1. 1 Thursday, 10th June, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.

    5 Mr. Registrar, can we have the accused brought in,

    6 please?

    7 (The accused entered court)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, good morning to

    9 the interpreters. I hope everybody can hear me. Good

    10 morning to the witness of the Prosecution -- no, not

    11 the witness of the Prosecution, I mean the members of

    12 the Prosecution. Good morning to the Defence counsel

    13 and good morning to General Blaskic.

    14 If everybody is ready, we will hear the

    15 testimony of another Court witness, and today,

    16 Mr. Fourmy, if I'm not mistaken, we shall start with

    17 Colonel Asim Koricic. It's a public hearing, isn't

    18 it?

    19 MR. FOURMY: Yes. You're right, Mr.

    20 President.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Then I will turn to the

    22 registrar and ask him to have the witness brought in.

    23 (The witness entered court)

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me, Colonel? I

    25 will ask you a certain amount of information, not too

  2. 1 much for reasons of security, but please remain

    2 standing and give us your name, surname, and place and

    3 date of birth, and if you still have a military rank,

    4 we'd like to know what kind of rank it is. If not,

    5 it's not necessary. Then you will read the solemn

    6 declaration.

    7 [Technical difficulty]

    8 THE WITNESS: My name is Asim Koricic. I was

    9 born on the 18th of July, 1952, in Bihac. I have the

    10 rank of Colonel of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I

    11 was demobilised sometime in May 1996.

    12 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. The interpreter

    13 didn't catch it.

    14 THE WITNESS: I was demobilised in the rank

    15 of Colonel in 1996. By education, I am a mechanical

    16 engineer, and I head my own company now.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Can you

    18 read the solemn declaration, and then you will be

    19 seated.

    20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    22 truth.


    24 [A witness called by the Trial Chamber]

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Colonel, please be

  3. 1 seated. Would you like us to use the title "Colonel"

    2 or do you want us to refer to you as "sir"? Because if

    3 I've understood you well, you're not mobilised

    4 anymore. You were a Colonel during the period in which

    5 we're interested, but would you like us to refer to you

    6 as "Colonel" or "sir"?

    7 THE WITNESS: "Mr." would be appropriate.

    8 Thank you.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you.

    10 Mr. Koricic, you've been summoned by the three Judges

    11 of this Trial Chamber in the trial of the Prosecutor

    12 against General Blaskic, who is the accused here today

    13 on your left. We wanted to hear your testimony. You

    14 will be able to express yourself freely for about 30

    15 minutes or 45 minutes on very precise subjects, which

    16 I'll be giving you again, and then afterwards, the

    17 Prosecution will ask you a certain number of questions,

    18 the Defence will do the same, and the Judges.

    19 Mr. Koricic, we would like to know what was

    20 your role and your function when you were commanding

    21 the 7th Muslim Brigade at the end of 1992 and, above

    22 all, at the beginning of 1993. We would like you to

    23 describe the structure of the command of the 7th Muslim

    24 Brigade at the relevant times, its composition, its

    25 discipline, so we would like to have the basic

  4. 1 structure and framework of the command of the 7th

    2 Muslim Brigade. We would like to know how it was

    3 deployed on location and what were its activities on

    4 the ground. We would like to have your impression on

    5 the conflict between the Croats and the Muslims,

    6 particularly when Mr. Totic was kidnapped, Mr. Totic

    7 and four officers, on the 15th of April, 1993.

    8 Finally, we would like to know whether you had any

    9 contacts or relationships, direct or indirect, with the

    10 accused, and we would like to know your impression

    11 about the accused.

    12 If you want to add other elements during your

    13 testimony, please do so, but, first of all, we would

    14 like you to express yourself freely, and if you find

    15 this difficult, then I will help you with questions

    16 that I will ask you. We are ready to listen to you.

    17 THE WITNESS: Regarding the first question,

    18 which has to do with the organisation and structure of

    19 command of the 7th Brigade of the BH army, the 7th

    20 Brigade was a regular unit of the BH army envisaged by

    21 the organisational table, and according to that table,

    22 it is clearly indicated what the 7th Brigade stands

    23 for. It consists of battalions. There were three

    24 battalions. The battalions were then divided up into

    25 three companies. Then the companies are divided up

  5. 1 into three platoons each.

    2 It had special units attached to

    3 headquarters. There was the reconnaissance sabotage

    4 company, the signals company, the logistics company,

    5 the military police company, and the engineers

    6 company. It had its own staff, the head of which was

    7 the chief of staff, and if there is no deputy

    8 commander, the chief of staff also acts as deputy

    9 commander. The staff consists of the heads of the

    10 different branches --

    11 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to ask you

    12 something. Are you reading a declaration or are you

    13 helping yourself with personal notes?

    14 THE WITNESS: With notes.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. The Tribunal wants

    16 you to express yourself freely, but, of course, you can

    17 use personal notes to refresh your memory. It seems

    18 very normal. Please go ahead.

    19 You didn't say what were your functions.

    20 Let's take this opportunity to ask you this question.

    21 What were your functions, from which date to which

    22 date, within the 7th Muslim Brigade? And then you can

    23 proceed with your testimony.

    24 THE WITNESS: I was one of the first

    25 commanders of that brigade, so I listed everyone,

  6. 1 except myself, and that is, I omitted to say that I was

    2 the first commander. I was in command of the brigade

    3 until the 31st of March. As of the 31st of March, I

    4 was abroad throughout, so I was formally appointed to

    5 this duty for a short period of time.

    6 Shall I continue with the structure and

    7 method of command while I was there, if I may? The

    8 chiefs in logistics had to service the forces. There

    9 was the transportation, quartermasters, the technical

    10 and medical services. The way in which the unit and

    11 the command of the unit was organised was such that the

    12 commander had a collegiate body consisting of his

    13 assistants and the chief of staff. Then, according to

    14 the system of subordination, orders are passed on to

    15 the level of battalion, then from there to the company,

    16 to the platoon, and to lower levels, lower echelons.

    17 At times, the commander may directly inform somebody at

    18 a lower level, if that should prove necessary. So much

    19 about the basic structure.

    20 As for the deployment, the unit had its own

    21 area of responsibility, and this was designated by

    22 high-level commands, and its area of responsibility was

    23 Bucje, and I can show you that on the map. This was

    24 south-west of Travnik. That was the area of

    25 responsibility of the brigade, so the commander in

  7. 1 charge has full responsibility for that area of

    2 responsibility, except if an order comes from a higher

    3 level of command or if somebody does not respect the

    4 rules and regulations. That would be all regarding the

    5 structure that I would have to say, unless, Your

    6 Honour, you have questions.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Not for the time being, so

    8 please proceed with the operations that were launched

    9 during the conflict between the Muslims and the Croats,

    10 and I would like to talk particularly about the

    11 incidents between the Armija and the HVO in which the

    12 7th Muslim Brigade may have participated. I would like

    13 your point of view on the Dusina conflict in January

    14 1993. I would like to hear you about the situation of

    15 the prisoners, particularly in the Kaonik prison, and

    16 the situation on the agreement of cease-fire signed

    17 between Mate Boban and President Izetbegovic on the

    18 18th of April, 1993.

    19 You didn't give us the exact date of the term

    20 when you became commander. You mentioned the end of

    21 your term. You said you stayed commander until the

    22 31st of March, but you didn't tell us when you started

    23 being a commander.

    24 THE WITNESS: I began with the formation of

    25 the brigade, and the brigade was formed, I think it was

  8. 1 in November 1992. I was actually acting commander, and

    2 my position was confirmed by the superior command in

    3 March, but I did have certain authority throughout this

    4 period up to the 31st of March.

    5 As regards the conflicts --

    6 JUDGE JORDA: You became commander, I'm

    7 talking about an operative commander, of the 7th Muslim

    8 Brigade from which date to which date?

    9 THE WITNESS: From the point it was formed

    10 until the 31st of March, 1993. May I continue?

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, please proceed,

    12 particularly on the points that I mentioned. Thank

    13 you.

    14 THE WITNESS: The conflict occurred I think

    15 in February, the first conflict, in the area of the

    16 Lasva loop, as we call it, and the area of Dusina. At

    17 the time, I was in Travnik, and the unit of the 7th

    18 Muslim Brigade that was operating there, I think was

    19 the 2nd Battalion, it was in a preparatory stage

    20 working on regular duties and training, and it was used

    21 as an intervention unit because HV units, for reasons

    22 unknown to us but which were not unexpected, carried

    23 out an attack on the village of Merdani. I think this

    24 was a conflict of short duration.

    25 When I returned to the unit, I was informed

  9. 1 that we had, I think, one or two dead, and already, the

    2 next day, it was halted through the intervention of the

    3 higher echelons, or a couple of days later -- actually,

    4 I don't quite remember. I can't be very specific about

    5 this because the order didn't come from us. That unit

    6 intervened, so I can't be very specific, and we didn't

    7 really carry out any analysis of this whole situation.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: That's all you have to say on

    9 the conflict which took place in Dusina?

    10 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We're still talking

    12 about the conflict between the Croats and the Muslims.

    13 Could you talk about the kidnapping of Commander Totic

    14 and the four officers in 1993 and why they were

    15 kidnapped, and then we will talk about the prisoners

    16 and your role within the army staff.

    17 THE WITNESS: As far as the next question is

    18 concerned, the kidnapping of Mr. Zivko Totic, I said

    19 that I was absent at the time, so I heard about it,

    20 like many others, from the media, that something had

    21 happened. So I really can't say anything about that

    22 because I had already left Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: You were not in Bosnia and

    24 Herzegovina anymore at that time. Very well.

    25 What about the treatment of prisoners in the

  10. 1 prisons? The Judges have received a lot of information

    2 regarding this during this trial. That's why we have a

    3 lot of information, that we received through

    4 Prosecution witnesses or Defence witnesses, and a lot

    5 of problems were mentioned. That's why you're here.

    6 We need to have new light shed on this aspect of the

    7 conflict. We heard that the 7th Muslim Brigade took

    8 Croat prisoners. How were they treated? How were they

    9 detained? Were the international conventions applied?

    10 Could you give us a description of the situation until

    11 March 1993, and particularly about the music school. A

    12 lot was said about this music school.

    13 THE WITNESS: As far as I know, there was a

    14 prison in Zenica. That was the main prison within the

    15 territory under Bosniak control. That was the Kapadom

    16 as it was known, the correctional centre from former

    17 Yugoslavia, and all the prisoners were detained there,

    18 and that was something that we did not decide about.

    19 Whether people were taken into custody, I really

    20 couldn't tell you, because if people were detained,

    21 then this was according to the law. Whether the law

    22 was respected at all levels, I couldn't say. I would

    23 like to know the arguments of both sides. I don't know

    24 about that.

    25 As for the music school, it is still there.

  11. 1 It is a school. I don't see what kind of a prison it

    2 could be when it doesn't even have a fence around it.

    3 Whether people were taken in there and interrogated, I

    4 don't know. I never heard about it. I don't know what

    5 happened because simply the conditions were not

    6 appropriate there for it to be used as a prison, so I

    7 don't know what the allegations are.

    8 As for the question whether we arrested

    9 Croats, I'm surprised at such a question because it was

    10 the Croats who arrested us. They were the first to put

    11 up checkpoints, that can be seen on the maps and that

    12 can be clearly indicated, and you should know that when

    13 I left Bosnia-Herzegovina, I had to take a document

    14 from the Croatian Defence Council -- I still have that

    15 document -- to be able to leave the territory. So I

    16 really don't know who was really in control.

    17 Furthermore, I could not move freely. There

    18 were units in Zenica, Travnik, and several other

    19 places, and I always had to have a document to be able

    20 to pass or to use certain roundabout ways through the

    21 mountains and the woods. Because if you took a map and

    22 if you find the main road in the direction from Doboj,

    23 you come across Zepce, which the Croats controlled.

    24 Then from Tuzla, there is Vares, which was again

    25 extremely well-organised and there was no free

  12. 1 passage. From the southerly direction, there was

    2 Mostar, then Kiseljak. There too, free passage was not

    3 possible. Then the central part where we were. So we

    4 didn't control a single road.

    5 So to accuse us of arresting people -- of

    6 course, this is a possibility. One is free to say such

    7 a thing -- but our communications were intercepted by

    8 the HVO, and we couldn't move around without documents

    9 that they issued us with, so they imposed something

    10 upon us which we had never agreed upon. And as I said,

    11 I have a document on the basis of which I was able to

    12 pass through the territory under their control. But

    13 when you look at it, they virtually had control of

    14 everything. We only had some mountains and some side

    15 roads.

    16 So if you look at the whole picture, then you

    17 will see what the dividing lines were between us and

    18 possibly with the Serbs.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: We had the feeling during the

    20 many discussions which took place during this trial

    21 that the detachment of the 7th Muslim Brigade was not

    22 always as official. Were all the units of the 7th

    23 Muslim Brigade attached to the army of Bosnia and

    24 Herzegovina? We think that there was two different

    25 parts within the 7th Muslim Brigade, and only one of

  13. 1 them was attached to the 3rd Corps of General

    2 Hadzihasanovic who testified here yesterday. What's

    3 your impression on that point?

    4 THE WITNESS: I think that that is not quite

    5 so. The unit was dispersed. A commander is able to

    6 deploy its forces as suits him best; of course, in

    7 accordance with higher level commands. So that is how

    8 we were deployed.

    9 Perhaps the other side feels that we were out

    10 of control, but we had units in Kakanj, in Zenica, in

    11 Travnik, so that if rapid deployment is resorted to,

    12 and this could be a military secret which I wouldn't

    13 like to go into, one could get the impression that they

    14 were out of control because it acted rapidly. But it

    15 was because it was deployed in such a way that it could

    16 do so.

    17 I said that all these units were in

    18 accordance with the organisational table. Military men

    19 know what that means. All the units had their

    20 organisational strength, their chain of command, and I

    21 don't know who could have said that they were not under

    22 the control of the army.

    23 The purpose behind this probably is to give

    24 the impression that we are Bosniak Muslims, European

    25 Muslims, that we were Islamists, Fundamentalists. We

  14. 1 are people with our own religion, like all other

    2 people. We have certain knowledge like other peoples,

    3 maybe a little less so. We are a European people. I

    4 don't see why so much emphasis should be placed on the

    5 fact that it was called Muslim. Mr. President,

    6 perhaps --

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I want things to be very

    8 clear. The Judges are not trying to do this, and you

    9 are not accused of anything. We are just trying to

    10 obtain a certain amount of information because somebody

    11 is accused here and he may face very heavy penalties,

    12 so it is absolutely normal that we are trying to

    13 discover the truth.

    14 By the way, I would like to tell you that

    15 your own Ministry of Defence told you that you had been

    16 a commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade between the 12th

    17 of March and the 6th of August, 1993. Therefore, their

    18 dates don't really correspond to the dates you gave

    19 us. So what is real? Who's right: your ministry, of

    20 which you're still a member, you're still a reservist

    21 colonel, or are you right?

    22 THE WITNESS: I have to clarify this. It is

    23 true what the papers say, what the ministry decided,

    24 that that is what they said. However, the command of

    25 the corps, that is, my superior, allowed me to go.

  15. 1 There is also my order that I vest my powers in my

    2 deputy. He thus became the first in command. And it

    3 is true that then I left Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

    4 probably this date, August 1993, was pointed out

    5 because perhaps then this deputy of mine was

    6 automatically appointed commander, that is, the first

    7 in line, because I did not come back.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: It does not correspond at all

    9 with the information that the Ministry of Defence of

    10 the federation gave us. In this document, it is said

    11 that Mr. Koricic was commander between the 12th of

    12 March and the 6th of August, and he was replaced on

    13 that date by Mr. Amir Kubura. But we will not linger

    14 on this. We have your testimony in the transcript.

    15 Can you give us any information on the

    16 reasons why the 7th Muslim Brigade was created? We

    17 received a lot of information on that aspect, and we

    18 would like what your impression is. We talked about

    19 the religious and cultural nature of this brigade.

    20 What was their training? What kind of discipline was

    21 applied within the 7th Muslim Brigade? We had a lot of

    22 information about all these aspects, but we would like

    23 to have your point of view.

    24 THE WITNESS: A tactical brigade was supposed

    25 to be created that would operate in a wider region and

  16. 1 that could intervene rapidly, and we probably succeeded

    2 in that. The brigade was established, like all other

    3 regular brigades, but it was supposed to take care of

    4 training as well which would guarantee certain rules

    5 because we did not have the opportunity, on the basis

    6 of the old rules, to find enough scope for training men

    7 who were supposed to realise what was happening to

    8 them.

    9 We suffered the most, from any point of view,

    10 because we had an approach that was a bit different to

    11 faith, different than that espoused by others, and we

    12 noticed that pretty quickly. We had to protect a great

    13 many people and buildings. We also had a cultural side

    14 committed against us. Whatever was built in the

    15 previous centuries was being destroyed. People wanted

    16 a unit to be created from the people who had fled.

    17 I also come from an area that was an

    18 enclave. We had to provide the best protection

    19 possible. We didn't know what to do. We could have

    20 only been transported to a third country and then gone

    21 back. However, there were many people who are aware of

    22 the fact that it's better to die in your own country

    23 than to be somebody's street-sweeper or to have

    24 somebody else feed you without doing a stitch of work.

    25 So, we decided to defend ourselves, and we

  17. 1 wanted our training to be brought into line with

    2 regulations that were close to the hearts of us, the

    3 ordinary people, not to lie, not to steal, not to leave

    4 the battlefield, not to do to others what they are

    5 doing to us. We did not touch a single religious

    6 building. If somebody had done that, then we allowed

    7 the establishment of a commission, and then the

    8 perpetrators would be punished, but we did not allow

    9 such things. That's it.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Did you have any kind of

    11 autonomous or special training? Where was your

    12 headquarters? Was it in Zenica? We were told that you

    13 had a special training site with methods which were

    14 also very special and a little bit different to the

    15 methods used in the Armija or in the 3rd Corps.

    16 THE WITNESS: That is not correct. We had

    17 regular training of 15 days at the most, and you can

    18 see this from the documents involved. It pertained to

    19 basic training in terms of handling the weaponry and

    20 pieces that we had available. I don't know what

    21 "special training" would mean. We would have to have

    22 special weapons in order to have a special unit. So we

    23 were taught how to shoot with an automatic rifle, a

    24 mortar. I don't know what this special thing could

    25 be.

  18. 1 The training centre was usually in those

    2 units where there were battalions. For example, these

    3 were units at the level of battalion, and this is a

    4 question of morality. We paid great attention to

    5 ethics, as I mentioned previously. Of course, this is

    6 an army, and this had to be done behind closed doors,

    7 and I don't see why anybody would have access to

    8 military units, unless an international organisation

    9 expressed its wish to come and see us. Then we would

    10 show them on the basis of their own interests

    11 expressed.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: On that particular point, this

    13 is very interesting what you've just said, we heard

    14 testimonies, according to which representatives of the

    15 Red Cross never received the authorisation to visit

    16 prisoners, your prisoners; is that wrong?

    17 THE WITNESS: Is there a letter that someone

    18 sent to me personally, and did I sign a paper saying

    19 that I would not allow this?

    20 JUDGE JORDA: You're not accused of anything,

    21 and that's not what I'm saying, Mr. Koricic. The

    22 Judges are just trying to learn more information. But

    23 during the training you had on ethics or you gave on

    24 ethics, did you teach your soldiers a certain number of

    25 international principles? Because the 7th Muslim

  19. 1 Brigade was accused of having committed a certain

    2 number of looting crimes. Before this Chamber, some

    3 witnesses told us so.

    4 THE WITNESS: Of course, I said at the very

    5 beginning that we were a regular unit of the army of

    6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the entire army was based on

    7 international rules. Of course we tried, as much as

    8 possible, to meet all these requirements. We certainly

    9 did not have anything special, except that amongst

    10 ourselves, we were perhaps different from others

    11 because we were perhaps more faithful than others.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Who are the Mujahedin? Were

    13 they members of the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    14 THE WITNESS: That is the problem. We are

    15 being told that we had foreigners, so to speak, in our

    16 ranks. Sometimes we'd have a logistics man who would

    17 volunteer, for example, to go to positions together

    18 with lower level units. I don't know.

    19 While I was active, I wish to inform you now

    20 that there were no conflicts with the Croatian Defence

    21 Council, except for that in Dusina, never, and if the

    22 Mujahedin were present while there were Territorial

    23 Defence staffs, if that's what they called these

    24 people, but these are mainly people who remained -- I

    25 mean, in the former Yugoslavia, people went to schools,

  20. 1 and then there were humanitarian organisations. If I

    2 could not pass without a permit, I think that the HVO

    3 knows exactly how many people got in. I really don't

    4 know that any such person was registered in the 7th.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: What happened in Dusina in

    6 January happened during the period when you were

    7 commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade; am I right?

    8 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We've heard

    10 testimonies from representatives of the ECMM, it was

    11 not the testimony of the accused, and these people then

    12 mentioned a certain number of crimes which were

    13 committed in the municipality of Dusina. You were a

    14 commander, you're not accused of anything, but we're

    15 just trying to know what happened. Could you control

    16 your soldiers? Were you in control of the situation?

    17 I would like to take this opportunity to add that,

    18 according to a certain number of testimonies, your

    19 brigade or some Mujahedins were not controlled anywhere

    20 by the commander of the Armija. You were a commander,

    21 until the 31st of March at least, but maybe until the

    22 month of August, could you talk more precisely about

    23 the events which took place in Dusina, more precisely

    24 than at the beginning? What happened in Dusina? Do

    25 you know? You were a commander at the time. I'd like

  21. 1 to repeat that you're not here as an accused, you're

    2 here as a witness, but you've taken the oath. Let me

    3 remind you of this.

    4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I heard that something had

    5 happened out there. I mean, had I heard that something

    6 had happened there, I would have initiated proceedings

    7 had I received information about this in detail from

    8 the appropriate institutions, but I did not receive any

    9 request. Intensity was short.

    10 You know, it's not that simple for me to try

    11 to remember now everything that happened. Well, yes,

    12 you can forget, but I know for sure that something had

    13 happened because people were talking, and they were

    14 saying all sorts of things, but who did what, that I do

    15 not know. Not a single verified official organisation

    16 came and told me that something had happened truly and

    17 that I was supposed to take action. So the only thing

    18 I know is that something was being talked about those

    19 days. There were some objections, but no objections

    20 were raised officially to me as commander so that I

    21 would establish a commission and -- I mean, of course,

    22 I would have done that. So I really cannot give you an

    23 explanation.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: So you never learned anything

    25 about what happened in Dusina?

  22. 1 THE WITNESS: No, believe me, I didn't.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: If I understood you well, the

    3 relationship you had with Mr. Hadzihasanovic was a

    4 normal hierarchial relationship between a superior and

    5 a subordinate?

    6 THE WITNESS: One hundred per cent.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: You received your orders from

    8 General Hadzihasanovic, combat technical orders?

    9 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: My last question: Your

    11 strategic option, was it yours? Was it General

    12 Hadzihasanovic's? Did you have your own objectives?

    13 THE WITNESS: If I had said that we had

    14 subordination in the army system, then it is impossible

    15 without the approval of the superior command. For the

    16 use of every unit, one has to write a request in order

    17 to use that unit, and then one has to explain how one

    18 intends to do that. In order to get into somebody

    19 else's zone, again, you have to ask the superior

    20 command to grant that request of yours, so very often,

    21 our units were attached to others.

    22 Personally, I had no ideas, except for the

    23 basic idea we all had, and that was to defend ourselves

    24 from all this suffering, to organise some kind of

    25 living conditions as much as possible, and that's it.

  23. 1 That would be all.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: I understand. Do you have any

    3 information about brutal attacks which would have been

    4 launched in the municipality of Busovaca by the ABiH

    5 with the support of the Mujahedins against the Croat

    6 population?

    7 THE WITNESS: I really did not hear of the

    8 Mujahedin attacking Busovaca. Perhaps they called us

    9 the Mujahedin because, as we said a few minutes ago,

    10 the 2nd Battalion was operating in these regions.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: This will be my last question.

    12 The Mujahedin were attached, or those individuals who

    13 were called the Mujahedin, were attached to the 7th

    14 Muslim Brigade or were they an autonomous group? I

    15 didn't really understand what was their status.

    16 THE WITNESS: They were there because they

    17 wanted to give humanitarian help, and perhaps they

    18 came. These were certain groups of foreigners, and

    19 perhaps they would come to us too. Perhaps that was

    20 the link. Maybe they had an escort. I don't know what

    21 the HVO did. Probably their security would, perhaps,

    22 follow these people, I imagine they did, because they

    23 controlled them from the moment they crossed the

    24 border, and then these people probably brought us

    25 appropriate assistance and also assistance to units,

  24. 1 and then it is accentuated. They went to see these

    2 foreigners and they went to see these others. These

    3 were just their assumptions. We were a regular Bosnian

    4 unit, and we carried out our regular duties.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. When they were placed

    6 under your orders, Mr. Koricic, you gave them orders,

    7 or did they operate autonomously without any command

    8 structure?

    9 THE WITNESS: They were never under our

    10 command.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, they were on your

    12 territory, they are not under the orders of the HVO,

    13 they are not under your orders or the orders of General

    14 Hadzihasanovic, who paid them? A lot was said about

    15 them, and not only by Defence witnesses but also by

    16 international observers. It seems that they received

    17 financial support from Islamic countries, powers from

    18 the Islamic world. You don't know anything about

    19 this?

    20 THE WITNESS: That they received support from

    21 Islamic countries, I don't believe that. Perhaps they

    22 had the support and help of some people, some persons,

    23 but that there were some groups in our territory,

    24 please, there were about 200.000 of us. We're not

    25 talking about the army now. We are talking about some

  25. 1 20-odd foreigners. Of course, if they did something,

    2 they should be held accountable, but, please, we did

    3 not call these people, we did not tell them, "Please

    4 come here and let's get organised." I really don't

    5 know.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: There were only around 20?

    7 There were only 20 Mujahedins, 20 Mujahedins while you

    8 were a commander?

    9 THE WITNESS: No, not with me. I would pass,

    10 you see, and I would see something in certain areas

    11 where they were, but I did not see that these were

    12 groups, and there weren't that many. There were

    13 perhaps 20, 30. I don't know the number. I couldn't

    14 establish that, and I don't know about that. You know,

    15 these areas -- I mean, I think that they were involved

    16 in humanitarian matters. They would get married --

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Please, Mr. Koricic, you're

    18 saying that your brigade was a regular unit, that the

    19 soldiers were trained a little bit differently than

    20 other units, particularly units pertaining to the army

    21 corps of General Hadzihasanovic. You mentioned the

    22 rather cultural/religious nature of the brigade and you

    23 mentioned ethics. However, you accept people who say

    24 they apply the same ethics, since they are Muslims and

    25 they are financially supported by other countries; they

  26. 1 arrive on the territory; you're not trying to control

    2 them, you're not trying to integrate them within your

    3 own structure; you leave them to operate like this.

    4 Above all, when you learned that they may have

    5 committed a certain number of atrocities, you just

    6 leave them alone.

    7 THE WITNESS: We did not take anyone in.

    8 Such people did not stay in our units. These people

    9 could not get organised. This was a regular unit.

    10 From the point of view of formation, this is not

    11 possible. We never gave a single dinar to pay such

    12 persons. We were not armed with special weapons. We

    13 had basic weapons like everybody else, those who had

    14 the possibility of arming themselves then.

    15 As for the control of civilian territory, it

    16 is well-known, according to the law, who was in charge

    17 of that. We cannot do the work of the MUP. After all,

    18 how did the HVO let these foreigners cross their

    19 territory? Probably as humanitarian persons --

    20 JUDGE JORDA: You're not answering my

    21 question. It seems that the presence of Mujahedins was

    22 confirmed, it was verified, and not only ten people

    23 were mentioned to us.

    24 So if you, commander of the 7th Brigade, who,

    25 by the way, you're not even able to say that you were

  27. 1 commander from the exact date to another exact date.

    2 Of course, I understand that we may have even more

    3 doubts on the presence of Mujahedins on your

    4 territory. By the way, I thought that your testimony

    5 would be free, but I had to ask you a certain number of

    6 questions.

    7 I will not turn to my colleagues now because

    8 they will ask questions at the end, but I shall now

    9 turn to the Prosecution for some 30 minutes. Would

    10 that be enough, Mr. Prosecutor?

    11 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, Your Honours,

    12 good morning. Counsel, good morning. Mr. Koricic,

    13 good morning.

    14 We have no questions. Thank you.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I shall now turn to

    16 Mr. Nobilo. This is not a cross-examination,

    17 Mr. Koricic. You are a Court witness. It will be,

    18 therefore, only questions asked by the Prosecution or

    19 the Defence and then the questions of the Judges will

    20 follow.

    21 Mr. Nobilo, how much time do you need? Half

    22 an hour? Will that be enough?

    23 MR. NOBILO: I hope so. About 30 minutes.

    24 That will be sufficient.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We shall now hear

  28. 1 your questions until the break.

    2 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    3 Q. Colonel Koricic, I am Anto Nobilo. This is

    4 my colleague, Russell Hayman. We are the Defence

    5 counsel. And I should like to ask you a few questions

    6 now.

    7 Why was the 7th Muslim Brigade called a

    8 Muslim Brigade while all the others were called light

    9 brigades or mountain brigades? Where does that

    10 specific difference come from?

    11 A. Your Honours, I should like to clarify

    12 matters. The question related to the 7th Muslim

    13 Brigade and to say a few words: In the former state,

    14 we had the republics. We had Slovenia, and that was a

    15 Slovene, Croatia was a Croat, Serbia was a Serb. When

    16 you came to Bosnia, you had the nation called the

    17 Muslim, and that is a very broad notion, "the Muslim,"

    18 just as the Croatian-Muslim conflict, the term given

    19 there, that is very wrong, because it is a

    20 Croatian-Bosniak conflict. Because we could then say,

    21 if we followed that logic, and say a Bosnian-Catholic

    22 conflict, and that would not correspond to the

    23 situation.

    24 So then -- and the gentlemen know that there

    25 was a small "m" for "Muslim" and a big "M" for

  29. 1 "Muslim," that is to say, denoting the religious and

    2 the national, the ethnic notion, and these are broader

    3 elaborations of the term, and that was used so that in

    4 a period of time, we could feel or come to feel that

    5 that area belonged to some, let us say, Muslims, who

    6 had not been there from time immemorial. And so we

    7 said that the brigade will be called the Muslim Brigade

    8 because there would be a little greater emphasis on

    9 religion there, and that when conditions were ripe,

    10 when it changed nationally, it wouldn't be called the

    11 Muslim but would be either called the Bosnian or

    12 Bosniak or, as it is called now, just the 7th Brigade.

    13 Q. Could somebody join the 7th Muslim Brigade

    14 who was a Catholic, for example, or an Orthodox, or not

    15 religious at all?

    16 A. Well, nobody could join who was an atheist,

    17 but the other thing was unrealistic to expect under the

    18 prevailing conditions because those relationships were

    19 unrealistic, as I said, and could not have been

    20 expected.

    21 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, please,

    22 whether your conception of religion and the role of

    23 religion in war and within the 7th Muslim Brigade was

    24 different from how other Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina

    25 can see this thing? Was there a qualitative difference

  30. 1 between the two?

    2 A. Well, yes, probably there was. For example,

    3 we don't drink alcohol. Second, we didn't do any

    4 looting on the roads and we didn't do all the ugly

    5 things that people talked about.

    6 Q. What about the other Bosniaks? Did they?

    7 A. No, but you asked me whether there were any

    8 substantial differences, and I said that the qualities

    9 we afforded were better.

    10 Q. I'm going to repeat the question. Please

    11 listen to me carefully. Was the understanding of the

    12 role of religion within the 7th Muslim Brigade, the

    13 role of religion in wartime, was it different from the

    14 conception of religion and its role in wartime in the

    15 other brigades of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Was

    16 there a qualitative difference in understanding, and if

    17 so, in what direction?

    18 A. There are no two rules. There is just one

    19 rule when you come to religion. It is only how people

    20 accept that rule, and perhaps we accepted it -- we

    21 accepted a different approach in relation to others.

    22 I'm speaking about percentages. So I don't want to go

    23 on with that.

    24 Q. Of course, religion is one thing, but could

    25 you tell us whether you adhered to religion in stricter

  31. 1 terms than the other religious people in the other

    2 brigades of the BH army? Were you stricter and

    3 embraced religion in a more comprehensive manner?

    4 A. You know that in the daily distribution in

    5 units, and if you don't know, then you should get to

    6 know this point, that is to say, in the -- we have

    7 prayers five times a day in our daily routine, and that

    8 was the difference. So we had more prayer than the

    9 others. That is one of the differences.

    10 Perhaps --

    11 Q. I apologise.

    12 A. Perhaps I don't know the extent to which

    13 other units, other members of units said their prayers,

    14 whether that was regulated by the rules of the army of

    15 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    16 Q. Colonel, do you know the religious laws and

    17 rules about conducting warfare?

    18 A. No, I know very little on that subject.

    19 Q. What about your teachers, the religious

    20 teachers in the 7th Muslim Brigade? Did they speak

    21 about the religious rules of conducting warfare?

    22 A. Of course, religion always wishes to give

    23 encouragement to its believers at given points in

    24 time. You said a legal -- you said a religious

    25 leader. I would say a religious dignitary so --

  32. 1 Q. I said religious teacher.

    2 A. Then I apologise, and that is correct, right,

    3 religious teacher.

    4 Q. I'm asking you a direct question now: Were

    5 the rules of Islamic Fundamentalism, which, according

    6 to history, are not inherent in the Bosniak people,

    7 were endeavoured to be applied in the 7th Muslim

    8 Brigade with the help of foreign instructors from Arab

    9 countries?

    10 A. First and foremost, let me say that the

    11 question is a very broad one. You said Islamic

    12 Fundamentalism. I would like to hear from you what you

    13 mean by Islamic Fundamentalism.

    14 Q. Well, that would lead us into a lengthy

    15 debate. But let me put it this way: In your brigade,

    16 and I'm going to ask a specific question, did heavenly

    17 laws have the advantage or the laws of this earth?

    18 Would you give me a direct answer? So not roundabout,

    19 as is usual in Bosnia, but a direct answer. Which

    20 rules had the advantage?

    21 A. Well, I am speaking to you as one man to

    22 another. If a man is endangered, then he might prefer

    23 death to life.

    24 Q. You haven't answered my question.

    25 A. I think I have.

  33. 1 Q. We are in a court here and have to give

    2 direct answers. I know that when you have a cup of

    3 coffee in Bosnia, you tend to philosophise a little

    4 bit. But I'm going to ask you whether, in your

    5 brigade, you adhere to heavenly laws rather than the

    6 laws of this earth?

    7 A. I said, sir, that we were a regular unit that

    8 had assignments on this earth.

    9 Q. Tell us, please, did you teach your fighters

    10 to apply the Geneva Conventions in wartime or did you

    11 give special instructions to the Muslim fighters?

    12 A. I'm going to tell you of a personal

    13 experience of mine. I could just say "Yes," we are

    14 duty-bound to do that but --

    15 Q. I asked you whether you gave special

    16 instructions to Muslim fighters how to behave towards

    17 civilians, prisoners, and so on. Tell us whether you

    18 had instructions of that kind.

    19 A. Let me answer in the way I would like to give

    20 you the answer. Gentlemen, if you go into battle,

    21 anybody who kills a woman, anybody who kills a child,

    22 anybody who destroys a religious building or does evil

    23 does not belong to us and I will not stand behind a man

    24 of that kind, and that is what I can say to this

    25 illustrious tribunal.

  34. 1 Q. Did you issue in writing, that is to say, did

    2 the religious instructors give written instructions to

    3 Muslim fighters which referred only to the Muslim

    4 fighters?

    5 A. Would you clarify what you mean when you say

    6 "Muslim"?

    7 Q. Well, I'm going to read a part of a Defence

    8 document, 184, D184. I apologise, there is a title in

    9 Arabic, first of all, and then it says "Basic

    10 Instructions to a Muslim Fighter," and it speaks about

    11 the Sheheeds, permits for parents and so on. I'd like

    12 to ask the usher to come and get this document. It is

    13 D184.

    14 Take a look at the whole document, and I am

    15 just going to read a portion of it, Relationship

    16 Towards Hostile Civilians, Enemy Civilians, point 2.

    17 Take a look at point 2. (as read)

    18 "Women and children, like all the other

    19 civilians helping the enemy, can be killed and they are

    20 treated in the same way as the attackers. If needed,

    21 an abandoned house can be used for defence."

    22 This was distributed in Travnik, which is

    23 where you were the commander.

    24 A. I do not see a stamp of the 7th Muslim

    25 Brigade, sir.

  35. 1 Q. What is the stamp here? Can you identify

    2 it? Can you read out what it says on the stamp?

    3 A. I just see that it says MOS.

    4 Q. Have you ever seen a stamp of this kind

    5 before?

    6 A. This stamp was never seen in our units.

    7 Q. Did you ever see this kind of instruction to

    8 Muslim fighters and was it distributed to your

    9 soldiers?

    10 A. I am not an expert in religious rules and

    11 instructions. This was probably copied from religious

    12 literature and religious instructions somewhere, and

    13 you can probably buy instructions of that kind

    14 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    15 Q. Did you adhere to the rules and regulations

    16 as prescribed by religion in warfare?

    17 A. Well, I told you that we adhered to rules

    18 that were binding upon us.

    19 Q. That answer can be taken twofold.

    20 A. So you want me to answer and to tell you

    21 something that I can't tell you.

    22 Q. I asked a very clear question: Did you

    23 adhere to religious rules connected to warfare?

    24 A. Religious rules were not binding for us in

    25 the sense of a law, that we should be held responsible,

  36. 1 so I don't see why I should now.

    2 Q. Very well. Let us proceed. You had an Emir

    3 of a unit, and the word "Emir," the term "Emir," I

    4 think means, in a language we both understand, means

    5 "Ruler," Mahmut Efendija Karalic; is that correct?

    6 A. Where did you happen to read that, that he

    7 was a member of our formation?

    8 Q. He established you, he financed you, and I'm

    9 just asking you whether you know him and whether he had

    10 any role in the establishment of your unit. Was he the

    11 Emir of the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    12 A. I know him. He could have been, he might

    13 have been somebody who we had contacts with --

    14 Q. What kind of answer is that, "He could have

    15 been," "He might have been"? You were the commander of

    16 the 7th Muslim Brigade. You have to tell us what links

    17 you had with him, what your connection with him was and

    18 what relationship you had with him.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Wait a second, please. I first

    20 would like Mr. Nobilo to ask his questions -- and

    21 please, Mr. Nobilo, give the witness the time to

    22 answer -- and I would also turn to the witness and ask

    23 him to focus on the questions asked by the Defence and

    24 to give them a proper answer. I would like to remind

    25 the witness that he is still under oath.

  37. 1 Please, Mr. Nobilo, rephrase your question.

    2 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.

    3 Q. Let me ask this once again: What was the

    4 role of Emir Mahmut Efendija Karalic in the creation

    5 and organisation and work of the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    6 A. His role was logistical because an Islamic

    7 centre had been set up for assistance to the peoples of

    8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was set up in Zenica, where the

    9 No. 1 man was Mahmut Karalic.

    10 Q. Where did the Islamic Centre for assistance

    11 to Zenica get its resources from, funded from, led by

    12 Karalic?

    13 A. You should ask the Islamic centre that and

    14 Mr. Karalic. I don't know.

    15 Q. What about the humanitarian officers that

    16 passed you by? Were they on their way to that Islamic

    17 centre?

    18 A. Probably they were, yes.

    19 Q. Thank you. You said that your battalion went

    20 to Dusina and that they committed crimes there but that

    21 you were not in command; is that correct?

    22 A. I did not issue an order of that kind because

    23 I was at that time, I think, in the Travnik region when

    24 the attack came.

    25 Q. If you did not issue an order to your

  38. 1 battalion, who could have issued orders? Who was your

    2 superior?

    3 A. There was no need for anybody to issue an

    4 order above me. The order could have been issued by

    5 the chief of staff in my absence. He could have issued

    6 an order of that kind.

    7 Q. When information reached you that a crime had

    8 been committed in Dusina but nobody informed you of

    9 that officially, did you not consider it your duty as

    10 commander of the brigade to conduct an investigation?

    11 It was your unit. They were not some far off units.

    12 They were people under your direct command. Did you

    13 ever conduct an investigation into that?

    14 A. You must know, sir, that I did not get this

    15 information immediately. A considerable amount of time

    16 went by, and it was from contacts, and we heard from

    17 your people that something had, in fact, happened, but

    18 this was quite a lot later.

    19 Q. First of all, there are no "my people" in

    20 Dusina. I have no relatives in Dusina, so they are not

    21 my people. That's one point. Another point is that

    22 you left in March 1993, so that was a period of two

    23 months, but when the information reached you, did you

    24 conduct an investigation and did you feel duty-bound to

    25 conduct an investigation?

  39. 1 A. Believe me, I might have heard that when I

    2 came back to the country, when I heard about these

    3 contacts, and what was his name, Zeko, there was a man

    4 called Zeko from the HVO, and he said, "You know, Asim,

    5 perhaps there are some problems," and I said, "Really?

    6 Well, if there are, then let's have a request for

    7 something," but as I wasn't the officer on duty and I

    8 had no duty --

    9 Q. Let us forget Dusina for a minute. Between

    10 Kacuni and Bilalovac, that is to say, between the

    11 municipalities of Vitez and Kiseljak, Gusti Grab, for

    12 example, Oseliste, and the other Croatian villages were

    13 set fire to, people were expelled, and that was done by

    14 your unit?

    15 A. In that period?

    16 Q. Yes, in that same period, the time of Dusina,

    17 in fact, in those days.

    18 A. I do not know anything about reports of that

    19 kind.

    20 Q. They are reports of a joint commission.

    21 Representing the BH army, we had Mr. Dzemo Merdan, and

    22 representing the Croatian side, we had Mr. Franjo Nakic

    23 under the auspices of the international organisations,

    24 and they ascertained what had happened, that several

    25 hundred Croatian houses had been set ablaze.

  40. 1 A. I don't know about that. Did you say Dzemo

    2 Merdan? Dzemo Merdan did not make any comments, did

    3 not tell me about that.

    4 Q. He did not inform you about that?

    5 A. You see, we were left without many houses

    6 ourselves, and it is difficult, unless a commission

    7 ascertains this and we go down the lines,

    8 subordination, and if you say you had this gentleman

    9 who asked this, therefore, and made this demand, then

    10 Mr. Merdan should have come to my office, sat at my

    11 table, and told me what he had to say.

    12 Q. The joint commission went house by house and

    13 listed all the burnt houses, and I want to know whether

    14 Dzemo Merdan informed you of that.

    15 A. I received no official information, no.

    16 Q. How do you explain that your ministry

    17 disposed of data and information, that until August,

    18 you were the commander, and you say that you had left

    19 the country. If you had actually left the country, who

    20 allowed you to do so, and who allows the function of

    21 brigade commander to be filled so that you could go

    22 abroad? Who is the competent authority to do that?

    23 A. First of all, the ministry is the higher

    24 command. Sarajevo was in an encirclement, under siege,

    25 but it is the corps commander who issued permission for

  41. 1 me to go abroad either temporarily or permanently.

    2 According to our rules and regulations, I would have to

    3 propose somebody to take my place and be my deputy, and

    4 the next man in line was the chief of staff, if there

    5 is no deputy commander of the brigade.

    6 Q. Did you do all of this in writing?

    7 A. This was prepared in writing. A request is

    8 put to the army, and I had to make a request of this

    9 kind to go to the HVO department who would then issue

    10 the necessary documents to me for passage through

    11 territory controlled by it, and that was all done on

    12 the basis of those documents.

    13 Q. How can you then explain that the ministry,

    14 and you sent them all these documents, held -- that

    15 kept you commander until August, and then five months

    16 before that, you were not in command, as you say?

    17 A. Because, according to the regulations of the

    18 BH army, six months is a maximum time period, and it is

    19 not the ministry that is responsible for a time period

    20 of six months, that is to say, the higher command.

    21 After six months, then automatically, the ministry can

    22 make its move and take the necessary steps, and a new

    23 request is submitted within that time period.

    24 Q. But if you made all these requests to the

    25 ministry, as you say, then the ministry must have

  42. 1 recorded that and recorded that you had left and were

    2 not de facto a commander. Do you not consider that to

    3 be an important point?

    4 A. No, and I can also allow lower commanders to

    5 do the same. It is the system of subordination.

    6 Q. But you've just said that you left after you

    7 had informed everybody and received legal permission?

    8 A. Yes, but you were not listening. The

    9 ministry is not duty-bound to solve cases of this kind

    10 at the level -- this is resolved at the corps level or

    11 brigade level and lower down the line.

    12 Q. When you left, who took over? Who became the

    13 responsible officer?

    14 A. The rules said that it was the chief of

    15 staff, and that is Mr. Amir Kubura. Mr. Amir Kubura

    16 was appointed commander, and also the chief of staff.

    17 Q. We'll ask him that. Now I want to ask you

    18 about the music school building. Was not your command

    19 in the music school in Zenica, the command or the

    20 headquarters of the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    21 A. No, it was never in the music school, but it

    22 was at the secondary educational centre, that is to

    23 say, at the school.

    24 Q. What formation was in Zenica in the music

    25 school building?

  43. 1 A. I think it was the department which belonged

    2 to the 2nd Battalion.

    3 Q. Of which Brigade?

    4 A. The 7th Muslim Brigade.

    5 Q. So your unit was in the music school, it was

    6 located in the music school?

    7 A. I don't know. Before that, we had units of

    8 the Muslim forces. Now, how these were transformed,

    9 this took place in a shorter period of time, and who

    10 inherited these units and how they were deployed and

    11 how the commands went, I cannot say.

    12 Q. But you have just said that a portion of the

    13 2nd Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade was located in

    14 the music school building.

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Has the music school got any basement or

    17 cellars and have you ever toured them?

    18 A. No.

    19 Q. Is it correct that Alija Izetbegovic gave you

    20 a flag when you established the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    21 A. That is not true.

    22 Q. Did he tour the 7th Muslim Brigade in the

    23 sports hall in Zenica in 1993?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. When?

  44. 1 A. I think this was in 1993, in the winter of

    2 1993, autumn, winter.

    3 Q. The end of 1993?

    4 A. Thereabouts, yes.

    5 Q. You weren't at that review, were you?

    6 A. No, I was not. I was doing something else.

    7 Q. Did you attend the review?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. How do you say that you were present and

    10 weren't present and didn't belong there in the autumn

    11 of the -- that you didn't belong to the 7th Muslim

    12 Brigade in the autumn? Were you in uniform?

    13 A. Yes, I was in uniform, and the 7th Corps was

    14 being established, and that is where I was, and I was

    15 invited as its first commander.

    16 Q. Did you have any function to perform? Did

    17 you report on the occasion?

    18 A. No, never. With my departure, I was never on

    19 duty at the 7th Muslim Brigade.

    20 Q. But the review we're talking about, was there

    21 any ceremonial function that you performed?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. Is it true that the 7th Muslim Brigade was,

    24 in fact, directly subordinate to Alija Izetbegovic as

    25 president of the Bosnian presidency?

  45. 1 A. We did not have any guards brigades, as did

    2 some other countries, that is to say, that Alija

    3 Izetbegovic did not directly command the 7th Muslim

    4 Brigade.

    5 Q. The El Mujahed detachment, what was the

    6 relationship between the 7th Muslim Brigade and the El

    7 Mujahed detachment?

    8 A. It was as I have already said, a humanitarian

    9 connection.

    10 Q. But I'm asking you about the El Mujahed

    11 detachment. It is difficult that a detachment can

    12 engage only in humanitarian work.

    13 A. We had relations with the El Mujahed, as we

    14 had with the other units.

    15 Q. Who was the El Mujahed detachment

    16 subordinated to?

    17 A. Not to us. Otherwise, I don't know.

    18 Q. Did it function within the zone of

    19 responsibility of the 3rd Corps?

    20 A. No.

    21 Q. I'm asking you whether it was in the zone of

    22 responsibility of the 3rd Corps.

    23 A. Probably, that is where it was located.

    24 Q. But, Colonel, asked by the Judges, you said

    25 that there were 20 or 30 humanitarian individuals, and

  46. 1 now you say there was a whole detachment, a whole El

    2 Mujahed detachment. A detachment is a very large

    3 number of people. It is not the 20 humanitarian

    4 workers that you mentioned a moment ago.

    5 A. If you're thinking about foreigners, I heard

    6 about it, I don't know, but I heard that other Bosnians

    7 joined those units, and probably it had grown to that

    8 number. You know, there were 1.000 individuals, 300

    9 foreigners and 700 Bosniaks. If that were the case,

    10 then it would have been called a brigade, but I'm sure

    11 the number wasn't that large. That is what I assume.

    12 But as far as foreigners are concerned, I really don't

    13 know how many there were.

    14 Q. Colonel, I'm now going to read the results of

    15 a military unit that you trained. You trained them in

    16 humanitarian conduct. In a military operation in June

    17 1993 when allegedly you were not in command, in the

    18 Travnik municipality alone, 427 soldiers were killed,

    19 157 civilians were killed, 30 civilians were killed by

    20 sniper --

    21 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, counsel, are you

    22 reading from an exhibit? If so, can we have the

    23 exhibit number?

    24 MR. NOBILO: No. No, these are not

    25 exhibits. They are just my notes which emanate from

  47. 1 all the Defence exhibits. If we were to unify all the

    2 Defence exhibits, those were the facts and figures that

    3 you would arrive at.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon, for this

    5 precision. Now we know that that is not an exhibit,

    6 and Mr. Harmon was right in asking this question.

    7 We will take a break. Please finish on that

    8 point, Mr. Nobilo, and then we will take a break, if

    9 you need some more minutes to end.

    10 MR. NOBILO:

    11 Q. In June, July, and August, when you allegedly

    12 were no longer the commander of the 7th Muslim in

    13 Travnik, the results of those operations were 427

    14 killed soldiers, 157 killed civilians, 1.000 wounded

    15 persons, 1.500 burned down Croatian homes, 3.100

    16 devastated buildings, et cetera, et cetera, and some

    17 villages, like Grahovcici, Donja Maljina, Guca Gora,

    18 Bikosi, Sadici, Gornja Puticevo, Rudnik, Bila, Cupa,

    19 and so on, were burnt down. About 50 villages between

    20 Zenica and Travnik, Croatian villages, were totally

    21 burned down. Tens of thousands of people abandoned

    22 Travnik municipality, Croats, in front of the 7th

    23 Muslim. You were not in command then, but my question

    24 is: Is that what you taught your combatants?

    25 A. My dear sir, you must know that the army is

  48. 1 never trained to serve coffee only. Let me explain

    2 myself. It is important for the army to be trained in

    3 accordance with international rules, and I think that

    4 these operations were within the bounds of those

    5 international rules and standards.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, sir. I'm sorry,

    7 Mr. Koricic, you didn't give a proper answer to the

    8 question that was asked. Please, when you turn to

    9 Mr. Nobilo, call him "Mr. Nobilo" and not "my dear

    10 sir," which is not proper in this Tribunal. I would

    11 say exactly the same thing if you used this term for

    12 the Judges or members of the Office of the Prosecutor.

    13 We will take a break right now, and then we will

    14 resume.

    15 Mr. Nobilo, do you need some more time to

    16 finish?

    17 MR. NOBILO: I'll be very brief, just a few

    18 questions.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: A 20-minute break.

    20 --- Recess taken at 11.25 a.m.

    21 --- On resuming at 11.50 a.m.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Please, let's have the accused

    23 brought in. The hearing is resumed.

    24 (The accused entered court)

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, we shall hear the

  49. 1 remaining questions you have. You can ask these

    2 questions until 12.00. Will that be sufficient?

    3 MR. NOBILO: I shall be very brief. About

    4 ten minutes, Mr. President.

    5 Q. Colonel, could you tell us when you returned

    6 to the country? You said that you left at the end of

    7 March 1993. When did you go back?

    8 A. I think it was sometime in October or

    9 November.

    10 Q. 1993?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Do you have any record of that in your

    13 passport, any evidence?

    14 A. I think so.

    15 Q. Will you tell us what positions you held when

    16 you returned?

    17 A. None. I was appointed to a group that would

    18 form the 7th Corps.

    19 Q. When did that begin?

    20 A. Immediately after that. After the review

    21 that you mentioned, sometime then.

    22 Q. Could you tell us the deployment of your

    23 brigade in '93, before you left? You told us about the

    24 area of responsibility, but the actual deployment,

    25 where was it actually deployed?

  50. 1 A. We said before -- you want me to tell you the

    2 commands?

    3 Q. Yes.

    4 A. Because it was dispersed, one command of one

    5 battalion was in Zenica, another command in Travnik,

    6 another one in Kakanj.

    7 Q. Was that in the elementary school in Kakanj?

    8 A. I think it was across the road. I don't know

    9 the name of the school, the upper part of that school.

    10 Q. Dobrina is its name, something like that?

    11 A. I think so.

    12 Q. Did you mention Zepce?

    13 A. No, no. We were not deployed in Zepce.

    14 Q. What about Fojnica?

    15 A. No. I just told you the places.

    16 Q. What about Biljesevo?

    17 A. No, no. The heliodrom was there, if that's

    18 what you mean.

    19 Q. What about Novi Travnik, Ravno Rostovo?

    20 A. Yes, there was a part there, but not in that

    21 period. I don't know the exact period.

    22 Q. But Rostovo to the right?

    23 A. There are two Rostovos. One is near Vakuf

    24 and one is between Novi Travnik and Bugojno.

    25 Q. I am talking about the latter, between Novi

  51. 1 Travnik and Bugojno.

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Did you hear, when you returned, that four

    4 officers of the HVO Novi Travnik Brigade were kidnapped

    5 in Ravno Rostovo?

    6 A. No, I didn't hear about it.

    7 Q. Do you know anything about the Abdul Latif

    8 detachment of Mujahedin origin?

    9 A. I heard these various names, but believe me,

    10 I don't know.

    11 Q. That detachment was accommodated in Kakanj.

    12 You never saw them?

    13 A. No, I never taught them nor did I know such a

    14 unit.

    15 Q. You said that the 2nd Battalion of the 7th

    16 Muslim Brigade intervened in Dusina in January '93.

    17 Who was in command of that 2nd Battalion of the 7th

    18 Muslim Brigade in January '93?

    19 A. The commander of the battalion was Mr. Serif

    20 Patkovic.

    21 Q. When you left the position of commander of

    22 the 7th Muslim, which country did you go to?

    23 A. I lived exclusively in Croatia.

    24 Q. Where?

    25 A. In Zagreb.

  52. 1 Q. Were you registered there?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. So you were there illegally?

    4 A. Of course. What else could I be in this

    5 war?

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. That

    7 brings to an end my questions.

    8 THE WITNESS: But let me add, I had documents

    9 as -- I beg your pardon. I am not familiar with the

    10 subordination in court. Your Honour, Mr. President, I

    11 wanted to say --

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Don't speak of subordination

    13 here. We are not in the army.

    14 THE WITNESS: We military men are prone to

    15 use military terms.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: I understand. Could you add

    17 the position you wanted to add?

    18 THE WITNESS: I had permission to try and

    19 organise humanitarian aid, and that is the document I

    20 used throughout in Croatia, and nobody bothered me.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much,

    22 Mr. Koricic.

    23 I will turn towards my brother Judge

    24 Shahabuddeen. Do you have any questions, Judge?

    25 Questioned by the Court:

  53. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, would you help

    2 me to be clearer on one or two points concerning

    3 Dusina. I think you said these words: "I know for

    4 sure that something had happened." So in your mind,

    5 there was a conviction that something had happened.

    6 Did you believe that certain crimes had been committed

    7 at Dusina by your 2nd Battalion?

    8 A. Can I begin my answer?


    10 A. Mr. President, I later learnt that something

    11 had happened in contact with this officer of the HVO,

    12 but believe me, to this day, I don't know what happened

    13 and I don't know of what magnitude it was.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you have been in a

    15 position to know what happened and of what magnitude it

    16 happened if you had taken steps to investigate what

    17 allegedly happened?

    18 A. No, I was not in a position to know that or

    19 to investigate it because there should have been a

    20 different set of circumstances in place for me to be

    21 able to do that.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You had no power to

    23 inquire as to what happened even though you said that

    24 you knew for sure that something had happened?

    25 A. I learnt that very late when probably I no

  54. 1 longer was in office and could not undertake anything.

    2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, the 7th Muslim

    3 Brigade is now called the 7th Brigade. At the time in

    4 question, was there an emphasis in the 7th Muslim

    5 Brigade on ethical standards?

    6 A. No, no, we didn't have such standards.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you have ethical

    8 standards in the normal military regime relating to the

    9 brigade?

    10 A. Yes, sir. We were obliged to have such

    11 standards by the rules of the army of

    12 Bosnia-Herzegovina which were coordinated with

    13 international rules.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And you did not consider

    15 that those ethical standards required you to inquire

    16 into what happened at Dusina?

    17 A. Yes, but while I was in office, no

    18 information reached me about it, and that is why I

    19 didn't do anything. If such reports had reached me, I

    20 would have surely submitted a request for an

    21 investigating commission, especially if such request

    22 were to be made by a superior command, then it is

    23 doubly obligatory.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: How long after the

    25 occurrence of the events at Dusina did you learn of

  55. 1 those events?

    2 A. When I returned from the Republic of Croatia,

    3 I wanted to hear what had happened and, among other

    4 things, I had various contacts with people and they

    5 were able to tell me many things, some assumptions,

    6 some correct, I don't know, but it was roughly then

    7 that I learnt about it.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Well, how do you

    9 compute that period, the period between then, when you

    10 learnt of what had happened, and the time when those

    11 things, in fact, happened?

    12 A. It's roughly more than half a year in

    13 between.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Thank you.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Rodrigues, do you have

    16 any questions? Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Koricic, I would like

    18 to go back to the creation of the 7th Muslim Brigade.

    19 In what conditions was this brigade created, and,

    20 particularly, who asked you to create the 7th Brigade?

    21 At that time, what were your functions and what was

    22 your training at the time?

    23 A. At the time, I belonged to the municipal

    24 staff of Travnik, as a man who had fled from another

    25 region. Actually, I couldn't go back to my own area

  56. 1 because it was an enclave. At that time, brigades

    2 began to be formed, which, in my view, was a good thing

    3 undertaken by the army to improve its organisation and

    4 to deal with all these things in a better manner.

    5 At the time, it was possible to propose

    6 people to various positions. I was in the area of

    7 Karaula, which later fell into the hands of the Serb

    8 forces, and in that period, we lost control of those

    9 areas, and a large number of the army was concentrated

    10 in the area of Central Bosnia because we had lost the

    11 area from Jajce to Travnik, which is about 30

    12 kilometres long and some 20 kilometres wide, but this

    13 was an area which gave us access to a larger town

    14 called Jajce. All the forces were concentrated there,

    15 several thousand combatants were there, and, of course,

    16 the army at that very moment formed brigades.

    17 As I was at the level of company commander in

    18 the area, and there were many troops, the decision was

    19 taken to form brigades. As I was a foreigner and these

    20 units consisted of many people from other areas, I felt

    21 closer to those units than to some local units, so I

    22 was proposed by the municipal staff, that is, Travnik,

    23 to that newly formed brigade. Other people had other

    24 proposals, and the proposal was conveyed to a higher

    25 level command, and it wasn't confirmed until March.

  57. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: What about your own

    2 formation or training, rather? You went through a

    3 certain training. You had a military career, didn't

    4 you?

    5 A. Yes, I attended from 1967 until 1971 the Air

    6 Force Technical Military School in Rajlovac, that is,

    7 the air force, belonging to the air force, but this was

    8 not very appropriate because my work had to do with the

    9 infantry.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Who gave the 7th Muslim

    11 Brigade its name?

    12 A. At the time, there were various proposals.

    13 There were suggestions that it be named after certain

    14 soldiers, after certain prominent personages, to be

    15 given names, in other words, and then the army made the

    16 right move and suggested it be given a number, which is

    17 logical, and we asked that our number be 7 because we

    18 believed that the brigade would belong in the future to

    19 a 7th refugee cause, 7, 17, 27, but we didn't succeed.

    20 It remained part of the 3rd Corps.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But who added the term

    22 "Muslim" to its name?

    23 A. At the time, this was '72, in

    24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we hadn't resolved many things, so

    25 we didn't know how things would develop because we had

  58. 1 many other units. There were units of heterogeneous

    2 composition with representatives of other ethnic

    3 groups, so we didn't know exactly, and we wanted to

    4 keep it national, ethnic.

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Therefore, the 7th Muslim

    6 Brigade was part of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You said that a Catholic

    9 could not be a member of the 7th; right?

    10 A. No, I didn't say that he couldn't, but I said

    11 that it wasn't realistic, and the atmosphere was not

    12 such because there were conflicts between these ethnic

    13 groups. We were more dedicated to religion, and it was

    14 not realistic to expect someone with different views to

    15 join, if I can put it that way.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: However, in theory, a

    17 Catholic could have been a member, for instance, of the

    18 8th or the 14th?

    19 A. He could be a member of the 7th too, if he

    20 wanted to --

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: It was not realistic to

    22 envisage this.

    23 A. Yes. Yes, we had very good cooperation with

    24 the HOS, the Croatian Armed Forces, which later

    25 disappeared, we don't know why, and they were of mixed

  59. 1 composition. When Karaula fell to the Serbs, together

    2 with Mr., I think his name was Ante Prkacin --

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You mentioned the HOS.

    4 What was the relationship between the 7th Brigade and

    5 MOS?

    6 A. When the 7th Muslim was formed, the MOS no

    7 longer existed because the army had been transformed

    8 and many units were disbanded, so that the MOS does not

    9 exist at the same time as the 7th.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: However, maybe they were

    11 individuals, men, soldiers, weapons. Where did all

    12 these people and weapons go?

    13 A. Yes. Most of them were reappointed to the

    14 7th Muslim Brigade. Some went to their own areas,

    15 there are written traces of what happened, but a

    16 considerable number were in the 7th.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we, therefore, claim

    18 that the HOS -- sorry, I mean the MOS, the MOS is

    19 fundamentally integrated within the structure of the

    20 7th Brigade?

    21 A. Units of the municipal staffs constituted the

    22 basis for the formation of other high-level units.

    23 Where MOS members were assigned to can be seen

    24 clearly. They too were assigned to the 7th or to some

    25 other unit.

  60. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Koricic, another

    2 question: Who financed the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    3 A. The 7th Brigade had regular logistic support

    4 from the corps, the corps logistics, and the 7th

    5 Brigade was covered by that logistics support. As for

    6 other support, it was provided by the Islamic Centre in

    7 Zenica, which we addressed, for aid regarding the

    8 families of the killed soldiers and various other

    9 everyday problems, and we sought support wherever else

    10 we could get it, to deal with these problems.

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Islamic Centre

    12 supported other brigades financially, or was it only

    13 the 7th Brigade?

    14 A. I believe that they took care of that --

    15 well, that is, at least, my information, but they took

    16 care of Sheheed families as we say, and I think that

    17 they took care of that, and how much they gave to who,

    18 that, I don't know.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let's talk about the

    20 uniforms of the 7th. They are identical to the

    21 uniforms worn by soldiers from other brigades of the

    22 army or was there a difference?

    23 A. They were the same, like all others, but

    24 every brigade had its own symbol, its own insignia.

    25 The 7th Muslim Brigade had those saying "7th Muslim

  61. 1 Brigade."

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Therefore, individuals not

    3 belonging to the 7th Muslim Brigade, particularly the

    4 population, could they recognise members from the 7th

    5 from others or not?

    6 A. A distinction could be made on the basis of

    7 the insignia. All the rest was the same.

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Therefore, from your point

    9 of view, I can draw the conclusion that the only

    10 distinction was the insignia; did I understand you

    11 well?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: What about the salary of

    14 the soldiers? Who paid them and how were they paid?

    15 A. I personally received two salaries in the

    16 army. The first time, I think, was in June 1992. That

    17 is when these first Bosnian dinars came into being.

    18 This was a regular thing, and it went through the

    19 municipal staff. Later on, I did not receive anything,

    20 only -- I mean, if somebody would give me some kind of

    21 aid -- I did not receive a salary.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: This situation of the

    23 salaries received and how they were received was the

    24 same for other brigades, or was there any difference

    25 for the 7th Muslim Brigade?

  62. 1 A. At the time when I received a salary, it

    2 wasn't the 7th, and there was a regular list with one's

    3 name, rank, et cetera, and that made it possible to

    4 receive regular pay.

    5 I did not receive a salary in the 7th. Every

    6 now and then, for example, if I would travel, I didn't

    7 have any money, and then once or twice I addressed the

    8 Islamic Centre so that they would give me some

    9 assistance, if they could help me out, because we had

    10 no money flow. I personally did not have any money.

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: This would be my last

    12 question. It relates to the relationship between the

    13 7th and General Hadzihasanovic and/or the staff, the

    14 general staff. What was this relationship,

    15 particularly within the chain of command?

    16 A. The system was just as my subordinate units

    17 had to act in accordance with the code of conduct, the

    18 regulations, there is reporting. There are team

    19 meetings of every commander and various questions are

    20 looked into, and then the commander gives an order or

    21 certain instructions, so this is done in the spirit of

    22 the regulations, that is to say, certain decisions are

    23 passed and they are binding. So there is this vertical

    24 line of decision-making, of command, and there is a

    25 horizontal line, and those are the logistics and other

  63. 1 units that do not have the power to decide on certain

    2 other matters like the command does. So if an order

    3 comes, it is my duty to carry it out or, rather, to

    4 send it out lower and lower and lower to that level

    5 that is responsible for a certain task.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And these orders, you

    7 received them from the staff or from General

    8 Hadzihasanovic?

    9 A. If the order comes from the general staff,

    10 then the command of the corps says as follows: "On the

    11 basis of the order issued by the general staff, I issue

    12 the following order, which is binding," or we say,

    13 "Please act in accordance with," et cetera,

    14 et cetera. That's what it looks like.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,

    16 Mr. Koricic. I have no further questions.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much, Judge

    18 Rodrigues. I don't have any particular questions. I

    19 asked a lot at the beginning of your testimony. Thank

    20 you very much. And through you, we thank your

    21 government, which cooperated with the International

    22 Criminal Tribunal. You may be released. The usher

    23 will help you, and we will ask the next witness to come

    24 before this court.

    25 Thank you very much, Mr. Koricic.

  64. 1 (The witness withdrew)

    2 (The witness entered court)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me? Can you hear

    4 me, Colonel or Mr. Kubura? Look at the President. Can

    5 you hear me? Can you hear me in your language? Can

    6 you hear me?

    7 THE WITNESS: I can hear you and I understand

    8 you.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We would like to

    10 know your name, surname, place and date of birth, and

    11 current occupation. After that, you will read the

    12 solemn declaration.

    13 THE WITNESS: Amir Kubura, born on the 4th of

    14 March, 1964, in Kakanj, Bosnia-Herzegovina. At

    15 present, I am in the command of the 1st Corps of the

    16 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: What is your rank, please?

    18 THE WITNESS: Colonel.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel. Very well. We will

    20 call you Colonel then. Please be seated, but after

    21 you've read the solemn declaration, please.

    22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    24 truth.


  65. 1 [A witness called by the Trial Chamber]

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. You can now be

    3 seated. Thank you, Colonel, for coming here on the

    4 request of the Trial Chamber who wanted to hear your

    5 testimony because it seems that you were a significant

    6 player in all the events which led to this trial, the

    7 Prosecutor against the accused, for criminal acts that

    8 he allegedly committed. The accused is here on your

    9 left-hand side.

    10 After two years of trial, we wished to have

    11 clarification on your functions of commander of the 7th

    12 Muslim Brigade. You read the documents that were sent

    13 to you by the Chamber, and we decided that the theme of

    14 your testimony would be the organisation -- well, first

    15 of all, the role and the function that you had at the

    16 relevant dates, then the organisation and the structure

    17 of the command of the 7th Muslim Brigade of the army of

    18 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 7th Muslim Brigade, as it

    19 was called. You also know that we want your opinion

    20 and your point of view on the deployment on the ground

    21 of this brigade and its range of action, and then we

    22 asked you the perception you had of the conflict

    23 between the Croats and the Muslims in Central Bosnia

    24 between August 1993 and January 1994, at least during

    25 the period when you were commander of this brigade.

  66. 1 On that point, we would like to know what

    2 information you received and what happened in Dusina.

    3 We would like to know what information you have on the

    4 treatment of prisoners that we heard during this trial

    5 on different sides, and then what was your impression

    6 of the accused, if you have one.

    7 These are the main themes of your testimony.

    8 We are now ready to hear you. You can express yourself

    9 freely. I hope you didn't prepare your testimony in

    10 advance, although you can use personal notes to refresh

    11 your memory. After this, the Prosecution and the

    12 Defence will ask you a certain number of questions, if

    13 they wish to do so, and the Judges may also have some

    14 questions for you, and we will stop at 1.00.

    15 I think that half an hour will be enough for

    16 you to testify. Otherwise, you will have more time

    17 after the break. Please proceed.

    18 THE WITNESS: Thank you. First, I would like

    19 to deal with the first question that was put to me, and

    20 that is the organisation or structure of the --

    21 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, I'm sorry to

    22 interrupt from the very beginning, I'll try not to do

    23 this, but we would like to know, given the witness we

    24 have heard before, we would like to know what were the

    25 dates you were commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade,

  67. 1 from which date to which date you were commander of the

    2 7th Muslim Brigade; and then after that, you will be

    3 able to proceed on the organisation and the structure

    4 of the command of the brigade.

    5 THE WITNESS: Before I begin, I would like to

    6 remind you of the following: That before I came here,

    7 two days before I came here, I received a list of

    8 questions that I was supposed to answer here, that is

    9 to say, that I had a very short period of time to

    10 prepare myself; and in view of this very short notice,

    11 I managed to prepare myself to the best of my ability,

    12 so perhaps I won't be able to mention all the dates,

    13 but I shall give you the tentative dates and I shall

    14 let you know about this.

    15 Through these remarks that I shall be making,

    16 through these questions, I am going to give you these

    17 intervals and the time and the dates.

    18 The organisation and structure of the command

    19 of the 7th Muslim Brigade within the army of

    20 Bosnia-Herzegovina --

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Sorry, Colonel. I'm sorry, but

    22 either you know when you started occupying this

    23 position as commander or you don't know. When were you

    24 appointed? When did you become commander? It seems to

    25 me it is a very simple question, or else you can answer

  68. 1 that you don't know.

    2 THE WITNESS: Absolutely. In December 1992,

    3 on the basis of the order issued by the command of the

    4 3rd Corps, I was sent to the 7th Muslim Brigade in the

    5 3rd Corps. Until then, I was commander of the

    6 battalion in Kakanj. I was transferred and I was

    7 appointed the assistant chief of staff for operative

    8 and teaching affairs. In 1993, I was appointed chief

    9 of staff of the brigade, and I was appointed commander

    10 of the brigade by an order issued in August 1993.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Please proceed now.

    12 THE WITNESS: That is to say, that the

    13 brigade was established in November on the basis of an

    14 order issued by the supreme command. The brigade was

    15 of an operative tactical nature.

    16 Within its composition, it had a command,

    17 units attached to the staff, and, at the very

    18 beginning, it had two battalions. When I say "the very

    19 beginning," I'm referring to November and December.

    20 And in January, the 3rd Battalion was established. The

    21 average number of men in the brigade during the war

    22 when I was in the brigade was between 1500 and 1800

    23 men. The brigade was armed with infantry arms, and

    24 about 60 per cent of all the requirements of the

    25 brigade were met.

  69. 1 The brigade had two specific characteristics,

    2 and they were the following: The first one was that it

    3 was extraterritorial in the sense that the men came

    4 from several different municipalities, and the second

    5 specific characteristic was that the brigade has full

    6 freedom of practising religion.

    7 When I mention this first specific

    8 characteristic, I wish to say the following, that the

    9 units got their men from Zenica, Kakanj, Travnik,

    10 Busovaca, Vitez, that is to say, the municipalities

    11 where the brigade was deployed. When I spoke of this

    12 other specific characteristic and when I said freedom

    13 of practising religion, I wish to say that, within the

    14 brigade, there were certain premises called mesdzid for

    15 performing religious rites and also there were a

    16 certain number of persons called imams. These were

    17 religious officials who performed religious services.

    18 I wish to point out that in respect of these specific

    19 characteristics, within the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

    20 there were other such brigades too. There were three

    21 brigades of this nature, in the second brigade -- two

    22 in the 1st Corps and one in the 4th Corps.

    23 Throughout its existence, the brigade was

    24 within the 3rd Corps of the army of

    25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It received all its orders from

  70. 1 the commander of the 3rd Corps. In the brigade, there

    2 was subordination from the brigade vis-à-vis the corps

    3 and within the brigade between the battalions and the

    4 units attached to the staff.

    5 I have already pointed out when I was

    6 transferred to the brigade. When I arrived in the

    7 brigade, when I came to the brigade, Asim Koricic was

    8 commander of the brigade. That is what I would like to

    9 say in respect of the first question.

    10 Now I would like to move on to the second

    11 question, and it had to do with the deployment of the

    12 brigade on the ground, as well as its area of

    13 operation. The brigade was deployed on the ground as

    14 follows with regard to command posts: The command and

    15 the staff units were in Zenica; the 2nd Battalion was

    16 also in Zenica, the 1st Battalion in Travnik, the 3rd

    17 Battalion in Kakanj, but one company of the 3rd

    18 Battalion was in Kacuni, the municipality of Busovaca.

    19 As regards the engagement and area of

    20 activity of the brigade, I would like to speak about

    21 everything I came to know, starting from December 1992

    22 throughout my stay there, that is to say, until April

    23 1994.

    24 In December 1992, on the basis of an order

    25 issued by the command of the corps, the brigade was

  71. 1 redeployed to the front at Visoko where it was

    2 resubordinated to the Istok Operative Group with its

    3 headquarters in Visoko. The task of the brigade was to

    4 carry out defence operations vis-à-vis the army of

    5 Republika Srpska, bearing in mind the situation that

    6 was taking place in Sarajevo, that is to say, to

    7 disburden our forces in Sarajevo.

    8 As for the Visoko front line, at the end of

    9 December, within combat operations, the brigade

    10 suffered great losses in manpower; almost 40 soldiers

    11 were killed and 60 were gravely wounded or lightly

    12 wounded. After that task in January, the brigade

    13 returned to Zenica, according to the orders issued by

    14 the corps command, in order to consolidate, to train,

    15 and prepare for further use.

    16 Bearing in mind the mentioned losses, the

    17 brigade, during the months of January and February, did

    18 not receive any major assignments. In January, its

    19 zone of responsibility was at Bijelo Bucje, that is,

    20 above Travnik, vis-à-vis the army of Republika Srpska.

    21 The focus within that zone of responsibility centred

    22 around the 1st Battalion of our brigade, although

    23 within that zone, there were other battalions that were

    24 engaged there in order to alleviate the burden on the

    25 manpower. Also, in January, one company was attached

  72. 1 to the municipal staff of defence of Zenica in order to

    2 help them within their own zone of responsibility in

    3 terms of organisation.

    4 Now the month of February. In February, the

    5 brigade was redeployed at the Visoko front line and

    6 stayed in the village of Ramadanovci and Luke. The

    7 brigade was redeployed in February, that is to say,

    8 two-thirds of the 2nd Battalion and one-third of the

    9 1st Battalion. The rest of the brigade, in February,

    10 was carrying out preparations for redeployment. At the

    11 beginning of March, the entire brigade was redeployed

    12 at the Visoko front line.

    13 In the month of March, the situation was very

    14 difficult once again. In Sarajevo, our forces were

    15 having a difficult time, so our task was, in the month

    16 of March, to tie up the forces of the army of Republika

    17 Srpska to the Visoko front line so that things would be

    18 easier for our units in Sarajevo because the situation

    19 in Sarajevo was difficult, that is to say, that the

    20 brigade was at the Visoko front line in March, and then

    21 after that, the beginning of April, the brigade

    22 returned from the Visoko front line to Zenica to get

    23 some rest and to prepare for future use.

    24 At that time, in Zenica, there was a

    25 deterioration of relations between HVO units and the

  73. 1 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The HVO took Zmajevac

    2 Kuber, Saracevica and, as you say, certain facilities,

    3 also parts of town, and Cajdras and other parts of

    4 town, so the situation was deteriorating between HVO

    5 units and the army.

    6 In those days, in the spirit of the orders

    7 issued by the command of the 3rd Corps, these areas

    8 that were taken over, these parts of Zenica that were

    9 taken over were liberated, and also the road that then

    10 led from Zenica to Travnik, that was also jeopardised

    11 at the time.

    12 The part of the Busovaca front line towards

    13 Kula, above the village of Visnjica, was jeopardised

    14 then. At that time, in the spirit of the orders issued

    15 by the command of the 3rd Corps, the 2nd Battalion was

    16 issued orders with regard to Kula.

    17 June. In the month of June, HVO units cut

    18 off the road between Zenica and Travnik. Relations

    19 were strained because of that in the territory of Ovnak

    20 between the HVO units and the units of the army of

    21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the spirit of the orders issued

    22 by the command of the 3rd Corps, the brigade was,

    23 together with the other brigades then and the municipal

    24 staff and also the police unit of the Ministry of

    25 Defence, it was engaged in liberating parts of the

  74. 1 Zenica-Travnik road.

    2 Most probably in order to disburden that

    3 zone, the HVO units in Kakanj at the time took over

    4 important facilities around Kakanj and also parts of

    5 the town itself. At that point in time, the corps

    6 command ordered the liberation of parts of Kakanj and

    7 of those facilities, and within that assignment, in

    8 addition to the units and the brigades that were

    9 involved in this task, my brigade came to carry out

    10 this task too. After this task, the brigade returned

    11 to Zenica.

    12 In July, the situation was aggravated between

    13 the HVO units and the Armija of the Kiseljak and

    14 Busovaca theatres, where, in the estimate of the 3rd

    15 Corps command, most probably an attempt was being made

    16 to link Kiseljak and Busovaca so that Fojnica could be

    17 separated from Visoko. On the basis of the orders of

    18 the corps command, I redeployed my unit to Bilalovac,

    19 in order to carry out defence operations and to prevent

    20 HVO units from carrying out their own assignment.

    21 At that time, that is to say, in the month of

    22 June, the situation in the Igman plateaux worsened

    23 where the units of the army of Republika Srpska were

    24 launching an offensive towards Bijelasnica and Igman.

    25 The army lost large parts of its territory at the time,

  75. 1 and then I received orders to send a part of the 1st

    2 Battalion to the Igman plateaux, and that is what I did

    3 in order to help our units.

    4 August. In the month of August, the brigade

    5 returned from the Kiseljak-Fojnica front line to

    6 Zenica. The unit from Igman returned to Zenica, and in

    7 August, the zone that I had in Bijelo Bucje, above

    8 Travnik, I handed over in the spirit of the order

    9 issued by the command of the corps to the Operative

    10 Group Bosanska Krajina.

    11 At that time, again relations were strained

    12 between the HVO units and the army in Vitez. The

    13 situation was difficult. Part of a unit of ours that

    14 was in Stari Vitez at the time was in a particularly

    15 difficult situation. In the spirit of the order of the

    16 command of the 3rd Corps, I redeployed the brigade to

    17 the Vitez theatre, and I then attached them to the

    18 Operative Group of Bosanska Krajina. In the spirit of

    19 this command, I put the brigade in Sadovace, Bukve and

    20 Poculica.

    21 My task at the time was, within this zone of

    22 defence, to carry out defensive combat activities in

    23 order to disburden our units that were in Stari Vitez

    24 at the time. At that time, the brigade stayed in that

    25 zone until October. In October, it returned to Zenica

  76. 1 to get some rest.

    2 At that time --

    3 [Technical difficulty]

    4 A. At that time, relations became strained

    5 between the BH army and the HVO units in Vares.

    6 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English?

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I can hear the French booth.

    8 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English

    9 booth?

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Start again, please, Colonel.

    11 THE WITNESS: Thank you. So at that time, as

    12 I said, relations became strained between the HVO units

    13 and the BH army in Vares, and the HVO blocked the road

    14 from Vares to Olovo, which was the only alternative

    15 road, that is to say, the only road going towards

    16 Tuzla. The commander of the Operative Group from

    17 Visoko was taken into custody, and, according to

    18 certain information, he was transferred via Serbian

    19 territory into Kiseljak.

    20 Within the straining of relations and in the

    21 spirit of the order issued by the 3rd Corps command, my

    22 command was relocated and gained assignments at the

    23 Vares battleground and joined the Operative Group of

    24 Vares in this theatre, which was within the composition

    25 of the 6th Corps. Within the frameworks of this

  77. 1 blockade on that road, the 6th, 3rd, and 2nd Corps took

    2 part, and my brigade was within the composition of the

    3 rest of the units.

    4 According to the assignment and according to

    5 our assessment, probably part of the units of the HVO

    6 were transferred from the Vares battlefront via the

    7 territory which was under the control of the army of

    8 the Republika Srpska into Kiseljak. In November, that

    9 is to say, the HVO units, in November, launched an

    10 attack from Kiseljak towards Fojnica, and in this

    11 connection, they took control of part of the territory

    12 of Jaskovica, Citonja, and part of Fojnica. Obojak,

    13 that is part of Fojnica. Because the situation was

    14 very difficult in Fojnica, the population left Fojnica,

    15 fled from Fojnica.

    16 On the basis of an order from my command, I

    17 was assigned to relocate the group to Fojnica, and it

    18 was my assignment to win back the territory that had

    19 been lost in order to stabilise life in Fojnica and for

    20 the people to be able to return, and this I did with

    21 the other units in that zone.

    22 After that assignment, the situation was

    23 difficult in Kacuni, which is the zone under the

    24 control of the BH army and facing Busovaca. In view of

    25 the fact that I was in the vicinity, I was in Fojnica,

  78. 1 I was assigned the task of relocating the brigade and

    2 deploying it in Kacuni and Zioci (phoen). Those are

    3 villages near Busovaca. The task was, from that side,

    4 the Busovaca side, to ensure security for the zone and

    5 to prevent loss of territory.

    6 Once I had completed my assignment, I

    7 returned the brigade to Zenica in the spirit of the

    8 command I received, that is to say, in January, I took

    9 the brigade back to Zenica in January.

    10 In the spirit of the order from the command

    11 of the 3rd Corps, my 1st Battalion, which until then

    12 had been attached to the operative group of Bosanska

    13 Krajina, was decommanded into the operative group of

    14 Bosanska Krajina, it was separated from it, and I

    15 received orders to establish the 1st Battalion, which

    16 is what I, in fact, did.

    17 In the course of the month of February, we

    18 focused on training, reorganisation, and the

    19 establishment of that battalion.

    20 At the beginning, that is to say, at the end

    21 of February and the beginning of March, relations

    22 became strained in Zavidovici and the battleground

    23 there, and the municipality of Maglaj found itself in a

    24 difficult situation because it was under attack by the

    25 army of the Republika Srpska, and in order to help the

  79. 1 Maglaj municipality, and once again within the spirit

    2 of the order of the 3rd Corps command, I relocated the

    3 brigade to Zavidovici and the assignment was the

    4 following: to defend the area and to tie up, engage,

    5 the army of the Republika Srpska towards Zavidovici in

    6 order to unburden the municipality of Maglaj.

    7 In March, I was in Zavidovici with the

    8 brigade, and I returned in April.

    9 After that, that is to say, at the beginning

    10 of April, I received an order from the supreme command,

    11 and I was moved from the 3rd to the 4th Corps.

    12 As regards the second question, that was the

    13 chronology I had.

    14 Now I go on to the third subject matter, the

    15 Croatian-Muslim conflict between August '93 to the end

    16 of January '94 and its consequences.

    17 I have already stressed that in August, the

    18 brigade was at the Kiseljak-Fojnica theatre of

    19 operations, and in August it returned from the

    20 Kiseljak-Fojnica theatre to Zenica.

    21 In August, I already stressed that I gave

    22 over the zone of responsibility of Bijelo Bucje to the

    23 operative group of Bosanska Krajina.

    24 The situation in September was difficult in

    25 relation to Vitez --

  80. 1 JUDGE JORDA: I don't want you to go through

    2 the chronology again. We've heard it once already. On

    3 behalf of my colleagues and myself, I would like to

    4 hear your testimony about important events, such as the

    5 kidnapping of Commander Totic or events which may have

    6 taken place in Dusina and about the problem of

    7 detainees, if there were any, and their treatment.

    8 Could you please help us on these very precise points

    9 since you gave us in a very detailed manner all your

    10 activities as a commander, military commander?

    11 THE WITNESS: Very well, Mr. President. I

    12 touched upon this entire area in answer to the second

    13 question, so I don't wish to repeat that.

    14 As far as the questions that you raised are

    15 concerned ...

    16 JUDGE JORDA: The Trial Chamber would like

    17 you to focus on crucial points of which we have heard

    18 for two years. I'm sure you were a very professional

    19 and conscientious military chief, but we are more

    20 interested in a certain number of events which took

    21 place during the conflict, how you perceived the

    22 cease-fire, what were the activities of the 7th Brigade

    23 and, of course, the Prosecution and the Defence will

    24 ask you further questions, also the Judges will do

    25 that. But please focus on the very important points I

  81. 1 have just mentioned.

    2 THE WITNESS: You first asked me something in

    3 connection with Zivko Totic. As far as that is

    4 concerned, I have no information about that nor do I

    5 personally know Zivko Totic nor did I know which

    6 assignment he was carrying out or which post he held.

    7 As far as Dusina is concerned, I would be

    8 interested in knowing the period of time you have in

    9 mind.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: I do note that you don't know

    11 exactly if there were crimes committed in Dusina.

    12 Therefore, we will ask for questions from the parties

    13 and from the Judges. But through your question, I can

    14 draw the conclusion that you don't know if there were

    15 particular events which took place in Dusina. Can I

    16 draw that conclusion?

    17 THE WITNESS: From what I said a moment ago,

    18 the engagement of my units, we could see where my

    19 brigade was engaged, and that is the complete zone

    20 where the brigade was present; and with respect to

    21 Dusina and the war crime that you have mentioned, I

    22 know nothing about that and can tell you nothing.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I take note of your

    24 answer. You know nothing about that. You were holding

    25 your position at the time, weren't you?

  82. 1 THE WITNESS: I held a position, yes. From

    2 December until February, I was the deputy assistant of

    3 the chief of staff of the brigade and then became the

    4 chief of staff of the brigade and commander of the

    5 brigade in August, August 1993.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Please proceed with

    7 your testimony and we will ask you some questions.

    8 Proceed with your testimony, if you have anything to

    9 add, but don't give us a very detailed military

    10 chronology. You were not summoned here to tell us

    11 about all the events which happened from a military

    12 point of view. We are absolutely convinced that a lot

    13 of things happened.

    14 THE WITNESS: As far as that period of time

    15 is concerned, bearing in mind that the army of

    16 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time engaged in a lot of

    17 fighting with the units of the army of Republika

    18 Srpska, at that time we did not want a second front to

    19 be open towards the HVO units, and the corps command at

    20 that time signed a number of agreements between the

    21 Armija and the HVO units.

    22 There were some zones where we held the line

    23 together facing the Serbian army. However, at that

    24 time the HVO units froze their relations with the units

    25 of --

  83. 1 JUDGE JORDA: We have a lot of information on

    2 this aspect, Colonel. We heard a lot of military

    3 experts. That was not the point of our question.

    4 Let's now go to the last theme of your

    5 testimony: Did you have a direct or indirect

    6 impression of the role of the accused, "Yes" or "No"?

    7 THE WITNESS: I never had any direct

    8 contacts. I am seeing him for the first time. In the

    9 course of the war, everything that was signed, I

    10 consider that he should have done his all for --

    11 everything signed to be implemented, but that was not

    12 the case. Personally, I cannot say anything because I

    13 don't know him personally.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Of course not. Do you have

    15 anything to add before the break, before the lunch

    16 break? You will be coming back after, at 2.30. Do you

    17 have any other important elements to add?

    18 THE WITNESS: I said what I wanted in my

    19 introduction, and that would be all.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you.

    21 Mr. Prosecutor, will you have any questions?

    22 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I will have no

    23 questions. Thank you.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Nobilo, will

    25 you have any questions for this witness at 2.30?

  84. 1 MR. NOBILO: Yes. Yes, Mr. President, I will

    2 have some questions to ask.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Thirty minutes, just like

    4 before?

    5 MR. NOBILO: Yes.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will now take

    7 the lunch break, and we will resume our work at 2.30.

    8 Thank you.

    9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.

    10 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have

    12 the accused brought in. We will resume work.

    13 (The accused entered court)

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you have the floor

    15 for about half an hour for your questions to the

    16 witness of the Court. After that, I shall ask my

    17 colleagues if they have any questions they wish to put

    18 to the witness.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    20 shall try to speed things up.

    21 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    22 Q. Colonel, good afternoon. My colleague,

    23 Russell Hayman and myself, Anto Nobilo, represent

    24 General Blaskic. On behalf of the Defence, I have a

    25 couple of questions for you.

  85. 1 Would you tell me first, please, who was the

    2 commander from March 1993 to August 1993? Actually,

    3 this morning, we heard Colonel Koricic, who said that

    4 you had been the commander of the 7th Muslim from July

    5 1993 until August 1993 -- from March 1993 until August

    6 1993, that you had been the commander of the 7th Muslim

    7 Brigade. Who is right?

    8 A. Mr. President, this period, from March 1993

    9 to August 1993, during that period, the commander of

    10 the brigade, Asim Koricic, was absent from the country

    11 in line with the approval he had received from the

    12 command of the 3rd Corps. As the chief of staff at the

    13 time, I represented the commander, and in August, I was

    14 actually appointed commander.

    15 Q. Colonel Koricic told us that he was in

    16 Zagreb. On what business was he there?

    17 A. Colonel Koricic addressed the request to the

    18 corps command, and it was granted for him to be absent

    19 for that period of time; however, he had not intended

    20 to stay all that long. In view of the relations at the

    21 time, in order to reach Zenica from Croatia, because of

    22 personal security reasons, he couldn't come back.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: You're not answering the

    24 question. I think the question was what took Colonel

    25 Koricic to Zagreb? You can answer or not. It is up to

  86. 1 you.

    2 A. As far as I can remember, his family was

    3 abroad. I think that was the cause.

    4 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Very well. Let us

    5 proceed.

    6 Q. Were there any so-called Mujahedins in the

    7 7th Muslim Brigade, foreigners, mostly from Arab

    8 countries?

    9 A. Throughout my service in the 7th Muslim, from

    10 November until April 1994, there were no foreigners,

    11 nor did they figure in the records, which can be

    12 confirmed from those lists and reports to the command.

    13 Q. What about the El Mujahed detachment? Did it

    14 have a special relationship with the 7th Muslim

    15 Brigade?

    16 A. Until April of 1994, I was in the 7th Muslim

    17 Brigade, and up until then, the El Mujahed detachment

    18 did not exist.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Let us now view a short video of

    20 three or four seconds. It is a clip, a short clip.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Of course, Mr. Nobilo, it is up

    22 to you. You have every liberty to do that.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Let us dim the lights, please.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes.

    25 (Videotape played)

  87. 1 MR. NOBILO:

    2 Q. That will suffice as an introduction to a

    3 question. Was this the typical appearance of the

    4 Mujahedin, who appeared within the area of

    5 responsibility of the 3rd Corps, visually?

    6 A. I have already said that while I was in

    7 office, the El Mujahed did not exist, nor do I

    8 recognise any one of these fighters. So people like

    9 this were not members of my unit.

    10 Q. But did such soldiers appear within the 3rd

    11 Corps?

    12 A. But I was not the commander of the 3rd

    13 Corps.

    14 Q. But you moved around within the area of

    15 responsibility of the 3rd Corps. Did you ever see

    16 soldiers who looked like this coming from Arab

    17 countries in the course of 1993 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    18 A. Where I was with my brigade, I did not.

    19 Q. When the kidnapped Zivko Totic was exchanged

    20 for captured Mujahedins held in the Kaonik prison, were

    21 you in Zenica at the time?

    22 A. What period was that?

    23 Q. Sometime in May '93.

    24 A. At that time, I was the brigade commander.

    25 Regarding the captured Zivko Totic, I do not know

  88. 1 anything about it, nor can I provide any answer. I

    2 didn't know him personally.

    3 Q. But were you present when they were

    4 exchanged? This was a spectacular event in Zenica.

    5 A. No, because it was the corps command that was

    6 in charge of that operation.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: But were you present or were

    8 you not present? You are not answering the questions

    9 put to you.

    10 A. I was not present, and I never saw Zivko

    11 Totic.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Thank you. Please

    13 continue.

    14 MR. NOBILO:

    15 Q. Let us go on to the wartime activities of

    16 your brigade. According to the testimony of Asim

    17 Koricic, the brigade commander at the time, we're

    18 talking about January 1993, a battalion of the 7th

    19 Muslim, under the command of Serif Patkovic, carried

    20 out an operation in Dusina. At the time you were head

    21 of operations in the brigade, will you tell us, please,

    22 who gave orders to Serif Patkovic to attack Dusina or,

    23 rather, his battalion?

    24 A. No one gave him such orders, nor did Serif

    25 Patkovic go to Dusina. I said earlier on that that

  89. 1 month, on the basis of an order from a superior

    2 command, a company was attached to the municipal

    3 staff. That company was under the jurisdiction of the

    4 municipal staff.

    5 Q. In January '93, from the 25th of January,

    6 1993 onwards, the area from Kacuni to Bilalovac, you

    7 said -- who ordered that unit to go to Dusina? Who was

    8 the person who issued the order to advance on Dusina?

    9 A. That unit, in accordance with an order of the

    10 corps command, was attached to the municipal staff. It

    11 was a unit that was the strength of a company. The

    12 commander of that company was the late Fahrudin Camdzic

    13 who was killed in that area.

    14 Q. But who gave orders to that company to

    15 advance on Dusina?

    16 A. I said that it was subordinated to the

    17 municipal staff of Zenica. The command of the

    18 municipal staff was in command of that company.

    19 Q. Do you know the commander of the municipal

    20 staff of Zenica at the time?

    21 A. At that time, it was Colonel Jasmin Saric.

    22 Q. You said that the 7th Muslim Brigade, in

    23 January and February, was in the area of Kacuni and

    24 Bilalovac. I should like documents D444, D445, and

    25 D446 to be shown to the witness.

  90. 1 JUDGE JORDA: I don't know whether that's an

    2 error in the transcript. I heard "454, 455, and 456."

    3 Which are the exact numbers, please, Mr. Nobilo?

    4 MR. NOBILO: I asked for Defence Exhibits

    5 D444, D445 and D446.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. While the document is being prepared, let me

    9 ask, did any information reach you and do you know

    10 anything about the fact that between Kacuni and

    11 Bilalovac, Croatian villages were plundered and burned,

    12 so that a total of 423 houses were destroyed in the

    13 villages of Bukovci, Grablje, Gusti Grab, Javor,

    14 Jelinak, Kacuni, Krvavicici, Kula, Milavici,

    15 Nezirovici, Poseliste, Prosje, Putis, Solakovici, and

    16 Turici. At the time that your unit was in this area,

    17 are you familiar with any of this?

    18 A. You didn't understand that correctly. In

    19 February, the unit went to the villages of Luke,

    20 Ramadanovci in Visoko municipality, in that part of the

    21 Kiseljak-Busovaca theatre of operations. So it had no

    22 assignment in relation to HVO units but, rather, it was

    23 confronted with units of Republika Srpska; and what you

    24 are saying about these villages and burnt houses, I

    25 know nothing about that nor were my units engaged

  91. 1 there.

    2 Q. So you claim that the 7th Muslim, in January

    3 and February, was not in this area that I have

    4 mentioned.

    5 A. It was not in that whole area that you have

    6 listed nor did it have any assignments in that area.

    7 Q. But were you near Kacuni?

    8 A. We were in Kacuni later on, as I said in my

    9 previous chronology. That was later on, not in the

    10 month that you have referred to.

    11 MR. NOBILO: In that case, we withdraw these

    12 exhibits because these are photos of burnt houses and,

    13 as the witness says that his unit was not there at the

    14 time, we will withdraw them.

    15 Q. However, your unit, in April, was withdrawn

    16 to Zenica. When did it start to engage in combat, on

    17 what date; could you tell us?

    18 A. At that time, that is, in April, it was

    19 deployed following orders from the corps command. It

    20 was used in the territory of Zenica municipality. I

    21 have the month April noted, but not the exact date.

    22 Q. Tell us, do you know the villages of Grm,

    23 Cajdras, Podbrezje near Zenica?

    24 A. I know the village of Cajdras as it is rather

    25 large.

  92. 1 Q. Was the 7th Muslim active in that area?

    2 A. Not in the area of Cajdras but only in the

    3 area of Zenica and Zmajevac. Not in Cajdras.

    4 Q. Cajdras, Grm, Podbrezje, it did not act

    5 there?

    6 Could the witness be shown Exhibit D451?

    7 This is Defence Exhibit D451, and it

    8 represents a statement of the mother of a little girl

    9 who was killed, Ivanka Zrnic, and the father of the

    10 girl who was killed, Zeljko Zrnic. I will read a part

    11 of it. The event occurred in Cajdras. I am reading

    12 from it. After the word "Statement," the text begins:

    13 (as read)

    14 "On the 18th of April, 1993, I (Ivanka

    15 Zrnic) was in the house with my family. I was awakened

    16 by loud shooting, and we all took shelter on the ground

    17 floor of the house, of the same house at my

    18 mother-in-law's. There was my husband, two children,

    19 mother-in-law, uncle, aunt, cousin, his wife, and three

    20 little girls. I later found out that only eleven of us

    21 stayed behind while all the others had fled from

    22 Cajdras, and nobody informed us what was going on. In

    23 addition to us, two elderly persons from our

    24 neighbourhood stayed behind and were later killed:

    25 They were Ivan Vidovic, born in 1904, and Anto Vidovic,

  93. 1 born in 1906. Ivan was taken out and shot and then his

    2 house was set on fire. Anto was killed in the house.

    3 We were lying on the floor when a Muslim soldier from

    4 the 7th Muslim Brigade approached the window and,

    5 without a word, fired a whole clip of an automatic

    6 rifle at us. On this occasion, my daughter Magdalena,

    7 three and a half years old, was hit, and she died

    8 almost instantly. She was hit in the right cheek, and

    9 the exit wound was at the back of her head. I too was

    10 wounded in the head."

    11 The text continues with a description of the

    12 event, and the parents ended up in the music school and

    13 they described how they were treated in that music

    14 school.

    15 Colonel, do you know anything about this

    16 event and similar events in Croatian villages around

    17 Zenica?

    18 A. I know nothing about this event. The village

    19 of Cajdras was not in that area. What is more, in the

    20 village of Cajdras, there was no fighting in view of

    21 the fact that members of HVO units in Cajdras had

    22 requested a police unit to surrender their weapons.

    23 More detailed information can be provided by

    24 representatives of the MUP in Zenica. I think more

    25 than 300 barrels were surrendered. My brigade was not

  94. 1 engaged in this area.

    2 Q. How do you explain the fact that this witness

    3 saw a soldier from the 7th Muslim Brigade?

    4 A. I don't see how she could have recognised

    5 which unit that soldier belonged to. I repeat, my unit

    6 was not engaged there.

    7 Q. But didn't members of your brigade carry

    8 insignia on their uniforms?

    9 A. She couldn't have recognised any of my

    10 soldiers because they weren't there.

    11 Q. Were your soldiers in the village of Miletici

    12 when a large number of civilians were killed in the

    13 village of Miletici? Where is the village of Miletici?

    14 A. I don't know. I was not there on assignment

    15 because, otherwise, I would know the village.

    16 Q. You said that in June you were assigned to

    17 carry out a combat operation at Ovnak, and in doing so,

    18 you linked Travnik with Zenica. Let me read to you

    19 some figures, and could Exhibit D528 be prepared?

    20 At that time, in June 1993, in the village of

    21 Dolac, the following civilians were killed in their

    22 homes: Ankica Bursic, Tomo Bilecic, Milka Blazevic,

    23 Ivo Marijanovic, a woman called Luca who was staying in

    24 an old people's home, Josip Medic, Juro Herceg, Viktor

    25 Svalina, Finka Bojanovic, Finka Perndes, Cedo Prosina.

  95. 1 All were killed in their homes in the village of Dolac.

    2 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Mr. Nobilo. Are you

    3 reading from an exhibit, and if so, could you give me

    4 the exhibit number so I can find it?

    5 MR. NOBILO: I am not reading from an

    6 exhibit, I am reading my own prepared questions and my

    7 own notes.

    8 MR. HARMON: Thank you.

    9 MR. NOBILO:

    10 Q. So, Colonel, are you familiar with this

    11 event?

    12 A. You asked me regarding the unit on assignment

    13 there. In my previous statement, I said that the

    14 brigade, together with other brigades, the municipal

    15 staff, and a unit of the MUP police was engaged on

    16 assignment to lift the blockade on the Zenica-Travnik

    17 road, and within the framework of that assignment, the

    18 brigade was active. I am not familiar with the data

    19 you have just read out. I think that that information

    20 is not linked to my unit. It is the first time I come

    21 across that information.

    22 Q. On the same day, the village of Ovnak, that

    23 is, on the 8th of June, 1993, in that village several

    24 Croatian houses were set on fire. A man called

    25 Cuturic, born in 1917, was killed; in the neighbouring

  96. 1 village, another four civilians were killed; in Dolac

    2 Bila, two civilians; and on the same day, in the

    3 village of Cukle, also a neighbouring village to Ovnak,

    4 19 Croatian civilians; and in Brajkovici, seven

    5 Croatian civilians. All this on the 8th of June, 1993,

    6 in the area in which your brigade was stationed. Do

    7 you know anything about any of this?

    8 MR. HARMON: Excuse me. Again, Mr. Nobilo,

    9 Your Honours, my request is to know if this is an

    10 exhibit that is in evidence or if this is Mr. Nobilo's

    11 personal notes.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, objection sustained. You

    13 must specify, Mr. Nobilo, whether this is from an

    14 exhibit. If so, you must cite which exhibit.

    15 MR. NOBILO: I already said, these are the

    16 same notes that I am using for my questions. However,

    17 numerous exhibits are already in evidence, but in the

    18 interest of efficiency, I opted not to show them to the

    19 witness. I just wanted to have this reminder in front

    20 of me to be able to ask my questions.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In your written

    22 notes, obviously, you will specify the point if you

    23 intend to elaborate on it so that the Prosecution may

    24 respond.

    25 MR. NOBILO:

  97. 1 Q. Let me repeat in summary form. My question

    2 is: On the 8th of June, 1993, in the village of Ovnak

    3 and the surrounding villages, Grahovcici, Dolac Bila,

    4 Cukle, Dolac, Postinje, Podovi, a large number of

    5 civilians were killed and a large number of houses

    6 burned. Let us forget the names. Do you know anything

    7 at all about those events? Was this done by soldiers

    8 from the 7th Muslim Brigade? Did you see the houses

    9 burning? Did you see dead civilians?

    10 A. The villages that you have mentioned, some of

    11 them I am familiar with, and all of them are between

    12 Ovnak and Travnik. My assignment was between Zenica

    13 and Ovnak, so some of the villages that you have

    14 mentioned and which I am familiar with were not within

    15 my area, the area of my assignment. But you also don't

    16 have the right date.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. Refresh

    18 my memory, please. You were the head of the 7th Muslim

    19 Brigade at that time --

    20 A. It was the 9th of June. As far as I

    21 remember, it was the 9th of June, not the 8th of June.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: No, I am asking you whether you

    23 were indeed commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade at that

    24 time.

    25 A. Yes, I was at the head of the 7th Muslim

  98. 1 Brigade, but I am saying that these activities did not

    2 occur on the 8th but on the 9th of June.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. But they took

    4 place, and those villages were indeed burned. This did

    5 happen.

    6 A. No, I said that the villages listed, some of

    7 them I know. They are between Ovnak and Travnik. My

    8 assignment had to do up to Ovnak with my brigade. What

    9 happened in the rear, behind, towards Travnik, I can't

    10 say because I'm not familiar with it.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Continue, Mr. Nobilo.

    12 MR. NOBILO:

    13 Q. Let us accept that it was on the 9th. But

    14 tell us then, which villages were included by your

    15 operations from Zenica to Ovnak; could you tell us,

    16 please?

    17 A. From Zenica to Ovnak, there were no

    18 villages. It was Ovnak, in fact. And when we say

    19 Ovnak, I'm not speaking about the village of Ovnak but

    20 the region of Ovnak. It's a hill which is called

    21 Ovnak. It's a hill, and this is the communication line

    22 from Zenica to Travnik. It runs across that line.

    23 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the village of

    24 Ovnak was burnt?

    25 A. This part, in the zone where my unit was, it

  99. 1 was not burnt, and among other things, it is common

    2 knowledge that in that particular zone, there is

    3 a monastery, and the monastery was secured by platoon,

    4 a unit was there to secure it, and nobody touched it.

    5 That is common knowledge. So there was no burning, and

    6 the monastery stands today and is used today, so it was

    7 not ablaze, nor was it destroyed; it was secured. The

    8 people that were in the warehouse were taken to a safe

    9 zone.

    10 Q. But tell the Trial Chamber, please, whether

    11 you entered the village of Ovnak or not, your brigade.

    12 A. So you're speaking about the village of

    13 Ovnak, and I am speaking about the communication road

    14 in my area. That's the difference.

    15 Q. You said that your responsibility was from

    16 Zenica to Ovnak, and I'm asking you whether your units

    17 entered the village of Ovnak or not.

    18 A. So I came to the village of Ovnak with my

    19 unit on the road.

    20 Q. Did you enter the village?

    21 A. From the village of Ovnak, the people with

    22 HVO units, that is to say, the HVO units withdrew the

    23 people towards Vitez at that time.

    24 Q. Did you enter the village of Ovnak? I'm

    25 asking you this for the third time.

  100. 1 A. And after that, the village of Ovnak was

    2 empty.

    3 Q. Did you enter the village of Ovnak? I'm

    4 asking you that for the fourth time.

    5 A. After that time, when the village was empty,

    6 the units which were in that zone, that is to say, that

    7 the several brigades, the municipal staff and the

    8 military police, and with the police of the corps, they

    9 entered the village, in the aim of protecting the

    10 village and preventing any irregular acts from taking

    11 part and in order to protect the monastery. That was

    12 the command of the corps. It was our aim to protect.

    13 Q. So you did not enter the village of Ovnak

    14 with your unit; can we conclude that?

    15 A. Let me repeat, into the village of Ovnak, the

    16 units which were on assignment there sent their units

    17 of the military police, and the corps police unit

    18 entered to secure the zone.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: The question is did you enter

    20 the village, "Yes" or "No"?

    21 A. I did not.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well then. Just give us

    23 your answer, please. If we wish to proceed quickly,

    24 please answer the question.

    25 Let me remind you of the text that you should

  101. 1 be familiar with. First of all, it is a text that

    2 protects you. I'm going to read it to you. "A witness

    3 may refuse to make any statement which could

    4 incriminate him. The Chamber, nevertheless, can force

    5 the witness to answer. Of course, no testimony

    6 obtained in this way can be used subsequently as

    7 evidence against the witness, except in case of

    8 perjury."

    9 So you are not risking anything. You are not

    10 risking anything before these Judges. You cannot

    11 refuse to answer. Only in a case of perjury can you be

    12 called to task. When a question is put to you, you

    13 have to answer it. We can't accept the same question

    14 being put to you four times. Did you or did you not

    15 enter the village?

    16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    17 Q. Apart from Ovnak, did you, in the period to

    18 come, enter into the Travnik municipality, and were

    19 your units in the area of the municipality of Travnik?

    20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not

    21 hear the answer. The interpreter did not hear the

    22 answer.

    23 MR. NOBILO:

    24 Q. Would you repeat the answer, please? We went

    25 too fast and the interpreters weren't able to hear your

  102. 1 answer. So the question was: Did the 7th Muslim

    2 Brigade spend any time in the municipality of Travnik

    3 from June 1993 onwards?

    4 A. The brigade, as a brigade, was not in the

    5 Travnik municipality. It was not.

    6 Q. And parts of the 7th Muslim Brigade, were

    7 they not located in Travnik?

    8 A. In Travnik, as I said first, where our first

    9 battalion was located, and he had an area of

    10 responsibility towards Bijelo Bucje, facing the army of

    11 the Republika Srpska, but not Travnik.

    12 Q. But, Colonel, if your battalion was in

    13 Travnik, then the 7th Muslim Brigade was in Travnik as

    14 well, because was not that battalion part of the 7th

    15 Muslim Brigade?

    16 A. I've already said that it was part of the 7th

    17 Muslim Brigade and that the battalion had this line of

    18 responsibility towards the army of the Republika

    19 Srpska, and it was contrary to the area that you are

    20 talking about, so the brigade was not in Travnik.

    21 Q. I asked about the municipality of Travnik?

    22 A. Well, yes.

    23 Q. Isn't it a battalion of --

    24 A. Bijelo Bucje, yes, that's where it was.

    25 Q. Did you, in the course of your work, as the

  103. 1 chief of staff and deputy chief of the 7th Muslim

    2 Brigade, and it spent some time in the Travnik

    3 municipality, did you receive the following

    4 information, that is to say, that in the municipality

    5 of Travnik, 1.450 Croatian houses had been burnt and

    6 that 40 to 60 per cent of them had been destroyed, and

    7 I'm reading from D528, and that Croatian houses were

    8 destroyed between 20 to 40 per cent, 1.080, and

    9 devastated, 840, et cetera. Do you know anything about

    10 that?

    11 A. I am hearing this data for the first time

    12 here today.

    13 Q. Did you hear that in the Travnik

    14 municipality, there was destruction to numerous

    15 churches, such as, for example, Bukovica in the Guca

    16 Gora parish, Dolac in the Dolac parish, Gornji Dolac,

    17 in the Dolac parish, and it is the cemetery, one of the

    18 oldest cemetery in the region. Did you hear about the

    19 fact that in the municipality of Travnik, these sacral

    20 buildings were destroyed?

    21 MR. NOBILO: These are, once again, my notes

    22 and not part of a document.

    23 MR. HARMON: Just a point of clarification.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: I will remind you, Mr. Nobilo,

    25 that this is a Court witness, and at some point, either

  104. 1 in your brief or at any other point, you will give us

    2 references to these notes, but it is quite normal that

    3 the Prosecutor knows in what stage of the proceedings

    4 you obtained these figures.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    6 Q. From your battalion, the 7th Muslim Brigade,

    7 did you receive any information that a series of

    8 Catholic churches and places of worship were destroyed

    9 in the municipality of Travnik?

    10 A. No, I did not receive information of that

    11 kind. I was not informed of that. Let me mention that

    12 my brigade, in the municipality of Travnik, never

    13 fought against the HVO units. The only assignment that

    14 it had was the assignment of the 1st Battalion at

    15 Bijelo Bucje.

    16 Q. But you did engage in combat activities in

    17 Kakanj. You said you had liberated Kakanj. Do you

    18 know that 15.000 Croats fled Kakanj? Do you know that

    19 piece of data?

    20 A. No, I don't know that figure. I'm not aware

    21 of that.

    22 Q. But when you liberated Kakanj and the

    23 villages of the Kakanj municipality, did you encounter

    24 empty villages and destroyed houses?

    25 A. During my assignment in Kakanj, in addition

  105. 1 to my brigade and following the command, there were

    2 other units taking part. The HVO units, with part of

    3 the population, not all the population, but part of the

    4 population, did move out of Kakanj and Kraljevska

    5 Sutjeska to Vares.

    6 Q. Did you see Croatian villages ablaze?

    7 A. No, I did not.

    8 Q. Let us carry on with the war paths of your

    9 brigade. You said that in August you came to Vitez at

    10 the Sadovace, Bukve, and Poculica villages, that you

    11 arrived there. Do you know anything about the

    12 following, that is to say, that at that time, in that

    13 area, in your zone of responsibility, 17 civilians were

    14 captured belonging to a work platoon, Croats who were

    15 there cutting down the forests, taking wood for

    16 firewood, for timber, and that they were captured and

    17 killed? Do you know anything about that?

    18 A. In August, the brigade was at the Vitez

    19 battleground, but what you have just said I have heard

    20 for the first time. I did not know about that.

    21 MR. NOBILO: May I have D440, please,

    22 document D440?

    23 Q. Remind the Court when you came to the Vares

    24 municipality with your unit, please.

    25 A. At the beginning of November.

  106. 1 Q. We are now going to show a video clip which

    2 was taken in Vares precisely at the time when your unit

    3 was there. It is Defence Exhibit D531. Would you look

    4 at all the soldiers carefully, please? Perhaps you'll

    5 recognise some of them.

    6 (Videotape played)

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. This is the Croatian village of Pogar. Do

    9 you recognise these scenes, this truck, these people?

    10 A. I recognise neither the scene, nor the

    11 people, nor the trucks. I don't know the location of

    12 the village of Pogar. Had it been in my zone, I would

    13 have remembered the locality.

    14 Q. Was there any looting, killing, and mass

    15 burning of houses in Vares at the time when you were

    16 there with your unit?

    17 A. The unit was engaged with the other units of

    18 the 6th Corps, the 2nd Corps, and the 3rd Corps, and as

    19 far as I know, there was none of this in Vares, and

    20 Vares remained a town that had not been set ablaze.

    21 Q. But I'm asking you about the villages in the

    22 Vares municipality?

    23 A. In the zone under my command, as far as I

    24 know, this did not exist. In the other zones, I don't

    25 know.

  107. 1 Q. Can you define your area of responsibility

    2 for us in precise terms, please? In Vares, your zone

    3 of responsibility in Vares, please.

    4 A. With my unit, I entered Vares along the

    5 road. I took the road into Vares.

    6 Q. Before you entered Vares, did you pass by any

    7 villages?

    8 A. The road I took, I saw no burned houses.

    9 Q. This is D440, it's a large Defence Exhibit,

    10 and it describes everything that refers to the village

    11 of Vares, and we can stop the tape now.

    12 Let us move forward. Your next stop along

    13 your path in Central Bosnia was Fojnica.

    14 MR. NOBILO: Could I have Defence Exhibit

    15 D153 now, please?

    16 Q. While we're preparing the document, D153, I

    17 should like to ask you whether you are conscious of the

    18 fact that 6.000 Croats were expelled from Fojnica at

    19 the time when your unit entered Fojnica.

    20 A. I am not aware of that, nor do I know

    21 anything about that piece of information because at

    22 that time, the Bosniak people had left Fojnica and were

    23 moving towards Visoko because part of Fojnica had

    24 already fallen.

    25 Q. Are you testifying that the Croats were not

  108. 1 expelled from Fojnica but that it was the Bosniaks who

    2 were expelled?

    3 A. I had not been informed about that.

    4 Q. We're now going to read a document to you.

    5 It is in English. I don't know how far you understand

    6 English. My colleague will read the document out. It

    7 is document, Defence Exhibit, D153.

    8 MR. HAYMAN: If the third page of this

    9 document could be put on the ELMO, that would assist

    10 the interpreters, I think, and I'll be reading from

    11 this ECMM background report, titled "Fojnica," the date

    12 on it is termed "last update 6 October 1993," and the

    13 paragraph I would like to read is on page 3, it's

    14 titled "Ethnic Minorities." It's in the bottom half of

    15 the page.

    16 The paragraph states -- and there are some

    17 words on the left-hand margin, Mr. President, that are

    18 not legible. I'll do the best I can.

    19 "Fojnica has a Catholic monastery where are

    20 living 17 religious people. The remaining Croats come

    21 here to find any kind of help."

    22 Then it appears:

    23 "From the former 6500 Croats, only 100/150

    24 remain, and the last info (unintelligible) from the

    25 guardian of the monastery indicate an hostile

  109. 1 (unintelligible) from the Muslim majority. The houses

    2 which were previously occupied by Croats have been

    3 first looted, then burnt and destroyed, all along the

    4 period of July/August and September. We have observed

    5 this slow evolution, particularly on the road south of

    6 Fojnica in Drin and Bakovici."

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. Colonel, you made the statement that you

    9 made, and now I would like to ask you: How do you

    10 explain the fact that wherever the 7th Muslim Brigade

    11 turned up, the Croats were expelled, the houses,

    12 hundreds and thousands of Croatian houses, were burnt

    13 and looted; is that a coincidence or something else?

    14 How do you explain this?

    15 A. You mention July, August, and September. At

    16 that time, I stressed a moment ago, that the brigade

    17 was not in that locality at all, and on several

    18 occasions, you've been mentioning the situation that

    19 reactions of this kind occurred where the brigade was,

    20 and that is based on faulty facts. It is just not

    21 true. What you are saying is not true.

    22 Q. There have been many testimonies about that.

    23 But let me ask you one more question now: You were the

    24 deputy commander and then commander of the 7th Muslim

    25 Brigade in 1993, and that is the year that the Court is

  110. 1 interested in. Tell the Trial Chamber now, please,

    2 whether, on any occasion, a member of the 7th Muslim

    3 Brigade committed a war crime or crime against

    4 humanity, any single crime, "Yes" or "No"?

    5 A. No.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. We

    7 have concluded.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you,

    9 Mr. Nobilo.

    10 I turn to my colleagues. Judge

    11 Shahabuddeen?

    12 Questioned by the Court:

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, I would like to

    14 take you back to the village of Ovnak. You said that

    15 the HVO units withdrew the people. How did you know

    16 that? Did you see that?

    17 A. In relation to the reports by the police who

    18 were in the zone to secure the facilities there, on the

    19 basis of the reports.

    20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Where were you when you

    21 received these reports? Where were you in relation to

    22 the village?

    23 A. Between the village of Ovnak and Zenica.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: How far away were you

    25 from the village?

  111. 1 A. It's approximately three kilometres away.

    2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Whose police were they?

    3 A. It was security for the village, that is to

    4 say, the police units engaged on this assignment: The

    5 commander of the corps and the MUP police, that is to

    6 say, the civilian police.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The police were on your

    8 side?

    9 A. In that zone, the police had the task of

    10 preventing any kind of destruction, such as burning

    11 houses, pilferage, or anything else that jeopardises

    12 the area, and that was its assignment. So the police

    13 was the military police. We had the civilian police

    14 and the military police, and they had a common

    15 assignment.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: They were the military

    17 police of the Armija?

    18 A. The military police and the civilian police.

    19 The military police could act with members of the army

    20 if there were any problems, and the civilian police had

    21 competencies over the civilian portion and ensured

    22 communication from Zenica to Travnik.

    23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you discover why the

    24 people of Ovnak left the village with the HVO units?

    25 A. I did not discover why, but I heard

  112. 1 information about that, that they were told by the HVO

    2 units to do so. At that time, the people that were

    3 there in the monastery, they did not withdraw, and I

    4 ensured security for the monastery by using a unit, and

    5 then the representatives of UNPROFOR turned up, and

    6 they established the facts. I then transferred those

    7 people to a safe zone and returned them back to the

    8 monastery the next day. The representatives of the Red

    9 Cross and UNPROFOR were there in that zone. They were

    10 located there too.

    11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you find out why the

    12 HVO units advised the people to leave Ovnak?

    13 A. I did not.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did your units drive out

    15 the people of Ovnak?

    16 A. I have already stressed that I don't know for

    17 what reason, but the HVO units, together with the

    18 people, left. Now, for what reason they exerted this

    19 pressure, I don't know, and as I said a moment ago, for

    20 example, they did the same in another area, in the

    21 Kraljeva Sutjeska zone. Quite simply, without any

    22 reason, they left the zone, and that is what happened

    23 at Ovnak too because Ovnak was secured by the military

    24 and civilian police, and nobody could approach there

    25 apart from the people who were located there. So they

  113. 1 ensured security both for the people and for the

    2 buildings and the monastery and everything else. I did

    3 not see any reason why the people, together with the

    4 HVO units, left, but I assess that there was probably

    5 some reason. Perhaps the HVO units exerted pressure on

    6 them.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Why did part of the

    8 population of Kakanj leave Kakanj? Did you find out?

    9 A. I did not find that out either. For unknown

    10 reasons, just as with the Ovnak case, without any

    11 reason, they had the people withdraw. And in Kraljeva

    12 Sutjeska, there was no fighting, and the people left

    13 anyway.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Were there other places

    15 from which the Croat population withdrew?

    16 A. There were. So apart from Ovnak, Kraljeva

    17 Sutjeska -- in Kraljeva Sutjeska, there is a very

    18 famous monastery, an even larger one, and some people

    19 remained there. The friars from the monastery stayed

    20 there, in that part, but there was no fighting there,

    21 and the people left without reason. And the case was

    22 similar in Vares.

    23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: How long after the

    24 people left Ovnak did your units enter Ovnak?

    25 A. It was on the 9th of June at Ovnak. So that

  114. 1 same day, that same day, during those events, the

    2 village was emptied. And I spent some time there,

    3 perhaps another day, because I had another assignment,

    4 and then I withdrew the unit from that zone. So the

    5 unit was withdrawn from that zone in actual fact.

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What I'm trying to ask

    7 you to focus on is this: The people of Ovnak left and

    8 then, according to you, your units entered the

    9 village. What was the time span between the time when

    10 the people left Ovnak and the time when your units

    11 entered Ovnak?

    12 A. According to my assessment, from the morning

    13 until the afternoon. The people, together with the HVO

    14 units, left the village --

    15 (Trial Chamber confers)

    16 THE INTERPRETER: [to Judge Shahabuddeen]

    17 Yes? Could you hear the English translation? Can you

    18 hear the English interpretation? Can you hear the

    19 English interpretation, Judge?

    20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, I can hear the

    21 interpretation. Thank you very much.

    22 I am reading your answer on the screen before

    23 me. According to what I read, you said: "According to

    24 my assessment, from the morning until the afternoon.

    25 The people, together with the HVO units, left the

  115. 1 village --"

    2 I'm still a little unclear about the answer

    3 to my question. What was the interval of time between

    4 when the people left Ovnak and when your units entered

    5 the village?

    6 A. From the morning until the afternoon. They

    7 left with the HVO units from the village. In the

    8 afternoon, we were able, that is to say, I got a report

    9 that there was no movement around the village. I got

    10 that report in the afternoon. And that led us to

    11 conclude that the village was probably empty.


    13 A. And then the civilian police ...

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Rodrigues? Thank you,

    16 Judge Shahabuddeen.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel, I understood that

    18 the 7th Brigade began to be organised sometime in

    19 December 1992; is that correct?

    20 A. That is correct. The end of November 1992,

    21 that is when the corps command issued an order, the

    22 date was the 19th of November, I have the order here;

    23 that is to say, the establishment started at the end of

    24 November and then continued in December and January.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So you participated in the

  116. 1 initial organisation of the brigade, didn't you?

    2 A. At the end of December, I joined the brigade,

    3 and I was assistant chief of staff for operations and

    4 teaching, and that is the role I played.

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Is it possible to associate

    6 certain villages with the creation of the 7th Brigade?

    7 A. Is it possible to associate a few villages?

    8 I didn't understand the question.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let me repeat the

    10 question. Is it possible to associate, to the

    11 formation of the 7th Brigade, any particular village?

    12 I am not trying to lead the question, but let me be

    13 more direct. The village of Nemila, does it mean

    14 anything to you in the context of the formation of the

    15 7th Brigade?

    16 A. At the time when I came, no. Nemila is a

    17 small place near Zenica, and when the brigade was being

    18 established, the command was being established in

    19 Zenica, the 2nd Battalion in Zenica, the staff units in

    20 Zenica, the 1st Battalion in Travnik, and the 3rd

    21 Battalion in Kakanj. That is where the headquarters of

    22 the battalion was. And Nemila is a village that

    23 belongs to Zenica; that is to say, that there is a

    24 possibility that there were men in the brigade from

    25 that village.

  117. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, but this 7th Brigade,

    2 before becoming the 7th Muslim Brigade, was it not

    3 called the Nemila Brigade?

    4 A. When I came, that is to say, the end of

    5 December, the formation of the brigade had already

    6 started. And which units existed in Zenica earlier on

    7 and joined the 7th, that I really don't know, but I

    8 have been able to follow events from the formation in

    9 December onwards.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. And the relationship

    11 between the 7th Brigade and the MOS ...

    12 A. When the corps was established also in

    13 November, the 3rd Corps, all the units that were in the

    14 zone of the 3rd Corps grew into something else; that is

    15 to say, there were other units that grew into a

    16 brigade. Among others, there were units in many towns,

    17 Zenica included, that had different names.

    18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So after the formation of

    19 the 7th Brigade, did it always retain the same

    20 structure or was that structure changed?

    21 A. The brigade was formed -- I didn't understand

    22 you. What are you referring to? The organisational

    23 structure of the unit?

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I do not wish to suggest an

    25 answer. Wasn't a party of that brigade directly

  118. 1 subordinated to the supreme headquarters?

    2 A. No, never. No, never. That is to say, that

    3 the brigade was always within the 3rd Corps and it

    4 always received orders from the 3rd Corps. Not a

    5 single part of the brigade was ever outside the

    6 brigade. All units that were within the brigade were

    7 within the system of command and control. The same

    8 system prevailed from the brigade towards the command

    9 of the corps.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Another question: Do you

    11 know the date when the events in Dusina occurred?

    12 A. What events are you referring to?

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We have already spoken many

    14 times here, both the Defence and the President have

    15 referred to these events, certain acts that were

    16 committed in Dusina. Do you know the dates of those

    17 events?

    18 A. In relation to the crime in Dusina, I don't

    19 know about that, but I'm going to tell you about the

    20 elements that I am aware of.

    21 At that time, until January, the relations

    22 between the HVO units and the army were good. In

    23 January, I can't remember the exact date, HVO units

    24 forcefully entered the village of Merdani. On that

    25 occasion, the village of Merdani fell, and they

  119. 1 expelled the population. The village of Merdani has a

    2 Bosniak population. On that occasion, they took two

    3 girls prisoner, I don't have their names and surnames

    4 here, but we do have the names and surnames of these

    5 girls --

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me for interrupting

    7 you, Colonel, but my question still is whether you know

    8 the date or not. You're talking about events. You're

    9 saying "in that period." You even indicated, in answer

    10 to a question, that on such and such a date, you were

    11 in office, but apparently you didn't know the exact

    12 date. You said that at that time you were in office,

    13 but you didn't know the date.

    14 A. I was chief of staff. The village of Merdani

    15 that I'm talking about is a village next to Dusina, so

    16 please allow me to finish what I started.

    17 After this event in the village of Merdani, I

    18 received an order to take a company out of my 2nd

    19 Battalion and to attach them to the municipal staff in

    20 Zenica, and that is what I did, so it is in that zone

    21 that there was a company of mine. After the village of

    22 Merdani, I got a report saying that HVO units had

    23 attacked the direction of the TO staff in Zenica, and

    24 in that conflict, two of my men were killed and six

    25 were wounded, I think.

  120. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel, I apologise for

    2 interrupting, but what has that got to do with Dusina

    3 and the crimes committed in Dusina?

    4 A. I don't know about the crimes committed in

    5 Dusina. I'm telling you about the task --

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You don't even know the

    7 date --

    8 A. No, no.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: -- when that crime was

    10 committed? You don't know the date? You knew that in

    11 that period, you were in office.

    12 A. At that time, I was chief of staff. I don't

    13 know that a crime was committed in Dusina. I know --

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I apologise for

    15 interrupting once more, and then I will finish, but I

    16 have difficulty in understanding the following: You

    17 don't know the date of the crimes of Dusina, but you

    18 say that at the time, you held such and such a

    19 position. I don't understand. How is it possible to

    20 be in office and yet not know the date?

    21 A. That zone is a zone that was held by the

    22 municipal staff, that is to say, those units were in

    23 that zone. I was not in that zone. It was my company

    24 only that was there, and I got a report that my company

    25 was in the direction of this attack and that I had two

  121. 1 of my men wounded, and six of my men -- two men were

    2 killed and six were wounded. I didn't hear anything

    3 about any other crimes.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Colonel. I have

    5 no other questions.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge. I think that

    7 we will end this testimony. I remind you that you were

    8 summoned by the Judges, the Chamber, not by the Defence

    9 or the Prosecution. All you risk is perjury, and I'm

    10 reminding you of that because incrimination is within

    11 the field of responsibility of the Prosecution, not the

    12 Judges.

    13 I have only one question for you: Do you

    14 have a feeling, following the questions by Judge

    15 Rodrigues, you are aware of Merdani, and when we talk

    16 about Dusina, you talk about Merdani. Can you explain,

    17 how is it that you are familiar with what happened in

    18 Merdani, and you referred to Dusina in relation to

    19 Merdani, but you don't know what happened in Dusina?

    20 Could you explain this apparent contradiction for us?

    21 A. Yes, I can explain. At that time, I was in

    22 Zenica. A person came into my office. This person

    23 told me that his two daughters were taken prisoner in

    24 the village of Merdani and that the village of Merdani

    25 was attacked by HVO units. At that time, two pictures

  122. 1 were brought to me. I still have them. One is a

    2 picture of the village of Merdani and the other picture

    3 is a man who's fleeing the village of Merdani, and he

    4 has a cow and a dog.

    5 The conflicts started in the village, and,

    6 therefore, I got orders from the headquarters of the

    7 corps that I should attach one of my companies there.

    8 After that, I got a report that an attack was carried

    9 out in the direction of Dusina where that company of

    10 mine was and that, on that occasion, I had two of my

    11 men killed and six wounded. Apart from my unit, there

    12 was also the municipal staff unit that was there and

    13 that they also had some of their members wounded and

    14 killed, that is to say, that there were several

    15 casualties, men who were killed and wounded, in that

    16 zone.

    17 That is what I know in connection with

    18 Merdani and in connection with Dusina. Because this

    19 unit was attached to the Territorial Defence, I think

    20 they have more information.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Is it possible to make a link

    22 between a mission of one of your companies in Dusina

    23 and the atrocities that may have been committed there

    24 or were committed there? Is it possible to establish

    25 that link? Because, after all, the conflict had

  123. 1 started between the HVO and the 3rd Corps of the army.

    2 Is it possible to make that link? You said that this

    3 company went towards Dusina. Is it possible to make

    4 this link, even though you, as assistant chief of

    5 staff, were not informed? I'm just asking you, "Yes"

    6 or "No," is it possible to make that link?

    7 A. At that time, the company was in that zone

    8 attached to the municipal staff, and combat action was

    9 already under way, that is to say, after Merdani,

    10 combat action was already under way, and that was the

    11 zone concerned, and that is where this second attack of

    12 the HVO units was taking place. The first was against

    13 Merdani; the other one was against Dusina, that is to

    14 say, that --

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Do not talk about the HVO. We

    16 are very familiar with their operations. I am asking

    17 you whether it is possible for a company, which is,

    18 after all, under your orders, indirectly, but still

    19 under your orders, could have been in Dusina and

    20 perpetrated these atrocities, "Yes" or "No"? Is it

    21 possible, intellectually, I'm asking you? Is it

    22 possible? I'm reminding you that we are in public

    23 hearing. You were assistant chief of staff of the 7th

    24 Muslim Brigade, who shortly became commander. You knew

    25 that a company went to the region of Dusina, and there

  124. 1 was a conflict with the Croats already, is it possible

    2 that they participated in those operations? I won't

    3 talk about crimes. Is it possible or not?

    4 A. When this company came into this area, they

    5 did not start combat immediately. They were not

    6 fighting immediately. They held the line. After that,

    7 a few days later, fighting started in that direction.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: How did you know that it was

    9 not engaged in the fighting? How did you know that,

    10 because you were the assistant chief of staff, "Yes" or

    11 "No"?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: So that proves that if one is

    14 assistant chief of staff of a brigade called the 7th

    15 Muslim Brigade, one does, after all, come to learn

    16 about a certain number of events, "Yes" or "No"?

    17 A. Yes, and there is one more thing I wish to

    18 emphasise, if you allow me to do so.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Yes, go ahead. Go

    20 ahead.

    21 A. The company commander, Fahrudin Camdzic, on

    22 that day went, on behalf of his zone, to negotiate with

    23 the commander of the HVO, and the HVO man said that he

    24 would negotiate then, but he was killed at that time,

    25 he was killed on that occasion, and that is when their

  125. 1 attack started in this direction of Dusina.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: You see, you do know things

    3 after all, Colonel. You know much more than you have

    4 told us so far. I think we shall end your testimony.

    5 We will thank you, nevertheless, for coming all the way

    6 to The Hague, and we are going to allow you to go back

    7 to your work.

    8 We will have a 30-minute [as interpreted]

    9 break and then hear our last witness for the day. The

    10 hearing is adjourned.

    11 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.

    12 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have

    14 the accused brought in, please.

    15 I understand that the English interpreters

    16 gave themselves ten minutes' extra break, but that's

    17 nothing serious.

    18 Let us bring in our last witness, Colonel

    19 Serif Patkovic.

    20 (The witness entered court)

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me?

    22 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Will you please tell us your

    24 full name, your rank in the army, your date and place

    25 of birth, and your current occupation, after which you

  126. 1 will take the solemn declaration standing, and then you

    2 can be seated.

    3 THE WITNESS: My name is Serif Patkovic. I

    4 am a colonel; I was in the army. I am no longer in

    5 active service. Currently I am a private

    6 businessman rearing cattle. I was born on the 5th of

    7 October, 1967, in the municipality of Zenica.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Take the oath now, please.

    9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    11 truth.


    13 [A witness called by the Trial Chamber]

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I will call you

    15 Mister. You may be seated. You were a colonel at the

    16 time of the events.

    17 You are appearing before the International

    18 Criminal Tribunal within the framework of the trial

    19 against General Tihomir Blaskic, here present to your

    20 left, who was a colonel at the time.

    21 You were a participant, a rather important

    22 participant in the events, and we have called you to

    23 tell us about four or five matters of particular

    24 interest to us; that is, within the framework of your

    25 functions and role, which you are going to define, what

  127. 1 was the organisation and structure of command of the

    2 7th so-called Muslim Brigade of the army of

    3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, how it was deployed on the ground,

    4 what were its operations, did you know of a certain

    5 number of events, such as the kidnapping of Commander

    6 Totic, and events that took place in several Croatian

    7 villages, one of which was Dusina. Perhaps you could

    8 also speak about the fate of the prisoners and

    9 detainees which your brigade probably took in, and tell

    10 us also whether you knew, directly or indirectly, the

    11 accused.

    12 You will testify for about half an hour, a

    13 little longer, if you need, it's up to you, after which

    14 you will answer questions by the parties, the

    15 Prosecutor and the Defence, if they wish to ask you any

    16 questions, and, of course, questions by the Judges,

    17 which will come last.

    18 So, Mr. Patkovic, you may proceed about the

    19 topics you were informed of in the summons addressed to

    20 you by the Court.

    21 I wish to remind you, in view of the

    22 testimony of the previous witness, that I wish the

    23 testimony to be at the highest possible level, that

    24 your status as a witness here, you are a witness of the

    25 Chamber, not of the Prosecution or the Defence. You

  128. 1 may, of course, refuse to make any statement that could

    2 incriminate you. However, you are obliged to answer

    3 questions put to you, but those answers cannot be used

    4 by the Office of the Prosecutor as evidence against

    5 you. The only thing may be that you may be prosecuted

    6 for perjury.

    7 So please tell us about the topics that the

    8 Chamber has asked you to comment on. You have the

    9 floor.

    10 THE WITNESS: I really am sorry that I wasn't

    11 able to prepare better because I received these

    12 questions in Sarajevo just before leaving for the

    13 airport, and since I've been away from Sarajevo for a

    14 long time, I have forgotten some things.

    15 The organisational structure of the 7th

    16 Brigade corresponds to a mountain brigade in terms of

    17 organisation. It had a brigade command, a staff unit,

    18 and battalions. It had three battalions which were

    19 operational, tactical units. In fact, the whole

    20 brigade was of an operative tactical nature. There was

    21 a system of subordination and command and control in

    22 accordance with the rules and regulations of the army

    23 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that means orders from

    24 the superior command going down to subordinate commands

    25 and commanders.

  129. 1 During the time the brigade acted while I was

    2 commander, it operated within the zones of

    3 responsibility of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Corps

    4 because it was already of the manoeuvring type and it

    5 operated where the need arose.

    6 The area of deployment of the brigade was

    7 within the framework of the 3rd Corps in Zenica where

    8 the brigade was headquartered with the command and

    9 staff unit, a battalion in Kakanj and --

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Are you reading a

    11 written statement?

    12 THE WITNESS: No, no. I just have some

    13 notes.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: That is absolutely your right.

    15 And having interrupted you, would you tell us, when did

    16 you start participating in the creation of the brigade

    17 and when were you its commander?

    18 THE WITNESS: I joined the 7th Muslim Brigade

    19 when it was formed. I was battalion commander. I also

    20 acted as chief of staff, and in April '94, I took over

    21 as brigade commander. I no longer recall the exact

    22 dates. So I joined when the brigade was being formed

    23 at the invitation of certain senior officers. Until

    24 then, I was commander of the Zenica detachment, which

    25 was a unit of the municipal staff of Territorial

  130. 1 Defence of Zenica municipality.

    2 As regards combat operations, they took place

    3 in all areas of responsibility of these corps, and we

    4 acted in accordance with orders received from those

    5 commands.

    6 As for the positions I held, I was chief of

    7 staff for a very short period of time, for six months,

    8 from '93, sometime in June, July, 1993, when I was

    9 wounded, and until my appointment as commander, I was

    10 mostly on sick leave and less was I present in the unit

    11 itself.

    12 As for my perception of the conflict as a

    13 whole and the situation in the first six months of

    14 1994, I think that the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

    15 I was just a soldier in those days executing orders of

    16 superior command. But my perception was that it was

    17 the result of policies to split Bosnia, to destroy the

    18 state and divide it up into two, particularly '93 and

    19 '94.

    20 As for the accused, I do not know him

    21 professionally or privately nor did I ever have

    22 occasion to meet him in private life.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. So that is your

    24 statement, is it not, if I understand you correctly?

    25 THE WITNESS: Yes, that would be my

  131. 1 statement.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We'll come back to

    3 it through questions which will be put to you, if

    4 necessary, by the Judges.

    5 Let me consult with my colleagues for a few

    6 minutes.

    7 (Trial Chamber confers)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Before giving the floor to the

    9 Prosecutor and the Defence, the Chamber would like to

    10 know whether you were familiar with the events in

    11 Dusina, the kidnapping of Commander Totic, the fate of

    12 detainees and prisoners, if your brigade made any and

    13 held them in the music school. Have you heard about

    14 that? And in more general terms, the reasons that led

    15 to the formation of the 7th Muslim Brigade. After

    16 that, I will give the Prosecution and the Defence the

    17 floor. Dusina, Totic, the music school; are these

    18 points which you had to deal with in one way or another

    19 or that you heard about?

    20 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, regarding

    21 Dusina, in view of the fact that a part of my battalion

    22 participated, a company, by orders from the brigade

    23 command, it was attached in the chain of command to the

    24 municipal staff, I am familiar with those events; and

    25 if I may be allowed, I shall come back to my perception

  132. 1 of this event.

    2 As for the kidnapping of Mr. Totic, I know

    3 nothing about it.

    4 As for the formation of the 7th Muslim

    5 Brigade, I joined the brigade as a professional soldier

    6 who graduated from the military academy of the former

    7 army, and that is why I was invited to come, and I was

    8 there exclusively to help in military professional

    9 terms in the organisation of units, structuring,

    10 training, and everything else that is required for an

    11 army, and the actual reasons for the formation are not

    12 so familiar to me that I could be qualified to speak

    13 about them.

    14 So let me go back again to Dusina. Pursuant

    15 to orders of the brigade command, a unit from my

    16 battalion, which was at the time quartered in Zenica,

    17 in the barracks there, was working on a system of

    18 training, and it had just come back from an assignment

    19 in December. On the 28th of December, we had a very

    20 difficult operation at the Visoko war theatre near

    21 Sarajevo where we had many problems, a large number of

    22 people put out of action, and I carried out the

    23 reorganisation and transformation of the battalion as

    24 the brigade was in the process of being formed at the

    25 time.

  133. 1 One company was attached to the municipal

    2 staff in the area of Lasva, which covers a broad area,

    3 including villages where one of their detachment had

    4 its command, the villages of Merdani, Dusina, Rajici,

    5 Visnjica Gornja, and Visnjica Donja.

    6 I was informed by the company commander -- by

    7 the company commander the day before the conflict broke

    8 out. Reporting to me, he briefed me on the situation

    9 in the region. They were in a region that was

    10 peaceful, but there were certain problems in the area

    11 of Merdani, as far as I was informed by the brigade

    12 command. And until then, there had been no special

    13 problems. The only problems that the company commander

    14 told me about had to do with communication with some of

    15 the soldiers when he toured units together with the

    16 commander of municipal staff units because a barricade

    17 had been put up by HVO members and so passage was not

    18 possible. But he said that all this was still not too

    19 serious.

    20 So I devoted my attention to other

    21 companies. We formed company commands, carried out

    22 training and so on. And the next day, at about 9.00,

    23 if my memory doesn't fail me, I was informed by

    24 communications that the company commander had been

    25 wounded. At that moment, I didn't understand how he

  134. 1 had been wounded because there had been no active

    2 combat operations, and his superior command at the time

    3 was the municipal staff. Because he had been attached

    4 to that staff, I didn't quite understand what was

    5 happening.

    6 Upon receiving this information, I went to

    7 the Lasva region, which is close by, about 2 kilometres

    8 from the village of Dusina, and where I received the

    9 first information. By then, it was already noon, and I

    10 was informed that there had been an armed conflict in

    11 which my company commander had been killed together

    12 with another soldier and that there had been casualties

    13 on the other side too. I think that the HVO commander

    14 was killed as well as several soldiers.

    15 How that conflict had broken out and what was

    16 happening at the time and what I should do, I issued an

    17 order that a company that was at the time in the Zenica

    18 barracks, which means that it wasn't far away, it could

    19 reach the area of deployment within 15 or 20 minutes,

    20 that it should come and be assigned to this area where

    21 the company was.

    22 The conflict broke out when the commander

    23 went on tour, together with a group of soldiers and the

    24 commander of the municipal staff unit, towards the

    25 village of Merdani. So this conflict wasn't in the

  135. 1 village of Dusina itself but between the village of

    2 Dusina, which was partly populated by Muslims and

    3 partly by Croats. Above the repeater, an armed

    4 conflict broke out. We assumed that this was some sort

    5 of an ambush. Due to thwarted agreements, failed

    6 agreements, an armed conflict occurred.

    7 When I reached the area, it was already

    8 over. My unit, which was up there in the village, had

    9 suffered two dead and two captured members by the HVO,

    10 and my soldiers had captured seven HVO soldiers. At

    11 that moment, there was a small house right next to the

    12 bridge over the Lasva River. I asked whether anyone

    13 was in contact with the HVO unit and its commander in

    14 Lasva. Then the people from the municipal staff told

    15 me that probably there was no communication for the

    16 time being, that they would try to establish contact.

    17 They brought the seven captured HVO members

    18 to this house. I asked what chances we had to

    19 establish contact to avoid further conflicts and to

    20 overcome problems, because if problems did occur, we

    21 were much stronger and things would become difficult.

    22 After that, there was, shall we call it, an

    23 exchange. The HVO members, who were on the ground

    24 there, and other units came as well, I'm just talking

    25 about my own units, but other units arrived, the

  136. 1 military police of the municipal staff, an ambulance,

    2 high-level officers, and at that moment, the situation

    3 calmed down, and some HVO members surrendered.

    4 HVO units surrendered. The population stayed

    5 on in the villages. It was a mixed population. There

    6 were Croats and Bosniaks. Some had fled from Jajce

    7 when the army of Republika Srpska had expelled the

    8 population from Jajce, and I just went to the

    9 elementary school where all these people were. I came

    10 back and went to my unit. Seven HVO members who were

    11 captured were escorted to the KP Dom in Zenica, a

    12 prison which was within the jurisdiction of the corps

    13 command.

    14 I'm sorry that I didn't have time to look up

    15 the lists, but they exist, and I'm 100 per cent sure

    16 that all of them are alive. A few days ago in Zenica,

    17 I came across one of them who was captured at the

    18 time. He's currently working as a taxi driver in

    19 Busovaca. He had come as a taxi driver to Zenica, and

    20 I saw him there.

    21 So this armed conflict occurred in which

    22 there were casualties on both sides.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you, Colonel

    24 Patkovic. I should now like the debate to start.

    25 Mr. Prosecutor, do you have any questions?

  137. 1 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, Your Honours, I

    2 have no questions. Thank you.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Nobilo, for the

    4 Defence, please go on.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.

    6 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    7 Q. Good day, Mr. Patkovic. This is my

    8 colleague, Russell Hayman, and I'm Anto Nobilo, and we

    9 are Defence counsel for General Blaskic. I would like

    10 to put a few questions to you.

    11 I'm interested in the following: When did

    12 the orders to attach that company of your battalion to

    13 the Territorial Defence arrive, on what date? Can you

    14 tell me?

    15 A. I cannot recall the date. It came from the

    16 brigade command. I'm sure that this was before any

    17 kind of conflict and any incidents, and the date, I

    18 really cannot remember.

    19 Q. May I help you? Was this on the 15th of

    20 January, maybe, 1993? Because the conflict that you

    21 spoke about was the 26th of January, 1993, so could

    22 this have been eight or nine days before the conflict?

    23 Could your unit have been deployed in the area of

    24 Dusina and Lasva?

    25 A. I don't think it was that long. I don't

  138. 1 think it was that long. I think it was only a day or

    2 two, less.

    3 Q. Are you sure that you were deployed there

    4 before the conflict broke out?

    5 A. What deployment are you referring to?

    6 Q. I'm referring to your own unit while the

    7 situation was still peaceful?

    8 A. My unit was deployed within the units of the

    9 territorial -- of the municipal staff of the

    10 Territorial Defence, that is to say, before there were

    11 any kind of conflicts, before the conflict broke out,

    12 that is to say, it was part of that unit, but it was

    13 not only deployed in the part of Dusina where there

    14 were conflicts. It wasn't deployed there at all. It

    15 was deployed in the Lasva area.

    16 Could I just clarify this a bit? I asked the

    17 commander of the municipal staff once why he wanted to

    18 reinforce his detachment there, and he said because of

    19 the Lasva loop. Parts of his unit were there, so I

    20 didn't discuss this any further.

    21 Q. Do you agree with the claim that the HVO

    22 never entered the village of Merdani?

    23 A. Sorry, I didn't understand your question.

    24 Q. Do you agree with the claim that the HVO

    25 never entered the village of Merdani, never took the

  139. 1 village of Merdani?

    2 A. You're asking me about a region I do not

    3 know. I mean, I was not directly involved in such

    4 actions, and now, for me to remember something like

    5 that, no, no, I cannot say anything on that score.

    6 Q. Let us look into this very specifically. In

    7 January 1993, was the BH army or was the Territorial

    8 Defence in the village of Merdani; do you remember

    9 that?

    10 A. I don't think so.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Please answer facing the

    12 Judges. When listening to the question, you look at

    13 counsel, but when answering, look at the Judges,

    14 please.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. Who was in the village of Merdani, the HVO or

    17 no one?

    18 A. I don't know which period you're referring

    19 to. It is mostly Bosniaks who lived in the village of

    20 Merdani.

    21 Q. I'm asking you about January 1993.

    22 A. January 1993, who was in the village of

    23 Merdani? I don't know.

    24 Q. All right. Let's go on. When the conflicts

    25 broke out and when you received information that one of

  140. 1 your men was wounded, can you explain to the Court why

    2 they sent information to you about the combat situation

    3 and not to those who they were attached to, the

    4 municipal staff of the Territorial Defence, and why you

    5 went to the Dusina and Lasva area and not the commander

    6 of the municipal staff from Zenica?

    7 A. I'm sure that this information was also

    8 received by the commander of the municipal staff, and I

    9 received this information from my own company because,

    10 after all, this is my unit which had been attached, and

    11 the officer in charge of that unit is, in a way,

    12 responsible, and it is important for me also what the

    13 situation was like in my unit. Why did I go? I went

    14 for a simple reason, to see what the situation was like

    15 in the unit.

    16 Q. You said that when you came there, that the

    17 conflict was already over and that there were two BH

    18 army members who were imprisoned and five HVO members,

    19 and you said you were much stronger. Can you define

    20 what that meant in those villages? Who was much

    21 stronger? What was the balance of forces between the

    22 Croats and the Bosniaks when you arrived?

    23 A. At that point in time -- how do I explain

    24 this? Gornja Visnjica, Donja Visnjica, Gornja Dusina,

    25 Lasva, there were mostly Bosniaks living there, that is

  141. 1 to say, that I was referring to that segment when I

    2 said "much stronger." We wanted to avoid a conflict at

    3 all costs, that's why I said this, because it was

    4 pointless, pointless to have conflicts when we had too

    5 many conflicts with the army of Republika Srpska.

    6 Q. When you came there, were you informed that

    7 certain civilians were killed?

    8 A. No, and my members did not say anything about

    9 civilians, and I do not have such information, that a

    10 single civilian was killed.

    11 Q. Could we please see this document -- rather,

    12 I'm going to read D434. I'm going to read a report to

    13 you, and you're going to tell me whether you know

    14 anything about this. This document is dated the 27th

    15 of January, and it comes from the Jure Francetic

    16 Brigade command.

    17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters

    18 please have copies?

    19 MR. NOBILO:

    20 Q. This is one of the first reports, that is to

    21 say:

    22 "On the 27th of January, 1993, displaced

    23 persons from the village of Dusine, Lasva, Local

    24 Commune, arrived in Zenica and informed us of the

    25 massacre of Croats in the above-mentioned area.

  142. 1 "Early on the morning of 26 January 1993,

    2 MOS /Muslim liberation forces/ from Zenica surrounded

    3 seven Croatian houses in the village of Dusine. They

    4 demanded of the Dusine HVO that they surrender their

    5 weapons. After it was agreed that the demand would be

    6 honoured, MOS members opened fire on the Croatian

    7 houses. The shooting claimed the lives of the

    8 following individuals:

    9 1. Pero Rajic ...

    10 2. Drazenko Kegelj ...

    11 3. Frano Rajic ...

    12 "Zvonko Rajic, son of Ivo, was killed during

    13 the negotiations.

    14 "The following two individuals were wounded:

    15 1. Marko Rajic ...

    16 2. Blasko Bosnjak ...

    17 "The wounded were transported to the Zenica

    18 hospital.

    19 "After the shooting ceased, MOS members

    20 entered the village, closed the civilians in the house

    21 owned by Stipe Kegelj, son of Mato, and kept them there

    22 until the night.

    23 "They arrested the HVO soldiers and seized

    24 their weapons.

    25 "After that, they started searching houses,

  143. 1 threatening to shoot those who refuse to surrender

    2 their weapons, because they had been informed by local

    3 Muslims that there were more weapons. As they were

    4 unable to find more weapons, they carried out

    5 executions.

    6 "The following persons were shot:

    7 1. Niko Kegelj ...

    8 2. Vinko Kegelj ...

    9 3. Jozo Kegelj ...

    10 4. Mladenko Kegelj ...

    11 5. August Rados ...

    12 "After the execution, the soldiers' bodies

    13 were taken to a cellar in a family house owned by Ivica

    14 and Jure Kegelj.

    15 "Because Marinko Kegelj ... managed to

    16 escape," this is a bit illegible, but it reads more or

    17 less as follows, "his father, Stipo Kegelj, son of

    18 Mato, was executed instead.

    19 "The following persons are still missing,"

    20 and this was written on the 27th of January, 1993.

    21 "1. Perica Rados ...

    22 2. Dragan Rados...

    23 3. Nedjeljko Rajic ...

    24 4. Marinko Kegelj ...

    25 "After having executed the HVO soldiers, MOS

  144. 1 members wanted to shoot Zdravka Rados, Dragan Rados's

    2 wife. It is assumed that they abandoned their idea to

    3 carry out the execution at the request of a local

    4 Muslim.

    5 "Ivica Kegelj, son of Jure, and Milenko

    6 Rajic, son of Marko, were beaten and subjected to

    7 mistreatment and then taken towards Zenica by the

    8 BH /Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Army Military Police.

    9 Signed by the commander of the Jure Francetic

    10 Brigade, Zivko Totic.

    11 Colonel, did you hear from your soldiers

    12 about any of this?

    13 A. No. No, not about these casualties, no. I

    14 should only say the following: Rajic --

    15 Q. Rajic Zvonko was the commander?

    16 A. Rajic Zvonko was the commander, and now when

    17 you read this report, perhaps I should state

    18 something. In my report, it says that there was an

    19 execution, namely, had my unit done this, I would have

    20 naturally carried out all necessary investigations. If

    21 this was within the zone of responsibility of the

    22 municipal staff, then they are in charge, and I know

    23 that the area was consolidated, naturally, by the Civil

    24 Defence, and I don't know anything about this. I'm 100

    25 per cent sure I don't.

  145. 1 But there is something here that I find

    2 unclear. It says on the 26th of January, 1993, in the

    3 early morning hours, the Muslim forces, MOS, from

    4 Zenica, surrounded seven Croat houses in the village of

    5 Dusina. They surrounded seven Croat houses in the

    6 village of Dusina and killed Zvonko Rajic from the

    7 village of Rajici. I think this is unclear now.

    8 According to this document and according to the report

    9 that was made by the commander of the Jure Francetic

    10 Brigade, they're saying that some village was

    11 surrounded. And then I can put a question to you: How

    12 come Zvonko Rajic was in the village of Dusina, in that

    13 house there, when he commanded an HVO unit? I mean,

    14 this doesn't -- the MOS units, I don't know which MOS

    15 units. I am commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th

    16 Muslim Brigade of the army of the Republic of

    17 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    18 Q. Are those the only two things that surprise

    19 you in this report? Nothing else worries you?

    20 A. I am surprised. Why are you bringing this

    21 report here if this --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Will you please face the

    23 Judges? This is not a polemics between you and

    24 Mr. Nobilo. It is the Judges who have summoned you to

    25 establish the truth. So please face the Judges.

  146. 1 Afterwards, you can look at Mr. Nobilo when he puts

    2 questions to you. Continue, please.

    3 A. So in this report here, it is MOS units that

    4 are mentioned and also the village is surrounded and,

    5 indeed, before I was not in a position to see this

    6 report nor did I see this report nor do I consider it

    7 to be an accurate one.

    8 The Jure Francetic Brigade in Zenica was in

    9 our neighbourhood, and we could have said on time that

    10 something had happened and we could have taken care of

    11 it, but I state with full responsibility that the

    12 members of the 7th Muslim Brigade, the soldiers that

    13 were on the ground, only carried out military orders,

    14 and they absolutely did not cause any conflicts. They

    15 did not do anything to provoke others and they only

    16 could have been attacked and then they only could have

    17 defended themselves. This is shown by the fact that

    18 the first person who was killed there was the commander

    19 of the company.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. I would like you to answer my questions,

    22 please, because our time is limited. So you told me

    23 what surprises you in this document. Of course, you

    24 hadn't seen it before and you knew nothing about this,

    25 but please tell the Court, when you came there, how

  147. 1 many dead bodies did you see? Who was dead? You

    2 didn't say anything about that.

    3 A. I could not see any dead bodies because the

    4 dead bodies were up on the hill and I did not climb the

    5 hill in order to consolidate the terrain and to see

    6 what was going on. It is obvious whose zone of

    7 responsibility this was, so it is only the persons who

    8 are responsible that should have inspected the corpses.

    9 MR. NOBILO: All right. Now, I would like a

    10 videotape to be played. I would like to have a

    11 videotape played, Defence Exhibit D438.

    12 Q. Before that, was Zvonko Rajic dead or alive

    13 when you arrived in that area?

    14 A. I know that Zvonko Rajic was dead.

    15 Q. All right. Now let us see this video

    16 footage, that is D438. Have a look at it.

    17 (Videotape played)

    18 MR. NOBILO: A woman, a witness introduced

    19 this into evidence. These are the corpses from the

    20 village of Dusina that are in the morgue in Zenica.

    21 (Videotape played)

    22 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) "We are viewing

    23 the bodies of our massacred --"

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. Do you agree that this throat has been cut

  148. 1 here on this body? Do you agree with what I am

    2 stating?

    3 A. That is the way it looks on this video

    4 footage.

    5 (Videotape played)

    6 Q. The hole here in the middle, do you agree

    7 with me that this could have been made by plucking the

    8 heart out, namely, Zvonko Rajic's heart was plucked

    9 out, according to his wife's testimony? Actually, the

    10 hole here, do you agree with me that that could be the

    11 case; that is to say, by having his heart plucked out?

    12 Do you agree that he was killed by a burst of

    13 gunfire from an automatic rifle? You could know this.

    14 You are a professional soldier.

    15 A. That it was a burst of gunfire?

    16 Q. But if you look at the entry wounds, was it

    17 an automatic rifle; do you agree with that?

    18 A. It's hard to tell now.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. We are no longer

    20 going to view this tape because we haven't got much

    21 time.

    22 Q. Did any of your subordinates describe to you

    23 how Rajic got killed? Your subordinates, did they

    24 explain how this HVO commander got killed?

    25 A. It's very difficult to recall fully that

  149. 1 situation. I know that it was a very hard situation,

    2 and I know what the situation was like in my unit

    3 because the commander of my unit had been killed. We

    4 did not discuss this very much. We know that there was

    5 an armed conflict which we had not caused, which our

    6 men had not caused, and which had a tragic outcome for

    7 both sides. Soldiers were killed on both sides. This

    8 was purely an armed conflict. And how all of this had

    9 happened, it would be very, very difficult to analyse

    10 it now and to remember, ultimately, various details, or

    11 to have someone to describe this faithfully.

    12 As for my soldiers, we did not discuss this

    13 very much. We did not discuss this subject very much.

    14 Q. All right. Of course, a lot of time has gone

    15 by, so I shall try to jog your memory. Is it true that

    16 when you came, you went to a place called Brdo where

    17 HVO soldiers were, that you put women and children in

    18 front of you as a human shield and then, in that way,

    19 you tried to take that position where HVO soldiers

    20 were; is that correct?

    21 A. That is a lie. That is not true.

    22 Q. Is it correct that after that, you called

    23 Zvonko Rajic and guaranteed his safety and that you

    24 asked him to come for negotiations, and when he came

    25 for negotiations and when he put down his arms so that

  150. 1 you could talk, that you personally jumped at him and

    2 grabbed him; is that correct?

    3 A. No, that is not correct.

    4 Q. Is it true that you brought Zvonko Rajic to

    5 the building of the local community and used your

    6 pistol and shot at his upper right leg?

    7 A. That is not true. Zvonko Rajic was already

    8 dead when I arrived on the spot. I said that earlier

    9 on. Please. I am a professional soldier who has been

    10 in many battlefields of Bosnia-Herzegovina --

    11 Q. Yes. You're a witness here, so please answer

    12 my questions. You were a soldier in the war. Is it

    13 true that you shot at the other foot --

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you are a witness, I must

    15 remind you, and I will remind you of the rules, that

    16 you can refuse to answer a question if you think it

    17 could incriminate you. But the Chamber needs to know a

    18 certain number of things and provides all the

    19 guarantees to you. That being so, the Judges wish to

    20 hear your version of events.

    21 Mr. Nobilo, rephrase your question.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. Mr. Patkovic, is it true that you killed

    24 Zvonko Rajic and emptied your pistol into him?

    25 A. No.

  151. 1 Q. Is it true that an HVO soldier, Dragan Rados,

    2 you pointed your pistol at him, the pistol clicked, but

    3 there were no bullets in there, and then you said to

    4 him, "You're free. Allah," or God, "has saved you."

    5 Is that true?

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. I would like to ask my learned friend

    8 Mr. Hayman to read a statement that Their Honours have

    9 heard here in the courtroom and then I will ask you my

    10 question.

    11 MR. HAYMAN: Reporter's transcript, page

    12 14940, line 20:

    13 Q How did he tell you that?

    14 A When Patkovic came, I was sitting, and

    15 he said, "See, Zvonko took care of his

    16 family, and he left you to be killed by

    17 us." And a friend of mine, a lady,

    18 said, "That is not true. Zvonko did not

    19 take care of his family at all. His

    20 wife and child are here." He looked at

    21 me, he sat down, he sat on a table

    22 there, perhaps this was about half a

    23 metre away from me, and he said,

    24 "Mrs. Rajic, I can describe your

    25 husband now, what he's wearing." I was

  152. 1 looking at him, and I really felt lost.

    2 I wondered why he was telling me all of

    3 this. He described my husband, that he

    4 had a helmet on his head, that he had a

    5 flak jacket on, that he had a Skorpio,

    6 that he had a camouflage jacket, like

    7 all other soldiers, and he said that he

    8 fired an entire round into his head and

    9 that afterwards they committed a

    10 massacre.

    11 Q You mean over your husband's body?

    12 A Yes, that is what I meant ...

    13 MR. NOBILO:

    14 Q. The witness, in this court under oath, like

    15 you are now, said this. Did you describe to the

    16 witness her husband in this way? Did you say this?

    17 A. No, I never said anything like that nor did I

    18 do that. How could I say something I hadn't done?

    19 Q. The same witness, in continuation of her

    20 testimony, described how you came to talk to them and

    21 to amuse them; and then after a time, you took a man

    22 out, a shot would be heard, and he would be dead.

    23 After that, you would come back again, and again you

    24 would talk to them, try to change the subject, and in

    25 this way, you took out one man after another. Is that

  153. 1 true?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. What do you think, generally speaking, a

    4 woman who loses her husband, what could be her motive

    5 to falsely accuse anyone? What would be her motive?

    6 A. I don't know that and I wouldn't speculate

    7 about anybody's motives. I know what I did or, rather,

    8 what I didn't do, and what she said is a lie.

    9 Q. How would you comment on the fact that that

    10 witness, sitting where you are sitting now, recognised

    11 the killer of her husband, knew on the basis of a

    12 photograph published in the Bosnian newspaper? Can you

    13 comment on that?

    14 A. How can I comment on somebody -- would you

    15 repeat the question, please?

    16 Q. She recognised you on a photograph published

    17 in the newspaper just then when she was testifying

    18 here, and this was your first interview after the war,

    19 and seeing that photograph, she recognised you as the

    20 killer of her husband. So she even recognised your

    21 face, not only your name. How would you interpret

    22 that?

    23 A. I don't know nor can I interpret it in any

    24 way one way or another. I am saying that that is a

    25 lie, I didn't do that, nor were there any objective

  154. 1 circumstances enabling me to do that. The conflicts

    2 occurred before I arrived, Mr. Rajic was already dead,

    3 and that woman, or that witness, I never saw her nor

    4 did I talk to her.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Will you please proceed to

    6 another type of question? We have about fifteen or

    7 twenty minutes.

    8 I must remind you that this is not a trial of

    9 Mr. Patkovic. On the other hand, it is quite normal

    10 for you to ask questions to illustrate the credibility

    11 or non-credibility of the witness in connection with

    12 the charges against Colonel Blaskic. But I must remind

    13 you that this is not a trial of Colonel Patkovic. It

    14 was in response to the wishes of the Judges that the

    15 witnesses come, and he has come to talk about the 7th

    16 Muslim Brigade, and, of course, you have every right to

    17 know what that brigade did in the context of your

    18 defence strategy. So please proceed, Mr. Nobilo.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.

    20 Actually, I'm almost done. I have one more question.

    21 Q. Was an investigation conducted about this

    22 crime in the 7th Brigade or any other war crime

    23 committed by the 7th Muslim Brigade ever?

    24 A. The 7th Muslim Brigade did not commit crimes,

    25 and while I was commander of the brigade, after every

  155. 1 operation, it was analysed by the command, and the 7th

    2 Muslim Brigade did not commit crimes. It was the most

    3 honourable brigade of the BH army. People joined it

    4 wholeheartedly, respecting all international norms,

    5 respect of ethics, belief in God and man. So this is

    6 simply a fabrication and I don't understand it.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Those things are not being

    8 imputed by Mr. Nobilo. I must remind you that

    9 Mr. Nobilo is not the Prosecutor. What does interest

    10 us, however, is whether you are testifying falsely or

    11 whether the witness herself, who came here a few months

    12 ago, was testifying falsely. This could be the object

    13 of an investigation because there are procedures for

    14 perjury.

    15 Nothing is being alleged here. Mr. Nobilo is

    16 defending an accused and he needs to investigate

    17 certain facts, and I told Mr. Nobilo that he should

    18 stop regarding that particular point.

    19 Mr. Nobilo, have you any further questions?

    20 MR. NOBILO: No, Mr. President, because you

    21 have heard sufficient about what the Defence considers

    22 to be crimes by the 7th Muslim Brigade. Wherever they

    23 appeared, there were massive crimes, and I wouldn't

    24 like to tire this Chamber with further testimony of

    25 this kind.

  156. 1 JUDGE JORDA: You are not tiring us, you are

    2 not abusing our time. This is all part of the Blaskic

    3 trial, and the Judges are here to hear the Defence case

    4 as well as the Prosecution case as well as what the

    5 accused may have to tell us.

    6 Let me turn to my colleagues now. Judge

    7 Shahabuddeen? No questions.

    8 Judge Rodrigues, have you any questions?


    10 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Rodrigues has the floor

    11 Questioned by the Court:

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel Patkovic, in the

    13 7th Brigade, was there any kind of special discipline

    14 or anything like that? You said that the 7th Brigade

    15 was different in relation to all the other brigades.

    16 What did that difference consist of?

    17 A. It was different in relation to other

    18 brigades because it was more responsible in executing

    19 its tasks. All tasks assigned to us were carried out

    20 on time. And within the system of control and command,

    21 when you have a brigade of that kind, we were a pillar

    22 of support for everyone. We were a brigade that showed

    23 professionalism from the very beginning in executing

    24 its tasks, on the ground, in the barracks, when going

    25 on leave, and in every other respect.

  157. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Because of its special

    2 tasks, there was a special training and discipline or

    3 not?

    4 A. No, nothing special, no special training,

    5 that did not exist, but as for special discipline,

    6 according to the rules in the armed forces of Bosnia

    7 and Herzegovina, there were disciplinary regulations

    8 for soldiers of units. They could not drink alcohol,

    9 and in that respect, measures were very strict.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Regarding the training of

    11 the 7th Brigade, were there training camps?

    12 A. The training centres existed within the

    13 framework of units within the corps. All the training

    14 centres in the corps were training centres for the

    15 brigade, and within the framework of battalions and

    16 other units, we just had practice, drill. Since a

    17 manoeuvring brigade is on the ground, one company

    18 would stay in reserve for additional training of new

    19 recruits because we were reinforcing units because of

    20 losses in battle, and all the training centres were

    21 those that existed within the 3rd Corps of the BH

    22 army.

    23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: It was the 7th Muslim

    24 Brigade by name. Why this name? Why was it called the

    25 7th Muslim Brigade?

  158. 1 A. I didn't name it, so I really couldn't answer

    2 that question.

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: When you arrived, the name

    4 already existed?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But was there a 6th or an

    7 8th Muslim Brigade or only this particular brigade had

    8 this qualification of "Muslim"?

    9 A. No, there were other Muslim brigades. There

    10 was the 4th within the 4th Corps --

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I'm sorry for interrupting

    12 you, Colonel. So there were other brigades that were

    13 called the 4th Muslim Brigade, for instance?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Something else now. Did

    16 international organisations visit the brigade or not?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Which organisations visited

    19 your brigade?

    20 A. While I was brigade commander, members of

    21 SFOR came, I know that for sure, I think from the

    22 Spanish Battalion, that's as far as I can recollect,

    23 and all the other organisations that came would visit

    24 the brigade, just as they did all other units, through

    25 the corps or directly to the brigade, but they did

  159. 1 come.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You said that while you

    3 were commander, that means after April 1994?

    4 A. Before that too, but I can't talk on behalf

    5 of someone else because I was not so familiar with

    6 things because I spent most of my time on the ground.

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Something else. The

    8 uniforms worn by the members of this brigade, were they

    9 the same as those worn by members of other brigades or

    10 were they different?

    11 A. They were absolutely the same as the others.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Because somebody told us

    13 that the uniforms of the 7th Brigade differed, that

    14 they were white with other accessories that other

    15 brigades did not have.

    16 A. Some white uniforms were covers, white

    17 covers, but they were used by other brigades as well.

    18 They were white covers worn over camouflage uniforms

    19 because of the winter, and during parades, these white

    20 uniforms would sometimes be worn. They were covers,

    21 really, for the line-up of brigades, for ceremonial

    22 events, and so on.

    23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, but we received

    24 information that members of the brigade most of the

    25 time were dressed in white with a green bandanna around

  160. 1 their heads, so that is not true?

    2 A. That was only for ceremonies. Some members

    3 would be dressed in that way but not all. But in

    4 military terms, it would be absurd for soldiers to go

    5 into combat in white uniform because they are highly

    6 visible then.

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But you admit that this

    8 kind of clothing may have been used for certain

    9 ceremonies?

    10 A. That was used by other units as well. I

    11 don't know if you're aware of the parade of the 3rd

    12 Corps. All units were differently dressed. This was

    13 specific to each brigade. Each brigade, in addition to

    14 the insignia of the corps, which had to be indicated on

    15 the uniform, the emblem of the brigade could have been

    16 worn. That was according to the regulations of the BH

    17 army.

    18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: How could people

    19 distinguish the 7th Brigade members from another

    20 brigade?

    21 A. On the ground, it was very difficult. One

    22 could not tell the difference. There were no

    23 differences, actually, because many soldiers

    24 transferred from the 7th to the 303rd and vice versa;

    25 they were the same men. But an image developed of the

  161. 1 7th Brigade because of the successes it had on the

    2 ground. It was a brigade that fully executed its

    3 tasks. In the system of defence, we were invincible,

    4 and as for all other tasks, we fulfilled them

    5 completely.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But when a brigade was

    7 engaged in combat operations, there were no insignia or

    8 anything else to identify it?

    9 A. No. Perhaps on the uniform, somebody would

    10 wear the brigade emblem but nothing that was

    11 particularly conspicuous and that distinguished it from

    12 others, no.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So a person could recognise

    14 the presence of the 7th Brigade by the consequences of

    15 its actions only. I'm sorry. You said that people

    16 recognised the 7th Brigade because it was very

    17 effective, it accomplished its missions well, and that

    18 is how people recognised the 7th.

    19 A. No, no, I wasn't talking about recognition in

    20 that way. I said that it created an image about that

    21 brigade, but, in fact, it was no different than the

    22 other brigades. There wasn't any major difference.

    23 But in the stories circulating, I remember when I took

    24 over as commander, 400 men from my brigade were

    25 transferred to another brigade, and I had fresh

  162. 1 reinforcements because we became a manoeuvring

    2 brigade. So they couldn't be recognised on the ground,

    3 but there was more rumour about it than there was real

    4 fact behind this recognition.

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, but one says, when one

    6 sees the smoke, there must be a fire, but in relation

    7 to the participation of foreign members, were there any

    8 members of the 7th Brigade who came from abroad?

    9 A. No. No. No.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: If I ask you more

    11 specifically, were there any Mujahedin, people known as

    12 Mujahedin, public opinion made this up, that there were

    13 Mujahedin in the 7th Muslim Brigade; is that what

    14 you're saying?

    15 A. Allow me to clarify. There were members of

    16 the 7th Muslim Brigade, a small number of them, who

    17 wore beards, so this would be designated in a platoon,

    18 and then when they saw somebody from another unit, they

    19 would say, "There's a Mujahedin." But, no, there were

    20 no Mujahedins in our brigade during the time I was

    21 commander of battalion and commander of the brigade.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel, who financed the

    23 7th Brigade?

    24 A. The corps, the 3rd Corps of the BH army.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Only? Only the 3rd Corps?

  163. 1 A. According to the system of distribution of

    2 resources, the 3rd Corps of the BH army, and for the

    3 rest, we managed somehow to get some resources from

    4 other sources. I never received a salary.

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: What about the Islamic

    6 Centre?

    7 A. The Islamic Centre is a humanitarian

    8 organisation, and before I took over as brigade

    9 commander and before I joined the brigade, people who

    10 used to work in the organisation of the army, and

    11 through the Muslim forces, they worked in the Islamic

    12 Centre, so there was some kind of a connection between

    13 them. But in the system of control and command and

    14 deployment of the brigade and the financing and

    15 everything, it had nothing to do with it.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Colonel.

    17 I have no further questions, Mr. President.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Rodrigues. I

    19 think that we have finished, Colonel. I have one

    20 question only for you.

    21 In view of what happened in Dusina, you abide

    22 by what you said under oath today, don't you?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Thank you for

    25 coming. At the end of the day, I should like to stress

  164. 1 once again, and I say that on behalf of my colleagues,

    2 that I'm appreciative of the cooperation of your

    3 government which has contributed to the good

    4 functioning of the International Criminal Tribunal in

    5 summoning the witnesses, the group of witnesses of

    6 which you are a member. Don't move, Colonel, for the

    7 moment.

    8 Mr. Fourmy, I think we meet again on Tuesday

    9 at 2.30, don't we, at 2.00 or 2.30?

    10 MR. FOURMY: Yes, Mr. President. Perhaps we

    11 could ask the Defence what their plan is.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Fourmy. You

    13 think of everything.

    14 Mr. Hayman, Tuesday afternoon, are we going

    15 to have your witnesses, character witnesses?

    16 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, good afternoon.

    17 We have cleared Tuesday afternoon with two of the three

    18 witnesses in terms of their professional calendars.

    19 We're working with the Registrar's office to get visas

    20 for those two, and we expect them to be here. If there

    21 is some problem, perhaps there is a contact on Monday,

    22 I know Monday is -- is Monday a holiday? It may be a

    23 holiday. If the court is open on Monday, obviously, if

    24 there is any problem, we will inform your staff

    25 properly, but we expect two --

  165. 1 JUDGE JORDA: No, it is open Monday, but we

    2 cannot have hearings, at least as far as I'm concerned,

    3 so the hearing is for Tuesday, 2.30, and, of course, we

    4 hope to have your witnesses. If, by any chance, I

    5 address Mr. Fourmy, if we don't have those witnesses,

    6 could we perhaps examine the exhibits, whose destiny is

    7 still uncertain?

    8 Mr. Prosecutor, would that be possible, to

    9 take advantage of the afternoon for that, Mr. Harmon?

    10 MR. HARMON: Yes, it will be. Thank you.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will now

    12 adjourn. Mr. Fourmy? Thank you, Mr. Fourmy.

    13 We are sitting on Tuesday at 2.00 p.m., from

    14 2.00 to 6.00. I say that for the benefit of my

    15 colleagues, but let me see if they agree first. Judge

    16 Shahabuddeen, do you agree? Judge Rodrigues? Yes.

    17 Very well. Thank you. The hearing is adjourned.

    18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    19 5.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

    20 the 15th day of June, 1999, at 2.00 p.m.