1 Monday, 11 December 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
8 Case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. On this Monday, I'd
10 like to say good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom, the Prosecution,
11 the Defence, the accused. I can see that some of the Defence don't all
12 seem to be there but the accused are.
13 We are going to continue the proceedings with a witness in a
14 moment, but before we have the witness shown in, I have three oral
15 decisions, three oral rulings, and I would also like to go into private
16 session for another matter.
17 First oral decision with respect to the admission of exhibits
18 relevant to Witness CE. With respect to witness CE who appeared on the
19 23rd of November, 2006, and the exhibits that were presented to the
20 witness, the Chamber has decided to admit the following exhibits presented
21 by the Prosecution, and we're doing so because they have a certain amount
22 of probative value and relevance. I'm going to read them out slowly to
23 avoid any mistakes: P 09750 under seal; P 00462 under seal; P 02215, P
24 02607; P 03075; P 03160; P 03222; P 03347; P 07529; P 07533; P 09745 under
25 seal; and P 09746.
1 The Chamber would like to note that P 02319 [as interpreted] has
2 already been admitted through CD, Witness CD.
3 P 03019. P 03019 is the number. I see there was a mistake.
4 The Chamber has decided to admit the following evidence presented
5 by the Defence of Mr. Stojic because they consider that it has certain
6 probative value and relevance: 2D 00272. The Chamber has decided to
7 admit the following exhibits presented by the Defence of Mr. Petkovic with
8 the motivation that they have certain probative value and relevance: P
10 Exhibit 4D 00408 is admitted and as identification until the
11 document has been translated. So it will be marked for identification.
12 The Chamber has also decided to admit the following four documents
13 which have been marked for identification and once they are translated
14 into English because they have certain probative value and relevance: 4D
15 00033; 4D 00034; 4D 00035; and 4D 00036.
16 Second oral decision, second oral ruling: The Chamber will state
17 its views with respect to documents related to Witness CF and the Chamber
18 has decided to admit the following exhibits presented by the Prosecution
19 because they represent a certain degree of credibility, probative value,
20 and relevance, and I'm going to read out slowly: P 09751 under seal; P
21 09752 under seal; paragraph 55 of Exhibit P 06697.
22 There's a mistake; it is P 06697.
23 P 08192 [as interpreted].
24 Another mistake. P 08792.
25 P 09557; P 09558.
1 The Chamber has decided not to admit P 09764 because the Witness
2 CF did not recognise the locality shown on the photograph.
3 The Chamber takes note that the exhibits P 02215, P 02215, P
4 03160, P 08742, and P 09038 presented by the Prosecution have already been
6 The Chamber would also like to note that the Defence counsel did
7 not ask for the tendering of any documents during testimony of Witness
9 And now the last oral ruling having to do with Witness Hasan
10 Hasic. The witness appeared on the 27th of November, 2006. The Chamber
11 decides to admit the following exhibits presented by the Prosecution
12 because it considers that they have certain probative value and relevance:
13 There are four numbers that I'm going to read out P 04822, P 09747, P
14 09748, and IC 00116.
15 The Chamber takes note that the Defence did not ask for the
16 tendering of any exhibits.
17 With respect to exhibits that are waiting, now, with respect to
18 Witness CB, I should like to ask the Prosecution to specify or, rather,
19 the legal assistant, the pages of P 04698 that it wishes to tender into
20 evidence. I should also like to invite the parties to furnish IC lists
21 for Witness CL.
22 As far as Witness Salko Bojcic is concerned for which we have
23 already received the lists for 2D. We should also like to request IC
24 lists for Witness CN and also the IC list for CO. With respect to that
25 particular witness, we have the Prosecution list for Witness CO. We
1 should also like to request the -- a list from the Defence for Witness CP.
2 We also have the Prosecution list for that same witness. We hope that
3 those lists will come in before the end of the week.
4 I'm going to ask the registrar to give me the IC numbers, because
5 we have four lists.
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 [In English] List of documents tendered through 2D through Witness
8 CM will be given Exhibit them IC 163. List of documents of 2D through
9 Witness Salko Bojcic will be given Exhibit number IC 164. The Prosecution
10 exhibits tendered through Witness CO will be given Exhibit number IC 165.
11 And Prosecution Exhibits tendered through Witness CP will be given Exhibit
12 number IC 166. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm going to ask the
14 registrar to go into private session for a few moments.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 11411-11425 redacted. Private session
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in public session.
21 MR. FLYNN:
22 Q. And, Mr. Witness, between the period late 1992 leading into 1993,
23 what kind of a relationship existed as between the Bosnian Croats and the
24 Bosnian Muslims in Stolac and its surrounds?
25 A. They were not bad until just before the rounding up into camps,
1 and then tensions began just before people were rounded up. It was
2 obvious that something was going to happen.
3 Q. When you say it was obvious, could you give us some kind of
4 indication as to how it was so obvious? What signs did you notice?
5 A. Well, we noticed that Croats and Muslims did not mingle any more,
6 did not socialise any more, did not sit together in cafes and bars, and
7 that's how we felt that there was something going on, that somebody
8 prohibited these two groups from socialising.
9 Q. And are you in a position to say what actually motivated this
10 change in relationship?
11 A. Most probably it was the HDZ party, because they led all this.
12 They managed all this. They advised people what to do. They told them
13 what to do. I don't know what they were seeking.
14 Q. Well, now you talk about a deterioration in relationship. Was
15 there a particular time when this culminated finally, when the parties
16 were no longer friends, that they broke apart?
17 A. 3rd of July. Until the 3rd of July on the combat lines everybody
18 was together, Muslims and Croats, and what happened on the 3rd of July was
19 simply horrible.
20 Q. What year are we talking about?
21 A. 1993.
22 Q. Where were you exactly on the 3rd of July?
23 A. On the 3rd of July, I was --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear anything.
25 MR. FLYNN:
1 Q. Could you repeat, please?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you repeat?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Rotimlja.
4 MR. FLYNN:
5 Q. Had you visited Stolac at all on the 3rd of July?
6 A. On the 3rd of July -- I did go to Stolac on the 6th of July.
7 Q. Well you talk about the 3rd of July being the -- the date on which
8 the relationships severely deteriorated. Can you tell us how or what --
9 what happened if you saw?
10 A. Yes, yes. On the 3rd of July, I saw when the rounding up started
11 in the settlement, when HVO soldiers arrived in large numbers and started
12 going from house to house rounding up all the able-bodied men of military
13 ages and even some older than military age.
14 Q. This was in the village of Rotimlja, I think you said.
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. Where did this take place?
17 A. That happened where I lived.
18 Q. And that was close by Stolac?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And where did you -- where were you when you observed this?
21 A. On the 3rd of July, I was at Rotimlja. On the 3rd of July, I was
22 at Rotimlja.
23 Q. But I'm asking you about -- when you observed these people being
24 rounded up that you described, you said it was where you lived.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was this in Rotimlja or was it somewhere else?
2 A. That's in Borojevici.
3 Q. Where exactly were you in Borojevici when you saw this happen,
4 were you on the street or in your car or so on?
5 A. Let me try to explain. I noticed, in fact a lot of us noticed a
6 large number of troops that had arrived, and we fled. Whoever could flee,
7 fled. I don't know. Nobody was expecting that this would happen, that
8 people would be rounded up. Some people still trusted that nothing bad
9 would happen. They stayed behind, and some others fled.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're not very clear, Witness.
11 I have the impression that you are avoiding answers.
12 The Prosecutor asked you where you were. We have finally
13 understood that you were in the village of Borojevici.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were in that village.
16 Can you tell us what happened in that village? Did HVO arrive and entered
17 the first houses, arrested the people there those houses, after which you
18 decided to run away? Briefly explain to us what you saw with your own
19 eyes and what you did yourself.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw people being taken away, that
21 is, I saw my brother and my neighbour being taken away. Then I went into
22 hiding and saved myself from being rounded up on that day at least.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Those who arrested your brother
24 and your neighbour, who were they?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The military police of the HVO.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And this HVO military police,
2 from which battalion were they, from which unit? Do you know the unit of
3 that military police? Because military police is a very large notion.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The military police from Stolac
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. And why did you flee
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I didn't trust them. I knew
9 something bad would happen.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At that time you were a member
11 of the ABiH. Were you wearing the uniform of the ABiH on that day or were
12 you in civilian clothes?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In civilian clothes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were on leave? How come
15 that you were not in your brigade? You were on leave?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was on leave.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 Mr. Flynn, please proceed.
19 MR. FLYNN:
20 Q. So on observing these arrests and decide to go flee, where did you
22 A. I went back towards Rotimlja.
23 Q. And what did you find and who did you meet in Rotimlja?
24 A. I came across some of the people from Stolac, and they told me
25 what was going on and that this rounding up was being carried out.
1 Q. Did they tell you where the rounding up was being carried out?
2 A. They were rounding people up, first of all in the towns and
3 convince and then along the front lines, the combat lines. All the
4 soldiers who were up at the lines were rounded up and all people brought
5 from other municipalities and so on.
6 Q. Did they tell you which units had been target for these
8 A. Which units were being arrested. Well, it was all the military
9 police, and there were people who were brought in from Mostar, Ljubuski,
10 and Citluk.
11 Q. How long did you stay in Rotimlja?
12 A. Three days.
13 Q. And what did you do during this period?
14 A. Well, I did what was necessary. I did the work that I was ordered
15 to do.
16 Q. Did you observe any further arrests during those three days that
17 you were in Rotimlja?
18 A. No, I didn't see anything.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, at the time you were a
20 military man, a member of the Bregava Brigade, and you were an eyewitness
21 of the arrests undertaken by the HVO. Why did you not go back to your
22 unit straight away? Perhaps you tried. Did you tell your unit that there
23 were problems? Did you warn them?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no, I didn't. I didn't inform
25 them. There was somebody else, I suppose, who was supposed to do that
1 kind of thing.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But if everybody did what you
3 did and thought that it was up to someone else, then the authority of the
4 Bregava Brigade -- the authorities of the Bregava Brigade might not have
5 known what was going on, on the ground, if nobody informed them.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm sure they did know.
7 Everybody had their assignment, so I couldn't meddle in things like that.
8 I wouldn't know who to report to or inform, but I knew what my job was.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what was your job?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was a driver on standby,
11 whenever needed.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the role of a driver, you
13 would have to be next to your truck; right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we took turns. There were
15 shifts. There were several trucks and several drivers, so we would take
16 it in turns.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn.
18 MR. FLYNN:
19 Q. From what you saw and from what you heard, can you tell us what
20 happened to those people that were arrested within the HVO and other
21 people who were arrested? Do you know what had happened to them?
22 A. They were loaded up onto trucks and driven off to camps, Gabela
23 and Dretelj.
24 Q. I want to -- you have a booklet of documents in front of you. If
25 you look to your right. And I want you to turn to exhibit number -- the
1 tab is 3222.
2 You have a document --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, the interpreters
4 would like to ask you to speak up and approach the microphone so that they
5 can hear you better.
6 MR. FLYNN:
7 Q. You have a document dated the 6th of July, 1993, which is issued
8 by the commander of the HVO, Colonel Obradovic, and in paragraph 1 -- it's
9 an order, and in paragraph 1 he orders that all remaining Muslims in the
10 units of the HVO be removed from the existing records, disarmed, and
11 imprisoned. And this is addressed to other HVO units.
12 Is this what happened on the ground as you remember it and as what
13 you saw?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, after the 6th of July, 1993, what did you decide
16 to do? Where did you go?
17 A. Where did I go. Well, I don't know. I went back to Stolac.
18 Q. Mm-hmm. Where did you go in Stolac, and who did you meet?
19 A. I met with a group of those people, and they told me what was
20 going on and what happened in Stolac, that they were rounding people up
21 and taking them to camps.
22 Q. And did you make any decisions as to what you would do yourself
24 A. Well -- well, I don't know. I decided something. I went back to
25 Rotimlja, and then --
1 Q. After the 6th of July did you meet your family again in
3 A. Yes, I did meet my father and my grandmother and all the other
4 elderly people.
5 Q. And did you make a decision what to do considering that there had
6 been arrests?
7 A. We decided to escape to the woods and hide there because we
8 thought it would all be over quickly.
9 Q. Did your mother go with you at the time?
10 A. No, she wasn't with us.
11 Q. How about your grandmother?
12 A. My granny was, yes.
13 Q. And where did your mother go?
14 A. My mother went to -- well, she was rounded up with the other
15 younger women. They were all rounded up, and then they were taken to --
16 well, it was like a camp. It was at the school in Aladinici. All the
17 women were taken there, and the elderly people who could walk.
18 Q. And who rounded them up?
19 A. Well, the military police.
20 Q. The same military police which had carried out the arrests
22 A. Yes, arrests.
23 Q. And after Aladinici do you know where your mother went?
24 A. Yes. They were at Aladinici and transferred to Buna, and from
25 Buna to Blagaj.
1 Q. And was this a voluntary transfer? Did they go willingly? Did
2 they volunteer to go?
3 A. Well, not voluntary, no. They were forced, forcibly displaced.
4 Q. By whom?
5 A. Well, those soldiers. Somebody ordered them. The party, who
7 Q. And how long did your mother spend in Aladinici, if you know?
8 A. I don't really know. Eight or nine days, I think. They were
9 there in very difficult circumstances: No water, no food, one on top of
10 another, a small space.
11 Q. Is this something you were told or you know for a fact?
12 A. I didn't see it personally. My mother told me about it and all
13 the other women that spent time in that school. The Stolac plateau is a
14 large area. There were a lot of women and young girls and children
16 Q. Okay. Let's move back to your group. Your group, how many were
17 in them -- in your group all together?
18 A. Sixteen, 16 of us in the group.
19 Q. Were these men and women?
20 A. Just men.
21 Q. And where -- where exactly doing go?
22 A. Where did we go? We went to hide in the hope that everything
23 would be over soon, that we wouldn't have to be in hiding for long.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Witness. We have
25 to be more precise, because the Judges are extremely precise. You
1 explained to us that on the 3rd of July you were on leave from the ABiH
2 and that you were a member of the Bregava Brigade and that you had
3 escaped, and we discovered that you were in hiding for a few weeks. And
4 you've just told us that there were 16 of you. So you were hiding. Where
5 were you hiding? What were you doing with the other members of the group?
6 Did you put up any resistance? Were you armed at all? Did you think that
7 your military unit might have thought that you had deserted if it didn't
8 receive any word from you?
9 So quite simply, in a word, what were you doing amongst that
10 group? You were spending the days hiding in a hole, or did you undertake
11 any military action? Could you be more specific about all those points,
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we were hiding in the hope,
14 and I'm repeating this, that everything would end quickly. We were hiding
15 in the woods, in the forest. As luck would have it, the weather was
16 rather good. There were some tents. Some people had some at the present
17 time, but as I say, we all hoped it would all be over soon and we could go
18 back home. We did not put any resistance. We were unarmed. We were all
19 wearing civilian clothes at the time. I was on leave at home. Nobody
20 had any arms or uniforms.
21 MR. FLYNN:
22 Q. How did you manage for provisions while you were hiding in the
23 woods? Food.
24 A. The last house in that particular area, well, we would stand on
25 guard. Two men would do what was necessary, and we got our food that way
1 to survive. At one end of the village, in my uncle house there was the
2 military police.
3 Q. And how long did you manage to stay hidden, your group?
4 A. Our group was in hiding until the 25th of September, 1993.
5 Q. And can you tell us what happened on the 25th of September, 1993?
6 Who came, what happened, where you were taken, and so on?
7 A. On the 25th of September we were surrounded in the woods. We were
8 surrounded by the Croatian soldiers, the HVO police, and were taken -- we
9 had to walk to -- well, three and a half kilometres to a vehicle that was
10 waiting for us, and then they transported us to the Kostana hospital.
11 Q. And how -- how were you treated when they originally found and
12 arrested you?
13 A. Well, they were rough with us. They beat us. They abused us,
14 insulted us, swore at as us. They used bad language. I don't know.
15 Q. And among this group who you were with, was there elderly people
16 and young people?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Witness, if you
18 had to name names -- or if you're going to name names, we'll have to do it
19 in private session. So take care, Mr. Flynn.
20 MR. FLYNN: I was going to do that. I was going to ask you.
21 Q. As I asked you, among your group did you have underage persons and
22 elderly persons?
23 A. There were some underage persons and two elderly persons. Not too
24 old but elderly.
25 MR. FLYNN: Perhaps now would be an appropriate time to ask to go
1 into private session.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's move into private
3 session for a few moments and then we'll take the break.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 11439-11463 redacted. Private session
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
11 MR. FLYNN:
12 Q. Sir, my question to you was -- was whether you were conscious when
13 you arrive at Gabela. Do you remember arriving to Gabela?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: In I may just interrupt. Excuse me, sir.
15 Is the Prosecutor suggesting that he was unconscious? You know,
16 in other words that he had been unconscious and transported over there, or
17 is he asking him whether he recalls going there.
18 MR. FLYNN: Simply I'm asking -- I'll rephrase it and I'll say --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Please.
20 MR. FLYNN:
21 Q. -- do you remember arriving at Gabela?
22 A. I don't remember when I arrived.
23 Q. And why is that?
24 A. I don't remember because that day -- or, rather, in Kostana
25 hospital I received so many blows that I was left completely immobile, and
1 I passed out. I was unconscious. I didn't know what was going on. I was
2 totally unconscious and wasn't able to move. So that's why I don't
3 remember when I arrived or how I arrived.
4 Q. And how long did you stay in this state of unconsciousness
5 following -- on arrival at Gabela?
6 A. Upon arrival -- or, rather, after my arrival, 37 or 8 days I was
7 immobile throughout at that time and I was unconscious. I might have said
8 something, but I wasn't able to speak coherently. I was sort of deranged
9 mostly, couldn't put two and two together.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you said that you
11 arrived in Gabela when you were unconscious, and that apparently according
12 to what you told us you were in that state for 37 days not knowing exactly
13 what you said or what you were doing. So in other words you were in a
14 coma, that would mean you were in a coma, and there were stages to a coma,
15 stage 1, 2, 3, but you can't be left for 37 days without eating anything,
16 without drinking anything on pain of death. Do you remember eating at
17 all, or was it a period that, as far as you're concerned, is something you
18 absolutely don't remember now?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not 37 but 27 or 28 days. I don't
20 know what period of time. It was a long period of time. And we didn't
21 receive any food for a long period of time.
22 How can I explain that to you? You didn't see the state I was in.
23 I was in such a terrible state, just skin and bones.
24 We did get something, but that was just by chance, now and again.
25 They would throw in -- there was this iron door to this hangar, no windows
1 or anything, and some food would be thrown in, and if you managed to get a
2 piece of something, you did. If you didn't, you would just die. And the
3 same applied to water. But we didn't receive water or food for long
4 periods of time. And as I said, and begging your pardon, people would
5 urinate and then drink that urine once it was cold.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] During that period did a doctor
7 come to see you at Gabela to diagnose you, to bring you some medicines?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not once. Never ever did a doctor
9 come or bring so much as a pill. There was a man from Stolac, last name
10 Ljiljak, I can't remember his first name, but he had a pill or two to give
11 me two or three times, because I had fractured ribs which made all
12 movement very painful.
13 I think it was three or four times that he gave me some pills.
14 And he gave me -- he gave some pills to my father.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Looking at you, you seem to be a
16 strong man. You look quite strong. But when you left Gabela, how many
17 kilos had you lost, how much weight?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, honestly I don't know how much
19 weight I lost, but I looked horrible. You see how tall I am and I was
20 skin and bone. I looked skeletal. And of course what can you expect when
21 there was no regular food, no regular drink. It was inhuman. Other
22 people can confirm.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Among the questions -- after the
24 questions of the Presiding Judge, I would like to ask one.
25 Were you aware of any visits of international organisations such
1 as the ICRC? Did anybody come to Gabela?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Once or twice, I think, we
3 were visited.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And when they came, was it during
5 that period when you got almost nothing to eat and when people had to go
6 to the bathroom in the conditions that you described?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was then.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When people from the ICRC came
10 to see you, did they examine your skin, your appearance, your ribs? Did
11 they realise the condition you were in?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came to the entrance to the
13 hangar, but nobody came in. Nobody walked around, not from the ICRC.
14 Nobody looked at me. Nobody examined me for sure.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they saw you from afar, from
16 the entrance to the hangar. Nobody came in, nobody came close to you,
17 nobody talked with you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nobody came in. Nor did they
19 come close or ask us questions. There were many people in the same state
20 as myself. They distributed some sort of packages.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After this visit of the ICRC,
22 did you feel a significant change in the living conditions at Gabela, or
23 did it continue just the same as before?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything was exactly the same as
25 before. But just before we left for Heliodrom, a few days before we left
1 things changed a little. They would let us, for instance, outside to take
2 a walk outside the hangar and go as far as the entrance to the camp. So
3 we could talk between the gate and the hangar.
4 As for the rest, there was no improvement, and the hygiene did not
5 improve either. Even then, there was just a pail for going to the
6 bathroom for 400 people or -- I don't know exactly we were, but they all
7 watched my father help me onto the pail, and it was a total disaster, a
8 total disgrace.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because you cool not go to the
10 pail being in the condition in which you were, and you had to be helped
11 onto the pail to relieve yourself?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, because my balance was
13 also disrupted. Something was damaged in my brain, and whenever I would
14 try to walk straight I would start leaning to the right. And I -- unless
15 stopped, I would simply fall to the ground. That's why I had to be
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Later, when you were liberated,
18 when there was peace again, did you go to see doctors? Did you have a CAT
19 scan of your head to see if there was internal damage? Did you have any
20 medical examination of your head to establish if there were any permanent
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did all that. And all that
23 medical file has been turned over to OTP investigators.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you gave your entire medical
25 file to investigators.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe the Prosecution is not
3 aware of that.
4 MR. FLYNN: We are aware of a number of medical reports,
5 Your Honours. There was a question of some photographs of injuries
6 sustained, but unfortunately these weren't passed on to us, but a copy of
7 the medical report was. It's very brief, and I will be putting it to the
8 witness, but the documents provided by the Bosnian authorities were quite
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would you explain, Mr. Flynn, what you mean by
11 saying "they were not passed to us."
12 MR. FLYNN: The Bosnian authorities presented to us related to
13 this period of time, they gathered certain information from various
14 witnesses who had been held in Gabela and various other camps, and they
15 compiled large dossiers, and the investigators with interviews with the
16 Bosnian authorities were presented with these dossiers. But the dossiers
17 would not have been as complete as we would have liked.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: What makes you affirm here that there were
19 actually documents, photographs in existence that were not put at your
21 MR. FLYNN: Well, in the statements which the -- the witness has
22 given, he makes mention to -- about photographs which he says, "You have,"
23 and he's addressing the Bosnian authorities. But we don't have that
24 photographs. So that's my only conclusion, that there were photographs
25 handed over to the Bosnian authorities, but unfortunately they did not
1 find their way here.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when you met with the
3 investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor, did you give the
4 investigators your medical file?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that I had I gave.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To whom? To the authorities of
7 your country or to the investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The investigator of the
9 International Tribunal.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's exactly what I
12 MR. FLYNN: And what I'm telling Your Honours is when the
13 investigators took the statement from this witness, they did have a number
14 of documents which had earlier been presented to them by the Bosnian
15 authorities. The AID statement that was made in 1996. They were also
16 presented with a video statement made by this witness, and presented with
17 a doctor's report. But there's no indication from the documents which we
18 were furnished that any photographs whatsoever were furnished to us,
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to move into
21 private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 11471-11474 redacted. Private session
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
9 MR. FLYNN:
10 Q. Did you have any occasion to visit any of the other accommodations
11 in Gabela?
12 A. I had one occasion before I was moved to Heliodrom to go into
13 hangar number 3.
14 Q. So do I understand it that the only two hangars you saw were your
15 own hanger and hangar number 3?
16 A. No. There were four hangars in Gabela in total.
17 Q. No, but what I'm asking you is, how many of those hangars did you
18 visit and see the conditions of?
19 A. Well, I was in one hangar, and I saw the conditions in one more
20 hangar, number 3, as I said.
21 Q. Was number 3 any better than the conditions in your hangar?
22 A. It was exactly the same. What could possibly be better?
23 Everything is the same. All those hangars were the same.
24 Q. Tell us, can you -- do you know who was in charge of the camp at
25 the time you were held there?
1 A. You mean who was in charge of the whole camp. Bosko Previsic was
2 the main man, and his deputy was Nikola Andrun.
3 Q. Could you tell us how Mr. Previsic treated the detainees?
4 A. I don't know how he -- what to tell you. He was capable of
5 killing people. I heard that from two men. It's no -- no way for a
6 reasonable man to act.
7 Q. Did you know anybody personally that he is alleged to have
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Please tell us about it.
11 A. (redacted). He was killed by
12 this Bosko Previsic.
13 Q. And do you know the circumstances under which he was killed?
14 A. We are in open session and he just gave the name of his cousin.
15 Can we please have an appropriate order for redaction prepared. Mr.
16 Flynn, you should have thought about it.
17 MR. FLYNN: Of course, Your Honour. The fact that this gentleman
18 had passed away ...
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope I'm not wrong,
21 but I don't think this killing is in the indictment. As -- if it goes to
22 relevance, maybe we could refer to what is in the indictment.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is relevant is to know the
24 conduct of the person who was in charge on that establishment.
25 Registrar, would you please prepare the order.
1 Mr. Flynn, we are going to be forced -- we are going to be forced
2 to take a 30-minute break. How much time do you need to conclude --
3 MR. FLYNN: Not very long.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- Because we have to deal with
5 Heliodrom yet.
6 MR. FLYNN: Not very long, Your Honour. I believe that I have
7 approximately 10 more questions, more or less.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are taking the break now, and
9 resuming at 1800 hours.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn.
13 MR. FLYNN: Thank you, Your Honours. Just a point of information
14 for Your Honours on what Mr. Kovacic mentioned. Over the break, we just
15 checked on it, and it appears that the killing of Mustafa Obradovic is
16 part of the indictment, and it is specifically mentioned in the
17 confidential annex paragraph 200. I thought you'd might like to know
19 Q. Before we broke, Witness, you were telling us about this incident
20 with Mustafa Obradovic and how he had been killed. Very briefly, can you
21 tell us what happened from what you know?
22 A. Mustafa Obradovic, with quite a number of others, other inmates,
23 he was doing forced labour at the Grabovina barracks or thereabouts. Now,
24 at the end of this bout of labour, he happened to come by a loaf of bread
25 or whatever. And when they returned to camp, Boko Previsic lined them up
1 when they got off the truck and ordered them to take out any food they
2 had, which they did, but he tried to hide this piece of bread. But the
3 man came by and found the piece of bread and what happened, happened.
4 Q. Did you personally have any contact with this Mr. Previsic or any
5 other senior official in Gabela?
6 A. No. No, never any contact with him.
7 Q. Did you have contact with any other official in Gabela?
8 A. No, no contacts. Just that day when we arrived, and the six or
9 seven days that we were in those premises with the man, Marinko Maric.
10 Q. Who was this man Marinko Markovic, and what happened with him?
11 A. Marinko Maric. He was in the SIS. It was the Croatian -- well,
12 some sort of secret service or whatever. All I know is that it was called
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Flynn. I would like to come back
15 to the episode with Mustafa Obradovic.
16 Witness, you have said what happened, happened; and that is
17 definitely true. But it is not really precise. Could you tell us more
18 precisely what occurred when -- when this piece of bread had been found?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness. And then a
20 follow-up question for you to be able to answer properly. You -- were you
21 witness to this incident, or were you told about the incident by others?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see it with my own eyes.
23 My relatives who were in that line, line-up, told me, and the man who took
24 the bread.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're in open session so avoid
1 mentioning names. Otherwise, we're going to have to redact them. So
2 please don't name names.
3 So you've just told us that they were close relatives of yours who
4 told you about this incident; is that right?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And can you be more specific
7 about the details, because my colleague would like to know the details of
8 the incident. Can you do that for us? Any specific features of the
9 incident, and who killed him in actual fact?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was killed by Bosko Previsic.
11 First of all, he took out a pistol and cocked it, but probably there
12 wasn't any ammunition. And then he shot at him. Then one of the guards
13 took a rifle and shot at him, shot him in the head.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So one of the guards killed him;
15 is that right? Not Previsic himself?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Previsic killed him. He took the
17 rifle. He shot from a pistol. There was no ammunition in the pistol.
18 Then he grabbed a rifle from a guard and then he personally shot at him
19 and shot him in the head and he was dead on the spot.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And on the basis of what they
21 told you all this was done in the presence of the others, was it, that
22 went out to do forced labour and had come back and witnessed the scene; is
23 that right?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They were standing there and
25 saw all this happen.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn, continue.
2 MR. FLYNN:
3 Q. And just as a follow-up yes to what Their Honours were asking you,
4 what was the specific reason that this man was shot?
5 A. The specific reason for the killing was the discovery of this
6 piece of bread that the man had tried to hide. He put something in front
7 of the piece of bread to hide it. But the truth of it is that he hid the
8 piece of bread. And since the man had issued orders that everything, all
9 food and everything should be placed in front of the men, he tried to hide
10 it in order to eat it. Because he was angry that his orders hadn't been
11 obeyed, he killed him.
12 Q. Just to conclude on this subject, can I show you, with the
13 assistance of the usher, if possible, Exhibit 09271. This is a
14 certificate of death which refers to a Mustafa, son of -- a Mustafa
15 Obradovic, born on the 1st of the 2nd, 1974. Is this the gentleman that
16 you were referring to?
17 A. Yes, that's the guy.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned a few moments ago that this occurred after he
19 had been out to do forced labour. What can you tell us about this? Were
20 there people taken out to do forced labour from the camp, and did this
21 happen often?
22 A. Yes, often. It happened often. They were taken out to do forced
23 labour often. People were taken to work on private property, private
24 land. And in the camp compound, they were forced to work with their bare
25 hands and pluck the weeds or whatever.
1 Q. Did you ever actually witness yourself people taken out to do
2 forced labour while you were held in Gabela?
3 A. Yes. When I came to, when I regained consciousness, I know that
4 they were taken out. Trucks would arrive to collect them and drive them
5 off to do forced labour.
6 Q. Now, when you arrived to Gabela, was the group that had been held
7 with you in Kostana, did they all come with you?
8 A. Suad wasn't. Suad was buried in the cemetery of Stolac.
9 Q. But the remainder?
10 A. The remainder, yes.
11 Q. And did they all survive Gabela as you did?
12 A. Ibro died shortly after his arrival in Gabela, Ibro Razic.
13 Q. Do you know how he died or why he died?
14 A. Ibro died succumbing to the blows and the abuse and mistreatment
15 at Kostana hospital in Stolac.
16 Q. Can I refer you to the booklet of documents which you have in
17 front of you, and would you look at Exhibit 08302. This is a certificate
18 of death for the person you mentioned, Ibro Razic, and it gives a date of
19 birth. It also mentions members of his family on the second paragraph.
20 Can you confirm to us, does this certificate refer to the same
21 Ibro that you told us died in Gabela?
22 A. Yes, that's right. That's the same Ibro.
23 Q. Mm-hmm. Now, how long were you held in Gabela?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
25 Witness, there's a certificate of the death which says that he
1 died in Gabela. I understood it that as far as you were concerned, you
2 thought that he died in the hospital. So where did he die, in fact, in
3 the hospital or in Gabela?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not in the hospital. He didn't
5 die in hospital. He died in Gabela, at the entrance to the Gabela camp
6 where we were interrogated by --
7 MR. FLYNN: Just so there's no misunderstanding, the witness did
8 make reference to another gentleman dying in Kostana.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you say that Ibro Razic died
10 at the entrance to Gabela camp.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the room we were interrogated in,
12 that's where he died. Upon arrival from Kostana hospital.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So he died as a
14 result of the bad treatment in Kostana hospital or bad treatment in Gabela
15 camp? Which?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He died as the result of abuse in
17 Kostana hospital and partially also in the -- from the treatment in
18 Gabela, the blows in Kostana hospital. And the same thing happened for a
19 short time in Gabela as well.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for explaining that to
22 MR. FLYNN:
23 Q. Now, I was asking you how long -- for how long you were kept in
25 A. I stayed in Gabela from the 2nd of October until the 15th of
1 December, 1993.
2 Q. And what happened on the 15th of December, 1993?
3 A. On the 15th of December, 1993, what happened was this: All the
4 elderly people and those who weren't on the list of the army of Republic
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina were exchanged in Mostar, and we who were on that
6 army list were transferred to Heliodrom camp.
7 Q. Can you remember how many ABiH people were transferred?
8 A. I can't give you the exact number.
9 Q. Can I just refer you to a report which is Exhibit 07184, again
10 with the assistance of Madam Usher. If you turn to the Bosnian page,
11 you'll see that this is a report of the Capljina military police dated the
12 15th of December, 1993. And if you go down, you'll see it says "Report,"
13 and it talks about the transfer of military prisoner of war from the
14 military prison in Gabela to Heliodrom military prison. And on the --
15 later on the page it talks about -- and it then talks about the number
16 406. And there's mention of 401.
17 So you talked about your transfer to Gabela -- from Gabela to
18 Heliodrom on the 15th of December. Does this -- does this report reflect
19 what happened on at that day?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, if I may. With all due respect,
21 we've gone over this -- this sort of introduction of evidence in the past.
22 The gentleman can introduce this document by other means and then point to
23 Your Honours to take into consideration that one reflects the other. But
24 to ask the gentleman to verify the contents of the document, in my
25 opinion, is not the best way to consume time, especially when the
1 Prosecution is saying that, you know, they're pressed for time.
2 MR. FLYNN: Well, I don't want to labour this issue, but the
3 witness did give evidence that he was transferred from Gabela to Heliodrom
4 on the 15th of December. This report talks about such transfers, and I
5 want to know whether or not the report reflects actually what he remembers
6 and what he told us about.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: He didn't generate the report. That's my whole
8 point, Your Honours. Nothing prevents the Prosecution from introducing
9 the report. The gentleman can vouch for the contents of the report. You
10 have the testimony of the witness, live testimony, the best evidence.
11 Then you can say, "Here's the evidence. Here's the report." If they --
12 if they can connect and they can marry the report with the evidence,
13 that's sufficient. I just think that this is not the best way to -- to
14 use our time.
15 MR. FLYNN: My only response to that again, Your Honour, and I
16 don't want to belabour on the issue, but this is the way it's been
17 presented over the last couple of weeks, and there are many documents
18 which have been presented to witnesses which they cannot obviously address
19 themselves. They have never seen before. But it has been put to them
20 that the contents of their document reflects either what they have told or
21 the position that they knew on the ground, and that's all we're asking.
22 We're not asking them to verify the report. We're not asking them to
23 authenticate the report. We're just asking them does their evidence
24 correspond with what's written in the report.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. Very well. I have no
1 objections to that. But I just want to be noted on the record, this is a
2 waste of prosecutorial time. That's what I want the record to reflect.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Mr. Flynn, in addressing the document, the document has to do with
5 prisoners of war. So there's a question that you should have asked the
6 witness, but I'm going to ask him now.
7 Sir, when you were transferred from Gabela or, rather, from the
8 day that you were arrested up until the day you were released, were you --
9 did you consider yourself to be a prisoner of war or a civilian prisoner?
10 What would you say? In your opinion, what were you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, normally -- well, I've already
12 said. I was a member of the BH army. At the point of my arrest, I was
13 wearing civilian clothes. I wasn't wearing a uniform. So I don't know.
14 I don't know how to answer that question, what I was.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you were in civilian
16 clothes when you were arrested, at the moment of your arrest, but
17 officially speaking, you were a member of the BH army; right.
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the authorities who detained
20 you could consider they were detaining a member from the opposite military
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this document speaks about
24 the transfer of prisoners of war from Gabela to Heliodrom. Now, what
25 about the figures in the document? Would you say they were correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the number was,
2 but I was among those, yes. I was among -- I was among those transferred
3 from Gabela to Heliodrom.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So all you can tell us
5 is that you were among those transferred from Gabela to Heliodrom. Now, a
6 follow-up question. A moment ago, you were talking about forced labour,
7 and you quoted an example which I was rather surprised to hear, but
8 perhaps you could explain this.
9 You said that the prisoners were picking weeds in the prison.
10 Now, if you were a prisoner of war, was it forbidden to pick weeds in the
11 prison? And if you were given orders to do so, would that be forced
13 I'd like to hear your opinion on that.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, forced labour. Yes, this
15 was forced -- the labour of -- people didn't have any skin left on their
16 hands, and it was these brambles, thorny brambles that they had to pluck,
17 and their skin was all torn. I didn't see that, but it was terrible. I
18 know people who lived through this. I know people personally who had to
19 do this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that those
21 people who were plucking thorny brambles damaged their hands because they
22 didn't have any protection and their hands were in a very poor state. Is
23 that what we're to understand? Because we've all, of course, plucked
24 weeds, but these were thorny brambles, and I can understand what happened.
25 And you, too, were probably asked to pull bramble in Gabela.
1 Now, why is this different from weeding your garden, for example?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's not ordinary weeds or
3 grass. It's called thorny bramble, and these were low-growing, young
4 plants and there are a lot of thorns. So it's difficult to do this with
5 your own hands. It would scathe your hands and your skin. And that's why
6 they were told to do that. It was taking out on the prisoners, forcing
7 them to work with these thorny brambles. It's not ordinary weeds or
8 grass, it was thorny brambles on these seedlings, and it's terrible what
9 these people were forced to do.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you're giving us this
11 new element now. You say that these people who were ordered to pick the
12 thorny brambles, that this was intentional on the part of the person
13 issuing the order because they knew that these brambles had thorns on them
14 and that this would hurt the hands of the people who were forced to do
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, yes. That's how it
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn.
19 MR. FLYNN: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Could you tell us, did -- did forced labour continue when you were
21 in Heliodrom. Were people taken out of the camp for forced labour?
22 A. Yes. At the Heliodrom as well people were taken out to do forced
23 labour on the front lines and Ljubuski and Bijaca. They were taken to
24 done some kind of work, but it was forced labour.
25 Q. Did all of these people manage to come back? Did they return to
2 A. Some were wounded and some were killed on the front lines while we
3 were working to fortify HVO bunkers.
4 Q. Can you give us a number of those who were killed, if you know?
5 A. I heard that quite a few people were killed, but there was one man
6 who came from us -- from Gabela to Heliodrom. I know that one person in
7 particular who was killed.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you give us one name of
9 somebody who was killed on the front line who had been at Heliodrom and
10 was taken out and didn't come back because they were killed?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know the last name. It was
12 Jazvin, but I really don't know his first name. I knew the man. I knew
13 him well by sight but I can't remember his first name. The last name was
14 Jazvin. He had come with us from Gabela and he got killed while
15 fortifying bunkers.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So on the front line while
17 fortifying bunkers he was killed. By who?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know, but he
19 definitely did not come back. He was killed. I don't know by whom.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I know that he was
22 exchanged, but I don't know who killed him.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He was exchanged. When you say
24 that, you mean his body was exchanged?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, his body.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Flynn, proceed.
2 MR. FLYNN:
3 Q. How would you describe the conditions in Heliodrom compared to
5 A. Unlike in Gabela, the conditions at Heliodrom from the 15th of
6 December to the 15th of March, when I was there the conditions were
7 significantly better.
8 Q. Did you receive regular meals?
9 A. We had two meals a day.
10 Q. Did you receive medical treatment?
11 A. As for medical care, we had some sort of male nurse. He was not
12 really a doctor, but he was a male nurse. He could hand out pills when
13 necessary. No doctor ever visited us until the 19th of March, 1994.
14 Q. How about sanitary facilities such as toilets and showers and
15 water for washing? Were you provided with those?
16 A. At Heliodrom we had a normal toilet and we had normal conditions
17 to take a shower, from the 15th of December. What happened before the
18 15th of December, I don't know.
19 Q. Were you permitted any visitors while you were there?
20 A. Of course not. You couldn't even think about it. Fighting was
21 still going on.
22 Q. And how long in total were you kept in Heliodrom?
23 A. From the 15th of December, 1993, to the 19th of March, 1994.
24 Q. And when you were released from Heliodrom did you walk out the
25 gate or could you -- was the release done in a different format? Could
1 you explain?
2 A. Our names were called out. We got out one by one. There were Red
3 Cross vehicles parked outside, and they took us to the left side of the
4 town of Mostar.
5 Q. At the time of your release, could you give us a description of
6 your condition? Were you suffering from any problems as a result of your
7 incarceration from Kostana all the way through to Heliodrom?
8 A. Of course I had health problems. I've already mentioned that I
9 went to be examined by doctors, that I was found to suffer from
10 consequences such as rib fractures, multiple rib fractures, damage to my
11 brain centre for balance, and my right leg and right arm, my right hand,
12 and the foot of my right leg go to sleep often.
13 Q. How about your ribs? Did you sustain any injuries to your ribs
14 during the period you were in custody?
15 A. Yes. The fifth, sixth, and the seventh rib on my right side.
16 Q. And how did you sustain that injury in particular?
17 A. I sustained those injuries from beatings in the Kostana hospital
18 in Stolac. And this man, Marinko Maric, in Gabela finished me off.
19 Q. You don't think you gave us any real detail about your
20 involvement with Mr. Maric, Marinko. Could you briefly tell us what
21 happened there?
22 A. Well, you didn't ask me. That's why I didn't say anything about
23 it. I told you I was unconscious and paralysed. When I arrived in
24 Gabela, at the very entrance to the camp I was taken to the interrogation
25 room. In fact, I was carried in on a blanket that they just threw
2 This Marinko Maric knew my well, and one day, from what my
3 relatives tell me, he tried to force me to get up. I was unable to get
4 up, and he started kicking me. He didn't really care where he hit me. He
5 kicked me like I was a football, including on the head. And some of the
6 consequences that I am still suffering from must be from that.
7 Q. And you told us that you went to -- you went for medical aid
8 afterwards. Can you tell us where you went and the name of the doctor who
9 saw you after your release?
10 A. I went to the Velmos hospital and was seen by Dr. Hasic.
11 Q. And as a -- did you -- did you have to have any operative
12 treatment for your injuries?
13 A. No, I did not have to have surgery.
14 Q. And do you have any sequelae? Did you have any injuries that you
15 sustained during your time in these detention centres? Do they carry over
16 to today?
17 A. Quite a few consequences. I feel every change of weather in that
18 my ribs, my ribcage hurts, and I have problems with my right arm and my
19 right leg. And with age it's going to get worse.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have one technical question.
21 Did you have an encephalography?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean my head?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
25 MR. FLYNN:
1 Q. During your time in either Kostana, Gabela, or Heliodrom, do you
2 remember if any of these camps or centres was ever visited by any VIP or
3 senior government person from HVO?
4 A. Yes. Nedjo Obradovic, Bozo Pavlovic, and Petar Matic visited us
5 while we were together at Kostana hospital.
6 Q. But apart from these three that you mention, do you have a
7 recollection of anybody else visiting you in Kostana or in Gabela or in
9 A. Nobody, not once. If you mean high-ranking officials, nobody ever
10 came to visit us in all the time we stayed there. From the moment I
11 arrived and for the period that I was there, I can tell you for sure that
12 nobody ever came to visit us.
13 Q. Apart from the complaints that you related to the panel about the
14 injuries, did you have any markings on your body as a result of your
15 detentions in any of the camps?
16 A. Quite a few. They extinguished cigarettes on my back, and I have
17 burn marks on my back and elsewhere on my body where they did the same
18 thing. That has been photographed, and the statement I made was
20 Q. That was by the Bosnian authorities?
21 A. Right.
22 Q. And would it be true to say that with the passage of time
23 fortunately these burn marks, the blemishes have almost disappeared?
24 A. Well, it's on my back and on my neck, so I can't see it very well,
25 but it has swollen somehow. I can feel it with my hand.
1 MR. FLYNN: I don't think I have any further questions for the
2 witness, Your Honours.
3 Q. Thank you very much for your time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Since the Defence
5 has two hours, that makes 20 minutes per Defence counsel. We have 15
6 minutes left. Who wants to start?
7 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have given our
9 time to Mr. Coric and Mr. Stojic. Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you have given 10 minutes to
11 Mr. Coric and 10 minutes to Mr. Stojic. So both of them have half an hour
12 each. Who wants to continue?
13 Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President and Your Honours.
15 Again, we have no questions. We wish to thank the gentleman. But we
16 believe that Mr. Praljak wishes to use our time. We have no objections to
17 that. We again urge Mr. Praljak to be as precise and focused as he should
18 be and as he's been lately.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Nozica.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would like
21 to use up the 15 minutes that we have left and possibly continue tomorrow,
22 or maybe if you think that's possible I might even conclude today.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Go ahead now, because
24 normally you have 30 minutes, 20 of yours plus 10 that you have been
25 given, and maybe you are going to hand us the documents that you have.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I just wanted to make sure that I'm
2 going to have the time left today. Can I ask the usher?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you want -- if you can finish
4 in 15 minutes, I can only applaud that.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Hardly.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, sir.
8 A. Good evening.
9 Q. I will just ask you a couple of questions while we are in open
10 session, without mentioning any names. I'll start from the end of your
11 testimony and then go back to the beginning of your evidence.
12 In Heliodrom, where were you actually placed when you arrived,
13 what kind of building? You told us several times that it applied from the
14 15th of December when you arrived. You don't know what it was like before
15 the 15th.
16 A. Correct. I was in the building of the central prison, the central
17 prison which housed members of the army on the first and second floor. On
18 the third floor there were women, female inmates.
19 Q. We have to make a second's pause between questions and answers.
20 Did you have mattresses? Did you have enough water in that building?
21 A. Yes, we did, both mattresses and water.
22 Q. Did any of the guards beat you while you were there in
24 A. No. I was not beaten.
25 Q. In your statement given to the OTP, on page 11 in the Croatian
1 version, which is page 7 in English, the bottom of page 7, you described
2 it the following way: "Every day we were able to take a shower and use
3 the toilet at our convenience. It felt almost like a good hotel."
4 A. Yes, that's the way I described it.
5 Q. And that's how you experienced?
6 A. Compared with the others, Gabela, Kostana, the hospital, that's
7 how you can describe it.
8 Q. All right. Let us now go back to the 3rd of July, 1993. You said
9 that you were on leave at that time?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who gave you that leave and how long was the leave? Did it begin
12 on the 3rd or earlier?
13 A. That leave started on the 3rd. I had my superior officer who
14 granted me leave. I was duly replaced by someone else, and I left.
15 Q. Tell me, how long was that leave supposed to be?
16 A. Seven, eight days, because there were lorries in reserve, on
17 standby, and I was on standby, and I could be engaged when the need arose.
18 I was supposed to come to the assembly point, a specific place where I was
19 supposed to report in case I was called.
20 Q. You told us that Arif Zele was one of the 16 people with whom you
21 were arrested.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Wait a minute. I didn't finish my question. You said he was also
24 a member of the BH army.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was he also on official leave? Do you know anything about that?
2 Were you in the same unit together?
3 A. We were together in the same brigade but not the same unit. I
4 think he was a soldier on the front line, and I was a driver.
5 Q. You don't know how he happened to find himself in that group of 16
7 A. I really don't know.
8 Q. I don't have enough time, and the Judges asked you a lot of
9 questions about it. I, too, am confused, though, by your movements given
10 with the 3rd, and I'll try to ask the most important things.
11 You said that you were at Rotimlja and that you did what you were
12 ordered to do from the 3rd to the 6th. That was said on page 25, lines 10
13 and 11.
14 What were you doing and who ordered you to do these things? So
15 who is issuing the records, because I understand you were on leave.
16 A. I had my superior, and whatever needed to be done at Rotimlja I
18 Q. That was the period from the 3rd to the 6th when you were on
19 leave. Was it then that you were doing those errands?
20 A. I was talking about the 3rd, because I said I departed on the 3rd
21 in the evening.
22 Q. You mentioned the 3rd of July. You have to remember how it was.
23 So when was it that you were at Rotimlja, because you just said a
24 moment -- just let me finish, please. You said, "On the 3rd I was granted
25 leave. My leave began. It was supposed to be seven days long." Then you
1 said, "Within three days I went to Rotimlja and did as I was ordered to
3 So since you were on leave, who was it who let you know that there
4 were things you needed to do? Who was that superior, and what did you
5 actually do at Rotimlja?
6 A. Well, the errands that needed to be done, and take this to a
7 bunker, take another shipment somewhere else.
8 Q. Am I concluding correctly that your superior called you up,
9 although you were on leave, let you know that there were some errands that
10 needed to be done and that's what you did?
11 A. Yes. I got a message.
12 Q. The message that you should come and do these errands.
13 A. Right.
14 Q. You say in your statement that you decided to go into hiding in
15 the woods.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Can you tell us whose decision it was? When you say "we," do you
18 mean your family or the larger group of 16, 17 people?
19 A. The larger group. It was a majority decision among us. And we
20 were all thinking and hoping that it was going to end soon. We had a
21 power generator with us. We had a radio and cassette player. We listened
22 to the news, and we heard on the news that it was going to be all over
23 soon, that everybody would be able to go back to their homes, and that's
24 why we stayed in hiding, hoping that -- and expecting that it would be
25 over soon. And that goes for everybody, my mother and the others.
1 Q. You said that you stayed under tents. So you had brought tents
2 with you. Military tents you mean?
3 A. That was simple nylon, plastic. We made makeshift tents out of
4 them. Those were not proper tents. It was just plastic that we made
5 stand up on sticks.
6 Q. I see. When you say, "we decided," how did that come about that
7 you gathered, the 16 of you? Did you have a meeting? Did you have some
8 sort of communication amongst you? Did -- were you all from the same
9 village? How did you come to that decision?
10 A. We were all from the same village, and there was no nobody on
11 the outside advising us or telling us what to do. We decided that on
12 our own.
13 Q. Who was your commander in Bregava Brigade?
14 A. Mr. Bajro Pizovic.
15 Q. You said yourself that you were not involved in the fighting with
16 the Serbs, you personally were not involved.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. What about the Bregava Brigade?
19 A. I don't know about that.
20 Q. Can you tell us, if you knew, what was the larger zone of
21 responsibility of the Bregava Brigade?
22 A. Yes, I knew that.
23 Q. Could you tell it us what area that covered?
24 A. The area overlooking Rotimlja village. From that point until
25 Semica Gredina, up to the positions of the HVO. That's what we held. I
1 don't know how large it was, but it wasn't very large.
2 Q. You said that you joined the Bregava Brigade in August 1992.
3 A. Right.
4 Q. Would it be correct to say that from August 1992 when you became a
5 soldier and a member of that brigade, until July, the relations between
6 you and the HVO were quite good? There were no conflicts and no military
7 clashes? I don't know about interpersonal relations, but your brigade had
8 no conflicts with the HVO.
9 A. It did not, not that I know.
10 Q. The same probably applies to January 1993. Would that be fair to
11 conclude? You say from August 1992 until July?
12 A. I really don't know, not now.
13 Q. In that period from July 1993 -- sorry, from August 1992 until
14 July 1993, did you take part in any clashes with the HVO?
15 A. I did not.
16 Q. Did you hear about anyone else in your unit or in your brigade who
18 A. I don't know when exactly that was. Maybe in April. I don't know
19 when it began exactly.
20 Q. You are saying something about the month of April.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But you heard about nothing before April?
23 A. I don't know.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is a document I
25 would like to show this witness, a document, but I would not like to be
1 interrupted by the adjournment in doing so, because we have less than five
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So for the last five minutes.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Let us deal with this document. Can
5 we see in e-court 2D 00281. Or if that's problem, to speed matters up,
6 perhaps we can place it on the ELMO. The witness does not have the
7 document. It's not one of his.
8 Q. Can you see that, Witness?
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. Now, let's take a look at it to the. It says "Bregava Brigade."
11 The date is the 26th of January, 1993. So as we have said, on the basis
12 of your knowledge during that time there were no conflicts with the HVO.
13 Isn't that right?
14 Now, let's show the witness the last page. May we zoom in on page
15 3 for the witness to be able to see who signed the document, please.
16 You have it in front of you, Witness. You can turn to page 3 or
17 you can take a look on your screen.
18 On the last page we have a signature there, and it is the
19 commander Mr. Bajro Pizovic. You have to give me an answer for the
20 transcript, an audible answer. Can you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The usher has the document ready for you. You can take a look at
24 A. I can see it.
25 Q. Can you see that it was sent to the 4th corps? And that's on the
1 left of the document.
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 Q. May we go to page 1 on e-court, please. I'll read it out, and you
4 have the document. It says here, and this is an answer to some document
5 dated the 22nd of January, and it says: "The beginning of organisation
6 for setting up resistance and fighting the aggressor in the Stolac
7 municipality, date before April 1992."
8 Now, when the aggressor that is mentioned it is the Serbs that are
9 plenty; is that right? Before April 1992 the aggressor was the Serbs; is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It goes on to say, "As the protagonists individuals appear, new
13 members of the SDA party, through rallying their members, the formation of
14 units based on the territorial principle, and on the basis of coming up as
15 volunteers. The units were mobile. They were armed with infantry weapons
16 and a smaller quantity of arms for anti-tank combat."
17 Now, when you joined the unit in August 1992, what was your
18 impression? How was the unit armed, and did you have any weapons
20 A. I really don't know. I wasn't in the command staff, so how could
21 I know what the brigade had? I myself was not armed. I did not have any
22 weapons. I was a driver. I had no arms myself, and I say that with full
24 As to the rest, what the brigade had, I really can't say. I really
25 don't know kind of weapons the brigade had. I wasn't on the command
1 staff. I had no idea of things like that. I did my own job.
2 Q. May we go on to page 2. And I'd like to mention that I'm looking
3 at point 3 on page 1. And in Croatian, for the witness, where it
4 says ,"Basic activities, measures which were implemented during that
5 period," and that is during the fighting against the Serbs.
6 And now the third bullet point which says as follows: "The
7 weapons were obtained by seizing weapons from the former JNA and then
8 later on from HVO units."
9 Did you have any knowledge that in January, while there were still
10 no conflicts with the HVO, someone from your brigades seized weapons from
11 HVO units?
12 A. Please believe me, and I'd like to repeat this. I've been
13 repeating it God knows how many times, I really don't know about any of
14 this. How do you mean from the HVO? From the Serb army, how these
15 weapons were seized? I really don't know. It's not that I'm defending
16 myself, but I really don't know. I have no knowledge of that.
17 Q. Sir, you don't need to defend yourself. You were just saying that
18 this was your commander and that during this material period you were a
19 member of the unit, so I was just checking out whether you might know
20 anything about this. It's not my intention to do anything other than
22 And let's just look at point 6 on that second page, and that will
23 complete my questioning based on this document.
24 We're dealing with January, and we saw the document was dated
25 January. And now it goes on to say: "Proposals to improve the efficiency
1 of combat operations."
2 A. Yes, I can see that.
3 Q. Several proposals are mentioned, but nowhere does it say
4 procurement of weapons, which would lead one to conclude that weapons were
5 not a problem for this brigade. You can read it for yourself, but I just
6 wanted to point out that particular point. "The forming and training and
7 equipment of units for sabotage activity." Is that right? Is that what
8 it says in the document?
9 A. Yes, that's what it says.
10 Q. All right. Thank you.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
12 further questions based on this document, but I'd like to continue with
13 the court's permission tomorrow and use up my 10 minutes tomorrow.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll resume
15 tomorrow. You have 10 minutes left. We adjourn until tomorrow at 2.15.
16 Between now and then, Witness, you're not to see any members of
17 the Prosecution or discuss with anybody any of what -- anything of what
18 has passed this afternoon in the courtroom. Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day
21 of December, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.