1 Tuesday, 13 July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.30 p.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: I'm sorry we're late in
10 starting. The fault was mine. I forgot that we had an
11 initial appearance in another case which we had to deal
12 with first. But we'll go on.
13 Mr. Naumovski.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
15 Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: WITNESS J (Resumed)
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
18 Q. Mr. J, we can continue. To start off today,
19 I have a set of questions related to Mr. Kordic.
20 You said that Mr. Kordic was one of the party
21 leaders in the Vatrostalna company. How do you know
23 A. It was common knowledge, as far as I know,
24 that he worked in the Vatrostalna company, that he was
25 a journalist, and at one point he was a party leader.
1 Q. I didn't ask you what his job was in
2 Vatrostalna. You emphasised that he was a party
3 leader. Tell the Trial Chamber, in concrete terms,
4 what he actually was.
5 A. Well, I think he was the secretary of the
7 Q. Do you know when?
8 A. I couldn't say.
9 Q. Are you certain that he was that at all?
10 A. Well, I think he was, as far as I know.
11 Q. But you're not quite sure, if I understand
12 you correctly.
13 A. I didn't work in Vatrostalna.
14 Q. Very well, thank you. Although you didn't
15 work in Vatrostalna, as you say, you say that
16 Mr. Kordic very regularly performed his work duties
17 without making any mistakes, without a single mistake,
18 I believe you said. How do you know that?
19 A. That was common knowledge to all of us in
20 town, that he was a conscientious young man.
21 Q. Apart from that general answer of it being
22 common knowledge, do you know any of his work duties
23 that he performed, any concrete work duties?
24 A. No. It's not my business.
25 Q. So you don't know that?
1 A. No, I don't know what assignments and tasks
2 he had. But that he did carry them out as they should
3 have been, I do know that, because that was common
4 knowledge, as I say.
5 Q. Tell us, please, you said that Mr. Dario
6 Kordic was the vice-president of the Croatian Community
7 of Herceg-Bosna. Can you tell us what the Croatian
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna in fact was when it was
9 established? What was it at the time?
10 A. For us Muslims, it was a catastrophe.
11 Q. Tell us, please, at the time when the
12 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was set up, who was
13 the aggressor in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. The Yugoslav army, aided and abetted by the
16 Q. Where do you draw the conclusion from that
17 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, when it was
18 formed, was a catastrophe for the Muslims?
19 A. Because we all had to come under the command
20 of the HVO and the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
21 Q. Do you know when the Croatian Community of
22 Herceg-Bosna was established?
23 A. Well, I can't remember the date.
24 Q. Do you know the year?
25 A. Perhaps that is not essential for me,
1 personally, but it was in 1992 sometime. I don't know
3 Q. 1992, you say?
4 A. Perhaps even before that. But in 1992, in
5 Tomislavgrad, some events took place.
6 Q. We'll go back to that later.
7 You said that as the vice-president of the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Kordic replaced
9 Mr. Boban, and you said that he was quite obviously in
10 charge of the Lasva Valley. How do you know that?
11 A. That's quite simple. Mr. Kordic was in
12 Busovaca and he operated first in Busovaca, and the
13 event happened, what happened, and then it continued
14 throughout the Lasva Valley. For us Muslims and for
15 me, that was sufficient proof that Dario Kordic was the
16 sole person in command of all that.
17 Q. So that is your conclusion, is it?
18 A. It is my conclusion and the conclusion of all
19 the Muslims in Busovaca.
20 Q. Tell us, please, what do you imply when you
21 say "the Lasva Valley"? What municipalities are they?
22 A. Well, there's Busovaca, which does not tend
23 towards Lasva. Vitez, Travnik, Novi Travnik, in that
24 general area.
25 Q. Tell us, please, what functions did
1 Mr. Kordic have in the Lasva Valley as a deputy for
2 Mr. Boban? Do you know what tasks he had, what
3 concrete assignments?
4 A. No, sir, I do not, but we all know. Even the
5 smallest children in Busovaca knew that Dario Kordic
6 was the number one in command and that everything was
7 under his command, political, military, and everything
9 Q. But I am asking you, as you're saying so with
10 such assurance that he was a commander, the commander,
11 could you tell us what assignments he had, without
12 generally giving us answers and telling us what we all
14 A. Well, I was there, sir, and I lived through
15 it all, I experienced it. Everything that happened
16 there happened under his command.
17 Q. So you haven't got any concrete examples as
18 to what his job was as the vice-president of the
19 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 You mentioned the political onslaught in
23 Tomislavgrad, as you said. Tell us when that onslaught
24 took place?
25 A. I think it was sometime in 1992. I don't
1 know exactly, I have lost count of the dates, but
2 television and the radio spoke a great deal about those
3 events. That is quite certain.
4 Q. Very well. If you can't tell us the time and
5 date, what you said was essential, and you said that at
6 that meeting held in Tomislavgrad, I think that you
7 said that Kljujic ^ was taken off and that Boban was
8 put in his place.
9 A. That's true.
10 Q. What was the post that Mr. Boban occupied
11 when he came there?
12 A. Mr. Boban performed the function at that
13 time -- he was in charge of everything. He was in
14 charge of the entire HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. Yes. But what was his post?
16 A. Well, probably he was the president or
17 whatever it was called.
18 Q. President of what?
19 A. Well, of the HDZ.
20 Q. The HDZ, you say?
21 A. Yes, the military, political, and I don't
22 know how to put it, put all that sort of thing.
23 Q. So you claim, if I understood you correctly,
24 that Mr. Mate Boban replaced Mr. Kljujic ^ as president
25 of the HDZ; is that right?
1 A. Something like that, yes.
2 Q. But you don't know exactly when Mr. Boban
3 became president of the HDZ of Herceg-Bosna?
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. Have you ever heard of Professor/Dr. Brkic,
6 Miljenko Brkic?
7 A. That name doesn't seem to ring a bell at the
9 Q. Well, let me remind you. Mr. Brkic was the
10 president of the HDZ in the period after, that is to
11 say, in between Mr. Kljujic ^ and Mr. Boban in the
12 course of 1992. You didn't know that, did you?
13 A. Well, perhaps on paper.
14 Q. You didn't know that, did you?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You say you've never heard of him?
17 A. Well, perhaps I have heard of him, but it
18 doesn't ring a bell. And even if it was the case, it
19 was only on paper.
20 Q. Have you got any concrete arguments to put
21 forward to support your conclusion that this was only
22 on paper?
23 A. Well, perhaps we could say that the commands
24 came down from Boban to Kordic and Kordic put them into
25 practice in Busovaca, and later on did so too.
1 Q. Tell us how you know this. How do you know
2 that Mr. Kordic received a single order or whatever
3 from Mr. Boban?
4 A. Well, everybody knows that.
5 Q. I'm asking for a concrete example. Let's see
6 what you know in concrete terms; not "we" but you, what
7 you know.
8 A. Well, if we look at some things which took
9 place in Busovaca, which is where ethnic cleansing in
10 fact started, as far as I know, no Muslims in town gave
11 any reason for this kind of thing to happen, for them
12 to be expelled, for houses to be stormed and looted,
13 and so on and everything else that took place.
14 Q. Mr. J, I have to interrupt you, although this
15 isn't very good for the interpreters, but I would like
16 to ask you for a concrete answer to save time. Can you
17 give us any concrete order or any instructions that
18 Mr. Kordic received from Mr. Boban?
19 A. Well, sir, I did not have an insight into
20 that, nor was that possible, nor could any of the
21 Muslims have had any insight into that. But the acts
22 that were performed testify sufficiently to where
23 everything came from and originated.
24 Q. So as far as I understand it, that is only
25 your conclusion.
1 A. Not only my conclusion but it is the
2 conclusion of all the Muslims in Busovaca.
3 Q. Tell us, please, do you know when Mr. Kordic
4 became the vice-president of the Croatian Community of
6 A. Well, I don't know the dates. I can't tell
7 you any dates now, but --
8 Q. Do you know when Mr. Kordic became the
9 vice-president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. Well, I can't remember the dates of all those
11 events and all the dates and everything that took place
12 in the HDZ and when it occurred, but it is common
13 knowledge and that the dates are common knowledge as
14 well. You have to ask, because it is all common
16 Q. Well, if you don't know, a "no" would be a
17 sufficient answer. I just want to see what you know
18 and what you don't know.
19 A. Well, I didn't have any chronology of the
20 events, I didn't record them, and even if I did have
21 some notebooks, they were all burned.
22 Q. In your statement, you said that Mr. Kljujic
23 ^ was for a multi-ethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina. How do
24 you know that? What does that mean, in fact?
25 A. Well, what it means, it means that he was in
1 favour of coexistence, and all of us Muslims respected
2 him highly.
3 Q. Do you know this personally?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. What are your sources?
6 A. Well, via the media.
7 Q. You also claim that, on the other hand,
8 Mr. Boban and Mr. Kordic were, as you said,
9 hard-liners. How do you know that?
10 A. Well, had they not been hard-liners, what
11 happened would not have happened. I would be in my own
12 house now. I wouldn't have experienced the camps. I
13 wouldn't have been beaten up.
14 Q. Do you mean to say there would have been no
15 war then? That is the gist of your answer.
16 A. Well, you could put it that way, yes.
17 Q. Tell us, please, as we have mentioned the HDZ
18 at a high level, you spoke about the organisation of
19 the HDZ or, rather, the Croatian authorities in the
20 region of Busovaca, and you mentioned Dr. Franc, who
21 was on the HDZ list for the elections. You say that he
22 was replaced from his post. What post did he hold?
23 A. Well, when the elections were held, this was
24 a joint list, and Dr. Franc was on it as head.
25 Q. What do you mean?
1 A. The joint HDZ list and SDA, if I remember
2 correctly, in order to overthrow the existing powers
3 that be in Communist. Dr. Franc was the leader, and
4 thanks to that very fact that Dr. Franc headed the
5 list, the coalition won the elections.
6 Q. But I didn't understand what position he held
7 when he was replaced.
8 A. If he was the head leader of the list and if
9 he got the majority vote, then he probably had the top
10 function in the municipality.
11 Q. So that is your conclusion, is it, that he
12 held the top post, regardless of his age and so on?
13 A. Well, if he was on the list, then he should
14 have performed those tasks.
15 Q. Well, we're not going to quarrel, but I see
16 that this is your conclusion.
17 A. No, it's not my conclusion. Those are the
18 facts as they stand.
19 Q. Do you know what else he was? For example,
20 do you know the structure of the HDZ for the Busovaca
21 municipality in 1991/'92?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you know who the first president of the
24 HDZ was, for example, in Busovaca?
25 A. I cannot remember at the moment.
1 Q. Do you know who the second president of the
2 HDZ in Busovaca was?
3 A. Well, I cannot enumerate that now.
4 Q. You don't know, then, who the presidents and
5 vice-presidents were of the HDZ in Busovaca; is that
7 A. I can't remember at the moment.
8 Q. Do you know something more about the
9 organisation of the HDZ in the Busovaca municipality or
10 any more details about that?
11 A. No. I wasn't that interested in it.
12 Q. When we speak about Mr. Kordic, you said that
13 Mr. Kordic was involved in everything, and that's why
14 I'm asking you. Do you know, for example, when the HDZ
15 of Busovaca was ranked, whether he had any position,
16 performed any function at that time?
17 A. Well, I don't know, but I do know that at the
18 founding meeting, he was the conferencier of the HDZ in
20 Q. Well, that's not surprising, because he's a
21 journalist by vocation.
22 A. Yes, quite so.
23 Q. Very well. So you don't know his functions.
24 We don't want to tire the Trial Chamber anymore.
25 A. Well, I don't know who did what, but that
1 everything revolved around Dario Kordic later on, that
2 is something I do know.
3 Q. Yes, that is your general answer.
4 A. It's not my answer, it is the answer of the
5 whole Muslim population of Busovaca.
6 Q. Very well. Mr. J, let us proceed.
7 You said that Mr. Kordic wore a uniform.
8 Tell us, please, do you know when he started wearing a
10 A. I think that I saw him for the first time in
11 uniform when planes were shelling Busovaca.
12 Q. The first or second shelling?
13 A. Really, whether it was the first or not, I
14 don't think that is important, I can't remember, but
15 that is when I saw him for the first time in uniform.
16 Q. You said that Mr. Kordic wore a uniform, that
17 he was a colonel, and that he wore the rank insignia on
18 his uniform?
19 A. I don't know that that is what I said. I
20 just said that he had the rank of colonel. Who gave
21 him that rank, I don't know. That he had the rank of
22 colonel and that that was how he was introduced on the
23 media and everywhere else, that is true.
24 Q. You said that, on page 65, on the 39th day of
25 the hearing, I think it was Thursday -- my English is
1 not too good, but I can see here that it says that he
2 wore rank.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Could I ask
4 my colleague to look at it, page 65, lines 13 to 16 of
5 the transcript. So my colleague is confirming that I'm
7 Q. Can you describe to us what these markings of
8 the rank looked like?
9 A. Sir, I didn't say that I saw him wearing
10 rank. But that he had the rank of colonel and that he
11 was introduced as a colonel, that is what I did say
12 regarding Mr. Dario Kordic.
13 Q. So this is not correct, what I found on the
14 transcript as a record of your testimony on Thursday?
15 A. I cannot confirm that I saw his rank.
16 Q. Tell us, please, the date from when he was a
18 A. Well, you must ask him that, when he acquired
19 the rank.
20 Q. But could you tell us roughly in time? Was
21 it the beginning of '92, the middle, the end, or 1993?
22 A. I don't know, and I don't think it is very
23 important. The important thing is that he had this
25 Q. But how do you know that, by what? Did you
1 see any document about it?
2 A. Who could have seen any document among the
3 Muslims or had any access to anything at all? It's an
4 absurd question.
5 Q. You said that in view of the uniform he wore,
6 that he was no longer a politician, that he was a
7 military man, didn't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I think that yesterday I quoted from your
10 statement that you gave in January 1997, when you said
11 that Mr. Tihomir Blaskic was a professional soldier,
12 and that sentence has an addition to it, and that is,
13 "while Mr. Dario Kordic was something else." So what
14 was he, a soldier or a politician, in your opinion?
15 A. No, Dario Kordic combined all of that
17 Q. You mean the military and the political?
18 A. Yes, the military and the political.
19 Q. When we were speaking a moment ago about the
20 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, you said at the
21 previous hearing that the aim was to annex it to the
22 Republic of Croatia, that that was the aim of the
23 Croatian Community. When?
24 A. Well, from the very beginning.
25 Q. You know that there was a referendum in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina for its independence?
2 A. I do know.
3 Q. Do you also know that the Croats voted for
4 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. Yes, at the last minute.
6 Q. Do you also know that in Busovaca, the town
7 of Busovaca, a list was signed in favour of the
8 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
9 A. I cannot remember that now.
10 Q. So when you claim that the Croatian Community
11 of Herceg-Bosna wanted to join up with Croatia, do you
12 mean at the beginning, before the referendum, or after?
13 A. Sir, it is common knowledge that that was the
14 main and principal goal.
15 Q. Do you have any concrete evidence of that,
16 any particular act, any specific act?
17 A. I could mention an example. When I was
18 released from prison, from the camp, in a conversation
19 with Petrovic --
20 Q. Yes, you already told us that. But apart
21 from that. We're talking about Mr. Kordic.
22 A. No one else would have known any such thing
23 if he hadn't heard it from him.
24 Q. Mr. J, you said that it is common knowledge
25 in Busovaca that Mr. Kordic went to Grude frequently to
1 attend meetings with Mr. Boban?
2 A. Yes, he did, under an armed escort.
3 Q. How do you personally know that, Mr. J?
4 A. I had occasion to see that convoy, consisting
5 of two or three vehicles, passing by and coming back
6 two or three days later.
7 Q. I'm not asking you about departures from
8 Busovaca. I'm asking you how do you know that
9 Mr. Kordic was in Grude with Mr. Boban?
10 A. Where else could he go?
11 Q. So if I understand you well, it is just your
12 conclusion that he went frequently to see Mr. Boban in
14 A. It is a logical conclusion.
15 Q. So you have nothing more to tell us, from
16 your personal experience, except for saying "logical"?
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think, Mr. Naumovski,
18 we've covered this point.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
20 Your Honour. As I have been told to proceed, I will
21 have to do that.
22 Q. In this context, you also said that various
23 cars with license plates from other towns would come to
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So could you please tell us about when this
2 occurred, if you can?
3 A. You mean dates?
4 Q. Not dates, but roughly. A part of which
5 year, which month, something closer.
6 A. Well, perhaps in the autumn of 1992.
7 Q. The autumn of 1992?
8 A. Yes, around about then.
9 Q. You said that you saw license plates of
10 Vitez, Novi Travnik, Kiseljak, and that you concluded
11 on that basis that those vehicles were coming from
12 different parts?
13 A. Yes, exactly.
14 Q. I do not wish to waste any time, but
15 yesterday I showed you the travel permit signed by
16 Mr. Djidic, as a commander of the Territorial Defence
17 of the Vitez municipality, and a new license plate for
18 the whole region is mentioned, and this is the end of
19 '92, and the town mentioned is Travnik?
20 A. Yes, but you could still know, by the
21 numbers, which municipality people came from.
22 Q. So not by the letters but by the numbers?
23 A. Both by the numbers and by the letters that
24 figured on the license plate.
25 Q. Let me ask you directly. Do you know when
1 those license plates were changed?
2 A. I don't exactly, but my Golf had the license
3 plate Z945, and this was a Busovaca license plate.
4 Q. So we're talking about new license plates
5 with the Travnik indication?
6 A. I really can't remember when this was
8 Q. You said that people were coming to visit
9 Mr. Kordic. How do you know that?
10 A. Because they went in the direction of
11 Tisovac, and up there, there was nothing else but
12 Kordic's headquarters.
13 Q. Do you know who else was with Mr. Kordic, who
14 worked there?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You don't know a single other name?
17 A. All the other names were insignificant for
18 us, more or less, because they were simply carrying out
20 Q. But that is your conclusion, the same general
21 conclusion that you are making?
22 A. Not mine, but of the entire Muslim population
23 in Busovaca.
24 Q. Mention was made here of certain Golf cars.
25 I don't consider this story important, but since you
1 linked it to Mr. Kordic, I have to ask you something
2 about it. Do you have any piece of evidence that
3 Mr. Kordic had anything to do with the distribution of
4 those Golf cars, or anything at all in connection with
5 those cars?
6 A. Are you trying to tell me that he knew
7 nothing about it? If those Golf cars were driven off
8 to Tisovac, of course he knew everything.
9 Q. Are you sure that they ended up in Tisovac,
10 or rather from where were you watching people passing
11 towards Tisovac? I assume from your house.
12 A. But I could have also been watching from my
13 brother-in-law's house.
14 Q. But all this is before the village of Ravan?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the village of Ravan, you said, is a
17 Croatian village? I mean, inhabitants living there.
18 Well, how do you know those vehicles didn't end up
19 there? Perhaps there was an office there dealing with
20 them, et cetera?
21 A. Possibly, but still, this was under his
23 Q. But that is your conclusion?
24 A. No. It is not my conclusion. That village
25 was inhabited exclusively by Croats, as you said.
1 There were probably warehouses there, and I don't know
2 what else, so that Mr. Kordic was in charge of all of
4 Q. Do you have any record, any direct proof of
5 what you are saying, any detail that would corroborate
7 A. Well, for instance, a great deal of arms was
8 driven off there, from the direction of Kaonik, in
9 military trucks.
10 Q. You saw that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What did you see?
13 A. Trucks, fully loaded.
14 Q. With what?
15 A. With boxes, typical boxes carrying rifles.
16 Q. But you didn't see what was in those boxes?
17 A. Well, that would be a bit too much. Who do
18 you think would let me have a look?
19 Q. So you didn't see it?
20 A. How would it be possible for anyone to
21 approach and examine what's inside?
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Mentioning the
23 village of Ravan, you referred to a speech which
24 allegedly Mr. Kordic made there in 1992. Will you
25 please tell us, which part of 1992? Could you fix that
1 event in time a little closer?
2 A. I apologise. I mentioned that in passing,
3 and I received this information from somebody else, and
4 that is why I mentioned it. This person witnessed the
5 speech, and he could directly confirm it.
6 Q. When was this event?
7 A. Well, I really can't recall that.
8 Q. When did you hear about those events, when
9 you don't know when they actually took place?
10 A. Maybe two or three years ago.
11 Q. So two or three years ago, you heard that
12 Mr. Kordic allegedly said something in the village of
13 Ravan in 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know in connection with what? What
16 was taking place in that village?
17 A. I really wouldn't like to go into that,
18 because I don't know much about it, but there is a
19 person [Realtime transcript read in error "American"]
20 who is willing to come and tell you about it.
21 Q. I'm asking you to tell Their Honours who told
22 you about that event.
23 A. I'm afraid I can't do that.
24 Q. You can't tell us?
25 A. No, I can't tell you the name.
1 Q. So all you know about it, you know it from
2 what you were told by this man, and who told you this
3 quite recently, you said, two years ago?
4 A. Well, let us say so, yes, roughly.
5 Q. Tell us, please, were you aware of that event
6 in January 1997 when you spoke to the investigator?
7 A. I can't remember that now.
8 Q. You don't remember?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you know about it when you made your
11 statement in another case before this Court, in the
12 Aleksovski case, on the 2nd of March, 1998?
13 A. I can't remember exactly.
14 Q. Let me put it differently. Could you be more
15 precise as to when you learned about this alleged
16 speech in the village of Ravan?
17 A. How can I know? I really can't give you a
18 concrete answer, but the person who was present -- and
19 he's willing to come and tell you about it. That is a
21 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, I think
22 there was a typographical -- a translation error.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. SCOTT: Pardon me.
25 Back at line -- the time -- 15.07.37, a
1 reference to -- this person was described as an
2 American, and I think the witness's statement was there
3 was a man. I don't think there was any testimony that
4 this person was an American, just so the record is
5 clear. If the witness wants to clarify that -- excuse
6 me; if Mr. Naumovski would like to clarify that by
7 further --
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: He said "man." He said
9 "man." That is not a problem.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) He didn't
12 want to tell us who this man is. He probably has his
13 own reasons. But how, then, can he explain it to us if
14 we don't know who it is? Because Mr. Kordic never said
15 that. But let's go on.
16 Q. Mr. J, on a number of occasions, and maybe
17 dozens of times, you said that Mr. Kordic was the
18 number one in Busovaca, that he had absolute control
19 over the police and the army and so on, didn't you?
20 A. Yes, he controlled everything.
21 Q. Tell us, please, do you know who was the head
22 of the civilian police in July 1992?
23 A. I don't.
24 Q. Do you know who was the head of the civilian
25 police in January 1993?
1 A. I know that there was Nikica Petrovic, Vlado
2 Cosic, and I don't know who else and what position they
3 held exactly, but I knew that they were among the most
4 important people in the police. That I know.
5 Q. We'll come later to the gentleman called
6 Cosic, but I was asking you about the civilian police.
7 Do you know that there was a civilian and a military
8 police in Busovaca throughout the time?
9 A. It was all one police. What are you talking
10 about, civilian and military?
11 Q. So according to you, there's no distinction?
12 A. Not in that period of time, because the
13 police consisted exclusively of Croats.
14 Q. But we're saying now, was there civilian and
15 military, or was it all one?
16 A. For us it was all one. We had a bad time
17 whoever it was.
18 Q. Claiming that Mr. Kordic was number 1, you
19 said on a number of occasions that this was -- logic
20 itself led to that conclusion, that Mr. Kordic was
21 number 1. So if I can put it that way, it is what you
22 would consider a logical conclusion?
23 A. Yes, let's say so.
24 Q. But tell me, please, did you personally see a
25 single document issued by Mr. Kordic, for instance, to
1 the military police?
2 A. But who among the Muslims could have seen any
4 Q. But, Mr. J, we have to support your
5 conclusions with something apart from you just saying,
6 in general terms, he was number 1. Did you see any
7 order to a military unit signed by Mr. Kordic?
8 A. But that was impossible. Even in theory, no
9 one could have seen it.
10 Q. Let me put it this way: Did he ever sign
11 such an order?
12 A. Ask him. No Muslim could have got anywhere
13 close to any such things, never mind actually seeing or
14 having access to such documents. It's out of the
16 JUDGE MAY: One moment. Witness J, we might
17 get on more quickly if you just said "Yes" or "No" to
18 questions of that sort.
19 Mr. Naumovski, we must finish this witness
20 today, so would you draw your cross-examination to that
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I promised
23 Your Honour, I will do my very best, but I really do
24 have a lot of questions because the witness covered
25 great deal of ground, and I beg you for understanding.
1 Q. When you were talking about the police, do
2 you remember, did they wear different kinds of
3 uniforms? For instance, did they have blue uniforms?
4 A. No.
5 Q. No? Thank you. Yesterday -- let us make a
6 step forward, to speed things up -- you were saying,
7 when you were in Kaonik and were taken to dig
8 somewhere, you said that you spoke to two soldiers,
9 Gardanjski and Josip Condra, and they told that you
10 they would talk to Mr. Kordic about the conditions in
11 the camp, in the prison and so on?
12 A. That was in Kula.
13 Q. Who were they, these soldiers? Were they
14 ordinary soldiers or something else?
15 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms, I'm
16 sure of that, but whether they were ordinary soldiers,
17 obviously not, because they were carrying out some kind
18 of control. They were not guards, they were not on the
19 front, they were not guarding us. They were there
20 carrying out some sort of inspection.
21 Q. Do you know which unit they belonged to?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Who was their commander?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know which brigade they belonged to?
1 A. I don't know the name, but all of them
2 belonged to one brigade in Busovaca.
3 Q. So you know that in January, 1993, there was
4 an HVO brigade formed in Busovaca?
5 A. In January '93?
6 Q. Yes, when these things that you told us about
7 were happening.
8 A. That happened in the camp, this particular
9 incident, on the 6th of February, at Kula.
10 Q. Yes, I understand that, but we are talking
11 about this period, January/February. Do you know that
12 there was an HVO brigade in Busovaca then?
13 A. Probably, yes. When exactly it was formed, I
14 don't know the date.
15 Q. Never mind. That was not my question. My
16 question is, who was the commander of the HVO brigade
17 in Busovaca?
18 A. I don't know that, sir.
19 Q. So you don't know any member of the command
20 of that brigade?
21 A. What exact positions those individuals had, I
22 really don't know, but it wasn't important for us.
23 Q. You don't know a single name?
24 A. I couldn't really recall.
25 Q. Tell us, please, I think it was yesterday, or
1 before that, you spoke about the circumstances under
2 which your house was burnt. You told us yesterday that
3 your brother-in-law -- that is, your wife's brother --
4 that in front of your house, a yellow car was seen.
5 A. White.
6 Q. I'm sorry, yes, white. Maybe I made a
7 mistake. Did he tell you what the license plates were
8 on that car?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did he tell you the make of the car, the
12 A. I don't remember him telling me that.
13 Q. But how, then, is that car linked to
14 Mr. Kordic's brother?
15 A. Because he personally knew that that was his
16 car, and that house is only 10 metres away from mine.
17 Q. But there are hundreds of white cars all
18 over, including Busovaca?
19 A. But not in those days. There weren't any
21 Q. Tell me, please, do you know the name of
22 Mr. Kordic's brother at all?
23 A. I think it's Darko.
24 Q. But it's not Darko; that's why I'm asking.
25 A. But that doesn't matter. His name isn't
1 important. Names didn't really mean much in Busovaca.
2 We knew each other very well without that.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, there's a problem
4 distinguishing between question and answer, so can you
5 allow a pause, please.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
7 Your Honour. I have tried to prevent that, but I'll
8 take more care.
9 Q. So I have made the mistake that I asked you
10 to avoid.
11 So your brother-in-law told you that this car
12 had been seen, but did he tell you who he saw in person
13 in front of your house?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who?
16 A. Kordic's brother and Atso (phoen).
17 Q. Aleksandar Ruzic, you mean? But you were not
18 so explicit the last time. You said that Kordic's
19 brother's car was seen rather than Kordic's brother.
20 There's a difference there, you know. There's a
21 difference. Even in these questions, in the outline
22 prepared by the Prosecutor, I think that is what it
24 A. That doesn't mean anything.
25 Q. So you claim that your brother-in-law told
1 you that he was there, I mean Dario's brother?
2 A. Yes, exactly so.
3 Q. Mr. J, you have given several statements to
4 the investigators of The Hague Tribunal; I assume you
5 remember that. And you have already testified in this
6 Court, haven't you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You made a statement on the 18th of February,
9 1992 (sic), and the 8th of September, 1995, so that is
10 one and the same statement, only it has two dates.
11 Both are in '95. On page 6 of this statement, it
12 says: "My house was burned down by Darko Kordic,
13 Aleksandar Ruzic, known as Atso (phoen), and Kulic.
14 His car was seen next to my car when they were torching
15 my house."
16 Now comes the part why I'm asking you this.
17 You said, "I heard that when I saw some Croats here in
19 A. Yes. That is true, too.
20 Q. But there's no mention of your brother-in-law
21 in this story, when you talked to the investigators?
22 A. Probably later on he told me that.
23 Q. My colleague has found the question, question
24 Number 68 in the Prosecutor's outline.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, I think we've
1 spent enough time on this issue. You've made your
2 point about it, and you may have ground to cover, but
3 you can really do it more quickly, you know.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
5 Your Honours. Just a couple of questions more.
6 Q. Mr. J, I have just read to you quite a
7 different tale, that you learnt from some people in
8 Zenica what had happened to your house when you went to
9 Zenica, rather than from your brother-in-law, as you
10 told Their Honours here in court. Which is correct?
11 A. Both.
12 Q. Why didn't you mention that ever before?
13 A. Maybe I didn't want to involve him in it, and
14 that is the reason.
15 Q. What is your brother-in-law's name, please?
16 A. I don't know whether that is important.
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's a matter for us to
18 decide whether it's important. But Mr. Naumovski,
19 let's move on.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
21 Your Honour. I agree.
22 Q. Mr. J, let us proceed. You spoke yesterday
23 about an event that took place when you returned from
24 Putis, when you were in Kaonik, and you were on a
25 bridge when a U.N. vehicle appeared and a female
1 reporter asked a soldier something. Do you remember
2 that portion of your testimony?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. How many people were there on the bridge,
5 soldiers and those of you from the Kaonik prison?
6 A. Well, perhaps 20. About 20. There were
7 about 20 of us prisoners and a few guards who were
8 escorting us to the camp.
9 Q. Do you know which unit they belonged to,
10 those soldiers?
11 A. As far as I know, and what we learnt that
12 night, they were the Vitez people.
13 Q. And you said that the woman asked one of them
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What language did she put her question in?
17 A. In our language.
18 Q. She spoke our language?
19 A. Yes, she did.
20 Q. What did she ask him, in fact?
21 A. She asked him where he was taking the people
22 and what was going on, where the people were going, why
23 he was taking them off. And his answer was, "Leave me
24 alone. Go and ask Dario Kordic. I don't know, because
25 I was brought here too."
1 Q. So that soldier, the soldier that we said was
2 from Vitez, had no rank insignia?
3 A. I didn't see any, no. I don't think he did
4 have any.
5 Q. So as a soldier from Vitez, he answered the
6 reporter and told her what you just said; is that
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. Thank you. Now a few more words about the
10 events concerning your stay in Kaonik. You said that
11 Mr. Aleksovski, as the commander, said that he needed a
12 permit, a certificate to be signed by either Mr. Kordic
13 or Mr. Sliskovic to release anybody from the prison?
14 A. Yes. Well, it wasn't a permit; it was --
15 they were people that were to go out digging, and they
16 had to have a paper allowing this.
17 Q. So a list, or something like that?
18 A. No, sir, not as a list. Quite simply, we
19 were distributed into work platoons, and when requested
20 from a particular department, 30 people were asked for
21 digging purposes, Aleksovski did not allow this because
22 he told the man, when he gave him the piece of paper --
23 I don't know what was written on the paper, but he said
24 that Mr. Kordic or Sliskovic had not signed the paper
25 and that he could not let the men go.
1 Q. Did you see that particular paper, the
3 A. Well, I was four or five metres away. I just
4 saw a piece of paper. What was written on it, I do not
6 Q. So you were standing at that distance, but
7 you heard the words they uttered?
8 A. Yes. Some 20 of us were lined up there.
9 Q. Did you ever see, while you were in Kaonik, a
10 document, a paper, signed by Mr. Kordic?
11 A. Well, we were prisoners, for heaven's sake.
12 Q. Did you ever see Mr. Kordic in Kaonik?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. You said that Mr. Kordic
15 controlled the radio and television in Busovaca. How
16 do you know that?
17 A. Well, there was just the Croatian programme.
18 Q. I'm asking you in the context of Mr. Kordic.
19 You said that Mr. Kordic had control of it?
20 A. Well, I think that I told you at least ten
21 times that everything was under his control and baton.
22 Q. For what period?
23 A. Throughout.
24 Q. Will you give us the beginning and end?
25 A. Well, let us say from May 1992 to the present
2 Q. Thank you. Yes, you mentioned that on
3 several occasions that Mr. Kordic was the main
4 commander and that everybody took their orders from
5 him. But in concrete terms, you never saw a single
6 order issued --
7 JUDGE MAY: You've asked that question on a
8 number of occasions. We don't need to go over it.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
10 Q. If you agree, Mr. J, let us now move on to
11 January 1993 and the events that took place from the
12 20th onwards. Would you please tell us where you were
13 after you left your house; that is to say, between the
14 22nd and 25th of January, 1993?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Any kind of fortification for defence
9 purposes or attack purposes?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Mr. J, you have told us some data about some
12 Muslims who were, in fact, killed in January, in the
13 course of the 25th of January 1993, but I have a piece
14 of information whereby those were practically all
15 soldiers. Do you agree with me?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Kadica Strana, according to my information,
18 had several -- in the military sense of the word,
19 several prepared positions, military positions. The
20 first position was in the first houses by the bridge
21 leading from the centre of town towards Kadica Strana,
22 next to Admir Ekmescic's house. Do you agree with
24 A. Perhaps it was like that. The young men
25 tried to protect themselves, perhaps.
1 Q. So at that position -- perhaps the military
2 term would be a different one, but I'm going to call it
3 a position -- amongst them were Admir Ekmescic,
4 nicknamed Pecin; Adnan Malkic; and Mahir Mekic. Do you
5 know those individuals?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you agree with me when I say that they
8 were there during the night between the 24th and 25th
9 of January?
10 A. Probably they were, because their houses were
11 there, some 10 metres off. Malkic's house is opposite,
12 on the opposite side of the river, and that's where
13 they were located.
14 Q. Let me correct myself. That is to say they
15 were there on the night between the 24th and 25th of
16 January but also on the night between the 23rd and 24th
17 of January?
18 A. Well, let us take it that we were all there
19 at that particular time.
20 Q. The other combat position, Mr. J, was some 20
21 metres away from the first position, and there, during
22 the nights that we're discussing, amongst others, were
23 Irfan Beslic, Dzenad Novalic, nicknamed Fosil, you and
24 your brother?
25 A. That was at my brother's house. That's where
1 we were.
2 Q. Very well. The third position, in the
3 military sense, was above the fire brigade building
4 facing Kadira Siljka's house, and his nickname was
5 Emso. And among others present there were Sedin
6 Merdan, nicknamed Cero; Nihad Merdan, aka Nina; Irhad
7 Ekmescic, known as Reho; Benjamin Halilovic, nicknamed
8 Benja; Ejnar Begovic; Nedzad Novalic; Asim Sarajlic,
9 nicknamed Sisa, and so on?
10 A. We were all there. That's quite right. We
11 were all gathered there in that particular Mahala.
12 Q. There was another position above the Bonanza
13 Restaurant, whatever it was called, and present there
14 were Jasmin Sehovic called Rusce (phoen); Hasko Bilac;
15 Tarik Muminovic, nicknamed Mulje --
16 JUDGE MAY: What is being put in all of
17 this? Is it being suggested that these men whose names
18 you're reading out were firing or anything of that
19 sort? Surely this can be put more rapidly. Are you
20 suggesting that the Muslims were attacking the Croats
21 or something of that sort?
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honour,
23 we'll go into that in greater detail when we present
24 our defence, but on principle I can say "Yes". I
25 didn't know what the witness would tell me. That is
1 why I collected information on the individuals that
2 were there. If the witness agrees these were combat
3 positions, I can carry on.
4 A. You say they were combat positions, whereas I
5 say that we were all gathered in that particular
6 Mahala. Do you think we should have just waited for
7 somebody to attack us? But I ask you, was any bullet
8 fired from that position, as you call it, and did we
9 have any weapons? Nobody fired a single bullet.
10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
11 Mr. Naumovski, I think that we want to proceed quickly,
12 but you must understand that the Trial Chamber has to
13 direct the process in a just and fair way, as you know,
14 and within the limits of the time that we have.
15 I'm waiting for the point in the
16 cross-examination when the Defence will present the
17 Defence case. But we want to know right from now, what
18 is your point; in each cross-examination, what exactly
19 are you trying to show, not to develop ideas whose
20 point we don't see. You must show us what it is you're
21 trying to prove.
22 One should not wait until the end of the
23 Prosecution case to know where you are heading. Tell
24 us where you're going. Otherwise, please go on to
25 another point.
1 Furthermore, I should like to add that
2 according to the Rule, the cross-examination has to be
3 linked to the examination in chief, after all, and it
4 has to refer to a particular point. You can't engage
5 in any point you like. That is not possible.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes, I
7 understand Your Honour, with all due respect, but this
8 is absolutely in connection with the events of the
9 25th. That is where everything starts. I'm talking
10 about the 25th of January, 1993.
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) What the
12 President has asked you and what I am asking you as
13 well is to go directly to the point concerned.
14 You have now described a whole strategy with
15 a large number of individuals, but you must summarise
16 it all in one question within the framework of the
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Very well,
19 Your Honour. I'll do my best to summarise as much as
20 possible, and I beg for your indulgence.
21 Q. Mr. J, as I have already enumerated all the
22 people, tell me, all those people did not live in
23 Kadica Strana and Kadica Mahala, did they?
24 A. No.
25 Q. So people had come there from other parts of
1 Busovaca; isn't that right?
2 A. Well, they were really very far off, that is
3 to say, just across the river. That's how far they
4 were from their homes, individuals.
5 Q. You say that not a single bullet was fired?
6 A. As far as I know, not a single one, nor was
7 there any intention of doing that on our part. But we
8 just wanted to gather there and to try to protect
9 ourselves from what was happening. It turned out to be
10 a good thing that we had gathered there, those of us
11 who were left in the Mahala, because the ones that went
12 home in the morning were killed.
13 Q. Therefore, you are telling the Trial Chamber
14 that the HVO attacked from 5.00, 5.30, 6.00 in the
15 morning up until 2.00, although you didn't offer the
16 slightest resistance and did not fire a single bullet?
17 A. That's quite right. It is true that they
18 attacked from half past 5.00 in the morning, that they
19 shot at us with whatever weapons they -- I don't know
20 exactly what weapons they used. But that it was
21 terrible, that is quite true.
22 Q. Tell us, please, what weapons did you have?
23 A. A Scorpion.
24 Q. I'm thinking of all of you, not you
1 A. Well, there was some hunting rifles here and
2 there, or a carbine or something like that. Perhaps
3 there was a PAP-type rifle. But the intention wasn't
4 for us to attack but just to try and defend ourselves
5 as best we could so as to prevent us from all being
7 Q. Was Mr. Edin Novalic there?
8 A. Yes, he was.
9 Q. Was he the commander of that particular
10 detachment, that is to say, that whole group of people
11 who were there?
12 A. It was no detachment. It was nothing
13 organised. We weren't under any orders. We had just
14 quite simply gathered there in order to try to survive
15 as best we could.
16 Q. I think that I can say this in a public
17 session because I think he was a witness testifying in
18 public session in the Aleksovski trial. The witness I
19 mentioned a moment ago, Mr. Novalic, said that asked by
20 the Prosecution, you answered that you were, for the
21 most part, armed with snipers and grenades. That is
22 page 437 of the transcript from the Aleksovski trial,
23 and I'll tell you the date. It is the 23rd of
24 February, 1998. So snipers and grenades.
25 JUDGE MAY: This is what another witness said
1 in another trial; is that right?
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes, the
3 witness who was in Mahala/Strana and described the
4 evening that we're talking about, Edin Novalic, and the
5 witness has just agreed his name was Edin Novalic.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. J, is there anything you want
7 to say about that or not? You're being asked to
8 comment on what apparently some other witness said in
9 another trial, not in this trial. If you've got
10 nothing to say about it, just say "No."
11 A. I don't know what he said. I know what the
12 situation was and what we had.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
15 Q. You said that several people were killed. I
16 have the names, but I don't want to read them out now.
17 But we know how they were killed, before the fighting
18 had ceased, that is to say, there was some fighting
19 because a part of the soldiers tried to move along the
20 bed of the Ivancica River and to avoid being captured,
21 so some succeeded in escaping and others were killed in
22 the shooting?
23 A. Well, it wasn't like that.
24 Q. You mean it didn't happen like that?
25 A. No, it didn't.
1 Q. Thank you. Did you have any duty to
2 perform? Were you the commander of a platoon or
3 anything like that?
4 A. At that time, nobody had any assignments,
5 nobody did any commanding. We all discussed amongst
6 ourselves what was to be done.
7 Q. Thank you. Let me try and follow the
8 instructions from the Judges and move on more rapidly.
9 I'm going to try and move through the next set of
10 questions as quickly as possible.
11 In looking at the transcript from yesterday's
12 testimony, I don't think you answered one of my
13 questions when I asked you why you were imprisoned in
14 the silo as a soldier of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 A. Well, because I didn't turn up for two
16 shifts, and I was punished for that.
17 Q. So for discipline? Lack of discipline, that
18 is to say.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell us, please, were disciplinary measures
21 taken against you previously? I mean before the war,
22 any sanctions?
23 A. No, not in court, I had no dealings of that
24 kind, as far as I know, only something that might have
25 happened in the course of my job.
1 Q. You were disciplined in your company twice,
2 related to some prices, prices of Cognac or something
3 like that?
4 A. Well, that's my private affair.
5 Q. You say your private affair. Very well.
6 I have another piece of information that in
7 1991, for example, that you were tried at the Basic
8 Court in Zenica, and I tried to check this out. I
9 think it had something to do with security, traffic
10 security, Article 181, para 3, of the law of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina; you were prosecuted on the basis of
12 that Article. Did you have any traffic accidents or
13 anything like that in 1991?
14 A. I don't remember. I don't know what that
15 could have been.
16 Q. On the 13th of August --
17 A. Well, I don't think that's important.
18 JUDGE MAY: You're not putting it to him that
19 he was convicted of a traffic offence, are you, in
20 relation to his credibility here?
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) No, Your
22 Honour. I just wanted to see whether my interpretation
23 of the article was true and exact and whether the
24 article referred to traffic.
25 Q. Tell us, please --
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, before we go on,
2 let me just understand. What is the offence that
3 you're suggesting that he was prosecuted for?
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I think that
5 it was a traffic offence, but I wasn't quite sure, and
6 that's why I asked the witness. If it did relate to
7 traffic, I have no more questions, but the witness
8 doesn't seem to recall the event.
9 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't sound as though it's
10 very important. Yes, let's go on.
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) I think,
13 after all, Mr. Naumovski, that you should avoid this
14 type of question if you're not sure. You are talking
15 about a traffic accident. I must draw your attention
16 to the fact that you have to avoid a waste of time for
17 yourself and the Court.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
19 Your Honour.
20 Q. You said that you saw HV and HVO insignia on
21 some soldiers, that some of them had "HV" and some of
22 them had "HVO", that is to say, January of 1993, the
23 25th of January, in fact?
24 A. On the 25th of January, that's right.
25 Q. Were there many soldiers with these HV
2 A. Well, I couldn't tell you the exact number,
3 but there were far less -- I saw only two or three
4 insignias. At that point, I only saw that. The others
5 had HVO insignia.
6 Q. Did you talk to any of those young men who
7 had the HV patches?
8 A. Well, we were fighting for survival. We
9 didn't talk to anybody. We had to place our heads down
10 on the asphalt.
11 Q. Tell us, please, those you mentioned in the
12 brigades, did they have two types of patches or one?
13 A. No, I don't know. I just read the Vunolist
14 (phoen) insignia.
15 Q. Yesterday, asked by the Prosecutor, you said
16 that whenever something occurred in Busovaca, other
17 military units of the HVO would come from Vitez,
18 Kiseljak, Travnik, and so on. You remember that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Well, in January and the events of the 25th
21 of January, were there any units from Kiseljak, for
23 A. Well, I don't know that, sir, but I do know
24 that they came from Vitez because they guarded me in
25 Putis. And that they had come from all parts, I also
1 know that.
2 Q. But I'm talking about the 25th of January,
4 A. There were a lot of unknown individuals in
5 uniform. For us, they were people we did not know.
6 Q. Mr. J, let us just touch upon some of the
7 names that you mentioned yesterday, answering questions
8 from the Prosecutor. Mitko Cosic, for example.
9 The Prosecutor used a term which I don't
10 think was appropriate, so please help me. He said that
11 it was an intervention platoon, prisoners' intervention
12 platoon. It was just called an intervention platoon,
13 was it not?
14 A. Yes, I believe so.
15 Q. You said that you knew nothing of whether
16 Mr. Cosic had any dealings with Mr. Kordic, but you say
17 that you do know that he went along the road to
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What period are you talking about there?
21 A. Well, before the 20th of January.
22 Q. January?
23 A. Yes, and before that.
24 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Mitko Cosic has a
25 family in the village of Ravan, anybody he's related
2 A. Well, quite possibly he does have. Why not?
3 Q. So it is possible that he was visiting
4 somebody in the village of Ravan and not going to visit
5 Mr. Kordic; is that correct?
6 A. Well, that's a bit of --
7 Q. Do you agree with me?
8 A. No, I don't.
9 Q. You still maintain that he was going to see
10 Mr. Kordic?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. As a conclusion, that's your conclusion;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Then the other person was Vlado
16 Cosic. As far as I know, he is not Mitko Cosic's
18 A. Well, he is a cousin on his father's side.
19 Q. Do you know what he did?
20 A. I know that he was a policeman in
21 ex-Yugoslavia and that he stayed on in those units.
22 Q. But in January 1993 in Busovaca, do you know
23 what function he had there then?
24 A. I don't know. In January, I really can't
25 say. All I know is that he was a policeman, and he was
1 no ordinary policeman either.
2 Q. Do you know who his chief was, commander in
3 military terms, along the military chain of command?
4 A. Well, I can't remember any names, sir, now; I
5 really can't.
6 Q. Do you know who was the commander of the
7 so-called 4th Battalion of the military police in the
8 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia?
9 A. No, I really don't know.
10 Q. Thank you. One of the names that we talked
11 about was Gavro Maric, a man working as a clerk in the
12 Defence Department?
13 A. Yes, at least I think he performed that kind
14 of duty.
15 Q. I agree with you. But you said, about that
16 particular man, that he was the commander of Kordic's
17 units, and you used the plural. Which units, please?
18 A. I don't really know. I don't dare say
19 exactly, because I'm not quite sure. But as I said, he
20 was an officer of some kind and he was one of the
21 commanders, I think he was, but the name doesn't say
22 much, doesn't tell me much, really.
23 Q. Well, to be quite honest, it doesn't say much
24 to me either. But you said that he was one of Kordic's
1 A. But he was not my commander.
2 Q. So you don't know anything about the man?
3 A. Well, you could put it that way, yes.
4 Q. Thank you. The next name is Mr. Nikica
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know that he was the chief of the
8 civilian police in Busovaca?
9 A. Yes, I do, and we went to school together. I
10 know all about that.
11 Q. Do you know that he was president of the
12 commission for exchange? You know that these exchange
13 commissions existed on both sides?
14 A. Yes, probably they did, and probably he was
16 Q. But I'm asking you this because when you
17 spoke about him the last time, you did not say that he
18 was a member of the commission for exchange but
19 coordinator for transfer, but you had in mind this
20 particular post?
21 A. Well, he would transfer everybody.
22 Q. Did the Muslim side have this type of
23 commission and their man who negotiated with
24 Mr. Petrovic?
25 A. Probably they did, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you a great
2 deal about Mr. Anto Sliskovic, and I'm going to ask you
3 about that in the shortest possible terms. Do you know
4 what his duties were, what function he performed?
5 A. I don't know, but I know he was a SIS man, as
6 we popularly used to call it, and that he was the
7 number-one man after Kordic, that he was in charge.
8 Q. You said he was a SIS man. For what
10 A. Well, for Busovaca, and I'm generally
11 speaking about the Busovaca area.
12 Q. Did you know that Mr. Anto Sliskovic was the
13 assistant to the commander of the Operative Zone of
14 Central Bosnia, that is to say, Colonel Blaskic's
16 A. No.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you know where the
18 headquarters of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone were,
19 in fact?
20 A. No. I'm not interested in that.
21 Q. What town?
22 A. I'm not interested in any of that. I never
23 was interested in any of it. What I'm interested in
24 was Anto Sliskovic --
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. -- because he was a neighbour of mine.
2 Q. Did you want to add something?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You said that Mr. Anto Sliskovic carried out
5 all orders from Mr. Kordic into effect. I took note of
6 that. I have to keep repeating the same question. How
7 do you know that?
8 A. I know that he had some orders that he had to
9 carry out, and in fact he carried out Kordic's orders.
10 JUDGE MAY: How much longer are you going to
11 be now, Mr. Naumovski?
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Well, I'm
13 sorry, Your Honour, maybe another 10 or 15 minutes at
14 the outside.
15 JUDGE MAY: We're going to have a five-minute
16 break. We'll then hear you for ten minutes and hope we
17 can finish the evidence today.
18 --- Recess taken at 4.59 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.05 p.m.
20 JUDGE MAY: Ten minutes, Mr. Naumovski.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you, Your Honour. I
22 have just collected my thoughts, and I may just make
24 Q. Mr. J, you said that Mr. Sliskovic carried
25 out all Mr. Kordic's orders, but then later on you
1 elaborated and said that all lower-level commanders
2 were accountable to Anto Sliskovic and then he, in
3 turn, to Mr. Kordic; isn't that so?
4 A. Yes, I think it can be said. Anto
5 Sliskovic's employees obviously were accountable to
6 him, and he again to Mr. Kordic.
7 Q. But how do you know that, when his commander
8 at the time was Colonel Blaskic?
9 A. What do you mean "Blaskic"? Dario Kordic was
10 God Almighty.
11 Q. But, please, do you know a single example of
12 lower commanders reporting to Anto Sliskovic and he to
13 Mr. Kordic?
14 A. What kind of example do you want? Could a
15 single Muslim see anything of the sort?
16 Q. So apart from your conclusions, you do not
17 know of a single example --
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, I think we've had
19 this point several times.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI:
21 Q. You said that the Jokers were also based in
23 A. I think they were.
24 Q. What were the Jokers?
25 A. A punitive unit.
1 Q. But I must tell you, Mr. J, that they were
2 not headquartered in Busovaca, but there were some of
3 them in Busovaca, sir. Are we talking about their
5 A. That's less important in my view, but they
6 were in Busovaca as well.
7 Q. Very well, if you say so. When you were in
8 Kaonik, you mentioned several examples about what
9 happened to you, so I should like to ask you, very
10 briefly, when you were interrogated by certain people,
11 including Zarko Petrovic and Zeljko Katava, you said
12 that certain questions were put to you, but I'm not
13 sure I heard what kind of questions.
14 A. All kinds.
15 Q. Military questions as well?
16 A. One could call them that. They did ask at
17 one point where the radio was, radio transmitter was.
18 Q. Very well, thank you. Yesterday you also
19 said that one day, military policemen had beaten one of
20 the soldiers and that they did so on purpose so that
21 the Muslims would see them doing it. Do you remember
23 A. Yes, it was on the 8th of February, 1993, in
24 the morning, in prison.
25 Q. And you say that those people were released
1 the next day; nothing happened to them?
2 A. According to the people who stayed on in
3 prison, and there were some who stayed on, they were
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honour,
6 I should like to tender a document connected to this
7 event that we are talking about, and that is the
8 killing of these two Muslims that the witness referred
9 to, Jasmin Sehovic and Nermin Elezovic. A copy for the
10 witness, please. The Croatian version is at the back.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) While Mr. J
14 is waiting to examine his copy, let me, in order to
15 gain time, tell you briefly what this is. It is a
16 criminal complaint submitted by the 4th military police
17 battalion against three soldiers, Croats, under
18 suspicion that they had killed these two Muslims that
19 the witness referred to.
20 The second document is a request for an
21 investigation to be carried out whereby the judge of
22 the basic military court in Travnik prescribes an
23 investigation into the event.
24 Q. Mr. J, will you look at those documents,
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Please give
2 the witness the Croatian copy so he can look at them.
3 The criminal report.
4 Q. In the factual description at the bottom, you
5 will find that there are grounds to believe that they
6 committed -- so and so, and the data about the two
7 individuals are mentioned. Are they the people you
8 spoke about?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) We don't need
12 to tire Their Honours further with this exhibit. You
13 may collect it.
14 Q. Let us go on, Mr. J. Tell us, please, when
15 you were released, or exchanged, I don't remember you
16 telling us, did you see a doctor in Zenica, to be
18 A. Yes, I did go to see a doctor.
19 Q. Do you have any medical reports about your
20 injuries? Because you said that you were full of
22 A. I think I do, but not on me.
23 Q. You didn't show them to the investigators of
24 The Hague Tribunal?
25 A. No. No one asked me to.
1 Q. Not even regarding your jaw fracture?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Thank you. Briefly about two events: When
4 you referred to the event in the village of Strane that
5 your brother or this other group of people told you
6 about, people who were taken there, as you were not
7 there, did they tell you there was no shooting there,
8 in the village of Strane?
9 A. I think that was the first time, and I think
10 there was no shooting, as far as I can recollect.
11 Q. As for the second event, in the village of
12 Merdani, you said that if they do not surrender, and
13 the implication is the inhabitants, that all these
14 people would be slaughtered; do you remember that?
15 A. Exactly.
16 Q. Well, did the villagers surrender?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Was anyone killed? Was this threat carried
20 A. No.
21 Q. You said that punishment of perpetrators was
22 not even prescribed in HVO documents. Do you still
23 abide by that?
24 A. Exactly. Maybe it was written down
25 somewhere, but nothing came of it.
1 Q. You mentioned a conversation with
2 Mr. Glavocevic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who were you with at that meeting, and in
5 what capacity?
6 A. At the time, we were still the Patriotic
7 League. Others called us differently. And two of us,
8 myself and Ekmiscic, went to see Florijan Glavocevic
9 and put ourselves at his disposal to see if there was
10 anything we could do to help.
11 Q. And what did he tell you?
12 A. That he would see about it with Mr. Dario.
13 Q. That he would consult him?
14 A. Yes, exactly. However, we never got any
16 Q. Very well. Thank you. Just one more
17 question, one but last. When you said that
18 Mr. Sliskovic offered that you go in the direction of
19 Lugovi to help the front line, in what capacity did you
20 go to see Mr. Sliskovic?
21 A. We didn't go to see him. He came to see us.
22 Q. Who do you mean, "us"?
23 A. Us in the Patriotic League, in the fire
24 brigade centre. He came one night, and we spoke about
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
2 I am looking through my papers very quickly. If I take
3 more time, I will find at least another ten questions
4 to put, but I will end there. Thank you for your
5 patience. I have no further questions.
6 And I thank you, too, Mr. J.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. J. My name is
11 Mikulicic. I am the Defence counsel for Mr. Mario
12 Cerkez, and I am going to ask you a few questions, and
13 I would like to ask you to answer them.
14 Tell us, please, Mr. J, did you serve in the
15 former JNA, the former army?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you assigned any rank?
18 A. I was a private first class.
19 Q. Mr. J, would you tell us, after you completed
20 your military service, were you in the reserve force?
21 A. Well, that was quite normal in the former
23 Q. What were your duties as a reservist?
24 A. Well, I was a (indiscernible).
25 Q. Did you have any weapons in that capacity?
1 A. No. We were only issued weapons if there was
2 any kind of training or anything like that, and then we
3 would return it.
4 Q. Would you tell us, please, what type of
5 weapons were issued, what kind?
6 A. Well, at that time there were semi-automatic
7 rifles. There were also automatic rifles as well.
8 There were M52s and old types of machine guns. But for
9 the most part it was these two types of rifles that
10 were predominant.
11 Q. Mr. J, would you tell us, please, whether you
12 are a religious man?
13 A. Yes, I am a believer.
14 Q. Do you practice your religion?
15 A. Well, that's difficult to say, and it's my
16 own private affair.
17 Q. Do you know the imam from Busovaca?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Tell us, please, during the time you were in
20 Kaonik, did the imam from Busovaca go to Kaonik?
21 A. I didn't see him.
22 Q. Mr. J, after the independence of the Republic
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you were a member of the
24 Territorial Defence, were you not?
25 A. Well, we all were, yes.
1 Q. And were you issued any weapons in that
3 A. No.
4 Q. You mentioned that on the 25th of January,
5 1993, the alarm was sounded in Busovaca, and that
6 immediately after that, shooting started. Is that the
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Was the alarm sounded by means of a siren?
10 A. Yes, a fire brigade siren. Fire alarm siren.
11 Q. When you say "fire alarm siren," does that
12 mean that the siren was in the fire brigade building?
13 A. Yes. Not far away from where we were, across
14 the river.
15 Q. Is it true that in the fire brigade building,
16 there was the headquarters of the Patriotic League for
18 A. Yes, that is correct. It was located there
19 at one time, once upon a time.
20 Q. You said, Mr. J, that some soldiers attacked
21 your house and that it was riddled with bullets, and
22 that at one point you retaliated. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that is correct. I responded by opening
25 Q. What weapon did you use?
1 A. I had a Scorpion.
2 Q. A moment ago you said that you were issued no
3 weapons. Where did you get that Scorpion?
4 A. I bought it myself.
5 Q. Could you buy that type of weapon in shops?
6 A. Well, in the former Yugoslavia, you couldn't
7 buy anything normally, particularly not weapons in a
8 shop. You would have to have a special permit. But,
9 of course, in those days and the days that followed,
10 there were no rules, and people bought what they
12 Q. Mr. J, you were taken to Kaonik, and you said
13 that there were a lot of men there. You said that
14 there were people of different ages?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you see any of those men who were with
17 you there in Kaonik who were outside military age?
18 A. I think there were two or three very young
19 boys who were under the age of 18.
20 Q. Do you think, or do you know for certain?
21 A. I know for certain.
22 Q. Could you tell us their names?
23 A. Well, that would be difficult now, but I do
24 know that there was a young man from Skradno.
25 Q. Mr. J, when you came to Kaonik, did you see a
1 board of any kind, or a plaque on the building, or the
2 neighbouring building, where you were located later on?
3 A. I didn't notice anything of that kind, no.
4 Q. You didn't see any kind of plaque or board
5 indicating the type of building?
6 A. I don't remember.
7 Q. Is it true, Mr. J, that you told us that on
8 the first day when you were brought to Kaonik -- that
9 is to say, on the 25th of January, 1993 -- you were
10 addressed by Zlatko Aleksovski as the warden, commander
11 of that facility?
12 A. Yes, that is so.
13 Q. Mr. J, if I were to tell you that in the
14 indictment of this Court against Mr. Aleksovski, the
15 Prosecutor stated that he took over the Kaonik facility
16 on the 29th of January, what would your comments to
17 that be? Do you allow for the possibility of being
18 wrong with the dates?
19 A. No. Absolutely no theory that that could
20 have happened.
21 Q. Mr. J, you said that when you came to Kaonik,
22 all your personal possessions were taken away from you,
23 your valuables?
24 A. Yes, almost everything.
25 Q. Were they or were they not confiscated?
1 A. Well, things were taken away. Bags full of
2 money were taken away. Anybody who did not succeed in
3 hiding their valuables, they were taken away.
4 Q. Did you succeed in hiding anything?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. You told us, Mr. J, that some 15 people were
7 taken out from the building, tied, 13 were tied, and
8 they were then taken to be used in what we call a human
9 shield at the village of Strane, but that you were not
10 amongst those people?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. May I then conclude correctly that what
13 happened at the village of Strane you only know from
14 what those people told you?
15 A. I know it from what my brother told me.
16 Q. In the village of Strane, were there any
17 units of the BH army?
18 A. No, as far as I know, there were none.
19 Q. Did your brother tell you how far the people
20 we're talking about were positioned with respect to the
21 village of Strane, in relation to the village?
22 A. Well, I personally don't remember those
23 details, but as the main road passes below the village,
24 then they were very near the village.
25 Q. Will you tell us the place they were located
1 at? Did your brother tell you that?
2 A. Well, I don't think -- no, I can't say.
3 Q. You can't say?
4 A. No, I can't.
5 Q. And with respect to the village of Merdani?
6 A. The village of Merdani? Well, there it was
7 somewhat different. They were kept there the whole
9 Q. My question, Mr. J, is whether perhaps you
10 can tell us the position in relation to the village of
11 Merdani, because you said that they were on the railway
12 bridge, if I'm not mistaken.
13 A. Yes, they were positioned there, but up to
14 the village of Merdani, there is still two kilometres
15 to go.
16 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. J, whether any of these
17 individuals were wounded or injured.
18 A. As far as I know, they were not.
19 Q. Mr. J, let us now touch upon the events when
20 you returned from Putis. A moment ago, mention was
21 made of that, and you said that you were guarded by
22 some young men from the HVO who were from Vitez, did
23 you not?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. My question is the following: How do you
1 know that those young men were from Vitez?
2 A. They guarded us throughout the night, and
3 based on our conversations with them, and they were
4 very, very good towards us.
5 Q. In view of the fact that you spent the entire
6 night with those soldiers, do you know which unit they
7 were from?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Mr. J, do you know somebody called Darko
11 A. I've heard the name, but -- well, I've heard
12 the name, yes, but I can't tell you anything definite.
13 Q. Can you just tell us, do you know whether he
14 was the commander of any unit?
15 A. Well, everything I know, I know from what
16 people have said: that he was the commander and had a
17 unit of his own. I know something about that, but not
18 in concrete terms.
19 Q. Do you know the name of that unit?
20 A. I don't know. I don't really know, because
21 it was another municipality, so that I didn't know
22 those people. I didn't know Darko, either.
23 Q. Were they the Vitezovi, perhaps?
24 A. I think that that was what their name was;
25 something like that.
1 Q. Mr. J, you said that you noticed while you
2 were in Kaonik that there were lists of people made up
3 for work duty, for digging. Do you know where these
4 lists came from? Who compiled those lists? Do you
5 know anything about that?
6 A. Well, how could I know anything about that?
7 Q. You don't, then? Thank you.
8 Tell us, please, Mr. J, whether the guards in
9 Kaonik were also in military uniform.
10 A. Yes, they wore camouflage uniforms.
11 Q. Did you manage to see what unit they belonged
12 to? What kind of soldiers were they? What type?
13 A. Well, some of them had an HVO patch, as far
14 as I recall, but I don't know anything else, any other
15 characteristic feature.
16 Q. Did they carry weapons?
17 A. In the prison itself, they didn't have any
18 weapons. When they came to our cells, they did not
19 have any weapons.
20 Q. You told us that you managed to save some of
21 your valuables; do you mean the two rings and the money
22 that you gave to Hosovac later on?
23 A. Yes, precisely that.
24 Q. Is it true that those objects were returned
25 to you after this Hosovac was arrested by the military
2 A. Yes, that is true. The two rings were
3 returned to me.
4 Q. Thank you for your answers, Mr. J.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence rests.
6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Scott, there is really very little time
8 indeed. Is there anything by way of re-examination of
9 any importance?
10 MR. SCOTT: If you just give me one moment,
11 Your Honour.
12 MR. STEIN: Your Honour, during the pause, at
13 an appropriate time I would like to address the Court
14 relative to expert witness Alcock, who is in our
15 view -- according to the Prosecution is to be called
16 next week, but we don't have his full statement. So if
17 there is a problem, then I would like to raise it.
18 JUDGE MAY: I think tomorrow afternoon.
19 MR. STEIN: Very good, sir.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if I could, very
21 briefly, I will move quickly.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Scott:
23 Q. Witness J, in reference, I'm not going to ask
24 the usher to show them to you, but you were shown
25 several exhibits: 37/1, 38/1, and 39/1. Had you seen
1 any of those documents prior to the time that they were
2 showed to you in court?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you have any information about their
5 authenticity or existence prior to the time they were
6 shown to you?
7 A. No.
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, before I forget, I
9 would just ask for the record at this time that in
10 reference to 39/1, on the second page of that document,
11 there is fairly long list of attachments. Under the
12 rule of completeness, the Prosecution would ask that
13 all those attachments be provided to the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Mr. J, in terms of the questions you were
17 asked about the defensive positions, in what
18 Mr. Naumovski called the defensive positions in
19 Busovaca on the 25th of January -- I think you can
20 answer this "Yes" or "No" -- was there any organised
21 defence or military resistance to the HVO attack on
22 Busovaca on the 25th of January, 1993?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you consider those men to be assembled
25 for the purposes of filling -- or taking position in a
1 military sense?
2 A. Well, no, of course not.
3 Q. Let me ask you, concerning this witness --
4 concerning the speech that Mr. Kordic gave, you've said
5 that you know this person, but you do not want to name
6 him in court, presumably out of concern for his privacy
7 or security; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct, yes.
9 Q. Just so the record is clear, in case there's
10 some further follow-up, are you prepared to provide
11 that name to the Prosecution so that we can pursue this
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Finally, Witness J, you testified
15 in direct examination that based on the best of your
16 memory, the population of Busovaca in 1992/1993 was
17 approximately some 8.000. If I represent to you,
18 please, as an officer of the Court, that the 1991
19 census would show that the Busovaca population was
20 approximately 3.900 people, would you have any reason
21 to disagree with that? The town of Busovaca.
22 A. Well, all right, in the town of Busovaca
23 itself, probably the population did number that much,
24 but the municipality had 16.000 inhabitants, as far as
25 I remember. Perhaps I meant the broader area.
1 Q. Very well.
2 MR. SCOTT: Just two pop questions following
3 on that, Your Honour, and I'll be concluded.
4 Q. In short, is it fair to say, Witness J,
5 Busovaca was a small town, and the people who lived
6 there and had lived there for many years tended to know
7 a lot, if not everything, that happened in town?
8 A. Yes, precisely so.
9 Q. And that would be particularly true of anyone
10 who might be described as having a high profile
11 position, such as a mayor or a political leader?
12 People knew a lot about those things, didn't they?
13 A. Well, yes, of course.
14 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Your
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
17 Witness J, thank you for coming to the
18 International Tribunal to give your evidence. I'm
19 sorry you've been detained here as long as you have,
20 but you are now released and free to go home.
21 (The witness withdrew)
22 JUDGE MAY: Tomorrow afternoon, I think I'm
23 right on saying, on this occasion, it will be half past
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 5.35 p.m., to be reconvened on
2 Wednesday, the 14th day of July,
3 1999, at 2.30 p.m.