1 Monday, 1 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 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: Yes, Mr. Meek.
9 MR. MEEK: Good morning, Your Honours. For the record I must
10 lodge an objection to the length of the cross-examination as compared to
11 the length of the direct examination. I think Madam Registrar will inform
12 you that Mr. Krsnik had this witness on approximately 30 minutes. I
13 believe that's correct. 45 at the most. In any event, Your Honours, we
14 object to allowing the Prosecutor two to three to four times the amount of
15 cross-examination than we took on direct examination. I want to make that
16 contemporaneous and I want to make it continuing.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, I believe that you're prejudging the
18 result of the cross-examination. I think Mr. Scott only spent a few
19 minutes before we broke. We will see how long the Prosecution will last.
20 Yes, Madam Registrar?
21 THE REGISTRAR: I can provide the accurate calculations during the
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And Mr. Scott, it is our intention to give more
24 time to Martinovic's Defence for their preparation next week. We hope we
25 could wind up all the witnesses for Mr. Naletilic this week.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, Mr. President, Your Honours, based on the
2 schedule I saw from the Naletilic Defence at the end of last week I have
3 no reason to believe that we can't finish the so-called live witnesses
4 this week relatively -- relatively easily. That is I don't think pressing
5 too much at the end of the week. As the Chamber knows, there remains a
6 significant number of witnesses for videolink and frankly, it may be a
7 larger number than any of us had fully anticipated, when one looks at the
8 most current list and including one that had been approved for videolink
9 before, I think the list now looks something around nine additional
10 witnesses. I just point that out for the Chamber's consideration. We may
11 not be as close to completing the Naletilic case. Let me be very clear,
12 I'm distinguishing between the live witnesses this week, which I don't
13 anticipate any problems finishing, but beyond this week I think the
14 Chamber may find, depending on which witness actually appear at the end of
15 the day, that there are actually substantially more Tuta Defence left than
16 you may have anticipated.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much about reminding us about this
18 situation. And Mr. Krsnik, we are not debating at this moment. We have
19 been informed that those videolink witnesses are very short witnesses.
20 Originally they were arranged for the deposition in Mostar but
21 unfortunately, we cancelled that arrangement. So we'll do our best to
22 accommodate the request from the Defence counsel.
23 Now, could we have the witness, please?
24 MR. SCOTT: While we are preparing I'll just indicate to Madam
25 Registrar, that we will continue on with the bundle of document that is we
1 distributed on Friday. And the next two exhibits, just to help us move
2 along efficiently would be 250.1 and 503.1.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, since there are so many documents in
4 this bundle, would you please give us more documents you are going to use
5 in the list so that the Registrar could be very prepared beforehand?
6 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Well, Your Honour, counting -- if time allows I
7 hope to get through most of these exhibits but it's certainly possible,
8 it's more than possible, that given time constraints we may not get
9 through them all. I can tell the Registrar that in addition to the ones
10 I've just mentioned, 250.1, 503.1, 524.3, 268.1, and 702.1 would be the
11 first, however many that is, five or six exhibits that I hope to move
12 rather quickly through so if we could pull those out. We would be --
13 thank you very much.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest during the weekend?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. We will start. You
20 may sit down, please.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS NR [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott: [continued]
24 Q. Good morning, Witness NR.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Sir, I'd like to start, please, by asking you since you began your
2 testimony on Friday or on Friday, excuse me, have you talked with anyone
3 and I specifically use the word anyone, any person at all, about your
5 A. I haven't talked to anybody about my testimony.
6 Q. All right. I just want to be very clear with you that my question
7 is all-encompassing. I do not want to pry into private family matters but
8 for example you didn't talk to even a family member on the telephone or
9 anything about your testimony or appearance here in The Hague; is that
11 A. I haven't talked with anybody about the subject of my testimony.
12 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to ask you what may sound like a very
13 similar question, but it's a bit different, so please listen to my
14 question. Has anyone talked to you whether you said any words or
15 responded or not, has anyone talked to you about your testimony?
16 A. Not about the testimony, but my friends who are in the hotel have
17 talked to me but we haven't talked about this particular subject.
18 Q. All right. And the final question on this point, sir, have you
19 reviewed -- since you began testifying, has anyone, I again I use the word
20 anyone, shown you any documents that you should -- that someone thought
21 perhaps you should see or study before your testimony? Have you looked at
22 any document since you began testifying on Friday?
23 A. No, nobody has showed me anything.
24 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. Now, would it be correct, sir, just
25 to try to finish up on the beginnings of the Baja Kraljevic ATG --
1 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, perhaps we should go to private session
2 for a question that might tend to identify the witness.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
4 [Private session]
13 Page 13276 – redacted – private session
8 [Open session]
9 MR. SCOTT: Could the witness please be shown we will not put
10 these on the ELMO for protective measures purposes but can the witness
11 please now be handed -- it will help us go as quickly as possible if he
12 could please be handed 250.1, 503.1, 524.3? Let's start with those three,
13 please. Sir, I'd like you to first just look briefly, I'm not going to
14 ask you extensive questions about these initial documents, but let me just
15 ask briefly at 250.1, does this appear to be a certificate dated the 15th
16 of -- excuse me, 16th of February, 1993 indicating that a Lasic was a
17 member of the Baja Kraljevic ATG from approximately 20 May, 1992, until
18 what I assume what this means is to the current time?
19 MR. SCOTT: I am told that the transcript has stopped. Mr.
21 A. Correct, that Mr. Lasic was a member of my unit.
22 Q. All right. Is that your signature on the Croatian language
23 original or copy of the original? Is that your signature -- excuse me,
24 strike that. Is that your signature?
25 A. No this is not my signature.
1 Q. Is it correct that -- sorry? Is it correct, however, sir, that at
2 least during the time from the May of 1992, until -- and while this
3 document was in effect, this -- I'm trying to decide, Your Honour, if we
4 have to be in private session or not. I suppose out of an abundance of
5 caution we should be in private session, Mr. President?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go back to the private session, please.
7 [Private session]
13 Pages 13279-13286 – redacted – private session
16 [Open session]
17 MR. SCOTT: If I could ask the witness please be shown Exhibit
19 Q. While that's being handed to you, sir, do you recall knowing an
20 HVO officer by the name of Zeljko Bosnjak?
21 A. Yes. This is Mr. Bosnjak's photo. I did know the gentleman. We
22 participated in the operation to liberate Mostar in 1992.
23 Q. Perhaps that could be -- I think everyone has it but perhaps that
24 can be put on the ELMO. It may assist. And did you know Mr. Bosnjak to
25 hold any position of command or -- he was an officer or commander in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 one -- well, let me start over again. Was he an officer in the Convicts
3 A. While I was in the Convicts Battalion, Mr. Bosnjak did not hold
4 any command positions.
5 Q. So that was up until mid-1992. But after you left the Convicts
6 Battalion, as you've told us, at any time after that, so far as you know,
7 did Mr. Bosnjak hold any position as an officer or commander of the
8 Convicts Battalion?
9 A. I wouldn't know. I know that Mr. Bosnjak was killed in 1993 in
11 Q. And are you telling the Chamber that apart from operating with him
12 in the liberation of Mostar in approximately May or June, 1992, that you
13 had no other dealings with this man?
14 A. No. We would come across each other. I knew him. But that was
15 all -- that was all.
16 Q. What unit -- if you can assist us, if you know or can give us an
17 idea, what unit do you associate him with, Mr. Bosnjak?
18 A. When I first met him, that was in -- during the liberation of
19 Mostar, Mr. Bosnjak was a member of the mortar unit.
20 Q. Of the Convicts Battalion; is that correct?
21 A. No, no, not of the Convicts Battalion.
22 Q. All right, well which unit I'm not talking about a mortar unit,
23 the name of which unit, which company, brigade, battalion, what HVO
24 formation did you associate Mr. Bosnjak with?
25 A. The Poskok Battalion from Siroki Brijeg.
1 Q. All right, sir, I only have time for a couple of questions on the
2 next topic. Were you ever familiar with another ATG called the Benko
3 Penavic ATG?
4 A. Could you please repeat the question? Did you say Vinko Penavic?
5 Q. My apology, if I said it incorrectly. Benko Penavic?
6 A. Yes. I heard about the Benko Penavic ATG which was operating in
8 Q. And do you know who formed that ATG?
9 A. I think that the headquarters, the Main Staff, in fact.
10 Q. So the record is clear, you're referring to the HVO Main Staff?
11 A. Well, the Main Staff which was authorised to do so.
12 Q. And was the -- was there a man named Mario Milicevic the commander
13 officer of that ATG?
14 A. Yes. I knew Mr. Milicevic.
15 Q. Did he have a nickname?
16 A. Yes. He was called Baja.
17 Q. Was he the commanding officer of that unit throughout its
19 A. He was the commanding officer, but whether he was the commanding
20 officer throughout the existence of this unit, I'm not sure.
21 Q. Did the ATG Benko Penavic and the ATG Baja Kraljevic, ever operate
22 together during the war?
23 A. No. They never operated together.
24 Q. And can you tell me, sir, have you had any dealings or contact of
25 any sort, whether professional, personal or social, with Mr. Milicevic,
1 say in 2001 or 2002?
2 A. Did you say during 2001 and 2002?
3 Q. That's correct.
4 A. No. I never saw this gentleman during those two years.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was waiting until we
7 came to the years 2001 and 2002. Of course, I do not know how the learned
8 friend will continue in his cross-examination, but I certainly would like
9 to object for questions to be put to this witness in relation to the years
10 2002 and 2001. I think we have been really spending too much time and I
11 went through some of the other exhibits and it seems to me that they are
12 to a large extent also those that have to do with the year 2001, 2002.
13 They have to do with the OHR, and I think that we are really only wasting
14 our precious time. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this moment, we don't know where this --
16 where Mr. Prosecutor is going to lead us, but I believe this question has
17 somehow related to the credibility of this witness.
18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: And maybe Mr. Scott could shed some light on this.
20 MR. SCOTT: If time allows, only if time allows it will be
21 connected up to some later parts of my question and I don't intend to
22 pursue it further at this moment.
23 Q. Sir, can you assist the Chamber with this? Is the term "cabinet"
24 have any meaning to you in connection with an HVO political official or
25 military officer having a quote "cabinet," however that phrase is
1 interpreted to you?
2 A. I really couldn't answer your question as to what means. Maybe
3 it's an office or something like that.
4 Q. Well, let me ask you this, then. Maybe it will assist to make it
5 a bit more concrete. If documents, for instance, were to indicate that an
6 officer or an official had a cabinet, of simply, by example seven persons,
7 a cabinet of seven persons, what would that mean to you, based on your
8 experience in the HVO?
9 A. I personally never had a cabinet. I had an office. I had a
10 secretary. And I really couldn't answer this question.
11 Q. Did you ever know documents indicating that Mr. Naletilic had a
12 cabinet of five persons?
13 A. No. I haven't.
14 Q. Now, after you left -- sorry, Mr. President, I'm just checking
15 what session. We are in open session, all right.
16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, perhaps we should go to private
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
19 [Private session]
13 Pages 13293-13299 – redacted – private session
6 [Open session]
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Sir, this appears to be a document related to a record related to
9 the 22nd sabotage detachment. I simply show it to you to ask you this
10 question: Was a man named Ivo Rozic ever a commander, part -- excuse me a
11 commander of the 22nd sabotage detachment?
12 A. He was one of the lower ranking commanders in this unit.
13 Q. Now, is it correct, sir, that as many of these units moved from
14 the Convicts Battalion or the ATGs into other units at the end of 1993, or
15 199-- beginning of 1994, that Vinko Martinovic, Stela, also became a
16 member of the 22nd Sabotage Detachment?
17 A. As far as I can recall it, Mr. Martinovic was not a member of the
18 22nd Sabotage Detachment.
19 Q. Can the witness be shown Exhibits 818 and 819? 818 and 819, and
20 sir, I'm going to direct your attention to them in reverse order, if I can
21 ask you please to look at 819 first? I'll just caution you, sir, if any
22 of these documents have your name on them please don't mention your name
23 unless I specifically ask you a question about it in which case I'll move
24 to private session. If you look first of all to 819, this would appear to
25 indicate a number of individuals, including Vinko Martinovic, Dubravko
1 Pehar and Ernest Takac. Moving for a very short time to something called
2 the ATJ, anti-terrorist group "Domovina.". Do you recall anything about
3 the ATJ Domovina?
4 A. I heard that ATJ Domovina existed, but whether these men were
5 members of this unit, I wouldn't know really.
6 Q. On 819, do you recognise the signatures, if you do, or the name on
7 the Croatian language original, Ivan Andabak?
8 A. Yes. I can see it under my name.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I see we are at the break time but if
10 you would allow me two or three questions I'll try to finish it before the
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
14 Q. Now, sir, if you'll direct your attention to 818, this appears to
15 be a very similar certificate, concerning the same five individuals,
16 indicating that they were members of the 22nd sabotage detachment. Do you
17 see that?
18 A. Yes. I do. I see that this is written here but why the document
19 was issued, why the gentleman signed it, I really wouldn't know.
20 Q. Can you assist the Chamber -- sorry.
21 A. I can see that this document was issued on the 10th of October,
23 Q. Yes, sir, no question about that. If you look at Exhibit -- go
24 back to Exhibit 819 for a moment, for all these individuals -- well they
25 are not exactly same but let's focus on Mr. Martinovic. This document
1 which also purports to be signed by Mr. Martinovic in the far -- next to
2 the last right column, would indicate that he was a member of the ATJ
3 Domovina between June and October, 1994; is that correct?
4 A. No. I don't know. I was not the commander at that time. I
5 really couldn't confirm to you whether this is correct or not.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The witness answered and let me
8 immediately emphasise that the cross-examination should be conducted in a
9 fair way, because these are identical documents and they bear the
10 identical dates. One referring to ATJ Domovina and the other referring to
11 the 22nd Sabotage Detachment. The same date of the same year, somebody
12 issued a document confirming that these same persons were members of two
13 different units. Could you please compare these two documents and the
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, no dispute about it. The documents are
16 clear on their face and I've never suggested anything to the contrary to
17 what Mr. Krsnik just said.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, why doesn't, then, the
20 learned friend ask the witness for what purpose this list, this document,
21 was issued? Then everybody will be in quite clear minds as to what was
22 the purpose. If the learned friend doesn't ask the question, I will have
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par?
25 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I wanted to state, Your Honours, that
1 this question alluded to the fact that Vinko Martinovic had signed this
2 document. Obviously this is not the way to establish this fact. This
3 should be done in a different manner.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, I think there is some -- something
5 unclear concerning the two documents. Would you please ask a few more
6 questions to this witness so that to clarify the certain issues for us?
7 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, I'll try to do that.
8 Q. Sir, there is no dispute, never was, that both these documents
9 appear to be dated the 10th of October, 1996, listing members, in
10 particular HVO units. 819 appears to be under -- over the name of Ivan
11 Andabak whereas 818 covering the same soldiers but for a different time
12 period, appears to be prepared over -- I'm not suggesting it's your
13 signature yet, but over your name as commander of that unit. Now do you
14 see all that?
15 A. I do. I see that my name is handwritten, not typed, but this is
16 not my signature.
17 Q. Well, were you the -- check to see what's -- we are in public.
18 Mr. President, I'm sorry but I suppose we should go to private session for
19 a moment?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
21 [Private session]
13 Page 13304 – redacted – private session
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: We will resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. Please continue.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Sir, before we leave the subject, I think once and for all of the
9 22nd Sabotage Detachment or unit, is it true, sir, that that unit was
10 named after a famous elite unit in World War II?
11 A. This is first time I hear it, from you, that the unit was named
12 after some other unit.
13 Q. So you have no information, sir, and you've never heard, that it
14 was named after the 22nd Ustasha Battalion established in 1944?
15 A. I have no knowledge whatsoever about that. I really I hear this
16 for the first time.
17 MR. SCOTT: Can I ask the witness please be shown Exhibit 798.1?
18 Q. Sir, if you can look at the Croatian language version of 798.01,
19 I asked you earlier this morning about a cabinet. Do you recall having
20 any information around -- that around July of 1995, and for whatever
21 reason the translation?
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the translation of the document has
23 left a question mark in the date column, but respectfully, I would suggest
24 that if you look at the attached, both the typed version and the
25 handwritten version of the Croatian language originals, it seems to be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 rather apparent that it's 1995.
2 Q. Do you recall, sir, Mr. Naletilic having a cabinet of five
3 persons at any time during your association with him?
4 A. I don't know that Naletilic had a cabinet.
5 Q. This document appears to be, and again I'm not saying it's your
6 signature and it would appear the contrary, but this order or document was
7 prepared over your name, I'm not going to mention your name, as commander.
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Yes. I can see that, but this is not my signature. And I don't
10 know why this would be sent to a cabinet.
11 Q. Well, sir, that's why I'm asking you. This is a document
12 prepared over your position as commander, and purportedly over your name,
13 information is being reported that Mr. Naletilic had a quote cabinet of
14 five individuals. Now, can you assist the Chamber with any more
15 information about that?
16 A. I have no information at all. I see this document for the first
17 time, and as you have said it yourself, this is not my signature. Anybody
18 could have typed this document.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, obviously we are going
21 to put forth all of our objections to documents later on, but where did
22 the Prosecutor get the information that the cabinet consisted of five
23 people? This is simply a minus, minus 105, minus 7. If you -- [In
24 English] Also in English version it's also minus. [Interpretation] And I
25 really don't know whence the allegation on the part of my learned friend
1 that this is a cabinet consisting of five people, whereas this is simply
2 minus five. And this is the year 1995, and this is an order issued by
3 somebody called Livno OG [phoen].
4 JUDGE CLARK: If you look at all the totals there is no minus
5 sign in front of it, so it's obviously a style of typing.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But of what? There is also mention
7 of Risovac base, the things that have been written off, but what has been
8 written off? To my mind, this is a minus. When we are talking about
9 things being written off. The second group is things being written off.
10 I don't know how it is -- it has been translated into English, outgoings
11 are things written off. I don't know. When it says "cabinet," the
12 Prosecutor claims it refers to people. I really don't know where --
13 whence the allegation comes from.
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President --
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the Prosecutor is just asking a
16 question about this document and from this document, it's clear cabinet of
17 General Naletilic is there. So I think the Prosecutor is entitled to ask
18 a question concerning with this document. And I also believe that the
19 witness has the full right to confirm or deny any questions put forward by
20 the Prosecution.
21 MR. MEEK: For the record, then, Your Honour, we would object to
22 relevancy. This is one and a half years after the scope of the indictment
23 in which Mr. Naletilic is being tried in this war crimes trial. And this
24 is way outside the scope of the indictment. There is no relevance to
25 this. And we wasted 30 minutes on this type of questioning. And for the
1 record, Your Honour, Mr. Krsnik spent 30 minutes on direct examination and
2 Mr. Scott now has tripled that and he's still going. It's to Your Honours
3 to cut him off whenever you want to, or if you don't want to that's fine
4 but we believe the equality of arms is being shattered in this case and we
5 wants our record noted for -- our objection noted for the record, thank
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you, Mr. Meek for reminding us about time
8 limits. At the beginning of this -- to this sitting we already told
9 Mr. Scott about the time limit and he promised us that on the whole, he
10 could finish all the witnesses this week. Maybe for one witness, it will
11 take more time or maybe for the other witnesses, the time used by the
12 Prosecution will be shorter, and I believe that Mr. Scott is trying to
13 wind up his cross-examination as soon as possible. Yes, Mr. Scott?
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, at the risk of using some of my
15 precious time let me respond by agreeing with what you've just said, Mr.
16 President. I have no question -- well, I have no reason to believe that
17 there is going to be any trouble completing these witnesses this week. In
18 fact probably by mid-week. I anticipate no problem with that. However,
19 this witness, as far as I can tell, I would have to go back and look at
20 the Defence witness again, will be the only senior deputy of the accused
21 Naletilic that will be called in this trial. He is uniquely situated.
22 And it very well may be that as opposed to other witnesses, including some
23 of the other witnesses yet to appear this week, that it may be that there
24 will be fuller cross-examination of this witness and less
25 cross-examination of other witnesses but in any event, I see absolutely no
1 reason to think we will not conclude these witnesses by Wednesday. So I
2 would appreciate -- I appreciate, Mr. President, your patience and I'm
3 trying I think the Court will know from my questions because frankly
4 there are a number of these topics that I could have pursued more
5 extensively and I'm doing it in a very appreciated fashion.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But Your Honours, this calls for
7 reply. How come my learned friend can say that this is the only
8 high-ranking deputy commander? We have had people here who were high
9 ranking officers than this witness here, from the chief of the general
10 staff to all the others. They all had a higher rank, they were all higher
11 ranking commanders than this gentleman here. I don't know what the
12 Prosecution is saying. We had objected on a number of occasions about the
13 length of cross-examination. The Prosecution has spent over an hour on
14 irrelevant documents, referring to the period one year after the
15 indicted -- indictment. There were witnesses in the courtroom. We have
16 their CVs, we know who they are and some of them were so much higher
17 ranking officers than this gentleman here.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that the different
19 judgement of the witness, maybe on your side you believe some witnesses
20 are more important than this one, but as clearly stated by the
21 Prosecution -- by Mr. Prosecutor, that he believes that this witness is
22 important one. But any way, we have to move. Yes, Mr. Scott. You may
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I must note it's now
25 approximately five minutes after 11 and I've hardly had a question since
1 starting from the break but I am trying to move forward. Mr. President,
2 in light of those constraints I'm not going to it argue about Exhibit
3 798.01 any more. I suggest, I do not want to interpret the document. I
4 don't think it's appropriate for Mr. Krsnik to try to interpret the
5 document. To the extent he's done so these are what might be referred to
6 it as bullet items simply indicating numbers and the -- the math as the
7 Chamber already indicates these items are being added together and the
8 math seems to be correct. Because of time, I'll have to leave it at
10 Q. Sir, isn't it correct and you would agree with me, wouldn't you,
11 that Mr. Naletilic was a commander in 1992, he was a combat commander,
12 leading Bosnian Croat armed forces in 1992, including the liberation of
13 Mostar? You and I can agree on that; is that right?
14 A. Mr. Naletilic was the commander of the Convicts Battalion unit
15 until the end of August, as far as I know. After -- and I don't know that
16 he was the commander of the overall operations. I know that he was the
17 commander of the Convicts Battalion.
18 Q. And isn't it also correct, sir, that Mr. Naletilic was again a
19 commander in 1994?
20 A. As far as I know, he wasn't. I don't know what unit are you
21 referring to. I know that he was the deputy mayor of Siroki Brijeg at the
23 Q. Sir, do you remember an operation named -- and I may get this
24 wrong so forgive me, Cincar? C-I-N-C-A-R
25 A. When was that operation taking place?
1 Q. Approximately November, 1994.
2 A. Yes. I remember.
3 Q. Do you remember, sir, that in early in that operation, or that
4 campaign, your unit at that time was on the left flank along with a unit
5 being under the command of Ivan Andabak? Do you recall that?
6 A. I know that my unit participated in that operation. Whether I
7 was on the left flank, I can't remember. Mr. Andabak at the time was the
8 commander of all special units so it is possible that he was in the area.
9 Q. Sir, isn't it correct that Mr. Naletilic, at least for a time,
10 was the overall commander of that operation?
11 A. No. That is not correct.
12 MR. SCOTT: I'd like the witness to please be shown Exhibit
14 Q. Sir, I'll ask to you cast your eyes on that document for a moment
15 please, 787.2 in the Croatian language version, while you're doing so, let
16 me state to you for the record this appears to be a report from Miroslav
17 Tudjman, the son of President Franjo Tudjman, who at that time was the
18 direct of the Croatian Intelligence Service, HIS, reporting to his father,
19 the President of Croatia. If I can direct your particular attention,
20 please, to the -- approximately the middle of the first -- little below
21 the -- halfway down the first page in your Croatian language and for the
22 Courtroom the bottom of the first page of the report, second page of the
23 exhibit. Is it not stated, sir, "It has been noticed that the commander,
24 chief of the general staff of the HVO, General Tihomir Blaskic has off
25 everyone being absent from the headquarters of the Cincar operation.
1 Presents at the headquarters are Mladen Naletilic, aka Tuta, who was
2 trying to direct the operation, General Praljak, Vice Vukojevic and Ciro
3 Grubisic also visited the headquarters at Sujica. Now, isn't that
4 correct, sir?
5 A. It is correct that the headquarters were in Sujica. I came for
6 briefings during the operation and I never saw Mr. Naletilic up there. I
7 saw the commander, Tihomir Blaskic and when he wasn't there, there was
8 General Praljak. I don't know why would Mr. Naletilic command this
9 operation? He didn't even have a rank.
10 MR. MEEK: Mr. President?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
12 MR. MEEK: May we lodge a continuing objection contemporaneously
13 with all of these documents that are way outside the scope of this
14 indictment, so we don't have to keep getting on our feet when we talk
15 about 1994, 1995, 1996?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. Your objection is registered in the
17 transcript already. And I believe those questions are related to the
18 credibility of this witness because this witness participated in certain
19 actions at that time.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir, if I could have --
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm looking at the source of this
24 document, in the description, this is a new document, and it says Zagreb
25 Archives. Your Honours, please look at the Croatian original. There is
1 no stamp of the Zagreb Archives anywhere on the document. We already know
2 that every page should bear the stamp of the Zagreb Archives. We have
3 established that. And this stamp is missing from the Croatian original of
4 this exhibit. There is no stamp on any of its pages.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much to draw our attention to that
6 problem of this document. But I really believe that you have to raise
7 this issue at a later stage, when we are admitting the documents. You may
8 proceed, Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I think we should go to private
11 for a question or two that would identify the witness.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
13 [Private session]
13 Pages 13315-13321 – redacted – private session
15 [Open session]
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that during the war and in fact since the
18 war, Mr. Naletilic, Tuta, has been regarded by very many people in the
19 Siroki Brijeg area, perhaps even the broader Mostar region, as a war hero?
20 A. Yes. Mr. Naletilic has been considered a war hero, because he
21 takes a lot of credit for the liberation of Siroki Brijeg and Mostar.
22 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that for a very long time, there were many
23 posters and graffiti painted on walls around Siroki Brijeg saying for
24 example, words to the effect, "We love Tuta"?
25 A. Yes. Even to this very day, you can see it in Siroki Brijeg. It
1 does say, a number of places, that people love Tuta.
2 MR. SCOTT: Can I ask the witness be shown -- Mr. President, I
3 have not had a chance to make a copy of this. I ask that it be referred
4 to in the record as Exhibit 939 but if the usher could assist me in
5 showing this to the witness please and perhaps it can be held up so that
6 everyone in the courtroom can see it. Show that first to the witness,
8 Q. Have you seen a poster like that before, sir?
9 A. Yes. The whole of Siroki Brijeg, the whole of Herzegovina, were
10 full of this sort of posters.
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Usher, can I have your assist assistance to show
12 that so that the Judges and the other people in the courtroom can see it?
13 Q. Witness, perhaps you can assist us by interpreting, what are the
14 two words on the bottom of that poster indicate?
15 A. It says, "Our victory".
16 Q. You say these posters were not only in Siroki Brijeg but
17 throughout Herzegovina; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. People, wherever they loved Naletilic, they would put up a
19 poster like that.
20 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that perhaps for you personally and for many
21 people, coming to The Hague to testify from the Siroki Brijeg or Mostar
22 region, they are to come here and say something which might be interpreted
23 to reflect negatively or to some how implicate Mr. Naletilic in crime,
24 that for their -- in their view and perhaps in your view, you would be
25 doing damage to a war hero?
1 A. Since this was a very lengthy question, could, please, the
2 Prosecutor make it more concise and shorter?
3 Q. Let me try to make it more specific and maybe it will be more
4 concrete in that way. I'm only saying this as an example, sir, so please
5 understand that. If, for example, you were to testify make it very clear
6 that throughout 1993, Mr. Naletilic was in fact the commander of the
7 Convicts Battalion and commander of the ATG Baja Kraljevic, you would
8 know, wouldn't you, that that would be very detrimental to Mr. Naletilic
9 in the case here? Wouldn't you? I'll ask the second part of my question
10 after that.
11 A. How can I say that Mr. Naletilic was a commander in 1993 when
12 this is not true?
13 Q. But sir, if you gave that testimony, isn't it true that you and
14 others -- I'm trying to rephrase the question in the way you asked me --
15 would essentially be giving damning testimony against someone that you
16 regard as a war hero?
17 A. I here solemnly declared that I will speak the truth, and this is
18 what I am doing. Through this solemn declaration, you have put the
19 responsibility and obligation on me to tell the truth and only the truth.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just in fairness to the Chamber, I
21 would indicate that I am shortening and trying to finish my exam. I have
22 five remaining documents and the rest I will forgo, but I would like the
23 witness to see five remaining documents on these issues if the usher could
24 please show the witness 208.1? I'm sorry, I think the translations -- my
25 apology. These are loose. Some of these documents had not been translate
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 as of Friday. That's why they are in separate bundles.
2 Q. Sir, this is a document dated the 5th of January, 1993. Does it
3 not indicate that a man named -- I believe it's at least in part a French
4 name, but perhaps Michel Tandrovic [phoen], was a member of the ATG Baja
5 Kraljevic "under command of Mr. Tuta who is currently residing in Mostar"?
6 Isn't that what the document says, sir, and isn't it true that
7 Mr. Naletilic was the commander of the Baja Kraljevic ATG?
8 A. This is not correct. I was the commander of the ATG Baja
9 Kraljevic, not Mr. Naletilic.
10 Q. So you don't think the military police of the HVO knew who the
11 commander of the Baja Kraljevic ATG was?
12 A. Maybe the person who was drafting this document didn't know it
13 but the HVO police did know very well who the ATG Baja Kraljevic commander
14 had been.
15 MR. SCOTT: I ask the usher's assistance with Exhibit 270.1.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
17 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, as a procedural matter and as an
18 objection I believe the Prosecutor is now violating this Trial Chamber's
19 order that all documents to be shown to the witnesses on cross-examination
20 must be provided to counsel for the other party prior to the
21 cross-examination and not during the cross-examination, which is happening
22 right now and we object.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, as we ruled the other day, that nobody could
24 predict what will happen during the cross-examination. In this case, a
25 few documents could be furnished during the cross-examination. You may
1 proceed, Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. This appears to be a report by or a request, excuse me, dated the
4 1st of April, 1993, again -- please I'm saying very specifically over the
5 name of Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, as commander, to Mr. Bruno Stojic, the
6 Minister of Defence, concerning fuel coupons for the Convicts Battalion
7 and the Baja Kraljevic ATG. My question to you is this: Isn't it true
8 that Mr. Naletilic effectively commanded, if they were separate at all,
9 both units?
10 A. Mr. Naletilic was not the commander of both units. I personally
11 was the commander of ATG Baja Kraljevic and Mr. Andabak and Mr. Hrkac at
12 that time were the commanders of the Convicts Battalion at that time.
13 MR. SCOTT: I ask the witness to be shown Exhibit 428, please.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have nothing against
16 this. The discussion is a lively sort of process. Justice should be done
17 and, of course this, is what you are trying to achieve, but wouldn't it be
18 a larger question to put what is the source of these documents? In
19 earlier documents it was very clearly stated what the source was. We here
20 have entire, fully new documents. We have nothing, no knowledge about the
21 source of these documents. They were not tendered in earlier on, and they
22 are just now being pulled out of the sleeve for the cross-examination. So
23 what are the sources? What are these documents? Are we going really to
24 insist in the translated document that the document in original was
25 signed? Because it says, "Signature Mladen Naletilic." In the original
1 there are no signatures. Certainly we would well committee any
2 information whatsoever about the source of these documents. And Your
3 Honours, I'd like to conclude for the record, I do not believe that these
4 documents were translated on Friday. That's all I wanted to say. For the
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I saw a stamp on the right top corner of the
7 Croatian documents. Maybe Mr. Scott could tell us in a few words.
8 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, I'll be happy to do all that. I
9 don't know that it's necessary in to do it in the time allocated to
10 examine the witness, but I will do so. In using Exhibit 270.1, in the
11 upper right corner of the Croatian language original, you will see, for
12 example, the archive stamp. Admittedly not particularly legible but
13 having seen hundreds, if not thousands of those, Mr. President, I think I
14 can represent to you in answering counsel's question that that's the
15 source. Some of the documents, Mr. President, have been translated
16 before, some were not. As you just indicated Mr. President, a few
17 additional, handful of approximately four or five documents were
18 identified since Friday afternoon and I put them to this witness and I
19 believe it's fair to do so. I also finally would comment, Your Honour,
20 this has happened throughout the time in which Mr. Krsnik has accused
21 various members of the Prosecution team of bad faith in connection with
22 the signature on the document, and it's happened again just now. No one
23 suggested, I think the transcript will show, no one suggested for a moment
24 that Mr. Naletilic had signed this. Nor does the translation. If you
25 look at the English translation, Mr. President, Your Honours, it simply
1 says signed. Signed by someone. There is no indication on the
2 translation, page 2, there is no indication that it was signed by Tuta.
3 Just says signed. And the Croatian language original will show that
4 indeed the document was signed.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you want to hear my
7 view, I will tell you what I believe. I certainly do not believe that the
8 Prosecution is acting in a bona fide sense but you cannot ask the
9 translators to say, "Signed by Tuta," when it says very clearly in the
10 original Ivan Andabak. If it says Andabak or you can't read the
11 signature, you cannot put in the translation, "Signed by Mr. Naletilic."
12 And this is one of the many reasons that I do not trust that you are a
13 bona fide Prosecution office. I apologise, Mr. President, but I'd like to
14 say very clearly that the Defence counsel or I myself personally Kresimir
15 Krsnik, do not believe in the bona fide approach by the prosecutors.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we would like to thank you very
18 much to draw our attention to the translation of this document, but I
19 don't think it's the time for both parties to debate on the bona fide
20 matters. We have to finish the testimony of this witness as soon as
21 possible. Let us move on.
22 Yes, Mr. Scott?
23 MR. SCOTT: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit 428? I
24 think it was the one -- I think we were in the process of doing so before
25 these last interventions.
1 Q. Sir, this is a document dated the 2nd of June, 1993. Does it not
2 over the typed name of Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, as commander of the
3 Convicts Battalion, request money for weapons for rifles for both the
4 Convicts Battalion and the ATG Baja Kraljevic in June, 1993?
5 A. Yes. It says here that money is requested for the Convicts
6 Battalion and for the Baja Kraljevic ATG. However, I do not understand
7 why Mr. Andabak requested that money be made available for my unit. If
8 anybody were to request the funds, I, as a commander, should have done it,
9 and it is the first time that I see this document.
10 Q. Sir, let me ask you this: You were an HVO commander, relatively
11 senior commander. Not at the most senior level, but a relatively senior
12 unit commander involved in these matters. I will tell you, I think it's
13 fair, Mr. President will correct me if I'm wrong but it's fair to say that
14 the Judges have seen a number of documents signed by Mr. -- purporting to
15 be signed by Mr. Andabak in that fashion. Did you ever know anyone in the
16 HVO, Mr. Bruno Stojic or anyone, the issue ever to be raised to this
17 effect, sir, you continue to send us documents signed by the wrong person,
18 we will not authorise action, we will not give you money for rifles, we
19 will not give you flats we will not give you logistical support because
20 the wrong person is signing these orders? To your knowledge, did that
21 ever happen?
22 A. I would request the Prosecutor to put me one direct question and
23 not 15 questions all at a time.
24 Q. Are you aware of any request from -- coming from the Convicts
25 Battalion or the Baja Kraljevic ATG in your experience, in 1993, that was
1 rejected by the HVO command because it was signed by the wrong person?
2 A. I'm not aware of why somebody would request money for two units
3 because after all, each unit had its own commander. And I'm not aware of
4 any such document. Whatever I requested for my own unit, I would always
5 sign such a request myself.
6 MR. SCOTT: Exhibit 649.1, please, which I believe has already
7 been admitted. I would note, Mr. President, some of these documents have
8 already been admitted which is another reason why -- I have it here, sir.
9 If the witness could please be shown 649.1? I'm is I've simply made
10 additional copies to assist the courtroom, Mr. President, so people don't
11 have to go to their binders.
12 Q. Sir, this document indicates in a report signed by -- or coming
13 over the name Stanko Bozic, dated the 16th of October, 1993, that a member
14 of the Baja Kraljevic ATG, a Mr. Reuf Ajanovic, took a prisoner from the
15 Heliodrom to Siroki Brijeg on the order of Mladen Naletilic, Tuta. Now,
16 you know that to be true, and more generally you knew that, in fact, Tuta
17 had the ability to issue orders to do such things, didn't he?
18 A. It says here that on the 13th of October, 1993, upon an oral
19 order by Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, Reuf Ajanovic, a MP, military
20 policeman, as being a member of the ATG, but members of Baja Kraljevic --
21 he was never a member of Baja Kraljevic, and Baja Kraljevic ATG members
22 never had any insignia of -- or any badges of the military police. But he
23 obviously, as the document says, produced a badge of a member of the
24 military police. Furthermore, this had all been going on at the time when
25 I was on sick leave. Therefore, I really do not know what was going on at
1 that time. I can only tell you that Mr. Ajanovic never was a member of
2 Baja Kraljevic ATG.
3 Q. Sir, the Baja Kraljevic ATG was based at the Heliodrom, was it
5 A. Yes. That's correct.
6 Q. I come back to the question I raised with you earlier. Isn't it
7 true, sir, that on a number of occasions, that that unit and such close
8 proximity to the Muslim prisoners at the Heliodrom, took or released
9 Muslim prisoners on a regular basis?
10 A. This is not correct, that we would either take or release
12 MR. SCOTT: And Mr. President, as I indicated either my last or
13 next to last document, Exhibit 733.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the Prosecutor
15 tell me whether this document could not be translated before Friday
17 JUDGE LIU: Which document do you mean?
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The one we've just received. 733.
19 P733. Is the learned friend implying that this was not translated by
21 MR. SCOTT: No, I'm not, I'm not, Mr. President, and I'm not
22 going to engage -- unless the Court tells me too I'm not going to engage
23 in colloquy with counsel. I can tell the Chamber that as I sat in my
24 office on Friday afternoon reviewing documents. There were a number of
25 documents that as of Friday I did not have translations of.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. Krsnik, you were requested
3 many times before to raise these formal issues at a later point in time,
4 when the witness is not in the courtroom.
5 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Sir, directing your attention to Exhibit 733, dated the 29th of
8 December, 1993. This is an order from General Ante Roso, chief of the HVO
9 Main Staff, appears to be indicated directed to General Mladen Naletilic,
10 aka Tuta, personally. It's a -- has at least six numbered paragraphs with
11 paragraph 5 beak broken down into subparagraphs. It's an order directly
12 to Mr. Naletilic, sir, and in five -- directing your particular attention
13 to 5.1, does not General Roso, at that time, issue the order the Tuta ATG
14 dash the Convicts Battalion, Baja Kraljevic and Benko Penavic battalions
15 and others under your command, besides the engagement of the forces so
16 far, shall form a reserve of main forces as follows"? And then it
17 continues. Isn't that what it says, sir?
18 A. It says in this document, under 5.1, ATG Tuta/Convicts Battalion,
19 Baja Kraljevic Battalion and Benko Penavic, yes, but I do not see anywhere
20 in this -- under this item the name of Mladen Naletilic, Tuta. And the
21 order was issued on the 29th of December, 1993, when Mr. Sopta and myself,
22 Mr. Sopta was the commander of the 2nd Guards Brigade --
23 Q. Don't identify yourself because we are in open session. I just
24 caution you. You can continue.
25 A. The two of us were preparing the structure for the 2nd Guards
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Brigade. I was absent at the time and I really was not familiar with all
2 these matters.
3 MR. SCOTT: All right, sir, allowing for the fact -- and no
4 dispute that there this was a time of translation, late 1993, early 1994,
5 the Chamber has heard about the 2nd Guards Brigade and the Chamber has
6 heard about the 22nd Sabotage Detachment. But is this not an order from
7 the general, the Chief of the Main Staff, Ante Roso, directed to
8 Mr. Naletilic as commander of the Convicts Battalion, Baja Kraljevic and
9 Benko Penavic units?
10 A. On the last page, it says, "To be submitted to the Mostar area,
11 to the -- Tuta ATG, and to the archives." Who they were referring to as
12 ATG Tuta, I really do not know.
13 Q. Sir, my final question to you is this: Didn't you also know at
14 that time that General Roso had just recently come to Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina as a -- from being a very senior officer in the Croatian Army
16 and been appointed to that position in fact by President Franjo Tudjman of
18 A. I do not know who appointed General Roso. I know that he came,
19 who he had been appointed by, I really am not familiar with.
20 MR. SCOTT: I'll ask that the witness please be shown 6 -- my
21 last Exhibit Mr. President, 664.2.
22 Q. Directing your attention, sir, to the Croatian language original
23 document to orient yourself. This appears to be a document dated the 6th
24 of November, 1993, over the names, again to avoid dispute, I specifically
25 say over the names, of General Janko Bobetko, chief of the HV Croatian
1 Army Main Staff and the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia,
2 Gojko Susak, and by this document, sir, doesn't this indicate that 14
3 senior members of the Croatian Army were appointed around the early
4 November, 1993, to the most senior positions of the HVO, including General
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it's the first time that I see this document,
7 and I see that this document is neither signed nor authorised. Therefore
8 I really can say nothing about it.
9 Q. Sir, let me be very clear to you. My questions are not limited
10 to what's on this document or your knowledge. But as I said to you a few
11 moments ago you were a senior HVO officer during this time and you knew
12 this department from -- whether you ever saw this document or not, you
13 know the contents of it to be true, don't you, all these senior officers
14 include General Ante Roso; Miljenko Crnjek; Marjan Biskic; number 9, Ivan
15 Bagaric; Brigadier of medical profession, Dr. Ivan Bagaric, as chief of
16 the medical corps; you knew all this information, you know today, don't
17 you, that this information is true?
18 A. No. I didn't know that. I met Mr. Roso. All the other officers
19 that you -- whose names you mentioned, I do not know. And I'm not
20 familiar with this document. I wasn't that high-ranking officer who
21 familiarised with who will be sent from Zagreb to our area.
22 Q. Sir, do you recall in late 1993 a number of new units appearing
23 in Herzegovina? And I direct your attention specifically to item roman
24 numeral 2 where it says "all units under the command of Major General Ante
25 Roso are being sent into the field with all their material and technical
1 equipment" isn't it true, sir, that in late 1993 a number of new or
2 additional HV units came into Herzegovina?
3 A. I didn't meet with them. I can assure you of that. Towards the
4 end of 1993, I was on sick leave, and I had repeated this on a number of
5 occasions before, and this is the period in which reattachment and
6 restructuring of the units were under preparation by myself and by my
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, witness, for your patience and the
9 Chamber's patience. I have no further questions.
10 JUDGE LIU: It's time for a break. Yes, Mr. Krsnik, it's time
11 for a break. We will rise until 12.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik? Your re-examination, please.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'm going
16 to be very brief.
17 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
18 Q. [Interpretation] I don't know whether you have in front of you the
19 last exhibit, P733. Just one brief question: Can you please tell me, in
20 the Croatian original, are -- at the bottom of the page, there is a
21 function and a signature. Can you tell us whether there is something
22 there before the word "chief"? Yes, see, Witness, I'm talking to you and
23 can you please lower the ELMO, the technical booth?
24 A. It says "for the chief."
25 Q. What does that mean?
1 A. It means that somebody else has signed on behalf of the colonel.
2 Q. I know that the document speaks for itself but the Prosecutor
3 didn't ask you about this. That's why I wanted to do it. And I again
4 would like to ask you, did the Tuta ATG ever exist as a unit?
5 A. I never heard of such a unit.
6 Q. I'm not going to go through all the documents. I have to make
7 sure that my questions are not leading, but I would like to tell you that
8 you have seen a lot of certificates about the affiliation to various
9 units. Your answers are in the transcript. Let me just ask you: Do you
10 know -- did you ever have problems with people who did not want to join
11 the army? Did that problem exist during the war?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] The French booth wants to have a
14 break after the question so we can follow.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters.
16 Q. Witness, can you please wait for two or three seconds when I stop?
17 Give yourself a break and then start answering. Let me repeat the
18 question: Are you aware of the problem in Herzegovina during the war
19 against the Serbs, as well as during the conflict with Muslims, that there
20 were problems in recruiting people, so to speak? Were there problems with
21 sending troops to the front lines or for the -- with the conscripts being
23 A. Yes. As far as I remember, these problems were experienced by
24 Defence offices. They had a problem mobilising new conscripts.
25 Q. Tell me, if somebody has a certificate that they belong to, for
1 example, the Baja Kraljevic, and they don't belong to that unit, and if
2 that certificate was given to the defence department or defence office,
3 would the defence office then have -- see that as a reason not to mobilise
4 that person to another unit?
5 A. The defence office never checked these certificates, which were
6 produced by the professional units. The defence office would accept such
7 certificate and would not mobilise these people.
8 Q. Do you personally know or do you have any personal examples of
9 ever having caught anybody or anything like that, whether it was widely
10 distributed, whether it existed in big numbers, there were a number of
11 forged certificates to the effect of belonging to any such unit?
12 A. Yes. These certificates were used in order for somebody to prove
13 their affiliation to a certain unit, so as to avoid being sent to the
14 front line. There were many such examples, and they -- these were issued
15 by the defence offices and by the units in an equal number.
16 Q. Tell me now, the operation Cincar that the Prosecutor asked you
17 about, was that a joint operation with the BH Army and the Croatian Army
18 to liberate the western Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 A. That operation was a joint operation, after the Split Agreement,
20 that all the following actions were joint operations, with the
21 participation of the BH Army and the Croatian Army.
22 Q. I heard that you were a member of the staff. Can you tell us who
23 was the supreme commander of those operations? Which country was the
24 supreme, whose officers were in command of these operations, the officers
25 of which state?
1 A. I never met any such high officers. On the axis of the operation
2 of my unit, it was Mr. Blaskic.
3 Q. If this is going to be leading, then I will rephrase it. I hope
4 it is not going to be leading. What I wanted to say and ask is whether
5 you are familiar with the fact that the joint operation was commanded by
6 American officers?
7 A. I'm not familiar with that but I did see them around the
8 headquarters of the Main Staff. I saw them coming there and I -- what I
9 can say is that lower-ranking officers were not informed about that.
10 Q. But you did see American officers in the headquarters of the Main
12 A. The answer is yes.
13 Q. Would you be so kind to tell us something that I tried to ask
14 every witness? My first question: You personally, under the oath, can
15 you tell the Honourable Chamber whether Mr. Naletilic ever had a rank in
16 the HVO or elsewhere? If the answer is yes, what rank was that?
17 A. As far as I know, and as far as I'm familiar with the functions
18 exercised by Mr. Naletilic, he was referred to as a general, but he never
19 had a rank.
20 Q. In order for him to have a rank, would that have to be published
21 in the Official Gazette? The Official Gazette is supposed to carry all
22 the laws and appointments?
23 A. The answer is yes, this should have been published in the Official
25 Q. Were all the ranks published in the Official Gazette?
1 A. Yes. They were published, because there were no ranks until the
2 end of 1993.
3 Q. Are you familiar with the so-called certificates? If yes, can you
4 please tell the Chamber what they are and what they were used for?
5 A. I'm familiar with certificates. They were distributed in order to
6 entitle somebody to purchase their apartments, shares, and that they were
7 issued based on the time spent in HVO units.
8 Q. Do you personally know that there were large-scale abuses with
9 these certificates? That's my first question. And second question: The
10 length of the time spent in the army, did it reflect or did it have an
11 impact on the number of certificates issued to that person?
12 A. Yes. There was a large-scale abuse. Certain commanders would
13 issue these certificates even to the people who were not members of their
14 respective units, and I've already said that these certificates were
15 issued to testify the time spent in HVO units.
16 Q. Did the length of the time spent in the war have an impact on the
17 number and -- or the monetary amount of these certificates?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The lists for certificates, are these documents P811, P819, so are
20 these lists for the issuing of certificates? Can you please tell us,
21 these are the lists carrying the name, the Domovina ATJ, where it says
22 that Mr. Martinovic belonged to the Domovina ATJ and to the 22nd
24 A. I don't know whether that was the list for certificates but it may
25 have been because I did not -- I was not familiar with that act and I did
1 not know what its purpose is.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't have any
3 further questions.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, do you want to re-examine this witness?
5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
6 questions for this witness.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions from the judges? Judge
8 Clark, please?
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE CLARK: Witness NR, I have a few questions for you. You
11 described for us a few times that you had been injured and you were "hors
12 de combat" or on furlough and on other occasions that you were on sick
13 leave. Do you make a distinction between being on sick leave and being on
14 furlough because you had been injured?
15 A. What I meant was sick leave. I apologise. I used a wrong word.
16 I was injured four times at the beginning of October, 1993. I was on sick
17 leave, because I had problems with shrapnel that had hit me in the
19 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. Did you spend any time, for reason of
20 your injury, actually in a hospital bed?
21 A. Yes. In 1994, in early 1994, on the 12th of February, I was
22 severely injured, and I spent the time in hospital. That was until June
23 of the same year.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Can I take it from that answer that on the previous
25 occasions when you were injured and you were on sick leave, you weren't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 actually in hospital?
2 A. No. I did not stay in hospital long, only in October, 1993, when
3 that shrapnel -- I had it removed and I only stayed in hospital for a few
4 days. But since I was in the war all this time, I needed some rest.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Can I ask you, Witness NR, during the period that
6 you were on sick leave, which was fairly extended, I think it was several
7 months, were you at your home in Siroki Brijeg or were you elsewhere in
9 A. Yes. I was in Siroki Brijeg for a short time, and then I was in
10 Croatia where that shrapnel was removed from my shoulder in a hospital in
12 JUDGE CLARK: The main thrust of my question is where did you
13 spend the period of the sick leave after you were discharged from the
14 hospital in Split?
15 A. Since I have relatives in Split, I spent sometime with them, and
16 then I returned to Siroki Brijeg.
17 JUDGE CLARK: I'm going to a different subject now, Witness NR.
6 Mr. Andabak a professional soldier? Did he come from a background of
7 having been a soldier or was he a politician?
8 A. He was something in between, something between a soldier and a
9 politician. This man was a diabetic and the little time that he spent
10 with the units was really very little. So most of the time he was in
11 Siroki Brijeg.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Another witness has given evidence, Mr. NR, and it
13 doesn't necessarily mean that we accept the evidence but we've heard this
14 evidence, that Mr. Andabak really was in charge of -- what's the word in
15 the army, ordering, in charge of logistics and he was in the office most
16 of the time. Would you disagree with that?
17 A. While I was a member of the Convicts Battalion, Mr. Andabak was
18 not engaged in logistics. He was more concerned with the political issues
19 so to speak, and later on, what duties did he discharge, I wouldn't know.
20 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. After you took up to be safe your other
21 position, shall I say that? When you left the Convicts Battalion, did you
22 have much contact with Mr. Andabak on a -- did you speak to him? Did you
23 meet him?
24 A. We did meet. We would have a drink in Siroki Brijeg. Since I was
25 in Mostar most of the time, we did not come across each other that often.
1 JUDGE CLARK: And was it a similar situation with Mr. Naletilic,
2 that it would -- that you would just meet him and have a drink or did you
3 have more contact with Mr. Naletilic?
4 A. We would meet. We would have a drink but that was all. I didn't
5 have any other contacts with him. We were good friends, and he would
6 inquire about the army, the troops, whether somebody was visiting the
7 families of our fallen soldiers. He was mostly concerned with the troops
8 and we did not have any other deeper, so to say, contacts.
9 JUDGE CLARK: In your unit, which was started later, I have to be
10 very careful because we are in open session, would it be true to say that
11 you and your unit spent little time in Mostar because you were a
12 fire-fighting unit going to various emergency situations?
13 A. Yes. We spent very little time in Mostar. We were sent to the
14 ground, wherever there was an emergency.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Did you attend the funeral of the late
16 Mr. Mario Hrkac?
17 A. Yes, I did. He was a very good friend of mine.
18 JUDGE CLARK: I can imagine if you were sharing or intended to
19 share a flat with him, you must have been good friends. Was he described
20 at the funeral as the commander of the Convicts Battalion?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE CLARK: You're quite sure of that?
23 A. He was the commander of the Convicts Battalion. What do you mean
24 by "described"?
25 JUDGE CLARK: You know when you have a funeral service there is
1 usually somebody who directs an oration or an eulogy and describes the
2 person who has recently died. Was he described as the commander of the
3 Convicts Battalion during the funeral service?
4 A. Yes. The priest who was speaking, I believe that he did mention
5 his name and described him as the commander.
6 JUDGE CLARK: I've lost your voice, I think. Are you absolutely
7 positive of that, that Mario Hrkac, known as Cikota, was at his funeral
8 described as the commander of the Convicts Battalion?
9 A. I can't be 100 per cent sure whether he was described in that way,
10 but there were no other eulogies, just the priest who conducted the
11 ceremony said something.
12 JUDGE CLARK: And if the funeral were followed in the media, the
13 Croatian newspapers, do you think that Mr. Hrkac would have been described
14 as the fallen commander of the Convicts Battalion?
15 A. I suppose that he would have been. You never know with the media
16 what they are going to say or write.
17 JUDGE CLARK: I couldn't agree more. Thank you very much. You've
18 been very helpful.
19 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of judge's questions? Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Just one, maybe.
21 Further examination by Mr. Krsnik:
22 Q. Interpretation] At the funeral was there a lineup of the people
23 and all the other things that would suit a commander?
24 A. Yes, everything was arranged as it would have suited a commander.
25 There were several thousands of people at the funeral. This gentleman had
1 a lot of followers.
2 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott?
3 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, I'm sorry I hesitated a moment ago
4 because I didn't know if Judge Diarra would have questions as well, so,
5 yes, Mr. President, a couple of questions following from Judge Clark's
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Scott:
8 Q. I'll start at the end and work backwards. Concerning any
9 references to Mario Hrkac at the funeral, if you recall, sir, was he
10 described as "a commander" or as "the commander"?
11 A. I don't know what the media carried, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 Q. Well, I'm not just talking about the media now and I understand
13 the exchange you and Judge Clark have had about that but you say you were
14 there and apart from what the media said or didn't say, do you remember in
15 this reference to what I'll call a eulogy, assuming that's true,
16 whether the words used were that he was "a" commander of the Convicts
17 Battalion or whether he was described as "the" commander of the Convicts
19 A. I believe that the priest mentioned his name and said that the
20 commander of the Convicts Battalion, Mario Hrkac, Cikota, was killed.
21 Q. Very well. In connection with the questions about Mr. Andabak and
22 his military characteristics or activities, on that generally, sir, let me
23 lay the foundations for my questions by asking you this: As a military
24 officer do you believe that it's important to conduct yourself honourably
25 and with integrity?
1 A. If you are an officer, that implies you should be honourable and
2 that you should carry out your duty honourably and with integrity.
3 Q. And would you agree with me, sir, that acting honourably and with
4 integrity includes telling the truth?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Have any of your subordinates ever lied to you, to your
8 A. They may have. I assume they did. Sometimes I knew it, sometimes
9 I didn't. But who can remember everything that happened?
10 Q. Well?
11 A. At the time.
12 Q. Of course. Let me ask -- let me direct your attention to the
13 times you knew it. You said sometimes you knew it and probably with all
14 the of us sometimes -- excuse me.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this does not arise
17 from Her Honour Judge Clark's questions. This is a new cross-examination,
18 which does not arise from Her Honour Judge Clark's questions.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that Mr. Scott just laying
20 the ground at this moment. And we are waiting for the question put
21 forward by Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'll represent to you very clearly that
23 my question will ultimately tie directly to Mr. Andabak and to the
24 documents before this Court. If I misrepresent that, of course, my
25 questions and the answers can be stricken.
1 Q. The time, sir, that you knew that a subordinate lied to you, what
2 did do you? Did you take any disciplinary action?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please help me. What
5 does that have to do with Judge Clark's questions? We are going to use
6 another hour for the additional cross-examination. Judge Clark was very
7 concrete and she asked the witness what the -- what Mr. Andabak's role
8 was in terms of military duty. Please assist me. I really do not
9 understand. How can the Prosecution have so many more privileges than the
10 Defence? How can they be so much more privileged?
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I can't agree with you, Mr. Krsnik. I believe
12 that Mr. Scott promised us that this question will ultimately directly to
13 Mr. Andabak, and the question asked by Judge Clark. You may proceed,
14 Mr. Scott.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Sir, my question to you, and I'm trying to ask very few questions,
17 and it's a very simple question, I submitted to you, on an occasion when
18 you knew that one of your subordinate officers had lied to you, what did
19 you do?
20 A. We would order disciplinary measures, a few days in prison, or
21 things like that.
22 Q. Are you suggesting, sir, that on the probably hundreds of
23 documents that this Chamber may have seen signed by Mr. Andabak, that he
24 was lying when he described Mr. Naletilic as the commander of the Convicts
1 A. I cannot say whether Mr. Andabak lied or not. Whatever he did, he
2 should be held accountable for. I cannot comment on that.
3 Q. Well, you've told us yourself, sir, repeatedly during your
4 testimony that in your view, Mr. Naletilic was not -- never in 1993 --
5 excuse me --
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, are these questions
7 still questions arising from Judge Clark's questions? And does the
8 question referring to documents signed by Mr. Andabak also arise from
9 Judge Clark's questions?
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, may I respond very briefly, please, I
11 interpreted, and if I did so wrongly I am sure the Chamber will correct
12 me, I interpreted the questions by Judge Clark to go to Andabak's military
13 involvement, his role in the unit, when he signed, when he was primarily
14 a logistical officer whether he spent most of his time in Siroki Brijeg
15 as opposed to being in the field and all these questions go directly to
16 that and I'm almost finished.
17 JUDGE LIU: I'll ask Judge Clark to judge it.
18 JUDGE CLARK: I was trying to establish the state of Mr. Andabak's
19 knowledge when he wrote those letters. So I'm looking at the content of
20 the letters. So I can see -- I can see how Mr. Scott is interpreted what
21 I was doing.
22 MR. SCOTT: I'm trying to conclude, Mr. President.
23 Q. My question, I think the question to you before counsel -- I don't
24 know if we passed it now. What I was beginning to puts to you, sir, was
25 you've told this claim we are that Mr. Naletilic was not the commander of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the Convicts Battalion or the Baja Kraljevic unit during 1993. So I put
2 it to you and I represent to you, and I believe in good faith, just very
3 squarely, if the Chamber has seen numerous documents signed by Mr. Andabak
4 describing Mr. Naletilic as the commander of the Convicts Battalion during
5 1993, is it your position, are you telling the Chamber, that Mr. Andabak
6 lied? You told us it's important for a military offices to act with
7 integrity. Was he lying?
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, allow the witness to answer the
10 MR. KRSNIK: Please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have actually heard ten or 15
12 questions in your one question. Can you give me one specific question,
13 tell me what you really are interested in.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Witness, I won't argue with you but I think my question was rather
16 straight forward. Are you telling this Chamber that when Mr. Andabak
17 signed numerous documents describing Mr. Naletilic as the commander of the
18 Convicts Battalion, are you telling the Chamber that he lied when he did
20 A. I don't know. I can't say, that he must have lied because
21 Mr. Naletilic was not the commander of the Convicts Battalion in 1993, and
22 as to whether Mr. Andabak should be held accountable for doing that is not
23 up to me to say.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The
1 Hague to help us. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you
2 out of the room. We all wish you a pleasant journey back home.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this has nothing to do
7 with the witness. Just for the record, I would like it to be stated that
8 we spent between nine and 13, under 10 for the cross-examination and that
9 my examination took 29 minutes. I was timing myself. So the
10 cross-examination took five times more than the examination. This is just
11 for the record, and I can only hope that we will be finished by Friday.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have noticed your position and it's
13 registered in the transcript.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there an documents to tender?
16 Mr. Meek?
17 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, Defence would tender document P206.1, if
18 it is not yet been admitted into evidence.
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm sorry, I don't have the documents
20 in front of me at this point.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I see to save time, on your side, do you have
22 any documents to tender? I understand that some of the documents you used
23 and some are not.
24 MR. SCOTT: As the Chamber will probably have been able to observe
25 I was skipping and selecting documents as I went, so if the Chamber will
1 allow me I'll make a written submission.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
3 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, the Defence number we would give it would
4 be P402 -- I'm sorry, D1/402, formerly P206.1. This was a document that
5 this witness testified concerning last Friday at the very end of his
6 direct examination, and he indicated, after reading this document -- yes,
7 that this document was correct in regards to who was the commander of the
8 Convicts Battalion on December 31, 1992, that being Cikota and other
9 matters that he testified to about concerning this document.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I think we have to look into the
11 record to see whether this document has been admitted into the evidence or
12 not. But if it is admitted we will give it a new number with the D1
14 Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This exhibit was used by
16 Mr. Poriouvaev for the cross-examination and that was the last witness. I
17 don't know whether the Prosecution will ask for the document to be
18 admitted. If they don't we are asking today for this document to be
20 JUDGE LIU: Madam Registrar will check it.
21 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if it will assist I'm prepared to say
22 if it has not already been admitted, we, the Prosecution does not object
23 to P206.1, which appears to have come from the Zagreb Archive and was
24 indeed marked as a Prosecution exhibit so we are not -- we wouldn't be in
25 a position to dispute that.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So this document is admitted
2 into the evidence since both parties agreed on this point. And could we
3 have the next witness? Are there any protective measures for the next
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, just as was the case so far.
6 Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I guess there is no objections
8 from the Prosecution.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Your request is granted.
11 Mr. Usher could we have the next witness, please?
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes, I can hear you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
16 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS NS
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
22 Mr. Krsnik, your witness.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, witness, could you please
1 approach closer to the microphones? No, no, do not take off your jacket,
2 please. I apologise, if you would feel more comfortable without the
3 jacket, I guess you can take it off.
4 On this piece of paper, you will see your name written. Please do
5 not pronounce it. Just say yes if this is your name?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Very brief instructions. Whenever I put a question to you, could
8 you please wait for three seconds and start with your answer? Can you do
9 it please? Because this is how you're going to help us all. Once you
10 have noticed my question having been completed, please count to three and
11 then start answering your question. Is that fine?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. We have to facilitate the work of our interpreters, and this is
14 important for everybody's sake. Could you please, very briefly introduce
15 yourself to this Chamber without mentioning your name, when you were born,
16 when you finished your schools, where you're living and where you work.
17 A. I was born on the 13th of August in 1959 in Mostar. I completed
18 elementary and secondary schools in Mostar. I graduated from a faculty in
19 Zagreb. I have now been living and working in Mostar.
20 Q. Witness, I'll be putting to you very specific questions about
21 specific years. Everything that I'm going to ask you about will be put
22 into the following time horizon. From April 1993 to the end of 1993.
23 This is the periods to which my questions will be related. Tell us, in
24 this period, were you a member of HVO, and if you were, of which unit?
25 A. [redacted]
2 Q. Who was the commander of the brigade?
3 A. The commander of this brigade was Ilija Vrljic.
4 Q. Witness, could you please look towards me? We will have to slow
5 down a little because it seems to me that we are having a great deal of
6 problems and you're also requested to slow down. Please wait for three
7 seconds and slow down. How many battalions did this brigade consist of?
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this would be a
9 good point to go into private session.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
11 [Private session]
13 Page 13359 – redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So from the north, the BH Army
2 brigades attacked Bijelo Polje together with Zuka's people and some other
3 people, I don't know who. Some of the mujahedin, containing aggression
4 troops and units. From the south, we were also attacked, from Mostar,
5 from -- where their sabotage platoons and their army that was available to
6 them attacked us. Inside Bijelo Polje itself, people of Muslim ethnicity,
7 members of the HVO, together with other Muslim population living in Bijelo
8 Polje, attacked us on that morning, morning of that day, they captured and
9 killed some of our people. Each HVO soldier was rounded during that
10 night. Some managed to escape. However, most were captured and killed.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. What about the civilians?
13 A. The civilians were also captured. There were children and women
14 there who, during the attack, were also raped. Many of them were killed.
15 During those parties and celebrations that they organised in the
16 outpatient clinic where the medical staff, the doctors, were half of
17 Muslim, half of Croatian origin, and they turned their weapons against the
18 friends who they used to party with. Some were killed and others were
19 captured in a cruel manner. This went on in other areas as well, where my
20 Sabotage Unit members were killed, those who wanted to go to join the
21 parties. I too was invited to a birthday party.
22 Q. I apologise. You did not answer her Honour's Judge Diarra's
23 questions. Where were they taken and where?
24 A. The HVO members of Croat ethnicity that were captured by the BH
25 army were take to the camps in Bijelo Polje, the school building in
1 Bijelo Polje, and from there, they were then transferred further. Some
2 soldiers were directly transferred to Mostar, to the 4th elementary
4 Q. And the civilian population?
5 A. The civilian population as far as I know were taken to the
6 school. Inside the school there was this camp for the civilian
7 population, for women and children. While the soldiers were transferred
8 to Mostar, while they were maltreated and tortured.
9 Q. Did you personally witness that the population of Bijelo Polje of
10 Croat origin had to dig the trenches?
11 A. Yes. We were on the other side of the Neretva River and we were
12 able to see those -- them, the civilian population, digging our trenches.
13 We were defending ourselves there and on the opposite side of the front
14 line there was the BH Army, who deployed our own people who were not far
15 away and we were able to observe them, who, throughout the day, were
16 mercilessly forced to labour, and we also witnessed the torture that they
17 were exposed to.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I don't think there is any dispute
19 on this point.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'll proceed. I just wanted to focus
21 on June the 30th, because it is included both in the indictment and the
22 witness, this gentleman, was brought here for a very specific reason,
23 which is familiar to the Chamber.
24 Q. In your battalion, did you have -- well, how to call them --
25 members of a sabotage group?
1 A. Yes in my battalion I had a Sabotage Unit known as Ivan Stanisic,
2 and it was named after our member who had been killed.
3 Q. Can we go into private session, please? I apologise, Your
4 Honours, for asking you to do that on and off?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
6 [Private session]
13 Page 13365 – redacted – private session
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
14 [Open session]
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Would you be kind enough to describe the Chamber how you know him,
17 how well you know him, and when you met him for the first time?
18 A. I've known him as a person who participated in the liberation of
19 Mostar, liberation from the Serb aggressors, and I know him as a legend of
20 this war.
21 Q. Was he ever your commander?
22 A. No. He was never my commander.
23 Q. During the 1993 and the period from April to the end of 1993, did
24 you ever, together with Mr. Naletilic, attend any meeting whatsoever? And
25 I'm particularly referring to the headquarters and to the chief in command
1 in your camp?
2 A. No. I never attended a meeting of this sort which would be held
3 in the brigade headquarters in the northern operative zone.
4 Q. Do you know a person known as Miro Kolobara?
5 A. Yes. Well, the name of Kolobara is quite a common name in Bijelo
6 Polje, and I think I know two or three persons with this name. I don't
7 know who you're referring to.
8 Q. Neither do I. I just want to know whether you are familiar with
9 the fact that any of these persons under this name would be members of the
10 Convicts Battalion?
11 A. No. If this were the case, I would certainly be familiar with
13 Q. Do you know the three Kolobara persons, which units members they
14 were, if they were members of any units?
15 A. Miro Kolobara, the first, was a member of my battalion during the
16 war against the Serbs. He was captured then, and he was taken to the
17 Trebinje camp. Later, he was exchanged for other prisoners of war, and he
18 then joined another battalion, because Vrapcici is an area which was
19 covered by another battalion. Furthermore, I'm familiar with another
20 person by the name of Miro Kolobara. He came from Livce. That's a part
21 of Bijelo Polje. During the attack of the Serbs, his parents were
22 killed. At that time, he was also injured. He escaped, and I never saw
23 him again.
24 Q. My two final questions: Do you know that in the autumn of 1993,
25 in Siroki Brijeg, there would be some BH Army members detained?
1 A. Since I was in contact with Berko Pusic, who was in charge of the
2 prisoners exchange office, I asked him to do his best to include members
3 of my battalion who were captured in the exchange operations, in the
4 prisoner exchange operations. He told me that they had some two BH Army
5 members who had been captured. They had them in Siroki Brijeg. That the
6 other party has shown very keen interest in them. I went to Siroki Brijeg
7 myself to see these two persons. He told me that they were stationed in
8 the military police building so I went there. I went there, I introduced
9 myself, and they allowed me to visit these two captured members of the BH
11 Q. Did you see them? Were they from Bijelo Polje?
12 A. Yes, yes. They were from Bijelo Polje, i.e. from Vrapcici more
13 specifically and they had previously been my soldiers. One of them
14 recognised me. We would greet each other. He smiled at me and he seemed
15 to be very happy to see me. And then we talked.
16 Q. When you saw them, did you also see some other individuals
17 detained, members of the HVO or others?
18 A. Yes. It seemed to me that other two members of the HVO were
19 detained because I heard them talking, in addition to these two BH Army
20 members, none of them were there.
21 Q. Did you go back to Bijelo Polje? Did you inform Mr. Bisha? Did
22 the exchange of the prisoners take place?
23 A. Yes. I promised these two persons that we'll do our best to
24 include them in the prisoners' exchange activities because a lot of my
25 people were detained. I also came back to Mostar then. I informed Berko
1 Pusic about what I had seen, and I asked him to do his best for the
2 prisoner exchange to take place.
3 Q. Did the prisoner exchange take place? And if it did, when? This
4 is my last question.
5 A. The exchange, I think, took place much later. I couldn't go to
6 Mostar because the BH Army repeatedly attacked the town during day and
7 during night hours, to expel us, to get us away from the right bank, and I
8 was no longer in contact with Berko -- well, in fact I was in contact
9 with him but not in relation to these two soldiers, and the exchange took
10 place later.
11 Q. I was just reminded that I need to put another question to you:
12 Do you know the names, first or family name, of these individuals, how
13 they looked like, and when you saw them, did you notice on them any traces
14 of torture?
15 A. Their names were Maric. I don't know his first name. They seemed
16 in a good shape, according to my understanding, given the time and the
17 circumstances. They looked exhausted. They were very thin but so were
18 all of us who were involved in this war. I noticed no signs of torture or
19 maltreat on them.
20 Q. Can you describe them, how tall were they, what was the colour of
21 their hair, et cetera?
22 A. Well that was a long time ago. I can only recall that one of them
23 was fairly tall, and the other one was fairly short.
24 Q. My final question, and I see that we are approaching the end of
25 today's time, and this will be my -- the end of my examination-in-chief:
1 Did Brko tell us why the army was so -- the BH Army was -- had shown such
2 keen interest in their being included in the prisoner exchange?
3 A. Yes, he told me that he had or they had in fact a relative who was
4 a commander in the BH Army, and that these two individuals were very
6 Q. Was there a commander by the name of Maric in Bijelo Polje? Do
7 you have any personal knowledge of that?
8 A. Yes, I think so.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. This is all,
10 Your Honours. I don't think there can be any doubt how long my
11 examination-in-chief took. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I'm afraid that we have to keep you in
13 The Hague for another day. So I have to remind you, as I did to other
14 witnesses, that during your stay in The Hague, do not talk to anybody
15 about your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you about it. Do you
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I understand, Your
19 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume tomorrow afternoon.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
22 the 2nd day of June, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.