Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 25172

1 Thursday, 21 September 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.

7 WITNESS: DUSAN LUKOVIC [Resumed]

8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Cross-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres: [Continued]

10 Q. Mr. Lukovic, you told us yesterday that you're of Serbian

11 nationality. You were born in Banja Luka, weren't you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And were your parents of Serbian nationality too?

14 A. My mother is a Serb from Banja Luka and my father is a Serbian, I

15 mean from Serbia itself, Krusevac. So yes.

16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I do not get any translation.

17 Q. You told us yesterday that you had a passport showing that you

18 were a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also a passport showing that

19 you were a citizen of Croatia as well.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Could you tell us in what capacity you demanded this passport and

22 how you obtained it, since you are a Serb and you live in Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina and you live in Vitez?

24 A. My son is also a Serb, and he was issued a passport because he was

25 the secretary of the basketball club. They had their matches in Split and

Page 25173

1 Rijeka. And I had only a Bosnian passport, and it is very difficult for

2 me to transport it, but when I accepted to be a witness for the Defence,

3 the only way I could do that was to get the passport. But there are Serbs

4 in our case who were issued passports of Croatia; not all of them, but

5 some of them did get Croatian passports; and Croats, yes, they all got

6 them.

7 Q. So if I understand you properly, you received this passport only

8 to be able to come and testify here in The Hague.

9 A. I got that passport to be able to use it, because with that

10 passport I could also go to visit Montenegro to see my daughter, via

11 Dubrovnik, via Herceg-Novi, and with it I also went to see relatives in

12 Pula. So I used it not only to come here, but --

13 Q. Did you have to give reasons to show that you had connections or

14 links with Croatia to be able to get the passport?

15 A. The only reason perhaps was that I lived in Vitez, which is

16 Central Bosnia, and that I testified here. And the reason my son was

17 given it was, as I have said, so that he could travel with the basketball

18 team. So he was issued a passport in 1994, 1995. So there wasn't a

19 problem. Perhaps even if I did not apply for it to go to The Hague, after

20 all, I've lived in Vitez for 43 years, and I told you yesterday all that I

21 did there. People know me. I do not have any political blemishes, so

22 perhaps that was the reason why I was issued that passport.

23 Q. As somebody living in Vitez, of Serbian origin, living in Bosnia

24 and Herzegovina, it is easy to get a passport from Croatia?

25 A. Well, that is how I got it.

Page 25174

1 Q. Are you now, today, a member of a political party?

2 A. No, none. Once I was a member of the League of Communists of

3 Yugoslavia, but after that I did not join any party, nor did I accept any

4 of the parties: the HDZ, SDP, or whatever. That is, politically I am

5 quite uncommitted.

6 Q. But you carried out political functions, because I think that you

7 were the mayor of Vitez in 1984, 1985. At the time you did represent a

8 political party, the League of Communists, the one you mentioned just now?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. And you've told us that you no longer belong to any party. Could

11 you tell us when you stopped belonging to a political party?

12 A. In 1990, when the 14th Congress of the League of Communists of

13 Yugoslavia took place in Belgrade, I was so disappointed by the whole

14 congress and by the split, by the schism in the League of Communists of

15 Yugoslavia, and I could not really feel I could belong any longer to such

16 a disintegrated League of Communists, so that I requested to leave. And I

17 was too disenchanted, too disappointed by those groups, by those leading

18 cliques, as we would call it.

19 Q. Just a moment ago you told us that you didn't belong to any

20 political party; for instance, you don't belong to the HDZ. But could you

21 tell us in a few words what the programme of that party is, what its

22 positions are?

23 JUDGE MAY: I don't think, Mr. Lopez-Terres, we need that now.

24 Could I ask you to bear in mind that we are under pressure of time this

25 week, I'm afraid. I notice the witness took about three quarters of an

Page 25175

1 hour in chief, and I would ask you to try and restrict yourself to that

2 time, please.

3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

4 Q. You were in Vitez during the war. You therefore experienced how

5 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was created and then how the

6 Croatian Republic was created in 1993. How did you yourself experience

7 the creation of these various institutions?

8 A. Well, I have to say that, as I have already said, I did not belong

9 to any party. I had no role in all this. And all these things came into

10 being without any -- without myself playing a part in that. The only

11 influence, political, which I can have is to vote or not to vote for HDZ

12 or SDP or SDA. That is the only political role that I can have now.

13 However, my opinion now -- and that is irrespective of a party

14 which might have been in power -- such a crazy, such an insane -- I do not

15 have any other word for it -- such an insane conflict. Because Vitez was

16 the front line. All the villages were criss-crossed with those trenches,

17 there was gunfire all over, blockades and all sorts of things, and you

18 couldn't really have any proper political power that would have been up to

19 expectations of the majority of the population, because unfortunately that

20 kind of policy had done its harm. It led to the division, to the ethnic

21 division -- Muslims, Croats, Serbs -- and so on and so forth. But when it

22 calmed down, when the International Community came there and its

23 institutions, the relations began to improve.

24 Q. Excuse me. Excuse me, Mr. Lukovic. You thought that the creation

25 of the three institutions was justified at the time, did you? Can you

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Page 25177

1 answer with a yes or no?

2 A. You know what, I don't like it because it is as if participating

3 in a quiz; it is so difficult to say yes or no.

4 I was not for the separation of anyone. I liked the Yugoslavia as

5 it was, except that in that Yugoslavia I did not like the leadership which

6 pursued a policy which did not meet the interests of all the peoples. And

7 Bosnia is a very curious place because it is mixed ethnically in terms of

8 religion and in every other respect. So that it's easiest for us to live

9 when we live together, because we've spent centuries living together. I

10 do not think that anyone is happy now after this division; that is what I

11 think. And now we're trying to get used to each other again. So that I

12 never applauded any government or any division; I do not like that

13 division in Bosnia into the Federation of Republika Srpska. But who am I

14 to decide about how a state will be constituted?

15 Q. You told us yesterday that your son was part of the HVO forces.

16 He was even wounded, wasn't he, during the war. Could you tell us which

17 unit he belonged to?

18 A. I do not know the unit, but he was with the HVO, the Croat Defence

19 Counsel, the military wing of the HVO. Now, whether it was a brigade and

20 whether it had a name, I really don't know.

21 Q. You're not in a position to tell us whether he was part of the

22 Vitez Brigade, for instance, which was commanded by Mario Cerkez?

23 A. I believe so. I think so, because, yes, it was a brigade from

24 Vitez, yes.

25 Q. When was he wounded, and where was he wounded?

Page 25178

1 A. He was wounded at Bobasi, I think it could have been December, and

2 he was wounded in the arm. Members of the BH army had attacked in that

3 area, and he was wounded there and spent about a month on sick-leave.

4 May I add something, if I may?

5 Q. Well, you know we're under time pressure and I'd like us to move

6 forward.

7 You told us that in June 1993 you received a summons from the

8 defence administration in Vitez, the one which was from the Croatian

9 Community of Herceg-Bosna, from the HVO, and you agreed to answer the

10 summons, didn't you?

11 A. I did not get the summons from the national defence

12 administration. It was an oral information, a request from a member of

13 the military police who had a list of sorts. He asked me about my name

14 and I told him that I was Dusan Lukovic, and then he said, "You are to

15 report to the town library." So I really do not know if the list was

16 drawn by the defence administration or not, or the defence office.

17 Q. Well, the representatives of the HVO military police provided you

18 with this information, didn't they?

19 A. Yes, they informed me about it and requested that I report.

20 Q. At the time there were somehow two parallel authorities, weren't

21 there, in the area. What would your reaction have been if you had

22 received a similar summons from the BH army, from the Muslims? Would you

23 have agreed to going and digging trenches also for the BH army?

24 A. My answer is in the affirmative. I told you yesterday that I

25 agreed to do it because it was regulated by law, and I was a military

Page 25179

1 conscript. So had I been in Mahala and received such summons, as a Serb I

2 would have gone to dig this. With all this war predicament, I thought,

3 well, if I go there and dig those trenches, we shall protect the lives of

4 those young people, and then when the UN arrives, they will sit around a

5 big table and put an end to this crazy war. So I would have, yes.

6 Q. You mentioned a law or an act because of which you were

7 mobilised. It was decided by the HVO, and it was under the decision of

8 the Herceg-Bosna Community, wasn't it?

9 A. There was a decree.

10 Q. When you were sent to the work platoon, you told us that it was

11 organised somehow and you mentioned people who were responsible for

12 organising the work platoons. And you mentioned the Vinac brothers,

13 didn't you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Was Marijan Vinac one of the people you mentioned?

16 A. I've told you that there were two of them. All I know is that it

17 was a Vinac who drove a van or, rather, a minibus, when he took us to

18 Zabrdje, to Zaselje. But whether his first name is Marijan, or the other

19 one, I really don't know, even though I know both of them, I know their

20 parents.

21 Q. So you know Marijan Vinac, son of Franjo.

22 A. I'm not in touch with them; I know them by sight. We also say

23 hello to each other, because to them I'm Uncle Dusko. I am quite close

24 with their parents, but I do not see them, I do not socialise with them.

25 Q. We agree on this, don't we: Among the two people organising the

Page 25180

1 work platoons, there was Marijan Vinac, son of Franjo.

2 A. I cannot really say yes or no because I don't know. But it was a

3 Vinac who drove the minibus. There was a young man called Males who

4 looked like a commander of the work platoon but only for Kolonija. Every

5 locality formed work platoons. It started even at their own initiative,

6 because one had to protect the village if, you know, there was any

7 destruction, that one needed some help. So that even we who lived in the

8 town went out to the front line to dig where and when it was necessary.

9 Q. The Vinac family, they come from Donja Veceriska, do they?

10 A. Their mother lives there, and one of the brothers too. But both

11 the brothers have houses in Vitez, below Gradina.

12 Q. You were mobilised to work in those work platoons for the first

13 time in June 1993. Do you know whether there were similar work platoons

14 in April 1993 in Vitez?

15 A. I am not aware of that, because the first time I went into the

16 field was in June 1993. But I did see in places where I went through that

17 there already were some trenches, either for men to stand in or to sit

18 in. But the front line was not fixed. Perhaps they were dug by soldiers

19 themselves when there was no fighting.

20 Q. So I suppose these are just guesses of yours. You don't know who

21 dug the trenches which you saw in June 1993.

22 A. I'm just guessing.

23 Q. On the 16th of April, 1993, I believe you were still living in

24 your apartment in Kolonija.

25 A. Yes.

Page 25181

1 Q. Do you know whether Muslims living in Vitez but in that

2 neighbourhood of Kolonija, whether they were arrested? Did you witness

3 such people being arrested?

4 A. How shall I say? Arrested. You know, later on I talked to

5 another colleague of mine who is also a sociologist, and another one with

6 whom I worked in the factory with, and I know that they were put up at the

7 Workers' University. Later on the situation was really very tense. There

8 were many displaced people who had arrived from Jajce and who had also

9 suffered at the Serbs' hands, so on and so forth. There was gunfire and

10 war.

11 My feeling was that Muslims, I mean Muslim men, were being put

12 away, sheltered, in order to prevent crimes, because Muslim women had

13 left. Had they been arresting Muslims, I mean men, they would have been

14 arresting everybody.

15 But I think this colleague of mine spent some five or seven days

16 in the cinema of the Workers' University. But everything else is just

17 stories, and of course one can always question the accuracy of stories. I

18 want to talk only about what I can confirm.

19 Q. If I understood you properly, some of your friends of Muslim

20 nationality were -- well, you don't like the word "arrested," but they

21 were detained in some premises in Vitez, and this was done by the HVO,

22 starting on the 16th of April; do we agree on this?

23 A. Yes, except that the wording should be different. I think those

24 were not arrests, they were being taken in; and there is a difference,

25 arresting somebody and taking somebody under your custody to shelter him.

Page 25182

1 I do not know how some individuals treated Muslims, and that is something

2 that I do not know. But they all left those places. I've heard from

3 people, saying, "I was in a camp, I was in a detainee in a camp," and yet

4 he's sitting in a cinema where you have armchairs.

5 I mean, some Muslims were put away -- well, yes, perhaps you could

6 call it -- some would call it arrested. But I think that there should

7 have been a decision, that some court should have issued some decisions,

8 but no court issued any decisions. They were simply put in the cinema

9 for, I don't know, seven days or something.

10 Q. Due process. But they were detained for some time by the HVO

11 forces, and this happened in various locations.

12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Lopez-Terres.

13 Could the witness be asked another question on this episode with the

14 cinema? He told us that they were detained, that the Muslims were kept in

15 the cinema. According to you, why were they kept there? What were the

16 reasons for them being kept in the cinema?

17 A. I'll give you my opinion. Because there was shooting all over the

18 place and shelling, explosions throughout Vitez. I don't know who was in

19 command and who was not, but what happened was that the Muslims were

20 detained. They weren't arrested. That seems to me to be a strong term.

21 But they were detained in those premises. And I think that that was done

22 mostly to prevent even more bloodshed from taking place and to prevent

23 those people from becoming victims. Because if individuals wanted to

24 kill, say, a Muslim or a Serb or a Croat, there were people who had gone

25 quite insane, quite crazy at that time, so it was very difficult to

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Page 25184

1 control anybody who had lost his nerve. And I think that that was the

2 main reason, and probably the Muslims who were there said what it was like

3 there.

4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I?

5 Q. Could you explain it to us? I think you told us that they were

6 detained for their own safety because there was a dangerous situation

7 there. But if that was so, why, then, this did not apply to Croats as

8 well? No Croat was detained, as far as I know, or kept in those safe

9 places.

10 A. If we're talking about the general danger, we were all in danger

11 from the shelling, shooting, and so on. But here they probably

12 assessed -- and I can only assume that; I cannot claim it -- but there was

13 the possibility that Croat -- of Croat ethnicity could attack a Muslim,

14 abuse them, maltreat them, or something like that. Because there were

15 many Croats who had come from Grahovcici, Brankovcici, Zenica, Jajce, and

16 all those places, and our own people as well, whose children had lost

17 their lives.

18 Q. Mr. Lukovic, Mr. Lukovic, you are familiar with the Workers'

19 University. You told us about it. You know also the school in Dubravica,

20 you know the chess club, you know the SDK building, you know the

21 veterinary station, and you know that dozens, hundreds of Muslims were

22 taken there, to use your expression, were taken there in April. There

23 were no Croats amongst them. There were only Muslims, men and women.

24 A. All the places that you have just mentioned, I know them well, and

25 I can say that that is true; that did exist. I heard that from the people

Page 25185

1 who were there. But I once again would like to state that there was no

2 need to detain Croats, who were the majority population compared to the

3 Muslims. And if there was a settling of accounts between the Croats and

4 Muslims, then it was very dangerous for Croats too. When the Mahala, for

5 example, had a conflict like that take place, and they had to leave the

6 Mahala. They withdrew too. So for every nationality who was in the

7 minority found it difficult. The only thing that happened in Vitez was

8 that the Serbs did not have --

9 Q. Do you know a place where Croats were kept for reasons of security

10 and detained there against their wish, like the Muslims that you told us

11 about?

12 A. [No interpretation]

13 Q. Do you know if among those persons who were detained in places

14 which we mentioned, some were also forced to dig trenches around the town

15 of Vitez?

16 A. I didn't hear about that, and the people that I talked to, they

17 didn't tell me that. They didn't say that they had been forced to dig.

18 But when we went to the trenches, then there were Muslims there too who

19 had been detained. And when they went home and when I went trench

20 digging --

21 Q. I'm talking about April. I'm referring to April.

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish.

23 In order to get on, Mr. Lukovic, could you just concentrate on the

24 questions? You were asked if you knew of any place in which the Croats

25 were detained. Did you know of any such place?

Page 25186

1 A. I've already said no, I did not know of any such place.

2 JUDGE MAY: You did not make any audible response. We now have

3 your reply.

4 Now, you said something about when you were digging trenches, you

5 came across Muslims who had been detained. Now, were they digging

6 trenches too?

7 A. Where I went to dig trenches, together with me, from Vitez, the

8 Muslims and Croats went too. They weren't detained. We were just

9 mobilised and we went to dig the trenches, and we were there together.

10 JUDGE MAY: What about the Muslims who had been detained? Did you

11 see any Muslims under guard at the trench-digging?

12 A. It was only in June that I went to Zabrdje for the first time when

13 the trench-digging went on, so about that part of April, I don't know.

14 JUDGE MAY: I mean, what I asked you was whether you saw any

15 Muslims under guard digging trenches. Is the answer you --

16 A. No.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

18 A. Wherever I went to the localities where we dug trenches, there was

19 not a single Muslim who was brought there under arms, nor were arms

20 directed at them. Croats and Muslims and myself, we all had the same

21 treatment: Zabrdje, Zaselje, and all the localities that we went to. The

22 work platoons were multi-ethnic, so that -- and I have heard stories, for

23 example, that there was a Muslim -- well, I don't know that Muslims dug

24 alone. We all dug the trenches. And I can only assume that there should

25 have been more younger Muslims, and they couldn't get arms on the Croatian

Page 25187

1 side to go up to the line, whereas the Serbs that were there, like my son,

2 they did have weapons. About 350 Serbs were included into the HVO, either

3 in work platoons or as civil defence members or like my son and the other

4 people who were the armed component of the HVO. And all of them were

5 given treatment as soldiers of the HVO and all of them received --

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Mr. Lukovic, you know that most of the Muslims, most Muslims left

9 Vitez after the conflict in April 1993?

10 A. Unfortunately, I do know. That's true. A lot of Muslims did

11 leave. And I must also say that a number of Serbs, not a large number,

12 but a number of Serbian families left Vitez as well.

13 Q. Those Muslims who left Vitez, did they do so of their own volition

14 or were they forced to do that?

15 A. Well, I think that in some cases they were forced to do so, and in

16 other cases their psychological state was such that they wanted to leave

17 the environment, just as there were Croats who left Vitez and went to

18 Zagreb with their families, or to Split or wherever. Because it was

19 difficult to live in Vitez, and extremely dangerous as well.

20 However, I do believe that this was a problem of flats, of

21 apartments too, accommodation, because the people who came didn't have

22 anywhere to live. I heard stories going round of that kind that

23 individuals would go around in the course of the night and perhaps

24 threaten these people, "If you don't leave of your own free will, we'll

25 make you leave." Perhaps there were telephone calls to that effect. And

Page 25188

1 this created the general psychosis in which people wished to leave. And

2 just one moment, please. May I just add that all the Muslims are coming

3 back today and their apartments are being returned to them today.

4 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about that now. Let us try and

5 finish your evidence, please, Mr. Lukovic. Yes.

6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

7 Q. You tell us that some of you -- that some of them were

8 forced -- that some of them received threats from people who came by

9 night, who wanted to take over their apartments, but those who were

10 threatening them, they were Croats, weren't they?

11 A. I said that I heard rumours about this going round, so I cannot

12 claim myself that it took place, as I can say for the work platoons, where

13 I was personally. And I assume, with the passage of time, that cases like

14 that could have existed at the time.

15 Q. Very well. You told us and confirmed it a while ago that the work

16 platoon in which you worked was a multi-ethnic, and I should like to show

17 you a document and to invite you to comment on it.

18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] It is a document which is

19 Z1210.2.

20 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]

21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Will you place it on the ELMO.

22 Q. This is a document dated 21st of September, 1993. As you can see,

23 it was issued by the defence office in Vitez, by the Croat Community of

24 Herceg-Bosna, and you are the first on the list of 12 persons who were

25 mobilised by this office. Do we agree on this?

Page 25189

1 A. [No interpretation]

2 Q. It is your name under number 1 in a list of 12 mobilised persons.

3 It is on the top of the page in the original.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I should now like to look at the first part of the document, where

6 there is a list of 20 individuals, and that was evidently the work platoon

7 called Sofa. Do you see that list?

8 A. [No interpretation]

9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Could I get the French

10 interpretation, please? I cannot hear it. I'm getting English. I'm

11 sorry. Yes. Now it's all right. Thank you very much. Thank you.

12 Q. These names, those 20 names, are they Serb names, Croat names,

13 Muslim names? What are they?

14 A. [No interpretation]

15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I believe we have a problem with

16 the interpretation. At times we hear English on the French channel. I

17 don't know --

18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes. Now we do hear the French

19 interpretation.

20 A. [No interpretation]

21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] We again have a problem.

22 JUDGE MAY: Can we get something done about this?

23 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]

24 JUDGE MAY: Let's see how we get on now.

25 THE INTERPRETER: One, two, three. One, two, three.

Page 25190

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. There's no problem with the English.

2 Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.

3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

4 Q. You were saying -- you were speaking about the ethnicity of people

5 on this list. What are they?

6 A. [No interpretation]

7 JUDGE MAY: We're not getting the English. This has got to be

8 sorted out. The registrar suggests that the wrong buttons are being

9 pressed, but I don't know whether that's so or not.

10 It's going now. Right. We'll try again.

11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

12 Q. You knew all these people, you were able to identify these people

13 straight away as being of Romany origin?

14 [Technical difficulty]

15 JUDGE MAY: I think we better adjourn. Mr. Lopez-Terres, how much

16 more do you have for this witness?

17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Well, I only have one question,

18 Your Honour. But, you know, there are so few opportunities for us to

19 speak French in this Tribunal that I think we have to respect this

20 principle, that I'm authorised to speak French.

21 JUDGE MAY: I agree. What we'll do is adjourn for ten minutes and

22 try and get it sorted out.

23 [Trial Chamber confers]

24 JUDGE MAY: Judge Bennouna suggests we try for the last question.

25 And here is the registrar.

Page 25191

1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

2 JUDGE MAY: The technical staff say it's working, so let's try

3 again. Your last question.

4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Lukovic, yesterday you mentioned the very good relationship

6 you had with the Cerkez family, with his parents, with himself. You spent

7 holidays together, if I understood you properly. You got Mr. Cerkez into

8 the SPS factory, and you were very pleased with the work he was doing.

9 Now, how far do they go back, these good links with his family? Could you

10 specify the time when you started having such connections?

11 A. I said yesterday that at the end of the 1960s, that is to say,

12 from the 1970s onwards, it could have been 1970 when I graduated, I think

13 that from that time on --

14 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you. I wanted to move more speedily.

15 So you've had these connections with the Cerkez family already back in the

16 1960s. Here's my question: From 1992 more specifically, did you maintain

17 those types of quality links with his family, and especially with him,

18 Mario Cerkez?

19 A. Yes, I did have ties, links, and I would go to them for Christmas,

20 for Easter, and so on. I remember when there was an attack on the 24th of

21 December at Bobasi that I went to take a Christmas tree from his father

22 and mother, because I wanted to decorate the Christmas tree for Christmas

23 and for New Year for my own family. And --

24 Q. Did you meet Mario Cerkez at the time when he was the commander of

25 the Vitez Brigade?

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Page 25193

1 A. Yes, I did. When I was at home, we would sit and have a chat with

2 his father. He wasn't at the lines where I was. And I don't think he had

3 time to talk to me either during that period, because the situation was

4 very complex and he probably had a lot to do with the organisation of the

5 defence, and so on.

6 Q. You, therefore, did not have any opportunity of speaking with the

7 accused, Mario Cerkez, of the events. You couldn't speak with him about

8 the war and the fighting, about everything that happened following April

9 1993.

10 A. I was ill, then I talked to him. I was ill for 30 days and we had

11 a talk then, but I didn't discuss the war.

12 Q. Thank you very much.

13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.

14 Thank you.

15 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukovic, we had some technical difficulties

17 when we were discussing the document presented to you by the Prosecution,

18 it is document Z1210.2, and your answers were not recorded.

19 So for the record, could you give us your answer again, please?

20 I'm going to ask you in the following way: On page 1 of the original text

21 there is a list of 20 persons. Tell us, please, according to your own

22 personal knowledge, what nationality were these individuals?

23 A. Only number 2, Samir Besic, was -- I think there was a village

24 called Besici, towards Kruscica. I think he was a Muslim. But all the

25 rest, the Ramici, Suvalici, Fafulovici, Sejdici and all the others, they

Page 25194

1 were all Romanies. We have a settlement of Romanies, and they always went

2 to dig together. If there weren't 19 of them, there would be 10 of them,

3 11 of them, and so on.

4 Q. How do you know that, Mr. Lukovic?

5 A. Well, I know those people because I was the mayor, I was an

6 activist. I contacted them. And we say hello to each other today as

7 well. And I went digging with them together. I know Fafulovic, Adil

8 Fafulovic, for example, personally; he came to my building.

9 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. On page 2 of the original text

10 there is another list of 12 people, and it says that these 12 people were

11 mobilised for the work platoon. Under number 1 there is your name; is

12 that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Would you take a look at that list and tell the Trial Chamber and

15 all of us here in the courtroom what the nationalities of these people are

16 on that list?

17 A. Well, Dusan Lukovic, a Serb; Dzevad Junuzovic --

18 Q. A little slower, please, so we can record it.

19 A. Number 1 is my name, I'm a Serb; then Junuzovic and Viteskic were

20 Muslims; Babic and Barbic, Anto, Ivo, and all the rest, were Croats. I

21 should like to mention that Mirsad Viteskic, after me, was the mayor of

22 Vitez, he was the president of the municipality. And we dug in the same

23 trench, the two Muslims and myself.

24 Q. So that was a sort of work platoon of former mayors. That was a

25 little joke on my part.

Page 25195

1 A. Well, yes, we joked about that too while we were digging.

2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lukovic. The Prosecutor suggested in one of his

3 questions that regulation with respect to work assignments and duties were

4 brought by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

5 My question is the following: The regulations with respect to

6 work duty and work platoons, did they exist in the former Yugoslavia, the

7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina when it was a component part of the former

8 Yugoslavia? Do you happen to know that?

9 A. Yes, there was a law on national defence. There was a federal law

10 and republican laws. And as far as I know later on, from the

11 conversations I had, this was used by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina as

12 well and the HVO too. I'm sure that the regulation was adapted, but it

13 emanated from the law. And I think that the wording is the same or

14 similar as it is here.

15 Q. Thank you very much.

16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to

17 refer to D103/2 and D104/2 which have been admitted into evidence and

18 speak about this topic.

19 Q. Mr. Lukovic, when you were asked to explain how you think that,

20 for their own safety, the Muslims were detained, as you said, in the

21 Workers' University premises and the cinema itself, you started talking

22 about a large number of Croat refugees from Jajce, Zenica, and other

23 places who had lost a lot of their family and property, and they were in a

24 terrible state because of that, and then you stopped off there. What did

25 you want to say?

Page 25196

1 A. Well, the situation was increasingly complex. They had come

2 frustrated from those areas. They didn't have any accommodation. I know

3 that we gave them our holiday homes at Zabrdje, to put them up there. And

4 their sons probably had weapons as well, that was what I heard. I cannot

5 say for certain because I don't know about that. But they were rumours.

6 I assume that that could have been one of the reasons. To get an

7 apartment themselves, they expelled Muslims, or they would threaten them

8 by phone. But -- and as I say, a portion of them left.

9 Q. Yes, thank you very much. You have given us an answer.

10 Mr. Lukovic, you were also asked whether you know about a place

11 before this conflict broke out where the Croats were put up for their own

12 safety. You said that you did not know about that.

13 A. I was thinking of Vitez. I was referring to Vitez.

14 Q. But did you hear whether any places of that kind existed in the

15 Vitez municipality?

16 A. No, I did not hear about that.

17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I should like to refer the Chamber

18 to testimony of Josip Miskovic, the witness, who himself was detained as a

19 Croat in the village of Kremenjace and held under guard in one house for

20 his own safety.

21 JUDGE MAY: That is a matter of comment, and you can refer to it

22 in your final submissions.

23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.

24 Q. Similarly, Mr. Lukovic, you were asked why the Muslims, or a large

25 portion of them, left the town of Vitez, and you explained that. Do you

Page 25197

1 happen to know that a large number of Croats also left Zenica, Travnik,

2 areas where they had previously lived and areas which were predominantly

3 inhabited by the Muslim population?

4 A. Yes, I do know about that. And the people from Zenica who came to

5 Vitez, some of them were in my own work platoon.

6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lukovic, for your answers.

7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.

8 JUDGE MAY: That concludes your evidence, Mr. Lukovic. Thank you

9 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.

11 [The witness withdrew]

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The next witness, please.

13 MR. MIKULICIC: Our next witness is Mr. Ljubo Calic.

14 [The witness entered court]

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

18 WITNESS: LJUBO CALIC

19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

21 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Calic.

24 A. Good morning.

25 Q. Can you please pull up your chair closer to the table so that we

Page 25198

1 can hear you better. Thank you. Mr. Calic, on behalf of Mario Cerkez's

2 Defence, I am going to ask you some questions, and please answer them to

3 the best of your recollection. Also, I would point out something else to

4 you: Can you please slow down when giving answers because everything

5 needs to be interpreted.

6 Can you first state your full name, date and place of birth.

7 A. My name is Ljubo Calic. I was born on the 1st of August, 1960, in

8 Nadioci.

9 Q. Mr. Calic, you're of Croat ethnic background and you're a Roman

10 Catholic; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You're a citizen of both the BiH and the Republic of Croatia; is

13 that right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You graduated from the vocational school in Vitez.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You have your own private business and you own a coffee bar in

18 Vitez.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. You're not a member of any political party.

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you serve in the former JNA?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Where did you serve and when, if you can remember?

25 A. In Slavonska Pozega and then in Zagreb.

Page 25199

1 Q. What year?

2 A. 1979 and 1980.

3 Q. Were you conferred any rank in the army?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Mr. Calic, could you tell us, you said that you owned this coffee

6 bar. Since when have you owned it?

7 A. Since 1996.

8 Q. And this coffee bar, Macao, did it exist even before?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Do you know that an explosive device was detonated there in 1992?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Mr. Calic, you told us that you were born in the village of

13 Nadioci. The Trial Chamber is fully aware of the topography of the place

14 and they know where Nadioci is. Your parents died before the war had

15 broken out in Bosnia.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But your brothers and their families live in Nadioci; is that

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. You also have a hobby; isn't that true?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You are a hunter.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Are you a member of any hunting club?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25200

1 Q. When did you become a member of this club?

2 A. In 1990.

3 Q. That was the Kruscica Hunting Club, wasn't it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you also get a hunting rifle?

6 A. Yes, the same year.

7 Q. In order to acquire a hunting rifle, you first needed to secure a

8 permit from the authorities.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you received such a permit.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. How many members did the Kruscica Hunting Club have?

13 A. I believe about 120.

14 Q. Do you recall in the year before the war in 1992, who was the

15 president of this hunting club?

16 A. It was Mr. Anto Krizanac.

17 Q. He also had deputies, didn't he?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And they were?

20 A. Slavko Mlakic and Mirko Pavlovic.

21 Q. Mr. Calic, where did you go hunting?

22 A. It was around the town of Vitez and the area of Kruscica.

23 Q. So I assume you often went to those areas, you roamed there,

24 Kruscica and the mountainous terrain beyond it?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25201

1 Q. The area of Zabrdje is also part of that area.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Is there a lodge there?

4 A. Yes, there is.

5 Q. This is a pretty dominant feature in reference to the Lasva

6 Valley.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. In 1992 the JNA and the Bosnian Serbs attacked Bosnia. When this

9 happened, what happened to you who were members of this hunting club? Did

10 you get organised?

11 A. Yes, we organised guards and reconnaissance. We tried to protect

12 the lodge, this climber's lodge. And the first air raid came right over

13 this lodge, and after that the hunters tried to organise themselves in

14 order to protect the lodge.

15 Q. So in that area you organised yourself in order to conduct

16 reconnaissance and potentially defend the area?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And this was because of that JNA air raid in early 1992?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Mr. Calic, these groups of yours that gathered up there, how were

21 they organised? How many people were there in each group?

22 A. We had shifts of seven days every month for reconnaissance, and a

23 shift consisted of approximately 20 men.

24 Q. Who was involved in these shifts?

25 A. There were commanders, Anto Krizanac, Slavko Mlakic, and Mirko

Page 25202

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Page 25203

1 Pavelic. They assigned people to each group, and out of these people

2 somebody would not show, so the groups varied from 15 to 20 members of the

3 hunting club.

4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Calic: Did these shifts of 15 to 20 men, where did

5 they stay the night? In that lodge?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And then you patrolled the terrain, the area and conducted your

8 reconnaissance?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you were armed with your hunting weapons?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did you have any radio link communication with the town?

13 A. Yes. We had a radio transmitter in the lodge, and the commander

14 maintained communication with the town. My commander was Anto Krizanac

15 and he was in charge of that.

16 Q. And the communications centre that you were in touch with was

17 located in the post office building; is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. When did you start going to these shifts at Zabrdje?

20 A. I believe that I started in August.

21 Q. Was that in 1992?

22 A. Yes, 1992.

23 Q. And you kept going there until the break of hostilities; is that

24 correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25204

1 Q. Did you consider yourself a soldier when you were on these shifts

2 or did you consider yourself a member of the hunting club?

3 A. I was just a hunter. I was never a soldier. And I did this on

4 behalf of the hunting club.

5 Q. Do you know, Mr. Calic, whether someone issued an order to your

6 hunting club to organise these groups and these shifts?

7 A. No. The hunting club wanted to give its own contribution, and

8 from what I know, Anto Krizanac took it upon himself to give this kind of

9 contribution.

10 Q. Mr. Calic, you said that these groups were active from the latter

11 part of 1992, but do you recall whether you were in the shift on the day

12 when the conflict broke out, on 16 April 1993?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can you recall how many days before the outbreak of hostilities

15 were you there in the shift?

16 A. I was supposed to go the following day; in other words, before the

17 conflict broke out, I was already there for five days.

18 Q. Do you recall, the day before the conflict broke out -- that is,

19 on the 15th of April -- do you recall what you did on that day?

20 A. As all other days, we went to an area called Poljana, above the

21 lodge, and our task was to reconnoitre because we -- there was a potential

22 danger of a helicopter attack, and this helicopter would land in this area

23 called Poljana, or field.

24 Q. What you called Poljana is really a plateau at Zabrdje?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25205

1 Q. And that terrain was suitable for a helicopter landing?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. From what I understood you to say, you were told that a helicopter

4 attack would have been possible from there.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, which army would have been capable of carrying out such an

7 attack?

8 A. JNA.

9 Q. On that day, on the 15th of April, your patrolling was exclusively

10 directed against a potential attack by the JNA?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Were you told that an attack of the ABiH was also possible?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Can you tell me, is the water reservoir Ilidza nearby?

15 A. It is somewhere to the left of the lodge. If you look from the

16 town itself towards the lodge, it would be to the left.

17 Q. Is this reservoir used by the town of Vitez for their water

18 supply?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Very well. You said that on that day you were doing your

21 reconnaissance -- you were on your reconnaissance duty at Poljana and then

22 you came back to the lodge.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Then you stayed in the lodge?

25 A. Yes. After we came back from the patrol, we had a meal, and then

Page 25206

1 we spent the night in the lodge.

2 Q. What happened on the 16th of April?

3 A. I was awakened by explosions. That was nothing unusual, because

4 we had been awakened by explosions before. However, I heard repeated

5 explosions, and that was not usual.

6 Q. Let me interrupt you here. You mentioned that you had been

7 awakened before from explosions. From where did these explosions come,

8 the sounds?

9 A. They were coming from Mount Vlasic and they were shelling Travnik.

10 Q. When you say "they," who were you referring to?

11 A. JNA.

12 Q. At first you thought that they were the same type of explosions?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. However, later you realised that it was not the same?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. What was different?

17 A. The difference was that the explosions were more frequent, and in

18 earlier cases there would be five or six explosions. However, that

19 morning the explosions continued, and I stepped out of my room to the

20 balcony and I -- it overlooked the town. I saw that it was -- that there

21 were fires. I was confused. I came back and I said something was wrong,

22 this is a war.

23 Q. Very well. From the balcony of your room on the mountain lodge,

24 you can see the town?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25207

1 Q. Mr. Calic, in your estimate, what is the distance, as the crow

2 flies?

3 A. I believe that it is about 3.000 metres.

4 Q. When you came out to the balcony, you saw that houses were on fire

5 in town?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You went back in to wake up your fellow hunters from the shift?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What happened then?

10 A. We quickly got up, got dressed, and we started shouting,

11 "Something's wrong. There's a war." I remember we came down and we ran

12 into Anto Krizanac in the hallway and we told him what was going on. He

13 looked lost and he said that he didn't know anything. He got into the

14 room where his radio transmitter was. We had already gotten out. Then he

15 joined us outside and he said, "The war has broken out with the Muslims."

16 Q. So you assumed that Mr. Krizanac, who went into the radio room,

17 you assumed that he called someone?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did this radio communication still -- was it still operative that

20 day?

21 A. Yes, throughout the day, but in the evening we lost it.

22 Q. What did Mr. Krizanac tell you after he came out of the room where

23 the radio transmitter was?

24 A. He said that the Muslims had attacked and that we had to stay

25 there and continue to watch. He deployed us. There are a number of

Page 25208

1 weekend houses around the lodge, and this is where we went and stayed

2 there for the rest of the day.

3 Q. What happened next? You continued to do your reconnaissance

4 duties and to observe?

5 A. Yes. Two or three went to reconnoitre and the rest of us were all

6 deployed around the lodge where those weekend houses are, and this is

7 where we circulated, so to speak.

8 Q. During this reconnaissance and while you observed the terrain that

9 day, did you observe anything?

10 A. Nothing on that first day, but on the second day I was on a

11 reconnaissance duty with another three members. We came across two ABiH

12 soldiers who were asleep.

13 Q. Where was it?

14 A. That was above the village of Bobasi, at Zabrdje.

15 Q. Who populates this village of Bobasi, predominantly?

16 A. Croats.

17 Q. You say that these two soldiers were in a forest above the

18 village, asleep?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, where were they sleeping?

21 A. Next to some beech trees. They both had rifles with

22 rocket-propelled grenades and RBs.

23 Q. And you took them prisoner; is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. They were wearing uniforms?

Page 25209

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did they have any insignia on their uniforms?

3 A. When I approached them, I saw ABiH insignia on their jackets. I

4 was confused. That was the first encounter of this kind that I had. I

5 didn't know what to do, whether to go forward or to pull back. When I

6 almost approached one soldier, I -- it was only then that I saw the second

7 soldier, and then I thought, well, who knows how many there are. Then I

8 asked my colleagues to approach the other one, and that's when we took

9 them prisoner. We made noise, and the others who were around started

10 shooting at that point.

11 Q. Now, you said that there were soldiers in the forest.

12 A. Yes. There were other ABiH soldiers who were in the forest below

13 them.

14 Q. What did the two soldiers tell you on that occasion? Did they

15 identify themselves? Did they tell you who they were and what they were

16 doing there?

17 A. When we took them prisoner and we started interviewing them,

18 questioning them, they said that they were from Pezici and Kovacevac.

19 Q. You said villages of Pezici and Kovacevac?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Who lives predominantly in those villages?

22 A. Muslims.

23 Q. What did they say? Members of which unit or which army were they?

24 A. They said they were anti-armour unit which numbered 80 men and

25 they were stationed in Kruscica under the command of Hakija Dzelilovic.

Page 25210

1 Q. Where was this unit deployed? What did they say?

2 A. They said that the unit was deployed in Kruscica and that six

3 soldiers were assigned there. In case of any movements, that is, in case

4 any vehicles approached it, they were to destroy it. But I don't know

5 where the other members of their unit were deployed.

6 Q. Very well. Did they tell you that their task was to fight a

7 potential attack by the JNA?

8 A. No.

9 Q. But against whom?

10 A. They said that their task was that if there was any movement from

11 the direction of Bobasi, in a vehicle, that is, that their task was to

12 destroy that vehicle.

13 Q. You said that Bobasi was a Croat village?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Very well. You said that fire was opened on you from the forest?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Was anybody injured?

18 A. No.

19 Q. And what did you do then with the two ABiH army soldiers?

20 A. We brought them to Zabrdje, and two hunters from the village of

21 Veceriska took them to the village of Veceriska, where they turned them

22 over to the village guards. That is what I assumed that they did. I

23 don't know.

24 Q. So this event which you just related, when did this happen? What

25 time of the day?

Page 25211

1 A. In the afternoon. I don't know exactly.

2 Q. Very well. Later on that day, in the course of the evening or

3 night, were there any combat operations in that location, the location of

4 Zabrdje, where you were?

5 A. Not that day, but the following day.

6 Q. What happened the next day?

7 A. The next day we were also deployed around the lodge in that area,

8 and one of the hunters noticed camouflage uniforms with white ribbons, and

9 he saw them taking shelter from tree to tree. And then we heard

10 "Allah-u-ekber" and there was intense fire. We all pulled out and pulled

11 back to the village of Veceriska. When we reached an area about 500

12 metres away from the lodge, only six of us gathered, and we did not know

13 what had happened to the rest of them.

14 Q. Let me interrupt you here, Mr. Calic. What you are just relating,

15 it could have happened on the 18th?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. From what you're saying, it is clear that you were attacked.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Who attacked you?

20 A. At that moment we did not know exactly who it was, but when the

21 first shouts were heard and when the first shouts were heard [as

22 interpreted], when this man Ceko said, "There are people moving," when he

23 jumped up, the fire was opened, and I believe that that was some heavier

24 weapons. We took positions and answered fire, and then we retreated under

25 fire. Then we heard the shouts "Allah-u-ekber," "Allah-u-ekber," and then

Page 25212

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Page 25213

1 it was clear to us what was going on. Then there were explosions that

2 shook the whole lodge. When the second projectile hit the lodge, it

3 started fire. Then we retreated.

4 Q. Very well. So the lodge was attacked by small-arms fire and, you

5 said, some heavier weapon and some grenades.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And the lodge caught fire.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Meanwhile, you retreated and you started downhill through the

10 forest, in the direction of a village. What village?

11 A. The village of Veceriska.

12 Q. And the six of you eventually gathered.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You said that you were 13 in your group. Where were the others?

15 A. No one knew where the others were. The six of us somehow gathered

16 during this retreat, and we stopped on the mountain path and we said,

17 "Maybe we should stop and wait to see whether we'll be joined by any

18 others."

19 Q. Did anybody arrived?

20 A. We heard through the forest that somebody was coming down, and we

21 called out and they responded. One by one they came. Anto Krizanac, the

22 commander, had a leg injury; I believe that one of the hunters helped him

23 out. We all came over to see him and he said, "Just take positions.

24 Everything is going to be all right."

25 Q. Very well. Out of the 13 of you, Mr. Anto Krizanac was injured.

Page 25214

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Was anybody else injured?

3 A. Several minutes later we heard more noises of somebody coming down

4 through the forest. Zeljo Bevanda brought this man Ceko. His eye was

5 knocked out, and I believe he also had a leg injury.

6 Q. Then you went down to the village of Veceriska.

7 A. Yes, we went down to the village of Veceriska. The locals said

8 that we couldn't stay there, that we had to go back and protect that

9 position. We then turned around and we were joined by these locals from

10 the village, and we went back towards the lodge. It took us all night to

11 get up there, and at the break of dawn we arrived at the lodge, which had

12 been burned down and abandoned.

13 Q. Just one more question before we break. When the villagers said

14 that the village was endangered, what did they mean?

15 A. They said they meant that the ABiH would come and that we had to

16 protect it.

17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this may be a good

18 time to break.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll adjourn now.

20 Mr. Calic, we're going to adjourn for a break for half an hour.

21 During the break could you remember not to speak to anybody about your

22 evidence until it's over and not to let anybody speak to you about it.

23 We'll adjourn now until half past.

24 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.

25 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.

Page 25215

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.

2 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Calic, I believe we can move on. Before the

4 adjournment you told us that that night slowly, with the village guards in

5 Veceriska, you climbed the mountain, reached the mountaineer's lodge and

6 saw that it had been abandoned and that it had burned down.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What did you do then?

9 A. With the help of villagers from Gornja Veceriska, we all deployed

10 from the lodge to the summer cottages, because down there were quite a

11 number of them, and that is where we took our positions and remained

12 surveying the territory.

13 Q. How long did you stay at Zabrdje?

14 A. I stayed at Zabrdje until the late afternoon of the 20th.

15 Q. And you went where?

16 A. On the 20th, late in the afternoon, with Ilija Maric and Tonci

17 Kadinovic, I went down to the village of Bobasi slowly; and from Bobasi

18 via Gradina I went to Vitez, to my family.

19 Q. Did you then eventually go to the village where you were born, to

20 Nadioci?

21 A. On the night of the 20th [as interpreted], when I arrived there my

22 family already thought that I had been killed, because you can see from

23 our flat the mountaineer's lodge and they could see the flames and heard

24 the attack. My wife and children thought that I had been killed, and they

25 were very happy but very confused when I arrived, and everybody was

Page 25216

1 crying.

2 But that night I spent in the cellar in my building, and together

3 with me there were other tenants in the same building. There is a ground

4 floor and two stories, and we all spent that night in the cellar sleeping

5 on some boards and things.

6 Q. So in point of fact, it was an improvised shelter there, wasn't

7 it?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. The next day, what happened then?

10 A. The next day, when I got up I went to Slavko Mlakic's house. He

11 was the deputy commander.

12 Q. The deputy commander of?

13 A. Of the hunting unit.

14 Q. I see. The hunting unit.

15 A. I wanted to ask him did he know what had happened to Anto Krizanac

16 and Zeljo Bevanda who had been wounded. And when I came home, my wife

17 told me where he was, because I knew nothing at all. His wife told me

18 that he was at Gradina. Gradina is above the town of Vitez, right above

19 it.

20 Q. Very well. Later on, Mr. Calic, did you go to your native

21 village, to Nadioci?

22 A. In the evening of the 20th of April I went to my native village of

23 Nadioci for the first time.

24 Q. What did you see there?

25 A. When I arrived in the village of Nadioci, I went to the place

Page 25217

1 called Krc straight away. Village guards were there, or rather all the

2 people from my native people - most of them, not all of them - but most of

3 them were up there on duty in that woods.

4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to correct the

5 record. Page 40, line 9, it says the 20th of April rather than the 24th

6 of April as the day when you arrived in the village of Nadioci.

7 Q. You mentioned the locality of Krc where the villagers from Nadioci

8 were, that is, members of the village guards from Nadioci. Where is the

9 place called Krc in relation to Nadioci?

10 A. The place called Krc is between Nadioci and the village of

11 Vrhovine.

12 Q. How far from the village of Nadioci?

13 A. About a kilometre and a half, roughly.

14 Q. A defence line had been established there, hadn't it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. When you arrived on the 24th, did you already find there an

17 established line and trenches?

18 A. When I arrived, yes, there were some trenches but very few. But

19 since it is a wood there, mostly trees were used, and a few dug trenches.

20 Q. Where did you expect a possible attack of the BH army?

21 A. From the direction of Vrhovine.

22 Q. Do you remember who commanded the village guards in Nadioci at the

23 time?

24 A. At that time when I arrived, the village guards were commanded by

25 Zdravko Calic.

Page 25218

1 Q. When you came, were the village guards already incorporated in one

2 way or another in a military unit, in the Vitez Brigade?

3 A. All I could see was that it was incorporated in the defence of the

4 village, just as I had come.

5 Q. Tell us, who was your immediate superior at that locality?

6 A. When I came there, my immediate superior at that locality was

7 Slavko Papic.

8 Q. What was your duty?

9 A. When I came there, the very next day in the evening I was together

10 with those men. We dug trenches a little. In the morning Slavko Papic

11 came and told me to command that area together with Drago Calic.

12 Q. Who is Slavko Papic; will you tell us?

13 A. Slavko Papic was the commander of that sector. As I said, I

14 didn't know much about it, but he told me he was the sector commander.

15 Q. He was the one who issued orders to you, wasn't he?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What was your chief task there? How did he explain it to you?

18 What were you to do at that place, Krc?

19 A. Well, he didn't have to explain to us a great deal because we knew

20 even without him that we had to dig in. And our only task was to protect

21 our native village.

22 Q. Were there any attacks on your defence line at the time?

23 A. There were.

24 Q. Repeatedly, or just one? What can you tell us about that?

25 A. Those attacks meant gunfire, but until the 25th of May there was

Page 25219

1 nothing serious. There would only be gunfire from the direction of

2 Vrhovine. It was only on the 25th of May that a fierce attack took

3 place. They broke through our lines. Srecko Botic, who was right next to

4 me, was killed, and not far from me, the late Slavko Papic was also there

5 and he was killed that same day.

6 Q. So that day, on the 25th of May, 1993, you remember a fierce

7 attack on your positions, do you?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What forces were used for the attack?

10 A. There was shelling and an infantry attack.

11 Q. You also mentioned those two, Slavko Papic, who was the commander,

12 and who was killed that day?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And after that, what happened then? Did you manage to reject the

15 attack or did you have to withdraw?

16 A. That first day we managed to reject the attack -- that is, some

17 trenches were taken away -- and late that same day we managed to recover

18 those same trenches. Five men were killed that day. I don't know how

19 many wounded. Quite a number of them were wounded. And late that day we

20 managed to recover those trenches.

21 Q. How did you function then, when your commander, Slavko Papic, was

22 killed? Who took over his duty?

23 A. When Slavko Papic was killed, Anto Bertovic, the commander, came

24 and told me that I had to take over that whole sector.

25 Q. In your summary, it says that it was Marko Cerkez who came. Are

Page 25220

1 you sure? Was it Anto Bertovic or Marko Cerkez who came?

2 A. As far as I know, it was Anto Bertovic, and he told me that Mario

3 Cerkez and he had talked and agreed that I should be the commander.

4 Q. And as of that day, you took over the post of the commander, did

5 you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. I shall ask you to look at a document, Mr. Calic, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Document D124/2.

9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. So this is a document which was issued by the command of the

11 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. The date is the 4th of June, 1993. It

12 is signed by the commander of the Operative Zone, Colonel Tihomir

13 Blaskic. And in this document, Tihomir Blaskic appoints you the commander

14 of the 4th Company of the 1st Battalion of the Vitez Brigade in Vitez.

15 Did you, Mr. Calic, ever see this order?

16 A. I don't remember ever seeing it.

17 [Trial Chamber confers]

18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Mr. Calic, would you know, in the structure of the Vitez Brigade

20 and the military units in general, who had the powers to appoint company

21 commanders? Was it the brigade commander or his superior, that is,

22 somebody in the higher echelons, the commander of the Operative Zone?

23 Would you know that?

24 A. No, no, I wouldn't.

25 Q. Very well. But whatever the case, you took over the role of the

Page 25221

1 company commander. And then what happened? Were there any further

2 attacks on your positions?

3 A. As of the 25th of May until the end of the war, at Kratine, that

4 part where I was the commander, the attacks never stopped. On the 24th of

5 October, in a fierce attack, a soldier of the BH army was killed right

6 above the trench. He had reached the trench. And when the attack was

7 repelled, we pulled out that soldier, and he had with him a black book

8 which said that the attacks were carried out by four sabotage groups of 30

9 men each, and that that soldier was one of them.

10 Q. And that defence line at Krc, did it ever shift during the war?

11 Did you ever have to retreat or did you always keep it?

12 A. On the 25th, in the morning, another fierce attack came from the

13 BH army, and in that attack they forced us to withdraw, in a way.

14 Q. That is, you had to retreat?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did you ever during this war, at a position which you have

17 described to us, did you ever shift the line forward, to alter the lines

18 of the BH army? That is, did you ever take any territory?

19 A. In my village, we never had even a theoretical chance to advance.

20 We simply -- we only could do our best to keep the line where we were.

21 Q. Very well. Mr. Calic, an exhibit was tendered here. Z1009.1 was

22 tendered here.

23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] And I should like to ask the

24 registry to put the Croatian -- no, excuse me -- the English version, to

25 put it on the ELMO, page 3, please. Page 3. And the third page of the

Page 25222

1 Croatian version shall be shown the witness, please.

2 Q. Mr. Calic, I will briefly tell you what this is about. This is a

3 document which -- the author of this document is Mr. Midhat Rebihic, and

4 it is a report to the security sector of the 3rd Corps. It is dated the

5 2nd of June, 1993 and, in point of fact, is a list of individuals who

6 could be suspected of having committed crimes and genocide against Muslims

7 in the area of Vitez.

8 Under (5) in this document is your name, and it says that you,

9 Ljubo Calic, son of Ivo, from Nadioci, are one of the most extreme HVO

10 members in the territory of the municipality of Vitez; that you and your

11 group committed a large number of robberies, stole many -- seized many

12 cars from people of Muslim ethnicity; that you beat up a large number of

13 ethnic Muslims, including, among others, Muhamed Patkovic, an officer of

14 the BH army; Esad Zukan, called Cigo; and a number of other men; and that

15 during the reign of terror in Vitez, with Zeljko Biletic, Ratko Biletic

16 and Josip Biletic, you sowed terror among the Muslim population; that you

17 took part in the butchery and arson in the village of Ahmici on the 16th

18 of April, 1993, when over 100 innocent women, children, and old people

19 were killed.

20 Now, let me ask you first, Mr. Calic: Is this true?

21 A. None of this is true.

22 Q. And was ever any investigation, criminal investigation, conducted

23 against you in relation to this? Were you ever questioned by the police

24 or any other authority about this?

25 A. No.

Page 25223

1 Q. Would you know if there is any -- if any proceedings are conducted

2 against you in relation to these claims?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Very well. It says here that you battered Muhamed Patkovic, an

5 officer in the BH army. Do you know that man, Muhamed Patkovic?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did you have any conflict with him?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Could you describe it to us.

10 A. The first conflict in Ahmici -- when it was, I don't know the

11 exact date. As I've already said, I live in Vitez, in a building, and my

12 native village, Nadioci, adjoins Ahmici. And in the morning when I got up

13 and heard quite a lot of gunfire -- I, regardless of everything, was in

14 civilian clothes -- I took my vehicle and went through the town, and

15 Patkovic with three other armed soldiers stopped me, forced me out of the

16 car, and took me into a building, where he captured me.

17 Q. So Patkovic, who was in a uniform with some other uniformed

18 soldiers of what army?

19 A. BH army.

20 Q. And he captured you?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And he kept you in a building in the town of Vitez?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Were you released later on?

25 A. They kept me there. I wouldn't know exactly how long, from half

Page 25224

1 an hour to one hour. I was in civilian clothes, like I am now.

2 Q. Did they ill treat you, did they abuse you verbally or physically?

3 A. Well, I told Patkovic to let me go, that I was a civilian, that I

4 had nothing to do with what was going on, "Don't you see, and that I'm a

5 civilian." He cursed me, called me Ustasha.

6 Q. And then, when they let you go, you had a clash with this man and

7 it came to a physical showdown. But did you ever see that man again?

8 A. No.

9 Q. And as for the second name, Esad Zukan, did you bear any grudge to

10 that man?

11 A. Esad Zukan, Cigo, yes, I got in a brawl in a pub, but that was

12 just that. It was before any other conflict, and has absolutely nothing

13 to do with all this. This was just a brawl in a cafe.

14 Q. You already told us in your testimony that on the 16th of April

15 you were at Zabrdje in the mountaineers' lodge with 12 more members of the

16 hunting unit.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So it is not true that on that same day you were in the village of

19 Ahmici?

20 A. No, it is not.

21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Calic. I have no further questions.

22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. The

23 Kordic Defence has no questions to ask this witness.

24 Cross-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:

25 Q. Mr. Calic, you are also a member of the war veterans organisation,

Page 25225

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Page 25226

1 aren't you?

2 A. I don't understand the question. Could you explain what you

3 mean?

4 Q. Do you know that there is an HVO war veterans association in

5 Vitez?

6 A. I do know, but I am in the invalid's association, not the

7 veterans' association.

8 Q. What is the name of that organisation? Hvidra, is it?

9 A. Hvidra, yes.

10 Q. This association led considerable financial and moral support to

11 the accused who are here in The Hague and has done so on various

12 occasions, hasn't it?

13 A. Well, I don't know.

14 Q. You never participated in various manifestations which were

15 organised by this organisation in Vitez against The Hague Tribunal, did

16 you?

17 A. No.

18 Q. In this hunting unit which you told us about, you told us that it

19 was set up in 1990 and that it had about 120 members; is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So the 120 members were all Croats, weren't they?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Were there any Muslims in this hunter's club?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Could you give us the names of some members of this hunting unit?

Page 25227

1 A. Eso Borovo, Trako Patkovic ...

2 Q. Those 120 members, how many Muslims were there of those 120?

3 A. I don't know the number. But if you're thinking of going on

4 shifts, the Muslims didn't want to do the shifts. Could you explain? Do

5 you mean how many were at the shifts in Zabrdje; is that what you want to

6 know?

7 Q. How many members of this hunting club were Muslims, of the 120?

8 A. I can't tell you the number, but there might have been 50.

9 Q. Those Muslims continued to be its members on the 16th of April

10 1993. Did they also take part with you in the reconnoitring of the area?

11 A. No.

12 Q. When did these Muslims leave the club?

13 A. I think they had a meeting in Borovo's house, he lived in Vitez,

14 and when --

15 Q. Date, please.

16 A. I don't know the date, but I do know that it was in 1992, and that

17 that was when they organised this going off to Zabrdje. And the Muslims

18 didn't want to go.

19 Q. So in 1993 there were only Croats in your hunting club.

20 A. No. In the hunting club there were Muslims as well. But when we

21 went to Zabrdje, from that hunting club only the Croats went.

22 Q. Do you remember the departure to Zabrdje, the time when you went

23 to this mountaineer's lodge at Zabrdje?

24 A. You mean the last departure?

25 Q. I'm asking you if, in 1993, you took a guard with you who

Page 25228

1 reconnoitred the ground at Zabrdje?

2 A. As all the other times, that last time too we reconnoitred the

3 terrain around Zabrdje.

4 Q. You evidently do not understand, or you do not want to understand

5 my question.

6 This hunting unit, you told us that it had a commander whose name

7 was Krizanac, that there was his deputy, that there was a structure; it

8 was a structured organisation with a proper hierarchial order.

9 A. It was a hunting unit which gave its contribution in going to the

10 first attack of the Slobodan Princip Seljo factory, and it went via the

11 mountaineering hut of Zabrdje, right towards Princip.

12 After that attack by the JNA we organised the shift with the

13 hunters to give their contribution and to scout the area to see whether

14 there might be an airborne attack by helicopter, and to protect the area.

15 In the mountaineering hut, there was a Zolja and Osa weapons.

16 Q. This unit which you call a hunters' unit, its task was to

17 reconnoitre and to do surveillance in that area; do we agree about that?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What kind of gear did you have? You had only your hunting

20 weapons, didn't you?

21 A. We had our hunting rifles, and in the mountaineering lodge there

22 were four automatic rifles which each shift would leave up there. They

23 were there all the time in the lodge; they were left there by each shift.

24 Q. These automatic rifles, who did you get them from?

25 A. I don't know that. I did not go straight away, go to that hunting

Page 25229

1 unit straight away, and I found the rifles there. Before I left I was

2 injured during a conflict, I had a knife wound in my stomach, and that

3 hunting unit was there before I arrived. That means that I wasn't in the

4 first shift to get there. I don't know where the rifles came from. All I

5 did know was that there were four rifles, and each time we had to leave

6 them there after we had done the scouting work.

7 Q. You are telling us that you were stabbed, that somebody had

8 stabbed you with a knife. What were the circumstances of that wounding?

9 A. Well, that's another story. I was in the military police in 1992

10 for a short time. I reported to the military police after the attack on

11 the military enterprise, and I was in the military police for a very short

12 time.

13 When I went to intervene, on an intervention, some uniformed

14 people were in the forest. The chief of police sent me and another

15 policeman to the spot to intervene having received some information. When

16 we got to the village, there was Zoran Franjic there and Cigo. Cigo was

17 there. His name was -- there was somebody named Milovan, actually; his

18 nickname was Cigo. They were poaching, and it was the hunting society

19 that sent in this information. There was a conflict, and Slavko Mlakic,

20 the deputy of the hunting association, there was a physical settling of

21 accounts.

22 Q. Mr. Calic, just a moment. A few moments ago you told us that you

23 were a member of the military police in Vitez. What military police? The

24 regional military police?

25 A. The military police of Vitez. I don't know to whom it belonged.

Page 25230

1 I know that it was the military police, and the commander, the chief, was

2 Skaro Budimir of that military police, the one I was working for.

3 Q. Who was Mr. Skaro Budimir's boss?

4 A. I don't know. I think the main chief was Budimir at the time.

5 Q. You do not know who his superior was?

6 A. I don't know. I think he was the main person in command, and then

7 there was Marinko Palavra, I think, of that police.

8 Q. When was it that you were a member of this military police?

9 A. I don't know the exact time but it was sometime in May 1992, I

10 think, and it lasted for a very short period of time, barely 20 days. But

11 I left because I was injured, and I didn't return. I went for treatment

12 and didn't return.

13 Q. You only spoke about this hunting club, you only spoke about this

14 in your statement and your evidence today. Why did you not mention that

15 for a while you also belonged to the military police in Vitez?

16 A. Well, I'm not hiding anything. I mentioned to the gentleman

17 lawyer that I was in the military police for a brief period of time and

18 that I was injured in my stomach there.

19 Q. You do not know why this information did not appear either in your

20 statement or in your testimony today.

21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I protest. The

22 Defence has the right to lead the witness in the direction it wants to go,

23 and it is not up to the Prosecution to tell the Defence what questions

24 they wish to ask and what questions they do not wish to ask. And I don't

25 think it's fair to the witness.

Page 25231

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

3 Q. So you belonged to this military police, and you tell us that it

4 was in May and that you were in this military police for some 20 days; is

5 that correct?

6 A. [No audible response]

7 Q. What was the role of that military police at the time?

8 A. The role, as I have already told you, was -- that is to say, there

9 were some uniformed people who turned up, and the military police, well,

10 probably it would have a greater influence, greater impact, on these

11 uniformed people in preventing them, ordering them, and so on.

12 Q. Could you give us the names of some of your colleagues at that

13 time?

14 A. Josip Tomic; Commander Skaro, nicknamed Butura.

15 Q. And somebody named Vlado Ramljak, was he with you then at that

16 time?

17 A. Vlado Ramljak, I know a civilian policeman by that name.

18 Q. Vladimir Jukic, do you know him?

19 A. Vladimir Jukic, I also know him. He was a civilian policeman as

20 well.

21 Q. You told us that you joined this hunters' unit in August 1992;

22 right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. This hunters' unit basically was made responsible for the

25 reconnoitring and protection of the area against a possible attack by the

Page 25232

1 Serb troops.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. The Serb army, it was positioned on top of Vlasic at the time,

4 that is, about a dozen kilometres away from Vitez, wasn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. The last JNA aerial attack on Vitez happened in April 1992, didn't

7 it?

8 A. I don't know exactly, but thereabouts, probably.

9 Q. There were no other air force attacks on Vitez after that period

10 of time, in 1992, were there?

11 A. No.

12 Q. You told us that your unit had also radio equipment allowing you

13 to communicate with Vitez; is that correct?

14 A. Our commander had in the hunting lodge a room in which he had - I

15 don't understand these things very well - but I know he had a station of

16 some kind with which he was able to communicate with the centre in Vitez.

17 Q. Who was it that he communicated with in Vitez?

18 A. With the communication centre in the post office.

19 Q. These lines of communication, of transmission, they were

20 controlled by the HVO, weren't they?

21 A. Well, the post office was a municipal post office. Everybody

22 worked in the post office; all the employees, they all worked there. The

23 HVO didn't exist at that time.

24 Q. With whom did your commander communicate in Vitez? Do you know

25 who was the person to whom he reported?

Page 25233

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Page 25234

1 A. I don't know.

2 Q. You just told us that in the morning of the 16th of April, this

3 same commander communicated with Vitez and then told you the war has

4 begun.

5 A. Yes, that's right.

6 Q. And with whom did he communicate? With Vitez? What do you think?

7 A. I've already said: I really don't know who he talked to and who

8 told him that morning that it was war. I really don't know. I just know

9 that he went out and his head was hung low and he said, "It's war."

10 Q. This hunters' unit that you told us about, was it directly or

11 indirectly a part of the Vitez Brigade?

12 A. The hunting unit had nothing to do with the army, nothing to do

13 with it whatsoever.

14 Q. I should like to show you a document. It is a document which was

15 already produced in this case and its number is Z751. Do you have this

16 document in Croatian before you?

17 A. I have, but I can't read it. It's not a good copy, the first part

18 of the document, not very legible.

19 Q. Yes, I must admit the first part is not the best quality, but you

20 can nevertheless see that this document comes from the commander of the

21 Vitez Brigade and that it is dated the 20th of April, 1993. I shall read

22 to you this document. It is a report by an officer of the Vitez Brigade,

23 dated the 20th of April, and it says:

24 "An attack was carried out yesterday evening against our forces

25 in Zabrdje. The mountaineers' lodge was set on fire. And according to

Page 25235

1 uncorroborated reports, some of our men were killed. We assume that this

2 attack was carried out by the Muslim units from the area of Kruscica. Our

3 forces are on the defence lines and a 50-men-strong unit was sent to

4 Zabrdje to recapture the ground."

5 You were in this mountaineers' lodge when it was attacked. You

6 told us about this this morning. The Vitez Brigade says that it was its

7 forces which were attacked. It never mentions a hunters' unit. Could you

8 comment please -- could you on this? It never mentions a hunters' unit.

9 It speaks about the units of the brigade which were attacked at Zabrdje.

10 A. I still say, I still claim that I did not belong to the Vitez

11 Brigade, that I was just a hunter, and that that's how the war found me,

12 and that I was a huntsman in the war. I don't know who wrote this

13 document or anything else.

14 Q. But apart from you and your 12 comrades that you told us, were

15 there any other units at Zabrdje on the 16th of April? There were only

16 you at the time, as you told us this morning; yes?

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. And while you were at Zabrdje, did you get any reinforcements, and

19 by whom?

20 A. After the fall, when they set fire to the lodge and attacked us

21 and when we withdrew to the village of Veceriska, I said that we met

22 people from Gornja Veceriska, who were mostly from Gornja Veceriska, and

23 they told us that we must save the village and that we should return and

24 form a defence line to defend the village.

25 Q. This is not what I am talking to you about. In this report it is

Page 25236

1 said that a 50-men-strong unit which came. It is not a couple of

2 villagers from Gornja Veceriska that you are telling us about. This here

3 says something else.

4 A. I say with full responsibility that I didn't see that unit and

5 that the unit wasn't there. There were just those people from the village

6 with the weapons.

7 Q. I should like to show you another document. It is a new document

8 which is Z742.3. This document is perfectly legible. It is also of the

9 20th of April, 1800 hours, and it comes from the Vitez Brigade. You will

10 agree on that?

11 A. If you say so. I see that there. But on the 20th of April --

12 Q. You can see that. And it says in this same document, in the

13 latter part, "Actions taken: A message was sent to Zabrdje to raise

14 combat readiness to the highest level, and that a unit of 20 men link up

15 with our units at Zabrdje." Again, these are the units of the brigade.

16 It's not hunters, Mr. Calic.

17 A. I say again: I don't know what people were thinking at that time,

18 who wrote down all this. But I say again, and I stand by it, that it was

19 a hunting unit and that that's how the war found us, and that I was there

20 until the 20th of April as a huntsman. And from the 16th of April I

21 was -- I protected the area from an attack by the BH forces.

22 Q. And this hunters' unit, it had a commander, it had a deputy

23 commander, it had weapons, it had a radio system, it was involved in

24 reconnaissance, it protected men, and you also told us that it undertook

25 the arrest, the capture of Muslim soldiers, because you yourself also took

Page 25237

1 part in that. So these are all the military operations, aren't they,

2 Mr. Calic? This had nothing to do with hunting, does it?

3 A. Up until the 16th of April, all this was reconnaissance work by

4 the JNA forces. After the 16th of April, we steadied up their scouting,

5 and Anto said that we had to be there and do reconnaissance work of this

6 kind. And once I took part in arresting two BH army soldiers who were

7 underneath Zabrdje, above the village of Bobasi.

8 Q. You were born in Nadioci, weren't you, in the village of Nadioci?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you told us that in the village there was a commander whose

11 name was Slavko Papic and who was killed in May 1993?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. This commander, Slavko Papic, he was also a member of the Vitez

14 Brigade, wasn't he?

15 A. I don't know that.

16 Q. I will show you another document which is Z653. Just to gain

17 time, perhaps we can use my document, my copy. In this document, which

18 has the date of the 14th of April, Mr. Calic, what does it say here next

19 to the village of Nadioci?

20 A. Twenty soldiers.

21 Q. And the commander of that unit in Nadioci and other villages in

22 the same area, the commander of the 1st Company, that is indeed Slavko

23 Papic, isn't it?

24 A. I don't know that. I had nothing to do with the army. And the

25 other thing is that I said that in 1984, from the village of Nadioci, I

Page 25238

1 went to Vitez, an apartment, and I lived there from 1984 onwards in that

2 same apartment.

3 Q. Don't talk to me about 1994. This document is -- or 1984, for

4 that matter, because this document is the 14th of April, 1993. You were

5 incorporated in the Vitez Brigade, weren't you?

6 A. Which period did you say?

7 Q. You told us this morning that you received -- that you were

8 visited. This morning you told us it was Mr. Anto Bertovic. In your

9 statement it says Mr. Cerkez who came to see you on the ground. This is

10 not the same thing, but briefly: Mr. Bertovic told you, "I appoint you

11 head of this sector." And we were shown a document whereby you were

12 appointed the commander of this company of the Vitez Brigade, isn't it?

13 A. I was appointed on 25 May 1993 as commander of that sector, when

14 Slavko Papic was killed.

15 Q. So you were appointed as the head of the company?

16 A. I was appointed as commander of these Home Guards. I cannot say

17 that these were soldiers. These were my villagers, ages 25 to 60. I

18 cannot say that it was an army. These were just people defending their

19 own village.

20 Q. Well, apparently this document has been drafted by General

21 Blaskic, who was the commander of the Operative Zone for Central Bosnia.

22 And you're telling us this is no military document?

23 A. I'm not saying that it is not a military document. I only said

24 that I did not have this document in my hands.

25 Q. We're talking about this document presented by the Defence, dated

Page 25239

1 14th June 1993, D124/2. "I appoint Mr. Ljubo Calic to the post of

2 commander of the 4th Company [as interpreted] for the battalion of the

3 Vitez Brigade." So you're very quickly promoted, you who were a mere

4 hunter.

5 A. I had such authority in my village. People respected me. And

6 simply put, by my tenacity and everything else, people said that I should

7 take over.

8 Q. You were wounded during the conflict, weren't you?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Could you tell us when that happened and where, in which area it

11 happened?

12 A. I don't know the exact dates, but I know that it was late May and

13 then August/September.

14 Q. What were the circumstances of your being wounded?

15 A. In May, the circumstances were that mines had been laid in front

16 of the trenches, and one exploded and I was wounded. And then the second

17 incident was I was wounded by a shell.

18 Q. And all this happened in the Kuber area, didn't it?

19 A. All this happened in the Kratine/Krc zone.

20 Q. I'd like to show you a document with a reference Z1472.13. This

21 is a new document, 1472.13. This document does relate to you, doesn't it,

22 Mr. Calic?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you. Were you promoted to the rank of captain within the

25 army, the HVO army, that is?

Page 25240

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Let me show you this document. This is Z1473.12. This document

3 does relate to you, Mr. Calic.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You told us earlier on that you only went back to your village

6 around the 20th or the 21st, and it wasn't very clear, or the 24th of

7 April, and the Defence lawyer asked that to be clarified. Was it on the

8 20th or on the 24th that you went back to Nadioci?

9 A. I arrived in my village on the 24th of April.

10 Q. After the 24th of April you remained in the area of Zabrdje.

11 A. On the 20th of April I came down from Zabrdje to the town of

12 Vitez. I spent the night there. On the 21st of April I reported to

13 Slavko's house. His wife told me that he was at Gradina. Between 21 and

14 24 I was at Gradina. That was a house which had nothing to do with

15 anything, and I couldn't be there. On the 24th I told Slavko that I would

16 go to my home village.

17 Q. Was that Gradina? Could you tell us where it is?

18 A. From Vitez, in the direction of Bobasi, just above the town.

19 Q. Between the 20th and the 24th of April, you remained in that

20 house, and you didn't take part in any military operations.

21 A. From 21 through 24, that is where I was.

22 Q. You knew that there was fighting around you, and still you didn't

23 want to take part in those operations.

24 A. Between 21 and 24 I was waiting for Slavko to give me any orders.

25 There were still men from this hunting unit, there were some there, and

Page 25241

1 behind the police station, that is where we set up the observation post.

2 There were no combat operations there. But on the 24th I decided that I

3 was most needed in my village, and I went there.

4 Q. Did you have a weapon at the time?

5 A. When I went down there I had an automatic rifle.

6 Q. Had you received that weapon from the hunting club?

7 A. That was one of the weapons, one of the automatic rifles, which I

8 had kept on me, which I had brought down from there. And I kept it

9 throughout that time.

10 Q. You told us before that together with some of your colleagues you

11 had surprised and captured two Muslim soldiers who had rocket launchers

12 and also automatic rifles.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What were the weapons you had at the time?

15 A. An automatic rifle.

16 Q. What about your companions?

17 A. I cannot recall exactly, but I think that they had one. I know

18 that I had an automatic rifle.

19 Q. So these two Muslim soldiers provided information about their

20 unit, their mission. Did they do that spontaneous? You didn't have to

21 exert any pressure or any force on them to get the information.

22 A. These two soldiers are still alive, and in their statements they

23 said that we were very correct with them. Nobody harmed them or

24 anything. We questioned them when we brought them to Zabrdje, we wanted

25 to know what they were doing there, and they said that they were this

Page 25242

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Page 25243

1 anti-armour unit, that they were 80 strong, that they were deployed at

2 Kruscica under the command of Hakija Dzelilovic. We said, "What do you

3 know?" They said, "Nothing, except that on the 16th we were to go to the

4 field and we stayed there until now."

5 Q. Fine. So you can confirm that you didn't have to exert any force

6 on them to get all this information they gave you.

7 A. I guarantee that.

8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to

9 point out a very crucial point that is not in the transcript. The witness

10 said that the soldiers reported that they were supposed to go on the front

11 line on the 16th, but in fact they were asked to go on the 15th. That was

12 not in the transcript.

13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] It may have been in the

14 summary, but I'm not certain that the witness said so this morning.

15 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness give the evidence.

16 Now, Mr. Lopez-Terres, we must bring this cross-examination to a

17 close.

18 Mr. Calic, you tell us, you were there, what did the soldiers say

19 about when they were supposed to go on to the front line? What did they

20 tell you?

21 A. When we took these soldiers prisoner, they told us that they were

22 supposed to go to the front line on the 16th, that they themselves were

23 not clear as to why they were made to move a day earlier.

24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Therefore, they were supposed to go to the front line on the 16th

Page 25244

1 of April; is that so?

2 A. That is what they told us, but that they were deployed there in

3 that spot where we found them the night before, on the 15th. Neither of

4 the soldiers was a native of Vitez.

5 Q. You told us earlier on that those soldiers had made some

6 statements; they pointed out they'd been well treated, that you had been

7 absolutely correct. Were you a witness, did you see when they made those

8 statements?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Who took those statements?

11 A. Nobody wrote it.

12 Q. So who were the people who put the questions? I suppose you

13 handed them over to specific people.

14 A. We brought them up there, we brought them to Anto, the commanding

15 officer, and we all questioned them and this is what they told us. And we

16 sent them with two men from Veceriska to take them to Veceriska, and that

17 the home guard should urgently come to help us out.

18 Q. Was it that the soldiers told those people that they'd been well

19 treated by you; did I understand you right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Just a few minutes ago the summary was mentioned that had been

22 done by the Bosnian authorities, according to which you took part in

23 specific actions, violent acts: looting, terrorising Muslims in the Vitez

24 area, and that you also participated in the attack on Ahmici on the 16th

25 of April. Of course, you rejected all these allegations. But what could

Page 25245

1 have given rise to such thoughts? What prompted the Bosnian authorities

2 to say those things which you say are lies concerning you?

3 JUDGE MAY: He can't tell us what the Bosnian authorities may have

4 had in their minds.

5 Mr. Calic, is there anything which you did which you think could

6 have led the Bosnian authorities to make this report?

7 A. The only possibility is that Patkovic, the ABiH officer whom I had

8 beaten up, which has been mentioned before, when he took me prisoner on

9 that day.

10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

11 Q. You mentioned Mr. Patkovic.

12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I proceed?

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15 Q. You mentioned Mr. Patkovic, Muhamed Patkovic, and you said that

16 you had some words with him when he arrested you without any reason in

17 October 1992, at the time of the first Ahmici battle.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And that's the explanation you provided to explain that report

20 prepared by the Bosnian authorities. In June 1992 you were still within

21 the ranks of the military police, weren't you?

22 A. No, I believe I was not.

23 Q. What were you doing in June 1992? What was your job at the time?

24 A. In that period I also owned a coffee bar called Taksi. I think it

25 was in the same period. I also had four or five poker machines in various

Page 25246

1 cafes, and that was my source of --

2 Q. If I understand you well, in the military police in Vitez, they

3 were recruiting sort of bar owners who had poker machines.

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

5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

6 Q. In June 1992 you know that there was an attack on the logistics

7 building of the Territorial Defence, or of the BH army in Vitez; you're

8 aware of that, aren't you?

9 A. I participated in that event. That was in October 1992. That is

10 correct. But after my release following my capture, when I was released

11 they took my car, my Gulf, away and I went on foot.

12 About 400 metres away the hotel was there, and I found Darko and

13 several of his soldiers. I think at that time they were still called HOS,

14 H-O-S; later on they were called Vitezovi. I told him what had happened,

15 that I couldn't stand there. I was very angry, I was distressed that this

16 had happened to me as a civilian. I went there and attacked them. We

17 took them prisoner, and then I said, "Let's now have a duel like men," and

18 that's when I beat him up.

19 Q. This is not quite the story you told us before, is it, Mr. Calic?

20 Now you're taking part in an attack. This Darko you're mentioning is

21 Darko Kraljevic, isn't it?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. But back to June 1992. This Mr. Patkovic, Muhamed Patkovic, and

24 Cazim Ahmic, Muharem Kurtovic, they were all the victims of violence by

25 HVO people who attacked the building in which the Territorial Defence

Page 25247

1 was. And you were part of those men, weren't you?

2 A. I took part in that attack. But before this attack I had been

3 captured and kept in that building. I don't know what the name of that

4 building was, but I was held prisoner in that building immediately before

5 the attack as a civilian, and I was mistreated. They had taken my car

6 away; they threatened me with my own weapon.

7 I've known Patkovic since childhood; we were from two neighbouring

8 villages. They were cursing my Ustasha mother, they said that my throat

9 should be cut, and I said I was a civilian, that I had nothing to do with

10 it. I just prayed to God to survive.

11 When they released me half an hour later, an hour later, I was

12 expecting a bullet in my back any moment. So I walked away. I came in

13 front of the hotel, and that's where Darko was sitting with some soldiers,

14 and I said, "I cannot stand this. I have to go back." I did not want to

15 injure anyone, I did not want to kill anyone.

16 When we captured them, I guarantee that nobody was injured. I

17 just beat up Patkovic.

18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, I think we must bring this

19 cross-examination to an end in order that we can finish the witness before

20 the adjournment. Is there anything more you want to ask?

21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Well, I still have a few

22 questions on this very same subject. Could I have the time until the

23 break, and then I'll finish, Your Honour?

24 JUDGE MAY: Well, no, because we want to finish the re-examination

25 too. But if there's anything particular that you want to ask, of course

Page 25248

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Page 25249

1 you can.

2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Do you know Miroslav Bralo, Mr. Calic?

4 A. I do.

5 Q. Do you know Anto Furundzija, Mr. Calic?

6 A. I do.

7 Q. Did you go to a place that was called the Bungalow?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Never?

10 A. During the wartime period, no.

11 Q. In May or June 1993, do you remember that an HVO soldier was

12 captured by the BH army, and he was later released following the Red Cross

13 intervention?

14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me to

15 do so, I'd like to give a name. Could we, for that reason, move to a

16 private session?

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

18 [Private session]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 25250

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3 [redacted]

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6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [Open session]

15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour.

16 Q. Do you know Milivoj Visnjic?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Mr. Milivoj Visnjic, do you know what happened to him in June

19 1992?

20 A. Mr. Milivoj Visnjic had in his apartment some equipment, and that

21 was reported. I think that there were some silencers for weapons. We

22 went there, a few of us, and we detained him and we brought these

23 silencers, this evidence. And there were -- we found those silencers. I

24 don't know who submitted this report, but I was part of that operation.

25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... "we," sorry. Who do you

Page 25251

1 think of, "we"? Who do you think -- who were these men?

2 A. Myself and there were some other policemen. I don't know how many

3 we were at that time.

4 Q. But you were a member of the military police, weren't you?

5 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We have pursued these matters long

6 enough.

7 Yes. Any re-examination?

8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a couple of questions,

9 Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

11 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

12 Q. Mr. Calic, my learned colleague suggested that the last air raid

13 on Vitez was in April 1992 and that following that there was no need for

14 you to do any observation on Mount Zabrdje. Did you ever receive

15 information from the JNA or anyone else that there would be no further air

16 raids?

17 A. I did not understand the Prosecutor. I think -- I understood him

18 to ask me when the last air raid was.

19 Q. Did you ever receive any information from the JNA or anyone else

20 about whether there would be further air raids?

21 A. No.

22 Q. My learned colleague also suggested that you had a chain of

23 command, a hierarchy in your hunting club -- the commander,

24 deputies -- and that sort of corresponded to a military chain of command.

25 Is such hierarchy usual in the hunting clubs and does it still exist?

Page 25252

1 A. As I said, we had our commander, a chief, who was in charge of us

2 as hunters, and he had this radio transmitter.

3 Q. I will ask you about the radio transmitter later. Does this

4 hierarchy still exist in the hunting club today?

5 A. It does.

6 Q. Did it exist before the war?

7 A. It always existed.

8 Q. You mentioned the radio transmitter. Was this radio transmitter

9 property of the hunting club?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Was this radio transmitter in the mountain lodge when you got

12 there?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Had this radio transmitter been there as a means of communication

15 before the war?

16 A. I think that it was -- it has been there ever since the lodge has

17 been built.

18 Q. Mr. Calic, you said that on that morning of the 16th, your

19 commander called the communications centre in Vitez, which was then

20 located in the post office building. Was that the municipal centre for

21 information and alert?

22 A. I said that that was in the post office building, so whoever was

23 working there, that was in the post office.

24 Q. Did that centre in the post office exist before the war?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25253

1 Q. Mr. Calic, when you were shown the order Z751, where the word

2 "ours" is repeatedly mentioned -- and this order was issued by the

3 HVO -- how do you understand this word "our", our men, our positions, our

4 homes? Who is being referred to?

5 A. Probably the HVO.

6 Q. Who are the members of the HVO?

7 A. In my village, the members were men from 18 to 60.

8 Q. And predominantly what ethnic background?

9 A. Predominantly Croat.

10 Q. You were also shown the operations report 742.3, dated 20 April

11 1993, and it refers to Zabrdje. On that day, on the 20th of April, you

12 were no longer at Zabrdje; is that correct?

13 A. I had already stated this.

14 Q. Mr. Calic, you mentioned that on 16 April, the war started and

15 that the mobilisation was carried out. Does that mean that all men fit

16 for the military service were considered conscripts?

17 A. I believe that that is what was implied.

18 Q. You were wounded twice. In both cases was the wounding at the

19 defence line in front of your village?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In the document 1472.3, it states that in 1993, when you were

22 wounded for the first time, you were a member of the 92nd Home Guard

23 regiment. First question: Do you know whether in 1993 the 92nd Home

24 Guard Regiment had been established at all?

25 A. No.

Page 25254

1 Q. Were you ever a member of the 92nd Home Guard Regiment?

2 A. What period are you referring to?

3 Q. 1993.

4 A. I only heard of 92nd Home Guard Regiment when I became commander.

5 Q. Mr. Calic, you mentioned that before the war you were leasing a

6 coffee bar and that you had some poker machines which were placed in

7 several bars. Can you tell us, was this a legal business in every sense

8 of the word?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. The conflict you had with Patkovic which you described, is it true

11 that we can describe it as a purely personal conflict?

12 A. Yes, that is all it ever was.

13 Q. You were also asked whether you ever went to the Bungalow during

14 the war, and you said you never did. Had you gone to the Bungalow before

15 the war?

16 A. Yes, I had. I worked there. I was involved in building it, for

17 pocket money, because as a young man I lived very close by.

18 Q. What was the Bungalow for? What was its purpose?

19 A. It was a restaurant.

20 Q. Last question: You were asked about the activity of a person

21 whose identity is protected, and you said that he worked as a courier for

22 you. When was he with your unit?

23 A. He was a courier for a period of time and then he left, and I

24 don't know where he went at all. I have no idea where he is.

25 Q. When? Can you recall the time period, approximately?

Page 25255

1 A. I cannot. I believe that it was in early -- in the early summer,

2 maybe in June, July.

3 Q. You mean 1993?

4 A. Yes.

5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further

6 questions.

7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Calic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

8 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are now free to

9 go.

10 We will adjourn until 25 to 3.00.

11 [The witness withdrew]

12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.07 p.m.

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Page 25257

1 --- On resuming at 2.36 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Before the witness takes the oath, let me make

3 two announcements about the calendar which may not be clear.

4 The first is that next Wednesday, the 27th of September, we shall

5 in fact be sitting in the afternoon in this case. It may be curtailed

6 because of the Status Conference in another case, but I don't anticipate

7 it will be very long curtailed. On the other hand, on the 13th of

8 October, which is a Friday, there is a Plenary that day and so we won't be

9 sitting that morning. Thank you very much.

10 Now, let the witness be sworn.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

13 WITNESS: NIKOLA MLAKIC

14 [Witness answered through interpreter]

15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we've got three witnesses, I see, to get

16 through, and time is very limited. So the ball is in your court.

17 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour, I understand. I certainly will

18 try to be as short as possible, and use the witness only for the story we

19 presented through the summary.

20 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:

21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Mlakic. Thank you for

22 coming. I should now like to ask you to repeat for the record your name,

23 the place and date of your birth.

24 A. Nikola Mlakic, born on the 15th of December, 1952, in Vitez. And

25 my address is Kamenjace bb in Vitez.

Page 25258

1 Q. You are a Croat by ethnicity?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And your religion?

4 A. Catholic.

5 Q. Are you married?

6 A. Yes. And I have three children.

7 Q. The ages of your children range between 1 and 21; is that correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What is your profession; that is, what do you do?

10 A. I am the head of the security at Kalvarija-coop in Vitez.

11 Q. That's where you worked before the war too, isn't it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Are you a member of any party?

14 A. Yes, I'm a member of the HDZ, but I do not hold any particular

15 post there.

16 Q. Before the war in Bosnia in 1991 to 1993 you did your military

17 service; is that correct?

18 A. Yes. I served the Yugoslav People's Army. I left the army as a

19 squad leader in the anti-aircraft defence.

20 Q. Before the war you knew something, had some experience with regard

21 to your job. Now, what was that?

22 A. Well, in addition to the security service, I also headed the

23 office of national defence; and there I came into contact with some plans

24 for, if need be, defence of the company and things like that.

25 Q. Thank you. I should now like to move on to a different subject,

Page 25259

1 that is, to hear something about the situation in your village and its

2 neighbourhood during the critical days.

3 First, I should like to ask you about the location of Kamenjace.

4 Is Kamenjace, for all intents and purposes, a part of the town of Vitez?

5 A. Kamenjace is a suburb village. It is a separate village, but

6 since many houses have come up, yes, it's been joined with Vitez.

7 Q. Just for a better understanding of this, the hill which is to the

8 right of the town, as one goes up that hill one comes to Kamenjace; is

9 that correct?

10 A. Kamenjace is located below -- how shall I put it, between the

11 Princip, Mahala, and Gacice.

12 Q. What locality is then behind Kamenjace?

13 A. Behind Kamenjace comes Gacice.

14 Q. In relation to the other side, the village of Mlakici --

15 A. No, let me tell you, the village of Mlakici and the village of

16 Kamenjace is the same. Very often one says Mlakici and means Kamenjace.

17 Q. Why?

18 A. Because most of the people are called Mlakic, so that is why it is

19 often used both in documents and in the vernacular. People will say both

20 Mlakici and Kamenjace. Some say Kamenjace; some say Mlakici.

21 Q. To make it quite clear, in the village, in point of fact, do you

22 call a part of the village Mlakici and another part Kamenjace, or what?

23 A. No, no, no. It simply doesn't matter what part of the village you

24 come from. It's either Mlakici or Kamenjace.

25 Q. Can you tell us, roughly, what was the ethnic makeup of the

Page 25260

1 village before the war?

2 A. Well, I can give you only rough figures because I do not have the

3 exact data. However, knowing the situation according to previous

4 censuses, so on and so forth, there should be about 80 per cent Croats,

5 plus/minus something, I can't really say that; and then about 17 per cent

6 Muslims, or perhaps 13 or something; and then about 3 per cent Serbs,

7 Romany, and perhaps somebody else.

8 Q. Mr. Mlakic, was there any ethnic division in the village during

9 the war? And when did it take place, if it did?

10 A. There was no ethnic division until the conflict began; rather,

11 when people's lives were at risk and they began to fear for their lives,

12 then it was only natural that a division began to -- that a rift began to

13 take place. But before that there was nothing of that.

14 Q. Were there any village guards in your village?

15 A. Yes. The village guards existed until the 16th of April, that is,

16 that fatal day when the conflict began.

17 Q. Could you tell us in two sentences, why were those village guards

18 mounted, and who mounted them?

19 A. In two sentences, I'll do my best. The village guards were

20 organised primarily to protect the property, people, the inhabitants of

21 the locality, that is, not only to protect Croats, but Muslims and

22 everybody else who lives in Mlakici, that is, Kamenjace. And by quirk of

23 fate, we simply did not work; the companies had closed down. There were

24 quite a number of refugees from outside who were armed, and there were

25 some excesses around Vitez and things like that. So in order to protect

Page 25261

1 people and households in the village, it was at the people's own

2 initiative that village guards were organised.

3 For instance, I just happened to be the person who determined the

4 schedule of this, and before me there were others, Mario, Miroslav, and

5 others. So it was all voluntary. People simply said, "I don't want to

6 make any timetables or schedules anymore. Who's going to do it now?" So

7 people then asked me because --

8 Q. Could you slow down, please, for the record.

9 A. -- because I knew this, I had some background, because I was

10 doing those timetables and schedules for the companies I worked for, and

11 therefore I accepted to do it.

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mlakic, that was more than two sentences. I

13 recognise you may find it hard to deal with it, but can you deal with the

14 questions as quickly as possible, please.

15 A. I do apologise, Your Honour. This is the first time I appear in

16 court. I do apologise.

17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mlakic. Just one question more about village

19 guards, because the Chamber has heard a great deal about them. Did any

20 representative of any authority or from any organisation ever come to your

21 village to tell you that you should organise?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Thank you. And as regards weapons, what kind of weapons did

24 members of the village guards have?

25 A. Some hunting weapons and some that had been left over by the

Page 25262

1 reserve police force, or rather there were some guys who were members of

2 the reserve police, so we had their weapons too.

3 Q. Very well. Could you tell us: Until when were these village

4 guards mixed, that is, composed of both ethnic groups?

5 A. Until the first quarter of 1993. I cannot really be more

6 specific, but ...

7 Q. Tell us, was there any reason why they stopped being mixed?

8 A. Well, one of the reasons was the takeover of anti-aircraft guns by

9 Muslims. I said in my statement that it was the first quarter of 1993,

10 but perhaps I'm getting confused. It could have been the end of 1992 as

11 well. At any rate, after that we saw who took it. We even know the name

12 of people who drove away those anti-aircraft guns, which had a mixed

13 group: Croats, Muslims, and Serbs. And after that, this separation took

14 place.

15 Q. To make it just quite clear, is it correct that not far from the

16 SPS, not far from its fence, there were positioned some anti-aircraft

17 guns?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Those guns, were those guns positioned there to protect against

20 the air attacks by the Serb army?

21 A. Yes, against the JNA air force.

22 Q. We have to take care not to overlap because of interpretation.

23 And the other thing related to this: The gun crews were mixed, weren't

24 they?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25263

1 Q. And is it correct that those were so-called PAT, P-A-T or 40

2 millimetres?

3 A. I think they went to slash T, as far as I know.

4 Q. Right, but they were anti-aircraft weapons, weren't they; there is

5 no doubt about that?

6 A. Yes, there is no doubt.

7 Q. And you said that the other side stole -- or rather, you didn't

8 use that word. Is it correct that a man named -- no. Tell us, rather,

9 who was the one who drove those guns away from there?

10 A. It was men from Mahala, and Mahala borders on Kremenjace. There's

11 just one field between them. So the name, that is what we heard. The

12 man's name was Djuda -- at least, that's what we were told -- and he

13 simply drove those guns across that field.

14 Q. Is it correct that he worked for the Territorial Defence staff?

15 A. I wouldn't know that.

16 Q. Oh, I see. You say he drove them across the field. What does

17 that mean?

18 JUDGE MAY: I think we have the picture, Mr. Kovacic.

19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Using whose car to drive them away?

21 JUDGE MAY: And the next paragraph you can take very quickly.

22 We've heard a great deal about it.

23 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. Just one question, Your Honour. 2.3.

24 Q. Were there any men from your village who, before the conflict

25 broke out, used to take shifts on the defence line against the Serbs? Do

Page 25264

1 you know anything about that?

2 A. Yes. It was about 10 to 15 men.

3 Q. Is it correct that after returning to the village, those men would

4 become again civilians, like you?

5 A. Yes, quite true. Some held their jobs still, some did not.

6 Q. And those men, or some of them, did they also take shifts on

7 village guards?

8 A. No, since they were by and large taking those shifts over there,

9 we tried to avoid them, because the timetables did not coincide, except,

10 of course, by way of exception, if somebody wanted to do it.

11 Q. Could one say that it was -- that you were trying to balance the

12 burden of defence, that some -- did the village guard duty in the village

13 and others then went to fight on the front against the Serbs?

14 A. Well, yes, you could put it that way.

15 Q. Thank you. And tell us only: This number, the number of people

16 who took part in village guards, how many were they, roughly?

17 A. Ranging from two -- well, at the outset there were just a few,

18 that is, not more than ten, but as time went by it grew to some 30 or 40.

19 Q. Thank you. And did the village guards at any point in time have

20 enough weapons, by which I mean that every individual member of the guards

21 had a weapon of his own?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Could you then tell us what was the ratio? When you had 40 men,

24 at the maximum, then how many pieces of weapon did you have?

25 A. For every sixth or seventh had a weapon.

Page 25265

1 Q. Thank you. And did you go to work to your company right up until

2 the day of the conflict?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. How do you remember the date of the conflict? What is it that you

5 remember?

6 A. I cannot forget it, because on the 16th of April I was to move

7 into my new house, and we had invited all my friends from work and all my

8 colleagues to celebrate it. That is the custom, that everybody roasted a

9 lamb, but we never partook of it.

10 Q. Why was that?

11 A. Because on the 16th of April, the conflict broke out, the war

12 began. In the beginning I wasn't even aware that it really was a war.

13 Q. So that morning -- or rather, that night you were on duty. You

14 were -- you stood guard in the village?

15 A. Yes, but only after midnight.

16 Q. So after midnight?

17 A. Yes, after midnight.

18 Q. So were you up in the morning when the gunfire began?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And what did you notice then?

21 A. Shells, shells falling from all sides, falling on us, falling on

22 Stari Vitez; gunfire from the direction of Mahala, in our direction;

23 hails, mayhem, something that you had never seen before. That was really

24 something new in my life. I don't really know how --

25 Q. Did you do then anything to organise members of the village

Page 25266

1 guards?

2 A. Yes. Those men that I already had, I reinforced them in the

3 direction of Mahala; reinforced, I mean sent more men. The weapons that

4 we had, we just only had those weapons, so ...

5 Q. Very well. But when did you decide to reinforce the guards in

6 that particular direction, towards Mahala?

7 A. Because Muslims were down there and I was afraid that they might

8 break into the village.

9 Q. That morning did you receive any information from anyone, some

10 credible information that would tell you what was going on in that whole

11 area?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And on the 16th, did anyone establish contact with you from the

14 Vitez Brigade?

15 A. No.

16 Q. And some other institution?

17 A. No. We were on our own.

18 Q. That morning, was any one of your men wounded in the village?

19 A. Yes. A guy was wounded. And then a few days later a few more

20 relatives and neighbours of mine were wounded.

21 Q. Those first wounded, does that mean until when? Until when?

22 A. Well, until 19th or the 20th, that is, during those first couple

23 of days of the conflict.

24 Q. Where did the bullets which wounded those men come?

25 A. Well, the bullets were fired from the direction of Mahala, or

Page 25267

1 rather shells were falling from there, from those places which were held

2 by Muslims: Grbavica, Bukve, Preocica, and other places. I wouldn't know

3 all of them.

4 Q. Did some shells hit your village?

5 A. Quite a number of shells hit my village.

6 Q. What did the civilians do, or rather did you do something about

7 the civilians?

8 A. The civilians took refuge in basements, in more solid houses with

9 better, more solid basements and cellars.

10 Q. When was it that you saw the PPN unit Vitezovi pass through?

11 A. On the morning of the 16th we did not know they were a special

12 purposes unit. It was later on we learned it from others who were going

13 through the village that they were PPN Vitezovi and that they had gone up

14 to protect the military production of the SPS.

15 Q. And you almost opened fire on them?

16 A. Yes, because we did not know that they were PPN Vitezovi. We had

17 no instructions. As I have told you there was mayhem, there was a total

18 chaos and they were coming from the direction of Mahala towards the

19 Princip and we thought they were Muslims and that they were about to

20 attack our village. However, luckily we recognised one of the members of

21 the PPN Vitezovi and that is why we held our fire.

22 Q. Thank you. And was there any direct attack on the members of the

23 village guards in your village before the 20th of April?

24 A. No, there wasn't any direct attack. As I have said, there was

25 gunfire from the direction of Mahala, but there was no attempt -- no

Page 25268

1 attempt to conduct an infantry attack, no, there wasn't.

2 Q. Did you learn about what was going on in Gacice, and when did you

3 learn that?

4 A. I learned that right before the conflict in Gacice. I knew that

5 in Gacice there were 200 refugees who had come from Jajce, Kotor Vares and

6 who knows where and that the number of -- and that the ethnic ratio had

7 changed. Because it was 45 to 50 per cent in favour of Muslims, but then

8 with all those refugees arrived it completely changed it. And may I

9 continue?

10 Q. Yes, do.

11 A. Just one sentence. First of all, when the former neighbourhood

12 mayor, Hrustic, came into the yard of Josip Krizanac with a pistol in his

13 belt and said, "What are you waiting Croats here, because tomorrow the 3rd

14 Corps will be here."

15 Q. And did then the Croats from Gacice inform you asking for

16 assistance?

17 A. Yes, and a few soldiers and members, that is, of the village

18 guards, there were no soldiers yet. There were just members of the

19 village guards. They went to help them from the lower part of the

20 village, or rather to protect the rear entrance into the village.

21 Q. Did anyone else come to help?

22 A. Yes. Vitezovi and some civilian police.

23 Q. Mr. Mlakic, do you know the field in front of your village towards

24 Mahala, there were two houses. Who owned those houses?

25 A. Two houses were being built. They were under construction. Is

Page 25269

1 that the two you mean?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. Well, I don't know. I know that those two houses were being

4 built, but I don't know who owned them.

5 Q. Is it true that it is from these houses that the snipers attacked

6 you?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you.

9 A. They were closer to the Mahala than they were to us.

10 Q. In Gacice a conflict broke out then; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. How long did that last?

13 A. Several hours.

14 Q. What happened to the armed Muslims in the village?

15 A. The armed Muslims, most of them, left the village, along with

16 the -- along the SPS fence. Some of them stayed on. They surrendered

17 their weapons. And the civilians, women, children, and the elderly, were

18 left there as well.

19 Q. What happened to those civilians, the civilians who stayed?

20 A. I was on the opposite side of the line. I don't know how to

21 explain this to you. They were taken into town and were returned several

22 hours later. Allegedly, they had been taken off by the Vitezovi, but I

23 did not see that because I was on the other side. And also during the

24 conflict, when the conflict broke out, I took some of the Muslims to our

25 first aid centre, medical centre, for safety.

Page 25270

1 Q. Did you hear that there was any abuse of these civilians that were

2 taken to town and brought back again?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Do you know after it was all over how many wounded there were in

5 Gacice, and on what side? I mean who did these victims belong to?

6 A. I don't have the facts about this, but there were injured people,

7 yes.

8 Q. Were there wounded on both sides?

9 A. Yes, there were wounded on both sides.

10 Q. You said, for the record, please, the two wounded individuals who

11 you took to the doctor in Vitez. One was Fadil Hrustic and the other?

12 And the other?

13 A. Teufik Subasic.

14 Q. You knew both of them personally, did you not?

15 A. Yes. Teufik went to school with me.

16 Q. Was it easy for you to take those people there? Was it an easy

17 assignment?

18 A. No. It was very difficult. But as I knew them personally and

19 they weren't bad people, they were good neighbours, I took it upon myself

20 to take them, to help these people.

21 Q. While you were taking them to the village, you had a problem with

22 an UNPROFOR transporter; is that right? What happened?

23 A. At the exit to the village of Mlakici, the road is very narrow,

24 there are fences on both sides, and they wouldn't let me go by. But as I

25 know the village - I was born there and lived there - I took a byroad and

Page 25271

1 was able to take them to where they were going.

2 Q. Thank you. What happened to the Muslim civilians when they were

3 returned to Gacice? Do you happen to know anything about that?

4 A. Yes, I do.

5 Q. Where were they put up?

6 A. They were accommodated in about ten houses.

7 Q. Why did it happen that way?

8 A. Well, there were some houses which were not destroyed and they

9 could stay there. But to ensure their own safety -- what I want to say is

10 this: The situation was such that right next to us was the battlefield,

11 Kruscica, the Muslims, and the Mahala just divided by the field. So for

12 their safety, and safety for our own people, our own soldiers as well, to

13 protect them, because these soldiers might have been ready to take some

14 diversionary activity. So it was purely to protect their lives. They had

15 everything they needed.

16 Let me tell you, we didn't have enough soldiers to cover the line,

17 but we did set aside a certain portion nonetheless to guard these people,

18 to look after them.

19 Q. Did anything happen to those people that were put up in those ten

20 houses, any bad things?

21 A. No. I would never wish for a situation like that. But if a

22 situation like that did arise again, then I hope that people would behave

23 towards me as I behaved towards them.

24 Q. Mr. Mlakic, did you feel responsible for the safety of those

25 people?

Page 25272

1 A. Yes, that's right, I did.

2 Q. Did you know that if something were to happen to them, it would

3 happen to you as well one day?

4 A. Well, yes.

5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mlakic, at one given point since the beginning of

6 the war, you became a member, not only you but your neighbours as well,

7 you became members of the village guards, and other mobilised men too; and

8 you became members of the Vitez Brigade as well at one point; is that

9 right?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. Can you tell us when that occurred? And how were you able to

12 determine that as of one particular moment you were members of the

13 brigade?

14 A. Well, the number of people that took part in the village guards,

15 they were not soldiers, these people, they were just ordinary villagers

16 who stood guard to defend their houses. After the mobilisation was

17 proclaimed, and I can't tell you the exact date, all the available men

18 were mobilised, all the military-abled men, able-bodied men. This was

19 done on the basis of lists. I made up the lists as well and sent them to

20 the command during the course of the war; I know that I did make a list of

21 the able-bodied men who could be mobilised.

22 Q. So one day you were asked to provide a list of the military-able

23 men from the village; is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can you tell us when that took place? A day after the conflict,

Page 25273

1 two, five, ten days? What period are we talking about?

2 A. Well, I don't know whether it was three or four days later, maybe

3 five days later. But it was at least three or four days after the

4 conflict.

5 Q. Mr. Mlakic, who told you to make up the lists?

6 A. The command, the command of the Vitez Brigade, the then Vitez

7 Brigade. They wanted to sound out the situation in Vitez municipality.

8 Whether it came from them directly or the statistics department for

9 military-able men, I don't know.

10 Q. You as a member of the village guard, were you asked this before

11 the 16th of April? Did a request of that kind come to you before that

12 date?

13 A. No.

14 Q. The record states the statistics department. What institution did

15 you have in mind when you talked about statistics?

16 A. No. I mean the department -- the people who at the beginning of

17 the conflict wanted to see how many able-bodied men there were for the

18 army. That's what I meant.

19 Q. Can you remember what that department or office was called?

20 A. Well, I don't know that it actually existed. But that's what I

21 meant. I meant these people, these people who wanted to know how many

22 military-able men there were.

23 Q. Thank you. So it was that day when you received this request and

24 complied that you had actually become mobilised soldiers, as of that

25 date.

Page 25274

1 A. Yes, I do consider that. But we weren't soldiers straight away.

2 First of all, we didn't have any weapons. We knew nothing about war. So

3 we weren't really soldiers straight away, and it is debatable whether we

4 actually ever became soldiers.

5 Q. Thank you. In the days that followed were you given any concrete

6 orders from the command of the Vitez Brigade?

7 A. First of all, for the purposes of ensuring protection for the

8 village. We were afraid of an attack.

9 Q. Who gave you military orders of any kind at that time? The name

10 and surname, in concrete terms.

11 A. Well, I didn't hear from Mario much in the war, in those first

12 days of the war. We heard nothing from him. Maybe a month later I

13 received -- I can't say exactly. I received some orders, but they all

14 referred to defence; to reinforce the guards, to take steps to secure

15 defence and safety, to keep awake and alert.

16 Q. You mentioned Mario. Do you mean Mario Cerkez?

17 A. Yes, I do. Mario Cerkez.

18 Q. Did you receive orders from Ivica Drmic?

19 A. Yes, that's right, from Ivica Drmic, because Ivica Drmic was the

20 commander of a sector. The area was divided up into sectors at the time,

21 and Mario Cerkez as the commander of the Vitez Brigade probably issued

22 orders to Ivica Drmic, and in his turn Ivica Drmic relayed those orders to

23 me, down the line.

24 Q. Mr. Mlakic, during those days, did you personally, or your men,

25 receive any documents, pieces of paper, which said, "You are mobilised and

Page 25275

1 assigned to such and such a position," or anything like that, any similar

2 piece of paper?

3 A. I can't say exactly. I can't remember. There were some sort of

4 certificates as to affiliation in the brigade, membership in the brigade.

5 Q. Did they issue certificates then, or were they issued later on?

6 A. They started being issued sometime in August.

7 Q. I see. Thank you. Mr. Mlakic, do you agree that you gradually

8 became soldiers, but that you yourself cannot set an actual date as to

9 when that occurred?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. May I just take a

12 minute, Your Honour.

13 [Defence counsel confer]

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] We should like to show the witness a

15 certificate from another village and ask him whether he received a similar

16 certificate. May I have D121/2, please.

17 Q. Mr. Mlakic, we're going to show you a certificate which did not

18 relate to your area. But just tell us whether you ever saw a similar

19 certificate, or perhaps received a certificate like that one, if you

20 remember. If you do, say yes; if not, tell us. Did you receive

21 certificates like this?

22 A. Possibly, yes. I think that I might have a similar one.

23 Q. Could you tell us when you received it?

24 A. I see that the date here is May. Well, perhaps I got mine in June

25 or July, but not before that.

Page 25276

1 Q. So you couldn't find a certificate like this in your house.

2 A. Well, as far as written documents are concerned, I don't really

3 know exactly. And I moved houses, I built a new house and moved, so some

4 of the papers might have been left behind. It's difficult to say. But

5 when I see the certificate, it reminds me of my own.

6 Q. As the war progressed, from the defence of the sector you moved to

7 another organisational form. Could you tell us what that was?

8 A. Well, the defence of the sector were the village guards at the

9 beginning of the war. Later on there was more military-type organisation;

10 companies, platoons, battalions, all that began to be established. So

11 that I became part of the 4th Company of the 4th Brigade.

12 Q. Did you receive any official appointment?

13 A. I don't remember whether I received any official appointment. It

14 was the status quo, as it was before.

15 Q. So what was your job, in fact?

16 A. I was the commander of a company at that time.

17 Q. Did you remain in that same position, the same locality?

18 A. Yes, the same positions, the same locality.

19 Q. So as far as your military obligation was concerned, did anything

20 change?

21 A. Nothing changed. Just that piece of paper, which I'm not quite

22 sure whether I ever got it or not. But that's it.

23 Q. So this transition to this other type of organisation, that

24 happened in the early summer, did it not?

25 A. Yes, thereabouts.

Page 25277

1 Q. With respect to this change in organisation and establishment, do

2 you remember whether in the early autumn another reorganisation took

3 place?

4 A. Yes, it did. When Bobasi fell, the situation was critical for the

5 Vitez area and the SPS factory, and the secondary organisation took place

6 for defence, which means that the sectors were organised again and new

7 commanders took charge of the sectors.

8 Q. What sector did you belong to at that time?

9 A. The third sector.

10 Q. Do you know who the commander of that sector was?

11 A. Ilija Nakic. And the commander of the fourth sector, next to me,

12 was Mr. Mario Cerkez.

13 Q. Does that mean that at that time Mario Cerkez played the same role

14 that you had in your sector; in another sector, that Cerkez was

15 subordinate --

16 A. No. Mario Cerkez was the commander of a sector, and I was

17 alongside the commander, that is to say, underneath the commander who was

18 Ilija Nakic.

19 Q. Now, these sectors, did they have their areas of responsibility

20 strictly defined?

21 A. Yes, they were defined in spatial terms. There was the first,

22 second, and third area of responsibility and sector.

23 Q. Each of these sectors were part of the line around the Vitez

24 pocket; is that right?

25 A. Yes. Mine was three kilometres and 500 metres, perhaps.

Page 25278

1 Q. Over this stretch of three or four kilometres which was your

2 sector, how many men did you have?

3 A. Very few to begin with, until Bobasi fell. About 20 or 30

4 people. But with the fall of Bobasi, the number of men increased; they

5 came from other lines as reinforcement.

6 Q. To avoid any misunderstanding, the ethnic composition, what was

7 the village of Bobasi?

8 A. Bobasi had a mixed population, Croats and Muslims together.

9 Q. And who had to retreat from Bobasi when Bobasi fell?

10 A. The Croats did, because Bobasi was taken over by the Muslims.

11 Q. You mentioned that Cerkez at that time, at the beginning of the

12 autumn, was commander of the sector next door to you; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Do you happen to know how far his sector stretched?

15 A. Well, I couldn't say exactly, but it was about the same size as my

16 own. It wasn't smaller than mine. So it was -- he covered a substantial

17 portion of the line.

18 Q. Like your sector, more or less; is that right?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. Mr. Mlakic, tell us, please: Did you at any time during that

21 unfortunate war, were you involved in any military operations except in

22 the area of your village and lines in the vicinity of your village?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Were you wounded during the war?

25 A. Yes. On the 30th of December, 1993 -- 13th of December, 1993.

Page 25279

1 Q. 30th, the day before the New Year?

2 A. Yes, that's right, and I was taken to the hospital in Nova Bila.

3 Q. You have been proclaimed an invalid?

4 A. Yes. I am an invalid 20 per cent. I received a wound in my leg.

5 Q. When you were wounded, you were a member of the Vitez Brigade; is

6 that right?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. Were you ever a member of this 92nd Home Guard Regiment?

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. Since when?

11 A. I don't know the exact date, but at the end of the war with the

12 Muslims, I took people to the Kupres lines, the lines facing -- the front

13 line facing the Serbs, and then I was a member at that time of the 92nd

14 Home Guard Regiment.

15 Q. Do you know when the regiment was established?

16 A. I don't know exactly.

17 Q. Tell us roughly.

18 A. After the war, I think.

19 Q. You mean after the Washington agreements?

20 A. Yes, that's right.

21 Q. You mentioned the Kupres operation and so on. Just to make things

22 clear, they were military operations after the Washington agreements,

23 where Croatia and the forces of the BH army went together to liberate the

24 southern stretches of Bosnia from the JNA, the army of Republika Srpska

25 from the Serbs; is that right?

Page 25280

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. When were you demobilised?

3 A. On the 15th of May.

4 Q. What year?

5 A. 1994.

6 Q. And where did you go then?

7 A. I returned to the same job I had before the conflict with the

8 Muslims.

9 Q. Is it true that you became a civilian, or did you continue to

10 perform this job within the frameworks of your wartime assignment?

11 A. Well, I was a civilian, but I was still in the 92nd Home Guard

12 Regiment organisation, which organised its members along the defence line

13 facing the Serbs.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mlakic. I have no

15 further questions for you.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, we have no questions for Mr. Mlakic.

18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, one map, three documents, and I'll try and

19 accommodate the timetable just by being very selective.

20 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

21 Q. When did you first speak to lawyers about the evidence you've

22 given, please, Mr. Mlakic?

23 A. The first time I talked, a year ago.

24 Q. Very well.

25 A. About a year ago.

Page 25281

1 Q. When was this summary that's been served on us prepared first?

2 When was the first draft of it prepared?

3 A. I don't know.

4 Q. Did you have a chance yesterday, or some days ago, to go through

5 the summary that's been served on us and to satisfy yourself that it was

6 accurate?

7 A. Well, what I gave and what I listened to, what the lawyers told

8 me, if that's the summary, then I agree; it's all correct.

9 Q. And you tried to set out there everything that was important?

10 Yes?

11 A. Perhaps there are some other things too the lawyer didn't ask me.

12 Maybe there are some other important things that I didn't mention there.

13 Q. The map, for help, which is D88/2 or Z2160. You may not have seen

14 this map before. You'll be shown by the usher how to point to things.

15 It's quite detailed. And if we focus in to the south-west of

16 Vitez -- south-west, sorry. Over a bit. Other way. There we are. Does

17 this show us the area where you lived?

18 A. Could you move the map up a bit? Mlakici are [as interpreted]

19 underneath Gacice and Ocice.

20 Q. Can you just point out where you were living? Point it out on the

21 overhead projector. Thank you.

22 A. That's Vitez, Gacice, Lupnica, Rijeka, the river running through

23 Nakic. This is where Mlakici is.

24 Q. Thank you very much. So that is not only less than a kilometre;

25 it's less than half a kilometre from the centre of Vitez, correct?

Page 25282

1 A. About half a kilometre.

2 Q. Thank you. You tell us that some anti-aircraft guns were

3 taken -- was it by one man with a horse and cart, to Stari Vitez? Is that

4 your evidence?

5 A. No. I can't say it was one man. But we were told that that man

6 organised the transport of those guns. His name was Djuda, with a cart,

7 but he couldn't transport three guns. It was raining, and they took

8 advantage of this.

9 Q. Is this taking of the anti-aircraft guns the subject of any

10 written record or complaint anywhere, Mr. Mlakic?

11 A. Probably no written complaints by me and those in Mlakici, but the

12 fact is that those guns were our joint property; they were ours and they

13 were the Muslims as well.

14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... question on this topic.

15 You're now saying, you see, to the Judges that this could have happened as

16 early as 1992, before any real conflict, it may be thought, broke out

17 between Muslims and Croats. In your summary you said 1993. Are you

18 really suggesting that the Muslims took anti-aircraft guns, without

19 complaint and without an issue arising out of it, in 1992? Are you?

20 A. Well, sir, I said that I'm not sure whether it was the beginning

21 of 1993 or the end of 1992. So it was in that period, thereabouts, either

22 the end of 1992 or the beginning of 1993. But that was the period. I'm

23 not quite certain of the date, but that's what I said.

24 Q. I'm trying to put these events in 1992, Mr. Mlakic. Are you

25 trying to paint the picture more black for the Muslims than, on any

Page 25283

1 reckoning, it ever was? Is that what you're trying to do?

2 A. No.

3 MR. NICE: The next document, first of three, Z653, usual

4 performance. Thank you very much.

5 Q. Please look at this document. The English will go on the overhead

6 projector. Let me just remind you of some of the evidence that's emerged

7 this afternoon. The following question was put to you. Before you look

8 at the document, Mr. Mlakic, just listen to me. The following question

9 was put to you by counsel: "Do you agree you gradually became a soldier

10 but can't say a date?" to which you gave your assent.

11 Look, please, at this document. This is a document dated before

12 the conflict, on the 14th of April. It comes from the Viteska Brigade.

13 It identifies, for Kamenjace and Gacice, 12 and 5 soldiers, respectively,

14 because they are personnel of the 1st Battalion of the Viteska Brigade,

15 the 3rd Company, under the man of Ivica Drmic, who was, on any account, to

16 become, if he wasn't already, your commander.

17 Can you explain, please, for us the presence of that number of

18 military personnel in your village before the conflict?

19 A. I see the figures 12 and 5. They were soldiers who lived in

20 Mlakici, that's true, in Kamenjace and Gacice, to be exact. But they were

21 soldiers. They weren't the village guards. That means they were soldiers

22 who did shifts facing, on the line facing the Serbs. And they would be 7,

23 10, 3, depending how many days, and then would go back home, and then they

24 were free. Some worked in companies. So those were those soldiers,

25 that's true, but these are not the people who were in the village guards.

Page 25284

1 Q. These were soldiers under the command of Cerkez in your village

2 before the conflict; correct?

3 A. They were under the command of Ivica Drmic, and they did shifts on

4 the line facing the Serbs, which means to Vlasic and two or three other

5 locations.

6 MR. NICE: Perhaps the usher would be good enough to place the

7 plan back on the ELMO. We may need it just once more. Here it is.

8 Q. The night of the 15th, 16th, is my next topic. We can focus

9 again, just to remind ourselves of the location of the -- that's fine

10 like, that. Absolutely fine. Perhaps a little bit closer in so that we

11 can -- but not too much, because we now know where you are.

12 You are really just on the corner of those roads to the west of

13 Vitez, and a kilometre or so from the body of the SPS factory to the west;

14 correct?

15 A. You mean the place where I lived, whether I was there that night?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Between the 15th and the 16th?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. You say that the evening was entirely uneventful. I

21 want you to think back, please. What time did you go to bed on the night

22 of the 15th?

23 A. I don't know how much you listened while I was talking to the

24 Defence counsel, that I was moving things into the new house, because on

25 the next day I was to have a little celebration.

Page 25285

1 Q. I was listening. It's a simple question. We're pressed for

2 time. What time, if at all, did you go to bed on the night of the 15th,

3 16th?

4 A. I did not go to sleep, because I went down to the command.

5 Q. Very well. Whereabouts was the command? Show us on the map.

6 A. The village command was in a house. It was not a regular -- we

7 just called it that. This is where we would make schedules for the

8 village guards.

9 Q. And you stayed awake all night?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. When were you first aware of the Vitezovi being present in the

12 centre of Vitez and in your part of the suburbs so close to Vitez?

13 A. I said that I saw a group of soldiers passing through Mlakici, and

14 I realised that these were Vitezovi when I recognised a man who was with

15 the Vitezovi --

16 Q. When?

17 A. -- and who was very close to our trenches. It was on the same

18 day, the 16th. I don't know what time.

19 Q. What time?

20 A. On the 16th.

21 Q. Were you not aware of them being present there from sometime in

22 the middle of the night, securing the centre of Vitez and probably your

23 suburb as well?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Because I'm going to suggest to you that following a plan to go

Page 25286

1 and attack the Muslims that night, the Vitezovi were charged with looking

2 after the centre of town, and that's why eventually they came out on your

3 road towards the factory. Now, were you aware of them there in the centre

4 of town that night?

5 A. No.

6 Q. When you saw them the following day, did they have ribbons on

7 their arms, distinctive coloured ribbons?

8 A. I cannot recall, because we saw them from a distance.

9 Q. Let's go to the 16th, please. You, of course -- just let me ask

10 you: Were you aware on the 16th that the HVO generally was attacking and

11 mounting an all-out attack on the Muslims that morning? Were you aware of

12 that?

13 A. No. General chaos. I don't know who was attacking whom. The

14 shells were falling, the bullets were whizzing by.

15 Q. That's what I wanted your help with. You told us earlier, "Shells

16 were falling on us." Is that your evidence?

17 A. Yes. On our village, yes.

18 Q. All right. When? What time?

19 A. When the conflict broke out, when the shooting started, then those

20 shells started falling.

21 Q. Try and give us an approximate time, if you can, please, for the

22 time when shells were falling on your village. I'm sorry about the

23 pronunciation. Kamenjace, shells falling on Kamenjace. Tell us, please:

24 When was it?

25 A. Let me tell you, this is the first time that something like this

Page 25287

1 happened to us, or to me. I cannot tell you exactly when, but I know that

2 that day looked like an eternity. I cannot place it in time. I cannot

3 say they fell at such-and-such an hour.

4 Q. Let me put one possibility to you and see what you say. Isn't the

5 truth of the matter that there was an early morning attack, perhaps

6 elsewhere from where you were, and there was no question of shells landing

7 on your particular part of Vitez until very much later, and that was by

8 way of reaction, but it was much later. Now, do you accept that? If so,

9 we'll move on. Or do you reject that and say that shells landed on your

10 part of Vitez right at the beginning of the conflict?

11 A. The shells started falling in the morning, so the conflict started

12 in the morning. I cannot say that they started immediately but they

13 started falling later.

14 Q. Very well. You see, in your summary, which I've read and which

15 you can have in front of you, of course, if you want to, what you said was

16 this, you said: "I saw grenades falling on Vitez and shooting around

17 Stari Vitez," paragraph 2.6. You spoke of chaos and confusion and of a

18 sniper bullet attack and matters of that sort. But you say: "In our

19 village there was no conflict," paragraph 2.8.

20 Unless I've missed it - I'll be corrected, of course, if I'm

21 wrong - no where in your summary do you suggest that shells were falling

22 on your part of the village at that time of the morning, because they

23 weren't, were they?

24 A. No, that is the summary. I'm trying to explain certain things.

25 And what I said, I stand by it. It is true that the shells did fall in

Page 25288

1 Vitez, but also they fell on Mlakici and Kamenjace. The sniper was

2 operating from Mahala; I don't know exactly from where. But I know that a

3 man in Mlakici was wounded by a sniper bullet coming from Mahala.

4 Q. I'm suggesting to you, Mr. Mlakic, that that's quite wrong and

5 that the difference between what your account is and your summary shows

6 that you're trying to embellish the history in a way that you believe to

7 be favourable; do you follow the suggestion?

8 A. Yes, I do.

9 Q. Now, your first name, is there anybody else with the same first

10 name as you in the village of Mlakici, or are you the only Nikola Mlakic?

11 A. There are several Nikola Mlakics in Mlakici, and there are several

12 other persons by the name of Nikola Mlakic in the Vitez area.

13 Q. In your area, in your suburb, there's a man called Ivka Mlakic; is

14 that correct?

15 A. Ivka Mlakic?

16 Q. Or Karlo Mlakic?

17 A. There is Karlo. But Ivka Malkic would be a woman, not a man.

18 Q. Very well. My mistake. Do you know her house?

19 A. Ivka Mlakic's house is closer to Vitez than to Mlakici. It is on

20 the outskirts of Mlakici.

21 Q. Is it right that on the morning of the 16th of April of 1993 a

22 multiple rocket launcher was positioned in the gardens of both those

23 houses, one after the other, and used to fire on Stari Vitez, or the

24 Mahala, as it's called; is that right?

25 A. I have no such information, and I believe it is not true.

Page 25289

1 Q. Thank you. Are you saying that it would be possible, given the

2 small scale of this suburb, for a multiple rocket launcher to be used in

3 that area and for you not to know about it?

4 A. I don't believe it was used, that multiple rocket launcher.

5 Q. The factory that lies so close to your village, was that known to

6 contain acid and fuel in large quantities at the time of the outbreak of

7 the fighting?

8 A. I don't know that.

9 Q. In any event, was it clear to you that the Vitezovi were going

10 there to secure the factory, or doing their best to secure the factory?

11 A. I heard that several days later, when they explained why they were

12 passing through the morning we saw them.

13 Q. Yes. Thank you. Gacice, very briefly. The upshot of Gacice was

14 that a number of people, Muslims, were taken away and imprisoned; correct?

15 A. No, not imprisoned. But a number of people were taken and brought

16 back immediately, several hours later. And later those able-bodied men,

17 some of them, that is, were taken for protection either in the cinema

18 theatre or somewhere else. I don't know where. But they were moved there

19 for their own protection.

20 Q. In the attack on the occupants of Gacice, is it right, as we've

21 heard from another Defence witness - the page reference is 24316 - that

22 involved in that attack were 20 village guards, 10 or 15 Vitezovi, members

23 of the police, and some villagers from your village, from Mlakici; is that

24 correct?

25 A. First you said "the attack." I would rather call it the defence.

Page 25290

1 This was to protect the Croats in Gacice. So it was a defence rather than

2 an attack. It was to provide assistance to the men who were outnumbered

3 by the Muslims.

4 Q. But the upshot of it all was that the Muslims were sent packing

5 and the place was retained by the Croats, wasn't it?

6 A. No, they were not sent packing. The Muslims stayed, as I said, in

7 about ten houses which were secured, protected, by these Croat village

8 guards. And they were free to go whenever they wished to rejoin their

9 families or the able-bodied men who had left that village that day.

10 Q. In Muslim areas, they would have been free to go, would they? Is

11 that what you're saying?

12 A. I apologise. I did not understand you.

13 Q. They were free to go to Muslim areas; is that what you're saying?

14 A. Most probably.

15 Q. Yes.

16 MR. NICE: I'll use my version for speed; 742.3, please.

17 Q. This is a document, you see, dated the 20th of April. You don't

18 have to look. It's from the Viteska Brigade, goes to the commander of the

19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone. Just as to Gacice, it says this: "The

20 Gacice village is 100% completed. 47 men were taken prisoner. Women and

21 children were sent home."

22 Does that agree with your recollection, thinking back now?

23 A. Women and children were taken back home, that is true. And 47

24 men, I don't recall whether there were 47. The able-bodied men were

25 taken -- they were not imprisoned, they were not tied, they were not

Page 25291

1 forcibly removed. They were taken to either the school building or the

2 cinema building. I cannot tell you exactly where they were.

3 Q. The area was cleansed, wasn't it, Gacice, eventually?

4 A. I don't know what you mean by "cleansed." You mean ethnically

5 cleansed?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. No.

8 Q. All right.

9 A. A few Muslims stayed; they were right next to the Gacice village.

10 MR. NICE: A new document, the last of the documents I'm going to

11 put to this witness, 694.3.

12 Q. This is a document, Mr. Mlakic, that we have, you'll see, from

13 Darko Kraljevic of the Vitezovi, and you've told us about the Vitezovi

14 operating in your area. This is dated the 17th of April, and it goes to

15 the head of the defence, Bruno Stojic, and the forward command post and

16 says this:

17 "We have managed to clear a large part of the city of the

18 dastardly Muslim forces and I am constantly attacking! Their strongest

19 stronghold is where their headquarters are - north-western suburbs. At

20 the same time, we are engaged in the front ranks in the cleaning of the

21 surrounding villages and interventions to reclaim the lines we lost." And

22 then it deals with Vitezovi killed and ammunition.

23 Does this describe the true position that was going on there,

24 because you were in the west or north-west of Vitez, that they were

25 engaged in the front ranks in cleaning the surrounding villages? Is that

Page 25292

1 what was going on?

2 A. I cannot say that because I was preoccupied by the protection of

3 my village. The PPN Vitezovi were not in contact with me, so I cannot say

4 anything. As regards his reporting to Stojic, that was his business

5 because he was the commander of the Vitezovi.

6 Q. I must suggest to you that you know perfectly well from your

7 proximity to the centre of Vitez - if you didn't know it on the night, you

8 must have heard it subsequently - that there was an all-out attack on the

9 Muslims that night, and what happened in Gacice and thereabouts was all

10 part of a consistent plan; that's the truth, isn't it, Mr. Mlakic?

11 A. I would like to request, sir, can you explain to me how could I

12 have known when there were no operations there? You mean the night

13 between the 15th and the 16th?

14 Q. Yes. Between the night of the 15th and 16th, you know that there

15 was going to be an all-out attack which took place on the 16th.

16 A. It's something else, "should have," because you said that there

17 was an attack. According to you, it should have happened. But that night

18 was fairly calm.

19 Q. Finally, two other things, very brief. You said something about

20 Stari Vitez. Stari Vitez was being attacked, wasn't it, from an early

21 stage on the 16th? Or the Mahala, if that's the better way to describe

22 it.

23 A. I don't know whether Stari Vitez was attacked. I said that I knew

24 what I received from Mahala, Stari Vitez, which was sniper fire, because I

25 was in Mlakici.

Page 25293

1 Q. Stari Vitez was an area occupied by Muslims who were defending

2 themselves from the 16th of April onwards, wasn't it?

3 A. Correct, but not all of Stari Vitez. Only a part of Stari Vitez

4 was held by the Muslims; the other part was held by the Croats. So

5 Muslims held one part of Stari Vitez, and they were there in the Mahala

6 throughout that war.

7 Q. And they were protecting themselves from Croats who were attacking

8 them. It's quite simple and it's quite obvious, isn't it?

9 A. I wouldn't put it that way, because I don't know from which side

10 they were attacked.

11 Q. Mr. Mlakic, you were pretty close, and you're telling us that

12 effectively you were very close, in your summary. There's no question of

13 the people of Stari Vitez trying to take over Vitez, is there? They were

14 simply defending themselves from those who were attacking them; that's why

15 I suggested to you it makes sense; correct?

16 A. Sir, can I give you an example of the situation to show you that

17 it wasn't like that? If somebody on the front line would fire, the whole

18 line would start to shoot. And the Muslims started shooting from all

19 their weapons, and then it would turn out that nobody was attacking

20 anybody else but everybody was shooting. So they thought that we were

21 attacking them, they thought that we were going to attack them, and the

22 other way around. So each side would think that they were about to be

23 attacked by the other side, as if Mlakici were attacking Stari Vitez or

24 vice versa.

25 Q. We have heard from Marijan Strukar that he was warned in advance

Page 25294

1 about the truck bomb. Somebody came and told him in your area about the

2 truck bomb that was going to blow up. Do you remember being warned about

3 that?

4 A. No. We heard a loud explosion. We couldn't see what the blast

5 was about, and there had been several blasts before so we didn't know what

6 it was. Later on we learned that it was a car bomb which had exploded in

7 Mahala.

8 Q. Finally, you're suggesting that Cerkez was in some position other

9 than a brigade commander. I must suggest to you, and there are documents

10 by the plenty to prove it, that he was a brigade commander and giving

11 instructions as a brigade commander until the end of December 1993; do you

12 accept that?

13 A. No, I did not say that he was not the brigade commander. He was

14 the brigade commander. But I most probably was in touch with Ivica Drmic,

15 who was his subordinate.

16 Q. Very well. Thank you.

17 A. You're welcome.

18 MR. KOVACIC: I'll be very, very brief.

19 Re-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mlakic, can you tell the Trial Chamber, when

21 did you arrive in The Hague?

22 A. I arrived in The Hague Tuesday night.

23 Q. This week? Tuesday of this week?

24 A. Tuesday of this week.

25 Q. Mr. Mlakic, how much sleep did you have Tuesday to Wednesday?

Page 25295

1 A. About two hours.

2 Q. Why?

3 A. I was sick when I started out. I wanted to come and help the

4 people who are here.

5 Q. When did you meet me regarding this summary? Can you orient

6 yourself in that time period?

7 A. It definitely was not on that day. We met the next day.

8 Q. Was that yesterday morning?

9 A. Yes, I think it was yesterday. Things are going very rapidly.

10 Q. Did I ask you about some other things after you signed this?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 A. You're welcome.

14 Q. At one point during your examination, my learned colleague

15 suggested to you or put to you that you, Mr. Mlakic, are trying to

16 embellish the history - that was page 105, line 6 - and you said yes as to

17 whether you understood what the suggestion was. Does that mean that you

18 agree with that?

19 A. No. I said that I understood what he asked me but that I did not

20 agree. So that no, the answer was no, I did not agree to what he

21 suggested.

22 Q. But you understood what he was suggesting to you.

23 A. Yes, I confirmed that I understood the suggestion.

24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I'm a bit fast.

25 Q. In connection to that, by your statement, have you embellished the

Page 25296

1 history, the story, or did you relay things as you saw them?

2 A. In my statement I signed things -- I signed on the things as I saw

3 them.

4 Q. Thank you. You were given an operations report of the brigade and

5 you talked to my learned colleague about it; 47 men were mentioned there.

6 There, you said, "I know that they were taken." This came up twice, and

7 the second time you said, "to the cinema building or the school

8 building." Which school were you referring to?

9 A. The school in Dubravica.

10 Q. Do you know which HVO unit had control of the Dubravica school?

11 A. Yes, I know. It was the Vitezovi.

12 Q. Mr. Mlakic, did anyone, before the conflict on the morning of the

13 16th, tell you that there would be a war on the 16th?

14 A. Of course not. I would not have planned a celebration, I would

15 not have been involved in this building of my house had I known what was

16 to come.

17 Q. Between the edge of your village and the first houses, apart from

18 those two houses which we mentioned out in the field, that is, between the

19 edge of Stari Vitez, especially the section called Mahala, is a heath.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. There's nothing on this heath except for those two houses which we

22 mentioned.

23 A. Yes. It's an open field.

24 Q. How would you call this field between these two sites?

25 A. I don't know how to call it. An open field, an empty field.

Page 25297

1 Q. Given that on both sides there were armed forces, would that be

2 called an open space?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Would any civilian walk about in this area?

5 A. No, of course not, because both sides would see him.

6 Q. If a civilian or a soldier would try to pass there, do you think

7 that he would make it through alive?

8 A. That is questionable.

9 Q. On the morning of 16 April, did you have any information on the

10 events in the centre of town, especially in Kolonija?

11 A. No.

12 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I have nothing further.

13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mlakic, that concludes your testimony. Thank you

14 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 JUDGE MAY: There is one matter I want to raise, which I'm going

17 to do in closed session when the witness is withdrawn.

18 [The witness withdrew]

19 [Closed session]

20 [redacted]

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1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.07

2 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday the 22nd day of

3 September 2000, at 9,30 a.m.

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