Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17253

1 Thursday, 13 April 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.


8 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Cont'd]

9 Q. Miro Andric was on Mr. Blaskic's staff in

10 what capacity?

11 A. Miro Andric was a member of the Commission

12 for the Cessation of Hostilities and was appointed in a

13 meeting between Izetbegovic and Boban, at which meeting

14 I was also appointed. And in this capacity, he spent

15 about ten days in this commission, and he was never a

16 member of Blaskic's staff.

17 Q. So if any evidence had been given by Blaskic

18 about his being in the staff, that would be wrong,

19 would it?

20 JUDGE MAY: I think that's a comment.

21 MR. NICE:

22 Q. Can you look at Exhibit 124.1, please. This

23 isn't translated, but you can look at it.

24 Put it on the ELMO, please. We'll get a

25 translation in due course. There are a total of six

Page 17254

1 short documents to be looked at. Put it on the ELMO,

2 please, and then the witness can see it. No. Let the

3 witness look at it, and we'll put it on the ELMO

4 later.

5 This is a document dated June of '92 from

6 Susak in Croatia, dealing with Miro Andric. We see his

7 name there as number 1; correct?

8 A. It is correct that Miro Andric is number 1

9 there.

10 Q. The next document is 127.2, for which we do

11 have a translation. English on the ELMO, please,

12 original for the witness.

13 Immediately following on the first document,

14 this is the 8th of June, an order from a Croatian

15 colonel ordering the dispatch to the southern front for

16 temporary assignment of 14 people, including number 1,

17 the same Miro Andric; correct?

18 A. Yes, the gentleman in question is on this

19 list.

20 Q. The next exhibit, 877.1. This is a document

21 dated the 3rd of May of 1993, and there's now Miro

22 Andric signing over the Herceg-Bosna stamp for Travnik,

23 and this is a report from him in respect of servicemen

24 from the 101st HV Brigade, Croatian soldiers, at the

25 southern front of HZ HB Croatian Community of

Page 17255

1 Herceg-Bosna, pursuant to an order of the Ministry of

2 Defence of Croatia, performing duties as in March, and

3 he names himself as the first of those officers?

4 A. All the documents shown to me do not dispute

5 what I said, that Colonel Andric was never a member of

6 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command, and I already

7 stated that he was in the Commission for Cessation of

8 Hostilities in Central Bosnia.

9 Q. What was he doing, in Central Bosnia, signing

10 over the Travnik stamp, please, if he wasn't working

11 for Blaskic?

12 A. Mr. Cerkez, myself, and Andric, and Delic and

13 Amidza were at Sljivcica, which is above Vitez, and the

14 ABiH brigade commander was there, and we dealt with the

15 cessation of hostility, exchange of prisoners. I

16 remember these details when we were up there at the

17 ceasefire line. I remember that he was down in Stari

18 Vitez, in Mahala, when we worked on releasing the

19 detainees in the cinema hall in the Hotel Vitez. I am

20 telling you specifically what the man was involved in.

21 Q. And the next document -- I haven't got time

22 obviously to debate these matters with the witness --

23 2360.17, please.

24 This is back to the 19th of May, but well

25 within your period of responsibilities, from Croatian

Page 17256

1 General Bobetko, instructing the deployment of a

2 Frankopan Battalion in Central Bosnia under the command

3 of, we see, Zorica, Zulu, whom we heard about

4 yesterday, from then to be directed or ordered by Tole,

5 also whom we heard of yesterday. The clearest evidence

6 of Croatia's involvement; correct?

7 A. It is correct that Zulu was in Bugojno and in

8 Uskoplje.

9 Q. And it's true that Bobetko, for Croatia, was

10 dispatching the battalion to Bugojno?

11 A. That battalion never arrived. And he sent

12 millions of documents, but there were no people, so

13 there was no fighting.

14 Q. The last two documents, first 2381 --

15 JUDGE MAY: The point which is being made and

16 you didn't answer, Major General, is this: Your answer

17 to the question was that Zulu was in Bugojno. What was

18 being put to you by counsel was that it showed Croatian

19 involvement in the war. Now, what is your answer to

20 that? Does it show Croatian involvement or not, and if

21 not, why not?

22 A. Croatian army did not take part in the

23 territory of Central Bosnia.

24 JUDGE MAY: Well, why does it say: "Prepare

25 and send the Frankopan Battalion to Bugojno," signed by

Page 17257

1 a Croatian army general? Now, what does that mean if

2 it doesn't mean that Croatia was involved?

3 A. Your Honour, I know what I know. Perhaps the

4 gentleman did have command. Maybe he had intention to

5 command. I cannot dispute this, but I know what

6 happened on the ground. This battalion, the Frankopan

7 Battalion, never showed up in Central Bosnia, but Zulu

8 did.

9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

10 MR. NICE:

11 Q. 2381. And this is a document, the 5th of

12 October, 1992, from Blaskic, ordering the submission of

13 data regarding HV officers in your units. And that's

14 sent off to the commanders of various municipal

15 headquarters. I haven't got time, as you appreciate

16 from the timetable that we're working on to debate

17 these matters with you, and that's why I'm putting my

18 questions shortly, and you can answer whatever you

19 like, providing you're happy to live with it.

20 This shows HV officers in Central Bosnia

21 under Blaskic's command; correct?

22 A. There existed people in the HVO who were

23 previously in the Croatian army and in some instances

24 gained certain rank there. It is the question -- the

25 issue here is that if there were such officers, that

Page 17258

1 information about them, the data, be provided.

2 Q. Including whether it's the HV who's paying

3 them or, by implication still the HV -- sorry. Whether

4 it's the HVO who's paying them or, by inference, still

5 the HV. It's as clear as daylight, isn't it, General?

6 A. I know that we received our salaries from the

7 municipality, and I mentioned the amount, 20 to 30

8 German marks, and this was so for all HVO personnel.

9 Whether anyone was receiving salaries from the Croatian

10 army or from Croatia, that I do not know.

11 Q. Exhibit 643. More of the same, General.

12 12th of April, 1993, Blaskic, an order to commanders of

13 all brigades to submit lists of officers of HV army in

14 their units, with name, current duties. Clearest

15 evidence of the continuing involvement of HV officers

16 in Blaskic's command; correct?

17 A. This is proof of constant pressure from the

18 higher command to try to identify people, and if the

19 people were identified, to provide their data. But let

20 me repeat, in Colonel Blaskic's staff in Central Bosnia

21 Operative Zone, they're only local people, and I did

22 not meet anyone who was not from that area or the

23 surrounding areas.

24 So the data requested was a form of pressure

25 on Blaskic to try to find those officers, maybe to

Page 17259

1 remove them. I don't know what the motivation for

2 these orders were, but there were no such people

3 there.

4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I have two questions

5 capable of yes or no answers in light of the

6 timetable. With your leave I'll just ask those two

7 questions and I'll finish, but I'm not in a position to

8 debate any of these answers.

9 Q. General, a British officer called Williams

10 gave evidence, including evidence about you, which was

11 in part favourable as to your attitude, but he says

12 that on the 2nd of February of, and I haven't noted it,

13 I think it's 1993 but it might be --

14 JUDGE MAY: 1994. Williams, 1994?

15 MR. NICE: -- 1994.

16 Q. So the 2nd of February, 1994. At a potential

17 exchange of prisoners in Stari Vitez for humanitarian

18 aid, an exchange across the front line, you were left

19 by Blaskic, who was seen escaping out of the back door

20 of his headquarters. You were left by Blaskic to give

21 a wholly unacceptable and untrue excuse for your

22 refusal, I mean your collective refusal, to allow that

23 exchange of aid for prisoners.

24 Do you accept that you told Williams that the

25 exchange couldn't go ahead and that you'd been left

Page 17260

1 with that unpalatable job by Blaskic?

2 A. I assume that I can recall this meeting,

3 because there were many meetings, the meeting in which

4 I talked with Colonel Williams and others. I cannot

5 recall whether the reason for the meeting was what you

6 mentioned, but I always tried to be transparent with

7 all individuals who were in the Operative Zone,

8 including Colonel Peter Williams, who was a very

9 correct officer and behaved very correctly in the area

10 of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.

11 Q. In September 1993, you deputised for Blaskic

12 when he was on leave, when Grbavica was attacked. Did

13 you command that attack?

14 A. I took part in commanding and preparation of

15 this operation, but Blaskic was present.

16 MR. NICE: In the time allowed, that's all

17 I've really got an opportunity to ask this witness.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

19 Your Honours. The General spent a lot of time giving

20 evidence, and I will be very brief.

21 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

22 Q. I only have a few questions for you,

23 General. First, military negotiations in Sarajevo in

24 late 1992, which were mentioned a lot and in which

25 Mr. Kordic replaced or substituted for

Page 17261













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Page 17262

1 General Blaskic. Would you agree with me that in these

2 meetings, and there were several those, the issues

3 discussed were the free passage or passage through

4 checkpoints controlled by various sides, and it had to

5 do with the normalisation of life in Central Bosnia?

6 A. I can agree with it, but I can agree that

7 that was what was discussed, the passage of the

8 humanitarian aid, international organisations, UNPROFOR

9 columns, and safe passage of people through the

10 confrontation lines.

11 Q. Very well. Just to conclude this area; from

12 what you just said, it would seem that you did not need

13 any specialised military knowledge for people -- of

14 people who were involved in these discussions.

15 A. We said -- it was our judgement that given

16 the issues discussed, that Dario Kordic could

17 successfully could represent our side.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Can I ask the

19 usher to show the general the Exhibit number Z769.

20 Q. It is one of the documents -- General, it is

21 one of the documents that was shown to you. In the

22 last couple of days you were shown a lot of documents,

23 and from your answers, I gather that you never saw any

24 of these documents previously so that you would now

25 recall them.

Page 17263

1 A. I saw all the documents that were submitted

2 to me for the first time.

3 Q. This document was tendered yesterday. This

4 is another document that you saw for the first time,

5 and you said that you didn't even know whether it was

6 authentic or not, but my question relates to something

7 on the last page. If you can just, General, turn to

8 the last page of the Croatian version.

9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] You can put

10 the English version on the ELMO.

11 Q. And it is going to be the last page where it

12 says -- it's the last page, General. It says: "Other

13 Remarks, 7.7," on the last page, and the interpretation

14 is of some importance here. The way it is written in

15 the Croatian language, Colonel Blaskic says that others

16 are ascribing to him that he was good and so on and so

17 forth. Do you see that sentence?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you agree this was not Blaskic's opinion

20 of himself but Blaskic's reference to the opinions of

21 others of him?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And here it is clear that it was Dzemal

24 Merdan who stated this. And could you now move to

25 point 8?

Page 17264

1 A. Yes. Point 8 is even more characteristic.

2 Q. Would you agree with me that General Blaskic

3 promulgates his own opinion and his own view there?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And doesn't he say that they were distracted

6 and they agreed to all, or they're no longer able to

7 control their own units, so now they're agreeing to

8 everything in order to prepare for a new attack from

9 which they would not give up? That is

10 General Blaskic's opinion; correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you. That is enough.

13 Z1477 is a document which we need not put on

14 the ELMO, and this is regarding the decoration for --

15 of King Kresimir IV, with a sash, and we saw it for the

16 first time yesterday. You gave your opinion on it,

17 but, General, are you aware of the fact that Mr. Kordic

18 never received this decoration?

19 A. No, I don't know.

20 Q. Very well. Then we will bring that back

21 later in ...

22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

23 yesterday we made an objection regarding Exhibit Z134,

24 where the Prosecution was not sure whether it was --

25 which year it was, 1992 or 1993. We checked our

Page 17265

1 documents, and we lodged an objection to it, and I just

2 want the record clear on that point.

3 Q. General, we talked about Miro Andric today,

4 and yesterday, if I remember correctly, Miro Andric was

5 born in Herzegovina.

6 A. From Bijelo Polje near Mostar. That I know.

7 Not only born there but grew up there.

8 Q. In other words, he lived in Herzegovina?

9 A. Yes. He grew up there.

10 Q. He arrived as an HVO officer there, to take

11 part in that commission of which you were also part?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Today you were shown a document, Z -- I

14 believe at 2360.6, and the reference was made to the

15 Frankopan Brigade. Would you agree with me that in May

16 1992, there was fierce fighting with Serbs in

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, looking at that time frame?

18 A. That was the only fighting there in May of

19 1992.

20 Q. You explained that Bugojno was not part of

21 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

22 A. It did belong there in that time frame, but

23 after the reorganisation, it did not.

24 Q. So Bugojno was not part of your Operative

25 Zone when the conflict between the HVO and the ABiH

Page 17266













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Page 17267

1 broke out in Central Bosnia?

2 A. That is correct.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

4 that is all, and I would like to thank General

5 Filipovic for his patience. Thank you.

6 JUDGE MAY: Before we move on, you announced

7 an objection to Exhibit 134. That is presumably

8 because the date of 1992 was, in fact, questioned and

9 it's said that it must relate, in fact, to 1993.

10 Well, that is a matter of weight or an

11 interpretation of the document. It doesn't go to its

12 admissibility. But it is a matter, of course, which

13 the Trial Chamber will have to consider in due course

14 and decide what the right date is, whether the date is

15 right.

16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] My apologies,

17 sorry. I just wanted to say that our objection was to

18 the authenticity, because it was not signed. We do not

19 know who actually drafted it, who produced it. That

20 was our additional objection.

21 JUDGE MAY: I see. Well, we ruled on that

22 before, and I note in this case that it's got a stamp,

23 if not a signature.

24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

Page 17268

1 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I would not like

2 to be involved in that document, but just as a matter

3 of reference, to have it on the same place in the

4 transcript for the practical reasons, it is obvious

5 from the document two other points.

6 The numbers, as they are usually referred by

7 the standard, under the dash there is a year, so that

8 shows that the document is probably from 1993. So the

9 date is probably wrong. And another element: It is

10 addressed to Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, which did not

11 exist at that date in 1992. It does in '93. So those

12 are the issues of weight of the document, if it is

13 authentic.

14 I just wanted to contribute. Nothing else,

15 Your Honour. I'm not opposing it.

16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

17 Major General Filipovic, thank you for coming

18 to the Tribunal. You are free to go.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

20 may I say something?

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, very briefly. We don't

22 usually allow witnesses to say anything.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to thank

24 the Honourable Court for their correctness, the

25 Prosecution and Defence on their correctness. At one

Page 17269

1 point, it was said that I was not speaking the truth.

2 I did not take it personally but as part of the

3 professional procedure. But I would like to thank

4 everyone one more time.

5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

6 [The witness withdrew]

7 MR. NICE: Just before the next witness

8 comes --


10 MR. NICE: [Previous interpretation

11 continues]... doesn't like any interruption in the

12 questioning, if it's avoidable. There are some things

13 I would like to make.

14 One is a correction of an exhibit's number,

15 which was given the number 634 yesterday. It should

16 have been 634.1.

17 The second point was that the very first

18 answer in re-examination of the witness has been

19 recorded on the transcript: "I can agree." In fact,

20 he said, I think, "I can't agree," and then went on to

21 say, "I can agree," with something else. He didn't

22 agree to the totality of what was being put to him,

23 which leads to the third point about which, no doubt,

24 the Chamber will have its own view, and that is the

25 utility of entirely leading questions in

Page 17270

1 re-examination.

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, there's no need to

3 comment on that.

4 MR. NICE: Finally, the declaration that was

5 dealt with yesterday in evidence has been before the

6 Defence before. Indeed, it was opened when I opened

7 this case.

8 JUDGE MAY: I think it was a reference to the

9 document which there hadn't been reference to before.

10 Thank you.

11 While the witness is coming in, let me deal

12 with one administrative matter, which is about dates.

13 There will be changes to the calendar inevitably, and

14 the changes in this case are that we shall not sit on

15 the 12th of July -- I'm sorry.

16 [The witness entered court]

17 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness sit down for a

18 moment, while I'm dealing with this.

19 I'll start that again. The 12th of May,

20 we're not sitting.

21 Turning now to June, not July at this stage,

22 the position is this: that during the week of the 5th

23 to the 9th of June, Judge Bennouna has to sit on the

24 Celebici appeal which is being heard that week, and as

25 a result, Judge Robinson and I propose to sit for the

Page 17271

1 first three days of that week under the relevant Rule

2 15 bis for three days. We shall not be sitting on the

3 8th and 9th of June. But to compensate, we will be

4 sitting the next week on the 13th and 14th of June, the

5 12th being a holiday.

6 So 12th of May, not sitting; 8th and 9th, not

7 sitting, but sitting the 13th and 14th.

8 There will be changes in July because of

9 other cases, and there's a question about the date of

10 the Plenary too. But we can't address those until

11 later. We'll let you know as soon as possible.

12 Yes. I'm sorry you've been kept waiting,

13 Mr. Nakic.

14 Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

16 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

17 and nothing but the truth.


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Take a seat.

21 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, if I might take

22 up two short matters before we start the questioning of

23 Brigadier Nakic.

24 On the question of witnesses, Major Gelic

25 made it from Istanbul yesterday. Unfortunately, his

Page 17272

1 baggage didn't accompany him, it appears to be lost, so

2 he is currently engaged in buying some clothing. We

3 hope to be able to complete his proofing tonight and be

4 able to put him on tomorrow, if possible. If that

5 turns out not to be possible, then we have another

6 witness who is ready to testify, so we won't lose court

7 time.

8 Second, there appears to be an error in

9 transcription on page 17228, lines 19 to 20. A witness

10 testified that apparently -- or the transcript says

11 that: "Kordic was concerned with Merdan." The witness

12 said precisely the reverse, and we would like the

13 Translation Unit simply to check that, if possible.

14 Examined by Mr. Sayers:

15 Q. Sorry to detain you, Brigadier Nakic. We

16 have a proofing statement or a summary of your evidence

17 which you have reviewed and signed. Is that correct,

18 sir?

19 A. Yes, it is.

20 Q. And everything in that statement is, to the

21 best of your current knowledge, accurate and correct;

22 is that true, sir?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Let me move over these items extremely

25 quickly, if I may. Your name, I believe, is Franjo

Page 17273

1 Nakic. Correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You were born on September the 18th, 1941, in

4 Vitez; you are currently married and have been for 35

5 years?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. All right.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And the Trial Chamber has the summary of your

10 evidence before it.

11 With the Trial Chamber's permission, I'd like

12 simply to mark this as an exhibit. We'll go over

13 particular paragraphs.

14 JUDGE MAY: The ruling will be the same as

15 before. We're not allowing witness statements to be

16 made exhibits unless, at the end, there's no dispute

17 about them.

18 MR. SAYERS: Very well.

19 Q. You received your primary education in Vitez

20 and your secondary education in Sarajevo; is that

21 correct, sir?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. I believe that you've been married for 35

24 years. Your wife and you have one daughter, who is

25 married, and you have a granddaughter as well; is that

Page 17274

1 right?

2 A. That is correct, yes.

3 Q. You studied business organisation and

4 marketing in Belgrade and worked for the state railway

5 system from 1960 to 1975, a total of 15 years; is that

6 right, sir?

7 A. Yes, it is.

8 Q. And from 1985 until 1988, you worked in the

9 government of Vitez, but before that you worked, from

10 1975 to 1984, as a professional Territorial Defence or

11 TO officer in that same town; is that right, sir?

12 A. Yes. That is right as well, yes.

13 Q. And then from 1988 until 1992, you were the

14 director of a children's clothing firm in the same

15 town, Vitez?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Rather than simply leading you through this,

18 if there's any dispute on it, could you just give the

19 Trial Chamber a summary, Brigadier, of your military

20 service before the war broke out in your country?

21 A. Yes. I served national military service in

22 the Yugoslav People's Army in 1961 and 1962 in the

23 school for military reserves in Bileca in the former

24 JNA. I graduated from that school with the rank of

25 junior lieutenant. And when I went back to the

Page 17275

1 civilian structures, I was in the Territorial Defence

2 structure of the then JNA. I attended many seminars

3 and courses, so that at them I gained certain knowledge

4 and experience and specialised as an infantry

5 specialist.

6 I worked professionally in the command from

7 1975 to 1984. After that, my wartime assignment was in

8 the 1st Partisan Brigade of Travnik, which covered the

9 area of Vitez, which is where I performed a voluntary

10 service as Chief of Staff of that particular brigade.

11 I received several awards and decorations in that

12 brigade and received the rank of major.

13 Q. What happened in April of 1992; did you stay

14 in the JNA or did you leave it, and if so, why?

15 A. No. In 1991, I no longer had an assignment

16 in the 1st Partisan Brigade, and these were intimations

17 already at that time that the Croatians were not

18 desirable in JNA units, and so I was free at that

19 time.

20 And from May of 1992, in view of the

21 situation that was happening in the former Yugoslavia

22 and my homeland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, I came to realise

23 that it was time for me to become included in the HVO

24 units, and I joined the HVO units. That is to say

25 these units were not units in the organisational sense,

Page 17276

1 such as the JNA army. It was just an organisation of

2 individuals to protect their villages and guard their

3 villages, and at points which were opposite the Serb

4 forces in Jajce.

5 Q. And I take it, sir, you did volunteer to

6 serve as a soldier on the front lines against the

7 Bosnian Serb army or BSA near Jajce in April of 1992.

8 A. Yes. At that time, I came to realise,

9 although I was a reservist, a reserve office in the JNA

10 with the rank of major -- I've already said that -- I

11 volunteered to serve as a soldier in the HVO because

12 Travnik was bombed, Slobodan Princip Seljo and the

13 military garrison in Busovaca. And in Vitez I saw that

14 this was, indeed, an aggression by the Serb army on

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16 However, there was total chaos and unrest.

17 Thefts had begun, looting had begun in the villages,

18 and so we organised ourselves in the villages to

19 organise village guards to stand guard at night. And

20 those were the first forms of organisation at that

21 time.

22 Q. And is it correct, Brigadier, that in August

23 1992, you agreed to accept the command of the Village

24 Guards Company in the village of Bila?

25 A. Bila is a local community, which means that

Page 17277

1 it incorporates a number of villages, and the

2 leadership of the local community came to realise that

3 we ought to organise an organisation of this kind in

4 the local community, and they were these Home Guard

5 Units, that is to say, Village Guard Companies. And I

6 agreed to be the commander of a company in Bila which

7 incorporated three or four villages, and via that

8 company -- and we organised a company along those

9 lines.

10 Q. Could you tell the Court how you were -- how

11 you came to hold the position of Chief of Staff of the

12 Central Bosnia Operative Zone, by whom you were

13 contacted and when, sir?

14 A. I think that the proposal came from the

15 president of the Crisis Staff, Mr. Santic, who proposed

16 to the command of the Operative Zone, which was in

17 Kruscica at the time, he proposed me. And they called

18 me on the 29th of November to the command headquarters,

19 which was, at that time, in the hotel, for a

20 discussion. And on the 1st of December, I came to the

21 command, and I received my appointment to the position

22 of Chief of Staff of that command.

23 Q. And you spoke to Colonel Tihomir Blaskic in

24 that regard, I take it?

25 A. Yes, I did. All this was preceded by a talk

Page 17278

1 with Colonel Blaskic. And Colonel Blaskic, in fact,

2 appointed me to my position as Chief of Staff.

3 Q. That appointment was on December the 1st of

4 1992, was it, or not?

5 A. Yes, it was, the 1st of December.

6 Q. Brigadier, did you ever serve as Colonel

7 Blaskic's deputy commander in any fashion?

8 A. I was never Colonel Blaskic's deputy. I was

9 always Chief of Staff from that day until the end of

10 1996.

11 Q. You were, I believe, subordinate to the

12 commander of the Operative Zone, Colonel Blaskic, and

13 his deputy commander Colonel Filip Filipovic at that

14 time; is that right?

15 A. Yes. I was a subordinate to Colonel Blaskic

16 and the deputy -- Colonel Filipovic. Colonel Filipovic

17 was a former JNA officer. He had spent 20 years in the

18 Yugoslav People's Army. He was a highly experienced

19 and capable military commander, And he was, for the

20 most part, at the front line south-west of Travnik

21 towards the Serbs' positions. He was away for a lot of

22 time. He was away from the Operative Zone command, and

23 at a time he was the commander of an Operative Group

24 against the Serbs.

25 Q. All right. And when he was away from the

Page 17279

1 headquarters, is it true that you would be the acting

2 second in command?

3 A. Not by rank. I was not second by rank, but

4 in Blaskic's absence, I was the man whom people asked

5 if Colonel Filipovic happened to be absent, but I had

6 no command duties. I was Chief of Staff.

7 Q. All right. It's correct, is it not,

8 Brigadier, that Colonel Blaskic was the Operative Zone

9 commander from June of 1992 throughout all of 1993 and

10 effectively until the end of the war at the end of

11 March 1994?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And I take it, sir, that you remained in the

14 position of Chief of Staff of the headquarters until

15 December of 1996, having served under three separate

16 commanders, Colonel Blaskic, his replacement

17 Colonel Filipovic, and Colonel Filipovic's replacement

18 General Dragicevic; is that right?

19 A. Yes, that is exactly so.

20 Q. And I believe that you attained the rank of

21 Brigadier in the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and

22 Herzegovina, and ultimately retired from active

23 military duty on December the 31st, 1996, sir?

24 A. Yes. I was promoted to the rank of

25 Brigadier. It was in January 1996, and I was

Page 17280

1 demobilised after that from the HVO army.

2 Q. All right. And following the completion of

3 your military career, you went to work as the head of

4 the Department of Economic Affairs in the municipality

5 of Vitez in 1997; is that right?

6 A. Yes, that's right. I worked in the

7 municipality of Vitez. Today I work in a firm named

8 Economic, and I am the head of a marketing unit and

9 work organisation in that particular firm.

10 Q. All right. Sir, one final general question.

11 You are a Bosnian Croat by ethnicity, a Roman Catholic

12 by religion, and I believe that you've never been a

13 member of the HDZ BiH. Would that be fair to say?

14 A. Yes. That is quite correct.

15 Q. All right. Now, could you just tell the

16 Court the kind of tasks that faced you, sir, the kind

17 of challenges that confronted you when you became the

18 Chief of Staff of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone at

19 the beginning of December 1992?

20 A. When I came to the Operative Zone, I found

21 11 people in the headquarters of the Operative Zone.

22 Only one of them had military training, professional

23 military training. That was Colonel Blaskic. All the

24 others were people from the civilian ranks, with

25 secondary school education. I don't even think that

Page 17281













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14 English and French transcripts












Page 17282

1 anybody had university training.

2 The task that I was assigned by

3 Colonel Blaskic was to organise the command within the

4 headquarters of the Operative Zone and to create and

5 organise formations because they did not exist, and to

6 organise the headquarters and command generally, and to

7 organise and train the army, that is to say, to prepare

8 them for fighting the Serbian army.

9 So those were my basic tasks. The job was a

10 formidable one because there were very few officers

11 amongst the Croatian people who had been to military

12 academy. I had only heard of General Filipovic, that

13 he came from the same area that I came from and that he

14 was the sole officer there; although, later on, there

15 were two or three younger officers who had graduated

16 from some higher military training schools.

17 Q. All right. One minor point of historical

18 detail. In January of 1993, is it true that Mr.

19 Kostroman and his two bodyguards, Ivo Arar, and Mario

20 Musa --

21 JUDGE MAY: First of all, that sounds like

22 that's going to be a leading question; secondly, if

23 you're going to get that evidence, you'll need to

24 establish the foundation for it. An objection which

25 you very frequently made.

Page 17283

1 MR. SAYERS: Very well.

2 Q. Brigadier Nakic, do you have any knowledge

3 concerning an incident that occurred at the checkpoints

4 that had been set up at Kacuni in the latter part of

5 January of 1993, and, if so, could you tell the Court

6 about it, please?

7 A. Yes. On the 20th or 21st, I'm not quite

8 sure, we were informed by the Busovaca municipal

9 headquarters that a checkpoint had been set up one day

10 prior to that. Ignjac Kostroman and his two bodyguards

11 had been abducted, arrested, and I think that

12 Colonel Blaskic or Mr. Kordic were not at -- present in

13 that area.

14 Q. All right. Going on to the conflict that

15 occurred in the latter part of January in Busovaca,

16 could you let the Court know who it was --

17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers,

18 I would like to ask the witness the following

19 question: It orders -- according to the translation,

20 it orders that Mr. Kordic was not present in that

21 area. Mr. Nakic, what leads you to say -- what makes

22 you say that Mr. Kordic was not present in the area?

23 A. I was led to say that because we were

24 informed by the headquarters that it was only Ignjac

25 Kostroman who was there. That was the information that

Page 17284

1 we received from the headquarters of the municipality

2 of Busovaca.

3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] So that is

4 the information that was transmitted to you. In what

5 way was this information transmitted to you? Were you

6 told in so many words that Mr. Kordic was not there or

7 were you told that Mr. Kostroman was present?

8 A. We were told that Mr. Kostroman was present

9 and that he had been arrested but that Colonel Blaskic

10 or Kordic were not there on the spot.

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you

12 very much.

13 MR. SAYERS: Just for the Trial Chamber's

14 information, we'll be producing a significant quantity

15 of other information on that particular point.

16 Q. Turning to the conflict in Busovaca that

17 occurred on January the 25th, 1993 and the few days

18 after that, Brigadier, could you give the Trial Chamber

19 a background of who attacked whom and how you, as the

20 Chief of Staff of the HVO, understood that the combat

21 unfolded?

22 A. I have already said that on the 19th of

23 January, checkpoints -- a checkpoint had been set up at

24 Kacuni. We received information of this at the

25 Operative Zone headquarters; namely, that in the

Page 17285

1 village of Kacuni, between Busovaca and Kiseljak, that

2 a checkpoint had been set up, that the BH army had set

3 it up, and that it was manned by members of the BH

4 army, and that it was a company of between -- a platoon

5 of between 17 and 30 soldiers. That's what the

6 information said. That they were armed with automatic

7 and RPG rifles. And if we know what the RPG rifles are

8 used for, then they were probably being -- expecting an

9 attack, because they are a means to destroy armoured

10 vehicles, bunkers, and the like.

11 So we could see that they started control and

12 free passage. It was their aim to stop the supply

13 route between Busovaca and Kiseljak, and the passage of

14 all convoys and army passing daily on that route.

15 General Blaskic would go home to Kiseljak every day.

16 So it was the objective to prevent him from passing,

17 from having free passage on that road.

18 And incidents started. We had information

19 that an offensive was being prepared in the Busovaca

20 area in order to cut off and isolate 11 kilometre -- an

21 11-kilometre stretch of the main supply route between

22 Busovaca and Kiseljak, that is to say, from the village

23 of Brestovsko to the village of Kacuni itself and the

24 entry to Busovaca itself, somewhat more northerly to

25 the village of Kacuni. And this was, in fact, what was

Page 17286

1 done on the 25th. And on the 25th or 26th, we were to

2 clear up the village of Dusina and Lasva because it was

3 a village positioned in on the main supply route and

4 everything else that the BH army needed to transport.

5 And an offensive was launched in the

6 Nezirovici, Oseliste, Gusti Grab, and Donje Polje

7 villages, and virtually the entire Croatian population

8 in the village of Solakovici and the others were

9 cleared up.

10 And what they did, first of all, was to clear

11 up the village of Lasva which had 28 households, and

12 the village of Dusina which had a total of 28

13 households. And there was also a unit of Village

14 Guards there, led by Mr. Zvonko Rajic, who opposed

15 this, and when he returned to talks in the village, he

16 was killed; that is to say, he was massacred in the

17 village itself.

18 Q. If I might just stop you there, just ask you

19 a few matters of detail, Brigadier. You referred to a

20 RPG-7. The abbreviation "RPG" stands for

21 rocket-propelled grenade; correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, could you help us? Where was the

24 headquarters of the 333rd Mountain Brigade of the ABiH,

25 as far as you understood it?

Page 17287

1 A. He erected the barricade with his unit at

2 Kacuni, because that is where the headquarters of the

3 333rd Brigade was.

4 MR. SAYERS: I might just refer the Court's

5 attention to Exhibit D103/1, which is a milinfosum

6 which chronicles those events.

7 Q. Two other questions, sir. Is it accurate

8 that the village of Donje Polje is also known as

9 Polje?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. I wonder if I might have this extract from

12 the 1991 census marked as an exhibit, just to establish

13 two things, Your Honour.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked

15 D205/1.


17 Q. Brigadier, the document that's been shown to

18 you is an extract of the 1991 census and it contains

19 lost facts and figures. But let me just ask you to

20 confirm that the village of Donje Polje was an

21 exclusively Croat village and it had no Muslim

22 residents, as far as you knew in 1993, at the beginning

23 of 1993; is that correct?

24 A. There was not a single Muslim household

25 there.

Page 17288

1 Q. Did you have the opportunity at any time in

2 January of 1993 to see the physical condition of the

3 village of Donje Polje following the fighting that

4 occurred in January, sir?

5 A. I had occasion, because together with Dzemal

6 Merdan, the ECMM monitors, and UNPROFOR

7 representatives, I visited the villages of Lasva and

8 Dusina in order to get three elderly men, who were

9 the -- Mr. Rajic's relatives, and this is why we went

10 there. We also went to Nezirovici, Solakovici, and

11 Donje Polje. And I observed that the village was

12 empty, abandoned, burned down, that there were no

13 Croats there, and there were also three graves which we

14 dug up several days later. There was no Croatian

15 population in the area at all, and there were signs of

16 the 7th Muslim Brigade and 17th Krajina Brigade. There

17 was graffiti on the structures. So this demonstrated

18 that in addition to the 333rd Brigade, which was

19 deployed in the area part -- the parts of the 7th and

20 17th Brigades also took part in this operation.

21 Q. All right. The condition that you saw of the

22 houses in Donje Polje, burned to the ground and the

23 village empty of Croat civilians, was that a scene that

24 you saw repeated in Oseliste, Gusti Grab, Nezirovici,

25 and other villages in the area of Kacuni, sir?

Page 17289

1 A. Yes. In those villages, it was the same

2 situation as in Donje Polje. There was not a single

3 inhabitant there.

4 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, in interests of

5 time, I'm sure the Trial Chamber is more than familiar

6 with the geography. We can have the witness show you

7 these locations of these villages on the map, but I

8 don't believe that's necessary.

9 JUDGE MAY: It's not.

10 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

11 Q. All right. Turning to paragraph 3 of the

12 summary that you signed, sir, I think you've already

13 discussed paragraph 22. Is it correct that you were

14 appointed as the HVO representative by Colonel Blaskic

15 to attend and conduct ceasefire negotiations with

16 representatives of the ABiH at the end of January of

17 1993?

18 A. Yes. I received an order from

19 Colonel Blaskic to go to Zenica for a meeting with

20 deputy commander Dzemal Merdan. It was -- the meeting

21 was also attended by the UNPROFOR and the ECMM

22 representatives, and we met at the Motel Tisa in

23 Busovaca. We formed working groups. Mr. Zoran Pilicic

24 and Marko Prskalo were also part of that, and

25 alongside -- and Hadzihasanovic, additional two

Page 17290

1 representatives of the ABiH side were also appointed,

2 and this commission was named to discuss all the

3 pertinent matters in the municipality of Busovaca.

4 Q. I believe that you also may have travelled to

5 Kiseljak, sir. How did you get there?

6 A. We travelled in UNPROFOR vehicles, because

7 there was no other way to do it because the road was

8 blocked. And we also travelled to the BritBat base,

9 because we had some meetings there on occasions.

10 Q. All right. Following the hostilities in

11 January of 1993, did the HVO ever succeed in

12 re-establishing control over the main supply route

13 between Busovaca and Kiseljak or not, sir?

14 A. That was never done until the 3rd of

15 February, 1994; that is, when the Washington Accords

16 were signed.

17 Q. And so the Kiseljak area and the Busovaca

18 area were geographically and militarily isolated after

19 January of 1993 until the end of the war. Is that an

20 accurate statement of events?

21 A. Yes. It was cut off, and the HVO had -- it

22 was an 11-kilometre stretch, and the HVO had no access

23 to Busovaca on that road.

24 Q. Turning to paragraph 24 of the outline,

25 Brigadier, could you tell us whether Mr. Kordic was a

Page 17291

1 military commander, in any sense of the word, in the

2 Busovaca area at any time, as far as you're aware?

3 A. Mr. Kordic was a political figure.

4 Mr. Kordic was not a military commander.

5 Professionally, while I worked in Busovaca, I never

6 dealt with Mr. Kordic, and I had my own chain of

7 command. He did not have any military experience, and

8 to me he was a layperson, in terms of military

9 expertise.

10 Q. To your knowledge, and I think you may have

11 already covered this but let me make sure the record is

12 clear, did he have any military training or experience

13 beyond basic compulsory national service?

14 A. I don't believe he did, and I think that

15 during the war he knew nothing about military affairs.

16 Q. In your view, was he in any way qualified, in

17 terms of personality, training, or experience, for a

18 position of military command, sir?

19 A. No. Mr. Kordic was a popular personality.

20 He was very popular among people. People liked him as

21 a political leader. But he did not get involved in

22 military things, and he never issued me any orders.

23 And I met him frequently. Whenever we would meet each

24 other, he would greet me, he would ask me about my

25 health, and that was all the communication we had.

Page 17292













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Page 17293

1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers,

2 I would like to ask the following question to General

3 Nakic, Brigadier Nakic: Does he know whether there is

4 a link between the military, military men, and

5 politicians, because the military operates through a

6 chain of command, the chain of command of the army, and

7 did they operate in a completely autonomous fashion,

8 and what was their relation, their link, with

9 politicians, political leaders? That's the question I

10 would like to ask you, General Nakic.

11 A. The command staff, including myself, had no

12 relation with the politician. We went to the main

13 headquarters and implemented their orders.

14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Can we say,

15 from Mr. Kordic, that he was a man of influence?

16 A. Not in the military.

17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But in the

18 Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

19 A. No.

20 MR. SAYERS: With the Trial Chamber's

21 permission, if I may, since those subjects are covered

22 in paragraph 35 and 36 of the outline, I would like to

23 deviate and just jump straight to them. We may as well

24 finish up the issues.

25 Q. Brigadier, the Judge asked you some questions

Page 17294

1 about the chain of command. Could you just briefly

2 explain to the Trial Chamber, in your own words and not

3 in mine, how the chain of command actually ran, the

4 military chain of command, starting, please, at the

5 general staff level in Mostar?

6 A. The chain of command in the HVO in the HZ HB,

7 was as follows: There was the general staff, headed by

8 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic. Then there were Operative

9 Zones. Specifically in our Operative Zone, it was

10 Colonel Blaskic who was in command, and in north-west

11 Herzegovina, which is another operative zone, Zeljko

12 Siljeg was its commander.

13 All Home Guard units were part of the Central

14 Bosnia Operative Zone; that is, all the Home Guard

15 units who were in the area.

16 Professional units, like Vitezovi and Tvrtko

17 II, were subordinated to the general staff

18 headquarters, to Brigadier Petkovic and the Ministry of

19 Defence, and the military police in Ljubuski. As an

20 exception, permission needed to be obtained from the

21 police, Ministry of the Interior, and for the military

22 police also from Mostar.

23 Only after June 1993, all units were

24 subordinated to Colonel Blaskic, that is, to the

25 Operative Zone, and it was only after that period that

Page 17295

1 they could be used in that way.

2 Q. Just so that the record is clear, with

3 respect to the special purpose units that you've

4 described, such as the Vitezovi and the Tvrtko II

5 units, under whose administrative control did those

6 units fall, sir?

7 A. The Minister of Defence and the Main Staff.

8 Q. And under whose operative control?

9 A. One had to ask for permission for their

10 operational use, and if such was received, then they

11 would be under Colonel Blaskic. Otherwise, they could

12 not be used. And as of 4th June 1993, they were under

13 the operative command of Colonel Blaskic.

14 Q. With respect to the military police, sir, who

15 was the chief of military police or the head of the

16 department of military police in Ljubuski?

17 A. Mr. Valentin Coric.

18 Q. Very well. Now, turning to paragraph 36,

19 there has been a suggestion in this case that the HVO

20 had a system similar to the armed forces of the former

21 Soviet Union in which there was an office of political

22 officer or political commissar who coordinated with the

23 commander, if I understand the system correctly, and

24 represented the political party, the sole political

25 party in the Soviet Union.

Page 17296

1 Was there any similar system in the Operative

2 Zone in Central Bosnia or within the HVO generally, as

3 far as you know, Brigadier Nakic?

4 A. Twenty years before this war broke out, the

5 JNA restructured its armed forces and made adjustments

6 to the western style of armies. I know this because I

7 was involved in this work. We adopted the formation of

8 western military organisations, and the Soviet model

9 and the Eastern European model were not in use.

10 At first, our formation was that there was a

11 commander, deputy commander, and assistant commanders.

12 There was a commander for information, political work,

13 which was for indoctrination, and there was logistics

14 assistant, security, and it had a staff of which I was

15 the chief. And this was a mobilisation/operations

16 body. We had an assistance for IPD. This was Marko

17 Prskalo, until he was wounded.

18 JUDGE MAY: I just wanted to be clear. You

19 started talking about the JNA, but you then said that,

20 "Our formation was commander, deputy commander, and

21 commander for information, political work." At that

22 stage, Brigadier Nakic, are you talking about the HVO,

23 your own organisation?

24 A. Yes. I said "our organisation", that is, the

25 HVO.

Page 17297

1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you would like to

2 go on.

3 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

4 Q. Now, the officer for informative political

5 work that you've referred to, who was that, sir, during

6 your tenure as Chief of Staff of the Central Bosnia

7 Operative Zone?

8 A. It was Mr. Marko Prskalo, until he was

9 wounded, and then he was replaced by Dragan Ramljak.

10 Q. And what was the function of an officer for

11 informative political work?

12 A. He was an assistant to Colonel Blaskic in

13 regard of all information and political work that was

14 relevant for the Operative Zone. That would include

15 also cultural and sports activities.

16 Q. And did these officers generally hold

17 conferences, press conferences for informational

18 purposes, for UNPROFOR, or the ECMM, or any other one,

19 a person that wanted to attend?

20 A. That was one of their tasks, and they

21 regularly took part in press conferences.

22 Q. We showed you the decree of the armed forces

23 of October the 17th, sir. Was political activity in

24 the armed forces themselves permitted, as far as you

25 know?

Page 17298

1 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this. I know Article

2 55 very well, because the political work in units was

3 prohibited and their unit members were not allowed to

4 be members of political parties.

5 Q. You said "Article 55", sir, but I think it

6 may have been Article 25. But you can be shown that.

7 Was that directive followed, as far as you're

8 aware, throughout your services?

9 A. 25, yes. Yes, it was 25, and the HVO

10 followed it.

11 Q. Thank you. If we can go back, unless the

12 Court has any questions, to paragraph 24. Just a few

13 questions, sir.

14 You were asked by one of the Judges about

15 Mr. Kordic's role or about the role of politicians in

16 the military generally, and you've given your answer on

17 that. Was Mr. Kordic ever in the chain of command of

18 the Busovaca-based brigade, the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski

19 Brigade?

20 A. No. The command of that brigade never had

21 Kordic as their member. First it was Jozinovic, then

22 Grubesic. And as far as my work in Busovaca is

23 concerned, which lasted for about a month and a half,

24 after which I transferred to Vitez, my work there went

25 through Mr. Grubesic and never through Mr. Kordic.

Page 17299

1 Q. All right. Paragraph 25. Is it correct,

2 sir, that Colonel Blaskic had his headquarters located

3 in the Hotel Lovac in the village of Kruscica, at the

4 time that you became appointed to the position of Chief

5 of Staff, but that he moved his headquarters

6 subsequently to the Hotel Vitez, where it stayed for

7 the rest of the war?

8 A. The first command headquarters was in Hotel

9 Lovac. But when I arrived, I went straight to the

10 Hotel Vitez, where they had relocated three or four

11 days earlier. And then from then on until the end of

12 the war, the headquarters was in Hotel Vitez.

13 Q. Thank you. And moving on quickly, just on

14 the question of headquarters again, is it correct that

15 the headquarters of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

16 in Busovaca was initially located in the PTT building

17 but was moved subsequently to the Sumarija building

18 elsewhere in the town?

19 A. Yes. From my arrival there, the 1st of

20 December, I found them in the PTT building. Then I

21 don't know when they moved to the Sumarija building,

22 which is on the edge of town when you come to town from

23 the direction of Kiseljak.

24 Q. Very well, sir. The brigade, though, never

25 had its headquarters in the Tisovac area south-west of

Page 17300

1 Busovaca; is that right?

2 A. In that period of time, I'm unaware of that.

3 Q. Moving on to the Busovaca Joint Commission

4 upon which you served. Could you just tell the Trial

5 Chamber how you came to serve upon this commission and

6 who was on it, sir, and when you were asked to

7 participate?

8 A. I must say that nobody asked me. It was

9 ordered by General Blaskic that myself, Marko Prskalo,

10 and Zoran Pilicic become part of the commission for the

11 cessation of combat activities in the territory of

12 Busovaca, for the maintenance of peace, the separation

13 of armies, covering of trenches, and normalisation of

14 life in the Busovaca area.

15 Q. Is it correct that the Busovaca Joint

16 Commission was initially headed up by

17 Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Stewart and an ECMM

18 representative by the name of Jeremy Fleming?

19 A. Technical services were provided by the

20 British Battalion, and Lieutenant Colonel Stewart

21 provided a lot of assistance there, and ECMM

22 representatives also took part, and Mr. Flemming, and

23 they were involved in the work of the joint commission

24 and they provided help.

25 Q. Who signed the actual ceasefire agreement

Page 17301

1 dated January the 30th, 1994 that brought a formal end

2 to the hostilities in the Busovaca area, sir? Sorry,

3 it's 1993.

4 A. I did and Mr. Dzemal Merdan, on the

5 authority -- as authorised by our superiors.

6 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, I can lead

7 Brigadier Nakic through the next few paragraphs. I

8 don't think there's any dispute about them, unless

9 there's any objection from the Prosecution.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.


12 Q. Brigadier, is it true that you were the

13 principal HVO representative on the commission, along

14 with two of your subordinate officers, Mr. Pilicic and

15 Mr. Prskalo?

16 A. Yes. I was the leader of the group and its

17 commander. The second person was Marko Prskalo,

18 assistant for political affairs; and Zoran Pilicic, who

19 at that time was assistant for personnel matters in the

20 Operative Zone at that time.

21 Q. Your ABiH counterpart, I think you've said,

22 was Colonel Dzemal Merdan; correct?

23 A. Dzemal Merdan, with another two members of

24 the commission whose name I have meanwhile forgotten.

25 Q. As I understand the structure of the

Page 17302

1 commission, sir, it had a coordination committee that

2 met fairly infrequently and then a working committee

3 consisting of yourself and your counterparts on the

4 other side that met every day for the purpose of

5 addressing and resolving problems specifically in the

6 Busovaca area initially that had cropped up; is that

7 right?

8 A. Our work in Busovaca was continuous, on a

9 daily basis. We even spent -- we even spent nights in

10 DutchBat, in Tisovac, and we worked a lot. The morning

11 briefing started very early. We even organised

12 subcommittees which involved members of the Busovaca

13 Brigade and members of the 333rd Brigade who

14 implemented our conclusions and our agreements, and

15 they met from the start of the cessation, and as issues

16 were being resolved, they would implement them. Then

17 the separation of forces first at the 50 per cent

18 level, then 70 per cent, and then the lines were

19 abandoned and --

20 JUDGE MAY: If counsel wants this detail

21 he'll ask you, Brigadier.

22 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

23 Q. Let me just ask you -- you can just say yes

24 or no to these questions, Brigadier, just so that we

25 make sure we have a full record here. Is it true that

Page 17303













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14 English and French transcripts












Page 17304

1 each of the parties would send representatives into the

2 field each day to investigate the particular complaints

3 that had been made and then those -- that the results

4 of the investigations would be reported back each day;

5 yes or no?

6 A. Yes. In the morning, we discussed the

7 incidents which had happened overnight. We would send

8 people out in the field, and then we would again meet

9 in the evenings, and we would send out reports to our

10 respective commands, and ECMM to Zagreb where their

11 headquarters was.

12 Q. And throughout February and March, you spent

13 considerable amount of time working on this commission,

14 and in March, the commission moved to Vitez and changed

15 its name; is that correct?

16 A. In March we moved to Vitez because there was

17 not enough room in the DutchBat headquarters. So the

18 British battalion gave us premises, and we transferred

19 to Vitez, where we changed our name into the Vitez

20 Commission.

21 JUDGE MAY: If this is a convenient moment.

22 We'll adjourn now for half an hour.

23 Would you be back, please, Brigadier, in half

24 an hour.

25 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

Page 17305

1 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.

2 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.

3 Q. Brigadier Nakic, we had reached 31 of your

4 summary. Could you tell us whether, in any of the

5 negotiations in which you participated that ultimately

6 led to the January the 30th, 1993 ceasefire agreement,

7 was Mr. Kordic's name mentioned once by anyone?

8 A. The commission, which was of mixed

9 composition, worked independently with the

10 representatives of the EMM, the European Monitoring

11 Mission, that is, and UNPROFOR. We worked

12 independently without the presence of anybody else

13 except for the interested parties, and --

14 Q. Let me interrupt you, Brigadier, because the

15 question I was asking you is whether in the ceasefire

16 negotiations that immediately preceded the January the

17 30th, 1993 agreement, did anyone, any representative of

18 BritBat or the ECMM, any negotiator from the Muslim

19 side, did anybody mention Mr. Kordic's name even once?

20 A. No, it was never mentioned; nor did anybody

21 bring it up.

22 Q. All right. And no one -- well, turning to

23 paragraph 32, it's true as well, isn't it, that

24 Mr. Kordic never attended any meetings of the Busovaca

25 Joint Commission or the Vitez Joint Commission, when it

Page 17306

1 was moved to Vitez in March of 1993?

2 A. No, he was never present.

3 Q. And I believe it's also true that his name

4 was never mentioned, as far as you can remember, in any

5 joint committee meeting or negotiation at any time

6 during the service that you performed on either of

7 those commissions, the Busovaca Joint Commission or the

8 Vitez Joint Commission.

9 A. Never, not in any of the commissions, was the

10 name Kordic mentioned or asked for.

11 Q. All right. So he was a non-factor in the

12 operation of the commission, and obviously it follows

13 from your testimony that he never took part in any of

14 the military discussions or Joint Commission

15 deliberations at any point in January of 1993 or after

16 that. Is that right?

17 A. At meetings which I attended, he never took

18 part, no.

19 Q. Very well. Turning to paragraph 33, your

20 counterpart, Colonel Merdan, could you give your views

21 or experiences on how cooperative Colonel Merdan

22 appeared to be during these negotiations and whether he

23 always kept the agreements that he had appeared to have

24 reached?

25 A. Mr. Merdan was cooperative and he was a

Page 17307

1 reasonable man, a man from the former JNA. However,

2 sometimes I seemed to feel that more often he breached

3 the agreements, negotiations, than not.

4 And frequently in my discussions with

5 Mr. Merdan, I would mention the 7th Muslim Brigade,

6 because from his colleagues who were in the commission

7 together with us, I frequently heard mention of the

8 fact that Mr. Merdan wielded great influence in the 7th

9 Muslim Brigade. However, he always denied any contacts

10 with the 7th Muslim Brigade and never brought it in any

11 connection with the BH army.

12 Q. Paragraph 34. Were there any restrictions on

13 Colonel Merdan's movement in and around Busovaca during

14 the negotiations that led up to the signature of the

15 January the 30th, 1993 ceasefire agreement, sir?

16 A. No. Mr. Merdan moved around Busovaca. He

17 had an aunt living in Busovaca whom he would visit

18 frequently, regularly.

19 Q. All right. We've already covered paragraphs

20 35 and 36, so I'll move on to paragraphs 37 and 38.

21 Speaking from your perspective of Chief of

22 Staff of the Operative Zone in Central Bosnia, sir,

23 could you give us your understanding or your views on

24 the military strategy pursued by your adversaries in

25 Central Bosnia during 1993?

Page 17308

1 A. Your Honours, Central Bosnia is one of the

2 most beautiful regions, perhaps, of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The population which lived there

4 was 50/50; that is to say, Muslims and Croats, that was

5 the ratio. There were some other nationalities, but in

6 lesser proportion. The villages and even the town

7 itself had a mixed population.

8 However, circumstances, the circumstances

9 which arose through the aggression of the Serb army,

10 brought in many refugees and displaced persons from

11 Krajina and Eastern Bosnia into the area, so that the

12 population began to increase rapidly and evil things

13 began to take -- ugly things began to take place.

14 There were excessive incidents, there were thefts,

15 there was looting, and all the kind of things that

16 didn't take place previously, and what took place now

17 was very ugly.

18 It is my assessment that the Croats and

19 Muslims, the local ones, would never have entered into

20 a conflict were it not for the influx of these refugees

21 who sought a space for themselves, having lost their

22 own in Western and Eastern Bosnia, and it is my

23 assessment that the conflict precisely arose due to

24 these refugees who flooded the area looking for a place

25 to live. It was they that armed themselves, engaged in

Page 17309

1 these incidents, did not wish to man the front lines

2 opposing the Serbian army. They said it wasn't their

3 war, whereas the Croats would regularly go to the front

4 lines opposite the Serbs. They defended Jajce, they

5 defended Travnik. I don't know -- I was at the front

6 lines myself, but I don't know what it was that the BH

7 army held to begin with, what lines it held.

8 Of the 12.600 people that lived in Vitez,

9 over 700 were killed in Vitez and another 2.000 were

10 seriously wounded, and they are invalids today, walking

11 about Vitez and the world. You find them everywhere,

12 dispersed through all four corners of the world.

13 And we in the Operative Zone of the Main

14 Staff implemented the Geneva Convention and called for

15 the implementation of the provisions of the Geneva

16 Convention. I'm not saying that there were not,

17 perhaps, individuals who went against them, but as a

18 whole, this is what we did. And of course, the Main

19 Staff couldn't control the actions of each and every

20 individual.

21 Q. Just turning to January of 1993 once again,

22 sir. Immediately prior to the fighting that broke out

23 in Busovaca, did you have any knowledge of detachments

24 from the ABiH in Zenica arriving in the Kacuni area?

25 A. The BH army had a well-organised Territorial

Page 17310

1 Defence system, and they remained within the system so

2 that each local community had its unit, ranging from a

3 company, that was the smallest one, or platoons in a

4 village, so that they inherited TO weapons, because for

5 the most part, their commanders at that time, both in

6 Vitez and in Busovaca, as well as in Travnik, there

7 were TO headquarters. So they inherited all the

8 equipment and materiel that was there. It remained in

9 the hands of the BH army.

10 Q. If I might interrupt you just a minute,

11 Brigadier. The question was narrower. I'm just asking

12 about the fighting in January in the Busovaca area.

13 Was that immediately preceded, to your knowledge, by

14 arrival of detachments from the ABiH in Zenica to the

15 Kacuni region, including forward units of the

16 7th Muslim Brigade?

17 A. Yes. They came to Busovaca from Zenica, the

18 333rd, the one which was in the region, the people from

19 Krajina, and the 7th Muslim Brigade. I've already said

20 that. I saw traces of them at features which remained

21 standing then and had not been destroyed.

22 Q. Let me just ask you one general question

23 before we proceed to paragraph 39. In your view, was

24 the Muslim military strategy aimed in any way of

25 controlling the main supply routes that ran up from

Page 17311

1 Novi Travnik to Vitez, from Vitez to Busovaca, and then

2 from points south towards Kiseljak or not?

3 A. The aim was to take over Central Bosnia, take

4 control of Central Bosnia. The strategy was to cut off

5 Central Bosnia into those parts, that is, near Busovaca

6 and the Vitez area, and once it had been cut off, all

7 communication was severed, was to sever communication

8 and then take control of the whole area. That was the

9 objective.

10 Q. All right. Let me turn forward in time and

11 forward in the summary to paragraph 39. Let me just

12 address your attention to mid-April of 1993.

13 I gather, sir, that you were actually not in

14 Vitez when the fighting broke out, that you were absent

15 from the town between April 14th and 17th, 1993.

16 A. Yes. Between the 14th and 21st I was not in

17 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone command headquarters

18 at the time. On the 14th, there was a kidnapping that

19 took place of four members of the HVO of Novi Travnik,

20 staff officers.

21 Q. Those consisted of three staff officers and a

22 driver, I believe; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, that's right, three officers and one

24 soldier.

25 Q. All right. That abduction, as the Trial

Page 17312

1 Chamber knows, occurred on the 13th of April, 1993.

2 Sir, in your own words, could you just explain to the

3 Court exactly what your connection was with the

4 investigation into that incident and what you did in

5 that regard, please?

6 A. At the morning briefing on the 14th, the

7 joint commission, led by myself and Mr. Merdan and a

8 gentleman from the monitoring mission, I know that his

9 name was Valentin, he was a Spaniard, I don't know the

10 other man that was there, but we decided to go in

11 search of -- that is to say, we decided at the meeting

12 that we would go to try to find those three abducted

13 officers and this one soldier of the HVO.

14 We set out from our joint building following

15 information that came to the HVO of Novi Travnik and

16 the headquarters of the BH army which was in Novi

17 Travnik. The information that we received there in the

18 HVO, we were told that they had been kidnapped by the

19 Mujahedin and that the officers were on assignment at

20 Mescema, which is the front line facing the Serbs in

21 the Komar region, and that they were returning from

22 that position, and that somewhere between Novi Travnik

23 and this place Mescema, they were kidnapped and taken

24 in the direction of Ravno Rostovo. We received precise

25 information, which car was used, what truck was used.

Page 17313

1 It was a butcher's truck from Bugojno, a truck used for

2 the transport of meat. That was the vehicle that was

3 used to take them in the direction of Ravno Rostovo.

4 So certain information -- we did not get any

5 information from the BH army headquarters.

6 Then we went to the barracks at Ravno

7 Rostovo. It was a barracks for the training of members

8 of the BH army, that is to say, the Mujahedin, because

9 there was a Mujahedin company there engaged in training

10 in the area.

11 We arrived at Rostovo. They did not allow us

12 to enter the barracks compound let alone the barracks

13 itself. They didn't even want to talk to us. Dzemal

14 Merdan did insist on this; I must say that. However,

15 the answer was that they did not know of that incident,

16 they had no information about it, they had nothing to

17 do with it, and that they didn't want to discuss the

18 matter at all.

19 Although we had information that the vehicle

20 was parked behind the barracks and that the members

21 were actually in the cellars of the barracks, basement

22 of the barracks, but what we did then, we went to the

23 command of the Operative Group in Bugojno, Mr. Selmo

24 Cikotic, and asked him for permission to allow us to

25 contact once again the gentleman at Ravno Rostovo. He

Page 17314













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Page 17315

1 said that he had nothing to do with the affair and

2 that, indeed, he knew nothing about it, because he was

3 the commander of the Operative Group and in his area of

4 responsibility is where the Ravno Rostovo barracks were

5 located.

6 We went back at this point, without having

7 done the business we were about. We went back to Novi

8 Travnik to inform the members of the HVO that we had

9 not succeeded in finding the HVO members. And the

10 commander of the local police force, Mr. Stipe Bavrka,

11 said to Mr. Merdan, "Mr. Merdan, consider yourself my

12 prisoner," and, "You are now arrested in Novi Travnik

13 until you return the members of the HVO to us."

14 I reacted to this immediately by saying,

15 "Mr. Bavrka, you cannot behave in that manner.

16 Mr. Merdan is here with me. I am responsible for

17 him." Then he said, "Well then you too, sir. You too,

18 Mr. Nakic, are under arrest." That occurred in the

19 evening hours, at about 10.30 p.m.

20 After all the talks we had with Mr. Bavrka,

21 between me and Mr. Zeljko, we did not succeed in

22 solving anything. I then requested that I inform

23 Colonel Blaskic about all this, which I did. I

24 informed him of the matter. After a very unpleasant

25 conversation and entreaty, after two and a half hours,

Page 17316

1 we were released from the premises in which we were

2 detain -- we had been detained for such a long time.

3 Later on, I went in the morning hours to

4 report all this, to report back to Colonel Blaskic.

5 Colonel Blaskic told me that as the 13th was a very

6 difficult day for the commission, he said, "Mr. Franjo,

7 go and have a rest. Go home and rest and come to work

8 the day after tomorrow because I see that you have not

9 slept for two nights." And so I left to have a rest.

10 On the 16th I was at home, and when I went to

11 work in the morning, the conflict had already started.

12 There were already blocks on the road to Vitez. I

13 wasn't able to pass there because there was a BH

14 checkpoint below UNPROFOR towards Vitez.

15 So I went back home and telephoned the

16 Colonel. He told me to remain in my village, in my

17 unit, and monitor the situation from there and to see

18 what was going on in my village, because in the

19 neighbouring village of Sadovace, on -- the demarcation

20 line was some 300 to 400 metres away.

21 So that is where I remained. I contacted the

22 local commander, and he said that nothing special was

23 happening, except that there were intimations that the

24 neighbours in Sadovace were fortifying themselves.

25 Then I suggested that he take steps to entrench on the

Page 17317

1 other side, but without going into excessive activity,

2 and this is what was done, in fact.

3 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you. Now,

4 Mr. Sayers, unless there's anything else that's

5 relevant about this part.

6 MR. SAYERS: No, I don't think there is, Your

7 Honour. Let's just move on to paragraph 40.

8 Q. Is it true that in your experience, Brigadier

9 Nakic, the 3rd Corps always tried to keep the position

10 of the Mujahedin and the 7th Muslim Brigade in a state

11 of confusion or secrecy or not?

12 A. Yes, yes, that is quite true, and that is my

13 observation.

14 Q. And is it also true that from mid-April until

15 June the 8th of 1993, one of your subordinates,

16 Mr. Slavko Marin, temporarily performed your duties as

17 Chief of Staff in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

18 A. Yes, that is correct as well. When I went to

19 the Joint Command, Slavko Marin performed my duties up

20 until June.

21 Q. Thank you. Turning to paragraph 42, that

22 contains your views of the April offensive of the ABiH,

23 and you can answer questions about that subject, if

24 asked; correct?

25 A. Correct.

Page 17318

1 Q. Let me turn to the Joint Command that was set

2 up in Travnik as a result of the April 1993 ceasefire

3 negotiations. The Trial Chamber has already heard

4 about this, Brigadier, so we can go over this fairly

5 quickly.

6 Isn't it true that a joint HVO-ABiH body

7 called the Joint Command was set up as a result of the

8 ceasefire negotiations that were conducted in Zenica on

9 the 21st of April, 1993?

10 A. Yes. From a meeting that was held between

11 Brigadier Petkovic, Mr. Sefer Halilovic, Blaskic and

12 Hadzihasanovic, an order was issued which I received

13 personally from Mr. Blaskic, that I was a member of the

14 Joint Command of the BH army to represent the HVO,

15 myself, Mr. Zvonko Vukovic and Vlado Juric, and that

16 our headquarters would be in Bila for the time being

17 but that we would remove to the post office in Travnik

18 because there were assignments in the Vlasic area to be

19 conducted against the Serb army.

20 Q. Just as you had in the Busovaca and the Vitez

21 Joint Commissions, you were asked to head the HVO

22 delegation from Vitez; is that correct, sir?

23 A. Yes. With the -- to stabilise peace in

24 Busovaca and Travnik and that area, the Joint Command

25 was located in the basement of the post office in Stari

Page 17319

1 Travnik, and that's where we began our work, which was

2 of joint interest, and it was the elaboration of plans

3 for fighting the Serbs in the area north-west of

4 Travnik. And I compiled those plans myself with my

5 group, and General Merdan did the same with his own

6 group. There were certain conditions to be met and so

7 on and so forth, and we did indeed spend our entire

8 time working out these plans.

9 However, I seem to feel that --

10 Q. Brigadier, on this Joint Commission, Colonel

11 Merdan was your counterpart appointed to head the ABiH

12 delegation; is that correct?

13 A. Yes, that's correct.

14 Q. Now, could you tell us whether General

15 Hadzihasanovic from the 3rd Corps, the commander of the

16 3rd Corps, was cooperative in negotiating on this

17 commission with Colonel Blaskic, when asked to do so,

18 or not?

19 A. In the Joint Command, we had information that

20 the army was preparing something, and I insisted with

21 Colonel Blaskic that he have a meeting with

22 Hadzihasanovic to discuss everything, especially

23 matters which were topical at that time.

24 However, despite the fact that Mr. Stewart

25 and Mr. Fleming assisted, and all the others who were

Page 17320

1 in the area, assisted in -- wanted to bring about the

2 meeting, but the meeting never actually took place, and

3 Colonel Blaskic insisted on the meeting. And why this

4 did not take place we saw on the 6th of June, 1993.

5 The reason was clear on that day.

6 Q. Thank you, Brigadier, and I'll move on to

7 paragraph 45 right now.

8 But for the Trial Chamber's information, we

9 would like to draw the Court's attention to Exhibit

10 D194/1, and specifically page 10 of that document,

11 which is a British military intelligence summary that

12 summarises the refusals of General Hadzihasanovic to

13 participate in negotiations and to meet with

14 Colonel Blaskic immediately prior to the offensive

15 launched by the ABiH on June the 6th and 8th.

16 Turning to that, Brigadier Nakic, it's true

17 that a large-scale offensive was launched in the Lasva

18 Valley, the western end of the Lasva Valley and

19 elsewhere, in early June of 1993, isn't it?

20 A. Yes. This began on the 3rd and 4th of June,

21 1993, this excessive behaviour. And on the 6th of

22 June, at that time I was at the headquarters of the

23 Joint Command, the joint headquarters in Travnik, and I

24 tried to calm the situation which took place on the 3rd

25 and 4th of June because I still believed that a

Page 17321

1 conflict would not arise and that we could avoid it.

2 However, nevertheless, on the 6th of June an

3 all-out offensive took place from the north-western and

4 south-western axes in Bosnia, and the whole Travnik

5 municipality, parts of Novi Travnik, the Busovaca and

6 Vitez municipalities, were all attacked. It is my

7 estimate that this was a terrible, all-out attack with

8 all available forces and materiel. And at the time and

9 according to the information we received, the ratio was

10 one to eight; the ratio of forces --

11 Q. You mean that --

12 A. -- was one to eight.

13 Q. -- the HVO was outnumbered by the ABiH during

14 this offensive by eight to one?

15 A. Yes, yes, that's right.

16 Q. Would you tell the Court, sir, what happened

17 to the civilian Croat population in the villages to the

18 east of Travnik and north and the other villages that

19 were in the Travnik municipality during this offensive?

20 A. During this offensive, it was the villages

21 around Travnik that were affected worst and the town of

22 Travnik itself with respect to the Croatian

23 population. The Travnik municipality is a mountainous

24 municipality with far-flung villages, and it was

25 difficult to defend all these Croatian villages from

Page 17322

1 the onslaught of the BH army.

2 The villages around Mount Vlasic remained

3 completely empty. The people there were killed. The

4 people fled from the villages, from Travnik towards

5 Zenica, such as Cukle, Podovi, Grahovcici, Brajkovici,

6 Han Bila. These were all the villages.

7 The civilian population were forcibly

8 expelled from their homes in the Travnik municipality.

9 They were taken to Zenica, to the Busovaca

10 municipality. The houses were set alight. You could

11 see them burning from all parts.

12 Travnik was left without its Croat civilian

13 population because all these people had left. That is

14 to say, they were forcibly expelled from Travnik, some

15 of them were killed. So that the village of Maljine,

16 for example, there were 48 dead then. We do not know

17 to this day where their graves are staying there,

18 Brajkovici and Grahovici villages. Eighty-two people

19 went missing in Miletici, five people whom I had myself

20 had transported their dead bodies to Bila, and so on

21 and so forth. It was a really terrible and difficult

22 time.

23 Q. All right. Just few matters of detail.

24 Approximately how many refugees, civilian

25 refugees, and displaced persons of Croat ethnicity were

Page 17323

1 forced out of their homes in this offensive that you've

2 just described, sir?

3 A. From what one could see, over 20.000 people

4 arrived in Bila and Nova Bila, over 20.000. Part of

5 the people who remained in Guca Gora, locked up in the

6 church, thanks to Officer Duncan I was able to get them

7 out. However, unfortunately seven men stayed behind,

8 and the next morning I had to bury them by the church.

9 Q. And as they were being buried, sir, there was

10 gunfire or there were actually bullets flying overhead

11 of the people who were actually attending the burial

12 ceremony; isn't that correct?

13 A. Yes. People filed out of the church for the

14 burial, and even though UNPROFOR protected us with five

15 or six Warriors, again thanks to Lieutenant Colonel

16 Duncan, a fire was opened upon us and General Merdan

17 was powerless to do anything. The bullets came flying

18 all around us.

19 Q. Now, there's been some suggestion that these

20 20.000 or so people left their homes as a result of

21 propaganda rather than being forcibly expelled by a

22 dint of military force. Could you give your views on

23 that subject to the Trial Court, please?

24 A. Your Honours, who would leave their own home

25 and hearth and flee into the woods and to someone else,

Page 17324

1 not knowing what they could expect, whether they would

2 find the kindness of strangers? No propaganda could

3 have driven these people away from their homes had they

4 not been forced to flee the onslaught. And for those

5 who did not leave, we never found them again alive.

6 Q. Turning to paragraph 47, Brigadier: During

7 meetings between the HVO and ABiH representatives,

8 could you tell the Court whether Colonel Merdan ever

9 made any comments when disagreements arose or when

10 tempers flared?

11 A. Yes. On the eve of this offensive, he said,

12 "You will remember us once the army got going," and

13 believe me, we did remember it.

14 Q. All right. Let me turn, if I can, quickly to

15 the next item, which is the Convoy of Joy, paragraphs

16 48 to 51.

17 During the middle of this offensive in the

18 Travnik area, it's correct, is it not, that a private

19 convoy tried to drive straight through the war zone,

20 through territory controlled by or formerly controlled

21 by Bosnian Croat armed forces; is that right?

22 A. Yes, that is correct.

23 Q. Now, we all know there's been extensive

24 evidence in this case concerning the circumstances

25 under which this convoy was stopped and looted, and

Page 17325













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Page 17326

1 there's been a suggestion that this was as a result of

2 a deliberate plan that was formulated not by the

3 military but by politicians. Could you give your views

4 on that particular subject, Brigadier?

5 A. I never heard of such a plan, of its

6 existence or its implementation. This was

7 spontaneous. The population was angry. Those 20.000

8 civilian refugees had nothing to eat. There was no

9 organisation. Colonel Blaskic actually issued an order

10 providing safe passage for the convoy, and the military

11 was not involved in this.

12 I will just illustrate it. I was with Dzemal

13 Merdan, and a member of the HVO was coming back home,

14 and he was killed by UNPROFOR about 100 metres away

15 from his home. He was coming back home. UNPROFOR took

16 him for somebody who was involved in the incident.

17 This man's name was Zoran Matovic. I protested and I

18 got an apology from UNPROFOR, but obviously it was too

19 late.

20 Q. All right. The night the convoy was stopped

21 in the Novi Travnik-Vitez area, sir, on June 10, 1993,

22 is it correct that eight Bosnian Croat children were

23 blown to pieces by a 128-millimetre mortar shell that

24 had been fired from the direction of Stari Vitez?

25 A. Yes, that is correct. It was the worst

Page 17327

1 incident which affected the children in the town of

2 Vitez at the time. Two days later, I went to that site

3 where the shell had fallen, and in my judgement, it was

4 a 128-millimetre shell. It could not have been

5 launched from Stari Vitez but, rather, from either

6 Bukve or Trebinje, which is near Bila, under Guca

7 Gora. That is the direction from which it could have

8 come.

9 From what I saw on the ground, it was a

10 terrible sight, and I can only imagine what it must

11 have looked like for the mothers who found their

12 children blown to pieces.

13 Q. Brigadier, the contention has been made --

14 and I'm turning to paragraph 51 now -- that Mr. Kordic

15 was the individual who had somehow orchestrated the

16 apprehension of this convoy. Did he?

17 A. I only have information that Mr. Kordic was

18 asked for assistance and that he provided assistance to

19 UNPROFOR for the safe passage of the convoy, and I have

20 heard of no other thing. I have no other information

21 relating to Mr. Kordic's involvement.

22 Q. Just turning to paragraph 52. Is it right

23 that the commanders of the 4th battalion of HVO

24 military police were, in turn, first Mr. Zvonko

25 Vukovic, until about January the 18th, 1993; followed

Page 17328

1 by Pasko Ljubicic, holding that post from approximately

2 January 18, 1993 until August 1, 1993; and finally,

3 until the end of the war, Mr. Marinko Palavra, taking

4 over from Mr. Pasko Ljubicic on August 1, 1993?

5 A. Yes. Those were the three officers who were

6 commanders during the time when I was in the Operative

7 Zone headquarters.

8 Q. Very well. Turning to paragraph 53. Did you

9 ever, yourself, see any Croatian army detachments,

10 units, or troops in Central Bosnia? During the war,

11 obviously.

12 A. Croatian army was never in Central Bosnia.

13 What one could see in Central Bosnia were individuals

14 who had been in the Croatian army, and I think they're

15 motivated by a desire to brag. They wore those

16 patches.

17 I personally was put in charge of ensuring

18 that those insignia were taken off. However, we were

19 unable to do it completely, and even some officers

20 refused to take off these patches and ranks. There

21 were six or seven people who wore those patches, and I

22 think that no one could be found to confirm that there

23 were Croatian army soldiers in Central Bosnia.

24 Q. These people that refused to take off the

25 patches though, were they HVO soldiers or Croatian army

Page 17329

1 soldiers or do you know?

2 A. No, no. They were Bosnian Croats, Croats

3 from Bosnia who had been on the front line in Croatia

4 against the Serbs and came back home and brought their

5 old uniforms with them. So they were Bosnian Croats.

6 Q. All right. Just one --

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sayers, does he have any

8 idea about how many of these Bosnian Croats were there

9 who came back and were wearing HV insignia?


11 Q. Brigadier, you've heard the Judge's

12 question. What's the answer to that?

13 A. The number would be seven or eight. I can

14 even name some names there. Not more than that.

15 MR. SAYERS: Unless it's relevant, I don't

16 think it's necessary to name the names, Your Honour.



19 Q. Brigadier, as far as you're aware as the

20 chief of staff of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,

21 did you receive orders or did your headquarters or

22 commanding officer receive orders from any HV sources?

23 A. No, never.

24 Q. Did you ever hear anybody claim, suggest, or

25 intimate that somehow HVO commanders were under the

Page 17330

1 enthral of the HV organs of command or in any way under

2 the command of the Croatian army?

3 A. Central Bosnia had no connection to the HV.

4 Our Main Staff was in Mostar and all communications

5 went along those lines.

6 Q. Very well. Let me just pass on to paragraphs

7 54 and 55. There's been a suggestion in this case,

8 sir, that there was a concerted policy amongst Bosnian

9 Croats, presumably implemented through the HVO, of

10 persecuting Bosnian Muslim citizens. Could you give

11 the Trial Chamber any help with that? Could you tell

12 the Trial Chamber whether there was any such a policy

13 to your knowledge and, if so, how it was communicated?

14 A. I never heard of such political positions.

15 Had I heard of them, I never would have put on the

16 uniform, never.

17 Q. Why not?

18 A. So I never heard of it, and nobody ever

19 transmitted such policies to me. I put on the uniform

20 to fight again the Serbs. That was the only reason.

21 However, later on, the fighting turned to such kind of

22 fighting that I had to fight in order to protect my

23 family.

24 Q. You said that you never heard of such a

25 political position and that had you had, you would

Page 17331

1 never have put on the uniform. What do you mean by

2 that, Brigadier?

3 A. Never. Well, I wouldn't go into such an

4 army, that is for sure. I could not issue such orders;

5 I could not even receive such an order. I was brought

6 up to live in Bosnia-Herzegovina with all ethnic

7 groups. I was born there, I grew up there, and I will

8 try to continue to live until my last day in such a way

9 because Bosnia-Herzegovina is my homeland. I have no

10 other homeland.

11 Q. Are you aware of any orders given to HVO

12 troops to harass or persecute people of Muslim

13 ethnicity in the areas that are covered by the Central

14 Bosnia Operative Zone?

15 A. I wrote those orders, but not to persecute.

16 Such orders never existed. My operations staff wrote

17 up those orders, but they never were any -- and they

18 were never signed by Mr. Blaskic.

19 Q. What orders are you referring to?

20 A. The only things he signed was the use of

21 troops and to respect Geneva Conventions but no orders

22 to persecute the Muslims.

23 Q. Brigadier, have you ever heard of any such a

24 policy or position of persecution or harassment or

25 giving people of Muslim ethnicity a hard time being

Page 17332

1 advocated by Bosnian Croat military personnel or by any

2 political group or person?

3 A. No. I never heard of that.

4 Q. Let me just finish up quickly with you, sir.

5 The last subject, other than paragraph 60, which if

6 you -- you can, if asked about these matters, answer

7 questions about the massacre of Croats in Dusina,

8 Miletici, Krizancevo Selo, Buhine Kuce, and the other

9 places that you've mentioned; correct? If you were

10 asked?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. I'm not going to spend any time on that. Let

13 me just turn to paragraph 56. Could you just tell us:

14 Did you know Mr. Kordic before the war?

15 A. I did not know Mr. Kordic before the war.

16 Q. And how well did you know him during the

17 war?

18 A. During the war, I also knew him very

19 slightly. The activities that I was engaged in and

20 that he was in involved in were different. I was

21 engaged in military affairs; Mr. Kordic in civilian

22 affairs. I most frequently saw him in press

23 conferences, but on television mostly, if there was

24 power, that is. Very infrequently in the

25 headquarters. I rarely ever saw him, met him.

Page 17333

1 Q. Did you, during the entire time that you were

2 the Chief of Staff for the Operative Zone, talk to

3 Mr. Kordic about military matters at all?

4 A. As far as I can recollect, I never spoke to

5 Mr. Kordic about military issues. I was a soldier, I

6 had my commander, and I could only address those issues

7 with him and to my subordinates. If the civilian

8 authorities were involved, I could talk to them too,

9 but it never occurred that I talked to him.

10 Q. Did Colonel Blaskic ever tell you or suggest

11 to you that he was obliged in any way to take orders or

12 directions from Mr. Kordic in some fashion or that he

13 ever did so?

14 A. Mr. Blaskic never told me that Mr. Kordic

15 ever ordered him anything. They had conversations, but

16 I don't know about them.

17 Q. Did you ever hear that Mr. Kordic ever tried

18 to give or did give any orders or political directions

19 to Colonel Blaskic or anyone else in authority within

20 the HVO, sir?

21 A. I never heard of it.

22 Q. And finally, sir, my last question: Did

23 Mr. Kordic have any control, to your knowledge, over

24 the military police or the sub-units such as the Jokeri

25 or any special purpose unit within the HVO?

Page 17334

1 A. I never heard and I don't think so. I don't

2 think that there was any reason for it, because they

3 had their own superior commands.

4 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much, Brigadier.

5 If you'd just wait, you may be asked some questions by

6 Mr. Cerkez's attorneys and then by counsel for the

7 Prosecution.

8 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

9 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Nakic. Brigadier, we had

10 occasion to talk briefly before you came in to give

11 evidence. Can you please answer several questions?

12 With my learned friend Mr. Sayers, you spoke through an

13 interpreter. You and I speak the same language. We

14 need to pause a little bit for interpretation. So if

15 you could please pause between questions and answers.

16 A clarification to start off, because you

17 lived in that region and today we heard several times

18 of a place called Bila. This is a town in Vitez.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And the other place which was mentioned, when

21 it is called Nova Bila, it is in Novi Travnik; is that

22 correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. The one that is in Vitez also is called

25 Stara, which means "Old Bila." And the one on the

Page 17335

1 other side in Novi Travnik is called Bila or Nova Bila,

2 "New Bila."

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. For people not from this area, this could be

5 slightly confusing at times.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. But the local people know fully well that if

8 one says "Bila," one refers to Nova Bila, and when one

9 refers to Stara Bila or Old Bila, one refers to the one

10 in the Vitez municipality; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The place where you lived is called Marasi?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that is actually one of the villages in

15 the Bila territory?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And it is located in the Vitez municipality?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. During the time that you spoke about, that is

20 to say, January 1993 and towards the end of January

21 1993 when the conflict came about in Busovaca, there

22 was no conflict in Vitez between the Bosnian Croats and

23 Bosnian Muslims, was there?

24 A. No.

25 Q. As far as the blockade of the road is

Page 17336













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Page 17337

1 concerned, the road running through Vitez or goes along

2 the valley between Busovaca and Vitez, on the 20th of

3 October, 1992, at that time an event took place, let me

4 remind you, when in Ahmici there was a roadblock, and

5 there was an open conflict between the HVO units and

6 the BiH army from Ahmici. You know about that event,

7 of course.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. At that same time, one day previously on the

10 19th of October, the BH army set up a roadblock on the

11 same road but closer to your place, closer to Bila or,

12 more exactly, at the GP Bosna area in the Grbavica

13 region. A roadblock was also set up there; is that

14 correct?

15 A. Yes, it is.

16 Q. As far as I was able to learn, you yourself

17 were there personally because you, in fact, lived

18 there?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Could you tell us, please, who erected that

21 barricade, the roadblock, and what it looked like?

22 A. On the 19th of October at around 10.00, as I

23 was the local commander in the local community of Bila,

24 I was informed that a barricade had been set up below

25 Grbavica in the GP Bosna area. Grbavica itself is a

Page 17338

1 settlement inhabited by Muslims.

2 We heard that the road had been blocked

3 between Travnik and Vitez, or Busovaca and Kiseljak, if

4 you like. I was wearing civilian clothing, and I left

5 my house to go and see what was happening on the spot.

6 Underneath this Bosna area, there was a

7 tractor and a bus barricading the road, and some logs,

8 some timber. There were a lot of people there and

9 about ten soldiers. All the others were wearing

10 civilian clothing. On that road, the hodza, the imam

11 from Han Bila, was delivering an address, and Han Bila

12 is about ten kilometres away if you go to the north of

13 Stara Bila.

14 I asked the commander, my colleague Enver

15 Salkic, to discuss who had set up the barricade, and I

16 was told that he wasn't there. The hodza came up, the

17 imam from Han Bila, and he said, "I placed the

18 barricade -- I erected the barricade and I am in charge

19 here." And my answer to him was, "You can't be the

20 number 1 man while Enver and myself are there and

21 whilst there is a civilian authority. You go to your

22 own Han Bila and do what you like there, but we're

23 going to keep law and order here." He resisted that

24 and said Enver wasn't going to do anything.

25 But, nevertheless, two hours later Enver did

Page 17339

1 turn up, and the two of us, wearing civilian clothing,

2 had a reasonable conversation. This resulted in the

3 lifting of the barricade.

4 However, while I was there talking, on the

5 other side on the Croatian -- in the Croatian village

6 another barricade was set up and several trees were cut

7 down, plain trees, and the road was blocked. And I did

8 away with that blockade and the road was once again

9 free, gave free passage.

10 Q. Thank you very much. Brigadier, in your

11 opinion, did this incident demonstrate the tension that

12 existed at that time in the valley?

13 A. Yes. Once again, the involvement of other

14 people in the affairs of locals is, in fact, why the

15 conflict came about.

16 Q. While you did mediate to have the barricade

17 lifted, did you hear anything about the reason for

18 which the blockade had been erected in the first place

19 on the road?

20 A. Well, to prevent HVO passage along that

21 road. Our army was on its way to the front lines

22 facing the Serb army, and this is Vlasic, Jajce, and

23 the other regions, because it wasn't a war of the

24 Muslims, it was a war of the Croats against the Serbs.

25 And I don't know why they wanted to prevent the passage

Page 17340

1 of the army from Busovaca and Kiseljak towards the

2 front lines facing the Serbs.

3 Q. Brigadier, at that time on that particular

4 morning while you were dealing with this situation, did

5 you happen to hear that a barricade had been set up on

6 the road below Ahmici or not?

7 A. Yes, I did hear about that.

8 Q. And to make things clearer, were you

9 instructed in clearing up the matter or did you do this

10 at your own initiative because you were a local leader

11 with regard to the village guards?

12 A. Nobody instructed me, I did it on my own,

13 but --

14 Q. Thank you. As you mentioned the village

15 guards, could you clarify some points for me, please.

16 The village guards were basically set up in 1992 in the

17 villages; is that correct?

18 A. Yes, it is.

19 Q. They existed in most of the Croatian

20 villages, did they not, but they also existed in Muslim

21 villages?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Sometimes those guards, depending on their

24 composition, were mixed, a mixed composition; is that

25 correct?

Page 17341

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And depending on whether there were disputes

3 in the village or friendly terms, the composition of

4 these guards would change, would it not?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. In your own village of Marasi, it was a

7 purely Croatian village, was it not?

8 A. Yes, it was.

9 Q. And your village guard was established there

10 and existed there. What about the neighbouring

11 village?

12 A. Well, in the neighbouring village of

13 Sadovace, they also had a village guard set up there

14 too.

15 Q. And Sadovace was a predominantly Muslim

16 village, was it not?

17 A. Yes. The whole of Sadovace was a Muslim

18 village. Perhaps one household was Croatian.

19 Q. The second motive, the other motive for the

20 establishment of these village guards, was because you

21 feared each other, was that the reason, or was there

22 some other reason?

23 A. Well, the general situation that existed, and

24 that situation was caused, as I say, by the aggression

25 of the Serbian army on Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

Page 17342

1 therefore as my village was in the proximity of both

2 Vitez and Novi Travnik, which were shelled and bombed,

3 the Serbian front lines were very close by, some 15 or

4 16 kilometres away from my village. So it was quite

5 normal -- and this was the first condition for

6 establishing these guards, to protect and guard the

7 village, because the lines at Vlasic could flare up and

8 the Serbian army could start, and this could lead to

9 the expulsion of the population, its killing and so

10 on. So that was the first reason why people organised

11 themselves in these village guards and stood guard, to

12 guard the village.

13 Q. Brigadier, at that particular time the new

14 independent state of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

15 had already been founded, had it not? Will you agree

16 with me that, de facto, the central government in that

17 state was not functioning and that one of the

18 situations upon which this was reflected was this

19 initiative on the part of the people to organise

20 themselves in the village?

21 A. Yes, that is another reason. There was no

22 power and authority at the level of the State of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and even the authorities in the

24 municipality were somewhat divided. And then people

25 saw that some kind of organisation must exist for life

Page 17343

1 to evolve normally, as it had done up until then, and

2 that is why people had begun to form groups and

3 associations, and that is the second reason for which

4 these units or night watches were set up, village

5 guards, in the villages.

6 Q. At the same time, and we're still dealing

7 with 1992, crime was on the rise, was it not?

8 A. Yes. There was a general lack of law and

9 authority, law and order, and whenever that happens

10 there is theft and looting and an onslaught of

11 displaced persons and refugees looking for food, for

12 money, for everything, for cars, for property, taking

13 all this over.

14 And, of course, the third reason was the

15 organisation of those particular units, that is to say,

16 the village guards. That is the third -- or this

17 situation is the third reason which led to the

18 formation of these village guards in the villages

19 themselves.

20 Q. Thank you. The village guards, in the course

21 of 1992, were in no way formed within any military

22 organisation, either in the Muslim villages or the

23 Croatian villages; is that correct?

24 A. Yes, that is correct. They were independent

25 units, independent commanders. They were

Page 17344

1 self-proclaimed. Somebody in a village would say, "I

2 am the commander, I am going to be the leader. You are

3 going to be responsible for going to your shifts, for

4 guarding the front line," and so on. There was no

5 military organisation, in actual fact.

6 Q. Mr. Nakic, your people, that is to say, your

7 neighbours, elected you as the local commander of the

8 village guards; is that correct?

9 A. Yes. This took place in August. Somebody

10 suddenly had it in his mind to choose somebody with

11 some military training and was versed in matters of

12 organisation, and they found me and appointed me as the

13 local commander for two or three villages -- three or

14 four villages in the vicinity.

15 Q. Tell me something else with respect to the

16 village guards. Who armed these people? Where did

17 they get their weapons from?

18 A. Well, most of them did what they could,

19 fended for themselves.

20 Q. So there was no organised supply of weapons

21 at that time?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Was there any difference on the Muslim and

24 Croatian side in that respect?

25 A. Well, it was the same on both sides --

Page 17345

1 Q. Thank you very much.

2 A. -- except for the fact that the Muslims did

3 have some weapons, which I don't know where they were.

4 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, the BH army, which

5 evolved from the Territorial Defence, to say the least,

6 at the end of 1992 and 1993, did have three basic or

7 even four basic strongholds in Vitez. In the Vitez

8 municipality, I mean. Could you please confirm this or

9 put me right if I'm wrong?

10 In Preocica, that is to say, the village on

11 the northern side of the road, the 325th BH Brigade had

12 its headquarters; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Could you tell us, please -- give us a time

15 frame, when this was founded?

16 A. Well, it was sometime in October.

17 Q. In the autumn of 1992, approximately?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. In Kruscica, for the Kruscica and

20 Vranjska region, we had the 1st Battalion of the BH

21 army and its command and headquarters?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. In Poculica, for the area of -- I apologise

24 to the interpreters. I'm being a little fast.

25 In Poculica, for the Poculica and Ahmici

Page 17346

1 region and the surrounding villages, the 2nd Battalion

2 was located of the 325th Brigade of the BH army; is

3 that correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And finally in Bukve, for the Bukve, Sadovace

6 and Grbavica area, there was the 3rd Battalion, was

7 there not?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What was the outcome of the BH army at the

10 beginning of 1993? As we're now entering 1993, that

11 was the situation you came upon?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And the 4th was in Stari Vitez?

14 A. You're quite right, yes. The 4th was,

15 indeed, in Stari Vitez. I did have that in mind, but I

16 forgot to mention it. Thank you.

17 Q. As you have mentioned Stari Vitez, so that we

18 don't have to go back to the question later on, do you,

19 as a soldier, as a military man, agree that Vitez was a

20 military stronghold? Stari Vitez, I apologise.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you said that the 325th Brigade battalion

23 was there. Do you happen to know how many men the unit

24 numbered?

25 A. It numbered between six and seven hundred

Page 17347













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Page 17348

1 soldiers.

2 Q. In Stari Vitez alone, you mean?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You therefore consider that this included all

5 the conscripts who were, in fact, mobilised?

6 A. Yes. Everybody was mobilised.

7 Q. Do you agree that that unit was armed?

8 A. Well, not at first. But later on, yes.

9 Q. On the 16th of April, when the conflict took

10 place, it was armed?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Do you agree that despite the encirclement,

13 it did have some supply lines?

14 A. I think it did, yes.

15 Q. Do you agree that despite at least two

16 offensive military actions on the part of the HVO,

17 Stari Vitez resisted and the HVO did not succeed in the

18 taking of the region?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And that situation went on for approximately

21 11 months?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. As a military man and knowing the situation,

24 as you were there yourself, were you able to conclude

25 that it was a militarily-defended location?

Page 17349

1 A. I think that it was defended voluntarily in a

2 military fashion, yes.

3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

4 [In English] Your Honour, just for the

5 record, but probably that will be corrected later on,

6 at line 19 the answer is registered not correctly. But

7 we will check that tomorrow.

8 Q. [Interpretation] Today you spoke a fair amount

9 about your role in the Joint Commission, in the Vitez

10 Commission. We will not revisit its function in

11 Busovaca. Let me try to sum up something, because I am

12 not sure whether I understand the relations.

13 The first level -- at the first level, you

14 were involved as a representative of the Central Bosnia

15 Operative Zone, and your counterpart from the 3rd Corps

16 was Dzemal Merdan?

17 A. That is correct.

18 Q. There were additional members there. You

19 could not remember all names. Vezir Jusufspahic?

20 A. Jusufspahic.

21 Q. He was one of Merdan's men?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Is it correct that he was a member of the

24 subcommittee regulating the passage, the free movement?

25 A. I'm sorry, I don't remember.

Page 17350

1 Q. Very well. At the lower level or the

2 sublevel of the Joint Commission, the details and

3 implementation of decisions and agreements made by you

4 were implemented?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And then the Vitez Brigade and the 333rd ABiH

7 Brigade were involved at this sublevel; is that

8 correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. At this level, is it your recollection that

11 there were the same negotiators or were they ad hoc?

12 A. It was -- it operated on a permanent basis

13 and it implemented the decisions that we agreed on.

14 Q. The methods of work in this body were the

15 same as the methods employed in the Busovaca period?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You had a morning meeting, briefing, you had

18 tours in the field, you discussed matters, and then you

19 offered solutions?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. This turned out to be a method that produced

22 results; correct?

23 A. Yes. There were good results.

24 Q. Brigadier, you know that Blaskic issued an

25 order in March of 1993 in which he appointed Mario

Page 17351

1 Cerkez commander of the Vitez Brigade?

2 A. Yes, I am familiar with that order.

3 Q. This was on the 23rd of March, to be

4 specific?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Brigadier, until then the brigade had not

7 existed; in fact, it was established then?

8 A. They did not exist.

9 Q. So we are talking about the new brigade in

10 the Vitez municipality starting around the 22nd, 23rd

11 of March, 1993?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. The "starting point," if I may put it in

14 quotes, it started out with the 2nd Battalion of the

15 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And its commander was Major Anto Bertovic?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did you know Anto Bertovic?

20 A. I knew Anto Bertovic because we were

21 neighbours. He's a young man who grew up in a fine

22 family. He went into the military academy. He was a

23 very intelligent and honourable man, and he would have

24 been a very fine soldier.

25 Q. Anto Bertovic was a professional soldier in

Page 17352

1 the JNA?

2 A. Yes. After the breakdown of the JNA, he left

3 it.

4 Q. In 1992 he joined the HVO?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I believe that Anto Bertovic was actively

7 involved in shifts against the Serbs and Chetniks in

8 both front lines in the north-west?

9 A. Yes, he was. He was leading a unit there.

10 Q. Very well. Thank you. When the open

11 conflict broke out on the 16th of April, as a soldier,

12 do you believe that the Vitez Brigade could have been

13 fully established?

14 A. Under no standards anywhere in the world

15 could it have been fully established, and the war came

16 to a close before it was fully established.

17 Q. Can I understand from this that, in fact --

18 and the establishment of this brigade was a continuing

19 process which went on until the end of the war?

20 A. In the time of peace it takes about six

21 months, and I know fully well what it takes to fully

22 establish it.

23 Q. Did you know, at least in basic terms, what

24 was the staff of the brigade? In other words, were

25 there any professional officers among them?

Page 17353

1 A. I believe with the exception of Bertovic,

2 there was no single professional soldier among them.

3 Q. But were there any people who had some

4 experience at least with the Ministry of Defence?

5 A. I think that there was one who had some

6 experience with the TO and one with the Ministry of

7 Defence work.

8 Q. Earlier, it was mentioned, and I believe it

9 may have been through the previous witness, but I would

10 like to clarify it: Would you agree that the ABiH, in

11 its offensives during 1993, tried to cut through the

12 Vitez pocket, at least in one area, and conquer the

13 area in that way?

14 A. Yes. The army tried to do it, and that is

15 between Slivcica and Kruscica. This is the narrowest

16 area of the pocket, the distance being only two

17 kilometres.

18 Q. As a layman, can I understand that that is

19 exactly why they tried to do it, because it was at its

20 narrowest?

21 A. Yes. And at Kruscica and Slivcica, they had

22 their strongest concentration of troops.

23 Q. If you had been the commander of the ABiH,

24 would you also have used that area for such a plan?

25 A. Yes, I would have, because not only the

Page 17354

1 distance but the configuration of terrain would have

2 led me to it.

3 Q. Brigadier --

4 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm going to refer

5 to milinfosum number 68, dated July 6th, which is

6 admitted as D58-2, but I don't think we have to put it

7 on the witness, because it's, anyway, on English,

8 anyway. It's just one sentence from one paragraph and

9 one sentence from another subject, another paragraph.

10 Q. [Interpretation] In a document of the British

11 Battalion of 6 July 1993, it is stated as follows: "As

12 communicated before, the last remaining supply route

13 for the HVO running through Sebesic has been cut off by

14 ABiH in the night of 2nd July, 1993." Does that

15 coincide with what you knew?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. So can we agree that in early July, the last

18 land route of the Vitez pocket was cut off?

19 A. Yes. The last supply route for the HVO.

20 Q. After that there was no other supply, either

21 a weapons supply or food supply into the pocket?

22 A. There was nothing. Not even birds could fly

23 through.

24 Q. In the same milinfosum of the British

25 Battalion, in paragraph 4, I'm going to read the

Page 17355

1 passage and then ask you a question: "Fikret Cuskic,

2 commander of the 17th Krajina Brigade, claims that

3 Mario Cerkez, commander of the Vitez HVO Brigade, has

4 issued an order to his troops in which it says that all

5 ABiH soldiers who may be taken prisoner will be killed

6 and that awards will be given for parts of their

7 bodies, including 400 German marks for an ear and

8 400 for a finger. This information has apparently been

9 acquired from a captured HVO person on whom a cut off

10 ear was found."

11 A question for you: Have you ever heard that

12 any HVO commander in the Vitez pocket issued such an

13 order to his soldiers?

14 A. No. That is not true and this is a pure

15 lie. I never heard anything like that.

16 Q. Brigadier, earlier, you mentioned Blaskic's

17 position and orders which issued from such positions.

18 Had any subordinate commander, subordinate to Blaskic,

19 issued such an order -- and you know Blaskic very

20 well -- how would Blaskic have reacted?

21 A. Knowing Blaskic as a man, I think that he

22 would have had a personal confrontation with such a

23 person.

24 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, would you agree with

25 me -- first of all, have you ever heard of this person,

Page 17356

1 Fikret Cuskic?

2 A. Yes. He was an intelligence officer in the

3 former JNA, and I believe he was well-versed in

4 propaganda. In the former JNA he was an intelligence

5 officer.

6 Q. So you will agree with me that such

7 information could have been part of the propaganda war

8 or the intelligence war, if you will?

9 A. Yes. And it could have been enforced.

10 Q. Now, Brigadier, the 17th Krajina Brigade had

11 the reputation of being an aggressive brigade?

12 A. Yes. They caused a lot of fear among the

13 Croatian population.

14 Q. Rumours went around that they were involved

15 in crimes against civilian population?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. According to these rumours, was that the most

18 notorious or the most odious unit of the ABiH?

19 A. After the 7th Muslim Brigade, it was the

20 second most notorious one.

21 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm just about to

22 go on the next subject, and I think it would be

23 probably be a very convenient time for recess.

24 JUDGE MAY: How much longer do you anticipate

25 being?

Page 17357

1 MR. KOVACIC: I'm quite confident, Your

2 Honour, that I could wrap up this in less than an

3 hour.

4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn it up

5 now.

6 Brigadier Nakic, could you remember, please,

7 not to speak to anybody about your evidence during the

8 adjournment and indeed until it is over, and that does

9 include members of the Defence team.

10 Would you be back, please, at half past two.

11 A. I understand.

12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.














Page 17358













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14 English and French transcripts












Page 17359

1 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.

3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour,

4 before we resume, a very small comment.

5 I observed an error in the transcript at page

6 86, when the witness was asked whether Stari Vitez was

7 a defended position and he said, "Yes, very well

8 defended," and the transcript reflects that he said

9 that it was defended voluntarily. So that is the

10 correction which we would like entered.

11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

12 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

13 Your Honours, may I continue?

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

15 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

16 Q. Brigadier, in the course of 1992, towards the

17 end of the year, as you know, an inter-municipal

18 brigade was established. It was named Stjepan

19 Tomasevic, and it was headquartered in Novi Travnik?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. This brigade was established and financed by

22 two municipalities, Novi Travnik and Vitez?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Mr. Nakic, would you agree that the only and

25 exclusive task of this brigade and their zone of

Page 17360

1 responsibility were in the north-west, that is, due

2 north-west of Travnik on the front line against the

3 aggressor?

4 A. Yes. This was Strikano Simesan [phoen],

5 Slatka Vodica, and Komenjas. That is how the defence

6 line ran.

7 Q. Later on in the course of 1993, as we already

8 mentioned today, in the latter part of March 1993 the

9 Vitez Brigade was established as a municipal brigade

10 for the Vitez municipality, and it continued to hold

11 and maintain the line against the JNA and their

12 paramilitary allies, the local Serbs?

13 A. Yes, but it was not established. An order on

14 its establishment was issued.

15 Q. In other words, you're trying to say that it

16 did not exist in reality at the time when the order was

17 actually issued?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Mr. Nakic, yesterday we heard from your

20 colleague, Witness Filipovic, a fairly detailed

21 account, and I'm not going to recount it here, that

22 sometime in the middle of 1993 -- in fact, let me

23 correct myself, 1992 -- there was a lot of talk and

24 attempts were made to establish a joint brigade which

25 would include both the HVO and the TO in order to

Page 17361

1 reinforce the defence against the JNA and the Serbs.

2 In that context, one of the attempts was mentioned in

3 these meetings. It was supposed to be called the 1st

4 Vitez Brigade. You were nominated --

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we'll get on more

6 quickly if we can just have quick questions, please.

7 There's no need to go over what's been said earlier.

8 Can we move more quickly?

9 MR. KOVACIC: I certainly will, Your Honour.

10 The intention was to make it shorter, but obviously

11 it's not good enough.

12 [Interpretation] Can I ask the usher's

13 assistance to distribute a document and place it in

14 front of the witness so we can speed things up,

15 please.

16 Q. Mr. Nakic, you will get the document

17 momentarily. Would you please review it and tell us

18 whether you can say whether this document was a product

19 of these attempts which we have just mentioned.

20 A. Yes. This document is a proposal for the 1st

21 Vitez Brigade which was to be established in Vitez, and

22 its composition would have been mixed. The Crisis

23 Staff tabled this idea, the Crisis Staff headed by

24 Mr. Santic.

25 Q. In other words, Mr. Nakic, this was a

Page 17362

1 municipal initiative?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. In Vitez?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You know, of course, that unfortunately this

6 plan was never implemented?

7 A. A number of people met in the TO

8 headquarters, and its commander was Hakija. We

9 compiled this document. We sent it for confirmation,

10 but we never received any reply.

11 Q. This document, as it is drafted, says that

12 all involved parties should agree to this document?

13 A. Yes, that they should agree to it.

14 Q. On the one side, it's the HVO and the HDZ,

15 and on the other side, the TO and the SDA; is that

16 correct?

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. The fact is that you received no reply to it,

19 but do you know who did not agree to it? Did you ever

20 receive an answer?

21 A. We never received an answer, so I do not know

22 who did not agree to it.

23 Q. Very well. Do you know whether there were

24 any other steps taken, preparatory steps, to establish

25 this brigade; for example, that their ID cards were

Page 17363

1 printed already?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And there were some steps taken in the

4 logistics area?

5 A. We established a logistics service to do

6 these things, but nothing actually happened.

7 Q. And all this was done in order to reinforce

8 the defence against the JNA?

9 A. Yes.

10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Can I please

11 have a number for this document?

12 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked

13 D67/2.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Mr. Nakic, did you, in the course of 1993,

16 have any contacts, in the military sense of the word,

17 with the accused Mr. Cerkez?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you ever talk to him regarding the

20 organisation of the defence lines?

21 A. You mean against the Serbian army?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. No. Only when I was appointed to the staff

24 did I get involved in that.

25 Q. Which was later?

Page 17364

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you know whether Cerkez was involved in

3 any significant operations against the Serbs in 1992?

4 A. Yes, I heard of such operations.

5 Q. Mr. Nakic, you told us that you came to the

6 Central Bosnia Operative Zone after it had been moved

7 to the Hotel Vitez, immediately after it was moved

8 there. Do you know why it was transferred from

9 Kruscica down to the town of Vitez?

10 A. I don't know the reason.

11 Q. During your examination-in-chief, you

12 mentioned Zoran Matosevic, an HVO soldier who was

13 killed during the melee surrounding the convoy and that

14 he just happened to be around in uniform and carrying a

15 weapon. Do you know where that was?

16 A. In Stara Bila near the restaurant Brale,

17 which is about a hundred metres from this soldier's

18 house.

19 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, is it true, in

20 relation to the convoy, that the problems with the

21 convoy -- that the incident started in the territory of

22 Novi Travnik?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Is it true that once the convoy made it to

25 Vitez that this was an attempt to consolidate the

Page 17365

1 convoy and secure its passage?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Do you know that one of the places where the

4 vehicles were supposed to be gathered was in the quarry

5 in Mosunj?

6 A. I heard about that.

7 Q. Very well. Mr. Nakic, given your position in

8 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, I would like you to

9 answer me whether you know that there existed an MTD,

10 which is Motorised Artillery Division. Did it exist?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Do you remember who was its commander?

13 A. There were several Commanders, but at first I

14 would --

15 Q. Who was the first?

16 A. Bratunac.

17 Q. And after him?

18 A. Ramljak.

19 Q. Thank you. In the structure of Central

20 Bosnia Operative Zone, in addition to this MTD, there

21 was something called PZO or anti-aircraft defence?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Who was its commander?

24 A. I think the first name may be Nikica, last

25 name Hakic. I'm not sure. I can't recall.

Page 17366

1 Q. Of course, and a lot of time has passed. Was

2 this perhaps a person who had a skin disease which was

3 characteristic of him; psoriasis?

4 A. That was Josip Ramljak. And Zvonko Bajo was

5 the deputy artilleryman.

6 Q. In this MTD unit, according to the

7 establishment, did it include guns of calibre

8 120 millimetre and higher?

9 A. Yes, 120 and up.

10 Q. Very well. And as far as the PZO, the

11 anti-aircraft defence is concerned, is it true that

12 they possessed a 40-millimetre PAT, a 20-millimetre

13 one, and 12.7-multiple-barrel or single-barrel PAMs?

14 A. I think so.

15 Q. Do you know the provenance of these weapons?

16 A. The PATs belonged to the SPS, Slobodan

17 Princip Seljo factory, and some of them came from the

18 anti-aircraft defence.

19 Q. And these two units were also subordinate to

20 the commander of the --

21 A. -- Operative Zone.

22 Q. Yes. That is what I was trying to say.

23 Mr. Nakic, I want to move to another area which I don't

24 think has been touched so far. You worked in a textile

25 factory in Vitez?

Page 17367

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It produced uniforms?

3 A. Before the war.

4 Q. You mean during 1992?

5 A. In 1992.

6 Q. It was producing for the open market?

7 A. Yes. It was market oriented.

8 Q. Did it also produce things for the HVO?

9 A. No, for the TO.

10 Q. Oh, you mean TO as well?

11 A. Exclusively TO.

12 Q. And the HVO never bought anything from them?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Is it true that this factory was attacked?

15 A. Yes. Fifty uniforms were taken.

16 Q. When was this?

17 A. In the spring of 1992.

18 Q. Mr. Nakic, did people talk during the war

19 that at some instances BH army used uniforms that did

20 not belong to it?

21 A. I did not hear of that.

22 Q. During your examination-in-chief today, you

23 said something about the soldiers in the Vitez area who

24 wore the HV patches even after they were warned not to

25 do so, and you said that you could name some names. Is

Page 17368

1 it true that one of these individuals was Kreso Garic?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Do you know that Kreso Garic lived in Gacice?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you perhaps know that Kreso Garic

6 literally lived in Zagreb and in Gacice before the

7 war?

8 A. Yes. He lived in Gacice and then moved to

9 Zagreb.

10 JUDGE MAY: What is the relevance of all this

11 detail? How is it going to assist us?

12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, the relevance --

13 there is a claim that soldiers with HV patches were in

14 the units in the Viteska Brigade.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. And the witness has given

16 an explanation already.

17 MR. KOVACIC: If I may, Your Honour, one of

18 the explanations, particularly for this person, and I

19 know some others, is that they actually, before the

20 war, lived in two places, in Zagreb and in Vitez, and

21 it was only natural, being a volunteer in that war in

22 the Republic of Croatia and when that finished or

23 calmed down, better to say, they joined.

24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Put it quickly, could

25 you, please, Mr. Kovacic.


Page 17369













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14 English and French transcripts












Page 17370

1 MR. KOVACIC: I think we are done.

2 Q. [Interpretation] So you agree that Kreso

3 Garic lived both in Zagreb and Gacice?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you know that he was a volunteer in

6 Croatia?

7 A. Yes, I know this.

8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

9 Brigadier, thank you for your answers, and I have no

10 further questions.

11 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

12 Q. Just before I forget, Brigadier -- and I'm

13 asking you some questions for the Prosecution -- just

14 before I forget, the truth about Kreso Garic, is it not

15 or was it not, that in fact he lived in Zagreb for 18

16 years, as I think we've heard in evidence in this case,

17 and came back especially to fight in this war, and he's

18 returned to Zagreb since; correct?

19 A. No, that is not correct. Kreso grew up in

20 Vitez, went to school in Vitez, and when he came to

21 Vitez from Zagreb, he was almost 30 years old.

22 Therefore, it was because he could not get work in

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina that he went to Zagreb for a time

24 and lived there. I know the family well. I know his

25 brother and his sister and his mother, I know them

Page 17371

1 personally. I know where their house is. I know

2 everything about him, and that is the truth.

3 Q. Was it 18 years that he had been in Zagreb?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Let's go to some other general matters

6 first.

7 Have you made any other statements, apart

8 from the summary that you have before you or you had

9 before you? Have you still got that summary with you?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Why not?

12 A. I just gave the statement which I signed.

13 Q. Yes. I mean have you physically got that

14 summary with you that you've been looking at this

15 morning?

16 A. I haven't got it at the moment.

17 Q. Where have you put it?

18 A. It's in my bag. I didn't think I needed it.

19 Q. Because although I didn't ask to look at it,

20 it's different from the version we've got. Is it a

21 document in your own language?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You've signed the English version. Have you

24 signed the original Croatian-language version?

25 A. No, just the English-language version. But I

Page 17372

1 read it through beforehand and saw what it said in my

2 mother tongue, in Croatian, and I consider that this

3 English-language version is the same because it was

4 translated for me on the spot.

5 Q. It's right, isn't it, this morning that from

6 time to time, in fact quite regularly -- and I don't

7 blame you for this -- you were, in fact, looking at and

8 reading from the version that you had open in front of

9 you?

10 A. Just to recollect the dates and the time at

11 which things happened.

12 Q. I'll go back to my first question. Have you

13 made any other statements at all to any other

14 authorities?

15 A. I gave a statement for the Defence of

16 Mr. Blaskic, and a statement for the Defence of

17 Mr. Kupreskic, and this statement which I gave now for

18 this Defence.

19 Q. But you haven't given any statements to

20 police or intelligence or military authorities about

21 the events with which we are concerned, or have you?

22 A. No, I didn't give them to anyone.

23 Q. And when were you first asked to think back,

24 by lawyers acting for Mr. Kordic, in order that your

25 summary or statement might be prepared?

Page 17373

1 A. On the 30th of March, exactly, this year.

2 Q. You, in your position as Chief of Staff,

3 spent many hours and days with Blaskic, didn't you?

4 A. Yes, but from June onwards. Up until June,

5 very little. I was more with international

6 organisations and Mr. Merdan than I was with

7 Mr. Blaskic.

8 Q. Give us an idea then, please, of the degree

9 of time you were with him. Was it every day, part of

10 the day, or was it one day a week or whatever? You

11 tell us.

12 A. Up to the formation of the commission in

13 Busovaca, I can say that was the whole of January when

14 we worked on the organisation of the staff and the

15 units. And then the whole time in Busovaca, apart

16 from, let's say, two or three hours a week because of

17 formations. And then in the Joint Command, very

18 rarely, only for information purposes. I informed him

19 of the situation and received orders from him. So that

20 period, it is true, I was not with Blaskic a great

21 deal. But from June on, I was with him constantly.

22 Q. And from June on, you'll be able to confirm

23 that he was a meticulous keeper of records of

24 everything that was going on?

25 A. All the officers of the HVO had their

Page 17374

1 official notes which they kept at meetings. I myself

2 had an official note of this kind, and so did

3 Mr. Blaskic, and everything that was done in the course

4 of the day or the course of the night, and these notes

5 existed. I think that Mr. Blaskic had his notes as

6 well.

7 Q. Your notes cover the whole period of time,

8 including the period when you were working on the Joint

9 Commission?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Where are those notes now?

12 A. I gave my notes to friends of General Blaskic

13 in 1996. I have received information that they have

14 been destroyed and no longer exist. They are five

15 books or notebooks. So at the end of 1996 for them to

16 serve him. They were of use to him.

17 Q. According to what you've been told, how did

18 it come about that your notes were destroyed?

19 A. I didn't go into the matter. I just haven't

20 got the notes, that's all.

21 Q. Help me, please. These are your own notes of

22 this war. They must obviously be of potential

23 importance to you and to others facing a trial;

24 correct?

25 A. Yes. Those notes meant my life to me at

Page 17375

1 that period from 1992 to 1996, and as I was the Chief

2 of Staff with Mr. Blaskic and also a great friend of

3 his, I had no reason not to give those notes. However,

4 it happened, and I really regret it, because those

5 notes might come in use tomorrow for the writing of

6 history and ultimately for my granddaughter as well,

7 for her to know where her grandfather was so she

8 shouldn't be ashamed of it.

9 Q. And to which friends did you give these notes

10 that they were destroyed?

11 A. It was the escort of Mr. Blaskic.

12 Q. Do you know the name?

13 A. Thomas.

14 Q. That's the total name or is there another

15 part to the name?

16 A. That's just his name. I don't know his

17 surname.

18 Q. And were these notes supposed to go to

19 Blaskic's lawyers or were they supposed to go to

20 Blaskic?

21 A. To Mr. Blaskic directly.

22 Q. Do you know, one way or another, whether he

23 ever made them available to his lawyers, who of course

24 saw you for the preparation of a statement?

25 A. I'm not aware of that.

Page 17376

1 Q. So who destroyed them?

2 A. I don't know.

3 Q. How do you know they were destroyed?

4 A. Well, I received that information.

5 Q. Yes. From?

6 A. Well, I heard, but not from Thomas. I heard

7 that those notes no longer existed.

8 Q. Was there anything in those notes, Brigadier,

9 that could have been damaging to Blaskic's case?

10 A. I don't think there was anything. It was

11 just my daily assignments, what I did in the

12 commissions and at my work post. There was nothing

13 detrimental to Blaskic. Blaskic probably needed them

14 because of the dates and the sequence of events that

15 took part as to that international commission and

16 everything else that happened on the ground, because I

17 kept them very diligently, the days, the months, the

18 time and everything else. Apart from that, there was

19 nothing interesting for the Blaskic Defence case.

20 Q. Did you record in those notes your attitude

21 to what happened at Ahmici?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Are you sure?

24 A. Sure, I'm sure.

25 Q. Is it possibly the case -- and I'll return to

Page 17377

1 this much later, but think about it, please -- is it

2 possibly the case that you entered somewhere, as a

3 record perhaps to safeguard your own position,

4 reservations about what was being done by Blaskic?

5 A. Certainly, no.

6 Q. You had quite a lot of encounters with

7 officers from BritBat, didn't you?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Honourable men, were they?

10 A. Yes. Very honourable men, I would say.

11 Q. Did you find them to be evenhanded in their

12 approach to the warring factions?

13 A. Where I was located at all events, yes.

14 Q. You never saw them or felt them -- in their

15 analysis of events or description of events, you never

16 thought them to be bias, in favour of one side or the

17 other?

18 A. No, I didn't have occasion to notice that

19 from what I saw.

20 Q. I have to tell you that Colonel Stewart spoke

21 well of you and of your qualities, so that you can know

22 that the views are reciprocated.

23 In April '92, you weren't involved in all

24 this, of course, but were you aware of the formation of

25 the HVO in April '92?

Page 17378

1 A. I don't understand your question.

2 Q. When was the HVO first formed?

3 A. I have already said that the HVO was formed

4 from the units -- the village units, the village

5 guards, and that was on the 8th of April, and that they

6 were the first units to stand guard in the villages.

7 And it was from these units that the HVO units were

8 formed later on in the course of the war itself. And

9 on the 8th -- that is, on the 8th of April, 1992.

10 Q. Were you aware of what sort of political

11 structures, what sort of political activity, lay behind

12 the creation of the HVO?

13 A. I'm not aware of that. I was a man outside

14 politics, and I joined the HVO only because I felt that

15 I should be there, and that is because I wanted to

16 defend Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Serbian aggression.

17 Q. Are you telling us that you had no

18 understanding that the HVO was connected to the

19 HDZ-BiH?

20 A. The HVO, for me, were the units of the

21 Croatian people which organised themselves in order to

22 fight against the Serbs, for those purposes.

23 Q. Were you not aware of any connection between

24 the HVO and the Community of Herceg-Bosna?

25 A. Herceg-Bosna was a community of the Croatian

Page 17379

1 people which was proclaimed in order to set up power

2 and authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina because there was

3 general chaos and so it was established in that

4 manner. In Herceg-Bosna, at that time, in order to

5 organise the Croatian people, the authorities were

6 formed and the government was formed and the commands

7 were set up with the task of establishing an army of

8 the Croatian people.

9 Q. And so you were aware that what you were

10 joining -- Is this correct? -- was a Croatian rather

11 than a mixed army?

12 A. Not the Croatian army but an army of the

13 HVO.

14 Q. Of Croats as opposed to an army of Croats and

15 Muslims. You were aware that you were joining such an

16 army?

17 A. I joined up in this army because the HVO in

18 my village where I joined was a purely Croatian

19 village.

20 Q. You could have joined the BiH but you chose

21 to join the HVO. You're saying this was simply by

22 chance because of where you lived or was this a choice

23 that you made?

24 A. I joined up in the place where I lived, and

25 where I lived, the HVO -- there is no BH army in my

Page 17380













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14 English and French transcripts












Page 17381

1 place of living. All that was organised were the night

2 watches and the night watchmen, and I joined them,

3 these village guards. At any rate, the BH army didn't

4 exist at the time.

5 Q. The reason I ask you these questions is from

6 what you've been saying this morning, it might be

7 thought that you're suggesting that this entire war

8 was -- not the entire war, but the war between the

9 Bosnians and the Croats was caused entirely by

10 territorial ambition of the Bosnian Muslims. Is that

11 what you're saying?

12 A. I said, and I won't deny it, that that is my

13 opinion, that the war in Central Bosnia arose because

14 of the pre-tensions in Central Bosnia by the refugees

15 from Krajina and Eastern Bosnia, and the war would

16 never have come about in Bosnia and Central Bosnia were

17 it not for these refugees and people that came in from

18 elsewhere.

19 Q. Yes. I think you made the point that people

20 lived well together before the war, but once, for

21 whatever reason, disquiet started, are you saying that

22 everything was caused by the territorial ambition of

23 the Muslims?

24 A. Yes, the Muslims, but those who came to the

25 territory of Central Bosnia.

Page 17382

1 Q. I see. Do you allow at all for the

2 possibility that the creation of the Community of

3 Herceg-Bosna had its own territorial ambitions?

4 A. I am not aware of that.

5 Q. Well, now, staying with May of 1992, and I

6 may have to come back a little later to deal with some

7 documents in relation to this, in May where were you?

8 Where were you living?

9 A. I lived in my village, Marasi. I worked in a

10 children's clothing factory.

11 Q. Which was in which town?

12 A. Vitez. The municipality of Vitez.

13 Q. And the roads were open at that stage?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Were you aware of the takeover by the HVO of

16 key installations in your neighbouring town of

17 Busovaca, not very many kilometres away?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Because by the middle of May, from what you

20 can see, there could be no justification for that,

21 could there?

22 A. According to me, no.

23 Q. Were you aware that the Territorial Defence

24 was subject of an order of annulment or dissolution?

25 A. No. For -- I don't know such piece of news.

Page 17383

1 Q. Who would have the authority to give, to make

2 such an order, in your judgement, at that time,

3 please? Who would have the authority to dissolve the

4 Territorial Defence?

5 A. Only the Crisis Staff, which was joint at the

6 time, but I'm not sure that it issued it.

7 Q. So that if an order was made by Mr. Kordic,

8 that wouldn't really be justified, would it, on your

9 own account of events at the time?

10 A. It would not be justified. I'm sure he

11 didn't issue it.

12 Q. Were you aware, still outside the army, but

13 were you aware of agreements about the distribution of

14 weapons, that is, the weapons of the JNA, between

15 different interest groups?

16 A. No, I did not know of that. I was working in

17 the economic sector. I was not familiar with these

18 things.

19 Q. Again, would it surprise you if, at that

20 time, such an agreement, an agreement to divide

21 weapons, was annulled simply by the hand of Mr. Kordic

22 and Mr. Brnada in Busovaca? Would that surprise you?

23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

24 my apology. Objection. The witness said that he had

25 no personal knowledge of this. I don't know why

Page 17384

1 counsel is pursuing this questioning.

2 JUDGE MAY: He can ask the witness about it.

3 Whether the answer is of great assistance, I rather

4 doubt.


6 Q. Were you aware -- I'll just get the full

7 name -- of a man called Zarko Andric, also known as

8 Zuti?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. On the 11th of May of 1992, he expelled a

11 Muslim from his home in Nova Bila. You must have been

12 aware about that.

13 A. No, I was not aware of it.

14 Q. Nova Bila is known to you rather well, isn't

15 it?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Such an incident would be hard not to learn

18 of, wouldn't it? How could you not have known of it if

19 it happened?

20 A. Perhaps it was an isolated case, but I told

21 you I did not get involved in such things. I was doing

22 my own work. A lot of citizens did not get involved.

23 This incident could have taken place, but it may have

24 been an individual case, so I don't know about it.

25 Q. We'll return to Zuti later, but when you were

Page 17385

1 eventually working for Blaskic, you never learned of

2 Zuti having been expelling a Muslim or Muslims, and you

3 certainly never learnt of his being disciplined by

4 Blaskic for it, did you?

5 A. No, I never knew that.

6 Q. On the 21st of May did you ever -- on the

7 21st of May there was a killing of a person named

8 Trako. Did you ever hear of that at all?

9 A. No.

10 Q. You've given some very emphatic opinions

11 about Mr. Kordic's authority or limited authority. Was

12 that built on what you discovered both from dealing

13 with him but also from being close to Blaskic?

14 A. During the war, I met Kordic on several

15 occasions. I very rarely spoke about Kordic with

16 Blaskic. We just did not have time. On the basis of

17 the close relationship which I developed with him, I

18 saw him as an honourable man.

19 Q. You see, I want to you look at a document,

20 please. Exhibit 120 it will be.

21 JUDGE MAY: This has been exhibited, has it?

22 MR. NICE: I'm sorry. It's already been

23 exhibited. Sorry. Exhibit 120.

24 Q. I'd just ask you this, if you'd look at it,

25 please -- it's before your time, of course, but I want

Page 17386

1 your comment on it. It's an order of the 1st of June,

2 from the Croatian Community in Busovaca, whereby the

3 Vares municipal headquarters is ordered to send a unit

4 of 30 soldiers, on receipt of the order, to Tarcin Do

5 because of the imminent danger, and it's signed by

6 Kostroman and Kordic.

7 Now, are you saying that that doesn't fit

8 with your experience of Kordic at the time you were

9 working for Blaskic?

10 A. Yes, I see this order, and I believe it does

11 not fit into the command. I see Kordic's signature,

12 but he could not have commanded units.

13 Q. You see, as Chief of Staff, you were very

14 close to Blaskic and, therefore, you may know a great

15 deal, you may know a great deal about what happened

16 militarily, and I wondered if you have any explanation

17 for how this sort of order could come into being, from

18 what you've subsequently discovered.

19 A. This was during the period of time when I was

20 not with the staff, and I don't know how it came to

21 be.

22 Q. Thank you. One possibility to which I'm

23 going to return, and I'd like you to have it in mind,

24 is this: That although you were used for certain tasks

25 by Blaskic, you may have been, to some degree, an

Page 17387

1 outsider and that your views didn't entirely match

2 his. Is that a possibility?

3 A. I was subordinate to Blaskic. I carried out

4 Blaskic's orders. Whatever he ordered, I carried out,

5 so there were no contradictory views in relation to

6 what Blaskic communicated to me and what I communicated

7 back to him.

8 Q. On the 19th of June of 1992, the municipal

9 buildings and the police station in Vitez were taken

10 over by HOS soldiers. Do you remember that?

11 A. I only heard of it. But, no, I don't

12 remember how it happened, because at the time I was not

13 there. I heard about it as a citizen.

14 Q. When you say you weren't there, you mean you

15 weren't there in the area or you just weren't there on

16 that particular day?

17 A. No, I heard it happened, but I was not there,

18 not at the site. I had not passed by that place in

19 those days. I had no business in the area.

20 Q. And with which group did you associate HOS at

21 that time, the HVO or the BiH?

22 A. Initially, HOS was both associated with the

23 TO and the HVO.

24 Q. Was there an attack on Novi Travnik, wider

25 than just the incident involving the municipal building

Page 17388

1 and the police station, on that same day in the

2 evening?

3 A. I know very little about the attack on Novi

4 Travnik. At that time, I was in my own village. I

5 could hear fire, but I know next to nothing about what

6 went on in Novi Travnik.

7 Q. But by that time, Brigadier, citizen as you

8 were rather than soldier, the Muslims hadn't done

9 anything to bring on themselves such an attack, had

10 they?

11 A. I don't know. But there were incidents

12 provoked by both sides, blockade of roads and other

13 things. Inner frictions within the TO headquarters, I

14 heard about that too. I believe that we were unable to

15 form the 1st Vitez Brigade because of these frictions

16 within the TO headquarters, which at that time still

17 had both Croats and Muslims as its members.

18 Q. By "friction within the headquarters", do you

19 mean that the Territorial Defence declined to surrender

20 to the HVO? Is that what you mean by "friction"?

21 A. No. I don't even know that it was supposed

22 to surrender.

23 MR. NICE: Incidentally, Your Honour, the

24 last exhibit marked as produced, there may be some

25 ambiguity about its production because there's still a

Page 17389

1 small outstanding issue on exhibits, their production

2 and so on, obviously which shouldn't take the time of

3 the Court when there are witnesses available. By way

4 of belt and braces, may I produce it, if necessary.

5 May the witness see Exhibit 139, please.

6 Q. This again is outside your period of military

7 involvement, and it relates to the Croatian Defence

8 Council in Vares, and it's an order that that council

9 should allow uninterrupted activity to the Croatian

10 Defence Council of Ilijas. Now -- and to provide them

11 with an office. When you were working for Blaskic,

12 Vares was subject to his general command, was it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Would you expect this sort of matter to be

15 dealt with by a military person or by a politician?

16 A. Only military personnel.

17 Q. We see, don't we, that it's signed by

18 Kostroman and Kordic. Does that seem surprising to

19 you, in view of the amount of information you were able

20 to get later?

21 A. I never heard of this and I did not know of

22 such orders. But in my view, if there was a Central

23 Bosnia Operative Zone command, it was supposed to issue

24 orders.

25 Q. Now, in the summer of 1992, again still

Page 17390

1 before your actual involvement, there were oath-taking

2 ceremonies and matters of that sort. Did you ever go

3 to any of them?

4 A. No, I never did.

5 Q. Did you see --

6 A. I was never present, nor did I ever take

7 oath.

8 Q. Did you see any of these events on the

9 television?

10 A. I saw it somewhere.

11 Q. Did it worry you that there were these

12 parades of single-ethnic-group soldiers taking oaths of

13 the type they did?

14 A. I never thought about it. I didn't have much

15 interest in such events.

16 Q. By the time of, say, an oath-taking in the

17 summer of 1992, the Muslims hadn't done anything to

18 justify themselves being subjugated, subject to the

19 Croats, had they?

20 A. I don't know that.

21 Q. Exhibit 202, please.

22 While it's coming, you'll be able to tell us

23 a little bit about the payment of troops. How were

24 troops paid? We'll look at the exhibit in a minute, if

25 that's all right. How were troops paid, Brigadier?

Page 17391













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14 English and French transcripts












Page 17392

1 A. When I arrived at the Operative Zone command,

2 there were no salaries, there were no payrolls, in the

3 army. I did not receive any salary until the end of

4 1994, so I don't know how the salaries were paid out,

5 whether it was out of the municipal budget. But

6 personally I never received a salary until sometime in

7 December 1994.

8 Q. Very well, then. Let's just look at this

9 note and see whether you have a comment to make on it.

10 It's a handwritten note purporting to be signed by

11 Ivica Rajic, and it reads: "In connection with

12 financial allowances for soldiers of your AB municipal

13 headquarters, Mr. Pejcinovic and Malbasic are to report

14 urgently to Mr. Dario Kordic." It's nearly the time

15 when you become involved, only a couple of months to

16 go. From what you discovered when you did join up, can

17 you explain how he would have the responsibility for

18 funding soldiers in the way described?

19 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, we objected to

20 this. I don't know what the -- I don't have my list of

21 objections with me and I don't know whether the

22 objections to this document were overruled. But

23 obviously --

24 JUDGE MAY: [Indiscernible]

25 MR. SAYERS: All right. I think that the

Page 17393

1 witness should be asked first has he seen this document

2 before, and if he has, then obviously questions about

3 it would be worthwhile. But I seem to recall that when

4 we were showing documents to people, during the course

5 of our examination, that they had not seen before, we

6 were not permitted to ask them any questions about it,

7 and probably justifiably so.

8 JUDGE MAY: The witness can be asked to

9 comment upon it.

10 MR. NICE: I'm quite happy to also ask the

11 question that Mr. Sayers would like to ask, for

12 completeness on this occasion.

13 Q. Have you, in fact, seen this document before?

14 A. No, never.

15 Q. Of course, Blaskic's headquarters would be

16 responsible for all matters, including salaries and

17 payments when they could be made, wouldn't it?

18 A. It should be, but I know that there were no

19 salaries.

20 Q. And therefore records in the office of this

21 meticulous record keeper did exist at the end of the

22 war, you would confirm, dealing with, amongst other

23 matters, this sort of topic; correct?

24 A. These notes are not necessarily true.

25 MR. NICE: Very well. May we have Exhibit

Page 17394

1 229, please.

2 And you remember my initial question about

3 whether this conflict arose from the territorial

4 ambitions of the Muslims or not? It's only because of

5 the way you described it that I'm asking you about

6 certain of these matters.

7 Now, this is a document that you won't have

8 seen before, and I'm only laying it before you so that

9 you can know why it is that I'm asking you the question

10 I am. This is the minutes of a meeting of the 30th of

11 the September of 1992.

12 Now, if in the course of that meeting --

13 JUDGE MAY: There should be a copy on the

14 ELMO.

15 MR. NICE: Yes, of course. Could the English

16 version go on the ELMO.

17 Q. Now, if in the course of this discussion --

18 the discussion, of course you didn't know about it, but

19 if in the course of this discussion Mr. Kordic was

20 concerned to have all refugees settled in a Muslim

21 municipality, would that have accorded with your

22 understanding of things at the time? There should be

23 division of people between one municipality and

24 another?

25 It's at page 4 on the English version. Was

Page 17395

1 it justified that things had, by that time, reached

2 such a past that Muslims should be kept separate or

3 should be obliged to go to Muslim communities only?

4 A. I never dealt with this document. I would

5 have to look into it. I would have to read through the

6 entire document, and I have my own opinion of it.

7 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we're going to be

8 assisted by further questioning. Yes, let's move on.


10 Q. My point remains, brigadier, that by these

11 times that I'm getting you to deal with at this stage,

12 you don't point to any evidence of the Muslims being so

13 aggressive or so territorial that they could

14 justifiably be treated as an enemy, do you?

15 A. I think that we did not act in such a way

16 until the attacks on our areas and villages were

17 launched, because when I was in the joint commission in

18 Busovaca and when we analysed together with the

19 International Community representatives, I remember we

20 came up with the number of 528, and 128 Muslim

21 households. So the question was: Who expelled whom in

22 Central Bosnia? One hundred and fifty thousand Croats

23 driven from their homes and about 50.000 Muslims, which

24 is a ratio of 3 to 1 against the Croats. They were

25 driven out. They were attacked.

Page 17396

1 Q. Later the tide may have turned because the

2 Muslims found strength they didn't have initially, but

3 I'm concerned with these early days. And help me with

4 this: Was it justified, in November of 1992, for

5 Muslims to be obliged to plead loyalty -- to pledge

6 loyalty to the HVO government or to lose their jobs?

7 Was this justified, brigadier?

8 A. I think that this didn't happen. I did not

9 hear of such cases. And as far as losing jobs, Croats

10 also lost jobs. My wife, who worked in the same

11 factory with the Muslims, lost her job in June of 1992

12 and never got it back. So jobs were being lost and

13 people went home, and both Croats and Muslims stayed in

14 other jobs until the conflict broke out in Vitez.

15 Q. What about the ten buildings, coffee shops,

16 restaurants, and so on belonging to Muslims, that were

17 blown up by HV soldiers in November 1992? No

18 conceivable justification for that, was there, in

19 Vitez?

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it was January. Yes.

21 Nothing turns on that.

22 MR. NICE:

23 Q. No justification, was there?

24 A. Yes, I remember that those cafes were blown

25 up, but for every Muslim business that was blown up,

Page 17397

1 even more Croat ones were blown up, and the motive

2 behind it was looting.

3 Q. So it was in this environment that you joined

4 up in November of 1992; is that correct?

5 A. I came --

6 MR. SAYERS: The form of the question was

7 "joined up." I think that that's unclear. Brigadier

8 Nakic has testified that he joined the HVO in April of

9 1992 and that he became the Chief of Staff in November

10 of 1992.

11 MR. NICE: Quite right. Joined up in the

12 sense of joining Blaskic in November 1992.

13 Q. The question remains: This is the

14 environment, and you were prepared to serve Blaskic

15 without any hesitation?

16 A. I accepted the order to work in the

17 headquarters of the Operative Zone on the 1st of

18 December, 1992, when there was still heavy fighting

19 against the Serbs and there was no fighting against the

20 Bosnian Muslims.

21 Q. That was a couple of days after a meeting of

22 the Mixed Military Working Group in Sarajevo, wasn't

23 it? Do you remember that?

24 A. I don't know about that working group.

25 Q. Did you have no knowledge of the fact that it

Page 17398

1 was being represented or that your representative on it

2 was Kordic?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Neither on that meeting, nor, for example, at

5 the meeting in December, at the end of the December?

6 No knowledge of that either?

7 A. In December, yes, I heard that he went to a

8 meeting.

9 Q. And can you understand why he was called

10 "colonel"?

11 A. Well, in the HVO, nobody had the rank of

12 colonel. They called Mr. Filipovic "colonel" and

13 Mr. Blaskic "colonel" and other officers too, referring

14 to them by ranks as people knew them. I personally

15 never saw an order that anybody, until January 1996,

16 that he was promoted to an HVO rank. Only in January

17 1996 did we -- were we given ranks officially. But

18 people would refer to individuals -- some individuals

19 as "colonel," and I heard that they called Mr. Kordic

20 "colonel" as well. But I myself never referred to him

21 as "colonel." When we met I would address him as

22 "Mr. Dario."

23 Q. When he was promoted in January 1996, he was

24 promoted to what rank?

25 A. Well, I think he was brigadier, unless I'm

Page 17399

1 mistaken, like me.

2 Q. So we come to January and to your work on the

3 commission. Would you accept this characterisation of

4 your performance on the commission: that you had to

5 refer back to Blaskic for decisions?

6 A. I submitted reports to Mr. Blaskic, what was

7 done and what decisions had to be taken, because he led

8 my appointment, and his order was signed together with

9 Mr. Hadzihasanovic if anything had to be done. So

10 assignments both to me and Merdan. And this feedback

11 information I would submit in writing to Blaskic, or I

12 would personally go to the headquarters and convey to

13 him what was being done within the frameworks of the

14 joint commission.

15 Q. Well, reporting back is one thing, but

16 referring to him for decisions is another, perhaps.

17 Did you, as I think amongst others Mr. Buffini has told

18 us, referred back to him for decisions to be made?

19 A. I don't understand. Which decisions?

20 Q. Decisions that were being made in the

21 commission?

22 A. No. The decisions made in the commission

23 would be passed further down to be implemented, because

24 it was Blaskic's and Hadzihasanovic's task. And it was

25 one task, and that is to establish peace in Busovaca,

Page 17400

1 to separate the armies in Busovaca, to reduce the

2 number of soldiers, to fill in the trenches, and that

3 is the point we got to. And I would give reports of

4 this kind to Blaskic, because it was a joint order by

5 him and Mr. Hadzihasanovic.

6 Q. It's been suggested that your inability to --

7 or your lack of authority to make decisions caused

8 problems and tensions within the commission. Would you

9 accept that?

10 A. No. Everything that was ordered I

11 implemented. What was not ordered I could not

12 implement because I was subordinate.

13 Q. Very well. There may not be much between you

14 in the result. We move on in January.

15 MR. NICE: Can he see Exhibit 248.1, please?

16 Q. By January, you were certainly in contact

17 with Blaskic and, no doubt, beginning to get to know

18 how things were taking shape on the ground; would that

19 be correct, Brigadier?

20 A. Would you repeat your question, please?

21 Q. Yes. By January of 1993, you were in the

22 position to start to know how things were actually

23 operating on the ground of Blaskic's headquarters and

24 the area generally; correct?

25 A. My task was the organisation of the staff and

Page 17401

1 of the units, but unfortunately I never succeeded

2 because of the work we did in the Joint Commission and

3 continued work in the Joint Command. And we finished

4 the war without having actually formed the HVO.

5 Q. But, as you've told us, Blaskic was military

6 and Kordic had nothing to do with military matters?

7 A. No, he didn't.

8 Q. Here we have a document from the Ante

9 Starcevic Brigade in Gornji Vakuf, dated the 10th of

10 January, going to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,

11 Blaskic, reading, as we can see: "On the basis of

12 demonstrated need," and so on, "please provide," or,

13 "kindly provide 150 shells, 120-millimetre mortars, of

14 the kind available at the Vitez factory, because we've

15 run out." But he also addresses that to Mr. Kordic.

16 Can you help us, please, with why? You were there at

17 the time.

18 A. I have never seen this document, and I think

19 there's an error, why it is being sent to Mr. Kordic,

20 and the real address is the Operative Zone and its

21 command.

22 Q. Or does the fact that it's addressed to

23 Mr. Kordic reflect what was well understood on the

24 ground; namely, that he was the man with power?

25 A. At that time, this was thought by Mr. Luka

Page 17402

1 Sikira. I did not think that.

2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, rather than -- if the

3 Court is prepared to sit a little beyond 4.00, and I

4 know that 4.00 is its time, I would like to do an

5 exercise that's slightly out of sequence, but it's

6 better done now.

7 JUDGE MAY: Ten past 4.00.

8 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.

9 Well, then if we could just jump a few days

10 in January, with the assistance of the technical booth,

11 and if the Chamber would like to take, please, its copy

12 of the audiotape, which is Exhibit -- the transcript is

13 2801.3, and if the witness can be provided, I think

14 probably by Ms. Bauer, with the Croatian transcript of

15 the last conversation, and if the English version of

16 that which appears at page 32 can be laid on the ELMO,

17 I'll just deal with this. Don't read it yet,

18 Brigadier, because I want to ask you one or two

19 questions first.

20 Q. By the 25th of February of 1993, is it right

21 that you had a means of communication, Busovaca to

22 Kiseljak, from a telephone line in the PTT building?

23 A. There was a line, until it was cut off by the

24 army forces. But when it was severed, I don't know.

25 Q. You used that line yourself?

Page 17403

1 A. I did not.

2 Q. Well, then, I would like you to listen,

3 please, to this tape, and we'll take it so far and then

4 I'll stop it. I'd like you to listen to this tape,

5 following, if you can, in the Croatian version. I'll

6 just check.

7 If Your Honour will give me a minute, I'll

8 find one for Ms. Somers to follow. If the audio booth

9 could play the tape, please. And we know that the

10 quality may not be very good.

11 [Audiotape played]

12 MR. NICE: Perhaps we can stop it now.

13 Q. Brigadier, we aren't having any

14 interpretation of that, and it may not be possible to

15 have it. But you just tell us, do you recognise the

16 voices on that tape?

17 A. No, I don't recognise any of the voices.

18 Q. Were you able to follow it at all in the

19 transcript that you saw?

20 A. I did follow.

21 Q. There's a reference there to a man called

22 Franjo. Who could that be, if not you?

23 A. It's not my voice, and this is not my

24 conversation.

25 Q. Did you recognise the other voice?

Page 17404

1 A. No.

2 Q. Can you help us at all with who might have

3 been using that phone by the name of Franjo?

4 A. There was no Franjo in the command, except

5 the assistant for logistics whose name was Franjo. But

6 I don't know about anybody else with that name. But

7 the name of that logistics man wasn't the voice that

8 was played, not the tone. It wasn't my voice or the

9 voice of that man, nor do I recognise any of these

10 voices.

11 Q. The sound quality is clearly not very good.

12 Do you think the other voice was or might have been

13 Blaskic or not?

14 A. None of these voices were the voice of

15 Blaskic.

16 Q. I may come back tomorrow, but I wanted your

17 answers on that this evening. Thank you very much.

18 Let's go back, then, in the remaining few

19 minutes, to what you're saying about January.

20 You've told us about the checkpoint and the

21 arrest of someone at the checkpoint. But before we

22 come to that, do you know anything about the murder of

23 Mirsad Delija?

24 A. I never heard of that name. This is the

25 first time that I'm hearing this name.

Page 17405

1 Q. Let's go to the checkpoint, as I want to

2 explore what it is you're saying. How did you come to

3 hear of an arrest at the checkpoint?

4 A. By a written report from the Busovaca

5 headquarters sent to the Operative Zone.

6 Q. Yes. Who sent the report?

7 A. The municipal headquarters of Busovaca.

8 Q. Who was the writer, who was the author?

9 A. Dusko Grubesic.

10 Q. Did it simply report on an incident or did it

11 seek some assistance or some remedy? What was the

12 position?

13 A. He informed this and said that in Zenica,

14 things ought to be -- strings ought to be pulled for

15 this individual to be released.

16 Q. Which individual?

17 A. Ignac Kostroman.

18 Q. When was the report sent?

19 A. I said that it was on the 20th or the 21st.

20 I don't remember exactly.

21 Q. And what time of the day was it, sir?

22 A. In the afternoon hours.

23 Q. And at that time, where, did it inform you,

24 was Mr. Kostroman being kept?

25 A. Well, believe me, I don't know.

Page 17406

1 Q. But the purpose of its being sent was to

2 achieve release. Who actually received the request in

3 the office? Was it you or someone else?

4 A. The duty officer in the Operative Zone.

5 Q. Who was that?

6 A. I can't remember. I don't know.

7 Q. Who acted on the message once it had been

8 received; you, Blaskic, someone else?

9 A. I did not act. I just received it as a piece

10 of information. It was conveyed to the commander, but

11 I don't know what was done, although I know that the

12 gentleman was released.

13 Q. How long after was it that he was released,

14 please?

15 A. Well, believe me when I say I don't know. I

16 don't remember it. It was a long time ago, and I had

17 my own affairs to attend to.

18 Q. You weren't asked about this incident, were

19 you, in the course of preparation for either of the

20 other two trials where you've been considered as a

21 Defence witness?

22 A. No.

23 Q. So correct me if I'm wrong, but the first

24 time you had occasion to think back to this incident

25 was a few weeks ago when you were first approached or

Page 17407

1 first considered this history for the purposes of this

2 trial. Would that be right?

3 A. On the 30th of March, I made my first

4 statement. I just mentioned on the occasion that we

5 received a report saying that they had been arrested.

6 I didn't know anything any more, and I gave no more

7 statements except that they were arrested with their

8 two escorts. I could tell the Defence nothing, I can

9 tell you nothing as to what actually happened after

10 that.

11 Q. You say "they were arrested with their two

12 escorts." Who are you referring to?

13 A. I don't know if I said "they." I said,

14 "Ignjac Kostroman with his two escorts."

15 Q. The report said nothing else about any other

16 named people, did it?

17 A. No. No. Except for the fact that Kordic and

18 Blaskic were not on the spot. That was also mentioned

19 in the report, that they were not present, that Blaskic

20 was not present in Vitez in the Operative Zone at that

21 particular moment.

22 Q. My mistake for not understanding you. This

23 notification was sent to Blaskic's headquarters for

24 assistance; correct?

25 A. It was by way of information. It was not my

Page 17408

1 task to deal in that matter, and I conveyed it to the

2 Security Service, whose task it was to see to matters

3 of that kind, so that the duty officer passed it on.

4 How the matter was resolved, I don't know.

5 Q. It was sent to Blaskic's headquarters for

6 assistance, I thought. I'll read back over the

7 transcript. "It was sent to his headquarters for

8 assistance."

9 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, the Prosecution, is

10 just arguing with the witness. Line 21, page 140,

11 says: "It was by way of information." I think he's

12 answered the question.

13 MR. NICE: Incorrect, I think, but I'll just

14 check it.

15 JUDGE MAY: Well, the time is now ten past

16 four.

17 MR. NICE: I'll deal with it tomorrow then.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The matter can be dealt

19 with then.

20 Brigadier Nakic, would you be back, please,

21 tomorrow morning at half past nine.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

23 at 4.12 p.m., to be reconvened on

24 Friday, the 14th day of April, 2000

25 at 9.30 a.m.