Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3133

1 Thursday, 27 September 2001

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.

6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case

8 Number IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Martinovic and Naletilic.

9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Naletilic, did you have --

10 THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the accused.

11 JUDGE LIU: Did you have your dental appointment this morning?

12 THE ACCUSED NALETILIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I had my tooth

13 pulled out. Thank you.

14 JUDGE LIU: How are you feeling now?

15 THE ACCUSED NALETILIC: [Interpretation] Well, not particularly

16 nice, but I'll manage. It will be all right.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down.

18 Mr. Prosecutor, please continue with your examination.

19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour. But first I would like

20 to tell that yesterday somehow escaped a very important piece of our

21 traditional presentation of the case. The testimony of this witness will

22 go mostly to paragraph 7, 8, 11 of the background; paragraphs 14 to 16,

23 superior authority; general allegations, paragraph 18 to 21; count 1,

24 paragraphs 25, 27, 34(a), (b); counts from 2 to 5, paragraph 36; counts 9

25 to 12, paragraphs 45, 46. Thank you very much, and I apologise for that.

Page 3134

1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

2 WITNESS: SALKO OSMIC [Resumed]

3 [Witness answered through interpreter]

4 Examined by Mr. Poriouvaev: [Continued]

5 Q. Mr. Salko Osmic, are you all right today?

6 A. Well, Your Honours, sir, yes, I'm feeling better today.

7 Q. Thank you. Let's return to yesterday's testimony. Do you

8 remember the date when you were arrested?

9 A. It was on the 20th of April, '92 -- no, '93. Excuse me.

10 Q. Perhaps you remember the approximate time when it happened. I

11 don't mean the exact hour, but morning, noon, evening?

12 A. It happened around 4.00 in the afternoon.

13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would ask you that we go into

14 private session for some minutes, because now I intend to ask the witness

15 some questions, and he may give some names that should be protected at

16 this stage at least.

17 JUDGE LIU: We'll go into the private session.

18 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

19 Q. Mr. Osmic, do you remember --

20 JUDGE LIU: Wait, wait.

21 [Private session]

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19 [Open session].

20 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

21 Q. Mr. Osmic, do you remember the name of the location you were taken

22 to after the arrest?

23 A. We were captured on a hill called Pomen. But as far as I can

24 remember, the place that we were taken to was out of the village of

25 Orlovac or the village of Stupari. I cannot say exactly.

Page 3136

1 Q. Was it far away from Sovici?

2 A. Well, yes. It's the lower part of Sovici, so called Doljani.

3 It's nearer Jablanica about 10 kilometres or so.

4 Q. Yesterday, you claimed that there was a sort of command where you

5 were taken to after the arrest. Could you describe in general terms the

6 location you were taken to, the premises, building, or something else?

7 A. Well, it was, as far as I could see -- although I didn't have much

8 opportunity to see because beating ensued straight away. But as far as I

9 can remember, there was a playground of sorts that we had to cross, under

10 beating, and there was a wooden shack where the prisoners were

11 interrogated. And those who were more familiar with the area were saying

12 that there was a fish pond, a fish farm, there, but I did not see it.

13 Q. You just told the Court that they started beating you immediately

14 when you were taken to that area, to the pond as they call it. Who were

15 the people who started beating arrested people?

16 A. As regards the three of us who were arrested last, we fell into

17 the hands of a bloodthirsty executioner, and I will call him that. He was

18 called Cikota. He took us over, and he beat us until we reached the

19 wooden shack, and in it was that commander of theirs.

20 Q. Did you see what was happening to other prisoners who were taken

21 to the same place while you were beaten, being beaten?

22 A. As regards the other six, they had been beaten before. Only after

23 a while, I saw the upshot of it all. And as for the three of us, we could

24 not lift our heads from the ground because one of the -- because one of

25 the soldiers had his foot on my head all the time.

Page 3137

1 Q. You just told the Court that the man who was beating you and two

2 others was called Cikota. Could you describe that person.

3 A. Well, it is a sturdy, well-built man. I presume an athlete, about

4 two metres tall. I mean really big. Brown hair, cut short. Well, that

5 will be it.

6 Q. Was he dressed in uniform or in civilian clothes?

7 A. He was wearing a uniform.

8 Q. Did you see his insignia, badges?

9 A. I don't really remember, but we heard that he was a rather good

10 soldier, that he had been awarded all possible Croatian decorations. But

11 as for the patches, I cannot recall.

12 Q. Did you see that man before?

13 A. No, never.

14 Q. And where did you learn his name?

15 A. When we arrived in Ljubuski, a day or two later perhaps, we found

16 a Croatian newspaper. I can't remember which one. So we leafed through

17 it, and we came across an article, and I recognised Cikota, the man who

18 beat us. And after that, men who had taken us to Ljubuski in that van

19 came, and they were looking for us because we were the last ones to

20 arrive. And they told us that we had been in luck, and that had we stayed

21 an hour or two longer, we would have all been killed because Cikota had

22 allegedly been killed.

23 Q. Okay. Were you interrogated in the fish pond, let's say, area?

24 A. There were some questions on the basis of which they could beat

25 you. There were no questions that were really important, because we

Page 3138

1 didn't know any answers that would really matter.

2 Q. Who interrogated you?

3 A. We were interrogated by the one up there, the one -- the gentleman

4 who is present here.

5 Q. Could you describe, perhaps. There are a lot of people on your

6 left side.

7 A. Well, it's a sick man who needs a good psychiatrist. It is a man

8 with grey hair and glasses, and who is putting his -- who has his arm, his

9 elbow on the desk, and his head is against his hand. That's enough.

10 Q. Perhaps you can put precise on which bench or desk he is sitting,

11 at which bench.

12 A. He's sitting in the back row, in the back row. I don't know how

13 else can I describe him.

14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Just, Your Honour, for the record, Mr. Osmic

15 identified a person who interrogated him on the 20th of April in Doljani,

16 a person who is sitting on the back bench, and according to the

17 description the witness has just given.

18 Q. Do you know the name of the person you have identified now?

19 A. Yes, I do. It is Mladen Naletilic, called "Tuta."

20 Q. When did you first hear his name?

21 A. The name, I don't remember. But as for his nickname, he

22 introduced himself to me personally.

23 Q. Would you expand a little bit on that moment when Tuta introduced

24 himself? If you remember, of course.

25 A. Well, as we were crossing that stadium, that football pitch, we

Page 3139

1 were told that we were going to Tuta to be interrogated. We entered one

2 by one, and Tuta was sitting inside and there was another young man

3 there. I don't really know who it was, because I had never seen him

4 before. It was dark and there was a candle burning. As far as I can

5 remember, he offered us -- he offered me to sit down on a chair facing

6 him, and this young man stood behind his back. And then Tuta introduced

7 himself as a general, if I remember correctly.

8 Q. Did Tuta take any notes of the interrogation?

9 A. I don't really remember that he took any notes.

10 Q. And what about the other man who was present in that wooden room?

11 A. There were only three of us: myself, Tuta and that young man, his

12 bodyguard or whatever he was - I don't really know - so only the three of

13 us.

14 Q. Did something special happen during the interrogation?

15 A. Well, some bad things happened as far as I'm concerned. Nothing

16 bad happened to them. They were fine.

17 Q. [Previous translation continues]... to you, I mean?

18 A. Yes, many bad things happened to me.

19 Q. But perhaps you could recount what happened in that wooden room to

20 you. What kind of bad things?

21 A. I don't really like talking about some things, about details. But

22 I'll mention one thing. It was cold, and there was a furnace -- a wood

23 stove in a corner, and it was red hot because they were really feeding

24 fuel wood into it. And at some point, that man of his pulled me by the

25 hair and tried to put my face against the stove. And as I realised that I

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Page 3141

1 stood nothing to lose any more, I made a desperate effort, pulled myself

2 back and pushed that man away from me, because he had brought my face so

3 close to that stove, a centimetre perhaps or two, not more than that. And

4 during this scuffle, the candle fell off the table and it became

5 completely dark. So it ended well, as far as I'm concerned, because they

6 threw me out -- they threw me out amongst other combatants, who then

7 proceeded to beat me. I think this is enough about that.

8 Q. Was Tuta present at the moment when his bodyguard was mistreating

9 you?

10 A. Well, I'd say that he was a good teacher, that is, the commander

11 who gave them orders to do that. He did not stop him.

12 Q. How long did you stay in the fish pond area?

13 A. Well, about two or three hours. Not long.

14 Q. Did you see Tuta after the 20th of April?

15 A. While we were transferred to Heliodrom in Mostar --

16 Q. That's enough for a while. We'll return to this matter later on.

17 So after two or three hours of detention in that area, where were you

18 taken?

19 A. We were taken in the direction of Ljubuski. That is, we did not

20 know where they were taking us, but we eventually fetched up in Ljubuski.

21 Q. Did you see any prisoners in Ljubuski who were detained there by

22 the time you arrived?

23 A. We did. There were people crowded in small rooms. They couldn't

24 even sit down. Most of them stood all the time, on their feet around the

25 clock. And they put us in a separate cell, kind of a special treatment of

Page 3142

1 theirs.

2 Q. Did you see any other persons you were familiar before in

3 Ljubuski?

4 A. I saw those men from Sovici, that is, some of them. I saw them

5 there.

6 Q. Do you remember any names?

7 A. I remember those men well, because a day or two later, we could

8 see one another, that is, all the prisoners, and there were about a

9 hundred.

10 Q. Right. Did you take -- did they take you outside to Ljubuski?

11 A. Well, we went to work facing Serb lines, wherever. We were at

12 their disposal.

13 Q. Do you know who was in charge of Ljubuski?

14 A. I wouldn't really know.

15 Q. How long did they keep you in Ljubuski?

16 A. In Ljubuski, we spent about two and-a-half months.

17 Q. What happened afterwards?

18 A. After that, we were promised we would be exchanged, but it was a

19 trick. It was not true. We were taken to Heliodrom.

20 Q. Could you just tell us, just in brief, about the conditions of

21 life in Heliodrom for the prisoners.

22 A. As regards the accommodation, it was better than in Ljubuski. But

23 in Ljubuski -- in Ljubuski, prisoners were left alone. And in contrast,

24 in Mostar, it was a disaster.

25 Q. Could you explain what do you mean by "disaster"?

Page 3143

1 A. Well, first, we were forced to go to work. And whenever we would

2 come out, you didn't know if you would return as an invalid or whether you

3 would be brought back on a stretcher, or would you be buried somewhere,

4 someplace.

5 Q. Do you remember any of the places where the prisoners were taken

6 to perform forced labour?

7 A. As regards the prisoners, all prisoners were taken to forced

8 labour; that is, nobody volunteered. And those places were from the

9 airport, Hum, Stotka, Santic Street, Bulevar, Bijelo Polje, Dreznice, and

10 so on.

11 Q. Did you see any military units deployed in Heliodrom?

12 A. Well, quite a lot of soldiers passed through Heliodrom, but I

13 don't remember particular units. Only on one occasion, I noticed during

14 an action of the B and H army in the area of Hum and Stotka, some soldiers

15 were killed on both sides, and we prisoners had to do our job. We had to

16 retrieve the bodies. And then I noticed the Croatian army, who were

17 called the Gromovi, "Thunders".

18 Q. Do you remember when -- the date that action took place?

19 A. Well, not precisely. Whether it was July, I cannot tell you with

20 precision, really.

21 Q. Just some minutes ago, you told the Chamber that there was an

22 occasion when you saw Tuta again. Could you recount that situation.

23 A. Well, it was at the time when one of the commanders of the B and H

24 army called Jusuf Prazina, nicknamed, Juka, had some problems with the

25 army. And when he joined the HVO in one of the units, one of Tuta's

Page 3144

1 units, and then Tuta came to the Heliodrom to look for the prisoners from

2 the -- from Stolac, Capljina, and wondered whether -- and asked whether

3 some of the soldiers would like to join his unit. And it was then that I

4 saw him.

5 Q. Did you see him with your own eyes?

6 A. Yes, I saw him personally. By some mistake, he entered our

7 premises, which were located on the first floor. And the people from

8 Stolac were on the floor above us. So I was in the corridor then, and I

9 saw him, and I saw the people accompanying him because he never liked to

10 walk alone. He must have felt afraid of being alone.

11 Q. Were you beaten in Heliodrom?

12 A. As far as I was concerned, I, myself, was not beaten at Heliodrom,

13 although I saw what happened to other people. Because on one occasion,

14 they took out eight or nine people - I can't remember the exact number -

15 and they were differently built, and they looked different, like we, here,

16 in the courtroom. And when they returned, some were brought, some were

17 dragged back, and some hobbled back. We could not recognise who was who,

18 although we knew each other quite well. All over the bodies of these

19 persons, there was no white flesh left. It was all black, the whole body

20 was black.

21 Q. Were you kept in with other people from Sovici together?

22 A. Yes, we were together, people from Sovici, from Prozor, and some

23 people from Mostar.

24 Q. Do you remember if there was anything particular about prisoners

25 from Sovici, Prozor, I mean prisoners from your cell?

Page 3145

1 A. No, we -- they were not different from other people. But only

2 when someone had to be beaten up really well, then the people from Sovici

3 and Prozor were their favourites.

4 Q. Were you taken to the confrontation line as well?

5 A. As regards all the dangerous lines in Mostar and the human

6 shields, well, I was involved in both. And on one occasion, I was

7 wounded.

8 Q. Could you give more details on the occasion you were wounded?

9 When you were wounded, yes. When did it happen, in which place?

10 A. That happened on the 24th of September, 1993, in the area around

11 the Bulevar. An action was taking place. I don't know where it all

12 started from, on what side it started. We had certain duties to perform:

13 to move the lines, to take out the dead and buried, to bring bags so that

14 the HVO soldiers could capture territory with our assistance. And whilst

15 we were transferring those bags with some vehicle, and on the way I was

16 wounded. As there is always a silver lining in every cloud, at the time

17 all the Muslims were thrown out of the hospitals. And when I say "every

18 cloud has a silver lining," I mean on that particular day, at that

19 particular hour, someone had forced them to return, to have these people

20 returned to hospital, and that is how I came to be in hospital as well.

21 Q. When were you released from hospital?

22 A. I was released in December when the exchange took place. As far

23 as I can remember, it was on December 20th.

24 Q. 1993?

25 A. Yes, '93.

Page 3146

1 Q. All right. And now I would like to return to the beginning of

2 your testimony. Yesterday, you said that while talking about Sovici,

3 you -- just to quote your words, "We defended again the people in the --

4 Croats and the foreign army that came there to attack the village." I

5 would like you to explain, whom did you mean by "foreign army"?

6 A. Well, I was referring to those people who were not from that

7 particular place.

8 Q. Do you mean -- I would like you to explain that particular place.

9 Do you mean Sovici, or Jablanica, or something else? What do you mean,

10 from a different place? Normally we say about foreigners -- you know in

11 which sense?

12 A. Of course I know what a foreigner is. As regards the area of

13 Sovici and Doljani, there was a regular army there, the army of -- the

14 B and H army was there and the HVO army, and guards were organised around

15 the village, not one from the others, to do something allegedly -- how can

16 I say that? Preparations were under way to defend the area against the

17 Serb enemy. And when a larger number of soldiers from the army came from

18 the area of some other places, the beginning of an attack was actually

19 being announced, because during the whole time people from Sovici would

20 communicate amongst themselves and some noted the presence of an exterior

21 army, as it were, which they felt was not necessary. I will not go into

22 greater lengths on that point.

23 Q. Okay. And again yesterday, just in the beginning of your

24 testimony, you claimed that it was Tuta's unit that participated in the

25 attack on Sovici. How did you learn it?

Page 3147

1 A. As far as I was concerned, personally, I learned about that when I

2 was arrested, because Tuta himself had told me that some of his best

3 soldiers had been killed, though I personally feel that no Croatian

4 soldier had been killed in Sovici.

5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay, thank you.

6 Thank you, Your Honour. My examination-in-chief is over.

7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Cross-examination.

8 Cross-examined by Mr. Meek:

9 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Osmic.

10 A. Good afternoon, sir.

11 Q. How are you today?

12 A. "Al humdi'Allah," I'm well.

13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Osmic, you have given three statements to various

14 agencies or people concerning the events that you testified about today

15 and yesterday; is that correct?

16 A. As regards the organisation, I don't really know how many there

17 were. But whenever I was invited to say something on the subject, I

18 always responded, because I believe it to be my duty, the duty of every

19 man.

20 Q. Do you recall giving a statement in Mostar on the 19th of May,

21 1995?

22 A. I only remember the more important things that relate to the war.

23 But I don't remember all those dates. But I was in Mostar.

24 Q. Do you remember a gentleman by the name of Ahmet Karic?

25 A. I don't remember.

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Page 3149

1 Q. Do you recall giving the statement in May 1995 or not?

2 A. As for my statement in Mostar, yes, I did make that statement.

3 But when it happened, I don't recall.

4 Q. You were truthful in the statement you gave in Mostar, were you

5 not?

6 A. As far as truth is concerned, I'm a person who never lies, even

7 when he's telling a joke.

8 Q. Would you agree with me that in 1995, the events which occurred in

9 Mostar and Sovici in 1993 were much clearer in your mind than they are,

10 say, today?

11 A. As regards more important events, my memory serves me well -- very

12 well, whether it was in 1995. Or if I live another 50 years, I think I

13 will recall all that.

14 Q. And you also gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in

15 October of 1998. Is that correct?

16 A. Where was that?

17 Q. Do you recall a gentleman who interviewed you by the name of Romeo

18 Ventura?

19 A. I vaguely remember the name. Romeo, Karic, and the gentleman

20 there, and so on.

21 Q. So you do recall making that statement to the Office of the

22 Prosecutor. Correct?

23 A. Where?

24 Q. I would ask you. Where do you recall you gave that statement?

25 A. As for my statements, I made them in Mostar, in Sarajevo, in

Page 3150

1 Jablanica when I was going out. But there were people who collected

2 information in Jablanica.

3 Q. You also gave a statement in November of 2000, and the prosecutor

4 Mr. Poriouvaev was present. Do you recall that statement?

5 A. Yes, I recall that.

6 Q. Just a moment ago, sir, when you greeted me, did you speak in

7 Arabic?

8 A. As regards my greetings to you, I addressed you in Bosnian. When

9 you asked me how I was, I said "Al humdi'Allah," which is an expression I

10 use frequently. And it is difficult to shred off habits.

11 Q. Have you had any contact with the Mujahedins?

12 A. After the war, I tried to refresh my religious knowledge, and I

13 did have some contact.

14 Q. And could you please tell me and tell this Trial Chamber when the

15 first contact was and the location of that contact, please.

16 A. It was about in 1997 in Maglaj, a village by the name of Bocina.

17 Q. That village is located in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

18 A. Yes, of course. It is near Maglaj in Bosnia.

19 Q. What was the purpose of that contact?

20 A. It was a form of an abbreviated medresa, a religious teaching,

21 because I was interested in that. I went there, I visited those people,

22 and stayed some time there.

23 Q. How long did you stay there?

24 A. It was on two occasions.

25 THE INTERPRETER: Something is wrong with the witness's

Page 3151

1 microphone. We cannot hear him.

2 A. The second time I stayed about four months.

3 MR. MEEK: Is the microphone working now for the witness?

4 Can you test.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Witness will say something.

6 A. What do you want me to say?

7 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, it's working.

8 MR. MEEK: May the usher please put the ELMO down for me. Thank

9 you.

10 Thank somebody for that.

11 Q. So the second occasion, you stayed four months with the

12 Mujahedins. Is that correct?

13 A. Yes, it is.

14 Q. And can you please tell me how long you stayed on the first

15 occasion?

16 A. About 45 days.

17 Q. And can you please, for my knowledge and the Trial Chamber, who

18 are the Mujahedins?

19 A. Sir, let me correct you. They are not Mujahedins. They are

20 called Mujahedins. Well, they are people, just common people, with some

21 religious knowledge, applying that knowledge. They are peaceful people.

22 I think that is enough.

23 Q. Are they also known as "holy warriors"?

24 A. Well, I don't really know. Depends on who calls them what.

25 Q. But you were there for approximately six months on two occasions,

Page 3152

1 and you are telling me that you do not know whether these Mujahedins are

2 holy warriors or not?

3 A. Well, I don't know who is a holy warrior and who isn't. How can I

4 know that? All I'm saying is they are just rank and file people, ordinary

5 people, peaceful people who are not harming anyone, minding their own

6 business, living, working, respecting one another, respecting commitments

7 undertaken and agreements, who do not attack anyone, do not disparage

8 anyone. And the kind of image you have of those people, I have no

9 knowledge of that. Perhaps it wouldn't be bad for you if you met those

10 people.

11 Q. Perhaps. Were they armed?

12 A. No, they were not armed. It was a village where religious

13 education was organised, a Medresa. It was a religious school, and no

14 weapons are taken to school. You should know that.

15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecutor is standing.

16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I've got an objection. It seems to

17 me that just for more than ten minutes they are talking here about

18 things -- matters not relevant to the time frame of the indictment and to

19 the events in the indictment, I mean that stretch in time.

20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I share the view expressed by the Prosecutor. I

21 just wonder where you are going to lead us. Is that relevant to the

22 actual facts of the indictment or to the incidents we discussed

23 particularly today?

24 MR. MEEK: I'm finished, Your Honour, with that question.

25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

Page 3153

1 MR. MEEK: I would just ask this witness:

2 Q. During 1992 and 1993, in the war in the former Yugoslavia, were

3 you aware that there were Mujahedins in the Bosnia-Herzegovina area?

4 A. No, I did not know that. In late '95 is when I learned about

5 those people.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, on April 15th of 1993, you testified that you

7 left your village to go to Sovici; is that correct?

8 A. Yes, it is.

9 Q. And at that time, you were a member of the AbiH army; is that

10 correct?

11 A. I was a member of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

12 and we were, in a way, so to speak, separated from the proper forces of

13 the BH army and we could only maintain communication with the village of

14 Sovici and Jablanica. But I was a member, yes.

15 Q. And can you tell me and this Trial Chamber who ordered you to go

16 to Sovici on April 15, 1993?

17 A. As regards the order, nobody ordered us to do that. To begin

18 with, we went to see what was going on there, because the shelling of

19 Jablanica had started on the 15th of April and it is in the immediate

20 vicinity, so that we wanted to know what would happen to us next if

21 Jablanica and those other places fell into the hands of the HVO.

22 Q. Could you please tell me how many kilometres it would have been

23 from your home to Sovici?

24 A. As far as I am concerned, I'd tell you, but there are some other

25 reasons for which I'd rather refrain from talking about it.

Page 3154

1 Q. Excuse me, but I'm just asking you how many kilometres from your

2 village to Sovici, if you know.

3 A. Well, if you insist, then let me tell you precisely what the

4 village is called, if you're all that interested in it.

5 Q. Please, tell me the name of your village.

6 A. I'm sorry, but I'd like to cut this -- I deny you that pleasure

7 because of some other people.

8 MR. MEEK: May we go into private session, then?

9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session. But I don't

10 think the witness has understood clearly what your question is. Can you

11 make it more clear?

12 MR. MEEK: Yes.

13 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session.

14 [Private session]

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19 [Open session]

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, please. We are in the open session now.

21 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 Q. How many people set out with you on that day?

23 A. Four. I was the fifth.

24 Q. And you were armed, each and every one of you?

25 A. Well, each one of us had some weapon; not much, but --

Page 3156

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Page 3157

1 Q. And each of you were in uniform; is that correct?

2 A. You could say so.

3 Q. And your purpose to go to Sovici was to fight; is that correct?

4 A. As regards the reasons, a while ago you seemed to have a very poor

5 memory, sir. First, to go and see what was going on there. That was the

6 first reason. And, secondly, if need be, then to fight too, naturally, if

7 we were to preserve -- to save ourselves and those people around us.

8 Q. Did you pass through Jablanica on your way to Sovici that day?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Did you meet any other soldiers from the AbiH army that day?

11 A. Well, how shall I put it? It's a mountainous area. Not much

12 traffic there.

13 Q. Well, I understand that, but did you meet any other soldiers that

14 day?

15 A. No, we did not meet anyone that day, except when we arrived in

16 Sovici and saw those troops.

17 Q. Once you arrived in Sovici, you just indicated that you then

18 observed troops. Correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And these troops were of the AbiH army. Correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber the number of AbiH army troops that

23 you observed that day in Sovici?

24 A. Well, as regards the number, in that area, there were perhaps

25 about a hundred soldiers or so. Because a battalion -- it was 120, 130

Page 3158

1 soldiers because a battalion had just been formed. That is how many

2 soldiers there were in the area of Sovici/Doljani. But I couldn't see all

3 of them because people had been assigned to guard duty around the village,

4 which means that I saw only some people.

5 Q. Some of the people you couldn't see -- some of the soldiers you

6 could not see that day because those soldiers were up in the mountains.

7 Is that correct?

8 A. Yes, there were some guards up there.

9 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, I see that it is 3.30.

10 JUDGE LIU: We will resume at 4.00.

11 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honour.

12 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.

13 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.

14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek, please continue.

15 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honour.

16 Q. Salko, I believe before we took the break, you had indicated that

17 there was a battalion of the AbiH army consisting of approximately 120 or

18 130 soldiers in Sovici. Is that correct?

19 A. Your Honours, distinguished gentlemen, yes, sir, it was a rather

20 small battalion.

21 Q. Thank you very much.

22 And will you please tell me and this Trial Chamber, of this 120 to

23 130 soldiers, how many of those were Croats?

24 A. I think there were no Croats.

25 Q. Thank you.

Page 3159

1 MR. MEEK: Could I have the usher put Exhibit P6.2 on the ELMO.

2 Q. Salko, do you recognise the village in that photograph? And for

3 the record, that's P6.2.

4 A. No, I can't really say.

5 MR. MEEK: Could we have P6.3 then.

6 Q. Salko, for the record, you are now looking at Exhibit P6.3, and

7 that's a photograph of the village of Sovici. Do you recognise that?

8 A. I never seen this village from this particular angle to be quite

9 sure about it.

10 Q. In the statement that you gave in 1995, and I believe in your

11 testimony on direct examination, you indicated that there was an area

12 called "Borovnik". Are you familiar with the area Borovnik, sir?

13 A. Well, I know -- I'd know it if I went to the village, then I'd

14 know where the hill is. But like this, I don't.

15 Q. Okay. Would you agree that Borovnik is a location on the hills

16 surrounding Sovici?

17 A. Well, as I -- as far as I remember, it's a hill, Borovnik, even

18 though I'm not all that familiar with those places, because it is, after

19 all, another area. But Borovnik is where the Croat front lines were,

20 towards Blidinje. I think it was the highest hill around Sovici.

21 Q. And on that hill, the highest hill around Sovici, the AbiH army

22 had troops, did they not?

23 A. Well, I'm repeating so as not to confuse all those hills. If I

24 asked you now about some places -- I mean, I'm not really sure what they

25 are called. It's only as far as I can remember, but that's not really

Page 3160

1 reliable.

2 I think that the HVO was on that particular hill, because if that

3 is the hill which is closer to Blidinje, then it is. And if it is a hill

4 that was closer to Prozor, then it was the BH army. That is all that I

5 can tell you about this, because there were very many of those hills, you

6 know.

7 Q. And are you familiar with an area around Sovici called Pasja

8 Stijena?

9 A. Why, yes, yes. I do know it, more or less.

10 Q. Thank you. Would you please explain to the Trial Chamber what

11 exactly that consists of, since you know it?

12 A. Well, I guess it got its name because the boulders are quite big,

13 although the first time -- when was that? Oh, yes, the 17th of April,

14 that was the first time that I climbed that hill, and what I saw that day,

15 that's about it.

16 Q. That hill overlooks Sovici, does it not?

17 A. Well, as far as I can remember, the name of that boulder is not

18 only one boulder, it's quite long. Several -- no, perhaps a kilometre.

19 Yes, you can see Sovici, but perhaps part of it but not the whole

20 village.

21 Q. Salko, the Trial Chamber is unfamiliar with the geography of

22 Sovici, so I would like to familiarise them with the geography. You

23 understand?

24 A. But I am not all that familiar with the Sovici geography either.

25 I just told you, for the first time -- I climbed that mountain for the

Page 3161

1 first time in my life then, and there are those boulders and hills with

2 other names, so that I am really not able to tell you anything more about

3 it.

4 Q. Thank you. And I'm not curious about the names; that's not

5 important. But is it a fair statement that Sovici is a village that is

6 encircled by mountains?

7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we'll agree to that. I'm sorry to

8 intervene.

9 MR. MEEK: Okay.

10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I know that this is Mr. Poriouvaev's

11 witness, but there's a broader point to be made here, I'm afraid.

12 Your Honour, there's no question that there were armed Muslims in

13 the area of Sovici on this day, that some of them even shot back. That's

14 not an issue in the case, it's not disputed, it is not a defence to any of

15 the issues charged. The charges concerning Sovici are not unlawful

16 attack. There's nothing to which these issues relate, it's not relevant,

17 it's not a defence. And unfortunately, at the rate we're going, we're not

18 going to get the witnesses finished this week, we're going to send

19 witnesses home, and we're going on about issues which are non-issues, in

20 fact, to the case.

21 We admit Sovici is a small village surrounded by mountains, there

22 were armed Muslims in the area, and there was some resistance in the area

23 on the 17th and 18th of April, 1993. None of those facts are in dispute.

24 MR. MEEK: Then I would also --

25 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, Mr. Meek, did you hear the objections from

Page 3162

1 the Prosecutors?

2 MR. MEEK: I didn't hear an objection, I heard a speech. But,

3 Your Honour, if they also would stipulate that on that date, the 15th/16th

4 day of April, 1994, that the entire village of Sovici was surrounded by

5 armed Muslims, AbiH army, that's fine, I'll go on.

6 JUDGE LIU: I think we've already spent so much time on those

7 circumstantial issues. I think the cross-examination should be more

8 concentrated on the factual issues which are relevant in the indictment.

9 MR. MEEK: So the Prosecutor does not stipulate to that?

10 MR. SCOTT: Not to that characterisation, no. I offered the facts

11 that I offered already.

12 MR. MEEK: Thank you.

13 Q. Salko, after you were captured, you have testified that you were

14 taken to a small shack; is that correct?

15 A. Why, yes, it is correct, it was a shack.

16 Q. And to make it clear, you never saw any fish pond there, did you?

17 A. No, I did not see it, that's true. But those others who were with

18 me, the eight of them, naturally we talked on our way to Ljubuski, and

19 that is how I learnt that there was also a fish pond there.

20 Q. And, Salko, you have made, and we have already established you

21 have made, three separate statements either to the OTP or to the officials

22 in Mostar. And would you agree with me that in none of those statements

23 did you ever mention that my client, Mr. Naletilic, addressed you as

24 "General Tuta"?

25 A. As far as I can remember, and I said it in every one of my

Page 3163

1 statements. Now, if somebody failed to take it down, that's another

2 matter.

3 Q. And in each one of those statements, you read those statements and

4 you signed those statements as being complete and truthful and correct,

5 did you not?

6 A. Well, to begin with, is it important whether he introduced himself

7 as a general or as a captain? He was there, and these are minor things,

8 trivial things. But, yes, I did read these things and I signed it. I did

9 not see anything that I did not like in those statements.

10 Q. Well, to me it's important that the very first time you make this

11 statement is in open court and never before in eight years. I'll go on.

12 Salko, the other thing that you've indicated in your testimony

13 today, that there was a gentleman with Mr. Naletilic in this shack that

14 night, and you now claim today that this man tried to put your face

15 against a hot stove. Did you make that allegation?

16 A. Yes, that is what I said.

17 Q. And my question to you is: Why was that never told to any

18 investigator in the three previous statements that you gave?

19 A. Well, as far as I can remember, what I have said now I have said

20 in all three statements. Of course I mentioned only one thing that

21 happened in that shack, one of the more terrible things.

22 Q. Salko, if I'm correct, on the 24th day of September, 1993, you

23 were wounded in the area of the Bulevar in Mostar. Is that correct?

24 A. Yes, on September 24th.

25 Q. And at the time that you were wounded, you were taking out bags

Page 3164

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Page 3165

1 from an automobile; is that correct?

2 A. No, no, it's not correct.

3 Q. I believe you testified on direct examination that you were --

4 while bringing bags from the vehicle, you were wounded. Did I

5 misunderstand you?

6 A. Yes, you didn't quite understand me. When we were transported

7 together with those bags, I was wounded inside, in the vehicle itself.

8 Q. Thank you. That clears that up. You were also then taken to a

9 hospital in Mostar; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, that is correct.

11 Q. You were treated for almost two months in that hospital in

12 Mostar?

13 A. That is so.

14 Q. Any other things about this -- strike that question.

15 You testified that the Muslims had been forced from this hospital,

16 but you don't know that personally; that's just something that you heard.

17 Am I correct?

18 A. No, you are wrong. I saw that personally. When I came to the

19 hospital, only one Muslim without one leg, a director or something, they

20 left him there. I don't know why. I also saw how the Muslims were being

21 taken out on stretchers with infusions, and I concluded that this actually

22 happened before I was wounded, a day or so before I was wounded.

23 Q. You were immediately taken to the hospital and gained entry to the

24 hospital, though, no problem?

25 A. I'm telling you, the day before or the two days before, I watched

Page 3166

1 people being taken to the Heliodrom. They were left there in a corner

2 somewhere with a drip, on stretchers. After the 24th of September, most

3 probably someone issued a command that a certain number of persons should

4 be taken back to hospital. When I came to hospital, I didn't see any

5 Muslims in the hospital, apart from the person I mentioned with one leg.

6 It was only later that they came, that they were coming in.

7 Q. Salko, I appreciate the answer. But my question was simply -- and

8 I will state it again -- you were immediately taken to the hospital, and

9 you gained entry with no problem, didn't you?

10 A. Yes. I think that I've explained it to you quite well.

11 Q. Briefly, in Sovici, on the 15th day of April, 1993, did you

12 observe the Croat flagged being burned?

13 A. April 15th?

14 Q. Yes, the date that you were in Sovici, did you observe Croat flags

15 being burned?

16 A. On April 15th, I was at home. On April 16th, I went to Sovici.

17 And I didn't see that.

18 Q. Were you in Sovici on the 16th of April when one Croat soldier was

19 killed by a sniper and another Croat soldier had been wounded by a sniper?

20 A. I don't know where you get that information from. I cannot claim

21 100 percent. But in the conflict between the army and the HVO, I don't

22 believe that any of the Croatian soldiers were killed. There were some

23 stories told that some soldiers had come -- while they were cleaning the

24 terrain, they came across some mines.

25 Q. And I think I'm about finished.

Page 3167

1 Salko, there were no Serbs within 50 kilometres of Sovici on

2 April 15th, April 16th, or April 17th of 1993, were there?

3 A. As far as I can remember, no, there weren't.

4 Q. Salko, can you tell me, if you know, how many Croat civilians were

5 in Sovici on the 16th day of April, 1993, when you arrived?

6 A. I don't know how many there were. The village was -- how should I

7 say it? -- blocked. On the one side, there were the Croats, the Croatian

8 army; and in the middle, there were the Muslims and the army. And so I

9 couldn't go out and observe certain things.

10 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, I have no further questions. Thank you.

11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And I guess there's no cross-examination

12 from the Defence counsel for Martinovic.

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] You are right, Your Honour. The

14 Defence of Vinko Martinovic, given the testimony of the witness, will not

15 proceed to any cross-examination.

16 JUDGE LIU: Re-examination.

17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much, Your Honour. I have no

18 further questions.

19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

20 Judge Diarra has a question to ask the witness.

21 Questioned by the Court:

22 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

23 Witness, you have spoken about your wound in a vehicle whilst

24 transporting certain things and where you were fulfilling a mission. I

25 would like to know how were you wounded, by what?

Page 3168

1 A. Well, I was wounded from infantry weaponry. It must have been a

2 special ammunition because it wounded -- some of my fingers were wounded,

3 and the palm of my hand.

4 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Yes. You spoke about confrontation

5 between both sides on the front, and you said that you had been used for

6 the purpose of retrieving bodies of the soldiers. You said that there

7 were dead on both sides during the confrontation. But later on, when you

8 listened to Tuta having said that he had lost many of his men, you said

9 that you didn't believe him because, as far as you know, none of the

10 Croatian soldiers had been killed.

11 Was that because you were angry because it was said that both

12 sides had casualties? So I would like to clear up the issue.

13 A. As regards Doljani and Sovici, this is quite a different story. I

14 was speaking about events in Mostar, because I could not work as a

15 prisoner in Sovici and Doljani because I was free then. All this happened

16 in Mostar, the human shields, retrieving bodies, recovering the wounded.

17 I said about the clashes in Sovici, when I was speaking about that, I was

18 still free, so I wasn't called upon to recover the wounded and the

19 killed.

20 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have

21 concluded.

22 JUDGE LIU: Witness, thank you very much for helping us by giving

23 the evidence. We wish you good luck. The usher will show you out of the

24 room.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

Page 3169

1 [The witness withdrew]

2 JUDGE LIU: So, Mr. Prosecutor, who will be your next witness?

3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the next witness will be asking for again

4 a pseudonym and for his facial image to be distorted, so we'll have to

5 make the arrangements, if there's no objection or if the protections are

6 granted, before we proceed.

7 JUDGE LIU: I guess there is no objections from the Defence side.

8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No objections.

9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, while we're getting the witness -

11 excuse me, I apologise for my voice - we can tender to the Court -- the

12 Court asked, in connection with a prior witness, that a statement be -- a

13 copy of the statement be provided, and we prepared that. What has been

14 done, Your Honours, is because the statement was much more extensive on

15 other topics and other issues besides that which were put to the witness

16 in her testimony, we've included those parts of the statement that related

17 to the testimony that she gave. So I can provide those to your staff at

18 this time. I guess the usher is not here at the moment, so those can be

19 provided.

20 With the Registry's assistance again, perhaps -- okay.

21 I can provide to the Chamber and to counsel and others a proposed order of

22 witnesses, taking us through the latter part of October. This will give

23 you an idea of the witnesses we've called so far, which are also listed,

24 and where we expect to go in the next few weeks, accounting for that we

25 will not be in session of course next week, and then some of the other

Page 3170

1 weeks will also be short weeks. So I hope that's of some assistance to

2 you, Mr. President.

3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Will you brief us on the relevance of the

4 indictment to the witness.

5 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour, this witness will be

6 testifying concerning, in particular, allegations concerning superior

7 authority, paragraphs 14 and 17; count 1, paragraph 25, 27, 33 to 34; and

8 I would say "topically," if I can, about the attack on Sovici, and forced

9 labour and beatings.

10 And as we stated during our Opening Statement, Your Honour, we

11 would try, to the extent possible, to submit the case to the Chamber in

12 units or chapters, if you will. And starting with the last witness, we

13 have moved primarily into the area of Sovici and will present several

14 witnesses dealing with the area of Sovici, although again, as we discussed

15 during the Opening Statement, of course many of their stories start in

16 Sovici but then they go to a number of other places. Many of them, for

17 instance, wind up at the Heliodrom and on the confrontation line in Mostar

18 as well.

19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, while we are waiting, I

20 would like to put a question to my colleague with regard to a witness.

21 And I suggest we go into a private session, because there has been some

22 confusion and I would like to clear this up. It is only because of the

23 name of one of the witnesses.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session.

25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Are we into the private session?

Page 3171

1 [Private session]

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 [Open session]

19 [The witness entered court]

20 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Would you please make the

21 solemn declaration in accordance with the paper shown by the usher.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

24 WITNESS: WITNESS W

25 [Witness answered through interpreter]

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Page 3173

1 JUDGE LIU: Sit down, please.

2 Examined by Mr. Scott:

3 Q. Mr. Witness, you are going to be shown now a piece of paper on

4 which your name is written. You have been granted protections by the

5 Chamber, including the protection that your real name will not be used in

6 the record to protect your identity. Your face will also be protected.

7 So what the usher is going to put in front of you now is a piece of paper

8 that has your name on it, and you will be referred to, for purposes here,

9 as "Witness W". But I want you just simply to say " "yes" or "no", is

10 that your name? And don't use your name, because we are trying to protect

11 your name. Is that your name?

12 A. Yes, it is.

13 Q. Witness, I have a feeling that you're going to need to move in

14 closer to the microphones, please.

15 Witness W, I want to ask you, as we start, in terms of reference,

16 should it come up for the purposes of examination before the Chamber, do

17 you have any preference if you are addressed or referred to as a "Bosniak"

18 or a "Muslim" or any other term?

19 A. I would like to be referred to as a Bosniak.

20 Q. Sir, directing your attention to the days before approximately the

21 17th of April, 1993, you were a member of the Territorial Defence around

22 the area of Sovici. Is that correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And is it correct to say that during the earlier days of the

25 Territorial Defence, that it consisted of both Muslims and Croats?

Page 3174

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What was the purpose of the Territorial Defence, or TO, prior to

3 mid-April 1993?

4 A. Before mid-April, the aim was to, along with the Croats, we keep

5 guard -- how could I say it -- against some enemy. We didn't have very

6 much information about the enemy. But at the moment, we gathered together

7 and stood together, and we had one defence. And then we were all invited

8 to come, and we were -- and we were given these invitations by someone

9 called Kopilas, Stipo.

10 Q. Just so the record is clear, you referred to the enemy during that

11 time period. Who, generally, or what group or military force are you

12 referring to?

13 A. At that time, it was the case of the Serb attack against the

14 B and H.

15 Q. Witness W, can you assist the Chamber, please, if you know,

16 approximately how many Bosniak families were living in Sovici, in the

17 Sovici area, around mid-April 1993?

18 A. There were between 150 and 200 families living in Sovici.

19 Q. Do you have any information that you can provide us, please, in

20 terms of the number of Croat families that were living in the Sovici area

21 around that time?

22 A. Well, frankly, I'm not quite sure. But there were some, about --

23 between 50 and 70 inhabitants.

24 Q. Now, can you tell us, who was the commander of the Bosniak

25 component of the Territorial Defence, if there was one?

Page 3175

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 A. Yes, that is right.

6 Q. Before the 17th of April, 1993, did you have any idea of what

7 would happen in those days following? Did you have some idea or any

8 warning of what would happen in those next several days?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, what happened on the morning of 17 April

11 1993?

12 A. That morning, I had just woken up. I was drinking coffee with my

13 wife when the shelling started. Then I jumped up with my wife. I took a

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 Q. Witness W, I'm going to pause you for a moment. When you refer to

18 some of these places and other persons who may be close to you, it is

19 probably better if you do not use their names as it may tend to lead to

20 the identification of yourself as well. There may be some points, if

21 necessary, we will go into private session.

22 I think for now, you and your wife and your 50-day-old baby went

23 to another house after the attack started?

24 A. [No translation]

25 Q. I heard you, but it didn't come through the translation, Witness.

Page 3176

1 A. Yes, yes, yes.

2 Q. What happened after that?

3 A. That day, from the morning until the evening, shelling around the

4 village -- shelling of the village never stopped. And we could see shells

5 falling around the house.

6 Q. Were you able to tell from which direction the attack came?

7 A. One could see that, because the shells were passing by the house

8 so that one could conclude that the shells were coming from Risovac.

9 Q. And were you able to observe that day any particular type of

10 weapons that were used during the attack? And I'm primarily directing

11 your attention now to heavy weapons. I'm not talking about infantry

12 weapons, but if you know any type of heavy weapons that were used during

13 the attack.

14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek. I saw you were standing.

15 MR. MEEK: I apologise, Your Honours, the witness just indicated

16 that he believed shelling was coming from, and the transcript does not

17 show what location.

18 JUDGE LIU: Maybe Mr. Scott could clear it up.

19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.

20 Q. Witness, did you say "Risovac"?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. Is that spelled R-i-s-o-v-a-c?

23 A. It is.

24 Q. All right.

25 Now, were you able to observe any of the heavy weapons that were

Page 3177

1 used during the attack that day?

2 A. Towards the end of the attack, a tank came down to so-called

3 Obruc, and we could see it from the cellar of that house.

4 Q. Were you involved in any way as a combatant that day? Did you at

5 all lift a weapon? Were you engaged in the fighting that day?

6 A. I had an M-48 rifle, but I never left the cellar that day.

7 Because I could not come out, as they were on both sides. So there was no

8 way for me to come out of the cellar.

9 Q. From the extent that you can say so, based on your observations on

10 that day, can you characterize for the Chamber the nature of any defence

11 that the Bosniak side put up to the attack?

12 A. They were very -- there was very little resistance to this attack

13 by people who were there.

14 Q. Do you know whether at some time during the course of the day

15 there was an order on the Bosniak side to surrender?

16 A. In late afternoon, around 5.00 or around that time, the commander

17 came up, and we learned from him that we were to hand over our weapons.

18 Q. And approximately -- all right. And that was approximately around

19 5.00 or 1700 hours on the 17th of April; is that correct?

20 A. That's right, yes, yes, it is.

21 Q. Were you able to identify, from what you saw or in the events that

22 happened immediately thereafter, what military unit or units were

23 attacking or had attacked Sovici?

24 A. That evening, after we had handed over our weapons, we went there,

25 we turned -- we -- at the stream before the school, a vehicle was there

Page 3178

1 awaiting us, and somebody was noting down the weapons that we were turning

2 over. At Pole's house, we turned over the weapons that we had and the

3 ammunition, and some were beaten a little and some were ill-treated a

4 little. But that evening, they took us to the school and put us in the

5 school.

6 Q. Let me stop you there for a moment, please. Just so the record is

7 clear, when you said a moment ago -- I think you said -- it's not in the

8 record, so I can't be exactly sure. But did you say the name of this

9 person was "Stipo"?

10 A. Stipe Pole is -- it was Stipe Pole's house next to the stream

11 where we handed over the weapons. But then we passed by that house and

12 went on to the school, where they detained us and guarded us that night.

13 Q. Before we get to the Sovici school, let me go back to the question

14 I put to you a moment ago. Did you become aware around this time the

15 identity of the forces that had attacked Sovici that day and that you in

16 fact were surrendering to?

17 A. Not that evening. It was only in the morning, as they began to

18 arrive. They introduced themselves, and it was then that we learned who

19 had attacked Sovici.

20 Q. And what did you learn?

21 A. And one called "Robo", he introduced himself and told us that they

22 were Tuta's troops.

23 Q. Did you hear this Robo say anything more, make any other

24 statements that identified these troops?

25 A. No, he didn't talk much --

Page 3179

1 JUDGE LIU: Sorry. We seem to have some problems with the French

2 translation because the sound echoes in the earphones. It may be some

3 mechanical problem. It's okay? Yes, it's okay. Please continue.

4 MR. SCOTT:

5 Q. All right, Witness. You started to give an answer, but let me

6 just pose the question to you again. Did you hear this Robo say anything

7 more or make any other statements that identified these troops?

8 A. No, he didn't talk much at that time as we were gathering there

9 and he was -- because he was bringing some people in and bringing back

10 those who were trying to escape a little until everybody was gathered

11 there.

12 Q. All right. And how would you describe this man named "Robo", if

13 you can?

14 A. Rather short but overweight. That is, he was -- and somewhere he

15 had found a green beret, I mean a cap, which he put on, and that is how

16 one could recognise him.

17 Q. All right. Now, Witness W, before we go to the Sovici school:

18 When you left your house, when you were taken out of the house and you

19 went to the school, did you go through parts of the village of Sovici?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, what was the condition of the

22 houses in Sovici when you passed through the village at that time?

23 A. But I was passing by Croat houses all the time.

24 Q. Well, what was the condition of those houses?

25 A. Well, naturally like today. Nobody ever touched them, not a

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1 bullet nor anything else.

2 Q. Did you also have the occasion to pass by houses which you knew to

3 be Bosniak, that is, where people of Bosniak ethnicity lived or resided?

4 A. No, I didn't. Only the next day, when I went to the house I was

5 born in, I saw that it had been hit by a shell, but not much. It hit the

6 edge of the house and that was it. Not much damage was done.

7 Q. Witness, let me come at it this way: Did there come a time when

8 you learned - and then we'll work backwards - that the houses of the

9 village had been destroyed or burnt down?

10 A. But we learned that when we were in the camp at Ljubuski, that the

11 houses had been set on fire and destroyed.

12 Q. Had the houses been burned and destroyed as of the time that you

13 were arrested and taken to the Sovici school?

14 A. The houses were not destroyed whilst we were in Sovici. Those

15 houses were destroyed after we were taken to the camp in Ljubuski and

16 women and children taken to Krcevine - that is what I stated before and

17 will state now - and elderly and other men were kept in the school, and

18 that is when those schools were burned and destroyed, razed to the ground.

19 Q. Can you tell the Chamber whether any members of your family were

20 in a -- and again don't use any names, but any members of your family were

21 in fact in a house at the time that it was set on fire?

22 A. I learned that after I came out of the camp. I learned it from my

23 wife. When they were putting fire to houses, her and the 50-day-old baby

24 and her mother were in the house when they opened fire from the vicinity

25 and set the house on fire with incendiary bullets. And my wife, her

Page 3182

1 mother and the baby were in the house then.

2 Q. When you were passing through Sovici on the late afternoon of the

3 17th of April, could you see the mosque in Sovici?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Did you come to know later that the mosque had been destroyed?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. When did you learn that?

8 A. I learned it in Ljubuski.

9 Q. And do you remember, did anyone tell you when it had been

10 destroyed?

11 A. No, not the date. All I learned was that it had been destroyed.

12 Q. All right. Apart from the date, can you assist us, please, do you

13 know whether it was destroyed after the time that you were arrested?

14 A. It was destroyed while these old and invalid women and children

15 were still there. That is when it was destroyed.

16 Q. When was that in relation to the time that you were arrested?

17 A. A few days later, when we were driven off to the camp.

18 Q. Will you tell the Chamber, please, to your knowledge, was the

19 mosque in Sovici ever used for any military purpose?

20 A. No, never.

21 Q. During these days around Sovici, did you ever know a man named

22 Marko Rozic?

23 A. (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 3183

1 JUDGE LIU: Sure, we will redact it.

2 MR. SCOTT:

3 Q. Who was -- and not in relation to yourself, but generally

4 speaking, who was Mr. Rozic in terms of did he hold any positions in that

5 area around that time?

6 A. At that time, Marko Rozic was something like the Minister of

7 Defence in the Sovici HVO.

8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to ask the usher's

9 assistance, please, if I can, to distribute Exhibit 56 to both the Chamber

10 and counsel. This will have been in Binder Number 1; but again, simply to

11 make things a bit smoother, I'll provide working copies at this time.

12 If one of those could be put on the ELMO, please.

13 Q. I believe we can use the ELMO, Witness W, because nothing, I don't

14 think, on the ELMO or anything that you say about it would tend to

15 identify you.

16 MR. SCOTT: If we can have some assistance, please, on the ELMO.

17 I see Mr. Krsnik is on his feet, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.

19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We

20 objected to this document during the depositions. We did that also in

21 writing. We object to using this document in evidence because a witness

22 who wanted to prove the authenticity of this document during the

23 depositions said that he found it in a newspaper. And we filed our

24 objection within the time -- within the necessary time limit. We objected

25 to its being produced in evidence. That was in July, so we still object

Page 3184

1 to the production of this document until there is a ruling on our motion.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. Do you have anything to say about

3 this document?

4 MR. SCOTT: Yes, I do. It was offered before. It was shown to a

5 witness. I'm showing it to this witness. I may show it to five more

6 witnesses, until such time as the Chamber is satisfied that a foundation

7 has been laid.

8 I think this witness can assist us, if there is any valid

9 objection to it, which we disagree with. But I think this witness can

10 provide information about the document.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, the Prosecutor told us that this

12 witness will provide more information about the authenticity of this

13 document, so why not allow this witness to show us his knowledge about

14 this document.

15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence objected

16 as soon as this document was shown to a witness who was to confirm the

17 authenticity of the document. In our motion in writing, we lay the

18 foundation for our objection.

19 It is difficult to understand, Mr. President, that a document of

20 this nature be carried by a daily and that then somebody claims that it is

21 authentic. Of course, I will go by your decision. If you decide to admit

22 this document, we shall write another motion, then, because we still can

23 write down all our objections to various exhibits of the Prosecution, and

24 we shall then mention this one once again. Thank you.

25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think now the question is not to admit this

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1 document into evidence or not, but just to call the witness to prove the

2 authenticity of this document and for us to get more information about

3 this document. So we'll use this document but not as evidence at this

4 moment.

5 Is that all right, Mr. Krsnik?

6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Mr. President.

7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.

8 Mr. Scott, you may proceed.

9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.

10 Q. Witness W, the first thing I would like you to do, please, if on

11 the ELMO you can focus on that part of the first page of Exhibit P56, that

12 is a photograph. If you can, can you identify that person to the Chamber?

13 A. This is Marko Rozic.

14 Q. Is this the same man that you testified about a moment ago who you

15 described as the HVO Minister of Defence in the Sovici area?

16 A. Yes.

17 MR. SCOTT: And Mr. President, it may be that we should go to

18 private session just for one moment.

19 JUDGE LIU: Okay. We will go to the private session.

20 [Private session]

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

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Page 3190

1 [Open session]

2 MR. SCOTT:

3 Q. Witness W, what happened after you arrived at the Sovici school?

4 A. When we got to the school, in front of the school the people that

5 they were bringing in the school -- to the school, (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 Q. Witness, don't use their names. You can just say your brothers.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. All right.

12 A. I saw them being tied to a plum tree in the vicinity, but I didn't

13 dare look, really. I just glimpsed. I saw, when they were hit, that they

14 fell to the ground, and then I couldn't look any more. Then a little

15 later, a few minutes later, I looked again, and then I saw that Roda [as

16 interpreted] beat them. And when I looked again, the other two were

17 standing next to him, and then I didn't look any longer.

18 Q. You said just now, I think it came out in the transcript as

19 "Roda". Did you see -- one of the men hitting your brothers, was he one

20 of the men that you identified a few minutes ago?

21 A. You're referring to Marko Rozic?

22 Q. My apologies. Was this the same person who you identified as

23 "Robo"?

24 A. Well, later when I looked, it wasn't Robo. Robo had gone. But

25 the other two.

Page 3191

1 Q. Going back in the sequence of events, you told us that you looked

2 up or looked out several times. In that sequence of events, did you ever

3 see Robo as one of the persons who was beating your brothers?

4 A. Well, it was -- Roba beat him the first time. And then when I

5 looked the second time, Roba was no longer there. There was someone else

6 beating them.

7 Q. Can you briefly describe to the Chamber how it was that these men

8 were being beaten? What was being done to them?

9 A. Well, first of all when I looked, I glimpsed, there were

10 shovels -- they were hit by shovels and by guns, by the butts of the

11 guns.

12 Q. Now, you spent one night at the school; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what happened the next day?

15 A. Well, we spent the night there, and the next day we were

16 questioned. And other people who remained there were brought. People who

17 were hiding, they were brought in the evening. We were lined up in front

18 of this school, and then we set out for Ljubuski.

19 Q. All right. Now, before we go on to Ljubuski, can you tell the

20 Chamber, please, when was the last time during these events that you saw

21 your wife and child?

22 A. Well, before I set out on that day in the morning, about 10.00

23 a.m., I went to buy some breakfast, to have something to eat, and that was

24 the last time I saw her until I returned from the camp.

25 Q. And you were held until the 1st of March, 1994?

Page 3192

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And you did not see your wife and child again until sometime after

3 the 1st of March, 1994?

4 A. On March 1st, 1994, in the evening, about 6.00, 7.00 p.m. when we

5 arrived.

6 Q. Okay. Do you know what happened to them after you last saw them?

7 That is, back during the time when you were in Sovici and after you saw

8 them, did you learn what happened to your family after you were put on the

9 bus to Ljubuski?

10 A. Well, we didn't know anything until one of the guards told us that

11 they had been expelled in the direction of Vakuf.

12 Q. That's Gornji Vakuf?

13 A. From Makljen -- I don't know which one it was, but I know it was

14 the first place in the direction of Bugojno from Makljen. I think it's

15 Gornji Vakuf.

16 Q. Going back to being taken from the school, can you tell the

17 Chamber, did you see anyone in front of the school whose identity you came

18 to know?

19 A. In front of the school, there was Rogic, who sent us to the camp

20 in Ljubuski. Cikota, so-called "Cikota", Tuta's commander, he wanted to

21 show, with a sign of his hand, to let us go home. But Rogic at the moment

22 said, "No, to the Ljubuski prison."

23 Q. And did anything happen as you were loaded on the bus? Were any

24 of the prisoners mistreated at that time?

25 A. Before we got into the bus in front of Stipe Pole's house, the bus

Page 3193

1 stood there. And once we were going into the bus, climbing into the bus,

2 Muharem Helbet was mistreated, and Lulic -- I don't know his name. He was

3 under age, he was a minor. Roba actually stabbed Muharem with a knife in

4 his leg. And when Dzemo was climbing in, he was also hit. And then

5 Mustafa Kukic and Lulic came. And when he was brought into the bus, the

6 doors of the bus were shut, and the bus left for Doljani and then

7 subsequently to Risovac.

8 Q. Did you know the name of the man who stabbed Helbet in the leg?

9 A. It was Roba.

10 Q. Were you able to identify -- let me back up. When you were put on

11 the bus, were there HVO guards, soldiers, on the bus with you?

12 A. Yes, there were four of them, including Roba.

13 Q. And did you know what unit, what military unit these soldiers were

14 from?

15 A. They belonged to Tuta's unit.

16 Q. Can you tell the Chamber how were you treated on the bus trip --

17 there may be various stages of that -- but as you were moving along on the

18 bus, how were you treated by these soldiers?

19 A. How they treated us, well, they beat us. They made us sing songs,

20 they did all sorts of things until the bus stopped.

21 Q. Let me stop you there for a minute. My apology. When you said

22 they made you sing, what did they make you sing?

23 A. Ustasha songs.

24 Q. What do you mean when you say "Ustasha songs"?

25 A. The songs that were sung and which we sang were -- how can I

Page 3194

1 explain -- exclusively songs for the Croats.

2 Q. And how did you feel about being forced to sing those songs? How

3 did that impact you?

4 A. We had to sing because we didn't want to be beaten. It was under

5 pressure that we had to sing.

6 Q. Was anything said to you by any of the HVO soldiers about that?

7 Do you recall anything in particular that was said to you while you were

8 singing?

9 A. They kept saying, Stronger and stronger, stronger. And this is

10 the word that they would use, Louder and louder. That's what they would

11 be saying.

12 Q. You started to say a moment ago, before I interrupted you - my

13 apology - that the bus stopped, then, at one point. And can you tell us

14 what happened when the bus stopped?

15 A. The bus stopped. We were driven out of the bus, and they were

16 watching for no one to escape because it was already dark. They lined us

17 up in two rows, and they were standing in front of us. Dzemo and -- and

18 they took persons out of the line up, they were beaten. And while we were

19 waiting there, Dzemo and Zijad were being beaten.

20 Q. I'm going to come back to that in a moment, if we have time. But

21 before that, when the group of you were standing in the two rows, was

22 anything done toward all of you as a group?

23 A. As a group -- well, actually it happened to Zijad and Dzemo,

24 because he was in the HVO unit. They mistreated him there. They used

25 sniper methods.

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1 MR. SCOTT: All right. I'm going to stop in just one moment,

2 Mr. President, if I can just clarify this one point.

3 Q. Were any weapons fired when you got off the bus at that time?

4 A. Well, when they were lining us up, on the way out, one of them

5 said, "Who dares run away will have to contend with gunfire," and he

6 started shooting in the air.

7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we can probably stop there for the day,

8 if that's agreeable to you.

9 JUDGE LIU: We'll adjourn to 9.30 tomorrow morning.

10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

11 5.30 p.m., to be reconvened on

12 Friday, the 28th day of September, 2001,

13 at 9.30 a.m.

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