Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 25953

1 Thursday, 5 October 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.


8 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]

9 Q. Mr. Bertovic, yesterday we concluded the questioning looking at a

10 document, 696.2, that bore references to the Viteska Brigade, to Sivrino

11 Selo, and to Vrhovine and to Ahmici. Have you been able to think further

12 about that document overnight? Is there anything else you'd like to add

13 about it?

14 A. I thought about what I saw, and I stand by what I said yesterday.

15 Q. Would you like, then, please, to look at another document, 692.3.

16 Same source for this document. This is a document, Mr. Bertovic, dated --

17 MR. NICE: For those following on their monitors, there's a sort

18 of whiteout on the television screen. I don't know whether it's

19 correctable. Thank you. It's just a bit hard to read. But I'll press on

20 while we try and improve the picture maybe.

21 Q. This is a document dated the 16th of April and timed at 10.35, and

22 it comes from and apparently is signed by Blaskic. And it goes to the

23 commander of the Viteska Brigade and is on the subject of taking further

24 combat action. And it says:

25 "Regarding your report," with a number, "the 16th of April, do the

Page 25954

1 following: Completely take the vill ges of Donja Veceriska, Ahmici,

2 Sivrino Selo, and Vrhovine. Inform me when the activities taken in

3 execution of this task."

4 Can you explain that for us, please.

5 A. Well, I personally didn't see this document before. This command,

6 or this type of command, never reached me. And perhaps I can think of an

7 explanation. It may be because the Vitez Brigade was not capable at all,

8 especially my battalion, of anything like this. I personally never

9 received this document and I don't know that the Vitez Brigade received it

10 either. I know nothing about it at all.

11 Q. Mr. Bertovic, let's go back to the night before and remind you of

12 what evidence you've given so far, and I want you to reconsider it or

13 consider it again. You're saying that the only Viteska operation of which

14 you are aware is that operation on a couple of roads to the south of Vitez

15 that you mounted; is that right?

16 A. I maintained that we did so on several occasions, not in the

17 environs of Vitez but in the areas of the villages of Kruscica and

18 Vranjska.

19 Q. But what you are saying, if I understand your evidence -- and

20 correct me if I'm wrong -- that this operation by you, this little narrow

21 operation that we saw you point out on the map yesterday, is the only

22 Viteska Brigade operation that night.

23 A. What I showed earlier on the map was the only operation on that

24 day, the 16th of April.

25 Q. Well, I'm going to suggest to you that you're not telling us the

Page 25955

1 truth about that. The number of men you deployed in this area to the

2 south of Vitez would be what? A company size of men?

3 A. First of all, I would say that I have come here to speak the

4 truth, the whole truth, and I am telling the complete truth.

5 JUDGE MAY: Listen, we know what you have declared to do. You

6 were asked a question. Now, would you kindly answer it.

7 A. I will do so, Your Honours. In the area north of the villages of

8 Kruscica and Vranjska I deployed 80 people.


10 Q. Would that be a company-size operation?

11 A. That is an operation for a unit slightly larger than a company,

12 what was available to me, that is, 80 men.

13 Q. Very well. If we remind ourselves of the geography with this map

14 that we were looking at yesterday, D85/2. The map is on the screen. It's

15 not brilliant today, but it's not too bad. It's just about

16 understandable. That's fine, exactly at that magnification. That's it.

17 See, I'm going to suggest to you, and I want your comments on

18 this, that the 1st Battalion of the brigade actually had far wider duties

19 that night. Can you just point out, please, because you'll be able to do

20 this on the map, the Impregnacija Bridge. Can you just point that out for

21 us? You'll have to move your head back, I'm afraid, otherwise we can't

22 see it. Thank you.

23 A. That's here. Yes, that's it.

24 Q. And we can see, to the north of that point, we can see Sivrino

25 Selo. And I'm going to suggest to you that the brigade was in fact

Page 25956

1 engaged in at least those two places on the night of the 15th, 16th, at

2 Sivrino Selo and at the Impregnacija Bridge, where it was going to be

3 blocking UNPROFOR's approach, it was hoped. What do you say to those

4 suggestions?

5 A. To those suggestions I would respond as follows: Well, we

6 certainly were never in Sivrino Selo or at the bridge near Impregnacija.

7 And blocking the UNPROFOR forces at that bridge would be completely

8 logical [as interpreted], because the UNPROFOR would be able to arrive at

9 any section of the municipality, regardless of whether this bridge was

10 blocked or not. There are many communications on the territory of the

11 municipality, and I see absolutely no sense in blocking that bridge.

12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, there is a substantial mistake in the

13 transcript. The witness said -- on the page 4, line 4, should be the word

14 "illogical," it would be illogical. There is the word "logical."

15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

16 MR. NICE:

17 Q. You told us yesterday that there were 270 soldiers available at

18 that time; do you remember?

19 A. I said yesterday that the total available number of men I could

20 call up when needed was 270.

21 Q. Was that a figure you've remembered down over the years or did you

22 derive that figure from a document that you'd been shown?

23 A. Yesterday, I said that this number varied because of the voluntary

24 basis of engagement of men in my unit, and I also said that several

25 estimates were made on various occasions about the potential of my

Page 25957

1 battalion because some members of the unit departed wishing no longer to

2 be members and others arrived --

3 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... because we are coming to the detail

4 in a second. My question was a simple one: Did you remember the figure

5 over the years or was this a figure that you derived from a document?

6 A. What I am saying now is what I remember from that time.

7 Q. Very well. Then let's look at, yet again, Exhibit 653. When we

8 look at this document, we can see that indeed the figures, if we add up

9 the total figures -- I'm afraid I really can't see it. There certainly is

10 something wrong with the screen. I don't know if the Bench has the same

11 problems with its monitors that we have. The numbers aren't really

12 showing up very clearly at all. But if we go back so that we can see the

13 whole of the page, please, thank you very much, in fact, if we add up --

14 this is unsatisfactory and I can't see anything now on this document. I

15 don't know if the technical booth can do anything about it. If you look

16 at the screen, we simply can't read it.

17 JUDGE MAY: Can you go on without it? It's a document we've seen

18 a great number of times.

19 MR. NICE: Yes.

20 Q. You see if we add up the numbers there, Mr. Bertovic, 92, 92, and

21 86, it comes to precisely 270. We've heard various explanations for these

22 people here, what do you say they are? Just soldiers for the brigade so

23 that this is the totality of the number of people in the brigade at the

24 time that you had this document prepared, or are these simply those

25 members of the brigade who were going to the front lines? Which is it?

Page 25958

1 A. I can say about this document that it reflects the potential of

2 the battalion which I commanded, and this is the potential from which I

3 formed my shifts. So this is the totality of potentially-available men to

4 the battalion which was part of the Viteska Brigade.

5 Q. We'll have a look at it a little bit later, but just before we

6 part from it, we see these three companies with different commanders where

7 were the commanders, Badrov and Drmic, on the nights of the 15th and 16th,

8 what were they doing?

9 A. Well, by my own decision to block the roads from Vranjska, I

10 engaged the men who were the closest to this locality because time was

11 short.

12 Q. Yes. Well, which villages -- that's not an answer to my question,

13 but I was going to ask you that. So which villages did you draw them

14 from, quickly? Read them from this document, which villages did you draw

15 them from?

16 A. Well, from what I can remember today, those would have been the

17 men from the villages of Rijeka, the town of Kolonija, from Dubravica, and

18 the closer localities, Kruscica and Vranjska, perhaps some more, and if

19 you want them, I'll enumerate them now.

20 Q. Even on your own account, that leaves the totality of the 2nd

21 Company under Badrov untouched, and large parts of the 1st and 3rd Company

22 available. What were the other available soldiers from those companies

23 doing on that night, please?

24 A. The men who were free, and they were at their homes and they were

25 free up to the moment when they were called up to take their shift.

Page 25959

1 Q. What were they doing that night, please? Nothing? Is that what

2 you're saying?

3 A. Those men who were not summoned to execute the assignment, they

4 were at home with their families and they were going about their family

5 business. They were not engaged.

6 Q. Well, I suggest to you that's quite untrue and you know it,

7 Mr. Bertovic. Let's just deal with soldiers at the front line very

8 briefly, because I've got a lot of documents that have been produced and

9 there are affidavits and one or two other things that I've got to try and

10 cover with you in a short space of time.

11 MR. NICE: May the witness have his own exhibit, D132/2 back

12 please. I don't know if the Chamber still has it, copies of that before

13 it. If so we can deal with it without it going on the overhead, but

14 otherwise ...

15 JUDGE MAY: This is the one produced in chief?

16 MR. NICE: Yes.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we have that.

18 MR. NICE: I can make the points I hope very briefly. First of

19 all, if we go to Tab 3, and I'm happy if the Court's happy for me to deal

20 with these points without them going on the overhead then I can save some

21 time.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

23 MR. NICE: Just hand the documents to the witness, please.

24 Q. If you go to Tab 3 which is an order of the 18th of December, as

25 an example, we see that you're sending 20 soldiers to the battle line by,

Page 25960













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Page 25961

1 as we can see it, number four, by taxis. If we go to then swiftly,

2 please, if we go to Tab 5, as an example, we can see again on the 5th of

3 January of 1993, sending soldiers to the line, and again I think it's sort

4 of where you were moving them were by taxi vans.

5 If we go to Tab 13, I think it is -- no, I beg your pardon, it's

6 Tab 11 in an order of the 10th of February. Just to take the picture up,

7 we see that you're at item 6, the transport of the 10 soldiers is by a

8 requisition taxi van, and if we move up to nearer towards April, we go to

9 Tab 17, for example, for the 9th of March, a squad of soldiers for the 3rd

10 Company being sent off. Again we can see that they were taken in a

11 mobilised taxi van in the singular. And then we go to Tab 18 and we can

12 see the same thing for the 17th of March.

13 When you were sending men to the front line, Mr. Bertovic, it

14 wasn't very large numbers, was it, it was 10, 15, 20 men and that was it?

15 Is that correct?

16 A. I would like to say this: Shifts on the battle line against the

17 army of Republika Srpska were always about 60 soldiers, sometimes more.

18 In cases when we had no time to send such a large number of soldiers at

19 once, we would later send an additional ten or so men for reinforcement.

20 And I would say that this is not the totality of my orders, and I dealt

21 with the problem in the way which is partially reflected here.

22 Q. One other document on this bundle of documents, tab 20, please.

23 Will you look at that? For the 19th of March. You've given us evidence

24 about how long it takes to mobilise your forces. We see here, as clear as

25 can be, that Cerkez issues an order on the 19th of March for execution the

Page 25962

1 following day, sending a unit in the strength of two platoons to Slatka

2 Voda-Strikanca. You had in your brigade by March the facility to mobilise

3 people at very short notice, didn't you?

4 A. I would not agree with that. One cannot see clearly from here,

5 from this, when I sent up a shift and to what extent I executed this

6 order. Oftentimes, either due to the problems of mobilisation or

7 unavailability of all members of the unit, orders could not be executed

8 fully.

9 Q. But the simple point is it is as clear as daylight from this

10 order. Cerkez issues an instruction on the 19th of March for execution on

11 the 20th. One day was all that was required. Correct or incorrect? You

12 told us you needed three days.

13 A. I needed more time, and I say that I could not have carried out

14 this order in full, and that would have been reflected in a report on the

15 implementation of the order.

16 Q. All right. How many of those 270 soldiers we saw on the

17 document -- I needn't put it on the ELMO again, but we saw on the document

18 653. How many of those do you say were on the front on the night of the

19 15th, 16th?

20 A. In the night of the 15th to 16th, out of the entire pool of

21 people, the following were involved: On the defence line facing the

22 Republika Srpska army there were about 60 soldiers; then in the blockade

23 of the villages of Vranjska and Kruscica, about 80 soldiers; and in the

24 Hotel Ribnjak, about 50 men who were about to take over the shift. They

25 were preparing for taking over.

Page 25963

1 Q. Just yes or no: Is there any record of the so-numbered 60

2 soldiers that you say were at the front line?

3 A. There must be a record about it or a note that they were at the

4 front line, facing the BSA.

5 Q. Do you say that the level of support given at the front line had

6 been constant throughout the months of 1993, January, February, March,

7 April, or had there been a rise or a fall in the level of support given at

8 the front line over those months?

9 A. At the front line facing the BSA, I endeavoured to maintain

10 continuity; that is, the increases and decreases should have been reduced

11 at a minimum, because the initial shifts we had reached a satisfactory

12 level of security at the front line.

13 Q. In January of 1993 there had been an order, hadn't there, to

14 diminish to the absolute minimum the defence offered towards the Serbs.

15 Do you remember that?

16 A. I don't remember now.

17 Q. Just have a quick look at this, please, Exhibit 395.1, produced by

18 Blaskic. It's an order from Petkovic. See if this reminds you that the

19 man staffing the front line -- you should know the orders that were being

20 sent. This is an order of the 26th of January of 1993 from Petkovic,

21 going to Colonel Kordic and Colonel Blaskic. And it says: "Line of

22 defence towards Chetniks to be weakened to an extent as low as possible."

23 You were dealing with the front line. Can you explain -- first of all,

24 did you know about this order?

25 A. I have never seen this document and I cannot recall whether there

Page 25964

1 was any action regarding this document. So far as I can remember, there

2 were no significant changes concerning my unit, as per this document.

3 Q. Again I'm going to suggest you're wrong on that, and you must have

4 known, if this was an order from Petkovic to diminish forces facing the

5 Serbs, you must have known about it. It would have come down to you. And

6 the reason for the diminution of the forces facing the Serbs is because,

7 as you all knew, they were required to deal with the Muslims; correct?

8 A. I wouldn't agree with that.

9 Q. The document that we were looking at -- we needn't look at it

10 again -- 653, you told us yesterday was prepared at your instructions, and

11 the document is dated the 14th of April. Why did you particularly need to

12 know your available forces at that time, in April of 1993?

13 A. I have to repeat my answer from before: On several occasions I

14 analysed a pool of potential conscripts, and that is what was done on that

15 occasion.

16 Q. Entirely your own initiative, was it, Mr. Bertovic?

17 A. I believe that it was, yes. I'm not entirely sure, but I had

18 given such tasks before.

19 Q. Or is the reality that you were preparing a document of your

20 manpower because those above you needed to know what resources there were

21 available to launch an attack on the Muslims? Is that why that document

22 was prepared?

23 A. I believe that that was not the reason, and as far as I can recall

24 now, this was another initiative on my part because I needed to know the

25 size of the manpower, because the number kept fluctuating.

Page 25965

1 Q. I want to deal with some other documents and I want to try and

2 deal with things quickly. If you can deal with answers by "yes" or "no,"

3 we can sometimes save documents going in. Do you accept that there was in

4 1993 not only the brigade of military police, or sorry, the battalion of

5 military police, but there were military police within the Viteska

6 Brigade?

7 A. I wouldn't agree with that fact.

8 Q. Are you saying there were no such things as brigade military

9 police?

10 A. So far as I know, within the brigade there was no military police

11 as its integral part.

12 Q. What about when military policemen were doing tasks for the

13 brigade? Did that ever happen? Help us.

14 A. As far as I know, the military police which was part of the 4th

15 Battalion needed orders which the battalion command -- which had to be

16 approved at the brigade level, and I sent them up to the brigade

17 headquarters, such requests, that is.

18 Q. And I'm going to have to try and come to that order -- if Your

19 Honour will just give me one minute.

20 Can we look, please, and I'm not going to get you to do a counting

21 exercise. Can you look at this document, please, 505, as I just hand it

22 in. This is a document that lists the members of the Stjepan Tomasevic

23 Brigade as at February 27th, 1993, and this is that battalion of the

24 Brigade which related to Vitez, and we can see -- I've just observed it at

25 one page, we can see that the names are listed and the second column,

Page 25966

1 would this be correct, gives their address and the third column gives

2 their place of birth?

3 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may notice, the witness is not

4 given a Croatian document. It looks, on Croatian, entirely different. He

5 would recognise it by the sight.

6 MR. NICE: I'm sorry. Very well, if -- I haven't got the Croatian

7 version there. What I'm going to -- I can deal with it in summary.

8 Q. As at February 1993, would you accept, because we've got documents

9 to this effect, that the battalion of the Tomasevic Brigade that related

10 to Vitez had some 400 men?

11 A. I cannot accept that fact, and I say that the 2nd Battalion of the

12 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade numbered around 270 to 300 men.

13 Q. Well, we've got a list there and we can add them up. Would you

14 accept that the vast majority of those men in that battalion that related

15 to Vitez also lived in Vitez, not all of them, but the majority?

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I would not object, but I would just

18 remind the Chamber that we got the explanation about that document in

19 detail by the witness Sengic. We explained that is what this particular

20 report was and in addition that there was such report for every month by

21 the end of the month.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But that can't stop counsel asking this witness

23 about it. That's a comment for to you make, Mr. Kovacic, when it comes to

24 looking at the evidence. Allow this -- allow counsel to ask the

25 question. Have you objection to the question?

Page 25967

1 MR. KOVACIC: My point was that this is repetitive and

2 unnecessarily repetitive.



5 Q. The point, Mr. Bertovic, is this: Of the 400 or so men available

6 in February, the vast majority lived in Vitez, didn't they?

7 A. I wouldn't agree with that fact.

8 Q. We -- and the development of the Viteska Brigade which is what you

9 are here to deal with and what you've been called to give evidence about

10 can be seen in a few documents, very quickly to remind us, 516.2. The

11 Viteska Brigade was built on a well-formed and functioning battalion of

12 the Tomasevic Brigade, and we can see from this document, 516.2, the

13 order, the order is on the 1st of March. The immediate formation of the

14 brigade of Vitez with one battalion of active-duty personnel and two

15 battalions of the home guard.

16 Now, just remind us of that document, we won't look at it again,

17 653, was the document we were looking at the active battalion, please, of

18 270 men? Was that the active battalion?

19 A. I didn't understand the question in reference to the document that

20 I am holding in my hand.

21 Q. This document says that there's going to be established a brigade

22 with one battalion of active-duty personnel and two battalions of the home

23 guard. We've been looking at a document regularly enough that shows the

24 270 men in three companies. You tell us that that is the battalion of

25 active-duty personnel or is that the home guard?

Page 25968













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Page 25969

1 A. If I'm to answer this question I first have to say that this

2 document does not come from the military wing, it is from the office of

3 defence. It has nothing to do with my brigade and my battalion, but what

4 I can say is that it must have been referring to the home guard because I

5 see no connection with the active duty personnel.

6 Q. Well, so that the 270 men that you've been talking about and the

7 270 men that we saw listed, are you now saying that that's the home guard

8 and it isn't the active-duty personnel?

9 A. Yes. Those were home guards. We could not make them to be the

10 active-duty personnel.

11 Q. So how many active-duty personnel were there in April if there

12 were 270 home guards? How many active-duty personnel were there?

13 A. The -- only the home guardsmen who were a part of the shift which

14 was on either -- carrying out the task or preparing to carry out the task

15 were the only ones who were on active duty the other ones were not on

16 active duty.

17 Q. Mr. Bertovic, you're trying to understate the effectiveness and

18 position of the Viteska Brigade, aren't you? That's what you're here to

19 do.

20 A. No. I am trying to tell you what the situation was at that time

21 because I was there, and I know for sure that this is how things were, and

22 this is what I am presenting to you.

23 Q. 550, please. Just so that we can have the picture of the force

24 you were working with, this document dated the 17th of March, and we can

25 see if we go back a little bit so I can see a little bit more of it, thank

Page 25970

1 you very much. This is an order of the 17th of March and it relates to

2 openly destructive conductive individuals in HVO uniforms.

3 We see under number 1, "Immediately order platoon, company, and

4 battalion commanders at all levels to assess the conduct of conscripts and

5 the names of persons inclined toward destructive and criminal conduct."

6 And if we go to the bottom, we'll see that this is an order from Blaskic,

7 all right.

8 Now, if we then take the next document which is 554, we can see

9 that that order is implemented by Cerkez, just have a look at that,

10 please, coming your way. It's dated the 19th of March in accordance with

11 the order by the brigade commander and owing to an increased incidence and

12 so on, "I order immediately start assessing the behaviour of soldiers at

13 all levels from the squads, platoons and companies and identify by name

14 the perpetrators," and so on. And that goes to company commanders and

15 assistants for information. I think that's all I want from that

16 document.

17 And then -- if Your Honour will just give me a minute. Yes, if

18 you look at number 3, please, it says here, "Weapons, uniforms and

19 equipment shall be taken from those who behave in a negative way." This

20 was a well-formed force, wasn't it, with armed men available to it?

21 A. I don't understand the question. Could you please repeat it?

22 Q. Yes. This is an order that's gone out from Cerkez and it says

23 that individual soldiers found to have committed actions and so on have to

24 be disciplined and their weapons, their uniforms, and their equipment

25 shall be taken from them and this is directed to squads, platoons, and

Page 25971

1 companies. The brigade was a well-formed fighting unit by March of 1993,

2 wasn't it, as this sort of order reveals?

3 A. One can see from this order that those who are inclined to

4 destructive behaviour should be eliminated from the units. I knew how a

5 unit should be structured. There should be companies, platoons, squads.

6 That would not however say anything about the manpower, the strength.

7 This is just the regular establishment of a battalion, and it does not

8 reflect the strength of the battalion but just its organisational

9 structure and establishment.

10 Q. I see. So although this order is formulated in this way, it's

11 really sort of more in hope than reality; is that what you're saying?

12 A. This is another attempt to remove all negative factors that

13 prevent units from functioning in a normal way.

14 MR. NICE: May the witness have his own exhibit, D131/2. Again

15 I'm happy not to put them on the ELMO to save time if the Chamber has its

16 own copies available. I'm only going to look at a few of the documents

17 and I will try to deal with them in chronological sequence.

18 Q. Would you be good enough to go to Tab 13, Mr. Bertovic.

19 This document, dated the 18th of March, the following day, we can

20 see deals with the same problem, and under paragraph 1 it says this:

21 "Assess the conduct immediately of conscripts at all levels,

22 starting from the commanders of squads, platoons, and companies, and

23 identify persons responsible for acts of destruction."

24 "Conscripts" means what it says, doesn't it?

25 A. Here those who are engaged in destructive behaviour should be

Page 25972

1 identified and removed from the unit.

2 Q. This is an order from Cerkez. I'm concerned not with the form of

3 the order particularly; I'm concerned with what it reveals about the

4 nature of your brigade. "Conscripts" means conscripts, doesn't it? The

5 brigade had conscripts by the 18th of March, Mr. Bertovic.

6 A. On 18 March, the conscripts were those men who were involved in

7 carrying out their tasks at the front line or who were preparing to go on

8 shifts. And among those we were looking to identify those who were

9 engaged in destructive behaviour and would then remove them.

10 Q. Well, let's just see -- I'm only concerned with what you mean at

11 the moment by "conscripts." There's no question of the people going to

12 the front line being volunteers, then; they were conscripted to go to the

13 front line, were they?

14 A. When a volunteer reports to a unit, while he is a member of the

15 unit and carrying out his task, he is a conscript and is liable for any

16 breaches of discipline, as set out by the rules of discipline.

17 Q. I see. So they change; they become conscripts at the minute they

18 take up their duties. Is that right?

19 A. Yes. When they take on duties, they become conscripts. The fact

20 that he volunteered does not give him licence to do whatever he wishes to

21 do.

22 Q. Now, your answer to me not so very many minutes ago was that there

23 was no such thing as a brigade military police. The previous document is

24 addressed to the brigade military police by Cerkez. Would you like to

25 reconsider your answer about the brigade military police?

Page 25973

1 A. I reconsidered it and I arrived at the same position.

2 Q. No such thing as a brigade military police. And if that's really

3 your answer, can you explain why this sort of order, which you must have

4 been aware of, was being sent to something that didn't exist?

5 A. I know that there was a platoon of the 4th Battalion of the

6 military police which was providing security for the brigade command, so I

7 can only offer my opinion here that this document was sent to the military

8 police so as to inform them, because this document relates to the

9 discipline, that is, compliance with the rules, and the activities of the

10 military police relate to the rules of discipline, because it is within

11 its ambit.

12 MR. KOVACIC: Pardon. We have again a serious mistake in the

13 transcript. On the very beginning of the answer which is in line 15, the

14 witness explicitly said "I think there was a platoon of military police."

15 The word "platoon" is missing. And then afterwards he said, "which was

16 attached," or something like that, to 4th Battalion, and that is also

17 missing.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 MR. NICE:

20 Q. Mr. Bertovic, you know perfectly well that every brigade had its

21 own unit of military police under command of the brigade commander, don't

22 you?

23 A. I could not know such a thing, and I did not know it, as far as I

24 knew about the military police which guarded the command post of the

25 Viteska Brigade, and I told you about that.

Page 25974

1 Q. I'm going to return -- Your Honour, I'm not going to, because the

2 witness's answer takes some time, I'm not going to take him to the book on

3 the military police that we've looked at before, but the Chamber will know

4 of the references there to the topic I'm covering.

5 Staying with the witness's own documents and dealing with them

6 perhaps as far as I need to, to save time, would you be good enough,

7 please, to go over now to tab number 16. This is an order dated the 22nd

8 of March and it says: "In order to have weapons and equipment of our unit

9 operative and ready --"

10 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, please. We do not have

11 copies.

12 MR. NICE: I'm very sorry. And they're not on the ELMO. Perhaps

13 I'm attempting a false economy. I don't know if Mr. Kovacic has got a

14 spare version that can go on the ELMO in the English.

15 MR. KOVACIC: Of what?

16 MR. NICE: Of your exhibit, of the Defence Exhibit D131/2. Yes.

17 I'll read slowly.

18 Q. The 22nd of March. "Upon completion of the task, all commanders

19 of the Vitez Brigade 1st Battalion shall inspect the equipment and

20 weapons," and so on. This was a properly armed unit, wasn't it, the Vitez

21 Brigade, 1st Battalion? No particular suggestion of being short of

22 weapons, was there?

23 A. I wouldn't go along with that.

24 Q. Tab 17, please, an order of the 22nd of March from you. And it

25 says this:

Page 25975

1 "Taking into account that in a few days, on Wednesday the 24th of

2 March, Muslims will celebrate their greatest holiday, and in order to

3 prevent possible negative consequences," you ordered that in the next few

4 days all units of the Vitez Brigade 1st Battalion shall heighten the

5 readiness of unit members, and to this end they should intensify security

6 measures.

7 Why, please, Mr. Bertovic, did you issue that order?

8 A. The order was issued because of the following: That is, before

9 that, in the preceding period before the order, we had some bitter

10 experience with the army of Republika Srpska which launched attacks on

11 Catholic or Muslim holidays, thus catching us by surprise. And for that

12 reason the order is issued to, during the Bajram of Ramadan, which lasts

13 quite a period of time -- I don't know how many days -- to heighten the

14 readiness at the defence line because another such surprise is possible,

15 in the sense that the ARS presumably does not have sufficiently accurate

16 information if it is the BH army or the HVO facing them, because to my

17 right was the BH army on the positions at Turbe.

18 Q. So you were still fighting with Muslims. You had Muslims with

19 you, you're saying, well into this period in 1993?

20 A. Yes. My, as I have said, neighbour to the right was an ABiH

21 unit. The cooperation was very good and there were no significant

22 problems in repelling the attack of the Serb troops. And on several

23 occasions I was even congratulated by Muslim commanders for our support to

24 rejecting the attacks on their lines.

25 Q. So your evidence is that the Muslims were cooperating and helping

Page 25976













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14 and French transcripts.












Page 25977

1 on the front lines right up until March 1993?

2 A. Well, this cooperation existed right up until the conflict broke

3 out in Vitez and other municipalities of Central Bosnia, when there was a

4 confrontation between the HVO and BH army.

5 Q. So to your knowledge, there were Muslims at the front line on the

6 night of the 15th of April; yes?

7 A. I didn't understand the question. I mean, what part of the front

8 line?

9 Q. Well, you had troops at the front line, you tell us, on the 15th

10 of April. In March, your neighbouring front line units were Muslims. Was

11 the same position true on the 15th of April, the Muslims still on the

12 front line, next door to your troops? Simple question.

13 A. On the Turbe front line, yes, our neighbours to the right were

14 still the units of the BH army.

15 Q. Next tab is tab 18, and then I only want to look at two other

16 documents in this little pile of the Defence exhibits. And do you have

17 tab 18 open? This is a Cerkez order of the 23rd of March, and it's in

18 fact to do with photographs, photographing military conscripts. I want

19 you to note two phrases, please.

20 In paragraph 1, in the English version about four lines down, it

21 says: "Please take this extremely seriously," that's having the

22 photographs taken, "and make sure all military conscripts are notified

23 about it today and that they do so."

24 The next sentence reads as follows: "All military conscripts

25 deployed at the defence line on the given date shall organise to have

Page 25978

1 their picture taken once they return from the front."

2 So it appears that military conscripts doesn't just cover people

3 going to the front line; it covers other people as well. Do you accept

4 that?

5 A. I can answer this question in the following manner: When they are

6 carrying out their tasks, they are conscripts. And when I, as the

7 battalion commander, organise either photography or cleaning of weapons or

8 taking up shifts or preparation of shifts, at that moment, they are

9 conscripts because there is no other word for it.

10 Q. I'm afraid that doesn't help me. It may be my mistake entirely,

11 but are you saying that the minute he goes off to have his photograph

12 taken, he becomes a conscript? Is that what you're saying?

13 A. No. The moment when he gets -- when he's assigned the task.

14 Q. Well, I'm suggesting to you, and I'm going to turn from this

15 document if there's nothing else you want to say from it. I'm suggesting

16 to you that this document makes it absolutely plain that military

17 conscripts aren't those just at the defence line, that military conscripts

18 exist as a group of people from whom those going to the front line are

19 drawn, and this document of the 23rd of March makes that absolutely plain,

20 Mr. Bertovic. Are there any other comments you want to make on it?

21 A. I would not agree with this. At the beginning of my testimony, I

22 said when they are engaged, it is then that they are military conscripts.

23 At all other times when they are not carrying out tasks received from me,

24 that is my command, they are free and are carrying out their private

25 duties, living their private lives as they like and as they want to do.

Page 25979

1 Q. Very well. How many men were required to make the -- a battalion

2 full strength?

3 A. That question is general and depends on the type of the battalion,

4 its organisational structure.

5 Q. How many men were required to make your battalion full strength,

6 Mr. Bertovic?

7 A. My battalion, as I have said, was organised on the basis of

8 voluntary response. Therefore, the formation structure of the battalion

9 depended on the number of volunteers. At that moment, we had so many of

10 them that we could form three companies of the total potential.

11 Q. It's a simple question. How many men made your battalion a

12 battalion at full strength, please?

13 A. The full potential of my battalion was 270 to 300 men. That was

14 the potential available to me.

15 Q. Are you saying that that is a full strength battalion,

16 Mr. Bertovic? You've been a soldier for a long time. I hope the question

17 isn't complicated. Now, does 270 men mean it's at full strength or not?

18 A. That is the strength which was at my disposal. That is men that I

19 could call to take shifts. There was no other strength.

20 Q. Very well. If you can't answer my question or if you won't answer

21 it, Mr. Bertovic, look, please, to Tab 20. Would you turn to Tab 20,

22 please?

23 JUDGE MAY: Well, just help us with this, what would a battalion

24 have been in the army that you were in of the JNA? What was the strength

25 of a battalion there?

Page 25980

1 A. Your Honours, in the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, the strength of a

2 battalion was about 550. Again, depending on that battalion's formation,

3 the number was never identical and it varied from one garrison to the

4 other, but that is about 550 or thereabouts.

5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.


7 Q. Tab 20, please, Mr. Bertovic. Now, this is a document of yours

8 dated the 24th of March and it's a report on the work of the 1st Battalion

9 in the period between its formation and that very day, the 24th of March.

10 It says that in the -- in this period, the work improved, particularly in

11 organisation, the battalion has been set up according to the organisation

12 and establishment from the verbal order from the command, and you were

13 seeking a written document. It goes on to say something about a unit card

14 catalogue and the operational plan for deployment being worked out and

15 instructions regarding the area of responsibility within and outside the

16 municipality not being needed. Then it says this: "Excess manpower in

17 the 1st Battalion calls for the formation of a second battalion."

18 Now, you answered my question in terms of the number of men at

19 your disposal and you answered the learned Judge's question by reference

20 to the size of a JNA battalion. Can you help us please understand what

21 this phrase means, "Excess manpower in the 1st Battalion calls for the

22 formation of a second battalion"?

23 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, in order to save the time because there

24 are obviously now many questions, there is a clear error in translation.

25 The word excess manpower on original Croatian version would be, and I am

Page 25981

1 also now missing the proper English word, would be -- I'm asking

2 interpreter "opterecenost", quite contrary.

3 THE INTERPRETER: The load, the excess load.

4 MR. KOVACIC: That's in the Croatian --

5 THE INTERPRETER: Or the effort required.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I just wonder if we are getting anywhere. We go

7 round and round.

8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I take Your Honour's point. The

9 translation we probably should, in the interest of the witness, just tidy

10 that up with the interpreters we have here because it avoids the problem

11 being left over and then we can probably move on. If the witness would

12 like, please, would you just do this for us -- and it's, of course, the

13 translation put in by the Defence.

14 Q. Would you please just read, Mr. Bertovic, the sentence that begins

15 with the word "opterecenost", just read that out for us slowly. Could you

16 read that sentence out for us, please?

17 A. The workload of men in the 1st Battalion is very heavy and it

18 therefore seems necessary to form a second -- another battalion.

19 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, it is probably our mistake and I

20 apologise but this is the official translation we got from the Court

21 services.

22 MR. NICE: I'm not complaining.

23 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to apportion blame. It's now been

24 sorted out.

25 MR. KOVACIC: I am trying to admit the error is mine because I

Page 25982

1 didn't check the translation probably. I ought to, but I'm sorry there is

2 too many materials.


4 Q. On this bundle of documents, Mr. Bertovic, perhaps just go to the

5 very last page which is Tab 26. This is 8th of April. We see that Cerkez

6 is ordering on the 8th of April that there should be a ban on transfer

7 from unit to unit. And under two, that "The transfer of soldiers and

8 squad and platoon commanders from unit to unit should be regulated."

9 There is no doubt, is there, by April of 1993, the brigade was a

10 well-formed fighting machine with units, arms, and conscripts; correct?

11 A. To my mind, this is not so, and I do affirm this. I would call

12 this order of a rather low character, at least insofar as the brigade is

13 concerned, that is, it has nothing to do with the higher echelons of the

14 command so this is within the brigade, and I can give you an example if

15 need be. If a soldier of mine goes from one company to another or from a

16 company to the battalion command or from the battalion command to the

17 brigade command, if he moves, therefore, from one of those places to

18 another, he cannot do it of his own volition, but he must follow the

19 channels as envisaged, that is, he applies for it. It goes to the command

20 of the battalion, then it is sent on to brigade and so on and so forth. I

21 think this order is of a rather low nature.

22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I have to deal, of course, or I am going

23 to have to try to deal with affidavits and everything else. What I'm

24 going to try to do is deal with one issue now, if it is acceptable to the

25 Chamber, and I will try to reduce to the bare minimum the outstanding

Page 25983

1 matters for after the break but it's been rather a slow exercise.

2 Q. One of the things you spoke of was a man named Zoran Sero; do you

3 remember?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Just remind us, what do you say about this man's status and

6 station at the relevant time?

7 A. As far as I can remember, he was a member of the 4th Military

8 Police Battalion.

9 Q. Nothing to do with the Viteska Brigade at all, is that what you're

10 saying?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Of course I'm going to suggest to you, Mr. Bertovic, that there is

13 a clear intention in your evidence to try and minimize the involvement of

14 Cerkez with the military police and that what you're telling us isn't true

15 on these topics. Would you like to look at this exhibit, please, 142, and

16 perhaps we can put the original on the ELMO to begin with and then when

17 the -- that's been seen, we can put the translation version.

18 Now, this document, you didn't look at this precise one yesterday,

19 you looked at another one and you gave an opinion on the other one. What

20 do you say about this document, please, because this is Zoran Sero's card

21 for 1992. Now that we've looked at it, if the usher could be good enough

22 to put the English version on so that we can see what is said there and

23 you can have the original. What do you say about this card, please?

24 A. I had a good look at this card and all its elements, and I think

25 this is an ID card, but it is a pilot ID card which was, at that time,

Page 25984













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14 and French transcripts.












Page 25985

1 issued when attempts were being made to form these units. But it does not

2 establish any link between this man and the Vitez Brigade in no way. I

3 had such an ID. It was a kind of a pilot ID card and was in force for a

4 very short time.

5 Q. Did you say something about these cards being issued at a time

6 when there were joint forces of HVO and Territorial Defence or something

7 like that yesterday or did I get it wrong?

8 A. No, you misunderstood my point. That was an attempt to form a

9 joint brigade in the municipality of Vitez, and it was to be called the

10 1st Viteska Brigade. And it was precisely at that time which is shown on

11 this ID.

12 Q. This card makes it quite clear this comes from Herceg-Bosna. It

13 has nothing to do with the other side at all. It's the Herceg-Bosna HVO

14 card for this man, and it says that he is a member, it's public

15 identification document proving membership of the army of the HVO for the

16 1st Viteska Brigade dated June of 1992 and it's signed by, just tell us --

17 it's signed by Cerkez.

18 A. I think -- I think it's Cerkez. I think it's Cerkez.

19 Q. This is a proper identification card and it means exactly what it

20 says, doesn't it?

21 A. It means that this is a test pilot ID. As I told you, I had one

22 such too, but it was in force for a very short time during that initiative

23 to form a joint brigade, and very shortly it went out of effect.

24 Q. 1337.1, please. Now, this is a list, if we look at the heading of

25 it, of people, I think, killed. It's prepared in December 1993. If we

Page 25986

1 look down just -- that's fine. We see in the bottom of the screen at the

2 moment, Brigade Military Police, Zoran Sero. That's the man, isn't it?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, he's recorded as having been a member of the brigade military

5 police. Are you denying that the brigade military police existed?

6 A. I said that there was a platoon which guarded the brigade

7 command. And then sometime in the autumn, and I can't remember exactly,

8 but I know that an order came to subordinate that platoon to the brigade,

9 in the operational sense, but that was in the second part of the conflict;

10 that is, it continued as a part of the 4th Battalion of the military

11 police. But sometime in the autumn of that year, Commander Cerkez was

12 authorised, was entitled to use them, but again in coordination with the

13 commander of the 4th Battalion. Military police. But I cannot really

14 tell you exactly. This is the information that I learned in the brigade

15 command, and as far as I can remember, that would be roughly it.

16 Q. Sero was killed in the course of the attack on Stari Vitez, wasn't

17 he?

18 A. As far as I can remember, yes, he was killed somewhere around

19 Stari Vitez.

20 Q. And it was in July, well before the autumn, when you say there was

21 a change in command structure. He was killed in July, wasn't he?

22 A. I do not know the exact date of his death.

23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... coming your way. Now, this

24 document, you see, is -- if we look at the heading, please. Thank you

25 very much -- Vitez Brigade, 5th Battalion command. It's dated the 12th of

Page 25987

1 February and it lists soldiers killed in the zone of responsibility of the

2 then 5th Battalion. And there is Zoran Sero, son of Nikica, killed on the

3 18th of July in Stari Vitez. Can you explain that? No suggestion that

4 this is not a member of the brigade. This man is a member of the brigade

5 and that's where he's recorded as being killed.

6 A. What I can say about this document is the following: It does not

7 contain all the elements. That is, it lacks the signature of a person

8 responsible for its drawing up. And I see yet another illogical thing.

9 Next to Zoran Sero, for instance, Krkovic [phoen] and Batric [phoen], and

10 I'm a hundred per cent sure that he was never a member of the Vitez

11 Brigade. He was a friend of mine and he was killed as a security guard at

12 the SPS Vitezit and not here. So this document makes no sense to me, even

13 though this is the first time that I see it. And I can indicate some

14 other things which are not logical, such as, for instance, Borislav

15 (Pero's) Jozic. As far as I can remember, he was with the brigade

16 commander rather than, as this document says, in the 5th Battalion.

17 Q. The anti-sabotage platoon was part of the brigade, wasn't it? It

18 was commanded by Mato Ljubicic.

19 A. [No interpretation]

20 Q. I didn't get a translation for that.

21 A. [No interpretation]

22 JUDGE MAY: Could you say that again more loudly, please.

23 A. I do not remember this now. I do not have any recollection of

24 this company, of this platoon.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, is that a convenient moment?

Page 25988

1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. I'm doing my best to make matters as

2 short as I can.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Just let me deal with one or two matters.

4 Tomorrow we shall sit at 9.00, if we are sitting. There is the question

5 of the evidence of Dr. Ivas, the expert, to which objection is taken. We

6 ought to resolve that as soon as we can, preferably this week. It looks

7 to be a relatively limited point.

8 And just one other general point which occurs to me, and that

9 concerns documents during the cross-examination of the accused. The

10 accused, of course, giving evidence in his own trial is in a rather

11 different position to witnesses, and therefore it may be, and I speak

12 entirely for myself, but it may be that the Chamber should take particular

13 care to make sure that he is not, as it were, caught totally unprepared by

14 documents.

15 Can I take it that all documents upon which he is likely to be

16 cross-examined will be disclosed prior to the cross-examination? If not,

17 perhaps you can address argument upon it.

18 MR. NICE: Certainly, Your Honour.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Nice, please.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now, half an hour, 25 to.

21 --- Recess taken at 11.07 a.m.

22 --- On resuming at 11.39 a.m.

23 MR. NICE:

24 Q. Before the break, Mr. Bertovic, you told us that you had no

25 recollection of the anti-sabotage platoon. Did you say you didn't

Page 25989

1 remember a man called Mato Ljubicic as well?

2 A. I have a vague knowledge of this person. I know that such a

3 person exists.

4 Q. Well, tell us what your vague knowledge of him is, then, please.

5 A. As far as I can remember now, he is a refugee from the

6 municipality of Jajce. We didn't know each other very well and I know

7 very little about him.

8 Q. Perhaps you'd like -- what about his platoon? You didn't know

9 much about him, but in your position in the brigade you must have known

10 about the platoon. Tell us about that, will you.

11 A. Well, a platoon is a small unit. I can remember very little; in

12 fact, there is nothing I can remember today.

13 Q. You can't remember any members of that platoon, not even Krunoslav

14 Bonic? You've been brought here to give evidence that relates to that

15 man. Can you not remember him being a member of the platoon?

16 A. I don't know that I have been brought here to give evidence on

17 that person.

18 JUDGE MAY: We get nowhere. Can you just concentrate on the

19 questions? It may help, Mr. Nice, if you don't preface the comments.

20 MR. NICE:

21 Q. Perhaps I'll take the witness to the first of the remaining four

22 documents that I'm going to show him. 439.1. Now, this is a document of

23 yours dated the 4th of February, 1993, and it goes to Mato Ljubicic,

24 anti-sabotage platoon commander posted at the Lovac building instructing

25 him to take a recoilless gun for use in the defence of both buildings, and

Page 25990

1 he is to report to you. So your chain of command included being able to

2 command Mato Ljubicic; correct?

3 A. I cannot clearly remember now. This document refers to the

4 anti-sabotage platoon, but it was not a part of the battalion.

5 Q. Well, please help us then, Mr. Bertovic, with why you're signing

6 it as battalion commander. The whole thing is in your handwriting. It's

7 not even been typed by someone else. Why are you signing this

8 instruction, writing down Battalion Commander A. Bertovic?

9 A. Well, to the extent that I remember this document now, it was

10 probably a case of a temporary order issued to this unit, but it was not a

11 part of the battalion, and a recoilless gun was just to be placed at the

12 disposal.

13 Q. Don't tell us about the gun. If you are really saying that this

14 was not subject to brigade command, what was its chain of command? To

15 whom did the anti-sabotage platoon react? Whose orders would it take?

16 A. Well, the anti-sabotage platoon may have been under the command of

17 the brigade. I am instructing the officer in charge of the shift to issue

18 this soldier with the recoilless gun, and it is a perfectly normal course

19 of action.

20 Q. Mr. Bertovic, I'm going to cut you off to save time. Is it

21 correct that the man, Zoran Sero, whom you are trying to say is not a

22 member of the brigade, is it now that you remember that he was a member of

23 the anti-sabotage platoon and well within the brigade's command? Is that

24 what you're doing?

25 A. No. As regards Zoran Sero, I said that I knew him and that he was

Page 25991

1 a member of the military police.

2 Q. Well, then, perhaps you better look at 560.2. You now, I think,

3 are allowing that the anti-sabotage platoon may have been within the

4 brigade's command.

5 A. Well, there is a possibility that is a unit ranking lower in the

6 organisational structure and it cannot influence my assignments to a great

7 extent, and to me, it could not be prevalent. It is a low-ranking unit.

8 Q. Well, let's have a look at 560.2, very briefly. This is an order

9 that goes from Cerkez and it's dated the 22nd of March. It relates to

10 monthly payments for the anti-sabotage platoon in the form of 15 days'

11 field service. It asks that they should pay Commander Ljubicic for the

12 members of his unit as follows, and we then see in the list of names, if

13 we could put the list on, just take it from you very briefly so that the

14 display can see it, we can see on this list at number 23, Zoran Sero, and

15 for what it's worth, number 8, Krunoslav Bonic. But number 23 is really

16 the one we're interested in. That man was paid as and was a member of the

17 brigade, wasn't he, Mr. Bertovic?

18 A. Well, this document is a document of the brigade command, and I

19 would comment upon it as follows: Zoran Sero -- most probably, I would

20 say, there are many people in the municipality by the name of Zoran Sero.

21 There are no further details which would give a complete identification of

22 this person. That would be my comment, although the document is indeed

23 the document of the brigade.

24 Q. Just look at another document. It's another list if I could hand

25 it in. Of course you've said in relation to the man, you produced in

Page 25992













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Page 25993

1 relation to the man Zoran Sero, you produced a newspaper article, haven't

2 you, and you said that this article seems to be to you truthful and

3 accurate; is that right?

4 A. I said I had read the article relating to the inability of the

5 Sero family to return to the area of Kruscica.

6 Q. Just look at this document. What you didn't tell us is that the

7 article that you read, unless I am mistaken, was authored by, if you just

8 look at the bottom of this page, please, Zvonimir Cilic who was the

9 Viteska Brigade's assistant commander for information and propaganda.

10 That's the author of the document, isn't it, in the newspaper?

11 Mr. Bertovic, that's the man who wrote the article.

12 A. I cannot remember now who wrote the article.

13 Q. I see. Let's look at the list of names of the dead and wounded

14 recorded by Zvonimir Cilic while we've got his document. I'm sorry, I

15 have to take the list from you for a minute. This covers a few days. You

16 told us how small the Viteska Brigade's deployment was, 16 people killed.

17 And if we look at the number of wounded, it goes on to the second page, I

18 think we'll find a total of wounded up to 63. How many men, in those

19 opening days of the fighting in April of 1993, how many men were deployed

20 by the Viteska Brigade, Mr. Bertovic?

21 A. As regards those first days, I can speak only about my own

22 battalion which was a part of the Viteska Brigade, and the deployment of

23 the battalion was as I have said it was. I don't want to repeat it.

24 Q. And there can't be all these men, 63 men wounded and 16 killed,

25 coming from the 270 men at your disposal. These men come from a much

Page 25994

1 larger force, don't they? And you can't tell us who they are, can you,

2 the larger Viteska Brigade force?

3 A. I would like to have a closer look at this first, if I may. Well,

4 perhaps I can give my comments on this list if you allow me.

5 Q. Yes.

6 JUDGE MAY: It's a matter for the Court. And, Mr. Nice, time is

7 getting on.

8 MR. NICE: I know it is, and I'm doing my very best.

9 JUDGE MAY: I know. Can you tell us what the number is of this

10 exhibit.

11 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry. 808, I think.

12 Q. Quickly, Mr. Bertovic, can you give us your comment on this list

13 of names and then I'll turn to something else?

14 A. I read the names on this list, and I can say with a great deal of

15 certainty that there are -- it includes members of various units. I will

16 give a couple of examples, Lovro Kovac, I know he was a member of

17 Vitezovi; then Mirjan Santic, who was a member of the military police, if

18 I remember correctly; then Zeljo Livancic, member of the military police;

19 then Velimir Krezic, member of the Vitezovi. So my comment would be that

20 this is a list of all the people who got killed in those days, not members

21 of the Viteska Brigade.

22 Q. I see. One other name on there, Ivica Semren, the redhead man,

23 what was he doing on the night of the 15th and 16th of April, do you

24 know?

25 A. I couldn't say.

Page 25995

1 Q. Last document. While it's coming to you, just tell us, please, if

2 you will: What was the chain of command, do you say, for the brigade

3 military police? Who commanded them? This is 1024.2. Mr. Bertovic, who

4 commanded them?

5 A. I can say that the brigade military police was, in a way, a

6 synonym for the platoon attached to the brigade command as security, and

7 theirs was the commander of the 4th Battalion of the military police, if I

8 concluded correctly.

9 Q. Well, if we look at this document. You sign it. It's a request

10 for detention. That's how it's phrased. But you nevertheless sign it.

11 Who else gets copies of the document? Does it go to the 4th Battalion of

12 the military police?

13 A. One can see clearly from this that this document was approved by

14 the brigade commander, and after that this platoon of security. This

15 document is then presented for approval, and that platoon is then to

16 execute this assignment. If this is not approved, then there is no

17 execution.

18 Q. A short answer is that you, Mr. Bertovic, were able to give

19 instructions in the form of requests to the police --

20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

21 MR. NICE:

22 Q. The short reality is that you, Mr. Bertovic, were able to give

23 instructions to the police, it may have been termed a request, and you

24 didn't need really authority from anybody else except Cerkez.

25 A. I always had to have approval from the command of the brigade for

Page 25996

1 any such request, which is clearly seen from this --

2 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues] ... not to spoil.

3 There is again omitted in the previous answer -- in the previous answer, I

4 think it is line 9 and 10, the witness explicitly said "4th military

5 police platoon" -- battalion, I'm sorry, "4th military police battalion."

6 We have only part of that answer here.

7 MR. NICE: I'll abandon all other questions that I would have

8 asked this witness had things moved at a brisker pace and just deal with

9 one thing.

10 Q. As to Bobasi, you have no firsthand knowledge of what's happened

11 there; you're just reliant on what other people told you. Correct?

12 A. From Bobasi. Well, if we're talking about the BH army offensive

13 against Bobasi, I got this order from the brigade command.

14 Q. Your information about it and about what happened there and what

15 happened to individual people is all based on what you were told; it isn't

16 firsthand experience of your own, is it?

17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, this relates to affidavit material.

18 A. Well, in my first statement I said that I got my information

19 officially through the brigade command and also through contacts with

20 people who --

21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bertovic.

22 A. -- have experienced this firsthand, who had been there.

23 MR. NICE: Yes. That's all I need to know. Thank you.

24 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. I hope I will not take too much,

25 but I guess that some things have to be cleared.

Page 25997

1 Re-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

2 Q. [Interpretation] Major Bertovic, I think that some things have to

3 be clarified. We'll try to do without documents. You were presented with

4 document Z692.3, mentioning Donja Veceriska, Ahmici, Sivrino Selo, and

5 Vrhovine. Do you remember which document we're talking about? Or if you

6 have any doubts, we can have it shown to you again.

7 A. I would like to see it again.

8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] May I please ask the usher for the

9 document Z692.3.

10 Q. You know what we are talking about.

11 A. Yes. I can see it now.

12 Q. Under the given circumstances on the ground, the circumstances

13 that prevailed when you received the order to block those directions,

14 Vranjska and Kruscica, towards the town, can you give us an estimate, as a

15 soldier: For this action were your people to go to these four

16 villages -- Donja Veceriska, Ahmici, Sivrino Selo, and Vrhovine -- if 80

17 were engaged for the previous operation, how many would you need for this

18 one?

19 A. If we were to receive such an order, large, very large forces

20 would be needed to execute it. In my estimate, at least three strong

21 battalions, much stronger than the battalion that I had.

22 Q. And by the way, relating to the same point, has there been any

23 combat action in Vrhovine at any time during the war?

24 A. Never in the course of the war has there been any operation in the

25 direction of Vrhovine. I commanded that sector and I later commanded the

Page 25998

1 battalion, and there have never been any organised attacks against the

2 village of Vrhovine.

3 Q. And to conclude with this document, Major Bertovic: Knowing all

4 that you learned during the war, would you say it was realistic for anyone

5 to issue the brigade with such an order?

6 A. Bearing in mind that the brigade had just been formed a short

7 while before this, that it had at its disposal this rather weak battalion,

8 then this order would have been completely illogical, in my estimate.

9 Q. In this connection, I would like to clarify a technical point

10 which you may be familiar with. In the original document, in the bottom,

11 on the right-hand side, there are notes from the distribution stamp. Can

12 you tell us what this note shows?

13 A. I don't know exactly what you are talking about.

14 Q. Right below the signature of Blaskic. It is not clearly visible

15 on this document, but it is normally a rectangular stamp containing this

16 information. Does this mean anything to you? Can you explain it?

17 A. Well, the practice which prevails today and which prevailed at

18 later stages, when administration had improved in the command of my

19 battalion, this would be the way that this document would be filed.

20 Q. Do these numbers then correspond to the time and the hour; day,

21 month, year, and hour?

22 A. Yes. This is exactly the time when this document was processed.

23 Q. The signature, which is clearly visible, this Topic, do you know

24 where this person could be? At the place where the document was issued or

25 at the brigade?

Page 25999

1 A. This person could not have been in the brigade command. I don't

2 know of any such person which worked in the brigade command.

3 Q. Thank you very much. You were shown document Z505, which is a

4 list which unfortunately was not translated.

5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Can I please ask the registry -- we

6 have this list. This was the document in part of the Spork binder and it

7 was presented to Witness Senkic. Can I please have the Croatian version

8 shown to the witness.

9 Q. Major Bertovic, will you please look at the document, especially

10 paying attention to the date of when it was issued. Do you recognise what

11 this is?

12 A. This document is inconsistent with the battalion. I was in charge

13 of the 2nd Battalion. And here are listed some people who were not

14 members of the battalion.

15 Q. Perhaps I should ask an additional question. Were your units on

16 the front line in February?

17 A. Yes, they were at the front line facing the Serbs.

18 Q. Did the personnel service of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade issue

19 monthly reports on the personnel who had spent part of that month at the

20 front line?

21 A. Yes. This was done every month. For all members who went to the

22 front line, such lists were compiled for all of them.

23 Q. Can you tell me were such lists used to create payrolls of people

24 who were at the front lines that month?

25 A. Yes. There were people who had worked in companies and for them,

Page 26000













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Page 26001

1 they had such lists had been compiled in order to be given excuse from

2 being absent from work.

3 Q. How about others? Did the others get any compensation?

4 A. There were some compensations but they were very low amounts, 30

5 to 50 German marks.

6 Q. Is that a month?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Depending on the number of days spent at the front line?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And were such lists compiled for every month?

11 A. Yes, every month such lists were compiled in the brigade command.

12 Q. Very well. Thank you.

13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have the witness shown

14 again the document Z516.2. [In English] 516.2. This document was on the

15 table.

16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bertovic, a moment ago you saw this document

17 and you pointed out who issued it, that this was the civilian authorities,

18 that it was the defence office. Will you please now focus on the heading

19 of the document. What is asked? What is the meaning of this heading?

20 Can you make out what that meaning is?

21 A. I believe that this document, and here it says that it's an issue

22 of the Operative Zone command, that this document is used to request the

23 formation of the brigade such as it is defined in this document. So this

24 is just a request to the Operative Zone command.

25 Q. And you were in the brigade when the brigade was organised? Was

Page 26002

1 it organised in a way as was proposed by this document?

2 A. In my judgement, the brigade was not established in a way that it

3 was proposed here.

4 Q. In this context, would you agree with me that this was one of the

5 ideas how this brigade should be established?

6 A. Yes. This was just an idea of the official of the defence office,

7 that is the civilian arm of the government.

8 Q. Can you tell me what time period this refers to?

9 A. This is February/March 1993.

10 Q. And when was the brigade actually established to the best of your

11 recollection?

12 A. The brigade was established sometime around 15th of March, middle

13 of March. Now, whether it was exactly on the 15th of March, but it was in

14 the middle of March 1993.

15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, we are done

16 with this document.

17 Q. A lot was said and a lot of questions were asked about the

18 manpower of the battalion and you said a number of things, but one thing

19 may not have been fully clarified. Did you ever, you, as the Major in

20 this 1st Battalion which varied in strength from 270 to 300 men, did you

21 ever activate its full complement or at least most of its complement all

22 at one time?

23 A. No, we never had any possibility for such things because we would

24 have needed barracks for that and we did not have that so we were never

25 able to call up the full complement of this battalion.

Page 26003

1 Q. Mr. Bertovic, my learned friend at one point said that the brigade

2 was a "well-organised fighting machine". You are a trained officer. Can

3 you say whether the battalion of which you were commander, this shift

4 army, as some call it, can you agree that it was well-established?

5 A. No, for several reasons.

6 Q. You do not have to go into reasons. But this is your judgement

7 that it was not?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And finally, if you had a choice, would you dare to go into war

10 with such a battalion?

11 A. No.

12 Q. And did you have a choice?

13 A. No, I did not have a choice. I was carrying out tasks and,

14 unfortunately, the manpower was always lower and we had to work with that,

15 what we had.

16 Q. While we're at it, perhaps we can reconfirm this. Can you tell us

17 approximately to what strength did the Viteska Brigade, what strength did

18 the Viteska Brigade ever reach by the end of the war?

19 A. I don't have the exact figure, but the figure cannot exceed 1.700

20 or 1.800 men, but I wouldn't be able to tell you the exact number.

21 Q. And when you refer to that number, what period of time are you

22 referring to?

23 A. Middle to late summer or early fall.

24 Q. And perhaps just one additional question since we're discussing

25 strength and numbers. According to the military theories used in the

Page 26004

1 former Yugoslavia and which were adopted by both the HVO and the ABiH, we,

2 who are lay in these matters, are told that there was a general rule, the

3 ratio of the offensive and defensive forces, the number that you need to

4 have in order to carry out an offensive. Let's say you were given an

5 order to take Kruscica rather than just secure that communication lines,

6 what ratio forces would you have had to have in order to take Kruscica?

7 A. Theoretically speaking, the ratio forces for conducting offensive

8 operations would need to be at least 3:1 provided the defence is not

9 prepared.

10 Q. On those critical days, specifically with your battalion, did you

11 have enough manpower to attack the ABiH forces which were deployed in the

12 Lasva River Valley without looking purely at numbers?

13 A. No. The ratio forces did not even allow such a thought. It would

14 have been insane because the strength of the ABiH was higher than the HVO

15 forces at that time, in my judgement.

16 Q. Regarding the military IDs that were mentioned here, the 1st Vitez

17 Brigade, I asked you some questions about it, and my learned colleague

18 also did, but let me just follow up with an additional question. You

19 noticed, and I believe that you mentioned, I'm not sure, what stamp is

20 there? What was written on that stamp if you remember?

21 A. Can I have the document in front of me, please?

22 MR. KOVACIC: It seems that I have too many papers. I've lost

23 mine. Okay, I'll drop that question. It's not -- the document is

24 speaking for itself.

25 Q. [Interpretation] And the second question regarding the 1st Vitez

Page 26005

1 Brigade. At the end of the day, was it ever formed in the sense of

2 established?

3 A. No. The 1st Vitez Brigade was never established because had it

4 been, I would have been one of the commanders of its battalions.

5 Q. Very well. The next question deals with the so-called brigade

6 military police. You mentioned that to your recollection, I think it was

7 in late 1992, in the fall of 1992, you learned that this unit was indeed

8 under the command of the Vitez Brigade.

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please help me

10 show the witness -- sorry, I made a mistake. My mistake. It was 1993

11 when it came under the command of the Vitez Brigade. But the document

12 that I'm looking for is D91/2.

13 Q. Will you please review this document? And please look at the time

14 when it was issued, who it was signed by, to whom it was sent. Does this

15 correspond to what you remember when this military police was placed under

16 the command of the Vitez Brigade?

17 A. Yes, it does.

18 Q. Very well. We can remove the document. [In English] Z1024.2.

19 JUDGE MAY: Have you a great deal more for this witness?

20 MR. KOVACIC: Maximum ten minutes, not more than that.

21 JUDGE MAY: By that time you will have been over half an hour.

22 Yes, let's move on.

23 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bertovic [In English] Your Honour, I've just

25 discovered another error in the translation in the title of the document

Page 26006

1 this one on the ELMO, there is "request for detention". As I can see it

2 from the Croatian original, it is "request for escort". It is an order

3 which -- it's a verb bringing in the person, escort him to somewhere.

4 That doesn't matter.

5 Mr. Bertovic, will you please tell me: In your military

6 vocabulary, what is the difference between the word you wrote, if you

7 wrote it? Is it "zahtjev" or "zapovijed"? The difference is "request"

8 and "order." Is there a difference between the two?

9 A. Yes, it is a considerable difference. An order means that

10 somebody is ordered to do something, whereas a request means that the

11 institution to which the request is sent is basically asked to do

12 something. And it has to do -- I am asking that something should be done

13 according to the rules and laws which have to do with the armed forces.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: The following line in the English says "Please

15 immediately detain." Is the word in B/C/S the same word that is used in

16 the title, of "detention"? In other words, would your point be valid

17 for --

18 MR. KOVACIC: It is the same mistake.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: The same?

20 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. In both cases, in title and in first line, the

21 original Croatian word is that the person should be escorted, brought in.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. In this context, that is, you described what is done in such

25 cases, so this is a request to issue an order; is that correct?

Page 26007

1 A. Yes. This is a request to issue an order by the institution to

2 which the request is sent. Only that institution which receives this

3 request -- in this case, the military police -- can implement it or decide

4 to grant this request or not.

5 Q. Perhaps just to clarify the Croatian language. Mr. Bertovic, when

6 you go to, let's say, the city hall to take out, let's say, a birth

7 certificate, what is the document that you submit to the municipal

8 service? What word do you use?

9 A. The same word, "zahtjev," which is "request."

10 Q. In other words, you request of the municipal authorities to issue

11 such a document?

12 A. Yes.

13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have the witness shown

14 document Z439.1.

15 [Trial Chamber confers]

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, are you going to bring this to a close,

17 Mr. Kovacic?

18 MR. KOVACIC: I have one question related to that document. I

19 have then one question related to the document about transfers from unit

20 to unit, and that is simply to show the document which we brought, just as

21 an example.

22 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

23 MR. KOVACIC: And one or two minor questions mentioned on Mr.

24 Cilic and Z808.

25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, our problem is that

Page 26008













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Page 26009

1 we are asking you to finish within two or three minutes, because it is

2 really not regular that the re-examination takes practically as long.

3 This witness has been here since yesterday morning, so you have three

4 minutes to finish. You have to do that. This is the decision of the

5 Chamber. Will you please be so kind and complete it.

6 JUDGE MAY: Let me add this: that this criticism is not

7 particularly aimed at you, Mr. Kovacic, but it is the concern of the

8 International Community at the time and the length, the expense of these

9 trials, and everybody here bears a responsibility in that regard, to

10 ensure that these trials are finished as the Statute requires,

11 expeditiously. One of the ways that the trials are being extended is by

12 the number of witnesses and the examination of them. So although you, at

13 the moment, are being asked to finish, or told to finish, it is a general

14 criticism aimed at all, and both parties, of course. Yes.

15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Major Bertovic, did you, while you were on your duty, issue other

17 orders when you needed to lend your equipment to someone else? Was this

18 the only case?

19 A. No. Orders were issued in other cases too.

20 Q. At one point --

21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] And this will be my last question,

22 Your Honour.

23 Q. -- there was a document. You were talking about transfers from

24 unit to unit. And let me just ask you this one simple thing. Did it ever

25 happen that a soldier from your list for potential recruitment,

Page 26010

1 mobilisation, would go to -- would join another unit, let's say, or go

2 somewhere else: go to Vitezovi, to the military police, or even to

3 civilian protection unit? Just "yes" or "no" answer.

4 A. Yes.

5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] We have tendered such a document.

6 It's 102/2. It is in tab 12 of the binder 131D. [Previous translation

7 continues] ... [In English] so long.

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Bertovic, thank you for coming to the Tribunal to

9 give your evidence. You are free to go, the evidence being concluded.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

11 [The witness withdrew]

12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, perhaps while we are waiting on the

13 witness, to use the time. Unfortunately, we again have a problem with the

14 witnesses. One witness who was scheduled for this week did not appear.

15 We were trying to speed up the coming of the group for the next week, but

16 unfortunately it was too big a group and nothing was possible. There was

17 no possibility to change that plan. However, the group is coming this

18 evening, unfortunately very late, due to the bad connections from

19 Sarajevo. If you will allow us, we can try to prepare the first witness,

20 listed as the first for the next week and bring that witness tomorrow

21 morning in the courtroom, but there is a certain risk. We know that this

22 airline is sometimes quite late, and sometimes normally witnesses should

23 be in the hotel like 9.00, a little bit earlier than that, but if there is

24 delay, they might be coming 10.00, 11.00, or later. And then you would

25 understand that it would be a problem to take a lady this evening, ask her

Page 26011

1 to sign the summary which is prepared, and --

2 JUDGE MAY: Well, that must be right, but if we can have an

3 additional witness, we will.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 MR. KOVACIC: So tomorrow morning, if this flight will be coming

6 on decent time, we will do our best and we will bring this witness. If

7 not, we are only having technical things for tomorrow.

8 JUDGE MAY: We've now got Mr. Pavlovic.

9 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, correct.

10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Rajic.

11 MR. KOVACIC: Mr. Rajic is definitely out. We were working on

12 that yesterday afternoon, this morning, but with no result.

13 JUDGE MAY: But you would put forward the first one from next

14 week.

15 MR. KOVACIC: Right.

16 JUDGE MAY: And Mr. Rajic, do you propose to call him next week.

17 MR. KOVACIC: We are investigating what is really the problem. So

18 far, I don't know, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I just say two things, first that I

21 shan't be here this afternoon, so if there are any administrative matters

22 and arguments, perhaps they can be dealt with tomorrow. And secondly, if

23 there's to be an advance of the woman witness who is at the beginning of

24 next week's list, it would be very difficult for us to deal with her

25 tomorrow unless we had certainly an advance sight even of a draft summary,

Page 26012

1 which would make our task possible. Mr. Lopez-Terres is going to be

2 dealing with her. If there's a draft available, it might be able for us

3 to deal with it on that basis.

4 JUDGE MAY: Let's see how we get on. Mr. Kovacic, no doubt a

5 draft could be handed over or something as soon as possible.

6 MR. KOVACIC: I don't think there is a problem to deliver the

7 draft, however there is then the reserve because the draft is made based

8 on the interview that is --

9 JUDGE MAY: It's a draft, yes, and no more. Yes, we'll have the

10 next witness.

11 [The witness entered court]

12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

13 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Pavlovic.

18 A. Good afternoon.

19 Q. I shall ask you some questions on behalf of Mr. Mario Cerkez's

20 Defence, and I should like to ask you to answer them to the best of your

21 recollection.

22 A. I shall do so.

23 Q. Will you also pause before answering so as to give the time to the

24 interpreters to interpret what there is to interpret into the official

25 languages of the Court. Very well. Will you then give for the record

Page 26013

1 your full name, your place and date of birth?

2 A. My name is Ljubomir Pavlovic. I was born in Vitez and the date is

3 the 17th of September, 1944.

4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pavlovic, you are a Croat and of Roman Catholic

5 faith, aren't you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You are a national of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the

8 Republic of Croatia, aren't you?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You are an engineer engaging in the organisation of the work

11 process but you are otherwise a private businessman?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Are you a member of a political party?

14 A. Yes, I am, of the Croat Party of Rights.

15 Q. And since when are you its member?

16 A. 1997.

17 Q. Is it correct that as a member of that political party, you also

18 represented in the Central Bosnian provincial parliament?

19 A. Yes, that is correct.

20 Q. At the same time, you are the chairman of the assembly of

21 businessmen in the municipality of Vitez, aren't you?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, I know it is difficult to speak about oneself, but

24 tell us objectively, are you a person who commands respect in the

25 municipality of Vitez?

Page 26014

1 A. Well, yes, I do think so. I believe I do command some respect

2 and, regardless of the ethnic origin, both among Muslims and Croats and

3 Serbs equally, I do believe -- not only believe, I can really affirm with

4 certainty that I do command great respect among all those groups.

5 Q. Very well. Mr. Pavlovic, in the autumn of 1992, you were, in

6 point of fact, one of the brain fathers of a committee. Could you please,

7 in a few sentences, tell us how did this committee come about? What were

8 the reasons behind it, and who roughly were its members and what was its

9 mission?

10 A. No, I was not one of its brain fathers. Simply there were some

11 extraordinary developments in Bosnia and in our state, in

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and by this I mean that there was a spontaneous rally

13 of citizens in a gym, in a hall where people usually played table tennis.

14 There were some 300 citizens, maybe, and we talked about the current

15 events and what one should do. And that rally then noted that we ought to

16 set up a coordinating committee to protect property and human life, and I

17 was then elected the chairman of that committee.

18 Q. Very well. Thank you for this reply. And now I shall show you a

19 document, Mr. Pavlovic, and I should like to ask you to comment on it.

20 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked Defence exhibit

21 D133/2.

22 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Right. Mr. Pavlovic, you see a document which is called

24 communication. It was issued by the coordinating committee for the

25 protection of citizens and property of the Stari Vitez neighbourhood

Page 26015

1 community in -- on the 22nd of October, 1992. Is that the document which

2 says what you just told us about the decision that was taken by the

3 citizens in Stari Vitez to set up such a body?

4 A. Yes. This is a fragment of the minutes, and I have with me the

5 original of the minutes concerned.

6 Q. Very well. Thank you. And could you tell us in a few sentences

7 the principal task of that body that was formed in that manner?

8 A. The principal task of that body was to bring life back to normalcy

9 in view of that turmoil that at that time reigned in Central Bosnia.

10 Q. Very well. Now, tell us how many members did this committee have?

11 A. This committee which was formed then was 17 members strong, 9 were

12 Croats -- no, 9 -- I mean Bosniaks, and 8 Croats. And since I was the

13 chairman so as to strike a balance there.

14 Q. And you also kept record of the attendance in these sessions and

15 all the presence in the meetings of the committee; is that right?

16 A. Yes, it is.

17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please help me

18 to show the witness.

19 Q. And while we are waiting for the document to be distributed,

20 Mr. Pavlovic, will you tell us who were members of the committee? What

21 were they? How were they elected?

22 A. Well, members of that committee were basically prominent citizens,

23 men who were respected, who had authority, who stood by their word, and

24 that is how we worked.

25 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked D134/2.

Page 26016













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Page 26017

1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

2 Q. And here we see the list of members, their telephone numbers, and

3 information about their attendance at meetings; is that correct?

4 A. Yes, it is. But we also had other meetings which are not recorded

5 here, but are nevertheless recorded in the daily minutes of those

6 meetings.

7 Q. Very well. Thank you. And tell us, how was the work of the

8 committee organised? Could inhabitants perhaps call members or contact

9 the committee?

10 A. We announced on the local television two telephone numbers which

11 citizens could call to report if there was anything to report about and

12 which, perhaps, was interfering with the normal life of citizens.

13 Q. And I suppose that when you received such reports, you would take

14 certain measures?

15 A. Yes, that is right. That is right.

16 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, to make it quite clear, the committee was, in point

17 of fact, a form of self-organisation of citizens; would that be right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. It did not have any institutional powers?

20 A. No.

21 Q. And is it correct that it could work only by virtue -- of

22 authority of people who are its members?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You already told us that it had nine Muslims and eight Croats?

25 A. Well, thereabouts, that would be it.

Page 26018

1 Q. Your first meeting, according to what we can see here, was held on

2 the 23rd of October, 1992.

3 A. Yes. If the document says so, then it must have been like that.

4 Q. Now, will you please look at the minutes of that meeting and tell

5 us what was the subject matter of the meeting and what did your initiative

6 result in, what was the upshot of your work?

7 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D135/2.

8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, we see that this is a meeting of the 23rd of

10 October, 1992. That a conclusion was adopted by the meeting that guns

11 located in your neighbourhood community should be pulled out because they

12 could give rise to a conflict and that the ammunition kept in Burak house

13 should also be removed because it was a hazard to safety. Now, these

14 guns, can you tell us what was this about?

15 A. Well, basically, it was reported by telephone that some guns had

16 been brought to our neighbourhood community, that is, to any inhabited

17 area, and we immediately thought that it might give rise to a conflict.

18 So we immediately asked, "Where are these guns?" and they were indeed

19 among the houses, and we ordered that they be removed from a settlement.

20 That is, it was not an order; it was a request to people who were involved

21 with those guns, because, of course, we could not issue any orders.

22 Q. And we can see that these conclusions were then submitted to the

23 Territorial Defence of Gornja Vitez.

24 A. That is correct, because from what we knew at that time, those

25 guns belonged to them.

Page 26019

1 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, in this case we heard evidence that a gun battery

2 intended for the protection of the SPS plant had been removed and taken to

3 Mahala. Is it those guns?

4 A. I think so, yes. Must be those guns. That's how I see it. I do

5 not know how those guns got there, but they were there, and my

6 coordinating committee noted it and we requested that they be removed.

7 Q. And who was responsible? When these guns were brought into

8 Mahala, who was responsible for the supervision of those guns, the Muslim

9 or the Croat part of the population?

10 A. Well, the Muslim part of the population.

11 Q. Now, item 2 of the document says that weapons and ammunition were

12 in Burak's house. Can you tell us what was this about?

13 A. I can say that, because I have the original minutes of this

14 meeting when we discussed this incident, this event. So that this was

15 another potential hotbed which could result in an incident, and we

16 requested that it be removed from that house. Any type of weapons or

17 ammunition were requested that they be taken away.

18 Q. Right. Mr. Pavlovic, who does that house belong to?

19 A. Burak, that is his surname, and I believe his first name is Avdo.

20 I know where that house is. It's right next to the old railway track. I

21 know all that this is about, but I think that that is the Burak's house.

22 Q. What is the ethnicity of the owner Burak?

23 A. Burak, the owner, is a Muslim.

24 Q. You requested the Territorial Defence in Vitez to remove that

25 ammunition and those weapons. Did they heed to your request?

Page 26020

1 A. Well, there was quite a big row about that removal and the

2 munitions were not removed.

3 Q. Very well. Mr. Pavlovic, the weapons which at that time were in

4 all sorts of places sowed fear amongst all the population, isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you, among other people, committed yourself to solving that

7 problem and you had some meetings about this, didn't you?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Will you now have a look at minutes which perhaps will remind you

10 of those activities that you engaged in.

11 THE REGISTRAR: Document D136/2.

12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. As we saw in the previous document, D135, where you requested the

14 intervention of the Territorial Defence, here you address the HVO staff in

15 Vitez, indicating again the danger of having weapons around, because you

16 say there may be some madness, some lunatics who might fire. But you are

17 also talking about UNPROFOR and sending copies of this to UNPROFOR?

18 A. Yes, that is correct.

19 Q. Does it mean, Mr. Pavlovic, that your committee set out to try to

20 calm the situation on both sides who perhaps might clash, and those were

21 the inhabitants of Vitez, who were Muslims and Croats?

22 A. Yes, that is right.

23 Q. In addition to these activities, you also held meetings at which

24 you discussed the damage which could and did occur, in view of the

25 destruction of housing, religious objects, and so on and so forth, in the

Page 26021

1 war. You also adopted some conclusions about this and you also organised

2 a fund-raising drive, didn't you?

3 A. Yes, because there were some incidents. For instance, a car would

4 race by and throw a bomb or a grenade. There were such incidents. And

5 there were citizens whose windows were damaged, or parts of houses, and we

6 invariably would try to raise some funds in order to make up for that

7 damage, and it lasted for a couple of months.

8 Q. Very well. I shall now show you an appeal which was issued by

9 your committee, and I will ask you to confirm it only.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D137/2.

11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. This document is an appeal for solidarity because of these

13 incidents which damaged property, and you also announced this on Vitez

14 television, didn't you?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Was this one of the usual forms of your activity, to publicise the

17 conclusions of your appeals and your communication with the public?

18 A. Yes, that's right. Vitez television was always very helpful, and

19 they always aired our appeals and they would then broadcast them at prime

20 time.

21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I believe,

22 Mr. Pavlovic, we shall continue after the adjournment.

23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pavlovic, we're going to adjourn now until half

24 past 2.00. Could you please remember during this adjournment not to speak

25 to anybody about your evidence until it's over. Don't let anybody speak

Page 26022

1 to you about it, and that includes members of the Defence team. Could you

2 be back, please, at half past 2.00.

3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.























Page 26023













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14 and French transcripts.













Page 26024

1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

3 Q. Let us continue, Mr. Pavlovic, where we stopped before the lunch

4 break. The activity of your committee, therefore, was, among other

5 things, to address the public through the radio and television in Vitez;

6 is that so? One such address, and please look at the document about this,

7 concerned the trenches which appeared on the territory of the Mahala.

8 Will you please be so kind as to look at this communication of the 28th of

9 September to tell us what kind of trenches these were and what kind of

10 action was needed.

11 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be numbered Defence Exhibit

12 D138/2.

13 A. A psychosis prevailed, and some trenches were being digged [sic]

14 in order to make some kind of demarcation lines with the intention of war,

15 and this war psychosis was totally groundless. Our committee went out and

16 found there were three trenches by the playground facing the village of

17 Mlakici towards the stadium. On that occasion, we pleaded that these

18 trenches were completely unnecessary and that they should be backfilled

19 and they, indeed, were backfilled at our request.

20 Q. Please tell us who dug those trenches facing the village of

21 Mlakici?

22 A. Well, it was mainly the Muslim Bosniak population which did that.

23 Q. Did you try to find out the reasoning behind it, why they did it?

24 A. They simply did that, and when we intervened, they realised that

25 it was silly and they filled them back in.

Page 26025

1 Q. Did they tell you then that Croats in Mlakici too had dug some

2 trenches?

3 A. Yes, they did, and we toured the place. We had another committee

4 which toured the village of Mlakici. There was just the suspicion of --

5 that other trenches existed but none were found. And the other side too

6 was convinced that there were no other trenches, just the three ones that

7 we found.

8 Q. You also mentioned that there had been incidents around the town,

9 the setting -- explosives were set, and one of the reasons for such

10 behaviour was excessive imbibing of alcohol.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You then contacted one of the trading companies in the -- catering

13 companies in the city and you did what?

14 A. We asked them not to sell alcohol anymore, not to sell spirits

15 because that may cause incidents, and we were all doing what we could to

16 prevent and they abided by our request.

17 Q. Please, Mr. Pavlovic, look at this document and please confirm

18 that this is, indeed, what you have just told us.

19 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be numbered D139/2.

20 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Did this action of yours bear fruit, did the number of incidents

22 decrease after spirits stopped to be sold during the late evening hours?

23 A. Of course such incidents became fewer because many of them were

24 caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. We asked this catering

25 establishment in Kruscica to stop selling spirits and they did so.

Page 26026

1 Q. According to what you told us, it seems that you enjoyed good

2 cooperation on behalf of other parties in Vitez?

3 A. Yes, I would say so.

4 Q. Do you then estimate that this activity of yours was supported by

5 the local leadership, local authorities, in the desire to maintain a

6 peaceful situation in Vitez?

7 A. All the people who wished for peace to be preserved, all the

8 people who feared that this peace may be broken, all of them supported

9 us.

10 Q. We heard that your local commune was Stari Vitez?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And this cooperative building where your founding assembly was

13 formed was later occupied by the armed forces of the army of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?

15 A. Yes. Well, these -- these are, in fact, two buildings, two

16 adjacent buildings, and one of them housed these armed forces. And after

17 the incident at the high school, at the secondary school centre in Vitez,

18 they moved into the other building.

19 Q. How did the local population react to the presence of those armed

20 forces in their immediate vicinity?

21 A. Well, I am one of this local population and so is my family. Our

22 house is nearby. I know it was an uncomfortable feeling. I know once my

23 wife went to the market and came back and told me that she wouldn't go

24 again because she passed by a sentry, and they followed her movement with

25 a rifle.

Page 26027

1 Q. So it spurred you, the committee, to react?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Please look at this document and give us your comments,

4 Mr. Pavlovic.

5 THE REGISTRAR: Document D140/2.

6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. We can see from this document that it was drawn up on the 16th of

8 November, 1992. That it is addressed to the BH army in Stari Vitez, and

9 that you are requesting them to try and relocate these armed forces, these

10 units. Please tell us about the reaction of the staff after they received

11 this request.

12 A. Well, our committee was comprised of renowned prominent citizens

13 of both ethnic groups, and of course they undertook to do so. I

14 requested, and the committee accepted it, that we should ask for a reason

15 why they were here, and once we hear the reason, we would either accept it

16 or boycott them. But this armed formation never actually met with us and

17 they never accepted or showed any regard for our committee.

18 Q. Please look at another document for the same purpose. You

19 addressed -- you made a similar request in January 1993.

20 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D141/2.

21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. So this is your letter, the letter of the committee, dated 9

23 January 1993, addressed to the military unit of the BH army, and in this

24 communication you asked them for a meeting. That is about a month and a

25 half after your first letter?

Page 26028

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you ever receive any answer to this second request?

3 A. No. They never acknowledged us. They preferred to give us some

4 informal information, but I expressly asked them to meet with my entire

5 committee in the presence of a secretary, because it was a serious matter,

6 which they refused to, and the second request was therefore equally

7 unsuccessful.

8 Q. So that was in the beginning of January 1993?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. At the end of that month your committee stopped working.

11 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel is overlapping with the witness.

12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Please tell us, in a couple of sentences, how this came about, and

14 what was the immediate reason why the committee stopped working?

15 A. Simply, such a psychosis was created, and that I was told on one

16 occasion that it was impossible to pass through the town of Vitez without

17 being followed and stared at by armed men. I was once passing by my house

18 and was stopped by armed men in uniform. They exchanged disrespectful

19 remarks: "Is he one of us or isn't he?" One of them simply took me by

20 the lapels, another one used swear words. Of course, they searched me.

21 They found a pistol, which I legally possessed. They seized it. They

22 also found some papers and very little money. I believe it was no more

23 than 300 Deutschmarks. They took whatever they pleased and --

24 JUDGE MAY: We don't need all these details. We've got the

25 picture. Thank you.

Page 26029

1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. All right. Just one or two more questions. Who were the people

3 who stopped you at gunpoint?

4 A. One of them was a dark-haired young man. I was later told it was

5 Munir Mahmutovic. Another one was Edin Mujicic, who shouted something

6 like, "Ljuban, don't you worry. I know his father."

7 Q. All right. Were these people in uniform?

8 A. Yes. They had military uniforms.

9 Q. What military formation did they belong to?

10 A. They belonged to the unit stationed in the cooperative building.

11 Q. And they were Muslims?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did any of the other -- of other prominent citizens attend at this

14 incident?

15 A. Hasan Efendija, a man who enjoyed a very good reputation in Vitez,

16 and I was later told that he went to talk to them and quarrelled with them

17 over this incident involving me.

18 Q. This man Hasan Efendija you mentioned, he was the imam of Vitez?

19 A. Right.

20 Q. What did you personally undertake? Did you ask them to return the

21 effects that were seized, money and papers?

22 A. I did nothing of the kind, but I spoke to Edin Mujicic's father,

23 who was one of the influential men in Vitez, and he told me, "Don't you

24 worry." He went there and intervened. And since Edin Mujicic was one of

25 those young men and his father intervened, they returned all the things

Page 26030

1 that they had seized.

2 Q. So why did the committee stop working after this?

3 A. Because we simply could not reach our offices where we used to

4 work.

5 Q. You've just mentioned, Mr. Pavlovic, that your home was about 50

6 metres away from the place where you stopped.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can you tell us in which part of Vitez is your home located?

9 A. My house is in the upper part of Vitez. Going from the church

10 towards Vitez, it's about 200 metres.

11 Q. Is it located near the neighbourhood called Mahala?

12 A. Yes. It is right there, 50 to 100 metres from the demarcation

13 line, by the church, closer to Vitez.

14 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, this Trial Chamber heard many testimonies about how

15 the conflict began on the 16th of April, 1993. Tell us, how did you

16 experience it? What is your recollection of that day?

17 A. I didn't eat anything for three days. I was so horrified. And

18 then I was also taken by surprise, because even the children of my

19 brother-in-law were with us. I was completely taken aback. And on that

20 morning, about 5.00, 5.30 in the morning, I heard shelling and fire from

21 both sides, shooting from both sides. I thought it was some kind of

22 roadblock around which the conflict was concentrated. I didn't know what

23 was going on. So I took all the children to the cellar of my house.

24 Q. All right. You told us that you were taken by surprise.

25 A. Yes.

Page 26031

1 Q. Did you have any prior indication or information that such a

2 conflict could break out in your hometown?

3 A. No, not really. I thought everything would stop at minor

4 hostilities and I really had no idea it would turn into a major conflict.

5 Q. Your house was practically on the line or very close to the

6 demarcation line between the HVO and the BH army?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you were practically blocked inside.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Were there any other civilians, primarily of Muslim ethnicity,

11 which were paralysed in that way, so to speak?

12 A. When all this happened in the morning, there was commotion,

13 chaos. Some people ran in one direction, some in the other. I would not

14 call myself very brave, but I'm not inclined to panic either. I just

15 remained at home. As the day went by, at some point a big young man was

16 passing by and he said that by my neighbour's house, a house which is

17 about 80 metres away from me, from Mahala, there was serious shooting.

18 Q. And what did you do?

19 A. I couldn't do anything. Because there was shooting everywhere.

20 But that night it was complete darkness, and these people, these

21 neighbours of mine, they were very dear to me. I tried to reach them and

22 take them to security. I couldn't think of anything else I could do for

23 them. I went to their house and when I reached the house, I called out,

24 Ibro, that's the name of one of my neighbours, and they were very happy to

25 see me. I told them, "Please take each other by the hands." They did

Page 26032













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14 and French transcripts.












Page 26033

1 so.

2 I took the hand of one of them, and I took them to relative

3 safety. I took them to my own place where it was possible to accommodate

4 them. I gave them some food. I had cheese, potatoes, a stove, amenities,

5 I accommodated these people in my own home and that's where they spent 20

6 days. There were 16 of them. I thought every day that today the

7 shooting, the hostilities would stop, but when I realised that it was not

8 going to be so soon, I suggested that they get ready and move on towards

9 Travnik and that's what we did.

10 Q. Please tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, after you informed the UNPROFOR

11 about the fate of these people, how much time did it take the UNPROFOR to

12 take them safety?

13 A. Well, it took a couple of days, perhaps three or four days, I

14 couldn't speak English. My son spoke English and he contacted them on my

15 behalf. But we had made the decision for them to leave three or four days

16 in advance.

17 Q. You mentioned your son. What happened to him during those

18 unfortunate events? If you cannot speak about it, if it's too much of a

19 strain, we can postpone this.

20 A. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but I can answer. I don't know why it

21 still hurts so much. My son was shot by a sniper.

22 Q. When did this happen?

23 A. He was a minor. He was not wearing a uniform. He was wearing a

24 red sweater. He had no gun. He was not a fighting man. I know the

25 person who shot him and that person later boasted that this was a very

Page 26034

1 good shot, and that he shot the son of a prominent man from Vitez.

2 Q. Who is that person?

3 A. The whole town of Vitez knows him -- knows her, rather. She is a

4 woman. She used to compete in -- as a sniper. She even won some prizes,

5 and at that time she tried her skills on my son and scored a good shot.

6 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, if you were required to give more information about

7 this, would you be able to do so?

8 A. I say again, not here in these quarters but elsewhere.

9 Q. Well, let us move on from this painful topic. You mentioned your

10 Muslim neighbours who remained cut off. Do you know how many Croat

11 citizens who remained in Mahala after the hostilities?

12 A. I don't know but those were -- there were demarcation lines. I

13 cannot say the exact number. I just understood on that day and that night

14 that it was a real war, and in Mahala, there were fighting men who were

15 trained for this. I had to conclude this. There was this rhythmic ritual

16 shooting. I didn't understand it. And two or three months later, we

17 found out that this particular rhythm means that there was an experienced

18 fighter inside.

19 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, you described your own involvement in these events,

20 your concern and your efforts to relax the tensions which preceded the

21 hostilities. I would like to ask you, do you know a person by the name of

22 Nihad Mihic?

23 A. There is a small man in Vitez, I think he is a teacher. I'm not

24 sure perhaps there are several Nihad Mihics, but I don't know if we're

25 talking about the same man.

Page 26035

1 Q. Did you ever have a personal conflict with him?

2 A. No, never.

3 Q. You see, Mr. Pavlovic, for the information of the Trial Chamber, I

4 would like to refer to document D40/2, Nihad Mihic, as an officer of the

5 BH army, drew up a report dated 24th of August, 1993, and in this report,

6 he named you -- he qualified you as a war criminal. He described you as

7 the owner of a private company in Vitez, saying that you were -- enjoyed a

8 good reputation and belonged to a good family. That you financed and

9 organised the purchase of weapons for the HDZ an in the attack on Stari

10 Vitez together with Zvonko Mlakic on the 16th of April you instructed HVO

11 soldiers which people to kill and to capture and that as a consequence,

12 the well-renowned and gentleman Ejub Sadibasic was brutally and cruelly

13 killed; how would you comment on this if this occurred?

14 A. I think if you could repeat what you just said to this Nihad, he

15 would apologise to me. He would probably claim insanity at the moment

16 when he claimed that. They all know that Ejub Sadibasic was a good

17 neighbour of mine and friend, and that one of his daughters, one of the 16

18 people that I had saved, they all love me and respect me, this entire

19 family. I don't really see what I could possibly say about this. I think

20 he must have been out of control at the time when he made such a claim. I

21 think he would apologise now of this.

22 Q. In this connection, just one question. Did any official

23 institution, did any authority such as the police, courts, did anyone ever

24 ask you to give a statement concerning these events, concerning these

25 allegations?

Page 26036

1 A. No.

2 Q. You said that you had a good relationship with the UNPROFOR. You

3 are also a hunter, aren't you?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. There is a story and I'm going to remind you of it and you please

6 try to recall it. In your hunting club, a young bear was once saved.

7 This bear roamed around without any food during this period?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Is it true that you approached UNPROFOR in order to try and save

10 this mascot, if I can say so, with UNPROFOR?

11 A. Mirko Filipovic, who was the president of this hunter's

12 association, and he went to UNPROFOR, and this young bear was in the open

13 area. We found him very small, and we kept it in a cage and fed it. They

14 learned about this, and I think the next day or the following day, a

15 special vehicle arrived with a cage, and my brother wrote this up. He

16 described how it was found, what we fed it. They took possession of the

17 bear and they said that they would send us a document confirming all

18 that.

19 Q. Will you please look at a document signed by Colonel Stewart.

20 A. When they came to get this bear, they asked that a cease-fire be

21 observed by both sides until they had safely removed this bear.

22 THE REGISTRAR: Document D142/2.

23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Is this the letter that you just described of 6th of May 1993?

25 A. Yes, and Mr. Ivan Santic who was the mayor of Vitez at the time

Page 26037

1 was also present there.

2 Q. And from what you know, this bear currently lives here in the

3 Netherlands?

4 A. Yes, I have a friend, Marko Martinovic. His daughter is married

5 here in the country, and she somehow learned that the bear is living

6 here.

7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that concludes my

8 questioning of this witness. I have no additional questions.

9 MR. SAYERS: No questions, Your Honour.

10 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:

11 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, what was the name of your son who died during the

12 conflict?

13 A. His name was Vladimir Pavlovic.

14 Q. During 1992, what was your political affiliation? With which

15 party, if any, were you associated?

16 A. Immediately after the multiparty system was introduced in our

17 country -- and I embraced the multiparty system because I thought that we

18 had one party system in -- there was a block and that left people hungry

19 and impoverished. So I embraced the multiparty approach and I immediately

20 joined the HDZ. And from the very outset I was a member of the HDZ. I

21 was a member for about one month, the initial month after it was

22 established, but then after that I resigned from it.

23 Q. When did you resign exactly?

24 A. I left the party when the first president of the party was

25 appointed. We had a conflict. I did not agree with that selection and I

Page 26038

1 withdrew. This was immediately after the appointment, but it was all at

2 the very beginning, just as it was established.

3 Q. The name of that president was?

4 A. Pero Skopljak.

5 Q. So you're talking about a local president of the party, not the

6 overall party of BiH; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And did you pick up any other party affiliation during the

9 conflict?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Which one?

12 A. No, I did not join any one. No, I joined no other party. Only in

13 1997 the Croatian Party of Rights was established and I joined that party.

14 Q. That is the HSP; is that correct, not the HSP-1861?

15 A. No. HSP, without 1861.

16 Q. And that is a party whose head in Croatia is Ante Dzapic; is that

17 correct?

18 A. That is correct, yes.

19 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher to distribute Z1477.9, please.

20 Q. What is being distributed, Mr. Pavlovic, is not in your language.

21 It is in English and it is simply for illustration. It is an article by a

22 person who is specialised in the study of ultra-nationalist ideology and

23 has emphasised Croatia, a woman named Jill Irvine. And I would ask that

24 we all turn our attention, please, to what is labelled as the article's

25 page 32, which is a small, concise summary of essentially party

Page 26039

1 platforms. In the left-hand column it says ultra-nationalist parties and

2 groups in Croatia, 1990 through 1996. This is -- the writing of this

3 article is in 1997. Croatian Party of Rights. It is the one, two --

4 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down if you're reading.

5 Thank you.


7 Q. It is the fourth entry in the left-hand columns, one, two, three,

8 four. Croatian Party of Rights, HSP. Formed in February 1990. Led by

9 Dobroslav Paraga until --

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.

11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my apologies for

12 interruption. I see no relevance for offering this document, because this

13 refers to a party with its seat in Croatia. It has nothing to do with

14 Bosnia and Herzegovina. This gentleman belongs to the party whose

15 organisation is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

16 A. Yes, and Zdravko Hrstic is its president.

17 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, it is certainly the Prosecution's

18 position that any Croatian nationalist party, as this Court has had ample

19 evidence of over the past year and a half, has its influence well beyond

20 the borders of Croatia. Dzapic was the founder, and we believe it is very

21 relevant to the credibility and orientation of the witness to know about

22 the party to which he has committed himself. As a professional panel, I'm

23 sure that the Court can assess whether any of this will necessarily add or

24 detract, but I think it is important background.

25 [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 26040













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Page 26041

1 JUDGE MAY: We will allow the questions.

2 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry. I'll have to just continue. I'm not sure

3 where I left off on the -- just the description.

4 Q. Formed in February 1990, led by Dobroslav Paraga until 1993, when

5 he was replaced by Ante Dzapic, and the HSP became pro-HDZ in

6 orientation. Received 7 per cent of the vote in 1992 elections and 5 per

7 cent in 1995.

8 Now, is this the parent party -- this is the parent party, is it

9 not, the HSP, of the party which is in Bosnia, of which you are a member?

10 A. Not a branch. We have a registered party. It's the Croatia Party

11 of Rights. And Mr. Zdravko Hrstic is its president. And the ideologist

12 of our party is Dr. Anto Starcevic. Mr. Dzapic has no special connection

13 with us. He is president of the sister party in Croatia, but it is really

14 Dr. Anto Starcevic to whom we look for ideals and guidance.

15 Q. Who has been dead for a hundred some years, who in fact was the

16 person upon whose ideals, as it were, the HSP in Croatia, were founded; is

17 that correct?

18 A. Yes, but --

19 Q. Thank you.

20 A. But in 1872 --

21 Q. Thank you. Turning, Your Honours, please, and Mr. Pavlovic, to

22 what is labelled as page 30 -- excuse me for a second -- 36. There is, on

23 the left-hand column, essentially a quotation or material taken in

24 emphasis. "HSP leader Ante Dzapic has threatened to withdraw from

25 politics if even one square metre of Croatian territory is returned by

Page 26042

1 peaceful means." Is that your position?

2 A. Anto Dzapic doesn't have much to do with me, politically

3 speaking. As I said, I cannot support his views, because it has nothing

4 to do with me, nothing whatsoever. We have the Croatian Party of Rights

5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Zdravko Hrstic is its president. It is --

6 I support his views. And I don't know if there is anything that you take

7 issue with there. Please ask me. But I know that Mr. Anto Dzapic is the

8 president of the Croatian Party of Rights. We respect him and Mr. Budisa

9 [phoen]. But I cannot think like Anto Dzapic. If you're going to accuse

10 me of something on behalf of Anto Dzapic, I don't know that we have much

11 to talk about, because I don't have much to do with him.

12 Q. You are accused of nothing. On page 33, please, left-hand

13 column. And this will be the last reference.

14 MS. SOMERS: I invite simply the Chamber to read this for its own

15 edification.

16 Q. The left-hand column: "Meanwhile, in the summer of 1995, Paraga

17 attempted to effect his political comeback by forming a new party,

18 HSP-1861. Although Paraga retained the name HSP, and thereby continued,"

19 et cetera, et cetera. I want to go down to the point where it says: "The

20 new party platform had a different emphasis, reflecting a far greater

21 concern for human rights, including rights of non-Croats, and Paraga had

22 championed three years earlier."

23 Your party, which is headed by Dzapic in Croatia, had taken no

24 such turn toward inclusion of the rights of any other persons; correct?

25 Is that correct?

Page 26043

1 A. I didn't understand your question very well, but I can give you an

2 answer anyway. There are several Croatian parties of rights. There is

3 the pure Croatian Party of Rights. There is the Croatian Party of Rights

4 1861. There are several of them. And I'm not sure whether this would be

5 the right place to discuss it and who was advocating what ideas and --

6 Q. Excuse me. How many Muslims are in your party, please? How many

7 Muslims are in your party?

8 A. There are a number of Muslims, even some in the leadership, in the

9 main headquarters of the party.

10 Q. Would you please name some names.

11 A. I cannot. I would have to call them up and find out. But, for

12 instance, the president of this party in Zenica, of my party, is a

13 Muslim. I don't know what his name is, but I know -- I know him by

14 sight. This is another canton. But why don't you just call the Croatian

15 party of rights in Zenica and you will see that in the -- there are

16 Muslims in the leadership. I think that the secretary is also an ethnic

17 Muslim. So there are several organisations where they are in the

18 leadership, and I can provide documents to support this later.

19 Q. You made a lot of money during the war, did you not, through your

20 company?

21 A. How was I to make money when we didn't work? It was a state of

22 war. For six months I couldn't even get to my office. How could I have

23 made money?

24 Q. You dealt with Croatia extensively, did you not?

25 A. Yes. I maintain business contacts even to date. Of course I've

Page 26044

1 had them throughout the period, because when business is concerned, I'm in

2 touch with everyone, because business knows no borders.

3 Q. And one of the advantages of being in the Croatia community of

4 Herceg-Bosna was the trade -- open trade benefit with Croatia, the no

5 border situation; correct? It helped you quite a bit, didn't it?

6 A. It didn't help. There were borders. And after the war, after the

7 business was made possible again, because you know, before that, for about

8 a year or longer, I didn't -- that there was no business, and also I

9 suffered a tragedy in my family. I didn't go to my office for six

10 months. People begged me to come, and I just didn't feel like going

11 because I had suffered this personal tragedy.

12 Q. Your business, what was the name of it, please?

13 A. It is called the Pavlovic Production Trading and Service Company.

14 Pavlovics are an old family. When the town was started, we were already

15 there and I, as a member of this family, I represent this family. There

16 are about 160 to 200 households, and I have to represent them well so I

17 cannot do anything that is not right.

18 Q. Z1285.2. What is in front of you, Mr. Pavlovic, is a report that

19 was put together by an individual named Fahrudin Mahmutovic on November

20 1993 and appears to be an interview with Robert Vurm, do you know such a

21 person?

22 A. No, I -- the name doesn't ring a bell.

23 Q. From the contents, he appears to know you. And at the very bottom

24 of the page of this report, there is a comment starting in the

25 Impregnacija company, one can see, et cetera. Then it says, "In a private

Page 26045

1 firm for the sale of construction and heating material owned by Ljuban,"

2 that is your name. Ljubomir is also Ljuban, is it not, Mr. Pavlovic?

3 Ljuban is Ljubomir? Mr. Pavlovic, you are nodding your head yes?

4 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is waiting for the translation.

5 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.

6 Q. There is a sign saying "mined". Is this the company that you

7 produced, in other words, it was construction and heating material that is

8 the principal product of your trade?

9 A. Yes. Of manufactured goods and also trading; that is, my business

10 comprised both trading and construction materials, production. And it's

11 true that it was mine because I had a guard in my plant and on one

12 occasion, some rogues came. They broke in. They tied up the guard. They

13 locked him up in the toilet so there was no more sense.

14 Q. Were you open throughout the entire conflict or did you actually

15 close and lock up your doors?

16 A. You see that I closed down my company. I did not work.

17 Q. When did you close your company down?

18 A. I closed it down, I believe that that was several days before the

19 outbreak of hostility, after the break-in, so maybe a month before. So I

20 closed down the company because the guard was helpless, couldn't do

21 anything. And I wrote "mined" and I locked it up, and I went home because

22 my life and my workers' lives were threatened. So throughout the war

23 there was that sign saying mined.

24 Q. Could you give me the month and year that you closed down exactly?

25 A. Officially I did not close down the company, but this happened on

Page 26046

1 the eve of the conflict. I would have to recall when this was, a few days

2 plus or minus. Around the time when the conflict broke out, exactly right

3 around that time, we all stopped working. Until then this was all

4 regular.

5 Q. As a politician, you have to have precision in your dealings.

6 When did you close down?

7 A. On the 15th of April, that was the last day of work. The next

8 morning, there was conflict and we couldn't go to work. Now, that's

9 the -- that's precise for you because now I recall exactly. The 15th was

10 a regular business day in Vitez, all companies were working and then on

11 the next -- the following day, no company worked.

12 Q. So you happened to close down on April 15th, 1993, and the next

13 day a conflict happened to break out; is that what you're telling us?

14 A. I did not close it down. I worked on the 15th. And on the 16th,

15 I was unable to re-open because of the events that happened in Vitez.

16 Q. Between the night of the 15th and the morning of the 16th, were

17 you in your home with your family all night?

18 A. Yes. I was at home all night, and even my brother-in-law, that is

19 his -- my brother-in-law's children were there. There was his young

20 daughter and my children were there too.

21 Q. Can you possibly explain why your neighbour, and I believe he is

22 your neighbour, the Strukar family, Vlado, Marijan, they are your

23 neighbours; is that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Why did Marijan Strukar take his family out early in the morning

Page 26047

1 between the 15th and 16th? Do you know? Did he talk to you about that?

2 A. He didn't talk to me at all, but it was simply when the confusion

3 started when the siren was sounded, and it wasn't clear what anybody was

4 doing. And I think that he fled to Stari Vitez out of fear taking his

5 family with him. That is my assumption. But I stayed with my family and

6 my brother-in-law's children in the basement.

7 Q. Now, do you know what his father Vlado might have done? Did he

8 flee also?

9 A. I don't know.

10 Q. You don't know what Vlado was doing on the 16th?

11 A. Because they were on the other side of the street and that was --

12 there was a clearing between, an empty space, so we could live across from

13 each other and not see each other for a couple of months.

14 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher to distribute Z2004, 2005, and

15 2006, please.

16 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, before we leave this particular

17 document, Z1285.2, we would object to this on the grounds of lack of

18 foundation and hearsay. Obviously, the Prosecution is entitled to put

19 that part of the document that specifically mentions the witness, but as

20 the Court can imagine, if this document is admitted, and I do not know

21 where it comes from, there is a reference to Mr. Kordic on the bottom of

22 page 2, we certainly wouldn't want to see references along those lines

23 when this document has only been put in a very limited way to the witness

24 and no foundation for its authenticity or origin has been --

25 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, Mr. Sayers, please?

Page 26048













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Page 26049

1 MR. SAYERS: -- thank you.

2 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the documents come to the Tribunal

3 through many sources in the former Yugoslavia.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, shall I continue, Your Honour? Very

6 similar to the type of cross-examination questions that we ask witnesses,

7 rather than just throw a question out we try to show that it did come from

8 a document and in fact this particular report was taken into the Tribunal

9 through means from the former Yugoslavia. I cannot -- I certainly cannot

10 testify to its original source, but I can indicate simply that the

11 material is something that, if I am allowed to ask the witness about and

12 he's responded. I think as to this witness, we'd ask for the admission.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE MAY: We'll admit it on this basis: We'll admit the

15 document, but not as far as the comment about Mr. Kordic is concerned and

16 Mr. Blaskic. We'll merely admit it as far as this witness is being asked

17 about this.

18 MS. SOMERS: And Your Honour, this will be without prejudice

19 should we -- should this issue come up again and we are able to -- thank

20 you.

21 Q. You have in front of you, Mr. Pavlovic, a street. Are you

22 familiar with the street, is this something you can readily identify?

23 A. That is the street in front of my house. That's -- and this is my

24 house about 50 metres on the right somewhere here.

25 MS. SOMERS: Now, which particular photo are we -- Mr. Usher, what

Page 26050

1 number is that particular one? Four. Thank you very much.

2 Q. I'm sorry, but are you able to take the pointer which is next to

3 your water glass and show us where your house would be relative to this

4 photo? It's back?

5 A. It's to the right and to the back. Yes. About here.

6 Q. Can you recognise the corpse, the human corpse lying in front of a

7 burned-out home? Do you recognise that body?

8 A. No, I can't. But I know that this is Sulejman Sadibasic because I

9 saw him fleeing. I saw him on the run. At that time, I remember the

10 scene.

11 Q. And that is in front of his house, is it not, this burned-out

12 Muslim house, is it not?

13 A. Correct. Yes, yes, it is correct.

14 Q. And that body lay there for how long? How many days unburied?

15 A. It lay there nine days, I think. Nine days it was there, because

16 this street is open space, and people could not reach him because fighting

17 was going on and nobody could get to him. I think it was between seven

18 and nine days.

19 Q. And your house, how many times in the course of the seven and nine

20 days, how many times did you come and go to your own house?

21 A. I was in my house all the time, in its cellar all the time, and my

22 cellar is to the other side, that is, the street on the other side and

23 then my cellar. Do you follow me? I have my house and then a yard and

24 then behind the house is a -- there is another entrance which leads to my

25 cellar and that is where I was with my wife and my children.

Page 26051

1 Q. And you never surfaced during that time? Did you never come out

2 in front of your house?

3 A. I might have once or twice, three times, just peeped out when

4 things would seem calmer because bullets were all flying around all the

5 time.

6 Q. Now, did you see UNPROFOR vehicles in this part of town -- excuse

7 me, before you answer --

8 A. I did.

9 Q. This picture represents a death that occurred on the 16th of

10 April, did it not, 1993? This is when he was killed, right?

11 A. Could you repeat your question, please?

12 Q. Yes. The dead man, Sulejman Sadibasic, your neighbour, died on

13 the 16th of April 1993; is that correct? How long was he your neighbour?

14 A. I don't know if that is correct. I think it is. I think so, but

15 I'm not sure.

16 Q. How long was he your neighbour?

17 A. Well, we were born there, and that was his house. That is the

18 house he was born in. Well, naturally they built a new house, but the old

19 house was in the same place. His house and his family is still there.

20 Q. About UNPROFOR, did it make the rounds in your neighbourhood

21 during those nine days that this body lay out there?

22 A. Yes. They did make rounds, and I know that my deceased son once,

23 because he spoke English, he came out in front of the tanks as a boy. He

24 asked that these bodies, that these people who had got killed there, asked

25 them to collect them, said that we really could not watch it any longer,

Page 26052

1 that it was terrible. And the only decent thing was to do that, and that

2 they could do it. Yes, but whenever they passed by, they just looked the

3 other way.

4 Q. Your son went out on the street and told UNPROFOR this?

5 A. Yes. There was this tank slightly to the right, towards my house,

6 and of course my son would be glad to see them and see the UNPROFOR tank,

7 because then the fire, the gunfire would stop. Neither side would fire

8 when the tank came, so that one could walk up to the tank when it would

9 come up.

10 Q. And your son did not himself try to remove the body, at least to

11 get it out of the public --

12 A. Well, he was a boy 16 years. He got killed. He couldn't cross

13 the street without UNPROFOR. UNPROFOR was the only one who could come

14 close near it and do it, because it was all in a clearing, in an open

15 space.

16 Q. Do you think it was necessary to speak English in order to ask --

17 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we've exhausted this topic.

18 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.

19 JUDGE MAY: And really, given the situation, perhaps you could

20 close this up quickly.

21 MS. SOMERS: I have a few more questions that concern the actual

22 defence of the 16th, if I may, Your Honour. Thank you.

23 Q. What were you doing on the day of the 16th? Where were you?

24 A. On the 16th of April? I spent it in my cellar, at the entrance to

25 my cellar, because my family and my children were behind me. They were

Page 26053

1 down there, that is, a cellar, an underground cellar, and I was standing

2 in front of the cellar door all day. For three days I never moved an

3 inch.

4 Q. The man Sulejman Sadibasic, whose corpse lay for nine days in your

5 view, do you know his family members, his wife Sabiha and their children?

6 Do you know them?

7 A. Of course I do, yes. Yes, of course. And our children were

8 friends. They are my neighbours, naturally, and we care about each other,

9 like all the neighbours do.

10 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that they would lie or

11 necessarily have anything evil to feel about you?

12 A. Me? No. No, can't be.

13 Q. And that would be --

14 A. Quite simply, I have nothing bad to say about that, that is, if I

15 understood your question.

16 Q. Sulejman wife, Sabiha, and their son Safet, their son Sifet, their

17 son Samet, and their daughter Safija?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You knew them all?

20 A. I knew them all. Well, in point of fact, they were my children's

21 friends. And I knew them well, normally, like neighbours.

22 Q. What, then -- or can you explain why Sabiha Sadibasic, the widow

23 of the man whose corpse lay in your view for nine days, stated that she

24 had actually seen you and Zvonko Mlakic removing -- or directing HVO

25 soldiers on the 16th of April to remove certain Muslims from homes,

Page 26054

1 including their son, who was in the basement, Samet? Why would you be

2 fingered as a person who was involved in these atrocities?

3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my apologies for

4 interrupting. Perhaps my memory serves me bad, but I do not remember that

5 particular witness testified to that effect. And if it is some other

6 statement, then I think we should really get that statement, see when,

7 how, and under what circumstances, from which body, authority, or

8 whatever, because we simply lack any information about that.

9 MS. SOMERS: May I respond, Your Honour? Thank you.

10 Mrs. Sadibasic did not testify. In fact, she was one of the affidavit

11 witnesses that the Court had encouraged us to submit, and unfortunately

12 her affidavit was included in the bunch that the Appeals Court did not

13 accept. However, counsel has both her statement and the affidavit and the

14 statement of her son Samet. They were provided. So the facts have been

15 in their knowledge.

16 JUDGE MAY: The question must be: Is there any reason that you

17 can think of, Mr. Pavlovic, for anybody saying something like that about

18 you?

19 A. I don't know what they -- I did not see who testified what, but it

20 is possible, since these bodies have been lying there for seven or eight

21 days, I really turned -- I did what I could either to get to UNPROFOR or

22 somewhere to have those bodies removed. Possibly -- I would have

23 interceded on anyone's behalf. I couldn't watch that. And of course it

24 was necessary to have those bodies removed, not to have them lying in the

25 street. After all, they are my neighbours, they are my acquaintances. It

Page 26055

1 is quite possible that I interceded, that I tried to do something to see

2 they be removed by somebody. But those were not HVO soldiers. It could

3 have been UNPROFOR or somebody who could do that. But I think it was just

4 a humane gesture. And it is quite possible -- possibly I did it. It's

5 quite possible that I did it, but not in the sense of those accusations.

6 I would have to read the statement to see it. Perhaps you misinterpreted

7 it. Perhaps she misinterpreted it. She has no reason to doubt me.

8 JUDGE MAY: That's not the point, but anyway, you've answered the

9 question.

10 MS. SOMERS: Then I will not proceed with the question as to why

11 the son would have had the same thing.

12 Q. When you had your pistol taken from you, what other weapons

13 remained with you?

14 A. Two hunting rifles. That's what I had. And I had a licence for

15 them. I'm a hunter. And yes, I still had those two rifles.

16 MS. SOMERS: Would the usher kindly distribute Z1407.2, please.

17 Q. What you have before you, Mr. Pavlovic, is a note written by two

18 persons from Vitez. And what I would like to call your attention

19 to -- and the date of the note is 29 March 1994. On the second page

20 there's just a discussion about a weapon. I'd like to ask you if the

21 observation is correct, just the description:

22 "We also obtained information that the rifle, which was

23 frequently used for attacks on Stari Vitez, was of 11-millimetre calibre

24 and was owned by Ljuban Pavlovic. This was, in fact, a hunting rifle,

25 also called the rifle for elephants. We are unable to establish the exact

Page 26056













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Page 26057

1 make and manufacturer. The rifle has an optical element and was used as a

2 sniper. This rifle was used to shoot from various directions around Stari

3 Vitez at the front lines and at civilians."

4 Was this one of the two rifles, the type of rifle?

5 A. To begin with, I do not have an 11-millimetre rifle. Mine is 764

6 millimetre. That's its calibre. And I have another hunting rifle which

7 is a shotgun. And every hunter has that type of rifle. Whoever goes to

8 hunt has the same kind of rifle. So it's true that I do have a rifle.

9 I'm a hunter. No secret about it. I still have those rifles. I have the

10 licence, regular; I go to hunt; I even travel abroad to hunt and I carry

11 them with me and I hunt. But never -- Ljuban Pavlovic's rifle never,

12 never fired, nor will I fire at human beings, and everybody knows that.

13 Q. The Chamber has heard a great deal of evidence about the periodic

14 arming or receipt of arms in HVO territory, even from places like Gacice.

15 Can you comment on whether or not you yourself ever assisted in receiving

16 arms on behalf of the Croat communities, let's say from the period of

17 October 1992 through April 1993? If such were asserted about you, what

18 would your comment be?

19 A. I claim, under full responsibility, full responsibility, before

20 this august Court, that I was never given such armament. If it is proven

21 that I did, I shall accept all responsibility and the harshest punishment

22 which can be prescribed for such an act, but I claim under full

23 responsibility that I never received such weapons.

24 Q. The persons who remained, as you say, in your home, the Muslims

25 whom you supposedly sheltered, I'd like to ask you a little bit about

Page 26058

1 other neighbours who sheltered Muslims after the period of the 16th of

2 April in that conflict. Z807.2, please.

3 Before I get into the very targeted question on this document, I'd

4 like to ask you for a comment. Referring back to the situation with the

5 Sadibasic family, because this will figure in to this document, do you

6 have any -- what would you say if it were told to you that a person named

7 Beli, whose name was really Vlado Drmic -- do you know him, Beli?

8 A. I do. Yes, I do.

9 Q. Was the Croat armed person who took Safet and Sifet Sadibasic from

10 the Sadibasic home on the morning of April 16th, after which Safet was

11 never seen again and Sifet was murdered? Can you comment on that? Would

12 that be the rambling of a crazy person or can you maybe help us understand

13 that?

14 A. Well, I know I can't -- this is the first time that I come across

15 such a question about such thinking. I do not think that is correct at

16 all, all more so as Beli was born there too. He played football for

17 Vitez. He -- another -- and this Becko, that's what we call him,

18 Sadibasic, and his son, they played football together. And I don't think

19 it can be true. It simply can't. I claim that that is impossible.

20 Q. On this document which is labelled 807.2, it is a document that

21 was addressed to the International Red Cross from -- apparently from the

22 HZ HB Vitez Brigade command, dated 24 April 1992, and it is listing

23 persons who found refuge with persons of Croatian nationality.

24 A. Precisely at my place. I am just reading it. I didn't even know

25 this. Yes, they were all at my place. I was sheltering them, and we just

Page 26059

1 talked about it a moment ago.

2 Q. If it were true, just for the sake of argument, that Beli was a

3 person who in fact expelled and possibly had involvement in the killing of

4 Muslim inhabitants, can you explain why he also is extending himself to

5 house those same persons or persons from those same families? Do you

6 know? Can you possibly give some explanation? Beli's name is listed on

7 page 2 of this document.

8 A. This list is the list of our neighbours, of all residents of

9 Vitez. Nobody was a newcomer. We always looked after each other, and

10 they were sheltered. We all helped each other, and there was shelter in

11 places where we sheltered our families, and that is how we helped each

12 other. And I would have entrusted my family to every one of these

13 Muslims, and that is how they entrusted our families to us. And both the

14 Muslims and Croats hid in the same cellars, in the same houses. I know

15 what was going on there, regardless of these lists.

16 On this first page, little Ismet Zlatan, I knew those people, and

17 they can tell you everything about me. And what they say, that is so. I

18 learned that later on they had to suffer pressures and torture, that they

19 were being made to say something against me, but they fell on their knees

20 yet refused to say anything against me because they wanted to tell the

21 truth.

22 But that was -- and I'm really very proud to know them.

23 Q. Mr. Pavlovic.

24 A. Very proud to have them as my neighbours.

25 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, you essentially had to turn the people over to

Page 26060

1 UNPROFOR because the situation just didn't change. Was -- at what point

2 did you contact UNPROFOR and tell them that there were Muslims in your

3 home and in the home of other Croats? When was the first time you told

4 UNPROFOR that?

5 A. I did not tell it to them personally, but there were some

6 contacts, whether it was my son, my younger son, the one who was killed,

7 or the other one. They were the ones who contacted with them. But be

8 that as it may, I reported to UNPROFOR straight away. They were notified

9 immediately that there was, in a cellar, a group of people and we were all

10 waiting for something to stop, but even they would not go anywhere because

11 they said well this is going to stop. This is going to come to an end.

12 But when they saw it gaining momentum, then I suggested to them to come

13 out of the cellar.

14 Q. When did you first tell them that there were people in your

15 cellar? Did you tell them on the 16th, the 17th, the 18th, the 19th of

16 April, when?

17 A. Well, it was two or three days after the 16th so it could have

18 been around the 20th. I don't really remember. But naturally UNPROFOR

19 was the one whom we notified about everything that had to be done and

20 whatever help was needed or whatever humane conduct was needed, but I

21 don't really know I would have to consult my children back home to see

22 when it was exactly.

23 Q. In other words there were a number of days, Mr. Pavlovic, that you

24 allowed to pass before you informed the International Community monitors

25 that there were people who were essentially detained in your basement and

Page 26061

1 they did not know, their families did not know, and UNPROFOR did not know

2 where these missing persons were. Is that correct, yes or no?

3 A. No. They were not detained. Simply those people who came to me,

4 whom I brought there, looked after, tended to, they simply said they

5 didn't want to go anywhere because their houses were still habitable and

6 they thought that it was just a skirmish, and after that they would go

7 home. So we kept thinking well, no, this is going to come down, to come

8 down, to come down but it didn't.

9 And then when we had an opportunity to notify UNPROFOR, then we

10 naturally did that. And those people will remember best how we talked

11 because I was with them in the cellar every day, and we talked about well,

12 now what? What next? We happened to be here. What shall we do? So even

13 they could testify about their presence there at that time. I think they

14 are all very honest people, at least that is how they proved themselves to

15 be later on, and I think that they will tell the truth.

16 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, those people did not return to their homes, did

17 they? At that time, they did not return to their homes. They were

18 expelled from their homes were they not? Their homes were burned out.

19 There was no place to return; isn't that correct? Yes or no?

20 A. In Gornji Vitez, everybody, well, it was at least two or three

21 months that the Muslims went on living with us there. But there were

22 houses, both Croat and Muslim which had burned down. For instance,

23 Mlakic's house, Zvonko Mlakic's house. It burned down the first night.

24 Then Mlakic's house on the other side of the street, it also burned down.

25 So there were Croat and Muslim houses which were in flames that night on

Page 26062

1 the 16th in the evening and on the 17th. So we simply shared the -- our

2 destiny, but I think that now they are all back. Their houses are being

3 restored. We are hoping that some of them -- my customers and we

4 understand what goes on today.

5 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, the reality was that these people were forced out of

6 their homes in the early morning hours. They had nowhere to go. They

7 received not the same consideration of an injured bear. They were put in

8 basements and detained, and then when it was no longer feasible to hide

9 them, they were turned over to UNPROFOR when they weren't sent to

10 detention centres. That is what happened, isn't it? That is consistent

11 with the truth, isn't it?

12 A. Ma'am, it's not. That's not how it was. No. We simply shared

13 the destiny in Gornji Vitez, Croats and Muslims. And we shared everything

14 for two or three months, our wives prepared lunch together. We spent time

15 in the same cellars. Our children stayed together. That's how it was in

16 Gornji Vitez, in upper Vitez where my house was. And they all trust me,

17 and I trust them.

18 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.

19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence brought

20 this witness to testify about the committee for the protection of human

21 life and property and since the Prosecutor did not ask this witness any

22 question about that, then we shall have no questions on re-examination.

23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pavlovic, thank you for coming to the Tribunal to

24 give your evidence. It's now concluded. You are free to go.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to thank you

Page 26063

1 for listening to what I had to say.

2 JUDGE MAY: Tomorrow morning then, 9.00. If we can, we'll deal

3 with the witness. If not, there are some outstanding matters anyway to

4 deal with. The evidence of Dr. Ivas, affidavits, there may be one or two

5 other matters.

6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

7 at 4.06 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday

8 the 6th day of October, 2000, at

9 9 a.m.