1 Monday, 11th October, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.29 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 This is case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, you have a witness to
10 MR. NICE: There are two witnesses who I
11 expect we will deal with today, at least deal with one
12 completely and one we'll deal with in part.
13 To ensure that I don't forget outstanding
14 issues, the witness who should have attended last week
15 but didn't has been the subject of further enquiry.
16 I'll be able to report, I think, after the week's
17 break, more fully and with more direct information,
18 what the position on that witness is and whether he is
19 going to come here voluntarily or not.
20 There are one or two other outstanding
21 administrative matters, but I needn't deal with them
22 now, but I would like to make sure I have a period of
23 administration this week.
24 The Chamber will not have forgotten the map
25 that shows front lines that the Chamber had itself
1 wanted, and there's questions of the preparing of not
2 dossiers in respect of the village, the various
3 villages and communities, but you will remember that
4 I'm preparing and promised to have prepared by, I
5 think, the end of October our final position on those
6 matters, and you'll want to know how we're doing and
7 whether the timetable is being kept to. I think it is,
8 but I've got all those matters in hand.
9 As to the witness today, the first witness
10 seeks protection.
11 JUDGE MAY: Before you do that, while I have
12 it in mind, let me mention this:
13 Friday morning has presented a difficulty in
14 that one of our number is sitting on another trial, or
15 another matter, I should say, not a trial. It's not
16 known how long that's likely to be. It's listed for
17 10.00. Rather than having everybody here, hoping we
18 can start sometime that morning, it seems simpler to
19 cancel that morning's hearing, so there will be no
20 hearing on Friday. I recognise that these matters
21 cause difficulty, but the fact is we are all engaged in
22 other cases. It's a factor or a feature of our
24 You've got, according to the note we have,
25 four witnesses listed for this week.
1 MR. NICE: Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: Do you anticipate, if we make
3 reasonable progress, we shall be able to deal with
5 MR. NICE: I think it's a bit optimistic to
6 think we'll deal with all four, but we'll see --
7 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if we can.
8 MR. NICE: We've planned provisionally on the
9 basis that the fourth might have to be kept over
10 the weekend, in any event. That was allowing for a
11 start by Thursday or Friday, but let's see how we go.
12 The first witness seeks protection. An
13 application was served last week. The protection
14 sought would be limited to pseudonym and distortion of
15 the face. We're not in private session at the moment.
16 To go into it further might require private session,
17 but it may be that the application is not opposed. I'm
18 not sure. Not that that determines it. It's a matter
19 for the Chamber, of course.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
21 the Defence of Dario Kordic has no objections.
22 MR. KOVACIC: We have no objection, Your
23 Honour, the Defence of Cerkez.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I only make this
1 When we started this case, we said that these
2 matters should not be routine. I can't help but notice
3 that most of the last witnesses, those that have been
4 called since the break, some 12 or so, 13 perhaps now,
5 about nine have asked for these measures.
6 MR. NICE: Yes, Sir. All I can say on that
7 is, as I noted at the beginning of the case, certainly
8 it isn't routine for us to seek protection. On the
9 contrary, each and every witness is the subject of full
10 explanation as to the desirability of matters being
11 heard in public, and indeed save for a very limited
12 number of witnesses, I've dealt with this matter myself
13 before allowing an application for protection to come
14 to the Court.
15 That explanation having been made to the
16 witness, of course, if the witness seeks protection,
17 it's our duty to transmit that request to your Chamber,
18 and the Chamber will have noted that to some extent the
19 reaction of witnesses, understandably, is built upon
20 their own experience indirectly, of what happens to
21 other witnesses in this trial, so that if the Chamber
22 looks to paragraph 3 in this application -- again I
23 needn't spell out the details -- one can see -- sorry,
24 paragraph 2 -- you can see that part of her concerns
25 today arises from what has happened in respect of other
1 witnesses in this trial, so that they come here with
2 heightened anxiety.
3 JUDGE MAY: We'll make the order.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps the witness can be
6 fetched, please.
7 MR. NICE: The blinds must, of course, be
8 dealt with first.
9 JUDGE MAY: While that's being done, the
10 summary arrived in good time, for which we are
11 grateful. There does seem to be an amount of hearsay,
12 and I have in mind paragraph 7, which we've heard a
13 great deal about, paragraph 16, which we've heard
14 about, and -- I'm sorry, paragraph 9 and paragraph 10.
15 Then paragraph 16 to 18, this seems to me to be, and I
16 speak entirely for myself, but this seems to me the
17 sort of secondhand hearsay which I wonder how much
18 assistance we derive from it. Perhaps you might like
19 to consider, Mr. Nice, as you go through, whether it's
20 necessary to rely on all that.
21 MR. NICE: Yes. The first two points I had
22 already excised effectively from the material I needed
23 to lead.
24 The last point is rather more important.
25 Yes, we do seek to lead that material. The
1 alternative, of course, would be to call a number of
2 women, if they were willing to come, and expose them to
3 the distress here. It's not the case that allegations
4 are made in respect of these defendants specifically.
5 It is the case that this part of the persecution count,
6 that this material is important. The people to whom
7 these women were complaining were professionals, and
8 there being no rule against hearsay, it was our
9 judgement that this was an important part of evidence
10 to produce in this way.
11 Here is the witness.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
18 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
20 WITNESS: S
21 [Witness answers through interpretation]
22 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym that will be
23 used for this witness is Witness S.
24 Examined by Mr. Nice:
25 Q. I wonder if the witness could look, please,
1 at this piece of paper. Madam, will you just tell us
2 yes or no, but yes if that is --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- your name?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The blinds are being raised. I can start in
7 order to save time.
8 Witness S, have you set out on a -- or have
9 you seen set out on a printed summary both your
10 personal details and your occupation indeed as a doctor
11 in Zenica and in --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- Vitez since qualifying?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I am going to pass over paragraphs 1 to 3.
16 At the time of the conflict were the majority of
17 doctors in the Vitez health centre of Muslim
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was the Muslim director, Dr. Balta, or Balta,
21 someone who had to resign, and was he replaced by a
22 doctor of Croat ethnicity, Dr. Kajic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were only minimal salaries paid, and there
25 were problems with medical storage and restocking?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. At that time, in 1993, was a doctor of Croat
3 ethnicity, Bruno Busic, appointed as minister of health
4 in Vitez, and thereafter did he have considerable
5 influence on the hospitals affairs, although not an
6 employee of the hospital?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. On the 16th of April of 1993, were you at
9 home when your landlord's son informed you of problems
10 with Muslim houses being on fire and making allegations
11 that some people had been killed?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you remember now any of the names of
14 people who were said to have been killed by your
15 landlord's son?
16 A. Yes. I remember the names of Nedim and Mira,
17 a married couple. I recall the name of Midhat Varupa.
18 I recall the name of the police commander, Saban. I
19 believe his last name was Mahmutovic, but I'm not sure.
20 Q. Nedim and Mira, can you recall their last
22 A. Nedim and Mira, I cannot recall their last
24 Q. I don't know if there is any objection. If
25 there isn't, I'll lead it. If there is none, I'll go
2 Does the name Zlotrg --
3 A. Yes, it could be Zlotrg. Yes.
4 Q. The following day did you go to work and
5 discover that the health centre had moved locations?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you speak to a colleague, Dr. Drita
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was she able to tell you?
11 A. She said that her husband, a physician who
12 was employed as a radiologist in the Travnik hospital,
13 Ekrem Mahmutovic was his name, had been detained at the
14 Workers' University, arrested, and that she used all
15 her contacts by calling people on the telephone in an
16 attempt to have her husband set free.
17 And he was released and he went back to work
18 in Travnik.
19 Q. Did she name any of the particular people
20 that she contacted and whose contacts had proved
21 significant in having him released?
22 A. The only name which was familiar to me was
23 the name of Mario Cerkez, which she mentioned to me.
24 Q. And, to your knowledge, what was his role in
25 community life at that time?
1 A. So far as I know, Mr. Cerkez was the
2 commander of the HVO brigade.
3 Q. Was he known to you personally?
4 A. Yes, I knew him.
5 Q. Following the attack, of which you learned on
6 your return to the relocated health centre, were two
7 Muslim doctors, Trako and Patkovic, brought to the
8 health centre?
9 A. Yes, they were brought in several days after
10 the conflict. I don't know exactly how many days. I
11 couldn't tell you whether this was the 5th or the 4th
12 day after the beginning of the conflict.
13 Q. And were they brought to the hospital to
14 carry on work?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Having previously been held where; did you
18 A. I believe that it was the Workers'
19 University, that is in respect of one of them, and I
20 believe that the other one said that he would
21 voluntarily appear at work, probably in order to avoid
22 being arrested. I think this was a more acceptable
23 solution for him.
24 Q. Were various Muslim men brought to the health
1 A. Excuse me. Could you repeat the question? I
2 did not fully understand it.
3 Q. Yes. Were various Muslim men treated at the
4 health centre thereafter?
5 A. Yes, there were Muslim men who were treated
6 at the centre, yes.
7 Q. And what needs for treatment did they
8 typically have?
9 A. There were several men who had been wounded
10 when they were digging trenches for the HVO.
11 Q. Were these men soldiers or civilians?
12 A. Civilians.
13 Q. What type of injuries or wounds did they
14 typically have, these trench diggers?
15 A. One of them had a serious injury. I remember
16 him. He was the husband of one of our medical nurses
17 whose name was Zulejha.
18 Q. His injury?
19 A. He had a serious and complicated injury of
20 the lower extremity.
21 Q. Caused by what?
22 A. By firearms.
23 Q. Was that the only firearm wound that you saw
24 on such men, or were there others?
25 A. No, there were others.
1 Q. Were Muslim women brought to and treated at
2 the health centre?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So far as they were wounded, what sort of
5 wounds did they have?
6 A. All caused by firearms.
7 Q. Where had these women been, as you understood
8 it, and learned before they were brought to the health
10 A. When they were brought to the health centre
11 for examination, they told me something that -- well, I
12 learned for the first time at that time that they had
13 been placed in a house in Novaci.
14 Q. How long had they been at that house, did you
16 A. No, I did not ask this question.
17 Q. Just "yes" or "no" to this question. Apart
18 from evidence of injury through firearms, did some of
19 these women complain to you or did you learn of them
20 complaining to other people of other types of injury
21 that they had suffered?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, insofar as any woman
24 is going to be named as a victim of a different type of
25 event, I would ask the Chamber to consider private
1 session being appropriate, simply to protect those
2 women's names.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll go into private
4 session for the next part of the evidence.
5 [Private session]
13 page 7942 redacted – private session
13 page 7943 redacted – private session
13 page 7944 redacted – private session
13 page 7945 redacted – private session
15 [Open session]
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. At the end of 1993, were you ordered one day
18 by the director of health, or the director of the
19 health centre, to be one of a three-party commission,
20 the other two members of that commission being Franjo
21 Tibolt, the Croatian of whom you've spoken, and Rada
22 Savanovic, a Serbian?
23 A. Yes, that is true. But this was not at the
24 end of 1993. It was perhaps at the end of April, 1993.
25 Q. Quite right. I think that's what I asked,
1 and maybe it got missed in the translation or possibly
2 it's my mistake, of which I apologise.
3 The purpose of the commission, did it include
4 the visiting of detainees in the cinema to check their
5 health and to prepare a list of those who were to be
6 released on medical grounds?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When you went to the cinema, were you able to
9 enter the rooms where the detainees were kept?
10 A. I don't know whether it was possible to
11 enter, but I didn't go in. They took us to the hall, a
12 corridor, where there were tables and chairs set for
13 the doctors to be able to examine the detainees, the
15 Q. Were those detainees brought to you in groups
16 of three?
17 A. Yes. They came out three at a time and
18 approached, one by one, one of the doctors, depending
19 on who was free at the moment.
20 Q. Come back to paragraph 24. When you saw the
21 prisoners -- paragraph 27, 27 and 28 -- what condition
22 were they in and what mental state did they appear to
23 be in?
24 A. I think that fear was the dominant
25 impression, and uncertainty, yes, as to what would
1 happen to them. My basic impression was that they were
2 terrified and they didn't know what would happen.
3 Q. Did any of them express their fear or
5 A. Yes. They were mostly frightened.
6 Q. Did they say what they were frightened of,
7 or were they frightened of what would happen?
8 A. They didn't tell me in so many words, but I
9 think that they feared for their lives. They were
10 uncertain about what would happen.
11 Q. What age range were they?
12 A. Most of them were young and middle-aged, but
13 there were some elderly too.
14 Q. Did you see any particular injuries; for
15 example, a broken arm?
16 A. There weren't any particular injuries among
17 the prisoners who came to me to be examined, with the
18 exception of one prisoner who was complaining that over
19 the previous few days he had received a blow in his
20 jaw, and he had an injury of the finger. He was hit by
21 somebody whom he called by his nickname Cicin. And
22 there was another prisoner who had an injury of the arm
23 which had been immobilized, but he didn't come to me to
24 be examined on that day. Probably he was examined by
25 one of my colleagues, because I do not remember him
1 from that day.
2 But several days later, after this visit of
3 ours to the Workers' University, my colleague Kajic,
4 who was the manager, he asked me to write out the
5 diagnosis for this person, as I was a member of this
6 commission, together with colleague Tibolt, and that
7 Bosko Pavlic, another colleague, should also sign, as
8 he was head of the medical department. And it was then
9 that I saw this person with his arm in a cast. I wrote
10 out the diagnosis and I asked colleague Tibolt to do
11 the same.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. But his answer was that he didn't dare or,
14 rather, that he would not sign, and that I should
15 understand him. So that this report went off with my
16 signature and colleague Pavlic's signature.
17 Q. One last question on these two men. The
18 first man you spoke of, the man who complained of being
19 hit by the man who he knew by a nickname, what was the
20 name of that man, the man who was injured?
21 A. His name was Serif Causevic.
22 Q. Paragraph 27. Roughly how many prisoners did
23 you meet on the day that you went to the cinema?
24 A. It would be hard for me to give you a number,
25 but a very rough indication, it may have been more or
1 less, but I really don't know the number, but perhaps
2 some 50 or so.
3 Q. How many people altogether did you see being
4 checked up by you and your colleagues altogether?
5 A. Again, I must say that I am not sure of the
6 figure. I may easily be mistaken, but my rough
7 estimate would be between 100 and 150.
8 Q. Was there -- paragraphs 24 to 26 -- was there
9 a local Vitez television crew present for all or part
10 of this day?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were they interviewing Dr. Tibolt about
13 possible mistreatment of prisoners?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What was Tibolt's reaction to their
17 A. The question they insisted on, among others,
18 was whether there were any traces of mistreatment.
19 Tibolt's answer was that nobody had complained of
20 that. That's what I do remember. And that was true.
21 Q. What was the effect of the broadcast, if you
22 saw it yourself?
23 A. I think the effect was a propagandist one.
24 Q. Paragraph 30. At the end of this exercise,
25 was a report prepared and were some prisoners
1 subsequently released?
2 A. Yes, at the end a report was compiled. My
3 colleague, Ms. Savanovic and myself, dictated what we
4 had found among the patients. We dictated the names
5 and diagnosis to Tibolt. And just then a
6 representative of the Red Cross appeared, who was also
7 present during these examinations. He was sitting
8 across the way from us, at some distance. And after he
9 came, colleague Tibolt asked Dr. Rada and myself to
10 leave, and he stayed on with this representative of the
11 Red Cross to finish the report. So that I had no
12 insight into those who were released, but I do know
13 that some prisoners were released, but I don't know
14 who, nor how many.
15 Q. The Red Cross representative who turned up,
16 can you give us his name and his ethnicity, please?
17 A. I think his name was Stipo Krizanac, and he
18 is a Croat by ethnicity.
19 Q. So you went home. The people of the cinema
20 were guarded by what type of soldier?
21 A. HVO soldiers.
22 Q. Paragraph 32. Did you see HVO soldiers at
23 the hospital from time to time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you notice any particular groups of
1 soldiers identified by their uniforms?
2 A. Yes. What I noticed, and I hadn't noticed
3 before the beginning of the conflict, was a group of
4 soldiers, mostly young men, wearing black uniforms with
5 patches indicating Jokers.
6 Q. How did they behave?
7 A. They were noisier than others and they were
8 considered more extremist than the HVO soldiers in
9 camouflage uniform.
10 Q. Paragraph 34. Did you know a man named Darko
12 A. Not personally. But I knew his face. I knew
13 him by sight. And I think that he was a patient -- no,
14 I don't think so. I know. I know that he was a
15 patient of my colleague, Dr. Mujezinovic, who treated
16 him for drug addiction.
17 Q. Did he, that is, Darko Kraljevic, at one
18 stage sign certificates in relation to the safety of
19 houses for doctors?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. But you, I think, took the view that you
22 didn't need such a certificate for yourself.
23 A. Yes. I came to work the next day, when the
24 gentleman working in security offered to give me this
25 certificate with my name on it and saying that I was an
1 HVO doctor, with the signature of Darko Kraljevic on
2 it, and I could refuse that because I felt partially
3 protected, as I was in a Croat house.
4 Q. Kraljevic himself, did you understand that he
5 led a group, and if so, what was the name of the group?
6 A. Yes, the group was called Vitezovi.
7 Q. Included in the HVO soldiers you met,
8 paragraph 33, was there any who spoke English rather
9 than a language native to Bosnia?
10 A. Yes. On one occasion, a wounded Englishman
11 who was in the HVO army came, and he had an injury in
12 his mouth. But he was making a lot of noise and he
13 would not allow us to approach him and to treat him,
14 and he was armed, so that it was difficult to gain
15 control over him.
16 Q. But he spoke English. Did he say anything
17 about where he came from, or did you learn anything
18 about where he came from?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where did he come from?
21 A. No, I said he was an Englishman without
22 thinking over the point properly. He spoke English,
23 but I don't know where he came from.
24 Q. Did he speak or appear to have any ability to
25 speak your language?
1 A. No, he did not speak our language. But with
2 him was a young woman, and they said that she was his
3 girlfriend and interpreter. She was interpreting, and
4 she tried to calm him down so that we could treat him.
5 Q. Finally, a word or so about your move from
6 Vitez to Zenica. Can you help us with the date when
7 that happened?
8 A. It was May. I think it was the 16th or
9 somewhere around there.
10 Q. How did it come --
11 A. Around the 16th.
12 Q. How did it come that you were exchanged?
13 A. I wasn't exchanged.
14 Q. I beg your pardon. How did it come that you
15 moved to Zenica? My apologies.
16 A. I left with the help of the UNHCR. I was
17 assisted by a woman who had worked with me in the
18 health centre and whose daughter was working in the
19 UNHCR in Zenica. I was also assisted by a man, a Croat
20 also, who drove me by car to the road near the company
21 called Impregnacija, and the UNHCR came to pick me up,
22 as arranged.
23 Q. Can you give me the name of the two people,
24 please, the woman and the man who helped you?
25 A. The woman's name was Ljilja, and she was a
1 laboratory technician in the health centre. I really
2 do not remember her surname. And the man's name was
3 Trpimir Vujica.
4 Q. When you went to the place, did you travel in
5 a car or in some other type of vehicle?
6 A. In a passenger car.
7 Q. Thank you. Your knowledge of Dario Kordic,
8 was that limited to what you saw on the television?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 MR. NICE: Wait there, and you'll be asked
11 some further questions. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MAY: Do you have any questions?
13 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, with your
14 permission, I will have some questions on cross, and we
15 agree with other Defence that I will go first.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, could I please
18 ask permission to move forward, because I cannot see
19 the witness from here. Thank you.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, madam. My
22 name is Bozidar Kovacic. I'm an attorney from Rijeka,
23 and I represent the Defence of Mr. Cerkez here in
24 court. I have to address you with your pseudonym, so I
25 apologise for that in advance.
1 Madam, you arrived in Vitez towards the end
2 of the '80s, didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were assisted by some colleagues when you
5 arrived, in terms of finding a flat and so on?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it true that the greatest assistance was
8 given to you by Mrs. Slavica Cerkez?
9 A. Yes, that also is true.
10 Q. Is it true that you were on good terms with
12 A. Yes, it is true.
13 Q. Is it true that in the health centre,
14 inter-ethnic relationships were correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mrs. Slavica Cerkez was a nurse, wasn't she,
17 and she worked with you?
18 A. Yes, she did.
19 Q. And she's the wife of the accused here,
20 Mr. Mario Cerkez?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Let me ask you first, did you meet Mario
23 Cerkez over the years?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Did you ever notice any kind of prejudice or
1 negative attitudes regarding ethnic background?
2 A. No. To the extent to which I knew the
3 gentleman, though I knew his wife better, I never
4 noticed any such prejudices.
5 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. I would ask the
6 Court -- I mean I'm asking permission whether we can
7 show to the witness D19/2, which was the list of the
8 employees employed in the health centre in Vitez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. KOVACIC: This is only to confirm. If I
11 recall correctly, Dr. Mujezinovic said, "Yes, that
12 seems to be a proper list," and since this witness was
13 employed there, perhaps it would be good that she
14 checks so we know that we have a proper document.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, an earlier witness, a
16 colleague of yours, looked at this list. Will you
17 please look at what is stated in the brackets below the
18 heading, "List of workers employed in the Vitez Health
19 Centre"? It says the period from the 1st of January
20 until the 1st of June, 1993, so this is the first half
21 of the year. So please look at this list, and will you
22 confirm, are those the people who were employed there?
23 A. [No audible response]
24 Q. You can see from this list that there was a
25 total of 13 doctors; isn't that so? Let me assist
1 you. Under numbers 9, 24, 25, 26, 31, 32, 37, 38, 52,
2 65, 67, 68, 74, those are doctors that you have
3 referred to during your testimony?
4 A. I don't remember Dr. Dragana Rijec, I'm
5 afraid, number 68. I can't recall Dragana Rijec, I
6 really can't.
7 Q. Maybe she joined later on in June, when you
9 A. Yes, quite possibly.
10 Q. Can we agree that roughly those are the
11 people who were working in the first half of 1993?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. So judging by the names, at
14 least, it follows that there was roughly the same
15 number of doctors who were Muslims and Croats, I would
16 say the ratio was six to six, and of course on the
17 basis of surnames, probably two Serbs. Would that be
18 correct? Would that correspond to your own
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. You can take that.
22 Madam, you spoke about the new manager of the
23 health centre, the appointment of Dr. Kajic. Could you
24 tell us when that was exactly, or approximately?
25 A. Approximately January, 1993. I may be
1 wrong. It may be a month before or later, but it was
2 about that time.
3 Q. Right. And was that appointment lawful, in
4 line with the then regulations?
5 A. Yes. Yes, it was.
6 Q. Would you remember if there was an employed
7 meeting called on that occasion?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. But the assembly of workers was the highest
10 management body in whatever company, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do we agree on that?
13 A. Yes. Yes, we do.
14 Q. So it was workers assembly which decided to
15 appoint Dr. Kajic as the manager?
16 A. Yes, but there was nothing unlawful about
17 that. In my testimony, I merely spoke about the
18 resignation of colleague Balta, and rather than that
19 colleague Kajic was elected unlawfully. He was --
20 everything was quite legitimate. But we were simply
21 talking about the fact that he brought colleague Balta
22 into a situation to submit his resignation.
23 Q. And on that occasion did you hear that
24 Dr. Kajic was specially trained as a military surgeon
25 for --
1 A. No, I never heard about that. Oh, excuse
2 me. Excuse me. Dr. Kajic used to work, I believe in
3 Sarajevo. No, that is true. I just never gave it a
4 thought. Yes, he did work as an army surgeon there.
5 Yes, quite true.
6 Q. Madam, could you remember -- do you remember
7 the time frame at least, was it then that the immediate
8 war danger had already been proclaimed in the Republic
9 of Bosnia Herzegovina, and is that true?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So would it look natural to you that the
12 staff and its ethnic composition was not remarkable in
13 a way that they would appoint as a new manager a doctor
14 who would perhaps be more knowledgeable about things
15 that may happen in times of war?
16 A. Well, as for the expert knowledge, colleague
17 Balta is more experienced and he was a specialist; that
18 is, if we are referring to the medical knowledge. I do
19 not think that would be a good comparison.
20 Q. Right. Thank you. You said -- rather, you
21 answered the Prosecutor's question that salaries were
22 at a very low level and the medical supplies were not
23 replenished easily?
24 A. Well, yes, that was the situation in
1 Q. Well, that is what I wanted to ask you, so as
2 to make it clear for people who do not come from
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Was the health centre an exception
4 or was that the situation across the territory?
5 A. The situation across Bosnia-Herzegovina was
6 such; that is, salaries were a minimum and there was a
7 shortage of medical supplies.
8 Q. And how about other health centres which you
9 maintained some professional contact? Were they better
10 off, perhaps?
11 A. No. I mean, no. We might be discussing --
12 there were shades of shortage, but nothing else.
13 Q. So the situation was generally very bad?
14 A. This situation was generally very bad.
15 Q. Would you agree with me that the situation
16 was also bad, among other things, because due to the
17 JNA's aggression at the time, this state had
18 practically stopped functioning?
19 A. True.
20 Q. And the communications were bad?
21 A. True.
22 Q. Thank you. And as for the above-mentioned,
23 Mr. Bruno Busic -- and you told us he was appointed
24 minister of health care in the municipality of Vitez --
25 he was a dentist? He had his private surgery, didn't
2 A. True.
3 Q. But he also attended to the patients in the
4 health centre?
5 A. Dr. Busic was full-time employed with the
6 health centre, and after that, I wouldn't know when
7 exactly, '90 or when, but he left the health centre and
8 he had his private surgery. He had his -- I don't know
9 that he continued working in the health centre.
10 Q. But in the health centre there was all the
11 dental equipment and all that?
12 A. Yes. Yes, of course there was. But after he
13 became self-employed, I think he ended his contract
14 with that health centre, but I didn't know when that
15 was. It could have been 1990 or perhaps even '89. I
16 wouldn't know that. But when I came to the health
17 centre, he was still employed with it, and then he
18 changed and started his private practice.
19 Q. Right. But this Mr. Busic, we are agreed
20 about that, he was the minister for health care at the
21 municipal level, in the municipality of Vitez?
22 A. True.
23 Q. So could you, madam, tell us, please, wasn't
24 that a matter of choice and posting, distribution among
25 the parties which made up the municipal government, and
1 then distribute among themselves various posts, various
3 A. Well, I guess it was that way, but I didn't
4 really know much about those political things. I
5 wasn't really in those political waters, but I guess
6 that that must have been what happened.
7 Q. Right. You mentioned that people in the
8 municipal administration, even though you said that was
9 not the case at the health centre, that people signed a
10 kind of statement of loyalty or something?
11 A. Yes, it was when the municipal administration
12 split into the Muslim and the Croat part. That was a
13 common fact.
14 Q. But did you have ever a chance to see what it
15 was that they signed?
16 A. No, we did not get that at the health centre,
17 so we don't know what they got. I heard what I heard,
18 is that they were signing statement of loyalty to the
19 Croat community of Herceg-Bosnia. That is what I
20 heard, but I did not have an opportunity to ...
21 Q. Madam, please take care not to mention any
22 names, so that we don't have to go into a private
23 session. But you referred to several cases when you --
24 when you heard about rape by the -- either directly or
25 indirectly. I should like to ask you the following:
1 if in any of those cases whether you ever heard which
2 soldiers raped those women.
3 A. You mean their names, or at least their
4 membership of the units?
5 Q. No. And in those stories did you ever hear
6 that this or that rape was perpetrated by so-and-so,
7 with a full name, or at least a member of the Vitez
9 A. No. No.
10 Q. You never heard that?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And in all those rumours about all that, you
13 never heard a thing like that?
14 A. I don't really remember a name being
16 Q. Thank you. You also mentioned a lady, and I
17 won't mention her name, but you will remember who it
18 was, who you said was kept in Novaci?
19 A. Yes. I mean in those Bungalows, Bungalows.
20 Q. But that is what you said about the other
22 A. Oh, yes. Quite right. That one.
23 Q. The one from Novaci. Do you know where
24 Novaci is? Do you know the place?
25 A. Roughly only, but I don't know exactly.
1 Q. And you wouldn't be able to tell us which
2 army held at Novaci?
3 A. I believe it was the HVO forces.
4 Q. But you don't know which unit?
5 A. No, I don't. I really don't.
6 Q. So you don't know who kept her there?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. And about those rapes, I should like to ask
9 you just one more thing. In view of your profession
10 and all of the developments in Bosnia, would you agree
11 that in Central Bosnia, and in particular in the
12 territory of the Vitez municipality, as you were there,
13 rape was not a common feature or a widespread feature
14 in that territory?
15 A. Well, I don't think so. When I learnt about
16 that, I was rather surprised. I do not think it was a
17 widespread phenomenon, as against information, that is
18 judging by what I know, what I could see. I can only,
19 of course, speak about myself and my assessment.
20 Q. Yes, of course. I am referring to your
21 assessment. So we can agree that there was such cases
22 and you mentioned some of them that you learnt about.
23 A. [Nod].
24 Q. But it was not a general widespread
1 A. From the information that was available to
2 me, it was not a widespread phenomenon.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, what period are you
4 referring to in these questions about rape being a
5 widespread phenomenon? Are you talking about the
6 period before the war or during the war?
7 MR. KOVACIC: Both, Your Honour. I should be
8 more precise. Thank you for warning me.
9 JUDGE MAY: Could you perhaps ask the
10 witness, first of all, whether it was widespread before
11 the war, and then whether, in her experience, it was
12 widespread during the war.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Madam, you heard the interpretation of this
15 question. Could you tell us, when was it, prior to
16 April 1993 when the conflict broke out, did you hear
17 about any rapes that you could associate with the
18 ethnic -- with the ethnic affiliation?
19 A. Before the war, I never heard of any case of
20 rape that I would associate with somebody's ethnicity.
21 After the conflict broke out, I heard about several
22 cases, but I am a woman, and even those few cases are
23 just -- are just one too many for me.
24 Q. And they are the ones that you mentioned
1 A. Yes, they are the ones that I heard about.
2 Q. And you mentioned when Mrs. Drita Mahmutovic,
3 her husband was arrested, when she told you that she
4 tried all her possible contacts to have her husband
5 released, he was detained in Zenica, wasn't he?
6 A. In Vitez.
7 Q. Oh, yes, in Vitez. And among other things,
8 she also said that she had sought Mr. Cerkez's
9 assistance. And you said too that, "The only name
10 familiar to me that she mentioned was Cerkez."
11 A. Well, yes. She opened her address book and
12 she was uttering various names, but I knew Cerkez's
13 name because of his wife, because we worked together
14 and cooperated. And other names she mentioned, but
15 that name was familiar to me.
16 Q. So that was what I wanted to hear.
17 A. Yes. There were other names too, but they
18 did not convey anything to me.
19 Q. Right, thank you. As a doctor, and I'm
20 referring to '93 in the health centre, were you ever
21 issued some labour directives at the health centre at
22 any time in '93?
23 A. I believe, yes. I believe, yes, we were
24 issued those directives. Yes, that is quite true.
25 Yes, we did.
1 Q. But would you agree that physicians and all
2 the other medical personnel were assigned to those jobs
3 which they were doing, anyway, as professionals?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. You said that you were in the cinema building
6 and examined a certain number of detainees, and that,
7 in your view, they were all terrified, frightened?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Will you please, as a physician, in just two
10 sentences, tell us, what were the objective criteria,
11 that is, the medical standards, whereby you determined
12 the presence of fear?
13 A. Well, this would fall into the psychiatric
14 domain, but organically speaking, that is, somatic
15 symptoms, what is material, what we can confirm, is
16 hypertension, enlarged irises, tachycardia, excessive
17 perspiration. Those are some of the symptoms.
18 But the term "fear", it is more a
19 psychological term. It is not really easy to define.
20 It can be without all this, and one can assess it on
21 the basis of an interview. The voice which sometimes
22 trembles, which is perhaps too fast or too slow, the
23 facial expression, these are things which are perhaps
24 less palpable, less tangible, and more difficult to
1 Q. Yes. We have to wait for the interpreters.
2 Bearing in mind those criteria and the circumstances,
3 of course, which existed there, you, of course, could
4 not establish what you would have been able to
5 establish in your surgery, so there were some -- there
6 were certain things that you could not establish?
7 A. Yes, quite true. Without the laboratory,
8 without all the equipment, it's quite true.
9 Q. So that fear, I mean strictly medically
10 speaking, you could not prove that fear, could you,
11 medically speaking?
12 A. It is very difficult to prove fear, to have
13 some tangible evidence, but it was -- yes, there were
14 some medical cases, there were some of those signs that
15 I mentioned before which are quite tangible, and there
16 was fear, there was fear. I absolutely insist on that.
17 Q. Right. You mentioned this man with his arm
18 in a cast. The first time he was brought to this
19 commission, you said not to you but to another doctor?
20 A. Yes, yes, quite right.
21 Q. But he had been attended to? He had his arm
22 in the cast?
23 A. Yes. When I saw him, he had already been
24 treated. But when he was injured and when he was
25 treated, I really don't know and I didn't really ask
1 too much about that.
2 Q. Yes. Well, perhaps let's move on slower, and
3 then perhaps we shall get at what we're aiming for
5 So when you saw him, it was for an additional
6 medical examination, so he was being treated, he was
7 receiving care?
8 A. Yes, yes, he was.
9 Q. All the administrative parts of it had
10 already been taken care of?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During those examinations, during those
13 check-ups in the cinema, apart from fear, which you
14 explained to us, and this case of this patient with the
15 arm and the like, but was there anything that would
16 make you conclude that those people were really
17 deprived of medical assistance, that they were
18 neglected, that they were left without medical care,
19 even though they needed it?
20 A. I do not think there were any particular
21 cases, except that there was a man, a younger man, who
22 said he was a diabetic, but I believe that he was
23 released that day, on that list. And other cases
24 mostly suffered from various chronic diseases. A
25 couple of people had some acute respiratory infections
1 and things like that. But I think that fear was the
2 predominant problem.
3 Q. But could we agree, and I'm referring to the
4 day which you saw in that part, as a doctor, as a
5 physician, you will agree that it was not evident that
6 it was a group of people which had been left without
7 medical care?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. I would ask the
10 Court if we can show the witness the earlier presented
11 evidence D20/2.
12 Q. [Interpretation] When you were on this
13 commission and examined the -- and this list with
14 Dr. Tibolt, will you please look at the signature at
15 the bottom of the list and the names on the list?
16 Could you please tell us if you examined any one of
17 those 22 persons you recommended for release?
18 A. It's too difficult. I don't remember those
19 names. I wouldn't really go into that. No, I don't
20 remember names.
21 Q. Right, madam. I will now ask you, at the
22 bottom to the right, there's a signature. You did know
23 the signature of your colleague signed "Tibolt". Was
24 that his signature or not, from what you know about it?
25 A. Yes, he does.
1 Q. Would you know, why is it that on the
2 left-hand side we have the signature and then it says
3 "Approved, Pero Skopljak"? What was his role there?
4 A. I believe he was the police chief at the time
5 or something. Pero Skopljak, Ministry of the Interior,
6 or something of the sort.
7 Q. Thank you. We're finished with this paper.
8 After that, you mentioned, when you sat down
9 to write those papers, you mentioned a certain Stipo
10 Krizanac and said that he was the Croat representative
11 of the Red Cross?
12 A. Yes, because the Muslim representative had
13 also been detained in the university building. His
14 name was Sead Cajnic.
15 Q. But then he was released, as far as I know.
16 A. Yes, he was released later on, but he was
17 detained first.
18 Q. And would you know that Stipo Krizanac was
19 also a representative of the civil authorities of the
20 HVO there?
21 A. I don't, I really don't know. I saw him
23 Q. You mentioned Serif Causevic, who had been
24 hit by one Cicin. Did you hear anything about where
25 that had happened?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And incidentally, was Cicin a Croat or a
4 A. A Croat.
5 Q. Did you know who it was by that nickname?
6 A. On a couple of occasions, Cicin came to
7 Emergency. I think he had quite a delinquent
8 behaviour, quite rowdy. That is how I knew him.
9 Q. Excuse me. Are we talking about Cicin or
11 A. Cicin.
12 Q. You spoke about labour directives, labour
13 obligations. Did you know and was it true that under
14 the regulations, you were not allowed to leave the
15 territory of the municipality except by authorisation?
16 A. Well, regardless of any permits or
17 authorisations, I think I would have tried to leave
18 because my safety was at stake. Of course, I mean my
19 safety comes first.
20 Q. Yes, of course. But I'm asking you simply --
21 I'm not asking you within the context; I'm simply
22 asking you whether it is true that there was such an
24 A. Yes, it is quite true.
25 Q. So nobody needed to tell you particularly,
1 "Madam, you're now under work obligation and you have
2 to stay here"?
3 A. No, no.
4 Q. Because you already had this labour
5 obligation before?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Individuals who helped you leave Vitez, and
8 you mentioned one Ljilja and Trpimir Vujica, they are
9 both Croats, aren't they?
10 A. True.
11 Q. This English-speaking soldier who came to you
12 with his head injury to the health centre, you said he
13 was with the HVO. Did you see any insignia on him, on
14 the basis of which you would be able to conclude which
15 unit he belonged to?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Oh, you didn't. But did he have any HVO
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. You mentioned that Dr. Tibolt made a
21 statement on television, too, about the state of health
22 of persons detained in the cinema and that he said that
23 nobody complained of ill treatment in the cinema?
24 A. Yes, that is what he said, and it's true,
25 nobody complained of that.
1 Q. You would agree with that?
2 A. Yes, I would.
3 Q. But nevertheless, madam, you used the term,
4 if I am correct, that the fact that television recorded
5 that examination as a form of propaganda?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Perhaps we might agree about that. But allow
8 me to ask you if, in that particular story that you saw
9 about it, was there anything untrue in that?
10 A. No, there was nothing untrue, I didn't say
11 that, but I simply saw it more as an advertisement.
12 Q. As an advertisement, you're saying. But did
13 I understand you well: The HVO is bragging about they
14 did well; they invited doctors to go in there? Was
15 that how you saw that?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Thank you. To conclude, perhaps: You said
18 that when you left Vitez, you spent a short while in
19 Zenica, and then some time in summer you accepted a job
20 and moved to Preocica, to the hospital, in the hospital
21 kept by the army of BH?
22 A. No, that was Preocica. This was July '93.
23 Yes. Escorted by UNPROFOR, I went as an army doctor to
24 Stari Vitez beyond the line, and I stayed there until
25 the Washington Accords, and that is until March 1994.
1 Q. Perhaps I'm asking too much, but I believe it
2 would serve the common interest.
3 A while ago, you said that regardless of the
4 labour obligation, you left Vitez because you did not
5 feel safe there and that your safety came first?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. But then in July, you went back to Stari
8 Vitez, although it was surrounded, and it must have
9 been very dangerous.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So why did you, after all? Your safety
12 ceased being your first concern?
13 A. Well, now it was a matter of ethics. It was
14 a matter of siding with the weaker, with the one who
15 has to defend himself, and the feeling of patriotism,
16 of pride, so that was a bit or all of that. Of course,
17 yes, I was afraid too, but after all that I had seen
18 and experienced, there was this wish to help to defend,
19 to withstand. There was this defiance, to put up
21 Q. Yes, of course. But that was a hospital,
22 that was a medical base or whatever we call it in Stari
23 Vitez. It was under the care of the army of BH; is
24 that correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. During that long period of time until the
2 spring of '94, Stari Vitez was under blockade all that
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. As a physician, did you manage, in
6 cooperation with UNPROFOR and other institutions, but
7 of course also with the authorisation of the HVO, you
8 did manage to take patients out of that encirclement?
9 A. Yes, but not always, unfortunately. Very
10 many lives were lost, and yet they did enjoy a certain
11 chance because UNPROFOR could not enter because they
12 would be stopped by the HVO, and they wouldn't insist.
13 But yes, there were cases of when we evacuated them.
14 Q. So the situation fluctuated?
15 A. Yes. At the beginning -- in the beginning,
16 they could enter more frequently, but as time went on,
17 they were less and less frequently allowed to enter,
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it's now past
21 MR. KOVACIC: I'm on my last question.
22 JUDGE MAY: All right, your last question.
23 MR. KOVACIC:
24 Q. [Interpretation] We agree that until the end,
25 until -- that it fluctuated; the situation fluctuated,
1 didn't it, until the end?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very
5 A. It was my pleasure.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very briefly,
7 Your Honour, if I may.
8 JUDGE MAY: Briefly.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] The Defence
10 of Mr. Kordic has no questions of this witness. Thank
12 JUDGE MAY: That was brief. Yes.
13 MR. NICE: I have two questions in
14 re-examination. Shall I take those before the break,
15 if that's acceptable?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel,
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you'll deal with it
19 briefly, please, Mr. Nice.
20 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
21 Q. Witness S, two questions, I think, please,
22 possibly three.
23 The first question: The replacement of
24 Dr. Balta by Dr. Kajic, at the time was there any
25 explanation given about why this replacement was made?
1 A. No.
2 Q. In particular, was there anything said about
3 Dr. Kajic having military experience?
4 A. No, nothing was said. In respect of
5 Dr. Kajic, we voted for Dr. Kajic. Several other
6 physicians also were candidates.
7 Q. Was Dr. Balta in any way lacking in skills
8 necessary at that stage to run the hospital?
9 A. No, that was not the issue. I believe that
10 he just -- his authority was being limited more and
11 more, and I believe that that was the reason why he
13 Q. His authority was being limited by whom? The
14 last question on that topic.
15 A. By Bruno Buzuk.
16 Q. The second question: The decision on who was
17 to be released from the cinema on health grounds, did
18 you make any of those decisions or were they made by
19 others or by another?
20 A. By others. That is, by one other person.
21 Q. Namely?
22 A. Mr. Franjo Tibolt, in cooperation with Stipo
23 Krizanac. He was -- he stayed there to be in the
24 position of decision making.
25 Q. Thank you. The last question from me,
1 relating to the man Causevic who was complaining of
2 what had been done to him by Cicin, what ultimately
3 happened to Causevic; did you discover?
4 A. Causevic was killed in Old Vitez by a sniper
5 bullet. It was a direct hit, and his heart was hit.
6 MR. NICE: No other re-examination. Thank
8 JUDGE MAY: Witness S, thank you for coming
9 to the International Tribunal to give your evidence.
10 It is now concluded, and you're free to go.
11 MR. NICE: While the blinds are being --
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 MR. NICE: While the blinds are being brought
14 down, the next witness is a substantial witness. I'm
15 happy to say that a summary was available on Wednesday
16 and was served on the Defence on that day, it being
17 made clear that it was a draft document, and that
18 further exhibits would be served as soon as they could
19 be prepared. I think the exhibits were served on
20 Friday. By my oversight, I didn't serve the draft
21 summary on the Court, thinking that it might have been
22 amended. It would have helped if I had done. I gather
23 there are no or no substantial amendments to it, in any
24 event. Can I make it available through the usual
25 offices now?
1 JUDGE MAY: We have it.
2 MR. NICE: There it is.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Half an hour. It
4 will be 11.40.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 --- Recess taken at 11.09 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
13 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
14 WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK
15 MR. NICE: Before I start the evidence of
16 this witness, and get him to give us his name and so
17 on, can the Court very kindly distribute to the members
18 of the Chamber bundles of exhibits. Can the witness
19 then have a bundle in front of him. There, I think, is
20 one bundle left, which can be the Chamber's master
22 The usher will discover that we are going to
23 touch documents swiftly and briefly, getting the
24 witness to deal with them from his seat. But it may be
25 possible for the usher to put the relevant document on
1 the overhead projector for the assistance of the public
2 as we go along, but without taking time.
3 The witness has, of course, spent time
4 preparing to give evidence here in boiling down his
5 material to the summary that you now have. He asked
6 that he may have a copy of his outline before him, or
8 JUDGE MAY: Any objection to that?
9 MR. SAYERS: No objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 MR. NICE: I've already had the advantage of
12 some helpful indications from Mr. Sayers as to which
13 paragraphs in the summary are paragraphs he would
14 prefer me not to lead and to have dealt with in the
15 conventional way. And I think I've got enough to get
16 me up to lunch. And I'll, I hope, manage to conclude
17 marking my paragraphs in accordance with Mr. Sayers'
18 instructions after lunch.
19 Examined by Mr. Nice:
20 Q. May the witness give us please his first
22 A. My name is Hendrik Morsink.
23 Q. A Dutch army officer since 1976, presently a
24 Colonel? Just say "yes" if that's correct.
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. And a monitor with ECMM from the 13th of
2 April until the 13th of July, 1993?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Arriving in Zenica on the 16th of April,
5 1993, was there a considerable amount of small arms
6 fire observed by you coming from Serbian forces on the
7 road from Visoko to Zenica?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. On the 17th of April, after being briefed
10 that fighting was going on over all the borders of the
11 Vance-Owen Plan, did you, along with other monitors,
12 Friis-Pederson and Lausten, go to Vitez?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. On that road to Vitez, did you see -- and
15 close to Nadioci and Pirici -- did you see six bodies,
16 dead bodies, on the road?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. What were you informed about those bodies, so
19 far as their previous movement of the bodies is
21 A. I was told by one of the monitors in the same
22 car that he felt this very strange because he was told
23 that BritBat had removed bodies from the road the night
24 or the evening before.
25 Q. And so they had been put back on the
2 A. Apparently, yes.
3 Q. Were you informed where they had been moved
4 on the previous day?
5 A. I'm not sure. As I recall it, they were
6 moved to the side of the road.
7 Q. And then put simply back on the road itself?
8 A. That's what I recall, yes.
9 Q. Did you also see houses that had been
10 destroyed still smoking as a result of fire?
11 A. I recall there were a lot of houses alongside
12 the road still smoking or still on fire.
13 Q. Were you introduced in Vitez to the Busovaca
14 Joint Commission, being briefed on its background and
15 structure by Remi Landry and Lausten, the ECMM monitor
16 to whom I have referred?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Your role at that time being to take notes
19 and as a member of the team being sent out to carry out
20 investigations and report back with your findings?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. As we are going to hear, you later on
23 presided over that commission; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct as well, yes.
25 Q. Throughout the events, of which you are going
1 to tell us, were you assisted by interpreters?
2 A. Yes, we had several interpreters, Marijan and
3 Milica, both being from Croat background, and several
4 other interpreters from Zenica.
5 Q. Did you have trouble ever with your chosen
6 interpreters being accepted by the various parties to
7 whom you spoke?
8 A. I recall only once in a small incident in
9 Busovaca where one of my female interpreters, Milica,
10 was rejected by the ABiH side, but Mr. Merdan and
11 Mr. Nakic took immediate action and ordered the brigade
12 commander to accept my interpreter.
13 Q. Did you ever have any reason to doubt the
14 accuracy of the translation done by your interpreters
15 or the integrity with which they approached their work?
16 A. No, I had no reason to doubt that.
17 Q. On the same 17th of April, did you meet the
18 defendant, Mario Cerkez, in the HVO headquarters at the
19 cinema in Vitez?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. By what title was he introduced to you?
22 A. He was introduced to me as a brigade
23 commander of the brigade in Vitez, the HVO brigade.
24 Q. The name of that brigade being?
25 A. I can't recall that name.
1 Q. Well, if it's put in the summary and you want
2 to turn to that, without objection, for assistance, you
4 A. I have got the summary, yes.
5 Q. It would be preferable for you not to have to
6 look at it, save when necessary.
7 A. The brigade is something like Stjepan, but I
8 don't know the second name.
9 Q. Stephan Masevic. Is that the name that you
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. Putting that on one side so far as you can,
13 how easy or difficult was it to get through to Cerkez's
15 A. I recall that it was quite difficult because
16 of fighting in the streets and because there were a lot
17 of guards in front of the building and inside the
18 building on all floors and nearly in front of every
19 door. So it took us a long time to get to his desk.
20 Q. At this time, what was the level of conflict
21 or fighting in Vitez?
22 A. In Vitez itself, I recall there was still
23 some small arms firing. Even the windows were hit
24 several times during our first visit there.
25 Q. What, as you were informed and understood,
1 was Cerkez's position in the hierarchy and area of
3 A. I was informed that he was the brigade
4 commander of the Vitez Brigade. So I drew my
5 conclusion that he was responsible for the vicinity and
6 the town of Vitez.
7 Q. A few documents. The first one, which is by
8 this date slightly historic, Z607. You have the pack
9 to your right. The usher needn't trouble with that at
11 Usher, leave the documents for the witness.
12 If the usher could have the other pack, please, then
13 the witness can simply look at the documents and the
14 usher can place the appropriate pages on the ELMO. And
15 in that way we'll save time.
16 So if the witness has his own pack. Thank
17 you very much.
18 This document pre-dates your arrival, because
19 it's dated the 5th of April. It's a decision about the
20 merging of HOS with units of the HVO. Was it an order
21 with which you were familiar?
22 A. I recall that I was informed about HOS and
23 HVO during one of the first days of my stay in the area
24 of Zenica.
25 Q. And as to this particular order, were you
1 aware of its provisions or not?
2 A. I was -- I don't recall that I saw this order
3 myself, but I was informed of the contents of the order
4 by Mr. Tibolt and by Mr. Remi Landry.
5 Q. The next document, Z590, is a daily
6 operational report. Before I turn to the contents of
7 this report, inform the Chamber, please: Did you keep
8 any contemporaneous records of your own?
9 A. Yes. I wrote most of these daily operational
10 orders myself. So I took copies of those daily
11 orders. Sometimes I was asked to make a special
12 report. I took copies of those as well. And I took
13 notes during all the meetings I attended or during the
14 meetings I chaired.
15 Q. Did you also make and do you retain any form
16 of diary or personal diary that you'd been able to
17 refer to?
18 A. Yes, I used to write in my personal diary
19 every night all the events that occurred during that
21 Q. Looking at this document, for the 17th of
22 April, at the end of the first paragraph, 1(a), sets
23 out the visits to Mario Cerkez. And in paragraph (b)
24 does it read as follows: "In Vitez there is an almost
25 full war going on." I must pause.
1 I trust the interpreters have been provided
2 with packs? And although I am listening in English, if
3 I go too fast in any reading, I hope somebody will
4 inform me so that I can slow down.
5 "In Vitez there is an almost full war going
6 on. Shelling and SA firings have been heard during the
7 whole day." SA meaning?
8 A. Small arms fire.
9 Q. "Mortars and trenches are located very close
10 to BritBat camp (to get cover?). At 1650 HVO are
11 trying to force the Muslim people near --" Can you
12 interpret the next word for me?
13 A. The BCJ house. That's the Busovaca Joint
14 Commission house. In fact, the ECMM house near to the
15 British Battalion camp.
16 Q. "And the houses used by BritBat in the area.
17 A very unpleasant situation. British officers and ECMM
18 took immediate action to prevent this and made clear to
19 all parties that people were to stay in their own
20 houses and that BritBat would patrol the area close by
21 the BritBat camp during night to prevent any attacks."
22 Yes. The mortars and trenches that you refer
23 to in the second line of paragraph (b), whose arms were
24 those or whose positions were those?
25 A. You can't say that in common whose they
1 were. There were several heavy artillery positions
2 controlled by the HVO on the mountain called Mosunj.
3 That was approximately one kilometre south of the
4 British camp. And there was a hill on the other side
5 of the camp, I think it's called the Grbavica hill, and
6 this hill was controlled by the army of BiH. So they
7 had artillery or mortars.
8 I think the HVO had most of the artillery and
9 mortars were most of the time used by the ABiH side.
10 Q. On this meeting, although it may not say it
11 here, did you see anything of any other leading
12 officials? Over the page, please, to paragraph 7.
13 A. You mean during the same meeting with
14 Mr. Cerkez?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Yes, I recall that Mr. Valenta, Anto Valenta,
17 joined the meeting. I think approximately halfway
18 through the meeting he entered the room and joined us.
19 Q. Let's turn now from whatever method of
20 recollection is appropriate, your notes or this note,
21 or memory, to what was said. Can you help us, please,
22 with what the position of the Busovaca Joint Commission
23 was? What was it aiming to do?
24 A. The Busovaca Joint Commission was raised
25 early in '93, when a conflict started in the area of
1 Busovaca, and the ECMM took the initiative to try to
2 get both parties on the table again and to negotiate
3 and to establish a ceasefire. And when new fightings
4 occurred in April 1993, ECMM more or less picked up the
5 work of the Busovaca Joint Commission again and tried
6 to set an example in the area of Vitez, as well as was
7 done in Busovaca. So that's the reason why it was
8 still called the Busovaca Joint Commission.
9 Q. Was that the attitude adopted on this day, at
10 this meeting?
11 A. I'm not sure whether they already took the
12 initiative the day before, but I was informed on the
13 17th that this was the nature of the Busovaca Joint
14 Commission, as we explained to Mr. Cerkez, what the
15 nature of our visit was.
16 Q. His reaction?
17 A. Well, I have to look in one of my notebooks,
19 Q. If it's been summarised in the summary, and
20 subject to objection, it may be you can look to that as
21 a quicker route; being able to go back to your
22 notebook, if issues are challenged.
23 A. The discussion was about the conflict, who
24 started what, some historical background, and I recall
25 that we asked or Friis-Pederson and I asked Mr. Cerkez
1 if we could stop the fighting. And he replied saying
2 that foreign forces from Zenica had to be stopped
3 first. Until that he couldn't stop fighting in his
4 area of responsibility.
5 And he also told us that a lot of his
6 soldiers were out of control. And I remember that I
7 objected against this, because soldiers out of control
8 cannot properly operate with artillery pieces. You
9 need good maps for that. You need good communications
10 to properly use artillery. So it cannot be done by
11 soldiers out of control.
12 Q. The foreign forces in the other side, how did
13 he describe them?
14 A. He referred to the forces on the other side
15 as Mujahedins.
16 Q. What at that stage was your awareness of the
17 presence of foreign forces, Mujahedin or otherwise,
18 assisting the ABiH?
19 A. I don't recall that I was aware about
20 Mujahedins on the 17th, my first day. I recall that I
21 was informed about Mujahedins later on, but they always
22 were mentioned about small groups of individuals. And
23 there was one unit in Zenica called the 7th Muslim
24 brigade, and this unit was told to be part of this
25 Mujahedin group.
1 Q. What was the evidence, as you ever found it,
2 to be of the number of Mujahedin, if any, taking part
3 in either that brigade or any other?
4 A. The only exact number I ever found evidence
5 of was the exchange of prisoners later on, and that was
6 dealing with 11 foreigners.
7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice,
8 I'm going back to the question or, rather, the answer
9 where Mr. Cerkez, to the Colonel, he said that there
10 were very many soldiers whom he could not control any
11 longer, and the witness objected to this, speaking
12 about artillery operations which needed a logistic
13 back-up and which could not be done by soldiers who
14 were not controlled by Mr. Cerkez.
15 Could we hear now if Mr. Cerkez responded to
16 this objection or not, and how did he react when the
17 witness commented that he could not have a larger
18 number of soldiers outside his control? Did he answer
19 to that, and what did he answer?
20 A. I do not recall a direct answer to that,
21 since Mr. Friis-Pedersen was the one to do most of the
22 talking; I was the one to take notes. As I recall, the
23 conversation just went on and they didn't mention this
24 item anymore.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Had Mr. Cerkez given detail, given chapter
2 and verse, of how, contrary to your proposition, troops
3 were able to be out of control? Is that something you
4 would have noted, do you think?
5 A. I think so, yes, because my first reaction
6 would have been, "If you are a brigade commander
7 responsible for a certain area, then you should try to
8 take control over all your soldiers and not just a few
9 groups of these soldiers." There's only one commander
10 responsible in his area of operation, his area of
12 Q. Still part of paragraph 10, the 7th Muslim
13 Brigade, did that ever appear in local structures of
14 the military?
15 A. I only recall that the 7th Muslim Brigade was
16 stationed in Zenica, and I never heard of any signs or
17 allegations or rumours that this brigade, as a unit,
18 was at the front line anywhere.
19 Q. Picking up the point that Judge Bennouna has
20 raised about troops allegedly being out of control, in
21 relation to the 7th Muslim Brigade, were you ever told
22 by Merdan something about them being out of control?
23 A. Yes. Because there were a lot of complaints
24 about Mujahedins, we referred to Merdan several times
25 about this and asked him how this could be, and I
1 recall that after a while -- I'm not sure when, but I
2 think it's maybe the first or the second week of May --
3 he informed us that this 7th Muslim Brigade was under
4 control now. So it took him some time, but as I
5 recall, it was the first or the second week of May
6 until this unit was under control.
7 Q. We must now come back then, having dealt with
8 that topic, but stick with the same meeting of the
9 17th. Were you told something about the taking of
10 prisoners by the HVO in the course of this meeting?
11 A. Yes. We raised that item ourselves, and we
12 were informed by Mr. Cerkez that he had several people
13 taken in prison, most of them male. He already
14 released the women and children, he told us. I don't
15 recall the exact number, but it was something under a
16 hundred. He considered every male in the area as
17 somebody able to fight, and that's the reason why he
18 brought them into prison.
19 Q. Did he raise any other argument for the
20 detention of these people?
21 A. Sometimes the argument of the personal safety
22 was mentioned. So for the safety of these people
23 themselves, they used to take them into prison.
24 Q. Anto Valenta, whom you told us joined the
25 meeting, what views did he express?
1 A. I recall that he was -- he used a lot of time
2 to teach us about history, and after a while he told us
3 that this whole fight was organised by the ABiH side
4 and that the Muslims caused the problems themselves,
5 and he appeared to be quite a hardliner in his
6 thinking, in his political views.
7 Q. We've dealt with paragraph 13. Without
8 looking at the summary, please, could you just cast
9 your mind back not just to this meeting but to the
10 developing history in the region?
11 First of all, at this meeting, the
12 involvement of people not in military uniform, if
13 Valenta was not in military uniform, how did that
14 strike you?
15 A. He was actually wearing a uniform, and that,
16 in fact, struck me because I never saw politicians
17 wearing uniforms, and he introduced himself as the
18 vice-president of the HDZ. So he introduced himself as
19 a politician, but the fact that he was wearing a
20 uniform and had free access to the office of the
21 brigade commander, that struck me, that fact.
22 Q. When you say he had free access, just enlarge
23 on that, again not necessarily restricted to this
24 meeting but to the overall period of time.
25 A. Well, it took us always quite some effort to
1 get up to the brigade commander or sometimes even to
2 the operational zone commander, and, well, it surprised
3 me that these political people had no problems entering
4 meetings where we were present, had no problems
5 entering headquarters, and they sometimes even took an
6 active part in these meetings.
7 Q. You're going to be telling us a little bit
8 more about things in detail over the forthcoming weeks,
9 but in summary, how did military personnel on both
10 sides of the conflict show their desire to cooperate or
11 not in achieving solutions?
12 A. Depending on the situation, sometimes they
13 were very willing to cooperate, sometimes less
14 willing. But in common, they were willing to
15 cooperate, and they assigned liaison officers to our
16 work, and they were of great help, these liaison
17 officers. After a while, specifically the politicians
18 showed up to be hardliners in thinking, and they
19 sometimes refused to work with us, or sometimes they
20 tried to take a lot of time by speaking about history
21 again and again, and stating that, in fact, they should
22 be the ones to talk with and not the officers in
23 charge. After a while, they even tried to take over
24 the work of the commission.
25 Q. We see, from the way your first couple of
1 reports are prepared, that ceasefires were a central
2 object of the work you were engaged in?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The military leaders, when they had control,
5 were there prospects of ceasefires?
6 A. After a while, I think there were real
7 prospects, since they agreed in freedom of movement for
8 us after a few days; they agreed in joining us in
9 meetings in a neutral place, the ECMM house; they
10 agreed in being escorted from one place to another; so
11 they felt safe, more or less, and the liaison officers
12 from both sides went to every occasion where we had to
13 check on allegations. So I think they were cooperative
14 and they more or less believed in a ceasefire, although
15 they misused every occasion to gain some benefit from
17 Q. By the time the politicians had taken greater
18 control, what had happened to the prospects of
20 A. As I recall it, I didn't really like the
21 politicians to mix in with our work, because since they
22 did, the soldiers were no longer willing to cooperate
23 and ceasefires were more often broken. The freedom of
24 movement gave us more and more problems because roads
25 were blocked, sometimes by civilians, and soldiers then
1 used to say that they couldn't break these roadblocks
2 because they were built up by civilians and politicians
3 refused to solve the problem.
4 Q. One matter of detail on the same topic. The
5 man Valenta, did he, in due course, assume a position
6 in relation to the prison commission?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What position was that?
9 A. He informed me that he was assigned as the
10 head of the commission of prisoners, whatever that
11 might be.
12 Q. Can you date that, approximately, or not?
13 A. I think it was on the first or the second day
14 when I met him, so the 17th or the 18th.
15 Q. I think that job was later taken over by
16 someone else.
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. A politician?
19 A. Mr. Skopljak took over.
20 Q. Returning from that longer view to the
21 meeting itself and then to the day of the 17th of
22 April, did you, on that same day, attempt to get to
24 A. Yes. We desperately tried to go to Kruscica,
25 since there was the other side in this conflict. This
1 village of Kruscica was controlled by part of the ABiH
2 Brigade, and we had to reach this brigade commander to
3 establish a ceasefire.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. But we did not manage to get into Kruscica,
6 since the road was blocked by mines and soldiers and
7 they told us that it wasn't safe for us to go there, so
8 we were not allowed to use the road and we couldn't go
9 to Kruscica that first day.
10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, towards the back of
11 your packs of exhibits, there are the maps and
12 photographs. If the Chamber needs to remind itself of
13 locations, there's an extract from the map marked 2175,
14 and that, if the usher would like to have it at hand,
15 it can always be laid on the ELMO when we are speaking
16 about places such as Kruscica, which is shown
17 conveniently immediately south of Vitez.
18 JUDGE MAY: I can see the photographs, but I
19 can't see a map.
20 MR. NICE: Well, I hope it's just before the
21 photographs in the pile.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, not in mine, but --
23 MR. NICE: It may be the Chamber, for the
24 time being, can remember the location.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MR. NICE: The usher has managed to place one
2 on the ELMO, so the Chamber can always refer to that.
3 Q. On your return, Colonel, on that day to the
4 ECMM house, did you see something of activity at some
5 houses around the BritBat base?
6 A. Yes. There was one concrete road adjacent to
7 the BritBat base, and at this road there was our ECMM
8 house borrowed from a Croat lady. At this road, there
9 were seven or eight more houses, most of them occupied
10 or owned by Muslims, and a Croat force of approximately
11 actually 10 or 15 men, led by an officer, tried to
12 force these Muslim people out of their houses and tried
13 to make them leave the houses and move away.
14 Q. Yes. The resolution of that was by whom?
15 A. By the British 2IC of the battalion. I think
16 it was Major Watters. He led quite a large group of
17 British soldiers, and he made a firm protest against
18 this HVO officer, that these houses were used by
19 British officers and that these people -- these Muslim
20 owners of the houses should stay in their own houses,
21 and that ethnical cleansing was not allowed or not
22 accepted by BritBat in the vicinity of the British
23 Battalion camp.
24 Q. Thank you. The next document in the bundle
25 is also dated the 17th of April. It's an exhibit
1 already tendered as 696. It's over the three names
2 with a common, it would appear to the untutored eye, a
3 common signature, the three names, Puljic, Kostroman
4 and Kordic, and it's a document that begs all possible
5 protection for the Croats at Zenica and so on. Were
6 you acquainted -- did you see this exhibit at the time?
7 A. No, I didn't get it myself, but it was
8 discussed by Mr. Thebault and by Colonel Bob Stewart.
9 Q. And the significance of its contents being?
10 A. Well, they informed me about the concern of
11 Croats, and about the allegations that Croats in Zenica
12 were threatened by Mujahedins, and that their lives
13 were apparently in danger.
14 Q. Were you able to verify or were the other
15 monitors able to verify the accuracy of the information
16 or not?
17 A. We called the regional centre in Zenica about
18 this, and Mr. Thebault had already got a copy of this,
19 and I recall that he denied this and that he would
20 investigate the situation of all Croats in Zenica.
21 Q. Was information forthcoming to support this
22 document or was this incorrect, in your judgement?
23 A. You mean a protest like this?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. There were more protests made like this, most
1 of them oral and sometimes written.
2 Q. Supported by evidence or not?
3 A. No, they were never supported by evidence.
4 Q. We turn to the 18th of April --
5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice,
6 this document, could we learn from the witness who
7 signed the document, because we see the same
9 MR. NICE: Maybe the witness won't know, but
10 we'll see if he can help us.
11 Q. Are you able to help at all, from your
12 knowledge, either, one, do you recognise any of these
13 initials or signatures or, two, was this form whereby
14 names would appear with common signatures something
15 that you encountered?
16 A. No, I don't recall these signatures, and I
17 can't tell you who signed them.
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes. But,
19 Mr. Nice, perhaps you should try and find another way
20 to authenticate these signatures, because we see names,
21 we see the title, "Vice-President of HZ-HB", Mr. Dario
22 Kordic, the Secretary General, Mr. Kostroman,
23 Mr. Puljic, but we see the same signature on top of all
24 three names. We should know who signed it.
25 MR. NICE: Suffice to say, but, of course,
1 the authorship of documents coming from this body are
2 known to that body rather than to us. This document is
3 received by BritBat and made available to this
4 Tribunal. It's not challenged, I think, that it comes
5 with the apparent authority of those whose names
6 appear, and it's something for others to answer, not
7 for us, how it comes that they have three identical
8 signatures. But the authority of the document is not,
9 I think, challenged.
10 Q. Can we turn, please, to the 18th of April,
11 paragraph 17? On that day, was there a meeting of the
12 Busovaca joint commission at the ECMM house in Bila --
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. -- to arrange a ceasefire, to list the
15 missing and the dead, to deal with the exchange of
16 prisoners, to investigate murders and other atrocities?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. The HVO representative being Borislav Jozic
19 and the Muslim representative from 325 Mountain Brigade
20 being Rifet Hajdarevic?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Following that meeting, did you go to the
23 headquarters of the HVO in Vitez, and did you see the
24 defendant Cerkez there?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. What did he tell you?
2 A. We asked him about a letter of authorisation
3 for his liaison officer so he could be of any help
4 during our efforts to go to the other side, to
5 Kruscica, to break checkpoints and roadblocks.
6 Q. Did he say anything himself about what had
7 been happening elsewhere in Zenica and so on?
8 A. Well, we asked them again about the
9 conflicts, why he couldn't stop the fighting, and he
10 kept complaining about the Croats, like stated in the
11 former -- in the letter you showed me. He complains
12 that the Croats in Zenica were unsafe and that we had
13 to do something about that.
14 Q. Did he make any specific -- it's in the
15 summary and it's not challenged, I think, about murders
16 in Zenica?
17 A. There were a lot of complaints, allegations
18 about atrocities of Croats in Zenica, atrocities
19 supposedly done by Mujahedins.
20 Q. Was Cerkez at some stage in a state of some
22 A. He was quite upset, yes. I recall that.
23 Q. And did he calm down?
24 A. Well, as we gave him some time to inform us
25 about his concerns. And when we tried to inform him
1 that according to our acknowledgement the Croats in
2 Zenica were safe, then he calmed down.
3 Q. His attitude towards removing roadblocks
4 being what?
5 A. He was still not very willing to give us
6 freedom of movement. But after we insisted on that, he
7 told the liaison officer to organise the safe passage
8 of lines for us.
9 Q. Did you then attempt to go to Kruscica?
10 A. Yes, on the 18th. That was the first time
11 that we managed to go to Kruscica.
12 Q. Did you get there and find some Croat
13 prisoners being detained there?
14 A. Yes. We first met the commander on scene
15 from the ABiH side, Mr. Sifet Sivro, and he informed us
16 that he had a few prisoners as well. And we were able
17 to visit these prisoners.
18 Q. Their condition? Where were they kept?
19 A. They were kept in a shed near a school. And
20 the condition of one man was -- I think he was ill,
21 mentally ill and physically ill. And the condition of
22 the others was as such not bad, but it was not a place
23 to keep people in a shed like this.
24 Q. Were there complaints made by the HVO about
25 the presence of outside troops fighting in the area?
1 A. Yes. I recall that these complaints were
2 made several times, that units from Zenica sometimes
3 referred to as Mujahedins, other times just as foreign
4 units, were threatening the area of Vitez.
5 Q. Were you able to find any evidence of that
6 yourself at the time?
7 A. At that time we were not able to visit the
8 front line along the Kuber hills -- those are the
9 hills between Zenica and Vitez -- because there was
10 still fighting going on. But we asked the other side,
11 and they said that just this Mountain Brigade, I think
12 it's 321st Mountain Brigade, that this was the only
13 brigade that was fighting in the area. But I was not
14 able to check myself.
15 Q. Did you return to HQ and did you raise the
16 issue of roadblocks and of fighting near the BritBat
17 base, and to that did the defendant Cerkez raise again
18 the issues of alleged massacres in Zenica and of
19 involvement by Mujahedins and of an alleged massacre in
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Did he blame the ABiH for the starting of the
23 fighting in Bila at the BritBat base and claim that
24 three HVO soldiers had been shot near that base?
25 A. Yes. This appeared to be the common way of
1 working, complaining and then -- because of these
2 complaints, finding an excuse for your own behaviour.
3 Q. Did he demand the cessation of massacres by
4 the ABiH and require them to treat people properly?
5 A. Yes, he asked us to investigate this and to
6 organise that the Croats in Zenica were safe.
7 Q. What did he say would happen if they were
8 shot at again; they, the HVO?
9 A. I recall that he said that he would -- his
10 soldiers would return fire as soon as they were shot
11 at, and that if Croats were not safe, that he would
12 organise things.
13 Q. Did he say what, if anything, would happen to
14 houses if they were shot at?
15 A. If they were shot at from certain houses,
16 then they would burn them down.
17 Q. His allegations of massacres in Zenica and
18 Kuber, were they capable of verification?
19 A. The allegations in Zenica were verified the
20 same night by monitors in Zenica. And the Kuber area
21 was escorted by BritBat, I think, two or three days
22 later, to check on these allegations.
23 Q. When you say they were verified, do you mean
24 they were verified, the allegations, and found to be
1 A. Found to be untrue.
2 Q. Found to be untrue. In both cases?
3 A. In both cases, yes.
4 Q. The effect of this information on these
5 complaints by the HVO was what, so far as Croats living
6 in the area was concerned?
7 A. The effect on the Croat population was that
8 they were very scared and they were in fear; that
9 similar things as these allegations that supposedly
10 were done to the Croats in Zenica should happen or
11 would happen to them as well.
12 Q. Were any of these Croats living away from
13 their own houses, but with the prospect of returning to
14 their own houses?
15 A. There was an area northwest of Zenica that I
16 visited in the second week of my period in middle
17 Bosnia, and there happened more or less the same:
18 Croats were very scared, fled to a small village called
19 Grahovici. Some 2.000 or 3.000 Croats went there. And
20 with the help of Croat police from Zenica, I managed to
21 convince the people that it was safe to go back to
22 their own houses.
23 But the day, then, when we arrived with buses
24 to bring the people back, they were told by Croats,
25 officers and by Croat politicians, that it was no
1 longer safe for them to stay in the area of Zenica and
2 they should go to a safe place, Vitez or Nova Bila. So
3 they were informed by their own politicians and
4 soldiers not to come with us to Zenica, not to trust
5 us, but to go to the other side.
6 Q. On this same day, did you go to Rovna?
7 A. That's correct, yes.
8 Q. And perhaps the usher would very kindly put
9 it on the ELMO, in case the Chamber hasn't got maps.
10 I'll deal with any deficiency of maps at the short
11 adjournment. But Rovna is southeast of Vitez and about
12 ten centimetres or a couple of inches, two or three
13 inches southeast. From Rovna were you able to hear and
14 see something happening in Stari Vitez?
15 A. Yes. From Rovna, that's approximately three
16 kilometres from Vitez, when we visited the ABiH front
17 line site in Rovna, we heard several explosions on the
18 hill side of Kuber. That's northeast of Vitez. And
19 then one large explosion and a big pile of smoke and
20 dust in the direction of Stari Vitez.
21 Q. Did you subsequently discover what it was
22 that had exploded?
23 A. Yes. We tried to go there the same
24 afternoon, but the road was blocked. And when we
25 arrived in the British camp, we were informed that a
1 large truck bomb had been exploded in the outskirts of
2 Stari Vitez. And the day after we visited that spot
4 Q. Before we turn from the 18th of April, there
5 are two documents in the stack. Take them slightly out
6 of order. The second one first, Z718, a document
7 already exhibited. This is your report for the day
8 itself, the 18th of April?
9 A. Yes, this is my daily report. It says on the
10 second page.
11 Q. And we can see common patterns in the
12 preparation of these reports. I needn't go through
13 everything. But we can see at the foot of the page
14 under "other," it sets out your meetings with
15 Mr. Cerkez and sets out the various things that he said
17 And then over the page at subparagraph headed
18 "e" is the conclusion about the attempt from the HVO
19 side of yesterday evening to make ethnic cleansing in
20 the village of -- in the village Bila close to BritBat
21 failed, and then you set out why.
22 Thank you.
23 Exhibit Z708 of the same day, also already
24 tendered, coming from the HVO, going to UNPROFOR, being
25 a protest, alleges that in the severe attacks on
1 Croatian villages of Zenica municipality, Muslim forces
2 are using all their bestiality and cruelty, as well as
3 their evident wish of destroying all that is Croatian.
4 And then says in the next paragraph, "The arrested men
5 were thrown under tanks."
6 This particular protest, was it one you saw
7 at the time or not, or can't you remember?
8 A. I can't recall that I saw it myself. I don't
9 recall that I have a copy of this, and most of the
10 times I took copies myself.
11 Q. Is this particular form of protest familiar
12 or otherwise?
13 A. It's very familiar, yes.
14 Q. And such allegations as men being thrown
15 under tanks, to your knowledge ever sustained
17 A. No, never sustained. I wasn't even aware of
18 ABiH having tanks. Not at that time.
19 Q. Your Honour, will you just give me one minute
20 while I check something.
21 Paragraph 23 -- sorry, 22. On the 19th of
22 April did the Busovaca Joint Commission meet again in
23 the same ECMM building; did Jozic compile a list of 70
24 prisoners saying there may be more in the region; and
25 did the Muslim representative, Hazdarevic, indicate
1 that he had problems getting organised because he was
2 unable to get through to his headquarters in Kruscica?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Following that meeting, did you go and meet
5 Cerkez and Valenta again in Vitez at the HQ and the
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Did they promise that roadblocks would pose
9 no more problems for your commission?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Did you ask them about the truck bomb?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Valenta's explanation?
14 A. At first he tried to find an explanation like
15 a house was set on fire near an ammunition storage
16 site, and then they said that the storage side might
17 have been hit by a mortar shell. And then later on
18 they said that the Muslim side caused this explosion
20 Q. Who gave the explanation about spreading
21 fire? Can you remember? If necessary, you can check
22 your notes, but if you can remember, so much the
24 A. It's in my notes. I'm not sure who said
1 Q. Did you find any of these explanations
3 A. No, I did not, because this large truck bomb
4 exploded very close to the mosque of Stari Vitez, and
5 it appeared to be a clear threat to the Muslim
6 inhabitants of that area of the town.
7 Q. Did it appear, in your experience as a
8 soldier, to have military justification?
9 A. No, not at all. It's never allowed to use
10 means like this.
11 Q. The note of who said what, was that note
12 originally made the same day or thereabouts? Who gave
13 what explanation?
14 A. The notes in my small notebook were made by
15 myself during the same meeting.
16 Q. On this occasion, I think we better hear what
17 it was that Cerkez gave -- Mr. Cerkez gave as an
19 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, if I may just
20 intrude. We have made a generic request for notes that
21 are to be used by witnesses to refresh their
22 recollection during testimony. We have not been
23 provided with a copy of Colonel Morsink's notes. I do
24 not know what the Chamber's attitude towards that is,
25 but obviously I would assume, anyway, that they are
1 written in Dutch, and translation problems being what
2 they are --
3 THE WITNESS: They are written in English.
4 MR. SAYERS: Written in English. Well, if we
5 could have a copy of them, perhaps over the break, that
6 would be extremely helpful. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Any difficulty about that?
8 MR. NICE: I think that the Chamber's policy
9 has been that if documents aren't handled and seen by
10 us, but are simply referred to by the witness, it's the
11 witness's response that may matter. I suspect that
12 this witness won't have any objection. He can just be
14 JUDGE MAY: You haven't seen that document?
15 MR. NICE: We've seen them in the sense that
16 we've been with him when he's been referring to them,
17 but we haven't had them ourselves, no.
18 JUDGE MAY: You haven't got copies?
19 MR. NICE: We haven't got copies ourselves, I
20 don't think, no. And I think -- I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE MAY: Normally the Defence counsel, I
22 think, are entitled to see documents which are referred
23 to refresh memories, provided there is no particular
24 objection from the witness. I'll ask the Colonel.
25 THE WITNESS: I have no objections, Your
2 JUDGE MAY: No objection. Perhaps you could
3 show it or the relevant parts to the Colonel during the
5 A. I can put it on the ELMO if you like. I can
6 put it on the ELMO and read it. The markings are made
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. So the explanation by Cerkez, just read it
10 out and interpret it for us, please.
11 A. "The explosion came from a house. Later info
12 was that the truck exploded. There is no exact info on
13 what happened."
14 And then Eric Friis-Pederson said, "Please
15 investigate this. This is terrorism. It is not fair."
16 Q. What was Mr. Cerkez's response to the request
17 to investigate?
18 A. Well, I wrote down and underscored that Mario
19 will investigate. So Mr. Cerkez told us that he would
20 investigate this.
21 Q. Was this within his area of responsibility?
22 A. It was clearly within the vicinity of Vitez.
23 Q. And again on -- in your experience as a
24 soldier, on whom would have fallen the responsibility
25 of a -- investigating a matter of this sort at that
2 A. According to my acknowledge, it is the area
3 of responsibility of the brigade commander on scene,
4 and this was clearly within the area of responsibility,
5 and every action like this or incident like this should
6 be investigated by or by somebody under the command of
7 the brigade commander himself.
8 Q. To your knowledge, was any investigation by
9 Cerkez carried out?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you ever hear any more of this inquiry
12 after this day?
13 A. No. I recall that we asked about it, but
14 there was no investigation made or, at least, we didn't
15 get any results of any investigation.
16 Q. Okay. Towards the back of the -- in fact,
17 right at the back of the bundle of exhibits there is an
18 Exhibit Z2534, which is a selection of photographs
19 taken by the witness with his own handwritten captions
20 on them. If we turn on a few sheets, three sheets I
21 think, we see something of the truck bomb?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, if you'd like to ensure that -- that's
24 it. Can you just tell us when you took these
25 photographs and what they reveal?
1 A. Yes. I told you we were not able to go to
2 Old Vitez, to Stari Vitez that same day on the 18th.
3 But as I recall it, we were able to use this very road
4 on the 19th, and you can clearly see the bodies still
5 hanging out of the window.
6 Q. Just point that out to us, please.
7 A. [Indicating] And I was informed by the
8 British Battalion that they already evacuated all
9 wounded people and homeless people, and they had
10 problems removing the dead bodies because of danger of
11 the house collapsing.
12 Q. Looking at the bottom of the three
13 photographs on this sheet, were you able to identify
14 where the truck bomb had been at the time of the
16 A. Yes, you can still see a crater in the middle
17 of the road and the dark part on top of that. That is
18 the remains of the truck. I think it's the engine, the
20 Q. The mosque to which you referred, it may not
21 be shown precisely here, I'm not sure, but can you give
22 us a --
23 A. Yes. I recall that the mosque is on this
24 side where the grass is and the small fence. I'm not
25 sure from what side we came.
1 Q. To orientate ourselves, and only if you can
2 remember, keeping the bottom picture in mind, if the
3 usher can now just show the top picture. They won't
4 all fit on the ELMO together. But the top picture,
5 where is that in relation to the truck bomb and the
6 view from the bottom picture?
7 A. That's very, very close to the location where
8 the bomb exploded.
9 Q. Okay. Do you know if it's on the left-hand
10 side of the road or the right? It doesn't matter,
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Right. Okay. Thank you. Turning to your
14 discussions with Cerkez and Valenta, paragraph 24. Was
15 a claim made about what the ABiH was doing in relation
16 to BritBat base?
17 A. I recall that we made a protest, and also
18 BritBat made a protest in the direction of the HVO, a
19 protest for these attempts of removing the people.
20 Q. Yes. And what was Cerkez's attitude to that?
21 A. His reaction, as I recall it, was that the
22 ABiH was using BritBat as a kind of a place to take
23 shelter behind. So they, according to Mr. Cerkez, they
24 used the BritBat to hide their mortar positions and to
25 move troops.
1 Q. What did Valenta say about things, and in
2 particular what did he say about any ceasefire order he
3 had received?
4 A. I don't exactly recall what he replied to
6 Q. I'll read it from the summary and you can be
7 corrected if it's necessary. Did he assert that the
8 HVO had received a ceasefire order and asked whether
9 the ABiH had received it as well?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. He is referring to the
11 meeting of the day before, where we -- where both sides
12 agreed in a ceasefire, and he was more or less checking
13 on it, whether the other side was living up to this
14 ceasefire agreement.
15 Q. And did you visit some prisoners in cellars
16 -- in a cellar controlled by the HVO?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you see some prisoners?
19 A. I recall that we -- I think it was in the
20 cellar of the cinema, so that's the brigade
21 headquarters in Vitez, where we saw approximately 70
22 male prisoners all in civilian clothes.
23 Q. How did they appear to you to being treated?
24 A. They appeared to be treated quite well. They
25 told us through the interpreter that they were fed well
1 and that they could use the toilet, if needed; that
2 they got some signs of contact from the outside.
3 Q. All right. Did you then go to Kruscica and
4 meet Sifet Sivro, commander for that area?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Was he prepared, representing the ABiH, to
7 accept a ceasefire, notwithstanding the truck bomb,
8 which, of course, caused -- it says "upset" here, but
9 maybe rather more than upset.
10 A. That's correct. He was very upset, but he
11 still accepted the ceasefire, as agreed upon.
12 Q. Did he assert that he'd given orders that
13 prisoners kept by his side should be well treated?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And did he confirm that Hajdarevic on his
16 side, and Jozic on the HVO side, could talk in order to
17 create a weapons-free zone around the BritBat camp?
18 A. Yes, that's correct as well.
19 Q. 20th of April, paragraph 26: Meeting of the
20 BJC concerned with prisoner exchange and the need for
21 accurate lists, and for the evacuation of the wounded.
22 Was there heavy artillery and mortar fire that morning?
23 A. Yes, there was a lot of artillery fire going
25 Q. Coming from whose positions, as you could
2 A. The positions we could clearly see were these
3 Mosul positions I was referring to.
4 Q. Occupied by?
5 A. Occupied by HVO.
6 Q. Yes. Did you learn about an ultimatum to
7 inhabitants of Gacice?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Tell us about that, in a sentence.
10 A. We were told that the inhabitants of Gacice
11 were ordered to leave their houses and to go to Zenica,
12 and they were threatened by local soldiers or by local
13 civilians or both, and the set-up was to try to scare
14 these people away.
15 Q. Next document, Z754, already tendered.
16 Paragraph 3, "ceasefire violations (unconfirmed)."
17 "Tanks were told to be in position on the mountain road
18 between Zenica and Vitez. Shelling HVO headquarters
19 and the PTT building in Vitez. HVO is said to be
20 putting an ultimatum on Gacice and that failed. HVO is
21 said to have started attacking this village."
22 Were the HVO complaints, as recorded here,
23 true or unconfirmed?
24 A. We didn't find any signs of any tanks used by
25 the ABiH side, nor of any tanks in position on the
1 mountain road.
2 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 28, the 21st of April.
3 On that day, at the BJC, was there a meeting between
4 Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, the deputy commander
5 for the operational zone for Central Bosnia, Franjo
6 Nakic for the HVO, Dzemal Merdan, the local commander
7 for the 3rd BiH Army, also being present. And was it
8 at this meeting that a decision was made to form local
9 joint commissions, LJC's as we called them, in Vitez,
10 Novi Travnik, Travnik and Busovaca, with a joint
11 command in Travnik?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Did the representatives of both sides in
14 Vitez agree to have direct communication between
15 themselves, even if the whole of the commission was not
16 constituted or present?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. On that same 21st, did you visit Ahmici for
19 the first time, discovering one body, an elderly man,
20 in a garage?
21 A. That's correct as well.
22 Q. Paragraph 30, but don't refer to the summary
23 and just help us from your memory. On this occasion,
24 on this day, did you meet a man called Father Stjepan?
25 A. That's correct. I was asked to escort Father
1 Stjepan from Zenica to Vitez, since he wished to visit
2 his colleague Catholic priests in Vitez and to inform
3 them about the situation in Zenica and to be informed
4 himself about the situation in Vitez.
5 Q. Did you meet somebody else there in the
6 presence of Father Stjepan?
7 A. Yes, I met the Catholic priests in Vitez. I
8 don't remember the names, but there were two young
9 priests. During this meeting, Pero Skopljak entered
10 the house near the church where we had the meeting.
11 Q. Had you met him before or was this the first
13 A. I never met him before. This was the first
15 Q. His attitude?
16 A. He also started speaking about the history
17 and the background of this whole conflict. Since he
18 found out that I -- that my German is not too bad, he
19 started speaking in German to me, and I found out he
20 was really very hard in his conclusions and in his
22 Q. His attitude towards the United Nations and
23 also his attitude towards Muslims, please?
24 A. His attitude towards the United Nations was
25 very negative. He complained that the BritBat didn't
1 do anything to help Croat victims in the car bomb
2 incident, although to my knowledge there were no Croat
3 injuries. He said that the U.N. was no longer
4 impartial, that his people could not trust the U.N.
5 anymore, and his attitude towards Muslims was very,
6 very negative.
7 Q. What, if anything, do you recall his saying
8 about Muslims?
9 A. I recall that he stated that Muslims had
10 caused this conflict themselves and they had brought
11 this curse on their own back, that they were the ones
12 to be blamed for all the victims in the area.
13 Q. Father Stjepan, on the other hand, how did
14 you find him?
15 A. He was very moderate. He had a clear view of
16 the whole situation. He tried to calm down his
17 colleague priests and tried to calm down Mr. Skopljak.
18 Q. By my oversight, I turned to the 22nd of
19 April without dealing with the document that touches
20 the 21st of April, which we'll produce very briefly.
21 It's the next in the stack, Z771. Probably the second
22 page is worth noting at subparagraph D. It deals with
23 your findings in Ahmici, and I'm not going to go into
24 it in any detail. Is that right?
25 A. That's correct, yes.
1 Q. Sorry for taking that out of order.
2 Back to the summary, paragraph 31, and on to
3 the 23rd of April, a meeting at Vitez of the local
4 joint commission, with little progress being made,
5 although there were promises to switch on the telephone
6 switching stations of the PTT, both of which were
7 controlled by the HVO. Were the telephone systems, to
8 your knowledge, damaged by consequences of fighting or
9 were they just switched off?
10 A. I think they were not damaged at all. Maybe
11 a single line was damaged. But the stations, as such,
12 were fully operational or capable of operating, but
13 they were merely switched off, and not all the lines.
14 Some lines were switched off and some others were not,
15 since the headquarters of the HVO Brigade and the
16 operational zone in Vitez were still able to call
17 BritBat on the special PTT line.
18 Q. So Z793, the next document, again we deal
19 with it briefly. Subparagraph 4 on the first page --
20 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour --
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. -- records that this was the --
23 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour.
24 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, I didn't see him.
25 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, just a small
1 technical question. So far, a couple of "Z" documents
2 are introduced, but I'm not aware of whether they are
3 taken as evidence material or just shown to the -- we
4 never really produced those documents as being taken in
5 the material.
6 JUDGE MAY: I understood they were being
7 produced as exhibits in the case, and some of them have
8 already been produced.
9 MR. NICE: It's certainly my intention that
10 they should be produced, and indeed I thought that the
11 ECMM documents generally are documents that both sides
12 are going to regard as helpful when they are produced.
13 But I needn't go through them in detail when the
14 witness has given his evidence which is otherwise
15 summarised and noted there.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm just afraid of
18 technical problems, and recently the Chamber did give
19 some instructions on that matter, in the sense that a
20 document which is introduced should be clearly declared
21 as introduced.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, for my part, I understood
23 that matters were being introduced as evidence, that
24 any document put in is an exhibit unless somebody says
25 something to the contrary. So if you've got any
1 objection to any of these documents, say so.
2 Otherwise, you must take them as exhibits. They've got
3 numbers on them, and in order to save time, documents
4 will be admitted unless there's any objection.
5 MR. KOVACIC: That's fine with me. That's
6 okay, Your Honour. I just wanted to know whether each
7 document which is presented is formally entered as the
8 evidence. If so, I have no objection on any particular
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Unless there's an
11 objection, documents tendered will be admitted. That
12 will go for both sides.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Sir.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. The Z7 --
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Mr. Sayers.
17 MR. SAYERS: Just ten seconds,
18 Mr. President.
19 We have no objection, obviously, to the
20 European Community Monitoring Mission documents being
21 admitted as evidence provided they are all admitted.
22 We object to selective documents being extracted by the
23 Prosecution and selectively introduced.
24 JUDGE MAY: Why?
25 MR. SAYERS: Well, because we don't have
1 access to all of them, and that's a real problem for
3 JUDGE MAY: This is a matter which we've
4 discussed before.
5 MR. SAYERS: I think it is. I think the
6 representation was made or the point was made that
7 there is no general library of these documents, but
8 there appears to be quite an extensive source of supply
9 of them, and we would just like to see them all to make
10 sure that --
11 JUDGE MAY: The Prosecution are entitled to
12 select what they want and not produce everything.
13 Obviously, they are producing a case, or presenting
14 it. If there are other such documents, I would
15 anticipate that normally they would be disclosed,
16 unless there's some good reason to stop it.
17 Mr. Nice, while we're dealing with this
18 topic, we have discussed it before and I forgot what
19 the result was.
20 MR. NICE: Yes, I think we discussed it
21 twice. Once, at the end of a period before the summer
22 recess, we discussed libraries of documents in general,
23 and you expressed or perhaps hinted that it might be a
24 good idea to be generous with this type of document,
25 insofar as generosity lay within our gift.
1 As to ECMM documents, however, they are not
2 within our gift to make available, and I think I've
3 explained before that the custodians of ECMM documents
4 are prepared for us to produce them on this basis
5 through the witnesses as relevant but would otherwise
6 wish to be heard before any question of wholesale
7 distribution is dealt with.
8 It may be that that matter will have to come
9 before the Chamber at some stage, because the Defence,
10 as I understand it, have communicated directly with the
11 holders of all the ECMM documents, requesting access to
12 all the documents, so the matter will have to be
13 litigated. I think that's right.
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's not go on with this.
15 For the moment, we've got the witness here. These
16 documents are admissible.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. I'm then on Z793, paragraph 4: "Tripartite
19 Meetings." "During the first part of the JOC meeting,
20 there was an exchange of ceasefire protests. The
21 incident at the gas factory, Bilalovac, was discussed,
22 and the ECMM representatives made a strong verbal
23 protest. The allegation about eight Muslim villages
24 northwest of Kiseljak was noted and during the meeting
25 confirmed by a specialist British patrol. It was then
1 agreed fulfilling the re-establishment of PTT lines.
2 In Travnik, at the PTT building, a repair team was
3 formed. The team managed to repair various items at
4 two sites, but did not reconnect the communications as
6 Comments on that? Accuracy of complaints?
7 A. The complaints were made every meeting from
8 both sides, complaints about breaking the ceasefire.
9 Q. The PTT building and the repair team and so
11 A. We visited the director of the PTT in
12 Travnik, and he sent a mechanic with us to Nova Bila
13 and somewhere in Travnik -- I'm not sure where it was,
14 but I'm very positive about Nova Bila -- and it was
15 merely a matter of switching on the letters entered. I
16 personally entered this switching station, and there
17 was no damage visible. It was just a matter of putting
18 on some switches.
19 Q. Thank you. Over the page, please, to
20 subparagraph 7(B) in the middle of the page: "The
21 liaison officer from Canadian Battalion paid us a
22 visit. It was then confirmed that the following Muslim
23 villages had been burned down: Svinjarevo, Gomionica,
24 Gromiljak, Polje Visnjica, Palez and Rotilj. The other
25 reported alleged burned villages on the last report
1 have not yet been confirmed. It appeared that those
2 burned villages were set on fire mainly by incendiary
3 munitions fired from artillery pieces from Kiseljak,
4 and heavy" -- is that "machine gun"?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. "atrocities, including rapes, were confirmed
7 in the village of Rotilj. It was discussed that there
8 are possibilities to receive escort support from
9 Canadian Battalion." I think that speaks for itself,
10 doesn't it, as an entry?
11 A. It does, yes.
12 MR. NICE: I turn, for a period of time, to
13 paragraph 32.
14 JUDGE MAY: That may be a convenient moment,
16 Colonel, we are going to adjourn now. During
17 this adjournment and any others there may be in your
18 evidence, please don't speak to anybody about your
19 evidence until it's over, and that includes members of
20 the Prosecution. Would you be back, please, at half
21 past 2.00.
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. Paragraph 32. Colonel, between the 23rd and
5 the 26th of April, did you stay in Zenica and were you
6 involved in resettlement of large groups of Croats who
7 had come from four villages: Janjac, Stranjani,
8 Konjevica and Susanj, northwest of Zenica?
9 A. Staying in Zenica, you mean? I didn't go to
11 Q. No. I am just saying: Did you between that
12 period of time for some time stay in Zenica?
13 A. Overnight I stayed in Zenica, but I travelled
14 from Zenica to the area of the four towns you just
16 Q. Okay. Those Croats, did they say that their
17 resettlement was out of fear?
18 A. They left their homes and their villages
19 because they were afraid of attacks. Some of the
20 houses were actually damaged.
21 Q. And, indeed, at Grahovici was Father Stjepan
22 the Catholic priest from Zenica working together with
23 you and indeed with them?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Did the local HVO commander and his soldiers
1 take a part?
2 A. In the beginning they cooperated with us and
3 agreed that Father Stjepan and ourself and a few
4 representatives of the displaced persons could check
5 on the villages and the houses. And later on they, in
6 spite of this co-operation, they told the people to go
7 to Vitez and to Nova Bila. So they didn't cooperate in
8 that second half of that period.
9 Q. Did they also broadcast accounts of things
10 that may have been happening?
11 A. I don't think that they themselves
12 broadcast this. It was broadcast by Croats, I
13 think from the area of Vitez or maybe another larger
14 city in that area.
15 Q. Were these broadcasts accurate or otherwise?
16 A. They were not accurate. They were, as I saw
17 it, meant to bring fear into the people and to warn
18 them from their point of view not to go back to the
20 Q. Was there an incident of firing over people's
22 A. The Croat soldiers, the HVO soldiers in
23 Grahovici, supported by HVO policemen, impressed the
24 people by firing over their heads.
25 Q. And the accounts of soldiers, were they
1 reinforced by the television and radio broadcasts?
2 A. I didn't see the broadcasts myself. I was
3 told by the people that they had information through
4 television and radio that it was unsafe for them to go
5 back to their own houses.
6 Q. So the upshot of that was that many people
7 left Zenica to go to Vitez, but in due course did some
8 1.600 Croats return to their villages while the other
9 half went to and stayed in Vitez?
10 A. That's correct. Approximately 3.000 refugees
11 were gathered in Grahovici, and approximately half of
12 them went back to their own houses and the others used
13 the buses we brought to bring them to Vitez.
14 Q. On the 27th of April, did you go to Kiseljak
15 to investigate allegations of robbery, looting and
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. While there, did you find some 6 to 9 male
19 prisoners held by the HVO in Kiseljak barracks being
20 admitted to by the HVO?
21 A. Yes. We asked them whether they had
22 prisoners, and they admitted that there is 6 to 9, and
23 to show us these people. But they were not free to
24 check the whole prison.
25 Q. If you'd like, please, to turn to your album
1 of photographs. Not album; your collection of
2 photographs, just to bring to life what you were
3 telling us about. About four sheets in. Starting with
4 a picture of the priests, a couple of priests, and nuns
5 on the top. Can you just tell us about that?
6 A. That's a picture of the local priests and
7 nuns in Brajkovici, close to Gajovici [phoen]. And the
8 priest on the right, with his arm on one of the
9 monitors, that's Father Stjepan, the priest from
11 Q. The bottom picture of the three?
12 A. That's part of the group of Croats coming
13 from the area of Zenica. You see the ECMM truck
14 there. One of the nurses, one of the doctors is
15 working inside this building and tried to get the
16 confidence of the people.
17 Q. Next sheet, still on the 26th of April, as
18 the note of your own reveals. The top picture.
19 A. That is part of the group of the people who
20 wished to go back to their own houses, and they are
21 waiting for the buses to bring them back.
22 Q. And then the middle and bottom pictures, do
23 they bear on the same issue?
24 A. Yes, but that's already in the area north of
25 Zenica, so in the area where these people used to
1 live. So some of them get out of the bus there.
2 Q. Thank you. I've dealt with the 27th of
3 April. The HVO admitted to holding six to nine male
4 prisoners, but did it turn out to be rather more than
6 A. Yes. Later on, in the beginning of May, a
7 lot of prisoners were released, and I think up to 50 or
9 Q. Did you also go to Rotilj village?
10 A. Yes, because there were allegations that
11 massacres had happened in Rotilj. I went there for an
12 investigation and I wrote a special report on that.
13 Q. Summarising the effect of that report, was
14 the whole village being used as a detention facility?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. Rotilj is in a small
16 valley. It can easily be sealed off, and I think
17 approximately 500, 600 people were more or less
18 detained there, or they were not free to move.
19 Q. It's not on the map we were looking at
21 The people who were there, did they make some
22 claims about their treatment at night, in particular?
23 A. Yes. They told me that they were scared by
24 soldiers in the hillside around this small valley.
25 They were threatened by these soldiers, most of the
1 times drunken soldiers. Shots were fired during the
2 night and, as I said, they were not free to move.
3 Q. Deaths and destruction of houses, can you
5 A. What I saw myself was in the entrance of the
6 village, six or seven houses were burnt. And when I
7 asked the local HVO commander about this, he told me
8 that he received fire from one of those houses and that
9 one of his soldiers was wounded during that action, and
10 that he had to destroy these houses to be able to
11 defend himself.
12 Q. People killed?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How many?
15 A. I'm not sure. I think 8 or 10.
16 Q. I think you said 6 in your summary. May that
17 be right?
18 A. Yes. I have to look at that.
19 Q. Did you try to get into Gomionica?
20 A. Yes, on that same day, because all these
21 allegations about other villages in the area of
22 Kiseljak being destroyed. I tried with the escort of
23 Canadian armoured personnel carrier to go into
24 Gomionica, but we were stopped at the outskirts of the
25 village. I could see houses in flames, in smoke.
1 There were quite a lot of soldiers on the hillside in
2 defensive positions.
3 Q. Let's move on to the 28th of April, please.
4 On that day did you note some UNHCR trucks, and if so,
5 how many, and where were they headed?
6 A. I was back in the ECMM house at the evening
7 of the 28th, and I was informed by BritBat and UNHCR,
8 by our own radio means, that a convoy of some 40 trucks
9 had been stopped in Busovaca. And they asked us to
10 check it out and, if possible, to free the truck
11 drivers and the trucks and the cargo. So I informed
12 Colonel Bob Stewart about this and he sent me -- he
13 gave me -- well, "gave" is maybe the wrong word. He
14 attached a warrior unit with me and asked me to have a
15 look in Busovaca and try to free those trucks.
16 It was in the beginning of the evening, I
17 think, maybe 8.00 or 9.00 in the evening. We went
18 there with the warriors, and at the factory in the --
19 at the entrance of Busovaca we actually saw the
20 trucks. Soldiers were unloading the trucks. A lot of
21 cargo was thrown on the ground and damaged. And I
22 addressed to the local commander there and told him
23 that UNHCR had freedom of movement and couldn't just be
24 stopped, and that the cargo was not for the HVO, but
25 meant for the warehouse in Zenica. And I told them to
1 stop this and to reload the trucks and to give them
3 He did not agree. He said he had orders to
4 check all trucks. And after a long discussion and some
5 telephone calls by this local commander, he finally
6 agreed in giving back the trucks and the cargo.
7 Q. Document number -- the next one, Z840,
8 please, which relates to this day, this is, in fact, a
9 document prepared by Jean-Pierre Thebault. Are you
10 able to comment on this document and its accuracy?
11 A. What page?
12 Q. The second sheet on it.
13 A. Second sheet.
14 Q. At the bottom, under paragraph 3, there's a
15 reference to the trucks?
16 A. Yes. I was shown this document before, and
17 the passage, the 40 truck units --
18 Q. When you say "before", you mean in the course
19 of attending here to give evidence in a previous
20 trial --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- or do you mean you were shown it at the
24 A. No, I wasn't shown it at the time, but I
25 supplied the Ambassador Thebault with this
1 information. So it's, in fact, my information that he
2 used to write his report on.
3 Q. When it reads, "40 trucks, UNHCR convoy of
4 food supplies, escorted by two Warriors, was hijacked
5 on its way to Zenica, and the HVO forces responsible
6 for this action claimed that they did not care of the
7 orders of Colonel Blaskic and Brigadier Petkovic
8 concerning the free movement, that they had strict
9 orders from Mr. Kordic, official highest-level
10 representative of HVO for Central Bosnia, to arrest
11 this convoy and search it," where had that intelligence
12 or information come from?
13 A. You mean this information on the --
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. Well, I informed the ambassador on this.
16 Part of the information, I guess, came from BritBat
17 itself, since I didn't make the phone calls myself.
18 Q. Nevertheless, you provided this information
19 to the ambassador?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. To your knowledge, was it accurate?
22 A. Well, the company of Warriors is a little bit
23 exaggerated. There were, in fact, six Warriors.
24 Q. Thank you. The following day, the 30th of
25 April, paragraph 38, the local joint commission meeting
1 concluded that the target of the agreement had not been
2 reached. The allegation, I think, went to Dubravica
3 managed to get some 300 Muslims released and achieved
4 similar success in Kruscica. Is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's correct, but in Dubravica, some
6 300 were released. In Kruscica, there were only, I
7 think, eight or ten men held in prison, so they were
8 all released.
9 Q. Josip Bozic gave you a list of prisoners of
10 the Viteska Brigade held in Dubravica, in the cinema;
11 is that right?
12 A. That's correct. It's hard to check whether
13 this list was exactly the number of people held in
14 Dubravica. Representatives of the ICRC checked on the
15 freeing of all these prisoners, so they were present
16 and they were the ones to check lists and make up their
17 own lists.
18 Q. On the 1st of May, was there a further
19 prisoner exchange, Kiseljak and Klokoti?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And did the ceasefire agreement appear to
23 A. That's correct. There I was informed that
24 there were actually far more than those eight prisoners
25 in Kiseljak. Some, I think 54, were released from
1 Kiseljak. On the other side, approximately as well, 50
2 prisoners were released in Klokoti.
3 Q. On the 2nd of May, did you visit Jelinak and
4 see one Croat house on fire, apparently hit by an
5 anti-tank rocket?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Did the local ABiH commander claim that there
8 was no fighting going on in that area?
9 A. That's correct as well.
10 Q. In Strane, the HVO commander behaved how?
11 A. In Strane, I met a man in military clothes
12 who called himself Marinac, and he told us that he was
13 the local HVO commander. He had a group of civilians
14 with him carrying shovels, and they had kind of a porch
15 they set under a tree, a group of approximately 10 or
16 15 male civilians. We asked them what they were doing
17 with the shovels, but we were not allowed to talk to
18 these civilians. This Mr. Marinac, he became angry and
19 told us that we had to stop fighting from the other
20 side and that he wouldn't see us any longer, so we had
21 to leave his area.
22 Q. What did these men appear to be doing, so far
23 as you could gather?
24 A. Well, my -- as far as I understood it or I
25 estimated the situation, was that these people had been
1 digging trenches, or digging defensive positions, or
2 holes, or whatever.
3 Q. On the 3rd of May, did the local joint
4 commission meeting result in ABiH claims that the HVO
5 was cheating with prisoner lists?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Further complaining of ill treatment such as
8 by trench digging?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Was Nakic's response that a lot of Croat
11 houses had been damaged, and in a later meeting with
12 Skopljak, as head of the local commission of prisoners,
13 and of Santic, did you talk about prisoner release?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Did both sides refuse to release prisoners,
16 despite receiving an order to do so?
17 A. Well, in the beginning, they were willing to
18 release. But later on, as the allegations of cheating
19 started and when civilians like Skopljak mixed in, they
20 refused to release any further because they stated or
21 they said that in Zenica, there were far more prisoners
22 and they were only willing to release on a balanced
24 Q. You weren't able to make any progress,
25 notwithstanding the arrival --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please
2 slow down for the interpretation?
3 MR. NICE: Sorry. Yes, certainly.
4 Q. Did you fail to achieve further progress,
5 notwithstanding the involvement of Colonels Stewart and
7 A. That's correct. We informed Colonel Stewart,
8 and he told us that he would go to Blaskic and try to
9 speed up the process of releasing prisoners, since that
10 was agreed upon on the 29th of April, but they both
12 Q. Paragraph 44. Still on the 4th of May, was
13 the local joint commission visited by Spanish, French,
14 and U.K. ambassadors?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. The HVO representative, Nakic, did he claim
17 that there was problems with release arising from civil
18 authorities' failure to cooperate?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Merdan's attitude was what?
21 A. They both had the opportunity to explain what
22 happened in the last few days or weeks, and Merdan was
23 very upset about the whole situation. He explained to
24 the ambassadors that fighting started in Ahmici or
25 started with the incident of Ahmici, and that it spread
1 out all over the Lasva Valley, and later on similar
2 things happened in the area of Kiseljak.
3 Q. You make specific reference to Gacice?
4 A. He explained to the ambassadors that these
5 tactics of burning houses and tactics of fear and
6 scaring people and killing them hadn't stopped so far,
7 since the last information was information from the
8 night before that even in Gacice, a small village near
9 Vitez, the ethnical cleansing was still going on.
10 Q. Was there any allegation of where HVO ideas
11 and authority were coming from, from what level?
12 A. According to Mr. Merdan, these ideas came
13 from the top political level, from Mr. Boban and
14 Mr. Kordic.
15 Q. To which the HVO replied in what way?
16 A. It's not fully clear to me whether they
17 actually listened to these orders from the top
18 political level. More than once, local commanders told
19 me that they had contradictory orders, so it's hard to
20 say who the direct orders came from; not to say for me.
21 Q. On the 4th of May, did Colonel Blaskic issue
22 a call for help, in which he said something of the
23 suffering of the Croats in Zenica?
24 A. Yes. He issued, more than once, kind of
25 calls for help like this one. It's like the
1 allegations you showed this morning, the written
2 allegations. The contents of it, it's the same. It's
3 an allegation that Croats in Zenica have been
4 maltreated and have been threatened and that we, the
5 International Community, should do as much as we can to
6 save these people and to bring them into safety in
8 Q. Were the allegations investigated and found
9 to be true or otherwise?
10 A. Yes. Again, we were stationed in Zenica, so
11 we had freedom of movement there and we could check on
12 these allegations every day, and we again told
13 Mr. Blaskic that they were untrue and that we didn't
14 find any proof for these allegations.
15 Q. The same day, did you go to Gacice and
16 discover that families, Muslim families, had left the
17 night before and gone to Dubravica?
18 A. That's right. We checked, because Mr. Merdan
19 told this to the ambassadors, we checked Gacice the
20 same day, and all Muslim inhabitants left Gacice,
21 altogether some 200, and we were told through our
22 interpreter that these people had been forced to leave
23 Gacice in trucks and they had to step off the trucks on
24 the mountain road to Zenica and walk the last part in
25 the direction of Zenica.
1 Q. Another matter on the 4th of May that isn't
2 in your summary. It's in the original chronology, and
3 for some reason, it hasn't been incorporated. At the
4 moment, I don't have a further copy of the special
5 report as an exhibit, but perhaps the witness may be
6 able to help us from his own notes and we can complete
7 the position later.
8 Did you, on the 4th of May, go to a school in
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Who were detained there?
12 A. I can find the names, but it was a mother and
13 her daughter, a Muslim mother. She used to live in
14 Vitez or on the outskirts of Vitez, and she had found
15 shelter in the school in Vitez. She had a few personal
16 belongings with her, and she complains that even when
17 the school director guaranteed her safety, she still
18 didn't feel safe because during the night soldiers
19 knocked on the windows and brought fear onto this
20 mother and daughter.
21 Q. I think something happened to the dog. If
22 you can't remember it, perhaps we'll go on to another
23 matter. We're going to have it in the report in due
24 course. But did you bring this matter to the attention
25 of anyone?
1 A. Yes. I remember that I spoke to the liaison
2 officer who was with me, Mr. Borislav Jozic. We spoke
3 to Mr. Cerkez about this, and again he claimed that
4 drunken soldiers were free to move in Vitez during the
5 night and that normally soldiers had to stay in
6 barracks, but that he couldn't control these elements.
7 MR. NICE: Perhaps the sensible thing, I'm
8 grateful to Mr. Scott, is if we can put this exhibit on
9 the ELMO briefly, it's only one sheet, and I'll have it
10 copied later. It will become or it is number 882.
11 Q. Without reading it in full, that sets out,
12 does it, the investigation that was carried out
13 visiting the families. And then if we run down -- our
14 eyes down the page, go towards the bottom of the
15 document, you summarised it already. There was, I
16 think, reference to the dog being killed towards the --
17 halfway down the present screen.
18 And then at the bottom, three lines, four
19 lines up from the bottom: "The brigade commander was
20 aware of these extremists, and told that he was
21 searching for them, and that he would take care of the
22 safety and wellbeing of the family." Does that cover
23 the position, Mr. Morsink?
24 A. Yes, it does.
25 Q. All right. Let's move on from the 4th of May
1 to the 9th of May. Go on from the 4th of May to the
2 6th of May, paragraph 46.
3 And we will now come to Exhibit 887.1, which
4 the witness may care to look at and can go on the
6 Did you on this day, the 6th of May, go to
7 the joint HVO and ABiH headquarters in Travnik where
8 Merdan and Nakic were based at the time?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Making initial arrangements or arrangements
11 for initial meetings of the three local commissions in
12 Busovaca, Vitez and Kiseljak, later going to Busovaca
13 where you came under fire in Kacuni?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. From where were you under fire?
16 A. From the HVO controlled outskirts of
18 Q. Was there mutual blame, each side blaming the
20 A. I'm not sure. I was on my way to visit the
21 local ABiH commander in Kacuni, but I wasn't in his
22 area of control, so I don't think that I blamed the
23 ABiH side for this, but I'm not sure.
24 Q. If we look at the document that's on the ELMO
25 at the moment, one of yours. Under paragraph 2, that
1 sets out some of the history, but I think the material
2 feature, we can probably go straight down to the bottom
3 of the document, to just over halfway down, where in
4 halfway through a paragraph the local school director
5 took care of these families, but even in the school
6 they were threatened again, and their houses burned or
7 looted. The team informed UNHCR of this matter. The
8 team asked the commander of the HVO brigade in Vitez
9 about the incident at Gacice. All Muslim families
10 seemed to be forced to leave the village at the 3rd of
11 May in the evening. They were brought with cattle
12 trucks to Dubravica and were told to go to Zenica on
13 foot. The brigade commander accused extremists of this
15 So that brigade commander was whom?
16 A. That was Mr. Cerkez, since it was in Vitez.
17 Q. Paragraph 47. On the 8th of May, was there
18 the first meeting of the local commission in Busovaca
19 and the first meeting in Vitez?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Were old problems rehashed and were there
22 reports of shelling from both Zenica and Vitez?
23 A. Yes, this was the normal start of every
24 meeting. They started with old problems and accusing
25 the other side of starting and breaking the ceasefire
1 and shooting with all kinds of ammunition.
2 Q. If we could now play a tape I think you'll be
3 able to help us with. It's Exhibit 2769, part 1.
4 And while that's being processed or
5 progressed, the Chamber and my friends may choose to
6 look at the loose photographs at the end of the album
7 where there are some stills, numbers 2529, 2531 and
9 [Audio tape played]
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. I didn't probably stop it early enough, and
12 that's my fault. But we can see the man in the
13 foreground shown in 2529 and, indeed, in 2531, was
15 A. This was Mr. Cerkez.
16 Q. Thank you. We'll put the stills on the
17 ELMO. Thank you very much. They are already there.
18 Anybody else you can identify for the assistance of the
20 A. Yes. The man in the middle is Mr. Nakic,
21 Mr. Franjo Nakic from the HVO side. And the man on the
22 left-hand side is Dzemal Merdan.
23 Q. The next photograph, is there anybody there
24 who can be easily identified?
25 A. Yes. There is Mr. Cerkez again on the
1 right-hand side, and on the opposite side of the table
2 is the ABiH side. I think the left-hand with the cap
3 on is the brigade commander in Preocica,
4 Mr. Kelestura, and the man in the middle, I only know
5 the first name is Sefkija.
6 Q. Thank you. The third photograph, 2533?
7 A. On the right-hand side, our HVO liaison
8 officer, Mr. Borislav Jozic, and the man on the
9 left-hand side, I don't know his name, but I think it's
10 one of the battalion commanders of the HVO brigade in
11 Vitez. And I remember this man very well, since he
12 threatened me -- to kill me if I would come to a
13 roadblock again.
14 Q. Was that a threat yet to be made?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. We'll come to that in its time,
17 but that's the man?
18 A. That's the man.
19 Q. You described him as a red-faced man from
20 time to time. It's not quite so clear from the video
22 Paragraph 48. Did the mayor of Vitez,
23 Santic, press a need for houses?
24 A. I recall that he explained to me why a lot of
25 Muslims had to leave their houses. He said, "We need
1 the houses very urgently, since a lot of Croat refugees
2 or DPs come from [indiscernible] territory and come
3 from Muslim-held territory," so they urgently needed
4 all these houses to house the Croats.
5 Q. Paragraph 49. On the 9th of May, with
6 Lausten and doctors from Medicin du Monde, did you go
7 to Stari Vitez?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. At that time was it surrounded by the HVO,
10 but did the ceasefire seem to hold?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Did you secure the removal or escape or
13 exchange of two people?
14 A. Two people were ill, had to be treated in
15 hospital. So we agreed in evacuating these people.
16 Q. Did you go on to Kruscica, where there was
17 small arms firing, sniping and anti-tank rounds fired
18 at the mosque?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Did Muslim families there ask you to take out
21 five Croat families, amongst them an old man who
22 appeared to be badly beaten?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Did other Croat families elect to stay
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Did you check or were you informed whether
3 they had fear of the Muslim majority in the area?
4 A. The people who asked to leave, they had
5 fear. And the others who decided to stay, I checked
6 them myself through my interpreter, of course, and I
7 already had spoken to these families more than once,
8 and they decided to stay, since they had their houses
9 and their cattle there, and they did not experience as
10 much fear as the others.
11 Q. On the return to Vitez, did you see civilian
12 trench diggers?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Did you stop and see in a handheld video two
15 bodies of ABiH soldiers allegedly killed or found dead
16 in Vranjska?
17 A. That's correct. And you could clearly see on
18 the video that their heads were separated from the
20 Q. The heads had been cut off?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you ask Cerkez about HVO shooting with
23 anti-tank rockets at the mosque?
24 A. Yes, I did ask him that.
25 Q. What was his reply?
1 A. Well, his reply was that ask the other side
2 the same thing.
3 Q. What level of concern did he show about the
5 A. I recall that he didn't show any concern at
6 all. He was just smiling and I think he was content
7 about the situation.
8 Q. First we got a document that deals with this,
9 which is 895.1. I'm not sure -- perhaps we'll just
10 look at the second sheet, I think. The second fresh
11 paragraph, where it sets out that the team met the
12 commander, HVO Vitez. His main concern was BiH forces
13 from outside still in the area of Kruscica. He stated
14 that digging trenches was no -- explain the following
15 two letters?
16 A. No ceasefire violation.
17 Q. And should not be considered as provocation,
18 but as a normal action during a ceasefire. He had not
19 captured the criminals that forced Muslims out of their
20 houses, nor the soldier who raped women two days ago.
21 Your conclusion was that the ceasefire was
22 not effective today, especially in the area of
23 Kruscica, Vranska and Grbavica; the locals seemed not
24 to obey orders and feel the need to revenge; both sides
25 accused the other in preparing for offensive actions.
1 I wonder if the audio booth could very kindly
2 now play parts 2 and 3 of the same tape.
3 [Audio tape played]
4 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE MAY: What was the exhibit number of
6 the tape, please?
7 MR. NICE: 2769.
8 Q. Three questions arising --
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice,
10 I think we were really not able to fully follow what
11 was happening. Could we have the transcript of this
12 video, please?
13 MR. NICE: We can certainly provide one. The
14 position was --
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, the transcript --
16 I am also interested to see the transcript of -- based
17 on what is heard on the tape, what Cerkez said, because
18 we heard here interpreter, which was probably ECMM
19 interpreter, and it is a clear example of
20 miscommunication. So we should get probably a
21 transcript of Croatian language, not interpreter who is
22 speaking English. It's a little bit --
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, no doubt that can be done.
24 Mr. Nice, perhaps you could --
25 MR. NICE: I understand. I'm sorry to have
1 -- I apparently wasn't listening. I understand that
2 it's quite difficult to transcribe. We can try again.
3 There are a couple of versions of this tape, and this
4 is the one that has the English translations at its
5 best. And it seemed to us, or certainly seemed to me,
6 that the English half of the communication was
7 certainly clear enough to assist the Chamber. If not
8 in the first hearing, it can always be played again.
9 That, of course, doesn't deal with the
10 possibility of mistranslation between the two people
11 speaking B/C/S or Croatian or whatever proper title for
12 the language is. The problem with the transcript may
13 conceivably be that you are going to have almost too
14 much material.
15 What I suggest we do is try again with the
16 translation department and see if they feel they can
17 provide a transcript.
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's obviously the first
19 thing to do, and something which is agreed as being the
20 correct translation. And in due course it can be
21 played again, or the transcript can be provided.
22 Clearly, it is important that we should know
23 what the accused actually said.
24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I would
25 like to insist on also having the transcript in the
1 working languages of the Tribunal.
2 MR. NICE: As Your Honour knows, it's always
3 my concern to ensure that everything that can be said
4 and done in French is said and done in French.
5 Q. Three questions. Forget the precise
6 terminology used by Mr. Cerkez for the time being. His
7 demeanour, his attitude at this encounter; similar to
8 or different from his attitude on other occasions, or
9 can't you say?
10 A. No, it's similar to. According to my
11 military point of view, he is responsible for the
12 area. And he is responsible for the ceasefire, he
13 assigned himself, and he doesn't live up to that, and
14 nor do his soldiers.
15 Q. Second -- sorry. If you had more to say.
16 A. If soldiers attack a religious object like a
17 mosque, then the commander is responsible. And he
18 should take action.
19 Q. It brings me to my second question. He
20 simply dealt with your query about the attack on the
21 mosque by speaking of the other side. Did you ever get
22 a clear answer as to who was responsible for the attack
23 on the mosque?
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. And a third matter of detail. The other
1 soldier wearing a blue beret, or the soldier wearing a
2 blue beret, is that a man called Buffini?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Will be a witness before the Chamber within
5 the next couple of weeks.
6 JUDGE MAY: The Major, apparently? The U.N.
7 Major you mean?
8 MR. NICE: Yes, a man called Buffini,
9 British, and he is coming along in a couple of weeks'
10 time, I think.
11 Q. And, incidentally, if we have trouble dealing
12 with getting a transcript for today's or tomorrow's
13 hearing, it may be that that exercise can be sorted
14 into Buffini's evidence in a week or so's time, because
15 the translation department can't turn around material
16 overnight, particularly if it's difficult to hear.
17 Paragraph 51. On this same day, the 9th of
18 May, did you have a meeting with Ambassador Thebault?
19 A. I'm not sure. Maybe during the evening, but
20 I'm not sure.
21 Q. Well, if you've got your own, don't look at
22 the summary, but if you've got your own contemporaneous
23 notes that may help you with the 9th of May, that would
24 be helpful.
25 While the witness is looking that up, it may
1 be convenient if the Court and my learned friends
2 looked towards the back of the bundle to one of the
3 non-statement exhibits or non-typed exhibits, which is
4 a grid paper marked with an organisational diagram.
5 And it's number 253.1. 2535.1. Not the first time
6 I've misquoted an exhibit, and I'm grateful to
7 Mr. Kovacic for telling me at the lunch break that
8 there's a reference I misread and I've got to correct
9 of some sort.
10 Colonel, have you found the reference?
11 A. Yes, I found it. I found it in my personal
12 diary. But that's in Dutch. So I am pleased to lay it
13 on the ELMO, but I'm afraid nobody can read it. But I
14 am willing to translate it, if needed.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: I wrote down that at 2130,
17 that's half past nine in the evening, there is another
18 meeting. The ambassador tells us that there are very
19 strong signs that the Croats will massively attack on
20 the 11th or the 12th of May. And he states these
21 declaration or declarations made by Mr. Boban and
22 Kordic, and he states this also on the recent attacks
23 on the city of Mostar.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. That's what Ambassador Thebault had to say
1 about it all. Did you personally know what kind of
2 declarations that he was referring to?
3 A. He told me that there were radio broadcasts
4 and statements made during meetings in -- that were
5 attended by the ambassador himself.
6 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I would just
7 object to this on the grounds of, obviously, hearsay
8 several times removed. But we would have no
9 objections, obviously, to transcripts of the radio
10 broadcasts themselves, if they exist.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, you know we have fairly
12 loose rules as far as hearsay is concerned. It's a
13 matter of weight. There may be other evidence about
14 this. Mr. Nice, are you going to call some other
15 evidence about this?
16 MR. NICE: Yes.
17 Q. On the ELMO, there is a diagram. Can you
18 help us with who prepared it and when?
19 A. It's prepared by the intel. section of the
20 British Battalion in Bila.
21 Q. When did you first have it?
22 A. I don't exactly recall, but I used to visit
23 the intel. section every morning before I went on the
24 ground to hear about certain hot spots and threats, and
25 I was handed this scheme, I think, in the beginning of
2 Q. I don't necessarily want to go through it at
3 great length because it can speak for itself, but
4 first, did you find it, in your dealings in the
5 territory, accurate, roughly accurate, or inaccurate?
6 A. I found it very accurate.
7 Q. Did you find anything that was particularly
8 incorrect in what it described?
9 A. No. I didn't deal with all the areas as
10 described in this scheme, but the brigades I was
11 dealing with were all accurate.
12 Q. Starting at the top, it's slightly cut off on
13 all versions, but you can probably explain. "HVO COM in
15 A. I think that's the HVO commander in Mostar.
16 Q. Right. Below him is, "Ops Zone, Central
17 Bosnia, Vitez and Travnik," with the commander and
18 deputy commander identified --
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. -- with a solid line leading down to the 1st,
21 2nd, and 3rd Operational Groups?
22 A. Yes. The solid lines mean hierarchical
23 lines, so there's a command line.
24 Q. Thank you. Before we come one down below the
25 1st Operational Group, we see horizontal broken lines
1 to the political wing on one side and to the joint
2 commission, Travnik, on the other. Perhaps you would
3 like to explain those in each case.
4 A. Well, it's a difference from the other
5 lines. This dotted line means there's no command
6 structure, at least not a defined command structure.
7 On the left-hand side, you see the political wing and
8 the name of Mr. Kordic, and on the right-hand side,
9 there's the joint command which was signed in the
10 agreement at the 29th of April.
11 Q. It's called a joint commission, in fact?
12 A. Yes, it's the joint commission, yeah.
13 Q. Looking at the operational groups, on the
14 left, the 1st Operational Group, you've got no names
15 filled for commander and deputy commander there, but
16 below that group, is it, with a solid line, you have
17 "Mario Cerkez" and his brigade or a brigade associated
18 with him?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You've also got other brigades coming
21 straight off the 1st Operational Group. Who was the
22 commander or deputy commander of the 1st Operational
23 Group, if you can remember?
24 A. This structure wasn't fully made clear, since
25 the operational zone had their headquarters in Vitez
1 and the brigade was in Vitez as well, so it was never
2 made clear to us whether there was a specific level in
3 between. It was identified on the right-hand side at
4 the 3rd Operational Group, but not for the 1st and the
5 2nd Operational Group, so I don't know whether it was
6 intact or it was explained or it was an impression by
7 the intel. officer of the British Battalion.
8 Normally, three crosses on top of the
9 operational zone means army corps level, and in western
10 armies, there's always a division in between the army
11 corps and the brigades, so maybe that's the reason why
12 this intel. officer --
13 Q. Another possibility is that there was a
14 direct line between the operational zone for Central
15 Bosnia and the brigade commanders identified --
16 A. Yes, I think so.
17 Q. -- a few lines down. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice, in
19 this diagram that we have here, you asked the witness a
20 question, I think, but I didn't quite get the answer.
21 There is a broken line between the political wing of
22 the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic Union, and we see the
23 name of Kostroman and Dario Kordic and, above that,
24 Mate Boban. Then there is a broken line going towards
25 the operational zone of Central Bosnia. There is no
1 hierarchical relationship, if I understand well,
2 between this political wing and the Central Bosnia
3 Operative Zone, of which Mr. Blaskic is the commander,
4 or was there perhaps a hierarchical relationship
5 between the political wing and the military wing?
6 MR. NICE: I'll ask the witness. I think he
7 used the word "formal", but I'll see what he has to
9 A. That's correct; there wasn't a formal
10 hierarchical line, at least not found out by the intel.
11 officer of the British Battalion, but at least it
12 struck me that on the military scheme, the military
13 structure, that the political wing shows up.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. In what way and to what degree, on the basis
16 of your experience, did it have operational control, if
18 A. Well, I more than once heard commanders refer
19 to things said by Boban or Kordic not officially as an
20 order, but they more or less lived up to those words
21 spoken by Kordic or Boban.
22 Q. You earlier spoke of the effect on
23 negotiations and, in particular, ceasefire negotiations
24 when the local military commanders were allowed a
25 lesser role and the politicians a greater role?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. At that stage, what, if any, military command
3 did the politicians appear to exercise?
4 A. It was especially in Vitez the case when, at
5 a certain point, the local commanders were no longer
6 attending the local joint commissions, but the
7 politicians came in their place.
8 Q. And yet the outcome of these meetings was
9 something that needed the military to enforce?
10 A. Yes, because they always dealt about
11 ceasefire violations, the release of prisoners, freedom
12 of movement.
13 MR. NICE: I don't know if that goes some way
14 towards answering it through the witness. The issue is
15 generally, of course, one of the issues for the
17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes, of
18 course. I'm just trying to clarify the answer of the
19 witness regarding the type of relationship that
20 exists. Of course, the Chamber will draw its own
21 conclusions on the basis of all the evidence that will
22 be produced either in the Prosecution or the Defence
24 If I understood the witness well, he told us
25 that in the mixed or joint commission, there were
1 politicians most frequently, rather than military men.
2 Did I understand you correctly?
3 A. In the beginning, Your Honour, these local
4 joint commissions -- "local" means just for Vitez or
5 local just for Busovaca -- were only attended by the
6 local commanders from both sides, assisted by their
7 liaison officers. And especially in Vitez, I think
8 starting maybe the second week of May, the whole local
9 joint commission was taken over by the HDZ politicians,
10 Mr. Santic and Mr. Skopljak and a few others, and the
11 military members did not show up.
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] So to finish
13 off this point, in this joint commission, politicians
14 felt capable of making commitments?
15 A. They should, if they attended these
16 meetings. But if we started talking about ceasefire
17 violations, then they would say, "No, we can't deal
18 with that. You have to do that separately with the
19 military commanders." So, in fact, the local joint
20 commission was no longer effective as soon as the
21 politicians took on their places.
22 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. On the 10th of May, paragraph 52, did you go
25 to Kiseljak for the first local commission meeting
1 there, nothing being organised, and the HVO commander
2 claiming he was waiting for further orders; is that
4 A. That's correct, yes.
5 Q. He didn't deny the existence of prisoners in
6 the Kiseljak barracks. The man Nakic showed some
7 authority and ordered the local commander to form the
8 local commission by the 12th of May?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Members present were Mijo Bosic and Vinko
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. On the 11th of May, paragraph 53, did Cerkez
14 complain about sniper problems at a long and tedious
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. In that meeting, did you judge the Croats of
18 Vitez willing or unwilling to find a workable solution?
19 A. I think they became more and more unwilling
20 to support the work of the local joint commission.
21 Q. Did that in any way relate, in your
22 judgement, to their general state of confidence or
23 in confidence [sic], security or insecurity?
24 A. I think they felt more and more confidence in
25 their present situation, and I think they more or less
1 reached their goals for that period in that specific
3 Q. On the 12th of May, did you go to Kiseljak
4 again, the HVO not showing up, the representatives
5 having to be picked up by Nakic personally, and a
6 ceasefire agreement effective from the following day
7 being reached, with the proposal or the requirement of
8 a list of prisoners dead and missing to be exchanged by
9 that same following day?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. On the same 12th of May, did you go to
12 Busovaca joint commission, which resulted in the HVO at
13 Skradno agreeing not to use civilians to dig trenches,
14 it being further confirmed that some prisoners from
15 Kaonik had been released on the previous day, the 11th
16 of May, and brought to Skradno?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Did you know that men held or incarcerated in
19 Kaonik had to dig trenches, some of them being shot and
20 many others wounded?
21 A. Yes, I was told on that afternoon in Skradno
22 by those people. The people who lived in Skradno or
23 were getting in Skradno and the few released on the day
24 before, they told me, through the interpreter, that
25 they had been forced to dig trenches and that some of
1 their friends or neighbours or relatives got killed
2 during those digging.
3 Q. The HVO explanation for this being what?
4 A. The HVO commander, Mr. Grubesic, told me that
5 these civilians digging trenches had probably been
6 forced to dig by other civilians and that he was not or
7 he felt not responsible for that.
8 Q. Were you able to find any support for that
10 A. No. We checked on that in Skradno, and the
11 people in Skradno told that they were forced to dig
13 Q. On the 14th of May, two days later, did the
14 local Vitez commission meet, Cerkez present, you
15 telling him to go to the field and see his soldiers if
16 he wants a ceasefire?
17 A. Yes. I told him to get control of all his
18 so-called uncontrolled elements, to finally get a real
20 Q. Had the ABiH released some prisoners by then?
21 A. In what area do you mean?
22 Q. Well, at this time.
23 A. They only had a few prisoners in Kruscica,
24 and they already had been released, I think, more than
25 a week before that.
1 Q. In this area, was sniping still going on?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was there a problem particularly with
5 A. There was a gypsy problem in Kruscica, but
6 both sides seemed not to worry about these people and
7 misused them, and finally UNHCR managed to get this
8 group of gypsies out of this area.
9 Q. When you say they both misused them, what did
10 the ABiH do, so far as the gypsies were concerned?
11 A. I don't recall that. I know I wrote it down
12 somewhere, but I don't recall it.
13 Q. Well, if it's in the summary and I can lead
14 it, it's suggested in the summary that they fired on
15 them or at them. Do you remember that?
16 A. Well, I know that I wrote it down somewhere,
17 so --
18 Q. And that they were used by the HVO to dig
20 A. I recall that both --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please make a
22 break between the question and answer? Thank you.
23 MR. NICE: I'm very sorry. Yes, I will.
24 Q. Perhaps you would just repeat that answer,
25 please, Colonel.
1 A. I recall that both parties didn't like the
2 group of gypsies and misused them.
3 Q. On the 15th of May, did you meet religious
4 leaders in Vitez and also Pero Skopljak?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Did you have difficulties explaining that
7 murder of civilians was not justified in this area, and
8 was the overall response to that that the problem was
9 caused by Muslim provocation and that -- well, first of
10 all, is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. I recall that I got
12 mixed in a real hot discussion about what you can do in
13 wartime and what you can't do.
14 Q. Was something said about Ahmici itself?
15 A. Well, in the whole discussion, it was
16 mentioned that the Muslims caused all the problems
17 themselves and that they called Ahmici upon
19 Q. Exhibit Z930,1, please. In your daily
20 operational report, second sheet, paragraph 8(B), do
21 you record that the team visited the Catholic leaders
22 in Vitez and met two priests; they seemed to be not
23 fully informed and expressed their own explanations
24 that, "Muslims had provoked HVO several times for the
25 crimes in Ahmici and Old Vitez and even forecast more
1 HVO attacks if the BiH wouldn't stop provoking" or
3 A. Yes, I recall that.
4 Q. Was there, in the course of this meeting, any
5 denial of responsibility for Ahmici or Old Vitez?
6 A. No. I don't think these Catholic leaders
7 were responsible themselves, but they didn't deny
8 responsibility from the Croat or HVO side.
9 Q. The same day, you went, I think, to Strane to
10 arrange a ceasefire, there being constant fighting in
11 that area. The ceasefire did not succeed, but at that
12 time the HVO appeared to be quite cooperative?
13 A. The cooperation was different in various
14 vicinities. In Busovaca, the cooperation was,
15 generally speaking, better than in Vitez.
16 Q. The 17th of May, a prisoner exchange,
17 Mujahedin against HVO commanders, took place, and as a
18 result, many prisoners were released from Kaonik?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. On the 19th of May, a meeting of the new
21 local commission of Han Bila, Travnik East, was held at
22 Guca Gora. Two commanders, very cooperative, agreed on
23 a ceasefire, a return of stolen property, the filling
24 of trenches, and freedom of movement?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Paragraph 61. When you left that meeting,
2 was there heavy mortar and artillery fire directed
3 towards Han Bila?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Where from?
6 A. According to our sighting, it came from the
7 area of Vitez, the mountains west of Vitez, Mosul or
8 Mosunj area.
9 Q. Under whose control?
10 A. This area was under the control of the HVO.
11 Q. Before I turn to paragraph 63, are you aware
12 of a protest from Hadjihasanovic about ceasefire
13 violations at about this time?
14 A. I don't recall the protest itself now. There
15 were a lot of protests from both sides again and again.
16 Q. Paragraph 63. On the 20th of May, was there
17 another local commission meeting in Busovaca, with the
18 HVO reporting ceasefire violations, discussions then
19 being held about prisoner exchange between Busovaca and
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. The imam from Busovaca attended and
23 complained about local police robbing people and cars
24 and property being taken from civilians?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. He had no freedom of
1 movement. They took his car away. They arrested his
2 people when they wanted to go to the mosque. He wasn't
3 free to exercise his religious habits in Busovaca.
4 Q. I'll skip 64. Paragraph 65, the 21st of May
5 at the Kiseljak local commission, were there complaints
6 that the HVO had not repaired the power network, the
7 HVO claiming it couldn't be done because of a lack of
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Did the HVO complain about ceasefire
11 violations and shelling; the ABiH replying that they
12 had only responded; Merdan agreeing to find oil and
13 equipment for the power plant; Nakic ordering the
14 commander to stick to the ceasefire agreement?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. In fact, did it often enough turn out, as you
17 have told us already, that repair of the power lines
18 was a matter of turning a switch?
19 A. Most of the time it was. I think in Kiseljak
20 it was really the damage of a generator station, but in
21 the other areas it was merely switching on again.
22 Q. Now, in Exhibit 962. This is the report of
23 the 22nd of May, paragraph 6 headed "Humanitarian."
24 It sets out how the team visited a Muslim community in
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Finding some 600 Muslims gathered in a few
3 houses, the people not being free to move, despite the
4 HVO denying this fact.
5 Can you help us with how these people were --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Became --
8 A. It's the same small village of Rotilj I spoke
9 to you about this morning. It's encircled by high
10 mountains and forests. It's a small village in a
11 valley, easily to be sealed off, and it's what's
12 actually sealed off by HVO soldiers. It had a kind of
13 a barrage across the road, so no one could freely enter
14 or leave the village. And I recall that only one or
15 two old women were allowed to leave the village for the
16 few hours to try to find something to eat and to bring
17 it back. But two people can't carry for 600, of
19 Q. 24th of May, paragraph 67: Busovaca local
20 commission reported return of electricity; several
21 shells fired that day. There was a discussion about
22 problems of wounded on both sides, and an agreement was
23 reached to allow representatives from the local
24 commission to visit Zenica prison and the Croat groups
25 in Zenica to check allegations, this visit to be
1 controlled by Dzemal Merdan?
2 A. That's correct. So representatives of the
3 local commission, Busovaca, were free to go to Zenica
4 to check the allegations they made during previous
5 meetings, so they were able to check them themselves.
6 Q. On the same 24th of May, did you visit the
7 Vitez local commission?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. But did representatives of the ABiH find
10 themselves held up by a civilian blockade in Kruscica?
11 A. That's correct. We normally or BritBat
12 normally picked up the members of the local joint
13 commission, since they were not free to move. They had
14 to cross enemy lines several times. So they were
15 picked up by armoured personnel carriers, by the British
16 Battalion, and they were not able to pick the people up
17 and to bring them to this local joint commission.
18 Q. Tell us, please, about the attitude on this
19 day of the defendant Cerkez and what he said.
20 A. This blockade was a human blockade by
21 civilians, angry civilians. Later on it was explained
22 to me that they did this because a woman was shot in
23 her back yard and that because of that, people were so
24 angry that they blocked the road to Kruscica.
25 Mr. Cerkez told me that he could not control
1 these civilians and that he was not able to give us a
2 free passage through this blockade.
3 Q. Did he say anything else about what he was
4 trying to do at that time and what he might do? And if
5 you have any problems with memory, don't go to the
6 summary, but go to your original notebooks.
7 A. I don't recall the date again.
8 Q. Yes, the 24th of May.
9 A. It's not on this one. I have only something
10 in Dutch in my diary, and that is that the situation is
11 completely blocked and that I don't know the way out
12 any more because I cannot control angry women and
13 children myself, and the APCs cannot get through.
14 Q. Who is this talking? Is this you talking or
15 is this Mr. Cerkez talking?
16 A. No, this is my own opinion that I wrote down
17 during the night. And finally, after two hours
18 discussions, we have a small step ahead. This
19 commission wants to meet again, but then when both
20 mayors are present. And I state to them that the
21 ceasefire has to be effective because -- or else they
22 have to -- they have to feel themselves responsible for
23 more dead civilians.
24 That's all I can find for now on the 24th.
25 Q. All right. Well, let's turn to Exhibit
1 968.1. In the middle of the page, paragraph -- part of
2 paragraph 3, three lines in: "In Kruscica there are
3 approximately 1.500 inhabitants, only five Croat
4 families, of which only two are still in place, and
5 about 3.000 dp's --"
6 A. Displaced persons, yes.
7 Q. "-- from the west moved in. Also here no PTT
8 comms and a food problem.
9 "HVO has been expelling Muslims from Vitez in
10 all kinds of ways, mostly by threatening the people
11 (extremists). The mayor of Vitez, Mr. Santic, even
12 stated three weeks ago that he would do anything to
13 clean the town of Vitez, just to make room for all
14 Croats bound to come in from Zenica. He even had
15 prepared list of houses that would soon be available.
16 All Muslims from Gacice have been expelled by a group
17 of Croats (HVO?) who told them to leave within 10
18 minutes. Cattle trucks brought these people to
19 Dubravica, where they were told to walk to Zenica. A
20 similar thing happened in Veceriska.
21 "BiH high-level reps stated their concern
22 that HVO and politicians of the Croat party are working
23 to a certain plan of ethnic cleansing the whole
24 municipality of Vitez. ECMM supports this statement."
25 And over the page at 10, the conclusion:
1 "The situation in and around the Muslim
2 pockets in the area of Vitez is very tense. The 'plan'
3 of ethnic cleansing the area is of great concern.
4 Local commanders seem not to be able to stop fighting.
5 Top-level interference is needed to put proper pressure
6 on the responsible people."
7 Does that reflect the position, as you
8 understood it at that time and from that meeting?
9 A. Yes. That's a special report I wrote on
10 Vitez during that night.
11 Q. Coming back to what, if anything, Mr. Cerkez
12 -- I don't know if you've checked all your records and
13 I'm not sure -- we may not be having a break this
14 afternoon, but if we don't, perhaps you could check
15 them overnight and see if you have any other records of
16 what --
17 A. The 24th. I will check. It's a bit mixed
19 Q. I'll come back, then, to that tomorrow, if
20 sensible, and go to paragraph 69. What was your view
21 of what the HVO's reaction was, particularly insofar as
22 the removal of the blockade is concerned?
23 A. My view was that I could understand that
24 people got angry, civilians got angry because of a
25 woman killed in her back yard, but what I couldn't
1 understand was that according to me, everybody in Vitez
2 supported this blockade and they didn't mind about
3 altogether more than 4.000 people in Kruscica without
4 food. And they didn't mind the freedom of movement for
5 UNHCR or UNPROFOR or ECMM, and they just answered,
6 "Well, it's a civilian problem. It's not our
7 problem. We might not agree with the civilians, but we
8 cannot help you in having freedom of movement."
9 And I still think that the commander -- the
10 man responsible for that area should be able to give us
11 freedom of movement.
12 Q. Did you find, in the local representatives, a
13 will to make things work?
14 A. Not at that time. It took us a long time to
15 get into Kruscica. I think three or four weeks later,
16 we managed for the first time, and we tried every day
17 and got the same answer every day again.
18 Q. Meanwhile, meanwhile, did civilian
19 representatives on both sides agree to meet, in
20 particular Fuad Kaknjo and Munib Kajmovic, being
21 proposed by the HVO as Muslim representatives?
22 A. The Muslim side was not able to organise
23 themselves, since they were kept in small pockets, and
24 they couldn't coordinate with each other who to send as
25 a representative. So the HVO side suggested two Muslim
1 representatives, the two names you just mentioned, and
2 those two appeared to us, ECMM, as being just part of
3 the Croat side, although they were Muslims. But they
4 weren't the real representatives of the Muslim side.
5 Q. Exhibit 968.1, paragraph 4. Your report for
6 the 24th of May. Sorry. My mistake.
7 Can we move onto the 25th of May. On the
8 25th of May, did Skopljak, Pero Skopljak, decline or
9 refuse to meet you?
10 A. Yes, he did. He stated that I signed an
11 agreement with him to release all prisoners from
12 Zenica, and he said it was an official document, and
13 since, according to him, I didn't live up to that
14 official agreement, he wasn't willing to meet me any
16 Q. Was what he said true or untrue?
17 A. No, it was untrue. I did not sign any
18 agreement in releasing prisoners. I couldn't ever
19 release prisoners myself, because I don't have any --
20 didn't have any prisoners at that time. And the way he
21 explained this agreement was signed, it was clear to me
22 that I could never have done it myself, since he used
23 my full Christian name, and in the Netherlands we don't
24 sign with full Christian names. So I didn't believe
25 this document to be true, and I couldn't remember
1 anything being signed by myself.
2 But the Ambassador took it very serious,
3 Mr. Thebault, and he said, "Well, you will not go to
4 Vitez for the first few days," since he thought it
5 could be dangerous for me.
6 Q. So instead you went to a provincial civil
7 government planning meeting in Travnik?
8 A. That's correct, yes.
9 Q. On the 26th of May, did you meet with
10 military commanders in the joint command in Travnik,
11 they showing determination to fight the Serbs and not
12 each other, and agreeing to implement the Vance-Owen
13 Peace Plan?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. On the 27th of May, at the local Busovaca
16 commission where ceasefire violations were reported,
17 the HVO representatives being in Zenica -- I'm sorry,
18 they visited Zenica, and that was satisfactory, was it?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Was there a problem with drunken HVO soldiers
21 in the area, or apparently a problem?
22 A. This occurred more than once, these claims
23 that drunken soldiers had misbehaved themselves.
24 Q. Did you recover two bodies of elderly men
25 from a minefield in Strane later that day?
1 A. That's correct. Alongside the Lasva River
2 there were two dead bodies. These two old men tripped
3 on two mines approximately one week before and they
4 couldn't be evacuated, so we had to arrange a
5 ceasefire, had to find soldiers who were able and
6 willing to get these dead bodies out of the minefield.
7 Q. Did you visit Vitez the same day, where there
8 was still shooting, meeting Santic, Skopljak and
9 Cerkez, with whom a political discussion developed?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. What was said about the prospects for an army
12 of joint command?
13 A. They did no longer believe in a joint
14 military or civil life. They discussed a lot about the
15 Vance-Owen Plan, about the borders. They -- especially
16 Mr. Santic, he told me that in the beginning the
17 Vance-Owen Plan could not be implemented the way it was
18 signed, it should be altered. Local politicians were
19 not asked for their opinion about the Vance-Owen Plan,
20 so they were not able to implement it. They should
21 have been asked before, and they suggested all kinds of
22 changes in the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
23 Q. Was anything said specifically about what
24 should happen to the territory of Vitez?
25 A. Vitez should be purely Croats, and it should
1 be demilitarised. That was the suggestion of Santic
2 and Skopljak. Demilitarised, the whole area,
3 withdrawal of all troops, and then arrangements could
4 be made.
5 Q. Did you also meet on this day the mayor of
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. His name being --
9 A. Mr. Maric.
10 Q. Where did you meet him? What was said?
11 A. In the -- I met him in the town hall in
12 Busovaca. I remember that very precise, since I only
13 been once inside the town hall. All the other meetings
14 were always held in the Dutch Battalion headquarters.
15 And Mr. Maric told me that the HDZ side had already
16 chosen representatives for the provincial level from
17 the -- referring to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
18 Q. When you say "the provincial level," how is
19 that defined or identified?
20 A. In the whole area there were three provinces
21 that were important, 8, 9 and 10, and I don't exactly
22 know what province is in what area. But Busovaca/Vitez
23 is in one province, and Travnik is in the other one.
24 Q. What personalities were identified?
25 A. The same names that showed up every time, the
1 names of Kordic, Santic, Skopljak, and a few others.
2 Q. These people would have what position?
3 A. They would have -- they were suggested to
4 become the political leaders on the provincial
5 government level.
6 Q. Having visited Busovaca, Vitez and --
7 Busovaca and Vitez, did you return to Vitez?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you have contact with the SDA in Vitez?
10 A. I don't recall that.
11 Q. Again, if that's in your notebooks. It
12 hasn't been challenged, but I don't want to take you to
13 the summary unless it's definitely accurate.
14 A. What date is that again?
15 Q. Maybe you can look at your summary for
16 speed. Paragraph 75. The 28th of May.
17 A. Yes, I recall now speaking to the SDA because
18 I remember -- because I got the names from the HDZ
19 side, I tried to get names from the SDA side as well.
20 But they couldn't organise themselves, so they were not
21 prepared to give the names of their representatives at
22 that moment.
23 Q. And Skopljak made a claim?
24 A. Yes, he did, but I have to look at the
25 outline again.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I don't remember the exact. The problem was
3 that if they tried to organise in the Vitez area, I
4 mean the SDA side, then they should be free to move.
5 They should meet each other, and in this meeting they
6 could assign representatives. And then Skopljak said,
7 "Well, I am not able to guarantee their safety." And
8 the result of that was that the SDA people never met in
10 Q. Exhibit 992.1. Your note or report for the
11 28th of May. Paragraph 4 deals with tripartite
12 meetings and sets out that eventually both parties, you
13 say, HDZ and SDA, accept the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
14 A. That's correct, yes.
15 Q. Then it goes on to say, "Mr. Santic stated
16 the HDZ is ready to implement it, but that he thinks it
17 not wise to do so." And you record a discussion. And
18 it's just maybe worth the Chamber noting that four
19 lines up from the bottom of this paragraph, "The SDA
20 made a precondition to exchange the family of
21 Dr. Mujezinovic, a former leader of the Muslims in
22 Vitez, to a HVO soldier captured in Poculica".
23 Paragraph 76. Did you, on this same day,
24 meet with the presidency and military representatives
25 of the provincial government at Travnik?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Was there any progress made with a joint
3 police force?
4 A. No. They had large problems in this police
5 force. It consisted of both civil and military police,
6 and then military police from both parties, HVO and
7 army ABiH. They didn't trust their assigned chief of
8 police and they had big problems in mixed patrols and
9 mixed police stations.
10 Q. Did you ask Blaskic to establish something
11 about the imprisonment of four people said to be kept
12 at --
13 A. Yes. The request during that meeting was
14 made to release four people, four Muslim people from
15 Travnik. And I handed over this request to Blaskic
16 himself, and according to my knowledge, these people
17 were never released.
18 Q. And 997.1. The operational report from two
19 days later in paragraph 1 sets out how the situation in
20 the area of Travnik was tense, since as at the 28th
21 four Muslims were taken to Busovaca prison and one HVO
22 military policeman had been killed, three Croat members
23 of the presidency and government of Travnik arrested.
24 Are those separate incidents from the
25 detention of the four people in Kaonik?
1 A. Well, as such, they were separate, but they
2 were a reaction. But the three Croats were released
3 after our negotiations, and the four Muslims were
4 never -- according to my knowledge, were not released.
5 JUDGE MAY: Is that a convenient moment?
6 Where have you got to; paragraph 78?
7 MR. NICE: Paragraph 78.
8 Before I pass, while we're on today's
9 transcript still, I'm told that I have misquoted or
10 misidentified two exhibits. I'm grateful to the
11 Registry for the second, which is that what I've
12 identified as Exhibit 930,1, a videotape, was already
13 admitted and that it should be marked as 930,2. Then
14 Mr. Kovacic has been good enough to advise me that I
15 had simply misread a number right at the beginning in
16 relation to the map, I think, and the map is Z2175, and
17 I think I transposed two of those numbers. The only
18 map that's been produced today is 2175.
19 Copies of the missing exhibit, special report
20 of the 4th of May, Exhibit Z882, are now available for
22 JUDGE MAY: Anything else?
23 MR. NICE: No, Your Honour. Sorry.
24 JUDGE MAY: Colonel, would you be back,
25 please, at half past 9.00 tomorrow morning?
1 THE WITNESS: I will.
2 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
4 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on
5 Tuesday, the 12th day of October, 1999,
6 at 9.30 a.m.