Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14551

1 Wednesday, 31 July 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 12.22 p.m.

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

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours, this is case number

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

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Judge Diarra this morning won't

9 be able to be with us. So in accordance with Rule 15 bis, the remaining

10 Judges decided, that it is in the interests of justice, for us to continue

11 the procedures. It is so decided.

12 Mr. Krsnik, we have received your filings concerning with the

13 videolink witnesses and there are some questions I would like to ask you,

14 if we could go to the private session, please.

15 [Private session]

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3 [Open session]

4 JUDGE LIU: And could we have the witness?

5 [The witness entered court]

6 WITNESS: WITNESS MM [Resumed]

7 [Witness answered through interpreter]

8 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

10 JUDGE LIU: Please sit down. Did you have a good rest last

11 night?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the

14 microphone and speak up?

15 JUDGE LIU: Yesterday it was extremely hot in The Hague.

16 Yes, Mr. Bos.

17 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.

18 Cross-examined by Mr. Bos: [Continued]

19 Q. Good afternoon, Witness MM?

20 A. [No audible response]

21 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods. But could the witness please

22 come closer to the microphone.

23 MR. BOS:

24 Q. Witness could you please move closer to the microphone or move

25 the microphone a bit closer to you? Witness, yesterday we left off

Page 14558

1 talking about the 17th of September, and I have a few more questions to

2 ask about this day. You were talking about soldiers from Livno who were

3 crossing the Bulevar on the left side of the area where the Vinko Skrobo

4 was responsible for; is that correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, Witness, how did you know that these soldiers who were there

7 were soldiers from Livno?

8 A. Well, everybody knew who came from where, whose turn it would be

9 to hold the line, whose shifts would be because that did not change. I

10 mean the units that were there.

11 Q. So is it correct then that these soldiers from Livno were also

12 permanently stationed at that part of the Bulevar or was that a group of

13 soldiers just coming in for that particular operation?

14 A. Well, perhaps they would take shifts a month or two later. And

15 then another unit would come. But as a rule, it was always the same

16 ones -- I mean the same unit.

17 Q. Now, you've also testified that some of these soldiers, when they

18 were crossing the Bulevar, got injured and killed on that day; is that

19 correct?

20 A. I meant the Livno unit, them, yes.

21 Q. Now, Witness, since the Vinko Skrobo unit was very close by, did

22 any of the soldiers of the Vinko Skrobo unit assist in getting the bodies

23 from the Bulevar back to -- well, let's say West Mostar?

24 A. No, because we had our area and that was our responsibility.

25 Q. So on that day you never saw any of these soldiers and you never

Page 14559

1 assisted in any way this group of soldiers?

2 A. You mean this group from Livno?

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. No. When the action ended, when it was foiled, it was only then

5 that we learned what had happened to those people, from stories. We could

6 not see them personally, no.

7 Q. Okay. Now, Witness, you testified in direct examination that

8 there was one occasion where you helped a woman and two children to cross

9 the Bulevar. Were these Muslims? Were these people Muslims?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Do you recall the date when this crossover took place?

12 A. I cannot remember the date. It was a long time ago. So that the

13 exact date, not even a month, I could not really say, had it happened

14 four, five, maybe seven years ago, I would have remembered probably but

15 after all this time, no.

16 Q. Witness, did it happen more often that Muslims would make

17 individual arrangements with soldiers at the confrontation line to get

18 over the confrontation line or was your case an exceptional case?

19 A. As a rule, these were exceptions at the request, at the

20 insistence, please, to be taken over.

21 Q. Did Muslims ever pay -- offered money to soldiers to get them

22 across the line?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Witness, did you ever see at around the health centre, did you

25 ever see a large group of Muslims crossing the Bulevar?

Page 14560

1 A. No.

2 Q. Witness, do you know whether soldiers of the ATG Vinko Skrobo were

3 ever involved in the forcible transfer of Muslims from West Mostar to East

4 Mostar?

5 A. No. I am not aware of that.

6 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P456.1, please?

7 Q. Witness, this exhibit is a report from the military police and I'd

8 like you to read the paragraph under zone number 3. And I'm especially

9 interested in the second paragraph of that chapter. Now, witness, this

10 reports talks about the expulsion of Muslims on the 13th and 14th of June,

11 1993, from an area in Mostar called Dum. And the expulsion was done by

12 Stela with a group of around 40 well-armed soldiers. Now, you've

13 testified that in early June, when you joined the ATG Mrmak, the unit

14 counted about 40 soldiers. Were you present on this occasion which is

15 described in this report?

16 A. No. And I'm not aware of this happening, because if there were 40

17 odd men there, then who manned the line? The health centre?

18 Q. So is it your testimony that on the 13th and 14th of June, you

19 were at the confrontation line at the health centre?

20 A. Now I don't know if I was there on that date but at that time, the

21 front line by the health centre was already being held. Now, I can't

22 remember shifts and dates. It was -- I can't even remember years let

23 alone dates or days when I was somewhere because one had to work every

24 day. I mean it to hold the line, to be on the reserve, rest.

25 Q. Now, Witness, I have one more documents which I want to you look

Page 14561

1 at which is Exhibit P599.1.

2 Witness, this is an official note from the military police dated

3 the 14th September, 1993, I'd like you to read this note, please.

4 Now, witness, this note talks about the expulsion of Muslims by

5 the ATG Mrmak and the ATG Benko Penavic on the 11th, 12th and 13th of

6 September, in an area at the Omladinska Street and the XVIth Street, in

7 Roman figures. Do you know where that area is in Mostar?

8 A. Yes. I know it because I live there, I lived in that town, and it

9 is all in the west part of the town.

10 Q. Now, maybe if the witness could be given the map Exhibit D2/37,

11 and maybe in private session he could mark on the map where this area

12 actually is?

13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.

14 [Private session]

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21 [Open session]

22 MR. BOS:

23 Q. And these instances where you saw that apartments were looted, was

24 this all in the area where you lived or was this other areas as well?

25 A. It usually happened in the area where I live.

Page 14563

1 Q. Did you ever get a chance to see who actually did loot these

2 apartments? Were these soldiers or civilians?

3 A. Well, there were both, both soldiers and civilians. There were

4 usually all people who were not from Mostar, people who had moved in

5 because there was a large number of refugees and that is why they were all

6 these expulsions and people tried to manage.

7 MR. BOS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination? Mr. Par?

9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Just a few brief questions,

10 Mr. President.

11 Re-examined by Mr. Par:

12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown this

13 photograph that we saw yesterday an old picture of the health centre

14 P14.20?

15 Q. Witness, will you look at this photograph that you saw yesterday

16 and in answer to a question from the Prosecution, when the 17th of

17 September was discussed, that on this photograph, in this area, a tank did

18 not appear. Could the photograph be placed on the ELMO, please? So is it

19 true that you said yesterday that the tank was not to be seen in this

20 area?

21 A. No, it wasn't, because I was here in the bunker, in this part of

22 the health centre.

23 Q. My question is: Why the tank didn't appear here because it didn't

24 come there at all or is it because you can't see the spot that he reached,

25 it never got there, or is it that this photograph doesn't show that spot?

Page 14564

1 A. The tank didn't come there at all, because the hedgehogs had not

2 been removed nor the antitank mines.

3 Q. Can the spot be seen on this photograph where the tank stopped or

4 is that spot not visible on this photograph?

5 A. That spot cannot be seen on this photograph because the tank never

6 got there.

7 Q. Fine. Yesterday, during the direct examination, you mentioned the

8 name of a soldier known as Svabo. Was that Svabo a foreigner, a foreign

9 national?

10 A. Yes, yes, but he was engaged in the HVO.

11 Q. It tell me, please, were there other foreigners engaged in HVO

12 units and specifically in the Skrobo unit?

13 A. As far as I can remember, there have been one or two of them, but

14 they only spent a few days there and then they would disappear.

15 Q. Were they paid? Did they receive a salary? Did they work for

16 money as soldiers?

17 A. I can't say anything about that because I don't know, but I do

18 know that they also wore HVO uniforms and insignia. Now, whether they

19 were paid, who paid them and how much, I don't know.

20 Q. Just one more question. Did Vinko Martinovic, Stela, come to the

21 front line regularly or did he spend his time in the base?

22 A. He spent most of his time in the base, like any commander he would

23 come to visit us, not every day but at least once or twice a week.

24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further

25 questions.

Page 14565

1 JUDGE LIU: Judge Clark?

2 Questioned by the Court:

3 JUDGE CLARK: Yes. I have some questions arising out of those

4 last questions which Mr. Par put to you about the base. Was it part of

5 your duty to serve time at the base from time to time or were you always

6 at the front line when you were on duty?

7 A. Our working day or our shift lasted 12 hours. Then our duty was

8 to spend all 12 hours on the front line. In the rear, in the third

9 building, which was all part of the health centre, we would organise

10 shifts so that some people would be at the bunker and others would rest so

11 we rotated. At the end of our shift, we would go to the base, report

12 there as to how things had evolved, and then we would go home, except in

13 exceptional cases when a report may have been received of an imminent

14 attack, then a certain number of people would be on the ready or on the

15 alert.

16 JUDGE CLARK: So can I take it from your answer that when you were

17 on duty, the only time you would be at the base was to furnish a report on

18 your way home?

19 A. Yes, at the end of the shift, like a briefing. We would go there

20 to brief.

21 JUDGE CLARK: And when you went to the base for briefing or

22 debriefing, generally how many of Mr. Martinovic's soldiers would be at

23 the base? In other words what I really want to know is were there

24 soldiers who were permanently allocated to duties at the base?

25 A. There was just the logistics that was with him there.

Page 14566

1 JUDGE CLARK: You may not know the answer to this, Mr. MM, but if

2 Mr. Martinovic needed to go and sort out a problem, away from the base and

3 away from the front line, and he was taking his -- some of his men with

4 him, where would those men come from? Would they be logistics or would

5 they be reserves or do you know?

6 A. No. I don't know. I don't know what to answer.

7 JUDGE CLARK: If you don't know, that's the best answer. How did

8 you receive your meals, if you were on duty? Did you receive a meal as

9 part of your remuneration?

10 A. Yes. We did receive meals. As at home, in our restaurant, which

11 was nearby, near the base, we had breakfast, lunch and dinner. People who

12 had no one at home, who were alone, whose families were not at home, then

13 they would get their meals there. As for the soldiers, when going on duty

14 for their shift, they could eat on the way there or returning from the

15 shift, and during the night, we would get a lunch packet as an additional

16 meal.

17 JUDGE CLARK: Do you remember the name of the restaurant that you

18 had breakfast, lunch and dinner at?

19 A. Yes. It's called Hladovina even now. Hladovina.

20 JUDGE CLARK: Are you sure about that evidence, that you had three

21 meals a day there?

22 A. Well, whenever anyone was hungry, he could -- he would go and eat.

23 So there wasn't any food in between meals. So either on the way to your

24 shift or when you finish your shift.

25 JUDGE CLARK: You mentioned yesterday during the course of your

Page 14567

1 evidence through Mr. Par, that from time to time, prisoners were brought

2 over to the health centre, if there was a job to be done and they were in

3 what you called the alcoholic's club, I think you called it, and I think

4 you described that they were mostly making coffee or cleaning up or

5 repairing something that needed to be repaired, and you also described how

6 it was necessary for a request to be put in and for paper work to be

7 carried out before Vinko Skrobo unit could receive a prisoner. Do you

8 recall that evidence?

9 A. I don't quite understand the question. The requests were sent to

10 the defence of the town and they would permit a certain number of men to

11 come that were needed.

12 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, Mr. MM, that's exactly my recollection of

13 what you said. I was just wondering how you would be familiar with that

14 procedure. How would you know that, as you on many occasions have told us

15 you were merely a foot soldier and you didn't know what was going on?

16 A. Simply I communicated with everyone, with the prisoners, and with

17 the soldiers. I would ask the prisoners how they felt, were they afraid,

18 did they need anything, that they shouldn't be afraid, that nobody would

19 do anything to them there, because I myself was a prisoner.

20 JUDGE CLARK: On the day of the abortive tank attack, I think we

21 could describe it as that, do you remember if a soldier from your unit who

22 had a nickname Brada was there? Do you have any recollection of his being

23 there?

24 A. We all had to be there, I think all of us were there, the whole

25 unit was on the front line. Now, perhaps I can remember some ten or so

Page 14568

1 men from my group, because we were right next to one another. As for the

2 operation itself, it's absurd to expect people to look around and see

3 where everyone was. All you care about is to remain alive.

4 JUDGE CLARK: I can accept that. I'm sure it was a fairly

5 terrifying experience that day. Do you have any recollection of a Danish

6 soldier being there that day? It may well be he wasn't in your little

7 group but do you have any recollection of a Danish soldier being there?

8 A. No, I don't know that. I don't know anything about a Danish man.

9 It's the first I hear of a Danish man.

10 JUDGE CLARK: Do you remember a Danish man or even two being

11 members of the Vinko Skrobo?

12 A. I can't say anything with certainty. I can only assert things

13 about the group I was in, and the men who were around me in the group. We

14 were all Croats and we were all from the town and there were no foreigners

15 in that group.

16 JUDGE CLARK: Did you have a card, an identity card, which

17 indicated that you were a member of Vinko Skrobo, with your photograph on

18 it?

19 A. No. We had HVO cards.

20 JUDGE CLARK: And was it an identity card with a photograph on

21 it?

22 A. Yes. I received five or six such ID cards, and I mean throughout

23 the duration of the war, because these changed and there was a photograph

24 on them.

25 JUDGE CLARK: Did they change according to the particular unit you

Page 14569

1 were attached to? Is that why you had so many of them because you changed

2 units several times, or your units developed into different units?

3 A. I changed two or three units for the whole duration of the war,

4 three actually, but for the last three years, I received three different

5 ID cards with photographs. Now, why this procedure, why they changed it,

6 I don't know.

7 JUDGE CLARK: And during the period that you were with

8 Mr. Martinovic's unit in 1993, did any of your identity cards indicate

9 that you were part of the Convicts Battalion? I ask you that, Mr. MM,

10 because we've seen Mr. Martinovic's identity card, which he himself handed

11 up to the Court through his counsel.

12 A. Well, it's unclear to me now that you mention the Convicts

13 Battalion, because we were not members of the Convicts. We were an

14 independent, anti-terrorist unit, ATG Vinko Skrobo, belonging to the

15 town. So we belonged to the city HVO. All the units that were there.

16 JUDGE CLARK: The question I asked you was: Did you have a card,

17 an identity card from the HVO during the period that you were with

18 Mr. Martinovic's unit in 1993, indicating that you -- that the unit was

19 part of the Convicts Battalion. I'm not saying whether it's correct or

20 not, but did you have a card that said that were you a member of the

21 Convicts Battalion during that period, 1993?

22 A. I cannot claim with certainty. I have all the ID's at home but I

23 think I received such an ID card. Now, what it says, I don't know,

24 because before that, I had an ID card of the 4th Battalion that I was in.

25 I think I received that ID card. That applied for the Guards Brigade

Page 14570

1 later on as well. Because one -- they would get lost and then they would

2 be distributed quite easily and ...

3 JUDGE CLARK: Is what you're saying Mr. MM is that you can't

4 exclude the possibility that your 1993 card might have indicated the word

5 "Convicts Battalion," but you don't remember?

6 A. No. I was not a member of the Convicts Battalion under any

7 circumstances. I cannot claim that that is what it says there. I think

8 it says, "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna HVO."

9 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you.

10 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges' questions? Yes, Mr.

11 Par?

12 Further examination by Mr. Par:

13 Q. Just one question. Witness, when discussing the procedure for

14 bringing prisoners of war, the request to had to be approved and so on,

15 were you referring to prisoners being brought from Heliodrom or from the

16 base to the health centre, for which of these was a procedure required?

17 A. I was referring to the procedure for obtaining permission from the

18 city to bring prisoners from the Heliodrom.

19 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.

20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Bos?

21 Further cross-examination by Mr. Bos.

22 Q. Witness you've testified there were three shifts of 12 hours, so

23 that whenever you finished a shift of 12 hours, you would be free for 24

24 hours; is that correct?

25 A. In most cases, that was how it was.

Page 14571

1 Q. You've also testified that in that period, that you were not on

2 duty, that you would go home because your house was nearby and you would

3 stay there. Now, is it fair to say that some of the soldiers in the

4 period that they were not on duty would stay at the base or would hang

5 around at the base?

6 A. I have no idea. What I didn't see, I can't speak about on behalf

7 of anyone else. I can just tell you what I saw.

8 Q. Whenever you were at the base, did you never see any soldiers whom

9 you know that they were in shifts, hang around at the base drinking coffee

10 or whatever?

11 A. When one came to the base, one did so only when there were some

12 intensified activities, some reports, alert situation, because it was

13 risky. There could be shells falling, so the request was that there

14 should be as few soldiers there as possible.

15 Q. One last question: Your group leader, would he be, when you were

16 on duty on your shift, would the group leader also be at the confrontation

17 line or would he remain at the base?

18 A. The group leader had to be with us on the front line, because it

19 is from him that we received orders. He would designate people to go to

20 which bunker, to determine shifts, whether we would be on duty at the

21 bunker or one, two or three hours, who would be resting, so there had to

22 be with us all the time and it's only normal that they were with us.

23 MR. BOS: Thank you.

24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Witness MM, for coming to The Hague to give

25 your evidence. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you out

Page 14572

1 of the room. We all wish you a pleasant journey back home.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

3 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender, Mr.

4 Par?

5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we would like to tender

6 these two maps, D2/37 and D2/38.

7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Bos?

8 MR. BOS: No objections to the maps, and the Prosecution would

9 like to tender Exhibit P14.20, which is photograph of the health centre

10 from January, 1996. All the other exhibits which I used were either

11 admitted or tendered already.

12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par, any objections to that photo?

13 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik?

15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, I do not

16 wish to tire you but I would sincerely like to know the source of this

17 photograph, and if we could have the complete stamp that appears in the

18 top left-hand corner, could the Prosecutor tell us the source, who

19 provided this photograph, and also the complete stamp that appears on the

20 top left-hand corner because in January, 1996, the Cyrillic script was

21 certainly not used in the Bosniak-Croatian entity.

22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, would you please provide some

23 information for us about this stamp as well as this photo?

24 MR. BOS: This photograph is from a photo album, which was

25 provided to us by the AID Mostar, and the photograph -- it was it's a

Page 14573

1 series of photographs which according to the album were taken in January,

2 1996. That's all I can say on this.

3 JUDGE LIU: Well, since this document has been used extensively

4 during the cross-examination and the re-examination, and there is no

5 objections from Mr. Par, we decided this document is admitted into the

6 evidence. It's so decided.

7 [The witness withdrew]

8 JUDGE LIU: Shall we have a break now and then we will have the

9 next witness after the break.

10 I have been reminded that the document D2/37 is under seal. We

11 will resume at ten minutes to 2.00.

12 --- Recess taken at 1.23 p.m.

13 --- On resuming at 1.56 p.m.

14 [The witness entered court]

15 JUDGE LIU: Before we start, for the sake of the record, I have to

16 say that D2/37 and D2/38 are both admitted into the evidence.

17 Good afternoon, Witness.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

19 JUDGE LIU: Would you please stand up? And make the solemn

20 declaration in accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.

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

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

23 WITNESS: WITNESS MN

24 [Witness answered through interpreter]

25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

Page 14574

1 Yes, Mr. Seric?

2 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

3 Examined by Mr. Seric:

4 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, the usher will show you a piece of paper

5 with your name on it. Please don't read it out. First just tell us

6 whether that is indeed your name by saying yes.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Try to follow me in such a way that when I finish my

9 question, make a brief pause and then start answering it, so that the

10 interpreters can keep track of what we are saying. As I will be asking

11 for some personal particulars, Mr. President, may we go into private

12 session?

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

14 [Private session]

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Page 14576

1 [redacted]

2 [Open session]

3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. So because you were granted a pseudonym, I'll either use your

5 pseudonym or as witness. So now, my question is, during the attack of the

6 Serb aggression and the Yugoslav People's Army on Mostar, were you active

7 militarily?

8 A. Yes, I was.

9 Q. What unit did you belong to?

10 A. In the beginning it was before the unit was formed, when we became

11 active and we joined, and later on I was with the 4th Battalion.

12 Q. And you were with this unit until when?

13 A. Until the 9th of May, 1993.

14 Q. And what happened to you that day?

15 A. We were captured by the BH Army.

16 Q. Will you describe it in some detail? What happened? Where were

17 you? What were you doing? How far did you get before you were captured?

18 A. We were on the front line facing the Serb aggressor, and on our

19 way back home, that is when our shift was over, we were then captured by

20 members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 Q. Do you know which was the unit that captured you?

22 A. No, I don't know that. They were some, what you call it, some

23 were masked, I mean they had paints, black paint over their faces.

24 Q. And what did they tell you? When did that exactly happen?

25 A. It could have been in the early afternoon. They didn't say

Page 14577

1 anything to us. They simply forced us into a vehicle and took us to the

2 SDK building.

3 Q. And until that time, what were the relations between the Army of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croat Defence Council? What is your

5 experience?

6 A. One could sense the tension in the air. One could feel that not

7 everything was all right but prior to that, there were those conflicts in

8 Central Bosnia and it was then that one could feel tension in the air.

9 Q. And how many of you were captured that day?

10 A. As far as I can remember, about nine of us, I think.

11 Q. And how long were you in captivity?

12 A. 18 days, until the 27th of May, 1993.

13 Q. And where were you?

14 A. In the SDK building. It's something like the state bank, the

15 building of the state bank.

16 Q. And what did the room that you were put in look like? How large

17 was it?

18 A. Well, it was about four times four metres, 16 metres square, and

19 we were about 40 there.

20 Q. You said that you were nine soldiers and altogether 40 persons?

21 A. Yes, about forty.

22 Q. Please wait for the question. Who else was there with you?

23 A. There were civilians but there were also members of the HVO.

24 Q. Who were the civilians?

25 A. The civilians were people who lived on that side and there were

Page 14578

1 some also civilians who had been moving along this demarcation line and

2 they were simply rounded up, picked up by vehicles of the BH Army.

3 Q. And what was the nationality of those civilians who had been

4 captured?

5 A. Croats.

6 Q. Was there another prison in the vicinity?

7 A. At that time I had no way of knowing but later on when I left, I

8 heard that there was one in the fourth elementary school.

9 Q. How did you find that out?

10 A. Well, people talked about it.

11 Q. Of those persons who were detained with you, did you find anyone

12 already there when you came?

13 A. As far as I can remember, there were a father and a son. I think

14 about four or five people were there already when we arrived on the 9th of

15 May.

16 Q. Did you find out when they had been captured?

17 A. I think it was a day or two earlier, so it could have been on the

18 7th or 8th of May.

19 Q. Did you find out why they had been arrested?

20 A. There was no other reason but their Croat origin.

21 Q. And before that, I mean before the 9th of May, 1993, did you see

22 anything out of the order, anything unusual that might be -- that might

23 indicate that a possible conflict between the BH Army and the HVO?

24 A. When I went to the front line, and I believe it was the 7th of

25 May, and as we climbed up Podvelezje I saw members of the BH Army dig some

Page 14579

1 trenches, but then I didn't pay much attention but I did notice that.

2 Q. And what were the conditions during your detention, I mean

3 accommodation, food, treatment?

4 A. Well, we were 40, as I've said, so it was crowded and I don't

5 think there were two beds altogether so that we had to sleep on the floor.

6 Q. And, well, was there any mistreatment?

7 A. Well, it was still all fresh, how shall I put it, it was a fresh

8 conflict. There was however one incident but there were some attempts,

9 there were some attempts by those members of the BH Army to enter the

10 prison, but the administrator would not let them.

11 Q. And then how and when were you released?

12 A. We were released on the 27th of May, through the Red Cross.

13 Q. Was there the exchange?

14 A. Yes. We were exchanged on the 27th of May, with the mediation of

15 the Red Cross.

16 Q. Do you know what was the principle that governed the exchange?

17 Just wait until my question. Was it one for one or all for all or what?

18 Now you can answer.

19 A. I don't know that.

20 Q. So you have to wait for me to finish my question and then a couple

21 of seconds more.

22 A. Okay, okay.

23 Q. So where were you taken? Where was it that you were released?

24 A. We were released in front of the hospital at Bijeli Brijeg.

25 Q. And how were you brought there?

Page 14580

1 A. We were brought in buses, I think there were two to perhaps three

2 buses.

3 Q. And how many people were taken there altogether, to that

4 particular place?

5 A. Well, I know about us who were soldiers, about the rest I don't

6 remember. About 40. 40 odd. I don't know the exact number.

7 Q. And what happened to you after that?

8 A. After that, I didn't join any unit. Well naturally I'd been

9 captured, so I took some rest, and then later on, if I remember, in the

10 beginning of June, I joined Stela's unit.

11 Q. Why that unit precisely? Did you know Stela already?

12 A. Stela and I have been friends since we were children, and this

13 unit, the 4th Battalion, I didn't like it any more, and I simply felt that

14 my place was there.

15 Q. And when did that happen? Do you know roughly when was that?

16 A. Well, I don't know, say, for instance, could have been 10th June,

17 12th of June, sometime before the 15th of June.

18 Q. And had that unit, Vinko Martinovic's unit, already taken shape?

19 A. Well, it was at its embryonic stage, as the saying goes, in the --

20 there were some private donations and it was finally formed in -- within

21 20 days after that or so. I'm not quite sure.

22 Q. Do you know which part of the Bulevar or the separation line was

23 held by your unit? And if you do, can you point at it on this map of the

24 town? Just make a circle and put the next number, whichever. I think

25 it's number 4.

Page 14581

1 A. No, it's number 3.

2 Q. Sorry, yes, 3?

3 JUDGE LIU: Could we go to private session, please?

4 [Private session]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [Open session]

15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] The photograph will be D2/40.

16 Q. Look at the photograph, Witness, and tell us, if you can, show us

17 and mark with a marker that section of the Bulevar, that segment, that

18 section of the separation line, which was held by your unit.

19 A. [marks]

20 Q. Yes. Can we have it on the ELMO?

21 Do you know which were the units next to you, to the left and to

22 the right of you?

23 A. To the right of us was Benko Penavic, and to the left, I don't

24 remember.

25 Q. And on the photograph?

Page 14582

1 A. I don't understand.

2 Q. When you look at the photograph, like this, what is left, what is

3 right?

4 A. When I look at it like this, to the left is the Benko Penavic

5 unit, and to the right, I don't remember.

6 Q. And where was the demarcation line of areas of responsibility that

7 was under your unit and Benko Penavic's unit? Can you tell us where that

8 was?

9 A. That was on Liska Street.

10 Q. What was your unit's duty?

11 A. Our duty was to guard the front lines which had already been

12 fortified.

13 Q. What does that mean, fortified lines, in relation to this

14 photograph and this number that you put on this building?

15 A. It means that the front line was fortified with, say, sand bags or

16 were there were doors, there were also nailed and covered with more sand

17 bags, and that would be it.

18 Q. Did you ever leave the line?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Did you ever -- were you ever assigned any other tasks apart from

21 guarding the front line?

22 A. No other tasks.

23 Q. Do you remember how strong was the unit?

24 A. About 40, 50.

25 Q. Do you know who were then -- how they joined the unit?

Page 14583

1 A. Those were mostly lads -- well, it was spontaneous. Those were

2 mostly lads from, I don't know, from those areas, from those

3 neighbourhoods, where I and Stela lived, and acquaintances and friends and

4 like that.

5 Q. And who was your commander, your unit's commander?

6 A. Stela.

7 Q. And what was his rank?

8 A. There were no ranks.

9 Q. Do you know who was Vinko Martinovic's deputy?

10 A. There were no deputies. It was spontaneous, and if somebody was

11 appointed to lead a shift, but those shifts were not even permanent thing,

12 and it was all simply spontaneous.

13 Q. What did shift leaders do?

14 A. Shift leaders led soldiers to the front line.

15 Q. Do you know who issued orders to Vinko Martinovic?

16 A. Our unit was under the command of the town defence.

17 Q. Did you ever see or hear anyone issue either oral or written

18 orders to Vinko Martinovic?

19 A. No, never.

20 Q. Do you know which larger unit did your unit, your Vinko Skrobo

21 unit, belong to?

22 A. We were an independent unit, that is under the command of the

23 defence of the town.

24 Q. Did you have your barracks?

25 A. No.

Page 14584

1 Q. Then where did soldiers go after their shift on the front line?

2 A. The soldiers went home or, I don't know if those who had girl

3 friends, they would go somewhere. I don't know.

4 Q. How -- what was the -- how long did shifts take?

5 A. Every shift was 12 hours long.

6 Q. And now, when you were on duty, I'm talking about you, what were

7 your tasks, how were you deployed?

8 A. Well, there were no tasks to really write home about. Very

9 simple. You just had to guard the line. For instance, I would be on the

10 position at, as we called it hole, Rupa, I spent two hours there and

11 then another soldier would come to take over and we would take some rest,

12 have coffee and it was like that.

13 Q. Now you tell us we were at the hole. What did you do there

14 exactly? Did you just sit there looking through the sites or what?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And what did it look like to you? Was it wearing could you manage

17 it?

18 A. Well, yes, one could manage it but it wasn't easy, it wasn't easy

19 at all.

20 Q. But who then assigned you to those mini shifts, those mini two

21 hour shifts within those 12 hours shifts?

22 A. I'm telling you it was all spontaneous. We got along well and we

23 just talked it out between ourselves. It was nothing much.

24 Q. And what about those soldiers on your shift who were not at the

25 hole, as you put it?

Page 14585

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13 and English transcripts. Pages 14585 to 14593.

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Page 14594

1 A. Could you repeat the question, please?

2 Q. And what did soldiers who were on the same shift but who were not

3 at the hole?

4 A. Well, there were others, some were in the rear or were drinking

5 coffee or resting and so on.

6 Q. Could you show on this photograph where that was? Just point at

7 it, just point at it. You can leave the photograph on the ELMO.

8 A. Well, the soldiers were behind, behind this, in this building

9 here, in the rear, and here is where were those holes, as we called them.

10 Q. You said part, you said something about sand bags. Was it the

11 only kind that you used as a fortification for those openings? How were

12 you fortified in this building, in the health centre?

13 A. Well, there were -- there was a door, I can't remember exactly,

14 and it was boarded up, and over it there were sand bags.

15 Q. Now, this building on the photograph that we see here, does it

16 look the way it looked in 1993?

17 A. Well, I wouldn't say so. The door was here, several doors, I

18 think, and now they seem to be gone, all of them.

19 Q. Were there any barriers in the -- or across the Liska Street?

20 A. Yes, there were so-called hedgehogs, these are anti-tank barriers.

21 I don't really know but say somewhere here.

22 Q. Were there any obstacles put up?

23 A. In this area, only over there, back here, there were sand bags

24 here.

25 Q. Will you then take the marker, I don't know which one we can see

Page 14595

1 best, perhaps the red one, and put a -- many small circles in a string to

2 indicate the location of these sandbags?

3 A. [marks]

4 Q. I see it. Where did you say you had those anti-tank obstacles

5 make a series of small Xs?

6 A. [marks]

7 Q. Were there any other obstacles, barriers, visual ones?

8 A. The sand bags, above the sandbags, there was a rope, a cord, on

9 which carpets were hung.

10 Q. So can you then draw a line to show where this cord was stretched?

11 A. [marks]

12 Q. And what was the purpose of all this?

13 A. Well, the purpose was to fortify it, it was a fortified front line

14 those carpets that were hung there allowed us to move freely, otherwise

15 they would have seen us and fired at us.

16 Q. Was there daily fighting at the front line?

17 A. Well, it wasn't much of a fighting, it was as -- it was sporadic

18 gun fire, as it is called.

19 Q. Did you hear, either from stories or you personally, who held the

20 front line on the opposite side, that is on the side held by the

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina Army?

22 A. You mean which unit?

23 Q. Yes, which unit.

24 A. No, I don't.

25 Q. Did you ever communicate with them, talk with them, call out to

Page 14596

1 them?

2 A. Yes. There were such occurrences.

3 Q. Why, when, on what occasions?

4 A. Well, simply perhaps one knew somebody over there so they talked,

5 sometimes people crossed over on their own from the west bank to the left

6 side.

7 Q. Will you point on this photograph where were those soldiers to

8 whom you called or who called out to you? Leave it there and use the

9 pointer, use the pointer to point out, it not on the monitor. On the

10 ELMO. You have to do it on the ELMO but don't remove the photograph. Yes,

11 like this.

12 A. [indicates] Yes, here.

13 Q. Will you describe to us this building, what it looks like now for

14 the record, what is it now?

15 A. You mean this?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Well, if I remember it --

18 Q. No, no, no. What is there now, what can you see there now? What

19 do you see there now?

20 A. I see this building.

21 Q. And what does it look like?

22 A. You mean now?

23 Q. Yes, now, what you see.

24 A. Well, I think the same, I don't remember. I mean is it in ruins

25 or does it have a roof?

Page 14597

1 A. No, it doesn't have a roof.

2 Q. Oh, it doesn't have a roof?

3 A. No, I don't see it, what it looks like on the photographer, it

4 doesn't have a roof.

5 Q. Did your unit have any duties to perform in town to persecute

6 Muslims, to evict them from homes, to stop them, to ask them for IDs to

7 arrest them?

8 A. We were a unit that secured the fortified lines at the health

9 centre.

10 Q. Did your unit and you personally take part in any way in the

11 eviction of Muslims?

12 A. I personally did not and I'm not aware of any cases of others

13 doing that.

14 Q. Are you aware of cases of crossovers by Muslims across the line in

15 your area of responsibility?

16 A. You mean voluntary crossovers? Yes, I am aware of that. For

17 instance, in some cases, a mother may have had a son there and she wanted

18 to pass and she was allowed to pass.

19 Q. You personally -- did you personally have this experience?

20 A. Yes. I had this case when this acquaintance of mine, who had a

21 son on the other side, asked me to let her cross, and I did so. She

22 packed two or three suitcases. I even helped her to carry those suitcases

23 to the front line. I called out that fire should be ceased. We called

24 over to the other side, telling them,"Your people are coming over." And

25 she crossed without any difficulties or problems.

Page 14598

1 Q. Did you hear of any rumours that Stela and the Stelici, his

2 soldiers, as they were called, took part in the persecution of Muslims in

3 looting and the like? Did you hear any such rumours?

4 A. Yes, I did hear such rumours, later on.

5 Q. Did you check them out?

6 A. I personally have no authority to be able to check them out

7 myself.

8 Q. Did you see Vinko Martinovic's reaction?

9 A. I just know that he was angry. I know it's normal, that he

10 couldn't be indifferent, as he was -- he had authority, someone used or

11 abused that authority for some negative purpose.

12 Q. Were prisoners brought to your unit?

13 A. Maybe ten or 15 prisoners would be brought over from the Heliodrom

14 to do some light labour. There were four or five mechanics that repaired

15 private vehicles, the ambulances and so on.

16 Q. Was this on a daily basis?

17 A. The mechanics were there frequently. As for the others, they came

18 when needed.

19 Q. What did they do in connection with the vehicles?

20 A. They repaired private passenger cars, the work of an auto

21 mechanic. On one occasion, I think they repaired ambulances, two or three

22 times, then they also adjusted vehicles that went to the confrontation

23 line. They armoured them.

24 Q. Did the prisoners sleep at the unit's base or headquarters?

25 A. Sometimes they did. There was a small group that slept there.

Page 14599

1 They were mostly acquaintances, who I believe felt safer if they slept

2 there, but that wasn't always the case.

3 Q. Do you remember how sleeping was organised, where they slept? Did

4 they have bed linens, beds?

5 A. Yes, they had normal conditions like everyone else, like the men

6 on duty, who, -- among the soldiers who slept there.

7 Q. Did anyone guard them with weapons? Were there they under any

8 kind of threat, under guards?

9 A. No, there was simply no need for that.

10 Q. As far as you can remember, can you describe the conditions for

11 them, food, water, was it sufficient, were they mistreated?

12 A. As I was saying, they were mostly guys from the town that were

13 well known, and then their wives might come. We would give them

14 everything we had. So we shared everything.

15 Q. As far as you know, was any one of them wounded or killed?

16 A. As far as I can remember, no one.

17 Q. Did you do -- did they do any hard labour?

18 A. These were all light duties. There was no need for any hard

19 labour, cleaning for instance, of the surrounding area and the mechanics

20 that I mentioned, so all these things were easy jobs.

21 Q. Did they have any compensation for what they did?

22 A. For instance, if somebody repaired somebody's car, then the owner

23 would give him cigarettes, food and so on.

24 Q. On the basis of what you yourself saw, how did Vinko Martinovic

25 treat them?

Page 14600

1 A. Correctly.

2 Q. Were they taken to do work at the health centre?

3 A. No, never.

4 Q. Did they work on the Bulevar itself, in front of the health centre

5 building?

6 A. Never.

7 Q. Were there any trenches in front of the health centre building?

8 A. No trenches, not at all, out of the question.

9 Q. Have you heard of a person by the name of Nenad Harmandic?

10 A. Yes, of course. He was known as a "genter" in town, in other

11 words an agent.

12 Q. Did you ever see him come to your unit, among the prisoners that

13 you saw?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Have you heard of Halil Ajanic, known as Lopata?

16 A. Yes. I've heard of him. He was a city joker, a drunk.

17 Q. Do you know anything about his stay with the unit?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge, or have you heard, of the

20 incident in which his son was killed?

21 A. Yes. I heard of the incident. His son was on good terms with a

22 German man, I can't remember his name. He was the mascot of that

23 German, he went with him everywhere, to his apartment, the apartment that

24 the German lived in, and as he kept his weapons and grenades inside, the

25 boy, as far as I heard, picked up a hand grenade like any child, he caught

Page 14601

1 the fuse and the bomb went off.

2 Q. Do you know or have you heard that he considers Vinko Martinovic

3 to be responsible for that event?

4 A. I heard that only the other day.

5 Q. Do you remember the 17th of September, 1993? Were you on the

6 front line on that date? There was a major conflict on that day between

7 the BH Army and the HVO, and a tank was used on that day. Do you remember

8 that?

9 A. Yes, I do.

10 Q. Will you tell us what happened on that day?

11 A. On that day, there was a coordinated operation, the aim being to

12 break through the lines of the BH Army.

13 Q. Do you know along which route the tank moved? Could you show us

14 that on this photograph?

15 A. So the tank was behind the sandbags, the sandbags, here therefore.

16 Q. And did it fire?

17 A. I think it fired two or three shells. Then there was a lull.

18 Q. Could you mark with a letter "T" exactly where the tank was when

19 it fired, on this photograph?

20 A. [marks]

21 Q. Did the tank move in front of the sandbags at all?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Could it have passed, if it wanted to?

24 A. It couldn't pass because of the sandbags, the sandbags were a

25 barrier, an obstacle. Now, whether it could actually pass, I don't know.

Page 14602

1 Q. Did you see the prisoners on that day there, thereabouts where the

2 tank was moving?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Did you hear or see in the media, in the press, what Vinko

5 Martinovic is being charged with?

6 A. I don't really remember.

7 Q. Do you know that the Prosecution claims that the prisoners were in

8 uniform, that they were armed with wooden rifles, and that they were used

9 as a human shield for the tank?

10 A. Yes, I know that that is the allegation of the Prosecution.

11 Q. What would you say to that?

12 A. I can say that that is not the truth.

13 Q. Did you hear of a story to that effect, that is wooden rifles

14 being used, somewhere else in battle?

15 A. I heard later on stories that these soldiers with wooden rifles

16 were seen somewhere in Central Bosnia or something like that, but I really

17 don't know. Believe me. These are just rumours.

18 Q. Are you familiar with that part of the indictment that Stela and

19 Stelicis are charged that is your whole unit, for expulsion and looting of

20 Muslim families and their eviction to the eastern parts of Mostar?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Did you receive a salary while you were a soldier in the unit?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. How and who paid you that salary?

25 A. I don't know who paid us but I know the logistics man went to

Page 14603

1 Grude and brought us our salaries in cash.

2 Q. And where did you physically pick up the money?

3 A. At the base.

4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] That ends my examination-in-chief,

5 Mr. President. Thank you.

6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, cross-examination, Mr. Scott.

7 I'm sorry to interrupt you, we will stop at ten minutes past.

8 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:

9 Q. Sir, I know you've told us that after you were released from being

10 held by the ABiH, you joined Vinko Martinovic, Stela's unit. I'd like to

11 ask you a few more questions about that. Can you tell us exactly how it

12 was that you joined the unit? I mean how did you actually go about that?

13 Did you just -- did you know where the headquarters was located it at the

14 time and just walked through the front door and said, "I'm joining the

15 unit" or how did you actually join the unit?

16 A. There was no big secret about that. As Stela and I knew one

17 another it was very simple.

18 Q. Well, tell us. I mean as much as you can recall and I know it's

19 sometime ago, but just describe to us how you joined the unit.

20 A. Well, exactly in the way I said. It was so simple that you won't

21 believe me. I simply saw Stela, I said that I'd like to join his unit, as

22 he knew me, he knew what kind of a person I was, he trusted me, and that's

23 it.

24 Q. Prior to the time that you were held by the ABiH, you were a

25 member of an HVO unit, were you not?

Page 14604

1 A. Yes, it was the 4th Battalion.

2 Q. And who was your immediate commanding officer at the time in

3 early, let's say in early May, 1993, before you were held on the 9th of

4 May, who was your commanding officer?

5 A. Believe me, I can't remember. They changed a lot. So it's hard

6 to recollect now.

7 Q. Well, when you were released from being held and you decided to

8 join Stela's unit, did you go to your prior commander and say something to

9 him, "Oh, by the way I've decided to leave your unit, I don't like it any

10 more and I'm going to do down the street and join another HVO unit

11 organised by Stela"?

12 A. As Stela knew these members of the 4th Battalion, then, upon his

13 suggestion, they allowed me to transfer to his unit.

14 Q. Well, how do you know that? How do you know, if it happened at

15 all, how do you know that Stela supposedly went to someone in authority in

16 your prior unit, in the 4th Battalion and obtained permission essentially

17 for a transfer, you were transferred from one HVO unit to another unit.

18 So how do you know that Stela did anything to arrange that?

19 A. How I know? Simply because Stela told me. It was simply

20 something legal. It was up to me if I don't like it in one unit any more,

21 it was up to me to simply join which unit I wanted.

22 Q. So it's your testimony to the Judges, sir, that members of the

23 HVO, military soldiers, had the ability in the HVO to move from unit to

24 unit at will?

25 A. I didn't say that quite like that but since my case was a specific

Page 14605

1 one, as I had been captured, simply I didn't feel -- I didn't feel like a

2 member of that unit. It was a psychological trauma, that was linked to

3 this 4th Battalion and I didn't want to have anything more to do with it.

4 Q. Well, did you turn in your equipment, for instance, did you still

5 have a weapon at that time? Did you have a small arm, an automatic rifle,

6 that had been issued to you by the prior unit?

7 A. I returned them to them with satisfaction.

8 Q. When did you return these items to your prior unit?

9 A. Excuse me, I'm sorry, no, I didn't return them, because our

10 weapons were seized from us when we were captured.

11 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that your transfer to the Vinko Martinovic

12 unit, as far as you know, was nothing more than you going to

13 Mr. Martinovic, according to you, and just saying you wanted to join his

14 unit, and beyond that, you have no knowledge, do you, of how that was

15 actually carried out, or if in fact anything was done, do you?

16 A. Nothing in detail.

17 Q. Were you ever an officer or did you have any command

18 responsibilities in the Vinko Skrobo unit?

19 A. No. I was an ordinary soldier, a private.

20 Q. During the time that you were in the Vinko Skrobo unit, sir, did

21 you ever issue an order to anyone?

22 A. As I was a foot soldier, how could I issue orders to anyone?

23 Q. At the headquarters which you've located on the map, did Stela

24 have a particular office, that is his own office, in the headquarters

25 building?

Page 14606

1 A. It was his office, and everybody's. It wasn't any special office.

2 Q. So it's your testimony that in this building from the basement to

3 the top floor, in no part of that building was there any particular office

4 that belonged to the commander, that was the commander's office?

5 A. There was a table where Stela sat, a table and chair, but no

6 separate room or special room. Soldiers would come there and sit there.

7 It was a collective room.

8 Q. Where in the building, as best you can recall, help us, please,

9 where in the building was this table and chair?

10 A. On this photograph, you can't see that area.

11 Q. Well, I know. I understand. I'm not asking to you look at a

12 photograph right now. Just physically describe, was it on the ground

13 floor as you walked in the build, as you walked in the front door did you

14 turn to the right and go into a room, or was it on the next floor up or

15 was it in the basement, just tell us where was this table and chair?

16 A. You entered, so it was in the ground floor, when you enter, let me

17 try and remember, you enter like this, and then to the right, yes, let's

18 see, this was that room, so I enter this way, this is the door, and the

19 table was over there.

20 Q. So you did have to go through another interior door into a some

21 other room and the table and chair was in that room, correct?

22 A. There was the entrance.

23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we object to these

24 questions. If there is any dispute as to this person being a member of

25 the Vinko Skrobo unit, the Prosecution seems to be challenging that. If

Page 14607

1 he's not challenging it, then I don't know what the aim of these questions

2 are.

3 JUDGE LIU: Well, frankly speaking, Mr. Scott, we really don't

4 know where you are going to lead us.

5 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I do have a goal in -- a very

6 specific goal in mind. I'm not challenging the witness's membership in

7 the unit. I just thought among other things after all these months it

8 might be interesting to know, and since by all accounts prisoners were

9 going in and out of the building and people were going in and out of the

10 building on a daily basis just exactly where it was Stela was located.

11 And so I think I should be allowed to ask at least a couple more questions

12 about that.

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may pursue it to this direction but frankly

14 speaking, we don't think it is very important for us to know where

15 Mr. Martinovic sat at that time.

16 MR. SCOTT: All right, Mr. President, I'll keep it limited.

17 Q. Sir, the last question I put to you before the objection was, so

18 it was the case that as you came in through the main entrance, you went

19 through a -- another interior door. You understand what I mean. Into a

20 room where this table and chair were located.

21 A. When you go through the entrance of this building, there is a kind

22 of corridor and then the door of this room.

23 Q. Now, were you ever in this room, sir, when, for instance, Stela

24 was meeting with any of the group commanders or any of the shift

25 commanders or people that he was exercising military authority over?

Page 14608

1 A. We happened to be there in company, we would be talking, having

2 coffee, and I was never present at any kind of a meeting or something like

3 that.

4 Q. And the next question, please listen, it's a little different than

5 the one I just asked you: Did you ever attend any meetings that Stela

6 participated in with his commanders, that is the commander or commanders

7 above him? Did you ever attend any such meetings?

8 A. Never.

9 Q. So sir, if I understand your testimony, you never participated in

10 any meeting with Stela and his subordinate commanders, and likewise, you

11 never participated in a meeting between Stela and his commanders,

12 correct?

13 A. As I was saying, I was a foot soldier. If there were any such

14 meetings, I have no idea about them. I was just an ordinary soldier and

15 there was no need for me to go there. What would I be doing at those

16 meetings, if there were any meetings.

17 Q. I'll accept what you say to this extent. If there were such

18 meetings, as you say if there were such meetings your answer to my

19 question then is no, you were never involved in any such meetings,

20 correct?

21 A. Loud and clear, I was never at those meetings.

22 Q. Now, did these different groups, if there was something called --

23 I want to make it clear I'm not indicating these are technical names

24 or titles that might have been used but in a functional sense, if there

25 were these groups or group commanders or shift commanders, did a group or

Page 14609

1 a shift have any name? Did you have a subunit name?

2 A. No.

3 Q. So you weren't the third platoon or the Vinko Skrobo/2 or the

4 third shift? You had no reference point or name that your group would

5 use; is that correct?

6 A. Probably there was something like numbers, one, two, three, but

7 just now I don't remember, but there must have been something to

8 distinguish among the shifts.

9 Q. And I'm not sure now if you said this or not, to be honest so I'll

10 just ask you again, who was your group leader then or shift commander

11 whichever term you're more comfortable with, who was the commander or

12 leader of your group or shift?

13 A. You mean the name?

14 Q. Yes, please.

15 A. Ernest Takac was my shift leader.

16 Q. And I believe you testified, sir, on direct examination, that

17 throughout 1993, your continuous assignment, your duty station, as it

18 were, was the confrontation line and a location inside the building called

19 the health centre; is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. If I heard you correctly, and I didn't -- not sure I followed it,

22 my apology -- during your testimony, you said there was something called

23 the hole. Was this -- this was a location that was located toward the

24 back -- using -- saying the confrontation line was the front side, if you

25 will, the front of the building, the hole was something located a spot

Page 14610

1 located in the back part of the health centre building? Is that what you

2 told us?

3 A. May I show it.

4 Q. Of course, please show us.

5 A. Well, holes were, say, there were two or three or, I don't know

6 how many, on this side, facing -- facing the BH Army.

7 Q. All right. I may have misunderstood, sir. I thought the holes

8 were some place that you went when you were not immediately manning your

9 station but you had a bit of a break during this 12 hour shift you would

10 go to one of the holes. Did I misunderstand that?

11 A. No, you misunderstood me. That is our local name for the openings

12 for rifles, so these are openings through which you push your rifle and

13 then fire if necessary.

14 Q. Thank you. During a 12 hour shift, then, were you at these holes

15 then, as you just clarified were you at the hole for the full 12 hours?

16 A. Well, because it was very hard on us, a soldier would spend, say,

17 about two hours, and then another one would come and take over, and this

18 one would go to the rear, to another building, to get some rest, have a

19 coffee, have a fag.

20 Q. Can you show us on the photograph that we have been using, when

21 you say you would go to an area, the soldier would go to an area in the

22 rear, can you see that on this photograph?

23 A. This building here.

24 Q. All right. So based on what you've told us in the last moment or

25 two, during a regular 12 hour shift, how much of that shift would you

Page 14611

1 actually be manning your position or hole?

2 A. Well, let's see, if we were some 15 soldiers, then it means that

3 not all the soldiers attended to those holes, but it was only an

4 agreement. It was all spontaneous. There was no firm -- firm agreement.

5 Q. Sir, no one is going to -- I don't think anyone will expect you to

6 speak with complete precision on this but again I'm sure it varied

7 sometimes from day to day but on average during a normal 12 hour shift,

8 and if you're reluctant to say, let me suggest and you can disagree with

9 me, would it be fair to say that on a normal 12 hour shift you might

10 actually be at your position for, say, four hours?

11 A. Well, about two hours, but these were not the only holes. There

12 were other -- as we look at it now, there were some to the right, where

13 the positions were too. So that it wasn't -- I mean it would be stupidly

14 literal that you have one building and you can see only in front of you,

15 only ahead of you. It is I think normal that you are able to look both to

16 your left and to your right.

17 Q. So in a particular 12 hour shift you might take a position at more

18 than one hole. Is that what you're telling us?

19 A. No, no. For instance, let's say there could be perhaps indicators

20 of the positions, 1, 2, 3 and there be five soldiers at position 1, five

21 at position 2, five at position 3, and while those five soldiers at a

22 position could spend there two hours or I don't really know what does it

23 come up to, I can't calculate it right now, but it was spontaneous, it was

24 amongst ourselves, about two hours, you can say that we spent there about

25 two hours.

Page 14612

1 Q. So we can understand then, sir, that in a formal 12 -- you had a

2 12 hour shift and then it was it clear that you were then off for 24 hours

3 before your next shift?

4 A. As far as I can remember, that is how it was.

5 Q. During any particular 36 hour period, sir, you actually manned a

6 position for about two hours?

7 A. Right. That is perhaps too rigid. At sometimes it was three

8 hours, at sometimes it was four hours but then somebody might be tired and

9 we can't really -- it's difficult for me to define it. Those were

10 spontaneous. Those were spontaneous watches.

11 Q. Well, the shift you were on, was it always the same shift or did

12 the shift change from time to time? Was it during the night-time -- did

13 part of your shift -- and one day were you on night and the next day or 24

14 hours later you were on days, or how did that work?

15 A. I didn't quite get your meaning. What were you driving at?

16 Q. Were you on the same shift for an extended period of time? For

17 instance and you can tell us, what was your normal starting time, let's

18 say the summer of 1993, you just worked a 12 hour shift, did you start at

19 12.00 noon and work until 12 clock midnight, or what was your shift?

20 A. Well, I don't know. I mean, I came at noon or I came at

21 midnight. I don't know if I came at noon, until when is my shift, until

22 midnight, isn't it? And then the next shift comings on at midnight and

23 so on. As a matter of fact, I don't know specifically if I -- my turn

24 came at noon or at midnight, but I guess there were some changes there

25 too.

Page 14613

1 Q. Perhaps I can fit in one more question before the break,

2 Mr. President. The name Vinko Skrobo, do you know where the name came

3 from, the name of the unit?

4 A. Well, I don't really know much about it. It could have been, I

5 don't know, Vinko Skrobo, who could have been a Croat soldier in some

6 earlier time. I don't know. As far as I can remember. When, I really

7 don't know. But he was a Croat soldier, I think.

8 Q. I'm going to suggest to you, sir, that the name changed after you

9 joined the unit, according to other evidence in the case, and I'm just --

10 you do not recall anything more about why the name was changed from Mrmak

11 to Vinko Skrobo and who this person Vinko Skrobo was? Is that right? You

12 just don't know anything more about it?

13 A. I've already told you that as far as I know, he was a Croat

14 soldier. Vinko Skrobo was a Croat soldier, after whom would we name a

15 unit if not after a Croat soldier? You don't think that we would name it

16 after a Serb soldier or I don't know.

17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we can break there, please.

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 20 minutes to 4.00.

19 --- Recess taken at 3.10 p.m.

20 --- On resuming at 3.44 p.m.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott, please.

22 Yes, Mr. Seric?

23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, only briefly, I may not

24 speak with the witness, so I have to tell you, could you please ask the

25 witness how he's feeling? Because after you announced the break, the

Page 14614

1 witness started and it was a bit slightly comic but it could also be

2 tragic. He headed for the exit but the usher ran after him and caught

3 him by the hand, not to prevent anyone from seeing who he is and I saw his

4 face, which -- and I saw sheer horror on his face so I just thought, I

5 don't know, perhaps could you ask him how he's feeling, and then we

6 resume.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, we could not hear the witness.

8 JUDGE LIU: Could you repeat what you were just saying right now?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine. I'm fine. I'm saying. I was

10 a little flustered, well, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.

11 JUDGE LIU: You have to understand that all the measures we did is

12 to protect your identity.

13 THE WITNESS: [In English] I know that [Interpretation] Yeah, I

14 know that.

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, yes.

16 THE REGISTRAR: Just to inform the Chamber immediately after this

17 incident took place I went to the room where the witness was and with the

18 help of victims and witness section I explained to him exactly why we did

19 that, and it wasn't anything but to protect him, so he understood and it

20 was okay.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you.

22 Mr. Scott, you may continue, please.

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

24 Q. Sir, before we move on to next couple of questions, you said

25 before the break that Ernest Takac was your group or shift commander. I

Page 14615

1 just want to clarify, did that continue to be the case from approximately

2 the time you joined the unit in June, 1993, until at least the end of

3 1993, early 1994?

4 A. I do not remember the very beginning. Later on, I think -- I

5 think, yes, most of the time.

6 Q. And as the -- you've described for us this afternoon the way the

7 shifts worked and that sort of thing. Where was Mr. Takac during the

8 shift? Where was he positioned? Or what was his duty location?

9 A. It was all within that circle, within that position, and there was

10 nothing fixed, nothing defined. Those shift leaders were not commanders

11 properly speaking. I wouldn't say they had much authority -- they

12 enjoyed much authority. You simply had a shift and you needed to have

13 somebody there to have some order.

14 Q. All right. And just again to be clear, when you say he was there

15 within that circle, you mean he was at the health centre, around the

16 location in the health centre, where you and others were serving your

17 shift; is that correct?

18 A. Yes. He'd be, for instance, at position 1, position 2, position

19 3, and so he moved about.

20 Q. All right. Now, moving forward, then, you said that you were

21 paid, and you told us a little bit about that. You were paid in cash

22 throughout this time or how were you paid?

23 A. In the beginning, we were paid in cash, and later on, I am not

24 sure when that was, I believe that several times, I don't know how many

25 times, but for a while, we were getting money through the bank.

Page 14616

1 Q. And focusing for a moment on the time when you were receiving

2 cash, you understood, if I heard you correctly, sir, that the money was

3 coming from -- the cash was being moved or transmitted from Grude?

4 A. I have no direct knowledge about this but this is what I heard,

5 that the money came from Grude. I'm telling our logistics man would go to

6 Grude to get the cash and soldiers then came to the base to collect their

7 salaries.

8 Q. Before I come to him, focusing specifically on 1993, sir, and I'm

9 not talking about the fighting earlier with the Serbs, I'm speaking very

10 specifically about 1993, as far as you know, did the HVO in West Mostar

11 have continuous access or freedom of movement to places such as Grude?

12 A. You mean 1993.

13 Q. Yes, sir.

14 A. I didn't quite -- you mean HVO soldiers or -- I don't understand.

15 Q. I'll repeat it, sir. As far as you know, did the HVO, by

16 officers, by its officials, the ones located, for instance, in West

17 Mostar, have continuous access to Grude and that region throughout 1993?

18 A. Well, I guess so. Why not? Croats were not waging war against

19 Croats, were they?

20 Q. And for that very reason, sir, it's also fair to say, is it not,

21 that the HVO in Mostar, in West Mostar, at least, had continuous access to

22 the Republic of Croatia during 1993? Didn't they?

23 A. Naturally.

24 Q. Now, who was this logistics man that you mentioned? You've

25 mentioned him several times now. Who was that?

Page 14617

1 A. You mean the name?

2 Q. Yes, please.

3 A. Zeljko Colak.

4 Q. And did he have that responsibility once again throughout the time

5 that you were a member of the unit?

6 A. I think so, yes.

7 Q. And would it be this man who would actually physically distribute

8 the cash to you?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did you have to sign something or make some sort of an record

11 indicating that you had received your salary?

12 A. I really don't know. I don't remember. Well, of course, I would

13 have to sign something but I can't remember it in any detail. I mean

14 whenever you collected your pay, of course you had to sign it.

15 Q. What was your understanding of where this money was coming from?

16 I mean physically, where was the cash, the currency, coming from?

17 A. You mean what notes, of which state? Of, shall I call it ethnic

18 origin?

19 Q. I'm just talking about the physical origin. I can ask you some

20 other questions and may in a moment, but where did you understand the

21 money that was coming, obviously the money had to be transported to the

22 headquarters in West Mostar where you said you were paid. Where did you

23 understand the money was physically coming from? Was it coming from

24 Grude? Was it coming from some place else?

25 A. I've already told you that the money, from what I heard, came from

Page 14618

1 Grude.

2 Q. All right.

3 A. How can I know what was it its original source? I'm no inspector,

4 am I?

5 Q. I was taking you back to Grude just to clarify -- I was talking

6 about the physical movement of the money so that was my next question. Do

7 you know how the money came to be in Grude? Perhaps you don't know but

8 that's what I'm asking you. Do you know where this money came from?

9 A. I've no idea.

10 Q. Was it Croatian dinars?

11 A. Well, at that time, the Croatian dinar was the legal tender in our

12 area.

13 Q. And then later when you said that there came a time when it was

14 changed where you were taking money in some fashion out of the bank, are

15 you telling us that the money would be put on deposit in some bank in

16 Mostar and then you could withdraw money from the bank? Is that the way

17 it worked?

18 A. Well, I've told you, for a while, we drew that money from the

19 bank, and -- but how can I know what were all these transactions? I'm not

20 a financial expert to know these things.

21 Q. Of course. But do you know, recalling the name of the bank and

22 where it was located in Mostar that you could go during the war and take

23 this money out?

24 A. I believe it was so-called Splitska Street.

25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President, I think I'm just going to

Page 14619

1 skip over some questions for the sake of time.

2 Q. I'm going to direct your attention forward a bit, please, from

3 some of the other times we have been talking about to the 30th of June, to

4 the 4th of July, 1993. And do you recall were you on duty, as you've

5 described it to us today, were you on duty at the health centre on those

6 days? At a time when -- if it will assist you, sir, when the ABiH had

7 attacked what was called the Northern Barracks and then there was a

8 furthers wave of arrests of Muslims that puts the -- marks the time in

9 your mind. During those days, where were you and what were you doing?

10 A. As far as I can remember, I was at home, or I could have been

11 somewhere, say, near the base, in a pub or somewhere. I don't know, but I

12 remember when there was this gunfire.

13 Q. Is your recollection that you were not in fact on duty during that

14 time at all? During that approximate, say, four or five days?

15 A. Well, I was on duty one of those days but on any specific day,

16 where I was and what I was doing, I cannot say.

17 Q. Well, during that time, sir, did you participate in arresting any

18 Muslims?

19 A. Never.

20 Q. And during that time, sir, did you participate in expelling any

21 Muslims from their homes or flats?

22 A. Never.

23 Q. And did you steal or loot any property from any Muslims during

24 that time?

25 A. Never. I'm, as people call it, an anti-materialistic kind.

Page 14620

1 Q. Is it your testimony that nobody in the Vinko Skrobo unit did any

2 of those things during early July, 1993, that it simply didn't happen?

3 A. I didn't see anyone, and if somebody did it, well, that's his

4 problem, because I can't see everybody. Our task was to guard the

5 fortified lines and some individual, an individual, went home after he'd

6 done his duty, I didn't watch over them to see what they were doing then.

7 Q. Let me ask you, direct your attention, please to another time and

8 ask you similar questions. I know this is sometime ago. Do you recall

9 whether you were on duty toward the end of September, 1993, approximately

10 the 29th of September, 1993?

11 A. Who can remember that? Who can remember that?

12 Q. Well, during that time, sir, late September, 1993, again I ask you

13 did you arrest any Muslims during that time?

14 A. Never.

15 Q. And did you participate in expelling any Muslims from their homes

16 or flats during that time?

17 A. I've already said it, I never participated in any of these

18 activities.

19 Q. If I heard you on direct examination, sir, you did say, you did

20 ultimately confirm that you were aware the Muslims civilians were being

21 expelled from West Mostar during this time. Did I hear you correctly n

22 general, I'm talking the summer and the fall of 1993. Did I hear you

23 correctly?

24 A. It wasn't something that was widely known. I heard those

25 stories. I did not see any such case. One knew that there were expelled,

Page 14621

1 that it is a fact some people were expelled but who did it, I really don't

2 know.

3 Q. Sir, the allegation, at least, is that these -- that there were

4 times when these were not one or two individual Muslims being expelled but

5 there were large numbers of Muslims being expelled from particular

6 neighbourhoods. Are you telling the Judges that you just never heard about

7 that or that you had no information at all that this was happening?

8 A. Could you repeat that question once again, please?

9 Q. I put it to you, sir, if I can put it -- I'll state it that

10 way. I put it to you that there were a number of instances throughout the

11 summer and fall of 1993 when large numbers of Muslim families were

12 expelled, not just one individual here and another individual two weeks

13 later. But large scale expulsions. Is it your position, is it your

14 testimony, that you did not know these things were happening?

15 A. I did know of that, that certain groups of Muslims were expelled,

16 but specifically, I did not participate in any such acts, and I didn't see

17 anyone doing it. As I was saying, I was a soldier who did his duty on the

18 front line, after the front line I went home. I did my work, my own work,

19 or I was in company with some friends. I was not interested in anything

20 else but protecting the line.

21 Q. Turning to Muslim prisoners who came to the headquarters area or

22 the health centre area during this time, did I understand you correctly,

23 sir, to be talking -- giving your testimony about a group of something --

24 from perhaps five to -- another time I think you said ten to 15,

25 prisoners, who were actually from the neighbourhood? Is that the only

Page 14622

1 group of prisoners that you're familiar with?

2 A. As far as I know that group was mostly the same, the auto

3 mechanics were always the same. Now, maybe among the other prisoners,

4 there may have been changes. I don't know. I don't remember any more.

5 Q. Sir, is it fair to say, I just want to be sure we you will

6 understand your testimony, would it be fair to say that when counsel asked

7 you about the way the prisoners were treated, and the conditions in which

8 they were held, it was that particular group of prisoners that you were

9 talking about, correct?

10 A. Yes. They were mostly this same group of prisoners, as I was

11 saying, who, as I was saying, were our acquaintances or some other soldier

12 knew them and they felt safer to spend the night there sometimes. They

13 had good conditions. They did light work and so on.

14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I did decide during the break to show

15 the witness one exhibit that's already in evidence but if I could just put

16 it on the ELMO, it might be the easiest thing. It's Exhibit P633. It will

17 not disclose in any way the identity of the witness so I don't think there

18 is any reason why it can't be placed on the ELMO.

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, again, I'm caught by

21 surprise by a document that is going to be used in the cross-examination.

22 This has become frequent now and I don't think it is by chance. And we

23 don't have a carriage or the ability to carry all these documents with us

24 into the courtroom to be able to find them easily.

25 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's now very difficult to judge whether the

Page 14623

1 Prosecution is doing this purposely or not.

2 MR. SCOTT: I can give you, I think respectfully, Mr. President, I

3 think I can give you what I hope will be a persuasive answer. It was

4 until cross-examination, I believe, and I just was trying to confirm this

5 with Mr. Bos, it was not until cross-examination that we heard that

6 Mr. Takac was this man's commander, and it was based upon learning that

7 information for the first time that I recalled a particular exhibit. Which

8 is already admitted in evidence.

9 JUDGE LIU: Well, since this document will be put on the ELMO, and

10 everybody in this courtroom has a chance to look at it, I don't think that

11 will be prejudice to the rights of the Defence. So we may proceed.

12 MR. SCOTT:

13 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at the Croatian language version where

14 and if the English version could be placed on the ELMO, please? This is a

15 statement allegedly given by Mr. Martinovic concerning an incident on the

16 6th of October, 1993. My first question to you, sir, as you look at that

17 is, do you recall this incident of a gun fight between the -- members of

18 the Vinko Skrobo unit and members of the Benko Penavic unit?

19 A. I know that there was an incident, but I didn't participate and I

20 don't know any specific details. I know that there was tension between

21 them for a time.

22 Q. Well, sir, again I'm going to put to you that, unless these sorts

23 of things happened every day, this must have been a rather notorious and

24 well known incident, especially if it involved your group commander,

25 Mr. Takac. Isn't that fair to say?

Page 14624

1 A. As I was saying, I'm not familiar with the details. I know that a

2 conflict broke out. I simply wasn't present, nor did I engage in

3 anything outside protecting the line. I can't tell you anything specific

4 about that. I can't make up anything when I don't know.

5 Q. Let me just point out one particular part to you and I'll ask you

6 a question or two and then we will move on. I'm looking, sir, at the part

7 immediately below "statement."

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

9 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I object to continued

10 questioning about this document because the witness said that he had

11 nothing to do with this document, that he has no idea about it, that he's

12 not familiar with the incident. Therefore any further examination of this

13 witness on this document is really inappropriate and I object.

14 JUDGE LIU: Well, the witness said that he was not familiar with

15 the details, but he knows that a conflict broke out. Let us see what the

16 witness knows about this incident, about this conflict.

17 MR. SCOTT:

18 Q. Sir, I'm directing your attention to the part that begins

19 immediately after the section heading called "statement." It says, "At

20 about 2145 hours, on 6 October, 1993, General Andabak's driver Zoran by

21 name came to our base and told me that I had to report urgently to

22 Mr. Tuta at the tobacco depot in Siroki Brijeg. I immediately sat at the

23 wheel of my Buick and beside me was one of my soldiers, Ernest Takac. As

24 we were setting off, one of the lads --" I'll let you continue on. You

25 can see certain names that you name recognise, the name Baja, the name

Page 14625

1 Semir Bosnjic and looking at that statement, sir, to the extent whatever

2 memory you have of that incident, is that consistent with what you heard

3 and what people were saying around the base about this incident at the

4 time?

5 A. I said earlier on that I had heard of this conflict and as I was

6 saying, what actually happened, the details, and surely it's normal, even

7 in peace time for people to clash, never mind in wartime. It's nothing

8 unusual. I don't see what the fuss is about this. I don't know any

9 specific details. I repeat once again, I just heard that there was a

10 conflict. What, how and when, I really don't know. I have no idea.

11 Q. Well, sir, I allow that these kinds much events perhaps became

12 common to you, to most of us perhaps a gun fight between two units on

13 the same side would be something that might be memorable. Mr. Takac,

14 for instance, after this event, as you were manning a shift, a 12 hour

15 shift at the health centre, there was no conversation about, "Boy you

16 should have seen what happened the other day? We had a real gunfight with

17 those guys. It was really a bad situation." You don't remember any

18 conversations like that?

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I have to object, Mr. President. Is

21 this a question or is this testimony on the part of the Prosecutor?

22 MR. SCOTT: It is a question, Mr. President.

23 JUDGE LIU: I think it is a question.

24 A. Could you repeat it once again?

25 Q. I'll simplify it sir, it's your testimony that you don't recall

Page 14626

1 any conversations about this incident, after the fact, discussion among

2 your colleagues, discussions with Mr. Takac, it's simply dropped -- the

3 subject simply dropped and you don't remember anything more about it?

4 A. As I was saying, there was some talk about a conflict, as for

5 shooting, any details, I really don't remember. It was a long time ago.

6 Q. Well, one final question, sir, and then I'll --

7 A. It wasn't really -- I don't know, as I was saying, what the fuss

8 is about over this incident. It wasn't any special occurrence. I don't

9 see anything special about it.

10 Q. Sir, did either Mr. Martinovic or Mr. Takac, around this time,

11 explain or ever say anything about why it was that Stela had to report

12 urgently to Mr. Tuta in Siroki Brijeg?

13 A. Did I say that Stela reported to Tuta in Siroki Brijeg?

14 Q. No, sir, I read the statement to you and my question to you now

15 is: You don't have any recollection or you can not provide any assistance

16 to the Chamber why it was that Mr. Martinovic and Mr. Takac had to report

17 urgently that day to Mr. Tuta at the tobacco station in Siroki Brijeg?

18 A. I don't know anything about that. My duty was to protect the

19 already-fortified lines and those private affairs or whatever one likes to

20 call them, these other things, outside protection of the line, simply did

21 not interest me.

22 Q. Sir, my final --

23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour?

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes?

25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, you see

Page 14627

1 that I'm trying to avoid comments, objections and everything else, but

2 Your Honours, in the cross-examination, when five times a witness says

3 that he doesn't know something, do we really have to, for the sixth time,

4 insinuate to the witness something that he has said for five times that

5 he doesn't know anything about it? So surely cross-examination should be

6 correct examination and not insinuations within questions. That's all I

7 wanted to say. Thank you. For the transcript, for the record, and I

8 apologise. I know we are all tired.

9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, this witness is not your witness.

10 It's Mr. Seric's witness. And Mr. Seric has rightly raised his objection

11 during the cross-examination. And I believe that the party conducting the

12 cross-examination has the right to do everything possible to refresh the

13 memory of the witness. I think they are entitled to do that. You may

14 proceed, Mr. Scott.

15 MR. SCOTT:

16 Q. Sir, my final question to you or two, depending on your answer,

17 is: You said on direct examination, when asked about whether this man

18 Halil Ajanic considered Stela responsible for the death of his son, you

19 said you -- if I heard you correctly, sir, you said you first heard that

20 "the other day." Can you tell us, sir, how it was that you heard this

21 information the other day?

22 A. I don't remember exactly. I think it was in the plane, somebody

23 said, one of these witnesses.

24 Q. Well, who told you?

25 A. Believe me, I don't know. Maybe everybody said it. I have no

Page 14628

1 idea, no clue. There was talk about this and that is how I learned about

2 it. Only thing, that Halil had accused Stela, and I was surprised,

3 because I know almost everything about that.

4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, to be cautious, we should probably go

5 to private session for a moment.

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

7 [Private session]

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15 [Open session]

16 Re-examined by Mr. Seric:

17 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, did you see or hear, personally, in

18 that -- Mr. Ajanic's statement, that was reproduced on BH television?

19 A. I've only heard about this incident and I was really surprised.

20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from Judges? No?

22 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming here to give your

23 evidence. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you out of

24 the room.

25 We all the wish you a pleasant journey back home.

Page 14631

1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

2 [The witness withdrew]

3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Seric, are there any documents to tender at this

4 stage?

5 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. It is the plan of

6 the town, D2/39 and the photograph which was marked by the witness, where

7 he marked where the tank moved and those obstacles put there, D2/40.

8 JUDGE LIU: I guess there are no objections.

9 MR. SCOTT: No objections, Mr. President.

10 JUDGE LIU: So they are admitted into evidence and the D2/39 is

11 under seal.

12 Well, after four and a half months, I think everybody in this room

13 deserves some rest so we will break now until the videolink. And this

14 bench will issue our order concerning the arrangement of the videolink.

15 We will rise until the 26th of August.

16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

17 4.25 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,

18 the 26th day of August, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.

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