1 Thursday, 7
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: There was apparently, Mr. Scott, a mistake in
6 yesterday's transcript concerning the times of speeches which has been
7 drawn to our attention. For the avoidance of doubt, the afternoon
8 speeches will be after the break in the afternoon, will be from 3.15 until
10 We'll hand around a programme in due course.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Your Honours, before I continue, I'm going to move now off the
13 topic where we ended yesterday, but I am informed by the translation unit
14 and there can certainly be further discussion about this, but indeed the
15 word that the witness used that was translated as "thesis" is, in fact,
17 JUDGE MAY: I think at this stage of the trial, we need really not
18 spend too long on it.
19 MR. SCOTT: I'm just passing it on, Your Honour. That's what the
20 translation unit said.
21 WITNESS: DUSKO GRUBESIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
24 Q. Sir, I have to go back to the small bundle that was handed out
25 yesterday afternoon, Z421.4. There's one final question on that.
1 In preparing to look at that document a last time, sir, if I
2 understand your testimony and documents that have been provided by the
3 Defence to the Prosecution correctly, you became commander of the Zrinjski
4 Brigade on the 4th of February, 1993; is that correct?
5 A. Your Honours, the acting commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
6 Brigade, if I remember correctly, is the post I took on the 8th of
8 Q. So in looking at 421.4, tab 16, tab 16 was the version of the
9 order where apparently -- let me make absolutely sure I'm referring to the
10 right one -- tab 16 where -- there was a piece of it, a fragment on the
11 bottom of it, of that order. On the date of that order by Colonel Kordic
12 on the 30th of January, 1993, in fact, you were not the commander of the
13 brigade at that time, were you?
14 A. Your Honours, after the order of the vice-president of the Croat
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna, I was not commander of the brigade. I was
16 deputy commander of the brigade. However, since we sent this by packet,
17 since I was personally present, that is to say, that the aggression that
18 occurred and the attack on the mountain of Roske Stijene, I wanted to add,
19 for the sake of confidentiality, that the artillery should give support to
20 trigger 1248, that is to say the elevation of Roske Stijene.
21 While this order was being printed or, rather, typed out, the
22 chief of artillery told me that it was not necessary to use artillery
23 against that particular elevation, and that was what I told the person who
24 was working on the packet link I wanted the Operative Zone of Central
25 Bosnia to be duly notified.
1 Q. We'll move on. Sir, in paragraph 53 of your statement, you
2 indicated that you were replaced as commander of the brigade on Colonel
3 Blaskic's order in October of 1993. Can you just briefly tell us why you
4 were replaced at that time?
5 A. Your Honours, in October 1993, I think it was the first half of
6 the month, I was replaced due to a misunderstanding. It actually had to
7 do with the fact that an oral order issued by Colonel Blaskic, commander
8 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, was not carried out. My area was
9 of responsibility involved judgements on the deployment of forces.
10 However, after this oral order, namely that from Gavrine Kuce, Bukve, I
11 should take forces equivalent to 40 men. I did not carry that out.
12 I pointed out that I should just be given the formation that I
13 should send, that I should not be told which area I should take these
14 troops from. Since --
15 Q. Sir, we have limited amount of time. Unless the Chamber has
16 further questions, we have the basic gist of why you were removed.
17 Now, sir, it is common in military operations to often use code
18 names or call signs in radio or telephone or other communications, isn't
20 A. At any rate, Your Honours, in that period, we did not have any
21 code-names. We were not ready for that, and it was not planned. I mean,
22 we did not expect any conflict with the BH army. We had code-names at the
23 lines that we held towards the aggressor.
24 Q. All right, sir. Let's not get too, for the present purposes,
25 bogged down in the time period. I'm directing your attention primarily
1 to, if it assists you, to the first six months of 1993, and suggest to
2 you, sir, there is a number of indications and documents that would
3 indicate that there were, in fact, call signs. Let me proceed to be more
4 specific. Were you aware of the call sign or code-name that was used with
5 Colonel Blaskic around April of 1993?
6 A. Your Honours, I am not aware of that. After all, it's been seven
7 or eight years. Even if there was something like that, it would be hard
8 for me to remember.
9 Q. Do you recall the code-name, sir, for Anto Sliskovic?
10 A. Your Honours, no.
11 Q. And do you recall, sir -- well, you had a code-name that you used
12 on occasion, isn't that true, or call sign?
13 A. I don't remember, Your Honours. If there were code-names, then
14 they went through the communications centre.
15 Q. You're telling us, sir, that as you sit here today, you don't
16 recall your own -- any of your own code-names or call signs that were used
17 during the conflict in April 1993?
18 A. Believe me, Your Honours, I cannot remember.
19 Q. Very well. Sir, during the course of this --
20 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I would like to ask
21 the witness whether he had a code-name or not. That's my first question.
22 Did the witness have a code-name?
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Sir, can you answer His Honour's question?
25 A. Your Honours, when the conflict broke out, for the sake of
1 confidentiality of data, code-names had to be given. We had them at the
2 lines vis-a-vis the Yugoslav People's Army.
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] No. I'm sorry. I'm asking you
4 whether you yourself had -- I'm asking the question to the witness,
5 Brigadier Grubesic: Did you have yourself a code-name?
6 A. Your Honour, as far as I can remember, I did not.
7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But as far as you're concerned,
8 personally, you should remember. So you did not have a code-name?
9 A. Your Honour, I pointed out that I do not remember. In that
10 period, January 1993, I do not believe that I personally had a code-name.
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Have you ever had a code-name?
12 A. Yes. After perhaps a certain amount of time, by the time these
13 secret signs were worked out --
14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] What was your code-name?
15 A. Believe me, Your Honour, I can't remember.
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Listen, you've come here and you
17 have said that you are going to tell the truth, all the truth, and now on
18 this very specific question you don't want to tell the truth. You're
19 saying, on the one hand, that you had a code-name, and whereas this is
20 something that concerns you personally, you have to tell the truth in the
21 Tribunal to the Chamber.
22 A. Your Honour, I'm aware of that, and I said under oath that I would
23 speak the truth. I do not remember. After all, it's been eight years
24 since that moment, and believe me, I cannot remember. Even if there was a
25 code-name, they were changed regularly. Secret names had to be changed
1 every month. And I cannot remember -- right now I cannot remember that
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] It's very surprising. Your
4 memory has very strange deficiencies, because usually when things concern
5 you personally, events concern you personally, you remember them,
6 especially in circumstances as serious as the one we're talking about.
7 Thank you.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Sir, let me see if I can assist you on this. Do you recall, at
10 least for a period of time, using the code-name Soko, which, as I
11 understand it, means falcon?
12 A. Your Honours, as far as I can remember, no.
13 MR. SCOTT: We'll move on for now, Your Honours.
14 Q. Sir, there's some charts that have been used during the course of
15 this trial to suggest -- when I say "charts," organisational tables or
16 diagrams -- that suggest that Anto Sliskovic was the deputy commander of
17 the Zrinjski Brigade at one time or another; is that true?
18 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I hear that, that Anto
19 Sliskovic was deputy commander of the brigade.
20 Q. All right. Who was your deputy commander during 1993?
21 A. My deputy commander of the brigade was no one. I only had a Chief
22 of Staff.
23 Q. All right. Who was --
24 A. And an operations officer.
25 Q. Who was your Chief of Staff, please?
1 A. Mr. Jure Cavara was in charge, and operations were headed by
2 Mr. Dragan Tomcic.
3 Q. Sir, I'm going to stop you there. We have limited time. Who did
4 you understand Mr. Sliskovic to be, his role in Central Bosnia at that
5 time, in the spring of 1993?
6 A. Mr. Sliskovic, as far as I know, was assistant for security
7 matters of the commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, that is
8 to say, of Colonel Blaskic.
9 Q. And so the record is clear, when you say "for security," that
10 sometimes would be referred to or abbreviated as SIS or, in English,
11 S-I-S; correct?
12 A. Yes. Yes, Your Honours. Yes.
13 Q. But it's true, isn't it, sir, that in fact Anto Sliskovic spent
14 the vast majority of his time in Busovaca, didn't he?
15 A. Your Honours, as far as I knew, I pointed out that he was
16 assistant commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, and I'm not
17 aware of him having spent much time in Busovaca, at least not during the
18 time of my command.
19 Q. I put it to you, sir, that in fact Mr. Sliskovic, while he may
20 have held a position in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone based in Vitez,
21 in fact spent the vast majority of time in Busovaca, in close association
22 with Mr. Kordic. Now, isn't that true?
23 A. Your Honours, I claim, I claim with full responsibility, that
24 Mr. Sliskovic, while I headed the brigade, did not spend that much time in
25 Busovaca, and he is an inhabitant of the town of Busovaca.
1 Q. In fact --
2 A. It is natural that -- it is natural that, after completing an
3 assignment, he would return home to sleep. As for brigade headquarters,
4 as far as I know --
5 Q. Sir, again, in the interests of time, I'm going to have to cut you
6 off on that. It's true, isn't it, that you yourself, Mr. Sliskovic, Pasko
7 Ljubicic, Vlado Cosic, all of you were from the Busovaca area or town and
8 all of you were very close friends, both professionally, if you will, and
9 personally; isn't that true?
10 A. Your Honours, all the mentioned persons are from the territory of
11 Busovaca, but there was not that degree of closeness that you pointed out
12 except on some special occasions. If so --
13 Q. Let me make a suggestion to you, sir. Do you remember on the 19th
14 of May, 1993, attending either a dinner or lunch at Tisovac with Kordic,
15 Blaskic, various UNPROFOR officers including a man named Polis Schipper
16 from the Dutch battalion? Do you remember that and being invited by
17 Mr. Kordic to be there as one of the special guests?
18 A. Your Honours, I remember Mr. Schipper's visit. That was at the
19 headquarters of the commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.
20 Sometime in June, this was established at Tisovac, and the following
21 gentlemen were invited: Vlado Cosic, Pasko Ljubicic and Anto Sliskovic,
22 in order to have this first meal together with Mr. Schipper to give him an
23 appropriate gift. I think it was a stuffed animal, a squirrel or
24 something else, but I can't remember exactly.
25 Q. Sir, we'll come to that in a moment.
1 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Usher, if I can have your assistance for a
3 Q. Sir, you told us about a second meeting involving these four
4 people, including yourself, that I mentioned a moment ago. Let me go back
5 to the 19th of May and let me ask Mr. Usher to put Z2780 on the ELMO.
6 Sir, there's other evidence in the record about this event. Some
7 of the people are displayed, if you will, more clearly than others. Some
8 are behind some of the other figures. There is a person standing towards
9 the left centre of the photograph, somewhat in shadow. You were at that
10 luncheon and can you tell us where you were seated, please?
11 A. Yes. This was at Tisovac.
12 Q. Yes, and can you see yourself in this photograph, sir?
13 A. Your Honours, I do not see myself.
14 Q. Very well. But you agree that you were there; correct?
15 A. Well, I probably was. I can't remember exactly. I can't remember
16 this photograph exactly, but it's possible.
17 MR. SCOTT: Let me next ask the usher, if the usher can simply put
18 on the ELMO exhibit Z1268.2, which has already been admitted.
19 Q. Sir, this relates to the document -- to the other event you just
20 told us about. And, in fact, according to this document, it wasn't in
21 June, it was in October, and these same four individuals, the four of you
22 together gave a gift to Mr. Schipper, didn't you: Pasko Ljubicic, Vlado
23 Cosic, Dusko Grubesic, and Anto Sliskovic; correct?
24 A. Yes, Your Honour. As far as I can remember, this could be at
25 Tisovac at the command post, at the forward command post.
1 Q. Well, who had a forward command post at Tisovac?
2 A. Commander of the brigade under orders of the commander of the
3 Operative Zone, Colonel Blaskic. At the locality of Vatrostalna, a
4 forward command post and office was set up for the brigade commander
5 sometime in the month of June, the end of the month of June, something
6 like that.
7 Q. So what you're telling us, sir, is that your command post for the
8 Busovaca Zrinjski Brigade was at Tisovac at Colonel Kordic's headquarters;
10 A. No. Colonel Kordic was at a different place, that is, Mr. Kordic
11 was in Vila Ivancica, which was about 400 or 500 metres through forested
13 Q. All right. So, sir, you agree it was some 400 metres away but, in
14 fact, it was the same complex, wasn't it?
15 A. No, Your Honours. These are two different places, and I should
16 say there's as much as 500 metres between them.
17 Q. Let's go on. Sir, I'm going to put to you, with apologies to the
18 French novelist, these four of us, Mr. Sliskovic, Mr. Ljubicic, Mr. Cosic,
19 and yourself, you were something akin to the four musketeers, weren't you?
20 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I hear this and from you. I
21 was a brigade commander, Anto Sliskovic was security assistant commander,
22 and we met seldom. This was Mr. Schipper's visit, and I seized that
23 opportunity to invite those other men to have a lunch together and hand
24 over a gift to him.
25 Q. Sir, Pasko Ljubicic was, by that time, the head of the military
1 police, Vlado Cosic was the head of the military police in Busovaca, you
2 were the brigade commander of the Busovaca Brigade, and Anto Sliskovic was
3 the --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Will you slow down, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
6 Q. Mr. Sliskovic was the number one SIS individual in Central
7 Bosnia. I put it to you, sir, that the four of you as a group and
8 individually were ready and willing to do Dario Kordic's bidding at any
9 time and in any way, weren't you?
10 A. Your Honours, I cannot confirm what you are alleging because
11 everybody knows that we had our military hierarchy, and I do not think
12 that anyone was ready to do anything except the order of his superior,
13 that is, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, commander of the Operative Zone.
14 Q. All right. Sir, well let's go to then the superior officer, and
15 let me ask you about -- when you were first appointed to the commander of
16 the Bosnian Croat military forces in Busovaca in earlier 1992, who was it
17 that appointed you?
18 A. To that office in June 1992, I was appointed by the president of
19 the HVO, Mr. Florijan Glavocevic; that is, he nominated me.
20 Q. So you were nominated to this position. Assuming that account to
21 be correct, you were nominated to this military command position by
22 someone you've described in your statement as a civilian politician; is
23 that correct, sir?
24 A. It was done by the president of the Croat Defence Council in the
25 municipality of Busovaca, Mr. Florijan Glavocevic.
1 Q. You stayed in that position then until late November of 1992, as I
2 understand the sequence of documents and, at that time, the HVO municipal
3 headquarter structure was replaced by more the brigade structure; is that
5 A. Yes. Sometime from the end of November until the end of December,
6 between the end of November and end of December, the Colonel Blaskic order
7 was that commander Niko Jozinovic should organise the units in line with
8 the new brigade structure and with the name of the brigade, although the
9 name had already been given, but basically it had to be confirmed.
10 Q. But, sir, when the brigade was formed, the Zrinjski Brigade, even
11 though you had been the principal military commander in the Busovaca
12 municipality up until that moment, you were not made the brigade commander
13 but Niko Jozinovic was; correct?
14 A. Yes, Your Honours. The brigade was structured on the 19th of
15 December, 1992. I was appointed deputy commander, and I was sent more to
16 the field because there was more active on the plateau of Mount Vlasic
17 facing the Yugoslav Peoples' Army and the army of Bosnian Serbs.
18 Q. Well, let me show you, sir, with the usher's assistance, Z439.3.
19 If you could just put the English on the ELMO.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I will say, for the record, while we're
21 doing this, that some of these documents will undoubtedly be the same as
22 some of the Defence exhibits tendered yesterday but, unfortunately, when
23 we began to prepare for this witness' cross-examination, no numbers had
24 been assigned to any of these documents and, of course, we had to begin
25 preparing. In any event, numbers had to be given. But I'll just alert
1 the Chamber and registry.
2 JUDGE MAY: Is this one in the Defence binder?
3 MR. SCOTT: I believe it is, Your Honour, but I have not had a
4 chance to do a table of correlation, but I believe it is.
5 JUDGE MAY: We must try to get this into order. Let's see if it's
6 in the Defence bundle.
7 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps Mr. Naumovski, who is on his feet, can assist
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I simply wanted to
11 help you. It is tab 19 of the document that we submitted yesterday. This
12 is an identical document and it already has a number, tab 19.
13 JUDGE MAY: So 336, D336/1, tab 19.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise, I think it is 356/1
16 tab 19.
17 JUDGE MAY: Sorry 356/1, tab 19.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Sir, you were then -- to pick up, you were not named the brigade
20 commander at that time, Mr. Jozinovic was. Mr. Jozinovic then stayed in
21 that position until approximately the 4th of February, when he was
22 dismissed, according to this order, and you were named the commander of
23 the Zrinjski Brigade. I don't think that's a disputed point, but that's
24 the correct account of events, isn't it, sir?
25 A. Yes, Your Honours. On the 8th of February, I and the commander,
1 that is, by then the former commander, signed the relevant documents and I
2 took over the duty in the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.
3 Q. Do you know what special -- according to this order, do you know
4 what special authorities Colonel Blaskic drew on to make these personnel
5 changes? If you don't know, please, sir, just say you don't know; if you
6 do, please help us.
7 A. Your Honours, I couldn't really say why did the commander of the
8 Operative Zone take this decision, but I pointed out that commander Niko
9 Jozinovic came from the municipality of Zepce. And whenever he was with
10 me, he said that he was not particularly happy about that particular
11 solution because of his frequent travels to the municipality of Zepce and
12 because, of course, he felt close ties to his native area. Other details
13 regarding Colonel Blaskic's decision I do not know.
14 Q. Witness, let me put it to you this way; I put it to you that the
15 reason you were not made the brigade commander was because the persons
16 involved in making that decision or influencing the decision to select
17 Mr. Jozinovic instead were people other than Mr. Kordic, and for a time
18 succeeded in having Mr. Jozinovic being the brigade commander rather than
19 you until Mr. Kordic prevailed to have you put in that position. Isn't
20 that true?
21 A. Your Honours, no. The Operative Zone commander was the only one
22 authorised to do this. And I cannot, of course, know all the details, but
23 it is very likely that the commander, Niko Jozinovic, perhaps also said in
24 his contacts with Colonel Blaskic that he should go back to the territory
25 of Zepce.
1 MR. SCOTT: If I can have the usher's assistance with document
3 Sir, this is a meeting of the Busovaca municipal committee on the
4 2nd of December.
5 It is dated, Your Honours, 1993 on the face of the document. Our
6 investigation, and I'll say why, suggests that it is incorrect - this is
7 December 1992, and it was a typo or a mistake - based upon other facts
8 accounted for, things stated in the document itself, who some of the
9 people are and their positions, which is not consistent with this being
10 December 1993. If I'm wrong on that or if it becomes a material point,
11 I'm sure I'll be corrected.
12 You will see, for instance, on the first -- on the next page, on
13 the next page, that discusses Mr. Jozinovic being the brigade commander,
14 and I don't believe there's any suggestion that Mr. Jozinovic was the
15 brigade commander in December 1993, but he was in December 1992.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we can take that into account.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Sir, at this meeting, you will note that absent from the meeting,
19 among others, on the first page, absent Dario Kordic, Anto Sliskovic, a
20 number of others, including Vlado Cosic. And at this meeting, sir, the
21 new brigade commander, Jozinovic, briefed the committee, and in doing so,
22 going to page 3 of the English translation, recommended to the Busovaca
23 authorities that in fact a number of people should not be senior officers
24 in the brigade, including you. Do you see that, sir? In the B/C/S
25 version I can't help you with the page -- let me see if I can. It would
1 be at the bottom part of the first page of the B/C/S version.
2 I suggest to you, sir, that the reasons for his -- Mr. Jozinovic's
3 views were that he was more interested in finding people of professional
4 competence than their political views or associations, and you can see
5 that in point number 7 on page 3. That's true, isn't it, sir?
6 A. Your Honours, if I may, I should like to read this document,
7 because this is the first time I see it and I'm not familiar with it. So
8 with your leave, I should like to read it.
9 JUDGE MAY: No. Don't bother, Brigadier Grubesic, to read it all,
10 unless it's relevant and significant.
11 What is the point that you want to make, Mr. Scott?
12 MR. SCOTT: The point of this, Your Honour, is leading to -- and
13 another -- on a further document and other evidence that I'll put before
14 the witness is the point that we have just suggested, Your Honour; that
15 is, that the reason Mr. Jozinovic was ultimately removed and Mr. Grubesic
16 was ultimately elevated back to his former position was because of the
17 influence and the intervention of Mr. Kordic, whereas at a meeting at
18 which Mr. Kordic was not present, or Anto Sliskovic, or Vlado Cosic, they
19 discussed this matter with Jozinovic. It's telling, I submit, that these
20 things were being discussed and these statements -- opinions were being
21 expressed at a meeting --
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The witness wasn't present at the meeting
24 MR. SCOTT: That's correct, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Put the next document to him and we'll see where we go
1 from there.
2 MR. SCOTT: Very well.
3 Q. Before we get to the next document, sir --
4 MR. SCOTT: There are a couple of follow-up questions, Your
5 Honour, if I may.
6 Q. Do you recall a situation on about the 17th of January, 1993, in
7 Busovaca town, when you stopped an individual named Vahid Hadzirevic and
8 took his pistol away from him?
9 A. Your Honours, I do not recall that, and this is the first time I
10 hear about it.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If you don't recall --
12 A. It sounds --
13 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Did you recall, sir, if I can continue to probe your recollection,
16 do you recall that Mr. Jozinovic --
17 JUDGE MAY: Let the transcript add, as I said, "If you don't
18 recall, nobody will be surprised."
19 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE MAY: No need for a comment.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. Sir, let me say: Do you recall, if you recall, Mr. Jozinovic
23 making an issue about this incident or situation that I just put to you,
24 and other similar incidents, where Mr. Jozinovic took the view that these
25 were unnecessarily provocative actions, essentially leading to picking a
1 fight, if I can use the vernacular, with the Muslims in Busovaca, and did
2 not Mr. Jozinovic state that view?
3 A. Your Honours, I hear this for the first time from the Prosecutor
4 too. I was on the front line that January, and this is a very curious
5 information, and I believe everybody can confirm it. But to say that I
6 took a pistol away from someone, that is, I think, too much.
7 Q. Sir, there were a number of such incidents in Busovaca during this
8 time, weren't there, including situations involving Mr. Kordic personally,
9 and which again Mr. Jozinovic put to Mr. Kordic that he was being unduly
10 provocative. Isn't that true and aren't you aware of that? You've told
11 us you're aware of many things. Aren't you aware of that?
12 A. Your Honours, I said yesterday in my testimony what I had learned
13 about where such incidents happened, problems, criminal and vandal acts by
14 individuals. These are the -- I am not aware of these details because I
15 was engaged on the front line against the army of Bosnian Serbs and the
16 Yugoslav People's Army.
17 Q. Sir, you knew at that time also, did you not --
18 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, I'll tie these questions back together
19 in about two more questions.
20 Q. You knew an individual who at that time was the military police
21 commander before Pasko Ljubicic, named Zvonko Vukovic, didn't you?
22 A. Yes, Your Honours, I knew Mr. Zvonko Vukovic.
23 Q. And did you ever -- were you ever aware of the view, and perhaps
24 you shared the view, that is, in Mr. Vukovic's observation, 70 per cent of
25 the military police were criminals and looters? Did you ever hear him say
2 A. Your Honours, I heard there were some problems and that the
3 military police was to be placed under scrutiny, but I'm not aware of that
4 scope of this; that is, a purge, that is, a revision within the military
6 Q. Sir, do you recall that approximately two days after Mr. Vukovic
7 expressed that opinion in a meeting attended by Dario Kordic and
8 Mr. Kostroman, it was only two days after that that Mr. Vukovic was
9 replaced by Pasko Ljubicic? Do you remember that, sir?
10 A. Your Honours, I do not.
11 MR. SCOTT: Let me have the witness, please, shown Exhibit Z527.4,
12 if that can be distributed.
13 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I believe this document has already
14 been excluded by the Trial Chamber's previous rulings.
15 JUDGE MAY: Is that right, Mr. Scott?
16 MR. SCOTT: It's been excluded as a -- without a witness.
17 JUDGE MAY: If it had been excluded, then your duty was to point
18 that out, not simply put it in.
19 MR. SCOTT: I apologise, Your Honour. I was about to do that. It
20 is not offered for admission into evidence; it is offered simply as a
21 basis to put the questions to this witness. I am not -- we are not
22 offering it. Mr. Sayers, with my thanks, got ahead of me.
23 Q. Sir, I simply put to you that, if this jogs your memory in any
24 way, if you will look at that document on the second -- on that first
25 page, discussing certain conversations with Mr. Jozinovic, and where it
1 was in fact accounted -- stated that Mr. Vukovic, going to the question we
2 were on a moment ago, Mr. Vukovic was replaced after making these
3 statements about the criminals in the military police to Mr. Kordic and
4 Mr. Kostroman. Does that assist your memory?
5 A. Your Honours, it does not. This is the first time I see such
6 documents. It was way above my head.
7 Q. Let me just ask you one other question and I'll move on, without
8 this document certainly being offered. Let me direct your attention to
9 the -- in the English, it would be in the middle of the second page. In
10 the Bosnian version, I believe it's towards the bottom of the first page.
11 Going back to the questions I asked you a few moments ago.
12 Sir, does this refresh your memory that indeed there was a
13 situation where Mr. Kordic had a weapon taken away and Mr. Jozinovic had
14 challenged him about that saying there was no need for such nonsense?
15 MR. SAYERS: With respect, Mr. President, that is not what the
16 document says and I think that if a proposition is to be put, it should be
17 put based upon what the document actually says, whoever wrote this
18 document and, of course, we don't know that.
19 MR. SCOTT: If it's been misstated, Your Honour, let me correct
21 Q. That a weapon had been taken from an individual, whether
22 Mr. Kordic personally took it off this person or not, but when confronted
23 by Mr. Jozinovic with the warning, "We don't need such nonsense,"
24 Mr. Kordic said words to the effect, "Never mind, what does he need a
25 pistol for?"
1 Now, sir, that incident and those types of incidents were going on
2 in your backyard, in your home town and you were aware of it, weren't
4 A. Your Honours, this is the first time that I hear such things. I
5 believe -- I believe that --
6 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to go on. We will return the
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Sir, in leaving this subject, I put it to you so there is no
10 doubt, sir; you were replaced -- excuse me, my mistake. Mr. Jozinovic was
11 replaced and you took his position, and Mr. Zvonko Vukovic was replaced
12 and Mr. Pasko Ljubicic took his place because Mr. Jozinovic and
13 Mr. Vukovic were not Kordic's men and, in fact, you and Mr. Pasko Ljubicic
14 were Kordic's men; isn't that true?
15 A. Your Honours, it is not. That is my position. And I think that
16 it was my performance, my attitude, my integrity in the eyes of Colonel
17 Blaskic earned me the place of the commander and I suppose at the
18 suggestion or nomination of Mr. Niko Jozinovic.
19 Q. Sir, you would agree with me, wouldn't you, that the ethnic
20 cleansing of civilians from a village is not a legitimate military
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I want to go to that part of your statement next, please, dealing
24 with the events in Busovaca on the 20th of January.
25 MR. SCOTT: For the Chamber, it is in his statement section F.
1 Q. Sir, to be -- so the record is perfectly clear, you were not in
2 Busovaca at any time in connection with these events to the -- I think in
3 one statement I think you said returned to Busovaca on the 23rd or 24th of
4 1993; is that correct, sir?
5 A. The 23rd, I think, in late afternoon, which meant that at
6 seven-day intervals, one came back to change clothes and take a bath.
7 That is for hygiene. That is to maintain it.
8 Q. You had no personal involvement or knowledge of any of the events
9 happening primarily around the 20th of January concerning a checkpoint or
10 the events later that same night in Busovaca. In fact, sir, even though
11 you've been called here as a rejoinder witness on those points, you have
12 no personal knowledge of that, do you?
13 A. On the 23rd in the evening, that is in the headquarters of the
14 brigade command, I received some information about the events in the
15 territory of the municipality of Busovaca and about the act of vandalism.
16 Q. Who briefed you about that?
17 A. At the headquarters. Your Honours, I think it was the Dragan
18 Tomcic, the operations officer, and the officer on duty, but I just can't
19 remember who that was.
20 Q. So the account you heard was from another HVO officer, but
21 certainly I assume you didn't hear that account from any of the Muslims in
22 town, did you?
23 A. I did not. I did not get it from any of the Muslims, and I called
24 the brigade command to let them know that I had arrived, and that they
25 should prepare a new shift to go to the Travnik front. And then I asked
1 what's new, and that is how they told me about this act of vandalism,
2 about events in Kacuni, about the murder of Mirsad Delija, and about the
3 departure of civilians in the direction of Zenica which had started a
4 couple of days before.
5 Q. Very well. That's all I want to ask you about those things. So
6 you are saying whatever knowledge you had was based upon an HVO military
7 briefing several days after these events. Let me ask you, sir, there's
8 been testimony in this case from a senior Busovaca political official that
9 everything that happened on the 20th of January was a direct reaction to
10 the checkpoint incident earlier that day. If you had been informed and
11 aware of these events, can you please tell us do you agree with that?
12 A. Your Honours, basically I would not agree with this statement
13 because, basically, then it is not known why the civilians left the area
14 and all of that. So this was done by criminals and such people came in as
15 refugees were flooding in from Jajce, Kotor Varos, Dobratici. It was very
16 hard to keep under control.
17 Q. Let me cut you off because of time. Civilians were leaving,
18 Muslim civilians were leaving Busovaca after the 20th of January because
19 their shops and homes were being burnt down and hand grenaded, weren't
21 A. Your Honours, as far as I know, this act of vandalism meant that
22 certain circles gave instructions to leave an area, that is to say, the
23 centre of town and also the western part of Kadica Strana.
24 Q. Well, sir, you testified yesterday that there was a --
25 essentially, if you will, a weapons sweep, if I can use that vernacular,
1 in which a number of weapons were seized on the night of the 20th of
2 January in Busovaca. You also indicated that was being done -- that that
3 had been carried out by elements of the military police.
4 Now, both in your statement and again just now, you said these
5 actions were attributed to criminal groups. Now, sir, I put it to you
6 these weren't -- they may, in fact, have been criminal, but they were part
7 of the military police, weren't they?
8 A. Your Honours, I pointed out that these were criminals who had
9 committed an act of vandalism over Muslim establishments and partly Croat
10 establishments as well, shops, et cetera. As for the search that took
11 place that night, it was carried out by members of the military police.
12 That is to say, when the family house or, rather, when a request was put
13 forth to search the family house of Mirsad Delija, there was an exchange
14 of gunfire when the above-mentioned person was wounded, and he passed away
15 on his way to the hospital. That is the information that I had and that I
16 do have, actually, that I know about.
17 MR. SCOTT: I'd like the usher's assistance, please, with Exhibit
19 Again, Your Honour, while we're doing that, we may be able to get
20 a corresponding Defence number. Again, Your Honour, we had to prepare
21 before those numbers were known yesterday afternoon in the direct
22 examination. I apologise for that, but it was a practical matter. We had
23 no alternative.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for the sake of
25 assistance, this is section 8 of this document, D356/1, section 8.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, I put before you -- this is a report about the -- what
3 we've -- what's come known in this Chamber as the Kacuni checkpoint
4 incident on the 20th of January. It appears to be prepared by the SIS
5 assistant -- the assistant commander for SIS of your brigade or what had
6 been your brigade and then became your brigade again, dated the 22nd of
8 Only touching briefing on the first paragraph, it talks about an
9 incident at a checkpoint involving Mr. Kostroman, and directing your
10 attention down further in that same paragraph, it makes the statement,
11 " shortly thereafter, Mr. Kordic's escorts arrived and after
12 negotiations, the previously maltreated Mr. Kostroman was released."
13 Now, I put it to you again, sir, everything that happened on the
14 night of the January 20th, 1993 in Busovaca, including the destruction of
15 Muslim businesses, was retaliation, vengeance, whatever word you'd like to
16 use, for the incident involving at least Mr. Kostroman if not also
17 Mr. Kordic earlier that day. True?
18 A. Your Honours, according to the information that I have, as I
19 pointed out, no.
20 Q. Now, let me suggest to you, if you look down at the bottom of this
21 document, sir -- well, let me back up, forgive me. At the end of that
22 first paragraph, it says one of the leaders at the checkpoint was a
23 Miralem Delija, initials, we can all see, at least it would be "MD." And
24 if I direct your attention to the bottom, at least to the English version
25 at the bottom of page one, appears to be probably on the second page of
1 the B/C/S version, they went to -- these people went looking for the house
2 of or apartment for MD. A person came out of that apartment and he was
3 shot and killed; correct, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I put it to you, sir, that it is not, in fact, the case and
6 you did not know, if you were again briefed on all these events, and you
7 told us a moment ago you were briefed on the murder, was your term, of
8 Mirsad Delija, they got the wrong MD, not suggesting there was a right
9 person to kill, but in this situation, they killed the wrong MD. They
10 were looking for Miralem Delija to extract vengeance on, but they got MD,
11 Mirsad Delija instead, didn't they, sir?
12 A. Your Honour, I said that there had been wounding, that Mirsad
13 Delija had been wounded. But as far as I was informed, he died on his way
14 to hospital. In my opinion, I think that this is not correct, that they
15 confused Mirsad with Miralem. I don't know about that. I cannot make any
16 comment about that because they went to search houses.
17 Q. Sir, I put it to you that on this -- just closing on that
18 particular document, I put it to you that that is what happened and the
19 story about Mirsad Delija becoming aggressive with hand grenades was a
20 fabrication to cover up the embarrassment that the military police had
21 killed the wrong man. Isn't that true?
22 A. No, Your Honours. I said what I know, and what the information I
23 have is. That in one version, that was with two hand grenades and in the
24 other version, it was with a pistol and a hand grenade, and that he
25 opposed the search and then there was an exchange of gunfire. Then this
1 person was wounded, an ambulance was called in, and while he was being
2 transported to the health centre, he died.
3 Q. All right, sir. Let me go back then to what you said about the
4 night of the 20th. You say in your statement, paragraph 17 and 18, these
5 events were carried out "by criminal groups." And in paragraph 18, you
6 say the identities of the grenade throwers was never identified in the few
7 days thereafter?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour. As far as I know, in that period until the
9 conflict broke out, the perpetrators of this act of vandalism were not
10 found, although I pointed out that refugees were flooding in, it was more
11 difficult to control the town itself as well as its surroundings.
12 Q. Sir, I'm going to cut you off about that. It's not true, I submit
13 to you, sir, it's not true that the perpetrators were unknown. Not only
14 were they known -- I put it to you, sir, that not only were the
15 perpetrators known, they were widely known, both among the Muslim
16 community, and this Chamber certainly heard those witnesses, but also by
17 the HVO itself. Isn't that the case?
18 A. Your Honours, I cannot confirm that because I don't know. I was
19 informed that the perpetrators were unknown. As for rumours going about,
20 I don't know about them.
21 Q. Sir, was it not reported by the HVO itself, in a report dated the
22 26th of January, 1993, that on the night of the 20th of January, there was
23 these -- there was this destruction of homes and businesses in Busovaca,
24 that this was carried out by Sliskovic's men, that during this action,
25 Mirsad Delija was murdered, and one of the people involved in this action,
1 indeed one of Sliskovic's men, was Davor Kordic, the brother of Dario
2 Kordic? That's true, isn't it?
3 A. Your Honours, that information is quite unknown to me. I hear
4 about it from you now.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in the interests of time, I would direct
6 the Chamber, and I could tender, again not for offering into evidence at
7 this point but for the basis of this examination, Z396.2, which is a
8 report stating that -- but I'm in the Chamber's hands whether the Chamber
9 wants to see the document or not.
10 Q. Sir, it was widely known among the community itself, among the
11 officials of the HVO units, be that military police or regular HVO
12 soldiers, on the 20th of Busovaca [sic], I put it to you, sir, everyone
13 knew exactly what had happened; everyone knew this was an action carried
14 out by Sliskovic and with the blessing of Dario Kordic because of the
15 anger at how Mr. Kostroman had been treated earlier that day. Now, that's
16 the truth of it, isn't it?
17 A. Your Honours, I cannot confirm these allegations made by you,
18 sir. I said what I know and I said what I was told.
19 Q. Well, sir, do you know Nevevka [phoen] -- excuse my
20 pronunciation -- Neveken [phoen] Bosnjak, a doctor, a former member of the
21 parliament of BiH? Did you know him in Busovaca?
22 A. I'm sorry, I did not understand the name and surname.
23 MR. SCOTT: The pronunciation, if the translation can help me. My
24 apologies. The first name is N-e-v-e-n-k-a [sic], last name Bosnjak.
25 A. Nevenko, with an "o" at the end? That is the first time I hear
1 this name.
2 Q. Did you know a man named Bruno Susnja? He was an HDZ activist and
3 vice-president of the HVO in Busovaca, your hometown. Did you not know
4 Mr. Susnja?
5 A. Yes. Yes, Your Honours, I knew Mr. Bruno Susnja, and his brother
6 Toni as well.
7 Q. Did you know Friar or Father Milicevic, who worked with the
8 guardian of the monastery in Fojnica?
9 A. Fra Nikica Milicevic, is that who you are referring to, sir? Yes.
10 Q. You know him, the father?
11 A. [No interpretation]
12 Q. Would you find -- let me ask you, sir. Would you find Mr. --
13 We'll put aside Mr. Bosnjak for the moment. Would you believe or find
14 Mr. Susnja and the father to be reliable individuals who you would expect
15 to provide accurate information?
16 A. Your Honours, as far as Fra Nikica Milicevic is concerned, I can
17 confirm that, because he was the parish priest in the parish of Busovaca.
18 As for Mr. Susnja, I cannot confirm this, because I have some information
19 that he and his brother were involved in some criminal actions related to
20 weapons, cigarettes, and the like.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'd like the -- I'm going to tender to
22 the Chamber now Z455.1. It is a document that was discussed earlier. The
23 Court, I believe, did not accept it, excluded it. I'm not putting it
24 before the witness at this time; I'm asking for the Chamber to look at
25 it. Based on the testimony of this witness and the issues that have been
1 raised in his statements about the sources, and particularly the Catholic
2 priest, that it is relevant, it is authentic, and it is a basis to put
3 further questions to this witness.
4 Does counsel have 455.1 earlier? Then we're happy to provide
5 one. It's on its way.
6 MR. SAYERS: Once again, Mr. President, you can see from looking
7 at the Croatian original there's no signature, there's no letterhead, no
8 stamp, no nothing. Anyone could have written this, and that's presumably
9 why it was excluded. And we think the Trial Chamber should stick by its
10 earlier ruling, and it doesn't make sense to have questions based upon
11 documents that have already been excluded. It's just a waste of time.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, two responses, please. First of all,
13 this witness himself testified yesterday, at page 59 of the transcript,
14 line 13, that he based many of his actions and decisions on "intelligence
15 information." That was his words. This is a document that is consistent
16 with other information known to the Chamber. It is consistent with the
17 events that we've been discussing about this morning. This witness has
18 indicated that the Catholic priest is a reliable individual. And
19 this -- and most importantly, Your Honours, this witness just said -- has
20 stated to this Chamber, both in his statement and his sworn testimony,
21 that nobody knew, that nobody knew who the perpetrators were. This is
22 directly contrary to that.
23 JUDGE MAY: No. We'll stick to our previous ruling. The matter
24 was excluded.
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: It's not been made admissible by subsequent evidence.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: We will return it.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Sir, I put it to you that you are wrong, and you know that you
6 are -- forgive me, Mr. Grubesic.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the point -- if the Court will -- if the
9 Chamber will just allow me one moment of explanation. In the
10 practice -- the jurisdiction where I come, even documents that are not
11 admitted are marked for identification purposes, and not always knowing or
12 even suggesting that it will be accepted as an exhibit.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: This document had been excluded.
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: It wasn't marked for identification.
16 MR. SCOTT: Absolutely, Your Honour, but I was identifying it for
17 the purposes of presenting -- making the arguments to the Chamber. And of
18 course, now that this witness has come after the Chamber's ruling,
19 sometimes circumstances change. I'm not arguing with the Court's ruling,
20 but it was felt -- it was believed to be appropriate, in light of this
21 witness, to tender that document as a potential exhibit. The Court has
22 ruled. We stand by that.
23 Q. I put it to you, sir, however, notwithstanding all of this, that
24 your statement that nobody knew who the actual perpetrators of the events
25 on the evening of the 20th of January, that nobody knew who these people
1 were, is patently false, and you know it, don't you?
2 A. Your Honours, I do not agree with what you've said, sir. As far
3 as I know, the perpetrators were not found, the persons who perpetrated
4 this act of vandalism. Probably civilian policemen and the crime
5 prevention police had done their job, but, Your Honours, I have not
6 received this information. Even if such information did come in, it came
7 to the commander of the brigade, because I was in the field for the most
8 part, engaged in operations.
9 Q. Sir, do you even know if this matter -- if this criminal act,
10 activities, criminal activities, as you've described them, do you even
11 know whether they were investigated? Did anybody bother to investigate
13 A. Your Honours, I don't know whether the crime prevention police did
14 that duty of theirs, so I don't know about this.
15 Q. Well, sir, let me direct you, and the Chamber, please,
16 momentarily, back to Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit 356/1, section 8, the
17 report about the checkpoint incident.
18 MR. SCOTT: It may be, Mr. Usher, with your assistance, it may be
19 quicker for everyone if we just refer to the ELMO.
20 Q. Now, sir, this in fact is a report, one might suggest, that goes
21 beyond what happened at the incident at the checkpoint itself, and talks
22 about what happened later that day, and including again, as we've already
23 discussed, and I'm not going to go through it again, the killing of MD.
24 Now, this is a report about those events and it was prepared by the
25 assistant commander of the brigade for SIS, Zeljko Katava; correct?
1 A. Yes, Your Honours.
2 Q. And Zeljko Katava's superior, at least outside of the brigade, the
3 senior SIS official in Central Bosnia, was Anto Sliskovic; correct?
4 A. Yes, Your Honours. Tactically, yes.
5 Q. So Mr. Katava here, I put it to you, sir, is making a report - one
6 might consider it a criminal report, certainly an intelligence, an SIS
7 report - about an incident which, I put to you, his superior, Anto
8 Sliskovic, is right in the middle of. Isn't that true?
9 A. Your Honours, according to the information that I've had and
10 according to what I know, I cannot confirm what you are saying, sir.
11 MR. SCOTT: We'll move on. If I could have the usher's assistance
12 with Exhibit 1152.3.
13 And Your Honour, I believe this also comes from the so-called
14 rejoinder exhibits, and I don't know if the Defence has assigned it a
15 number or not.
16 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I believe this document was excluded
17 on November 23rd, according to our records.
18 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE MAY: Which documents did it come in, according to your
20 records? Was it part of the Zagreb or some other material?
21 MR. SAYERS: My assistant tells me it was part of the Zagreb
22 materials that were excluded.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott --
24 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: It is making the work of the Tribunal extremely
1 difficult if it's right that documents which have been excluded are then
2 sought to be introduced. There may be particular circumstances in which a
3 document having been excluded can, because it becomes relevant, be
4 admitted, but that is unusual. We're going to -- perhaps we can check to
5 see whether this has been excluded. There's an order which set all this
6 out. Somebody can check it and see whether it's been excluded or not. If
7 it has been excluded, that's the end of it.
8 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. I'll leave the document at
9 the moment aside. I'll ask the witness these questions --
10 JUDGE MAY: I think we'll adjourn now.
11 MR. SCOTT: All right. Very well.
12 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Scott, you really must bring this
13 cross-examination to a close in time for there to be re-examination before
14 the adjournment, which means you must bring it to a close by a quarter to
16 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. I'll do everything I can.
17 JUDGE MAY: If you would work accordingly. Thank you.
18 We'll adjourn now, half past 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.59 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Grubesic, you've heard that we need to move along. So I don't
23 mean to be discourteous to you, but I may cut you off after giving what
24 appears to be a responsive question [sic]. I'm sure that counsel will
25 have a chance to come back to that if they wish to, or the Chamber can
1 correct me if I am wrong.
2 Sir, do you recall giving an order as the commander of the
3 Busovaca Brigade on the 1st of August, 1993, in which you listed the
4 people in your area who were authorised to communicate with Split,
5 Croatia, and among that list, person number one was: Dario Kordic, Ignac
6 Kostroman, Tihomir Blaskic, Dusko Grubesic, Pasko Ljubicic, Anto
7 Sliskovic, Vlado Cosic, Zoran Maric, Franjo Sliskovic, Anto Puljic, Zarko
8 Petrovic, Anto Jovanovic, Tomo Vlajic, and Dragan Tomcic.
9 Do you recall making such an order, sir, and if you do, can you
10 help us as to how it was -- how did those particular people come to be
11 selected as the persons authorised to communicate with Croatia?
12 A. Your Honours, I remember this authorisation or, rather, order to
13 communicate with our coordinator whom we had in the territory of Split,
14 because we did not have a single ATC number to communicate with the world
15 or any part. That is, in Split, we had a coordinator who switched on and
16 off so that we could communicate with families and between Split and the
17 number that was set up in Busovaca.
18 It is quite natural for persons of importance in the civilian and
19 military authorities, that is, persons serving, that such persons can
20 enter that centre and use that number. The person who was the coordinator
21 in Split was Mladen Bosnjak.
22 Q. Sir, if I understand your testimony correct then, sir, these 14
23 people that I just read, according to you, are the 14 most important
24 people in Busovaca; is that correct?
25 A. These are the names of more important figures who communicated and
1 came to the territory of Busovaca.
2 Q. And sir, did you -- you did sign the order, I'll represent to
3 you. Did you actually make the selection yourself or did someone else
4 tell you who these 14 more important people were?
5 A. It was done in coordination with the headquarters whom these
6 persons might be and who should be enabled to communicate directly, using
7 that number.
8 Q. Sir, I suggest to you that included coordination included, if not
9 more than coordination, Dario Kordic, didn't it?
10 A. Yes, because Mr. Kordic did not have his own telephone number in
11 his Tisovac office, he also could use this number.
12 Q. Yes, sir. But so my question is clear, not only that he was
13 authorised to call Split, Croatia, but the decision on which 14
14 individuals so authorised, did you make that decision entirely on your own
15 or did other people, including Dario Kordic, tell you who these 14 people
16 should be?
17 A. No, Your Honours. Nobody put any pressure or anything. I decided
18 at the proposal of the staff or, rather, the head of the signals unit who
19 should use that line and on the basis of their proposal. I made the
20 decision. I can't remember its date.
21 Q. And just before we move on, so out of the 14 more important people
22 that you selected, four of these 14 included, again, these four
23 colleagues: yourself, Pasko Ljubicic, Anto Sliskovic, and Vlado Cosic,
24 among the 14 people who were authorised to call outside Busovaca; is that
25 correct, sir?
1 A. So they could, after they'd finished their job in their respective
2 commands, they could go back home and then use that number to call their
3 close or distant relatives who were in Croatia and further away.
4 Q. Sir, I'm going to direct your attention, with the usher's
5 assistance, to Defence Exhibit 356/1, tab 42.
6 Sir, I'm going to ask you only about two or three questions about
7 this document because of time, and I'm going to ask you, please, to give
8 me yes or no answers as much as you can.
9 This exhibit reflects you giving orders, an order on the 26th of
10 August to both the civil and military police. And the soldiers of your
11 brigade. My question to you, sir, is: It's correct, isn't it, that you
12 had the ability and the authority to issue orders, among others, to the
13 military police; is that correct?
14 A. No. This order is -- it says to inform the civilian police so as
15 to keep them abreast of events, that there are illegal border crossing,
16 that there is cigarette smuggling.
17 Q. No, sir, I'm going to correct you. It says "I," Dusko Grubesic,
18 the brigade commander, "strictly forbid the exchange of civilians by
19 members of the civil and military police and soldiers of the brigade."
20 And did they follow your orders, sir? Did the military police follow your
21 order or did they disobey you?
22 A. This order was addressed to military forces who were on the front
23 lines, and the civilian police was notified so that it would control the
24 entry, or rather, to control criminal acts.
25 Q. The next exhibit, sir, Exhibit Z932.1, which is a new exhibit.
1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
2 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] -- I should like to ask the
4 witness, Brigadier Grubesic, if, as it transpires from this order which
5 you are showing him, whether he did have authority over the military
6 police or not.
7 A. In the operative sense, Your Honours, when it came to the
8 execution of regular duties; that is, those units were used in the area of
9 responsibility, as regulated by the order of the commander of the
10 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. If I may add that members of the
11 military police, in addition to bringing in custody, also should have
12 control over the territory with regard to the crimes possibly committed by
13 subordinated units or individuals in the area of responsibility of the
14 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Sir, the last question on this document. I assume that you were
17 not in the habit of issuing orders that you knew you either had no
18 authority to issue or that would not be required to be obeyed. I assume
19 when you signed a military order, you meant it and you meant it to be
20 obeyed, didn't you?
21 A. No, Your Honours. This order is not addressed to the civilian
22 police. They merely just take note of it.
23 MR. SCOTT: We'll move on, sir. I'd like the witness to be shown
25 Q. Sir, this is an order that you made on the 16th of May, 1993,
1 directing, number 1, "Send two prison guards and two detainees from the
2 military remand prison to the Plom region as reinforcements on the defence
3 line." Now, the military remand prison that's being referenced to here is
4 Kaonik; isn't that correct?
5 A. Yes, Your Honours, it does mean Kaonik.
6 Q. So based on this order, sir, I take it again, you then had the
7 authority to order -- to issue orders that prison guards and people
8 detained at Kaonik to be sent to the confrontation line; correct, sir?
9 A. Your Honours, this order, I don't remember. Basically, I didn't
10 even sign it, nor does this order have a letterhead on the basis of what.
11 And the only order was for the military prison, beginning with the month
12 of December 1992, that it was a regional prison and that it was under the
13 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.
14 Q. Sir, the Bosnian version of this document bears the authentic seal
15 of the Busovaca Brigade, doesn't it? And sir, if it's not your signature,
16 then it was certainly signed for you or on your behalf, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes, Your Honours. This is not my signature. Somebody signed it
18 on my behalf.
19 Q. Let me ask you, sir: Were the two prison guards and the
20 detainees, were they in fact sent to the confrontation line?
21 A. Your Honours, I cannot recall this order, believe me, or whether
22 it was carried out.
23 Q. We have to move on, sir.
24 MR. SCOTT: There's another -- there's a continuing series of such
25 orders, Your Honours, but we'll suffice it with those two, for time
2 Q. Let me direct your attention, sir, to paragraph 32 of your
3 statement. You indicate there that Mr. Kordic in fact had no real
4 military function. And my question to you, sir, is: Are those the words
5 that you used in preparing a summary or assisting with preparing your
6 summary? Are those your words, "no real military function"?
7 A. Yes, Your Honours.
8 Q. Well, I hope it isn't a language translation error, sir, but when
9 you say "no real military function," that suggests that there was some
10 suggestion or some other -- something other than real military function.
11 What did you mean when you qualified your statement to say "no real
12 military function"?
13 A. Your Honours, I said that Mr. Kordic did not have any military
14 duties, and possibly, in view of my duty, I should have known -- I should
15 have had such knowledge. I know that he was one of the two
16 vice-presidents of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and that he was a
17 member of the presidency, or rather, the vice-president of the BH HDZ.
18 Q. Sir, I'm going to have to continue on that same paragraph. You
19 say then, "Indeed, Mr. Kordic had no military experience, and the nervous
20 attempts that he made to intrude into the military arena ..." and so on.
21 I ask you again, sir: Are those your words? You chose the words "nervous
23 A. Your Honours, I don't think -- I don't remember this text, and I
24 do not think that I used the word "nervous." Well, Mr. Kordic, basically,
25 wanted to help everybody in a certain way, and especially to help the
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 population and the refugees in those areas. And I said that Mr. Kordic
2 imposed himself in certain cases, requesting, well, can you do this and
3 can you do that, but it was simply no go because the command and control
4 system, as I said, went through the commander of the Operative Zone.
5 Q. Sir, how were the attempts nervous? If that was your word, and
6 maybe you've just suggested to us just now that wasn't your word. If it
7 was, how were they nervous?
8 A. Your Honours, I don't think they were nervous, but because of the
9 pressures of the civilian population, I guess, perhaps it was so said,
10 requested to do something, to make certain steps which, militarily
11 speaking, was impossible.
12 Q. Let's move on and, in that same paragraph, also you go on to say
13 that he was attempting to give orders such as one to Mirko Batinic. Now,
14 again, this was your statement that he was attempting to give orders; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Your Honours, I said that Mr. Kordic now and then made
17 suggestions, and during one of the briefings in the Operative Zone with
18 the chief of artillery, that is the commander of equipment and materiel,
19 we talked or, rather, we touched upon Mr. Kordic's request when he
20 allegedly had asked Mr. Batinic to use the heavy artillery. And both of
21 us just smiled mildly at that. That was our comment.
22 Q. Sir, in your statement, and I realise this may be information
23 added that's not to be attributed to you, I want to be clear that I'm not
24 suggesting that, but probably for the assistance of counsel and the
25 Chamber was indicated that -- Your Honours, it was indicated that this
1 would rejoin, among other things, Exhibit Z447.1.
2 Now, sir, that is a report by Mr. Batinic about Mr. Kordic's
3 giving of artillery orders. Did you review that document before you
4 testified yesterday?
5 A. Your Honours, it was not an issued order, but an attempt to
6 somehow help.
7 Q. That's not my question. Did you review the document marked as
8 Z447.1 before you testified?
9 A. This document about Mr. Batinic's report, yes, I read it.
10 Q. And you --
11 A. When I was preparing myself.
12 Q. -- I represent to you, sir, and the Chamber has it, it will be
13 argument that I close on this topic with this: Sir, rather than being
14 laughed at, the report indicates that, in fact, on several occasions
15 Mr. Kordic's artillery orders were executed, and if you reviewed the
16 document, you know that to be the case, don't you?
17 A. I pointed out that when I was with Mr. Batinic, we commented on
18 these requests and we both smiled at that. That was the comment. To my
19 mind, that is, that the commander of materiel and equipment could only use
20 the order to use the heavy artillery only when so ordered by the commander
21 of the Operative Zone.
22 Q. We'll move on, sir.
23 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, you have the exhibit.
24 Q. I'm going to direct your attention next to Exhibit 1135.3, if I
25 could have the usher's assistance.
1 Sir, this is an order that you issued on the 2nd of July, 1993, as
2 commander of the Busovaca or the Zrinjski Brigade to all commanders, and
3 at number five, if I can direct your attention to number five, it says,
4 "The HVO president must constantly be in a position to contact and
5 coordinate activity for the brigade commander."
6 Now, sir, can you tell me why the HVO president would have to be
7 kept constantly advised in order to coordinate activity with the brigade
9 A. Your Honours, from the very beginning, from the very early days in
10 our organisation, coordination with civilian structures was maintained
11 because the municipal presidents were also in the area of responsibility
12 and they needed to have a clear picture of the developments. And they
13 were regularly briefed about that by brigade commanders, by civilian
14 police forces, by the defence office, and the Red Cross.
15 Q. Move on, sir, to Exhibit 1205.1.
16 Sir, this is another order that you signed or issued, either
17 yourself or someone on your behalf, for the Busovaca Brigade on the 18th
18 of September, 1993. Everyone can review the paragraphs one through six,
19 but sir, again, in terms of delivered, one of the people that you copied
20 or had this order distributed to was the HVO president.
21 Now, again, are you telling this Chamber that it was your standard
22 practice including matters of military portion, military operations, to
23 work closely with and distribute orders and reports to the HVO president?
24 A. Your Honours, that is not true. It is only some orders which had
25 to do with the brigade were also given to HVO presidents, civilian police,
1 defence office so that they could take note of the activities, that is,
2 about the lifting of roadblocks and the rest.
3 Q. I direct your attention next to Exhibit Z451.2.
4 Brigadier, this is an order that you signed on the 9th of
5 February, 1993, according to your testimony, within a day or two of your
6 becoming, again, the brigade commander after Mr. Jozinovic, and within
7 days of the troubles in Busovaca in January of 1993. And, sir, when you
8 issued that order, you obtained Colonel Kordic's signature and approval as
9 well, didn't you?
10 A. Yes, Your Honours.
11 Q. And why did you go? Why did you seek Colonel Kordic's signature
12 on this order?
13 A. Your Honours, in addition to the fact that Mr. Kordic enjoyed high
14 prestige, also because a large number of these procedures refer to the
15 civilian structures too and their safety, because evidently, in spite of
16 the signed ceasefire agreement, the provocation never stopped, and even
17 the use of artillery, of light artillery against inhabited localities,
18 inhabited targets, and it was absolutely in order to prevent massacres and
19 other acts and which were not --
20 Q. Sir, you've got Colonel Kordic's signature on this also described
21 as deputy president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Now, if
22 you were issuing a curfew in Busovaca, why didn't you go to the mayor?
23 Excuse me. Why did you not go to the person that might be called the
24 mayor of Busovaca or the HVO president in Busovaca? Why did you go to
25 Colonel Dario Kordic?
1 A. Well, Your Honours, I pointed out, I think, that Mr. Kordic, after
2 all, did enjoy high prestige, and everybody respected him, including the
3 refugees from Jajce, Kotor Varos, and part of the refugees from the area
4 of Dobratici. I don't think that --
5 Q. I'm going to have to cut you off in the interests of time. Would
6 you agree when you say "prestige," would you agree that it might also be
7 stated he was a person of great power?
8 A. Your Honour, I cannot confirm your words. Power was in the hands
9 of -- or rather, issuing orders was in the hands of the commander of the
10 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, and the exceptional authority, prestige,
11 that Mr. Kordic had amongst the population was, I think, the best thing
12 for me to do therefore was to act this way in order to prevent any kind of
13 incident from happening so that they would know that Mr. Kordic stood
14 behind an order formulated in this way.
15 As I have already pointed out, this was primarily directed at
16 enhancing the security and safety of the civilian population.
17 Q. Sir, what you've just told us is that you thought that it was more
18 likely that your order would be obeyed if someone like Dario Kordic signed
19 it; correct?
20 A. It only pertained to the civilian part of the population.
21 Q. All right, sir. Now, going to the 15th of April, 1993, where were
22 you on that day, starting in the morning, and can you just tell the
23 Chamber what you recall, if you do, were your duties as brigade commander
24 on the 15th of April, 1993?
25 A. Your Honour, on the 15th of April, I had my regular activities, my
1 everyday activities, morning briefings with the command of the brigade.
2 After that, briefings with commanders of units and issuing guidelines for
3 future work.
4 Q. And -- sorry. Go ahead.
5 A. After that, usually there would be a tour of parts of the front
6 line or of the commands of subordinate units.
7 Q. Let me direct your attention to late on the evening of April 15th,
8 or perhaps the early morning of the 16th of April. When did you first
9 receive an order? What is your -- at least your account of when you first
10 received an order about military action which would involve, among other
11 locations, Ahmici?
12 A. On the 15th, in the afternoon, sometime after 1500 hours, the
13 commander of the 4th Battalion reported that there was an attack on Mount
14 Kuber. I issued guidelines, I issued instructions to see what the exact
15 situation was, and then, after having received a report, I reported to the
16 Superior Command --
17 Q. Sir, you're not answering my question. Specifically, when did you
18 learn that your unit would be involved in actions involving Ahmici?
19 A. Your Honour, I did not receive this order, nor was any order
20 issued to attack Ahmici. I did not get any such thing. On the 16th, in
21 the morning, I received an order, on the basis of the order issued by the
22 commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, that we should be
23 cautious because intelligence reports showed that there could be surprises
24 in certain directions, within the area of responsibility of the Nikola
25 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade as well.
1 Q. Sir, with that sentence, I'm going to cut you off at this moment.
2 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to ask to be distributed, Your Honours, a
3 summary chart, and it is only as an aid to complete, as the Chamber has
4 directed, the cross-examination as quickly as possible.
5 If I can hand those to the usher, please.
6 And I will tell the Chamber how it was prepared and what it's
7 based on. Mr. President, these are orders from the 15th, 16th, and 17th
8 of April. They've all been marked as exhibits. They can all be -- the
9 ones which are not already in evidence, and many certainly are, the rest
10 of them can be and will be, if that's the Chamber's pleasure. But rather
11 than go through all these documents individually between now and a quarter
12 to one, I have prepared this table of the most relevant, we submit, the
13 most relevant information for purposes of finishing the cross-examination
14 on this issue, if that's acceptable.
15 JUDGE MAY: We'll see how we get on with it.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
17 Q. Sir, if that's been put in --
18 MR. SCOTT: Has the witness -- I put this in front of -- Your
19 Honour, there was not time to have this translated. I put it in front of
20 the witness just -- he may see some of the markings of what entry we're
21 on. I'll have to have assistance, I'm afraid, from translation, which
22 would be based on my questions, in any event, and I think it may assist
23 everyone else in the courtroom.
24 Q. Sir, do you recall on the 15th of April, about 11.00 that morning,
25 receiving an order from Blaskic, in fact, that your brigade was supposed
1 to participate in a prisoner exchange in Busovaca on that day?
2 A. Your Honour, I do not remember that order, because I know that
3 there were certain problems in Zenica. Actually, the commander of the
4 Zenica Brigade was abducted and his escorts were killed. I remember that.
5 JUDGE MAY: That's enough.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. That's not my question, sir.
8 MR. SCOTT: Going down to, then -- we'll come back to some of the
9 earlier entries, but if we go to the top of the next page, and the Chamber
10 -- for the counsel and Chamber.
11 Q. Is it correct, sir -- isn't it correct that at approximately 1.30
12 in the morning on the 16th of April, your brigade, you, received a Blaskic
13 order along the lines of:
14 "Expect attack in the wider region of the village of Bare and
15 Kaonik intersection. Strengthen the defence lines, particularly along the
16 Pezici-Gornje Rovna line. Your units will hold the defence positions on
17 your right. Your units will hold the defence positions on your left. And
18 in case of an intense attack, parts of HVO Brigade Vitez will assist you
19 in the area in front of you."
20 Do you remember receiving that order about 1.30 in the morning on
21 the 16th of April?
22 A. Yes, Your Honour. I remember that I was awakened at headquarters
23 somewhere around 1.30. I sent this order to subordinate commanders. It
24 related to intensified measures of alertness because of heightened
25 attacks. I cannot remember the exact directions, but I know that already
1 in the afternoon, and during the night, we had occasional provocations at
2 Mount Kuber.
3 Q. Sir, we have to continue moving forward because of time. I want
4 to direct you back to -- or direct counsel and Chamber back to the bottom
5 of the first page of the schedule. Sir, you knew, did you not, that this
6 action that Colonel Blaskic was ordering, among other locations, involved
7 an attack on Ahmici, and you knew that your actions and your brigade's
8 actions were to be coordinated with other brigades and HVO forces;
10 A. Your Honour, I assert with full responsibility that I did not know
11 and that I did not have any order of any nature in relation to Ahmici.
12 That is a good two to three kilometres away from my area of
14 Q. Sir, the order, the similar order that went to the Vitez Brigade
15 at 1.30 that morning said, among other things:
16 "Occupy the defence region. Blockade villages and prevent all
17 entrances to and exits from the villages. In the event of open attack
18 activity by the Muslims, neutralise them. In front of you are the forces
19 of the 4th Battalion Military Police. Behind you are your forces. To the
20 right of you are the forces of the unit Nikola Subic-Zrinjski," your
21 brigade, "and to the left of you are the forces of the civilian police.
22 Other points of the command conform to earlier specified instructions."
23 Now, you knew that --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
25 MR. SAYERS: If I could just object to that question, Your
1 Honour. That was obviously an order that was directed to another
2 brigade. And if the Court wants to take a look at the order that was
3 issued to the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, that's tab 31 of Exhibit
5 JUDGE MAY: The matter is confusing for the witness if it's put in
6 that form --
7 MR. SCOTT: Let me rephrase it, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: -- without mention of the order. Perhaps, Mr. Scott,
9 put the case that you want to put to the witness.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Sir, I put to you that on the 15th of April, 1993, an HVO military
12 action of a broad nature was planned and coordinated, in large measure at
13 the Hotel Vitez, at Colonel Blaskic's headquarters; that there were a
14 series of meetings that day, other meetings that night at a place called
15 the Bungalow; involved in that attack was an attack on Ahmici, in which
16 the entire village was annihilated; and that you were a part of that
17 overall effort; you knew about it, you coordinated your brigade's
18 activities with other brigades who were involved in that attack; and
19 that's the truth of it, isn't it?
20 A. Your Honour, I assert with full responsibility that I did not know
21 about any attacks. I repeat and highlight once again that, in my area of
22 responsibility, I had attacks and provocations at Mount Kuber. As for
23 other events in the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, I am not aware of
24 them. Later, subsequently --
25 Q. Sir, as a military commander, which you continue to be, as a
1 brigadier, isn't it true, sir, that when military activities are taking
2 place in a region, there has to be coordination among the units for, among
3 other reasons, that they don't shoot each other, and so that the friendly
4 forces know the units involved, that their activities are planned, that
5 their activities are coordinated, and they know what the mission objective
6 is so they can all work together? Isn't that military procedure?
7 A. Your Honour, we were in an encircled defence and we --
8 Q. That's not my question. Is it not military procedure that
9 military actions of friendly forces, in carrying out a military operation,
10 are planned and coordinated together? That's my question.
11 A. If in the zone of responsibility of both brigades, yes. However,
12 if in the area of responsibility of one brigade only, then no. In my
13 opinion, we did not have an order to attack, any order, on the 15th or the
14 16th; only for heightened alert and to prevent any kind of penetrations of
15 the army of the BH in any place within the zone of responsibility of the
16 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.
17 Q. Sir, let me ask you one or two questions about these orders before
18 we have to move on to other things. I'm going to represent to you, sir,
19 that 5.30, at 5.30 or, in military terms, 1730 on the 16th of April, there
20 was a further Blaskic order to your brigade to the -- this is item 1730,
21 Your Honours, on page 2 -- an order to your brigade, the Vitez Brigade,
22 the 4th Battalion Military Police, and the Vitezovi special unit and the
23 Tvrtko special unit, among other things, and the order was either in
24 evidence or shall be if the Chamber wishes, "... conduct the extraction of
25 fallen civilians and soldiers and," among other things, "... conduct
1 fortifications in positions gained."
2 Now, sir, I put it to you that positions gained sounds like
3 offensive action not defensive action, doesn't it?
4 A. The order pertained to those who possibly had advances in terms of
5 a counterattack. That is to say that if there were any persons killed or
6 dead, that they should be pulled out.
7 Q. We have to go forward, sir. In paragraph 38 of your statement,
8 you purport to tell the Chamber about Mr. Kordic's whereabouts or
9 activities on the 15th of April, and I put it to you, sir, that you have
10 absolutely no personal knowledge of any of that, do you?
11 A. Your Honour, I know of the information that on that day, there was
12 a press conference on the 15th of April. I remember that very well.
13 Q. At what time was the press conference?
14 A. Sometime around 12.00. Press conferences were usually held in the
15 period between 12.00 and 1.00 or 1.30.
16 Q. And you're suggesting that Mr. Kordic was there, and how do you
17 know that? Were you there?
18 A. No, I was not.
19 Q. Did you see the press conference?
20 A. I did not. But that was in the municipality of Busovaca, 200
21 metres away from the command post.
22 Q. And what, if anything, do you know? And I suggest you don't know
23 anything about Mr. Kordic's activities after the press conference.
24 A. I know because the young men who were providing security wrote
25 reports about movement, about going in, going out, records are kept, "At
1 the checkpoint at such and such an hour, Mr. Dario Kordic walked in as
2 well as Mr. Tihomir Blaskic and ..."
3 Q. Sir, have you seen these orders? Have you seen these records of
4 comings and goings and could you please direct us to them if you have
6 A. I have not seen them, but I know what the instructions given to
7 checkpoints are in terms of how records are kept.
8 Q. Sir, we only have a limited few minutes left, and I put it to you
9 that, apart from what you may have heard, apart from rumour, apart from
10 what you think might have been entered into a record somewhere in
11 documents that this Chamber doesn't have, do you have any personal
12 knowledge of where Dario Kordic was on the afternoon of the 15th of
13 April? Your personal knowledge, sir.
14 A. Your Honour, only in terms of the information that he was
15 attending lunch at his own premises at Tisovac after the press conference.
16 Q. And how do you know that? Were you at the luncheon?
17 A. No, Your Honour, I was not. In terms of my daily schedule, after
18 the first or second briefing, I planned to tour one of the commands or
19 part of the front line, depending on what was necessary in the brigade. I
20 personally did not see this, but I heard about it.
21 Q. Sir, you were not with Mr. Kordic, yourself, at any time -- if you
22 are telling us this -- if I am wrong, correct me -- you were not with
23 Mr. Kordic at any time during the 15th of April, were you?
24 A. Your Honour, yes. On that day, I did not see Mr. Kordic at all.
25 Q. And sir, assuming he had a luncheon, Tisovac is only minutes away
1 from Busovaca, is that not correct, sir, and only some minutes away from
2 Hotel Vitez; isn't that true?
3 A. 15 minutes from Busovaca to the office of Mr. Kordic. And from up
4 there, about 35 to 40 minutes are needed of a slow drive, perhaps half an
5 hour if you drive faster.
6 Q. All right. Sir, we must move on but I put it to you, so it's
7 plain, 35 to 40 minutes is not an accurate estimate but, in any event, I
8 will also tell you, you would agree with me, wouldn't you, there would be
9 plenty of time, even if he was in Tisovac, and we don't accept that, there
10 would be plenty of time to get back to a meeting in Hotel Vitez by early
11 afternoon, wouldn't there?
12 A. Your Honour, I am not aware of that. Probably at the checkpoint,
13 they would have to have records as to whether he passed through there or
14 not. Due to the importance of the post I held, I would have received this
15 information during the day, that one convoy passed, two convoys passed,
16 that Mr. Kordic, Mr. Blaskic passed through, I mean important persons.
17 Q. Sir, we have to move on. I just want to put this question to you,
18 very straight: Is it your position that you were not in any meetings with
19 Colonel Blaskic on the afternoon or evening of the 15th of April? And
20 that can be answered yes or no. You either were or you weren't.
21 A. Yes, I state that I was not because I had all these problems,
22 these attacks, et cetera, on Mount Kuber.
23 Q. So, sir, you don't know, you have no personal knowledge of who was
24 there or what was said, do you?
25 A. Your Honour, I don't know of there having been a meeting in the
1 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia because I certainly would have been
2 invited too.
3 Q. And, sir, is it also your position that you did not attend any
4 meetings at a place called the Bungalow on the evening of the 15th of
5 April or the early morning hours of the 16th of April?
6 A. Your Honour, I already stated that. That is to say, that in
7 addition to these problems that I had within my area of responsibility, I
8 did not move anywhere from the territory of Busovaca because I was
9 carrying out my duties with responsibility.
10 Q. Sir, do you not recall, among one of the things you said at a
11 meeting at the Bungalow that evening, that, "Good artillery support would
12 be available."
13 A. Your Honour, I assert, with full responsibility, that I was not at
14 the Bungalow, nor did I stop by at the Bungalow.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, you are putting that this witness, as part
16 of your case, was at the Bungalow.
17 MR. SCOTT: Based on other evidence, Your Honour, which I won't go
18 into, please.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott, please.
20 JUDGE MAY: But so that the witness knows what is being suggested,
21 it is suggested he was at the Bungalow on the evening of the 15th when the
22 plans were being made and the preparations being made for the attack on
24 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: That is what you are putting to him in terms.
1 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I can do that.
2 JUDGE MAY: So not only would he have known about it, he was a
3 participant in the plans.
4 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, before that is put, he must be warned that he
6 does not have to answer any questions that may incriminate him.
7 Do you understand that? Something is going to be put to you,
8 Brigadier Grubesic, so that you understand what the Prosecution case is on
9 these matters. I have to tell you you do not have to answer any question
10 which may or tend to incriminate you.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Sir, with that advice in mind, or caution in mind, I do put it to
13 you bluntly: You were at the Bungalow on the night of the 15th and the
14 morning of the 16th of April. You participated in these meetings. You
15 gave input into the plan. You participated in the planning of the events
16 that were launched later that morning, including the attack on Ahmici.
17 You were there, and you knew it, and you participated in it, didn't you?
18 A. Your Honours, I affirm that I was not in the Bungalow or attend
19 any meetings that day, either on the 15th or on the 16th.
20 Q. Well, sir, is it your testimony, you've talked to us about
21 artillery, you said, I think that you said, "Only the brigade commander
22 can authorise the use of artillery within the brigade's area of
23 responsibility." Is that true?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours, with proposals of chiefs of artillery at the
25 request of the commander of the subordinated unit.
1 Q. Well, sir, I put it to you, who told you or who gained your
2 authorisation to fire a shot from Hrasno at 5.30 on the morning of the
3 16th of April to launch the attack? That was the signal to go. Who told
4 you to fire artillery at 5.30 in the morning?
5 A. Your Honours, I know nothing about this, and I don't know that
6 artillery was at Hrasno. I had positioned the artillery at Skradno and
7 Donje Polje.
8 JUDGE MAY: Just help us with this: Was Hrasno within your
9 brigade's area of responsibility or in another one?
10 A. Hrasno is in the area of responsibility of Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Sir, you've said -- I'm sorry, but I have to go on unless Your
14 Honour has a follow-up question.
15 Sir, you've said in paragraph 42 of your statement that you --
16 that a person named Santic was in Ahmici on April 16th, leading soldiers
17 of the Jokers in military operations in that village. Now, how do you
18 know that?
19 A. I learned that when I communicated with the unit commanders. And
20 that information --
21 Q. When was that? When were you communicating with the other unit
22 commanders about what was happening in Ahmici?
23 A. I talked with them at one of the briefings in the Operative Zone
24 Central Bosnia. But this information went through commanders of units
25 which communicated, and these stories spread quickly.
1 Q. Sir, we have to continue on. Sir, you've said in paragraph 52 --
2 well, you say in paragraph 51, you dispute an incident concerning a convoy
3 in apparently late April of 1993. Then you go on to say in paragraph 52
4 that there were other incidents with convoys in Busovaca, including one in
5 late June or early July which then you characterise as a minor incident
6 and was quickly resolved. Is that your testimony, sir?
7 A. Your Honours, I said that I could not remember. That I did not
8 remember a convoy consisting of a large number of vehicles in April, but I
9 pointed out that there were some incidents in a part of the -- involving
10 civilian police who, in February, late February, had an incident with a
11 UNHCR convoy.
12 Q. I'm not talking about February. I'm talking about July of 1993.
13 In the interest of time, let me put it to you that you were involved in
14 the stopping of a convoy of approximately four trucks. The four trucks
15 were taken to the barracks in Busovaca. The trucks were looted with your
16 involvement, under your direction. That an ECMM officer named Hank
17 Morsink confronted you about this to try to get the trucks, in fact,
18 relieved and, in fact, they were. The trucks, themselves, were later
19 recovered but, by that time, all the goods had been stolen.
20 You were directly involved in that, sir, weren't you?
21 A. Your Honours, I do not remember participating in that personally,
22 but I do remember that there were incidents, quite a number of them,
23 regarding convoys, some of which were, after all, not regular.
24 MR. SCOTT: If you would just put that on the ELMO, please. I ask
25 the usher to put on the ELMO Exhibit Z1711.
1 Q. Sir, I put it to you again that Mr. Morsink, actually Colonel
2 Morsink, identified this photo of you in these proceedings as the man who
3 stopped the convoy in July of 1993, and not only that, that your soldiers
4 pointed their weapons at Mr. Morsink directly and threatened to kill him.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Your microphone was switched off.
7 MR. SCOTT: For the interpreters, do you want me to restate the
9 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, please.
10 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
11 Q. Sir, I put it to you that Colonel Morsink identified you and
12 identified this photograph of you. That you were one of the people that
13 he dealt with and tried to get these convoys freed, and it was your troops
14 who pointed rifles at Colonel Morsink and threatened to kill him. That's
15 true, isn't it?
16 A. Your Honours, I do not remember and I cannot confirm the
17 Prosecutor's allegations.
18 Q. You cannot confirm, sir, and it's also true you cannot deny it
19 because it's true, isn't it?
20 A. I have pointed out that I remembered some convoys with which there
21 were some problems. But believe me, I'm quite sure. After all, it was a
22 long time ago, and one forgets certain things.
23 Q. Sir, you ordered an attack on the 19th of April, 1993. You
24 ordered an attack on a Muslim area called Ocanici, didn't you?
25 A. Your Honours, I do not remember that order, but I do remember that
1 we had front lines in the area of Ocanici.
2 Q. You do remember that your units were involved in Ocanici, don't
4 A. Your Honours, throughout the area of responsibility, there were
5 units, domicile units with local population with additional engagement of
6 military police members.
7 Q. Sir, I put it to you that on the 19th of April, 1993, within days
8 after Ahmici, you ordered an attack on the village of Ocanici in which it
9 was directly involving the cleansing of the Muslims and at least five
10 civilian women were murdered. Now that's correct, isn't it?
11 A. Your Honours, I cannot confirm your allegations, but I know that
12 the village of Ocanici was between the lines held by Croat Defence Council
13 and lines held by the members of the BH army and that there were clashes
14 in that area because they have a good view of the meadows. I don't
15 remember that moment on the 19th of April quite clearly.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, in order to refresh the witness's
17 recollection and put the matter to him, I request that an audiotape marked
18 as Z1851.1 be played. We have a transcript of that, which we'll also
19 distribute. For the booth purposes, if the Chamber agrees, it's been
20 marked and given to the booth as T000-0891.
21 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, this appears to be a new exhibit.
22 We're not necessarily objecting. If we could just know what the purported
23 telephone conversation is or the audiotape purports to be.
24 JUDGE MAY: Tell us about this, Mr. Scott. Is it a new exhibit?
25 MR. SCOTT: It is new. It is new, Your Honour. It was
1 never -- before we knew this witness would come and testify, there was no
2 reason for us to particularly mark it.
3 JUDGE MAY: Let us see the transcript, see what the relevance is.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE MAY: We've got very few minutes, but this can be put to the
7 MR. SCOTT: And we are within minutes, Your Honour, of
9 If the Serbo-Croatian version could be put in front of the witness
10 and perhaps the English on the ELMO.
11 Your Honour, what I'm going to suggest -- well, never mind. I
12 think, in the interests of time, we'll just proceed. I can tell the
13 Chamber that while it's being -- before it's played that, obviously, since
14 most of us are not native speakers, it's very difficult for
15 most -- probably for most of us to make sense of it, but I am told by
16 language assistants who have listened to the tape and translated it that,
17 by standards of this kind of material, that it's actually quite good. But
18 obviously the Chamber can make its own --
19 JUDGE MAY: Just play -- the first extract will be sufficient. We
20 can read the rest.
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Very well.
22 If the booth could do that, please.
23 [Videotape played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Call Soko. Ante, call Soko. Stop
25 other communication for a moment. Stay with those guys. And Joker 10,
1 move on together with Anto to cleanse Ocehnici.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot follow the tape.
3 JUDGE MAY: I think that's sufficient.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Sir, I put it to you that your units were involved in this and
6 that in fact you are Soko; isn't that true?
7 A. I claim, Your Honours, that I am not Soko and that Nikola
8 Subic-Zrinjski units did not do this, because they were not able of doing
9 something, to do something. The information that I have and know is
10 that --
11 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to go on. If anyone wants to ask you
12 anything more --
13 MR. SCOTT: I have one other question.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott.
15 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues] ... wait. Did you
16 recognise a voice on that tape?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please. The
18 witness' microphone is switched off.
19 A. Your Honours, no.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I can finish in about one or two
21 minutes. I would pursue that further, but the Court has heard what it has
22 heard and will make its own determination, obviously.
23 Q. Sir, I want to direct you to one final incident. Do you recall on
24 the 19th of June of 1993 that you once again had a meeting with this ECMM
25 monitor, Colonel Morsink, and that during that meeting you admitted to him
1 that you and your unit had used civilians, civilian detainees, to dig
2 trenches around Skradno, and that Colonel Morsink confronted you about
3 that, didn't he?
4 A. Your Honours, I am not aware of these allegations, nor do I
5 remember. At Skradno? Because Skradno was in the depth of the
6 territory. I don't know. And Skradno was the only place where artillery
7 was, where mortars were, and it is not on the first front line --
8 Q. Sir, putting aside the location --
9 A. -- where the firing positions are of the artillery.
10 Q. Putting the location aside for one moment, you met with
11 Mr. Morsink -- Colonel Morsink on the 19th of June, and at that time he
12 confronted you with the use of civilians to dig trenches, and you admitted
13 that in fact you had done that, and Colonel Morsink said something to the
14 effect of, "Well, don't do it again." Isn't that true, sir?
15 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I hear this and from the
16 Prosecutor. I have never heard about this, that I argued with
17 international factors. I think it is too much.
18 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I can just direct Your Honours' attention
19 to the transcript, pages 8118 and 8119 of Colonel Morsink's testimony. I
20 have no further questions.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I had
22 very many questions, but I'm also aware of the pressure of the time and
23 I'll try to cut it down as much as I can.
24 To begin with, I should like to say something about the document
25 1332.2, which was adduced today. The Prosecution says that it was written
1 on the 2nd of December, 1992. That is what the Prosecution claims. And I
2 affirm that it was written on the 2nd of December, 1993, that is, that
3 this is a forgery. Here is why. This document seems to be addressed to
4 the president of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and the Croat
5 Republic of Herceg-Bosna was founded in August 1993. So if this is a
6 document which was written in December 1992, there wasn't mention even of
7 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna; it was still a community at the time.
8 So since this document was drawn up after the Croat Republic of
9 Herceg-Bosna was established, so it's quite obvious that this document is
10 a forgery, because Mr. Jozinovic in December 1993 was a commander in the
11 111th Brigade in Zepce. Besides, it is not signed, a stamp is missing,
12 and so on and so forth.
13 But now a few questions. It is document 1322.2. Perhaps I
14 misspoke. I apologise.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
16 Q. Brigadier, today call signs were mentioned, call signs that were
17 regularly used by the army in case of some actions. When asked by His
18 Honour Judge Bennouna, you told us that those signs were changed. Isn't
19 that so?
20 A. Yes, Your Honour. It was usually that these call signs were
21 changed every month, that is, for all those participants in the traffic of
23 Q. Thank you. My next question is: Apart from those regular changes
24 which were a precaution, were call signs also attached in case of every
25 action? And when I mean code-names, I mean completely new code-names.
1 A. Yes. It was a special communication system, a special secret
2 name. It's like that in all the armies.
3 Q. Very well. So if call signs were changed regularly, every month
4 for HVO officers, if for every action that was to be taken, the
5 code-name -- a new code-name was devised, can we then agree that all the
6 commanders or participants in the action, a year or year and a half later,
7 would have ended up with 50 or perhaps even 100 call signs behind them?
8 A. Well, Your Honours, perhaps not 50 or 100, but not less than 15 or
9 20. And any participant with a Motorola also had his call sign. The very
10 moment when they could be discovered by surveillance, an order would be
11 issued immediately to change frequencies and to assign them new call
13 Q. Now a few short questions. Only a detail which has to do with the
14 Prosecutor's question about when you learnt that an individual called
15 Santic had participated in the Ahmici operation. And you said that you
16 learnt about that at the briefing held in the command of the Operative
17 Zone Central Bosnia, but you did not tell us when. Could you please
19 A. I cannot give you the exact date unless I can look at some
20 documents to jog my memory, but it was there that I learnt in detail.
21 However, the information was already spreading around through commanders
22 of individual units, because it spreads in no time at all.
23 Q. Very well. But just to clarify: Was it before the incident in
24 Ahmici, during the incident in Ahmici, or after the incident?
25 A. After. After. After the incident in Ahmici.
1 Q. My second short question has to do with the village of Skradno.
2 Against the front line manned by the -- held by the HVO against the BH
3 army, who controlled the village of Skradno?
4 A. The village of Skradno was controlled by the HVO, from January
5 onwards, the 26th of January onwards.
6 Q. We're talking about 1993, aren't we?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So Skradno was not on the separation line?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. It is about 1.500 to 2.000 metres into the depth from the front
12 line, behind the front line.
13 Q. You were shown today D356/1, tab 8, which is the report drawn up
14 by Zeljko Katava. You know who that is?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And if the Prosecutor noted properly, it mentions the incident
17 related to the wounding, subsequent death of Mirsad Delija. But a
18 sentence before that refers to another incident which happened in a
19 different area. I will read the sentence just to save time. It says here
20 that during the search of houses in the area - and I can't see which - a
21 bomb was thrown at the patrol, and on that occasion two policemen were
22 hurt. Did you hear about that second incident when you arrived to your
23 command on the -- in the evening of the 23rd of September?
24 A. No, Your Honours. No. I was -- I did not know about that other
25 incident; that is, I don't remember.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] All right. Well, the document
2 speaks for itself. We don't have to go back to that.
3 And as for document Z932.1, I don't have any questions, Your
4 Honours. I merely wish to observe that in the English version it seems as
5 if it was signed by this witness, and he denies that. And in the Croatian
6 version it says "for," on behalf of the commander, and this word is
8 I should like now to ask the usher to help me put the Croatian
9 version of the document 421, Z421.1, on the ELMO -- point 4. I'm sorry,
10 it's a mistake. I have it in my hands -- to speed matters up. So it is a
11 mistake on the document. It is actually document Z421.4.
12 Will you please, Brigadier, look at the abbreviations in the text.
13 Your Honours, in the English translation, these abbreviations that
14 we see here in item 1 and 2 are translated in full, so you cannot see the
15 abbreviations in the English text, and they are very specific, so that I
16 should like to ask the brigadier who uses these abbreviations and what do
17 they mean.
18 Q. So in the first item of this order, we have this.
19 A. Your Honour, these abbreviations are used by the military only,
20 that is, those who prepare orders, and they mean -- b/d, combat operation;
21 sd/o is dry pack; b/k means two combat sets of ammunition, and this is
22 ammunition 7.9 millimetres.
23 Q. Very well. Right. So this is typical military terminology, isn't
25 A. Yes, Your Honours.
1 Q. And to repeat it to Their Honours, who prepared this document
2 which we see on the ELMO now?
3 JUDGE MAY: He's given the evidence about that. No need to repeat
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank
7 Z451.2. This is a document which was produced today.
8 Q. Brigadier, it is the order which notes that a curfew is still in
9 force. And my only question is as follows: Where it says "delivered," it
10 says that it was -- that one copy was also delivered to the Radio HVO in
11 Busovaca. Why?
12 A. Your Honours, the reason to deliver it to the radio station was so
13 that the population, the civilian population, should be read out this
14 decision and so that they should be informed about this information, that
15 is, order.
16 Q. This order was being made public; is that it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. I do not really know if we need to waste
19 any time with this, but the order that you received on the 16th of April,
20 1993, in the morning of that day, D356/1, tab 31, under 3, it says -- it
21 specifies your task and then you are told who are your neighbours. And it
22 says directly in 3: "In front of you," and I'm quoting a part of this
23 one: "In front of you, in case of a stronger attack, the HVO brigade from
24 Vitez will cooperate with you." That is, you, as a brigade commander --
25 Yes, please go on.
1 A. Yes, Your Honour, that is how I understood that order.
2 Q. So tell the Court: At the moment when you are planning your
3 activities which have to do with this order, you know who is your
4 neighbour and where are your lines of contact?
5 A. Yes. Clearly, Your Honours, it is a natural phenomenon that such
6 an order points, indicates who is your neighbour, and rather, when we
7 release our order, we separate, that is, we point out who is on our -- who
8 is our right neighbour, who is our left neighbour.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 JUDGE MAY: It's now 5 past 1.00. Mr. Naumovski, do you want many
11 more minutes, in which case we'll adjourn? If you can deal with the
12 matter in a minute or two, we'll go on.
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I don't need more than a minute or
14 two. I do not think we need to keep Brigadier for the afternoon.
15 Q. And my final question about this order which you were issued, what
16 it speaks about is a possible operation with another brigade. Not a
17 single other unit operating within the Operative Zone Central Bosnia is
18 mentioned here; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, Your Honours.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I really
21 had more questions on my mind but I think, really, that Brigadier was very
22 thoroughly examined by the Prosecutor and I think I could also draw the
23 line here. So thank you very much, and thank you, Brigadier, for your
24 patient answers.
25 JUDGE MAY: Brigadier Grubesic, that concludes your evidence
1 before the International Tribunal and you are free to go. We'll adjourn
2 now until 2.35.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.39 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
6 WITNESS: IVICA MISKOVIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Miskovic.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. On behalf of Mr. Cerkez's Defence, I am going to put a few
14 questions to you, and would you answer them to the best of your ability.
15 Please bear in mind that our conversation is being interpreted into the
16 official languages of the Tribunal, so could you please speak a bit more
17 slowly and please pause between my question and your answer.
18 For the purposes of the transcript, Mr. Miskovic, please be so
19 kind as to introduce yourself, say your name, surname, your father's name,
20 your date of birth.
21 A. I am Ivica Miskovic, born on the 24th of June, 1958. Marko is my
22 father's name. I was born in Vitez.
23 Q. As far as you know, Mr. Miskovic, in the territory of Vitez, is
24 there some other person bearing your same name and surname?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. One or several?
2 A. There are several of them.
3 Q. You are an ethnic Croat, Roman Catholic by religion.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You are married and you have four children.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Two twin sons aged 15, and two daughters.
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. You are a mechanical engineer and you are employed by the
10 Energocentar company in Vitez; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You did your military service in the former JNA in Belgrade in
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Miskovic, tell us, please, where is your house in Vitez?
16 Where do you live?
17 A. My house is in Kruscica. It is about 800 metres away from town.
18 Q. Near your house is Mario Cerkez's parents' house; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Please tell the Honorable Trial Chamber, Mr. Miskovic, since when
21 have you known Mario Cerkez, and please describe your relationship with
23 A. I've known Mario Cerkez since we were young children. This is
24 demonstrated by the fact that our houses are about 100 metres away from
25 one another, that is to say, that we spent our childhood together. We
1 socialised. We visited. We played football together, chess. We
2 continued this friendship of ours as we grew up as well.
3 Q. Very well. Can one say, then, that you know Mario Cerkez very
5 A. Yes. Of course. We spent such a lot of time together that I
6 think there's hardly anyone I know better.
7 Q. You also know his family, don't you, his parents?
8 A. Yes. I know his parents, his brother, of course his wife and
9 children too.
10 Q. Your wife was even godmother to Mario Cerkez's daughter?
11 A. Yes. That shows how close we were, and we crowned this in a way
12 with this godparents relationship.
13 Q. Well, Mr. Miskovic, tell us, in your own words, and please don't
14 dwell on this at great length, what kind of a person is Mario Cerkez?
15 A. Well, Mario Cerkez is a very good man, a quiet man, honest. And
16 this in itself is shown by the fact that I was friends with him for so
17 long. I think that that shows enough.
18 Q. Do you know about Mario Cerkez ever getting into conflict with
19 people around him?
20 A. Many times we sat with many different people of different
21 religious and ethnic backgrounds, and I never noticed that Mario had any
22 ill intentions towards any person of a different religious or ethnic
23 background. Mario and I have had friends of these different ethnic
24 backgrounds, until the present day, and I never noticed any kind of
25 aggressiveness about him. Actually, as we played chess, it became obvious
1 that he had very good nerves, that he had very good self-control, and that
2 his personal characteristics were quite admirable.
3 Q. Mr. Miskovic, you mentioned that Mario helped people and that he
4 socialised with people of different ethnic backgrounds. This Honourable
5 Trial Chamber knows that in Vitez, in a part that is near your houses,
6 there was a bigger group of Romany who were living there.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know what his attitude towards these people was?
9 A. As far as the Romany are concerned - you are probably putting this
10 question in relation to the war - the Romany usually worked in work
11 platoons, together with other citizens who were not deployed along the
12 front lines. So these were mainly elderly people of Croat, Muslim, and
13 Serb ethnic backgrounds. The Romany were treated the same way like
14 everybody else. Perhaps precisely because they were Romany, they might
15 have been a bit more privileged as far as Mario is concerned, in terms of
16 helping them with medicine, clothes, and the like.
17 Q. All right. Mr. Miskovic, tell us, please: To the best of your
18 knowledge, did Mario Cerkez have any problems with the law, with the
19 police? Did he ever have any criminal reports filed against him or
20 anything like that?
21 A. As far as I know, no.
22 Q. You also worked together in the SPS, this big company in Vitez; is
23 that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. So this childhood friendship of yours actually continued at work,
1 didn't it?
2 A. Yes. We worked in the same company. We represented this same
3 company at various chess competitions, Mario and I did, as well as other
4 members of the team. We took part in chess tournaments. These were the
5 competitions called Unijade [phoen], Vojnijade [phoen], et cetera, that is
6 to say, companies that worked for the military, et cetera.
7 Q. Do you know whether anybody ever said that he did not work well,
8 that he caused conflicts at his place of work or something like that?
9 A. No. No.
10 Q. Mr. Miskovic, you actually spent the entire war as a soldier at
11 the defence line which was above your house in Kruscica; isn't that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right. That is to say that it is about 500 to 800
13 metres away from my house. I spent the entire time at that line.
14 Q. Do you recall a traffic accident that actually occurred right in
15 front of your house when two officers of the BH army were killed?
16 A. Yes. Yes. A vehicle skidded off the road and it damaged my
17 fence. By the time I arrived there, I managed to see Mario and his wife
18 giving first aid to the casualties. Mario knew these officers well. I
19 also saw who these officers were. That's how this happened.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Your Honours, this is an event that was already mentioned by
22 Witness Vladica Babic, and also an affidavit was introduced by Mr. Nesib
23 Hurem, one of the persons injured in this accident.
24 Q. You said that you spent the entire period of the war above your
25 house, at the line there. During the war, did you have an opportunity of
1 seeing your friend, the then-commander of the Viteska Brigade, Mr. Cerkez?
2 A. Yes. Mario came to the front line as commander, and it seems to
3 me that I remember that this was the end of April or beginning of May,
4 1994. He came to our line as well.
5 Q. I do apologise for interrupting you. Perhaps this was a slip of
6 the tongue. What year was this?
7 A. 1993. 1993. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Please proceed.
9 A. 1993. 1993. Yes, in 1993 he came to the front line and he came
10 to see our unit and we talked.
11 Q. Do you remember whether you managed to have a one-on-one
12 conversation with him?
13 A. Yes. I remember a detail. When he finished touring the front
14 line, I went to see him off to his vehicle. As we were long-standing
15 friends, I explained to him that the situation was very difficult at the
16 front line, that we had a shortage of manpower, and that even from our
17 line, some of the persons there were being deployed to the other side.
18 And we talked. We had this one-on-one conversation and he said that the
19 situation was extremely difficult at other front lines as well. Precisely
20 because of this lack of manpower, he offered his resignation to Blaskic.
21 He wanted to resign his post as commander. But Blaskic refused this.
22 Q. On that occasion, did Mario Cerkez tell you why he offered his
23 resignation to Blaskic in terms of his post of commander of the Viteska
25 A. Because he thought that there could be more manpower. And I
1 remember that he wanted to resign at the beginning of the war. This
2 seemed a striking thing to me.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Miskovic, for your
5 Your Honours, I have no further questions of this witness. Thank
7 MR. SAYERS: No questions, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Miskovic, you told us that there were a
10 number of people bearing your name and your first name in Vitez. Are
11 there also several people who have the same father's name as you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You told us that you spent the better part of the conflict on the
14 front line near your house. So that was in Kruscica, you were in
16 A. That is above my house, as I said, about 500 or 800 metres above
17 my house in Kruscica.
18 Q. Who was the commander of your unit?
19 A. At what time?
20 Q. During the period of April/May, and also later on. During the
21 whole period you spent on the front line, because as far as I understand,
22 you had a number of different commanders. You were part of a battalion,
23 weren't you?
24 A. Well, listen, when the war broke out, when the conflict broke out,
25 I was a member of the village guards, that is to say, that we had
1 organised ourselves.
2 Q. It was not my question. I want to know who was the commander of
3 your battalion.
4 A. I don't know about any battalion. Do you understand what I'm
5 saying? I am a soldier. I know that later my commander was Karlo
6 Grabovac, commander of the 3rd Battalion, where I later -- where I was a
7 soldier later.
8 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
9 MR. KOVACIC: In the translation, the word "battalion" was
10 translated on other word, not the same word that is normally used in
11 Vitez. That is probably confusing for the witness.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The witness told us and that was stated in his summary that he was
14 a member of the 3rd Battalion. I wanted him to confirm that.
15 Karlo Grabovac was your commander. You know that Karlo Grabovac
16 was actively involved in activities of persecutions against the Muslims in
17 Vitez, and the same goes for his soldiers.
18 A. No. I told you that I was a member of the village guards in that
19 period at the beginning of the conflict. Later, perhaps about some 15 or
20 20 days when the front lines were organised, then the command at that line
21 was taken over by Karlo Grabovac.
22 Q. The Trial Chamber in this case has heard a number of witnesses
23 about the direct involvement of Mr. Grabovac in a number of actions aimed
24 at persecuting Muslims. Do you have any comments about that? You were
25 one of his soldiers.
1 A. I have no comment about that. I don't think there was any
2 persecution of Muslims because we organised ourselves at these lines to
3 protect our houses and families. Therefore, I do not know of any
4 persecution of Muslims, especially not at our line.
5 Q. You've never taken part in the taking of hostages of Muslims under
6 the authority of Mr. Grabovac during the summer of 1993?
7 A. Never. And I don't know about anything like that having ever
8 taken place.
9 Q. In the 3rd Battalion, there was also the brother of the accused
10 Mario Cerkez, Davor Cerkez was also a member of that battalion, wasn't he?
11 A. I don't think so. I'm not sure.
12 Q. Mr. Perica Vukadinovic was also a member of the 3rd Battalion,
13 wasn't he?
14 A. Believe me, I'm a soldier. I don't have information about who was
15 in which unit.
16 Q. You spent several months on the front line and you don't know
17 their names? You don't know the names of the soldiers who were with you?
18 Because you told us that Vitez is a very small town, everyone knows each
20 A. I know some people who were directly with me. I know a lot of
21 people. But who was in which unit, that is something I wasn't
22 particularly interested in or can I give you much information about that
23 or do I know about that.
24 Q. You told us about the conversation you had with defendant Mario
25 Cerkez when he was touring your defence line. That conversation, it took
1 place without any other witnesses. Nobody else heard what Mario Cerkez
2 had to say on that specific date.
3 A. He gave me that information tête-a-tête as I was seeing him off.
4 I already mentioned that.
5 Q. Do you know other persons to whom Mario Cerkez confided in that
6 way, to whom he talked about that state of mind?
7 A. I do not.
8 Q. Do you know a provision of a decree on the armed forces of the HVO
9 that provides that a subordinate who wants to be -- to resign has to ask
10 for the authorisation of his superior officer?
11 A. I am not aware of that. I was only a soldier, and I don't know
12 those things.
13 Q. You don't know because that provision does not exist. You know
14 that, don't you? Mr. Cerkez could have resigned if he had wanted to. You
15 know that, don't you?
16 A. I don't know those military rules. I have already said so, and
17 I'd rather not comment on it.
18 Q. Do you know that Mr. Cerkez was the commander of the Vitez Brigade
19 until the 30th of December, 1993?
20 A. Believe me that I do not know until when he was the commander
21 exactly, because I was a soldier and I really didn't think, didn't concern
22 myself with these dates.
23 Q. The date I'm giving you is the official date. Mr. Cerkez remained
24 commander of the brigade and he did not resign. He had not resigned until
25 the 30th of December, 1993.
1 A. I don't know. Believe me, I know that -- no, I don't know the
2 exact date until he was the commander. I really don't.
3 Q. Very well. Have you heard about the circumstances in which
4 Mr. Cerkez left his position as the commander of the brigade?
5 A. I can't say anything about that either because I have no
7 Q. You told us that you were very good friends with Mr. Cerkez and
8 his family, and you don't know that information? So Mr. Cerkez confides
9 in you on the front line, but when he is relieved of his duties, he
10 doesn't tell you anything about it. Because that's what happened; he did
11 not resign.
12 A. Listen, that was the beginning of the conflict, and I remembered
13 this information because it was in the beginning. And about all those
14 other military matters, I can't really be of much help to you.
15 Q. You told us that that conversation took place at the end of April
16 or the beginning of May. That's what you told us. That's right, isn't
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I would like to show you a document, it is a document that has
20 already been admitted in this case, it's Z823.1, and I would ask the usher
21 to give to the witness the B/C/S version for him to read it. And then I
22 would like the English to be put on the ELMO, please. 823.1.
23 I would like you to have a look at the end of this document. It's
24 an announcement signed by the accused Mario Cerkez. It's the 26th of
25 April, 1993, practically during the period you mentioned.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 The accused says in the last paragraph that he believes in the
2 victory, he says that he is sure that the Croats will defend their
3 territory, and he's convinced that the Croats will resist. Do you agree
4 with me, Mr. Miskovic? I'm talking about the last paragraph of the
5 document. Do you sincerely believe that someone who writes that sort of
6 thing on the 26th of April is someone who wants to also -- also someone
7 who wants to resign because he doesn't believe in what he's doing because
8 he doesn't have the necessary wherewithal to do what he's supposed to do?
9 A. Listen, I am no psychologist. I can't really guess at these
10 things, one's state of mind and all that.
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very
12 much, Mr. Usher.
13 Q. You told us you are not an expert in psychology, but still you are
14 telling the Chamber about the character of the accused, about his
15 personality. You've given us a great deal of detail about that earlier
16 on. The picture you've drawn of Mr. Cerkez, is it a portrait that is true
17 to life or is it something that was asked of you to do for the Chamber?
18 A. No. That is from the heart, straight from the heart, and it is
20 Q. You have regular contacts with the family of the accused in
21 Vitez. I suppose you see them on a regular basis?
22 A. Well, I used to see his family when I'd come back from the front
23 line and now and then. And Mario, I also saw --
24 Q. I'm talking about the present, sir, now. I'm not talking about
25 1993. You still have contact, you see the family of the accused?
1 A. The family is not in Bosnia-Herzegovina any longer, but we talk
2 over the telephone and we don't meet as often as we used to.
3 Q. But still you see them and you keep in touch with them?
4 A. I've just told you.
5 Q. But this psychological side of things -- you tell us you're not an
6 expert in psychology, but still you've drawn a picture of Mr. Cerkez.
7 Isn't it something that is a bit complacent and partial, biased? Isn't it
8 a biased depiction of him?
9 A. In my view, what I said was an objective judgement.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Before finishing on that
11 particular point, I would like to submit a document to you to have your
12 comments. It's a document that has already been admitted under the number
13 1458.2, 1458.2, a document already admitted.
14 It is a document that was originally drafted in English. I would
15 like this document to be submitted to the witness so that he can have a
16 look at it.
17 Q. You don't speak English, do you, Mr. Miskovic?
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I would like nevertheless the
19 document to be submitted to the witness, and then I would like the
20 relevant page to be put on the ELMO and then that will obviously be
22 Please put that particular page on the ELMO. It's a page from
23 that document. And this document is the who's who as established by
24 UNPROFOR in 1994. And in that document you have information about the
25 majority of the commanders of sectors who were on duty in Bosnia.
1 Q. Mr. Miskovic, I'm going to read out so that you can understand,
2 because it will then be translated to you. I will read the comments about
3 Mario Cerkez, comments made by UNPROFOR at the time, in 1994. That's what
4 they say about Mario Cerkez:
5 "He is 6 foot, 1 inch. He is large, with a stocky frame. He has
6 dark eyes and black hair. He is well-respected by his troops and he is
7 very influential within the HVO command structure. Before the war, he was
8 a civilian, working in middle management. He speaks a little English. He
9 is said to be arrogant and self-righteous. He is confident and is
10 suspicious of UNPROFOR. He is very demeaning towards the BiH. He can be
11 moody and bad-tempered and also aggressive. In his brigade headquarters
12 it is reported that he works alone and he doesn't have a deputy
13 commander. He usually uses a dark blue Audi."
14 So that's the type of picture that is made of Mr. Cerkez in 1994.
15 And we are interested in the picture of the brigade commander, not of the
16 neighbour. So what comments do you have to make about the qualities and
17 the negative sides of Mr. Cerkez? Because it has nothing to do with what
18 you told us yourself a few moments ago.
19 A. I would not comment on this at all. I gave my view -- my idea of
20 Cerkez as I saw him then and today. And UNPROFOR perhaps are very -- of a
21 very fleeting acquaintance, or perhaps one or two fleeting meetings,
22 perhaps, makes such a judgement about a man. I'd rather not comment at
24 Q. Well, I take note of that, but I regret it. But nevertheless, one
25 last question: Has Mr. Cerkez ever confided in you again about things
1 that took place during the conflict, about that operations or facts
2 [as interpreted] that were committed during the conflict in the Vitez
4 A. No.
5 Q. He never talked to you about any of this?
6 A. He did not.
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No
8 further questions.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I have no questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Miskovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
11 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, perhaps while we are waiting, I would
16 just like to inform my dear colleagues, and the Court, of course, that the
17 Witnesses and Victims Unit inform us that those witnesses are either
18 travelling tomorrow or only on Monday, because there are some problems
19 with --
20 JUDGE MAY: Which witnesses?
21 MR. KOVACIC: Those two we are having this afternoon, Miskovic and
22 Zuljevic. So I'm just --
23 JUDGE MAY: They're going back on Monday.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. Right. I'm sorry.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
1 MR. KOVACIC: So I just wanted to inform everybody on the economy
2 of the time we should use. If needed, if we may stay a couple of minutes
3 longer in order not to keep them until Monday, and I will shorten my
4 testimony for --
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, I mean, I hope we're going to finish
6 fairly early tomorrow with the witness, if not before, and we can then get
7 on with the administrative matters which we've got to deal with --
8 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MAY: -- and finish in good time tomorrow morning.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: JOSIP ZULJEVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
18 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but it seems that there was
19 some misunderstanding. I was not clear. I just wanted to tell that they
20 could travel tomorrow morning if they are finished today, but not after,
21 because there is no connection. So if we are not finished, they have to
22 stay until Monday.
23 JUDGE MAY: Let's try to finish.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Realistically, we can. I will skip some
1 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Zuljevic.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. Would you please repeat for the record your name and your date of
6 A. Josip Zuljevic, born on the 6th of June, 1958, at Krcevine,
7 municipality of Vitez.
8 Q. And you are a Croat by ethnicity and a Roman Catholic, aren't you?
9 A. Yes, I am.
10 Q. You are married and you have three children?
11 A. I do, yes.
12 Q. And your profession?
13 A. I am a traffic engineer.
14 Q. And where did you receive your education?
15 A. I received my education in Zagreb.
16 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, did you voluntarily come to testify here?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. Did you ask anyone's permission to come here or did you ask anyone
19 if you had to come here?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And at whose invitation did you come to testify here?
22 A. Yours.
23 Q. But you decided to accept my invitation of your own free will,
24 didn't you?
25 A. I did.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I will
2 skip item two in its entirety, that is -- which means 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.
3 Of course, the Prosecution may go back to this in cross-examination. I
4 just put it in here to show this witness' background or, rather, what he
5 did before the war broke out. Perhaps we could only note, just for the
6 record, with a couple of questions, if the Court wishes.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, just very briefly.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Right. So with your leave, I will
9 lead here just to get through this quickly, only some basic facts.
10 Q. Witness Zuljevic, when were you appointed head of the transport
11 department in the Stjepan Tomasevic HVO Brigade?
12 A. I was appointed in early January 1993 to that post.
13 Q. And until that time, you did not hold any office, any
14 responsibility in the HVO organisation. You were not involved at all?
15 A. That is right.
16 Q. When you joined the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, who was its
18 A. Borivoje Malbasic.
19 Q. And Cerkez, which office or rank did he hold?
20 A. Cerkez was Deputy Commander or, rather, Chief of Staff at that
22 Q. Which simultaneously meant that he was Deputy Commander, didn't
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. So the next in command after Malbasic, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it true that, a little later, Cerkez was appointed the
4 A. Yes, but acting commander. I mean a provisional commander.
5 Q. And that was when, roughly?
6 A. Sometime in February, I think, 1993.
7 Q. And regardless of that appointment which was a provisional one as
8 a deputy commander but, factually, to all intents and purposes, he was the
10 A. Yes, he was.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please pause before
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. At that time, which was the only military task of the brigade?
15 A. The only military task of the brigade at the time was the defence
16 against the Serb troops which was formed to the left of Turbe and
18 Q. We have just been warned by the interpreters to make a short break
19 between question and answer, and my fault, because I am rushing, trying to
20 rush matters a little bit.
21 At that time when -- while you were with the Stjepan Tomasevic,
22 did you have any military conflicts, operations, or anything together with
23 the BH army?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And while you were in Novi Travnik, were there any serious clashes
1 in general in the territory of Novi Travnik including citizens, that is,
2 individual groups and the like?
3 A. There were no serious clashes, but here and there, an incident
4 would break out because of the atmosphere in the municipality and the
5 situation not only in Novi Travnik but throughout the Lasva Valley such as
6 it was. But there were no serious conflicts.
7 Q. Was there a certain, and if yes, what kind of cooperation between
8 the BH army and the HVO at that time in Novi Travnik?
9 A. There was. It wasn't maximum that could be, but as far as I can
10 remember, some joint commissions were set up and they were supervising the
11 activities of one side and the other.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zuljevic, when did the setting up of the Vitez
13 Brigade begin?
14 A. The setting up of the Vitez Brigade began sometime in mid-March.
15 Q. And you were also appointed a member of the command, and which
16 office did you hold there in the command of the Vitez Brigade?
17 A. I was appointed to the same office as in the Stjepan Tomasevic
18 Brigade with somewhat broader jurisdiction, if I may put it that way, that
19 is, those were affairs which had to do with logistics and things like
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to show a
22 document to the witness. It is one of the documents which the Prosecution
23 tendered as a Zagreb document. All I want is -- this is one of the rare
24 lists with the nominees for the brigade command, and I would merely like
25 to ask the witness to tell us if that is it.
1 This document was not admitted. You refused to admit the
3 JUDGE MAY: Do you want it admitted now?
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think so, yes. Because this
5 is one of the rare documents confirming the date of the brigade formation,
6 even though there are some other documents. I want to show this witness
7 because of some names of some persons, to see what he knows about them.
8 JUDGE MAY: Give it to the witness. We'll consider the position.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, have you seen this document before?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to the last sentence below --
13 after the table and above the signature. And when you look at the names
14 and the composition, what can you tell us about this? Was this, indeed,
15 the state of affairs on that date, 15th of March, 1993?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And what is the difference?
18 A. Well, I notice here that this is a proposal, that these are merely
19 nominations for members of the command of the Vitez Brigade intended for
20 the Croat Defence Council or, rather, the office.
21 Q. So am I right when I say that this is not the final composition?
22 A. Yes, you are quite right. This is not the final composition.
23 Q. Can we agree that this is merely a proposal, a plan?
24 A. Yes, a plan. A plan.
25 Q. For instance, did you happen to see which persons from this list
1 of the future composition were not appointed to those posts, for instance?
2 A. Yes, for instance, 8, Stipo Zigonjic, he was never a member of the
4 Q. Anybody else?
5 A. And number 14, Franjo Alilovic.
6 Q. Very well. Incidentally, under number 8, that is assistant chief
7 of organisation of personnel who assumed the responsibility for those
9 A. For those affairs, it was Mrs. Gordana --
10 Q. You mean Gordana Badrov, do you?
11 A. Yes, Gordana Badrov.
12 Q. Do you remember when did she join?
13 A. Well, some five or six days later, thereabouts.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
15 I would, nevertheless, like to adduce this document and seek its
16 admission, except that there is a confusion in the translation where it
17 says "formational duty," "formation duty," it says "commander" and then it
18 says "brigade colonel" and in English, it says, "brigadier," but that is
19 not correct. It should be colonel, brigade colonel.
20 JUDGE MAY: Any objection, Mr. Sayers?
21 MR. SAYERS: Sorry, Mr. President. No objection from us if
22 Mr. Cerkez wants that in.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] We proposed this document
25 originally, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE MAY: It would have saved a great deal of time had you said
2 that you were going to put this document in.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: It will be admitted.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour; when
6 witnesses were coming, I was searching the database.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
8 MR. KOVACIC: Would it keep the same number, Z number?
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the Z number, Z544.4.
10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, I think we could now move on to the critical events
12 themselves, that is to say, the 15th or, rather, the 16th of April, 1993.
13 Can you tell us in two or three words about the very eve of the conflict
14 between the HVO and the BH army in Vitez? In what situation was the
15 brigade when the conflict broke out?
16 A. Well, the brigade was incomplete. The command was incomplete.
17 Incomplete, just being set up. It was not complete.
18 Q. At that moment, just before the conflict broke out, what is the
19 maximum number of men that the brigade could count on? How many were on
20 the lists of persons who were mobilised until then for going for shifts at
21 the front line to fight against the Serbs?
22 A. Well, I said just now. In addition to the incomplete command, we
23 had one battalion. Actually, this was the 2nd Battalion of the former --
24 I mean, the second former battalion of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade. It
25 had about 260 to 300 men at a maximum.
1 Q. Witness Zuljevic, please, until the conflict broke out, were these
2 men, this estimated number of men that you gave us just now, were they
3 ever all mobilised at the same time?
4 A. No, never.
5 Q. Tell me, Mr. Zuljevic, you, personally, as a citizen of Vitez and
6 having had the information you did have as a member of the brigade, did
7 you expect that there could be a frontal conflict between the two sides in
9 A. Me, personally? My friends and my colleagues from the command and
10 I, we never could have imagined anything like that. We never could have
11 believed that there would be a conflict, let alone one of such
13 Q. In connection with that, Mr. Zuljevic, when you say, "My friends
14 and I," did this include only local persons or were there also people who
15 came as refugees and other people from other municipalities who had to
16 come because of the war and who were forced to come?
17 A. Yes. Yes. They also felt that way. You probably know how things
18 developed. There were some people there from Kotor Varos who had been
19 expelled by the Serbs, by the former Yugoslav Peoples' Army, who partly
20 stayed in the territory of the municipality of Vitez, and not only them.
21 Generally speaking, the population is mixed where we live.
22 Q. Very well. In the months prior to the conflict, we heard quite a
23 bit of evidence here concerning various incidents. To the best of your
24 knowledge, and in your assessment, which one of the two ethnic groups was
25 the perpetrator of these incidents, who caused these incidents to happen,
1 or was it both sides? What was this all about?
2 A. Well, as far as incidents are concerned, it was hard to tell
3 because both one side and the other were equally to blame for such cases.
4 Q. Were the victims in these incidents from both ethnic groups?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were the perpetrators of these things also from both ethnic
8 A. Yes, certainly.
9 Q. Do you accept that, as far as perpetrators are concerned, from the
10 Croat side, that they were directed by someone to bring about these
12 A. No.
13 Q. What was the reason, then? Why did such individuals appear and
14 commit these things? How did you explain this to yourself?
15 A. Well, I told you just now. There were other people there too,
16 refugees. Everybody thought they were right. This was resolving certain
17 relationships on an individual basis. And --
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours,
19 this does not appear, this point does not appear in the summary, and I
20 don't see how it has anything to do with the rejoinder.
21 JUDGE MAY: Let's just get on with it. Yes, come on.
22 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. We are going further.
23 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, on the 15th of April, in the evening, 1993, where
24 were you?
25 A. I was assistant duty officer at the command of the Viteska
2 Q. Were you on duty by yourself?
3 A. No, I was not.
4 Q. Who was on duty with you?
5 A. Ivo Sucic.
6 Q. What happened in the evening? As compared to the previous tours
7 of duty, was there anything unusual?
8 A. In the early evening hours, we had a meeting.
9 Q. Who took part in this meeting?
10 A. Well, first we received information from the Operative Zone that
11 we should bring the entire command together.
12 Q. All right. Did you manage to bring the entire command together?
13 A. No.
14 Q. How many people managed to get there?
15 A. About five or six.
16 Q. Did Cerkez come to that meeting too once you were all there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What did he tell you exactly, to the best of your recollection?
19 A. Mario Cerkez conveyed to us then that upon the order -- or rather,
20 he got information from the commander of the Operative Zone that there
21 were indications that we should bring everybody from the command together
22 and that a possible attack is being expected - of course, according to the
23 information received - from the directions of Kruscica and Vranjska, with
24 the objective of attacking parts of Vitez.
25 Q. At that time, did Mario Cerkez say what the task of the brigade
1 was in terms of that particular estimate?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What task was this?
4 A. Our task, you mean?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. The task of our brigade was, in terms of all of us who were there,
7 was to prevent a possible attack from Kruscica and Vranjska, an attack on
9 Q. And who was supposed to carry out this order?
10 A. This order was supposed to be carried out by the commander of the
11 1st Battalion, Anto Bertovic.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the
14 JUDGE MAY: The interpreters cannot hear the witness. Could you
15 please speak into the microphone.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you participate in any other way in the realisation of this
18 order; you, personally?
19 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. I was the duty officer and we worked together on
20 the realisation of this order.
21 Q. Necessary information, contacts, telephone calls, was all of this
22 done from the headquarters of the brigade?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you in contact with the commander of the battalion?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When the meeting was over, did your colleagues discuss this, I
2 mean this alarm, this raising of the level of -- the degree of readiness?
3 Did you comment on this?
4 A. Yes, of course we did. We did not -- I mean, how should I put
5 this? We did not take this as some kind of danger, because, before, there
6 were similar reports that proved to be untrue.
7 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, how long did Cerkez stay at headquarters then,
9 A. Well, maybe - I don't know - perhaps an hour or two.
10 Q. Later on, during the course of the evening or night, did he return
11 to headquarters?
12 A. Perhaps once, but I did not register that.
13 Q. Before this meeting that you spoke about, did you have an
14 opportunity of seeing Cerkez during the course of the day?
15 A. Yes, only early in the morning.
16 Q. On that day, did you hear anything about Cerkez being at a meeting
17 between the representatives of the politicians, or rather, the civilian
18 authorities of both sides, the HVO and the BiH army, and the military
19 representatives of both sides?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us approximately when this happened during the course
22 of that day?
23 A. Well, sometime in the afternoon, I think.
24 Q. Do you have some information about how many people, approximately,
25 participated in this meeting, and where it took place?
1 A. No. No. No, I have no information in relation to that meeting.
2 Q. Did you receive any information about the successful outcome of
3 that meeting, at least, in general?
4 A. Well, people talked, but -- I'm not sure. I wasn't there.
5 Q. So what you found out indirectly, as people talked, as you said,
6 was this promising or did this cause concern?
7 A. Well, it was promising, but I don't know about any details.
8 Q. Very well. Do you remember perhaps that this was mentioned on
9 local radio that evening?
10 A. No. No. At headquarters, we had a TV set. We did not listen to
11 the radio.
12 Q. Thank you. What happened in the morning, please?
13 A. The 16th of April, you mean?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. In the early morning hours, loud detonations were heard.
16 Q. Please proceed.
17 A. Shells were falling all over town, and even in the very centre of
18 town and near the headquarters.
19 Q. Could gunfire be heard as well?
20 A. Yes. Yes. Gunfire was heard too, coming from all sides,
21 primarily the south.
22 Q. Did you have any reliable information as to what was going on in
23 the field?
24 A. We did not have any reliable information as to what was going on
25 in the field, but since the intensity was high, it was clear to us that
1 the BH army had undertaken significant activities.
2 Q. When did Cerkez come to headquarters in the morning?
3 A. Cerkez came in the early morning hours.
4 Q. During the course of the morning, did you have a meeting again?
5 Did your commander convene you for another meeting?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When was this, approximately?
8 A. Well, that was sometime in the morning, around 9.00 or 10.00. I
9 don't know exactly.
10 Q. What was the point of that meeting?
11 A. The point of that meeting was primarily the following: In line
12 with orders, oral orders issued by Blaskic, we make a maximum effort to
13 collect as much information as possible from the territory of our
15 Q. And what did you do then? What kind of activities did you embark
16 upon in order to carry out this assignment?
17 A. We tried, first of all, through the command of our battalion.
18 Then Mr. Mario explicitly requested us to contact the other units too that
19 were in the territory of the municipality of Vitez. And all other
20 information, regardless of where they may come from, from civilians,
21 locals, coordinators in villages, coordinators of village guards, et
23 Q. Can we say, in terms of what you said just now, that you started
24 collecting information by drawing on all available sources; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were you asked to compile reports in writing about this?
3 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. That was within the order to collect all
4 information and to convey this every two or three hours.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let me try to make sense of this.
6 Who was the commander who convened the meeting at 9.00 or 10.00?
7 A. Mr. Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: And what, simply, put simply, were the orders which he
10 A. Mr. Mario Cerkez issued orders orally. There weren't any orders
11 in writing. Since there was chaos all over, we were all there together in
12 one room, and we were then told that we should draw on our own
13 acquaintances, friends, this and that person, that we should get in
14 contact with all persons on duty. We tried with the Vitezovi and the
15 military police to gather as much information as possible in order to
16 compile a report with regard to this area.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We need this for the transcript; could you please repeat this, and
20 to send it where? What did you say?
21 A. To the commander of the Operative Zone of that military district.
22 Q. So that is Colonel Blaskic?
23 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak up.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] We would like to give the witness
1 three documents; Z673.7, then after that, Z673.6, and Z694.4.
2 JUDGE MAY: The witness is being asked to speak up.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You have been asked to --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Kovacic now speak into the
6 microphone. The interpreters cannot hear him either now.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. These three documents that I have requested are three reports of
9 the brigade from the 16th of April at 10.00, at 12.00, and the last one on
10 the 17th of April at 4.30. These are the Zagreb documents. They were not
11 handed over to the Office of the Prosecutor.
12 Mr. Zuljevic, please cast a glance at this document. First of
13 all, tell me, do you specifically remember this report perhaps?
14 A. No. No. I can't remember this report.
15 Q. My next question: When you look at the heading, the signature,
16 the date, the number, the way in which it was written, does this look like
17 a report of the Viteska Brigade? Could it be one or could it not be one?
18 A. Yes. It could be a report, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. I'd like to draw your attention to the second
20 paragraph of this text. You use a formulation to the effect of "our
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What do you mean when you say "our forces"?
24 A. Well, we all gathered information from the field and I repeat once
25 again, there was chaos at headquarters as well. However, when we say
1 "our," what is meant is forces of the HVO, forces of the members of the
2 Croat people.
3 Q. Yes. This formulation is repeated again in the second sentence,
4 so let me ask you: Did any unit of the Viteska Brigade, was any force of
5 the Viteska Brigade involved in action in Donja Veceriska?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was any group or unit of yours in Ahmici?
8 A. No. No.
9 Q. In Sivrino Selo?
10 A. No. No. Not in Sivrino Selo, not in Vrhovine.
11 Q. In the next paragraph, again, it says "our forces," and there are
12 three persons who are killed that are mentioned. Do you remember,
13 Mr. Zuljevic, that morning by 10.00, was there a single soldier from the
14 brigade, a single member of the brigade who had been killed?
15 A. No. No. Not a single soldier on that first day, as far as I can
16 remember, got killed.
17 Q. How do you then interpret this "our forces"? "We have sustained
18 losses," or, rather, "We have had three persons who were killed," et
19 cetera. Whose people are these?
20 A. Well, I specifically do not remember whose they could be, I mean
21 who got this information, but it could pertain to someone else who was
22 operating in the territory of the municipality of Vitez. At any rate,
23 it's not from the Viteska Brigade.
24 Q. In this way, do you include the entire Croat side?
25 A. Yes. Yes, by all means.
1 Q. So regardless of which unit is being referred to?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. You personally, Mr. Zuljevic -- you can put the document away,
4 never mind.
5 Did you take part, actively, in this elaboration of such
7 A. Well, since I happened to be at headquarters that morning, I was a
8 witness of this gathering of information. However, we were on the
9 telephone for the most part, whereas the operations people conducted this
10 and collected information for reports.
11 Q. You, who were involved in these telephone contacts, how did you
12 convey information to your colleagues who were writing the reports?
13 A. Well, there was lots of commotion, confusion. We had this
14 notebook where we wrote all of this.
15 Q. What did you write?
16 A. Well, all the information we got, all movements, changes,
17 everything that happened, of course, to the extent to which we could find
18 out about this in the territory of our municipality.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher now to
20 show this document to the witness, please. The previous document was
21 673.7. This one is 673.6.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Will Mr. Kovacic speak into the microphone,
24 JUDGE MAY: Could you speak into the microphone, Mr. Kovacic,
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, will you now have a look at this document. Look at
3 when was this issued, the heading, all the other elements.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Have you seen this before? Would you identify the document?
6 A. Well, like the previous one, except that I see that in the heading
7 of this document there is absent -- we don't see that it was issued by the
8 Vitez Brigade. It says "Croatian Defence Council."
9 Q. And that is why it doesn't look quite regular to you?
10 A. Yes, yes, yes.
11 Q. Very well. Will you again now look again. We have the third
12 paragraph. And I think we have here the report that "Our three soldiers
13 were killed," and this report was written only two hours after the
14 previous one.
15 A. Well, perhaps it is those, the same three soldiers, and perhaps
16 these are new three soldiers. I don't know.
17 Q. Very well. Do you remember that you received any reports from
18 Poculica that morning, where Croats were under -- from which Croats were
19 expelled under the pressure of the BH army? It is under item 3. Do you
20 know anything about those events?
21 A. Of course I do. We did not have a report from Poculica. We had
22 information from people who had arrived from Poculica.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Very well. I don't think we have to
24 go into that.
25 Could the witness now be shown the third document, Z694.4. It was
1 also adduced together with other Zagreb documents.
2 Q. Witness, this was issued the next day. Have a look and --
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] You know, it's 4.00. Thank God
4 you said at the beginning that you were going to be brief, because if you
5 had not said that, I don't know where we would be. I suppose you're going
6 to complete the examination-in-chief now.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. I apologise, Your Honour. I simply made the
8 wrong forecast.
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes, because I believe that the
10 witness will have to come back, but at least please complete the
11 examination-in-chief, because we've gone right beyond the time estimates
12 you gave us in the written document.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I need only two minutes with this
14 document and then I will be over.
15 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, same question as before. This document was issued
16 the next day, around half past two. Have you seen this document before,
17 and can you either say yes or no, is this a document issued by the
19 THE INTERPRETER: Will Mr. Kovacic speak into the microphone,
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, you're being asked to speak into a
22 microphone yet again.
23 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, sir, but --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Now it is switched off. We are sorry.
25 MR. KOVACIC: Now it's working.
1 JUDGE MAY: That was my fault. But if everybody speaks into the
2 microphone, we're going to get on more quickly. Yes. Can you try to
3 finish in ten minutes, please.
4 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, sir.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Zuljevic, to save time, as with the previous
6 reports. Now, on the second day, did the technology change, from what you
7 can see, or do you still report on all the developments in Vitez?
8 A. Here, in the beginning, I again see that in the heading "Vitez
9 Brigade" is missing, and I see the signature and --
10 Q. Can you say if this is a document of the Vitez Brigade?
11 A. Well, perhaps I can, perhaps I can't. There is the signature, but
12 this copy is not --
13 Q. Very well. Let us assume that this is an authentic document. But
14 my main question: In view of the wording, would you say that the same
15 method is applied again, that all the developments in Vitez are described,
16 regardless of whether your units are at a particular site or somebody
17 else, that is, civilians, Croats, other units, or whoever?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And not to go further into that report, because the Chamber has
20 seen some later reports of the brigade, but I have just one more question
21 about this.
22 Mr. Zuljevic, in subsequent brigade reports which were available
23 to you when you were on duty from time to time, in those later reports, is
24 it specified -- were such reports written who it is about, that is, which
25 troops are involved somewhere in one operation or other, or do you -- is
1 it the term "our forces" again?
2 A. No, no, no, no, no. It was specified precisely who it is, what
3 unit he or they belonged to, and everything else.
4 Q. How many days did you spend in the -- on the premises of the
5 brigade command, intensively?
6 A. Well, those two or three days, the first -- the initial ones,
7 until we organised ourselves better.
8 Q. And after that, where did you spend your time?
9 A. Since I was with the logistics sector, I spent my time on the
10 premises of the logistics sector.
11 Q. Very well. And now my last question, or rather two or three
12 questions related to this. Since that was your field of operation, and
13 you should know these things, what kind of vehicles did you have available
14 on the eve of the conflict and in the early days of the conflict? What
15 kind of vehicles did you have at your disposal?
16 A. Oh, come. The command of the brigade and the brigade as such had
17 only one small car for the officers, for their tours.
18 Q. And what make was it? Do you remember?
19 A. It was a Lada Niva.
20 Q. It is a passenger vehicle, is it?
21 A. Yes, a passenger vehicle, a field vehicle.
22 Q. Did you perhaps have a dark blue Audi?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you -- did the brigade, or rather did the brigade have or use
25 any passenger vans?
1 A. No, no, no, no, no.
2 Q. The 4th Military Police Battalion, was, if I may put it that way,
3 was your neighbour to the logistics; it was right next to the logistics
4 sector. Is that correct?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. How far from you was it?
7 A. Well, it was next to our building, about 20 metres, not more than
9 Q. And did the military police have vans to transport its personnel?
10 A. Yes, yes. They did have a couple of -- three or four vans, but a
11 couple of vans were there all the time.
12 Q. Mr. Zuljevic, in those early days of the war, do you ever remember
13 that the military police asked you to lend them a van, that is, to get it
14 from somewhere and then put it at their disposal?
15 A. No. They solved those things by themselves.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions about
17 Mr. Mario Cerkez. I believe that other witnesses have already said
18 enough, and there is no need to ask this witness about that.
19 JUDGE MAY: That may be a convenient moment. We'll adjourn now
20 till tomorrow morning for cross-examination. After that, we'll deal with
21 the various outstanding administrative matters.
22 Mr. Lopez-Terres, confine, if you will, your cross-examination to
23 no more than the examination-in-chief, which was an hour.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I will be shorter, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Zuljevic, would you be back, please, to complete
1 your evidence, tomorrow at half past 9.00 in the morning. Would you
2 remember not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and
3 that does include members of the Defence team.
4 We'll adjourn now till tomorrow morning.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.12 p.m., to
6 be reconvened on Friday, the 8th day of December,
7 2000, at 9.30 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.