1 Tuesday, 30 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Scott, are you ready to proceed?
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Yes, I am.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS ML [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
16 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
17 A. Good sir.
18 Q. Just a couple more questions about the 9th of May, 1993, please.
19 And you may recall yesterday we spoke about Vinko Martinovic, Stela, and
20 how you saw him once early in the morning or running by and then later
21 that afternoon or evening around 4.00 or 5.00. I want to ask you now,
22 sir: Do you recall whether you saw any other members of the Martinovic
23 family on the 9th of May, 1993?
24 A. On that morning, I didn't see anyone else. I saw the five or six
25 of them whom I knew. I don't know who else I could have seen. I know his
1 brother, but I didn't see him.
2 Q. The woman who you said came to you complaining about being evicted
3 by Stela and then you told us the story about how it wasn't Stela and in
4 fact, Stela was there with you at the time -- you said that this happened,
5 if I heard you correctly, sir, in the winter of 1993. Is
6 that correct?
7 A. That is misinterpreted. No one was expelled from a flat. We --
8 it had to do with 100 marks. That was about October. I know that work
9 was being carried out inside, not in the yard. No one was expelled from a
10 flat. This had to do with the 100 marks that were taken away.
11 Q. All right. Maybe we're talking about the same event, sir, and
12 maybe we're not. So let me see if I understand. You recall the incidents
13 where you told us that a woman came to you making allegation that is
14 something had happened to her that had been done by Stela; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you told us, in fact, that when she described this person who
20 she claimed to be Stela, that it -- the physical description she gave was
21 not in fact Stela. Is that what you said?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in fact, it happened to be that, according to you, Stela was
24 with you at that time, at the moment of this conversation; is that
1 A. Yes. He wasn't with me, but he was with some others. He was in
2 company probably from the town defence. He was sitting with them and I
3 was serving. I wasn't sitting.
4 Q. All right. So what happened on that occasion was not that the
5 woman had claimed to be -- that she was being evicted or had been evicted
6 someone but that some money had been taken from her?
7 A. Yes. She claimed that she had been threatened with a gun and told
8 to give her money or she would be killed and that he introduced himself as
10 Q. All right. Now, thank you for that clarification and my
12 You said that it was clear that it was not Stela that was involved
13 in this, but do you know, for instance, sir -- do you know that it wasn't
14 Stela's soldiers who had done that thing?
15 A. Well, given the description she gave, she said he had black hair
16 and had a ponytail. It couldn't have been any one of his men because at
17 the time they all had short hair.
18 Q. So your conclusion -- again, just so it's clear, sir, your
19 conclusion is that none of these soldiers were Stela's men is based
20 entirely on the physical description given by this woman; is that
22 A. Yes. It's based on the description that she gave and also on the
23 location of the event, because it took place near the Mostarka building,
24 which is about 2 kilometres from my building.
25 Q. Sir, didn't soldiers have the ability to move in fact all over
1 West Mostar?
2 A. Well, yes, when they had the time. But as there weren't enough of
3 them, they probably didn't have -- well, some of them remained in the
4 base. Some of them were at positions. I can't exclude that possibility.
5 He could have been wearing a wig. But according to the description, he
6 had black hair and was wear ago ponytail, so this description didn't
7 correspond to anyone from that unit.
8 Q. All right. Now, going to these prisoners who stayed at the
9 headquarters and were fed, not at your restaurant, as you described it,
10 but by -- excuse me, with food from your restaurant. If I understood you
11 correctly, sir, you said that there were approximately from 5 to 12
12 prisoners who you would feed in the way you described. Is that correct?
13 A. I said that there were about -- between 5 and 12, maybe sometimes
14 15 soldiers. I can't remember exactly. I didn't count them. And I
15 wasn't there all the time either. They were given the same food that the
16 soldiers were given, and I said that they were about 3 metres away,
17 because there was only a corridor with flowers which separated them -- a
18 part with flowers that separated them, and that still exists today. So
19 about 3 or 4 metres away they had a table at which they would eat. And
20 the food was the same. Let me repeat that again.
21 Q. All right. Now, just now, sir, just so the record is clear,
22 you -- you referred to or at least the translation came through in the
23 transcript as you referring to 5 -- between 5 and 12, maybe sometimes 15
24 soldiers. And you were talking about prisoners; correct?
25 A. Maybe 15.
1 Q. No, it wasn't so much the number I was asking about, sir, but it
2 came across soldiers. And you were talking about prisoners at this time;
4 A. I didn't mention soldiers. I said there were 50, 60, or 70
5 soldiers and there were, as I said, there were prisoners and they went
6 there freely. There were prisoners who worked. I said what sort of work
7 they carried out. There were 5 or 12 of them, and it's possible that on
8 occasion there were even 15 of them.
9 Q. All right. And these were the prisoners -- yesterday you used the
10 phrase to describe them, you said -- you called them "free prisoners";
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if we could go to closed session --
15 private session for a moment.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
17 [Private session]
13 Page 14459 – redacted – private session
11 [Open session]
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. You've said yesterday and again just now, sir, that the food --
14 you would go to the warehouse to get food. What warehouse are you
15 referring to?
16 A. I didn't say that I went to get food in the warehouse. I clearly
17 said that food would be transported by lorry. Raw food would be bought to
18 my restaurant, it would be prepared in my restaurant and then served. And
19 to this very day I don't know where that warehouse was.
20 Q. All right. Well, where did you understand, whether you knew the
21 exact location or not -- what was your understanding of where this food
22 was coming from?
23 A. At the time it wasn't for me to think. I just had to do what had
24 to be done, sir -- and it was important to have enough food, enough food
25 to prepare, to cook. And where it came from, I don't know.
1 Q. During this time, sir, were you feeding other people -- I know it
2 was during war, of course. But were you feeding only Stela's soldiers and
3 some of these prisoners, or did you still have -- and I'm not trying to be
4 silly in saying this, sir. I'm really asking a question. Did you have
5 other customers, other clientele who would come in off the street, as it
6 were, and eat at your restaurant?
7 A. I had cameramen from Croatian radio. I prepared food for them
8 because my father has a farm in the vicinity of the town, and they would
9 come because I always had stocks from my father.
10 Q. All right. Well, then apart from this radio or television crew,
11 were you feeding -- normally feeding other persons apart from soldiers of
12 Stela's unit and prisoners?
13 A. Well, maybe some other officers turned up from the town defence
14 who would sit down there, someone I didn't know, because I wasn't in the
15 restaurant all the time because I had this other job which involved the
16 civil defence to do. I usually did that in the morning. Maybe someone
17 else turned up in addition to these men, but I don't know who.
18 Q. Let me ask in that regard just for a moment do you remember if any
19 senior HVO officers or officials came to your restaurant?
20 A. I can't remember that. I probably didn't see them, or maybe I
21 just wasn't there at the time.
22 Q. All right. Let me just mention a couple of names to see if it
23 provokes any memories, sir. Did a man named Slobodan Praljak ever come
24 to your restaurant during 1993?
25 A. Slobodan Praljak would come to the restaurant, but during the
1 war -- during the first war with the Serbs. I saw him on several
2 occasions. I could recognise him on -- by his beard. I could see him now
3 too. He goes to the restaurant now. But I don't remember seeing him
4 eating in the restaurant at the time.
5 Q. And how about a man named Milivoj Petkovic did he frequent the
7 A. I never saw him, not in any of the wars.
8 Q. And I'll just ask you one more. How about a man named Bruno
9 Stojic, the Minister of Defence?
10 A. I know Bruno Stojic personally, but he wouldn't go there. Only
11 after the war when he made -- built a building next to my house. But I
12 never saw him in my restaurant in uniform.
13 Q. All right. Well, the food that you were getting from this
14 warehouse, did you have to pay for the food, sir, or was it just being
15 provided to you?
16 A. No. I didn't pay for anything. I received bread too, bread and
17 raw food, potatoes, beans. I said a certain amount of sausage, fresh
18 meat, chicken, and that's what we used to prepare food. I didn't pay for
20 Q. Is it correct, sir, that a fair amount, a substantial amount of
21 these food items were in fact coming by shipment from Croatia?
22 A. I didn't work at the customs, so I don't know where it came from.
23 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in fact some of the Muslim prisoners --
24 excuse me, some Muslim prisoners were actually used to unload the lorries,
25 as you described them, or trucks, bringing food and other items to your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. No. These were three or four soldiers who had been given these
3 duties. They were from the base, and there wasn't a big warehouse in my
4 building so, so not much could be brought. But it was very easy to unload
5 these things. I didn't see prisoners unloading anything at any time.
6 Q. Sir, did you ever know a man named Nenad Harmandzic?
7 A. Nenad Harmandzic was a permanent guest of ours in the restaurant
8 before the war. I knew him very well. And during the war -- during the
9 war with the Serbs there was some wine. He would just drink wine. He
10 would sometimes turn up. And during the break between those damned wars,
11 I lost contact with him. I still see his brother and his sons today, but
12 I don't know what happened to him.
13 Q. Is it correct, sir, that sometime in approximately early to
14 mid-July that in fact Mr. Harmandzic was one of the prisoners who
15 unloaded trucks at your restaurant?
16 A. I didn't see him. It may be someone told me that prisoners
17 unloaded these things. My wife, if she had seen this, she would have
18 probably told me that, but I never saw him unloading the lorries because I
19 said I've lost contact with him. I haven't seen him since the end of the
20 war with the Serbs, and he doesn't live far from my house, maybe 200
21 metres away. I said that his brother sometimes turns up, but I don't know
22 what happened to him.
23 Q. Were you present, sir -- did you ever hear that on an occasion
24 when Mr. Harmandzic was allegedly unloading a truck at your restaurant
25 that he was badly beaten by a man named Ernest Takac?
1 A. I can't remember that. I wasn't there, and I didn't see that.
2 But I probably would have found out what was happening in my building, in
3 my restaurant.
4 Q. All right. Sir, my final set of questions. I'd like to direct
5 your attention to the first few days of July 1993. And this was a time
6 when there was another large wave, if I can use that term, if you
7 understand what I mean, sir -- another large wave of Muslims being
8 arrested. Do you recall that?
9 A. The dates don't mean anything to me now. What happened, I don't
11 Q. Well, do you recall what you saw happening in Mostar around that
12 time? There must have been some days -- is it correct, sir, that there
13 were some days when there was much more fighting and much more commotion,
14 if you will, and activity in the city than on other times -- at other
16 A. I don't know what activity you are referring, to military or ... ?
17 Q. Well, military activity or, as I mentioned, large numbers of
18 arrests being made.
19 A. As far as I can remember, at that time my father and a friend of
20 his were captured at the demarcation line in the Bulevar and he was taken
21 to Gnjojnice to the prison there. He spent three days there. I think
22 that was at the time that people were being expelled on -- by both sides,
23 as far as I can remember.
24 Q. Did you have any Muslims friends at that time who came to you
25 asking to be protected or seeking help in some way?
1 A. Not at the time, because those neighbours of mine, whom I
2 mentioned yesterday, they were protected. No one touched them. And I
3 didn't go anywhere else. And as a civilian, I was not in a position to
4 protect anyone, in any case.
5 MR. SCOTT: I'd like the witness to please be shown Exhibit 509.2,
6 which was a new exhibit which I handed out before court started today.
7 Q. Sir, if I can ask you to look at the Croatian language version of
8 that document. I'll give you a moment or two to read the document and
9 then there's just a few questions I would like to ask you about it.
10 Have you had a chance to read it, sir?
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. All right. Now, having shown you that document, sir, let me go
13 back to some of the questions I asked you a few moments ago. Does that
14 assist you in recalling a time, between approximately the 30th of June and
15 the first few days of July, when in fact there was -- there were a large
16 number of Muslims being arrested during that time?
17 A. Having read this document, I can see that the perpetrators in that
18 group, who were wearing uniform but didn't have any insignia indicating
19 which unit they belonged to. And at the end it says that it created a
20 false picture, a false image of the members of the HVO. I think that this
21 is just an illusion of theirs. If there were no insignia, then who knows
22 who the perpetrators were.
23 Q. All right. Well, you jumped a bit ahead of me, sir. My first
24 question is: Does this assist you -- does this assist you in remembering
25 that in fact a large number of Muslims were arrested during the first part
1 of July 1993?
2 A. I don't know whether they were arrested. I said that both sides
3 exaggerated. There was a lot of exaggeration from the left bank to the
4 right and from the right bank to the left.
5 Q. Well, sir, you're talking -- sorry.
6 A. But I apologise. I didn't move around the streets, so I couldn't
7 see these things. I said I had a job to do, and as a civilian I didn't
8 get around the town very much.
9 Q. In addition to the arrest, sir, there's also description in this
10 document of approximately 22 Muslim civilians who had been killed during
11 the same time. Did you hear anything about that at the time?
12 A. Yes. There were rumours. But I can't claim that I know that this
13 happened now. But there were rumours. Rumours exist.
14 Q. One of the locations that's referenced here is Pecina Street,
15 number 101, if you recall or see that. Where is that location -- excuse
16 me, where is that location and reference to your restaurant?
17 A. It's not Pecina, it's Ricina, not Pecina.
18 Q. Well, if I mispronounced it, sir, my apologies. Where is that --
19 A. Ricina.
20 Q. Well --
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott. Can we go to the private session.
22 MR. SCOTT: I suppose, Mr. President, out of abundant caution.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
24 [Private session]
13 Page 14468 – redacted – private session
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination, Mr. Seric?
3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge Clark.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. ML, I have a few questions to ask you. When you
7 were providing meals for the Vinko Skrobo unit, you were asked by
8 Mr. Scott if your restaurant was open to anybody to just come in and seek
9 a meal, and I thought your answers were not quite clear. Was the
10 restaurant open generally with a menu available? Could somebody come in
11 off the street and say, "I'd like a meal"?
12 A. I said openly and in public that no one could enter, especially
13 not civilians, and there was nothing you could order. There was just one
14 dish that we could make. And we knew roughly how many meals should be
15 prepared, plus/minus five, how many prisoners, workers would come. And we
16 cooked so many meals, plus/minus five, and no one could come from the
17 outside, especially not civilians.
18 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. Sir, it would be more accurate really to
19 describe your premises during the period of the conflict as a designated
21 A. Yes, in one sense, because food was brought from the warehouse.
22 You couldn't buy anything and you couldn't sell anything in those days
24 JUDGE CLARK: In relation to the area around where your restaurant
25 was, were there any coffee-shops or restaurants operating for the general
2 A. For ordinary people?
3 JUDGE CLARK: That's correct.
4 A. As far as I know, there was a prohibition by the town's defence.
5 There was a prohibition on assembly, so it was not allowed for such
6 facilities to be open. There was a decree issued according to which all
7 these businesses were closed.
8 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. And if people came to your premises
9 during the period of the conflict, could they sit there and drink coffee?
10 A. No, they couldn't have a cup of coffee. And I said especially not
11 civilians. There probably wasn't any coffee either, because there were
12 periods when there was no electricity and no one drank it. That's for
13 sure, in those days.
14 JUDGE CLARK: And indeed there were probably periods where there
15 was no coffee either, I can imagine.
16 Can you tell me a little bit more about the food that you were
17 talking about. Do you have any idea who provided it? I mean, it's quite
18 a job locating fresh food when you talked about meat and chicken during
19 the war. Do you have any idea where that food came from, who paid for it?
20 A. I said a moment ago I didn't work for the customs, so I don't know
21 where it came from. I can give you a document from the civil defence
22 telling you where the humanitarian aid came from, but as for the food, I
23 don't know. It came there in a truck in front of my restaurant. Where it
24 came from, how it got there, I don't know. I wasn't interested in
25 learning either.
1 JUDGE CLARK: I accept that. But do you even know did a soldier
2 drive the truck? Was it guarded by soldiers? Have you even a vague idea
3 who actually provided the food? Not necessarily which country it came
4 from, but which town it had started in.
5 A. A small car would come in front of my restaurant bringing the food
6 needed for that unit. It wasn't a truck with a trailer that would unload
7 from one restaurant to another. They just brought the amount that we
8 needed for that occasion. Now, where the warehouse was, where the trucks
9 were, where the food came from, I don't know.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Well, tell me this, Mr. ML: You said that you were
11 paid for cooking it and that it was your job or that of your wife to keep
12 a record of how many meals had been cooked and that you had given those
13 records to somebody. Now, I have two questions arising out of that.
14 First of all, how were you paid for cooking and meals and by whom? And
15 then secondly, who did you give the records to?
16 A. Again, this is a misinterpretation. I wasn't paid for the
17 cooking, nor did I say that. I said that I was a commander in the civil
18 defence and I received a salary there. My wife was a member of the unit
19 and she received a salary. She was a quartermaster. I explained
20 yesterday what that entails. And she was a quartermaster and, therefore,
21 her duty was to cook, just as it was the duty of other soldiers to go to
22 the front. I did not receive any compensation for the cooking, because I
23 didn't really do the cooking. I just assisted my wife.
24 JUDGE CLARK: I see. So your salary was as you described
25 yesterday as a member of the civil defence and your wife as a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE CLARK: Very good. Yesterday you mentioned that you had a
4 lot of cans -- canned or tinned food. And would that -- would you have --
5 would you make a distinction between the canned food and the food that you
6 got from the warehouse?
7 A. The canned food was semi-prepared, like a goulash, a stew, if you
8 understand what a goulash is. These were cans coming from all over the
9 world, in all kinds of languages. You could read the inscriptions and you
10 didn't know what was in them until you opened them. So we cooked them.
11 What was no good, we threw away. What was okay, we used. Because all
12 kinds of things were contained in them. This may be funny to some people,
13 but that's how it was.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Was that food that you would describe as
15 humanitarian aid?
16 A. It didn't say "humanitarian aid" on it. I had the key from the
17 local community, and I had the key to the room there where these supplies
18 arrived. But on those supplies there was an indication that they came
19 from humanitarian aid, and on these ones that we were talking about there
20 was no such indication.
21 JUDGE CLARK: Very good. Now, there's obviously different sources
22 of the cans. The food that came from humanitarian aid, was that marked
23 "United Nations aid"? Was it easily identified as food that came from
24 either the United Nations or the Red Cross or the various aid
1 A. There was a red cross drawn on it, so probably one would easily
2 recognise it, yes.
3 JUDGE CLARK: How was that aid distributed? How did so much of it
4 end up in your restaurant?
5 A. Which aid do you mean? You mean the humanitarian aid? I don't
6 know whether it was humanitarian aid. I told you that I received the food
7 from the warehouse. Where it came from when it reached the warehouse, I
8 don't know. I told you that.
9 JUDGE CLARK: I think we're talk at cross-purposes, Mr. ML.
10 Yesterday in response to questions about giving prisoners food, I think it
11 was from counsel for the Defence of Mr. Martinovic, you said that you had
12 a lot of cans at your place, a lot of them, and so you could give them
13 away. And we've also heard that there were a lot of cans kept at the
14 Vinko Skrobo unit. Where would these -- did these cans come from? I know
15 you can't answer where the cans from the Vinko Skrobo unit came from, but
16 where did the cans that you had come from?
17 A. I didn't say that in the Vinko Skrobo unit there were cans stored,
18 because they didn't know where to keep them. And there weren't that many
19 cans. I didn't say there were a thousand. Maybe even 20 is too many.
20 Because in those days who had a can, he could consider himself lucky. He
21 had plenty to eat.
22 JUDGE CLARK: I think, Mr. ML, you've answered a lot of my
23 questions now. Thank you very much for your assistance.
24 JUDGE LIU: Judge Diarra.
25 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 I have a very small question regarding the gentleman called Lopata
2 and Himzo Gakovic. I didn't understand what you said in regard to
3 that question.
4 A. Lopata. I said regarding him that his very nickname is an
5 indication of what kind of a man he is. And I said that a month and a
6 half prior to that he broke the windscreens, two windscreens of the car
7 observed by Jakovic, who is a Muslim like he.
8 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] What did he do to Himzo Gakovic?
9 A. He broke his windshields with a rock in front of the court because
10 he had a case, a trial.
11 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Is he a fool? Is he crazy? Or is
12 he a criminal? That's what I'd like to know, because you used both
14 A. It's better to say that he was a bad criminal and a very strong
15 criminal. He could load a truck in half an hour. And he also liked to
17 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's questions? Yes,
19 Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President. Two questions to follow up on
21 Judge Clark's questions.
22 Further cross-examination by Mr. Scott:
23 Q. Sir, there was a second part of Judge Clark's questions. You said
24 there was a record of the shipments received and perhaps the food used.
25 I take it you had to give some sort of an accounting.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And Judge Clark asked you, who did you give those records to or
3 what is your understanding of what happened to those records that were
5 A. The records are handed over to people bringing the food. You have
6 to sign a kind of receipt for receiving the food and an order for fresh
7 supplies. Now, who they gave these documents to, I don't know.
8 Q. And that in fact leads into my second question: You said on some
9 occasion -- I think you said earlier that these -- the food would arrive
10 by lorry. And then a few moments ago you said something about coming in a
11 car. But in either situation, sir, approximately how often were the
12 shipments delivered? Was it every day? Did they -- for instance, did a
13 truck come every morning, or how often would these deliveries be made?
14 A. It -- the deliveries would come every 10 or 12 days. And
15 according to our regulations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a truck is between
16 1 and a half tonnes to 20 tonnes, because you have to sit for a driver's
17 licence. Whether you're driving a lorry of 1 and a half tonnes or 20
18 tonnes. So these are small lorry, actually, that didn't have
19 refrigeration, and that is why they had to come often.
20 Q. And the final question, sir: Based on the frequency of the
21 shipments that you just told us about, was there ever a time when there
22 was a longer gap, if you will, a lapse of time, longer than the 10 or 12
23 day that is you said the shipments -- during which the shipments were
24 regularly made?
25 A. Sometimes the interval was 20 days. If there were fewer soldiers
1 to feed. There would be less cooking and less consumption if they went
2 away. If they went to the seaside or something, there would be less of
3 them to feed.
4 Q. Thank you, witness.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
6 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing to add, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, witness, for coming here to give your
8 evidence. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you out of
9 the room. We all wish you a pleasant journey back home.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Seric, any documents to tender at this moment?
12 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Yes. The plan of the town, 236 --
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I guess there's no objections?
15 MR. SCOTT: No objection, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So the document D236 has been
17 admitted into the -- under seal.
18 Are there any documents to tender on your side, Mr. Scott?
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just so the record is clear, the only
20 document that the Prosecution used with this witness was 509.2. And we
21 will not tender it at this time. It may come up with a future witness,
22 but we're not tendering it now.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE LIU: Before we have the next witness, Mr. Krsnik, you
1 promised us that you would furnish us with the videolink list of the new
2 witnesses by Monday. Now it is Tuesday. We are looking forward to
3 receiving that list of the documents, because we have been seized with a
4 motion filed by Mr. Martinovic's counsel for the videolink. I believe
5 that all the decisions should be made concerning with the videolink
6 issues, so that we could have a good recess.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. We have
8 carried out our duty and written our motion. That was addressed to you
9 today, so you will probably receive it later this evening or tomorrow. I
10 have also had consultations and informed Madam Registrar of all the
11 problems linked to the videolink, so that, Your Honour, we have filed a
12 complete list of witnesses today. And as I see the witness coming in, I
13 can give you a complete report of all the names proposed, in which there
14 are very few changes.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, my question is: Have you indicated the length
16 of the direct examination, what kind of protective measures you asked on
17 this list?
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, we haven't. But we
19 can do that in a couple of minutes. These will be brief witnesses who
20 will come to testify exclusively about facts in the indictment with
21 reference to my client. And I hope that not one of them will take more
22 than half an hour in the direct examination. These are highly specific
23 witnesses. After all the evidence produced, we feel there's no need for
24 any repetition and we have focussed only on particular facts emanating
25 from the indictment, or rather, from the evidence produced by the
1 Prosecution witnesses. What has been indicated in our motion is that a
2 witness - we are not in closed session - but he comes under number 11.
3 And as he was unable to testify live here in the courtroom, for reasons
4 that you are well aware of - and this is also explained in the motion - we
5 wanted to ask Your Honours for him to be allowed to come and testify live
6 in the week of the videolink so that we assume that regardless of the
7 cross-examination, that we will manage to finish with all those witnesses
8 for three or four days on the outside and then we may have three or three
9 and a half days left, and then we would still have one and a half days in
10 that videolink week when we could call our witness who didn't have his
11 passport or a visa and that is why he was unable to come. He was due to
12 come prior to the last expert witness. All this is elaborated in our
14 And Your Honours, the duration of the direct examination is
15 indicated in the first submission we made when we spoke about deposition
16 witnesses. But that's no problem. We can do that this evening, to
17 indicate the length of the testimony and which protective measures we
18 would request. So there'll no be problems whatsoever.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Since you filed that motion
20 already, I think we'd better act in accordance with that list at a later
22 Yes, Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just to indicate for the record, we
24 have not seen it yet either, so I can't respond to anything specific. But
25 one thought occurred which I think might assist the Chamber and certainly
1 will assist the Prosecution. It sounds as if, according to counsel, they
2 contemplate very specific questions of these witnesses. He just said he
3 believed that he didn't expect any of the examinations to last more than
4 half an hour and to be extremely specific in nature. It would, therefore,
5 be most helpful to, certainly the Prosecution, and I submit to the Chamber
6 as well, if then in that case some very specific summaries could be
7 provided, so that we can then prepare accordingly. The type of summary
8 that we unfortunately saw all too much of, Mr. President, the witness was
9 a -- lived in Mostar during the war and will testify concerning the
10 Muslim-Croat conflict. That kind of summary is not very helpful. And so
11 if it is in fact true that counsel knows now about the very specific
12 questions that we would put to these witnesses, we see no reason why a
13 very specific summary cannot be provide so that we can indeed do our part
14 in trying to see if we can accomplish all these witnesses in a single
15 week. We could potentially narrow our cross-examination and prepare on
16 the specific parts of the testimony, if we were provided that information
17 which by this, Mr. President, we request.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we are not debating this issue. We
19 have two witnesses, if I'm not mistaken, waiting outside. I'll just give
20 you one minute. One minute.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to assist the
22 Court and my learned friends opposite, so I only need a few seconds. You
23 heard the Prosecutor elaborating on all the witnesses planned for video.
24 He did so for you. He interpreted my witnesses for you benefit. So he is
25 perfectly well aware of everything, as both of us here are in the service
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of justice, and that is our mission here, so I will certainly prepare a
2 summary and provide him with it. That's all I need to say. Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much for you cooperation.
4 Now could we have the witness, please.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, before we start, Mr. Par, would you please
7 inform me whether this witness is granted with the voice distortion
9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this witness hasn't
10 requested voice distortion, only visual distortion and the use of a
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 Good afternoon, witness.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
15 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS MM
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
21 Mr. Par.
22 Examined by Mr. Par:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, witness. Can you hear me?
24 A. Yes, I can.
25 Q. Could you turn to me, please, so that you can see me. Before we
1 commence with this examination, I would like to inform you that this Trial
2 Chamber has granted your request for protective measures, for your
3 identity to be concealed, your name to be concealed, and for your face to
4 be concealed.
5 First of all, the usher will show you a list -- a piece of paper
6 bearing your name. Could you have a look at the piece of paper. And if
7 your name has been correctly noted down, could you just say "yes."
8 We'll just wait for a minute for the usher to finish doing what he
9 is doing and then we will commence.
10 That's the piece of paper. Could you have a look at it now. And
11 if your name is on it, just say "yes." Don't read it out.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we go into private
15 session for a moment, given that I will be asking the witness certain
16 questions relating to his identity.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
18 [Private session]
13 Page 14484 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14485 – redacted – private session
6 [Open session]
7 And we could break here and come back five minutes earlier than
8 usual, that is, five minutes to 4.00.
9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
10 Witness, we'll continue later on.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.24 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 3.57 p.m.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par. Please continue.
14 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Witness, we'll start with the period of the Serbian aggression
16 against Mostar. And could you briefly tell us what happened to you at the
17 time. And I'm especially interested in whether you were, at the time, in
18 the army, whether you were engaged militarily.
19 A. At the time of the Serbian aggression, I volunteered to join the
20 HVO. We were volunteers.
21 Q. Could you please turn towards me, and I shall indicate whether you
22 should slow down perhaps or speed up.
23 Could you tell us which HVO unit you joined.
24 A. I was in the 4th Battalion. It was called Tihomir Misic.
25 Q. Could you tell us who the commander of that unit was.
1 A. Tihomir Misic was the commander of that unit.
2 Q. What duties did you perform in that unit? What sort of tasks did
3 you have and what was your rank?
4 A. I was an ordinary soldier.
5 Q. What duties did you perform? What tasks did you carry out within
6 that unit?
7 A. My duties involved defending the town. We went to the demarcation
8 line which separated us from the Serbs.
9 Q. Could you tell us how long you remained within that unit. Up
10 until what date?
11 A. I remained in that unit right up until the 9th of May. And in
12 fact, even after I was captured -- only after I had been captured did I
13 leave the unit.
14 Q. You mentioned the date of the 9th of May, 1993; is that correct?
15 You did say "1993." And you said that some people were captured. Could
16 you please tell us, what happened on the 9th of May, 1993 -- what happened
17 to you? Where were you? What happened? Could you give us a brief
18 outline of those events.
19 A. Well, on the 9th of May, that's the day on which I was captured.
20 But right up until then there were regulated shifts, and the number of men
21 who went to the demarcation line, which separated us from the Serbs.
22 Q. Let me just help you a bit. Tell us, on the 9th of May, tell us,
23 where were you? At what location? Which other unit were you in at the
24 time and how did this capturing take place?
25 A. On the 9th of May, I was on the line towards the Serbs. And in
1 the morning hours we heard shooting. It wasn't clear to us. We didn't
2 understand why there was shooting, why there was confusion, although a few
3 days prior to that time there were certain incidents between Croats and
4 Muslims at the Bulevar. There was already a sort of imaginary line, I
5 don't know. But we could have assumed after two or three hours of
6 shooting -- we could have assumed what was happening. But initially no
7 one knew what was happening because the unit was mixed at the line. Half
8 of the unit were Muslims and the other half Croats.
9 Q. Very well. So you heard shooting. You assumed what was
10 happening. But what did you assume? What assumptions did you make? What
11 sort of conflict was it?
12 A. Well, these were just assumptions. We thought that perhaps a
13 conflict had broken out, but no one believed that.
14 Q. Between whom?
15 A. Between the Croats and Muslim, because as I said, we were a mixed
16 unit and until that time -- well, we didn't hate each other. We were
18 Q. So are you saying that in that unit of yours, half of the soldiers
19 were Muslims and the other half Croats, have I understood you correctly?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And what happened after you heard the shooting. You understood
22 that a conflict had broken out? What did you do? And how did this
23 capture take place, the capture that you have mentioned?
24 A. The shooting lasted until about 12.00 or 1.00, when we called the
25 command, which was located about 2 or 3 kilometres below us, we asked them
1 for an answer. We asked them to tell us what was happening, because all
2 we could do was guess. So we were told from the command to remain at our
3 positions and not to withdraw. However, on our own initiative, because we
4 could see that something was not quite in order -- on our own initiative
5 we decided to withdraw from the line. And as we were descending from our
6 position to the bottom -- to the foot of the settlement, to the village
7 of -- to the settlement of Gnjojnice, we reached the houses, the
8 population, and we asked the inhabitants to tell us what was happening,
9 what sort of conflict was involved. They complained and said that they
10 had no idea. They said that this conflict had broken out, and we said we
11 just want to return home. We said, "What sort of a conflict is this?" And
12 one woman told us that we shouldn't go -- we shouldn't go in the direction
13 we intended to take. She showed us the route we recollected take to avoid
14 BH army soldiers. We listened to her. And after we had -- we reached a
15 small street after about 100 metres. We were stopped. There were men
16 with rifles and Zoljas, and they told us to surrender ourselves.
17 Q. So you were captured in Gnjojnice. Who captured you? Do you know
18 which unit was involved? Do you know which army was involved? What did
19 they tell you? Were you disarmed at that point? How did the events
20 unfold after this?
21 A. Well, we didn't know which army was involved. We could only
22 identify the army on the basis of their insignia. They had BH Army
23 insignia. And then we realised that they were Muslims because in the
24 BH Army almost 99 per cent of the soldiers in that army were Muslims.
25 And this wasn't the case in the HVO, where the composition was quite
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 mixed. So we put our weapons down. They took our weapons from us. We
2 asked them why, we asked them what was happening. And they said we would
3 find out about all of this once they had taken us to the command in
4 Gnjojnice. They took us there without our weapons. They took us there.
5 And when we got to the command we asked why this had taken place because
6 we weren't involved in any kind of conflict, and they told us that an
7 attack was in course, that war had broken out. We didn't believe it at
8 the time. They give us something to drink so that we could refresh
9 ourselves, and then they asked -- established contact with Berto Pusic.
10 However, that was not possible. And after a certain period of time
11 they called their command. After that, certain people turned up. And
12 right up until that time all our weapons, all our equipment remained in
13 that command with those people I mentioned first.
14 Afterwards these people took our rifles and put us into a -- into
15 a refrigerated lorry and said they were taking us elsewhere. We didn't
16 know where they were going to take us.
17 Q. Well, I'll stop you there for a minute. Sir, there was one group
18 of men in the command and they were looking for someone called Pusic.
19 You said that they were looking for Pusic. Who was he?
20 A. Well, as I was a soldier, I personally don't know him, and I
21 didn't know what the composition of those in power was. But they insisted
22 on getting into contact with him and they said that they couldn't get into
23 contact with him and they said that he was someone who could -- they said
24 he was someone who could calm the situation down.
25 Q. And then that second group took your weapons and they took you
1 somewhere -- they took you away. Where did they take you to?
2 A. There was another soldier, a BH Army soldier with us in the
3 lorry. He was guarding us. And according to what he said, first of all
4 they took us to the South Camp. But since the South Camp was being
5 shelled, they couldn't leave us there and they said that as there was
6 shooting, we should be taken to the city -- to the SDK, the public
7 auditing service.
8 Q. What does the SDK mean? Is that the name of a building? Where is
9 it? Is it on the east or the west part of the town?
10 A. The SDK was a financial transaction centre. It's in the eastern
11 part of town, in the eastern part of the town of Mostar.
12 Q. Could you please tell us how many of you were there in that group
13 and were there both Croats and Muslims in that group.
14 A. There were nine of us in that group. I can't remember exactly
15 whether there were five Croats or four Croats and five Muslims.
16 Q. Very well. So what happened when you arrived at the building that
17 we have called the SDK building? What happened to you? Who did you find
18 there? How were you treated? What did they -- what did they want?
19 A. When we got to the SDK building, the tension there was palpable.
20 They took our uniforms all. They said we didn't need them, they took our
21 boots off. They took away our equipment. They searched us. But as
22 Muslims -- but as Mostar is a small town and people know each other quite
23 well, they started threatening the Muslims. They cursed our balija
24 mothers. They said that we were traitors and they said, "Why aren't you
25 with your people?" They even thought of killing them immediately. But
1 later on it -- the situation calmed down a bit and it was said that they
2 would move -- transfer to the BH Army -- they would be transferred to the
3 BH Army and that was it. It was over then.
4 Q. Did the Muslims then accept to be transferred to the BH Army?
5 A. I haven't finished. Then other people were brought in. This was
6 on the ground floor. Then we were taken to the basement where that
7 detention centre was. They then took our clothes off. They searched us.
8 They searched for money, took things away. I had a little money on me. I
9 had a cross around my neck. They started cursing my Croatian mother. They
10 broke the cross. And then they shut us up in a room about 5 by 4 metres.
11 And later on the Muslims who were with us didn't turn up, and four or five
12 days later we heard them complaining. They said, "We're with you." And
13 the most difficult thing for them was when they're exchanged. They
14 had to remain there. They couldn't return to their homes.
15 Q. Very well. So you Croats were in that basement, in that detention
16 place. You heard that there were Muslims who later on went into the BH
17 Army. On that occasion were you beaten? Who beat you? Was everyone
18 beaten? Did -- were you personally beaten by someone?
19 A. Well, when we entered the building and when we were searched,
20 there were quite a few BH Army soldiers and almost all the prisoners
21 didn't fare very well. Some fared better, some worse. But they didn't
22 fare very well.
23 Q. How many of them were there in that room? What were the
24 conditions? What was the food like? Was it a real prison? What did it
25 look like exactly?
1 A. Well, when we entered that area, after we'd been searched, I saw
2 that there were 20 people there. The room was 5 by 4 metres large. There
3 were two small windows. It was a basement. It wasn't a classical
4 prison. It was a basement where money was kept. There were two small
5 windows. Men had been there -- they already arrived two days earlier on.
6 We found that out later on in conversation. We found out who had been
7 capture and there were civilians and not just soldiers.
8 Q. Let's stop there for a moment. You said there were men who had
9 been captured. They'd been there two days earlier. On 7th and 8th of
10 May. Why were they captured? Who arrested them and why did you talk to
11 them about this and what did they tell you?
12 A. Well, yes, we talked about this, because no one understood why
13 they were there, why they had been arrested since we'd been together until
14 the other day. And then on the main high road and the Bulevar which later
15 became the demarcation line there were people from the settlement,
16 civilians and, some Croats who remained there, who were there two days
17 earlier on. And they were there for security reasons. It would be best
18 for them to be put away. And later we realised it was a Sunday when we
19 were captured and it was Friday when we went to the line. Later it
20 crossed our minds when we went to the line and asked the commands why the
21 inhabitants who were there in a settlement in which the inhabitants were
22 half Muslims and half Croats, we asked why they were making bunkers and
23 fortification above their settlements while we were holding the line 2
24 kilometres away. We didn't understand why this was being done. They
25 couldn't explain this. As I said, there was no explanation.
1 Q. And on the 9th of May, did you see these bunkers being used for
2 military purposes?
3 A. Yes. Later they were operational. They were made operational.
4 Q. You told us who was with you. Were they all Croats in that
6 A. In the SDK prison, yes, they were all Croats, every single one of
8 Q. Were there women and children there, or only men?
9 A. In the SDK prison, only men.
10 Q. Could you please tell us, was there another prison in the vicinity
11 perhaps? Did you find out anything about this, a similar prison?
12 A. When we were taken out to do work, we found out and we also saw
13 that across the road about 100 metres -- 50 or 100 metres above us we
14 found out that there were the fourth primary school there and we learned
15 that there were civilians there, women and children too. They, too, were
17 Q. You were personally able to see this when you went outside to
19 A. Well, we couldn't see this each time, but we wouldn't have learned
20 this either, had it not been for a woman who knew someone and she told us
21 that there was something there and said that if something happened or one
22 of them got lost, she said she wanted people to know where she had been
24 Q. You just mentioned that you were taken outside to work. Can you
25 tell us exactly what this involved. Did someone take you outside from the
1 prison? Who took you outside? What sort of work did you do?
2 A. Well, the patrols which consisted of three to five men took us
3 out. They provided security. They said that we had to clear the roads,
4 that we had to dig graves and do hard labour, physical labour.
5 Q. Did you personally go to do such work and on how many occasions
6 and which locations did you go to?
7 A. Well, we went to do work almost on a daily basis. Certain
8 individuals would even go two or three times every day. But the most
9 difficult thing was the fact that there weren't many men a lot of men had
10 been killed. The hardest thing was the dig the graves because we didn't
11 have the necessary equipment, and you'd spend the whole day and the whole
12 night digging.
13 Q. Tell me, were you personally involved in digging graves?
14 A. Yes, on ten occasions.
15 Q. Can you tell me please, where this was, at what locality, and do
16 you know for whom these graves were dug?
17 A. The locality was the Osman Djikic monument and the theatre, and
18 the graves were dug for the killed and for civilians and combatants, for
19 all those killed. Only in some cases, if he was not a Muslim, we would
20 bury the dead.
21 Q. Tell me please, did you bury dead Muslims, dead Croats, or was
22 there a distinction made as to who should bury who?
23 A. Usually the Muslims buried their own because of the ceremony, and
24 we would bury a Croat or a Serb or a gypsy if they happened to have been
25 killed. We would dig graves for them.
1 Q. Tell me, what were the conditions like? Was it life threatening?
2 Was there shooting? How did they treat you, the people who had brought
3 you there?
4 A. The conditions were wartime. There was shooting all the time.
5 Shells were falling around us. We were not protected in any way. If it
6 fell, it just fell.
7 Q. Were you abused, mistreated while working?
8 A. There wasn't really serious abuse by the guards. There was more
9 like provocations. The worst thing was when a large number of people
10 would be rounded up and they had to run the gauntlet. They would be hit
11 and insulted and so on.
12 Q. Who would hit you, the civilians?
13 A. Yes, the civilians hit us. Actually, our escort would lead us
14 into that crowd and then we would be powerless.
15 Q. So did those guards try and prevent the civilians from beating
17 A. Yes. After five or ten minutes, they would intervene and say, "No
18 one may touch you."
19 Q. Shall we go back to the prison at the SDK. Do you know whether
20 there were any cases of the prisoners in SDK, their blood being taken?
21 A. Yes. Four or five times they came looking for certain blood
22 groups and requesting blood donors. They underlined that this should be
23 on a voluntary basis. And then one or two men would go out, and after a
24 few times they would come back and say, "We need more." So this was like
25 a threat. So even those who didn't want to give their blood did. In
1 fact, half the prisoners gave their blood.
2 Q. For how long did you stay in that prison in the SDK in all?
3 A. 18 days. And in those 18 days, I lost 16 kilogrammes in weight.
4 Q. Fine. I don't mean if you lost weight, but thank you for your
6 Tell me, how were you released?
7 A. We didn't know about the release until the Red Cross came. And
8 when the Red Cross came, they told us that we had nothing to fear, that
9 they had made a record of us, that we had all been registered, and that
10 each individual would be kept track of. And after that, we felt much more
11 relaxed because no one provided any guarantees. After that the Red Cross
12 would tell us that an exchange should take place soon. The Muslims kept
13 saying from the beginning that they wanted an exchange but that your
14 people don't want it. And then a couple of times they asked us whether we
15 wished to join the BH Army, that we would do much better, that we would be
16 much better off. But we didn't want to.
17 Q. And when the exchange took place, how did it progress? Who took
18 part in this exchange, et cetera?
19 A. We didn't know when exactly it would take place. We went to work,
20 and around 8.00, after having worked for about an hour cleaning the
21 streets, we were not aware what was going on but we were told that we had
22 to hurry back to the prison. When we got there, there were people whose
23 clothing had been torn or shoes torn. Then some supplies had arrived from
24 UNPROFOR or the Red Cross and people whose clothing was in bad shape were
25 given clothes to change into, and then they told us there would be an
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 exchange and we were happy to go home. And we waited for those lists to
2 be compiled, the numbers to be checked to make sure that the Red Cross had
3 everyone on the list, whether anyone was missing. Then we waited for
4 about two hours, and then we were taken outside to the fresh air, and the
5 atmosphere immediately changed. They behaved in a friendly manner saying
6 that that is how it should have been from the first. And as we were
7 waiting for the buses, more and more people were gathering there. We
8 didn't know what was going on. The main street, the former Marsal Tito
9 Street was full. There were between five, six, or ten thousand people.
10 We didn't know what was going on. And then we learnt from the civilians
11 that -- that it was an exchange all for all. Whoever wanted to return
12 home, that they could, nor normal life to resume. And we continued
13 waiting. People started getting nervous. And we were escorted by
14 UNPROFOR APCs.
15 The tension started increasing. People started beating on the
16 buses, saying, "We won't let you go unless we go too." And then this APC
17 was clearing the way, and there were a lot of buses planned for the
18 civilians but only we were escorted across the customs bridge and
19 transferred to the other side.
20 Q. Tell me--?
21 A. After this exchange I immediately went to hospital for
22 examinations, and the next day or the day after I learned the civilians
23 had not been exchanged at all.
24 Q. Tell me, was all this in the presence of UNPROFOR?
25 A. Yes. And the Red Cross were present too.
1 Q. You now arrived home. What happened to you? Did you stay on
2 after that? Did you rest or did you have to become active again? What
3 happened to you after that?
4 A. When I arrived home, I met up with my family. I was very upset.
5 I wanted to rest for a couple of days. However, tension was increasing.
6 There was a shortage of manpower. The conflicts worsened, and I decided,
7 though I didn't have to because the Red Cross provided guarantees that
8 those who had been in prison could not be forced to join the army again --
9 but as from the beginning of the war, I was a volunteer member of the HVO
10 and I felt sorry not to defend my people, so I decided to join again. And
11 three or four days later I reported voluntarily to join a unit.
12 Q. Which unit did you join?
13 A. I joined the Mrmak unit. Half of my neighbourhood was in that
14 unit. I knew the commander and I had heard that he was a good combatant,
15 that he took care of his men. As I didn't have very good experience in
16 the 4th Battalion that I had been in, and that was why I decided to join
17 this particular unit and sign a contract with them.
18 Q. Do you remember the date when you joined this unit?
19 A. I don't know the exact date, but I can tell you roughly. It was
20 in June, the 5th or 6th. I may be a week wrong.
21 Q. You said that you knew the commander of this unit but didn't tell
22 us what his name was. What was the commander of that unit?
23 A. The commander was Vinko Martinovic, Stela.
24 Q. Tell us, so at the beginning of June 1993, when you volunteered to
25 that unit, what kind of a unit was it? Had it already been formed? Did
1 it have a name? How many men did it have? What were they doing?
2 A. The unit was composed of volunteers, people who lived in that town
3 who loved the town and who wanted to defend it. That is why I joined that
4 unit. As for Vinko Martinovic, Stela, I had heard stories that he had a
5 good reputation from the war against the Serbs, that he had correctly
6 treated his men, that he had been a good fighter, that his men had better
7 equipment and weapons and food and accommodation, even during the war
8 against the Serbs, that he took much greater care of his men than other
10 Q. Tell us, what was the name of that unit at the time?
11 A. We consisted of volunteers, so we had to give the unit a name, and
12 so agreed that it should be called Mrmak.
13 Q. Did that unit later change its name and why and how?
14 A. After a certain period of time, a few days, a month - I can't
15 say - the name was changed, because we had to be better organised, we
16 could no longer be independent, we had to belong to the Ministry of
17 Defence for the city, and we came to be called Vinko Skrobo. It was an
18 anti-terrorist unit called Vinko Skrobo.
19 Q. Can you tell us where the positions of that unit were and what its
20 assignments were. Was it on the front, which part of the front?
21 A. The position of the unit, of the Vinko Skrobo unit, were along the
22 Bulevar in town, and we just had to protect the line.
23 Q. Witness, the usher will now give you a map. It is D2/38. And it
24 is a map P14.5. Actually, it's a photograph of a certain area of the
25 Bulevar. And when you look at it, you will show us where your positions
2 Do you recognise this part of town and is that where the unit was
3 positioned? Perhaps you can see better on the ELMO. And point to those
4 positions with the pointer or the pen.
5 A. The areas that we secured can be seen on this photograph, though
6 the picture changes a little. This is newly built now. Part of the area
7 that we defended was this area.
8 Q. Could you please put a circle around that area with the marker.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Tell us, please, in those days in 1993, when you were there, was
11 the appearance of the city the same, or was it different? And what are
12 the changes?
13 A. The changes are vast. There's only a part of the old building
14 that was left; this area here. Before, there was a dentist, a surgery
15 here, and an emergency ward, and there was a much bigger building, three,
16 four floors with the ear, nose, and throat ward. This is a new building,
17 and also there was another part of the old building, a children's
19 Q. So that is the area that this unit defended. Did this unit have a
20 base somewhere else, and can you show us that spot on this photograph?
21 A. The Vinko Skrobo unit did have a base, but it cannot be seen on
22 the photograph.
23 Q. How far is it?
24 A. It is about 400 to 500, 600 metres as the crows fly.
25 Q. Would you point in which direction, please?
1 A. Up here, further up. In this direction.
2 Q. Right next to you were there other units on the Bulevar? Which
3 other units?
4 A. Yes. In addition to us, and next to us, to the left, was another
5 independent anti-terrorist unit, Benko Penavic.
6 Q. On the other side, were there any other units?
7 A. Yes. The Domobrani Regiment, then Zolin Jajce [phoen], the
8 military police and along the whole Bulevar like that.
9 Q. Tell us, this Mrmak or Vinko Skrobo unit, did it ever move from
10 these positions during your stay in the unit?
11 A. No. From the first to the last day, it held the same positions.
12 Q. What was the task of that unit?
13 A. The task of the unit was to secure the line and to prevent any
14 crossings. So it was protecting the line exclusively.
15 Q. How many men did that line number?
16 A. The number varied. At first there were some 40 of us. And later
17 on, just before the truce was signed, the number increased. I don't know
18 exactly. Maybe there was 60 or 70 of us on the outside, but this was only
19 for a short period because after the truce was signed, and when the guards
20 unit was formed, people switched to the brigade.
21 Q. Tell me, did Vinko Martinovic in those days have any rank,
22 military rank?
23 A. As far as I know, he did not. We were all soldiers without rank
24 belonging to the HVO.
25 Q. How did you address one another? As he was your commander, how
1 did you address him?
2 A. We addressed him as we did before the war, using his nickname, the
3 nickname he got in the war against the Serbs, chief, Stela, commander.
4 Those who knew him from before personally would call him Stela.
5 Q. And the nickname that he got, what was the nickname?
6 A. Puki? What would that mean?
7 A. As he was the chief, the number one. So like short form for
8 Pukovnik or colonel. It was short for Pukovnik.
9 Q. Where did you get the materiel that the unit needed from?
10 A. I personally -- logistics was responsible for that, though I did
11 go once -- no, twice, I think, to the Defence Ministry of the city and
12 take the materiel that we needed. But mostly it was the logistics who
13 was -- that was in charge.
14 Q. Were you paid in that unit?
15 A. Yes. We received salaries. At first in cash, and later on we
16 were given coupons which we could cash in banks.
17 Q. Who paid out the salaries?
18 A. The Defence Ministry, which was situated in Grude for the entire
19 HVO. That was their headquarters.
20 Q. Did anyone bring the money to you, to the unit, or did you
21 personally have to go there to get it?
22 A. When we were given the cash or the coupons, his name was Zeljko
23 Colak. He was the logistics man and he was designated to pay us our
25 Q. Now, in this unit, did you have a barracks? Where did you sleep?
1 Would you spend all day there? How did it work?
2 A. In our base, we didn't have any dormitories. It was not built as
3 a barracks. We all came from the immediate vicinity, so it wasn't far for
4 us to go home. We slept in our homes. And we didn't need any places to
5 sleep in, and there were no conditions for that anyway. There was no
6 barracks. Just a base.
7 Q. Did you have shifts? How was your work organised, your duties?
8 How were they organised? When did you have to come to work?
9 A. Well, normally one person cannot be militarily engaged around the
10 clock, so we had to have shifts and divide the number of people into
11 groups. But as we were short of men, the shifts lasted 12 hours. And
12 then we would be 24 hours off, so we would all go to our own houses as we
13 all came from the city.
14 Q. Tell me, who decided what each one of you would do and which shift
15 you would be in?
16 A. At first it was rather difficult. But as we ran -- as things
17 became functioning more regularly, a person would be chosen to fix the
18 number of men, which features had to be guarded in particular, if somebody
19 should be upset, then someone else for some reason -- someone else would
20 take his place.
21 Q. Were you ever the leader of a group?
22 A. No. I didn't want that either.
23 Q. Did you spend most of your time in the base, on the front line, or
24 on some other assignment?
25 A. Most of my duty time I spent on the line, and the rest with my
1 family at home. Only exceptionally when a report would come in that an
2 attack was forthcoming, then we had to go as reinforcements. But we would
3 be on the alert and not go to the front.
4 Q. Could you show us on this same photograph where you personally
5 were, what you were doing and where you were standing when you were on
7 A. I may perhaps be able to show you two positions. Because of these
8 new buildings, it's quite different now. Here -- there was a bunker here,
9 one bunker. Then inside upstairs there was another one. A third was in
10 the pharmacy. A fourth here would be on the alert, waiting.
11 Q. Tell me, when you arrived, beginning of June 1993, were those
12 positions already established or fortified, protected from enemy fire?
13 Were these regulated defensive positions when you got there?
14 A. When I arrived, the positions were already regulated. The windows
15 were covered with sand -- sacks of sand, so that we didn't have to work on
16 further fortifications. The premises were quite secure.
17 Q. Tell us, where were those sandbags that you mentioned. Could you
18 show us with your pen, please.
19 A. Here on the corner there was a bunker with sandbags; inside
20 upstairs there were sandbags with holes for rifles; then here, too, there
21 were sandbags; and also above this building, about 100 metres away there
22 were sandbags forming a wall of a metre and a half or 2 metres. And we
23 did this to protect ourselves as we came to the lines. We came in our own
24 vehicles, so there were incidents with wounding taking place here, so we
25 had to position a rope with carpets and blankets so that a sniper would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 not be able to see us.
2 Q. How high was that rope with carpets, and what was their purpose?
3 A. The height was about 6 metres. I can't tell you exactly. And the
4 purpose was to shield us as we came on duty, so that we couldn't be seen,
5 because we had two people wounded there.
6 Q. Tell me, were there any anti-tank obstacles just below your
7 positions? Were there hedgehogs or any kind of obstacles?
8 A. Yes, there were hedgehogs, here in front and there were some
9 mines planted in front of the building too, so that the only way one could
10 reach those positions was by road. And this was protected from sniper
12 Q. And now, can you please tell me, when you were at this line or on
13 your shift, what was the usual practice? Did combat take place on a daily
14 basis? How fierce was the fighting? Could you describe an average day at
15 the line. What did you do? How fierce was the fighting?
16 A. Well, there was no very fierce fighting at the line. There was
17 sporadic shooting every day. But if you were at your position, if you
18 were protected, there were no great threats, no serious problems. There
19 was sporadic shooting on a daily basis, and maybe once or twice the
20 Muslims attempted a break-through. But that's all that happened while we
21 were holding the line.
22 Q. Could you tell us, do you know who was on the other side?
23 Naturally the BH Army was there, but do you know which units were there
24 and who the men were?
25 A. Well, we didn't know what the names of the units were. We knew
1 that the BH Army was there. However, later we found out certain names,
2 since the town is not a big town, so everyone knew someone else. So it
3 wasn't hard to establish contact. And whose unit it was, no one talked
4 about that. We didn't even insist on finding out -- finding this out.
5 Q. Very well. Apart from that task at the line, did this unit have
6 any tasks in the town? And I mean did they have any tasks which involved
7 checking up on Muslims, conscripts, checking their identity papers,
8 arresting them?
9 A. No. Our unit was only active in the Bulevar. Our duty was to
10 protect that area, because that part of town was the one exposed to the
11 greatest risk, and our task was just to protect that part of town.
12 Q. And tell us please, in that part of town, near the medical centre,
13 were there any crossings? Did Muslims cross over from the western part to
14 the eastern part of town? Did you ever see anything like that happening?
15 A. Not on a large scale. The crossings that did take place were
16 minor ones. And they had mostly been arranged.
17 Q. Can you say what "arranged" means, what an "arranged crossing"
18 means. Did you personally participate in anything like that?
19 A. Yes, I did on one occasion. And a woman with two children asked
20 me to help her. He said that Herman -- her husband was in Blagaj and
21 that she was worried about what her fate might be, worried about her
22 children. She said that he wasn't safe, she feared for her life, and she
23 said that he would like to cross over. She pleaded with me for two days.
24 I refused to help her. But two days later I told her that if you have a
25 hundred per cent sure -- I asked her whether -- what her problems were,
1 whether she was threatened by anyone. She said she was just worried for
2 herself and for her children. I said, "If you are really certain that you
3 want to cross over, I can arrange for your crossing and make sure that no
4 one on our side will maltreat you. I will inform our men, and you'll be
5 able to cross over." And this is what took place. I informed both the
6 left -- my men on both the left side and on the right side, and then I
7 called to the men over the road and told them not to shoot. I said that a
8 woman with children would be crossing over, and this is where she
9 crossed. She crossed over without any problems. And after a year, year
10 and a half - I don't know how much time expired - but we met again and she
11 thanked me. She said that she didn't have any problems.
12 Q. This is when the peace had already been signed?
13 A. Yes, she had already returned to her flat.
14 Q. Was this a typical way of someone crossing over, this example you
15 have mentioned? Was this a typical crossing?
16 A. Yes. Most of the crossings were of this kind. They had all been
17 arranged as far as I know, if they took place on the line. I can only
18 talk about the crossings that I observed when I was on shift, but I can't
19 comment on rumours.
20 Q. Tell me, in that unit of yours, were there any prisoners of war in
21 that unit?
22 A. It's not clear to me.
23 Q. Were any prisoners of war taken to your unit? Were there any
24 prisoners of war in the unit?
25 A. In which unit? Where?
1 Q. In the base.
2 A. Yes. At the base, yes.
3 Q. Who were these prisoners? Where did they come from?
4 A. The prisoners were people from the Heliodrom. On the whole they
5 were Muslims, men who were fit for military service.
6 Q. Do you know how they got to the unit? Did anyone go to collect
7 them and how many of them would usually arrive?
8 A. To -- well, to collect the prisoners, you needed authorisation
9 from the Ministry of Defence in the town, authorisation saying that people
10 were required, what kind of people, and then that would have to be
11 authorised. And only once the documents had arrived, the authorisation
12 had arrived, only then would -- I can't remember the name now, man who was
13 in the unit, also involved in the logistics -- only then would he go to
14 the Heliodrom and he would bring them over and take them back to the
15 Heliodrom in the evening.
16 Q. On average, how many prisoners would there be at the base?
17 A. Well, these men weren't brought over on a daily basis. They were
18 only brought over for certain types of jobs, when it was necessary. Then
19 you'd go to -- and try and obtain an order. The maximum was about 20.
20 Usually they'd ask for five or six men. And later on with their
21 assistance they would insist to remain at the base for safety reasons
22 and then they would be authorised.
23 Q. So did some of the men remain there overnight?
24 A. Some men at their own request, they were concerned for their
25 safety, as they said. They said it was better for them to work there and
1 to live there than to be taken by some other group. And these were people
2 from the town who knew each other, and they would then be left there and
3 after a certain period of time returned and then they would be brought
4 back again.
5 Q. What did they do in the unit? Did you see what sort of jobs they
6 did at the base?
7 A. Well, mostly they were involved in clearing up the area around the
8 base, making coffee. They'd maintain vehicles, the cars that were used by
9 the unit. As far as I know, they would fortify our cars. They were
10 involved in emergency services. They'd repair the bodywork for security
11 reasons. And then they would repair private cars. This was all done on a
12 voluntary basis. And you'd buy them a drink for this -- you'd buy them
13 drinks or buy them cigarettes. And -- well, just for the sake of it, we'd
14 ask them whether they had to be paid, et cetera.
15 Q. How were they fed in the unit? Do you know anything about this?
16 A. They ate the same food that we did, but we didn't eat together.
17 They got the same food from the same kitchen. We ate in the Hladovina
18 restaurant, whereas they ate -- well, since there was an entire floor at
19 the base which was there. They ate at the base, or once we had finished
20 with our shift, et cetera, they would sometimes go to the restaurant too.
21 But they wouldn't sit at the tables themselves, but in the garden.
22 Q. Could you tell us, were they maltreated? Did I did anyone beat
23 them, humiliate them? Did you see happening?
24 A. I didn't see anyone being maltreated. Yes, perhaps there were
25 verbal insults. This happened because of the pressure of the war. But I
1 didn't see anyone beating them.
2 Q. Tell me, as far as you know, was anyone ever killed or wounded,
3 any of these prisoners?
4 A. As far as I know, this didn't happen.
5 Q. Did you have the occasion to see whether these prisoners were able
6 to receive visits? Did anyone go to the base to visit them, family
7 members, friends?
8 A. Yes. There were visits, but we didn't really authorise that much
9 because the base was also shelled sometimes. And for the sake of their
10 security and our security, we didn't allow this. We would usually allow
11 the prisoners to go home, or we would take them home, or we would allow
12 them to go home on their own. And in the evening or the afternoon they
13 would return themselves. That's the extent to which we trusted these
14 people, and they would return.
15 Q. Were the prisoners sent to work at the medical centre?
16 A. No, they weren't. They weren't sent to work. Only in exceptional
17 situations, if it was necessary for an electrician to come because the
18 electricity supply had been cut off, an electrician would turn up to
19 repair the fault. Or if it was necessary to clean the building that we
20 used for accommodation and in which we slept, and that was in the upper
21 part of the medical centre. So they were not at any risk.
22 Q. Can you show us on the map where this was and how it is that they
23 weren't exposed to risk -- to any risk. Could you point to the location
24 where they went.
25 A. Well, the third building can't be seen in this photograph, the
1 third one that should be here. Behind it there was something like a club
2 for alcoholics. And in that basement, we slept in the basement in the
3 night shift. This is where we would rest and this is where we would make
4 coffee and where we would stay if we weren't at the bunker, because later
5 we went directly to the bunker. They would then clean it up and make
6 coffee for us, and if there was a problem with the electricity, they would
7 repair it, et cetera.
8 Q. Could you tell us in what way you think they were protected. How
9 were they protected from enemy fire?
10 A. Well, the building itself was well fortified. And in addition to
11 that, they were in the third building, which was the furthest away. Well,
12 you couldn't say that people were a hundred per cent safe there, but from
13 the time we arrived there onwards, after the sandbags had been positioned
14 and the screen, no one was wounded, nothing happened to anybody. And none
15 of those prisoners who went there were ever exposed to fire.
16 Q. Just one thing I'd like to clarify. In the transcript I see that
17 you mentioned an alcoholics club. So in order to avoid misunderstandings,
18 in order to clarify this, what was you referring to?
19 A. That is a place that we chose to sleep in in the evening. That's
20 where we would sleep. Because we would go to the bunker in shifts, and
21 once your shift was over we'd spend 12 hours there and then you would go
22 away for two hours and have a four-hour rest and this is where we would
23 sleep. This club where our dormitory was located, before the war those
24 premises were used as an alcoholics club.
25 Q. So this used to be a club for alcoholics. That's why you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 mentioned it.
2 Sir, can you remember the 17th of September, 1993, when a
3 large-scale conflict broke out at that demarcation line and a tank was
4 involved in the conflict? Can you remember that event, and were you on
5 the line on that day?
6 A. Yes, I do remember that day because all the men from the unit, we
7 were all soldiers and we were engaged. We were told that there should be
8 some sort of coordinated action and that all the units at that line -- we
9 were told that the line was to be moved. We received the order that we
10 should all be in our positions, all the men from the units. We were only
11 waiting for the tank to arrive. After an hour, the tank arrived. We
12 moved the sandbags. We positioned them in the shape of a letter "V" so
13 that a barrel could protrude from it. And after the tank had fired for a
14 certain period of time, we were told that we should move on and attempt
15 crossings. The tank fired two, three, maybe four shells -- two or three
16 for sure. And then we received the order that when the shooting started,
17 there would be an all-out attack, but we were told not to cross over. We
18 were told that the tank was defective, that it couldn't follow us. We
19 remained at our positions. And men to the right of us, they were from
20 Livno, these men, they attempted a break-through. Immediately they tried
21 to cross on foot. But whoever attempted to do this died. I think seven
22 of them died.
23 Q. Witness, thank you. And could you please point to the map and
24 could you identify the position of the tank, where it came from and where
25 it fired from.
1 A. Well, you can't see everything on the map, but it came from the
2 Rondo, this part here -- this part above here. There were sandbags here.
3 The tank came to this point. That's where it fired from.
4 Q. Where were you positioned?
5 A. I was in this building, in front.
6 Q. In the course of that action, did you move from that position?
7 A. No, we remained at those positions.
8 Q. Did any of the men from your unit move ahead?
9 A. Maybe three or four tried to go out, but later on it was
10 impossible for them to return. That was perhaps five or six metres away.
11 This part here was mined. We had to take the streets. But we were
12 ordered not to go any further and remained at our positions.
13 Q. Can you tell us where these men from Livno went. Could you show
14 us where they were on the map.
15 A. They were in the school, in the primary school. And they were
16 supposed to cross into the Serno [phoen]. And they tried to do so --
17 Q. How long did that last? How long did that action last?
18 A. The action -- well, 10 or 15 minutes, it felt, because we didn't
19 progress. We stopped.
20 Q. On that day, in that action, were there any prisoners of war near
21 the medical centre? Did you see that there were any of the prisoners of
22 war with the troops?
23 A. Prisoners of war near the medical centre with the troops? No.
24 Just the troops were there, members of the unit -- of the anti-terrorist
1 Q. Did you see whether any of the prisoners on that day were used in
2 that area in front of the medical centre as a live shield?
3 A. No, because we were at the front line. We were to move ahead.
4 Q. Did you see whether any of the prisoners was in front of your
5 positions with wooden rifles? Did you see any prisoners in these
7 A. No, no. There were no civilians, no prisoners there, just the
9 Q. Did you see whether any prisoners were given uniforms and wooden
10 rifles to make them resemble troops?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you ever hear at the time or later on people saying that this
13 event took place, the event I have mentioned involving wooden rifles and
14 prisoners who were used as a live shield?
15 A. After a certain period of time, I heard a rumour that this had
16 happened at the Bulevar. I heard that soldiers had been sent. There were
17 millions of rumours, but they hadn't been verified. I personally didn't
18 witness anything. And while the action lasted, I didn't see any civilians
19 or any prisoners.
20 Q. And did you hear any stories that is this happened in your unit?
21 A. After a certain period of time they said that our unit or other
22 units were involved. All the units were in fact mentioned, whether you
23 were in the 4th Battalion or the Benko Penavic unit or in our unit.
24 Q. Very well. Witness, could you please tell us, do you know someone
25 called Nenad Harmandzic?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know someone called Halil Ajanic whose nickname is Lopata?
3 A. Yes. I know lop that from -- Lopata from sight, from the town.
4 But I'm not on particularly friendly terms with him. I never really
5 struck up a conversation with him.
6 Q. Did you ever see him in your unit, in the base as a prisoner of
8 A. Yes. I saw him at the base.
9 Q. Can you tell us what sort of conditions you saw him in, how was he
10 treated, how did Stela and the other soldiers treat him?
11 A. Stela usually treated all the prisoners in a correct way. So I
12 don't think there were any exceptions and I don't think Lopata was treated
13 different. He was a bum, in fact, without a fixed come domicile, a drunk.
14 He was a scapegoat in the town and people would laugh at him. That's how
15 I knew him.
16 Q. Tell me whether you heard about the tragic event when somewhere
17 in the vicinity of your unit, his son, who was a minor, was killed.
18 A. Yes, I heard about that event. I wasn't there at the time because
19 I was at the front line. But it was only a day later that I found out in
20 a conversation what had happened. I found out that his son had been
22 Q. What did you hear? What were you told? What was his relationship
23 to --
24 A. Well, the nature of Stela's relationship to Lopata can be seen
25 from the fact that children would turn up at the base and they would play
1 there, they would hang around there. Someone could give them chocolate,
2 fruit juice. So he was treated more like a civilian prisoner, not like a
3 prisoner of war. So the children would always appear there and hang
4 around. There was a German in the unit too, and the German took the
5 little child with him all over the town all the time. They went out
6 together all the time. And then allegedly, according to a story that I
7 was told, across the road from the base, that's where the German lived and
8 he had all his equipment in that flat,
9 explosives, bombs. The little child went up to the floor. They were
10 playing. I don't know what he were doing exactly. I can't say --
11 apparently a hand grenade was activated and he was blown up. And then the
12 ambulance and the police and the on-site investigation was carried out.
13 And then the German then was taken away.
14 Q. Could you tell us how long you were in that unit as a soldier?
15 A. I was a soldier in that unit right up until the truce was signed.
16 And after it had been signed, maybe one month later, I asked about what
17 would happen to me because we were to be disbanded. The war was going to
18 be over. It was not such a fine source of remuneration. So I decided to
19 leave the unit and to join the Guards Brigade. That was right up until
20 February, I think, 1994.
21 Q. 1994. Witness, thank you. I have no further questions for you.
22 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
23 examination. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: I think it's almost time for the break. We have still
25 two minutes left. So we'll break now and then we'll resume at quarter to
2 --- Recess taken at 5.12 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.48 p.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Cross-examination. Mr. Bos.
5 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Bos:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Witness MM.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. My name is Roeland Bos from the Office of the Prosecutor, and I'll
10 ask you some questions as well.
11 Witness, let's first talk about the members of the Vinko Skrobo
12 unit. You testified that when you joined the unit, there were about 40
13 members and when you left or when the unit was dissolved there were about
14 60 to 70 members; is that correct?
15 A. When I said there were 40 of us when I arrived, that includes me,
16 so there were some 30 of us new members. That's what I meant. And
17 before I left, the number increased.
18 Q. So if I understand your answer correctly, you arrived with a group
19 of 30 others. And at that time the unit had about 10 members. And when
20 you with the group joined, there were about 40?
21 A. Well, the unit had been formed a couple of days prior to that.
22 These volunteers that were securing the line and preventing the crossing
23 of the BH Army to the other side. And I joined that unit.
24 Q. Now, witness, these first 10 -- maybe these first 40 members, were
25 they all members -- people from the neighbourhood?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when you say that later on the number increased, did it
3 increase only with again soldiers from the neighbourhood, or did soldiers
4 also -- other soldiers join this unit?
5 A. Mostly they joined upon recommendation. Because of the reputation
6 of the unit and the authority it enjoyed, then one of the soldiers would
7 recommend somebody to come and join, and that is how the numbers
9 Q. Do you know whether the Vinko Skrobo unit ever had mercenaries in
10 their unit?
11 A. As far as I know, no.
12 Q. Witness, you've talked about the internal structure of the Vinko
13 Skrobo unit, and you said that there were some group leaders. How many
14 group leaders did the unit have?
15 A. Specific leaders -- no one was nominated a leader, but they were
16 chosen as shift leaders, people who would be responsible for the men, for
17 the equipment. So somebody had to be chosen with authority. So within
18 the shifts that we had - we had three shifts - there would be three men
19 who would be group leaders. And then they would be replaced. When
20 somebody had been enough, someone else would take his place.
21 Q. And as far as you remember, could you give us the names of the men
22 of which you know were group leaders.
23 A. I could mention five or six names. Dubravko Pehar, Ernest Takac.
24 I can't remember the name -- nickname Dolma. He was also a soldier.
25 Mladen Colak. Then Bozo Peric. I can't recollect all the names just now.
1 Q. All right. And would it be Mr. Vinko Martinovic who would assign
2 these group leaders, or were they chosen from the group? How did that --
3 who did the assignment of these leaders?
4 A. The leaders were nominated amongst us. Nobody decided. We
5 amongst ourselves decided that a certain person should lead the group and
6 be responsible for this or that. And Vinko Martinovic left it to us, who
7 would choose and whose orders we would respect while we were on the line.
8 Q. But I would assume that Vinko Martinovic, being the commander of
9 this unit, would at least have to approve the assignment of a group
10 leader; no? If he would not agree with the assignment, I suppose he would
11 deny it; no?
12 A. It was left up to us, because the person who would lead us would
13 be responsible for all of us, and we ourselves within the group chose the
14 group leader.
15 Q. Witness, you mentioned the Ernest Takac as one of the group
16 leaders. Was he one of the members of the group of first ten members of
17 the Vinko Skrobo when you arrived? Do you know when he arrived?
18 A. I cannot claim with certainty, because he brought his group of men
19 from his neighbourhood, because then there was us 20 or so. I don't know
20 exactly myself, because I came then.
21 Q. You said that Ernest Takac took members from his neighbourhood.
22 Where did he live?
23 A. He lived -- the district next to ours. And then his men in his
24 group were from his district.
25 Q. And how many men did he take with him?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I cannot tell you the exact number. I don't know. I have no
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name of the
4 district. I apologise.
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. Witness, could you -- I don't know if you mentioned the name of
7 the district where Ernest Takac came from, but could you repeat the name
8 of the district, because we didn't hear it.
9 A. Ilici.
10 Q. And maybe while we have a map - and you've indicated already - on
11 the Defence exhibit -- there's only the photograph here. But I think he
12 also marked on a map. And maybe he can indicate on that map where this
13 quarter is?
14 Well, maybe we can come back to it later if the map cannot be
15 found. Let me just ask you one other thing: Who was your group leader?
16 A. The leader of my group was Bozo Peric, Bozo. Dubravko Pehar as
18 Q. So was it first Bozo Peric and later on Dubravko Pehar?
19 A. Dubravko Pehar was first. Then Bozo Peric. And then I don't know
20 whether there was anyone else after that.
21 Q. Witness, what was the relationship between Ernest Takac and
22 Stela? Did they have a good relationship, as far as you know?
23 A. Stela was fair and correct with all of us, so I don't know why he
24 wouldn't be with him. But I cannot claim anything because I wasn't in his
25 shift, that is, in Takac's shift. But as I was saying, Stela was correct
1 to all the soldiers.
2 Q. Now, let me just understand the system. If you would work in a
3 certain shift, you would always only see the soldiers of that shift. You
4 wouldn't have any dealings with the other soldiers of any other shifts.
5 Is that correct?
6 A. No one would prohibit it. We all went to our own homes so that we
7 didn't linger long, because we needed a rest, to see our family, then
8 there was the line, the state of war. We didn't have much time to
9 socialise, so we were programmed. Our working hours were fixed. We were
10 very busy.
11 Q. But is it fair to say that members of the Vinko Skrobo didn't move
12 around in the different shifts, they would always remain in the same
14 A. That is right. Only if upon a specific request, if somebody
15 wanted to go to the other shift, he would be given permission to do that.
16 But then someone else had to come from that shift so that the number of
17 men had to be the same in each shift.
18 Q. One last question about Ernest Takac. Do you know whether Ernest
19 Takac was ever dismissed by Stela from the unit?
20 A. I have no idea.
21 Q. Witness, you've been given the map.
22 MR. BOS: Maybe we can put it on the overhead projector.
23 Q. And if you can indicate the area where Ernest Takac lived. Maybe
24 mark it with a number "3," I think.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, I believe that this map is a new map.
1 MR. BOS: Oh.
2 JUDGE LIU: And we are in the open session, so it's not proper to
3 mark it with number "3" if there's no number "1" and number "2."
4 MR. BOS: My apologies, Your Honour. I thought it was the Defence
5 map. But if it's a new map --
6 Q. Maybe you could just indicate the area where Mr. Takac lived. I
7 don't think we need to have --
8 MR. BOS: If we're going to use the Defence map, we need to go
9 into private session. I understand what you're saying.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. BOS: So maybe we can go into private session.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
13 MR. BOS:
14 Q. Now, witness, you'll be given the same map as before. So now I'll
15 ask you to look at that map and indicate with a number "3" the area where
16 Ernest Takac lived.
17 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please.
18 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 MR. BOS:
8 Q. Witness, this is a -- Exhibit P556 is a report from the military
9 police, and it talks about the special status of the Vinko Skrobo and the
10 Benko Penavic unit. And please read it -- read it by yourself, and then
11 I'll ask you some questions about it. Have you read it?
12 Witness, this document in the first paragraph talks about -- about
13 two units, the Vinko Skrobo ATG and the Benko Penavic ATG -- or it says
14 Branko Penavic. And it says these two units are listed as part of the
15 Convicts Battalion. Now, my first question is: Is that correct, what's
16 stated here? Were the two ATGs part of the Convicts Battalion?
17 A. No. We were an independent unit, ATG Vinko Skrobo, under the
18 command of the defence of the town, the HVO.
19 Q. Now, if -- to who would Mr. Vinko Martinovic report? Do you know
21 A. I personally never saw any documents or anything like that, but
22 judging by everything, it was to the command of the city. They were
23 responsible for everything.
24 Q. Did you ever hear of the term "Convicts Battalion" in relation to
25 the ATG Vinko Skrobo?
1 A. No. I heard of the Convicts Battalion, but I -- not of any
2 connections with it, no.
3 Q. Now, if we move on in that same paragraph, it says that the two --
4 these two units, they had a special status for unknown reasons. And then
5 it continues: "This special status is reflected in the fact that neither
6 the military police nor any other law enforcement organ is taking any
7 measures against the members of these units who commit crimes." Now,
8 witness, is it correct that these -- the ATG Vinko Skrobo in Mostar had a
9 special status in relation to the other units -- HVO units in Mostar?
10 A. We were an independent unit under the command of the city. That's
11 how it was. Now, what privileged status is referred to here, I don't
12 know. I'm not aware of any privileges.
13 Q. But what does it mean that you are an independent unit? What does
14 that make you different from the other units in Mostar?
15 A. All the units were more or less independent. They consisted of
16 smaller parts, and then they gave themselves these names. They organised
17 themselves independently. But they were all under the command of the
18 city. They all belonged to the HVO.
19 Q. Now, witness, it says here that -- that the ATG Vinko Skrobo and
20 the ATG Benko Penavic, that the military police had less control over
21 these units. Was that correct?
22 A. I can't claim that because the duty of every military police is to
23 control the troops. Now, why wouldn't it do its duty?
24 Q. Witness, you've testified that one of the reasons why you joined
25 the Vinko Skrobo unit was the fact that -- that they had better equipment
1 and better food and better organised. Did that have anything to do with
2 the special status that this unit had compared to the other units?
3 A. A special status? An independent unit organised everything. It
4 depended on the men, how capable they were to collect donations, who would
5 be the donator, who would get the equipment.
6 Q. You say who would be the donator. And who was the donator for the
7 ATG Vinko Skrobo?
8 A. There wasn't one particular donator anywhere. There were several
9 donators, well-off people who had their own businesses, shops. They gave
10 their contributions. They were not militarily engaged and they were able
11 to continue with their own business, so they assisted the units as best
12 they could.
13 Q. Would you give us some names of people or organising who donated
14 to the Vinko Skrobo.
15 A. These were all private entrepreneurs. There wasn't a fixed sum
16 that someone had to give. All of this was on a voluntary basis depending
17 on how much people could afford either in money or food or drinks. Nobody
18 prescribed how much people should give. These were voluntary donations.
19 Q. Witness --
20 A. And they all came from the areas in which we lived.
21 Q. Witness, you're avoiding to give an answer to my question. I'm
22 asking could you give us some names of people who actually donated to the
23 Vinko Skrobo.
24 A. I can't say exactly, because I didn't receive those donations. I
25 didn't have control over them. But there were stories, rumours, shops,
1 commercial establishments that were helping us. So virtually everyone
2 took part. There were no exceptions. There are letters of gratitude that
3 can still be seen in shops to this day for this.
4 Q. And if these donations were given, who would they give the money
6 A. I haven't got a clue. I wasn't a member of the logistics team and
7 I wasn't aware of these matters. I was a soldier.
8 Q. Now, witness, I've asked you twice to give us some names, and you
9 still didn't give me any names. And in your last answer you said that
10 virtually everyone in the area took part. Now, again, if virtually
11 everyone took part, could you give me at least some names.
14 Q. If you want, we can go into private session, if you think it will
15 reveal your identity.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
17 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 MR. BOS:
9 Q. Now, witness, when I asked you where that money would go, you said
10 it went to the logistics team. Who was a member of the logistics team in
11 the Vinko Skrobo?
12 A. I can't say for sure whether logistics received that or not. All
13 I can say is that I can assume this. I was a soldier. I wasn't informed
14 about these matters, and it wasn't my job to be involved in such matters.
15 Q. Now, earlier in your testimony - I'll have to go back - I think
16 you spoke about logistics as well and then you mentioned a name Zeljko
17 Colak. Could he be one of the persons involved in this?
18 A. I have no idea. It wasn't my job. And I wasn't interested in
19 that idea. And Zeljko Colak, yes, he was in the logistics team in the
20 unit of which I was a member too.
21 Q. Now, witness, while we're on the topic -- just again you testified
22 that you got paid. How exactly did you get paid? Could you explain that
23 to the Court again, how would that -- how would that work.
24 A. Every soldier in the unit was paid. At the beginning we received
25 cash. And after a certain period of time, we were given coupons, vouchers
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 for our salaries and we would collect money from the bank. And the money
2 came from Grude, from that operative centre there.
3 Q. And is it correct that this Zeljko Colak was the one who was
4 actually giving you the slips and giving you the money?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Now, let's return to the exhibit. In almost the last
7 paragraph, it says the following: "I would like to point out that of the
8 entire personnel of the above mentioned units, a large part is involved in
9 criminal activities." Witness, did you know that members of the ATG Vinko
10 Skrobo were involved in criminal activities?
11 A. No, I didn't. And I don't know any member who was involved in
12 criminal activities.
13 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P707, please.
14 Q. Witness, the next exhibit which I'm going to show you is a very
15 big SIS report, a report from the security and information service, and
16 it's addressed to the chief of the SIS, Mr. Miroslav Tudjman, and it's
17 dated 4 December, 1993. In this report, the report is on the findings of
18 crimes that were committed in the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. And
19 one of the chapters in this report lists crimes that were committed by the
20 Convicts Battalion. And that's the chapter which I would like you to
21 refer -- which I would -- want to refer to. And if you could please
22 move -- in your original version, you see on the right-hand top you see a
23 number, and I'd like you to move to number 01029711. It's probably all
24 the way in the back.
25 MR. BOS: And the usher left the courtroom, but --
1 Q. You see the number in the right-hand corner? So you should go to
2 the number where the last four digits are 9711.
3 MR. BOS: For the English version, it's page number 43.
4 Q. Now, it seem that the English version has lost the numbers on the
5 bottom. So the English version ends with 0446.
6 Witness, do you have that in front of you? The heading says the
7 "Convicts Battalion"? Do you have that in front of you?
8 A. Yes, yes. Yes. Something is not clear to me. What does this
9 have to do with the Convicts Battalion?
10 Q. Well, we'll get to that. We'll get to that, witness. And I'll
11 read it out, that first sentence. It says: "As you requested, we are
12 sending you a report on our findings on the illegal activities of members
13 of the Convicts Battalion. But we would like to point out that these are
14 only cases from sources we have found to be reliable."
15 Now, if you then turn to the sixth paragraph on your page, which
16 starts with "At about 10 hours on 21 September." Do you have that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If you could just read that paragraph, and then I'll ask you some
20 questions. Witness, this describes an incident where a woman is being
21 beaten, and it says that there were members of the Vinko Skrobo unit
22 involved. And it mentions two specific names, Mr. Semir Bosnjic and
23 Mr. Nino Pehar. Do you know both of these persons?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Is Nino Pehar, that the person who was your group leader?
1 A. He -- there was one such person, but not in the shift that I was
2 in. We didn't have any contact. We were members of the same unit
4 Q. But Nino Pehar is not the same as Dubravko Pehar.
5 A. No.
6 Q. What about Semir Bosnjic? Was he in your shift?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Witness, do you recall that this incident took place, which is
9 described here?
10 A. This is the first time I've seen this, the first time I've heard
11 about this incident.
12 Q. If you want to now move to the next page and read the third
13 paragraph on that page.
14 MR. BOS: In the English version, it's on the bottom of the same
15 page, which starts "On the 29th September, 1993, in the evening."
16 Q. Witness, this is just a short paragraph. And it talks about the
17 fact that Muslim civilians were expelled from a neighbourhood called the
18 Centar II. And this was done on the 29th of September, 1993. Do you
19 recall that this took place and that the ATG Vinko Skrobo was involved in
21 A. This is the first time I've seen and heard about this too.
22 Q. So -- all right. Very well. And then if you could move on on the
23 same page, the sixth paragraph, which is a bit longer, that paragraph.
24 MR. BOS: And on the English, it's the bottom -- it's the bottom
25 paragraph on page 20449. And this paragraph starts with "Following the
1 order of a department."
2 Q. Do you recall that this incident took place?
3 A. No. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to read this
4 too, and none of it is clear to me. This is first time I've heard about
6 Q. Do you know the man named Miro Bosnjak?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Is he a member of the Vinko Skrobo?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. Okay. We'll leave the document aside now.
11 Witness, you've testified that you knew a man named Lopata and
12 that you saw him at the base -- the Vinko Skrobo. Do you recall when that
13 was that you saw Lopata at the Stela's headquarters?
14 A. I saw him two or three times before going to the shift or after
15 returning from the shift. But as for the date, the time, a lot of time
16 has passed since then, so I don't remember them. On each occasion I saw
17 him in a normal condition, and I mean to say he hadn't been maltreated, he
18 hadn't been injured.
19 Q. But was there a lot of time spent between the very -- the three
20 times that you saw him, or was it all in a short period of time that you
21 saw him?
22 A. Well, that was a long time ago, so I can't make claims which would
23 be a hundred per cent certain. Maybe it was ten or two days or three
24 days. I really can't find my bearings, given that six years have passed
25 since then.
1 Q. Witness, do you remember a man by the name of Mustafa Sukaric?
2 A. I don't know that name.
3 Q. Now, witness, you've testified that you said that the Vinko Skrobo
4 unit did -- never used any prisoners at the confrontation line. Did any
5 of the other units that were holding the line adjacent to your unit - so I
6 think on the left side or -- yes, on the left side it would have been the
7 Benko Penavic, and on the other side the military police; is that
9 A. The Domobrani and the military police. That's what the other line
10 looked like at the Bulevar.
11 Q. Did you ever see any of these units use prisoners at the
12 confrontation line?
13 A. There was nothing else we could do at the line. We could only
14 observe. And we couldn't abandon our positions and walk around. That was
15 our duty. And as for going to other units to question people and to try
16 and find out what everyone was doing, we didn't do that. We had to hold
17 the line, do our shift, and after the shift go home. If you were on the
18 alert, then you'd go to the base and wait there. Otherwise you'd just
19 return home.
20 Q. So is it fair to say that you never saw any prisoners on the
21 Bulevar, either left or right or in front of you?
22 A. I don't quite understand the question.
23 Q. Well, let me --
24 A. What do you mean that we never saw any prisoners?
25 Q. Well, saw prisoners working at the confrontation line. That's
1 what I mean, to be more specific.
2 A. At the confrontation line. But where at the confrontation line?
3 Q. Well, in your -- in the immediate vicinity of where the Vinko
4 Skrobo was stationed. I presume that if you were there, you could also
5 have a look at the Bulevar and see what was happening on your left and on
6 your right. Am I -- am I not correct in that?
7 A. No. Because it was impossible to see. Each man had his area, and
8 each man was responsible for his area. As for seeing what others were
9 doing, it was impossible to see because we were all fortified. We
10 couldn't even see each other. We had field telephones which we used to
11 communicate, and if there was anything to communicate, we did it via the
13 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Bos, could you ask this witness if he ever saw a
14 prisoner at or near the confrontation line at any stage when he was
15 holding his position. Make that absolutely clear. If you put the
16 question to him.
17 MR. BOS:
18 Q. Witness, did you ever see a prisoner at the Bulevar from where you
19 were -- from the position where you were stationed, did you ever see any
20 prisoners on the Bulevar?
21 A. Yes, but behind my back, in exceptional situations. When we
22 needed the electricity to be connected or we needed the premises to be
23 cleaned. But at the positions that we occupied, no, they never approached
24 these positions.
25 Q. Witness, at the confrontation line, did you -- was your main task
1 a defensive task or also an offensive task?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos -- I'm sorry, Mr. Par.
3 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think there is a
4 certain amount of confusion with regard to the confrontation line.
5 Perhaps we could clarify this. If questions are being asked about this
6 confrontation line, what is this considered to be? Because I see that the
7 witness is a little bit lost, because this line could involve other parts
8 of the town in depth. So since this could be a matter of confusion, I
9 suggest that when questions are asked about the line of confrontation, I
10 suggest that we define what this means exactly and what the area involved
12 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, the question that I put was whether he ever
13 saw any prisoners at the confrontation line from the position which he
14 held, and I think the evidence has been that his position was at the part
15 of the Bulevar which the Vinko Skrobo unit occupied and no other part. So
16 that's all we're interested in. Did he ever see, and he said he didn't.
17 He saw the prisoners but they were way back in the building which he
18 pointed out to us. So that's his answer. I don't think there's any
20 MR. BOS: May I continue?
21 Q. Witness, when we left off, I asked you whether your unit was only
22 involved in defensive operations or also sometimes in offensive
24 A. The purpose of our unit was for defensive actions. Throughout the
25 war we were at the same position. We didn't move from our positions.
1 Q. But, for example, you gave evidence about -- about the actions on
2 the 17th of September. And would you not agree with me that this was an
3 offensive action?
4 A. Yes. It would appear to be an offensive action, because the
5 entire line, all the units, the action was coordinated -- the action for
6 the defence of the town, not our action. Our responsibility was the
7 medical centre.
8 Q. Now, did these coordinated offensive actions occur more often, or
9 was the 17th September the only coordinated offensive action in which you
10 were involved?
11 A. That was the only one, the only action which was coordinated, the
12 only action in which an attempt was made to achieve something. Nothing
13 else. There was nothing else.
14 Q. Now, witness, you -- I think you've given this evidence, but I'd
15 like you to do it again. Could you give us exactly the names of the units
16 which were involved in this coordinated action.
17 A. A precise list of all the units -- of the names of all the units?
18 I'm not authorised to do so and I don't even know about it. But
19 according to what the commander said, the whole line from the Hum Hill to
20 the Franciscan Church right up to the old secondary school and perhaps
21 further on. Each unit participated in it, so the entire line which was
22 held in the town. Nothing else.
23 Q. Witness, do you know who organised this joint action? Who
24 initiated this?
25 A. No, I haven't got a clue.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. I assume that if you have a coordinated action or a joint action,
2 there would need to be one person who would have some sort of overall
3 command. Did you know on that day who had the overall command?
4 A. I was a soldier. I only know who my commander was. But who the
5 overall commander for the line was, I had no access to such information.
6 I have no idea.
7 Q. Witness, do you recall the time -- at what time the operation
9 A. At what time you mean? I know that perhaps it was 10.00, 11.00,
10 12.00. A lot of time has passed since then. I can't remember any more.
11 Q. And who was your commander on that day? Do you recall that?
12 A. Well, our unit was under the command of Vinko Martinovic.
13 Q. So you can -- you can confirm here that Vinko Martinovic was -- on
14 that day was at the health centre.
15 A. The leaders of the groups had Motorolas, so that we used -- we
16 heard his voice on the Motorola. And where exactly he was, I don't know,
17 because I was at that position, as I showed you on the ELMO -- I was in
18 the front part of the building, so the only solution for me was to
20 Q. Now, let me put it differently, then. Did you see Vinko
21 Martinovic on that day at the health centre at any time?
22 A. I can't remember now whether I saw him then. I would see him
23 every day. If that had been four or five years ago, maybe I -- maybe I
24 would have remembered it if it was four or five years ago. But if you ask
25 someone six or seven years -- about something that happened six or seven
1 years ago, well, I really can't make any claims of which I'd be certain.
2 Q. But if you say that you would see him every day, would you see him
3 every day at the health centre? Is that what you're saying?
4 A. No. He was positioned in his base that was under his command.
5 Q. Now, witness, you talked about a tank. And I'm going to show you
6 a photograph which the Chamber has not seen yet either. We recently
7 discovered this. It's a somewhat older photograph of the area in front of
8 the health centre. And it's -- it's a photograph of -- taken in January
9 1996. And it may be a bit more helpful for the witness to see this
10 photograph. I'm afraid I only have one copy, but maybe we can put it on
11 the overhead projector.
12 MR. BOS: And we'll provide the Defence with copies of this
13 photograph later on, if that's okay.
14 JUDGE LIU: Does that photograph have a number?
15 MR. BOS: Yes, it's marked P14.20.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, how do we know that it
18 was taken in 1996? Could that be explained to us. I haven't seen the
19 photograph, but on what grounds does the Prosecution claim that it was in
20 1996 and why in 1996 in particular?
21 MR. BOS: Well --
22 JUDGE LIU: Let the witness have a look at this photograph.
23 Maybe -- maybe that will solve the problem.
24 MR. BOS:
25 Q. Now, witness, if you look at this photograph - and you can compare
1 it with the photograph which you have seen before and which you have right
2 in front of you - is it correct that this maybe reflects a little bit
3 better what the situation was at the time of the conflict?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you indicate approximately -- indicate where the differences
7 A. The difference -- the neighbourhood -- I don't know what
8 difference you mean. There are parts that have been newly built, a
9 newly-built part of the health centre, and this is just a part of it, and
10 some of it was set on fire. I don't know what you mean.
11 Q. Well, the part of the health centre that we see on this
12 photograph, is that the old part or is this already the new part of the
13 health centre?
14 A. This is the old part where the emergency ward was and the
15 dentistry department, before the war.
16 Q. If you look at the photograph, right in the front of the health
17 centre there seems to be -- I don't know how you would say it -- some sort
18 of shed, some poles with a roof on it. Was that something which was there
19 at the time of the conflict?
20 A. I don't know what you mean by "the covered area." I don't know
21 what is implied.
22 Q. Well, nothing is implied. I'm trying to find out -- if you have
23 the building of the health centre, in front of it you see, is a
24 construction, which you see on poles. At least that's how it looks like.
25 Do you see what I mean? Maybe you could describe it as a covered walkway
1 in front of the building.
2 A. Yes. But this photograph is not a good one. I lived in this
3 town. I was there throughout the war. I have no idea what this roof is.
4 I don't know.
5 Q. But --
6 A. It was all shut up in front. There were sandbags. I don't
7 remember seeing this even before the war, never mind after the war --
8 during the war. I just don't know.
9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
11 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] So as to avoid any confusion regarding
12 this roof, I think this is a branch of the tree forming a kind of
13 semicircle that looks like a roof. So I'd like to avoid any confusion,
14 because there's a branch of the tree making a semicircle that one might
15 think was some kind of an awning or a roof.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that it looks like a fountain in
17 the -- in the middle of the street.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. Witness, we'll leave it. Maybe could I just ask one more question
20 about this photograph. You talked about a tank on -- that was -- that
21 assisted you on the 17th of September. Where was the tank located? If
22 you need to indicate it on this photograph.
23 JUDGE CLARK: I think it would be easier, Mr. Bos, if you were to
24 say where did the tank come from and follow the route of the tank, if he
1 MR. BOS:
2 Q. So witness, you've heard the Judge's question. Could you
3 indicate on the photograph where the tank came from and where did it go
5 A. The tank by its sound and by the shots that were fired, it didn't
6 appear in this area on the photograph at all. It was behind our backs.
7 But I can't show you that position on this photograph. I could show you
8 on this big photograph where the shooting came from, but not the direction
9 in which it moved.
10 Q. So is it your testimony that the tank never got anywhere in this
11 area during this operation?
12 A. Would you explain to me -- in the operation the tank appeared.
13 But this photograph that I have in front of me is not an area in which it
14 appeared in at all, so it didn't appear in this part of the town at all.
15 Q. Well, that was my question, so you've answered my question.
16 Witness, on the 17th of September, the units that were left and
17 right of the Vinko Skrobo, I think you've testified that on your left side
18 there were soldiers from Livno and you testified that these soldiers were
19 crossing the Bulevar during this operation. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. They crossed. The operation was to have been coordinated.
21 After two or three shells were fired, we were meant to see where the
22 return fire was coming from and silence it if there was further response.
23 But the communication amongst us was poor, so that the men from Livno,
24 though our orders were not to move, to stay in our positions, they tried
25 to cross.
1 Q. And from where you were, did you actually see the soldiers cross
2 the Bulevar?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, you've testified that during this crossing several soldiers
5 got wounded and killed; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you hear whether also prisoners or detainees got killed during
8 this crossing?
9 A. No. As far as we knew, there were only soldiers with us.
10 Q. Now, witness, was the operation a success?
11 A. No. The operation was quickly halted. It was -- it failed.
12 Q. Witness --
13 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I will move to another topic, but maybe
14 this is a good time to break.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness, I have to remind you that you have to
16 stay here overnight. So during your stay in The Hague, do not talk to
17 anybody about your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you, because
18 you are still under oath. Do you understand?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 And tomorrow we'll sit in Courtroom I at 12.00.
22 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I don't want
24 to bother you. I just wondered if I could be given this photograph to
25 review it, just to look at it, and then I'll tell my learned friend
1 whether I need a copy or not. That's all.
2 JUDGE LIU: Of course.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: After this sitting, you are entitled to have a look.
5 MR. BOS: And we can provide copies to the Defence by tomorrow. I
6 think we have spare copies in our offices. It's just that we only had one
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, but let Mr. Krsnik have a look first.
9 MR. BOS: Yes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Otherwise he could not go to sleep.
11 MR. BOS: No problem, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume tomorrow.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 6.58 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
15 the 31st day of July, 2002, at 12.00 p.m.