1 Thursday, 15 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in court today.
7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 And may we have the appearances for today, starting with the
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Good afternoon, Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around
15 the courtroom. Daryl Mundis and Aditya Menon for the Prosecution,
16 assisted by our case managers, Alma Imamovic and Fraser McIlwraith.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 And for the Defence.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
20 afternoon to my learned friends from the OTP, everyone in and around this
21 courtroom. Vasvija Vidovic and Nicholas Robson on behalf of General Rasim
22 Delic, joined here today by our case manager, Lejla Gluhic, and our case
23 manager Lana Deljkic, as well as Asja Zujo.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
25 Sir, yesterday, before you started your testimony, you made a
1 declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
2 truth. You remember that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just to remind you that you are still bound by that
5 declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
6 truth. Okay?
7 THE WITNESS: I understand that.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 WITNESS: PW-9 [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Examination by Mr. Mundis: [Continued]
13 Q. Good afternoon, PW-9.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. Last evening when we broke, we were talking about Mehmed Jusic,
16 and I had asked you a question, as reflected on lines 12 through 16 of
17 page 5571 concerning Mr. Jusic, and you said:
18 "Jusic had a serious injury of the face and eye, and it was the
19 practice in the El Mujahedin Detachment that the wounded who could not
20 properly be treated in Bosnia be treated abroad, and their treatment would
21 be paid for."
22 Do you remember saying that, sir?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Do you know, PW-9, who arranged the requisite travel documents for
25 these El Mujahedin Detachment members so that they could travel abroad for
1 such medical treatment?
2 A. I don't know. That was not the sort of job that I was involved
4 Q. And do you know, sir, whether anyone other than Mr. Jusic from the
5 El Mujahedin Detachment received medical treatment abroad?
6 A. I do remember that Residik Djazari [phoen] travelled with him to
7 Malaysia and later on to Freiburg.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would ask that PT1882
9 be marked for identification.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: 1882, thank you very much. PT1882 is marked for
11 identification. May it please be given an exhibit number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, MFI 832.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
14 MR. MUNDIS:
15 Q. PW-9, in your written statement, at paragraphs 277 and 278, you
16 describe a farewell ceremony for the El Mujahedin Detachment. Do you
17 remember that, sir?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, the date and location of this
20 farewell ceremony, if you remember?
21 A. As far as I remember, it was the 1st of January, 1996, and the
22 place was the Army Home in Zenica.
23 Q. Can you tell us, sir, approximately how many people attended this
25 A. There were several hundred people, probably between 200 and 300,
1 perhaps even more.
2 Q. Can you recall, sir, the identity or names of any of the persons
3 who attended that ceremony?
4 A. I remember many persons, many names. Do you want to know about
5 anything in particular -- anyone in particular?
6 Q. Let me ask you this, sir, if there were any senior military
7 leaders present.
8 A. Yes, there were. General Rasim Delic was there, the 3rd Corps
9 Commander Sakib Mahmuljin was there. The Commander of the 35th Division,
10 Fadil Hasanagic, and a number of other officers as well.
11 Q. What about senior members of the El Mujahedin Detachment.; do you
12 recall if any of those persons were present, and if so, can you tell us
14 A. Abu Maali, the Commander of the El Mujahedin Detachment.
15 Q. Do you recall anyone else that might be considered among the
16 leadership of the El Mujahedin Detachment who was present?
17 A. Muris Supic. I was there, too. And others who might be
18 considered to have been among the leadership were not there. In recent
19 events, most of those who belonged to the detachment's command were
21 Q. What do you mean, sir, as least in the English when it says, "In
22 recent events, most of those who belonged to the detachment's command were
23 killed"; what do you mean by that?
24 A. I meant the events that immediately preceded the farewell
1 Q. And when you say "most of those who belonged to the detachment's
2 command were killed," to whom are you referring?
3 A. Above all, Sheik Enver Saban, Muatez Masri, Nedzdi, Abu Zijad,
4 Muhariz Libi.
5 Q. Do you recall, sir --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think the recorder has been left behind because
7 of the difficulty with the names, spellings I'm sure.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Let's take them one at a time.
9 Q. You mentioned, sir, Sheik Enver Saban. Do you recall
10 approximately when Sheik Enver Saban was killed?
11 A. I think it was in mid-November, but I'm not certain. I'm talking
12 about 1995, of course.
13 Q. I also heard you say "Muatez," sir, and that's not reflected in
14 the transcript. Was Mr. Muatez killed before this farewell ceremony on 1
15 January 1996, and if so, do you recall approximately when?
16 A. Yes. Muatez was killed on the 22nd of September, 1995.
17 Q. Do you recall, sir, other than Saban and Muatez, there's some
18 question in the transcript, the names of the other individuals that you
19 mentioned who had been killed prior to the 1 January 1996 farewell
21 A. I also mentioned Nedzdi, Abu Zijad, and Abu Haris Libi.
22 Q. Do you recall when Abu Haris Libi was killed?
23 A. Together with Sheik Enver Saban. He and Abu Nedzdi, they were
24 killed together with Sheik Enver Saban.
25 Q. Now, sir, let's return to this farewell ceremony. Can you tell us
1 what happened at that ceremony, what transpired at that ceremony?
2 A. At the ceremony itself, several speeches were given; many, in
3 fact. There was also some entertainment, songs and dance, that sort of
4 thing. That's all I can say, in general terms. Perhaps I could provide
5 further details, if requested.
6 Q. Do you recall, PW-9, who made speeches at the farewell ceremony on
7 1 January 1996?
8 A. I remember that Abu Maali spoke, the Commander of the El Mujahedin
9 Detachment. Another person who spoke was General Rasim Delic. Also, the
10 3rd Corps Commander, Sakib Mahmuljin, Abdu Melicbasic, Ahmed Adilovic,
11 Sefik Kurdic, and there might have been other speakers, too. There were
12 quite a number of speeches.
13 Q. Do you recall, sir, with respect to the speech given by General
14 Rasim Delic, if there was anyone who interpreted his comments into the
15 Arabic language?
16 A. There were two interpreters who were interpreting the speeches.
17 One was Iman Howad [as interpreted] and the other was Abdulmelik Basic.
18 [Realtime transcript read in error "Halid Basic"]. I'm not sure who
19 interpreted for which particular speaker. I can't remember with any
21 Q. Again, sir, I think the transcript has failed to capture the names
22 of these two persons. Can you repeat who it was that were doing the
24 A. Ajman Awad and Abdulmelik Basic.
25 Q. PW-9, to the best of your recollection, sir, can you tell us what
1 you remember General Rasim Delic saying at this farewell ceremony on 1
2 January 1996 in Zenica?
3 A. As far as I remember, General Delic conveyed the greetings of
4 President Izetbegovic. He briefly thanked the Arabs for their assistance
5 to the Bosnian people.
6 Q. Can you be more specific of what you remember him saying?
7 A. I believe General Delic also said he believed that in case of
8 need, he would be able to count on the assistance of the Arab peoples,
9 again that the Arab peoples would indeed again be fully prepared to grant
10 their assistance to Bosnia.
11 Q. Do you remember if General Delic made any specific comments about
12 the effectiveness of the El Mujahedin Detachment?
13 A. I don't remember anything like that being said.
14 Q. Let me ask you this, sir, because in paragraph 278 of your written
15 statement, it's written, in the middle of that paragraph:
16 "Rasim Delic was thankful because the El Mujahid Detachment was
17 one of the best units in the entire ABiH."
18 Do you remember writing that in your statement, sir?
19 A. Yes, I do remember that as being part of my statement. It is
20 quite possible that this was, in fact, said. It's possible. I can't be
21 positive about it. It may have been Rasim Delic or perhaps another
22 speaker who spoke on the occasion, but I can't say with absolute certainty
23 who was it that uttered the actual words.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, at this time we would ask that PT6199
25 be shown to the witness, to include both the video and audio components
2 Q. And while that's coming up, PW-9, I'm going to show you now a
3 tape, and I would like you to look very carefully at it and listen very
4 carefully to the tape. And once the tape is finished, I'm going to ask
5 you to comment upon the tape and ask you perhaps some follow-up questions
6 concerning the tape.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Farewell ceremony of Mujahid 4.
9 General Sakib Mahmuljin's speech or address.
10 The address of Army General of the Republic of B and H, Rasim
12 That's what our representatives once said, and ...
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. PW-9, could you comment on what you just observed and heard on
15 this videotape?
16 A. First of all, I have to say that the image that I could see is not
17 consistent with the atmosphere that prevailed at this farewell ceremony
18 that I attended.
19 Q. What do you mean by that, sir?
20 A. What I mean is this: We were actually indoors, and this is an
21 outdoor venue. You can see that clearly in the footage.
22 Q. With respect, sir, then, to the audio component of this tape, can
23 you comment upon what you heard on this tape?
24 A. There is reference in the tape of these being the speeches given
25 by General Mahmuljin and General Delic. The voices do sound a bit like
1 their voices, but I can in no way be positive about the fact that those
2 were indeed their voices.
3 Q. What about the contents of what was said, sir; can you comment
4 upon the contents of what was said on the tape?
5 A. I remember that General Delic conveyed the president's greetings
6 and that he thanked the Arabs. However, I do not remember the portions
7 where he speaks about his meeting with NATO and the command-and-control
8 system. I am not familiar with that. I don't think he would have been
9 likely to address issues of this nature at a ceremony of this kind.
10 Q. Sir, did you recognise the voice of the person speaking in Arabic
11 on the tape?
12 A. It sounds like the voice of Ajman Awad, but again I can't be
14 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would ask that this
15 tape be tendered into evidence.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The tape is admitted into evidence. May it please
17 be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 833.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Just one moment, please, Your Honours.
21 I would ask that the witness now be shown the document marked
23 Q. Perhaps while that's coming up, PW-9, let me ask you this
24 question: In your statement at paragraph 40, you made reference to a
25 place called Dzotlina Kuca. Do you remember that, sir?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Can you tell us what you recall about this location and the
3 El Mujahedin Detachment at that place?
4 A. This action took place just before I joined the El Mujahedin
5 Detachment. I didn't personally witness this. The operation was a fresh
6 one, so to speak, so I heard a number of references to that operation and
7 I did see some recordings.
8 Q. And, sir, when you say, "I heard a number of references to that
9 operation and I did see some recordings," can you tell us what you were
10 told or what you saw on these recordings concerning this location and any
11 operations that occurred there?
12 A. What I heard was that it was an operation of the El Mujahedin
13 Detachment on the HVO line at Dzotlina Kuca, that a unit was smashed
14 there, a sabotage platoon, the so-called Jokers, and in the footage I saw
15 scenes from the fighting and the fortifications on the HVO line. This is
16 what I remember.
17 Q. And other than the El Mujahedin Detachment, sir, do you recall
18 whether you were told or saw on this videotape the involvement of any
19 other military units of the ABiH?
20 A. What I saw were just members of the El Mujahedin Detachment. I
21 didn't see members from other units.
22 Q. Do you see the document on the screen in front of you, sir?
23 A. I do.
24 MR. MUNDIS: If we could please scroll to the very bottom part of
25 the Bosnian language and go to page 2 of the English version, please.
1 Q. PW-9, I would draw your attention to the very last paragraph in
2 the Bosnian version, and it would be the second paragraph in English under
3 the heading "Our Forces."
4 A. I see that paragraph.
5 Q. Sir, can you comment upon that paragraph, in light of what you
6 were told or what you observed on the recordings shortly after you joined
7 the El Mujahedin Detachment?
8 A. I see that some other units are being mentioned in coordinated
9 action with the El Mujahedin Detachment, but it's not really a fact that
10 this happened. And the rest is the way I already stated.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we'd ask that this document be admitted
12 into evidence.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to the
15 admission of this document. The witness said that he didn't know anything
16 about the participation of the units mentioned in the document. The
17 witness did not participate in the action. He just said that he saw video
18 footage from it.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, Your Honours.
21 The Prosecution would also draw the Chamber's attention to
22 paragraph 40 of the witness's written statement, where he indicated the
23 same information, that he'd heard about this operation and had seen video
24 recordings about it, and this document certainly relates to what the
25 witness was told and what the witness observed on the videotape. And
1 that, we would submit, is a proper foundational basis for the document
2 being admitted into evidence.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm on my feet.
5 It's true, what the witness said does have something to do with
6 it. He said he heard of the Dzotlina Kuca action. He saw the footage,
7 heard about it. However, he did not see -- he's not an eyewitness of the
8 events relating to the facts that are mentioned here, the participation of
9 the units, as mentioned in the document.
10 For each document, we could find some connection between the
11 witness and the document, but specifically here, units are mentioned here
12 that the witness said he knows nothing about. So I think that no basis or
13 grounds have been established for the admission of this document on the
14 basis of the knowledge of this witness.
15 [Trial Chamber confers].
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
17 please be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 834.
19 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution would ask that the witness now be
20 shown the document marked PT1566, 1566.
21 Q. Witness PW-9, I would ask you to take a look at this document, and
22 then I'm going to ask you if you can shed any light on the information
23 that's set forth in this document, please.
24 A. I see that this is a report on the death of four members of the El
25 Mujahedin Detachment and the capture of one member. This also happened
1 before I came to the detachment. I was present when the bodies were
2 exchanged and when those who were killed were buried near the village of
4 Q. And, sir, can you tell us who these four members of the El
5 Mujahedin Detachment that were killed were? Do you know the identities of
6 these four persons that were killed, as reflected in this document?
7 A. For one, I know that that was Wahiddin Masri, and I think another
8 one was called "Abu Hamza." The rest or the others, I don't know, I'm
9 really not sure.
10 Q. And, sir, when you say "Abu Hamza," do you know which Abu Hamza
11 was killed on this day?
12 A. I don't know. Abu Hamza, there were really many of them. I don't
13 know which one.
14 Q. And there's also a reference in this --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me just find out something.
16 Were there many Abu Hamzas in the El Mujahedin Detachment?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were many.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Proceed.
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Perhaps before I continue, PW-9, do you recall whether -- how did
21 you distinguish between these different Abu Hamzas?
22 A. They were from different countries. One was Abu Hamza Masri from
23 Egypt, another one was Abu Hamza Suri from Syria, another one was Abu
24 Hamza Tunis from Tunisia, so that was the way. They also had some
25 additional nicknames, and that's how we could tell them apart.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And are you not able to tell whether this Abu Hamza
2 who died, whether he was a Masri or Syria or Tunisia? [Microphone not
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I really couldn't say. I never
5 met those people. I was just present when the bodies were exchanged and
6 at their funeral.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. Sir, among the leadership of the El Mujahedin Detachment, were any
10 of the leaders known as "Abu Hamza"?
11 A. The only Abu Hamza that had some sort of function at the
12 detachment was Abu Hamza Muhadzir, who was the head of the detachment's
13 press centre.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Now, perhaps if we could, Your Honour, just briefly
15 go into private session, if we could.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
17 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution would tender this document into
14 evidence, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, there is undeniably a link to the
16 witness between -- this document and the witness, but what is the
18 MR. MUNDIS: It goes, Your Honours, to the issue of the death of
19 Commander Wahiddin, who has obviously been mentioned numerous times in the
20 course of this trial, and puts a definitive date on the time period in
21 which that individual was killed, among other issues.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: This does not appear to be coming out of the
23 document, does it?
24 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, the first line indicates "In the Novi
25 Travnik area on 2 October 1993, four BH army members from the El Mujahedin
1 unit were killed.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: I can see that, but is Commander Wahiddin's name
3 mentioned here?
4 MR. MUNDIS: No, Your Honour, but the witness just testified that
5 he was one of the persons. I can find that for you in the transcript.
6 Just a moment, please.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Should we go into private session for this
8 discussion? It looks like we're going back to this document which we
9 discussed in private session.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Well, Your Honours, the only reason we discussed this
11 in private session was with respect to the wounded person. There is no
12 other reason. This document does not necessarily need to be under seal
13 because it doesn't identify --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, I understand, but from Judge Harhoff's
15 questions, it looks like we're going back, and maybe just for the sake of
16 safety, let's go back into private session.
17 [Private session].
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness now be shown PT1776,
15 Q. PW-9, do you see the document on the screen in front of you, sir?
16 A. I see the document.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we be assisted to determine the date of the
18 document? The English doesn't show the year. It says the year is
19 illegible. Is anybody able to read the year on the --
20 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if I can ask the witness.
21 Q. Sir, do you see, in paragraph 2 of this document, reference to a
22 date? Perhaps that can assist us with respect to the date of the
24 A. I see the date, yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us what the date of the document is, if you're able
1 to do that, PW-9?
2 A. The date of the document is the 2nd of August, 1994, it seems, and
3 then in the second paragraph of the order it says "the 15th of August,
5 Q. And the reference in the second paragraph is to what date, sir?
6 What is to happen by the 15th of August, 1994?
7 A. This is an order to relocate the El Mujahedin Detachment from
8 Mehurici to the Trokuce-Zenica facility by the 19th of August, 1994, at
9 the latest.
10 Q. Perhaps there's been an interpretation error. Sir, did you say
11 this was to be accomplished by the 19th of August, 1994, this move?
12 A. No, I said by the 15th.
13 Q. Now, can you tell us, sir, what this Trokuce-Zenica facility
14 refers to? What is that?
15 A. This refers to the Vatrostalna facility that is in Trokuce. It's
16 a neighbourhood in the town of Zenica.
17 Q. Sir, do you know the area known as Podbrezje near Zenica?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Can you tell us, sir, where Podbrezje is in relation to Trokuce?
20 A. These are two neighbourhoods, one next to the other, actually.
21 Vatrostalna was on the border between Podbrezje and Trokuce.
22 Q. And, sir, what was this Vatrostalna facility in August 1994, what
23 was in that building or location?
24 A. Vatrostalna was the barracks of the El Mujahedin Detachment, but
25 that was a barracks already from the time that I came to the detachment,
1 from October 1993. I don't know whether the El Mujahedin Detachment was
2 already there before, but when I got there, the El Mujahedin Detachment
3 had already taken up that -- the barracks.
4 The detachment was there from January 1994. That was the main
5 barracks of the detachment from that time, so I don't really see the sense
6 of this order.
7 Q. And, sir, what is the reference to Mehurici in this document?
8 A. In Poljanica, near Mehurici, the detachment also had its
9 barracks. We called it "the Mehurici barracks."
10 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders this document
11 into evidence.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, once again I object to
14 the admission of this document. The witness has just said that he does
15 not see the sense in this order, and I don't see how the witness could be
16 linked with this. He said the Command of El Mujahid was already there in
17 October 1993 at Vatrostalna, so the witness did not confirm anything that
18 is contained in this document in any way.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, the witness, based on his statement, was
21 a member of the El Mujahedin Detachment. He's told us what the
22 Vatrostalna facility is. This document clearly does not purport to
23 establish any kind of facility in Trokuce-Zenica, but simply talks about
24 relocating from one area to another, and the witness has clearly laid the
25 foundation for this document to go into evidence.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
3 please be given an exhibit number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 836.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the transcript, I
7 would like to state that I'm very concerned with the different standard of
8 admission of documents.
9 Two days ago, we had a situation with a document that had to do
10 with -- or that the Trial Chamber refused to admit in relation to the
11 witness Zilkic. Also, it was evident that the witness was talking about
12 the same contents. The situation was identical. I'm very concerned that
13 the standard changes.
14 We had one standard in that case, and today we have a different
15 standard. I would like this to be recorded in the transcript.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you for your observations, Mrs. Vidovic.
17 I think the core of the matter here is that the decisions to admit
18 or not to admit documents into evidence are very frequently decisions that
19 take some discretion, and the Bench is trying at all times to ensure that
20 the documents that do come into evidence and are admitted through a
21 witness do so because there is a sufficient link between the witness and
22 the document.
23 I admit that in the last two examples here, the link seems to be
24 not very obvious, but nevertheless we did find that in the first case, in
25 the first document, the fact that the witness had mentioned a particular
1 battle in his statement and was shown the video-recordings of it would
2 establish a sufficient link. And for this last document, we think that
3 the fact that he was a member of the El Mujahedin Detachment and knew of
4 both places also constitutes a link, not very obvious, but nevertheless,
5 as I said, it's a discretionary decision and we think that although it may
6 not be very clear, we think that there was a sufficient link.
7 And so it's not a question of having a different standard from one
8 day to the next. You always have to consider that the decisions can be
9 difficult to make, but we are trying to have as clear practice as
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me just say to you, Madam Vidovic, also that
12 you realise that in addition to what Judge Harhoff has said, we also make
13 decisions based on what the parties tell us.
14 Now, you objected to this document on the basis that the witness
15 has just said that he does not see the sense in this order. Now, I have
16 not known of making sense of a document being a basis for admission or not
17 admission of a document. He doesn't have to agree with what is written in
18 the document. He doesn't have to -- he's told us what he has told us to
19 establish the link, and you have not said that he didn't -- the link was
20 not established. You just told us that he had said he sees no sense, that
21 he doesn't -- you don't see how the witness could be linked with this. He
22 said the Commander of the El Mujahid was already there in October 1993.
23 We don't know whether it was there in 1993 already, and we don't know what
24 went into the mind of the person who made the order after 1993. However,
25 he has told -- just explained it to us. Making sense goes to the question
1 of probative value, not to the question of admission.
2 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
3 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I thought that I
5 was quite clear and that I had said that I did not see any link between
6 this witness and the document. I think that I was clear.
7 The witness did mention the event, but that is why I specifically
8 mentioned the example with Witness Zilkic, where it was clear that
9 throughout his testimony the witness did mention the event, which you will
10 recall was in the document, one of the last documents that had to do with
11 Zilkic's credibility. The entire time, that witness talked about that
12 event, but then it was said that the witness does not accept the
13 document. Now we have had the same situation.
14 I think that I was clear. First of all, he had nothing to do with
15 the document. Secondly, it's clear from the witness's testimony is that
16 he does not accept that document as correct, and this is what I saw there
17 to indicate that there is no link or connection between the document and
18 the witness.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, I want to stay clear of discussing
20 the Zilkic matter because I don't have a recollection of the incident
21 you're referring to, so I will not comment on that.
22 It is safe to say when you say, "But then it was said that the
23 witness does not accept the document," I'm not quite sure whether you can
24 refer us to a quotation in the transcript about that with the Zilkic
25 matter. Situations where a witness has spoken about the contents of the
1 matter, and we did not admit those documents, I remember two, one on the
2 side of the Defence, another on the side of the Prosecution, where the
3 witness clearly denied knowledge of what was written on the document, and
4 on both of those occasions, the Bench said what the parties are doing are
5 establishing a link between the document and some other incident, but not
6 between the witness and the document. And I can't remember the witnesses,
7 but I have no recollection of the Zilkic matter, unless you want to take
8 us back to that one, but I think we're dealing with this objection.
9 We have ruled on this objection, and I think the matter can rest
10 at that point.
11 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd ask that the witness
13 now be shown PT1791. PT1791.
14 Q. And while that's coming up, sir: In paragraph 75 of your
15 statement, you make reference to Visoka Glava and Pisana Jelika. Can you
16 tell us about those places and what you were talking about in paragraph 75
17 of your statement?
18 A. Visoka Glava and Pisana Jelika, those are facilities at the
19 Serici-Teslic theatre of war which the El Mujahedin Detachment took in one
20 of its actions.
21 Q. Sir, do you see the document on the screen in front of you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us what this document is, sir?
24 A. This a decision by the Commander of the 3rd Corps to attack, to
25 launch an attack. I'd never seen the document before it was shown to me
1 by the OTP.
2 In paragraph 3.2, I see a reference there to the El Mujahedin
4 Q. Sorry, sir. If we could go to the next page, please, in the
5 English version to paragraph 3.2. It's in the bottom half of page 2. In
6 the English, it's towards the bottom of the page, in the Bosnian original,
7 paragraph 3.2 --
8 Yes, sir, sorry to interrupt. Can you comment upon what's said in
9 paragraph 3.2 of this document?
10 A. It says that the El Mujahedin Detachment was supposed to attack
11 the following facilities: Pisana Jelika and Visoka Glava. All I can say
12 is that the El Mujahedin Detachment completed this action --
13 Q. And, sir --
14 A. -- Sometime in the summer of 1994. I think in late July or
16 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if we could see the date of this document. If
17 we could scroll to the top of the document.
18 Q. Do you see the date of this document, sir?
19 A. Yes, I see the date, I see it. I thought it was sometime earlier
20 on, but it's quite possible that it was in late August.
21 Q. And can you tell us, PW-9, what involvement, if any, you
22 personally had in respect of this operation?
23 A. Yes, I was personally involved.
24 Q. How so and at what place, sir?
25 A. I led one of the groups at Visoka Glava.
1 Q. And, PW-9, from whom did you receive your orders to take your
2 group to Visoka Glava?
3 A. I received my orders from Muatez. He was the detachment's deputy
4 commander for military issues.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we tender this document into evidence,
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Before we do so, I would like the witness to be
8 shown again part 3.2 of the document, and my question is: How was this
9 order made? Witness, you told us that it was issued by the Commander of
10 the 3rd Corps, Mr. Mahmuljin, and yet you also told us that your orders
11 were given by Muatez, so I'm curious to know on which basis did General
12 Mahmuljin issue the order here, do you know, and were you involved in the
13 making of this order?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already said I'd never saw this
15 order before I was shown the order by the OTP. I do not know that the 3rd
16 Corps commander issued this order.
17 Likewise, I don't know that some of the units mentioned here in
18 the document were, in fact, involved in the operation. I'm not familiar
19 with that.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: I thought you said, but maybe I was -- maybe I'm
21 wrong, I thought you said that this is an order issued by the Commander of
22 the 3rd Corps.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just read what the document
24 actually says.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: But, sir, when you went into combat, did your
1 platoon or your unit work together with other units of the 3rd Corps, not
2 being part of the El Mujahedin Detachment?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, only the El Mujahedin Detachment
4 was involved in this operation, no one else. The nature of this
5 particular mission, the lie of the land and the way the facilities were,
6 Visoka Glava and Pisana Jelika, were such that an operation could be
7 conducted in terms of attacking these two features, quite regardless of
8 any other features.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Perhaps we cannot squeeze more juice out of this
10 apple, but I am curious to know if we can, at some point during this
11 examination, during the examination of this witness, get a little closer
12 to the way in which the combat operations were planned between the El
13 Mujahid Detachment and the 3rd Corps. And since the witness might have
14 been involved in the planning of such operations, I would be curious to
15 hear his testimony thereof.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Well, Your Honour, I'll ask the witness that
18 Q. Sir, with respect to this operation concerning the locations
19 Pisana Jelika and Visoka Glava, what involvement, if any, did you have in
20 planning that operation?
21 A. From Day 1, when we reconnoitered these facilities, to the day the
22 operation actually took place, I remained involved throughout.
23 Q. And, sir, can you describe for us how this planning took place,
24 who was involved in the planning, where the planning occurred?
25 A. All of this was happening along the front line itself. Also
1 involved, alongside with me, of course, were Muatez, who was assistant
2 commander for military issues, as well as some other members of the
3 detachment, Amir Puric, Abdulah Libi, Samadin Masri. We independently
4 reconnoitered first and then carried out the actual operation.
5 Q. Sir, were you involved in any meetings or discussions with respect
6 to the planning of this operation that involved anyone who was not a
7 member of the El Mujahedin Detachment?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. Leading
10 question. The witness said they were independent, they planned the
11 operation on their own, and now this suggestion is being made that there
12 was a meeting attended by the persons who were not members of the
14 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, the witness said that they
15 independently reconnoitered first. That does not necessarily mean that
16 they independently carried out the operation. And I don't believe that
17 was a leading question. The question simply goes to the issue -- he's
18 told us about planning happening all along the front line. He described
19 to us persons who were involved in that planning. And my question was
20 simply whether there was anyone who was not a member of the detachment who
21 was involved in that planning, to his knowledge, were there any instance
22 that he personally is aware of, and that's all I'm concerned with is his
23 personal knowledge or personal involvement, whereby anyone from outside
24 the detachment was involved in planning. If he doesn't know, he doesn't
25 know. That's as far as we can take it, but I don't believe the question
1 was leading.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question is allowed.
3 MR. MUNDIS:
4 Q. PW-9, do you understand what I'm asking you, sir?
5 A. Yes, I understand your question. No one else outside the El
6 Mujahedin Detachment was involved in the planning of this operation.
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question, Witness.
8 The plan that the El Mujahedin Detachment prepared independently,
9 was it approved by the units that were hierarchically above the El
10 Mujahedin Detachment?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once the operation had been planned,
12 the Command or the Commander of Operations Group 3 North was informed.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. I would like to know who is Operations
14 Group 3 North.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Operations Group 3 North was
16 commanded by Colonel, I think, Jusuf Musinbegovic. This operations group
17 included a number of units who were covering that area, and that was their
18 area of responsibility.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: This Operations Group 3 North, what army did it
20 belong to?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was part of the 3rd Corps of BH
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And it was not part of the El Mujahedin Detachment,
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, of course it wasn't.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 Okay, then -- sorry. Did you want to ask?
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I didn't quite understand.
4 So it was at a higher level than the level of El Mujahid
5 Detachment, this Operational Group 3 North, was it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, that was a higher
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
10 please be given an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 837.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 Would that be a convenient time, Mr. Mundis?
14 MR. MUNDIS: It would indeed, Your Honours. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at 4.00.
16 Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Can we come back to the question
20 raised by the Defence regarding the document that was not admitted on the
21 13th of November when it was submitted to Witness Zilkic. Madam Vidovic
22 made a comparison with today's situation regarding the admission of the
24 I just want to underline that the Trial Chamber, during the break,
25 had an opportunity to look at the transcript, and the Chamber is of the
1 view that, after all, this is a different situation, especially so
2 because, as was rightly reminded by Madam Vidovic today, back then on the
3 13th of November it was a question of testing the credibility of the
4 witness through this document, and it appears very clearly, looking at the
5 transcript. So when it comes to the future assessment by the Trial
6 Chamber, there is no need to admit such a document, and the Trial Chamber
7 has all the elements it needs, based on the transcript, in order to assess
8 this point of view.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
10 MR. MUNDIS:
11 Q. PW-9, before the break we were talking about these operations at
12 Pisana Jelika and Visoka Glava. Can you briefly tell us or tell the Trial
13 Chamber what happened with respect to those features and your personal
14 involvement with your unit at those locations?
15 A. Early that morning, and I can't remember the exact date, there
16 were several groups, I think a total of seven, from the El Mujahedin
17 Detachment that carried out an attack on the following elevations: Visoka
18 Glava and Pisana Jelika. Those positions were soon taken. There was
19 little to no resistance by the enemy, and the entire operation took no
20 longer than ten minutes.
21 Later on, members of the detachment stayed at those positions.
22 They did not pull out. They fortified those positions. They dug some
23 trenches. They laid mines in front of the immediate area, that sort of
24 thing. Members of the detachment remained at those positions until the
25 operation that took place on the 3rd of October, and I'm here referring to
1 the operation at a number of neighbouring elevations.
2 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness now be shown the
3 document marked PT1801, 1801.
4 Q. Sir, do you see the document on the screen in front of you?
5 A. Yes, I see the document.
6 Q. Can you just briefly tell us what this document is, sir?
7 A. I don't think I've seen this document before. This seems to be a
8 report on elements affecting combat morale in units of the 3rd Corps.
9 MR. MUNDIS: If we could please go to the bottom of the Bosnian
10 version of this document or the original, and go to the bottom half of
11 page 2 in the English.
12 Q. Sir, approximately two-thirds of the way down in the Bosnian
13 version, do you see the paragraph -- or about halfway down, two-thirds
14 down, that talks about OG-3 North?
15 A. Yes, I see that paragraph.
16 Q. And, again, in the English version it's approximately in the
17 middle of the page, right about where the little magnifying glass is
19 Can you take a quick read through that paragraph of this document
20 to yourself, sir, and then I'd ask you to comment upon that, please.
21 A. I've read it.
22 Q. Can you comment, sir, on particularly the last sentence of that
23 paragraph and what's contained therein?
24 A. It reads here that the El Mujahedin Detachment successfully took
25 control of the features Pisana Jelika and Visoka Glava. I was not aware
1 of the fact that all the other units mentioned in the report were also
2 involved in any sort of offensive action on that day.
3 Q. But with respect to your unit, sir, what can you tell us about
4 what's contained in this document with respect to your unit and the
5 locations mentioned?
6 A. What is mentioned here is precisely what I said in reply to one of
7 your earlier questions about the taking of these features, Pisana Jelika
8 and Visoka Glava, by the El Mujahedin Detachment. This really happened,
9 but I can't confirm the date.
10 Q. And, sir, can you tell us, if you know, what was the relationship
11 in 1994, or in the summer of 1994, to be more specific, between Operation
12 Group 3 North and the El Mujahedin Detachment?
13 A. The detachment carried out these operations in the area of
14 responsibility of OG-3 North. There were several meetings that took place
15 at the Command of OG-3 North, and these meeting were attended by members
16 of the El Mujahedin Detachment.
17 Q. Do you know, sir, if there was any relationship in terms of
18 hierarchical relationship between OG-3 North and the El Mujahedin
19 Detachment in the summer of 1994?
20 A. I do not know that there was a hierarchal relationship, as you
21 term it.
22 Q. And, sir, just for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, can you
23 please -- because we have some -- the original documents, of course, are
24 in Bosnian. Can you please spell the word "North" in the Bosnian
25 language, for the record?
1 A. S-J-E-V-E-R, Sjever.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you.
3 The Prosecution tenders this document into evidence, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
5 please be given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit 838.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. Sir, in paragraph 81 of your written statement, there are
9 references to the locations Kajen Sopot and Brdo and the location
10 Kikica Brdo. Can you tell us, to the best of your recollection, what
11 those locations -- what was going on at those locations, as indicated in
12 paragraph 81 of your statement?
13 A. Kajen Sopot and Brdo were the following features that the
14 El Mujahedin Detachment took in its next operation on the 3rd of October,
15 1994. Kikic is one of the hills nearby, the next hill, and it was taken
16 that same day by members of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
17 Q. And, sir, can you tell us where -- you mentioned the operation on
18 the 3rd of October, 1994. Where were you on that day or during that
19 immediate time period, the first few days of October 1994?
20 A. On the 3rd of October, I and all the other members of the El
21 Mujahedin Detachment were involved in this operation. The task of my
22 group, in particular, was to take Kajen Sopot.
23 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about that operation involving Kajen
24 Sopot and your group?
25 A. The preparations had been afoot for about a month before the
1 operation was launched. There was daily reconnaissance. We constructed a
2 path through the woods in order to be able to pull out our wounded.
3 On that day, as per usual, because this was the case in the El
4 Mujahedin Detachment, at sometime like 4.00 in the morning or half past
5 4.00, an attack was eventually launched on these positions. The entire
6 operation took about 40 minutes, and all the groups belonging to the El
7 Mujahedin Detachment carried out their tasks, completed their tasks, which
8 means that Kajen Sopot, Previja and Brdo were taken.
9 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask the witness now be shown PT1824.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wish to state
12 for the record that this sort of examination should be conducted in
13 keeping with Rule 92 ter. This is indeed quite distant from the
14 instructions that the Chamber provided on examining 92 ter witnesses.
15 This is a situation where we have an enormous witness statement that we
16 are dealing with.
17 At this point in time, I think we've been going on for about two
18 and a half hours with this witness.
19 One thing I wish you to know is that the established practice at
20 this Tribunal is that the Defence is allotted four times as long as the
21 OTP. This opens up a whole lot of issues that I have to prepare for. I
22 don't think this the right way to go about this.
23 We have pointed out time and again that this witness is no witness
24 to be examined like this, that this would not be an appropriate 92 ter
25 witness, in the expectation that something like this would take place. It
1 really makes no sense.
2 We have an enormous statement being tendered and exhibited, and
3 then on top of that, we use up so much time to hear the witness live in
4 this courtroom. I really have no idea why this should be necessary.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: First of all, Your Honours, I'm not aware -- I'm not
7 aware of any established practice at this Tribunal that would permit the
8 Defence to be allocated four times as long as the OTP.
9 Second, excluding the statement of this witness, the Prosecution
10 has shown this witness 15 documents. This is the 15th and final document
11 or exhibit to be shown to the witness. This document, in particular,
12 relates to paragraph 81 of the witness's statement. It is cited to in
13 paragraph 29.1 of the pre-trial brief of the Prosecution. I have about
14 two questions or three questions to ask this witness concerning this
15 document, and that will be the end of the direct examination.
16 I will also note that during the course of this witness's direct
17 examination, there have been a number of interventions, which is
18 completely within the rights of Madam Vidovic to make, but of course does
19 consume additional time. I'm not faulting anyone for such interventions.
20 I simply note that, of course, each and every intervention, such as this
21 present one, means that there is less time available for us to focus on
22 the evidence that the witness has to bear.
23 Again, I don't think there's anything improper about showing a
24 witness 15 documents or exhibits. That's certainly well within the
25 established practice with respect to Rule 92 ter, and the Prosecution
1 doesn't see anything at all improper or inappropriate with respect to this
3 If Madam Vidovic requires additional time to cross-examine the
4 witness, so be it. I'm not aware of anything, however, that would, as a
5 standing rule, permit her four times as much time as the Prosecution
6 takes. If she has eight or ten hours of relevant cross-examination,
7 again, so be it, but to simply stand up and object as to the number of
8 documents that we're showing, when it's a relatively small number of
9 documents as in this case, I think is not perhaps the best use of the
10 Trial Chamber's time.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would like to respond to both parties by saying
12 the following, and let me start with what you are saying, Mr. Mundis.
13 My understanding of the use of Rule 92 ter, 92 bis, is that the
14 idea is to cut down on time; that the witness will say as much as he would
15 have said viva voce in a written statement, and that when the witness
16 comes into court, he just gets introduced, he's shown his statement, he
17 confirms the statement, he states that that's the statement he would have
18 given if he was led viva voce, and then the statement speaks for itself.
19 I certainly find it a little out of step when a 92 ter or a 92
20 bis -- well, 92 bis is not even here -- a 92 ter witness is called, a lot
21 of time is taken.
22 I hear what you say, there have been a number of interventions and
23 what have you. Be that as it may, I want to find out: Is it not possible
24 for the witness, in his written statement, 92 ter statement, to refer to
25 the exhibits that are going to be shown to say, "I've looked at those
1 exhibits, I authenticate them," and they can be tendered, so that when his
2 statement is tendered, it is tendered at least with those exhibits?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, with all due respect, at one point
4 earlier, in September, I believe, and I can certainly find the filing, the
5 Prosecution proposed doing just that, and we produced two 92 ter
6 statements that had tables with such a description, and those witness
7 statements were rejected by the Trial Chamber. We did do a similar
8 exercise with respect to a witness last week, and the Chamber allowed us
9 to tender a large number of exhibits through that witness on an
10 exceptional basis.
11 We are, of course, always open to anything that can expedite the
12 proceedings. The express language of Rule 92 ter says that the witness's
13 evidence may be heard in whole or in part by way of written evidence, and
14 of course we would submit that that suggests a more expansive approach
15 with respect to written statements. I believe had I taken this witness
16 through all of the information and evidence contained in his written
17 statement, that that would have taken us several days to accomplish, and
18 to that extent I believe reducing that from several days of evidence to
19 several hours of evidence certainly expedites the proceedings.
20 The alternative approach, or one alternative approach, again,
21 would be for us to link these documents by way of a Bar table motion after
22 the witness appears and simply say, "This document relates to this
23 paragraph of the witness's testimony." In light of the Chamber's previous
24 rulings and guidelines concerning the requirement that we link a witness
25 to -- or the documents to the witness's testimony has led us to this path
1 that we are now -- in the most expeditious way possible, I'm trying to
2 link the witness's written statement to certain documents. And again
3 we're talking about 15 documents. This is the last one of which is now
4 about to be called up onto the screen. And I do believe that we're moving
5 as expeditiously as possible in order to focus in on what we've identified
6 and what I've referred to here before as "the core exhibits," that is,
7 exhibits that are cited to in our pre-trial brief, exhibits that the
8 Prosecution believes are absolutely essential for the Trial Chamber to
9 have before it in order for the Trial Chamber to make the ultimate
10 decisions that fall within the responsibility of the Chamber.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Just two points I'm going to make.
12 I hear what you say about the ruling that was made by the Chamber
13 earlier, but I think we have always said, and I seem to remember that it
14 was said by Judge Harhoff, that the Chamber does not mind a few documents
15 being tendered with a statement, but when they become too many, that it
16 becomes problematic.
17 Now, the question is the definition of "few." Is 15 few or is it
18 not few? It's a relative term.
19 The other point is you have referred me and refreshed my memory
20 about the wording of 92 ter, which says "may be heard in whole or in
21 part," and on that basis I have no choice but to say: Carry on.
22 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness now be shown PT1824.
24 Q. Witness PW-9, do you see this document on the screen in front of
1 A. I see the document.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if we could zoom out and get the full page in
3 both languages, that would be helpful.
4 Q. Sir, can you briefly tell us what this document is?
5 A. I've not seen this document before. This is a report of the 3rd
6 Corps Command, I believe, about assault actions in the area of
7 responsibility of the 3rd North Group in October 1994. The El Mujahedin
8 Detachment is mentioned in the first paragraph, saying that it has
9 captured the facilities of Kajen Sopot, Previja and Brdo, and then it says
10 something about the 319th Brigade which I believe is not correct. The El
11 Mujahid Detachment actually quite independently carried out this
12 assignment without the presence of any other units.
13 Q. And, sir, when you say "quite independently carried out this
14 assignment," can you explain what you mean by that?
15 A. It means that in this operation, no member of any other unit
16 participated. It was only members of the El Mujahedin Detachment who
18 Q. And, sir, you told us a few moments ago, I believe, that your
19 group was involved with respect to this operation; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And, sir, which of these features did your group take on 3 October
23 A. That's the Kajen Sopot feature.
24 Q. And can you tell us, sir, if you recall, why your group took the
25 Kajen Sopot feature or why your group went to this feature?
1 A. It was a continuation of previous operation, when Pisana Jelika
2 and Visoka Glava were captured. The line was severed there, and the front
3 line needed to be straightened out so that it would all go along one
4 plane. Well, it's a bit hard for me to explain it now without a map. We
5 received the order from Muatez. He's the deputy commander of the El
6 Mujahedin Detachment for military affairs.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would tender this
8 document PT1824 into evidence.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 Just before we do that: Are you able to tell us, sir, who
11 captured Previja and Brdo?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Previja.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, my poor language.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Previja and Brdo were also captured
15 by members of the El Mujahedin Detachment.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see, why I was asking the question is because
17 at page 40, line 10, you were asked a question:
18 "And, sir, which of these features did your group take on 3
19 October 1994?"
20 Now, of course, I don't know what is meant by "group" here, and
21 you said:
22 "That's the Kajen Sopot feature."
23 Now, what did you mean by "group"? What did you understand
24 by "group" when you were asked about a group?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My group, where I was, and the group
1 which I commanded.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Some unit within the El Mujahedin Detachment
3 [Microphone not activated] ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot hear the interpreter.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. My fault.
6 When you say the group that you led, do you mean that you're
7 talking about a small unit within a bigger El Mujahedin unit?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are there other groups that were not specifically
10 led by you but also belonging to El Mujahedin who captured other groups.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 Sorry, it looks like my microphone keeps going off without me
14 switching it off.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis, you may proceed.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we had tendered PT1824 into evidence.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm so sorry.
19 PT1824 is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
20 exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 839.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions. Thank you,
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
1 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Your Honours, can we move to private session, please, now.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 5616-5618 redacted. Private session
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. When we are talking about this document that has to do with the
7 certificates, you also saw that the payments were carried out by the
8 Ministry of Defence; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that is correct. The Ministry of Defence made the payments
10 via the Municipal Defence Secretariats.
11 Q. Would you agree that the Defence Ministry is a body of the
12 government with us in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes, of course it's a body of the government.
14 Q. Thank you, Witness. I am now going to move to another topic.
15 In paragraph 43 of your statement, you talked about the
16 participation of the Mujahedin in combat actions in spring 1993, and you
17 said that there was no operation close to their base in which they did not
18 participate. In this connection, I would like to ask you the following:
19 These were operations before the El Mujahedin Detachment was formed; is
20 this correct?
21 A. Yes, that is correct. The detachment was officially formed on the
22 13th of August, 1993.
23 Q. You don't know at all if the people who, on the 13th of August
24 joined the detachment took part in these combat actions; would you accept
1 A. That is correct, I don't know. I was not an eyewitness of those
3 Q. From what I understood you to say, you came to Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina only in September or October 1993. Is that correct?
5 A. I think that it was the 27th of September.
6 Q. So you could have only heard some stories that you cannot assert
7 are correct, because you did not take part in these events?
8 A. That is correct. I just heard something about those events. Of
9 course, I didn't see anything.
10 Q. Before the documents were shown to you by the OTP, you didn't see
11 any documents from within the detachment that discuss these events?
12 A. Yes, that's true, I did not see those documents or any documents.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we move back into
14 private session at this point, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 5621-5622 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: May somebody help us with the curtain, with the
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please don't help us any longer. Thank you so
19 You may proceed.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. It was because of these differences that they waged war on each
22 other in their own respective areas of origin sometimes, didn't they?
23 A. I heard about those clashes, although I, myself, never travelled
24 to any of those areas.
25 Q. What I have in mind is the following: Sunni Muslims came to
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also Shiite Muslims; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be put away,
4 please. I want the witness to look at a different document now, P2216.
5 Q. Witness, here is another document produced by the Military
6 Security Administration. The date is the 7th of July, 1995. This is
7 about the activities carried out by members of the El Mujahid
8 unit. "Information," it reads. It's a rather short document. I will
9 quote you the portion that I'm interested in. It reads:
10 "The State Security Service of the RBH, Ministry of the Interior,
11 informed us that a source had told them that some members of the El
12 Mujahid unit were talking about allegedly preparing an action to liquidate
13 several members of the Shiite sect whose ideology and beliefs are
14 propagated by Iranians and some of our own citizens, such as 'the hooting
15 dervishes' from the territory of Travnik, whose names are known to some
16 members of the El Mujahid unit."
17 Witness, first of all, are you aware of the development described
18 in this document?
19 A. I've never seen this document in my life. I'm certain that the El
20 Mujahid Detachment never planned the killing of any of these people, the
21 Shiites or anyone else.
22 Secondly, I'm sure this never materialised. Now, whether perhaps
23 there were individuals who were members of the El Mujahedin Detachment who
24 were planning this, obviously I can't be certain either way. Again, I've
25 never seen this document before. I do have to point out that.
1 Q. Thank you, Witness. Witness, the Iranians, the Shiites, were not
2 members of the detachment, there was a certain amount of mutual repulsion,
3 if I may call it that. Would you accept that?
4 A. There was not a single Shiite who was a member of the El Mujahid
5 Detachment. Needless to say, if I may just add to my answer, it would
6 have been impossible precisely because of these ideological differences.
7 Q. Do you agree with me that in Central Bosnia, in 1993, 1994 and
8 1995, there were such groups as well?
9 A. There were all sorts of groups there, Afro-Asians -- there were a
10 lot of groups that existed in the area at the time, in addition to the
11 El Mujahedin Detachment.
12 Q. Existed and, in fact, fought there in 1994 and 1995; right?
13 A. When I said "groups," I meant groups that were involved in the
14 actual fighting, yes.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 Your Honours, may the document be exhibited, please.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do so, just for my own edification, what
18 are "hooting dervishes"?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the way it's written here is
20 a little clumsy. There were dervishes, the hooting dervishes. "Hooting"
21 is slightly derogatory, I think. "Dervishes," on the other hand, they are
22 a group among Muslims who espouse a Sufi philosophy. I think this would
23 require a lengthy explanation.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We don't need a lengthy one.
25 The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
1 exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 840.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And what about the reason I was asking you all these questions,
5 Witness? The reason is this: I want to confront you with my theory. It
6 would be entirely erroneous to believe that persons of Afro-Asian descent
7 who came there to fight were a unified group, would it not?
8 A. Yes, it would be entirely erroneous to believe that. They were
9 not united. There were a lot of splinter groups, independent groups, who
10 acted and fought on their own.
11 Q. Likewise, it would be erroneous to believe that they were
12 operating under a single command, would it not?
13 A. You are entirely right.
14 Q. Further, it would be very erroneous to believe, would it not, that
15 all those who came to Central Bosnia from Afro-Asian countries during the
16 war joined the El Mujahedin Detachment and were its members; right?
17 A. Yes, you're right. There may have been more Arabs outside the
18 detachment than in it, than Arabs who were actually members of the
20 Q. Thank you. I would like to move on now in order to clarify some
21 parts of your statement in which you talked about the activities of some
22 other Arab groups that were not part of the El Mujahedin Detachment. I
23 mean their activities in Central Bosnia.
24 Let me remind you that in paragraph 38 of your statement, you
25 stated that the El Mujahedin Detachment, in October 1993, which is when
1 you joined the detachment, had a total of three camps, Poljanica, Orasac
2 and Vatrostalna at Zenica; is that true, sir?
3 A. Yes, I joined in October 1993, and those were the three camps, the
4 three barracks that the El Mujahedin Detachment had at the time.
5 Q. Okay. So what you know for sure is that the detachment had no
6 other camps aside from these, did it?
7 A. Yes, I know this with sure and certain knowledge.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you explain what you mean by "with sure and
9 certain knowledge"? Are you saying -- when you say you know this with
10 sure and certain knowledge, are you suggesting there could be others
11 outside your knowledge or you're saying you don't discount that
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure I understand the
14 interpreter. Can this be told me once again, please?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you say you know this with sure and certain
16 knowledge, is there something else you know without certain and -- without
17 sure and certain knowledge, in relation to the question of camps?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say I know this for sure, I
19 mean I can rule out the possibility that any other camp belonging to the
20 El Mujahid Detachment existed at the time. That's what I mean.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The groups in the following camps, Gluha Bukovica near Travnik,
24 did not in fact belong to the El Mujahedin Detachment, did they?
25 A. No, the group at Gluha Bukovica near Travnik did not belong to the
1 El Mujahedin Detachment.
2 Q. What about the group at Guca Gora near Travnik; they were not part
3 of the detachment, were they?
4 A. No, they were not part of the detachment either, that's right.
5 Q. What about the group at Bistricak near Zenica?
6 A. The group at Bistricak and their training camp were not part of
7 the El Mujahid Detachment.
8 Q. What about the group at Zeljezno Polje near Zepce?
9 A. No part of the El Mujahid Detachment.
10 Q. What about the groups at Tesanj?
11 A. Those neither.
12 Q. Kalesija?
13 A. I wasn't even aware of that group myself. I wasn't aware of its
14 existence, and needless to say it wasn't part of the El Mujahid
16 Q. What about the group near Konjic?
17 A. Not a part of the El Mujahid Detachment.
18 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
19 Is my understanding correct, you were aware of all these groups,
20 apart from the one at Kalesija; right?
21 A. Yes, I was aware of all the other ones, with the exception of that
22 group you refer to as being based at or near Kalesija, but none of those
23 groups were part of the El Mujahid Detachment. I was in fact aware the
24 existence of some other groups which you have so far failed to mention.
25 Q. Could you give us a hand with that perhaps? Which groups are you
1 thinking of?
2 A. I mean the group of Turks who were known as "the Gerila group,"
3 and they were based in Zenica. They are the first to spring to mind.
4 Q. Thank you very much. I had totally forgotten about those.
5 Witness, all these groups that we've enumerated were involved in
6 the fighting in 1994 and 1995, were they not?
7 A. That's right, they were involved in the fighting.
8 Q. My question was: All these groups were involved in the fighting;
9 is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. You are certain, are you not, that none of those groups, in 1994
12 or 1995, were operating under the command of the El Mujahedin Detachment
13 at all?
14 A. I'm entirely certain of that.
15 Q. I will now go back to parts of your statement, paragraphs 101
16 through 106.
17 In your statement, in paragraph 101, you say:
18 "I had heard of a man named Abu Zubejr for the first time late in
20 You also say that his unit was based in Zeljezno Polje. You
21 described it as an informal unit, almost illegal?
22 A. Yes, that's quite right.
23 Q. Let us dwell on the person of Abu Zubeir for a while. Do you
24 agree with me that a number of different Afro-Asians who were in Bosnia at
25 the time were nicknamed "Abu Zubeir"?
1 A. Yes, that's quite right. There were even some ethnic Bosnians who
2 were nicknamed "Abu Zubeir" as well.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Before I show you any exhibits, I want to
4 ask you this. I looked at your statement, and I drew the following
5 inference: You personally had occasion to see Abu Zubeir? I'm talking
6 about the Abu Zubeir who led the unit that was based at Zeljezno Polje. If
7 your memory is still clear enough, can you first describe the physical
8 appearance of this person? Was there anything particularly distinctive
9 about his appearance?
10 A. What was distinctive about him was his obesity. I think he
11 weighed over 150 kilos. He was about 180 centimetres tall. He was
12 swarthy, a complexion as Arabs sometimes are, he had a beard that was
13 average, not particularly long for an Arab, but he was fat, in a way.
14 They used to call him "Abu Zubeir, the fat one," or, "Abu Zubeir, the
15 bear," for that reason, because of his fatness.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 The next exhibit that I would like the witness to look at is
18 Exhibit 342. Page 2 in both the English and the B/C/S, please. The top
19 half of the page, please. Thank you. In the English, it's the third
20 paragraph: "Like Abu Sulaiman ...," that's how it begins.
21 Q. Witness, I will now read to you the first two sentences of this
22 paragraph. It reads:
23 "Like Abu Sulaiman, Abu Zubair al-Haili, also known as The Bear, a
24 300-pound monster of a man, had also first gained a reputation as a
25 fearless and calculating military commander in Afghanistan before serving
1 as an artillery expert with the Arab Mujahedin in Bosnia."
2 Witness, all I'm interested in is this: Do you agree that the
3 physical description perfectly fits the Abu Zubeir that you actually met
4 at the time, who was the commander of the Arab group based at Zeljezno
6 A. Yes, that's right, and "al-Haili" also fits. That's Abu Zubeir.
7 He was from Hail [phoen], which is a town in the north of Saudi Arabia,
8 and that's how he got the nickname.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
10 We can put this document away.
11 Q. You say that he was also known as "The Bear"; right?
12 A. Yes, I said that.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right, thank you.
14 Could we please have Exhibit 783 next.
15 Again, information by the Security Service Administration, and the
16 date is the 21st of June, 1995. Information on the El Mujahedin
18 Q. Could you please look at the beginning of paragraph 2, which
20 "In the conversation between Ebu Ejub and Ebu Jetam, Ebu Ejub
21 wants to know where Ebu Jetam is. He then informs him that he was in the
22 Tuzla group, that their Emir was Habab, and that the Tuzla group belongs
23 to Ebu Zubejr."
24 Witness, you told us that Ebu Zubeir or Abu Zubeir had this group
25 at Zeljezno Polje. Did you know at the time that he had groups in other
1 areas across Bosnia and Herzegovina as well?
2 A. I know that he had certain groups elsewhere. The one at Gluha
3 Bukovica I think also belonged to Abu Zubeir. As for the group at Tuzla,
4 I think this is a reference to the one that you earlier mentioned referred
5 to as the "Kalesija group," but I didn't know that it existed. Abu Ejub
6 is someone that I'm familiar with and I know that he was a member of Abu
7 Zubeir's unit.
8 Q. Thank you very much. If my understanding is correct, these groups
9 had no point of contact with your detachment; right?
10 A. Right, no point of contact.
11 Q. Witness, you were familiar with the Travnik area, weren't you?
12 Will you please tell the Chamber, what is the distance between Gluha Luka
13 [as interpreted] and Mehurici, for example?
14 A. Between 15 and 20 kilometres.
15 Q. And what about the distance to Travnik?
16 A. About 30 kilometres.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 I'm looking now at paragraph 103 of your statement, where you say
19 that the Abu Zubeir group had a very negative attitude towards the
20 El Mujahid Detachment. Is that true, sir?
21 A. Yes, it's true.
22 Q. And this Abu Zubeir al-Halili was never a member of the
23 El Mujahedin Detachment?
24 A. He was never a member of the detachment, and I think -- I'm
25 practically sure that he never entered any of the barracks of the
1 El Mujahedin Detachment.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 Your Honours, just one intervention for the transcript. Page 60,
4 line 10 and 11, I said -- the witness and I spoke about Gluha Bukovica,
5 and the transcript states "Gluha Luka." This is important. There is a
6 significant distinction.
7 Q. Witness, you understood that I was speaking about Gluha Bukovica?
8 A. Yes, that is correct, Gluha Bukovica.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this is a good
10 time to go for the break.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see I understand you before the interpretation.
12 We'll take a break and come back at quarter to 6.00.
13 Court adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 5.43 p.m.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Witness, we stopped when we were discussing Abu Zubeir. I would
19 now like to remind you about what you said in your statement. In
20 paragraph 104 of your statement, you said that Arabs from Saudi Arabia did
21 not like having an Algerian guy as the commander of the El Mujahid
23 Actually, I would like to make an introduction. I would like to
24 deal now with the situation in the detachment itself and some
25 disagreements which I believe happened within the detachment. You talked
1 about this in paragraph 104 of your statement.
2 You said that Arabs from Saudi Arabia did not like to have an
3 Algerian as the commander of the detachment, and they did not like the
4 Egyptian environment. And in connection with that, I would like to ask
5 you: The Algerian is Abu Maali; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And am I correct in believing that at one point, within the El
8 Mujahedin Detachment itself, there was some kind of disagreement and a
9 number of the detachment members left and joined Abu Zubeir's group?
10 A. Yes, that is correct, that is what happened.
11 Q. Do you remember when this happened?
12 A. Based on my recollection, I think this was in the second half of
13 1994. I cannot be certain about the date. I think it was towards the end
14 of 1994.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. You're not interested in any more details for now?
17 Q. All right, thank you. It's sufficient for now.
18 What I would like to ask you about Al Zubeir is the following:
19 Within the detachment itself, there were members who had that nickname or
20 name, but none of them was Abu Zubeir al-Halili; am I correct?
21 A. Yes, Zubeir al-Halili was the one who was the leader of the group
22 in Zeljezno Polje.
23 Q. Among the groups that we discussed, we mentioned the group in Guca
25 Can the witness please look at D645, please.
1 While the document is being prepared, Witness, I would like to ask
2 you this: You already mentioned that there were more persons with the
3 nickname "Abu Hamza," so I would like to discuss something with you that
4 concerns one of those people.
5 As you can see on the screen, again this is an act by the Security
6 Service in Zenica of the 9th -- of the 5th of November, 1993 -- 1995.
7 It's an information to the Command of the 3rd Corps. It's a small
8 document, and it states that the 7th Corps reported an event that took
9 place in Guca Gora, in which members of the El Mujahid Detachment
10 participated, led by Mr. Abu Hamza. And then the bottom part of the
11 document states that the El Mujahedin Detachment Command was informed that
12 Mr. Abu Hamza was not a member of their unit and is not a member of the
13 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they state that for those reasons, "He
14 is not under our jurisdiction," and the act is being sent for the review
15 of the police in relation to Abu Hamza.
16 What I would like to ask you is the following: I mentioned the
17 group in Guca Gora, and you said that El Mujahedin did not have a group in
18 Guca Gora. Do you know if the group in Guca Gora was led by Abu Hamza?
19 A. Yes, I am familiar with the group in Guca Gora that was headed by
20 Abu Hamza Tunisi, and they had nothing to do with El Mujahedin.
21 Q. You've already told us that the only group leader or the only one
22 who had a prominent position in El Mujahedin was Abu Hamza. You said
23 Muhadzir, I think.
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Muhadzir, and that he was the head of the detachment's press
1 centre. This is what I would like to ask you: Incidents in the Travnik
2 region were created by Abu Hamza Tunisi and this group from Guca Gora, not
3 by members of the El Mujahedin Detachment, in the course of 1994 and 1995;
4 am I correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. This Abu Hamza that is mentioned in this
6 document was not a member of the El Mujahedin Detachment.
7 Q. Please, do you agree that local Bosnians who were not familiar
8 with the structure of the detachment or of the Arabs felt that it was the
9 simplest thing to connect incidents with El Mujahedin, which was the only
10 body that they had any contact with; would you accept that?
11 A. Well, this is something that happened all the time. People were
12 not familiar with the fact that there were different groups and the
13 relationships between them, so it was very simple to say, for any of them,
14 that this was an Arab from the El Mujahedin Detachment, when actually it
15 was not the case.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document be
17 given an exhibit number, please.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
19 please be given an exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 841.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like to
24 show the witness another document. It's a photograph.
25 Can we put this document away, and I would like the witness to
1 look at Exhibit 92. 92, page 15.
2 Could we please zoom in on the photograph. Thank you very much.
3 Q. Witness, I would like you to look at this photograph. Do you know
4 this person?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Can you please tell us who this person is?
7 A. That is Imad Del Husen [phoen], known as Abu Hamza Suri.
8 Q. If somebody were to link in any way this person with Abu Hamza
9 from Guca Gora and the -- who created incidents, and as you have just
10 said, they would very much be mistaken, wouldn't they?
11 A. Yes, that is correct, because that is not the same person.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 Your Honours, this photograph has already been given a number, and
14 we don't need it anymore.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just ask, did this Abu Hamza Suri belong
16 to the El Mujahedin Detachment?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he was a member of the
18 detachment. He joined the detachment in spring 1995, sometime in March or
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 Thank you, Madam.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be put away now,
23 and we would like the witness to look at Exhibit 345 now, please.
24 Can we zoom in on this photograph. Otherwise, I will just ask the
25 witness to look at the hard copy.
1 Q. Witness, I don't know if you can recognise the face. If you
2 cannot, I'm going to give you a hard copy which we can place on the ELMO,
3 Your Honours.
4 A. I've already seen this before in newspapers, so I am familiar with
5 what this is about.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] For the transcript, this is a page
7 from "Oslobodjenje." The article is "Zuhair, the real Handala."
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the date of the
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Please, did you see this article before, or this person in
12 newspapers, this person Zuhair or Handala? Was he ever a member of the El
13 Mujahedin Detachment?
14 A. Ahmed Zuhair, known as Abu Handala, was never a member of the El
15 Mujahedin Detachment. Furthermore, from what I know, he was not a member
16 of the other units, either. He had a separate group.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness. We
18 can put this document away now.
19 Q. You told us a bit earlier that locals could not differentiate
20 among all these Arab groups, they were not aware of their existence.
21 El Mujahid did have some connections with the army and he was known. You
22 also told us that incidents were ascribed to the detachment for those
24 I would like you to look at Exhibit 641 now, please.
25 Witness, it's very hard to read this document, but I'm not
1 interested in this page. I'm just going to tell you -- actually, perhaps
2 the witness can look at the hard copy, Your Honours. The document is
3 already exhibited. It is -- these are minutes from a meeting from the 2nd
4 of September, 1995, in the Public Security Centre in Zenica.
5 Representatives of the police are mentioned here.
6 Can the witness please look at page 3 of the document. It's much
7 more legible, and it's relevant for us. In the English version, also it
8 is page 3.
9 Witness, I would like to ask you to read paragraph 5, where it
10 says: "Item 5", and I'm going to put some questions to you about that.
11 A. I've read it. You can continue.
12 Q. This document shows, does it not, that members from the government
13 or authority noted that it was arbitrarily concluded that those who caused
14 the incidents were from the El Mujahedin Detachment and that also these
15 incidents were being ascribed to the detachment arbitrarily? Please, you,
16 in the detachment, were you aware of this situation? Was it known in the
17 detachment that incidents were being ascribed to the members of the
18 detachment? And if you were, what happened in that case?
19 A. Yes, I am aware that many incidents were ascribed to the
20 detachment for which the detachment members were not responsible. As for
21 what was specifically done, I don't know. I know that the detachment
22 command tried to clarify the situation, and I know that they even assisted
23 the Military Police of the 3rd Corps in arresting some people who were of
24 Afro-Asian extraction, who had been responsible for causing disturbances.
25 Q. I would like you to comment on this part here, where it says it is
1 necessary to identify the perpetrators of incidents, and it says this is
2 necessary in order to get rid of insinuations spread by malicious persons
3 that all of those who caused the incidents were from the El Mujahedin
4 Detachment. Is it true that this was something -- a story that was being
5 spread maliciously?
6 A. Well, that was my impression at the time.
7 Q. I would now like to ask you this: It's correct, isn't it, that in
8 Central Bosnia, in particular, many humanitarian organisations were active
9 from the Arab world?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. It is also correct, isn't it, that they also embarked on combat
13 A. Yes, they also went into combat action. I'm aware of that.
14 Q. What is correct is that they did not join members of detachments,
15 they did not enter combat actions under the command of the El Mujahedin
17 A. No humanitarian organisation participated in combat actions
18 together with the El Mujahedin Detachment.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm now going to put some questions to you relating to
20 your testimony on the detachment itself and on the structure of the El
21 Mujahedin Detachment, because I think that you can shed some light on
22 these questions.
23 In paragraph 33 of the statement, you said that Dr. Abu Haris
24 Al-Libi was the detachment commander?
25 A. Yes, Dr. Abu Haris Al-Libi was the detachment commander until
1 December 1993.
2 Q. Thank you. He graduated at the Faculty of Medicine, and before
3 the war he worked as a doctor in Austria; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. The military commander, Muatez whom you mentioned, before the war
6 was a lawyer; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. In paragraph 33 of the statement, you said that the El Mujahedin
9 Detachment had a specific structure. You said that it was officially
10 registered in the 3rd Corps. Then you said that it should have had the
11 structure of an anti-sabotage detachment. And then you said that that was
12 the structure only on paper. Is that correct?
13 A. By establishment, the way it was supposed to be, according to the
14 army rules, the detachment, the Anti-Sabotage Detachment, should have
15 consisted of three companies, as I explained that in my statement, but the
16 El Mujahedin Detachment actually functioned according to some quite
17 different principles and according to a different organisation.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm going to come to that, but before that, I would
19 like you to look at Exhibit 273. It's an order from the Supreme Command
20 Staff of the 13th of August, 1993, founding the El Mujahedin Detachment
21 once the -- and it was formed in the area of responsibility of the 3rd
23 I'm going to ask you to look at this part here that has to do with
24 mobilisation preparation. I'm going to quote. It says in the document:
25 "Replenish the El Mujahedin Detachment with foreign volunteers
1 currently on the territory of the 3rd Corps area of responsibility."
2 I know that you were not a member of the detachment when this
3 order was issued, but I would like to ask you this: When you came to the
4 detachment, you found a situation whereby the detachment did not consist
5 of only foreigners, but it included at least half or maybe more of local
7 A. Yes. The entire time that the detachment existed, the bulk of its
8 forces were locals, Bosniaks.
9 Q. You will agree with me, will you not, that this order, immediately
10 after it was issued, was not actually respected, it did not provide for
11 something like that?
12 A. I've seen this order before, and it envisaged that the detachment
13 be formed out of foreigners. But, however, from Day 1 this order was not
14 actually followed.
15 Q. Now I'm going to ask you about another aspect of this document. It
16 also says here that it should be formed with foreign volunteers currently
17 on the territory of the 3rd Corps area of responsibility. What I would
18 like to ask you is this: It's correct, isn't it, that foreigners, many
19 foreigners who happened to be in the area of responsibility of the 3rd
20 Corps at the time, never actually joined the El Mujahedin Detachment?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpretation that I heard and as it appears
23 on the transcript says:
24 "It also says here that it should be formed with foreign
1 Now, the order says "Replenish" in the English. What does the
2 B/C/S say, sir? Can you read for us? Does the -- if you can just read
3 that paragraph immediately under the heading "Formation."
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps I made a
5 mistake. It does say "popunu," "replenish," "to replenish," as you have
6 read from the English.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness, I would just like to clarify something in relation to
10 this. So you understood that -- well, let me ask you this: Is there a
11 difference, linguistically, between "to form from" and "replenish"? If
12 you believe that there is a difference, maybe I can put the question to
13 you again.
14 A. Well, there is no difference. This is classic military
15 terminology, to replenish and to form, whatever is used in this case means
16 the same.
17 Q. Just something else. In other words, the detachment was not
18 replenished only by foreigners but also by locals; that's what you said?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 Your Honours, can this document now be -- just one thing before we
22 put the document away.
23 Q. Witness, please, you would agree, would you not, that in this last
24 sentence on this page, it says these people should keep the weapons and
25 other equipment which has already been issued to them? Would you agree
1 that -- or, actually, do you have any information about where these
2 weapons came from that members of the detachment had? Did they receive
3 these weapons from the army or did they already have these weapons? Did
4 they buy them with their own funds?
5 A. The whole time that I was in the detachment, the detachment dealt,
6 itself, with the issue of materiel and logistics by purchasing this
7 stuff. They did not have any assistance from the army, and it was not
8 issued to them from the army.
9 Q. You had the opportunity to discuss this with people from the
10 detachment, with other members of the detachment. Did anybody ever tell
11 you that the army, in 1993, issued weapons to them?
12 A. I never heard of anyone being issued weapons from the army.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Maybe now we can put
14 this document away.
15 Your Honours, can we move into private session.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber move into private session.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 5645-5653 redacted. Private session
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Witness, I'll be asking you to look at another document produced
6 by the Military Security Service Administration, 3rd Corps, Zenica, the
7 19th of December, 1995. Again -- can the document please be shown in such
8 a way that the witness can see the entire page.
9 Can you please read to yourself what it says? And this is page 2
10 in English.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you scroll up in the English, please. It
12 doesn't look like the beginning of the sentence. Okay, thank you.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can you tell us as soon as you're done so we can move on to the
15 next page, Witness?
16 Can you just focus on the word "Keteba" [phoen] written
17 here, "Kataabo," "Keteba"?
18 A. Yes, I've seen that.
19 Q. Witness, while we're still looking at this page, let me ask you
20 this: Do you agree that the document reflects the atmosphere of this
21 newly-arisen situation after the signing of the peace agreement in Paris,
22 and this reflects on the detachment; right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. It talks about dissatisfaction because of the fact that the
25 detachment is to be dismantled and they are being ordered to leave the
1 country; right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Dissatisfaction at the move of the Bosnian government because the
4 Bosnian government agreed to this peace agreement; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Now, there's this reference to this word "Keteba." In
7 the brackets, it reads that this is most probably the name of an
8 organisation, El Keteba, that is Arabic for the "El Mujahedin Detachment";
9 am I right?
10 A. Yes. "Keteba" means "detachment" in the Arabic language.
11 Q. It is quite obvious that the Bosnian Security Services themselves
12 knew very little about the detachment. They didn't even know that Keteba
13 was a detachment; they thought this was some sort of organisation or
15 A. I do believe that what they knew was precious little.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please go to page 2 of
17 this document. It's page 3 in the English version.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we pull the page up a little,
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I'll be asking you to pay close attention to the paragraph midway
22 down the page.
23 Your Honours, it's the part which in English begins with the
24 word "Furthermore."
25 Witness, let us try to save time. I quote:
1 "Furthermore, it is suggested that the Mujahedins should wait for
2 a day or two to see how the situation would develop, because concerning
3 their case, the Shura, Keteba holds a session every 15 minutes. This
4 shows clearly that the Shura continued to operate and exist until the
5 detachment was dismantled; right?
6 A. Yes. It was the Shura that took the decision to -- for the El
7 Mujahedin Detachment to cease to exist.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 Your Honours, could we please have an exhibit number for this
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
12 please be given an exhibit number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 843.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Let me remind you of another section of your statement. In your
17 evidence today, you mentioned Sheik Enver, his death, and you said that he
18 was a member of the detachment's command, which is something that I wish
19 to clarify.
20 The page I invoke here is page 5, lines 2 and 3, I believe. I
21 think that was the page being shown at the moment.
22 Be that as it may, Witness, can we please look into the role of
23 Sheik Enver. In paragraphs 160 through 164 of your statement, you say,
24 about Sheik Saban:
25 "Sheik Anwar Saban was the political authority of the El Mujahid
1 Detachment. As far as I know, he came from Italy right before our second
2 operation at Teslic."
3 And then you go on to state, and I'm quoting your words from
4 paragraph 164:
5 "Officially, Sheik Anwar did not perform any function in the
6 El Mujahedin Detachment, but in fact he was very influential. Muatez, Abu
7 Maali and others respected and obeyed him very much."
8 And now I'm thinking of what you said today, that he was a member
9 of the detachment's command, and that strikes me as being different from
10 what you stated in your original statement. Can you please shed some
11 light on the actual role played by Sheik Saban?
12 A. I don't literally remember what I said, but I thought that Sheik
13 Enver Saban was a member of the detachment's leadership. It might be a
14 rather demanding exercise and I might take up some more time, trying to
15 explain that.
16 Q. Please, by all means do so.
17 A. So, basically, the El Mujahid Detachment was a part of the Dzemat,
18 it was part of a community that had its political objectives and other
19 kinds of objectives, too. The principal objective of this Dzemat was
20 Dawa, which is what we spoke about a while ago, missionary work, work on
21 promoting Islamic values, principles and the like. It was within the
22 framework of that Dzemat, of that community, that the El Mujahid
23 Detachment came into existence, as well as a number of other institutions
24 and humanitarian organisations, such as the Institution for Missionary
25 Work and the like. It was the Shura that was at the head of this all. It
1 was the highest-ranking body, the supreme body. In formal terms, it was
2 above Sheik Enver Saban. But I don't think any decision could have been
3 taken by the Shura that would have strayed from any preferences expressed
4 by the sheik. In a way, what that means is that he was the number-one
5 man, and that is why I said originally that he was not a member of the
6 detachment's command. This was a broader institution than the Command
7 itself, and the institution that I have in mind is the Dzemat, the
9 Q. You talked about him being a political sort of authority; right?
10 A. Yes, and I think that is the aptest possible explanation.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Could the witness now be
12 shown D624.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, can I just ask, what is a
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Dzemat" verbatim, in Arabic,
16 means "community." This would imply that this is an organisation that is
17 independent, an organisation that has certain political objectives and
18 other objectives independently of anyone else. It has its own hierarchy,
19 its own structure. It has a Shura, it has an emir, it has a Dzemat, it
20 has its own institutions which it uses to further its own objectives.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: How big is it, in terms of membership?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no rule. It can be
23 anything from five persons up. There is no rule that defines this.
24 Specifically, if we look at the Dzemat of the Mujahedin in Bosnia, it had
25 a lot of members, all the members of the El Mujahedin Detachment plus a
1 number of others who were not members of the detachment.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 Can we have a look at D624.
4 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Before the witness -- or before the
6 document appears on our screens:
7 Q. Members of these other groups, such as, for example, Abu Zubeir,
8 were they members of the Dzemat?
9 A. No, they are not members of the Dzemat. When I spoke about
10 members who were not part of the El Mujahedin Detachment, those were
11 people who were in charge of our finances, for example, collecting
12 donations, funding, that sort of thing, general support being provided for
13 the work of the detachment.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like you to focus on this
15 document that is before us.
16 What about the person you see in this photograph?
17 Can we please zoom in slightly, if possible, on the photograph.
18 I believe you see the Bosnian. The person shown in the
19 photograph, is this Sheik Enver Saban?
20 A. Yes, that's him.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And now for the text, please. Page
22 2 of the document. The English is all right. In Bosnian, this is page 2,
24 Q. You realise that this article was published in "The Lily" on the
25 15th of November, 1995.
1 Could we just see the heading, please.
2 The first caption, can you see that?
3 I need a small portion of the article which I want the witness to
4 look at.
5 Just under the heading, there is a portion of the text where we
6 see the Sheik introduce himself. He talks about missionary work performed
7 in the service of Islam, about the Islamic political movements.
8 Can you just focus on the portion which says: "Interviewed by
9 Nedzid Latic," and the question is:
10 "Is your real name Sheik Enver?"
11 And then he says:
12 "My real name is Sheik Enver Saban."
13 Question: "Where were you born?
14 Answer: "In Egypt."
15 Question: "What is your profession?"
16 Answer: "I am a diar [phoen], a missionary."
17 Question: "Which schools did you complete?"
18 Answer: "I graduated from the Faculty of the Technical Sciences in
20 So this is Sheik Enver Saban, the person you discussed?
21 A. Yes, this is him.
22 Q. Sheik Enver Saban actually used his real name in Bosnia, didn't
23 he? He did not try to conceal his real identity. This is an article
24 published during the war.
25 A. Yes, from Day 1 Sheik Enver Saban never tried to conceal his
1 identity. It would have been always an uphill struggle for him. He had
2 been the director of the Islamic Institute in Milan, Italy, and from Day 1
3 he was known to all and sundry as "Sheik Enver Saban."
4 Q. You told us that Sheik Enver was some sort of a political player,
5 and now you said that he had previously worked as director of the Islamic
6 Institute in Milan, Italy. Would it be accurate to say that Sheik Enver
7 was the ideological and political leader whom the detachment commanders
9 A. Yes, that is an accurate statement.
10 Q. He was the real authority for the commanders of the detachment;
12 A. Yes, he was the real authority.
13 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber what the word "fatwa"
14 means, "fatwa"?
15 A. I hear you loud and clear. I'm thinking, because I'm trying to
16 explain in the briefest possible terms.
17 "Fatwa" would be an interpretation preferred by certain Islamic
18 authority, an interpretation of an Islamic prescription or rule.
19 Q. Who would have been authorised to pronounce a fatwa?
20 A. There are certain broad rules covering this. We'll not need to go
21 into that now. But the sheik's students, in terms of Islamic teaching,
22 are authorised to pronounce fatwas.
23 Q. You agree that the sheik, Sheik Enver in this case, in exercising
24 his authority for as long as he was in Bosnia, pronounced fatwas?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is something
2 about the transcript. Your Honours, page 90, line 4, the witness
3 said "learned men," "ucenjaci" and what we see in the transcript
4 is "students," "ucenici," and these are two very different
5 words. "Ucenjaci" and "ucenici," two very different words.
6 Q. Witness, you agree with that?
7 A. Yes, I think the interpreter got it the other way around,
8 it's "learned men" and not "students."
9 Q. So "learned men," that's what you were trying to say?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Now let me go back to the fatwa. You told us that Sheik Enver
12 pronounced fatwas. Am I right in saying that this is a binding decision?
13 A. It was binding for the detachment. It needn't have been binding
14 for anyone who was outside that particular dzemat. If they decided to
15 follow of their own accord, well, that was their own business.
16 Q. But for the detachment itself, it would have been binding, would
17 it not?
18 A. Certainly.
19 Q. What sort of fatwas were these being pronounced by Sheik Enver?
20 Do you remember any specific ones?
21 A. I'd need to have a think, really, to recall a particular one.
22 There is one that I remember. All right. The war was nearing its
23 end, and people were saying that there would be an election soon after the
24 war, so he pronounced a fatwa that none of the members of the Dzemat would
25 take part in those elections.
1 Q. Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina; right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. All right. I'm not sure if my understanding is correct. This is
4 a very impressive example that you've just provided.
5 In other words, if such a fatwa is pronounced, even if it is
6 contrary to the position that the state itself takes, or a state
7 authority, facing a situation like that, what would the members of the El
8 Mujahedin Detachment do? Would they follow the instructions of the state
9 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina or would they obey the fatwa?
10 A. As I said already, Sheik Enver's fatwas were binding for the
11 members of the El Mujahedin Detachment, and his authority was never
13 Q. Before we wrap up for the day, I have one or two questions.
14 In your statement, you say that Sheik Enver arrived in Bosnia
15 before the second Seric battle; right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Meaning autumn 1994; right?
18 A. Yes. The operation occurred on the 3rd of October [Realtime
19 transcript read in error "November"]. He had arrived just prior to that.
20 I can't say exactly how long before that.
21 Q. All right. Were someone to say that Sheik Enver, under his real
22 name or an assumed false name, was the Commander of the El Mujahedin
23 Detachment from October 1992 and onwards, that would not be an accurate
24 statement, would it?
25 A. Of course not. Sheik Enver arrived in the autumn of 1994. He had
1 not been in the country up until then. In October 1992, there was no such
2 thing as the El Mujahedin Detachment, so how could he have possibly been
3 its commander?
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Again, I don't think the
5 interpretation is accurate.
6 Q. Witness, can you please repeat what you just said, the last
7 sentence? You said, "In October 1992 --"
8 A. There was no such thing as the El Mujahedin Detachment, so how
9 could anyone have been its member, Sheik Enver or anyone else?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, here we see the
11 word "commander" instead of [indiscernible] ..."
12 Q. And now let me ask you this: Were someone to say that Sheik Enver
13 was a member of the BH Army throughout that time, would that be true?
14 A. As far as I know, Sheik Enver was never a member of the BH Army.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
16 Your Honours, could we please have an exhibit -- I think that this
17 is it for the day.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
19 please be given an exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 844.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 Now, before we go for the day, sir, I would like you to just tell
23 us what you say a fatwa is. You said "fatwa" would be an interpretation
24 preferred by certain Islamic authority, an interpretation of an Islamic
25 prescription or rule. Then when you said a fatwa can be given to say
1 people must not vote in elections, that seems to me like a fatwa is an
2 order. Is that what you mean?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It can be interpreted as an order.
4 However, an order based on an Islamic rule or prescription. Sheik Enver's
5 interpretation in this specific case would be that this was a non-Islamic
6 principle, in terms of electing a state leadership, and that was why he
7 said that no members should be involved.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: In any case, they were not citizens of Bosnia, so
9 they couldn't vote in any case, even without the fatwa; am I right?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But most of the members of the
11 detachment and the Dzemat were Bosnians, such as me and hundreds of
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you vote?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not at those elections.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 We'll adjourn to tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this court.
17 Court adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Friday, the 16th day of
20 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.