1 Tuesday, 23
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
6 WITNESS: NIKO GRUBESIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Examined by Mr. Sayers: [Contd.]
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Grubesic.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. We had reached paragraph 15 of your outline,
13 and you just described for us, before we broke
14 yesterday, the results of the first free elections in
15 Busovaca municipality and the appointments that were
16 made of Croats and Muslims to various posts in the
17 municipal government.
18 Could you just give the Trial Chamber a feel,
19 at least in your view, Mr. Grubesic, of how well the
20 municipal government functioned in 1991?
21 A. I should like to say that the municipal
22 government, in addition to Croats and Muslims, included
23 also Serb representatives, and that government, made of
24 Croats and Muslims and Serbs from three coalition
25 parties, in my view, in 1991, functioned very well
1 indeed, and it had begun resolving some acute municipal
2 problems which had not been solved for many years
3 before that.
4 Q. All right. Proceeding on to the next
5 paragraph, sir. You, as we've heard, were a member of
6 the national parliament in the Socialist Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the beginning of 1991, and it's
8 true, I believe, that you spent several days per month
9 in Sarajevo when parliament was in session.
10 A. Yes. I spent several days at the session of
11 the parliament of the Socialist Republic of
13 Q. Now, in your outline, you say you witnessed
14 the growing Bosnian crisis during the time that you
15 were a Member of Parliament. In your own words, could
16 you just elaborate upon that for Their Honours.
17 A. Well, in point of fact, that is where the
18 Bosnian crisis began or, rather, that is where we
19 witnessed a crisis of the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
20 It all found its reflection in the political life and,
21 therefore, in the parliament. That is, one could see
22 there too that there were different political options
23 upheld by different political parties regarding the
24 future status of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, whether
25 it will become an independent state or a state which
1 would remain in Yugoslavia. There were also different
2 options regarding the internal organisation of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina in case it won its independence.
4 All in all, I can say that the deputies in
5 the parliament of the Socialist Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina from the SDS ranks, throughout their
7 work in the parliament, were seeking for a way not to
8 answer any of these questions, that is, either of the
9 future status of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the future
10 internal organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. And could you elaborate upon this subject for
12 us, please, the actions, parliamentary actions of the
13 SDS or Serbian Democratic Party representatives in the
14 parliament. Did they contribute to the effective
15 operation of parliament or did they obstruct it? Could
16 you give us your view on that, sir.
17 A. Well, my impression was that representatives
18 of the Serb Democratic Party would come to the
19 parliament ready, prepared in advance to talk about
20 anything, simply to dodge devising any solution. They
21 would come with strings of long speeches and thus
22 obstructed the work of the parliament of the Socialist
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 MR. SAYERS: We'll skip very briefly over
25 paragraph 18, Your Honours. There's already been a lot
1 of evidence about the JNA offensives in Slovenia and
2 Croatia and the attack upon Ravno.
3 Q. All of these events certainly riveted your
4 attention, Mr. Grubesic, would that be fair to say?
5 There's no need to elaborate upon that, but you were
6 aware, and very much aware, of the outbreak of war in
7 Slovenia and Croatia shortly after those republics had
8 declared independence and how the effects of that war
9 trickled over into your country with the attack on
11 A. Yes. You have described it just right. I
12 must say that the news about the attack of Yugoslav
13 People's Army on Slovenia I heard in the parliament of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because a colleague --
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Grubesic, there's no need to
16 repeat it.
17 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I'll move on, Your
18 Honour. I know the Court has heard a lot about this.
19 Q. Would it also be fair to say, just
20 summarising paragraph 19, about which there's already
21 been a lot of evidence, that the perception among the
22 Bosnian Croats was that notwithstanding these threats,
23 the preparedness of the Muslim community to consider
24 measures to organise their own defence or the defence
25 of their communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina was limited
1 or non-existent in the Bosnian Croat view?
2 A. Well, I could say that the Muslim leadership
3 seemed to vacillate or, rather, they were not quite
4 sure whether Bosnia-Herzegovina should stay in the then
5 already rump Yugoslavia or whether to proclaim the
6 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. For those reasons,
7 the Muslim leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina even said
8 that the Yugoslav People's Army was the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it would protect the
10 sovereignty, integrity, and so on of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. For those reasons, I suppose
12 adequate preparations for the defence against the
13 aggression were not carried out.
14 The Croats realised this danger. They were
15 the first ones to have it brought home to them, and
16 realised that there should be a referendum on the
17 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina so that
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina could become independent.
19 There were, therefore, several initiatives in
20 the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina proposed by the
21 representatives so as to put on the agenda the decision
22 on the referendum on independence of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'm referring to the latter
24 half of 1991.
25 At that time, the war in Croatia was
1 escalating. There were an increasing number of
2 casualties and destruction in Croatia, and it was only
3 a matter of days when Bosnia-Herzegovina would be
4 attacked by the JNA, hence these initiatives the Croat
5 Democratic Union in the parliament of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is, those were the ideas of --
7 Q. If I could just interrupt you for a minute.
8 It would help if you could give shorter answers to
9 these questions. We'll get through the outline a lot
10 more quickly, and you'll be through with your
12 Let me just focus your attention on one
13 thing, though. You mentioned the independent
14 referendum but I'd like to ask you some questions about
15 before the referendum.
16 Was there any consideration before the
17 referendum and while the future of your country was
18 still up in the air, was there any consideration given
19 to the Croats considering a secession option, if you
20 like, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, which would be part of,
21 as you described it, a rump Yugoslavia? Was that
22 concept at all considered or discussed amongst you and
23 your colleagues?
24 A. Well, in fact, I told you there were
25 discussions about a referendum on the independence of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is what I could hear among --
2 in the official circles among the deputies and
3 politicians that I had the opportunity to meet.
4 It seems to me that there were some ideas
5 that Croats toyed with the idea that in case
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina remained a rump Yugoslavia, then
7 some thought that the Croats would be entitled, if
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina remained in rump Yugoslavia, that
9 then parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina should secede and join
10 the Republic of Croatia. So that was an idea voiced by
11 some people before the decision on the referendum on
12 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina was adopted.
13 After that, following that, I did not hear
14 such ideas again.
15 Q. All right. Moving on to the next subject in
16 paragraph 20, could you tell us, sir, the circumstances
17 under which the Travnik Regional Community was formed
18 and what exactly that organisation was organised to
19 fulfil. What function that organisation was organised
20 to fulfil.
21 A. Well, I could briefly say that the idea about
22 the coordination of work on municipal points of the
23 Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in that
24 area, in the area of Central Bosnia came sometime in
25 the latter half of 1991 because we wanted to coordinate
1 the municipal branches of the Croat Democratic Union of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina so as to facilitate the preparation
3 for the following period, and the assessments were all
4 quite clear and nonambiguous.
5 All the facts are pointing one direction that
6 war would happen in Bosnia-Herzegovina so one had to
7 prepare oneself in order to prevent the destruction of
8 property and death of a large number of people, and I
9 believe that was the principal reason why this regional
10 community of the HDZ was done or why this coordination
11 was undertaken.
12 It wasn't an official formed Croatia of the
13 Croat Democratic Union, it was simply an initiative of
14 municipal boards for the coordinated activities in that
15 area of Central Bosnia.
16 Q. All right. Thank you. We've also heard a
17 lot in this trial about the formation of the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna, the HZ HB. Could you tell
19 the Trial Chamber about what you know about the
20 circumstances under which this organisation was formed
21 and what it stood for, sir.
22 A. It was like this, I wished to point out that
23 formerly the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on the
24 18th of November, 1991, that was when we saw on
25 television horrific scenes, horrible scenes of
1 devastation and the killing of people in Vukovar. That
2 they said at the time when the aggression in the
3 Republic of Croatia culminated at that time, in major
5 The Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina were
6 realising the danger of war, wanted to organise itself
7 in a community which they called the Croatian Community
8 of Herceg-Bosna, and its task was to protect the
9 national rights of Croats and prepare the people for
10 the defence against the Serb aggression.
11 Q. All right. Now, this organisation was
12 formed, as you said, on the 18th of November, 1991.
13 Could you tell us what the organisation actually did if
14 you know, if anything, between the date of its
15 formation and the spring of 1992 when the Croat Defence
16 Council or HVO was formed?
17 A. Well, I am not conversant with any
18 note-worthy activities of the Croat community until
19 that time, until spring of 1992, and I do not think it
20 was very active in some specific terms until that
22 I think that if it was organised, what it was
23 trying to do was coordinate the activities of the
24 municipalities in the preparation of the defence. And
25 here I should like to point out one more fact, and that
1 is that the constitutionality and justification for the
2 establishment of that community was discussed in the
3 parliament. Rather, I do not know if there was time to
4 discuss it in the parliament, but I do know that as a
5 member of the legislative commission of the parliament,
6 there was a paper at a session of the commission and
7 this paper said that the Croat community had been
8 founded in conformity with the constitution with the
9 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. All right. Let me just skip over the balance
11 of paragraph 21 of the outline because it's covered on
12 paragraph 25 and more appropriately dealt with
13 chronologically when we get there.
14 Let me just turn you to the independence
15 referendum, sir. You've referred to your outline to
16 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina parliament
17 on January 25th, 1992 where the independence issue was
18 discussed. Could you just tell the Court a little bit
19 about that session, sir, and what went on at it.
20 A. Well, I think it was a historic session of
21 the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In my
22 assessment, I think it was one of the most important
23 sessions in the history of the parliament in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was a very long session because
25 it was being obstructed by the SDS to prevent the
1 referendum on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 And in the end, after the speech by the
3 president of the SDS, Karadzic, and he delivered a very
4 heavy speech in the parliament, representatives of the
5 Serb Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina left the
6 parliament, and the representatives of other political
7 parties remained in the parliament and until late in
8 the night, that is, in the morning discussed the
9 decision on the referendum and at long last adopted
10 such a decision; that is, they took the decision to
11 hold a referendum on the independence of
13 Q. All right. We've also heard quite a bit,
14 Mr. Grubesic, about the concepts of constituent peoples
15 and constitutive parts of nations and the role which
16 those two concepts played in the Ravno question being
17 debated amongst the Croat political community at the
18 time of this legislative session.
19 Could you give the Court a feel for the kinds
20 of discussions that were going on in the national
21 parliament about these particular concepts and whether
22 there was agreements upon those concepts between the
23 Croat politicians and the Muslim politicians in the
24 parliament, sir?
25 A. I think that the Muslim politicians in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, following the recognition of the
2 independence of Slovenia and Croatia, received a clear
3 signal from the International Community that they could
4 hold a referendum on the independence in
6 The decision to hold the referendum on the
7 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina also had the
8 agreement of the Croat Democratic Union and the Party
9 for Democratic Action. There was no question of that.
10 However, the dispute arose regarding the definition of
11 the referendum question, which would include not only
12 the future independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina but also
13 the question or, rather, the decision as to the
14 internal organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
15 years to come.
16 Representatives of the Croat Democratic Union
17 deemed that the referendum question should also
18 incorporate the question, saying that
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina would, in the future, be organised
20 along the cantonal alliance, that it would be
21 cantonised, that is, decentralised.
22 However, when this came to that question,
23 that is, whether it should also make part of the
24 referendum, no agreement was reached between the
25 representatives of the Croat Democratic Union of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Party for Democratic Action,
2 and at last, they agreed to adopt the question of
3 independence for the referendum and try to resolve the
4 matter of the internal organisation of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina as quickly as possible, that is,
6 organised, as I have said, on the cantonal principle.
7 Q. All right. Now, we know, sir, that the
8 referendum was held on the 29th of February and March
9 the 1st of 1992. Some contention or some suggestion
10 has been made in this case to the effect that Croats
11 boycotted the referendum on the first day, which was a
12 Saturday, and only voted on the second day, after they
13 had supposedly been instructed to do so by the Catholic
15 Could you give the Trial Chamber a feel for
16 whether that assessment is accurate or not?
17 A. Well, it was like this: I was, in fact, the
18 secretary of the municipal commission for the
19 organisation of the referendum, and I can say that for
20 the first time since I grew of age, it was the first
21 time that it was decided to hold the referendum on a
22 Saturday, because votes, elections, always took place
23 on Sundays. So people found it unusual and somewhat
25 So in principle, people in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially at that time, would be
2 at their jobs five days, and Saturday and Sunday were
3 used for shopping or for all sorts of household
4 chores. Therefore, they were planning to attend the
5 referendum, to turn out for the referendum on Sunday.
6 I believe, and I was a participant in this,
7 the turnout on Saturday -- both Croats and Muslims
8 turned up in small numbers on Saturday but then on
9 Sunday it was decisive.
10 Q. All right. Now, you were the Busovaca
11 municipality secretary for the commission -- of the
12 commission for the referendum; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What were your responsibilities in that
15 regard, Mr. Grubesic?
16 A. The task of the municipal commission was to
17 organise the voting at the referendum so that all
18 citizens could come out and vote and then to establish
19 the results of the referendum in the municipality.
20 Q. All right. I'd just like to show you one
21 exhibit that's already been introduced into evidence,
22 with the usher's assistance. It's D74/1.
23 Mr. Grubesic, this appears to be a petition
24 signed by residents of Busovaca in favour of the
25 referendum on independence. Do you recognise the
2 A. Yes, I recognise this document. This was
3 indeed being done. A questionnaire or, rather, a
4 petition was signed, and I am positive that you can
5 find my name on this list. I have no time to look for
6 it at the moment, but I recognise very many names here
7 in this list.
8 Q. If you just take a look at the last page of
9 the document, the very last page with the yellow tab on
10 it. Is that the page that you signed?
11 A. This is my signature and the number of my
12 identity card.
13 Q. And is it fair to say that the petition was
14 signed by Croats, Muslims and Serbs, all of whom were
15 resident in the municipality of Busovaca?
16 A. Yes, except that I think that Serbs didn't
17 turn out in large numbers, but I also believe that
18 there were Serbs who signed this petition and also
19 members of other ethnic groups, that is, apart from
20 Croats, Muslims, and Serbs.
21 Q. All right. It's fair to say, I think, that
22 the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of independence.
23 A. For the referendum on independence to
24 succeed, two-thirds of Bosnian nationals had to vote
25 for -- had to vote yes, and that was achieved, and the
1 results were similar across Bosnia-Herzegovina and in
2 Busovaca too. As far as I can remember, the highest
3 turnout was in the municipality of Siroki Brijeg, which
4 is a municipality with a Croat majority.
5 Q. Could the country have become independent
6 without the Croat vote, sir? Could it have met the
7 two-thirds majority required?
8 A. Well, since the majority of Serbs were
9 against the referendum, not all of them but a
10 considerable number, without Croat votes, the Muslims
11 alone would not have been able to vote for the
12 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, simply in light of
13 the ethnic structure in 1991.
14 MR. SAYERS: With the Court's permission,
15 I'll take the witness quickly through paragraph 25.
16 Q. I believe your country announced its
17 independence on March the 6th of 1992, and shortly
18 thereafter, the JNA and Bosnian Serb army launched
19 attacks against the city of Mostar in mid-March and
20 surrounded and besieged the capital, Sarajevo, just a
21 few weeks later. Is that fair to say?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. And I believe it's also accurate to say that
24 the JNA and BSA seized about 70 per cent of the entire
25 territory of your country, resulting in many thousands
1 of people being killed and hundreds of thousands of
2 people being forced out of their homes to become
3 displaced persons or refugees.
4 A. Unfortunately, these facts are accurate too.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Grubesic. Let me turn away
6 from the general subjects that are addressed in your
7 outline, and I'd like to turn to the specific facts
8 that are pertinent to charges against Mr. Kordic here.
9 How long have you known Mr. Kordic?
10 A. I have known Mr. Kordic since 1986 or 1987,
11 from the time when I worked in the Busovaca
12 municipality's land records office.
13 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit
14 about Mr. Kordic's family?
15 A. The Kordic family is a renowned family in
16 Busovaca. His father, Pero Kordic, was a veterinarian
17 for a number of years in Busovaca, and his mother was a
18 paediatrician in the health centre in Busovaca and has
19 worked there for a number of years also.
20 In addition to his mother and father,
21 Mr. Kordic has three sisters and a brother, and I know
22 all family members. So this is a family of a physician
23 and a veterinarian who have been renowned or well known
24 throughout Busovaca because they assisted a lot of
25 people. Unfortunately, Mr. Kordic's mother is gravely
1 ill, and her husband, Mr. Kordic's father, Mr. Pero
2 Kordic, is caring for her.
3 Q. Sir, you mentioned that you first became
4 acquainted with Mr. Kordic during your work in the land
5 records office of the municipality. Could you tell the
6 Trial Chamber the circumstances under which you first
7 became acquainted with Mr. Kordic and what he was known
8 for, if anything, at that time?
9 A. At that time, Mr. Kordic came to the land
10 records office to resolve certain issues. He was
11 trying to build a house with his wife, Venera, who is
12 an educator. The issue was not a very serious one. We
13 resolved it. It had to do with getting a building
14 permit. He was able to get a building permit. This is
15 how we first met. It was a business contact, an
16 official business.
17 Then I learned that Mr. Kordic was an
18 in-house reporter at a local company called
19 Vatrostalna. I learned that he was a journalist, that
20 he studied political science, and that he got the job
21 in the town where he grew up.
22 Later on, in conversations with other people,
23 I learned that Mr. Kordic was fairly active in his
24 company, that he was involved in trying to improve the
25 working conditions, and he was helping everyone,
1 regardless of their ethnic background, to improve their
3 I'm a year or two senior to Mr. Kordic, but I
4 was impressed by him as an educated young man. Very
5 bright, very polite, who also came back to his hometown
6 after his education was completed, to come and help
7 out, and we got along quite well.
8 Q. Now, I believe, sir, that both you and he
9 joined the HDZ-BiH in the summer of 1990.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you've already described after the
12 election how Mr. Kordic was appointed to the office
13 of -- or appointed to be the municipal secretary of the
14 defence office. What was his job in that regard?
15 Could you please let the Trial Chamber know? And,
16 also, could you give some indication, since it uses the
17 word "defence," was this a civilian position or was it
18 a military position in any sense?
19 A. I will try to comment very briefly on what
20 was the competence of these Municipal Secretariat of
21 Defence which is what the name used to be.
22 By law, the law provided that the
23 municipalities had to have these secretariats and they
24 had to finance them also. These offices registered all
25 the potential draftees so they also had personal files
1 of people who had served in the military. So these
2 were the two major roles that the secretariats had.
3 Also, if a JNA unit wanted to raise the
4 levels of their conscripts, then it would be -- this
5 would be done through the secretariat, and their role
6 in this process was purely administrative. It is for
7 the recruitment of conscripts, and also I want to add
8 that these conscripts would go to medical exam, and an
9 official from the secretariat would organise this and
10 take them there. And that would be -- that was the end
11 of his role in it.
12 JUDGE MAY: Let me see if I've understood
13 that. His role was to keep personal files on potential
14 members of the JNA, is this right, and also those who
15 had served?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: And the role in relation to the
18 conscripts, which I haven't entirely followed, what was
19 his role in relation to conscripts?
20 A. I didn't -- I answered very briefly in order
21 not to waste the Court's time.
22 JUDGE MAY: Don't change your mind on that.
23 Just tell us briefly what it is he did.
24 A. According to the law, when a young man
25 reached 17 years of age, they had to go and register
1 with the Secretariat of Defence because the secretariat
2 did not keep records of who was 17. So they would
3 announce through the public media or send out circular
4 letters to everyone in the population and these young
5 men would then respond and come to the office and
7 After they reached 18 years, they -- the
8 secretariat was obligated to call them and then,
9 according to prearranged plan, to transport them, to
10 provide them transportation to the medical examination
11 board which would then review their ability or fitness
12 for military service.
13 So for them, the role was to gather these
14 young men and bring them to the place where the medical
15 examination board would meet. That was their role
16 there and the medical commission would take over.
17 Then they would wait until the end of this
18 examination and then they would bring them back and
19 they would also handle the medical records, that is,
20 the personal medical files of these potential recruits,
21 conscripts, and then if -- when the JNA asked for a
22 certain number of new recruits to go and serve in the
23 JNA, then they would handle those requests and they
24 would send out the requested number of young conscripts
25 to the JNA.
1 JUDGE MAY: That's enough.
2 A. Okay.
3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour, for
4 clarifying that.
5 Q. Now, was this a civilian position or was it a
6 military position, Mr. Grubesic?
7 A. This was a civilian position. At that time,
8 the secretary of the Secretariat of Defence was
9 appointed by the municipal government. This would be a
10 civilian employee. They would come to work wearing
11 civilian clothes and they would be on the payroll of
12 the civilian administrative staff.
13 Q. All right. Turning to paragraph 29,
14 Mr. Grubesic, we've heard a lot about the strategic
15 importance of Central Bosnia and the fact that it was
16 home to a number of arms ammunitions manufacturing
17 factories, for example, in Vitez, Novi Travnik, Konjic,
18 Bugojno and elsewhere.
19 Do you, yourself, have you any knowledge of,
20 have you had any connections with any of these arms
21 ammunitions manufacturing facilities during your
22 professional political career?
23 A. Whether I had any contacts with any of these
24 manufacturers, is that the question?
25 Q. No. Have you had any role in connection with
1 the arms ammunitions factories in the towns I've just
2 cited or during the course of your career?
3 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness got his statement
4 in front of him?
5 MR. SAYERS: I can't --
6 Q. Is that the statement that you have in front
7 of you, Mr. Grubesic?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, from now on, you better put
10 that away, please, and give your evidence without the
11 assistance of that.
12 If at some stage you need to look at your
13 statement to remember a date or something of that sort,
14 then of course you can refer to it. But I think from
15 now on, we better have your evidence without that
17 Mr. Sayers, as far as these arms factories
18 are concerned, we've had a great deal of evidence about
19 it and I don't think we need to go on to that but
20 certainly go -- you could -- the background, I think,
21 is probably fully known to us, unless there's something
22 you want to explore particularly. It seems paragraph
23 31 is where we should be.
24 MR. SAYERS: Yes, I fully agree,
25 Mr. President, and that's where we'll go.
1 Q. Mr. Grubesic, could you tell us whether
2 Mr. Kordic was elected to or appointed to any other
3 political position in the Busovaca branch of the Croat
4 Democratic Union in 1991?
5 A. In 1991, Mr. Dario Kordic was appointed the
6 secretary of the HDZ-BiH branch in Busovaca.
7 Q. Was he ever appointed president at any time
8 of the Busovaca HDZ-BiH as far as you know?
9 A. Yes, in 1991, he was appointed the president
10 of the Busovaca branch.
11 Q. Now, tell the Court whether the Presidency of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina ever took a position with respect to
13 conscription of young men residing in the country into
14 the JNA?
15 A. Yes, the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
16 1991, and I don't know whether this was in mid-1991 or
17 in the latter part of 1991 but, in any event, they
18 adopted a decision not to send new conscripts from the
19 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the JNA.
20 Q. All right. And his role at secretary of the
21 defence office in Busovaca, did Mr. Kordic play any
22 role, as far as you're aware, in connection with that
23 decision on the part of the Presidency of the country?
24 A. Yes. Mr. Kordic implemented this decision of
25 the Presidency together with other officials who worked
1 in the defence office. They did not send conscripts to
2 the JNA conforming to the decision of the Presidency,
3 and this was the case in all municipalities where
4 Croats were in the majority or where Croats and Muslims
5 formed the majority.
6 There was a danger that the JNA would
7 forcibly take control of these personnel files and in
8 many places, including Busovaca, these files were then
9 moved out of these offices.
10 A special problem was the young conscripts
11 who were from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and other parts of
12 the former Yugoslavia who were already serving in the
13 JNA. The JNA did not recognise this decision of the
14 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and did not allow
15 soldiers from those territories to go back home. Many
16 escaped and would go to -- would show up in different
17 towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina seeking assistance, and
18 officials in the local governments helped a number of
19 such young soldiers to acquire civilian clothes and be
20 able to return to their homes.
21 There were such cases in Busovaca too.
22 Q. All right. Was there any effort made to
23 obstruct the export of locally manufactured weapons at
24 the Bratstvo factory, for example, or explosives from
25 the Slobodan Princip factory in Vitez to the JNA?
1 A. It was clear that the weapons manufactured in
2 the various plants in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Central
3 Bosnia, there were several of them which employed
4 people of all three ethnic groups and there were
5 efforts to stop the export of such weapons or delivery
6 of such weapons to the JNA where it would be used in
7 the war in Croatia, and several of such convoys were
8 blocked and stopped.
9 Q. Would you let the Trial Chamber know, and
10 this is moving forward to paragraph 32, Your Honours,
11 whether Mr. Kordic played any individual role or any
12 visible role in these efforts to halt or obstruct the
13 process of JNA armed convoys.
14 A. In 1991, Dario Kordic, together with other
15 people from Central Bosnia who saw clearly what these
16 weapons were used for, took part in these attempts to
17 prevent weapons from leaving Central Bosnia and to be
18 used by the JNA against Croatia.
19 Q. All right. You've referred to an arms convoy
20 in September of 1991, taking arms from Travnik towards
21 Sarajevo. Could you give the Trial Court your
22 recollection of the role that Mr. Kordic played in
23 connection with that convoy, sir?
24 A. In the latter part of September 1991, a
25 convoy filled with weapons and ammunition was moving
1 from Travnik towards Sarajevo and was stopped at
2 Kaonik. Citizens of several municipalities in Central
3 Bosnia took part in this, including Mr. Dario Kordic.
4 He courageously stepped in front of these vehicles and
5 told them to stop and not take these weapons there
6 which would kill people, and he wanted the war in
7 Croatia stop to.
8 Q. And did incidents like that have any impact
9 upon Mr. Kordic's perception or standing in the local
10 community, sir?
11 A. Such courageous acts of Mr. Dario Kordic with
12 bare arms, he stepped and resisted the fourth largest
13 military force, as it was alleged, in Europe at the
14 time. This increased his reputation among the people.
15 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.
16 MR. SAYERS: Now, I'm going to skip over
17 paragraph 33 and 34, Your Honour, because I think we've
18 already heard about that generally and specifically
19 from this witness.
20 Q. Let me draw your attention to April the 2nd
21 of 1992. I'm going to paragraph 35 now. Mr. Grubesic,
22 on April the 2nd of 1992, I think you were appointed to
23 be secretary of the ten-member Busovaca Crisis Staff.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell the Court what that entity
1 was, what the Crisis Staff was, and what its function
2 was? Why was it appointed?
3 A. This was popularly known, the Crisis Staff,
4 but the official name is -- the name was the Presidency
5 of the Municipal Assembly in the State of War or
6 Imminent Threat of War. It was appointed by the
7 Municipal Assembly of Busovaca, according to the law,
8 and it was a multi-party body. Members of all parties
9 which had council people in the assembly made up this
10 Crisis Staff. It included Croats, Muslims, and Serbs.
11 Its task was to prepare the municipality, as
12 best it could, for a potential but clearly pending
13 threat of war.
14 Q. And did the Crisis Staff have any duties or
15 tasks in connection with the three JNA barracks that
16 were located in the Busovaca area, the Draga barracks,
17 the Kaonik barracks, and the Kacuni barracks?
18 A. The task of the Crisis Staff was to organise
19 all activities in the territory of the municipality in
20 accordance with the threat of war, and also to reach
21 agreements with the JNA for the JNA to move out of the
22 three barracks in Busovaca municipality which you just
24 Q. All right. Now, the Court has heard some
25 evidence of this, Mr. Grubesic, but was there an
1 arrangement reached between the Croat communities and
2 the Muslim communities in your municipality regarding
3 what was to happen to the arms located in these three
4 barracks, and if so, in your own words could you tell
5 the Trial Chamber exactly what those arrangements
7 A. I don't know whether this agreement was
8 formalised, that is, set down in writing, but this
9 agreement was reached. It did not involve only the
10 weapons but also the takeover of the facilities,
11 because it was assumed that the majority of weapons had
12 been pulled out of these barracks, especially Draga and
14 Q. Who was to take control of the Draga
16 A. The agreement was that the Croats would take
17 control of the Draga barracks; and the Muslims of the
18 Kacuni barracks; and as far as the Kaonik barracks is
19 concerned, it was to be taken over by the Croats but
20 that the weapons would be divided in equal parts
21 approximately between the Croats and Muslims.
22 Q. All right. Now, was there an incident on
23 April the 26th of 1992 following the withdrawal of the
24 JNA from the Draga barracks?
25 A. On 26 April 1992, after the departure on part
1 of the JNA soldiers from the Draga barracks, there was
2 heavy shelling of Busovaca, actually, heavy bombing of
3 Busovaca by the JNA air force. This was sheer -- these
4 were sheer reprisals, and a number of civilians were
5 killed in the town. A number of facilities and
6 structures were damaged, including the hospital, which
7 was clearly marked with a Red Cross sign, and it was
8 heavily damaged.
9 Q. All right. Now, let me just move forward in
10 time to May the 9th of 1992. Could you tell the Court
11 where you were on that day, as far as you can recall,
12 and what happened?
13 A. On 9 May, 1992, I was on duty in the Crisis
14 Staff of Busovaca in the afternoon, and because of the
15 continued threats of air attacks, the Crisis Staff
16 moved its offices to the basement of the PTT building.
17 So that's where I was on the afternoon of May 9.
18 Q. All right. Did you receive any telephone
19 calls from anyone during that duty shift?
20 A. Yes. During my shift in the afternoon -
21 actually, it was already dusk -- a call came from the
22 Kaonik barracks that the JNA wanted to withdraw its
23 troops and their personal weapons, and they were ready
24 to leave for Zenica or some other previously agreed-to
25 location, and the president of the Crisis Staff was
1 supposed to come and take over the barracks.
2 Q. And what did you do after that?
3 A. After that, I called Mr. Zoran Maric, and I
4 cannot recall whether I called him from home or whether
5 there was Vinko Miljag, but in any event, we went
6 to -- on behalf of the Crisis Staff, we went to the
7 Draga barracks to do this.
8 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what
9 happened while you were at the Draga barracks talking
10 to the JNA officers that had called you.
11 A. While we were talking about the JNA officer
12 in the Draga barracks, we saw that the soldiers there
13 were fully armed and getting ready to go, and they were
14 starting to show us the building where the soldiers
15 were staying. Then this officer received a call to go
16 and attend a meeting outside of the barracks.
17 When he left the barracks, the shooting
18 started around the barracks. The soldiers in the
19 barracks quickly assumed positions in the trenches
20 where they were prepared there and asked us what was
21 going on.
22 We couldn't tell them. We didn't know what
23 was going on. At that time, our lives were in danger,
24 the three civilians that were there. We thought that
25 perhaps the word had gotten out that these soldiers
1 were leaving so that the celebration had started
2 outside or something. We didn't know.
3 Afterwards, this noncommissioned JNA officer
4 came to the barracks, and the decision was taken that
5 they would not leave that night but, rather, another
7 The shooting, meanwhile, had subsided and we
8 left the barracks. It was already dark. I don't know
9 what time it was, but it could have been about
10 2100 hours, perhaps even later. I went on to -- I
11 continued home, because at this time my shift was
13 Q. All right. And was anyone wounded during
14 this outbreak of shooting that you heard that evening?
15 A. Later I learned that a Croatian man called
16 Darko Vuleta was seriously wounded and that a Muslim
17 was seriously wounded. I don't know this person's name
18 now. They both were seriously wounded. I also later
19 heard that there was an incident between the HVO and
20 the TO at this point.
21 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, we have submitted
22 an affidavit from Ivo Brnada which corroborates that
23 particular contention.
24 Q. Now, moving on, sir, you said that you went
25 home on the evening of May the 9th, 1992. What did you
1 do the next day?
2 A. The next day, unaware what had happened that
3 night, I once again set off to work at the Crisis Staff
4 in the basement of the PTT office in Busovaca; however,
5 when I arrived, I saw that there was no one there.
6 Q. Had anyone come to work since the aerial
7 bombardment of Busovaca on April the 26th that you've
8 previously described?
9 A. Since the crisis staff had moved to the post
10 office fearing the danger of JNA air attack, nobody
11 worked in the building or the municipal hall in
12 Busovaca nor did parties come there.
13 Otherwise, there was already a mayhem, very
14 many people, children, women had fled to Republic of
15 Croatia. It was a very difficult, a very confused
16 situation. All the municipal services did not really
17 work nor did anybody turn to them for help.
18 Q. Let me just turn to the next subject,
19 Mr. Grubesic, which concerns the establishment of the
20 HVO administration in Busovaca and the operation of the
21 HVO government up until basically the outbreak of
22 fighting in Busovaca in January of 1993.
23 Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether life
24 gradually returned to normal after May 10th of 1992 in
25 the municipality or whether it did not.
1 A. On the 10th of May, 1992, the JNA left the
2 Kaonik barracks in daytime. It was the 10th of May. I
3 think it was the 10th of May, and there were no JNA
4 soldiers in the territory of Busovaca municipality
6 There was this constant danger of air attacks
7 by the JNA air force, but people had already run out of
8 food, and some necessities began to be more acute so
9 this life had to be organised. One had to gradually
10 enable people to begin to shop, to have the shops open,
11 to have the services back in operation again. That is,
12 in that first wave, people had bought up all the stocks
13 that the shops held so there were no more stocks there,
14 and life had to be organised normally once again.
15 That was when we began to think once again
16 about the reinstatement of the municipal government,
17 rather beginning of work of municipal civil servants.
18 Needless to say, those who had already been called up
19 either for the army of Bosnia -- that is Territorial
20 Defence or the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the JNA.
21 Q. Now, sir, in connection with the
22 reestablishment of life in the municipality, did the
23 municipality undertake any duties or responsibilities
24 in connection with the logistical supply of your troops
25 on the front lines with the Bosnian Serb army or the
2 A. Whatever the case, the municipality provided
3 the troops with logistics, as much as it could, with
4 fuel and food and everything else, because it was
5 evident that there was no system or rather the state
6 which would back up the soldiers defending the area so
7 that the municipalities had to bear the brunt of it or
8 rather municipalities became small states.
9 Q. Now, actually one of the municipal
10 governments in these unsettled circumstances that
11 you've just described where the central government had
12 essentially stopped functioning, couldn't support the
13 operations of its municipalities, was there any
14 distinction or differentiation between the civilian and
15 the military authorities within the -- or at the
16 municipality level in the very earliest days that we're
17 talking about, spring of 1992, sir?
18 A. I'll tell you. At that time, everything was
19 in disarray. What we had organised was the municipal
20 government. All the rest had to be built and, at that
21 time, when you do not have any clear regulations, any
22 clear instructions, then there was a lot of
23 overlapping. Some people knew how to organise
24 authority, some didn't, and the conditions were
25 practically impossible. They precluded any kind of
1 normal work.
2 I should give you an example. In the
3 municipality, we believed that we had to wear uniforms
4 because the war affects everybody including us, but
5 then the ECMM warned us that the civilian authorities
6 should wear civilian clothes so the -- so for the first
7 10 or 15 days, we wore uniforms to work.
8 Q. Now, the question was: Was there ever a
9 differentiation between civilian and military
10 authorities within the municipality? Could you give us
11 your understanding of the answer to that question, sir,
12 since you were there?
13 A. Well, we were trying to enjoy a difference
14 between them and we did; however, it wasn't always
15 possible to distinguish the two.
16 Q. All right. Moving on to paragraph 40, and we
17 have some documents that we have to go through, six
18 documents, Your Honour, in connection with this
19 paragraph. Let me just address the substance of it
21 There's a contention made in this case that,
22 sir, the reorganised administration in Busovaca after
23 1992 discriminated against Bosnian Muslims. Could you
24 give the Trial Chamber your views on whether those
25 allegations have any substance or not?
1 A. Well, I think that such claims have no
3 Q. And why not?
4 A. I shall say the following: When the
5 municipality went back to work, all of the municipal
6 civil servants were invited to come back to their jobs
7 regardless of their ethnicity. And all municipal civil
8 servants came back to work.
9 Some, some said they had already been
10 mobilised either by the HVO or the BH army, but they
11 were still on the municipal payroll and they were
12 getting their salary there, but they did not come to
13 their work places in the municipal hall because they
14 were discharging the duties in the army.
15 Some women with children of up to seven were
16 entitled to a leave in wartime, and those women were
17 also on the municipal payroll, stayed at home and
18 looked after their children. And everybody else came
19 to work in the municipal hall in Busovaca, and I
20 believe that documentation in the municipality of
21 Busovaca could -- there is a decision which says that
22 everybody should go back to the jobs they held before
23 the outbreak of war, those who had stayed there.
24 And most people had stayed there. Very few
25 people had left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to
1 Serbia or Montenegro. So everybody went back to their
2 old jobs, the exception being three or four persons who
3 were substituted, who replaced those people who had
4 left to Serbia or Montenegro. But practically
5 everybody went back to their old jobs.
6 Q. Was there any requirement for these people
7 who were returning to work to swear oaths of loyalty or
8 sign oaths of loyalty to the HZ HB or the HVO, or
9 anything like that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Just for the Trial Chamber's reference, I
12 believe the witness was referring to the Exhibit Z111A
13 from May 22, 1992, an order instructing people to
14 return to work.
15 Have you ever seen a kind of written loyalty
16 of this type, Mr. Grubesic?
17 A. No, I think -- no, I don't think that
18 happened in the municipality of Busovaca. Besides, I
19 don't think it was necessary, and that will be a
20 discriminatory act. I don't think it could occur to
21 anyone to request such statements from anybody. Those
22 people used to work there before, and they had all the
23 right to continue working in those jobs.
24 Q. Was there any form established for discussion
25 of things such as the production of goods necessary to
1 survive the winter; health services, mobilisation of
2 the community's assets, school issues, things of that
3 variety or were the two communities, three communities,
4 Bosnian Croat, Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Muslim simply
5 not speaking about those matters with one another?
6 A. I wish to say what I told you until now. We
7 cannot speak about some ideal or idyllic situation at
8 the time. It was wartime and the situation was very
9 difficult. But, we were trying to find some way, some
10 means to ensure that people of all the ethnic origins
11 could stay and live in that area.
12 And my information is as early as June, a
13 meeting took place among the representatives of the
14 leaders of the chief parties or if you like, prominent
15 citizens of all ethnic groups, who reached an
16 understanding about all these matters that you have
17 just raised, and meetings of the representatives of the
18 two communities, if I may put it rather crudely, but
19 two ethnic communities met regularly and they discussed
20 the most important issues.
21 When it came to operative matters, then it
22 was put through by the municipal government.
23 Q. All right. Mr. Grubesic, I'd like to go over
24 a set of documents with you. These are by no means
25 exhaustive, there's been a huge amount of documents in
1 this case, but they will serve as good examples over a
2 fairly broad span of time of the negotiations or
3 discussions that were occurring between the
5 The first document is dated June 27, 1992 and
6 it may be, indeed, a document that reflects what you've
7 just testified about. With the Trial Chamber's
8 permission, I'd like to have this marked as an
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked
12 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if we could have a copy
13 of the English version put on the ELMO, page one,
15 Q. Mr. Grubesic, these appear to be a record or
16 this document appears to be a record of a meeting that
17 occurred between the two communities on June the 25th,
18 1992, and the introduction says: "Guided by the fact
19 that the Croatian people has always held that each
20 people has a right to freedom and free expression of
21 its own interests and that there is a possibility of
22 coexistence in mixed communities, this being a
23 historical fact in these parts ..." and so on. We can
24 all read what it says.
25 Is this the meeting that you had in mind when
1 you just testified about the bilateral discussions
2 occurring between the Croat and Muslim communities in
4 A. This is only one in a series of meetings of
5 this nature, when representatives of ethnic communities
6 in the territory of the municipality of Busovaca met.
7 I know this document. I have also seen it before. So
8 I think that it says what I have already told you.
9 Q. All right. It was attended by Mr. Kordic and
10 Mr. Glavocevic and Mr. Stipac on the Croat side, and by
11 the identified people from the Muslim National Council
12 on the Muslim side.
13 Paragraph 1 states that: "The Croatian
14 people respect the sovereignty of the Republic of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina but at the same time respect the
16 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
17 Did you ever hear, during the entire duration
18 of the civil war after this time, sir, anyone ever
19 expressing views that undermined a recognition of the
20 sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the Croat side?
21 A. I never heard such statements, and that was a
22 period of time when a large number of the states
23 involved had recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina as an
24 independent and sovereign state. So I do not think
25 that it would have been politically wise to do anything
1 like that or, at any rate, I know that no Croats and no
2 Muslims ever did that.
3 Q. All right. And the second paragraph states
4 that the supreme command in Busovaca would be the HVO,
5 but that did not preclude the autonomy of formations of
6 the Territorial Defence or TO within the HVO.
7 Did you ever hear anybody express views that
8 were contrary to that particular idea after June the
9 27th of 1992, sir?
10 A. In point of fact, this item was never
11 operationalised. The Croat Defence Council and the
12 units of the Territorial Defence, that is, BH army,
13 continued to operate autonomously of each other. So
14 there was no subordination or, rather, attachment,
15 which I believe is the military term.
16 Q. All right. The third paragraph goes on to
17 say that the joint operation of the military police of
18 the TO and of the HVO is not possible because the
19 pre-conditions for it are not in place, but that the
20 situation with respect to the military police is a
21 temporary one due to the large number of soldiers
22 engaged in the TO and the HVO.
23 It is correct, is it not, that at this time
24 there were large numbers of soldiers in the TO and the
25 HVO in June of 1992, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then the paragraph goes on to say that
3 the TO military police would continue to police the
4 entirely Muslim villages, while the HVO military police
5 would police the other areas.
6 Is that your understanding of the situation
7 that prevailed after June of 1992?
8 A. By and large, that was the situation as of
9 June 1992.
10 Q. If I could just ask the usher to put the
11 second page on the ELMO. There are just a few points
12 of interest here.
13 As you've previously testified, sir, the
14 perception was that the Croat people had mobilised
15 earlier than the Muslims, taken the threat of military
16 aggression on the part of the JNA and BSA more
17 seriously, and that's reflected in paragraph 5, I
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. But certainly the HVO recognised the right of
21 the Muslim people to mobilise and have its
22 representatives join the TO and to send them to any of
23 the battlefields in the republic. Is that the case or
24 is it not?
25 A. Yes, that is true. I already said that there
1 was a major danger, very many people were killed, the
2 last part of the territory was conquered by the army of
3 Bosnian Serbs, and every soldier, therefore, had to
4 commit himself in order to prevent any such further
6 Q. The next item of interest is paragraph 7,
7 sir, which says that the municipal HVO of Busovaca was
8 always open to a certain number of representatives of
9 the Muslim people.
10 Were there any Muslim representatives on the
11 HVO government of the municipality of Busovaca at this
13 A. Yes. Without documents I cannot really tell
14 you exactly, but even before this agreement, or perhaps
15 in the wake of it, that is what was done, and I think
16 that in practice, this -- that this was already the
17 practice even before this agreement.
18 Q. All right. And then this agreement is signed
19 by Mr. Glavocevic as the president of the HVO in the
20 municipality of Busovaca. How long did he remain
21 president of the HVO in Busovaca, if you can remember,
22 Mr. Grubesic?
23 A. I think he was there until the 27th of July,
25 Q. Who replaced him at that time?
1 A. He was replaced by Mr. Zoran Maric. He was
2 the president -- he was mayor of the municipality of
3 Busovaca, elected in lawful elections.
4 Q. Did Mr. Maric retain that position as
5 president of the Busovaca municipal HVO for the
6 duration of the civil war?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. The next short document I'd like
9 to show you, sir, is dated July the 15th, 1992.
10 MR. SAYERS: I'd like to have this marked as
11 an exhibit too, please.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document D224/1.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Grubesic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is that your signature on the document,
17 the Croatian original?
18 A. It is.
19 Q. All right. This gives you authority to issue
20 passes and clearances for traffic and goods to persons
21 residing in the municipality of Busovaca; is that
22 right? Along with Mr. Glavocevic, that is.
23 A. Yes, it is. I could, as a matter of fact,
24 sign only in the absence of Mr. Glavocevic.
25 Q. Was this a military function at all, the
1 ability to sign passes, or not?
2 A. Movement of persons and traffic in goods is
3 an exclusively civilian matter.
4 Q. The third of the six documents I'd like you
5 to review is dated July the 22nd of 1992.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked
8 MR. SAYERS:
9 Q. Again, Mr. Grubesic, please don't think that
10 these are all the documents. These are just a
11 representative sample over a period of time.
12 This document, sir, apparently is dated July
13 the 22nd, 1992, and reflects discussions between a
14 number of people concerning the reconstruction of a
15 road from Pavlovic to Gornji Vakuf and the necessity of
16 rounding up people and machinery to do Busovaca's part
17 of handling this job.
18 One of the people present was Senad
19 Ekmescic. Was he a Muslim or a Croat?
20 A. Mr. Senad Ekmescic is a Muslim by ethnicity.
21 Q. I see that along the line of people to be
22 sent a copy of this is Mr. Ekmescic but also, in item
23 number 7, Mr. Husein Hadzimejlic, he being the person
24 you previously identify as the TO commander; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President this, might be an
3 appropriate time for the break just before we get into
4 the other three documents, or I can take the three
5 other documents in short order if you wish.
6 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Half an
8 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, you've got another
11 three witnesses you want this week; is that not right?
12 MR. SAYERS: It is. I regret to say, Your
13 Honour, I think we are going to run into some
14 scheduling problems.
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's move as quickly as we
16 can through this evidence.
17 MR. SAYERS: I will try to do that, Your
19 The next document, Mr. Grubesic, I'd like you
20 to look at is dated August 3, 1992.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document D226/1.
22 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Grubesic, this document relates to a
24 meeting with the directors of commercial enterprises on
25 August 3, 1992 attended by you and, amongst others,
1 Mr. Ekmescic.
2 Just a couple of points. With respect to
3 item four, enterprises would have to submit to both the
4 HVO and TO military units lists of requisitioned motor
5 vehicles and request return of the vehicles which were
6 not indispensable to the military.
7 Do you recall the subject of this discussion
8 with representatives of commercial enterprises
9 throughout the municipality?
10 A. Yes, this was a very important meeting with
11 the senior economic executives for discussing of these
13 Q. All right. I notice that Mr. Zoran Maric is
14 the acting president of the HVO in Busovaca
15 municipality as of this time. Is that your
16 recollection too?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And one final point, on the second page of
19 the document, item number 11 and 12, problems regarding
20 traffic, currency and banks have been emphasised and it
21 was also decided that it was important that uniform
22 crisis be imposed for basic staples throughout the
23 municipality. Do you recall any discussion of those
25 A. Yes, this was discussed and the agreements
1 were reached and the appropriate conclusions set out as
2 reflected in these two items.
3 Q. And once again representatives of both
4 communities participating in the discussions and having
5 their input taken into account as resolutions for --
6 A. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that
7 the representatives of all three communities discussed
8 these issues because one of the presidents was Milutan
9 Stanicic [phoen], who was an ethnic Serb, who was one
10 of the managers, not the chief executive officer, but
11 one of the top executives in the largest company in
12 town Medijapan.
13 MR. SAYERS: The next document I would like
14 you to review is about a month later, September 4,
16 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D227/1.
17 MR. SAYERS:
18 Q. Just a few questions about this document,
19 sir. You were listed as one of the attendees. Do you
20 recall this meeting on September 4th, 1992, a meeting
21 of the executive committee HDZ-BiH held in Busovaca on
22 that day?
23 A. Yes, I recall this meeting and I did attend.
24 Q. A number of political and military issues
25 were discussed. One thing I would like to draw to your
1 attention is on the first page where it says "AD-2",
2 the observation was made that people had been poorly
3 informed about issues vital for Busovaca municipality
4 and because of the executive committee of the HDZ felt
5 it important to organise meetings with individuals in
6 villages to explain the current situation.
7 A number of those people in the field were
8 identified as, amongst others, Mr. Kordic and you. But
9 also, it was observed or decided that the military
10 commander should be present at these meetings too.
11 Now, by this time, sir, September 4th of
12 1992, had the military institutions largely separated
13 from the civilian institutions and developed their own
14 chain of command as far as you're aware or not?
15 A. I cannot assess how much they had developed
16 the chain of command but the situation was getting more
17 and more organised, and the competencies of the
18 military and civilian authorities were being separated
19 and distinguished. But this was still not enough, so
20 we couldn't say that all the full organisation was
22 There was progress, but not enough was done,
23 not by a long shot.
24 Q. All right. And down at the bottom of the
25 first page of the Croatian and first at the top of the
1 second page of the English, the observation went on
2 that the explanation and information should be provided
3 by Dario, Mr. Kordic, I take it; Ignac, Mr. Kostroman;
4 Tiho, Colonel Blaskic; Sekerija, presumably Luka
5 Sekerija; Floro, Mr. Glavocevic; Stipac, Mr. Anto
6 Stipac; Zoran Maric, and you. And then the plan of
7 visits and explanations would be made by the military
9 Could you just tell the Court who were the
10 military commanders?
11 A. In Busovaca?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. In Busovaca, the military commander of the
14 brigade was Mr. Dusko Grubesic, I believe that it was
15 around that time that he became the president. I don't
16 know the exact date, but I know that for the most part
17 in 1992 and 1993, Mr. Dusko Grubesic was the commander
18 of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca.
19 Q. Right at the end of the document, sir,
20 there's reference to a commission for urgent
21 negotiations, which was to invite, urgently, Muslim
22 representatives to talks and to try to reach agreements
23 on all disputed issues in the area of the municipality
24 of Busovaca, and on that commission would be
25 Mr. Kordic, Mr. Maric, Mr. Stipac, and Mr. Glavocevic.
1 Do you recall decisions being made along
2 those lines?
3 A. It was agreed in this meeting that such
4 meetings should be organised in order to resolve some
5 outstanding issues. One was the beginning of the
6 school year, because this was April of 1993. This was
7 the usual time for the resumption of the school
9 Q. All right. In connection with the resumption
10 of the school year, the next document I would like you
11 to look at is one, I believe, that you signed, sir,
12 dated September the 10th, 1992, which I'd like to have
13 marked as the next exhibit, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked
16 MR. SAYERS:
17 Q. First of all, Mr. Grubesic, is that your
18 signature on this document as the note-taker?
19 A. Yes, this is my signature.
20 Q. And this document represents negotiations
21 between representatives of the three ethnic communities
22 that comprise the population of Busovaca, and refers to
23 decisions that were made regarding the school
24 curriculum and the language to be used; correct?
25 A. Yes. This is about the negotiations between
1 the Croats and the Muslims, and the rest that you said
2 is correct.
3 Q. Paragraph 3, for example, makes certain
4 decisions relating to the literature to be taught at
5 the schools, and a resolution that for the most part,
6 the books that would be used as part of the syllabus
7 would have to encompass authors from both
8 nationalities, Croat and Muslim.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in addition, it was emphasised that the
11 culture, language, and literature of one or the other
12 of the two nationalities is common and, therefore, each
13 nation would have a right to call its mother tongue by
14 its own name.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. That takes us to September,
17 Mr. Grubesic. Let me move forward in time to October
18 of 1992, and one more document dated October the 6th,
19 1992, concerning negotiations between representatives
20 of the various parties. Thank you.
21 MR. SAYERS: If I could have this marked as
22 the next exhibit, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document D229/1.
24 MR. SAYERS:
25 Q. Mr. Grubesic, this relates to a meeting
1 attended by representatives, it appears, of the Muslim
2 community and the Croat community, on the 6th of
3 October, 1992, and a significant debate that occurred
4 concerning departure of the Serb population from the
5 territory of the municipality of Busovaca and other
6 issues relating to the passage of Serb refugees through
7 the territory of Busovaca.
8 Do you recall this meeting, sir?
9 A. Yes. I was a note-taker of this meeting, and
10 my signature is at the bottom of it.
11 Q. All right. If you'd turn to page 3. We can
12 all read what else is in the document. Would it be
13 fair to say that this was a pretty vigorous debate
14 between the two communities, sir, Croat and Muslim?
15 A. And the Serbs. This meeting was held
16 between -- with the representatives of three
17 communities taking part.
18 Q. I see that one of the participants on page 3
19 here is Mr. Huseinspahic, a Muslim. He was actually a
20 member of the government of the Busovaca municipality,
21 wasn't he?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what was his responsibility, sir?
24 A. He was the head of one of the agencies in the
25 municipal government. I cannot recall which one, but
1 he was head of one of the agencies there.
2 Q. Was he -- were his duties real duties or, to
3 use a phrase, was he a token representative of the
4 Muslim community on the HVO government in that sense?
5 Could you tell the Court which of those two versions
6 is accurate?
7 A. His duties were real, like everybody else's
8 who was employed there. Everybody had to perform at
9 work. We were very few, and we all had to work. So
10 Mr. Huseinspahic had real duties as he had real
12 Q. All right. There's a reference on page 3,
13 under Mr. Maric, who makes certain proposals regarding
14 the passage of Serb people from Zenica and Kakanj and
15 so forth being permitted to pass through Busovaca
16 municipality, a proposal which, incidentally, was
17 approved by both Croats and Muslims. Is that true,
19 A. Yes. Mr. Maric proposed this, and these were
20 actually the conclusions adopted by this meeting which
21 was held on 6th October, 1992.
22 Q. Some witnesses in this case, sir, have
23 contended or claimed that per capita transit charges
24 were imposed upon these unfortunate people of Serb
25 ethnicity to travel through Busovaca municipality from
1 Zenica. Is there any truth in that?
2 A. No official contributions were paid or fees
3 were paid. I cannot say whether individuals asked for
4 some fees for their private transportation
5 arrangements. That I don't know. But that was not
7 Q. Right. In terms of charging every single
8 Serb person passing through the municipality as a point
9 of HDZ or HVO policy, is there any truth that that
10 occurred, sir?
11 A. Not at all. I said that some, not all Serbs,
12 but I heard that some people were asked to pay for this
13 service, for the transportation which they were
14 provided with.
15 Q. But was this by members --
16 JUDGE MAY: I think you've got the point.
17 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I think you're right, Your
19 Q. The last document in this series, sir, is
20 dated November the 10th, 1992.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document D230/1.
22 MR. SAYERS:
23 Q. Not many questions about this, sir. Once
24 again, a joint body convened, Muslims and Croats on it,
25 among them Mr. Huseinspahic, the Muslim representative
1 of the government; and Mr. Husnija Neslanovic, the
2 Muslim chief of police; and Mr. Hadzimejlic, the TO
4 Do you recall this meeting?
5 A. Yes, I recall this meeting. It was held on
6 10 November 1992, and I was a note-taker at the
8 Q. On the agenda, as item 1, is activities
9 related to the establishment of a joint command of the
10 HVO and the ABiH. Was that issue discussed?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Any resolutions taken or action taken towards
13 achievement of that item that was under discussion?
14 A. The conclusion reached in this meeting was to
15 establish a joint command when such a decision comes
16 from the higher authorities, either civilian or
18 Q. As of this time, sir, November the 10th,
19 1992, is it your understanding that the TO or ABiH and
20 HVO were both legal armed forces of the Republic of
22 A. Excuse me. Did you say on the 2nd -- on the
23 10th of February or the 10th of November?
24 Q. As of the 10th of November, 1992. Sorry if I
1 A. Yes. According to the information I have,
2 further to the regulations of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 both ABiH, the HVO, and the police of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina formed the armed forces of Bosnia and
6 Q. Three brief points relating to this
7 document. Paragraph 3, sir, says that new refugees and
8 displaced persons would be received as permitted by
9 housing capacities available in houses and vacation
10 homes and that a member of the commission had to be
11 present at the site.
12 Do you recall that subject being discussed?
13 A. Yes. This was discussed, and this is the
14 conclusion that was adopted.
15 Q. Right. And people, in item 5, refugees and
16 displaced persons would not be subjected to forced
17 evictions from already inhabited houses and vacation
19 Could you tell the Court a little bit about
20 that, sir. What were the circumstances of that
22 A. There was a large influx of refugees, and
23 there were cases when refugees, that is, displaced
24 persons forcibly moved into abandoned homes or vacation
25 houses, and it was decided then that they would not be
1 forcibly removed, these refugees or displaced persons.
2 Q. Finally, conclusions at this meeting,
3 conclusion one and three, first that representatives
4 authorized representatives of both the Croat and Muslim
5 peoples would disavow excesses committed in Busovaca
6 over the public radio both Croat and Muslim radio;
7 Radio Busovaca for the Croats and Radio Zenica for the
8 Muslims. Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes. That was agreed because there were a
10 number of excesses, and we wanted to go to the public.
11 And I believe that we publicly went -- we went public
12 on the radio in Busovaca condemning this as
13 representatives of the authority, and which also asked
14 public to support us in our condemnation of such
16 Q. And finally, "Persons of such duty would not
17 be permitted to wear uniforms or bear arms in the
18 town." Was that your recollection of one of the
19 decisions that was made in the town, sir?
20 A. Yes. In this meeting, we agreed and we
21 continued to try to implement this conclusion that
22 soldiers were -- would only wear uniforms and carry
23 weapons while on duty, because most of them actually
24 slept at home.
25 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, sir. I'm through
1 with the documents and, Mr. President, if I can just
2 lead through the second half of paragraph 40, we can go
3 into the disputed issues in this witness' testimony.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 MR. SAYERS:
6 Q. Mr. Grubesic, you've related the damage that
7 was done in the hospital in Busovaca when it was
8 attacked by the JNA air force on April 26, 1992. Is it
9 true that one of the issues that the Croat and Muslim
10 issues tried to address jointly after that and for the
11 ensuing two months was the repairs that had to be made
12 to this damaged hospital?
13 A. Excuse me, I would like to correct you. It
14 was on the 26th of April, not the 6th of April when
15 the -- when Busovaca was bombed, and I mentioned
16 already that the hospital was heavily damaged even
17 though it was clearly marked by the sign of red cross.
18 We also then later had to demolish or raze to
19 the ground the cultural hall and had to -- and both the
20 repairs of the hospital and the demolition of the
21 cultural hall was done jointly by both Croats and
22 Muslims, and I remember that the municipal government
23 did not have enough funds to pay all those workers, but
24 it was decided that they would be given a certain
25 amount of flour so that this demolition work could go
1 on and nobody got hurt from the falling pieces of
3 Q. Thank you for correcting the historical
4 detail, Mr. Grubesic. And is it also true that many of
5 the refugees that flooded into the Busovaca area after
6 the fall of the town of Jajce at the end of October of
7 1992, some of them had to walk over 100 kilometres
8 during their flight and were greatly in need of medical
9 treatment when they arrived in your municipality which
10 you were able to give as a result of having made the
11 necessary repairs to the hospital?
12 A. Yes. Busovaca is about 100 kilometres from
13 Jajce and indeed, a number of refugees arrived from
14 Jajce on foot. Some of them wounded, some were hit
15 by -- either by weapons, but some were sustained during
16 that travel. It would be foot injuries, blisters, and
17 all these people were given medical care in Busovaca.
18 Q. All right. Mr. Grubesic, shortly before the
19 fall of Jajce, we know that there was an incident where
20 HVO troop reinforcements were stopped at the village of
21 Ahmici. Immediately prior to that, could you tell the
22 Court about an incident involving one of our friends,
23 Mr. Franjo Santic, in Donja Rovna in the autumn of
25 A. In fact this was not an incident. That day,
1 on that day, I bought some construction material for my
2 house in Franjo Santic's store in Vitez and after that,
3 he invited me for a drink and he wanted me to see his
5 This -- his house was located about 1.5
6 kilometres from Ahmici. While we sat in his house, we
7 could hear -- we could hear that there was shooting
8 from some heavy -- large-calibre weapons like
9 machine-guns, and I asked him what was going on. He
10 said that members of the Vitez TO were wasting
11 ammunition and trying to intimidate the Croatian
12 population and apply some pressure on them.
13 This is -- and this I received as information
14 at that time.
15 Q. All right. In relation to the Ahmici
16 blockade, I believe the date was October 18, 1992,
17 where were the HVO reinforcing troops headed, sir?
18 A. According to the information I have, these
19 were critical -- this was a critical time for the
20 defence of Jajce and these HVO units were being sent to
21 help out in the defence of Jajce.
22 Q. All right. One witness in this case, sir,
23 claims that Mr. Kordic supposedly gave a press
24 conference or made some statements on either the
25 television or radio shortly after this incident, and
1 that in these statements, Mr. Kordic claimed that
2 Ahmici would be burned to the ground or pay a dear
3 price or something like that after the incident.
4 Did you ever hear Mr. Kordic making any such
5 a statement or have you heard of Mr. Kordic making any
6 such statement during the eight years since that time?
7 A. I did not hear any statement of Mr. Kordic's
8 to that effect, and I do not really know what media
9 could have transmitted that information. Besides
10 having known Mr. Kordic for about five or six years
11 before that and being aware of his political views and
12 the manner of his public address, public appearances.
13 Because he was a journalist, I'm confident that
14 Mr. Kordic did not make such a statement.
15 Q. All right. Moving on to the next subject
16 which is Mr. Kordic's activities in 1992, it's
17 paragraph 44 for the Trial Chamber's reference. We've
18 heard, sir, that Mr. Glavocevic was the president of
19 the local HVO until, I believe, August of 1992,
20 replaced at that time by Mr. Maric.
21 Did Mr. Kordic keep his position as president
22 of the local HDZ-BiH after April of 1992 or not?
23 A. Mr. Glavocevic was the president of the HVO
24 until late July, 1992. And sometime in the spring of
25 1992, Mr. Dario Kordic resigned as the president of the
1 municipal board of the Croat Democratic Union of
2 Herceg-Bosna in Busovaca and then left the office of
3 the secretary of the Defence Secretariat of the
4 municipality of Busovaca.
5 To my knowledge, he did not have any
6 responsibilities for any particular office. At that
7 time, I know that Mr. Dario Kordic was the vice
8 president of the Croat Democratic Union of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and vice president of the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
11 Q. All right. In the municipality, sir, did
12 Mr. Kordic have any formal governmental positions after
13 resigning as president of the HDZ-BiH in April of 1992,
14 as you've said?
15 A. Mr. Kordic did not have -- did not hold any
16 local office at the time, any municipal office, but he
17 was invited to meetings of the municipal HDZ bodies as
18 the vice president of the Croat Democratic Union of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina to attend and assist us in resolving
20 various municipal problems, but he held no special
21 office in the municipality.
22 Q. In connection with the effort of being
23 undertaken by the HVO on the front lines of Jajce
24 against the BSA, did Mr. Kordic have any role in
25 relation to that effort, sir?
1 A. I was present at a military parade and on
2 that occasion, Mr. Kordic invited the soldiers to
3 defend Jajce. That if Jajce fell, then the Bosnian
4 Serb army would reach the threshold of the Lasva Valley
5 and that the Lasva Valley was defended in Jajce. And
6 he called upon all the soldiers to volunteer to defend
7 Jajce and he said, himself, "I shall be walking in
8 front of you not as a soldier, but as a politician, to
9 go and defend Jajce." I heard it with my own ears.
10 JUDGE MAY: Let me just understand this. He
11 said to the soldiers, "I will be walking in front of
12 you as a politician." Is that what he said?
13 A. Yes, he did. Not as a soldier. He could not
14 give them an order to go on Jajce. He called upon them
15 as a politician to go and defend Jajce.
16 Mr. Kordic was the vice-president of the HDZ
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as I have already said.
18 JUDGE MAY: He actually used those words,
19 "I'm going to walk in front of you as a politician but
20 not as a soldier," is that right?
21 A. He said, "I'm coming with you," and it was
22 common knowledge that Mr. Kordic was a politician. So
23 that is how I understood that, that he was going with
24 them as a politician rather than a commander. He
25 didn't say, "This and that unit shall go and I am
1 ordering you to do that."
2 MR. SAYERS:
3 Q. Now --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a moment. The
5 transcript reads: "I shall be walking in front of you
6 not as a politician to defend Jajce."
7 JUDGE MAY: What the witness said was "not as
8 a soldier but as a politician." Those were his words.
9 A. That is how I understood it. He was a
10 politician speaking, and I understood that he was going
11 with them as a politician. Mr. Blaskic was there too,
12 and he was the military commander. So only Mr. Blaskic
13 could issue any order.
14 MR. SAYERS: Does the Court have any other
15 questions in that connection?
16 JUDGE MAY: No.
17 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
18 Q. Now, you will no doubt be asked in
19 cross-examination, sir, what was Mr. Kordic doing at an
20 address given to soldiers headed for the front line if
21 he wasn't a soldier? What's your explanation for
23 A. My explanation for it is very simple.
24 Mr. Kordic was the vice-president of the Croat
25 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he acted as
1 a politician. Did he not have any duty, nor could he
2 issue any military orders to send somebody to the front
3 line or to bring back somebody from the front line.
4 I never heard, I never saw any paper into
5 which Mr. Kordic would issue any order as a military
6 commander. He was somebody who encouraged those people
7 to defend their homes, both equally soldiers and
9 Q. All right. In 1992, after his resignation as
10 president of the local HDZ-BiH branch in Busovaca, did
11 he regularly attend meetings of the municipal
12 government or not?
13 A. No. Mr. Kordic attended sessions of the
14 municipal government very seldom. I can't even
15 remember any single occasion that he was present. Only
16 the negotiations conducted between the Muslim and Croat
17 and possibly even Serb side, and some meetings of the
18 municipal board of the Croat Democratic Union of the
19 municipality of Busovaca.
20 Q. Did Mr. Kordic ever attempt to interfere in
21 any way with the work of the municipal government in
23 A. No, never. In 1992 and 1993, Mr. Kordic
24 called me on several occasions by telephone, asking me
25 to help somebody who is poor and tell me, "Will you
1 please try to do something for that individual, because
2 he's come to see me and he has problems," either with
3 food or treatment or accommodation. So he'd only call
4 me and ask me for a favour.
5 I suppose he also called other people in the
6 municipality as well. He called me several times. He
7 must also have called Mr. Maric, but I don't know how
8 many times.
9 Q. All right. Now, you've previously stated
10 that Dario was elected as one of the vice-presidents of
11 the HDZ-BiH. Do you recall when that was and how many
12 vice-presidents there were?
13 A. I don't know how many vice-presidents there
14 were, but I believe that Mr. Dario Kordic was elected
15 vice-president of the HDZ in late 1991, but I was not
16 present at that convention of the HDZ of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so I wouldn't know the date, but I
18 do think it was towards the end of 1991.
19 Q. All right. And is it your understanding that
20 he remained a vice-president of the HDZ until July of
21 1994, when he was elected as president of the HDZ-BiH?
22 A. Yes. I was present at that HDZ-BiH
23 convention when Mr. Kordic was elected the president of
24 the HDZ-BiH in 1994.
25 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if we could just show
1 the witness Exhibit D186/1, please. It might help jog
2 his memory as to when the election to the post of
3 vice-president was made.
4 Q. If you'd just take a look very briefly,
5 Mr. Grubesic, at D186/1. This is a copy of the minutes
6 of the meeting of the 2nd General Assembly of the
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could we have it on the
9 ELMO, please.
10 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I have an additional copy
11 here. November the 14th, 1992.
12 Q. Could you just refresh your recollection and
13 look through that to see whether Kordic was elected as
14 one of the five vice-presidents of the HDZ-BiH at this
15 convention rather than in 1991?
16 A. True. I looked at this document, and then I
17 remembered that I misstated when I said that. So I was
18 right. Towards the end of the year but not 1991,
19 1992. It was 1992.
20 Q. Let's move on, Mr. Grubesic, and if we could,
21 let's try to pick up the pace here so that we can get
22 you finished as soon as possible.
23 Immediately prior to the outbreak of fighting
24 in Busovaca in January of 1993, do you recall a
25 delivery of about 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid in the
1 Busovaca area?
2 A. Yes, that is true. That was jointly done by
3 Muslims and Croats, that is, the municipal government
4 of the municipality of Busovaca and people in the
5 municipality of Busovaca.
6 Q. What happened to this aid? Did it go just to
7 the Croats or was it split with the Muslims?
8 A. That aid which arrived from the Croatian port
9 of Ploca was distributed into equal parts, to the
10 Croats and Muslims of the municipality of Busovaca.
11 Q. In paragraph 47 of your statement, you've
12 described an invitation you received following the
13 distribution of that aid from Mr. Husein Hadzimejlic,
14 the TO commander, an invitation issued to you and
15 Mr. Maric. Could you just tell the Court about, that
17 A. Yes. After this aid was distributed,
18 Mr. Hadzimejlic invited us to visit the barracks at
19 Kacuni, and so we did.
20 Q. And what did you see there?
21 A. We talked with Mr. Hadzimejlic, we had our
22 lunch there, and Mr. Hadzimejlic showed us the rooms in
23 the barracks which were being prepared to accommodate,
24 to receive a considerable number of soldiers.
25 Q. Was there any indication at this time, sir,
1 in the middle of January of 1993, that there was any
2 likelihood of serious conflict imminent?
3 A. I saw no signs, and the majority of people
4 or, rather, nobody saw any signs of the impending
5 conflict between the Muslims and Croats in the
6 municipality of Busovaca because life was becoming
7 increasingly normal. Normalcy was returning and
8 organisation and order was returning.
9 Q. How did the crime rate in Busovaca compare
10 with the crime rate in adjacent jurisdictions, as far
11 as you're aware, sir?
12 A. As early as the end of 1991, the crime rate
13 in Busovaca was higher than before the war. But when
14 compared with other neighbouring municipalities, that
15 is, in 1992 and 1993, the crime rate in Busovaca was
16 lower than in the neighbouring municipalities.
17 I remember a detail. New Year of 1993, we
18 were meeting and having a party with the businessmen in
19 the municipality of Busovaca. The party was organised
20 by the municipality of Busovaca, by the municipal
21 bodies of Busovaca, and businessmen, a Muslim, said
22 that he did not have to have steel bars on his shop in
23 Busovaca, whereas in Zenica, where he used to live, all
24 the shop owners had to have steel bars on their shops
25 because of an increased number of robberies and
2 Q. All right. Sir, let me move to the next
3 topic, which is checkpoints erected in Kacuni. Before
4 January of 1993, had you ever been stopped at any
5 checkpoints erected in that village by the TO or by
6 ABiH troops?
7 A. Yes. I was stopped for a while at the TO
8 checkpoint at Kacuni in early August 1992, at the time
9 when I was moving my things from my parents' house to
10 my newly-built house in Busovaca.
11 Q. Your parents lived in Oseliste, as we know.
12 That's just one or two kilometres south of Kacuni on
13 the main road, or south-east of Kacuni on the main
14 road; is that right?
15 A. It's about three or four kilometres
16 south-east of Kacuni. That is where my parents lived,
17 and I lived with them until August of 1992, from the
18 time I was 5 until August 1992, and at that time I was
19 moving my things to my new house in Busovaca.
20 Q. All right. We've heard about an incident
21 that occurred on the 20th or 21st of January 1993 at a
22 checkpoint in Kacuni where a politician from the area
23 or from the adjacent area was stopped.
24 Could you tell the Court what you know about
25 that, if anything.
1 A. I heard that some time around the 20th or the
2 21st of January, 1993 at the Kacuni checkpoint. The TO
3 intercepted, stopped, Ignac Kostroman, who was born and
4 lived in Kresevo, municipality of Kresevo. Otherwise,
5 Mr. Kostroman was the business secretary of the Croat
6 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, much of this detail
8 we've heard already. Unless there's anything which
9 this witness can add to the evidence, let's move on.
10 MR. SAYERS: Just one point, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Grubesic, did anyone ever contend to you
12 that Mr. Kordic had been present that checkpoint
13 incident at any time?
14 A. No. I never heard that Mr. Kordic was
15 stopped at that particular checkpoint or ever went
16 through that checkpoint on that day, on the 20th or the
17 21st of January, 1993.
18 Q. All right. There was an outbreak of
19 violence, sir, on the 21st of January, 1993 in
20 Busovaca. Could you tell the Judges about that,
22 A. At that period of time, there were several
23 explosions. Not big explosions, I should say, handmade
24 grenades. I'd say one evening in January, I wouldn't
25 really know if it was on the 22nd or the 23rd of
1 January, 1993 that there were several explosions. I
2 heard them from a distance and I thought they sounded
3 like handmade grenades, like hand grenades.
4 The next day, I saw several business outlets
5 that is shops, in the town had been damaged, not
6 demolished, but damaged. Their window shops were
7 perhaps broken or because hand grenades were thrown
8 into the shops, but those were mostly shops belonging
9 to Muslims, although there were here and there shops
10 owned by Croats that were also damaged.
11 Q. Was this the first outbreak of violence of
12 this type in the town?
13 A. No, to my regret. Already in late 1991, a
14 business outlet or rather a kiosk of Vjesnik which is
15 Zagreb media publisher, their kiosk was mined towards
16 the end of 1991. There were such incidents in 1992. I
17 also mentioned about 1993, and I also remember that in
18 some cases the municipal government donated some modest
19 amount of money to the poorest shop owners to repair
20 their shops.
21 I remember for instance a Muslim, he was a
22 cobbler, a shoemaker, he had a small kiosk near the
23 municipal hall, and because that kiosk was damaged, the
24 municipal government gave him some money to be able to
25 repair his shop and to continue mending footwear.
1 Q. Moving on, sir, there was an outbreak of
2 fighting in Busovaca on the 24th, 25th of January,
3 1993. I believe your wife was seven months pregnant
4 and you stayed by her side, because of her condition,
5 taking shelter in a neighbour's house in the Kula
7 You, yourself, saw fighting takes place in
8 the Kadica Strana area of Busovaca from that house; is
9 that right?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. All right. Now, the fighting, was this
12 confined to Busovaca itself or was it more extensive
13 than simply the town of Busovaca, sir?
14 A. From that shelter, I could see, in part,
15 fierce fighting on that hill which is in the suburb of
16 Busovaca it's called Kadica Strana. That is where the
17 battle was the fiercest but there was gunfire all
19 One could hear detonations and gunfire from
20 different directions but from that shelter, I could see
21 only the fighting on the Kadica Strana because I was a
22 kilometre and a half facing the Kadica Strana in my
24 Q. Was there any fighting in the Kacuni area and
25 points south along the main road as far as you know?
1 A. Yes, there was -- there was fighting. At
2 that time when I had already established contact with
3 some people and I knew that there was fighting in the
4 area and I -- later on, I learned from people from the
5 area some more details about the whole thing.
6 Q. Now, you've described to us that your parents
7 lived in Oseliste, that was a 100 per cent Croat
8 village, no Muslims living there at all; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I understand, sir, that both of your
11 parents were murdered by Muslim troops on the 30th of
12 January, 1993, both shot at close range execution style
13 in their own homes.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. They were two of ten civilians executed by
16 Muslim troops in the Kacuni area during the 1993
17 attacks in January; is that right?
18 A. Yes. Not in Kacuni itself, but in the
19 villages adjoining Kacuni.
20 Q. Such as Gusti Grab and Nezirovici?
21 A. Yes, Oseliste, Bukovci.
22 Q. Now, sir, following the fighting, I believe
23 that you were part of a team designated to survey the
24 situation in Busovaca and to organise the burial of
25 Muslim and Croat residents who had been killed in the
2 A. Yes. I was one of the team which was to
3 organise the burial of those killed. We also had to
4 see to the regular supply of power, water and all the
5 other public utilities that a town needs.
6 Q. Was there any effort to interfere with the
7 administration of proper burial rights for, for
8 example, the Muslim residents of the town that had been
9 killed in the conflict?
10 A. No. The Muslims and Croats killed in that
11 fighting were buried on 25th of January in Busovaca,
12 both civilians and soldiers. It was organised in
13 conformity with religious services of the two
15 In the case of Muslims, they were buried in
16 the presence of the local Imam in the local Muslim
17 cemetery, and the funeral of Catholics took place in
18 the local Catholic cemetery in the presence of a
20 Q. In paragraph 53, sir, you refer to a February
21 18th report that you submitted to the municipality
22 listing the households in various villages from which
23 Croat civilians had been expelled and which were now
24 controlled by ABiH forces.
25 Let me just show you what I believe to be an
1 accurate copy of the report that you prepared and have
2 this marked as the next exhibit, please.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document D231/1.
4 MR. SAYERS:
5 Q. Just one question, Mr. Grubesic, the document
6 says what it says, we can all read it. But is this the
7 document that you prepared and submitted to the
8 municipality on the 18th of February, 1993?
9 A. I wish to point out the following with
10 reference to these two lists. The two lists and there
11 are some slight divergencies between them. The first
12 list, the two-page list, I typed this personally on a
13 mechanical typewriter in one copy.
14 Then I wanted to have it copied and I went to
15 a typist in the municipal hall to then type it in
16 several copies, and then I remembered several more
17 houses that were not on my original list and added them
18 to this list. So that the second list, the three-page
19 list is the complete list.
20 Q. All right. Two final documents, one already
21 marked as Exhibit D2/1, I have an extra copy of this
22 for you.
23 The next document -- the first document, sir,
24 is prepared by a man named Nijaz Arnaut. It's been
25 marked previously in this case as D2/1. Have you seen
1 this document before?
2 A. Yes, I'm looking at it right now, but I have
3 seen it before, yes.
4 Q. All right. And are the statistics recorded
5 here, as far as you know, accurate. The numbers of
6 burned down houses, damaged houses, looted houses and
7 so forth, broken down by Croat and Muslim residents.
8 A. I believe here that the totals do not quite
9 match. There's some discrepancies in the report.
10 However, this report can be used as a starting point
11 for assessment of all the damaged, looted, and other
12 houses. The information here is approximately correct,
13 I would say with 90 per cent accuracy. I see here that
14 305 family homes have been inspected, and 253 belong to
15 ethnic Croatian owners. Then in the chart underneath
16 the numbers do not march because there is a larger
17 number of homes in the charts.
18 Q. The last document that I'd like to cover with
19 you in your testimony is a document that was generated
20 in 1997 while you were mayor of Busovaca.
21 MR. SAYERS: I'd like to have this marked as
22 the next exhibit.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document D232/1.
24 MR. SAYERS:
25 Q. Is this a document that you prepared,
1 Mr. Grubesic?
2 A. This document was prepared by the agencies of
3 the municipal government in Busovaca, and I signed it
4 as the head.
5 Q. All right. And is the number of displaced
6 persons of Croatian nationality 1.692, the number of
7 people displaced during the war, is that accurate?
8 A. At that time, that is, 28 April 1997, this
9 information was correct.
10 Q. And this document was prepared in connection
11 with arrangements that were being made for people of
12 various nationalities, Serb and Muslim, to return to
13 the homes from which they'd been displaced in the
14 Busovaca municipality; is that right?
15 A. Yes. Perhaps I need to comment on this
16 document briefly. This document was compiled --
17 JUDGE MAY: Don't comment on this. It's
18 irrelevant. We have a very great deal of evidence,
19 Mr. Grubesic, as you'll appreciate, in this case, and,
20 therefore, unless it's really necessary, we don't want
21 to add to it.
22 MR. SAYERS: I'll just go straight to
23 paragraph 55 in the interests of time, Mr. President.
24 Q. One of the witnesses in this case, Mr.
25 Grubesic, Major Philip Jennings from the 1st Battalion
1 Cheshire Regiment, one of the UNPROFOR contingents, has
2 told the Court that he saw lots of houses on fire, in
3 January of 1993, between Kacuni and Busovaca, and that
4 he concluded that these must have been Muslim houses
5 because they had four-sided roofs.
6 Just one question. As far as you're aware,
7 before we get to the specific village of Donje Polje,
8 between Kacuni and Busovaca, along the main road, were
9 there any Muslim houses, as far as you're aware?
10 A. From the boundary line of the town of
11 Busovaca to the boundary of the village of Kacuni,
12 there is a settlement called Polje. That is its
13 official name, but it is known among the people as
14 Donje Polje. In that area, there are no houses owned
15 by Muslims. No Muslims lived in Polje. Ninety-nine
16 per cent and more of that area was populated by people
17 of Croatian ethnic background.
18 Q. Can you tell, just from the configuration of
19 a roof, whether it's four-sided or two sides, whether
20 it belongs to a Muslim family, a Croat family, or a
21 Serb family, for that matter? Tell us, please.
22 A. You cannot judge on the basis of the shape of
23 the roof who was the owner of a house. There were
24 four-sided roofs and two-sided roofs in areas where
25 there were no Muslims or no members of another ethnic
1 group and so on.
2 Q. All right. While you were performing your
3 duties as part of the commission that was appointed
4 following the outbreak of fighting, sir, did you have
5 occasion to visit Donje Polje or Polje, as it's
6 officially called, to see whether indeed there were any
7 houses that had been damaged?
8 A. As early as February 1993, I had occasion to
9 visit the village of Polje after the fighting and then
10 on several further occasions in 1993, and I can say
11 that there were damaged houses in the area, but no
12 burned houses. There were damages caused by shells or
13 bullets. I saw damage, but I saw no house in Polje
14 which had been burned. And as I said, all these houses
15 were exclusively owned by Croats.
16 MR. SAYERS: Let me move forward to paragraph
17 56 of the outline, Your Honours --
18 Q. -- and just ask you some questions about the
19 war in your area, from January 1993 until it ended in
20 March of 1994.
21 After the -- well, who attacked whom in
22 Busovaca in January of 1993, sir? Can you tell us that
23 or do you know?
24 A. As I said, I had no indications that a
25 conflict may take place. On the 24th of January, 1993,
1 in the afternoon, around 4.00, I was in my house and I
2 heard a large explosion. I opened the door to my
3 house, which was oriented towards Kacuni, and as I came
4 out, I saw a helicopter coming from Kacuni, going in
5 the direction of Fojnica. At that time, I did not know
6 what had happened, but later I learned that at the TO
7 checkpoint, Mr. Petrovic, an HVO military policeman,
8 was killed. This is what I learned later, but that is
9 what -- how the conflict in Busovaca started. And it
10 went on for several days thereafter in the territory of
11 Busovaca municipality.
12 Q. All right. The Court has already heard
13 considerable evidence, sir, regarding the fact that the
14 Vitez-Novi Travnik-Busovaca pocket was sealed off as of
15 April of 1993, and I don't think there's any need in
16 repeating that.
17 MR. SAYERS: On to paragraph 57, Your
19 Q. Were you a soldier at any time, sir?
20 A. No. I was not a soldier at any time.
21 Q. What was your function during the war, in
23 A. I have already said that from 1992, I was the
24 secretary of the Crisis Staff of the municipal
25 government of the HDZ. These were my duties in the
1 course of 1992, 1993, and 1994, and I have presented my
2 work through the documents which have been tendered
3 here so far. These were mostly administrative
4 activities in order to improve the life in Busovaca in
5 various -- in different areas such as health, social
6 care, improvements in economy and other areas of life
7 in wartime situation.
8 Q. All right, sir. During the wartime period,
9 after January of 1993, could you tell the Court whether
10 Busovaca was shelled by ABiH troops and if so, how
12 A. The shelling was quite frequent and the town
13 was targeted often, and there were a number of civilian
14 casualties. I cannot give you an accurate figure, but
15 it was very dangerous to live in the bordering
16 villages, villages that were close to the front line,
17 because people were exposed to sniping, both civilians
18 but especially soldiers, obviously, who were manning
19 the front lines.
20 Q. Could you give the Court an approximate
21 figure of the number of civilians, people actually
22 killed by ABiH troops in Busovaca municipality during
23 the war and the same figures for the wounded, if you
25 A. I cannot give you a 100 per cent accurate
1 information, but I can tell you that about 30 civilians
2 and about 180 soldiers were killed. And the total of
3 wounded, both civilian and soldiers, was between 500
4 and 600, in the territory of Busovaca municipality.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I think the
7 witness has covered adequately paragraph 59, so we'll
8 go on to page 16.
9 Q. Now, sir, during the war period, after
10 January of 1993, could you tell the Court what
11 Mr. Kordic's function or role was?
12 A. In 1993, I perceived Mr. Dario Kordic as
13 spokesman for the Croat community of Lasva River
14 Valley. He was the spokesman for 50.000 people who
15 were encircled in a very small area.
16 Q. Did he have any particular influence on local
17 events in Busovaca from your perspective or as far as
18 you know?
19 A. I have already spoken about it. Mr. Kordic
20 very rarely participated, in fact, did not participate
21 at all in the work of the municipal government in
22 Busovaca, but was occasionally invited to the HDZ
23 meetings and also was occasionally involved in the
24 negotiations with the Muslim side. Also, Mr. Kordic
25 had no military duties and no military authority
2 Q. One matter of detail. There has been some
3 claim made in this case that a UN UNHCR convoy was
4 supposedly detained or diverted in Busovaca at the end
5 of April of 1993, and it is asserted that Mr. Kordic
6 had some connection with that. Have you ever heard of
7 such a thing?
8 A. I have -- I never heard of the stopping of
9 the convoy in April 1992. I never heard about it, and
10 I don't know about any stopping of the convoy.
11 Q. All right. Have you ever heard Mr. Kordic
12 express any ill-feelings, hatred, prejudice, pejorative
13 comments towards members of non-Croat ethnicity,
14 including to but not limited to Bosnian Muslims?
15 A. No, no such statements from Mr. Kordic, I
16 never heard any such comments, and this did not
17 correspond to what I knew about him, and it would have
18 been completely out of character for him and of -- for
19 the people in the Lasva River Valley. If he talked
20 about it, it would be to point out the extremists on
21 either the Muslim, Croat or Serb side.
22 Mr. Kordic always spoke about these
23 extremists and he also spoke very well about common
24 people. He always helped them. He assisted them to
25 the extent that he could, and I believe that I have
1 already mentioned this in my testimony today.
2 Q. Yes, sir, I'm sorry to be going over it again
3 today. Did you ever see Mr. Kordic's political account
4 speeches or press conferences, appearances on Busovaca
6 A. Yes, I did see several of his press
7 conferences on Busovaca TV where Mr. Kordic appeared,
8 and he always spoke about political issues, and
9 military issues were covered by Mr. Blaskic.
10 In Mr. Kordic's statements, as far as I
11 follow them, I did not notice anything. When he spoke
12 about members of other ethnic groups, he spoke about
13 the extremism of them, but he never spoke -- uttered
14 anything negative about people as whole.
15 Q. Did any of his speeches in your view call for
16 or incite violence in your view or in your view were
17 they inflammatory to anyone of non-Croat ethnicity?
18 A. There was no incitement of violence in his
19 speeches and I don't believe that those speeches were
21 Q. All right. Mr. Grubesic, if I could just
22 turn to the final subject that I would like to cover
23 with you.
24 The claim has been made in this case that a
25 campaign was waged or that there was a policy adopted
1 by the political institutions of the Croats, the
2 HDZ-BiH, the HDZ had been and the HR HB of persecution
3 and harassment against Bosnian Muslim civilians.
4 Could you give the Court an idea on whether
5 you ever heard such a policy being advocated or
6 propagated by any senior member of any of these
8 A. I never heard from either a low-level or
9 top-level politician that he advocated a policy of
10 ethnic persecution of any ethnic group. The Croatian
11 National Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina is the least
12 numerous one and propagation of such and promulgation
13 of such ideas would hurt the Croat community the most.
14 I never heard from Mr. Dario Kordic or from
15 any of my associates and I, myself, also never spoke
16 about it. And from all the documents which were
17 tendered here today, it is clear what policies the
18 local government in Busovaca implemented and it had
19 Mr. Dario Kordic's moral support in the implementation
20 of such policies.
21 When I say this, perhaps I should add that as
22 the head of the local government in Busovaca, we were
23 the first to open up Busovaca for all members of other
24 ethnic groups to return, and we received a certificate
25 from UNHCR in which the rights of all citizens of all
1 ethnic backgrounds are respected, and Mr. Kordic gave
2 us moral support in this. That this was the right
3 policy and that the municipal leadership should follow
4 such policies, and he stated this while he was at the
5 head of the HDZ of Busovaca.
6 Q. Mr. Grubesic, there's no doubt, though, that
7 a number of Muslim residents from Busovaca had left the
8 town by October of 1993. How do you explain that?
9 A. Unfortunately, as I stated previously in my
10 testimony, it was not an ideal or an idyllic
11 situation. It was a very difficult situation. The
12 representatives of people who lived in Busovaca held a
13 host of meetings trying to resolve various situations
14 and it is certain that in the town of Busovaca, it was
15 very difficult for the Muslim community in the course
16 of 1993.
17 But, it was also difficult for the members of
18 other ethnic groups, the Croats, the Serbs. Their
19 lives were at risk. They were running the risk of
20 collective disaster. There was no food.
21 It is true that it was the most difficult to
22 the Muslims in Busovaca, that is true. However, Croats
23 were expelled from the areas of Kacuni. Only 20 to 30
24 Croats remained in the area of Kacuni. Their situation
25 was very difficult --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt. You were asked
2 a straightforward question, Mr. Grubesic. Can you
3 answer it, please, shortly, so we can understand it?
4 You were asked: How do you explain the fact
5 that Muslim residents left Busovaca? Now, what was the
6 reason, you say, for that? Just very shortly.
7 A. It is very difficult to give a simple,
8 straightforward answer to that. There are various
9 reasons for this. I tried to present the context.
10 Perhaps I did not succeed.
11 I can say from what I know that some of the
12 Muslims left Busovaca before the 25th of January, 1993
13 and that the Croats did not even notice it and when
14 they first noticed it, they could not tell why these
15 people had left the town.
16 The reasonings of individuals was that they
17 were going to visit their relatives and so on. Another
18 part of Muslims moved out of Busovaca due to the
19 pressure of the refugees which came from all sides. So
20 there was no system in place which would prevent these
21 people from doing so.
22 People were arriving from Zenica, Travnik.
23 They were embittered and they took things into their
24 own hands. They were expelling Muslims from their own
25 homes and apartments.
1 This was the situation. It was very
2 difficult for the Muslims in Busovaca and these were
3 the reasons why they were leaving Busovaca.
4 I would like to say that there was looting of
5 Muslim property because these refugees had left their
6 own property back in Zenica or Travnik and some of the
7 Croats who had been expelled from those areas even
8 attacked Croat homes. And the situation of Muslims was
9 very difficult and this is why they were leaving
10 Busovaca in this period.
11 MR. SAYERS: Does the Court have any other
13 Q. Mr. Grubesic, let me try to finish up before
14 the lunch break here. You've alluded to the crime
15 rate, the soaring crime rate caused by the pressure of
16 incoming refugees.
17 There's a reference in your outline to
18 several members of a refugee family named Topalovic
19 being murdered in the first half of 1993, and that
20 sometime prior to that, a gentleman by the name of
21 Ibrahim Hodzic was beaten up very badly, so badly, in
22 fact, that he subsequently died from his wounds.
23 Could you just give the Court some kind of
24 idea what was done to -- what resources were available
25 to investigate crimes such as these and who would
1 investigate the crimes?
2 A. The cases you just mentioned, from what I
3 heard, were committed by people in uniforms. Looking
4 at it from the outside, it would seem that the military
5 police was competent for investigating these crimes,
6 but if the civilian police was involved in it, then in
7 regard to that period, I can say the following: The
8 civilian police was, as I said, the civilian police was
9 part of the armed forces.
10 I can say that the civilian police was
11 heavily involved in the defence effort on the front
12 line, and they had poor logistics. They had shortages
13 of fuel. They were lacking in various things, but from
14 the information that I have, the police have registered
15 most of these crimes.
16 I believe that there are written records
17 about these crimes with the Busovaca police.
18 Q. Mr. Grubesic, there's no need to go on with
19 any detail on that because we actually have the
20 civilian chief of police as one of the upcoming
22 So with that, I think I have no further
23 questions and thank you very much, indeed,
24 Mr. President.
25 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Half past
2 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: I have no questions, Your
4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
6 Q. How many weeks or months ago was it, please,
7 that the summary that you've been looking at was first
8 started? When was the first draft of that first
9 prepared, please?
10 A. The first summary, the first draft of that
11 summary was made seven -- no, four or five days ago.
12 Q. Where were you then, here in The Hague?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When did you first talk to lawyers about all
15 these events so as to start trying to remember the
16 detail of them?
17 A. I think -- I'm not quite sure, but it was
18 about a year, a year and a half ago.
19 Q. At that time, you say nothing was done by way
20 of preparing a summary or preparing notes for a summary
21 or anything of that sort?
22 A. Notes were taken.
23 Q. When you first saw lawyers a year or so ago,
24 did they show you any documents?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you show them any documents?
2 A. I have already said that some of my
3 statements were based on documents which I had the
4 opportunity of seeing in the municipal hall, but I did
5 not bring along any significant documents. I don't
6 think I gave them anything.
7 Q. So at your first encounter no documents were
8 seen at all?
9 A. No. I did not turn over any documents. I
10 simply told them where some documents were kept.
11 Q. And between then and the occasion four or
12 five days ago when this summary, you say, was first
13 being drafted, have you had any other encounters with
14 the lawyers?
15 A. Yes, once again.
16 Q. At that encounter, did you provide any
17 documents or did they show any documents to you?
18 A. I don't think I gave them any documents on
19 that occasion, but I believe, at that time, the
20 documents that I identified during my first
21 conversation with the lawyers had already been
23 Q. Where from?
24 A. Most of the documents that you saw today, as
25 a matter of fact, come from the archives of the
1 municipal hall in Busovaca. I think that only a few
2 documents are not from that archive.
3 Q. And where are those other documents from?
4 A. I think we had looked at that municipal
5 document of the HDZ from the minutes, so it must come
6 from the municipal board of the HDZ in Busovaca. Then
7 a document signed, I believe, by Nijaz Arnaut, the one
8 referring to damaged buildings, I don't know where this
9 document was obtained from. Whether the municipal
10 hall -- whether the municipal hall has it, I don't
11 know. How it was obtained, I don't know. But in 1993,
12 these documents were exchanged between the Croat and
13 the Muslim side.
14 Q. That last document you're referring to about
15 damaged buildings, you'd never seen it before, I
16 imagine. Is that correct?
17 A. The one written by Arnaut you mean? True. I
18 don't think I ever saw it before. I'm not hundred per
19 cent sure about that, but I don't think so. I saw
20 another document in 1993 about damaged buildings.
21 Q. I'm concerned about the one by Arnaut for the
22 moment, since you mentioned it. What institution was
23 Arnaut writing for or preparing the document for?
24 A. At the time I had this document, I did not
25 really look at the addressee so that I cannot answer
1 the question.
2 Q. In short, you don't know what the institution
3 was or anything about it?
4 A. I don't know which institution. But there is
5 no doubt that it was written by Mr. Arnaut and that the
6 situation was more or less like that.
7 Q. Well, since you offer that, why do you say
8 that? What do you know about this document?
9 A. No. It looks convincing to me, and I said
10 such documents were exchanged between the Croat and the
11 Muslim side.
12 Q. Let's go back to documents generally. Apart
13 from the documents that the lawyers have shown you, you
14 haven't found or researched and found any documents
16 A. I did not do any research. What lawyers were
17 interested in and what they thought of inconsequence
18 for this case, they asked me if any documents exist and
19 where they could be, and I told them.
20 Q. From your jobs to which I'll turn in a
21 minute, it's clear then that archives of the
22 administration of Busovaca at the time of the war still
23 exist; correct?
24 A. There were, at the time when I worked for the
25 municipality, yes, there were documents. The archive
1 was not on a particularly large scale, but it did exist
2 and all the documents were stored there.
3 Q. It appears that an archive for the political
4 party, the HDZ, exists?
5 A. I could not really say because I don't know
6 much about that.
7 Q. A couple of the documents that you've spoken
8 of today you think came from the HDZ archive, but maybe
9 I'm wrong.
10 A. I saw a document saying "The Municipal Board
11 of the HDZ," so my guess is that it comes from the
12 archive of the municipal HDZ. I don't know where else
13 it could come from.
14 Q. And then so far as the HVO is concerned, an
15 archive of that for Busovaca must exist.
16 A. Do you mean the army or the civilian
18 Q. Both.
19 A. I already said about the HVO in the
20 municipality of Busovaca that archive existed at the
21 time when I left the municipality, and I told you what
22 office I took over. And as for the military archive, I
23 do not know about that, and I have no knowledge whether
24 it exists, where it is or anything.
25 Q. Would you accept that the Croat part of the
1 Bosnian Croat Federation, the Croat part of the
2 Federation would be able to find all of those documents
3 and would have been able to find all of those documents
4 over the last few years if it had wanted to?
5 A. Well, I mean, I came to testify about facts
6 and you're seeking my opinion about certain things, and
7 I cannot give you my opinion because I do not really
8 have anything to found my opinion on. And besides, I
9 do not have enough knowledge about these things.
10 Q. Well, let's follow your jobs, because I am
11 not quite clear, and I'm sure it's my shortcoming.
12 What jobs were you actually doing in 1992,
13 for example? No, let's start in 1991. What were you
14 doing in 1991?
15 A. I believe I answered that question with due
16 precision that I was the secretary of the municipal
17 parliament, that I was elected in January of 1991 and
18 that I held that office until April 1992.
19 Q. And why did things change in April 1992?
20 A. I already spoke about that too. At that
21 time, the crisis staff was established and the
22 municipal parliament of Busovaca stopped functioning,
23 and all the powers of the municipal assembly were
24 transferred to a 10-member crisis staff made of
25 councilmen of all political parties represented on the
1 municipal parliament of Busovaca.
2 Q. And that continued for how long?
3 A. The crisis staff was in operation until the
4 9th of May, 1992.
5 Q. Then who employed you, who paid you?
6 A. I was an employee of the administrative
7 bodies of the municipality of Busovaca. I went back to
8 that job, and I said already that it had to be -- the
9 job had to be organised and all the employees of the
10 municipal hall had to be called back.
11 And because the work had to be organised in
12 order to organise a life of some kind, that was
13 necessary, both administrative, economic and any other
14 form of life in the territory of the municipality.
15 Q. You were paid a salary, if you were, by whom?
16 A. I was paid -- my salary was paid -- no let me
17 just make a correction. We can speak about salaries
18 only conditionally because there were minimum
19 remunerations received by all employees of the
20 municipality, and I was also receiving my pay from the
21 funds that the municipality had, and that was from the
22 levy of taxes.
23 Q. Levy of taxes on the local basis, the taxes
24 being levied for the defence of Busovaca, something
25 like that?
1 A. The municipal administration was funded from
2 taxes. I cannot tell you what those taxes were called
3 at that time, but tax, for instance, services tax in
4 business companies.
5 Q. And then you stayed in that job until when?
6 A. Until 1994. I have already stated, let me
7 just remember. I can't really exactly remember the
8 month of 1994, but it was after the cease-fire was
9 signed or rather after the conclusion of the Washington
11 Q. Along the way, you were appointed to another
12 job, I think, weren't you, in the autumn of 1992? Do
13 you remember that?
14 A. What do you mean, I don't know?
15 Q. Well, you're a lawyer, aren't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you were appointed to the job of advocate
18 for the lawyers, I suppose, a legal advocate. Do you
19 remember that, by the HVO?
20 A. Yes. I know about that decree but I refused
21 the office because I am not an expert on criminal law.
22 I specialised in civil law and I said I could not take
23 that up.
24 Q. You weren't going to fight, you weren't going
25 to become a soldier, were you?
1 A. Excuse me, I didn't understand that
3 Q. You didn't become, and you weren't ever going
4 to become a soldier.
5 A. No, I was not a soldier.
6 Q. Any particular reason for that?
7 A. Well, there was no particular reason. I
8 simply had all these other things to do, and in my
9 opinion and the opinion of other people, I could make a
10 better contribution in those jobs that I held there
11 than in the army.
12 Q. And you simply failed to respond to the order
13 of the HVO to become a prosecutor in the legal system,
14 the military legal system.
15 A. Yes, I simply did not feel I was up to the
16 task. I wasn't competent enough. I had no experience.
17 Q. You didn't even reply to them. You didn't
18 even acknowledge their instruction, did you?
19 A. I did not. I said it verbally that I could
20 not accept that. And after that, no questions were
21 raised nor was I offered that office again ever.
22 Q. So what -- it's my mistake entirely for not
23 understanding, what were you doing in Busovaca that was
24 sufficiently important that you felt you could refuse
25 this war-connected task that you spoke about. What was
1 it that you were doing that was so important?
2 A. I mean one had to take care of people, of the
3 expelled and civilians and people who found themselves
4 surrounded by war without anything at all. And I think
5 I had more work to do there than if I had accepted the
6 office of the prosecutor.
7 Q. Let's go back to the beginning, please. I
8 shall try to ask you questions in a chronological
9 order, but it won't be possible all the time for
10 various reasons.
11 Do you want to look at your summary as you're
12 going through it or would you rather answer the
13 questions without the assistance of the summary?
14 A. I am not answering -- I'm not looking at the
15 summary as I'm answering these questions so if need be
16 I shall look up what it says.
17 Q. At an early stage, we learned something from
18 you about Mr. Cicak. Let's just pick it up there.
19 Mr. Cicak's views were expressly multi-ethnic; would
20 that be correct?
21 A. I cannot -- I do not like to pass judgement,
22 to pass judgements on people. But my feeling was that
23 the behaviour of Mr. Cicak, his activity in the HDZ
24 board in Busovaca resulted in more confusion and
25 fluster rather than any -- that wasn't very useful.
1 I did not hear him express any multi-ethnic
2 view. I did not hear him say anything to the contrary,
3 but that holds true of all the other members of the
4 municipal board.
5 I felt that something was psychologically
6 wrong about Mr. Cicak, and I learned that he had a
7 disability pension because he had some psychological
8 disorder, rather.
9 Q. Don't feel in any sense embarrassed about
10 saying as much bad about him as you want to. You've
11 said in your statement that he was an unstable
12 individual who went into early retirement because of
13 mental illness.
14 Now, is that your evidence?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Tell me what the mental illness was, if you
17 want to say that about someone.
18 A. I do not know.
19 Q. Then why on earth are you putting it in your
20 statement, please? Why are you calling somebody
21 mentally ill with no knowledge? Do you think that's a
22 very proper thing to do?
23 A. What I said was that I could notice that he
24 had some psychological problems. I do not know how it
25 was translated into English.
1 Q. Very well. Please tell the Chamber about
2 what you noticed about his psychological problems since
3 you rely upon it.
4 A. I cannot -- it was a feeling I had.
5 Q. A feeling?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Well, please explain your feeling, because
8 it's you who have chosen to call this man mentally ill,
9 and if it's based on a feeling, we'd like to know the
11 A. I did not proclaim Mr. Cicak a mental
12 patient. I heard from the Defence that they had
13 documents showing that the doctors had established
14 that, but I had this feeling before I knew that I had
15 this documentation.
16 Q. "I heard from the Defence." When you say the
17 "Defence," who do you mean?
18 A. Today during the trial before this court,
19 Defence counsel said that, that there was documentation
20 in existence, that there were testimonies of a doctor,
21 Dr. Petrovic, I think, which has been enclosed with the
22 court files.
23 Q. But your affidavit was served a day or so
24 ago. You've already set out that he was mentally ill.
25 Now then, on what basis, please, did you say that? If
1 you want to find it, you can find at paragraph 13.
2 A. Yes. Yes, here it is. "Cicak is an unstable
3 individual who went into early retirement because of
4 mental illness."
5 Q. Is there any detail to support your feeling
6 about this man that you'd like to tell this Chamber, or
7 would it, in fairness to Mr. Cicak, be better if we
8 omitted all reference to his mental state? You tell
10 A. It was like this: I think it would actually
11 burden this discussion if I explained it because the
12 history is quite long. I do not think it is of
13 relevance for this case to explain how I met Mr. Cicak
14 before either he or I joined the municipal board of the
16 Q. Well, that's your choice. Let me just
17 explain something to you. If at any stage between now
18 and the end of your answering questions to me you want
19 to point to something in his mental state that you can
20 remember, would you be good enough to do so?
21 A. Like this, if I may pronounce myself finally
22 about this: It was the impression I gained that
23 Mr. Cicak was an unstable individual long before this
24 trial. It could have been seven or eight years ago,
25 perhaps even before that. I was told that -- people
1 told me that he left the personal insurance company in
2 Zenica, that he retired because he had some
3 psychological problems. And I really don't feel like
4 going back to this issue. This issue had to do with
5 some duties which Mr. Cicak discharged before the war
6 as a quack, as a quack notary. He doubled in some
7 legal business for which only the lawyers were
8 authorised to do, and thus he was an unloyal
9 competition for me. I do not think that he is
10 qualified. I do not think he ever graduated from the
11 faculty of law. I think he came from a higher school.
12 But I really don't want to talk about this any more,
13 because I'm not sure.
14 Q. Was there anyone else you can point to,
15 please, at the time who had the courage to write strong
16 opinions adverse to Mr. Kordic in the local press?
17 A. I think that every man who had something to
18 write about, whether it was contrary to Mr. Kordic's
19 view, was free to do so.
20 Q. No. That's not an answer to the question.
21 You were there. You've been brought to this court to
22 tell more or less the whole Busovaca story. Tell us,
23 was there anyone else, apart from Cicak, who you can
24 recall writing strongly -- writing in the press or
25 being reported in the press saying things that were
1 strongly adverse to Kordic?
2 A. I do not know anything about such articles.
3 I did not read the press, so that I cannot really say
4 anything definite about it.
5 Q. Sorry. You were the secretary of the local
6 political party. I'm right about this, aren't I?
7 A. I was the secretary of the municipal
8 parliament, not of the local political party.
9 Q. Absolutely right. And you didn't read the
11 A. Well, I did read the newspapers that I
12 thought necessary to read and articles that I deemed
13 important. I did not read those that I did not think
14 very important. I mostly read the daily press.
15 Q. Let's turn to another personality before we
16 come back to Mr. Cicak. Please feel free, this is a
17 court, you can say what you want to, about
18 Mr. Kljujic. Is there anything you want to say
19 adverse to Mr. Kljujic, please?
20 A. I have no particular knowledge about
21 Mr. Kljujic. I was a deputy in the parliament and
22 Mr. Kljujic was the president of the party, and he was
23 a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 My opinion is that Mr. Kljujic, as the party
25 president, did not do enough to organise the HDZ in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that he failed to seek the
2 opinion of people on the ground as to what should be
3 done. That is all that I can really say about
4 Mr. Kljujic.
5 Q. Mr. Kljujic was and is known and has at all
6 times been known for his expressed multi-ethnic views.
7 Would that be correct?
8 A. I said what I already meant to say about
9 Mr. Kljujic personally. I think I have already said
10 what I had to say about Mr. Kljujic to this Court. And
11 the expression of multi-ethnic approach and
12 multi-cultural values, this was not only Mr. Kljujic
13 but many other people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think
14 that I also expressed such views.
15 Q. Let's go back to Mr. Cicak. Why was he
16 beaten up? You were there. Tell us about it.
17 A. I was not present, and I don't know why he
18 was beaten up.
19 Q. Busovaca is a small town, isn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You were a rising figure in a small town;
23 A. In relative terms.
24 Q. You knew, because Mr. Cicak was brave enough
25 to say so, that his allegation was that he was beaten
1 up on the instructions of Mr. Kordic. Now, you tell
2 us, please: Who beat him up?
3 A. I have no information about it, and I don't
4 believe he was beaten up on instructions by Mr. Kordic.
5 Q. Well, if you don't know anything about it,
6 why do you believe that?
7 A. Knowing Mr. Kordic and his character, I don't
8 believe that he would stoop to that level.
9 Q. And you really -- you can't help us at all?
10 This is all before the war, isn't it? You can't help
11 us at all why this man, this mentally unstable man, was
12 beaten up?
13 A. I don't know. He lived in a village four or
14 five kilometres away from Busovaca, where I almost
15 never went in my life.
16 Q. By the end of November -- well, by the end of
17 1991, how regularly were you seeing Mr. Kordic?
18 A. Very often, because we worked in the same
19 building. We attended the same meetings because we
20 were with the -- Mr. Asim Sunulapasic was the president
21 and Mr. Kordic was the secretary in the defence office
22 in the municipal government.
23 Q. And you saw him both in meetings and, no
24 doubt, privately as well. Would that be correct?
25 A. We worked in the same building, but all
1 employees, all municipal employees worked in the same
2 building, so we would run into each other perhaps
3 several times a day.
4 Q. And Mr. Kordic was no doubt rightly proud of
5 his contacts with President Tudjman and his visits to
6 Zagreb. Would that be correct?
7 A. I never heard Mr. Kordic saying that he
8 was -- that he had contacts or that he met with
9 President Tudjman.
10 Q. Tell us, so that we can have a picture of it,
11 how the local party operated at about this time, the
12 end of 1991, 1992. Tell us how the local party
13 operated. Did you have meetings once a week, once a
14 day, once a month?
15 A. I believe that they were held as necessary
16 which, on average, was once or twice a month, but the
17 entire municipal board would then convene to debate the
18 issues of importance for the local community.
19 Q. And you attended yourself?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And at such meetings, are you telling the
22 Chamber that there was any reference to what was being
23 proposed in Zagreb?
24 A. As far as I can recall, such matters were
25 never brought up in any of the meetings.
1 Q. Well, did you ever get any impression that
2 Mr. Kordic was keeping things from the meetings and was
3 pulling strings behind the meetings' back, if I can put
4 it that way?
5 A. No, I did not gain such impression. Those
6 debates were very open. Sometimes they were very
7 intense. Everybody was expressing their own opinions
8 and views.
9 Q. Let's just look at one document, Z20,
10 please. I'm sorry not to have been able to give
11 advanced notice of these documents. Z20, I'm sorry.
12 Maybe I've got the wrong document in my hand. Here we
14 You see, this is a document for the 29th of
15 October of 1991, and it's the HDZ regional community
16 who held a meeting in Busovaca, and they were dealing
17 in number two of their conclusions with a document sent
18 confidentially to Dr. Tudjman supported by members of
19 the Croatian Regional Community of Travnik.
20 Do you remember anything about that?
21 A. No, I did not attend this meeting, and I have
22 said that I was attending meetings of the local
23 party -- the municipal board, but this is the regional
24 community meeting.
25 Q. All right. Well, we'll come back to that if
1 necessary later. And just help us with this: Did you
2 attend the Busovaca Cultural Club meeting to celebrate
3 the recognition of the Republic of Croatia?
4 A. No, I was not present at that meeting. At
5 that time, my wife had a miscarriage, and I was with
6 her in the hospital.
7 Q. After the meeting was over, did you hear from
8 your Muslim contacts, what they thought about that
10 A. I haven't spoken about this meeting to do
11 with anyone. I have no information about that meeting
12 and, as I said, I was away for several days during that
13 period and I mentioned the reason.
14 Q. Your contact and friend -- was he your
15 friend, Mr. Kordic, by the beginning of 1992?
16 A. I would define it as a relationship of two
17 colleagues who were employed in the same institution.
18 Q. Did you ever reach the position where you'd
19 have been able to describe him as your friend?
20 A. No. These were always contacts and, in
21 principle, I maintain official contacts at the
22 particular level of decency, and I only keep
23 friendships with several people.
24 Q. So can you help us with why your colleague,
25 on the 25th of January of 1992, resigned from the
1 position of deputy president of HZ HB? Can you help us
2 with that? You were at political meetings with him.
3 A. I don't know what the reasons were. As I
4 said in my statement, on the 25th of January, 1992, I
5 was attending the session of the parliament in
7 Q. And you never learned of this resignation and
8 never learned of the reason for it.
9 A. I never learned of it, nor did I ask around.
10 Q. We can probably track some or -- some of your
11 attendances at meetings where Kljuic was referred to,
12 but may we take it from what you've already said, you
13 never spoke out in favour of Kljuic?
14 A. I don't know what meetings are being referred
16 Q. I don't really want to go back, but there was
17 a meeting, for example, I think in -- on the 13th of
18 August 1991, Z11, chaired by Boban, and I think you
19 were present at that meeting and Kljuic was called to
20 explain his behaviour.
21 Don't you remember being at any meetings
22 where Kljuic was discussed?
23 A. No. I asked for the reference of such
24 meetings, not that I was -- I didn't say that I was --
25 that I did not attend any of them.
1 Q. Very well. Well, the question -- we're
2 trying to save the Chamber from spending time looking
3 at documents when it's avoidable.
4 Can you help me, please, with the answer to
5 the question? Would it be right that you at no time
6 spoke out in favour of Kljuic?
7 A. That is not correct.
8 Q. Well, when did you speak out in his favour
9 and for what reason?
10 A. I was a member of the parliament and the club
11 of -- there were a number of caucuses. And like other
12 representatives, I gave him support within this caucus,
13 the club of representatives.
14 Outside of that, I had very few opportunities
15 to talk with Mr. Kljuic and very few meetings in which
16 Mr. Kljuic was present.
17 After all, the HDZ, the representatives,
18 support the referendum which was also supported by
19 Mr. Kljuic and I, myself, voted in favour of this
21 Q. You've made observations about Mr. Kordic's
22 status, whether military or civil and, of course, I'll
23 return to what you said about his leading the troops as
24 a politician a little later. But are you saying that
25 you know he never gave any military orders? Is that
1 what you're saying?
2 A. I don't know that Mr. Kordic ever issued any
3 military order, and my opinion is that he did not.
4 Q. Yes. Somewhere in the transcripts, there was
5 no paper signed by him as a military commander, you
6 said. What did you base that on?
7 A. I never heard that Mr. Kordic was a military
8 commander. Simply the situation was that the commander
9 of the Operative Zone for the most part of 1992 and
10 1993 was Mr. Blaskic, and the commander of the local
11 Busovaca Brigade was Mr. Dusko Grubesic, and it was
12 they who issued military orders.
13 Q. Who was commanding them, from the political
14 point of view, please?
15 A. I didn't get the interpretation. Excuse me,
16 but I didn't get the interpretation of the last
18 Q. The question was: Who was commanding them,
19 Blaskic and Dusko Grubesic, from the political point of
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
22 there is problem with the B/C/S channel. So this is
23 why we're having a problem.
24 A. I'm sorry, I did not hear the Croatian
1 JUDGE MAY: Let's try it again.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Who was commanding them, that is, who was
4 commanding Blaskic and Dusko Grubesic, from the
5 political point of view, please?
6 A. There is no interpretation coming through at
7 all, please.
8 JUDGE MAY: Can you get something done about
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
11 A. Yes. Now I can hear it. I can hear it now.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Ask the question, please.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Who was commanding Blaskic and Grubesic, from
15 the political point of view?
16 A. I don't know who could have issued orders
17 from the political point of view, but this is my view
18 of the whole matter. The superior to Mr. Blaskic was
19 the main headquarters of the HVO in Mostar, and the
20 superior of Mr. Grubesic was the command of the Central
21 Bosnia Operative Zone in Vitez, headed by Mr. Blaskic.
22 On the political side, the commander of the armed
23 forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was
24 Mr. Mate Boban.
25 Q. You were actually there in a local
1 government, a local parliament, at least until the
2 spring of 1992, and, thereafter, you stayed working in
3 the town hall or whatever the proper name is. From
4 whom, was it said and thought, did political
5 instruction come to the military commanders?
6 A. I don't know that political instructions were
7 coming to the military commanders, I am not competent
8 for that, but I believe that military commanders
9 receive military instructions, no political
10 instructions. I believe that only the Ministry of
11 Defence has some kind of a political role. To me,
12 everything else, that is, the commands, are all
13 professional bodies that are a part of the organisation
14 of the military structure, that is, the chain of
16 Q. My mistake. I don't understand that answer,
17 but help me if you can. You know what is sometimes
18 referred to in the press and on television as a
19 military junta, a command of a state ruled exclusively
20 by military people. Now, are you suggesting that your
21 territory was subject to that sort of regime or not?
22 A. Your Honours, I don't know how the Prosecutor
23 drew such a conclusion. I said that the civilian
24 authorities worked within the sphere of their
25 competence and that the military worked in their area,
1 which was the defence of the country.
2 Q. What we're trying to find out, you see, is
3 how the civilian authorities, who must have directed
4 the military authorities, made their mind up about
5 things. How they decided things. Can you help us?
6 A. You see, I worked at the municipal level.
7 You know, what falls within the main of the local
8 self-government, it definitely does not include
9 military affairs. Local civilian structure could
10 definitely not issue orders to the military, and we had
11 to take on some civilian roles because the state had
12 fallen apart, but not military matters. They had their
13 own command which fell within their chain of command,
14 and they could not be guided by the civilian
15 authorities, couldn't command civilians.
16 Q. See I've got the position right in summary.
17 You're convinced that Mr. Kordic wouldn't give any kind
18 of military command. That's correct, is it?
19 A. I don't know of him having ever issued a
20 military order.
21 Q. And you're not putting him in any way in the
22 political chain of command over the military; is that
24 A. No. I don't put him in a political chain of
25 command in relation to the military. I see the role of
1 Mr. Kordic as a spokesman for the Croatian Community in
2 the besieged Lasva Valley.
3 MR. NICE: May we look at first Z78, please.
4 Then I'm probably going to follow it --
5 Q. Small document signed by Mr. Kordic. You can
6 read it. It orders two pieces of military equipment.
7 Any explanation for that?
8 A. This is about -- this refers to the
9 barricades that I have mentioned before. That was the
10 taking of weapons out of the Bratstvo plant.
11 Q. It's a military matter, isn't it? What was
12 he doing dealing with that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Why is this non-military person dealing with
15 this military matter? You were there. Please tell
17 A. I was in Busovaca, I was not in Novi Travnik,
18 if you're referring to Novi Travnik, but I believe that
19 this was a document that was done in a forced way and
20 that it has no significance.
21 Q. Forced? Who was forced? Not Mr. Kordic,
23 A. I already spoke what the situation was with
24 the weapons manufacturing in Central Bosnia and its use
25 for the destruction of towns and killing of civilians
1 in Croatia.
2 Q. None of that forces a civilian person to do a
3 task that is the proper function of a military person.
4 Now, let's break it down. Without hesitation you said,
5 as you were there, this is a military matter. Isn't
6 it? No doubt about it. This is a military matter.
7 A. No, I said that this was military equipment
8 which was produced or manufactured in the civilian
9 production facilities. And this plant, the Bratstvo,
10 this was not a military factory. The civilians worked
11 there, but they manufactured things for the military.
12 And this was the blockade with the aim to
13 prevent such weapons which was very powerful and
14 destructive be used against the civilians.
15 I think that Organj and Orkan, I think, are
16 the code names for weapons that were banned. I think
17 that one of them, I don't know which one, is very
18 dangerous for civilians because it has a particular
19 type of bell shrapnels.
20 Q. Can we look at Exhibit 87, please.
21 This is an order dated the 3rd of May on the
22 formation of the Croat Defence Council of Kakanj. And
23 this is, I think, written on behalf of the Central
24 Bosnia HVO from the Central Bosnia headquarters.
25 How does it seem to you that Mr. Kordic is
1 writing this? Is this military or civil or both?
2 A. There is no command. This is the staff which
3 I interpret as the centre. In any event, this is not a
4 military document.
5 Q. Mr. Kordic was the representative of the
6 headquarters Central Bosnia HVO staff, that fits with
7 your understanding of his position, does it?
8 A. No, this does not say that Mr. Kordic was the
9 chief of staff of Central Bosnia. You see by the seal
10 that this is HVO, and it is the municipal staff in
12 This document is not properly registered, has
13 no numbers, and so on.
14 Q. Well, let's look at Exhibit 100. I have to
15 deal with this because there is an application to have
16 this the subject of an affidavit.
17 Now, this document, I don't know whether
18 you've seen this recently.
19 A. No, I've never seen this document.
20 Q. Take your time. Take your time. I don't
21 want to rush you. But you'll see that it's a document
22 dated the 10th of May, comes from your town, Busovaca.
23 You can see what it's said to relate to and
24 at the end of it, it's signed by HVO vice-president,
25 Dario Kordic, and by commanders of the municipal HVO
1 headquarters, Busovaca, Mr. Brnada.
2 Can you help us, please, with that?
3 A. It is like this: I do not know that the
4 office of the president and vice-president of the Croat
5 Community of Herceg-Bosna existed already in May 1992.
6 As far as I can remember, the HVO government,
7 that is, the civilian authority came into being
8 sometime in the summer of 1992 so that the HVO
9 president was Mr. Jadranko Prlic. And he had with him
10 heads of departments who ran individual sectors in the
11 government and as far as I know, it had been agreed
12 that Central Bosnia affairs should be coordinated by
13 Mr. Anto Valenta, as the vice-president.
14 I do not know that Mr. Kordic was ever
15 vice-president of the Croatian Community of
17 Q. He seems to have signed it, and it seems to
18 be dated the 10th of May. Incidentally, Prlic only
19 took over in August, but we'll come to that, if
20 necessary, in its rightful time.
21 Let's look at the content, you see, because
22 there's reference to the content. It says, "The
23 agreement between the HVO and the so-called Busovaca
24 TO, Territorial Defence, on the distribution of weapons
25 is terminated, and it's been decided that the Busovaca
1 HVO forces take over all weapons, equipment, materiel
2 as well as the barracks."
3 Well you remember that decision being made,
4 don't you?
5 A. I heard about this order, but I have not seen
6 it before.
7 Q. Well, this is just to prove its accuracy, you
8 see. It says, "The town of Busovaca is to be
9 completely blocked from all sides." That was an HVO
10 decision and it was carried out. Correct?
11 A. I think that the blockade lasted a few days;
12 one, two, three days, perhaps. I'm not quite sure. I
13 cannot really say, because I've forgotten such details,
14 but it lasted for a few days and it was a flexible
15 blockade, one could get through, but there were some
16 controls. There were more checkpoints than before
17 that, but they were removed a few days later.
18 Q. I'm only going to read two more paragraphs
19 because of time, or three. We see at number three,
20 paramilitary formations, the so-called defence were
21 given an ultimatum to hand over their weapons.
22 And if you turn over the page, I think,
23 something like number nine, as an example, paramilitary
24 formations stationed situated in the Leptir facility
25 were given an ultimatum. This is military stuff; yes
1 or no?
2 A. It is like this: I wouldn't really go into
3 it whether this is military stuff or not. There is the
4 signature of the commander of the municipal staff,
5 Mr. Brnada. All I have to say is the following: Item
6 three, as far as I know, it has never attempted even
7 and was never done, that is, to have the TO turn over
8 all the weapons.
9 This was never put into life. As for Leptir
10 and so on, I don't know, I have no information. But I
11 believe that nothing was done about that. But now I
12 had some little time to read some of these items. Most
13 of these items, as a matter of fact, were never
15 Q. I see. This is either the very beginning of
16 or before conflict between the Muslims and the Croats;
17 would you accept that?
18 A. I didn't understand the question.
19 Q. Here we are, the 10th of May, 1992, before
20 real conflict between the Muslims and the Croats.
21 A. I think this was a serious incident, but I
22 already explained to the Court what actions were
23 undertaken in 1992 to bring the situation back to
24 normalcy, that is, to improve the situation as regards
25 the ethnic communities living in the territory of the
1 municipality of Busovaca and some documents were
2 presented to the Court.
3 Q. And isn't the position this, that Mr. Kordic
4 was extremely ambitious for power as this order shows?
5 Because how do you explain, otherwise -- you say he's a
6 spokesman. How do you explain a spokesman, let's have
7 a look at paragraph five, shall we, look at paragraph
8 five. "A warrant of arrest is issued for the main
9 perpetrators of last night's events." Then three names
10 one of which is Dzemo Merdan, another one which is
11 Alija Begic. Three people arrested by a spokesman.
12 Is that what you're telling us?
13 A. I think if this is Mr. Kordic's signature --
14 I cannot really say yes or no -- that, in fact, he
15 signed it so as to try and calm the situation
16 throughout the area because the tension was high. I
17 suppose when these incidents happened, when people were
18 wounded at the checkpoint at Kaonik. But if one looks
19 at it from the formal point of view, a signature, that
20 is, in our practice, is, therefore, the chief
21 signature. The principal signature is the one to the
22 right as you look at the document. So this is
23 something like a witness or something like that.
24 Q. That's --
25 A. And after all, it says the municipal staff of
1 Busovaca, which issued this order, the municipal HVO
3 Q. Obviously, the secretary of a parliament is
4 somebody who'll know about these thing. So just so
5 that I can understand it, the signature on the left of
6 these official documents is the signature of a
7 witness. Is that really you're telling us? Or are you
8 trying to help Mr. Kordic by trying to find excuses?
9 Which is it?
10 A. No. That is how I see it. I said something
11 like a witness. I can't really define it
12 professionally, what this could mean.
13 Q. All right. Well, let's go on and look at
14 another document that follows on from this one, number
15 111A, I think.
16 This is ten days --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. This is ten days later, after the moment of
20 crisis when Mr. Kordic, on your analysis, had to sign
21 the document, or 12 days later. Here is an order.
22 "The blockade of the town of Busovaca from all
23 directions, issued by the Busovaca HVO municipal
24 headquarters, shall be lifted, and the HVO forces in
25 Busovaca are ordered to guard the important buildings
1 on municipal territory in the future according to the
2 order of the commander of the Busovaca HVO municipal
3 headquarters," and so on.
4 Does this appear -- you were there in the
5 parliament -- does this appear to you to be a formal
7 A. I think -- I'm now perusing this document and
8 trying to see who signed it. I think this document was
9 adopted with a view to try to bring back to normalcy
10 the situation up to the crisis on the 10th of May,
11 1991. I mean, as far as I could keep up with the
12 situation, this is the beginning of normalisation that
13 I already spoke about in my testimony today; that is,
14 this total blockade is lifted but the curfew is
15 introduced in the territory of the municipality.
16 Then it also says that the municipal
17 administration should get back to work to try to
18 rehabilitate the effects of the shelling. I cannot
19 really give you an assessment of this document. This
20 document may have some -- its shortcomings, I mean,
21 formally speaking, but basically it is a step forward
22 towards the normalisation of life, and as I can see, it
23 was signed by the president of the municipal staff and
24 the vice-president of the HZ HB.
25 Q. Well, should he not have signed it,
1 Mr. Kordic?
2 A. I think -- I think that this paper could only
3 be signed by the -- by Mr. Glavocevic, President
4 Glavocevic. I think that the term "HVO Municipal Staff
5 of Busovaca" is misused here. This is this formal
6 deficiency which I think exists in this document.
7 Q. Or does this order go with the last document
8 that I showed you to reveal the spurious formalisation
9 of what was effectively a putsch? You know what I mean
10 by a putsch, don't you? A takeover.
11 A. I'm not really all that knowledgeable about
12 those things to say this question is, rather, for an
13 expert witness. This situation was such as it is, that
14 is, difficult. One had to find a way out with as few
15 problems or victims or damage as possible.
16 Q. But the HVO didn't exist in May of 1992. Is
17 that what you're saying?
18 A. Yes, the HVO government -- no, I wasn't
19 trying to, but it is quite true. It did not exist at
20 the level of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
21 MR. NICE: New Exhibit, 119, please. It's
22 another Busovaca document.
23 Q. You can see now on the left-hand side it's
24 Mr. Kostroman has become the witness, if that's what it
25 is, Mr. Kordic is on the right-hand side as the HVO
1 vice-president, and the order is about an engineer to
2 be appointed deputy chief of recruitment and
3 mobilisation, and coordination of work on personnel
4 files and so on. But how come the spokesman is now
5 signing on the right-hand side of the page as the HVO
7 A. In point of fact, I don't really know what
8 this acronym RAM means.
9 Q. Well, we're not looking at that one at the
10 moment. We're looking at the one below it, which is --
11 A. No. Above it there is another signature.
12 That is what I'm asking: Who signed it? I don't know
13 in what capacity. I don't know what capacity RIM had
14 of RAM.
15 Q. If you look at item 1 of the order, it may
16 have something to do with recruitment and
17 mobilisation. But let's not worry about that. Let's
18 worry about, and you help us with, please, because you
19 were there, how could Mr. Kordic be holding himself out
20 as vice-president of the HVO on the 30th of May? And
21 when you answer that question, do notice where the
22 stamp comes from. The stamp comes from Mostar.
23 A. Yes, but this is the seal of the Croat
24 Community of Herceg-Bosna, not the HVO's. I think that
25 Mr. Kordic's office, at that point in time, is wrongly
1 indicated here. At that time, there were no -- the
2 president and vice-president of the HVO at the level of
3 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
4 Q. Of course, we see at the top of the page that
5 it comes from Busovaca, and we can also see that in
6 accordance with the bureaucratic traditions perhaps of
7 your country, the document is properly numbered
8 01-85/92. So there will be a whole lot more documents,
9 won't there, in an archive with sequential serial
10 numbers; correct?
11 A. It is like this: Formally speaking, this
12 document -- the heading and the seal are different, and
13 that is wrong according to our tradition.
14 Q. So you can't explain the document for us at
16 A. I don't know. I've never seen it.
17 Q. Of course, at about this time, were you aware
18 of Mr. Kordic taking over the barracks at Kaonik, a
19 little earlier in the month of May?
20 A. The barracks in Kaonik was taken over. I do
21 not know that Mr. Kordic was the one who took it over.
22 As far as I know, the Kaonik barracks was taken over by
23 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade from Busovaca.
24 Q. You were aware, I suspect, but help me if I'm
25 wrong, that all Bosnian Muslims locally were fired from
1 their jobs -- would that be right -- only allowed to
2 return if they recognised the authority of the HZ HB?
3 A. I have already said, Your Honours, that I do
4 not know that any -- any expression of loyalty was
5 required. It looked normal to me, and that was what
6 was done, and I believe there is a document to that
7 effect in the municipality of Busovaca, that all people
8 were invited and admitted again to the jobs they used
9 to hold before the war broke out.
10 Q. On terms of doing what so far as the local
11 party or the HVO were concerned? Can you remember?
12 A. Could you be more specific, please? In what
13 sense? What did the parties do? In what sense?
14 Q. Well, you were there. You remember, if you
15 can. What did people have to do to get their jobs
17 A. I don't understand.
18 Q. Can we look at Exhibit 111 then, please.
19 Is this document entirely new to you or is
20 this one you have seen before? It's got Mr. Kordic on
21 the witness side and it's signed by Mr. Glavocevic on
22 the other side.
23 A. We just looked at it a moment ago.
24 Q. Yes. And what does it say about the terms
25 upon which people can come back? Look at paragraph
1 three. "All workers of governmental bodies, et cetera,
2 except for individuals who do not wish to submit
3 themselves to the HVO command to immediately organise
4 functioning of the governmental bodies."
5 What does that mean?
6 A. I don't know if you read the whole text.
7 From what I heard in the translation, not all that says
8 here was interpreted to me.
9 Q. I'm trying to save time, but you read all of
10 paragraph three to yourself.
11 A. I have, and it says that, "All workers in the
12 municipality of Busovaca of all companies and employees
13 of all institutions in the territory of the
14 municipality of Busovaca, workers in the public
15 security station, except the workers in the police
16 station who refuse to come under the HVO command to
17 immediately organise work in administrative agencies,
18 the police, companies and institution."
19 So all the workers except, it says, the
20 police. So there will be two police.
21 MR. SAYERS: I don't mean to interrupt but it
22 looks like we've got a wrong translation here. Both
23 translations in Z111 and Z111A omit the critical
24 language that the witness just recited in the original
25 language, and that is, "except for the workers in the
1 police force."
2 JUDGE MAY: It says, "Workers of the Busovaca
3 public security service," the translation says, "Except
4 for the individuals who do not wish to submit
5 themselves to the HVO command."
6 Let's not hold up matters for that. If
7 there's a problem about the translation, it can be
8 worked out.
9 Mr. Nice, I don't really think we're going to
10 take this matter much further. You've made your
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. If you weren't prepared to sign up for the
14 HVO, no job. Wasn't that the position?
15 A. No. That was not the position and this says
16 to the contrary. Everybody should report for work,
17 only the police was left with the possibility, that is,
18 there was two police stations. That is to report to
19 one of the two police stations.
20 I mean as in the army, the HVO and the TO and
21 the same held true of the police. All the others had
22 to report for work.
23 Q. But you knew about this before looking at
24 this document, didn't you? You were there at the
25 time. You must have read about it.
1 A. No, I have never gone through this document
2 before. Perhaps it was in the municipal archive, but I
3 didn't -- I mean study it.
4 Q. Your Honour, I'm going to pass over just for
5 reference purposes but to save time Exhibits 128, 129
6 and 130 which brings us to the time being of June of
7 1992. I may have to retrace my steps, and I hope not
8 but I'd like the witness to look at Exhibit 139.
9 Now, this is a document, Mr. Kostroman is on
10 the witness side and Mr. Kordic on the right-hand
11 side. It comes from Busovaca. It's June 1992.
12 The Croatian Defence Council in Vares is
13 ordered to allow uninterrupted activity to the Croatian
14 Defence Council of the Ilijas municipality in Vares and
15 within their abilities, Vares HVO is to provide Ilijas
16 with an office, but it's signed by the HVO deputy
18 Can you explain? It comes from Mostar or
19 it's stamped from Mostar. Can you explain?
20 A. Well, the explanation is the same as in the
21 previous case, and all my objections apply to this
22 document too. I didn't know about this document
24 Q. Do you accept that on its face, this document
25 conflicts with all that you've said about Mr. Kordic
1 being merely a spokesman?
2 A. I think that the office of the vice-president
3 of the HVO did not exist at the time and Dario Kordic
4 could sign this only as the vice-president of the
5 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as the seal says,
6 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
7 These are the objections that I raised with
8 regard to the previous documents too.
9 MR. NICE: Perhaps I ought to go just back to
10 one document yet to be produced, it's 129 and perhaps
11 that will be a convenient moment. May we look at 129,
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MAY: We'll sit until 4.15.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. This is dated the 10th of June, you see, and
17 the topic of this document coming from Busovaca and
18 about or going to the Travnik Technical Repair
19 Institute is an order form and it seeks equipment and
20 materiel to establish good-quality and necessary
21 relations with the Busovaca regional staff of a
23 And Mr. Glavocevic is the man we've seen
24 signing documents in the right-hand side before, but
25 he's to be responsible for compensation of value and
1 they are asked to hand over the equipment. And then
2 it's signed, quite clearly, for the Regional Staff of
3 Central Bosnia by Mr. Kordic.
4 He seems to have got very wide authority,
5 Mr. Kordic. Would that be right?
6 A. The -- I object to this as in the case of
7 previous documents. And generally speaking, Your
8 Honours, I am asked about matters that I did -- had no
9 direct knowledge about. I do not know very much about
10 that and I really cannot testify as to the facts. I
11 really know nothing about it.
12 JUDGE MAY: But the point is this, you see,
13 and why all these documents are being put to you is
14 that your evidence is that Mr. Kordic was a spokesman
15 for the Croat people.
16 The Prosecution case is that he was very much
17 more than that, and that these documents illustrate the
18 fact that he was making orders, in this case, on behalf
19 of the Regional Staff of Central Bosnia in relation to
20 the staff vehicle.
21 Now, if you can't assist, it will be of
22 course, for the Court to make up its mind about these
23 matters. If you can't assist, say that you can't
24 assist. It's not said that you have seen the documents
25 before, but they are being put for before you for your
1 evidence, you see.
2 Now, can you assist about this or can you
4 A. Your Honour, I would like to point out the
5 following: First, in my testimony, I said that I did
6 not know what the role of Mr. Kordic was in 1992. To
7 me, it is not fully defined.
8 And in 1993, I said that I perceived
9 Mr. Kordic as a spokesman for the besieged Croat
10 community in the Lasva Valley.
11 JUDGE MAY: No, it's not a matter of
12 argument. It's your evidence that we want about this
14 Now, have you got any evidence that you can
15 give about the document? Is there anything you want to
16 say about it or not? If not, say no.
17 A. Yes, I cannot say. This is why I said to the
18 Trial Chamber what I did.
19 JUDGE MAY: Does it help you decide what role
20 Mr. Kordic had?
21 A. I repeat what I have stated before, that to
22 me, it does not seem fully clear, fully defined what
23 Mr. Kordic's role was in 1992, and that I knew that
24 Mr. Kordic was vice-president of the HDZ, and the
25 vice-president of the Croatian Community of
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, of course it's a matter
3 for you what course to take, but it seems that many of
4 these documents, perhaps you would consider this,
5 should be the matter for comment rather than putting to
6 witnesses of this sort.
7 MR. NICE: Certainly by the time this sort of
8 answer has been given, I think the utility of the
9 exercise becomes limited, and I'll either limit the
10 exercise or reduce it.
11 Q. Maybe I won't easily exhaust all the time,
12 and there is one administrative matter that I want to
13 raise and I will return to one matter with the
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. You're telling the Judges that your view was
18 a little unclear as to what his role was, but in
19 Busovaca, you saw him around, not just in the office
20 but on the streets, didn't you?
21 A. From April 1992, I very rarely saw
22 Mr. Kordic. You told me -- you asked me about 1991. I
23 am saying to you that after April 1992, I saw him very
25 Q. Well, that's because he was in his
1 headquarters up in Tisovac and when he ventured out, he
2 was surrounded by armed guards. That is correct, isn't
4 A. No, because it was wartime. I did not move
5 about very much.
6 Q. Did you go to Tisovac yourself?
7 A. Perhaps you can make your question more
9 Q. I don't think I can make it much more
10 specific. I'll ask you again: Did you go to Tisovac?
11 A. I think that I went to Tisovac once during
13 Q. We don't actually yet have a video, a moving
14 video of it. Let's give a description of it to the
15 Judges. You leave the town via a metal road which as
16 soon becomes an unmade road, and it continues
17 through -- I don't know -- a kilometre or so of
18 woodland until it comes to a remote location deep in
19 the wood where there is the former hotel or restaurant
20 that Mr. Kordic occupied as his headquarters. That's
21 correct, isn't it?
22 A. No, that is not correct. Tisovac area is
23 only the beginning of the woodland. The big wood comes
24 only behind it. And behind this restaurant there is
25 also a reservoir used by the water company in Busovaca,
1 and these reservoirs are not that far from the last
2 houses of Tisovac.
3 Q. Well, when you went there in 1992, it was to
4 see Mr. Kordic? It must have been, mustn't it?
5 A. Yes. I saw Mr. Kordic, and we talked in
6 general about the situation in Busovaca and in general
7 about the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. And he was surrounded by armed guards, wasn't
10 A. In front of the facility there was a person
11 who was armed with a pistol, and there were no other
12 people there.
13 Q. When you saw him out on the streets, he was
14 an armed person, had armed men around him. We've had
15 other evidence about this, but tell us if it's all
17 A. I did not see Mr. Kordic on the streets. I
18 did not see him with armed individuals who escorted
20 Q. What was it in his job, by the spring of
21 1992, what was it in his job as spokesman that required
22 armed guards? Can you help us, please? You were
24 A. I think that these were drivers who drove
25 vehicles and who carried pistols. As I said,
1 Mr. Kordic was vice-president of the HDZ, and this was
2 a time of war and -- I don't know. You would have to
3 ask police professionals about it, but maybe officials
4 who are in such high posts perhaps are provided with
5 police security.
6 Q. Was there anyone else in your small town who
7 had this measure of security about him?
8 A. Such measures were also given to the brigade
9 commander and the Operative Zone commander, perhaps a
10 bit more. Also, Anto Valenta was given also such
11 security after August 1992.
12 MR. NICE: That would be a convenient moment,
13 because I just want to raise one matter in
14 administration, or perhaps two, after the witness has
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Grubesic, that concludes your
17 evidence for today. We needn't detain you any more.
18 Could you be back, please, at half past nine tomorrow
19 morning to conclude your evidence.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
21 [the witness stood down]
22 MR. NICE: It's to do with affidavits. There
23 is a pattern of affidavits arriving at the very last
24 minute, and, of course, if I am to deal with
25 affidavits, I'm supposed to cross-examine the relevant
1 witness about -- the timing of their arrival is of
2 maximum difficulty for us. I don't know which ones are
3 intended to relate specifically to this witness, and
4 indeed most of them I have yet to read even myself.
5 I can't help but noticing that affidavits
6 named and recently served, I think three, are not on
7 the witness list. I can't see any reason why they are
8 not on the witness list. The Chamber will remember how
9 any additional witness beyond the witness list was
10 opposed when we sought to add witnesses, and that's our
11 difficulty at the moment.
12 I'm not announcing what my position is, save
13 in relation to those not on the witness list, who, in
14 our respectful submission, shouldn't be added at this
15 late stage to a list the length of which the Court has
16 already commented on. But in any event, I don't know
17 what the position is, certainly about today's.
18 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, you say you don't know
19 what the position is?
20 MR. NICE: I don't know which one I'm
21 supposed to be dealing with in relation particularly to
22 this witness, and if they're not on the witness list, I
23 don't know what applications, if any, are going to be
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, which affidavits
1 relate to this witness's evidence?
2 MR. SAYERS: The affidavits submitted today,
3 of those only one does. That's Ivo Brnada. There was
4 one that we filed yesterday, Jure Cavar, that relates
5 to this witness too. Not only this witness but also
6 Mr. Maric, who is going to be testifying, I hope, next
8 Insofar as the matter of affidavits is
9 concerned, if the Court looks at our witness list, you
10 will see that we have listed various affidavit
11 witnesses who will sign affidavits to be submitted
12 pursuant to Rule 94 ter, and that's what we've been
14 JUDGE MAY: Out of all the witnesses who have
15 given affidavits, witnesses whose names appeared on the
16 original list which you supplied.
17 MR. SAYERS: I think that maybe two or three
18 are not on that witness list. For example --
19 JUDGE MAY: You were vigorous in complaint
20 when witnesses appeared whose names weren't on the
22 MR. SAYERS: We were vigorous in complaint
23 when there had been numerous orders, Your Honour, yes.
24 JUDGE MAY: The same orders apply to you.
25 MR. SAYERS: Well, Your Honour, we are
1 trying, and I think it's fairly clear, we are trying to
2 expedite this case. If we have to bring along all of
3 the witnesses to talk about everything that's in the
4 affidavits, then there's just no way that we can adhere
5 to our --
6 JUDGE MAY: No. The complaint that he's made
7 is that the affidavits are being supplied by people
8 whose names weren't on the original witness list and,
9 therefore, as a matter of principle, equality of arms,
10 you should be in no better position than the
11 Prosecution when they sought to introduce witnesses
12 whose names weren't on the original list, a practice
13 which you opposed. That's the point that's made.
14 MR. SAYERS: And I merely pointed out, Your
15 Honour, that we did add a section on our witness list
16 that we filed many months ago, stating specifically
17 that we would add -- we would introduce affidavits of
18 persons that would corroborate the testimony of live
19 witnesses. We are not seeking to introduce any live
20 witness as a witness who testifies before this Trial
21 Chamber who is not on that witness list.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sayers, I'm just saying
24 that as a matter of practice, I think it would be
25 useful if when affidavits are tendered, they identify
1 the testimony that they intend to corroborate, so that
2 it makes it easier for the Chamber and the other side
3 to follow what is going on.
4 MR. SAYERS: I think that's an extremely
5 valid suggestion, Your Honour, and if the Trial Chamber
6 wants it, and it may be that it would be helpful, we
7 can submit, contemporaneously with the affidavits we
8 submit, something along the lines that we submitted
9 last week to summarise the testimony of each of the
10 affiants and show when they will testify, what points
11 they corroborate.
12 I'll give you two examples. Two the
13 affidavits that were filed today are of people who were
14 at TV Busovaca, and they merely attest to the fact of
15 the difficulty of obtaining a signal from TV Busovaca
16 to the north of the town as opposed to the south of the
17 town because of the limited power of the transmitter.
18 They are additional affidavits beyond the affidavit of
19 a witness that we did identify, I think, who testified
20 or who attested to that, if you like.
21 But these are absolutely minor matters of
22 detail. They -- we cannot see that they justify
23 bringing a live witness to the court unless, of course,
24 the Court wants us to do that, and we'll make our best
25 effort to make sure that they attend in person. But
1 that's the whole purpose of an affidavit as we see it,
2 not to introduce whole reams of new testimony but to
3 corroborate specific points which are testified about
4 by a live witness in Court. That's what these
5 affidavits are doing, and we're more than happy to
6 submit a document that essentially summarises precisely
7 that, affidavit by affidavit, as they're introduced if
8 that's what the Court wants us to do.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. SAYERS: Very well.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we're not going to take
12 the matter any further. Provided that such a document
13 is produced, we think the rules have been complied
15 MR. NICE: And as to the names of future
16 affidavit witnesses, are we to -- is the position that
17 the Defence is allowed to add witnesses not named so
18 that we have no advanced notice.
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, there must be some doubt
20 about how this -- how the rule about the witness list
21 is to be interpreted and, at the moment, we are not
22 going to give any further ruling on it.
23 MR. NICE: Well, then I shall obviously have
24 to build in my response according to what facilities
25 are available for me to check matters, but there's one
1 particular affidavit that I'd like a reference to be
2 made to and that's an affidavit of Dr. Pavlovic who
3 produces, of course, the second-hand confidential
4 medical records of someone whose consent has never been
5 sought, and who was never asked about these matters
6 when he gave evidence.
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's a point about
9 MR. NICE: Well, I think first of all it's a
10 point about if it goes in as a public document, if it's
11 going to be filed, steps ought to be taken that it's
12 filed under seal or in some way to make it not
13 available to the public, simply in the interests of the
14 subject before we come to the question of
16 JUDGE MAY: A private medical report which
17 this man has got hold of?
18 MR. NICE: Yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: And there are rules these days
20 about privacy.
21 MR. NICE: There are, quite right, yes.
22 JUDGE MAY: And, also, there's the issue
23 which may be highly technical, but it's possibly one
24 which we ought to consider which is how far it is his
25 right to impeach the credit of a witness in this way.
1 Were these matters put to Mr. Cicak?
2 MR. NICE: I think not at all.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, we can find that out. It
4 may that be he was cross-examined about his mental
5 health. I don't remember.
6 MR. NICE: It may be.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, you can tell us if
8 he was cross-examined about his mental health, you can
9 refer to it, but let's not argue the point now. But
10 the issue which we will have to decide is whether
11 the -- this document and this evidence on the affidavit
12 is admissible. It's a private document, but we won't
13 do it now.
14 Was there something else?
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I just wanted
16 to say something very briefly.
17 The physician who acquired this document is
18 not Mr. Cicak's physician. He worked for a body that
19 is the -- that decides on people's applications for
20 retirement and so it is on the basis of this document
21 that Mr. Cicak took retirement, and the issue of and
22 reasons for his retirement were at issue in the
23 cross-examination. If the Trial Chamber recalls, he
24 didn't even say what age he was when he took the
1 So this is not privileged, confidential
2 material, this is a document on the basis of which he
3 got the retirement in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's a
4 public document. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: We will consider all this in due
6 course. Tomorrow morning, please, half past nine.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
8 at 4.25 p.m., to be reconvened on
9 Wednesday the 24th day of May, 2000, at
10 9.30 a.m.