1 Tuesday, 28th September, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.11 p.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the
6 Prosecutor versus Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
9 Mr. President, I would like to ask for a private
10 session, because the witness who is going to testify
11 this afternoon has asked for protective measures, and a
12 request to that effect has been submitted to you on the
13 23rd of September.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Is there any objection?
15 The application is for a pseudonym and --
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes, and
17 facial distortion.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] We have no
19 objection, Your Honours, if it's a private session.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll make the
22 [Private session]
10 [The witness entered court]
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE MAY: Sorry to keep you. If you would
13 like to take the declaration, please.
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
17 WITNESS: WITNESS Q
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
20 seat. Very well.
21 The pseudonym is --
22 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym for this
23 witness will be Witness Q.
24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
25 The legal officer, please.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
4 Mr. President, could we for a moment remain in private
5 session when referring to questions which provide
6 information on the identification of the witness? That
7 will be very brief.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness Q, while performing your duties in
12 the police station of Novi Travnik, when you returned
13 there, your superior was of Croat ethnicity, and his
14 name was Zlatan Civcija?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In the spring of 1992, you saw Mr. Zlatan
17 Civcija wearing a camouflage uniform and HVO insignia
18 and coming to the police station?
19 A. Yes, quite so, though this was not
20 customary. I think that he was the first among the
21 policemen to start going to work, that is, coming to
22 the police station in a camouflage uniform while
23 everyone else wore blue uniforms of the civilian
25 Q. On the 19th of June, 1992, the police station
1 where you were working, together with your Croatian
2 colleagues, was attacked, as well as the headquarters
3 of the Territorial Defence in Novi Travnik?
4 A. Yes, because the TO headquarters and the
5 police station premises were actually in one and the
6 same building.
7 Q. Following this attack by HVO forces, you and
8 your colleagues of Muslim ethnicity left the station,
9 where you were no longer allowed to work?
10 A. Yes. We relocated to other premises,
11 actually to the premises of the kindergarten, so we
12 moved out of the so-called lower part of the city
13 which, after all this, was under the control of the
15 Q. As of this first conflict which happened in
16 June 1992, you saw, coming to the police station,
17 Muslims from Novi Travnik who came regularly to
18 complain either because they were robbed or exposed to
19 violence by members of the HVO and the HOS; is that
21 A. Yes. People would come who had any kind of
22 problems. The most frequent complaints were incursions
23 by men in uniform, belonging to the HVO and the HOS,
24 into their apartments. All they could do was complain,
25 and these complaints of theirs were registered in the
1 form of official reports in our police station at the
3 Q. This collection of complaints continued
4 throughout the second half of 1992 and throughout 1993?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I'm going to show you now some documents,
7 Witness Q, to ask you to look at them and to comment on
8 them. The documents have reference number Z1963,1 and
9 Z1963,12. Do you have the document 1963,1 before you?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. This document is, indeed, a record written by
12 you, is it not, on the 10th of June, 1993?
13 A. Yes, it is a -- if I may add, it is an
14 official note compiled in connection with the expulsion
15 of Muslims from the lower part of the town, that is,
16 the part that was under the control of the HVO at the
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I think
19 there's no point in showing the document on the ELMO
20 because it bears the name of the witness.
21 Q. I should now like to ask you to look through
22 the other documents, Exhibit number 1963,12. There are
23 about 40 notes on offences drawn up by the Novi Travnik
24 police station.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Have you been able to look through these
2 documents quickly? Do you recognise those documents as
3 being issued by the police station that you belonged to
4 at the time, the one that had to move after 19 June,
6 A. Yes, I do recognise the documents. They are
7 mostly official notes compiled by officials of the
8 police, police officers, on the basis of complaints by
9 citizens, mostly having to do with their expulsion and
10 their harassment by members of the HVO. That was a way
11 for us to document each of these events, of course,
12 those that were reported to us, though I believe there
13 were many more that were never reported to anyone.
14 Q. Some of these reports bear the signature of
15 the investigator, such as, for example, a report signed
16 by Mr. Enver Hodzic or by Mr. Semin Kalbic. Were they
17 colleagues from your police station?
18 A. Yes, these were colleagues. Enver Hodzic
19 worked in the criminal police of the Public Security
20 Station in Novi Travnik, and Semin Kalbic also worked
21 as a criminal technician at the time, though he also
22 performed other police duties.
23 Q. Several of these reports do not bear any name
24 of the person who drafted them but simply a wording --
25 simply the words "Authorised Official" is indicated.
1 Could you explain this to us, what it means?
2 A. Yes. This was frequent because the relocated
3 police station was virtually on the very front line, so
4 many policemen, for this reason, did not sign these
5 reports because one didn't know under whose control
6 that same station might be the very next day, the
7 police station.
8 The other reason is that this kind of keeping
9 records of a criminal offence or an act has the same
10 validity with the judicial bodies. What is important
11 is the act itself and not the signature.
12 Q. In most of these reports, the perpetrators,
13 whether they are robberies, forced expulsions, or
14 harassment, are often described as being masked. Could
15 you explain that for us, please?
16 A. Yes. In these official notes, it is stated,
17 as was in fact the case, that perpetrators used to
18 coexist with their neighbours, Bosniaks, so they could
19 be readily recognised by the victims, to call them
20 that. On the other hand, the effect was greater on
21 those victims, forcing them to leave their apartments.
22 Q. In one of these reports, appearing in the
23 pile of documents submitted to you, dated the 28th of
24 January, 1993, reference is made to a robbery carried
25 out in the premises of Mr. Ragib Zukic. It is a
1 document on page 27 in the English version and 27 in
2 the Bosniak version as well, Z1963.12, page 27.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. It is stated in this report that Mr. Ragib
5 Zukic had to swallow and drink detergent. Was that a
6 normal practice? You didn't hear my question?
7 A. No, I didn't get the translation.
8 Q. Let me rephrase it. In this note that you
9 have in front of you, it is stated that the victim,
10 Mr. Ragib Zukic, had to swallow detergent, that he was
11 forced to do so on the part of persons who appeared
12 there. Was this something normal? Did you have other
13 complaints of this kind?
14 A. I personally do not recall any other cases of
15 such abuse. All I can say is that these notes are
16 authentic, and I know Ragib Zukic personally. He was
17 once beaten up also as a member of a negotiating team;
18 I think it was on the 19th of October, 1992.
19 Q. This gentleman, Mr. Ragib Zukic, that you are
20 mentioning, he was a member of a Muslim commission that
21 was negotiating with the HVO on the 19th of October,
22 1992, at the Worker's Centre in Novi Travnik?
23 A. Yes, he was one of the members, and more or
24 less, all the citizens of Novi Travnik know that with
25 the president of the party, I think it was Salih
1 Krnjic, that he was beaten up in the Worker's Centre in
2 Novi Travnik.
3 Q. I should now like to ask you, before we
4 finish with these documents, to look at the last pages
5 of the pile that has been given to you, pages 37 to 40
6 of this document.
7 It appears, reading these notes on offences,
8 that on four of these, there are certain anomalies
9 regarding the dates. The document is dated the 25th of
10 January, and it says that the victim appeared on the
11 26th, for instance. On page 38, the document dated the
12 23rd of January says that the facts, that is, the fire
13 of the victim's house, occurred on the 20th of October,
14 1993, which means much later. Again, page 39, the
15 report is dated the 25th of November, 1992, and it says
16 that the event occurred on the 20th of January, 1992.
17 Can you give us some explanations regarding
18 these discrepancies with respect to the dates?
19 A. I think that this happened mostly due to
20 errors made by the policeman writing the official
21 reports. We have to bear in mind the period when these
22 reports were written, the position of the police
23 station itself on the very front line which was a daily
24 target of the HVO. So it is quite possible that such
25 mistakes can be made here and there, but I'm quite sure
1 that the contents of all these notes correspond to the
3 Q. If I understand you well, the discrepancies
4 that we have referred to are purely of a formal nature
5 due to the lack of concentration, which is
6 understandable, on the part of the person drafting
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. We have finished with these documents,
10 Mr. Witness, so, Mr. Usher, you can collect them.
11 We've finished with this document, but there will be
12 others to be shown to the witness.
13 In the period we're talking about, that is,
14 the end of 1992 and the first six months of 1993, did
15 you have occasion to see on television the accused
16 Dario Kordic?
17 A. I did, yes, on several occasions. I was able
18 to see him on television and hear various statements
19 that he made, which sounded rather like propaganda to
20 the effect that parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina inhabited
21 by Croats were Croatia, they were Croatia and will
22 remain Croatia, or words to that effect, and that is
23 how I remember his public statements.
24 Q. Could you recall, for the benefit of Their
25 Honours, the words spoken by the accused, as you have
1 just said?
2 A. I can -- it is difficult for me to recall any
3 further detail apart from what I have already said. I
4 remember that he often wore a camouflage uniform with
5 HVO patches. I never met him personally, however.
6 Q. Did he say on television that the Croatian
7 Community --
8 JUDGE MAY: No. Let the witness give the
9 evidence, please.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Very
12 Q. Did he speak about the Croatian Community of
13 Herceg-Bosna during these speeches on television?
14 A. Yes, he did. He spoke about the Croatian
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
16 Q. Do you remember what he said with reference
17 to that Croatian Community?
18 A. I do not.
19 Q. Thank you. You said that you did not know
20 Mr. Dario Kordic personally. Did you know the accused
21 Mario Cerkez?
22 A. No. I do not know them, because as I have
23 already said, I came to Bosnia just before the outbreak
24 of the war, so that I don't know many of the
22 (redacted) with
23 a reference number Z1963,7. Do you see that document?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You appear on the right-hand side of this
1 document, at the bottom?
2 A. Yes.
7 A. No, I was never a member of the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This must be a mistake in the
9 drafting. I think this was a uniform form of the HVO
10 of Novi Travnik, of the commission for exchange,
11 because at the bottom, where it says that the dead
12 bodies of civilians were received, I think it would be
13 more correct to say "-" rather than -- it should be "/"
14 rather than "-" after it says, "HVO Members -
16 Q. So this title of being a member of the BH
17 army was given to you by mistake by the HVO?
18 A. They could have put down whatever they
20 Q. We're going to talk about this exchange of
21 prisoners and bodies. These exchanges most frequently
22 took place in dangerous places and very close to the
23 front line, didn't they?
24 A. Yes, that was most frequently the case. It
25 was on the line of separation mostly and close to a
1 place called Trenica, which is close to the town of
2 Novi Travnik.
14 A. Lazine.
15 Q. I should now like to show you a document with
16 reference number 1963,3.
17 A. Yes.
22 Q. It is specified in this document that the
23 soldiers whose bodies were exchanged were mutilated and
24 tortured. Can you give us some more details regarding
25 the condition of these bodies of those soldiers?
1 A. As far as these soldiers are concerned, I
2 know that they were captured on the 29th of June when
3 the HVO attacked the village of Lazine. As usual, we
4 negotiated the exchange for these bodies. At first, we
5 had information that they had been captured alive, and
6 this surprised us a little, and we were surprised when
7 we were given them as dead during the exchange.
8 The exchange was carried out close to the
9 locality of Trenica in the Novi Travnik municipality.
10 As on previous occasions when there were exchanges, the
11 immediate family would usually identify the bodies
12 being exchanged, and a doctor found on the spot. In
13 this case, it was Dr. Suvad Grizic, who was also the
15 I personally did not look at the bodies being
16 exchanged because it was far from a pleasant sight,
17 because the stench was terrible, and also the reactions
18 of family members was terribly moving. If UNPROFOR
19 vehicles were used for transportation, I had to go back
20 to town quickly.
21 In this case, the coroner, Grizic, gave me a
22 detailed description of the condition of the exchanged
23 bodies, Muhamed Sahinovic, Hajdar Mujic, Enver
24 Omeragic, and Besim Omeragic, as is stated in this
1 I remember that according to what Muhamed
2 Sahinovic's brother told me, that is, Bakir Sahinovic,
3 the bodies were in some kind of nylon and they were
4 wet, and he had the impression that they had been
5 washed, the bodies had been washed, before being
6 exchanged. Later on, when Bakir transported his
7 brother Muhamed from the nylon to the grave, he noticed
8 that his underwear was red, soaked with blood, and that
9 a part was missing near the sex organ. In fact, half
10 of it had been cut off. That is what made me remember
11 this particular exchange.
12 Q. I should now like to show you another
13 document, that is, document 1963,11.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you get information from a
16 Mr. Ibrisimbegovic about a detention camp that was in
17 the Stojkovici region; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. This is my own official note, and it
19 was compiled after the talk with Safet Ibrisimbegovic
20 who was at the time imprisoned in the camp at
21 Stojkovici. This is one of the ways, as I have already
22 said, of how we documented certain reports pertaining
23 to the events that had taken place.
24 Q. According to the information which you
25 received from that Mr. Ibrisimbegovic, the soldiers
1 whose bodies were given back on the 8th of July, 1993,
2 could they have been kept in that camp?
3 A. In view of the fact that he spent from the
4 13th to the 19th of July in the camp, then there is
5 great probability that this could have happened because
6 they were taken prisoner on the 29th of June.
7 Q. Excuse me. I didn't quite understand. This
8 Mr. Ibrisimbegovic was detained, according to the
9 report, on the 5th of July at least and on the 18th of
10 July. On the 5th of July, he was in that camp; do we
11 agree on that?
12 A. It says that he was there from the 13th of
13 June up until the 19th of July, and this is what he
15 Q. I believe that there is a slight mistake in
16 the English interpretation. It says that he was
17 detained from the 13th to the 19th of July in the camp,
18 whereas, in fact, it was the 13th of June to the 19th
19 of July.
20 A. This is the original official note, and I
21 think that it states in precise terms the time in which
22 he -- the time he spent there, and I should like to say
23 that this was his statement taken as an official note.
24 JUDGE MAY: I think we can read the note. We
25 don't need to go through it. Thank you.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I would like us now to speak about another
3 fact which occurred a little bit later, that is, the
4 events that took place in October of 1993.
5 Do you remember that at that time, three
6 soldiers of the Novi Travnik Brigade, of the 308th BH
7 Army Brigade, were forced to walk toward their own
8 front line by HVO soldiers, whereas they had been
9 attached to mines.
10 A. Yes, I remember that event. It took place on
11 the 3rd -- I think it was the 3rd of October, yes --
12 that five of them were taken prisoner by the HVO during
13 the HVO attack on the village of Isakovici in Novi
14 Travnik, and two days after that, that is to say, on
15 the 5th of October, three of them were forced to carry
16 mines, explosive devices, mortars on their backs and to
17 move towards the positions of the BH army.
18 I remember that when they reached the
19 vicinity of this position, the mines, the explosive
20 devices were activated, and they were on their backs.
21 Then the soldiers of the army succeeded in getting the
22 remains of Enes Hajric, whereas the remains of
23 Muslimovic and Mujak, the other two men, they were not
24 able to gather up the remains, so that their bodily
25 remains stayed on no man's land for about 40 days.
1 Q. Did you yourself participate in the
2 operations which allowed the remains of the two
3 soldiers to be collected?
7 Q. Were you escorted by a British officer whose
8 name was Yorke?
9 A. Yes. On the occasion, I was greatly helped
10 by Captain Yorke who did his utmost to help pull out
11 the bodily remains of those individuals with the
12 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, the HVO, so that we did
13 succeed on that day in doing so; I think it was the
14 15th of November. We succeeded in recuperating the
15 bodily remains of these people. Great efforts were
16 invested to do so.
17 It was already growing dark, it had already
18 grown dark, and the captain did not move about in his
19 vehicle at dark, but nonetheless --
20 Q. It isn't necessary to give us those details,
21 Witness Q. Thank you.
22 I'm going to give you a document which was
23 drafted by an officer of the British Battalion whose
24 name was Yorke, that is, document 1963,10. This is a
25 document in English.
1 I'm going to read out a passage from the
2 document, and it says that Captain Yorke spoke to an
3 individual who was responsible for exchanges, the name
4 given is your own, and then on the second page, it says
5 what observations were made by that officer,
6 particularly the fact that near the remains of the
7 bodies cables were found which led directly to the HVO
9 As far as you know, does this report match
10 the facts that we're speaking about?
11 A. As far as my personal participation in all
12 this is concerned, I said that I was not personally on
13 the spot when the bodies -- that is to say, at Begino
14 Brdo when the bodies were dismembered. Captain Yorke
15 and a journalist of the BH army, Enes Begic was his
16 name -- I came to a place called Isakovici, I got there
17 in Captain Yorke's Land Rover, and that's where I
18 waited for them -- and the two of them went to collect
19 the remains which they then brought back to the
20 building, the secondary school building in the upper
21 part of town, and that is when Enes Begic made a
22 videotape of the bodily remains.
23 Q. In the report, it says that you were a
24 military policeman. What would you have to say about
25 that characterisation?
1 A. No. No, that's not true. I think that there
2 has been an error. As I said previously, I was never a
3 member of the BH army. I was always a member of the
4 Public Security Station, that is to say, the civilian
5 police station. Perhaps Captain Yorke made a mistake
6 because of the clothing that I wore most frequently
7 which was a camouflage uniform, because at the time, it
8 was the most apt thing to wear.
9 Q. We're going to speak about other matters now
10 which have to do with the building that was known as
11 Stari Soliter.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, let me
13 interrupt you to say this, if it assists: We have
14 evidence about the attack on Stari Soliter, which was,
15 as I recollect, uncontradicted. So you can take it
16 fairly quickly until we get to the witness's own part.
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] As far as
18 I know, Mr. President, only one witness mentioned this,
19 that was on the 16th of April of this year, that is,
20 Witness C.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's what I mean. We
22 don't need to hear it all again.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Therefore,
24 in order to expedite matters, I would like to show
25 several other documents which the witness drafted and
1 which have to do with what happened in Stari Soliter.
2 Q. Were you yourself involved in the relations
3 with the residents of that building in Novi Travnik
4 between the 9th of June, 1993 and the 17th of
5 September, 1993?
6 A. Yes, I was directly involved in the
7 negotiations concerning the release of those
8 individuals from the building, and I took certain
9 steps, made certain efforts in that respect.
10 Q. As regards the living conditions of those
11 people during the three months when they were in that
12 building, they were very difficult; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, they were very difficult. For all
14 practical purposes, the building was exposed to daily
15 fire of the members of the HVO. Apart from that, it
16 was impossible to get food because there was only one
17 entrance to the building, and so from that side, they
18 were in fact -- they were in fact prisoners, just for
19 having been in their own apartments when it started.
20 It was the children that suffered in particular. The
21 youngest child was only 11 months old, a baby.
22 Q. In the beginning, there were 57 people in
23 that building; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, at the beginning, there were 57 people,
25 right up until the 1st of July. On the 1st of July,
1 when the attack was launched by the members of the HVO
2 and the HV, their attack on the building, Zijad Muslic,
3 a resident, was wounded and so was a member of the
4 Croatian army, Marko Suhreta, so that we had to
5 evacuate them. We were allowed, probably by the HVO,
6 to evacuate these people because Marko Suhreta was
7 wounded, so that there were only 56 residents in the
8 building after that.
9 Q. Could you have a quick look at the document
10 that I'm going to show you? First, 1963,4 and 1963,5.
11 A. Yes, it is -- they are reports in fact which
12 I submitted to the war presidency of the municipality
13 of Novi Travnik relating to the problems of the Stari
14 Soliter building, and they were in fact my efforts to
15 find a solution to the problem, to stop the suffering
16 of the people.
17 Q. I'm now going to show you 1963,6, which is
18 dated 1 August, 1993.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you the author of this document as well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It deals with the delivery of food after a
23 long period of deprivation for the residents of the
25 A. Yes, that's right. This is a report which
1 states that after a series of negotiations with the
2 Croatian side, "... we succeeded on the 1st of August,
3 through UNPROFOR mediation, to bring food to the Stari
4 Soliter building ..." because the situation was getting
6 Q. I would like to show you a document which is
7 dated 3 July, with the reference number 1963,2.
8 You already mentioned some of these facts,
9 but particularly the presence of a soldier of the
10 Croatian army -- I'm saying "the Croatian army," that
11 is, from the Republic of Croatia -- who was wounded in
12 the Stari Soliter building at the beginning of July
13 1993 in Novi Travnik.
14 A. Yes, that's correct. The soldier was a
15 soldier of the Croatian army, because at the time we
16 found an ID on him which stated that he was a member of
17 that particular army. So he was not a member of the
18 HVO but of the HV, as we called it.
1 A. Yes. That was a request made by the Croatian
2 side, to allow the civilians from the building to be
3 freed on the condition that all the Croats living in
4 the villages mentioned should cross over to the lower
5 part of town, that is to say, the part of town that was
6 under HVO control.
7 However, the Bosnian side did not agree to
8 that at the beginning, because in actual fact this
9 would have meant ethnic cleansing of the area, that on
10 the one hand, and on the other, a certain number of
11 Croats did not wish to be exchanged, and it was very
12 difficult for us to convince the HVO commission that
13 these people did not wish to be exchanged, quite
15 Q. Were you yourself in a position where you
16 were to meet those people and to hear what they had to
17 say? I would now like to show you documents which
18 refer to what we're speaking about. These are
19 documents 1963,8 and 1963,9.
20 A. Yes, that's right. 1963,8, this is a
21 statement by which the signatory claims that he does
22 not wish to be exchanged, and he says that -- and I did
23 this at the request of the HVO commission, because they
24 didn't believe me that a certain number of individuals
25 quite simply did not wish to be exchanged, especially
1 the elderly population.
2 This can also be seen in the second
3 document. It is a list of individuals who stated that
4 they did not wish to be exchanged, the offer or
5 principle, and I personally contacted many of them. I
6 remember it well. I remember Mate Ljubas from the
7 village of Torine who did not wish to be exchanged.
8 Q. In the end, after the 17th of September, the
9 exchange took place; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. During those exchanges and discussions with
12 representatives of the HVO, did they lead you to
13 understanding that they had received instructions in
14 order to carry out the exchange?
15 A. Yes, that's right. Yes. For their part,
16 Josip Udovicic was the representative, and the exchange
17 took place in town up at the line.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
19 Mr. President, I have no further questions.
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
23 Your Honour.
24 Mr. Q, let me introduce myself. My name is
25 Mitko Naumovski, a lawyer from Zagreb, and I am one of
1 the Defence counsel for Mr. Dario Kordic.
2 In view of the fact that we sometimes have
3 problems with the interpretations, you and I can
4 understand each other as soon as we say something, but
5 please wait for the interpretation before you answer my
6 question. Thank you.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
8 Q. Witness Q, as far as I was able to gather,
9 you have given a statement to the investigators of this
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you give a statement and discuss this
13 question with the state committee for the investigation
14 of war crimes attached to the presidency of
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you make a statement to the so-called
18 Agency for Investigation Documentation, AID?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Mr. Q, as a policeman, you trained in the
21 Republic of Croatia, did you not?
22 A. Yes, among other things in Croatia as well.
23 Q. If I understood you correctly, you worked as
24 a member of the Ministry of Defence in Sibenik until
1 A. No, that's a mistake. No, that's not true.
2 I was never a member of the Defence ministry.
3 Q. I mean the Internal Affairs ministry.
4 A. Yes, the Internal Affairs ministry, that's
6 Q. Perhaps I misspoke. I meant the Ministry of
7 Internal Affairs.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In 1991, you therefore came to work as a
10 policeman in Novi Travnik, did you not?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Your family stayed on to live in the Republic
13 of Croatia?
14 A. No, they came with me.
15 Q. Did they live with you throughout in Novi
17 A. Yes, that's right, all the time.
18 Q. Thank you. You spoke about the first
19 conflict that occurred on the 19th of June, 1992.
20 Their Honours have already had occasion to hear about
21 it. Just one more question about it.
22 Do you know that prior to the 19th of June
23 was an incident that occurred on the 18th of June,
25 A. I'm not aware of that.
1 Q. So you know nothing about the incident that
2 occurred on the 18th of June?
3 A. No. I know that the overall situation was
4 very tense. I am unable, however, to pinpoint a
5 particular incident.
6 Q. But if you don't know the details, I won't go
7 into that. But let us clarify for the record, in the
8 same building was both the Novi Travnik police station
9 and the command of the Territorial Defence, weren't
11 A. Yes. It was one and the same building.
12 Q. Tell us, at the time of the second conflict,
13 you were not in Novi Travnik?
14 A. I was within the territory of Novi Travnik
15 municipality but not in the town itself.
16 Q. You were in the village of Zagrlje, weren't
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But at the beginning of October 1992, you
20 were not in the territory of Novi Travnik municipality
21 at all, were you?
22 A. Immediately before the conflict, I was in
23 Croatia with my family. I came on the 18th of October
24 from Croatia.
25 Q. Let us be very precise. You went to the
1 Republic of Croatia with your family?
2 A. Yes, exactly so.
3 Q. I'm asking you because in your statement for
4 the investigators, you stated that you were visiting
5 family members in the Republic of Croatia.
6 A. Yes, my wife's family.
7 Q. So the wife's family live in Croatia and not
8 your wife and children?
9 A. My wife's family is living in Croatia.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you. In that case, I will
11 not ask you much about the second statement, as you
12 were not in the town itself. But as you were in
13 Zagrlje, if I understand correctly, which is relatively
14 close to Opara, about some 15 kilometres away, my
15 question is would you agree with me that the Muslims in
16 this village -- in Zagrlje and Opara expelled the Serbs
17 on the 27th of August, 1993, just before you got
19 A. I don't know which village you're referring
21 Q. I'm talking about the Serbs who lived there.
22 A. I said that I came from Croatia in 1991.
23 Q. Yes, but I'm asking you about August 1992.
24 At that time, you were working as a policeman in Novi
1 A. I don't understand your question.
2 Q. Do you know or would you agree with me that
3 on the 27th of August, 1992, the Muslims expelled the
4 Serbs from Zagrlje and Opara?
5 A. I do not agree with that statement. I don't
6 know that the Serbs were expelled. Those who had lived
7 there abandoned those places before the conflict,
8 abandoned the area.
9 Q. Before which conflict?
10 A. Before the conflict between the army and the
12 Q. Which conflict are you referring to, June
13 1992, the first incident?
14 A. I'm thinking of the second incident, October
16 Q. Mentioning these conflicts, could you tell us
17 with precision when the front line was established in
18 the town of Novi Travnik?
19 A. The front line was established after -- I
20 think it was after the second conflict, after October
22 Q. Very well. Thank you.
23 Tell us, please, in a few words, about your
24 work as a policeman. Until the 19th of June, 1992, you
25 worked in one police station, and after that date, the
1 police separated, if we can call it that?
2 A. We were expelled from that police station.
3 Q. But I would put it differently. You left
4 that station yourselves because you didn't want to work
5 there; nobody forced you out?
6 A. In my view, that is a leading question and, I
7 think, unacceptable. We left the station after we had
8 been attacked with arms, with rifles.
9 Q. We were speaking about the building and the
10 conflict linked to that building, but you personally
11 were not thrown out of the police station. That is
12 what I wanted to say.
13 JUDGE MAY: I wonder if we're going to get
14 much further with this. You've heard the witness's
15 evidence, you've challenged it, and you can call other
16 evidence, if you have any. I don't think we'll be
17 assisted by any more.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Q. Tell us, please, what exactly you did as a
20 policeman in the newly-formed police station in Novi
22 A. I was a policeman.
23 Q. Yes. But were you a patrolling policeman or
24 were you engaged in administrative affairs?
25 A. I engaged in police affairs. You know very
1 well; it was a war. You do what the police does.
2 There was a shortage of manpower.
3 Q. Tell me, please, can we agree on a further
4 point, and that is that in September 1992, because of
5 the war operations going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a
6 whole, between four and five thousand Muslim refugees
7 came to the town and the municipality of Novi Travnik?
8 A. I don't understand the question. Which
9 refugees, from where?
10 Q. The refugees from the areas where the Serbs
11 were expelling populations, the north and northwest of
13 A. Yes, there were refugees coming especially
14 from the municipality of Jajce.
15 Q. Yes. That wave of refugees from Jajce came
16 when Jajce fell, but I'm talking about the second half
17 of 1992, refugees were arriving. Can we agree on that?
18 A. I don't know. I don't know when they left.
19 I can't be precise about that.
20 Q. But as a policeman, dealing with people on a
21 daily basis, you must have noticed that in September
22 1992, there was a great deal of pressure from the
23 refugees in the town and the surroundings.
24 A. There were refugees, but I cannot be specific
25 about when they came or when they left. I know that
1 most of them came when the Serbs attacked the
2 municipality of Jajce.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me, please,
4 these refugees that came to the territory of Novi
5 Travnik, did they report to the Novi Travnik police
7 A. There were records.
8 Q. Apart from being registered, they all
9 submitted requests for ID cards because they had moved
10 into certain apartments in town.
11 A. I do not remember that.
12 Q. You weren't engaged on those matters?
13 A. No, I was not.
14 Q. Thank you. Today, the Prosecutor has
15 tendered into evidence a large number of official notes
16 with statements by citizens complaining about what had
17 happened to them, robberies, and so on.
18 A. Are you asking me as the police or me
20 Q. Yes, the police. You said you and your
21 colleagues, because we know that there were many
22 documents that were not written by you.
23 A. Yes, that was one of the ways. You know
24 that, according to our legislation, an official note is
25 a manner of registering an event, and so I received
1 such notes and complaints.
2 Q. A brief overview of these documents -- there
3 are many; I haven't had time to look into them -- but I
4 see that they are official notes, and that was all that
5 was taken, a mere matter of registering the event.
6 A. Yes. Yes, because what else could we do in
7 those days? Could I perhaps call up someone to assist
8 us? That was all that we could do because we had no
9 one to complain to on the other side.
10 Q. The citizens did not write those statements
11 they gave, as far as I can see.
12 A. These were statements in the form of official
13 notes, so they are not really statements. They are,
14 rather, official notes about statements.
15 Q. Thank you. But members of which ethnic group
16 complained to your police station about what had
17 happened to them?
18 A. Mostly Bosnian Muslims, mostly.
19 Q. To judge by the names, the vast majority are
20 Muslims; I just wanted us to agree on that.
21 Tell me, please, regarding your particular
22 field of activity, did the Kalinska Ulica belong to
23 your area? It was previously called the 4th of July
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. These are buildings, apartment buildings
2 inhabited by other ethnic groups, I mean, Croats and
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Those citizens in those apartment buildings
6 were also mistreated and evicted, were they not?
7 A. I don't agree with you. If any one of them
8 left, they left on time because they knew when the HVO
9 would attack, at least in the case of the first and
10 second conflict.
11 Q. When you say "on time," what do you mean?
12 A. I mean they simply knew that a conflict would
14 Q. Witness Q, I'm not talking about the
15 conflict. I'm asking you whether you know or, rather,
16 whether you would agree with me that both Croats and
17 Serbs living in this same street were also mistreated,
18 people broke into their flats, their property was
19 stolen, et cetera, et cetera.
20 A. No, I do not agree with you on that issue.
21 I'm not aware of cases of Croats on Kalinska Street
22 being mistreated or evicted. I'm not aware of that.
23 Q. But can we agree that as a policeman
24 responsible for that sector, you should have been aware
25 of that?
1 JUDGE MAY: Listen, the witness has said he
2 is not aware of it. We can't take the matter any
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] If Your
5 Honour permits, I wanted to mention two particular
6 cases, but if you disagree, I won't.
7 JUDGE MAY: There's no point. He says he
8 doesn't remember.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Thank you.
11 Q. A few questions in connection with the events
12 that happened in the old skyscraper or Soliter. Their
13 Honours have already heard about it, so I shall be very
15 In your earlier statements, and you gave two,
16 you said that the HVO attacked and shot at the building
17 but that on one occasion, an HVO soldier, Marko
18 Suhreta, entered the building and was wounded, together
19 with another person; do you remember that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Also today, you said, if I heard correctly,
22 that this Marko Suhreta had documents on him that he
23 was a Croatian soldier.
24 A. Yes, he had the ID of a Croatian soldier.
25 Q. Did you have that ID in your hands?
1 A. I saw it. I personally saw it.
2 Q. And where was it left?
3 A. I don't know who has it; probably one of the
4 tenants kept it.
5 Q. But this Marko Suhreta, does he come from the
6 territory of Novi Travnik?
7 A. I don't know where he comes from. I don't
9 Q. But it was for the first time that you said
10 today that the HV attacked this apartment building. I
11 never found that statement in your earlier statements.
12 A. I said that a member of the Croatian army
13 participated in the attack on the Stari Soliter. That
14 is what I said.
15 Q. So this is this individual that we are
16 talking about, so that there should be no
17 misunderstanding, and I think that is a mistake in the
19 You agreed with the question of the
20 Prosecutor today that the HVO set a condition on the
21 release of the occupants of that skyscraper; that is,
22 that all the Croats on the territory under the control
23 of the BH army should be released.
24 A. Correct. That was a precondition set by the
25 Croatian side. It was very clear and very precise,
1 "all for all," as they would put it.
2 Q. Witness Q, I have to remind you that in your
3 statement of the 5th of June, 1999, that is, your
4 second statement to the investigators, you said that
5 the HVO asked that the Croats living in their houses in
6 Senkovici and Torine should be released to territory
7 under Croatian control. You were talking about only
8 the villages of Senkovici and Torine.
9 A. Those were the remaining population living in
10 the territory under the control of the BH army. You
11 should know that.
12 Q. I just wanted us to agree that in that
13 statement, you did not mention any other village but
14 the villages of Senkovici and Torine. Senkovici, yes,
15 I'm sorry.
16 A. Most of the Croatian population at the time
17 were in the village of Senkovici. I think there were
18 about 200 of them.
19 Q. I have seen several exhibits tendered by the
20 Prosecutor today having to do with Croats living in the
21 area under the control of the BH army.
22 By way of an example, this is Z1963,8, it is
23 a statement from which -- it is a printed form of your
24 commission for the exchange of prisoners, from which it
25 emerges that Petar Kuhta and Milka Kuhta refused to
1 take part in the exchange on the 17th of September,
2 1993. It is number Z1963,8. Do you have the document
3 in front of you?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. But there's only one signature on this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. One of the two of them; we don't know which
10 A. Petar Kuhta signed it.
11 Q. Then there is a heading "Witnesses," people
12 who witnessed this statement. We agree with that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But no one is registered under that heading,
16 A. As you can see by the date, this was written
17 just before the exchange. So there were objective
18 problems prior to the exchange. There were people who
19 simply would not be exchanged. The Croatian side wants
20 them to be exchanged. So there were hundreds of people
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, it's now coming on
23 to the time when we must adjourn. Have you many more
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I would have
1 a few, at least another 15 or 20 minutes. I tried to
2 be as expeditious as possible; unfortunately, I haven't
4 JUDGE MAY: Tomorrow afternoon then.
5 Witness Q, I'm afraid we're not going to
6 finish your evidence today, so I must ask you to come
7 back tomorrow to conclude it. Could you be back,
8 please, at half past two tomorrow? Could I remind you,
9 during that time, not to speak to anybody about your
10 evidence and not let anybody, of course, speak to you
11 about it? That does include members of the
12 Prosecution. Would you be back at half past two?
13 Is there something you want to raise,
14 Mr. Lopez-Terres?
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I simply
16 wish to indicate that most of the documents that we
17 referred to this afternoon bear the name of the witness
18 and, therefore, they also should be protected.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Half past two then
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 4.43 p.m., to be reconvened on
23 Wednesday, the 29th of September, 1999,
24 at 2.30 p.m.