1 Monday, 11
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO ZULJEVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Take a seat.
12 THE COURT REPORTER: I'm hearing French, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we're getting French on Channel 4. Can we get
14 that put right, please.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Is that all right now? It is.
16 JUDGE MAY: We're all right. We're in business.
17 Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
19 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Zuljevic.
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. On behalf of Mr. Mario Cerkez's Defence, I shall be asking
23 questions of you, and I shall ask you to answer them to the best of your
24 recollection. I should also like to ask you, and I wish to draw your
25 attention to one thing, to wait with your answer to my question until it
1 has been interpreted into the official languages of the court. Also, try
2 to speak slow enough so that the interpreters can follow you.
3 For the record, will you please tell us your name and the year of
4 your birth.
5 A. I am Zdravko Zuljevic. I was born on the 8th of January, 1963, in
6 Vitez, or rather Krcevine, near Vitez. I'm a Croat by ethnicity and I am
7 a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia, which means
8 that I have dual nationality.
9 I completed the secondary nursing school in Travnik; after that,
10 the faculty of veterinary medicine in Sarajevo. As of 1988, I have been
11 working as a veterinary doctor in Travnik. As of January 1993, I have
12 been working for the veterinary station in Vitez.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell us, you served the former JNA in Novi Sad in
14 1981, didn't you?
15 A. Yes, that was one of the places where I served the former JNA.
16 Q. Did you acquire any rank?
17 A. No, I did not acquire any rank.
18 Q. You are married and a father of two; two and eight, aren't you?
19 A. Yes, I have two daughters; Ruzica who is older, she's eight now,
20 and Monica who is five years old now.
21 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, tell us, before and during the war in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you were a member of the HDZ, weren't you?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. And you left it in 1995.
25 A. Thereabouts, yes. In late 1995 I ceased being an active member
1 and stopped actively engaging in politics.
2 Q. But while you were an active member of the HDZ, did you have a
3 particular duty in the party?
4 A. For awhile I was on the HDZ presidency, that is, the municipal
5 Vitez HDZ, and a member of something, how should I call it, a municipal
6 board of some 20 members from basic village branches and the like.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. You tell us that you left the HDZ in 1995
8 and now you are a member of a political party called New Croat Initiative,
9 Nova Hrvatska Inicijativa. At the same time, you're a member of the
10 parliament of the Central Bosnian district in Travnik.
11 A. Yes, that is correct too.
12 Q. You also have two brothers and two sisters, don't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You just told us, Mr. Zuljevic, that when you graduated in 1988
15 you first worked as a veterinarian in Travnik.
16 A. Yes; that is, the veterinary station in Travnik was a complex
17 clinic which also had several smaller offices in Novi Travnik, Vitez,
18 Turbe, Han Bila, among other places. At first I worked in Turbe for a
19 short time; then I was transferred to Novi Travnik, and there I worked
20 until the end of 1992.
21 Q. After that, you moved to Vitez and began to work for the
22 veterinary clinic there, didn't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Will you tell us, please, where is the building of the veterinary
25 station in Vitez; in what part of town?
1 A. It is in a suburb called Rijeka, at the junction of Stjepan Radica
2 and Tima Ujevica Street.
3 Q. Very well. That is the part of Vitez called Rijeka, is it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. You lived in the same building, didn't you?
6 A. Yes. As of 1991, I was allotted a flat at the veterinary clinic,
7 but I did not move into it until late 1992.
8 Q. It is on the first floor and the clinic is on the ground floor, is
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Although you tell us that in 1992 you did not live in that
12 building, but you nevertheless lived in Vitez, didn't you?
13 A. I lived in the old part of Vitez, in another suburb with a
14 majority Croat population.
15 Q. Very well. In 1992, Vitez was shelled on several occasions by the
16 JNA air force. Do you remember that?
17 A. I remember it very well.
18 Q. My question is, Mr. Zuljevic, if you remember that, when fearing
19 the air bombing, the population of Vitez went to makeshift shelters.
20 A. That was what we did. There were very many such shelters, that
21 is, all the cellars, all the basements of buildings were that. In suburbs
22 and villages, certain places were designated in case of the bombing of the
23 suburbs or, rather, urban areas.
24 Q. In the town, it was the cellars and basements of residential
25 buildings that were used as such.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would you know if the cellar of the veterinary clinic was also
3 used as such a shelter for surrounding buildings?
4 A. Yes, the basement of the veterinary station was designated by the
5 authorities as one such shelter. In 1992, all the residents in that area,
6 in Rijeka, came there and would spend sometimes the whole day there, right
7 next to the veterinary clinic, in its yard sometimes. And because the
8 alarms were very frequent, they would go down to the basement and then
9 come out. It was a rather densely populated area and the houses were very
10 near one another.
11 Q. So that basement was a safe place, wasn't it?
12 A. It was quite safe because it is well dug in, or rather, it is a
13 proper cellar. The whole of it is under the ground so that it offered a
14 very high degree of safety bar direct hit.
15 Q. And since the time when you got the job there and joined the
16 veterinary clinic Vitez, were you also a member of the village guards in
17 Rijeka or not?
18 A. All I did was veterinary medicine with two colleagues, or rather,
19 one colleague, Fuad Zeco who is a Muslim, and with Cazim Patkovic who is
20 also a Muslim. We worked at the veterinary clinic, or rather we jointly
21 decided to start the proceedings in 1992 to single out the veterinary
22 clinic from the veterinary station in Travnik, and in Zenica, in the
23 higher court, we registered the Vitez clinic as a public company.
24 Q. But you also had an opportunity, Mr. Zuljevic, that in surrounding
25 buildings there were also village guards organised there?
1 A. Yes. Such practice had existed already a year before, not only in
2 Rijeka but also around the town. There were some organised mixed patrols
3 involving special in the town both men of the Croat ethnicity and men of
4 the Muslim ethnicity. This was particularly evident in villages where it
5 was an obligatory practice, and I frequently came into contact with such
6 armed guards.
7 Q. Could you tell us who were the members of the village guards that
8 you used to meet when you did your rounds in the villages?
9 A. Well, the members were mostly armed civilians. Some of them had
10 parts of uniforms, some of them did not have any uniform at all but, for
11 the most part, they wore civilian clothes.
12 Q. Now, let us try to recall, Mr. Zuljevic, the witnesses of the 16th
13 of April 1993 when, in point of fact, the conflict escalated in Vitez and
14 the nearby area. What was your experience that day?
15 A. Well, like any normal man, that is the hardest day in my life, and
16 I have tried to suppress the memories of that, but still I again have need
17 to remember it all. So on the 15th of April --
18 JUDGE MAY: I don't want you to stop telling us what happened, but
19 we have a large number of witnesses this week and -- which we have to get
20 through so we will just try and deal, if we may, with those matters which
21 are strictly relevant.
22 Mr. Mikulicic, what is it you want the witness to deal with?
23 MR. MIKULICIC: I would like that witness in his own word to
24 explain his experience on the morning of 16th of April.
25 JUDGE MAY: How is that going to help us, if you will forgive me
1 asking? What is it you want to tell us about?
2 MR. MIKULICIC: That is the day that the first internees were
3 brought to the veterinary clinic.
4 JUDGE MAY: It is that that you want to ask him about. Yes,
5 perhaps ask him that.
6 Were you in the station when the detainees came?
7 A. That morning, no, I was not at the station when the first
8 internees arrived. But I was in a building which is very near the
9 veterinary station because people who had been there already called me to
10 do something in the command building of a local unit of the then Vitez
12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Right. Perhaps it will be better if I ask you questions and thus
14 take you through your evidence. Is it true that early in the morning when
15 you heard the gunfire, you noticed a rather large group of people arrive
16 to that area where you were, to the area of Rijeka?
17 A. Well, after the first shots, or after the neighbours banged on my
18 door and woke me up, they told me that very intensive gunfire had started
19 and invited me to come out with my wife and my children, or rather one
20 child because at that time I only had one child which was 10 months old,
21 and that I should go to the command building and to be issued orders.
22 Q. You tell us that in the building of Sumarija, there was the
23 commander of a local unit of the HVO?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Did you observe that larger group of people began to gather there
1 which did not come from that part of the town originally?
2 A. Well, at that time the chaos had already begun on the road passing
3 the -- by the Sumarija and people were arriving in groups. They were
4 fleeing into town, others were fleeing from the town. There was a chaos,
5 and I recognised a man in the group who used to work at the local
6 slaughter house and his name was Stipo Jukic. He was an elderly man.
7 Q. Very well. Tell us, what village did he come from?
8 A. He lived on the boundary between the village of Gornja Dubravica
9 and Poculica. That is the first house, one could say, in the village of
10 Poculica right next to the so-called elevation called Vrhivcica [phoen].
11 Q. Why did that man tell you -- why did he come and other people?
12 Why did they come from Poculica to the building of Sumarija?
13 A. Well, they were on their way to the town, but he came there to
14 seek help because he was an elderly man and he was frightened and
15 weeping. He said to the doctor, They set my house on fire. I barely
16 managed to flee into the woods, or rather, towards the stream. And then
17 they asked assistance to be put up somewhere, and then they were directed
18 into town, I suppose. Some civilian organisation took care of them, I
19 suppose, and that was that.
20 Q. And that man from Poculica, did he tell you who had attacked their
21 village and set his house on fire?
22 A. Well, he said that it was his neighbours who had done that of
23 Muslim ethnicity. That is Bosniak now.
24 Q. You said your neighbour came to wake you up. What is his name?
25 A. His name is Rajko Matkovic.
1 Q. And he warned you that you should take your family to a safer
2 place and offered you his own flat; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. His flat was also not far from Sumarija, and as my wife and
4 his wife spent all day in the shelter, the two of them were much closer
5 than the two of us were. And when I asked, well, where should I take my
6 wife and child, he said, well, I could go to my wife, Mada, and told me to
7 come to the Sumarija building.
8 Q. And you went to the Sumarija building then. When you got there,
9 what did they tell you? Who did you find when you got there, and what did
10 they tell you?
11 A. When I arrived, there was Rajko and some other young men whom I
12 knew by sight from the neighbourhood. There was -- that is to say, a
13 little later, Mr. Bertovic turned up whom I didn't know either by name or
14 by sight. I got to know that he would be the commander of that local unit
15 later on.
16 Q. So you came to understand that you arrived into a building where
17 there was a command present and later on you learned that the commanding
18 officer there was this man named Bertovic; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And what were you told was your task, Mr. Zuljevic?
21 A. They told me that I was to go into the room where the medicines
22 were, that was a smaller room with a cupboard with all the sanitary
23 material and medicines, and that together with Dr. Pocrnja, from that day
24 on, I would be in charge of this sort of outpatient's department in the
1 Q. Who is Dr. Pocrnja, please tell us, Mr. Zuljevic?
2 A. Dr. Pocrnja was from Vitez. He was a gynecologist, in fact, but
3 according to his wartime reserve assignment, in case of war, he was
4 assigned to a little clinic of this kind.
5 Q. But what actually happened to him?
6 A. Dr. Pocrnja, in fact one or two days previously, had left for
7 Zenica and the morning found him in Zenica so he was not able to take up
8 his assignment.
9 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, when you came to the Sumarija building and when you
10 were told of your assignments by the commanding officer, that actually
11 meant that you were being mobilised for the purposes of the military unit;
12 is that not correct?
13 A. Yes, that's right. And from that day on, I was issued a
14 certificate stating that I had, in fact, being mobilised.
15 Q. On that particular morning when you were informed with your
16 assignments and tasks orally, did you receive a document of any kind
17 stipulating that?
18 A. No, I received no document whatsoever at that time, it was just an
19 oral information given to me that I was assigned the work that I had been
20 assigned to do.
21 Q. So as Dr. Pocrnja was cut off in Zenica, you were the head of this
22 makeshift clinic and were able to give out first aid to the wounded and
23 injured population; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you do this for the purposes of the soldiers or for civilians
1 as well?
2 A. Well, both for soldiers and civilians alike regardless of who was
3 injured or wounded or needed attention, regardless of what ethnicity or
4 whatever. I was there to tend to all the people in the building, around
5 the building, and on the terrain in general, in the field in general.
6 Q. On that particular day or around that time, were you called to
7 give medical help, called to the building of the veterinary station?
8 A. Yes, I was called. One of the people who were internees was an
9 elderly man and he said he suffered from kidney problems, that he had
10 problems urinating and was in great pain when he had to urinate and that
11 he felt generally sick. I talked to his son, whom I knew, and his name
12 was Sejo Zecovic. So his father, the sick man, was Camil Zecovic. I went
13 off, that is to say, I returned to the clinic, found the medicines he
14 needed, diuretics for the most part, and analgesics, and I said that he
15 ought to go home, which was in the vicinity, go back to his own house
16 because it was fairly cold. And it would be a good idea if he could get
17 warm, have some hot tea to drink, and spend time in his own home.
18 Q. Very well, we'll come back to that later on. But let me go on to
19 ask you the following: When you arrived at the veterinary station where
20 you worked, what did you notice, that is to say, at the entrance to the
21 building, at the entrance door?
22 A. I noticed that the door had been forcibly opened and that there
23 were a number of men in the station of all ages, conscripts, mostly. And
24 I can say with full responsibility that they moved around freely, that is
25 to say, around the building, in the courtyard and in the building as
1 well. There were people that were coming and going from the basement as
3 Q. Very well, thank you. According to your assessment, how many men
4 would you say there were at that particular time in the veterinary station
6 A. Well, it's difficult to give you an exact number, but I would say
7 there might have been 50 to 60 people there.
8 Q. Very well, thank you. Did you have occasion to see anybody
9 bringing these people into the veterinary station? Were they brought
10 there by anybody?
11 A. Well, I couldn't see them actually being brought in, but I did see
12 that they were there, and that later in the course of the day, other
13 people were brought there too who had either passed by the street or
14 whatever. And I saw people near to Darko Kraljevic's house who were
15 members of what was that unit called, the Special Purposes Unit, the
17 Q. Thank you. Do you know who ordered those people to be brought to
18 the veterinary station?
19 A. I do not know that, no.
20 Q. You mentioned that these people moved around freely both in the
21 building and around the building itself. Can you tell us whether you
22 noticed that they were guarded in any way?
23 A. There was a sort of guard, we could call it that. They were also
24 guys from the neighbourhood, but they spoke openly to them. There were no
25 conflicts, there was no maltreatment, and in the first couple of days,
1 they were still able to use the telephone which was still connected in the
2 veterinary station. Their wives could bring them in drink, and they came
3 to see how they were, that kind of thing.
4 Q. You said that you noticed that these people were being guarded by
5 some guys from the neighbourhood. Were they the ones you'd referred to
6 earlier on as members of the village guard, or were they uniformed
8 A. No, I think they were guys from the village guards.
9 Q. During your visit to the veterinary station, did you happen to see
10 anybody maltreating those individuals, physically abusing them?
11 A. No, I did not notice anything like that. I knew five or six
12 people who were there. I talked to them and they didn't complain of
13 anything like that. They were just afraid, and they said, "Doctor, can
14 you help us? What's going on?" As far as I was able to, I said that I
15 would help them, that I was there to help them and I would stop by later
16 on. I brought my colleague, Mr. Zeco, some aspirin that he needed.
17 Dr. Zubar helped me come by those aspirins in the central chemistry.
18 Q. On the 16th, 17th, and 18th, was there shelling and shooting in
20 A. There was -- that is to say, the shooting got stronger, and the
21 shelling did in particular. Lots of people came seeking help. It was
22 generally a chaotic situation, lots of confusion. People were in shock,
23 under stress. They asked for tranquilisers. They couldn't take these
24 sudden changes and frustrations. I think the situation, generally
25 speaking, was very chaotic.
1 Q. Yes, I understand. Thank you. When you talked to these people in
2 the veterinary station, did you notice any of them having visible physical
3 injuries of any kind?
4 A. No, I did not notice that.
5 Q. Were you ever forced to give medical aid, as in bandage wounds,
6 for injuries of this kind?
7 A. I never gave medical assistance for this kind of injury to people
8 at the veterinary station.
9 Q. Well, if I understand you properly, the only more serious
10 intervention was to that kidney patient, Mr. Camil Zecevic; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. According to your recollections, how long were those people in and
14 around the veterinary station? How long did they stay there?
15 A. Well, I would say that they were there between four and six days.
16 I can't say exactly because I had other duties to perform; I had to go out
17 into the field. Actually, later on there was no need for me to go there.
18 Q. Do you know, or did you happen to hear where they were transferred
19 to after the veterinary station? Where were they taken?
20 A. I remember on one occasion returning from pulling out a soldier
21 from the front line between Kruscica and Rijeka who was shot through the
22 pelvis and we had to see to him, I went to in front of the Sumarija
23 building and I was told that the internees had been transferred to the
24 primary school in Donja Dubravica.
25 Q. After that, you had no further contact with those people; is that
2 A. Yes. Over the next few days that they stayed there I had no
3 further contact with them. But when they returned home, we had occasion
4 to talk again, and I was in contact with them again.
5 Q. So after they returned, after they left the school, did they
6 complain of their treatment there? What do you think?
7 A. Well, I think that they were a little afraid and rather reserved,
8 so we didn't actually discuss that topic much. I spent most of my time
9 with one particular family, that is to say, the family of Camil Zecevic,
10 his two sons, his young bride, and their children. We were neighbours, we
11 would sit around drinking coffee, and I did what I could to calm them, to
12 give them back their self-confidence and to say that everything would be
14 Q. Yes, I understand. So, Mr. Zuljevic, when the conflict broke out,
15 during that first stage you actually gave medical assistance to the
16 population at large; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. However, at the end of that month, at the end of April, you
19 received a call. Could you tell us briefly what all that was about?
20 A. Mr. Marijan Skopljak called me; that is to say, he sent people
21 from the police who were put up in the police building in Vitez, two
22 policemen, that is, who told me that Marijan was looking for me, wanted to
23 see me, and that I should go to the police building. I was in my own
24 apartment at the time; I was having a shower, I think. I left
25 immediately; I was still wet but I left immediately and waited in the
1 police building, and he did not turn up.
2 Then I asked them to explain why I had been brought there and when
3 Marijan Skopljak would turn up. He was attending a meeting in the post
4 office building, and I left demonstratively and went to the PTT building
5 myself. He told me to sit down, said that I would be given some
6 assignments which I was to perform from there on.
7 Q. Let me just interrupt you. At that time did you know what
8 function Marijan Skopljak had?
9 A. I think he was head of the defence department attached to the HVO
10 or attached to the municipality. I don't know in any greater detail what
11 his actual job was.
12 Q. So you complained about this kind of conduct, the fact that he had
13 sent two policemen. But then he gave you oral instructions as to your
14 further duties and assignments; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Marijan Skopljak told me that I should go and find Mr. Marko
16 Strbac, who was the director up until that time of the state agricultural
17 company, the livestock farm. He said that together with him and someone
18 from the civil defence department I should organise rounding up the
19 livestock that was freely roaming the fields, and that we should take the
20 livestock, the cattle, to the SPS building which was located on the other
21 side of town.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. That agricultural concern, the farm that
23 was in Vitez and which had a certain number of cattle, of livestock, after
24 the conflict broke out, who supervised the farm? Which armed force
25 supervised the farm?
1 A. Well, on that very first day, within the farm compound and the
2 main building, which was next to a large Muslim village named Grbavica,
3 members of the BH army entered and they rounded up some of the cattle for
4 slaughter; whereas, the cows that were being milked were sent to Viteska
6 Q. Yes. Thank you. So you executed your duty and organised the
7 rounding up of this cattle and cows, and you rounded them up into the SPS
8 factory; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. After having performed that assignment, what other assignments did
11 you receive?
12 A. They told me that over the next few days I should stay put at the
13 SPS and that we should examine the cattle to see which of the cows were
14 pregnant and needed special care and attention, and that we were to find
15 people to feed the cattle.
16 Q. Thank you. And from Marijan Skopljak, whom you said was the head
17 of the defence department, you were given your wartime assignment, is that
18 right, within the frameworks of your professional training?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did he tell you for the purposes of which military unit you were
21 doing that work?
22 A. No, he didn't specify the unit or the conditions that I was to
23 work under. He just told me what my work was to be. So when we completed
24 this assignment, I was told - that is to say, some 20 days went by,
25 perhaps a month went by after I had performed this assignment with the
1 cattle - that I should contact Vlado Alilovic, I think that was his name,
2 and that we should see to the rest of the livestock and to buying up the
3 livestock; that is to say, that we should buy up the livestock that could
4 serve as food for the population.
5 Q. So your job was, in fact, to control the food distributed to the
6 military units; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. After these makeshift kitchens were set up, field kitchens
8 for the units which existed in every village for the village unit, I would
9 tour the slaughterhouses, makeshift slaughterhouses, and then I would tour
10 the kitchens as well to see that the minimum hygiene standards were
11 adhered to. We tried to find disinfectants and that sort of thing.
12 Q. Very well. Were you also issued with a uniform and weapons, since
13 you were now part of the military?
14 A. No. Before the escalation of the Croat-Muslim conflict and
15 throughout the whole war, I never wore a uniform nor was I armed.
16 Q. But is it true that after the end of the war and the signing of
17 the ceasefire, you were given the status of a member of the HVO?
18 A. Yes, I was given this status as a member of the Vitez Brigade.
19 Perhaps I should say that after Mr. Juric became commander, an attempt was
20 made to put in order all these positions in the brigade, and I was issued
21 with a decision saying that I was the head of the veterinary service at
22 the brigade.
23 Q. What time was this; do you remember?
24 A. Well, it was considerably later. It was when Juric -- when Mario
25 was replaced and Juric took over the command of the brigade.
1 Q. On the basis of your membership in the HVO, you gained the right
2 to a certificate; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you ever manage to exercise this right or, rather, to make use
5 of these certificates?
6 A. No. Neither I nor about 70 per cent of the population in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, regardless of their ethnicity, will be able to make
8 use of these certificates. I think that this is actually a trick to trick
9 ordinary citizens who actually cannot make use of these certificates.
10 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, let us now pass on to another topic which is
11 somewhat different from this. You said that you lived in the building of
12 the veterinary station and that this was the part of Vitez called Rijeka.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In the vicinity of the building of the veterinary station, was
15 there also a family house belonging to Darko Kraljevic and his family?
16 A. Yes, his family house was there and the family house of his
18 Q. How far, approximately, was Darko Kraljevic's house from the
19 building of the veterinary station?
20 A. Well, not more than 100, 120, 130; 150 metres at the most.
21 Q. Did you associate with Darko Kraljevic or have any personal
22 contacts with him?
23 A. Darko Kraljevic was not among the people I kept company with. We
24 did not know one another personally or have any personal contacts,
25 although I knew him because -- well, I knew him by sight but we never said
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
2 Q. Did you know what his role was in the military sense?
3 A. Well, I know that Darko Kraljevic led a unit as far back as 1992,
4 and that from time to time he went to the Vlasic plateau to perform some
5 military operations, which I thought were very adventurous, in the area of
6 Turbe, attacking in the direction of Turbe.
7 Q. Did you notice the members of the unit Vitezovi gathering around
8 his house near the veterinary station?
9 A. Well, in a way, they gathered. This was the place where they
10 gathered, and a group of I don't know how many people could always be seen
11 in front of his house. They were armed and they made a lot of noise. I
12 think they drank. They fired shots and so on.
13 Q. Did you ever see, among the men gathering around Darko Kraljevic's
14 house, did you ever see Mario Cerkez among them?
15 A. No, I did not notice Cerkez coming to Darko Kraljevic's house.
16 Q. Did you ever see the two of them together keeping company
18 A. I was never with Mario Cerkez or any of the commanders. So until
19 the beginning of the conflict, I worked at the veterinary station, and I
20 spent most of the time in the station or around it. I rarely went to town
21 except when I went to the SPS or if I had to go and provide medical
22 assistance in a village.
23 Q. Thank you. As for Darko Kraljevic, you mentioned that he was an
24 adventurer. How would you describe him? Was he part of a military
25 hierarchy? Did anyone issue him orders? What do you know about this?
1 A. I think he did not take orders from anyone. He had his own men
2 independently. As far as I could see, the men who were in his unit
3 changed very often. Some men went, others came. It was not a
4 well-organised military unit. There were no standards that were
5 maintained. They fired shots on their way back from the battlefield.
6 They were drunk. They were men who frightened their neighbours, whether
7 they were Croats, Muslims or Serbs. They frightened them all.
8 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, did you notice there were Muslim young men in his
10 A. Well, one could say I saw a few men of Muslim ethnicity who came
11 to Darko's house and who kept company with him throughout the war and
12 after the war, and who were in Vitez the whole time. One of these young
13 men is still in Vitez. I don't know his name, but he goes by the name of
14 Bagrem, that's his nickname. And another young man whose name was Nedim
15 and his nickname was "Nedo." And there may be others but I didn't know
16 them personally.
17 Q. Thank you. You said at the beginning of your testimony,
18 Mr. Zuljevic, that in the Rijeka area in Vitez, the population was mixed,
19 there were Muslim houses, Croatian houses, in blocks of flats that tenants
20 were mixed. After the war, after the internees came back from the
21 Dubravica primary school, did anyone maltreat them in their homes, try to
22 drive them out? Did you see that?
23 A. I did not see that, but it's possible such things happened that
24 certain individuals, people who had been expelled from their own homes and
25 were wandering about without a place to stay, that those people exerted
1 pressure. For example, my next door neighbour, Camil Zecovic, remained
2 there throughout this time, and it's true that someone came and moved into
3 part of his house, and Camil later went to stay with another neighbour, a
4 Muslim, and then after that he went back to his own house. There were
5 other people, for example, the Ugarak family, several Tuca family members
6 who were there.
7 Q. Very well. While there were seven or eight families who stayed
8 and lived in that area, did you notice humanitarian aid being given to
9 those people?
10 A. Humanitarian aid, as much as we received, was distributed
11 equally. Later we went into town to get humanitarian aid from the Red
12 Cross and other international organisations, and these people were given
13 this aid.
14 Q. Did you ever hear of any discrimination against citizens of Muslim
15 ethnicity as far as the distribution of aid was concerned or the provision
16 of medical assistance and other sorts of welfare for the population?
17 A. I can't say as regards the distribution of humanitarian aid, which
18 was very scarce, I can't say that it was fair. I think it was not fair
19 even among the Croats. And there was discrimination because there was no
20 aid or rather there was no discrimination in the sense that no one would
21 be given any aid at all.
22 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, throughout this time while you were in the military
23 part of the HVO, did you ever see, hear, or experience an order which
24 would be designed to discriminate against Muslims?
25 A. No. I never heard such an order, nor was I ever in a position to
1 hear such an order being issued.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
3 responses. Your Honours, I have no further questions.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Just a few questions, Your
5 Honours, if you will allow me.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
7 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, allow me to introduce myself again. My name is
8 Mirko Naumovski, I am a lawyer from Zagreb, and together with Mr. Stephen
9 Sayers, I am Defence counsel for Dario Kordic. I will ask you just a few
11 At the end of April, after you started performing veterinary
12 duties in the brigade, you often toured the area to supervise
13 slaughterhouses, kitchens and so on. That was part of your job.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you please tell us, as a veterinarian, did you have to take
16 care of the livestock belonging to the refugees who came from Travnik in
17 June 1993 and some of them brought their cattle with them?
18 A. Well, that was part of our task, yes, among other things. All the
19 stray livestock or wounded livestock was taken to the SPS compound, and
20 wounded cattle wounded by bullets or shells were slaughtered.
21 Q. And making the rounds, did you notice a large number of refugees
22 arriving in Vitez in June?
23 A. Well, up until the end of June, there was heavy fighting in the
24 surrounding villages and people came all the time. Then they would go
25 back if the lines shifted. So they would go back to their homes, and they
1 would come and go. There were a lot of people who brought their cattle
2 from Nova Bila, and that was in May or June, the end of May, perhaps.
3 Q. I assume that these refugees exerted pressure on the local
4 population. You mentioned the example of your neighbour, Camil Zecovic,
5 that someone had moved into his house. I assume it was one of the
7 A. Yes, there was pressure, if I may say, it seems to me that the
8 whole point of the fighting in Vitez and the Lasva river valley was to
9 have a large number of refugees in this small area. They came from
10 Sandzak, from Republica Srpska, from Jajce, from Dobratici, from the
11 Vlasic plateau and so on.
12 Q. Thank you. At the time that we are talking about in June, I
13 assume that you know -- or rather, do you know that on the 10th of June
14 1993, a shell fell on a playground where some children were playing and
15 eight children were killed?
16 A. Yes, I know about that, and I know some of the parents of these
17 children who were killed.
18 Q. And this event of the 10th of June in the evening, did it cause
19 further indignation among the local people and the refugees?
20 A. Well, people were killed every day, not just one or two, but more
21 than that, regularly. But, of course, the death of children, of innocent
22 children, caused more indignation than usual. People were very upset,
23 especially women, mothers, and they came to the command and to the
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zuljevic, would you tell us, at this time, did you
1 know when you were making the rounds, did you see parts of the Tuzla
2 convoy, the Convoy of Joy as it is called in our case, which arrived on
3 the 11th of June in the Lasva River Valley?
4 A. I can say something about this. I was on my way back from the
5 village of Male Mosunj. I had my bike. My family was accommodated there
6 later on. I was going back to Vitez, and I saw the remains of the
7 convoy. I saw trucks that had turned over, that had fallen into ditches.
8 I saw some children taking gasoline out of a tank truck in pails and
9 taking it to their homes. I saw people carrying clothing and, because the
10 main road was blocked, I came to the town.
11 I was very upset, and I went to see Mr. Ivica Santic and I said to
12 him, "Ivica, can you not put an end to this shame? Look at what the
13 people in the villages are doing." And he said, "I've done everything I
14 could. I did my best. I sent the police but there's general chaos and no
15 one can control the events surrounding the convoy."
16 Q. Well, perhaps we can clarify two details. You were upset because
17 of the looting of the convoy?
18 A. Yes. As a human being, I was very indignant about what was being
20 Q. And Mr. Ivica Santic to whom you were applied, was he the mayor of
21 Vitez then?
22 A. Yes, he was then the official mayor of Vitez.
23 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, from what you saw in the field and from this
24 conversation, can it be concluded that what you saw was chaotic situation,
25 was anarchy beyond control, or do you think it was the result of an
1 organised action to loot the convoy?
2 A. I think it was a chaotic situation. It was anarchic, even more
3 than that. If I could find a stronger word I would use it.
4 Q. Did you ever hear Mr. Dario Kordic having anything to do with the
5 stopping of the convoy?
6 A. No, I didn't hear anything about that.
7 Q. And one more question, Mr. Zuljevic: Making your rounds as a
8 veterinarian, and you went all over the area, did you ever see any units
9 of the Croatian army in the Vitez municipality?
10 A. No. There were no such units in Vitez or around it ever. I can
11 say that there was a unit in 1992 from Herzegovina.
12 Q. I'm talking about the Croatian army.
13 A. No, no. I never saw any trace of the Croatian army.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Zuljevic. Your
15 Honours, I have completed my questions.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
17 Q. You are not, I think, an expert on the Vitezovi and Darko
18 Kraljevic, are you, Mr. Zuljevic?
19 A. I am a veterinarian.
20 Q. You don't know the detail of any orders that Darko Kraljevic
21 received or gave?
22 A. No, I do not know that.
23 Q. You don't know to what degree he coordinated the activities of his
24 group with other groups operating in the area of Vitez, do you?
25 A. At such meetings or in command at such sessions, I wasn't present
1 there so that I can't tell you anything about it.
2 Q. He was, of course, pursuing, broadly speaking, Croatian objectives
3 at the very least; correct?
4 A. And which were Darko Kraljevic's objectives, I really can't say.
5 But to my mind, I am a Croat. But those were not my Croat objectives.
6 Q. You've been asked about Dario Kordic by his counsel. By the way,
7 did you speak to his counsel before giving evidence here?
8 A. Yesterday.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. Yes, I spoke with Mr. Naumovski for about five minutes, perhaps.
11 Q. Did you know Mr. Kordic at all?
12 A. I knew Mr. Kordic personally.
13 Q. How long for?
14 A. Not long. We met in 1991 and we were together on various
15 occasions and spent some time together.
16 Q. Including in 1992, 1993?
17 A. 1991, and perhaps in 1992 too. I'm not sure but, yes, we used to
19 Q. Did you meet him about political matters?
20 A. Yes. Darko was an HDZ member and I was also an HDZ member so that
21 was to discuss political matters that we met.
22 Q. You referred to Darko. Are you referring to Dario Kordic or
23 someone else?
24 A. Yes, Dario, Dario Kordic. I'm sorry, Darko, Dario, it's the same
25 name with us.
1 Q. When did you last meet him in relation to political matters,
3 A. Well, early 1992 could be.
4 Q. And after that, when he became a senior politician in the area,
5 you had no contact with him; is that what you're telling us?
6 A. Yes, quite so.
7 Q. So you can't tell us anything of what he was doing in late 1992 or
8 in 1993?
9 A. I cannot tell you anything because I no longer had the opportunity
10 of being in such a political company. My functions as a political member
11 did not go beyond the local level so that we stopped seeing each other.
12 Q. You spoke of Ivica Santic who you spoke to at the time of the
13 convoy. How well did you know him?
14 A. I knew Ivica Santic as a politician in the HDZ too, as a man who
15 was one of the founders of that political party. I know him from the
16 electoral period when the first elections were held and when Ivica Santic
17 became the head of the municipality. And so I know him. We met more
18 often and saw one another more often because, being the municipal head, he
19 also took care of agriculture and would frequently seek my advice on
20 various professional matters.
21 Q. So as a person -- or sorry, where is Mr. Santic now?
22 A. For the -- I did not see him these last two or three months, but I
23 sometimes see him in Vitez. We sit down to a cup of coffee.
24 Q. And so far as you understand, he's still in Vitez?
25 A. I said that for the past two or three months I have not seen him,
1 so he could be in Vitez still, but perhaps he is not. I cannot really
3 Q. So of course his position as mayor would enable him to know fully
4 what was going on in Vitez in the first half of 1993; correct?
5 A. Well, that is how it should be were it a normal peaceful
6 situation. But 1992 and the former half of 1993 were the period when
7 anarchy began to set in, lack of authority. The state did not function
8 and Ivica Santic or any other mayor had any contact with any superior
9 authorities, state authorities. So that whenever something happened --
10 rather all problems of the state were being solved in an area, in a
11 dismembered area.
12 The Croat people and people of Muslim origin who were responsible
13 for politics had some meetings, had some talks, but they also had some
14 reserve policies. They were receiving -- or it seems to me -- well, in
15 any event, they did not show much readiness, nor could they really get all
16 the information and organise the civilian life as it should be organised.
17 Q. I think the answer to my question could be more shortly put. Of
18 all people in Vitez, Ivica Santic should know pretty much the detail of
19 what was going on; that would be correct, wouldn't it?
20 A. If he had such an opportunity, if he was receiving information,
21 and he was strong enough, then, yes, that is how it should have been.
22 Q. Did Mr. Santic trust you to the degree that he told you things
23 that he'd heard and things that he'd done as a politician?
24 A. I mean, Santic and I, we were acquaintances but we were not
25 friends, nor were we together all that often to discuss that. When he was
1 the mayor, I was the veterinarian; I went about my business and he went
2 about his. So some more profound analysis, no, we never discussed those
4 Q. You see, the events of the 15th, 16th of April were the turning
5 point for Vitez, as for so many other municipalities in Central Bosnia;
7 A. I do not know whether the 15th and the 16th were the turning
8 point. I think that the cart started downhill, if I may put it that way,
9 much earlier than that.
10 Q. I'm not going to take you through all of the history of Vitez
11 because you've only come here to give evidence on some narrowish points.
12 But you have told us you were moving at the local political level. If
13 that doesn't meaning speaking with Ivica Santic, what does it mean?
14 A. With Ivica Santic, I talked -- I can tell you what we talked
15 about. He would frequently call me to see how to resolve the problem of
16 the cattle farm which was about to collapse. We even got in touch with an
17 American humanitarian organisation which tried to help our farm. They
18 provided us with some resources, with some feed, and I calculated how much
19 it would be --
20 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to go into detail about that.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. Did Mr. Santic tell you anything about a plan to have an all-out
23 attack on Muslims on the 16th of April? Not necessarily his plan but a
24 plan of which he was aware; did he tell you anything about that?
25 A. No, he never spoke to me about such matters. We never talked
1 about them.
2 Q. Did he speak at all about efforts made to get Kordic to agree to a
3 postponement of such a plan, or postponement of an attack?
4 A. I didn't know about such a plan. So of course he could not talk
5 to me about it or discuss a plan since there was no plan, nor did I know
6 anything about such a plan.
7 Q. Let's look at the geography, please. I haven't got very many
8 questions to ask you. If we can go back, please, to plan 2271 and if you
9 would place it on there.
10 Mr. Zuljevic, are you happy dealing with plans and maps? Some
11 people are; some people aren't. There's no criticism for those who
13 A. I think I can find my way about, yes.
14 Q. Thank you very much. What we can see on this plan, just to bring
15 life to your evidence -- if we have it a little bit further down, or move
16 the map up a bit, please -- move the map up a bit. No, the other way.
17 Rijeka. There's Rijeka right at the bottom of the plan, south of the bend
18 in the road that goes from Vitez, as the main road goes round to Dubravica
19 and so on.
20 You've spoken in your evidence of having to go to the SPS
21 factory. Just remind the Judges, please, where that was, or the area of
22 the SPS factory.
23 A. The SPS factory is here, between Gacice and Donja Veceriska.
24 Q. Thank you. When you spoke of the cattle there being near to
25 Grbavica, although it's not shown on this map, the area of Grbavica is to
1 the north of that area, near Divjak. And we've heard about how that area
2 was in Muslim control; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, quite. You can see Divjak, and you can even see where the
4 farm at Divjak was.
5 Q. So apart from the occasion when you had to pass through to the
6 west of Vitez to be in the area of the factory in Grbavica, you were
7 always in Rijeka; correct?
8 A. Not Rijeka. I went to Krcevine, I went to Gacice, Mosunj, Nova
9 Bila; that is, I also lent regular veterinarian services during the war,
10 not only being part of the military veterinarian services. I continued
11 rendering these services to farmers.
12 Q. Let's have a quick look at a photograph, 1971.
13 MR. NICE: If I can ask the usher to hold it -- put it on the ELMO
14 in the north/south way, although the photograph was taken in a different
15 orientation, which will mean having it like that, then I think it will
16 match what we see in the map, I think. No, I think the other way up --
17 no, absolutely right. The usher is right, I'm wrong. Absolutely right.
18 Q. That shows, doesn't it, pretty well to the left of centre, the
19 area of Rijeka? And we can see that on the other side of the road, there
20 is very little in the way of residential habitation, that it's mostly
21 fields; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, let's turn to what you say happened at the
24 veterinary station. You say that you're not aware of any orders of a
25 discriminatory nature. Can you tell us, then, please, why Muslim men were
1 arrested and detained in the veterinary station?
2 A. Why? I cannot say, because I neither took such decisions nor
3 enforced them.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. But that also happened on a large scale in other places, and it is
6 a fact that it happened in Rijeka too.
7 Q. Yes. So since this was an action against Muslims, you're quite
8 unable to say whether it was or wasn't discriminatory in intention because
9 you have no idea why it happened. That's your evidence; correct?
10 A. I have already said, I already described what I had seen or heard
11 when I was answering the questions of Mr. Mikulicic.
12 Q. We've heard from a witness called Fuad Zeco; do you know him?
13 A. Fuad Zeco, I know him. We worked together until about the 15th of
14 April, 1993.
15 Q. Anything that you know about this man that would mean we should
16 doubt what he tells us, or does he appear to you to be an entirely decent
17 and honourable man?
18 A. I know Fuad Zeco as a veterinarian, ever since I was a child, and
19 we worked for the same company since 1988. Whether he's an honest, an
20 honourable man, perhaps it's not for me to say anything about this,
21 because he was my colleague. As every man, he had his ups and downs. I
22 know that he was a man who liked to gamble.
23 Q. Very well. But apart from that, which is not, I think, a crime,
24 is there anything you know to his detriment?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Sorry. Yes?
2 A. From our conversations. For instance, we last worked together on
3 the 15th of April, 1993. We would partake of morning coffee regularly at
4 a nearby coffee shop at Rijeka, and naturally we also talked about
5 politics, because for about a couple of months before that we tried, the
6 two of us, and some other people at the veterinarian station, to put an
7 end to this irrational trend, to try to put some common sense into
8 people. And I tried to talk to him.
9 I know he was a member of some Crisis Staff or, rather, of the
10 Muslim side, so to speak, authority in Vitez. I know that even before
11 that he told me that he went to visit the positions of the BH army on
12 surrounding hills; he did not tell me exactly where. But I know that he
13 had a heart condition, and he told me that he also suffered an attack
14 because he had to climb a hill to see the positions --
15 Q. All right. I just want to be quite sure, Mr. Zuljevic, before I
16 tell you what Mr. Zeco has told us, that there's nothing you want to say
17 adverse to his honesty, as I understand it, and there's nothing that
18 you're pointing to; am I correct?
19 A. Was Zeco sincere or was he tendentious, I cannot tell you in
21 Q. You don't know the circumstances in which people were taken to the
22 veterinary centre because you weren't there. You'd just arrived and found
23 the door broken down.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. We heard that some 70 people from Rijeka were detained there. You
3 don't challenge that, do you?
4 A. I've said, I should say 50 or 60, but they were not all from
5 Rijeka. I knew only some of those people. There were also some whom I
6 did not know.
7 Q. All right. The man Krunoslav Bonic, did you know him?
8 A. I know some Bonics. No, I did not know Krunoslav Bonic. I mean,
9 I lived there not more than three or four months, in that locality.
10 Q. All right. Did you know that at the veterinary detention centre a
11 man called Zeljko Matkovic and Krunoslav Bonic were amongst those who were
12 controlling things? Both members of the HVO.
13 A. I knew Mr. Zeljko Matkovic, and that day I saw him move around
14 within Sumarija.
15 Q. Thank you. So if we've been told that he was the person
16 principally responsible for the prisoners, you wouldn't disagree.
17 A. Yes. Maybe not. I cannot say that he was responsible or that he
18 was not responsible because I do not have such information available.
19 Q. If we've been told that he got his orders from Karlo Grabovac in
20 the forestry administration building, again, do you accept that?
21 A. I was not in the room or in the command with Karlo Grabovac, so I
22 do not know what Karlo Grabovac ordered and if he ordered anything to
23 Mr. Matkovic.
24 MR. NICE: We can perhaps just put the map back to remind the
25 Judges of the geography, remind us all of the geography, if you would be
1 so good.
2 Q. While I'm doing that, you weren't continuously at the veterinary
3 centre or anything like it because you had other duties to perform;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Nevertheless, if we look at the map, we can see that just south of
7 Rijeka - not too far out because we need it there - there's the area of
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Trenches were dug in the area of Rijeka and Kruscica and they were
11 dug by people who had been detained at the veterinary centre; did you know
13 A. I do not know who dug the trenches or where they were dug.
14 Q. Therefore, you don't know one way or another whether they were dug
15 under terms of force; that is to say, the prisoners were forced to dig the
16 trenches. You can't help with that, can you?
17 A. I cannot, no, in any greater detail. But that doesn't mean that
18 there were not such instances.
19 Q. Do you know anything about the deaths of two people in those areas
20 digging trenches, Jusuf Ibrakovic and Nesib Hurem?
21 I'm not going to produce their death certificates unless anybody
22 wants me to. They are 2210.4 and 2210.5.
23 Do you know anything about those two men?
24 A. Unfortunately, I did not know those two men, nor did I know that
25 they had been killed.
1 Q. Did you know a man called Borislav Jozic?
2 A. I knew Borislav Jozic. He was my secondary school teacher at the
3 medical school in Travnik.
4 Q. Well, I'd like to look at possibly the only document I may trouble
5 this witness with, see if he can help us. 734.1, it would be a new
6 document, just look at this, please.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
8 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, just if we can be informed if that was
9 a new document and why we were not given that document earlier if it is a
10 new one. Nothing else.
11 MR. NICE: It certainly is a new document. As far as I know, it's
12 just come into my possession. It's a Zagreb document, and if it hasn't
13 been provided to Mr. Naumovski by Zagreb, it would only be our duty to
14 provide it under the usual terms of disclosure, but I've got things to say
15 about documents later on today generally.
16 Q. If you would be good enough to look at original of this as we
17 follow it in English on the overhead projector. This is a document dated
18 the 19th of April coming from Cerkez appointing to a committee for the
19 supervising the truce of the exchange of prisoners, Borislav Jozic, a
20 member of the mixed committee for the truce. Did you know about this?
21 A. I didn't know the duties of Mr. Jozic. I saw him once or twice,
22 perhaps, during the war, that is in 1993.
23 MR. NICE: Very well then, if I can explain the relevance of the
24 document rather than going through the paper chase. The document 591
25 which is the list of Muslim detainees spoken of by the witness Morsink and
1 of course headed Viteska Brigade was provided to him which by the man
2 Borislav Jozic. I ask for that document to be admitted but that's its
3 significance and, in light of this witness' answers, I'm not going to take
4 it any further with him.
5 Your Honour, if you will give me a couple of minutes, I think we
6 can conclude this witness by the break which will probably be to the
7 Court's -- would be something the Court would prefer.
8 Q. Just one question about the Convoy of Joy. You have no knowledge,
9 one way or another, whether the stopping of the convoy was organised or
10 not, do you, because you weren't there to see how the first stopping was
11 done. You weren't there to see who was doing it.
12 A. I do not have any exact information about it except what I saw
13 with my own eyes. What people did, what citizens did, what children did,
14 I did see that. Whether it was organised, whether it was not organised, I
15 do not think -- I think it was just stopped.
16 Q. Do you know anything about 25 tonnes of humanitarian aid that
17 we've been told was delivered to Vitez in April of 1993?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know anything about the circumstances of the attacks on
20 Ahmici and the surrounding villages; yes or no?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you know anything about attacks, possibly from what Ivica
23 Santic might have told you? Do you know anything about attacks on places,
24 is it Barin Gaj? Do you know that place?
25 A. I know the place, but I did not discuss this place, nor did Ivica
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Santic tell me anything about it.
2 Q. Do you know the about the attacks on Sljivcica?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You say that you were given a document recognising your HVO status
5 dated as from when, please?
6 A. I believe that was the 16th of April, 1993 until -- I'm not sure,
7 January and February 1996, I think.
8 MR. NICE: We don't have the documents so I can't deal with that.
9 Thank you.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: I have no questions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Zuljevic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
12 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE MAY: Before we adjourn, there are one or two matters. The
16 first is this, that tomorrow morning, Judge Robinson has a hospital
17 appointment and so we intend, under the usual Rule, to sit two Judges
18 tomorrow morning. If there are any objections, they can be made.
19 For the rest of the week, it is a truncated week because there are
20 a number of matters. Wednesday afternoon, there is an additional plenary
21 which the Judges have to attend, but we propose to sit a longer day, start
22 at 9.15 and end at half past one, with suitable breaks. Friday we are not
23 sitting, the Court is dealing with another case that day. Monday, Tuesday
24 and Thursday, so that's today, tomorrow and on Thursday, we will sit a
25 little later to try and accommodate the witnesses in order to try and get
1 through the list. Today, we will sit until 5 o’clock but there may be
2 changes later in the week. We'll have a break at just before 4 o’clock.
3 You wanted to mention something about --
4 MR. NICE: The documents. I think it will take me about five
5 minutes to explain, so I can do it now or at some other time convenient.
6 JUDGE MAY: Some other time during the day.
7 MR. NICE: I don't think the next witness will be one with whom
8 I'm going to spend very much time. And it may be that what looks like a
9 tight week for witnesses may be one we will be able to accommodate
10 comparatively easily. We don't have the summary for the witness Badrov,
11 and we're certainly going reach him this afternoon.
12 JUDGE MAY: No doubt that can be provided. We'll adjourn now.
13 Half an hour.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if the witness would stand, please, and take the
18 solemn declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
20 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: FRANO FRANJIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Franjic.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. I shall be putting questions to you on behalf of the Cerkez
2 Defence and I should like you to answer them according to the best of your
3 recollections. I should also like to ask you to speak as slowly as
4 possible and to make pauses between my question and your answers to help
5 the interpreters.
6 For purposes of the record, would you please give us your full
7 name and date of birth and place of birth.
8 A. My name is Franjo Franjic. I was born on the 8th of April, 1950
9 in Vitez.
10 Q. Thank you. You are a Croat by nationality of the Roman Catholic
11 faith; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You are a citizen of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina but also
14 of the Republic of Croatia, are you not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You completed secondary commercial school in Travnik?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you are an economist by profession; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. However, you are now retired. You are not working anymore; is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. As far as I was able to understand, you shall be receiving
24 invalidity pension as a consequence of your being injured during the war;
25 is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You served in the former JNA in 1971 in Bileca, did you not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And after doing your military service, you were given the rank of
5 reserve second lieutenant; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You are married and you have four children and three
8 grandchildren; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You are not a member of any political party.
11 A. No.
12 Q. You have three sisters and one brother?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Franjic, having completed your schooling, did you get a job?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Tell us where.
17 A. After I completed my education, I got a job in the Vjetrenica
18 commercial enterprise where I worked until 1985, and in 1985 I went to
19 work in Austria.
20 Q. Very well, thank you. And from 1985 onwards, that is to say up
21 until those unfortunate events that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you
22 worked in the Republic of Austria, did you not?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Franjic, as far as you knew, were you an
25 isolated case or were there many people who, from your region, went to
1 work abroad?
2 A. There were lots of people who went to work abroad from my region
3 and there were also those who stayed in the area when the unfortunate
4 events took place.
5 Q. But when you worked in Austria, you would come to your native
6 village, would you not?
7 A. Yes, that's right. I would come for the Christmas holidays and
8 for the Easter holidays and other holidays.
9 Q. And the name of your native village is Donja Dubravica, is it not?
10 A. Let me put you right there. My native village is Donja Veceriska
11 but I live in the village of Donja Dubravica.
12 Q. Very well, thank you. Donja Dubravica is, in fact, a part of
13 Krizancevo Selo, is it not?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. I should like to ask the usher to put a map on the ELMO. It is
16 Z2271, and I should like to ask the witness to show us the location of the
17 village in which he lived exactly, that is to say, the village of Donja
19 A. This is Sivrino Selo, this is the road, and it is in this corner
21 Q. That is the village which is north of the main road leading from
22 Vitez to Sarajevo; is that right?
23 A. From Vitez to Zenica.
24 Q. Yes, I beg your pardon. To Zenica via Vjetrenica. Tell us,
25 Mr. Franjic, and I should like to ask the usher to leave the map on the
1 ELMO because we are going to refer back to it. Tell us, please,
2 Mr. Franjic, what was the composition, ethnically speaking, of the village
3 in which you lived, the village of Donja Dubravica?
4 A. The ethnic composition was mixed. There were Muslims, Croats, but
5 it was a predominantly Croatian village.
6 Q. Although you didn't live in the village all the time, you did come
7 back to it from time to time and you were able to see, to observe the
8 relationships between the Croats and the Muslims in your village?
9 A. Yes. When I would come for the Easter holidays, for instance, I
10 noticed that the situation was already tense between the Muslims and the
11 Croats because there were mono-ethnic guards in front of houses set up to
12 protect the families and the houses.
13 Q. As you have mentioned the Easter holidays, which year are you
14 thinking about?
15 A. I'm thinking of 1993.
16 Q. Prior to that, I assume you went back home to your native village
17 for Christmas of 1992; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you notice that in that period, that is to say, from the
20 Christmas of 1992 up until Easter 1993, that relations had deteriorated?
21 A. Yes, I did notice that, because on the eve of Christmas, the
22 relationships between Muslims and Croats were not tense at all; whereas in
23 1993 this could be observed.
24 Q. You mentioned the village guards a moment ago. When you came from
25 your Christmas holidays, did these village guards in Donja Dubravica
1 already exist?
2 A. No, I don't think they did.
3 Q. But when you came back for Easter, you came across the village
4 guards and said they were made up of one ethnicity; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. As a result of this situation in the village, you didn't go back
7 to work in Austria, did you?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You stayed at home with your family.
10 A. Yes, I stayed at home because my wife and children were not with
11 me in Austria, they were in Dubravica all the time. I went off to work in
12 Austria alone. So because of them and their safety, I stayed in my
13 village to help them as much as possible.
14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Franjic, please, how many village inhabitants made up
15 the village guard of Donja Dubravica?
16 A. In Donja Dubravica there were 15 or 16 members of this village
18 Q. Were you also a member of the village guard?
19 A. Yes, I took part in it too.
20 Q. What kind of weapons did you have?
21 A. When I came back from Austria I didn't have anything. Then I
22 bought an M-48 rifle.
23 Q. That rifle dates back to World War II, does it not?
24 A. Yes, that's right, the Second World War.
25 Q. What about the other members of the village guard?
1 A. The other members had two or three hunting rifles; they also had
2 the M-48 type rifle and one automatic rifle, I believe.
3 Q. Did all the members of the village guards have their own weapons,
4 or would you exchange weapons amongst yourselves?
5 A. No, they didn't have their own weapons, and that's why we had to
6 exchange them amongst ourselves. Anybody going off to do guard duty would
7 take a weapon with him and then hand it back for the other person.
8 Q. Where is your house located in the village itself?
9 A. My house is located exactly up by the main road running from Vitez
10 to Zenica via Vjetrenica.
11 Q. Could you point it out to us on the map.
12 A. [Indicates]
13 Q. So that is the road that you have mentioned, is it not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. At night, that is, the night between the 15th and 16th
16 of April, 1993, were you on guard or were you at home?
17 A. I was at home.
18 Q. The village guard in your village, on that particular day, the
19 15th, or the night between the 15th and 16th, did they receive a warning
20 of any kind or any kind of information that a conflict was imminent?
21 A. No, nobody informed us of any kind of conflict, nor did we have
22 any idea of anything of that kind.
23 Q. So the conflict on the next day came as a complete surprise to
24 you, did it not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What did you see on that particular morning when you were woken up
2 by the shooting and the explosion?
3 A. In the morning at about 6.00 a.m., I was woken up to the sound of
4 shooting from the direction of Ahmici and Poculica; Sljivcica, to be more
5 specific. All these are settlements above my house.
6 Q. Could you indicate them, please, on the map, the location of
7 Poculica, Sljivcica, and Ahmici.
8 A. Ahmici is here.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. Poculica is above Sivrino Selo, and Sljivcica is there too.
11 Q. Thank you. So it means to the north, roughly speaking, to the
12 north of your village.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Franjic, tell us, please, from your house, can you see the
15 village of Ahmici?
16 A. No, you can't see the village, but you can just see a portion of
17 it which is above Pirici. But Ahmici proper cannot be seen from my
19 Q. But you saw smoke, did you not?
20 A. Yes, I saw the smoke.
21 Q. What did you conclude?
22 A. Well, I thought that there had been a conflict of some kind. But
23 I didn't know what because we had no information, nor did we know
25 Q. What did you with your family?
1 A. To ensure their safety, I took my family down towards Krizancevo
2 Selo because I was afraid that the worst might come to pass.
3 Q. Because your house was right up by the road; is that right?
4 A. Yes, right by the road, and so all the shooting from the
5 northernly regions could be heard.
6 Q. But you yourself remained; that is to say, the members of the
7 village guard stayed at home.
8 A. We stayed at home to guard our houses, our property, our
10 Q. On that particular day, on the 16th, was there a conflict of any
11 kind in your own village?
12 A. There was no conflict in our village.
13 Q. You mentioned, Mr. Franjic, that there was a mixed population in
14 your village and that you had Muslim neighbours.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you see them on that day, the 16th of April, or the day
18 A. On the 16th of April, my next-door neighbour, Amir Kavazovic, Sejo
19 Kavazovic, wearing uniforms of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, left in the
20 direction of Sljivcica, where Amir Kavazovic was carrying a machine-gun
21 and Sejo Kavazovic was carrying an automatic rifle.
22 Q. Did you have occasion to talk to them?
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. What did you and the members of the village guard do when you saw
25 that your Muslim neighbours were armed and wearing uniforms and leaving
1 the village?
2 A. We continued keeping guard by our houses with the weapons we had.
3 Q. Can you name some of your neighbours who remained in the village
4 with you?
5 A. Yes. Mato Vidovic, Drago Plavcic.
6 Q. Thank you. What happened in the evening on that day?
7 A. In the evening on that day, we noticed as we were guarding our
8 houses two uniformed soldiers passing down the road - I assumed they were
9 going to their homes - and we watched them. And on their way back to
10 Sljivcica, they opened fire on us and I was wounded in the right side of
11 my chest.
12 Q. Very well. You said they were two soldiers. What direction did
13 they come from to your village?
14 A. They came from the direction of Sivrino Selo.
15 Q. Very well. Tell us, Mr. Franjic, who controlled Sivrino Selo and
16 Sljivcica at that time?
17 A. At that time, Sivrino Selo and Sljivcica were under the control of
18 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. So you concluded that those two soldiers were members of what
20 armed formation?
21 A. Well, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Did you give those two soldiers any reason to shoot at you?
23 A. No, no. We saw them passing down the road but we kept quiet, we
24 didn't do anything. And on their way back, they noticed us and opened
25 fire on us.
1 Q. And you were wounded.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. After that, you were taken to the Vitez medical centre where you
4 were given first aid.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You were lucky because the bullet did not injure any of your
7 internal organs.
8 A. No, it didn't.
9 Q. So a few days later you were released from the medical centre to
10 recover at home.
11 A. Yes, four days later I was sent home to recover, and I had to go
12 for regular redressing.
13 Q. So you came home on about the 20th of April.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did anyone come to your village on the 20th of April, introducing
16 himself as a military commander of the HVO?
17 A. On the 21st of April, Anto Bertovic arrived. Because the village
18 guard was still active, everyone was standing guard in front of his
19 house. He came to set up a line of defence and to show us where to dig
20 trenches, and at that time he appointed me commander of the Dubravica
22 Q. Very well. Did you know Mr. Bertovic from before?
23 A. No. I had heard of him, but I did not know him personally until
24 that day.
25 Q. How did he introduce himself when he arrived in your village?
1 What did he say? Who was he?
2 A. He introduced himself as a commander. I cannot say exactly of
3 what now. He said we had to set up a defence line so that we would not be
4 killed by shells among the houses. He showed us the line where we should
5 dig so that we could defend ourselves from attacks as best we could.
6 Q. Before that day, before Anto Bertovic arrived, were there any
7 trenches in the village or around it?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Can you show us on the map approximately where Bertovic told you
10 to dig a defence trench?
11 A. Well, the area -- there's Grobcic, in the direction of Tolovici.
12 Tolovici, Grobcic, that was the sector in my zone of responsibility.
13 Q. If I see well, the line where you dug the trenches was to the
14 north of your village, facing the Muslim positions to the north, in the
15 direction of Vjetrenica; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You said, Mr. Franjic, that Anto Bertovic appointed you commander
18 of that sector on that occasion.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who were the members of the unit of which you were appointed
22 A. The members of the unit were the village guards who had kept watch
23 previously in front of their houses. And now we had a line where we were
24 to dig, and it was the members of the village guard who did that.
25 Q. If I understand you properly, nothing in fact changed except that
1 your village patrol was now part of a military unit.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. On that occasion, did Bertovic or anybody else give
4 you any better weapons, a uniform, or something like that?
5 A. Well, not to begin with. But later on we got two or three
6 automatic rifles.
7 Q. What about uniforms?
8 A. Well, there weren't many uniforms available.
9 Q. And so you dug trenches. You fortified yourselves, and prepared
10 to defend in case of an attack?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was there an attack on your village at that time?
13 A. Well, there were attacks from the direction of Poculica, Sivrino
14 Selo, but they were not large-scale attacks.
15 Q. So your defence line did not shift either forward or back?
16 A. No, no. It remained there until the end of the war.
17 Q. Mr. Franjic, as time passed and about a month passed, you were
18 called to a meeting?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell us where this was and who called you to the meeting.
21 A. We were called by Bertovic to the command in the Impregnacija
22 company. It was me, Zdravko Kozina from our sector, because Zdravko
23 covered the sector from Tolovici to Krcevine. And when we came to the
24 meeting, they explained to us that we were now to become a company and
25 Zdravko Kozina was appointed company commander, and I was his deputy.
1 Q. Very well. In fact, in a way, your defence line was then joined
2 to the defence of the villages of Tolovici and Buhine Kuce; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the defence lines of those three sectors were now a company?
6 A. Yes. That was the 2nd Company of the 1st Battalion.
7 Q. And then you were the deputy commander of the 2nd Company of the
8 1st Battalion of the Vitez Brigade?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And after that, you returned to the same position where you had
11 been a month previously?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And this position, which is practically next to your house, is
14 where you spent the whole war?
15 A. Well, until the 8th of February, 1994 when I was wounded again.
16 Q. Very well, we'll come to that. Mr. Franjic, throughout this time
17 from the 16th when the conflict broke out, or rather the 20th in your
18 village, until the day you were wounded for a second time, did you
19 personally and your unit ever take any offensive action?
20 A. No. We couldn't do that. Our aim was to defend the village
21 because we were short of men, short of weapons, of everything. And we
22 took no offensive action nor could we have done so.
23 Q. Very well. Tell us, in that period, was there more than one
24 attack by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on your defence line or was it
1 A. Well, there were several attacks, especially from the direction of
2 Tolovici, Krizancevo Selo, Dubravica, from Poculica, and Sljivcica.
3 That's where the attacks came from.
4 Q. And then you were wounded for a second time; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When was this?
7 A. On the 8th of February, 1994.
8 Q. This time you were injured more seriously.
9 A. Yes, I was seriously wounded. I ended up in Split where I was
11 Q. So first you were taken to the Vitez medical centre?
12 A. Yes, Nova Bila, and from Nova Bila to Split.
13 Q. Split is a town on the Dalmatian coast in the Republic of
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you were treated there how long?
17 A. I was kept at Split for 20 days, and then I was taken to Makarska
18 for rehabilitation.
19 Q. So you were treated until the end of the war?
20 A. Yes, for six months.
21 Q. We said, Mr. Franjic, that you were hospitalised in the Republic
22 of Croatia in Split and Makarska.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Well, on that occasion, during those six months, did you notice in
25 those same hospitals that the Muslims were also being treated who were
1 members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. Yes, I did. Members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were also
3 undergoing treatment in those hospitals.
4 Q. Did you see or notice that the hospital staff treated you
5 differently and the Muslims differently?
6 A. No, we had the same treatment.
7 Q. Mr. Franjic, you live in Donja Dubravica?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know the building of the primary school in Dubravica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know at the beginning of the conflict in April 1993, which
12 military unit was accommodated in that building?
13 A. The Vitezovi were accommodated in that building.
14 Q. Who was their commander, do you know?
15 A. Darko Kraljevic.
16 Q. Do you know, did you see or hear that in that building,
17 immediately after the outbreak of the conflict, some citizens of Muslim
18 ethnicity were detained?
19 A. Yes. I heard that citizens of Muslim ethnicity were detained
20 there for their own safety because on the first day of the war, refugees
21 started coming in from Poculica and they were probably brought into the
22 school for their own safety.
23 Q. You said that you heard this. Did you see them yourself?
24 A. I saw only when Spajic came to his own house to feed his cattle,
25 his livestock, they let him do that. So that's what I saw and heard from
2 Q. The man you mentioned, Spajic?
3 A. Spajic Smail.
4 Q. He was one of the men detained in the school in Dubravica?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And while detained there, he used to come to his home to feed his
8 A. Yes, and they took food back to the school. There were a lot of
9 them there, so that they would have something to eat.
10 Q. Did you talk to this neighbour of yours about the conditions in
11 the school in Dubravica where he was?
12 A. I didn't talk to him much, but he said it was all right.
13 Q. Do you remember, do you know when these people were released from
14 the Dubravica primary school?
15 A. I think they were released when the Red Cross arrived. The Red
16 Cross listed them and then they were released. Whether it was 20 days
17 later or 15 days, I'm not sure.
18 Q. You said that on the first day of the conflict, there were
19 Croatian refugees from the village of Poculica.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. My question is: Did you personally see these people arriving from
22 the direction of Poculica in the direction of your village?
23 A. Yes. In the morning, at about 8.00, I noticed the first refugees
24 coming down stream, along the stream, the bank of the stream from
25 Poculica. There is a stream here which flows past my house and this is
1 where the first refugees turned up. They were mostly women and elderly
2 people carrying small children. The others stayed behind until these
3 people could leave, and the first casualty they said occurred in the
4 morning in Poculica. It was Bozo Kristo who was killed when the Muslims
6 Q. What day are you talking about?
7 A. The first day, the 16th.
8 Q. After you were wounded twice, you were declared to be a military
10 A. Yes, 70 per cent disabled with a permanent disability.
11 Q. And you initiated proceedings for benefits but these proceedings
12 have not been completed yet?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You also, because you were wounded and because you participated in
15 the armed resistance, you received the right to get a certificate?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you get the certificate?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And how?
20 A. Well, this is just a piece of paper, no value.
21 Q. Now, you tell us this is paper without any value, but at that time
22 when you were to exercise your right, weren't you told something else?
23 A. Yes, of course. This is something completely different. They
24 said that lots of things would come out of it, but nothing did.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Franjic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 I have no further questions.
2 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, Mr. Kordic has no questions for this
3 witness. Thank you.
4 MR. NICE: I have a few questions.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
6 Q. Just sticking with the geography for a minute, and to make sure we
7 remember the position. If we think of Dubravica as at a road junction, a
8 T-junction, that's realistic, isn't it? The main road -- well, the main
9 road runs from Vitez very approximately east, west-east down towards
10 Busovaca, and then we can see that the church, I think, at the junction
11 there. The mountain road, as you describe it, then runs up through
12 Dubravica, Sivrino Selo and so on, so that --
13 A. Yes, yes, true, towards Zenica.
14 Q. So that junction is an upside down T as we are looking at it on
15 the map, if you just pointed at the junction. A bit to the right. A bit
16 further to the right. There. That junction there, is that the junction
17 that contains really all the large buildings of Dubravica; the school, the
18 old railway station, things like that?
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. The railway station is certainly there, I think.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the school is thereabouts, isn't it? It's in that part of
24 A. Here.
25 Q. A bit further up. But as you go up the red road, the main road up
1 to Sivrino Selo and so on, you're going uphill?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And there are houses on either sides and then slowly as you get up
4 further the hill, the houses become a little less frequent, is that
5 correct, until you come to Poculica and Vjetrenica and so on?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. The --
8 JUDGE MAY: Are you moving from the map?
9 MR. NICE: I wasn't going to ask it to be removed. I have one
10 more question to ask.
11 JUDGE MAY: When you've done that, there is a question that I want
12 to ask about.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Point us out, please, Sljivcica on the map. It's just above
15 Sivrino Selo, isn't it?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. It's, I think, actually it's just a little bit to the right of the
18 marker. Can the Court see it? It's immediately above the O of Sivrino?
19 JUDGE MAY: The other side of the road.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. And there's one other place?
22 A. Yes, yes, quite.
23 Q. And is the location Barin Gaj in that general area or is it
24 somewhere else? It's one place I haven't yet been able to locate.
25 B-a-r-i-n new word G-a-j. If you don't know where it is...
1 A. No, I don't. I don't really.
2 JUDGE MAY: It's further towards Vrhovine.
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour is probably right.
4 JUDGE MAY: In that area, I think, but no doubt you can put that
5 right. What I'm concerned about is Krizancevo Selo which does not appear
6 on any map that I can see but features in the evidence.
7 MR. NICE: Yes.
8 A. In point of fact, Dubravica is Krizancevo Selo. Some call it
9 Krizancevo Selo, some call it Dubravica, and here it is.
10 JUDGE MAY: And help us, if you would, with the Impregnacija
11 factory. Whereabouts is that?
12 A. Here.
13 JUDGE MAY: So it's just outside Vitez?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. You're pointing to go somewhere between Rijeka, the suburb of
17 Rijeka, and Vitez and that's where you intended to point, is it? It's
18 between Rijeka and Vitez, rather than between Rijeka and Dubravica?
19 A. Impregnacija is between Rijeka and Dubravica.
20 Q. So it's the other side. Indeed, if I can just ask one more
21 question while we're looking at that area. The colours don't show
22 terribly well on the map, but the river runs in the general area of the
23 Impregnacija factory, doesn't it? We can see it there, just about.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Of course, there's a bridge over the river, and do some people
1 call that bridge the Impregnacija --
2 A. There is.
3 Q. -- bridge?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Nevertheless, if you were to speak of a bridge at the Impregnacija
6 factory, it's clearly that bridge, it's the one on the road between Rijeka
7 and Dubravica.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. And then if we just go back to that area of Sljivcica
10 above Sivrino Selo, from what you've told us, on the morning of the 16th
11 of April, you were not aware of any HVO effort to attempt to take
12 Sljivcica; indeed, on your evidence, it was simply left to the control of
13 the ABiH; would that be correct?
14 A. I know that when I came from Austria and was talking to guards,
15 those who were guarding the village, they explained to me then that on
16 Sljivcica, the Bosnia-Herzegovina army had already dug in there.
17 Q. Therefore, what I think I'm saying is correct: There was no
18 effort on the 16th to take that village by the HVO.
19 A. I don't understand.
20 Q. You're in Dubravica, and your house abuts the road up to Sivrino
21 Selo and Sljivcica. You saw no evidence of the HVO trying to take that
22 position, Sljivcica; correct?
23 A. Correct. I did not.
24 Q. Later in the year, was it the subject of attacks by the HVO in an
25 effort to retake it or to take it?
1 A. Sljivcica, you mean.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. I wouldn't know.
4 Q. Because you weren't there?
5 A. I was in Dubravica. But I don't know of any attempt to take
6 Sljivcica by the HVO.
7 Q. Very well. Your evidence gives us some picture of reality, I
8 suppose. In peacetime it would take you just a couple of minutes to get
9 up by car to Sljivcica in the same way as it would take you just a couple
10 of minutes to get to Ahmici by road; correct?
11 A. Well, yes, approximately.
12 Q. But in the circumstances in which you were operating, you were
13 actually confined, you're telling us, all the time to the small area of
14 Dubravica and simply didn't know what was happening at a place as close,
15 or as far, however you would like to describe it, as Sljivcica. You
16 simply didn't know what was happening there.
17 A. I did not know but I made my guesses, because there were no forces
18 up there, I mean, our village guards, and the gunfire came from there.
19 Q. All right. Buhine Kuce, can you just show us that on the map.
20 You may have done so already. If so, I was concentrating on something
21 else and I apologise.
22 A. Here, I think.
23 Q. You're marking an area just above Santici, to the north of the
24 road going to Busovaca; is that what you're intending to mark?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Were you aware at any time of fighting over Buhine
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When?
5 A. In January 1994.
6 Q. And --
7 A. And February 1994.
8 Q. Thank you. Were these local battles that involved losses of HVO
10 A. Those were major Muslim forces which had set off to break through
11 at Buhine Kuce, intending to link up with Kruscica and thus cut off
12 communication. In that breakthrough, a number of special purpose Muslim
13 units participated, so that our forces suffered major losses there, and in
14 particular the civilian population.
15 Q. Thank you. I may have to come back to that but that's
16 satisfactory for the time being.
17 Notwithstanding the degree to which you were confined to a small
18 geographical area, were you in a position to see much of what was
19 happening to the prisoners detained at Dubravica elementary school?
20 A. No, I had no such opportunity.
21 Q. You were aware that there were prisoners there.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You didn't know where they'd come from, or did you?
24 A. Well, those were mostly those local villagers from Dubravica.
25 They had been taken there and given shelter for their own safety.
1 Q. Well, they were Muslims.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. They were under guard.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. They were detained.
6 A. Well, I've just said, they could go home to feed their livestock,
7 bring some food.
8 Q. Well, I think you've spoken of one or two people going to deal
9 with their livestock and bringing food. But they were actually
10 detained --
11 A. I met only one. I met only one and talked to him.
12 Q. Muslims from that detention facility were taken to dig trenches;
13 are you aware of that?
14 A. Well, yes.
15 Q. This was, of course, forced labour, because they were exposed to
16 danger when they were taken to dig trenches.
17 A. No.
18 Q. Are you suggesting that they volunteered to go and dig trenches,
19 these detained Muslims?
20 A. Yes, they volunteered to, and there they worked together with our
21 work platoon. So they were not exposed to any particular danger.
22 Q. How do you know that they volunteered? I thought you only had
23 limited knowledge. Did you go down there and see them volunteering?
24 A. Because they also came to us, to help us with trench digging.
25 Q. Yes. But did you see them volunteering at the school or not?
1 Maybe you weren't there.
2 A. I wasn't, no.
3 Q. When they were digging trenches, they were under guard, weren't
4 they? They weren't free just to come and go.
5 A. Well, with our work platoon, because we also had our elderly men
6 in the work platoon which helped to dig trenches, they came and left
8 Q. Under guard so far as the Muslims were concerned.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. We've had evidence that it was about some 500 people
11 detained in the Dubravica school. You'd accept that figure, would you?
12 A. I wouldn't, no.
13 Q. Thank you. We've heard of one other incident. Perhaps we'd
14 better just look at the map in case this helps at all. Novaci, where's
15 that, or is that part of Dubravica?
16 A. By the main road.
17 Q. I beg your pardon?
18 A. From Vitez, toward Travnik, by the main road.
19 Q. All right. The Dubravica that you've been speaking about is the
20 only Dubravica in the area.
21 A. Yes, yes, yes.
22 Q. Do you know a man called Miro Kulic?
23 A. First time I hear the name.
24 Q. Can you tell us where a location known as Perina Cail - that's
25 P-e-r-i-n-a, the new word C-a-i-l - is, please? Do you know that place?
1 A. I didn't understand.
2 Q. There's an area, it's been described as a field with the name
3 Perina, P-e-r-i-n-a, and then new word C-a-i-l. Can you help us at all
4 with that location?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Can you help at all from your time in Dubravica with an event
7 where a large number of civilians were taken out from Dubravica, it
8 appears, or from a house in Dubravica on the orders of the man, Kraljevic
9 or Grabovac, and they were going to be executed. Do you know anything
10 about this incident? As originated, it would appear --
11 A. No, I don't know anything about it.
12 Q. For the Court's reference that's Witness R at pages 7868 and
14 Now, you were an occasional visitor to Dubravica but you were
15 there for some days before the outbreak of the fighting; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Would that be as early as March of 1993?
18 A. Early April.
19 Q. Very well. We've heard evidence that at that time, in April of
20 1993, the general understanding of people in the area would be to the
21 effect that there were several Viteska Brigades units in your general
22 area. For example, units at Rijeka, Dubravica, Kruscica, Divjak, Stari
23 Bila and so on. Do you remember the existence of Viteska Brigade units?
24 A. That is not correct. That is not true.
25 Q. As to Dubravica, perhaps you would be good enough, please, to look
1 at our Exhibit 653. This, you see, refers to lists of personnel by
2 deployment or origin per village, and it's before the outbreak of
3 fighting. It's on the 14th of April. It's headed the Viteska Brigade and
4 as to the 1st Company under Slavko Papic of that 1st Battalion, it says,
5 "There were 19 soldiers in Dubravica." Now, did those 19 soldiers in any
6 sense form a unit of Viteska Brigade soldiers in your village, please?
7 A. I've never seen this.
8 Q. Well, were there 19 soldiers associated with the Viteska Brigade
9 in Dubravica before the outbreak of fighting?
10 A. I arrived two weeks before it broke out, and I'm really not
11 familiar with this.
12 Q. I know. But, you see, this document is dated the 14th of April so
13 it would be within the time -- it relates to the time, exactly the time
14 when you had arrived, you see, which is why I want your help if you can
15 give it. When you arrived a couple of weeks before the outbreak of the
16 fighting, were you aware of a number of --
17 A. Two weeks.
18 Q. Were you aware of a number of Croat soldiers aligned with the
19 Viteska Brigade?
20 A. No, I'm not.
21 Q. Well, you've spoken of village guards. Are you telling us that
22 it's only of village guards that you were aware?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And are you telling us that nothing really changed. It remained a
25 village guard unit or a village guard organisation right the way through?
1 A. Yes. Right the way through, except that the Croats were expelled
2 from Poculica, Gornja Dubravica, and they joined the Dubravica defence.
3 Q. But the Dubravica Croat soldiers were never Viteska Brigade
4 soldiers; is that what you're saying?
5 A. The Vitez Brigade. The Viteska Brigade did not exist at the time.
6 Q. No, but at no time did your village guards genuinely become a
7 member of the Viteska Brigade?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Because you told us, have I got this correct, that you were
10 initially commanded, paragraph 2.10, by Anto Bertovic. That he spoke to
11 you in a fairly informal way, saying that you should simply link your
12 sectors with the sectors of Tolovici and Buhine Kuce; is that right? He
13 spoke to you as village guards.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And when you became deputy commander or commander, did you regard
16 yourself as really commander of village guards or commander of some sector
17 of the Viteska Brigade, what was it?
18 A. Sector of Dubravica where we had pooled the village guards and set
19 up the defence line all by ourselves. And on the 20th or the 21st,
20 Bertovic came and appointed me sector commander, and Zdravko Kozina he
21 appointed the commander of another sector.
22 Q. And then later what happened to you?
23 A. And then after a while, the sectors grew into a company and a
25 Q. And did you, at any stage, then regard yourself as Viteska Brigade
1 or not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Well, when? When did this change from village guards to Viteska
4 Brigade happen?
5 A. I wouldn't know the exact day, but it could have been in April or
7 Q. In reality, there was no difference, was there, between what you
8 were doing as village guards and what you were doing in crisis with a
9 little bit more organisation, it was just a continuing development of the
10 same sort of military activity; correct?
11 A. Yes. We were not in -- we were not on guard in front of our
12 houses any longer because we had set up the line. We dug trenches there
14 Q. Just look very quickly at two documents. First of all 765.1,
15 already an exhibit. If you look at this document, we've got the English
16 version on the overhead projector. This is what appears to have happened
17 on the 21st of April. Mario Cerkez appointed item two, Anto Bertovic, as
18 commander of the second sector which encompassed Dubravica.
19 Now, there's no reference to you there, but does that fit with
20 your understanding that it was Mario Cerkez who had appointed Bertovic to
21 run the second sector?
22 A. Because I used to work in Austria, I did not know those names. I
23 told you. The first time I saw Anto Bertovic was when he came to us on
24 the -- I think it was the 21st of April, and appointed me the commander of
25 one sector, Kozina of another sector, and the third one I can't remember
2 Q. Perhaps I could look now at 924, also an existing document,
3 existing exhibit, and you see this is a -- Mr. Franjic, is a document
4 dated the 15th of May, again from the Viteska Brigade, also signed by
5 Mario Cerkez, and it was he who was appointing you, at number three, as
6 commander of the region of the village of Donja Dubravica in sector two.
7 Do you remember Cerkez appointing you to that position?
8 A. No, I don't. Bertovic appointed me. He came and told me so.
9 Q. So your position is that you were still just locally confined to
10 Dubravica, acting on the basis of instructions brought to you by your
11 local commander; is that right? Do I understand it correctly?
12 A. Bertovic was not a local commander. I received from Mr. Anto
13 Bertovic the appointment from the commander of the sector.
14 Q. I think you ought to see, although just for completeness, better
15 have a look at 1472.11 in light of what you've said about yourself. There
16 is a category of document we've seen before in general terms. I just put
17 this on so that we can see how it fits with, indeed, what you've told us.
18 This is a confirmation of the circumstances of your being wounded, and it
19 sets out that you were wounded on the 16th of April in Grepcic, but don't
20 trouble us with the map. Is Grepcic within the general area that you
22 A. Grepcic, that's by my house.
23 Q. And this sets out that you were -- it's a 1996 document, sets out
24 that you were a member of the Viteska Brigade from the 8th of April,
25 1992. Your explanation for that?
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I want to put my learned friend
2 the Prosecutor right. The confirmation does not speak that Franjo Franjic
3 is a member of the Viteska Brigade but that he was a member of the 92nd DP
4 Viteska, the Home Guard section, regiment.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let me see. Yes.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. What do you say about 92 DP Viteska, please, Mr. Franjic? What
8 does that mean?
9 A. I see that it says here that the -- that this paper was made in
10 1992 when the 92nd DP Viteska existed, but it did not exist when I was
11 actually wounded.
12 Q. Were you ever a member of that brigade or that unit or whatever
13 else we may describe it as?
14 A. The Home Guard Regiment Viteska.
15 Q. Were you ever a member of that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Well, when? You were only an occasional visitor to this village.
18 A. It says here, that is to say, I didn't give this information.
19 That from the 8th of April of 1992, I was a member of the Vitez Brigade.
20 I never gave out that information, and I don't know who introduced those
21 particulars. And if the particulars that were placed there, I think were
22 put there without our knowledge, because for purposes of the certificate,
23 because I started in 1993, and I don't see how it can say 1992 here.
24 Q. The incidents, attacks, the fighting of the 16th of April was
25 presented to Croats by Croats as a victory for Croats, wasn't it?
1 A. The 16th, you say?
2 Q. The 16th of April and the days following was presented as a
3 victory by Croats in the area; correct?
4 A. That's not correct, no.
5 Q. Would you look, please, at this document, it's a new document,
7 JUDGE MAY: What's this to do with the witness?
8 MR. NICE: It's an announcement by Cerkez at the time that this
9 man was operative in the area, and it relates to the general area of
10 activity with which he is associated, and it's an announcement plainly
11 intended for consumption of people in his position and others like him.
12 JUDGE MAY: And where does it come from?
13 MR. NICE: Zagreb document.
14 Q. I'd like your comment on it, please.
15 A. I don't know this document. It's not known to me because I was
16 wounded and spent four days in the clinic so I don't know about this
18 MR. NICE: I see Mr. Kovacic wants to raise something.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, Cerkez Defence would move with the
21 request if you can instruct -- if the Chamber may instruct the Prosecutor
22 that, in order not to interrupt continuously, to inform us when the
23 document is introduced whether it's new document, whether -- and why it
24 wasn't discovered earlier. We are now really loaded with many, many new
25 documents we have never seen.
1 JUDGE MAY: Well, we're going to discuss documents, as I
2 understand it, later today. That is why I inquired as to where this
3 document came from. But I agree that we need to have some sort of order
4 in what is going on and we'll need to consider the position.
5 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, we understood certainly it will be the case,
6 but it would be practical for the reasons of checking through the
7 transcripts when we are forced to go back, at least at the very moment
8 when the document is introduced, that there should be also an explanation,
9 in other words, new document never introduced, not discovered or
10 discovered, whatever is the case. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MR. NICE: I'm certainly happy to oblige. I think I said it was a
12 new document, and I didn't go any further on this occasion.
13 Q. What I'd like your assistance with, please, Mr. Franjic, is this:
14 If you look at the bottom part of this document, I'm not going to go
15 through all of it but you're, of course, at liberty to read it all
16 yourself. But if we go to the bottom few paragraphs at the bottom, signed
17 by Mario Cerkez, it says, picking it up really half way down, it says,
18 "The Mujahedin have no place or life here in these Croatian areas of
19 ours." It refers to a statement of Mr. Hadzihasanovic. It says that,
20 "The command of the Vitez Brigade never had any doubts that the people
21 would defend their areas." And then it says, "The heroic struggle of the
22 soldiers and people on the defence lines in Krcevine, Nadioci and Pirici
23 and all our defence efforts, the superhuman efforts and the passion in
24 which we defend our Croatian areas inspires firmness and confidence in
25 all. This is the guarantee we will be masters of our own home."
1 Now, was that the sort of rhetoric? Was that the sort of approach
2 that was being taken at this time by your commanders or by Mr. Cerkez if
3 you heard from him?
4 A. I don't know about this and about Mr. Cerkez. I think I only met
5 him once, perhaps twice.
6 Q. Yes. My question is whether the approach taken in this document
7 fits with the sort of approach taken by the commanders with whom you did
8 have contact at the time.
9 A. No, it doesn't correspond to that.
10 Q. So what sort of approach were they taking, then? What were they
11 saying to you all?
12 A. Well, they would say that our only goal was to safeguard our
13 families, our homes and the areas where we lived.
14 Q. Were you aware that the HVO had mounted a major attack on the
15 villages of Ahmici, Pirici, and so on?
16 A. No, I did not know.
17 Q. Finally, as to Krizancevo Selo and Buhine Kuce -- sorry, we
18 shouldn't called it Krizancevo Selo, it's confusing. As to Dubravica
19 itself and Buhine Kuce, were those areas that were fought over in a way
20 that did discredit to the name of Mario Cerkez; do you remember? Lives
21 were lost and he was thought to be responsible.
22 A. Well, who was responsible, I really can't say. I just know that
23 on the 22nd of December, 1993 large-scale Muslim forces attacked our
24 region and that we had 104 casualties: civilians, women, children,
1 Q. That was on the 22nd of December, and you know that Cerkez was
2 dismissed --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- six days later, don't you, or eight days later, from his post;
5 do you know that?
6 A. I know that he was replaced. But why, I wasn't really interested,
7 nor did I have information about that.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Franjic, I'm going to ask you a few
12 additional questions.
13 First of all, let's clarify one point. The position of the
14 village of Buhine Kuce, is it correct that it is located, Buhine Kuce,
15 between Santici and Vitez?
16 A. Yes. From the main road, along the Busovaca-Vitez main road.
17 Q. That locality is very important for the main road and for
18 controlling the main road.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Franjic, you mentioned that in digging trenches
21 you would get reinforcements from the Muslims who had been retained in
22 Dubravica, at the primary school there. Did you have a chance to talk to
23 those people while they were doing their work?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. You said that some of them volunteered to do that type of work.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How do you know that?
3 A. Well, they told us themselves when they were brought there, when
4 the Vitezovi brought them there together with our work platoon to dig
5 trenches. Because we treated them as we would one of our own in the work
6 platoon. They had enough to eat and drink, and anything that our men
7 received, they received too. They received cigarettes and so on. We had
8 four Muslims with us who were in our unit up until the end of the war.
9 Q. In other words, you all shared the same fate; is that right?
10 A. Yes, the same fate. We didn't differentiate; we didn't have them
11 digging separately and our men digging separately.
12 Q. Throughout the war, was somebody killed in the work platoon you
13 were in or not?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Mr. Franjic, you were asked -- that is to say, the observation was
16 made that at the school in Dubravica, 500 people had been detained, and
17 you said that that was not correct. There weren't so many.
18 A. No.
19 Q. How many, according to your knowledge and the best of your
20 recollections, were there?
21 A. I think there might have been 50 or 60 people. Not more.
22 Q. Mr. Franjic, you were shown a document, Z653, which was a list of
23 conscripts from your village as well. The number there is 19, on the 14th
24 of April, a list of personnel. I ask you once again, is it correct that
25 at that time your village guard was self-organised?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, it was self-organised.
2 Q. Is it also true that you yourselves picked out a commander of your
3 village guard from amongst yourselves?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is it also true that in your village, roughly the number of 19
6 were military-able men?
7 A. Yes, roughly.
8 Q. After Bertovic's arrival, that is to say, after the 20th of April,
9 to your village and he appointed you, so to speak, commander, was that the
10 first time that somebody from outside appointed somebody in your village
12 A. Yes, that happened for the first time on the 20th or the 21st of
13 April. I'm not quite sure. Bertovic came and appointed me commander, and
14 he determined the defence lines and told us where to dig the trenches.
15 Q. So that was the first time that somebody from outside, so to
16 speak, organised your village guard in one respect.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. One month later this was formalised via the Vitez Brigade, and you
19 became aware of that at the meeting at the Impregnacija; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Franjic, you were also shown another document, it
22 was 1472.11, which was confirmation of your wounding and the circumstances
23 that attended that event, and you noticed that it was issued in the month
24 of February 1996 and that it was issued by the 92nd Home Guard Regiment,
25 "the Viteska one." Do you happen to know when that regiment was
2 A. That regiment was established, I think, at the beginning of 1994,
3 but I can't tell you exactly.
4 Q. Thank you. Although you don't know the exact date of its
5 establishment, and you mentioned the beginning of 1994 as a possible date,
6 are you certain that that regiment, the 92nd Home Guard Regiment Viteska,
7 did not exist on the 8th of April, 1992 or the 16th of April, 1993?
8 A. No. I'm quite certain that it did not exist at that time.
9 Q. It existed, quite simply, at the time the certificate was issued
11 A. Yes, because it was issued in 1996 and I was wounded in 1993.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. My last question, Mr. Franjic: You were
13 shown a document entitled "Announcement," signed by our client, Mr. Mario
14 Cerkez. 823.1 is the number of the document. Is it true that that
15 document, as it says in the second paragraph, was issued after the peace
16 agreement was signed between the HVO and the BH army?
17 A. I don't know that. I'm not aware of that.
18 Q. I'm not going to ask you to comment on the document. It speaks
19 for itself.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
21 questions for this witness.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Franjic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
23 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we have made good progress today. Do you
2 have a witness for this afternoon?
3 MR. KOVACIC: We have a witness ready for this afternoon; however,
4 we are not sure whether we can add one for this afternoon. Indeed, the
5 summaries are not finished because we never thought that the third witness
6 might be completed today. We did plan that we might start it but not
7 complete it.
8 JUDGE MAY: We should finish that witness.
9 MR. KOVACIC: Right.
10 JUDGE MAY: But by then we will have made good progress, so it may
11 well not be necessary to sit beyond the usual time, I trust.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: You've got another four witnesses this week.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Indeed, one of the witnesses that came on Friday in
15 the late evening is sick in the meantime, and I understand that at this
16 point in time he will be sent home tomorrow. He is refusing a local
17 doctor, and he asked specifically -- but we are -- definitely we will have
18 enough witnesses for this week. Two of them will come during tomorrow,
19 and we will be able to prepare them on Wednesday afternoon since we don't
20 have the trial. So we will have more than is needed for reserve for
21 Thursday -- for Thursday. And then the next group is coming on Thursday
22 for the next week, and I'm sure we're on the safe side.
23 JUDGE MAY: How many witnesses have you got for this week, so that
24 we can --
25 MR. KOVACIC: For this week we originally planned seven. It seems
1 that we may have seven, with those additionals that are coming. Perhaps
2 even eight if it will go so good.
3 JUDGE MAY: It looks as though we are on target. Can you make
4 sure that there is enough work for next week because --
5 MR. KOVACIC: We are doing our best, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MAY: -- I'd rather you overcater than undercater.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE MAY: Now, you wanted to raise something.
9 MR. KOVACIC: Just a short thing, Your Honour. We recently have
10 discussed -- I think it is appropriate and it will take about a minute or
12 We recently discussed the problem of double-numbering of
13 exhibits. The particular document got a Z number or a D number and then
14 it's repeated all over again. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that would happen
15 from time to time. I'm not saying that anybody is doing that on purpose,
16 but it's simply the result of too many documents.
17 A couple of days ago, I'm not aware of the date, but anyway last
18 week, the Prosecutor put in the Exhibit Z309.1. This is one report from a
19 meeting. I checked our database, and it shows that exactly the same
20 document was earlier introduced by the Defence and it was numbered D54/2.
21 However, it is not only a problem of double-numbering in this particular
22 document. The copy which was introduced by the Defence [sic], numbered
23 with the Z number, is partially redacted -- the document which was
24 introduced by the Prosecution under the Z number was partially redacted;
25 namely, the name of the HVO representative was covered. However, the
1 document which we introduced earlier than the Z number, that is, D54/2,
2 was the complete document without any redactions.
3 So we would like that this document would be considered as
4 relevant and that Z309.1 should be substituted by D, or at least they
5 should be somehow indexed to be considered together.
6 JUDGE MAY: The sensible course would be for the original
7 document, D54/2, to be the exhibit and the other one to be removed.
8 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MAY: If we don't do that, we shall lead to complete
10 confusion. Very well.
11 MR. NICE: Shall I deal with exhibits either at half past two or
12 at the end of the afternoon?
13 JUDGE MAY: At the end of the afternoon. Half past two.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness stand and take the solemn
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
6 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
8 WITNESS: MARINKO MARJANOVIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Marjanovic, good day.
12 A. Good day.
13 Q. I would like to thank you for coming here. Please, during your
14 testimony, and this applies to me as well, please try to make pauses
15 between questions and answers so that the interpreters will have enough
16 time because they are always a little bit behind us.
17 First, I will ask you for the record to repeat your first and last
18 name, and the place and date of your birth.
19 A. Marinko Marjanovic, 30th September 1967, in Travnik.
20 Q. Thank you. And your residence is at Krcevine 26 in Vitez; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You are a citizen of the Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of
24 Croatia, if I'm right.
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. You are married, the father of four.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. You have completed secondary school.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Before the breakup of Yugoslavia, you did your military service in
6 1985 in Nis in the JNA.
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Did you acquire a rank there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. In the conflict in the Lasva river valley from April 1993 on, you
11 were -- you got a rank and after the war you became a reserve second
12 lieutenant; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You now own a cafe in Vitez.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you please say something about what you did in 1991, at the
17 end of 1991 and during 1992?
18 A. Well, nothing important. I was not employed. I was trying to get
19 a job through the employment bureau, the job centre.
20 Q. So you were trying to find a job?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In 1991, at the end of that year when the aggression of the JNA on
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina began, what can you tell us about the system of
24 government, of government administration, and how did it function in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina? How did you see it as a citizen?
1 A. Well, I wasn't very interested in that so I don't really know.
2 Q. Were you politically active at that time?
3 A. No, I wasn't.
4 Q. Were you a member of a political party?
5 A. No, I was not a member of any party.
6 Q. You were living in the village of Krcevine in a family house; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. The members of your family were your wife and children?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I would like to ask the usher to show the witness a map so that we
12 can show the Court where the village of Krcevine is.
13 Would you please take the pointer from the table and show the
14 Court Krcevine, the village of Krcevine.
15 A. This is Krcevine.
16 Q. When you were going from your village to the centre of Vitez by
17 car under normal conditions, how long would it take you?
18 A. Well, eight or nine minutes, ten minutes.
19 Q. We agree that, as the crow flies, it's between one and a half and
20 two kilometres?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. As for the height above sea level, you were higher up than Vitez?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And to conclude this part, from the village of Krcevine, you had a
25 direct view of the town of Vitez; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Including the old part of Vitez where Mahala is?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And including the SPS?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And so that we don't have to go back to the map again, from
7 Krcevine, do you have a view of the village of Ahmici?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Why not?
10 A. Well, because of Krizancevo Selo, that's a hill, and Ahmici is
11 hidden behind it.
12 Q. Thank you. Maybe we could leave the map just in case there are
13 any other questions, but I think we won't need it anymore.
14 Could you tell me, Witness, did you, and if so, when, before the
15 Croatian/Muslim war did you reach a conclusion or did you think that the
16 JNA was going to take aggressive action in Bosnia as it had done in
17 Croatia and Slovenia?
18 A. Yes, it had occurred to me that it would soon be Bosnia's turn
19 because it started in Slovenia and in Croatia so of course it would happen
20 in Bosnia as well.
21 Q. Can we agree that this was a widespread conviction amongst your
22 friends, for example?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did people think and hope that maybe it wouldn't happen in
1 A. Well, nobody knew for certain. Nobody could be 100 per cent sure,
2 but people said it would happen and we thought it would.
3 Q. Did you, perhaps, notice in the way people thought at the time,
4 when people were talking about whether there would be a war or not, were
5 the perceptions of Croats different from those of Muslims, generally
7 A. Well, generally speaking, we all thought the same, that there
8 would be a Serbian aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. In the course -- rather, in your village, was there a so-called
10 village patrol?
11 A. Yes, there was.
12 Q. Could you please tell us when it started? What part of the year
13 was it?
14 A. Around 1992, when the Serbs bombed Princip up there. There was
15 quite a lot of looting then, so we organised this to protect the village.
16 Q. So it was in the late spring of 1992.
17 A. Yes, approximately. I can't be precise.
18 Q. Anyway, it was when there was shelling.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you understand what people wanted when they set up the village
21 guards? What did they want?
22 A. Well, there was a lot of crime around, and simply to protect the
23 village from criminals and from the Serbian aggression, because there was
25 Q. Who organised the village guards? How did that come about?
1 A. Well, we organised ourselves in the village. It was on a
2 voluntary basis. If someone didn't want to, they didn't have to join the
3 village guard.
4 Q. Did anyone from outside appoint the commander of the village
5 guards, or a leader?
6 A. No. We elected one among ourselves.
7 Q. With respect to the village guards, did any government body issue
8 any orders, documents, or anything of that kind as to how commanders were
9 to be appointed, how shifts were to be organised?
10 A. No. No one did.
11 Q. Can you say that you never had a document -- you never saw a
12 document about the organisation of village guards?
13 A. No, never.
14 Q. Did you personally take any part in the functioning of the village
16 A. Well, I was a member of the village guards.
17 Q. In the village guards, there were, of course, people who were more
18 active and others who were less active, who took part occasionally. Where
19 did you belong?
20 A. Well, among those who were less active.
21 Q. Am I right in saying that you, in fact, fulfilled the minimum of
22 your obligations?
23 A. Yes, because I had other obligations. When I had time, then I was
25 Q. Thank you. Throughout this time, then, 1992 and 1993, you lived
1 in Krcevine. You didn't leave home for an extended period of time.
2 A. No. I was in Krcevine all the time.
3 Q. Before we go on to talk about the conflict, at any time before the
4 conflict, before April 1993, did you notice that tensions were growing
5 among the two ethnic groups?
6 A. No, I didn't notice anything significant. There was a lot of
7 tension because of crime. There was a lot of crime, and that was the
8 cause of tension rather than an ethnic division.
9 Q. Very well. Let us now pass to another topic, to point 3 in our
10 summary, the conflict between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO
11 on the 16th of April, 1993. Do you remember the 15th of April, 1993? The
12 night before the outbreak of the conflict, where were you and what were
13 you doing?
14 A. I was in Vitez. Later I went to a disco, at about 1.00 or 2.00
15 a.m., and then I went home.
16 Q. Did anyone tell you anything about something that was about to
17 happen the following day?
18 A. No.
19 Q. In the evening of the 15th, were you with friends?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did any of them say that something might happen the next day?
22 A. No. It was a normal evening in the disco.
23 Q. I assume you were there with young people, people of your own
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What route did you take when you drove home? Where did you start
2 from and where were you to arrive?
3 A. Well, near the bus station, through Mahala, over the bridge, and
4 then towards Krcevine. That was the road I always took.
5 Q. In passing through Mahala, did you notice anything, anything
7 A. Well, I met 10 or 15 armed men near the fire station.
8 Q. What army did these men belong to?
9 A. They belonged to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. What led you to this conclusion?
11 A. Well, that part is lit up, because the road is two or three metres
12 away, and I knew quite a few of those men there, so I knew who they
13 belonged to.
14 Q. Where did you see them in Mahala? Can you describe the spot?
15 A. Well, that's where the fire station is. It's right next to the
16 road. They tried to stop me; that's why I remember it so well.
17 Q. Did you stop?
18 A. No. When two or three set out toward the road, they were Muslims
19 from Kruscica, one of them stopped them and said, "Let him through."
20 Q. So this Beso from Kruscica was a neighbour of yours?
21 A. Well, he was from Kruscica, but we knew each other. We talked
22 about motorcycles.
23 Q. So you had a hobby in common.
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And you were not stopped. They gave a signal that you could
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You went home and you went to bed; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Before you went to bed, or when you arrived in Krcevine, did
6 anyone say that there was any information that something might happen the
7 next day?
8 A. No, no. No one said anything. I even came across the village
9 guards but said nothing. They didn't know anything.
10 Q. Were the village guards in their usual place?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were they reinforced? Were there more of them?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Perhaps this group of men belonging to the army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina whom you encountered in Mahala, were they armed?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were they armed in the usual way or better or worse?
18 A. Well, some of them had long artillery pieces, others had pistols.
19 Q. In your village at that time, how were the village guards armed?
20 A. Well, it was mostly hunting rifles, M-48s and so on. It was quite
21 badly armed.
22 Q. Whose weapons did people use? Who owned the weapons?
23 A. Well, they were mostly private weapons belonging to people in the
24 guards. It was mostly hunting weapons.
25 Q. Did every member of the village guards have a weapon or did they
1 use the same weapons?
2 A. Well, the same weapons were left for the next person to take up
3 when someone went home.
4 Q. And ethnically speaking, the village of Krcevine was what?
5 A. A mixed one, but the Croats were a majority, however, there were
6 also Muslims and Serbs.
7 Q. And as for the share of Muslims and Croats, could you roughly tell
8 us what the ratio was?
9 A. Well, there were about 10 or 15 Muslim houses and in the village
10 Grabak, which is above Krcevine, there were some 10 or 15 Serb houses.
11 Q. Just explaining, Grabak is just a little higher than your
13 A. Well, it has a boundary, it's adjacent to us but we call it a
14 separate village, Grabak.
15 Q. So it is the part of the village which has its own name.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And at that time on the eve of the conflict, all three peoples
18 lived in the village?
19 A. No; Serbs had left before. After the air bombing of Princip and
20 others, they left.
21 Q. But they left of their own will?
22 A. I don't know. The Serbs were the majority. I don't know.
23 Q. And did anyone force the Serbs in your village to leave or was it
24 their decision?
25 A. It was their decision. We were on very good terms both with
1 Muslims and Serbs in the village.
2 Q. And perhaps to round off this subject, do you remember any
3 incident, I mean an ethnic incident, an incident involving Serbs and
4 Croats perhaps before they left?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Very well. In the morning of the 16th of April, how did you wake
8 A. Well, I was woken up by the gunfire so I went out and saw that the
9 fire was on Ravni Put where otherwise the village guards were told to
10 gather. So I got up, dressed, and went to Ravni Put which is the top of
11 the village.
12 Q. And that place at Ravni Put was to be the -- was designated as a
13 meeting point for the village guards and that was so as of the beginning
14 of the conflict; is that correct?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. That is at that time when the threats and some bombing by the JNA
17 aviation started?
18 A. Yes. Because Serbs were at Grabak and -- well, that was simply
19 our meeting place; we had agreed about that it was nearest to all of us
20 and accessible.
21 Q. That part of the village which you call Ravni Put, in terms of
22 altitude, it is slightly higher, isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So you command your view of the village, don't you?
25 A. Well, not the whole village but you can see a part of the village.
1 Q. And from that place, could you also see towards Tolovici, Dubica,
2 and those villages north-east?
3 A. Yes, we could see Tolovici, Jelovac, Hrasnica. Hrasnica was
4 another Serb village and so on. Yes, you could see quite a lot from up
6 Q. Is it correct that to the north and north-east of you, there were
7 Serb villages, and at a slightly higher altitude than yours?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At that time the Serbs had already left, so who filled in this
11 A. Well, it was mostly an empty space because the Serbs had just
12 left, and some Serbs had stayed behind, not all of them left.
13 Q. And did then, into this empty space, move citizens of either Croat
14 or Muslim ethnicity?
15 A. No, nobody was moving in yet.
16 Q. Is it true that one of predominant features or rather the dominant
17 hill in case of any conflict in the vicinity of your village was a hill
18 called Jelovac?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. And who was on Jelovac at that time?
21 A. It is near Muslim villages so Muslims were on Jelovac.
22 Q. Did they have some guards on duty there?
23 A. Well, I guess so, yes. They must have had their organised village
24 guards too. I have no idea.
25 Q. And when you reached Ravni Put, how many men were there during the
1 first hour or so?
2 A. Well, I don't think that more than 30 villagers turned up.
3 Q. And families, were they --
4 A. They stayed at home because we did not know what was going on or
6 Q. And there was no gunfire. There was no shooting in your village,
7 was there?
8 A. Well, there were some fire from Jelovac, from that dominant
9 feature. As soon as we arrived there, I did not get there later than 7.00
10 and yet fire had already been open on Ravni Put from Jelovac.
11 Q. So you mean that the first shots were fired at you around 7.00?
12 A. Well, I don't know. But when I got there, it was when it started.
13 Q. So what did you decide, that there were so many of you, your
14 village guards there at that place, and what was your conclusion? What
15 was going on?
16 A. Well, at first we were completely at sea. We simply didn't know
17 what was going on. When we did eventually realise, then we tried to
18 organise ourselves, although it was difficult because they were all
19 villagers and there were elderly people among them.
20 Q. And when was it that morning that you concluded, that you decided
21 that there might also be an infantry attack on your village by the army?
22 A. Well, because they had already opened fire on our village and
23 people were already coming to Jelovac, and in the village of Hrasnica
24 because one can see it too, and that is why we decided that there could be
25 an infantry attack even though we could not be sure.
1 Q. Nobody told you that, it is something that you concluded
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell us, that morning -- no, let us rephrase it. Were there any
5 people in your village who -- men, then, went to join shifts in the
6 fighting against Serbs?
7 A. Yes, they were.
8 Q. They were members of the HVO, weren't they?
9 A. They volunteered to join the shifts against Serbs. I wasn't
10 really much interested in all that so I don't know much about it.
11 Q. Well, you don't know perhaps any details about the organisation,
12 but they went as Croats, isn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And any of those people who took shifts beforehand, were any of
15 them in the village on the 16th of April?
16 A. Well, yes, because it wasn't their turn, so most of them were in
17 their houses.
18 Q. And the armament of all the men in the village was roughly what we
19 already talked about, it had not improved, or had it?
20 A. Well, from those shifts, yes, we had some automatic weapons, but
21 those were merely M-48s, hunting rifles, drum rifles. But most people
22 usually bought rifles. Serbs, when they were leaving, they were selling
23 them, I suppose in order to get some money, so that people were buying
24 them from them.
25 Q. Right. So you told us that the gunfire started. Could you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 describe in two or three sentences that first day what happened? How did
2 the conflict unfold as you saw it?
3 A. Well, at first we were all confused because we didn't know what or
4 how or who. In the morning, the fire was sporadic. There were no
5 infantry attacks, direct attacks. But we sought shelter behind houses and
6 wondered what to do. And then we agreed to -- in the direction of Strbac,
7 of Jardol, that the villagers who were there, who were nearer there, that
8 we should pick out some elevated points and then take them. And Strbci
9 [phoen], Babici, Potok, villagers from there stayed at home. Mostly
10 people were at -- in their respective homes, and that was the so-called
11 front line but it was a far cry from it.
12 Q. That is you selected some natural spots from which men or groups
13 of men could defend the houses in case of the attack from any side on the
15 A. Yes, that is true.
16 Q. But did also the cannon fire start that day?
17 A. Yes, that day, from the village of Bukve and we later on heard it
18 was BOFOR 40-millimetres it also opened fire on the village.
19 Q. Will you tell us, what is BOFORS?
20 A. BOFORS is an anti-aircraft gun, 40 millimetres.
21 Q. But it can also fire horizontally, it need not fire only
22 vertically towards aircraft.
23 A. Well, that day it was firing horizontally.
24 Q. Did that piece of weapon cause any concrete damage? Could one see
25 the marks?
1 A. Well, it destroyed houses, by and large. There were no wounded or
2 killed yet.
3 Q. How did that day end in terms of warfare? How would you sum up
4 the day?
5 A. Well, in the evening -- rather, in the late afternoon, it all
6 ended, it all stopped, it all came to a halt as if an agreement had been
7 reached. And we just gathered and talked and discussed that day.
8 Q. You suffered no casualties in the village.
9 A. That day, no.
10 Q. To be quite clear, did you ever return the fire? And if you did,
11 then targeting what?
12 A. Well, we couldn't with hunting rifles because Jelovac is quite far
13 away, I mean, for a hunting rifle. So we didn't really return the fire.
14 Q. And the other side did not try to send its infantry into the
16 A. No, not that day.
17 Q. Very well. What happened the next day, on the 17th of April?
18 A. Well, the gunfire was intensified, and then infantry men entered
19 Strbac and killed two men who were in houses. They killed that one who
20 volunteered to fight against the Serbs, he was at home, the one who was
21 taking shifts up there. And he took the road above us. He wasn't on the
22 front line or anything. But they had just entered behind those houses,
23 and I heard that a man opened a burst of fire from a hill and simply mowed
24 him down. The other one was standing next to a cowshed, and as he was
25 standing by that wooden cowshed, the other one opened fire and just killed
2 Q. Do you remember the names of those men, nicknames or something?
3 A. Well, one of them was my school fellow. He was called Dragan
4 Babic, Crni, and another one was -- well, we called him Hristo.
5 Q. Were there any civilians killed that day?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was anybody wounded that day?
8 A. As far as I know, there were a couple of bullets, yes. But I
9 wouldn't know exactly.
10 Q. When they conquered that part of the village, that small part of
11 the village, how did you respond?
12 A. Well, we then started to climb down, because Kosanica is the most
13 exposed part, so that we ran down to help people expel them from there.
14 It was then that we established some sort of a front line.
15 Q. Where did the ABiH members retreat?
16 A. Well, they were already in Hrasnica, in that Serb village. They
17 had gone down to Grabak, to Serb houses. And we were in our own houses.
18 Q. Does that mean that on that second day, the BH army filled in the
19 void in those Serb villages north of your village?
20 A. Yes, on the second or third day, it was all filled up.
21 Q. How did the situation unfold the next day, on the 18th?
22 A. Well, the fire continued to gain in intensity, but then we had
23 already organised ourselves.
24 Q. Did you have any wounded or killed again?
25 A. Well, yes, quite a number. In a year we had 33 fatalities, and
1 about 50 per cent of us were wounded once or several times.
2 Q. Did members of the BH army ever manage to take your village?
3 A. No, never, except on the 1st of September, when they brought tanks
4 in. Some of them entered our trenches but we managed to repel them, and
5 we maintained this front line throughout the war.
6 Q. But that was later.
7 A. Yes, September, that was their fiercest offensive.
8 Q. Just a couple of minor questions about those early days of the
9 conflict until about the 20th of April. When did you consolidate your
10 front line? When could you say that you consolidated your line, held it
11 fast until the end of the war, more or less?
12 A. Well, what shall I tell you? In the beginning it wasn't really a
13 proper front line until we dug in because, every day, one or two of us
14 were killed. So we simply had to dig in in order to make a proper front
15 line, so as to stay alive.
16 Q. Without going back to it, but nevertheless we have to mention it,
17 you mentioned the offensive. Is it correct that in 1993 you experienced
18 two really fierce offensives?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. Although there were attacks practically day in, day out.
21 A. Yes, it was practically almost every day. There were some attacks
22 every day, day in and day out, but these two were really fierce.
23 Q. But as a rule, there were no attacks at night in the first part of
24 the conflict.
25 A. No, not at first. But later on those attacks were the worst.
1 There were subversive groups that would attack at night, at midnight or
2 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning or so.
3 Q. You already mentioned those offensives which came later, in
4 September, in early September. But there was another one before it.
5 Could you tell us when?
6 A. It was sometime in June.
7 Q. That offensive on your village -- rather, the objective of the
8 offensive, was it your village, or was it part of some bigger plan?
9 A. Well, I suppose our village was of particular interest for it
10 because it was adjacent to Mahala, so it represented an access to Vitez.
11 Q. Perhaps on the map that you have there you could show us that
12 position. So your village, and then will you draw with the pointer
13 towards Mahala.
14 A. Yes. It's like that, and then to Kruscica, and there
15 it bifurcates, it branches off into two parts. So we would have been cut
16 off and I don't think we would have managed to stand ground. I think that
17 would have been the end of it.
18 Q. But just to explain it to the Chamber, which forces were in
20 A. I don't understand you.
21 Q. I mean, whose troops were in Kruscica?
22 A. Oh, the Muslims were in Kruscica.
23 Q. You mean the BH army; is that correct?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. Whose forces controlled Mahala, which you just mentioned?
1 A. Why, Muslims.
2 Q. Very well. Had that operation succeeded, what would have happened
3 in that sector?
4 A. Well, I think that that would have been the end of Vitez. I think
5 there would have been quite a massacre there.
6 Q. In that second offensive, tanks also took part in the fighting; is
7 that correct?
8 A. It is.
9 Q. You personally, how many tanks did you see in the area in which
10 you were fighting?
11 A. In my sector, there were three tanks. We managed to destroy two;
12 one survived.
13 Q. One survived. Could you tell us, perhaps, how far did the tanks
14 get, how near you they were?
15 A. They were over our trench.
16 Q. You mean over your trench, literally?
17 A. Yes, literally over our trench.
18 Q. Was it a conventional army attack, with infantry following the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you managed to push them off?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you tell us, please, Mr. Marjanovic, the following: On the
24 16th of April, as an inhabitant of the village, you took part in the
25 defence of the village, did you not? What was your motive for doing so?
1 A. Well, my motive was to safeguard and defend my wife, my children,
2 the village, and the town of Vitez.
3 Q. So defend your home, in fact.
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. At that particular moment, when you started to do this, did
6 anybody mobilise you? Orally or in written form, did anybody say that you
7 were a soldier belonging to such and such a unit, or that you were a
8 soldier, quite simply?
9 A. Well, that came later. Not in those first days.
10 Q. Could you tell us when you received information of this kind?
11 A. I became commander of the sector - I was injured that day - on the
13 Q. On the 20th. Let's stay with that date. What kind of information
14 did you receive that day?
15 A. I was told by Anto Bertovic that I was being appointed commander
16 of the sector of the village of Krcevine, something like that.
17 Q. Did you ever receive a written order to that effect?
18 A. Yes, later on.
19 Q. You said that you were wounded on that day. Was that before you
20 were appointed commander or afterwards?
21 A. I returned that day in the evening from having my wound tended to,
22 and when I came home, Bertovic came and appointed me.
23 Q. They didn't keep you on in hospital.
24 A. No. I was allowed to return home straight away.
25 Q. Is it true that at that time in 1993 there were some other units
1 in Vitez, predominantly of Croat composition?
2 A. You mean other units?
3 Q. Yes, other units.
4 A. I have no idea. I really don't know.
5 Q. Did you ever hear of the Vitezovi?
6 A. Yes, I have heard of them.
7 Q. Were you a member of those other units? For example, the
9 A. No, I was never a member of these groups, special purpose groups.
10 Q. When Bertovic came, or the next day when you got a written
11 appointment and were deployed as commander of the region and were wounded,
12 from that day on, did you consider yourself to be a member of a military
13 unit of any kind -- actually, the military unit of which you became the
15 A. Yes, that became clear to me only at that point.
16 Q. Is it also true that you became a member of the Vitez Brigade on
17 that day?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Throughout the war, did you ever fight in any other locality apart
20 from your own village?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Who else was within the composition of that unit which was now
23 formalised? Was it you yourself who was mobilised alone, or were there
25 A. No, we were all mobilised. All the military-able men in the
1 village of Krcevine were mobilised. And everybody who was over the age of
2 60, we formed labour platoons for us to be able to entrench ourselves.
3 Q. Is it, then, true that every military-able man in the village was
4 given his wartime assignment, whether work duties in military platoons or
5 a military assignment?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. So if they were military-able men, young men, they would become
8 members of your unit which was located in the village; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And you had an area of responsibility, did you not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What was your area of responsibility?
13 A. Do you want me to point it out on the map?
14 Q. Yes, perhaps that would be a good idea.
15 A. From Jardol, there is a stream called Brezovac. From that place
16 right up to this spot, Krizancevo Selo, where there's another stream,
17 Tolovicki Potok, and that was my area of responsibility.
18 Q. Can we take it, then, that you had the area from the stream to the
19 west, to the stream to the east of your village?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And in that locality, there are some roads, I believe.
22 A. Yes, there are several roads leading to Hrasnica and thereabouts.
23 Q. They are roads leading from the north towards the main road in the
24 valley; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And it was your task to block those roads, was it not?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. After the beginning of the war, at any point did you obtain
4 reinforcements? Did members of other units come to reinforce your defence
6 A. Well, during stronger attacks when our line came under heavy
7 attack, then we would get reinforcements, yes.
8 Q. And you, as the commander of the area, you sought reinforcements,
9 did you not?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Could you give us an example, when once you received these
12 reinforcements, once you were helped out by other units, for example, what
13 was that like and what unit was it?
14 A. Well, usually they were the Munja units which were in Buhine
15 Kuce. They came to us and we would deploy them. We would have a local
16 man with one of the members of this other unit because they didn't know
17 the region.
18 Q. Where did they come from?
19 A. Well, some of them were from Vitez and others were from Novi
21 Q. Did they include the remnants of the HVO brigade in Zenica and
22 Travnik which had disintegrated?
23 A. Well, I couldn't tell you exactly because I didn't know them all.
24 Q. Very well, thank you. But at all events, once they came to your
25 locality, whom did they report to?
1 A. They reported to me.
2 Q. So their officer, commanding officer would report to you; is that
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And you would then deploy them in your locality where you needed
6 them to help out; is that right?
7 A. Well, in Krcni [phoen], in my area, I was responsible for them.
8 Q. And did they accept your orders?
9 A. Yes, they did, although it wasn't a real army yet but there we
11 Q. Mr. Marjanovic, under the circumstances, did it ever happen that
12 anybody refused to carry out your orders?
13 A. No, that did not happen.
14 Q. But let us take a hypothetical situation. Had somebody refused to
15 carry out your orders, did you have any way in compelling them to follow
16 your orders?
17 A. Well, I tell Anto Bertovic because he was my superior.
18 Q. If reinforcements came to the front line without reporting to you,
19 hypothetically speaking, what would your relationship be?
20 A. You mean if reinforcements came?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Well, we didn't have cases of that type. It would depend. During
23 the worst situations when two or three of our men were killed and had
24 quite a number of wounded, we would try and cover the area and ask for
1 Q. How long would the reinforcements stay?
2 A. Well, they would stay three or four days and then go back; during
3 the offensive, while the offensive lasted.
4 Q. Does that mean that they would stay until your defence had been
5 consolidated? Could we put it that way?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. You mentioned that your area of responsibility ended in the
8 vicinity of Buhine Kuce and there was heavy fighting around Buhine Kuce,
9 was there not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When was that?
12 A. Well, I don't remember exactly. I think the people from
13 Krizancevo Selo would be able to tell you that better than me.
14 Q. Did your men, as it was to your flank wing that took part in the
15 fighting around Buhine Kuce?
16 A. No because we were under attack at the time.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us now return to the beginning of the conflict for
18 a moment and focus on that. You said that there were 15 Muslim households
19 in the village; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What happened to those families, those households?
22 A. Well, they were -- went on living quite normally in their houses
23 for about a month.
24 Q. Did anyone wish to evict them from their homes?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did anybody maltreat them?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you use them for forced labour?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were their houses burnt?
6 A. No, their houses were not burnt, and they've all now returned to
7 their houses.
8 Q. When they left, were they given any explanation and how did they
9 come to leave; could you describe that?
10 A. Well, they asked me, "Marinko, do you know how long that will
11 last?" And I said, "Well, I'd like it to last as short as possible."
12 "Well," they said, "if it doesn't last too long, perhaps we could stay."
13 And I said, "Well, it's better that you stay." And when 15 or 20 days had
14 passed, they came to me again and asked me again and asked me again. And
15 as they were all behind our backs, nobody had heard anything, and the
16 fighting was at the top of the village and they asked me whether they
17 could be transferred to Zenica where there was a majority Muslim
19 I said that I would have to ask. I asked Anto Bertovic and he
20 said that they could go of their own free will if they wanted to
21 themselves but not us to make them go. And that's what I told them. They
22 thanked me, and they left their property with the locals to look after.
23 What they could take with them in their cars they took. They got into
24 their cars and went safely to Zenica, and nothing happened to them.
25 Q. Have those people come back; did they come back?
1 A. Today, you mean, are they back today? Yes, all of them came back
2 except for the ones that left for Australia or America.
3 Q. And they've taken up residence in their own houses, have they?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. During the war, were any of your Croatian houses destroyed?
6 A. Well, some of our houses, 15 to 20 were burnt.
7 Q. When did this happen?
8 A. This happened during the conflict with inflammatory bullets, and
9 when the tank entered our village. They set fire to these houses.
10 Q. You mentioned earlier on, and let's just go back to that point for
11 a second and recapitulate: Your losses, your casualties, how many of your
12 HVO soldiers lost their lives in the village during all these events?
13 A. 33 fighters.
14 Q. How many people were wounded, roughly?
15 A. About 20 civilians were wounded, and up at the front line, 50 per
16 cent of us actually.
17 Q. Throughout the war, if I understand you correctly in your
18 descriptions of the situation, in the circumstances, would it be true to
19 say that the enemy army was always in front of you on the other side of
20 the defence line?
21 A. Yes, in front of us and above us. They were on an elevation.
22 Q. And at any given time, your village and your houses, including the
23 15 Muslim houses, were in the rear behind your backs; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At any time during the war, did you take -- were you in a
1 situation or take part in an operation which this relationship was changed
2 in any way with the enemy in front and above?
3 A. No, we always maintained that same defence line.
4 Q. The enemy was in front of you, as you said. Were there any
5 civilian targets where the BH army portions?
6 A. No, there were no civilian targets.
7 Q. So all the positions taken up by the army were outside Muslim
8 villages; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That is to say they were on hills, by rivers and so on. There was
11 no built-up area?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. Did you ever have to use your weapons to destroy any of their
15 A. No, we did not.
16 Q. Their premises. So along those lines, I assume they had trenches
17 like you did, did they not?
18 A. Yes, they had dug in too.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, I have no further
20 questions of this witness. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of
22 Mr. Kordic has no questions to put to this witness.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
24 Q. Mr. Marjanovic, I only recently had your summary of evidence and I
25 wasn't expecting you to come until later in the week so though I have some
1 questions to ask you, they may be a bit disconnected; I apologise.
2 Tell us, please, why did the Muslims attack you in your village?
3 What had you done to deserve it?
4 A. Well, to be quite frank, I have no idea.
5 Q. You had no dealings with the local political or military
6 leadership; would that be correct?
7 A. I did not, no.
8 Q. On the days themselves, that's the 16th, 17th, and 18th, you were
9 located in your own village; correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. You didn't see anything of what was happening in Vitez or indeed
12 the short distance further east in Ahmici?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Before we come to those matters in detail, can the witness see,
15 very briefly, that Exhibit 653 again.
16 Now, you've told us that there was no organisation save by village
17 guards before the troubles took the form they did. We've got this
18 document. It's dated, as you'll notice, the 14th of April, so it's before
19 the conflict. It's headed the Viteska Brigade, and it's said to be a list
20 of the personnel from the 1st Battalion of the Vitez or Viteska Brigade by
21 their deployment.
22 When we come to your village, which we'll see towards the bottom
23 of the page under the heading, do you see it there, 3rd Company, Commander
24 Ivica Drmic, and under Krcevine there are 20 soldiers. Now, can you just
25 please explain what you understand the position of those 20 soldiers to
2 A. Well, I could explain that, yes. Those 20 soldiers took shifts
3 against the Serbs. That's how many there were in Krcevine.
4 Q. How do you mean that's how many there were; how many soldiers
5 there were or how many village guards there were or how many members of
6 the Viteska Brigade? What is it?
7 A. They were just the locals of Krcevine which went up in shifts
8 against the Serbs at Slatka Vode and places like that. They took their
10 Q. Were you one of them or not?
11 A. No.
12 Q. In fact, were you working at the time or not?
13 A. I don't understand.
14 Q. Did you have a job at the time? On the 14th of April, did you
15 have a job?
16 A. No, no, I didn't have a job. I was about town.
17 Q. I see. But so that we can understand it, because we've had a
18 number of explanations for these entries on this bit of paper, I'll go
19 through some of them possibly with you, but there are 20 people who would
20 go, you would say, on shifts. And then in addition to that, there are the
21 village guards, are there?
22 A. No, they were also members of the village guards.
23 Q. Right. So that you would say that the village guards are drawn
24 from these 20 people; is that correct?
25 A. No, no. It was mostly local people and they -- when they were off
1 duty, when they were not at the front lines, they could join the village
2 guards. They could volunteer. It wasn't mandatory but they could do so
3 if they wished.
4 Q. All right. But these 20 men or these 20 soldiers, they were
5 identified in some way, were they, as people who were prepared to go to
6 the front line?
7 A. They volunteered to go. We could have gone if we had wanted to,
8 to the front line against the Serbs.
9 Q. And when they went to the front line, who came and organised them;
10 was it Ivica Drmic of the 3rd Company of the Viteska Brigade? Is that
11 what happened, he turned up and took them along to the front line? Is
12 that what happened?
13 A. I wasn't a member, and I didn't know who took them off to the
14 front line.
15 Q. You seem to have some knowledge of what they were doing. What was
16 the organisation of these people in your very small village, please, that
17 made them front line volunteers and left you man-about-town, village
18 guard? Can you explain it for us?
19 A. Well, I can explain, but I wasn't interested in the war which is
20 why I was not a member. If I had wanted to go and fight against the
21 Serbs, I could have done so. But I didn't. So I don't know how they
22 went, when they went, when they came back, who took them there. I really
23 don't know.
24 Q. You were aware, of course, of the existence of organised soldiers
25 in Vitez, the Viteska Brigade, yes?
1 A. Well, I didn't know much about that.
2 Q. Very well. Let's deal with a little bit of geography next and I
3 think that the map D88/2 will probably be more useful than the present map
4 for these purposes.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, this is a map that is also produced in the
6 Vitez binder but I'm using the Defence exhibit number from now on, I
8 Q. And if we can leave it at that sort of magnification for the time
9 being, and then we'll focus on bits of detail in a second or so. This map
10 shows more clearly than the other map that there are, in fact, two main
11 roads, two substantial roads going from south-east to north-west, or east
12 to west, as the road that runs through Vitez itself. And then in an arc
13 above it, there is another quite substantial road. In fact, I think it's
14 the road that now has the large shopping centres and things like that on
15 it; correct?
16 A. As far as I can see, that's correct.
17 Q. We can see that to the north of the river, apart from a few houses
18 on the road that leads up to Krcevine, there are no houses possibly
19 because the river floods or something like that, I don't know, but there
20 is an area with no houses on it between the two roads; correct?
21 A. You mean this part here?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. I have no idea.
24 Q. Now, if we can, let's focus on Vitez itself, if we can get down to
25 a little bit closer to Vitez itself, that's fine. We've been using, in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 this trial, for part of Vitez the term "old" or Stari Vitez, and we've
2 also been using the term "the Mahala" for Vitez. Now, are those two terms
3 describing the same area or are they terms that refer to different areas?
4 A. It's all the same area, Stari Vitez.
5 Q. Or the Mahala; we can use either term.
6 A. That's what it's been called for centuries, Mahala and Stari
8 Q. Now, if we go in a little closer, just a teeny bit closer if we
9 could, and more again if it's possible, we can see there, if we can focus
10 on it, the fire station, which is shown on the south side of the road
11 leading out of Vitez to the west. That fire station, broadly speaking,
12 marks the beginning of the area of the Mahala or Stari Vitez, is that
13 correct, which lies to the west of it?
14 A. No, no, that's not correct.
15 Q. All right. Well, you tell me. Does Stari Vitez start further to
16 the east of that?
17 A. The fire station is right in the middle of Mahala. Where Stari
18 Vitez begins, well, that's all the same area. It's just a different name
19 for it.
20 Q. Very well. So we can consider an area on either side of the fire
21 station as being Stari Vitez. Very well.
22 Now, you've described going home on the night of the 15th, the
23 early hours of the morning of the 16th. You say you went from Vitez, from
24 a discotheque, and you went over the bridge to your village of Krcevine.
25 Now, is it this road that you're describing, going along by the fire
1 station, and then turning right at the next road that we can see and going
2 over the river?
3 A. I have one correction to make. The fire station is in the middle
4 of Mahala and not Stari Vitez. I passed by there and crossed the bridge
5 and went home.
6 Q. Very well. You go up the road, turn right, over the river, and
7 then over the next road that's a little further to the north and into your
8 village; correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Thank you. If we stay with this map and now come out, if the
11 technical booth can help us, and we'll go further north on the map.
12 Perhaps the usher could help or someone. We need to draw back a little
13 bit. And then go a little further -- we want to go a bit further north,
14 really, right up to the top of the map, I think, really. Thank you very
15 much. We can now see, and perhaps we should focus in a little bit until
16 the words become clearer, we can see the village. Focus in a bit. That's
17 fine. Thank you very much. Perhaps if you can move the map just a touch
18 to the left -- no, the other way. I always get it wrong. There it is.
20 That shows your village, and above it, slightly out of focus, is
21 Grabak. And then above that and slightly to the left is Hrasnica;
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Jelovac, the hill there where you say there was a Muslim attack,
25 is not marked on the map, but I think it's in this area; would that be
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. What we can see is that your village lies immediately beside the
4 northern of the two roads that pass either through or beside Vitez,
5 doesn't it? It lies immediately beside that road.
6 A. That's right. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. But there is, in fact, a distance, we can see roughly what it is,
8 we can see that the area of land between the two roads at about the area
9 of your village is a little under a kilometre, 700 or 800 metres, I
10 suppose, from one road to the other, with very few houses on it. You say
11 that the attack on your village related to the Mahala or Stari Vitez. Is
12 that just a guess, or is that a matter of information?
13 A. The offensive? You mean the offensive to join those areas?
14 Q. Well, the offensive on your village that you've described by the
15 BiH. As I understood your evidence, you say that that was connected
16 with --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- Stari Vitez.
19 A. Well, I concluded that because they attacked us every day. They
20 attacked us. Why would they attack us but in order to link up with Mahala
21 and to cut us off? It's logical.
22 Q. Well, the road itself, this northern road, who had control of that
23 road during this part of the fighting? Because it's a main road capable
24 of taking large vehicles. Who controlled that?
25 A. You mean this main road, is that it?
1 Q. Yes. Who controlled that?
2 A. Well, no one controlled it. Both the Muslims and the Croats could
3 fire at it. It was within their firing range.
4 Q. Did it occur to you - I'm not advancing this as a proposition, I'm
5 just inquiring - did it occur to you that the interest in your village may
6 have had rather more to do with gaining control of that road? Because
7 your village had sight of that road, didn't it?
8 A. There was no chance of that. They wanted to link up with Mahala.
9 They were not interested in the road. They controlled a part of the road
10 at Grbavica.
11 Q. The part of the road that they controlled at Grbavica is the other
12 road, that is, the southern of the two roads, and it's just by Divjak,
13 isn't it, or it's to the east of Divjak?
14 A. No, no. That's the same road.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I don't know that there's a great deal of
16 point debating these matters with these witnesses. They seem to find the
17 questions very difficult. I don't understand why.
18 MR. NICE: Very well.
19 Q. My last question on this topic is this: Were there Croat snipers
20 working in and from your village, please?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Right. Can you give me --
23 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry to interrupt.
24 Mr. Marjanovic, we're trying to find out where a place called
25 Krizancevo Selo is. You say it's a hill near you; is that right? Near
1 your village; is that right?
2 A. Yes. Yes, it's the village right next to Krcevine, on the
3 right-hand side.
4 JUDGE MAY: It's the village next to Krcevine, is it?
5 A. That's correct.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Does it go by another name?
9 A. Krizancevo Selo or Dubravica. That's where the massacres
11 MR. NICE: Your Honours will recall, and we can see on this map -
12 if we come out again, we'll just be able to link this to the other map -
13 we can see right on the right-hand corner of this map, Dubravica in the
14 bottom right-hand corner. To connect this with the evidence of the last
15 witness, the very right-hand road running approximately north, slightly
16 north-east, is the road that goes off to Zenica.
17 Q. The man Beso of whom you speak - I'm not able to deal with the
18 detail of what you say one way or another at the moment; possibly I shan't
19 be able to deal with it before you leave the witness box - but the man
20 Beso, you say, was by the fire station at some time after midnight on the
21 turn of the night, 15th/16th; correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. You simply saw him there with a group of other men.
24 A. Yes. I knew most of them.
25 Q. You were with how many other men in your car?
1 A. I was alone.
2 Q. They tried to stop you, you say. What was the apparent purpose of
3 stopping you, if it happened?
4 A. I have no idea. In fact, they didn't stop me. I don't know what
5 would have happened.
6 Q. So there was simply a group of men, they made as if to stop you,
7 but somebody knew you, the man Beso, and you were waved on.
8 A. That's correct. I knew Beso well. We were good friends.
9 MR. NICE: I'll deal with that in detail this afternoon if I have
10 time, but I didn't know of the name of the witness until lunchtime -- the
11 name of Beso until lunchtime.
12 Q. The following morning, you tell us that you were awakened, I
13 think, by the sounds coming from Ravni, which is a part of your village.
14 What time do you say that was?
15 A. The fire was heard first from Jelovac that morning, not from
17 Q. What time do you say that was?
18 A. Well, about 6.00 or 7.00 a.m. Not later than that.
19 Q. Can we just look at your summary, please. Did you prepare this
20 printed summary that we have? Perhaps you'd like to have a copy of it.
21 MR. NICE: Perhaps he could have it in the original language, or
22 in his language, rather. Paragraph 3.3 is what I'm going to.
23 MR. KOVACIC: If I may provide a copy for the witness.
24 MR. NICE: Yes, of course.
25 Q. Paragraph 3.3, please: "On 16 April 1993, the shooting had
1 awakened me and I went on Ravni Put (a part of the village). The village
2 residents made an earlier agreement that Ravni Put would be the meeting
3 point in case of an attack. There, I met the other Croats from the
4 village, while the women stayed in the houses."
5 The next paragraph is 3.4: "We established the defence line on
6 Ravni Put because we estimated that the ABiH would try an infantry attack
7 on the village. We had some weapons borrowed from the shift members who
8 have not been at that time on the defence line ... some people had their
9 own weapons ..."
10 Then paragraph 3.5: "During the whole day, the ABiH forces were
11 taking an offensive action on Krcevine and nearby Grabak using small
12 arms," and then you say, "and artillery ..."
13 Now, you don't, there, set out anything about a start time for
14 this alleged attack. But you do make it clear that you first of all had a
15 chance to go and deal with the defence line on Ravni Put. Think back,
16 please. What was the earliest time your village was, in fact, under any
17 attack at all on that day, assuming it was?
18 A. Early in the morning, between 6.00 and 7.00 a.m., the attack
19 started from Jelovac. There was sporadic shooting on Ravni Put and the
21 Q. Well, unless I'm shown contemporaneous documentation, and I may
22 well be, but unless I'm shown contemporaneous documentation about this,
23 I'm going to challenge this from you and I'm going to suggest you've put
24 that time rather early for any attack. Now, think back, please. Did you
25 not have time to deal with your defence line and so on before any attack
2 A. No, we didn't have time. We didn't organise anything. We didn't
3 know it was going to happen. And that was exactly when the attack
5 Q. Well, now, you see, you couldn't see Ahmici from your village,
6 could you, because you've got the hill that runs through Sivrino Selo and
7 so on in between. But did you hear the shooting that was going on in
9 A. Ahmici is much further away from my village. It's not just a hill
10 that's between these villages; otherwise, I would have had to hear the
11 shooting. But my village is quite far from Ahmici.
12 Q. Yes, well, your village is about six kilometres from Ahmici, as
13 the crow flies. Did you hear any gunfire from any other places further
14 east of your village before, as you say, you were attacked?
15 A. Well, when I was going along Krcevine, I heard them shooting from
16 Tolovici towards Krizancevo Selo. But I was focusing on my own village, I
17 didn't have time to look around too much.
18 Q. You see, the fighting or the gunfire that was coming, as you would
19 say, from Hrasnica, did you see people going there in advance to prepare
20 themselves to attack you? Did you see any movement of vehicles?
21 A. Well, I couldn't see that because I was asleep.
22 Q. Have you ever been told of the movement of vehicles in preparation
23 for this alleged attack on you?
24 A. Well, I said that I learned about it in the morning. I had no
25 idea about the Muslim attack on us.
1 Q. The question is quite specific. Has anybody told you of vehicles
2 rolling up into the village of Hrasnica the night before in order to
3 prepare an attack on you, please?
4 A. Well, I was in Vitez, in the disco. Nobody said anything to me.
5 Q. Of course, there are various routes, no doubt, back routes and so
6 on, to Hrasnica. But is one way to that village through your village of
7 Grabak, or can't you reach Hrasnica through your village in Grabak.
8 A. There are two roads, not one. One goes through Grabak and another
9 goes through Hrasnica. They go towards Preocica, Zenica, and so on.
10 Q. Very well. So are we to take it, please, that the attack that
11 came on you, as you describe it, was mounted with the weapons that already
12 happened to be Hrasnica that night. There was no question of there being
13 prepared reinforcements, was there?
14 A. I don't know that. I don't know whether they prepared or not. I
15 just know that they opened fire in the morning between 6.00 and 7.00 a.m.,
16 they fired on Krcevine.
17 Q. I'm going to suggest to you that if there was any firing that
18 morning at all, it followed the attack that Croats had already mounted in
19 other parts of this locality of yours, and was reactive to it, i.e., it
20 followed the attacks that you heard elsewhere. What do you say to that?
21 A. That is not correct.
22 Q. How do you know that's not correct?
23 A. Well, I know because the Muslims fired on our village and what
24 happened before that I have no idea, or whether anything happened before
1 Q. You describe the Stari Vitez as being in the possession of the
2 Muslims, do you remember telling us that, or under the control of the
3 Muslims? Do you remember that?
4 A. That was during the war but there were also Croats in Mahala
5 before the conflict.
6 Q. Do you remember telling us that it was the Muslims who controlled
8 A. During the war, they did.
9 Q. Do you remember the truck bomb incident? You probably heard it
10 from your village, it's only a kilometre away. Do you remember the truck
11 bomb incident?
12 A. I heard the explosion.
13 Q. You must have learned about what happened there.
14 A. We just heard rumours. We didn't have any exact information.
15 Q. What rumours did you hear?
16 A. Well, that a system had exploded in Mahala; it was all rumour.
17 Q. I see. Now, thinking back, do you think that the description of
18 the Muslims having control of the Mahala is fair or do you think it's
19 rather more a question of the fact that the Croats had them surrounded and
20 they were confined within the Mahala? Which was it?
21 A. Well, it would be better to say that we were all surrounded by the
23 Q. No, I'm asking about the Mahala. Were they in control of it or
24 were they simply surrounded by Croats and kept in a small enclave? Which
25 is it?
1 A. Well, in my judgement, later on, they were surrounded. But before
2 that, they controlled Mahala, and it's nearly half of Vitez. They
3 controlled Mahala.
4 Q. The Muslims from your village at some point were free to simply
5 get into their cars and drive presumably over the mountains to Zenica;
7 A. Yes, they could.
8 Q. That was because there was, of course, a rise and fall in the
9 level of aggression from time to time; correct?
10 A. I have no idea. I know that they were with us for more than a
11 month, they had contacts with us. And there were no problems although we
12 were being attacked from the other side, from up there, but they condemned
14 Q. Somehow or another, these people were able to travel by car. They
15 would hardly be travelling by car to Zenica if there was active fighting
16 going on on the road between Zenica and Vitez, would they, it's pretty
18 A. There were checkpoints, but we promised them that no one would
19 hinder them or provoke them, and that's how it was. They asked me for
20 free passage.
21 Q. And were you able to sign passes for these people? Did you have
22 that much authority given to you?
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Well, who signed the passes then, Mr. Cerkez?
25 A. No. There were no passes at all. We simply talked to the men and
1 agreed this. We told them to let them through.
2 Q. Now, to your knowledge, was that freedom of movement granted to
3 the people encircled in Stari Vitez?
4 A. I don't understand your question very well. They could go around
6 Q. Were the people from Stari Vitez in a position simply to up
7 sticks, as the vernacular has it in our language, get in their cars, and
8 drive to Zenica or were they kept in Stari Vitez? Which is it, please?
9 A. I couldn't say because I was in Krcevine for a whole year. I
10 never went down there since after the shooting started.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I probably have finished. There is a
12 number of documents that might have been raised with this witness. Can I
13 just consider them for a minute, and if I'm satisfied that I needn't put
14 any of them, then I'll probably have finished.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. NICE: If I could sit down to do it rather than stand to do
17 it. Thank you.
18 Your Honour, I'm not going to produce documents of marginal value
19 and simply repeat categories of documents we've seen before. The only
20 reason I'm putting in documents about service with different categories of
21 witnesses is to ensure that a full and fair picture is presented given the
22 answers being advanced about membership of the various -- therefore I'll
23 put the one comment to the witness for his comments. 1473.11, please.
24 Q. This is a document that we have setting out your service, I
25 think. You are Marinko, son of Screcko Marjanovic, born in 1967; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. This describes you as having been a military conscript and a
3 member of the 92nd home defence regiment Viteska in the period 15th of
4 November 1991 to the 30th of March 1996, performing the duties of company
5 commander until the mobilisation signed by Colonel Dragan Vinjac. Do you
6 agree with that as a description of your military service?
7 A. Yes, that's what it says, but it's not true.
8 Q. In what way is this document not true, please?
9 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry.
10 A. It wasn't from 1991, it was from 1993. I joined only when the
11 conflict broke out. So 1991 is wrong.
12 Q. And your explanation for this document which seems quite specific
13 about its date, 15th of November, 1991, how can you explain that?
14 A. Well, what can I say? I think it's largely for those shares,
15 those worthless shares that we got. To prolong our service so as to get
16 more of those shares, but when we got them, they were completely worthless
17 and this is not correct.
18 Q. One other question. The front line at Krcevine was roughly how
19 long? Are we dealing in a front line of 500 metres, a kilometre, what?
20 A. Well, roughly two kilometres, thereabouts.
21 Q. And in August of 1993, where were you?
22 A. 1993?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Which month did you say; I'm not quite sure about these new names.
25 Q. August.
1 A. Oh, August 1993. Well, I was in Krcevine, wasn't I?
2 Q. And you were the commander in charge of the front line.
3 A. Yes, as the 20th or about -- the 20th of April, that is. Not
5 Q. On the 8th of August, therefore, you were in your village and you
6 were the commander.
7 A. 8th of August, 1993, you say? Yes.
8 Q. Do you remember the visit to your front line by Mr. Kordic?
9 A. No. Mr. Kordic did not come to my front line during that year.
10 Q. We've had evidence of his being seen there with military
11 commanders, including Mr. Cerkez. Now, thinking back, do you remember a
12 visit by Mr. Cerkez to your front line?
13 A. On a couple of occasions, yes, Mr. Cerkez would drop by our front
14 line, but I did not see Dario Kordic unless he was with my deputy
15 commander and he did not report it to me, but I simply have no
16 recollection of it.
17 Q. What is the name of your deputy commander?
18 A. Anto Radalic.
19 Q. Did you see Kordic anywhere else other than in your village?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you know him at all?
22 A. Not personally. I knew he was a politician and that's about it.
23 Q. Did you see him in military uniform ever?
24 A. Not really.
25 Q. I see. And you have no recollection of seeing him in your village
1 in August of 1993?
2 A. I don't.
3 Q. Are you sure about that?
4 A. Oh, yes, I'm sure.
5 Q. And your deputy, is he still living in Vitez?
6 A. Yes. He does live in Vitez.
7 MR. NICE: Thank you.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it's ten past 4 o’clock. Are you going
9 to be many minutes?
10 MR. KOVACIC: Maximum five, worst case.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, I put that to the interpreters, worst case five
12 minutes, can we --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
15 Q. You told us about the massacre in Krizancevo Selo. Will you tell
16 us what that massacre was. Who committed it? What was it about?
17 A. The massacrers perpetrated the massacre against the Croat
18 population. They killed 104 individuals that day. A number of
19 individuals were taken away and then killed.
20 Q. And it happened late in 1992, early 1993?
21 A. Yes, quite a number of civilians were also killed on that
22 occasion, women and children, and those captors who were -- who survived
23 that, they were also killed later on, 104 -- well, I don't know but it was
24 over 100 individuals.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, according to the translation, you said
2 that it happened late in 1992, early 1993. I thought the evidence was
3 that it was late 1993. Why don't we ask the witness.
4 When did this happen?
5 A. It was late 1993, as far as I can remember, but I don't know the
6 exact date.
7 MR. KOVACIC: It was obviously my mistake. It was the end of 1993
8 as the witness said.
9 Q. [Interpretation] But there was also fighting there in the very
10 beginning of 1993?
11 A. Yes. There was fighting in Krizancevo Selo.
12 Q. My apologies. I got the years mixed up. Was there any fighting
13 in early 1994?
14 A. Yes. For a year, the conflict broke out at the same time that it
15 did in our case and it is a neighbouring village and it lasted just as
16 long as it did in our village.
17 Q. Yes, in early 1994 there was. You mentioned that Beso, did you
18 mean Beso Ahmet who was a policeman?
19 A. Yes, and he lived in Kruscica.
20 Q. In Kruscica, you say. Thank you. There was mention about the
21 siege, about the encirclement, and perhaps it may be the question of
22 the -- what comes first, the hen or the egg, but will you please tell us,
23 would you agree that the Lasva Valley, the part that you were in,
24 Krcevine, and the environs of Vitez was encircled by the BH army?
25 A. Yes, I would. That's how it was.
1 Q. And you would also agree that within that -- that inside that
2 circle, there were parts where that same BH army was encircled too?
3 A. Yes, correct.
4 Q. Can we agree that these are basically two positions?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is that Mahala?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And is it Kruscica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. But can we agree that Kruscica, down towards the south, through
11 the woods, has an open access?
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, if you want to ask things, the value is
13 limited if at all if you ask the questions. You must really allow the
14 witness to give the evidence.
15 MR. KOVACIC: I was trying to cut the time but I gave up the
16 question because Kruscica we have heard many things, so it was obviously
17 not necessary.
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] As things are happening,
19 Mr. Kovacic, one has the feeling that you are testifying. You are the one
20 who is testifying, so we shouldn't reverse the parts.
21 MR. KOVACIC: Certainly.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Roads, there was talk about roads. Let us just
23 make it quite clear, how many roads, main thoroughfares are there through
24 the Lasva Valley around Vitez between Kaonik and Travnik, so roughly
25 speaking east-west?
1 A. There is one main road, and one roundabout but there is one main
2 road, one main highway.
3 Q. The first that you mentioned goes through the town; is that
5 A. It is, it goes through Mahala.
6 Q. And the other one you called a roundabout?
7 A. One goes through and that is the main road. That one goes through
8 the fields and another one goes through Mahala, I mean through the town,
9 and then they come together on the main road.
10 Q. And from that point when they come together onward, there is only
11 one road?
12 A. Correct, only one.
13 Q. And the same thing on the east before they branch off, there is
14 one road?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Thank you. You were shown this certificate, I'm referring to
17 Z1473.11. Did you happen to notice the date as the end of your service
18 with the military?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Will you tell us which date is it here?
21 A. 30th of March, 1996, which is not true.
22 Q. At that time, say, in March 1996, what were you doing at the time?
23 A. Well, I can't remember exactly, but I quit the army as soon as the
24 war was over.
25 Q. That was roughly when?
1 A. Well, 1994, in early 1994 when the conflict ended, when the
2 cease-fire was signed, I stopped being active.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Marjanovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank
5 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, while the witness is going, but bearing in
8 mind the five minutes that we had, is this a matter which you could deal
9 with in a minute or would you prefer between witnesses tomorrow morning?
10 MR. NICE: It will take about four or five minutes to set the
11 position out, I think. It doesn't require, I think, a response. I'm
12 really acting, at the moment, to provide information.
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you could do it tomorrow morning between
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes we'll adjourn now until tomorrow morning, half
17 past nine.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
19 at 4.17 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday
20 the 12th day of September, 2000, at
21 9.30 a.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.