1 Monday, 12th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your
7 Honours. This is case number IT-95-14/2-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 WITNESS: WITNESS J (Resumed)
10 Examined by Mr. Scott:
11 [Witness testified through Interpreter]
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. For
13 Court and counsel, we were up to, by my note, paragraph
14 54 of the outline.
15 Q. Witness J, we had worked our way up into
16 essentially a chronological point of the story, to
17 January of 1993, and I would like to spend a few
18 minutes on that, please.
19 Would it be your testimony today, sir, that
20 in January 1993, the Muslims in Busovaca could not move
21 around but the only people or forces which essentially
22 had freedom of movement was the HVO police and
24 A. Yes, correct. Though some of us could move a
25 little, we sought not to be seen by them. But as soon
1 as there was one, two, or three men together, it was
2 impossible. It was prohibited.
3 Q. Directing your attention to the night of the
4 21st of January, 1993. Is it correct that Mirsad
5 Delija was killed when HVO soldiers knocked on his
6 door, and when Delija went out on the balcony to see
7 who was knocking, he was shot and killed or perhaps
8 subsequently died from those wounds?
9 A. That is right. He was killed immediately.
10 Q. Now, on that same evening, is it correct that
11 you were home with your family in your house in
12 Busovaca watching television around 10.15, you heard
13 footsteps outside your home, and then there was a
14 strong explosion that shattered a large window in your
15 living room, and about the time that you and your
16 family were trying to escape from the house, the front
17 door was broken in by people who identified themselves
18 as HVO police?
19 A. Yes, that was exactly how it was.
20 Q. Did these HVO police officers fire shots into
21 your house? Is that correct?
22 A. Yes. [No interpretation]
23 Q. Is it also correct, Witness J, that in the
24 process of leaving the house, you were able to fire
25 some shots from a weapon back, and that you and your
1 family were able to escape and spent the night in some
2 surrounding woods?
3 A. Exactly so.
4 Q. Now, later on during that same evening, is it
5 correct, Witness J, that while you could not identify
6 the particular individuals doing the looting and you
7 could not see the patches or insignia, you did see that
8 they were wearing camouflage uniforms, and by their
9 statements among themselves, identified themselves as
10 HVO military police?
11 A. Yes, it is true that I couldn't see, but I
12 was able to gather that from their cries and shouts,
13 "This is the HVO police. Open up." And then they
14 started shooting.
15 Q. During that same time, is it correct that
16 they stole a number of items from your house, including
17 your Volkswagen Golf car and various household
19 A. Yes. They, in fact, took everything. They
20 moved me out. There was nothing left.
21 Q. Now, later that same night, at about 3.00 in
22 the morning on what actually would have been then the
23 22nd of January, 1993, is it correct that you saw three
24 men in uniform again come to your house in what you
25 believe was probably a black Mercedes and also entered
1 the house and, to your observation, took items from the
3 A. Yes, yes, about 3.00. That is what they
4 did. They probably picked up what little was left.
5 Q. And then later on the morning of the 22nd of
6 January, you were able to return to your house and then
7 see firsthand that essentially all of your property had
8 been stolen; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. On the 23rd of January, was this same house
11 of yours riddled with gunfire?
12 A. It was. It was riddled with bullets from a
13 distance of about 20 or 30 metres from the road. It
14 was clearly visible where the shots were coming from
15 because there were casings on the ground.
16 Q. Later during the night of the 22nd or 23rd of
17 January, were you able to see other HVO looting going
18 on in the town of Busovaca?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On the same night -- excuse me, I'm sorry --
21 did the HVO blow up two coffee shops in Busovaca?
22 A. They did. They blew up two coffee shops, and
23 the next night, there were more and more planted mines,
24 so that the nights were very difficult to live
25 through. The days were, after all, a little easier.
1 Q. Now, I direct your attention to the night of
2 the 23rd and 24th of January, 1993. Did something
3 happen to your house on that night?
4 A. Yes. It was set on fire. Explosives were
5 placed, there was a strong explosion, and it burned
6 down very quickly.
7 Q. Is it correct, sir, that this was the first
8 Muslim house destroyed in Busovaca?
9 A. The first Muslim house in the town of
10 Busovaca, yes.
11 Q. This is the same house which you testified on
12 Thursday was approximately 150 metres from Dario
13 Kordic's house; is that correct?
14 A. Roughly so, yes.
15 Q. Did you have any information, sir, as to who
16 participated in blowing up and/or burning down your
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell the Court what you know about
21 A. A white car was seen at Dario's brother's
22 place, and with him was Aleksandar Ruzic, known as Aco,
23 and some other, to me, unknown people, but these two I
24 knew, and they set fire to the house.
25 Q. You said that a white car was seen. What is
1 the significance -- I'm not sure from your answer just
2 now the significance of the white car is clear. Why is
3 that important?
4 A. Because, in those days, such a car was driven
5 only by Dario's brother.
6 Q. Was that car seen at your house at the time
7 it was destroyed?
8 A. Yes, it was seen. It was seen by my
9 brother-in-law, my wife's brother, whose house is only
10 10 metres away from mine.
11 Q. Later on that same night, two more Muslim
12 shops in Busovaca were blown up and destroyed; is that
14 A. Yes. Every night, one or two business
15 premises were blown up. Hand grenades were thrown in,
16 they were looted; everything was taken from them. And
17 this went on until the night of the 25th. This
18 happened every evening.
19 Q. All right. Is it fair to say that on the
20 night of the 25th of January, 1993, or it could have
21 been the night between, if you will, the 24th and 25th
22 of January, that most of what were the then remaining
23 Muslim shops in Busovaca were blown up and looted,
24 including your shop?
25 A. Yes, they were all blown up and looted.
1 Q. Do you recall how your shop in particular was
3 A. With a hand grenade. They threw in a bomb.
4 It was an ordinary house whereas the premises that we
5 owned in the centre of town and a relative of mine who
6 had premises right next to mine, his were also
8 Q. Let me direct your attention then to that
9 following morning, on the 25th of January. Is it
10 correct, sir, that at about 5.30 or 6.00 that morning,
11 a fire siren sounded in Busovaca, and then there was a
12 lot of shooting, and it came to your attention or
13 knowledge at that time and later that morning that
14 there were a number of snipers firing in the town and
15 also there was some artillery shelling?
16 A. Yes, that is correct. The siren sounded, and
17 as soon as it stopped, terrible gunfire broke out from
18 all sides.
19 Q. Were you able to see from where you were on
20 the morning of the 25th the HVO soldiers attacking
22 A. It could be seen. It could be seen that
23 there were snipers in the surrounding buildings, and
24 from the surrounding hills, one could also see an
25 anti-aircraft machine gun being brought in a truck
1 behind the old school and the shooting going on from
2 all sides.
3 Q. Were you able to identify that morning, or
4 during the day of the 25th of January, various units,
5 military units or formations based upon the insignia or
6 patches that you saw on uniforms?
7 A. On that morning, no, but when we had been
8 forced to the square in the centre of Busovaca, then
9 one could see and I could see insignia of the HV army,
10 HVO, HOS, and the Runolist Brigade.
11 Q. Did you have any information as to where the
12 Runolist Brigade was from? Where were they based?
13 A. No. No, I didn't know, but they were clearly
14 not from our part of the country because their accent
15 was quite different. From their accent, one could tell
16 that they came from Herzegovina.
17 Q. Did you find it to be generally the case, in
18 the instances that you've testified about on Thursday
19 last week and again today, that whenever there was an
20 HVO action, say in Busovaca, that to your knowledge,
21 generally there would be forces and components of HVO
22 forces from outside Busovaca as well?
23 A. Correct. They all took part, from Vitez,
24 Travnik, Kiseljak, Herzegovina, and I don't know from
25 where else.
1 Q. If I can ask the usher, please, to show you
2 Exhibits Z1529 and 2564.
3 MR. SCOTT: These have been distributed
4 previously, Your Honour, I believe, in terms of work
5 copies for counsel and the Court.
6 A. Yes, that is it.
7 MR. SCOTT: Now, let me direct your
8 attention, first of all, to Exhibit 1529. Did you see
9 that patch or insignia on the 25th of January, 1993?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you -- I'm sorry. Yes.
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Can you use
13 the ELMO, please, for the Chamber?
14 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I didn't
15 look up. I thought it was on. I apologise.
16 Q. All right. So, to go back in terms of what
17 is on the ELMO, Witness J, a moment ago we referred to
18 1529. That is the patch, as we look at the screen,
19 that is on the right; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. On the 25th of January, 1993, did you also
22 see the patch which on the same visual is marked as
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You saw both those patches, in fact, on the
1 25th of January in Busovaca?
2 A. Correct.
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Scott?
4 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Could we
6 have some more precision from the witness? This badge
7 of the Croatian army and of the HVO, the Bosnian Croat
8 army, if one can call them that, were these badges worn
9 by the same people at the same time, by different
10 people, and what was the proportion, if the witness
11 could tell us? Which was more dominant, those who wore
12 one or the other? So could we have a little more
13 detail, please?
14 MR. SCOTT: Absolutely, Your Honour.
15 Q. Witness J, you've heard Judge Bennouna's
16 questions. When you saw these patches on uniforms,
17 were they -- is it the case that both patches would be
18 on the same uniform, for instance, one on each
19 shoulder, or did you see one patch essentially per
20 uniform or per person, if you will?
21 A. Each person had only one badge, either the
22 HVO, the Croatian Defence Council, or the HV army. The
23 HVO was the far more numerous. There were far more of
24 those insignia, whereas there were only a few with the
25 insignia of the HV army.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, as you were in town -- is it
2 true that you were being, essentially, the
3 population -- or much of the Muslim population of
4 Busovaca was being gathered together or collected, if
5 you will, and driven toward the square in the middle of
7 A. One couldn't really say the majority. At
8 that moment there were some 90 of us gathered in the
9 square, and by then they had covered almost all the
10 other streets and the Mahala. They were already closed
11 or, rather, shut up at Kaonik. So we were among the
12 last, some 90 of us, who were the last who remained,
13 and we were forced to gather in the square.
14 Q. All right. When you mention "Mahala," was
15 that a Muslim district, if you will, part of Busovaca?
16 A. Yes. The area where we were was inhabited
17 exclusively by Muslims.
18 Q. As these events were happening on the 25th of
19 January, is it correct that you saw Muslim women and
20 children leaving their houses about the same time that
21 the HVO soldiers would be seen setting the houses on
23 A. Yes. There was general fear and panic
24 everywhere, so that the entire population moved towards
25 the centre of town, the square, and they were followed
1 by soldiers who were torching houses one after another,
2 so that about 15 houses were burnt on that occasion.
3 Q. Do you know whether some Muslim civilians
4 were wounded and some killed on that day, the 25th of
6 A. Yes. There were many. That is the hardest
7 part. A sniper from the nearby house killed Sedin
8 Merdan. Just a moment, please. Then on that occasion
9 also Irhad Ekmecic was killed. In the streets bodies
10 were seen of Nedzad Navolic, Nihad Merdan, Amir
12 In one house at the other end of town three
13 young men were killed in the same room, Nijaz
14 Neslanovic, the young Hadzibegovic, and a third whose
15 name I cannot recollect.
16 On the bridge, Sunulahpasic, Medju Seliac,
17 and a maths teacher was killed somewhere near the
18 police station. I know that we called him Budo.
19 Then Jahic, a man of 50 to 55 was killed on
20 the road towards Kaonik, somewhere halfway there, near
21 the Vatrostalna factory.
22 Q. All right. Very well. Can you tell the
23 court, was there any armed resistance to the HVO attack
24 on the 25th of January? Was there any organised
25 defence by the Muslims in Busovaca?
1 A. Not a single shot was fired. There was no
2 reason for such a thing.
3 Q. Witness J, were you regarded at that time as
4 a wealthy or prominent member of the Busovaca
6 A. One could put it that way.
7 Q. And were you, on the 25th of January, acting
8 and existing only in a civilian capacity?
9 A. Yes. We were all civilians.
10 Q. Would it be your testimony today, sir, that
11 as these events were unfolding, various of the Muslim
12 men, including yourself, were yelling and asking for
13 the HVO to stop their shooting but the soldiers ignored
14 your outcries and continued the shooting?
15 A. Yes. In spite of all our pleas and cries,
16 they continued shooting until sometime about 3.00 p.m.,
17 when there was generalised panic and chaos and when
18 they had forced everyone to the square. Only once we
19 were all there did the shooting stop, and they
20 celebrated this as a victory by hugging and kissing.
21 Q. Can you tell the Court, please, what happened
22 once the approximately 90 of you were gathered in the
24 A. In a couple of minutes a bus appeared, and we
25 were all loaded on to the bus and driven to Kaonik, to
1 the camp there, to a hangar. These were military
2 hangars. When we got there, there was some people
3 there already, so that at one point there were as many
4 as 300 of us in one hangar.
5 Q. Witness J, before we get into details of the
6 camp itself, let me ask you a couple more questions.
7 When you were in the square, was there an effort to
8 separate the Muslim men from the women and children who
9 at that time were still a part of that group?
10 A. Yes. All the men were separated, and the
11 women and children were returned to their homes and we
12 were put on the buses.
13 Q. In terms of the male Muslims, if you will,
14 who were taken to Kaonik, did that include men as young
15 as 14, 15, and 16 years of age?
16 A. There were some.
17 Q. Now, when you arrived in the square, can you
18 tell the Court anything you recall about the buses?
19 Did the buses come after you were already in the
20 square, or were the buses -- well, tell the Court what
21 you remember about the buses.
22 A. The bus arrived within a minute or two, which
23 means it must have been parked somewhere there and it
24 was just waiting for us to be rounded up in the centre,
25 in the square, and to be picked up. The bus was driven
1 by Zeljko Vareskovic, known as "Bubreg" or "Kidney."
2 Q. Is it correct, sir, that Kaonik camp is
3 approximately 5 kilometres from Busovaca and it took
4 you approximately ten minutes to be taken there on the
6 A. Something like that, yes. Five kilometres
7 and about a ten-minute drive.
8 Q. Is it correct that the guards at Kaonik camp
9 wore camouflage uniforms with HVO patches and, to your
10 knowledge, were some of the HVO guards from Busovaca?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. All right. You testified a moment ago that
13 when you arrived there, you were taken -- you and the
14 other prisoners were taken to a hangar. Was this
15 hangar approximately 20 metres wide and 50 to 70 metres
17 A. Yes, thereabouts.
18 Q. Did you come to know about that time that the
19 commander of the prison camp was a Zlatko Aleksovski?
20 A. Yes, we learnt that there because we were
21 lined up facing the wall, one against the other, all
22 pushed up against each other. At one point, we were
23 ordered to turn towards the centre, and a man was
24 standing in the centre who introduced himself and said,
25 "I am Zlatko Aleksovski. I am the commander of the
1 prison. Don't be afraid. You won't be harmed. Not a
2 hair on your head will be harmed."
3 Q. And this was on the 25th of January; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If we can just jump ahead in order to put
7 some time boundaries on the next series of events. You
8 were then released from Kaonik on about the 8th of
9 February, 1993; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct, exactly on February the
12 Q. Now, based upon this approximately, let's
13 call it two weeks, two-and-a-half-week period, did you
14 come to know during that time whether Mr. Aleksovski
15 reported or took direction from someone above him?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. What was your understanding about that?
18 A. Yes, Mr. Aleksovski only executed orders, and
19 on one occasion when we were lined up or, that is to
20 say, when we had returned from digging on one occasion
21 and were lined up in front of the hangar, in front of
22 the prison, we were already down in the cells, in the
23 prison, and when a young man whom we called Pedja came
24 and he asked Aleksovski for 30 prisoners, to give him
25 30 prisoners to go and do digging, and he gave him a
1 piece of paper, and when Mr. Aleksovski looked at the
2 piece of paper, he told him verbatim that he couldn't
3 get these prisoners because the paper was not signed
4 either by Kordic or by Sliskovic.
5 Q. Witness J --
6 A. Gudelj told him --
7 Q. Witness J, I'm going to stop you there
8 momentarily only for the convenience of the Court and
10 It is not a problem, but just so that
11 everyone is clear. The witness has jumped ahead to
12 material that is covered starting at paragraph 155. It
13 doesn't really matter when we cover it, but just for
14 the Court's reference, that's where it can be found.
15 All right. Witness J, I apologise. I cut
16 you off. You said that Mr. Aleksovski responded to
17 this HVO officer that the 30 prisoners could not be
18 released unless he had a signed paper by either
19 Mr. Kordic or Mr. Sliskovic; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. What did this officer then reply or say to
22 Mr. Aleksovski?
23 A. His answer was that he wasn't taking away
24 people, he was taking away cattle, and that he didn't
25 have to have anybody's signatures. However, Aleksovski
1 categorically refused to give him the men. Then he
2 left. Some 15 to 20 minutes later, he returned. I did
3 not see that particular paper, but when he handed the
4 paper to Aleksovski, he got his men, which means that
5 it was verified either by Kordic or by Sliskovic.
6 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to, with that
7 story in mind, going to go back, and again for the
8 Court and counsel, returning to approximately paragraph
9 94 or, actually, 95.
10 Is it the case, Witness J, that when you
11 arrived at the prison camp, either at the beginning or
12 throughout your time, to the extent that you still
13 possessed any of these particular items throughout your
14 stay, is it correct that HVO soldiers would take
15 valuables from the Muslim prisoners, such as jewellery,
16 watches, and money?
17 A. They took everything. They took gold and
18 money. And even shoes, if they were good ones; they
19 would take them off too. And fur coats and trousers
20 and anything that was worth anything. They took
21 everything. So that at one point, they had a whole bag
22 full of money.
23 Q. You testified earlier that by the end of the
24 day on the 25th of January, there were approximately
25 250 to 300 Muslim men in the hangar at Kaonik; is that
2 A. Yes exactly that number.
3 Q. These prisoners came from such places as
4 Skradno, Loncari, Strane, and Busovaca?
5 A. Yes, from all parts they were brought in.
6 Q. During this early time -- I'm going to try to
7 skip quickly through the next several paragraphs -- you
8 had very little comforts available to you; is that fair
9 to say?
10 A. Not comforts, it was nothing at all. It was
11 just a concrete floor, and we spent the night on our
12 feet walking about to keep warm because it was the 25th
13 of January, when the nights are very cold in Bosnia,
14 and so we tried to warm up that way and to keep
15 ourselves going, to be alive for the next morning.
16 Q. Even at that early time, is it fair to say
17 that some of the Muslim prisoners were taken out and,
18 when they returned to the larger group, you found that
19 they had been beaten?
20 A. Yes. That was standard practice.
21 Q. All right. Let me now direct your attention
22 to the following day or days. Either on the 26th or
23 27th of January, is it correct, sir, that an HVO
24 soldier came into the hangar and read off from a piece
25 of paper a list of 15 names, with your name being
1 approximately the 14th on the list?
2 A. Yes, he read out 15 names. My name was the
3 14th and my cousin's was the 15th, and we were all
4 taken outside, and when we went out, we saw that they
5 were carrying a rope and started tying us up. We were
6 tied up in the same order in which our names were
7 called out. So that 13 people were tied up. I, as
8 number 14, was not tied up because they didn't have
9 enough rope left, so that I myself and my cousin were
10 not tied, but my brother was tied and other relations,
11 five or six of them, and they were taken off as a human
12 shield, and we were told this straightaway, that we
13 would be going as a human shield because the village of
14 Strane was to be surrounded and was to capitulate.
15 Q. Let me ask you a couple of details: When you
16 were being tied up, was one of the HVO soldiers the
17 same Zeljko who had driven the bus that you were on to
19 A. Yes. It was Zeljko. There was Pusic as
20 well, who was a policeman in the HVO, and there was
21 another person I didn't know but, quite obviously, he
22 was a professional in tying up people because he did it
23 better than the others. And then there were some
24 others standing around, Mirko Cosic, one of them, and,
25 I don't know, some others.
1 Q. In terms of some of the prisoners who were
2 tied up at this time -- I was going to say I would try
3 to read these to save some time, but I'm not sure it
4 would be faster if I did.
5 JUDGE MAY: I don't think the names are going
6 to assist us, but the witness's brother was apparently
7 among them.
8 MR. SCOTT: That's correct.
9 JUDGE MAY: He himself was not taken off on
10 this occasion --
11 MR. SCOTT: I was going to clarify that, Your
13 JUDGE MAY: -- it appears from --
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Witness J, can you clarify for us: You said
16 that you were not tied up because there wasn't enough
17 rope left. Can you clarify whether -- were you, in
18 fact, taken to Strane on this particular occasion or
19 were you left in the camp?
20 A. No, I wasn't taken off. I was left in the
21 prison, in the hangar, whereas the 13 of them were
22 taken off.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. Those 13 young men were all directly from the
25 town, and they were intentionally, quite obviously,
1 placed on the list and selected.
2 Q. Let me ask you, but at the time that you said
3 the statement was made, you said there was a clear
4 statement that the intent was to take these men to be
5 used as human shields, that statement was made while
6 you were still in -- excuse me -- while the group was
7 still in camp and you were present?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And following the Court's lead, I won't
10 either ask you the name or I won't try to read the
11 individual names, but is it fair to say that all of
12 these were Muslim men?
13 A. Exclusively. Nobody else was held there as
15 Q. All right. Now, there are a couple of other
16 questions I was going to ask you about what happened at
17 Strane, and just so the record is clear, how is it that
18 you have any information about what happened once these
19 prisoners were taken outside the camp?
20 A. Well, after they returned.
21 Q. And these are the same men you were in prison
22 with; correct?
23 A. We were all there together in one hangar, and
24 when they returned, they were returned amongst us. We
25 were not in our cells yet. We were all together there
1 in the hangar. We weren't separated at all.
2 Q. All right. Did the prisoners, when they
3 returned, tell you that they were used as human shields
4 at the village of Strane where the HVO announced to the
5 Muslims there that if they did not surrender their
6 weapons, these Muslim prisoners would be killed?
7 A. Yes, that's right, and according to what my
8 brother said, they were some 15 metres in front of the
9 HVO soldiers facing the village.
10 Q. The HVO soldiers being behind them; is that
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. I'm not going to ask you for any names or any
14 details of this event, but is it fair to say, do you
15 recall your brother relating to you that one of the HVO
16 soldiers he saw during these events had been the best
17 man at his, your brother's, wedding?
18 A. Yes, that's quite right, and he didn't even
19 look at him.
20 Q. Now, the following day, were these same men
21 taken and used as human shields again at a location or
22 village called Merdani?
23 A. Yes, they were. Once again, the same people,
24 the same 13 young men, were taken away once again
25 towards the village of Merdani and, according to what
1 they said, it was ten times worse than the previous
2 day, because they were lined up on the railway bridge
3 and they were threatened that they would be slaughtered
4 if the village of Merdani did not surrender, so that
5 they stayed there the entire day, tied up as a human
7 Q. Now, can you tell the Court, about the time
8 that these prisoners were then returned to the camp
9 following this second use as human shields, were you
10 and the others then moved out of the hangar into
11 something that most of us would probably know as a
12 prison cell?
13 A. Yes, when they returned. And I understood
14 this, and we were all generally happy that they had
15 returned. We were then transferred to the cells below
16 the hangar, which had already been prepared, heaven
17 knows when, and they were intentionally prepared.
18 Q. Did these cells measure approximately three
19 by three metres?
20 A. Yes, they were three by three, and there were
21 30 of us, 25, sometimes more in those cells.
22 Q. Can you relate to the Court, during this
23 period, once you were put in the prison cells, that you
24 would be taken out of your cell and beaten?
25 A. Every night several times. If half an hour
1 passed by that was a good thing, before they would take
2 me out again. This happened every single night, every
3 single night.
4 Q. Was one of the individuals who was involved
5 in these beatings -- involved in beating you named
7 A. Yes. There was this man called Marelja. I
8 learnt this, heard this, that is, from the guards of
9 the HVO, who were standing two or three metres away and
10 calmly looking at all this, watching it all.
11 Q. To your knowledge, was this individual named
12 Marelja, was he one of the HVO guards?
13 A. No. No, he wasn't an HVO guard. He wasn't
14 from Busovaca. I didn't know him. Judging by the way
15 he talked, I thought that he might be from
17 Q. Did the HVO guards who were standing close
18 by, did they ever take any steps to intervene or stop
19 the beating?
20 A. Absolutely not. They didn't even try to do
22 Q. Can you tell the Court, as a result of these
23 multiple beatings that you suffered, what your body
24 looked like after several days?
25 A. My jaw was broken. My head didn't have any
1 bruises, but my jaw was broken and the entire -- the
2 rest of my body was quite black. They were not
3 bruises, but I was black all over from the beatings.
4 Q. Did it come to your attention, during your
5 stay in Kaonik, sir, that the people who were being
6 taken and interrogated, that to your knowledge, these
7 interrogations were taking place under the direction or
8 supervision of Anto Sliskovic?
9 A. Yes, I'm one of those.
10 Q. How do you know that?
11 A. I was personally taken away for interrogation
12 to the building at the entrance into the camp where
13 they interrogated me, two interrogators of the HVO
14 police who were under the orders of Anto Sliskovic.
15 Anto Sliskovic would also come at all times of the
16 night, and he would interrogate individuals who were
17 also taken out of their cells and taken to the building
18 at the entrance and were interrogated by him there.
19 Q. Can you relate to the Court anything that any
20 of the HVO guards would say to you from time to time
21 that made some reference to Mr. Sliskovic in terms of
22 you being beaten?
23 A. Well, there was all kinds of things. A young
24 man who was a guard, for example, he looked like a
25 child almost. When they took me out, I think he said
1 something to this effect, "Well, you've done your bit.
2 Anto Sliskovic is waiting for you and he'll finish you
4 Q. Did any of these HVO guards ever say to you
5 something to the effect of, "Greetings from Anto
7 A. Well, yes, that did happen. It's not the
8 guards that said this --
9 Q. Who said it?
10 A. -- but that young man, the young man who took
11 me out of the cell and beat me. After this orgy, he
12 would send me kind regards from Anto Sliskovic, or kind
13 regards from Vlado Cosic, or kind regards from somebody
14 else, that sort of thing.
15 Q. Now, you've already mentioned in passing that
16 there was one particular beating incident where you
17 were taken to another building, away from the hangar or
18 prison cells, which was close to the entrance of the
19 Kaonik Prison camp; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. At the very entrance to the camp.
21 There's a building there. It is a high building. I
22 was taken there with another young man, and that young
23 man was taken up to the first floor before me and
24 returned 15 minutes later and he was all beaten up.
25 Then my turn came and they took me off to this first
1 floor of the building.
2 Q. Witness J, before you continue with that, let
3 me stay with the building, if I could, for another
4 moment or two.
5 At this time, had you gained any knowledge or
6 information as any particular use that this building
7 received or any particular unit or group that was
8 stationed or used this building? Excuse me, stationed
9 at or used that building?
10 A. Yes. At the very entrance to the building
11 there is a cell there. It is one metre by two metres,
12 perhaps a little larger, and it has steel bars with no
13 windows, and I was imprisoned there while the young man
14 was taken up to the first floor. People would pass by,
15 that is to say, HVO soldiers passed by the cell, and
16 that was where their intervention platoon was located.
17 Some 20 of them were there. So that they would bang on
18 the bars and say, "You're the wrong nation," and use
19 derogatory terms and swear at me and so forth. They
20 said, "Balija."
21 Q. Were you able to determine during this time
22 who the commander, the on-site commander of this
23 particular unit was?
24 A. Mirko Cosic.
25 Q. How did that information come to your
2 A. I personally saw him. He was a policeman in
3 ex-Yugoslavia, an experienced one, so that he was the
4 commander there.
5 Q. All right. Can you tell me, and I won't
6 attempt the Bosnian language, but was the English
7 translation of the unit he commanded, to your
8 knowledge, something called the Punishment Intervention
10 A. That's what they called it, the Intervention
11 Squad for emergency intervention. Anything that had to
12 be done, they were the first there.
13 Q. Now, can you relate to the Court if you know,
14 did you ever know of this Mirko Cosic having any
15 association with Dario Kordic?
16 A. I don't know whether there was any
17 association. I don't know what you mean exactly.
18 Dario Kordic was the overall commander and they
19 received orders from him.
20 Q. "Association" is a poor word and it's
21 probably my fault, especially perhaps with
22 translation. I didn't mean in a family sense or a
23 friendship sense, but do you know whether Mr. Cosic,
24 for instance, was ever seen to be accompanying
25 Mr. Kordic?
1 JUDGE MAY: Let's have no leading questions
2 about this sort of matter.
3 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour.
4 Q. Could you tell the Court whether you
5 observed, at any time, the two individuals that you've
6 just named together?
7 A. I couldn't say that I actually saw them
8 together but that Mirko Cosic would pass by frequently,
9 and the others, towards Tisovac. That was Kordic's
10 headquarters, yes.
11 Q. All right. We'll leave it at that. We've
12 touched on some of the other items in the next
13 paragraph or two.
14 The other individual who was taken with you
15 on the same occasion was beaten and returned, and then
16 you were taken to the first floor as well; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. There were five HVO soldiers in the room at
20 that time?
21 A. Yes, there were five soldiers. They all had
22 their backs turned towards me as I came in or, rather,
23 three of them, and two of them were facing me. I knew
24 them. One was Petrovic and the other was Katava.
25 Q. All right. So the record is clear, when you
1 say "Petrovic," this is Zarko Petrovic, also times
2 known as Tadija?
3 A. Yes, exactly.
4 Q. And the individual you referred to as
5 "Katava," was his other name Zeljko?
6 A. Zeljko, yes.
7 Q. You just said, I believe, you knew these men
8 from before?
9 A. Yes. I knew them personally, as they knew
10 me. In fact, for a moment I was glad to see them, not
11 knowing what would happen later.
12 Q. Both of these men were Croats and both of
13 them at this time were wearing camouflage uniforms with
14 HVO insignia; is that correct?
15 A. Exactly.
16 Q. In your earlier testimony, is it correct,
17 sir, that you identified both these men as men who
18 worked for Anto Sliskovic?
19 A. Yes. They were his closest associates, his
20 right hand.
21 Q. Now, on a table in the room, which some might
22 describe as a table-tennis or a ping-pong table, there
23 were a number of instruments, sticks, if you will,
24 wooden, rubber, steel, police instruments on the table;
25 is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct. There were many
3 Q. Did you then proceed to be questioned and
4 beaten for the next approximately three hours?
5 A. Yes. Petrovic and Katava were interrogating
6 and the other three were beating with all kinds of
8 Q. Was it at this time that your jaw was
10 A. Yes. At one point this Marelja walked in,
11 and he knocked me with his fist in the face and broke
12 my jaw, upon which Katava -- no, not Katava, Tadija
13 Petrovic cried out, "Not on the head." So after that
14 they didn't hit me again on the head, but the rest of
15 my body made up for it.
16 Q. All right. Let me ask the usher to please
17 show the witness Exhibit 1862.1, and if you could put
18 that on the ELMO, please. Let me make sure; 1862.1.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, you can really deal
20 with these matters quickly. We've had these
21 photographs or similar photographs before.
22 MR. SCOTT: I will move through as quickly as
23 I can, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. Now, if you would look at those, Witness J,
2 and as the Court just directed, in the interests of
3 time I'll simply ask you very specific and direction
5 This is an aerial photograph of the Kaonik
6 camp. I don't think that there will be a dispute about
7 that, I hope. There's a number 1 that has been marked,
8 encircled and, in fact, are all the markings on this in
9 terms of the 1, 2, 3 are markings that you previously
11 A. Yes. Number 1 is the hangar where we were
12 locked up first; number 2 is the cells, the prison,
13 with the cells; and number 3 is where I was taken, at
14 the entrance to the camp, the building where they beat
15 us and where we were interrogated.
16 Q. All right. If I can next have the witness
17 look, please, at 1861.1?
18 A. Yes, that is the building at the entrance.
19 Q. With that photograph on the ELMO, can you
20 point -- and you will have to do it so that it can be
21 seen on the ELMO itself. The usher can assist you,
22 please -- can you see the window or the room, on the
23 outside, obviously, the exterior, where you were taken
24 and actually beaten?
25 A. It's this one, this one here (indicating).
1 MR. SCOTT: For purposes of the record, Your
2 Honour, let it show that the witness is identifying the
3 third window from the left of the picture on the first
5 All right. I think there are no other
6 questions about the photograph, unless the Court has
8 Q. Now, Witness J, I want to ask you about some
9 other particular individuals in the next couple of
11 JUDGE MAY: Before we get there, please.
12 What is the relevance of these individuals, please?
13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour,
14 the relevance of these individuals, it is the
15 Prosecution's view and position for purposes of the
16 evidence in this case and ultimate argument, that the
17 individuals named in the next several paragraphs are,
18 the evidence will show, we believe, close associates or
19 people who acted with or at the direction of
20 Mr. Kordic. There are going to be a number of
21 witnesses, not just Witness J, in addition to witnesses
22 who have already testified, Your Honour, who are going
23 to identify and talk about various people around
24 Mr. Kordic, and I don't think anyone -- I don't think
25 it is a secret to anyone at this point, that is not the
1 nature of the Prosecution's case, at least not in very
2 many instances, that Mr. Kordic would be seen doing the
3 beating or doing the shooting or doing the burning but
4 that Mr. Kordic, as most commanders and leaders do, had
5 people who acted for him and at his direction, and it
6 is going to be quite material to the Prosecution case
7 to prove to the Court, ultimately we hope to the
8 Court's satisfaction, who these lieutenants and
9 associates and henchmen were, and that's the relevance.
10 JUDGE MAY: Well, take it quickly, please. I
11 want, if at all possible, to finish this witness's
12 evidence today. He has already been here for some
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I will move very
16 Q. Witness J, did you know an individual, during
17 your time in Busovaca, named Vlado Cosic and, in fact,
18 was this Mirko's brother?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you know or, to your knowledge, at least,
21 did you believe that this Mr. Cosic was the HVO chief
22 of police in Busovaca in 1993?
23 A. Yes, he was under the HVO.
24 Q. Can you tell the Court, based on your
25 observation of him, whether he was seen or known to
1 wear the letter "U", a metallic letter "U" on his hat?
2 A. He liked that, he liked a black uniform. He
3 wore his weapon, like a cowboy, on one side, a knife on
4 another. He wore a black beret with the letter "U" on
6 Q. During this time in Central Bosnia, to your
7 knowledge, what did the letter "U", at least in these
8 circumstances, what did that stand for?
9 A. It was the symbol of the Ustasha movement, of
11 Q. During this time, did you also know another
12 individual named Gavro Maric, and can you tell the
13 Court what you knew about Mr. Maric -- well, in the
14 interests again, Your Honour, at the Court's direction,
15 I will try.
16 Did you know him to be previously a member in
17 the Civil Defence under the former JNA structure and
18 then subsequently, during the conflict in Central
19 Bosnia in 1993, became the head of what you believed
20 was a special Bosnian Croat military or police unit in
21 the Busovaca area?
22 A. Yes, Gavro Maric, in ex-Yugoslavia, worked in
23 the Territorial Defence and the National Defence, but
24 when the conflict broke out and when everything went
25 downhill, he was one of the commanders in Kordic's
1 units. I don't know exactly of what he was the
2 commander, but he had a somewhat higher rank.
3 Q. All right. Let's move on to Nikica
4 Petrovic. Was he also, to your knowledge, an HVO
5 police official in Busovaca?
6 A. Yes, he was.
7 Q. Did you know him to have any particular role
8 in connection with people's ability to come and go from
9 the town of Busovaca in terms of movement?
10 A. I wouldn't put it quite like that. He was
11 the coordinator for movement out of Busovaca and
12 everything went through his hands regarding the few
13 people who were left behind after the conflict who were
14 still living in Busovaca. He was the only one who
15 could grant permission for leaving or not leaving
16 Busovaca. That's what he did.
17 Q. Do you have firsthand knowledge of this
18 particular situation because of your father's attempt
19 to leave Busovaca?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And it -- go ahead.
22 A. He tried many times and he was not granted
23 permission to leave, and then, in the end, Anto
24 Sliskovic gave him that permission. So that he left,
25 at least according to his own account, at the very last
1 minute; otherwise, he would have been killed.
2 Q. Can you tell the Court, based on your
3 observation or knowledge, and I don't want you to
4 speculate but based on observation or knowledge, can
5 you tell the Court again what relationship, in terms of
6 any command or control relationship that Mr. Petrovic
7 had in relation to Dario Kordic?
8 A. In any army, including the HVO, it is quite
9 clear, Kordic was the Number 1 man. Nothing happened
10 without his knowledge nor was it possible to do
11 anything without his knowledge. All these people were
12 just clerks who were carrying out and implementing his
13 ideas, his instructions.
14 Q. All right. Let me go to one final one,
15 please: Florijan Glavocevic. Is it correct that he
16 was the president of something that you've called --
17 and I just want to make it clear, these are essentially
18 the witness's words -- the Busovaca War Council; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Correct. It was set up and Florijan
21 Glavocevic headed it, but his competencies were
22 insignificant because absolutely nothing, nothing,
23 absolutely nothing could he decide or do without Dario
25 Q. In the interests of what we are talking
1 about, individuals, is it fair to say, Witness J, that
2 you have no knowledge of and had no dealings with Mario
4 A. No. I don't know that man. I don't know. I
5 never even heard anything about him.
6 Q. Is it correct, sir --
7 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Yes. Your Honour, please.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: When the witness said that
9 Glavocevic couldn't do anything without Kordic's
10 approval, is he speaking from his personal knowledge or
11 from information that he received?
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Can you answer the Court's question,
14 Witness J? I mean, again, what do you base your
15 assessment or statement on?
16 A. Both on my personal experience and on events,
17 the chronology of events in Busovaca. It was logical
18 that such a man would be the Number 1. However, he, in
19 fact, could do nothing. He could prevent nothing nor
20 order anything. He could do absolutely nothing.
21 Q. So the record is clear, you're referring now
22 to Florijan; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So you're saying your physical observations
25 of him, just to clarify your response to Judge
1 Robinson's question, he was supposed to have a high
2 position, and yet when you could see his actions in
3 town --
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, the witness is giving
5 the evidence about these matters. Now, please, allow
6 him to do it --
7 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: -- rather than putting words into
9 his mouth.
10 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. I thought I was
11 trying to help, but obviously I wasn't.
12 Q. Can you answer? Can you provide any more
13 response to Judge Robinson's question, please?
14 A. Yes. I even had occasion, together with
15 another Muslim, to go to Florijan's office in the
16 municipality, where he received us very cordially, and
17 we tried to talk about some things, to which he replied
18 explicitly that he could do nothing without consulting
19 Mr. Dario.
20 Q. All right. Let's go on.
21 MR. STEIN: May it please the Court?
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. STEIN: This was forecast in the papers
24 preceding this trial, that the Prosecution's case of
25 criminal association or criminal conspiracy, which is
1 exactly what we heard a few minutes ago as to why these
2 testimonies will be important, would be coming on by
3 way of evidence, and it is problematic for all of us
4 because it is a different evidentiary standard that is
5 needed. We suddenly are suddenly responsible for the
6 defence of individuals over whom we have no control or
7 notice or who have not been indicted, they're
8 essentially unindicted co-conspirators, and I'm just
9 concerned that this continuing reference that
10 Mr. Kordic was in charge of everything and everyone
11 without a basis, without a specification, and done in a
12 leading fashion, will require us to take on a burden
13 that should not be on our shoulders.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Stein, you can cross-examine
15 about all these matters, find out the basis upon which
16 the witness gives his evidence. I have made sure that
17 there are no leading questions about issues of this
18 sort --
19 MR. STEIN: You certainly have, sir.
20 JUDGE MAY: -- and I will continue to do so.
22 MR. SCOTT: However, Your Honour, the next
23 series of questions, which are not going to name, I
24 don't believe, Mr. Kordic -- according to the Court's
25 direction, I will try to move quickly by leading
1 questions until -- certainly until there is direction.
2 Q. Witness J, would it be your testimony that
3 while you were at Kaonik, you were taken, in the first
4 instance, to dig trenches, and you were taken, in the
5 first instance, for about three hours -- excuse me, I'm
6 sorry. In the interests of speed, I'm getting ahead of
8 You were taking to a location near Putis and
9 you dug trenches there; is that correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. And the guard at that particular location was
12 Marko Krilic; is that correct?
13 A. No. Marko Krilic was one of the guards in
14 the prison --
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. -- if you're referring to him, but in the
17 field, he was not there. When we were taken to Putis,
18 there were men, guards, wearing HVO uniforms from
20 Q. All right. Now, you're absolutely correct,
21 obviously. Before you were taken out into the field,
22 and this does go to the selection or calling-out
23 process, can you tell the Court, did it appear to you
24 that the trench-digging assignments had been organised
25 in some detail when people like Mr. Krilic would show
1 up during the day and call people out to be taken?
2 A. Clearly it was all organised. Lists were
3 made as in the old days. It was known exactly who was
4 in which group. The only thing we didn't know was
5 where we would be sent. They came in with a certain
6 list, and they called out from that list. Some of us
7 were not called out but would be taken occasionally to
8 go with a particular group.
9 Q. All right. On this particular occasion, you
10 were taken again out toward Putis, and you dug trenches
11 there for about an entire day and into the evening and,
12 in fact, until noon the next day; is that correct?
13 A. That is exactly correct.
14 Q. Is it your testimony that, as you indicated,
15 once you were released from Kaonik camp -- and
16 "release" is not the right word, but turned over into
17 the custody of this other group -- these were HVO
18 soldiers different from the guards; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did they appear to be what people might
21 describe as combat soldiers?
22 A. All of them were under full combat gear with
23 weapons at the ready pointed at us.
24 Q. During this first trench-digging incident at
25 Putis, the guards there -- excuse me -- well, the
1 soldiers who were guarding you at that location were
2 from Vitez, and you felt that on that particular
3 occasion you were not terribly mistreated; is that
4 correct? You were not mistreated other than the
5 mistreatment that is part of being used to dig
6 trenches, I suppose.
7 Strike the question, Your Honour. It is not
8 very well said.
9 On that particular occasion, were you, apart
10 from digging the trenches themselves, were you beaten
11 or abused?
12 A. No, none of our group was mistreated or
13 beaten or anything on that day because these were
14 soldiers from Vitez who treated us very correctly and
16 Q. Now, on that same day, did you also observe a
17 group of 15 HVO soldiers set fire to 10 or to 15 houses
18 on the road leading to Putis?
19 A. Yes. Where we were digging, 15 soldiers went
20 by under full combat gear, they went off towards the
21 village of Putis and set fire to 10 to 15 houses, after
22 which they returned or, rather, they passed by us
24 MR. SCOTT: The Court will note that we
25 already touched on the next several paragraphs. I'm
1 skipping to 159.
2 Q. Sir, you were taken on a second occasion to
3 dig trenches at another location called Kula, and at
4 this incident, the conditions and events were much
5 worse; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. On the 6th of February, 1993, I was
7 taken to Kula, and as soon as I got there, my name was
8 on a special piece of paper and I was called out, and
9 from that moment on, it was hell.
10 Q. Did you have knowledge as to where the HVO
11 soldiers at Kula, people who you were under their
12 guard, if you will, observation at that time, where
13 these HVO soldiers were from, if you can tell or knew?
14 A. There were some people from Busovaca, but
15 those who did bad things and who mistreated us were not
16 from Busovaca. They were unknown to me. One of them
17 was, in fact, a Serb, because some people knew him
18 personally. I think his name was Nedeljkovic or
19 something like that. He was one of the worst,
20 regarding the mistreatment and abuse.
21 Q. By the time you were taken to Kula on this
22 occasion, did you already know, from other prisoners
23 returning from other trench digging exercises, that
24 Kula was known to be a particularly difficult location
25 for prisoners?
1 A. Yes. Yes. Whenever a group returned from
2 Kula, they were beaten up, with broken ribs, abused in
3 various ways. So that people were really taking out --
4 venting their worst feelings on them. It is hard to
5 imagine the things that they did.
6 Q. All right. Now, when you were taken to Kula
7 and you were unloaded from the truck, you were taken,
8 is it correct, and told to dig a trench about five
9 centimetres away from a large beech tree; is that
11 A. Yes. They told me to dig a trench close to a
12 tree. It was 20 or 30 centimetres from a tree with a
13 trunk which was 50 or 60 metres (sic) in diameter. It
14 is a beech tree, as we call it, so it was impossible
15 for me to dig so close, but they loved to watch me
16 digging without really making any progress, especially
17 as by then I had already been badly beaten up and
18 didn't have much strength. So they derived a great
19 deal of satisfaction from watching me. After some
20 time, they let me dig in places where it was, in fact,
21 possible to dig.
22 Q. All right. Before you continue on -- I hope
23 there won't be an objection, Your Honour -- I believe
24 the reference to the tree being "50 or 60 metres in
25 diameter," is it correct, Witness J, that you meant
1 "centimetres in diameter"?
2 A. Yes. Yes, of course. Fifty to sixty
3 centimetres in diameter, yes.
4 Q. Okay. Let's try to move on. You were then
5 taken from that location off to another place separate
6 from the larger group. You were told to take off your
7 clothes, which you did, except for an undergarment.
8 This guard, this Serb that you named earlier, the
9 person you believed to be a Serb, told you to sing a
10 song that was insulting towards Croats; is that
12 A. Yes. He took me behind this tree, this big
13 oak tree. He told me to take my clothes off, I was
14 left in an undergarment, and he then he ordered me to
15 sing. As I probably wasn't singing loudly enough for
16 him, then he continued beating me with the handle of a
17 pick axe, ordering me to sing louder.
18 Q. As you sang the song louder, this song that
19 was insulting towards Croats, did some of the Croat HVO
20 soldiers come to you and hit you?
21 A. Yes. Another two soldiers came and hit me
22 mercilessly so that I would sing much more loudly this
23 song, insulting song.
24 Q. They then took you and you continued to dig
25 trenches, and is it true, Witness J, that around the
1 middle of the day, three HVO soldiers came to you and
2 attempted or pretended to burn your beard which you had
3 at that time?
4 A. Yes, that is what they did. They made a
5 torch from newspapers. As I had a beard, they lit it,
6 accompanied by peals of laughter. To them it was
7 joking, playing around with me. Then in the end later
8 they took off my beret. As it was cold I always wore a
9 hat, set fire to it. As it couldn't burn, it's made
10 from such material that it was just scorched, that in
11 the end they made me eat it and I actually did.
12 Q. Skipping over a few paragraphs, can you tell
13 the Court whether, in the course of your being at Kula
14 during this time and digging trenches and the things
15 that you've told us about in the last few minutes, did
16 you have occasion to complain to some of the HVO
17 soldiers that you should not be treated-- that you and
18 the others should not be treated the way that you
20 A. Yes. At one point in time, one afternoon,
21 Condra, I think his real name was Josip, though I
22 worked in the same organisation as he did, but I'm not
23 sure, and Mr. Gadarski, they came by. As we knew each
24 other very well, I complained about the treatment and
25 the things that were happening. They listened to me in
1 a friendly manner, but their reply was that they would
2 get in touch with Mr. Kordic to see whether anything
3 could be improved for all of us prisoners and things
4 that were being done to us while digging but that they
5 could do nothing.
6 Q. Later on that same day, was there a situation
7 where an HVO guard who was known as Hosovac came to
8 you, took you up the hill with your shovel and pick
9 axe, and told you then to dig a hole about 60 metres
10 into the woods?
11 A. Yes. All day of this mistreatment and
12 throughout that day they kept threatening with this
13 person, whom they called Hosovac, that they would come,
14 that darkness would fall, and that everything would be
15 over, and that is what happened. He came as dark fell,
16 and he took me some 50 or 60 metres away from the group
17 uphill, allegedly to do some repair work. I had to
18 take my shovel and pick axe, and he ordered me to dig.
19 When I asked, "What am I digging?" As there were no
20 trenches there. He said, "Just dig a hole. You're no
21 fool. You know what you need to dig. Just dig a
22 hole." So I thought that that was the end.
23 Q. You thought you were digging your grave?
24 A. Exactly. What else could it have been?
25 MR. SCOTT: If the witness could please be
1 shown Exhibit 2116. If that could be placed on the
2 ELMO, please.
3 A. Yes. That is the patch that he wore on his
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. This Hosovac would dress in a black uniform,
7 with a black beret, with an insignia like the one in
8 2116 on his uniform; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, just so.
10 Q. All right. That's all on the photograph.
11 Now, again to summarise these events, as events turned
12 out, is it correct, sir, that you were able to
13 essentially negotiate an agreement with this
14 individual, to the end that if you agreed to give him
15 two gold rings and some money that you had still been
16 able to keep in your possession back at the Kaonik
17 camp, and in return for that this man would protect you
18 and the others during the rest of the time at Kula, and
19 that was the agreement reached; is that correct?
20 A. (no interpretation) ... so.
21 Q. And he, in fact, did protect you and the
22 others for that evening and the next day, and when you
23 were taken back to Kaonik you, in fact, did give him
24 the two rings some money; is that correct?
25 A. I gave him two rings and some money.
1 MR. SCOTT: Could the usher please show the
2 witness Exhibit 1870.1? Could that be placed on the
3 ELMO? Yes.
4 I apologise, Your Honour. The highlight
5 doesn't show up very well on the ELMO.
6 Q. Witness J, if you look toward top of the
7 exhibit on the ELMO, you will see some yellow
8 highlighter. It's just been moved down, but the upper
9 middle part of the page, do you see some yellow
10 highlighter there?
11 A. (No audible response)
12 Q. Could you tell the Court, is that the area
13 around Putis where you were taken on the first trench
14 digging exercise that you testified about this
16 A. Yes, right there. From Strane towards Putis
17 by Gavrine Kuce, along the main road to Zenica.
18 Q. Just in the relationship to the town of
19 Busovaca, if I direct you, if everyone in the courtroom
20 looks down, directly below that, you will see the town
21 of Busovaca; is that correct?
22 A. It's rather hard to see the town of Busovaca
23 from Strane, from that side, at least from where we
25 Q. I'm sorry witness, I didn't mean to say if
1 you were physically standing in Strane, but in terms of
2 the exhibit, the map --
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think the document
4 speaks for itself, obviously, and about the six o'clock
5 position is the town of Busovaca.
6 Q. To the right of that is some additional
7 yellow highlighter. Is that the area around Kula where
8 you were taken to dig trenches on the second occasion?
9 A. Yes, that is Kula.
10 Q. All right. That concludes that exhibit.
11 Witness J, can you please relate to the Court
12 a particular situation where when you were being taken
13 back to Kaonik from -- was it from Kula or from a
14 Putis, an occasion where you were being taken back to
15 Kaonik and your group was stopped? It was Kula? Can
16 you relate to the Court, in your own words, what
17 happened on that particular occasion?
18 A. No, it was Putis. We were lined up in a
19 column, which was quite normal. The guards were
20 standing around us and they were taking us back to the
21 camp, to Kaonik. On the bridge in Kaonik, coming
22 towards us was a car, an U.N. vehicle, UNPROFOR or
23 whichever, I can't know exactly what the signs on it
24 were, but a reporter, a female reporter came out of the
25 vehicle, and several armed people from the United
1 Nations, and when asked by the first guard, the guard
2 who was at the front asked where they were taking us,
3 what they were doing to us, he just said, "Why are you
4 asking me? Go and ask Kordic, because I've been
5 brought here too."
6 Q. Now, following the situation at Kula, was it
7 the same day or the next day that it turned out that
8 some prisoners who replaced you, excuse me, some Muslim
9 prisoners who replaced you at Kula in trench digging,
10 that it came to your attention, as the information came
11 back to the camp, that several of them had been killed
12 while trench digging?
13 A. Yes. There were 30 of us who were returned
14 to the camp again, and several new prisoners took our
15 place at Kula. So that was on the 7th of February.
16 They too were returned on the morning of the 8th of
17 February from Kula, and they had all been beaten and
18 were unrecognisable. Two of them, in fact, three of
19 them were killed, had been killed. They did not
20 return, that is. Jasmin Sehovic, Elezovic Nermin, and
21 I think Mustafa. He was, I think, from somewhere
22 around Kacuni. They were not returned.
23 So that this exchange, the exchange that was
24 to have taken place on the 8th of February, was late
25 because three people were missing, and they had to be
1 missing because they had been killed. So the Red Cross
2 insisted that they be found.
3 Q. All right, Witness J, we've probably jumped a
4 bit ahead of ourselves. To put your testimony in
5 context, let's go back --
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, we need to take a
7 break shortly. Are you coming to the end?
8 MR. SCOTT: Very much the end, Your Honour.
9 I think there's about ten questions left.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn for a
11 quarter of an hour.
12 --- Recess taken at 4.13 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.31 p.m.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Witness J, you had learned some days
16 preceding the 8th of February, 1993, that there was
17 going to be a prisoner exchange, an exchange between
18 the HVO and Muslims; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. I was about to ask you before the recess that
21 you had been -- Kaonik had been visited by the Red
22 Cross, the International Red Cross, on about the 2nd of
23 February, 1993; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct. We were all registered by
25 the Red Cross.
1 Q. If I could have the usher please show you
2 Exhibit 2716, which you can see on the ELMO there, sir,
3 to your right -- well, you have the B/C/S version in
4 front of you or on the ELMO. Is that the Red Cross
5 certification or certificate or a copy of that
6 concerning your being seen at Kaonik on approximately
7 February 2nd, 1993?
8 A. That's correct, yes.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, let me note for the
10 record and ask that this exhibit be kept and placed
11 under seal because obviously it bears the name of the
12 witness, who is protected.
13 Q. To your knowledge, Witness J, was the Red
14 Cross allowed to see, in fact, all of the actual
15 conditions at Kaonik camp on the 2nd of February, 1993,
16 or, to your knowledge, was it a situation that the
17 individual prisoners were just taken to a central
18 location where they could be seen by a Red Cross
20 A. Yes, in the hallway between the cells, tables
21 were set up, and that's where we had our lunch, we ate
22 our food there, and that is where some of us were
23 allowed to talk to the officials of the Red Cross, to
24 exchange a few words with them, whereas all the rest of
25 us just filled in forms in order to be registered by
1 the Red Cross.
2 Q. All right. Now, because of my question, sir,
3 we jumped ahead, and I apologise. You had mentioned a
4 few minutes ago that there was a group of Muslim
5 prisoners taken from Kaonik to replace your work
6 detail, if you will, when it was brought back to
7 Kaonik, and it was during or among that group that two
8 or three Muslim prisoners had been killed; is that
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Did it come to your attention that later that
12 day, or approximately 5.00 the next morning, if you
13 will, you awoke to the sound of someone or some persons
14 being beaten out in the corridor near your cell; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. It occurred in the
17 corridor between our cells, because there were cells on
18 both sides, and you could hear cries and blows, that
19 somebody was being beaten; and when I beat on the door
20 to ask to be excused to go to the toilet, one of the
21 guards came and -- that was what we usually did when we
22 wanted to go to the toilet. I saw that the HVO police,
23 led by Babic, Nikesa Babic - Nikesa is his nickname, I
24 don't know his actual name - but I saw that they were
25 beating that Hos man and two other people from Kula,
1 and they were the ones who had maltreated us.
2 Q. When you say, so the record is clear, "that
3 Hos man," was this the individual you described earlier
4 as Hosovac?
5 A. Yes, from Kula.
6 Q. As you observed this and talked among
7 yourselves, can you tell the Court any understanding
8 that you came to as to why these HVO soldiers were
9 being beaten or appeared to be being beaten?
10 A. At Kula during that particular night, some of
11 the HVO guards became frightened as to what had
12 happened to those young men and that finally two of
13 them were actually killed and perhaps a third one too,
14 but two were certainly killed, Jasmin Sehovic and
15 Nermin Elezovic, in a very terrible way, so that the
16 HVO police came and took them to the prison. However,
17 some gold and some money that was found on them was to
18 be returned to us later on, but that is a drop in the
19 ocean compared to what was all taken away, and this
20 seemed like a good piece of acting to us because, by
21 what those who stayed in the prison told us, those
22 people were released the same day.
23 Q. Did you come to any conclusion whether you
24 believed that, in fact, the HVO police, the military
25 police, wanted the Muslims to see or to think that
1 these people were being punished?
2 A. Yes. Well, yes, that was quite obvious.
3 They wanted to show us that they were just and that
4 they were doing things in the right way and that they
5 had everything under control. That was the object of
6 it all. That was their proof.
7 Q. Can you relate to the Court, please, other
8 than this particular event that you've testified about
9 in the last few minutes, during the two and a half
10 weeks, approximately, that you were in custody, and
11 concerning all the things you have told us about in
12 your testimony, did you ever at any time see any other
13 HVO soldiers or guards disciplined or punished or
14 stopped in terms of anything that they were doing to
15 the prisoners?
16 A. No, not at all. No question of that. That
17 was never written down in any act or document of the
18 HVO, that anybody should be punished or disciplined for
19 anything they did.
20 Q. Now, on the morning of the 8th of February,
21 1993, you and some other of the Muslim prisoners were,
22 in fact, gathered at Kaonik camp and exchanged and
23 released on that day; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At the time, the exchange was, in fact,
1 delayed, as you told us a few minutes ago, because at
2 least two, if not three, of the men who were already
3 known to the Red Cross, had previously become known to
4 the Red Cross, could not be found or identified at
5 Kaonik on the 8th of February; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct, because they were still
7 at Kula, dead, so the exchange was two or three hours
8 late, as far as I recall. But it nevertheless did take
9 place ultimately.
10 Q. Is it correct, sir, that present at the
11 exchange on the 8th of February, 1993, were Zlatko
12 Aleksovski, Anto Sliskovic, and Zarko Petrovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. SCOTT: One moment. No further
15 questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Naumovski?
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
18 Your Honours.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
20 [Witness answered through Interpreter]
21 Q. Mr. J, let me introduce myself. My name is
22 Mitko Naumovski, I am Defence counsel for Mr. Dario
23 Kordic. It is standard practice to say at the
24 beginning that as both of us can understand each other,
25 I should like to ask you to make pauses between my
1 questions and your answers so that this can be
2 interpreted into the other languages. Thank you.
3 Mr. J, I have some general questions for you
4 to begin with. Before the war, you were a tradesman,
5 you had a shop; what do you do now?
6 A. I am a taxi driver.
7 Q. Tell us, please, were you a member of the
8 Party for Democratic Action?
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. Throughout?
11 A. Yes, all the time.
12 Q. Did you have any particular duties in the SDA
13 in Busovaca?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Tell us, please, on the 8th of February,
16 1993, you left Busovaca and went to Zenica, did you?
17 A. Yes, I went to Zenica.
18 Q. When you arrived in Zenica, were you assigned
19 a position in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. No, because for two whole months, up to the
21 end of May, that is to say, almost three months, I was
22 a man half dead. I was undergoing treatment. I could
23 hardly move. So I had no call-up duties from the army.
24 Q. Does that mean that you were not a soldier at
25 all or only those few months?
1 A. Up until May, I was not, but after that, I
3 Q. May we agree then that after May 1993, you
4 were a soldier in the 303rd Mountain Brigade?
5 A. Yes, I was mobilised.
6 Q. So the answer is "Yes," if I understood you
8 A. Yes. The answer is "Yes."
9 Q. Tell us, please, whether, as a soldier, you
10 went to the Busovaca municipality at all?
11 A. Yes. I was at Kula as a soldier on the front
13 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber when this was?
14 A. From May to the end of the war. I was even
15 at the delineation line at Kula up until that time.
16 Q. So if I have understood you correctly, this
17 entire military service was done at the front line at
18 Kula from May 1993 to the beginning of 1994; is that
20 A. Yes, it is. That's correct.
21 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, Witness J,
22 whether you were a member of the Patriotic League.
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. Tell us, please, when you became a member of
25 the Patriotic League.
1 A. At the beginning of 1992.
2 Q. Where?
3 A. In Busovaca.
4 Q. How long were you a member of the Patriotic
6 A. Only two or three months, until -- that is to
7 say, when, on the 9th of May, what happened happened,
8 and perhaps ten days after that.
9 Q. Who was the commander of the Patriotic League
10 in Busovaca?
11 A. We didn't have any commanders. It was a
12 group of some 30-odd young men and I was sometimes at
13 the head of a group, we tried to organise something.
14 We tried but, let us be clear on this point, that
15 Patriotic League at that particular time, what it did,
16 and in my testimony I mentioned Florijan Glavocevic,
17 and it refers to where we talked and where we placed
18 ourselves in the service of this, to do some good, to
19 help as much as we could the HVO to be united in the
20 defence, and allegedly there was the threat from the
21 Yugoslav People's Army and from the Serbs, but we were
22 not accepted by Mr. Dario Kordic.
23 Q. Well, we'll talk about Mr. Glavocevic later
24 on. These are just in my introductory questions.
25 But as you mentioned that, I'm going to --
1 you said alleged threat from the Serbs in the spring of
3 A. Yes, that's right, alleged.
4 Q. So you consider that there was no threat from
5 the Serbs when you say "alleged"?
6 A. No, not in Busovaca.
7 Q. What about the broader area of
9 A. Well, yes. There, yes.
10 Q. Tell us, please, Witness J, as we just
11 mentioned the Patriotic League, were you in Mehurici
12 where they say the Patriotic League was founded for the
13 area of Central Bosnia?
14 A. No.
15 Q. But you would agree with me that the
16 Patriotic League did have a certain setup, that is to
17 say, lower units, and superior command, and so on and
18 so forth?
19 A. Well, we can call it that, but we did not
20 have anyone who gives orders. Nobody gave us orders.
21 We were primarily organised to help in the defence of
22 Busovaca and to help prevent what, in fact, did occur
23 later on.
24 Q. I am interested to know what the paper you
25 have in front of you is. You keep referring to it.
1 A. I can give it to you. They are the names of
2 the persons who were killed.
3 Q. Just tell us. That many be sufficient.
4 A. Well, it just contains the names of the
5 people who were killed.
6 Q. In Busovaca you mean?
7 A. Yes, in Busovaca.
8 Q. Thank you. When I asked you about the
9 Patriotic League at the level of Central Bosnia, what I
10 wanted to know was whether you had any contacts with
11 Ibrahim Puric, who was the commander of the Patriotic
12 League for Bosnia?
13 A. No, and I don't even know him to this day.
14 Q. When you spoke about the command of the
15 Patriotic League in Busovaca, you said that for a time
16 you were one of the sort of leaders of the group.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who was there after you or before you? Was
19 there anybody else?
20 A. Well, after me -- I don't know who came after
22 Q. For example, Dervis Sarajlic, was he there?
23 A. No. He was one of us, that is to say, one of
24 those people who, in fact, led those 30 young men who
25 to tried to do something and balance out the
2 Q. At that time, the time we're talking about,
3 the soldiers of the Patriotic League, that is to say,
4 the members that we're discussing now, where was their
5 headquarters? Where did they do their training?
6 A. Well, they didn't train anywhere, but their
7 headquarters were in the fire brigade building in the
8 centre of Busovaca, but they had no training at all.
9 Q. Where did you say they had their
10 headquarters? I'm sorry, I missed that.
11 A. In the fire brigade building.
12 Q. I see. Thank you. In the fire brigade
13 building. But I'm not clear on your answer as to why
14 you organised yourselves in Busovaca. To defend
15 yourselves against whom at the beginning of 1992?
16 A. Well, sir, the situation was so terrible and
17 this was hovering in the air that we had to do
18 something. We had to attempt to balance out and even
19 out the situation, to try and do something, to try and
20 do anything to prevent what happened from happening,
21 but we did not succeed.
22 Q. I did not understand something. To defend
23 yourselves from whom?
24 A. Well, defence from whom. If you're going
25 to -- how shall I put it? Defend ourselves from whom.
1 That's a funny question. First of all --
2 Q. Well, I'd like to ask you to answer.
3 A. Well, first of all, let's get this clear.
4 That Patriotic League, that portion that was in
5 Busovaca and which we set up on our own initiative
6 without any orders from anybody or without consulting
7 anybody from above, we did not know anything about that
8 nor did we contact anyone. But we did try, first and
9 foremost, to try to agree with the Croats and to have a
10 sort of platform from which to talk, because we had no
11 armed force available.
12 Q. Perhaps I'm not understanding you properly,
13 but did you answer the question? Who were you
14 preparing to defend yourselves against?
15 A. Well, against the Serbs, of course, the
16 Yugoslav army.
17 Q. But a moment ago you said that they were the
18 alleged enemy of you people in Busovaca.
19 A. Well, when you look at the municipality of
20 Busovaca today and the municipalities that surround the
21 Busovaca municipality, it would be difficult to suppose
22 that the threat came from the Serbs.
23 Q. Well, I think that we'll agree that the
24 former JNA bombed Busovaca in April. We need not
25 suppose that. We agree that is something that
1 occurred. So that is a direct attack.
2 A. Well, yes, direct.
3 Q. Tell us, please, within the context of these
4 questions, did you have any weapons yourself?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Did you have your own weapons or as a member
7 of the Patriotic League?
8 A. No, I had my own weapons.
9 Q. Just make some pauses before you answer,
10 please. What weapons did you have?
11 A. I had a Scorpion pistol.
12 Q. How many bullets?
13 A. Twenty, thirty, depending on the charge, but
14 not more than thirty.
15 Q. Tell us, please, about the following -- I
16 have several questions. I prepared my questions
17 chronologically, according to your testimony, so we're
18 going to stick to that order more or less.
19 With respect to the handing out of weapons in
20 the former barracks of the Busovaca municipality, did
21 you have any duties in agreements between the SDA and
22 HDZ about the distribution of those barracks?
23 A. No, none. None whatsoever.
24 Q. Does that mean that you have no knowledge of
25 the circumstances under which the Dragavoj barracks was
1 allotted to the HVO and the barracks at Kacuni or in
2 the Silos went to the BH army?
3 A. Under which circumstances? Well, it is easy
4 to say. In the Silo there is a purely Muslim
5 population and that is a fact. The HVO did not even
6 attempt to take anything there. Whereas the events
7 concerning the other two barracks, I have no
8 information as to whom conducted the negotiations,
9 whether there were any negotiations or what actually
10 happened. I only know that when the weapons were taken
11 from there, this was celebrated.
12 Q. What did you say?
13 A. The Croats celebrated.
14 Q. You're thinking about Kaonik, are you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Right. Now we're going to ask you a few
17 questions about Kaonik. In connection with the weapons
18 in Kaonik, were you a member of the team which
19 negotiated the way in which the weapons would be
21 A. No.
22 Q. So you have no personal knowledge about
24 A. No. Who was on the team, who negotiated, I
25 have no idea, or whether they did at all.
1 Q. So you don't even know whether there were any
3 A. No.
4 Q. But you said on Thursday that Dario Kordic
5 was involved in this. So after all, you do have some
6 knowledge about what happened, some direct knowledge.
7 A. In those days and throughout that period of
8 time, everything was under the leadership of Dario
10 Q. My question is specifically for Kaonik. Do
11 you have any direct knowledge of the fact that
12 Mr. Kordic was involved in planning the action that
13 took place in Kaonik?
14 A. I don't know that exactly, whether he was
15 directly involved or one of his men, but that is less
17 Q. In view of the fact that you told Their
18 Honours your own conclusion, would you please tell us
19 the details and the basis on which you made that
20 conclusion that he was involved in planning the
22 A. Not a single event of any kind, any
23 negotiations or anything that took place. Even
24 children knew that only Dario Kordic was responsible,
25 that everything was under his supervision.
1 Q. Apart from this general answer that you have
2 given us several times during your direct-examination
3 as well, my question is: Regarding this specific event
4 in Kaonik, do you have any direct knowledge of any
5 particular detail from which you make your conclusion
6 that Dario Kordic was involved in the planning of the
8 A. I do not have a data about it. Let's say I
10 Q. So you don't have. Very well. Tell us,
11 please, were you on the spot when this was happening at
12 the Kaonik barracks?
13 A. No. Who could have been on the spot? We all
14 had to be in our homes. We couldn't even move around
16 Q. On the 9th of May, 1992, you were not allowed
17 to move around?
18 A. But there was a great power behind it. It
19 was a show of might, of enormous might.
20 Q. Tell us, please, how then did other
21 Muslims -- how then were other Muslims present that
22 evening when you were not allowed to move freely?
23 A. I don't know about that.
24 Q. Do you know at all that there was some
25 skirmishes on that occasion?
1 A. I heard about it.
2 Q. You heard about it, but you have no direct
4 A. No.
5 Q. But what you heard goes against what you just
6 said, that you were not allowed to move in 1992. A
7 Muslim who was wounded, I think his name was Mesic, was
8 there with his lorry, for example, yet you are claiming
9 that there was no freedom of movement.
10 A. Upon whose orders and on the basis of what
11 agreement he was present, I don't know, but clearly if
12 he was there then he must have been in agreement with
13 someone, but I have no knowledge about that, why they
14 were there or how.
15 Q. Do you know perhaps, that Dervis Sarajlic was
16 there too?
17 A. I do.
18 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said these are
19 purely things which he heard and, as such, the evidence
20 isn't going to assist us very much. So if we could
21 move on, please, Mr. Naumovski.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I understand,
23 Your Honour.
24 Q. Today, Witness J, you frequently used the
25 term "HVO." Allow me to clear that up a little. When
1 you say the "HVO," what exactly do you mean?
2 A. The Croatian Defence Council.
3 Q. Yes, but as an army, a military force, or in
4 some other sense?
5 A. As a military force, of course.
6 Q. Witness J, do you know that in Busovaca
7 municipality, as in other municipalities, the HVO had
8 its civilian component that was also called HVO but
9 that represented the civilian authority?
10 A. Probably, yes, but I did not see the effects
11 of those civilian authorities.
12 Q. Do you know that HVO civilian authority
13 existed in Busovaca?
14 A. The civilian authorities did exist.
15 Q. A moment ago you said or, rather, in answer
16 to a question about Florijan Glavocevic, you said that
17 he was a president of a war council but so such body
18 existed, I think.
19 A. I think it was called something like that.
20 Q. But if you had said he was president of the
21 HVO, that would be understandable, but no war council.
22 That didn't exist.
23 A. Yes, it did. Yes, it did. A war council did
24 exist in Busovaca, headed by Glavocevic.
25 Q. Did it represent the civilian authorities or
1 was this something else?
2 A. It should have represented the civilian
4 Q. Very well. Talking about civilian
5 authorities, do you know that those civilian
6 authorities, regardless how we called them, whether we
7 use the term that you are using or my term, the
8 government of Busovaca, that certain Muslims stayed on
9 working there, not just as ordinary employees but as
10 functionaries in addition to Croats?
11 A. Since the takeover of power by the HVO, there
12 was no room for any Muslim any more.
13 Q. What about Nezir Huseinspahic?
14 A. Well, come on, sir.
15 Q. Well, he stayed on in the HVO government, for
16 much of 1992. Please answer my question "Yes"
17 or "No".
18 A. I don't know what you mean. Husein? Could
19 you repeat the name, please?
20 Q. Nezir Huseinspahic. I hope I got the name
21 right. I think he was in charge of general
22 administrative affairs.
23 Let me give you another name then. The head
24 of Kadasta (phoen) was Mrs. Alema, a Muslim lady.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Then Mrs. Rizvic.
2 A. Nobody worked. Not a single person was
3 working. Let's get this right. This Alema that you
4 mentioned, her mother was killed. When everything
5 stopped, her mother was killed. Nobody was working.
6 Q. So you're saying the people whose names I
7 mentioned did not stay on working in the civilian
8 authorities of the HVO after May 1992?
9 A. Out of the question. That's ridiculous.
10 Q. When we were talking about those bodies, do
11 you know, from the municipal assembly formed after the
12 first elections, that a body emerged from it, it was
13 called the crisis staff, before the civilian HVO
14 government was formed?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know who was the president of that
17 crisis staff?
18 A. Maybe I misnamed it. Maybe that could have
19 been Glavocevic. Maybe I got it wrong.
20 Q. The crisis staff that we're talking about,
21 the president is Mr. Zoran Maric, ex officio, because
22 he was president of the assembly, the one that was
23 elected after the first elections.
24 A. Yes, I remember that.
25 Q. Was that the body you had in mind when you
1 referred to the war council?
2 A. Zoran Maric came after Glavocevic.
3 Q. Tell us, please, when we're talking about the
4 military HVO component, do you know who was the
5 commander of the Busovaca HVO, the military commander
6 of the Busovaca HVO?
7 A. Dario Kordic, sir.
8 Q. From the beginning? The first commander?
9 A. The first and last. Everything was under his
11 Q. I didn't ask you that. I asked who was the
13 A. Dario Kordic.
14 Q. Since you lived in Busovaca throughout that
15 time and you know the people, I take it you must know
16 when brigades were formed or, rather, the HVO Brigade
17 in Busovaca. If I understand you well, if Mr. Kordic
18 was the commander of everything, then he must have been
19 the brigade commander as well.
20 A. Every brigade has its own commander, sir, but
21 then there's the commander above those commanders. You
22 know, there's a hierarchy.
23 Q. But that's precisely what I had in mind and
24 what I asked you first, who is the commander of the HVO
25 in Busovaca, and your answer was Mr. Kordic. There is
1 no scale, no hierarchy, in your answer.
2 A. There isn't because he is Number 1. Everyone
3 else is below him.
4 Q. Talking about the command and so on, do you
5 know that there was a command for the Operative Zone of
6 Central Bosnia?
7 A. Perhaps I heard about that. I may have.
8 Q. You don't know anything about it?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Do you know perhaps who was the commander of
11 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Have you heard of the name Colonel Tihomir
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In what context? What was he?
17 A. I know he was a General, that he was
18 mentioned very frequently, and that the people were
19 saying that he should have been the commander of
20 everything, but in reality it wasn't like that, that's
21 for sure.
22 Q. I'm trying to follow your thoughts. You
23 heard that Mr. Blaskic should have been the commander
24 of the Operative Zone, is that what you've said?
25 A. Yes, quite.
1 Q. But you don't know whether he, in fact, was?
2 A. On paper he was.
3 Q. So your answer to my previous question as to
4 who was the commander of the Operative Zone, you are
5 now saying that on paper it was Mr. Tihimoir Blaskic?
6 A. Probably, yes.
7 Q. What was he by occupation?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. You said in one of your testimonies that he
10 was a professional soldier, an officer of the JNA. So
11 that was his occupation. So we agree that he was a
12 professional soldier. We agree, don't we?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Before passing on to the main
16 issue, Your Honours, I should like to ask how much more
17 time I have left today, please.
18 JUDGE MAY: About 20 minutes. Until half
19 past five, and then you've got tomorrow, but allowing
20 such time for us to have the argument about the dossier
21 and, of course, any cross-examination by
22 Mr. Mikulicic.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
24 Your Honours. I'll do my very best to shorten this as
25 much as I can, but this witness has touched on many
1 issues and I really do have quite a lot of questions,
2 but I'll do my best.
3 Q. Tell us, please, a few questions of a
4 different nature. Yesterday you mentioned Mr. Dragutin
5 Zvonimir Cicak, rather, on Thursday, not yesterday, and
6 you said he is your neighbour who has a holiday home
7 some 500 or 600 metres away from your home?
8 A. I think so, yes.
9 Q. Your house was in the Visovacka (sic)
10 Street? Is that its name? There are two or three
11 streets with the same name. Sorry, Tisovacka. I think
12 Mr. Kordic's street has the same name.
13 A. Yes. There was a boulevard and this was
14 Tisovacka Number 1.
15 Q. So you say that the distance between your
16 houses was 150 metres. It may be 300, but that's not
17 so important.
18 Those streets linked together to form one,
19 and then the road goes on leading to the village of
20 Ravno and then on to Tisovac. Do we agree?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Where exactly is Mr. Cicak's holiday home?
23 Were those two streets linked up or further away?
24 A. No, I think it's in the area called Bare, if
25 I'm not mistaken.
1 Q. You're referring to Juriceve Bare?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Could I ask
4 the usher for his assistance to show the witness this
5 map? We can use the one that the Prosecutor has
6 tendered, D1870.1. So will you please place it on the
7 ELMO so I can ask the witness a few questions? It's
8 today's map.
9 Q. Would you be kind enough, Witness J, to point
10 with the pointer to your house or, rather, Juriceve
11 Bare, on the ELMO, where it says "Busovaca," then the
12 village of Ravan. I think you know the map better than
13 I do.
14 A. There is Ravan, here somewhere (Indicating).
15 Q. So Juriceve Bare is between Busovaca and
17 A. Yes, I think so.
18 Q. I should now like to ask you to show us, on
19 the same map, the village of Granice, a little to the
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Could you
22 move the map a little bit further down, please? Move
23 the map down a little please, Mr. Usher. Move the map
24 down on the ELMO, please. That's fine now.
25 Q. So we see the village of Granice. So it's
1 quite to the other side of Busovaca. It's about two
2 and a half or three and a half kilometres from
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Why have I shown you this? Because
6 Mr. Cicak, in his testimony, in his statement, said
7 that he had a weekend home in this village of Granice,
8 which is an entirely different area than Busovaca.
9 Mr. Cicak said this on page 1389 of the transcript,
10 lines 19 to 21. What do you say to that?
11 A. That's something new to me.
12 JUDGE MAY: It's not really for the witness
13 say. It's a matter of comment. You could comment on
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
16 Your Honours. I won't be using the map any more. We
17 can go on.
18 Q. Talking about the wheat in the silo that you
19 mentioned, whose reserves were they, Witness J?
20 A. Former Yugoslavia, ex-Yugoslavia.
21 Q. Did you participate in the negotiations on
22 the way that wheat would be used directly?
23 A. No.
24 Q. But you told us that the agreement was to
25 share it 50/50.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Between whom?
3 A. Between the Muslims and the Croats.
4 Q. You recounted an incident in connection with
5 a truck, but I didn't quite understand your final
6 conclusion. Was that the total quantity of grain and
7 wheat that was shared 50/50 with the Croats?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Who was that grain left to?
10 A. It was left to the Muslims.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you. Having mentioned the
12 silo as such, as a name which was meant to be used as a
13 storage place for grain, do you know that in that same
14 silo there was a camp for Croats already in January '93
15 and onwards?
16 A. That is not correct.
17 Q. So it was not a camp there?
18 A. No. A prison perhaps but not a camp.
19 Q. But for whom was it a prison?
20 A. Even for me.
21 Q. What do you mean? You mean for soldiers?
22 A. I too was a soldier.
23 Q. Did you make a disciplinary omission?
24 A. Yes, exactly.
25 Q. So it must have been something serious when
1 you ended up in prison.
2 A. It depends how you look at it. Anyway, I
3 spent six days there.
4 Q. And you didn't see civilians there and very
5 poor living conditions?
6 A. The conditions were poor, that's quite for
7 sure, for me and for everyone else, but there wasn't a
8 single civilian there and especially not Croats.
9 Q. Tell me, please -- I have several questions
10 linked to January 1993. Would you agree with me that
11 the road was cut in the area between Kacuni and
12 Bilalovac in January 1993?
13 A. What do you mean cut?
14 Q. I mean, traffic was blocked. The road was
15 closed to traffic?
16 A. It was not possible for vehicles to move
17 along that road, that is, the vehicles of Croats.
18 Until the 25th of January, 1993, it was not blocked.
19 It was blocked towards Zenica. There were obstacles
20 put up there by the HVO.
21 Q. Tell me, please, you say that you were a
22 civilian in January, 1993?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As of what date did you become a civilian
25 without any military duties?
1 A. I had absolutely no military duties.
2 Q. But did you have any military assignments in
3 1992 when you were a member of the Patriotic League?
4 A. I did, to go to the front. I was on the
5 front at Visoko in September 1992.
6 Q. Within which unit?
7 A. 333rd Brigade.
8 Q. Very well. That's what I was asking. Until
9 when did you act as a soldier in that brigade?
10 A. For 15 days and then I demobilised.
11 Q. And you were not called up again?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Tell me, please -- I'm talking about the end
14 of 1992 and January of 1993, for the first half -- did
15 the TO have its own units in the town and in the
17 A. In the town, no, only in Kacuni.
18 Q. Members of the TO travelled from Busovaca to
19 Kacuni and came back? They went there to work, to put
20 it that way?
21 A. No, sir.
22 Q. Well, tell us then.
23 A. We were called in only if there was a need to
24 go to the front, and that was how I was called up in
25 September. We would stay there for about 15 days. We
1 went to Visoko, then after that Maglaj. You would be
2 there for 15 days, return all your weapons that were
3 issued to you, and you'd go back home and nobody would
4 call you up again.
5 Q. So there were no armed units of the Patriotic
6 League or the TO in the town of Busovaca in December
7 1992 and January 1993?
8 A. In the town, no.
9 Q. But did they come to town, certain BH army
10 units, under arms? Did they come to town on certain
12 A. Yes. This occurred on the 22nd of January,
13 when Delija was being buried, Mirsad Delija, who was
14 killed on the evening of the 21st. As far as I
15 remember, they performed the honorary salute. Those
16 boys who came went back to Kacuni after that.
17 Q. Were they local people from the town of
19 A. I really cannot remember, but there were
20 people from Kacuni. I think most of them were from
22 Q. Tell us, when we're talking about the war
23 against the Serbs, did individuals from Busovaca, early
24 on, participate in the war in Croatia, when the former
25 Yugoslavia, or, rather, the former JNA attacked
1 Croatia? Did people go to Croatia from Busovaca, both
2 Muslims and Croats, to fight the JNA and the Serbs?
3 A. I really cannot answer that question.
4 Q. Would you see people in uniform coming home
5 on leave from Croatia, coming to Busovaca, the town of
6 Busovaca, with military insignia?
7 A. I don't know, really. I don't know.
8 Q. You never saw anyone coming on leave wearing
9 a uniform?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. So let us go on with this topic that I have
12 touched upon, that is, January 1993. When I say that
13 traffic was intercepted on the Kacuni-Bilalovac road
14 for Croats, do you know what happened on the 24th of
15 January, 1993, at around 3.00 in the afternoon in
17 A. Yes, roughly, I do. There was an incident.
18 Q. Were you there or do you know from what other
19 people told you?
20 A. From other people's stories. I wasn't
22 Q. On that day at the checkpoint at Kacuni, two
23 Croats were killed, Ivica Petrovic and Igor
24 Bogdanovic. They were there in a civilian vehicle. Do
25 you agree with me?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Do you know that a couple of days before
3 that, in that same area, the kidnapping of Ignac
4 Kostroman, one of the leaders of the Croatian people in
5 the area, was attempted?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So you know nothing about it?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Excuse me. I just remembered something. You
10 said Mirsad Delija was killed. Was his brother one of
11 the commanders in Kacuni? Does he have a brother?
12 A. He has two brothers.
13 Q. Was one of them a commander on that roadblock
14 in Kacuni?
15 A. Probably, yes. I don't exclude the
16 possibility, but I'm not sure. I wasn't there.
17 Q. Thank you. Talking about this roadblock, and
18 I think we could end with that today, you said on
19 Thursday that you went to Split at the end of 1992 and
20 that you needed a permit, which was signed for you by
21 Niko Grubesic, and you went with that permit?
22 A. Exactly.
23 Q. So you went to Split. You passed this
24 checkpoint, and I assume you passed through some others
25 when leaving Busovaca. The road was, in fact,
1 scattered with roadblocks in those days, would you
2 agree with me?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So you needed to have some other kinds of
6 A. I absolutely needed nothing else.
7 Q. Did you cross a checkpoint held by the BH
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So did you have to have some kind of paper,
12 A. No.
13 Q. So you were allowed to pass?
14 A. Yes. Because if you were going from
15 Busovaca, then you would go to Novi Travnik, Prozor,
16 Jablanica, Metkovic, and Split.
17 Q. The fact that you did not need a permit, as
18 you say, did this apply to both Croats and Muslims?
19 I'm talking about a permit from the BH army.
20 A. Generally nobody needed one, that's for
22 Q. So passage was free?
23 A. If you had that paper.
24 Q. I see in front of me a permit.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Perhaps if
1 it's not too late or shall we leave it for tomorrow,
2 Your Honour?
3 JUDGE MAY: Deal with it now.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
5 Could the usher please distribute copies, one for the
6 witness, for Their Honours and the court.
7 THE REGISTRAR: D37/1.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Please show
9 it to the witness. It's important that he should see
11 Q. So we're talking about the same route,
12 Vitez-Prozor. So this is a permit for the passage of
13 persons and vehicles, as it says, issued to
14 Mr. Munib Kajmovic in the TO headquarters, on the 11th
15 of October, 1992, and it is signed by the TO commander
16 in Vitez, Sefkija Dzidic. Have you looked at it,
17 Witness J?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you agree that this is a permit issued by
20 the Muslim authorities, so to speak, in those days?
21 A. Yes, but of Vitez municipality.
22 Q. Yes, but for passage along the same road that
23 you took as far as Prozor. But you said you didn't
24 need any permit.
25 A. I did not.
1 Q. But do you agree that this is a permit for
2 the same stretch of road?
3 A. Probably, but I see it for the first time.
4 Q. Very well. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now until half past
6 two tomorrow.
7 Witness J, would you please be back tomorrow
8 again at half past two, where I hope we'll be able to
9 finish your evidence.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
11 at 5.34 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Tuesday, the 13th day of July, 1999
13 at 2:30 p.m.