1 Wednesday, 24
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 WITNESS: NIKO GRUBESIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Cont'd]
10 Q. Yesterday, you produced a number of exhibits,
11 D223, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, I think, and so on, reflecting
12 what happened between June and October of 1992.
13 Perhaps you could just have a look at one of them for
14 me, please, D223/1.
15 MR. NICE: If we can put the English version
16 on the ELMO.
17 Q. This is a typed document, as we can see, and
18 it's got a numbering system that's been put on in hand,
19 I think. I beg your pardon. It's got a numbering
20 system that's been typed on, 01-120/92. Can you
21 explain the system to me, please?
22 A. The numbering system followed an order. Each
23 new document followed an order. It would be issued the
24 next number, and then after "slash" two digits of the
25 year would be entered.
1 Q. And this is the Croatian Community's Defence
2 Council. Would you like to have a look, please, at
3 Exhibit Z129, which we looked at yesterday.
4 Now, look at this one. The number is there.
5 But it's in hand. Do you see the number? 01-122/92.
6 Do you see that number?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is that part of the same series? is what I
9 want to know.
10 A. These are -- this is numbering of two
11 separate bodies, of which each had their own logging
12 system. Here you can see that this was Croatian
13 Defence Council in Busovaca, and the 10th June document
14 is headed "Croatian Defence Council Regional Staff of
15 Central Bosnia in Travnik." So those are two different
17 Q. Well, I mean I can see the point about it
18 being a different body to the extent of being a
19 regional staff, but in fact, document 129 for the 10th
20 of June is headed "Busovaca" as well, and the numbering
21 system is identical in format, and that's why I wanted
22 your help. It may relate to something in Travnik.
23 It's an order form, we know, but it actually comes from
24 Busovaca. Is it the same numbering system or not?
25 A. It's not the same numbering system. It's a
1 separate system. We could find similar systems with
2 business companies and some other bodies in Busovaca.
3 Q. Because you will notice, of course, that the
4 number on Z129 for the 10th of June is number 122, and
5 the document for the 27th of June, D223/1, is an
6 earlier number, number 120.
7 Well now, as to these documents that you've
8 produced, and we might as well just stay with D223/1,
9 there's only one signature on it, isn't there?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And I think for all the documents we looked
12 at yesterday, there's never a Muslim signature on any
13 of the documents. Would that be correct? I want to
14 deal with these matters quickly, if I can.
15 A. I would have to review these documents
16 quickly to see whether there were other signatures on
17 them or not, but from what I recall from yesterday, the
18 documents entered yesterday, I remember that there were
19 a number of documents where I took notes, and it was
20 not necessary for two persons to keep notes of the same
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the position is that
23 these documents weren't raised in cross-examination
24 with witnesses with whom they might have been. I'm not
25 in the position to take a position in relation to the
1 documents specifically at the moment. It may be I will
2 be before the witness is finished. Probably not, but
3 I'll just make a couple of observations to the
5 Q. As to these documents, there may well have
6 been meetings to which they related, but I'm going to
7 suggest to you, in the most general terms, that the
8 records made were both unilateral and, in a sense,
9 slanted. Do you accept that, slanted by being prepared
10 by one side only?
11 A. These meetings did take place. It is not
12 that they may have taken place. I was a participant in
13 those meetings, and the minutes accurately reflect who
14 attended them. They were not one-sided. They are just
15 descriptive of what happened in those meetings. They
16 truthfully reflected the contents of those meetings.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the broadcast seems
18 to have this witness' face blocked out. I think that
19 must be an error, unless I'm mistaken. Perhaps it
20 should be corrected for public purposes.
21 Q. All right. Well, I'm going to try and deal
22 with the summer of 1992 quite shortly.
23 The reality is, is it not, that -- the
24 reality is that those Muslims who returned to or
25 retained their jobs did so in subordinate or lower
1 positions than they'd had before; correct?
2 A. That is not correct, and one cannot define it
3 only some Muslims. All Muslims who were municipal
4 employees were returned to their jobs, to these jobs
5 which they held before, and I think that there are
6 documents to support this. There are decisions, and I
7 believe that there are also logbooks and also
8 payrolls. You can tell that they were coming and they
9 were receiving their salaries in jobs which they held
11 Only persons who were mobilised into either
12 the TO or the HVO were not coming, because they went to
13 the military, and they may have been coming back for
14 their salaries because no salaries were being paid by
15 the military organisations at that time. And only
16 female employees with children less than -- of ages
17 under 7 have the right to attend to them and still
18 receive salaries.
19 Q. In this same period of time, the late spring
20 and summer of 1992, were barricades put up in
22 A. Could you please specify what period does the
23 question refer?
24 Q. Well, it seems to be after the period in May,
25 in particular. Were barricades put up?
1 A. What is -- it is important to say whether it
2 was after 10 May because I said that after that there
3 were new barricades, and after a while they were
4 removed, 12 or 13 days thereafter. I have already
5 stated that to the Trial Chamber.
6 Q. Were there armed patrols of HVO touring the
8 A. Yes, the HVO military police and the TO
9 military police and the civilian police all patrolled
10 the area.
11 Q. Well, in particular, the HVO, was that not --
12 are you saying the Territorial Defence were allowed to
14 A. The TO military police, the HVO military
15 police, and the civilian police patrolled the areas of
16 the Busovaca municipality as agreed to in the documents
17 which have been presented to the Trial Chamber.
18 Q. I must challenge you on that. Can you
19 explain how, in the course of the spring and summer of
20 1992, if it be the case, the telephone lines for
21 Muslims were cut from time to time?
22 A. I know that there were -- that the lines were
23 cut. I don't know what the reasons for that were, but
24 both Croats and Muslims were affected. I could not
25 tell you anything about the technical reasons for it
1 because I'm not a professional.
2 Q. Now, on the 28th of May, 1992, might you have
3 been looking at the television, a broadcast at that
5 A. This was a long time ago. I don't know.
6 Q. Perhaps we can play just the beginning of the
7 tape, but before we do, what do you say Mr. Kordic's
8 role in 1992 was, if you were to have introduced him to
9 someone? What would you have said he was?
10 A. I spoke about that yesterday. I said on
11 several occasions, that to me, the position of
12 Mr. Dario Kordic and his status in 1992 was not fully
13 defined but that in 1993, I perceived his role as one
14 of a spokesman for the Croat Community in the besieged
15 Lasva River Valley, and I know that Mr. Dario Kordic in
16 1992 was the vice-president of the Croatian Community
17 of Herceg-Bosna and vice-president of the HDZ.
18 Q. But not vice-president of the HVO?
19 A. According to my information, Mr. Kordic was
20 never the vice-president of the HVO. I said that after
21 August 1992, Mr. Prlic was president of the HVO, and
22 Mr. Anto Valenta was later appointed the vice-president
23 of the HVO for Central Bosnia.
24 Q. Perhaps we can just play the beginning of a
25 tape. It's Z117. While this is coming up -- this is,
1 I gather, 18 minutes in total. I wasn't intending to
2 play it in full in order to save time. It's a document
3 that I'll discuss in closing argument. If we can just
4 have the first -- here we go.
5 [Videotape played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Very little is
7 known about the Croatian Defence Council, this is why
8 we have come to Busovaca to ask Mr. Dario Kordic,
9 vice-president of the Croatian Defence Council, for an
10 interview. Our first question is precisely this: Can
11 you explain what the Croatian Defence Council is?
12 Obviously from the conversation we had before
13 filming this programme, the question you asked in
14 private, I realised that there was much surrounding the
15 Croatian Defence Council that was unclear, especially
16 in Sarajevo and in those areas of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina which effectively have no information from
18 other areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 MR. NICE: Can we just pause it there for the
20 time being.
21 Now, Your Honour, I'm entirely in the Court's
22 hands. You can see it's a good quality tape and we
23 have a transcript of it. But it will take 18 minutes
24 to watch.
25 JUDGE MAY: Is there some part you want to
1 put to the witness?
2 MR. NICE: Well, I think, first of all, I
3 must ask the witness if he saw it.
4 Q. Did you see this yourself?
5 A. No.
6 MR. NICE: There are a number of passages in
7 it of potential relevance to argument. I can point
8 them out to the Chamber to save time or I can have it
9 played, but I am acutely aware of the pressure that we
10 are all under about time.
11 JUDGE MAY: No, we don't want to have it
12 played because of the time.
13 MR. NICE: Very well.
14 JUDGE MAY: It may be better to leave it to
16 MR. NICE: Very well. In which case, I
17 shan't address it at all at the moment; we'll just come
18 to it later.
19 Q. Just this please. Can you help us with how
20 it could be that Mr. Kordic was introduced as the
21 vice-president of the HVO or is the truth that that's
22 exactly what he was?
23 A. I must say to the Trial Chamber that I was
24 not -- that I have not been able to read the
25 transcript, but as I scanned through the first --
1 through the first page, and it is the reporter that
2 introduces Dario Kordic as the vice-president of the
3 Croatian Defence Council, but I did not find that
4 Mr. Kordic confirmed that.
5 I do not exclude the possibility of that
6 happening, but I just have not been able to read
7 through the text.
8 Q. I'm going to move on.
9 In the autumn of 1992, September, there were
10 moves to relocate various offices including
11 Mr. Kordic's to Travnik, to make Travnik a Croatian
12 centre for Central Bosnia. You were aware of that.
13 A. Yes, I am aware of such activities, that the
14 office of the vice-president of the Croatian Community
15 of Herceg-Bosna and the office of the vice-president of
16 the HDZ-BiH, and I believe the offices of the
17 government for Central Bosnia, would be transferred to
19 Q. Well, Travnik was a known Muslim majority
21 A. I can say that in Travnik, from what I know,
22 large numbers of Croats, Muslims, and Serbs lived in
23 Travnik, about 26.000 Croats. It was a multi-ethnic
24 town and now it is a city where there is parity of the
25 Croats and Muslims, each making about 50 per cent of
1 the population currently and it's a seat of the canton.
2 Q. But just this, in 1992, in this part of 1992,
3 the confidence of the HVO was such that having taken
4 Busovaca over, it was felt by Mr. Kordic that he could
5 move and set up government in a place where it would be
6 bound to upset the Muslims to do so. Would that not be
8 A. I cannot accept the -- this as you put it,
9 that he took over something like that. I think that
10 this was a logical activity to set up some civilian
11 bodies which the -- which would enable the entire
12 defence to be affected. I will only remind you that
13 following this period, there was the Lasva Valley that
14 was in danger of falling after Jajce, falling to the
15 Bosnian Serbs. And that the agreement was made to
16 defend Travnik, and Travnik was defended.
17 Q. You see, you've told us about Mr. Kordic
18 knowing him before all this happened. At the time you
19 knew him, he was a committed communist, I think, when
20 you first knew him.
21 A. I cannot qualify him, and I don't think that
22 I would describe him as committed. The job openings at
23 that time were such that you had to be a member of the
24 communist party in order to aspire to certain job
1 Q. He was an active member, wasn't he?
2 A. I don't have too much information about that,
3 but I know that he was not a committed communist.
4 Q. How do you know that then?
5 A. We lived in a town for which you could not
6 tell that it was full of committed communists. Those
7 who were known to everyone, and the others, you could
8 say, were just regular people, regular members of the
9 Communist Party who had to join the party in order to
10 get certain jobs.
11 Q. He was then able to rise very rapidly in the
12 HDZ in Busovaca, and indeed the HVO then, as we've
13 seen, took Busovaca over, and he rose and was
14 continuing to rise in authority throughout 1992.
15 That's a fair picture of the man, isn't it?
16 A. I would just like to point out again I
17 disagree with the term to "take over," that the HVO
18 "took over" Busovaca.
19 Second, in the HDZ hierarchy, and this was a
20 party that was only beginning to get established, it
21 was being established through various branches and
22 people joining in, it is not as if people joined it in
23 order to use it as a stepladder.
24 Q. We must remember that the incident that
25 justified the action in May was an incident that
1 happened at an HVO checkpoint that had been put up
2 without warning in the direction of Kaonik. That's
3 right, isn't it? It was an HVO checkpoint where the
4 first incident occurred, which was relied upon by
5 Kordic and others for what they subsequently did;
6 correct? It's in your own summary.
7 A. It's like this: That is not correct. I can
8 only testify before this Trial Chamber regarding
9 civilian affairs, organisation, management of roads.
10 And as to how this incident took place, what happened,
11 I don't know. I just don't have enough information to
12 be able to testify about it before this Chamber.
13 Q. You may not have enough information to
14 testify about it, but you had enough information to
15 say, at paragraph 36 of your summary, that there was an
16 altercation at an HVO checkpoint. So I think you --
17 did you know that or did somebody tell you that, that
18 it was an HVO checkpoint?
19 A. I said -- I was very clear about this in my
20 testimony before this Court. I do not think there is
21 any need to repeat it.
22 Q. And just to deal with things overall,
23 Mr. Kordic's ascendancy in Busovaca and elsewhere
24 continued right up until mid-April of 1993, when, to
25 everyone's surprise, the Muslims put up rather a better
1 defence than anybody had expected and indeed became the
2 superior force. That's about the truth, isn't it,
4 A. I shall repeat that I'm not an expert on
5 military matters. I really cannot answer it, how
6 strong any party was. I simply cannot say. I'm not an
7 expert. I do not know military rules or, rather, that
8 military logic. I was a soldier in the JNA in 1983 and
9 1984, but I earned no rank in that army, yet I was
10 perhaps the man with the highest education in that
12 Q. Well, I'm going to move on very rapidly then
13 if that's your answer. Were you, by any chance,
14 present at a reception given in Busovaca shortly before
15 Christmas of 1992 when a man called de Boer was
16 present, an international monitor? Do you remember
18 A. International monitor de Boer, I recall that
19 he was not an international monitor. He was the
20 commander of the Dutch unit of the UNPROFOR.
21 Q. Then you do.
22 A. But I just don't know what reception you have
23 in mind.
24 Q. At such receptions would Mr. Kordic be
25 dressed as and addressed as a lieutenant colonel or a
2 A. I communicated with people from the municipal
3 administration, communicated with ECMM and with the
4 British Battalion of UNPROFOR and the Dutch Battalion
5 in the UNPROFOR, but now I cannot recall that
6 Mr. Kordic was ever present during those contacts. As
7 far as I recall, I was never present at any meeting
8 together with Mr. Kordic. As far as I can remember, of
9 course, because it was seven or eight years ago.
10 Q. Well, just help us in general. Did he dress
11 as a colonel and like to be called "Colonel"?
12 A. I am not familiar with military ranks and
13 what it looked like, but I never saw any rank insignia
14 on Mr. Kordic's clothes.
15 Q. It's really the case, is it, that you're not
16 familiar at all, despite having lived through a war and
17 worked in the government offices, you're not familiar
18 with military ranks? Don't you know what a colonel is?
19 A. No. I remember the ranks from the time when
20 I served the JNA but now they're quite different.
21 Right at this moment, I have no idea about ranks.
22 Q. Before we move on much further, just this
23 business of Mr. Kordic going to the front line. I
24 think you were there, were you, yourself, or you saw
25 him going? What's the position?
1 A. Could you be more specific? Where do you --
2 are you asking me if I saw him at the front line or ...
3 Q. When he went off to help the troops at the
4 front lines.
5 A. No, I did not see him go there. I only heard
6 him say to the soldiers that he was inviting them to go
7 defend Jajce and to volunteer for that, that he would
8 go too. I testified about that before the Court and I
9 think we're now repeating ourselves. I was never at
10 the front line in Jajce, and I do not know when those
11 volunteers went to that front.
12 Q. Well, what I'd like your help with is this,
13 as a local residence -- incidently, roughly how many
14 people lived in the town of Busovaca itself? Not the
15 overall area, the town of Busovaca. How many
17 A. In the broader area, what is meant by the
18 town, that is, the municipal boundaries of the town,
19 and they are pretty wide around Busovaca, so almost
20 4.000 inhabitants live in the town of Busovaca, that
21 is, in the part that is officially called the locality,
22 the settlement of Busovaca.
23 Q. That includes outlying villages and hamlets.
24 The town itself is actually very small, isn't it, just
25 a couple of thousand people?
1 A. Well, how shall I put it? I think that the
2 boundary follows the road up to some 2.5 kilometres
3 from the centre of the town in one direction and about
4 two kilometres in the other direction, and it does not
5 include villages. One could perhaps refer to them as
7 Q. Well, I just want the Judges, you see, to
8 have from you a picture of quite how small and intimate
9 really this -- it's little more than a big village,
10 isn't it, Busovaca? Would that be about a fair
12 A. Well, it's like this: In light of the
13 conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there are about 110
14 municipal seats in BH, and this one was the 80th
15 ranking -- the 80th amongst the municipal seats in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, more or less.
17 Q. Well --
18 A. If I may, just one sentence. There is one
19 fact I should like to point out. As I have already
20 testified, I did not live in Busovaca until August
21 1992, but in a village some 10 kilometres away from
23 It was wartime, and I had to go through
24 several barricades to reach home, so that after work, I
25 would either go home or I was completing the
1 construction of my new house. So that wasn't really
2 wise to all the events as the Prosecutor seems to
4 Q. Well, I'm only dealing with the things about
5 which you were aware, and one of them seems to be that
6 Mr. Kordic was going to provide some help for the
7 troops at the front line.
8 Can you explain to me, please, as a local
9 resident, why a spokesman, if that's what he was, would
10 be able to stimulate the troops? You see, just so that
11 I can finish the point, we're all familiar with
12 political leaders and military leaders inspiring their
13 troops, but can you explain how a spokesman can do
15 A. I repeat, I'm referring to 1992 when soldiers
16 were invited to go to Jajce to defend it. And I said
17 that in 1993, as far as [indiscernible], Mr. Kordic was
18 the spokesman for the besieged population in the Lasva
19 Valley, and I cannot really go into it why the soldiers
20 trust Mr. Kordic. He was not their commander. But the
21 citizens of Busovaca, soldiers, not only in Busovaca,
22 trusted Mr. Dario Kordic. They trusted his words.
23 They knew he was a man of integrity, a principled man,
24 and I have already testified about this to this Court.
25 Q. It's truth about it is in 1992, you and other
1 Croats with success or comparative success coming your
2 way were enthused by notions of the wider Croatia, you
3 were enthused by nations of the old Banovina; true?
4 A. I have testified about that too. There were
5 such ideas here and there. In a democratic society,
6 nobody can stop anyone from voicing his political
8 But after the referendum on the independence
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I never heard it voiced
10 officially. There may have been an individual idea,
11 but a little bit, but officially, no, never.
12 Q. Well, I'm going to move on to the incident in
13 January of 1993. Can you explain at all why several
14 defence -- well, what was the date of this incident in
15 January, 1993, please?
16 A. I have already testified about that too.
17 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to repeat that
18 you've already testified. If counsel asks you a
19 question and it is overbearing and repetitious, he will
20 be stopped. But otherwise, could you just answer
21 shortly, please, to his questions. You were asked what
22 the date was. Just give us the date.
23 A. 24th of January, 1993. It was the incident
24 when Petrovic, an HVO military policeman, was killed at
25 a checkpoint in Kacuni. I heard while being in my
1 house some gunfire around 1600 on the 24th of January
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. All right. Were there any other incidents in
5 January of 1993 that you can tell us about that
6 happened before that?
7 A. This I was told not to repeat, that I have
8 already testified about this. I will not repeat that
9 once again, but on the 20th or 21st of January, 1993, I
10 heard that there was an incident at a checkpoint in
11 Kacuni when Mr. Ignac Kostroman, who was the secretary
12 of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was stopped there and
13 as far as I could understand, he was not allowed to go
14 through to his home in Kresevo.
15 Q. Now, this happened on the 24th or the 25th;
16 is that correct?
17 JUDGE MAY: To be fair to the witness, he
18 said in evidence in chief that it was the 20th or the
20 MR. NICE: The date --
21 JUDGE MAY: I noticed without comment that
22 that's the date that he gave, but let's move on.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. Well, you see, what is your recollection
25 about the date, please? What is your recollection
1 about the date of the incident at the checkpoint at
2 Kacuni? It's your evidence.
3 A. I've just said it was the 20th or the 21st of
4 January, as far as I know.
5 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour --
6 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to bother.
7 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, this is very
8 unsatisfactory. The question was asked by Mr. Sayers.
9 We've heard about an incident that occurred on the 20th
10 or the 21st in Kacuni.
11 JUDGE MAY: Let us not waste time. We are a
12 professional body of Judges. We do not need this kind
13 of detail. We can see what's happening with the
14 witness. We'll make our own mind up about it.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Can you then please, Mr. Grubesic, just tell
17 us the detail of what happened to Mr. Kostroman.
18 That's what I want to know.
19 A. I said that I had heard that he had been
20 stopped there. I do not have any other information
21 about the incident.
22 Q. I think you told us that things happened
23 after that to certain premises. To what premises did
24 things happen?
25 A. Yes. During that period of time, sometime
1 between the 20th and the 23rd, I'm not sure of the
2 date, a large number of Muslim premises in Busovaca
3 were damaged, damaged not destroyed, and several Croat
4 shops were also damaged, but there was a larger number
5 of Muslim shops damaged. That is, their window shops
6 were broken, hand grenades had been thrown into some of
7 these outlets, but none of them were demolished.
8 Q. Well, why were Muslim premises, as you would
9 describe it, damaged? At this time in January, why,
10 can you help us, were prominent Muslim citizens
11 arrested at this time, in this small town?
12 A. I do not know about arrests made at that
13 time, and I really cannot fathom why these shops were
14 damaged. What were the reasons for that, one could, of
15 course, make guesses, but I really do not know what the
16 true reason is behind that, and I cannot comment about
18 Q. What about the murder? You haven't mentioned
19 the murder about the man, Delija. What was that all to
20 do with?
21 A. I heard about Delija's murder, but now I
22 cannot tell you because I do not know what were the
23 circumstances or when it happened. Whether it was
24 before the 25th of January or after the 25th of
25 January, I really do not know. What I do know only is
1 that it did take place.
2 Q. And was it rumoured to be connected to
3 Mr. Kordic or to Mr. Kostroman or to both?
4 A. I was not aware of such comments. I shall
5 say only one sentence: The situation at that time was
6 very confused and it was very difficult to obtain any
7 information in wartime. And I think war anywhere, it
8 is best to stay put at home and not move about,
9 especially at night. I think this applies to war in
11 So I spent most of the time with my family.
12 I would go to work and come back home from work. In
13 wartime, the situation is very difficult and very
15 Q. Mr. Grubesic, you're claiming amnesia or
16 never having known of events when it's inconvenient,
17 aren't you? That's the truth, because you know
18 perfectly well in your small town what happened to lead
19 to both the bombings and the killing.
20 A. If something happened three streets away from
21 here, we wouldn't know what had happened there, would
22 we, because we are not there.
23 MR. NICE: I want to just deal with a couple
24 of particular matters. May the witness have Exhibit
25 461, please. It's a sealed exhibit so it shouldn't go
1 on the ELMO. It may be sealed, I'm not sure.
2 JUDGE MAY: It is apparently sealed.
3 MR. NICE: Yes.
4 Q. Can you just look, yourself, please, at --
5 the entries are all dated, and since it's sealed, can
6 you just read it to yourself. All right? Go, for
7 example, to the 26th of January, our page 5.
8 Have you read the entry for the 26th of
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you were staying in your house, so you
12 may not have seen or heard everything, but is that
13 entry, as an example, an accurate entry of what was
14 happening in January of 1993 in your small town?
15 A. You will remember that I already said that
16 with my wife, who was expecting, I went to the shelter
17 on the 24th, that I spent several days there and never
18 left that shelter because there was a lot of gunfire
19 and shelling. So it was very dangerous to go out of
20 the shelter. I cannot give you any precise, that is,
21 any information.
22 Q. All right. Well then one more short
23 extract. Come back a couple of pages. A very short
24 extract, bottom of our page 3. I don't know where it
25 is in the original. 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of January.
1 Read it to yourself.
2 Is that an accurate account of the 21st,
3 22nd, and 23rd?
4 A. I did not see any of the things indicated
5 here, and the only thing I can say is that I realised,
6 at a later stage, that the Muslims had begun leaving
7 Busovaca. And I did not know about that, nor did I
8 know reasons about it. It was only later that I found
9 out that it had happened.
10 And perhaps just one more comment. From what
11 I can see, this document was written on the 12th of
12 February, 1993.
13 Q. But you're not challenging -- you tell us you
14 didn't hear it, but you're not challenging that what's
15 said there for the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of January
16 might well be true. You accept it might well be true,
17 don't you?
18 A. Well, if I did not hear something or see
19 something, then I cannot say anything about it, can I?
20 Q. 3rd of February, Mr. Jennings. I'll just
21 deal with this very briefly. Could you look at this
22 map, please, which I can make available. It's 2781.2.
23 I'll show the usher the bit to put on the ELMO,
25 MR. NICE: There's a census document, Defence
1 116/1, that the Chamber may wish to remind itself of,
2 and that document I can also make available to the
3 witness in a minute.
4 Q. The position is this, is it not: The place
5 marked -- sorry. Is there a problem with the map,
6 Mr. Grubesic?
7 A. I don't see any.
8 Q. The map shows the area between Kacuni and
9 something marked as Donje Polje; correct?
10 A. Yes. That is what I see on the screen, that
11 particular area.
12 Q. The colours don't come out particularly well,
13 but you can see on the original that there runs
14 north -- well, there runs from Donje Polje down to
15 Kacuni, a river, and it crosses the road some distance
16 to the north-west of Kacuni, the little bridge there.
17 We can actually see it. If you can see it, you might
18 point it out with the pointer.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. Thank you. That's the bridge.
21 You've given evidence about Muslim houses and
22 Muslim occupation of Polje or Donje Polje, and I can
23 hand the census form to you, but the evidence we've
24 heard is this: that along the road from that bridge in
25 the direction of Donje Polje, there are houses, I think
1 on either side, or there were houses on either side.
2 That would be correct, wouldn't it?
3 A. Yes. All the way from Kacuni to Busovaca,
4 there are houses on both sides more or less. They may
5 be slightly scattered perhaps, they're not close to one
6 another, not wall to wall, but yes, there are houses
7 all along the way.
8 Q. The census document that shows a nil return
9 for Muslims deals not with Donje Polje but Polje, and
10 that same census documents also allows for the
11 existence of eight Yugoslavs and seven other ethnic
12 group inhabitants. You can have the document if you
13 want to.
14 The evidence that we've heard is that along
15 that road, houses that happened to have or had
16 four-sided roofs were being visited by men with HVO
17 uniforms or HVO insignia and were being set on fire.
18 Now, that's the evidence.
19 You're not able to tell us yourself, are you,
20 to which particular part of this overall area the
21 census relating to Polje relates? You have the
22 document to look at, of course, if you want to. Have
23 mine for speed.
24 A. From what I can see in this document and as
25 far as I can remember, it is accurate as far as Polje
1 is concerned. So as far as I understood, 729
2 inhabitants, 5 Serbs, no Muslims, and 709 Croats,
3 8 Yugoslavs, and 7 others.
4 I believe that these figures are accurate
5 figures reflecting the population structure in Polje in
7 Q. We don't know along that road from Donje
8 Polje to Kacuni where the boundary is, and I'm going to
9 suggest to you that there were houses along that road
10 that belonged to Muslims and that they were indeed
11 being destroyed in February 1993 by the HVO.
12 A. I didn't understand. Were you asking me
13 something? Was that a question?
14 Q. Yes. I'm suggesting to you -- you've given
15 evidence about habitation.
16 A. It's like this: I don't know how accurate I
17 can point to things on the map, but the bridge that I
18 have pointed out --
19 Q. Yes. What about the bridge?
20 A. This [indicates]. There was an incident on
21 this bridge when the military policeman Petrovic was
22 killed on the 25th of January -- no, 24th of January,
24 The settlement of Polje starts by this creek
25 which is called Babjak. I'm going to point it on the
1 map. Here in the direction of Busovaca, that is where
2 the village of Polje runs [indicates]. Up to here is
3 the village of Kacuni, to this point on the road. This
4 is where Kacuni and Polje border each other. And from
5 here, almost until the entrance to Busovaca, there's
6 Polje and there's some additional villages there
7 [indicates]. There's not -- there is no single Muslim
8 home alongside the road. I can almost tell you, house
9 by house, who owns it. I went to school there, I knew
10 these people, and I could name all these --
11 Q. I'm going to interrupt you. The point you've
12 pointed to is the junction of the two villages that
13 indeed fits with what -- the evidence we've heard, so
14 that's fine. I needn't ask you any more about that.
15 Thank you.
16 I think I've got very little more to ask
17 you. You were in charge of passes or you had the right
18 to issue passes in the war for the passage of property
19 and goods. That was a method of raising taxes, wasn't
20 it, passes for the passage of goods?
21 A. The passes for passage of goods were not
22 being charged. There was no charge for them, but they
23 could be used by the tax authority to follow the
24 traffic of goods.
25 And Mr. Glavocevic was in charge of this, and
1 I could only do it in his absence which, I believe,
2 never actually happened, that I signed any of such
4 Q. Did either of you charge the issue of passes?
5 A. I think that there was a service in the
6 municipal government in charge of that. I think for
7 the passage, there was a charge for the passage of
8 people. I think the fee was around one German mark per
9 person, but I was not directly involved in this.
10 I know that there was a tax, maybe 10 or 20
11 marks for the passage of goods.
12 Q. Two other questions. Why were men of
13 military age arrested and detained in Kaonik in early
14 1993, please, Muslim men of military age? What
15 conceivable reason was there for doing that?
16 A. I wouldn't know why this happened. I said
17 where I was during that period. There are several
18 possible reasons for it. One is probably that they
19 were captured with weapons so that the prisoner could
20 be put somewhere.
21 So in that sense --
22 Q. Why were Muslim men of military age rounded
23 up and imprisoned in Busovaca, please?
24 A. I don't know the exact reason why this
1 Q. Why did Mr. Kordic take up headquarters in
2 the PTT building and do so with all the accoutrements
3 of being a military officer, uniformed and armed
4 guards. You were there, why did it happen?
5 A. I think that Mr. Kordic did not move any
6 headquarters of his into the PTT building. I think
7 that at that time, the basement -- the PTT basement was
8 a fairly secure place, secure from shelling, and I
9 think that the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade
10 headquarters were there at the time.
11 Q. Why would he be there in military uniform,
13 A. Who?
14 Q. Mr. Kordic.
15 A. I don't know. I wasn't there during that
16 period. I never entered the PTT building during that
17 period when the headquarters was there.
18 Q. Explain to us, please, why there were only
19 30-odd Muslims left in Busovaca by February of 1994.
20 They were driven out, weren't they, all the others?
21 A. I don't think that those are accurate data.
22 Let me give you one piece of information. There are
23 about 30 Muslim families in my neighbourhood, and I
24 know that they stay there until September or October
25 1993, they stayed in their homes.
1 And that with the influx of fresh refugees
2 who had been driven out of Zenica, these displaced
3 people forcibly pushed those Muslims out of their homes
4 and moved in and gave them documents allowing them to
5 enter their homes which they had left in Zenica.
6 So the information, data for this period are
7 not accurate.
8 Q. Do you have a Croatian passport, yes or no?
9 A. I have the passport of Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 and I have the passport of the Republic of Croatia. I
11 have a dual citizenship. I have the citizenship of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, according to the law, I also
13 have the right to the citizenship of the Republic of
15 Q. I'm not, of course, going to ask you any
16 questions about the awful tragedy of your parents and
17 I'm not in a position to deal with the detail. Just
18 help us, have you at any time spoken to the
19 investigators of this Tribunal about those
20 circumstances or not?
21 A. No, I was never invited by the investigators
22 of this Tribunal to talk about this. I only gave a
23 statement in the police station in Busovaca in that
25 MR. NICE: Very well. Thank you.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I want to take the
3 witness back to something which he said in the latter
4 part of his examination-in-chief. It is in relation to
5 Mr. Kordic's encouraging the soldiers to defend Jajce
6 and he said Mr. Kordic said words to the effect, "I
7 will go with you to the front lines not as a soldier
8 but as a politician."
9 I want to ask the witness whether that was
10 the direct speech of Mr. Kordic, in other words, was
11 that -- were those his exact words, or do they
12 represent your understanding of what he would, in fact,
13 be doing were he to go to the front lines?
14 A. Your Honours, the exact words of Mr. Kordic
15 were, "We have to defend Jajce and I will go with you
16 to defend Jajce." And the rest is my understanding of
17 it in that context.
18 I never heard from anyone, nor did I see that
19 Mr. Kordic was in any place with the weapon in his
20 hands so I drew a conclusion that he would go up there
21 as a politician. That was my conclusion.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
23 MR. SAYERS: Just two or three questions,
24 Mr. President. I wonder if I could show Mr. Grubesic
25 one of the documents that he was asked about, Z78 and
2 Re-examined by Mr. Sayers:
3 Q. Mr. Grubesic, you were shown this document
4 and asked some questions about it by the Prosecution
5 and certain propositions were put to you regarding the
6 conclusions that are to be drawn from the fact that
7 Mr. Kordic signed it.
8 As you can see from the introductory part of
9 this document, it says, "In accordance with the order
10 of the Ministry of National Defence of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina," and there's a stamp on the
12 Croatian original. Sir, could you identify that
13 stamp? It appears to be in Cyrillic, and I can't read
14 it, but does that look familiar to you?
15 A. When I am re-analysing this document, I can
16 indeed see, I am referring to the document itself, that
17 the document was issued by the -- in accordance with
18 the order of the Ministry of the National Defence of
19 the Republic of BH. And as far as a seal is concerned,
20 it was done in two alphabets. The better one is in
22 These were the usual prewar seals in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so both in the Cyrillic. It says
24 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Busovaca
25 municipality, the Municipal Secretariat for National
1 Defence. And then it also has a prewar coat of arms in
2 the middle. That is done both in Cyrillic and in Roman
4 Q. Just one final question. The Ministry of
5 National Defence of the republic, was that a military
6 institution or a civilian institution?
7 A. That was a civilian institution at the level
8 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would correspond to
9 the Ministry of Defence, and here it was called
10 People's Defence.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. SAYERS: I'm finished with that document,
13 Mr. Usher, and there's one other document that I would
14 like to have put on the ELMO, and I've highlighted a
15 parenthetical phrase. I'd just like the witness to
16 read this slowly in his own language and get an
17 accurate translation of this document, Z111 and Z111A,
18 for which there are various translations provided to us
19 by the Prosecution.
20 Q. But let's just have it read in the original
21 language, sir, and see what it says. And this is from
22 paragraph 3.
23 A. Paragraph 3?
24 Q. Yes. The language I've highlighted in
25 between the brackets, and I've highlighted it in
2 A. Not the entire paragraph 3 but just the part
3 in parenthesis.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. "All employees of the administrative bodies
6 of the Busovaca Municipal Assembly, as well as the
7 employees of all companies and institutions in the
8 Busovaca municipality area, the employees of the
9 Busovaca public security station," in parenthesis,
10 "except for the employees of the police station who do
11 not wish to place themselves under the HVO command."
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Grubesic. That's just fine.
13 I'm through with that exhibit. Thank you.
14 Then the last exhibit I'd like you to look at
15 was the exhibit that was under seal.
16 MR. SAYERS: So please don't put this on the
17 ELMO, but if you'd just show it to the witness. Thank
18 you. Exhibit Z461.
19 And just for the Trial Chamber's information,
20 there's an ancillary exhibit that I'm sure the Trial
21 Chamber remembers, Z461A, which is a rather more
22 chronologically concentrated version of this report.
23 Q. I'd just like to ask you two questions, sir.
24 In connection with the entry --
25 A. Sorry. I'm sorry. I only received a copy in
1 the English language.
2 Q. I'm sorry, sir. My error. Thank you. If
3 you could just turn to the entry for January the 20th
4 and the 21st. Is there any mention at all of anyone
5 being stopped at a checkpoint by ABiH troops? Any
6 mention of Mr. Kostroman being stopped or indeed of
7 Mr. Kordic being there? Could you just inform us of
8 that, please?
9 A. To look at 20th and 21st. Very well. I'll
10 need a little bit of time to be able to read through
12 MR. SAYERS: To save some time, Your Honour,
13 if I could just put the proposition to the witness, and
14 if the Prosecution has any observations, I'd be more
15 than delighted to hear from them.
16 Q. There is no mention of anyone being stopped
17 at any checkpoint, Mr. Kostroman or Mr. Kordic, on the
18 20th or 21st in this document that appears to be
19 generated by the head of the Muslim police station in
21 Would you agree with that from your scanning
22 the document, Mr. Grubesic?
23 A. As I scan through it, I cannot find any
24 mention of the incident of anyone being stopped at the
25 checkpoint in Kacuni.
1 Q. Very well. Last question. On page 3 of the
2 English version, there's a mention of the murder of
3 Mr. Delija, about which questions were asked of you by
4 the Prosecution. Could you just tell us whether you
5 found that, sir. I believe it's towards the end of
6 January 20th.
7 A. I've found it.
8 Q. Very well. Now, is there any contention made
9 in the document that was prepared several weeks after
10 this incident of any rumours, scuttlebutt, hearsay,
11 gossip, things of that type, that connected this
12 incident with Mr. Kordic in any way, sir?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. SAYERS: No further questions, Your
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Grubesic, that concludes your
18 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
19 Tribunal to give it. You are released.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, it would be
23 convenient to take the break now, unless there's
24 something you wanted to raise.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
1 just a couple of minutes to discuss the protective
2 measures for the next witness very briefly.
3 JUDGE MAY: I don't have the document. I
4 thought I did, but I don't.
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] With the
6 Trial Chamber's permission, we can -- if we are going
7 to discuss it before the break, we need to go into
8 private session, please.
9 [Private session]
1 --- Recess taken at 10.55 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
3 [Open session]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
10 WITNESS: WITNESS DE
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
14 just a few minutes to go through the particulars of
15 this witness and could we go back into the private
16 session, please.
17 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 Q. Witness DE, you're on -- the Court will allow
18 you to look at your summary from time to time during
19 your testimony, but I do not think it is really
20 necessary for you to refer to it. You can answer your
21 questions falling back on your memory but, of course,
22 you can refer to it if need be.
23 The Court has already heard a great deal
24 about the historical background so we do not have to go
25 into it. Just one sentence. From the point of view of
1 you, the inhabitants of the municipality, when did some
2 more noteworthy, some grave misunderstandings begin
3 between the Muslims and Croats in your municipality?
4 A. In our municipality, these misunderstandings
5 began when the Yugoslav People's Army requested the
6 evacuation of the barracks or, rather, after the war
7 had broken out in Croatia officially, and weapons were
8 being requested to be taken to the territory of the
9 Republic of Croatia and other places so as to wage
11 It is a fact that the Croat people, that is,
12 or I can say about myself, in Croatia, I have a sister
13 in Osijek, for instance, and Osijek, at that time, was
14 under fierce shelling and destroyed.
15 She used to work in the hospital. The
16 hospital was badly destroyed, and every time she went
17 to work, it was a hazardous business. So I had
18 personal reasons to be concerned about the movement of
19 those convoys because some of them were also going to
20 that particular area in Croatia.
21 Q. I was about to say, as to those convoys, with
22 there other villages with other inhabitants of the
23 municipality, you also participated in those protests
24 personally to prohibit, to stop the passage of weapons
25 to Croatia?
1 A. Yes, I personally approved that, and I
2 supported it insofar as I could do it, of course.
3 However, it is a fact that the Muslim side was not
4 concerned about it, it simply showed no interest, and
5 the Serb side, I mean, those who were in Busovaca
7 So that was one of the first
8 misunderstandings between the Croat and the Muslim
9 communities. They were inactive. They paid no
10 attention to the fact that the Croat community was
11 concerned about this; that it was insisting on the
12 evacuation of the barracks; that the JNA had no
13 business to be there; that the Croat population in
14 Busovaca was a minority population; therefore, there
15 was no reason for them to.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you. So if I understand,
17 this rift between the communities began first because
18 of the war in Croatia and also your views and the
19 preparations that would -- then in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
20 isn't it? That was another factor that you could not
21 agree about?
22 A. Yes. Of course, people in some higher
23 political offices understood the situation, but I
24 couldn't really have a full grasp of the situation.
25 The situation was rather confused. But basically one
1 could see that there was an aspiration that everything
2 was leading to chaos, to disarray. One could not rely
3 on anything with any degree of certainty, especially
4 since some conflicts had already begun in Sarajevo.
5 There was no communication with Sarajevo at all.
6 Q. Very well. Very well. We shall move step by
7 step. Only will you please wait for my answer to be
8 interpreted into the official languages of the Tribunal
9 to facilitate the work of the interpreters. It will be
10 very difficult to say who said what unless we make a
12 Okay. I believe we have described, in a
13 couple of sentences, the situation in which the Croat,
14 that is the minority population of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 accounting for only 17.4 per cent, found themselves
16 in. A great deal has already been said here and the
17 Court knows about the attitude of the Croats who got in
18 the referendum. However, if there are any questions
19 about this you can answer that, but we can move on.
20 In spite of the referendum and in spite of
21 the fact that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
22 become an autonomous and independent state, could that
23 state stand on its own two feet; that is, did the
24 central government ever begin to function with regard
25 to the municipalities?
1 A. No, never. That is, those conflicts which
2 were taking place around Sarajevo blocked completely
3 the entrance, the access to Sarajevo. I know this from
4 accounts of drivers, those who were busy with payments,
5 who had to take money to and from the municipalities,
6 that they would be intercepted by Chetniks, threatening
7 them with murders, seizing their cars, and so on and so
8 forth, so that the blockade was complete.
9 And all the funds, all the central funds
10 which were in Sarajevo and other central administration
11 which was in Sarajevo did not function at all,
12 especially with regard to the municipalities. So the
13 municipalities somehow had to fend for themselves. The
14 municipalities had to become states, in a manner of
16 JUDGE MAY: If anything turns on this, you
17 will be asked some questions about it.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
19 Your Honours.
20 Q. Witness DE, just one question more about
21 this. The Court already knows about how the whole
22 system fell into pieces -- fell to pieces, but life had
23 to be organised in your municipality because life goes
24 on regardless of the problems in the state, but
25 municipality -- the municipal government organised the
1 whole life, public health, education, finance, and
2 everything else.
3 A. Yes, of course. There was a period of time
4 when we had to think and take some decisions, to talk
5 to other municipalities to see how and what to organise
6 it all. Namely, one had to organise the work of
7 schools, because the school year was coming up; to
8 organise the health; welfare; the work of medical
9 institutions; to organise the payment of pensions,
10 because the pension fund was also in Sarajevo. There
11 was absolutely no chance of these people getting their
12 pensions from there.
13 So in municipalities or specifically in the
14 municipality of Busovaca, since the payments had been
15 cut off, all the money was kept in Busovaca. That is,
16 the municipal government then decided that the funds
17 should be distributed and to finance the communal
18 needs; that is, the public institutions, health care
19 institutions, public utilities, and the like.
20 Q. That is, to finance from these funds all
21 these -- all walks of life in the territory of the
22 municipality of Busovaca?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In view of the imminent danger of war, the
25 Municipal Assembly ceased to function at some point
1 sometime in early April 1992, and the Crisis Staff was
2 set up, consisting of members of all the parliamentary
3 parties, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did the Crisis Staff continue to try to
6 organise life in the municipality? However, in those
7 chaotic times, did it succeed or not?
8 A. Your Honours, I'm not really sure how it
9 functioned, because I simply had no say, nor did I have
10 any information about the operation of the staff,
11 especially after the shelling. For a while, we never
12 came to work. (redacted)
16 All I heard was that this Crisis Staff was
17 not really performing very well, that they were
18 inefficient, that they had problems, but I really do
19 not know much about that.
20 Q. But I suppose you were aware that some
21 agreements had been reached with the JNA about the
22 evacuation of the JNA, about the location of --
23 dislocation of, because they were in the municipality?
24 A. Yes. They had three barracks with large
25 depots. (redacted) there was a huge
1 barracks, and people were saying that the whole house
2 might blow-up if this went on fire, and the situation
3 was very tense among the population. Everybody was
4 very anxious as to what would happen to those barracks,
5 whether the conflict would break out straight away,
6 whether it would be resolved in some peaceful manner.
7 So the situation was very tense.
8 At night, people put out their lights very
9 early or, rather, nobody went to bed because people
10 were afraid. There was sporadic gunfire around the
11 barracks. So the situation was like that all the
13 Q. I suppose that this collective anxiety and
14 this tension spread especially after the bombing of
15 Busovaca on the 26th of April by the JNA air force.
16 There were fires and a lot of destruction had taken
18 A. Yes. Fear culminated at that time because
19 nobody believed before that they would bomb it like
20 that, that everything would be on fire, that there
21 would be these terrible explosions. That is, I'm
22 trying to portray the situation. I have never before
23 experienced any bombing. And it was the culmination,
24 horrible culmination, because everything was in flames,
25 and the power was cut off, telephones were cut off, and
1 there was chaos in the town because we didn't know
2 whether the bombing would happen again. The planes
3 flew over us the next day.
4 Q. Very well. Very well. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: Witness DE, we've heard a great
6 deal of evidence in this case, as you appreciate. It's
7 been going on for more than a year. Could you confine
8 yourself to simply answering the questions, and if
9 you'll do, that we'll get on more quickly.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness DE, you heard it from His Honour.
12 The Court has indeed learned a great many details about
13 this, so we do not have to do it any more.
14 However, in this chaotic time, sometime in
15 May 1992, in early May 1992, the tension between the
16 Croat and the Muslim community in Busovaca culminated.
17 You were not there yourself, but just in a sentence,
18 what do you know about that? What is it that happened?
19 A. You mean in relation to the barracks and the
20 takeover of the barracks? Well, I did not take part in
21 this; I only heard. In the wake of it, I heard that
22 there was a problem with the Kaonik barracks. I heard
23 that in a nearby coffee shop; that is, it was quite a
24 large coffee shop, and it was full of Muslim troops
25 before that, and they were discussing the takeover of
1 that barracks and the distribution of it 50/50. I do
2 not really know any details about that. But there was
3 some altercation and some gunfire, and a young man, a
4 21-year-old man was wounded.
5 Q. Yes, yes, yes. The Court knows all that.
6 Thank you. But did you hear, perhaps, if it was only
7 locals who had turned up or were there some people from
8 outside the municipality? Did you hear anything about
10 A. I'm not quite sure, but I was told that there
11 were also some people from outside the municipality,
12 some people who were unknown in the municipality.
13 Q. So in that atmosphere on one of those days,
14 the HVO in the municipality of Busovaca was founded.
15 It was provisional measures, measures to organise life
16 in the area. You also had certain duties to perform in
17 the -- in that civilian body which ran the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. We already said what you did, so we do not
21 have to repeat that. (redacted)
23 (redacted), but did
24 you receive any assistance from central government, was
25 it possible to try to -- coordinate the authorities
1 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. No, no way. We were simply left to our own
3 devices. We could not expect assistance from anywhere
4 because the situation was growing more complex day in
5 day out so that we simply had to rely on ourselves, try
6 to do whatever we could do and try to organise somehow
7 that retched life we had.
8 Q. (redacted)
12 A. (redacted)
19 (redacted). I did not
20 ever see him come to work, only in passing when he was
21 talking to his men.
22 Q. Excuse me, where was he at that time? What
23 was he doing?
24 A. I should say in the BH army.
25 Q. Very well, thank you. Could you tell the
1 Court, I mean, we do not have to repeat it unless so
2 required, but the municipal government had to ensure
3 the health care and pensions and food supplies and
4 schools and so on and so forth so there is no need to
5 go on back into that and waste time.
6 So just one sentence about it. As of May,
7 this municipal civilian work of the HVO continued the
8 work of the former municipal authority, that is, the
9 organisation of the overall life in the municipality?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Very well, thank you. Tell us, please, you
12 worked with the same people for years. You've known
13 one another for a long time. After May 1992 when the
14 civilian HVO took over, assumed the responsibility for
15 the situation in the municipality, have you ever heard
16 that all of you, all of you employed there, Muslims and
17 Croats and everybody else, had to take an oath of
18 allegiance or sign your loyalty?
19 A. No, I never had to do it nor did anybody ever
20 tell me to do that, nor were we instructed to do so.
21 We were told to do as you did before and just treat
22 everybody equally. The civil servants have to be
23 polite and attend to all the needs of all the people.
24 Q. So, you were required to demonstrate
25 professional attitude?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. (redacted)
4 (redacted). Did any of them have to take the oath of
6 A. No, I never heard about that, never heard
7 about that. As far as I know, they were not requested
8 to do that.
9 Q. Tell us, please, under the new job
10 systemisation in the municipal government after May
11 1992, who was the only one who formally lost a job,
12 regardless of Croats and Muslims?
13 A. Asim Sunulahpasic lost his job formally or it
14 was agreed, but it was agreed that he went back to the
15 Vatrostalna factory where he worked before.
16 All of them kept their jobs. (redacted)
17 (redacted) for the TO
18 and the BH army. But once a month, (redacted)
19 and there was no problem. They would, nevertheless,
20 get their salaries for that month. And it was like
21 that until the end of 1992.
22 Q. So formally speaking, they were still (redacted)
23 payroll although in practical terms they were in the
25 A. Yes, especially men. They were all in the
1 units but that was the understanding, no problem, let's
2 just have them report and they would get their salaries
3 so they were paid regularly. There were, I think, 72
4 people on the payroll in November 1992. They all got
5 their salaries.
6 Q. Tell us, please, since we are talking about
7 the organisation of work in the municipal government,
8 have you ever heard or, rather, did you ever hear that
9 there was ever any --
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. NICE: The witness is following the
12 summary very closely.
13 JUDGE MAY: Could you close the summary up,
14 please. And since this is -- Mr. Naumovski, since this
15 is very much in dispute, perhaps you would not lead on
16 this evidence.
17 Perhaps the witness could give her own
18 evidence. What was the attitude towards the Muslim
19 employees by the HVO municipal government --
20 [Technical difficulty]
21 JUDGE MAY: We are getting French. Now we
22 seem to be all right.
23 Could you start again, please, Witness DE?
24 A. I'm saying that the attitude of the
25 authorities towards all the employees was the same,
1 there was no difference.
4 (redacted)-- and received their pay, their salaries regularly,
5 even though they did not come to work regularly because
6 they worked for the army of BH or the Territorial
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] If there are
9 no further questions from Your Honours, may I
10 continue? Thank you.
11 Q. This was part of the -- my own question, and
12 I was helped out by the Trial Chamber. Did you ever
13 hear that there was a direct or indirect discrimination
14 against people of other ethnic groups in any of the
15 services of the municipal government?
16 A. You see, there were very few of us there,
17 that is, towards the end of 1992 and early 1993. There
18 were very few of us working there because the situation
19 was difficult in general, and it was not very safe.
20 And I believe in respect of the municipal government
21 services, special care was -- that special attention
22 was taken to also consider the Muslim employees because
23 we all needed to work and survive somehow.
24 Q. Can you tell me, please, in late November or
25 in December of 1992, (redacted)
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Out of those, how many were Muslim?
4 A. There were seven Muslims. And as I said,
5 they all received their salaries, some even got bonuses
6 like Ms. Nasiha Neslanovic who had additional work.
7 She had additional areas to clean. Because we had
8 fewer people coming in to work, we would distribute the
9 entire workload among those who came. So they, for
10 instance, had to clean the land office rooms, that was
11 120 square metres.
12 JUDGE MAY: We don't have to go into all this
13 detail. Let's move on.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
15 I think we should avoid further details so I thought
16 that we may enter the -- tender as an exhibit the list
17 of all the work done by all the employees at the time.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you want to do that, do
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I simply
21 thought that we would put it in the record and the
22 document will speak for itself. I will have no further
23 questions of the document. Can the usher please assist
25 Q. While we are waiting for this document to be
1 distributed, out of 72 municipal employees who were
2 working there in January 1993, how many of them were
3 receiving salaries?
4 A. As far as the employees are concerned, the 19
5 that I mentioned.
6 Q. I meant all departments.
7 A. There were 72 including all those who only
8 occasionally showed up for work.
9 Q. Out of that total number, how many Muslims
10 were there?
11 A. I believe that there were 25, 26. I cannot
12 give you the exact figure.
13 THE REGISTRAR: It will be marked D 233/1.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness DE, is this the document, if you
16 could just scan it very briefly, is this the logbook of
17 all employees and their times and who worked when?
18 A. Yes, that is that document.
19 Q. Very well. No need to go any further into
21 As you said, you tried to do what you could
22 to organise a life there, but also to have an open ear
23 to the wishes of the citizenry; in other words, not to
24 impose certain views on certain -- on citizens.
25 So if a citizen came to get some kind of a
1 certificate or other document from the municipal
2 services, could they choose what type of letterhead
3 they would get?
4 A. Yes. After we had reached the agreement,
5 after the provisional government was established in
6 Busovaca, very soon thereafter, we produced this
7 documents which had two different letterheads or
8 headings; one with the lilies, one with the
9 Herceg-Bosna seal.
10 Because some people asked, depending on what
11 they needed it for, they asked for different types of
12 documents so the Muslim citizens and Croat citizens
13 could get which ever type of document they wanted.
14 Q. Who decided which type of letterhead was
15 going to be used on which document, the official or the
16 party that came for it?
17 A. The party.
18 Q. You also worked on the organisation of the
19 school system. There were a number of schools in the
20 Busovaca school system. At that time, the school
21 curriculum was not fully defined. There was still the
22 old curriculum but -- from the old state, but also the
23 HVO in Mostar had its own curriculum.
24 Were there problems relating to that?
25 A. At the beginning of the school year, we
1 called all the school principals, I think that the head
2 of the municipality did so, and a meeting was held.
3 And we said that the curriculum should be adjusted,
4 that the Serbian authors should be omitted, that -- and
5 other adjustments should be made.
6 So at the level of the Mostar government and
7 also the Central Bosnian level, such meetings were
8 organised and the school principals discussed the
9 adjustments to the school curriculum.
10 The curriculum from the government in Mostar
11 was such that we could agree with the Muslim
12 counterparts specifically in language, that they could
13 use their own name for their mother tongue, the
14 Bosniak. At that time they did not exist.
15 Also, to study particular authors and so on.
16 Q. After these agreements -- regarding these
17 agreements, those who agreed were members of both
18 ethnic groups?
19 A. Yes. There were three elementary schools.
20 There was one in Kacuni where the principal wore the
21 Muslim because the population was majority Muslim, and
22 there was one in Busovaca and one in Kaonik. They
23 would sit down together and hold joint meetings. There
24 were no particular objections except that they needed
25 to sit down and work out those curricula.
1 Q. You said that in Kacuni the principal was a
2 Muslim, but did Croats also teach there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Until when?
5 A. Until the first conflict on the 24th, 25th.
6 Q. Was that in January 1993?
7 A. Yes, January 1993. That is correct. In
8 fact, my colleague who used to teach music there, her
9 name is Dragica Miocevic, a couple of days before moved
10 across the lines because she said that there was a lot
11 of concentration of soldiers and that conflict would
12 break out.
13 Q. So Dragica Miocevic was one of the non-Muslim
14 teachers who worked there?
15 A. Yes. She also lived there and she worked
17 Q. Did what she say would happen indeed happen?
18 A. Yes. The very next day, we had that terrible
19 night where all this shooting could be heard coming
20 from Kacuni, when there was a mass exodus of people
21 from that area.
22 Q. In those days before this event, that is,
23 before your conversation with your friend, had you
24 heard of another incident in the Kacuni area?
25 A. I heard that many people were being stopped
1 at the checkpoint in Kacuni. Among others, Ignac
2 Kostroman, who several days before was on his way home
3 in Kresevo, had been stopped, and I heard that he was
4 verbally abused. I think I also heard about that on
5 the Radio Busovaca.
6 Q. But you were no eyewitness to this?
7 A. No. I only heard about it.
8 Q. After the ceasefire was established in
9 February and until April, it was relatively calm, if I
10 can put it that way. You continued to work in your
11 job, as did all other people in those municipal
13 A. Yes. The situation had calmed down. We
14 could even go to Split for food. The permits were
15 being issued. Some of the male employees were
16 withdrawn from the checkpoints, and permits were issued
17 for passage of goods and foodstuffs and things like
19 Q. What happened in Travnik in 1993 -- sorry, in
20 April 1993?
21 A. I think this was close to Easter 1993. A new
22 Muslim offensive was launched. I think we were
23 attacked from the direction of Kula. My brother was
24 wounded there, so I know about this very well. There
25 was terrible shooting and people were being killed.
1 Q. Their Honours have had plenty of opportunity
2 to hear that. I wanted to limit the questioning to
3 what is closer to you.
4 How was that reflected in your work? Were
5 people able to come to work due to shelling?
6 A. It was very unsafe to come to work, and
7 shells were falling also around the municipal
8 building. Many people did not show up, only those
9 whose apartments and houses were close by. I believe
10 that I did not come to work for about 15, 20 days, and
11 (redacted) because she was very
12 close by. And in -- for a long period during 1993, (redacted)
13 (redacted) .
14 Q. Was this also reflected on the payment of
16 A. No. Everything was blocked on all sides.
17 People were being killed. The defence lines which had
18 also been established in town. Shells were falling
19 throughout the territory of the municipality, including
20 the villages.
21 Q. Very well. Could you just tell the Trial
22 Chamber: You said that Croats did not come to work, as
23 well as Muslims, because of the difficulties in
24 travelling. But all the way to May, were there still
25 any Muslim employees in the municipal agencies in
2 A. Yes. Alma Hodzic was still around in May
3 [sic] 1993. She was the last one to leave. She was a
4 very fine young woman and very hard worker.
5 Q. So up until May [sic] 1993, there were still
6 Muslim employees there?
7 A. Yes, but very few of us showed up to work.
8 Q. I understand. There was a war.
9 A. Yes. Many people were unable to come. We
10 had shortened our business days, four to five hours.
11 Q. Very well. Just one point for the Trial
12 Chamber. Why did the population -- what did the
13 population of Busovaca live on? What were the sources
14 of food supplies and so on?
15 A. We were -- the blockade was total, so it was
16 through the humanitarian aid, through UNHCR, the
17 Caritas. That is how the humanitarian aid arrived, and
18 it was distributed to all people living in the Busovaca
20 Q. I was looking at the transcript. When you
21 spoke about Alma Hodzic, and I asked you that too, you
22 said she worked until September. However, page 3 -- I
23 think it was said "May."
24 A. That is a mistake, because I have documents
25 to support that, that it was until September.
1 Q. So September 1993.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. You said to the Trial Chamber
4 that there was shelling, that there were hard times for
5 any kind of organisation of life. You said that you
6 were close to the town of Busovaca, that you also had
7 experiences from your village of Kaonik. Can you tell
8 us, among the civilian population, that is, among the
9 citizens of Busovaca municipality, were there many
11 A. There weren't that many, but there were
12 frequent shellings. Sometimes there would be for ten
13 days in a row. I could not let my children go out for
14 ten days in a row. Children are curious, but I was
15 afraid. It was safer for me to stay in the house. But
16 that was very difficult for the children. That made
17 them very nervous.
18 Q. In this confined space in which you lived,
19 let's say from April 1993 until the spring of 1994, do
20 you have any knowledge of the total number of
21 casualties in general?
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, we had evidence about this
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
25 Your Honours.
1 Q. Several questions about Dario Kordic, with
2 whom, as we said at the beginning, you worked in the
3 same factory.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He was an information specialist, and the
6 Trial Chamber knows about it. What are your -- what
7 kind of comments can you make about him regarding that
9 A. I know that Dario, at that time, talked about
10 many problems publicly. He had a lot of understanding
11 for the low-paid workers. He was very courageous
12 during that period, because this was a period that you
13 couldn't speak openly about these things.
14 Q. You said that you personally participated in
15 certain protests, that you went out in the streets to
16 protest the delivery of weapons to be used against
17 Republic of Croatia. Do you remember Mr. Kordic from
18 those days?
19 A. Yes. He was among the leaders there. He
20 was -- showed up bare armed and confronted the soldiers
21 who were armed. And one of these convoys that was
22 going into Sarajevo had stopped near my house.
23 Q. You mean in the fall of 1991?
24 A. Yes, in the fall of 1991.
25 Q. You actually personally saw this?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And these were very heated conversation with
3 the people who were escorting the convoy?
4 A. There were these huge rockets which were a
5 part of that convoy, and I was very afraid.
6 Q. Very well. Witness DE, you occasionally
7 worked with Mr. Kordic, including in the Busovaca
8 municipality in late 1991 and early 1992, but you also
9 followed his public appearances, his press conferences,
10 I assume, and so on?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. To you, was he a politician or a soldier?
13 A. Dario was primarily a politician. He was a
15 Q. Go ahead.
16 A. He conducted press conferences, he was
17 covering the situation, and he tried to define what was
18 going on, especially at the time when we were
19 completely encircled. He wanted the voice of the
20 people who was encircled to be heard around the world,
21 so that the world would know what was going on there,
22 and he also was working on getting humanitarian aid.
23 Q. You, madam, are no soldier or anything like
25 A. No.
1 Q. Have you ever heard or seen Mr. Dario Kordic
2 issue any military orders?
3 A. No. I never heard about that. As I said, I
4 had no contact with the military, but from what I did
5 know, I never heard anything like that.
6 Q. You said that you heard and followed some of
7 the press conferences. In the area where you live,
8 which is Kaonik, the northern corner of the
9 municipality, what was the TV Busovaca signal? What
10 was the quality of the TV signal?
11 A. It was -- the signal was very bad. We -- the
12 sound was a bit better than the image, but it was
13 pretty poor.
14 Q. Further north of Kaonik, could -- do you know
15 whether the people there could receive the signal?
16 A. No. I heard that you couldn't get the
17 signal. It was -- it could only be picked up in the
18 town itself and immediate surrounding areas.
19 Q. Again, a little problem with the
20 interpretation. If I understand you correctly, you
21 said that the signal was very weak, that the sound was
22 better, but that occasionally you had neither sound nor
23 image. I think was that omitted.
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Very well. When you followed these press
1 conferences -- I'm sure that you saw more than one --
2 have you ever heard from Mr. Kordic that he was saying
3 anything bad, that he was saying anything bad about
4 some ethnic group, that he was inciting to violence or
5 something like that?
6 A. No, I did not. He, especially at the time of
7 complete siege, he tried to calm down the people,
8 because there was great mental pressure. Some people
9 were terribly afraid that the lines of defence would
10 collapse, because there were threats that we would all
11 be killed and slaughtered, women and children and all,
12 and people were very concerned. And he acted in such a
13 way in order to turn people towards thinking more
15 Q. And if he uttered any critical comments, who
16 was that directed against?
17 A. He spoke critically about the Muslim
18 extremists, especially about the presence of Muslim
19 soldiers who were foreign born, of whom there were
20 many, because people would see them at the lines of
21 defence and so on.
22 Q. Witness DE, you know that it has been alleged
23 that Mr. Kordic used Radio Busovaca to issues orders to
24 burn down the village of Loncari specifically on the
25 16th of April, 1993. Have you ever heard that this was
1 said, and this allegedly was said early in the morning
2 on the 16th?
3 A. From what I know, Radio Busovaca started its
4 programme at 8.00 in the morning. This was the only
5 radio station we could follow on a regular basis. It
6 started at 8.00 in the morning and worked -- was on the
7 air for four or five hours but it never worked that
8 early in the morning.
9 Q. Have you ever heard any such statement on any
10 other media?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 Q. So let me conclude this heading on Dario
13 Kordic. What was Mr. Kordic's role in relation -- what
14 was the perception of his role of your neighbours, your
15 fellow citizens?
16 A. We all perceived it as a very positive role.
17 He encouraged people. He directed them to think
18 positively, to believe that they would be able to
19 defend ourselves, that we would survive here, that we
20 shouldn't go anywhere else.
21 Q. When we talk about it, I assume you know
22 where Mr. Kordic's family lived throughout the war?
23 A. Yes, this was one of the examples. The
24 entire family of Mr. Kordic lived in Busovaca and
25 Mr. Kordic's wife also showed optimism and said that we
1 should stay here.
2 Q. Another area that you were called to give
3 evidence about was -- is that there was a policy which
4 was implemented through the institutions which was a
5 policy which advocated ethnic cleansing of non-Croat
6 ethnic groups from the entire area of Herceg-Bosna.
7 You worked with all these people, you lived
8 with them. Have you ever heard of any official or
9 unofficial campaign of that kind?
10 A. No, I did not. The situation was far more
11 serious. It was a question of life and death. What I
12 am trying to say is that in a way, that was not a
13 priority. The priority was to survive, to organise the
14 life there because we had food shortages.
15 Q. No, but have you ever heard that there was a
16 policy of persecution of Muslims?
17 A. No, I never heard of any such thing, nor was
18 any such thing implemented from what I know. There may
19 have been some individual cases of -- on the part of
20 unthinking individuals who disregarded the government
21 policies and there was a war and the bad side of
22 certain individuals came to the fore.
23 Q. You mean the criminal excesses?
24 A. Yes, there were some criminal excesses, and I
25 was very sorry for people to whom such things were
2 Q. You said you never heard, but I want your
3 answer on whether any of the officials at higher levels
4 or in public places or in -- through the media ever
5 advocated such a position?
6 A. Your Honours, I had contacts with top
7 leadership in the municipality. They were in charge of
8 the overall policy and, to the contrary, they directed
9 us to treat everybody well and that we should avoid any
10 such -- anything that would lead to such relations.
11 Q. Their Honours had the opportunity to hear
12 what the census figures were for Busovaca in 1991 and
13 the ratio of Muslims and Croats there, so that is not
14 in dispute. But at the time when the Washington
15 Accords were signed after the cease-fire in 1994, to
16 your knowledge, what were the percentages of territory
17 of the Busovaca municipality under control of the HVO
18 and what percentage was under the ABiH control?
19 A. The HVO controlled about 60 per cent and the
20 ABiH about 40 per cent of the overall territory.
21 Q. According to your information, can you tell
22 the Trial Chamber, given your current job, how many
23 Croats and how many Muslims were forced to leave the
24 area of Busovaca municipality, that is, their previous
1 A. The inhabitants of Busovaca municipality,
2 that is about 2.500 of them were forced to leave their
3 homes, both Muslims and Croats.
4 Part of the Croat population, after the
5 situation was calm -- had calmed down returned, and
6 these -- this meant people who were returning to homes
7 that were under the HVO control and those were about
8 700, but they came back temporarily and they came back
9 to the areas controlled by the HVO.
10 Q. But I'm referring to those who lived in the
11 areas affected by the fighting.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And now just to gain the full picture, you --
14 do you know the percentage of Muslims who have so far,
15 to date, returned to the Busovaca municipality and what
16 percentage of the Croats?
17 A. Out of these 2.500, the Muslims came back
18 into villages 100 per cent which would be about 1.000.
19 We don't have accurate data for this. They all
20 returned, and all the properties were returned.
21 And in the town, I don't know exactly,
22 about -- about 700, about 50 per cent, already 50 per
23 cent Muslims have returned to the town.
24 Q. And the Croats?
25 A. Far less, about 20 per cent of Croats.
1 Again, I don't have the final figure, but about 20 per
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Thank you for your answers.
5 Your Honours, this concludes my
7 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
8 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
9 Q. Witness DE, how long have you lived in
11 A. Since 1980.
12 Q. Did you become aware of the use of the
13 barracks, former barracks at Kaonik as a detention
14 facility from at least 1992, possibly earlier?
15 A. Yes, I learned about that later, after
16 everything was over when an exchange had taken place.
17 I heard it was a reception centre or something of the
19 Q. Later. Could you say a date, please? When
20 did you learn about it?
21 A. I couldn't really pinpoint the date. It
22 could have been a month after the conflicts or I don't
23 really know. After the first conflict -- no, no, it
24 must have been later. It had to be spring, the spring
25 of 1993.
1 But that barracks is completely isolated on a
2 hill. The entrance is on the other side. I can't see
3 it from my house so I couldn't see what was going on
5 Q. (redacted)
7 A. (redacted).
8 Q. And you never saw persons during 1992 and
9 1993 being taken to Kaonik? You never saw that?
10 A. No. No, I did not. I'm telling you the
11 barracks is on a hill. The entrance is on the opposite
17 Q. Did you ever visit Kaonik?
18 A. Barracks? You mean the barracks?
19 Q. (redacted)
23 A. (redacted)
25 (redacted). I worked there prior to 1993.
1 I don't really know about these business deals, that
2 is, I do not know what Vatrostalna did or delivered
3 because I did not work for the commercial department.
4 Q. (redacted)
7 A. (redacted)
15 So salaries, payments, cashiers, and some of
16 the bookkeeping were kept in Busovaca because a
17 considerable part of that was in Zenica where we had
18 the mainframe computer. So the payments, the analysis
19 of payments was done in Zenica.
20 Q. (redacted)
21 (redacted). Can you
22 give, please, exactly the years from when to when;
23 month, year, month year?
24 A. April 1978 to January 1991.
25 Q. Were you in any type of managerial position
1 when you worked (redacted) or were you just one of
2 the workers?
3 A. (redacted)
5 (redacted), and I can't
6 remember really all the details.
7 Q. But you were not a managerial person; is that
9 A. Yes. As I said, (redacted).
12 Q. Your education in Sarajevo as a -- did you
13 branch graduate as an economist or did you just study
15 A. I graduated in economics in 1978. In four
16 years' time, I graduated.
17 Q. In former communist countries, can you please
18 explain what an economist does. It appears that that
19 was not an uncommon type of area to go into, but its
20 exact function may be less clear to western academics.
21 Can you please explain?
22 A. You mean that service which I headed?
23 Q. What does an economist do, a graduate
24 economist? What types of -- what is it? Is it a
25 highly-skilled job? Is it math or is it arithmetic?
1 Is it management? What is being an economist. At the
2 time you finished school -- if I may just add this to
3 the question -- it was still the former Yugoslavia.
4 What role could you play in a command economy?
5 A. I was admitted to the section for analysis
6 and planning. So first we would draw up annual plans,
7 then medium-term plans for the production of fire
8 refraction materials in the plant. The technical
9 service will provide me with information as to what is
10 manufactured, how is it manufactured, what are the
11 costs, so on and so forth. Then we talked about the
12 overall costs, about the money. Then we would try to
13 calculate the prices on the basis of all the input,
14 then to compare the planned price to the market price,
15 and we would try to harmonise the two to somehow --
16 that is, starting from a unit product. We would then
17 move on to the overall output to establish --
18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. I
19 don't think we're being assisted by this. Can we move
20 on, please.
21 MS. SOMERS:
22 Q. May I ask just as a final follow question
23 about the nature of the work.
24 Did you ever have the final say in anything
25 or were you just part of a group of people giving
2 A. I did have a final say when proposing plans
3 or, rather, I would present the plan to the management
4 bodies in the plant, and I would draw up the plan with
5 the help of the technical services, with the production
6 staff; that is, we would draw up plans together. We
7 would all be part of a team. Then the plan would be
8 brought down to the financial plan, and I would present
9 it to the management of the plant.
10 Q. (redacted)
12 A. (redacted)
22 Q. (redacted)
25 A. That was not the name of the department. I
1 was appointed in 1991 to (redacted)
2 (redacted). I was appointed by
3 the municipal government.
4 Q. And who in the municipal government?
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise,
7 Your Honours. I'm not objecting to the question, but
8 we should go into private session. But when various
9 jobs of the witness are mentioned, I think that should
10 be struck out from the transcript. That is the only
11 thing I'm worried about.
12 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I can certainly go
13 around it if --
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's go around it.
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. Of course. Okay. The present --
17 MS. SOMERS: Well, in order -- may I address
18 the Bench on this point? In order for me to ask about
19 certain aspects of the current work, I don't know how
20 identifiably that would be with the personality.
21 JUDGE MAY: Let us go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 19521 – 19550 redacted-(closed session)
25 [Open session]
1 MS. SOMERS: Is it okay?
2 Q. Can you tell me please, Witness DE, what was
3 your reaction to the burning of the mosque in
5 A. To begin with, I was not told about that,
6 because I wasn't -- because I didn't come to the office
7 for several days.
8 Q. When did it happen?
9 A. Then when I heard about it -- I don't know.
10 I couldn't tell you.
11 Q. Where was the mosque?
12 A. It was -- how shall I explain it? -- next to
13 the old school.
14 Q. Could you see it from your office? Did you
15 have pass it going home?
16 A. No. No. No, I didn't. It's a completely
17 different part of the town.
18 Q. How did you come to learn that it was gone?
19 A. Well, simply the story went around town that
20 somebody -- that one night somebody planted some
21 explosive. What else could it be? I don't know. I'm
22 telling you. I don't know. I heard it from other
23 people talking about it. I don't pass -- I don't take
24 that route all that often. There is no reason for me
25 to walk in that direction, so that I did not see that.
1 I only heard it from other people.
2 Q. When you heard it, did it concern you that an
3 institution as long-standing as a mosque could be the
4 target of an explosion or a burning? What was your
6 A. Your Honours, at that time there was
7 destruction of business outlets. There were people
8 with a destructive way of thinking. I don't know how
9 to put it. There was a war going on. It wasn't good.
10 It wasn't good. It's never good to destroy anything.
11 If somebody invested his labour, his effort, and then
12 to bring it down, it's bad, especially if it is a
13 religious object.
14 Q. Kaonik camp, not the barracks any more but
15 the detention centre that was used by the HVO to detain
16 mainly Muslim males of military age, do you know how
17 that camp was supplied with food, where the
18 transportation came from? How did people get into that
19 camp, if you know?
20 A. I don't know. I really don't. I have no
21 idea. These are military matters, and I repeat, I
22 simply had nothing to do with military affairs or any
23 information about it. I never received any such
25 Q. Did any of the persons, whose names shall not
1 be mentioned, about whom we talked recently in private
2 session, did any of those persons indicate a time spent
3 in Kaonik? As detainees, not as visitors, as
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Without names, please.
7 A. (redacted)
8 Q. Without names, please.
9 A. Yes. It was mentioned on one occasion. I
10 didn't know anything about it.
11 Q. Did you notice a diminution, a reduction in
12 the population of the Muslim community in Busovaca?
13 Did that catch your eye?
14 A. Yes, of course. Yes, of course. After a
15 large number of displaced persons arrived, especially
16 from the areas of Travnik and Zenica, they had lost
17 their homes, had suffered pressure before they arrived
18 in Busovaca. They came there and brought pressure on
19 the local population to move out or, rather, they were
20 looking for some accommodation for themselves and their
22 Q. What ethnicity were these displaced persons
23 that you've just described from Zenica, Travnik? What
24 ethnicity were they?
25 A. Why, they were Croats.
1 Q. Did you do anything? Were you outraged at
2 the fact that an order to accommodate displaced Croats,
3 the HVO, including Dario Kordic, displaced local
4 Muslims? In fact, there were records of significant
5 numbers of expulsions to accommodate these Croats. How
6 did you view this?
7 A. Your Honours, I wasn't really all that
8 familiar with the problem. It was the social work
9 centre which took place of the displaced persons. I
10 know that they tried to prevail upon the Muslim
11 population and offered them their own homes. I know a
12 man who, because of the frequent pressure by a Zenica
13 man, had to leave his house. He went to Zenica, but
14 before that, he dropped by my place and spent the night
15 at my place with his daughter, telling me that he could
16 not stand the pressure of those displaced persons any
17 more and that he was on his way to exchange, to swap
18 houses. That was, for instance, something that I
19 experienced personally.
20 Q. To swap houses with whom?
21 A. There was a displaced person from Zenica who
22 offered his house. He had already come to Busovaca,
23 and he offered him his own house in Zenica in return,
24 in exchange. I think that there were a number of such
25 agreements. Some were even put down on paper about
1 these exchanges. Some thought that this would be a
2 temporary thing. Some thought this was permanent. But
3 as we know, we know that in wartime this was not a
4 thing that could stand. This would have to be
6 Q. Did you have any conversations with
7 Mrs. Neslanovic after she left -- after she stopped
8 coming to work? Have you seen her since 1993?
9 A. After April 1993, I believe I did not see
10 her, and we did not have any conversations. She was an
11 employee and did her job. There were no
12 conversations. Sometimes she would stay behind for
13 overtime because there were incentives for that, but we
14 had no special conversations.
15 Q. Busovaca, you indicated, was a fairly small
16 location. Did word get back to you about her situation
17 where, in May of 1993, she was the only Muslim left in
18 her neighbourhood?
19 A. Excuse me. I did not fully understand you.
20 Q. Because Busovaca is a small enough town for
21 information to pass quickly, or rumour, did you hear
22 about Mrs. Neslanovic being the only Muslim left in her
23 neighbourhood in May 1993?
24 A. In May 1993, no, because I didn't see her.
25 She did not show up for work so I did not know whether
1 she was still in Busovaca or not because in April, she
2 would still come to work.
3 After that, she stopped, and I did not know
4 whether she was still in Busovaca. In fact, I don't
5 even know exactly where she lives.
6 Q. But you knew that Croats were moving into
7 Muslim homes. You did not hear then that she was given
8 five minutes to leave her house in which she had lived
9 for years and years and vacate so that a Croat family
10 could move in?
11 A. No. I hear this from you.
12 Q. Are you aware of the deaths of two Muslim
13 males whose names I shall give you. One is a Mirsad
14 Delija and the other one was Ibro Hodzic, both Busovaca
16 A. Yes, I know about it. I learned about it
17 later. And I regretted that I knew Mr. Hodzic because
18 he was a municipal employee.
19 Mr. Delija, I did not know, but I
20 subsequently learned that he had been killed.
21 Q. What did you learn about the death of
22 Mr. Hodzic?
23 A. I heard that he was attacked in his apartment
24 and that they wanted to evict him, but these were
25 rumours. I am not sure who it was. I know no closer
2 Q. You do not know when?
3 A. No, I wouldn't know that.
4 Q. Did you know his wife?
5 A. Very superficially. I'm not sure that I
6 would recognise her.
7 Q. But he was a municipal employee in the same
8 building in which you worked?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. As a member of management, did you pay a
11 condolence call?
12 A. As I did not know the lady, and I did not
13 know where they lived. And probably, at that time, I
14 wasn't even working. I wasn't coming to work, because
15 I assumed this was after the first conflict. Times
16 were difficult.
17 Q. So your answer is no, you did not pay a
18 condolence call?
19 A. No, I did not, because I wasn't that close to
20 the family at all. I only knew him.
21 Q. What did you know about the death of
22 Mr. Delija whom you said you did not know personally?
23 A. I also heard that some men had broken into
24 his apartment or wherever he lived. That they shot,
25 because he wouldn't open up, but I did not know the man
1 or where his -- where he lived or anything like that.
2 Q. Do you recall what, if any, events may have
3 occurred in Busovaca the night after his death or the
4 same night of his death?
5 A. No, I don't recall. I think that at the
6 time, I wasn't coming to work and my home is about five
7 kilometres from Busovaca, and I don't know at all what
8 was going on.
9 Q. But if I were to suggest to you that there
10 were massive explosions in Muslim shops, are you
11 suggesting that the sound of a number of explosions
12 would not carry to the area of Busovaca near Kaonik
13 where you lived? Are you really telling us that?
14 A. Kaonik is five kilometres away, and it's a
15 hilly terrain, so you definitely would not have heard
16 it in Kaonik. But, as I said, at the time, I came to
17 work very infrequently and I noticed that there were --
18 that all the business premises were vandalised, that
19 they were looted, but it wasn't restricted only to
20 Muslim business premises. The scene of the crime rate
21 had definitely risen.
22 Q. How do you know it wasn't restricted to
23 Muslim business premises?
24 A. Well, I recall when I would come to work
25 occasionally that all store shops were either boarded
1 up or vandalised, that there were no -- there was no
2 goods in them, that everything had been taken away. It
3 looked horrible. How should I describe it? I saw -- I
4 don't know how to put it.
5 Q. Well, can you name the Croat stores or the
6 Croat shops, the businesses that were vandalised the
7 names of the owners, please.
8 A. Well, there were some state-owned premises
9 like the department store that was all vandalised and
10 everything had been taken away. I don't know what
11 shops specifically these were.
12 There were -- there was a company which --
13 there was a state-owned company, I don't know if it was
14 a Muslim-majority owned. It was socially-owned as it
15 was called then, a company, and their outlet was one of
16 those, but I remember that there was no merchandise.
17 It was all gaping, it was ghostly.
18 Q. I would like to ask you something about the
19 educational system. You commented that for the school
20 year 1992-93, we eliminated the old Yugoslavia
21 Serb-dominated socialist school programme and you
22 taught classes based on a curriculum based from
23 Mostar. Why Mostar?
24 A. The HVO government was established in Mostar,
25 and it tried to -- it made attempts to link up to the
1 municipal governments. There were no other curricula
2 offered. This one was offered, but a possibility was
3 left open that certain agreements be worked out with
4 the local principals so that the Muslim and Croat
5 authors would be included, but it was left for people
6 to make agreements about it.
7 Q. You have children. What Muslim historians,
8 authors, points of culture, were included? Please
10 A. I don't know exactly, but for instance, Mak
11 Dizdar. I personally was not involved in the details
12 of these curricula. The education specialists, the
13 principals, were involved in this, but the door was
14 open to agreements. I don't recall very much, and I
15 did not -- I did not scrutinise it that much. That was
16 left to the educators, to the teachers in schools to
17 deal with.
18 Q. Were there no textbooks available from
19 Sarajevo or was there, if you know, was there a
20 difference in the curriculum that was being taught in
21 the schools there? I realise that both places were
22 under siege, but was there a difference in the
23 curriculum? As a mother, what would you expect?
24 A. There is a number of questions here. I
25 will -- first the textbooks from Sarajevo. Those had
1 Yugoslav in orientation, they were not Bosnian in their
2 character. And it was under siege, the biggest
3 printing plant was all blown up, and I believe that all
4 the textbooks have been scattered, taken away, and you
5 couldn't count on textbooks from Sarajevo and there was
6 no curriculum coming out of Sarajevo.
7 Q. You had indicated difficulties in having pay
8 met and generally financial difficulties.
9 Now, it was certainly easier for the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna because of the generous and
11 very regular support coming from Croatia. Was that
12 support not given to other parts of Bosnia?
13 A. I don't know where it went regarding the
14 education. Yes, some textbooks, some teaching aids
15 were received for free. I don't know about other
17 Q. You don't know about other areas where
18 Croatian assistance went to, is that what you're
19 telling us?
20 A. I don't know about that.
21 Q. Well, just one or two more questions. If
22 you'll give me a minute, please.
23 You indicated that you had regular contact
24 with Dario Kordic during the time you worked in
25 Busovaca. What was your observation as to how often he
1 left Busovaca during the period 1991 through -- and
3 A. After the episodes with the barracks and the
4 air raids, there was no -- this Secretariat for Defence
5 no longer existed, and we had to move out of the second
6 floor because it was too dangerous to stay there. So
7 nobody was there any longer. And I saw Mr. Kordic very
8 rarely, first, because I was not coming to work
9 regularly; and second, he went around to gather
10 information and attend press conferences, and I saw him
11 only infrequently.
12 Q. When was the last time you saw Mr. Kordic
13 before seeing him as an accused in this Tribunal?
14 A. I really don't remember. I cannot recall,
16 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very briefly,
18 Your Honour.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
20 Q. Let's start from the end. We talked about
21 this education. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether
22 in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after its
23 independence was declared, a new school curriculum for
24 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was ever adopted?
25 A. Your Honours, such curriculum was never
1 adopted or never implemented in Bosnia and
3 Q. So the schools used textbooks of the former
4 school system from the Socialist Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina when it was still part of
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. And the last question, if I remember
9 correctly: At the municipal level there was a flexible
10 curriculum which was not to be in favour or disfavour
11 to any of the communities?
12 A. Yes, and it was then to be worked out in
14 Q. Very well. Could I have Z175? Do you have
15 it perhaps in front of you?
16 A. Yes, I do, in fact.
17 Q. This document was mentioned several times.
18 Can you please read item 1 on it? What does item 1
20 A. "In the temporary provisional" -- [No
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please put
23 it on the ELMO?
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 You don't have to read it through, but would you agree
1 with me that these decisions demonstrated -- they are
2 issued temporarily, until the municipal -- proper
3 municipal bodies were established after the agreement
4 was reached?
5 A. Yes. It was very temporary.
6 Q. Another question was why did such a document
7 did not come to Sarajevo, and my question to you would
8 be: Did the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 function in the area where you lived?
10 A. What should I tell you? It is absurd to
12 Q. In other words, it was not?
13 A. No. Nothing functioned.
14 Q. Also, a seal was mentioned, and it states
15 "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mostar 1." Do
16 you know whether Mr. Kordic ever worked in Mostar in
17 1992 and 1993?
18 A. Your Honours, I don't believe that he worked
19 there. I think this was all very temporary.
20 Q. Very well. One quick question about
21 telephones. The question was whether you had a
22 telephone line in your office in 1992 and 1993. My
23 question to you would be --
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] My colleagues
25 are pointing to -- that what the witness had read was
1 not recorded in the transcript, and I didn't want to
2 put it on the ELMO for fear of revealing something that
3 was under protection. So maybe myself or the witness
4 could read it over again so that it be made part of the
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Could you please read it out slowly.
9 A. "In the provisional administrative executive
10 government of the -- Busovaca, the decisions of the
11 heads of departments shall be issued until the
12 completion of the procedure of the municipal Croatian
13 Defence Council."
14 Q. I think that we got it now. Thank you. I
15 think we will have to ask the Translation Department
16 for a correction. But let's move on to the phones.
17 Could you talk to anybody from your office
18 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Europe, and the
19 rest of the world?
20 A. (redacted)
22 (redacted). So it was very dangerous to stay
23 there. And I believe I only stayed there for several
24 hours during that year, because we all moved down
25 because of the shelling.
1 Q. But if you needed to phone, to make a
2 telephone call, would you have had free telephone
3 access in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
4 A. No. These phone lines were in -- very
6 Q. I had some questions about this attendance
7 record, but I think you answered all the questions
9 You gave a personal example. You said that
10 person, a Muslim, was forced to exchange houses with a
11 Croat from Zenica. These were individual cases. But
12 at the municipal level, did HVO -- and this would then
13 involve Dario Kordic, I think that is the gist of the
14 question -- did they implement any policy of forced
15 resettlement of Muslims from Busovaca to any other
17 A. As far as I know, no. The main pressure was from those displaced
18 persons coming mostly from the Travnik, Zenica and other regions.
19 Q. Very well. You talked about Mr. Hodzic's
20 death, and you said what you knew about it. My
21 question is: After Mr. Hodzic's death, did you see on
22 television Mr. Dario Kordic expressing condolences and
23 condemning this event? Did you have an opportunity to
24 see that on television?
25 A. I'm not sure that I saw a programme of that
1 content. As I said, the signal was very poor where I
3 Q. In the beginning, there was -- there were
4 quite a few questions about the employment of Muslims
5 after the implementation of the Dayton Accords. I
6 think that there was some misunderstanding there.
7 The current municipal council is composed of
8 members from both ethnic groups. Who reached the
9 agreement that these people worked there?
10 A. Your Honours, the agreement was reached by
11 the governing parties, that is, the parties who had won
12 at the elections. The representatives of both parties
13 agreed that this municipal council be formed and
14 specified its composition and so on.
15 Q. Very well. This is not to -- just sheer
16 employment policy, this was a result of the agreement
17 of two parties?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
20 I have no further questions.
21 JUDGE MAY: Witness DE, thank you for coming
22 to the Tribunal to give your evidence. It's
23 concluded. You are free to go.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you too.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, you've got two
2 more witnesses.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
4 Honour. We have two witnesses, and as far as the
5 Defence is concerned, they may both be examined
6 tomorrow, but if necessary, we can move one to the next
8 JUDGE MAY: I hope very much we can deal with
9 them both tomorrow. They're fairly short witnesses?
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I believe
12 JUDGE MAY: We'll make sure that we finish
13 them tomorrow.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: Half past nine tomorrow.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
17 at 3.59 p.m., to be reconvened on
18 Thursday, the 25th day of May, 2000,
19 at 9.30 a.m.