1 Tuesday, 10
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
9 WITNESS: VLADICA BABIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Babic.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I will be putting questions to you on behave of Mario Cerkez's
16 Defence. Please try to remember various events as best you can and please
17 answer my questions slowly and make a break between my question and your
18 answers so that the interpreters can follow what we are saying and
19 interpret it.
20 For the record, would you please give us your full name and
21 surname, your date and place of birth?
22 A. My name is Vladica Babic. I was born on the 31st of July, 1966,
23 in Nis.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, you live in Vitez. Since when?
25 A. Since I was 7.
1 Q. You are married and you have three children, right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. You are an electronics expert with a secondary education, but then
4 in addition to that, you completed extra training in criminal
5 investigations in Zagreb?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You are a citizen of the Republic of Croatia?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You served the former JNA in Kraljevo in 1987, and you got the
10 rank of squad leader; is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you worked in the centre for
13 reporting in the National Defence Secretariat in Vitez; is that right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Currently, you are employed in the Ministry of the Interior of the
16 County of Central Bosnia; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. You are not a member of any political party nor have you ever been
19 a member of any political party; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. We said a few minutes ago, Mr. Babic, that before the war in
22 Bosnia, you worked in the centre for reporting within the Municipal
23 Secretariat for National Defence.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you please tell us in a few sentences, in your own words,
1 what kind of institution was this, the centre for reporting, and what was
2 the basic aim of this centre?
3 A. First of all, this is a civilian institution. It deals with the
4 public in case of natural disasters, earthquakes, floods, and also in case
5 of imminent threat of war. It gives signs of alert in case there is any
6 danger coming from aircraft, et cetera.
7 Q. Tell me, if you were to compare this institution with some other
8 institutions that exist in Western Europe, what would be the closest
9 institution of this nature?
10 A. 9-1-1 is a very similar institution in the West, except that we do
11 not include first aid, and the police are not within our scope of work.
12 However, we could always come to the aid of citizens wherever they might
13 need us.
14 Q. I understand. But if I have understood you correctly, your
15 institution, in a way, was a two-way street. On the one hand, citizens
16 addressed you, and on the other hand, you addressed citizens if so
18 A. Yes, that's right, except that we had some obligations vis-a-vis
19 the municipal council as well, the municipality itself. We worked sort of
20 as a communications centre for them. We received all kinds of telegrams
21 for them and did that kind of work for the municipal council.
22 Q. So this was done for the civilian government of the municipality?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. You described this institution in the prewar period in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and before the democratic elections and the
1 proclamation of independence. Was there any change in organisation and in
2 the functioning of this Centre for Reporting after the elections were held
3 in Bosnia-Herzegovina and after it was proclaimed an independent republic?
4 A. No, there weren't any changes. We worked as usual. We were all
5 at the workplace. There was an imminent threat of war when JNA aircraft
6 were flying over us and aiming at civilian targets, and then the Centre of
7 Reporting monitored the situation in the area around the clock because
8 this was indispensable.
9 Q. Very well. However, from an institutional point of view, the
10 centre remained within the Secretariat of National Defence, or later this
11 was called the Office of National Defence of the municipality?
12 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
13 Q. Tell us, please, where were the premises of the reporting centre?
14 A. In the right wing of the basement of the post office.
15 Q. So that is a building that is in the immediate neighbourhood of
16 the hotel in Vitez; is that right?
17 A. Yes, between the hotel, the municipal building, the police and
18 civilian buildings.
19 Q. That is to say, in the very centre of Vitez?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Tell us, please, what was the ethnic composition of the employees
22 of the reporting centre like, and how many people were employed there,
23 generally speaking?
24 A. There was five of us. We came from all ethnic groups, that is to
25 say, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.
1 Q. Who was the head of the centre in 1992?
2 A. Nedim Zlotrg was the head of the centre in 1992.
3 Q. Mr. Zlotrg is what, ethnically speaking?
4 A. He's an ethnic Muslim.
5 Q. What position did you hold in the reporting centre?
6 A. I was an operations man, and radio communications were my
7 immediate line of work.
8 Q. That is to say that there was a total of five employees there,
9 that is to say, Mr. Zlotrg as the head of the reporting centre and four
10 other employees. Was there any division amongst these employees in terms
11 of specialty?
12 A. We could not all do the same things. We all specialised in
13 various matters. My colleagues were experts for coding and encoding,
14 whereas my specialty was radio communications.
15 Q. What kind of equipment did the reporting centre have?
16 A. Well, the equipment was rather obsolete. I don't know how to put
17 this. The equipment was very obsolete from the 1970s. It was not of high
18 quality, and on the other hand, it was expensive to maintain.
19 Q. While you worked in the Centre for Reporting, did you see any
20 equipment replaced, updated, or something like that during 1992, 1993?
21 A. At any rate, we made every effort to upgrade our equipment because
22 there was an imminent threat of war due to the aircraft, the JNA aircraft.
23 Q. Tell me, what was the alternative system of equipment that you had
24 in the reporting centre? I mean, if the main system, the main equipment
25 would for any reason break down, what was your alternative system?
1 A. There was no alternative system.
2 Q. Why not?
3 A. Well, simply, the equipment that we had was locally manufactured,
4 and they asked for exorbitant prices. In the west you could get equipment
5 that would be far more professional and of much better quality.
6 Q. Mr. Babic, what would happen if there would be a power blackout?
7 Did you have generators of your own in order to keep the equipment going?
8 A. The post office had a generator, and we were connected to that, so
9 we could operate unhindered for a given period of time for as long as
10 there was fuel.
11 Q. In 1992, the so-called crisis staff was established in the
12 municipality of Vitez. This Trial Chamber has heard a lot of evidence
13 about this. Ivica Santic, the then president of the municipality,
14 presided over it.
15 Was your reporting centre working with this Crisis Staff in some
16 way? Can you explain this to us?
17 A. Yes. Yes. We received information daily about refugees that were
18 brought, and we received this information and gave it to the municipal
19 staff. Also due to the information blockade that was imposed by the Jugo
20 army or the then authorities, we worked illegally in a way. That is to
21 say that we made an illegal radio station upon the instructions of my
22 boss, and we broadcast two or three hours of programme daily, providing
23 information to citizens in terms of what kind of danger awaited them that
24 day due to air raids, et cetera.
25 Q. You just said now that you acted upon the instructions of your
1 boss. That was Mr. Nedim Zlotrg. And you organised an illegal raid of
2 your station upon his instructions. Are we still talking about time when
3 Bosnia was within the former Yugoslavia?
4 A. That was the period of 1992.
5 Q. At any rate, the JNA had already started attacking the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. So through this radio station you provided information to the
9 citizens. How big was its range?
10 A. Well, we mostly covered the territory of the municipality, but
11 this really wasn't much range to talk about.
12 Q. Later during 1992 -- I'm referring to the middle of that year --
13 the municipal headquarters of the HVO were established for Vitez. Do you
14 remember that?
15 A. Yes, I remember that pretty well.
16 Q. Tell me to the best of your recollection, were there any problems
17 in the work of this Crisis Staff that was later replaced by the municipal
19 A. As far as I know, there weren't any problems. Everything
20 functioned well.
21 Q. Tell us, please, at that time -- we're talking about mid-1992 --
22 was there already some tension between the Croats and the Muslims within
23 these joint institutions? What was your experience of this?
24 A. It seems to me that at that time, there were divisions already,
25 and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was being established through the
1 establishment of the TO. In a way, there was partition, and they were
2 leaving these joint institutions, and they were creating institutions of
3 their own.
4 Q. Concretely, how did this impact your reporting centre?
5 A. In one period all this functioned very well, and then some people
6 simply stopped coming to work, some people who had been employed there,
7 persons who were ethnic Muslims and also persons who were mobilised at a
8 later stage, in the reporting centre, I mean.
9 Q. What you said just now, does that relate to your boss, Nedim
11 A. Yes. He stopped coming to work too.
12 Q. Did you ever have an opportunity of talking to him or to somebody
13 else, some other person who was of Muslim ethnicity? Why did they stop
14 coming to work?
15 A. No. No. They simply avoided us and they didn't come.
16 Q. Did you personally or someone else, to the best your knowledge,
17 give them any cause for such behaviour?
18 A. No. No. There was no reason for that.
19 Q. Mr. Babic, we are talking about mid-1992, when the JNA and the
20 Bosnian Serb army had encircled the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 Sarajevo. What were your contacts with the main centre in Sarajevo at the
23 A. Since Sarajevo was encircled and the municipal council was
24 supposed to receive information, there were mainly radio communications
25 through radio operators of an amateur nature. We had to do our best. The
1 Serbs were trying to find on which frequencies we were operating, so we
2 had to go from one frequency to another.
3 Q. So was there a proper channel between the Sarajevo centre and the
4 Vitez centre or was that disconnected?
5 A. Well, while the phones were still operating, everything was fine;
6 however, when Sarajevo was encircled, then the telephones were
7 disconnected. We tried to do something about this. But we did have a
8 plan in case of immediate threat of war, and then we started operating
9 according to that plan.
10 Q. And this communication via radio amateur links, did that satisfy
11 basic needs at least?
12 A. No, it did not.
13 Q. This equipment that you had -- you already told us something about
14 this -- at the centre for reporting, did it have certain standards, and
15 how was it actually obtained?
16 A. The equipment we had was from the reporting centre, also equipment
17 that we took from the club of radio amateurs. We also got some by way of
18 donations from our people who were living abroad, and also we got some
19 from the technical institute in Travnik.
20 Q. Since you mentioned this institution in Travnik, the Technical
21 Maintenance Institute, can you tell us in a few sentences what kind of
22 institution this is and what it dealt with?
23 A. This is a technical institute for the repair and maintenance of
24 radio equipment of the former JNA for the territory of the entire former
25 Yugoslavia. This was a real gold mine for persons who were engaged in
1 this line of work, persons who worked in reporting centres.
2 Q. When the JNA left this Technical Maintenance Institute, was some
3 equipment left?
4 A. Lots of equipment was left. The JNA was blocked in barracks, and
5 at the request of the TO, the Territorial Defence, they actually encircled
6 the barracks, and they asked the soldiers to leave without taking out
7 their equipment. So that's when they left the Technical Maintenance
8 Institute and the barracks. It is mainly people from Central Bosnia who
9 were employed in the Technical Maintenance Institute.
10 Q. Tell me, this equipment that was left behind in the technical
11 institute in Travnik, how was it distributed? How was it distributed to
12 the reporting centres in Central Bosnia? Was there any criterion that was
13 applied? Can you tell us something about this?
14 A. There was no criterion. There is a proverb that says "First come,
15 first served." So Travnik is a predominantly Muslim town, and they were
16 the ones who were primarily employed in the technical institute. So
17 through their own channels, they managed to get a lot more equipment than
18 we did.
19 I don't know. I did my own practice there while I was in
20 secondary school. Every Saturday, I would spend the entire day there for
21 this practical training, and there were different kinds of equipment
22 there, and we got perhaps only 10 per cent.
23 Q. I assume, Mr. Babic, when you were there at the technical
24 maintenance institute for practical training that you got to know people
25 amongst the Muslim population?
1 A. Yes, yes. I had friends who went to practical training together
2 with me, and also persons who were in charge of our training, people who
3 were repairmen, technical staff who told us how repairs should be made,
4 how equipment should be maintained, et cetera.
5 Q. Did you ever make any comments with these acquaintances and
6 friends in terms of the quantity of equipment that you got in Vitez as
7 compared to other places?
8 A. Yes. Once I saw a school colleague of mine who was in the
9 Territorial Defence in Turbe. In a part of Turbe, I don't know exactly
10 where. And he was some kind of a communications leader at the level of
11 battalion, I believe. They already had established a defence line against
12 the JNA which was nearby.
13 Q. Very well.
14 A. And they also got equipment from the technical maintenance
15 institute. And on one occasion when we met, I said, "How are things
16 going," and so on and so forth, and he said, "Well, it's pretty bad up
17 there." But as I was getting equipment for myself, and he said, "What are
18 you doing with this equipment," and I said, "Well, we're taking this to
19 Vitez." Since I knew people there, then I would usually go to collect the
20 equipment, and then it depended on our needs involved. And he said to me,
21 "Well, that's what I got for my unit alone, and you are taking that for
22 your entire region, that same quantity."
23 Q. All right. Do you remember what your friend's name was, your
24 friend who told you that?
25 A. Sead, I can't remember his last name. Sead Sejdic, yes.
1 Q. So on the basis of your conversation with him, and he was a member
2 of the Territorial Defence, you found out that he got for his unit only
3 the same quantity of equipment that you got for all of Vitez and the
4 surrounding area?
5 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
6 Q. But towards the end of 1992, did you nevertheless manage to set in
7 place some type of communication system for the headquarters in Vitez?
8 A. Well, yes, as a matter of fact, this started even before that. We
9 pulled together all efforts with the reporting centre in Zenica, and we --
10 because we were monitoring the situation with the aircraft, and with the
11 system which existed in Belgrade, every ten seconds they report the
12 position of aircraft every ten seconds. And sometime in Croatia during
13 the war in Croatia, Croatia had set up its own reporting system and they
14 were reporting more or less in the same way as Belgrade.
15 So we could monitor the Belgrade system because -- in Zagreb
16 because Belgrade was not announcing its flights; however, the air control
17 in Croatia was broadcasting correct positions of aircraft in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so we, the Zenica centre, Travnik centre, Busovaca
19 centre, Kiseljak, Kresevo, that whole area, we together tried to lock in
20 the frequencies because we did not have a plan. Since it was a new
21 plan --
22 Q. I'm sorry, I have to interrupt you, but we do not have to go into
23 all this detail.
24 What you are telling us is in point of fact that you organised a
25 service for Central Bosnia which monitored the combat aircraft of the JNA
1 so as to organise your defence activities, isn't that so?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And that system which you organised, was it a reliable system, and
4 it did also have a backup?
5 A. No, it wasn't reliable, and there was no backup system. It would
6 often happen that the JNA jams practically the whole range of our
7 frequencies that we used for reporting so that we were unable to hear
9 Q. Very well. And in late 1992 an interim municipal brigade, Stjepan
10 Tomasevic, was formed. Do you remember that?
11 A. I do, yes.
12 Q. What happened to you at the time? How did you fair?
13 A. I went to Novi Travnik then and became the head of the signals
14 department, signals unit of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.
15 Q. Did you volunteer for the post, or were you mobilised?
16 A. I was mobilised, but my chief task was to put in place the
17 communications centre in Novi Travnik and reporting centre because in
18 conflict, their reporting centre was completely destroyed in the conflict.
19 Q. Tell us, Mr. Babic, what did you do then actively?
20 A. Well, we were to establish the communication with Slatka Voda,
21 that is, to cover the section facing the Serbs from Slatka Voda to Turbe,
22 which at that time was manned by the brigade.
23 Q. So this was the defence line manned by the Stjepan Tomasevic
24 Brigade protecting the line against the JNA and the Bosnian Serb army; is
25 that correct?
1 A. It is.
2 Q. Were you sufficiently equipped for this communication system?
3 A. Very little.
4 Q. So what did you do? Was it satisfactory, what you had?
5 A. No, far from it, so we had to introduce various innovations. We
6 had to manage in different ways. We installed some telephones, but we
7 simply tried to make do. Telephones which had dials, we would take out
8 dials and instead put in some other devices so that you could, for
9 instance, answer a call but could not make a call from it and the like.
10 So practically, it was all make-do solutions, yes.
11 Q. And how often did you go to that front that you mentioned, Slatka
12 Voda, Mravinjac, Kamenjas?
13 A. Well, daily, practically.
14 Q. You mentioned that this front line was manned by the Stjepan
15 Tomasevic Brigade against the JNA, but were parts of that front also
16 manned by the BiH army? Can you tell us something about that?
17 A. No, that section was not under its control. But yes, in Turbe, as
18 far as I know, yes, they did hold part of the line there.
19 Q. Very well. However, to reach the -- this front line you had to go
20 through the area, I mean, Kalinska street by that, which was controlled by
21 the BiH army. Did you encounter any problems there?
22 A. Oh, well, at times, yes. When the tension would go up, then there
23 would be some difficulties. There were problems when the shift was about
24 to come down, and then we would let them know somehow by telephone not to
25 come. But it often happened, particularly in that area, that the
1 telephone lines would be cut. We frequently had to intervene a request
2 that the lines be put back in order.
3 Q. You were often there, as you tell us. So why do you think, why
4 were these problems when passing through checkpoints manned by the BiH
6 A. Well, I really can't tell you why did that happen. I know at the
7 time when I went up there, oftentimes I would go through that part of the
8 town. We would look around at all the coffee shops, and everything would
9 be full, and they behaved as if that was not their war at all.
10 Q. And in late 1992 and the first quarter of 1993, you were
11 constantly with the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, weren't you?
12 A. Yes, sometime in early April 1993 is when I left the Stjepan
14 Q. And where did you go then?
15 A. After I returned to Vitez, I went back to my old job, that is, to
16 the reporting centre, and after that, I was again appointed the signals
17 head of the Vitez Brigade of the Viteska Brigade. I don't remember the
18 date exactly, but I should -- I'd say it was sometime in mid-April or
20 Q. We have already heard evidence that the command post of the
21 brigade was in the building of the Workers' University or, rather,
22 cinema. Where were you housed?
23 A. I went back to the reporting centre. I went back there to the
24 reporting centre until the Vitez Brigade was fully formed.
25 Q. So what was your task there?
1 A. After I was appointed head of the Signals Unit, I was to establish
2 communication, rather, communications within the Vitez Brigade. But we
3 did not have any adequate premises, and it would be silly to look for
4 accommodation elsewhere seeing that there was this reporting centre which,
5 at any rate, was to play its role in case of a war or anything. So we
6 somehow divided the assignments and worked together.
7 Q. If I understand you properly, in those --
8 A. In the cellar of the post office where the reporting centre is.
9 Q. Now, we also have the Signals Unit of the Vitez Brigade. Is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you as the head of that service, as against your colleagues
13 who were still with the reporting centre, did you work separate or did you
14 cooperate? Could you please explain it to us?
15 A. Well, in the beginning, the views diverged with the so-called head
16 of the reporting centre, but later on when we talked to the head of the
17 defence office, it was decided that after all, we could work together
18 because we could not afford to split up and that we did not need five
19 different centres if one could do it all.
20 Q. You mentioned that at that time, that is, at the time when you
21 were appointed head of the Signals Unit of the Vitez Brigade, that is,
22 sometime in the beginning of April, the brigade was -- had not still
23 acquired its full shape, I mean from your point of view, from the point of
24 view of signals and communication. So how did you -- what was your
25 experience with that?
1 A. Well, my experience was very bad, very bad, because the equipment
2 was not uniform. And we tried really to make it do in different ways. So
3 we tried to establish a network that would cover the air space, so that
4 from the centre we could inform the anti-aircraft defence around the town,
5 which operated on a standardised frequency on one channel for several
6 municipalities, from Vitez, Busovaca, Novi Travnik, and so on and so
7 forth. And since we were in the centre, somehow everybody could hear us,
8 everybody had access to us, and that is how we kept informing them.
9 Q. Very well. Tell us, do you know, as the head of that particular
10 department, do you know what kind of equipment and how did the units --
11 how did the units which were in the field communicate between them?
12 A. Well, it all came down to telephone communication because
13 telephones were in working order, and we did not have enough induction
14 telephones to set up an autonomous network, so they practically used the
15 telephone network that existed.
16 Q. And the units in the field, did they have mobile radio stations or
17 hand-held radio stations?
18 A. Well, some, especially the anti-aircraft defence, some of the
19 equipment that we had obtained from the repair institute were given to
20 them, and these are quite big pieces of equipment except that their power
21 is very small and they were all badly outdated. But nevertheless, they
22 served the purpose of those units at that particular level. It
23 subsequently turned out that some of the equipment which had been donated
24 by Diaspora, we were sent some hand-held radio equipment, of course, the
25 amateur ones because those were the only ones that we could come by, and
1 we used them primarily for members of the command and some of the -- and
2 for some battalion needs until the Vitez Brigade was formed.
3 Q. Very well. Mr. Babic, I will now make a course to your expertise
4 and ask you one thing. The Court has heard, on various occasions,
5 evidence that members of units said how they used the Motorolas, to
6 communicate. Could you tell us first what is a Motorola; and, secondly,
7 whether that word had also a vernacular, a colloquial meaning?
8 A. Well, to begin, Motorola is a trademark. It is a factory which
9 manufactures a certain type of equipment. So "Motorola" is a word used by
10 people who do not know that that, in fact, should mean a hand-held radio,
11 any radio station which is hand-held, whether it is Motorola or whatever
12 other make.
13 Q. So can we, in point of view, say that "Motorola" was the word used
14 to cover all the hand-held radio stations?
15 A. Yes. They practically used Motorola, even though people with some
16 technical training, of course, will avoid the use of this term because
17 they know what that is.
18 Q. Very well. Mr. Babic, on the 16th, the tension escalated and an
19 open conflict broke out. We heard that from many witnesses. What were
20 you doing on that day and where were you that night, 15th to the 16th of
21 April, 1993?
22 A. On the 15th, I was on duty and I was at the reporting centre. In
23 the morning I was woken up around half past six or something, and after
24 that I was again at the centre for the next couple of days.
25 Q. Very well. You tell us you were on duty between the 15th and the
1 16th. Was it out of order or was it simply your turn to come on duty,
2 which was a common occurrence at that time?
3 A. I was on duty on the 15th, and around 10.00 in the evening, but
4 I'm not sure about the exact time, that there could be an attack from the
5 direction of Kruscica and Vrjanska and that we should check our
6 communications equipment. What we did have, we checked in a hurry, and
7 then we simply stayed sitting there.
8 I called another shift, that is, three or four men that I managed
9 to get through, so there were seven or eight of us at the centre. I don't
10 remember exactly, but it was roughly -- but that is how it was, roughly.
11 Q. And who informed you that an attack from Kruscica and Vrjanska
12 could be expected?
13 A. It was the man on duty in the Vitez Brigade.
14 Q. Do you remember who was that man?
15 A. No. No, I don't.
16 Q. In addition to this, did he proffer any other information?
17 A. No. No. That was all he said. And we checked the equipment and
18 stayed there, watched some films.
19 Q. Mr. Babic, based on your experience, were there such reports? Did
20 you get such information at the centre that an attack was being expected
21 or something like that even before that?
22 A. Well, yes. That is an organisation which receives such
23 information, and there was a specific procedure how to act upon such kind
24 of information.
25 Q. Did you personally that evening, 15th to the 16th, take this
1 report to mean something else than what it meant before that?
2 A. No. I simply checked all the equipment, and we went on with our
3 work. We were on duty. Nothing else.
4 Q. So can we say that you simply followed the routine prescribed for
5 the situation?
6 A. Yes. Quite a simple routine. There were absolutely no
7 indications, there were no signs, nothing that something out of the
8 ordinary might happen.
9 Q. Very well. And then on the 16th, in the morning of the 16th, you
10 told us you were woken up. Did you hear any gunfire or detonations?
11 A. No. I heard nothing, since we are in the cellar and it is pretty
12 well isolated acoustically, but it was a telephone call which aroused us.
13 One was on duty, and he then came to wake me up, and he said that there
14 was shooting in Nadioci, Ahmici and Nadioci, and he said, "And some houses
15 are on fire." And the duty officer who it was that called, and he
16 said -- it was a policeman on duty, and he told us to sound the general --
17 an all-out alert, and that is what we did.
18 Q. Did you activate the sirens which sounded the all-out alarm?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. It was when, roughly?
21 A. Well, it was about half past six.
22 Q. And after that, what happened then? You said you stayed in the
23 centre? You didn't go home even for a couple of days?
24 A. Right. We seemed to be cut off practically from everybody else,
25 and I think that somebody then came and told us that the conflict actually
1 was bigger than it really was. But we were cut off. We didn't really get
2 much information as to what was happening.
3 Q. Let me ask you one thing. That night, 15th to the 16th, was radio
4 traffic -- were radio communications more frequent than usual?
5 A. No. No. Everything was normal.
6 Q. And after the 16th, after the conflict broke out, after the
7 general danger was proclaimed?
8 A. Oh, yes. And then we were busy, up to our necks.
9 Q. Under those circumstances, and you are in a cellar as you told us,
10 completely cut off in time and space, so what was your task? What did you
12 A. Well, the reporting centre business is what we did. So we
13 registered all that happened on the ground. And as for the Vitez Brigade,
14 we frequently had to check the communications, but nothing special because
15 everything still was in working order owing to the telephone lines, that
16 is, public telephone service.
17 Q. Did you have access to the information, I mean, military
18 information transmitted by telephone because of, as you told us, the
19 telephone system was still in working order and some other alternative
20 system? Did you have access to this information? Could you listen in to
21 that? Could you know what kind of communication was it?
22 A. Well, what went through public telephones for brigade affairs.
23 There were signals, tables, and those. So if we listened to radio
24 communications, we could then know what was going on. But telephone
25 lines, of course, we couldn't listen in on because that is a public
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
2 Q. You told us that you communicated via code tables, you're an
3 expert -- you are not an expert in the field, but will you nevertheless
4 tell us what is it in point of fact? What is it?
5 A. Well, when you dial a number, you give your code name rather than
6 your own name, and also you communicate with somebody using codes, for
7 instance. That is, if you say 352, that means something.
8 Q. According to your experience and recollection, in that
9 communication, did people comply with this encrypted manner conversation
10 and use of codes?
11 A. Well, by and large, yes, but you'll always find some individuals
12 who will not comply.
13 Q. In your view, was it a very frequent occurrence or not? What
14 would you say?
15 A. Well, some perhaps 30 per cent did not comply with that.
16 Q. Did you then do something when you realised that people were not
17 complying with it?
18 A. Well, yes. It was mostly in radio communication. When people
19 would call, they would give their names or their places of -- names or
20 places they were calling from and the like, and I personally requested
21 Commander Cerkez to sanction people who did that.
22 Q. Mr. Babic, so, open hostilities broke out between the HVO and the
23 BiH army, and I suppose that you could and you did listen in on
24 communications within the BiH army.
25 A. Yes. Well, in the beginning -- or rather, by mid-1992, during the
1 aircraft raids, we were given a radio transmitter which could very quickly
2 go through the frequency range, and we used it mostly to monitor the
3 conversations between pilots who are bombing, because it is not enough to
4 only see where the plane is, it is also important to know what its target
6 Q. So that device which in 1992 you used to listen in on the
7 communications between JNA aircraft, you now used to listen in on
8 conversations in the BiH army after the conflict broke out; is that
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Did you manage or did you ever try to jam the radio communications
12 in the BiH army?
13 A. In early May we had already come by a significant quantity, amount
14 of equipment, and we used it not only to establish communications in the
15 brigades, but also some of this equipment we used to jam them, to jam the
17 Q. But that was a somewhat high-grade equipment, wasn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did you keep that equipment at the centre, in the post office,
20 or what?
21 A. No. The equipment was taken out together with its operators to
22 the operator zone of Central Bosnia.
23 Q. When was that?
24 A. Well, it was about a month after that equipment arrived to our
25 centre, so -- which means sometime in early June.
1 Q. If you are what -- you have already told us, you were familiar
2 with the kind of equipment that the BiH army had. What can you tell us
3 about that?
4 A. Well, being familiar with the situation -- or rather, the channels
5 through which they obtained their equipment, knowing that they could come
6 by and did come by excellent equipment because one of the colleagues who
7 worked with me would go often with colleagues from the Zenica centre to
8 Croatia, and that was what I would meet the convoy -- or rather, larger
9 numbers of vehicles bringing in equipment from the Diaspora.
10 Q. What was the name of that colleague of yours?
11 A. Dragan Miletic.
12 Q. What period of time are you referring to when you said that with
13 an expert from the BiH army he [sic] went to fetch equipment from
14 Croatia. When was that?
15 A. Well, that was sometime in March, April 1992.
16 Q. All this equipment which arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina from
17 abroad, and you tell us that it was donated equipment, it was all arriving
18 via Croatia exclusively?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. But were there some other channels?
21 A. I don't know about any other channel. I know about this channel,
22 and I know that they once lost one van of equipment, full of equipment
23 because it was allegedly illegal, and the Croatian police seized it.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, you were wounded during those events?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us when and how?
2 A. It was on the 19th of April, 1993, on the premises of the centre
3 by a tank shell.
4 Q. A while ago you told us that the centre was housed in the cellar
5 of the post office building in the centre of Vitez. How is it that you
6 were wounded nevertheless, being in that cellar, by a tank shell?
7 A. Well, I did not know it was a tank shell in the beginning, but my
8 sister told me that she has seen how from Zvezda [phoen], which is an area
9 with the cemetery in Podgorica to Preocica, and she told me that there was
10 a tank moving down that road at practically that same time when I was
12 Q. So what happened? Where did the shell fall?
13 A. Well, it hit the concrete slab which separated the cellar from the
14 ground floor, and it damaged both the upper floor and the cellar.
15 Q. And how many people were wounded on that occasion?
16 A. Five.
17 Q. What were the injuries that you sustained? Did you go on working,
18 or did you have to go home?
19 A. It was my left upper arm, part of my muscle was torn, and left
20 shoulder by a fragment. And I went for treatment -- or rather, I was
21 taken to the hospital in the -- in a cellar not far from the centre that
22 is about 100 metres away.
23 Q. Was it an isolated case that the centre of the town was under
25 A. No, no, there were such instances, there were -- before that, too.
1 Q. Mr. Babic, how do you know Mario Cerkez and since when?
2 A. Well, I met him when I moved there, to Kruscica, because I did not
3 live there from the start, but I met him through my father because we are
4 related in a way.
5 Q. Did you go out together? Did you socialise?
6 A. No, we do not belong to the same generation.
7 Q. But did you have an opportunity to form your opinion about
8 Mr. Cerkez?
9 A. Well, mostly wherever I went -- because he is older than I am.
10 Most people speak only the best about him, and that -- and I think that,
11 too. Usually I saw him during the war, and I think really all the best of
13 Q. Do you think he was a quarrelsome, cantankerous, and an aggressive
15 A. No, no, he was always in a good mood and nice.
16 Q. Do you know where the house is where Mr. Cerkez lived?
17 A. I do, yes.
18 Q. Do you know that in the vicinity of that house, sometime in early
19 1993 there was a traffic accident there?
20 A. Yes, I heard about it -- or rather, mother told me about that
21 traffic accident. But after that, I heard from my colleague who was
22 involved in it, involved in it, Sifet Sivro.
23 Q. You tell us he was your colleague, Sifet Sivro, and he's what, a
24 Muslim, isn't he?
25 A. Yes, he's Muslim, but we work together at the National Defence
2 Q. Where did he go to work later on?
3 A. As soon as the TO staff was set up, he joined that, and he was
4 with the BiH army throughout the war.
5 Q. And it was a Mr. Sifet Sivro who told you that he had been
6 involved in that traffic accident?
7 A. Yes, but I heard about that after the war sometime.
8 Q. Did he also tell you that he was -- who else was involved in that
9 traffic accident?
10 A. No, but later on I heard that it was Meho who used to be a
11 commander in Kruscica.
12 Q. Did your colleague Sifet Sivro tell you who extended first aid to
13 them after that traffic accident?
14 A. No. It wasn't he who told me that; it was my mother who told me
16 Q. What did your mother tell you? What?
17 A. Well, she told me that it was Mario and Slavica who helped me or
18 who helped him -- or rather, that Meso who was injured on that occasion.
19 Q. Thank you for your answer, Mr. Babic. I have no further
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] And I only wish to say that we
22 submitted an affidavit of Mr. Nesad Hurem who was an eyewitness to the
23 traffic accident.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Kordic's Defence
25 does not have questions to ask of this witness. Thank you.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] About the affidavit, I think it
2 was filed yesterday. We don't have a translation in English, so I don't
3 know what sort of information there is in that affidavit.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Babic, in June 1994 you received the
6 congratulations from the head of the brigade, Filip Filipovic, who was --
7 which was the 92nd Brigade in Vitez, and these congratulations were
8 extended to you for your contribution to the Croatian cause and to the
9 cause of the Herceg Bosnia?
10 A. In June 1994, yes.
11 Q. So we agree. I would like to present this document to you. It's
12 a new exhibit, Z1428.1. I would like you to tell me whether you find the
13 congratulations I just mentioned spelled out in this document.
14 This is the topic we find in this document, isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Is it right that you were promoted to the rank of
17 captain in August 1994 within this same regiment, the 92nd regiment of the
18 Vitez Brigade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I would like to present another document to you, and you will tell
21 us whether it concerns -- it does concern you. It's the Exhibit Z1460.2.
22 Is that a decree which mentions your appointment to the rank of
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When did you leave the army?
1 A. 1 May 1994.
2 Q. All right. So it's after your departure from the army that you
3 were promoted to the rank of captain?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You would probably agree with me that if you were congratulated
6 and promoted on the other hand, it is because you were considered as
7 entirely satisfactory by your superiors?
8 A. Well, probably, yes.
9 Q. You told us about your functions within the centre of information
10 in Vitez and later on within the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade and eventually
11 within the Vitez Brigade?
12 A. [No translation]
13 Q. In 1992 particularly, were you not appointed coordinator for the
14 centre of Bosnia HVO?
15 A. Yes. This lasted for about three days.
16 Q. Who appointed you to that position?
17 A. The regional headquarters of the HVO.
18 Q. This is an entity, but I would like the name of the person who
19 appointed you to that position.
20 A. On behalf of the -- I believe it was signed by Mr. Dario Kordic.
21 Q. I will submit another document to you, Z114.3 which is dated 26 of
22 May, 1992.
23 This document is the document by which Mr. Kordic, president of
24 the HVO, and Ignjac Kostroman, secretary of the HVO, appoints you to that
25 position, isn't it?
1 A. Yes. This is what the document says.
2 Q. And as a coordinator, in this document which appoints you to your
3 position, you are being entrusted with the installation of high-quality
4 communication equipment in Central Bosnia.
5 A. Here it says, yes, Herceg-Bosna, but that was -- but as far as the
6 territory comprised is concerned, no, I don't think that I would have been
7 able to cover it.
8 Q. You were aware of the existence of that document and the time?
9 A. Yes. Three days later. In fact, at my own request, I asked to be
10 relieved of this duty, and I was replaced by Mr. Anto Jovanovic.
11 Q. For what reasons did you request to leave these functions?
12 A. Because I was not professional enough for this, because an
13 engineer has to run this.
14 Q. Who had suggested your name to Mr. Kordic and Mr. Kostroman, if
15 you didn't have the qualifications?
16 A. Mr. Marijan Skopljak.
17 Q. The head of the Vitez defence office.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you know him well, this Marijan Skopljak?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You were a member of the same branch of the HVO in Kruscica. You
22 were together with him in that branch, weren't you? You were never a
23 member of the HDZ branch in Kruscica?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Could you explain to us for which reasons your name is mentioned
1 on the list of the HDZ members in Kruscica, which was found at the defence
2 office? In other words, in the office where Mr. Skopljak used to work at
3 the time.
4 A. I don't know. I never saw such a document.
5 Q. You are formally saying that you were never a member of the HDZ in
7 A. That's correct. I was never a member of any party.
8 Q. All right. You have given us a very negative description of the
9 situation of the communication equipment in Central Bosnia. I'd like to
10 submit a document to you, Exhibit Z383.1. In January 1993, you did have a
11 head of the communication service for Herceg-Bosna in Mostar, Mr. Jure
12 Zadro, didn't you? This name doesn't ring a bell?
13 A. I got to know the name later on, that is, after this period.
14 Q. This document dated 21st of January, 1993, you have never seen
16 A. No, I've never seen this.
17 Q. It is indicated in this document, in paragraph 4, as you can see,
18 that the chief of communications of the Vitez Central Bosnian operational
19 centre will carry out the distribution of the paket transmitters to the
20 brigade commands, and then we have the list of brigades, Vitez, Busovaca,
21 Fojnica, Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vares, Kakanj, Tuzla.
22 A. But I've never seen this.
23 Q. Are you questioning the fact that in 1993, a number of
24 communication equipment was distributed to the Central Bosnia brigades, in
25 particular, radio transmitters known as paket transmitters?
1 A. As far as I know, the equipment we managed to get we got on our
2 own. We never received it from anyone else except some donations that
3 came from Diaspora.
4 Q. But here it is not donated equipment. It is an order which comes
5 from Mostar and which is sent to the communication or transmission officer
6 in Vitez for Central Bosnia, and this order is quite clear. He is
7 entrusted with the distribution of the equipment to the brigades. Are you
8 questioning the existence of such distribution?
9 A. The commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone communication
10 centre never gave me any equipment.
11 Q. At the time when this order was drafted, you were in the Stjepan
12 Tomasevic Brigade, weren't you? You didn't receive anything for the
13 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, but do you know what was the situation of the
14 other brigades whose names we find in this document?
15 A. No, I do not. At that time, there was only the Stjepan Tomasevic
16 Brigade, and that was my zone of responsibility at the time, and we never
17 received anything of this kind.
18 Q. In April 1993, did you have such equipment, this type of
20 A. April 1993. What I had at the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, that was
21 some amateur-level equipment and something that we managed to get from the
22 technical facility.
23 Q. The equipment available to Colonel Blaskic for Central Bosnia, was
24 that equipment the same as the one you had within your brigade?
25 A. At that time, we did not have such equipment in the brigade. The
1 equipment was not unified, standardised. Everybody got whatever they
2 could, and we sort of patched things together so that we could just get
3 by, but it was very basic.
4 Q. I would like to submit a document to you which has already been
5 accepted in this trial, admitted, Z806.
6 MR. SAYERS: Just two seconds, Mr. President. Exhibit Z383.1, we
7 object to the introduction of this document on the grounds of lack of
8 foundation. I don't think that the Prosecution has laid a proper
9 foundation for the introduction of this document through this witness.
10 JUDGE MAY: It's only a dispute that --
11 [The President and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE MAY: I'm told by the registrar that this has already been
13 admitted, 383.1, as an outstanding exhibit. Perhaps you'd like to have a
14 look at that over the adjournment. The Prosecution seem to agree.
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] As a complement to this
17 document Z383.1, I indicate that this is a document which refers to an
18 order dated the 20th of November, 1992. This is found in the title. And
19 this order has been admitted by the Trial Chamber with the reference
20 number Z287.2. So this document is just a complementary document to
22 Q. Mr. Babic, you have this document Z806, which is an order by
23 Colonel Blaskic. At the bottom of this document, underneath the signature
24 of Colonel Blaskic, you can see a seal, and on this seal are mentioned all
25 the possibilities that Colonel Blaskic had at the time in April 1993 to
1 communicate with his brigades, and you know all these systems, don't you?
2 A. Yes. This seal was made as a universal seal, and we used it.
3 Regardless of whether we possessed equipment these seals were used. They
4 were used at the state level, not for the lower levels.
5 Q. But this is a seal which is made by the HVO for the Operational
6 Zone of Central Bosnia.
7 A. Yes. The seal you see here, it is a reception seal. That is what
8 you can see at the bottom of the document.
9 Q. If I understand what you're telling me, you are saying that there
10 was a seal which mentioned various communication systems, but these
11 systems were supposed to operate only under ideal circumstances. They, in
12 fact, didn't exist in reality.
13 A. This is a universal seal which is issued for the whole country.
14 This is what you had in the old Yugoslavia. That was a universal seal
15 that was used by all. So all communications centres had the same seal.
16 They used the same seal. That was in the old Yugoslavia. Then depending
17 on which communication method they used, this is what they would circle.
18 So you did not need to own the rest of the equipment which is listed here
19 on this seal.
20 Q. The communication centre of the Vitez Brigade, as you indicated,
21 was in the cellar of the PTT building.
22 A. Yes, when we came back from Novi Travnik.
23 Q. And in the same cellar was the communications centre for Central
24 Bosnia, which was directly under the command of Colonel Blaskic. So you
25 were neighbours in that cellar.
1 A. Yes. They were in the middle.
2 Q. And you knew the equipment available to the central service of
3 Colonel Blaskic?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. This communication service operated quite well, didn't it?
6 A. Well, one can say that this worked well.
7 Q. Colonel Blaskic, when he would send orders to his brigades,
8 including the Vitez Brigade, had difficulties sending his orders to his
10 A. Well, he did not have problems with the Vitez Brigade because he
11 could use couriers, messengers. So he did not need necessarily to use the
12 radio communication for that.
13 Q. Yes, indeed. You were only separated by a distance of 50 metres,
14 if I'm not mistaken.
15 A. Yes. You did not need to use the radio communication for
16 transmission of those messages because they were close.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... relations to the other
18 brigades, the brigades which were further away than 50 metres?
19 A. You did need a radio communication with them. And in early April,
20 we started establishing communication, that is, after the establishment of
21 the Vitez Brigade. That was the close communication system. That was a
22 system of sending messages. And the Vitez Brigade itself did not need
23 such a system, because their command was in the Operative Zone command
25 Q. I agree with you, but the Vitez Brigade was subdivided into
1 companies, platoons, and other units, and the Vitez Brigade needed to
2 communicate with its subdivisions. In order to do that, you had quite
3 high-standard equipment.
4 A. As I said a number of times, it was not a satisfactory system, and
5 out in the field, the public telephone lines were still open. So we did
6 not need to establish a separate communication system because there were
7 no preparations for war underway.
8 Q. Talking about the period after the 16th of April, and I would like
9 to submit a document with your signature to you. It is document Z813.2.
10 This document is dated 24th of April, 1993. It bears your
11 signature, and it specifies that the state of radio communications with
12 the various units on the front with commanding post is quite
13 satisfactory. The communications were very good between the commanding
14 post and the men on the ground.
15 A. Yes. It was satisfactory. This is what it states here.
16 Q. So it was satisfactory. The system was working. And this was the
17 case throughout the conflict. In August 1993, you drafted a new report in
18 which you specified that everything seemed okay. I'm stating using your
19 own words.
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I'd like to submit this
21 document now. It's Z1173.2.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, when we've look at this, we'll
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
25 Q. This document is dated 19th of the August, 1993. It's drafted by
1 yourself, Mr. Babic, chief of communications of the Vitez Brigade.
2 A. Yes. This is a document which was based on -- which was used for
3 the check of the communication lines.
4 Q. And you yourself or somebody from your unit indicated "okay" in
5 front of each one of the commanding posts.
6 A. Since 19th of August, 1993. At that point, we were -- we had well
7 established the communications and linkage with the brigade.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now for half an hour,
10 Mr. Babic. Would you remember not to speak to anybody about your evidence
11 until it's over. Don't let anybody speak to you about it, and that
12 includes members of the Defence team. Could you be back, please, at half
13 past eleven.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.39 a.m.
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Babic, on several occasions this morning you mentioned the
18 supply of equipment to your brigade or to the HVO in general terms because
19 you mentioned -- you used the word Diaspora. You talked about it as
20 material from the Diaspora. At least, that's the translation we got. I
21 would like you to specify just what are you referring to.
22 A. These are persons who temporarily live somewhere in the west and
23 who are originally from that area, and they were collecting money to have
24 that equipment bought.
25 Q. Those individuals were collecting money in the Croatian community
1 abroad; is that correct? And with the funds, they would purchase
3 A. All of those persons are from that area. Regardless of their
4 ethnic background, all persons took part in this as far as I know. And
5 also when the war was on in Croatia, both Croats and Muslims also gave
6 significant funds to that end.
7 Q. Would you tell us whether Muslims contributed in buying
8 transmission equipment for the HVO in Central Bosnia in April of 1993.
9 A. I don't know. At that time I wasn't there, and probably this
10 money was collected over there and sent here, but who did it, I don't
12 Q. You're telling us -- well, my question had to do with April 1993,
13 and you're saying you don't know. You're saying you don't know or you
14 said that you weren't there at that time. I think there was something
15 which was not understood properly.
16 You were present in April of 1993, you were present in Central
17 Bosnia, so you knew who the material -- who the equipment was coming from.
18 A. Yes, I was in Central Bosnia, but I wasn't abroad. That's what I
19 meant to say.
20 Q. The equipment that arrived in Central Bosnia bought by that
21 Diaspora community, how did it arrive? How did it arrive in Central
22 Bosnia? What avenues did it go down?
23 A. Different avenues, even by way of humanitarian aid.
24 Q. The Republic of Croatia never provided you with materials,
25 transmission materials, never?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And you're sure that this was never happened -- this never
3 happened in other transmission services in other brigades in Central
5 A. Well, I cannot say 'cause I don't know about that. I know about
6 my own part, but I did not hear about anything like that.
7 Q. I suppose that you know the other people who were responsible for
8 the transmission services in that region, in Busovaca or Kiseljak, your
10 A. Oh, yes, yes. Later we got to know each other, and we even had
12 Q. Did you know Mr. Franjo Kristic in Kiseljak?
13 A. Not him. This is the first time I hear that name.
14 Q. I would like to show you a document which deals with the subject
15 that we are discussing, and you're saying that to your knowledge, Croatia
16 had not supplied equipment, transmission equipment to the HVO.
17 I'd like to have you make a comment on this document which was
18 already admitted, and it is Z2490. I would like you to look at the last
19 page where the activities of Mr. Franjo Kristic are mentioned, and it's
20 clearly stated --
21 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry, could we ask to put the English version
22 on the ELMO so that everyone can see that? Thank you.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Z2490. Perhaps we have it here. It would be easier.
25 A. I don't know. I don't know this person at all, and this document
1 doesn't say a thing to me.
2 Q. Nonetheless, would you look at the document, and you can see that
3 as an official at the transmission centre for the HVO in Kiseljak, this
4 man participated in the implementation of transmission for the Ministry of
5 Defence for the Republic of Croatia and for logistics material provided by
6 that Republic of Croatia to the HVO units in Kiseljak. That's what's
7 written in this document, isn't it?
8 A. Yes. That's what it says here. That's what it says here.
9 However, since I know the people who worked in Kiseljak, I know that Marko
10 and Marinko worked on communications. I don't know this man at all.
11 Q. Very well.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] You could take the document off
13 the ELMO.
14 Q. I would like us to go back, before we finish, to the evening of
15 15 April 1993. First of all, I have a question. You were the chief of
16 the transmission services for the Vitez Brigade. Could you tell us how
17 many people were under you, how many people were in that transmission
19 A. About 12.
20 Q. About 12. And you told us a few minutes ago, shortly before the
21 break, that during the evening of 15 April, you were with seven or eight
22 people from your service in the brigade.
23 A. Yes. There were two shifts. So there were three or four men on
24 one shift. However, one person was away. He was in Zenica. And yet
25 another person could not come because he was on sick leave. I think that
1 on that night, there were seven of us. I can't remember exactly, but I
2 think there was seven of us.
3 Q. Could you explain why, since that night was an ordinary night,
4 nothing special was supposed to happen, that almost three-quarters of the
5 people were present at the service?
6 A. There were two shifts, two. So that's about a half. When you
7 include me, then it looks like three-quarters, but it's actually just a
8 bit more than a half, plus me. The officer on duty reported that it was
9 possible that there would be an attack from Kruscica and Vranjska against
10 Vitez. This is routine procedure when such information is received. I
11 would classify that as immediate threat of war.
12 Q. Do you remember the name of that officer who was on duty?
13 A. No. No, I can't remember.
14 Q. At what time did he tell you that there was the risk of an attack
15 coming from Kruscica?
16 A. Around 10.00 in the evening, something like that.
17 Q. Did you ask him where he got his information from or didn't you?
18 A. I did not answer the phone. The person who was on duty by the
19 phone answered the phone, and we acted how we thought would be proper, but
20 we did not check this out. We checked this with radio equipment that was
21 there with the persons who were involved in this, but the telephone is a
22 mere routine, nothing special.
23 Q. So nothing special happened during that night. You were, for
24 example, woken up around 6.30 by a telephone call?
25 A. Yes, that's the way it was.
1 Q. You didn't hear about an attack from Kuber?
2 A. I did not hear a thing. I said that we were in the basement, and
3 these premises are rather well isolated, so you practically cannot hear a
4 thing over there.
5 Q. Well, I do understand, but I'm asking if you had any information
6 during the night, after 2200 hours, which mentioned an attack around Mount
8 A. No. We did not know about that at all. I told you a few minutes
9 ago what we heard about from the officer on duty, and we were also
10 awakened by the policeman on duty.
11 Q. Did you see Mario Cerkez on the 15th of April, 1993?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Throughout the day. You didn't see him throughout the day?
14 A. That's right. I did not see him throughout the day.
15 Q. On the 19th of April, you said that you were wounded --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- while you were at your work station. And you were hit by a
18 shell from a tank. At that time -- at what time did that shell -- was
19 that shell fired?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. At what time? What time was it?
22 A. Believe me, I can't remember that. I don't know when that
24 Q. You couldn't tell us whether it was in the morning, the afternoon,
25 or in the evening?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 A. I just know that there was daylight, that the sun was out when I
2 went outside. I remember that.
3 Q. But you couldn't tell us that you -- could you say that it's
4 because you were wounded that you don't remember? That was what caused
5 you to forget?
6 A. No. I really do not know what time it could have been. I just
7 know that it was daylight. I was probably in a state of shock. I really
8 can't remember.
9 Q. The last question I'd like to ask you about this. You said that
10 couldn't say whether it was before or after noon; is that correct?
11 A. No, I can't tell you that.
12 Q. A document was prepared which refers to that shelling and to your
13 wounds. I'd like to show you the document. This is a new document,
14 Z1412.1. This is a certificate that was prepared by the Vitez Brigade and
15 which refers to the fact that you were wounded. The document refers to
16 you; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. The communications centre that we're speaking about in this
19 document, that is the post office building?
20 A. Yes, in the post office building in the basement.
21 Q. And in the post office building was the brigade transmission
22 service, the Central Bosnia service which was under Mr. Blaskic's command
23 and also the municipal transmission centre; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. In the same building in the basement, yes.
25 Q. The last point so that we can situate ourselves in locations, you
1 said that the command post for the Vitez Brigade was near your work
2 station, about 50 metres away near the Vitez Hotel. I would like to show
3 you an aerial photograph that was taken from Vitez. This is Z2216. Would
4 you have a look at the photograph, please. If we could put it on the
5 ELMO, and show us where the building you were working in is.
6 A. This picture is not clear at all. I can't show anything on the
7 basis of this. I don't know.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, can you help the witness orient
9 himself on the photograph.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes. The photograph that I
11 see, it is not in the right direction. It's upside down. I don't really
12 see things properly myself. That's easier now.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let's assist the witness if we can. Is that the main
14 road running along the bottom?
15 A. Yes, probably, but I can't see the buildings properly. They're
16 not very clear.
17 JUDGE MAY: There are some, what looks to be blocks of flats.
18 Would that be the Kolonija area?
19 A. Yes, possibly. But believe me, I find this very hard to discern.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, if there is anything you
21 specifically want to ask about --
22 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
23 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, please. If there's anything you want
24 to ask, either describe and go and point to what it is you want to ask the
25 witness about, because otherwise we're not going to get anywhere with
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Would the Chamber allow me to
3 move over to the witness so we can see where things are.
4 Q. Here is the Vitez Hotel. Do you see where we are?
5 A. Yes. I see that, but I still don't find it very clear.
6 Q. You can't see on the map where the post office building is, the
7 building which you were?
8 A. It should be the building on the other side. Opposite the park,
9 approximately. If this is the hotel, then this should be the post office
10 building. Although, from this vantage point, I can't really say, but if I
11 am orienting myself properly, that could be it.
12 Q. On the other side of the street.
13 A. It's not a street. It's, it's like a place where people go to
14 take a walk.
15 Q. In relation to the Vitez Hotel, could you tell us where the
16 brigade headquarters were in the cinema?
17 A. To the north, about 100 metres.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, before you leave, could you point
19 out where you say the post office was? Is there any dispute that it's
20 across the road or street? Is that accepted by the Prosecution? If
21 that's accepted -- yes, very well.
22 Whereabouts do you say the cinema is from the hotel?
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] The witness is saying that the
24 hotel was north, about a hundred metres.
25 A. No, to the south, to the south. No, it's probably south. Can I
1 show this to you here? I think it's this building here, but I'm not sure.
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Well, the upper part of the map.
4 JUDGE MAY: Right. I think we've got as far as we can.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
6 Your Honour.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: I have only a couple of questions, Your Honour.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Babic, you have been shown document 1428.1.
10 That is a commendation that you got from Brigadier Filip Filipovic on the
11 25th of June, 1994. Of course, nothing is contested there. I shall just
12 try to correct something that was inaccurate.
13 The Prosecutor's question suggested that the 92nd regiment of the
14 home guards that is mentioned in this commendation was actually part of
15 the Vitez Brigade. Is that correct?
16 A. No, that is not correct. The 92nd actually continued after the
17 Vitez Brigade. The Vitez Brigade was established about April 1993,
18 whereas the 92nd regiment was established sometime in February 1994.
19 Q. Thank you. Very well. You have also been shown document Z813.2
20 which is your report on the statement of affairs regarding communications.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In point number one it says that the situation is satisfactory as
23 regards communications. Later you explain in point two that most of the
24 automatic telephone lines are not working because the telephone exchange
25 broke down. Then also you are explaining only that there are no inductors
1 and telephone cables, so only 7 and 12 function probably properly. Then
2 you are explaining that Veceriska, Stara Bila, and Sivrino Selo do not
3 have wire communications coverage, that you would have to bring in the
4 cable and to have a six-kilometres-long line, and also that there are not
5 enough induction telephones.
6 Tell me, Mr. Babic, all these problems that I mentioned from your
7 report, were they that insignificant that the assessment of the
8 communications system was a satisfactory one after all?
9 A. As I told the Prosecutor, this is a reliable document. Radio
10 communications were at a satisfactory level. That can be seen in point
11 one. However, as far as wire communications are concerned, the situation
12 was terrible.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 In your examination, the so-called paket link was mentioned as
15 well. Can you tell us very briefly what type of communications we're
16 talking about? What is a paket link?
17 A. This is a type of communication -- I mean, if -- we have to have a
18 computer, a modem, and radio equipment. That is the series in which they
19 work in order to establish a connection. So the text part that we deal
20 with without any images, in the basic parts, is then put into an archive
21 through a zip RJY or something like that into the computer, and then this
22 same text is sent to a modem from the computer. It is sent to the modem,
23 and then from the modem, such a processed text is sent to the radio
24 equipment. Then the radio equipment emits it.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. So this is at least in part clear to us
1 now. We're not going to go into technical details.
2 My question is: Did the Vitez Brigade have a paket link?
3 A. No, it did not.
4 Q. Are you sure?
5 A. Well, look, paket was used by the Operative Zone.
6 Q. And what about the Vitez Brigade?
7 A. The Vitez Brigade did not have it.
8 Q. Thank you. One more question related to communications. We heard
9 testimony before this court by certain officers of the British Battalion
10 that the Operative Zone in Vitez had its disposal satellite communications
11 as well. Can you say something about that? Are you aware of the
12 existence of any satellite communications where you worked?
13 A. I never heard of satellite communications at that time, somebody
14 having it. As far as I could see in the later period, some were in Stara
15 Bila where the CNN journalists were. That's where I saw some satellite
16 antennae. That is probably for satellite communications.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Babic, I have no further questions for you.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] However, may I say the following
19 to the Honourable Trial Chamber: The affidavit that was submitted
20 together with this witness was received yesterday, and it does have an
21 English translation as well. So probably there was a misunderstanding in
22 the case of our colleagues from the Prosecution. They said that they did
23 not have a translation, but it has been received with a translation.
24 MR. NICE: I'll just deal with that.
25 JUDGE MAY: Let's we'll deal with the witness first, please.
1 Mr. Babic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for coming to
2 the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for having
4 summoned me. It is my duty and obligation. Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 MR. NICE: Can I just deal with the affidavit. On Sunday
7 afternoon at 5.00, Ms. Kind, on my instructions, I think, on her own
8 initiative, I'm not sure, left a message at Mr. Kovacic's office seeking
9 an English translation of that affidavit which we received in B/C/S.
10 Mr. Kovacic, I think, said that an English version had been filed
11 yesterday. One wasn't provided to us, and we have never received it. So
12 we simply don't know what it says, I'm afraid.
13 JUDGE MAY: It may be that it's with the Registry. We certainly
14 don't have a copy. I'll make some inquiries.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, I'm told that the document was filed with
17 the Registry yesterday afternoon after the hearing. Therefore, it is in
18 process this morning of distribution. But what I can't ascertain is why
19 you can't send a copy direct to the Prosecution when you file it with the
21 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, first of all, so far, and so far we
22 were working all together in both cases, I think about -- at least
23 25 affidavits, and we have standard proceedings, and I instructed my
24 people how to work. What we invented this time as a courtesy to the
25 Prosecution, when we faxed them on Sunday morning a summary of that
1 witness, we added a copy of the affidavit statement without a proper
2 brief, just as information, what it's all about. It wasn't filed at that
3 time. Then on Monday, we filed it as usual, before the witnesses for this
4 week appeared.
5 If there is any problem with the papers, it's actually -- I cannot
6 control it.
7 JUDGE MAY: But why, when you give a copy to the registry, can't
8 you simply hand a copy across the court or in some other way direct to the
9 Prosecution? The point is that because of the system and procedures here,
10 the fact that a document is filed does not mean that either the Trial
11 Chamber or the Prosecution are going to get the copy immediately. It
12 takes a bit of time, as you know, and this is an illustration.
13 MR. KOVACIC: I will certainly do that, Your Honour. There is no
14 problem with that. But so far when the document was filed to the
15 registry, it is not my responsibility any more how it is and when to
16 distribute it.
17 JUDGE MAY: No, but we know what the position is. It takes time.
18 So when time is short, it may be a courtesy to serve them with a copy
20 MR. KOVACIC: Certainly I will, but as I told you, I did it on
21 Sunday afternoon.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
23 MR. NICE: Yes. Your Honour, can I just come back on one thing?
24 It's just not, in a sense, a courtesy. The problem is for us that this
25 statement on our reading of the B/C/S version, which is the only version
1 we've had, was taken on the 1st of September, 2000, if we aren't provided
2 with a version in one or the other of the languages of the Tribunal which
3 we can immediately understand, and we don't always have interpreting
4 facilities available at our disposal, then they simply don't meet the
5 requirements of the Appeals Chamber in the affidavit order, and if I want
6 to take a technical point, I can simply say that this one might be
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, Mr. Kovacic hears that, and, of course, we
9 have the Appeals Chamber's order that these are strict procedural
10 requirements and no doubt we'll apply them at some suitable time.
11 MR. NICE: Yes.
12 JUDGE MAY: Let's have the next witness.
13 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, while the next witness is coming in,
14 we have made inquiries. Apparently Exhibit Z383.1 was admitted on
15 February 29, 2000, along with the huge quantity of other documents. So
16 our objection is belatedly withdrawn, with apologies for making it.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
22 WITNESS: GORDANA BADROV
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
25 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Badrov. Thank you for agreeing to testify
3 before this Tribunal. I should like to ask you -- to begin by asking you
4 to pause after you hear my question, because we speak the same language
5 and we understand both the question and the answer. And of course, I
6 shall pause after your answer so as to afford some time for
7 interpretation. Can you hear me well?
8 A. Yes, I can.
9 Q. Now will you please, for the record, give us your full name and
10 date and place of your birth.
11 A. I am Gordana Badrov. I was born on the 29th of July, 1961, in
12 Travnik, and I lived in Vitez.
13 Q. And your ethnicity is?
14 A. I'm a Croat.
15 Q. A citizen of which states?
16 A. I'm a citizen of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
17 Republic of Croatia.
18 Q. Thank you. You already mentioned that you were born in Travnik,
19 but in point of fact, you are a true and genuine Vitezian, because your
20 parents come from Vitez and you grew up in Vitez.
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. And before the university, you attended school in Vitez, did you?
23 A. No. In Vitez I attended the elementary and the secondary school,
24 and the political sciences faculty, National Defence, All People's
25 Defence. I enrolled in Sarajevo, and that is where I graduated.
1 Q. Which year did you graduate?
2 A. I graduated in 1985.
3 Q. Which department of the Faculty of Political Sciences did you
4 graduate from?
5 A. I just said that, from the National Defence Department.
6 Q. Right. Where did you get a job after graduating?
7 A. After graduating, my first job was in Travnik. I mean, within a
8 very short time I changed three companies. Just -- it was just -- it
9 happened so, and I was always responsible -- the clerk responsible for
10 national defence.
11 Q. Mrs. Badrov, under law at that time, were companies,
12 enterprises -- did they have some obligations regarding national defence?
13 A. Yes. At that time, every enterprise had to have a national
14 defence office and a clerk responsible for those affairs.
15 Q. In March 1992 -- in May 1992, you changed the job and moved to
16 Vitez. And where was it that you began to work?
17 A. Well, when my company went bust, I lost my job. So I registered
18 with the employment bureau. And because at that time I was a single
19 mother without a job, I -- at that time I didn't have a job, but sometime,
20 I think, in May 1992, a neighbour of mine, Mr. Hakija Cengic, suggested
21 that I should go and work for the Territorial Defence staff in Vitez.
22 Q. Mr. Hakija Cengic, at that time, was what?
23 A. At that time he was the commander of the Territorial Defence staff
24 in Vitez.
25 Q. And did you accept that suggestion?
1 A. Yes, I did. All the more as that would -- as the job had to do
2 something with what I knew about, that I was familiar with, and because I
3 was unemployed at that time.
4 Q. How long did you go on working for the Territorial Defence staff
5 in Vitez?
6 A. Well, for about a month, month and a half perhaps, but not more
7 than two months.
8 Q. Where did you go then after the Territorial Defence?
9 A. After the Territorial Defence I was jobless again, and then -- and
10 once again thanks to Mr. Hakija Cengic, I was hired as part-time teacher
11 in the secondary school in Busovaca, and then shortly after that in the
12 secondary school in Vitez.
13 Q. Will you tell us in a few words why was it that you quit the
14 Territorial Defence staff, that you stopped working there?
15 A. Well, at that time, in the Territorial Defence in Vitez, it was
16 headed, I already told you so, with Mr. Hakija Cengic, and Mr. Ramiz
17 Dugalic was his deputy, and the head of the -- the chief of the staff at
18 the time was Mr. Sefkija Dzidic.
19 At that time there were certain upheavals in the Territorial
20 Defence staff, that is, there was a couple of curious situations. There
21 was a radio [sic] split between Croats and Muslims. Very few Croats
22 stayed on in the Territorial Defence staff. At that time when I was
23 there, that short period of time, that was the time when the last group of
24 Croats was already leaving at the TO. There were already some excesses
25 taking place in all sorts of ways. People were simply leaving.
1 And as for myself, as for me, I somehow realised that that was not
2 a place for me to be at as a Croat, and I realised that when they called
3 me to attend a meeting, and the meeting could not start until I was told
4 that I was -- that I shouldn't have been invited to that meeting. And
5 when I left the room, they went on working. And when I realised that
6 Mr. Hakija Cengic was being replaced from his post because in the view of
7 some people in the TO [Realtime transcript read in error "HVO"], he was
8 to -- he held too moderate views, or rather, he was not sufficiently
9 extreme in his views. And then I told myself that I could not hold on to
10 the job, that simply it was not for me.
11 MR. KOVACIC: On page 54, line 17, "HVO" is mentioned. "TO"
12 should be mentioned. The witness is talking about Territorial Defence.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Right, so let us round off that part. In point
14 of fact, you expressed solidarity with Mr. Cengic with whom you had a very
15 good opinion?
16 A. Yes, I thought well of Mr. Cengic. But I wouldn't say it was the
17 expression of my solidarity with him, it is simply that I think it was
18 just one drop too many, and I simply could not stand it any longer.
19 Q. And to round off this part about the Territorial Defence, was the
20 view that prevailed in the political circles in Vitez at that time
21 accurate; namely, that at that time when Cengic left, the extremist stream
22 of the SDA took over control over the Territorial Defence?
23 A. I think so, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. You told us that you began working at a school, and
25 when were you offered that job in the Vitez Brigade command?
1 A. Well, I toured until sometime in early 1993 -- well, you know,
2 it's been six or seven years ago, so it could have been either mid or end
3 of March 1993.
4 Q. What post were you offered?
5 A. I was offered the post of the personnel department in the Vitez
6 Brigade command, that is, to be involved in the organisation of the Vitez
8 Q. And it was Mario Cerkez who interviewed you for that job?
9 A. Yes. I was summoned for an interview in the command, and I was
10 interviewed by Mario Cerkez.
11 Q. When you were offered the job, did you accept it straight away, or
12 did you decide to sleep on it first, or do you remember about these things
13 at all?
14 A. I do remember them, yes. I think it was the next day that I
15 called Mario to tell him that I would accept the job.
16 Q. We may have to go back to this once again, but let us just go
17 through the CV. So until when did you keep that post in the Vitez
19 A. In the command of the Vitez Brigade I stayed until January 1994.
20 Q. Where did you go to work then?
21 A. Then I was offered a job with the defence office in Travnik
22 attached to the defence ministry. That is, the civilian part of it, not
23 only military.
24 Q. Was that an institution which was headed by Mr. Puljic?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Anto Puljic was at the head of that institution.
1 Q. And did you -- you were involved in the same kind of work in that
2 institution, or did you switch from one job to the other in that
4 A. No. I was not always employed in the same place in the defence
5 administration in Travnik. I began to be the head of the department for
6 civil defence preparations. However, about half a year later, I think,
7 when one had to organise the care for the victims of the patriotic war, I
8 was offered a post of the head of that office, again, in the defence
9 administration in Travnik, and I moved to that post. But I knew that was
10 an extremely difficult job, and so I had made an understanding that I
11 would take up the job but only temporarily, and when I told them it was
12 simply -- that it was simply not up to me -- that I was not up to it any
13 longer, that I should go back to my old job. And that is how it was.
14 So I headed the care for the victims of the war for about a year,
15 and then I went back to my previous department.
16 Q. We seemed to be speeding just too much, but as we are talking
17 about your various jobs, what do you do now?
18 A. At the moment I'm about to move on, or rather, about to quit the
19 Ministry of Defence. At present I live in Medulin near Pule [phoen] In
20 the Republic of Croatia, and my status is undefined. It is a kind of
21 transition whether I will get some conditions in the ministry, some six
22 months or something.
23 Q. That is something that you are entitled to on the basis of the
24 contract or --
25 A. Yes, yes, yes.
1 Q. But in point of fact, you are physically not going to work any
3 A. No, physically, I don't go to work any more.
4 Q. Mrs. Badrov, you told us that you were involved with the
5 organisation of the brigade sometime in March. You cannot tell us exactly
6 whether it was the middle of the month or end of the month, but tell us,
7 when you joined the brigade, what did you find there? What kind of
8 organisation was there? Were there any documents on the -- formation
9 documents, did one know which brigade existed, what brigade, who was
10 responsible for that, and so on and so forth?
11 A. No. Well, yes, but insofar as documents are concerned, I hardly
12 found a single document there. Namely, what am I trying to say? I'm
13 trying to say that sometime in 1992 there was the Stjepan Tomasevic
14 Brigade in Novi Travnik, and it was made of members, volunteers from Novi
15 Travnik and Vitez, and it was about one battalion strength of people from
16 Vitez. And sometime in early 1993 or perhaps late 1992 -- at that time I
17 was not with the HVO so I'm not quite sure about it -- that brigade
18 disintegrated, and somebody came up with the idea to set up a separate
20 Practically at the time when I came, there was a part which
21 emerged from the disintegrated Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, except that it
22 wasn't an army in the sense that it had its barracks, that men were all
23 together, that there were -- or that they had all the gear necessary and
24 the clothes and everything. But at that time there were shifts set up for
25 the front lines which were jointly held with the Territorial Defence
1 against the Serbs somewhere on the Slovsa --
2 JUDGE MAY: We must have a break if we have to take this in. It
3 may be helpful, Mr. Kovacic, if you ascertained on which basis the
4 witness, who is describing events, as I understand it, before she got to
5 the brigade, on what basis she is giving evidence about these matters.
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. To make it quite clear, therefore, Mrs. Badrov, as you just told
8 us, until that moment, until you accepted that job, you were not with the
9 HVO. Will you please answer with yes or no.
10 A. No.
11 Q. And when you came there and took upon yourself to organise things,
12 is it then that you learned something about this background that you told
13 us about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you learn it from other people who were there?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you also learn something about that from the documents that
18 you had opportunity to see?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So it was those two sources of information that helped you, helped
21 you to gain a picture about the background?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And at the time when you came to work there, so what you could see
24 for yourself.
25 At that time, is it that soldiers from Vitez took shifts on the
1 front lines against the JNA?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You told us that those were the early days of the brigade
4 organisation, so that was one of the activities of the brigade, that is
5 one of the activities of people in the brigade command.
6 A. Will you please clarify your question.
7 Q. Right. At the time when you came there, you began to work, that
8 is, all of you, all the members of the command, and you especially in your
9 job, you began to organise the brigade, isn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you told us that it was at that time that there were shifts
12 which went to fight against the JNA?
13 A. Yes, they did.
14 Q. Were, in point of fact, those two basic activities which were
15 taking place in the ensuing weeks, or were there some other activities
16 that the brigade was engaged in?
17 A. As far as I know, the only activities were the brigade
18 organisation because there was only a part of the command staff in the
19 brigade, and they were part of those volunteers who from time to time took
20 those shifts. That was the beginning and that was the basis from which
21 we -- the foundation on which we began to build the brigade, except that
22 in those early days, I needed some time because that was quite a new job
23 for me. At first I had to learn the regulations and methods in which
24 brigades are formed, and of course, in this I was lent a hand by other
25 members of the command.
1 Q. For a time -- no. Let me rephrase this. At the time when you
2 started to work there, did the commander or anyone else tell you what was
3 his idea as to what the brigade should be -- along what organisation
4 alliance should the brigade -- along what organisational idea should the
5 brigade be organised?
6 A. Well, yes, of course, but there are certain regulations and rules
7 as to how a brigade needs look like. So it couldn't be just what -- what
8 the commander's ideas about what a brigade should look like.
9 Q. But did you then take over the model, the existing model of that
10 old Yugoslavia which had already fallen apart?
11 A. Yes. We took over the regulations of the former Yugoslavia.
12 Q. Did you try to set up the brigade of the so-called "R" type?
13 A. We tried to form a brigade in line with the former Yugoslav
14 regulations, that is, the school model.
15 Q. I suppose that in terms of technology and by the logic of things
16 even we lack military knowledge, but was the first step in this
17 organisation the organisation of the command itself?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: No. No. Mr. Kovacic, you must let the witness give
20 this evidence. If you want her to describe the way in which the brigade
21 was formed, you must ask her, "How was the brigade formed?" and deal with
22 it slowly, bit by bit. We don't want long incomprehensible answers. We
23 want short answers which we can follow. But don't give the answer
24 yourself, please.
25 MR. KOVACIC: I will not.
1 Q. So let me rephrase my question. What was the first step in your
2 work activities? What did you try to organise first?
3 A. First we tried to organise the command of the brigade, of course.
4 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt. I want to get something plain. You
5 use the word "we." Who does "we" refer to?
6 A. When I say "we," I'm referring to myself. In my department,
7 together with me was another colleague who helped me out with the
8 establishment of the brigade. He, otherwise, was the head of the
9 financial section. However, since he was good at computers, he helped me
10 a lot with the establishment of the brigade. So I mean him and the other
11 members of the command who helped me from time to time.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Very well. Can you tell us, just in one sentence, at which stage
14 of this work were you when, unfortunately, the conflict broke out? How
15 much did you manage to do as far as establishment was concerned?
16 A. Are you referring to the 16th of April, when the conflict broke
17 out? Well, until that moment, we didn't manage to do a thing. At that
18 time, I was still working on the regulations themselves in terms of
19 reading them, reading about how a brigade was supposed to be set up.
20 Q. All right. In this same period, the beginning of April, before
21 the all-out conflict broke out, how many battalions did the brigade have?
22 A. As I told you, we didn't manage to do a thing. At that time, as I
23 already said, there was no brigade. There was just part of its command
24 since the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade disintegrated. And also, there was
25 some personnel that was used for shifts at the front line.
1 Q. Very well. So was there a skeleton of the brigade command?
2 A. Yes, there was a skeleton. There were a few men and later we took
3 in more people.
4 Q. Who was the commander of the battalion at the time?
5 A. The commander of the battalion was, I think, Anto Bertovic.
6 Q. You mentioned "shifts." At that time did the battalion deal with
7 that or was that resolved at command level or both or predominantly or
9 A. At that time, actually, I was not involved in that particular line
10 of work. We were not dealing with that. Again, when I say "we," I'm
11 referring to myself and to my colleague from my office. I think that the
12 battalion organised these shifts.
13 Q. Thank you. While answering the previous questions, you referred
14 to something that I would like to go back to. You mentioned that you were
15 assisted by your colleague who was otherwise in charge of finance. What
16 was his name?
17 A. Zoran Drmic.
18 Q. Did you have any other administrative clerks at the time?
19 A. No. No. At that time, I did not have anybody else in my
20 department. Later on, we got more people.
21 Q. What kind of equipment did you have, office equipment, in your
22 office, in your department, I mean?
23 A. The most important thing we had in my department was a computer.
24 Q. What did you use this computer for? What did you do with it?
25 A. Everything, literally everything. Whatever was supposed to be
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 done, we did on this computer.
2 Q. Did you get any military software for this computer that you could
3 use? Did you get something like that from anyone?
4 A. Well, I'm not very knowledgeable as far as computers are
5 concerned, but I do remember that my colleague Zoran Drmic brought this
6 computer from Princip, I think, from that military factory. He had worked
7 on it before, and he had certain programmes that could be of assistance to
9 Q. You mentioned Princip. You are referring to the SPS factory; is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. On the basis of these programmes that Drmic brought in, I mean
13 later could you actually use that in order to draw up the documents that
14 you needed to make like reports, lists, and things like that?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. So that was your main tool, so to speak?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. Mrs. Badrov, at the same time, in Vitez, there was yet another
19 institution that was involved in other defence matters. Which institute
20 was that?
21 A. That was the Defence office.
22 Q. Could you perhaps explain, in a sentence or two, what was the
23 division of work there? What did the Defence office do, and what did the
24 military unit, in this case the brigade, do?
25 A. There was a division of work or, rather, there should have been,
1 and it went as follows: When the brigade was being formed, we expressed
2 our needs in terms of manpower, personnel, and we would submit requests to
3 the Defence office in order to have the brigade manned. The Defence
4 office would carry out mobilisation of men and send them to us so that we
5 would have them at our disposal. After that, the brigade would, in line
6 with military specialties of various persons, actually assign these same
7 persons to various duties within the brigade itself.
8 Q. Tell me, please, the Defence office, under whose authority does it
9 fall? Is it a military or a civilian structure?
10 A. The defence office is a civilian structure. It is like a service
11 for the military component of the brigade.
12 Q. Mrs. Badrov, perhaps we should clarify this fully. While you
13 attended university and while you studied, what then existed in theory and
14 practice? I mean, during the former Yugoslavia, was there an institution
15 called the Municipal Secretariat of National Defence?
16 A. Yes. In municipalities there were Municipal Secretariats of
17 National Defence.
18 Q. What about in the former Yugoslavia? Were they in charge of these
19 duties that now the defence office did?
20 A. Yes. Those are precisely those bodies except that they changed
21 the name now. They were now [Realtime transcript read in error "not"]
22 called the defence offices.
23 Q. Thank you. At that time when the brigade was just being set up,
24 what was the situation in the Defence office like? How well equipped were
25 they, in your opinion?
1 A. Well, in my opinion, at that time the defence office or, rather,
2 people who worked in the defence office were not sufficiently qualified,
3 professionally speaking, and they were not as well equipped as we were in
4 terms of computers.
5 Q. And what about personnel?
6 A. Well, as far as personnel is concerned, at that time, they managed
7 to get some personnel, but these were not professional persons for such
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, I have a remark on the transcript. On
11 page 65, line 3, there's a word "not" instead of "now." That is the last
12 sentence in line 3. Should I ask the witness to repeat or it is clear? I
13 think it is clear. Thank you.
14 Q. The job that you personally had, the job of Gordana Badrov in the
15 command, did the nature of this job, the nature of this work, require
16 close cooperation with the defence office?
17 A. Yes. Yes. We cooperated closely. We had to, actually,
18 otherwise ...
19 Q. In a way, did you help each other out, either you helped the
20 office or you helped the office, or were you competing? Can you explain
21 the relationship involved at least in this initial stage in a sentence or
23 A. In this initial stage, there was a bit of competition involved
24 between, for example, my department in the brigade and the defence office,
25 but in spite of that, we worked together. Actually, the way in which we
1 tried to establish the brigade at first was as follows: I, together with
2 the other persons employed in the defence office in the basement of the
3 post office building, I was going through various regulations, papers, and
4 I was trying to set up a brigade.
5 Q. Let me stop you at this point. As you were leafing through these
6 personnel records --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- in the defence office -- I mean, that's not your job otherwise?
9 A. No, it is not my job.
10 Q. So why did you do it?
11 A. Well, I simply did it because time was running so short.
12 Actually, a conflict had broken out, and we had not done a thing.
13 Q. Thank you. After the first days of the conflict, you did quite a
14 bit of work for yet another purpose related to negotiations and related to
15 the commission on the exchange of detainees. What was all of this about?
16 A. Well, I don't know whether we can say that we actually did this
17 work. Actually, we were an office that had a computer. We were literate
18 enough in order to know how to do certain things. So when somebody would
19 ask us from the other sectors of the brigade, naturally we would help in
20 terms of administration.
21 For example, Mr. Borislav Jozic, when he would need something to
22 be done on the computer, to have certain lists made or something like
23 that, we would help, administratively speaking.
24 Q. Mrs. Badrov, do you know, after the conflict broke out, what post
25 did Boro Jozic hold?
1 A. The late Boro Jozic was in the brigade, and he was in charge of
2 security. But in the meantime, during those first few days, I think that
3 he was appointed by the HVO as the officer in charge of exchanges or
4 something like that. I mean, on behalf of the HVO, he was in charge of
5 discussing exchanges and also cooperating with international
7 Q. So he had two activities. And what did he ask you to help him
8 with out of these two most often?
9 A. Well, he most often asked me to help him with the exchanges,
10 because in his department, he did not have certain persons that he
11 needed. So while he was engaged in negotiations, we would take care of
12 the administration and prepare various papers, lists, et cetera.
13 Q. Can we say that you did that part of your work at the request of
14 and upon the instructions of Boro Jozic?
15 A. Yes, precisely.
16 Q. Thank you. Does that mean he would define your tasks and also
17 define the data that was supposed to be entered and you would do things
18 the way he wanted them to be done?
19 A. Yes, exactly.
20 Q. Do you know whether the papers that you prepared for him in this
21 way were used at meetings held with the ECMM, UNPROFOR, and other people?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. Did he ever return with such papers and ask you for supplements or
24 amendments or to have things rephrased or something like that?
25 A. Well, to tell you the truth, now after six or seven years, I
1 cannot remember that, but possibly.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember, in view of your cooperation with the
3 late Jozic, who else he had to cooperate with closely in his capacity as
4 member of the commission for exchanges?
5 A. I think, I think there was some kind of an office attached to the
6 civilian structures, the municipality. It was Mr. Pero Skopljak or
8 Q. Did he have to cooperate with the defence office about this?
9 A. I'm not sure. I don't think so.
10 Q. Mrs. Badrov, before we move on to the next stage of your
11 testimony, I would like to ask you to answer the following: When you came
12 to The Hague, the Cerkez Defence showed you a voluminous document, a long
13 list that people popularly call the shares list, that is to say, Z2332.1.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That is this paper here, right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
18 A. I saw lots of such documents.
19 Q. Did you, in any way, directly or indirectly, take part in the
20 elaboration of this list when it was drawn up in Vitez?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We will go back to this document. Also, we showed you a document
23 that you looked through. One is -- one is Z2813.2, and the other one that
24 we marked as Spork-1. That is a document that is -- that consists of some
25 15 sections.
1 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may address the Court, we have
2 been thinking a lot on how a most practical way we can work and go through
3 those documents in order not to waste too much time for technical reasons,
4 obviously, and I would suggest, if I may, to give those two files which
5 the witness saw, to put in front of the witness, and I have exactly the
6 copies of those files so that I could put the questions.
7 I have to do so in order -- because I checked with the registry,
8 the documents admitted during the testimony of the witness Spork are
9 distributed through the normal list as the registry will certify, so it
10 would take tremendous time to go paper by paper.
11 JUDGE MAY: Why not put the binder in front of the witness, but
12 bear in mind that there are times when it will have to be on the ELMO so
13 we can all see it. In fact, it may be helpful if it starts on the ELMO.
14 MR. KOVACIC: If I may suggest that the usher would stand by the
15 witness, and in each folder there is translation. That will be faster,
16 I'm sure.
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
18 MR. KOVACIC: Then I suggest we should begin with the folder, we
19 call this part one, but there are "Z" numbered documents, and each of them
20 will be listed.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Badrov, the first document that is being
22 prepared for you is Z808.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mrs. Badrov, the signatory of this document is Zvonimir Cilic.
25 That's what is typed there, but there is no signature. First of all, who
1 is Mr. Zvonimir Cilic?
2 A. Mr. Zvonimir Cilic was exactly as it says here, assistant
3 commander of the Viteska Brigade for IPD.
4 Q. For IPD?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Was he supposed to cooperate within his own line of work? Was it
7 normal to have cooperation with the appropriate assistant commander for
8 IPD at the level of the operative zone?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. We see here that the document was issued on the 24th of April
11 1993, and we see 23 persons here mentioned as lists of the Viteska Brigade
12 soldiers killed in the conflict with the Muslims.
13 Please look at these 23 persons. Can you confirm that all these
14 three -- all these 23 persons were members of the brigade, or are there
15 also some names here of persons who were not in the Viteska Brigade?
16 A. It is very hard now after six or seven years to talk about names.
17 I can talk about the persons I do remember. As far as I know, not all of
18 these persons are members of the Viteska Brigade. There were also members
19 of the Special Purposes Unit. I think Mr. Kolak, Lovro, was a member of
20 the Viteska.
21 Q. What number is that?
22 A. That is person number two.
23 Q. Any other person that you are sure about, of that person not being
24 a member of the Viteska brigade?
25 A. I think that person number 3, and person number 20. I mean, I
1 marked them here. I think they were not members of the Vitez Brigade.
2 Actually, on this other page, then there's Vinac, Mile.
3 Q. Slowly, slowly, please. Let us go step-by-step. Let me put a
4 question to you in this regard.
5 With the exception of these three persons that you mentioned, can
6 you assert in the case of any of these persons here that when this
7 document was written, he was certainly a member of the brigade?
8 A. Well, look, first of all I cannot assert anything about any of
9 these persons.
10 Q. Why not?
11 A. For a simple reason. It happened very often to me during the war
12 that I would write a name and surname, and later it would be realised that
13 this was a different person. For example, Anto Franjic is the name that
14 is mentioned here. We don't know which Anto Franjic this is. There could
15 be five of them. There is not his father's name; there is no date of
16 birth; there is no place of birth. It is very difficult without the other
17 details to say exactly which person we are talking about, so --
18 Q. Very well. Let us now look at the other part of the list which
19 says, "List of wounded soldiers of the Viteska Brigade." As you look at
20 this list, did you see any persons for which you are sure that they were
21 never members of the Brigade? Did they belong to other military units?
22 A. Yes. I'm sure, for example -- but again, I cannot categorically
23 state anything because there's only the name and surname.
24 Q. Tell me --
25 A. Vinac Mile, as far as I know, he was a member of the command of
1 the military district.
2 Q. Which number is he?
3 A. He is number 45.
4 Q. Anybody else whom you can recognise?
5 A. Then also this Adis Cosic. Adis Cosic, as far as I know, judging
6 by his name and surname, was never in the Viteska Brigade. He was in the
7 military police.
8 Q. Is it possible that among these 63 persons allegedly wounded until
9 the 24th of April, there are many others, if we were to know their
10 details, their personal details, many other persons from whom you could
11 claim what unit they belonged to?
12 A. Yes, yes, for sure. If we could have the other personal details,
13 perhaps we could.
14 Q. Very well, thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we shall adjourn for lunch.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mrs. Badrov, we're going to adjourn now for an hour
18 and a half. Would you please remember not to speak to anybody about your
19 evidence until it's over, and that does include members of the Defence
20 team. Half past two.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Badrov, let us move on to section 3 of the
5 document. I don't know if you already have the necessary page. Yes, you
6 do. This is document Z67. Will you please have a look at the document?
7 And my questions about the document will be as follows: Here at the top,
8 we can see the heading which tells us that it is a unit called the
9 "Reconnoiter Sabotage Alfa Force." My question is: Have you ever heard
10 of such a unit?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Witness' microphone is not switched on. We
12 cannot hear the witness.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You have to repeat that question because your answer could not be
16 A. No, I have not heard of such a unit.
17 Q. And after this introductory sentence, it says that it was
18 established on the 6th of April, 1992. Did such unit exist at the time
19 when you came to the brigade?
20 A. When I came to the brigade, there was no such unit in the brigade,
21 and at the time when it was formed, I was neither with the HVO nor do I
22 know anything about that unit.
23 Q. Very well. Let us then move on. Section 4. The Croatian copy is
24 very bad. It is Z265, and it's illegible in Croatian. So I have to ask
25 you to look at the screen and look at the English version. I hope you
1 will be able to understand the heading, but I'll read it for you
3 So I'm reading the English text, and I'm interpreting, and it
4 says, "Central Bosnia OZ Operative Zone," then the reference number of the
5 document, and the date is the 3rd of November, 1992. And the heading is
6 the payroll of the Vitez Alfa Force Sabotage Group for the month of
7 June 1992, and there is Tihomir Blaskic's signature below. Have you ever
8 heard about such a group in the Operative Zone?
9 A. No. I mean, this is again 1992, and I was not with the HVO then,
10 and I do not know this document. Perhaps something was done in the
11 brigade and I could have stumbled upon it, but Operative Zone, I really
12 didn't know about it.
13 Q. Now let us move on to the document in section 5.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Could we kindly ask the usher to put the English
15 copy on the ELMO. I'm sorry, there is no English version, not here.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Well, in any event, I shall read for the Court
17 the heading which is in Croatian, and of course, there is no need to
18 interpret or translate the document. So it says: "Croat Republic,
19 Herceg-Bosna, Croat Defence Council, the Vitez Brigade." Then it says:
20 "List of Wounded Members of the Brigade," the date. The date above is
21 the 12th of November, 1993, and the document has the court number
23 Now, my first question is, Mrs. Badrov, will you please look at
24 the dates? Well, we have the ordinal number, then the name, the year,
25 date, place, address. So let's first try to figure out what it's about to
1 avoid misunderstandings. Under "Year," what does this column mean?
2 A. The column "Year" could mean perhaps the year of birth of that
4 Q. In other words, these persons are identified by the year of their
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Not by the date or the father's name.
8 A. Well, some have the father's name, some don't.
9 Q. Thank you. The next column is the date. If you look at this
10 list, can you tell us, in your view, the date indicated here but not
11 throughout, what does this date mean? What is it?
12 A. Well, I can only make a guess. Since the heading says that it is
13 the list of wounded members of the brigade, then perhaps this is the date
14 of their wounding. However, what -- I'm slightly bewildered because the
15 brigade was not yet formed when these dates were put, so they cannot be
16 the wounded of that brigade.
17 Q. So men who were wounded before the founding of the brigade. Do
18 you see any reason why did the brigade take down their names? Was it the
19 business of the brigade to take care of the members of some earlier
20 formations, or was it the responsibility of other institutions?
21 A. Well, it is difficult to distinguish, really. It really says in
22 the letterhead the Vitez Brigade. However, this is not an official
23 document. It was not signed by anyone. It doesn't have a reference
24 number. This could be a working paper. Somebody was preparing it --
25 perhaps this is a database, but we changed it day in and day out.
1 And as for these men who are listed as members of the Vitez
2 Brigade, all I can say is that possibly a member -- an employee in the
3 defence office used our computer to do it, and perhaps that is why we have
4 the Vitez Brigade here. Or perhaps I will allow that, that those men were
5 wounded while with units which were disbanded and succeeded by the Vitez
6 Brigade. So it could be all sorts of things. I can't give you a specific
8 Q. Very well. But Mrs. Badrov, when you look at it on the first
9 page, for instance, the person under 22.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Stipo Zigonic, did you know the man?
12 A. I did. I do.
13 Q. And what did he do, and when did he do that by which you know him?
14 A. He's, at present, the head of the defence office in Vitez, and
15 even at that time he was employed by the Defence office in Vitez; that is,
16 he was not a member of the brigade.
17 Q. Did you cooperate with that person in the exercise of your duties?
18 A. Yes, yes, yes. We cooperated closely, he being a representative
19 of the defence office and I as representative of the brigade.
20 Q. Have you ever heard of his wounding according to what this says,
21 in this manner?
22 A. Well, since I became later on responsible for the care for these
23 people, yes, I know about that, but I didn't know about that at the time.
24 Q. Here we have another person and he was frequently mentioned in
25 this case under 39, and that is Miroslav, Cicko, Bralo, and it says that
1 he was wounded on the 28th of September in 1992 in Jajce?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know anything about that?
4 A. I specifically do not. Miroslav, Cicko, Bralo, I know one such
5 person, but whether that is him, I don't know.
6 Q. But do you know if there are several persons, several namesakes --
7 A. Well, there are several Miroslav Bralo. Now, I do not know
8 specifically who is who because I do not know the names of the fathers,
9 nor do I know when they were born.
10 Q. Very well.
11 JUDGE MAY: May I have as the exhibit number for this document?
12 MR. KOVACIC: I mentioned that it is Z12 --
13 JUDGE MAY: I want to make sure we've got it right. It's zee or
15 MR. KOVACIC: The one we are having here is Z1299.2.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, well it didn't appear that way on the
17 transcript. Z12 --
18 MR. KOVACIC: 99.2.
19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
20 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I didn't check what
21 appeared on the list.
22 Q. [Interpretation] I should like now to ask you to look at the
23 second page, for instance, the person under 97, Adis Cosic. Do you know
24 who that man was?
25 A. Well, yes, Adis Cosic, I do know him because that was not such a
1 frequent name, but I do think basically that he was a member of the
2 military police.
3 Q. Very well. And finally you already mentioned that, but I am not
4 sure if it was quite clear, when did the defence office set up a special
5 service responsible for the care for the wounded members of the HVO and
6 other social care matters; could you tell us that?
7 A. Well, questions relative to care I think were settled before the
8 units -- that is, towards the end of the war or, rather, late 1993. And
9 in the defence office, the defence offices took it over sometime in early
11 Q. So it was at about the time when the war was coming to its end, or
12 rather, on the eve of the end of the war?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Could we now look at section 6. Again, we do not have
15 a translation of this document, but the -- it is document Z996.3. And we
16 have the same in the letterhead, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croat
17 community, Herceg-Bosna, Croat defence council, Vitez Brigade, and the
18 date is the 24th of May, 1993.
19 Now, will you look at the last page. Can we identify that
20 document? Mrs. Badrov, do you believe that this document was issued by
21 the Vitez Brigade?
22 A. No, I do not believe that it was issued by the Vitez Brigade for
23 the simple reason that documents coming out of the Vitez Brigade also
24 carried their own letterhead, and they had a stamp and a signature.
25 Q. Now, in view of the heading, that is, the list of the killed HVO
1 members and civilians, my question is: Was it within the terms of
2 reference of the brigade to take care of the wounded or killed civilians?
3 A. No, it did not, even though I will allow that in our computer, we
4 did have lists of civilian casualties. But it wasn't the brigade's duty
5 to keep such documents or submit any reports on that.
6 Q. So what do you think? What would you say was this document? What
7 are the possibilities?
8 A. Well, the possibilities are that in the area of Vitez, that these
9 people fell victim in the area of Vitez or perhaps those were men on the
10 front line and they were coming every day, that perhaps we were getting
11 this information and we were simply feeding it into the database, or
12 perhaps I will allow it that somebody asked us to compile such a paper for
13 somebody, but only as a working paper, not as an official document of the
14 Vitez Brigade.
15 Q. Do you perhaps remember some instance or a situation when you drew
16 up some documents or perhaps information about wounded, killed civilians,
17 or anything like that for perhaps negotiations of some kind?
18 A. Well, yes. We drew up lists of people for the late Boro Jozic for
19 negotiations, sometimes for the defence offices if they could not do that,
20 or perhaps for the IPD, and, well ...
21 Q. When you say "IPD," you mean information and propaganda?
22 A. Yes. Yes. If somebody needed a list and we were capable of
23 printing it out, then ...
24 Q. Would you say that if you prepared such a document for somebody,
25 at the request of somebody, would you allow this document to come out with
1 these amendments and modifications in handwriting?
2 A. No, no, no, no, no. Such a document which looks like this could
3 not have come out from the Vitez Brigade.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Now let us now move on to the next document,
5 which is number 7. It is Z750.1. And how can we identify the document?
6 On the first page, at the top, we see in the upper left corner number "3"
7 and then "battalion." And if we turn to page 2, we have a series of words
8 added by hand, crossed out, so on and so forth, and the text. Would you
9 please read it out, this handwritten text? And there's also a place for
10 the signature or, rather, for three signatures.
11 But before you answer, I should like to draw the attention that
12 there is a translation problem on page 2 of the English translation.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show?
14 Q. It says here in English who were killed. And in Croatian, would
15 you please read this fragment which is handwritten?
16 A. "All the above-mentioned soldiers were members of the Vitez
17 Brigade, and they fell victim -- they were casualties when carrying out
18 combat activities."
19 Q. This word in Croatian, Stradali, what does it mean?
20 A. Well, it means both wounded and those killed. So anyone who was a
21 casualty in any way, anyone who fell victim in any way.
22 Q. Does it also mean a man who suffered an accident? For instance,
23 something dropped on his head.
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. And it is a word that you tried to avoid when writing your reports
1 or did you use it frequently?
2 A. Oh, no. We used it very often.
3 Q. There are a quite a number of modifications and amendments which
4 are added by hand. Could you guess at the nature of this document? What
5 is it about?
6 A. Well, I can only make assumptions since I used to work for the
7 brigade and then for the care office. I guess that this could be a
8 working document or, rather, that somebody perhaps from the care office
9 tried to explain on this paper what a certificate for the care allowance
10 should look like to be then issued by the unit. That is all that it looks
11 like to me.
12 Q. And do you think that in that sense it could be kind of
13 preparation for a subsequently established procedure for the issue of such
15 A. Quite.
16 Q. Is there anything that would indicate to you when this paper was
17 prepared? Roughly.
18 A. Well, I can only make another guess, and that is that these were
19 the earliest certificates which were to be printed for the care office.
20 It is possible that at that time forms had not been printed yet, uniform
21 forms for everybody, and that somebody in that office tried to explain to
22 the Vitez Brigade command how to format a certificate for a person who had
23 suffered injury, Stradali, or whatever.
24 Q. And if you're looking at the Croatian text and it says, "Above,
25 Commander of the Vitez Brigade," and it says, "Mario Cerkez," which is
1 typed out. Is that Mario Cerkez's signature?
2 A. No. I think somebody tried to explain who should undersign such
4 Q. Do you mean that all these empty spaces, one, two, three, suggest
5 that they should be co-signatories to the document?
6 A. Yes, yes, yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Now the next document. It's document Z1337.1. This
8 document does have a translation with it. In the top right corner, you
9 can see the heading, "List of Men Killed." The way it's laid out here,
10 you can see various categories.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It seems as if the first category contains -- this is the numbers
13 1 through 10. It is the category of those who were killed before 16 April
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you recognise any of the names listed here who were killed
17 before 16 April 1993? Can you identify any single one of these names?
18 A. Yes. I know Ivica Pocrnja, son of Ivo.
19 Q. Here it states that this man was killed on 25 June 1992. Who was
20 this person?
21 A. This was a neighbour of mine. I know about this killing only
22 through stories. I think that he was engaged in contraband, and he was
23 found killed in a Muslim village.
24 Q. Next comes "Brigade Command" heading, and Borislav Jozic is
25 mentioned here. You mentioned him before. Was this the colleague of
1 yours who was a member of the brigade command?
2 A. Yes, that was that person.
3 Q. Can you tell us, please, where and when he was killed?
4 A. Borislav Jozic was killed in such a way that he had left for home,
5 he left the command, and he was killed by a sniper.
6 Q. Where did he live?
7 A. He lived in the town itself, very close to the command building,
8 across from the bus station.
9 Q. Was his building overlooking the front line?
10 A. Yes. It was facing Mahala.
11 Q. Are you sure he was not killed in combat?
12 A. Yes, absolutely sure.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I have hesitated before making any
14 observations on the nature of questioning of this witness for fear of
15 taking time.
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, how is the question, "Are you sure he was
17 not killed in combat?" how is that not a leading question?
18 MR. KOVACIC: After the witness said what she said, I just wanted
19 to ask whether she is sure or she heard about it or that maybe I didn't
20 phrase it correctly, but that was the only point.
21 JUDGE MAY: You can ask her if she'd heard about it.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation].
23 Q. Mrs. Badrov, let me ask you again. You told us about the killing
24 of the late Mr. Jozic. Did you see that killing, or did you only hear
25 about it?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 A. I did not see directly, but after -- but because it happened very
2 close to the command building, I remember the day very well. I remember
3 the time of the day. I remember the place, and I remember the manner in
4 which it happened.
5 Q. Could you please tell us when did you hear about this incident
6 after it had happened?
7 A. About five minutes later.
8 Q. Moving on to the next heading, the brigade military police.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know of this unit, the brigade military police?
11 A. The brigade military police is something that is questionable in
12 terms of who they were. It depends on the period to which it refers.
13 During the first month of the war, there did exist a military police unit
14 which provided security for the Vitez Brigade command, but who was in
15 charge, who was -- I believe that the Vitez Brigade command did ask to
16 have authority over this unit, and I believe that sometime in the summer
17 it was partially placed under its command, but not fully.
18 Q. Until the time, and you said that it was sometime during the
19 summer --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- what was the chain of command with respect to this platoon?
22 Where was their command post?
23 A. They had a command with the military police, but I don't know
24 where they were. I actually don't remember whether it was in the hotel
25 building or at the MUP building. I really don't recall exactly.
1 Q. Looking at the names, the five names listed here as those who were
2 killed as members of this unit, do you know the person listed under one,
3 Zlatko Nakic? Was he ever a member of this platoon that you mentioned?
4 A. You mean those who were later placed under the command of the
5 Vitez Brigade.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Zlatko Nakic was not a member of that unit.
8 Q. How about Zoran Sero that's listed as number four?
9 A. I believe that Zoran Sero was also not a member of that unit.
10 Q. Did you have occasions to see these -- members of this unit when
11 you came to work?
12 A. You mean this platoon?
13 Q. Yes, this platoon that we're talking about.
14 A. Yes. These were the men who were there standing in front of the
15 building who were providing security for it.
16 Q. Very well. We're moving on to the next heading which is the fifth
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Looking at the date of issuance of this document, what was this
20 sector referring to?
21 A. This was the sector that referred to the portion of the front line
22 around Mahala.
23 Q. One person was listed here, Marijan Kapetan, does that name mean
24 anything to you?
25 A. No, it means nothing.
1 Q. The last name Kapetan, is that a common name in Vitez?
2 A. No, this is a very rare name in Vitez.
3 Q. Next heading is "Obligatory Work." Was the brigade in charge of
4 the compulsory work?
5 A. No, they were not in charge of that.
6 Q. Next, work detail.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Again, five persons are listed. Taking into account various
9 ethnic groups, groups that were are listed here, can you give us any
10 explanation in respect of this list, whether it was really compiled in the
11 Vitez Brigade?
12 A. No. I believe that in essence this is not a document -- at least,
13 not an official document. It doesn't have a standard layout. The heading
14 is not there. We had the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia defence
15 council. All this is missing. There's no signature.
16 This is some kind of a, some kind of working material. It could
17 have been produced in my office for somebody's use.
18 Q. Another person is listed here, Zoran Vidovic, I believe it says.
19 He is listed as missing.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know anything about that, or did this person really
22 disappear, and if he went missing, what were the circumstances?
23 A. I don't remember. Zoran Vidovic?
24 Q. Yes. Very well, you don't remember. But Mrs. Badrov, the name
25 Vidovic, is that a frequent name?
1 A. Yes, that is a very frequent last name in Vitez.
2 Q. And the name Zoran as a first name, given name?
3 A. There are a large number of Zorans.
4 Q. Look at the next document, please. That would be Z957.1. Will
5 you please review the document and see if you can identify it, see who it
6 was signed by, when it was issued, by whom.
7 Ms. Badrov, will you please focus your attention on -- do you
8 think that this document was issued by the Vitez Brigade and signed by the
9 person who is listed here?
10 A. It seems as if the Deputy Commander of the brigade -- assistant
11 commander signed it, but it looks like an official document that could
12 have been issued by the command.
13 Q. When you look at the header, when you -- actually the heading
14 says, "List of killed, wounded, and missing members of our units for the
15 period." The reference is "our units."
16 A. We did not use that, that much. We do not have ten units, we only
17 had one, the Vitez Brigade.
18 Q. You have the distribution. It says Zoran Piletic did you know
20 A. Yes, I did know Zoran Piletic.
21 Q. Considering the position of Mr. Cilic, his job, would this perhaps
22 provide an answer why this list is being sent to Mr. Piletic?
23 A. Perhaps for propaganda reasons, I don't know why else, why he
24 would send such a document to Zoran Piletic.
25 Q. This would be actually the reference -- in reference to document
1 Z808. Would the contents of this, the contents of this list really be an
2 expanded list contained in Z808?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And again, it -- it's another document drafted by Mr. Cilic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Very well. How about, let's say, the person listed as number one
7 on the first sheet. Look at his year of birth.
8 A. Yes, this is a very old person, the person that is of an age that
9 is beyond the, beyond recruitment.
10 Q. His name is Anto Kristo. Did you know him?
11 A. I -- perhaps I did, but I cannot connect the name with the face.
12 Q. Will you now go to page 3. Again, we're looking at a person
13 listed as number one. Can you recall whether this person was a member of
14 the Vitez Brigade, or perhaps a member of another unit?
15 A. Dragan Sapina, I really don't know. But for instance, number 16,
16 Mile Vinac, he was a member of the district -- of the district staff.
17 Q. What do you mean by district staff?
18 A. He was in the Hotel Vitez. I actually did have some official
19 contact with him, so that's how I know him. Again, Adis Cosic, son of
20 Abe, again a member of the military police. You see, the same names are
21 cropping up again as in the previous document.
22 Q. Very well. I think we can move on. Next document, Z1372.1. Do
23 you have the Croatian version in front of you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Will you please look at the date of this document? The heading
1 would refer to which unit that issued this document?
2 A. It seems as if this was issued by the 5th Battalion command. If
3 they issued it, because it is not signed. It is possible that it was an
4 internal document drafted in the battalion, but the 5th Battalion was one
5 of the Vitez Brigade battalions.
6 It says that this is a list of soldiers in the zone of
7 responsibility of the 5th Battalion, but the men listed here did not
8 belong to it at all.
9 Q. One thing that's not clear to me, and let me ask you first this:
10 Do you remember at all when the 5th Battalion of the Vitez Brigade was
12 A. The 5th Battalion? You see, at first we had -- I cannot tell you
13 specifically, but this was towards the end of the war.
14 Q. The "zone of responsibility" is used as a military term.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know whether the 5th Battalion did have a zone
17 responsibility in the areas which are listed here as the place of death?
18 A. For instance, the 5th Battalion did have responsibility for the
19 part of the front line at Mahala and adjoining Stari Vitez. So Stari
20 Vitez, yes, this could be part of their zone of responsibility, but
21 Kruscica, not at all. Novaci, perhaps, yes. That could be part of that.
22 So some, yes; some, no.
23 But for instance, Dario Krgovic, he was a member of the work
24 platoon. Yes. It says here SPS, Vitez. He was not part of the brigade
25 and he was not on the front line.
1 Q. What number is he listed under?
2 A. Thirteen.
3 Q. Can you identify anyone else? Under 1, we have a person whom we
4 had seen before.
5 A. Yes, Zlatko Nakic, for instance. He was a member of the military
6 police. Well, Andrija Krizanac, too. Zoran Cerosi [phoen]. All this is
7 military police.
8 Q. Very well. Next question. If these men listed here were killed
9 in the zone of responsibility of the 5th Battalion, as it is stated here
10 in the heading, did the command of the unit whose responsibility it was
11 was in charge of registering all the casualties incurred in their zone of
13 A. Yes. They kept a log of anything that went on. Of course, even
14 if a civilian was killed in their zone of responsibility, I believe that
15 they would have registered that as well.
16 Q. Let me just draw your attention to the person under 8, Borislav
17 Jozic. Is that the same person?
18 A. Yes. See, the same. He was never a member of the 5th Battalion,
19 but the front line was in the immediate proximity of the place, the
20 location where he was killed. And Franjo Garic. If this is the Franjo
21 Garic that I know, he was killed in his building, which was right there.
22 Q. Very well. Moving on to the next document.
23 JUDGE MAY: How many documents are you going to produce or you're
24 going to have evidence about?
25 MR. KOVACIC: There are 15 documents in that binder, but I will
1 not go to 13, which is Z1009.1, except -- I will, but only for a small
2 detail, because those are various reports or official records, not the
3 listings which the witness might be familiar with.
4 JUDGE MAY: We shall be finishing at quarter to four today.
5 MR. KOVACIC: I will do my best, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Badrov, the next list is Z1324.1. Will you
7 please again look at the heading, look at the signature, and again we see
8 that the brigade police is mentioned. Please look at the date. Can you
9 tell us whether this is an authentic document which indeed could have been
10 drafted by the person who signed it? And who was this person who signed
12 A. Given the date -- this is December 1993, when some of the military
13 police or the security unit could have been already in existence as part
14 of the Vitez Brigade. However, Ms. Mira Vrebac was a lady who was in
15 charge of the care matters. So it would make no sense for her to do
16 anything with the brigade police. Maybe she was just compiling some list
17 and that was part of that general work that she was engaged in. I'm not
18 clear on that.
19 Q. Very well. Let's move on. We're moving to the document Z505.
20 Witness Cenkic already dealt with this document here, but let me ask you
21 one thing. There's a lot of lists there in English. Unfortunately, not
22 all pages are marked. Then we have -- and then we have -- this is
23 followed by the part in Croatian which is marked as D18/2.
24 MR. KOVACIC: The one with very small printing is Croatian.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Will you please look at the top right corner, the
1 date, and the header saying who issued this, and the heading. Can you
2 please explain to us what this document could represent? You said at that
3 time, you did not work at the brigade.
4 A. No, I was not there in February. I can only conclude from these
5 headings that this was a battalion, the Vitez battalion, which was part of
6 the Stjepan Tomasevic in Novi Travnik, because I see that MP number code
7 is Novi Travnik. So I don't know if this was a payroll or something like
9 Q. Mrs. Badrov, when you started working at the brigade, did you
10 issue for certain periods, monthly or a weekly basis, lists of people who
11 had served at the front line in various shifts?
12 A. How do you mean?
13 Q. In the period between the start of your job at the brigade and the
14 conflict, did you ever produce documents, lists of soldiers who were going
15 to Slatka Voda, Strikanci, in other words, to the shifts facing Chetniks?
16 A. Listen, I told you that at the beginning of the conflict I was
17 engaged in the establishment of the brigade, and the only thing I remember
18 regarding shifts is that one shift was left behind when the conflict broke
19 out and they were pulled back later.
20 Q. Very well. I'm going to ask you to turn to page 3. It is the
21 list of the HVO members from Novi Travnik. This is the 3rd Platoon,
22 3rd Company of the 2nd Battalion. And please look at the person listed
23 under number 1. Who is this person, please? The name is Ivica Badrov.
24 His registration number --
25 A. Sorry. I don't have the right page. It is something else. Oh,
1 it's page 4.
2 Q. Yes, page 4.
3 A. This person is my brother.
4 Q. Did your brother go to the front line in one of the shifts while
5 he was at the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?
6 A. Yes. He was going to Slatka Voda, and on the day when the
7 conflict broke out, he happened to be there, and it took him about two
8 days to break through and come back.
9 Q. Very well. I think that we've clarified this point. We can move
10 on without wasting time.
11 The next document is Z1009.1. We have dealt with documents
12 produced by the same person. The author of this document is Nihad
13 Rebihic. Let me just ask you about the first person listed in this
14 document. The print is very bad, so can you make it out?
15 A. Marko Lujic, son of Marko Anto. I believe that's what it says.
16 Q. Couple of questions. Was this person ever a member of the Vitez
17 Brigade throughout your employment there?
18 A. No. He was involved in pyrotechniques. He dealt with explosives,
19 and he was involved in the wartime production throughout.
20 Q. Can you tell me who was the head of artillery at that time?
21 A. I believe that it was Damnjan Baskarad.
22 Q. I'm not going to ask you regarding the next document, but one
23 thing regarding Mr. Rebihic and Mahala. Ms. Badrov, do you know anything
24 about a radio in Vitez known as Radio Mahala?
25 A. Yes. I know that it was engaged in propaganda, and it was called
1 Radio Mahala.
2 Q. Ms. Badrov, did you hear whether this radio ever talked about you
3 specifically, Gordana Badrov?
4 A. At that time, I was very busy. I didn't have the time to listen
5 to Radio Mahala. I don't think I was mentioned by name, but I think I was
6 described to -- to sufficient detail to be recognised, to be identified.
7 Q. When -- who asked you about this?
8 A. It was my friends.
9 Q. And what did they ask you? What was this about?
10 A. The news item described me as a sniper because I was the only
11 woman wearing a uniform at the time.
12 Q. Mrs. Badrov, did you ever carry weapons during that period of
14 A. No. I don't believe in that.
15 Q. Now, could we move on to the second binder, but there we shall
16 only look at two or three examples. We'll not go through the whole book,
17 as it would take us to the end of the week.
18 I should like to single out only a few examples here. For
19 instance, first section, number 16.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, that is the -- the whole file is
21 registered under number Z2813.2.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Let us look at the individual under 16. On the
23 first page of that list, which is Z505, which we already saw, we have the
24 name of two persons circled, under 2 and under 6, Damnjan Baskarad and
25 Goran Baskarad.
1 Mrs. Badrov, could you say on the basis of this document these two
2 men are members of the Vitez Brigade?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Why not?
5 A. I can't say whether yes or no simply because this document
6 originated before the Vitez Brigade was born, that is, on the 27th of
7 February. And I really don't know. How can I say whether yes or no. The
8 heading of the Vitez Brigade is missing. The Vitez Brigade did not issue
9 it. We have already said that this could be the payroll, for instance, or
10 something that was drawn up for a shift.
11 Q. Very well. Now, will you please turn to an individual whose name
12 was frequently mentioned here who figures under number 23. We have
13 already broached that. The name in this section is Miroslav Bralo, called
15 Mrs. Badrov, I will read out to you facts from three different
16 birth certificates and would like to -- I will then ask you which one
17 could he be in view of the allegations of the individual under 2 in this
18 list. Now, excuse me, what is it that you have there?
19 A. I have here a report on the wounding.
20 Q. No. The first list should be Z67, and that's what it looks like.
21 [In English] In binder 23. Why don't you look at the next one, perhaps.
22 They're mixed up there.
23 [Interpretation] Miroslav Bralo called Cicko, that should be the
24 first page. Z67 to see if we are both dealing with the same document.
25 I have three fragments from the registry of births issued to three
1 persons all called Miroslav Bralo. One is the son of Pero born in 1958.
2 Could that be the person under two?
3 A. Well, I don't think so because it says here that he was born on
4 the 13th of October, 1967, and he also has the -- his identity number.
5 Q. So it should be the son of Jozo, according to the list?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And according to his identity number, he was born in 1967?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, will you look at the next document, Z265.1?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In Croatian, I'm afraid you can't see a thing, but the English is
12 all right. And in English you have the name, and it is recognizable. It
13 is person under one, again the same name, Miroslav Bralo.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This is the payroll for the Vitez Alpha Force group. You already
16 saw this document. Here we have no particulars. No, there aren't any.
17 But can we say that it's the same person that we saw on the previous list?
18 A. No. We cannot say whether it is the same person, not from this.
19 Q. We have already seen this list, we do not have to go back to it.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I wonder what we're really achieving with
21 this, and what this last passage of examination has been aimed at. If
22 I've understood it, and it's a little difficult to follow, Mr. Kovacic
23 reads out the name of another person with the same name, and the witness
24 says, "Well, it can't be the same person." I don't really know where we're
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Kovacic, what is the point?
2 MR. KOVACIC: The point is, Your Honour, I'm trying to show, and I
3 will later add a couple of documents in our own binder, we're still
4 investigating that, that those documents which were presented by the
5 Prosecution as a base for alleged conclusion, for a possible conclusion
6 that certain persons were members of the brigade at a certain point of
7 time, that it is entirely not reliable, and it cannot serve for that
9 JUDGE MAY: I see.
10 MR. KOVACIC: I'm just building up examples.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, have you got any more?
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No. I will only dwell on just one
13 document more concerning that person, and I think it will be enough.
14 Well, perhaps we could also go to yet another one, but I believe we can
15 use some other examples when we add some documents and then make our point
16 even more emphatic.
17 May I go on? Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Mrs. Badrov, in the same document, we have document Z1465.4.
19 Mrs. Badrov, you spent your life working with documents, and I should like
20 to ask you first, under the Administrative Proceedings Act, and there is a
21 standard which existed and still exists in the republic of the former
22 Yugoslavia, how does one rectify errors in documents? Will you please
23 tell us what is the standard, what is the law?
24 A. The law requests to rectify documents as it was done here, that
25 is, that the sentence which needs to be rectified or part of the sentence
1 that has to be rectified is crossed out, but it has to be legible.
2 Nevertheless, one has to see what it says, what is crossed out, then below
3 it to write the correction, the rectification, and then initial it.
4 Q. Thank you. Can you recognise the initial on the -- the initials
5 on this document?
6 A. Sorry.
7 Q. Very well. And here we have Miroslav Bralo born in 1967 mentioned
8 here, so we guess that this is the same person that we talked about
9 previously. We have some facts about his wounding. And it says that he
10 was wounded on the 19th of September in the area of Krtina Mahala. But in
11 the correction it says -- or rather, before it is corrected it says that
12 he was a member of the defence battalion between the 16th of April, 1993,
13 until the 13th of April, 1994; and then this is corrected and said that it
14 was in the unit from the 7th of September, 1993, until the 19th of
15 September, 1993, that is, until the day when he was wounded according to
17 Since you are familiar with the procedure at the time, could you
18 tell us why was this correction made?
19 A. Well, I can make a guess. This document was issued in 1995, that
20 is, he evidently wrote to the commander of the Vitez Brigade applying for
21 such a document so as to exercise his right to, to benefits.
22 Q. And when somebody applies for such a request to such -- who does
24 A. Well, it's this service which keeps the records, that is the
25 service which has all the information about one's participation in the
1 war, and that is the personnel department. They had this kind of
2 information. In addition to them -- at least that is what the practice
3 was before, I do not know whether it is still valid, but any member of the
4 brigade was to bring along the certificate from the inferior unit, that
5 is, from the 1st Battalion command, to bring a certificate indicating his
6 time of service with that battalion.
7 Now, if the exact date was missing, then in principle one would
8 take three dates, and those three dates you will usually find in such
9 certificates. It is the dates of the September 1991 -- I mean, when --
10 the date when official -- the date which was officially taken as the date
11 of aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, the village of Ravno;
12 then April 1992 when the HZ HB was founded; and then the third date, 16th
13 of April when open fighting broke out between the Muslims and Croats.
14 These three dates are, as a rule, taken to mean the beginning of
15 one of the -- of a soldier's involvement for whom we did not have exact
17 Q. And if there was accurate information?
18 A. If there was accurate information, then one would put in the
19 accurate information.
20 Q. A clerk -- so, a clerk who fills in this paper, who does she
21 forward it to?
22 A. The lady clerk who fills in this paper must take it to the
23 commander for initialing. Now, if she is a clerk in a battalion, then she
24 must show it to the battalion commander. If she's a clerk in the brigade
25 command, then she will take it to the brigade commander for initialling.
1 Q. Presumably this correction was done before it was signed?
2 A. Yes, presumably. From what I can conclude from this document, it
3 was issued by the commander of the 1st Battalion. It's also properly
4 signed by the commander of the 1st Battalion; however, it is quite obvious
5 that in the brigade commander [sic] there was the accurate date of the
6 person's involvement, so the 1st Battalion put down the date of the
7 beginning of the conflict. But then when it arrived in the brigade, then
8 in the brigade, they knew the exact date, and they rectified this date
9 pursuant to the law.
10 Q. So this is really not unusual?
11 JUDGE MAY: We've had enough now for today, it's quarter to, and
12 I'm going to make a note, and then we'll adjourn. There will be an ex
13 parte hearing.
14 Mrs. Badrov, will you be back, please, at half past nine tomorrow
15 morning to go on with your evidence.
16 How much longer do you think you're likely to be, Mr. Kovacic?
17 MR. KOVACIC: I think tomorrow that I could finish.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Kovacic, your microphone please.
19 MR. KOVACIC: I believe that I could finish tomorrow for about
20 between half an hour and 45 minutes, I'm sure. I will use one example in
21 this file, and then briefly through, through the list for certificates
22 which the Chamber have heard enough, so it's....
23 JUDGE MAY: And how many more witnesses have you this week?
24 MR. KOVACIC: We are expecting a witness to come this evening, and
25 we will bring this witness tomorrow for testimony, and we are quite
1 uncertain about the said witness, but hopefully he will come.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may raise just two short
4 questions, technical --
5 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness go.
6 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] A few days ago the Chamber asked the
9 Prosecution to disclose documents which they intend to use in the
10 cross-examination of the accused Cerkez once he takes the stand. We have
11 not yet received those documents, and of course, we would be very happy if
12 we could see them on time -- in time; otherwise, we shall not be able to
13 go through them. On Sunday, I cannot go to the detention unit; the last
14 day is Saturday, so I should like to ask the Prosecution to disclose them
15 to us as soon as possible.
16 Moreover we have not yet received a translation of the Witness
17 AT's statement.
18 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with that. Mr. Nice can you provide the
19 documents please.
20 MR. NICE: The position is, Your Honour, that Your Honour raised
21 it speaking for yourself, as to whether that was a course to be pursued in
22 this matter we wish to discuss it with the Chamber and the Defence, of
23 course, at some stage.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, what --
25 MR. NICE: In any event, it's wholly unrealistic to think that we
1 are in a position to serve a list of documents. Even if the Chamber were
2 to make such an order or make such a request, we are nowhere near that
3 state of readiness, I have to say.
4 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps more accurately, make sure that all such
5 documents are disclosed or have been disclosed, that perhaps is a more
6 felicitous way of putting it.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. But I suspect we're going to run out
8 of evidence before the end of sitting on Thursday, from what I hear from
9 Mr. Kovacic, and I suspect it would be a good idea if we just discussed
10 that topic lightly so that we know where we stand, and we will then be
11 able to comply so far as in our ability.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will discuss it, but I cannot believe
13 that you intend to try and ambush --
14 MR. NICE: No.
15 JUDGE MAY: -- the accused.
16 MR. NICE: There's a difference between -- can we discuss it at
17 that time?
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, very well.
19 MR. NICE: If I may say so, I'm well aware of the cases of certain
20 jurisdiction which touch on this issue, Phillipson and Sansom to name two
21 of them.
22 Yes, I think Mr. Kovacic had something else he wanted to raise.
23 But before we come to that general discussion, whether it's tomorrow or
24 Thursday, I simply observe that we don't yet know the main points upon
25 which Mr. Cerkez is going to be giving evidence. Whether we're entitled
1 to a summary under the rules or not is another issue. Again, I'm not
2 concerned to argue it heavily now, or maybe at any stage, but I observe
3 that in fact we do not know what are the points he's going to touch, so
4 that's something else to be considered when we discuss the issue of the
5 exchange of or the provision of documents.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, what was the other point?
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, before that, if I just may answer. If
8 the document will be discovered to us on Thursday or Friday, better to
9 say, then I don't have any use after that.
10 JUDGE MAY: I think the point is this, and it may be that I was
11 not careful enough in what I said. What I had in mind was that if there
12 were any documents upon which he was to be cross-examined, they should
13 have been documents which should have been disclosed, not that you'd be
14 provided with a list of the documents on which he was going to be
15 cross-examined. You must be taken to know the case and have prepared it.
16 MR. KOVACIC: That is what is your order, we will of course apply
18 JUDGE MAY: There's no order at the moment, it's merely a
20 MR. KOVACIC: Very well, thank you, Your Honour.
2 If I may raise a third issue --
3 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with them one at a time.
4 MR. NICE: The latest information will be completed, I understand,
5 by tomorrow or Thursday. I will investigate, once we rise, the
6 possibility of disclosing part already in some satisfactory and secure
7 way, and we can communicate with Mr. Kovacic by telephone rather than keep
8 him back, as I'm sure it will take some time even if part of it's ready
9 tonight. If part of it's ready tonight, we can find a way of handing it
10 over subject to the usual terms.
11 What I've asked to have done is to have the usual system -- not
12 the usual system, the same system of watermarking documents, and it seems
13 to me that if they are provided in that way, one copy marked for one
14 defendant and one copy marked for another defendant, that will, I think,
15 probably fall within the provisions of the earlier protective measures,
16 and providing we hand it over in a secure way, that should be
18 MR. KOVACIC: If I could raise a third question then. It is the
19 issue of contact of Defence counsel with the accused after he begins with
20 his testimony. There is your order --
21 JUDGE MAY: I know we have an order. I think that might be a
22 matter which could be more conveniently dealt with when we have more
23 time. You can mention it at the end of the evidence.
24 MR. KOVACIC: I will.
25 JUDGE MAY: And of course if we run out of evidence, normally we
1 would expect the next part of the evidence, which would be your client's
2 evidence, to begin. You may like to think about that.
3 MR. KOVACIC: If I may, Your Honour --
4 JUDGE MAY: I've no doubt you will have a submission, but we will
5 hear it in due course.
6 MR. KOVACIC: We gave up some witnesses in order to get additional
7 time to prepare Mr. Cerkez as a witness. Perhaps out of the trial I could
8 inform my colleague about the main topics of his testimony.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will adjourn now and sit in ten minutes,
10 ex parte.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.55 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 11th day of
13 October, 2000 at 9.30 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.