1 Wednesday, 15
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: MARINKO PALAVRA
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE MAY: And if you would like to introduce yourself, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. My name is Marinko
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
17 Mr. Scott, was there something you wanted to raise?
18 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Palavra, you have come here as a Court witness
20 at the request of the Court, and the procedure we're going to follow is
21 this: that the Court has read your testimony in the Blaskic trial, and
22 that is part of the Court record, so there's no need to go over anything
23 that you said there. But what we're going to do is to give the parties,
24 that's the Prosecution and the Defence, the opportunity to ask you
25 questions. When that is done, if there's anything you want to add, of
1 course you'll have the opportunity to do so. So the procedure is that
2 you'll be cross-examined first of all by the Prosecution and then by the
3 Defence counsel for the two accused.
4 Mr. Scott, it's for you to begin. How long do you anticipate
6 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Forgive me. Your Honour, I think my examination of
9 this witness will probably take most of the day, a good part of the day.
10 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you could speed up as much as possible.
11 We've got other things to deal with this week.
12 MR. SCOTT: I understand, Your Honour. I can tell the Court that
13 I've edited down and edited down, and I'll try to do that and I'll try to
14 proceed as quickly as can be.
15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, take the example of
16 the other witness who took too long, in the opinion of the Chamber; that
17 is, his cross-examination did. I think that for this witness we should go
18 directly to what is crucial without elaborating on what we have already
19 heard within this case. I think that in this way you will certainly be
20 able to shorten your cross-examination so as to focus on what is
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps, Mr. Scott, you could briefly deal with the
24 positions which the witness held during the relevant time.
25 MR. SCOTT: That's where I was going to start, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That would be helpful.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Palavra.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. As you heard this morning, we will try to move rather quickly
6 through the opening parts of my questions. I hope we can do that and I
7 hope you will find that perhaps they are not questions that will require a
8 great deal of comment or any particular controversy, I hope, so we'll try
9 to move quickly. And by the way, I should ask you, sir: What is your
10 current rank? You are in the army or the military forces of the Republic
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
12 A. Your Honours, my rank was frozen from the moment I joined the
13 defence ministry of the Federation Army. Therefore, my rank is colonel,
14 and it has been frozen until further notice. In the defence ministry of
15 the Army of the Federation, there will be certain positions that will
16 entail a military rank, but for the moment the situation is such that no
17 one is given ranks in the defence ministry, but simply the positions they
19 Q. All right. I was asking primarily at the moment so that I could
20 address you appropriately, so I'll refer to you as colonel. Colonel, you
21 are a Bosnian Croat, you were born in Travnik in 1959; is that correct,
23 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is correct.
24 Q. You were jumping ahead to the rank and the position that will
25 consume most of our examination today. I believe during 1993 and
1 thereafter you served as the head of the 4th Battalion of Military Police
2 of the HVO in Central Bosnia; is that correct, sir?
3 A. It is, correct.
4 Q. And at that time your rank, is it correct, was Major?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, when you testified in the Blaskic case, Colonel, in January
7 of 1999, you described yourself at that time, if I understand correctly,
8 as the overall chief of military police in the security sector of the HVO
9 component of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that correct, and is that
10 still correct today?
11 A. Could you please repeat the question. I didn't quite understand
13 Q. I'm trying to understand your current situation, sir. You
14 described yourself previously as being the overall chief or the head,
15 senior officer, of the military police and something called the security
16 sector of the HVO component of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that
18 A. I understand now. You mean just now in the defence ministry of
19 the Army of the Federation?
20 Q. That's correct.
21 A. No. I'm in the security sector, security and intelligence affairs
22 sector, and within that there is a sector for the military police. So I'm
23 in the department for security and intelligence affairs as head of the
24 sector of military police, so the military police is within the department
25 of security and intelligence affairs attached to the Defence Ministry.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And I also have my superior, my chief of the Security Service, and by his
2 position he is assistant minister for security and intelligence affairs.
3 There is an assistant and a deputy assistant. Just now, a Bosniak holds
4 the position of assistant minister for intelligence affairs, that is,
5 security affairs, and his deputy is a Croat.
6 Q. All right. Part of what I'm trying to understand, if I can ask
7 the question this way, you consider yourself at the moment and for the
8 last several years, if I can put it this way, sir, are you in the military
9 police business, or are you in the intelligence business, or both?
10 A. I am in the military police business.
11 Q. All right. Now, sir, going back to your position with the 4th
12 Battalion Military Police, you were the head of that military police unit
13 for Central Bosnia from approximately the 1st of August, 1993, to the 27th
14 of August, 1997, when you then moved to the Ministry of Defence; is that
16 A. Yes, correct.
17 Q. During the time that you served in that position, the Central
18 Bosnia operative zone included Vitez, Busovaca, Travnik, and Novi Travnik,
19 Kiseljak, and Zepce; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, and Usora.
21 Q. In your position as the head of military police in that region, it
22 covered all of those municipalities, didn't it?
23 A. Yes, it did.
24 Q. All right. Now, backing up just for a few moments so we can put
25 your involvement in the war in some broader context, if I understand it,
1 sir, in April 1992, you were ordered by the HVO Travnik municipal command
2 to form a police unit in Travnik, and you did that, and you became the
3 commander of this police unit from April 1992 to September 1992; is that
5 A. I'm sorry, from April?
6 Q. I have it, sir, that you were the -- you formed and then were the
7 commander of this police unit in Travnik from approximately April 1992 to
8 September 1992.
9 A. No, that's not so. I formed the military police of the HVO, of
10 the Municipal Staff of the HVO because before that I was in a school in
11 Han Bijela. I was the school principal.
12 Q. I understand, sir. You formed this police unit, then, and how
13 long were you in that position?
14 A. Throughout the period from 1992 in April until September 1992, I
15 was in the military police. But in the beginning I formed the military
16 police of the municipal HVO staff in agreement with the late commander,
17 Ivica Stojak, and in the meantime, a Croat from the former Yugoslavia
18 came, that is, from the former army, who had fled over to our side. His
19 name was Bernard Martic. And I insisted that he should be the commander
20 of the military police, and I his deputy.
21 Q. All right. Who gave you the order or direction to form the
22 military police in Travnik, sir?
23 A. I said it was given to me by the commander of the municipal HVO
24 staff at the time, the late Ivica Stojak.
25 Q. And then in about September of 1992, if I understand it, sir, is
1 it correct that you transferred from this police force or unit to become
2 the commander of the Special Purposes Unit, also attached to the Travnik
3 municipal -- or excuse me, the Travnik police administration?
4 A. In those days, Your Honours, a police administration was being
5 formed in Travnik, the civilian police, and I was given the assignment to
6 form a unit for special purposes attached to the Travnik police
8 Q. All right.
9 A. The chief of the Travnik police administration was Mr. Ivo Rezo.
10 Q. What I'd like to ask you next, sir, this Travnik police
11 administration, just so the Court and Judges are clear and the record is
12 clear, you're not talking now about simply the municipality of Travnik,
13 but as I understand, you can correct me if I'm wrong, the Travnik police
14 administration was a regional police administration body, you might say,
15 for Central Bosnia. Is that correct, sir?
16 A. Yes, that is correct. The Travnik police administration covered
17 all the police stations in the area of Central Bosnia, that is, Busovaca,
18 Travnik, Novi Travnik, Bugojno, Jajce, and so on.
19 Q. And in that respect then, sir, you as the head or the commander of
20 this special police unit that was formed were the head of a Special Police
21 Unit that, again, ranged over Central Bosnia; is that correct, sir?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. Our headquarters were in Travnik, and we
23 were in Travnik. It is a special purpose unit. That is what it was
25 Q. All right. Before I continue on about that unit, was there a
1 similar regional -- excuse me, a regional level agency or arm of the
2 government called the Travnik defence administration? Is that correct,
4 A. I beg your pardon. The defence administration for Travnik?
5 Q. That's correct.
6 A. Believe me, I don't remember. There may have been one.
7 Q. Let me associate it with a name.
8 MR. SCOTT: I'll try to move on, Your Honour. These are ties in
9 to questions that will come.
10 Q. Do you recall there being a regional defence administration body
11 that was headed, for interest, if it perhaps refreshes your memory, by
12 Ante Puljic?
13 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
14 Q. Can you tell us what the role of this special police unit that you
15 commanded in Central Bosnia was? How was it different than the regular
16 police? How was it different, if it was, from the military police?
17 A. I was given the task to set up a special purposes unit attached to
18 the police administration of Travnik. At first we were housed in the
19 School of Music in Travnik and later we moved to the former Yugoslav
20 People's Army centre.
21 Q. Sir, I'm going to try not to interrupt you, but you've already
22 heard the Judges say they want to move forward with some dispatch, and my
23 question was not where the office of this police unit was housed. How was
24 the functions -- how was what you did as commander of this special police
25 unit for all of Central Bosnia, how was it different from the regular
1 police; how was it different, if it was, from the military police? That's
2 my question. If you could please confine your answer to that.
3 A. Thank you. Your Honours, the special purposes unit attached to
4 the Travnik police administration determined the tasks according to orders
5 given by Ivo Rezo, the chief of the department, and one of those tasks was
6 escort and security of certain individuals, and all other assignments
7 given by the chief of the police administration to me. This included
8 going to the front lines, going to Jajce, to the defence lines, towards
9 the Serbs, everything that the chief of the administration ordered us to
11 Q. All right, sir.
12 MR. SCOTT: Now, moving on, cutting across a number of questions
13 here, Your Honours.
14 Q. What you're telling us, then, is that -- is it correct, do I
15 understand you correctly that through this period, then, from about
16 September of 1992, approximately, when this special unit was formed, until
17 the summer of 1993, you considered your superior to be and took direction
18 and orders from and reported to Ivo Rezo; is that correct, sir?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Is Mr. Rezo considered to be a civilian or a military person?
21 A. I don't know how he was considered, but he was a civilian person.
22 Q. Is it correct, sir, that Mr. Rezo had a close relationship or
23 working relationship with Mr. Kordic, Dario Kordic?
24 A. I know that while I was in the police administration in Travnik
25 that the chief of the police administration, Ivo Rezo, would go frequently
1 to see Mr. Kordic. But I was not present at any of their meetings. This
2 was what I heard from Ivo Rezo.
3 Q. All right. So according to Mr. Rezo himself, he told you that he
4 was in frequent communication with and met frequently with Mr. Kordic.
5 That's correct, isn't it, sir?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Now, in early June of 1993, in connection with the action,
8 military fighting around Travnik, the remainder, if you will, the
9 surviving elements of the Travnik Brigade and also your special police
10 unit withdrew or retreated from Travnik, we can say that, and you went to
11 the Kraljevica area for a time, where you operated then under the
12 commander, in some sense attached to what remained of the Travnik Brigade,
13 until approximately 1 August 1993; is that correct?
14 A. No.
15 Q. All right. Briefly -- please, briefly, Colonel, but was your unit
16 not -- did you not retreat, you and your unit, from Travnik in about June
17 of 1993? And please correct me where I've misstated.
18 A. I went to Kraljevica for the first time -- I think it was the
19 month of May. I don't know. And I was there together with the special
20 unit. Our task was to hold the defence line at Kalibunar up there,
21 because the conflicts had already started between the Croats and the
23 Q. Colonel, I'm going to stop you there for these purposes.
24 MR. SCOTT: For these purposes, Your Honour, in light of the
25 transcript, and again taking the Court's guidance to heart, I'm going to
1 simply suggest --
2 Q. Colonel, when you testified in the Blaskic case -- I'm referring
3 to the LiveNote reference pages at 16682, 16763 -- you testified that in
4 early June, when the Croats, HVO armed forces were retreating from
5 Travnik, you withdrew with the remainder of your special police unit, you
6 then operated as part of the residual, and I believe the residual
7 was -- at least, the English translation of your word, the residual
8 Travnik Brigade, and that you did that until approximately the 1st of
9 August, 1993. Now, I put it to you, sir, that's your testimony from the
10 Blaskic case. I think we can move -- let's just -- unless that's
11 violently different than what you believe it to be, can we move on? Do
12 you agree with that?
13 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, just so I can follow along with this,
14 could we have reference to the official transcript in Blaskic? I don't
15 have the LiveNote.
16 MR. SCOTT: Those are the only page numbers that I have, Your
17 Honour. I have a transcript here, and the pages that I'm using are the
18 ones that are on this transcript. I can't even tell you at the moment,
19 but those are the page numbers I have.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, it's not a satisfactory situation when we
21 don't have the same documents.
22 MR. SCOTT: It's the only transcript that I've ever been aware of,
23 Your Honour, but we can check during a break. I can't very well deal with
24 it at the moment.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps counsel can tell me if his page 6 -- what he
2 has on page 1673 [sic] talks about the -- or better, 16682 talks about the
3 withdrawal of this unit from Travnik.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, the transcript which I have for this witness's
5 evidence begins at 16678 and continues through until 16852.
6 MR. SCOTT: That's exactly what I have, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, what have you got?
8 MR. SAYERS: I think we have the same thing, Your Honour. I think
9 the page numbers that you recited are precisely the ones that I have. I
10 just don't see a reference on the pages that Mr. Scott cited to the
11 testimony that the witness was giving. Maybe I missed it.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's not a matter which need detain us now. Let
13 us move on. If need be, we can come back to it or you can come back to it
14 in cross-examination.
15 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I just turned to it. It's about the
16 middle of page 16682. But as you say, we won't belabour it. My reference
17 to LiveNote could have been a misnomer, Your Honour. If it was, I
18 apologise for that. It appears that at least the Prosecution and the
19 Chamber have the same transcript.
20 Q. Let's move on, Colonel. During this time period, and I'm now
21 talking about the time between June of 1993 and August 1993, when you took
22 up your position as head of chief of military police in Central Bosnia, or
23 at least, excuse me, the 4th Battalion of Military Police, who were you,
24 what were you doing in that interim period in terms of where was your unit
25 engaged and who did you consider your superior to be at that time?
1 A. If you're thinking about the period from June to August, did you
2 say, 1993?
3 Q. Yes, sir.
4 A. Then up until June I was in Travnik, and my superior was the chief
5 of the police department in Travnik, Ivo Rezo. When the Croats were
6 expelled from Travnik, and of course my own units, part of the units went
7 across Serbian territory, that is to say Vlasic, and I decided to go to
8 the free territory under the control of the HVO. That means that part of
9 the Travnik municipality -- that was part of the Travnik municipality with
10 headquarters at Prahulje, and it is there that I met up with the commander
11 of the Travnik Brigade, the late Jozo Leuter. Because Rezo, the chief of
12 the police administration of Travnik, had probably made an agreement with
13 the late Jozo that the units, the special purpose units, should be placed
14 at the disposal of the Travnik Brigade or regiment.
15 Q. All right, Colonel, and exactly that. Your Special Police Unit
16 during that time period, then, was subordinated to and for all practical
17 purposes became part of an HVO military brigade, didn't it?
18 A. A part of the units, the unit which passed into free territory
19 under the control of the HVO, and following the daily Muslim attacks at
20 that time, I placed myself at the disposal of the commander of the Travnik
21 Brigade, and I took up my position at the defence line straight away with
22 my own unit and made up a defence against the further Muslim attacks on
23 the areas -- defending the areas which were still under HVO control.
24 Q. Very well, Colonel. So the answer to my question is "yes."
25 During this time period, did you ever attach yourself or take
1 orders or direction from the Vitez Brigade and Mario Cerkez?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. All right. Now, when you withdrew or when the special forces
4 withdrew from Travnik, you have testified in the Blaskic case that you
5 received an order from Ivo Rezo about this withdrawal, and you further
6 said that the withdrawal from Travnik, at least in that respect, was a
7 decision that had been made by the civilian authorities.
8 MR. SCOTT: I'm referring to, for the Chamber and counsel, page
10 Q. When you understood that a civilian government decision had been
11 made to retreat or withdraw from Travnik, who did you -- what civilian
12 authorities, what political authorities did you understand to be involved
13 in making that decision?
14 A. Your Honours, I truly don't understand the questions. They're not
15 clear enough, but I'll tell you what I do know. I was -- stayed on last
16 in Travnik with the Special Police. It was referred to the special unit
17 for special purposes, the Special Purposes Unit in fact.
18 Everybody had left Travnik and moved towards Kalibunar, and the
19 Travnik Brigade was displaced as well. Only the police administration,
20 that is to say, this special unit of which I was in command, we were the
21 only ones to stay on in Travnik.
22 Q. Your Honour, I'm going to interrupt.
23 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Who told you to stay on in Travnik?
24 A. Nobody told me, I just stayed on myself, and we went on with our
25 work. Two days later, I was told --
1 JUDGE MAY: Don't bother about that. If there's any other
2 questions arising, they can be asked. Colonel, if you would just keep
3 your answers as short as you can and to the point, we'll get on quickly.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Colonel, let me suggest that we've covered the point about your
6 withdrawal and the fact that you then became attached to this other --
7 what was left of the Travnik Brigade under Mr. Leutar. You've said that.
8 My question to you now, and you testified in the Blaskic case, I'm
9 referring again to 16.766, that the decision -- or your answer was, let me
10 just do it this way: "I really don't know, but I think that after the
11 civilians left Travnik and the army left Travnik towards the Serb-held
12 territories at that time, this was decided upon of the government of the
13 HVO, and this was under the control of the civilian authorities."
14 My question to you, my exact question to you is, who were the
15 civilian authorities, who or what? What persons made this decision to
16 withdraw from Travnik?
17 A. I don't know to this day.
18 Q. Did you know or hear that Mr. Kordic was involved as one of the
19 decision-makers, that the HVO forces should withdraw?
20 JUDGE MAY: He said he doesn't know.
21 MR. SCOTT: I'm just probing, Your Honour.
22 Q. You did not ever hear, it was never part of, in your subsequent
23 experience as chief of military police or anything else in your military
24 experience in Central Bosnia, you did not come to know that Mr. Kordic was
25 involved in that decision. That's my only remaining question. Is that
1 correct, sir?
2 A. I really don't know.
3 Q. Very well. My last question, then, on this topic before moving on
4 is, when the Croats -- when at least part of, and I realise there were
5 different groups, but you testified earlier that approximately 25.000 of
6 the Croats who withdrew from Travnik, withdrew from Travnik through Serb
7 lines or Serb-controlled areas. Is that correct, sir?
8 A. Yes, that is correct, but they were not withdrawing. They had
9 been expelled and were fleeing from Travnik.
10 Q. All right, sir. I'll use your word in this instance. They fled
11 through into Serb-controlled areas and across Serb lines; is that correct?
12 A. I said that. I was clear then and I'm clear now. A part of them
13 went across the area controlled by the Serbs, Serb-held territory, and a
14 part of the Croats and those units went the other way towards the Lasva
15 Valley. I decided to go towards the Croats, and that's how I arrived in
16 Nova Bila at Prahulje.
17 Q. Very well, moving on. Then going to April -- excuse me, August of
18 1993, you were named by then Colonel Blaskic to be the chief of the 4th
19 Battalion Military Police; is that correct, sir?
20 A. I received a temporary order from Colonel Blaskic as the chief of
21 the Military Police battalion, 4th Military Police Battalion.
22 Q. If we can move quickly at this point, Colonel, if possible, just
23 by way of background, would it be correct that the 4th Battalion Military
24 Police had been established in Central Bosnia, that is, the Central Bosnia
25 operative zone of the HVO, in approximately September 1992?
1 A. I can't remember.
2 Q. All right. Well, let's move on. Is it correct, then, do you have
3 a recollection today, can you help us with this, that from the time of its
4 establishment, the commanders of the 4th Battalion Military Police in
5 approximately this order were Ivan Lalic followed by Zvonko Vukovic, who
6 also testified in this case. Mr. Vukovic continued in that position until
7 approximately mid-January of 1993, and at that time Mr. Vukovic was
8 replaced by Pasko Ljubicic. Is that correct, sir?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. And then it was Mr. Ljubicic that you replaced as the head of that
11 battalion in approximately the 1st of August, 1993; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Now, as I understand it, sir, on the 1st of August, 1993, you've
14 testified previously Blaskic came to you, you said that you were being
15 given the most responsible task to perform in the operative zone. The
16 gist of it was there had been, and you knew there to be -- to have been, a
17 number of problems in the HVO, particularly in the military police and
18 some of the special units, and Colonel Blaskic essentially came to you,
19 wanted you to take over and, if I could use the terms, clean up or correct
20 the problems in the HVO -- in much of the HVO in Central Bosnia. Is that
21 correct, sir?
22 A. Your Honours, that is not correct. Blaskic did not come to me,
23 but I went to Blaskic. And before that, what happened before that, once
24 the Croats had been expelled from Travnik, I have already said that I
25 placed myself at the disposal of the commander of the Travnik Brigade with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the remainder of the units, and in actual fact, we took up our positions
2 at the defence line straight away facing the Muslim forces.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour this is not responsive --
4 A. Just one moment, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: I do not want the Prosecution penalised by the
6 non-responsive --
7 A. Just a little patience, please.
8 JUDGE MAY: No, both of you. Don't interrupt, first of all.
9 Let the witness finish and continue in the way he has been.
10 But Colonel Palavra, would you bear in mind that we do need to get
11 on, so concentrate on answering the questions. Now, continue your reply.
12 A. Thank you, Your Honour. Briefly, this is how it was: Colonel
13 Blaskic did not come to the Travnik Brigade, but someone from the Security
14 Service came. His name was Anto Sliskovic, and the operational officer, I
15 think it was Pilicic at the time, so they came to the Travnik Brigade, the
16 two of them, because at a meeting in the operative zone for Central
17 Bosnia, that is to say, all the brigade commanders, together with Colonel
18 Blaskic, of 10 or 11 candidates who for the post of commander of the
19 military police, allegedly they had selected me.
20 On the basis of that decision and for that reason, they came to
21 the Travnik Brigade, that is to say, these two officers came, and Colonel
22 Blaskic agreed with me as their choice. So they came to ask me whether I
23 agreed to take up that duty. And when I said that I agreed, after a
24 certain amount of time, I had a meeting in Vitez with Colonel Blaskic, and
25 it was there that we started a working meeting. We had a working meeting,
1 and his vision and my own vision of what a future military police should
2 look like.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. And he told you, sir, and I'm referring to page 16.685, he told
5 you that he was -- that you had the most responsible task to perform, the
6 most responsible function in the operative zone, to carry out, as you said
7 it, to create this new vision or implement this new vision that the two of
8 you apparently share for the military police in Central Bosnia; is that
9 correct, sir?
10 A. Your Honour, yes, it is. In the talk he told me, in our
11 conversation he told me, that I had one of the most responsible tasks to
12 perform at that particular moment, for that moment in the operative zone.
13 Q. Colonel, he told you at that time, and we're going to come back to
14 this later, but I simply want to mention it before moving on now, that he
15 told you or you knew at that time -- let me rephrase that. You knew at
16 that time that Colonel Blaskic was not happy with Pasko Ljubicic, didn't
17 you; and you so testified in the Blaskic case?
18 A. Well, probably he was not. I don't know.
19 Q. All right. To the extent we need to, we'll come back to that.
20 Now, you were named to this post, first, as you say, temporarily,
21 but you remained in the post until August of 1997, so it wasn't too
22 temporary. But you were named to this position by -- essentially by
23 Colonel Blaskic, and the reason so is because essentially at that time,
24 the Central Bosnia operative zone was cut off in many respects from Mostar
25 and from other authorities, and the first -- or HVO government or military
1 authorities, and you've indicated that it was primarily for this reason
2 essentially that it was Blaskic who appointed you and Blaskic to whom you
3 were subordinate. Is that correct, sir?
4 A. Your Honour, Blaskic gave me this temporary appointment as chief
5 of the 4th Military Police Battalion, and this was confirmed from the
6 military police administration later on by the head of the military
8 Q. All right. Well, perhaps it would be helpful if we would turn to
9 some of the documents, then.
10 MR. SCOTT: If the witness could be shown, there is -- a binder of
11 some documents, Your Honours, have been prepared to facilitate the
12 review. These are some basic military police documents. They were
13 assembled to make it hopefully easier as reference tools, and if one of
14 those could be provided to the witness, and particular attention to
15 Exhibit 1134.
16 JUDGE MAY: These are documents which have already been produced,
17 are they, Mr. Scott?
18 MR. SCOTT: Many of them have been, Your Honour. Some of them are
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please speak into the microphone.
21 MR. SCOTT: I apologise.
22 Many of them the Court will have seen before; some of them are
23 new, Your Honour. This one I believe the Court will have seen before,
25 I would direct the Court's attention and the counsel's attention
1 to page 8 of the English translation, the first paragraph starting on that
2 page. Unfortunately, obviously, I'm not able to -- I apologise, but I'm
3 not able to direct Colonel Palavra in the B/C/S version to that exact same
4 reference. Perhaps the translation can help me if I simply do it -- we
5 have the English version on the ELMO. I'm now looking at page 8 of 1134.
6 It doesn't look like my page. That's not the page 8. You can hand the
7 usher the whole thing, please. If the usher can assist, Your Honour. I
9 Q. This indicates, Colonel, is -- and I'll just read it, perhaps is
10 the easiest thing to do, and the translation, the interpreters can assist
11 you. It says, "Owing to the isolation of the Central Bosnia operative
12 zone, contact between the military police administration and the 4th
13 Battalion was possible only by technical means of communication and radio
14 communications. All the powers of the chief of military police
15 administration in this operative zone were transferred to the assistant
16 chief for Central Bosnia operative zone, Mr. Pasko Ljubicic."
17 Do you see that, sir? And that is correct, isn't it? Is that
18 correct, sir?
19 A. Your Honour, may I say something in this regard? I don't
20 understand English, but Pasko Ljubicic, the moment that I arrived as
21 commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion, he received -- he was
22 given a new role. Because of the impossibility of communication and
23 because the military police administration was cut off and with the -- and
24 communication with the battalions, the 4th Military Police Battalion, and
25 Pasko was appointed the assistant chief for Central Bosnia.
1 Q. All right. And I think on that point, Colonel, at the end of the
2 day we are in agreement. And it was because of this fact that Central
3 Bosnia, as you've just stated, was cut off in this respect, that you
4 testified in the Blaskic case at page 16.683, that it was largely because
5 of that that you were appointed, at least initially, by Blaskic to take
6 charge of the head of military police. Isn't that correct, sir? It may
7 have been confirmed by other authorities later, but initially it was by
8 Colonel Blaskic, wasn't it?
9 A. Your Honours, I think I was clear. At the meeting in the
10 operative zone, at least that is what I was told, the brigade commanders
11 who were in action in the operative zone of Central Bosnia, they proposed
12 me to be the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion. There were
13 about 11 candidates.
14 JUDGE MAY: No need to go over that, Colonel. We've already dealt
15 with it.
16 I think, Mr. Scott, we've gone on enough about that. We can see
17 what the reply was in Blaskic.
18 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: It's essentially consistent with what the witness is
20 saying now, whether it's called a temporary appointment or not.
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. And my -- we seem to have gotten
22 hung up on this -- what was temporary and not temporary. The point of it
23 was, and I do agree that perhaps it's been established, is that because,
24 as the witness has testified, of the isolation of Central Bosnia, that is
25 what happened.
1 Q. You then went on to say -- if I can move on then, from that point,
2 Your Honours -- that same situation continued to be true with you, didn't
3 it, Colonel? You found yourself in a situation where you did not have any
4 regular communication --
5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: May I take care of this?
6 MR. SCOTT: Yes, please. I'm sorry. I thought Judge Bennouna had
7 a question. Sorry.
8 Q. It was also the case, was it not, sir, that the same situation
9 that we've been talking about for the last few moments applied to you, and
10 in fact, you testified in the Blaskic case that you had no communications
11 with the head office of the military police, and this continued until
12 early 1994. Is that correct, sir?
13 A. Yes. In essence, that was how it was.
14 Q. And you testified that "Since there was no physical link with the
15 military police administration in Mostar, we remained detached in the
16 territory of Central Bosnia." So the most responsible individual in the
17 zone of responsibility was the commander of the Operative Zone to whom you
18 were subordinated; is that correct, sir?
19 A. Yes, I suppose so.
20 Q. Now, about this time that you became the commander of the 4th
21 Battalion of the Military Police, Vladimir Santic became the deputy
22 commander of that battalion, didn't he?
23 A. Your Honours, before I came on the 1st of August, Vlado Santic had
24 been appointed temporarily, and I think for some 15 days he was the acting
25 temporary commander of the 4th Police Battalion. The moment I arrived in
1 Vitez, I took over the duties of commander, and Vlado Santic stayed on as
2 my deputy, so he was my assistant or, rather, deputy throughout.
3 Q. And how long did that continue to be the case, sir? How long did
4 Mr. Santic continue as your deputy?
5 A. Your Honours, Mr. Santic was my deputy until he filed a request to
6 go to the civilian police. Before the war he used to be in the civilian
7 police, and as soon as conditions were such that he could go back to his
8 former duties in the civilian police -- I think he left in 1995 or
9 something like that. I don't know the exact date. But until then he was
10 my deputy throughout that period.
11 MR. SCOTT: Very well. I'd like you to please be shown Exhibit
12 2340. It's also in the binder -- it should be the last exhibit in the
13 notebook -- in the binder that's been given to Chamber and counsel.
15 JUDGE MAY: While that's being done, something for the legal
16 officer, please.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. My question to you, sir, is: This is a document titled
19 "Instructions to Military Police on Implementation of Law, of Criminal
20 Procedure in Case of War or Immediate Threat of War to Croatian Community
21 of Herceg-Bosna." Now, in the course of your duties as head of the
22 military police in Central Bosnia, did you see -- come to be familiar with
23 this document or have occasion to use this document, sir? The question
24 pending is: Are you familiar with that document, having seen it in the
25 course of your duties as chief of the military police in Central Bosnia?
1 A. Your Honours, there were a number of instructions. Probably this
2 was one of them.
3 Q. Very well. We'll come back to that later. Let me ask you this.
4 I'm sorry. Allow me to follow up in this respect, then. It's correct,
5 isn't it, sir, that, as you said, there were a number of instructions, but
6 the military police were supposed to enforce military law and military
7 discipline? And if we took the time, which we won't because of the limits
8 of time, to look at this document, it would take us through many instances
9 about the way in which military police functions would be carried out and
10 the nature of those functions.
11 MR. SCOTT: If we would just look at -- I think it's worth
12 stopping for a moment, Your Honour, if we look at the first page, not the
13 cover or title page, but the first page. It talks about the protection of
14 people and property, it talks about the -- item G: "Shall verify,
15 discover, send or bring HVO members who have left their unit or
16 institution without authorisation." Number H: They provide physical
17 protection to command post and senior officials, et cetera, et cetera.
18 The document goes on.
19 Q. But you certainly understood that in fact it was a primary
20 function of the military police to enforce -- to investigate violations of
21 and enforce military discipline; isn't that correct, Colonel?
22 A. I'm sorry, Your Honours. I'm afraid I don't understand at all
23 what the Prosecutor is asking me.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, it may be better if you took the matter
25 simply. I don't suppose there's any dispute about that. They were there
1 to investigate the violations and enforce military discipline. Have you
2 got any point on the document you can take --
3 MR. SCOTT: Not at this moment, Your Honour, other than to have
4 established that the witness is familiar with this document or documents
5 like it for the moment. I would not have thought it would be a point of
6 any great contest, but ...
7 Q. I also want you to look, sir, at Exhibit 2332 in that binder.
8 MR. SCOTT: I'm skipping over a couple, Your Honour, because of
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please speak into the microphone.
11 MR. SCOTT: I'd like the witness to see -- and maybe it's worth
12 identifying for the record, because there's only one original of this
13 document, Your Honour. Exhibit 2332 is a document that's titled "Three
14 Years of Military Police." The original B/C/S version, Your Honour, looks
15 like this. There should be a copy of it in the record, a black-and-white
16 copy in the record.
17 Q. Colonel Palavra, you're familiar with this document, aren't you,
18 and in fact you contributed one of the articles in this document? Isn't
19 that true, sir?
20 A. Yes, it's true.
21 MR. SCOTT: And what I've done, Your Honours, in the Court, and in
22 the event it comes up in the course of the witness's examination today or,
23 for that matter, in the Defence examination, English translations of some
24 of these articles have been -- follow in the notebook, and they've, for
25 reference, been called -- the first one is 2332A, the second is 2332B, and
1 so forth. And if I could direct both the witness and Chamber's attention,
2 please, to 2333 -- excuse me -- 2332D, as in "dog." That is an English
3 translation, Your Honours, of the article written by Mr. Palavra, which I
4 mention now because various statements by Colonel Palavra in the course of
5 that -- in that document may come up in the remainder of his testimony.
6 Q. Now, sir, moving on, then, to the command and control of the
7 military police. In carrying out the normal military duties, the military
8 police was daily responsible in terms of their daily tasks in concrete
9 terms to the Operative Zone; is that correct, sir? Sorry. It has nothing
10 to do with the article now, sir.
11 MR. SCOTT: And if the usher can remove it for the time being if
12 it may avoid distraction.
13 Q. Sir, in carrying out the normal duties of the military police, you
14 and the units of the military police in Central Bosnia were subordinate to
15 the Operative Zone and to the command of the Operative Zone; is that
16 correct, sir?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. You've testified in the Blaskic case that the HVO military police
19 operated on a territorial principle: Wherever there were HVO units, there
20 were military police units, and the military police units were subordinate
21 to the commanders of the HVO units, including at the brigade level; the
22 brigade military police were subordinate to the brigade commanders. Is
23 that true, Colonel?
24 A. Your Honours, no. We had units in Ravno Brcko that didn't have
25 any military police. There was a territorial organisation where it
1 existed, that is, in the areas of Central Bosnia, which belonged to the
2 4th Military Police Battalion. That was the 1st Company, the 2nd Company
3 and the 3rd Company of the Military Police. The 1st Military Police
4 Company was located in the Lasva Valley; the 2nd Company in the area of
5 Kiseljak and Kresevo and the rest of Fojnica, what remained of Fojnica,
6 and Vares; and the 3rd Company covered the area of responsibility of
7 Zepce, the free parts of Tesanj and Usora and Zavidovici.
8 Q. I'm going to rephrase the question, then, sir. In the areas in
9 which there were HVO brigades operational, such as in Vitez, for instance,
10 the military police in the brigades were subordinate to the brigade
11 commander; isn't that true, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that was true throughout 1993 and continued into 1994; isn't
14 that correct, sir?
15 A. The brigade police was accountable to the brigade commanders in
16 daily police operations, and it is common knowledge what the task of the
17 military police was: to arrest people, take them into custody, to provide
18 security for headquarters and commands.
19 MR. SCOTT: All right. Let's move on, then. Your Honour, in
20 light of that question, I'm going to, at least momentarily, jump over
21 about five exhibits, if that's -- if I understand the witness's answer
23 If the witness could be shown 1172.3, 1172.3, which should be in
24 the first bundle of -- separate from the notebook.
25 While that's being done, I simply note for the record, maybe the
1 best way, in terms of time, to move would be -- Your Honour, in this
2 bundle of documents, which I had intended to go through the
3 witness -- perhaps it's not necessary -- but 581.2, 371.1, 527.2, and 553
4 are all documents which the Prosecution would argue, would submit,
5 establish the proposition that the military police were subject to -- were
6 subordinate to the brigade commanders. Each of those documents support
7 that proposition. Exhibit -- I will tell for the Cerkez counsel, Exhibit
8 553 is an order by Mr. Cerkez on the 18th of March, 1993, which the
9 Chamber, I'm sure, has probably seen, will recall seeing before.
10 Now, with that in mind, if I could ask the witness to look at
11 Exhibit 1172.3, which should be the last exhibit in that bundle. 1172.3.
12 Q. Sir, this is an order by Colonel Blaskic, dated the 18th of
13 August, 1993, to the commanders of the brigades in the Central Bosnia
14 Operative Zone, and he says, "I hereby order," and item number 1, "the
15 Brigade Military Police comes under the immediate command of the Brigade
16 Commander," and so on. "as part of the established chain of the brigade
17 and has the same status as other brigade units."
18 Now, sir, that order by Colonel Blaskic on the 18th of August was
19 confirming and in fact was what your experience had been throughout 1993,
20 and that is that the military police were subordinate to the brigade
21 commanders; is that correct? Isn't that true, sir?
22 A. Yes. The brigade police belonged to the brigades.
23 Q. All right. Now, sir, at the time of the -- about the time that
24 the military police was being reorganised in Central Bosnia, when you
25 became the chief of that unit, there was also at that time formed, as part
1 of the -- out of the military police or as part of the military police,
2 something called the 3rd Light Assault Battalion. That's correct, isn't
3 it, sir?
4 A. Yes, there was a 3rd Light Assault Unit.
5 Q. I mention this only to avoid confusion, and I don't know if the
6 Chamber has had this come up before. It probably has after all this
7 time. But there was a time in which the 4th Battalion of the Military
8 Police, the number reference changed to it being the 7th Battalion.
9 That's correct, isn't it, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We're talking about the same unit. And in fact later, or some
12 months later, in fact, the unit reference was changed back to 4th
13 Battalion of the Military Police; isn't that correct? Isn't that correct,
15 A. Yes. The 4th became the 7th and then it went back from the 7th to
16 the 4th Battalion.
17 Q. But about that time, as you've just indicated, something called
18 the 3rd Light Assault Battalion was formed. And is it correct, sir, that
19 that was formed and became under the command of Vlado Cosic from out of
20 the military police in Central Bosnia?
21 A. The 3rd Light Assault Unit was formed -- I do not recollect the
22 exact date -- and the commander of that 3rd Light Assault Unit was Vlado
24 MR. SCOTT: And I don't think it needs to be belaboured, Your
25 Honours, but for the record, I would refer the Chamber and counsel to
1 Exhibit 1165.2, which is also in the notebook, 1160 -- it's the third tab
2 of the binder, Your Honour, and I think the Court will see that --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please speak into the microphone.
4 MR. SCOTT: I apologise. It's hard always to be at the microphone
5 and with the documents at the same time, but I apologise. The witness may
6 simply refer to that if he wishes, but I would just tell the Chamber,
7 represent to the Chamber, this is an order, then, by Valentin Coric, as
8 the head of the military police administration in Mostar, which
9 establishes -- dated the 12th of August, 1993, I should add -- which
10 establishes and takes -- essentially puts into action the steps that we've
11 talked about in the last few minutes, including the changes in Central
12 Bosnia, as the Court can there see. And I think, Your Honours, again that
13 may or may not come up in subsequent examination, but I think that's a
14 good summary of this particular step of the organisation of the military
16 Q. Changing subjects and getting started on a different topic before
17 the -- presumably before the recess, Colonel: During the time that you
18 were in Central Bosnia in 1993, were you familiar with and did you have
19 occasion to interact with something called the Security and Information
20 Service, or sometimes often abbreviated and called SIS?
21 A. Your Honours, the moment I took up duty as commander of the 4th
22 Battalion of the Military Police, I established contact with the Security
23 Service attached to the Operative Zone, and every morning at briefings
24 with Colonel Blaskic -- his assistant for security was present at our
25 early morning briefings, and at those briefings there was the assistant
1 for security, there was me as the commander of the Military Police, and
2 all the other assistants of Colonel Blaskic.
3 Q. And sir, the assistant for security that you've been talking about
4 in the last few minutes, that was Anto Sliskovic, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes, that's so.
6 Q. Would it be fair to say that the functions that the two of you
7 performed, you and the military police, Mr. Sliskovic, and the Security
8 and Information Service, the functions you performed often were related
9 and often overlapped, in terms of ensuring, for instance, such things as
10 security in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone; is that correct, sir?
11 A. I had military police duties, and I worked on those exclusively,
12 and that is the organisation worked on activities of the military police.
13 Q. I understand that, sir. My question was, though, was it not the
14 fact, was it not the case, that in fulfilling those or carrying out those
15 functions, you had frequent interaction with Mr. Sliskovic and the
16 security and information service?
17 A. I said, Your Honours, I had the morning briefings where we were
18 together, and sometimes after the briefings we would be in the office of
19 the assistant for security. That depended on the situation and the
20 assignments we were given and that cropped up at the time.
21 Q. All right, let's move forward. Mr. Sliskovic, did he have a
22 deputy, his own deputy, just as you had Vlado Santic as your deputy, did
23 Mr. Sliskovic during this time period have his deputy for SIS?
24 A. I don't know. I don't believe so. I don't know.
25 Q. It's correct, is it not, sir, that there was an SIS officer at
1 each level of the HVO organisation or structure, if you will? For
2 instance, at the brigade level -- for instance, in the brigade, at each
3 brigade, there was an SIS assistant or officer; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, apart from Mr. Sliskovic, did you come to have -- did you
6 have any, you or your staff, your military police command staff, have any
7 interaction with other representatives or officers of SIS, apart from
8 Mr. Sliskovic in 1993? For instance, did you know someone named Miso
10 A. Yes, I did know Miso Mijic.
11 Q. What was his position, sir?
12 A. Mr. Miso's position and function is something that is not clear to
13 me even now.
14 Q. He was an SIS officer, too, wasn't he?
15 A. I don't know that. That is how he introduced himself. My task,
16 Your Honours, was, as the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion,
17 to cooperate and to work with the assistant for security affairs attached
18 to the operative zone of Central Bosnia, and that meant with Anto
20 MR. SCOTT: If the Court wishes we could stop there. I apologise,
21 I thought the witness was finished.
22 Q. Please.
23 A. What Miso claimed to be and what he actually did, I really don't
24 know. I know that he did, and I know that he was under the protection of
25 Kraljevic. As for his real functions, I really don't know what he did. I
1 know that he was not part of the military organisation.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn there for half an hour.
3 Colonel Palavra, would you remember in this and any other break
4 not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, I'm sorry we've kept everybody waiting. We
8 had to attend a Tribunal function.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. And I'm handing out now a
10 second bundle of documents, a small bundle that -- for the next series of
11 questions to counsel and the Chamber, and as far as I'm concerned, the
12 entire bundle can be put in front of the witness at one time as well so it
13 will make us move more quickly.
14 While we're doing that, Your Honour, I've already skipped over
15 before the break 1176.5, but the witness did agree that there were SIS
16 officers in each brigade. This makes reference to apparently the death in
17 August of Mr. Cerkez's security assistant or SIS officer. I think the
18 Chamber may have seen that document before.
19 Q. Colonel --
20 JUDGE MAY: Well, you say Mr. Cerkez's assistant. Yes, I see.
21 This is Mr. Josic about whom we have had some evidence.
22 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. And this is a letter from
23 Mr. Sliskovic to the Vitez Brigade commander, Mario Cerkez, personally,
24 "My condolences on the death of your security assistant."
25 Q. Colonel, in terms of these -- the number of people associated with
1 the security information service, I simply don't have time to argue with
2 you about each of these, I'm simply going to ask you if you know these
3 individuals or not in your capacity as chief or head of military police
4 for Central Bosnia.
5 Now, you knew Marijan Biskic, didn't you? He was a senior HV
6 Croatian army officer who was involved with the military police on the
7 Herceg-Bosna HVO Main Staff, and you knew that, didn't you?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour, I did know Biskic. And when the conflict ceased
9 between the Muslim forces, the BiH army, and the HVO, that's when I got to
10 know him first in Posusje, I believe.
11 Q. And you knew, sir, that in 1993 in fact, he was an HV, that is, a
12 Croatian army military police official who was serving on the HVO Main
13 Staff. Isn't that correct, sir?
14 A. Your Honour, I did not know that, but all I know is that Marijan
15 Biskic originated from Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is to say, he is a
16 Bosnian Croat.
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I will simply refer the Court to Exhibit
18 2 -- Z2332, English translation H, out of this document for a statement
19 about Mr. Biskic being with the military police of the Republic of
21 Q. Sir, did you know who Ivo Lucic was -- Ivica Lucic?
22 A. I did know, that is to say, I didn't know him personally, but I
23 knew of him. I knew of Ivica Lucic.
24 Q. He was the head of SIS in Mostar, in some respects you might say,
25 at least on an organisational chart, Mr. Sliskovic's boss, isn't that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 true, Ivica Lucic?
2 A. I think that's right.
3 Q. Did you ever have occasion to interact with Mr. Lucic?
4 A. I said I didn't know him personally. I just met him once. I was
5 in Mostar, and I talked to him once. That is to say, we became
6 acquainted, nothing more specific than that.
7 Q. Sir, did you come to know an SIS official named Milenko Rajic?
8 Representing -- Mr. Rajic was initially a senior SIS official and then
9 became the chief in 1994 following Mr. Lucic, is that correct?
10 A. Your Honour, I met Rajic, too, during the celebration of the
11 Security Service in Mostar. I think that was in 1996. But otherwise, I
12 did not know him.
13 Q. Did you know that he had become the chief of SIS following
14 Mr. Lucic?
15 A. I knew that through Anto Sliskovic.
16 Q. We mentioned before the break Mr. Miso Mijic. I will ask the
17 witness if you have the bundle in front of you, sir, if you could turn to
18 Exhibit Z1354.1.
19 MR. SCOTT: And for the Chamber and counsel --
20 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, this document has not previously been
21 provided to us, and therefore I object to it.
22 JUDGE MAY: I can't find it. Whereabouts is it, Mr. Scott?
23 MR. SCOTT: It's in the bundle that was handed out a few moments
24 ago, Your Honour. It should be the second to last bundle. There's only
25 about five documents there. It's a Zagreb document, Your Honour, and I
1 believe it has been -- I believe it was disclosed some time ago.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, I can't find it at the moment. Let me see if
3 it's in the bundle. 1354, is it?
4 MR. SCOTT: .1.
5 JUDGE MAY: .1. Yes, I have it now.
6 MR. SAYERS: If I might be heard briefly on this, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 MR. SAYERS: I've been -- we're going to be filing our response
9 for the Zagreb materials proposals this afternoon. I've been very
10 intimately involved in reviewing the documents that have been provided to
11 us, trying to figure out which order they've been provided in. We decided
12 to make a chronological list, for the Court's convenience, of all of the
13 documents that have been identified by the Prosecution, and this is not
14 one of them. In addition, it does not have the stamp on the corner
15 referred to by Mr. Nice yesterday as an archival stamp. This is not a
16 Zagreb document.
17 MR. SCOTT: They're not all stamped --
18 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with this in this way. We know there's
19 been some evidence about Mr. Mijic. His name appears in relation to the
20 evidence of Mr. Breljas. Now, beyond that, at the moment I'm not sure
21 that we're going to be helped by the production of more documents on this
22 particular topic. Mr. Scott, you can consider the objection for the
23 moment. We won't admit it. If in due course you have some further
24 information about it and it really is of importance, we'll consider it,
25 probably when we consider the Zagreb documents.
1 MR. SCOTT: And only five seconds, Your Honour. That's exactly
2 the reason it's coming up for this witness, is because the Chamber
3 will -- I forecast that the Chamber will see Mr. Mijic's name on a number
4 of the Zagreb documents, and this witness is in a position to know and has
5 said that he did in fact know Mr. Mijic, and that's the reason for these
6 documents. But we'll move on.
7 Q. Sir, did you also -- did you know an SIS operative in Central
8 Bosnia named Boris Adzaip. And forgive me if I've pronounced it wrong.
9 A. Your Honour, I think that the name is Boris Adzaip. Was that the
10 name you meant?
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... sir. Thank you.
12 A. I don't know at all where he worked or who he worked with, but I
13 do know the man from Travnik.
14 Q. Did you have --
15 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, again, we would tender -- we've
16 given the Court and we point -- direct the Court to Exhibit 1230.3 and
17 again 1354.1, which the chief of SIS, Mr. Lucic, who the witness has -- in
18 fact, mentions both Mijic and Adzaip, and again my apologies, as being SIS
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we also have an
22 objection with respect to this document, due to the fact that in the
23 translation it says in the upper right-hand corner that there is the
24 handwritten signature of Marijan Cerkez [As interpreted]. If that is the
25 translation, when I look at the original, there is no way in which a
1 translator can determine whose signature it is, nor is he authorised to do
2 so. So that should not be part of the translation, that remark in the
3 upper right-hand corner. All I think that can stand there is illegibly
4 handwritten. The person can't know whose the signature in fact is. And I
5 make the objection because we have received many documents of a similar
6 nature, where translators translate illegible signature and interpret it.
7 JUDGE MAY: That is a matter for evidence and not for
8 interpretation. I agree.
9 Now, Mr. Scott, we're going through this exercise, and I wonder
10 where we're going and how we are being assisted by all this detail about
11 the SIS.
12 MR. SCOTT: Let me be extremely transparent, Your Honour, about
13 this. There are a number of the Zagreb documents and other documents
14 coming from the archives that have these individuals' names on them. In
15 the past several months the Defence has objected that they don't know who
16 these people are, they don't know who wrote the document, they don't know
17 whose initials are on the documents. I'm only taking this witness through
18 a list of names of the SIS people who were active in Central Bosnia. This
19 man, as the chief of military police, should know, or at least there's a
20 basis to believe he should know who these people are, and simply putting
21 the questions to the witness.
22 JUDGE MAY: Can we not do it quite simply by saying, whatever your
23 case is about these people, put it to the witness? The SIS consisted of
24 X, Y, and Z, and then he can comment.
25 MR. SCOTT: I'd be happy to, Your Honour.
1 Q. Did you know, sir, during 1993, that in addition to the people
2 we've named so far, that there was also a Bruno Saric, also a Dragan
3 Voloder, also a Damir Smoljic?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
6 Q. Damir Smoljic, who were again all SIS officers, operatives,
7 agents, whichever term you might prefer, in Central Bosnia during 1993 and
8 the first half of 1994?
9 A. Your Honour, I personally know Bruno Saric, but truly I did not
10 know what he did in 1993. I know that they were protected by the late
11 Kraljevic, the commander of the Vitezovi, and that they were with him, he
12 was with them, but in my area of responsibility and the Operative Zone of
13 Central Bosnia of the day, they were not in the military section there.
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in addition, we would point the Court
15 again to the exhibits in the bundle, including also 1343.1, and I'll move
17 MR. SAYERS: With respect to Exhibit Z1343.1, Your Honour, that's
18 yet another document that's never previously been provided to us.
19 JUDGE MAY: The same ruling will apply.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir, did you know Ivica Bandic? Was he an SIS operative in
22 Central Bosnia in 1993?
23 A. What name did you say? Ivica -- what was the surname?
24 Q. Ivica Bandic.
25 A. No, I don't know him.
1 Q. You did not know, as head of military police, that Mr. Bandic was
2 travelling, active in Central Bosnia during that time, allegedly
3 investigating HVO war crimes, including Ahmici and Stupni Do? You were
4 the head of military police, sir, and you weren't aware of that?
5 MR. SCOTT: We'll come back to that, Your Honours.
6 Q. What position, if any, are you familiar with that a man named
7 Tomislav Vlajic held in 1993, Tomo Vlajic?
8 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, could you assist us,
9 assist the Chamber? You are in the process of asking the witness about a
10 certain number of names, of details. Could you please present the issue
11 to us first, tell us what it's about. As you said about the SIS, the
12 information service, you put the questions within a certain context. So
13 before going into detail, tell us what it is that you are trying to know
14 with respect to this case and from this witness and then go to the
15 details, and not the other way around, because otherwise it is difficult
16 for us to follow. We are jumping from one detail to another without
17 having the global picture of what you are trying to find out from this
18 witness, and I think you will be helping us to focus on this in the
20 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour. I'm happy and anxious to
21 assist the Chamber in any way that I can. What I had answered in response
22 to Judge May's question is that these are individuals who the Prosecution
23 will submit and will take the position over time and in our closing
24 submissions, these were SIS officials who were active in Central Bosnia
25 and who authored a number of reports during 1993 and 1994. And the
1 Defence has already raised objections about some of these people and we're
2 trying to identify them to assist the Court in identifying and providing
3 some information. And it was our position and it was my assessment that
4 this man, who was a senior HVO military officer, the head of all military
5 police in Central Bosnia, would be in a position to know who these people
6 are, and I believe he does know who they are. That's my position. And I
7 put it to him, I put it to the witness that he is not being candid with us
8 about that. Let me give the Court one example, Judge Bennouna.
9 JUDGE MAY: I don't think there's a need to argue the point.
10 MR. SCOTT: I'm trying to --
11 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Scott. If the documents show that
12 members of the SIS were acting in a particular capacity or that people
13 were a member of the SIS, why do we need to go through the exercise of
14 oral testimony on the point?
15 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour -- maybe one document. It may
16 assist the Court, maybe it doesn't. If it doesn't, I'll go on.
17 JUDGE MAY: What is the document? Let's refer to the document.
18 MR. SCOTT: 1317.2. You don't have it right now, Your Honour.
19 I'm trying to give the Court an example.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. SCOTT: 1317.2. If I can have the usher's assistance. In the
22 interests of speed, if I could just put this one on the ELMO. Because
23 otherwise, Your Honour, we'll be fumbling with documents for some
24 minutes. This is Exhibit, for the record, 1317.2. And if the usher could
25 just please help me with putting this page on the ELMO, just this page.
1 Your Honour, this -- what's been put on the ELMO is an exhibit.
2 It's a report about Ahmici. You can see that from the top of the page.
3 Down below that in the lower left corner are the initials "IB," and "A,"
4 "CH." And it's the Prosecution's position, Your Honour, that IB is Ivan
5 or Ivica Bandic who was an SIS official in Central Bosnia. There's a
6 number of documents bearing his initials and bearing his name, and that's
7 what I'm putting -- I was trying to put to this witness.
8 Now, the witness is telling me he doesn't know, but I thought I
9 was entitled to at least ask the question, and that's why it's relevant.
10 JUDGE MAY: But it could be done without reference to the
11 documents simply by asking the witness in each case, "Were these officials
12 members of the SIS," and then you can read out the list one by one for his
14 MR. SCOTT: Very well.
15 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Palavra, you are going to hear a list of
16 people. You will answer whether they were members of the SIS or not, or
17 whether you don't know.
18 Yes, Mr. Scott, if you'd like to put your list, please.
19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Some of them we've already touched on. Let me just back up to
21 one, then. I'd ask you, sir, about Dragan Voloder and Damir Smoljic. Did
22 you know either of those two individuals to be SIS officials active in
23 Central Bosnia in 1993 or 1994?
24 A. No. I personally know Dragan Voloder within the position of the
25 Security Service attached to the operative zone, but none of them were
2 Q. What was his position, then, if you knew Mr. Voloder personally?
3 A. I don't know. Believe me when I say I don't know. I said that
4 certain people like Mijic, Voloder, and like the other one, Saric, they
5 were protection for Kraljevic. They were with Kraljevic in his unit.
6 That's where they were. I don't know where their seat was. I don't know
7 where the seat of the SIS was either, if it existed, because you focussed
8 on the Security Service attached to the operative zone of Central Bosnia.
9 Q. I asked you earlier about Ivica Bandic, and I believe your answer
10 was that you were not familiar with Mr. Bandic; is that correct?
11 A. That's right. I don't know the man at all. Possibly I do, but I
12 don't. I'd like to be able to identify him, but I just can't.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Colonel Palavra, in view of your
14 position and your responsibilities, were you in contact with the SIS, the
15 information service, and did you know the people working in that service?
16 A. Your Honour, I did have contact with the Security Service within
17 the operative zone of Central Bosnia. Therefore, for all my contacts, I
18 went through Anto Sliskovic, the assistant for security affairs in the
19 operative zone. He was the assistant of Colonel Blaskic at the time. So
20 that was my level of contact.
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes, but my question, Colonel
22 Palavra, is, could you tell the Chamber which are the people that you knew
23 and who were members of this SIS, this secret service or information
24 service? Could you tell us, apart from Mr. Sliskovic, who are the persons
25 that you knew who were members of this information service?
1 A. Yes, yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Well, please do so.
3 A. In those days, that is, as of 1993 in the Security Service within
4 the operative zone, I knew Anto Sliskovic, he was the assistant for
5 security. I knew Tomo Vlajic. I knew Skocibusic, and they had a
6 secretary, a lady.
7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] And outside the operative zone,
8 the central SIS, did you know people from that service beyond the local
9 level, beyond the operational zone level?
10 A. Truly, I didn't have any contact with them. They had an assistant
11 for security. Every brigade had an assistant security --
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I'm not asking you, Colonel,
13 whether you had contact with them. I'm asking you whether you knew them.
14 Could you tell us from your recollection the people that you knew from the
15 information service at the central level, even if you were not in contact
16 with them.
17 A. Believe me, I don't know who were the assistants for security in
18 the brigades, but if you were to mention the name, I would remember. I
19 can't remember now exactly who they were. My tasks were such that I --
20 and my level was such that my contacts were with Anto Sliskovic.
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Just three other -- two other names after Mr. Vlajic, and then
24 we'll finish this topic. You said that you did know Tomo Vlajic, was one
25 of the people you mentioned. Now, how did you know him? What position
1 did he hold?
2 A. Your Honours, I met him in the Vitez Hotel, that is, in the
3 operative zone in the office of Anto Sliskovic.
4 Q. Did you understand him to be an assistant or deputy to
5 Mr. Sliskovic?
6 A. I don't know what he was, but he was his operations officer. He
7 worked in the Security Service with Anto Sliskovic. What exact position
8 he had, I don't know, but they were together.
9 Q. And as I said, two final names. Did you know the position or
10 function performed during 1993 by a man named Zeljko Katava?
11 A. Your Honours, Zeljko Katava in 1993, I think he was in the
12 military police in Kiseljak. He was my officer, I think.
13 Q. And finally, did you know -- did you have any dealings in 1993
14 with man named Mato Zeko?
15 A. Mato Zeko in 1993, I didn't have any contact with him. I met him
16 for the first time when he came by helicopter to Central Bosnia.
17 Q. When was that?
18 A. Just a moment, please. He came by helicopter. I have somewhere
19 the flight number because I was responsible for helicopters. I don't know
20 exactly when it was, but that was when I met him for the first time, when
21 he arrived in the free territory, and I think it was -- I don't know,
22 January, February 1994. I don't think I knew him in 1993.
23 Q. When you had some responsibility in connection with his arrival in
24 Central Bosnia, who did you understand Mr. Zeko to be?
25 A. Your Honours, Your Honours, Mato Zeko came to Central Bosnia to
1 see Anto Sliskovic. So he came to his office, and he worked with Anto
2 Sliskovic in the Security Service office.
3 Q. And how long did you know Mr. Zeko to work with Mr. Sliskovic as
4 part of SIS?
5 A. Mato Zeko, Your Honours, worked from the moment he arrived in
6 Central Bosnia, and he stayed on throughout after that in Central Bosnia.
7 Mato Zeko even replaced Mr. Sliskovic in that position.
8 Q. You can't do anything more to help us this morning or this
9 afternoon with when he arrived, though, Mr. Zeko?
10 A. Your Honours, I'm sorry, I have the date somewhere when Mato Zeko
11 arrived. It's noted down in my diary, but believe me, I didn't look at it
12 in preparing to come here. I know that Mato Zeko was in Rostovo or
13 Sebesic during the conflicts, and when the Muslims attacked the area of
14 Sebesici, he moved to Uskoplje or Rama. After that --
15 Q. I have to interrupt in the interests of time.
16 MR. SCOTT: If I could ask another, a further bundle of documents,
17 with the first one being Z390.4, be distributed, please. And there's one
18 loose exhibit that didn't find it's way into the binder, but if we can --
19 oh, it is now? Okay. Never mind, then.
20 JUDGE MAY: Now, are these documents new, Mr. Scott, or are they
21 already exhibited?
22 MR. SCOTT: I believe, again, Your Honour, it's a mixture, and I
23 simply cannot tell you off the top of my head which one is one. Some are
24 admitted. Exhibit 566, for instance, is in the bundle. 566 is admitted.
25 JUDGE MAY: Is there any objection to the admission of these
2 MR. SAYERS: Yes, there is, Your Honour. To the extent that the
3 documents have not been previously provided, as repeatedly ordered by the
4 Trial Chamber, they should have been provided at the very latest by
5 October the 30th as the Trial Chamber well knows, and they weren't, so any
6 documents that weren't provided by that date we object to. We've had the
7 discussion before, Mr. President. There simply has to come a time when we
8 know what the case against us is rather than seeing it evolving before our
10 JUDGE MAY: I agree. I'm not sure about the point about the case,
11 Mr. Sayers. The case is not evolving, but the material is evolving, and
12 on that, the Trial Chamber I think is sympathetic. Yes, Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the fact, with all respect to counsel,
14 the fact that Mr. Sayers has taken a position on it, which he is
15 absolutely entitled to do, doesn't necessarily make it so, and it's our
16 position that these documents have been disclosed.
17 Now, we can sit down, obviously, and go through various records
18 and try to establish that, but it's our position that a number of these
19 documents either have already been admitted or been disclosed.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Scott, you should really have come with that
22 MR. SCOTT: I can -- I don't have it on a master chart.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't think that is something which we should
24 be doing now.
25 MR. SCOTT: I would be happy to come back to it, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: I agree. Counsel should really know, and in
2 particular, what exhibits have been admitted and what haven't.
3 MR. SCOTT: We will make --
4 JUDGE MAY: The problem of producing this much material is
5 illustrated by the confusion in which your case is. In my view, we
6 shouldn't admit any of these documents at the moment.
7 MR. SCOTT: I'll be happy to provide further information to the
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we're not going to admit this package at
10 the moment. Put it back.
11 MR. SCOTT: Very well.
12 Q. Sir, you knew in Central Bosnia when you spoke with Colonel
13 Blaskic in August 1993, you knew there were a number of criminal groups or
14 elements in various components of the HVO forces in Central Bosnia, didn't
15 you? Is that true, sir?
16 A. Yes, I'm waiting for your question.
17 Q. Well, I asked you a question, sir. Maybe in the interchange it
18 wasn't clear. Let me ask it again. You knew in Central Bosnia when you
19 spoke with Colonel Blaskic in August 1993, that there were a number of
20 criminal groups or elements in various components of the HVO forces in
21 Central Bosnia. You knew that and you discussed it with Colonel Blaskic,
22 didn't you?
23 A. Your Honours, Colonel Blaskic mentioned to me at a meeting that in
24 certain units, and the reference was to Kraljevic's units, that is, the
25 Vitezovi, the units of Zuti, there were a certain number of criminals in
1 those units. I knew that.
2 Q. And there were also known to be criminal elements, and in addition
3 to the Vitezovi and the Zuti, special unit, also in the military police.
4 Isn't that correct, sir?
5 A. Yes, but a certain number.
6 Q. And you agree, don't you, sir, that Colonel Blaskic and other HVO
7 authorities and commanders had the ability to direct the military police
8 to investigate crimes among the HVO or carried out by, allegedly carried
9 out by HVO members, didn't they? And you said so in your Blaskic
10 testimony. Is that correct?
11 A. I'm sorry, Your Honours, I -- could he ask me a precise question,
12 please? Could the Prosecutor be concrete, please.
13 Q. I'll read my question back to you. I thought it was clear, sir.
14 Colonel Blaskic and other HVO authorities and commanders had the ability
15 to direct the military police to investigate crimes carried out by members
16 of the HVO, isn't that true?
17 A. Your Honours, everyone could convey certain information to the
18 military police about any crime, and they could pass this information on
19 to the military police, and it would, of course, investigate it.
20 Also, following instructions from the courts or the military
21 investigator's office, any information that anyone had could be given to
22 the crime section of the military police for them to investigate.
23 Q. And that included, sir, not only Colonel Blaskic, but it also
24 included people such as the brigade commander, Mario Cerkez, didn't it?
25 He had the authority to direct investigations or inquiries by the military
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 police, didn't he?
2 A. I think that not a single brigade commander could order an
3 investigation. He could just pass on information to the military police,
4 and then the military police would work on those cases.
5 Q. Well, he could certainly ask you, whether I ultimately agree with
6 your answer or not, he could certainly ask you or inquire that certain
7 investigations be conducted by the military police, couldn't he?
8 A. Yes, that is so.
9 Q. In your Blaskic testimony, sir, you testified, did you not, that
10 there was a lot of, "Localism in the military police whereby the military
11 police was not enforcing the law against their friends, neighbours, and
12 family in the area, and the military police commanders were not taking
13 disciplinary measures against their own members."
14 You said that at page 16.689 to 91. Is that correct, sir?
15 A. Your Honours, that is not correct. The military police worked
16 doing things like taking into custody into the military detention unit, it
17 followed orders of the commander regarding disciplinary measures, it
18 arrested people, but not everyone. And when I said that there was a
19 certain degree of localism, favouritism, family relationships, then the
20 request that reached the military police were not all followed through.
21 Some of this was due to the combat operations and the fact that the
22 military police went to the defence lines, because there was an all-out
23 attack by the Muslim forces on the area of Central Bosnia at the time, so
24 that these measures were selective, were enforced in a selective manner.
25 Also various requests made by the courts to arrest or summon certain
1 witnesses and requests by brigade commanders.
2 Q. Well, sir, let me ask you this: Was there a problem of localism
3 among the military police in Busovaca? Do you remember that?
4 A. Your Honours, I don't understand this question: Was there
5 localism? The military police was within the organisational structure of
6 the military police. I don't understand what you mean by the term
8 Q. There was a military police company in Busovaca, was there not?
9 And in fact, let me -- well, let's stop with that. I'll come back to
10 another -- isn't that true?
11 A. No. In Busovaca there was a military police platoon attached to
12 the 1st Company.
13 Q. All right. Did you find localism among the platoon from Busovaca?
14 A. Not in that unit, but there was in --
15 Q. Please continue.
16 A. Not among them. They carried out their tasks in the best way that
17 were assigned to them. But in the Frankopan Brigade, in the Travnik
18 Brigade, in the Vitez Brigade, there were such things, so a little
19 localism. But you must understand that in those days we were exposed to
20 all-out attacks by Muslim units against the Vitez area, so that the
21 military police was manning the defence lines all the time. And there
22 were situations when I would have one to two military policemen to
23 apprehend people and who were a service for the brigade and for the
24 military prosecutor's office and for the courts.
25 Q. Sir, isn't it true, and you so testified in Blaskic, that
1 about -- at the time that you became the chief of military police in
2 August 1993, that about 70 per cent, 70 per cent of the military police
3 were from Busovaca? Go ahead.
4 A. Your Honours, that is not what I said. I know exactly what I
5 said. In the command of the 4th Military Police Battalion there were
6 quite a number of personnel from Busovaca, and not 70 per cent of the
7 military policemen and the commanding staff being from Busovaca. That is
8 not what I said. So what I said was that in the battalion command, most
9 of the staff were from Busovaca.
10 Q. Now, one of the people that you replaced, is it correct, as among
11 the military police, that you found in terms of cleaning house, was one of
12 those Marijan Jukic?
13 A. No, that is not correct.
14 Q. All right. Did you replace a man named Ivan Josipovic?
15 A. Yes, I did replace him.
16 Q. And why was that?
17 A. Because Ivan Josipovic, in those days -- he was from Vitez and he
18 didn't fit into the concept of the 4th Military Police Battalion, that is,
19 the concept I had for it. He was the assistant for criminal affairs and I
20 was his commander; he was my subordinate. However, everything I had
21 planned, together with the command, certain criminals learnt about these
22 things, and of course those actions were unsuccessful, and that is why I
23 replaced him.
24 Q. Sir, isn't it true -- final question on him and we'll move
25 on -- that you removed him because in fact he was essentially himself,
1 rather than being a criminal investigator, he was one of the criminals
2 among the military police, wasn't he?
3 A. No, I didn't say that.
4 Q. Did you remove a man named Zoran Corak [phoen] from the military
6 A. Your Honours, it's not -- the name is Zoran Curak, and I will tell
7 you that when I came to the military police I found Zoran Curak there in
8 the crime police there and I replaced him.
9 Q. And why did you replace him?
10 A. Because I had collected enough information about him showing that
11 he was in the -- involved in criminal activity with the criminals. There
12 was a link between them. And on those grounds I had him removed from the
13 unit. I also know that in 1992, in Travnik, there were criminal
14 proceedings against him, a criminal report, because I think he ran over a
15 woman with his personal vehicle.
16 Q. Very well. In the interests of time, let's move on. You took the
17 position, you testified in Blaskic that you felt that after about two or
18 three months you had been able to reorganise or clean up the military
19 police in Central Bosnia to a substantial extent. That's what you said in
20 your Blaskic testimony. Is that correct, sir?
21 A. Your Honours, I did indeed need two to three months to get an
22 overview of the situation in the military police, and from then on I had
23 control over the situation.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, again in the interests of time, I'd just
25 refer the Chamber and counsel to pages 16707 and 16708.
1 Q. So you found, sir -- apparently what you're telling us is that you
2 found that you did have significant ability, by dismissing people, by
3 taking various disciplinary actions, to, over a span of as short as two or
4 three months, make very substantial changes in the military police if you
5 cared to do so, didn't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. It was not impossible to make those changes if there was a will to
8 do so, was it?
9 A. Could you repeat that, please?
10 Q. Sir, I was just following up your last answer. Given the will to
11 do so, you found that you had, according to your testimony, the ability to
12 make substantial changes, presumably improvements, in the make-up and the
13 conduct of the military police, as you've said, in something like a two-
14 or three-month period; correct?
15 A. Your Honour, how far I succeeded, well, time will show, but I did
16 truly do the best I could and as the times and circumstances allowed.
17 Q. In the course of -- it's in your area of responsibility, sir, so
18 let me ask you without taking the time to go through additional
19 documents. Did you come to know that there was in fact a criminal
20 prosecution against some ABiH soldiers or Muslim forces concerning the
21 killing of two Franciscan monks in Fojnica in 1994 but resulting to
22 earlier conduct [sic]? Did you become aware of that, being in Central
24 A. I got to know this later on through the media.
25 Q. So it's true, isn't it, sir, that there was, in addition to
1 military discipline, there was the ability to bring criminal charges
2 against soldiers for war crimes in Central Bosnia even in 1994, wasn't
3 it? Is that correct, sir?
4 A. Well, probably there were criminal charges brought, most probably.
5 Q. Sir, can you tell us a little bit about what you did before coming
6 to testify today? Did you meet with anyone in preparing your testimony,
7 talk about what your testimony would probably be?
8 A. I just had one meeting, perhaps 15 or 20 minutes, in Vitez, with
9 Mr. Mitko and with the other gentleman. I don't know his name now.
10 Q. All right. The attorneys, and I'm not going to ask you for any
11 details about the conversation, but the attorneys representing Mr. Kordic;
12 is that what you're suggesting or indicating?
13 A. Yes, that's right. That's right, yes.
14 Q. And approximately when was that?
15 A. It was before I was to come here to testify for the first time,
16 before I had received a subpoena. I don't know the date.
17 Q. All right. Very well. Did you review any documents in preparing
18 to testify, anything that either you possessed yourself or any documents
19 which might have been put in front of you, for the purpose of preparing to
21 A. No. I have no documents. I just have my working notes dating
22 back to 1993, and that is at home. That is, I have them.
23 Q. Did you provide those notes, or your diary, which you mentioned a
24 few minutes ago, did you provide that material to Mr. Kordic's counsel, or
25 a copy of it?
1 A. No, I didn't give anything.
2 Q. You were -- when you were appointed to this position as being the
3 commander of this special police unit, you were appointed by
4 Mr. -- proposed for appointment, if you will, you were proposed for
5 appointment by Mr. Rezo, and it's correct, is it not, that your
6 appointment was approved by Dario Kordic? Is that right?
7 A. No, that is not right, Your Honours. Upon arrival in the police
8 administration of Travnik and at the proposal of the chief of the police
9 administration in Travnik, Ivo Rezo, the minister at the time -- I think
10 it was the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna at the time, or the Croatian
11 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, I don't quite know -- Minister Kvesic, Brano
12 Kvesic, gave his approval and he signed my appointment papers as commander
13 of the special purpose unit attached to the police department in Travnik.
14 So I have his appointment. I have the appointment papers signed by Kvesic
15 in Mostar.
16 MR. SCOTT: It may be helpful, Your Honour, if the usher could
17 assist us by handing out several exhibits -- 229.1, 386, and 1380.2 -- all
18 of which I believe have been previously admitted.
19 Q. I'm going to suggest to you, sir, that Exhibit 229.1 is a proposal
20 appointing you as commander of the special purpose unit of the police
21 administration in Travnik in September 1992, and it bears the name and
22 approving signature of Dario Kordic; isn't that correct, sir?
23 A. Your Honour, I see this proposal for the first time here and now,
24 but I state once more that the chief of the police department in Travnik,
25 administration in Travnik, gave his proposal for my appointment as
1 commander of the special purposes unit attached to the police
2 administration in Travnik, and that proposal was sent to Mostar, to
3 Minister Kvesic, where I received my appointment, in fact, from Minister
4 Kvesic himself. As far as I can see here in this proposal, in this text,
5 the chief of the police administration in Travnik, Ivo Rezo, consulted the
6 vice-president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Kordic, and
7 there is no signature here by the main secretary, Ignac Kostroman, as the
8 president of the government, Zeljko Pervan. Yes, there is a signature
9 there, which means that when Ivo Rezo, the chief of the police
10 administration of Travnik, proposed me to the minister, to Minister Kvesic
11 in Mostar, most probably what he wanted to do was to demonstrate that the
12 people from Central Bosnia, that is to say, the political people from
13 Central Bosnia, agreed to the proposal in order to make it take effect
14 more easily. Thank you.
15 Q. All right. And I direct your attention, then, to Exhibit 386,
16 which should be the next document, only to show, only to indicate to
17 you -- this is a similar proposal, again by Mr. Rezo, naming a Nikola
18 Perica as commander of the Fojnica police station, again approved or with
19 the agreement of Dario Kordic and Ignac Kostroman; isn't that correct?
20 And did you know it to be the case that the appointments of police
21 officials in Central Bosnia required the agreement or approval of Dario
23 A. Your Honours, truly, Ivo Rezo, he came from Sarajevo to the area
24 of Central Bosnia. I don't want to talk about his method of work and
25 method of nomination, but I can only suppose, in view of the fact that he
1 was a non-entity, that is to say, nobody knew him in Central Bosnia, he
2 probably wanted to collect as many approvals and signatures as possible so
3 that the people that he put forward, that he proposed, be approved by
4 Minister Kvesic. That was probably what he was trying to do. And so I
5 can't see anything bad in this document, that is to say, if anybody else
6 happened to agree that certain people perform certain duties in the police
7 administration of Travnik.
8 Q. Sir, in your question -- I'm going to have to --
9 A. Just one moment, please. May I finish?
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we're going to have to go on eventually
11 with responsive questions -- answers to the questions.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness finish.
13 MR. SCOTT: Very well.
15 A. Your Honours, I state quite openly that I saw this document of
16 mine for the first time, where Mr. Kordic gave his approval as well and
17 said that he has nothing against me being that commander, and I'm very
18 happy to see that in this document that I'm looking at for the first time.
19 Q. In your prior answer a moment ago you said you did not want to
20 comment -- you did not want to talk about his method of work. And were
21 you talking about Mr. Rezo or were you talking about Mr. Perica?
22 A. No. Mr. Rezo. Your Honours, had I been the chief of the police
23 administration of Travnik, I would have done it differently, but that was
24 his method, not to propose the people himself but to consult a certain
25 number of other political officials. And I don't see anything bad in
1 that, in this document. But let me state once again that all appointments
2 in the police administration of Travnik or, for that matter, the police
3 stations, at that time, at the proposal of the chief of the police
4 administration, the minister would take the final decision, and at that
5 time the minister was Brano Kvesic, the minister of Internal Affairs of
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Thank
8 MR. SCOTT: Can we go on to Exhibit 1380.2, also been admitted,
9 Your Honour.
10 Q. Sir, this is a list of membership in the 4th Battalion of the
11 Military Police, apparently dated on the 18th of February, 1994. The
12 original of the document, the next-to-the-last -- excuse me for a moment.
13 The next-to-the-last page bears your signature; is that correct, sir?
14 A. May I have just a moment, please?
15 Q. Surely.
16 A. Your Honours, it is not true that that is my signature. It is the
17 signature of my deputy, Vlado Santic. And I, as the commander of the
18 unit, had I signed it, it would have had to have said my name as
19 commander. So Vlado Santic signed this for.
20 Q. For you; correct? Sir?
21 A. Yes. Please go ahead.
22 Q. Now, just so the document is clear, the first group --
23 MR. SCOTT: Not every name was listed in the translation, because
24 simply -- Your Honours would simply be translating basically a list of
1 Q. In terms of the structure of the document, if we look at the first
2 heading on the first page of the B/C/S version, the first group, starting
3 with you being number 1, that is a list of the command group of the 4th
4 Battalion of the Military Police, is that correct, the 4th Military Police
5 Battalion Command?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. And you're then -- this document, as the Court can see when it has
8 more time, then goes through all the police, military police companies,
9 including in Kiseljak, including in Zepce, Busovaca, a number of areas.
10 Is that correct, sir?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. And directing your attention to the bottom of what would be the
13 fifth page of the B/C/S original, does that document not list the
14 bodyguards for Dario Kordic? Do you see that, sir?
15 A. That's right. I see that.
16 Q. So his five body guards were members of the 4th Battalion Military
17 Police; is that correct? That's correct, isn't it?
18 A. Yes, they were within the composition of the military police.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. They were just on the salary list.
21 Q. Well, what are you suggesting by that, because I'm not sure what
22 you're suggesting, sir. Are you saying that they were? Were they or were
23 they not a part of the 4th Battalion Military Police? They were salaried
24 by the military police, but were they taking orders and direction from
25 somebody else? Is that what you're suggesting?
1 A. Immediate protection of Mr. Kordic was the business of the 4th
2 Military Police Battalion, that is to say, they were registered with us,
3 but the assignments that they executed was the ones that Mr. Kordic
4 heard. That is to say, they were body guards to Mr. Kordic, and this was
5 probably agreed upon in the government of Herceg-Bosna somewhere.
6 So they were registered with us, but in actual fact, they were
7 with Mr. Kordic all the time as his body guards and escort.
8 Q. Before we leave that document, I was going to come back to it
9 later, but perhaps it's more efficient if we do it now. And there is on
10 that same page, in fact, above that, item number three, "AT, VOD equals
11 20." That was an anti-terrorist unit; is that correct? Or how would
12 you -- what does "AT" mean?
13 A. "AT," Your Honours, is anti-terrorist platoon.
14 Q. And does this document show that number -- item 214, that that
15 anti-terrorist platoon at this time was being commanded by Anto
17 A. May I just take a moment to look at it?
18 Q. Yes, of course.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, what's the answer to that?
20 A. Your Honour, this means that this is a list -- just a minute
21 please. There are rather a lot of facts here, factual information.
22 JUDGE MAY: But you're being referred to 214, Anto Furundzija, and
23 asked whether he was the commander. If you can say, say so; if you can't
24 say, simply say that you don't know.
25 A. I don't know. We received orders. It says here on the basis
1 of -- pursuant to the order of the Vitez area, 1994, 12th of February,
2 1994, and we supplied the facts to the Vitez military district. And this
3 is probably -- this probably refers to the list of salaries. I can't
4 quite remember now.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. Sir, didn't you in each group name -- just as you're listed number
7 one in the command group, did you not list the commander as the first in
8 each of these groups?
9 A. Your Honour, it doesn't have to mean that, and I really don't
11 MR. SCOTT: We'll move on, Your Honour. There's other
12 documentation on the point, actually.
13 Q. Sir, where were you personally and your forces, the special police
14 unit that you were the commander of, where were you engaged or assigned on
15 the 16th of April, 1993?
16 A. Your Honour, I was in Travnik, I and my unit.
17 Q. Now, sir, when you went -- when you took on this position with
18 Mr. -- excuse me, Colonel Blaskic and were given this very important
19 function of cleaning up the HVO forces, if I can put it that way, and I
20 think you didn't disagree with that before, you -- didn't he tell you,
21 wasn't one of the very things that -- a blot, if you will, on the HVO at
22 that time what had happened in Ahmici in April of 1993, and did not
23 Colonel Blaskic talk to you about that?
24 A. Your Honours, I truly don't remember us discussing Ahmici at all.
25 Q. You'd indicated earlier you had daily briefings, I think you said
1 every morning. You did testify to that in Blaskic, page 16.705. I think
2 you said so again today. You met with Mr. Sliskovic in these briefings
3 and interacted with Mr. Sliskovic. In all the history of that interaction
4 with Colonel Blaskic and the SIS commander, Mr. Sliskovic, there was never
5 a discussion, never a conversation, never a passing comment about Ahmici
6 or what had happened at Ahmici in April 1993; is that your position, sir?
7 A. Your Honours, precisely so. I had the assignment of organising
8 and ensuring the work of the military police, but at that time, I don't
9 know whether you have any documents or not about that, but the Muslim
10 units launched daily attacks upon the defence line where we were in
11 Central Bosnia so that --
12 Q. -- attacked by Muslim units. My question was whether there was
13 any -- your position is before this Chamber that there was never in the
14 history of your dealings in Central Bosnia, that Mr. Kordic -- excuse me,
15 strike that. Mr. Blaskic and Mr. Sliskovic never, never a conversation or
16 any reference to what happened at Ahmici. That's my question, and not
17 anything about Muslim attacks.
18 A. I don't remember that we ever talked about that because, Your
19 Honours, I knew exactly the assignments that I was given to execute, and I
20 went to execute those assignments, and that was the organisation of the
21 military police.
22 Q. Sir, when you met with Colonel Blaskic in early August in 1993 and
23 he told you about his vision for the military police, and you indicated
24 earlier today that he talked to you about his problems with Pasko
25 Ljubicic, didn't he tell you that one of his problems with Pasko Ljubicic
1 was what had happened in Ahmici?
2 A. Your Honours, I don't -- no, he didn't -- I don't remember. I
3 knew exactly after the meeting when Colonel Blaskic gave his vision of the
4 kind of military police he would like to see, in certain points I agreed
5 with him there. I gave my own vision and overview, and after that meeting
6 I went to realise, to implement, that. I went to the military police
7 units, and that's how it was.
8 JUDGE MAY: That's a convenient moment.
9 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: It's one o'clock. Mr. Scott, are you getting through
11 the material.
12 MR. SCOTT: Well, we are, Your Honour, but, I mean, I think -- I
13 hope the Chamber will see that it's -- well, I don't want to be
14 discourteous to the witness, Your Honour. The long answers and labourious
15 answers make it difficult to move as quickly as I had hoped to have been
16 able to move, but yes, we are making progress.
17 JUDGE MAY: How long do you anticipate being, Mr. Sayers, with
18 this witness?
19 MR. SAYERS: I would think one and a half sessions. One
20 one-and-a-half hour session plus an extra half an hour or 45 minutes, Your
22 MR. KOVACIC: Probably less than one hour, more between half hour,
23 half hour and something more.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
25 MR. KOVACIC: Based on what we have heard so far.
1 JUDGE MAY: We must get through the cross-examination by the
2 Prosecution today.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Colonel, you agree, do you not, that it would have been important,
5 given what Colonel Blaskic had asked you to do, according to your
6 testimony, it would have been important and it would have been helpful for
7 you if Mr. -- if Colonel Blaskic, excuse me, had in fact provided you more
8 information on what had happened at Ahmici, wouldn't it?
9 A. Probably that is right, Your Honours, but I didn't have any
10 information from him.
11 Q. And did you never think to ask him? Maybe he didn't volunteer it,
12 but did you never think to ask Colonel Blaskic, "What about Ahmici?"
13 A. Your Honours, I knew nothing about the situation in Ahmici. It
14 was only after the truce was signed that we heard some rumours about
15 Ahmici. But until then I was in Travnik, and we just heard that HVO units
16 in Ahmici and Muslim units had clashed and that there had been
17 casualties. That's as much as I know.
18 Q. Colonel, I'm going to move off that particular point in a moment,
19 but my point -- my question, just to be clear, my question is not what you
20 knew in April, when you were, as you say, in Travnik, but you became the
21 chief -- you became the senior military police officer for all of Central
22 Bosnia, a position you remained in for some years, during times when, I
23 will represent to you, based on the evidence, there were open and ongoing
24 investigations into Ahmici. And my question to you is: Throughout that
25 time period, neither anyone volunteered information to you, nor did you
1 ask anyone about Ahmici; is that your testimony?
2 A. I truly did not investigate Ahmici. I could not, nor did I have
3 the possibilities. As I was saying, I arrived in August 1993, and my task
4 was to organise the military police, and that is what happened. And I
5 have to remind you, Your Honours, that at the time it was impossible to do
6 anything because of the daily attacks by Muslim units on Central Bosnia.
7 So all I had in my mind was to defend the people and to save lives in
8 those days.
9 Q. You did learn at some point that the SIS and Mr. Sliskovic had
10 been asked to investigate Ahmici, didn't you? You so testified at page
11 16808 in Blaskic. Is that correct, sir?
12 A. I must repeat that I learnt this after the conflict, when the
13 truce came into effect, when we had different tasks for the military
15 Q. Sir, Mr. Sliskovic provided a report on Ahmici to Blaskic on the
16 25th of May, 1993. I take it your position is that you never saw, not
17 necessarily just in May, but at any time, at any time thereafter, you
18 never saw a copy of that report; is that your position?
19 A. That is what I'm claiming. I never saw a single report.
20 Q. And in the middle of August 1993 Colonel Blaskic sent a second
21 order to Sliskovic, asking for a further or continuing investigation into
22 Ahmici. This was after the time you had been appointed the chief of
23 military police. Were you also not aware of that order by your commanding
24 officer to Mr. Sliskovic to conduct or carry out further investigation?
25 A. Your Honours, truly I don't know. It was a long time ago, but we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 did not talk about Ahmici. My task was the organisation of the military
3 Q. Sir, were you involved in something called Operation Pauk, which I
4 understand to be in English Operation Spider?
5 A. Your Honours, the Pauk operation did involve a part of the units
6 of the 4th Military Police Battalion, or it may have been the 7th
7 Battalion at the time. I don't know.
8 Q. What was operation Pauk about?
9 A. Operation Pauk, as far as I was aware, and on the basis of the
10 orders I received from the chief of the military police administration,
11 was for certain units of the military police to be placed at the disposal
12 of that operation, that is, the command that was in charge of Pauk, and
13 that is what I did. And certain units of the military police, the
14 anti-terrorist group, was -- I placed at the disposal to the head of the
15 chief of the military police administration, following his orders.
16 Q. Sir, I am sorry that we are not sometimes communicating. My
17 question was not what of your units you assigned to the investigation. I
18 asked you what Operation Pauk was. It was an investigation, was it not,
19 by the HVO into various criminal elements, various alleged criminals,
20 within the ranks of the HVO; isn't that correct?
21 A. Your Honours, yes. From the head of the military police
22 administration, I received an order to place certain units at the disposal
23 of the pauk operation.
24 Q. And according -- as part of that pauk operation, is it not true,
25 Colonel, that Pasko Ljubicic was named in connection with that
1 investigation as having been responsible for crimes committed in Ahmici,
2 and that was in 1994, wasn't it?
3 A. I beg your pardon, he was appointed to the pauk operation as a --
4 I don't understand.
5 Q. Sir, as a result or as part of the pauk operation, the
6 investigations that were carried out in this effort to clean up criminal
7 elements within the HVO, that is part of that operation, it was determined
8 or charged or it was on the items investigated that Mr. Ljubicic was
9 responsible for crimes committed in Ahmici on the 16th of April, 1993.
10 That's correct, isn't it?
11 A. That is what you said. I don't know. I don't remember that.
12 Q. So you sent some of your units to participate in this criminal
13 investigation, but no one reported back to you. You never heard anything
14 more about the results of the investigation, or what the people
15 subordinate to you had done or what conclusions they had reached. Is that
16 your testimony?
17 A. Your Honours, I will repeat once again. I received an order from
18 the head of the military police administration to place certain units of
19 the 4th Battalion at the disposal of the main command in charge of the
20 operation, and that is what I did, and that is all that I can say.
21 I was given an order from the administration, from the chief, and
22 that is what I did. And if I had received any other orders, I would have
23 probably carried them out, but that was all that was asked of me.
24 Q. In this morning's testimony, sir, I asked you about some of the
25 criminal -- the recognised or known criminal elements in Central Bosnia in
1 the HVO, and you mentioned the Vitezovi unit and you mentioned the PPN
2 Zuti. Did you include the Jokers, the group known as the Jokers within --
3 as one of the criminal groups?
4 A. Your Honours, I don't know much about the Jokers. It was
5 primarily the Vitezovi and the unit led by Zuti.
6 Q. What did you know about the Jokers, sir? What were the Jokers, or
7 what was it that you knew or believed the Jokers to be?
8 A. Your Honours, I truly don't know much about the Jokers, very
10 Q. I'll move on. I'd like to show you, if I could, what's been
11 marked as -- excuse me -- Exhibit 1318 which has been previously admitted,
13 MR. SCOTT: If you could just put that on the ELMO. You can put
14 the English version on the ELMO, Mr. Usher, please, and hand the witness
15 the B/C/S version.
16 Q. Sir, we've come back to this exhibit, by that -- by "coming back"
17 I mean two names that we discussed earlier today. This is a report or a
18 letter from Mr. Lucic as head of the SIS to this Colonel Biskic who we
19 discussed this morning concerning Ahmici. Now, it's addressed to Colonel
20 Biskic and it says, "Security sector in the hands of Colonel M. Biskic."
21 Do you have information, can you assist the Chamber, please, with
22 what security sector was in the hands of Colonel M. Biskic?
23 Sir, in the interests of time, could you just answer my question.
24 Do you know anything about Mr. Biskic's position in the security sector,
25 as being in charge of the security sector or in his hands? Can you assist
1 us on that, please?
2 A. Your Honours, I truly heard about Biskic when I went for the first
3 time to Herzegovina to the military police administration, and this
4 occurred after the truce was signed between units of the HVO and the BiH
5 army. That was when I met for the first time Biskic who was also one of
6 the people who was in charge of the pauk operation.
7 I later learned that Biskic was in charge and assigned to that
8 task by the defence minister who was Vladimir Soljic at the time. So that
9 is all I know. I knew nothing about Biskic. He was probably the
10 minister's assistant who did what he did.
11 Q. I asked you this morning, sir, and I'll ask you again, isn't it
12 true that Mr. Biskic was part of the Croatian army military police, that
13 is, the Republic of Croatia?
14 A. Biskic was afterwards a member of the Croatian army, but at the
15 time I didn't know. How was I to know how he spent the time during the
16 war? But I do know that certain members of all services who were probably
17 in Croatia as volunteers and who had fought on the Croatian side against
18 the Serb aggression, all of them, all those members who were born in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, when Bosnia-Herzegovina was attacked, had the chance
20 to defend their country. That is as much as I know.
21 MR. SCOTT: If the witness could be shown Exhibit 2332, "The three
22 Years of Military Police." I'm sure the witness will have to see it
23 obviously in the B/C/S version.
24 I'm happy to hand you the original if it's helpful to you,
25 Mr. Usher. The first paragraph, you can put that on -- well, you can give
1 that to the witness.
2 Your Honour, I'm looking now at 2332H as one of the English
3 translated excerpts in the binder this morning, that was behind the
4 document "Three Years of Military Police."
5 Q. Who did you know Radoslav Lovric to know -- to be, excuse me, or
6 who is he?
7 A. Your Honours, I didn't know.
8 Q. You don't know this gentleman at all; is that your testimony?
9 A. No. I don't know him, even now.
10 Q. You see in this paragraph, sir, that, in the very first paragraph,
11 second sentence, very second sentence of this article, "We did use the
12 expertise of the Republic of Croatia whenever we could," this is in terms
13 of establishing the military police, "and cooperated with the leaders of
14 the military police of the Croatian army, primarily with Colonels Vlasic
15 and Biskic." I put it to you again, sir, you knew that Marijan Biskic was
16 an HV military police officer, didn't you?
17 A. No, Your Honours. Let me make myself clear. The Croatian Defence
18 Council, truly, everything that was in Croatia regarding the organisation
19 of the military police in Croatia was used in organising the military
20 police of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or the Croatian Republic
21 of Herceg-Bosna. Therefore, all the experiences and the organisational
22 structure that they had developed, we also tried to model ourselves on
23 them, that is, the HVO in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. If you would look at -- did you not know at the time, were you not
25 familiar at the time if there were regular reporting channels, mechanisms,
1 by which people in the intelligence community of the Herceg-Bosna HVO and
2 people in the military police of the HVO on a regular basis reported and
3 kept various of their, if you will, counterparts, the Republic of Croatia
4 similar agencies, regularly advised and regularly interacted with them,
5 both in the intelligence community and among the military police
6 community? Isn't that true, sir?
7 A. Your Honours, I don't know, but as I was cut off from all the
8 events in the police administration, I wish I had had the possibility to
9 exchange experiences with the British army, the French army, and the
10 American army regarding the organisation and activities of the police.
11 That would have only benefitted me.
12 Q. There was -- I'm going to suggest to you, sir, that there was an
13 office of the Croatian Information Service, that is, also called sometimes
14 HIS, the Republic of Croatia Information Service, and that during this
15 time period there was an office in Mostar, and in fact a number of these
16 intelligence reports were conveyed from the HVO side through the Mostar
17 office of the HIS to Zagreb. Now, isn't that the case, sir?
18 A. Your Honours, I don't know. I was the commander of the 4th
19 Military Police Battalion, and all my reports went to the military police
20 administration in Ljubusko, or they went to the commander of the Operative
21 Zone of Central Bosnia, in those days Colonel Blaskic, and also reports
22 went to the Security Service, headed by Blaskic's assistant, and that was
23 Anto Sliskovic. As for any other levels, I do not know anything about
25 Q. Did you at any time come to know that Anto Furundzija had been
1 involved in the attack on Ahmici? And I should say, so the record is
2 clear, on the 16th of April, 1993.
3 A. Your Honours, no, never.
4 Q. Did you come to know that another officer in the 4th Battalion of
5 the Military Police, a Mirko, not Vlado, but Mirko Cosic was involved in
6 the attack on Ahmici on the 16th --
7 JUDGE MAY: I wonder how useful this is as an exercise. We've
8 already had a number of questions. This witness has been giving evidence
9 for quite some time. You've gone through a great deal of evidence about
10 the military police.
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MAY: The short fact is that we're not assisted by this, in
13 my judgement. Can we move on?
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, we can. We'll save the rest for
15 argument, obviously.
16 Q. Final question on Ahmici, sir, and it's just to confirm your
17 testimony in Blaskic. To your knowledge, you don't know of any HVO
18 soldier, or any person, for that matter, who was ever prosecuted for
19 crimes committed in Ahmici in mid-April 1993? You have no knowledge of
20 any such prosecution or disciplinary action, do you?
21 A. Your Honours, I do not know, no.
22 Q. Going backwards in time for a moment, sir, until January and
23 February of 1993, while you were still the head of the special police unit
24 in Travnik, is it correct, sir, that on the 29th of January you sent a
25 group of 16 members of your unit to Busovaca, on the 30th of January you
1 sent an additional 20 members of your unit to Busovaca, and that these
2 members from your units stayed then in Busovaca until approximately 7
3 February 1993? Is that correct?
4 A. Your Honours, no, it is not correct that I sent the unit. With
5 the late Jozo Leutar, I, on one Saturday or Sunday -- I don't remember
6 exactly which now -- when the Muslim units attacked the Croatian
7 checkpoint at Kacuni and when they carried out the massacre there, I
8 managed to escape death by five seconds, together with the late Jozo
9 Leutar, Vinko Letica and Puljic. We went to Puljic's place in Kiseljak.
10 He invited us over for lunch.
11 Q. Your Honour, this is not --
12 A. And I --
13 JUDGE MAY: Let him tell the story. Yes.
14 A. And as I say, I escaped death by five seconds, because they were
15 already stopping us. The Muslim policemen had already started to stop
16 us. I came to Kiseljak, and straight away we learnt that the Muslim
17 forces had attacked the Croats and that they had killed some people. I
18 stayed in Kiseljak for 17 or 19 days, with no possibility of going through
19 towards Central Bosnia, or rather towards Travnik. I remember that after
20 17 or 19 days the head of the police station from Travnik arrived -- his
21 name was Asim Fazlic -- and some others from the State Security Service,
22 as it was called at the time, from Zenica, in fact. And via the -- I
23 think a point at Crveno Brdce or whatever. It was the point in -- spot in
24 Kiseljak. They personally came to get us and they transported us to
25 Travnik via Visoko and Zenica.
1 JUDGE MAY: The question was: Did any members of your unit go to
3 A. During that time, I don't know, but I do know that when I returned
4 and when the all-out attack started by the Muslim forces on Busovaca, that
5 a group went -- did go to Busovaca, but not under my command, because I
6 wasn't then -- that is to say, to man the defence lines at Busovaca.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. I suggest to you, sir, that you wrote a report --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. I suggest to you, sir, that you wrote a report about this and the
12 fact that these troops were sent, but again I won't quarrel with you
13 further about that.
14 Did you come to know after the time that you were appointed chief
15 of military police in Central Bosnia that there had been an incident on
16 the 18th of April in Stari Vitez concerning a truck bomb? Did that come
17 to your attention? It's a matter that anyone suggested that perhaps
18 should be investigated or some disciplinary action taken?
19 A. Your Honours, I do know, but nothing was suggested to me, because,
20 as I say, there was an all-out attack by the Muslims in the area of
21 Central Bosnia, and everything was subordinated to the defence.
22 Q. Are you familiar with the fact, sir, I'll represent to you, that
23 witnesses such as Franjo Nakic have agreed that the truck bomb incident
24 was an act of terrorism, it was a war crime; and I'm going to ask you
25 again, during the time after you were appointed the commander of the 4th
1 Battalion Military Police, did Colonel Blaskic ever ask you to make an
2 investigation into that?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And in fact, you testified in Blaskic, sir, isn't it correct, that
5 after your appointment as commander of the 4th Battalion Military Police,
6 no HVO crimes against Muslims were reported to you. At no time after
7 approximately the 1st of August, 1993, it's your testimony that no HVO
8 crimes against Muslims, not a single alleged crime, was ever reported to
9 you? And I'm referring you to page 16.786, 87, of your testimony. It's
10 what you said, isn't it, sir?
11 A. It is, Your Honours. When I came to hear the head of the 4th
12 Military Police Battalion, since then when I -- I don't know any cases of
13 that kind.
14 MR. SCOTT: The Chamber has the Blaskic testimony.
15 Sir, in terms of Grbavica, in terms of the HVO against Grbavica in
16 September 1993, do you recall after that incident that it was brought --
17 it was learned that there were HVO forces from the 3rd Light Assault
18 Battalion playing football with Muslim heads in Busovaca after that attack
19 on Grbavica? Did that ever come to your attention?
20 A. Your Honours -- it's all right.
21 Your Honours, it's not "grabovica", it's "Grbavica," as far as I
22 know, and it was a military operation of the HV [As interpreted]. That
23 they played football with heads I don't know that. This is the first time
24 that I've heard about it.
25 Q. Sir, in the Blaskic case you were asked about that Grbavica
1 action, what had happened there. You indicated that you had no reason to
2 quarrel with the account of the fact that there was burning and looting of
3 Muslim houses there. You testified that you were surprised by that
4 action. I put it to you, sir, you were surprised because by that time,
5 perhaps, you had hoped that that sort of conduct would not take place any
6 more. But nonetheless, you testified that you were surprised by what
7 happened there. Isn't that true, sir? And you -- well, sorry. Can you
8 answer that question?
9 A. Your Honours, I repeat, and let me state again, as far as the
10 action, the Grbavica action is concerned, I, as the commander of the
11 military police, was surprised. I didn't know about it, either. Taking
12 part were forces of some special units, the PPNs. They took part at
13 Grbavica. And Grbavica ended the way it did, the way it ended, which
14 means that the HVO units after taking Grbavica moved towards the defence
15 line, that is to say, up towards Sadovace, and took positions -- took the
16 defence lines, took up the defence lines. The units of the military
17 police did not take part at Grbavica, and that is why I say I have no
18 knowledge of the action.
19 Q. And you understood, sir, that the 3rd Light Assault Battalion
20 which had been formed out of military police and the Vitezovi special unit
21 were involved in that action, didn't you? You understood that, and you so
22 testified in the Blaskic case. Is that correct, sir?
23 A. Well, I did testify, and they did take part. But --
24 Q. And did it not come to your attention -- let me -- please, let me
25 ask my question. And you're saying, you're telling us that this incident
1 about the Muslim heads being used in Busovaca as footballs never came --
2 that incident, nothing about that came to your attention. No complaint
3 was made to you, you were not required -- were you not asked to
4 investigate anything, you simply didn't know anything about it?
5 A. Your Honours, I know nothing, truly, and this is the first time
6 that I hear that some heads were involved in some game.
7 Q. Did you learn in October 1993, sir, that three captured ABiH
8 soldiers were used as human shields. They were strapped with mines and
9 sent walking towards the ABiH side. The mines that were strapped to them
10 were then detonated by HVO soldiers, obviously killing them.
11 Did you hear about that incident, and did anyone ask the military
12 police to investigate whether military disciplinary rules or crimes had
13 been committed -- rules violated or crimes committed on that occasion?
14 A. Your Honours, I did not hear about that, and I do not know about
15 that. This is -- I have just learnt about it, so I cannot say yes or no.
16 The truth is, I didn't know about it.
17 Q. You testified earlier today, sir, that your area of responsibility
18 in the 4th Battalion military Police included Kiseljak and Vares, did it
20 A. It did, yes.
21 Q. Were you ever asked to investigate alleged crimes or atrocities
22 committed at Stupni Do on the 23rd of October, 1993?
23 A. Your Honours, I met the commander for the first time, the
24 commander of the company in Kiseljak when the truce was signed between the
25 HV units and the Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
1 THE INTERPRETER: HVO units, I apologise.
2 A. The second company of the military police of Kiseljak was in the
3 operative group, that is to say, under the command of the operative group,
4 because it was impossible to communicate with the battalion under the
5 command of Ivica Rajic.
6 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, just to correct errors in the
7 transcript, page 76 line 3 and page 78 line 5, the witness said "HVO" but
8 it's transcribed as "HV." In context, I think it's absolutely obvious,
9 but I just want to make sure that the record is clear.
10 MR. SCOTT: I'm sure that's correct, Your Honour.
11 Q. Sir, whatever it is -- whenever it was you met any officer
12 attached to or as part of the Kiseljak unit, my question to you was
13 simply, did any of your superiors, whether it was considered to be Colonel
14 Blaskic at the time or anyone in Mostar or anyone, following the events in
15 Stupni Do come to you as the head of the 4th Battalion Military Police and
16 ask or inquire or suggest that an investigation be carried out into what
17 happened at Stupni Do? That's my only question, and you can simply -- I'm
18 sure you can answer that "yes" or "no." They either did or they didn't.
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you ever have -- did you have any dealings with Ivica Bandic
21 at that time? Did you know him to be in your area of responsibility
22 conducting an investigation into Stupni Do?
23 A. Your Honours, no, never.
24 MR. SCOTT: I've cut out a tremendous number of documents, Your
25 Honour, but on this one I would ask that the witness be shown and the
1 Chamber briefly look at Exhibit 1315, Z1315, which has been previously
3 Q. Directing your attention to and the Chamber's attention to the
4 last page, the third page of that document, an item that's -- the
5 paragraph immediately above "Assessment," the ECMM noted around this time,
6 the 22nd, I believe it's the 22nd of November, that while in the HVO
7 Kiseljak D3, met a security officer from Mostar, Ivan Bandic, who was
8 investigating the Stupni Do massacre and other alleged HVO war crimes.
9 You didn't know anything about, sir, Mr. Bandic operating in your
10 area or conducting an investigation of war crimes in your area; is that
12 A. That is truly correct. I did not know.
13 MR. SCOTT: Getting toward -- I can tell the Chamber that we're
14 getting toward the end.
15 Q. Coming back to Mr. Ljubicic, sir, you have suggested that it was
16 Colonel Blaskic's desire to essentially remove him, that he wanted certain
17 improvements or actions to be taken in the military police; but the
18 reality is, sir, that not only did Mr. Ljubicic stay in the area, that is,
19 Central Bosnia, but in fact he was promoted to superior positions, wasn't
20 he? In fact, he continued to be your superior, didn't he?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And as part of this reorganisation that we talked about this
23 morning, Mr. Ljubicic became the assistant chief of the military police
24 for all of Central Bosnia, and under him he had both the 4th Battalion
25 Military Police headed by you and your Deputy Commander, Vlado Santic, and
1 he also had under his control 3rd Light Assault Battalion formed out of
2 the military police under the command of Vlado Cosic, didn't he? Is that
3 correct sir?
4 A. What's the question? I apologise.
5 Q. Is that correct? Is it correct, sir, that as part of this
6 reorganisation, and we saw an order from Mr. Coric [sic] this morning,
7 there was the military police, the 4th -- what then became the 7th
8 Battalion military police, and the 3rd Light Assault Battalion. Both
9 those organisations were under the command of Pasko Ljubicic who in fact
10 was promoted to a position superior to the position, according to you, he
11 had just been kicked out of by Colonel Blaskic. Isn't that true, sir?
12 A. Your Honours, I didn't say that Pasko was replaced. I came to
13 assume the -- instead of Pasko, and the head of the administration of the
14 military police gave the order that with -- in view of the impossibility,
15 that is to say, in view of the fact that certain regions in Herceg-Bosna
16 were cut off and that they were not linked up, he appointed not only Pasko
17 Ljubicic as assistant head, but also the head of the administration of the
18 police for all these areas, for Herzegovina and for the territory of
19 Central Bosnia, and in Posavina he appointed one assistant who would be
20 directly in charge and responsible for all the units of the military
22 Q. And as part of that, sir, the 3rd Light Assault Battalion was
23 commanded by Vlado Cosic; is that correct?
24 A. I truly did not know at the beginning about the 3rd Light Assault,
25 but yes, Vlado Cosic did command it. And the main person responsible with
1 respect to the 3rd Light Assault was Pasko Ljubicic, as far as I know.
2 Q. Sir, in Blaskic at page 16.762, you testified that Vlado Cosic was
3 the commander, and that Anto Furundzija, as you just said, was also in the
4 3rd Light Assault Battalion, that Vlado Cosic was the commander, and that
5 you knew him to be the commander of the Jokers. Isn't that true?
6 A. Your Honours, I truly do not know who the commander of the Jokers
7 was, but I do know that Furundzija was a lower commander in the 3rd Light
8 Assault Battalion.
9 Q. Sir, did you not testify at page 16.762 that Vlado Cosic was the
10 commander of the Jokers, and at 16.719, that the 3rd Light Assault
11 Battalion was in fact formed out of a substantial part of what had
12 formerly been known as the Jokers? If you don't recall your testimony,
13 sir, you don't, and the Chamber has the transcript. We can move on.
14 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I would respectfully invite the
15 Court's attention to the question that was actually asked on page 16.761.
16 It was a little bit of an ambiguous question, but the Colonel was asked
17 whether Furundzija, who was the head of the Jokers, was also head of the
18 3rd Light Assault Battalion, and his answer was the answer to that
20 MR. SCOTT: The Court has the transcript and I --
21 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we're going to be helped by this.
22 Mr. Scott, if you could wind up in a few minutes, we will then get on to
23 the Defence, which would be helpful.
24 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. Two exhibits, Your Honours,
25 please, Exhibit 1245.4 and 1152.4, which I'll ask the usher to put in
1 front of the witness and also distribute, I suppose. I'll handle them
2 very quickly, simply point the witness's and the Chamber's attention to
4 Q. If I can direct you first, sir, to Exhibit 1245.4. This is a
5 report apparently by someone from the 2nd Battalion of the -- the
6 commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Vitez Brigade, on the 13th of
7 October, 1993, complaining about the commander of the Jokers special
8 purpose unit, Anto Furundzija, taking somebody's car. Do you see that,
10 A. I see it.
11 Q. And you will recall, sir -- in the interests of time, I won't pull
12 it out unless we absolutely have to, but when I showed you the list of the
13 personnel of the 4th Battalion of the Military Police before lunch and we
14 got to the section about the anti-terrorist unit, and you said you
15 couldn't tell from looking at that whether Mr. Furundzija was the
16 commander or not. Sir, this document, according to -- at least according
17 to the commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Vitez Brigade, he knew; in
18 fact, consistent with your report and consistent with the fact that Mr.
19 Furundzija was listed first, Mr. Furundzija was the commander of that
20 unit, wasn't he?
21 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Scott -- Mr. Scott, I think we've really
22 had a very great deal of this sort of argument. The witness -- we can
23 read the document. This is really all argument and trying to argue with
24 the witness, and I'm not sure if it assists us at all. But we see what's
25 in the document.
1 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MAY: Now, what's the point about the other one?
3 MR. SCOTT: The same, Your Honour. Simply that even at this
4 late -- even in August 1993, Mr. Ljubicic is being either referred to as
5 or associated with the command of the Jokers unit. And the argument, and
6 the position, Your Honour, is because to show that in fact the Jokers were
7 alive and well, and contrary to being cleaned out and contrary to Mr.
8 Ljubicic being disciplined or removed from these positions, he continued
9 to have -- to be in charge of all these units. That's our position, Your
10 Honour, and I'll move on.
11 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President if I might just make a comment about
12 Exhibit Z1152.4. I don't know, but it looks like the name of Mr. Pasko
13 Ljubicic has been added in different typeface on the Croatian original.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
15 MR. SCOTT: Final set of questions, Your Honour. I'll be done
16 before 4.00, with any assistance from the witness.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. If I may, in
18 connection with this document, may I say something?
19 JUDGE MAY: Very briefly.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I learnt about this, and
21 you can check with the prosecutor's office in Vitez. On the basis of this
22 I filed a criminal report against Anto Furundzija, or rather my crime
23 service did. He came for an interview, he made a statement, and a
24 criminal report was filed. I'm not quite sure what kind, but in any
25 event, he was sanctioned for this precisely by the 4th Military Police
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel. So the battalion could exercise military
5 discipline when it chose to.
6 Did you have any dealings with Mr. Sliskovic after he left Central
7 Bosnia, or after -- and became, took on a position as the chief of some
8 intelligence service in Mostar called the Central Department for
9 Intelligence Security Affairs? You told us today you had active dealings
10 with Mr. Sliskovic. Did you continue to interact with him after he was
11 moved to an intelligence position in Mostar?
12 A. Your Honours, truly, when Anto Sliskovic left the area of Central
13 Bosnia I had no contact with him, nor do I have any contact now, nor do I
14 know what he's doing, nor where he was.
15 Q. Based on that answer, sir, I'll combine several questions into
16 one. Just to be clear, then, you're saying you have had no contact with
17 Mr. Sliskovic at any time since what, 1996, 1997?
18 A. From the moment when he was suspected of war crimes.
19 Q. And when was that, sir?
20 A. How do I know? A year ago or something. I had no contact with
22 Q. You had contact with him sometime prior to a year ago, well after
23 the events in Central Bosnia that are the subject of this case; is that
24 what you're telling us?
25 A. We were all the time we could see each other, we could have
1 coffee. In 1997 I went to Sarajevo, and we saw each other very rarely,
2 maybe once a month, twice a month, or maybe not at all. As a man who was
3 with me in the war, and normally when we see one another, we would have
4 coffee and discuss everyday issues.
5 Q. Well, how did you learn that he was suspected of war crimes? What
6 information came to your attention about that?
7 MR. SCOTT: I do have a reason for opening that door, Your Honour,
8 if the Court will just give me a couple of questions.
9 Q. How did that come to your attention?
10 A. I learnt it from the media, the press.
11 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I just wonder about the relevance of
12 this line of questions. I know that there's a pending case against
13 Mr. Sliskovic in the Croatian national courts, and these questions appear
14 to be more directed towards that than any issue involved in this case.
15 JUDGE MAY: Look, let us just get on with it. Yes.
16 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Forgive me, Mr. President.
17 Your Honour, the reason for asking the next question -- it will only be
18 one or two questions -- is because again it is the position of the
19 Prosecution that there is and has been a connection, a strong connection,
20 between the intelligence communities, the military police forces of
21 Herceg-Bosna and the HVO and the Republic of Croatia. And my next
22 question --
23 JUDGE MAY: If it's about the Republic of Croatia, we've had more
24 than enough evidence on that topic.
25 MR. SCOTT: If the Court will allow me one question.
1 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of it?
2 MR. SCOTT: The relevance is that relationship, Your Honour, in
3 terms of Mr. Sliskovic being removed out of Central Bosnia by the Croatian
4 SIS --
5 JUDGE MAY: Do you know anything about the removal of --
6 MR. SCOTT: That's what I was going to ask.
7 JUDGE MAY: Do you know anything about the removal of
8 Mr. Sliskovic?
9 A. Your Honours, I know nothing about it.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's move on.
11 MR. SCOTT: That was exactly my question, Your Honour.
12 Q. Sir, do you -- just to sum up, on several of these people that
13 we've talked about today, isn't it the fact that Mr. Ljubicic, in fact,
14 after June of 1993, was twice promoted, became first the assistant chief
15 of military police for all of Central Bosnia; then in November of 1993 he
16 was promoted again, became the deputy of all military police for all
17 Herceg-Bosna, the deputy chief, in Mostar? Is that true? In fact, in all
18 those positions he continued to be your superior, didn't he? Just "yes"
19 or "no": Was he promoted to those two positions?
20 A. Yes, he was promoted, but my commander was the chief of the
21 administration of the military police, and there weren't many of them.
22 Valentin Coric, Frano Primorac, after that came Zdenko -- no, no, I'm
23 sorry. Valentin Coric, then came Zeljko Siljeg. He's now a general.
24 After Siljeg came Frano Primorac, and the last commander was Zdenko
1 Q. Thank you, sir.
2 A. I was within their chain of command.
3 Q. I won't argue with you further about that, sir. It's true, is it
4 not, that Zarko Andric, otherwise known as Zuti, was also promoted, in
5 fact promoted by Colonel Blaskic himself on the 4th of July?
6 MR. SCOTT: I ask the witness to be shown Exhibit 2138.1 -- excuse
7 me -- 1138.1, which has been previously admitted. 1138.1. My mistake,
8 Your Honour. I apologise.
9 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that that is the same Zuti that you've told us
10 today and testified also in the Blaskic case was one of the criminal
11 leaders, if you will, in the HVO, and yet here he is being promoted? Did
12 you know that at the time and did you express any view to the people
13 around you at the time about the promotion of Zuti?
14 A. Your Honours, it is correct that this refers to Zarko Andric, also
15 known as Zuti, who had and still has his criminals to this day. I know
16 that at the time that Zuti and Darko Kraljevic did act on their own
17 initiative, and I assume to calm things down and in view of the general
18 blockade by the Croats -- of the Croats by Muslim units, Colonel Blaskic
19 appointed Zuti probably to calm him down or to win him over to his side.
20 But I can tell you with full responsibility, it says here that the
21 appointment is to the command of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.
22 Zuti never spent a single day in the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, nor
23 did he have his office in the headquarters of the Operative Zone.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That's enough on that topic.
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. My last question is -- my last
1 document is Exhibit 1075.1, which has also been previously admitted. It
2 should be in the same bundle if they were -- I'm sorry. Here it is.
4 Q. Is it not the case, sir, that this Darko Kraljevic, on the 18th of
5 June, 1993, or around this same time, was promoted as deputy chief of the
6 Central Bosnia SIS?
7 MR. SAYERS: I just object to the form of that question, Your
8 Honour. It actually says "deputy chief of the SIS centre," and I think
9 that the witness testimony establishes that "SIS" and the "SIS centre," as
10 envisaged by Judge Bennouna's questions, are two completely different
12 MR. SCOTT: The document is in front of everyone, Your Honour,
13 simply. It didn't suggest otherwise, nor I'm not sure that the witness
14 did say they were two separate things. I'm not sure he ever answered that
15 question this morning.
16 Q. Do you know anything about the Central Bosnia SIS centre, to
17 follow up on counsel's question?
18 JUDGE MAY: Come on. Let's get on with this. Do you know
19 anything about this at all? If you don't, just say "no."
20 A. Your Honours, I don't know anything about this. This is for me
21 null and void, believe me.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
23 A. It's quite insignificant.
24 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
1 MR. SAYERS: Mr. Usher, I wonder if you could just move the ELMO
2 so I can see the colonel. Thank you.
3 Mr. President, I'd just like to pass out a bundle of exhibits that
4 I have, eight separate documents that I may refer to during the course of
5 this witness's testimony, and we also have copies for the translators if
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
8 Q. Colonel, the one question that you weren't asked by the
9 Prosecution today was this: Did you ever, as commander of the 4th
10 Battalion of Military Police, later the 7th Battalion and then which
11 reverted to the 4th Battalion again, did you ever take any orders,
12 directions, or instructions from Dario Kordic, ever?
13 A. Your Honours, no, never.
14 Q. A witness was testifying yesterday, Colonel Palavra, and one of
15 the members of the Trial Chamber asked the witness whether, regardless of
16 titles, formalities, organograms, things of that sort, whether, in
17 reality, on the ground, de facto, Mr. Kordic was exercising military power
18 and influence over units in Central Bosnia. Now, you were the commander
19 of the military police from August 1st, 1993 until the signature of the
20 Washington Agreement, and well after that. Can you tell us all in this
21 Court: Did Dario Kordic ever try to exert military influence over the
22 soldiers under your -- the military policemen under your command or the
23 soldiers under Colonel Blaskic's command, to your knowledge?
24 A. Your Honours, as far as the 4th Police Battalion is concerned, he
25 absolutely never did, as far as the 4th Military Police Battalion is
1 concerned. And I really don't know about other units, but there were the
2 unit commanders, and I don't believe that he would go down to such a level
3 to give orders to units when there are commanders of brigades and the
4 commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. Therefore, I do
5 not -- he didn't give me orders, and I don't know that he did to others.
6 I am speaking in my own name and in the name of my unit, so he never
7 commanded me.
8 Q. Now, initially, when the war -- when the conflict broke out in
9 your country in April of 1992, sir, you took your orders from Ivica
10 Stojak, who was the commander of the HVO municipal staff in Travnik; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. And during that period of time you never received any
14 instructions, directives, or orders from Mr. Kordic, did you, when you
15 were with the military police administration at the very earliest time, in
16 April, I think, to September of 1992?
17 A. Your Honours, I could not have received orders, because the
18 special purpose unit was under the chief of the police administration and
19 Ivo Rezo, who was in command of that unit, through me.
20 Q. And then you transferred over to become commander of a special
21 purpose unit in Travnik -- you've told us that -- until the offensive
22 launched by the ABiH in June of 1993, when you came back -- when you came
23 to Vitez. From September of 1992 to June of 1993, sir, did you ever
24 receive any instructions, any directives or orders from Mr. Kordic
25 directed to you as the commander of a special purpose unit, ever?
1 A. No, Your Honours, never, because Mr. Kordic, he was a much higher
2 level. I may have seen him five times in my whole life.
3 MR. SAYERS: All right.
4 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers, I would like to ask
5 Colonel Palavra what he means by telling us just now that Mr. Kordic was
6 of a higher level.
7 Colonel, what do you mean by that? Could you explain that,
9 A. I can, Your Honour. As far as I know, in those days Mr. Kordic
10 was engaged in political affairs. He was a politician, and I was in the
11 army; therefore, I had no contact with him whatsoever, nor did I receive
12 any orders.
13 Well, now, the commander of the operative zone of Central Bosnia,
14 Colonel Blaskic, and Mr. Kordic probably did meet and probably they did
15 make certain suggestions. They led the people. Blaskic led them as
16 regards the army and Mr. Kordic as regards civilian things and civilian
18 So I could not have any contact. My chief might have. I could
19 through my chief, the chief of the police administration, Ivo Rezo, if I
20 wanted to express an opinion, then I could have done it through him, for
21 him to contact Kordic to deal with certain matters, but I could not have
22 had any meetings with him directly.
23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 MR. SAYERS:
25 Q. Just to end up on this, then, sir, as far as you know, speaking
1 with personal experience, initially as the commander of military police,
2 then as a commander of a special purpose unit, and ultimately as commander
3 of the military police again, throughout the wartime period, from April of
4 1992 until the signature of the Washington agreement in 1994, it's a fact,
5 is it not, and I'll suggest to you that it is a fact, that Mr. Kordic
6 issued no instructions, orders, and in fact had no power or authority over
7 the military police or any of its component special units. Would you
8 agree with that?
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm going to object to that --
11 JUDGE MAY: Of course he can answer the question. Yes, answer the
13 A. Your Honours, I never received a single order.
14 MR. SAYERS:
15 Q. And as far as you know, sir, Mr. Kordic had no authority
16 whatsoever over the military police or any of its component units; isn't
17 that correct?
18 A. As far as I know. If somebody knows something else, I don't know
19 anything more than that.
20 Q. The fact of the matter is, Colonel, that you took your orders from
21 your superior commander who, on August the 1st, was Colonel Blaskic, and
22 he remained your superior commander throughout your time as head of the
23 4th Battalion of military police, correct; that is, until the signature of
24 the Washington agreement?
25 A. Yes, that is quite so.
1 Q. And then after that, sir, once communications with the
2 headquarters of the military police were reestablished in Ljubuski or
3 Posusje, I think, then you took your orders from the head of the police
4 administration in Posusje who I believe was initially, at least, Valentin
6 A. No. It was Zeljko Siljeg who is now a General.
7 Q. But even after the signature of the Washington agreement,
8 Mr. Kordic, would it be fair to say, assumed no role whatsoever in the
9 administration of the affairs of the military police or the conduct of the
10 operations of the military police, as far as you know?
11 A. No, of course not. He had nothing to do with the running of
12 units, any units, including the military police.
13 Q. Now, you said, sir, that you were appointed on a temporary basis
14 by Colonel Blaskic to your position as commander of the 4th Battalion of
15 military police, but it's true that that temporary appointment by Colonel
16 Blaskic was later confirmed and made permanent by the chief of military
17 police, Valentin Coric; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. Now, you have told the Trial Chamber and you told the Blaskic
20 Trial Chamber about the conversations that you had with your commander,
21 Colonel Blaskic, concerning the reorganisation and operations of the
22 military police and the way in which that should be effectuated. Did you
23 ever have any discussions with Mr. Kordic along those lines at any time,
25 A. No, never, Your Honours.
1 Q. Throughout the time that you were commander of the 4th Battalion
2 of military police, sir -- and I'll just use 4th Battalion as useful
3 shorthand to include the 7th Battalion when it was known as that as well
4 -- would it be fair to say that you were completely cut off from
5 Kiseljak, and you were not even able to travel to Kiseljak, from August of
6 1993 until the signature of the Washington agreement in March of 1994?
7 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat that question, or rather, the period
8 you're referring to?
9 Q. Yes. If you just focus on the time that you were the commander of
10 the 4th Battalion of military police, August of 1993 to March of 1994 when
11 the Washington agreement was signed, you couldn't even travel to Kiseljak,
12 and you never did, did you, sir?
13 A. Your Honours, that is precisely how it was because after the
14 signing of the agreement between the HVO and the BiH army and the
15 cessation of hostilities, I obtained a special permit signed by the
16 commander in those days of the Muslim units, Alagic, so he gave me special
17 permission to be able to move around the areas under the control of the
18 BiH army.
19 And from our side, two such special permits were issued and signed
20 in those days by Colonel Blaskic, that is, freedom of passage of certain
21 officers who could travel to their units. And I still have that permit
22 here in The Hague in my hotel room.
23 So I had no contact with the military police until the cease-fire
24 was signed.
25 Q. The permits you've just described, the free passage permits signed
1 by General Alagic, were issued to you after the Washington agreement, I
2 take it, sir?
3 A. Yes. We received them after the agreement was signed because in
4 those days, no one dared go to the other side. I remember that I was the
5 first to cross into areas under Muslim control from Kacuni to Bilalovac.
6 Actually, before me, General Filipovic passed and I followed him
7 immediately, because in those days, even with a permit, both sides were
8 afraid to cross into the other side's territory without escort or the
9 military police, either our own police or that of the BiH army.
10 Q. And what you've just said of Kiseljak, Colonel, is true of Zepce,
11 too: You could not travel to Zepce which was a completely encircled and
12 isolated enclave, from the time that you assumed your command until the
13 signature of the Washington agreement. Would that be fair to say?
14 A. Yes, just so.
15 Q. And you yourself didn't even know the commanders, the HVO
16 commanders in those two enclaves, Ivo Lozancic in Zepce and Ivica Rajic in
18 A. No, I didn't know them. It was only after the agreement was
19 signed and after I went to the military police units of the second company
20 in Kiseljak and the third company in Zepce did I meet some of the members
21 of the command, or rather, with my assistant I went to the areas of
22 Kiseljak and Zepce. And then I contacted the commanders announcing my
23 arrival to Rajic and Lozancic that I was coming to familiarise myself in
24 person with the situation in my second and third companies, and that is
25 when I saw them for the first time.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. And picking up on one of the questions that you
2 were asked this afternoon about Stupni Do, you couldn't get to Vares
3 yourself at any time during the August the 1st, 1993, to March the 31st,
4 1994, time frame, could you?
5 A. I couldn't. Not just I, no one could.
6 Q. Right. And as far as you know, the military police couldn't
7 identify any of the eyewitnesses to the Stupni Do incident on the 23rd of
8 October, 1993, because one week later, the ABiH established full military
9 control over the entire Vares area, and obviously witnesses were
10 unavailable to interview; isn't that fair to say?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Just two final questions before the -- before we break for the
14 You were asked some questions about the HIS, the Croatian
15 intelligence service. I only have one question for you on that. That was
16 actually founded in 1995, wasn't it, Colonel?
17 A. Believe me, I don't know.
18 Q. Very well. And the final question for you today, it's true, is it
19 not, that you actually had people of Muslim ethnicity in the military
20 police amongst the soldiers, the military policemen under your command?
21 A. Your Honours, that is correct, and I said that in my testimony in
22 Blaskic. In fact, one of the best men in the unit, the best military
23 policeman who had all the commendations and credits.
24 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE MAY: If that's a convenient moment, we'll adjourn.
1 Mr. Sayers, was there some matter you wanted to raise, or can
2 it --
3 MR. SAYERS: There was, Your Honour. I need about five minutes,
4 if we could just let the witness go. Maybe shorter than that.
5 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Palavra, that concludes your evidence for
6 today. Would you come back tomorrow morning, please, at half past nine to
7 finish it off.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour. My assistant reminds me that
11 we should get an exhibit number for the package that we distributed.
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The document will be numbered
14 MR. SAYERS: The matters that I need to raise today, Your Honour,
15 are these. First, the protective order regarding the Court witness who
16 testified here yesterday restricts access -- it's the same one that was
17 initially entered with respect to Witness AA -- it restricts access just
18 to Mr. Naumovski and myself. Witness AA's protective order was modified
19 to permit disclosure of the testimony to the two -- four people on our
20 team, people that are working on the brief. I wonder if we could --
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's extended.
22 MR. SAYERS: I'm obliged, Your Honour.
23 Secondly, I wonder if -- I was a little optimistic when I said we
24 could get our rejoinder papers in on Friday. Given the quantity of
25 material that's being flowing in here and the necessity of evaluating it,
1 I wonder if we could just ask for a one-week extension within which to
2 present our rejoinder exhibit list. I think we can identify witnesses,
3 but we just need a little bit more time to go over the exhibits.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
6 And the third, the third issue concerns the three combat orders
7 that were introduced into evidence yesterday. We may have to go into
8 closed session for that, Your Honour, but you asked us where they came
9 from. I've made inquiries and I now know where they came from, and there
10 is an ancillary issue that needs to be raised with respect to them.
11 JUDGE MAY: I wonder if it would be better to deal with that
12 tomorrow when we go into closed session anyway to deal with one or two
13 matters --
14 MR. SAYERS: That's fine.
15 JUDGE MAY: -- if you would keep that until then.
16 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. KOVACIC: I'm only asking for a brief explanation. You just
19 granted prolongation of the term for rejoinder. We were not planning to
20 ask for that, but I understand that that benefit would also be for this
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn till half past nine.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4:03 p.m., to
24 be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of November,
25 2000, at 9:30 a.m.