1 Wednesday, 17 April 2002
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.38 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry for the delay because of the technical
9 problems. We might sit a little bit longer, which will be one hour and 30
10 minutes for each sitting or even a little bit longer. Maybe we could have
11 one break. Yes, we'll try to do that.
12 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
13 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'll just -- whenever you think it's
14 time to take a break, just let me know and I'll stop.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry for the delay. You may sit down, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS NB [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer, your cross-examination, please.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Stringer:
1 Q. Witness, good morning.
2 A. Good morning, Prosecutor.
3 Q. My name is Douglas Stringer. I'll ask you some questions this
4 morning on behalf of the Prosecution. First of all, I'd like to ask the
5 Registrar or the usher to give the witness two exhibits, Exhibit P11.18
6 and also Exhibit 14.3, which is a photograph.
7 Witness, I think that you saw one of these exhibits previously,
8 the one that's marked 11.18. Take a moment to look those over and then
9 we'll go to work with those.
10 Yesterday, Witness, you made some markings on a map that was a
11 street map of the centre part of the town of Mostar. I think the one you
12 marked on was a black and white version. Does the Exhibit 11.18 that
13 you're now looking at -- does that appear to be a street map of the
14 central part of the town of Mostar?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, look at the other exhibit, which is Exhibit -- a photograph,
17 number 14.3. That's not a photograph from 1993 or the time of the
18 conflict. It's more recent. Are you able to recognise the areas shown in
19 that photograph?
20 A. Yes, I can recognise them.
21 Q. Would this photograph appear to show a good section of the Bulevar
22 in the town of Mostar?
23 A. Yes. It can be seen. You can virtually see the whole Bulevar.
24 Q. Okay. And are you able to see the building that we refer to as
25 the health centre?
1 A. Yes. I can see it.
2 Q. Okay. Witness, if I could ask you to put that photograph aside
3 just for a moment and direct your attention back to the street map.
4 Yesterday, you spoke about some units which were deployed along the
5 Bulevar confrontation line during the conflict in 1993. You mentioned the
6 ATG Vinko Skrobo, you mentioned also Benko Penavic, I believe, and I
7 believe you also mentioned the 9th Battalion. Are those three units that
8 you know to have been deployed along the Bulevar front line in Mostar
9 during the summer of 1993?
10 A. In the summer of 1993, well, this is a rather wide concept.
11 Q. I'll suggest then, let's confine our discussion for this purpose
12 to the period of time after the 30th of June. Let's talk about the period
13 of July, August, September, 1993. Are we able to talk about units
14 deployed along the front line during that period of time?
15 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I can speak for the period until the 27th, as far
16 as Mostar is concerned, because later on, I left it and I left it for a
17 short period of vacations. And then for a period of time, to become the
18 commander of the north zone.
19 Q. Okay. I believe yesterday you testified that you -- there was a
20 reorganisation and that you became commander of the north zone or the
21 north sector in early July of 1993; is that correct?
22 A. I didn't say that I became a commander of the north sector at the
23 beginning of July. What I did say was that three sectors were established
24 somewhere at the beginning of July, and I gave the names of the commanders
25 for two sectors. Nobody asked me for the name of the commander of the
1 third sector. I became north sector commander on the 25th of August.
2 Q. Well, let's come back to this map. You testified yesterday about
3 the ATG Vinko Skrobo. Do you recall that?
4 A. Yes, I do recall that.
5 Q. You testified, I believe, that this was a unit that was deployed
6 along the Bulevar in Mostar, correct?
7 A. Parts of the unit were deployed there.
8 Q. Okay. Sir, taking the map and taking a pen, can you make a
9 marking, perhaps, that would show us or indicate to us the area of
10 responsibility of those parts of the ATG Vinko Skrobo that were deployed
11 along the front line Bulevar?
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. If you could perhaps just place a circle.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could you please place a number 1 above that
16 line so that we will know that relates to the ATG Vinko Skrobo?
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, you testified -- well, let me -- just to
19 stay with the ATG Vinko Skrobo, what's the time frame that you're
20 testifying about? What's the time frame that you know this to have been
21 the area of responsibility of this particular unit?
22 A. We are referring to the period starting with the establishment of
23 the sector called "town" and as far as I know, it -- prior to that, mixed
24 units were deployed there, belonging to the 9th Battalion.
25 Q. Okay. Now, the establishment of the sector Grad or town occurred
1 in early July of 1993?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And did that area of responsibility for the ATG Vinko Skrobo that
4 you've just indicated remain unchanged for the remainder of the conflict
5 between the ABiH and the HVO in Mostar?
6 A. Well, I don't know which conflict you're referring to. I spoke
7 about the first days of July, and after that, I am not familiar with any
9 Q. Sir, was there an armed conflict between the HVO and the ABiH in
10 Mostar during the months of July through December of 1993?
11 A. Yesterday, I spoke about the aggression waged by the ABiH, and
12 that was in sector north, on the 19th of September, 1993. And on the 20th
13 -- 20th, 21st, 22nd, it happened in the suburb and areas of Mostar again,
14 20th of September, 1993.
15 Q. Witness, the commander of the ATG Vinko Skrobo deployed at that
16 position in early July 1993, was Vinko Martinovic, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Also known as Stela?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, on one side of the Vinko Skrobo area of responsibility, a
21 different unit was deployed. Would that be the 4th Battalion unit that
22 you testified about yesterday?
23 A. It was not the 4th Battalion on neither side. On the right-hand
24 side, there was ATG Benko Penavic and on the right-hand side, the 4th
1 Q. Okay. The 4th -- rather than using right and left, let's talk
2 about north and south. Which of these units was deployed to the area
3 immediately north of the Vinko Skrobo?
4 A. Parts of the 9th Battalion.
5 Q. And did that change at the time of the reorganisation in early
6 July of 1993?
7 A. I don't think anything changed, and I am speaking about July.
8 Q. Okay. Witness, if I could ask you to please take the map again
9 and the pen into your hands, would you make a marking to show us the area
10 of responsibility of the ATG Benko Penavic? And can you place a number 2
11 above that?
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. It appears to me, sir, that this second marking you've made is an
14 area of responsibility immediately to the south of the area of
15 responsibility of the Vinko Skrobo; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. Now, if you could take the map again with the number
18 3, give us the area of responsibility of the unit deployed on the other
19 side of the Vinko Skrobo?
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Now, what's the unit whose area of responsibility is the area
22 marked with the number 3? What unit is that?
23 A. Parts of the 9th Battalion.
24 Q. Were there any military police units deployed along that part of
25 the front line as well?
1 A. The military police was deployed further on, as far as I can
2 recall it.
3 Q. The commander of the ATG Benko Penavic was Mario Milicevic, aka,
4 also known as Baja?
5 A. As far as I know it, yes.
6 Q. The Benko Penavic had a headquarters located in a building on the
7 Rondo in Mostar?
8 A. I do not know that.
9 Q. The ATG Vinko Skrobo headquarters was located above or west of the
10 Rondo on Kalemova Street. Do you know that?
11 A. No. I do not know that, and I never went there.
12 Q. Witness, I want to now ask you a little more generally about the
13 positions you held and the areas where you were based.
14 MR. STRINGER: And Mr. President, I don't know that I can do this
15 without needing for us to go into private session, at least for the first
16 set of questions I got. So I think, out of caution, to protect his
17 identity we should move into private session.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
19 [Private session]
13 Pages10252-10259 – redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 MR. STRINGER:
9 Q. Okay. I'd like to go back up now to the sector north that is in
10 item number 2 on the first page and ask you some questions about those
11 commanders. First of all, just so we know, this is happening on the 2nd
12 of July, 1993, just within a couple of days after the Armija attack on the
13 northern barracks; is that correct?
14 A. I didn't understand the question.
15 Q. This order is being issued about two days after the Armija
16 attacked the HVO northern barracks, correct?
17 A. Well, I cannot say how many days later, unless the date speaks for
19 Q. Well, okay. Let's go to it item number 2. There is a reference
20 there to people who are going to be in command or hold positions of
21 responsibility in this sector, north sector, one of whom is
22 a Colonel M. Andric. Do you know him?
23 A. Very little.
24 Q. It's Miro Andric, is it not, sir, Miro Andric?
25 A. Well, I know him but just.
1 Q. Wasn't he an officer with the army of Croatia, that is the HV, at
2 this time?
3 A. As far as I know, Miro Andric is a volunteer born in Herzegovina,
4 and as a volunteer, he came in the very early days to defend those lands.
5 MR. STRINGER: For the usher, we are looking at page 1 of the
6 English version. Yes, item number 2. Right there. Thank you.
7 Q. Miro Andric had come down from Croatia and was commanding units of
8 the HVO as a volunteer. Is that your testimony, sir?
9 A. That's what you say. I do not know if he came from Croatia but I
10 know that he was there and that the story was that he was a volunteer, but
11 I said I didn't know because I really knew him only scantily, only
13 Q. So you don't know if he had been an officer in the Croatian Army
15 A. When I know something, then I say I do know it, but in this case
16 because I'm not certain, I cannot say whether that is so or whether that
17 is not so.
18 Q. Okay. What about the next one, Colonel Cavar? Wasn't he also a
19 colonel in the army of Croatia at this time, July of 1993?
20 A. As regards Colonel Cavar, I know that he was born in Siroki
21 Brijeg, and that in the very beginning of the aggression of the Yugoslav
22 army and reservists, he went back to his native Siroki Brijeg and
23 commanded the brigade in Siroki Brijeg.
24 MR. STRINGER: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 661.01, please?
25 Q. Did Colonel Cavar subsequently become a commander of the Mario
1 Hrkac Cikota Brigade later in 1993?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Was that a different person?
4 A. That I do not know.
5 MR. STRINGER: I can give the witness my copy of the B/C/S
6 version, if it would speed things up.
7 Q. Witness, you're being shown now a new document, 661.01.
8 MR. STRINGER: Could you put the English version on the ELMO,
10 Q. Sir, doesn't this document indicate that Colonel Cavar was in fact
11 a colonel in the Croatian Army, the HV, as of October, 1993?
12 A. This is not my level to comment. Therefore, I cannot comment on
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Well, let's come back to this Exhibit 492, which
15 is the reorganisation document that we were talking about. Directing you
16 back again to item number 2, those names that we've been talking about,
17 another name that appears here is the name of M. Naletilic. Do you see
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. And isn't that a reference, sir, to Mladen Naletilic?
21 A. Prosecutor, I am not an magician. I am an officer. There are
22 at least 15 Naletilics whose first name starts with an M.
23 Q. So it's your testimony, sir, that you don't know who this
24 M. Naletilic who is referred to here?
25 A. I do not know. Maybe the author knows, the one who wrote this,
1 but I do not.
2 Q. Well, sir, isn't this Mladen Naletilic who is present in this
3 courtroom? Isn't that a fact, sir?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
5 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, this question now has been asked and
6 answered two times and I object to the argumentative nature of this
7 question. It's argumentative, Your Honour. He's just testified two
8 times. There's many Naletilics with the first name "M." He doesn't know
9 it, and it's asked and answered, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, first of all, I would like to say that
11 it's cross-examination. The Prosecutor has the right to do that.
12 But this is indeed, Mr. Stringer, the witness has answered that
13 question. It's very clear. The message is very clear. I don't think you
14 could go anywhere along this line.
15 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Now, directly underneath this paragraph we have just been talking
17 about is a paragraph that's number 1 in brackets. Do you see that?
18 A. I don't know what you mean. I can't see it.
19 Q. Well, we have just been talking about the names which appear in
20 paragraph 2. Do you see that, the names, Andric, Cavar, Naletilic? Now
21 just going down to the very next paragraph.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, sir, this paragraph here, which is number 1 in brackets, this
24 identifies the units which will form the units within this sector north,
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Which includes units of the 2nd Brigade?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then moving down, that appears to be a reference to the Mario
5 Cikota Siroki Brijeg Brigade, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The Grude brigade?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The Tuta ATG unit?
10 A. I don't know about such a unit. There was no unit under that name
11 during the war, and the brigade -- Grude Brigade, never, there was never
12 such a brigade in the HVO.
13 Q. And then continuing, a part of the Vojna Policija, the military
15 A. I cannot comment on it. I do not know what the military police
17 Q. Well, isn't this deploying part of the military police within this
18 area of responsibility of sector north? Isn't that what's happening here?
19 A. HVO brigades received from the military police administration a
20 squad or a platoon of the military police and they guarded headquarters,
21 brought in soldiers who had deserted the front line or those who had
22 failed to respond to the call-up for the next shift. I believe it is this
23 police that they have in mind, the one which needed to operate in this
24 sector north, which was 70 kilometres long.
25 Q. Okay. Miro Andric commanded the 2nd Brigade forces, correct?
1 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you.
2 Q. Colonel Cavar, as indicated in the document we have just looked
3 at, commanded the Mario Hrkac Cikota Brigade we just looked at, correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mladen Naletilic commanded the ATG Tuta, correct?
6 A. There has never been a unit called Tuta, nor do I know commander
7 Mladen Naletilic in the HVO.
8 Q. Witness, if I could direct your attention now to item number 3,
9 which relates to the defence of the town of Mostar. Do you see that
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Okay. And then moving down two paragraphs to the paragraph marked
13 number 2 in brackets, the following units are subordinated to the
14 command: the 2nd brigade in the zone of responsibility defined under
15 number 1, 3rd Brigade in the zone of responsibility defined under number
17 A. I can't follow it. I don't know where that is. Oh, I see. Item
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. Yeah, yeah, fine. Yes, you may go on.
21 Q. So this appears to be placing certain units of the 2nd and 3rd
22 Brigades into this area of responsibility and under the command of those
23 sector commanders, correct?
24 A. I've said already that parts of the 3rd brigade, 4th Battalion and
25 9th Battalion - and this is the ninth time I'm repeating it - were
1 performing their missions in the sector responsible for the defence of the
2 city, odbrana grada.
3 Q. Continuing down, the Mostar ATG, bracket, from the Tuta ATG,
4 closed bracket, and home guard units are also placed within this zone of
5 responsibility, correct?
6 A. Yes, it is, but I've never heard of ATG Mostar, ATG Tuta, and home
7 guard units, because there was only a home guard regiment in Mostar and it
8 was made up of people over 40 years of age.
9 Q. The Mostar ATG would be a reference to the ATG Vinko Skrobo?
10 A. That's what you say. I don't know who is meant.
11 Q. Now, one last question on this point: Those units of the 3rd
12 Brigade which were subordinated to this command, they always remained
13 within the structure of the 3rd Brigade, correct?
14 A. The 3rd Brigade was responsible, was duty-bound to provide shifts
15 from its 4th and 9th Battalions, to provide shifts for men on that front
16 line, which was manned by the forces of a platoon or so, not more than
17 that, that is about 20, 25 men, and whilst they were performing their
18 tasks on the front line, the command over them would be in the hands of
19 the commander of the city, of the town sector.
20 Q. I understand, sir. My question is a bit different. At all times,
21 they are still members of the HVO 3rd Brigade, correct?
22 A. Yes, yes, and they are members of the 3rd Brigade.
23 Q. The fact that they become subordinated to a different command does
24 not mean that they are no longer members of the HVO 3rd Brigade?
25 A. I think my answer to that question was quite clear, and whoever
1 served military service knows that.
2 Q. All right. So that these units were at all times within the HVO
3 3rd Brigade, even during the times they were subordinated to a different
5 A. They were subordinated to a different command and different
6 commander at the time and while they were performing a task, but they were
7 a component of the 3rd Brigade.
8 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, are you aware, sir, that the Republic of
9 Croatia was providing arms to the HVO during the spring of 1993?
10 A. I know nothing about that.
11 MR. STRINGER: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 301.2, please?
12 Could we put the English version on the ELMO, please?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. STRINGER: That's a good point. We should be in private
16 session before we put this on the ELMO.
17 JUDGE LIU: I know, but do we need to put this on the ELMO since
18 everybody has a copy of this document already.
19 MR. STRINGER: I didn't know the Trial Chamber had them so we can
20 do without the ELMO.
21 JUDGE LIU: But you have to be careful.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Do we go into private session?
23 JUDGE LIU: No.
24 MR. STRINGER: We just won't put it on the ELMO.
25 Q. Witness, do you recognise this document?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I recognise this document and I can explain it.
2 Q. All right. And I assure you, I will give you an opportunity to
3 explain it. I just need to ask you a couple of preliminary questions
4 first. It's dated the 16th of April, 1993, a letter signed by you and
5 Bruno Stojic directed to Mr. Gojko Susak, who was at the time the Minister
6 of Defence for the Republic of Croatia?
7 A. I signed this document, this requisition document, because I was
8 in a position in which I could not defend the defence line facing the JNA
9 and the reservists, because I didn't have a single round left, ammunition
10 7.9 millimetre round, and this was the ammunition required for the
11 machine-guns, the weapon with the biggest fire power, and since the
12 operative zone, upon my request, could not comply, and as a commander, I
13 was responsible to defend this defence line, therefore I drafted this
14 request in a provocative manner.
15 Q. And you were asking that -- or indicating that you would collect
16 the ammunition in Pula which is in the very northern Adriatic region of
17 the Republic of Croatia; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. I knew that in Pula there was a person born in
19 Herzegovina, Mr. Anto Budimir who was the commander there. I knew him,
20 therefore I put his name down. I knew no other name.
21 Q. So again getting back to my original question, the Republic of
22 Croatia did provide arms and ammunition to the HVO during the spring of
23 1993; is that correct?
24 A. I do not know that, unfortunately I never got the ammunition
25 requested here either.
1 MR. STRINGER: Could the witness be shown IAC 22?
2 Q. Witness, if I could, let me ask you, what was your position --
3 actually, I won't ask that question because we are in public session and I
4 think it appears on the face of the document anyway.
5 MR. STRINGER: IAC-22?
6 Q. Let me ask you this while we are getting the document, sir. Isn't
7 it true that --
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer, we don't have this document at
9 hand. If you want to put the English version on the ELMO, we have to go
10 to the private session.
11 MR. STRINGER: Very well, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
13 [Private session]
13 Pages 10271-10274 – redacted – private session
19 [Open session]
20 MR. STRINGER:
21 Q. Witness, paragraph 1.2 relates to the sector Mostar defence; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes. It refers to the defence of the town Mostar.
24 Q. And among the units that is part of the Mostar defence is the
25 Mrmak ATG. Do you see that?
1 A. I can see that.
2 Q. Is that the unit that was under the command of Vinko Martinovic?
3 A. I assume that this is the unit in question but I do not know
4 whether it was called this way at that time because these orders were
5 drafted and drawn up by operative officers, and it may have happened that
6 the commander did not read all the orders through and simply signed it
7 without having read the order.
8 Q. Thank you. Witness, you testified about the events that you saw
9 and heard of in Mostar on the 9th of May, and I want to ask you some
10 questions about that.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry to interrupt you. If you're changing
12 your subjects, maybe it's a good time for us to have a break.
13 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. That's fine.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll have a break for 15 minutes. We'll resume
15 at quarter past 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.16 a.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
19 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Witness, I failed to ask you one question about the preceding
21 document which was Exhibit 590. Do you have 590 in front of you? Okay.
22 And directing your attention, this is the order of Mr. Lasic dated 3
23 September, 1993. Do you have that, sir?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Directing your attention to paragraph 1.2, this is one last
1 question on the subordination issue that we discussed. Do you have 1.2?
2 A. 1.2, yes, I see it.
3 MR. STRINGER: If you could put 1.2 on the ELMO, please, in
5 Q. Witness, while the usher is doing that, you testified earlier that
6 different units would be subordinated to the sector command. For
7 instance, the 1st battalion of the 3rd Brigade here is subordinated to
8 sector Mostar defence. And I believe your testimony was that despite the
9 subordination, the 1st battalion always remains a part of the 3rd Brigade,
11 A. I didn't say anything about the 1st Brigade.
12 Q. I'm sorry, I used the wrong word. It says here the 1st battalion,
13 the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Brigade. Do you see that?
14 A. The 3rd Brigade never had a 1st Battalion.
15 Q. Okay. Forget about the 1st Battalion, forget about the 3rd
16 Brigade. Let me ask you this. You testified earlier that certain units
17 within the 3rd Brigade were subordinated to the sector or would be
18 subordinated to one of the sectors as part of the reorganisation.
19 A. I said that parts, parts of battalions, when performing tasks on
20 the defence line, that they would be subordinated to the highest command
21 level of the front line, as long as they were performing these tasks.
22 Q. But at all times, they remained a part of the 3rd Brigade?
23 A. Quite clear.
24 Q. Now, directing your attention back now to paragraph 1.2. And I
25 asked you about this earlier, reference to the Mrmak ATG or the
1 Benko Penavic ATG, what are the units that those come from when they are
2 subordinated to sector Mostar defence for these purposes?
3 A. I can't understand the question.
4 Q. All right. Certain elements of the 3rd Brigade are subordinated
5 to sector Mostar defence, correct?
6 A. I was referring to the time when I was the commander of the 3rd
7 Brigade, Prosecutor, and that was until the 20th of July. And it was very
8 precise. I said which parts were subordinated to the Mostar sector, and
9 since this here is the month of September, then I do not know exactly
10 which elements of the 3rd Brigade were subordinated to the sector, and if
11 that was the case at all.
12 Q. Earlier in your testimony, you said they were subordinated to a
13 different command and different commander at the time and while they were
14 performing a task, but they were a component of the 3rd Brigade?
15 A. I was talking about the 3rd Brigade while I was its commander,
16 just as you are now talking while you are on this case.
17 Q. Now, maybe you don't know the answer to this question --
18 A. I know the answer, but you are asking 1/3 BR. The 3rd Brigade
19 never had any 1st battalion.
20 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this question: The ATG Mrmak which also
21 forms of a part of sector Mostar defence, what unit does ATG Mrmak come
23 A. Sir, Prosecutor, here in this order that I really don't need to
24 comment on because I did not make it, but any soldier, every subject, is
25 indicated separately unless it is a special unit, a separate subject.
1 Then he is or it is indicated through a particular number.
2 Q. Does the ATG Mrmak come from a larger unit or do you know?
3 A. I do not know what you want me to answer but I said that from this
4 order, it transpires quite clearly that the ATG Mrmak and Benko Penavic
5 ATG or the home guard regiment are the basic units which are not linked,
6 which are not associated with any other unit, according to this.
7 Q. Setting aside the document, based on your own personal knowledge
8 as the person who held the positions you held within the HVO during this
9 time, let me just ask you based on your own knowledge, this ATG Mrmak, was
10 it associated with a larger unit or military group?
11 A. I know nothing about that.
12 Q. Now, we'll move on, then, to the 9th of May and also some
13 questions about the 30th of June.
14 MR. STRINGER: If the witness could be shown Exhibit 413. Perhaps
15 I should ask one question in private session, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to private session, please.
17 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
13 Page 10281 – redacted – private session
12 [Open session]
13 MR. STRINGER:
14 Q. On the 9th of May, sir, were you aware that hundreds of Muslim
15 residents of West Mostar were taken out of their flats to various assembly
16 points such as Velez stadium and then ultimately transported out to the
17 Heliodrom, where they were held in custody for approximately nine, ten
19 A. I've heard that there were some prisoners but I did not know where
20 they were taken because on the 10th and 9th of May, I was in the place
21 called Krusevo organising the funeral for the killed soldier, Dragan Cule.
22 Q. So you're not aware whether hundreds of Muslims were rounded up
23 and taken to the Heliodrom on that day, sir?
24 A. I do not know how many were taken and whether they were taken, all
25 I know is that my brigade was never tasked with doing any such thing.
1 Q. Do you know, sir, that not only Muslim men but also women and
2 children, civilians, were arrested by units of the HVO and taken to the
3 Heliodrom on the 9th of May? Did you know that?
4 A. All I can talk about is what I saw, what somebody said, I'd rather
5 not comment on that.
6 Q. If I could direct you to the following day, which is the 10th of
7 May, there is a reference in this report to members of [redacted] 3rd Brigade
8 taking part in an operation to bring in and detain disloyal Muslims. Do
9 you want to find that in the report, sir? 10 May, 1993.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Sir, my question to you is whether, in fact, members of the HVO
25 3rd Brigade participated in arresting and bringing in disloyal Muslims
1 from the city of Mostar?
2 A. Prosecutor, I already said several times that some men were at
3 home and did not perform the tasks. That is number 1. Number 2, you say
4 here, disloyal. I don't know. I did not order to bring in anyone, but
5 here in one place, it says very nicely, "The security service, with the
6 help of unit, searched and brought in armed Muslims who had escaped from
7 Jasenica." And in Jasenica there were only armed Muslims, those who were
8 members of the 9th Battalion, and if they had fled from the unit, they
9 could be dangerous in the depth and why they -- that is they left their
10 units and if they were in the woods with weapons, then they were no longer
11 troops belonging to the 9th Battalion. I did not say they were doing it
12 but if they were doing it, then they were doing it correctly.
13 Q. How do you define "disloyal Muslims"?
14 A. A member of a unit who, without authorisation, leaves his unit and
15 takes his weapons with him, be he a Croat, Muslim or whoever. Then he's
16 disloyal to the unit that issued him with the weapon.
17 Q. What about civilians, sir? Isn't it true that disloyal or Muslims
18 civilians who were viewed as disloyal were also arrested and brought to
19 the Heliodrom on the 9th and 10th of May, 1993?
20 A. Men in my brigade had nothing to do with the civilian population
21 but only with soldiers in their own unit.
22 Q. Sir, let me ask the usher to show you Exhibit P88 -- I'm sorry,
23 P388.3. It's a document from the 12th of May, 1993. Sir, I'll remind you
24 we are in private -- I'm sorry, we are in public session, so don't say
25 your name, and I'll ask you some questions in a way which will not require
1 you to identify yourself.
2 Sir, is this a document dated 12 May, 1993, signed on your behalf?
3 A. I did not sign it. It was signed by the chief of the brigade.
4 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps we should go into private session briefly,
5 Mr. President.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
7 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 MR. STRINGER:
8 Q. This is a document requesting the release of a person who had been
9 arrested and indicating that the further serving of his detention sentence
10 is unnecessary. Would you know, sir, the reason why this document was
12 A. I wouldn't, but I'd like to propose that the Honourable Judges see
13 the document, what it looks like, on their screens. I assume that this is
14 a man who is a member of this brigade, left -- was brought in by the
15 military police, and that he was to spend so many days in the military
16 prison, in punishment, and then the request was made to set him free and
17 you can see at the bottom who made that request and it was requested by
18 his commander, whom I know personally. He was a Muslim, Semir Mustafa,
19 and we have the number of his own ID at the bottom.
20 Q. I believe that the Judges have the document, sir, in both English
21 and in your language. I want to ask you briefly about your whereabouts
22 and some of your testimony regarding the 9th of May. My recollection,
23 sir, is that you woke up early that morning when you heard some explosions
24 which you subsequently concluded had taken place in the vicinity of the
25 Northern Camp; is that correct?
1 A. I did not say near the Northern Camp. I mentioned that the
2 direction in which it is, in which the Northern Camp is, on the direction
3 of the Northern Camp.
4 Q. And that you arrived, then, at the operative zone headquarters, I
5 believe, at approximately 6.00 in the morning?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. That you then left from the operative zone headquarters and went
8 out of town to a place called Kobilovaca?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And you took up a position with binoculars and watched events
11 taking place in Mostar?
12 A. No, not in Mostar but in the southern part, in the southern part,
13 in the zone of my brigade's zone of responsibility.
14 Q. Okay. Yeah, that was my question. And in fact, sir, you saw that
15 there did not appear to be combat operations taking place in your area of
16 responsibility, the southern regions below Mostar?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You then returned to the operative zone headquarters at about 7.30
19 or 7.45 in the morning?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that the information that you had about the events taking
22 place is information provided to you by someone else in the operative zone
24 A. From the operations officers in the operative zone.
25 Q. You were not in the field at all on that day; you don't have
1 personal knowledge of the events that were taking place in Mostar beyond
2 what the operations officers told you?
3 A. That's right. I went then to Krusevo and then I heard what had
4 happened in the city, in the morning hours.
5 Q. You're aware, sir, that the ABiH had a headquarters in West Mostar
6 at a place called the Vranica building?
7 A. Yes. I do know.
8 Q. You're aware, sir, that the HVO took control of the Vranica
9 building headquarters on the 10th of May?
10 A. I do not know whether he took it over on the 10th of May. I heard
11 that there was fighting but I never went to that facility on the 9th or
12 the 10th or the 11th of May.
13 Q. Do you know, sir, whether Juka Prazina participated in the attack
14 on the Vranica building on 9 and 10 May?
15 A. I do not know where he participated because it was very difficult
16 to walk around the town at the time.
17 Q. Did parts of the Convicts Battalion participate in the attack on
18 the Vranica building during 9 and 10 May?
19 A. I said that I was not aware that on the 9th of May, in the
20 morning, anyone participated. I do not know that. All that people told
21 me by -- that I was told by the operations staff was that people who were
22 sleeping in their flats came out and opened fire in order to try to stop
23 the break-through, but who was there, who put the defence together, who
24 did it all, I cannot say that.
25 Q. What time, then -- how long did you remain in the operative zone
1 headquarters getting this information on the 9th of May?
2 A. For a very brief period of time, because then I left to the Bijeli
3 Brijeg hospital because I had been told that my soldier had been killed.
4 And first I left to the Bijeli Brijeg hospital to make sure whether this
5 is true, and then I left from there to inform the priest in Krusevo,
6 Ljuba Planinic is his name, to tell him what happened, and together with
7 me, one of the officers of my brigade went back to Bijeli Brijeg,
8 Marko Cule, who was the neighbour of the killed soldier, Dragan Cule. He
9 went with me to help in the preparations to take over the body and to
10 organise the funeral.
11 Q. So, sir, that by approximately 8.00 in the morning or so on the
12 9th of May, you left the operative zone headquarters, you concerned
13 yourself with the arrangements, the things that needed to be done in
14 respect of the soldier who had been killed?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you were not involved or informed of events that unfolded
17 during the remainder of the day, the 9th of May, in Mostar?
18 A. I could be informed of what was going on but I couldn't see the
19 events myself. I received information from my brigade because I entered
20 into contact with them. We had a Motorola link with them.
21 Q. Between the 10th of May and approximately the 18th of May, 1993,
22 did you see Muslim prisoners at the Heliodrom?
23 A. No. I saw no prisoners because the gate to the military prison is
24 the western gate leading towards -- into the Heliodrom camp, and since
25 there were prisoners, soldiers, and God knows who else, members of the 3rd
1 Brigade entered through the south -- southern gate and continued towards
2 the north to perform their assignments, i.e. they went towards the
3 airport. In principle, however, whenever I would enter the Heliodrom, I
4 would do it by a passenger car and I never saw anybody there.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. STRINGER: I'll ask the witness be shown Exhibit 488.1.
7 Q. Sir, while you're looking that over, I'll just ask you a couple of
8 preliminary questions. Does this appear to be --
9 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps we should again quickly move into private
10 session, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
12 [Private session]
13 Pages 10291-10297 – redacted – private session
24 [Open session]
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. Sir, this is a document -- perhaps I could first direct your
2 attention to the last page. Does it appear to be a document written by
3 Bozo Pavlovic?
4 A. First, I cannot see the date on this document. I can only see a
5 reference number. Could you tell me what is the date of this report?
6 Q. Unfortunately, I can't, because the translation that I've got does
7 not bear the date either. Perhaps with that limitation, we can talk about
8 it anyway. I can try to get a better copy in during the break, when we
9 have the next break.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
11 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Mr. Stringer, my colleague, just stated
12 that he does not have a date on this document. The witness apparently
13 cannot find a date on this document. But the exhibit list for this
14 witness handed to the Defence appears to have, under Exhibit 582, a
15 document date. I want to know -- I would like to know if this is just a
16 mistake from the Prosecutor's Office or how this date arrived on this
17 exhibit list handed to us this morning, when Mr. Stringer says he doesn't
18 have a date.
19 MR. STRINGER: I can supply the answer outside the presence of the
20 witness. It would probably be safer. But there is a better copy that has
21 the date. I mean, that's the simple answer. And it's just a matter of
22 getting a better copy into the courtroom.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. STRINGER: But let me move on.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, move on, please.
1 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps we can come back to that.
2 Q. Witness, set this aside. Hopefully we will have a chance to come
3 back to it. Witness, you've already described for us what was your area
4 of responsibility beginning in late August or early September of 1993.
5 I'll ask you be shown Exhibit P630.
6 My question, sir, is just directing your attention to the last
7 part of the document. First of all, this appears to be the report of an
8 operations officer dated 6 October -- I'm sorry, 9 October, 1993, correct?
9 A. Yes, but he wasn't [Real-time transcript read in error "was"] my
10 operations officer.
11 Q. I'm not suggesting he was. He's an operations officer who is
12 reporting on the situation on various front lines throughout
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, correct?
14 A. I don't know who is the operations officer. I don't see his
15 signature. I see that the heading says the main staff. All I can do,
16 Your Honours, is tell you about the situation at this location from which
17 this gentleman writes.
18 Q. My question, sir, is whether this appears to be a report of an HVO
19 operations officer reporting on the situation on various front lines.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
21 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, I don't -- it's not an objection so to
22 speak, but I believe this witness answered on line 8, page 52, yes, but he
23 was not my operations officer. The record seems to appear -- appears on
24 the record that they have him answering yes, but he was my operations
25 officer. And I believe the witness --
1 JUDGE LIU: You're right.
2 MR. MEEK: -- said, "he was not my officer."
3 JUDGE LIU: You're right.
4 Mr. Stringer, would you please clarify this issue for us, please?
5 MR. MEEK: Maybe the court reporters need a break. They work
6 awfully hard, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, we could still go for ten minutes.
8 MR. MEEK: Thank you.
9 MR. STRINGER:
10 Q. Witness, let me as you a clarification on this because we might
11 have gotten a mistake in the record. The person writing this is named
12 Tomislav Naletilic based on what appears in the document. I know you
13 don't know him.
14 A. That's what the document says.
15 Q. He was not your operations officer, correct?
16 A. He was nobody's operations officer. He was a clerk in the main
17 staff, and it just so happened that he was the officer on duty at that
19 Q. And in that capacity, sir, at the end of the document, he's
20 reporting on events in the operative zone, South-Eastern Herzegovina, and
21 at the very end, it says, "The planned mopping up operation was carried
22 out today in sector north, in the area of Golubic. The operation was
23 carried out by the Tuta ATG, the operation was successful and there were
24 no losses and a group from the Vitez Ranko Boban Brigade took up positions
25 on Golubic." My question, sir, is first the Vitez Ranko Boban Brigade --
1 MR. STRINGER: We should go into private session, Mr. President,
2 I'm sorry.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
4 [Private session]
13 Page 10303 – redacted – private session
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE LIU: And we will resume at quarter to 1.00. We will have a
2 15-minutes' break.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
6 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, Your Honours, I apologise for breaking
7 the flow of the cross-examination. And I agree with Mr. Stringer that, of
8 course, the most important thing generally is to finish the witness.
9 However, the Prosecution finds itself in a situation where I think we must
10 raise this before the end of the day because it could be -- it's unlikely
11 that we could either finish today or, in any event, that we will finish
12 this week fairly soon and then not be in session again until next
13 Wednesday. As Your Honours may know, yesterday we filed -- I don't know
14 if it's made its way to your desk or not but yesterday we filed a motion a
15 submission titled Prosecutor's Motion on Defence Witness Issues, which
16 raises several issues. The most pressing one at the moment is as we stand
17 here at this moment, we really have no certainty whatsoever who the next
18 defence witness will be and/or who the defence witness will be next
19 Wednesday, which is not a helpful, obviously, position for us to be in.
20 What has been reported to us throughout this week is that
21 apparently - I'll just general words - the proposed next witness, the
22 witness who has been indicated for sometime as the next witness, has been
23 hospitalised. Now, forgive me for being sceptical but the witness is here
24 in The Hague and he's hospitalised, I have some doubts whether he will in
25 fact testify next week. If that's not the case, Your Honour, then as I
1 said, as I stand before you at this moment, the Prosecution has no
2 information as to who the next witnesses will be. And from our
3 perspective, Your Honour, that is not an acceptable position. And the
4 reason I raise this to you now is that so, with some time, that is by the
5 end of this session, or at the latest if we go into tomorrow morning, the
6 Defence will certainly tell us, I'm sure, who the next several witnesses
7 will be. I must only briefly also comment Your Honour, and I'm not going
8 to belabour it, we received with some concern, the order about the secret
9 Defence witnesses.
10 I raise this only for you now. If it needs to be raised further,
11 we can address it but I don't want to delay the proceedings today. I can
12 only assume that in making those ex parte submissions to you, defence
13 counsel, particularly Mr. Krsnik, advised you that the Prosecution had
14 already agreed not to disclose the names of these witnesses to AID. If he
15 did, that's one thing. If he did not tell you that, then we would object
16 in the strongest possible terms that at an ex parte consideration of these
17 matters, if it was not disclosed to the Chamber, that the Prosecution
18 already agreed some weeks ago not to disclose the names of these so-called
19 secret witnesses to the AID. But we would like -- the most important
20 thing is we would like to know the next witnesses, please.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik? Mr. Krsnik, since that order is
22 confidential and is ex parte filing, I'm not expecting you to comment on
23 those filings. Yes?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this afternoon and
25 tomorrow morning, the gentleman from the Prosecutor's Office will get the
1 list but could we go into private session just for a second, please?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Please. But we don't have much time.
3 MR. KRSNIK: I know.
4 JUDGE LIU: As you know, today, there will be six cases going on
5 and we have to be out of the room punctually on time. Yes, we will go to
6 the private session, please.
7 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Usher, will you please bring in the witness?
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just to say thank you for hearing me.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
13 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Over the break, Mr.
14 President we were able to get a better copy of the one document, Exhibit
15 P582, and copies have been provided to the Registrar. I'd ask that they
16 be redistributed, I should say a better copy of the B/C/S version. So if
17 we could put the better copy of Exhibit P582 in front of the witness,
19 Q. Witness, this is a document that we briefly looked at together
20 before the break. You weren't able to see the date of the document. Are
21 you able to tell the document's date now from the copy that's just been
22 provided to you?
23 A. Yes, I can now, the 28th of August, 1993.
24 Q. And sir, this is a document over the signature of Bozo Pavlovic;
25 is that correct?
1 A. I wouldn't know who signed it because I'm not familiar with Bozo's
3 Q. Mr. Bozo Pavlovic became the commander of the HVO 3rd Brigade in
4 approximately September of 1993; is that correct?
5 A. No.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
12 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 MR. STRINGER:
5 Q. Witness, if I could direct your attention to this document, I've
6 got some questions for you. This is a document entitled, "Report on the
7 problems of the 3rd HVO Brigade," is that correct?
8 A. It is --
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, wait a minute. The transcript says that we are
10 in the open session, but from the monitor, we are still in the private
11 session. Yes. We are now in open session.
12 MR. STRINGER:
13 Q. Witness, if I could just direct your attention to the very first
14 paragraph of this document, where it indicates that the 3rd Brigade holds
15 positions between the Buna River and the HIT department store downtown,
16 but then there is also an indication that some positions between the
17 health centre and the HIT department store are held by various ATG
18 groups. Sir, do you know would that be a reference to the ATG Mrmak,
19 Vinko Skrobo and/or ATG Benko Penavic?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I do not know why you ask me that, since you can
21 see that this is the report addressed to the main staff of the HVO, which
22 I would have never done. I wouldn't have gone over the operative zone of
23 East Herzegovina, and besides, I told you that at this time I was doing
24 the reconnaissance and taking over the sector north, and I refuse to
25 comment on this report.
1 MR. STRINGER: Could we go into private session, Mr. President?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
3 MR. STRINGER:
4 Q. Witness, let me direct your attention --
5 JUDGE LIU: No, not yet.
6 MR. STRINGER: Sorry.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we are now in private session.
8 [Private session]
13 Page 10313 – redacted – private session
13 Page 10314 – redacted – private session
22 [Open session]
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. And while those are being supplied to you, Witness, let me ask
25 you, I believe in your direct testimony you testified about military
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 operations which occurred in the village of Rastani in August and/or
2 September of 1993. Do you recall testifying about Rastani?
3 A. I did not speak about Rastani in August, nor do I know anything
4 about it. What I do know is that in September, on the 19th of September,
5 the sector under my command was attacked and after that, the city sector
6 was attacked and Rastani was there and the sector south, or rather Rodoc,
7 Zenica, were attacked on the 20th but how long did it last, I don't know.
8 Q. It's my understanding, sir, that the ABiH attacked HVO units in
9 the vicinity of Rastani, that they captured the village, held the village
10 only for a day or two, and then the HVO attacked again and was able to
11 take the village of Rastani back into the possession of the HVO on or
12 about 23 September. Does that sound roughly accurate?
13 A. I said that I did not know what -- how exactly it was in Rastani.
14 I know my sector was attacked on the 19th and I learned that on the 20th
15 some sectors of the city defence with were attacked. That is what I know
16 about that. And I know everything there is to know about my sector.
17 Q. The village of Rastani itself, were parts of the Convicts
18 Battalion engaged in combat in Rastani during, say, the 20th to the 23rd
19 of September, to your knowledge?
20 A. Between the 20th and the 24th, the Convicts Battalion was in a
21 place called Vrdi and Ljubljana [phoen], or rather Jedrinje, where my
22 soldiers were killed, and we were out to recover the front line.
23 Q. Just in terms of the distance from the village of Rastani, what's
24 the different -- distance involved?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, of course, I am not
2 objecting because today my colleague Meek is doing that, but if my learned
3 friend would be so kind, could the witness please repeat the place names
4 that he said where were parts of the Convicts Battalion? The Defence
5 believe that is this is very important.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think it's a reasonable request.
7 Mr. Stringer, are you going to ask this question again?
8 MR. STRINGER: Yes.
9 JUDGE LIU: To repeat the names.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. Witness, we need to get into the transcript a correct spelling for
12 the locations you've just mentioned. Can you tell us, sir, where were --
13 where was the Convicts Battalion personnel deployed during this period of
14 20 to 24 September? Perhaps you could spell the names of these locations.
15 A. Members of the Convicts Battalion reported to me on the 20th some,
16 and some on the 21st September, 1993. I tasked some of them to go and
17 recapture the front line above the village of Vrdi, Medved [phoen],
18 Golubic, Aropovo Brdo, that is the summits of Mount Cabula. I ordered
19 others to head for Jedrinje and Zarusje [phoen], to -- so as to ascertain
20 how many fatalities had the second Siroki Brijeg Battalion suffered at the
21 situation down there, and whether it was safe enough to send over there
22 the home guards to take hold of the line. I know that they set off
23 towards Jedrinje and left some troops in the village of Djubrani as
25 Q. Now, are we talking about fighting for the region which included
1 the hydroelectric power plant that was north of Mostar, Rastani village,
2 the hydroelectric power plant? Is this the area that we are generally
3 talking about?
4 A. No. That is not the area that I mean. I'm talking about the area
5 where the 2nd HBP Selakovac is and then to the west or rather north-west
6 of this hydropower plant, upstream of the Neretva.
7 Q. Could the witness be shown P611, please? Witness, I think you
8 already have that in front of you, sir. Isn't it true, sir, that the
9 Kaznjenicka Bojna as well as its commander Tuta, received a citation from
10 Bruno Stojic for the valour and combat skill displayed during the
11 operations in Rastani during this period of time?
12 A. I do not know that Mladen Naletilic Tuta was the commander of the
13 Convicts Battalion. I told you who was the commander of the Convicts
14 Battalion at the time, and as for citations, I cannot comment on the
15 citations by the Ministry of Defence nor pass any judgements on them.
16 Q. Okay. Well, sir, perhaps you are in a position to pass a
17 judgement. Are you saying, sir, that Bruno Stojic was mistaken as to who
18 was truly the commander of the Convicts Battalion, that he didn't know?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
20 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, that question absolutely calls for
21 speculation. This witness has already answered the question. He does not
22 know about this. He hasn't seen this. And that is a speculative question
23 and it's improper. Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER: I disagree, Mr. President. This is
25 cross-examination and I believe I'm entitled to test the witness on this
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We believe so. You may proceed.
3 MR. STRINGER:
4 Q. Witness, Bruno Stojic was the head of the defence department of
5 the HVO. Now, if he wrote this, sir, is it your testimony that he did not
6 know who was the commander of the unit Kaznjenicka Bojna?
7 A. That is not what I said. I said Bruno Stojic is a civilian
8 person, Minister of Defence, and I do not wish to comment his writings,
9 nor do I have the right to do that.
10 Q. You testified that in June of 1992, the Convicts Battalion played
11 a role in the liberation of Mostar. Do you recall that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. You mentioned at least one of the soldiers of the KB, the
14 Kaznjenicka Bojna, Cikota, who led a unit in those operations. Do you
15 recall that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Was he subsequently killed, sir, in April of 1993, in operations
18 in the Jablanica area?
19 A. I do not know where he was killed but yes, I do know that he was
21 Q. As a result of the role played by the Convicts Battalion in the
22 liberation of Mostar in June of 1992, did the Convicts Battalion -- did
23 its prestige and the level of respect coming from others, did all of that
24 increase because of its role in the liberation of Mostar?
25 A. The Convicts Battalion was the pride of the people because it
1 enabled part of the expelled people to return to their homes.
2 Q. In June of 1992, Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, was associated with the
3 Convicts Battalion; isn't that true?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. And as a result of the success enjoyed by the Convicts Battalion,
6 the prestige, the respect afforded to Mladen Naletilic increased as well
7 throughout -- among Croats in the Herzegovina region; isn't that also
9 A. That is a personal matter, and I cannot really speak what
10 increased between the Muslims and Croats in Herzegovina.
11 Q. Didn't a lot of Croats and other individuals want to come join the
12 Convicts Battalion as a result of the prestige it enjoyed after the
13 liberation of Mostar?
14 A. I do not know whether they wanted it, because every one of them
15 could know that they were very likely to be killed and they couldn't, even
16 if they wanted to, because this was a special purpose unit with young,
17 specially trained men.
18 Q. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, remained associated with the Convicts
19 Battalion throughout 1993, isn't that true?
20 A. I wouldn't know that.
21 Q. You say he was associated with the Convicts Battalion during 1992.
22 Was he its leader?
23 A. He wasn't a leader of the Convicts Battalion, but I heard that he
24 was one of the founders of the Convicts Battalion, and its chief, its
25 leader, its commander, was Mario Hrkac, Cikota.
1 Q. As a founder of the Convicts Battalion, sir, isn't it true that
2 Mladen Naletilic enjoyed authority and power in respect of the Convicts
4 A. I don't know who had what. I didn't feel anything in this
6 Q. Are you saying, sir, that you don't know the extent to which
7 Naletilic and Andabak shared responsibility in the leadership of the
8 Convicts Battalion?
9 A. I do not know. I know Naletilic as a civilian, and that is how I
10 saw him and how I perceived him.
11 Q. Did you see him throughout 1993?
12 A. In 1993, I did not see him. I did not see him even in 1992, after
13 those liberation operations, because I went to Mostar and I was 40
14 kilometres away, and I do not know where Mladen Naletilic was. Once I
15 asked about him and I was told that he had a casino in Zagreb, and that is
16 all that I know.
17 Q. Did you go to Siroki Brijeg after your responsibilities and your
18 new position came into place in September of 1993?
19 A. During -- in the six months during which I commanded the sector
20 north, I only three times went to my family, to Uzarici, and I was even
21 less than that with my family, that is in Uzarici, even on Christmas and
22 other holidays.
23 Q. So having not seen Mr. Naletilic during 1993, sir, you don't
24 really know what, if any, role or responsibilities he had during that time
25 in respect of the Convicts Battalion?
1 A. I do not know.
2 MR. STRINGER: Could the witness please be shown Exhibits P353,
3 457, 649, 732? Those will be the last ones.
4 Q. Witness, I'm going to try to move rapidly through these. Although
5 I don't want you to get the impression I'm trying to cut you off or to not
6 give you an opportunity to explain, but we are all hoping that we can
7 finish your testimony today so that you can go home. We've got about 20
8 minutes left to do that.
9 You mentioned in your direct testimony that, I believe, there were
10 no ranks and that also, as far as you knew, Tuta had no rank, he was a
11 civilian. Now, do you have Exhibit 353 in front of you?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Now, this is a document dated 27 April, 1993, proposal for
14 awarding of ranks. Sir, do you know if, in fact, members of the
15 Kaznjenicka Bojna sought and received ranks from the HVO?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, here I can see the proposal. At that time, I was
17 a highly ranked HVO officer and I only had the insignia of my commanding
18 position, and I can show this to you through a videotape which shows me at
19 a funeral. I had no ranks and I can hardly believe that anyone else had
21 Q. Now, at the bottom of this document, sir, it indicates that this
22 is coming from the commander of the independent unit for special tasks,
23 Convicts Battalion, the name typed, Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, and then a
24 signature appears there. Now, sir, doesn't this document indicate that in
25 fact Mladen Naletilic Tuta is the commander of the Convicts Battalion in
1 April of 1993?
2 A. I cannot comment on this. I know who was the commander, and as a
3 military person, I can say the following. It is quite clearly said here,
4 "signature," and I do not see any indication that somebody else signed on
5 behalf of somebody else, which would be the "ZA" letters, and that was the
6 practice if somebody else signed on behalf of another person.
7 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, Mr. President, we don't have the document
8 and I wonder if perhaps they could put the -- the usher could put the
9 English version on the ELMO so we could see the signature because there
10 have been so many documents signed by Ivan Andabak where it's typed
11 "Mladen Naletilic," so we don't know what this signature says or shows.
12 MR. STRINGER: I can inform counsel, if no one is concerned about
13 my doing it in the presence of the witness, it's not, I don't think, in
14 dispute as to the person -- the identity the person signing.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, so there is no problem to put this document on
16 the ELMO?
17 MR. STRINGER: No.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes we will have it put on the ELMO.
19 MR. STRINGER: Put -- for the English, put the B/C/S version, the
20 second page, or the -- I should say just the B/C/S version.
21 MR. MEEK: Could the record reflect that that document is signed
22 by Ivan Andabak?
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Do you know, sir, why the document does not state that
25 Ivan Andabak is the commander?
1 A. I do not know why because I'm not the author of this document.
2 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit is P457 and we could put the
3 signature page of the B/C/S version on the ELMO for counsel, after the
4 witness has had a chance to look at it.
5 Q. Sir, this is another document - now this is June of 1993 -
6 requesting promotions for certain members of the Convicts Battalion. Do
7 you have that document, sir?
8 A. I do not recognise this signature, and as I said before, the HVO
9 had no ranks. If anybody, I should have had a rank but that time nobody
10 had them.
11 Q. Well, doesn't this indicate, sir, that Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, was
12 the commander of the independent special unit Convicts Battalion on the
13 15th of June, 1993?
14 A. I told you who the Convicts Battalion's commander was in 1993.
15 Q. The next exhibit is 649. Sir, this is a document dated 16
16 October, 1993, from someone named Stanko Bozic. This is a report
17 indicating that on 13 October, 1993, acting on orders issued by General
18 Mladen Naletilic, aka Tuta, a prisoner was taken from the central military
19 prison to Siroki Brijeg for an interview with the named general. Sir,
20 it's true, isn't it, that Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, was not a civilian, that
21 he was in fact commander of the Convicts Battalion and a member of the
23 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you can go with me to Herzegovina, to Mostar, to
24 Siroki Brijeg. Eighty per cent of soldiers who will meet me will greet me
25 with a "general" and they will use general for the commander of a
1 battalion or a brigade. This was a sort of sign of respect to generals,
2 and if somebody wanted to address somebody that they respect, they would
3 usually address them as general. And this is the practice even today,
4 when you are received at a home, they will welcome you, "How are you,
5 general?" There is a consequence of a war, this is a sort of special
6 appreciation of generals, and I think that this is how we should see it.
7 Q. Witness, is it your testimony based on all these documents we have
8 been looking at that Mladen Naletilic was a civilian throughout 1993? Is
9 that truly what you are saying?
10 A. What I, as an officer and a man, can know is that he was a
11 civilian, at least for me, and I'm sure that he could not issue a military
12 order and thus could not be a commander of a military unit.
13 Q. Having not seen him during 1993, though, sir, you could quite well
14 be mistaken on that, isn't it true?
15 A. I am not mistaken because I should have seen him somewhere as a
16 commander of a unit, and I did not see him, therefore I cannot be wrong.
17 Q. The last exhibit is P732. Do you see that one, sir? Did
18 Ante Roso become chief of the HVO main staff in November of 1993?
19 A. I couldn't confirm this, nor can I deny it.
20 Q. He replaced Slobodan Praljak who had held that position before
21 him, correct?
22 A. I cannot define the period in which he was.
23 Q. Sir, this is a document dated the 29th of December, 1993,
24 appearing over the name Colonel General Ante Roso, Chief of the Main
25 Staff, directed to General Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, personally. Now, this
1 is going to be the last document, and I want to ask you again now, having
2 seen what Ante Roso is writing, isn't it possible, sir, that you're
3 mistaken and that in fact Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, did hold a rank and was
4 the commander of the Convicts Battalion during 1993?
5 A. As far as I know, he had no rank and he was not the commander of
6 the Convicts Battalion.
7 Q. Would Ante Roso have been in a better position, sir, than you, to
8 know the status of Mr. Naletilic during this period?
9 A. I can assure you that had he read such an order, he would never
10 have signed it. This type of orders were drawn up by inferior officers
11 and very often their superiors would sign them without even having read
13 Q. But you don't know if that's the case on this document, do you?
14 A. This document was --
15 Q. My question, sir --
16 A. -- made in a manner which would not befit the chief of a general
17 staff, because in this document, units are mentioned that had never
19 Q. One of those being the Tuta ATG, which is identified in paragraph
21 A. Absolutely. It -- this sort of a unit never existed.
22 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, any re-examination?
24 MR. KRSNIK: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Seric?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions from the Judges? No? Well,
3 it's very strange.
4 Thank you very much, Witness, for coming here to give your
5 evidence. We appreciate that very much. We all wish you a good trip back
6 home. The usher will show you out of the room.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours,
8 for enabling me to come here.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE LIU: Are there any documents to tender, Mr. Krsnik?
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, we have a lot of
12 documents. Could we tender them in writing?
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, that is a possibility, but we have received, I
14 believe, all the documents with the English translation, and I hope we
15 could do that after the cross-examination of the witness, later on, but if
16 you prefer to file your applications, we'll do that. It's okay.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that that's the end of this
19 sitting, and we'll have a break and we'll resume again next Wednesday.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 1.40 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday
23 the 24th day of April, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.