1 Thursday, 29 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Brdjanin. Do I take it that you
12 can follow the proceedings in a language that you can understand?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MS. KORNER: Reluctantly as it's a holiday everywhere else,
17 Joanna Korner and Denise Gustin, case manager.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you. Appearances
19 for the Defence.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honours. David Cunningham,
21 Barbara Baruch, we're assisted today by Vesna Anic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you too. So let's
23 proceed. Madam Baruch.
24 MS. BARUCH: Thank you. May it please the court. And I will try
25 and please Ms. Korner as well with brevity in my continued
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Why Ms. Korner?
3 MS. BARUCH: Because she was upset about the holiday, working on a
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. We all are.
6 MS. KORNER: Unfortunately, I still have to stay at work even
7 after court is finished.
8 MS. BARUCH: I'm sorry.
9 For the court, Ms. Korner handed to me, and I believe has a copy
10 for the court of the article which she believes that Mr. Osmanovic was
11 referring to yesterday, and I would like to establish that with
12 Mr. Osmanovic. I don't believe that the bailiff has -- do you have a copy
13 of it as well?
14 MS. KORNER: No. Your Honour, we'll hand them out now. I was
15 going to use it in re-examination, but I let Ms. Baruch know that we found
16 what we think is the article.
17 MS. BARUCH: And for the record, I don't mind if it gets an OTP
18 exhibit number. In fact, I usually prefer working from OTP exhibits. But
19 I think for the record we need an exhibit number, so I will wait for one
20 from the registry.
21 MS. KORNER: By our records, 1891.
22 MS. BARUCH: So it is now Prosecution Exhibit P1891. Do I have
23 that right?
24 MS. KORNER: It is.
25 MS. BARUCH: Thank you.
1 MS. KORNER: Sorry. Your Honour, can I say it again? It's 1959.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
3 MS. BARUCH: I was just giving Mr. Osmanovic an opportunity to
4 review P1959.
5 WITNESS: ADIL OSMANOVIC [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Cross-examined by Ms. Baruch: [Continued]
8 Q. Have you reviewed it, Mr. Osmanovic?
9 A. The document is rather large. It's a big document, so ...
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if it helps, it may help the witness.
11 It's number 14 on the list that he needs to look at.
12 MS. BARUCH: I understand that that will be his particular number,
13 but he I think deserves the opportunity to review it in its entirety,
14 because I will question him about it.
15 Q. Are you through, Mr. Osmanovic? And by the way, good morning.
16 A. Good morning to you too.
17 Q. Is this the article you were talking about yesterday, the
18 newspaper article that contained the list of names?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. And even before you saw this list, I think you were telling
21 the Court that you had received some gossip or hearsay, some rumour about
22 this list from other people. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And from whom did you hear about the list?
25 A. I heard this from my friends.
1 Q. Can I have some names, please.
2 A. Those friends who had heard it from their Serbian friends.
3 Q. So at the time you heard about it, it did not come from one person
4 directly; it came from someone who told it to a Serb, who told it to a
5 friend of yours. Is that right?
6 A. A friend of mine who spoke to his Serbian friend who had had an
7 opportunity to personally see this list.
8 Q. Okay. And the friend, the name of the friend who reported it to
9 you was what?
10 A. I can't tell you that.
11 Q. I just need to understand something. When you say "I can't tell
12 you," are you trying to tell me you cannot remember?
13 A. No. I can't put people into an awkward position.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This has come up on previous occasions, and
15 the rule that we have followed is that if the Trial Chamber is convinced
16 or satisfied that this is so, the witness would be exempted from revealing
17 the name.
18 MS. BARUCH: Let me just understand it, Judge. I'm not disputing
19 that's your ruling. But that would mean that the Defence could not speak
20 with that particular person?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MS. BARUCH: Okay. Let me ask another question, then,
23 Mr. Osmanovic.
24 Q. Without revealing that name, although for the record, I would like
25 it --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I am not yet satisfied that we are exactly
2 there as yet. So I want to know from the witness -- I mean, I expect you
3 to put further question: Why would such a person be exposed to danger?
4 What nationality is he or what ethnicity is he? And where does he live?
5 And why would he be in danger? I'm saying he. It could be she. I mean,
6 I'm sorry if I'm using gender discriminate language.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will explain, if necessary.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I decided to come here and testify
10 in an open session. A number of people who suffered torture, who were
11 detained in concentration camps, who were mistreated, who were raped - I'm
12 talking about females - simply do not want to -- they don't have the
13 courage to come here and testify about the situations they went through,
14 for various reasons, one of them being the fact that they either already
15 returned to Teslic or they still intend to return there. My friends who
16 told me about the existence of the list containing the names of Bosniaks
17 and Croats, compiled by the Crisis Staff of Teslic municipality, they
18 asked me not to identify the Serb who was at that moment in a very
19 important position, because that person could be in danger. That person's
20 safety and the safety of his family could be endangered. I can give you a
21 very specific example to illustrate that.
22 The owner of this independent newspaper decided to --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That you told us yesterday.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to in any event object to the
25 relevance of the question, as to why it's necessary for the witness to
1 give the name of the person who told him that this list was in existence.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But the witness said that he was aware of this list
3 before it was ever published in this newspaper.
4 MS. KORNER: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So obviously the question that has been put is to
6 test his credibility as to that, whether this was -- what he's telling us
7 was information that he received when he actually saw it in the paper or
8 it's true that he received the information at the time by a Serb. So this
9 is why. But I am not going to allow the -- or allow the witness to reveal
10 the name of his informer. So we might as well proceed with the next
12 MS. BARUCH: My next question was going to be with regard to the
13 particular Serb who claims that he saw it. And I believe his response
14 would go directly to my next question as well. But I think it's very
15 important, as he has attributed a source for this list, that would be very
16 surprising and unusual --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We have had Serb witnesses coming over here.
18 MS. BARUCH: Not that it was a Serb who started the information
19 travelling, but the source of the list I think is very important. And if
20 you let me, I'll just ask Mr. Osmanovic --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, go ahead. I'm not restricting you in any
22 way. But I will protect the identity of people who might possibly be in
23 danger, given the circumstances surrounding the activities and events that
24 we are dealing with.
25 MS. BARUCH:
1 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, it was generally, in 1992, and I think you said you
2 learned of this list in May of 1992, a time of battles, quite close to the
3 area of Teslic, and strong feelings and aggressive feelings on both sides;
4 would you agree?
5 A. I don't understand. Both sides. What do you mean?
6 Q. Well, there were suspicions in terms of those people who wanted to
7 secede from the former Yugoslavia and those people who wanted to remain
8 within the former Yugoslavia. They were suspicious of each other; would
9 you not agree with that?
10 A. At that moment, Yugoslavia was not at the limelight. The question
11 of survival for common people in Teslic was not that important. On the
12 one hand, there were Bosniaks and Croats who saw what was going on. They
13 were disarmed, and the only possibility they had was to organise
14 themselves. On the other hand, you had people of other ethnicity who
15 controlled police, the army, and the paramilitary units, and the only
16 thing that Bosniaks and Croats had in mind was how to resolve the
17 situation peacefully, how to avoid bloodshed. Nobody paid much attention
18 to the survival of Yugoslavia. The main focus was how to survive, how to
19 protect the safety of one's family and one's own safety.
20 Q. Well, I disagree with your analysis that nobody was concerned with
21 the survival of the former Yugoslavia. It appears to me that you're
22 answering a different question than I asked, and I'll try to make it more
23 simple for you.
24 The non-Serbs at the time were very suspicious of Serbs in the
25 area of Teslic; would you agree with that?
1 A. Primarily, they lost confidence in the Serbs who held offices in
2 the police, in the army, and in the civilian structures of authority.
3 Q. And will you agree with me as well that the civilian structures of
4 the municipality were also suspicious of the motives of non-Serbs in the
6 A. I wouldn't know that.
7 Q. So it would be your position here in Court that the Serbs were
8 very trusting and confident that the non-Serbs in the area --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] He didn't say that. He
10 said he doesn't know.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. Microphone for the Presiding Judge.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. He said he doesn't know. He won't answer for
13 the Serb side. That's the message.
14 MS. BARUCH: Okay.
15 Q. So when you see a list like this, a list that now has the exhibit
16 number P1959, do you not recognise it as some kind of security report with
17 regard to famous and important non-Serbs who would have been residing in
18 the area of Teslic, about whom Serbs may have been suspicious?
19 A. Madam, I don't know what you mean when you say "safety." Here,
20 one could talk about the security organs paying a lot of attention to the
21 safety of people and that they did make a list of the people that may have
22 been suspicious. However, the organs that were in charge of security in
23 Teslic municipality should have also listed Serbs. What raises concern is
24 the fact that the people who are here on the list, over 90 per cent of
25 them are people who are held in the highest esteem among the Bosniaks.
1 Those are businessmen, teachers, professors, people in a very high esteem
2 who had never had any problems with the law before.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yesterday you had my full admiration for answering
4 the question, the whole question, and nothing but the question. Today you
5 are answering anything but the question. Please stick to the questions
6 that are put to you and try to answer them simply, in simple terms. The
7 question, if I were to rephrase it myself, is a very simple one.
8 Looking at this list and taking that it did exist at the time that
9 we are being told that it did, wouldn't that mean that the Serb
10 authorities had the suspicion that the people -- the persons appearing on
11 this list constituted a threat to the security of the Serbian people?
12 This is the question. That therefore, there was no trust or there was
13 lack of trust between -- from the Serbian side vis-a-vis the Croat and
15 MS. BARUCH: May I just add one thing to that, Your Honour?
16 Because, for example, in number 29, they say "quiet, not prominent, and so
17 far still a loyal citizen." And for I think at least one or two others,
18 they say similar things. And so my feeling is it would be a list of
19 people who are non-Serbs that they felt were important to know what they
20 were up to.
21 MS. KORNER: I'm very sorry, but whatever Mr. Baruch is feeling is
22 neither here nor there.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Ms. Korner. So objection -- let him
24 answer the question as I rephrased it, and then if you want you ask him
25 further questions, but first he tells me whether he agrees that this list
1 basically means that the Serbian authorities did not trust or had their
2 own suspicion on the persons appearing on this list.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Crisis Staff, which
4 compiled the list, probably thought that these persons on the list might
5 present a certain threat.
6 MS. BARUCH:
7 Q. Fair enough, Mr. Osmanovic. And now I would direct your attention
8 to number 29, and then on page 5 in the second list, number 2 and number 3
9 and number 4, there are also people on the list who it would be indicated
10 in some manner or other would not pose a threat to the Serbs in official
11 position in Teslic. Would you agree with that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And so yesterday, when you imputed the sinister meaning to the
14 list having been written, you said there were people to be killed, people
15 to be interrogated, people to be abused. I see no sign on that list that
16 anyone on it should be liquidated. And if you disagree with that, can you
17 point me to the area of this list that leads you to disagreement.
18 A. Well, you see, if you start from number 4, the copy of Nezavisne
19 Novine says Rasim Galijasevic. It says peacemaker, did a great deal to
20 pacify Muslims, enjoys great prestige, a negotiator with the SDA in
21 Tesanj. Have you found him?
22 Q. Yes. Number 4 in the second part of the list. Thank you. Is
23 that what leads you --
24 A. I'll repeat. It says: Peacemaker. Rasim Galijasevic ended up in
25 a camp and we do not know what happened to this peacemaker to this day.
1 Q. Now, my question was not with regard to what happened to the
2 people on the list, but you said that the list was devised by the Crisis
3 Staff for liquidation. And I just want to make sure that we can agree on
4 at least one basic thing about this list: This list does not indicate in
5 any way that a person should be liquidated, does it?
6 A. I said that the Crisis Staff had compiled a list of prominent
7 Muslims, Bosniaks, and Croats, and it was thought that some people should
8 be liquidated, some detained, some deported, and I said it accurately
9 yesterday. And it is quite easy to understand that the Crisis Staff, in
10 the written documents, could not really put liquidate against this or some
11 other name or who should be killed.
12 Q. Thank you. But you see, Mr. Osmanovic, it's my job to find out,
13 when you make a statement with regard to liquidation, whether that was
14 something you concluded or you thought other people were thinking, or if
15 the list itself said it, and that's why I've questioned you about it
16 today, okay? So can we agree here in Court today that the list that
17 existed, which by the way does not - and tell me if I'm wrong - it does
18 not say anything about preparation by the Crisis Staff itself. That list
19 did not say to liquidate anybody. Can we agree about that? I think we
20 do; right?
21 A. That's right, in this document.
22 Q. Okay. And what about my subquestion, which was about the Crisis
23 Staff? This particular list does not indicate that anybody created it as
24 part of the official functioning that is compiled by the Crisis Staff, and
25 point out any place where you believe that I'm incorrect about it, that it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 says it on the document.
2 A. Well, I can say that the introduction to this text says with
3 sketches of portraits of eminent Bosniaks and Croats from the area about
4 whom the party leaders have established that they pose a threat to the
5 Serb people.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Baruch, may I just point out to you the
7 title of this report, which, according to the English translation that I
8 have, says that one of the criteria used by the people who compiled the
9 execution lists was the colour of ceramic tiles in bathrooms, all
10 distinguished non-Serbs in Teslic were targeted. So the witness is not
11 the only one who has come to the conclusion that this was indeed an
12 execution list, in case you want to ask a question.
13 MS. BARUCH: Well, Your Honour, I'm sorry. I come from a
14 jurisdiction where newspapers are distrusted, and I have a feeling that --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Me too.
16 MS. BARUCH: -- that Mr. Osmanovic - and the author is blank, at
17 least on my English copy - could not speak for -- or perhaps he does know.
18 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, do you know who the reporter was, the person who
19 created the story?
20 A. Yesterday in my presentation I said that I had heard about such a
21 list and that I had never seen it, I mean not in its original, that I only
22 saw it in the Nezavisne Novine.
23 Q. The question is: Do you know who the writer, the author of this
24 was? Okay. So we have an unknown author from a newspaper.
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: Can I interrupt? If it helps Ms. Baruch, I know
2 exactly, because we've got the whole series of articles, how this was
3 written and who wrote it. And indeed the witness alluded to it yesterday
4 which is why knew where to go and look.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: My intervention, Ms. Korner, very simply put was
6 Ms. Baruch was presenting the witness with a kind of surprise that he was
7 drawing the conclusion that this was a hit list or an execution list. And
8 she was suggesting that there is nothing on the face of the document
9 itself that indicated that -- or actually I was just pointing out that
10 the headline itself considers this list as an execution list. And I
11 pointed that out in case she wanted to put further questions.
12 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, I accept. I'm not sure we're
13 pursuing this with much success. It doesn't say it on the list. It's
14 just a list.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The only relevance -- the reason why I'm
16 allowing this series of questions is the following: Because it may be
17 important to establish whether it's true that this list existed at the
18 time of the Crisis Staff, that is, in May of 1992, or whether it's just a
19 fabrication that came up later and the witness is saying that he knew
20 about it before. So this is basically it, and you will appreciate that I
21 as a judge, I have to behave in this manner.
22 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] I do.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Ms. Korner, please.
24 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. Your Honours are unaware because it
25 hasn't been handed up. We have an original of this list.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't know that.
2 MS. KORNER: Exactly. Handwritten, and I was going to put it
3 in -- it was given to Ms. Baruch and she hasn't got it yet. Because
4 there's no suggestion the witness ever saw it before but it is here and
5 I'm going to put in.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Ms. Baruch.
8 MS. BARUCH:
9 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, did you ever see a handwritten list from which this
10 typed or printed list was printed?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he told us yesterday that he never saw the
13 MS. BARUCH: Fine.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Told about it.
15 MS. BARUCH: Okay.
16 Q. Later on you became president of a War Presidency in Tesanj?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. As the war president, did you have someone who was in charge of
19 security information, of investigating what was going on and reporting to
20 you important facts that might affect the security of your war president
21 or your presidency or your cause? Did you have such people?
22 A. No.
23 Q. People were not giving you intelligence information when you were
24 the president of the War Presidency in Tesanj?
25 A. Yesterday I explained what was the role of the War Presidency
1 which didn't have territory of its own. We were primarily responsible for
2 assisting the civilian population in various humanitarian actions,
3 coordinating it with the Red Cross, Merhamet, and so on and so forth.
4 Our duty was also to provide coordination for people expelled from Teslic
5 with other municipalities, that is, with Tesanj, Maglaj, and see that they
6 be accommodated there. As a War Presidency, we were not a presidency
7 which had a territory of its own.
8 Q. Yes. I understand that you didn't have your own territory. But
9 what you have just said ignores what you wrote on page 10 of your original
10 statement with regard to -- I'm sorry. The date of this statement
11 being -- I don't want to get confused with the way we write dates. Was
12 that July 12th of 2000? In which you explained that the War Presidency
13 organised those who fled from Teslic municipality and also formed a
14 military unit consisting of 1.000 people. So you were not merely involved
15 in social action and social welfare of the refugees; you were also
16 involved in military matters, weren't you?
17 A. We helped bodies which were responsible for mobilisation, because
18 there was the civilian population from the municipality of Teslic and we
19 helped them to become incorporated in our brigade.
20 Q. Okay. So using more clear language, you organised combatants.
21 And for that purpose, didn't you also gather intelligence with regard to
22 what was going on in the area of Teslic?
23 A. The information that I received came, by and large, from people
24 who, at different times, came from the territory of the Teslic
25 municipality, that is, through exchanges, and they talked to me and told
1 me about things that were going on in that area.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I'm getting a little bit
3 irritated now.
4 Please try to answer the question. And I know that you are in a
5 position to answer the question. The question was not whether you, as
6 president of this War Presidency, received information from refugees
7 arriving from Teslic, but whether the War Presidency itself, once that you
8 admit in your statement that it also formed a military unit consisting of
9 1.000 people, whether you stand by your statement that it did not have an
10 intelligence-gathering organisation within it or that it didn't have the
11 usual net of informers that kept it going. It's being put to you that it
12 is very unlikely and hardly credible that a War Presidency that also forms
13 a military unit and organises the people who fled from Teslic would do so
14 without having within its fold, within its organisation, an
15 intelligence-gathering section.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, then I have to repeat those
17 things. Yes, we were a War Presidency, appointed by the presidency of the
18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we were duty-bound to provide the
19 continuity of authority in a way, but we didn't have the jurisdiction,
20 such as was exercised by those war presidencies which had their own
22 MS. BARUCH: I will continue, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, you said that you spoke with, or sometimes we use
24 the word "debrief." You spoke with refugees from Teslic, and my question
25 to you is: Did you write down reports with regard to what they told you?
1 A. I did not.
2 Q. Did you direct them to somebody else who would debrief them and
3 write a written report with regard to what they told you?
4 A. That part of work was done by the public security station in
6 Q. Thank you. And you were familiar with the public security section
7 in Tesanj, and they kept such records; is that correct?
8 A. I guess so.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One question: Was the public security department in
10 this town represented on the War Presidency or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
12 MS. BARUCH:
13 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm interested a little bit in this army that you
14 said consisted of a thousand men, of refugees from Teslic. It would seem
15 to me that you must have had help from an outside force. I mean, you
16 couldn't have done that solely with refugees from Teslic, did you, or the
17 people you worked with?
18 A. Help with what?
19 Q. Help with manpower, with money, with gathering weapons. Did you
20 have assistance from an outside source with that?
21 A. A considerable number of our people who had been expelled from
22 Teslic turned up abroad, in Germany, or here in the Netherlands, and they
23 organised their homeland clubs to help. So they helped the War Presidency
24 to meet, as best it could, the civilian needs of the population.
25 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... I'm talking about the
1 civilian needs. Now I'm talking about the military needs. Did you have
2 assistance with money and guns and intelligence, for example, from -- I
3 think it's called the ABiH, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or the army
4 from Croatia, or by fighters from other countries, from other Muslim
5 countries? Did you have that kind of assistance with this brigade of a
6 thousand men?
7 A. The brigade or in the early days the Territorial Defence of
8 Teslic, which then grew into 43rd Teslic Brigade, and it was part of the
9 system of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and incorporated
10 in the core operative group and so on.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Were the members of this military unit paid? Did
12 they receive remuneration to be part of the military unit? And if yes,
13 where did the money come from? That's number one.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Number two: Were they supplied with guns or with
16 weapons? And if they were, where did the weapons come from? Who supplied
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the early days, our unit had no
19 weapons at all, apart from a few hunting rifles. However, after the army
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina came of age and after some barracks of the
21 Yugoslav People's Army were blocked, such as those in Zenica or in Central
22 Bosnia, and then weapons began to arrive in our brigade too.
23 MS. BARUCH:
24 Q. So you got weapons in time as this organisation developed, and
25 you've told the Judge that none of the people were paid. I assume you
1 mean salaries. They were all volunteers, is that right, throughout the
2 time that it was organised?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: In the initial period, at least.
4 A. I've already answered that.
5 MS. BARUCH:
6 Q. Okay. I just wanted to know if I understood it correctly. What
7 about a place to live and food and care for their families? Was that the
8 social welfare programmes that the War Presidency was involved in, taking
9 care of those needs of the people who were in this thousand-man brigade?
10 Did you do that? Food, clothing, stuff like that.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. So money was not handed to them, but their needs were taken
13 care of?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Move ahead now.
15 MS. BARUCH: I am finished.
16 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, I have just a few more questions. One area is
17 about the Banja Luka alliance for the municipality of Teslic. Yesterday
18 you told us that in terms of health care, people went to medical
19 treatment, to Doboj, in the hospital of Doboj, and traditionally, that
20 association for Teslic was for -- was with Doboj, but that the new
21 government of Teslic wanted -- Mr. Perisic wanted and eventually the new
22 government of Teslic allied with Banja Luka. I'd like to explore that a
23 little bit with you. Banja Luka was about twice as big as Teslic, isn't
24 it, back in 1991/1992 -- as Doboj, sorry.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the financial arrangements, even in Bosnia-Herzegovina before
2 the wars broke out, those financial arrangements would -- for that entire
3 area, Doboj and Teslic and Banja Luka, they all went through Banja Luka
4 historically, didn't they?
5 A. After this, you mean?
6 Q. No. I'm talking about the primary centre for financial matters in
7 the region, went through Banja Luka, didn't they, even in 1990, as well as
9 A. No. Banja Luka was only a centre of a region, just as Doboj was
10 the centre of another region.
11 Q. Then perhaps I'm wrong, and you can correct me if I am. I thought
12 that the money, the financial arrangements for medical care, not the
13 hospitals, but the money for that, and the money for pensions and the
14 money for salaries would all travel through Banja Luka to get to Doboj, to
15 get to Teslic eventually. Isn't that correct?
16 A. Up to 1992, that is simply how it was not. You obviously ignore
17 the organisation of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time. Its
18 organisation was territorial. Teslic was under Doboj, and all the funds
19 from the public auditing service went through Doboj.
20 Q. When you say --
21 A. The public security --
22 Q. When you say "went through Doboj," do you mean it went from Banja
23 Luka to Doboj and then to Teslic? No? Okay. I just wanted to --
24 A. No, no, no, no, no. No, no.
25 Q. I accept your answer. In 1992, would you agree with me, after
1 April of 1992, the funds came through Banja Luka?
2 A. After that decision which was taken by the Municipal Assembly of
3 Teslic, yes.
4 Q. And in 1992, the road to Doboj was an unsafe road; that is, you
5 would have to go through the -- for a person from the Republic of Srpska,
6 you would have to go through areas controlled by armies aligned with the
7 BiH; isn't that correct?
8 A. You have -- you need to be more concrete. 1992, but which month?
9 Q. Well, let's talk about April of 1992, maybe even April 6th of
11 A. Right up until the 1st of May, 1st, 2nd, 3rd of May, the
12 Teslic/Doboj route was quite free and the traffic went unobstructed.
13 Q. So if we get to May 1st, at least then you will agree that there
14 was fighting in the area, that it was not easy to get between Teslic and
15 Tesanj, or Teslic and Doboj; that kind of movement was restricted. Isn't
16 that correct?
17 A. If you mean the decision of the 4th of April, taken by the Teslic
18 Municipal Assembly, at the time, the road was open and one could, after
19 the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of May, the Serb forces took over Doboj. Doboj was
20 completely under the Serb control.
21 Q. I'm not talking about whether or not Doboj was under Serb
22 control. I'm talking about the road, the road between Doboj and Teslic.
23 So in the summer of 1992 - we can start May 1st if you'd like - isn't it
24 correct that one could not travel easily and directly by the old direct
25 road between Teslic and Doboj?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And even when you left in April of 1992, you couldn't use the open
3 roads. There were checkpoints along the way, all along the way. People
4 would have stopped you, so you went through the woods, the forest, with a
5 guide; correct?
6 A. No. In April 1992, I was in Teslic.
7 Q. I'm sorry. When you left Teslic is what I was trying to direct
8 you to. I know you're very precise and I agree with it.
9 A. At that time, ten days was like ten years, believe me. I left on
10 the 26th of May, 1992. Let me just help you with that.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. When you left, it was impossible for
12 communication to Tesanj and you could not have gone directly to Doboj from
13 Teslic either; isn't that true?
14 A. Yes. That's what I have said. There were barricades on the road
15 towards Tesanj.
16 Q. Okay. I really just have two more areas and then I'm going to
17 turn you over to Ms. Korner.
18 I wanted to know about the turning in of weapons. Because I
19 looked at your answer from yesterday. You said: I got that pistol
20 legally from the secretary of the secretariat of National Defence, and I
21 had a permit for that weapon in my official capacity.
22 This is how I understand official capacity, Mr. Osmanovic, and it
23 may be the interpretation. Is it correct that you were given that pistol
24 and could hold it legally because you were secretary of the Municipal
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And so when you were no longer the secretary of the Municipal
3 Assembly, under that same reasoning, you had no official capacity and
4 still you continued to hold that pistol; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And just the last thing: You stated that in early May or late
7 April, Major Bosanac of the JNA Djulici barracks was replaced by Major
8 Dejan Bilanovic, also a JNA officer, who was also appointed as the
9 commander of the TO, and you added: This appointment had to be from a
10 high level of the JNA. Can you just tell me what you meant by that or why
11 you concluded that?
12 A. Both Bilanovic and Bosanac were professional officers of the JNA,
13 and it was only the JNA that had the authority to deploy them in a certain
14 area or to assign them to a new post.
15 Q. Thank you very much. I probably won't be able to speak with you
16 later, but I wish you a good journey back.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Baruch.
18 Ms. Korner, I suppose you have some questions.
19 MS. KORNER: I have a couple, Your Honour. Three, one of which
20 may take longer and I'm going to work backwards.
21 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
22 Q. The list that is shown in that newspaper, Mr. Osmanovic, I'd like
23 you -- it was put to you, and that's absolutely correct that the list
24 itself does not state that people are to be liquidated. But I want to go
25 through the people on that list and see if you can tell me what happened
1 to them. Can we start, please --
2 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour, I submit that that is not relevant to
3 the events of --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course it is relevant.
5 MS. BARUCH: -- the time that he has testified for because he
6 talked about the list as his motivation for leaving Teslic, and now they
7 are going into future events.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I disagree completely with you, Madam Baruch. What
9 we are talking about, you tried to contest the witness's judgement that
10 this was a hit list, and I myself was going to ask the same question that
11 has now been put by Ms. Korner, precisely because I want to get more
12 information from the witness to see whether he had -- could reasonably
13 have come to that conclusion. And the only way he could come to that
14 conclusion was either he was told that it was a hit list at the time, or
15 he can go through the list one by one and tell us whether any or how many
16 of these people were liquidated. Because the article also says which it
17 turns out the Mice paramilitary formation used as a kind of reference
18 point in June 1992. So I am going to allow the question. Of course if
19 you want to put on record your objection in more detail you are free to do
20 so. But I'm not only going to allow it but I was going to put it myself.
21 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour, I understand that you might -- it might
22 be relevant as to whether or not his thoughts on that occasion turned out
23 to be correct or not correct. However, with regard to his motivation for
24 leaving, it doesn't matter if his judgement was right or wrong. It
25 matters whether he made that judgement at that time. Now, he said he has
1 made that judgement, but if somebody died in 1993, it certainly would have
2 no relevance --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Baruch, there are two points which were made,
4 one which you have just referred to. The other one you tried to extract
5 from the witness's mouth a declaration that possibly he was wrong and he
6 had no reasonable ground on which to base his conclusion that this was a
7 hit list. Irrespective of whether he considered it a hit list at the time
8 he came to know about it, you contested his appreciation or his evaluation
9 of this list as being -- and described it as a hit list and you contested
10 that. You said there is nothing on the basis of which he could reach that
11 conclusion. And we have every, every responsibility to go through this
12 list now to see whether, even now, talking of the events 10 or 12 years
13 later, this was indeed a hit list. Because you contested that this was a
14 hit list.
15 MS. BARUCH: And this Court has also mentioned some men, Mice,
16 who I'm sure this Court is aware this witness was not in Teslic during
17 that time, and that's a whole other area that if he's going to be able to
18 explore, I would ask for the opportunity to explore Mice.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not going to ask him about Mice.
20 MS. BARUCH: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mice was mentioned in the article, not by the
22 witness or by me or -- I just referred to it because it's mentioned in the
24 Yes, Ms. Korner. Please proceed with the question, and if
25 possible, if necessary, we go through the list one by one. Because I
1 intended to do so.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I intend to do so and I intend to do so
3 without referring to the names, if possible.
4 Q. Could we go through that list, please, Mr. Osmanovic. Number 1:
5 Did you know him?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know what happened to him?
8 MS. BARUCH: We have a date here, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean, you have a date.
10 MS. BARUCH: May we have a date, if he knows what happened to the
11 man, the date.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MS. BARUCH: Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Give us as much detail as you can, Mr. Osmanovic, as
15 to what happened to this man or to this person, and when. I assume that
16 he couldn't have died or disappeared or anything happened to him before
17 this list was allegedly compiled, so we're talking from the period when,
18 according to you, this list was compiled.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. You can answer, Mr. Osmanovic.
21 A. Yes. Sunija Ahmetasevic was ill-treated in a camp. He was beaten
22 up. He was then exchanged. He now resides and works in Zenica.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous interpretation continues] ... where he
24 resides. Telling us that he was then exchanged is enough, and I don't
25 think we need to go beyond that and --
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Do you know when he was arrested and placed in a camp, roughly?
3 What year, I think is the best.
4 A. In 1992, in the month of June.
5 Q. Thank you. Number 2 on the list, the brother of the first.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What happened to him?
8 A. He resided in Stenjak and he left before this.
9 Q. Number 3?
10 A. I don't know this person.
11 Q. What about numbers 4 and 5?
12 A. Also went -- they went and they stayed in a camp for a while.
13 They were detained there and then they were ill-treated and then
15 Q. And again, the year?
16 A. June 1992.
17 Q. I think to say that only tell us the year if it's not 1992.
18 Number 6?
19 A. Do I need to read out the name or is -- should I simply say that I
20 don't know the person?
21 Q. You don't need to read out the name, and just say you don't know
22 the person if you don't.
23 A. I know the person. He is a Croat. He was also ill-treated in a
24 camp and he was exposed to tortures of all sorts. That was in 1992. He
25 managed to leave, and leave for Germany.
1 Q. Number 7?
2 A. I don't know what happened to this man.
3 Q. Number 8?
4 A. I don't know what happened to him either.
5 Q. 9?
6 A. As well.
7 Q. 10?
8 A. No, I don't know.
9 Q. 11?
10 A. He managed to leave in May 1992 and he arrived in Tesanj.
11 Q. Number 12?
12 A. This person was 70 when people were being arrested. He was in a
13 concentration camp during the Second World War. He was in a concentration
14 camp in 1992. He was ill-treated there and then he was exchanged. Again,
15 this was in 1992.
16 Q. Number 13 and number 16. I'm not quite sure why, but ...
17 A. Number 13, the person who managed to leave in early May 1992, left
18 the territory of Teslic. But here it says 13 and 16, but there is no
19 second name here.
20 Q. All right. Well, number 14 is you.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. This, when it was written, when the list was compiled, would that
23 have been before you went to Tesanj? Almost certainly, looking at the
25 A. According to the information that I received, this was before I
1 left Teslic municipality, and this was one of the reasons for which I
2 finally left it.
3 Q. All right. Number 15, did you know him?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Well, 16 -- number 17?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Or 18?
8 A. Yes, I know the person. He was my neighbour. He also managed to
9 leave in May 1992 and move to Tesanj.
10 Q. 19?
11 A. I don't know this person.
12 Q. 20?
13 A. Yes, I know him. He was detained in a camp, tortured, and managed
14 to be exchanged.
15 Q. 21?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. And 22?
18 A. I know him. In early May, this person left Teslic for Croatia.
19 That was in 1992.
20 MS. KORNER: I don't know whether Your Honour wants me to go on.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MS. KORNER: You do.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. I want to finish this list completely.
24 MS. KORNER: All right.
25 Q. 23?
1 A. Yes, I know him. This person was also detained in a camp, exposed
2 to torture, still suffers health problems. He was exchanged, and before
3 that he ended up in a detention camp in June 1992.
4 Q. The compiler of the list, or the information, appeared to think
5 that the fact that this man had a green bathroom was relevant. Do you
6 know why that would be? Why would a green bathroom be of relevance to an
7 intelligence gatherer?
8 MS. BARUCH: Again, Your Honour, I've got to object. This man
9 says he was -- he himself was not an intelligence gatherer, so he has to
10 speculate not only what a person might believe about it, but also what a
11 person who was an intelligence gatherer might attribute to it.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner. Is it important to proceed with
13 this question?
14 MS. KORNER: It is -- well, Your Honour --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Because it's only relevant insofar as the author of
16 this seems to have thrown an innuendo that, you know, the colour of one's
17 bathroom was relevant.
18 MS. KORNER: But I think it is, Your Honour. Let me put it
19 this -- I'm sorry. I interrupted you, Judge Janu.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
21 MS. KORNER:
22 Q. From your knowledge of Serbs, what significance did the colour
23 green have to them?
24 A. In everyday conversations in Bosnia, one could hear that the green
25 represents Muslims or Bosniaks, sometimes jokingly. This was sometimes
1 said jokingly. But the green colour was associated with Bosniaks, with
3 Q. All right. Number 24, did you know him?
4 A. Yes. Also a person who was detained in various camps, one of them
5 being the public security station, exchanged in late 1992; before that,
6 ill-treated in various camps.
7 Q. And number 25?
8 A. Yes. Identical as the person under 24.
9 Q. Yes. Sorry. That's not quite clear. Do you mean the same thing
10 happened to him?
11 A. Yes, absolutely the same things happened to him in June 1992. He
12 was arrested, detained in a camp, ill-treated, beaten up, and then
13 exchanged in late June 1992.
14 Q. Then number 26?
15 A. Yes, I know him. This person managed to leave the territory of
16 Teslic municipality before the arrests took place. That was before May
18 Q. Number 28 -- 27?
19 A. I know him. He was arrested, detained in a concentration camp,
20 beaten, ill-treated, and exchanged in late June 1992.
21 Q. Then the next one appears to be his brother.
22 A. Yes. Again the same case. Both of them were in a camp. They
23 were ill-treated, they were tortured, and they were exchanged together in
24 late June 1992.
25 Q. Then number 29?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I know this person, but I don't know what happened to him.
2 Q. Number 30?
3 A. I don't know him.
4 Q. 31?
5 A. I know this person. He managed to leave in May 1992, before the
7 Q. Number 32?
8 A. Yes, I know him. He was also arrested, detained in a
9 concentration camp, beaten, and remained in Teslic all this time. After
10 the end of the war, he died, although he was still a very young person.
11 Q. 33?
12 A. I don't know enough about this person.
13 Q. 34?
14 A. I don't know him.
15 Q. 35?
16 A. I don't know him. I'm not sure who he is.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: 33, 34, 35, and possibly 36 are Croats, am I right,
18 or Muslims? Without reading the names, would they be Croats or Muslims?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 33 is a Croat. 34 is -- I don't
20 know. It's hard for me to tell by the family name. 35 is a Bosniak. 36
21 is somebody I know. He's a Croat. He was also detained in various camps
22 and ill-treated, and I'm not sure what happened to him, but I believe that
23 he has remained in Teslic. He was not exchanged and he never arrived in
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. 37?
2 A. Yes. He was also arrested in June 1992. He was then detained in
3 a camp and exchanged in late June 1992.
4 Q. 38?
5 A. I don't know him.
6 Q. 39?
7 A. I don't know him.
8 Q. And we apparently go to 51. Do you know him?
9 A. No, I don't know him.
10 Q. And 52, 53, 54, 55, I'm not sure what that means, but ... 56?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And then some extra names. These are all the people, I think,
13 that -- or two, the first two certainly you've told us about. What
14 happened to number 1?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Or number 2?
17 A. Number 2, he was arrested, ended up in a camp, suffered torture,
18 ill-treatment. He was beaten up. Then he was exchanged sometime in the
19 summer of 1992.
20 Q. Number 3 there?
21 A. This was my work colleague. I believe that he managed to leave
22 Teslic and go to Croatia, sometime in April or May 1992.
23 Q. And number 4?
24 A. Yes, I know him. He was a very influential person who ended up in
25 a camp. He was ill-treated there and tortured, and he is a person who is
1 still missing. Nobody knows his lot.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't propose to follow with the
4 last -- I'm sorry, Your Honour.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I -- I think appropriately now, just
7 exhibit the original handwritten version that we have, which will become
8 1960. It was disclosed to the Defence in B/C/S in December 2001, but the
9 translation only came on Monday. So I wonder if that could be handed
10 out. Your Honour, I don't -- there's no point, I think, in showing it to
11 the witness.
12 MS. BARUCH: May I see a copy of it?
13 MS. KORNER: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You will have --
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I tell you how we acquired it?
16 Because it's not on --
17 MS. BARUCH: I would object to that as being testimony for which
18 she doesn't have --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It's not being -- I don't think you're
20 offering, yes, offering it as testimony.
21 MS. KORNER: I'm offering, but I can get Mr. Inayat to tell us
22 where it came from. But if Ms. Baruch doesn't want to know, then I'm not
23 at all bothered.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Ms. Korner. Then if it's necessary to get
25 Mr. Inayat, we will get him.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it was supplied to us as a result of a
2 request made by us to the Bosnian embassy in March of 2001, and there is
3 an indication from them where it comes from, but if Ms. Baruch objects to
4 that, then I won't lead that. But that's how we came into possession of
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And this you want to give exhibit number what?
7 MS. KORNER: P1960, please.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour, with regard to it, it's not exactly the
10 same as the list that is P1959. It was not something seen by this
11 witness, apparently, and I would object to it being admitted.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection overruled, Madam Baruch. And you are free
13 later on at any time to ask questions about this document, and if
14 necessary, Ms. Korner, please bring over Mr. Inayat or --
15 MS. KORNER: Absolutely.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: -- whoever it is.
17 MS. KORNER: Certainly.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And if there are differences in the list, and I
19 notice one, for example, being the name of the last person --
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there are differences. That's --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I can notice quite a few at first sight, but it
22 doesn't mean to say that because of that this is not admissible.
23 MS. BARUCH: I don't know what it's being admissible for, as this
24 witness never saw it, it wasn't published in the newspaper, and I don't
25 believe that Ms. Korner is qualified to testify to the Court with regard
1 to anything about this list. And so yes, we have that objection.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not testifying about this. But the
3 normal demand is to know where documents come from when we produce them,
4 and I'm simply short-circuiting having to put Mr. Inayat into the witness
5 box to say that. But as I said, I'm perfectly happy to do that. As to
6 its admissibility, it is a document which mentions this witness's name and
7 another witness's name, with a description, and we say it's admissible in
8 exactly the same way as all other documents which come from this area are
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The discussion is closed on this. It's being
11 admitted, subject to the usual caveat, and marked as P1960. Do you have
12 any further questions on re-examination, please?
13 MS. KORNER: Yes. I've just got one.
14 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, you were asked about the disarmament order, which
15 said all paramilitaries, and you said over and over again that it only
16 applied to non-Serbs. You told us yesterday about barricades being manned
17 by paramilitaries. Were those paramilitaries, those Serb paramilitaries,
18 disarmed as a result of the order?
19 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour, I've got to object to this, because the
20 order was that they should turn it in. So if she is asking whether they
21 obeyed the order, this witness didn't obey the order. Many people didn't
22 obey the order, and it would have no relevance to whether or not they were
23 included in the order. So I object to that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection overruled.
25 Please proceed.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. You can answer the question, Mr. Osmanovic. If you do not know,
3 say so, please.
4 A. These barricades were where the paramilitary formations were.
5 Yes, they were armed there.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, it's 10.30. Before we can -- how many
7 more questions do you have?
8 MS. KORNER: That was my last question, but I've got a couple of
9 what's sometimes called housekeeping matters to deal with on documents.
10 Your Honour, I'm perfectly happy to have a break now.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so, because I can't keep the interpreters
12 and everyone here if you have some points to raise. Judge Janu has some
13 questions to put and I have some questions to put. So we'll break for 25
14 minutes. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry for the delay, but I had a meeting which had
18 been scheduled and which went beyond what I had expected. So as all
19 meetings do, or most meetings do.
20 Yes, Ms. Korner. Please conclude.
21 MS. KORNER: Just to get back to that last question,
22 Mr. Osmanovic:
23 Q. You said that the Serb paramilitaries at the barricades were
24 armed. Are you aware whether or not, as a result of this order by the
25 Crisis Staff, those arms were handed in or they were in any way disarmed?
1 A. They were not disarmed.
2 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Osmanovic. There was
3 another gentleman with a similar name, but slightly different. That's all
4 I ask.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Osmanovic, Judge Janu has a few questions for
7 Judge Janu, please.
8 JUDGE JANU: Yes.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE JANU: At the beginning of your testimony, Mr. Osmanovic,
11 you told us that replacement of the communist system was a great delight
12 for the citizens, and you also told us that interethnic relations were
13 indeed on a high level. My first question is: Were you a member of the
14 League of Communists or were you brought up in the family where the
15 membership -- where was the membership of the League of Communists?
16 A. No, I was never a member of communists, nor was any of my proper
17 family, ever.
18 JUDGE JANU: And my second question: In your statement, there is
19 that you graduated in Pristina university in art and languages, and in one
20 of the exhibits we just went through here, was that you graduated from
21 Islamic university of Cairo. Did you graduate of both of these
22 universities or the information in exhibit P1959 is not correct?
23 A. I only have the diploma of the faculty of philosophy in Pristina,
24 so the other information is incorrect.
25 JUDGE JANU: Thank you for that. And after your graduation, you
1 served as an imam. Excuse me my low knowledge, but it is the same
2 position as hodza?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE JANU: And people who have no religious education can serve
5 in this function?
6 A. No. You have secondary education. There are also faculties of
7 theology, which is higher education. Those who do not complete the
8 secondary theological schools cannot work as imams or as hodzas.
9 JUDGE JANU: So there's a misunderstanding. My feeling was that
10 you completed the philosophical university, languages and art, and my
11 question was: If the person without religious education can serve as an
12 imam or hodza.
13 A. No religious school -- I mean, do you include there secondary
14 education as well?
15 JUDGE JANU: So your secondary education was religious?
16 A. Yes. I worked as an imam with the secondary education, which I
17 did complete, and I could do it even without a university diploma.
18 JUDGE JANU: Yes. I understand now. So you have secondary
19 education in a religious area also? Yes. Thank you for that.
20 A. That's right.
21 JUDGE JANU: I would like to -- in April 1993, you gave interview
22 to Teslicke Informativne Novine and you said there two things. I will
23 cite it from the interview.
24 MS. KORNER: Would Your Honour like us to give him a copy of it?
25 We have one here.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
2 JUDGE JANU: So it's the second page, first line, first line and
3 the third line. And you said: The aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 was prepared much earlier. And in third line you said: The war in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina was prepared outside of the country.
6 So my first question is: Can you tell us, can you clarify for us
7 on what basis did you form this conclusion? And after that I will have
8 another question concerning this.
9 A. I gave this interview in April 1993, when the war was raging in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and when it was already quite clear what had happened
11 in the territory of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Yugoslav,
12 the so-called Yugoslav People's Army, and the paramilitary formations, in
13 60 days after the beginning of the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 took 70 per cent of its territory. No -- only an organised, well-equipped
15 military force was not needed to do it [as interpreted]. It could only be
16 done by the so-called Yugoslav People's Army, following the
17 well-established script which, to my mind, was conceived in Belgrade.
18 In the course of the 60 days, 70 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 was placed under the control of the Serb authorities.
20 JUDGE JANU: And my second question to this subject is a little
21 bit speculative, but anyway, I would like your opinion on it, if you are
22 able to give it to me. Without these actions from outside, do you think
23 you would -- at that time, you would be able to solve the problems by
24 yourself, without all this bloodshed? In other way, do you think that you
25 were able to, without this intervention, to find a way how to live
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 together peacefully?
2 A. Yes. I think that that was possible.
3 JUDGE JANU: And my last question: Because you are -- you have
4 religious education and you serve in this area, and you also have a long
5 political career, how would you estimate -- what's your opinion about the
6 role of churches, Islamic, Catholic, and the third one, Orthodox, what was
7 the role of churches in this conflict, Bosnian conflict?
8 A. I think that the religious communities did not contribute
9 significantly to the deterioration of interethnic relations in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina. Some people say that it was a religious war, but I never saw
11 a religious official head any army.
12 JUDGE JANU: Yes. If that's all, thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a few questions for you, Mr. Osmanovic. Do
14 you know Fadil Isic?
15 A. Isic.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Fadil Isic?
17 A. Fadil Isic, yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: What happened to him?
19 A. In May 1992, he had a heart attack and was put in a hospital, or
20 rather, the health centre in Teslic, and has been missing ever since. To
21 this day, after several exhumations in Teslic, his remains have not been
22 found. And he was responsible for finances in the local organisation of
23 the Party of Democratic Action.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That was going to be my next question. Was he a
25 member of the SDA? And you have answered that.
1 Do you know someone by the name of Botic, who was also an SDA
2 member? And if you do, can you tell us what his first name was.
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: What was his first name?
5 A. Yes, he was. Now, what his name was, I can't remember.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: What happened to him? What happened to him?
7 A. According to what I know, after concentration camps, he was killed
8 and all trace of him is lost.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now, my first question -- my next question to
10 you: From the list that you had seen, being the translation of what had
11 appeared in that newspaper, the Nezavisne how many of those persons were
12 SDA members? Were the majority of the Muslim SDA members listed in that
13 document or not?
14 A. No. Most of them were not members of the Party of Democratic
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So why would, according to you, these two names not
17 figure in the list that you were shown today? You assume that these two
18 persons have been killed, eliminated, from what I gather, while, according
19 to what you told us, none of the persons that appeared on the list, with
20 the exception of Rasim Galijasevic, were killed. Why would 56 or 60
21 persons -- 59 persons out of a list of what would be a hit list not be
22 eliminated and two persons that are not on the hit list be eliminated?
23 A. I think that those who decided to publish this also had in mind
24 those who were liquidated after they were taken to concentration camps,
25 and perhaps that is why they decided not to go into full detail when
1 listing the names.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, Fadil Isic does appear on the other
3 list that you handed later on in the day, document -- Exhibit P1960. But
4 he does not appear on the -- he appears there as number 44.
5 A certain Dibic, do you know a certain person by the name of
7 A. It could be Gibic, with a "G."
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What happened to this person that you know by the
9 name of Gibic?
10 A. Once again, all trace of that person is lost. That person was not
11 born in Teslic. He taught all National Defence in school and he was never
12 a member of the Party of Democratic Action. However, after detention and
13 stay in concentration camps, that person went missing.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Was he a Muslim by ethnicity?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And a certain person by the name of Glancer?
17 A. I don't know that person well, so that I'd rather not say
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But in your statement to the Prosecution, to the
20 Prosecutor, you did affirm that he was one of the three persons killed in
21 Teslic. Do you stand by that statement or do you want to retract it?
22 A. Quite simply, I am not sure I can talk about Glancer right now.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And you do agree with me that none of these two
24 persons appear on the list that you were shown earlier on today, neither
25 Gibic nor Glancer?
1 A. You mean in this newspaper text?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes.
3 A. That's right, yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, going back: Fadil Isic, Botic, Gibic, Glancer,
5 was any one of those four politically active at the time?
6 A. Fadil Isic, as I have said, was the cashier in the local SDA, and
7 he was also a councilman in the Municipal Assembly. And Botic was also
8 another activist of the SDA. The others were not.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So that closes that. Now, you did explain to us
10 yesterday, or described to us yesterday, events when the JNA tried to take
11 possession of the records, and you said that the attempt was not
12 successful because people gathered in front of the building and blocked
13 the way to the JNA. What was the size of the gathering and what was the
14 ethnicity of the gathering?
15 A. Well, there were somewhere between 200 to 250 people in front of
16 the building, and since they were urban dwellers who had received
17 information about those activities, they were of all ethnicities, Bosniaks
18 and Croats and Serbs.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So my question actually was directed to knowing
20 whether there were any Serbs in the gathering, in the group.
21 A. Yes, there were.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: When you were referring to this JNA attempt to take
23 possession of the documents of the Defence, whatever it was, you
24 mentioned - and I'm referring you now not just to your testimony but also
25 to your statement - that you had learned from a certain Degirmandzic that
1 the JNA had arrived in Teslic and tried to take these records by force.
2 But you also said there were similar attempts in other municipalities,
3 such as Gracanica and Lukavac and these forcible seizures of the military
4 records were shown on television. But I want to know from you if you are
5 in a position to give us an answer is: In the case of Gracanica, who --
6 what ethnicity was the person responsible for the keeping -- for the
7 safekeeping of those records? We heard that in the case of Teslic it was
8 a Muslim. In the case of Gracanica?
9 A. I really don't know.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: In the case of Lukavac?
11 A. I don't know that either.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you know of any other place where the JNA made
13 similar attempts?
14 A. It was - how shall I put it? - a general attempt to take over
15 records from the national or the defence secretariats by the JNA. I
16 presume such an order was issued, and it was happening in a larger number
17 of municipalities, and there were problems where the Bosniak and Croat
18 population constituted a majority, that is, where the municipal presidents
19 were Bosniaks and Croats, that is, where there was a resistance. I quoted
20 to you two municipalities, because I could follow the developments there
21 directly, owing to electronic media.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Where would the headquarters, national headquarters,
23 of the secretariat of the People's Defence be at the time? Which city?
24 A. It was the Ministry of Defence.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And that would be where?
1 A. It was in Sarajevo.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: In Sarajevo. Are you in a position to tell us
3 whether in Sarajevo they would have had exactly the same or a copy, or if
4 not the original of the records that were also kept in Teslic? In other
5 words, I'm putting it to you that the records that were kept in Teslic
6 were also kept elsewhere, at least in the headquarters of the ministry of
7 People's Defence.
8 A. No. The Ministry of Defence had under it National Defence
9 secretariats in municipalities, and it didn't keep the records of all the
10 municipalities in its own archive.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Not even the JNA would have copies of those records?
12 A. No.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And not even Belgrade would there be copies of
15 A. No. It was a completely separate structure. On the one hand, you
16 have civilian authorities who took note of records, mobilisation, and so
17 on and so forth; and on the other, you had the military structure, and
18 that was completely different.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It was important for us to know. I don't think I
20 have any further questions.
21 Yes, Ms. Korner.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I ask one thing arising out of Judge
23 Janu's questions in respect of the religious personnel involvement? The
24 answer was: No religious person led the military, and I want to ask --
25 was involved with the military. I want to ask if any religious
1 person in Teslic was involved in political life.
2 MS. BARUCH: I don't see how that relates to the question about
3 religious people heading the military, which was an answer to the
5 JUDGE AGIUS: He did answer that question. No. Let's leave it at
6 that, Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: Just a moment, that's not what Judge Janu's question
8 was. She wanted to know not whether they were involved in the military.
9 But whether religious leaders, and I'd have to go back, I haven't got the
10 LiveNote. The answer was not leading the military. That's an incomplete
11 answer, in my respect.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but it is obvious that the witness, according
13 to the witness, the involvement of the religious was not --
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I invite Your Honour to look at his
15 statement, please, at page 9, the third paragraph.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'll read it out to him and I will put a
17 different question myself.
18 Mr. Osmanovic, in your statement to the Prosecutor, you said:
19 "There was an orthodox priest by the name of Savo Knezevic, who was a
20 deputy to the assembly for Bosnia and Herzegovina when the Serbian
21 republic was formed he joined the Serbian republic. He was in Teslic and
22 was a very influential person in Teslic. I do not know if he was part of
23 the Crisis Staff or not."
24 Would this make you change your statement earlier on in reply to
25 Judge Janu's question, or would you stand by that answer?
1 A. I would adhere to my previous answer. According to the laws that
2 were in force at the time in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the first
3 general elections, clerics [Realtime transcript read in error "clerks"]
4 were not banned from engaging in politics. They were not prevented from
5 becoming deputies in various assemblies.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We can leave it at that.
7 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Could I just correct the
8 note while I see it. He said clerics or the witness said clerics.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone Ms. Korner, please.
10 MS. KORNER: The translation was clerics and it has come over as
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. He said clerics. I heard him say clerics or
13 at least I heard -- yes. Mr. Osmanovic, that brings us to an end of your
14 testimony here. The only remaining thing for me to say is to thank you
15 for having come over and give evidence in this trial. You will now be
16 ushered out of this courtroom and given all the attention you need and
17 assistance you need to enable you to return to your residence, to your
18 home country. And on behalf of the Tribunal, Judge Janu and everyone
19 present here, we wish you a safe journey back home.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Organisational matters of any left?
23 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Your Honour, it relates
24 back to --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Your microphone, please.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it relates back to the four documents in
2 the Petrovac binder, where we couldn't trace the origin. Mr. Inayat,
3 by dint of a great deal of research, has in fact found identical documents
4 from a source that we can trace, and what we've done is we've altered the
5 schedule, the list, accordingly, and we've put together a new list
6 together with the same documents from a different source which we can
7 trace, and I can borrow the one for the moment. It came -- and it should
8 be very familiar to Mr. Ackerman, one of them. It was given by one of the
9 Delalic counsel to us, which is a case that Mr. Ackerman was in, I think,
10 his first case here. And Your Honour will see where the rest of them come
11 from. It's been highlighted. So it's the same. As Your Honours knows,
12 we filed documents, the same documents from different sources. So we're
13 replacing --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Make sure that the ones that were handed in before
15 are withdrawn, because they would have an ERN number, and that the new
16 ones are placed instead. And again, I reserve -- Ms. Baruch, you don't
17 need to answer today. I mean you can -- I give you time to consult with
18 Mr. Ackerman on this and then you come back to us tomorrow when we meet
19 again. All right?
20 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, I think for the moment that's all --
21 oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour. Your Honour, we perhaps ought to make the
22 article that Judge Janu read to the witness an exhibit.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 MS. KORNER: Which will be --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it necessary? I don't think it is necessary,
1 because she referred to two points only, and I don't think we need the
2 article in the records.
3 MS. KORNER: If anybody wants to go and have a look at the
4 article --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm not going to --
6 MS. KORNER: I'm going on the normal suggestion from the Defence
7 that without an exhibit number it's not possible to trace the document.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but it was just a simple question. You stated
9 in this article, you made two affirmations, two statements. Could you
10 give us an explanation. Do we need to have the article as well? I mean,
11 I don't know. I mean, we can have it. It's another two pages, four
13 MS. BARUCH: No. I think that the witness would be a person to
14 make it an exhibit, and I accept that Judge Janu used and spoke the
15 precise section about which she was interested.
16 MS. KORNER: I don't see how the witness makes the document an
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It's probably because Ms. Baruch is not completely
19 familiar with the system here.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm quite happy --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It wouldn't be put -- brought forward by the
22 witness. And if it is, it would be handed to the Prosecution and made a
23 Prosecution Exhibit or whatever, or a Defence Exhibit, as we go along.
24 We've had instances of the witness bringing forward documents which the --
25 were shown to the Defence and then the Defence was allowed to exhibit them
1 as a Defence Exhibit. And similarly, it worked out the opposite way as
2 well. But we work in a different manner maybe than what you are used to.
3 I mean, so... If you insist on having it tendered in evidence, I can't
4 say no. I was just drawing your attention as to whether it's absolutely
6 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, may I say that it's not normally
7 me who tries to put documents into evidence, but the constant moan, if I
8 can put it that way, is that unless the document has an exhibit number in
9 the transcript, nobody knows what it is later on. So I'm easy. As far as
10 I'm concerned, if Your Honours don't want to make it an exhibit, I don't
11 particularly want to make it an exhibit either.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I will not contrast you any further,
13 Ms. Korner. You want to make it an exhibit, we will give it an exhibit
15 MS. KORNER: That will be P1961.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: P --?
17 MS. KORNER: 1961.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MS. KORNER: Other than that, Your Honour, I think that's it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Tomorrow we are going to have Mr. Sebire. Do you
21 have an idea how long he we will be here?
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't. Ms. Richterova is going to
23 call him. But what we intend to do, given that there can be no
24 cross-examination until Tuesday, is not just get him to produce the
25 schedules but actually deal with some -- there is a video, for example, of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 one of the exhumations which shows a number of other things as well.
2 So --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The pleasure is yet to come.
4 MS. KORNER: The pleasure is yet to come, Your Honour. But
5 anyhow, I would think probably the best part of tomorrow's session.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
7 MS. BARUCH: May I ask if we have a schedule of the witnesses?
8 MS. KORNER: It's going to be provided after court to the Defence.
9 MS. BARUCH: Today? Yes. Thank you.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour, this might be a good time to just put
13 into the record that our interpreter has informed us that on LiveNote,
14 page 40, line 7, the witness has said force was needed to do it, not force
15 was not needed to do it. And if that complies with the oral record, then
16 I would just ask that that correction be made. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you. It's an obvious mistake to me.
18 It's an obvious mistake to me.
19 Ms. Korner, Madam Baruch, Mr. Cunningham, I should like you to, by
20 tomorrow, organise yourselves a little bit, particularly you, Ms. Korner,
21 with regard to the binder documents as such, because basically we have
22 admitted in evidence bits and pieces of --
23 MS. KORNER: I thought you had admitted the whole Teslic binder.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No. We hadn't admitted --
25 MS. KORNER: I'd like you to, please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: This is precisely what I have been asking you to
2 organise for tomorrow. If you are in a position to do that now --
3 MS. KORNER: Organise what?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: See what has been already admitted, what hasn't been
5 admitted, whether you want all the rest to be admitted.
6 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I did ask, when it was dealt
7 with, when you raised the objections of Mr. Ackerman, and my response was
8 that I asked for the whole binder to be admitted, the objections
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But we stuck only on those two or three documents
11 that were referred to in the first paragraph of Mr. Ackerman's response.
12 MS. KORNER: I replied to that.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We never really ruled that all the others were
14 being admitted.
15 MS. KORNER: Would Your Honour kindly do that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So they are being admitted now. All right?
17 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can adjourn until tomorrow. Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.41 a.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Friday, the 30th day of
21 May 2003, at 9.00 a.m.