Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18853

1 Wednesday, 17 May 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

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


9 [Witness testified through interpreter]

10 Examined by Mr. Sayers: [Cont'd]

11 Q. Good morning, Major. Just for the Trial

12 Chamber's information, we had reached towards the end

13 of paragraph 26 of the summary signed by Major Ljubas.

14 Major, is it the case that one mobile unit of

15 the ABiH called the El Mujahed Unit was stationed in

16 Travnik just before the offensive launched by the ABiH

17 on June -- on around June the 3rd to the 8th of 1993?

18 A. Yes, yes. Yes, there was a Mujahed unit

19 there, and it was quartering together with the 7th

20 Muslim.

21 Q. Is it the case that there were about 120 to

22 150 Mujahedin in the nearby village of Mehurici who

23 used to parade and drive around purely Croat villages,

24 waving flags and singing religious songs, intending

25 thereby to harass and intimidate the local Croat

Page 18854

1 population?

2 A. Yes. In a locality called Mehurici, 120 to

3 150 Mujahedin were stationed permanently, and others

4 were stationed in surrounding villages in Muslim houses

5 and used to gather in the mosques. And from those

6 localities and their seat in Mehurici, they would take

7 vehicles to drive around Croat localities, carrying

8 green and red flags and singing some unknown -- some

9 unfamiliar songs and intimidating the Croat population.

10 Q. Thank you, Major. We can pass over

11 paragraphs 27 and 28 of your outline here, because

12 you've already testified about those matters

13 yesterday.

14 Let me draw your attention to June the 3rd,

15 1993, and the events that accompanied the launching of

16 the large offensive against the HVO and Croat civilians

17 in the Travnik and Novi Travnik area. Where were you

18 stationed during the early days of this offensive,

19 Major?

20 A. My command post was in Dolac, so my

21 headquarters were in Dolac, and at times I was at the

22 command post and at times I was visiting the troops who

23 were along the front lines facing the army of the

24 Republika Srpska.

25 Q. I believe it's accurate to say, Major, that

Page 18855

1 many of the Croat houses in Dolac were burned down to

2 the ground and all of them were looted and vandalised,

3 and that several civilians were killed, and among the

4 buildings that were vandalised was the church in Dolac

5 which was desecrated by the ABiH?

6 A. Yes. All of the attacks and snipers began to

7 work as of the 3rd of June, and the first victims fell

8 on the 3rd of June. The first Croats were killed in

9 the direction of the church. As I said, I believe that

10 as many as 12 civilians died on that day, killed by the

11 snipers from surrounding villages.

12 Q. All right. In paragraph 30 of your summary,

13 you talk about the fiercest ABiH series of attacks

14 occurring on June the 8th, 1993. Could you tell the

15 Trial Chamber, in your own words, what occurred on that

16 day, Major?

17 A. The fiercest attack of the Muslim units took

18 place on the 8th of June. That was a terrible day for

19 Croats, because on that day alone 92 Croats were

20 killed, including 24 members of the HVO and 68

21 civilians. In that area, many houses were set on

22 fire. There were also women and children killed and

23 old people who were also killed. It was the worst day

24 for the Croats in the municipality of Travnik and the

25 whole of the Lasva Valley.

Page 18856

1 As I have already pointed out, those who

2 should have protected -- who could protect this

3 population were on the front lines against the army of

4 the Republika Srpska, so that the population were left

5 to fend for themselves. And that is why so many of

6 them perished.

7 Q. All right, Major. You've already testified

8 that your brigade commander in the Travnicka Brigade

9 was Jozo Leotar, and I believe that you found out

10 through him that Colonel Blaskic, the Operative Zone

11 commander, had ordered the HVO to withdraw from the

12 town of Travnik and from the municipality, and that all

13 Croat civilians in the outlying villages and in Travnik

14 were to be evacuated towards Nova Bila.

15 A. Yes. My commander, Jozo Leotar, told me

16 about the reports from the ground about the

17 victimisation of the civilian population. I learned

18 that Colonel Blaskic had ordered to protect the

19 civilians and to take them to a safe place around Nova

20 Bila, that is, an area which would be safe for the

21 Croat population in that part.

22 Q. Two small facts, Major. It's true, I gather,

23 by June the 7th of 1993, the ABiH had established

24 complete military control over the town of Travnik and

25 neighbouring Croat villages.

Page 18857

1 A. It was on the 7th, 8th, until about the

2 13th. That was the period of very fierce fighting, and

3 at that time the Armija succeeded to take both the town

4 of Travnik and surrounding villages with the majority

5 Croat population.

6 Q. And the fighting spread down to Novi Travnik,

7 as far down south as that as well, did it not?

8 A. Yes, as I have already said. We had, as I

9 already listed, the concentration of large forces

10 around Travnik, so when they took Travnik and

11 surrounding Croat places, then the BH army extended --

12 expanded its attacks in the direction of Novi Travnik

13 also.

14 Q. And is it the case that by June the 14th of

15 that year, the ABiH had established full control over

16 the main Travnik-Zenica road as far east of Travnik as

17 Guca Gora?

18 A. Yes. That is, until about the 14th, the BH

19 army managed to take control of the Travnik-Guca Gora

20 road on to Zenica. That is the road along which there

21 were mostly Croat localities and Croat populations,

22 which was then expelled.

23 MR. SAYERS: With the Trial Chamber's

24 permission, we have a short video clip taken by the

25 BBC, I believe, during the Travnik offensive. It lasts

Page 18858

1 about two minutes, Your Honour, and we have a

2 transcript prepared for the Court, the Prosecution, and

3 Mr. Cerkez' counsel.

4 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

5 [Videotape played].

6 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

7 JUDGE MAY: Exhibit number please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape will be marked

9 D217/1 and the transcript D217A/1.


11 Q. Major, you saw some contemporaneous videotape

12 of events that surrounded the ABiH offensive and we

13 also saw some comments made by then lieutenant, now

14 Brigadier Duncan.

15 Can you give your own perspective, sir, on

16 the impact of this offensive on the local civilian

17 Croat population in the Travnik municipality?

18 A. Yes, as you can see what was shown here now,

19 you could see the civilian population is fleeing in

20 panic, fearing another offensive. And you saw just one

21 of the roads that the Croats, that is the civilian

22 population, found running for their lives. So you

23 could see people on the run carrying only in some small

24 bags the minimum of their personal belongings.

25 There were several directions which they took

Page 18859

1 in their flight through Travnik, through Vilenica,

2 trying to find shelter in the direction of Novi Travnik

3 and Nova Bila.

4 Here you could also see some units. These

5 units, these men were on the front lines against

6 Republika Srpksa, and they were very anxious. They

7 were very concerned about the fate of their families.

8 When they learned that so many houses had

9 been burned, that people were running away, then they

10 turned back to go home and see what had befallen their

11 families, and to see how to protect the largest

12 possible number of civilians so that the least possible

13 number of civilians is victimised, to try to put them

14 in a safe place.

15 It was only when we were sure about that then

16 we turned to the other part, that is how to stop that

17 offensive in the best possible way.

18 Q. Major, a suggestion has been made in this

19 case that these civilians were fleeing as a result of

20 propaganda issued by the HVO or by political

21 institutions of Bosnian Croat political parties rather

22 than under the guns of the ABiH.

23 Could you give your perspective on that,

24 having been there yourself and seen it and heard things

25 with your own -- seen things with your own eyes and

Page 18860

1 heard things with your own ears?

2 A. One could see it until the 3rd of June or

3 rather the 8th. We could not go along with a basis

4 that fighting could break out between Croats and

5 Muslims.

6 Nonetheless, it turned out that ever since

7 the assassination of my commander, Ivica Stojak, to all

8 those incidents in the former half of 1993, they showed

9 clearly --

10 Q. The question was really not that. It was a

11 rather simpler question. Were the Croat civilians

12 fleeing as a result of propaganda or in fear of their

13 lives? You were there. Tell us, please.

14 A. There was no propaganda. The civilians were

15 on the run. The civilians took flight because they

16 were being killed, harassed, ill treated, fearing, and

17 they were running for their lives and the lives of

18 their families.

19 Q. Let me take you very briefly through

20 paragraph 32, Major. We've heard from several

21 witnesses that about 20.000 Croats civilians were

22 expelled from the Travnik municipality. Would you

23 concur with that figure?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. More than 300 Croat civilians were killed,

Page 18861

1 900 more wounded, and many massacres of civilians

2 committed by ABiH troops. Would you concur with that?

3 A. Yes. More than 300. When those offensives

4 reached -- and more than 20.000 fled, and towards the

5 end that number doubled. A large number of civilians

6 and HVO members were wounded. Over 1.000 were wounded

7 in the course of all those attacks of the ABiH army in

8 its offensives.

9 MR. SAYERS: The final exhibit, if I may,

10 Your Honour, is a document that we received just

11 yesterday from the United Nations Centre for Human

12 Rights, and it describes the impact of the offensive on

13 the surrounding villages and a certain number of

14 massacres that were committed by ABiH troops.

15 I'd like to take the Major through it, if I

16 may, and I'd like to get an exhibit number for it.

17 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

18 D218/1.

19 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers,

20 I simply would like, regarding this testimony or the

21 testimony we heard yesterday which was a very moving

22 one, and this present testimony, I would like to remind

23 you of what we said.

24 We are not presently looking into any

25 situation of tit-for-tat of retaliation. We are very

Page 18862

1 removed from that concept. We're dealing with a very

2 specific trial, and we shouldn't steer away from that.

3 I'd like to remind you of that. This is a constant

4 reminder. It is important to see what perspective

5 we're working in.

6 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour, and we have

7 that in mind and I think that the presentation of our

8 evidence is going to keep that in mind.

9 As I said in the opening statement, we just

10 had a few examples of municipalities such as Travnik,

11 Kakanj, and Bugojno, just to illustrate the point of

12 who was really doing what to whom.

13 The allegation in this case, in count one

14 against Mr. Kordic anyway, is that there was a

15 pervasive policy of persecution against Bosnian Muslims

16 by Bosnian Croats in the territory of the HZ HB and the

17 HR HB and in the municipality of Zenica.

18 We've covered largely Zenica to this point,

19 and this evidence is going to really who is really

20 persecuting whom in Travnik.

21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22 You are just picking out two or three samples and will

23 you limit yourself to that?

24 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely. We have in mind the

25 Court's observations regarding, as you put it,

Page 18863

1 tit-for-tat atrocities. Just because one person

2 commits an atrocity doesn't justify another one. We're

3 very well aware of that.

4 Q. Major, this is a document as a result of the

5 commission at the United Nations Centre for Human

6 Rights visiting the Brajkovici parish on the 18th of

7 June, 1993. I know you can't speak English, but let me

8 just take you through the high points of this

9 document.

10 On the second page, the commission.

11 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment so we can

12 understand it. It appears to be a translation of the

13 report of a Christian Information Service on this

14 matter rather than a report.

15 MR. SAYERS: I think that is correct, indeed,

16 Your Honour. I apologise for that.

17 Q. What we have here Major is a commission of

18 the Christian Information Service that visited

19 Brajkovici on the 18th of June 1993 and is reported on

20 in a United Nations Centre for Human Rights report in

21 July.

22 The commission describes a visit to the

23 village of Susanj in Zenica where about 100 houses were

24 emptied, a number of civilians were detained, mostly

25 old women and children, and a listing of 16 persons

Page 18864

1 known to have been killed.

2 Did you know anything, yourself, about

3 atrocities committed in the village of Susanj? Did you

4 ever hear about that in the period of June, July, 1993,

5 sir?

6 A. What I know better are other villages

7 adjacent to Susanj. About Susanj, specifically, I

8 cannot say anything.

9 Q. Very well. Let's just go down the list of

10 villages in Travnik municipality. How about the

11 village of Ovnjak, do you know about killings in that

12 village or a killing in that village and the looting of

13 Croat houses?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In the village of Grahovcici, according to

16 this report, four people were known to have been

17 killed, four civilians and all 200 houses of that

18 village were empty with the inhabitants having been

19 chased to Nova Bila.

20 Is that consistent with your recollection of

21 what happened in Grahovcici during this period, sir?

22 A. Yes. I am aware of what is said here in this

23 report.

24 Q. Going down the list, in the village of Dolac

25 and Bila in Travnik municipality, two people, two

Page 18865

1 civilians killed, all 65 houses empty, the inhabitants

2 having been chased to Nova Bila. Is that consistent

3 with your recollection?

4 A. This Dolac is near the mine of Bila, so it's

5 in the direction of Han Bila, simply to avoid the

6 confusion, because there is Dolac at Dilaca [phoen] and

7 this is Dolac at Bila near the mine, Han Bila.

8 Q. If I may, just for the Court, I won't be

9 asking questions about the village of Podovi which is

10 on the bottom of page two or the incident on the second

11 to last page regarding all of the executions at Bikosi,

12 because we have submitted an affidavit of Pavo Barac,

13 Your Honour, in cooperation with the testimony of Major

14 Ljubas, and the affidavit is of a young fellow who was

15 actually at those places when the killings occurred.

16 But travelling on, sir, the commission

17 reports about 18 civilian deaths in the village of

18 Cukle. Were you familiar with those events in June and

19 July of 1993?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Turning to the next page, the village of

22 Brajkovici. The commission apparently determined -- it

23 said that six people, six civilians had been killed and

24 100 houses apparently had been left vacant. Is that

25 consistent with your recollection of what happened

Page 18866

1 there?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And just to take this very quickly, the

4 village of Novo Selo and the village of Konjevici, one

5 in Travnik municipality, one in Zenica, houses burned

6 down, some re-occupied by Muslims, and Croat

7 inhabitants chased out of those village.

8 Is that consistent with your recollection of

9 events in that terrible time?

10 A. If this is Novo Selo near Dolac, yes, then

11 that is what it was like.

12 Q. Now, of your own knowledge, there were about

13 36 dead and missing people in Maljine; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And another seven people killed in Guca Gora

16 that were buried at the monastery?

17 A. Yes, yes. We exhumed them last year and gave

18 them a proper burial.

19 Q. Did you understand, sir, at this time, that

20 similar offensives were being launched by the ABiH in

21 the Kakanj area?

22 A. Through my chain of command, I received

23 information that in addition to the offensive of the BH

24 army in the municipality of Travnik, that it was also

25 launching similar offensives in the municipalities of

Page 18867

1 Novi Travnik, Zenica, Kakanj, and all those areas. And

2 we heard that a large number of civilians had been

3 victimised, many houses put to fire.

4 Q. Now, as far as you were aware, sir, was there

5 any official or unofficial policy or recommendation of

6 persecution or harassment of Muslim civilians by the

7 HVO in Travnik or any neighbouring municipality?

8 A. As far as I know, there was no such policy.

9 I never carried out such policy, nor am I aware that

10 any member of the HVO or the Croat part ever pursued

11 such policies. The truth was quite the reverse.

12 Q. Did you ever receive any orders to persecute,

13 harass, intimidate anyone from any other ethnic group?

14 A. No. My explicit orders were to organise the

15 front line against the army of Republika Srpska, that

16 is, to organise the shifts and defence of the Lasva

17 Valley against the army of the Republika Srpska.

18 Q. Did any soldiers under your command, as far

19 as you know, actually, regardless of the existence or

20 nonexistence of such a policy, actually engage in a

21 practice of harassing or intimidating, roughing up

22 people of non-Croat ethnicity?

23 A. My members never received such orders, nor

24 were any of them active in any policy of persecution,

25 ill treatment, and so on and so forth.

Page 18868

1 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Major. No further

2 questions.

3 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ljubas. Representing

5 Mr. Cerkez, I'm going to ask you a few short questions,

6 and please answer them to the best of your

7 recollection.

8 Mr. Ljubas, yesterday in the

9 examination-in-chief, you described how you became

10 organised, how in 1992 the units evolved. Is it true

11 that throughout 1992, up until the offensive ABiH in

12 June 1993, the only and exclusive objective of the

13 organisation of your units was the defence against the

14 army of Bosnian Serbs?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is it true that in this period, until the

17 attack of June 1993, you, as a soldier, had no military

18 objectives with respect to the army of Bosnian Muslims?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Mr. Ljubas, yesterday you mentioned that you

21 know that the ABiH officers Mr. Cuskic and Mr. Alagic

22 arrived from Croatia to the area of Travnik.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Mr. Ljubas, do you know whether

25 Messrs. Cuskic and Alagic, before arriving in Bosnia,

Page 18869

1 were fighting against the JNA on the Croatian side?

2 A. I don't know that.

3 Q. You also said that with their arrival, the

4 incidents in the Travnik area intensified?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Could you illustrate this claim?

7 A. Yes. With the 1st and 7th Krajina Brigades,

8 which were then merged into the 17th Krajina Brigade,

9 led by Messrs. Cuskic and Alagic, we all expected that

10 their forces and their equipment, because they were

11 well equipped, would be put to use against the army of

12 Bosnian Serbs so that we could try to take back the

13 town of Jajce. But this did not happen.

14 Their forces started deploying in surrounding

15 villages, whereas they were first in the barracks in

16 Travnik. So the relations were disrupted. There were

17 provocations, power was being cut off, water and

18 telephone lines, because they controlled them. One of

19 their command posts was in Plave Vode, which was the

20 source of potable water for the whole area.

21 Then checkpoints were set up by these units,

22 and yesterday I pointed out that certain HVO members

23 and civilians were killed there, and I was disarmed at

24 one of those checkpoints. So there was abuse which

25 they carried out.

Page 18870

1 Q. Very well, Mr. Ljubas. You said that the

2 units led by Cuskic and Alagic were very well

3 equipped.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. This Trial Chamber has already heard that

6 these units arrived in about 20 buses which had

7 Croatian registration plates. Can you confirm this?

8 A. I don't know about the registration plates,

9 but I saw the buses as they were arriving in Travnik.

10 Q. But do you also know the fact that these

11 units were also equipped in the Republic of Croatia?

12 A. As far as I know, these units arrived fully

13 equipped in buses from the direction of the Republic of

14 Croatia. How they became equipped, where they got it,

15 I don't know.

16 Q. To join the joint struggle against the

17 Bosnian Serbs was their principal task?

18 A. Yes, and we were looking forward to that.

19 Q. Mr. Ljubas, yesterday you also said that in

20 the beginning, organisationally speaking, the HVO was

21 better prepared because they saw the threat from the

22 JNA sooner, but that later on the ABiH, the army of

23 Bosnian Muslims, also prepared well and that they had a

24 number of professional officers who had gotten their

25 training with the JNA.

Page 18871

1 A. Yes, it is true that the ABiH had more

2 trained officers who had come from the JNA than the HVO

3 did.

4 Q. Speaking of the two gentlemen, Fikret Cuskic

5 and Mehemed Alagic, can you confirm that they were also

6 professional soldiers trained in the former JNA?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Mr. Ljubas, can you confirm that in the area

9 of Travnik, Refik Lendo and Bislim Zurapi were also

10 active, and they had come from the JNA?

11 A. I cannot confirm that. This was Novi

12 Travnik, and it was a different zone of responsibility.

13 Q. Can you confirm that in your zone of

14 responsibility in Travnik, the former Mr. Ahmet

15 Kulenovic was also a former JNA officer?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Mr. Ljubas, yesterday you mentioned that the

18 ABiH received military equipment. This is also

19 mentioned in paragraph 16 of your statement. Equipment

20 which arrived from Islamic countries; is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you know how this equipment arrived? Was

23 it by road?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Is it true that these road transports in the

Page 18872

1 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina entered the country

2 through the territory of the Republic of Croatia, all

3 from the west, south-west?

4 A. As far as I know, they came from the south,

5 going up to Central Bosnia. I don't know the details

6 of how they reached that area.

7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] So you

8 couldn't tell us anything more about that.

9 Very well, Mr. Ljubas. That concludes my

10 questions. Thank you.

11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I didn't realise that

12 counsel had finished.

13 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

14 Q. Major, you've given extensive evidence about

15 Travnik, without notes, and giving figures and matters

16 of detail. Have you been able to refresh your memory,

17 before coming here, from any documents?

18 A. No.

19 Q. So all the figures that you've provided,

20 where did they come from?

21 A. These are figures which I use on a daily

22 basis, given my current duties, figures that I know

23 from the time when the events occurred; for instance,

24 numbers which we added up when we were burying people,

25 for instance, in the dark days which are not easy to

Page 18873

1 forget because they are some of the worst days for my

2 people.

3 Q. You've told us that you started off in 1990

4 as a member of the political party, and you've remained

5 a member of that party every since.

6 A. No. I became a member of this party, and

7 when the HVO was established, I froze my membership and

8 I did nothing else, because then I became a

9 professional officer, and this is the post that I still

10 hold.

11 Q. You've told us about the division between the

12 military and the civilian part of the HVO. That's from

13 your personal knowledge and experience, is it?

14 A. Yes, in the area where I was, that is, in

15 Nova Bila.

16 Q. And then, of course, your knowledge and

17 experience of Travnik generally in your various roles

18 in the army?

19 A. Can you repeat, please? I didn't hear you.

20 Q. You've got knowledge of Travnik generally.

21 You've given us extensive evidence of what was

22 happening in Travnik, and this comes from your

23 experience in the army, I suppose.

24 A. Yes, all the experience that I have. I was

25 born in Travnik, I grew up in Travnik, I went to school

Page 18874

1 in Travnik, and also it is based on everything that I

2 experienced in the war. So this is all my personal

3 experience.

4 Q. You've spoken of Mr. Kordic. What do you say

5 was his role, if any, in the affairs of the HVO at

6 Travnik?

7 A. As far as I know, Mr. Kordic was an active

8 politician. And as far as the military side is

9 concerned, I personally had no contact, nor did

10 Mr. Kordic have any influence over me or my unit.

11 Q. As a deputy and then as a commander, you got

12 to know how the war was being run, at least to a degree

13 you got to know that; would that be correct?

14 A. Which part of the war are you referring to?

15 Q. The part that concerned Travnik.

16 A. Yes, the war run against the forces of the

17 army of Republika Srpska and, later on, against the

18 attacks of the ABiH.

19 MR. NICE: I wonder if the witness could have

20 a brief look at Exhibit Z50.

21 Q. This is not in your language, I'm afraid.

22 It's a document prepared by some of the European

23 Monitors, and it relates to February 1992, so quite

24 early on. But you were already involved, and it speaks

25 of how there was a meeting first at Travnik with

Page 18875

1 various people named, the mayor of Travnik, Professor

2 Udovicic, Mr. Solsic, Mr. Topalovic, and how the

3 meeting moved on to Donja Puticevo, where Mr. Kordic,

4 as vice-president of BH, was present.

5 Do you remember those early meetings of

6 Monitors coming to meet people in Travnik and Novi

7 Travnik?

8 A. I don't recall this meeting, and I wasn't

9 present there.

10 Q. Very well. Under paragraph 2 of the meeting,

11 and I'm sorry it's in English but I'll read it slowly

12 insofar as it's material, at Novi Travnik it says:

13 "There was a roadblock of 150 uniformed men

14 in Croatian camouflage uniforms, with Croatian cap

15 symbols and with HOS markings."

16 Does that fit with your recollection of what

17 was going on at about that time in your area?

18 A. At the time, I was not in Novi Travnik. If

19 you followed me closely yesterday, I said that on the

20 27th of February, we attempted to establish a unit of

21 Sveti Duh in Nova Bila in order to prevent the JNA to

22 haul all the military equipment to Mount Vlasic.

23 Q. But at about this time, which is one of the

24 reasons I ask you about this particular document, the

25 day after, you would have known what's going on. Is it

Page 18876

1 the case that people wearing Croatian uniforms and

2 symbols had set up a roadblock just down the road at

3 Novi Travnik?

4 A. If you heard what I said yesterday, in this

5 period, we had a very high morale in terms of

6 organisation for defence but we were very poorly

7 equipped. And in these attempts to stop the JNA

8 convoys from taking out the equipment, people who were

9 there, people who wanted to defend themselves were

10 wearing whatever they had handy.

11 MR. NICE: Then may the witness see Z115,

12 please.

13 Q. The Travnik War Presidency -- this, as you

14 can see, from the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

15 Council in Busovaca, it's addressed to the Travnik War

16 Presidency in Travnik.

17 Now, you were based in Travnik at the time,

18 correct?

19 A. At the time, I was in Dolac and I was at the

20 front line against the army of Bosnian Serbs.

21 Q. You've told us a great deal about Travnik.

22 Can you help us with this? There's a request for MTS,

23 equipment and materiel, to establish good quality

24 necessary for communications with Busovaca HVO units.

25 And a particular piece of communications equipment, I

Page 18877

1 think, the repeater, is identified, and then a

2 Mr. Florijan Glavocevic; do you know that man?

3 A. No.

4 Q. And a Mr. Jovanovic is referred to. Do you

5 know that man?

6 A. No.

7 Q. But it's signed for the HVO staff of Central

8 Bosnia by Mr. Kordic. From all your dealings in

9 Travnik, can you explain why Mr. Kordic would be

10 specifically seeking this type of equipment from the

11 Travnik War Presidency?

12 A. If you heard me, at that time, I was the

13 commander of the 4th Company and as a company commander

14 who was engaged in war against the Bosnian Serbs, this

15 type of information is -- was not really available.

16 MR. NICE: Very well. Well, let's look at

17 another order. Exhibit 134, please. This is for the

18 15th of June of 1992.

19 I think that this one must be withdrawn for

20 the time being and come back later, although the

21 original -- we'll just check it with the witness, but

22 the original reads 1992, but I think it should be 1993

23 as the reference number in the documents suggests, and

24 I'll deal with it in the appropriate time in the

25 sequence. I'll come back to it.

Page 18878

1 JUDGE MAY: Is this the document about which

2 we had some evidence?

3 MR. NICE: Yes. So I'll put it back to its

4 rightful place in June 1993.

5 Q. I'll have a document for you to look at

6 shortly if necessary, but on the 23rd of August of

7 1992, there was a swearing in of officers in Travnik, I

8 think, is that correct, and soldiers?

9 A. Can you repeat the date, please?

10 Q. 23rd of August, I suggest.

11 A. 23 August. I need to be refreshed further.

12 I cannot recall.

13 Q. Do you remember the swearing in ceremony

14 itself in Travnik?

15 A. I said I cannot recall. If you can give me

16 some specific detailed -- the exact time or the exact

17 place.

18 Q. Well, did you take part, yourself, in a

19 swearing-in ceremony?

20 A. Can you perhaps help me where that

21 oath-taking ceremony took place?

22 Q. At the time, apart from the fact that it's in

23 Travnik, no, I can't. We may have to come back to it.

24 But just think back, please. You became a

25 soldier. You were in charge of other soldiers. Was

Page 18879

1 there an oath-taking ceremony?

2 A. As far as I can remember, I had a lot of

3 problems with the army of Bosnian Serbs. It was very

4 difficult to organise a front line, to organise

5 logistics service which was very poor, so I don't know

6 much about any ceremonies.

7 I didn't have much time or take part in any

8 of this. So this is why I'm saying if you can further

9 refresh my memory.

10 Q. In August 1992, would your unit still be the

11 Sveti Duh, the Holy Ghost unit?

12 A. In August?

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. Yes. I said the unit of the Holy Ghost

15 existed until the 8th of April, until the establishment

16 of the HVO, and then I was assigned to the post of

17 commander of the 4th Company.

18 MR. NICE: Well, then I'll come back to that

19 when I've got the document after the break. It may be

20 before. May the witness please see Exhibit 229.1.

21 Q. You're from Travnik and here's a document

22 that deals with the appointment of someone called

23 Marinko Palavra to the job of commander of the Special

24 Purpose Unit of the police administration.

25 Now, it sets out the reasoning for the

Page 18880

1 appointment and it sets out the approval of the deputy

2 president of HZ HB, Mr. Kordic; and the

3 secretary-general, Mr. Kostroman; and then,

4 Mr. Pervan.

5 From your knowledge of Travnik, does all this

6 fit that Mr. Kordic should be approving of the

7 appointment of people in Travnik even at that time in

8 September of 1992?

9 A. This refers to the civilian police and police

10 affairs, and this is not something that I am familiar

11 with from that period.

12 Q. Well, as a deputy commander and then as a

13 commander, you must have had some contact with some

14 politicians from time to time.

15 A. As commander of a company, I could not have

16 had contact with the civilian structures because the

17 level of company does not allow this. In addition, I

18 had specific tasks in organising the defence line

19 against the army of Republika Srpksa.

20 Q. Just before we move on in time, quite

21 swiftly, who was actually running the war? You've

22 spoken of the military line of command, but who was

23 giving the military their instructions?

24 A. I said yesterday that there was a chain of

25 command. As a company commander, I had my own

Page 18881

1 commander which was a battalion commander, and he

2 received it up from the brigade commander, and the

3 brigade commander received it in his turn from the

4 Operative Zone commander.

5 Q. Of course, but one only has to turn on the

6 news or look back over history to realise that many if

7 not most or all wars have a political control or

8 element.

9 Now, you were involved for a long time in

10 Travnik as you have explained to us. Did the military

11 superiors of yours or even the military officers at

12 your rank and below know and discuss who was actually

13 making the fundamental decisions about how the war was

14 being conducted?

15 A. We had our chain of command which we

16 respected. And the highest level of command, it was

17 the head of the main staff, the commander of the

18 Operative Zone. Who they were in contact with, I don't

19 know.

20 Q. You told us of the distinction between the

21 civil, as you say, and military parts of the HVO. The

22 civil part has to have a function and -- or were you

23 saying it was entirely subordinate to the military

24 part?

25 A. No.

Page 18882

1 Q. Thank you. You're not suggesting this was,

2 as it were, a military rule. This was rule in some way

3 by politicians, wasn't it?

4 A. No, there was no dictatorship. The army had

5 its specific task to organise the front line and the

6 defence and the civilian part was responsible for food

7 supplies, medicine supplies, and the protection of the

8 civilian population.

9 Q. Well, I may come back to that. On the 21st

10 of October of 1992, where were you?

11 A. On the 21st of October? As I said, on the

12 21st of October, 1992, the commander, my commander, the

13 commander of the municipal staff, the Travnik staff,

14 was killed so that was the time when we were trying to

15 best organise his funeral without disrupting by this

16 the front line against the army of Republika Srpksa.

17 Q. What were you doing?

18 A. At that time, I was the commander of the 3rd

19 Battalion.

20 Q. Were you doing the funeral or were you

21 leading your soldiers? Were you at the front?

22 A. I led my -- I was leading my soldiers and the

23 brigade command to care for the funeral. But, since I

24 was the commander, of course I had to pay my last

25 respects to my late commander.

Page 18883

1 Q. I wonder if I could ask for your comment on

2 our Exhibit 243, please. While we're coming to that,

3 we've got a map of the front -- perhaps we'll get it up

4 again but -- perhaps at the break.

5 But the front you're speaking of is the

6 northwestern front, isn't it, between the Serb forces

7 and your forces?

8 A. It is the northwestern part of the town of

9 Travnik.

10 Q. Running to and close to Novi Travnik?

11 A. Travnik and Novi Travnik are neighbouring

12 municipalities.

13 Q. So if you could just have the first page,

14 please, in front of you. Put it on the ELMO.

15 This is describing the situation at the Novi

16 Travnik front on the 21st of October with Muslim forces

17 aiming at the town of Novi Travnik. Reference to the

18 Muslim forces in Opara and other villages and so on.

19 Then it comes down to the next paragraph which is HVO

20 units setting out the blockade of roads to Novi Travnik

21 and various other details.

22 This is all very close to your area and if we

23 go on to paragraph ten right at the end, it says this,

24 "While defence operations are being conducted, the

25 vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, Dario Kordic, and I are

Page 18884

1 in Novi Travnik continuously leading the military

2 operations with deep knowledge of the situation and by

3 keeping all the forces under control. Commander

4 Colonel Filip Filipovic is also here at the Novi

5 Travnik HVO HQ."

6 Now this is really down the road or around

7 the corner from you, isn't it? Do you remember that

8 happening?

9 A. At that time, at that time, as I have said, I

10 was the commander of the battalion and I was involved

11 in organising the front line against the army of

12 Republika Srpksa.

13 At the time when my commander was killed and

14 during the break, that is when I came back from the

15 front line. I managed to pay my last respects to my

16 commander.

17 Q. Well, does the presence of Kordic along with

18 Blaskic and Filipovic at the front line come as a

19 surprise to you or not?

20 A. I was not -- at that time, I was not in that

21 area so I cannot say anything about it.

22 Q. Are you saying you never heard anything about

23 his coming to the front line?

24 A. Who are you referring to, please?

25 Q. To Mr. Kordic. Are you saying you didn't

Page 18885

1 hear of him coming to the front line?

2 A. To my line? To my front line? I personally

3 never saw Mr. Dario Kordic on my part of the front.

4 About other parts, I don't know.

5 Q. All right. The question was whether you ever

6 heard of him coming to the front line.

7 A. I cannot make guesses. I cannot say yes or

8 no, he never -- he did not come to my front.

9 Q. Do you understand, Major, that you can tell

10 us what other people told you? You've told us a great

11 deal about villages and people and all sorts of things

12 that I don't think you saw yourself. You can tell us

13 what you have been told by others. Did anybody else

14 ever tell you of Kordic going to the front line?

15 A. From what I heard about Mr. Kordic, I heard

16 about Mr. Kordic, that when over 20.000 people, Croats

17 from Travnik, from Zenica and from other places, fled,

18 then I heard that he turned up amongst those civilians

19 in an attempt to help them and do something about their

20 accommodation. That I know because I heard it from my

21 members whose families used to live in the area.

22 Q. Again, and the last time, the front line,

23 "yes" or "no", did you hear of him there?

24 A. Could you repeat that question, please? What

25 do you mean, "the front line"?

Page 18886

1 Q. "The front line" is the phrase you've been

2 using, and you described it for us. Did you hear of

3 Mr. Kordic ever being at the front line?

4 A. No.

5 Q. I'm now in a position to come back in time to

6 deal with the swearing-in ceremony. And it may be that

7 the date is wrong, but you'll be able to help us.

8 MR. NICE: Can the witness have, please,

9 Exhibit 193.2. It's an example of a document where the

10 original appears to have either degraded or for some

11 other reason it's not possible at the moment to get a

12 better copy of the original. I'll explore that over

13 the break.

14 Q. Now, I think you're going to find, Major,

15 that the original is only legible in a few places, and

16 if I'm going to be able to get you a better version of

17 this, it won't be until after the break. But I would

18 like your comments in any event.

19 The Holy Ghost 1st Company, the Sveti Duh 1st

20 Company, is that a company of the group of which you

21 were the commander?

22 A. I was not the commander of the Holy Ghost

23 Company.

24 Q. Can you just explain, then, a little bit

25 about the Holy Ghost Company? You had something to do

Page 18887

1 with Sveti Duh, and it's my mistake for not

2 understanding what it was.

3 A. I was a member of that unit.

4 Q. Very well. Well, now forget the date, in

5 case the date is incorrectly recorded. If you would

6 look, please, at the document which is the first of the

7 documents in Croatian or B/C/S, which begins

8 "Stovana gospodo". Do you have that document in front

9 of you? It's the one that is legible, as opposed the

10 ones that aren't. Do you have that document in front

11 of you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. There is an English translation of that,

14 which the Chamber will be aware. And this, I'm

15 suggesting to you, is the text of a speech that was

16 read out at the swearing-in ceremony, and you can read

17 it to yourself. But if the English version is on the

18 ELMO, I'll read some of it, in any event.

19 It's to: "Esteemed gentlemen, soldiers,

20 NCOs, and officers of the Holy Ghost 1st Company, and

21 esteemed gentlemen whom we've invited to distinguish

22 this celebration of the anniversary of this unit's

23 formation."

24 Help us, please. The anniversary of the

25 unit's formation, when would that give us as a date?

Page 18888

1 A. To begin with, the document that I have

2 before me has no date and lacks all the other

3 characteristics of an official document. But I said

4 that the Holy Ghost Company was founded on the 27th of

5 February, 1992, and the anniversary would then be on

6 the 27th of February, 1993.

7 Q. Thank you. And it goes on to say:

8 "We would like, on behalf of the Croatian

9 Defence Council of Travnik municipality, to

10 congratulate you on your first anniversary, with the

11 hope that this unit, which operates as part of the

12 Travnik Brigade, will continue to carry out

13 successfully all military tasks which we place before

14 it."

15 And then it says:

16 "A year ago, we formed this unit, with the

17 task of preparing to defend its Croatian people in this

18 area and in the areas of the Travnik municipality and

19 our dear Herceg-Bosna."

20 There is then a passage which was written and

21 crossed out, which reads, underneath the crossings out,

22 as follows:

23 "The first weapons for this unit came from

24 our dear Croatia and were organised by the Croatian

25 Democratic Union, HDZ. You know that the first

Page 18889

1 activists of the HDZ were from this area and that even

2 today they constitute the backbone of this unit."

3 Now, the paragraph may have been crossed out,

4 but is what is said there true? Did the first weapons

5 for the unit come from Croatia?

6 A. Your Honours, with your leave, I cannot

7 discuss this document because I am not familiar with

8 this document. It is not signed or --

9 JUDGE MAY: Just for a moment consider the

10 question. It doesn't matter about the document. What

11 counsel is putting to you is whether it's true that the

12 first weapons for the unit came from Croatia. That was

13 the question.

14 A. I am not aware of that. The weapons that I

15 received, I received through the war staff of Travnik.

16 MR. NICE:

17 Q. It also says, in the same paragraph, that:

18 "You know that the first activists of the HDZ were

19 from this area." Well, it may be a little ambiguous.

20 Where do you say the first activists of the HDZ, which

21 you joined, were from? Were they from the Travnik

22 area?

23 A. The first activists whom I joined were in the

24 area where I lived, that is, the area of Nova Bila, and

25 those were men who lived in that area.

Page 18890

1 Q. The document goes on to say, as a person

2 addressing the assembly would say:

3 "We now have before us the Holy Ghost 1st

4 Company, which is prepared to defend against aggressors

5 of all kinds, and an aggressor is for us anyone who

6 comes to our parts from outside without our agreement,

7 regardless of nationality, whether Chetnik or

8 Mujahedin. We have both in our territory, and we must

9 fight them so that our dear Croatian people may stand

10 proudly on its Croatian soil."

11 Now, does that paragraph reflect the sort of

12 sentiments of HVO or HDZ leaders in Travnik in, as you

13 would say, the beginning of 1993?

14 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, may I just object

15 to this document. First of all, it's illegible and

16 it's of dubious parentage. I think no foundation has

17 been laid for it, and it's not right to cover documents

18 the witness has never seen, in the absence of a proper

19 foundation, and put to him propositions that are

20 contained in there as if they were true.

21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, who is it alleged made

22 this speech?

23 MR. NICE: If we come to the next document,

24 I'll show how the document, as a whole, fits together.

25 What you see on the second page in the

Page 18891

1 English and what the witness can see on the next but

2 mostly illegible page in the B/C/S, if he would like to

3 turn to it, is that this is a proposal for the

4 ceremony, with concrete activities, and there are

5 various items set out there; the ceremony, the master

6 of ceremonies, the details of various people taking

7 part, and I was going to come to this later. Commander

8 Ivo Stojak will receive the report, so the report --

9 the document to which this is attached is probably the

10 report, and that would be from Mr. Ilija Nakic. He

11 comes to the microphone, as you can see in the middle

12 of the page, in front of the units, stands to

13 attention, and then reports to him units of the Travnik

14 for swearing in.

15 JUDGE MAY: The difficulty about it is, as

16 counsel observes, it's illegible.

17 MR. NICE: I may or may not be able to deal

18 with that over the break, but --

19 JUDGE MAY: I think you better before we

20 continue with this cross-examination. As a matter of

21 principle, illegible documents should not be produced.

22 There must be, presumably, a better copy, or otherwise

23 this translation couldn't have been done.

24 MR. NICE: No. The only possibility, which

25 is one I'll investigate over the break, is whether the

Page 18892

1 original was an old-fashioned fax paper document that

2 degrades over time, but I'll have that investigated.

3 I'll come back to the document, with Your Honour's

4 leave, later.

5 Q. But I would like to ask the witness, having

6 gone through this much so far, you see that what we've

7 looked at so far relates to a unit of which you were

8 familiar. Do you remember the ceremony concerning that

9 unit now?

10 MR. SAYERS: Let me just make an additional

11 objection, Your Honour. The --

12 JUDGE MAY: Well, the question has been put.

13 We'll come back to the document in a moment. Now, are

14 you objecting to the question?

15 MR. SAYERS: The objection is connected with

16 the document, Your Honour. Let me sit down.

17 JUDGE MAY: We'll deal with the document

18 after the break.

19 MR. NICE:

20 Q. Do you remember the ceremony concerning the

21 unit with which you were familiar?

22 A. Your Honours, if I may, the 21st is mentioned

23 here, that at that time Ivica Stojak was already dead,

24 and this document says that Ivica Stojak attended that

25 ceremony. And it puzzles me, so that I cannot answer

Page 18893

1 that question.

2 JUDGE MAY: The question is: Do you remember

3 yourself, whatever the date is, whatever the correct

4 date, do you remember a ceremony of this sort?

5 A. The anniversary ceremony?

6 JUDGE MAY: Any sort.

7 A. According to this document, I don't really

8 know it. But, yes, we did mark the anniversaries.

9 JUDGE MAY: You did.

10 A. But I do not remember what it says here,

11 because it's illegible.

12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Sorry, but

13 this was not the question that was put to you. Please

14 leave the document aside. Don't worry about it any

15 longer. But do you remember taking part in a ceremony,

16 in an oath-taking ceremony, around a solemn celebration

17 of some kind of anniversary, giving it some kind of

18 religious character? This is the question that is

19 being put to you, sir.

20 A. No.

21 MR. NICE: I'll come back to that later.

22 Q. I don't know that I need trouble you with

23 this particular document, which is already an exhibit.

24 In fact, I think I can satisfy myself that I needn't.

25 No, I don't think I'll ask you about that.

Page 18894

1 Is a man called Mladen, who became deputy

2 chief of police, known to you?

3 A. I would have to know his surname.

4 Q. I beg your pardon?

5 A. I would need to know his surname.

6 Q. It's a man called Tolo Mladen.

7 A. No.

8 Q. In the beginning of 1993, were you spending

9 time in Travnik as well as at the front line?

10 A. In early 1993, I was on the front line facing

11 the army of Republika Srpska.

12 Q. Coming back to Travnik from time to time?

13 A. I would come to Travnik, as the battalion

14 commander would come to Travnik in the evening for

15 briefings.

16 Q. All I wanted was your observation -- and it's

17 one of the outstanding exhibits, Your Honour, so that

18 it's in 353.2 -- your observation on the fact that the

19 appointment of a man as deputy chief of police would

20 require Mr. Kordic's approval. Did you know anything

21 about the organisation of events in Travnik that would

22 fit with that, Mr. Kordic being involved at that level

23 of detail?

24 A. I'm not aware of that. I am not familiar

25 with Mr. Kordic's activities or the civilian police.

Page 18895

1 Q. Where were you -- and again I'm asking you

2 these questions because you tell us you have a good

3 memory -- where were you on the 20th or the 21st of

4 January of 1993?

5 A. On the 20th of January -- could you repeat,

6 please? I did not hear the year.

7 Q. The 20th and 21st of January of 1993.

8 A. I have already said at that time I was with

9 my unit facing the army of Republika Srpska.

10 MR. NICE: May we look at 534.1.

11 JUDGE MAY: After this, we'll adjourn.

12 MR. NICE:

13 Q. This comes from the defence department of the

14 Travnik defence administration. Now, are you saying

15 that's the civil part of the HVO, or is that the

16 military of the HVO, a defence department?

17 A. The defence department is attached to the

18 civil part.

19 Q. But we see here that this is an order to go

20 to the chiefs of the municipalities of defence offices

21 in Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vitez, Zenica, and Vares, and

22 is the aim of committing available resources to the

23 defence of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and

24 the order which comes from the chief of the defence

25 administration, Anto Puljic, is to those various

Page 18896

1 municipality chiefs to acquaint themselves with

2 activities that are to be carried out in connection

3 with the formation or reorganisation of brigades and to

4 have discussions with the president of the Croatian

5 Defence Council, to update -- number 2, to update lists

6 of assignments of military conscripts; number 3, to

7 organise a mobilisation system for brigades; and, 4, to

8 inform the chief of the Travnik defence administration

9 of the execution of those orders.

10 There was no real division between military

11 affairs and civil affairs, was there? It necessarily

12 was all part of the same single operation; isn't that

13 the truth?

14 A. It is not the truth. The civil and the

15 military part, activities, were separate.

16 Q. Do you accept that the content of this order

17 is military in nature?

18 A. I was not in touch with this order, and I am

19 not familiar with it.

20 Q. Major, you've told us about almost every

21 aspect of Travnik military and social history over the

22 two-year period, and much of it no doubt drawn on what

23 others told you. Please help us. Is this a military

24 order or is it not? You were a soldier.

25 A. No. If you are familiar with the affairs of

Page 18897

1 defence administrations and offices, these

2 administrations are responsible for the civil part,

3 that is, registering and mobilising men and materiel.

4 That is the civilian part which engages in registering

5 and mobilising, calling up men of military age. And as

6 for the military part, it has nothing to do with the

7 operative command or leadership.

8 JUDGE MAY: Will that be a convenient

9 moment?

10 MR. NICE: Yes, it would.

11 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for half an

12 hour.

13 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.

14 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the counsel,

17 please.

18 MR. NICE: Can we return to the question of

19 the document. I think it was an outstanding objection

20 that Mr. Sayers was going to raise. But subject to

21 that, I'm in a position to produce the originals held

22 here which, although on one page certainly it's hard to

23 read and in part, I think, impossible, the rest of it

24 is now substantially legible although difficult.

25 JUDGE MAY: Let us see them and then we'll

Page 18898

1 pass them on to the Defence.

2 MR. NICE: They come in two separate

3 envelopes. Can you just give me a minute? I've mucked

4 something up. I'm just going to put it right.

5 [Trial Chamber confers]

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers. Well, that is a

7 much lore legible copy than anything we've got in our

8 exhibits.

9 MR. SAYERS: I absolutely agree, Your

10 Honour. The only other objection that I wanted to make

11 was this: According to page four of the English

12 document, the English version right at the top, and

13 this is legible in the Croatian, I believe, 23 Kolovoz

14 in the Croatian; 23rd of August in the English.

15 The Major has already testified that the

16 anniversary of the founding of this company, and he

17 testified on page 34, lines 15 to 17, that the company

18 was founded on February 27th, 1992. So the anniversary

19 of it would have to be February 27th, 1993, by which

20 time Ivica Stojak had been dead for four months

21 according to the witness' testimony.

22 So in the absence of a better foundation that

23 this ceremony actually occurred rarely than merely

24 being proposed as is indicated in the agenda, I'm

25 afraid we have to maintain our objection to it.

Page 18899

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, there is something in

3 that point. In the absence of any other evidence that

4 it actually took place, it really is simply in evidence

5 that it is proposed, as it is said.

6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes, as to an

7 anniversary, that is a matter that, of course, goes

8 only to weight, because we have this witness saying

9 when this unit was formed, but I don't think we have

10 any other document showing it. Indeed, we have no

11 documents from this witness as from nearly all the

12 Defence witnesses, so the date point doesn't really

13 have any weight.

14 The witness has himself acknowledged the

15 occurrence of events like this, the 23rd of August

16 seems -- which was the day I originally put to him and,

17 perhaps I should have stuck to it more firmly because

18 it's much more likely the date. And I'm interested in

19 asking him further questions about the content of what

20 was to be said or what was said and about the people

21 who attended. Because it's of significance to discover

22 from contemporaneous documents what was the attitude of

23 participants at the time, and in my respectful

24 submission, this document enables me properly to ask

25 those matters and, in due course, for the Chamber to

Page 18900

1 weigh the answers that are given.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 JUDGE MAY: We shall admit the document on

4 this basis: It is, of course, not evidence that the

5 ceremony took place or as to a date or anything of that

6 sort; none of that being clear from it.

7 However, it is a proposal and counsel is

8 entitled to ask questions about it, as he says, in

9 order to obtain evidence as to what the attitudes of

10 the people were at the time and as to whether there was

11 a proposal to have a ceremony of this sort.

12 MR. NICE: May the witness therefore have

13 before him the originals that we have because they are

14 more legible or at least the original of the four-page

15 document because that's more legible than the earlier

16 version.

17 Q. Major, we're going back in time, it would

18 appear, to the 23rd of August or thereabouts of 1992.

19 And if you look at the document, most of it legible

20 now, you'll see it's headed, "A Proposal for the

21 Ceremony." And I needn't trouble you with most of the

22 detail except to remind you, as you observed to us,

23 that Mr. Stojak is referred to there.

24 There's the reference to playing the

25 anthem -- I'm looking at the headlines of the

Page 18901

1 paragraphs -- with speed, and raising the flag.

2 There's reference to what will be said by the master of

3 ceremonies. And then we can see, I don't know if

4 you've got -- if you're looking through it quickly to

5 help us, we can see that the ceremony is to end with an

6 address by Mr. Kordic. I think you remember the

7 anniversaries were celebrated. Do you remember

8 Mr. Kordic attending?

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the witness.

10 A. Your Honours, as I said, the Holy Ghost

11 Company existed barely a month and a half, and then

12 from there until the end of the war, it was never

13 re-established or anything. And I said when these

14 ceremonies took place. They are now in place after the

15 war to mark certain important dates. I don't know this

16 document, this proposal.

17 Q. Did Mr. Kordic attend these ceremonies, or

18 some of them, to be the last and, in a sense, the major

19 speaker?

20 A. I said that the ceremonies which I attended

21 were the ones after the war. During the war, I was at

22 the front line, so that I don't know.

23 MR. NICE: In which case, can we look briefly

24 at the other document. If you would put those four

25 sheets in that green file, and we can look at either

Page 18902

1 the other file or the earlier version of the page of

2 the speech. If you would bring me the material, I'll

3 show what to show the witness. That page there, that's

4 the only one. Yes.

5 Q. Now, assume, if you'll be good enough, that

6 this document may relate to the middle of 1992. Follow

7 me, please. And I simply want your comment on whether

8 the sentiments expressed here are the sort of

9 sentiments you would expect to be being expressed in

10 public in Travnik.

11 I dealt with the Holy Ghost as defender

12 against both the Chetnik and the Mujahedin. Then

13 this:

14 "The sacred goal of the Croatian people in

15 this territory is the preservation of peace and

16 coexistence with those who wish to live with us in our

17 Croatian provinces in our Herceg-Bosna."

18 In the middle of 1992, would that have been

19 the sort of publicly-expressed view?

20 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, if I may, there are

21 two separate documents here. I think you've already

22 made a ruling with respect to the first one.

23 JUDGE MAY: We admitted both. Yes.

24 MR. NICE:

25 Q. You remember the question, please, Major. Is

Page 18903

1 that the sort of --

2 A. Would you please repeat it?

3 Q. You can see on the document, two thirds of

4 the way down:

5 "The sacred goal of the Croatian people in

6 this territory is the preservation of peace and

7 coexistence with those who wish to live with us in our

8 Croatian provinces in our Herceg-Bosna."

9 Is that the sort of publicly-expressed

10 sentiment you would have expected?

11 A. As you can see in the document which you're

12 putting to me, this is 1993, and this is a salute to

13 the officers and soldiers of the Holy Ghost Company,

14 which at that time did not exist any longer, and it

15 never came back into existence after it was absorbed

16 into the HVO.

17 Q. I'm going to ask you one more question along

18 the same lines. It may help you to answer the

19 question, please, if you don't even bother to look at

20 the document. It's a matter for you.

21 Towards the bottom of the page,

22 second-to-last, this sentiment:

23 "The Mujahedin and the Chetniks cannot live

24 in coexistence with us, and it is the Holy Ghost

25 Company which must show the strength of Croatian

Page 18904

1 soldiers."

2 Would that be a sentiment that would have

3 been current in 1992?

4 A. In the period to which you're referring, in

5 February and March of 1992, there was no mention of

6 Mujahedin; nor did I mention that during the existence

7 of the Holy Ghost Company, that there were any

8 Mujahedin.

9 MR. NICE: I'm not going to take it any

10 further with this witness, Your Honour, the

11 circumstances of his answers.

12 Can the original documents, if they are not

13 all back -- they are all back, I think.

14 JUDGE MAY: That's a good example of what

15 should happen to that document. I suppose you're

16 proposing to take it back.

17 MR. NICE: I'll raise it with you at the end

18 of the evidence or alternatively defer it, along with

19 other issues, to Friday.

20 JUDGE MAY: Friday.

21 MR. NICE:

22 Q. Major, the position is that the HVO was a

23 Croatian-based body, serving the interests of the

24 Croats, wasn't it?

25 A. Yes.

Page 18905

1 Q. And inevitably it had an effect on non-Croats

2 in Travnik, didn't it?

3 A. No.

4 Q. For example, when we come to -- and I'm now

5 moving back to where we were in the history of

6 events -- to April of 1993, do you accept that in

7 Travnik, Croatian flags were being flown and that they

8 had an inflammatory effect?

9 A. I do not agree. I agree that the flags were

10 flown, that the flags were raised during the Christian

11 holidays, as they were during the Muslim holidays.

12 Those did not bother the Croatian people.

13 Q. But the flying of Croatian flags undoubtedly

14 bothered the Muslim people, didn't it, because it

15 represented a threat to them? Do you accept that?

16 A. No, they did not represent a threat, because

17 this was normal for each ethnic group to raise their

18 symbols on the occasions of their holidays.

19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the first document

20 that I needn't trouble the witness with, I think, is

21 634.1, already admitted.

22 Q. Major, you would accept that a decision would

23 have been made in Travnik by Mr. Pervan on the 9th of

24 April to fly Croatian flags on certain particular

25 buildings; the bus terminal, St. John's Church, and

Page 18906

1 [indiscernible]; you would accept that that order would

2 have been made, wouldn't you?

3 A. I don't know who issued this order from the

4 civilian structures, but I did see flags, and also I

5 saw them being burned.

6 MR. NICE: Then, Your Honour, it's Exhibit

7 635. It's a short passage, so I'll read it.

8 Q. The ECMM monitors, Major, did you have any

9 dealings with them?

10 A. I pointed out I was battalion commander with

11 a specific task at the front line, and all other

12 contacts were handled by the command at another level.

13 Q. You see, Major, you've been brought here as a

14 witness to tell us nearly everything about Travnik, and

15 I'm going to want your help on one or two of the things

16 that the ECMM monitors have said.

17 Do you know any reason to doubt the good

18 faith of the ECMM monitors who were operating in your

19 area?

20 A. I cannot speak to the monitors' statements,

21 because I was at the front line.

22 Q. I'm going to read you one monitor's report

23 from the 9th of April. It is, as I say, Exhibit 635

24 for those who wish to see it in the original, and it

25 says this:

Page 18907

1 "Tensions rose in the evening when a Muslim

2 apparently fired on a Croat who was erecting a Croat

3 flag. This resulted in over an hour of fighting, but

4 all was quiet by 2230."

5 That would probably not be surprising to

6 you. You would accept that, would you, Major?

7 A. If you had listened to my statement, I said

8 that on that date, 9 April, the Bosniaks had arrested

9 prominent Croat citizens and placed them in the fort in

10 the old town.

11 Q. I was going to ask you about that in due

12 course, and I'll come back to it. I still want your

13 answer to my question, and I'll read you the rest of

14 the quotation from the monitor. He said this:

15 "A BiH officer blamed a visit by Mate Boban

16 to Travnik yesterday, who complained about the lack of

17 Croat flags."

18 And he then went on, the ECMM monitor, to

19 say:

20 "Travnik will continue to have a high flash

21 point, as it is a mainly Muslim area but the Vance-Owen

22 Plan places it in a Croat area. This was the reason

23 for sustained fighting in the area after the plan was

24 publicised."

25 Now, dealing with Boban's visit, any reason

Page 18908

1 to doubt that what was reported by the BiH officer was

2 true and that Boban visited and asked for more flags;

3 any reason to doubt that, please?

4 A. I'm not aware that the late Boban was in

5 Travnik at the time.

6 Q. The comment about the effect of the

7 Vance-Owen Plan which placed Travnik in a Croat area,

8 despite its Muslim majority, do you accept you were

9 there, that that was one of the causes of difficulty if

10 not the principal cause of difficulty?

11 A. Could you please be more specific? I didn't

12 understand the question.

13 Q. Of course. What the monitor suggested was

14 that Travnik would have a high flash point, would be a

15 difficult area, because it was mainly Muslim, but the

16 Vance-Owen Plan placed it in a Croat area and that that

17 was the reason for sustained fighting after the

18 Vance-Owen Plan was publicised.

19 Do you accept the monitor's comment as being

20 accurate so far as you could judge things being the man

21 from Travnik?

22 A. According to the census of 1991, 37 per cent

23 of the population were Croats, and there were about

24 8.000 Serbs and about 5.000 or 6.000 of others, and the

25 rest were Muslims.

Page 18909

1 Q. And you did understand my question about what

2 the monitor said, didn't you? About his saying that it

3 was the Vance-Owen Plan and so on that caused or was a

4 cause of the difficulty. You did understand my

5 question?

6 A. Not -- I am not really familiar with the

7 Vance-Owen Plan.

8 Q. You see, Major, you answered not only

9 Mr. Kordic's counsel's questions, in great detail in

10 fluency, but also from Mr. Cerkez's counsel. Are you

11 having difficulty following the questions I'm asking

12 you?

13 A. No.

14 Q. I'm going to move on from that exhibit.

15 From your position in Travnik, did you learn

16 anything of Ahmici or not?

17 A. Did I learn anything about Ahmici? Yes.

18 Q. Well, what did you learn and from where?

19 A. At that time, as I told you, I was on the

20 front line facing the army of Republika Srpksa. But,

21 at a later date, I learned that Ahmici had happened.

22 Q. From whom did you learn that?

23 A. I learned the details after the war. After

24 the war I learned that it had happened. Before that, I

25 had enough problems on the front line, and I was not --

Page 18910

1 I did not know details of things that happened in other

2 municipalities.

3 Q. I'm not going to pursue that with this

4 witness. The next exhibit is 939.2. It's for the 18th

5 of May of 1993, and it's a document from your Commander

6 Leotar.

7 This is an order dated the 18th of May from

8 Leotar relating to an agreement in Sarajevo between

9 Petkovic and Mladic to implement a mutual cease-fire at

10 lines of contact between the HVO and the Serbian army.

11 Do you remember this?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And it doesn't involve the BiH, does it?

14 A. As I've told you, we held more than

15 two-thirds of the front against the army of Republika

16 Srpksa, and such orders to cease hostilities were

17 normal. It was to exchange the prisoners of war, those

18 killed, those wounded and so on.

19 Q. I must suggest to you that your observation

20 about holding two-thirds of the front line may or may

21 not be true or may be true for a small portion of the

22 line near Travnik, but that overall, the BiH held a far

23 larger proportion of that front line than did the HVO.

24 What would you say to that?

25 A. When I said two-thirds of the front line, I

Page 18911

1 meant the municipality of Travnik and I am familiar

2 with those defence lines. I do not know about other

3 defence lines.

4 Q. The way your evidence was given was to the

5 effect that you held two-thirds of all the front line

6 as it were, but it's a very small portion of Travnik to

7 which you're referring, correct, of the Travnik front

8 line?

9 A. I think it was a long front -- defence front

10 line in the north-west of Travnik.

11 Q. It's also worth observing that this letter

12 from Leotar is addressed to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

13 Battalions and it's right, isn't it, that they were

14 fully formed by this stage of May of 1993?

15 A. That they were administratively formed, yes.

16 Q. And they had full complements of soldiers?

17 A. I said in administrative terms.

18 Q. Perhaps you will answer my question. Were

19 they, please, fully formed in military terms?

20 A. In administrative terms, yes. On the ground,

21 there were as many problems as you like, that is,

22 setting up properly structured whole.

23 The command personnel, because they were not

24 fully trained, they did not have full military training

25 so that in administrative terms, it looked fine, but in

Page 18912

1 practice, things were much worse, much more difficult.

2 Q. So trying to understand that, you're

3 accepting that there was a full complement of soldiers

4 for each of these three battalions?

5 A. In administrative terms, yes, but in

6 practice, no.

7 Q. And you told us yesterday that there had been

8 a build-up of Muslim troops from April of 1993, I think

9 you told us. Would that be correct?

10 A. I said that in early -- on the 3rd of June,

11 1993, it adopted as of October 1992, they were

12 already -- troops were being brought to the

13 municipality of Travnik in a planed manner.

14 Q. I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, and I haven't

15 been able to check the transcript this morning, but I

16 think when you spoke of the build-up of troops you

17 specifically referred to the period of April of 1993

18 and onwards. Is that your evidence?

19 A. My evidence is that in October 1992, Alagic

20 and Cuskic came with their two brigades, the 1st and

21 the 7th and stationed them in that area. After that,

22 units of the 7th Muslim Brigade and part of Mujahedin

23 were deployed so that by June, the forces were grouped

24 and then I listed the brigades and said that by June,

25 about 10.000 soldiers were concentrated around

Page 18913

1 Travnik.

2 Q. I'm not in a position to accept or reject

3 your figures in detail. It's right, isn't it? You can

4 just confirm this for the Judges. This is paragraph 26

5 of the summary if anybody's following it, that the

6 306th, the 312th, and the 17th Krajiska Brigades were

7 all based in Travnik. That would be correct, wouldn't

8 it?

9 A. Yes, 306, 312, 17th Krajina Brigade, part of

10 the 7th Muslim and the Mujahedin, parts of the 305th

11 Jajce Brigade.

12 Q. In a sense, you forecast my next question.

13 All the other brigades to which you refer are actually

14 based elsewhere and, at most, I can't deal with this in

15 any more detail, at most, may have been, in part,

16 deployed in Travnik. You'd accept that, wouldn't you?

17 A. You did not mention the 305th, the so-called

18 Jajce Brigade which was also deployed there.

19 Q. Well, now you've mentioned that brigade, is

20 the proposition that I advanced to you correct? All

21 these other brigades were deployed elsewhere, were

22 based elsewhere, and insofar as they featured in

23 Travnik, were only, in part, deployed in Travnik.

24 Correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 18914

1 Q. You made some observations yesterday about

2 comparisons of units. Would you accept that the BiH

3 3rd Corps, three corps, was, broadly speaking, to be

4 matched to the Operational Central Zone of Central

5 Bosnia of the HVO, each being of ten brigades or so in

6 strength?

7 A. What I know is -- I mean I know the area of

8 the municipality of Travnik at the time. And what did

9 the Operative Zone in the 3rd Corps head under their

10 command, I don't know.

11 Q. So any answers you gave about the comparative

12 strength or the strength of the Central Operative Zone

13 we should disregard because they're outside your

14 knowledge?

15 A. No. When I compared, I never mentioned the

16 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. I mentioned HVO

17 forces and army forces in the municipality of Travnik.

18 Q. Very well. So all we know about and all you

19 can tell us about is the Travnik armed forces wherever

20 they came from; is that right?

21 A. Forces which were stationed in the territory

22 of the municipality of Travnik at that time.

23 MR. NICE: Thank you. In which case, Your

24 Honour, I shan't take statistics any further with this

25 witness, save to say that the proportions he gave

Page 18915

1 yesterday of eight to one are something that we don't

2 accept, but we can't obviously take it any further, in

3 light of his answers.

4 Q. By June of 1993, we hear from one of the

5 witnesses in this case, a Mr. Morsink, that there was a

6 withdrawal of the HVO. Do you know anything about the

7 burning of the local archives of the HVO?

8 A. I do not know anything about that. But there

9 was no withdrawal. The HVO was simply pushed back

10 because of the major ABiH offensive.

11 Q. I would like you, please, to look at, in

12 sequence, the reports from the International Community

13 on what was happening over the few days of the 4th to

14 the 7th of June, and I want you to tell us if they are

15 accurate. First, it's Exhibit 1065.

16 Now, I'll make the document available to you,

17 Major, although it is in English. You'll see that --

18 it will be on the overhead projector so that the public

19 can see it and so that the translators can --

20 interpreters can follow it, but it will be on your

21 screen. It's in English. There are three paragraphs

22 to read, starting at paragraph 14 on page 3.

23 Remember, please, all I'm going to ask you,

24 as a person from Travnik, is whether what the reporting

25 officers or monitors say is accurate.

Page 18916

1 "Travnik was the only area where the Croats

2 and Muslims appeared to be working well, despite a

3 number of fights. But on the 4th of June, the Croats

4 evacuated Travnik to Novi Travnik, Vitez and Turbe,

5 held by the Serbs, amid allegations of Muslim

6 atrocities. The Muslims took control first of Travnik,

7 then of the mountain route from Travnik to Zenica.

8 There is evidence that the HVO deliberately withdrew

9 the civilian Croat population from the Travnik area in

10 an attempt to balance their 'eviction' against events

11 in Mostar."

12 I'll deal with it paragraph by paragraph. Do

13 you have any disagreement with that comment of the

14 reporting European Monitor?

15 A. I do not agree with this.

16 Q. You agree, presumably, that there were

17 allegations of Muslim atrocities?

18 A. In my evidence, I already pointed out -- that

19 is, I gave examples of such incidents and slaughters

20 that they had committed.

21 Q. Very well. I'm going to read the next

22 paragraph, 15.

23 "The evacuation of 3.500 Croats through

24 Northern Bosnia to Croatia suggests collusion between

25 Croats and Serbs. The imprisonment of 750 HVO in

Page 18917

1 Manjaca is balanced against the release of Serb

2 civilians from the village of Rastani, south-east of

3 Tomislavgrad, where they had been 'held for their

4 protection' since the conflict began.

5 "At a top-level meeting at Celebic on the

6 15th of June, the Bosnian Serbs and Croats agreed to

7 the formal exchange of properties and populations in

8 their respective areas."

9 Do you accept the accuracy of all that?

10 A. I said yesterday that on the 13th of June, I

11 was wounded and hospitalised, so that I could not know

12 about this part.

13 Q. And then the last paragraph says this:

14 "In theory, command and control of the HVO

15 is through the normal military chain, although recent

16 events demonstrate without doubt that the factions are

17 far from being able to implement the cease-fire

18 agreements signed by the two commanders-in-chief.

19 "Controlled or uncontrolled HVO soldiers

20 continue to prevent freedom of movement for any

21 humanitarian aid or civilian traffic into Muslim-held

22 areas of Central Bosnia-Herzegovina. In particular,

23 the military police answer only to the HVO Minister of

24 Defence Stojic and Mate Boban and are a force in the

25 control of traffic moving through Central

Page 18918

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2 "In the Novi Travnik/Vitez/Busovaca area,

3 HVO preventing the movement of relief convoys answer

4 only to Dario Kordic."

5 And it makes a comment about him.

6 Now, is there anything in that paragraph that

7 relates to Travnik that you would disagree with? It

8 speaks of the normal military chain, of controlled and

9 uncontrolled HVO soldiers, and the military police

10 answering up to Boban. True or false, please?

11 A. The chain of command of the military police

12 is something that I do not know what it looked like at

13 the time --

14 Q. Very well.

15 A. -- because it was not under my command.

16 Q. The next exhibit is 1019.1. Is this

17 document, although it relates -- the document you've

18 just been looking at related to the 16th of June but,

19 as you'll appreciate, started in its history an account

20 of the 4th of June. This document is a military

21 document, and it dates, more specifically, the 5th of

22 June. So this is before you were injured -- wounded,

23 I'm sorry. Again, I'd like your comment simply on the

24 accuracy of it. It reads:

25 "Further to the shelling of the civilian

Page 18919

1 coaches yesterday, enquiries reveal that the convoy

2 which was from the Merhamet Aid Agency and was not

3 accredited to the UNHCR was en route from Austria to

4 Tuzla."

5 Do you have any recollection of that, Major?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Perhaps then I can pass, unless anybody wants

8 me to read out the balance of 1 to 2.

9 "The convoy leader, Jasmin" -- name

10 unknown -- "claims that yesterday the convoy was

11 stopped at the Stojkovici checkpoint, where all the

12 buses were searched in an aggressive manner by the

13 HVO. One of the coaches contained medical supplies

14 destined for Tuzla, and the HVO claimed that they were

15 supplying Muslims with aid. Eventually, however, the

16 convoy was permitted to proceed north. While leaving

17 the checkpoint, the convoy leader reportedly observed

18 an HVO soldier speaking on his radio, and then when the

19 convoy reached the next checkpoint at the Novi Travnik

20 T-junction, it was stopped again by members of the

21 HVO." Further references to the vehicle being

22 targeted.

23 Now, do you have any recollection of that?

24 A. No. The events mentioned here happened in a

25 different municipality in which I was not.

Page 18920

1 Q. And then under item 3:

2 "The Travnik liaison officer," that's a

3 military liaison officer, I think, "attended a meeting

4 in the Travnik PTT building, the location of the joint

5 HQ, in an attempt to arrange a cease-fire between the

6 HVO and the BiH. Alagic, Merdan and Kulenovic

7 represented the BiH and Leotar the HVO, with the major"

8 -- I'm so sorry -- "and president of the civil

9 government, who yesterday surrendered their authority

10 to the military."

11 First of all, is that correct? You were

12 there the 5th of June. Had there been a surrender of

13 authority to the military on the 4th of June?

14 A. I have said I was not there. I told you that

15 at that time I was near my command post, that is, near

16 Polje Dolac, and there were already 12 dead.

17 Q. You've told us about a lot of villages where

18 things happened. You didn't see all of these yourself,

19 did you?

20 A. Depends on the period of time we are

21 referring to.

22 Q. You remember this morning Mr. Sayers,

23 Mr. Kordic's counsel, took you through lots of villages

24 on a report, and you were able to give us comments on

25 people who had been injured in these various places.

Page 18921

1 You didn't visit them all yourself, did you?

2 A. I'm telling you, that area, while it was

3 under my command, I personally visited them during that

4 period of time, all that was under my command. When my

5 unit was reorganised and after I was wounded, I was put

6 in the headquarters in the command, and there was an

7 exchange of information between the command and units.

8 Neighbouring units, I mean.

9 Q. Where was the village of Bukovice in relation

10 to your command?

11 A. It was to the right from my command post

12 towards Vlasic. My command post, Bukovice, direction

13 of the transmitter on Vlasic, if we are talking about

14 Velika and Maljabuka [phoen], because there is another

15 Bukovice in Travnik.

16 Q. How about Radojcici, if I pronounce it even

17 remotely correct; where was that in relation to your

18 area of command?

19 A. Radojcici was not in the area. Again, it

20 depends on what time frame we're talking about. At the

21 time of the existence of the Frankopan Brigade, at that

22 time, that area was not under my command.

23 Q. This same part of the report of the monitor

24 goes on to say:

25 "Merdan claimed that 18 Muslims had been

Page 18922

1 massacred in the village of Bukovice and that something

2 similar had happened in Radojcici."

3 True or false, please? Had Muslims been

4 massacred, to your knowledge, at that time? That's by

5 the 5th of June.

6 A. No. As far as I know, it did not happen in

7 those areas.

8 Q. I'll just complete this passage. The monitor

9 says:

10 "At this point, there is no collateral for

11 either claim," and I think that means no support one

12 way or the other for either claim. "Alagic and Leotar

13 claim they had not discerned a precise cause for the

14 outbreak of fighting. Nevertheless, they agreed at

15 1110 hours to inform their respective commands of a

16 cease-fire which was to come into effect at 1300."

17 And then they asked for various practical

18 matters for that.

19 Would you please now look at 1020 to see if

20 this reflects the truth of the position in Travnik at

21 the time of which you're speaking, please, and I'm

22 afraid it's another English document. It's the fourth

23 page of unnumbered pages, please.

24 And it says of Travnik this: "The situation

25 in Travnik," -- sorry, I must give you the date,

Page 18923

1 Major. The date is -- recorded the date as the 6th of

2 June. Yes, the 6th of June.

3 So it's a report on something that's

4 happening up to the 6th of June itself, on the 6th June

5 itself and it says of Travnik, "The situation in

6 Travnik remained very tense with various fire

7 exchanges, mortar exchanges continuing in the town and

8 the outlying villages throughout the day. The fighting

9 was, however, less intense than yesterday.

10 There are reports of mortar rounds being

11 airburst over the area. Confirmed four dead in Slimena

12 and at an HVO checkpoint ..." and it gives the

13 reference," ... members of the checkpoint claim that

14 they now control the previously BiH held village of

15 Bukovice and that there are a number of dead and

16 injured people still in that area."

17 So I ask you again: Was there killing in

18 Bukovice and did that lead to the HVO taking control of

19 that village?

20 A. I said that Bukovice at that time was no

21 longer in my zone of responsibility and I was not

22 familiar with its area.

23 Q. Then there was an observation of detained

24 persons, I think, masked in the Croat village of

25 Caravo. Do you know anything about that village? It

Page 18924

1 says, "Amongst the people were approximately 200 HVO

2 troops and the Croats of Caravo claimed that they were

3 being fired upon from BiH positions in Turbe and that

4 they wished to move to Nova Bila."

5 Does that sound to you to be accurate?

6 A. I don't know because of Caravo -- is

7 north-west of Travnik, and I could not have been there

8 at the time.

9 Q. The same person also observed numerous other

10 DPs coming down from the high ground south of Travnik

11 heading for the same village.

12 Now, I want your comments simply on a summary

13 of how things were in Travnik that can be found on

14 paragraph ten, the next sheet, which reflects two

15 meetings held by Ambassador Thebault and then the

16 second by a commanding officer of the Prince of Wales'

17 Own Regiment, some British soldiers, a British

18 officer.

19 Leotar was there, and you can see the list of

20 the other people who were present and this is the way

21 the meet was described.

22 "The morning meeting was not conducted in an

23 atmosphere of mistrust but rather one of sadness that

24 the possibility of coexistence between Croats and

25 Muslims, which Travnik had stood for was now, is over."

Page 18925

1 Does that fit with your recollection of

2 events that, for a long time, Travnik was a possibility

3 for coexistence but, for whatever reason, that that was

4 no longer possible by June 1993?

5 A. Travnik was and could have stayed an area of

6 coexistence but in early June, in fact, at the

7 beginning of 1993, ABiH created a lot of incidents

8 killing a number of Croats and this affected the

9 Croatian population.

10 Q. You're really putting it down all to one

11 side, are you, in the Travnik area? You're not

12 remotely accepting that the HVO, the Croat-based

13 organisation, had any part to play in the deteriorating

14 relationships?

15 A. I did not say this.

16 Q. So you do accept that the HVO had a part to

17 play in the deteriorating relationships. If so, tell

18 us what part it had to play.

19 A. I cannot agree with that. The HVO did not

20 play a role in worsening the relations. It was the

21 opposite. It did everything to try to normalise and

22 calm down the situation.

23 Q. Very well. Then just to complete this

24 document, because I want you to have a chance to

25 comment on it fully, coming from Travnik, it goes on to

Page 18926

1 say, "Both parties that agreed that the events in

2 Travnik were a catastrophe for the Croats and Muslims

3 in Province 10 as the last example of coexistence had

4 fallen. Both sides wished for Blaskic and Hadzi

5 Jovanovic to attend a later meeting. This was

6 constantly reiterated.

7 "Both Leotar and Bilandzija stated that the

8 Croats of Travnik wished to leave the town. Bilandzija

9 claimed they were prepared to leave all their

10 possessions given the circumstances."

11 Is that accurate?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Are you saying they weren't willing to leave

14 the town. Is that what you disagree with?

15 A. No. I don't know about the meeting, and I am

16 not aware that he had said this.

17 Q. Was there a conclusion to have an immediate

18 cease-fire? There were reconvened negotiations,

19 paragraph 12, later.

20 Your Honour, again, unless anybody wants me

21 to read it out now, more conveniently, it can be dealt

22 with later on and I will just turn, I think, to the

23 last document.

24 Perhaps it's worth looking at it together, if

25 we may, just at the comment on the last sheet of this

Page 18927

1 document as it comes up later.

2 "The prospects for the cease-fire holding in

3 Travnik looked remote with both sides demonstrating

4 little faith in the motives of the other. 3 Corps,

5 judging by the attitude of its commander, seems poised

6 for further military action having clearly rejected the

7 concept of negotiation.

8 The restraining influence, at present, may

9 well be the progress north of the large convoy destined

10 for Tuzla as renewed fighting in the Lasva Valley east

11 of Travnik would sever the only remaining route open to

12 it."

13 Major, did you know anything about that

14 convoy bound for Tuzla?

15 A. As I said, in that -- at that time, I heard

16 about this convoy, but this was a time when I was in

17 the hospital.

18 Q. In which case then, the last document on this

19 topic, but one I want your comment on is 1025.1. This

20 is for the 7th of June, the day after, and quite a

21 large entry for Travnik. I'll try and take the Court

22 through it and the witness to it swiftly.

23 It's paragraph three which says that the

24 situation was calmer on the 7th, apparently free of

25 fighting although there was fighting continuing in

Page 18928

1 Dolac, Grahovice, and Slimena.

2 Then we go to paragraph four. "A visit of

3 Commander Leotar reported it had been complete that

4 Jankovici had been demolished and additionally that the

5 previously, Croat-dominated areas leading up through

6 Travnik to the headquarters, namely the Kalbunar and

7 Jankovici, were completely devoid of Croats."

8 Do you accept the accuracy of that?

9 A. I don't know this document.

10 Q. I'm only asking you for the accuracy of the

11 document, not the content. Do you understand the

12 difference?

13 A. Yes, but you are reading this information

14 from this document.

15 JUDGE MAY: We're not getting very far with

16 this witness. He refuses to follow the question, it

17 seems.

18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. I am bound to

19 say I don't disagree with that. Can I just take him,

20 if I can find it immediately, to the particular point

21 on this document which I want him to deal with.

22 Just give me one minute, if that's possible.

23 Yes. It's paragraph five, I think. I might ask the

24 witness just to comment to see if he can or if he

25 will.

Page 18929

1 Q. Part of this report from a military man says

2 this, Major:

3 "A normally reliable BiH source offered the

4 following explanation of certain events in Travnik. He

5 claimed that an order was issued by the Travnik HVO

6 ordering the evacuation of Croats to Ovcarevo from the

7 surrounding villages which were said to include

8 Jankovici, Bilici, Paklarevo, Birota [phoen],

9 Kraljenice."

10 And he goes on to say that:

11 "The people, including HVO soldiers who had

12 discarded their uniforms, moved out of Ovcarevo and

13 reputedly crossed the Serb lines to Bobanovac saying

14 this was part of a well-organised agreement by which

15 the HVO would surrender their positions in the defence

16 of Travnik and Turbe to the BSA."

17 Now, was that source of information correct,

18 please?

19 A. In my evidence, I said that I heard from

20 Commander Leotar that Colonel Blaskic had issued an

21 order to protect the civilian population and to be

22 taken to a safe area. That was in the area of Nova

23 Bila and Novi Travnik, and specifically given the

24 casualties, both civilians and military, I was tasked

25 to protect the civilians in that area.

Page 18930

1 The commander -- I don't know what orders

2 were received by the commanders of the 1st and 2nd

3 Battalions.

4 Q. Or how they crossed the Serb lines. Do you

5 know how that happened, if not by agreement with the

6 Serbs?

7 A. I don't know about that part. I can only

8 speak to the area in which I was.

9 Q. I'm going to ask you to cast your mind back,

10 very briefly, to an early exhibit. I'm not going to

11 ask you to have the exhibit before you, because it's

12 not one that you'd seen although it related to the 21st

13 of October, the day of the funeral, as you tell us, of

14 your leader. The document was the one where Kordic and

15 Blaskic claimed to be leading operations in the area.

16 Your Honour, it's paragraph three that I

17 didn't deal with, and I want the witness' comment on

18 it.

19 Those same people, that's Blaskic and

20 Mr. Kordic, in their letter, said this of Ivica Stojak,

21 his death, and negotiations. They said, "The situation

22 in Travnik, Zenica, Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, Fojnica,

23 Kresevo, Vares, and Kakanj is under complete control of

24 the HVO, but the behaviour of the HVO military and

25 civilian personnel in Travnik was incomprehensible.

Page 18931

1 They began negotiations and arrangements for a

2 cease-fire after the association [sic] of the commander

3 of the Travnik command, the late Ivica Stojak ..." --

4 yes, assassination -- "... without the knowledge of

5 their superior command and taking advantage of our

6 preoccupation with the situation in Novi Travnik."

7 Now, this is a comment about negotiations and

8 arrangements and the local HVO military and civil

9 personnel in Travnik.

10 Do you accept that the local military and

11 civilian personnel in Travnik negotiated a cease-fire

12 without reference up the chain of command?

13 A. I said I was a battalion commander and at

14 that time, it was against BSA forces, and it was not

15 within my competence to know what was going on in the

16 command.

17 MR. NICE: I've only got a few more documents

18 to deal with, and I'll try to deal with them by lunch.

19 Q. I know that you are going to say that you

20 were injured and wounded and all, that it was out of

21 your area of responsibility, but can you just comment

22 on a document we looked at earlier, Z134 which I --

23 which was incorrectly dated. This is the 15th of June,

24 1993. By that time, were you an injured person, a

25 wounded person? Were you wounded by the 15th of June?

Page 18932

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And can you explain how, and you can see the

3 document which is in your language and has got formal

4 stamps on it over typed signatures of Blaskic and

5 Kordic. Can you explain, please, how at that time,

6 orders of a military nature were being given by Kordic

7 and Blaskic, please, a battle order to the Tomasevic

8 Brigade in Travnik. Can you explain, please, how that

9 would happen?

10 A. May I see the document, please?

11 Q. Of course you may. 134.

12 A. Can I see it in its entirety?

13 MR. NICE: Have you got the original on the

14 ELMO? Can you hand the original to the witness,

15 please. Detach it.

16 A. The original says -- what you are calling the

17 original is the 15 June, 1992. Is it 1992 or 1993?

18 Q. Yes, it says 1992 but it's clear if you look

19 at the --

20 A. But you asked me about 15 June 1993.

21 Q. Look at the content of the document and if

22 you look at the serial number of the letter immediately

23 above the date, it would appear 1992 is an error and

24 that it's a 1993 document.

25 I just want your comment, if you can, on how

Page 18933

1 Blaskic and Kordic could be making an order of this

2 kind.

3 A. I don't know that they issued this order. As

4 I said, on the 15th, I was wounded. That was in 1993,

5 15 June.

6 [Trial Chamber confers]

7 MR. NICE: I think, frankly, I've got a

8 number of matters that I ought to raise with the

9 witness from Travnik, but I've got a feeling -- I'm

10 sorry, Your Honour, I didn't see that you were

11 discussing matters.

12 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice, I think we better

13 bring this to a conclusion.

14 MR. NICE: I think I better bring it to a

15 conclusion, because I don't think I'm going to get any

16 answers from this witness, and my duty to put my case

17 has, I hope, been sufficiently discharged. Thank you.

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

19 Re-examined by Mr. Sayers:

20 Q. Just a few questions, Major, about some of

21 the documents that you were shown. First of all,

22 Exhibit 243, which is an announcement/report on the

23 situation in Novi Travnik and Jajce or maybe I observe

24 that it's not actually signed, but if you would just

25 take a look at the people to whom it was to be

Page 18934

1 addressed, Major.

2 The English translation says that the

3 addressees are all HVO municipal headquarters of SB

4 HB. Were those military organisations or civilian

5 organisations, sir?

6 A. There were municipal civilian headquarters

7 and civilian military headquarters at that time.

8 Q. All right. Was this announcement sent to the

9 civilian bodies of the municipalities or to the

10 military bodies of the municipalities for informational

11 purposes or don't you know?

12 A. I cannot speak to it because at that time, I

13 never received such a document.

14 Q. All right. You were asked some questions in

15 connection with Mr. Puljic who was the chief of the

16 Travnik Defence Administration.

17 Is it the case that the civilian defence

18 administration had responsibility for registering

19 conscripts and more mobilising conscripts who would

20 then be sent off to the army and then be subjected to

21 the military chain of command or not?

22 A. It is correct that the defence administration

23 carried out the administrative aspects of the

24 mobilisation of forces.

25 Q. Major, let me just suggest to you that coming

Page 18935

1 from where I come from, that is an odd concept.

2 Let me just ask you this: With respect to

3 Mr. Puljic, who we've identified as the chief of the

4 Travnik defence administration, is it the case that he

5 would report to the Minister of Defence of the Croatian

6 Community of Herceg-Bosna, Bruno Stojic, or to someone

7 else?

8 A. I am not fully familiar with the chain of

9 command of the Ministry of Defence. I know that the

10 municipal headquarters had -- that there were defence

11 offices at the municipal level, but I don't know more

12 specifically what the chain was.

13 Q. One thing that's confusing is you've referred

14 to these municipal headquarters. Were they military or

15 were they civilian organisations, sir?

16 A. When I referred to the war headquarters,

17 those were the headquarters which were tasked with the

18 military matters, and the municipal headquarters was

19 engaged in civilian affairs.

20 Q. Let's see if we can try to clarify that by

21 reference to one of the other exhibits about which you

22 were asked some questions, Exhibit Z534.1.

23 You're being shown the Croatian, sir. I

24 wonder if the original could be put on the ELMO for

25 everyone to see.

Page 18936

1 This was an order signed by Mr. Puljic, as

2 chief of the Travnik defence administration, dated

3 March the 12th, 1993. But as you can see, it was to be

4 delivered to the chiefs of municipal defence offices in

5 Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vitez, Zenica, and Vares. Now,

6 these municipality defence offices, sir, were these

7 part of the civilian administration or were they within

8 the military chain of command? Could you help us out

9 with that, please?

10 A. The defence offices were the civilian part.

11 Q. All right, thank you. The other document

12 that I want to ask you about is Exhibit Z193.2

13 concerning the anniversary celebrations of the Holy

14 Ghost 1st Company at an uncertain date.

15 First of all, Major, the document that is in

16 Croatian and has some lines scratched out by someone,

17 do you have any idea who scratched those lines out from

18 this document?

19 A. I said that the Holy Ghost Company was a unit

20 which existed for about one and a half months, so that

21 I don't know this document.

22 Q. Let me just try to direct your attention to

23 this particular document. Do you have any idea who

24 scratched that language out and wrote in another word,

25 "Ostrojvi", by the look of it?

Page 18937

1 A. I don't know.

2 Q. Can you tell whether this single page bears

3 any relationship to the document to which it's

4 attached, any relationship at all?

5 A. You mean these two documents?

6 Q. Yes. Do they bear a relationship to one

7 another, that you can tell?

8 A. On the copy that I have, I cannot tell. But

9 this one is referring to the Holy Ghost Company, and I

10 already commented on it.

11 Q. Yes, you did. All right. Well, let's turn

12 to the proposal for the ceremony, whatever date it is.

13 If you turn to page 2 of the Croatian

14 original -- I think it's page 2 -- under the heading of

15 "Master of Ceremonies", paragraph 7, the first person

16 listed there is Mr. Pero Krizanac, who would address

17 all present. He's identified as the acting president

18 of the Travnik HVO. Was that a civilian organisation

19 or a military organisation, sir?

20 A. You're referring to Pero Krizanac. That's

21 the civilian side.

22 Q. In August of 1993, sir, there wasn't any

23 Travnik HVO, was there, as far as you know; it had all

24 been cleaned out the month before by the ABiH?

25 A. You mean August 1993?

Page 18938

1 Q. Yes, indeed.

2 A. Yes. In Travnik in August 1993, there was no

3 civilian or military institutions.

4 Q. All right. Just one other point about this.

5 Under item 8, which is in the English headed

6 "Security" -- I'm sorry, item 9, under the heading of

7 the ceremony, and there's another paragraph 9 there

8 which announces what would be announced by the master

9 of ceremonies. First, there would be an address by the

10 HVO Travnik president. That would be Mr. Krizanac, I

11 take it.

12 A. What period are you referring to?

13 Q. Well, when was Mr. Krizanac the president of

14 the Travnik HVO, as far as you can recall, Major?

15 A. As far as I know, in 1993.

16 Q. All right. Up until what time?

17 A. I cannot recall that. I don't know until

18 what date, because I was involved in purely military

19 affairs.

20 Q. The second address is to be given by the

21 Territorial Defence, and that was a purely Muslim

22 military body in Travnik, wasn't it?

23 A. At first, before ABiH had that name, the name

24 "TO" was used.

25 Q. Did you ever attend any swearing-in

Page 18939

1 ceremonies or oath-taking ceremonies of any kind,

2 Major, at any time where an address was given to the

3 assembled new soldiers or people who were being sworn

4 in by members of the Territorial Defence?

5 A. No.

6 Q. All right. Just a couple of questions in

7 connection with two final documents, Major. But before

8 I go to that, just one question.

9 Did you ever hear that Mr. Mate Boban ever

10 visited Travnik at any time in April of 1993?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Did you ever hear that Mr. Boban visited

13 Travnik in April of 1992?

14 A. No. No, I don't know that Mr. Boban visited

15 Travnik during the wartime.

16 Q. Very well. And two final questions.

17 In connection with one of the military

18 information summaries you were shown, Z1019.1, dated

19 June the 5th of 1993 -- I don't think that it's

20 necessary, Mr. Usher, to show the document; let me just

21 read from it. There's a reference on page 2 to the

22 commander of the 3rd Corps, General Hadzihasanovic,

23 stating that he had little faith in diplomacy and the

24 political process. And then another individual by the

25 name of Suvalic stated that: "Muslims felt cheated and

Page 18940

1 disappointed by the International Community and were

2 being left with little alternative to military action

3 to resolve matters."

4 And the comment is made that:

5 "Although neither party would be drawn on

6 the question of what was to be the next step, the

7 unavoidable conclusion was that the BiH were no longer

8 prepared to restrain themselves and were likely to take

9 the military initiative in the Lasva Valley, where they

10 enjoy a tactical advantage over the HVO."

11 Did you ever hear, Major, that General

12 Hadzihasanovic was at this time refusing to meet with

13 Colonel Blaskic to try to resolve differences without

14 fighting?

15 A. No. At my level, I did not hear about these

16 things.

17 Q. Let me just see if I can jog your memory on

18 that -- maybe I can't -- with Exhibit 1020, and this is

19 the last question I have for you.

20 You were not asked about paragraph 12 of this

21 British military information summary dated June the 6th

22 of 1993, but here is what it says:

23 "Negotiations reconvened at 1800 but without

24 the planned attendance of Blaskic and Hadzihasanovic.

25 Blaskic had been willing to attend, but Hadzihasanovic,

Page 18941

1 despite the intervention of BHC, maintained his

2 previous position by stating that it was now too late

3 for negotiation. He claimed that he had the full

4 support of General Halilovic for the position he was

5 adopting."

6 And then there are some other comments made.

7 Does that ring a bell? Do you have any

8 recollection of General Hadzihasanovic refusing to

9 attend negotiations with Colonel Blaskic and claiming

10 that it was too late for negotiations?

11 A. I don't know about that.

12 JUDGE MAY: Major Ljubas, thank you for

13 coming to the Tribunal to give your evidence. You are

14 now free to go. You are released.

15 We will adjourn for an hour and a half, until

16 2.40.

17 [The witness withdrew]

18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.10 p.m.








Page 18942

1 --- On resuming at 2.40 p.m.

2 [The witness entered court]

3 JUDGE MAY: Judge Robinson is unwell. He has

4 the flu of some sort and therefore cannot sit this

5 afternoon.

6 Unless there's any objection, we propose to

7 make an order under the usual Rule, 15, for the two of

8 us to sit, and we hope he will be back tomorrow but he

9 may not be of course.

10 Any objection?

11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Absolutely

12 not, Your Honours.

13 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. I will make the

14 order.

15 Yes, let the witness take the declaration.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

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

18 and nothing but the truth.


20 [Witness answered through interpreter]

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

22 Your Honours.

23 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:

24 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Civcija. Mr. Civcija,

25 will you please give us your full name?

Page 18943

1 A. My name is Zlatan Civcija.

2 Q. Mr. Civcija, you were born in Travnik in

3 1954, is it?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. You are a Croat by ethnicity and a national

6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and you lived in Novi Travnik for

7 some 40 years until 1994?

8 A. Absolutely correct.

9 Q. Currently, you and your family live in the

10 town of Grahovo which is the southwestern part of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. And you work as a legal advisor by a public

14 company called Sume?

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. Before that, however, between April 1996 and

17 September 1997, you were a provisional administrator in

18 the town of Grahovo which is something like appointed

19 designated mayor; is that correct?

20 A. Absolutely so.

21 Q. Mr. Civcija, will you please pause after you

22 have heard my questions to give time to the

23 interpreters. Thank you.

24 And after you stopped being this designated

25 mayor until March this year, you were deputy mayor of

Page 18944

1 Grahovo; is that so?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. As for your education, you graduated from the

4 faculty of law in Sarajevo in 1980 and worked as a

5 lawyer for the weapons factory, Bratstvo, in Novi

6 Travnik for some ten years. For a while you were a

7 lawyer there and then you were the head, the manager of

8 joint affairs of those departments, as those matters

9 used to be called then.

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. In 1990, that is before the civil war broke

12 out, you became the chief of the Novi Travnik police,

13 and I would call it the chief or rather perhaps the

14 head because it was an administrative duty, wasn't it?

15 A. The exact name of that post which I took up

16 in March, I believe, 1990, is the chief of the public

17 security.

18 Q. Thank you. And in the police station in Novi

19 Travnik, you stayed with the civilian police until 28th

20 September 1993, and at that time you joined the Stjepan

21 Tomasevic Brigade of the Croat Defence Council in Novi

22 Travnik; is that so?

23 A. Yes, it is so.

24 Q. You joined the HVO, that is the

25 above-mentioned brigade, as a platoon commander and as

Page 18945

1 a platoon commander that is a member of the HVO. You

2 did that until the end of the civil war between the

3 Muslims and the Croats, that is, you were at the front

4 lines until sometime in the spring 1994.

5 A. Yes, correct.

6 Q. And just one more fact about your career. In

7 1995, you worked at the Ministry of the Interior of the

8 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna in Mostar.

9 A. Yes, correct.

10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]

11 Mr. Naumovski, I'd like to ask Mr. Civcija what his

12 current occupation is. What is he doing right now?

13 What does he do or what has his job been from 1995

14 onwards until today?

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Did you understand the question asked by His

17 Honour, Judge Bennouna?

18 A. Yes, and I should like to answer that

19 question. As the counsel has already said, in 1995 I

20 worked for the Ministry of the Interior of the Croat

21 Republic of Herceg-Bosna in Mostar.

22 From April of 1996 to some time late 1997, I

23 was a government-responsible agent for the municipality

24 of Bosanski Grahovo.

25 After the last municipal elections, I was

Page 18946

1 appointed deputy mayor of the municipality of Bosanski

2 Grahovo and head of the department of economic affairs,

3 and I held that post until sometime in March this

4 year. And then in early April, we had new local

5 elections and I was the first on the HDZ list.

6 We have not yet appointed the new local

7 government in the municipality of Bosanski Grahovo. It

8 was due one of these days. And meanwhile, I have begun

9 to work for the public company Sume Forests. It is a

10 cantonal enterprise engaged in forestry exploitation

11 and preservation of forests, and there I have the job

12 of legal advisor.

13 Q. Thank you. We can move on, Mr. Civcija.

14 Just a few general facts about the municipality of Novi

15 Travnik.

16 According to the census of 1991, in the

17 municipality of Novi Travnik, there were about 12.500

18 Croats, which is some 40 per cent, and there was

19 slightly less Muslims, 11.600, which is some 38

20 per cent of the total. There were also 16 per cent of

21 Serbs and a few percentage points of other people. Is

22 that correct?

23 A. I believe these figures are correct.

24 Q. These three ethnic groups, three peoples,

25 which lived in the town of Novi Travnik, by and large

Page 18947

1 respected customs and traditions of other groups, that

2 is, they were all more or less on good terms, and yet

3 nevertheless each one of those ethnic groups was more

4 or less separate and lived its own life, and this

5 especially holds true of rural environments; is that

6 so?

7 A. Yes, one could say so. About a third of the

8 population or some 10.000 of the inhabitants lived in

9 the town, and two thirds, that is, some 20.000, lived

10 principally in villages and small localities.

11 Q. One of those ethnic groups, that is, peoples

12 in the former Yugoslavia, in the old regime prior to

13 1990, were privileged as opposed to other peoples.

14 Could you tell Their Honours, what was that people and

15 how did these privileges manifest themselves?

16 A. Yes, of course. The former State of

17 Yugoslavia was a federal state, that is, a composite

18 state made of six republics and two provinces. In that

19 state, the majority people were the Serbs, and, in a

20 manner, they enjoyed some privileges when compared with

21 other peoples, because they largely controlled the

22 army -- I believe that about 90 per cent of the

23 officers were Serbs -- the police, public sector, that

24 is, public companies. That would be it.

25 Q. And as for the inhabitants of

Page 18948

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the other two peoples, Muslims and

2 Croats, at the time that you are talking about, were

3 somewhat discriminated against by virtue of the

4 functions in those institutions that you have just

5 mentioned. You are well acquainted with the structure,

6 because that is one of the things that you did, the

7 structure of the police command for which you worked

8 for a while in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One people there

9 was completely neglected?

10 A. Yes, by all means. For a long time, the

11 predominant people at all leading positions in the

12 police were the Serbs, so that both the Croats and

13 Muslims were discriminated against; notably, especially

14 the Croats, because they were the smallest people in

15 terms of the number.

16 Q. As for the executive posts in the police in

17 1989 and in 1990, the central government in Sarajevo

18 tried to compensate for this lack of Croats in

19 executive posts in the police, and some Croats were

20 then, including yourself, appointed to individual

21 duties in some police stations?

22 A. Yes, of course. In 1989 and 1990, throughout

23 Yugoslavia, was the period of the democratisation of

24 the state, in view of the changes taking place in

25 neighbouring countries. By this, I mean the countries

Page 18949

1 of the Socialist Eastern Bloc. Even though Yugoslavia

2 was one of the more liberal states, if one can put it

3 that way, when compared with this Socialist Bloc, it

4 was nevertheless a state with only one political

5 party. And by Western standards, it could not be

6 defined as a democratic state, therefore.

7 With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the

8 relaxation of discipline in the Soviet Union, this

9 process also expanded to our country, and it was

10 manifest in different ways. One of the aspects of this

11 was to try to redress the injustice in the police,

12 army, and other places concerning one people, so that

13 in my republic, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the head of the

14 police stations in several places, about a dozen Croats

15 were appointed, and I was one of them.

16 Q. Mr. Civcija, in November 1990, the first

17 multi-party elections took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina

18 in all the municipalities, and that includes the

19 municipality of Novi Travnik. In the elections, in the

20 local elections in Novi Travnik, the chief political

21 party of the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croat

22 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, won the largest

23 number of seats, and it was followed by the Party for

24 Democratic Action, that is, the chief Muslim party, and

25 then others. Would you agree with me?

Page 18950

1 A. Absolutely correct.

2 Q. And in line with the election results, the

3 new government was also conceived, and offices were

4 distributed between the parties, so that a Croat became

5 a mayor of the municipality, and a Muslim the president

6 of the local government, to put it in that matter, and

7 then the representative of the third largest people,

8 the Serbs, he became the secretary of the municipal

9 government, and so on and so forth. Is that so?

10 A. It is.

11 Q. And in this distribution of offices, the

12 Croats were allotted the place of the civil police, so

13 that you continued in the job that you already held,

14 but this time in agreement of all the parties in the

15 municipality of Novi Travnik?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. You were, however, the head of the police

18 covering the administrative field. Your deputy was a

19 Muslim, and he was involved with the active part of the

20 police.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, a few questions, Mr. Civcija -- and we

23 have reached paragraph 9, Your Honours -- a few

24 questions about the developments in the Republic of

25 Croatia in the latter half of 1991.

Page 18951

1 At the time when you -- and by this I mean

2 the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- watched on

3 television and in other media to follow the war that

4 was raging in the territory of the Republic of Croatia,

5 how did you see that, and did you begin to think about

6 what might happen to the situation in

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

8 A. The war operations in 1991 in Slovenia and

9 then in Croatia gave rise to concern -- to anxiety

10 among all the peoples who lived in the territory of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and especially the Croats, because

12 they could daily see on their small screens the

13 horrible images of war, the shelling of Vukovar, of

14 Dubrovnik, of Zadar, and a number of other places

15 across the Republic of Croatia, and this caused grave

16 concern to the Croat community in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

17 Q. And what you saw raging already in the

18 territory of the Republic of Croatia, did it make you

19 also begin to think -- begin to consider your own

20 defence, the defence of your own lands in the territory

21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

22 A. Well, we realised that after a long time of

23 the existence of Yugoslavia, which was, however you

24 look at it, a dictatorship. The time had come for it

25 to fall apart, to be dissolved, so that all the

Page 18952

1 constituent factors which made Yugoslavia should be

2 given their own states. We saw it happen with

3 Slovenia, with Croatia, with Macedonia, and it was

4 natural to expect that Bosnia-Herzegovina would become

5 a state too. When I say "state", I mean an

6 internationally-recognised state. And in that sense,

7 we also began to carry out certain preparations for

8 that act.

9 Q. And there was certain developments in

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, when some Croat villages and

11 localities were victimised. However, other peoples did

12 not react identically. Could it be that at that time

13 between you, the Croats, and members of other peoples,

14 that is, Muslims, there were already some

15 misunderstandings, some divergences as to what might

16 happen? Did the leadership of Bosnian Muslims, and

17 also speaking from the point of view of Novi Travnik,

18 were they on the same wavelength with you Croats?

19 A. Since you're asking me this, I will point out

20 the village of Ravno which is in the southeastern

21 corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we were

22 unpleasantly surprised by the response of the

23 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina when the village

24 of Ravno was attacked by the JNA and the Serb

25 paramilitary troops which shelled this village.

Page 18953

1 Q. The Trial Chamber already heard what happened

2 in the village of Ravno. We do not have to go into any

3 details. But if I understand you correctly, on the

4 other side, among the Muslims, there was no concern and

5 there was no concern among the Muslim leadership in

6 terms of what was going on.

7 A. This is what I could -- how I could answer

8 this question. The Muslim political leadership

9 believed that it would be able to get the independence

10 and that the guarantor of that would be the JNA.

11 They did not understand what at first befell

12 Slovenia then Croatia, to a larger degree, and then

13 what was to befall Bosnia and Herzegovina.

14 Q. Speaking about the preparations of the

15 Bosnian Croats, you will agree with me that thousands

16 of Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the

17 Croatian army which was amassing at the time in order

18 to assist Croatia in defending its boarders?

19 A. Yes. Of course, the JNA carried out

20 emigration against the Republic of Croatia and many

21 people, young and old, I believe some 15.000 of them

22 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, went to Croatia to defend

23 its sovereignty.

24 Q. When the war in Croatia resulted in a

25 cease-fire, most of these people went back home in

Page 18954

1 Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?

2 A. Yes, many went back and talked about the

3 horrors which they experienced because it was not

4 possible to get all the information from television, so

5 the testimonies of the people who took part in the

6 defence of Croatia were really moving.

7 Q. I understand but these same people, when the

8 civil war started in Bosnia and Herzegovina, came back

9 to defend their own homes so now they were taking part

10 in another war, in a second war at home.

11 A. Yes, absolutely right. It is also logical

12 that people who went to defend Croatia should come back

13 home to defend their own homes. They came back

14 immediately and did everything they could to defend the

15 areas where they were born and the whole of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina.

17 Q. In the town where you spent all your life, 40

18 years, most of your life, there was a very significant

19 factory called Bratstvo. It was a military factory.

20 Materiel from this and weapons from this factory were

21 sent to -- was used by the JNA to wage the war in

22 Croatia; is that correct?

23 A. When the events in Croatia took place, people

24 responded with fear. They expressed their discontent

25 and bitterness, but the situation was further

Page 18955

1 exacerbated by the fact that our own neighbours and kin

2 were being attacked with the weapons produced in our

3 own factory. And we wanted to do something to prevent

4 and stop this.

5 Q. Yes. But because people of all ethnic groups

6 worked in the factory, but the Croats and Muslims

7 differed on what to do. The Croats wanted to prevent

8 the weapons from being used against Croatia, and the

9 Muslims wanted it to keep working because they wanted

10 the economic benefit, but the only use of that was for

11 the war in Croatia so this is where you differed.

12 A. Yes. But this is how I would put this.

13 There was an attempt on the part of the factory

14 management who made decisions about the deliveries of

15 weapons. They wanted to represent that they were

16 forced by economic reasons to deliver weapons to the

17 JNA which was not correct. And politically speaking,

18 the representatives of Muslims who adopted -- didn't

19 see this trick, if I can call it that.

20 The JNA aimed at getting out all the weapons

21 and equipment from the factory and warehouse in their

22 own depots. They had enough weaponry and equipment,

23 but it was important for them that the other side did

24 not have any. So this is why they wanted it out, but

25 the political leadership of Muslims did not see this

Page 18956

1 trap.

2 Q. Bratstvo factory was part of the military

3 industrial complex, and the management consisted of the

4 former JNA officers or trusted people, if I can put it

5 that way.

6 A. Absolutely. And in order to explain what --

7 how it was, from the establishment of the factory until

8 the end, until the beginning of war that is, the

9 manager could not be anybody who was not a former

10 officer of the JNA. And the top management had to be

11 JNA officers which means that 99 per cent of them were

12 of Serbian ethnic background.

13 And of course, as soldiers, they carried out

14 orders of their superiors who were in Belgrade.

15 Q. Despite these differences in views between

16 you and Muslims, and despite all the deliveries of

17 weapons, you were able to stop and prevent some of this

18 weaponry from reaching the JNA.

19 However, did you not keep those weapons for

20 yourselves only. You received an order or a decision

21 to share it with the Muslims. Do you know who passed

22 this decision or who issued this order?

23 A. Frankly, Croats, as an ethnic group in Novi

24 Travnik, on several occasions, barred transports of

25 weapons from leaving the compound. And on one

Page 18957

1 occasion, they even took some weapons because the war

2 was approaching the boarders of Bosnia and we were

3 under a real threat of being attacked.

4 All weapons which, at that time, we stopped,

5 we divided into two equal parts. I think this order

6 came from the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I

7 think the Defence minister at the time was Mr. Jerko

8 Doko, and I also heard that Mr. Stjepan Kljuic, who was

9 a member of the Presidency, also became involved in

10 this, and I attended some of these meetings. And we

11 implemented this decision from the Ministry of Defence

12 in Sarajevo and distributed the weapons.

13 Q. Both Mr. Kljuic and Mr. Doko were members of

14 the top leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the

15 time?

16 A. Absolutely correct.

17 Q. Mr. Civcija, you know of many cases of

18 distribution of weapons, at least this is what

19 paragraph 13 refers to. You shared with the other

20 side, with the Muslims, the weapons which was in the

21 Bratstvo factory which was to have been used as -- for

22 air defence. You did not keep those weapons but rather

23 you shared it with the Muslim side.

24 A. Yes. As I said in the beginning, Bratstvo

25 was a military factory and they all had a certain type

Page 18958

1 of security. Part of that security system in the

2 Bratstvo factory were anti-aircraft guns which were

3 kept at Bratstvo, and for 40 or 50 years of its

4 existence, there was always a crew which was trained to

5 use these weapons.

6 We divided these anti-aircraft guns equally

7 between the Croatian and Muslim groups when we started

8 preparing against the aggression of the JNA and the

9 army of Bosnian Serbs.

10 Q. Let us move swiftly through the next

11 segment. You also shared weapons, the weapons seized

12 from the JNA in the facility in Stojkovici and from the

13 Slimena facility, and even the weapons from the

14 municipal sports club which was used for

15 rifle-shooting, and all the weapons that remained in

16 the army barracks after the retreat of the JNA. And

17 you shared all those weapons; is that correct?

18 A. Yes, that is correct. I personally took part

19 in the distribution of weapons we had seized in

20 Stojkovici, and Mr. Filipovic, who at that time, I

21 believe, was a colonel, was present there and with my

22 colleague in the police force, I personally distributed

23 weapons that the municipal sports club used to have.

24 And I took part in the transport of weapons to the

25 Muslims alongside Mr. Cengic.

Page 18959

1 I believe on two occasions, there was 24

2 truckloads which we took to Visoko and these weapons

3 were successfully used in the defence of the city of

4 Sarajevo which was already under the attack of the JNA

5 and the army of Bosnian Serbs.

6 I believe that it was thanks to those weapons

7 that the city of Sarajevo was defended.

8 Q. You mentioned this convoy to Visoko, the 24

9 truckloads. You personally escorted this convoy and

10 you were involved in providing security for it?

11 A. Yes, that is correct. One of the chief

12 logistics persons in the Bosniak armed forces was

13 Mr. Cengic, and I assumed that from one of the top

14 leaders or the -- in the central government in Bosnia,

15 he was tasked with coming --

16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, I'm going to

17 interrupt you.

18 Mr. Civcija, we've heard a lot of evidence in

19 this case about these events, and I think it would help

20 if we could get on to the more relevant parts.

21 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

23 Your Honour. We can move on, Mr. Civcija. We are at

24 paragraph 14, Your Honours.

25 Q. The Chamber has heard that on the 29th of

Page 18960

1 February and 1st of March, 1992, a referendum was held

2 in order to decide the issue of independence of Bosnia

3 and Herzegovina. Perhaps we should touch on this issue

4 quickly.

5 The question was how the question in the

6 referendum was phrased. This is, again, where you and

7 the Muslim side differed. There were only 17.4 per

8 cent Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as a minority

9 group, you wanted some guarantees for an equal status

10 that you used to have in the previous Bosnia and

11 Herzegovina.

12 A. Yes. The issue of the independence is one of

13 the key issues, how the future community is going to be

14 organised. Both Croats and Muslims were in favour of

15 independence, but even before this referendum on

16 independence, we wanted to build in some safety

17 mechanisms so that the minority group would be

18 guaranteed its rights, so that it be a

19 fully-constituent group, so that it could be equal, so

20 that it would not be outvoted.

21 There were certain doubts and

22 misunderstandings within the leadership on both sides,

23 but at the referendum on whether we wanted an

24 independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, an

25 internationally-recognised state, a majority of both of

Page 18961

1 these ethnic groups voted. And thanks to their votes,

2 this country became independent.

3 And I want to point out that without the

4 Croat votes, the independence would never have been

5 voted, whereas the majority of the Serbian population

6 never voted.

7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]

8 Mr. Naumovski, you know perfectly well that we've heard

9 a lot of witnesses who came to testify as to the issue

10 of how this new State of Bosnia and Herzegovina came to

11 be. I think it would be a waste of time to return to

12 those facts at this stage of the proceedings.

13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I absolutely

14 agree, Your Honour. But this was just introductory

15 questions, and I move on right away.

16 Q. Mr. Civcija, to speed things along, despite

17 the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina was declared an

18 independent state, basically a month later the war

19 broke out because the army of Bosnian Serbs started a

20 series of military offensives throughout the territory

21 of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

22 A. Yes. Let me just say, in brief, that is

23 correct.

24 Q. In this first wave of attacks of the JNA and

25 the BSA, hundreds of thousands -- several hundred

Page 18962

1 thousand Muslims and some Croats were driven out of the

2 north-eastern and north-western areas, and many of them

3 went to Central Bosnia, including your area?

4 A. Yes, that is correct. But I would like to

5 point out that the first refugee convoy with women and

6 children started out from the city of Sarajevo. There

7 were about 10.000 of them, and the Serbs kept them for

8 two or three days in Ilidza and mistreated them.

9 Then in May and June, further convoys

10 throughout North-western Bosnia, Eastern Bosnia, and in

11 the municipalities of Travnik, Novi Travnik, and the

12 whole Lasva Valley, there were floods of people, men,

13 women, and children, who were catching different

14 transports to get there.

15 Q. In spite of this sudden aggression and this

16 fierce attack, the HVO, regardless of the state of

17 organisation, the state that they were in, started to

18 prepare for defence, and you were a bit better prepared

19 than the Muslim side in this spring of 1992?

20 A. Yes, that is correct. I pointed it out at

21 the beginning. We recognised the threat which was

22 coming, and we could see that this scenario from

23 Slovenia and Croatia was about to be repeated and we

24 started preparing ourselves. It is true that at that

25 time we were a bit better prepared than our partners

Page 18963

1 from the Muslim ethnic group. We offered resistance,

2 and we went out in the field to prevent the attacks of

3 the JNA and the army of Bosnian Serbs.

4 Q. Let's move on. You talked about a number of

5 refugees which came to your area, but you had other

6 problems. Every village, every hamlet, had their own

7 military units that were not well coordinated among

8 themselves, which further complicated the issue, didn't

9 it?

10 A. Yes. This was a very complicated situation.

11 In this period, we got a state, Bosnia and Herzegovina,

12 which was in a very strange condition. It did not have

13 its own army. In its own territory, there were units

14 of another country. Nobody knew how to resolve this

15 problem. Some officials from the top leadership of

16 Bosnia and Herzegovina were not aware of the danger

17 that this army was posing, and we know that this was --

18 it was 99 per cent Serbian -- and did not recognise the

19 threat. So what happened was we were attacked by this

20 army.

21 In our attempt to defend ourselves from this

22 army and from the army of Bosnian Serbs, the Croatian

23 Defence Council was formed, both the military and

24 civilian side. This process was very painful.

25 JUDGE MAY: There's no need for this general

Page 18964

1 evidence, Mr. Naumovski. We've heard this, if I may

2 say, time and again. We don't need general political

3 speeches. We want this witness's evidence specifically

4 about what he knows; namely, Novi Travnik.

5 Let's move on, if we can, to 18.

6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

7 Your Honours. We were just moving to the situation in

8 Novi Travnik.

9 Q. Mr. Civcija, talking about this mass influx

10 of refugees from Eastern and North-western Bosnia, when

11 they arrived, a very delicate demographic balance was

12 upset, the demographic structure was changing

13 dramatically, and this affected the town of Novi

14 Travnik too.

15 A. Yes, that is correct. The population doubled

16 and tripled in size, so that there were two or three

17 times more Muslims than before.

18 Q. This mass influx of refugees actually also

19 produced a state of lawlessness. The police were

20 unable to act in the usual way, that is, they could not

21 keep things under control in the town. Is that

22 correct?

23 A. I said that the situation was very

24 complicated. There were more and more units and people

25 wearing military uniforms that were passing through,

Page 18965

1 and it was very difficult to control the situation,

2 regardless of whether these were the HVO members or

3 members of its equivalent Bosniak side.

4 Q. In addition to all these groups and

5 individuals who were there, you would know, wouldn't

6 you, as a person who was working for the police, that a

7 number of people who had been convicted and who had

8 been detained, people of criminal pasts who were

9 supposed to be kept in those institutions, were

10 released, and they also came to this area?

11 A. Yes. A number of people who were serving

12 sentences or awaiting their trials came to this area,

13 and it was very difficult to control all of them.

14 Q. After May 1992, there were two armies in Novi

15 Travnik; there was the TO, which was organised in the

16 way it was, but there was also a separate HOS unit.

17 And these units, the units which consisted of Croats

18 and those which consisted of Muslims --

19 [Trial Chamber confers]

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's try and speed up.

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

22 Q. -- they harassed people of Novi Travnik,

23 which further complicated the relations between Muslims

24 and Croats. Were you still able to reach any types of

25 agreements, how to organise your coexistence with the

Page 18966

1 Muslims, or were these agreements simply not there?

2 A. There were two types of problems; how to

3 establish the military and how to establish cooperation

4 between the two sides, and how to establish cooperation

5 between the two civilian sides. We had a crisis staff

6 which tried to assume the role of the local municipal

7 government which had ceased to operate. But even that

8 didn't work out, because members of the Serbian ethnic

9 group left those institutions, and so it was very

10 difficult to reach any type of consensus of the two

11 sides that remained in government.

12 Q. We can move right along to paragraph 21.

13 Because this Crisis Staff was inefficient and unable to

14 maintain order in Novi Travnik, the government of the

15 HVO was established.

16 A. That is correct.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

18 I will try to tender an exhibit at this point.

19 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

20 D219/1.

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

22 this is a decision on the appointment of the head of

23 the office in the municipality of Novi Travnik. It is

24 what Mr. Civcija just talked about.

25 Q. Mr. Civcija, this document which was signed

Page 18967

1 in Mostar on the 23rd of July, 1992, it was signed by

2 Mr. Mate Boban?

3 A. No, this document was not taken on the 3rd of

4 July but on the 13th of June. It was merely written

5 out on the 3rd of July.

6 Q. Yes, yes, that is so, that is what it says.

7 But the HVO was set up as a provisional measure in

8 order to try to somehow organise life in Novi Travnik;

9 is that so? So will you please tell the Court, the

10 representatives of what people were members of this HVO

11 government?

12 A. Yes. Croats and Muslims participated in this

13 government. For instance, Mr. Enes Sehic, an

14 economist, who before that was the head of a building

15 company and manager of a bank, he was appointed head of

16 the Department of Economic Affairs. Mr. Feriz Rizvic

17 became a member of the government, and Mr. Safet Koco,

18 who was a mechanical engineer, was also appointed to

19 the government of Novi Travnik.

20 Q. So they were Muslim representatives?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Thank you. However, even after the HVO was

23 set up, all the problems were not resolved, and did the

24 HVO seek some way to deepen their relations with the

25 Muslims, to see why some proposal that came from your

Page 18968

1 side was not acceptable, or did it all go in a

2 completely different direction?

3 A. Well, our intention was to organise the life

4 in this space at the time of the aggression which had

5 already begun against this area, because shells had

6 already begun to fall. We were attacked from aircraft,

7 the factory was attacked as a target, the town was

8 being attacked, there was a major influx of refugees,

9 and we were expecting this government to begin to

10 function, that is, ensure livelihood for the largest

11 part of the population. However, this was accompanied

12 by huge problems. We met on various occasions, trying

13 to regulate our relations and see how to make that

14 government work, but it all was an uphill battle.

15 Q. Thank you. So in spite of the fact that the

16 representatives of the Muslims were incorporated in

17 this HVO government that we are talking about, some

18 Muslim politicians nevertheless organised a parallel,

19 if I may put it that way, war presidency consisting of

20 Muslims only, and they, in a way, took over the

21 management of the municipal territory mostly inhabited

22 by the Muslim population?

23 A. Yes, that is absolutely correct. These are

24 people who were hard-liners, and they must have been

25 following somebody's instructions. They merely dodged

Page 18969

1 cooperation and they set up a parallel government in

2 the area they believed to be controlling, and that was

3 approximately the area with the majority Muslim

4 population.

5 Q. Could you tell the Court two or three names

6 of those persons, of those Muslim politicians that you

7 are talking about?

8 A. Well, first of all, Mr. Salih, who was the

9 president of the SDA at the time, and before that he

10 was the president of the local government, Salih

11 Krnjic. And I think that another one's name was -- oh,

12 it slips my mind now.

13 Q. Ragib Zukic?

14 A. Yes, Ragib Zukic.

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 So let us move on, and that is to the first conflict

17 which took place on the 19th of July, 1991. If we

18 may -- June, sorry, excuse me, June 1991.

19 If we may, Your Honours, we heard from the

20 Prosecutor and we also had a city map, and our witness

21 has added some facilities which were missing from this

22 map. We blew it up, and if we may, we should like to

23 put it on the ELMO and ask the witness to explain, as

24 briefly as possible, what happened where.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, from now on it

Page 18970

1 would be better if you didn't lead the witness. Let

2 him give his own evidence about what happened.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes,

4 absolutely, Your Honours. Absolutely.

5 Q. Mr. Civcija, we can see this town plan, if I

6 may call it that, and you drew there some buildings,

7 some facilities which were missing. So could you

8 please, as briefly as possible, explain to the Court

9 who caused the conflict in June 1992 and what were the

10 directions of the attack and so on so forth, but

11 please, in a nutshell.

12 A. Well, in a nutshell, it was like this.

13 Q. You can also use the pointer on the ELMO to

14 point what you intend to show. You need to show it

15 there?

16 A. Yes, yes, yes, I understand. At that time,

17 the commander of the Muslim army in the municipality of

18 Novi Travnik was Mr. Mufet Lendo from a member of the

19 Yugoslav People's Army. He is a hard-liner who was not

20 very cooperative, and we were unable to reach an

21 agreement with him for the two components to cooperate

22 jointly in our operations against the army of Bosnian

23 Serbs.

24 He was pursuing a rather hard line,

25 politically, and he simply wanted to command all the

Page 18971

1 forces in the municipality in Novi Travnik.

2 On the 19th of June, there was an attempt to

3 take over the principal facilities in the town. As you

4 can see here [indicates], the town spreads in a

5 north/south direction.

6 The northern entrance is next to the Mali Raj

7 outlet where there is a junction. And on the other

8 side, which is the fire brigade centre, this is leading

9 to the Bratstvo factory which is two or three

10 kilometres away.

11 That morning, they wanted to set up a

12 checkpoint at the -- checkpoint at the junction next to

13 the Mali Raj, and they used an air gun. However,

14 several members of the armed formations of the HOS,

15 which are the Croat Defence forces, they simply pushed

16 them away without even outside use of force. They

17 drove them away with their noise and by making dins

18 simply.

19 And then late in the afternoon, that same

20 day, the gunfire started in the town and later on I

21 learned that the following facilities had been attacked

22 [indicates].

23 The building of the police which also housed

24 the commander of the Territorial Defence, that is the

25 Muslim forces, then the building of the post office

Page 18972

1 which they took, and the building of the school which

2 they took. Fire was opened against the workers and the

3 municipal hall, and the headquarters of the Croat

4 Defence Council which is the military staff of the army

5 of the Croats.

6 They took the intersection and the fire

7 brigade centre and blocked the road towards Bratstvo,

8 and it was proceeded by an attack on the building of

9 the HVO military police which was on the road, on the

10 local hill, and the task of which was to protect the

11 headquarters from this side.

12 Q. Will you please just slow down to make the

13 work easier for the interpreters.

14 A. I apologise. If necessary, I shall repeat it

15 all.

16 Q. No, I don't think you have to, the transcript

17 has it all. Just try to slow down.

18 A. After that the Croat Defence Council, rather,

19 people who happened on the positions, prevented members

20 of the Territorial Defence to take these facilities and

21 most of these tanks were repulsed.

22 And in the PTT buildings, some 20 members of

23 the TO were captured who surrendered and the building,

24 the police building, was also turned over around

25 there. They took to their heels so that they left the

Page 18973

1 headquarters of the Territorial Defence.

2 The school was also defended and the

3 municipal hall and the workers' centre. The only thing

4 that was kept under control was this intersection by

5 the fire brigade centre, and this school which I did

6 not show which is on the Omladinska Street and which is

7 up in the southwestern part of the municipality.

8 And yet another facility very important which

9 was attacked [indicates] was the firing range. The

10 shooting range which belonged to the town and which is

11 here.

12 Q. So, that day, if I understood you properly,

13 numerous facilities, the most important places in the

14 town were attacked?

15 A. Absolutely correct. That day, the commander

16 of the Territorial Defence, Mr. Lendo, issued the

17 orders to take the most important points in that town

18 reckoning that if he kept them under control, that it

19 would be controlling the whole town; however, this

20 action was thwarted.

21 The Croat Defence Council demonstrated

22 strength, it was more successful and they were driven

23 out from all -- the members of the TO were driven out

24 from all those facilities.

25 Q. Mr. Civcija, during the fighting then, were

Page 18974

1 you informed that in the workers' centre there was a

2 meeting underway between Muslim and Croat

3 representatives?

4 A. Yes, these meetings were taking place very

5 frequently in the workers' centre, but also the party

6 premises both of the HDZ and the SDA and also of the

7 Serb Democratic Party were in the building, so that

8 meetings were frequent there. And when the gunfire

9 abated slightly, it was the end of the day, I

10 personally went to see who was in the building.

11 Maybe it was dusk, lights had not come up

12 yet, and I heard noise and melee and I couldn't

13 recognise people there and as I was coming out of that

14 building, I saw Mr. Salih Krnjic, who was the local

15 politician, a member of the Muslim people, and a HOS

16 member who was treating him rather roughly, pulling at

17 him and threatening to do something to him.

18 And then I grabbed him by his arm. I simply

19 protected him against this HOS soldier, and I drove him

20 in my vehicle to a part of the town which was safe.

21 In the morning, when the gunfire stopped,

22 Mr. Colonel Filipovic -- I turned over Salih to Colonel

23 Filipovic. From what I knew, he then took him to the

24 new headquarters of the Territorial Defence and then he

25 was exchanged for the president of the HVO, Mr. Jozo

Page 18975

1 Senkic, who was, the next day, intercepted by the

2 members of the Muslim army at this place, at this

3 intersection by the fire brigade centre, and took them

4 to the village of Kasapovici, which is to the west of

5 the town.

6 Q. Tell us, where did you take Mr. Salih Krnjic?

7 A. I took him to the northern part of the town

8 where there was no fighting, and I put him up

9 temporarily in a coffee shop called "Grand".

10 Q. Thank you. Before I proceed, could I get the

11 number for this exhibit, please.

12 THE REGISTRAR: The number is D220/1.

13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14 Q. Mr. Civcija, just one question more, perhaps

15 two related to the June conflict. This June conflict

16 in 1992 was one of the first armed conflicts between

17 the Muslim -- between Muslims and Croats in Central

18 Bosnia. Could you tell us, was the situation informal

19 or other as a citizen of Novi Travnik? How did you see

20 the situation after the conflict? What happened then?

21 A. Well, to begin with, I need to say that this

22 conflict unfortunately took place. Something that I

23 could never expect took place. As a citizen of that

24 town, somebody who's spent all his life in the town, I

25 could never expect that.

Page 18976

1 After that, the situation deteriorated

2 seriously, meaning that people lost trust. And then an

3 activity started to try to move people out of a part of

4 the town where they did not feel the safest to another

5 part of the town and vice versa.

6 And I must say that this situation was also

7 contributed to by a major look of discipline amongst

8 the members of all armed formations and members of the

9 people.

10 A larger number of members, of units both in

11 the Croat Defence Council and in the Muslim armed

12 forces, lacked discipline, and a large number of them

13 were punished.

14 There were all sorts of outbursts of

15 incident, harassment of citizens. And in such a

16 complex situation, citizens themselves decided where

17 they might -- they would feel safer and they began to

18 withdraw to the parts of the town where they believed

19 to be safer.

20 Q. So, for the reasons that you have just given

21 us, the town of Novi Travnik, after the June conflict,

22 was even -- informally, but it was divided into two

23 parts, we could say so.

24 A. Yes. It was divided and it has remained so

25 almost to this day, even today.

Page 18977

1 Q. Very well. Let us hurry on. Paragraph 27,

2 Your Honours.

3 Mr. Civcija, you spent a major part of your

4 career with the civilian police. In 1991 and early

5 1992, the civilian police could more or less perform

6 its duties without any particular obstruction like any

7 other civil police the world over?

8 A. Yes, of course the Novi Travnik police

9 carried out its duties normally in 1990 and in 1991

10 until spring of 1992.

11 Q. And what was it that changed in the work of

12 the civilian police after April 1992?

13 A. As I have mentioned, when it comes to that

14 period of time, I said that the situation had grown

15 very complex because there were very many members of

16 all sorts of units in uniforms who were all in a small

17 area.

18 In time, the police lost the purpose and the

19 sense and the role that they should play as the

20 civilian police on the one hand. On the other hand,

21 never-ending attacks by the Serb aggressor made us

22 engage a large number of civilian policemen to join the

23 armed forces, the military forces, and go on to the

24 defence lines against the army of Bosnian Serbs, that

25 is the JNA, so that members of the civilian police were

Page 18978

1 involved there.

2 Q. Tell us, please, the civilian police during

3 this period of time, especially as of spring, 1992

4 onward, did the civilian police in Novi Travnik have

5 any jurisdiction or control over all those military

6 units, rather members of armies, that committed crimes

7 in the territory of Novi Travnik municipality?

8 A. Absolutely not. The civilian police never

9 had any jurisdiction of any member of any unit,

10 whichever unit.

11 As I already said, unfortunately at that

12 time, some ugly things happened. There were numerous

13 incidents, numerous outbursts. There were even several

14 murders, evictions. I believe there was two or three

15 cases of murder where a Croat killed a Muslim.

16 There were also cases when a Muslim killed a

17 Serb. There were cases where a Muslim killed a Muslim

18 or a Croat killed a Croat.

19 Whatever the case, it was -- they were

20 members of some military units and they were very

21 difficult to control. Not only did the civilian police

22 have no jurisdiction over them, but I am quite positive

23 that not even the members of the military police

24 managed at that time to keep the members of military

25 units under control or discipline on side.

Page 18979

1 Q. After the first multi-party elections, the

2 civilian police in the town of Novi Travnik was mixed,

3 that is, consisted of members of different peoples.

4 How long did Muslim policemen stay with the police

5 station or, rather, when did they simply leave and how

6 did they do that?

7 A. Well, in point of fact, I say -- I can say

8 that it was until the first conflict that -- that is

9 until the 19th of June, 1992 or rather they came,

10 several members of the Muslim policemen continued to

11 come to work for several days after that, but then

12 somebody ordered them not to come and they simply left

13 the police station and set up their own police station

14 which was then housed in the part of the town

15 controlled by the Muslim army.

16 Q. So at that time, they not only parted company

17 with you, it was not only that the local government

18 split up, but even the civilian police parted company

19 and set up in two different parts of the town; is that

20 so?

21 A. Unfortunately, that was one of the episodes

22 during that period of time which happened.

23 Q. Very well, thank you. In mid-1992, the civil

24 part of the HVO separated from the military wing and

25 set up the office of the civil police in Travnik,

Page 18980

1 rather, the civil police administration in Travnik, in

2 other words.

3 Tell us, please, in just two words, about

4 something about that office. The police administration

5 in Travnik was responsible for the whole of the Lasva

6 Valley, that is, several municipalities. So it was

7 also responsible for the municipality of Novi Travnik.

8 It was the higher instance with reference to all your

9 police stations in Central Bosnia?

10 A. Yes, of course, it was the regional police

11 organisation. We can call it that with a seat in

12 Travnik. In addition to this administration with a

13 seat in Travnik, there was also another administration

14 in Zepce, Livno, and in Mostar. As for the police

15 administration in Travnik, it covered several

16 municipalities; Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca,

17 Fojnica, Kiseljak, Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno. I believe I

18 haven't omitted any of them.

19 And it became operative sometime in mid-1992

20 and it had its seat in Travnik first in the music

21 school, and then in the building of the Yugoslav

22 People's Army.

23 Q. Just one detail. So at the municipal level,

24 there were civil police stations. At the regional

25 level, there were police administrations and who was

Page 18981

1 above them and who was above the police administration?

2 A. Above them was the Department of the Interior

3 with a seat in Mostar, with the head of the department

4 being Mr. Vasic. He was a member of the government of

5 the Croat Defence Council as the minister, as the head

6 of the Department of the Interior.

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

8 I should like to adduce my last exhibit for

9 Mr. Civcija, a very short document.

10 Could the usher please help us?

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if the usher would, thank

12 you, and we'll then adjourn.

13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Just a

14 minute, yes. Just one minute more, please.

15 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

16 D21/1 [sic].

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Just for the

18 transcript -- D221; is that it?


20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you. [Interpretation]

21 It is only for the record.

22 Q. Now, Mr. Civcija, this is the decision signed

23 by the head of the Internal Affairs Department.

24 Subsequently it became the ministry in the Croat

25 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, it became the ministry. That

Page 18982

1 is, Mr. Branko Kvesic, he decided that you should be

2 appointed the chief of the police station in Novi

3 Travnik; is that so?

4 A. Yes, that is correct.

5 Q. And the explanation says that your

6 appointment, that your -- you were nominated by the

7 head of the police department in Travnik. That is the

8 body which is your -- the body superior to you in

9 administrative terms; is that so?

10 A. Yes, indeed. Mr. -- the chief of the police

11 department in Travnik was my immediate superior.

12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

13 very much, Mr. Civcija.

14 Your Honours, I believe this would be a

15 convenient time.

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Civcija, we're going to

17 adjourn now until tomorrow morning. Would you please

18 be back at 9.30 to continue your evidence tomorrow.

19 Would you remember this during the

20 adjournment: not to speak to anybody about your

21 evidence until it's over, and of course don't let

22 anybody speak to you about it, and that does include

23 members of the Defence team of lawyers.

24 Could you be back, please, at half past

25 9.00.

Page 18983

1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

2 4 p.m., to be reconvened on

3 Thursday, the 18th day of May, 2000,

4 at 9.30 a.m.