1 Friday, 7 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, everybody. Will the registrar
6 please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honours. This is
8 case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. May we please have the
10 appearances, starting with the Prosecution.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom.
13 For the Prosecution Daryl Mundis and Aditya Menon, assisted by
14 our case manager Alma Imamovic.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
16 From the Defence.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Good
18 morning to my learned friends from the Office of the Prosecution, to
19 everyone in the courtroom.
20 Vasvija Vidovic and Nicholas David Robson on behalf of General
21 Rasim Delic, with our assistant Ramovic and Vajvid Imamomic [as
22 interpreted] from the Criminal Court of the Republic of Bosnia and
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
25 Upon the motion of the Prosecution to which the Defence has
1 agreed, the Trial Chamber sits today pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules of
2 Procedure and Evidence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the
3 Former Yugoslavia, and sits in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The purpose
4 is to hear the evidence of a witness, and the Trial Chamber shall sit
5 here pursuant to that Rule until the evidence is complete, and it is
6 anticipated to finish by no later than the 9th of September, 2007.
7 The situation in this court is slightly different from the
8 situation in the court in The Hague in that we are not in a position to
9 shut the gallery out, the public out, if we have to go into private
10 session or closed session. When that has to happen, it is required that
11 we clear the gallery. I'll therefore ask the parties to the extent
12 possible to try to pen in or to deal with private matters or matters that
13 require private session or closed session either at the beginning or at
14 the end of the of the session so that there is minimum interruption with
15 the public gallery. Thank you so much.
16 May the witness please be called in.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 WITNESS: ALI AHMAD ALI HAMAD
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, you may be seated.
24 Mr. Mundis.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Examination by Mr. Mundis:
2 Q. Sir, can you please state your full name for the record, spelling
3 your last name.
4 A. My name is Ali Ahmad Ali Hamad. A-l-i; then Ahmad, A-h-m-a-d;
5 then Ali, A-l-i; and then Hamad, H-a-m-a-d.
6 Q. Mr. Hamad, can you please tell the Trial Chamber your place of
7 birth and date of birth.
8 A. I was born on the 11th -- no, the 13th of November, 1971, in
10 Q. Sir, did there come a time in your late teens when you left
12 A. Yes. I first travelled in the Arab world and then to Afghanistan
13 when I joined in the war with the Mujahedin.
14 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, approximately what year you
15 travelled to Afghanistan and approximately how old you were at the time.
16 A. I don't remember exactly when I travelled to Afghanistan, but I
17 think it was at the beginning of 1991, and I think I was about 20 or 21
18 at the time.
19 Q. Mr. Hamad, how long did you remain in Afghanistan?
20 A. About 13 months.
21 Q. And, sir, that 13-month period, was it one continuous period or
22 was it a period that was broken into smaller segments of time?
23 A. This happened in several segments. The first trip was for three
24 months. Then I went for a period of one month, and then for nine months.
25 Q. What were you doing in Afghanistan, Mr. Hamad?
1 A. I joined the Mujahedin, that is, people who were under the
2 command of Osama bin Laden and the organisation that is known today as
3 al-Qaeda. So I was a combatant under the command of al-Qaeda.
4 Q. Mr. Hamad, during this -- this period of time totaling 13 months
5 in Afghanistan, did you receive any type of military training?
6 A. Yes. During the first three months that I spent in Afghanistan I
7 was in a training camp, and then during my second trip to Afghanistan I
8 was also in a training camp for a month, and after that I attended a
9 military academy organised personally by Osama bin Laden.
10 Q. Mr. Hamad, did you tell us -- or tell the Trial Chamber about the
11 specific type of military training that you received?
12 A. The military academy I attended resembles very much a regular
13 military academy. It is very capable and can equip an individual to use
14 all the weapons in the possession of the Mujahedin in Afghanistan. A
15 graduate of that academy should be able to use all kind of weapons
16 manufactured in Russia.
17 Q. Mr. Hamad, you've mentioned Osama bin Laden on two occasions.
18 Did you ever meet Mr. bin Laden while you were in Afghanistan?
19 A. When I went to Afghanistan for the third time I met him on
20 numerous occasions because, after all, I was a fighter in his
22 Q. Where did you go, sir, after leaving Afghanistan for the third
23 time? After the nine-month period where did you go?
24 A. When my term in Afghanistan ended, I was told to go back to
25 Bahrain, and there the same people ordered me to go to Bosnia.
1 Q. Let me ask you some questions to clarify that last answer. Who
2 told you to return to Bahrain?
3 A. We were told by Osama bin Laden and his commanders. I personally
4 was told by Osama bin Laden.
5 Q. And what, if anything, do you recall Mr. bin Laden telling you to
6 do after you returned to Bahrain?
7 A. It was not the practice of al-Qaeda to tell us young soldiers
8 what we should do when we left Afghanistan. We were simply told to go
9 back from where we had come. And there were quite a number of us young
10 combatants, and we were told that we would be told in our own countries
11 where to go next.
12 Q. And, Mr. Hamad, did you in fact receive subsequent instructions
13 as to where to go next?
14 A. I'm sorry, could you please explain the word
15 "instruksija" [phoen], "instructions", for me?
16 Q. Did you receive, sir, an order to go somewhere or a direction to
17 go somewhere, or were you told to go somewhere?
18 A. Yes. We were ordered to go from our own countries to go to wage
19 war somewhere, and we thought we would be sent is to Kuwait to assist in
20 liberating Kuwait from Saddam and his army. In the meantime, we learnt
21 that once we returned to our countries we were told to go to Bosnia.
22 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you recall approximately when you were told to go
23 to Bosnia?
24 A. This was at the beginning of the war. I heard about the war in
25 Bosnia and all the events there at the beginning of 1992, and then I was
1 told by people working for our al-Qaeda in Bahrain that I need to travel
2 to Bosnia.
3 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Hamad, the name or names of the people from
4 al-Qaeda who directed you or ordered you to go to Bosnia?
5 A. One of the al-Qaeda members was the prince of Bahrain, and I
6 received my first orders from him. He intimated that this order did not
7 come from him personally but an al-Qaeda cell. The other order came from
8 Abdul Araf [phoen], a compatriot of mine.
9 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Hamad, about the first order from the
10 Bahraini prince. Do you remember the name of the prince who gave you
11 that order?
12 A. The name of the prince is Hamad Al-Khalifa.
13 Q. And, Mr. Hamad, did that prince have any pseudonym or any
14 nickname that he went by during the time of the war in Bosnia?
15 A. Yes. He was known as Abu Fatih or Abu Muhammed.
16 Q. Do you recall, sir, approximately what month or year the Bahraini
17 prince ordered you to go to Bosnia?
18 A. I don't remember exactly, but I know that this was after August
20 Q. And, Mr. Hamad, what happened to this Bahraini prince?
21 A. He was killed here during the war at Igman.
22 Q. When you received the order from the Bahraini prince to go to
23 Bosnia, did you in fact, sir, go to Bosnia?
24 A. No, because I was not in the mood for waging war. The war in
25 Afghanistan affected me seriously. So I tried to find excuses. But in
1 the end Prince Hamad understood me and said they could overcome this
2 hesitation on mine but that I should come later. And this happened three
3 months after my conversation with him.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, I would ask for assistance from the
5 technical booth. We would like to show it this witness a video clip,
6 which is from PT06111, at time code 28 minutes 47 seconds. The English
7 transcript of that tape begins on line 1 of page 12.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the technical booth please give us assistance
9 as requested.
10 [Videotape played]
11 "During the September of 1992, the first Mujahedin offensive
12 operation against the Serb was carried out under the leadership of the
13 Bahraini Prince Muhammad Al-Fatih Al Bahraini, with Sheik Anwar Sha'baan
14 as second in command.
15 "The Bosnian Muslim forces had been informed, and Allah willed
16 for them to join the Mujahedin. A group of them participated in the
17 operation. The Mujahedin moved toward the Serb front line penetrating
18 and gaining control over these areas, inflicting heavy defeats on the
19 enemy of Allah. At this time the Bosnians did not have a complete
20 understanding of Islam, [indiscernible] al-Qaeda, and understanding of
21 why they were fighting. In addition to this, their limited military
22 capabilities on the front line meant that they were unable to hold their
23 positions due to the heavy Serbian shelling.
24 "Muhammed El-Fatih El-Bahraini came from Bahrain to the land of
25 jihad in Bosnia after he had abandoned the world with all its
1 attractions. He was a prince of the royal family in Bahrain. He was
2 married. However, the responsibilities of married life did not prevent
3 him from going to jihad. His wife would encourage him to go for jihad.
4 He was also convinced of the need to go to the land of Bosnia by a dream
5 in which he was being called to jihad in the mountains of the Balkans.
6 At this time, he did not know what the Balkans were. Once his dream had
7 been interpreted and he was informed that the Balkan mountains were in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, he answered the call to jihad and made his way to the
9 Balkans. Muhammad Al-Fatih had participated in the jihad of Afghanistan
10 where he gained a high level of military experience.
11 "Brother Abu Sahar [phoen] from Egypt, who lived with El-Fatih,
12 says of him : '[Foreign language spoken].'"
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Mr. Hamad, the video clip that we just saw, did that depict the
15 Bahraini prince that you were telling us about earlier this morning?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would ask that this
18 video clip be admitted into evidence.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The video clip is admitted into evidence. May it
20 please be given an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 317.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 MR. MUNDIS:
24 Q. Mr. Hamad, you also told us that after the Bahraini prince
25 visited you, you were again instructed or ordered to go to Bosnia by
1 Abu Aruf [phoen]. Is that correct?
2 A. I'm afraid you made a mistake. When the Prince Hamad ordered me
3 to go to Bosnia I refused, and then we agreed that I would go later, and
4 he left for Bosnia with two others. Three months later, I heard that
5 Abu Fatih had been killed, and one of the two men who had travelled with
6 him returned to Bahrain and ordered me to go to Bosnia. So this happened
7 three months after the prince was killed.
8 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, Mr. Hamad, where you went, how
9 you actually travelled to Bosnia?
10 A. From the airport of Bahrain I travelled to Germany. From Germany
11 to Croatia, to Zagreb to be specific, by plane, and then by bus from
12 Zagreb to Split, and from Split to Bosnia, Travnik, again by bus.
13 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Hamad, what you did during the period you
14 were in Zagreb?
15 A. Before I travelled to Zagreb, that is while I was still in
16 Bahrain, I was given explanations where I would go to, Zagreb, who would
17 receive me and who would assist me, and I was told that I had to report
18 to the mosque in Zagreb. I asked these men in Bahrain, "How will I be
19 able to recognise these people in the mosque?" And they said there was
20 no need for me to recognise them. They would recognise me as they would
21 be informed about my arrival in Zagreb.
22 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Hamad, the name or names of any people that
23 you met in Zagreb at the mosque?
24 A. I remember only one of them. He was known as Abu Ejmen. It is a
25 false name. I don't know his real name, but I know that there was a
1 group of Sudanese who were working for a humanitarian organisation called
2 The Third World.
3 Q. Were you provided with any travel documents by Ebu Ejmen or Third
5 A. I didn't receive any documents. We didn't use documents in that
6 period of time.
7 Q. How long did you remain in Zagreb?
8 A. I think I spent the night at Ebu Ejmen's. He headed the third
9 world organisation. And the next day he helped me to set off for Split
10 by bus.
11 Q. Did Ebu Ejmen give you any instructions when you set off on the
12 bus to Split?
13 A. I received instructions already in Bahrain. Everything was
14 explained to me, so that he didn't tell me much as to what I should do
15 because I already knew from before.
16 Q. Did you ever see Ebu Ejmen after this time in Zagreb when you met
18 A. Yes, amongst us Mujahedin in Bosnia during the war. And there
19 was a high degree of cooperation with Ebu Ejmen. This organisation was
20 assisting the Mujahedin in Bosnia, and particularly they assisted me.
21 When I was unit commander, I received food and even some weapons, and at
22 times also some money.
23 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, about the trip from Split to
24 Bosnia? How did you travel from Split to Bosnia?
25 A. I travelled by bus, and I was told that during the trip I
1 shouldn't speak to anyone, and I had to get off the bus when we reached
3 Q. At any point during that trip from Split to Travnik, sir, did any
4 authorities ask for paperwork or documents or travel documents?
5 A. I remember that there were many check-points, and these
6 check-points were manned by military police and HVO soldiers and also
7 Bosniaks. They weren't together at the check-points. The HVO had their
8 own check-points, and the Bosniak army had their own.
9 I was told that I shouldn't say anything if any questions were to
10 be asked of me at these check-points. I could in those days distinguish
11 between check-points held by the HVO and the Bosniaks, because the
12 Bosniaks welcomed me with a smile and with the Islamic greeting.
13 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you recall whether there were any other foreign
14 fighters on the bus from Split to Travnik, or were you the only such
16 A. Before that I have to tell you this: When I arrived from Bahrain
17 at Frankfurt by -- by plane there were two foreign nationals. I didn't
18 have any contact with the two of them because I was told in Bahrain that
19 until I reached the Muslim forces in Travnik I mustn't communicate with
20 anyone for my own personal safety.
21 When I arrived in Zagreb, at the airport I also saw these two
22 mentioned men. They tried to get in touch with me, but I avoided it
23 except for a brief greeting. They travelled with me by bus from Zagreb
24 to Split, and they were also in the second bus that set off from Split to
25 Travnik. And finally, I learnt that they, too, had arrived to join the
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I might just interrupt.
3 Sir, you mentioned that when you got to the check-points
4 controlled by the Bosnian army you were welcomed with a smile and an
5 Islamic greeting. What happened when you got to HVO check-points?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They would address me in English as
7 a foreigner, and they would ask for my documents, for my passport and ID
8 card, and I would show them my passport, not speaking, and they would put
9 a few questions to me in English which I understand, such as where was I
10 coming from, where was I going to. And I did what I was told, that I
11 mustn't respond to their questions but just to show my passport. And
12 when they say that I wasn't responding to their questions, it meant that
13 I didn't understand. They could see that I had a regular passport, a
14 regular visa in order, and so they let me continue with my trip to
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 You may proceed, Mr. Mundis.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you recall the approximate date or at least the
20 month and year that you arrived in Travnik?
21 A. I arrived in Travnik in September 1992.
22 Q. And were you met by anyone when you arrived in Travnik?
23 A. Yes. I was met by a young man who spoke Arabic perfectly. He
24 was a soldier of the Muslim forces in Travnik. And I was told when I was
25 Bahrain that somebody would wait for me from the units of the Muslim
1 forces, at the bus station.
2 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Hamad, the name of the person who met you at
3 the Travnik bus-stop who spoke Arabic?
4 A. He was a younger man, and he introduced himself by name, but I
5 don't remember it now.
6 Q. And just so that we're clear, do you recall why this person spoke
7 Arabic fluently?
8 A. I was surprised. At first I thought that he was an Arab, and I
9 asked him if he was an Arab, and he replied that he was from Bosnia, but
10 he could speak the local language and the Arab language because his
11 father was from Bosnia and his mother was from Kuwait.
12 Q. And this person who spoke fluent Arabic, did he take you
14 A. He was most probably waiting for me to arrive at the Travnik bus
15 station, and when he saw me he approached me, introduced himself, and he
16 told me that he was a member of the Muslim forces in Travnik, and he
17 asked me if I was looking for the command of the Muslim forces and that
18 he was the person who was waiting for everybody who would come from the
19 outside in order to join that unit.
20 Q. What about the other two men that were on the bus? Did you
21 observe them at the Travnik bus-stop?
22 A. They were standing not too far from me. I paid -- I drew the
23 attention of the young man who spoke Arabic that I was not alone and that
24 probably two other foreigners arrived in order to join the Muslim forces,
25 and he also went up to them and had the same conversation with them that
1 he had with me. He asked them whether they wanted to get in touch with
2 the Muslim forces. They confirmed that, and then the four of us went to
3 the Muslim forces command in Travnik.
4 Q. Mr. Hamad, what did you do upon arrival at the Muslim forces
5 command in Travnik?
6 A. We talked with the brigadier of the Muslim forces. I know that
7 brigadier. His name was Asim, but I don't know his last name. And it
8 turned out that he was informed about my arrival. He greeted me like a
9 brother, as they say in the name of Allah, as a fighter in his unit.
10 Q. Did this Brigadier Asim ask you for any information?
11 A. He didn't ask me about anything other than my false name, because
12 as the Mujahedin during the war here did not use our real names. We
13 never showed our documents to anyone. We used our nicknames. And Asim
14 and all the leaders B and H army knew about that, that we did not give
15 our documents or state our true names, and they accepted that. So all he
16 did was ask me for my false name. He had a notebook with him where he
17 wrote down the false names of all the fighters, the foreign fighters who
18 were in his unit.
19 Q. And by what false name were you known during the war, Mr. Hamad?
20 A. I had these names. I changed these false names, but at the time
21 I was known as Abu Ubeyda.
22 Q. Can you just tell the Trial Chamber, if you can remember, where
23 the Muslim forces command post was located in September 1992 when you met
24 with Brigadier Asim?
25 A. It was somewhere in the centre of Travnik, and it was about so
1 minutes away on foot from the bus station.
2 Q. Upon your arrival in Travnik, Mr. Hamad, were you aware of who
3 was the commander of the Mujahedin at that point in time?
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. And who was the commander of the Mujahedin in September 1992 when
6 you arrived in Travnik?
7 A. It was Ebu Abdel Aziz. We used to call him Abdel Aziz or "Red
8 Beard," "Crvena Brada." He was the first chief of the Mujahedin in
10 Q. And did you know an Ebu Abdel Aziz prior to arriving in Bosnia,
11 or was that the first time you'd ever heard of him?
12 A. Yes. I knew him from Afghanistan as one of the leaders of
13 al-Qaeda and as one of the important people on whom Osama bin Laden
14 always relied, and I had information when I was in Bahrain that Abdel
15 Aziz would be coming to Bosnia when the war began here. I learned that
16 he did come here and brought some $10 million US with him in order to
17 organise the Mujahedin forces that were supposed to be part of the B and
18 H army, and this is how it happened.
19 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you recall Brigadier Asim telling you anything
20 about Ebu Abdel Aziz while you were at the Muslim forces headquarters in
21 Travnik in September 1992?
22 A. When I arrived at Travnik, at the Muslim forces command,
23 Brigadier Asim indicated that Mujahedin were in his unit and that he was
24 the person who was receiving the first groups of foreign Mujahedin. He
25 told me that foreign Mujahedin were at two locations. One was in
1 Mehurici where there was a Mujahedin command at the school and where
2 there was a Mujahedin camp. This was in Mehurici. They also had a
3 Mujahedin front at Karaula. Karaula is the name of a group of villages,
4 and we were in Gradina. All of this was explained to me by Brigadier
6 Q. Upon first arriving in Travnik in September 1992, Mr. Hamad, how
7 long did you remain in that town?
8 A. You mean in Travnik?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. I arrived before dark, and I left for the Karaula front the same
11 evening, because it happened that a truck with Bosniak soldiers was going
12 to Karaula by chance, so then I left with them.
13 Q. And just so we're clear then, sir, you only spent a matter of
14 hours in Travnik before leaving for Karaula?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What did you do upon arrival in Karaula?
17 A. I arrived at Karaula in the night. I didn't see anyone. The
18 soldiers who were in the truck told me, pointing at a house, that the
19 Mujahedin were staying in that house. The next day I met the Mujahedin
20 who were actually billeted in that house.
21 Q. I'll ask you about Karaula in a moment, but I neglected to ask
22 you a couple of other questions about the time you were in Travnik, that
23 very short period of time you were in Travnik.
24 Were you given anything by anyone while you were in Travnik?
25 A. I was given a military uniform and weapons, infantry weapons.
1 This was an order from Brigadier Asim. And then some Bosniak soldiers
2 gave me that or issued that from their military warehouse, and then I
3 left for Karaula.
4 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Hamad, what type of weapons you were issued or
6 A. I don't remember exactly, but I think that it was a rifle of
7 Yugoslav manufacture, and then I was given several rounds of ammunition
8 and a few hand grenades.
9 Q. Let's now return to Karaula. You told us about a house, and
10 did --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just interrupt.
12 What uniform were you given on this day when you were given this
13 arms and ammunition? You said you were given a uniform. What uniform
14 was this that you were given?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Members of the B and H army had
16 different uniforms at the time. They had Russian-made uniforms, US-made
17 uniforms. Mostly it was the same uniform used by members of the B and H
18 army. It's the multicoloured green coloured uniform.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Were there any insignia on
20 the uniform?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that period the B and H army
22 didn't use insignia, because the B and H army itself was not organised
23 properly. There were some insignia that just was popping up somewhere,
24 but mostly they were not using insignia.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: At least at the time you were issued this uniform
1 there were no insignia.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm thinking of the uniform that I
3 received. That didn't have any insignia, but other local soldiers, the
4 majority of them did have insignia.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you -- can you describe the insignia that were
6 on the local soldiers?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I will not be able
8 to describe that. This happened a long time ago, 14 years ago.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis. I'm sorry to interrupt you.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Hamad, let's talk now about this house that you mentioned in
13 Karaula. Is that the location where you stayed?
14 A. Yes. The Muslim forces command provided this house for us -- or,
15 rather, they spoke with the owner of the house to let us use the ground
16 floor where we were staying. The family who were the owners of the house
17 lived on the top floor. Actually, I don't remember if we were upstairs
18 or downstairs. I forgot that.
19 Q. And this house was in the hamlet of Gradina, which is included in
20 the larger Karaula area?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How long -- how long did your unit remain in this house in
24 A. I don't remember exactly, but I think it was a few months,
25 because after the fall of Jajce and its environs we had to leave Karaula
1 without putting up resistance and return to Travnik.
2 Q. I want to ask you a few questions about Karaula and then we'll
3 talk about the time when Jajce fell.
4 At the time you arrived at the house in Gradina, who was the
5 commander of the Mujahedin unit that was billeted there?
6 A. It was a Tunisian known as Ebu Sead.
7 Q. How many men were in Ebu Sead's unit based in the house in
8 Gradina in the Karaula area?
9 A. I remember that there were about 25 of us foreign Mujahedin - 18
10 Arabs and 7 Turks - but there were Mujahedin in other places in Bosnia
12 Q. Okay. And what were the combat objectives of your unit at the
13 time you were in the Karaula region?
14 A. We had two objectives. The first one was to attack Gornji Vakuf
15 and to try to liberate it. But the bigger objective was to defend
16 Travnik from the possible attacks by the army of Republika Srpska.
17 Q. And when you say, Mr. Hamad, liberate Gornji Vakuf, let me ask
18 you, liberate Gornji Vakuf from which military force? Who was in Gornji
19 Vakuf at this time?
20 A. The army of Republika Srpska.
21 Q. Now, other than the army of the VRS -- or the VRS and your
22 Mujahedin unit, were there any other military forces in the area known as
24 A. Yes. There were members of the Croatian Defence Council at the
25 time we cooperated with the HVO -- or, rather, the Bosniaks cooperated
1 with the HVO, and we as foreign Mujahedin had who were a part of the
2 Bosnian units had to respect that.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you mean by "the Bosniaks"?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm thinking precisely of members
5 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but I could not call them members
6 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina because it was not formed yet at
7 that time.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 MR. MUNDIS:
10 Q. Mr. Hamad, at this period, again September 1992, can you tell us
11 the relationship between the Muslim forces in Travnik and the Mujahedin?
12 A. They were very good, and in that period Bosnia -- there were a
13 lot of Mujahedin coming to Bosnia, and there were many such members in
14 Travnik, and that unit there was formed of the best members, and it could
15 receive the Mujahedin. And the members of the Bosniak forces were also
16 religious. They paid more attention to the faith, and this is something
17 that suited to the Mujahedin, and that is why they were sent to the
18 Travnik area. So the relations, of course, were very good.
19 Q. And the Travnik Muslim forces as a unit, how long did that unit
20 last until?
21 A. Could you please ask me the question again?
22 Q. Absolutely. Did the Travnik Muslim forces continue to exist as a
23 unit throughout the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 A. Yes, they did exist throughout the war, but the unit advanced.
25 In the beginning you could not call it a brigade because there weren't
1 enough people there. In the meantime, they were able to self-organise as
2 a brigade. They had more fighters, both local and foreign.
3 Q. And at the time that they were able to organise into a brigade,
4 do you know if the name changed or what the name of that brigade was?
5 A. They did have a name. It was a number, but I cannot remember it.
6 The brigade did have a number. Maybe it was the 308th. Something like
7 that, but I don't remember exactly.
8 Q. Can you tell us now about the period of several months when your
9 unit was in Karaula what combat operations, if any, your unit was
10 involved in?
11 A. Only in that period?
12 Q. Only -- only -- you told us that you arrived there in September
13 1992 and remained there for a few months. During that time period, sir,
14 what was your unit doing in terms of combat operations?
15 A. Together with the Bosniak soldiers we participated in the war
16 only in relation to Gornji Vakuf. We were attacking only members of the
17 army of Republika Srpska who were protecting Gornji Vakuf.
18 Q. And, Mr. Hamad, again when you say along with the Bosniak forces,
19 what unit or units are you referring to?
20 A. I'm thinking of the units of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
21 or more specifically the units of the Muslim forces and other units that
22 were located in Travnik.
23 Q. Do you recall, sir, the names of any of the Bosniak commanders of
24 the units that your Mujahedin were fighting alongside with? Again in
25 this period while you were at Karaula after September 1992.
1 A. Yes, I do remember a few officers who were commanding the Muslim
2 forces. They were company commanders. For example, Ramo Drmic, known as
3 Ebu Jihad. I know of one person called Faik. I don't know his last
4 name, but I know that he was from Kakanj. I know about Juka and so on.
5 Q. The persons that you told us about that received you in Travnik,
6 Brigadier Asim, did you ever see him after that period when you were at
7 the Muslim forces headquarters in Travnik?
8 A. Yes. We were in his unit, and I know that he fought in the
9 Travnik area until midway through the war. After that he left Travnik
10 and returned to his home area where he comes from, to Bihac.
11 Q. Earlier this morning you told us that your unit left -- left
12 Karaula after the fall of Jajce. Do you remember, sir, approximately
13 when that was that Jajce fell?
14 A. I don't recall that, but we were in Karaula for a short period of
15 time. Perhaps two to three months, I think, if not less.
16 Q. And where did the Mujahedin unit that you were a member of go
17 after Jajce fell?
18 A. We went with the Mujahedin forces to the headquarters of the
19 Mujahedin in Mehurici.
20 Q. Before travelling to Mehurici did you receive any orders from
22 A. We had contact via radio with our leaders in Mehurici, and they
23 ordered that we continued along the way to Mehurici, because we foreign
24 Mujahedin do not take orders from anyone but our own chiefs, which
25 doesn't mean, however, that we were fighting independently. And this
1 does not mean that we were not under the control of the BH army, because
2 there was a certain organisation between the BH leaders and the Mujahedin
3 leaders, and these leaders would agree on what was to be done. And after
4 agreement with the BH army leaders, then our chiefs would issue us
5 orders, being foreign Mujahedin.
6 Q. Mr. Hamad, I think we'll get to this subject in more detail later
7 today, but can you tell the Trial Chamber what the basis is for the
8 statement that you just made about the relationship between the foreign
9 Mujahedin and the army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. Because after that I became a commander of a combat unit, and I
11 had contact and talks with senior officers of the BH army. And also as a
12 unit commander, I communicated with Mujahedin leaders in Travnik, so that
13 I knew that this organisation existed. And what is most important, we
14 foreign Mujahedin didn't carry out a single attack without the
15 cooperation of members of the BH forces.
16 Q. You told us, Mr. Hamad, that you received orders to go from
17 Karaula to Mehurici. How long did you remain with your unit in Mehurici?
18 A. I think that before we left Mehurici we spent a couple of days in
19 Travnik. We had a house in Travnik. The Bosniak soldiers gave us this
20 for our convenience so that we use it as a place of rest. And after that
21 we travelled to Mehurici, and from Mehurici that same night we went to
22 Bijelo Puce [as interpreted] where our unit was billeted near Travnik.
23 Therefore, as far as I understood it, the Bosniak commanders were in
24 Mehurici also where they met with the Mujahedin commanders after the fall
25 of Jajce, and my understanding was they had agreed where they would house
1 the unit that had left Karaula, among them the Mujahedin. So I gathered
2 that they had already agreed, and they had chosen Bijelo Puce near
3 Travnik. And after this agreement my chief also told me to travel with
4 the Mujahedin to Mehurici, and we were told briefly that we would be
5 accommodated in Bijelo Puce together with other Bosniak units.
6 Q. Mr. Hamad, when you make reference to your chief, at that point
7 in time who was your chief?
8 A. At that point in time the chief was Ebu Abdel Aziz, as I have
9 said. But also -- but also Fahrudin [as interpreted] El Misri, who was a
10 military expert. And I had more contact with him, and I received orders
11 from him because I was a soldier and he was a military expert.
12 Q. I believe, sir, that there may have been a misinterpretation,
13 because I think what we heard in English was not what you said in
14 Bosnian. This person El Misri, what was his first name or the other name
15 that he went by?
16 A. Wahiuddin El Misri. He's from Egypt, and this was his false
18 Q. Now, Mr. Hamad, you again have told us about discussions that
19 took place, you told us, in Mehurici between Bosniak forces and the
20 Mujahedin. When you made that comment, sir, what Bosniak forces were you
21 referring to?
22 A. I was referring to the commanders of Bosniak units situated in
23 Travnik and Mehurici and in Zenica.
24 Q. Mr. Hamad, did you ever observe any leaders of the Bosnian army
25 in the school in Mehurici?
1 A. Yes. That was when I met Mr. Mehmed Alagic. He introduced
2 himself to us as a general for the Travnik area, and he communicated with
3 the Mujahedin leaders in Novo Mijesto where we foreign Mujahedin were
5 Q. What about in the camp in Mehurici? Did you ever observe any
6 senior leaders of the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
7 that camp?
8 A. I didn't have occasion to see them in that camp, because I myself
9 did not visit that camp often. But when they came to talk to the
10 Mujahedin, they would meet in the school because the Mujahedin commander
11 was in the school. But they may have been in that camp and I may not
12 know about it.
13 Q. Do you know, Mr. Hamad, if Ebu Abdel Aziz had contact with senior
14 leaders of the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
15 A. As Ebu Abdel Aziz told me himself, he had contact with the
16 military and political leadership in Sarajevo. He told me that he had
17 spoken to Alija Izetbegovic and some senior officers in Sarajevo. He
18 told me that they had given him their full support and that they had
19 agreed with him where he and his unit would be accommodated.
20 Q. Do you know where Mr. Ebu Abdel Aziz is today, sir?
21 A. I don't.
22 Q. Mr. Hamad, we're almost to the first recess that we'll take this
23 morning, but before we do that, can you please tell the Trial Chamber who
24 it was that gave you the orders that your unit would be going to Bijelo
1 A. The order was given by the newly elected commander -- to the
2 newly elected commander and to me, because I was at the time appointed
3 deputy commander, and it was given to us by Wahiuddin El Misri.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, I know we didn't talk about breaks it
5 at the beginning. I hear you referring to the break. I've been trying
6 to work out how we can work it out to fit in, the fact that we started 30
7 minutes late. Can I suggest that we go up to 11.00?
8 MR. MUNDIS: That would be fine. I was aware of a Scheduling
9 Order that indicated we would go until 10.45, but I --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry.
11 MR. MUNDIS: I --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. It's just been handed to me. So we'll
13 go according to the schedule. Thank you very much.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Now, was it then -- so that I understand what you're saying,
16 Mr. Hamad, was it Wahiuddin who ordered your unit to go to Bijelo Bucje?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And at the same time, he appointed you the deputy commander of
19 that unit?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And who was the commander of the unit?
22 A. Abu Talha from Egypt.
23 Q. Was there anyone else that was appointed to the leadership of
24 your unit other than Abu Talha as the commander and yourself as the
25 deputy commander?
1 A. Allow me to explain this a little. When we set off from Travnik
2 towards Mehurici with another two men, I had a meeting with Wahiuddin El
3 Misri, and he chose the Egyptian Abu Talha for the commander of the unit
4 that would be billeted in Bijelo Bucje near Travnik, and he chose me as
5 deputy commander and responsible for military issues, and he chose a
6 third person Abu El Haris from Bahrain as an advisor and a second
7 assistant. At the time, he held a lengthy speech and said that they had
8 agreed with the local commanders and Alagic himself that all the units in
9 Karaula would be billeted in Bijelo Bucje, and he ordered us to cooperate
10 with the domestic army and that without them we were not allowed to carry
11 out any attacks.
12 Q. Now, this will be my last question before the break. You
13 mentioned this third person, Abu El Haris El Bahreyni. We've heard
14 evidence about a Dr. Haris. Is that one and the same person or are they
15 two different people?
16 A. No, it is -- it is not the same person. There's another doctor,
17 Muharis [phoen], from Libya. He was one of the leaders. This is
18 Abu Haris, who is a compatriot of mine. And I said that the prince had
19 reached Bosnia before me with two other men, and one of those two others
20 was Abu Haris.
21 Q. All right. I simply wanted to stress that when we're talking
22 about Abu Haris, that's not Dr. Abu Haris who later was a senior
23 commander of the Mujahedin.
24 A. No.
25 Q. Thank you, sir.
1 MR. MUNDIS: This would be an appropriate time for the first
2 recess, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a recess and
4 come back at 10.00 -- 11.15. Court recessed.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.42 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Hamad, right before the break we were speaking about the unit
10 that you had been appointed to the position of deputy commander of. Can
11 you tell the Trial Chamber how many men were in your unit?
12 A. In my unit there were 107 fighters, 70 Arabs, about 25 Turks, and
13 maybe about 12 Bosniaks.
14 Q. And you've told us that you were sent or ordered to go to Bijelo
15 Bucje. Where was your unit billeted in that village?
16 A. Our unit was billeted in two and later in three private houses in
17 the same village.
18 Q. Mr. Hamad, were there any other military units in that village?
19 A. Yes, there were several units. Not only from the Muslim forces,
20 but there were other brigades like, for instance, the 312th Brigade.
21 Q. How long was your unit in Bijelo Bucje?
22 A. I think until the beginning of 1993. About four months in Bijelo
24 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber what your unit was doing
25 during the time period you were in Bijelo Bucje?
1 A. Together with the Bosniak units we took part in attacks against
2 the positions of the army of Republika Srpska and the HVO towards Travnik
3 and Novi Travnik, and also we would sometimes travel further afield. At
4 Ilijas we took part in the war, and sometimes men went as far as Igman
5 and Vlasic. So we were active in the area where we were situated, but
6 when necessary we went further away in order to assist the Bosniak units.
7 Q. As the deputy commander of that unit, sir, can you tell the Trial
8 Chamber how combat operations were planned and organised?
9 A. First the senior officers of BH army would meet with the
10 Mujahedin command in Mehurici. After that, I would receive orders from
11 the Mujahedin command that I need to collaborate with the Bosniak units
12 and to take part in the attacks which they had proposed -- or, rather,
13 the locations that they had proposed, and then the Bosniak officers would
14 come to see me to agree with me as to what we should do. But I always
15 abided by what I was told by Wahiuddin El Misri.
16 For instance, they would come to see me and say that we need to
17 attack a particular location and that it had already been investigated
18 and that everything was ready for the attack, but I refused to do that
19 until I myself do not reconnoiter area. And that's how it worked.
20 Q. What contact -- let me -- let me ask you this, sir: How long did
21 you remain the deputy commander of that unit?
22 A. This was after the attack on Ilijas in 1992 when the commander of
23 the unit, Abdul Aha [as interpreted] was killed. I was wounded. I spent
24 a short time at the hospital in Visoko and then in Zenica, and then I
25 became the unit commander.
1 Q. And for how long, sir, were you the commander of the Mujahedin
2 unit in Bijelo Bucje?
3 A. I think until mid-1993.
4 Q. Would it be correct then, sir, that for approximately six months
5 you were the commander of that unit in Bijelo Bucje?
6 A. Something like that.
7 Q. During that period in the first half of 1993 when you were the
8 commander of the Mujahedin in Bijelo Bucje, did you have any interaction
9 with leaders of the army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. In that period in that area I had interaction with Mehmed Alagic.
11 This was necessary because, after all, he was a senior officer, and he
12 introduced himself as a general, and I was a unit commander within his
13 corps, so that I always had to communicate with him, to explain to him
14 some of the attacks we had carried out, what had happened, how many we
15 had dead among us and among the Bosniak troops. And I also contacted the
16 unit commanders. Like, for instance, Dervisevic Vahid. I would like to
17 mention that he was not a commander of the Muslim forces in Travnik but a
18 senior officer in the 17th Krajina Brigade with whom I cooperated most in
19 that area.
20 Q. Do you know, sir, in the first six months of 1993 what position
21 General Alagic was holding?
22 A. I don't know. I remember Mehmed Alagic as a general of the
23 7th Corps, and he introduced himself as a general, but it is possible
24 that he wasn't a general when we met him for the first time. But I can
25 only tell you what he told me, and that is that he was a general.
1 Q. How -- roughly how many occasions did you meet with
2 General Alagic in the first six months of 1993?
3 A. I can't tell you exactly how many times this happened, but I can
4 just say that it happened several times. Sometimes he visited us in
5 Bijelo Bucje on the eve of the attack when we were planning an attack on
6 one of the positions of the VRS or the HVO. Sometimes I would meet with
7 him in Travnik, and sometimes I would have a meeting with him during the
8 attack. When we take over positions from the VRS or the HVO, then he
9 would come to talk to me and to learn from me what had been done and how
10 much progress we had made.
11 Q. Mr. Hamad, earlier today he mentioned operations conducted by
12 your unit in the area of Ilijas. Do you recall approximately when that
13 combat operation took place?
14 A. I don't remember exactly, but I know it was towards the end of
16 Q. You also told us, sir, about a time when your unit commander, Abu
17 Talha, was killed and you yourself were wounded. Which combat operation
18 was that?
19 A. I didn't quite understand your question.
20 Q. The combat operations that you were engaged in, that you were
21 involved in at the time Abu Talha was killed and you yourself were
22 wounded, when and where was that combat operation?
23 A. If you mean whether the operation had a name, I don't know, but I
24 know that it was in the area of Ilijas. The aim was to open the road to
1 Q. Can you tell us -- can you tell us, sir, what happened on that
3 A. I was in Bijelo Bucje. Late at night we were sleeping in our
4 house, and I know that a courier arrived from Mehurici by truck, and he
5 passed on a message from Abu Talha, who was the unit commander in Bijelo
6 Bucje, that it was urgent, to choose 27 capable fighters and to go
7 towards Mehurici. At that time, we didn't know what it was about except
8 that we had to go to Visoko to take part in the attack on Ilijas, to
9 deblock the road to Sarajevo.
10 When we reached Mehurici, we met with the -- the expert for
11 military issues, Wahiuddin El Misri, and he addressed me and Abu Talha
12 and mentioned Abu Haris from Bahrain, saying that we need to help the BH
13 army in deblocking the road to Sarajevo. That is, he told us that the BH
14 army had organised an attack on Ilijas to open the road to Sarajevo and
15 that they wanted us also to take part in that attack.
16 I was surprised, and I asked what 27 soldiers could do, and we
17 were told that we just had to give them moral support. And they
18 explained that the BH army commanders said that if these 27 Mujahedin
19 were to be in the front line they would be -- they would give morale to
20 the Bosniak soldiers and that one man would be worth 1.000. And I know
21 that there were another 400 Bosniak soldiers from the Muslim forces, but
22 there were also other units who were billeted in Travnik.
23 When we reached Mehurici, I saw several buses parked in front of
24 the school where the Mujahedin headquarters were situated, and I saw that
25 quite a number of soldiers had come from Zenica, from the 7th Muslim.
1 And the people billeted in Mehurici, they started out with us towards
2 Visoko. Then in Visoko we were joined by several units who were billeted
3 in Visoko and together we attacked Ilijas.
4 Q. Can you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber how this attack
5 unfolded, what your unit did?
6 A. There was a misunderstanding among the Bosniak units themselves.
7 Even we foreign Mujahedin were not satisfied, but we didn't express our
8 dissatisfaction. The BH army commanders had lied to us when they said
9 that they had done reconnaissance in the area and the action had been
10 properly planned. But when we were confronted with the VRS, we learnt
11 that the area had not been reconnoitred, that the minefield had not been
12 cleared, but nevertheless we had to take part because that is why we were
13 there, to give them moral support. So we Mujahedin were in the front
14 line facing the VRS.
15 Then we entered about 300 metres inside, whereas the 400 soldiers
16 who had come from Travnik took up the lines that we had broken through,
17 and they started setting fire to the trenches and the dugouts. After
18 that I was wounded. About an hour after the beginning of the attack I
19 was taken back to Vusoko -- Visoko. The other Mujahedin and the domestic
20 forces continued fighting until the night. But I was told in detail as
21 to everything that happened until the end of the operation, and I heard
22 this both from foreign Mujahedin and from the local soldiers who took
23 part in this combat operation.
24 Q. Again, Mr. Hamad, when you say the local Bosniak forces that took
25 part in the operation, what unit or units are you referring to?
1 A. I'm thinking of the units of the B and H army. Specifically I
2 cannot tell you which units took part. There was several units that I
3 know about, and there was several units that I don't know.
4 I know, for example, that the Muslim forces from Travnik took
5 part, and the Mujahedin also participated, the 7th Muslim Brigade from
6 Travnik. I know that also a part of the 317th Krajina Brigade
7 participated in the attack, and I know that also the so-called Turkish
8 guerrillas took part in the action. They did not participate in the
9 attack as a separate unit, but they were actually part of the 7th Muslim.
10 Q. Now -- excuse me. You just mentioned the Turkish guerrilla, and
11 I would ask you if you could explain to us what this Turkish guerrilla
12 unit was.
13 A. I can confirm that these were criminals who came from Asia in
14 order to take advantage of the war situation and to make money. They
15 came here, and they said that they were Mujahedin and that they were here
16 to help the attacked Bosnian people, but actually that was not the true
17 intention. It was only to make money at the expense of the Bosniak state
18 and the Bosniak people. They were able to do it, however, because the B
19 and H army received us, and it was sufficient to say that we were
20 Mujahedin and that we were here to help.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said that these Turkish guerrillas were
22 criminals from Arab countries. They didn't come from Turkey?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said from Asia. And we know that
24 Turkey is in Asia.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. You told us in response to my question about units taking part in
3 the operation from Visoko that the Turkish guerrilla were involved; is
4 that right?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. And which unit or units were the Turkish guerrilla fighting with?
7 A. They were part of the 7th Muslim from Zenica.
8 Q. Mr. Hamad, other than this occasion in Visoko, were you
9 personally aware of any other time when the Turkish guerrilla were
10 involved in combat?
11 A. I don't know specifically, but I know that they participated in
12 several attacks in Zenica against the HVO, and they even confiscated a
13 Praga on a truck from them.
14 Q. And for the Trial Chamber's benefit, Mr. Hamad, can you tell us
15 what a Praga is?
16 A. A Praga is a type of weapon, anti-aircraft weapon. So it can
17 bring down from land anything that is airborne. When I say Praga, there
18 are several calibres. When I talk about one, I speak about one that has
19 a range of up to 8 kilometres in the air and 15 kilometres on the surface
20 if the targets are on land. So it is intended not only for destroying
21 aircraft, but it can also be used to destroy everything that is on the
22 surface. For example, a vehicle. It can also destroy a building, and
23 you can even fire at a man from it.
24 Q. Do you know, Mr. Hamad, where the Turkish guerrilla were billeted
25 or headquartered or located?
1 A. The Turkish guerrilla was accommodated in a music school in the
2 centre of Zenica where the military police of Sakib Mahmuljin was also
3 located -- or, rather, the military police of the 3rd Corps under the
4 command of Sakib Mahmuljin.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Vidovic.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the Prosecutor
7 establish the time frame that the witness is speaking about.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely.
10 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you know -- you've told us that the Turkish
11 guerrilla were in the Zenica music school. Do you know when they were
12 located there?
13 A. This is very hard for me to determine time periods. Again, I'm
14 talking about things that happened 12, 13, 14 years ago. But more or
15 less it was in the period from 1993.
16 Q. How many men were in this Turkish guerrilla group?
17 A. I would call them small groups, because it was perhaps 10 people
18 from Turkey. But among the foreigners there were also local people,
19 because the foreigners would not be able to act by themselves in Bosnia.
20 They couldn't smuggle cigarettes by themselves if there were no local
21 people to direct them.
22 Q. Let's return then, sir, to the subject of the combat in Visoko on
23 the day that you were wounded and Abu Talha was killed. Do you recall
24 the names of any of the local military commanders who were in Visoko and
25 Ilijas on that day?
1 A. I know Ramo Durmis. He was in the Muslim forces. Also he was a
2 company commander. As for others, I cannot remember. I know a few other
3 names, but -- or I did know a few other names, but I've forgotten.
4 Q. You also told us, Mr. Hamad, that it was your position that the
5 Bosnian army had lied to the Mujahedin about the preparation of the
6 terrain and the reconnaissance of the terrain. As a result of that was
7 there any change in the relationship between the Mujahedin and units of
8 the ARBiH?
9 A. There was always a relationship before that, after that as well,
10 but we just felt that it was not quite honest of them. But we understood
11 them. They lied for just one reason, because they knew when -- if they
12 were to tell us they didn't have a concrete plan, they knew that we would
13 then not participate in the attack. I would be the first person against
14 something like that.
15 Q. And can you tell us, Mr. Hamad, if that had an influence on
16 decisions you took concerning the unit under your command with respect to
17 planning and operations?
18 A. Could you please rephrase the question? I didn't quite
19 understand it.
20 Q. As a result of this operation where you told us that the Bosnian
21 army had lied to you, did that have an influence on your decision-making
22 in the future concerning the planning of military operations?
23 A. Yes. The consequence was that we were very strict towards the
24 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We didn't have much confidence in what
25 they said. So our procedure was such that they would propose a location
1 to us where we were supposed to attack. We would accept that. But
2 regardless of them surveying the terrain and regardless of them having
3 their plan, we would then put very strict conditions to them. If they
4 respected these conditions we would participate in the attack. If they
5 did not respect them we wouldn't participate in the attack.
6 For example, the conditions were that they had to give us enough
7 time for us ourselves to carry out reconnaissance of the terrain, and to
8 give us a few men who were from that area who knew the terrain well so
9 that we would use them when we embarked on the attack. Often we also
10 requested that the attack be under our control -- or, rather, we would
11 participate in the attack, but we would decide when the attack would
12 begin and when would it finish. And they would always accept our
13 conditions, so that we fought within the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 from the beginning until the end of the war.
15 Q. Mr. Hamad, I want to clarify part of what you just said to us, if
16 possible. You said that the Bosnian army always accepted your
17 conditions. Is it your testimony, sir, that the Mujahedin never refused
18 to engage in combat operations with the ARBiH?
19 A. When I was the unit commander, I never refused any attack. And
20 where our command in Mehurici was, on their part they had activities with
21 the ARBiH, but I don't know if they refused or not. In any case, I never
22 refused any attack.
23 Q. Let's explore the flip side of that situation. You told us
24 earlier that Wahiuddin had ordered you not to engage in combat without
25 clear orders. Did your unit ever do that? Did you ever go into combat
1 on your own without specific orders from a higher authority?
2 A. No. We were very strict about that. Wahiuddin gave me
3 permission to participate in the attack in the area where I was with my
4 unit without asking him first but on condition that I had to cooperate
5 with the B and H army. We could not attack any location without asking
6 them, but I myself also had to organise the reconnaissance of the
8 Q. At this point in time, sir, that is the first six months of 1993,
9 do you know approximately how many foreign Mujahedin were in the area
10 near Travnik and Mehurici?
11 A. When I arrived in Bosnia in 1992 in September, there weren't many
12 of us. There were very few of us. For example, at Karaula there were 25
13 of us Mujahedin. In Mehurici, in the camp as well as at the command,
14 there were about 15 Mujahedin. The number mentioned was under the
15 command of the Muslim forces, but there were also some other Mujahedin
16 groups which were not in the Muslim forces -- or, rather, they were then
17 not under the control of Abdul, Abu Aziz, such as a group that was in
18 Tesanj. There were about 10 Mujahedin there. In Zeljezni there were
19 about 12 Mujahedin, and about 14 Mujahedin in Konjic, and another small
20 group that was in Bistricak.
21 I can say that -- or, rather, when I arrived in Bosnia I found
22 about 75 foreign Mujahedin more or less already here. After that,
23 probably quite fast, the number of foreign Mujahedin present began to
24 grow, because at some point there were from 300 to 1.500 foreign
25 Mujahedin present.
1 Q. Mr. Hamad, let me focus your attention on the period around June
2 1993. Towards the end of the period you were the commander of the unit
3 in Bijelo Bucje. Approximately how many foreign Mujahedin were in Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina and in Central Bosnia June 1993?
5 A. I don't know exactly, but I think there were about 500 Mujahedin
6 in that period.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, with the assistance of the audiovisual
8 booth I would like to show the witness another video clip. This also
9 comes from PT06111. The time code is 44 minutes, 2 seconds, until 55
10 minutes, 14 seconds. And on the English transcript it runs from line 12
11 of page 17 through line 23 of page 21. If that could please be shown to
12 the witness.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the technician booth please help us with the
14 video clip.
15 [Videotape played]
16 "On the 29th of December, 1992, the second Visoko operation was
17 carried out under the command of the Egyptian Abu Talha. The Mujahedin
18 moved from the front line of Bijelo Bucje near Travnik to the mountains.
19 These are the mountains that overlook the city of Ilijas, which is five
20 kilometres away from Sarajevo. The mountains were liberated, and the
21 Mujahedin continued advancing until they reached some difficult
22 territory. There was then an aerial attack carried out by the Serbs with
23 the use of helicopters. The fighting continued from the morning until
24 the time of the [indiscernible]. The enemy were defeated. Vast areas
25 were liberated, and the city of Ilijas nearly fell into the hands of the
1 Mujahedin. The Bosnian forces were not able to maintain the positions
2 gained, and the Arab brothers found themselves deserted in vast areas, so
3 they were forced to withdraw. A large number of the brothers were
4 injured, and seven the foreign Mujahedin were killed. [Foreign language
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 [Videotape played]
8 "He was a student of knowledge who graduated from the Islamic
9 university of Medine [phoen]. He preferred martyrdom in Allah's sake to
10 the certificate of this world and its false position. He left his
11 studies to carry out jihad in the land of the Balkans to implement what
12 he had learned. He was the commander of the Arabs in the second Visoko
13 operation, due to his good manners and character, his good dealings with
14 the brothers and his knowledge of Sharia. One of the brothers recalls
15 the events surround being Abu Talha's death.
16 "[Foreign language spoken].
17 "Abu Mahmood of Palestine personified the saying of the hope:
18 'I will sacrifice my soul. I will throw myself towards death. There is
19 either the noble life which pleases others or a death which puts fear
20 into the enemy.' Abu Mahmood of Palestine was studying medicine at a
21 university in France. Then Allah willed for him to become a practising
22 Muslim. So he left France with his French friend Ebu Aleed [phoen] in
23 order to wage jihad in Bosnia. After two months of his stay in Bosnia,
24 he decided to return to France. He stayed in Zenica for two days
25 awaiting the time of departure, but Allah had chosen a different journey
1 for him to the ever-lasting paradise of palaces and beautiful maidens.
2 "The Algerian brother Abu Muhaijir tells us how Abu Mahmood was
3 killed: [Foreign language spoken].
4 "After the one has tasted the sweetness of jihad, he cannot take
5 pleasure in the worldly life. There we have Abu Maryam al Afghani who
6 lived in Germany with his German wife calling people to Islam. He led a
7 good life with all its comforts, but there is a difference between the
8 one who has divorced the worldly life and the one who has embraced it.
9 Abu Maryam al Afghani had previously participated in the Afghan jihad,
10 and in Germany he was extensively involved in [indiscernible] programmes
11 calling people to Allah. When Abu Maryam decided to return to jihad, his
12 parents stood in the way. So his wife spoke to her parents, convincing
13 them about the importance of his going to jihad in Bosnia. This reminds
14 us of some of the wives of the noble companions of the Prophets of Allah
15 who encourage their husbands to go to the jihad. So Abu Maryam travels
16 to Bosnia together with his best friend and companion Abu Hudaifah al
17 Afghani, who was also his work colleague. [Indiscernible] bestowed the
18 two of them with acts in his obedience, recitation of the Koran,
19 beautiful characters, and eagerness in the series of their fellow
21 "Abu Maryam used to clean the toilets and wash the dishes in
22 times of extreme cold. The guarding of the front lines was his
23 preparation for the second Visoko operation. And so Abu Hudaifah asked
24 the permission of his commander to participate in this operation with Abu
25 Maryam, and in the beginning of the operation Abu Maryam was killed. It
1 was only a few moments later that his brother Abu Hudaifah joined him.
2 "How many are the people that seek fame and wealth today? And
3 what of someone who has left all of that in pursuit of Allah's pleasure?
4 Abul-Harith was a famous football player in Bahrain. A lot of the youth
5 today yearn to attain his level of fame. He left his football career
6 behind him and went to Afghanistan to take part in the jihad, seeking to
7 die in the path of Allah. He then went to participate in the jihad in
8 Bosnia. He had devoted his past and his soul to the worship of Allah,
9 and he sets a good example with his manners and manhood. He was always
10 seen reading the Koran, serving his brothers, and guarding the front
11 line. He was characterised by a smile that never left his face and a
12 level of patience such that he never became angry at his brothers. He
13 personified the saying of the Prophets of Allah, 'A smile to your brother
14 is a form of charity.' "A few days before the operation Abul-Harith was
15 seen to take great care of himself, and he wore his best clothes as if he
16 knew he had an appointment with the beautiful women of paradise.
17 "When the battle had reached its most intense stage and the
18 souls of the martyrs had been raised, Abul-Harith found Abu Maryam's
19 spread on the ground, his soul having been raised. He kissed him and
20 said, 'O Allah, join us with him.' He advanced towards the enemy from an
21 area providing little cover, and whilst he was falling on the ground he
22 was hit by a sniper bullet and he surrendered his soul to Allah.
23 "The land of the Ottomans was not left out of sending volunteers
24 of its youth to participate in jihad for Allah's sake. This response
25 from the church is to be expected, since Turkey was the capital of the
1 last Islamic Palace.
2 "Imraan from Turkey went to Bosnia to fight the enemies of
3 Allah. He was 17 years old, of Turkish origin, and was living in
4 America. He undertook the necessary military training, and after two
5 months he had the intention to return to America with a young orphan
6 child who he wanted to adopt. He stayed with his Palestinian brother
7 Abu Muhammed [phoen] in Zenica awaiting his time of departure. When news
8 of the high alert situation reached him, he preferred to stay than to
9 travel, and he answered the call so that he could meet his Lord and be
10 free from the suffering and pressures of this world and to be free from
11 living amongst the disbelievers in America."
12 MR. MUNDIS:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Hamad, this video clip that you've just been watching,
14 does that relate to the second Visoko operation you've testified about
15 here today?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The individuals that we saw profiled on this video clip, did
18 you -- did you know those people?
19 A. I knew five of the foreign Mujahedin killed. I didn't know the
20 other two, the Turks. Five were killed from my unit. I don't know the
21 two Turks, because most probably they participated in the battle among
22 the Turkish guerrilla in the 7th Muslim.
23 Q. And of the five people in your unit that were killed on that day,
24 do you recall the names of those people?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you please tell us the five that we saw on that film that
2 were in your unit?
3 A. Unit commander Egyptian -- Egyptian Abu Talha, advisor and second
4 deputy of the unit from Bahrain. Ebu El Haris. A new soldier in my unit
5 who was there for a very short time, Ebu Mahmud El Misri. Abu Maryam
6 from Afghanistan, and Ebu Hudeyfa [phoen] from Afghanistan who had come
7 to Bosnia from Germany.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, I would ask that this video clip be
9 admitted into evidence.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The video clip is admitted into evidence. May it
11 please be given an exhibit number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 318.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 MR. MUNDIS: I would now ask that the witness be shown a
15 document. This is Exhibit 121. I believe it was distributed or made
16 available in the PT version, which should be in the binders that were
17 circulated under number 1024. And again for the record, PT01024 has been
18 admitted as Exhibit 121. So what the witness is --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you just say those references again?
20 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: PT01 --
22 MR. MUNDIS: It should be in the binders under the number 1024.
23 But again, it's been admitted as Exhibit 121.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I need to read it.
25 MR. MUNDIS:
1 Q. Mr. Hamad, have you finished reading this document?
2 A. [No interpretation].
3 Q. Does this document relate to any combat operations that you
4 personally were involved in?
5 A. Yes, it does relate to the Visoko operation.
6 Q. Now, there are a number of names contained in this document, and
7 I'd like to ask you about several of them. The reference to -- in the
8 second line in the English version, "Terzic's order," do you know this
9 person Terzic?
10 A. [No interpretation].
11 Q. Also on the first page --
12 A. I do not.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpretation came very late, and I
14 interrupted it. Could it be repeated, please.
15 MR. MUNDIS:
16 Q. Do you know this person Terzic that's referred to in the
18 A. I do not.
19 Q. Approximately seven lines down -- or nine lines down there's a
20 reference to Serif Patkovic. Do you know that person?
21 A. Yes, I do. I know Serif Patkovic. He was a brigadier in the 7th
23 Q. Approximately halfway down the document there's a reference to
24 Emir Mahmut Karalic. Do you know Emir Mahmut Karalic?
25 A. I do, as one of the commanders from the 7th Muslim in Zenica.
1 Q. There's also right after the name Mahmut Karalic it says: "Chief
2 Asim Koricic." Do you know who that person is?
3 A. I just know of Asim, who was a commander of the Muslim forces in
4 Zenica. I don't know if that is this same person.
5 MR. MUNDIS: I ask now, since this document's already in
6 evidence, that the witness be shown PT01032. That's 1032 in the binder.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: What exhibit number is PT1032, sir?
8 MR. MUNDIS: 1032 is not yet in evidence, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh. I thought you said, "Seeing it's already in
11 MR. MUNDIS: The prior document was Exhibit 121. So there's no
12 need to tender that.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
14 MR. MUNDIS:
15 Q. Mr. Hamad, have you now had an opportunity to read this document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber what this document relates to, please.
18 A. It relates to the same attack on Visoko in 1992.
19 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution would ask this document be admitted
20 into evidence, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
22 please be given an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 319.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 MR. MUNDIS:
1 Q. Mr. Hamad, several times today you've mentioned the 7th Muslim
2 Mountain Brigade. Can you tell the Trial Chamber the relationship, if
3 any, between the foreign Mujahedin and the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade?
4 A. There was a link and cooperation between the foreign Mujahedin
5 and the 7th Muslim -- or, rather, when an attack was being planned,
6 foreign Mujahedin and the 7th Muslim would be there. And the command of
7 the 7th at the beginning of the war made it possible for foreign
8 Mujahedin to have their own premises in the school in Zenica where the
9 7th Muslim was billeted until there was a misunderstanding between the
10 7th Muslim and the Mujahedin because of the killing of two foreign
11 Mujahedin in the building in which the 7th Muslim Brigade was billeted.
12 Q. And the killing of these two Mujahedin in the school, was that in
13 any way related to combat?
14 A. No, it was not related to any combat, but according to the best
15 of my knowledge the decision was taken by some people who were not in
16 Bosnia that Mahmut Karalic had to be liquidated, so that four foreign
17 Mujahedin were engaged, and they were told that they had to be constantly
18 present at the school in Zenica in order to liquidate Mahmut Alagic [as
19 interpreted]. Two of the mentioned four who were intended for this
20 liquidation, out of unknown reasons to me broke into Mahmut Karalic 's
21 office. They were armed, and we could hear a lot of noise and shouting
22 between them and Mahmut Karalic, and the bodyguards of Mahmut Karalic
23 opened fire on the two Mujahedin and killed them.
24 Q. I just need some clarification, because at one point again in the
25 English interpretation we heard the name Mahmut Alagic. Was this
1 assassination contempt concerning Alagic or Karalic?
2 A. I'm sorry. Mahmut Karalic. Maybe I misspoke.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now with the assistance of the usher
4 that the witness be shown the document that's been marked P02945. That's
6 Q. Mr. Hamad, I would draw your attention, sir, to the right-hand
7 part of this chart where there's reference to "Guerrilla." Do you see
8 that in the document?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. And underneath the box "Guerrilla," it would appear to be two
11 subgroups, "Guerrilla G" and "Guerrilla P." Do you see that, sir?
12 A. I do.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, let us
15 establish what this document is, whose document it is, and how it relates
16 to this witness, because as we have just heard, the witness was not a
17 member of the 7th Muslim.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Well, first of all, the document speaks for itself
19 in terms of the stamp contained on the upper-left corner. It appears to
20 be an OrdBat of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade. The witness
21 has talked about -- or used the term "guerrilla," and I simply would ask
22 him, if he -- if he's in a position to, to comment on what is contained
23 in this document.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may respond. The
1 witness mentioned the Turkish guerrilla and not the guerrilla. Of these
2 may be two quite different things.
3 MR. MUNDIS: They -- they may indeed, and that's precisely why I
4 would ask the witness if he is in a position to comment on that. That's
5 the precise reason I'm showing him the document.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis, shouldn't you at least establish some
7 kind of basis by way of relationship between the witness and the document
8 even before you start asking him about the "Guerrilla"? At least whether
9 he -- he recognises what this is and what -- you know, some kind of
10 relationship between the document and the -- and the witness.
11 MR. MUNDIS: I can certainly attempt to do that, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you may, please.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Mr. Hamad, were you aware of the structure of the 7th Muslim
15 Mountain Brigade?
16 A. Not too well, but I do know something about the guerrillas
17 mentioned here.
18 Q. Well, let me ask you this, sir: This Ordbat that you see before
19 you, I take it that you've never seen something like this in 1992 or 1993
20 or 1994 or 1995. Would that be correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, again it's not so much an issue of
23 this particular document, but the witness has indicated that he does have
24 some knowledge about this particular unit, and the Prosecution would
25 submit that it's relevant and has probative value to the ultimate issues
1 for the Trial Chamber to determine. I don't know if the Defence
2 continues in -- with respect to their objection, but I would ask the
3 witness to explain his prior answer.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll find out whether the Defence still in its
5 objection. You carry on.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I do.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's just find out something here, Mr. Hamad.
9 Did you, independent of this document, know anything of the structure of
10 the 7th Mountain -- Muslim Mountain Brigade?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
12 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we didn't hear the witness.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness said, "No," if I understood the
14 Bosnian language.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about that.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you need this document to ask the witness about
18 MR. MUNDIS: No, Your Honours. We'll withdraw the document in --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 MR. MUNDIS: -- front of the -- of the witness.
21 Q. Sir, you mentioned to us earlier that in the second Visoko
22 operation the Turkish guerrilla were involved with the 7th Muslim
23 Brigade. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Can you tell us if there were any other units that you're aware
1 of that went by the term "guerrilla"?
2 A. I don't know, but allow me to explain this a little. As far as
3 the 7th Muslim Brigade in Zenica is concerned, I visited them on several
4 occasions in the school in which they were billeted before I became a
5 commander. I also visited them after the attack on Ilijas at the end of
6 1992. For a while I was wounded, so I was staying with them. I had
7 occasion to talk to Brigadier Serif Patkovic. I also had occasion to
8 talk to several members of the same brigade. And through these
9 conversations with Serif Patkovic, the brigadier, and other soldiers, I
10 learned that included in the same brigade were Turkish guerrillas. These
11 Turkish guerrillas were not billeted in the school where the 7th Muslim
12 was billeted, but they were in contact when it came to joint actions or
14 The Turkish guerrillas were accommodated in the music school in
15 Zenica, as I mentioned earlier on. This was a different school, so as to
16 avoid all confusion. And the Muslim forces were in a school close to a
17 barracks where other units were staying.
18 So if an attack was being organised, the guerrillas would appear
19 in the building of the 7th Muslim Brigade, and they would take part in
20 the attack under the control of the 7th Muslim.
21 I would also like to mention the fact that I met members of the
22 Turkish guerrilla by chance in the facilities of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
23 And I think that the document you showed to me a moment ago, it is true
24 that I don't know anything about it, but I can assume when mention is
25 made of the "Guerrilla" that the reference is to the Turkish guerrilla.
1 And proof of this is that they took part in the attack on Ilijas in 1992,
2 and I can confirm that there were Turkish guerrillas who appeared within
3 the 7th Muslim Brigade. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: To your knowledge, sir, apart from the Turkish
5 guerrilla were there any other guerrillas that you may have been aware of
6 within the 7th Mountain Muslim Brigade?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not aware of any other groups
8 known as guerrillas, but talking to Patkovic Serif, I know that they had
9 battalions. They had companies. As for the guerrillas, I didn't hear of
10 any others except the Turkish guerrillas.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I just have a couple of
13 questions on another subject that I think we can cover before the next
15 Q. Mr. Hamad, can you tell the Trial Chamber how the foreign
16 fighters were able to communicate with the local soldiers?
17 A. Upon our very arrival in Bosnia of course we didn't know the
18 local language, but there were several local people amongst us who could
19 speak Arabic, and amongst us Arabs and Bosniaks there were people who
20 could speak English. So that is how we communicated, using Arabic and
22 There is something else. Amongst us foreign Mujahedin, from the
23 beginning of the war men of Arab origin were included who had studied
24 here in Bosnia. So they could speak both the local language and Arabic.
25 And we used them as interpreters until we ourselves learnt the local
1 language when we started communicating with members of the BH army in
2 that language.
3 Q. And final question before the break. Do you recall the names of
4 any of the persons who spoke both languages, both Arabic and Bosnian,
5 whether the person was an Arab or a Bosnian? Do you remember names of
6 people who spoke both languages?
7 A. For instance, among the Bosniaks there was Zuhdija Adilovic and
8 the hodza from Travnik, Nusret Efendija. Then there was a Bosniak whose
9 name I don't know, but we called him Abu Malik.
10 Among the Arabs there was Souhail Tafiya. There was Abduladil
11 Maqtauf phoen] that we sometimes used as an interpreter.
12 Q. When did you first learn to speak the Bosnian language,
13 Mr. Hamad?
14 A. Until mid-1993 -- by mid-1993 I was able to communicate
15 personally with commanders of the BH army without an interpreter.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time, and for the benefit
17 of my learned colleagues from the Defence, I would expect that following
18 the break I would need about 30 minutes and then we should be in a
19 position to start the cross-examination before we stop for the day.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We'll take a break and come
21 back at 1.00. Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Hamad, did there come a time when the situation between the
2 forces of the ARBiH and the HVO deteriorated?
3 A. From what I know, it happened twice. Once during the attack on
4 Ilijas in 1992, but I can say that the situation deteriorated more among
5 the Bosniak units rather than between the army and the Mujahedin. And
6 the second time was after the killing of the two Mujahedin where the 7th
7 Muslim Brigade was billeted in Zenica.
8 Q. We spoke earlier today about check-points, and my question for
9 you, sir, is did you ever become aware of any problems that the Mujahedin
10 had at check-points aren't by the HVO? In 1993.
11 A. Before the conflict broke out between the BH army and the HVO we
12 didn't have any problems rather than that we had to show documents or
13 passports, but after the conflict broke out between the ARBiH and the HVO
14 we had a lot of problems when going past the mentioned check-points.
15 Q. And when you say after the conflict between the HVO and ARBiH had
16 began, can you tell us approximately when that was to the best of your
18 A. I can say that the beginning of the misunderstanding was when we
19 were at Karaula, because the BiH army after the fall of Jajce accused
20 members of the HVO that they cooperated with the Serbian forces and that
21 they had agreed to leave the Karaula without putting up resistance, so
22 that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was not organised, was not
23 I'll to put up resistance on its part.
24 I know that I was in Bijelo Bucje as the unit commander when this
25 was an armed conflict between the B and H army and the HVO, and I can say
1 that the main reason was the presence of foreign Mujahedin in that area.
2 I don't have information about things in other areas.
3 Q. And what kind of problems do you remember happening at HVO
4 check-points with respect to the foreign Mujahedin?
5 A. In which area exactly are you thinking of?
6 Q. The -- in Central Bosnia, in the Lasva River valley or the
7 Bijela -- Bijela valley?
8 A. The problems were mostly because the HVO banned the Mujahedin
9 from passing through their check-points, and the Mujahedin then had to
10 pass through those check-points in order to have contact with the B and H
11 army. So in 1993, even they would fire at our fighters. They would
12 arrest them and detain them in Busovaca near Vitez.
13 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Hamad, any of the foreign Mujahedin who were
14 arrested and detained by the HVO?
15 A. I know about a number of foreign Mujahedin who were in prison in
16 Busovaca. For example, Abu Ali. He was from Kuwait. I don't know his
17 real name. Abu Djafar from Egypt. I also don't know his real name.
18 Then Abu Bukhari from Tunisia. He was captured by them too. Abu Ma'iz
19 from Saudi Arabia.
20 There were a few men that I know of, but perhaps at this point in
21 time I cannot recall their names.
22 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask with the assistance of the usher that
23 the witness be shown the document that has been marked as P01059. That's
25 Q. And I would ask the witness please take a moment to read through
1 this document.
2 Have you finished reading both sides that have document, sir?
3 A. Oh, there is something on the back as well. I'm sorry, I didn't
4 see it.
5 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you know about any of the situations described in
6 this report?
7 A. I don't know. I don't have any comments. Among the names that
8 are mentioned in the document are a few names that I know, of persons who
9 I know were detained by members of the HVO in Busovaca.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we would ask that this document be
11 admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
13 please be given an exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 320.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now that the witness be shown the
17 document marked PT01056. That's 1056.
18 Q. And I would ask, Mr. Hamad, again this is a relatively lengthy
19 document. I'm interested only in the first three paragraphs on page 2.
20 If you could please read the first three paragraphs.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the Prosecutor
23 demonstrate a connection between the witness and this document. I would
24 be very grateful. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
1 MR. MUNDIS: I'm simply going to ask the witness if he is aware
2 of what's described in the first three paragraphs of this document, Your
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: And are you -- will you be -- by so doing, be
5 establishing the connection between the witness and that document?
6 MR. MUNDIS: Simply we would use that as a basis for some
7 questions about the document and as a foundational basis for tendering
8 the document.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's hear what you've got to say. Madam Vidovic
10 will stand up if she still has an objection.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that the
12 Prosecutor would first need to establish a connection between the witness
13 and the document and then expect an answer from the witness. How can the
14 witness comment on this bulletin and on the 306th Brigade, which has not
15 been mentioned so far, which is actually mentioned in the first three
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think Madam Vidovic has got a point, Mr. Mundis.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, perhaps if I'm allowed to ask the
19 witness a question then it -- we either can take the objection farther or
20 perhaps see what -- what comes.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Let's do that.
22 MR. MUNDIS:
23 Q. Mr. Hamad, have you read the first three paragraphs of this
25 A. I didn't manage to read everything. I stopped while the Judge
1 was deciding if I should read the entire three paragraphs or not.
2 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask, Your Honours, that the witness be given
3 the opportunity to read the first they paragraphs, and then I'll put a
4 question or questions to him.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine.
6 You may proceed. You may proceed to read, sir.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. Mr. Hamad, are you familiar with the events that are described in
9 the first three paragraphs of this document?
10 A. No, I'm not.
11 MR. MUNDIS: We'll withdraw the document, Your Honours, and I'll
12 move on.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is withdrawn. Thank you very much.
14 MR. MUNDIS:
15 Q. Now, Mr. Hamad, do you know of a place called Guca Gora?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. During the time period, sir, that you were in Central Bosnia in
18 1993 were you ever in that village?
19 A. Yes. While travelling to and from Mehurici and Travnik and at
20 the end of the attack on Guca Gora in 1993.
21 Q. And when you say, sir, the attack on Guca Gora in 1993, do you
22 recall the approximate time period when that attack took place?
23 A. I couldn't say.
24 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber where your unit was in the few
25 days before the attack?
1 A. I was in command of the unit which comprised 109 men. It was
2 located in Bijelo Bucje. Also, we had enough of our foreign fighters in
3 Mehurici who were ready for attack. Between me and the Mujahedin and the
4 command in Mehurici there was no contact or communication other than
5 radio connections, because the B and H army and the HVO were already in
6 conflict at that time. So I could go from Bijelo Bucje only up to
7 Travnik, and then I couldn't go further to Mehurici and Zenica because I
8 had to pass through mountains where there were Croat villages and where
9 the HVO was located. These places included Guca Gora.
10 In cooperation with the B and H army, my unit, just like all the
11 other units that were billeted in Travnik, were all issued an order to
12 clear the terrain from Guca Gora up to Travnik of all Croats, both
13 soldiers and civilians. And the Mujahedin who were in Mehurici, as well
14 as other units of the B and H army, including Zenica, were given the
15 assignment of clearing the terrain from Mehurici up to Guca Gora.
16 We did that at the same time, so that I went from Travnik and
17 Bijelo Bucje, and the Mujahedin from Mehurici joined up in Guca Gora,
18 meaning that the road was completely cleared of all citizens of Croat
19 ethnicity, both soldiers and civilians.
20 Q. And during these combat operations, Mr. Hamad, where did your
21 unit go, through which villages?
22 A. With the agreement of my first boss, Wahiuddin El Misri, and then
23 with Mehmed Alagic, my task was to attack some six Croatian villages
24 between Bijelo Bucje and Travnik. So I was supposed to end up in
25 Travnik. That was the end of the work. Of it was not in my jurisdiction
1 to move further towards Guca Gora and onwards.
2 Q. Can you tell us then, Mr. Hamad, why it is that shortly after
3 that attack you went to Guca Gora?
4 A. Because I was summoned by my chief, Wahiuddin, who personally
5 organised and participated in the attack personally on Guca Gora. I was
6 in Travnik, I had completed my assignment, and I was expecting a new
7 order, what to do then, whether to return to Bijelo Bucje or to continue.
8 In the meantime, I received a call from Wahiuddin when Guca Gora was
9 captured that I urgently needed to go to Guca -- Guca Gora and that I
10 needed to do this alone. Not with the unit but alone.
11 Q. Did Wahiuddin tell you why you needed to come alone to Guca Gora
12 on that day?
13 A. It was not our practice to ask the person in command why. An
14 order was an order. It had to be carried out, no explanation necessary.
15 Q. And, Mr. Hamad, do you recall how long after the fighting had
16 ended you went to Guca Gora pursuant to these orders of Wahiuddin?
17 A. I'm afraid that if I speculate or guess I might make a mistake.
18 I don't know specifically how long we waited, was it a couple of days or
19 10 days. In any event, it was a very short period.
20 Q. And, sir, where did you go in Guca Gora after being ordered to
21 that location by Wahiuddin?
22 A. I went to the village. In the centre of the village there was a
23 very large church. I didn't find Wahiuddin there, although he was there,
24 but Guca Gora is not that small. He was in a different location. I
25 encountered some Mujahedin who had led the attack, and then I encountered
1 many foreign Mujahedin and many more Bosniak soldiers. And I think I
2 also found General Mehmed Alagic. I cannot remember quite exactly.
3 Perhaps he arrived immediately after I arrived at Guca Gora.
4 Q. And on that day, sir, did you go into the large church in Guca
6 A. I did enter the church. That was completely demolished.
7 Everything in the church was destroyed.
8 Q. Did you see, Mr. Hamad, any people in the church when you entered
9 it? I found many foreign Mujahedin that I knew. For example, Saber
10 [phoen] from Algeria; Adnan, I think from Egypt. I also found El Misri
11 Imad, the commander. Abu Assadiqi from Algeria. Later also I met
12 Wahiuddin, but not in the church but next to the church.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, with the assistance of the AV booth, I
14 would ask that the witness now be shown a short video clip from PT6149.
15 That's PT6149. This is an approximately two-minute clip.
16 I would ask you to take a look at this, Mr. Hamad, and then I
17 will ask you some questions about what we're about to see.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Mr. Hamad, do you recognise what was depicted in the video clip
21 that we just observed?
22 A. That is the church after the attack on Guca Gora.
23 Q. Did you recognise, sir, any of the people that were shown on that
25 A. Since the footage is bad, you couldn't really see all that well.
1 I was able to recognise two people, Dr. Abu Haris from Libya, and
2 Wahiuddin El Misri from Egypt.
3 Q. And at that point in time, sir, in 1993, can you tell us what
4 positions were held by Dr. Haris and by Wahiuddin?
5 A. At the time the first head of the Mujahedin, Ebu Abdul Aziz, was
6 not in Bosnia. He left earlier. And Abu El Haris was a general chief of
7 all the Mujahedin in Bosnia, and Wahiuddin was his deputy and an expert
8 for all the Mujahedin military questions.
9 Q. Can you comment, Mr. Hamad, on the condition of the church in
10 Guca Gora as depicted in this videotape in relation to what you told us
11 earlier that you observed there?
12 A. Before I reply to that question, I have to note something so that
13 I don't forget. I saw Dr. Abu Haris and Wahiuddin on the footage but not
14 in the church but next to the church.
15 I also want to say that the footage of the church -- in that
16 footage the church still looked neat, all right. So when this
17 documentary was filmed, I was not present. When I got to Guca Gora,
18 there was considerable chaos in the church already.
19 In response to your question, I found the Mujahedin. They were
20 already preparing to blow the church up. They were already placing
21 certain quantities of TNT inside, at the corners, and in different
22 places, the weak points of the building from the inside. And from
23 outside they were also connecting them to some form of fuses.
24 They called me, and they asked me if I had enough quantities of
25 explosives, because they didn't have enough to blow up the church since
1 the church was really big, with thick walls, about a metre thick.
2 Q. And after you arrived and there came a time when you saw
3 Wahiuddin, did he explain to you why he had summoned you or ordered you
4 to come to Guca Gora?
5 A. No. He didn't give me any specific orders. Wahiuddin is not the
6 first person I came across in Guca Gora. After the scandal around the
7 church where Mehmed Alagic was there, I saw Wahiuddin later, and he said
8 that the church shouldn't be destroyed as this could be used as a reason
9 to deteriorate relations between the Mujahedin and the BH army.
10 Q. Mr. Hamad, did you hear or were you present at any discussion
11 between General Alagic and Wahiuddin in Guca Gora on that day?
12 A. I was not, but I was present during the conversation between
13 General Mehmed Alagic and one of the Mujahedins who were leading the
14 attack on Guca Gora.
15 Q. Sir, what was the topic of that discussion?
16 A. I said that when I arrived at Guca Gora and I reached the church,
17 I came across the Algerian Ebu El Sadik, and I repeat that he was one of
18 the persons who was leading the attack. He was not a foot soldier.
19 Also when I reached the spot, I can't remember whether Mehmed
20 Alagic was already there or whether he came immediately after I arrived.
21 I just know there was a debate over the church. Of there was a quarrel
22 and a lot of impoliteness between the general and Ebu El Sadik. The
23 general saw what was happening in the church, what the foreign Mujahedin
24 intended to do, and he prohibited this. But before that, he asked about
25 Wahiuddin in order to talk to him. And Sadik retorted quite angrily and
1 said that he -- they could only talk to him. And then it became so
2 serious that El Sadik almost killed the general, and the general then
3 went back to Travnik.
4 I just remembered that the general threatened that if we did blow
5 the church up that they would attack us with other units that were part
6 of his corps.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Hamad.
8 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the video clip that we just
9 observed be admitted into evidence, please.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, I've got a question in
11 relation to that clip.
12 Mr. Hamad, you testified that when you got there fuses were being
13 put, preparations were being made to blow up the church, and they asked
14 you if you had any more fuses because they didn't have enough to blow the
15 church. The question I'm going to put to you, you're not obliged to
16 answer if you feel like it's incriminating you, and the question is: Did
17 you give them the fuses that they asked for?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't ask for fuses. They
19 asked for explosives, that is TNT to be specific, and I answered that I
20 didn't have it. So I didn't give it to them because I didn't have it.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 Okay. The clip is admitted into evidence. May it please be
23 given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Exhibit number 3211.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Mr. Hamad, you told us early this morning in response to some
3 questions about Afghanistan that you had joined al-Qaeda. Is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Sir, are you still a member of that organisation?
7 A. I can say that I worked for that organisation until 1997, which
8 means when I was arrested in 1997, up until that time I was actively
9 involved with al-Qaeda. Now, of course, I am no longer.
10 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber why you're no longer active in
11 that organisation?
12 A. I'm now in prison since 1997, which means that I have spent
13 almost 10 years in prison, and I realised that this happened because of
14 them. I considered them to blame for ending up in prison.
15 To be quite honest, even before my prison term I realised that
16 keeping company with such people can only lead to death or imprisonment.
17 But I joined the al-Qaeda ranks beyond -- they were reasons beyond my
18 will. In trying to explain why I joined the al-Qaeda and why in 2001 I
19 was excluded from the same, and I wrote a book of 1.000 pages about this,
20 and it is really difficult for me to explain this in a couple of
21 sentences, because this story is as long almost as my whole life.
22 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, Mr. Hamad, why you're serving a
23 gaol sentence?
24 A. Because of my active --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is the relevance of that question?
1 MR. MUNDIS: I would expect, Your Honours, that it might go to
2 the witness's credibility and would be the basis of cross-examination.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 You may answer the question, sir.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am in prison because of terrorist
6 activities in this state up until 1997. Actually, I was charged of
7 activating a car bomb in the western part of Mostar.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. Mr. Hamad, at any point in time since you received a prison
10 sentence has any part of that sentence been reduced?
11 A. Yes, on two occasions.
12 Q. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber why your prison
13 sentence was reduced on those two occasions?
14 A. Let me first explain that I became a dangerous terrorist for many
15 people and a danger to the environment according to the judgement of the
16 Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was sentenced to 12 years and
17 9 months without any right to pardon or to be released on parole, but
18 nevertheless my sentence was reduced twice. And to this day, I am
19 wondering why, because in the judgement it says that this could not
21 The first time the sentence was reduced by eight months as a
22 former member of the BH army. This occurred in 1998 when the former
23 president of Bosnia and Herzegovina allowed collective pardon for all
24 persons who were imprisoned throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those who
25 were not members of the army or the military police or the HVO, their
1 sentences were reduced by four months, and those who were members of the
2 army, the military police, or the HVO, their sentence was reduced by
3 eight months. And I was one of these people whose sentence was reduced
4 by eight months. So they recognise, and they have a document showing
5 that I was a member of the BH army.
6 The second time my sentence was reduced by six months - this was
7 in 2004 - on the basis of an appeal I addressed to President Nikola
8 Lozancic, and in this appeal I explained that I had been a member of the
9 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this explanation was accepted so that
10 my sentence was reduced by six months.
11 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions for the
12 witness at this time, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
14 Madam Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Before I
16 begin the cross-examination of this witness, I wish to ask Your Honours
17 to allow me a little more time than the Prosecution used for the
18 examination-in-chief, because not only will I refer to the questions put
19 by the Prosecutor during his examination, but I believe that the witness
20 knows and can answer many questions relating to the Defence case, and I
21 will to a significant degree be dealing with questions relating to the
22 credibility of this witness.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, madam. We'll see how reasonably
24 longer than the Prosecution your time is, and we'll determine it as we go
25 along. Thank you very much.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I shall do
2 my very best to be as brief as possible.
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Vidovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Before I start my
5 examination, I just wish to tell you the fact that the nature of the
6 cross-examination is such that you can answer most of my questions very
7 simply with a yes or no. As I wish to put a large number of questions to
8 you, I beg you to give me brief answers and to provide your own comments
9 only if I ask you to do so or if Their Honours so require.
10 Have you understood me?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you, Witness. You have just told us that you have written
13 a book of a thousand pages; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You call it "International Terrorism and al-Qaeda: I've Finally
16 Come Out of the Darkness Into the Light."
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is your confession about the events, including those that
19 took place during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You have provided a copy of that book to the Prosecutor of the
22 International Tribunal who copied it; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On the 15th of August, 2006, you made a statement to the
25 investigators of this Tribunal; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you signed it?
3 A. I'm sorry. I made my statement to The Hague investigators twice,
4 the first time in 2005, and then in 2006, and I signed it.
5 Q. Thank you for your additional explanation. So you signed both of
6 those statements?
7 A. I signed the second statement.
8 Q. And this is the one dated the 15th of August, 2006; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You presented events truthfully in your book, didn't you?
12 A. To the best of my knowledge.
13 Q. So you wrote a book on the basis of your own knowledge and to the
14 best of your recollection; is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. You wrote the book because you had decided to fight against
17 terrorism and hatred on a religious basis?
18 A. Yes, it is true.
19 Q. You repented because of everything that was done on a religious
20 basis; is that right?
21 A. Yes. And I no longer wish to live in darkness.
22 Q. I now wish to ask you a few questions relating to you personally.
23 Tell us, please, your name once again.
24 A. My name is Ali Ahmad Ali Hamad.
25 Q. What was your father's a name?
1 A. My father's name is Ahmad.
2 Q. What is the maiden name of your mother?
3 A. I don't wish to answer that question, because I believe that is
4 my private affair. This is painful childhood that I had with my family.
5 I had a large number of problems with them, and that is why I don't wish
6 to answer that question.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is quite unusual.
8 I'm asking a very simple question, for the witness to tell us the maiden
9 name of his mother.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If Your Honours believe that to be
11 important, I will answer that question.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Vidovic, the witness has identified himself
13 quite sufficiently. He told us his names, his full names. What's the
14 relevance of asking that question which he says is painful, it reminds
15 him of a painful childhood?
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question is
17 relevant because I'm trying to ascertain the personal data about this
18 witness, and it is highly relevant for the Defence case.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: But if the witness then says he does not wish to
20 answer the question, what can we do about it? Do you want to force him
21 to answer the question?
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, I don't, Your Honour. I will
23 move on.
24 Q. Tell us, Witness, where exactly were you born? You said you were
25 born in Bahrain. Would you tell us exactly where you were born?
1 A. I was born in the capital of Bahrain, Manama.
2 Q. Very well. What kind of school did you complete, if any?
3 A. I completed my secondary education in Bahrain, biology, and
4 because of my very difficult childhood in my family home I skipped a
5 year, and then I attended the military academy abroad.
6 Q. In other words, you did not complete your secondary education.
7 A. Yes, that's quite right, I didn't.
8 Q. In answer to the Prosecutor's questions you said you had
9 completed your secondary school.
10 A. When I talk about my private affairs I don't go into any details,
11 but you can see that in my book I speak about the details, and I supplied
12 The Hague Tribunal with copies of this book on two occasions, so they
13 were familiar with the details.
14 Q. You're testifying under oath today. Are you aware of that?
15 A. I am.
16 Q. And in answer to a question from the Prosecution you said you had
17 completed your secondary school; is that right?
18 A. Yes. But I mentioned earlier on when the Prosecution asked me
19 whether I had missed a year, I said I had, and this is contained in my
21 Q. Will you tell us, please, when you got married, Witness, what
23 A. In 1995.
24 Q. And when was your first daughter born?
25 A. In 1996.
1 Q. Will you please tell us all the nicknames that you used during
2 the war in Bosnia --
3 A. In addition to Abu -- Abu Aicha, and they also called me Alija.
4 Nothing more than that.
5 Q. Could you tell us exactly when you went to Gradina?
6 A. It is hard for me to tell. If you're asking me to give you dates
7 and months, I cannot do it. But I can tell you that it was in 1992 and
8 September. That is as much as I can remember.
9 Q. And when did you go to Bijelo Bucje?
10 A. That is even more difficult for me to answer. I said it was a
11 couple of months after that. Whether it was two or three months later, I
12 don't know.
13 Q. And how much time did you spend at Bijelo Bucje?
14 A. I think I was there for about half a year. A little more or a
15 little less.
16 Q. Will you tell us where you were during 1994?
17 A. I mentioned that I abandoned the Muslim forces and the Mujahedin
18 for a while, and I joined various Bosniak units, and this was for a short
19 period of time.
20 Q. Were you in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. Yes, I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I left Bosnia during the war
23 Q. Can you tell us when that was?
24 A. This was in 1994 exactly.
25 Q. And how long did this period last when you were absent?
1 A. I know I returned to Bahrain to renew some documents. I don't
2 know exactly how much time I spent there, but I know it was a brief
4 Q. Can you assist us in telling us when you returned to Bosnia and
6 A. The same year, but when exactly and which month I don't
8 Q. And you said that you were a citizen of Bahrain; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish at this point
11 in time to show the witness a document. D314, please.
12 Q. Witness, you will see this document consists of two pages. Will
13 you please look at the first page.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is in English.
15 This is the second page.
16 Could the first page of the English version be shown for the
17 witness first, please.
18 Q. Witness, is that a copy of your identity card?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now will you look at the second document, please.
21 A. I'm familiar with it.
22 Q. Apart from being familiar, is this a copy of your driving
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could please documents
1 be given an exhibit number and admitted into evidence?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The documents are admitted into evidence. May
3 they please be given an exhibit number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 322.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. I
7 wanted to ask that those documents be tendered under one exhibit number.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: They have been admitted under one exhibit number.
9 Thank you so much.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
11 Q. Witness, I would like to ask you something else. Sir, today
12 receiving you mentioned several times the al-Qaeda organisation, and I
13 would like to spend some time on that topic. I would like to put some
14 questions to you relating to that organisation because I believe you
15 could answer them.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if at this point the
17 witness could look at document D316.
18 Q. Witness, I think that you have the document in front of you.
19 It's document D316.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] For the transcript, I would like to
21 say -- or for the recording, I would like to say that this is a document
22 of the regional court of the United States court, State of New York, and
23 it's the indictment against Osama bin Laden.
24 Q. I would like you to look at this document. I would like you to
25 look at the list of the accused. You can start from page 1. Since you
1 said that you were a member of this organisation, do you recognise or do
2 you know any of these names?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, can you refer us to the English
4 part of this document? What pages must we look at? There are a number
5 of pages.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's the first page
7 of the English translation. The second page as well.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic. You may proceed.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Witness, do you know any of these names?
11 A. As far as the place where it says Osama bin Laden, then Sheik
12 Osama bin Laden, then Abdulah. It's one person. Actually, that is
13 Osama bin Laden. I know the name of Abu Hafez El Misri. He's mentioned
14 twice. Abu Haz El Misri [phoen]. And then three times Abu Haz El Misri
15 El Kadra [phoen]. I think that is one person, the same person. And I
16 know this person from Afghanistan.
17 As for the others, they're not familiar to me other than
18 Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, but I just know that having heard of it, not more
19 than that.
20 Q. You already told us that you met Osama bin Laden. Did you meet
21 any of these other people that you said you know them?
22 A. Yes. Abu Hazelas Misri [phoen], I met him as I was -- when I was
23 just a regular soldier in al-Qaeda.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to ask you to look at page
25 6 of this document. It's page 6 of the document.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is page 3 of the
2 English version, and then also goes over into page 4. The send of page 3
3 and going into page 4.
4 Q. Witness, you need to look at page 6.
5 A. Should I read the whole thing?
6 Q. Well, I'm going to draw your attention to the text around the
7 middle of the page so that we don't -- we save some time, and it all
8 begins: "In the course of 1991, the leadership of al-Qaeda, including
9 their Emir, or prince, the accused Osama bin Laden transferred to Sudan.
10 Al-Qaeda was based in Sudan from approximately 1991 until approximately
11 1996 but still maintained offices in various parts of the world."
12 Please, is this what you also know about al-Qaeda, that it was
13 headquartered in Sudan at this time?
14 A. That is not correct. It was headquartered in Afghanistan where
15 it was properly organised, but because of the pressure on the Taliban,
16 Osama bin Laden left Afghanistan and went to Sudan.
17 Q. Is it correct that it had offices in different parts of the
19 A. I know about some places where they had their people.
20 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at page 7 in the Bosnian
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is page 5 of the
23 English version.
24 Q. I would like to draw your attention, Witness, to this part: Look
25 at article -- or paragraph 5. That's all I'm interested in. In
1 paragraph 5 it says -- it's at the end. Can you please look at this
2 part? I'm going to quote: "Al-Qaeda functioned both -- in both ways,
3 both on its own and through some of the terrorist organisations that
4 operated under its umbrella, including the Egyptian Islamic jihad and at
5 times the Islamic group also known as Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya or simply
6 Jama'at, led by Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and later by Ahmed Refi Taha
7 [phoen], aka Abu Jaser al-Masri," and so on and so forth.
8 Can you please also look where many jihad groups are enumerated
9 in different countries, including Bosnia? Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Earlier I asked you about your book. Would you agree that you in
12 your book in this way exactly described the activities of al-Qaeda?
13 A. Yes, but in my own way. I did it in my own way, but I completely
14 agree with what you read out under paragraph 5.
15 Q. Thank you, Witness. I'm going to ask you now about the Egyptian
16 Islamic Jihad, or Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya, or al-Jama'at. You know about
17 this organisation, don't you?
18 A. Yes. I am aware of it.
19 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at paragraph 6 of this
20 document, which is on page 8 in Bosnian version.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's page 7 of the
22 English version.
23 Q. Witness, can you please look at Article 7.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note we don't have that
25 particular page of the exhibit.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it Article 6 or Article 7 you want to have --
2 look at, madam?
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Article 7. Your Honours, I
4 apologise. We will look at Article 6 first. I would like for the
5 witness to look at paragraph 6 and then paragraph 7.
6 Q. Witness, please, can you look at paragraph 6. What I would like
7 to ask you is simple. Did you know that al-Qaeda had a command structure
8 that included the so-called Majlis al-Shura?
9 A. Majlis and Shura, those two words are not familiar to me. I did
10 not use it in my contacts with Osama bin Laden and other important
12 Q. You never heard of Shura when you were in contact with al-Qaeda?
13 A. I only heard that here in Bosnia, just here.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you please now look at paragraph 7. It says that
15 al-Qaeda also had a Military Committee which considered and approved
16 military matters. Did you know that, since you claim that you were a
17 member of al-Qaeda?
18 A. I don't know that. Even though I was a member of al-Qaeda it
19 doesn't mean that I know everything about al-Qaeda.
20 Q. Were you actually a member of al-Qaeda or an officer of al-Qaeda?
21 A. I was a member of al-Qaeda, and I was sent from Afghanistan and
22 told that I would be at the head of a combat unit, and this is exactly
23 what happened here in Bosnia.
24 Q. I didn't understand you. Were you an officer of al-Qaeda or not?
25 A. Here in Bosnia, yes. I was one of the officers of al-Qaeda.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document be
3 given an exhibit number, please?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
5 please be given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 323.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In relation to this document, I would like to show you another
10 document on the same topic. Can you please look at D317. It's -- well,
11 you told us that you wrote a book, and I would like you to look at an
12 excerpt from that book.
13 First of all, I would like to ask you to look at page -- Witness,
14 when I ask you about your book, the easiest thing would be to follow
15 these large numbers that you have at the top of the page. You have this
16 long number, 06050299. Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you please look at this page, and can you pay attention to --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where is that number written? Oh, 06050299.
20 Okay. Thank you very much.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] At the top of the page.
22 Q. Witness, please, can you look at the last section of this
23 document. Of course the whole page is interesting, but what I'm
24 interested in is the part where it says: "D. Italy."
25 You -- and while we're on this page, do you agree that in your
1 book you described activities of al-Qaeda in different states? Do you
2 agree with that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And now I would like you to look at this it excerpt, what is
5 written here, this part that concerns Italy. You wrote there: "Cheikh
6 Enver Sha'aban and his group were in charge of the same job in Italy.
7 Anyway, Enver Sha'aban and most of his guys are of Egyptian origin, and
8 they belong to the Egyptian terrorist group Jama'at El Jihad
9 al-Islamiyya. The mentioned organisation planned and carried out the
10 attempted assassination of the current Egyptian president Anwar."
11 A. Anwar El Sadat.
12 Q. So it's Anwar El Sadat that we're talking about.
13 Now I would like to ask you if that is the same organisation that
14 is mentioned in the indictment that you saw just a bit earlier against --
15 or versus Osama bin Laden.
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document be
18 given an exhibit number, please?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
20 please be given an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 324.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
23 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. On this same topic, Witness, I would like you to look at document
1 318. It's an excerpt from a book, "Al-Qaeda's Jihad in Europe," by Evan
2 Kohlmann, and this is on page 59.
3 Witness, you have the Bosnian and English versions here. I would
4 like you to look at the excerpt on page 39, the bottom of page 39. The
5 bottom of that page.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the English
7 version it's the same thing.
8 Q. First of all, Witness, I would like to give you a short quote.
9 Cheikh Enver Sha'aban is mentioned, and it says in the book: "Cheikh
10 Enver Saddam [as interpreted] --"
11 A. I'm sorry, I just need to find that place.
12 Q. [No interpretation]?
13 A. [No interpretation].
14 Q. The author is re-telling this testimony of a witness who said
15 that he testified that Sha'aban personally helped that Pakistani visas be
16 arranged for him and three other guys for jihad, who then went to a camp
17 connected to bin Laden, also in Afghanistan, in order to learn how to use
18 weapons and explosives. Proof compiled by United States and the Italian
19 authorities indicates that these four were not alone and that Sha'aban
20 was personally responsible for arranging the training of hundreds, of
21 potentially thousands for training in al-Qaeda.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues]... please. I'm
23 not quite sure where you are. I don't know whether you are reading from
24 this document or -- and if you can move slowly, please, because -- and
25 before you -- if you are going to read direct us clearly where you are
1 reading from, because I've lost you now for the last couple of minutes.
2 Can --
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I quoted page 39 in
4 the Bosnian version, and you have the second page of the English version
5 which begins with the words "Similarly."
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]... Chamber that when
7 you referred, as you said, page 39 of the Bosnian, and then you said in
8 the English it's similar, and there is no page number in the English. So
9 we didn't know where you were.
10 You have a minute until the break.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It's page 2, Your Honours. I'm
12 sorry. I apologise.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, you probably read the excerpts, and I just wanted to
16 finish that.
17 "The centre developed quickly under Sha'aban's leadership into a
18 major hub in the network of Arab-Afghan activity in all of southern
20 Now, on this particular excerpt I would like to ask you the
21 following: Sheik Enver Sha'aban, which in this part of the book is
22 described as the leader of the Islamic centre in Milan, is that the same
23 Sheik Enver Sha'aban that you wrote about in your book?
24 You answered "yes," did you not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. And now, Witness, can you please look at page 3 of
2 this document, this same document.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the next page
4 in the English version in relation to the one that we just saw.
5 Q. Witness, please, your version is page 103 and you have it in
6 front of you. Can you look at this part that begins with "Three months
7 after the first meeting"?
8 So: "Three months after the first meeting of Abu Talal's and
9 al-Qasimi and Enver Sha'aban's European Shura Council, Italian law
10 enforcement and intelligent officials grew concerned after intercepting a
11 letter from a fundamentalist militant imprisoned in southern Italy. In
12 the letter there was talk about possible terrorist attacks on US and
13 French targets in the region."
14 Now I would like to ask you this: Did you ever hear about the
15 European Shura Council?
16 A. No, I did not.
17 Q. All right. Thank you. I would like you to look at another
18 excerpt of Evan Kohlmann's book. Of it's on page 4 of this exhibit. If
19 you can please look at it. This is page 101 of the book.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in English it's the
21 next page. It begins with the word, "Thus only months after," and so on.
22 Q. Witness, I'm going to briefly quote from this. "Thus not even a
23 year after the commencement of hostilities in the Balkans the Arab-Afghan
24 notion of heroically saving Bosnia's threatened Muslim population was
25 already taking a back seat to the primary goal of using Bosnia as the
1 springboard for a greater and more expansive international holy struggle.
2 "Even as fierce battles continued between the Serbs and Muslims
3 for control of Sarajevo, Sheik Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros left the region on
4 a major fundraising jaunt across the Middle East. Barbaros sought to
5 collect large sums of money, especially from wealthy Arabian Gulf donors,
6 spread word of the jihad in Bosnia and explain the situation to the
8 Please, what you described in your book, does that correspond to
9 what Mr. Kohlmann describes in his book? Did you understand me?
10 A. Yes, I did, but I would ask you to clarify that in a different
12 Q. You don't understand the question?
13 A. No, I didn't quite understand the question.
14 Q. I'm going to put it more simply. This that is written in the
15 excerpt from the book that I read to you correspond to what you know
16 about the objectives of al-Qaeda in Bosnia and that Bosnia is a
17 springboard for a wider struggle?
18 A. Basically, yes, but there are more details here that I did not
19 mention. There are things in this book that I didn't know. There are
20 more details here that I didn't mention in my book, but in essence it
21 talks about the same things that I talked about.
22 Q. Well, let's clarify. You knew that the al-Qaeda interest in
23 Bosnia was much broader than just helping Bosnian Muslims.
24 A. Yes, I knew about that. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document be
2 given an exhibit number?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is admitted into evidence. May it please be
4 given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 325.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And, Madam Vidovic, would that be a convenient
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We'll take an adjournment
10 and reconvene tomorrow in the same court at half past 9.00. Court
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Saturday, the 8th day
14 of September, 2007, at 9.30 a.m.