1 Thursday, 20 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is
8 Case IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I apologise for getting on my feet first,
11 but I think it might assist counsel and the Chamber, perhaps. I think
12 there was a question yesterday afternoon about, if I understood Mr. Seric
13 correctly -- and if I misunderstood, I apologise -- about a possible
14 issue. The Prosecution does not contend -- has not contended -- that the
15 incident with the wooden rifles that this witness has talked about is the
16 same incident as the 17th of September. There is no issue about that. We
17 don't suggest that it is the same incident.
18 MR. SERIC: Your Honour --
19 MR. SCOTT: We have never pretended that it was. If that seems to
20 be an issue on cross-examination, we will simply make that known.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
22 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I want to protest this
23 intervention because this is another way for him to direct the witness how
24 to proceed with his answer in the cross-examination.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that the Prosecutor is just to make
1 things clear at this moment, because yesterday there was some debate
2 concerning this issue. But you might clear it up during your
4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] This is exactly what I am trying to
5 point out. The position that has been also voiced by Mr. Meek is
6 corroborated by the fact that these discussions of the parties in front of
7 the witness are really not justified. And now, with your permission, I
8 would like to continue with the cross-examination.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS S [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Seric: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Witness S, good morning.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Yesterday you stated that after having received permission to
16 leave Mostar, you, yourself, filled out the form and left Mostar. We
17 have -- you had two such forms. Did you use both of them?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That is, after you left Mostar once, you came back?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Then when did you use the second permit?
22 A. I used it in Zagreb so that I could move about freely in Zagreb.
23 Q. I have to say that it is not clear to me what you are talking
24 about. I asked you a moment ago whether you used both permits to leave
25 Mostar, and you said you did.
1 A. Yes, but the second one, I used it -- I used it in Zagreb. I
2 received information from some of our people that the police were
3 arresting people, and so I used it there in order to be able to move
5 Q. Again, I have to admit, I don't understand. Let's go back to the
6 first. It is -- the first was good for the period of 8th September to
7 11th September. Were you in Mostar during that period?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Then why did you need that permit for these three days?
10 A. As I said in my statement, the permits were blank, and one had to
11 fill them out oneself. And when I filled out the first one, there was
12 something that happened that prevented me from leaving.
13 Q. So unlike the previous answer you've given, that you used both of
14 these permits, you are now telling us that you didn't use both of them?
15 A. Sir, I don't think you understood me.
16 Q. This is why I am asking you, so that we can clear things up.
17 A. I filled out the permit and I had a way to leave the city.
18 Q. Did you leave Mostar in the period between 8 and 11 September?
19 A. No.
20 Q. During this period of time, before your eventual departure from
21 Mostar, were there any major actions or operations in the boulevard?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what was that?
24 A. These were two separate actions, one that I already referred to
25 and the second which I really just observed from the rear.
1 Q. And when was the second one; how long before your departure from
3 A. Immediately before.
4 Q. One, two, five days?
5 A. I think it was the same day.
6 Q. What did you see when you observed things?
7 A. I saw an HVO action. The HVO was attacking the AbiH positions,
8 and I specifically was behind the Catholic church. And in that area - I
9 know this well - Baja's unit was also deployed. Of course, I saw exchange
10 of gunfire. I saw some people had been brought from the Heliodrom. Those
11 were faces that I had never seen before.
12 Q. Let's go back to the action of which you said that it could have
13 been in July, when the prisoners wearing camouflage uniforms and dummy
14 rifles -- when did you learn that these were dummy rifles?
15 A. I never knew that exactly, but I just concluded because they
16 looked as if they were made of plastic.
17 Q. Where exactly were you at that point?
18 A. I was next to the sandbags in the Liska Street.
19 Q. Do you know the last name of any of the prisoners who were wearing
20 those camouflage uniforms at that time?
21 A. I think that one of the men's name was
23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can I please ask the usher
24 to give us again Photograph 15.1, which was temporarily marked D2/6? You
25 can use this copy or the one that had been used previously. Sorry, my
1 mistake. 14.5, not 15.1, and our provisional number was D2/6.
2 Q. Please, can we, for the record, have the witness give us again the
3 name which was misspelled in the transcript?
4 A. (redacted).
5 Q. Witness, can you now tell us where the line of fire was? Can you
6 please place it on the ELMO?
7 A. This is where the sandbags were on Liska Street, and this is where
8 the front line was.
9 Q. Can we, for the record, say that the line of fire or the line of
10 separation was along the boulevard?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can we, for the record, say that the sandbags were extending from
13 the first left corner of the Health Centre and then perpendicular across
14 the street; in other words, the far end of the building?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Very well. Now, can you please tell us where you were?
17 A. I was right there at the corner, right next to the building.
18 Q. In other words, across from the Health Centre?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know what happened later to the prisoner whose last name is
22 A. I don't know what happened.
23 Q. Can you say -- and please don't say the name right away, because
24 if you do, I will ask for a private session. Is there anyone who can
25 corroborate your story regarding this incident or this action in July?
1 A. Probably there is.
2 Q. Do you know a name of at least one person who can?
3 A. Yes. I don't know the names, but I know nicknames.
4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Nicknames, all right. Your Honours, I
5 don't know whether we can continue in the open session or we need to go
6 into the private session for this. Perhaps we can go without the private
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we better go into private session just
9 for a few minutes.
10 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I'm just trying to be as fast as
4 possible, so sorry if I jumped ahead.
5 Q. You said that the prisoners were kneeling by the sandbags and
6 waited for 45 minutes before the attack, and that the soldiers from Livno
7 literally threw them over them, and then they started running and they got
8 caught in the crossfire. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell me what sense did all that make?
11 A. I really don't see any sense in it.
12 Q. Was the action only for the killing of the prisoners?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. So that's the sense of nonsense?
15 A. That's not what I said.
16 Q. Can you now point -- the photograph which is on the ELMO, show how
17 did it look. They were thrown over the sandbags, and then they were
18 running. Where did they run, and where did they get caught up in the
19 crossfire? And if I asked too many questions at once, just say.
20 A. No, that's fine. This is where they were thrown over the
21 sandbags, and some of them crossed over to this side of the street and
22 started running down there, and then a couple of them crossed over here.
23 And those who were running on this side of the street, when they reached
24 this point, a couple of them fell. They were hit by bullets.
25 Q. So you are -- you still claim that there was crossfire?
1 A. Yes, there was fire coming from both sides.
2 Q. You said that you saw Vinko Martinovic shooting from the Scorpion?
3 A. Yes, I saw him shooting, but I didn't say that I was sure that it
4 was a Scorpion, but it was a very small rifle which looked like a
6 Q. I understand. I need to slow down.
7 What was the position of Vinko Martinovic at that point?
8 A. He was at the extreme left corner.
9 Q. Which side of the sandbags?
10 A. The back side, that is, facing the Rondo.
11 Q. How far did the sandbags reach -- I mean the height.
12 A. You mean how high they were?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Maybe up to the head.
15 Q. Now, what was the line of fire of Vinko Martinovic? Where did he
17 A. I don't know. I was not there, but it was in a direction where
18 the prisoners were running.
19 Q. Is that the same direction where the opposite side, the enemy side
20 from which they were firing?
21 A. Of course.
22 Q. Can we then agree that this is your conclusion only that Vinko
23 Martinovic was firing in the direction of the prisoners?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You were referring to a unit from Livno?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What happened to it? What were they doing?
3 A. Many of them were shooting.
4 Q. It was fighting, crossfire?
5 A. Yes, crossfire.
6 Q. You said that the same evening, you witnessed a hand grenade being
7 thrown in front of the headquarters of Vinko Martinovic's base. Where
8 exactly were you standing?
9 A. I was standing across from the base, and I was en route home.
10 Q. If I recall, you said that you were behind a tree?
11 A. That's where I took cover after the grenade was thrown.
12 Q. Did anybody see you?
13 A. I cannot answer that. I'm not aware of it.
14 Q. Can anyone else corroborate your story?
15 A. You mean did anybody see me? Was anybody with me?
16 Q. Anybody who can confirm that what you said is the way you said
17 [sic] it.
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know which person was there with Vinko Martinovic?
20 A. As I said in my statement, I did not see the other person. I did
21 not even see Vinko Martinovic, Stela. I just recognise him by his manner
22 of speech.
23 Q. You have such good hearing?
24 A. Of course. (redacted).
25 Q. How many prisoners were there?
1 A. About ten.
2 Q. Can you give us at least one name?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Isn't it a little bit strange? In the morning you took them from
5 the hospital, you were there, they were your people, Muslims, and you
6 don't know anyone?
7 A. Why should I know everyone?
8 Q. Thank you.
9 How come -- can you explain this, if not to the Trial Chamber then
10 at least to me, because I find all these situations strange, and I
11 apologise for this comment, that you saw everything that was going on with
12 Vinko Martinovic, but you were not a member of his unit, you were with the
13 4th Battalion, and you have been following him as if you were his shadow?
14 A. As I said a moment ago in the private session, I can -- I gave you
15 names of a person who can corroborate this.
16 Q. But it is only you who says certain things. Even the prisoners
17 who were there on that day do not corroborate your story. We have a
18 witness, Witness J, who said something completely different, who was heard
20 A. I'm saying what I saw.
21 Q. Very well. Did Vinko Martinovic ever have you arrested after a
22 robbery of a discount store and turned over to the police?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you tell us how Vinko Martinovic, called "Vina", looks?
25 A. Yes, I can.
1 Q. Go ahead, please.
2 A. He was tall, well-built.
3 Q. Well, sometimes he had his hair long and sometimes short?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does he look like Vinko Martinovic? I mean does his face look
6 anything close to Vinko Martinovic who is sitting there?
7 A. No.
8 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
9 further questions.
10 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination?
11 MR. SCOTT: Very briefly, Your Honour.
12 Your Honour, if I can start by -- if I can make an inquiry. I
13 know I'm not dialoguing directly with counsel. But through the Chamber, I
14 wonder, rather than putting the statement in front of the witness and
15 taking the time to do that - we can - but the issue was raised yesterday,
16 I believe, about this witness seeing Tuta at a funeral, and there was a
17 suggestion that that was the first time it was said. And it's in his --
18 in fact, it is in his witness statement from the 4th of October, 1999, on
19 the top of page 6 of the English version. So if counsel could agree with
20 me on that, we can simply agree that in fact it was mentioned in his
22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek.
23 MR. MEEK: Yes. May it please the Trial Chamber, Mr. President,
24 Your Honours, I think my learned counsel is a little bit incorrect in what
25 he states to this Tribunal -- this Trial Chamber, excuse me.
1 The issue yesterday was not whether or not this witness had first
2 seen Mr. Naletilic at a funeral. That, of course, is in his report. The
3 issue was that there was never any indication from this witness, through
4 any prior interviews, that he was standing directly behind Mr. Naletilic,
5 nor that he had ever heard Mr. Naletilic speak any words. That was the
6 issue, not that he had seen Mr. Naletilic. That was in the report. So
7 the cross-examination was only as to why he had never mentioned, ever
8 before in all these years, that he had heard Mr. Naletilic speak, and the
9 content of that speech. That was the issue, not the sighting.
10 We've never contested the sighting. We're not saying it's true -
11 don't get me wrong - we're not contesting the fact that he made the
12 statement that he had seen him momentarily in a fleeting manner. But the
13 fact that he had then testified here for the very first time that he heard
14 Mr. Naletilic speak, that was the issue that was raised on
15 cross-examination, not what my learned counsel on the other side
16 indicates. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Is that the answer?
18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, that assists. I thought there was
19 the suggestion that went broader. I thought the original question,
20 suggestion, went broader than that to the whole sighting of Mr. Tuta. But
21 if that's the clarification, I accept that and I appreciate it, for the
23 The only questions, then, I would have for the witness would be --
24 and, Mr. Usher, please can I have your assistance in putting back on the
25 ELMO 14.5. All right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Scott:
2 Q. Now, Witness, just a couple of questions about this incident where
3 you've told us, both on direct and on cross-examination, about Stela
4 firing in the direction of the prisoners who ran out from the sandbags.
5 Now, can you show us again -- first of all, point out -- I know
6 we've done this several times, but on 14.5, show us once again the
7 location where the sandbags were. And once you point out that, I want you
8 to just keep your pointer on that for a moment, please.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Now, Witness, can you tell us, from that position, how far would
11 it be -- in what direction and approximately how far would it be to the
12 first AbiH position that you would be aware of, that is, the position of
13 the opposing side?
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. From that line of sight?
16 A. In that direction, it was down there; in other words, the only
17 position that could be reached.
18 Q. Witness, stay with me for a moment. You're looking, pointing --
19 go back to where the sandbags were, please, and leave your pointer there.
20 From that point, you're looking approximately -- well, I'm not sure of the
21 exact orientation of this photograph, but using the photograph itself,
22 toward the lower left corner of this photograph, your line of sight is a
23 pretty much straight line, constricted by buildings on both sides; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And so on that line of sight - please stay with me now - from that
2 line of sight, where would be the first AbiH position that you could see,
3 if any?
4 A. Can you please repeat the question one more time? I did not quite
5 get the interpretation.
6 Q. Using the line of sight that we just discussed, where
7 approximately would be the first AbiH position you would be able to see
8 from there, if any?
9 A. It would be this area here. You could see this area here, and
10 here there were already the AbiH positions.
11 Q. And how many metres, approximately, would it be from the sandbags
12 to that first AbiH position on that line?
13 A. I'd say between 100 and 150 metres.
14 Q. Well, all right. If you look at the trucks -- let me just -- if
15 you look toward the intersection, to the right area of the intersection
16 toward the doctor's office or doctor's house where you said your position
17 was, there's a truck parked on the street. If you can move your pointer
18 around, I'll tell you if we can see if we're talking about the same
19 truck. Do you see a truck that is immediately to the right of the
20 doctor's office?
21 Yes, right there. If you can use that for a point of reference
22 estimating how long a vehicle like that would be, I want -- if you can
23 indicate again, if you can, what you think that distance would be to the
24 other side of the intersection, from the sandbags to the opposite side of
25 that intersection.
1 A. I think it can be no more than 150 metres. At least, that's my
3 Q. And this type of firearm that you saw Mr. Martinovic firing, is
4 that considered to be a long-range weapon?
5 A. No, but enough to cross over to the other side.
6 Q. When you saw Mr. Martinovic firing that day, was he taking
7 carefully aimed shots down that line of sight, or what was he doing?
8 A. No, it was bursts of fire.
9 Q. In the direction of the prisoners. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we have no further questions.
12 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] This was a leading question,
13 absolutely leading questions, Your Honour. Because a moment ago, the
14 witness said that he cannot say that. So when it was suggested to him by
15 the Prosecutor, he confirmed it.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think it is sort of a leading question in this
17 particular situation, but the Trial Chamber will evaluate the weight of
18 this particular point.
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we have no other questions except to
20 tender, as we should have on the conclusion of our direct, that we tender
21 P11.18/1 as the marked version of the photograph used by this witness. We
22 also tender P878.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to tender
25 our photograph which we have a provisional number for, D2/6, and I
1 withdraw the announced statements which I had turned over to the Registry
2 yesterday because I never used them.
3 JUDGE LIU: Is there any objection concerning the documents?
4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Seric. [sic].
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday, I tendered
7 D1/14, and I said that we need to put it under seal and that I would
8 tender it through my own witnesses. And as far as the Prosecutor exhibits
9 are concerned, we never opposed the maps or photographs as such. But what
10 this witness marked, we have an objection because we contend that he was
11 not in a position where we can -- from which he could see what he has
12 claimed to have seen, and so this cannot be considered authentic. And
13 this is the basis for our objection. Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: So your objection goes to the document that is the
15 P878, that is, the map drawn by the witness himself?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The map as such, we have no problem
17 with. But I am objecting to the markings because some of the markings on
18 the photographs, I think, and on the map, the Defence of Mladen Naletilic
19 consider this witness as not being in a position to have seen things that
20 he says that he saw because he was in a different unit. And this is all
21 second-, third-, or fourth-hand knowledge.
22 For instance, in Bulevar, if he was behind the buildings in the
23 park, then he absolutely could not have seen what was going on in the
24 Health Centre. And I believe that our objection is absolutely
25 understandable. And we could actually only ascertain this if we were on
1 the ground, all of us, the situation that we see in the photograph.
2 You see, if somebody is in the park, if you look at this park to
3 my left, and he is talking about the events that were in Ilicka Street in
4 Bulevar or behind the Health Centre, then this witness can really not be
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We quite understand your objections on
7 this point; but at this stage, this is a map drawn by the witness, and all
8 the marks was made by himself. And he claimed that he could see or could
9 view such kind of things. So based on this situation, we believe that
10 this document is admissible. We will bear in mind your objections on this
11 very point when we evaluate all this evidence at a later stage.
12 Is that all right?
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: So those documents, P11.18/1, P878 from the
15 Prosecution, are admitted into evidence, and also the documents D2/6,
16 D1/14 submitted by Defence counsel are admitted into the evidence.
17 The Registrar will give a proper number at a later stage,
18 hopefully within this week.
19 Are there any questions from the Judges, Judge Clark?
20 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, this question I'm directing to Mr. Seric. I
21 understood you, sir, to say that you had documents relating to Witness S's
22 exit visa. Did I misunderstand you, when you were cross-examining him in
23 relation to documents, that you had documents that you were going to show
25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not examine him at
1 all with regard to a visa. Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding
2 or something between myself and Mr. Krsnik, my colleague. What I gave to
3 the Registrar was there in case the witness denied something he had said
4 before, and then I intended to use it. However, since he confirmed what
5 he had stated earlier on, there was no need to use this, so I withdrew
7 I only had that particular document, and also the photograph that
8 the Prosecution was kind enough to provide to us. I must say that
9 although we are opposing parties, our colleagues from the Prosecution
10 Bench are truly cooperative.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Perhaps I used the wrong word; maybe it was an exit
12 permit. But you've confirmed. You put questions to him, and he confirmed
13 his answers, so you deemed it not necessary to show him the document.
14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] The documents were shown by the
15 Prosecution, and they were tendered into evidence by them. Oh, they
16 weren't? Oh. I had been convinced that these two documents were tendered
17 by the Prosecution. I do apologise. These permits to leave Mostar.
18 Since the witness confirmed the contents thereof, there was no
19 need for me to tender them, I thought, because we had them and you also
20 had them attached to the statement.
21 JUDGE CLARK: You're absolutely right, Mr. Seric. What I was
22 afraid was that you were putting certain documents to this witness that
23 would disprove his evidence; and if you were doing that, maybe you would
24 put them to him. But as you said, he confirmed the contents of the
25 documents, so they were of no further relevance in your
1 cross-examination. Thank you. I just wanted to clear that up.
2 Now in relation -- thank you, Mr. Seric.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE CLARK: Witness S, when you are talking about the incident
5 with the prisoners and the sandbags, do you remember that incident? We
6 have just been referring to it yesterday and today. Did the sandbags
7 traverse the whole of the Bulevar?
8 A. No, they were only used for protection for the HVO soldiers to be
9 able to cross from one side to the other.
10 JUDGE CLARK: That's what I mean. Did they go from each side of
11 the road completely so that soldiers would be able to run behind them like
12 a wall?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 JUDGE CLARK: So is the situation that while the sandbags were in
15 position, a vehicle wouldn't be able to go up and down?
16 A. No, of course not. Of course, it's only natural that a vehicle
18 JUDGE CLARK: So what I wanted to ask you is: On that day where
19 the prisoners, as you say, were given what you think were plastic rifles
20 and were pushed across the sandbags into the line of fire, as you
21 described, can I take it that there was no tank being utilised by the HVO
22 that day at the same time as that incident?
23 A. No, in that area, I did not see a tank.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. Now, you were talking about the period
25 this morning, the period just before you left Mostar. You obtained a
1 permit or two permits to leave the region. You were describing that two
2 incidents had occurred which influenced you in leaving, but you didn't
3 describe the second incident which I understood you to say this morning
4 occurred just before you decided to leave.
5 A. I'm not sure I really understand your question.
6 JUDGE CLARK: You were describing this morning that there were two
7 separate actions before you left Mostar. Are you talking about the
8 actions with the prisoner, followed by the incident with the hand grenade,
9 or was there any other incident that you didn't describe to us?
10 A. No, I described all incidents. I just wanted to point out that
11 everything that was happening those days were the things that made me
12 leave, because I couldn't take the psychological pressure against me any
14 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE LIU: Judge Diarra.
16 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, President.
17 Mr. Witness, I'd like to ask you how the late Tihomir Misic
18 behaved, what his behaviour was when the offensive was started. I'd like
19 to know how he behaved in relation to Martinovic, but also in relation to
20 the attacks. How did he behave in relation to Martinovic? How did he
21 behave in relation to the armed attacks?
22 A. I'm sorry, but I really don't understand what the actual question
24 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Well, I asked you what the attitude
25 was of Tihomir Misic - I think he died - how he behaved in relation to
1 Martinovic at the time of the fighting and how he was, how he behaved,
2 when it comes to the attacks, as such.
3 A. The late Tihomir Misic -- this was at the very beginning of the
4 war, a very short period of time. This was against the Serbs, and Tihomir
5 Misic really treated everybody very well. I can't remember all the
6 details now, but I can say that he was a very good and a very clever man.
7 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you. When you understood
8 that your unit was then going to attack Muslims, why did you stay in that
9 unit? Were you afraid of reprisals or were you loyal to your oath,
10 because you yourself were a Muslim?
11 A. Exclusively to protect myself and my family. This was purely out
12 of fear. I didn't want to end up in camp. I knew exactly what would
13 happen, and that is why I decided to stay there and to take the first
14 opportunity to leave Mostar.
15 There's just one more thing I wish to add. From the moment when
16 the war between the Croats and the Muslims started, I did not feel any
17 loyalty towards anyone, because the oath I gave emphasised that all the
18 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina were to be defended, and that is all
19 the citizens, including Croats, Muslims, Serbs, Jews; everyone.
20 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Could you explain exactly what
21 "balija" means? I know it's a swear word, it really hurts Muslims, but
22 I'd like you to share with us the real meaning of that word, because it
23 often crops up in witness statements.
24 A. I really don't know how to explain this. At any rate, I know that
25 this is a derogatory term for Muslims. I don't know why. I never really
1 found out the actual meaning of the word itself.
2 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from both sides out of the Judges'
5 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Yes, please. Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Actually, I
8 would have some questions that stem from Honourable Judge Clark's
9 questions. They are related to visas and permits. I was the one who was
10 putting these questions, and I sought these clarifications during the
12 I must admit that I omitted to tender these documents. I was
13 quite sure that the Prosecutor would tender this, and that is the
14 shortcoming we have due to the experience from our own jurisdiction that
15 we're used to. Whatever we get from the Prosecution is automatically
16 tendered, it becomes part of the evidence. So we have been dealing with
17 such a lot of documents and it has been so difficult for us to deal with
18 this every day, so now, on behalf of the Defence, although there is no
19 translation into English of these permits that our colleague the
20 Prosecutor gave us - we only have these documents in Croatian -
21 nevertheless I would like to ask the Trial Chamber to allow us to have
22 this translated into English and then subsequently tender it into
24 Could we get a provisional number now at this stage, please,
25 because these permits show that this witness did not speak the truth, as
1 it were. The commander of all of South-Eastern Herzegovina signed this.
2 It's not an ordinary permit, as the witness said. This is quite
3 extraordinary, and it says that he goes to Zagreb for medical treatment,
4 for medical examination. When we questioned the witness, he said that he
5 was going to Denmark, and that is to say that he cheated in order to get
6 these permits as well.
7 So I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to allow me to tender
8 these documents into evidence. However, the Defence is going to ask the
9 Danish authorities to find out what this witness put forth to them in
10 terms of the reason why he wanted to stay in Denmark and on which
11 grounds. We have already been addressing them, actually, so these are the
12 additional questions that stemmed from the questions that were put by the
13 Honourable Judge, and I thank you for your attention.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think this is the time for you to
15 ask some questions to the witness, rather than tendering of the documents
16 - we have to pass this period - which does not mean that those documents
17 are excluded from tendering into the evidence. And if we are still in the
18 process of tendering documents, do you think it would be right for the
19 Prosecution to explain their views on this very issue?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
21 JUDGE LIU: Any objections from the Prosecution side?
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, we don't contest the authenticity of the
23 documents in terms of purporting to be what they are. In fact, the
24 Defence has these documents because we gave them to them as part of
1 Let me clarify so there's no confusion. There has been much
2 material provided to the Defence as disclosure which has not been marked
3 as a Prosecution exhibit, and counsel should not assume, please, that just
4 because we've handed something to them in the last 18 months or two years
5 as disclosure, that we've marked it as an exhibit. We didn't make it an
6 exhibit because we didn't question -- frankly, we didn't question the
7 witness's testimony on the point.
8 Now, I think it's improper, however, for this to be handled in
9 this way. If Mr. Krsnik wants to make these points, he should put the
10 documents and put the issue to the witness and give the witness a chance
11 to deal with them. And on those questions -- and in fact we may have
12 redirect on that point. So this is completely, with respect, an improper
13 way to proceed.
14 JUDGE CLARK: This, in fact, was the exact issue that I was
15 raising. If somebody has a document, and the document doesn't accord with
16 what the witness is saying, that basically one lays the ground and then
17 shows the witness the document. That's exactly what I was asking before,
18 and Mr. President obviously agrees with me.
19 It is very unfair for Defence counsel to make submissions on a
20 document when those questions were not specifically directed to the
21 witness and he was given an opportunity to respond. That's the point that
22 I was trying to make a little earlier. I probably wasn't clear enough.
23 But if you have information with which you disagree, the witness must have
24 an opportunity to explain, or whatever.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honours, I would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 just like to put two or three questions only to clarify these permits.
2 Although, regrettably, I have already responded to this, actually.
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, you had your time for the
4 cross-examination before. You should have done that before. But as an
5 exception, this Trial Chamber will allow you to pose some questions to
6 this witness concerning those very documents. But next time, just to bear
7 in mind that you have your opportunity to cross-examine any witness
8 concerning any documents. Thank you.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Further cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, could you please be so kind as to tell
12 me who signed your permit for leaving the town of Mostar and why?
13 A. Sir, I can answer that question of yours -- I can answer in terms
14 of a question and in terms of an answer. First of all, I got these
15 permits, and they were not filled out at all. I was supposed to fill them
16 out myself. I am the one who typed in my name and surname and also that I
17 was going for medical treatment. Do you really think that I, as a Muslim
18 in the HVO, could actually go and see such a high commander like the one
19 whose name is there, because I wanted to leave Mostar because I felt
20 uncomfortable there? I really don't think I could have done that. And
21 correct me if I am wrong, but that's it.
22 Q. How was this signed, this document? Without having been filled
23 out previously?
24 A. Yes. I was the one who was supposed to fill out the name and
25 surname, the date when I was leaving, and the reason for leaving.
1 Q. In other words, you forged this permit?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What about the other permit? Did you also get only the form
5 A. Yes, absolutely the same way.
6 Q. So you forged it?
7 A. Yes. That was the only way for me to get out of town.
8 Q. And my final question: When obtaining a visa to go to Denmark,
9 did you make a truthful statement to the Danish authorities, or did you
10 deceive the Danish authorities in the same way?
11 A. I did not deceive anyone in any way. I said what I had done, and
12 I said why I wanted to go to Denmark.
13 Q. So you were not put before a dilemma; visa or testimony here?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down.
15 A. No.
16 MR. KRSNIK:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Were you ever put before this dilemma; visa in
18 Denmark or testimony in The Hague?
19 A. I asked for a visa considerably earlier, considerably before I
20 came to testify to The Hague or was supposed to testify in The Hague.
21 Q. Thank you. Those are the only questions we have.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The speed is impossible.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The witness did not ask, Your Honour,
24 to see these documents, because he is familiar with them. The Prosecutor
25 actually had these documents handed over to us. So would it be possible
1 for us to have these documents translated, and then we could introduce
2 these documents through another witness, if the Trial Chamber concurs,
3 and, of course, our colleagues from the Prosecution.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it is again, correct. Defence has these
6 documents because the Prosecution gave them to them. However, I still
7 think that, given the nature of the cross-examination just now, the
8 witness should be shown the documents. I think now the witness should
9 have the opportunity to see the documents and comment on them.
10 JUDGE LIU: I think that's a legitimate request. Could the usher
11 take the document and show it to the witness.
12 MR. KRSNIK:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Are these the documents concerned?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: Could I know the initial response from the Prosecution
16 whether you object to the admission of those documents or not?
17 MR. SCOTT: We don't object, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 And the Registrar will be entrusted to translate it, to have it
20 translated into English, and give a proper number for those documents as
21 well as its translation at a later stage.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The number for this document is D1/15.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 Mr. Seric, yes. Are you going to ask some questions out of the
25 Judges' questions or are you going to tender another document?
1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Just one question, Your Honour,
2 question raised by the Honourable Judge Diarra, and this is a question
3 that stems from that one.
4 Further cross-examined by Mr. Seric:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, are you personally offended if somebody
6 calls you a balija?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Why, if you don't know what it means?
9 A. Because I know it's a derogatory term for Muslims.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Witness, for giving the
12 evidence. We wish you good luck in the future. The usher will take you
13 out of the room when he pulls down the blinds. You just remain where you
14 are at this moment.
15 Okay, the Registrar will have a clarification.
16 THE REGISTRAR: The Defence brought to my attention that there are
17 two separate documents, so the first one will be D1/15, and the code
18 number on that is 00898517, and the next exhibit is D1/16, and the code
19 number on that is 0089518. I will have it translated and distributed to
20 all parties.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 [Witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE LIU: Next witness.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the next witness will be Ralf Rudiger
25 Mrachacz, spelled R-a-l-f, first name; middle name, R-u-d-i-g-e-r; last
1 name, M-r-a-c-h-a-c-z. He is testifying without any protective measures.
2 His testimony will go to background, paragraphs 7 through 9 and 11;
3 superior authority, paragraph 14, 17; general allegations, paragraph 18;
4 count 1, paragraph 25; count 18, paragraph 53; counts 19, 20, and 22,
5 paragraphs 55, 56, and 58.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. As for the schedule of this witness, I
7 think we'll proceed according to our normal schedule.
8 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: We'll have a break during the lunchtime tomorrow. If
10 you want to keep this witness longer, we could have it next week.
11 MR. SCOTT: We'll stop at 1.00 tomorrow, if I understand.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, there is one exhibit to be handed out at
14 this time, too. We can do it -- hold on a minute. We can swear the
15 witness first.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 WITNESS: RALF RUDIGER MRACHACZ
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Would you please stand up and
20 make the solemn declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Just a few procedural
2 matters, if I may.
3 Obviously there are some additional steps that are being taken
4 concerning this witness. His native language is German, and therefore
5 some additional procedures, of course, have to be put in place for
6 purposes of translation. And then we have the security that's provided in
7 connection with the witness. The only comment I would make about that -
8 and I certainly don't want to do anything to interfere with security - but
9 I would like to be able to have a clean line of sight to the witness, if
10 possible. Thank you very much.
11 The only other preliminary comment, Your Honours, is that: While
12 it would be clear that this person is in custody, the witness is in
13 custody in a foreign country in a prison, we are not asking -- while we
14 have not asked for protective measures, we are not indicating his
15 whereabouts for security reasons. So I would caution both the witness and
16 others in the courtroom if they could please not ask about his present
17 whereabouts, other than the fact that it will be apparent that he is
18 confined in a prison. Thank you.
19 Examined by Mr. Scott:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Mrachacz. Can you hear okay?
21 A. [No audible response]
22 Q. Sir, can you tell us, you were --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness be advised to speak up or move
24 closer to the microphone.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the interpreter should use the
2 GERMAN INTERPRETER: No, no, that means -- there's no point in
3 that, I'm afraid. It will disturb my colleagues in the booth.
4 THE INTERPRETER: There is a German interpreter in the English
5 booth, and the interpretation into English is going to be coming from the
6 English channel, as regular. The other interpreter is only for the
7 benefit of the witness.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Witness, presumably things will settle in here in a moment. But
10 if you can, maybe move your chair. I would suggest if you could just move
11 your entire chair up a bit so you're sitting closer to the microphones,
12 please. Thank you.
13 Now, Mr. Mrachacz, you are a citizen, or were a citizen, of what
14 some of us might refer to as "East Germany"; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. And did you serve for a period of time in the East German army?
17 A. Yes, that's correct too.
18 Q. For approximately how long?
19 A. For about three years.
20 Q. And what were your duties? What did your duties involve in the
21 East German army?
22 A. I was with tank troops.
23 Q. And would it be fair to say that you have extensive training in
24 the use of various models of tanks from the former Soviet Bloc, if you
1 A. Yes, one could say so.
2 Q. And what was the highest rank that you obtained in the East German
4 A. That was the highest rank as a noncommissioned officer,
5 "Feldwebel" in German.
6 Q. Perhaps it doesn't translate into an English rank that I'm
7 familiar with, but can you assist us? Is that anything like a sergeant,
8 or can you give us any more help on that?
9 A. Yeah, that's the highest officer. "Warrant officer" that would
10 be. That's one before lieutenant.
11 Q. All right. Now, sir, in terms of your background, did you on
12 several occasions attempt to escape from East Germany, and were you
13 convicted for attempting to escape and imprisoned in that regard?
14 A. That's correct, yes.
15 Q. And did that happen approximately twice?
16 A. Yes, it did.
17 Q. And what was the prison sentence you served in connection with the
18 first conviction for that?
19 A. I was sentenced for attempting to flee the country.
20 Q. And for how long did you serve a sentence?
21 A. Three years and three months.
22 Q. And did you receive a second conviction on another -- for again
23 attempting to escape on another occasion?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And what sentence did you receive on that occasion?
1 A. It was two years.
2 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, let me go back for a moment. In terms of -- you
3 told us the number of years in the East German army that you served, but I
4 omitted to ask you: What were those years? If you can tell us, during
5 what period of time were you in the army?
6 A. I was -- you mean as a member of the East German army in East
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. I was trained as a tank driver, as a tank commander, and so I
10 served for three years with the tank troops in the Torgau region.
11 Q. All right. And I'm sorry if my question wasn't clear. We have
12 the period of time in terms of years, but approximately what date? I mean
13 from what year to what year, if you will?
14 A. That was from 1975 to '78.
15 Q. Now, sir, in terms of your present whereabouts - and as we've
16 already discussed, I'm not going to ask you to mention any particular
17 facility or location in any way - but are you currently serving a sentence
18 imposed upon you by the government of Germany in a prison facility in that
19 country, that is, Germany?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. And is the conduct for which you are serving this sentence -- did
22 that occur in Bosnia-Herzegovina during 1993?
23 A. [No audible response]
24 THE INTERPRETER: It was an inaudible response. Can the witness
25 please repeat?
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, we didn't get that last response. Please.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I take that -- just so the record is clear, your answer is, yes,
5 that the conviction on which you are presently serving a sentence relates
6 to conduct that occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina during 1993?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Now, sir, I want to direct your attention now back to
9 approximately 1992. Did you take steps at that time to join the army of
10 the Republic of Croatia?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, how even the opportunity, if you
13 will, or the possibility of joining the Croatian army came to your
14 attention and then what steps you took to actually join the Croatian army?
15 A. It happened in the following way: I wanted to become a member of
16 the French Legion, but because of bad teeth, I was not accepted there.
17 And I read in the newspaper that voluntary people were to -- could come to
18 the Croatian army. A Hungarian newspaperman had written that in the
20 So in January I went to Croatia, to Zagreb. There, with the help
21 of railway police, I was brought to the Ministry of Defence, and then I
22 came to a barracks which later were taken over by UNPROFOR units. There
23 we were told that an international unit was set up, but there was a long
24 delay for that because new people turn up all the time from all European
1 So eight Germans came together finally, and we decided to join
2 HOS, which was based in Zagreb as well.
3 Q. If I can stop you there for a moment. You originally went to
4 Zagreb to join the Croatian army, but there was some delay in forming this
5 international battalion or unit. And because of that, you joined the HOS
6 instead; is that what you're telling us?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. How did you find out about HOS, H-O-S?
9 A. A few Germans had joined HOS, and they convinced us things were
10 better with HOS and that we would be able to work with the training of
11 soldiers or people.
12 Q. And what duties, then, did you undertake? Upon joining HOS, what
13 did you do?
14 A. We reported to the HOS centre, to the commander then, Mr. Dzapic,
15 and we immediately were hired.
16 Q. And what functions or tasks did you perform while you were a
17 member of HOS?
18 A. At that time, I'm speaking about three weeks, we were used as
19 bodyguards to protect people there.
20 Q. All right.
21 During this three-week period, did you travel anywhere, other
22 parts of either Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina, outside of Zagreb?
23 A. Yes. During that time, we went to Herzegovina, direction
25 Q. Can you tell us why you went to Ljubuski at that time?
1 A. It was a trip by Mr. Paraga, who had meetings with HOS
2 representatives in Herzegovina, and we were supposed to take over a
3 training camp of HOS.
4 Q. All right. Now, did you have any sort of identification cards or
5 papers at that time that identified you as a member of either the Croatian
6 army, or HV, or HOS, or both?
7 A. Yes, we used to have such papers.
8 Q. I'm sorry. Which ones of the ones I mentioned to you?
9 A. We used to have military identity cards of HOS.
10 Q. Were you given any other paperwork, papers, if you will, by the
11 authorities in Zagreb around this time which allowed you to do certain
13 A. Not at that time.
14 Q. Perhaps a bit later. Can you just tell us, please, if you can.
15 A. Later, yes, when I joined the HV.
16 Q. All right. And what were these papers and what did they allow you
17 to do?
18 A. We were given the identity card of HV to be placed at
19 Tomislavgrad, and we had a special passport to enter any military barracks
20 or military headquarters. We were entitled to do that.
21 Q. In what country -- if you know, what country or state is
22 Tomislavgrad part of?
23 A. I didn't understand the question.
24 Q. Of what state or country -- in what state or country is
25 Tomislavgrad located?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. It is part and parcel of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber how papers given to you by the
3 Republika Croatian Army would give you authority to enter locations in a
4 separate country of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. At that time, we were not in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The unit was
6 called Kralj Tomislav.
7 Q. But you mentioned that you had these papers in connection with
8 being in Tomislavgrad, I believe. Perhaps I'm mistaken.
9 A. No, that's not correct.
10 Q. Let's go forward, please, and maybe we'll come back to this.
11 How long did you stay in HOS?
12 A. Approximately a month and a half.
13 Q. And why did you end your association with HOS?
14 A. When we were asked to go with Paraga, we experienced that one of
15 us was rejected, and we found out that it was not possible to establish a
16 military unit. So then we were brought back, and then the HOS
17 representation in Split handed us over to a general who was placed in
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I see the time, but perhaps if I could
20 ask one or two questions on this point, then hopefully we'll be able to
21 move a bit further ahead.
22 Q. You've mentioned several times being in Ljubuski and about a
23 training camp. Now, around this time, were you sent to a potential
24 training site? And if so, just tell us about that.
25 A. In principle, it was an old school somewhere located in mountain
1 regions, without water, without windows, fairly cold there. It was
2 winter, it was February, March. Training was not possible, and we
3 rejected -- we refused to train. A unit used to be there who carried out
4 their own training, but that's all I would know about it.
5 Q. My final question before the recess: When you went to this
6 training camp, because I think perhaps there's some confusion on this
7 point, were you then acting in your capacity as a member of HOS or as a
8 member of the Croatian army?
9 A. We were still HOS at that time.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if we could break there, please.
11 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 11.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, please continue.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, you told us before the recess that you had gone to
17 this training camp in Ljubuski, near Ljubuski, for the purpose -- or what
18 could have been a camp -- a location - forgive me - to set up a training
19 camp. On getting there and looking around, you found that under the
20 conditions that existed at that time, it was not practical to conduct a
21 training camp there; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And what did you do after that?
24 A. We returned to Split. The HOS centre in Split handed us over to
25 General Daidza, and he put us to a unit which was under the command of
1 Ivan Andabak.
2 Q. And for the record, is it correct, sir, that this Daidza's name -
3 not a major point, I don't think, for the case, but to be clear - is
4 spelled D-E-I-T-S-C-H-E-R?
5 A. Daidza? Do you mean Daidza or Andabak?
6 Q. No, I'm asking you about Daidza now, please. Did I spell his name
7 correctly? I'm sorry for the confusion now, but --
8 A. I do not know whether he is spelled like that; I'm not sure. But
9 the pronunciation, at least, was like that.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, how was it that you then came into contact with
11 this person named "Ivan Andabak"?
12 A. Ivan Andabak, he used to be under the command of this
13 General Daidza. And since he was establishing a special unit and he spoke
14 German perfectly and we were a group of Germans, we were more or less
15 allocated to his unit.
16 Q. And did you have any understanding at that time of what kind of a
17 unit this was?
18 A. Not at that time.
19 Q. And in terms of time, is this approximately now in May or June
21 A. That was around about April/May '92.
22 Q. And what happened next in terms of -- did you meet Mr. Andabak?
23 A. Yes, sure, of course.
24 Q. And what did you -- what did he tell you or what did you learn at
25 that time?
1 A. He told us that this unit was meant to be a subversive unit to act
2 in the rear of what then was the Yugoslav army's areas.
3 Q. And just so the record is clear, at this point in time you say
4 "the Yugoslav army". This was called "the JNA", or these were
5 essentially the Serb forces; is that correct?
6 A. At that time, it was not clear. It was the remnants of the JNA,
7 which mostly were under Serb command.
8 Q. And did you have any understanding of what army or military group
9 or formation that this special unit of Mr. Andabak was attached to or
10 associated with?
11 A. Association was with Zagreb. We were just attached to this unit
12 of General Daidza for reasons of logistics and for being housed somewhere.
13 Q. All right. But was General Daidza -- was he an officer in the
14 army of the Republic of Croatia, or what army was he an officer in?
15 A. It was an HV unit, but Daidza himself was a Muslim.
16 Q. And did you consider yourself at that time, then, under these
17 arrangements, to be part of again the HV, the army of the Republic of
18 Croatia, or what unit did you believe yourself to be part of?
19 A. At that time when we were attached to Andabak, we were
20 automatic -- we automatically became HV.
21 Q. Did Andabak at that time propose any particular assignments or
22 tasks to you if you were to join his unit or otherwise become associated
23 with his unit?
24 A. Nothing was told us, as far as the distribution of tasks was
25 referred to.
1 Q. All right. Well, did you do something with Andabak or in
2 connection with his unit in the weeks that followed first meeting
3 Mr. Andabak, as you've just told us about?
4 A. We spent weeks -- weekends, mostly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the
5 surroundings of Krevan [phoen] Krusevo. It was there that we were
6 supposed to support HVO units and their lines.
7 Q. Can you tell us what part of Herzegovina this was located in.
8 MR. SCOTT: I am trying to do this, Mr. President, if we can,
9 without pulling out the maps, although, perhaps, that may ultimately be
11 Q. But can you tell us where in Herzegovina, where this particular
12 location was or these locations where you were relieving or supporting the
14 A. It was above of Mostar, looking into the direction of the
16 Q. And for how long did you perform this function?
17 A. It happened very frequently. One could say almost every weekend
18 as long as we were -- for the whole period, as long as we were members of
19 the Croatian units.
20 Q. Now, when you entered into the area around Mostar, around this
21 time, did you do anything to change your uniform?
22 A. Yes. We removed the patch where "HV" used to be, and we then sew
23 on the HVO patch.
24 Q. Did you have any understanding as to why that was done, why the HV
25 patches or insignia were removed?
1 A. At that time, the UNPROFOR units were active in this area, and not
2 to show that Croat units were there in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. And then you said this work continued for some time. Can you give
4 us an approximate length of time, for how long you supported the HVO in
5 this way?
6 A. That was approximately until May '92, I would say. Then we had
7 arguments with the units of this General Daidza.
8 Q. All right. Can you just briefly tell the Chamber what the nature
9 of the dispute or the argument with General Daidza was.
10 A. It started when the struggles around Mostar became aggravated.
11 Ivan Andabak was ordered to put TNT to a truck with cement, with concrete,
12 and we were based in a little village not far from Vrgovac, and we loaded
13 explosives loaded onto this truck and it was brought into Mostar.
14 Q. And what happened next? And again, I'm asking you this in
15 connection with what leads to your dispute with Daidza.
16 A. Briefly, after this action, we had some combat fighting with --
17 together with Croat unit and our units, we were to take over the barracks
18 in Capljina. That was a joint action with Daidza and the commander of the
19 HVO unit, who was General Praljak at that time. When conquering these
20 barracks, we had conquered two tanks with enough ammunition and heavy
21 weaponry. After withdrawing from the barracks, the tanks were taken into
22 Vrgovac, and the unit was sent into Holita [phoen], and the tanks somehow
23 disappeared. Obviously, they were sold to some staff -- units -- crisis
24 staffs in the region.
25 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, trying to help the transcript and
1 assist the Chamber, I believe this location the witness is describing is
2 spelled V-R-G-O-R-A-C, with a diacritic on the C.
3 Q. I don't know, Witness, if you can confirm that or not, but I think
4 that's accurate. Do you know if that's the correct spelling of that
5 location you've told us about?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 So, after your split with Daidza, if you will, because the Serb
9 tanks -- the captured tanks had been sold in some way, what happened after
11 A. Ivan Andabak told us that we were supposed to have a campaign in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina together with Tuta. There was a Raga [phoen] station
13 which we were to conquer, and that happened. There were no more Serbs
14 units on top of these mountains -- but there were no Serb units on top of
15 these units any more. It was an action in vain. But in the press, in the
16 Croat media, it was said that this unit under Tuta had made a great
17 effort, and the name of Daidza was not mentioned at all. And so the
18 separation came about, so that -- which means that this unit of Andabak
19 had separated from Daidza and joined the ranks of Tuta.
20 Q. And can you give us -- strike that. Did you meet with Tuta around
21 that time?
22 A. That was when I saw him for the first time.
23 Q. And can you give us, please, an approximate date for your first
24 meeting with Tuta?
25 A. I suppose that was towards late May 1992.
1 Q. And can you tell us, how was this meeting arranged with Tuta, if
2 you know, and where did the meeting take place?
3 A. The meeting took place directly underneath this radar station
4 where our unit was then based, and Tuta came to this place.
5 Q. And who, if you will, briefed you on the action, the proposed
6 action against the radar installation?
7 A. That was Ivan Andabak.
8 Q. And in terms of the field operation, you've told us about the
9 action. Who commanded the action?
10 A. The operation, the attack on this radar station, was under the
11 guidance -- under the leadership of Tuta.
12 Q. After this action you described, what did you do after that?
13 Where did the unit go?
14 A. The unit -- all members of the units went back to Siroki Brijeg.
15 Q. And what did you understand was located at Siroki Brijeg, or,
16 stated differently, do you know why you went back to that particular
18 A. Well, normally I issue, because Tuta lived there, and we were
19 accommodated in a hotel there.
20 Q. And what was the name of this hotel?
21 A. It was called "Hotel Siroki Brijeg".
22 Q. Now, did you see Tuta and Andabak together around these days, and
23 did you see them interacting with each other?
24 A. Yeah. They were together quite frequently.
25 Q. And can you describe to the Chamber, please, what you observed
1 about their behaviour toward each other? Did they seem to have known each
2 other before this?
3 A. That was my impression.
4 Q. Did you learn anything, throughout your association with these two
5 men, Tuta and Andabak, about their past dealings or history together?
6 A. No, not a lot. But I think their association was -- dated back to
7 Germany; at least it was mentioned during conversations.
8 Q. All right. Well, perhaps it was not very much, or maybe it was.
9 But what do you recall -- what did you hear about their past association?
10 A. I knew from Ivan Andabak that he obviously was in charge of
11 attacks on Serb institutions and -- yeah, on Serb institutions all around
12 Europe, that he was the mastermind behind it.
13 Q. Well, when you say "attacks", are you talking about physical
14 attacks or political attacks?
15 A. Most probably it must have been explosive attacks or something
16 like that.
17 Q. And did you have any understanding of whether Tuta had any
18 involvement with that activity?
19 A. I wouldn't know about that.
20 Q. In terms of your observation of the two of them together, can you
21 tell the Chamber whether one of them was more deferential to the other?
22 A. Well, the command was clearly with Tuta.
23 Q. Now, did you come to understand the area that Tuta's unit operated
24 in at that time?
25 A. At that time, everything happened around the area of Mostar; that
1 is, Siroki Brijeg and Mostar.
2 Q. And can you tell us, up until this point in time, approximately
3 how large was Tuta's unit, including those of you who had apparently, as
4 you just told us, just joined him? What was the total number?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek. I see you are standing.
6 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honours. I would object to this question.
7 It assumes facts that are not in evidence. The testimony so far has been
8 that the units were Andabak's units, and now the Prosecutor is asking a
9 question, the form of which assumes facts not in evidence. And I also
10 object to the leading nature of this question. I tried to stay still.
11 Thank you.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'll rephrase it.
13 JUDGE LIU: Okay.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Mrachacz, around this time after you split
16 with General Daidza, did there come a point in time, after the attack on
17 the radar installation, that you joined Tuta's unit?
18 A. I didn't quite understand that. [Re-interpretation] Yes, that's
20 Q. All right. And at that time, if you know, then, approximately how
21 many people were in Tuta's unit?
22 A. At that point of time, I guess about 40 to 50 people.
23 Q. And around this time, let me ask you, sir, did you ever -- during
24 the time that you were associated with this unit, did you ever use simply
25 the name "Ralf Rudiger"? And I apologise for the pronunciation, but did
1 you ever use that name without using the last name "Mrachacz"?
2 A. I only was referred to as "Ralf."
3 MR. SCOTT: If the witness could be shown - I hope it's been
4 handed out by now - a portion of Exhibit 704. I say it's only a portion,
5 Mr. President, because the full document is quite lengthy and it's already
6 in the binders, but this is only the most relevant excerpt. There should
7 be enough for everybody, without needing to resort to other materials.
8 And if that can be shown to the witness, please.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, do you have them, Mr. Krsnik?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Of course we did get it in that big
11 bundle, but now I see that all of you got copies. And I know that we all
12 have the same binders, but could we please have an extra copy for the
14 MR. SCOTT: I thought they were --
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, well, Mr. Scott has already promised you to get
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Now, sir, in terms of Exhibit P704 - and whichever is easiest for
20 you - the first three pages are excerpts in English and the last three
21 pages are in the Serbo-Croatian language. And again I defer to you,
22 whichever is easier for you to refer to. But on the third page of either
23 packet, if I can say it that way, the third page of the English version or
24 the third page of the Serbo-Croatian version, can you look at that
25 document and see if your name appears or some part of your name?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Which number on that page is it?
3 A. Number 6.
4 Q. And at least by the time of this document, November 1993, or
5 actually the document itself, December 1993, does it accurately reflect
6 that you held the rank of captain at that time?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Now, at this time, can you tell the Chamber -- we're finished with
9 that exhibit. Did you understand that this particular unit that you had
10 just joined had any association or connection to Zagreb?
11 A. This unit was in direct links with Zagreb.
12 Q. And I will tell you, Witness, that we're going to come to that in
13 greater detail in a while, but can you tell the Court now some of the
14 reasons for your saying that? On what basis do you say that this unit was
15 connected -- had direct connection to Zagreb?
16 A. As the payment and equipment -- since the payment and the
17 equipment were directly under the control of Zagreb.
18 Q. Now, directing your attention to June 1992, as part of this unit,
19 did you become engaged in any other actions around Mostar?
20 A. Yes, that was Orlovac and Varda, when these places were occupied.
21 Q. And were you involved or did you attend the preparations for this
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was there some sort of a pre-action briefing?
25 A. It was just a briefing by Tuta, and after that the unit moved out.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, the way -- can you describe the
2 way in which Tuta conducted this briefing.
3 A. He told the commanders of the individual groups what jobs they had
4 to perform. We were under Andabak, and we were supposed to take a heavy
5 machine gun, move to shortly before Mostar, and then fire at Mostar. But
6 since Andabak, because of the insulin injections he had to take and
7 because of his alcohol, this man often lost control. The first action on
8 Mostar was a flop, and so we had to retreat from that region.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
10 MR. MEEK: May it please Your Honours, I would ask that you direct
11 the witness to answer the question posed to him and not ramble. The
12 question was a simple question, and then it was answered, and then the
13 witness just keeps talking. And I don't believe that's correct. It's not
14 the Prosecutor's fault, but it is the witness's fault. He needs to listen
15 to the question and answer it, and not then extrapolate from there into
16 another subject. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, for almost all the witnesses, it is the first
18 time to give testimony before this Tribunal. In a word, they are not
19 professional witnesses, and they really don't know how to do their
20 testimony. Most of the witnesses are very eager to give their evidence
21 and to talk about what happened during that time. If the answer of the
22 witness is still within the framework of the question posed by the
23 Prosecutor, we see no reason to stop him at certain points unless the
24 witness is giving a very wild answer.
25 You may proceed.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
2 Q. All right.
3 Now, Mr. Mrachacz, before, in fact, going forward, and touching
4 on, in part, the answer you just gave, let me stay, if I can, with the
5 briefing for a moment.
6 You said a briefing was given by Tuta. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And as a military man, can you tell the Chamber -- can you give an
9 assessment of Tuta's briefing; that is, was it done in a professional
10 military manner? Did he seem to know what he was talking about, military
11 things, or what can you tell us?
12 A. The instructions were very correct, and he wanted to make sure
13 that the losses amongst his own men should be as little as possible.
14 Q. All right. If you can take us forward into the action itself, and
15 you began to do so a moment ago. Did you during this action participate
16 in a group or subunit that was -- excuse me -- that was immediately part
17 of Andabak's unit?
18 A. Well, I was directly subordinate to Ivan Andabak.
19 Q. What was the task of your unit? What was the assignment of your
20 unit for purposes of this action?
21 A. We were supposed to move into the direction of Mostar and fire at
22 the chain of hills.
23 Q. Can you tell us how the action was carried out, and was it carried
24 out properly or improperly?
25 A. This action was interrupted because we had to fear that the Serb
1 units might come on us and cut us off from the rest of our units.
2 Q. Did someone in particular put you in the wrong location that
3 exposed you to being cut off?
4 A. That was Ivan Andabak, because of his failures, and he also gave
5 the wrong information to Tuta. And because of this information, our
6 location was reported to Tuta as being in the wrong place.
7 Q. Now, how was your unit -- your subunit commanded by Andabak, how
8 were you in communication with other parts of this formation at this time?
9 A. We communicated with Motorolas.
10 Q. Over the Motorola radios, did you overhear any conversations or
11 exchanges between Tuta and Andabak?
12 A. No, because Andabak was not directly next to us.
13 Q. What happened after the -- it was determined that your unit was in
14 the wrong location?
15 A. We fled back into our starting position.
16 Q. And did you receive any other orders at that time?
17 A. No, not at that time. The only information was "cut this action."
18 Q. And did you at some point meet up, as you moved to -- I think you
19 said your original -- your starting positions, did you at some time in
20 these course of events come into contact with Tuta?
21 A. Well, we met at the starting position, and there, it was said that
22 nobody should take orders from Andabak because that was a risk and a
23 threat to the people. And Tuta then said himself that we were subordinate
24 to him directly. And that if he was not there, orders would be given out
25 by Lija or Cikota.
1 Q. Do you recall whether there was any exchange between Tuta and
2 Andabak at that time?
3 A. They had talked to each other, and I think that Tuta made his
4 views plain to Andabak. But anyhow; Andabak then only was used for
5 logistic assignments.
6 Q. Can you tell us, sir, from that date forward, during the rest of
7 your association with the what's called Convicts' Battalion -- we really
8 haven't come to that yet. But during the rest of your association with
9 this unit, did you ever receive or follow an order by Ivan Andabak?
10 A. No, no more orders from Ivan Andabak.
11 Q. Now, was there a second action along the same lines as the first,
12 if you will, some days later?
13 A. Yes. This action, which was interrupted, was repeated
14 approximately one week later.
15 Q. Who was in command?
16 A. This action was under the direct command of Tuta.
17 Q. And around this time, were you given command, either some rank or
18 the function of command?
19 A. Not at that time.
20 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, if you know, what was the purpose of
21 this particular series of actions? What was the military objective, if
22 you will?
23 A. The objective was to conquer Mostar, to conquer the whole
24 territory and to push the other troops out of Mostar.
25 Q. During the second action, did you have occasion to see Tuta in the
2 A. He was directly with us because we were positioned opposite the
3 position of the Serbs that was still from the First World War. We had a
4 calibre .132 with us, and we had a calibre .80 on the gun on -- as well
5 with us.
6 Q. And who manned these particular guns?
7 A. The calibre .80 was manned by me and a German colleague.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
9 MR. MEEK: If it please Your Honours, the Defence of Mladen
10 Naletilic enters an objection. The time frame which this Prosecutor is
11 now questioning this witness is well outside the scope of the indictment
12 and is, therefore, irrelevant. The probative value thereof is greatly
13 outweighed by any prejudicial value, and we object.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, could you tell us whether it is
15 relevant to the indictment, and where are you going to lead us?
16 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour, and I will do it in several
17 ways. There is a background leading up to the more directly relevant
18 events, and for purposes of my outline - it's simply a measurement - it's
19 about one page away.
20 It's the Prosecution position that there was a consistent and
21 continuing pattern of this unit and the command of the unit, starting at
22 least in 1992 and continuing at all times relevant to this case, in which
23 the accused Tuta was the commanding officer and commanded this unit in the
24 field and at headquarters, both in 1992, as the witness is telling us, and
25 continuing into 1993.
1 In terms of -- also in the indictment, paragraph 14, in terms of
2 superior authority, the indictment itself makes the allegation that Mladen
3 Naletilic was the commander of the Convicts' Battalion, a special unit
4 founded by him on or about June 1991, in fact well before this time, and
5 continues through the period of the case.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Now, sorry, Witness. Let me see where we were. You said the
9 calibre .80 was manned by you and a German colleague; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Is there a particular other name to that type of weapon that
12 perhaps you used or might be commonly used?
13 A. Yeah, it was the name "BST".
14 Q. And who was manning the other artillery piece that you mentioned a
15 moment ago?
16 A. That was operated by Croats.
17 Q. And in terms of operating these artillery pieces, who did you take
18 orders from?
19 A. Well, the orders there were not so direct at that moment, because
20 it was just an exchange of fire from both sides.
21 Q. You said a few moments ago that you were immediately with Tuta
22 during this action; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And what did you do after this action was concluded?
25 A. After we were in a fire exchange with Serb units and our artillery
1 unit failed, Tuta gave the order for infantry to move up the hills.
2 Q. And can you tell us, please, for these purposes, without staying
3 on this item too long, was the action ultimately successful or not?
4 A. The action was successful.
5 Q. What was the effect of this successful operation on the unit
6 itself? What happened after that?
7 A. The unit became popular and more people joined it, and more people
8 joined it who formerly used to serve in other units.
9 Q. And around this time, and I believe you've indicated around June
10 1992, how large did the unit become or what was the number around this
12 A. You couldn't say so exactly, because I didn't have the correct
13 survey. A number of people were accommodated in hotels. Other people
14 were privately accommodated. We didn't have the exact numbers.
15 Q. Forgive me. Without asking for an exact number, can you give us
16 an approximation or range of numbers of the men in the unit at that time?
17 A. Between 80 and 100.
18 Q. Did other foreigners, that is, I suppose, non-Croats, join the
19 unit around this time?
20 A. There were some foreigners in this unit as well.
21 Q. You said a moment ago that some were accommodated in hotels and
22 some elsewhere. Where were you accommodated during this time?
23 A. I was usually accommodated in Hotel Park.
24 Q. Now, were there some components of this unit that were located or
25 accommodated some place other than Siroki Brijeg?
1 A. That was later. That was people who were accommodated in Mostar
2 at the Heliodrom.
3 Q. Approximately how much later did parts of the Convicts' Battalion
4 become located or accommodated at the Heliodrom?
5 A. That was July/August.
6 Q. Of what year?
7 A. '92.
8 Q. Now, did you continue fighting against the Serbs after the
9 mid-summer of 1992 or did the activity change?
10 A. Up to the end of 1992, the usual fighting was against Serb units.
11 Q. Did the amount or nature of the fighting against the Serbs stay
12 the same or did it change?
13 A. I would say it was approximately the same, because the Serb units,
14 when assessing what their position was, started to withdraw themselves.
15 Q. Did you ever hear during this time that part of this withdrawal
16 was related to some political agreement?
17 A. No. No, not at that time.
18 Q. Did you hear that some time later?
19 A. Later, rumours said that there had been some agreements between
20 Croat and Serb units and sides.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
22 MR. MEEK: May it please Your Honours, the witness is just
23 beginning to speak of rumours, and I object to this witness speaking of
24 rumours. Understanding the rules of evidence with hearsay, but this goes
25 well beyond that. And for this reason, I object.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Meek. We also notice that the witness
2 stated clearly "the rumour says."
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that's all it's offered for at this
4 moment. I think ultimately the Chamber will be in the best position to
5 weigh this evidence, along with other evidence, whether this testimony
6 should be given weight on that point or not.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, exactly. You may proceed.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, can you tell -- in terms of your personal
10 involvement, the last armed action with the Serbs as part of this unit
11 with Tuta, where did that occur and where?
12 A. Where I participated myself? That was 19 -- that was Christmas
13 '93, New Year '94.
14 Q. I apologise, Mr. Mrachacz. I'm sure it was my question that was
15 at fault. In terms of the conflict with specifically the Serbs on the
16 other side, do you recall the last action fought against the Serbs by your
18 A. That was in late autumn of '92. Perhaps September, October.
19 Q. In what location?
20 A. The last action was up in the hills.
21 Q. Do you recall a part in the hills, a nearby town or feature that
22 you can assist us with?
23 A. We were based in a town that was located pretty much down in
24 Central Bosnia. I remember Novi Travnik.
25 Q. And can you tell us, as we leave this, who commanded that action?
1 A. Tuta was the commander of that.
2 Q. Now, Witness, moving on to a different part of the questions for
3 you. When did you first hear the name, if you recall, the Kaznjenicka
4 Bojna, or Convicts' Battalion?
5 A. The first time I heard about that was when I was hospitalized,
6 which was in January, February '93.
7 Q. And prior to that time, what did you know -- what name did you
8 associate with Tuta's unit?
9 A. There was no direct name.
10 Q. Do you know how the unit referred to itself, or if you asked a
11 soldier, What unit are you with, what did they say?
12 A. It was just called Tuta Ekipa.
13 Q. Can you give us any help on the meaning of that second part,
14 "Ekipa"? Do you know what language that is or what that means?
15 A. It's unit or brigade.
16 Q. Did you understand whether this brigade, to use that term for now,
17 did it have subunits?
18 A. Yes, there used to be these things.
19 Q. Was there a name for the subunits of this brigade?
20 A. There were two subunits directly subordinate to Tuta: ATG, they
21 were in the Heliodrom; and then the Kaznjenicka Bojna in Siroki Brijeg.
22 These were units which operated in different places.
23 Q. And who was the -- was there a subcommander for the component that
24 operated in Siroki Brijeg?
25 A. The troop based at Siroki Brijeg had a commander named Cikota.
1 Q. Can you help us with the name of the commander of the subunit that
2 was located at the Heliodrom.
3 A. Lija was in charge of Heliodrom.
4 Q. Do you recall a full name for Lija? Was that a nickname?
5 A. I wouldn't know his full correct name. I just know him and refer
6 to him as "Lija."
7 Q. Now, around this -- the end of 1992, you took us a moment ago,
8 said you were hospitalized for some time that we will come to. But was
9 there a time, then, that the name "Kaznjenicka Bojna" began to be used?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know where that name came from or how it originated?
12 A. I have been [sic] translated it as "convicted units".
13 Q. And apart from the, perhaps, a literal translation, do you know
14 where the name came from in terms of who decided that would be the name of
15 this, as you've described it this morning, brigade?
16 A. No, I couldn't say that. Wouldn't know that.
17 Q. Did you become familiar during your association with this unit,
18 with the Convicts' Battalion, with any other ATGs other than the one in
19 Siroki Brijeg and the one located at the Heliodrom?
20 A. I didn't know myself, but we knew that there were -- that there
21 were such units.
22 Q. Did you have any role in providing supplies, transporting
23 supplies, to any of the particular ATGs?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you recall ever going to, for whatever reason, for logistical
1 support or for any other assignment, to an ATG that was located in the
2 city of Mostar?
3 A. For some time, I was based myself in the Heliodrom. That was in
5 Q. All right. But apart from the Heliodrom, did you ever have
6 occasion to go to a military unit that was actually in Mostar itself, the
7 city of Mostar? I'm not suggesting that you were assigned to that unit.
8 I'm sorry for my question. Perhaps it's not clear. I'm not
9 saying that you were a member of that unit; but as part of the Kaznjenicka
10 Bojna, did you ever have occasion to go to a military unit in Mostar City?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, was this Kaznjenicka Bojna - I'm
13 going to start simply saying "Convicts' Battalion," if I may - do you know
14 whether that was part of the HVO?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was there any question in your mind about its association or that
17 it was, in fact, part of the military formation known overall as the HVO?
18 A. It was quite normal. We had the HVO patch, and underneath was an
19 additional patch saying which Kaznjenicka Bojna part you were belonging
21 Q. During this time, did you and other members of this
22 Convicts' Battalion carry any military identification?
23 A. We always had military IDs with us.
24 Q. During this time, in late 1992, early 1993, of what military force
25 or formation did your identification identify you with?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. As member of HVO.
2 Q. Can you tell the Chamber how you were issued the IDs and, if you
3 recall, who signed the identification?
4 A. They were assigned by Tuta, and they were also given to us by
6 Q. Did you ever come to know that the membership records of your unit
7 were also sent and kept at some other location?
8 A. I don't know whether they were kept somewhere. I don't know.
9 Q. Did you ever see a computer printout of the membership of the
10 Convicts' Battalion?
11 A. That came later when everything was done through the computer.
12 Q. And do you know where the computer printout came from?
13 A. Well, mostly these things came from Zagreb, all payroll things,
14 because that all happened in Zagreb.
15 Q. Now, going to a related matter, did the Convicts' Battalion have
16 vehicles and various pieces of large equipment, if you will, as part of
17 the -- as part of the brigade or battalion?
18 A. We did not have a lot of heavy weaponry. We had Bofors, .40 mm;
19 and heavy machine guns, calibre .50.
20 Q. All right. I'm talking about vehicles, cars, trucks, means of
22 A. That was mostly trucks or private jeeps or even passenger cars.
23 Q. And did those vehicles have any particular identification or
25 A. The doors were marked with Kaznjenicka Bojna or ATG.
1 Q. And do you know what larger military formation this equipment
2 belonged to or was registered to?
3 A. That normally would belong to our units.
4 Q. All right.
5 Now, did you come to know around this time, in 1993, the scope,
6 the geographic scope, over which the Kaznjenicka Bojna operated?
7 A. I would say approximately up to Grude and in the direction down to
8 Tomislavgrad. Capljina was, rather, our border because Tomislavgrad seems
9 to have been under a different command.
10 MR. SCOTT: If I can just have a moment, Your Honour. Your
11 Honour, I think it might be worth taking a moment. If the witness could
12 be shown Exhibit P2 and if that could be put on the ELMO. It should be in
13 the first binder. And in fact if it's easier, I can just hand you my
14 copy. Whichever is easiest. P2, yes. I'm going to ask that that be put
15 on the overhead or ELMO.
16 Q. If you can see that, either whichever -- I realise in the seating
17 configuration it might be a bit difficult, but I suppose you'll have to
18 look at the screen. With this exhibit in mind, can you say again your
19 understanding of the scope of responsibility -- the area of responsibility
20 associated with the Convicts' Battalion during 1993?
21 A. That was Citluk, Siroki Brijeg, Posusje, Grude. Ljubuski was a
22 place where we did not have an influence. That was under a different
23 influence, and they didn't like us there.
24 Q. All right. You did that rather quickly, but Posusje --
25 A. That was Citluk, Capljina, Grude, Posusje.
1 Q. And how about Siroki Brijeg?
2 A. And Siroki Brijeg.
3 Q. And what was the relation of Tuta's command authority to Mostar?
4 A. Well, it was -- was part and parcel of it.
5 Q. Who did you consider or did you understand, in your role as an
6 officer in the HVO during 1993, was the principal military commander in
7 the region you just described?
8 A. No doubt that it was Tuta who had the command in this region.
9 Q. Did you ever hear of an HVO commander also in this area called
11 A. I heard this name, but I didn't have any direct link or contact
12 with these people.
13 Q. Can you tell us, if you know, did the Convicts' Battalion, or the
14 ATGs that were part of it, operate at any time under the command or
15 authority of Lasic?
16 A. I would not know. When there were some attacks or actions, Tuta
17 had access to all units who were involved.
18 Q. Let me ask the question differently. During your association --
19 during your membership in the Convicts' Battalion, do you recall being
20 commanded by anyone other than Tuta?
21 A. No, by no other person.
22 Q. Now, you knew Tuta personally, didn't you?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. How would you characterise your relationship during this time?
25 And I'm not speaking just militarily, but in general.
1 A. It was a good, friendly relationship like amongst comrades. He
2 helped wherever he could.
3 Q. During your association with Tuta, did he ever state to you his
4 own description of how he felt -- what he felt was his scope of authority
5 or influence?
6 A. He only said that later on he intended to become a politician, and
7 that's it.
8 Q. Well, let me stay with that topic one question longer. I'm
9 speaking now directing your attention geographically. Did he say anything
10 to you about the scope of his influence geographically?
11 A. At any rate, it was in the area of region of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. Did he ever say anything to you or did you otherwise know about
13 any connection he had to the local government or the municipal government
14 in Siroki Brijeg?
15 A. I can barely say anything about his relationships to the
16 authorities, but the absolute focus was Tuta.
17 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please - changing topics - at what
18 locations the Convicts' Battalion had a headquarters or a base, if you
20 A. The location was Siroki Brijeg, and there it was the Tobacco
22 Q. And apart from Siroki Brijeg, did you come to know whether either
23 Tuta himself or other components of the Convicts' Battalion had offices or
24 bases at other locations?
25 A. Directly in Mostar, in the Ministry.
1 Q. What Ministry?
2 A. It was the Ministry of the HVO units.
3 Q. And what was located -- in connection with the Convicts'
4 Battalion, who or what was located in the office of the Ministry of
5 Defence in Mostar?
6 A. In the headquarters, there used to be the offices of all
7 commanders, Praljak, Tuta, so all were represented there.
8 MR. SCOTT: Now, I would like the witness to be shown, please, on
9 the ELMO what has been marked as Prosecution Exhibit 26.9. It will be in
10 the first binder, Madam Registrar.
11 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Mrachacz, what is this a photograph of?
12 A. That is Siroki Brijeg Tobacco Factory. Yeah, that's up there at
13 Siroki Brijeg.
14 Q. And during the time of your membership in the Convicts' Battalion,
15 would this have been considered the principal base of the Convicts'
17 A. Yes. It was the Kaznjenicka Bojna.
18 Q. And looking at this photograph, please, can you see - and if you
19 can, can you point out to us - the particular building where Tuta's office
20 was located?
21 A. [Marks]
22 MR. SCOTT: Let the record reflect the witness is pointing to a
23 square, relatively - in comparison to the buildings around it - smaller
24 what appears to be an approximately two-storey building with a red roof,
25 roughly between two much larger buildings running parallel to each other.
1 Q. And, Witness, I'm going to ask you -- and again it may be
2 difficult with this configuration. Perhaps the interpreter there can
3 assist us, Mr. President, if you will allow. Could one of you, but at
4 your direction, Mr. Mrachacz, not anybody else's but at your direction,
5 put a mark or a circle around the building that you say was where Tuta's
6 office was located?
7 A. [Indicates]
8 Q. Just for the record purposes, could you also just mark that --
9 could I ask that you please mark that as "1" or with the number "1" or
10 that it be marked with the number "1"?
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Usher, with the Court's permission, I think it
12 would be easier if you mark it where he has drawn the circle, but if it
13 can just be marked Number 1. I know this is a bit unusual, Mr. President,
14 but it's difficult for the witness to reach the ELMO at this point.
15 Q. Just so the record is absolutely clear, sir, that is the
16 location -- that is your testimony and your marking, perhaps made on your
17 behalf, of a building that's circled and marked with the number "1"; is
18 that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Apart from Tuta, did anyone have their offices in that same
21 building, or who else was located in that building?
22 A. There were two offices in this building. One was Tuta's, and the
23 other one was Andabak's, and some more office rooms, and also computers
24 were there and people who operated the computers.
25 Q. Now, we're finished with that exhibit.
1 You mentioned an office at the Ministry of Defence in Mostar. Do
2 you know approximately when that office began to be used as a base or
3 headquarters for the Convicts' Battalion? Not to the exclusion of the
4 other, but I'm just saying as an additional office, if you will.
5 A. I've heard that Tuta used to have another office at Grude.
6 Q. All right. In addition to Grude, you mentioned a few minutes ago
7 in your testimony an office at the Ministry of Defence. You said that,
8 and I'm only saying what you've already said.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, forgive me just for trying to bring us
10 back to where we were.
11 Q. This was a place where you said both Praljak and Tuta had an
12 office. Do you remember that?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Do you know approximately when Tuta had or began to use an office
15 at the Ministry of Defence in Mostar?
16 A. Well, he used it after we had conquered Mostar in principle, so
17 that was mid-'92, July, August '92.
18 Q. Did that continue through 1993 as well?
19 A. Yes, it did.
20 Q. Now, again, you've mentioned this before, but in terms of the
21 locations, what we're focussing on at the moment, where were you
22 accommodated as part of the Convicts' Battalion?
23 A. In '92, in the Heliodrom mainly. And then only and exclusively in
25 MR. SCOTT: If I can ask that the witness please be shown or
1 placed on the ELMO Exhibit 26.11.
2 Q. Can you tell us what that photograph depicts, please.
3 A. That was the Hotel Park where we were accommodated.
4 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, in fact, what your room number was at
5 the hotel.
6 A. 103, 103.
7 Q. Can you see your room in this photograph? I mean not the inside,
8 obviously, but in terms of the hotel, can you see the approximate part of
9 the hotel where your room was located?
10 A. On the first floor, right inside, the one with the balcony.
11 Q. Now, you've also indicated that you had accommodations at the
12 Heliodrom. Is that correct?
13 A. That's true.
14 Q. And for how long did you have accommodations at the Heliodrom?
15 A. Approximately for three to four months.
16 Q. Were you the only member of the Convicts' Battalion to be
17 accommodated at the Heliodrom, or can you tell us more about what was
18 based -- who and what was based at the Heliodrom?
19 A. A fairly big number of people were accommodated at the Heliodrom,
20 that is, local and foreigners.
21 Q. And you may have mentioned this before, but -- at another point in
22 your testimony, but can you tell us again, if you did, was there a name of
23 the particular component of the Convicts' Battalion that was located at
24 the Heliodrom?
25 A. The ATG group under the command of Lija was accommodated at the
2 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, I'm going to ask you some questions now and in a few
3 minutes, what, again, can you say -- can you tell the Chamber, in your own
4 words, describe the military skills and knowledge that was displayed by
6 A. I would not know about exact military skills, but I know that he
7 was a very good planner.
8 Q. Did he demonstrate a knowledge of military tactics?
9 A. Yes, he did.
10 Q. In your experience and your association as a member of the
11 Convicts' Battalion, who conducted the military briefings for the unit
12 overall? I mean, not the subunits but for the Convicts' Battalion as an
13 overall unit.
14 A. That was Tuta.
15 Q. How did Tuta's men refer to him? How did you refer to Tuta?
16 A. He was generally approached as "Tuta."
17 Q. And can you tell us, can you tell the Chamber, what sort of
18 attitude or posture did he display toward the enemy at any particular
19 time, whether that was Serbs or whether it was Muslims?
20 A. Well, his posture, I couldn't say anything about it.
21 Q. Well, my apology for the question. I certainly didn't mean
22 physical posture, his physical posture, forgive me.
23 Based on his conduct, his words, the way you saw him conduct
24 himself, what was his view toward the enemy?
25 A. It was quite correct.
1 Q. What do you mean by that?
2 A. Well, he was not biased. Nothing of that sort.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if I could, just before we break, I would
4 like to finish these one or two questions.
5 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, before we stop for the lunch recess, I would like
6 you, please, to look around the courtroom today, and I want you to tell us
7 if you can see, can you identify the person you knew in 1992 and 1993 as
9 A. Yes, I know him.
10 Q. For the record purposes, sir, I need to ask you to give us a bit
11 of a physical description, where he is in the courtroom, perhaps how he is
13 A. He's seated in the last row, second from the right.
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, may the record please reflect that the
15 witness has identified the accused Tuta.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 I think we'll adjourn --
18 MR. SCOTT: I was going to say with that, Your Honour --
19 JUDGE LIU: -- until 2.30 this afternoon.
20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, the next topic I want to turn your attention to are
5 some procedural matters in terms of procedures or practices that were
6 followed, to your knowledge, by the Convicts' Battalion. Can you please
7 describe to the Chamber any sort of daily meetings or briefings or
8 procedure that you were familiar with during the time that you were a
9 member of the -- actually, more than a member, an officer of the Convicts'
11 A. Daily procedure was that every day at 9.00, there was a meeting at
12 the Tobacco Factory where -- sort of roll call. And if there were
13 actions, they were then announced to us.
14 Q. And who typically ran or, if you will, chaired those meetings?
15 A. Either Tuta himself or one of his -- one of his deputies; that's
16 Cikota or Lija.
17 Q. And what was the typical membership or attendance at these morning
18 meetings? Who would be there on a regular basis, in addition to Tuta
20 A. Every now and then, Andabak joined us.
21 Q. And who else? If you could just take me -- so far you've told us,
22 Tuta and Andabak sometime. And who else?
23 A. Otherwise, Cikota and Lija, they were there all the time.
24 Q. Did you attend these meetings on a regular basis?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Were you, among the foreigners, if you will, the non-Croats in the
2 Convicts' Battalion, were you the senior officer?
3 A. No. There were a few others.
4 Q. Well, did any others attend the morning meetings, in addition to
6 A. There was the man who was in charge of the Bofors. By name,
7 Maximilian Resch.
8 Q. And was there any other non-Croats or foreigners, if you will, who
9 attended the meetings, besides you and Mr. Resch?
10 A. In principal, all were there who were accommodated in the hotel,
11 so all foreigners.
12 Q. All right. Well, let me come back to it in this way:
13 Approximately how many people, on average, participated in this morning
15 A. Normally, all should have been there who were part of this unit,
16 because checks were made both in the Tobacco Factory and at Siroki Brijeg,
17 and the same procedure was held down in the Heliodrom.
18 Q. To your knowledge, were there similar morning briefings at the
19 component of the Convicts' Battalion located at the Heliodrom?
20 A. Yes, there were such meetings as well. They were held on a
21 regular basis.
22 Q. And who conducted or chaired those meetings?
23 A. It was Lija in the Heliodrom. And at Siroki Brijeg, it was Lija.
24 And when Tuta was there, then he did it himself.
25 Q. And can you tell us, after the morning meeting, was there any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 other particular pattern or similar behaviour, in terms of the daily
2 schedule, if you will, that happened after the morning meeting?
3 A. It was all the same procedure. When there was an action imminent,
4 it was said, "Everybody will keep close to the town, nobody is leaving
5 town, because we'll soon be out in the field." And if there was no action
6 imminent, then we were free to go downtown or do something else.
7 Q. Did you observe whether Tuta had a daily routine that he would
8 follow after the morning meeting?
9 A. No, I wouldn't know anything.
10 Q. Did you know Tuta, after these meetings, to go anywhere else?
11 A. Well, depended where his duties were. Either it was Mostar or
12 some other place. I have no information about that.
13 Q. Can you give the Chamber some idea of how often he would travel to
14 the Ministry of Defence in Mostar.
15 A. In '92, he used to be there all the time. '93, I would not know
16 how often he was there, but I know that he was there as well in 1993.
17 Q. And did Tuta also travel to Zagreb?
18 A. Yes, he also was in Zagreb.
19 Q. Can you give us again -- I will take the same periods of time you
20 just mentioned. In 1992, can you give us an approximate idea of how many
21 times you knew or were aware that Tuta travelled to Zagreb?
22 A. I wouldn't be able to say how often, but it was several times. I
23 know because when you wanted to talk to him, you would be told that no, he
24 will be back. He's in Zagreb. He will be back either tomorrow or any
25 other day.
1 Q. And I will, nonetheless, ask you the same question about 1993.
2 Can you give us any different answer, or perhaps it's the same, about the
3 frequency of his travel to Zagreb in 1993.
4 A. No, I would say he was more often in Zagreb.
5 Q. Can you tell us, please, how would it be that orders would come in
6 to the Convicts' Battalion headquarters from any other part of the HVO or
7 what have you, essentially to call the unit into action. Can you just
8 spend a moment describing to the Chamber how that would happen.
9 A. Mostly when Tuta returned from Zagreb or from Split or from other
10 places, then usually two to three days later, one could figure out that an
11 action was imminent.
12 Q. Was there a telephone system at the headquarters that you were
13 familiar with?
14 A. Yes, there was a telephone system.
15 Q. How did that operate?
16 A. Well, you usually were in touch with Heliodrom. The private
17 telephone numbers of Tuta were available. That means you had
18 communication to all possible sides.
19 Q. Can you assist us, please, in terms of the telephone system, were
20 the lines set up in such a way, did you have to dial particular numbers,
21 or was it a system which, if you picked up a particular phone, you would
22 be connected to a particular location?
23 A. In the first time, everything was more or less done through
24 Motorola. And later on, all communication was by telephone.
25 Q. Were you, in Siroki Brijeg, in frequent telephone communication
1 with the Ministry of Defence in Mostar?
2 A. No, not me.
3 Q. No, I'm sorry, not you. But to your knowledge, the headquarters
4 unit, if you will, the Convicts' Battalion.
5 A. I suppose they would have been in touch, but I wouldn't know who.
6 Q. Well, were you ever in the office, in Tuta's office, when he would
7 be on the telephone with various people?
8 A. No, I wasn't.
9 Q. You told us this morning that Tuta, and again just now, that Tuta
10 had this connection or relationship with Zagreb. Will you tell us more,
11 please, about what you base that on? What did you see, hear, observe,
12 that causes you to think that, believe that?
13 A. I assume it was because of the fact that he knew the former
14 Minister of Defence of the Republic very well. They were also together as
15 school boys in school; and therefore, this is to be assumed because the
16 Minister of Defence, Gojko Susak, very often used to be in our place.
17 Q. All right. And for the transcript, translation, Mr. President,
18 are you familiar with the name Susak?
19 A. Yes, he's the Minister of Defence, the former Minister of Defence.
20 Q. Did you see Mr. Susak in Siroki Brijeg?
21 A. Yes, I saw him frequently.
22 Q. Did Tuta ever introduce you to Mr. Susak?
23 A. Yes, he did so once.
24 Q. Can you tell us how Mr. Susak would arrive in Siroki Brijeg, how
25 did he travel?
1 A. He made a very good reasonable impression, what his name is. One
2 time, when he came to Siroki, he came down in a helicopter, and then he
3 touched down at the sports ground. On other occasions, he would come by
5 Q. Can you -- if I direct your attention particularly to 1993, can
6 you give the Chamber any more information on approximately how many times
7 you saw or understood Susak to be in Siroki Brijeg with Tuta.
8 A. It could have been three times. At any rate, three times.
9 Q. And do you know whether -- well, in comparison to that, can you
10 give the Chamber some idea of: Did Tuta travel to Zagreb more or less
11 frequently than Susak came to Siroki Brijeg?
12 A. Yeah, that's true.
13 Q. Now, I'm not sure -- sorry, I don't think that's responsive. My
14 question is: Did Tuta travel to Zagreb more or less frequently than Susak
15 came to Siroki Brijeg?
16 A. He was more often in Zagreb.
17 Q. In your experience as an officer of the Convicts' Battalion, did
18 you ever engage in operations with units or components of the army of
20 A. Yes, I remember one such action.
21 Q. Can you tell us, if you recall, the name of the HV unit that was
22 involved in that action with you?
23 A. That was units of what was referred to as "Tiger Brigades".
24 Q. Do you know what part of Croatia they came from?
25 A. I don't know from what part, but I was told that they were -- it
1 was probably coming from the Zagreb region.
2 Q. During these morning meetings or in other meetings to prepare for
3 actions, can you tell the Chamber, was it ever said to you that some
4 action was contingent or was being held depending on a decision or
5 communication from Zagreb?
6 A. No, nobody told me anything about it.
7 Q. How were you paid?
8 A. I was paid as any other Croatian soldier, the same tariffs, the
9 same salary or wage groups, rates.
10 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. Directing your
11 attention to the earlier period where you said that you became a member of
12 the Convicts' Battalion in approximately June 1992, how were you paid? I
13 mean physically, how would you be paid during that time?
14 A. Payment was normal. We started with 60 deutschemarks as our
15 salary, and then it went up. We got lists of paper with our names and the
16 sums on it. We signed it, and then it was transferred.
17 Q. All right. Let me direct your attention again to the early period
18 of time. Were you paid by some sort of -- on paper? By that, I mean what
19 some people might call a "cheque" or a "bank draft," or were you paid in
20 cash, currency?
21 A. First there was an entire list with the names of everybody, of the
22 whole unit on it, and we were paid in cash. That's in Croatian dinar.
23 Q. And how would this cash be brought to Siroki Brijeg?
24 A. The money was brought along from Croatia.
25 Q. By who?
1 A. Either Tuta brought it along or some of his -- the people around
2 him, because he must have obtained it from the administration there.
3 Q. Was there anything else about the currency, when you received it,
4 apart from the fact that it was Croatian dinars, that indicated to you
5 that the money had come from Croatia or Zagreb?
6 A. It was these lists which were printed on computers or were at the
7 head of the sheet, some reference was made that this was coming from
9 Q. And can you tell us from where the Convicts' Battalion obtained
10 its materiel; weapons, ammunition, military equipment?
11 A. The equipment mostly came from Croatia. I wouldn't know of any
12 other sources. This is just beyond my knowledge.
13 Q. How were ranks assigned in the Convicts' Battalion?
14 A. Tuta established which ranks people had to be assigned to.
15 Q. Did there come a time when Zagreb played any role in the assigning
16 of ranks in the Convicts' Battalion?
17 A. At the latest stage, yes, in this unit, because we had more
18 high-ranking officers in the brigades than ordinary soldiers, and this is
19 why a number of these officers were downgraded, as far as their rank is
21 Q. Did you see any paper about that? Did you see a written
22 communication about that at some point?
23 A. There was one letter where it was pointed out to correct the
24 situation, and then this was done.
25 Q. Did you see the letterhead on the letter?
1 A. Yes, I saw the letterhead.
2 Q. What was the letterhead?
3 A. "Ministry of Defence, HV."
4 Q. Did you see a signature on the letter?
5 A. No, I didn't pay attention to that.
6 Q. In August 1992, were you appointed a captain of the
7 Convicts' Battalion?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who named you to that position?
10 A. It was Tuta.
11 Q. Did Tuta say anything about your appointment that, again,
12 connected that in some way to Zagreb?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you become -- sorry. Did you become involved in helping in
15 the recruitment and assignment of foreigners to the Convicts' Battalion?
16 A. I was not entrusted with recruiting people. But when foreigners
17 wanted to come to us, I was entrusted in talking to these people, asking
18 what their qualification was or whether they had any military knowledge.
19 If that was the case, I told Tuta, yes, this is a person who can be taken
20 by us, or I could also tell him, no, we can't take this person.
21 Q. Who was it that gave you that assignment or asked you to do that?
22 A. Tuta charged me with this task.
23 Q. Do you know how these foreigners would come to have contact with
24 the Convicts' Battalion? How would they learn about the Convicts'
25 Battalion, if you know, or show up in Siroki Brijeg?
1 A. As far as I was told by these people, the officers in Croatia
2 pointed out that foreigners would not be accepted in Croatia any longer,
3 but that they should report to Siroki Brijeg to be taken.
4 Q. I'll take you back to this individual, Andabak. What was his role
5 in the Convicts' Battalion during 1993?
6 A. After his first failure of an attack, he had no longer any power
7 of command.
8 Q. What did he do?
9 A. I take it that he worked only in administration and logistics. We
10 saw actually very little of him.
11 Q. Did Tuta ever tell you who you should take orders from?
12 A. As I said, Tuta was my superior; or if not him, then Cikota or
13 Lija. Nobody else.
14 Q. All right. So the record is clear, are you saying that was --
15 you're just describing that was the state of affairs; or an answer to the
16 question I put to you, is that what Tuta told you?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Correct that that's what Tuta told you. Is that what you're
20 A. Yes, that's what he said. And that was the regular procedure;
21 commands were only coming from him, orders were only coming from him.
22 Q. If someone were to suggest to you, Mr. Mrachacz, that Andabak and
23 not Tuta commanded the Convicts' Battalion, how would you respond to that?
24 A. I would say no.
25 Q. Can you assist the Chamber in this: If one produces a number of
1 documents signed by Andabak, can you explain to the Chamber -- I mean
2 documents from the battalion, orders and communications, can you please
3 assist the Chamber in telling them, if you know, why those would be signed
4 by Andabak and not necessarily Tuta himself?
5 A. It could be that he signed in his capacity as deputy. Otherwise,
6 I would not have any other explanation for that.
7 Q. Who, if you will, tended to be in the office if Tuta was in the
9 A. Who was there then? I couldn't tell you, because I was myself in
10 the field.
11 Q. Well, who do you know -- as an officer in this unit, for the
12 better part -- well, more than two years, you must have known, who were
13 the office workers? Who were the people at headquarters that when the
14 rest of you were in the field would do the paperwork, would sign orders,
15 that sort of thing?
16 A. That must have been Andabak.
17 Q. Do you recall an occasion when Andabak was given the rank of
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Were you present at a ceremony or event where that took place?
21 A. Yes, I was present.
22 Q. Was there anyone else present there, a notable person who you may
23 have mentioned already?
24 A. As far as I remember, Susak was present, and a number of civilians
25 from the Bosnian Croat government or from Zagreb. At least a few other
1 people were also present.
2 Q. Apart from being given his new rank, was anything else given to
3 Andabak at that time?
4 A. Yeah, they had distributed a pistol, a gun, with a devotion
5 written on it.
6 Q. Do you know who presented this pistol to Andabak?
7 A. I wouldn't know.
8 Q. Given what you've told us in the last few minutes about Andabak's
9 role in the Convicts' Battalion, can you please help the Chamber
10 understand, if you can, how was it that he would be promoted to the rank
11 of general?
12 A. I couldn't tell, myself, and I wouldn't know why.
13 Q. Did you ever see Tuta exercise military discipline?
14 A. Yes, it happened. Yeah, there were two clear-cut orders. I
15 remember very exactly. The first order was related to actions when we
16 were in the vicinity of places. Then the order by Tuta was: Each member
17 of the unit, no matter whether foreign or Croat, who would act criminally
18 against civilians or children, would be punished. And the second was:
19 Five British people who deserted and who went to the other side, to the
20 Muslim side, there was the general order, which was related to foreigners,
21 that the foreigners have the right at any time to leave the unit and to go
22 home. But he who deserted, who went over to the other side, had to be
23 shot dead.
24 Q. All right. Well, let's take each of those in turn, please. When
25 did you -- when do you recall first hearing, if it was spoken - or
1 reading, if it was written - an order from Tuta about not acting
2 criminally against civilians?
3 A. That was not a written order; I haven't seen it. He had announced
4 that in front of the whole -- the whole units.
5 Q. Did you hear him say that once or more than once?
6 A. It was sufficient to hear it once from him for all people in the
7 unit, because everybody knew what would happen.
8 Q. And did you see any member of the Convicts' Battalion in fact
9 punished or disciplined for violating that order?
10 A. No, this was not the case. As far as I know, it has also not
12 Q. All right. I understand the second part of your answer, but
13 you're telling us, Mr. Mrachacz, that during your entire association with
14 the Convicts' Battalion, you never saw a member disciplined for acting
15 criminally against the civilian population; is that your testimony?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And did this same rule, by the way, apply to prisoners of war or
18 was that a different rule?
19 A. With the prisoners of war, if we had any at all, there was only
20 one order, and that related to the death of Cikota. During our second
21 action, we were given the order to make no prisoners.
22 Q. And we better get a bit more information about that. When you say
23 "second action," the second action where?
24 A. During the first attack at Doljani, I was not present at that
25 time. I had problems with my leg and I was only in charge of the
1 transportation of logistics, of ammunition and food and so on to the
2 camp. So during this first attack, Cikota fell. Then this action was
3 interrupted and the whole unit and the entire unit withdrew.
4 Q. All right. I'm going to come to that in a few minutes. But then
5 are you saying it was the second action at Doljani where Tuta gave this
7 A. Yeah, when we were there for the second time at Doljani.
8 Q. The order again was ...
9 A. He said very plainly, "No prisoners have to be made."
10 Q. Now, going back on military discipline for a moment, did you see
11 any time -- apart from the first rule that you mentioned about the
12 treatment of civilians, did you see any military discipline exercised over
13 a member of the Convicts' Battalion for anything or because his weapon was
14 dirty; for any reason?
15 A. Yes, this happened on occasions. It happened that weapons were
16 stolen from other rooms. People were punished and sent to incarceration.
17 Q. Who would impose that punishment?
18 A. The commander in charge of the unit.
19 Q. Did you ever see Tuta impose such punishment?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. Do you believe, sir, that Tuta exercised control over the
22 Convicts' Battalion, in terms of military discipline?
23 A. Yes. He was fully in command of the units.
24 Q. I take you now back into the chronology. You said to us this
25 morning that there was an action around Novi Travnik in November 1992.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Were you involved in that?
2 A. Not in the immediate action, because this action was interrupted.
3 Q. Well, tell us about this action, if you know what it was about and
4 how it was that the Convicts' Battalion became involved in it.
5 A. Nothing had been known before it. We were shifted to Novi
6 Travnik, but there was no fighting. We were just told that the
7 struggle -- the fight would go against Serbian units.
8 Q. Well, when you got there, do you recall whether was the fighting
9 in fact with Serbian units or was the fighting between Croats and
11 A. It was said to be actions against Serbs.
12 Q. Do you recall whether there were any HV units involved in the
13 action at Novi Travnik?
14 A. I said previously there was no fighting then going on, no action
15 from our side.
16 Q. Let me delete from my question the word "action." When there was
17 a deployment to the Novi Travnik area, was there also a deployment, at the
18 same time as the Convicts' Battalion, of any HV components?
19 A. I have not seen HV units. What I have seen was only HVO units.
20 Q. All right. You don't recall seeing the 4th Split Brigade there?
21 A. No, that doesn't ring a bell with me.
22 Q. You don't remember seeing the Tiger Brigade there?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek. You have been silent for about
24 45 minutes.
25 MR. MEEK: Yes, I have.
1 May it please Your Honours, I believe that this line of
2 questioning is redundant. It's suggestive and leading. And I understand
3 that my colleague from the Prosecutor's office has not received the answer
4 he desires; however, that's the way it is. And I believe it's
5 objectionable, and I do object to this further line of questioning.
6 MR. SCOTT: I'll go on, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you. I think the Prosecutor has the right
8 to make sure the correct answer from the witness.
9 Are you on this line, Mr. Scott?
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I wouldn't ask the question if I
11 didn't have some reason to think -- but I'm not going to pursue it any
12 further. I'm not going to go further at this point.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Scott. Forgive me.
15 MR. SCOTT: That's all right.
16 JUDGE CLARK: I've come straight from trial rooms myself, and I
17 can appreciate the position you're in. I was just inquiring, is there a
18 provision in this Court for declaring a witness hostile? And I don't know
19 if there is, to be quite honest. Is that what you're doing at the
21 MR. SCOTT: There's a number of things, Your Honour, that could be
22 done. I think you're right, under these particular rules, I don't think
23 there is - I'm not sure there is - a hostile witness rule. Certainly,
24 there is also where I come from. There are also ways to refresh the
25 memory of your own witness.
1 But as I said to the President, I won't pursue that now in the
2 interest of time. I think you've heard a fair amount of evidence on this
4 JUDGE CLARK: I can see what I suspect is happening, but --
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes. It's a judgement call, Your Honour. And as I
6 say, we'll just move on at this moment.
7 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, you were wounded in Novi Travnik on the night of
8 30 November 1992, weren't you?
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. What happened after that?
11 A. I was brought to Split, and I was operated there, in Split.
12 Q. And how long did you remain in Split for your recovery?
13 A. Three months.
14 Q. So, if you can just work that out for us. The end of November, so
15 until the end of approximately February, is that what you're telling us?
16 A. On the 28th or 7th of February, I was released from hospital.
17 Q. How were you transported to Split, by the way? Who arranged that?
18 A. By private passenger car.
19 Q. Who arranged that?
20 A. Friends, civilians, friends of mine who helped me with that.
21 Q. What other officer was with you at the time you were wounded?
22 A. Zdenko and Bim were the names. There was none of them there any
24 Q. Well, who came to your -- first came to your aid? You were
25 wounded. What happened?
1 A. I just sat in the hospital in Split. This Zdenko Marusic and the
2 head of the mortar unit.
3 Q. Sorry, Mr. Mrachacz, I don't understand your answer. You said --
4 and maybe it's the translation; I'm not sure. You just said, I just sat
5 in the hospital in Split, and then you mentioned some names.
6 Rather than try to sort that out, because I'm not sure how to, let
7 me just come back to my question. Please listen to my question. You were
8 wounded. You didn't get to Split by magic. Who came to your aid and how
9 were you transported to Split?
10 A. That was arranged by Tuta, this transfer to Split, and it was at
11 night-time and an ambulance was sent.
12 Q. Did anyone come to see you when you were in the hospital
13 recovering in Split?
14 A. The persons whose names I already mentioned were there.
15 Q. All right. Now, you returned to the unit toward the end of
16 February 1993. Did you become involved in an action -- you have already
17 told us about this today several times -- an action at Doljani in
18 April 1993?
19 A. Yes. I said in the second action in Doljani, there was an
20 interruption. We had artillery fire. And all of a sudden, the order was
21 stop the fire and withdraw completely.
22 Q. Before we get to the second action, let's stay with this first
23 action. You told us before that -- you said a moment ago that Cikota
24 fell. You mean he was killed during the first action?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And were you driving supplies from Siroki Brijeg to Doljani during
2 the first action?
3 A. We have supplied the unit with food.
4 Q. And was there a headquarters established, if you will, a field
5 headquarters, for the action -- first action in Doljani?
6 A. The people were not accommodated in Doljani, but they were in
7 Bosna Luka, that's a settlement with three or four houses, and there were
8 bungalows where people had been housed.
9 Q. Listen to my question, please; not where soldiers were
10 accommodated. During the actions in Doljani, was a field headquarters set
11 up at a particular location?
12 A. That was down there at Doljani.
13 Q. Where was this headquarters? Just describe it for us. What type
14 of place was it, what was there?
15 A. It was a detached house, and there was a fish-growing pond there
16 somewhere around.
17 Q. During the action, did you see Tuta at this headquarters?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Who was in command of the actions at Doljani?
20 A. It was Tuta.
21 Q. What happened after Cikota was killed?
22 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you, because I was not present.
23 Q. Well, I'm sorry. After he was killed, you said a few minutes ago,
24 I believe, that the action was interrupted and there was a funeral. Is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And can you tell us who attended the -- well, first of all, where
3 was the funeral?
4 A. At Siroki Brijeg.
5 Q. Can you tell us, please, some of the people who attended this
7 A. There were thousands of people.
8 Q. All right. But were there some -- someone might use the word
9 "VIPs" or "notable persons." I hate to just talk in terms of hierarchies
10 or social classes, but were there some notable persons who attended the
12 A. No, I hadn't seen anybody of that sort because it was so crowded
13 and crammed with people that I just couldn't see them.
14 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. President, as was mentioned earlier, on this
15 one I will again ask a moment's leeway. If I can suggest to the witness:
16 Q. Don't you recall Susak being at the funeral?
17 A. No, I just wouldn't know.
18 Q. And who made a speech at the funeral? Can you tell us that?
19 A. Several people spoke at this funeral. It was quite a number of
20 people. You had delegations from all towns, from all locations. And, you
21 see, I couldn't go as far to the front to the rostrum as possible, so I
22 wouldn't remember.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]... the funeral?
24 A. I think so, yes.
25 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to ask that the witness please be shown on
1 the ELMO Exhibit P40.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. Before doing that, Mr. Meek.
3 MR. MEEK: May it please the Trial Chamber, I can't see line 23,
4 the last question by Mr. Scott.
5 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry, mike, mike.
6 MR. MEEK: My mike is on. I'm sorry.
7 JUDGE LIU: You have to speak into the mike.
8 MR. MEEK: I'm sorry, I apologise. My screen shows line 25, the
9 last question asked by Mr. Scott, "Was somebody present," and it does not
10 show who it was and I could not hear that individual's name in my
12 JUDGE LIU: I see.
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think Mr. Meek is right. The
14 transcript is a bit garbled.
15 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could clear it up with this witness before
16 you show documents, yes.
17 MR. SCOTT: I apologise; probably my fault.
18 Q. Witness, let me repeat the question to you. Did Tuta make a
19 speech at Cikota's funeral?
20 A. I think so.
21 MR. SCOTT: All right. Now, if you could be shown P40. If that
22 could be put on the ELMO, please, Exhibit P40.
23 I don't know about anybody else, but we're not getting anything.
24 We're not getting a broadcast, apparently, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Can you identify the person who's shown on the photograph that's
3 Exhibit P40?
4 A. Yes. That's Cikota.
5 MR. SCOTT: Could the witness also be shown on the ELMO
6 Exhibit P36.
7 Q. Now, directing your attention to the photograph --
8 MR. SCOTT: Before I do that, perhaps if I can request some
9 translation assistance by the booth. I'm sorry. In the video booth, will
10 you go back to where you can see the -- yes, part of the picture, the text
11 that's involved right under the picture. Yeah, okay, right there, I
12 think. Could I have the assistance of the Serbo-Croatian booth to
13 translate or someone to translate that into English, what is said
14 immediately below the photograph in bold?
15 THE INTERPRETER: The caption?
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes, please.
17 THE INTERPRETER: [As read] "Paying respects. At the funeral of
18 the hero of the Convicts' Battalion, Marija Cikota, next to Tuta were
19 Generals Praljak, Vukojevic and Andabak."
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Mrachacz, can you point out in this
22 picture -- first of all, do you see Tuta in the picture? Can you point to
23 him, please, just so the record is absolutely clear?
24 A. [Indicates]
25 Q. All right. And do you recognise anyone in that photograph that is
2 A. [Indicates]
3 Q. All right. And do you recognise anyone else in that photograph?
4 A. Praljak.
5 Q. You're talking about the tall man with the beard on the far left
6 side of the photograph; is that correct?
7 A. Yeah, this man is Praljak.
8 Q. And just so the record is a bit clearer perhaps, when you
9 identified Andabak, he is a man standing approximately the middle of the
10 picture, with dark hair and glasses; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. With Tuta being to Andabak's left, with glasses; correct?
13 A. That's correct too.
14 Q. Thank you. Witness, you said that some days later, you went
15 back -- the unit went back to Doljani for the second action; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And who was in command?
19 A. Tuta was in command.
20 Q. And going back to your testimony some 15 or 20 minutes ago, was it
21 at this second action where Tuta ordered no prisoners?
22 A. Yeah, that was prior to the action.
23 Q. And what happened during this action? Was it successfully
24 concluded or what happened?
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, I didn't get the translation.
2 THE INTERPRETER: "The action was not successful. It was
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Why was that?
6 A. As far as we were informed, there had been some --
7 JUDGE LIU: Wait, wait.
8 MR. KRSNIK: We don't have the --
9 JUDGE LIU: There's some problem with the translation. Is that
10 okay? Maybe you could ask the question once again.
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, you said earlier -- it said: "The action was not
13 successful." And I asked you: "Why was that?" Can you answer that,
15 A. I assume there had been consultations between UNPROFOR and
16 Zagreb. The attack had started with the preparation of artillery before
17 the infantry could start, and before that happened, the attack was aborted
18 and we went back to our starting positions.
19 Q. Well, why have you stated that Zagreb was involved in stopping the
21 A. Because it was communicated like that. The UNPROFOR obviously had
22 turned to Zagreb to stop this attack.
23 Q. Well, you said it was communicated like that. Who communicated
25 A. Well, I wouldn't know -- everybody said so, that Zagreb was behind
1 it, and that for this reason the attack had to be aborted.
2 Q. Directing your attention to the 9th of May, 1993, in Mostar, are
3 you aware of any components or parts of the Convicts' Battalion that were
4 involved in an attack in Mostar on the 9th of May?
5 A. Yeah, the unit was in Mostar, but I wouldn't know whether this was
6 exactly that particular day.
7 Q. Well, do you know, was it the entire Convicts' Battalion, or were
8 there particular components that were involved in the attack that day?
9 A. All were involved and participated when we were in Mostar.
10 Q. In the course of that attack or afterwards, did you hear among
11 your fellow members of the Convicts' Battalion -- well, you talked among
12 yourselves, didn't you?
13 A. I haven't heard anything from my comrades because I was assigned
14 to the Bofors, and I had no contact with the infantry people.
15 Q. Perhaps not that day, sir, but in the days following that, did you
16 talk to other members of the Convicts' Battalion about the action?
17 A. No, there was no conversation about it.
18 Q. Was that the typical situation, that you would engage -- you would
19 be involved in combat operations, and you and your fellow soldiers did not
20 talk about it afterwards?
21 A. Yeah. What should you talk about? It's always the same. It
22 keeps repeating. One day is like the other. And we were withdrawing with
23 our Bofors to Siroki Brijeg, because we couldn't use it. And as I said, I
24 wasn't present when the infantry was active, so there is no chance for me
25 to give you any information about it.
1 Q. All right. We'll come back to Mostar in a few minutes.
2 Toward the end of May 1993, was the Convicts' Battalion engaged in
3 an action at Prozor?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And were you involved in that action?
6 A. Yes, I was present.
7 Q. How was the fact that there would be such an action, how was that
8 announced or communicated?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
10 MR. MEEK: May it please the Trial Chamber, Your Honours, I do not
11 believe this is a correct line of questioning as Prozor is not in our
12 indictment. We are not alleged to have committed any violation of any
13 laws in Prozor. And therefore, I believe it's inappropriate. This line
14 of questioning should be ceased, and I object.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, can you give us a good explanation.
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honours, I believe so.
17 Your Honour, both accused, and particularly Mr. Naletilic, is
18 charged in the indictment -- on the face of the indictment with being
19 involved in a campaign of persecution throughout Herzegovina during all
20 of -- at least all of 1993, if not part of 1992 and 1994. It is all part
21 of that. It is all part of the same continuing campaign and directly
22 relevant to the indictment and to issues in the indictment going to, for
23 instance, the accused's superior authority.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
25 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, paragraph 25 of the indictment charges
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 certain cities and municipalities, such as Jablanica, Sovici, Heliodrom,
2 Mostar, but we do not believe that Prozor has ever been alleged in the
3 indictment, nor is it a part of Herzegovina. It's not fair that the
4 Prosecutor would be able to bring this evidence that we are not prepared
5 to defend against at the last moment.
6 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, there is nothing "last moment"
7 about it. The indictment has been a matter of record for some years now.
8 It talks about -- and I am looking, for instance, in paragraph 11, it
9 talks about an ethnic cleansing campaign throughout Herzegovina.
10 I agree with Mr. Meek that the word "Prozor" is not used, but it
11 is also relevant to other issues in the case. Apart from whether there
12 were charges on Prozor, there are issues in the case about this accused's
13 command responsibility, the control of the Convicts' Battalion, and this
14 is directly relevant to that -- those issues.
15 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
16 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, after consultations within this Chamber, we
17 believe that your questioning is out of the scope of the indictment
18 because all the charges in the indictment are concerning the specific
19 incidents. And these incidents we're into now was the date of what
20 happened. And we still believe that it's the fighting against the Serbs
21 or something like this. So would you please skip these kind of
23 MR. SCOTT: Certainly, Your Honour. This is, I can tell you,
24 during May 1993, that they weren't fighting against the Serbs. But I'll
25 skip over the incident.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Let me return to Mostar, Mr. Mrachacz, and I will refer to Prozor
4 only as a point in time, without asking any further questions about it.
5 Soon after the engagement at Prozor, did you once again become
6 involved in and around Mostar?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were you deployed, you and your -- this weapon called the Bofors,
9 were you deployed in that action or those series of actions?
10 A. Not always, because we had only very little ammunition for the
11 Bofors. And that meant that on some occasions, the Bofors was not used.
12 And during such periods, I was involved in transporting supplies and did
13 not participate in the infantry actions.
14 Q. All right. Well, perhaps you can tell us a bit more about this
15 Bofors, because it does come up in your testimony a fair amount. What
16 kind of a weapon is that?
17 A. The Bofors is a .40 mm gun, fast ammunition.
18 Q. When you say fast, can you give me an idea of how many rounds
19 would it fire, say, a minute?
20 A. I wouldn't know how many rounds per minute because it's fired by
21 foot, and the magazine has eight or ten grenades. And they are then
22 constantly fed into the machine, so a lot depends on the person who feeds
23 the machine.
24 Q. And can you tell us the effective range of the Bofors?
25 A. The range is approximately 4.000 metres. The precision is 2 to
1 2.200 metres.
2 Q. You said a few minutes ago that you were deployed on some
3 occasions with this weapon, but sometimes it was not suitable, it wasn't
4 suitable for particular use. Is that what you said?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. On whose orders were you deployed with the Bofors?
7 A. Whenever the Bofors was used, the orders came from Tuta.
8 Q. Is that true for all of the artillery in the Convicts' Battalion?
9 A. We did not have artillery ourselves. Whenever we were in need of
10 artillery, they were ordered to join us.
11 Q. All right. Well, I apologise. Perhaps I used the word
12 "artillery" unwisely.
13 What other types of heavy weaponry in addition to the Bofors did
14 the Convicts' Battalion have on a regular basis?
15 A. Our unit used to have mortars of a calibre of .60 and
16 .80 millimetres.
17 Q. Did you also have other types of anti-aircraft weapons that were
18 used in a ground combat role?
19 A. No, what we had was a type Browning machine gun, four barrels.
20 Q. You don't recall there being .20 millimetre anti-aircraft weapons
21 that were used by the Convicts' Battalion?
22 A. They were there, but they were operated by other people from other
23 subunits, but I wouldn't know which subunits those were.
24 Q. Who commanded those heavy weapons when they were used in
25 connection with or subordinated to the Convicts' Battalion?
1 A. I wouldn't know who commanded the other ones. I only know when
2 the Bofors was present, it was mostly commanded by Tuta.
3 Q. I will direct your attention to an incident in Mostar. Do you
4 recall a truck bomb being made and used in Mostar during the summer of
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. What happened -- just tell us about that. How was the truck bomb
8 made, how was it placed? What happened?
9 A. That was in 1992, the incident that I'm referring to, and that was
10 built in 1992 by Andabak.
11 Q. Let me stop you there for a moment. If it's my confusion, I
12 apologise. I don't want to ask you right now if there was one in 1992.
13 Was there also a separate tanker truck that was used as a bomb in the
14 summer of 1993?
15 A. No, it was a gasoline car -- a gasoline truck filled with
16 gasoline. That was used during that incident.
17 Q. Forgive me. We're not using the same terminology. Tell us what
18 happened with the tanker truck.
19 A. I can't give you any details. I was located in the mountains with
20 a Bofors. I just saw, from the mountain range, how the explosion came
21 about, and it looked like a nuclear bomb explosion.
22 Q. Do you recall where, approximately -- in what part of Mostar the
23 tanker truck exploded?
24 A. It must have been not far from this gymnasium, at crossroads.
25 Q. Mr. Mrachacz, are you familiar enough with the streets of Mostar,
1 if I showed you a map, can you show us approximately where this tanker
2 truck exploded?
3 A. We were on top of the mountains and you couldn't see a lot there,
4 so I wouldn't be able to tell you about it.
5 Q. Well, do you remember -- are you familiar with a place in Mostar
6 called -- that's referred to commonly as "the Rondo"?
7 A. Yes, I remember.
8 Q. Can you tell us approximately - and at the moment, I'm just asking
9 you for an approximation - where was the location that the tanker truck
10 exploded in relationship to the Rondo?
11 A. Approximately at the same level, but a bit closer to the Neretva
13 Q. Well, when you say "at the same level," what do you mean?
14 A. Well, I would say fairly close to it, 250 metres perhaps. That is
15 very close to this high school there, what is referred to as "gymnasium,"
16 and between that Rondo and this gymnasium.
17 Q. I think that's close enough for these purposes, in conjunction
18 with other evidence that the Chamber will have. You talked to the driver
19 of this truck, didn't you, afterwards?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And did he tell you who ordered or did you otherwise come to know
22 who ordered the use of this tanker truck bomb?
23 A. No, he didn't tell me.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could he please repeat? I couldn't understand
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. The driver who put this truck where it exploded, obviously before
3 it exploded, you spoke to him afterwards, didn't you?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Did he tell you on whose orders he had driven the truck to that
6 location and who had planned this operation involving the truck bomb,
7 tanker truck, whichever term you want to use?
8 A. As far as he told me, it was Tuta. And the driver had volunteered
9 to drive this tanker truck there.
10 Q. During the time in the summer of 1993 that the unit was engaged
11 around Mostar, do you recall a time when the -- either it was or at least
12 alleged that the Catholic church in Mostar was shelled? I'm not
13 suggesting by the Convicts' Battalion, but the Catholic church in Mostar
14 was shelled sometime in the summer of 1993?
15 A. Yes, the Catholic church was shelled with a mortar -- with
17 Q. And in terms of the Convicts' Battalion, was any action ordered in
18 response to that?
19 A. Orders were given to shell mosques on the other side.
20 Q. Who gave those orders?
21 A. The order came from Tuta. We had an interpreter, "Zdenko" by
22 name, and what he received on Motorola, he transferred this knowledge to
23 us, all the corrections of ranges and so on.
24 Q. And do you recall any particular details about the order from Tuta
25 to shell the mosques; do you remember any words that were used?
1 A. No, I wouldn't remember. The only thing I remember is that we had
2 shelled the wrong building, so we were corrected. And one of Tuta's
3 deputies came up to us and then took over and was then in charge of the
4 Bofors himself.
5 Q. And around this time -- well, do you recall a time of day when the
6 fire was to be opened on the mosque?
7 A. That was around noon.
8 Q. And was any explanation or information given to you as to any
9 significance of the shelling starting at 12.00 noon?
10 A. No, I wouldn't know.
11 Q. Did the shelling in fact start at 12.00 noon?
12 A. Shelling started at that time, but I don't know who fired, who
13 shelled, and which calibres were involved.
14 Q. Well, the Bofors fired, didn't it?
15 A. Several Bofors were used, but I don't know where they were
16 positioned and who manned them. This is beyond my knowledge.
17 Q. And other types of weapons were used in this shelling that were
18 under the command of the Convicts' Battalion, weren't they?
19 A. We had nothing else. All was distributed and scattered, and who
20 was in charge and who gave the orders for the other troops and parts of
21 the units, I don't know.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I see the clock, and I can report to
23 the Chamber that we've made, well, what I would consider very substantial
24 progress. Obviously we will not finish today, but I do believe I can
25 finish fairly early tomorrow morning.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 This Trial Chamber was advised by the registrar that this
3 courtroom will be used at 4.30 for another hearing, so be sure to take all
4 the confidential documents and your personal belongings away with you when
5 you leave this courtroom.
6 We'll adjourn until 9.30 tomorrow morning.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, excuse me. My client
8 has something, if I can -- my apologies for -- I think we can resolve that
9 tomorrow. My apologies again.
10 JUDGE LIU: Okay.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I didn't want to take your time.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 4.01 p.m., to be reconvened on
15 Friday, the 21st day of September, 2001,
16 at 9.30 a.m.