1 Friday, 5 May 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
7 You must stand up to introduce a new person who is next to you.
8 Otherwise, we'll waste a lot of time if we make the introductions the same
10 On behalf of the Bench I would like to greet all the people in the
11 courtroom today. We must finish off with this hearing tomorrow and finish
12 off the examination in chief and proceed with the cross-examination.
13 Before giving the floor to Mr. Scott, as I told you yesterday, if
14 you feel slightly tired or if you feel you need a rest, please let me
15 know. If you cannot hold out for the entire morning, don't worry about
16 it. Your testimony can be postponed until next Monday. So it's for you
17 to decide. If you feel you are able to answer all the questions that will
18 be put to you for the next four hours, that's fine. But if you feel you
19 can't do this for health reasons, just let me know, and in that case we
20 can postpone it until Monday.
21 So how do things stand with you?
22 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
23 I will try and do my best. I will react if I'm feeling poorly,
24 but I would prefer us to continue. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we rely entirely on you. At
1 any time, whenever you feel you would like to, you can stop the hearing.
2 Mr. Scott, you said you needed 25 minutes. Could you make it even
3 shorter than that, please?
4 MR. SCOTT: I will try, Your Honour. Thank you.
5 WITNESS: RATKO PEJANOVIC [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pejanovic.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. Sir, I think -- we went through a series of incidents or events
11 yesterday afternoon, and I think there's only one additional event that we
12 will cover this morning before proceeding on to some other items. Again
13 with reference to your book, you mention that on the 2nd -- in the second
14 half of January, 1994, there were fires at a number of locations including
15 Velmos, Varteks and Opresa, and at the Marsal Tito Street. Can you just
16 briefly tell the Chamber what you recall about those incidents, similar to
17 what you did yesterday.
18 A. At all events, and it's quite true that that day we did have a
19 series of very serious and strenuous interventions, it would be difficult
20 to pinpoint one of them and say which was the most serious. Let me just
21 enumerate -- well, not enumerate, but let me just say that at that point
22 in time, the building was shelled or bombed of the former SDK, social
23 accountancy service, which is where the command of the 4th Corps was put
24 up at the time. And quite literally, a complete floor, a complete storey
25 was destroyed and cut off.
1 Then the next building underneath that section, below that
2 section, I think it was in Marsala Tita Street, number 86, the fire broke
3 out in apartment, and the building was built just a few years prior to the
4 conflict. It was an attic and it was a very serious fire. We weren't
5 able to apply any tactics for extinguishing fires. We had to go inside,
6 which made it more difficult. But hand-in-hand with this we were targeted
7 from Hum hill. And towards the evening there was another fire that broke
8 out that I've already described in my book, and that was the fire that
9 broke out on the so-called Varteks building. It takes its name from the
10 fact that the Varteks company had a retail shop on the ground floor level,
11 and everybody knew it as the Varteks building.
12 Anyway, this fire broke out in an apartment there which was facing
13 Hum hill. So quite literally if you were to look at it from Hum hill, you
14 could see it with the naked eye, the building and the apartment,
15 especially if you're using optic sights. Then of course you can see it
16 even better, up close.
17 Anyway, the apartment was set fire to with an inflammatory bullet,
18 an incendiary bullet, and while we were there to put out the fire, there
19 was a burst of gunfire sporadically from Hum, targeting the building in
20 general terms, but visibility was poor for those shooting and also for us
21 because we had to work in the dark and intervene in the dark. We weren't
22 injured, luckily, but I think we stayed there and then withdrew. But
23 there was somebody left on duty in the apartment next door, which faces
24 north north-west. So it wasn't under threat at all. And there was a
25 family living there, the Nova family, who knew us, and we stayed there all
1 night, took shifts during the night, two shifts a night.
2 Q. Can you tell us, sir, when you -- what was your experience in
3 terms of not only on this occasion but when you reported or responded to
4 various fires or emergencies, did you find that the shelling or sniping
5 stopped when the fire brigade arrived, or did it become more intense?
6 A. Unfortunately, I really do have to say that when there was the
7 general danger to all the citizens, that is to say when they all took
8 refuge, we didn't have an alarm system, to begin with, to sound the
9 general alarm, so when there was a general alarm, the only way people knew
10 that it was an alarm was that you could hear the shelling and then people
11 would rush and take shelter in the nearest shelter. So that was the time
12 when we went out onto the streets, and that's when it was the greatest
13 danger. But as luck would have it, and thank God we weren't hit when we
14 went out. We didn't have any victims, casualties when with shelling went
15 on. But it is true and it is a fact that on the buildings that we were
16 extinguishing the fires, as soon as you could see that the fire was being
17 put under control, the shooting would step up in intensity.
18 For example, in Serif Buric Street, the fire that broke out there
19 at the building that used to be the building of the former committee,
20 party committee building, on the ground floor and in the basement of that
21 building there was a hospital, a makeshift hospital, and I think that
22 there was a communication system, but that's not the essential point now
23 anyway. That floor was hit. And I couldn't understand for a long time
24 how -- it appeared as if somebody was watching us while we were working,
25 and as we managed to put the fires under control, the shooting would
1 become more intensive, unscrupulous. And I thought about this and thought
2 perhaps we were applying the wrong kind of tactics, because we -- I
3 thought that they might have intercepted our communication lines when we
4 were communicating with the fire brigade.
5 Until at one point when I entered the street, because we entered
6 it from Marsal Tito Street towards this Serif Buric Street, at that point
7 when we entered the street while we were on our way, walking, going
8 towards it, I saw projectiles being fired from Mrkan hill, and then I
9 realised that they had their optic sights on us and could see us very
10 well. And as they could see that the fire was diminishing and we were
11 having it under control, the fire was a bit less intense, the intensity of
12 the shelling increased.
13 And another illustration of this, because one of the drivers
14 failed to follow orders and in fact he was killed later on, one shell hit
15 the concrete of a building and hit him in the head, and he was injured.
16 It wasn't too serious.
17 And another member was also hit by a grenade, a shell. There was
18 a partition wall behind him, and that saved him from the shrapnel.
19 Q. Mr. --
20 A. So this explosion, the detonation that ensued, threw him, and he
21 had injuries to his chest and he had to go on sick leave for 10 or 12
23 Q. All right. Mr. Pejanovic, we need to move somewhat quickly this
24 morning in order to try to stay on schedule, or do the best we can. Let
25 me just ask you, please, before we continue, if you could mark on the map
1 that we were using yesterday with the letter L the location of this
2 incident that you've told us about this morning. In particular, at the
3 Marshal Tito location.
4 And for the record, we're again using or referring to the base
5 map, which is Exhibit P09517.
6 A. I apologise, but did you tell me to put the letter K there?
7 Q. I'm sorry. The letter L, please.
8 A. Thank you.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Sir, just very briefly, please: You
10 mentioned communications between yourself, the fire brigade, and perhaps
11 other local authorities. Could you just briefly tell the Judges what the
12 nature of your means of communication were during the second half of 1993
13 -- or from May, 1993, forward. Please focus your attention on that time
14 period, May, 1993, forward, what the means of communication were.
15 A. The number of radio stations that we had were insufficient. We
16 had three transmitters, walkie-talkie devices, and in our vehicles -- in
17 two vehicles we also had stationary stations, or mobile ones, whatever you
18 like to call them, which were in the vehicles. All this was well and good
19 and functioned properly when you have a proper system of communicating and
20 when you have repeater stations and can reach your centre and communicate
21 with it. However, in view of the short range of those devices and because
22 of the configuration of the terrain that we acted in, we were not able to
23 have communications coming over loud and clear, especially when you know
24 that the left bank, since the beginning of the aggression, was completely
25 cut off in terms of energy, water, electricity, that kind of thing,
1 heating system, and so on.
2 And the greatest problem we had in our fire brigade service was
3 the lack of kilowatt hours for our repeater station and our stable base
4 station to get power and then to tie ourselves in with the system. So
5 that was a problem. But when we did have enough power, that was just
6 symbolic. And in the department store named Razvitak, their generator
7 stayed there and the generator would take over when the city network was
8 down. So that was a fairly strong generator. It was made in that way for
9 a certain number of kilowatt hours for the purposes of the department
10 store. However, afterwards, we had a makeshift generator, and it had to
11 deal with a lot, so we were allocated just a very small number of kilowatt
12 hours, which meant that we could switch on our transistor radios to see
13 the news in the evening. And it wasn't a continuous interval and signal,
14 not 24 hours. But in the space of 24 hours, we were -- the generator was
15 switched on for two or three hours, and if you managed to switch on at
16 that particular time, you could hear something and listen through your own
17 devices, but otherwise, everything was down. And their range was not that
18 great either, due to the configuration of the terrain.
19 Q. Let me ask you this, a final question on that point: When the
20 radio system, for whatever reason, when your radios were not working, what
21 was the means of communication? By example, if there was a fire in town
22 in East Mostar and your radio system was not working, how would you at the
23 fire brigade receive information about the fire?
24 A. 99 per cent - not to say 100 per cent - it went by word of mouth.
25 That is to say, if somebody noticed a fire in the Tekija region, for
1 example, would try and reach the unit by car, if they had one, or they
2 would convey the messages, oral messages, and that would reach us. So
3 what would happen is that sometimes more than half an hour elapsed and
4 even an hour between the moment the fire broke out until the time we
5 reached information about the fire.
6 MR. SCOTT: All right. If I could have the witness please be
7 shown Exhibit P04240. If we could have that displayed, please.
8 Q. Sir, if you're able to see that document now --
9 A. Yes, I do. Of course I do.
10 Q. -- could you please tell us what that document is and what -- the
11 information it provides.
12 A. This is a report, a piece of information required by the civilian
13 protection service, and we were duty-bound to inform the civilian
14 protection service about any serious interventions. In addition to that,
15 we, of course, informed, sent out information on a monthly basis about
16 fires, about the training and employees in the unit, any equipment that we
17 needed, and things like that. So that was regular information sent out to
18 the civilian protection staff and headquarters.
19 This particular information says that from the 9th of May -- how
20 many interventions there were from the 9th of May to the 16th of August,
21 outside and inside, that is to say inside buildings and outside in the
22 open air. We also note that the fires were usually caused by the
23 fighting, by the shooting and the war, and that members of the unit were
24 very often exposed to sniper fire or shelling and shrapnel during
25 situations of that kind.
1 And I have to add that I myself was a member of the staff dealing
2 with protection measures for -- against fires both on land and at sea, on
3 the water, and so I sent out information to the civilian protection staff
4 and headquarters.
5 Q. All right. Now, if we can proceed next, Mr. Pejanovic, and in
6 final couple -- series of questions, I would like to show you -- in the
7 interests of time --
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, in the interests of time, what I've
9 done is provide the next bundle of exhibits, which I'll give to you in a
10 moment, in one single combined bundle in the B/C/S versions to hand to the
11 witness so we can proceed as quickly as possible. If I could have the
12 assistance of the usher, please. And while she's doing this, I'll
13 indicate in the record what's being given to the witness.
14 Your Honours and for the Defence, the bundle of material that's
15 been put before the witness now is Exhibit P07996.
16 Q. And, Mr. Pejanovic, while I'm reading these numbers, if you can
17 look at that bundle that's been put in front of you and just generally see
18 what it is so I can briefly ask you a couple of questions.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it's 07996, 07997, 07998, 07999, 08001,
20 08003, 08005, 08007, 08009, and 09513.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I just have to take a look at
22 the first page, I don't need the rest, just to see who my colleagues were.
23 This is once again a report going to the civilian protection staff, and in
24 keeping with what I said a moment ago, we were duty-bound to send out
25 regular reports and information to the staff about any problems that might
1 have cropped up during our work. And since the civilian protection staff,
2 pursuant to an order of the republican civilian protection staff, probably
3 had to collect data about fatalities and casualties, then the civilian
4 protection staff under extraordinary circumstances would send in a request
5 or a piece of information according to which it would say that said they
6 needed the data on so-and-so.
7 So this information must be provide -- might have been provided
8 pursuant to a special request from the civilian protection staff or a
9 regular request. And as I said, we did send out regular reports to the
10 civilian protection, because we who were heads of sectors, heads of
11 departments, were duty-bound to have meetings every fortnight to analyse
12 the situation in our departments.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Pejanovic, I'm not going to take you again,
15 partly for the interests of time and partly because the information is
16 shown on the face of the document, I'm not going to take you through these
17 one by one in detail, and I'm not going to mention --
18 MR. SCOTT: In order to avoid going into private session, Mr.
19 President, I'm not going to ask the witness to mention any of these names
20 which again are on the face of the documents.
21 Q. Witness, just as a general matter, if I can direct your attention,
22 as one example only, to Exhibit P07996, which should be the first item in
23 your bundle. If you could just focus on that for a moment.
24 Is it correct, sir, that basically each of these reports is a
25 report concerning either a wounded or killed firefighter, and the form
1 will give the person's name, date of birth, various other information, and
2 the date and nature of the either injury or death? Is that correct, sir?
3 A. Yes, that is correct, without a doubt, because we received this
4 form. We didn't compile it, we received it from the Ministry of Defence,
5 and then they would send it on. And I think this is a standard form, the
6 standard form that was used for reports and information of this nature.
7 So it's a standard form. It's not one that we compiled. We just received
8 a questionnaire from the civilian protection authorities, and then we had
9 to fill in this form entering all the data, even the mother's name and her
10 maiden name. So that this was the standard type of form, and we couldn't
11 change it or influence it in any way.
12 Q. And all these forms that I've just handed to you and listed for
13 the record, these were all forms and records that were made and completed
14 by the fire-fighting unit in the course of its duties in 1993, 1994; is
15 that correct, sir?
16 A. Yes, undoubtedly so.
17 Q. Mr. Pejanovic, I thank you on behalf of the Prosecution for your
18 testimony and assistance to the Tribunal.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that completes the Prosecution
20 examination. We would tender at this time into evidence the following
21 documents: P04240, P07996, P07997, P07998, P07999, P08001, P08003,
22 P08005, P08007, P08009, P09139, P09140, P09220, P09511, P09512, P09513,
23 and P09517, both in its form as the original base map, if you will; that's
24 the map -- that is the base map that the witness has been using the last
25 two days, and I would ask for an in-court exhibit number to be provided to
1 the marked map that the witness has marked, that that will be given a
2 number as a new exhibit.
3 And, Your Honour, concerning the bundle of records that we've
4 given to the witness this morning, I would ask that those at least
5 momentarily be kept under seal because of the names and information that's
6 reflected in the documents. It may be that what can be done in the future
7 is that a redacted version can be provided.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You have -- on your list
9 of documents we have P9139, and there's a blank here. Oh, it's a video.
11 MR. SCOTT: P9139 is the 360-degree video, yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, that's a video, then.
13 Registrar, you will have to retrieve the marked map, and that
14 marked map will have to have a specific number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This map
16 -- in English, this map will have a number IC0002. [Previous translation
17 continues] ... [In English] on the P9517. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, as far as the others are
19 concerned -- yes, Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
20 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. It was just to complete the thought.
21 In terms of the bundle of records that were provided to the witness just a
22 few minutes ago, I would propose, Your Honour, and we'd ask that those be
23 initially kept under seal because of the names and information that are
24 reflected on the face of the documents of some of the victims. I would
25 anticipate that what might be done in the future is certain items could be
1 redacted and then the document, once redacted, then can be otherwise
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. So to begin with and to
4 gain time, Registrar, we shall accept the numbers of documents which have
5 been quoted: 4240, 7996, 7997, 7998, 7999, to 8001, 8003, 8005, 8007,
6 8009, 9539, which is a video, 9140, 9220, 9511, 9512, 9513 and 9517, which
7 was the original document.
8 We shall now move on to the cross-examination. The Chamber -- the
9 Bench has not ruled on the issue of disclosure of documents before the
10 cross-examination. We shall rule on this next week. And at the end of
11 this hearing, we shall discuss this. I assume that the Defence has not
12 disclosed any documents, so we shall proceed as we did with the former
13 witness. I shall now give the floor to Mr. Karnavas, who is the first to
14 speak, I believe.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
17 Q. Good morning, sir.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. My name is Michael Karnavas, and along with my colleagues, I
20 represent Dr. Jadranko Prlic. I will ask you some very direct questions,
21 and if we are able to get through them, hopefully we will have you back in
22 Mostar for the weekend. So I would appreciate -- I will try to discipline
23 myself in asking precise questions, and I trust you will provide me with
24 direct answers. And if you need to make any explanations, please feel
1 First, if I could talk to you a little bit about your background.
2 I don't believe we heard about your educational background. What is it,
4 A. If you're interested in the type of school that I concluded, I
5 don't wish to discuss this. I'm ready to discuss what I wrote about, and
6 this is the reason why I came here.
7 Sir, I had a completely normal traditional training for
8 firefighters. I was first a trainee firefighter, and then I went up the
9 hierarchy to the top position. I even trained other firefighters.
10 Q. All right. Would it be fair for us to assume, then, that your
11 entire career has been in fire-fighting?
12 A. Out of 41 years and six months of my service years, I spent 21
13 years working as a professional firefighter, and prior to that I worked as
14 a volunteer firefighter. And you can find all this information in the
15 book that I wrote.
16 Q. Okay. I'm sure it's in the book. I'm just trying to figure out
17 what your training is and what your background is. I assume you did your
18 JNA training, your military service training.
19 A. Naturally. Naturally, yes. And I'm proud of having served in the
20 Yugoslav People's Army.
21 Q. That was the same army, incidentally, that you referred to in your
22 statement as the Chetniks; is that correct?
23 A. No, I wouldn't place them in the same category. I'm proud of
24 having served in the army in 1963 to 1965. The other army, this other
25 armada attacking the town and Bosnia-Herzegovina, none of us should
1 discuss it. We should leave it to the historians, because we're not
3 Q. But nonetheless, that was the army, the other armada that you
4 called Chetniks, which I understand is sort of a pejorative term that
5 often is used to describe Serbs; is that correct?
6 A. I used that term consciously, because I differentiate between an
7 honest and decent Serb and a Chetnik on the other hand. That is a great
8 difference there. Anybody who is prepared to commit a crime has a name,
9 and that name can either be Chetnik, Ustasha, or Ballista. And decent,
10 honest Serbs are something quite different. I consider myself to be one
11 of them because I remained in my town where for thousands of years my
12 ancestors lived and worked, and I'm very proud of that.
13 Q. As you should be, sir. But as I -- if I understand you correctly
14 yesterday, some of your neighbours perhaps thought that you were one of
15 the Chetniks, too, when they were asking you why you're going around with
16 that walkie-talkie, or did I misunderstand that incident which you
17 considered a -- to be a provocation?
18 A. I think that you misunderstood it. That incident took place in
19 the street where I live, and I described it, saying that I took the
20 walkie-talkie because at the time we still had a relatively normal supply
21 of electricity, so that the central station in our headquarters operated
22 normally. It was more likely to lose telephone connection so that I would
23 lose contact with my colleagues, and this is why I asked to take
24 walkie-talkie with me.
25 Q. I'm not questioning your intentions. What I am suggesting,
1 however, from your answers yesterday, your neighbours were alluding to the
2 fact that perhaps, you having the walkie-talkie, you were one of them. Is
3 that how you took it at the time when they asked you, "Why are you
4 carrying this walkie-talkie? Who are you talking to?"
5 A. Let me repeat: I think that you are stating this arbitrarily.
6 These were my fellow citizens, my fellow Serbs. They were asking me why I
7 had a walkie-talkie because they were fearing that perhaps I was in the
8 service of some other side.
9 Q. Exactly. The Chetnik side.
10 A. Why would they think that I was a Chetnik if I was amongst my own?
11 Why would they believe that? Had I been among the Chetniks, then they
12 would have known that that's what I am. What happened there is that there
13 could have been fears that I was an Ustasha or a Ballista, because I was
14 among my own people, and there is no way they would have thought that I
15 was a Chetnik because that would imply that they were Chetniks too. No.
16 It could have only meant that I crossed over to the opposite side.
17 Q. And you also considered it a provocation when they asked you to
18 bring out your weapons, I guess the assumption being, you being a Serb,
19 obviously you would have weapons in your house, which was in fact not the
21 A. It is likely that that's what they thought, but they were wrong.
22 I had absolutely no weapons on me. And let me just give you an
23 illustration: The kind of job I performed required me to carry a weapon.
24 Q. Sir, if I may intervene. I don't need lengthy explanations. I
25 just want -- if you can answer the questions directly, I might be able to
1 get you home today or tomorrow. So the answer is they assumed - and I'm
2 underscoring the word "assumed" - because you were a Serb, obviously you
3 would have in your home weapons, and that's why you took an affront to
4 that, because it was an assumption; correct?
5 A. I confirm that clearly. I assume so.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. And that's why they asked me.
8 Q. Yeah. And you felt offended.
9 A. Not that I was offended, but I didn't feel good about them asking
10 me this, because I thought that they knew very well who had weapons and
11 who didn't. I didn't have that information, but I'm sure that they knew
12 that very well.
13 Q. All right. And as a result of that question being posed to you,
14 you stopped going out at night along with your neighbours and just
15 continued on with your own work, which dealt with civil protection
16 matters; correct?
17 A. Yes. After that night, I stopped being on duty in the street, not
18 stopped communicating with my neighbours. I stopped being on duty, and I
19 started spending 24 hours with other firefighters.
20 Q. All right. Now, we're going to speak a little bit about your
21 fire-fighting career and your activities with the civil protection, but
22 first I would like to touch upon the topic that was last discussed by the
23 Prosecution. Perhaps I could begin by asking you whether you are -- you
24 have any special military training with respect to ballistics.
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. And artillery?
2 A. No. And I said so yesterday in my evidence that I was not a
3 strategic expert nor a soldier.
4 Q. And I take it you're not hunter either. Since you didn't have any
5 weapons at home, you're probably not a hunter.
6 A. No.
7 Q. Okay. So I take it if I were to go --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Karnavas.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: The mike is on.
10 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. So I take it if we were to go into a lengthy discussion with
13 respect to trying to figure out the angles of the wounds and where the
14 shots would have come to in order to locate the so-called snipers, perhaps
15 you're not the best person to get into this discussion with; correct?
16 A. I never claimed so. However, I think it's right for me to speak
17 about what I saw, and that's what I spoke about. I never claimed anything
18 about the direction of trajectory nor anything about ballistics.
19 Q. Okay. And while you were able -- I noticed in the film you were
20 saying, "It was from there," when you were directing, and you were
21 pointing this way and that way - and the record should reflect that I'm
22 gesturing, you know, with my hands - other than that, that's the best you
23 can do to tell us where the shots were coming from; correct?
24 A. I have a suggestion, if the Trial Chamber will agree with me.
25 Sir, why don't you come to Mostar, and I will take you to this location
1 where the water truck was and where they were shooting from. I have no
2 better way of explaining this to you.
3 This was not secondhand information, no; I was an eyewitness.
4 Q. All right. And after the -- the one incident that you described
5 yesterday, as I understand it, you didn't see the individual get hit. You
6 heard about it, and then you saw the person on the ground; is that
8 A. Could you be more explicit? Which incident do you have in mind?
9 When I was pointing with my hands yesterday?
10 Q. No. Yesterday, when you were describing where your colleague was
11 shot, and he survived for a day and then the following day he passed away.
12 Now, on that particular incident --
13 A. Uzeir. All right.
14 Q. Yeah. You didn't see the sniper.
15 A. Nobody saw it.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. Nobody ever saw a single sniper.
18 Q. Okay. I'm going to go step-by-step. You weren't watching -- you
19 weren't watching your colleague at the moment that he was shot.
20 A. No. I heard him as he said, "Oh, mother," and when he dropped to
21 his knees.
22 Q. And when you turned to see him, he was -- was he on the ground or
23 was he still standing up? Was he standing up?
24 A. No. As I said to you, and as I said very clearly, he was on his
25 left knee and his left elbow.
1 Q. So you don't know and you cannot tell us with any degree of
2 precision in which direction he was facing at the time that he was shot.
3 A. That's not true. I know that.
4 Q. Sir --
5 A. And I claim this emphatically. I know this. He was turned with
6 his back toward the bullet that hit him. Otherwise, he could not have
7 been hit under his left shoulder.
8 Q. That, I think, we can figure out. What I'm asking is with
9 precision on the ground where exactly he was and how he was turned and
10 where the sniper was coming from. You cannot tell us with any degree of
11 precision, can you?
12 A. I can tell you this very precisely. He had his back turned. I
13 was on his right. The bullet came from his -- from the direction to where
14 his back was turned to, and the bullet entered under his left shoulder.
15 And I never attempted to do anything about the sniper because it was other
16 snipers hunting snipers.
17 Q. I understand, sir, nor am I suggesting that you should have done
18 something. I'm just trying to get some basic information. And you
19 answered my next question, which was: After that incident you did not do
20 any investigation nor did anyone else do any investigation to try to find
21 out the exact location of the sniper.
22 A. First of all, sir, you're forgetting that this was immediately
23 after the war. No investigations were conducted even in much more serious
24 cases. And if we analyse those who should have initiated an
25 investigation, I was the last person down in that chain. What was to be
1 expected of me was to give information, provide a report, go and visit his
2 family, and do what was humane. It was up to others to conduct an
4 Q. So the answer to my question is no; is that correct?
5 A. Certainly, yes.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. I did no investigation, nor did anybody else to my knowledge, but
8 I'm pointing this out for the record that during those days many other
9 incidents were not investigated either.
10 Q. Okay. Well, yesterday you indicated and you brought our attention
11 to the potential sniper being at a particular building. It was a bank
12 building. The Privredna bank building. I'm a little tongue-tied today.
13 That's the name of the building; right?
14 A. Yes, you're right.
15 Q. Okay. And on -- if we go back to yesterday's transcript, on page
16 108, on lines 5 to 6, you said the opposite side tried to hit that sniper
17 to put him out of action. Do you recall saying that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when you were referring to the other side, is it not a fact
20 that you were referring to the HVO? Correct?
21 A. I don't think that the HVO would be trying to hit their own
22 sniper. It would be more natural for the members of the army to try to
23 hit the enemy sniper, because they were enemies of each other. So why
24 would somebody look for their own sniper?
25 Q. Okay. Are you aware of a mixed group of HVO and ABiH who tried to
1 locate that sniper at that particular building? Are you aware of any of
3 A. No. That's the first I hear of it.
4 Q. Okay. You're not suggesting that it never occurred?
5 A. I can't say either way. I don't know.
6 Q. And assuming that that is the case, that there was a mixed group
7 of HVO along with the ABiH who tried to locate, isolate, and take out that
8 particular sniper, then I take it that my earlier question, the opposite
9 side would also include the HVO trying to take out that particular sniper?
10 MR. SCOTT: I object, Your Honour, to both the form of the
11 question and it assumes facts not in evidence. Why should this witness
12 simply answer questions based on Mr. Karnavas's pure assumptions. I
13 object to that, and I object also to the complexity of the question. It's
14 not clear at this point what's being asked, who is on what side. The
15 witness gave a very clear answer previously.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I -- very well.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I intended to ask the
18 witness a question about this. As Mr. Karnavas mentioned a few moments
19 ago, the witness did say in his testimony yesterday that people had tried
20 to shoot this sniper, and page 20, line 15, this morning, he also said
21 that other snipers were hunting this sniper. So in the interests of
22 justice, it is important to understand who was shooting at this sniper.
23 So quite rightly so, we should ask the witness who were these people
24 shooting at the sniper? Did they belong to the mixed group? Were they
25 unidentified people? Who were these people? I think this is a relevant
2 Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Sir, if indeed there was a mixed group of HVO and ABiH -- and I
5 have a good faith basis for asking the question, Mr. Scott very well knows
6 that. If Mr. Scott is not aware of his own evidence, then I'll move on,
7 Your Honour.
8 Today, the first incident that was mentioned by Mr. Scott in that
9 particular building, do you recall talking about it this morning, the
10 first incident? The former social accounting service building, I believe
11 it is.
12 A. Yes, but this did not involve a sniper. It involved artillery
14 Q. I'm not suggesting that it was. I'm going to bring you back.
15 We're going to go in and out of various areas.
16 In that particular building, is it not a fact that there was one
17 military unit of the ABiH in that particular building? And I believe you
18 even mentioned it in your book on page 56, as I'm sure Mr. Scott is aware
20 A. That's no secret. All prisoners of the HVO, all those who were
21 imprisoned, know that for a while in the basement of that building there
22 was a prison. For a while. I stress for a while. And then there was a
23 command headquarters as well. So that's no secret.
24 You also have to know that two or three prisoners escaped. So all
25 of that enabled the information to be passed on.
1 Q. Well, when you say it was -- it was a command post, we're talking
2 about the command of the -- of the 4th Corps, right, of the ABiH?
3 A. Yes, certainly.
4 Q. Okay. So that's a military target, is it not? Or maybe, because
5 of your background, you wouldn't know that.
6 A. Sir, I have to warn you that you are being ironic, and I'd like to
7 ask you to refrain from that. We're in the courtroom. So I kindly ask
8 you not to do that.
9 Yes, I'm aware of that, that that's a military target, but I'm
10 also telling you that the building number 86, next to it, was a civilian
11 location; the building across from it, Varteks, the same. Building number
12 96, too, was a civilian facility, so you can't keep telling me that all of
13 those were military targets. This one, this particular one, yes, it was a
14 military target.
15 Q. Thank you for clarifying that. Yesterday, you indicated that
16 there was sniping on both sides; correct?
17 A. Most probably, I believe so. I believe that that was the case.
18 Q. You believe or it was indeed a fact? And I'm not being ironic on
19 this one. Okay? Thank you.
20 A. Yes, it was. And I'm not being ironic either. As that was the
21 case yesterday, in the course of my testimony I said that a colleague of
22 mine from the other side who was put up with us was hit by a sniper in the
23 Bulevar, the location of the former clinic, and that means that there was
24 a sniper who opened fire from the other side. It's not moral, but is it
25 unnatural to return fire? That's why there was a war.
1 Q. All right. In fact, there was -- let's face it, this was urban
2 combat fighting, was it not? Both sides shooting at each other.
3 A. Yes, of course. That's evident. But the army, the armija, had
4 nowhere near the amount of materiel and equipment. It had nowhere near
5 the amount of materiel and equipment that the HVO had. I'm not here to
6 judge anyone.
7 Q. And neither are we, but I'm trying to get to the facts. Would you
8 -- would it -- can we assume that since there was sniping from the east
9 to the west, that the commander of the 4th Corps, Mr. Pasalic, was the one
10 that had ordered that sniping? Can we make that assumption?
11 MR. SCOTT: I'm again going to object to that question, Your
12 Honour. Again based on facts not in evidence. Pure assumption, pure
13 speculation on behalf of this witness.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may. The whole point is --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. As to this objection,
16 because you are now in the realm of absolute speculation, aren't you?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. And the point being that
18 yesterday the gentleman was making assumptions all day long and I'm trying
19 to bring the point home. What's good for the direct is good for the
20 cross. If he's going to assume all sorts of things that the HVO was
21 doing, I'm trying to get to this from the other side.
22 Q. You can't make that assumption, can you, sir, that these were
23 ordered snipers?
24 MR. SCOTT: I object, Your Honour. Nothing's changed. It's pure
25 speculation for this witness, pure assumption, and cannot assist the
1 Chamber in any way.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Mr. Scott, but
3 within the scope of cross-examination, the Defence counsel are entitled to
4 provide their interpretation, asking for the witness to give his point of
5 view. Anyway, this will be judged and assessed by the Judges. This
6 doesn't harm anybody, because if it is pure speculation, unfounded, not
7 relying on documents, it doesn't have any probative value.
8 Please, Mr. Karnavas, proceed.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Can we assume that Mr. Pasalic perhaps was acting on the orders of
11 Alija Izetbegovic, his commander-in-chief, and that he had effective
12 command and control over all the sniping that was going on from the east
13 to the west? Can we make that assumption simply because sniping was
15 A. Well, I think you're asking the wrong person if you're asking you
16 me about this. You should ask the late Alija Izetbegovic and Mr. Arif
17 Pasalic. They're both deceased. I don't know whether this is something
18 that is stated somewhere in the transcript but I am really not interested
19 in this. I was discussing the matter of firefighters, and I was telling
20 you about the events that we experienced in the course of 1991 and 1995.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. Now, yesterday you indicated about an incident where you thought
24 -- or you were told that perhaps a Chinese missile was used, something to
25 that effect. Do you recall that?
1 A. Yes, of course I remember that. It was about Blagaj and about
2 targeting Tekija at the top of Blagaj.
3 Q. Tekija, that incident is not in your book, is it? I couldn't find
5 A. No, you're right. I didn't describe this in my book. When -- I
6 said something about this in the course of an interview, an oral statement
7 I made in Mostar.
8 Q. Okay. Well, when -- I thought from yesterday that this was -- the
9 first time you mentioned this to the Prosecution was two days ago when you
10 arrived. Are you suggesting now that you gave a statement in Mostar to
11 the investigators here about this particular incident?
12 A. I had interviews on five occasions in Mostar, and perhaps that
13 statement was given in an unofficial way. Perhaps it wasn't an official
14 interview, because a lot of time has passed since then so it's not
15 possible for me to remember all the details.
16 Q. Nonetheless, when you mentioned that there was this Chinese
17 missile, that was based on information that you had received, not
18 information that you had observed; right?
19 A. No, but in fact you are partially right, because I heard about
20 this from a colleague who was in Blagaj. He was the commander of that
21 department. I heard that it was a Chinese mortar. This wasn't the first
22 time Blagaj had been shelled in this manner, so he probably had such
23 experience. I know that there were three missiles that were launched one
24 after another, and they passed over our heads and fell somewhere up in the
25 hills. Well, a rough estimate would be 2 or 300 metres away, or a hundred
1 metres to the left from the -- from the top of that location, from the top
2 of -- from the top of the Buna bridge.
3 Q. Other than being told that this was a Chinese missile, you have
4 nothing else to verify that; right?
5 A. I wasn't interested in that, to tell you the truth. All I was
6 interested in was fleeing from that location where I heard the screeching
7 of the missile. I'd like to see how you would behave in such a situation.
8 Q. Sir, I don't mean to be impolite and I don't want to disrupt you
9 or interrupt you, but the question was: Other than being told, you have
10 no other information. Now, that calls for a yes or no answer. Could you
11 cooperate with us.
12 A. I think I've answered your question. I said no, apart from what I
13 heard from my colleague.
14 Q. And you don't know whether your colleague was correct or
16 A. I assume he was correct, because prior to that event there was
17 another incident. Three multiple rocket launchers were fired, three
18 missiles hit the fishpond, and the mother of the Zutina family was killed,
19 because they lived opposite the fishpond. So pieces of the missile
20 remained there, and that's probably how they assessed the situation.
21 As I have said, I wasn't really interested in everything. At the
22 time, all I wanted to do was to flee from the site of the event.
23 Q. Getting back to the substance, are you not simply, sir, assuming
24 that your friend was correct when he said that this was a Chinese missile?
25 And I guess that's the point that I'm trying to get at; that you're making
1 all of these assumptions.
2 A. It's not an assumption. I'm claiming that this happened. I'm
3 claiming that three missiles flew over our heads and fell somewhere in the
4 hills. I am making an assumption when --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Chinese missile. That's what
6 the question was. Are you not, sir, making an assumption that this was a
7 Chinese missile and that your friend was correct? That's the question.
8 If you don't understand it, I'll rephrase it, but we can move along if you
9 just say yes or no.
10 A. It's not necessary to do that. You said quite clearly that I was
11 assuming that it was a Chinese missile and I assume that I had seen it. I
12 am not assuming that I saw it, but I am assuming that it was a Chinese
13 missile, and that assumption is based on what my colleague told me.
14 That's it.
15 Q. Now, just one point before we move on: The demarcation line was
16 not the river itself; right? That's not what separated the two
17 conflicting parties.
18 A. It's difficult to say where the line was. It's true that in part
19 of the town it was the river that represented the demarcation line. In
20 the other part of the town, there was the river and the Hum hill that in
21 fact represented the line of demarcation. And then in the third part of
22 town there was a street which was the demarcation line. There were MUP
23 members on one side and HVO members on the other side. Then this Santica
24 Street, the other part of Santica Street from the Partizan Kino and
25 further up, and that street also represented the demarcation line. But
1 when I mentioned the demarcation line and said that the distances were not
2 very significant, what I wanted to say was that it was very difficult to
3 say where the front lines started and where they stopped, because in the
4 eastern part of town, well, the area's very small, and there were the
5 Serbian forces on the one side and the Croatian forces on the other side.
6 So it's very difficult to state where the demarcation line was exactly.
7 Q. But in town itself, you mentioned one street. The Bulevar is the
8 other; correct?
9 A. I said up to Hum, there was the Bulevar. From Spanish Square
10 right up to the Hum hill. And the Bulevar represented the demarcation
11 line there. The HVO was on Hum, and down below there was the ABiH. But
12 from Santica Street towards the Bulevar -- or, rather, from the former
13 Mose Pijade Street there's the Spanca Street, which was divided, and from
14 that part towards Carinski bridge, the street also represented the
15 demarcation line. So it's very difficult to understand all of this unless
16 you actually visit the site and see what it looked like.
17 Q. Perhaps you can help us out here by just referring to the map that
18 was used by the Prosecution. I believe it was given a new name, IC0002.
19 Previously it was P09517. If we could --
20 A. Gladly.
21 Q. Good. We're moving along. If I could get some assistance and
22 just put it on the ELMO.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if it will save time this morning, I
24 don't think there's any dispute by anyone in the courtroom --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm entitled to do my job.
1 MR. SCOTT: -- we can agree that the area marked in yellow on the
2 map and described as the Bulevar, and then you can see Santica Street,
3 that that was generally the demarcation line. The Prosecution does not
4 dispute that; we can agree that that's the case.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm thankful for that observation. First of all --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One minute, Mr. Karnavas, as to
7 the objection raised by the Prosecution. I think it's important for the
8 witness to tell us where the ABiH was, where the HVO was, and listening to
9 him I realise that there was also -- that there were Serbian forces. So
10 it might be interesting, based on this map, for this -- these forces to be
11 positioned even if he's not a military expert, I mean, in spite of the
12 fact that he served for two years in the JNA.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... witness to
14 tell us as opposed to the Prosecutor testifying for us.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'll write down "HVO"
16 for the part that was covered by the HVO, and I'll use the letter A to
17 mark the area covered by the army or armija.
18 [No interpretation].
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. If you could just help us out here. I know you marked it, but
21 just show us --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Karnavas, please.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. If you could just show us, sir, on the map.
25 A. Can we turn this around and approach it from the south? Let's
1 have a look at the place where it says Donja Mahala. In fact, let's start
2 from the south. You can see that it says Donja Mahala here, and I've
3 marked this with the letter A. This is the Dzemal Bijedic road and ends
4 at the Hasan Brkic bridge. You have a green line here. There is an HVO
5 sign here. This is the part towards Cekrek and towards Hum. If we
6 continue northwards down the Bulevar as far as the Spanish Square, the
7 Spanski Trg, we're talking about the left side now if you're looking from
8 the north to the south. On left side of the Bulevar, this area was
9 covered by the armija. I've marked this.
10 On the right side you have an area covered by the HVO. This has
11 also been marked, with the letters "HVO." Around this street Onesuk
12 Street, there's part -- there's part that is near Hum, but I couldn't
13 really say how -- what the distance is here. But this part was also under
14 the armija, and this part was blown up, because a good -- the friend of a
15 good -- the son of a good friend of mine was killed as a result of a mine.
16 If you head off -- if you set off from the Spanski Trg down Mose
17 Pijade Street and turn into the first street on the right, here it says
18 the HVO, and then in the lower part you also have an area where it says
19 Kolvarska, and I've marked this with "HVO." This area is also under the
21 Here it says A, and then there is a cul-de-sac that is in the
22 direction of the Neretva River. It's only three metres wide, this street.
23 Half was under the armija and the other half under the HVO. This part
24 ends with the street that leads from the Carinski bridge to Hotel Ero, or
25 the pensioners hotel, and that is what the balance of power in the town
1 was. Those are the positions.
2 As far as the Serbs are concerned, it's impossible to mark their
3 positions on the map here because, from this line here that you can now
4 see, if you have a look at this extreme point here, where it says
5 "Bjelusine," well, from there to the demarcation line with the Serbs, the
6 distance was between three or four kilometres as the crow flies. Perhaps
7 I've overestimated the distance, but that would be my estimate because
8 those positions were mostly in part of Podvelezje and the armija was in
9 that area, which was divided; you had the armija on one side and the Serbs
10 on the other side.
11 Q. Thank you. And I take it we don't quite see it on the map, but
12 these are narrow streets and tight corners where this urban combat was
13 going on; correct?
14 A. I wouldn't say that this was street combat. People would just
15 open fire on positions, provoke each other. I'm not a strategical expert
16 but I was a lay juror and I assisted -- I was present to war crimes trials
17 in the area that I live in. And one of the issues was why was it
18 necessary to exert such pressure in the town? And the answer was in order
19 to relief the pressure on forces in Bijelo Polje or -- or the reverse; in
20 order to ensure that the demarcation line in the town was relieved in a
21 certain sense. I'm not being ironical. It was necessary to be -- to live
22 through such conditions to know how terrible this shelling was and how
23 terrible it was when snipers started -- started firing at random.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much, sir. Now, I want to go
25 back in time, actually, and since you mentioned the Serbs, I assume that
1 you are referring to the JNA and -- and also the reservists that had come
2 from Montenegro when you were referring to their position. So I want to
3 talk about that period. Okay?
4 A. Yes. As far as I'm concerned, that's fine. I don't know whether
5 it's directly related to this trial, but I won't avoid discussing the
6 matter and I'll tell you whatever I know about it.
7 Q. All right. Thank you. In early -- early April, 1992, Mostar was
8 attacked, was it not?
9 A. At the beginning of April, on the 3rd of April, to be precise,
10 1993, the barracks of the Mostar Battalion was blown up. There were
11 reservists billeted in those barracks, and part of the armed forces of the
12 former Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Okay. And we're talking about the JNA; correct? That's what they
14 called themselves. Others called them Chetniks. But we're talking about
15 the JNA or what remained of the JNA, along with reservists from
16 Montenegro; correct?
17 A. I don't want to discuss that. I clearly defined the term
18 "Chetnik" and the term "Serbian." And please don't try to engage me in
19 such discussions again, because I think that this amounts to offending
20 innocent Serbs. In the territory of the federation, 180.000 Serbs
21 remained who were loyal to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They weren't all
22 Chetniks if they had weapons that were from Bosnia and Herzegovina, that
23 were part of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the HVO.
24 Q. Sir, I'm not trying to offend you. I'm merely making the point
25 then that this is the JNA that others referred to as the Chetniks. Isn't
1 that correct? We're talking about the JNA forces. The same forces that
2 had attacked Croatia, correct?
3 A. Sir, let me repeat this: I distinguish between the JNA and the
4 Chetniks. When the reservists entered Mostar, that's when Chetniks might
5 have appeared. Scum might have appeared. Chetnik scum might have
6 appeared at that point in time.
7 Q. All right. And at some point a Crisis Staff was formed, was it
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And we're talking for the municipality of Mostar; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that was sort of normal, because that's what the law provided
13 for. In case of emergencies, a Crisis Staff would be formed. So it
14 wasn't an abnormal activity.
15 A. It was -- these were legal activities, legal authorities. It was
16 a legal army that was the only legal representative or the only legal
17 force defending Yugoslavia at the time.
18 Q. Okay. Well, I want to focus now on -- on the Mostar municipality.
19 There was an attempt to mobilise, was there not, within the municipality
20 to counter this attack? Correct?
21 A. Not in the municipality of Mostar, but general mobilisation had
22 been declared. The former JNA had declared general mobilisation, but many
23 quite simply didn't respond to this general mobilisation.
24 Q. Especially in Mostar, as you so rightly told us, that out of 13
25 units, only two responded with respect to the fire-fighting units;
2 A. Please be a little patient, I'll try to explain this to you.
3 Those 13 units were part of the fire brigade association, but they had
4 different structures. That means that within the organisation, there were
5 fire-fighting units that belonged to companies, there were volunteer
6 fire-fighting units within companies, there were territorial and
7 professional fire-fighting units. There were 13 such units at the
8 beginning of the conflict. None of the territorial fire-fighting units,
9 since there were only two, one was a volunteer unit and the other was
10 professional, they stayed on. There was the professional fire company,
11 and all the volunteer units ceased functioning. All the company
12 fire-fighting units ceased functioning because it was war time, so they
13 automatically ceased functioning. That would be my explanation.
14 Q. Okay. And I believe you mentioned that yesterday, and you
15 mentioned in your book that out of 13 units, only two reported to duty?
16 A. Yes, that's right. You have to bear in mind that there were two
17 joint detachments, and there were fire-fighting units and neither of them
18 responded. We combined members from that organisation and from the Mostar
19 fire-fighting association, and we formed a wartime fire-fighting unit by
20 combining these forces.
21 Q. Would it be fair to say that nothing much was functioning in the
22 municipality as a result of -- of the war activities? At the early
23 stages, I'm talking about.
24 A. Yes. And it didn't really function later on either. You're quite
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now we have been working for an
2 hour and a half. We're going to have a 15-minute break, and we shall
3 resume at quarter to eleven.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. Before the -- before the break, we left off -- we had gone back in
9 time to 1992, April, to be precise, when the reservists, along with the
10 JNA or the Serb forces, had attacked Mostar, and we'd indicated that a
11 Crisis Staff had been formed, and in fact it was Mr. Gagro who was
12 appointed as the president of the Crisis Staff; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. And the formation of a Crisis Staff, as we indicated, was not
15 something out of the usual, it was built into the law for cases of
16 emergency, and this indeed - this occasion - was such an emergency;
18 A. Certainly, yes.
19 Q. Now, as I -- as I understand it, it was around April 9th or April
20 10th when the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
21 declared an imminent threat of war in Mostar municipality. Were you aware
22 of that?
23 A. Yes, I was aware of that. I knew that that was done, but I can't
24 tell you the exact date now. I don't remember.
25 Q. And in that decision, it had specifically requested the Yugoslav
1 People's Army, those units that were in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to -- to
2 leave; correct?
3 A. Yes, yes, to withdraw.
4 Q. The decision indicated that Mostar municipality was partially
5 occupied by the Yugoslav People's Army; correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Along with paramilitary forces. And that they were carrying out
8 -- that is, the Yugoslav People's Army and paramilitary forces were
9 carrying out armed attacks on civilians; correct?
10 A. Correct. The only question is where were they civilians and where
11 were they organised armed forces?
12 Q. Correct. And there was looting of businesses and family houses?
13 A. Sir, I would like to appeal to the Trial Chamber for us not to go
14 into all that, and I'll tell you why: My book encompasses the period of
15 1992 as much as was necessary for our activities and operations. I don't
16 wish to answer questions of this kind, because they are designed to
17 provoke me. I am not a strategic expert, and least of all do I wish to
18 discuss what happened, because if I were to say that the Serbs withdrew
19 and that they -- the apartments were left full of all kinds of property
20 and things, you won't believe me. So I don't want to enter into those
21 waters at all, and I'd like to ask you to stop asking me questions of that
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I didn't intervene
24 so far, but I have realised that all the questions you have put since the
25 beginning are questions which you can put to the expert witness who will
1 be testifying on Monday. He is an expert on -- on fires and
2 troubleshooting, but not in geostrategy matters. So if you ask him a
3 question about things which we don't know about, and the book is not being
4 presented as evidence, perhaps he has tackled political issues we are not
5 aware of in his book, but we, the Bench will have to render a judgement on
6 the basis of things which are discussed here, on the basis of things which
7 are presented in an indictment and presented in statements on fundamental
8 issues, paragraphs 111 of the pre-trial brief. You are now wasting time
9 on issues which can be addressed next week. The witness does not wish to
10 answer the question. Don't belabour the point, please.
11 Have you understood me? On several occasions he has said he did
12 not wish to answer, and you are obliging him to answer questions for which
13 -- which he is not -- which he cannot answer. You can put him questions
14 or ask him questions about fire-fighting and other issues, but these other
15 questions, ancillary questions, I'm not so interested in. These experts
16 that will be testifying at a later stage can answer those questions.
17 So set these questions aside and put them to more competent or
18 qualified witnesses. You are in the presence of a witness who does not
19 wish to answer these questions for personal reasons and which are
20 perfectly understandable.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, with all due respect, what I was
22 reading was a preamble from a decision of the Municipal Crisis Staff of
23 Mostar, so I wasn't trying to engage the gentleman in a political
24 discussion but, rather, setting up the stage and its background
25 information. But very well, I take the point.
1 But I should also add if the gentleman does not wish to answer
2 certain questions, then I would be asking that his testimony be stricken
3 from the evidence, his direct. The Prosecution cannot bring witnesses
4 here that will only answer the Prosecution's questions, even when they are
5 outside the indictment, and then when its the Defence asking the
6 questions, they choose not to ask [sic]. But very well, Your Honour. I
7 take the point.
8 Q. Now, based on --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, this is not what I
10 have said. You have just told us that you have a document pertaining to
11 the Mostar Crisis Staff. Then show him the document and ask him to
12 comment on this. You are putting questions on a document which we do not
13 have and we don't know what this document is all about. So if we apply
14 the procedure the way it should be, you should show him the document and
15 then ask him questions about it. I don't think that this document that
16 concerns the Crisis Staff, I don't think this document will talk about the
17 declaration of war. But if you want to pursue with this line of
18 questions, in that case, please show the witness this document.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. And again I don't mean to
20 be disrespectful, I'm just trying to save some time. If I get a yes to
21 the question, I don't need to show the document. I'm trying to save some
23 Q. In any event, at some point in April 29th was there not a
24 decision, sir, if you recall, was there not a decision that was made by
25 the Crisis Staff for the HVO Mostar Municipal Staff and members of the
1 Ministry of Interior of the Mostar centre to be in charge for the
2 protection and defence of the city of Mostar? Were you aware of that?
3 April 29th.
4 A. Let me repeat: I was not aware of that, but I'll say what I said
5 yesterday, that on the 30th of June that Crisis Staff and legally elected
6 government at the 1990 election was toppled.
7 Q. Okay. Were you aware, sir, of this decision, April 29, 1992,
8 where the Crisis Staff itself appoints the HVO Mostar Municipal Staff and
9 members of the Ministry of Interior of the Mostar centre to be in charge
10 for the protection and defence of the city? Are you aware of that?
11 A. I said that I was not aware of that, so I repeat: I don't know
12 about that. But you have a document that was published in the book with
13 all the dates, and when Mr. Roko Markovina was still the commander of the
14 civilian protection staff, Civil Defence Staff.
15 Q. Are you aware that on May 15, 1992, the HVO Mostar Municipal Staff
16 issued an order based on the decision in principle of April 29th, since
17 they were in charge of -- of -- of the defence of the city of Mostar, that
18 an order was issued to disband the Crisis Staff? Were you aware of that?
19 This is May 15, 1992.
20 A. No. I repeat that. Because I had an order of the 18th -- or,
21 rather, the 22nd of April, 1992, signed by Mr. Roko Markovina, and it was
22 published in the book, as I say.
23 Q. Again, let me make sure we're on the same wavelength. This is May
24 15. The HVO Mostar Municipal Staff issued an order to disband the Crisis
25 Staff of the municipality of Mostar and gave to the special purpose
1 council of the Mostar Municipal Staff of the HVO the obligations to
2 administer the entire functioning of the city. Are you aware of that?
3 Yes or no.
4 A. Well, I've repeated this twice, sir: No. But I have an order
5 which is dated the 22nd of April. And let me repeat once again that all
6 the shifts in town were organised in July, that is to say after June,
7 1992, and I say that with full responsibility. Now, when the decisions
8 were actually made, I really can't say. And just take a look at the
9 order, for instance, of the civilian defence staff in Visoko and the date,
10 and that will be quite clear to you.
11 Q. Okay. Now, sometime in the middle of June Mostar was liberated;
12 is that correct?
13 A. Yes. Between the 12th and 14th of June, that's when the operation
14 took place.
15 Q. It was the HVO that liberated Mostar?
16 A. Well, I can't agree with you fully there because the HVO did not
17 act on its own. Quite literally, and without wishing to insult anybody
18 who was a member of the BH army or MUP, but together with the HVO you had
19 the BH army taking part together and the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina as
20 legal creations and entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. Okay. Are you suggesting that the army of BiH existed on the --
22 on the east side in May and in June and that they were the ones that were
23 liberating that part of the town? Is that your suggestion, sir?
24 A. Sir, let me repeat for the umpteenth time. You're trying to be
25 very provocative. Shame on you because of that. And I'm going to repeat
1 this: I said quite clearly that within the composition of the HVO forces
2 you had the forces of the Mostar Battalion as a component part of the BH
3 army, not on the left side of town but they were together with the HVO
4 members on the right bank and were put up in Vranica, sir.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. That is to say they acted together; the BH army, the MUP of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the legal forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, acted in
9 Q. The east side, sir, is it not fact, had fallen at some point, and
10 folks such as yourself had to evacuate and go to the west side?
11 A. Yes, that is correct. On the 13th of May, the entire left bank
12 was taken over by Serb forces, and I left on the 11th of May with a group
13 of members and a vehicle that remained in working order. The other
14 vehicle was already in the western part of town.
15 Q. And -- and that's the side, by the way, where you would expect the
16 Muslim forces to be fighting against the Serbs; correct?
17 A. Well, I said that that's what they did, because they acted
18 together with the HVO forces.
19 Q. Unfortunately, the terrain is not very friendly for those who are
20 living on the east side, and I'm speaking about the events when the Serbs
21 were attacking, because the Serbs had the high ground; correct?
22 A. A little later the ratio and relationship changed.
23 Q. But what I'm suggesting is - correct me if I'm wrong - that when
24 the Serbs - and I'm talking about the aggressors - were attacking Mostar,
25 and in particular the east side, they had the high ground with the
1 residents of the east bank more or less being like fish in a barrel where
2 they could be picked off and shot at.
3 A. In neither part were the citizens spared. They were equally
4 exposed to that Golgotha of being picked off by snipers, the effects of
5 shrapnel, and anything else that was used to shoot at them.
6 Q. Of course the difference being that these fled to the west, and
7 not vice versa.
8 A. Yes. But then they fled or, rather, returned from the west or
9 were expelled from where they were residing and reached the same position.
10 Q. All right. And I take it - and correct me if I'm wrong - that
11 during -- during that period, the city, both on the east and on the west,
12 was destroyed.
13 A. Certainly.
14 Q. Did you by any chance document the exact destruction caused by the
15 Serbs on the east side?
16 A. Truth to tell, that does exist somewhere in the reports and
17 information, and I might have mentioned that. I'm not ashamed of that. I
18 wasn't involved. The people who perpetrated it should be ashamed. So I
19 had no reason to cover that up. I just wrote my observations and assessed
20 the situation and I think I did it very properly in my book, and I speak
21 about the relationships and ratio of forces and that kind of thing.
22 Q. And just to make sure that I have it right and that we're clear
23 here, it was May 11, 1992, that the east side fell.
24 A. No. It was the 13th of May, 1992, and I left on the 11th of May.
25 Q. Okay. I have it wrong then. So it fell on the 13th of May, and
1 then we have that order that I referenced to on May 15th, two days later,
2 which you're not aware of.
3 A. Why should I be aware of it? Because I always had certain orders
4 issued by the civilian protection staff, and they were parameters for my
5 own work. Dear sir, it was easiest for me to collect up all the
6 equipment, hand it over to the Serbs and perhaps move out with them. What
7 could anybody do to me today? I wouldn't have been a war criminal, I
8 would have been one of the thousands of people who left and returned. I
9 didn't do that. I took the equipment that was accessible and the men that
10 were accessible with me, and I thanked them for listening to me and we
11 went together. There was one Serb among them and two Bosniaks. So thank
12 you to those men for listening to me and going with me.
13 Q. Yeah. And I'm not being judgemental, sir. I'm merely trying to
14 establish under whose order or under whose authority were you
15 functioning? Because if you have a Crisis Staff --
16 A. Mine.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. I apologise for interrupting.
19 Q. If we have an order of the May -- of May 15th disbanding the
20 Crisis Staff, would it not stand to reason that as of May 15th you
21 effectively would have been under the HVO Mostar Municipal Staff and that
22 they, this -- this body, this organ who had replaced the Crisis Staff
23 would have been responsible for your payment, for your salary, for the
24 upkeep of the equipment?
25 A. That's a good observation, and I'm very happy that it was you who
1 observed that, that it wasn't I myself who put that forward. But let me
2 make things clearer. Let me repeat: The documents that I published in my
3 book, I stand by those with -- before God and people that they are
4 truthful, and you can see in the signatory, and Roko Markovina is a live
5 witness, Saban Muratovic, we have live witnesses to testify to that. The
6 other names don't matter, I'll remember them in due course. But as I say,
7 it wasn't I myself who made those orders and decisions, it was they who
8 wrote that down. You can see clearly the civilian protection stamp, and
9 everything that happened happened between the 18th and 22nd of April. The
10 fact that I did not know that any change had taken place, that they -- the
11 people who should have informed me are to blame because they didn't inform
12 me, as commander of the unit, of the development of events. And I repeat,
13 you can read that in the book and the documents that are included there,
14 my first orders or, rather, my first decisions at my own personal request
15 when I asked to be issued order for my dismissal stating the reasons,
16 because nobody ever did that. So if you follow the dates, then you'll be
17 able to see when this Crisis Staff that you're talking about began to
18 function. And let me repeat, that on the 30th of June, the civilian
19 authorities withdrew and the military authorities took control.
20 Q. We're going to get to that. We're going to get to that period,
21 just step-by-step.
22 The civilian protection, is that a volunteer organ or is that part
23 of the community, you know, services?
24 A. No, no, no. It's an organ which had to exist through force of
25 law. It existed in peacetime, and it especially had to exist in that
1 period of time, because it performs the function of civilian activities
2 and it has its codes of conduct. It follows the United Nations codes and
3 everything else which describes the function of a Civil Defence or civil
4 protection organisation, whether they can use arms to shoot, whether they
5 are allowed to bear arms. All that is defined in the code.
6 Q. All right. And I take it, since it's defined by the code and by
7 law, when serving in the civil protection, you get a salary?
8 A. Bravo, sir. I received my last salary on the 18th of April, 1992,
9 and the next salary on the 1st of September, 1995. So please remember
11 Q. I'm not saying -- I'm not -- my question was in a broader nature.
12 Normally, in times of peace, would you be receiving salary? Yes, no, or
14 A. Well, whether the civilian protection would pay it out or the
15 firm, there were cases of both types in peacetime, and the working
16 collective would pay for the worker that was engaged by the civilian
17 protection or fire brigade unit or whatever. You would receive a salary.
18 And that's why I said that the last salary I received was on the 18th of
19 April, and the next salary on the 1st of July.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It was the 1st of
21 July, 1995.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So that entire unit of civil
23 protection that I belonged to did not receive a salary in that interim.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. All right. And the equipment that you would use, were you, being
1 a member of the civil protection, were you required to purchase your own
2 equipment or was that provided to you?
3 A. It was neither provided nor did we purchase it. We used the
4 existing equipment that the fire brigade association of Mostar had. With
5 one exception, that my colleagues the Pompiers sans Frontieres and others
6 would bring in the equipment they had. So we had problems sometimes with
7 our hoses and the connection device for the hoses and so on.
8 Q. But I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that this was
9 equipment that was provided for you in order for you to do this service,
10 which was the benefit of the community, and not you, yourself and your
11 colleagues, had to go out and purchase it from your own monies.
12 A. Well, I think I stated things very clearly. We did not purchase
13 them nor did the civilian protection purchase it. It was equipment that
14 was inherited or, rather, taken from the fire brigade association of
15 Mostar, the vehicles and the equipment. It wasn't something that was
16 purchased by either the civilian protection or anybody else.
17 And if you want to be absolutely exact, I have the moral right to
18 say that there 1982 to the beginning of the aggression in 1992, I spent
19 part of my income in the volunteer fire brigade. I invested it into
20 purchasing some vehicles, and during that period of time, sir, we bought
21 three new trucks. That's when I speak of myself personally. But I placed
22 myself in the context of the other members, so my answer is that we did
23 not purchase the equipment but neither did the civilian protection. It
24 was equipment taken from the fire brigade association of Mostar.
25 Q. And you said from 1982 to 1992, this is when you purchased this
1 equipment, you helped purchase this equipment.
2 A. For the most part. Three new trucks, yes.
3 Q. And this was during peacetime?
4 A. Yes, certainly.
5 Q. Now, if I could move on to another topic. I want to go over
6 briefly some of the events that you describe in your book that you
7 published in 1997. I believe it's "Flames Above Mostar" or "Fire Flames
8 Above Mostar." That's the title of it, right?
9 A. No, no. It is "Tongues of Fire Above Mostar" is the title of my
11 Q. Well, it seems that I can't get much right today. All right.
12 A. To your detriment.
13 Q. Yes. Sadly so. Now, from reading the book - and I didn't read
14 it, my colleagues read it - it would appear - correct me if I'm wrong -
15 that -- that there was some professional competitiveness or jealousy
16 between the -- the professional firefighters and those who were sort of
17 volunteer firefighters serving in the civil protection.
18 A. I don't think you're right on that score.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. There was no competition, no competitiveness at all, not in
21 peacetime and especially not in wartime. I don't think that the
22 firefighters were ever more united than they were during that period of
23 time to put out the fires. So on that score you're really not right.
24 Q. And it could be so. I got the impression that you had written at
25 times you wouldn't get the calls in order to respond, and you felt left
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right. I'll settle for that. I'm trying to get you home,
4 sir. Help me help you.
5 All right. Now, the equipment was rather limited for both the
6 professional firefighters as well as your unit; correct?
7 A. It depended on who had what. The fire-fighting company numbered
8 120 employees before it was financed by the communities of interest, the
9 SIZs, as they were known, and then they would buy equipment, fire
10 extinguishing devices, and so on and so forth, which is quite logical
11 because it was a unit that would go out first to intervene when the need
12 arose. When there was a large-scale fire outside or on industrial plants
13 and so on, they would ask for the volunteer fire brigade or the fire
14 brigade of Mostar, whose commander I was at that time, to go out and help
15 them. And then we would raise our unit to the alert and we'd go and serve
16 as reinforcements to our colleagues the other firefighters.
17 Q. All right. Now, your unit was located on the left or the east
18 bank; correct?
19 A. Yes. That is where the fire brigade of Mostar was located, where
20 its headquarters were from the 1800s.
21 Q. All right. And the professional firefighters were on the -- on
22 the west bank?
23 A. Yes. In the western part of town, near Rudnik, near the market.
24 I don't know how else to explain it to you. I don't know how familiar you
25 are with Mostar.
1 Q. And they both fall within the municipality of Mostar; correct?
2 A. Yes, certainly.
3 Q. All right. Now, as you indicated, and you corrected me, you left
4 only the 11th of May, 1992, to the left side. I mean, you --
5 A. Yes, correct.
6 Q. And -- the right side. I'm sorry. You left from the left side to
7 the right side. You went from east to west; correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct, sir.
9 Q. And this was two days before the east -- the east side was lost?
10 A. Yes, correct.
11 Q. And probably due to the circumstances, the heavy fighting and what
12 have you, you were compelled to leave your equipment back on the east
13 side. At least, that's what you say in your book on page 24.
14 A. It is true that part of the equipment remained, a water truck in
15 which Hasalic Almir was killed, and then in the warehouse there was some
16 fire-fighting equipment; some uniforms, hoses, some of it. I say "some"
17 because we evacuated from there. We had a truck to transport equipment
18 and personnel, so in order to be sure that we would cross over other
19 safely because sniper had been shooting since early morning hours, we
20 loaded up as much equipment as possible. That was one of the ways to
21 protect ourselves, through that equipment, and the other reason was to get
22 out as much equipment to the other bank in that truck because I assumed
23 that we would get to work, we would get busy once we crossed to the other
25 Let me tell you, we were divided into sectors. The operations
1 unit, where we were, was -- where we were going to, was sector 1, and we
2 specifically were sector 6.
3 Q. Okay. So the answer to my question that you left behind much of
4 your equipment, the answer to that question is yes, you left it behind on
5 the east bank.
6 A. I don't know what you mean by "much." I said clearly that some
7 equipment we transported. We tried to move as much as possible, at least
8 the part that was mobile.
9 As an illustration, let me tell you that we had a borrowed battery
10 that we borrowed from the other fire-fighting equipment, and that was the
11 first piece of equipment that I loaded up on the truck.
12 Q. Isn't it a fact, sir, that when you went to the west side you had
13 to borrow equipment from the professional fire-fighting company in order
14 to function?
15 A. First of all, there was no need for me to borrow any equipment.
16 The equipment was given to us because we were moved to a new location. We
17 only took the water truck because, as I told you, our water truck had been
18 left behind the department store. One of our colleagues was killed there,
19 and that water truck was out of order. So we only received a new water
20 truck from the fire-fighting unit. As for the rest of the equipment, all
21 of it was owned by fire-fighting association.
22 Q. All right. So I take it you stand by what you wrote in your book
23 on page 28, that you -- that you took, for usage - we would say borrowed,
24 or they lent you - one fire truck, which had a capacity of five cubic
25 metres; correct?
1 A. Yes, yes, that's correct. That's what I said.
2 Q. All right. It was a fire truck that they gave you to use. It was
3 part of their equipment and they were letting you use it. The west side
4 allowing the east side to have that equipment, correct? Because you
5 needed to respond to fires as well.
6 A. You are forgetting - and I mentioned this - that we were an
7 integral part of that defensive system, and we were sector 6. It wasn't
8 our decision. It was pursuant to somebody else's decision. And whoever
9 issued that order probably did it for their own interests. I was not in a
10 position to defend the east side at that time or the side where the Serbs
11 were. On the contrary. At that particular moment, I was defending or
12 protecting the west side, where the population was mixed.
13 Q. We're going to get to that issue about the integral part, the east
14 side fire-fighting unit with the west side. But first, as I understand
15 from, again, reading your book, page 34, you indicate that on June 17th,
16 three days after the liberation of the left side, you went back with the
17 -- with the delegation of the civil protection; correct? You went back
18 to --
19 A. Yes, that's correct. Once again, I refer you to the order of
20 Mr. Roko Markovina who at that moment was chief of staff. Pursuant to his
21 order, Ismet Drljevic, myself, Musan Dziman [phoen] and Zevin Digic
22 [phoen], and the fifth person - I don't remember his name - we crossed to
23 the left side to see what was left of the equipment of the fire-fighting
24 association as well as in two local communes in order to enable the work
25 of civilian protection. However, I emphasise that this was done pursuant
1 to the order of Roko Markovina.
2 Q. And as I understand, two days later you began working on the left
3 bank. Again, that's on page 34. And a simple yes would do, unless you
4 want to explain.
5 A. I don't have much explanation to give. You are quite correct,
6 but we also remained in the location of the students' hall and in the
7 location where we were. We remained there until September of that same
9 Q. All right. Now, if we could fast forward to May, 1993. According
10 to your book, on page 46 you indicate that around the second half of May,
11 1993, you received, I believe you say, again a visit from the Friends of
12 Firemen or Firemen Without Frontiers; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. Actually, their first arrival was sometime in September of
14 1992. This is how they accidentally became acquainted with us. And as a
15 result of that, they came with a convoy, with a water truck of 1.000
16 litres, and some fuel. And as I said, we used that truck only once.
17 Q. All right. Now, yesterday, you made a point right before the
18 break to tell us that we needed to keep in mind the date May 3, 1993. Do
19 you recall that?
20 A. Yes, I remember very well and I can repeat that.
21 Q. When we came back from the break, you made references to an
22 earlier date which I believe was January 22nd. We will get to it. It had
23 to do with an order or decision. You're shaking your head. Does that
24 mean yes?
25 A. I'm confirming, yes.
1 Q. Okay. Good. Now, and as we know, in between the second half of
2 May and May 3rd, there are some events that happen in -- on May 9, 1993,
3 and you touched upon that a little bit. So we don't have to go into great
5 A. Could you put a specific question?
6 Q. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, on May 9th the conflict began in
7 earnest between the two sides.
8 A. Yes, certainly.
9 Q. Okay. And so now a few days later, since we're talking about -- a
10 week or so later, the second half of May, 1993, you're saying that a
11 truck, or these Firemen Without Frontiers came and brought approximately
12 1.500 kilos of different medicine and huge amounts of food; correct?
13 That's in your book, page 46 to 47.
14 A. Yes, you read this correctly. That's quite right.
15 Q. And you also indicate that they brought one fire-fighting vehicle;
17 A. Yes, correct again. Capacity of 1.000 litres, a mixed
18 fire-fighting truck. They had to paint it white so that it could come as
19 part of the UN convoy.
20 Q. All right. Now, as I understand it, Sarajevo was under siege;
22 A. Yes, certainly.
23 Q. Okay. So that vehicle could not have come from the -- from the
24 east side; right?
25 A. To tell you the truth, I never really considered it. There are
1 many ways to reach Mostar. Don't deceive yourself. A lot of convoys came
2 through Croatia at the time.
3 I don't care where this vehicle came from. At the entrance into
4 Mostar, they had to paint it white. It was red previously, and they
5 wouldn't let it through. And once it was painted white, it was allowed in
6 as part of the UN convoy.
7 Q. And I take it if we were to read your book, you would be able to
8 point out specifically, page and line, where in your book you say that the
9 vehicle had to be painted white in order to be brought in by the UN. Is
10 that in your book? And you make reference to this on page 46 to 47. I
11 have a copy of your book if you want to refresh your memory and our memory
12 as well. I can provide it.
13 That's not in your book, sir, is it?
14 A. Dear sir, I'm not claiming that I have any sort of a paper proving
15 that this vehicle belonged to the UN. I'm repeating, and I'm emphasising
16 that this vehicle had been brought in by our colleagues. In order for it
17 to be allowed into Mostar, it had to be painted white to look as part of
18 the UN convoy. I think that they came in in one single convoy. There
19 were seven or eight - I'm not sure - of UN vehicles, and one of them was
20 this one.
21 Q. And, sir, I put to you - and please correct me if I'm wrong - that
22 none of that information that you just gave us is in your book. Nothing
23 about the UN convoy, nothing about this truck having to be painted white
24 for it to look as if it was a UN vehicle. Nothing at all. And the point
25 I'm making is, just to make sure that we're all clear, that that vehicle
1 came from the west side only a few days after the conflict had broken out.
2 Isn't that a fact?
3 A. Let me repeat: I didn't say from which side the vehicle came. It
4 was quite logical that the only passage was from the western side. If you
5 want me to be quite precise, that direction is from the Buna River, or
6 from Capljina, or from the western part of town via Citluk, Ljubuski, and
7 so on. There were different routes into Mostar going through Croatia. I
8 would refer you to my colleagues. They know which route they took.
9 Now, whether I wanted this or not, the fact is that the vehicle
10 had to come in from the south. Now, as to whether it was possible for it
11 to come in from the south, it would have to go through the Buna bridge or
12 through Capljina and some other locations. It is not very likely that it
13 came from the north, and there was no other third possibility. And it
14 definitely didn't come in from the eastern side. I can assure you of
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. At least, I don't think it was possible.
18 Q. All right. And your answer to my earlier question, that it came
19 through the west.
20 Now, I want to go through some documents with you very quickly.
21 You had indicated earlier that your unit, being the volunteer unit that
22 was part of the civil protection, was an integral part of the professional
23 fire-fighting unit. That's your understanding, and that's what you wish
24 us to -- to take away here today; correct?
25 A. I never said any such thing. Let me clarify once again. Our unit
1 was an independent unit acting within the joint detachment of civilian
2 protection. The party carrying out activities was the professional
3 fire-fighting unit, because it had best equipment, best personnel. So
4 they were the main bearers of activity, and that's why they had the sector
5 1 designation. And there were a total of six sectors. We were the sixth
6 sector, but we never portrayed ourselves as a professional unit.
7 Q. Right. I'm not suggesting that you were professional, though
8 obviously you were all professionally trained, but as I understood your
9 answer to an earlier question, you indicated that you were an integral
10 part of the fire-fighting unit.
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. And of course, being volunteers, that -- your role came into play
13 especially during the summer months, as I understand it, when Mostar can
14 be very, very hot. In fact, it was reputed to be the hottest place in the
15 former Yugoslavia during the summer months; is that correct?
16 A. That's not correct -- or, rather, Mostar is a hot city, but once
17 again you're going back to something that I said nothing about. You are
18 now referring to a volunteer fire-fighting unit in peacetime, and I am
19 telling you that it was an independent, autonomous fire-fighting unit
20 which recruited volunteers but within its composition it had a
21 professional office, which I headed as commander. It was within the
22 professional fire-fighting association. So we had nothing to do with the
23 professional part, nothing except for professional cooperation. We
24 cooperated together when there were fires. And that was during peacetime.
25 As for wartime, we were more closely linked to the professional
1 fire-fighting detachment because, as I said to you, it had best equipment,
2 best personnel, and naturally we were an integral part of that
4 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. And you were both within or came
5 under the municipality of Mostar?
6 A. Had we been in another municipality, then it would have been a
7 different matter, but we were in Mostar region.
8 Q. So the answer to my question is yes. You see, I'm insisting on
9 getting direct answers from you, sir, even though we're wasting time.
10 A. Sir, don't try to push me about the time. I'm not an accused
11 person here. I'm just a witness, and after I'm done here, I will go back
12 home. You have to do your job, sir, I have to do my job, and it doesn't
13 matter to me whether we're finished today or in five days. I'm a retiree,
14 I have plenty of time, so please don't try to intimidate me. And you have
15 attempted to do that several times. Thank you. I'm in no rush at all.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you would like to
17 know what the exact status of this fire-fighting brigade was. I would
18 like to intervene here.
19 Could we please show the witness Exhibit number 4240, please.
20 Registrar, could you please show this on the ELMO, please, P4240.
21 Very well. Sir, this is a document which you have signed. Do you
22 recognise your signature?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
24 ... and I stand by it.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, can you read
1 out in your own language, which is what is on the top left-hand part above
2 number 17. What is written here?
3 A. "Professional fire-fighting unit, Mostar. Number 17. Date 17th
4 of August, 1993."
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a document which you
6 have signed. You have the title of commander of a unit, and under the
7 stamp we can read "Professional unit -- professional fire-fighting unit."
8 If you were an independent unit, why did you not write
9 "volunteers' unit" or "volunteer unit"? You said this. It's written
10 here, it says, "Professional unit." And on reading this document, I think
11 one can quite legitimately believe that your status was that of a
12 professional fire-fighting unit.
13 Maybe this is what Mr. Karnavas would like you to say. I must
14 intervene here to gain some time.
15 Why do you state here that this is a professional unit?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please allow me to
17 explain how this came about. It is true that at this point in time we
18 were officially declared and appointed as Mostar's fire-fighting unit.
19 Yesterday, in my evidence, I said so, but maybe it was overlooked, and I
20 hope that it will be in the record now.
21 Once the civilian authorities were established on the left bank in
22 1993, immediately after the beginning of the aggression, after the 9th of
23 May, sometime in early July, you have to understand that until that time
24 there was just military rule, military authorities, until July, and then
25 sometime in July, or maybe late June, civilian authorities were
1 established and they wanted to create civilian structure, and as part of
2 that, they established us as a professional fire-fighting unit and they
3 also established the work organisation called water utility, or
4 waterworks. I explained that yesterday.
5 So these are two civilian associations established at that time by
6 civilian authorities. Thus, it was logical for me to send this
7 information to the civilian protection staff. Unfortunately, the
8 colleague who worked on this letter didn't record that this information
9 was sent to civilian protection staff and the War Presidency, because via
10 this letter I informed them about the problems with tyres, fuel,
11 batteries, personnel; all the things that we needed.
12 So you're quite right, this title is a full one and is a correct
13 one, and this was our title. And to this day this unit is known under
14 this title, professional fire-fighting unit of Mostar.
15 That's the explanation, and I hope you will take it into account.
16 Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Karnavas, I
19 don't know whether I could help you at all. Another Judge is going to
20 lend you some assistance as well.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, I can understand that you feel somehow
22 pressured. I intervene as someone who does not come from the American
23 system but knows it a bit, and it is in fact possible to ask you to answer
24 a question by just yes or no, and you should not take this as an offence.
25 I sort of testify that this is really correct. And please do not feel
1 that you are attacked. This may be a bit of a courtroom game, but it is
2 not really, I think, a bad intention of Mr. Karnavas nor of any other
3 lawyer when they ask you to say yes or no.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. Okay. Now, if we could -- I would like to show you the first
6 document. It's 1D00389. I will need some assistance. This is my first
7 time with this new e-court system.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, could we please have all the
11 cross-examination exhibits released to the Prosecution at this time so we
12 have access to these documents.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: The answer to that question, Your Honour, is no, we
14 will do it one by one. I may choose not to show any documents. We went
15 through this argument yesterday. I believe the case on this issue is
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, my request was not to Mr. Karnavas. My
18 request was for the assistance of the Chamber and for a ruling from the
19 Chamber, regardless of what Mr. Karnavas's position is. It's only fair
20 that we now have -- the witness has completed his direct examination. We
21 can have no influence on him whatsoever. He is under oath. We can't talk
22 to him, and it's only fair that we now have the documents. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Karnavas, we're going
24 to make a ruling on the issue of whether this document should be disclosed
25 24, 48 hours in advance or a week before. But this is not the issue here
1 at stake. You remember the decisions I have already issued. We have to
2 have a hard copy of the exhibits, of the documents, in the language of the
3 witness and also in English. You give me one copy of it, and you give one
4 copy to the Prosecution so that they can look at it from all sides.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well -- well, Your Honour Mr. President, again
6 I want to apologise. I'm not as smooth as I normally would like to be. I
7 have made four copies. I did not make a hard copy for the Prosecutor.
8 Until -- until a formal ruling is made, however, on this -- just this one
9 occasion, I'm willing to break my own personal rules and provide the
10 Prosecution with everything. I don't want to take advantage of the
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Go ahead.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. Now, if you could look at this document, sir. And it would appear
15 from the very top we see a date, and the date is 25 July, 1992. Do you
16 see that, sir?
17 A. Yes, that's quite correct.
18 Q. And above that we can see that this is from the municipality of
19 Mostar; correct?
20 A. Yes. If you have a look at the heading, you can see that.
21 Q. All right. And if you -- if you could just take a second or two
22 to read it.
23 A. "Decision on pooling the equipment of the volunteer fire brigade
24 unit and the equipment of the professional fire brigade unit.
25 "The equipment of the volunteer fire brigade shall be pooled and
1 joined to the equipment of the professional fire brigade unit.
2 "This decision shall enter into force on the date that it was
4 Q. All right. Now, it would appear, at least from the documents that
5 I've been able to glean at, that this was the first date, 25 July, 1992,
6 that your unit was asked to be integrated with the professional fire unit.
7 Would you agree that that's what this document appears to be saying, that
8 there's a decision made by the president of the HVO of the municipality of
9 the Mostar?
10 A. Of course that's not in dispute, but this is in fact an order, not
11 a decision. The official title is "Decision," but it's in fact an order.
12 We never received this order or decision because I was replaced before
13 this decision on the 15th of July, 1992, and then this decision was
14 issued. And I can say this for sure. But it's quite obvious that I can't
15 deny the contents of this decision. But we never received it, because I
16 would have been proud to publish it in my book. And on the 15th of July I
17 was replaced, as I've already said, and that was ten days prior to this
19 Q. Well, we're going to go step-by-step, but I just want to make sure
20 that we are all on the same page. This is a decision from the Croatian
21 Defence Council of the municipality of Mostar; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. And since you're telling us today -- and at the bottom you
24 see the name Jadran Topic, and that was the Topic you were referring to
25 yesterday; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. Yes. That relates to the decision that I published.
2 Q. Okay. Very well. And since you're telling us today that you were
3 unaware of this decision, since had you been aware of it you would have
4 been proud to put it in your book, it's fair to say that you could not
5 have complied with this decision if you were not aware of it; right?
6 A. No, that's not correct, because at the time the equipment had
7 already been pooled with that of the professional fire brigade unit. I
8 had already been replaced, a new commander appointed, and to be quite
9 frank, at that time he would go to the meetings of unit commanders. But
10 as to the orders he received as and to the way that he conducted himself,
11 well, that was his personal affair, because for the next year he was in
12 fact the commander of the unit.
13 As of the 15th of July, up until July, 1993, roughly speaking,
14 this man was the unit commander, and he received orders, executed and
15 implemented the orders. That was his affair.
16 Q. All right. Well, maybe I -- I was inarticulate in my question.
17 This order was never complied with, whether you were aware of it or not,
18 was it?
19 A. No. I've said that it was complied with, because the equipment
20 had already been pooled. The equipment was joint equipment, because the
21 fire truck is one we held onto. We continued to do our work. The unit
22 hadn't been withdrawn at that point in time.
23 Q. Okay. Now, I -- I'm a little confused because of your comments
24 yesterday on the document that was shown to you by the Prosecutor - and
25 that was 65 ter number 9511 - that was the January 22, 1993, decision.
1 That's the one that you indicated had you complied with that decision,
2 then obviously the east side would not have had a fire unit during the
3 early May activities. So there seems to be some sort of a contradiction,
4 but perhaps I just simply misunderstood you.
5 A. I'll repeat what I said. We did not execute the order or the
6 request dated the 22nd or 23rd of January. That's correct. And I told
7 you why we didn't comply with that order.
8 As for this order, I won't deny that the order existed. I was
9 replaced ten days prior to the order. At the time, I didn't even know
10 whether I was still a member of the fire brigade or not. I didn't know
11 whether I was a civilian or not. So I wasn't on duty for ten days. I
12 hadn't been on duty for 10 days at the time.
13 Q. And just to make sure that -- I want to clarify this point. I'm
14 not suggesting that you personally refused to comply with the order. But
15 in any event, if we could go to another document, and that would be
16 1D00388. If we could look at that document. And again I apologise for
17 the awkwardness of this presentation. It's my first time.
18 If you could just look at it first. Take your time, look at it.
19 And if you need assistance to have the document moved up or down a little
20 bit, and I think in the future -- okay. It may be more beneficial to also
21 provide you with a hard copy.
22 This document is dated 16 September, 1992, is it not, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And it would appear that this again is a decision.
25 A. Yes, it is a decision.
1 Q. A decision of the Croatian Defence Council, municipality of
2 Mostar, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And this particular decision, it says right at the very beginning,
5 at the preamble, if you want, or right below it, that it's a decision "On
6 creating municipality administration structures for fire protection,
7 professional fire brigade of Mostar." Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I can see that quite clearly. I can see the contents of the
9 decision. It's really not necessary for me to read it through, I'm
10 familiar with it.
11 Q. Okay. It would appear, at least, that here the municipality of
12 Mostar is trying to consolidate or create -- recreate the professional
13 fire brigade of Mostar.
14 A. Well, to be precise, on the 16th of September, 1992, a decision
15 was taken on forming a professional fire-fighting company. In order to
16 change the name, and only to change the name, and I'm emphasising this
17 fact, the name was Professional fire-fighting Brigade, but only to change
18 the name, because the unit didn't receive anything new, it was necessary
19 to organise a professional fire-fighting unit, the Mostar professional
20 fire-fighting unit, and that was on the 16th of September, 1992.
21 Q. And would that also include incorporating, sort of, the volunteer
22 unit? Or if you tell us they were already incorporated from the previous
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we could go to another document, and
1 this is 1D00390. And this is an unofficial -- this is the original one,
2 and we have an unofficial translation.
3 If you could look at that. Take your time. I know the letters
4 are kind of small, but perhaps they could enlarge them for you.
5 A. No. I can see the text quite clearly. It's the document that I
6 published in my book. It says that the equipment has to be made available
7 to the professional fire-fighting company and the staff of the volunteer
8 brigade shall be placed at the disposal according to need. It means that
9 the unit should be dismantled and the equipment should be provided to the
10 company. It means that the volunteer fire-fighting unit no longer exists.
11 You take its equipment, you dismiss its staff, and as a result the unit
12 no longer exists. So the decision is quite clear.
13 Q. Now, are you sure that this is in your book, sir? Perhaps you
14 could be mistaken.
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Yes, you're mistaken, or yes, it's in your book? It was a
17 compound question. It was ill-phrased on my part. This is not in your
18 book, sir, is it?
19 A. No, you're quite right. I apologise. The date here is a
20 different one, but the contents are probably the same. In January we
21 received a document with the same contents. I do apologise to the Court
22 and to you yourself, but the text is identical. It was reproduced. It's
23 the same text as the one that we have in the decision that we received.
24 Our decision was taken on the 22nd of January, and we received it on the
25 28th of January, whereas the date of this document is different. But the
1 text is identical to the text of the previous decision, it's just the date
2 that differs.
3 Q. Needless to say, if we look at the date, 17 of September, 1992,
4 the whole purpose of this decision is to try consolidate and incorporate.
5 A. Not 1993, but in 1992.
6 Q. 1992. November, 1992; correct? You shook your head. Does that
7 mean yes, sir, for the record?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. I can see what it says here.
11 Q. And then if we go to the following document, and that was the
12 document that was presented by the Prosecution to you, and I believe this
13 document might have been in your book --
14 A. The text is identical. There is no different. I will repeat
15 this: It's only the dates that are different. Here the date is the 17th
16 of December, and our decision was dated the 23rd of January. And I can
17 claim with full responsibility that we received this decision on the 28th.
18 So one month later, a little over a month later, we received the decision,
19 but the text is identical. If you have a look, you can see for yourself.
20 Q. And we're going to get to that. Now, the next document, which I
21 failed to mention, that's the OTP document from -- it's 9511. That was
22 the 65 ter number. And since you mentioned it, and perhaps we can bring
23 that up on the screen, since you mentioned it, these decisions appear to
24 be virtually the same, one could conclude, perhaps, that at least the
25 earlier decision, the November decision, that is, had not -- had not been
1 implemented as of January 22, 1993, which was why it was necessary to
2 issue another decision. Would that be fair to conclude?
3 A. I wouldn't agree with that.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. Let me repeat what I've already said. We received the order on
6 the 28th, the order on how to proceed.
7 Q. Sir, there was a decision back on November 17, 1992. Let me ask
8 you concretely: Do you know for a fact whether that decision was
9 implemented? Yes or no. Did the volunteer fire -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
10 A. It couldn't have been implemented if we didn't have the decision
11 on that date. We received the document on the 28th of January, 1993. We
12 never received the decision dated the 17th of November, 1992. We could
13 only have implemented the decision after we had received it. Up until the
14 22nd of January, we weren't aware of the decision. Even if we wanted to
15 comply with the decision, we wouldn't be able to because we knew nothing
16 about it. But when we received it on the 28th, once we had this decision
17 in our hands, we refused to comply with the order.
18 Q. And what I'm suggesting, sir, and what I put to you, sir, is that
19 there was no intention of complying with this order back in 17 November,
20 1992, because these are two different decisions, and that perhaps you are
21 in error when you state here today that the decision of 17 November, 1992,
22 had not been received.
23 A. No. You're completely wrong. The text is identical but the date
24 is different. And you can see this in this decision too. In our decision
25 it says the 22nd of January, and I claim with full responsibility that it
1 wasn't until the 28th that we received the decision. But let's not
2 quarrel about dates. If we had received it on the 17th of December, we
3 wouldn't have executed the order, just as we didn't executed the order on
4 the 28th of January. That would have meant handing over the entire fire
5 brigade in Mostar to the company. It would mean dismantling the unit. No
6 one had the power to do it apart from the Assembly of that association.
7 It could only have been done because of specific conditions, and that's --
8 that's the truth, because it wasn't a non-governmental organisation that
9 was part of the civilian protection.
10 Q. And I take it that what you're suggesting here today is that the
11 municipality of Mostar did not have the authority to consolidate its
12 resources during this time right after having survived an attack, and it's
13 trying to put its city back together. Is that what you're suggesting?
14 A. Let me repeat this: The Mostar fire brigade could only be
15 dismantled if the Assembly of the association took such a decision. It's
16 only that organisation that had the authority. The authorities in town
17 had to make such a proposal to the association, but it's only the
18 association of the Mostar fire brigade that had the power to suggest and
19 -- to suggest that the unit should be dismantled and to actually
20 dismantle the unit.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm lost for time. I don't know when
23 we're supposed to take our next break, and I have three more documents. I
24 don't want to get into another document if we're about to take our break.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to take
1 have break. How much time do you need still on this issue of the
2 firefighters? I fail to see the relevance of your questions, but maybe if
3 one question is put to the witness we will be enlightened, but I still
4 fail to see what your purpose is, but you probably have an objective. It
5 may come to the fore later on. Let's hope so.
6 Now, it is -- how much time do you need after the break?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Since we're making some progress, Your Honour, I
8 would suspect no more man 20 minutes, 25 at the most, perhaps even less.
9 I will try and I can assure the Judges and Your Honour that there are
10 points that are being made.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's hope so. It
12 is now ten past twelve. Fifteen-minute break. We shall resume at 25 past
14 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. Please
17 proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
19 Q. Sir, I had three documents, I'm down to two. I put one aside.
20 Perhaps we can go through them rather quickly. This is 1D00392. If you'd
21 just give it a quick glance.
22 This is a decision that's dated 22 January, 1993. Do you see it?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And in this particular decision, there's an appointment of the
25 commander of the professional fire brigade of Mostar, and that's
1 Mr. Babic; right?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. This is the same date as the other decision that you discussed
4 with the Prosecutor on direct and we briefly touched upon; right? Those
5 two decisions came on that same day. At least, it would appear from --
6 A. Yes. They were probably written on the same day, but the date is
7 the 22nd of January, 1993, and that means that they discussed these
8 matters at the same time and at the same session.
9 Q. Now, if I could go to the next document very quickly. That's the
10 OTP 65 ter document 9512. This was a decision again, dated 3 May, 1993,
11 touched upon by the Prosecutor. You commented on it, and I just want to
12 briefly go over this.
13 I'm being corrected by my colleague here that this is a letter,
14 actually, as opposed to a decision. I stand corrected. But nonetheless,
15 you see this, do you not?
16 A. Yes, you're quite right.
17 Q. And this is actually -- this letter is from the civilian
18 protection; correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. And it would appear that as a result of the non-compliance of the
21 previous decisions, the ones that I mentioned earlier, which are dated
22 back as early as November, 1992, this letter --
23 A. That's quite likely. I wouldn't dispute that.
24 Q. Right. And so with this letter, basically it would appear that
25 the two fire-fighting units part company.
1 A. I wouldn't agree with that. Have a look at the decision on
2 forming the professional fire-fighting unit. Have a look on the decision
3 on appointing a fire-fighting unit commander, and you will see that
4 nowhere is the volunteer fire-fighting unit mentioned nor is its status
5 mentioned. This is only mentioned in the decision of the 22nd of January,
6 1993, and since the order wasn't executed, then it is quite logical to
7 expect a letter such as this one. I would have expected such a reaction,
8 because as I have already said, we really did not comply with the order
9 or, rather, the decision dated the 22nd of January.
10 Q. Exactly. That was my point, and you put it much more artfully
11 than I had phrased the question, though I had indicated that it would
12 appear, at least, from the documents that we have seen that the
13 non-compliance went back as early as November 17, 1992. Correct?
14 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that.
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. We differ on that point.
17 Q. Okay. We differ on that point. We will agree to disagree. But I
18 put to you, sir - perhaps this is the point that I've been trying to make,
19 perhaps not as successfully as I had hoped - was that the decisions that
20 were -- that if we look at these documents in sequence, we see that the
21 municipality of Mostar is attempting to consolidate the fire-fighting
22 units; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, in terms of forming and organising a professional
24 fire-fighting unit.
25 Q. And at some point decisions are issued which are not complied?
1 A. Let me repeat what I have said: We didn't comply with the
2 decision. I have told you why. We didn't receive the decision dated the
3 17th of November. That's the first reason. It wasn't until the 22nd of
4 January that we received the following decision, which we refused to
5 comply with, because it stated quite clearly that the equipment would be
6 pooled or, rather, handed over to the professional fire-fighting company,
7 and it stated that the unit would be dismantled. That meant that the unit
8 and its equipment would no longer exist and that is the essence of that
10 Q. But I put to you, sir, that these decisions have nothing to do
11 with the events of May 9, 1993.
12 A. Let's leave that to the historians. That's for the historians to
13 investigate. You and I shouldn't go into that, and we shouldn't tire the
14 Chamber with such matters either.
15 Q. Very well. Okay. Now, just a couple of other matters. You were
16 effectively demoted, were you not, as early as 13 June, 1992?
17 A. I don't know whether it was the 13th of July, but I do know that
18 it was in July.
19 Q. Okay. July. And this was 1992?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And I take it this must have been sort of a painful shock to you,
22 given your -- the services that -- that you had given, the dangers that
23 you had faced. Would that be a fair statement?
24 A. I wouldn't agree with that. Allow me to explain this very
25 briefly. I wasn't hurt by the decision to replace me. I was hurt by the
1 fact that I didn't know what to do after having been replaced, because I
2 was just a clay -- a clay pigeon then, and there was an oral order that we
3 -- that you are not aware of, but according to that order, I was no
4 longer allowed to drive and use a fire-fighting vehicle, and if I was on
5 duty, I wasn't allowed to communicate with my colleagues. So please take
6 that into consideration.
7 This did hurt me. I was left in an unprotected area, in an open
8 area, and it was a long time before oral decision was taken with regard to
9 my dismissal. And in that decision it stated that I was a member of the
10 unit of civilian protection. That's what hurt me, because I didn't know
11 what would happen to me. But no one can remain in a certain position
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. Everything is temporary.
15 Q. And when you were replaced, at least from the name that you
16 provided us yesterday, it would appear that you were replaced with a -- by
17 a Muslim; is that correct? A younger man, someone --
18 A. Yes, yes, yes. A younger man, ten years younger.
19 Q. And in fact, if I understand correctly what you have stated, there
20 had been some sort of a debate of putting a Croat, but it was the Muslims
21 that objected and ultimately that's -- they chose that individual who was
22 younger and perhaps less experienced, not as wise as you, to -- to fill
23 that position; is that correct?
24 A. It is correct that the proposal was for Miroslav Mrdja, that
25 particular name, to be the commander of the unit instead of Meho Kekic.
1 However, two people from the Bosniak ethnic group were against that. They
2 were members of the civilian protection staff and their view was upheld
3 and Mr. Kekic was appointed. But if you're talking about years, then
4 Miroslav Merdzo was a lot younger than Meho Kekic, let alone me.
5 Q. And do those two individuals who were on the civil protection
6 staff, were they members of the SDA party, by any chance?
7 A. I don't think either of them were members of any party, to the
8 best of my knowledge. And to be quite frank, that would be my opinion.
9 Q. Okay. Now, I just have a few more questions. At some point there
10 was a formation of a civilian government on the -- on the east side; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes, in July 1993.
13 Q. And it was about that time when the city, effectively, at least
14 from a governance point of view, was divided. You had two governments;
15 one for the west and one for the east.
16 A. Yes, that is correct. And you needn't think the situation is
17 better now either. Everything is relative, after all.
18 Q. Well, I'd rather not comment on the present. And it was during
19 this period when the fighting was going on, the sniping back and forth,
20 the shelling back and forth?
21 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Okay. And I take it - and I mean this very sincerely - that this
23 entire period for you personally must have been a very difficult period,
24 being caught in the middle of all of this.
25 A. To be quite frank, it was a difficult period because the situation
1 was so complex. You had no food, no supplies, no water. There was
2 shelling all the time, and for purposes of illustration, let me tell you
3 that it's about 800 metres from my house to the fire brigade. And if I
4 tell you, sir, that I had to run across the street in five places not to
5 be killed by a sniper, then you can use this to see what the situation was
6 like. So only 800 metres, and I had to rush across in five places to save
7 my head. If you walked slowly, you'd be killed off just like a pigeon.
8 Q. Right. But it must have been difficult, you being a Serb, when
9 you had the JNA or the Serbs attacking the town and then you had the two
10 warring factions, and there you are, caught in the middle, trying to find
11 your own space even though you had lived in Mostar for generations, you
12 and your family.
13 A. Well, if you want me to be quite frank, I never felt safer as
14 relationships between one man to another. And you must remember that. I
15 never felt safer one man with another. There were certain hooligans, if I
16 can put it that way, not to use a worse term, who tried to attack my house
17 and my wife, and it was the Bosniaks that stopped them, the Bosniaks that
18 occupied important positions in town and protected myself and my house.
19 And never again to the present day did anything like that repeat itself.
20 And that's the truth of it.
21 So I never felt safer from that point of view than I did then,
22 because an enormous number of people knew me, they knew me before the war,
23 and they knew how to value and respect all the things that I had done. I
24 was -- this is -- I was fairly well recognised, even if I say so myself.
25 Q. And in spite of all of that, when you showed up with a
1 walkie-talkie that one night, your own friends and neighbours questioned
2 your motives for having that walkie-talkie with you.
3 A. Yes, yes. And I said who those people were, and I said why they
4 wanted to check me out. Perhaps I forgot to say in all this that my wife
5 is a Croat. So that was one other unfavourable element in respect of the
6 environment I lived in, because most of the population living around me
7 were Serbs. The majority were Serbs there in that area.
8 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate our exchange. I trust you
9 won't hold it against me for maybe pushing you too hard, and I wish you a
10 fair journey back to Mostar.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. Do you
13 want documents to be admitted into evidence?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could reserve my -- and wait until the
15 conclusion of all of the questioning, Your Honour, if that's okay. On the
16 Defence side, that is.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you please. We have another
18 hour left. Who is the next counsel for cross-examination? Go ahead.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I hope that
20 I will get through my cross-examination quickly.
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejanovic, good afternoon to you.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. My name is Senka Nozica, and I am Defence counsel for Mr. Bruno
1 I would first of all like to ask you something about your
2 relationships with your colleagues, and -- from the western side or
3 western bank. Let's say during 1992, when you crossed over to the west
4 bank, to and including the events of the 9th of May, 1993, that you
5 mentioned, when your colleagues found themselves in no-man's land in
6 between and you went to look for them.
7 Can we say that the relationships between you and your colleagues
8 the firefighters were highly proper?
9 A. Yes, highly proper, and I say that with full responsibility.
10 Q. You explained to us the event of the 9th of May, 1993, when you
11 went to look for your colleagues who found themselves somewhere in the
12 vicinity of the Bristol Hotel in Santica Street. And as far as I
13 remember, you said that they joined you for a certain amount of time until
14 the situation was right for them to go back.
15 A. Yes, that's true. They shared our food and our beds and any
16 cigarettes we received. You can be quite sure of that.
17 Q. All right. Can we also observe that that was the fact during the
18 period of time when you were all on the right bank and when you were
19 divided into sectors, as you said? Was there any animosity or did they
20 have full trust and confidence in you that in your sector you would do
21 what was necessary, and was your unit confident towards them? Did they
22 have confidence in them?
23 A. Well, thank you for asking me that question. I would love my
24 colleagues to be here as well, especially Mr. Vlado Babic, who until
25 recently was the commander of that professional fire brigade unit. I
1 think he would be best placed to explain this to you. Allow me to be a
2 little immodest and say that none of my colleagues from the volunteer unit
3 or, rather, the unit that I had in a way established, none of my
4 colleagues from the professional fire brigade either had a single bad word
5 to say to me or about me because they never had any reason to do so,
6 because I never did anything that I should be ashamed of or for anybody to
7 look at me askance. So let me say this as well: I'm perhaps one of the
8 let's say 100 -- I'm one of a hundred or a thousand people who very early
9 on obtained permits by the European Union, and I now have here in my
10 pocket, if that means anything to you, an UNPROFOR card. Of 1.500 people,
11 I am one of the bearers of this card, gentlemen. The number is 145, so I
12 was among the first 145 people to be issued this permit and card allowing
13 me to cross over into the other part of town. I apologise for having to
14 say "into the other part of town," but this is the document that I was
15 able to use. And it's a very dear keepsake for me, to go in an armoured
16 escort and so on and so forth. You know what it meant to have a card like
18 And I also received a card of the European Union, and very early
19 on I began crossing over. Actually, straight after the conflict ceased,
20 and even at the time when, in inverted commas, the border was at Hit, by
21 the Hit department store, when you had to have special permits signed by
22 the heads of the MUP services on both sides in order to cross over. So I
23 was able to cross over, and I swear to you that never throughout that time
24 did I ever encounter anybody saying a single ugly word to me, let alone an
25 incident or anything like that taking place. And I'm very proud of that
1 and very happy of that for that reason.
2 Q. All right. Yes, I know that. And let us conclude for the Trial
3 Chamber that you were a very well-known personage throughout Mostar. So
4 when you said that nobody ever uttered a bad word to you or said anything
5 ugly to you, on the right side everybody knew who you were, that you were
6 doing your duty, doing your professional business.
7 A. Yes, absolutely.
8 Q. I'm going ask you something else now. During your testimony
9 yesterday, you spoke about the destruction of Orthodox churches on the
10 left bank, and you said, asked by the Prosecutor -- when asked which
11 Orthodox churches were destroyed -- the Prosecutor in fact asked you this
12 on page 63, line 16, which Orthodox churches were damaged or destroyed in
13 1993. That was what he asked you.
14 Now, can you tell me, please, Karadzoz-bey mosque, for instance,
15 was it damaged in 1992?
16 A. Yes. Yes, it was. I remember that full well. The 11th of May,
17 when I set out towards my own home and the point in time when I decided to
18 cross over to the other side, I saw that the bestiality that was going on
19 there, you couldn't survive. And when I was approaching my house, my Serb
20 neighbours were packing up their things and leaving town with their
21 families, and the message was clear to me, loud and clear, that somebody
22 like me, thinking like I thought, had nothing to do there any more.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, please spoke more
24 slowly. It's a bit hard to follow you. Thank you.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, Your Honour.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. On my way home, I saw the
2 minaret of the mosque, that it had been toppled, and as I said, the round
3 point there.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. 1992?
6 A. Yes, on the 11th of May, 1992.
7 Q. I can now go back to something I was asking you about the Orthodox
8 churches. How many Orthodox churches were there in eastern Mostar at that
10 A. Your question is a little more specific now and I'll try and
11 answer more specifically. I was speaking of two churches yesterday; the
12 cathedral church, which is right above the main road, the M17 main road,
13 motorway, and I spoke about the old church, or Stara Crkva, which is about
14 100 metres or 150 metres above the cathedral church. And it has very deep
15 foundations so that you have to get right up close to the church in order
16 in order to see it. It's dug into the ground. So that the -- those are
17 the two churches in the urban area. But if you look at the broader area
18 of Mostar, then the church in Bijelo Polje was set fire to. It was
19 devastated, and the bell tower and bell was taken away. I can also say
20 that Sipamisa monastery [phoen] was wholly set on fire and blown apart.
21 Q. I'm asking you this, sir, because in your statement you said that
22 in the eastern part of town there were two churches. Yesterday, when
23 asked by the Prosecutor, you went into an explanation of the fact that one
24 church was set on fire and then destroyed by the HOS or HVO, not to
25 go back to that. Now, I'd like ask you, can you tell me about this other
1 church, the other church that was along the M17 motorway. Was that
2 destroyed? How was that destroyed?
3 A. I don't really know. We don't have a report on the fire that was
4 caused on that church. We just registered it as a fire, but we don't have
5 the actual informational report that came in about that church. That is
6 the old church that was set on fire and which burnt down. The one along
7 the M17 motorway was first of all set on fire and then blown up.
8 Q. In your statement to the Prosecutor, you make some assumptions as
9 to who could have set that church on fire. Now, I'm just asking you if
10 you remember, and in view of the population composition, the residents
11 living near the church, who would that be?
12 A. Yes. I think I gave my assumptions. However, I have to say that
13 around the church itself at that point in time there was an open space, a
14 wide-open space. All the residential buildings, the old ones, had been
15 set fire to, and all the buildings that were built without permits on the
16 northern side of the church wall were not inhabited because in 80 per cent
17 of the cases they were houses belonging to Serbs from the Nevesinje area.
18 They had started constructing these new houses. But as they did not have
19 a permit to do so, construction work stopped and then the war broke out,
20 so at that time there was nobody living there and it was a wide-open
22 Q. Can you tell us what your assumptions were as to who set the
23 church on fire, what you told the Prosecutor, and was that in 1992?
24 A. Yes, it was, in July 1992, and my assumption was that this was
25 perpetrated by HOS, the HOS, and I deduced that on the basis of many
1 stories and rumours going round and talks I had. Now, who set the
2 explosives there, who blew it up I don't know, but a man who didn't know I
3 was coming here nor that I had been asked to give a statement of any kind
4 told me, "You'll get a picture from me, a photograph from me of the
5 -- when your church was blown up." Now, what he had in mind, I don't
6 know, I can give you his name.
7 Q. Well, that's not important. It seems that we have not understood
8 each other or, rather, maybe we have. Let me ask you, what do you mean
9 when you refer to the old church? Is that the assumption you made about
10 who had mined the old church?
11 A. No. I have no assumptions as to who destroyed the old church
12 because we don't have a report about the fire that broke out there. Now,
13 in view of the times that we lived through and the times when this
14 happened, because this was probably done before Christmas, 1993 --
15 Q. 1993?
16 A. Yes, 1993. There is a high probability that the perpetrators were
17 the forces of the Bosniak people. I'm not saying that for certain, but
18 there is great probability that that is so.
19 Q. Yes. That's what you said. And I just wanted to check out
20 whether you stand by what you said on that occasion.
21 Now, I will turn to something else, and I have just one question.
22 I will enumerate bridges in Mostar, and I will ask you to tell me only in
23 which year they were destroyed. We don't need to go into details, we
24 don't need to go into speculation. I'm just interested in the year, I'm
25 not interested in who destroyed bridges.
1 What about Lucki bridge? Do you know where it is?
2 A. Yes, I do. It was destroyed in 1992.
3 Q. Tito's bridge in Musala?
4 A. Same. Same year. I don't know whether it was before or after,
5 but it was same year.
6 Q. The bridge of Ivo Lola Ribar, or Carinski bridge?
7 A. Same. I was in the yard of the hospital when it was mined. Yes.
8 Q. Ivo Lola Ribar. Lola is the nickname - I'm saying this for the
9 record - and it was also known as Carinski bridge. Not Zarinski but
10 Carinski. So your answer remains the same, 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Zeljeznicki bridge, or Sutina bridge.
13 A. Same year.
14 Q. Zeljeznicki, or Sutina bridge. What about the bridge of Hasan
16 A. Same year.
17 Q. Aviator's bridge, or Military bridge?
18 A. Same year.
19 Q. Zeljeznicki bridge in the industrial zone of the town.
20 A. That's the bridge towards the aluminum, linking the left bank with
21 the right one. Same year.
22 Q. Yes. I think that there was another bridge.
23 A. Let me add, there was a bridge in Vojno at the axis into Mostar.
24 It was destroyed the same year. Then there's a bridge in Zitomislici. I
25 think it was towards the end of 1991. More likely that than early 1992.
1 Q. The bridge in Zitomislici, that's missing in the transcript.
2 Zitomislici. That's the last bridge that you mentioned.
3 A. Yes. The last bridge in a series of bridges, and it belonged to
4 Mostar municipality.
5 Q. I'm insisting on the record. I asked that it be entered in the
6 record: Zitomislici. This bridge also was in Mostar municipality.
7 A. Yes. Yes. But there's a distinction there. The right bank
8 belonged to Citluk municipality and the left bank, where Zitomislici is,
9 was Mostar municipality.
10 Q. All right. Thank you for the supplement. So the first bridge is
11 by the petrol station, and then the next one is in Zitomislici.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I have just two more brief questions. Yesterday you spoke about
14 the valve. You said that most likely - this was your assumption - most
15 likely it was not in order and could not be shut down completely, and due
16 to this fortunate circumstance, you still had water on the other bank.
17 Did you know at the time where that valve was, on which side?
18 A. It was clearly on the right bank. That's more than certain. I
19 don't know the exact location.
20 Q. All right. Thank you. I have just one more question. Yesterday,
21 you mentioned this, and I don't want to go into great detail because my
22 colleagues might explore this, but yesterday you spoke about a fire which
23 broke out on the 23rd of August, 1993, in the residential building called
24 Beirut. Do you remember that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You spoke about what would have happened to the driver had he not
2 left the vehicle or the area because of the lighter. Tell me this: Based
3 on your opinion, was the HVO able to see fire-fighting trucks there?
4 A. No, not a chance, because the fire had been caused before we got
5 there. Since the shelling continued, it just so happened that this driver
6 happened to be there, and there was this comment.
7 Q. So we can conclude that when this shell was fired, or when it
8 landed, because not a lot of time lapses in between, the HVO was unable to
9 see your fire-fighting truck?
10 A. Not a chance. There wasn't a chance for anybody to see it,
11 because one vehicle was in the passage so that it was completely
12 invisible. And the other vehicle was so close to the building that there
13 was no chance anybody could have seen it. Even if they stood above the
14 truck, they could not have fired the shell and ensure that it would land
15 where it landed. It was just a pure coincidence, pure chance.
16 Q. Thank you for your answers.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I've concluded, Your Honours.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to be
19 economical with time, it seems that we are quite under time pressure, and
20 I don't want to be prejudicial to my client. My client wanted to put
21 seven to eight questions to this witness of a military nature related to
22 some of the topics that this witness touched upon in his evidence. I
23 would like to ask that this opportunity be given to my client, and based
24 on your ruling, I can then tailor my cross-examination to that situation.
25 So I would first like my client to be given an opportunity to put
1 questions and then I will proceed. Thank you Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak, you are
3 authorised for a period of ten minutes to ask eight questions of a
4 military nature.
5 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Pejanovic, thank you for answering my questions. In view of
8 the limited amount of time, would you please answer with yes, no, I don't
10 A. Please go ahead.
11 Q. You pointed to the hills; Hum, Brkan's hill, and others. In 1992,
12 was the JNA positioned there?
13 A. On Hum hill, yes, certainly.
14 Q. Was Mostar surrounded by the JNA at that time from all sides?
15 A. Yes, mostly. Well, you can't say from all sides because they were
16 not on the right bank.
17 Q. The road leading across Goranci, was that the only road leading
18 into Mostar?
19 A. Yes, the Road of Salvation.
20 Q. Did many people die there?
21 A. Very many people, because the curve had been shot at.
22 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in May there was an operation of the
23 HVO liberating the right bank of the Neretva up until the aluminum plant
25 A. Yes, I know that. This was when Orilac was seized.
1 Q. Do you know who commanded that operation?
2 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know.
3 Q. I did.
4 A. I don't know that.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in June of that year -- rather, in
6 May of 1992, on the 13th everybody was expelled from the left bank, mostly
7 everybody, and directed to the right bank? Is that true?
8 A. Yes, I said that was true. I myself left on the 11th.
9 Q. Thank you. When people were fleeing across the Tito's bridge,
10 people were jumping into the Neretva River, did many die there?
11 A. At the bridge itself, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in June the HVO, with a lot of
13 Muslims being members of the HVO unit, liberated Mostar by crossing the
14 Neretva in four locations and that that was in June of 1992?
15 A. I don't.
16 Q. Do you know who commanded that action?
17 A. I don't.
18 Q. I did.
19 A. My respect to you.
20 Q. Do you know that as a result of that we have precise information
21 as to who or which members of the army took part in that liberation?
22 A. I believe that you do have such information.
23 Q. Thank you very much. In the hills on the east side of Mostar, did
24 the army of Republika Srpska remain there?
25 A. Yes, in Podvelezje area.
1 Q. In Podvelezje and all the way up to Stolac.
2 A. Yes, I know that region less but I know this based on the stories
3 that I heard, that they had positions there.
4 Q. So in 1992 in May and June, the HVO, as an organised army at the
5 time, liberated Stolac and that whole area leading all the way up to above
7 A. I know that.
8 Q. And prior to that, all civilians had been deported to the right
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Did this involve several tens of thousands of people?
12 A. A large number of people were deported or expelled. Some of them
13 left with the army of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, another set of questions. When you stand in the
15 area where your headquarters was, the area where your colleague was
16 killed, when you stand at the zebra crossing and at the corner that you
17 showed to us, and as you face the west, the western direction, would you
18 be able to see the Glas bank, that building?
19 A. Possibly only the top of that building but I'm not sure.
20 Q. All right. After the cessation of hostilities, did you go to the
21 elevator where you supposed that the sniper was?
22 A. I never entered that bank building.
23 Q. So would you be able to see the area where the people were
24 wounded, killed, and where a pigeon was killed?
25 A. I never entered the bank building so I don't know.
1 Q. Thank you. You put out a fire in a location in the vicinity of
2 the Neretva, and you said yesterday that most likely the sniper shot from
3 the building of the high school.
4 A. Yes. And I'm claiming that firmly.
5 Q. Can you see from that area the high school?
6 A. Yes, both the building and the windows, and I'm positive about
8 Q. All right. Do you know that a Chinese-made multiple rocket
9 launcher, do you know whether it was behind the hill or on the hill?
10 A. To tell you the truth, I'm not an artilleryman, so I truly don't
12 Q. It was behind. Did you see when the shells were fired and you
13 spoke about the southern part of Mostar --
14 A. If it involves Blagaj --
15 Q. No. Did you see the firing?
16 A. Well, as relating Blagaj, I didn't see the firing. I heard they
17 hit land.
18 Q. Did you see the missiles flying?
19 A. Yes, as they were flying above our heads.
20 Q. Well, before they hit the ground.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that only by means of a ballistic expertise can one
23 establish where any kind of missile comes from?
24 A. To tell you the truth, I never considered that. It wasn't
25 important for my book. I just wanted to describe what had happened there.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you distinguish a rifle from a sniper? What's the
2 difference between them?
3 A. I'd say that a sniper has a softer firing sound.
4 Q. So -- thank you. A sniper and a rifle differ only --
5 A. In optic sight.
6 Q. Thank you. Do you know how atmospheric pressure, speed of wind,
7 or any other such elements affect the trajectory of a missile?
8 A. I know nothing about that.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] That's all I had, Your
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I know a lot about
13 submarine missiles and submarine artillery missiles because I studied that
14 when I was in the JNA for 24 months.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'll try
16 to be very brief.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please try to do like
18 Mr. Praljak and see if things will move ahead much faster.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejanovic, good afternoon. My name is
21 Bozidar Kovacic.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. I'm representing Mr. Praljak, who used up his right to put some
24 questions to you himself.
25 A. No problem.
1 Q. And I think that because of that we proceeded more quickly. I
2 have several things I'd like to cover with you. I hope to be brief, but I
3 will kindly ask you, whenever possible, to answer with a yes or a no so
4 that we can proceed quickly. There's no point in repeating what you said
5 yesterday or earlier today. It's already in the transcript.
6 Let me ask you some minor things initially. Yesterday, on the map
7 that you marked quite a lot, it's marked as PD --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the number.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. -- and at one point you were supposed to mark with letters A, B,
11 C, and D some locations, namely the hills around Mostar. Do you remember
13 A. Certainly, and I have it in front of me.
14 Q. If you wish, we can put the map on the ELMO but, rather, you have
15 it in front of you.
16 A. Yes, yes, I have it.
17 Q. These marks A, B, C, and D, you drew them on the very edge but
18 locations themselves are not portrayed on the map.
19 A. I said right away that the map is not big enough to show these
20 locations that's why I only roughly indicated where these features are
21 located around Mostar.
22 Q. I have a question for you, and just answer with yes or no. These
23 locations, Hum and others, they are not shown on this map.
24 A. No. I just pointed the direction where they are.
25 Q. Very well. You described the incident on the source of the Buna
1 river, where Tekija is. I have just one minor detail to ask you about
2 that. The missiles, there were two missiles, they hit the hill?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were there any military positions there?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Any other significant facilities?
7 A. Yes. Underneath was Tekija and the source of Buna.
8 Q. How far from there?
9 A. Well, we're talking about 150 to 200 metres down. This is the
10 difference in elevation. It is not horizontal distance, and it's about
11 hundred metres from where the missiles landed down to the source of the
13 Q. Did you conclude, based on anything, that these missiles targeted
14 precisely the Tekija building?
15 A. There's nothing else of interest in that area at all, no positions
16 whatsoever, nothing populated, no people. That was the only facility, the
17 only thing that existed there.
18 Q. Well, you think that because you didn't see anything there
19 yourself, you didn't see any other facilities, you are assuming --
20 A. I'm not assuming. I'm claiming there is nothing else in the
21 vicinity, in the vicinity where the missiles landed.
22 Q. All right, let's take it apart. You are sure there are no
23 facilities there.
24 A. No, there are no facilities there whatsoever.
25 Q. And are you sure that these missiles targeted precisely Tekija?
1 A. No, I can't claim that. I wouldn't dare to do that.
2 Q. There has been a lot of discussion of the water system in eastern
3 Mostar, and I think we need to go back to that because legally that is
4 quite relevant. First of all, please tell me, during this conflict from
5 May 1993 and on, was the situation with water supply on the western part
6 of Mostar better?
7 A. It certainly was.
8 Q. All right. You said that the water supply network actually was
9 damaged back in 1992.
10 A. Yes, when the bridges were mined.
11 Q. You said that on page 92. I'm just saying this for the purposes
12 of the record. You said this on page 72 and 74 of the transcript. And
13 this is what appears in your testimony, after certain improvisations were
14 made in order to join up hoses.
15 A. Yes. There were bypasses that were made.
16 Q. Who made those bypasses?
17 A. Well, they were members of the civilian protection.
18 Q. So this was while HVO had civilian authority in the municipality?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So we can say it was while HVO was in power?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You just nodded for the sake of the transcript. You have to say
23 yes or no.
24 A. Yes. That's what I said.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you not too tired? Can you
2 continue your testimony, sir? Are you all right? Are you feeling all
4 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you give us an approximate idea of when the municipal
7 authorities created those temporary bypasses?
8 A. Immediately after the Serbs had withdrawn. I think it was perhaps
9 in the first half of July. Not all the crosses were dealt with at the
10 same time, so it was in the first half of July that the first bypasses
11 were made.
12 Q. In 1992?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let's take this step-by-step. I'll put a direct question to you.
15 I put it to you that all this appears a little absurd. First the Serbs --
16 or, rather, I apologise, the JNA, the reservists, destroyed the bridges.
17 I'm not referring to the Serbian people. They first destroyed the
18 bridges, they destroyed the water supply system, they destroyed other
19 forms of infrastructure that had been discussed. The HVO expelled them
20 from the area. The HVO reconstructed, rebuilt what they could, given the
21 conditions. They repaired the water supply system in the eastern part of
22 Mostar, they linked it up, and then when the conflict broke out between
23 the HVO and the ABiH in May 1993, the HVO turned the water off again.
24 A. That really is true. I'm sorry about it, but it's true.
25 Q. But why would they first repair the water supply system and then
1 turn it off?
2 A. Well, I've already said that I would leave that to historians.
3 It's for them to look into the matter, but it's very easy to establish why
4 this was done. It's the best form of punishment.
5 Q. One more question about this. That is a conclusion that you have
6 drawn on the basis of the information you had at the time, information
7 that you concluded that the HVO turned the water off deliberately. They
8 didn't want it to go to the eastern side.
9 A. Well, how else should I have understood this? All of a sudden I
10 no longer had water or electricity. It wasn't possible to leave one part
11 of the town. This is the worst kind of camp one could have. It was the
12 worst kind of camp in the world.
13 Q. Very well, but this is not something that you saw with your own
14 eyes. You have no direct information that the HVO authorities ordered
15 someone to turn the water off. You don't know anything about this.
16 A. Well, I know that the valves were located in positions where this
17 could have been done. They weren't on the left bank. The left bank
18 didn't turn off its water supply system. In that case, someone else did
20 Q. I agree, someone else did that.
21 A. That other entity is on the other side; it's the HVO. The armija,
22 the ABiH wasn't in a position to turn off the water for the other side.
23 Q. Mr. Pejanovic, please listen to the question. I'm not trying to
24 persuade you that the army did this, all I'm asking you is the following:
25 Everything you've said is fine, but do you have any direct knowledge
1 according to which the HVO issued an order for the water supply system to
2 be turned off?
3 A. I never said that.
4 Q. That's what I'm asking you about. So it is your assumption when
5 you say that the HVO wanted the water supply system to be turned off.
6 A. Well, you can take it in that way if you like.
7 Q. Thank you very much. A few other details that I nevertheless
8 think are important. With regard to Exhibit 09517, you indicated two
9 water supply points. Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Later we had a look at the map. Tell me, those two -- those two
12 hydrants, in the immediate vicinity of the demarcation line --
13 A. Yes, they're very close to that point.
14 Q. That's really a war zone.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If I've understood you correctly, if I understood you correctly,
17 you do not claim that your vehicles and your staff were deliberately
19 A. Well, this is what I said yesterday. I'll repeat it. After a
20 certain period of time, I can't how much time had passed, they started
21 firing at that location where we would get water from, and then the water
22 supply ceased at that point and we then went to the yard of the electrical
23 utility group.
24 Q. But at the time when you still went to the court area, there was
25 still fighting?
1 A. Well, not really. To be quite true -- to be quite frank, there
2 were periods of calm. I don't know what they were re-organising,
3 restructuring; I don't know. But there were periods of calm, and one
4 almost had the impression that peace had been re-established.
5 Q. One more question about the water. I wouldn't want this to be
6 wrongly interpreted later on. On page 79, line 19 of the transcript, you
7 said with regard to the quality of the water that the water was the colour
8 of blood.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You didn't want to say that there was blood in the water.
11 A. No. I said that chlorine had been put into the water to destroy
12 the bacteria, and as a result, the water was a reddish colour.
13 Q. A little later, on page 83 of the transcript, you mentioned -- you
14 mentioned a flood in the Neretva which was the result of a valve.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Since you're an old inhabitant of that area, could you tell the
17 Court how far upstream that dam is?
18 A. I think it was about two and a half kilometres or three kilometres
19 from the point that we had -- from the point where we tanked water.
20 Q. That entire part up to the dam was under HVO control?
21 A. No. That's not correct. The right part was but not the left.
22 Q. Yes, but right up to the town?
23 A. Yes, up to the time, because of the 30th of June, 1993, the army
24 took the positions in the northern camp and right up to the Salakovac
1 Q. That's correct, but who had access to the dam?
2 A. Only the HVO.
3 Q. At that time.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you hear about any actions of sabotage with regard to that
7 A. Only when this event happened, because the army was on part of the
8 M17 street and behind the M17 street and between the textile industry
9 complex, so the army was really not in a position, not even theoretically
10 speaking, to have positions around the dam.
11 Q. Very well. Do you have any more direct and detailed knowledge
12 with regard to how this was blown up, with regard to who issued the order
13 to carry out this act?
14 A. No, I have no such information. It was said that a torpedo was
15 used, which seems more logical to me. I doubt other forms of explosives
16 were used. As I have already said, I've spent 24 months in the -- in the
17 marines. I was a mine specialist and a diver, but I --
18 Q. So this is not something that you can claim, is that what you're
19 saying? Thank you.
20 A. Thank you very much.
21 Q. I have one more question. According to the information I have, in
22 that area where the dam was, the armija, the ABiH, had the left bank, held
23 the left bank near the dam and the entire area. So it was possible for
24 the armija to gain access to the dam on one side, and the HVO had access
25 to it on the other.
1 A. I said that the shut-off valve on one of the sites had been blown
2 up but I can claim that the army didn't even approach -- didn't get as
3 close as a hundred metres from the dam, but it did have the left bank
4 under its control.
5 Q. But you weren't there at the time. You don't have direct
7 A. That's correct but I did pass by a few times. I went over the
8 hill. I would descend from the firing range and would go to Zutina and
9 then continue through Vratica up north.
10 Q. Very well. Let's go back to Mostar. You mentioned a number of
11 shelling incidents, sniper incidents. At one point in time you started
12 discussing something and then you were interrupted. In the course of
13 conflict between the ABiH and the HVO from May, 1993, onwards, could one
14 say that the Serbian forces or, rather, the JNA shelled both the left and
15 the right part of Mostar, both the eastern and western part of Mostar?
16 A. Let me try to explain this a little more precisely. It's correct
17 that the Serbs did sometimes shell the eastern part of the town, but as
18 soon as there were -- as there was fighting in the part of Bosnia from
19 Foca, Kalinovik, and further on towards Bihac, well, this is the way in
20 which they would fight the war. But they would relieve one part of the
21 battlefield in order to relocate forces to another part. So when this
22 happened in part of Bosnia, then there would be shells falling on the left
23 bank of Mostar. This didn't last for very long, but you never knew for
24 how long -- how long this would last. When one shell falls, you wait for
25 the next one to fall. So such things did occur. But on two or three
1 times the Serbs also neutralised a PAM, an anti-aircraft machine-gun on
2 the Hum. Or, rather, they would silence it and then in the afternoon
3 hours the fire would again be opened.
4 Q. Very well. I haven't finished my question yet. Speaking as a
5 layman, does this mean - please confirm this or reject it - from May,
6 1993, and onwards, in Mostar there were shells fired by the ABiH, there
7 were shells fired by the HVO, and there were shells fired by the armija.
8 Was there anyone else or were those the participants?
9 A. Well, the Serbian shells didn't fall that frequently, but it's
10 lucky for the eastern part of the town that the Serbs were the least
11 active. They didn't shell that much. That's -- that was very fortunate
12 for us. Otherwise, we would have been attacked from two sides. There was
13 no way out.
14 Q. You said that the shells -- the Serbs shelled the least but they
15 did shell occasionally.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You said why you thought that this was the case. You said that
18 the Serbian forces or the JNA forces also shelled HVO positions on Hum
20 A. Yes, that's correct. But they were no longer the JNA forces at
21 the time. They were really Serbian forces.
22 Q. Very well. So these were local forces.
23 A. I make a clear distinction here.
24 Q. But did you have any information on how far away from Hum the
25 Serbian forces were, the ones that could shell the town?
1 A. Well, the Serbian positions were the town exits above Blagaj, at
2 the town limits. Let's say the last line was near the Herceg Stjepan
3 location. There were bunkers there. And there was also a plateau which
4 you arrive at when you head from Gorojnica [phoen] to Blagaj. I can't
5 remember the name. And there were Serbian positions at Cobanovo Polje
7 Q. What sort of artillery weapons did the Serbs use when they opened
9 A. As far as I know - and why I know is a different story - but on
10 two or three occasions they used a Maljutka.
11 Q. Very well. I was interested in Maljutka. Do you know what the
12 range of a Maljutka is?
13 A. No, I don't, because Serbs were on the eastern part of the front,
14 above Mostar, and in the direction of Hum hill. Don't just focus on one
15 location. I don't know where artillery fire was opened from, but that is
16 a fact.
17 Q. I won't go back to the tragic death of your colleague Jugo who was
18 killed in front of your warehouse, in front of your station opposite the
19 department store. A lot of questions were put to you about that. But
20 just one other matter. As far as you can remember - and yesterday you
21 started talking about this - you said that this happened after the peace
22 agreements that were concluded.
23 A. Well, in any event, it was shortly after a cease -- shortly after
24 a truce had been signed.
25 Q. Referring to the Washington Agreement, are we?
1 A. Yes, the Washington Agreement.
2 Q. Let's not go back to the subject of the film. We had a look at
3 that 360-degrees photograph. P9139 was the number. It was on the screen
4 for a long time, and at one point I saw that from the street that your
5 station is located in and right behind the traffic sign, I saw in the
6 distance in western Mostar the Hotel Bristol. Did you notice that?
7 A. Yes, that's quite possible. Yes, it's possible that Hotel Bristol
8 could be seen, because that building is higher than the other buildings.
9 If you just move a step to the left from the pavement, yes, you'll see it
10 for sure.
11 Q. Does that mean that that was one of the possible positions from
12 which the sniper shot?
13 A. Well, I laughed a little ironically, and I apologise for that. I
14 really do. I don't think they would shoot at their own people, for
15 heaven's sake.
16 Q. I didn't say who, I'm just saying --
17 A. Well, it was the BiH army that was there.
18 Q. Well, I apologise. It wasn't my intention --
19 A. Well, it wasn't mine either. I apologise to you, too, for that
20 ironic laugh. But the BH army was there. I don't suppose it attacked its
21 own people.
22 Q. I really do apologise. I just noticed that that might be the
23 building and my colleagues told me that that was in indeed the Bristol
24 Hotel. I thought it was the bank building. I didn't know that the
25 Bristol Hotel was on this side of the Bulevar, so yes, that's right,
1 that's right, that's quite right.
2 A. I didn't know that, I thought it was across, opposite, because it
3 looks far in the distance on the photograph.
4 Q. You were asked yesterday about distances and your assessment of
5 distances with respect to two particular events. You didn't want to go
6 into the details, of course, because it's difficult to assess distance,
7 but I'm going to read out to you some figures that I read from the map.
8 From the Razvitak building to the bank building called the Glas bank
9 building, the distance by road across Tito's bridge is 500 metres. Would
10 that roughly correspond to the distance?
11 A. Well, I don't doubt it because I made a free assessment and I said
12 that -- I told you the distance roughly speaking. It wasn't my intention
13 to make the distance greater or smaller. I reacted quite spontaneously by
14 giving you a rough estimate, but I absolutely do believe what you checked
15 out and what you've just told us. I have no reason to doubt it.
16 Q. All right. Now, the second distance, from the position of Stotina
17 to the Saric Harem cemetery, that's the second incident we talk about, if
18 you take the road across the nearest bridge, it would be about 70 -- 700
20 A. Well, I think 700 metres. I think that is my assessment too.
21 That would be the distance. It depends where you were standing at Saric
22 Harem, because Saric Harem is a rather long cemetery.
23 Q. From the south side.
24 A. Well, yes. I said we were somewhere in the middle of Saric Harem
1 Q. In your assessment - you know the area - if we say that it was the
2 middle of the Harem, the middle of the cemetery?
3 A. Well, as the crow flies, this could be a little different, but for
4 the weapons that can be used from that distance, it's just a negligible
5 distance. So whether it's 700 metres or 800 metres, it doesn't matter,
6 especially if you have optic sights on your rifle. Then I think it's
7 quite irrelevant whether it's 700 metres or 800 metres. It's not one or
8 two kilometres, it's just a hundred metres here or there.
9 Q. So you think it's irrelevant that we -- and we can say that we
10 have at least 500 metres in both cases, that any sniper can hit that
12 A. As I say, we were somewhere halfway along the cemetery, the Harem.
13 So there can only be a slight difference if we -- you measured it from
14 Hasan Brkic bridge to the beginning of the Harem, there can only be a
15 difference between 50 to 100 metres, not more than that. That can be the
17 Q. But my question is how far does that accuracy, the accuracy of a
19 A. I think 50 metres is irrelevant. A hundred metres is irrelevant.
20 Because you have, for example, the M48 rifle that could hit its target at
21 two kilometres. And if you had optic sights, you could target anyone at
22 that distance. At least, that's what I learnt when I did my military
24 Q. Well, let's not you and I enter into that discussion now. We're
25 losing time. But when I say 100 metres here or there, I referred to the
1 projectile, and we agree there. But the possibility of hitting a target,
2 that is to say a man targeting with this weapon, 100 metres at a distance
3 of 500 metres is a lot. It's 25 per cent -- or 20 per cent. A fifth,
4 shall we say. All right, you're not an expert in ballistics, that's what
5 you said, so you don't know how much that can influence accuracy.
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, on yesterday's transcript, page 126, you once
8 again had to draw on the map, and you placed a J on the map, the letter J,
9 for that last incident near the court building, I think it was. That's
10 what I jotted down here in my notes. And that was right up at the
11 battlefield line, the separation line at Santiceva. Right up at the front
13 A. Well, I'm trying to find my way here. Well, I can't seem to find
14 my way on the map today.
15 Q. Never mind, we'll get to that later on. You wrote in a J.
16 A. Yes, I found it, thank you very much. I do apologise, I really
17 do. I found it.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How much time do you need? How
19 many more minutes?
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to be quite frank, I
21 have two or three brief questions but I'd like to check through my notes
22 because I took quite a bit from my learned colleague Mr. Karnavas and some
23 from my friend Nozica. I would need five to ten minutes, maximum.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm giving you five minutes and
25 then I'll just cut off the microphone.
1 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour, I will.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejanovic, we heard something this morning
3 towards the end of your testimony, and a little yesterday as well, about
4 certain positions of the BH army in eastern Mostar. Now, in eastern
5 Mostar, you also had the positions of the command of the BH army and also
6 the positions of the artillery; right?
7 A. The command, yes, but the artillery no, because the BH army did
8 not have any artillery in that area. Mortars, yes; guns, cannons, no.
9 Q. And the artillery?
10 A. Just mortars, as I said.
11 Q. I see. Right. Fine. Now, what about the mortar positions? Were
12 they distributed along certain targets that were targeted multiple times?
13 A. Well, I can only talk about two positions that I know about. One
14 position was towards the Serbs and the other position was probably facing
15 the western part or the HVO, if I can put it that way. As to other
16 positions, I really don't know, I can't say.
17 Q. And did these positions -- well, they were mobile units, weren't
18 they, and they changed their positions frequently, didn't they?
19 A. Well, they were mobile units but I can't say because I'm not an
20 expert so I don't want to venture an answer about that.
21 Q. On page 42 of yesterday's transcript, line 1, you said that the
22 police station in eastern Mostar was hit by artillery from Hum hill.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that was a military target, was it?
25 A. It was a police building, a police premises, and the police still
1 not had been divided up.
2 Q. And it wasn't part of the army?
3 A. No. Because that was in the morning of the 9th.
4 Q. Oh, I see, the 9th.
5 A. Yes, yes, the 9th. Or, rather, it might have been towards noon
6 but it was on the 9th of May.
7 Q. You mentioned yesterday another incident with the Territorial
8 Defence or, rather, the people who stopped you, and you said that it was
9 the Territorial Defence judging by the insignia.
10 A. It said so on their sleeves, sir.
11 Q. Yes. Now, we had the HVO, we had the BH army, yesterday you told
12 us of the existence of the Territorial Defence, but later on during the
13 day you mentioned the HOS, the HOS at one point.
14 A. Let me just add the Territorial Defence was there from the time
15 when the HVO had completely become organised and taken over the
16 battalion. Then HOS was there, and how many HOS forces there were, what
17 their strength was I really can't say. I don't want to delve into matters
18 of that kind. But I do know that when Kraljevic was killed we went to put
19 out a fire towards Siroki Brijeg and to put out a fire in the forest, in
20 the park, and that the members of the HVO didn't allow us to enter into
21 the Bishop's house hall area.
22 Q. Yes, I wanted to ask you something about that, but to save time
23 first of all tell me, please, to the best of your recollections, in a
24 word, when was that?
25 A. That could have been --
1 Q. I mean the integration, I'm talking about.
2 A. Well, I don't know, I really can't say.
3 Q. Roughly speaking.
4 A. Well, it must have been after the 30th of June, 1992, when the HVO
5 officially took over.
6 Q. All right, thank you.
7 A. When it officially took over civilian authority.
8 Q. You mentioned Mr. Kraljevic. I think he was a colonel, had the
9 rank of colonel there at that time, or perhaps general, and he received a
10 decoration from the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say Alija
11 Izetbegovic. Do you know about that?
12 A. No, I don't. Well, please believe me. I just mentioned him just
13 by chance in this context. He was not somebody who was interesting as far
14 as I was concerned because he was somebody who appeared at one point and
15 then disappeared.
16 Q. All right. Fine. Now, with respect to HOS again, that existed
17 and then disappeared. Do you know that HOS had more Muslim members than
18 Croat members?
19 A. Not only do I know that there were more Bosniaks than Croats, but
20 unfortunately that there were Serbs as well as members of HOS.
21 Q. So it was a multinational multi-ethnic group.
22 A. Whether you can refer to it like that but I say that there were
23 Serbs there too.
24 Q. All right, fine, very well. Was it then a predominantly Croatian
25 military organisation?
1 A. Well, I think that it had the Croatian components as being in the
2 majority but I also say that there were Serbs within its formation.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, thank you. I would have couple of
4 questions, but since we are squeezed, I would give up.
5 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Pejanovic, very much.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I suppose you had
7 agreed so as to have the questions put by the three counsel who put them,
8 is that so? So no re-direct examination by the Prosecution?
9 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Mindua wanted to ask a
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE MINDUA: Thank you, Mr. President. Could the witness
14 briefly clarify on one general issue I did not understand when he
15 testified yesterday. The witness stated that on the 9th of May, 1993, a
16 conflict broke out in Mostar between the Croats and the Muslims and that
17 the firefighters in Mostar had been ordered to hand in their equipment to
18 the unit headed by Josip Skutor. When you say conflict between Muslims
19 and Croats, what do you mean? Because we are in the Mostar municipality.
20 On that date, on the 9th of May, 1993, were there two armies or armed
21 groups? Was there a Croat armed group and another Muslim armed group, or
22 was it only members of an ethnic group starting to look for members of
23 another ethnic group, be they civilians or military to assault them? Did
24 you understand the question? Can you answer it?
25 A. Your Honour, I have to say, unfortunately, that this was no kind
1 of ethnic conflict or a conflict between groups. It became a very
2 significant war that flared up and lasted for almost a year; about eight
3 or nine months, in fact. The fact is, and once again unfortunately,
4 unfortunately for the town of Mostar and its citizens, that in 1992, as I
5 said, this so-called Mostar Battalion was formed which was a precursor to
6 the BH army and its members later on. And at that point in time, and I'm
7 thinking of this Mostar Battalion, which became the BH army later on, its
8 command and headquarters was partially put up in the Vranica building and
9 a part of the forces were put up at the Mostar Hotel. At the beginning of
10 the conflict in 1993, a group of citizens, as you know full well, I'm not
11 going to tell you anything new, 13 of them disappeared from Vranica and
12 their fate is not known to the present day. The other group that was in
13 Hotel Mostar managed to cross the separation line and organise itself
14 into, if I can say, a defence on the other side. Now, from that point in
15 time, the BH army began to be created, established, and the MUP as a
16 component part of that military formation was added onto the BH army,
17 joined to the BH army, although the MUP in fact was functioning as an
18 independent operative unit and did the kind of work that MUP was supposed
19 to do to defend the internal order.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We shall
21 have the opportunity to deal with such matter again. As to the admission
22 of exhibits, yes, yes unless there is another question by the Judge.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have two tiny questions that I would like to
24 put. Yesterday you have said that your beautiful red fire engine was
25 equipped both with a blinking blue light and with a signal siren horn.
1 You said you did not use these because it was pointless. Why did you
2 consider it pointless to use these elements?
3 A. Your Honour, quite simply what use would it be using a siren or a
4 blinking light in a street where there's nobody? Because there's shelling
5 going on. What purpose would there be to use your siren or your blinking
6 lights if you're moving through an empty town? You're not going to come
7 across a single man out in the street until you reach your fire, because
8 there was the general alarm that had been sounded and people were taking
9 refuge in shelters. I also said yesterday that we had in light of day a
10 curfew; that is to say, we weren't allowed to move around. And I will
11 repeat: I'm very sorry that I didn't take my card, my permit that allowed
12 me to move around 24 hours as a member of the fire brigade. So there were
13 only us and the MUP members. We were the exceptions from this rule, from
14 this curfew and ban of movement.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I believe you even without seeing
16 your permit. And the second question is: Was the HVO ever approached
17 about the snipers? To your knowledge, has anyone ever brought to the
18 knowledge of the HVO, of some authority, the fact that there was snipers
19 shooting at the fire brigade and its -- its institutions and its
21 A. To be quite frank, I think I said yesterday at one point that I
22 was the last person who ought to have done that. I reported to the
23 civilian protection staff and headquarters regularly, the casualties we
24 came across, the property damaged, and so on, and the problems we
25 encountered. Now, whether they, according to their chain of command,
1 informed anybody and what way they did so if they did, I really can't say.
2 I can't enter into their affairs.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Karnavas -- yes,
4 Ms. Alaburic.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise.
6 Perhaps I did not understand the proposal of the conclusion correctly, but
7 it seems to me that there was a difference between the English
8 interpretation and what we heard in the B/C/S version. I'm not clear
9 whether we're going to continue on Monday with this witness's testimony so
10 that the three Defence teams who have prepared their cross-examination
11 will go ahead.
12 Now, if we're not going to have an opportunity of cross-examining
13 the witness, then I would like to ask --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this morning and yesterday
15 I said that the Defence counsel, all of them, were to agree among
16 themselves in order to make sure that we would finish this hearing at
17 quarter to two. This is what I stated yesterday. So you were supposed to
18 just agree among yourselves. This is what I understood. When
19 Mr. Karnavas took a long time putting his questions, then I gave the floor
20 to Mr. Praljak and his counsel, so I did not know at all that you had
21 failed to agree among yourselves.
22 Now, if you wish to put very important questions, you have a few
23 minutes to do so. I personally, I had questions, but let's not forget
24 that the health of this witness is rather frail. I didn't want to harass
25 him, but if you want to use your rights as Defence counsel and if you want
1 to put questions to him, do it for a few minutes already. But they must
2 be really essential.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I will respect
4 your decision and abide by it. I would just like us to decide on certain
5 rules of procedure. On several occasions when we discussed this matter
6 and how we are going to conduct cross-examination, that perhaps there
7 would not be the possibility of all the Defence teams agreeing, and why
8 should we agree when we might have different concepts for our
9 cross-examination and different Defence cases? That's why I think we
10 ought to decide on certain rules of procedure.
11 My proposal would be as follows: We know how much time is
12 allocated for the cross-examination and each Defence team should be given
13 one-sixth of that time and they should adhere strictly to that one-sixth.
14 Once -- if they have agreement from another Defence counsel, then they can
15 have more time or less time, depending on the agreement among Defence
16 counsel, and that is how we shall be able to avoid similar situations.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall discuss this on the
19 Bench, but one thing was clear for me and my fellow Judges: You were to
20 agree among yourselves as to the use of your time. Now, if there is no
21 agreement -- well, you suggest one-sixth as a rule. Why not? But we do
22 not want harm you and your client. If you do have any questions, just put
23 them now.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Since it doesn't involve only
25 myself but also my colleagues, Mr. Jonjic and Mr. Ibrisimovic, if you give
1 me permission to put questions, then they should be allowed as well.
2 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Pejanovic. I'm Vesna
4 Alaburic, attorney from Zagreb. I'm representing General Petkovic. In
5 compliance with the ruling of the Court, I shall reduce my questions to
6 the minimum. And what I would like to clarify has to do with
7 circumstances, dangerous circumstances, that your people and your vehicles
8 were exposed to when carrying out very dangerous tasks. Yesterday, on
9 page 56 of the transcript, I think that there was a mistake, because it
10 says that out of your entire personnel, 14 were killed -- 14 were wounded
11 and 15 were killed.
12 A. No, that's a mistake. Not 15 but 5.
13 Q. Yes, that's right. Shall we agree, then, that some of your
14 colleagues were killed when putting out fires and some were killed simply
15 as residents of East Mostar who found themselves in some dangerous
16 situations, exposed to fire?
17 A. There was perhaps one case of such nature. Everybody else was
18 killed on duty. Whether they were going to work or going back home from
19 work, it's the same as working. And in one occasion the person had a
20 serious health problem.
21 Q. Yes, I agree with you. But I would like to know this: Those who
22 were wounded or who were killed when putting out fires, let me put
23 questions to you in relation to that. Based on the information on the
24 members who were casualties, you said that Edo Dostovic was wounded.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Alija Jakupovic twice?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Emir Vilic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mirzo Bratic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And Elvir Demic.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Based on your information, Mirzo Bratic was also wounded once but
10 that was unrelated to the putting out of the fire.
11 A. He was injured once when working. A shell hit a building where we
12 were putting out fire, and a piece of concrete crumbled off and hit him on
13 the head, and he didn't have a helmet on.
14 Q. These five cases, we agreed that these people were wounded when
15 putting out fires. In addition to them, are there any other of your
16 colleagues who were wounded or killed when putting out fire?
17 A. Nobody was killed, but people were wounded, yes. I usually say
18 "fortunately." Fortunately, these were injuries without serious
19 consequences. People were grazed by bullets and so on. There was
20 superficial wounds. We also have one case that wasn't described, that of
21 Miodrag Kandic, who, when putting fire in 1992 was hit by a shrapnel in
22 his arm, and that simply wouldn't heal, that wound, because a piece of
23 material from his jacket was lodged in the wound. So there were cases
24 like that.
25 Q. Thank you very much. You said so, and you wrote in your book,
1 that you had a vehicle, a truck, TAM 125, and then you had another Zastava
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then you had a Lada Niva.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. As far as I could understand, you had these vehicles throughout
7 the time.
8 A. Yes. Mostly, but occasionally these vehicles were not
10 Q. They were not operational, if I understood you well, mostly
11 because of minor things such as tyres, flat tyres and so on. But none of
12 the vehicles were put out of order due to intense artillery fire.
13 A. No. I said so. There was an artillery shell that hit our
14 vehicle. It hit it accidentally. It was a mortar shell, and it wasn't
15 done on purpose.
16 Q. Yes. We heard that, that it hit the cab of the vehicle. Was the
17 vehicle completely unusable?
18 A. It wasn't usable for a long time after that. It was damaged quite
19 severely. And we had to invest quite a lot into repairing that vehicle,
20 and then after that we lost it again.
21 Q. Now, let us deal with the damage on the vehicles and how your
22 people were wounded. Can you link this information with your statements
23 as to how you were daily exposed to the firing of snipers, mortar fire,
24 and so on. This is on page 51 of your book. You were also exposed to
25 artillery fire as well as the fire of an anti-air machine-gun. Based on
1 the information about the damage sustained by your vehicles and injuries
2 of your people, one could conclude that those who fired on your fire
3 brigade unit were either not -- were not skilful when targeting. Would
4 you agree with that?
5 A. No, I wouldn't say so. I think that these people were quite
6 skilled and trained in artillery warfare. I think that what happened was
7 a result of just chance, or that's how chance would have it. Sometimes
8 you survive a very dangerous situation by chance. So I think it's all due
9 to chance, not to lack of skill. I didn't add anything to what I wrote in
10 my book.
11 Q. No, no, no. That's right. It seems that you do not doubt the
12 skill and the competence of people using artillery weapons, and since your
13 vehicles were mostly operational --
14 A. No, not the whole time. There were periods when they were not
15 operational for a number of days on end. And sometimes we would be left
16 with just one or perhaps two vehicles. It all depended on the current
17 situation and how much damage was inflicted.
18 Let me give you a better example: For example, your battery is
19 out and you have no way of getting another one, and that could happen even
20 without any fire hitting your battery. So if your vehicle is all right
21 but the battery doesn't work, you can't use the vehicle. And all of this
22 was due to that unfortunate war. And despite the best of will, you still
23 couldn't be mobile because of things like that.
24 Q. We could agree that the HVO was relatively well equipped with
25 artillery weapons, and they were also relatively well equipped for
1 targeting targets that they wanted to hit. So could we then agree that
2 they didn't have as their objective to put out of order fire-fighting
3 trucks since you had at least one operational?
4 A. I'll try to give you a very basic, decent answer. The area is so
5 small that it doesn't matter whether it will hit you directly or not.
6 However, if a shell lands in your immediate vicinity, you become a victim
7 nevertheless. In our vicinity there was the war hospital where all the
8 wounded, all the injured were treated. I'm not going to say that this was
9 done on purpose, but frequently this facility was targeted. I don't know
10 whether they targeted specifically or not, but it was hit, and since we
11 were so close to the war hospital, that affected us as well.
12 Let me give you another fact never mentioned so far: In the
13 department store Razvitak, in the basement there was a public kitchen, and
14 everybody knew well that people came there when the food was distributed,
15 and they came there at different times, sometimes at 10.00 in the morning
16 sometimes at 5.00 in the afternoon, and it was enough to have one of those
17 unfortunate shells fired at that location and you would be a victim.
18 Maybe they didn't target you specifically, but you would still be injured.
19 Q. This department store Razvitak, was it destroyed?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I don't mean whether it was destroyed, targeted.
22 A. Yes. Its main beam was destroyed, and as a result of that, the 64
23 flats which were built on top of that, were destroyed.
24 Q. And the public kitchen remained operational?
25 A. In that area, yes, because this is on the south-east part of that
1 building, and people had to work there under very, very difficult
2 conditions because there was no other place where they could have put up a
3 public kitchen.
4 Q. Mr. Pejanovic, in view of the circumstances, I will put just a few
5 more questions to you, depending on your answers.
6 When you were putting out fire on the front line on the first
7 defence line, you, when describing that, wrote in your book that when you
8 came to put out fires, the firing at the building continued. You also
9 described how you arrived at the first front line based on which I
10 conclude that you came to put out fires in facilities. Even while the
11 combat operations were on, you went, despite of that, to the front line.
12 A. You concluded quite accurately that's how it was.
13 Q. Can you explain to us from the point of view of your colleagues
14 and the ability to carry out your job, wouldn't it not have been more
15 rational to wait for the fighting to conclude and then to start putting
16 out fires?
17 A. My dear lady, please understand this: When we went out to these
18 facilities to put out fire, the members of the BH MUP were precisely
19 there. And if we let those buildings burn down, there would have been no
20 more defence. We had to do that, and for a while we did that
22 Q. Thank you. I have one additional question about the Razvitak
23 department store. Can you tell us who destroyed that facility, the
24 department store and the flats above it?
25 A. This is how it was: The flats were burnt in 1992, but the main
1 construction frame remained intact. It wasn't destroyed. At one point
2 when they shelled, the main, the central beam or pillar was hit and from
3 then on the facility wasn't safe any more, wasn't usable. Later on, when
4 the facility was demolished, now they completely demolished the
5 residential area, leaving only the commercial premises of the building.
6 Q. When you speak of 1992 and how the building was damaged then, you
7 mean the JNA and the forces of Bosnian Serbs; isn't that right?
8 A. I believe that it came from that direction. If you are facing the
9 building, it had some flats on the eastern side and some on the western
10 side. If you want me to be more detailed about it, I would be more likely
11 to agree with you that the flats that were set on fire on the eastern
12 side, that Serbs were to be blamed for that. And as for the ones that
13 were burnt on the western side, that the fire came from that direction,
14 from the west.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you for
16 allowing me this time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The clock is ticking.
18 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I fully understand
19 that we are being run over by time, but with your leave, I will put two or
20 three questions even though I planned to put much more.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I really need to go
22 out. I need to go to the bathroom. I cannot stay here any longer.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall make a ten-minute
25 --- Recess taken at 2.18 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.28 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've got ten minutes left on
3 the tape, so, Mr. Jonjic, you have five minutes, and the next Defence
4 counsel will also have five minutes.
5 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Jonjic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pejanovic, I only have two or three questions
8 for you on behalf of Mr. Valentin Coric. If you answer briefly, we'll be
9 able to deal with them in five minutes. Your fire-fighting unit was part
10 of the civilian protection; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At the time of an imminent threat of war or at a time of war, what
13 is the legal position of the civilian protection with regard to the
15 A. To be quite frank, you're the first person who has put such a
16 question to me. The relation was not quite defined and it was ugly.
17 Q. Let's not go into lengthy explanations since we don't have much
18 time. As far as the level of your responsibility or discipline is
19 concerned with regard to the government, executive authority, with those
20 in power at the time, was your level of responsibility higher or lower
21 than in peacetime?
22 A. It should have been higher.
23 Q. Thank you. You know that in the territory of the Croatian
24 Community of Herceg-Bosna and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina general
25 mobilisation had been declared at the time?
1 A. Yes, I know that.
2 Q. Did this general mobilisation give the authorities, the municipal
3 authorities, the right to issue you orders according to which you should
4 restructure the fire-fighting organisation?
5 A. I assume that they had such authority but such things were never
7 Q. Thank you very much. Yesterday, you were saying that the decision
8 dated the 22nd of January, 1993, signed by Jadran Topic, was a decision
9 you didn't want to implement and a decision that you didn't implement. In
10 the course of the cross-examination today, you were presented with a
11 number of prior decisions from 1992 in which you were also ordered to
12 restructure the organisation. You didn't act on any of those decisions;
13 is that correct?
14 A. Allow me to clarify something: I said that with regard to the
15 decision dated the 17th of December, well, we didn't receive it, but as
16 far as the other decision dated the 22nd of January is concerned, we
17 didn't implement it.
18 Q. That's clear. Yesterday you didn't provide us with information on
19 your educational background. Naturally the Chamber has the power to
20 compel the witness to answer such questions. I won't go into these
21 details, however. All I will do is ask you in order to be a commander is
22 it necessary to have a certain level of qualifications and did you have
23 such qualifications?
24 A. Sir, you only needed fools to go to war, fools who would comply
25 with orders. I have answered your question.
1 Q. My question is specific: In order to be a commander, and you were
2 a commander for quite a number of years, in order to be a commander, was
3 it necessary to have the relevant qualifications?
4 A. Yes. And I did meet the criteria.
5 Q. Can you tell us what sort of educational level you need?
6 A. Well, I qualified as a plumber.
7 Q. Thank you very much. After not having implemented the decision
8 that you received from Jadranko Topic, or signed by Jadranko Topic, you
9 said that the only form of punishment you were submitted to was that you
10 weren't provided with food in the northern camp.
11 A. Yes, but I wasn't provided with logistics either, not just food.
12 Q. The northern camp was called the Tihomir Misic barracks for a
13 certain period of time; is that correct?
14 A. As far as I know, that's not correct. I'm not quite sure, perhaps
15 it was. Don't hold this against me, I really don't know, but I know that
16 at the time of the JNA it was called the Mostar Battalion barracks, today
17 it's the Hujdur Hujka barracks, but I don't know what it was called at
18 that time.
22 Q. Was she in Siroki Brijeg?
23 A. Yes, she was.
24 Q. Tell me whether Siroki Brijeg is a municipality which is mainly
25 inhabited by Croats.
1 A. Yes. And I would also like to point out that my wife is a Croat.
2 Q. Regardless of the fact that you were the commander of a
3 fire-fighting unit which was at the disposal of the ABiH, can you tell me
4 whether your daughter had any unpleasant experiences in Siroki Brijeg.
5 A. Luckily, that was just a stopover. She spent time with her uncle
6 in Germany.
7 Q. But did she have any unpleasant experiences?
8 A. As far as I know, no.
9 Q. Yesterday you said on page 47 that in the area controlled by the
10 ABiH, 600 Serbs remained and 246 Croats.
11 A. Yes. That's information I obtained when we were distributing
12 humanitarian aid.
13 Q. Do you know how many Muslims remained in the territory of Mostar
14 in the area under the control of the HVO?
15 A. I don't know. All I know is that a lot of them went to other
17 Q. How many remained there?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Tell me, not far from the headquarters of your fire-fighting
20 association you said there was a hospital, that there was the war
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know when this -- when they started building the war
24 hospital or, rather, do you know when the war hospital became functional,
25 not when it was actually built?
1 A. I think it was at the beginning of the conflict, or perhaps a
2 little earlier, but I think that it was after the 9th of May.
3 Q. I only have another two brief questions. When Mr. Jugo was
4 killed, your colleague and friend, was anyone else present?
5 A. Yes, Dzemo Barakovic.
6 Q. Thank you very much. And one more question: Now that the
7 conflict is over, do you participate in the power structure? Do you have
8 a political function?
9 A. No.
10 Q. After the war, did you have any political function?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Which function?
13 A. I was the president and vice-president of the town hall and I was
14 an assemblyman on three occasions. On one occasion it was for the party
15 for Bosnia and Herzegovina. I didn't really belong to any party and I
16 don't belong to any party today, but this is another matter.
17 Q. Were you a candidate for the Party for Democratic Action?
18 A. No, I was never a candidate for that party or for the party for
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but we were taken through that party for marketing
20 reasons in order to receive a mandate in the council.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I only have one
23 question for this witness.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] The fire brigade unit must have some sort of a
1 duty book.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Are all the incidents when you intervene recorded in it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does it also record interventions during the period we have been
6 discussing, interventions when fires weren't the result of the wartime
8 A. Regardless of the cause of the fire, it was necessary to register
9 the fires. Sometimes we would -- we would always register in this book.
10 Q. Did you have such a book?
11 A. Yes, we did. We did have such a register.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence counsels, I'd like
14 to thank the Defence counsel who have just put these last questions.
15 Witness, your testimony is now finished. I thank you for having
16 testified here for eight hours. You've answered a number of questions,
17 and I hope you are not too tired as a result of it. I wish you a safe
18 trip home, and I shall ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
19 In the meantime, I will ask Mr. Karnavas to let us know which
20 exhibits he would like to tender into evidence.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. It's 1D00389, 388, 390,
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The exhibits mentioned by
2 Mr. Karnavas [Previous translation continues] ... [In English] 1D00388,
3 1D00390, and 1D00392.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Before adjourning
5 this hearing, we have admitted the exhibits of the Prosecution this
6 morning, but we have to mention that these are tendered under seal. Given
7 that names are mentioned in these documents, we need to specify that these
8 are tendered under seal.
9 I would like to thank all the people who have taken part in this
10 hearing, and we shall meet again for our next hearing on Monday. We shall
11 hear Mr. Donia. I hope he will be there. And we shall resume this
12 hearing on Monday at 2.00, and I wish you a good weekend.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.40 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day
15 of May, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.