Zenica.
9 Q. Thank you. I have just one more question.
10 In view of previous testimony, I should just
11 like to ask you whether you recall an event when some
12 Arab fighters were exchanged in Zenica and whether you
13 broadcast this on the radio, as a technician. This was
14 sometime in June 1993.
15 A. I don't know about that, but in principle,
16 Radio Zenica did not broadcast matters of that type.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, I have no further
18 questions. Thank you so much. [Interpretation] Thank
19 you, Witness.
20 MR. NICE: Your honour, I've only got two
21 questions. As I note from the cross-examination, that
22 there doesn't appear to be any suggestion that Radio
23 Zenica was a legitimate target or anything of that
25 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
1 Q. By the time you turned to the Territorial
2 Defence for their assistance, had they done anything
3 unilaterally to raise the tensions in the area, or not?
4 A. I don't think so, no, for the simple reason
5 that we asked security for the building, a man to be at
6 the entrance of the building; nothing else.
7 Q. You turned to the Territorial Defence, rather
8 than to the ordinary police. You've probably given the
9 answer to that. Were you, by doing that, taking sides
10 or intending to express an opinion about the sides of
11 this conflict, or were you just defending yourselves as
12 best you could?
13 A. Well, let me tell you. The conflict didn't
14 exist at that time. That was the first -- that's the
15 first point. Second, tension could be felt. I don't
16 understand why you're saying "sides," "taking sides,"
17 or anything. Why should we take sides? I don't
18 understand this.
19 Q. Thank you. Then finally Kordic and whether
20 he said anything bad or good about the Muslims. In the
21 context of those television programmes, what was the
22 effect of his saying nothing good about the Muslims?
23 A. Would you repeat that question, please,
24 because you mentioned television, radio. Could you ask
25 me that more precisely?
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
2 I have an objection to the question. The witness is
3 asked his opinion, and he has told us that he's not a
4 journalist, and he's asked about something that
5 Mr. Kordic said or didn't say.
6 JUDGE MAY: He can give his opinion. The
7 weight of it, of course, can be affected by whether he
8 was a journalist or not. I'm not sure that his being a
9 journalist would have helped very much.
10 MR. NICE: Thank you.
11 Q. It's the radio programmes again, and in the
12 context of those radio programmes, what, if anything,
13 was the effect of Kordic having nothing good to say
14 about the Muslims?
15 A. The effect? Well, tensions rose with the
16 people. That's my assessment.
17 MR. NICE: Yes, thank you. Nothing else of
18 this witness.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. And of course it wasn't,
20 thinking about it, a matter of opinion; it was factual
21 evidence as to what the witness observed as a result of
22 the programmes.
23 Yes. Mr. Hamzic, that concludes your
24 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
25 Tribunal to give it. You are now released.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, would it be convenient,
4 first of all, before we embark on any argument, to deal
5 with the tapes and tomorrow morning?
6 MR. NICE: Certainly, as they've now been
7 provided. I'm happy to say they were copied this
8 morning. I don't know what arrangements my friends are
9 going to be able to make this afternoon.
10 MR. STEIN: We are in the capable hands of
11 our courtroom registrar, who is apparently going to
12 make all the arrangements, and tells us tomorrow
13 afternoon we'll be able to view the tapes at the
14 detention centre with the client.
15 JUDGE MAY: That's no good, for tomorrow
16 morning, is it?
17 MR. STEIN: No, sir.
18 JUDGE MAY: It means that we waste tomorrow
20 How long would it take to play the tape
21 itself if we were to play it tomorrow morning? And
22 maybe we could postpone cross-examination or we'll try
23 and get it done tomorrow.
24 MR. NICE: I think, if you play it from end
25 to end, it's about 45 minutes, if my recollection is
1 correct. It may be that there will be times when the
2 Chamber will want it stopped, to look at something in
3 more detail. There may be times when the witness, who
4 knows the area, and knew the area very well, will want
5 to stop it, to draw your attention to damage that can
6 be seen. It may be that the Chamber will say, "Well,
7 frankly, it's now become more of the same. Why don't
8 you fast forward to the next village." So the time it
9 will take will be a little unpredictable. And it's not
10 -- I am not quite sure how useful it will be, but
11 since it's the only way of really giving you a real
12 visual impression of the area, or it's a way of giving
13 you a visual impression of the area, I think we ought
14 to lay the evidence before you, but I would have
15 thought 45 minutes, perhaps an hour, to allow for some
17 JUDGE MAY: I understand it may be possible
18 for arrangements to be made today, for it to be seen in
19 the detention unit this evening. I am just going to
20 inquire of the Registrar if that's still so.
21 Very well. Inquiries are going to be made
22 about that.
23 MR. NICE: Before I turn to the arguments, or
24 before the Chamber turns to the arguments, can I
25 mention again the tapes, and remind the Chamber that
1 there are the two witnesses dealing with the tapes.
2 We've made inquiries this morning, in light of the
3 nature of the objection that's been given, and it may
4 be possible to have both witnesses here next week. But
5 as I forecast, one of them is, I think, going to be
6 deployed or moved next week on official business to the
7 other side of the Atlantic, and it may be more
8 difficult to have him here after next week, at least
9 for some period of time.
10 Now, I'll just find my documents on this.
11 But if that one isn't required, then we can perhaps
12 proceed with just the witness next week. If he is
13 required, then I'd like to know -- well, pretty well
14 today. And then I'll put steps in motion in order for
15 him to be here.
16 I suspect, unless there is any reason why my
17 learned friends would not like the very helpful letter
18 they sent me yesterday not to go to the Chamber, but
19 this is an occasion when those few paragraphs could
20 usefully be read by the Chamber, because the Chamber
21 will be able to form its own view on whether, as I
22 forecast, the judgement will be that the witnesses will
23 have to be here for the argument on admissibility. To
24 that extent, I am in my friends hands, but I am quite
25 happy to make the copy available.
1 And I can tell my learned friends, because I
2 don't believe that either of these witnesses will be
3 seeking protection, but we always ought to be careful.
4 Perhaps I ought to be more careful than that. The
5 witness who is going to North America is the witness
6 with military rank, and I expect they will require him
7 to be here.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Stein, can you assist?
9 MR. STEIN: Assuming we -- we are talking in
10 oblique references, and sometimes I am a little lost,
11 but assuming I am on board on all of this, it is my
12 hope again during the recess this evening to chat with
13 Mr. Nice about this and see if we can come to some
14 arrangements, because I think my issues may be more
15 limited than he thinks they are. That's the best I can
17 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps counsel could do it over
18 the adjournment, and let us know in the morning what
19 arrangements you've come to.
20 MR. STEIN: Glad to.
21 MR. NICE: In relation to the three witnesses
22 who fall for determination, the Chamber has had the
23 material in respect of a witness called Beese. I set
24 out my position, so far as he was concerned, some time
25 ago on the transcript. For ease of reference, can I
1 hand in three copies of what can be found on the
2 transcript --
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, before you launch into
4 this, there are three witnesses, you say, that we have
5 to talk about, or determine. One of them is the
6 expert. Now, it's 20 past, so we have got something
7 like 45 minutes. What is a convenient order to deal
8 with these?
9 MR. NICE: I think probably the expert
10 first. I was simply going to set the scene, hand in
11 the materials, such as they are, and make sure you've
12 got them.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let's come back to that. Let's
14 deal with the expert.
15 MR. NICE: So far as the expert is concerned,
16 very full documentation has been prepared by the
17 Defence and, on our side, by Ms. Somers and
18 Mr. Guariglia, who joins us, since we've lost Mr. Dixon
19 to the English bar. You will remember he helped us
20 with some of our draftings and pleadings before
21 Christmas. I'd ask Ms. Somers to deal with any
22 particular queries that arise -- the Chamber may have
23 in relation to our documentation, and it's really now a
24 matter for the Defence to make their objection.
25 MR. STEIN: And I am quite sorry, sir; I
1 thought we were doing this tomorrow. I have none of my
2 papers with me.
3 JUDGE MAY: There was a clear suggestion
4 earlier today that we might well be dealing with it
5 this afternoon. We have all the written materials. Is
6 there anything very much more that you want to add to
8 MR. STEIN: Actually, there was. Yesterday I
9 was given the Prosecution's skeleton argument. I read
10 it briefly yesterday. The skeleton argument is a
11 better case for our case than my writings, because the
12 concessions and admissions made in it, and I don't have
13 it in front of me, are critical to the argument. So,
14 yes, there are more things to be said.
15 THE COURT: I suppose that's going to apply to
16 the other witnesses too. Are you in a position to deal
17 with them?
18 MR. STEIN: No, as to the other witnesses, I
19 have my --
20 JUDGE MAY: All right. We'll start with the
21 other witnesses.
22 MR. STEIN: I'm very sorry, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: We'll put the expert aside.
24 MR. NICE: There are two other witnesses, one
25 of whom -- in respect of one of them there has been
1 some exchange of documentation. In respect of the
2 other one, there's been no such exchange.
3 The position in relation to both witnesses
4 is, in our respectful submission, that the evidence
5 simply has to be heard. In each case, a witness deals
6 first-hand with something of which, until now, there's
7 only been evidence that is not first-hand. There's
8 been complaint about the evidence not being first-hand,
9 and there has been clear assertion that what is being
10 said, particularly in relation to one of these matters,
11 is wholly false.
12 Having said that, we can break the witnesses
13 down into two. The first witness, I think, who arises
14 in time, relates to the checkpoint. I'll refer to him
15 obliquely, for fear of the possibility that he will
16 seek some protective measures.
17 JUDGE MAY: Have we got a summary or a
19 MR. NICE: If you haven't -- well, that
20 statement has yet to be served, in which case that's
21 another problem. But that's not an insuperable one.
22 It won't take us a second to go out and have it copied.
23 I can lay the groundwork for that. The
24 Chamber will recall, in general terms, the incident
25 itself. It's the killing of Mirsad Delija on the 20th
1 of January of 1993, said to have been preceded by an
2 incident at a checkpoint involving the defendant.
3 Various references to that were made, none of
4 them first-hand, and on the 4th of November, Witness T
5 spoke of it, was challenged as to the hearsay nature of
6 the evidence, and the clearest denial was advanced by
7 Mr. Naumovski. Your Honour, making observations both
8 about what Mr. Naumovski said but also the potentially
9 limited value of the material, as it then stood,
10 because it was not direct evidence.
11 You were persuaded to hear the evidence by
12 me, because of the fact that there was other similar
13 indirect evidence, but also, I think, because of a
14 forecast that more evidence might be forthcoming.
15 Immediately after seeing that witness here, and it must
16 be, although I can't remember now the precise detail,
17 it must be as a result of something that he was able to
18 say to us, or tell us. Further inquiries were
19 launched, indeed the following day, which were
20 responded to promptly, and which led to the
21 identification of the witness, who was seen at the
22 earliest possible moment.
23 His witness statement was again served at the
24 earliest possible moment, once it was available to us.
25 And as you will see from the statement, when it's laid
1 before you, is direct evidence of this important
2 incident. And accordingly, it is entirely appropriate
3 that the evidence should be before you. It's the best
4 evidence and will meet the objection, the recurring
5 objection about the indirect nature of the other
6 evidence upon which we would otherwise have to rely and
7 seek decision from the Chamber.
8 JUDGE MAY: Just before you move on. When
9 was that statement served on the Defence, about?
10 MR. NICE: December of last year. The
11 document that bears the date has just gone out for the
12 document to be copied.
13 The other statement is an entirely different
14 kind, but again it deals first-hand with something of
15 which we do not yet have first-hand evidence. Namely,
16 the defendant's direct contact with and, the Chamber
17 might judge, effective control or influence over
18 Petkovic. It comes from a witness called Beese. He's
19 an ECMM witness. And the Chamber will appreciate that
20 of course we didn't call every ECMM monitor, or seek to
21 do so, in the same way as we didn't seek to call each
22 and every available soldier. We had to make a
24 And it's in the nature of things that one's
25 initial selection may change, as information becomes
1 available. And a common source of information is that
2 witnesses, as you see them and speak to them, will say,
3 "Well, this is a witness to whom you should turn," or
4 "Perhaps you should consider this witness." That is
5 indeed, it appears, what happened in relation to the
6 very first witness, of whom I have been speaking.
7 Now, so far as the Witness Beese is
8 concerned, we were referred to him both outside Court
9 and, as you will see from a passage that I've had
10 copied for you today, inside Court, by Witness AB. I'm
11 corrected. AA. That witness, although -- funnily
12 enough, occupied exactly the same rank as, for example,
13 one of the witnesses we had yesterday, and the Witness
14 Stutt, who is proving somewhat problematic for
15 logistical reasons, but is otherwise an available
16 witness. But that particular Witness, AA, was subject
17 to the most extraordinary degree, no doubt proper, but
18 extraordinary degree of national bureaucratic control,
19 red tape, if you like.
20 We simply were not allowed direct and
21 informal contact with him until the day before he gave
22 evidence. Until that stage, everything had to be done
23 by complex procedures of specific questions and
24 appearances in other courts and all sorts of other
25 things, of which the Court can be aware in detail, and
1 will probably have some memory. But he was not
2 available as a witness to speak to in the ordinary way,
3 in the ordinary sort of conversation from which so much
4 useful material can be gathered. He told us, straight
5 away, that this was a witness, in his judgement, of
6 particular value, both because of the range of his
7 experience and also because of his character and
8 abilities. And that's then set out in the testimony he
9 gave to you.
10 Accordingly, we pursued that witness,
11 immediately after learning of his potential value from
12 Witness AA. His evidence, as you will have seen from
13 the material served, covers two distinct topics, in a
14 sense of value. One is the piece of direct evidence
15 for the checkpoint incident that he can deal with. And
16 at the moment I think he would be the only direct
17 witness of that. But he also provides a very useful
18 overview, from his experience, of events generally, and
19 in particular of the role of the defendant, Dario
21 The Chamber will have noted, from the way his
22 signed summary has been presented, that he provided,
23 unsolicited, a document, completely unsolicited, at the
24 so-called proofing session, and that document comes in
25 its original form, subject to just tidying up the odd
1 typographical error. But it's actually the original
3 We know the complaints that were being made
4 at an earlier stage of this trial about the
5 unreliability of material provided, because of the
6 intervention and partisan intervention of
7 investigators, and I suppose even of lawyers. That
8 doesn't apply here. The witness simply produced, in
9 order to assist us and save time, his own report. That
10 report contains views that are in line with some of the
11 views you've heard, not necessarily in line with all of
12 them, but very valuable views on what was happening and
13 what Kordic's role was.
14 You will notice from the material served that
15 not only was his factual account of the meeting with
16 Kordic backed by a contemporaneous note in handwriting
17 of some detail, thus to be counted as entirely
18 reliable, but his views on Kordic were backed by a
19 typed document, of which a one-page extract or two-page
20 extract have been provided, prepared not
21 contemporaneously, but in the following year, but in no
22 way for purposes connected with this hearing; simply as
23 his own historical record of what he had done and of
24 the views that he had formed.
25 I think, if asked about it, he would say,
1 perhaps modestly, it was a document prepared for his
2 grandchildren, i.e. he wasn't preparing a document for
3 publication. You know enough people did that. He was
4 just preparing a thoughtful and detailed record of
5 events. But he was able to produce to us, and thus to
6 you, a couple of pages of that document, that go to
7 show, first, that these were his own entirely
8 unsolicited opinions at the time, and to back up the
9 time when those opinions were formed.
10 I say that his opinions match some, but not
11 necessarily all of the other opinions and judgements
12 that you've heard. You may judge that they are very
13 close to the evidence of the confidential witness of
14 yesterday and the day before, or close to. But our
15 policy, in prosecuting this case, has, from the
16 beginning, not been to try and serve you up with
17 uniform opinions. On the contrary, it would be
18 unhelpful and unrealistic to do that. Our policy has
19 been to make available to you the best evidence coming
20 from well-informed and experienced people, confident
21 that, A, the Court will make its own judgement, on the
22 basis of what it hears; and B, that where opinions
23 cover a range, as they are bound to do, that's probably
24 going to be more helpful, and ultimately going to
25 enable you the better to distil both fact, judgement
1 and opinion, to reach the proper conclusion.
2 So, in our submission, this witness equally
3 is a witness who really has to be heard, because of his
4 ability to deal with first-hand material. And
5 secondly, on the other topic, he is a witness who will
6 be of very great value to you.
7 The date of the service of his document on
8 the Defence, now that Ms. Verhaag is back -- let me
9 deal with it in order. Going back to the first
10 witness. The first witness was served on the 9th of
11 December. Dealing with the second witness, Beese, he
12 was served on the 6th of January, which I think was
13 pretty well the day after he was seen. And that was
14 the very first day upon which it was possible to see
15 him. The Chamber will recall that I raised his
16 evidence as soon as we reconvened. He has made himself
17 available for much of the time, and although he has
18 commitments, I think, over the next week or so, he is
19 available to come and give evidence here.
20 So those are our applications.
21 JUDGE MAY: The Rules governing the matter,
22 Mr. Nice, if you can assist us with this. 73 bis, the
23 new Rule 73 bis (D) provides that after commencement of
24 the trial, the Prosecutor may, if he or she considers
25 it to be in the interests of justice, file a motion to
1 reinstate the list of witnesses or to vary his or her
2 decision as to which witnesses are to be called.
3 So, presumably, we are considering a motion
4 under that Rule. And, of course, the governing Rule,
5 as far as evidence is concerned, is 89(B):
6 "... A Chamber shall apply Rules of Evidence
7 which best favour a fair determination of the matter
8 before it, and are consonant with the spirit of the
9 Statute and the general principles of law.
10 "(C) A Chamber may admit any relevant
11 evidence which it deems to have probative value.
12 And (D):
13 It may exclude evidence if its probative
14 value is substantially outweighed by the need to ensure
15 a fair trial.
16 Those are the governing principles.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I should have perhaps
18 just add this, these two points: One, we've made it
19 plain to the Chamber from the beginning that the
20 witness list was inevitably going to change, both, of
21 course, the pruning of the vast proportion of it,
22 because we had to serve the maximum list, in our
23 judgement. And we, of course, in the event, called
24 whatever it is, less than two-thirds of the names on
25 the list.
1 We also made it plain that, in the nature of
2 this type of investigation, names do crop up later,
3 because particularly of the changing confidence of
4 witnesses as time passes. And it's a common feature of
5 witnesses. This perhaps relates more to the first than
6 to the second. It's a common feature of witnesses that
7 once they are here in The Hague, for example, and they
8 have come to face the reality of giving evidence here,
9 they sometimes are able to be much more open, because
10 there are less, perhaps, anxieties on them than when
11 they are seen in inevitably more tense circumstances in
13 The second point is this, and I don't really
14 rely on this very heavily, but it is a fact that, as
15 time has passed, witnesses on our notified list have
16 been excised. For example, there is a witness on the
17 last detailed notification of witnesses to be called,
18 called Thomas. He is not actually ECMM. He covers the
19 same general area. He is a military man. And we are
20 going to delete him from the list.
21 There are other witnesses, such as, for
22 example, a man called Remi Landry, who we are hoping to
23 deal with by way of a transcript, and so on. So that
24 there have, of course, been deletions. I am not doing
25 that to suggest that there should be in any sense a
1 trading off, but I have been meticulous throughout the
2 preparation of these witness lists, as I explained at
3 an earlier stage, to try and reduce to the proper
4 minimum those who have to be called; to seek every
5 means of laying evidence before you in a method by
6 means other than live testimony, wherever that's been
7 possible; to delete witnesses who really can't help
8 you. And it's against that background that I ask you
9 to say that these two witnesses really are witnesses
10 who should now be heard.
11 JUDGE MAY: And, presumably, you would also
12 say that the Court has an inherent power to hear
13 probative evidence, no matter what the procedural
15 MR. NICE: Certainly, it does, and indeed, as
16 I've indicated on at least two occasions, the Court is
17 always within a position to call witnesses itself. But
18 it seems to us that if we come to know of witnesses
19 whose evidence may be relevant and helpful, that we
20 should take the burden of seeking to have them called
21 by us.
22 JUDGE MAY: And have you got now the summary
23 of the checkpoint witness?
24 MR. NICE: Not the summary, but the witness
25 -- the statement itself. It's not very long. I'm
1 sorry, it hasn't been summarised. Can I hand it in.
2 And there is a French copy for -- an English and French
3 for His Honour Judge Bennouna, and one copy each for
4 Your Honours, a copy for the Registrar.
5 The Chamber will see that the document has
6 been prepared substantially as a summary, perhaps in a
7 rather more helpful format and one that may be used
8 more hereafter. Because we are in open session, and
9 the evidence is the subject of objection, it will
10 obviously be inappropriate to do more than draw Your
11 Honours' attention to various particular paragraphs.
12 Paragraph 6, as an example, and 8, and, of course, over
13 the page at paragraph 12. And simply to remind the
14 Chamber of the overall setting of this evidence,
15 paragraph 18 will, I think, remind you of how it fits
17 Other indirect evidence on this topic, of
18 which you've heard already, comes from, I think,
19 Witness T and Witness J. Unless I can help further at
20 this stage.
21 JUDGE MAY: No, thank you. Yes, Mr. Sayers.
22 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, if I may say so,
23 I think we feel as if we've been subjected to the
24 judicial equivalent of the Heisenberg principle, which
25 affects quantum physics, the principle of uncertainty;
1 we never know who the witnesses are going to be. We've
2 prepared, of course, for Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas, and
3 now we find out, for the first time today, that
4 apparently he is not going to testify. Be that as it
6 I think you have accurately outlined,
7 Mr. President, the governing considerations, and I
8 think these two applications present, frankly,
9 different perspectives.
10 Let me deal first with the witness for whom
11 the statement has just been presented to the Trial
13 JUDGE MAY: Call him the checkpoint witness,
14 as he's been referred to.
15 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I think, obviously, we've
16 previously articulated to the Trial Chamber our general
17 position, and that general position is that the
18 previous orders of this Court required all witnesses to
19 be identified by a certain date; many, many, many
20 months ago, witness statements to be presented to us.
21 Again, many, many months ago, and that was after two
23 And so, as a matter of general principle, we
24 object to late blooming witnesses appearing out of the
25 ether, so to speak, at a very advanced stage of the
1 case. It almost suggests that we are being -- we are
2 seeing evolving before our very eyes what one of the
3 Trial Chambers referred to as juridical impressionism,
4 a case that is sort of making itself up as we go
6 But let me just remark this way, Your
7 Honour. With respect to the witness, the checkpoint
8 witness, I think that witness stands in a different
9 category from the second witness.
10 JUDGE MAY: Just to remind ourselves, that
11 was an issue which appeared in the evidence of two
12 witnesses, and there was evidence which was given, as
13 it were, triple-hand hearsay, I recollect, that
14 somebody had said something at the checkpoint. We now
15 have the witness from the checkpoint. It's difficult
16 to say that isn't to the point.
17 MR. SAYERS: My point precisely, Your
18 Honour. Obviously, general principles have to yield,
19 in particular instances, to developments in a case
20 which cry out for and call for particular evidence that
21 may not have been able to be forecasted at an earlier
22 stage of the case and has to be responsive to what has
23 happened during the case, and I think that the
24 checkpoint witness certainly falls into that category.
25 While we're not willing to waive our general
1 objections to the addition of these late-blooming
2 witnesses, we certainly have an obligation of candour
3 to the Court, I think, to acknowledge that this
4 situation would certainly fall into those situations
5 where, arguably, good cause could be shown because of
6 evidentiary developments during the case.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, and it applies particularly
8 in these sort of cases which go on for months, and
9 there are bound to be developments.
10 Well, we'll just consider that for a moment,
11 and then we'll turn to the next witness.
12 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, as far as this checkpoint
14 witness is concerned, given the very fair concession
15 which Mr. Sayers made -- fair but inevitable, I might
16 say, given the state of the evidence -- we shall admit
17 that evidence.
18 We'll now turn to deal with the next
20 MR. SAYERS: The next witness, Your Honour, I
21 believe stands in a completely different category from
22 the witness with whom you've just dealt.
23 The Prosecution has obviously had, I think,
24 about five years to prepare this case. They initially
25 identified, as the Trial Chamber well knows, about 375
1 witnesses, and they are now down to about a hundred.
2 We've seen a veritable procession of ECMM witnesses;
3 12, by my count, to date, with three more forecast in
4 the future.
5 The gentleman under discussion was not on the
6 witness list, and we did not get any kind of a
7 statement from this witness until after the witness of
8 whom he was deputy, Witness AA, had testified, and I'm
9 sure there is no need to remind the Chamber as to what
10 happened during the testimony of Witness AA or why, his
11 having testified, it's now necessary to find a
12 substitute for that witness. This witness was
13 identified seven months after the May the 17th deadline
14 imposed by the Court.
15 Apparently, this witness, according to the
16 Prosecution, is an important witness, but I ask and
17 implore the Trial Chamber to consider this: Why? He
18 met Mr. Kordic, by his own concession, a grand total of
19 once, once in his entire tour, tour of duty with the
20 European Community Monitoring Mission.
21 He's not offered, Mr. President, for the
22 facts which he is going to bring to this Trial
23 Chamber. It's absolutely obvious -- it fairly pours
24 from the papers that have been placed before the Trial
25 Chamber that he is being produced to offer pure opinion
2 The one meeting that he had with Mr. Kordic
3 was on May the 5th, 1993, and apparently Witness AA was
4 present at that meeting too.
5 The other fact about which he is supposed to
6 offer evidence is apparently a telephone conversation
7 involving Brigadier Petkovic on the 28th of April, but
8 the Trial Chamber has heard plenty of evidence about
9 that telephone conversation already.
10 We take the position that those two limited
11 facts are really not why this witness is being brought
12 before the Trial Chamber at all, and I think that it
13 will be clear as I go through the recitation of the
14 opinions, which this gentleman apparently is going to
16 And I might point out that one of the reasons
17 cited by the Prosecution was that they didn't know
18 about the critical significance of this witness until
19 Witness AA had testified. But I'm sure the Trial
20 Chamber will recall that Witness AA only mentioned this
21 witness once, and then in connection with one exhibit,
22 Exhibit Z1012, which was a preliminary analysis of HV
23 presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and concluded that it
24 was very difficult to prove the allegations of HV
25 involvement, and that there was only a trickle of
1 confirmed proof up to that date, and that was a June
2 the 3rd, 1993, report.
3 But apparently this witness is not content to
4 be confined to the two limited facts which the
5 Prosecution tenders him for. He's got three pages of
6 opinions and views that apparently he generated
7 specially on January the 5th of this year. I think
8 it's unfortunate that perhaps those opinions have been
9 supplied to the Trial Chamber. I assume they have, and
10 since they have, let's just review what this gentleman
11 is going to say.
12 According to this witness, all of the --
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, the fact that the
14 Trial Chamber has been given material, as we've said
15 before, is totally irrelevant. We are professional
16 judges and well able to disregard irrelevant matter, so
17 you needn't trouble about that.
18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much indeed for
19 that observation, Mr. President. Let me just touch
20 lightly, then, upon the opinions which this gentleman
21 is apparently going to offer.
22 Apparently, in his view, every HVO president
23 of every municipality falls into the category of
24 Mafiosi. That opinion is stated twice by this
25 gentleman. Apparently, these Mafiosi mayors seek, with
1 the assistance of Mate Boban, to impose their will upon
2 the territory of Herceg-Bosna with terrorism. They are
3 supported by a sympathetic nationalist, President
4 Tudjman. Apparently, these Mafiosi engaged in a
5 campaign of greed and terrorism, or HDZ politicians
6 like Mr. Valenta, for example, were, like the HVO
7 presidents in the municipalities, Mafiosi too; all of
8 the irregular militia referred to as thugs --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down,
11 MR. SAYERS: Mr. Kordic specifically is, once
12 again, supposed to be the cousin of Mr. Boban, which we
13 believe to be factually off the mark. He's described
14 as a Walter Mitty thug filled with self-importance,
15 fuelled by his own arrogance, and intellectually dim,
16 and there is a statement made of the, one might say,
17 notorious Ivica Rajic. And also there is a conclusion
18 that it might be possible, in the opinion of this
19 witness, to reach the conclusion that Mr. Kordic is
20 responsible for a variety of war crimes.
21 Frankly, Your Honour, it seems to me that all
22 of those sorts of opinions, deductions, conclusions,
23 are precisely what the Trial Chamber's obligation is to
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we need trouble you
2 no more. We --
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm so sorry. If
4 there's an objection, I would like to be heard in
5 relation to it.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, of course.
7 MR. NICE: The --
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, we better hear the other
9 one Mr. Sayers wanted to say, if there's anything
11 MR. SAYERS: Two remaining points, Your
12 Honour, and I'll be very brief because I think we've
13 taken enough time on this already.
14 The first is that apparently this witness
15 thinks that he is able to go through and determine what
16 we should see, what's relevant in the diary. Only two
17 days, I think pages 77 and 89 of this -- or 82 of this
18 diary were produced, but there's nothing of a personal
19 nature that's in there. If this witness is permitted
20 to testify, and we believe that he should not be, then
21 obviously we should be permitted to see the pertinent
22 diary entries that cover his tour of duty.
23 Just concluding, though, this witness was not
24 timely identified. There's no need for him, unlike the
25 earlier witness that we described. This witness is not
1 necessary, certainly, and not helpful, and purely
2 cumulative of evidence that's already before this
4 That's all I have to say. Thank you, Your
6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Nice, you have had quite a long go at
8 this, but anyway --
9 MR. NICE: Yes. But this is an objection,
10 and Your Honours are not being necessarily accurately
11 informed, I'm sure by oversight. But the position
12 is -- well, first of all, let's just look at what's
14 As to whether there's some reasons to do with
15 Witness AA and my calling this witness, absolutely
16 not. I don't know why that should be thought. As far
17 as I'm concerned, Witness AA stands as a witness of
18 integrity. That's an unfortunate point to suggest.
19 I've told the Chamber exactly how I came to learn of
20 this man and why he became important.
21 But now in the course of Witness AA's
22 evidence, my learned friend Mr. Sayers said this, in
23 relation to the 28th January checkpoint -- April
24 incident. He said, "It's true that you had no idea
25 what, if anything, Mr. Kordic actually did to arrange
1 for the release of the convoy," and it's to that part,
2 that part, that if you look at the signed summary,
3 paragraph 5(b), for the 28th of April, and if you then,
4 in the attachments, turn over to the first of the
5 handwritten contemporaneous notes, you will discover
6 why this witness falls into precisely the same category
7 as the previous witness on this topic. Because he and
8 he alone -- we didn't know this before, but he and he
9 alone is able to say, as summarised at 5(b), but as
10 amplified in his own investigator's notes, as it
11 were -- he wasn't an investigator, but it's just like
12 an investigator's notes -- sets out exactly what
13 happened. And at that meeting, he says that Petkovic
14 was unable to order Kordic to release the convoys, and
15 he, Petkovic, had to explain to Kordic that it was for
16 Kordic's own good, and that's a critical piece of
17 evidence -- not critical, but it's an extremely
18 important piece of evidence.
19 JUDGE MAY: But you've got the point. Why
20 didn't you have it to begin with? You've had access to
21 the ECMM. It appears that they've been very
22 co-operative and provided you with a great deal of
24 MR. NICE: They have indeed.
25 JUDGE MAY: The Defence say that you have had
1 five years to produce this evidence.
2 MR. NICE: But, Your Honour, we simply don't
3 have the resources to go to everyone. We have to make
4 selections. Selections have been made, they have been
5 varied, and I've explained precisely how it is that
6 these things develop.
7 But that piece of evidence is in exactly the
8 same category as with the previous witness, and I make
9 it quite plain that I would call the witness, with
10 leave, for that piece of evidence on its own, because
11 absent that piece of evidence, then you're going to be
12 left with the story of inference, that is to say, what
13 Witness AA said and what then happened, and maybe all
14 sorts of arguments about what may have happened in
15 between. And that would simply be wrong. It would be
16 not to fulfil, in my respectful submission, your
17 mission to seek out the truth.
18 It also has the inevitable effect that if the
19 defendant himself were called and denied that, then I
20 would be seeking to call this evidence in rebuttal.
21 But it's clearly being effectively challenged that he
22 did what, by inference, he did from the questions that
23 Mr. Sayers asked. There's no admission that this
24 passage is anything like correct. So before we get on
25 to the --
1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice,
2 the argument which was submitted by Mr. Sayers was to
3 say that the Chamber has already had sufficient
4 evidence on this question of the telephone
5 conversation. You are now telling us that what was
6 provided here was never provided before, that it is a
7 new element, that this witness will contribute a new
8 element to the evidence. Is that what you are saying?
9 MR. NICE: Certainly, it's a new element in
10 the jigsaw.
11 Incidentally, there's a tendency of my
12 learned friends to latch on to observations that they
13 think will be helpful and to use them repeatedly.
14 Juridical impressionism, I think, was a
15 phrase coined not to describe the uncertainty of things
16 but for a fact that evidence comes in different pieces,
17 like a jigsaw, as it always does, and the problem with
18 jigsaws is finding the next bit or the last bit. And
19 it is very important, when other pieces of the jigsaw
20 are available, that they are slotted in, for if they
21 are not slotted in when they are available, a false
22 picture may emerge, or a wrong piece of evidence may be
23 fitted into the wrong space. And 5(b) is an additional
24 and important piece of evidence. It can be
25 cross-examined to if it is incorrect, it can be
1 acknowledged if it is correct, but the Chamber will not
2 be left to guess. And as I say, that evidence is
3 evidence on its own which I would seek leave to call
4 from this witness.
5 I note what is said about his opinions and
6 about the Mafia and all those sorts of things, and the
7 Chamber may recall -- it may not have been clear from
8 Witness AA. It may be something we were told
9 privately, but the importance of this witness includes
10 that he had a wider view because he was down in
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice, I
13 think we have heard enough about this testimony for the
14 moment. We have all the arguments. You're telling us
15 that there will be a part of the testimony that will be
16 "original," in quotation marks, and we will now confer
17 on the matter.
18 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, we are persuaded by
20 Mr. Nice's last argument, just to allow this witness to
21 be called on the narrow point that is referred to in
22 5(b). His opinions and the rest of it we shall
23 exclude. We do so, as I say, because we are just
24 persuaded by the argument, the argument being that this
25 is an important piece of evidence and, therefore, to
1 exclude it for some procedural reason would not be fair
2 upon the Prosecution.
3 But nonetheless, we must make the point, and
4 we underline it, that the Prosecution have had five
5 years to put this case together also, and it is a pity,
6 when matters arise at this very last moment. We trust
7 that we won't be faced with many more of these, if
9 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. If there are
10 any more, they will only be for the same procedural
11 historical reasons.
12 I know it's time to probably -- it's never
13 for me to say that, but I forecast the Chamber may be
14 minded to adjourn. But can I, while we're talking
15 about the ECMM, mention something? I hadn't remembered
16 to mention it to my learned friends earlier, but I must
17 mention it now.
18 His Honour Judge Bennouna made reference last
19 week to the general provision of ECMM documents, and
20 the position is we aren't authorised by the providers
21 to make blanket disclosure. I think this position has
22 been revealed before. It's no expression of view of
23 ours one way or the other. I know what my personal
24 view might be, because I always favour ease and general
25 disclosure as a matter of personal opinion, but we
1 simply aren't authorised to disclose more than that
2 which we ourselves put in. So if they would like to
3 discuss that with me afterwards, we'll see what regime
4 can be brought about to assist them.
5 But I would hate the Court to think that I'm
6 not being responsive to His Honour Judge Bennouna's
7 observation in the course of discussion last week when
8 I don't do that which I'm simply not allowed to.
9 JUDGE MAY: I'll find out what the position
10 about the tape for tomorrow is.
11 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]
12 JUDGE MAY: The tape is available. We have
13 to make an order that it should be available for
14 viewing in the detention unit, and we so do. So it
15 will be available tonight, and we'll see it tomorrow.
16 MR. NICE: Shall we take the argument about
17 the expert's report first thing? Would that be
19 JUDGE MAY: I should think so, yes, and then
20 go on to the video.
21 Very well. We'll adjourn until 9 tomorrow
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 4.13 p.m., to be reconvened on
1 Friday, the 28th day of January, 1999,
2 at 9 a.m.