1 Wednesday, 21st April, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.47 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
8 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) Good morning,
11 Your Honours. Good morning to all in the courtroom.
12 Good morning, Witness C.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) I shall be
14 cross-examining you now as the Defence counsel for the
15 other accused. My name is Goran Mikulicic. I'm an
16 attorney at law in Zagreb, and I shall put a few
17 questions to you, and I would like you to answer them
18 to the best of your recollection.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS C (resumed)
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
22 [Witness answers through interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. C, you said during your introductory
24 remarks that you finished the Medresa, a religious
25 school in Sarajevo. Are you a believer, yourself?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Does that mean that you are a practicing
3 believer? Do you go to prayers, et cetera?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Tell us, Witness C, how was religion treated
6 in the Territorial Defence of the BH army and later in
7 the BH army itself? The members of the armed forces,
8 did they have an opportunity to practice their religion
9 and express their religious beliefs?
10 A. Yes.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please
12 speak into the microphone?
13 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation)
14 Q. Was this left to the initiative of every
15 individual soldier or was it organised some way in the
16 units of the Territorial Defence or later the BH army?
17 A. It was the personal affair of every member of
18 the BH army, and it was up to the units, themselves, to
19 create conditions, at the request of the members of the
20 armed forces, for practising their religion or
21 conducting their religious services, if this is made
22 possible due to the situation in terms of combat
24 Q. I understand. Do you remember any cases,
25 Mr. C, when religious officials came to see the units?
1 A. No.
2 Q. As far as you can remember, Witness C, did
3 any religious officials hold any command positions in
4 the units of the BH army? I'm referring to imams.
5 A. In the unit that I was in, there was not that
6 case, that an imam commanded a unit, I mean from
7 platoon upwards, no.
8 Q. I understand. Witness C, you said, during
9 your introductory remarks, that on the territory of the
10 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 8th of April,
11 1992, a danger of war was officially proclaimed and
12 that the citizens had to report to Territorial Defence
13 staffs until the 15th of April, 1992. Is that a
14 correct figure?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Tell us, then, what you said.
17 A. When the Defence counsel asked me, I just
18 confirmed that on the 20th of June, 1992, the
19 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 declared, on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina, a danger of war and general
22 mobilisation. Before that, an enactment was passed by
23 the same organ on the 8th of April, 1992, that there
24 was an immediate threat of war on the territory of the
25 Republic, and all military conscripts, all
1 military-aged men, were requested to report to
2 Territorial Defence staffs by the 15th of April. This
3 was an enactment that was published in the official
4 gazette of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) May I go on?
6 Thank you.
7 Q. Who carried out this mobilisation of
8 military-age population?
9 A. Until after the 20th of June, to the best of
10 my knowledge, nobody carried out mobilisation because
11 until then it was only volunteers who were reporting to
12 Territorial Defence staffs. On the 25th of May, 1992,
13 the military presidency of the municipality of Novi
14 Travnik also publicly invited all military-age men to
15 report to the Territorial Defence staff in order to be
16 taken into the defence units of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. Who supervised the exercise of mobilisation?
18 A. I'm not aware of anybody having done it.
19 Q. Tell us, Witness C, was mobilisation carried
20 out exclusively in terms of the armed forces or was
21 mobilisation also carried out in other ways? I'm
22 actually referring to civilian defence units or work
23 duty units.
24 A. Well, in that sense, the situation in Novi
25 Travnik was a very special one. I don't know when the
1 civil defence staff started to operate and when they
2 started manning their own units. I also know that it
3 was only in 1993, in the second half of '93 and the
4 beginning of '94, that certain conditions were created
5 for this kind of an exercise. They started addressing
6 defence secretariats, and various people received work
8 Q. So, Witness C, there was also mobilisation in
9 terms of work duty; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. I don't know exactly when. In certain
11 segments such as state organs and certain enterprises,
12 companies, institutions, I don't know who did this
13 when. But, of course, a lot of time has gone by.
14 Q. Witness C, do you know what the criterion was
15 for a military-aged man or woman to be mobilised in the
16 armed forces or into a work duty unit? What was the
17 distinctive criterion?
18 A. There was the legal criterion, as you know.
19 A military-age man is a man age 18 to 60, and that was
20 the criterion according to law. And of course it was a
21 question of one's health as well, and this was of
22 decisive importance as to why somebody would receive
23 work duty whereas others would be sent to the armed
25 Q. Is it true that both forms of mobilisation
1 were actually a contribution to the defence of the army
2 of -- in defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. I cannot say "Yes" to that. At any rate,
4 institutions, state agencies, enterprises, in the
5 situation as it was, contributed to keeping up a normal
6 life in that area.
7 Q. Witness C, you said that a state of war was
8 declared and general mobilisation, too. Against who
9 was a state of war declared? Who was the enemy at the
11 A. You should ask the presidency of the Republic
12 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are the ones who
13 passed this decision. There is a document called the
14 "Platform of the Presidency of the Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina", and this was published in the
16 official gazette number 7 of 1992, and you can read
17 there what the definition of "aggression" is and what
18 the state of war was, et cetera, et cetera.
19 Q. Thank you for your answer, and thank you for
20 teaching me, Witness C. But at this point, it is not
21 the presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 that is testifying before this Court but it is you.
23 I'm asking you whether you know the answer to this. If
24 you do not know the answer, please say so.
25 A. I said that it is the presidency of the
1 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that passed this
2 decision, and I only observed the decision that was
3 passed by the competent state authority, that is to
4 say, the presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and
6 Q. Witnesses C, it is obvious from your answer
7 that you read this decision.
8 A. Yes, I read it.
9 Q. Can you tell us what you read in this
10 decision? Who is the enemy?
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mikulicic, I just wonder if
12 we're going to get very far in this. In due course you
13 can produce the document, I expect, or you call for the
14 document and all then will be made clear. I think
15 arguing with the witness is not going to take us much
16 further. If you would like to go on.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation)
18 Q. Witness C, are you aware of what the work
19 duty units did?
20 A. Not exactly. This was outside the sphere of
21 my own interests at that period of time. I just know
22 en passant that sometimes work duty units try to clear
23 the terrain and do other things. They worked in
24 schools, they worked in kindergartens, they worked in
25 state agencies, et cetera.
1 Q. Did work duty units also work on building
2 fortifications for the armed forces?
3 A. No. That was not the case.
4 Q. Witness C, in your testimony you said that in
5 order to meet the needs of the armed forces of the BH
6 army a code of conduct was passed for the troops.
7 Could you tell us something about this? Who prescribed
8 this code of conduct and in which way did it enter into
9 force, if it entered into force at all?
10 A. This code entered into force at the beginning
11 of July by the main staff, I think it was called, of
12 the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Sorry for interrupting. Which year is this?
14 A. 1992, of course. We received, by telegraph,
15 seven or eight sentences that referred to the code of
16 conduct of members of the BH army, how to behave in
17 combat, how to treat civilians, how to treat prisoners,
18 how to behave in respect of international law of war,
19 something like that. I think it was seven or eight
20 sentences altogether, this code. It was really on a
21 small piece of paper, and every member of the army
22 received this little piece of paper at the time, and
23 they were all duty-bound to carry it and to behave in
24 keeping with it.
25 Q. I understand. Now, let us move on to a
1 different subject, Witness C. In your testimony, on
2 several occasions you used certain words which I would
3 like you to clarify for us. For example, you talked
4 about a "roadblock" and you talked about a
5 "checkpoint." Could you tell us what the distinction
6 is between the two, if any, and what they actually
8 A. Checkpoint, on the basis of what I saw as I
9 was passing them myself, I take this to be a point
10 where members of the civilian police or possibly
11 military police check vehicles and persons that pass
12 there and, also, goods if there are any goods in the
13 vehicles concerned. Perhaps it is a question of
14 identification too. So that is what a checkpoint would
16 Whereas a roadblock is a barrier. It is not
17 there to check anyone or anything. This is a physical
18 barrier on a road. As a rule, there are armed persons
19 who are standing by that roadblock and prohibiting the
20 passing of vehicles, and persons, and goods too.
21 Q. Does that mean that the main distinction
22 between the two would be the following: A checkpoint
23 is a police checkpoint and a roadblock is a military
24 point? Could we infer that?
25 A. Well, yes. Perhaps that classification would
1 be possible. I am not aware of the police ever having
2 done this, I mean, the civilian police putting up a
4 Q. Witness C, could you tell us what were the
5 checkpoints of the BH army like by the motel of Ravno
6 Rostovo or, rather, was this a checkpoint or was this a
8 A. I went that way once, and I know it was
9 merely a checkpoint where, at least at the time that I
10 went through it, nobody stopped one. There were some
11 physical impediments, barriers, so that one had to slow
12 down one's vehicle. I think there was a sentry post
13 near these obstacles on the road, and a soldier stood
14 there, who was present at that checkpoint.
15 Q. Does that mean that that checkpoint was
16 controlled by the army?
17 A. Yes. At the time when I went that way, there
18 were members of the BH army there.
19 Q. On what road was that checkpoint?
20 A. That checkpoint was exactly at the place,
21 that is, on the regional road. It was Novi
22 Travnik-Bugojno regional road, precisely at the place
23 where the access road joins from Gornji Vakuf, Novi
24 Travnik, from the place Stara Opara, it went through
25 Lukova and there joined the regional road. So at this
1 particular junction was the checkpoint.
2 Q. You mentioned Stari Opara. Was there such a
3 point in Opara?
4 A. Next to the school. There were the police,
5 civilian police there as of summer '92, as far as I
6 know. The Ministry of the Interior or, rather, the
7 public security station of Novi Travnik kept some
8 policemen there and they had a checkpoint there.
9 Q. Pavlovica next to the mountaineer's cottage,
10 what was the situation there?
11 A. I did come across a checkpoint there but it
12 must have been as late as '93, and I should say after
13 July '93, when I moved around that area. I could see
14 there was a military police checkpoint but the one in
15 Opara was out of work by that time. They must have
16 simply changed it. So there was no checkpoint in Opara
17 at the time. At that time they were only there and at
18 Nedeljnik next to the surgery.
19 Q. In town itself next to the fire brigade
21 A. Next to the fire brigade centre there has
22 never been a checkpoint. I only mentioned at some
23 point that on the 18th of June '92, about an hour and a
24 half, there was a roadblock at that entry into the
25 former Mali Raj coffee bar, and there was a small
1 roadblock set up by the members of the Territorial
2 Defence, but they were in existence for not long -- I
3 mean, both of them for not longer than an hour, an hour
4 and a half.
5 Q. And next to the elementary school in the
7 A. No, next to the Vodovod. Vodovod is about
8 four kilometres out of Novi Travnik. I don't know. I
9 never went that way so that I never saw a checkpoint
11 Q. And the elementary school?
12 A. The elementary school is next to the road.
13 Q. Witness C, to be quite clear about this, when
14 we talked about all these places, tell us, who
15 controlled all those sites?
16 A. Which ones do you mean?
17 Q. I meant a number of sites, Ravno Rostovo,
18 Opara, Pavlovica, fire brigade, Vodovod. Who
19 controlled them? Was it under the control of the BH
20 army or was it under the control of the HVO or perhaps
21 by a third party?
22 A. Ravno Rostovo was more or less, over a long
23 period of time, was controlled by the BH army. Vodovod
24 was never there any particular control, because the
25 residents of the area have lived for a long time
1 together, until the 4th of July when the Croat
2 population left that area. The fire brigade centre was
3 always on the centre of the BH army line. Opara has
4 always been a village which was in the zone controlled
5 by the armija. As for the Nedeljnik checkpoint, I
6 think I said when it was in operation I think that only
7 as of July 1993.
8 Q. I see. Talking about Vodovod, Witness C, do
9 you remember that incident where four HVO officers went
10 missing? Was it next to the Vodovod?
11 A. I spoke about that yesterday. It was further
12 away from Vodovod. I denoted in my war logbook, and I
13 remember that I noted that that afternoon the police
14 came across an empty vehicle on the Vodovod-Kovacici
15 road, and that it was assumed that there had been four
16 persons in that vehicle, HVO members, who were not in
17 the vehicle at the time, and it was, I assume, that
18 they had been ill-treated.
19 Q. About those checkpoints and roadblocks, the
20 ones you mentioned, you said they were on regional
21 roads leading to Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, and Travnik?
22 A. No, not Travnik. Not Travnik. Not Travnik.
23 I never said Travnik.
24 Q. Sorry. So my question is: Did the Croats in
25 that area -- could the Croats in that area travel to
1 Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf without being hauled in and
2 having to go through those checkpoints, that is,
3 roadblocks, or did they have to undergo control?
4 A. HVO members, that would be more accurate, had
5 the checkpoint on the road to Gornji Vakuf not far from
6 the Nedeljnik checkpoint manned by the civilian police
7 as of July 1993. Before that there was, throughout the
8 previous period of time, there was a checkpoint --
9 Q. Excuse me, Witness C, but I'm asking you to
10 answer my questions. Could the Croats, HVO members,
11 pass through those checkpoints controlled by the BH
12 army without being stopped?
13 A. Throughout, yes, except during armed
14 conflicts. During armed conflicts, naturally, one
15 could not cross -- one could not go through defence
17 Q. Witness C, when you spoke about conflicts
18 which took place in the town of Novi Travnik itself,
19 you mentioned HVO and HOS units. Do you remember?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So my question is: Do you know where the
22 HOS's command was and where the HVO command was?
23 A. I've repeated it a number of times, and I'll
24 repeat it for the fifth time if need be, where the
25 command was.
1 Q. So where was the HOS command?
2 A. I said that the HOS unit had its command at
3 the new hotel, that is the Novi Travnik Hotel, and the
4 HVO staff was at the old hotel for a long time then in
5 Bratstvo, in Novi Travnik. Then they moved over to
6 Novi Travnik Hotel, I guess, when that unit ceased to
8 Q. You said that during clashes in the town of
9 Novi Travnik, HVO took part. Do you know which HVO
10 units were involved?
11 A. I do not remember. I spoke about conflicts
12 in Travnik.
13 Q. Novi Travnik.
14 A. In Novi Travnik there were several conflicts
15 between the armijas and HVO units.
16 Q. Witness C, the first conflict, do you know
17 which HVO units participated in the first conflict in
18 Novi Travnik?
19 A. No, I do not know that, because I was at the
20 workers' centre all the time.
21 Q. So you don't know?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you know which HVO units participated in
24 the second conflict in Novi Travnik?
25 A. No, I do not know.
1 Q. Do you know which HVO units participated in
2 the third conflict in Novi Travnik?
3 A. No, I do not know. Apart from the unit, that
4 is HVO brigade Stjepan Tomasevic which operated in our
5 area. I do not know about our units.
6 Q. I see. Witness C, in your written statement,
7 you spoke about how Croats left the village of
8 Hadzici -- Hodzici, I'm sorry, in 1993, and you said
9 that, in point of fact, you did not know why the Croats
10 left that day, the 17th of June. Do you remember
11 saying that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Are you still affirming that you do not know
14 why the Croats left the villages Hadzici, Rude, Gornji
15 Pec, so on and so forth.
16 A. Yes. I do not know why they left. I do not
17 know why they went to the line which before that --
18 Q. Witness C, you said you did not know, so I
19 will move on.
20 On two occasions, I believe, you gave
21 statements to the investigator of the Prosecutor of
22 this Tribunal. Is that true?
23 A. Yes, that's true. I gave my statements twice
24 but that was one statement.
25 Q. Yes. Witness C, I will now show you what you
1 answered to the investigator when he asked you the same
2 question. It is your statement of the 8th of November,
3 1997. Page 14, you say that there was --
4 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Mikulicic.
5 Have you given the witness a copy of the statement? He
6 should have a copy if you're going to read out of it to
8 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) (No
9 translation.) Excuse me. I'm trying to find my way
10 about this text, the text in B/C/S/, that is, in the
11 original in the Bosnian language. There is a
12 difference -- there is a lag between pages in the
13 English version and the text in Bosnian.
14 JUDGE MAY: But, Mr. Mikulicic, so we don't
15 waste time, read out the passage that you want to put
16 to the witness and then show it to him so that he can
17 see it and comment on it.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) I
19 understand. I found it. Mr. Usher, will you please
20 show the witness the part of the text we are referring
22 Q. Witness C, will you please read aloud the
23 one-but-last paragraph of your statement that you have
24 in your hands?
25 A. "The fighting between Armija and the HVO in
1 the area of Djakovici was waged around the 12th of
2 June, 1993. In consequence of the offensive, HVO
3 evacuated the population for villages Djakovici, Rude,
4 Pecine, Mravinjac and so on and so forth. When the
5 civilian population left the village of Margetici and
6 when those positions were left by the HVO, the area
7 fell in the hands of the Armija."
8 Q. Thank you. That was the fragment. Is that
9 what you told the Tribunal's investigator?
10 A. Yes. I signed the statement in English, and
11 I hope this is a correct translation of what I signed.
12 Q. Will you please then explain to us the
13 difference between what you said today and what you
14 told the Tribunal's investigator? What is correct?
15 You are now saying that you do not know why
16 the Croat population left those villages, and in your
17 written statement which you gave to the investigator,
18 it was that the Croat population left those villages in
19 the aftermath of conflicts and the evacuation carried
20 out by the HVO.
21 A. But then you have to quote part of my -- of
22 what I said here, and as far as I remember, I said that
23 the civilian population from these villages, together
24 with the HVO, left that area on the 16th of June, 1993.
25 Q. All right, thank you. I think we understand
2 A. And that, to my mind, is the evacuation by
3 the HVO, because the HVO were facing the Chetnik line.
4 Q. Yes, thank you, Witness C. We understand it
5 all now.
6 Now, I should like to ask Mr. Usher to -- I
7 just asked Mr. Usher to place before the witness the
8 map of the territory of the municipality of Novi
9 Travnik. It is 2662,3.
10 Witness C, will you please use this black
11 marker that you have next to you to draw the boundaries
12 of the Novi Travnik municipality on this map? Needless
13 to say, you don't have to be 100 per cent accurate, but
14 to the best of your recollection. Will you please use
15 the black marker?
16 A. I apologise in advance. The boundaries that
17 I've drawn now will perhaps deviate from the actual
18 state of affairs, because the scale of this map is such
19 that one cannot be truly precise. But roughly, we
20 start from the road to Travnik, so we're in Nevic
21 Polje, and then to the left down the boundary to the
22 municipality of Slimena, or in front of it, then below
23 Bilenica, then Mravinjac, then beyond Karamija (phoen)
24 towards Bugojno, then in front of Zijamet, roughly this
25 way to Kalin and then Ravno Rostovo. That was the
1 boundary. Just a moment. Towards Gornji Vakuf, and
2 ended up at Peluka (phoen). It could be about here,
3 then more like this, and then including Sebesic, then
4 towards the boundary with Busovaca reaching the
5 boundary with the Vitez municipality, and then across
6 Busic Karavan (phoen), above Bucici, above Balici
7 towards Mosunj, coming down to this boundary here.
8 This would be it, more or less.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) Thank you.
10 Your Honours, I'm going to ask the witness to mark
11 something on this map, and we'll show that on the ELMO
12 so that it would be obvious to all.
13 Q. Witness C, please look at the borders of the
14 municipality of Novi Travnik, the ones that you marked,
15 and now look at the separation line between the BH army
16 and the HVO, as it was established after the first --
17 rather after the second conflict in 1992. Could you
18 mark that, please?
19 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. He has marked
20 on one map already, which is 2612,3(a), he has marked
21 the separation line or the front line. Perhaps the
22 witness could have that so he could see what he marked
24 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour,
25 with all due respect, the witness marked the line of
1 separation vis-à-vis the Serb units, and I'm asking the
2 witness to mark the separation line between the HVO and
3 the BH army respectively.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let him have both
5 maps in front of him, and the latest map had better be
7 A. On the previous map, I marked the HVO units
8 and the BH army units from Novi Travnik only, held a
9 line of defence against a Serb aggressor --
10 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation)
11 Q. Witness C, please listen to me carefully.
12 We're not talking about the Serb aggressor.
13 A. Well, look, I have the map in front of me,
14 and the president of this Trial Chamber asked me to
15 look at this map, so now I'm talking about the border
16 of the municipality. And this is the line that was
17 held by the HVO and the BH army vis-à-vis this other
19 Q. Witness C, I'm going to repeat my question,
21 On this map, where you just marked the
22 boundaries of the municipality of Novi Travnik, would
23 you please mark the line of separation between the HVO
24 and the BH army respectively?
25 A. When?
1 Q. In the second conflict.
2 A. But it's impossible to do that. I already
3 said that the line of separation was established only
4 in the town itself. Elsewhere, there was not a line
5 that was established and that lasted those six or seven
6 days. I did this on the map of town, and I've already
7 done that.
8 Q. We'll go back to that, Witness C. Now I
9 would like to ask you something else.
10 Could you please use a red marker to show the
11 part of the Novi Travnik municipality that you've just
12 marked on the map that was under HVO control, and then
13 use the green marker to show the part that was held by
14 the BH army, please?
15 A. There is also a lack of accuracy in this
16 question, too. There were different periods --
17 Q. I'm asking about 1993.
18 A. In 1993, that would mean to make -- it would
19 mean making three maps, at least, of different
20 situations that occurred from the 9th of June, 1993,
21 until October, 1993.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mikulicic, I don't think
23 we're going to get much further on these maps. The
24 witness has given his answer. He finds it difficult if
25 not impossible to do, so shall we move on to something
2 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) I see. So I
3 imagine that that is the way this statement is going to
4 be assessed as well.
5 Q. Mr. C, you mentioned the map of the town of
6 Novi Travnik that you gave the Court. I'm talking
7 about an exhibit, Z1962,B. I would like to ask the
8 usher to show the witness that map, please. So I'm
9 talking about Z1962,B.
10 Mr. C, my question is the following: Why has
11 the western part of the town of Novi Travnik not been
12 marked on this map, or at least not extensively so?
13 Was there any special reason?
14 A. There was no reason for it. This is simply a
15 drawing that existed in the old headquarters in 1992,
16 so we simply made use of an old paper where there was
17 some kind of a drawing of the town. I didn't have
18 anything else, so I simply wanted to depict what I had
19 spoken about concerning the first conflict and the
20 second conflict.
21 Q. Tell us, Witness C, who lives in the western
22 part of the town of Novi Travnik? What is the
23 population there?
24 A. Well, in Novi Travnik, there were 23 point
25 something per cent of Croats, 38 per cent Serbs, and
1 there were three Bosniaks less than Serbs, three less,
2 literally. So I presented this ethnic composition of
3 the population, and I don't know whether they were
4 evenly distributed or not throughout town, but
5 practically they did live in all parts of town. As the
6 previous Defence counsel said, it was a small town.
7 Q. Tell me, in this part of town, are there many
8 houses there, buildings, or according to this map, is
9 it an empty part of town?
10 A. If you look at this map and if you see the
11 north, and if you say that there is no town on the
12 western side, I'm telling you that there is the street
13 of Kalinska, rather the street of the 4th of July, and
14 Omladinska Street. Then above Omladinska Street is the
15 village of Isakovici. And then there is the village of
16 Kasapovici after the street of the 4th of July and so
17 on and so forth, and then Pobrdzani, et cetera.
18 Q. I see. Witness C, you mentioned, in your
19 statement, that the old high-rise, Stari Soliter, where
20 the fighting took place, was one of the key points from
21 a military point of view as well. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you say the same for the high-rises of
24 Poric and Novoteks, marked as number 2 and 3 on this
1 A. I already said when high-rise 3 burned down
2 in the second conflict on the 21st of October, 1992,
3 from June onwards, it was used as a military stronghold
4 of the BH army units, and the line went right by that
6 Q. And what about high-rise 2, the Poric?
7 A. It's Poric.
8 Q. Sorry, Poric?
9 A. As far as I know, it was never used by the
10 members of the military because it was a civilian
11 population that lived there, except for a few
12 apartments that burned down also in October because
13 they were hit by inflammable bullets from the old
15 Q. All right, you've already told us that.
16 Mr. Usher, I believe that you can remove these
17 documents now. I won't be needing them any more.
18 Witness C, you mentioned today that religion
19 was the personal affair of each and every soldier in
20 the BH army and that they were enabled to practice
21 their religion. Tell us, Witness C, since you worked
22 in the sector for morale and information in the
23 Territorial Defence staff and later in the BH army, as
24 you said, did you ever have the opportunity of seeing a
25 brochure which was published by the Mesihat of the
1 Islamic community in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 in Zenica in 1983 which is entitled, "Instructions to
3 the Muslim Fighter"? I would ask the usher, please, to
4 show D1 to the witness so that the witness could see
5 whether he is familiar with this brochure or not.
6 A. I never had this kind of a brochure, and the
7 distribution of this kind of a document did not go
8 through the command of the unit that I was in, where I
9 was assistant commander, and the general staff and the
10 command of the 3rd Corps never issued any orders that
11 would recommend or order this document to be used in
12 the work of the organ that I worked in from '92 to
14 Q. Yes, I've understood that. Do you know,
15 Witness C, that this brochure was distributed to
16 soldiers, not necessarily as you say, yourself, through
17 the military structures but on a private basis through
18 religious structures?
19 A. I could not assess that, through which
20 channels this kind of distribution might have taken
21 place, I mean through religious structures, because I
22 simply was never part of these structures so I do not
23 know how they operated in other segments, including the
24 one in which you are seeking an answer from me.
25 Q. So I'm going to ask you whether you
1 personally have ever seen this brochure with any BH
2 army soldier?
3 A. No, I've never seen it, but it is possible
4 that they might have had it. Then maybe they received
5 it through different channels, private channels or in
6 villages, or in some other way.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. Mr. Usher, I
8 won't be needing this exhibit any more, so could you
9 please take it back?
10 Q. And now to conclude, Witness C, you said that
11 in your official capacity first in the Territorial
12 Defence and later in the BH army, you officially
13 conducted a war diary, a logbook. Could you tell me
14 the exact title of this document?
15 A. Just as you said, the war diary. It is a big
16 notebook, 100 pages, A-44 format, and it says, "War
17 Diary, Hand-written".
18 Q. And in which language is this?
19 A. On the front page, it didn't say so. I
20 received orders orally in 1992 from the commander of
21 the Territorial Defence, Mr. Refik Lendo, at the time
22 this was kept, in terms of those matters that the
23 municipal headquarters was supposed to deal with, and
24 then from December, 1992, when I transferred to the
25 brigade, then this was conducted for the 313th Brigade,
1 Mountain Brigade of the 3rd Corps of the BH army.
2 Q. Witness C, do you recall when you handed over
3 this war diary to the archives, what day that was?
4 A. I did not hand it over to the archives,
5 myself. From the 308th Mountain Brigade, I went to the
6 command of the garrison Travnik on the 26th of March,
7 1994, and it remained in the unit. And I assume that
8 it was kept until the very end by the assistant
9 commander in this area that I had operated in, too.
10 That was my assumption, that it was kept as such until
11 the Dayton Accord.
12 Q. Do you perhaps know where this document is
14 A. No, I don't know, but I know, from the period
15 I spent working in the command of the garrison in 1996,
16 that an order was issued for all documents from '92 to
17 '95, according to the regulations on archives to be
18 selected and to be handed over to the main staff of the
19 BH army.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Witness C. I have
21 no further questions. Your Honours, I have thus
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, any
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
1 I have two questions.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
3 Q. Just a few clarifications. In respect of the
4 date that was mentioned in the transcript, I want to be
5 sure there was no mistake.
6 Witness C, could you tell us the date when
7 the 308th Mountain Brigade was created? The date was
8 stated yesterday. I would like to be sure that the
9 date is correct, that is, the date in the transcript
10 says 7 December, '92, and I'd like to have your comment
11 in respect of the date.
12 A. Yes, you are right, Mr. Lopez-Terres. I
13 mentioned a few minutes ago that the 308th Brigade was
14 established on the 17th of December, 1992, and that is
15 the date of establishment of this brigade of the BH
17 Q. So it's the 17th. Because in the transcript
18 it said 7 December, not 17.
19 Witness C, you were asked a few minutes ago,
20 by Mario Cerkez's Defence counsel, whether you knew
21 which units participated in the three conflicts about
22 which you testified, and you answered, each time the
23 question was asked, for the first, the second, and the
24 third conflict, "I don't know which units they were."
25 You stated, during your testimony here, that
1 during the first conflict the forces who came from
2 Busovaca and from Vitez had participated and you also
3 said that in October, during the second conflict in
4 October, '92, Busovaca forces had participated, and you
5 also said that Kiseljak forces participated in that
6 second conflict which lasted for a week; is that
8 A. Yes. Yes, but the attorney's question was
9 whether I knew which units of the HVO took part. In
10 response to that, I said I did not know the exact name
11 of these units, but in my previous statement I said
12 that there were HVO units or, rather, HVO forces
13 outside Novi Travnik. We know this through the
14 information that we received from the higher command
15 and other information that I heard in headquarters from
16 the commander of the staff, because when the June
17 conflict took place, I was outside the headquarters and
18 that is what I had stated previously.
19 Q. So I can assume that when you say that you
20 didn't know which units participated in the conflicts,
21 you said that you don't know the names of the units.
22 A. Names of the units. I said, by way of
23 example, that I knew that the brigade in Novi Travnik
24 was called Stjepan Tomasevic, but other names I do not
1 Q. That was the local Novi Travnik Brigade, but
2 you confirmed that there were outside brigades which
3 participated in the first and second conflicts in Novi
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
7 Thank you, Witness C. If you permit me, Your Honour,
8 the first question had to do with the transcript. When
9 I said there were two questions, in fact, I didn't
10 include the first one which, in fact, from me, was a
11 clerical error, and I would ask your indulgence for
12 having expressed myself incorrectly when you asked how
13 many questions I had to ask.
14 JUDGE MAY: Certainly. That concludes your
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
17 I have a second question.
18 Q. This is the second question, it will be a
19 very short one: This morning the question was asked
20 about this declaration of war of April 1992, that is,
21 the threat of the imminent danger of war and then the
22 declaration of the war of 20 June, 1992. I would like
23 you to tell us the following: When this threat of war
24 was proclaimed on the 8th of April, 1992, the President
25 of the Republic and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 invited all military-aged citizens to enrol with no
2 distinction made between ethnic groups; is that
4 A. Yes, it was a general proclamation that was
5 applicable to the whole territory of the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It never said it was addressed
7 only to a particular ethnic group, or ethnic
8 composition, or whatever.
9 Q. Did many military-aged men of Croatian
10 nationality present themselves as volunteers as well?
11 Did they join the forces?
12 A. I know that until the beginning of June 1992,
13 at the registry office where people, that is, where
14 military conscripts enrolled for the Territorial
15 Defence, we had over 1.250 individuals, and that among
16 them there were quite a number of people of both Croat
17 and Serb ethnic origin who reported after this call was
18 issued by the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So
19 this was the possible list of conscripts, those who
20 reported voluntarily.
21 Q. I want to ask you, what was the majority
22 ethnic group that presented itself? Did Muslims enrol
23 in larger numbers than did the Croats?
24 A. One did not try to analyse precisely this,
25 the ethnic structure of those 1.250 volunteers, but the
1 general impression when one goes through the names, one
2 could say that Muslims -- people of Muslim ethnic
3 origin or people of Bosniak ethnic origin were the
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
6 Thank you. I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Witness C, that
8 concludes your testimony. Thank you for coming to the
9 International Tribunal to give evidence. You are now
11 (The witness withdrew)
12 MR. NICE: The next witness, who will also be
13 taken by Mr. Lopez-Terres requires no protection of any
14 kind, so the court can be appropriately reconstituted.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your
17 JUDGE MAY: That's all right. It's the
18 registrar I want to speak to.
19 The name of the witness, please?
20 MR. NICE: Ismet Sahinovic.
21 (The witness entered court)
22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
25 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to sit down.
1 Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
2 WITNESS: ISMET SAHINOVIC
3 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
4 [Witness answers through interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Ismet Sahinovic, before we begin the
6 testimony, I am asking you, out of respect for
7 efficiency, to answer precisely but briefly and
8 concisely. Answer my questions simply. If I need
9 clarifications, I will let you know at the proper
11 Mr. Ismet Sahinovic, how old are you?
12 A. Forty-three. I was born in 1955.
13 Q. What is your current profession?
14 A. I'm the head of security at a plant.
15 Q. Could you tell us what factory or what plant
16 that is?
17 A. It is a factory manufacturing some military
18 equipment and armaments and also has a civilian
20 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, did you live in Novi Travnik
21 in 1992?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Had you been living there for a long time?
24 A. Between 16 and 18 years.
25 Q. What was your position in the factory that
1 you spoke about, in 1992?
2 A. I was a metalworker until 1991. In 1991, I
3 was elected the Chairman of the union, and that was a
4 professional position.
5 Q. As a factory worker and also as a resident
6 there, were you associated in the meetings that had
7 been organised within the business during which the
8 company's business was discussed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You had access to all or most of the
11 information about the company; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, could you tell us whether you
14 were a member or had been a member of a political
16 A. Yes. Social Democratic Party.
17 Q. Were you ever a member of the SDA?
18 A. Never.
19 Q. In respect of the functions that you occupied
20 in the Bratstvo factory in Novi Travnik, and as the
21 president of the workers' union, in 1992 how long did
22 you carry out those responsibilities?
23 A. Until about February or April -- February,
24 March. That was about the time that I resigned and
25 left the factory.
1 Q. In the following period did you join the
2 Territorial Defence?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When exactly?
5 A. Right after I left the position of the
6 president of the union, and after I left the factory I
7 offered my services to the Territorial Defence.
8 Q. Throughout the conflict in the Novi Travnik
9 municipality, between 1992 and '94, that is the
10 conflicts that we're speaking about today, were you a
11 member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you tell us what your responsibilities
14 and your rank were within that army?
15 A. In the beginning, after I joined the army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I had no rank whatsoever. I was
17 merely a soldier, a private.
18 Q. What were your responsibilities throughout
19 that conflict?
20 A. When the battalion was formed, the
21 second battalion within the Territorial Defence was
22 formed, I was deputy commander responsible for morale
23 in the battalion, until about November 1992.
24 Q. And after 1992, November?
25 A. After November '92, the commander of the
1 municipal staff appointed me his deputy responsible for
2 security matters.
3 Q. You were a soldier of the 308th Mountain
4 Brigade; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you for those clarifications. Could
7 you tell us, Mr. Sahinovic, whether during 1992 you had
8 the occasion to meet the accused Dario Kordic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you tell us what those circumstances
12 A. In 1992, sometime in February, workers of the
13 factory and I went out to a roadblock at a place called
14 Okuka, which is the crossroads of Vitez to Travnik and
15 Novi Travnik crossroad. We made that roadblock in
16 order to draw the attention of the
17 Bosnian-Herzegovinian government, that it needed to
18 solve our problems faster or, rather, the social status
19 of the workers of the plant.
20 Let me point out that before that, I went to
21 the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina twice and at that
22 time I had talks with the then Prime Minister of the
23 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Jure Pelivan, and
24 his deputy, Muhamed Cengic, and those talks were held
25 towards the end of 1991, and they lasted until February
1 '92, but the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not
2 meet our requests, so that we had already announced
3 previously, both to the government of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the police, that we would block
5 the road on the 24th February, 1992.
6 Q. On the document Z2601, could you show us
7 exactly where the roadblock that you're talking about
8 was? I'm sorry, 2612A. 2612A.
9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
10 Your Honour, a suggestion. Is it possible to have the
11 batch of maps that are going to be used either next to
12 or not far from the witness so that we can speed up the
13 time that we need to look for them?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Which maps do you want?
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
16 Well, we frequently present maps to the witness. First
17 we have the -- can we have the maps that we used
18 already? Can we have them near the ELMO?
19 JUDGE MAY: You mean the maps given to,
20 shown, or produce, rather, to the last witness; is that
21 right? The maps of 2612, those maps, and, also, the
22 maps of Novi Travnik. Are those the ones you want,
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
25 Yes. I was thinking of a general suggestion for this
1 witness and for the future possibly, insofar as the
2 maps have already been introduced. If we could have
3 the maps next to the witness.
4 JUDGE MAY: It may be more convenient if
5 they're kept by the registrar, otherwise, there is a
6 danger of them being lost, but if before each witness
7 gives evidence you tell us what documents or what maps
8 you want him to have or her to have, no doubt we could
9 accommodate that.
10 Now, I think, for the moment, the maps of
11 1962 and 2612 should be sufficient.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
13 Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MAY: If the usher could take those and
15 put them on the witness stand. It's not the big map,
16 it's 2612. It's the photocopies showing the Travnik
17 region. Yes, that's it.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
19 Yes, that's right.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
22 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, could you show us the location
23 of the roadblock that you set up with the other workers
24 from the Bratstvo factory, in 1992 in February, on the
1 A. This is the junction (indicating). The road
2 coming from Vitez towards Travnik and here, to the left
3 towards Novi Travnik (indicating). So I'm talking
4 about this junction here (indicating). That was where
5 we blocked the road.
6 Q. You started to say this, but why did you set
7 up the roadblock, set it up with the other factory
8 workers? What was going on exactly in the factory at
9 that point?
10 A. For quite some time we had not received the
11 salaries for our work, and we had large stocks in our
12 halls. As far as I can remember, about $7 million
13 worth of stocks we had. The programmes that we were
14 doing then were done on the basis of a programme and
15 contract with the Bosnia-Herzegovina government, and
16 yet we were not allowed to send this to the end user,
17 rather, to the client, the Yugoslav People's Army at
18 the time. So we failed to persuade the government to
19 intercede and protect the social status of workers,
20 that we decided to block the road which was considered
21 the main road.
22 We thought that if we blocked the traffic,
23 that we would be able to draw the attention of the
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina government. We were intending to
25 keep the road under blockade until somebody from the
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina government came and did something to
2 solve the problems, that is, met the requests that we
3 had submitted to the government.
4 Q. Exactly what was going on at that point?
5 What were they supplying?
6 A. These were the armaments and materiel which
7 was manufactured by the factory at the time.
8 Q. In respect of the roadblock that you set up,
9 was it set up only by the -- was it constituted only by
10 civilian vehicles and factory workers?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were the factory workers armed?
13 A. No.
14 Q. In respect of the merchandise, you said that
15 the merchandise that was stocked in that factory were
16 the value of over several million dollars. You said
17 that, "We were prevented from delivering it to the
18 JNA." Who was the one that prevented you from
19 delivering it?
20 A. Whenever a particular contingent would be
21 ready, whenever we would load the trucks with this
22 equipment, then -- and actually it happened in the
23 village of Stojokovici and Bucici where the Croat
24 population blocked the road because they would not
25 allow that this equipment be delivered to the former
1 Yugoslavia army, so that it also happened they would
2 seize our trucks and the merchandise and to keep it,
3 either keep an eye on it or just keep it for
5 Q. How did the Croatian population of the
6 village of Bucici, how did it hold the trucks back?
7 How had it been informed that the trucks were going to
8 go by?
9 A. I had the opportunity of personally taking
10 the trade from Novi Travnik to Busovaca, travelling
11 with the security officer of the plant, and I then
12 could see with my own eyes that there was no -- there
13 were no roadblocks there.
14 However, an hour later, when the convoy with
15 armaments set off, this roadblock had already been put
16 up by the Croat population in the village of Bucici.
17 And two trucks came up, and a number of them were
18 loaded with merchandise, but both those trucks were
19 intercepted by the Croat population and were driven
20 away to the village of Bucici.
21 Q. How long before the meeting with the accused
22 Dario Kordic, about whom you're going to speak, how
23 long had they been detoured?
24 A. Late '91, and those roadblocks were
25 intensified, I mean the roadblocks impeding the
1 delivery of equipment, military equipment, in early
2 '92, and it reached Zenica, point of the culmination,
3 in February of 1992.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, it is now
5 11.15. Is that a convenient time to stop? We'll be
6 getting on to the meeting with the accused; is that
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes.
9 JUDGE MAY: Twenty minutes, please.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.14 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres. You were
13 coming to the meeting with Mr. Kordic.
14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes, Your
16 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, this is now the 24th of
17 February, 1992, at that crossroads with the other
18 factory workers. You set up a roadblock. You said
19 that you met Dario Kordic at that crossroads. Could
20 you give us some information, briefly, about the
21 meeting and any conversations that you had with the
22 accused at that time?
23 A. The strike committee that I had headed
24 decided not to let any vehicles pass at that blockade
25 except for ambulances and police vehicles.
1 After the blockade, as far as I can remember,
2 half an hour, an hour later, that was where we were, I
3 mean at the crossroads, and a man came up to me and
4 introduced himself as Dario Kordic. This person asked
5 me, as chairman of this strike committee, that we let
6 him pass the crossroads and go to Novi Travnik.
7 However, since I did not know the gentleman in question
8 until then, I decided that we would not let him pass,
9 either, because after all, that was the attitude of the
10 strike committee, too.
11 This person told me that he was going to Novi
12 Travnik precisely because of the problems and that the
13 person in question would resolve these problems in Novi
14 Travnik. However, I did not let him pass, and this
15 person went away from me and I never saw this person
16 again until the night.
17 Q. In the moments following Dario Kordic's
18 departure, what happened?
19 A. Could you please repeat your question,
20 please? Please, sir. I didn't hear you well.
21 Q. You've just said that you refused to let
22 Dario Kordic pass through when he wanted to go to Novi
23 Travnik. You said that he left and that you didn't see
24 him again until the evening. What happened in the
25 moments following the departure of the accused Dario
1 Kordic? Now I'm talking about the roadblock, at that
3 A. After Mr. Dario Kordic left, persons in
4 uniform started coming in. They were armed, so we had
5 the impression that we were under control at that
6 crossroads. These persons in uniform usually had
7 masks, too, and you could only see their eyes. But in
8 all fairness, there were some who had not been masked.
9 I also noticed, on the right-hand side when
10 you're going from Vitez to Travnik, we noticed from the
11 houses there that there were some soldiers inside and
12 that they were holding rifles at the windows of these
13 houses. However, although these persons were armed, we
14 decided to continue with the blockade of this road.
15 Q. Just one moment, please. What was the colour
16 of the uniform that they were wearing in that area?
17 A. Black, and they had HOS insignia.
18 Q. In respect of these HOS people that you're
19 talking about, did you already know them? Had you had
20 any dealings with them previously?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Were the HOS people known in Novi Travnik?
23 A. Yes. Yes, especially from the village of
25 Q. What was their reputation in the region?
1 A. Well, they had black uniforms, and they made
2 people afraid as soon as they would show up, especially
3 when they were armed. And as such, they looked
5 Q. Could you tell us about how many of those HOS
6 members you saw around the roadblock and in the
7 houses -- the house you're speaking about?
8 A. At the road, or rather at the crossroads
9 where we were, I noticed 10 or 20 persons in uniform.
10 However, I could not tell how many there were in the
11 houses, because you could only see the barrels of their
12 rifles sticking out of the houses that were on our
13 right-hand side.
14 Q. Did that group of armed men threaten you and
15 the other people who had set up the roadblock?
16 A. Soon after Mr. Dario Kordic left, another man
17 came up to me, and he asked me whether I was the leader
18 of the gang that was on the road. And he swore at me
19 at that point. He cursed my balija mother. When I
20 asked the person in question to tell me who he was, he
21 introduced himself as Dario Kraljevic.
22 Q. Excuse me, I have a question. Could you give
23 us the name of that person, please?
24 A. Darko Kraljevic.
25 Q. I thought I had heard you say "Dario". I had
1 heard "Dario". So it's Darko Kraljevic?
2 A. Darko Kraljevic. When I asked him what he
3 wanted to talk about to me, he said that he did not
4 want to talk to me, and he said, "You have five
5 minutes' time to get this gang away from the
6 crossroads. Otherwise, I'm going to blow all of this
8 I was not afraid of these threats until I saw
9 some men, most probably from his group, start tying
10 explosives to the back of a bus, and then I realised
11 how serious the threats were, the threats that were
13 Q. The bus that you had put on the road is on
14 the roadblock on the road; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, yes, that is the bus that we took when
16 coming from the company and that we placed at the
17 crossroads as a roadblock.
18 Q. What happened after the explosives had been
19 set up around the bus?
20 A. When I realised how serious these threats
21 were, then I used a loudspeaker that I had with me, and
22 I told the workers to remain calm, to board the buses,
23 and I said that they should go to Novi Travnik, to
24 their homes. And as I came closer, I saw it was an
25 interview he was -- Mr. Dario Kordic was giving for the
1 radio/television of Sarajevo to a well-known journalist
2 of the Sarajevo Television, Mr. Smiljko Sagolj.
3 At that moment, I paused and I asked the
4 general manager, who happened to be there, Mr. Jozo
5 Krizanovic, "What's that supposed to mean, and what was
6 that interview in front of the Bratstvo gate and what
7 about?" But then the general manager simply patted me
8 on the shoulder and said, "Don't you worry. He'll
9 finish it and he'll be off."
10 As I was talking with the general manager, I
11 noticed -- rather I heard Mr. Dario Kordic speak about
12 the historic moment for the Croat people and his
13 personal commitment to prevent the delivery of materiel
14 and military equipment and armaments from Bratstvo. I
15 found it strange that a gentleman from Busovaca was
16 giving an interview in Novi Travnik.
17 And when the general manager urged me, I just
18 went on.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: Now, may we know when this
21 interview took place?
22 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I thought
23 that I would ask that question once we had spoken about
24 the -- actually seen the interview, because we have
25 part of it in our exhibits.
1 We're going to show a short part of that
2 interview, the interview of Dario Kordic. I have asked
3 that the text of the interview also be translated, and
4 at this time we'll have the translation in both of the
5 Tribunal's official languages.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
7 Mr. Lopez-Terres, did what we see -- was it a
8 television interview, is it part of a television
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Well,
11 apparently it was an interview who was given to
12 journalist, Smiljko Sagolj, who was from Sarajevo
14 MR. STEIN: May it please the Court, I arise
15 again. We have never seen this, we have not been
16 supplied with it. I don't know how long the
17 Prosecution has had this particular tape.
18 JUDGE MAY: The tape has not been disclosed
19 to you?
20 MR. STEIN: No, Sir.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres?
22 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The
23 explanation for that is that it could not be formally
24 established that the interview that we had was the one
25 that the witness was talking about, that there was very
1 little time. He has just arrived in The Hague, and the
2 video cassette might not have been presented to us
3 before that.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, again, it is much better if
5 these matters can be disclosed before the witness comes
6 to give evidence, because if they are not, it's
7 possible that there can be delays. I'm not going to
8 hold things up at the moment.
9 Mr. Stein, we'll hear and see the video. If
10 you've got an objection at the end of it, then, of
11 course, you can make it.
12 MR. STEIN: Very good, Sir.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The number of this document
14 is 53A and 53B for the translation, and the videotape
15 is marked 53.
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I would
17 like to make it clear right away that after this first
18 illustration, we also plan to distribute several --
19 rather to show some of a debate which was on
20 television, in which the accused participated. These
21 excerpts were translated, and the document which was
22 translated has been given to you as part of the same
23 document which was just given to you by the Registrar.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Lopez-Terres, we must
25 know the dates of these, the date of the interview and
1 then the date of the debate. Can you let us know that
2 now, please?
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I can't
4 give you a specific date for the interview. The only
5 thing that I can say, because I saw it, is that it was
6 at a time when there was snow in Novi Travnik.
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps the witness can
8 help us. Mr. Sahinovic, can you tell us when the
9 interview took place?
10 A. I would not know the date exactly, but I'm
11 quite positive that it was about a week or a fortnight
12 after the events that I spoke about.
13 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. And the debate, do we
14 know the date for that?
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The debate
16 was more or less at the same time, because reference is
17 made in it to the same discussion, by the fact that
18 weapons had not been delivered to the JNA, the Yugoslav
19 People's Army, and the reporter who is interviewing the
20 various participants, including Dario Kordic, is the
21 same reporter who prepared the interview in front of
22 the Bratstvo factory.
23 If we could show the excerpt of the
25 (Videotape played)
1 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) "When we
2 protested there, we also made it clear to the people
3 who are in charge of this plant that should they
4 continue what they are doing, they will be considered
5 war criminals in the eyes of the Croatian people, and
6 especially in the eyes of the people here who built
7 this plant after the war, and that as such, they would
8 have to account for themselves before these people.
9 With this in mind, we and the people had opted for
10 hunger, an option which is significantly different from
11 receiving bloody, bloody -- blood-soaked dinars from
12 Serbia which are in circulation in this area.
13 Mr. Kordic --"
14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Can we
15 stop it for a moment, please?
16 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, the short interview that we've
17 just seen and which is the only one that we have, does
18 it match what you talked about in respect of Dario
19 Kordic and the factory that you spoke about as well?
20 A. No. If I was accurate enough, when the
21 gentleman talks about the historic moment for the Croat
22 people and his efforts to stop the delivery of
23 armaments for the Yugolav People's Army, and this
24 interview that I can see now on my screen, this
25 interview I never saw.
1 Q. So it's another interview that the accused
3 A. Yes. This was in front of the main gate to
4 the Bratstvo plant.
5 Q. Let me ask the question a different way.
6 The excerpt that you saw, it is not the part
7 that you brought to us with the words of the accused,
8 but can we say that this interview, in respect of where
9 it took place, according to the position of Mr. Kordic,
10 does it correspond to the one in which you partially
11 participated in front of your factory?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So it's simply an excerpt of the interview
14 which you did not participate in, yourself?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. STEIN: With respect, I appreciate the
17 attempt to lay a foundation and tie what you've seen
18 into the witness's testimony. I don't think it's,
19 frankly, been done. But even if it has, it's apparent
20 that this is part of a whole, and we don't have
21 established on the record why this part was selected,
22 if it's the only part selected. And to the extent that
23 it's been edited, for whatever the reason and by
24 whomever the editor is, it only shows part or a slice
25 of the whole. Under the theory or the doctrine of
1 completeness, I think it's in everyone's interests to
2 see the entire interview, if it exists. If it doesn't,
3 so be it, but we just don't know that yet.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, the absence of the entire
5 video clearly goes towards the weight which is given to
6 it. It doesn't prevent a clip, which this is, being
8 MR. STEIN: I absolutely agree, and we --
9 JUDGE MAY: We will, of course, bear in mind
10 that it is only part and give it such weight as we
11 think fit. Meanwhile, efforts should be made to find
12 the whole tape.
13 Mr. Lopez-Terres, no doubt some efforts can
14 be made to find the rest of this tape.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I can tell
16 you already that the part that was shown to you is the
17 only part that the Office of the Prosecutor has. We
18 don't have the entire interview.
19 JUDGE MAY: Of course, we accept that, and
20 that's, no doubt, why you only played that part. What
21 I'm saying is some effort should be made to find the
22 rest of it.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) As regards
24 the second document, which I would like to present, for
25 that we have the entire broadcast, but we made some
1 selections because it's a broadcast that is longer than
2 an hour, a televised interview that was prepared by the
3 same journalist. We selected parts of it, excerpts
4 that are going to be shown to you now, but it's been
5 made clear that the Defence received the entire
6 broadcast. The translation was given to you in both of
7 the Tribunal's languages and in Serbo-Croat, only the
8 parts that were said by Dario Kordic in the excerpts
9 that were given to you.
10 JUDGE MAY: What we're going to see, what
11 you're proposing to put in, is a debate on a day which
12 is not known but was, you submit, shown on television,
13 the witness not having seen it.
14 Well, Mr. Stein, is the most sensible course
15 not this, to play this tape now, or the excerpts which
16 we have? You have the whole tape?
17 MR. STEIN: We do, Sir.
18 JUDGE MAY: If you want to play the whole
19 tape, then perhaps you can find a convenient moment to
20 do it, not necessarily during the examination of this
21 witness, unless there's something relevant to it.
22 MR. STEIN: Very good, sir.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll play the tape.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank
25 you. If we could continue playing the rest of the
2 (Videotape played)
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Could you
4 stop it for a moment, please? We're not getting the
5 English translation of what's being said.
6 JUDGE MAY: Well, we've got the translation
7 in front of us.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) You don't
9 need the interpretation? It was just a translation
10 that I had, and that's why I've given it to you.
11 JUDGE MAY: We don't need the translation.
12 We've got a transcript here. Yes, let's go on.
13 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) "Therefore, it
14 had to establish a special status in this war, so that
15 it would be considered with that status. With this in
16 mind, we could not approve of the way that the
17 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina reacted to this
18 problem up until a month ago, and we can say that to
19 some extent we can be satisfied that in the last month
20 it has begun more seriously to address the problem of
21 the military industry, and has realised that this
22 problem cannot be solved without the support of the
23 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, we do
24 not accept that a proposal that exists only on paper
25 that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina gives a
1 guarantee, or rather allows certain possibilities to
2 export these arms to other republics, that is to say,
3 that there is no monopoly for the so-called Yugoslav
4 army only, but that these arms can be exported to
5 Croatia as well. Therefore, we have demanded that this
6 be made possible in practical terms by sending some
7 deliveries to the Croatian state and other, other
8 entities, so that we could get a true insight into the
9 veracity of those government decisions that were
10 explicitly made. However, we had doubts, and the
11 events of the last few days show that those are words
12 on paper - a wish that hasn't become reality yet."
13 "Q for KORDIC: Mr. Kordic, you have heard
14 the general director, who said that it is the federal
15 regulations still in effect in Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 which are now blocking the factory."
17 "KORDIC: Well, these federal regulations are
18 obviously not binding on, let's say, Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina as a whole, and if they are not binding on
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, then they are certainly not
21 binding on the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
22 because the Croatian people cannot recognise these
23 federal regulations which are null and void for us.
24 So, we can only recognise the legitimacy of the state
25 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but no federal regulations,
1 no federal government, etc. I believe it is absurd to
2 talk about this, about something that does not even
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: Here is another excerpt.
5 (Videotape played)
6 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) "This is not a
7 secret, but the Croatian people were as armed as the
8 Serb people, and these other two peoples had to pay for
9 their armaments, so I think that it is not moral to put
10 this kind of a question. I mean other peoples are
11 being armed as well."
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) The French
13 interpretation has not been working now for about 10
14 minutes. I'm not getting any interpretation in French
15 for the last five minutes or so. The last excerpts, I
16 saw that -- I heard that it was working in English. I
17 would like it to work in French as well.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I'm asking
19 the interpreters in the French booth whether they have
20 the translation in hard copy.
21 All right. We were at the excerpt -- well, I
22 think the translation stopped after excerpt 3. I think
23 that the booth has the passage with, in the margin, the
24 number "3", which indicates the passage in question.
25 Would it be possible to show that excerpt
1 number 3 again?
2 (Videotape played)
3 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) "A question for
4 Mr. Kordic from a viewer from Zenica. How can he
5 decide about the people of Travnik and Busovaca? Let
6 me say in response to your ..."
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Actually,
8 that's not it. That's not it.
9 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, help us with
11 this. Where is the question in the French transcript?
12 The question in the English transcript is on page 3
13 that you were referring to, the question to Kordic from
14 a viewer from Zenica, "Who doesn't allow you to arm the
15 people in Travnik and Busovaca." Now, where is that,
16 please, in the French text?
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The
18 question -- rather at page 3 in the English document
19 corresponds to page 4 in the French document, and
20 Mr. Kordic's answer to that question about the Croatian
21 people --
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now let's play that
24 (Videotape played)
25 THE INTERPRETER: That is not that question,
1 says the interpreter. It is not audible enough for
3 JUDGE MAY: Look, unless this is done
4 properly, we're not going to admit it. Now, is there
5 anything of significance in this interview which the
6 Prosecution particularly rely on?
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The Office
8 of the Prosecutor shows in various paragraphs that were
9 numbered from 1 to 5, because it believed that those
10 parts, in respect of Dario Kordic's words, might be of
11 interest in respect of the acts that are being dealt
12 with in these proceedings.
13 I have the impression that there is a
14 difference in the pages here.
15 JUDGE MAY: I think the only way forward is
16 to go forward without translation. We will play the
17 tape. We have the transcript in front of us. We will
18 read it.
19 Now, do the interpreters get that? We simply
20 will play the tape. There is no need for any
21 translation at all. At the end of the tape we'll go on
22 with the evidence.
23 Now, can we play the tape, please?
24 (Videotape played)
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) This is
1 excerpt 4. Now we're coming to the last excerpt.
2 (Videotape played)
3 JUDGE MAY: It seems rather a short tape for
4 quite a long transcript but, still, let's go on.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I
6 apologise. I had no control over the translation or,
7 rather, the interpretation today or the documents that
8 were translated previously.
9 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, at that time did you see the
11 A. No.
12 Q. Were you able to recognise who the people
13 around Dario Kordic were during that discussion?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you give us the names of these people?
16 A. The head of the municipality of Novi Travnik,
17 Jozo Sekic. The man who worked in the military
18 industry factory before that and, also, his deputy or,
19 rather, the deputy Prime Minister of Novi Travnik Salih
20 Krnjic and, also, the President of the SDA in Novi
22 Q. In respect of the broadcast that you saw, is
23 it directly related to the events which were taking
24 place in your factory at the time, that is, the fact
25 that your factory was unable to deliver the arms that
1 it had produced to the Yugoslav army?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, could you tell us, in a few
4 words, how the conflict was resolved, that is, the
5 conflict in respect of delivery of weapons that your
6 factory had manufactured? In a few words.
7 A. At the meeting that I attended when I
8 received direct threats from the members of the HOS, I
9 was more concerned about my own fate and the fate of my
10 family, but one of the conclusions was that the
11 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina should resolve this
12 problem in Novi Travnik, especially, as far as I can
13 remember, that the two trucks that were in the village
14 of Bucici be returned to the factory. They had weapons
15 on them.
16 Q. At the time we're speaking about, there were
17 two truckloads of weapons which had been diverted in
18 the village of Bucici; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know what happened to the weapons
21 being transported in those trucks?
22 A. I don't know. Since I resigned after that, I
23 left the trade union and position of president. Soon
24 after that, I left the factory and I placed myself at
25 the disposal of the Territorial Defence.
1 Q. You told us that you joined the Territorial
2 Defence in May of 1992.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The trucks had been diverted at the beginning
5 of 1992?
6 A. February 1992.
7 Q. Between February 1992 and May 1992, as far as
8 you know since you were still in the factory, were the
9 trucks given back?
10 A. Afterwards there was a meeting. I heard
11 about it from the director. This meeting was with the
12 gentleman from the Yugoslav People's Army, with the
13 representatives of the government, but I don't know
14 about this because I did not attend the meeting. I
15 don't know whether they were returned, if they were
16 returned at all, and when.
17 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, do you know whether the
18 accused, Dario Kordic, either obtained, or for the HVO,
19 artillery pieces that came from your factory?
20 A. As far as I know, this gentleman came to
21 Bratstvo. The security and the members of the TO, the
22 Territorial Defence at the time, would not allow
23 Mr. Kordic to enter the premises of the factory.
24 However, when I put myself at the disposal of the
25 Territorial Defence in the period from April onwards,
1 in May 1992 I saw for myself a quantity of weapons that
2 passed through Opara and the local commune of Zagrlje
3 where I was in the Territorial Defence.
4 The convoy passed during the night, after
5 midnight, and that is when I personally saw three
6 trucks. They were covered with tarpaulins. There were
7 rocket systems of 262 millimetres, and there was also
8 one truck of Oganj weapons, which is a 128-millimetre
10 Q. Did you see the three trucks yourself as they
11 went by in May 1992?
12 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. I'm going to show you some photographs that
14 were given to me.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) If the
16 usher would accommodate us?
17 Q. You have just spoken to us about two types of
18 weapons, multiple-rocket launchers, if I've understood
19 you correctly, which were transported in the three
20 trucks. Could you tell us whether the weapons you're
21 speaking about, the weapons that you saw, were being
22 driven in the three trucks that day? Could they or do
23 they correspond to the photographs that you're being
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Is it
2 possible, Mr. Usher, to put on the ELMO those
4 Q. Could you make some comments about the
5 photographs to us in respect of the three trucks that
6 you saw?
7 A. Yes. These two trucks that you can see now
8 (indicating), we're talking about the rocket system
9 KOL, 262-millimetre calibre.
10 Q. Does that system have a specific name?
11 A. It was only called a KOL, K-O-L
12 multiple-rocket launcher.
13 Q. Was there another name used for that type of
14 weapon, perhaps in respect of the calibre of the
16 A. As far as I know, it is the KOL, K-O-L, and
17 multiple-rocket launcher. Those are the two terms that
18 I know.
19 Q. I think that you had used the word Orkan
21 A. Orkan is different. That's a different
22 weapon. This is KOL, with 16 barrels, and the calibre
23 of the barrels is 262 millimetres. The Oganj has 32
24 barrels. So there is considerable difference between
25 those two weapons, and you can see it when you look at
2 Q. The three trucks that you saw passing in the
3 village that you spoke about, did they correspond to
4 this type of weapon?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you give us some details about the
7 three trucks, the trucks that were -- and what each one
8 was carrying?
9 A. Since these were trucks that passed by and
10 that had a tarpaulin cover, and at that time that was
11 the latest product of our factory, our most up-to-date
12 piece, although it was covered by tarpaulin, we could
13 notice the difference between these armaments, because
14 the tarpaulin is smaller and the Orkan is shorter. On
15 the other vehicle there was an Oganj and that was
16 different. So I know these two different weapons very
17 well, and I can distinguish one from the other.
18 Q. Even though the trucks had covers over them,
19 you were able to know what they were and what they were
20 transporting; is that correct?
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. You were able to do that because you were a
23 worker in the factory? Is that why?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So that everything is very clear, could you
1 tell us -- I'll ask you the question once again: In
2 respect of the three trucks, exactly which weapons were
3 they transporting?
4 A. Two trucks carried the Orkan with the
5 262 millimetres, and one vehicle was carrying Oganj
6 with a 128-millimetre calibre.
7 Q. Thank you. When you saw the trucks going by,
8 were you able to see in what direction they were
10 A. They were going towards Novi Vakuf (sic) via
11 Pavlovica. Where they went after that, that I do not
12 know, so I cannot say.
13 Q. How were you able to learn that the trucks
14 had some type of connection with the accused, Dario
15 Kordic? How did you know that the trucks had to do
16 with the merchandise that had been given to or taken by
17 Dario Kordic?
18 A. At that time, there were civilian police
19 checkpoints in the village of Opara, so these goods
20 that were being transported were identified at that
21 checkpoint. I received information about this
22 subsequently as well from the police, that is to say,
23 that a convoy of Dario Kordic had passed by. However,
24 I wish to emphasise that I did not see Dario Kordic in
25 this convoy, and I only recognised these three trucks
1 or, rather, the kind of weapon that was there.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, that might be a
3 convenient moment. It's 1.00. How much longer do you
4 think you're likely to be?
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) About 40
6 minutes, I think.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I would
5 like to correct a name, Your Honours, just before we
6 begin. The witness, in respect of the direction that
7 the three trucks took, he spoke about Gornji Vakuf, and
8 I think in the transcript it said "Novi Vakuf", whereas
9 it should be "Gornji Vakuf".
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well, that will be noted.
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
12 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, I'm now going to give you a
13 document which will be given to the Trial Chamber, and
14 it is reference number Z78A. Let me make it clear that
15 there are two documents that are covered by that
16 reference number Z78, but that is the 78A and B. I am
17 now asking for the Z78A.
18 I would like the witness to review the
19 document which has a seal on it. That is the Z78A.
20 This is a document dated 22 April, 1992.
21 Do you have the document in front of you,
22 Mr. Sahinovic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, in the document is a
25 description of three artillery pieces, two with 262
1 millimetre calibre and one 168 millimetres. Do the
2 artillery pieces correspond to the heavy artillery
3 pieces transported on the three trucks that you spoke
4 to us about before the break?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It's the same type of weapon; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I would like you to pay attention to the
10 document, Mr. Sahinovic. The upper part of the
11 document has a title "BNT - TMIH" in the upper
12 left-hand corner above the date. Could you tell the
13 Trial Chamber what those letters refer to?
14 A. I do not know that, when it comes to this
15 kind of delivery documents in the factory.
16 Q. I'll ask you whether the "BNT" means anything
17 to you.
18 A. "BNT" is the acronym for Bratstvo Novi Travnik
19 company as a whole, and "BNT", which is Bratstvo,
20 comprises also the hydraulic equipment factory which
21 made armaments and ammunition. So, "BNT" means
22 "Bratstvo Novi Travnik", a company which encompassed
23 four or five different plants in Novi Travnik.
24 Q. So we agree that the letters correspond to
25 the letters of the Bratstvo factory?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In the left-hand lower corner is a signature
3 which has "Handed Over By". Are you familiar with the
5 A. No.
6 Q. You never saw that signature?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, does the document correspond
9 to the type of document that the Bratstvo factory would
10 ordinarily draft at the time that we're speaking about,
11 that is, April, 1992, where there were weapons or
12 pieces of weapons that were to be delivered?
13 A. No.
14 Q. In the document, do you find any
15 characteristics that would ordinarily appear in
16 documents from the Bratstvo factory?
17 A. Bratstvo, or rather the machine hydraulics
18 plant, when delivering armaments and military materiel,
19 used a standard format of delivery documents. When I
20 say "standard", then in the left corner there will be
21 the name of the company in full, saying verbatim
22 "Mechanical/Engineering Combined, Bratstvo" in the
23 first line. And in the second one would be the mark of
24 the specific plant, that is, factory of machinery and
25 hydraulic equipment. Then in the third line there will
1 be the date.
2 In such documents, one always -- we always
3 had the name of the person who made the invoice, the
4 person who was delivering the merchandise, and the
5 stamp of the plant. Here, however, I do not see the
6 stamp of the plant, and I do not see the heading in the
7 left corner. That is, I do not see that mark of the
8 plant, so that I have never before seen such a delivery
9 document in my factory before.
10 Q. Are you familiar with the seal on the lower
11 right-hand side of the document?
12 A. No, except for the name, that is, the first
13 name and the last name that I wrote.
14 Q. Was it customary for the Novi Travnik factory
15 to include both the signature and the seal of the
16 individual who was supposed to purchase or to take over
17 the factory's materiel?
18 A. On this invoice of the company, that is, the
19 factory, for machines and hydraulic equipment, there
20 was never the seal or the stamp of the receiving
21 company or the end -- or the end destination, so to
22 speak, receiving the merchandise, and this seal here,
23 therefore, is very uncommon. It is not often seen on
24 our documents, on the basis of which we deliver
1 Q. I would like you now to review a second
2 document --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Lopez-Terres, before you
4 go on, in the document Z78, in the English version, it
5 refers, in the first line, to Ministry of the NO,
6 National Defence, and further down we see the
7 secretariat for the NO of the Busovaca municipality.
8 And even further down, the Busovaca NO secretariat.
9 Could the witness help us as to what "NO" means?
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
11 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, could you answer the Judge's
12 question, please?
13 A. Well, "NO", I believe, stands for "Narodna
14 Obrina", National Defence.
15 Q. Therefore, in the case in point, it would
16 have to do with the secretary for defence for the
17 municipality of Busovaca which is concerned by this
19 A. Yes, if you have the seal of the secretariat
20 for national defence of Busovaca. And as far as I can
21 see, it is.
22 Q. I would now like you to review a second
23 document, Mr. Sahinovic. This is document dated 22
24 April as well and whose reference number is Z78B. This
25 is a hand-written document also signed by the accused,
1 the name of Dario Kordic, the difference being that
2 there is no signature in the lower left corner. Have
3 you already seen this document?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Would you look and see, as I do, that the
6 document has exactly the same text as the text that you
7 see in the typewritten document that we were speaking
8 about just a few moments ago?
9 A. I can't really read it properly because it is
10 smudged, but --
11 Q. Yes, I agree with you, the copy is not very
13 A. But the beginning of that text, I think,
14 tallies with the typewritten text.
15 Q. In the middle part of the text --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- there are references relating to artillery
18 pieces. Are those the same artillery pieces as the
19 ones in the document with the stamp of the Busovaca
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it the same -- are they the same armaments
23 as those that were transported on the three trucks that
24 you spoke to us about?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sahinovic.
2 I would like to move to another subject now
3 with Mr. Sahinovic.
4 Mr. Sahinovic, during the conflict in Novi
5 Travnik, did you lose one of your cousins?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you give us that person's name?
8 A. I lost my brother.
9 Q. No, I'm speaking about your cousin.
10 A. Well, the closest relative. My closest
11 relative, my cousin.
12 Q. Could you give us that cousin's name,
14 A. Muhamed Sahinovic, known as Cazo.
15 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, could you tell us under what
16 circumstances your cousin died?
17 A. On the 29th of June, the units of the
18 Croatian Defence Council attacked the positions of the
19 BH army in the area of Lazine. In that attack, the
20 army of BH's line was broken through, and on that
21 occasion my cousin was wounded lightly in the arm. He
22 asked for help from the nurse, that is, the man who was
23 taking the first-aid to companies, to a company also
24 which was commanded by my cousin.
25 After the first-aid was extended to him and
1 both arms bandaged where he was wounded, he went back
2 to the line not knowing that the line had been broken
3 through, that is, that it had been taken by the units
4 of the Croatian Defence Council. He was returning with
5 the company's nurse, Hajder Mujic, and they were
6 captured alive by members of the Croatian Defence
8 Q. Could you tell us when you were informed that
9 your cousin had died?
10 A. I was informed immediately, that day, when we
11 learnt that the Lazine line had fallen and the Croatian
12 Defence Council had taken over, the control over that
13 line. We formed another defence line.
14 We received information about fatalities,
15 about missing, and captured. Among those captured was
16 also my cousin and his nurse, rather, the company's
18 Q. Excuse me if this is difficult for you to
19 speak about, but could you tell us whether you saw your
20 cousin's body when it was given back?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you describe in what state that body
23 was? Could you do that quickly, please, briefly?
24 A. It so happened that at that time, when the
25 exchange took place or, rather, when the bodies of
1 those two soldiers were driven over, I was a member of
2 the Exchange Commission, so that I attended in person
3 on that occasion, and I saw the bodies in what state
4 they were.
5 In that exchange from the Bosniak side, on
6 behalf of the BH army, there was also present a doctor,
7 Dr. Grizic, who then, in his capacity of a physician,
8 noted that death occurred 24 hours before the
10 The exchange took place in no-man's land, at
11 a place called Trenica or Lager, to be more precise,
12 and when we brought these bodies to Trenica, we then
13 saw that the bodies had been massacred, both bodies.
14 Q. What do you mean by that?
15 A. We saw, and it was visible, that parts of the
16 ears had been tied, that the genitals had been cut off,
17 and even their eyes, I mean, had been gouged out, so
18 that that body nobody could recognise except his wife.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sahinovic. Do you have any
20 information about the HVO forces who participated in
21 the attack on the village of Lazine?
22 A. According to information we had in the BH
23 army, we heard that it was Novi Travnik units
24 participating, supported by Vitezovi, that is Knights
25 from Vitez, Knights unit from Vitez.
1 Q. What do you know about that Vitezovi unit?
2 A. I don't know much, except for a detail when a
3 group of about 25 soldiers, armed, tried to enter from
4 Vitez a Bosniak village which was on the boundary to
5 Vitez, which was bordering on the mountain crest, and
6 that is the boundary between Vitez and Novi Travnik,
7 but all in that village were caught.
8 Q. The Vitezovi were captured. Is that what
9 you're saying?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you yourself have the opportunity of
12 speaking to members of that group?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you get any information about the group
15 when the group was captured?
16 A. Yes, as some of these Vitezovi in the
17 security service had been processed.
18 Q. Do you know who the head of the Vitezovi
19 group was?
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. Do you know whether there is a connection
22 between the people that you indicated as being HOS
23 members and the Vitezovi?
24 A. No, I don't know.
25 Q. I would like to move to a final subject with
1 you, Mr. Sahinovic, and this time this has to do with
2 the second accused, Mario Cerkez.
3 Mr. Sahinovic, did you have the opportunity,
4 while you were a member of the BH army, to meet the
5 accused Mario Cerkez?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you tell us when that was and under
8 what circumstances?
9 A. I don't think I can remember the date, but I
10 will say that I met Mr. Mario Cerkez on two occasions.
11 Q. Tell us about the first time.
12 A. The first time we met in Novi Travnik during
13 the negotiations between the HVO, and the BH army, and
14 the SDA, and the HDZ. As far as I know, Mario Cerkez
15 was deputy commander in Novi Travnik, and that the
16 commander was Boro Malbasic, was the commander, and he
17 was also present at the negotiations. The date -- to
18 the best of my recollection, it was in January,
19 sometime around the 13th of January, 1993.
20 The meeting was convened because the
21 relations had deteriorated between the BH army and the
22 HVO, particularly after units from Herzegovina,
23 so-called Herzegovinians, arrived. They came on the
24 8th of January, '93. That is when they came to Novi
25 Travnik. The arrival of those units and members of
1 those units, I think the unit was called Bruno Busic,
2 that unit that arrived in Novi Travnik. With their
3 arrival, the expulsion of Muslims, Bosniaks gained
4 momentum. The crime rate intensified and the torture
5 of the remaining Bosniaks who had remained in the
6 territory controlled by the HVO.
7 Q. So the purpose of the meeting was to try to
8 calm down the level of criminal activity; is that what
9 you're saying?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did the accused, Mario Cerkez, participate in
12 that meeting by taking the floor?
13 A. As far as I can remember, he did not take
14 part in the discussion. The most active participant on
15 the side of Croatian negotiators was the commander,
16 Boro Malbasic, and the HDZ representative.
17 Q. At the time that you're speaking about, that
18 is, January 1993, was Mario Cerkez stationed in Novi
19 Travnik as a deputy commander of the brigade?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What happened after the meeting that day?
22 A. After the meeting that day, joint conclusions
23 were agreed upon, and they were only supposed to be
24 typed out and signed by the Bosniak and Croatian
25 sides. However, at that meeting that was held in the
1 main building of Bratstvo, we did not have the right
2 conditions for doing so, so we were asked by the
3 representatives of the Croatian side, Mr. Boro
4 Malbasic, to go out for lunch to the lower part of
5 town, specifically to the restaurant called Oskar, that
6 lunch be prepared there and that we have lunch, and in
7 the meantime, that the conclusions be typed out and
8 that they be signed by both sides.
9 However, I personally suggested to the
10 Bosniak side not to go to HVO-held territory because of
11 the problems that were intensified due to the arrival
12 of the Herzegovinians. The Bosniak side did not listen
13 to me, and they went to the restaurant called Oskar for
15 Soon after that, during lunch, a group from
16 Busovaca, a group of HVO members, surrounded the
17 restaurant where this luncheon was taking place, and
18 they took Bislim Zurapi, the commander of the brigade;
19 and his driver; and Mevludin Berberovic, who was a
20 member of the Bosniak group. They were put into a car
21 and taken to Busovaca.
22 Q. The commander that you're speaking about, was
23 he the commander of your brigade?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The 308th Mountain Brigade; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. After how much time did Commander Zurapi go
3 back or was he able to go back?
4 A. They went in the afternoon. They went out
5 for lunch and soon after that lunch they were taken
6 away, that is to say, in the afternoon. It is only
7 after midnight, at 3.00 a.m., that Zurapi was returned,
8 because Refik Lendo intervened through Mr. Blaskic.
9 Q. Were you able to speak with Mr. Zurapi about
10 what happened in Busovaca?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What did he tell you?
13 A. He said that they didn't beat him then, they
14 didn't mistreat him, except that they kept him, and
15 once this intervention took place he was returned.
16 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, the interpreter
17 did not hear the question.
18 A. He never told us about the details.
19 Mr. Bislim Zurapi never told us about the details.
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
21 Q. After the meeting which you say took place on
22 the 13th of January, 1993, did you have the chance to
23 see the accused, Mario Cerkez, again?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell us when approximately and what
1 was the purpose?
2 A. I cannot say what the date was for sure, but
3 I think it was about three or six months after this
4 event. I met him in Vitez, at the HVO command in Vitez
5 that was in the hotel.
6 Q. What was the purpose of your travelling to
7 Vitez at that point?
8 A. My superior officer gave me an assignment to
9 go with the UN representatives, or rather the European
10 Monitors, to go to Vitez, to the HVO headquarters with
11 the commander of the HVO brigade from Gornji Vakuf and
12 a member of the BH army from Gornji Vakuf. As far as I
13 know, I was only needed to establish contact, Mr. Mario
14 Cerkez and Hurim Nesad, who was commander of the
15 battalion in Kruscica, and that contact was needed in
16 order to exchange a Croat, whose name was Srecko, and a
17 Bosniak from Kruscica. That was Senad Livnjak.
18 Q. The meeting took place at the Hotel Vitez; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was Mr. Blaskic there, there at the meeting?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Exactly where was it that you met Mario
24 Cerkez in the building called the Hotel Vitez?
25 A. Upstairs. I cannot say exactly which room it
1 was, but it was one of the offices.
2 And then after that meeting, we went to the
3 restaurant that was on the same floor. We went there
4 to have lunch, and that is where we did have lunch
5 after the meeting.
6 Q. Do you remember what Mario Cerkez said during
7 that discussion that you had with him?
8 A. Since I was not familiar with all the details
9 related to these two members of the HVO and the army
10 and they were not from the municipality of Novi
11 Travnik, it wasn't necessary for me to take part in the
12 discussion at this meeting very much. But after the
13 meeting, Mr. Cerkez said to me, "Give my regards to
14 Commander Bislim and tell him not to send units of the
15 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina via Skopjine Lokve.
16 Otherwise, I'm going to kill them."
17 Q. The name that you said corresponds to a
18 place, does it not, because I'm referring back to the
19 French interpretation. You gave a name. Could you
20 tell us what that name corresponded to? I don't think
21 that it was understood by the interpreters. Could you
22 remind us of what it was that Mario Cerkez recommended
23 at that moment when he spoke -- you said something
24 about Skopjine. I don't --
25 A. Skopjine Lokve.
1 Q. I saw "Skopljak" in the translation. I
2 thought that was wrong.
3 So, Mario Cerkez asked you to give his best
4 greetings to Mr. Zurapi and recommended that you not
5 send soldiers to that location; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Vitez, Kruscica, as far as I understood
8 Q. Not to send soldiers to Skopjine -- I don't
9 remember the name, excuse me -- or to Vitez?
10 A. Not to send units of the army of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the 308th Mountain Brigade
12 across the mountain of Skopjine Lokve to Vitez, to the
13 zone of responsibility of Mr. Mario Cerkez.
14 Q. Did you interpret those words as a threat?
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, I don't think the witness
16 need answer that. It's a matter for us to determine.
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
18 Q. Let me summarise things here, because the
19 translation is not really clear to me, at least as I
20 see it.
21 Mr. Cerkez simply said that, "We should not
22 send soldiers to Vitez going through the Skopjine
23 Lokve". That's the only thing he said; is that
24 correct? He didn't make any other comments?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. Was that the last time that you met Mr. Mario
3 A. The last time.
4 Q. A final point I would like to take up with
5 you, Mr. Sahinovic.
6 While you were exercising your duties as a
7 soldier in the 308th Mountain Brigade, did you meet any
8 soldiers from the Croatian army near Novi Travnik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you tell us on what occasion and at
11 what time, if possible?
12 A. It is difficult to define the time, but two
13 or three times, for sure, I went to negotiate in the
14 border areas of the municipality of Novi Travnik,
15 Sebesic, Rostovo, because of the separation between the
16 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO.
17 In '93, when the Herzegovinians left, I was
18 on the commission with the members of the HVO for
19 touring the front line. That is to say, both BH army
20 lines and HVO lines that were supposed to be
21 neutralised, and the trenches were supposed to be
22 covered up.
23 So these meetings of mine with the members of
24 the HVO took place at least five times during the
25 conflict between the BH army and the HVO.
1 Q. I asked you whether you had the opportunity
2 to meet soldiers from the Croatian armies, and what I
3 mean by that is the Republic of Croatia.
4 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand your
5 question. Oh, so you're talking about members of the
6 Croatian army. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Yes, what is called in this Tribunal the HV.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you tell us under what circumstances
10 you met those members of the Croatian army from
11 Croatia, the HV?
12 A. On the second day, upon the arrival of the
13 Herzegovinians in Novi Travnik, a group of Croatian
14 policemen passed through Opara with a luxury passenger
15 vehicle, and they were stopped at the checkpoint in
16 Opara that was held by the military police of the army
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 As their IDs were scrutinised, that is to
19 say, the IDs of the members of the Croatian army, it
20 was nighttime and there wasn't enough light. The
21 military policeman tried, through the open window of
22 the car on the driver's side, to have a look at the IDs
23 of the mentioned soldiers. However, the soldier who
24 was the driver grabbed the member of the military
25 police by the shoulders and dragged him into the car
1 through the window. And when they got him into the
2 car, then they escaped along the road to Novi Travnik.
3 However, because of the speed involved, they were
4 driving so fast, this same group skidded off the road.
5 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you for a
6 moment, Mr. Sahinovic. Mr. Lopez-Terres, do we need
7 all these details?
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I'll ask
9 the witness to summarise somewhat.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
12 Q. You don't have to speak to us about the
13 circumstances under which that person was arrested.
14 The first question I would like to ask you is to
15 know -- because you spoke about policemen and
16 military. Were they members of the military police?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How were you able to determine that they
19 belonged to the military police from Croatia?
20 A. When we arrested them in Trenica, I
21 personally interrogated the captured soldiers with a
22 member of the police from Novi Travnik. Then judging
23 by the IDs that they had on them, and those were badges
24 of the military police of the Croatian Republic, and
25 also the personal documents they had and that we had
1 taken from them, all these documents and all the
2 weapons that we had taken away from them, we took
3 pictures of all of that, and thus we made documents.
4 Q. How many people from the military police from
5 Croatia were there?
6 A. Three policemen.
7 Q. When you interrogated those people, did they
8 tell you what they were doing in the region?
9 A. One of them was from Vitez. He was born in
10 Vitez, and I think his name was Danijel Grebenar, as
11 far as I can remember. He was the only one who was
12 willing to talk about the circumstances under which
13 they had come to Bosnia, and he personally confirmed
14 that they came to train HVO soldiers in Central Bosnia.
15 Q. I assume that you took those three men
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What happened to those three people
19 subsequently? Were they released? And if they were,
20 under what circumstances?
21 A. They were released on the second day. They
22 were exchanged through the European Monitors.
23 Q. Exchanged for whom?
24 A. As soon as the Herzegovinians came in, two of
25 our civilians were arrested and one soldier on the
1 territory of the HVO in Novi Travnik, and they offered
2 to have an exchange of these three persons whom they
3 had arrested in Novi Travnik for these three soldiers
4 belonging to the Croatian police. The next day, we did
5 that through the European Monitors.
6 Q. Have I understood you correctly when you said
7 three civilians had been kidnapped, arrested, so that
8 they could be subsequently exchanged for the three
9 Croatian military police; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour?
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. KOVACIC: I object to such question.
14 There was a conclusion before the witness had the base
15 for that.
16 JUDGE MAY: I agree. Mr. Lopez-Terres, is
17 there anything else now?
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I've
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Who is going to
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
23 with all the other problems that we have already
24 indicated to the Court, I do not want to repeat it, but
25 today we have another problem, and that is the
1 abundance of the material that was handed over to us.
2 We do, however, understand the problem of time, so that
3 we shall embark on our cross-examination immediately.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sahinovic, I'm Mitko
7 Naumovski, a lawyer from Zagreb, and I'm one of the
8 Defence team for Dario Kordic, and I shall ask you a
9 few questions.
10 Perhaps we could begin part by part, but we
11 might start from the event that happened on the 24th of
12 February, 1992, when you organised the roadblock on the
13 road -- or perhaps I should say the strike of Bratstvo
15 Tell us, please, when you decided to go on
16 strike and when you took the decision to block the
17 road, which was the body that took that decision?
18 A. At that time, the union had its union
19 committee, and it coordinated all the activities
20 between extraordinary workers, rallies, and all their
21 activities, and the strike committee, which took -- and
22 that committee took over the strike committee. It was
23 the union committee as the highest union body in the
24 plant. They became the strike committee, and it
25 included Croats, Muslims and Serbs.
1 Q. You're referring to the strike committee of
2 the company?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Then you decided to block this principle
5 road, as you showed us on the map, so as to draw the
6 attention to your problems or the problems you had at
7 the plant?
8 A. It was because of the so-called status of
9 workers, because their salaries were not being paid to
10 them and because the Bosnia-Herzegovina government was
11 very slow in solving our problems. We then decided to
12 block that main road that I mentioned before.
13 Q. The then regulations, and I believe it is no
14 different from other countries, but when a public rally
15 is organised at a public place, then you need the
16 authorisation of a relevant agency. At that time it
17 was the police. You will agree with me?
18 Will you please say it, because you can't nod
19 your head.
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. You did not have the police authorisation to
22 block the traffic at that place, did you?
23 A. Not the authorisation in writing, but we
24 contacted the public security station in Novi Travnik
25 and the public security centre in Zenica.
1 Q. We have to distinguish between two things.
2 You do not have the authorisation to hold a public
3 rally at a public place?
4 A. Not in writing.
5 Q. But neither did you have the authorisation to
6 block the road, because that is the main thoroughfare.
7 That is the main road in that area, isn't it?
8 A. No. Not in writing, no.
9 Q. So you decided to take law into your own
10 hands at the moment when you decided to cut off the
11 traffic and block the road, didn't you?
12 A. We then only were expressing the wish of the
13 workers as manifested at the workers' rally.
14 Q. Would you please answer my question? I said
15 you took the law into your own hands, because without a
16 written authorisation you cut, you blocked the main
18 A. I do not understand the question.
19 Q. We agreed that you had neither the
20 authorisation for a public rally, let alone the
21 authorisation to block the main road. The roads in the
22 former state, in the former Yugoslavia and in the
23 former Herzegovina, were not under the local police but
24 a Ministry of Transport and Communications, and we've
25 agreed that you had no authorisation to do that.
1 It is precisely because of that that I'm
2 asking, that is, I am inferring, rather, I'm affirming
3 that at the moment when you cut into the main road, you
4 took the law into your own hands. Very clear
6 A. No.
7 Q. So the fact that you interrupted the traffic
8 on the main road, without any authorisation whatsoever,
9 you do not think that that means taking the law into
10 your own hands?
11 A. No, because a month before that we had
12 notified the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Let us do it step by step, please. Are you
14 telling the court that you do not think that was an act
15 of lawlessness?
16 A. No. Not at all. If we notified the
17 government and the Ministry of the Interior within the
18 legally prescribed deadline.
19 Q. I'm not talking about that. I'm not asking
20 about whom you notified. I'm talking about
22 A. No.
23 Q. Thank you. If I understood your testimony
24 properly, that road was blocked until 1.00?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. For about 1.00. Within that hour, during
2 that hour, that is the main road, there is always
3 traffic, there must have been very many vehicles moving
4 from both directions which stopped there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us how many, 100, 200 on the two
8 A. I cannot say because I was at the crossroads,
9 and I had the loudspeaker with me.
10 Q. But there were vehicles on both sides of the
11 crossroads. From how many directions?
12 A. From two directions, and the third one from
13 Novi Travnik. So on the highway from two directions
14 and also from the direction of Novi Travnik, which was
15 the third direction.
16 Q. So at this crossroads there were vehicles
17 blocked from three directions?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I suppose people, that is, drivers or
20 passengers, had got out of their vehicles?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I presume that those people gathered around
23 the area where you were with that loudspeaker?
24 A. More often than not they would come to the
25 point where we gathered, and then they would usually go
1 back to their vehicles, believing that it will be
2 resolved quickly.
3 Q. Yes, but we can agree that for people who
4 came and went, there were very many people because that
5 was an event out of the ordinary?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When Mr. Kordic came to you and introduced
8 himself and gave you his name, he was wearing civilian
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. He did not have any military insignia or
13 A. No.
14 Q. He did not have any weapons, he was just a
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You're saying that he told you, when he asked
18 to be let through, that he was on his way to the plant
19 to solve the problems?
20 A. Not to the plant but to Novi Travnik.
21 Q. Excuse me, Novi Travnik, but to solve the
22 problems for which you had come out on the road?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you still would not let him through?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Tell us, please -- let us proceed with this:
2 Some ten minutes after this detail, when Mr. Kordic
3 asked you for permission, the soldiers that you
4 described arrived?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Throughout the time that you were there, did
7 you perhaps see Mr. Kordic with those soldiers?
8 A. No.
9 Q. So that bit of the story that you are telling
10 us has nothing to do with what happened later, I mean,
11 this part with Mr. Kordic has nothing to do with what
12 happened later?
13 A. I did not see Mr. Kordic again until Novi
15 Q. That's how I understood you. What happened
16 subsequently had nothing to do with that detail which
17 happened ten minutes earlier. You did not see that
18 Mr. Kordic had anything to do with those men?
19 A. I was clear. I did the not see Mr. Dario
20 Kordic, after he approached me, until Novi Travnik.
21 Q. Thank you. When you said HOS, H-O-S, would
22 you please be so kind as to tell the court who were HOS
23 members and what was it? What does that acronym stand
25 A. I don't know what the acronym HOS stands
2 Q. You're right, but do you know who they were?
3 A. Well, I know that in Novi Travnik, they were
4 the first equipped and uniformed unit called HOS,
6 Q. HOS, I believe, means Croatian armed forces.
7 Have you ever heard that?
8 A. No.
9 Q. But you've heard about the Croat Party of
10 Right, which was active in the territory of
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know that HOS was the military wing,
14 if I may say so, of the Croat Party of Right?
15 A. No, I don't know that.
16 Q. Thank you. All right. We can move on to
17 that meeting that was held at the plant that day. What
18 kind of a meeting was it?
19 A. Not in the plant but in the municipality.
20 Q. Yes. I'm sorry. In the municipal hall. Who
21 was present at the meeting. When the Prosecutor asked
22 you, you gave a short answer, but could you be more
23 precise? What kind of a meeting was that?
24 A. That meeting at the municipal hall in Novi
25 Travnik, I do not recollect who convened it, but as far
1 as I know, we waited at Okuka. That is the place where
2 we made that roadblock. We were waiting for
3 representatives of the Bosnia-Herzegovina government.
4 Q. Were the government representatives coming to
5 discuss the problems?
6 A. Yes, because as the manager had told me, they
7 had learned about the newly arisen situation and let us
8 know that they were on their way to Novi Travnik to try
9 to solve those problems.
10 Q. I did not hear that you told us. How many
11 people were present at the meeting?
12 A. In the hall you mean? In the municipal hall,
13 there were about 30 people present in the room.
14 Q. So we could say there were quite a number of
15 people present at the meeting?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The discussion was not quite peaceful in view
18 of the Bratstvo problems and all that happened that
20 A. Well, yes. It was livelier than usual.
21 Q. Yes. Lively people were cutting in and
22 everybody tried to present his views, in that sense, I
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I guess the views were opposed, weren't
1 they? Naturally everyone was advocating his own point
2 of view?
3 A. Yes. The management was speaking about legal
4 regulations and provisions which they received from the
5 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the authority or
6 permission to export them, but the gentlemen headed by
7 Kordic were advocating, were upholding a different
9 Q. Tell us, please, when you said that those
10 soldiers came to that meeting, the HOS members, how did
11 they address Mr. Kordic? What were the words they used
12 when they addressed him?
13 A. Well, I was surprised when they addressed
14 Mr. Kordic and did not address the head of the
15 municipality, Sekic. They turned and addressed
16 Mr. Kordic, "Why can't we attend it."
17 Q. So they said, "Mr. Kordic"?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. You said that Avdo Hebib, who
20 came on behalf of the government to that meeting, was
21 the Minister of the Interior?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. But wasn't Deli Mustafic the Minister of the
24 Interior at the time?
25 A. As far as I know, it was Hebib. Hebib was
1 the Minister and it was in that capacity that he came
2 to Novi Travnik.
3 Q. Thank you. Tell us, since we are talking
4 about that event, perhaps we might also cast a look at
5 that bulletin that was given to us today.
6 In that bulletin, and I read it, as much as I
7 could, and there are several theses here in this
8 introductory part. It is this first long paragraph.
9 Who wrote that paragraph and on the basis of what?
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Could the
11 usher, please, with your leave, Your Honours, show the
12 Croatian version, the original version of it to the
14 A. The bulletin was written by the information
15 service which existed within the Bratstvo system. That
16 service published a weekly bulletin, and such bulletins
17 were published as the need arose. I think it also says
18 "Special edition."
19 Q. Yes, it does. It carries the date 26th of
20 February, 1992?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. There was one sentence which caught my eye,
23 somewhere in the middle. Will you please look at it?
24 It begins with the word "However." I think it is the
25 third or fourth sentence in that first part, in the
1 upper part. Third or fourth sentence it is. It begins
2 with the word medjutim, "However." Have you found it?
3 It's the fourth sentence from the beginning.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Will you please be so kind as to read that
7 A. "However, as the political and security
8 situation has changed in the country, this merchandise
9 could not be delivered and this was explained by the
10 local endeavours of the local political structures to
11 allay or prevent the devastation and destruction at the
12 fronts in the country."
13 Q. It says the word "country." What country is
14 that? What country did they have in mind?
15 A. I don't know. Presumably the person who
16 wrote this would know.
17 Q. But, Mr. Sahinovic, at that time you were the
18 union leader, and you said you were a part of all that
19 was going on at the plant, and you say this bulletin
20 was yours, I mean, the latter part, the conclusions and
21 the rest. So within that context, I think a very
22 simple answer would be to say what devastation and
23 destruction in the country. I mean, what does it refer
25 A. Please, if you listen to me carefully, I said
1 that I took part in the conclusions that were drawn at
2 the union meeting, and the protest was sent to the
3 Ministry of the Interior. The introductory part was
4 written by the information service, and I believe I was
5 clear enough.
6 Q. The answer seemed pretty simple to me, but
7 then I'm not going to insist on it any longer.
8 Let us try to paint a picture of this
9 period. This is February 1992 -- 1993. There was a
10 war at the time on the territory of the Republic of
11 Croatia, which started in 1991. Do you agree with me?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know that the attack on Vukovar took
14 place after August 1991?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you agree with me that in January 1992,
17 Croatia was internationally recognised as an
18 independent state?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you agree with me that at the time when
21 this meeting was held, on the 24th of February, 1992,
22 and when this bulletin was written two days later, the
23 Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia had
24 left the Republic of Yugoslavia and proclaimed their
25 independence? Will you please answer this?
1 A. I didn't understand your question. What are
2 you trying to say?
3 Q. Do we agree with these facts, those I
4 mentioned, that until this date, the date that we are
5 discussing, the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic
6 of Croatia had left the former Yugoslavia because they
7 were proclaimed independent states?
8 A. Yes. Yes. That's not controversial.
9 Q. Do you also agree with me that at this time,
10 when this event occurred on the 24th of February, 1992,
11 that Bosnia-Herzegovina had not decided on its fate?
12 A. I know that at that time Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 had a census, had a government, and that we addressed
14 that government as the only legitimate authority.
15 Q. Do you agree with me that at that time the
16 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina formally, legally, was
17 within the remaining part of the former Yugoslavia?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know that the referendum for the
20 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina took place after
21 the date that we are discussing, the 24th of February,
23 A. I know about the referendum but I don't know
24 the date.
25 Q. The date was the 1st of March, 1992, after
2 A. I know. I know about the referendum but I
3 don't know the exact date.
4 Q. Do we agree then that it was only after the
5 referendum or, rather, that at the referendum the wish
6 was expressed, and in this particular case we're
7 talking about Muslims and Croats, that Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina become an independent state?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. Not to tire the
11 Honourable Trial Chamber with all this from this
12 bulletin, let us perhaps draw their attention only to
13 one thing.
14 One of the requests that was put forth by the
15 delegation or, rather, that was put forth by the Croats
16 who attended this meeting was that weapons should not
17 be delivered to the JNA, and that was the fundamental
18 reason why they opposed the weapons leaving the
19 factory. Do you agree with me on that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. So you're telling the Honourable Chamber that
22 the Croats did not insist on that, that the weapons
23 should not be sent to the Yugoslav People's Army?
24 A. Well, they probably know, those who were
25 putting forth those requests then. I cannot confirm
2 Q. But, Mr. Sahinovic, you were telling us about
3 what had happened at that meeting.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us at least about one request
6 that was put forth by the Croats?
7 A. They were categorical. They said they would
8 not allow the weapons to leave the factory. I mean,
9 for the former JNA. It was called the JNA at the
11 Q. Perhaps we didn't understand each other.
12 That's just what I said. I'm asking you this because
13 in this bulletin, on page 2, the bottom of page 2 of
14 the version that you and I understand, you quoted the
15 daily newspaper Oslobodjenje publishing an information
16 about a government meeting which was held, that is to
17 say, a day after this meeting on the 24th of February,
18 that is to say, on the 25th of February, 1992, because
19 the bulletin was printed a day after that, on the 26th
20 of February, 1992, where it says that the government
21 concluded inter alia -- obviously, this first part
22 pertains to compensation for the workers in the
23 factory, and it is said that they would compensate for
24 the value of the production involved through goods that
25 were in short supply, that is to say, meeting your
1 social demands. And secondly that Bratstvo would
2 independently contract with third persons things that
3 belonged to the domain of their own production, and the
4 SSNO -- and if we want to be understood better, that is
5 the Ministry of Defence of the former Yugoslavia, they
6 would not have a monopoly over it. That was basically
7 the fundamental request that was put forth at this
8 meeting that was held on the 24th of February at those
9 talks; is that right?
10 To simplify things, Mr. Sahinovic, so you
11 will understand me, it is the buyer of the weapons that
12 was contested, that is to say, the JNA, the military
13 from the former Yugoslavia, as far as the present
14 Croats are concerned?
15 A. No. Perhaps that is as far as the Croats
16 got, but, no, our requests --
17 Q. No, I'm not talking about your requests. I'm
18 talking about the requests of the Croats who attended
19 the meeting. I understand your requests.
20 A. (No audible response)
21 Q. You haven't answered my question. I talked
22 about the requests of the Croats who attended this
23 meeting, including Mr. Kordic.
24 A. I was quite clear. The gentlemen literally
25 said that they would not allow delivery, although the
1 director explained the decision of the government
2 allowing the delivery to be completed from the contract
3 from 1991.
4 Q. The delivery of weapons to who, to the JNA?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. If I understood you correctly,
7 after this period, that is to say, some two weeks
8 later, please correct me if I'm wrong, this TV
9 programme was broadcast, the one we saw today in the
10 court with the journalist, Mr. Sagolj, Mr. Kordic and
11 others having a discussion. This took place after this
12 event; right?
13 A. I don't know about this.
14 Q. You know the video footage that the
15 Prosecutor showed today, not the first introductory
16 part but the one after that, you know, in the studio?
17 A. I don't know about this detail from the
18 studio. I only know about the interview in front of
19 the Bratstvo gate.
20 Q. So you don't know when this other part was
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you ever have an opportunity of seeing it
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now let us go back to the first part, if that
2 is the only thing you know about that, that is to say,
3 in front of the factory.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That part was not played to us, but you will
6 agree with me that you said that Mr. Kordic then said
7 to the journalist, Mr. Sagolj, I'm quoting, "As a
8 representative of the Croatian people in Central
9 Bosnia, he will never allow weapons to be delivered to
10 the JNA." I think that that is what you said.
11 A. I think that that is not what I said. If you
12 understood me correctly, I said Mr. Kordic at that
13 point in time was telling Smiljko Sagolj, "This is a
14 historical moment that I created for the Croatian
15 people, that weapons from the factory of Bratstvo Novi
16 Travnik cannot be delivered to the Yugoslav People's
18 Q. So we agree on that, that that was said on
19 the 24th of February, 1992, in front of the
20 Bratstvo factory?
21 A. No, not on the 24th in front of the Bratstvo
22 factory. I said that this was 15 or 20 days after the
23 blockade of the road, as far as I can remember. It
24 wasn't on that day.
25 Q. At the same place where the factory is?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So if I have misunderstood me (sic), I
3 apologise. I accept what you're saying. So this was
4 said sometime in March; March, 1992?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So we agree that this was after the
7 referendum that Bosnia and Herzegovina had and by which
8 it proclaimed its independence, if the referendum took
9 place on the 1st of March, 1992?
10 A. I don't know. I said that I did not know the
11 date of the referendum.
12 Q. I'm saying that it was on the 1st of March,
13 and you can check it, if you want.
14 The Prosecutor played us a tape today, and we
15 managed to understand the text. Perhaps the other
16 people in the courtroom didn't. So could you please
17 comment on two words I noted? We heard Mr. Kordic say
18 the following:
19 Could the usher please show Mr. Sahinovic
20 53B? It is 53B.
21 It is the first section that the Prosecutor
22 marked with the Roman Numeral I over here on page 1.
23 You see the Roman Numeral I on the top up here?
24 A. Oh, yes, yes.
25 Q. This last sentence, we heard Mr. Kordic say,
1 "If that is so, we and the people have opted for
2 hunger, an option which is significantly different from
3 receiving bloody, bloody dinars from Topcider," a
4 printing press in Serbia, "soaked in blood which are in
5 circulation in this area." I don't think that we
6 should retell this and try to explain what Mr. Kordic
7 meant. I just wanted you to tell the Honourable Court
8 what this "dinars of Topcider" means. Do you know
9 where money was printed in the former Yugoslavia?
10 A. I know it was in Belgrade, but I don't know
12 Q. In Topcider. You heard of Topcider?
13 A. No, I don't know.
14 Q. So we will agree that these are Yugoslav
16 A. I'm sorry?
17 Q. These are Yugoslav dinars; right?
18 A. I agree, but in that situation --
19 Q. Please.
20 A. Let me finish. It is not weapons that were
21 important to us.
22 Q. I understand your explanation,
23 Mr. Sahinovic. You presented your point of view, and I
24 think that you did so very accurately to the Honourable
25 Judges and to all of us. But please answer my
1 questions now.
2 You agree with what I said, that these are
3 Yugoslav dinars. Perhaps that will not be quite clear
4 to the Honourable Judges from this, that is to say,
5 Topcider, so do you agree?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So these are not Yugoslav dinars?
8 A. I do not agree with you, because at that time
9 that was the only way that we, the workers -- I mean
10 that was the only money that we had.
11 Q. All right. So then I'm going to put it this
12 way: Who did you, the workers, insist on getting money
13 from for the goods that you manufactured?
14 A. From the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. Not for those for whom you made these
16 weapons, the JNA?
17 A. No, no.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
19 Your Honours, I would like to seek your assistance, so
20 to speak.
21 Today, a videotape was presented from a TV
22 programme in which Mr. Mario (sic) Kordic took part, in
23 addition to the journalist, and also the president of
24 the SDP from Novi Travnik, Salih Krnjic, and also the
25 head of the municipality, Jozo Sekic. The witness who
1 was present here today says that this is the first time
2 he ever saw it, that today is the first time he ever
3 saw it. But since this video was played before you
4 today, I have no other choice but to use those few
5 parts that the Prosecutor used and to put a few
6 questions in relation to that, or rather to draw your
7 attention to a few sentences from there. That is what
8 the Prosecutor did today. Sorry.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, there's very
10 little point putting it to the witness if he didn't see
11 the programme. But, of course, if you've got some
12 comments that you want to make about it, then you can
13 do that. It may be after the witness has given his
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
16 Your Honour. That is why I sought your assistance.
17 JUDGE MAY: It's now just after 4.00. Do you
18 have very much more?
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Well, Your
20 Honour, I'm afraid I do need more time. I cannot
21 finish by quarter past 4.00.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sahinovic, we're adjourning
25 now. Could you be back, please, tomorrow morning at
1 9.45 to conclude your evidence?
2 Would you remember, in this adjournment and
3 in any others there may be, not to speak to anybody
4 about your evidence and not to let anybody speak to you
5 about it? And that includes members of the Prosecution
6 team, who, since you have started giving evidence, are
7 not allowed to speak to you during the course of your
8 evidence. So don't speak to anybody about it, please.
9 And would you be back at 9.45?
10 Mr. Nice, is this --
11 MR. NICE: A tiny point, and I can deal with
12 it in the presence of the witness unless -- I think I
13 probably can. Mr. Lopez-Terres is due elsewhere
14 tomorrow. I hope it will be acceptable if I deal with
15 any necessary re-examination of this witness.
16 JUDGE MAY: Certainly.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
18 4.03 p.m., to be reconvened on
19 Thursday, the 22nd day of April,
20 1999, at 9.45 a.m.