1 Tuesday, 21st September, 1999
2 [Private session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 11.32 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
13 pages 7173-7179 redacted – private session
19 [Closed session]
13 pages 7181-7226 redacted – closed session
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.15 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.45 p.m.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
5 Mr. President, Your Honours, let me first introduce to
6 you, or give my apologies from Geoffrey Nice who will
7 not be able to be with us this afternoon because he is
8 working in the Jelisic case, and that is that case is
9 meeting at the same time as this one, the Kordic case.
10 I would also like to say that at the request
11 of the witness who will appear this afternoon, that we
12 have filed a motion that the witness be granted
13 protective measures. So that I can present it to you,
14 I would like us to be able to move into private
16 [Private session]
13 pages 7229-7233 redacted – private session
17 [Open session]
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness P, after the 1990 elections and until
20 June of 1992, would you say that the working relations
21 within the municipal institutions in Novi Travnik
22 between the Croats and Muslims were good until June
23 1992, the time when the HVO attacked certain
24 institutions within the city of Novi Travnik? Is that
1 A. Yes, one could say that relations were more
2 or less good sometime up until April '92.
3 Q. April 1992. That corresponds with the
4 establishment of the HVO; is that correct?
5 A. Roughly, yes. In April 1992, the first flag
6 of Herceg-Bosna was hoisted, the flag of the Croatian
7 people, a flag with Croatian emblems, on the
8 municipality. This was on the 10th of April, 1992.
9 Q. Before that period in April 1992, were there
10 some events that took place in the municipality of Novi
11 Travnik which dealt with the sending of weapons and
12 ammunition from the Bratstvo factory to the JNA, and
13 the Croats in the region were opposed to that type of
14 delivery? Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that was so. Since in Novi Travnik,
16 there was the military factory, Bratstvo, which mostly
17 manufactured all kinds of weapons, including heavy
18 weapons, and as there was a conflict going on in
19 Croatia at the same time against the JNA, they opposed
20 deliveries of weapons from Bratstvo to the JNA.
21 Q. Is it true that certain trucks that were
22 carrying those weapons and ammunition were stopped and
23 that the Croats seized some of the trucks?
24 A. Yes, that is correct. I know of one truck
25 which was stopped in the village of Bucici, but I don't
1 know what happened with that truck or the weapons and
2 equipment. What happened with it, I don't know. I
3 know that it was stopped at the village of Bucici.
4 Q. The Croats that we are speaking about had
5 seized the trucks by force; is that correct? The
6 trucks that we are speaking about?
7 A. The truck was stopped by armed civilians, and
8 some, by then, soldiers with weapons.
9 Q. Did you, yourself, notice at that time that
10 there were armed civilians and soldiers preventing the
11 traffic of those vehicles in the area of Novi Travnik?
12 A. Yes, it was in that period that traffic was
13 stopped in that area; that is, the area from Bucici
14 towards the crossroads on the Travnik/Sarajevo
16 Q. Do you know to which units those armed
17 soldiers belonged and where they came from?
18 A. Colleagues from the HDZ in those days told me
19 that these were members of their Territorial Defence.
20 I know of one man, who was a local man, who came from
21 the area of Croatia, from the Croatian army, Ivo,
22 Suse. I also heard reports that there were people who
23 came from Croatia, other people also, who had come from
25 Q. Were roadblocks set up on the road at that
1 point, more or less March of 1992? Is that correct?
2 A. These were not barricades. In fact, they
3 were just people stopping vehicles, the people I have
4 described. They were the ones who stopped those
5 vehicles. I don't remember any particular barricades
6 being put up.
7 Q. Do you know whether the accused Dario Kordic
8 was involved in those incidents, stopping the vehicles
9 that were coming out of the factory?
10 A. I would meet Mr. Kordic in those days, and he
11 did participate in those activities.
12 Q. At that same time, did you also participate
13 in a television broadcast with Mr. Dario Kordic in
14 Sarajevo, a broadcast in which the president of the
15 parliament, Mr. Jozo Sekic, was also a participant?
16 A. I remember a programme on the 21st of March.
17 It was a Saturday. The programme was moderated by
18 journalist Smiljko Sagolj. It was called "Vidokrug,"
19 or "Perspectives." I participated; the president of
20 the assembly, Jozo Sekic; and Dario Kordic.
21 Q. That was the 21st of March; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. The purpose of the broadcast, inter alia, was
24 to mention the events that were taking place all
25 around; that is, having to do with the weapons from
1 that Bratstvo factory?
2 A. I think that the programme had two aims. One
3 was to show what was happening with the military
4 industry, and especially the military industry in Novi
5 Travnik, the Bratstvo factory. But I think another aim
6 was to present for the first time the by then already
7 formed Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I would
9 like to show the Trial Chamber a short extract of that
10 broadcast so that the witness can identify it. Let me
11 state for the Trial Chamber that the witness appears on
12 the videotape that's going to be shown, and perhaps a
13 protective measure should also be ordered to preclude
14 the witness's being recognised on that tape.
15 JUDGE MAY: We'll have to show it in closed
16 session; that's the only way that the witness can be
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] It will be
19 very short.
20 [Closed session]
13 page 7239 redacted – closed session
9 [Open session]
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness P, you saw the short excerpt from the
12 television programme that I referred to. Is that, in
13 fact, the broadcast that took place in Sarajevo on the
14 21st of March, 1992, in which you yourself were a
15 participant with the accused, Dario Kordic, and the
16 president of the parliament, Mr. Jozo Sekic, everything
17 under the control of the journalist Smiljko Sagolj?
18 A. Yes, that is that programme.
19 Q. Witness P, I'm now going to show you the
20 transcript of the entire broadcast, which has several
21 pages and which records some of the statements that you
22 made and those of the journalists and the other
23 participants. I would ask you to review the transcript
24 which is referenced Z53.1 in B/C/S and Z53A in
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: The document should itself
2 be protected insofar as it includes the witness's
4 Q. Would it be possible, Witness P, to look at
5 the last page of the document in which you appear. You
6 say something right before the answer given by the
7 accused. Could you give us a comment of what you meant
8 in that statement and read out to us what the accused,
9 Dario Kordic, answered?
10 A. My comment was the following: I simply said
11 what I knew and what my people felt, as well as a large
12 number of citizens in those days, and that was that the
13 Croatian community could not be established, as
14 imagined, by the representatives of the political party
15 of HDZ, and the comment of Dario Kordic was that no one
16 has the right to stand in the way of the Croatian
17 people in organising themselves as they wanted. That
18 was the comment.
19 Q. Thank you. You could put the document down.
20 Sometime after that television programme in
21 March 1992, did you have the opportunity to see Dario
22 Kordic again, who at that time was accompanied by
23 soldiers in Novi Travnik?
24 A. I came across Dario Kordic many times in that
25 period, including in my own office where he would come,
1 as well as in the vicinity of the Bratstvo factory.
2 Q. I would like you to speak to us about the day
3 that Dario Kordic came to your office to talk with you
4 about the removal of two multiple-rocket launchers.
5 Could you speak to us about that day?
6 A. Dario Kordic came one day, one evening,
7 together with soldiers that were escorting him; and
8 Mr. Marinko Marelja, who was an owner of cafe Novi
9 Travnik; and the president of the assembly, Jozo
10 Sekic. As far as I remember, they were with him. He
11 wanted to take with him some equipment. I remember
12 they were two rocket launchers, VBRs as they were
14 I know that there was a piece of paper. It
15 was an ordinary piece of paper, torn off from a
16 notebook, a cheque notebook, on which he wrote down
17 that he would pay or return those pieces of equipment
18 by the end of June. I don't know what happened in the
20 Q. Is the document that you're speaking about
21 one that Dario Kordic wrote himself and gave to you?
22 A. Yes. I saw that document. I don't know
23 where it ended up. I remember it very well.
24 Q. I'm going to show you a document. It is a
25 document which was already admitted by another Trial
1 Chamber. It is Z78.
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: The document is referenced
3 Z78A, which is -- there's another 78B. I'm talking
4 about 78A that I want you to show to the witness.
5 Q. This is Z78. It was admitted in April of
6 last year. I think it is the handwritten document.
7 Yes, it's that one.
8 A. I have ... that document. Yes, that is the
10 Q. The document with the signature of Dario
11 Kordic is the one that you saw at the time, which was
12 given to you by the accused; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is the document.
14 Q. If I understand the document correctly, it is
15 stated that the rocket launchers in question should
16 either be paid for or given back on the 20th of June,
18 A. Yes. That is what it says here in the
19 document and that is how it was.
20 Q. As far as you remember, who was supposed to
21 pay for those multiple-rocket launchers? Which
22 authority was supposed to pay for them?
23 A. Mr. Kordic, as far as I can recollect, said
24 that the defence secretariat of Busovaca would pay for
25 it, because our joint Defence Ministry was still
1 functioning in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
2 the Minister was Jerko Doko.
3 Q. The accused, Dario Kordic, at that time was
4 the office [sic] of that defence office for Busovaca;
5 is that correct?
6 A. Yes. That is what I know.
7 Q. I believe that you have looked at another
8 document that was given to you in advance. Could you
9 look at it? It's a typed document.
10 A. Yes. I see that document.
11 Q. Did you see that document on the day that it
12 was given to you or the other one was given to you,
14 A. This document is one that I didn't see on
15 that day. I only saw the first document, handwritten
16 on a piece of paper with squares on it.
17 Q. In your opinion, was this document issued by
18 the Bratstvo factory? Does it show the ordinary
19 characteristics of that factory?
20 A. In my view, that is not a document. The
21 customary document issued by the factory would have a
22 memorandum with the name of the factory, the telephone
23 numbers and the faxes, and it would have to be stamped
24 at the bottom saying who delivered what. I don't see
25 that in this document.
1 Q. I think that you've already said that the
2 multiple-rocket launchers that are in question were
3 never brought back to the Bratstvo factory, nor were
4 ever paid for. Is that correct?
5 A. Do I not know that they were paid for or
7 Q. Do you have any idea where those weapons
9 A. Judging by what we heard, they went off
10 towards Herzegovina or Croatia. I don't know exactly.
11 Q. Aside from the facts that we're speaking
12 about that go back to approximately the 20th of April,
13 1992, as far as you know, did the accused, Dario
14 Kordic, ever take other weapons from the Bratstvo
16 A. I know that Kordic came to Novi Travnik
17 municipality on several occasions and also to the
18 Bratstvo factory. I saw him several times coming in an
19 armoured vehicle up to the municipality where he held
20 meetings. This was an armoured bus. He also went to
21 the village of Margetici, which is in the immediate
22 vicinity of the Bratstvo factory. Then he would come
23 in a combat armoured vehicle.
24 Q. When Dario Kordic would come to Novi Travnik
25 and go to the Bratstvo factory to take weapons, as
1 you've just said, was he dressed in a uniform or was he
2 wearing civilian clothes?
3 A. As far as I can remember, I mostly saw
4 Mr. Kordic, at the beginning in the war, in military
5 uniform. If my office -- he would come to my office
6 wearing a military uniform and also on other
8 Q. Was he always accompanied by armed men?
9 A. When he came to my office, he was escorted by
10 men in camouflage military uniform, under arms. Also,
11 with him, Ignac Kostroman would come quite often.
12 Q. Thank you. Is it true, Witness P, that
13 around June of 1992, before the conflict broke out on
14 the 19th of June, that you and -- yourself and other
15 Muslim authorities of the municipality received
16 instructions from the HVO, according to which you were
17 to submit or, rather, you would subordinate yourself to
18 the authorities?
19 A. Yes. I saw that document personally in the
20 Grand cafe. It was Ilija Zuljevic who had the
21 document, and at the time he performed the function of
22 Minister for Veterans Affairs in the republican
23 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I heard from
24 colleagues in the HDZ of Novi Travnik that such demands
25 had been made.
1 Q. Were you told at the time that the request
2 for your submission came from Mate Boban?
3 A. I do not remember. I'm sure it came from
4 Mate Boban, but I do not recollect whose signature
5 appeared on that document, but I know it was from the
6 political and military leadership of Herceg-Bosna. In
7 those days, the two were melded together.
8 Q. You're speaking about the heading of the
9 document that was given to you by Mr. Zuljevic; is that
11 A. Yes. I saw that document, only he showed it
12 to me and he said that that was something that we had
13 to do, that we had to subordinate ourselves and place
14 ourselves under the command of the HVO.
15 Q. What did you answer when he spoke to you
16 about what the consequences of that kind of submission
17 would be, if such submission would take place?
18 A. I asked him whether he knew what that
19 document meant and what consequences it could have, and
20 I told him that it could only have the consequence of
21 bloodshed in Novi Travnik. He responded that it was an
22 order that had to be carried out into practice.
23 Q. This Minister Zuljevic that you're speaking
24 about, was he himself a member of the Croatian party,
25 the HDZ?
1 A. Certainly he was a member of the HDZ. That
2 is my conclusion, as he was a Minister on behalf of the
4 Q. Witness P, a little bit later, around the
5 middle of May, 1992, after the HVO had taken over power
6 in Busovaca, were you sent to Busovaca yourself at the
7 request of Mr. Efendic and Mr. Jahic, who told you that
8 you should speak with Dario Kordic and find out what
9 happened in Busovaca? Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. That is exactly what happened.
11 Q. So you went to Busovaca, and on that day your
12 vehicle was stopped at an HVO checkpoint near Kaonik,
13 around the Mediapan factory; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. That is exactly what happened. I went
15 in a red Golf vehicle with a driver and the vehicle was
16 stopped at the checkpoint. It was a barricade really,
17 at the place named Kaonik, at the bridge across the
18 Lasva River, near the Mediapan factory.
19 Q. On that day, you didn't have an appointment
20 with the accused, Dario Kordic; is that correct?
21 A. No. I did not have a scheduled appointment
22 with Dario Kordic, but I hoped that he would receive us
23 once we explained why we came to Busovaca.
24 Q. On two occasions you spoke to one or two
25 other people; is that correct? Did you speak together?
1 A. I only had a driver with me, the person who
2 drove me.
3 Q. Going back to that checkpoint that was near
4 the Mediapan factory, could you tell us in a few words
5 what happened during the check and how the soldiers
6 received you and then contacted the Tisovac centre?
7 A. We were stopped in a very rude way. When I
8 showed my personal ID and I asked to be received by
9 Mr. Kordic, I heard a voice coming through the radio.
10 They said, "Send the Turk over here," and they swore my
11 mother, and "so we can cut his throat." Then the
12 soldier said that Dario Kordic would guarantee that if
13 I passed through.
14 Q. Were you able to hear those words clearly,
15 because you were very close to the person who was
16 holding the radio?
17 A. It was very, very clear. I was outside, and
18 I was standing next to the soldiers, and I heard this
19 being said.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you were
21 authorised to go to the Tisovac Hotel, which at that
22 point -- where Dario Kordic was, and that hotel is
23 outside of Busovaca; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, I was allowed to come to the Hotel
25 Tisovac, and after I waited for a period of time, Dario
1 Kordic appeared with Ignac Kostroman. They were both
2 wearing military uniforms.
3 Q. Both of them were wearing uniforms; is that
4 what you're saying?
5 A. Yes, they were both wearing uniforms, and
6 there was some kind of a headquarters there. I
7 remember that there were a lot of soldiers there. I
8 know that there was some bulldozer or some earth mover,
9 so there was some earth being moved around there.
10 Q. During the meeting that you had with the
11 accused Dario Kordic and Ignac Kostroman, did they
12 explain to you that what was going on in Busovaca had
13 happened because of an order which had been issued,
14 according to which the Muslims had to subordinate
15 themselves to the HVO, the Croats in Busovaca, and that
16 the order had to be implemented, and that in addition
17 there were a few extremist Muslims who wanted to
18 prejudice the Croats in Busovaca? In any case, that's
19 how they explained the take-over of power by the Croats
20 in May of 1992?
21 A. Yes, that's exactly what the explanation was
22 of the political and military situation in the town of
23 Busovaca. All Bosniaks were then expelled from the
24 government, and all the institutions of the Republic of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina were purged of all Bosniaks by
1 the civilian government and the military government and
2 all the institutions which were joined at the time.
3 Q. Did Dario Kordic and Mr. Kostroman make any
4 other comments about possible coexistence of the
5 Muslims and Croats in the municipal institutions of the
6 Herceg-Bosna Community?
7 A. This was really in dispute at the time. They
8 insisted on the establishment of the Herceg-Bosna
9 government, and later things would be as they would
10 turn out to be.
11 Q. Did they expressly tell you, on the day that
12 you met with them, they could no longer accept a joint
13 authority with the Muslims in the Croatian Community of
15 A. They insisted that the HZ-HB be implemented
16 with all its institutions, and nobody paid any
17 attention to what was going to happen to the Bosniaks.
18 Q. Did you have a discussion with the accused
19 Kostroman [sic] which lasted for about an hour?
20 A. Yes, somewhere around there. I believe that
21 it may have lasted for about an hour. I know that they
22 were busy, that they had other duties, they had other
23 meetings; that is what they said. And so we stayed
24 there for about one hour and then we parted.
25 After my visit to Tisovac, on that same day,
1 I visited a man called Husein Hadzimejlic, who at the
2 time was in a position of the TO staff. I went to his
3 home in Busovaca and told him everything that happened,
4 that the Bosniaks were practically removed from all
5 institutions of power, and he was scared and confused.
6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: I'd like to correct
7 something, if you allow me to, Mr. President. Let me
8 point out, the question that I asked, reference is made
9 to "the accused Kostroman"; I think I was referring to
10 the accused Dario Kordic and Kostroman.
11 Q. Witness P, still in May 1992, on the 28th of
12 May, 1992, specifically, was a new team put into place
13 in the municipality of Novi Travnik?
14 A. I saw this document at the centre for
15 information and alert. That was the centre under my --
16 which was in my competence, under my authority, and I
17 saw that this document was signed by Dario Kordic. I
18 remember that Zvonimir Grahovac was there; he was the
19 president. The vice-president -- I cannot recall
20 exactly who the vice-president was. I know that Zlatan
21 Civcija was head of the MUP, and the Department of
22 Information and Propaganda was Marinko Marelja, the
23 owner of the Grand Cafe. I was in a position to see
24 all the names, I think about nine persons altogether,
25 and no Bosniak was among them.
1 Q. A little bit later, on the 19th of June,
2 1992, Witness P, did you have meetings during the day
3 with political and military representatives on the
4 Muslim side, among whom were Mr. Saban Imamovic, and
5 during the meetings, did you meet with the
6 representatives of the Croatian side, that is, Mr. Jozo
7 Sekic, Mr. Marinko Marelja, and could you speak to us
8 briefly about what took place during those two meetings
9 on the 19th of June, 1992?
10 A. Yes, in the morning we held a meeting with
11 the president of the HDZ. At the same time, he was the
12 president of the presidency of the Novi Travnik
13 municipality, so this body had been established by the
14 laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We met with him as
15 both the president of the HDZ and the municipal
16 assembly, so the political top, Croatian top of Novi
17 Travnik who were there. But we were unable to reach
18 any agreements as a result of this meeting. I
19 attempted to call the next meeting with Zvonimir
20 Grahovac, and he agreed to another meeting around 5.30
21 in the afternoon.
22 Meanwhile, between these two meetings, I
23 received information from Refik Lendo, the TO commander
24 at the time, that we had received an ultimatum, and I
25 heard it then directly from Marinko Marelja that if we
1 did not militarily subordinate ourselves to the HVO,
2 that we would be militarily defeated and that the HVO
3 authority in Novi Travnik would be established.
4 Q. During those meetings at the Workers' Centre
5 in the city of Novi Travnik, the headquarters of the TO
6 was attacked; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is exactly what happened. About 20
8 minutes into the meeting, we could hear shooting in
9 town, and that was the attack on the TO headquarters,
10 which was next to the police headquarters in Novi
11 Travnik, practically next door.
12 Q. Is it true that you were also able to hear
13 that there were loudspeakers set up in the city being
14 used by the HVO over which the HVO said that orders
15 from the Muslim authorities had been given to
17 A. Yes, that is exactly what happened. The TO
18 units were then called to subordinate themselves to the
19 HVO. The HVO could do so because they had taken over
20 the centre for information, and he was -- the head of
21 the centre was a Croat.
22 Q. Did you, yourself, check with the military
23 command in Zenica, that's with General Merdan, that the
24 order had never been issued, and, in fact, that it was
25 false information?
1 A. Yes, I checked that with General Merdan, who
2 at that time was the commander of the regional staff of
3 the Territorial Defence, and he told me that he was
4 asking for an urgent cessation of hostility without any
5 preconditions, and this is what I then transmitted.
6 Q. Did you then refuse to transmit the order to
7 the Territorial Defence to surrender, and later on
8 during that evening, while you were still at the
9 Workers' Centre, you saw the chief of police arriving,
10 Mr. Zlatan Civcija, who was accompanied by the person
11 whose name was Ivo Skocibusic, who was known as Suse,
12 and who was the chief of the HOS in Novi Travnik, and
13 they were themselves escorted by a group of HVO
14 soldiers; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is exactly what happened. Zlatan
16 Civcija, as chief of police in Novi Travnik, came, and
17 with him was Ivo Skocibusic, also known as Suse, and I
18 heard them asking to see me in person. None of the
19 Croatian negotiators came to our aid, to protect us,
20 and they came and arrested us.
21 Q. Did they hit you at that point?
22 A. Yes, at the time, I was also hit. I was
23 kicked and hit with hands by soldiers who were there,
24 and they were led by this Suse. And also a knife was
25 placed under my throat, and they said, "This is now the
1 Ustasha authority. You have no more life, and we will
2 do the same to you as Chetniks are doing to Visegrad."
3 And they also said, "We will kill you with bullets, we
4 will hang you, and this will all happen to you now."
5 And I said, "This only happens once."
6 Q. After you were assaulted in that way, did you
7 speak with the HOS chief and some of the soldiers at
8 the Cafe Grand, whose owner was Marinko Marelja?
9 A. I don't know where the chief of police,
10 Civcija, disappeared, but Suse and a group of policemen
11 pushed me into a car. I don't know what make of a car,
12 but I know that there were five or six of them, and
13 they took me to the Grand Cafe, and while we were
14 driving, they made threats to me.
15 Then, when we came to the Grand Cafe, this
16 Suse brought me out of the car and pushed me into the
17 Grand Cafe. He hit me and said, "Get in, you pig."
18 And he hit me here [indicates], and I still suffer from
19 the consequences of this hit above the eye.
20 I know that there were a number of the
21 Croatian government there. Marinko Marelja, Civcija,
22 Anto Zlatic, who was there without portfolio, as it
23 were. So there were a number of people from the HVO
24 government, and I think I mentioned four.
25 Q. Is it true that while you were at the Grand
1 Cafe, one of the soldiers put his pistol into your
2 mouth and joked around with you?
3 A. Yes. When they brought me to the Grand Cafe,
4 I did not know what was going on. I know that one of
5 the soldiers who had a camouflage uniform -- he was
6 called Drazan; he was from Duvno or Tomislavgrad -- he
7 put a pistol to me and cursed me, and he said, "Where
8 are all the TO units? Where is Refik Lendo, the
9 commander?" I know that Civcija and Marelja said that
10 I had insisted on the legality of the BH government,
11 and they cynically said, "Why doesn't President
12 Izetbegovic help you now, and the presidents of the
14 I stayed there for a while, in these
15 circumstances, and then Marinko Marelja took me to a
16 room which was on the premises of this cafe. It was a
17 storage room. I spent the night there, until 9.00 next
19 Q. Were you locked up in that room?
20 A. No. I could not leave that room. I was
21 locked in it.
22 Q. Is it true that during that same night of the
23 19th of June, 1992, another representative of the
24 Muslim delegation in Novi Travnik, Mr. Ragib Zukic, was
25 also assaulted by members of the HVO?
1 A. Yes, that is correct. I thought that this
2 person actually had expired that night from the force
3 of the blows that he received. He spent the night on
4 the floor, but I saw him several days later. He was
5 all black and blue. When he was on the floor, he was
6 gurgling, and I thought that this was the -- the
7 gurgling that comes at the time when somebody is
9 Q. On the day we're speaking about, that is, the
10 19th of June, the individual whose name was Ivo
11 Skocibusic, the head of the HOS, was wearing a black
12 uniform and the others were wearing camouflage
13 uniforms; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that is true. I know that Skocibusic
15 was wearing a black uniform all the time.
16 Q. Were you released the next morning,
17 Witness P, and then taken to the Kasapovici sector,
18 that is, the regional HVO commander, Mr. Filip
19 Filipovic, who was the one who took you there; is that
20 correct, to Kasapovici?
21 A. Yes, a man by the name of Filip Filipovic
22 took me there, and I don't know what post he held at
23 the time. He first took me to my parents', and then he
24 took me to the village of Kasapovici.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, if you're
1 moving on now to a different topic, that might be a
2 convenient time.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for a quarter
6 of an hour.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.55
8 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Witness P, I would like us to go back to the
11 conflict of June 1992. Is it true that during that
12 conflict, about ten soldiers from Busovaca were
13 captured by the TO defence forces near the firemen's
14 station in Novi Travnik and you were able to see them?
15 A. Yes. That is correct. I personally saw
17 Q. Could you tell us what the circumstances of
18 your meeting with those soldiers was and where it took
20 A. I met them in the afternoon in the village of
21 Trenica, after a joint effort on the part of Croats and
22 the Bosniak Muslims to calm down the passions. I came
23 to talk to them and they then told me that they had
24 been sent from Busovaca to the Novi Travnik area.
25 Q. Did you yourself speak with those soldiers?
1 A. Yes. I personally talked to them, and they
2 also said that they were sent by Dario Kordic to Novi
3 Travnik, and this is why they were there. They were
4 all scared. Then they were released. They were kept
5 in some kind of general store or maybe it was some kind
6 of a cultural centre in that village, I don't know
8 Q. Thank you. Witness P, on several occasions
9 you spoke about an individual whose name is Marinko
10 Marelja, and you said that he was the owner of the
11 Grand cafe where you were held for a night, and that he
12 had responsibilities in the municipality where he was
13 in charge of propaganda and information within the new
14 municipality which had been set up in May, that is, the
15 19th of May, 1992; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. That is correct. He was in charge of
17 information and propaganda, and he was a deputy,
18 elected in the elections of 1990. Until then he was
19 the president of a commission for appointments in the
20 municipality at the local level.
21 Q. Was he an active member of the HDZ party?
22 A. Yes. From what I know, he was an active
23 member of the HDZ party.
24 Q. Witness P, I'm going to show you a document.
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I can tell
1 the Trial Chamber that this document was previously
2 admitted already. It is Z223.
3 Q. Could you tell us, Witness P, after you've
4 looked at the first page, this is a document which is
5 dated 22 September, 1992, which was drafted in Busovaca
6 at the Central Bosnia headquarters, and which deals
7 with excerpts from the meetings of various Croat
8 representatives in Central Bosnia.
9 On the first page is a list of those people
10 who participated in the meeting. Do you see the page
11 I'm speaking about?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Could you tell us, under the section dealing
14 with the municipality of Novi Travnik, who those
15 individuals were who represented the city?
16 A. I see Marinko Marelja, vice-president of the
17 Novi Travnik HVO. So this was some kind of a new
18 appointment following the one in May of 1992. The
19 president of the HVO was Jozo Sekic and Marinko was his
20 deputy, and this is how he is titled here. There was
21 also Jozo Sekic, who was the president of the HVO of
23 Q. In the B/C/S version of the document that you
24 have, the name "Jozo Sekic" appears. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I see him there. He's listed as the
1 president of the HVO Novi Travnik, and Marinko Marelja
3 Q. The name was left out on the English
4 document. So my question is: The person that you
5 spoke to us about, Marinko Marelja, was that the same
6 person who appears as the representative of the Novi
7 Travnik municipality on the document that you are
8 looking at?
9 A. Yes. That is the only person by that name,
10 Marinko Marelja, in Novi Travnik.
11 Q. Could you review the second page of the
12 document, Witness P? The first paragraph of page 2
13 deals with the municipality of Novi Travnik. Could you
14 read the passage quickly and make a few comments to us
15 about the report that was made about the events or the
16 situation in the municipality of Novi Travnik?
17 A. "It is estimated that the HVO hold about
18 70 per cent authority while the Muslims hold about 30
19 per cent. The question of special purposes production
20 has to be urgently resolved. After an earlier
21 confrontation with the Muslims the situation is tense
22 but fairly peaceful. Recently the Croats have moved
23 into about 400 apartments which were abandoned by Serbs
24 without any coercion by the Croats but out of fear of
1 Now let me comment on this first section, if
2 I may, right away.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, before we do
4 that, what is the relevance of this? We have heard
5 evidence about Novi Travnik, quite extensive evidence
6 about the conflict there.
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I was
8 hoping that the witness, who had certain
9 responsibilities in that municipality, could give us
10 his opinion, but if you consider that it's not
11 necessary, we can just move on.
12 JUDGE MAY: Let's go on to the events that
13 you deal with on pages 6 and 7 of the summary.
14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness P, in July 1992 you were a
16 participant -- well, leave aside the other document.
17 We're going to speak about other things.
18 In July 1992, you participated in other
19 meetings with the HDZ and HVO representatives in Novi
20 Travnik, who again said to you that they wanted the
21 Muslims in the municipality to be subordinate to the
22 Herceg-Bosna authorities; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. That is correct. We refused this and
24 requested to see what type of a model of a joint life
25 we would be offered, but we asked that a platform of
1 organisation be presented to us. This was the HZ-HB's
2 own proposal, and we wanted to see what they had to
3 offer but we never did. We didn't receive anything.
4 Q. I'm going to show you a document dated 7th of
5 July, 1992. Please look at it and tell us whether the
6 document relates to the events that you are speaking
7 about. That is Z165-1, 165-1. That is a new
9 A. This is the document.
10 Q. You signed an agreement with Mr. Jozo Sekic,
11 who had asked you to make proposals about how the HVO
12 conceived of this joint authority.
13 A. Not an agreement. This was a public
14 notification and that a platform would be proffered,
15 prepared in accordance with the concept of the HZ-HB,
16 and that is what I have already stated.
17 Q. So you never reached an agreement with the
18 HDZ-HVO authorities; is that correct?
19 A. No. We received this prepared platform which
20 contained the model of the administrative structure in
21 accordance with the HZ-HB concepts. Of course, we
22 turned it down. We wanted something that was not
23 forced upon us by the other ethnic group. We were
24 looking for a compromise.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I would
2 like to say, in passing, that this document, which has
3 the witness's name, should also be covered by
4 protective measures.
5 Q. Moving forward a little bit, in August of
6 1992 you were able to participate in celebrations, in a
7 rally, that was organised by the Croats and which took
8 place in front of the municipal building, where you saw
9 many soldiers who had come to take an oath in front of
10 the building.
11 A. Yes, that is how it was.
12 Q. The accused Dario Kordic was present during
13 the rally. You saw him in a camouflage uniform and he
14 made a speech; is that right?
15 A. Yes. That is correct. I saw him, and met
16 him, and we exchanged greetings, and later on we sat at
17 the hotel in Novi Travnik.
18 Q. Is it true that during the speech the accused
19 mentioned both the restructuring of the HVO and also
20 stated that Novi Travnik would soon be Croatian?
21 A. Yes, precisely. Reference was made to the
22 development of the HVO and to the fact that Novi
23 Travnik would soon be taken by the Croats and that it
24 would be a Croatian town.
25 Q. Do you remember whether on that day the
1 accused Dario Kordic was escorted by a specific group
2 of soldiers?
3 A. I don't know how he came to Novi Travnik,
4 Dario Kordic, but I know that at this ceremony, when
5 Croatian soldiers were taking an oath in front of the
6 municipality building in Novi Travnik, but I know that
7 a unit was present, like a honorary escort, which I
8 was told was a unit of Jokers from Busovaca, that they
9 were Dario's unit. I know that those young men
10 reminded me of the young men I saw in Trenica, in the
11 fire station, who were arrested there. They were all
12 rather short and wearing military uniform.
13 Q. During the rally in Novi Travnik in August,
14 there was also Marinko Marelja, whom we spoke about
15 previously; Tihomir Blaskic; and the individual whose
16 name was Ivo Skocibusic, the man who had hit you a
17 little while earlier; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, exactly. And that man wanted to say
19 hello to me. I refused, because I wanted at least an
20 apology from him for what he had done to me
22 Q. This Ivo Skocibusic, also known as Suse, did
23 he also make a speech after Dario Kordic on that day?
24 A. I don't know the exact order, but I know that
25 Dario Kordic and Suse held speeches.
1 Q. I would like to show you a document,
2 Witness P, simply in order to try and situate the date
3 that you're speaking to us about. This is a new
4 document, reference Z191-1.
5 Witness P, the document is dated 18th of
6 August, 1992. It comes from Colonel Blaskic, and it
7 deals with ceremonies of swearing in.
8 In paragraph 2, under (b), it says that the
9 ceremony would take place in Novi Travnik on the 23rd
10 of August, 1992. Is the date the one which corresponds
11 with the facts that you're speaking to us about?
12 A. I think that was the date that corresponds to
13 the event I was referring to.
14 Q. After the ceremony, Witness P, is it true
15 that the soldiers who had participated spread out in
16 the city and started to shoot?
17 A. Yes, that is what they did. The soldiers
18 were shooting from different kinds of weapons in town,
19 and the smell of gunpowder could be felt throughout the
20 town, gunpowder and smoke.
21 Q. In October 1992, that is, the 19th of
22 October, 1992 to be exact, you were not in Novi Travnik
23 when the second conflict broke out; is that correct?
24 A. No, it was Friday, the 16th of October, when
25 I went to Split from Zagreb, and I was away on that
1 trip until -- the 18th was Sunday, 19th Monday. At
2 half past 3.00, I left Split towards Novi Travnik.
3 Q. In order to be able to leave the city of Novi
4 Travnik and to travel to Croatia, you had to receive a
5 special permit from the HVO, didn't you?
6 A. Certainly. It was not possible to leave
7 without that pass, and I had to get that pass from
8 Marinko Marelja. I received it after a great deal of
9 persuasion. And that applied to all Bosniaks; I think
10 it was much easier for Croats. We all had to have
11 those passes in order to able to move about.
12 Q. When you came back to Novi Travnik after your
13 trip, you mentioned to those people who were there in
14 the conflict about what had happened. Did people speak
15 to you during those conversations about the role the
16 accused Dario Kordic allegedly played during that
17 second conflict?
18 MR. STEIN: Excuse me, I object, Your
19 Honour. That would be maybe hearsay -- bad word--
20 unreliable, because we don't know the source of the
21 people, the context, and their basis for making these
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, if you would
24 like to lay the foundation, please.
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Witness P, did you see a document,
2 specifically a video document, in which the accused
3 appeared during the conflict?
4 A. I said that on the 18th, I was in Zagreb, and
5 on the 24th, on the Saturday, I reached Novi Travnik.
6 I saw what had happened, but I also received a
7 videocassette on which I saw Dario Kordic at the hotel
8 in Novi Travnik requesting the immediate arrest of
9 Refik Lendo, for him to be tried, and he was the
10 commander in Novi Travnik at the time.
11 Q. During the conflict in October, did you
12 notice that the Muslims in the city had been killed,
13 that property belonging to Muslims had been destroyed
14 by soldiers of the Novi Travnik municipality, but also
15 by soldiers who came from outside that municipality?
16 A. Yes. After entering the town, I passed
17 through the town and was able to see burnt and
18 destroyed property, houses, businesses, apartments, of
19 Bosniaks, Muslims. Among others, I saw some of my
20 relatives' houses; they had been killed. And
21 everything looked like something that consisted of
22 ashes alone. All the houses had been burnt down --
23 that is, those under Croatian control. And I heard
24 from many people who were there at the time that there
25 were units present from all parts of Central Bosnia,
1 Croatian units. From my relative's business premises,
2 everything was taken away on a truck, and it was taken
3 to Busovaca, and he was killed on the spot.
4 Q. Witness P, I'm going to show you a document
5 dated 5 November, 1992. This is a new document, and
6 it's reference Z268-A, and 268 for the version in
8 Witness P, the document is another one which
9 comes from Colonel Blaskic. In the first part -- that
10 is, the first paragraph of the document -- there is an
11 order which is given to the HVO authorities in Novi
12 Travnik that measures be taken so that houses belonging
13 to well-known individual Muslims no longer be set on
15 A. This document is certainly a good one, if
16 only it had been issued before the conflict in
17 October. But to be issued after that is rather ironic,
18 after everything that could be destroyed had been
20 Q. Witness P, as far as you know, were the
21 perpetrators of the murders that you spoke about, or
22 the robberies and destruction, were they punished by
23 the HVO authorities?
24 A. I'm not aware that any one of them was
25 arrested, punished, or convicted for what he had done.
1 Q. Witness P, in December 1992, you participated
2 in further negotiations with the HVO representatives.
3 The negotiations had as their objectives to calm down
4 the tensions within the municipality and possibly to
5 set up a unified military command; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, indeed. These were fresh efforts on our
7 part to try and do something that would be satisfactory
8 for both peoples, to set up some kind of an authority
9 that would be accountable to both, to set up civilian
10 structures and proper organisation of authority. That
11 is what we could do as far as our possibilities
13 Q. Were there several meetings whose purpose was
14 to set up this organ that you've just spoken about, and
15 during the meetings, is it true that once again, the
16 individual named Marinko Marelja was the representative
17 of the Croatian authorities, the one who was the most
19 A. Yes. Upon entering the municipality
20 building, or the office where I used to sit, there was
21 a man called Marinko Marelja who said, "I am now the
22 representative of the authorities. What can I do for
24 There were three of us. We sat down, talked
25 to him. I don't remember whether there was anyone with
1 him. Usually he would be alone, and negotiate by
2 himself, because that was his nature. I know that
3 Mr. Slobodan Praljak came in that period. I also know
4 that Tihomir Blaskic would be with him.
5 Q. Witness P, do you know where General Slobodan
6 Praljak came from?
7 A. According to what I know, Slobodan Praljak
8 had come from Croatia, and he was in the territory of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the areas of Travnik, Turbe, the
10 lines against the Serb aggressor at the time, so he was
11 touring those lines and carrying out other tasks that
12 he had. I know that I came across him there in Marinko
13 Marelja's office, both him and Tihomir Blaskic.
14 Q. This General Praljak, was he a general who
15 came from the Croatian army? Do we agree about that?
16 A. From Croatia. I later saw him on Croatian
17 television, and I think that he was Brigadier General
18 Slobodan Praljak. I know he wore a beard. He was tall
19 and well built.
20 Q. You again spoke about Marinko Marelja. Do
21 you know whether this Mr. Marinko Marelja had any kind
22 of friendly connections with the accused Dario Kordic?
23 A. Very frequently I sat with them in his cafe
24 called Grand. Sometimes -- we would always sit
25 together in the municipality building of Novi Travnik.
1 Q. Did you see them together on several
2 occasions in Novi Travnik?
3 A. Yes, certainly, I saw them together often.
4 We would have coffee together, all three of us. I
5 would be with them and with other people.
6 Q. Is it true that this Mr. Marinko Marelja
7 participated in the funding of Anto Valenta's book on
8 the partition of Bosnia and the transfer of
10 A. Marinko Marelja told me personally that he
11 participated in the financing of the book and in the
12 drafting of the book. In fact, it says in the book
13 that he was one of the persons who financed it.
14 I also heard in town that he was one of the
15 people who organised the departure of Serbs from Novi
16 Travnik via Busovaca and Kiseljak, two areas under Serb
17 control. That is what I heard. I don't have any
18 personal experience about it, but I heard a story that
19 a very large convoy of people were stopped at the
20 crossroads in front of Novi Travnik at
21 the Travnik/Sarajevo road --
22 JUDGE MAY: I think we can do without the
23 stories. We will try and concentrate on evidence.
24 Mr. Lopez-Terres, we must finish at 5.00. We
25 ought to get through the witness's evidence in chief
1 before then, so perhaps we could move on.
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Very well,
3 Your Honour.
4 Q. During the first months of 1993, life was
5 very difficult for Muslims in Novi Travnik, Witness P.
6 There were two distinct areas in the city, one under
7 the control of the HVO and an area where the Muslims
8 lived, and at the time it was said that the Muslims
9 were beaten, they were thrown out of their homes, and
10 that there were also rapes of Muslim women; is that
12 A. Yes, that was a period of divisions and
13 checkpoints in town. And throughout Central Bosnia,
14 Croats mostly controlled their areas whereas the
15 Bosniaks kept to their own areas. I know that it was
16 impossible for the Muslims, this whole period from the
17 New Year until March or April 1993. It was unbearable
18 for the Muslims. There was mistreatment, evictions,
19 persecution, killings, also in that period. I know by
20 name certain people who were killed in that period.
21 Q. During that period that we're speaking about,
22 the crimes that you have mentioned involved various
23 units. There was the local brigade, which was the
24 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, and there was another one
25 that came from the outside, made up of soldiers who
1 were members of the Bruno Busic Brigade; is that
3 A. In town at the time, there were very many
4 people from Herzegovina. They were known, the
5 Hercegovci, who came with their equipment, soldiers in
6 uniform, who belonged, as far as I know, to a brigade
7 called Bruno Busic. Then in Novi Travnik there was the
8 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, and as far as I can
9 recollect, the commander of the HVO in those days was
10 Mr. Mario Cerkez. I think I came across him at least
11 twice at meetings held in that period in an attempt to
12 prevent certain things from happening.
13 Q. Were you able to see that the soldiers who
14 had come from Herzegovina had as their main
15 responsibility terrorising the Muslim population?
16 A. Our entire people felt this, that these were
17 people who had come from there and who were terrorising
18 them. And anyway, this was accepted by both the
19 political and military leaders of Novi Travnik. For
20 instance, when the Herzegovinians were supposed to go
21 to a meeting held on the 13th of January, 1993, I know
22 that President Jozo Sekic said that the Herzegovinians
23 could not leave Novi Travnik because they hadn't
24 finished the job they had come to do.
25 Q. A final question, Witness P: During the
1 conversations and meetings that you had with the
2 representatives of the HVO of your municipality,
3 whether it was Mr. Cerkez or Mr. Marelja, did they tell
4 you whether they were obliged to speak with the accused
5 Dario Kordic during the negotiations?
6 A. I know that certain gentlemen said very
7 frequently that they didn't dare do anything without
8 their commander in Central Bosnia. In those days it
9 was Dario Kordic who held the key role in the area of
10 Central Bosnia. And very frequently the responsibility
11 would be shifted onto him, that they couldn't do
12 anything or were not allowed to do anything. That is
13 what they said. Whether that was so, I don't know.
14 That was the general impression.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I have
16 finished with the direct examination, Mr. President. I
17 have no further questions.
18 JUDGE MAY: Witness P, you said then
19 " ... that certain gentlemen said very frequently that
20 they didn't dare do anything without their commander in
21 Central Bosnia."
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE MAY: I'm just going to make a note.
24 You then went on to say: "In those days it
25 was Dario Kordic who held the key role ... and very
1 frequently the responsibility would be shifted on to
2 him, that they couldn't do anything or were not allowed
3 to do anything. That is what they said."
4 A. Yes, those were the answers I was given very
6 JUDGE MAY: When you say "certain gentlemen"
7 gave you those answers, can you tell us who it was or
8 what type of people or category of people were saying
9 this to you?
10 A. By way of an example, the president of the
11 municipality of the HDZ, Jozo Sekic; or somebody who
12 was a member of the HVO authorities, Anto Zlatunic; or
13 Zoran Matosevic, who was secretary for defence at the
14 time .... me.
15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We'll adjourn now.
16 Would you be back, please, Witness P, tomorrow at half
17 past 9.00 to conclude your evidence.
18 Would you remember not to speak to anybody
19 about your evidence until it's over and, of course,
20 don't let anyone speak to you about it. That includes
21 members of the Prosecution.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 4.57 p.m., to be reconvened on
24 Wednesday, the 22nd day of September,
25 1999 at 9.30 a.m.