1 Thursday, 12th July 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.28 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, everybody.
7 Will the Registrar please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Appearances for today,
11 starting with the Prosecution.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Good afternoon, Your Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around
14 the courtroom.
15 For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis, Aditya Menon, and our case
16 manager, Alma Imamovic.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
18 Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
20 afternoon, all.
21 Vasvija Vidovic and Nicholas Robson for the Defence of General
22 Rasim Delic, with legal officers Lejla Gluhic and Asja Zujo.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
24 Good afternoon to you, Mr. Begovic. Just to remind you, sir, that
25 yesterday, at the beginning of your testimony, you had made an oath or at
1 least made a solemn declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
2 nothing else but the truth. You are me reminded that you are still bound
3 by that declaration to continue telling the truth.
4 Thank you very much.
5 WITNESS: SINAN BEGOVIC [Resumed]
6 [The witness answers through interpreter]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Good afternoon, Mr. Begovic.
9 Examination by Mr. Mundis: [Continued]
10 Q. I have a just a couple of follow-up questions on the third
11 military action that you were for you testifying about yesterday. This is
12 the action in September 1995.
13 Do you know, sir, whether there were any units other than the El
14 Mujahedin, other ARBiH units involved in the third military action in
15 September 1995?
16 A. Yes. We heard that some other units also participated in that
18 Q. Do you remember, sir, which other military units of the ARBiH
19 participated in the September 1995 military action?
20 A. I think that it was a part of the 7th Muslim Brigade that
21 participated on the other side of the river. Rumour had it, that is. And
22 then we also heard that the 2nd Corps was to be in operation on the other
23 side, on the other bank, but I'm not quite sure.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, for my own clarification, I'm going to
1 The first question was: "Do you know whether there were any units
2 other than the ARBiH units?" And then the witness said, "Yes." The next
3 question says: "Do you know which other military units of the ARBiH?"
4 I'm not quite sure now whether the answer refers to the "other
5 than them" or to "of."
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Maybe -- I believe there's
7 an error in the transcript.
8 Q. My question-- the first question, sir, was other than the
9 El Mujahedin detachment, were there any units of the ARBiH involved in the
10 September 1995 military action?
11 A. That is the way I understand it, too.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Mujahedin is not being mentioned on the
13 transcript again, and have you just mentioned the word "Mujahedin."
14 MR. MUNDIS: I see that as well. Let me try this one more time
15 for the benefit of the record.
16 Q. Other than the El Mujahedin Detachment, were there other units of
17 the ARBiH involved in the September 1995 military action?
18 A. Shall I answer now?
19 Q. Please.
20 A. Well, we heard that there was a part of the 7th Muslim Brigade and
21 that on the other side, from the direction of, I don't know what city,
22 segments of the 2nd Corps also participated.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Begovic. Now, immediately after the third military
24 action in September 1995 was finished, where did you go, sir?
25 A. On that day, towards the end of the day, I left for home.
1 Q. And how long were you at home during this period after the
2 September 1995 military action?
3 A. About seven or eight days, not more than that.
4 Q. And following that period when you were at home, where did you go?
5 A. After a period spent at home, we returned to the area of
7 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask at this point in time that the witness be
8 shown the document which has previously been marked as PT02949. That's
9 PT02949, page 698. On the B/C/S, if we could please focus on the
10 right-hand page of this document, please. The English version is actually
11 page 4. Page 4 in English, please.
12 Q. And while that's coming up, Mr. Begovic, do you see a document on
13 the screen in front of you?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber what this document is?
16 A. Well, this is -- these are some facts about me, personally; when I
17 was born, where I was born, how much I spent in the army, what branch I
18 belonged to, what my rank was, and things like that.
19 Q. Do you know what type of document this is, sir?
20 A. No, no. I have never seen this before. This is the first time I
21 see it.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Can we please then go to the left-hand side of the
23 B/C/S document, please.
24 Q. Sir, can you tell us what is written under Box 56 on this
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: It doesn't look like 56 appears even on the B/C/S.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, it does.
3 MR. MUNDIS: At the very bottom.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: There's a handwritten note.
5 MR. MUNDIS: It's at the top of page 4 of the English, but it's at
6 the bottom of the B/C/S version.
7 A. Well, there is something written, "the 29th of June," I cannot see
8 the exact year: "Certificate issued on ..." I cannot make out the last
10 MR. MUNDIS: Can we please then go to --
11 A. And then above it refers to the year 1983.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Can we please go to page 697 of the B/C/S version.
13 And if we could please go to the left-hand page.
14 Q. Sir, do you know what the reference to those VJ numbers correspond
16 A. Military unit, probably.
17 Q. And do you see the corresponding dates next to those military
19 A. Yes. Those are the dates of stay in a particular unit, from which
20 date to what date.
21 Q. Let's take a look first at the first listing on this page, let's
22 take a look first at the first listing on this page; that is, 040492
23 through 310793. What military unit, sir, were you in during that time
25 A. The 306th Brigade.
1 Q. And in the period, sir, from 31 July 1993 until 25 December 1995,
2 what military unit were you in?
3 A. The El Mujahedin Detachment.
4 MR. MUNDIS: If we could then please go to the right-hand page in
5 the Bosnian language, and if we could then just scroll over on the English
6 to the far right-hand part of that page, please.
7 Q. Mr. Begovic, do you see the "Box 44" that indicates ranks and
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. To the best of your knowledge, sir, is that information accurate?
11 A. I don't know about this particular piece of information, namely,
12 that I was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, because that was not what
13 was in my military service booklet.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. Begovic.
15 Your Honours, we'd ask this document be admitted into evidence and
16 be given an exhibit number.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Mundis, could you please explain to us what it
18 is exactly that you're showing with this document, because it's not clear
19 to me.
20 MR. MUNDIS: This is the military service records which were
21 obtained from the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: I saw, on the front page, when we first looked at
23 this document, that the witness did indeed have the rank of lieutenant;
24 but on the document we have on the screen in front of us, where does the
25 witness appear? Is that number his number there, which is indicated,
1 02011 and so on?
2 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, I can certainly explain the layout of
3 this document. It's a bit confusing at first.
4 What these are are folders, file folders, with information printed
5 on the front, inside, two pages, and the back. So when this was opened up
6 and photocopied, that explains why you would see the first page is
7 actually on the right-hand side, the page on the left-hand side is the
8 back, and the two pages in the middle are facing each other.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: So are we to conclude that what we have on the
10 right side of the screen in front of us is the witness's military career,
11 that he started as a sergeant and then promoted to a lieutenant in the
12 ARBiH, and then a lieutenant in the Federal Ministry of Defence? I'm just
13 asking what's the significance of the document on the screen which you
14 wish to tender?
15 MR. MUNDIS: We're simply, for the sake of completeness, showing
16 this witness the entire document. If he indicates that he's unaware of
17 these ranks, then certainly that might go to the weight the Chamber might
18 want to give to the document. But this document is the official service
19 record of this witness that was provided by the Government of Bosnia and
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise if I
23 stood up too early.
24 I wish to challenge the authenticity of this document, and I
25 should like to ask the OTP's office to make it possible for me to gain
1 access to the original of this document.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
3 MR. MUNDIS: We can certainly do that, and I can endeavour
4 actually to bring at least copies of what we have out of the evidence
5 vaults perhaps later today or certainly tomorrow morning. We can make
6 that available.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 What response do you have to the challenge to the authenticity?
9 MR. MUNDIS: Well, again, I can be in a position to indicate
10 exactly where this came from, but this was provided to us by the
11 Government of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. For my own edification, what we see on the
13 screen, in the English language, is it a subsequent page of some document
14 that begins somewhere else?
15 MR. MUNDIS: Let me, if I can demonstrate perhaps graphically,
16 what these are are file folders like you might see in a filing cabinet,
17 and they're printed -- the information is printed on the folders. So the
18 first page -- and perhaps we could go back to page 698.
19 The page you see on the right-hand side in the Bosnian version,
20 that page, is actually the cover of a file folder. The left-hand page is
21 the back of the folder, because the folder was opened up and scanned
22 electronically. The second pages, the pages 2 and 3, in effect, are the
23 inside of the file folder which was then scanned, which explains why the
24 pages are not exactly in the right order. Because in order to save paper
25 and time, they simply opened the folder, scanned this side and then
1 scanned that side.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I appreciate that perfectly. My question relates
3 to the English version.
4 I'm asking, what we see on the screen now in the English version,
5 is that a subsequent page of a document that begins a little earlier or is
6 this the sum total of.
7 MR. MUNDIS: That's the sum total of what was translated from that
8 part of the service record book. And, again, if we go back to page 697, I
9 think it might be -- it might be more readily understandable.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Let me try one more time.
11 What we see on the screen here, of what page of the B/C/S folder
12 is this a translation?
13 MR. MUNDIS: It's on the right-hand side on the B/C/S version that
14 you see on the screen, Your Honour, and it starts there are three
15 handwritten entries, and those correspond to the three entries that you
16 see on the translated portion.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: And this page on the B/C/S is not the first page of
18 the folder?
19 MR. MUNDIS: That's correct. As you can see, it's Box 44; and
20 perhaps if we zoom over to the other -- not the other page but the other
21 side of this, you'll there see Box 43.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm now answered. Therefore, the English version
23 does not relate to the first page of the document?
24 MR. MUNDIS: No, it relates to Box 44.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: And if we go to the first page of the English
1 version, it will translate personal history of the accused and his names
2 and everything?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Exactly.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MR. MUNDIS: You're welcome.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: So to answer Judge Harhoff's question, this
7 document must be read with the rest of the pages to be able to --
8 MR. MUNDIS: Exactly. The entire -- the entire file folder must
9 be read together, and the best way of doing that is simply to follow the
10 numbers in the B/C/S version, and then look for the corresponding portions
11 of the English translation.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MR. MUNDIS: You're welcome.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, if I may just find out from you, you
15 would like to be shown the original of this document, and Mr. Mundis says
16 he can do so. Do you have any further objections to the document, or do
17 you --
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honours. I wish
19 to examine the original, and I still challenge the authenticity of this
20 document also bearing in mind the part of the witness's statement to the
21 effect that he had heard for the first time right now that he had been
22 promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
24 In that event, then, the document will be marked for
25 identification, and may it please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 78, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 If we could now show the witness -- well, before we do that, they
6 could perhaps begin loading PT02796. PT02796.
7 Q. And while that's being done, Mr. Begovic, what commendations or
8 awards or medals or other honours did you receive, if any, as a result of
9 your service with the El Mujahedin Detachment?
10 A. I was awarded the Silver Shield of the Army of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, but I only found out about this decoration some two years
12 subsequently later, because we didn't sit much store by that because we
13 feel that each combatant was just as deserving. And I felt that to be
14 true of my fellow combatants as well, if you understand what I mean.
15 Q. Mr. Begovic, do you now see the document on the screen in front of
16 you, PT02796?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Do you see your name on this document, sir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you recognise the names of any of the other individuals on this
22 A. No.
23 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, approximately where your
24 name is located on this document?
25 A. Towards the end of the list, the third from the bottom.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. Begovic.
2 Your Honours, we'd ask this document be admitted into evidence and
3 be given an exhibit number.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
5 please be given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit 79, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MR. MUNDIS: This completes the direct examination of this
9 witness, Your Honour.
10 Mr. Begovic, thank you very much for answering our questions.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
12 Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Just one second. Please bear with me until I get organised.
15 Your Honours, right at the beginning I will be asking just a
16 couple of general questions that relate to the general situation and the
17 general military situation in his area, because I believe that this is
18 relevant to our case. So these would be just a couple of questions
19 limited in scope. I just wanted to give you the heads-up on that.
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Vidovic:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. I will be asking you some questions today on behalf of General
24 Delic, as his Defence counsel. I will be asking you the kind of questions
25 that can, in most cases, be answered by "yes" or "no," and I would like to
1 ask you, because I want to ask you as many questions as possible and our
2 time is limited, to do so whenever possible, to say "yes" or "no," unless
3 the Trial Chamber asks for some further clarifications or if do so.
4 Did you understand me?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Since we both speak the same language, I will be asking you, for
7 the sake of the interpreters, to make a pause for my question to be
8 interpreted and then to give your answer. Did you understand me?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Begovic, in your evidence yesterday, you told us that when the
11 war broke out, you were in Suhi Dol in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You explained to us that this was in the Travnik area, Central
14 Bosnia; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The non-Serb population outside of Central Bosnia came under
17 attack in April 1992. The attack was launched by the Serb forces. You do
18 know that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. You also know that those attacks resulted in the expulsion of the
21 Muslim population from large areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Serbs
22 were in the majority; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. For all intents and purposes, in the first few months of the war
25 in 1992, the area of Eastern Bosnia and of Bosnian Krajina, these areas
1 were ethnically cleansed of the Muslim population; this is something that
2 is general knowledge, is that so? This is something that everybody in
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina knew?
4 A. I think that is indeed so.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like a video clip shown
6 to the witness. That's VD5, that's the designation.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Begovic -- thank you, yes, I understand. But for the purposes
10 of this question, what we have just seen is enough.
11 Mr. Begovic, the reason why I showed you this video clip is
12 because I want to put it to you that the masses of refugees from Eastern
13 Bosnia and from Bosnia Krajina, in fact, over-flew into Central Bosnia,
14 where you lived, in 1992; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we have the
17 exhibit number for this video, please?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The video clip is admitted into evidence. May it
19 please be given an exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 80, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like another video clip
23 to be shown to the witness. It's VD2. And at the same time, could we
24 have the English transcript of this video. And the number of that
25 document is D34.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I hope that you have
3 been able to follow this in the transcript. Unfortunately, we've just --
4 we're just getting used to e-court, and we couldn't play both together.
5 The witness heard the audio recording, and I would like to ask you
6 the following question, Mr. Begovic --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: We didn't have any translation, so we didn't follow
8 anything except just to see a movie without words that mean anything to
9 us. Is there any way that you can make us understand what was playing?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Even now the translation --
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Okay, yes, I can see the transcript
13 on my screen, but we couldn't have -- I hope that now you can hear me. I
14 hope that now you can hear me.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, we can hear you now, through the interpreter.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] On the screen in front of me, I
17 have the transcript of this video. It's in English.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues]... Later, but all
19 I'm saying is at this stage we don't know what took place because we
20 didn't have the opportunity to read it. We'll read it later.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 I would like the usher to assist me. Next time we want to play a
23 video clip, I would like to have the transcript together with the video
24 clip. But the most important thing of all is that the witness was able to
25 understand it.
1 Q. Sir, you've seen this video now and you heard what this is all
2 about. It's about refugees, more than 100.000 refugees, 186.000 refugees
3 who came to Travnik from different areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including
4 the Bosnia Krajina.
5 This video clip that you just saw, does this reflect the actual
6 situation in Travnik in the second half of 1992, all the way until the
7 summer of 1993?
8 A. I think it does, yes. These were daily occurrences in the very
9 beginning of the war.
10 Q. Thank you, sir. Before the war, Travnik was a small town?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. About 18.000 people lived in the town itself; is that correct?
13 A. I don't know exactly, but I don't think that there were more than
14 20.000 people there.
15 Q. And in the wider area of Travnik, the Travnik Municipality, it was
16 about 70.000 people?
17 A. Well, I don't know exactly.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, this man, he said that about 186.000 refugees had
19 come to Travnik. You were able to hear that on this video; is that
20 correct? Did you hear that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Would you agree with an assessment made by this man as to the
23 figure for the refugees, that really that many refugees had arrived?
24 A. Well, probably more than that passed through, because some went on
25 to Zenica.
1 Q. Thank you. It is true, is it not, that such an influx of refugees
2 in fact paralysed life in this area; am I correct?
3 A. Well, you probably are, because these people had to be taken had
4 care of, accommodation had to be found for them. Because even in our area
5 in Mehurici, there were some refugees.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 I would like this video to be given an exhibit number.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we would ask that it simply be marked
10 for identification until the Prosecution has also had an opportunity to
11 review the transcript of the videotape.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, yes, definitely,
13 I agree. It's not a problem.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then the video will be marked
15 for identification, and may it please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As 81, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 And I guess, Madam Vidovic, you would also like D34, the English
19 transcript, to be given an exhibit number for identification.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours,
21 definitely, yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll do the same with D34, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. That will be marked for
24 identification as 82.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Begovic, I will now ask you something on a different topic.
4 Up until the end of 1992, or thereabouts, there was no open
5 conflict between Muslims and Croats in Central Bosnia. That's how I
6 understood your evidence yesterday.
7 A. Yes, I believe that was the case.
8 Q. Do you agree that the situation deteriorated significantly as the
9 year 1992 drew to a close because of the Croatian Defence Council forces
10 moving against the Muslim population in that area?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now I would like to
13 show a document to the witness. Could the witness please be shown
14 document D8. For the record, let me just explain that this is a document
15 issued by the Command of the 306th Brigade. The number is 02/98-5. It is
16 dated January 1993, and it is entitled "Relations with the Croatian
17 Defence Council, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
18 In his evidence yesterday, the witness told us that he was a
19 member of the 306th Brigade up until at least early August 1996.
20 Q. Is that correct, Witness?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Before I go on to quote portions of this document, I would like to
23 ask you the following, or to put it to you the following: You knew that
24 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a para-state had been formed
25 by force, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and that it concluded
1 parts of Travnik municipality; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, we were aware of this.
3 Q. I will quote a short part of this document for you, the document
4 that you have in front of you.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is the part of
6 this document which is the second half of the document, which is the HVO
7 command also, in addition, the HVO Command, Travnik, informs us about the
8 order issued by the HVO command of the so-called Herceg-Bosna, regarding
9 placement of the BiH army units under the command of the HVO, command of
10 the HVO, command of the so-called Herceg-Bosna.
11 Q. And in connection with this, Witness, I would like to ask you
12 this: This document, it's content, this portion which I read out for you,
13 reflects the events in the field in early 1993 in the Travnik area; is
14 that correct? Am I correct?
15 A. I don't know. I haven't seen the document, but it is quite
16 certain that the HVO did have aspirations on this area.
17 Q. I'm asking you about this part which I read, this information that
18 I read out for you. Thank you, Witness.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, we're trying to keep pace with you.
20 The interpreter was speaking so fast that I couldn't hear what she was
21 saying. I'll ask you to please slow down a little bit.
22 Thank you very much.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
24 My apologies.
25 Q. So, Witness, I shall put this question to you again perhaps,
1 perhaps differently formulated.
2 Is it true that HVO forces in the Travnik area, in early 1993 and
3 thereafter, tried to put the forces of the army under their control? Did
4 you have that information?
5 A. Yes. I believe it was so, and the situation was similar in Mostar
6 and in other areas where they were in power, where they had their
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may this document be
10 given an exhibit number?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. But before we do that, madam,
12 I don't understand your question. "Is it true that the HVO forces in the
13 Travnik area, in early 1993 and thereafter, tried to control the forces of
14 the army ...?"
15 Which army?
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the forces of the
17 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was probably omitted from the
18 transcript. That is what I said: The forces of the Army of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, to put those forces under their control.
20 Q. Did you, Witness, understand the question the way I just put it?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, madam. Well, the transcript
23 is admitted into evidence, and may it please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 83, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, do you agree that the Muslim population of Central
3 Bosnia, because of these events, found itself in an extremely difficult
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. They fought for bare survival and they fought against two
7 enemies: The Serb forces, on the one hand, and the Croat forces, on
8 forces, on the other hand?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Otherwise, Witness, do we agree that Bosnia and Herzegovina itself
11 was blockaded from the very beginning of the war partly by Serbia? Do you
13 A. Yes, I do agree.
14 Q. And do you agree that already, as of the spring of 1993, it was
15 also blocked by Croatian forces as well?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In other words, Witness, already as of the spring of 1993, the
18 boundaries of the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina were blockaded by
19 hostile forces; am I correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I shall now just ask you one thing in reference to something which
22 you mentioned yesterday in respect of the organisation of the brigade, and
23 this is the question: The Yugoslav Army withdrew weapons from settlements
24 in which there lived a non-Serb population also in your area; am I right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. They pulled out different military equipment as well, did they
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Yesterday, you told us that the first events in the war were when
5 the Serb forces demolished the communication tower on Mountain Vlasic?
6 A. Well, they took it. They took that feature. I don't know to what
7 extent they demolished it.
8 Q. Well, thank you for that explanation. If I put it to you that
9 throughout the second half of 1992, in the area in which you lived, there,
10 in fact, did not exist any organised military forces, would I be right?
11 A. Well, it was the very beginning of the organising, but they were
12 not wholly regulated, that is for sure. It was more an organisation on
13 paper than in practice, in establishment terms.
14 Q. I was just about to refer to that part of your testimony so that
15 we could clarify it.
16 Yesterday, you said it was more on paper than in actual reality.
17 Did I get you right? I understood that the unit in which you were existed
18 more on paper than in reality. Is that what you wanted to say? Is that
19 what you meant?
20 A. Well, I meant that, too. We didn't have any arms. We didn't have
21 any means, resources for warfare. It was just a plain guard. If one were
22 to compare a company, a military formation of the rank of a company, and
23 thus then we can say that we were not organised.
24 Q. Am I right, Witness, if I say that these were village groups or
25 village armies composed of the local population in your area?
1 A. Yes, they were organised primarily by villagers, so each village
2 had organised its own guards of this sort.
3 Q. They did not have military experts who could establish an army
4 according to certain rules; am I right?
5 A. No, we had no one of that kind.
6 Q. Am I right if I claim that the Muslims in your area very seldom
7 had officers with a military education, that they there were
8 military-educated officers among the Muslims, that this was a rarity?
9 A. You are quite right. There was one from my village who had
10 military education, but he wasn't with us during the war.
11 Q. So even this one officer with a proper military education from
12 your village was not with you during the war?
13 A. No, he was not in Bosnia at all.
14 Q. In your evidence yesterday, you told us that the 306th Brigade was
15 established in 1993 or thereabouts, and in this respect I want to ask you
16 the following question:
17 Would you agree with me that at least throughout 1993, this
18 brigade operated in extremely difficult conditions?
19 A. Well, there were difficulties, I said yesterday, with the
20 formation itself. There were difficulties. Some wanted to others didn't.
21 There was haggling, there was -- negotiations were quite some time.
22 Q. Thank you, Witness. I'll come to that later. Let me just ask you
23 this. I asked you in general about Central Bosnia, Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, and the two fronts which it -- where the people had to fight,
25 but now I want to ask you the following:
1 Your own Brigade, the 306th, had to also fight on two front; on
2 the one hand against the Serbs, and on the other front against the Croats;
3 is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Am I right when I say that it had a huge front line, at least 45
6 kilometres long?
7 A. Yes. We had such lines with the HVO when the conflict with them
8 started, and we also had a huge line against the Serbs.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel and witness please not overlap.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Yesterday, you said that there were not enough weapons, and you
12 also refer to that today?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And not enough equipment, either?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, the interpreter is asking you to
17 please not overlap. Give each other space for the interpreters. Thank
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
20 It's not my day today.
21 Q. Witness, I should like you now to take a look at a video clip
22 which is marked VD4, and at the same time, if that is possible, can we
23 have the English transcript of this video which is numbered D35? So if
24 that is possible, can we see both?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, it is not possible to see the
1 transcript and the video material at the same time. What we could do is
2 try to ask the interpreters if it's possible to give us some alternate
4 THE INTERPRETER: Or could we have the transcript in the booth,
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And for that reason, they need the transcript in
7 the booth, if it's possible.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we shall try to do so
9 in the future. This is a very short video clip which has just a couple of
10 scenes. It is not even necessary to hear the text, in fact. But we shall
11 try to provide this for the future. [No interpretation]
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Commander, sir, is the only thing that the
14 interpreter could make out.
15 A salute to the combatants and a response from the combatants.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Will you just please go back to the
17 first still and then stay there. I have a question in relation to it.
18 Stop it, please, yes. Thank you.
19 Q. Witness, please, take a look at -- a hard look at this scene, at
20 these people. I should like, first of all, to ask you: Do you -- did
21 you recognise anyone in this video clip, if you paid attention?
22 A. The people lined up here?
23 Q. No, no, among the commanding staff.
24 A. Perhaps Remzija. I'm not sure. I think so.
25 Q. When you say "Remzija," if I ask you, are you referring to Remzija
1 Siljak, the head of the 306th Brigade, is that whom you mean?
2 A. Yes, I meant him.
3 Q. Very well, thank you. Do you agree that the 306th Brigade, as
4 regards uniforms, was when it was established and during 1993 that it
5 looked more or less like shown in this video?
6 A. Yes, these were the people as they were, these lined-up people.
7 They actually came in their own clothing. We didn't have anything else.
8 When a suit came, that was later to the village, then people would fight
9 over it.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Your Honours,
11 can this video clip be given an exhibit number?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: The video clip is --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, microphone, please.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm awfully sorry. I'll say that again.
15 The video clip, VD4, is admitted into evidence. May it please be
16 given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 84, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
19 And I guess, Madam Vidovic, you want D35 also to be given an
20 exhibit number. That's the transcript.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, certainly.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Registrar please do the same with D35.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit 85.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to show the
2 witness a document, another document, and to ask him for his comment.
3 This is document D10. For the record, this is a document of the 306th
4 Brigade, strictly confidential, 02/348, of the 11th of April, 1993. Its
5 title is "Operational Report" addressed to superior commands.
6 Q. Witness, I'm going to quote a very short portion of this document.
7 That is the second paragraph, Your Honours, more or less. Yes,
8 this is it, where it refers to logistic support.
9 Witness, I shall quote:
10 "Logistic support of the unit is bad, which made it practically
11 impossible for us to carry out regular jobs. The causes: The lack of fuel
12 and lubricants and spare parts for vehicles. A constant problem has also
13 been the lack of weapons, ammunition and the clothing, which we have
14 already warned about earlier. Communication with the OG West Command has
15 been practically nonexistent in approximately the past ten days. This
16 should be solved immediately. The lines where the OG West Command are
17 known are occasionally very bad so that it is not possible to check, let
18 alone to work.
19 "Therefore, we were not able to carry out your order number
20 01/74-93 of 9 April 1993. The reason is that we are 18 kilometres away
21 from the Travnik Communications Centre and we have no means for sending a
22 messenger three times a day."
23 In this connection, Witness, I should like to ask you to clarify,
24 for the benefit of the Chamber, if you are able to, it is true, isn't it,
25 that also in the spring of 1993, in April, the brigade was still at the
1 level of village units? This document says that; do you agree?
2 A. Well, the situation was difficult. Now, in organisational terms,
3 how it was, whether it was exactly like this, I was still with my company
4 at the time so I don't know.
5 Q. And that company also functioned as a village unit, did it -- did
6 it not at that time, as a village group defending its village?
7 A. Yes, that was the way it was up until these actions against the
8 HVO. I believe that after that, the -- we had some different
9 organisational rules, different organisation undertaken.
10 Q. When you say "this action against the HVO," what period are you
11 referring to? Until what time did this situation obtain?
12 A. I was referring to the situation where the fighting against the
13 HVO started, and more significant moves in terms of improving organisation
14 were taken after -- in the second half of 1993. I'm not quite sure, in
15 fact, because I left for the El Mujahed Detachment.
16 Q. Excuse me. The purpose of my question is as long as you were with
17 the 306th Brigade, in the company, your company of the 306th Brigade, was
18 this the kind of situation which obtained until you joined the
19 El Mujahedin Detachment?
20 A. Well, just to give you an example, perhaps, in the last three or
21 four months, maybe from April until August, when I moved to the El Mujahed
22 Detachment, I was some kind of a commander of the company, but it didn't
23 really function in reality. We -- It was just on paper. We didn't have
24 any materiel, any weapons. We held the line facing the Chetniks, the Serb
25 aggressor. So it was only on paper. In practice, it just didn't function.
1 Q. Would that mean, then -- or rather if I were to put it to you that
2 for that reason the brigade couldn't function, for all intents and
3 purposes, would I be right?
4 A. Well, it was difficult for it to function. It was very difficult,
5 that's for sure, for the reasons that we just mentioned and the problems
6 with the HVO. We were in a very difficult situation. It was a "to be or
7 not to be" kind of situation.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will go -- get to
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: To make things abundantly clear, at line 23 on this
11 page 29, when the witness refers to the period April until August, of
12 which year are we talking?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1993.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] 1993. Thank you, Your Honour, for
16 your intervention and for the clarification.
17 Q. In this document, sir, it also says that the brigade was isolated
18 from its superior command, that was OG West; is that correct?
19 A. Well, I don't know what OG West is, so I can't really -- I can't
20 really make any comments.
21 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Fine.
22 In your evidence yesterday, you said that because there was no
23 organisation, that this was one of the reasons that prompted you to leave
24 the brigade, this total disarray?
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please -- could
2 this document please be given an exhibit number?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
4 please be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Go ahead.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry for the interruption, Your Honour. As
8 Exhibit 86.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. It shall be Exhibit 86.
10 What I was going to say was that there is the English translation
11 of the exhibit. Is it given a separate exhibit number or is it an "A" and
12 a "B" of 86?
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The same exhibit.
15 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So, in the spring of 1993, all the way up to August 1993, you were
18 in the 306th Brigade. You were in this area, generally speaking; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It is true, is it not, that in April 1993, the forces of the
22 Croatian Defence Council put up roadblocks on the roads in your area; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes. Well, first, the conflicts broke out in Novi Travnik, and
25 then it spread to other areas: Areas.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 I would like the witness to have a look at another document, Your
3 Honours. It is document D11. It's a protest sent by the 3rd Corps, dated
4 the 13th of April, 1993, to the Monitoring Mission and to the HVO Command
5 in Central Bosnia.
6 Q. Witness, let me quote just a small part of this document. I think
7 that you will be able to assist us in this regard.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The third paragraph of this
9 document. Your Honours, I'm trying to waste as little time as possible
10 reading out those documents, so I will start out in the middle.
11 It says here in this document: "Vehicles are being taken away at
12 roadblocks manned by HVO; and on 13th of April, 1993, the HVO units
13 blockaded the town of Novi Travnik. According to our information, the HVO
14 forces are grouping, and Muslim civilians are being arrested.
15 "On the 13th of April, 1993, HVO units set up new roadblocks and
16 reinforced the existing ones, the Han Bila-Zenica road at Ovnak; the
17 Rudnik-Nova Bila road above the village of Pokrajcica; the
18 Rudnik-Guca Gora in Kosovo; and in front of Guca Gora, several roadblocks
19 on the road leading from the village of Guca Gora to Travnik."
20 Q. Now, my question to you, Witness, is: It is correct, is it not,
21 that this document reflects the situation on the ground, the area where
22 your brigade was operating was, in fact, criss-crossed with those HVO
24 A. Yes, that is correct, because Croat and Muslim villages
25 alternated, and roads between them were blocked.
1 Q. This made it impossible to move in this area, to move normally?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And I would like to ask you, in this regard, is it correct that
4 elements of your brigade were, in fact, isolated from each other?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
7 tender this document into evidence. Could it please be given an exhibit
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
10 please be given an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 87, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In your evidence yesterday, you said that the brigade command was
15 located in the Bila Mine; is that correct?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. If I were to tell you that this command remained there at least
18 until the 28th of June, 1993, in the Bila Mine, that would be correct?
19 A. I don't know the exact date. It was there at that time. I don't
21 Q. You mean in June?
22 A. Yes, but I don't know the exact date, until what date it was
24 Q. Thank you. During those events, you said that there was an action
25 in June that you participated in?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it correct that at that time the brigade command was located in
3 the Bila coal mine?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you allow for the possibility that it was moved to Krpeljici
6 after that? Are you aware of that?
7 A. I knew that Sipic was blocked in Krpeljici, that he couldn't
8 leave. I don't know whether that held true for the whole command.
9 Q. Thank you. When you say -- you said "Sipic was blocked." When
10 you say "Sipic," you're referring to Esad Sipic, the brigade commander?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So you meant him when you said that he had been blocked in
14 A. Yes. Well, he couldn't leave Krpeljici at all because of the
16 Q. Thank you very much for the clarification.
17 In your evidence yesterday, in answer to questions put to you by
18 the Prosecution, you said that there was just one element of the 306th
19 Brigade in the school in Mehurici; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, I think so.
21 Q. If I were to put it to you that after the battalion of the 306th
22 Battalion went into the school in Mehurici, the Mujahedin left the school
23 and moved to the nearby village of Zapode, would you agree with me?
24 A. Well, I don't know the exact time when they actually left the
25 school, so I really can't give you an answer.
1 Q. Did I understand you correctly, you were not in the school
2 yourself; is that correct?
3 A. Well, I would go to the school from time to time, but I don't know
4 when -- when it was that all the Arabs left the school. I really don't
5 know that.
6 Q. Fine.
7 A. I passed by the school, because it's very close to the road.
8 Q. Fine. I would now like to move on to a different topic.
9 The time that you spent in the 306th Brigade, up until August
10 1993, you were in an area that was very close to the Mujahedin in
11 Mehurici; am I right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It is true, is it not, that the elements of the 306th Brigade that
14 you were in did not contain any Arabs who would be a member of that part
15 of that unit; I mean, the 306th Brigade?
16 A. I don't think that there were any Arabs, members of the 306th
17 Brigade, while I was there.
18 Q. Yes. Thank you. We are talking about this time period while you
19 were there, so thank you.
20 Your brigade, the 306th, did not receive any supplies from the
21 Arabs in any way; is that correct?
22 A. I don't think it was supplied from them.
23 Q. It didn't get any weapons from them, did it?
24 A. I said yesterday that perhaps once or twice there was some
25 training organised on a voluntary basis, ten or 15 people would go there,
1 but that was the only way. There was no other support.
2 Q. Would it be fair to say that perhaps some of the locals got
3 weapons privately, in a way, not as an official member of the brigade?
4 A. I don't know how that was organised. I know that they went there,
5 two or three groups, but people would get weapons in all kinds of ways
6 because there were no weapons around.
7 Q. Yes. I will be showing you some documents later on, a document.
8 In fact, I will be showing you a document right now.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] So could the witness be shown
10 document D23? This is a document of the Command of the 306th Brigade.
11 The number is 04/68-33. The date is the 30th of July, 1993.
12 Q. I hope, Witness, that you're able to see this document.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please see the
14 date on this document? Yes, yes. That's it. Thank you very much.
15 Q. You see the date here, the 30th of July?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Witness, this is very close to this time period, the 1st of
18 August, 1993, where, as you have told us, you left the brigade and joined
19 the Arab unit. Am I correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Let me quote an excerpt from this document, a very brief excerpt.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is page 1, which
23 you can see on your screen, the last two paragraphs on this page. The
24 last two paragraphs on this page. Let me quote.
25 The document says as follows:
1 "Despite all this, we will encounter certain problems which
2 surpass our capability and which have to do with the 1BB, where a
3 significant number of people wish to transfer to other units, 7LKBR,
4 because we are unable to provide them with weapons and to equip them, and
5 they are not willing to hold the lines on axes outside of their
7 "A certain number of fighters has joined the newly-formed El
8 Jihad for other motives. There, they train, they are not on the line,
9 they are financially stimulated, et cetera, while the huge area of
10 responsibility, with 45 kilometres of front line facing both sides,
11 remains there. And we find it more and more difficult to cover this whole
12 area for the above-mentioned reasons and because we -- and for this reason
13 we are mobilising everybody from 18 to 60 years of age."
14 Q. Just one clarification from you, Witness. The
15 abbreviation"17LKBR," that could refer to "Light Krajina Brigade"?
16 A. I don't know, really.
17 Q. If I were to tell you the 17th Light Krajina Brigade was deployed
18 close to your area, is that right?
19 A. Yes. Well, some elements of this unit were deployed in our area,
20 but I don't know if they were in our area.
21 Q. Well, that's fair enough. You have heard that the unit El Jihad
22 is mentioned in this document. Would you agree that the group of Arabs
23 that you joined at that time was actually called "El Jihad"?
24 In other words, is it possible that you may have forgotten the
25 name of that group? Does the name "El Jihad" ring any bells?
1 A. Well, this is what the locals called this unit at the beginning.
2 Q. Yes, that's precisely what I'm talking about.
3 A. Well, the people just called them "El Jihad."
4 Q. Just let me clarify this. So this is the group that you joined in
5 early August 1993; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I should like to ask you this in that connection; namely, if I put
8 it to you that the reason why Bosniaks joined this unit was the fact that
9 that unit had something to offer to the fighters, for instance, it had
10 training to offer?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It provided broad instruction, broad training on Islam?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, finally, that was one of the reasons, as you said yourself,
15 why you joined?
16 A. Yes, those were my reasons.
17 Q. It had financial incentives for the combatants and their families?
18 A. Yes, occasionally.
19 Q. Even before you saw this document, you had accepted the fact that
20 the -- you had stated that the 306th Brigade was unarmed, and it was not
21 organised properly.
22 Tell us, Witness, was the 306th Brigade at that time at all able,
23 in any way, to arm its fighters?
24 A. No, that was very difficult.
25 Q. Now, this document also referred to the fact that there existed
1 voluntary transfers or joining of other units. So this document actually
2 reflects the actual practice as regards these voluntary transfers; is that
3 not a fact?
4 A. Yes. And I am one of those who went of my own volition to join
5 the other unit.
6 Q. Thank you. It is true, is it not, that moving over to the
7 Mujahedins were not an exception? Is that a fact or not?
8 This document actually refers to the -- to transfers to the 17th
9 Krajina Brigade?
10 A. Well, it does refer to that; and if the document says so, it is
11 written there. I don't know.
12 Q. Okay. Do you know that anyone from the 306th Brigade also went to
13 join the 17th Krajina Brigade?
14 A. I don't know anybody doing that. I don't know simply.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Your Honours, I should like to tender this document and for it to
17 be given an exhibit number.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, yes, you are on your feet.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, the Prosecution does not object;
20 however, I do want to point out that this document, D23, is the same
21 document as one of the documents on the Prosecution exhibit list, and I'm
22 wondering if the Chamber has any general guidelines with respect to that
23 situation so that we're not, in the future, admitting the same document
25 It is, just for the record, it's the same as PT01433, which, of
1 course, is loaded into e-court. And I simply put that on the record, if
2 the Chamber wants to somehow give guidance for the future with respect to
3 documents that might appear on both parties' lists to avoid any confusion
4 down the road, but --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The common sense guidance is that we don't want to
6 burden the record unnecessarily; so a document, if it's tendered by one
7 side, the other side can use it without having to tender its own exhibit.
8 Thank you very much.
9 Document D23 is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
10 exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 88, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as you have informed
14 us that we will be adjourning at 4.00 today, perhaps this is the right
15 time for us to take a break, because after that I should like to present a
16 document that will require more time.
17 Perhaps I could stop with my cross-examination at this point.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic. In that event,
19 then, we will take a break -- I beg your pardon. We will adjourn for the
20 day, and we'll reconvene tomorrow again at quarter past 2.00 in this same
21 Courtroom I.
22 Court adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.55 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of
25 July, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.