Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10882

1 Thursday, 2nd December, 1999

2 [Closed session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

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11 (Open Session)

12 [The witness entered court]

13 WITNESS: WITNESS W

14 [Witness answers through interpreter]

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the

16 declaration.

17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

19 truth.

20 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

21 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym for this

22 witness will be Witness W.

23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there will be a

24 necessary part of the evidence --

25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

Page 10888

1 MR. NICE: There will be a necessary part of

2 the evidence in private session where potentially

3 identifying answers would be given, but, first of all,

4 can the witness look at this piece of paper. Without

5 reading the name, simply tell us if that is his name.

6 A. Yes.

7 MR. NICE:

8 Q. And before we turn to anything else, can you

9 please just, with the assistance of the usher when he's

10 back at the overhead projector, just help us about a

11 few matters of geography.

12 MR. NICE: Apparently we are in private

13 session, in which I can deal with things a little more

14 easily.

15 (Private Session)

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24 [Open session]

25 MR. NICE:

Page 10899

1 Q. Was there a checkpoint between Stupni Do and

2 the village of Mir?

3 A. No, there was a checkpoint on the other side

4 of the hill.

5 Q. Right.

6 A. Facing the Serbs.

7 Q. Very well. Can we see that, then, best on

8 the map? Just if you can indicate roughly where it was

9 on the map, please. There's a pointer on the desk, if

10 you would like to use that.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Would you point it out on the map that's on

13 the overhead projector, if you can see it? It may be

14 we can get it a tiny bit sharper. I don't know.

15 A. Could you blow it up a little?

16 Q. If you would point it out on the -- yes,

17 that's right.

18 A. Just a moment. There, here [indicates]. A

19 checkpoint was here [indicates] and facing the Serbs.

20 Q. Did you, in July of 1993, or did people go to

21 that checkpoint to discover that men by the name of

22 Pejcinovic, Duzinovic, Milicevic, and the commander of

23 the Bobovac Brigade, Gavran, were there, and did

24 Duznovic say that the ABiH had to remove the checkpoint

25 and fill in the trenches?

Page 10900

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And when someone said -- don't say who -- but

3 when somebody said that the trenches were in defence of

4 the Serbs, what did Duznovic say would happen as a

5 result?

6 A. He said, "This enclave," and pointed at the

7 village of Stupni Do, "needs to be burnt, scorched."

8 Q. And to all of you present, was that an

9 obvious threat?

10 A. Yes. Yes.

11 Q. In the summer of 1993, were some ABiH men

12 from Stupni Do arrested and captured in Vares and kept

13 prisoner there?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you hear of their treatment directly from

16 them or was there a long chain of communication before

17 you learnt what happened to them?

18 A. I learnt from Mr. Milicevic that they had

19 been arrested and that they were not being treated

20 humanely. It was only later on, after the army entered

21 Vares, I learnt -- I found out what -- everything they

22 had gone through.

23 Q. And what treatment -- in a couple of

24 sentences -- did they suffer?

25 A. They were beaten. They were all badly

Page 10901

1 battered, were stabbed with knives. The soles of their

2 feet were stabbed. One of them was an invalid, he did

3 not have a leg, and he was beaten with his own leg.

4 Subsequently he was taken to the Swedish battalion, and

5 the others stayed in prison until the army came. And

6 according to their accounts, some 23 of them had been

7 designated for the -- to be put before the firing

8 squad. But they stayed -- because of the army

9 operations, they stayed in prison, and that's where

10 UNPROFOR found them.

11 Q. Paragraph 12 of the summary. Paragraph 11,

12 sorry. Until the end of September, 1993, were you able

13 to travel outside the village to get supplies from

14 humanitarian organisations, but that wasn't possible

15 after September?

16 A. Yes. Yes.

17 Q. Some days before the attack with which we are

18 immediately concerned, did people make efforts, by

19 contacting Milicevic, to get the release of the men

20 who'd been held in Vares and --

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. -- and despite efforts, the men were not

23 released, on the grounds that they were Mujahedin?

24 A. Yes. Not true.

25 Q. A couple of days before the attack, the

Page 10902

1 village, fearing danger, was the digging of shelters

2 organised -- don't say by whom -- and were preparations

3 made for medical assistance?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. On the 22nd of October of 1993, did you hear

6 rumours? Just yes or no.

7 A. Yes. Yes.

8 Q. From whom did you hear those rumours, if you

9 can be specific?

10 A. We heard the rumours on the eve of the

11 attack. We heard those rumours from a neighbour who

12 was a brother -- who was a brother of a man married to

13 a woman of Croat ethnicity. And the rumours were that

14 they had left the village, and that was a sign to us

15 that something was wrong.

16 Q. Was that departure of the Croat resident the

17 departure of the only Croat who had until then been

18 living in the village?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Was something also said about the village of

21 Kopljari?

22 A. Yes. In the village of Kopljari, a conflict

23 took place between the army and the HVO, and as far as

24 I know, two HVO members were killed and one of them was

25 even buried in the cemetery in the village of Mir, so

Page 10903

1 that we could see that directly.

2 Q. Can we see Kopljari on our map or not? I

3 don't think so.

4 A. It's on the other side of the Vares

5 municipality.

6 Q. Very well.

7 A. A bit more.

8 Q. We'd heard about these deaths in Kopljari.

9 In what way, if at all, did they connect or may they

10 have connected with your fears of what was to happen

11 and indeed what did happen?

12 A. At some earlier meetings organised by the

13 army and the HVO staff, Chief Pejcinovic threatened

14 that he would attack villages with the Muslim

15 population if the Vares municipality were attacked from

16 any one side by the army. But we already knew that,

17 and that is why I put the two and two together. There

18 Stupni Do might be attacked because it was the nearest

19 and the village itself was surrounded by the Croat

20 population.

21 MR. NICE: If the Chamber is using the larger

22 map, the coloured map, Kopljari is almost due west of

23 Vares, and if looking at the map in my hand, it's a

24 couple of inches to the west. It's not shown on the

25 map on the ELMO at the moment.

Page 10904

1 I think it's necessary to go into private

2 session, if we may, for the next passage of evidence,

3 for, in reality, in a village as small as this, the

4 individual steps taken by an individual person would

5 probably be revealing.

6 [Private session]

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12 [Open session]

13 MR. NICE:

14 Q. Did you know the man Dario Kordic, at any

15 stage of these events, by sight? Just "Yes" or "No".

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Was that because you knew him personally or

18 because you had seen him on television or his

19 photograph in newspapers? What was the position?

20 A. I saw him on television and a few times in

21 Vares.

22 Q. I want you to deal with the times you saw him

23 in Vares. First of all, when did you see him there?

24 A. I saw him in Vares at the end of the autumn

25 of 1992. That was the first time. The second time I

Page 10917

1 saw him on the road from the municipal building to the

2 church in Vares. I saw him in the street this other

3 time.

4 Q. On the first occasion that you saw him, a

5 quick picture, please: What was he doing? How was he

6 dressed? Who was he with?

7 A. The first time I saw him was in front of the

8 municipal building of Vares. Outside there were

9 official cars that were parked, their official cars,

10 and also his escorts were there, like his bodyguards.

11 He wore a camouflage uniform. He had a very short

12 haircut. He wore glasses. I remember that.

13 Q. Did you recognise anybody else present at

14 that time?

15 A. Yes. He was with Mr. Blaskic.

16 Q. Did you see any local residents associated

17 with him or with Blaskic or both of them at that time,

18 or not?

19 A. No. I only saw them.

20 Q. And how was he behaving? How was he

21 apparently being treated by his bodyguards and so on?

22 A. They were around him, perhaps five or ten

23 metres away. They were well armed.

24 Q. And what was Mr. Kordic's apparent attitude

25 and behaviour insofar as you could judge it?

Page 10918

1 A. I saw him a few times on television, local

2 television in Vares, because the HVO made it impossible

3 for us to watch TV Bosnia-Herzegovina, because they

4 destroyed one of the transmitters. So we could only

5 watch local television, and Mr. Kordic appeared on TV a

6 few times.

7 Q. His attitude when you saw him on the street,

8 what was he like then? If you can describe it for us.

9 If not, we'll move to the other visit, the other

10 sighting.

11 A. Well, he was not armed. He wore a camouflage

12 uniform. His bodyguards were around him. That's what

13 I remember.

14 Q. The second sighting?

15 A. I saw him in the street, the street that goes

16 from the municipal building of Vares to the Croat

17 church, which is near the municipal building of Vares.

18 Q. Anything special about that occasion? How

19 was he dressed? Was he alone? Was he with anyone

20 else?

21 A. Again, he wore a camouflage uniform. They

22 were walking towards the road -- towards the church.

23 Q. Did he have bodyguards?

24 A. Yes.

25 MR. NICE: The witness did also lose another

Page 10919

1 family member, but I needn't go into that in detail.

2 It will be covered, I think, in another way. The

3 balance of paragraph 20 I'll deal with through another

4 witness as well. That's all I ask this witness.

5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

6 Your Honour.

7 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

8 Q. Witness W, may I introduce my myself. I'm

9 Mitko Naumovski. I'm an attorney at law from Zagreb,

10 and I'm one of the Defence counsels of Mr. Kordic. I

11 am going to put a few questions to you, but I have to

12 tell you something that is customary. Since you and I

13 understand each other as soon as we start speaking,

14 could you please wait a bit until my question is

15 interpreted to you into one of the official languages

16 of the court? Do you understand what I'm saying?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Mr. W, you made seven statements until now,

19 some of them to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal

20 and others to the police in Sarajevo -- rather, the

21 higher court in Sarajevo; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You also talked to the Prosecutor during

24 these past few days while you were in The Hague; is

25 that right?

Page 10920

1 A. Only once, briefly.

2 Q. One of the statements you made was before the

3 higher court in Sarajevo, on the 14th of May, 1996.

4 You were heard as a witness then. Do you remember

5 that?

6 A. No.

7 Q. According to this file, it seems that you

8 made a witness statement in criminal proceedings

9 against Emir or Emin -- Emin with an "N" -- Crutic.

10 A. Ermin.

11 Q. He's a Muslim, a Bosniak, as it is called

12 today?

13 A. Yes, from a mixed marriage.

14 Q. He was one of the suspects from this event

15 that took place in your village; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. A few general questions, very briefly. The

18 local commune of Stupni Do is about two kilometres away

19 from the town of Vares; is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In the photograph that was shown to you, one

22 can see the road that leads to your village; is that

23 right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. However, can we agree that there is also

Page 10921

1 another road that can be taken to your village, and

2 that is the one through the forest, so to speak, the

3 one that leads to the village of Mir and that also goes

4 to your village too; is that correct?

5 A. No. No. No. No. No. That is the road

6 that leads to the village of Mir, and it is much

7 farther away. It's ten kilometres farther away, and

8 the locals from Stupni Do don't use that road.

9 Q. Thank you. The village of Stupni Do, until

10 the 23rd of October, 1993, that is to say, until the

11 events that you told us about, was under Muslim

12 authority. That is to say that it was under the BH

13 army; is that right?

14 A. Yes, it was under the BH army.

15 Q. When we look at the entire territory of the

16 administrative borders of the then municipality of

17 Vares, do we agree that one part of the municipality

18 was under the HVO and other parts were under the

19 BH army?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You mentioned today a Croat. I think his

22 name was Stjepan Miocevic. Is that what you said?

23 A. Stjepan Milicevic.

24 Q. Oh, all right. The transcript said

25 differently. He was coordinator between the residents

Page 10922

1 of Stupni Do and the HVO government in Vares?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Was this an official capacity?

4 A. He was liaison officer.

5 Q. Your Honours, I would like to move on to

6 another subject, so I've just looked at my watch.

7 Perhaps it would not be good for me to embark on a new

8 subject altogether now. I have about ten questions

9 with regard to that particular subject. I can say

10 immediately that I do not have too many questions and

11 that we are going to be finished relatively soon.

12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn for the

13 usual break.

14 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

15 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Witness W,

18 may we resume? A few questions with regard to the

19 Territorial Defence or, rather, the BH army unit in

20 your village.

21 Your Honours, perhaps I shall also have to

22 ask to go into private session, because I might -- just

23 to avoid the risk of disclosing anything that could be

24 harmful to the witness. But I think this initial part

25 can be done without it.

Page 10923

1 Q. In your village, you had a TO unit which

2 subsequently was renamed the army of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina; isn't that so?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You said that in your village, there were

6 about 36 or maybe 37 combatants, that is, soldiers?

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Perhaps we

8 could go into private session now.

9 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

10 [Private session]

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6 [Open session]

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Witness W, the BH army unit, did it hold any

9 checkpoints around the village?

10 A. Yes, facing the Serbs.

11 Q. Today you said explicitly that there were no

12 roadblocks between your village and the village of Mir?

13 A. I did.

14 Q. But I must remind you that in one of your

15 statements, you explicitly stated that there was a

16 roadblock between your village and the village of Mir.

17 It is your statement of the 3rd of November. It is

18 when you were referring to the second meeting that took

19 place then, and you said that it took place at the

20 checkpoint manned by Bosnia-Herzegovina between Stupni

21 Do and Mir.

22 A. Yes. There was a trench, too, facing the

23 Serbs. But that checkpoint was not preventing the

24 villagers of Mir to pass through normally. Nobody

25 stopped them and nobody laid a finger on them. That

Page 10927

1 is, it was not intended for them but for the Serbs.

2 Q. But we do agree that it was there? That was

3 my question. It did exist, didn't it?

4 A. There was a trench with our members.

5 Q. No, I mean a checkpoint. Let us not confuse

6 the trench and the checkpoint.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let's not argue about these

8 matters. Let's move on.

9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

10 Q. You were regularly briefed on the military

11 situation in your village by the president of the war

12 presidency, Mervana Hadzimurtezic?

13 A. Well, not regularly, no.

14 Q. But that is what you said in your statement?

15 A. Well, we did keep in touch perhaps once a

16 month, we had contact, because we had to walk 20 -- 28

17 kilometres to reach the Vares municipal authority,

18 which had been dislocated, and it was very difficult

19 because one had to go beneath the Serb lines and it

20 involved a major risk. I mean, it was really very

21 hazardous to go there, so we met once a month.

22 Q. I understand, but I also meant contact by

23 radio.

24 A. No. No.

25 Q. One question relative to those six arrested

Page 10928

1 soldiers who were captured at Pajto Han, if I

2 understood you properly.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Those soldiers were captured at the time

5 when -- around the villages of Mir, Jankovici and

6 Dragojlovice. Fighting was going on between the army

7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, coming from the direction of

8 Kakanj and the HVO; isn't that so?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you. And a few short questions with

11 regard to those two meetings you had with the HVO

12 representatives?

13 A. At the first meeting on the 21st of June,

14 1993, the HVO requested from you to lay down your

15 weapons, and they put the same request to the village

16 Dastansko a few days before that; isn't that so?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. But did you not lay down your weapons, did

19 you?

20 A. No, we did not.

21 Q. And nothing happened? There was no reaction

22 to that?

23 A. Well, we were threatened, actually. We were

24 threatened that the village would be attacked unless we

25 surrendered our weapons by the morning. That was a

Page 10929

1 verbal threat from the then chief, Pejcinovic.

2 Q. Yes. Yes, but I went a step further. What I

3 meant was that although you did not lay down your

4 weapons, that village was not attacked and nothing

5 happened.

6 A. Yeah, but meanwhile a letter arrived from

7 Visoko.

8 Q. Yes. You already told us about that. Thank

9 you. But otherwise we're referring to this period of

10 time. Another question: There were quite a number of

11 refugees and ex-police from Kakanj, Sipidsko [phoen],

12 or something like that. There were about 15 to 20,000

13 people who had come to the municipality of Vares, isn't

14 that so?

15 A. It is.

16 Q. And just one question related to the

17 strategic position of your village, strategic location

18 of your village. The HVO held Perun, where this

19 transmitter was that you mentioned, and the road to

20 Perun was controlled by you, wasn't it?

21 A. No.

22 Q. But didn't you control that road?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Thank you. At the second meeting on the 31st

25 of July, 1993, you were told that the roadblock had to

Page 10930

1 be lifted?

2 A. We were told that everything had to be

3 removed, not only the checkpoint. The "checkpoint," I

4 don't know what you mean by that, but there was a

5 trench with some three or four soldiers who were there

6 on night guard, because in the vicinity of that place

7 was an intersection, and we simply were afraid of the

8 incursion of Serb forces from another hill.

9 Q. So if I am getting your meaning, you were

10 asked to remove that checkpoint and shovel the earth in

11 to close the trench?

12 A. Yes. They asked us to close the trench and

13 to remove our men who were around the village; that is,

14 we were told that all soldiers should go back to their

15 homes so that they should take over the complete

16 control and that nobody would lay a finger on us. But

17 remembering what happened before, we did not and we

18 really could not agree to that. Because all of those

19 who had laid their weapons, I mean, we know what

20 happened to them. Most of them were slain and their

21 houses burnt.

22 Q. Yes. But, Witness W, that is not what

23 happened to the village of Dastansko, rather, the

24 population?

25 A. Its population, yes, but that is because they

Page 10931

1 fled to another village. The whole village fled.

2 Q. Witness W, let us move on to the incident on

3 the 23rd of October, because I have a few questions

4 about that.

5 A. Right.

6 Q. If I understood you well, on the basis of

7 accounts which reached you from Vares, you concluded

8 that there would be a retaliatory action because of the

9 victory won in the village of Kopljari by the army of

10 BH when the 20 Croat soldiers were killed?

11 A. Not 20. I know about two.

12 Q. If I may, I think this figure, which says

13 "20" or, rather, about 20 -- "20-odd," in the first

14 statement that you gave to the security services centre

15 in Sarajevo on the 27th of October, 1993, which you

16 signed to.

17 A. That is a mistake.

18 Q. But it is -- it is written out: "20-odd."

19 So it is not a figure. You think it is a mistake?

20 JUDGE MAY: The witness has explained the

21 mistake.

22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

23 Q. There is also the information that a Croat

24 came to fetch his sister living in your village. A

25 Croat?

Page 10932

1 A. No, the brother. The brother of our

2 neighbour who was a Croat woman. He came at dusk,

3 before the nightfall, and took away the whole family in

4 a direction which we did not know.

5 Q. Yes. That is what I was going to say. And

6 you concluded from that something was about to happen?

7 A. I concluded that something was wrong, because

8 the gentleman who was married to that Croat woman was a

9 member of our civilian village committee, and I

10 concluded that something was wrong.

11 Q. So the council of your neighbourhood

12 community met, and you decided that the whole

13 population should be mobilised; isn't that so?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And that the village defence had to be

16 prepared to defend the village?

17 A. In cooperation with the unit commander,

18 naturally.

19 Q. And who was the commander? If you can tell

20 us that without disclosing anything, since we're in

21 open session, without disclosing your identity. Can

22 you tell us or not? Was it a cousin of yours?

23 A. No. It was Mr. Likic.

24 Q. In the course of those preparations, you dug

25 out some shelters under the ground, you dug trenches.

Page 10933

1 Perhaps some of them already existed there before.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And then the fire brigade had some drills and

4 you also received some training in the extension of

5 first-aid, isn't it?

6 A. Well, yes, but that meant sand and water

7 around houses, as much as we could do, and that was

8 something that already existed before. What we did

9 that evening was merely to do around, check it, perhaps

10 add something here or there, because there was little

11 time.

12 Q. So you were ready for a possible attack, the

13 attack that you thought might come?

14 A. I can tell you candidly that after the first

15 ultimatum, we did not really think it would happen, but

16 we could expect it. But, you know, subconsciously we

17 thought they would not attack us.

18 Q. But you used that word that you were ready;

19 that you were prepared; that you had undertaken all the

20 necessary preparations.

21 A. Yes, we had done that, but that such an

22 attack would take place and with so many people and it

23 would be so fierce that it would be wholesale

24 slaughter, that is something that we did not think

25 possible at all, let alone happening to us.

Page 10934

1 Q. Witness W, you personally, using

2 communications devices, notified the staff of the army

3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina about a possible attack. Would

4 you agree with me?

5 A. No. No, sir, I did not. I could not keep in

6 touch with them. I could only listen to the radio, but

7 it was -- the radio was manned by the army.

8 Q. No. But what I told you, the witness, and I

9 won't repeat his name, the one that I referred to

10 beforehand, he said that you reported to the staff of

11 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina using the radio.

12 A. Sir, your witness was not there. Your

13 witness was 30 kilometres away in the town of Breza.

14 Q. Right, but wouldn't you agree with me that

15 the war presidency in Dabravine, with the president

16 Mervana Hadzemurtezic, decided civilians from your

17 village should be evacuated?

18 A. Yes. The first time, yes. The first time of

19 when we received the ultimatum, rather, when Pejcinovic

20 threatened that they would attack, and we did that.

21 Q. And perhaps I was not clear enough,

22 Witness W. I meant the decision of the 22nd of

23 October, 1993.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Yes. The villages were evacuated then, but

Page 10935

1 some 7 or 15 days later -- no. Sorry. I think we're

2 talking about cross-purposes. I'm referring to the day

3 preceding the attack, not the other event. So I shall

4 repeat my question.

5 Would you agree with me that the war

6 presidency, on the 22nd of October, 1993, decided that

7 the civilians should be evacuated from the village?

8 A. No.

9 Q. And that the army should just stay behind and

10 defend the village?

11 A. No. No.

12 Q. Well, I must again tell you that this witness

13 whom I mentioned before said that.

14 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you, because

15 all you're doing is asking the witness to comment on

16 what another witness has said. I haven't stopped you

17 so far, but this witness's answer has been that the

18 other witness wasn't there.

19 The right way, if I may say so, to deal with

20 this is for you to comment at the end, when you have

21 your chance to make your submissions, about any

22 differences there may be. What we have to deal with is

23 this witness's evidence.

24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

25 all I wanted to do was, following your earlier

Page 10936

1 instructions, I simply wanted to confirm the witness

2 with a set of facts. But if you think this is not the

3 time for it, then I shall move on.

4 Q. To conclude this subject, you did not receive

5 any order from the war presidency with regard to events

6 that would probably ensue in -- that is, I mean the

7 order on the 22nd of October, '93?

8 A. No, no.

9 Q. As for this event, you already told us which

10 units took part in the attack on your village, because

11 you heard accounts about that from Vares inhabitants?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Witness W, you have given seven statements so

14 far, plus the interview with the Prosecutor which we

15 see recorded in this outline that we received before

16 your testimony, and nowhere -- not one of those

17 documents mentions what you said today, and that is

18 that one of the units participating in this incident

19 came from Busovaca. Could you answer, please?

20 A. I don't understand you. All those places are

21 very close to one another, and I did not think it

22 necessary to list all the small and large localities

23 because Kresevo, Kiseljak, and Busovaca are very near

24 and all those guys come from those -- from that area.

25 Q. Excuse me, but Busovaca was cut off from

Page 10937

1 Kiseljak, and the Court knows that, and that happened a

2 long time before that event.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] So may I ask

4 the witness to read to us what he said to the judge at

5 the Supreme Court in Sarajevo when he was testifying

6 about these circumstances, just one sentence?

7 JUDGE MAY: Is the point that he did not

8 mention Busovaca?

9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Precisely,

10 Your Honours. It says the same thing as the outline

11 which we were given today, and it is very short. If I

12 may, I shall read it myself, if you prefer.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, and then ask the witness if

14 he has any comment to make.

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] So I'm

16 quoting. This is a statement. It doesn't have the

17 date, but I believe we agree with the Prosecution it

18 was the 1st of August, 1996. I'm quoting:

19 "That morning when I was in Stupni Do, I am

20 well aware that all formations of the HVO from the

21 territory of the municipality of Vares participated in

22 it and that soldiers from the municipality of Kiseljak,

23 then Apostoli, Maturice took part in it," end of

24 quotation marks, "and some units from Kakanj."

25 So wouldn't you agree with me that you were

Page 10938

1 instructed by the investigating magistrate that you had

2 to tell the truth, that you should not conceal

3 anything, and so on and so forth, and that you sign

4 this?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you did not mention any other

7 municipality, but the most thing of all is that you

8 mentioned the names of the units which did indeed come

9 from the Kiseljak municipality, and that is Maturice

10 and Apostoli?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So are we agreed that after so many years

13 after the event, you mentioned Busovaca for the first

14 time?

15 A. I'm only repeating that all these places are

16 one next to the other.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I don't want

18 the Court to tell me that I'm ranting, but between

19 Busovaca and Kiseljak are the troops of the army of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But it is up to the Court.

21 Q. Very briefly, as briefly as possible about

22 Mr. Dario Kordic, today you mentioned when you first

23 saw Mr. Kordic in Vares approximately, but when did you

24 see him the second time?

25 A. You're asking for the date or what?

Page 10939

1 Q. Well, the part of year, whatever.

2 A. Well, I can't remember, but I remember seeing

3 him twice. It's been five or six years, after all.

4 Q. You said that the first time, it was towards

5 the end of the autumn. However, this other event that

6 you described, in terms of going to the church, could

7 have been and was on the 29th of September, when the

8 Catholics celebrate Saint Mihovil, their patron saint,

9 in Vares?

10 A. I don't know. You probably know that.

11 Q. I said this in order to jog your memory.

12 Perhaps can you remember now?

13 A. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, I do not

14 remember the date.

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Please, could

16 we have this for the transcript? It was on the 29th of

17 September, 1992. Perhaps I did not mention it

18 specifically. Perhaps it's been my mistake.

19 Q. And then Mr. Kordic gave an interview on

20 television. Maybe you saw it?

21 A. I do not recall. I saw Mr. Kordic on

22 television a few times -- not once only; several

23 times -- on the local television in Vares.

24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

25 I don't have to put any other questions to this

Page 10940

1 witness.

2 I just wish to recall my answer in response

3 to your question, Your Honour. On page 3.402, when I

4 explicitly said that Mr. Kordic was in Vares only in

5 order to celebrate the patron saint of Vares, Saint

6 Mihovil, on the 29th and perhaps the 30th of September,

7 1992, but it was one single visit, and perhaps I can

8 add this was not in the company of General Blaskic.

9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.

10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you for

11 your patience, and I would conclude my questioning with

12 this, and I wish to thank the witness as well.

13 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:

14 Q. Just two things: refugees and movements of

15 people in and out of Vares.

16 You've spoken of the number of incoming

17 people to Vares. When was that and where were they

18 coming from?

19 A. Are you asking me, sir?

20 Q. Yes, I am. Sorry, my mistake. Yes. Can you

21 help us with people coming into Vares, when and where

22 they were coming from?

23 A. Could you please clarify that, because

24 refugees were coming to Vares from all parts of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Page 10941

1 Q. Well, then I'm going to take it short --

2 sorry. I'm going to take it shortly, and if this

3 question doesn't prompt an immediate answer, I'll move

4 on. Did the incoming refugees have any effect on the

5 departure of Croats from Vares at any time?

6 A. No, no.

7 Q. Very well. The second point: Busovaca. Had

8 you, in fact, mentioned Busovaca to the Office of the

9 Prosecutor in the proofing sessions you've had here

10 this week?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. How clear or with what degree of certainty do

13 you recall being informed that Busovaca was one of the

14 named municipalities?

15 A. Immediately, as soon as the army entered

16 Vares, and upon the release of the prisoners from the

17 high school in Vares, many people said where these

18 young men came from. Kakanj was mentioned, Busovaca

19 was mentioned, Kresevo was mentioned, Kiseljak was

20 mentioned. Kiseljak was mentioned as the main centre,

21 the main recruitment centre for these paramilitary

22 units.

23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I hope the Chamber

24 will take it from me that the --

25 A. That is why I thought that Kiseljak was the

Page 10942

1 most important.

2 MR. NICE: Thank you. I hope the Chamber

3 will take it from me that the summary was deficient,

4 and it was my oversight and it should have been put

5 right.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Anything else?

7 MR. NICE: Nothing else for this witness,

8 no.

9 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, I'm not sure, but

10 should we just, for the record, say that we don't have

11 a cross, because this witness is clearly not related to

12 any counts for which Mr. Cerkez is indicted for.

13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Will that go for the

14 next witness too?

15 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, thank you.

16 JUDGE MAY: Witness W, thank you for coming

17 to the International Tribunal. Your evidence is now

18 concluded. You are released, and, as I say, thank you

19 very much for coming.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too,

21 Sir.

22 MR. NICE: While the Chamber is being

23 adjusted for the departure of the witness and the

24 arrival of the next witness, may exhibits of this

25 witness, I think really all, be kept under seal, except

Page 10943

1 for the photographs, for reasons of potential

2 identification?

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

4 [The witness withdrew]

5 MR. NICE: While the witnesses are changing

6 over, can I make this observation briefly? I heard, of

7 course, the exchange between Your Honour and

8 Mr. Naumovski about his not being allowed to put

9 something that emerged from another witness and his

10 reference to an earlier ruling of the Chamber. That,

11 of course, is a ruling that a positive case has got to

12 be put, or perhaps in certain circumstances is properly

13 put, which is different from putting the evidence of

14 another witness. And I simply observe that for my

15 part; I'm not following what is the case on Stupni Do.

16 I don't imagine it's being advanced that this was in

17 any way a lawful retaliation, but for my part, in case

18 it's material, I don't follow what's being put.

19 I will attempt to deal with the next witness

20 swiftly. She covers different ground. But if I'm

21 going to be allowed to lead most of it, then I hope we

22 may conclude her by the luncheon adjournment.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. In general, even not in

24 particular, it's corroborative evidence?

25 MR. NICE: It is, yes.

Page 10944

1 JUDGE MAY: Is there any objection to some

2 leading? Anything which shouldn't be led?

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Absolutely no

4 objections, Your Honour.

5 MR. NICE: I'm grateful.

6 [The witness entered court]

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the

8 declaration.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

10 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

11 and nothing but the truth.

12 WITNESS: WITNESS X

13 [Witness answered through interpreter]

14 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym for this

15 witness will be Witness X.

16 Examined by Mr. Nice:

17 Q. Witness X, can you look, please, at this

18 piece of paper? Just confirm by the answer "Yes" that

19 this is your name, but don't read the name out.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Were you living in Stupni Do with your family

22 in 1993?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. There was the one woman named Ana Likic who

25 was a Croat --

Page 10945

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. -- but married to a Muslim. Was --

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. All other villages in your immediate area

5 were Bosnian Croat villages?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And, of course, your village was near, in

8 1993, October, was near to the confrontation lines with

9 the Serbs?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Approximately how many villagers were

12 allocated to defending the village from attack?

13 A. Perhaps between 30 and 40.

14 Q. Did some of them have rifles and uniforms,

15 but did they mostly operate in civilian clothes?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Were there some trenches which had been there

18 for some time, notably from the time when the HVO and

19 the ABiH had cooperated?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Was life comparatively normal until August

22 '93, when the HVO representatives came to your

23 village, presenting an ultimatum that people should

24 surrender their weapons to the control of the HVO?

25 A. Yes.

Page 10946

1 Q. From this time on, the ultimatum being

2 refused, from this time on when people from Stupni Do

3 went to Vares, were they treated badly sometimes?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Were some imprisoned?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Were some the subject of, effectively,

8 theft?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Were you ever dealt with personally in this

11 way?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What did you have taken from you?

14 A. The food supplies I had bought.

15 Q. And where was it that they took food supplies

16 from you?

17 A. In Vares Majden. At their place.

18 Q. Explain that. Is that on the way up to

19 Stupni Do?

20 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. On the road towards Stupni

21 Do. From Vares Majden towards Stupni Do.

22 Q. And how many times did you have food supplies

23 taken from you? Once or more than once?

24 A. Several times. And they also didn't let us

25 go into town. They would make us turn back.

Page 10947

1 Q. Are you able also, if asked, to say -- to

2 talk about similar events happening to Dervis

3 Mahmutovic and Resad Likic, who had his car taken, as

4 well as his money?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. After the ultimatum, villagers left the

7 village, fearing an attack, but returned, and things

8 were relatively quiet until the 23rd of October.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Although there had been some increase in HVO

11 patrols.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Then on the 22nd of October, I should have

14 said, the only Croat was taken away by her brother,

15 along with her husband, and that caused alarm in the

16 village.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You heard shooting on the morning of the

19 23rd. It's not challenged, I think, that that shooting

20 came from Vares, Mir, Bijelo Borje, and Vares Majden?

21 A. Bijelo Borje, yes.

22 Q. Did you go to a shelter with your sons while

23 your husband --

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. Was there indeed an arrangement

Page 10948

1 that several families would meet in this particular

2 shelter?

3 A. Yes. Yes.

4 Q. And in due course, did other families arrive

5 so that there was a total of some nine adults and six

6 children in the shelter?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. After an hour, did you return -- or

9 thereabouts, did you return from the shelter to your

10 house to get shoes for your sons?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. At that time did you then have a view of the

13 damage already done to the village and did you see

14 several houses on fire?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Can you remember now whose houses were on

17 fire at that stage?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Tell us, please.

20 A. Melca Beganovic, Halid Likic, Serif Likic, as

21 far as I could see, those houses. And also Mlado

22 Orozovic house.

23 Q. Your house was itself destroyed?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And indeed in the attack overall, every house

Page 10949

1 except one was destroyed, I think.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. When you returned to the shelter, did you

4 receive advice from your husband that the village could

5 not be defended and that the HVO soldiers had

6 effectively broken all lines of defence?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you try to leave the basement, but at

9 that stage only one adult --

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. -- and two children were able to get out?

12 A. Two persons and a child.

13 Q. From the shelter were you able to hear what

14 the soldiers were doing?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And in summary, without, I hope, distressing

17 yourself, just tell us what you could hear.

18 A. The door was open. They were yelling,

19 hollering, shooting. They did all sorts of things in

20 the yard. The door of the shelter was open. We heard

21 them upstairs shooting all over the village. They were

22 upstairs where I had lived.

23 Q. Did you see the soldiers sufficiently to be

24 able to give us a proximate idea of how many there

25 were?

Page 10950

1 A. Yes, I saw them.

2 Q. How many?

3 A. There were about 15 of them, perhaps even

4 more. I was so afraid that I couldn't even watch.

5 Q. How were they dressed and what did they have

6 on their faces?

7 A. Their faces were painted black. They had

8 camouflage uniforms. They also had black ribbons round

9 their heads. They had gloves with the fingers cut open

10 and boots and weapons.

11 Q. Did they have any patches and did they have

12 any other identifying materials on them, for example,

13 on their arms?

14 A. They had white patches and emblems with the

15 letter "U" and also the chessboard sign, and it was

16 very difficult for me to notice anything since I was so

17 frightened.

18 MR. NICE: Unless there is any objection at

19 paragraph 31, I'll put to the witness the first word on

20 the third line in case it jogs her memory.

21 Q. Did you see anything of any ribbons?

22 A. On their arms. They had white ribbons on

23 their arms, tied around their arms.

24 Q. Thank you. What armament did they have with

25 them, what arms?

Page 10951

1 A. They had rifles, different weapons. They

2 shot from all sorts of weapons. They had 84s. They

3 also had bandoliers across their chests.

4 Q. Did you speak to any of them? Did any of

5 them speak to you?

6 A. No. They were only swearing and shooting.

7 Q. At some stage -- just yes or no to this --

8 did you learn of what group these men were soldiers?

9 Just yes or no.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. How did you learn that?

12 A. We learned that when we got out to -- we were

13 told two days later by other people who had found out

14 who they were.

15 Q. Did they, the soldiers themselves, say

16 anything to you or say anything out loud, indicating

17 what group they came from?

18 A. Well, they were cursing our balija mothers.

19 They were swearing at everything that belonged to us.

20 Q. Did they themselves identify what groups they

21 came from, group or groups they came from?

22 A. No. We didn't hear anything, but we were so

23 frightened that we could not have understood anything.

24 We were trembling with fear.

25 Q. When you did hear, some days later, what

Page 10952

1 group they were from, and you heard this from other

2 people, what name of band or group was given as the

3 group of which these soldiers were members?

4 A. Maturica.

5 Q. In the course of this day, was a girl, a

6 young girl --

7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, for reasons of

8 general sensitivity, I'm going to ask that this be

9 dealt with in private session, in view of the content

10 of paragraph 36. Thank you.

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

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21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

22 1 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

23 the 3rd day of December, 1999, at

24 9.30 a.m.

25