1 Wednesday, 5 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody around the court.
7 Madam Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-83-T, Prosecutor
10 versus Rasim Delic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Could we have the appearances for today, starting with the
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President, good morning, Your Honours,
15 counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. Aditya Menon and Daryl
16 Mundis for the Prosecution, assisted by our case manager, Alma Imamovic.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 And for the Defence.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
20 morning to my learned friends from the OTP. Vasvija Vidovic and Nicholas
21 Robson for the Defence of General Delic, with legal assistant Lejla
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
24 Good morning, sir.
25 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yesterday, before you started testifying, you made
2 a declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
3 truth. Do you remember that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I do.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I remind you that you are still bound by that
6 declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 WITNESS: HASO RIBO [Resumed]
11 [The witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examination by Ms. Vidovic: [Continued]
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ribo. I hope you have had a good rest and that
16 we will bring this to a close today. I have still a number of questions
17 to ask of you, and I kindly ask you to answer my questions as directly as
18 possible and as concisely as possible. Do you understand?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Let's start from Exhibit D1033.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. I meant
22 Exhibit 104, 104.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] ... because I thought we
24 saw D1033 yesterday.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Ribo, please direct your attention to this page. Are you able
2 to read the names there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So, therefore, you see the names on the list?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. The first name is Ahmed Ibn Bekir Adilovic. What would your
7 comment be, seeing the names?
8 A. The names here are not typical of the names normally the Muslims
9 in Bosnia have. Ibn is an Arabic word, I think.
10 Q. As for the first name, Adilovic, is it a Bosnian name which has,
11 in fact, been added the Arabic word, or is it a Bosnian name?
12 A. Yes, it's in fact a Bosnian name to which an Arabic word, in this
13 case "Ibn," has been added.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's move to page 20,
15 both in the English and Bosnian versions.
16 Q. While we're waiting for the page to appear, Mr. Ribo, have you
17 ever seen this document -- or, rather, did you see it when you were at the
18 head of the Travnik TO Staff?
19 A. No.
20 Q. This is a list of members of the Territorial Defence of the
21 Travnik Sector Staff, so it would appear. Can you tell me, who had the
22 competence of issuing certificates attesting membership of the TO?
23 A. Only the Travnik TO Staff, that's to say my command; in other
24 words, I personally.
25 Q. One could conclude from the title that the Travnik TO Sector Staff
1 was issuing certificates attesting membership of the TO Travnik. Did that
2 body in fact have the competence to issue such certificates?
3 A. No, they did not, because they did not have a stamp. Everything
4 of the sort should have reached me first. First, I should have received a
5 letter signed by the TO Sector Staff, and then I would place on that
6 document my signature and the stamp that we had had at the TO Staff in
8 Q. Do you know whether the Sector Staff ever -- or Sector Staffs ever
9 issued such certificates?
10 A. Not that I saw. I wasn't aware of that.
11 Q. Let's move to page 30 in both the Bosnian and English versions.
12 There's a list here of several columns. The first contains the ordinal
13 number, the second one the reference number, the third one name and
14 father's name, then the unit of the TO, and then below that it
15 says "Divmusl Snage." What would that mean?
16 A. In my understanding as a soldier, that would mean sabotage Muslim
18 Q. Did something of the sort exist in the course of 1992 and 1993
19 within the units of the TO?
20 A. Nothing of the sort existed, definitely.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the Bosnian version be
22 scrolled down a bit to see the name under number 326.
23 Q. Mr. Ribo, I direct your attention to the name next to the number
24 326, Camdzic, son of Vahid, Fahir. Do you know that person?
25 A. Of course I do. He was the commander of the Mehurici Sector Staff
1 and later on he was the member of the Mehurici Detachment. He was,
2 therefore, one of my commanders.
3 Q. Was this person ever a member of the Muslim forces?
4 A. No, never.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can you please scroll up now so that
6 we can see the person next to number 300. Thank you.
7 Q. Under number 300, you have "Puric, son of Zaim, Midhat." Do you
8 know that person?
9 A. Yes, I do, I know him personally.
10 Q. To your knowledge, was that person ever a member of the Muslim
11 forces or Muslim sabotage forces?
12 MR. MUNDIS: Again, a series of leading questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't see that that's
15 a leading question if I am asking the witness whether he knows a given
16 individual or not, but let me take it differently.
17 Q. Mr. Ribo, you said you know Midhat Puric, son of Zaim. To your
18 knowledge, he was a member of which unit?
19 A. Midhat Puric was never a member of the Muslim forces. He was a
20 commander of the smaller units of the Patriotic League in Gluha Bukovica
21 in the right flank -- the further-most right flank of the units within my
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We can put the document
24 away, unless the Judges have any questions in relation to it.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do have a question, ma'am.
1 Looking at the heading of this document, it's titled that it's
2 membership certificates of some TO people of Travnik, if I remember the
3 title well. I haven't seen any certificate. I've been seeing -- I'm just
4 seeing a list, and I would like to -- and I did hear you, Madam Vidovic,
5 asking the witness, at the beginning of -- at the introduction of this
6 document, asking whether anybody had the competence to issue certificates,
7 and the witness said only he could.
8 Where are these certificates that you are talking about, Mr. Ribo?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The very title states that it's a
10 list of members of the Sector Staff of Travnik for whom certificates of
11 their TO membership were issued.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we go back to --
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 20.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- Page 1. Now I want page 1, where the heading is
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance, that's at
17 page 20 in both versions.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's go to that page, then. Right.
19 Now, the English says: "List of Territorial Defence Regional
20 Staff members, Municipal Territorial Defence Staff, Travnik, issued with
21 the Territorial Defence Travnik Municipality membership certificates."
22 Now, I'm not quite sure whether, from this list, this Court can conclude
23 that these people were issued with certificates, unless we see examples of
24 those certificates. This is just a list, and I think that's the point I'm
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my answer: Certificates are
2 issued directly to the requesting individual. They are not kept within
3 the Staff. Normally, individuals asked for such certificates when they
4 have to go out into the field, and for that purpose they are issued
5 directly to the requesting individual. That's my explanation.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would imagine that the office would retain some
7 copy of sorts of the certificate. It doesn't?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't keep copies of these
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 Madam Vidovic, you may proceed.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us clarify this further.
13 Q. Is it true that had you issued such certificates, you would have
14 kept a list of individuals who had been given the certificates in the TO
16 MR. MUNDIS: Objection. Leading.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may respond, I said "would that
19 have been the case, would you or would you have not," and that's the same
20 formula of questioning that the Prosecutor had been using throughout his
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, when the Prosecutor asked questions
23 like that, you should have objected. The question should be -- now, let
24 me see -- the question you should have asked was:
25 "If you had issued the certificates, what would you have done?"
1 That's the question you should have asked. Now, to say
2 that, "Because you did it, therefore I'm entitled to do it" is not
3 Defence," Madam Vidovic, so I rule that question out of order, that it is
4 a leading question.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I will
6 rephrase. But I believe that it was misinterpreted, my question, there
7 was a mistranslation. I will put my next question now. Allow me to
9 Q. Did you or did you not keep the lists of individuals to whom
10 certificates were issued, if they were in fact issued?
11 A. No, we didn't keep them in the Staff, for the simple reason that
12 there was a lot of paperwork around and it would have been far too much
13 work and filing and so on and so forth. Had the -- if the Travnik Sector
14 Staff commander sent us lists, we would not have kept them.
15 Q. Did the commander of the Sector Staff of Travnik ever send to you
16 the list that you can see before you now?
17 A. No, never.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, obviously when the counsel and the
20 witness speak the same language, it's extremely difficult to place any
21 objections on the record, because, quite frankly, by the time the
22 interpretation comes, the question has been answered. I would ask if the
23 witness could be instructed to pause between question and answer and
24 perhaps to watch the screen so that we can timely put objections on the
1 I will reiterate that we will argue, at the conclusion of all of
2 the evidence, that little, if any, weight should be given to answers that
3 stem from leading questions on direct examination, as I'm sure my learned
4 colleagues will be doing the same thing with respect to the Prosecution
5 case. I want to make it very clear that it's not always possible to make
6 a timely objection because the witness and counsel speak the same
7 language, so I want to make it absolutely clear what our position will be
8 at the completion of this case with respect to leading questions.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ribo, may I just request you to pause after
10 counsel has asked you a question before you answer. You see, both of you
11 speak the same language. We don't hear -- we don't understand what you're
12 saying to each other. We wait for the interpretation. And therefore
13 you're always ahead of us. We would like you to wait for us so that if
14 there is any intervention we would like to make, we are able to make that
15 intervention. Okay? Thank you very much.
16 I'll ask of you the same, Madam Vidovic; after the witness has
17 answered, to pause.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Ribo, I will ask you a different question now. We can put
20 this document away.
21 Did you know an individual by the name of Mehmed Alagic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us, when was it that you first came in touch with
24 him, if you ever came in touch with him?
25 A. I believe it was in the month of November, toward the end of my
1 term of service as the commander of the Travnik TO Staff.
2 Q. Did you speak to him at the time, and if so, did he tell you
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: November which year, sir?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, madam.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Ribo, I asked you if you talked with him then when you met him
9 for the first time, and if you did, did he say anything to you?
10 A. I spoke with him very briefly, because he arrived in the convoy
11 with refugees. And he happened to be at my command post, and he asked
12 about the 17th Krajiska Brigade in order to join it.
13 Q. And do you know what happened after that with General Alagic?
14 A. From what I know, after that he was placed in the Travnik barracks
15 and he was training or preparing the sniper unit. After that, after a
16 certain amount of time, because he was a former JNA lieutenant colonel, he
17 became the commander of the Bosanska Krajina Operations Group, and after
18 that he became the commander of the 3rd Corps and then the commander of
19 the 7th Corps.
20 Q. Do you remember -- do you know when the operations groups were
22 A. Maybe this was in October.
23 Q. You don't know?
24 A. Well, I don't know exactly. It's very hard for me to remember the
25 exact date.
1 Q. All right. Mr. Ribo, do you remember when Jajce fell into Serb
3 A. I think that this was in September or October.
4 Q. Of which year?
5 A. 1992.
6 Q. According to what you know, did Mehmed Alagic have or not have any
7 kind of role in the events relating to Jajce?
8 A. I think that he didn't have any role, because he simply wasn't in
9 the territory of the Travnik Municipality at the time, where I was the
10 commander, so I'm not aware of him having any role in that.
11 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to move to a different topic. I
12 would like to ask you something -- I would like to see what you know about
13 Afro-Asian armed people, if you have any knowledge about that, and I would
14 like to ask you this: Did you know that in the Travnik region, there were
15 such armed people of Afro-Asia origin at the end of May 1992?
16 THE INTERPRETER: "1993," interpreter's correction.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. While you were performing your duties as the TO Staff commander,
19 did you meet any of these people?
20 A. I did not meet any of these people as TO Staff commander, and no
21 Afro-Asian person with weapons or uniform entered my Staff or headquarters
22 in Travnik.
23 Q. Let me ask you this first: Did you have any knowledge that they
24 were there in that area?
25 A. I had heard from people, from fighters, that there was some
1 foreigners, but I think that even at that time, I didn't know that they
2 had weapons, that they were kind of half soldiers, wearing soldiers'
3 jackets at the top and traditional Arab wear at the bottom.
4 Q. And among those people --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: I apologise for interjecting. It seems to be a bit
7 unclear, from the question as reflected on lines 11 through 15 and the
8 interpreter's correction on line 16, whether we're talking about the
9 period of 1992 or 1993, and I would ask if that could be clarified,
10 perhaps, please.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
13 Q. If you'll remember, Mr. Ribo, I asked you if, in the Travnik area
14 in the period of 1992 and 1993, according to what you know, if there were
15 any Afro-Asians in that area at that time. Do you recall me asking you
17 A. During my work as the TO Travnik Staff commander, no Afro-Asian
18 person in uniform and weapons entered my headquarters or any of my
19 commands in the Travnik area. I did hear from the local population and
20 fighters that there were such soldiers who were half soldiers, let's say.
21 They were wearing a soldier's camouflage jacket at the top, and the bottom
22 was traditional Arab wear.
23 Q. All right, thank you. What I want to ask you is this: The TO
24 Travnik Staff in the village of Mehurici, did it have a unit there or not?
25 A. The TO Staff did have a regional -- a sector staff in the village
1 of Mehurici, and it was headed by Candzic.
2 Q. And where was this staff located?
3 A. You can see from the overview of my unit that I provided to the
4 Defence Ministry in 1995 that it was located in the elementary school of
5 Mehurici. It was a small command. It had seven or eight people. So it
6 was at the lower part of the Mehurici School, and it had only three rooms
7 for its use, one commander's office, one meeting hall, and a small
9 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, if you know, how that Mehurici
10 Detachment got the use of those rooms in the Mehurici School? Who granted
11 them that?
12 A. The Sector Staff of Mehurici were allowed to use those premises by
13 the National Defence Secretariat of the Municipality of Travnik, because
14 we asked to have that area allocated for the use of our Sector Staff.
15 Q. And, once again, this National Defence Secretariat, is this a
16 civilian or a military body?
17 A. This is a civilian organ.
18 Q. All right, thank you. Please, during your duties as Staff
19 commander, did you ever visit that Mehurici Staff or headquarters?
20 A. Yes, of course, several times.
21 Q. Did you have the opportunity -- did you or did you not have the
22 opportunity to see these foreigners in that area?
23 A. I did not see those foreigners, but I did have the remark by my
24 Sector Staff in Mehurici commander that in that area, in the Mehurici
25 settlement, there were some Afro-Asians milling around in that area.
1 Q. Did you have any information from anyone that they were located at
2 the school?
3 A. My assistant training chief, an operations chief, said that there
4 was information, I think this was in late July, that during the night,
5 around 2200 hours, the rooms in the Mehurici area were toured by Adil Lozo
6 and Aganovic, Zihnija, and when they met with the school director they
7 were asked, "What are you doing," they said they were just simply looking
8 at the school in order to billet a unit there.
9 Q. Just a moment, please. Can you please just tell us, at that time,
10 what were Adil Lozo and Zihnija Aganovic doing, if they were doing
11 anything and if you know? I'm thinking of what their profession was, what
12 their job was at the time.
13 A. Zihnija Aganovic was the commander of the Regional Staff of the
14 Patriotic League, and in a way he was a member of the government, of the
15 District Presidency.
16 Q. And Adil Lozo?
17 A. Adil Lozo was a lawyer, and he was his associate.
18 Q. When you say "associate," can you please tell us where he worked?
19 A. Well, right now I really don't know where Adil Lozo was working.
20 Q. All right, very well. Now, you said, from what I understood, that
21 these people were looking to accommodate the Mujahedin somewhere, and do
22 you know, were these Mujahedin billeted at that school or not?
23 A. Yes, they were billeted at that school, but only the Command. I
24 think that they were their officers. I don't know exactly what duties
25 they had, so a small number of them were billeted at the school.
1 Q. And now let me ask you this: At the time you were the TO
2 commander, could you in any way have had any influence or not on the fact
3 whether those people would be billeted at the school or not?
4 A. Unfortunately, I could not have any influence on that, just like
5 the Muslim forces, I couldn't have any influence on the Patriotic League
6 either. Anyone could form whatever they wanted and could do whatever they
7 wanted. It was the most difficult situation for me. I had to hold the
8 lines of defence. I didn't have time to be dealing with these people who
9 were lazing around, lying around, resting, provoking, and so on and so
11 Q. Thank you. In the course of 1992, did you hear of a person
12 called "Abu Abdel Aziz" or not?
13 A. I did hear the name, but I never saw that man, not in 1992 or
14 never in the course of the war did I see that man.
15 Q. All right. Now I would like to move to another group of
16 questions. I would like to ask you about the El Mudjahedin Detachment.
17 But before that: Did you ever meet or encounter British
18 journalist Andrew Hogg?
19 A. No, I didn't meet him, and I didn't talk to him either.
20 Q. Thank you. Now I am going to ask you some questions about the El
21 Mudjahedin Detachment.
22 When you were giving us your particulars, you said that you were
23 the commander of the 301st Brigade in the period from November 1992 until
24 the 30th of November, 1993, and that in that capacity, you occasionally
25 attended meetings at the 3rd Corps Command. Do you recall that? So let
1 me ask you this: Did you, in that period, attend meetings at the Corps
3 A. Yes. I was the commander of the 301st Mechanised Brigade at that
4 time, and I did attend meetings for various reasons, in order to report
5 back, issue assignments, and so on and so forth.
6 Q. So in that period of a year from late 1992 to late 1993, did
7 anyone from the El Mudjahedin Detachment attend any of those meetings in
8 that period?
9 A. I really recall that never -- no foreigner attended these
10 briefings or meetings, including any of the people from the El Mujahid or
11 El Mujahedin.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can the witness now
13 please look at D968.
14 Q. Mr. Ribo, first of all, I would like to say for the transcript
15 that this is an order of the 3rd Corps Command of the 28th of August,
16 1994, and that the document is headed: "Field inspection of the
17 3-Sjever/North," or G Group?
18 Can you see and read this document, Mr. Ribo?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask something, is this document of the 28th
20 or 29th of August? The interpretation says 28th, the document says the
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The 29th, Your Honour. It's
23 possible that I made a slip, and if I did, I apologise.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Ribo, can you look at paragraph two. It talks about the field
2 inspection of the units, and your name is mentioned, the name "Ribo, Haso"
3 is mentioned. Is that you?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. According to the document, this team was supposed to tour the
6 units of the 7th Muslim and the El Mudjahedin Detachment. First of all,
7 do you remember this situation?
8 A. Yes, I do, I do.
9 Q. And what was your assignment, specifically, then?
10 A. My assignment was to tour the units, according to the order, to
11 gauge the situation on the lines attained, and to observe the weaknesses
12 and the linkage of the units on the line. And if there were any problems
13 and weaknesses, we were supposed to eliminate the weaknesses, and of
14 course our objective was, since combat was forthcoming, to establish
15 whether combat documents were being drafted in those units.
16 Q. All right. Did you manage to carry out your assignment or not?
17 A. I partially carried out the assignment. I toured the 7th
18 Muslim -- Glorious Muslim Brigade, but I did not tour the Mujahid
20 Q. Why not?
21 A. Because you could not really go and visit anything that had to do
22 with them. You couldn't establish anything, make any counts or anything
23 like that. They didn't allow that. So when I returned to the OG North
24 command post, I informed the commander of that operations group, and of
25 course the chief of staff, when I returned to the corps, that I was not
1 able to completely execute my assignment.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Your Honours, can this document be given an exhibit number,
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
6 please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will become Exhibit
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Ribo --
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: This, of course, is essential to the case, so I
14 think we should ask the witness if he could dwell a little more on the
15 evidence he gave about the access to the Mujahedin in Mehurici, I
16 understand. He said, and I quote: "They didn't allow that." What does
17 that mean? Who did not allow it, and did he try, and what happened? Can
18 you explain a little more about the meetings that you had with the Mujahid
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't have any meetings with the
21 El Mujahid Detachment. If you look at the list, I can tell you that the
22 four persons who were there, all of them were ex-JNA officers. In the El
23 Mujahid Detachment, there were those members who were extremists and who
24 were local people, Bosniaks, and they knew who we were and what we were,
25 and we were simply not allowed access to their command or the area where
1 they were. The four individuals who toured and inspected the 7th Muslim
2 Unit and who were tasked with touring the El Mujahid were professional
3 soldiers of the former JNA, and it was on that basis that we were not
4 allowed access, because they fully distrusted the former JNA officers.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand. But do you remember actually how
6 this happened, what happened? Were you there? Did you come to the gate,
7 front gate, of the Mujahid camp and ask to get in and were told, "No," or
8 can you be more specific? Just what happened?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. This was out in the field.
10 It was their camp, and of course they had their guards, as is the case
11 with any military encampment, they have their guards around. When we
12 announced our visit and when we approached the guards, this camp was above
13 the Serici village in the Teslic theatre of war, in the direction of
14 Teslic, because the OG North units were deployed and engaged in that --
15 along that axis.
16 When we approached the guard and explained who we were, he fetched
17 one of the men from the camp. He was an Arab. And after they had a
18 conversation in Arabic, which we didn't understand, they told us that we
19 should turn around and leave, that we were not allowed access into the
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: And was this the El Mujahid Detachment camp you
22 visited or was it, if you know, another El Mujahid group?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that part, this was the El
24 Mujahid unit that was engaged in combat, and it was the right neighbour of
25 the 7th Muslim Brigade. Our assignment was to inspect the units and see
1 what their linkage was in the defence line, how the 7th Muslim was linked
2 up with the El Mujahid Detachment. Of course, they were out on the
3 ground. They had to have tents. And so this unit, although not the
4 entire unit, it was just elements of the unit that was there under tents
5 and so on, it wasn't their place where they were billeted, it was their
6 defence line. It was behind that area where they had a location where men
7 would rest and so on and so forth.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand. The reason why I'm asking this is
9 we have heard of the presence of other groups of foreign fighters, so I
10 just wanted to make sure that this group that you actually visited was the
11 group that was known as the El Mujahid Detachment.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was solely the El Mujahid
13 Detachment. There were no other groups.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Did you visit the camp where they were billeted?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're referring to that part
16 that was at the battlefield, at the battlefield, I came as far as the
17 guards' post at the perimeter of their camp. If you're referring to the
18 place where they were billeted initially, I never visited that camp ever;
19 not even to this day have I ever been at that location.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask one question.
21 Mr. Ribo, this had been an order to you from the 3rd Corps
22 Command. Did you give a written response or a written report of what you
23 did after you visited the Muslim Mountain Brigade and the El Mudjahedin
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't send a written report,
1 because the chief of staff of the corps had given to me this assignment
2 and I orally reported back to him on what I had seen up there. There was
3 no time to write down everything I saw. I was frequently engaged away or
4 out in the field with combat activities, and I didn't have time to
5 write -- to send anything in writing. So what I did was I reported to the
6 corps commander in writing of what I had seen, and I also, on this
7 occasion, reported to the OG commander of the OG North.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. You are interpreted as saying:
9 "So what I did was I reported to the corps commander in writing of
10 what I had seen."
11 Is that what you said?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. If you look at item 5 of
13 the order, you will see that members of the team --
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you turn to the following page
15 in the English version for Their Honours.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, item 5 clearly states that:
17 Members of the team shall report to the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps,
18 report -- that they will report to him on the situation perceived at the
19 post of the OG North, Sjever.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: My worry is: You're getting a written instruction,
21 a written order, and you don't respond to it in writing, and on the
22 records of the army, it looks -- it would seem as if this order was either
23 never carried out or never responded to.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm invoking item 5 again. After
25 having toured the area, we were duty-bound to report to determine the
1 B/C/S is the "ferisanija" [phoen], which means to normally orally report
2 to your superiors, to the chief of staff of the corps at his command post.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be helpful,
4 it seems that it's a matter of translation.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I was listening to the interpretation, and I didn't
6 hear a word of what you said, Madam Vidovic. I can only read the
7 English. It says "report," and I see this order is in writing, it's not
8 an oral order. So if it calls for a report, I expect the report must be
9 in writing too. I don't see anything that says "oral" in the English, and
10 I want to believe that this translation here was done by a professional
11 person and therefore it translates correctly what is said in the B/C/S.
12 Otherwise, it shouldn't have been put up here. It should have been
13 corrected -- if the translation is incorrect, it shouldn't have been put
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it would be helpful
16 for the witness to read this out in the Bosnian. This is an official
17 translation, but in the Bosnian original you have the term "referisati."
18 If you look at the Bosnian version, item five, line one, we have the
19 term "referisati," and if the interpreters could interpret that, and we
20 will have the translation corrected. This is the Prosecution Exhibit PT
21 and was officially translated.
22 Q. Please, Witness, read out item 5 slowly.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before the witness reads, Madam Vidovic, I've made
24 a statement,. I am saying we have been given documents here and we've
25 been given official translations, and anybody who did the translation
1 should have seen that if this translation is not correct, that it is not
2 correct, and given us a correct translation. We cannot all the time, when
3 we have documents here which are supposed to have been approved by
4 professional translators, then have to rely to people in the court here,
5 who are not professional translators, to tell us how to translate the
6 document. We rely on the English that is being given to us here, and if
7 it is not correct, then we must throw this document out of court until it
8 is properly translated.
9 We have been having this problem right through the trial. Now, I
10 can understand if a document is put up here, it has not been translated,
11 and we ask somebody to translate it. But if we are given a document and
12 we are given its translation, we are bound to rely on the translation, and
13 we cannot accept any corrections that come out in court here by people who
14 are not qualified professional translators.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence should be
16 the last party to be blamed for this, because we, the Defence, have had
17 most of the problems with the translations. These were mostly documents
18 of the Prosecution, the PTs, and --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I am not blaming the Defence. I'm not blaming the
20 Defence. I'm blaming the documents. I'm saying you cannot, at this
21 stage, when we have got an official translation of a document, then want
22 to give us a different meaning out of that document from the meaning that
23 we have been given on the official translation. Otherwise, this document
24 should have been -- before you put it up here, you should have
25 said, "Look, this translation is incorrect. I can't use this thing in its
1 form. I want it properly corrected, properly translated, before I use
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I understand that full
4 well. What I do not understand is how I am expected to do all that with
5 the few people that I have.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, you are asking me something that I
7 cannot answer to. Do you realise that? You have employed the people you
8 have to do the job you're supposed to do. If you don't have, you motivate
9 for more people. I don't control your staff, but you have staff that's
10 told you that this B/C/S document is translated into English. Here is the
11 translation. You can see it, yourself, and you can see whether it's
12 correctly translated or not. Now in court you tell us, "No, it is not
13 correctly translated, let's look at the B/C/S." You should have seen that
14 before you put it up, Madam Vidovic, that's what I'm saying, and don't ask
15 me to tell you how you are supposed to do your work.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question for the witness
17 concerning what happened when you reached this location where the El
18 Mudjahedin Detachment was. I would like to know, did you ask why you were
19 not allowed to enter the camp? Was any justification given to you about
20 this behaviour?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no justification was given to
22 me. The guard merely told me to leave the premises.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] And did you say that you were
24 entitled to enter?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I showed the order of the corps
1 chief of staff, but they didn't take any notice of that.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Ribo, can I just follow up on the discussion
4 we had just a while ago. On your report please forgive me if I have --
5 [French on English channel]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: We're not getting the English translation, we're
7 getting something else. It sounded like French.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: I got the English.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The French interpreter was on the wrong
10 channel. I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I apologise. Let me put my question to you again,
12 Mr. Ribo, to return to the issue of the report you gave after having
13 visited the El Mujahid Detachment.
14 You reported to the commander of the 3rd Corps; is that correctly
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I reported to the chief of staff of
17 the 3rd Corps.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. And was it in writing, your report, or
19 was it just oral?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was an oral report. That's what
21 the order stated. Had they required a written report, they would have
22 stated so in the order.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: No, the important thing is not whether your report
24 was written or oral. The important thing is: Do you know what happened
25 to your report? You gave it to the chief of staff, and do you have any
1 idea of what he then did with the information that he received from you
2 about not having been given access to the Mujahid camp? Because, you see,
3 the point we're discussing here is whether information of events that
4 happened on the ground were communicated up towards the top of the system,
5 so that's why I'm asking if you know how the chief of staff of the 3rd
6 Corps handled your information.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is that I orally
8 reported both to the corps chief of staff and the commander of the OG-3
9 Sjever or North, and from there it was within the competence of the chief
10 of staff. I don't know what he did as a follow-up.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Ribo, I would just like to put one question to you about this,
14 please, the report, "isvesti" [phoen]. You are a professional military
15 man. Can you please tell us whether a report can be written or oral?
16 A. Yes, that is correct, a report can be oral and written. If it's a
17 written report, then it is stressed that a written report should be
18 submitted by such-and-such a time and to whom it should be submitted.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to move to a different
20 topic. I would like to ask you about some events from 1995.
21 Can the witness please look at document D993. For the transcript,
22 it's an order of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina about the
23 appointment to units as of the 31st of March. I would like to ask you to
24 pay attention to the text on page 1 of the Bosnian version. This is page
25 2 in the English.
1 Under: "3rd Corps," under number 1, there is a name that is
2 stated. Sir, do you see that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Is that your name?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. And can you please tell us to which duties you were appointed
7 pursuant to this order of the 31st of March, 1995?
8 A. This order appoints me to the Command of the 3rd Corps, to duties
9 of the chief of the organ for operations and training, and I'm also
10 appointed as the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps.
11 Q. Can you please briefly describe to us what was all part of your
13 A. My duties were planning, monthly planning, analysis, reporting,
14 then drafting combat documentation, planning combat actions, monitoring
15 combat actions, analysis of combat actions, and then combat training and
16 education, maintaining operations, records. These were mostly my duties
17 in this department.
18 Q. You mentioned the drafting of documents; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In that period while you were at this post, were you working on
21 any documents that, among other things, had to do with the El Mudjahedin
23 A. I probably did, but I cannot remember just off the top of my
24 head. I cannot remember all the documents like that.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Your Honours, can this
1 document be given an exhibit number, please.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
3 please be given an exhibit number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become the Exhibit
5 number 1186.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
8 D985, please. D985. Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Ribo, this is a very brief order. Can you please read it for
10 the transcript? It's an order of the Command of the 3rd Corps of the 9th
11 of January, 1995.
12 A. Yes, I can:
13 "Based on the operations records being messy, resulting in the
14 lack of information on the situation in subordinated units, and for the
15 purpose of obtaining accurate data on the quantities of ammunition and
16 numerical strength of units, I order:
17 "1. You are to submit a complete and accurate overall report on
18 ammunition quantity per unit, broken down by types and unit levels, from
19 battalion to operations groups."
20 Q. Mr. Ribo, can you please stop here, and can you now look at the
21 end of the document, where you can see that this was delivered to the El
22 Mudjahedin Detachment, among others.
23 Can we please look at page 2 of the English version.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who is the author of this document?
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Ribo, who is the author of this document? His Honour asked.
2 A. The document was drafted in my section, and it was signed by the
3 corps commander.
4 Q. Very well.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to tell us who drafted it in your
6 section, sir?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] His name is Elvedin Kulelija.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In relation to this document, I would like to ask you this:
12 Command of the 3rd Corps, did they find it necessary to know, or not, the
13 quantities of ammunition and the exact numerical strength of the units,
14 including the El Mujahid?
15 A. Yes, it was necessary, because the analysis and the operational
16 records containing the number of ammunition, weapons and manpower, was
17 something that was used to gauge the combat readiness of a unit. You have
18 to have records of the exact number of rifles and ammunition and manpower
19 all together, based on which the combat readiness of a unit was gauged and
20 the options in which it can be used in combat.
21 Q. Thank you. All right. You said the document was drafted in your
22 department. I would like to ask you the following: Did you ever receive
23 a report like this, complete and accurate report from the El Mujahedin
24 unit, about the number and quantity of ammunition and the exact number of
25 men in the unit?
1 MR. MUNDIS: Objection. It's a leading question and it's a
2 compound question.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. I am going to rephrase
5 the question.
6 Q. Please, did you ever receive a report as a response to this
7 document of the 9th of January, 1995?
8 A. I never received this report. This report never came from the El
9 Mujahid Detachment.
10 Q. At the time when you were at the head of the Department for
11 Operational Planning, did you ever receive a status -- ammunition and
12 weapons status report from the El Mujahid Detachment?
13 A. No, never.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Your Honours, can this document be given an exhibit number,
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'd like to ask you a question.
18 Were you the one who's supposed to receive a report or was it
19 Mahmuljin, the one who should have received this report.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the reports are sent to the
21 corps commander or his deputy, the person who also goes through the mail,
22 indicates to whom the document should be given. And in view of the fact
23 that I was at the head of the department maintaining the operations
24 records, this was something that was a part of my department's duties,
25 then a document like this would be addressed to me or sent to me.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have a question to ask you, sir.
3 A little earlier, you said that you cannot remember drafting
4 documents in relation to the El Mudjahedin Detachment. Is it not so that
5 perhaps you also don't remember whether you did receive any documents from
6 the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Witness, permit me just something.
8 Your Honours, the witness did not say what you just said. The
9 witness said that he did work, probably, on those documents, but he does
10 not recall any of them unless he sees them. This is what the witness
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] ... mean the same thing,
13 and let's go to the sentence that was put to him, his answer.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's page 28, line 1.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. At line 21, page 27, it said:
16 "You mentioned the drafting of documents; is that correct?"
18 "Now, in that period, while you were at this post, were you
19 working on any documents that, among other things, had to do with the El
20 Mudjahedin Detachment?"
21 "I probably did, but I cannot remember just off the top of my
23 Now, how different is that from what I said to the witness?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, from what I understood,
25 and at least that is the translation that I received, you told the witness
1 if he could not -- that he could not recall working on the documents, but
2 he actually said something else. He said, "I probably did, but I just
3 cannot recall off the top of my head." So I understood it differently.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fair enough. Yes, I didn't say he probably did, I
5 just said he didn't remember, which is the gravamen of his answer to your
6 question, he doesn't remember. And I'm just asking him how he remembers
7 receiving any or not receiving any reports from the El Mudjahedin
8 Detachment, if he doesn't remember, from the top of his head, that he ever
9 drafted documents. That's all I'm asking. The one situation, he doesn't
10 remember. The other situation, he seems to be very clear that he
11 remembers not receiving anything.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, please, can you explain this now? Can you give an answer
14 to His Honour on this question?
15 A. I cannot say whether I did or did not work on a document if I
16 don't see it. Thus, I did not work on this document. It was done by an
17 officer in my department. But all the post, in its circulation, first
18 goes to the head of the department, it doesn't go to the person drafting
19 the documents, it goes to the chief. And then in my section, I would
20 indicate precisely to whom the post should go, and that means the person
21 that drafted the document.
22 Q. And, Witness, please, can you answer the question put by His
23 Honour? You recall in one situation, and in another situation, you
24 don't. So when we're talking about reports from the El Mudjahedin
25 Detachment, why, if you remember, why do you remember not receiving this?
1 A. Because I never received a written report from the El Mujahid
2 Detachment. You can check this anywhere. I never received a single
3 written report.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you receive oral reports from them?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never did meet with them at all.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break at this stage and come back at
7 quarter to 11.00.
8 Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we proceed, just one little point that I
12 notice. If anyone -- all of us can look at the left bottom corner of our
13 screen, we'll see that the name of the witness is spelled as "Rabo,"
14 not "Ribo." Can that be corrected? Is there a way of correcting it,
15 Madam Registrar?
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 This document, D985, can it please be given an exhibit number,
21 from what I remember?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Document D985 is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will become Exhibit
25 number 1187.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Before we leave this document, Madam Vidovic, I
3 would just like to ask the witness if you know who provided the ammunition
4 and the weaponry to the El Mujahid Detachment.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not aware of that, really. I
6 don't know.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: So I suppose you or the 3rd Corps provided weapons
8 and ammunition to all the other units falling under the 3rd Corps. Did
9 they not?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. When I was the staff of the TO
11 Travnik commander, I was not given by the -- a single rifle by the Command
12 or by the Zenica District Staff. In the beginning, we managed however we
13 could. We were buying rifles. Men were buying rifles and the bullets.
14 And then the army grew out from the TO units. If the corps gave anything,
15 I don't know, because I was not dealing with the logistics matters. I was
16 dealing with the operational records and record-keeping, not with the
17 issues pertaining to logistics.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: The reason I'm asking my question, and I'm putting
19 my reasons to you, so as to enable you to give me a more precise answer,
20 is that if ammunition was provided to the units by the Army of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina's system, then of course the 3rd Corps would be entitled also
22 to request from each of these units that they report back to the system of
23 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina just how much ammunition they used. In
24 contrast, if the El Mujahid Detachment got their weapons and their
25 ammunition from somewhere else, that is to say, from outside the ABiH
1 system, then they might have a point in saying that, "We --" or they were
2 not required to report back to the ABiH about the use of their -- and the
3 consumption of their ammunition. Do you see my point?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were trying to place the El
5 Mujahid Detachment under the command of the 3rd Corps for all matters.
6 However, this process proceeded with difficulty, and all the information
7 that was requested, it's something that is given in person, information
8 about weapons, ammunition, men. It's not something that is sent by post.
9 There is a book of operational records in all subordinate units, and
10 pursuant to this order representatives of commands were supposed to bring
11 this information or representatives of units were supposed to give that to
12 me at the Staff so that I could copy it into my book from their books.
13 But as I said, the El Mujahid Detachment never appeared with these records
14 or with any other records, so we could never establish how many of them
15 there were, where they were getting their weapons from, where they were
16 getting ammunition from, even where the food they had was coming from.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. And just to conclude, we are sure, are
18 we not, that the orders were, in fact, sent to and received by the El
19 Mujahid Detachment, the orders to report back?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Orders were sent to them, but I
21 never received any written or oral reports from that unit, never.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, sir.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Can the witness now please look at D1014. For the transcript,
25 it's a document of the 3rd Corps Command, conclusions and tasks from the
1 consultative meeting of the senior officers of the armoured mechanised
2 units, achievements analysis, dated the 9th of August, 1995.
3 Can we now look at page 2 of this document, please, where we can
4 see the signature. This is page 4 in the English version.
5 Q. Mr. Ribo, do you know who signed this document? Do you recognise
6 the signature?
7 A. This was signed by the 3rd Corps chief of staff, Colonel Kedir
9 Q. Did you see this document before? Do you know anything about it?
10 A. I did see this document earlier, but this is because it was
11 drafted by my colleague, who took over the duties from me, and he
12 consulted me about the drafting of this document.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now go back to
14 the first page, please, both in the Bosnian and the English versions.
15 Q. Mr. Ribo, I'm going to ask you to look at paragraph marked 1, and
16 can we look at this paragraph both in the English and Bosnian versions.
17 I'm going to quote just a short part of this paragraph. I think it's the
18 second sentence of this paragraph 1. It says:
19 "In the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps, in the most
20 recent combat operations at the Vozuca front, a T-55 was captured, and for
21 the time being it is given to the 3rd Tank Company, although its status
22 has not been finally resolved, considering that it is war booty of the El
23 Mudjahedin Detachment."
24 Please, can you comment --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you ask the question, Madam Vidovic,
1 you referred the witness to paragraph 1?
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What I hear being translated is not what I read on
4 paragraph 1 of the English version.
5 THE INTERPRETER: It was paragraph marked "1", so with the number
6 1, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that that
9 should be the sentence beginning:
10 "In the most recent combat operations ..." Item 1, the sentence
11 starting --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: So it's the sentence in the middle of the
13 paragraph. I'm looking at the beginning of the paragraph. Okay.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Ribo, can you please comment on this passage of the document?
16 You said that you were consulted in the drafting of the document.
17 A. Of course I can comment on it. What it has to do with is T-55
18 that was captured by El Mujahid. It was war booty that was captured on
19 that front, and its status was never resolved, because we had armoured
20 mechanised units in the corps, we had the 3rd Tank Company and the 37th
21 Tank Company that were part of the 37th Division, and the 3rd Tank Company
22 was within -- was attached to the Corps Command. The status of the tank
23 was not resolved, because the El Mujahid never allowed the tank to be
24 handed over to the 3rd Tank Company in order for it to become property of
25 the 3rd Tank Company rather than their property.
1 Q. Did the Corps Command ask for the tank to be handed over?
2 A. Of course we did. We could not even begin to understand that they
3 would have a tank without being able to use it. However, we intervened
4 several times. The chief of armoured units and I, we intervened, asking
5 that the tank be handed over to the 3rd Tank Company, but this matter was
6 never resolved because they refused to hand the tank over.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Your Honours, can this document be assigned an exhibit number,
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, just that last statement by
11 the witness confuses me. He says:
12 "But this matter was never resolved because they refused to hand
13 the tank over."
14 But this document says it was, for the time being, given to the
15 3rd Tank Company, so it must have been handed over to be given over to the
16 3rd Tank Company. Are you able to explain that, Mr. Ribo?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't handed over to the 3rd
18 Tank Company. Rather, the men from the 3rd Tank Company --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat that part of his
20 answer, because the interpreter didn't understand that.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... But all the way through to the
22 end of the war, they never handed the tank over. It was never listed in
23 the records of the 3rd Tank Company as their asset, as their property.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: That may be so, but the tank, physically, according
25 to this document, was, if I may use the words used there, given to the 3rd
1 Tank Company for the time being. I don't know how long the "time being"
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't given to the 3rd Tank
4 Company; rather, the men, the crew from the 3rd Tank Company manned the
5 tank. But the tank itself was still part of the El Mujahid Detachment --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: So what you are saying --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- by location.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: What you're saying is that this document is
9 incorrect, because it clearly says, and I'm reading the English here, it
10 clearly says:
11 " ... And for the time being it is given to the 3rd Tank Company."
12 That's what is written there, and I'm saying: Are you saying it
13 is incorrect?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The tank was physically not part of
15 the 3rd Tank Company. It was at the Vozuca front, in the area where it
16 was used by the El Mujahid Detachment. So it was not physically part of
17 the 3rd Tank Company. The tank was not in the same area where the
18 majority of the tanks used by that company were to be found.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please listen carefully to my question and answer
20 my question. Is this document incorrect where it states that the tank was
21 given to the 3rd Tank Company? Your answer should either be "yes"
22 or "no."
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document be
2 assigned an exhibit number.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
4 please be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become Exhibit
6 number 1188.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can the witness now
9 look at Exhibit 1029, 1029. For the record, this is a preparatory order
10 of the 3rd Corps Command, dated the 24th March, 1995.
11 Can the witness have a quick look at the second page of the
12 document to look at the signature. That's page 3 of the English version.
13 Q. Do you recognise the signature, perhaps, Mr. Ribo? You're
14 nodding, but you have to state something for the record.
15 A. Yes, I do recognise the signature. It's mine.
16 Q. Very well, thank you. Therefore, you signed this document for
17 General Mahmuljin; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's go back to page 1.
20 Q. Mr. Ribo, please look at item 2.1 of the document, which is page 2
21 of the English version, page 2 of the English version, item 2.1.
22 Mr. Ribo, I will quote a section of the item:
23 "As part of preparations to be put into combat action, the El
24 Mudjahedin Detachment a task to prepare to be put into action as part of
25 the 3rd or 7th Corps at Vlasic Plateau and go on a march on the following
1 axes: Nemila-Zenica-Ovnak-Vlasic Plateau or Nemila-Zenica-Vitez-
2 Travnik-Galica axis."
3 Do you see that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Do you recall signing the document, and do you recall what item
6 2.1 referred to?
7 A. I do. At that point in time, Operation Vlasic was in course, and
8 the corps commander and the 3rd Corps chief of staff met with 3rd Corps
9 units at Vlasic Plateau. I was at the command post of the 3rd Corps in
10 Zenica at the time. I received an oral order from the commander of the
11 3rd Corps to draft an order such as this one for the El Mujahid Detachment
12 to be ready to be deployed within the AOR of the 7th Corps in order to
13 take advantage from successes in combat. I drafted this preparatory order
14 that the unit should be at the ready to be engaged either in the 7th or in
15 the 3rd Corps.
16 Q. Did the El Mudjahedin Detachment follow this order or not?
17 A. The El Mujahid Detachment did not follow the order. It was not
18 engaged in the 7th Corps, because the detachment was always calculating,
19 asking for additional preparation, and in short did not carry out this
21 Q. Thank you. I ask you to keep in mind the date of the document,
22 the 24th of March, 1995.
23 And in the meantime, Your Honours, can this document be
24 assigned -- no, this is already an exhibit. I apologise.
25 Very well. Can we put the document away.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm a bit interested in -- sorry, in the reasons
2 why the El Mujahid Detachment did not carry out the orders included here,
3 because they did take part in the overall operation, did they not?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't recall the El Mujahid
5 Detachment taking part in Operation Vlasic.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: And why not? Not why you don't recall, but did
7 they give any reasons for not wanting to take part in that operation?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They put forward as a reason
9 the fact that they were not ready enough to take part in the operation.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Forgive me for not perhaps understanding this
11 correctly, but there was, as I recall, and I look to the parties to help
12 me out if I have misunderstood, there was a major operation going on in
13 the spring of 1995, and my recollection is that the El Mujahid Detachment
14 did take part in some of it. And here, apparently, is a document that
15 shows that they did not take part in all of it, in this single operation
16 they refused to take part, but please help me out, Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have not been
18 discussing Operation Vlasic for a single moment until now. We were
19 dealing with operations at Podsjelovo and the Vozuca area. Vlasic is an
20 area of Travnik, and we have not been dealing with that area so far.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right, and I apologise for having misunderstood
23 So the El Mujahid Detachment was invited to take part, but they
24 refused; is that correctly understood?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wrote an order to them to be
1 prepared for engagement, but in the later developments they did not take
2 any part in them because they were not prepared to take part in Operation
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: And they did not subsequently, at any later point,
5 take part in that operation; is that correct?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, they didn't.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: How long did the operation last; do you recall?
8 How long did it last?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The operation might have lasted one
10 month. I can't be precise. A month, a month and a half. I can't state
11 that with precision, since this was in the AOR of the 7th Corps.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question.
14 You told us that they did not take part because they were not
15 sufficiently ready, they were not prepared. They said they were not ready
16 or prepared, so it is themselves who have their reasons for their
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand the question. I
19 didn't understand your question.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Excuse me. I shall repeat.
21 They said, themselves, they said to the 3rd Corps that they were
22 not prepared or ready? Did I understand you properly?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. They were not
24 prepared or ready to take part in that activity, and they asked for
25 additional time to get prepared, whereas if you want to fit on the
1 successes achieved, you have to --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. That sentence --
3 THE INTERPRETER: No interpretation.
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, I interrupted him, because I
5 was saying that I couldn't hear the interpretation, so I would like the
6 witness to answer from the beginning again.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it comes to the El Mujahid
8 Detachment, they refused to carry out the assignment at the Vlasic Plateau
9 because they were not sufficiently ready to take part in the operation,
10 and they sought additional time to get prepared for a offensive
11 activities, whereas the offensive activities at Vlasic required that the
12 unit be immediately engaged in the combat in order to exploit the
13 successes achieved by the units of the 7th Corps. They were simply not
14 prepared to engage in that sort of combat.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes. Therefore, I am asking you
16 once again: They gave -- the El Mudjahedin Detachment gave some reasons
17 to justify their behaviour?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] They did not simply flatly
20 refuse, without giving reasons?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a moment ago that the reason
22 was that they informed the duty officer in Zenica, at the Zenica command
23 post, that they were not sufficiently ready to be engaged in combat and
24 asked for some additional time to get prepared.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just need to be clarified on one little point,
2 Madam Vidovic, and I did note what you said, that we have not been talking
3 about the Vlasic operation here.
4 But, Witness, Mr. Ribo, you, at page 42, line 24 to 25, you say,
5 and I'm quoting you from the English translation here on the transcript:
6 "I don't recall the El Mujahid Detachment taking part in Operation
7 Vlasic." Now, just bear that in mind.
8 When I turn over to this document that you say was drafted after
9 consultation with you, and about which you say you remember perfectly the
10 contents of paragraph 2.1, can you explain to us what is meant by bullet
11 number 2:
12 "Convey the congratulations of army General Rasim Delic for the
13 success at Vlasic"?
14 To me, it sounds like at the time of drafting this document, the
15 operation at Vlasic had already taken place and it had been successful,
16 and General Delic wants to convey his congratulations to their units. And
17 I assume, because this paragraph deals with the El Mujahid Detachment,
18 it's being conveyed to the El Mujahedin.
19 I see you shaking your head. That's precisely the explanation I
20 would like you to give us. Can you clear up -- clear us up.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I can clarify. The
22 operation was underway when Paljenik was captured as the top. This is
23 where the radio relay transmitter was, and when the commander of the 7th
24 Corps reported that Opaljenik was captured, this is the initial part of
25 the operation which was very successful. Then General Rasim Delic -- I
1 didn't see the congratulations, but he sent congratulations for those
2 initial successes, but the operation was still ongoing.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute. You see, you're giving us a long,
4 complicated answer to a very simple question.
5 You don't recall the El Mudjahedin Detachment participating in the
6 Vlasic thing. You have contributed to the drafting of this document, in
7 which, amongst others, General Delic is saying -- conveying
8 congratulations to these people not for Paljenik, for success at Paljenik,
9 but for the success at Vlasic. Now, you're adding "Paljenik" here when
10 the document talks about Vlasic, and this is what I don't understand. Why
11 would they be congratulated for the successes at Vlasic if they refused to
12 take part in the Vlasic operation, because you're saying, as I say, at
13 page 42, line 24 to 25, you don't recall them participating in Operation
14 Vlasic, and yet you are drafting a document here which congratulates them
15 on the success at Vlasic. I want you just to explain that. That's all
16 I'm asking you, a very simple thing. Don't tell me about Paljenik,
17 because Paljenik is not mentioned here.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My explanation is this: This is a
19 preparatory order. It's not an order specifically to send, but just for
20 the unit to prepare, and there is a difference between an order about the
21 use of a unit and a preparatory order. We are here placing the unit at a
22 certain degree of readiness for the execution of combat actions.
23 What is being talked about in the congratulation of Rasim Delic is
24 we -- I, as the person who issued this order, is trying, in the
25 preparation, that they read General Rasim Delic's congratulations at the
1 El Mujahid Detachment about the initial successes at Vlasic, but the
2 Vlasic operation was not completed at that point because it lasted a while
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's a slightly better explanation than the one
5 before, that main point, "Paljenik," with the exclamation. So the
6 congratulations is not for the successes at Vlasic, but it's for the
7 initial success at Vlasic. Again, this document is not stating correctly
8 the facts.
9 I notice that this is now the second document to which you
10 contributed to the drafting of which is not stating the facts correctly,
11 according to your testimony.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Ribo, just this next question. His Honour has said that this
14 is already the second document that you took part in the drafting, but the
15 facts are incorrect. I would just like to clarify that with you, please.
16 Just one second.
17 Opaljenik, is that a part of Vlasic?
18 A. Yes, precisely. It is -- when I was drawing the map, I clearly
19 marked "Opaljenik" because that was the most fortified place in the Vlasic
20 operation. Opaljenik is an integral part and was under the control of the
21 Serb Army.
22 Q. Just briefly, Mr. Ribo. So let us continue. Is that the same
23 place, Opaljenik, as the Paljenik location at Vozuca?
24 A. No, these are two different locations.
25 Q. And now the next thing: Did the El Mudjahedin Detachment take
1 part in these initial actions at all?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And this congratulations by General Rasim Delic, does it have
4 anything to do with the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
5 A. No, it has nothing to do with them. It was not directed at the El
6 Mudjahedin Detachment but at the units that took part in the operation.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
8 Your Honours, can this exhibit be given an exhibit number? Oh,
9 it's already been admitted. All right.
10 Q. Just one more thing. Mr. Ribo, did you write inaccurate documents
11 during the war?
12 A. No. A mistake, small, minor mistake could slip by, but no.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] At this point, I would like to look
14 at Exhibit 395.
15 For the transcript, this document is an order of the 3rd Corps
16 Command for preparations to execute a task, and it's dated the 28th of
17 March, 1995.
18 Q. Mr. Ribo, I would like to ask you: Read this document for
19 yourself, please. It's a short document.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Can we please scroll down the English version so that ... You can
22 see this part of the document. And can we also look at the following page
23 of the English version so that the Trial Chamber can see it.
24 Q. Mr. Ribo, do you recognise this document?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. The initials "RH," does that mean that you drafted this document?
2 A. Yes, I drafted this document.
3 Q. Please, can you explain the contents of the document? It's a
4 short document, and it talks about the preparatory order for offensive
5 combat operations to the El Mujahid Detachment, strictly confidential" ...
6 shall cease to be in effect as of 2100 hours on March 28th, 1995." The
7 document we looked at earlier, does that have the same date, the 24th
8 March, 1995? I'm thinking of the preparatory order that we looked at
9 before, and can you please explain the situation?
10 A. Yes, I can. The corps commander and the chief of staff were angry
11 because the order was not carried out.
12 Q. Which one?
13 A. The previous one, the preparatory order that we looked at before.
14 The chief of staff of the 3rd Corps issued a task to me to draft an order
15 of this kind in order to cancel the effectiveness of the previous order,
16 which was the preparatory order.
17 Q. And does this explain the situation, that the El Mudjahedin
18 Detachment did or did not take part in the combat actions?
19 A. This document indicates that the El Mujahid Detachment did not
20 take part in the combat actions in Vlasic, and that order is being
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Your Honours, can this document be given an exhibit number? Oh,
24 no, all right, it's already an exhibit. Very well.
25 Q. Mr. Ribo, I would like to ask you this: This paragraph marked "2"
1 of the document states that preparations shall be conducted within the
2 35th Army Division. Based on what you know, what happened in the next
3 following period with the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
4 A. We tried to place the detachment in various ways under the control
5 and system of the control and command of the 3rd Corps. However, it was
6 not proceeding very well and we were not succeeding.
7 This paragraph 2, when we're talking about what will happen with
8 the El Mujahid Detachment afterwards, afterwards it was actually placed
9 under the command of the 35th Army Division.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Can we please put this
11 document away and look at Exhibit 431.
12 This is a document from the 31st of March, 1995, an order of the
13 3rd Corps.
14 Q. Do you recognise this document?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Who drafted the document?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. The document talks about an order being issued on the
19 resubordination of the detachment to the 35th Division. Please, can you
20 explain to the Trial Chamber what this means? In other words, as of the
21 31st of March, 1995, who was supposed to command and control this
23 A. Yes, I'll explain. The order is dated the 31st of March, 1995.
24 The El Mujahid Detachment was supposed to enter the 35th Division and be
25 subordinated to the 35th Division commander as of the 1st of April, 1995,
1 from 12.00. It was supposed to report to the 35th Division command post
2 in Zavidovici, and it was to be resubordinated in all matters to the
3 commander of the 35th Division.
4 Q. Can you please just speak slowly. From what you said, from this
5 point in time that you mentioned, the 1st of April, 1995, who was supposed
6 to be in charge of deploying the detachment in combat?
7 A. Only the commander of the 35th Division and no one else.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Can we put this document away now, unless Their Honours --
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: I sit back, Mr. Ribo, with the feeling that the
11 resubordination of the El Mujahid Detachment to the 35th Division was
12 decided, I suppose, by General Mahmuljin because he wanted somehow to
13 sanction the 35th -- the El Mujahid Detachment for not having taken part
14 in the Vlasic operation. So I don't know if this is true or not, but
15 could you explain the reasons or do you know about the reasons why the El
16 Mujahid Detachment were resubordinated to the 35th Division?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is difficult to speculate. I
18 suppose that the commander of the 3rd Corps was dissatisfied with their
19 refusing to take part in the operation at Vlasic, and he asked that they
20 be engaged elsewhere, rather than idle away at the barracks or what-not.
21 We tried to place them under somebody's command to do something other than
22 sleep at the barracks and sit on their hands. That's my explanation of
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: You leave me with the impression that they were
25 somehow seen as being a bit lazy, also, but were they not, at least in
1 other relations, considered to be very brave and courageous soldiers?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's true, but only at the moment
3 when they said that they were ready to carry out an assignment. If they
4 thought that they were not ready to do that, not a single authority could
5 tell them otherwise, that they should be engaged in an action, be it the
6 commander of the 35th Division, or of the 3rd Corps, or anybody else.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: This is very useful. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said you want the document put away, Madam
9 Vidovic. You don't want it admitted?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document is
11 Exhibit 431.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you introduced it, you said "document 431",
13 you didn't say "exhibit." That's why.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. It is an exhibit.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Ribo, one more question. Could the 3rd Corps commander count
18 on the El Mudjahedin Detachment whenever they needed them in combat?
19 A. They could not count on them, except in situations when they said
20 that they were ready to take part in an action. Otherwise, never.
21 Q. Thank you. I should like to move on to a different topic. I'm
22 going to ask you about the events related to the Vozuca theatre of war in
23 the course of 1995.
24 Do you remember, Mr. Ribo, what the thrust of the activities of
25 the Command of the 3rd Corps was in the month of July of 1995?
1 A. I didn't understand the question. Did you mean June or July?
2 Q. My question had to do with June, but you can speak both of June
3 and July.
4 A. The focus of the activities of the 3rd Corps and its units in the
5 months of June and July of 1995 was the Sarajevo operation.
6 Q. How long did the operation last, and from when to -- from what
7 date until what date?
8 A. The operation went on from mid-June until mid-July.
9 Q. Of which year?
10 A. 1995.
11 Q. You said that in the period you spoke of, including the June and
12 July of 1995, you were assistant chief for operations and training, and
13 you said, whilst describing your duties, that it included the planning of
14 combat activities of the units of the 3rd Corps. Did the Command of the
15 3rd Corps plan combat activities in the July of 1995 in the Ozren-Vozuca
16 pocket or not?
17 A. No, it did not.
18 Q. Do you know who planned those combat activities?
19 A. The 35th Division. The focus of my planning and that of the 3rd
20 Corps was directed at the Sarajevo operation.
21 Q. Did the 3rd Corps command over these combat activities?
22 A. No, that was within the competence of the 35th Division.
23 Q. Who deployed the units that were to take part in the combat
24 activities in the July of 1995, including the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
25 A. That was the Command of the 35th Division.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just clarify that. When you talk about
2 those July operations, are you referring to the Ozren-Vozuca operations or
3 the Sarajevo operations, because now we have got two operations taking
4 place at the same time.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Ribo, when I asked you about who it was who gave assignments
7 or deployed the units that were involved in the combat activities in the
8 July of 1995, I meant the Ozren-Vozuca front. Do you know who it was?
9 A. Yes, that was the Command of the 35th Division.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you take any part in the Vozuca operation in July
11 of 1995?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You were at the Command of the 3rd Corps also in September of
14 1995. Did the corps have any combat activities in the Ozren-Vozuca pocket
15 at the time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you engaged in any activities related to that particular
18 combat action, and, if so, of what sort?
19 A. By virtue of my function, according to the establishment, I was
20 charged with drafting combat documents related to the September operation,
21 i.e., Operation Farz. Once the combat documents were drafted, the units
22 were deployed to the area close to Vozuca. My task was, in addition to
23 planning combat activities, to monitor combat activities, analyse them, to
24 stay over there and organise activities such as work at the command post,
25 work in subordinate units, and so on and so forth.
1 Q. Thank you. I will take it one step at a time.
2 You said that you participated in planning the action. Can the
3 witness be shown Exhibit 380.
4 Your Honours, this is the large map pertaining to Action Farz. I
5 don't know if you have it before you, because the one that has been
6 scanned is not visible.
7 Can the witness be given this map. We sent an e-mail, informing
8 about the use of this map. Perhaps the map could be placed on the ELMO.
9 Mr. Ribo, have a look at the map, and first of all did I show you
10 this map and did you have a very close look at it during proofing?
11 A. Yes, you showed me this map, and I did go through it carefully.
12 Q. Look at the map again. Did you have occasion to see that map
13 earlier on?
14 A. Of course. I made it with my assistants, especially with the
15 draftsman, and he and I are authors of the document.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you please zoom in on the part
17 of the map where markings have been made.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could I just be orientated, Madam Vidovic. Are we
19 now dealing with the September operation and have we left the July
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We are discussing
22 Operation Farz from September and the map of Plan Farz.
23 Can we zoom in on the bottom half of the map, where a number of
24 markings were made. That's fine, very well.
25 Q. Witness, first of all, tell us what the Plan Farz represents.
1 A. The plan represents the decision of the commander to engage all
2 units participating in the offensive operation with specific axes of
3 attack, next attack, following attack, immediate attack, or tasks, that
4 is, and it is -- specifies which of the units will take part in which part
5 of the action, along which axes and with units.
6 Q. You mentioned units. Which are the units that are given this
7 assignment by the Corps?
8 A. In this operation, the Corps issued assignments to the following
9 units: 1st Manoeuvre Battalion --
10 Q. Mr. Ribo, pause there. We can see that some markings were made.
11 I meant the degree of subordination. In those terms, can you tell us
12 which units were involved?
13 A. They were the units immediately subordinated to the unit issuing
14 order for the operation. Therefore, immediately subordinated to the
16 Q. And which were those units immediately subordinated, in principle?
17 A. I'll tell you on this map which were the units immediately
18 subordinated to the 3rd Corps in this operation; namely, the 1st Manoeuvre
19 Battalion, 375th Liberation Brigade, 7th Chivalrous Muslim Liberation
20 Brigade, the 5th Battalion of the 303rd Chivalrous Brigade, the 35th
21 Division of the Land Forces, and of course there were units attached to
22 the staff that were either of temporary structure or a permanent
23 structure, such as an artillery regiment, logistics, communications, and
24 so on.
25 Q. Very well. Did the General Staff have a role to play in relation
1 to this plan or not? I'm referring to Plan Farz. I'm referring actually
2 to the map of Farz.
3 A. The preparation, drafting and distribution of the map did not in
4 any way involve the General Staff.
5 Q. Did the General Staff have any other role to play, in terms of
6 approval, for instance?
7 A. Yes. The map was only approved by the General Staff. That's the
8 extent of their involvement.
9 Q. Let's look at the map. From where I look at it, I believe it's
10 the top left corner that we're interested in. Do you see that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that the General Staff issued their approval. Do you see
13 General Delic's name here?
14 A. This is pretty blurred, but we did say in the heading that it
15 says: "I approve, commander of the army, General Rasim Delic."
16 Q. Pursuant to this map that was approved by the General Staff, was
17 any sort of task given to the El Mujahid Detachment or not?
18 A. No, no assignment at all.
19 Q. And why not?
20 A. Because the commander of the General Staff did not engage in such
21 minor matters as issuing orders to units at such a low level. He would
22 issue orders to corps commands.
23 Q. You said that you were involved in the planning of Operation
24 Farz. Did any of those documents mention a role to be played by the El
25 Mudjahedin Detachment?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And why?
3 A. Because the direct command was the 35th Division, and pursuant to
4 an earlier order, the El Mudjahedin Detachment was subordinated to the
5 35th Division. We had no reason to issue orders directly to the El
6 Mudjahedin Detachment, since they were under the 35th Division and we
7 would issue orders to the 35th Division.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 If Their Honours don't have any questions regarding this map, you
10 can take it away, and I would like the witness to look at Exhibit 461,
12 Q. First of all, do you see here whether this document has been
13 approved or not, or had been approved?
14 A. This document had not been approved, and it is not signed by the
15 corps commander. There is no stamp, either.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Fine. Could we now look at page 17
17 of this document. That's in B/C/S version. That's a map, an integral
18 part of this document, Your Honours. But could we perhaps rotate it,
19 because it is fairly difficult to look at it the way it is now - yes, very
20 well, thank you - so that we can see the map.
21 Q. Sir, do you see whether this map was approved in this form by the
22 corps commander?
23 A. This map was not approved or certified by a seal of the 3rd Corps,
24 and I assume this was perhaps some draft version of it.
25 Q. Now I would like to ask you a question. As a rule, when -- or,
1 rather, such decisions at the division level, decisions of the division
2 commander, are they submitted to the commander of the General Staff for
3 his approval ever?
4 A. No, no. If the division is under the command of the 3rd Corps,
5 this decision has nothing to do with the commander of the General Staff.
6 But if the division is directly subordinated to the General Staff, then it
7 has to submit it there. But this was not the case now, because this
8 division was part of the 3rd Corps.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We can put
10 this document away.
11 Now I would like this witness to look at Exhibit 389. For the
12 record, this is a document of the 3rd Corps from the forward command post
13 at Luke. The date is the 8th of September, 1995. The heading is: "Team
14 for direct command and control of the offensive operation F," "Farz." I
15 would like you to look at this document, and could -- could the witness
16 please look at page 2 of this document. That's page 3 in the English
17 version. Page 3 in the English version.
18 Q. We can see the initials "RH" on this document. Would those be
19 your initials? Did you work on this document?
20 A. Yes, yes, I did.
21 Q. Very well. Now, what is the gist of this document? What is this
22 document about?
23 A. Well, this document or this order indicates who should be at what
24 position in the course of the operation, so this is a disposition of the
25 personnel from the 3rd Corps Command, indicating where they are to be in
1 the course of the operation to provide some kind of support to the
2 subordinate commands and units.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please now go
4 back to page 1 of this document.
5 Q. Mr. Ribo, I would like to ask you to look at paragraph 3 of this
6 document. Is your name stated there, paragraph 3?
7 Could we please scroll this document down for Their Honours so
8 that they can look at paragraph 3.
9 A. Yes, my name is mentioned in paragraph 3, and also some other
10 persons who are to accompany me to the forward command post of the 35th
11 Division located in Babilon Restaurant.
12 Q. Now I would like you to look at page 2 of this document, paragraph
13 10. That's at page 2 both in Bosnian and the English versions, paragraph
14 10. It is indicated here:
15 "The headquarters Administration commander shall provide dry
16 rations for the officers assigned to units for a minimum of three days and
17 remove those officers from the list of users of supplies at the IKM Luke."
18 What did this mean?
19 A. It meant that we would work there for three days and that we were
20 supposed to take dry rations with us, because we could not be a burden to
21 the subordinate units in the course of such actions. They were not
22 supposed to look after us and to provide food for us, and that is why we
23 received the dry rations from our unit.
24 Q. The gist of my question is as follows: Did you spend those three
25 days at Babilon, at the forward command post?
1 A. I spent two days there, and my associates were there for three
3 Q. Fine. What would be the dates, the two dates?
4 A. I think it was the 10th and the 11th of September, 1995.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. We can put this document
6 away now.
7 And now I would like the witness to look at a very brief
8 document. That would be Exhibit 403.
9 For the record, this is an order from the 2nd Corps Command, dated
10 the 1st of September, 1995, about the dispatching of a team of 2nd Corps
11 officers from the forward command post to the area of responsibility of
12 the 3rd Corps of the BH Army.
13 Q. Now I would like to ask you whether the 3rd BH Army Corps was the
14 only formation participating in those actions.
15 A. No. The troops from the 3rd and the 2nd Corps participated
16 together in this action.
17 Q. And did anyone coordinate the actions? And if yes, could you
18 please tell us how this was done?
19 A. Nobody coordinated those actions on the part of the General
20 Staff. This responsibility and this obligation was taken up by the 2nd
21 and the 3rd Corps, and we, ourselves, organised coordinated action by the
22 two corps in this action.
23 Q. Now I want you to look at this document. What is this document
24 all about?
25 Could you please zoom in a little bit so that we can see. That's
1 fine, so that the witness can read.
2 A. Well, this document indicates that the chief of staff of the 3rd
3 Corps, or, rather, the commander of the 2nd Corps notifies us in this
4 document and actually issues an order to his subordinates that a team from
5 another formation would come to our forward command post, headed by
6 Brigadier Sulejman Budakovic, and that we should deal with all the issues
7 related to combat that was some ten days before the operation, on the very
8 eve of the operation, in other words. And it is specified where and when
9 they would show up so that we could arrange everything for successful,
10 coordinated action by the two units.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
12 Your Honours, I think that this is a convenient time for a break,
13 so I would like to stop at this point.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
15 While we go for the break, Madam Vidovic, you might perhaps want
16 to contemplate the fact that the Defence is left with five minutes to
17 complete its four hours.
18 We'll take a break and come back at -- yes, you want to say
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The only thing I
21 can say is that I will need more time. You will understand, we all had
22 many questions for this witness. I will do my best, but if I go over the
23 time that I was allotted, I will not be asking any questions. I will try
24 to address some issues with other witnesses. So I will be within the
25 time, but I don't think that I can complete my examination within five
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. We'll talk about it later.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I may simply before we break, just
4 in terms of planning, I would not expect the cross-examination of this
5 witness to take more than 75 minutes, a normal court session, just in
6 terms of planning in terms of the overall schedule for this week. So I
7 thought I would just indicate that at this point in time.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
9 We'll take a break and come back at half past 12.00.
10 Court adjourned.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. We were talking about the events at Vozuca regarding Operation
16 Farz, and I would like us to dwell on this topic for a little while
18 So my question is the following: To your knowledge, did the
19 Supreme Command Staff play any role in any of these operations or
21 A. No, no role at all. In fact, from the moment of the planning
22 until the end of this operation, no officer from that staff appeared there
23 at the front or did assist the units and commands in any way.
24 Q. A little while ago, you mentioned -- but before that, let me ask
25 you this: Halid Cengic, do you know that person?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know, did you see him during Operation Farz?
3 A. Yes, I did see him there, but he did not -- he was not present
4 there as a representative of the General Staff units. He just came to see
5 Mahmuljin to congratulate him on his success at the Vozuca front.
6 Q. And what job did he have at that time?
7 A. He was a logistics officer.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second. When you say, "Yes, I did see him
10 there, but he was not present there as a representative," there where?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Could you please answer?
13 A. I saw Mr. Halid with General Mahmuljin, the 3rd Corps commander,
14 at the command post, so this was not on the first or the second day of the
15 offensive, but at a later period. That was at the forward command post.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Forward command post of ...?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the 3rd Corps.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. You said a little while ago that on the 11th of September, you
21 were at the forward command post of the 35th Division at Babilon. On that
22 date, were you in contact with Fadil Hasanagic, the commander of the 35th
24 A. Yes, I was in contact with him.
25 Q. On that day, did you receive any information from Mr. Hasanagic or
1 anyone else regarding any prisoners of war?
2 A. No, not on that date or at any date later during the operation did
3 I receive any such information.
4 Q. Did you ever hear about the El Mudjahedin Detachment kidnapping
5 some 60 prisoners from the 328th Division?
6 MR. MUNDIS: Objection. Leading.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, again, when I asked the
9 question, my question was whether, on that date, you received information
10 or not, and the words "or not" were not recorded in the transcript, so let
11 me rephrase the question.
12 Q. So did you hear anything about any abductions of the members --
13 or, rather, prisoners of war from the 328th Division?
14 A. I did not hear anything about that. I was the
15 third-highest-ranking person in the corps, and this Tribunal did not exist
16 at the time, so I should have received this information in my capacity as
17 the third-highest-ranking officer in the corps, but I never did receive
18 any such information, I never heard anything about that.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
20 D1023. For the record, this is an excerpt from the book of minutes of the
21 briefings at the forward command post. The date is the 22nd of August
22 until the 9th of September, 1995. So that's the period covered by it.
23 Q. Witness, before we look at the relevant page, let me just ask
24 you: Did I show you this document in the proofing sessions for your
25 testimony here, and did you inspect it in detail?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like the witness to see
3 page 2, both in English and in Bosnian version.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, Madam Vidovic, just can we
5 go back to page 1 of the Bosnian, of the B/C/S, please. Thank you.
6 On the B/C/S, Madam Vidovic, you will see there's a handwritten
7 entry there from 22nd August, 1995, to some date. We don't have anything
8 written on the English. Are you able to tell us what is that date?
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The way I see it -- uh-huh, yes, I
10 can. In the Bosnian version it says from the 22nd of August, 1995, until
11 the 9th of October, 1995.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that the 9th, not the 6th? Okay, thank you.
13 You may proceed, ma'am.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like the witness to look
15 at page 2 of this document, both in the Bosnian and the English version.
16 Q. Witness, I would like you to look at the date, the 11th of
17 September, 1995, and you can see that this is a meeting apparently held at
18 1530 hours. Is that so, Witness?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. We see a list of persons present at the briefing, the briefing to
21 the 3rd Corps commander. Here we can see the commander of the NS, and
22 then NONP. What does "NONP" stand for?
23 A. That's the chief of the -- of the section for -- well, I really
24 don't know. I think that's the chief of the section for
25 training/planning, I think.
1 Q. Fine. Is that the function that you held?
2 A. Yes, that is supposed to be my post.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please center this document
4 in such a way that we can see the last sentence on this page. We can see
5 it in the English version. Yes, fine.
6 Q. Witness, could you please read the last sentence on this page?
7 Can you see that it says:
8 "War booty. Problem with the El Mujahid needs to be solved."
9 Could you please tell us, what was this all about, if you know?
10 A. I do. This was the report when the commander of the 375th said at
11 this briefing that he had difficulties with the El Mujahid concerning war
12 booty. It practically boiled down to a conflict that broke out between
13 the members of the 375th Brigade and the El Mujahid Detachment, and I know
14 this because I remember this.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Can we turn to page 3 of
16 the document in both versions.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you turn to -- sorry, can we go back
18 again? I'm sorry, Madam Vidovic. I just want to get clarity on a little
20 After the number "3", there is a sentence that says:
21 "Commander. President congratulated."
22 Who is referred to by "president"? Who are we referring to there
23 when we say "president"?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that a question addressed to me?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, it is addressed to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This relates to the commander of the
2 3rd Corps, where it says "The president," and this refers to the President
3 Alija Izetbegovic, who congratulated them on a successful most probably
4 action - it doesn't say - and that soon he would visit Modrica. In other
5 words, the corps commander conveys this information to us who were at this
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 Yes, madam.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we turn to page 3 of
10 the document in both versions.
11 Q. I want to direct your attention to the first line. It says:
12 "Captured Adem Kurtic from Banja Luka, a Chetnik who was captured
13 this morning."
14 Do you see this?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you look at the part mentioning Rekic, war booty? I will read
17 the second sentence somewhere in the middle of the sentence. The second
18 sentence says:
19 "War booty. Known [Realtime transcript read in error "no"]
20 problem with the El Mujahid. Five killed, Sehids, and ten wounded. 37
21 Chetniks were killed."
22 Let me ask you this: At the briefings to the corps commander, was
23 it a customary procedure to brief on both the enemy soldiers who were
24 killed and those who were captured?
25 A. Yes, it was a customary practice.
1 Q. What does this, what Mr. Rekic said, meant about the 37 Chetniks
2 having been killed? How did he explain this? Do you recall?
3 A. This means that along his access of attack, he registered or
4 observed 37 soldiers of Republika Srpska who were killed.
5 Q. You speak of 33 or 37 soldiers? It says "37" here.
6 A. Thirty-seven.
7 Q. They were killed how? Can you explain this?
8 A. He reported on the losses suffered by the other side, and that's
9 something that every unit keeps note of.
10 Q. Let's look at the last sentence here, please, the last sentence of
11 the Bosnian version. Can it be please displayed on the screen? Can we
12 move to that part of the page?
13 Do you see that it says: "Ended at 1650"? Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Very well. Let me ask you this, please: At the time of the
16 briefing, was the commander of the 3rd Corps informed in any way about any
17 other prisoners of war, except for the one mentioned here, Adem Kurtic?
18 A. No, no, he was not.
19 Q. My understanding is that you were at the Babilon IKM where the
20 commander of the 35th Division, Hasanagic, was present too. If you had
21 heard anything about war prisoners, would it have been your duty to report
22 on this at the meeting of the commanders or not?
23 A. It would be logical for me to report on any individuals captured,
24 if any were captured, that is. However, I didn't have any information to
25 that effect, and I could not speak off the top of my head about
1 information I didn't have reliable sources about or wasn't sure of.
2 Q. Very well. Let's look at the next page of the document. Here,
3 too, the briefing of the 3rd Corps commander is mentioned on the 12th of
4 September. However, this time we have a different time indicated. What
5 is it?
6 A. 2100 hours.
7 Q. Look at the document. Were you present at this briefing or not?
8 A. Yes, I was, I was there.
9 Q. Please go carefully through the entire page now.
10 Mr. Ribo, at this briefing, was this information concerning the
11 60-odd prisoners captured by the Mujahedin Detachment ever mentioned?
12 A. No.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document be
14 given an exhibit number.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sure it can, but I have a few questions
16 relating to it before we get to the admission.
17 If I may turn back to the previous page - thank you - because,
18 Madam Vidovic, you read out a part from the middle where it says: "War
19 prize: Known problem with the El Mujahid," and, "Five killed ..." This
20 came out in the transcript as "no problem with the Mujahid," and I just
21 wanted to point to this correction so that we get the transcript right.
22 Now, my question to the witness is: There was apparently a known
23 problem with the Mujahid, and you have made one reference to it a little
24 earlier. What was the problem, the known problem with the Mujahid, in
25 relation to war prize, or booty, or prisoners, or whatever?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After our units completed the
2 immediate task, I left the command post of the 35th Division and set out
3 in a motor vehicle to follow our units in the direction of Vozuca. Along
4 that route, there's the village called "Stog." In the middle of our
5 activities, the Serb forces withdrew from Stog, leaving behind a warehouse
6 full of ammunition and weapons. It had not been either mined or taken
7 away. As I came there, I saw that the fighters of the Rekic's unit
8 clashed with foreigners. I wasn't able to ascertain at the time that they
9 were, indeed, the El Mujahid, but I assumed, since they were along that
10 same axis of attack, that they had clashed over war booty. Since I wasn't
11 able to solve the problem, I summoned Commander Rekic to deal with that
12 conflict in the village of Stog.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: So we are to understand that the problems that
14 have been referred to several times in this document were only about the
15 seizure of ammunition left behind by the Serbs?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, but it's a war booty,
17 materiel and technical equipment, i.e., ammunition, weapons, explosives,
18 communications equipment and so on.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand. But no prisoners of war?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, not at all. It didn't
21 involve prisoners of war.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Ribo. How was the conflict or the
23 problem with this ammunition and other booty, how was that eventually
24 solved? Did Rekic's unit finally get hold of it, or did the EMD take it,
25 or what happened?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Rekic appeared as a commander of
2 that unit, and he withdrew his fighters, leaving the war booty over to the
3 others, probably members of the El Mujahid unit.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: And was that the end of the story?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, that was the end.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Ribo, one more question on this issue. Could any of you order
9 the El Mujahid to give the war booty back to Rekic's unit?
10 A. No, nobody was able to do that.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could this document be
12 assigned an exhibit now, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
14 please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become Exhibit
16 number 1189.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
18 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we put this
20 document away now and show the witness Exhibit 512.
21 To save time, can we move right away to page 19.
22 Q. What we see here, Mr. Ribo, is "War Diary." So page 19 of the
23 Bosnian and page 13 of the English version. Mr. Ribo, please look at the
24 part of the document relating to the 11th of September, 1995, which says:
25 "New line axis of attack within the AOR of the 35th Division and
1 new assignments of the El Mudjahedin Detachment, and the 2nd Man-Bat are
2 attacking and taking Kvrge," and so on and so forth, and it says 10 --
3 another 10 square kilometres of territory was liberated, a second 10 was
4 captured, and some 60 Chetniks were killed and 57 captured. So this talks
5 of the capture of Serb soldiers.
6 Were you informed of this particular entry of the war diary, and
7 was this same information conveyed elsewhere in a report, at a briefing,
8 to a commander, or anywhere else where it would have reached you?
9 A. Had this been the case, indeed, it should have been mentioned in
10 the oral briefing to the commander, and it should have been forwarded to
11 the superior command or it should have reached us from the subordinated
12 unit, that's to say from the 35th Division. The information should have
13 reached us of the existence of prisoners. I had never heard anything of
14 the sort.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we put the document
16 away now.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sorry. Remind us, who is the author of this
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the war diary of the 3rd
20 Corps. Perhaps the witness would be better placed to say something. This
21 is a document that was admitted into evidence and was tendered by the
23 Q. Witness, can you assist us in telling us who could be the author
24 of the document?
25 A. Presumably, since one of my officers entered the information into
1 this war diary, the author of the diary is Safet Sivro. He would enter
2 the information at a later date, after the event transpired. It did not
3 have to be necessarily contemporaneous. I had never heard this
4 information about the captured Serb individuals, truly.
5 Q. Let me ask you a follow-up question. Did Safet Sivro ever inform
6 you of this?
7 A. No, never.
8 Q. The war diary, is that a document that the Command would
9 necessarily read?
10 A. No. A war diary is more like a historical document that histories
11 can be written. I didn't read it, no one else actually read it. The
12 corps commander didn't read it. I don't know anyone of actually reading
13 it. It was just things were written in it.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. If I may, you said the author of this diary
15 was Safet Sivro. Just to get clarity, was he the author of the diary or
16 was he the author of the entry of the 11th of September, 1995?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's the author of entries of this
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand you to say that all entries in the
20 diary are entered by one person and one person only?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Several people entered the
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Therefore, we cannot then say Safet Sivro is the
24 author of the diary. We can say he's one of them.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, that is correct. I
1 perhaps misspoke.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know who made this entry of the 11th of
3 September, 1995?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judging by the handwriting, I think
5 that it was Safet Sivro.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: To your knowledge, as you sit there, nothing has
7 ever been done by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina about these alleged
8 57 captured prisoners of war?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing. I don't even know that to
10 this day.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: To your knowledge, then, they just must have
12 disappeared into thin air?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know, I really don't
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness very
16 clearly, in response to a number of my questions, said that he had never
17 heard of these 57 prisoners, that he never heard of them, so I cannot
18 understand how the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina would have done anything
19 if the witness didn't hear of it.
20 The witness Sivro was here, and this question was not put to him,
21 from what I can remember, and this is why I wanted to put the question to
22 the witness.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand, and I just wanted to clear that, so
24 that if the army didn't do anything about it, then we know.
25 What was your answer, sir? You said you really don't know. Okay,
1 I understand. Thank you so much.
2 Thank you.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We can put this document away now.
4 And can we show the witness document D1009.
5 For the transcript, this is a study on the organisation of routine
6 duty at the Forward Command Post 3, Luke, from August of 1995.
7 Q. I wanted to ask you if you've seen this document before.
8 A. Yes, I've seen this document before, and I also worked on it.
9 Q. Can you please explain to us what the objective of this document
10 was, if you know, and if there was any objective?
11 A. The objective of this document was to regulate precisely the
12 working life of people in the 3rd Corps Command at the forward command
13 post of Luke, because we were leaving the command post and forming a
14 forward command post. And at this place where the Command would be
15 working, living and commanding, the document regulates duty shifts, guard
16 shifts, the duty driver and so on and so forth.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can the witness now
18 please look at page 3 of the Bosnian version and the fourth page of the
19 English version.
20 Q. Can you recognise the signature?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you please tell us who signed this document?
23 A. This is signed by the commander of the 3rd Corps.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we move to the next page of the
25 document, please.
1 Q. Mr. Ribo, it seems that we have a kind of form here. Can you
2 please look at it and tell us what this is about?
3 A. This kind of form is the attachment to the document that we looked
4 at earlier, the study, and it is stated specifically here this is the
5 template for the person who would be making the reports on the matters
6 that they would be informing the Bosnia and Herzegovina Main Command from
7 the forward command post at Kakanj, and to the 3rd Corps as well.
8 Q. Can you please pay attention to paragraph marked "2," and tell us
9 whether or not information needed to be furnished about important results
10 or problems in the day that had to do with combat activities? Did this
11 have to be sent to the General Staff?
12 A. Well, this is the main question. The basic information had to be
13 sent to the General Staff.
14 Q. Would this or would it not include the information about prisoners
15 of war?
16 A. It would have to include that information.
17 Q. Can you please look at page 5 now of the Bosnian version and page
18 7 of the English version. Can you please look at paragraph 6, "Security
19 Situation" or "Security Status."
20 On the basis of this part of the document, would the information
21 have to be provided or not on the number of detained persons, captured
22 persons, arrested persons?
23 A. This information would have to be provided, because the security
24 sector was in charge of these questions, because this is clearly regulated
25 in the commander's command for Farz, the Operation Farz, the commander of
1 the 3rd Corps.
2 Q. When we're looking at this document, this instruction on the
3 manner of supplying information, was this something that was received by
4 the subordinate units of the 3rd Corps?
5 A. They had to report on the basis of the same elements to the IKM of
6 the 3rd Corps at Luke.
7 Q. So the commander of the 3rd Corps, did he issue precise reporting
8 instructions also in reference to prisoners of war?
9 A. Yes, he did that in this document.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 Your Honours, can this document be given an exhibit number,
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
14 please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document becomes Exhibit number
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I'm now going to deal with the last topic with you now. It has to
20 do with record-keeping documents. You mentioned that you worked on
21 documents and records. So just briefly, can you please tell Their Honours
22 exactly what these documents were? What included these record-keeping
24 A. Daily report books, operations diaries, book of briefings, the
25 diary from the observation point. These are all the documents that are
1 part of that.
2 Q. Very well, thank you. In your work, did you get access to these
3 documents, did you have anything to do with them, and if you did, in which
5 A. Yes, I did have access to these documents, but my job was mainly,
6 in my department, to conduct the pagination of these documents, because
7 these were classic notebooks, to organise them in a practical way, to
8 number them and to enter them, and then after entering them, to send them
9 to the people who were using them for their further use.
10 Q. When you say that you numbered them, can you please tell us
11 exactly what that means?
12 A. That means that each page had to be numbered, starting from the
13 ordinal number 1 until the end, depending on the number of pages that the
14 book had.
15 Q. What do you mean when you say "page"?
16 A. I mean the front and back of the page, so both sides of a page.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 Your Honours, I have asked my colleagues from the OTP to show this
19 witness the original Exhibit 511, and thanks to the kindness of the
20 Prosecution, they did provide this original. So during the break, the
21 witness examined in detail that exhibit.
22 I would like to ask the Prosecutor now to also give this document
23 for the perusal of the witness. We're talking about Exhibit 511.
24 Q. Mr. Ribo, can you please tell us whether you looked at the
25 document during the break?
1 A. Yes, yes, I did.
2 Q. Can you please tell us, what was your role in relation to this
3 document? Can you please tell us?
4 A. Well, in regard to this document, it was my job to paginate the
6 Q. What do you mean, to paginate?
7 A. It means to write precisely the number of pages in ink, starting
8 from the ordinal number 1 until the end of the book, depending on the
9 number of pages that the book had.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the usher to help
11 the witness to place specific pages on the ELMO so that Their Honours can
12 see that, as well as the other parties in the proceedings.
13 Q. Can you show us the number, please? Can you place the document on
14 the ELMO and show us the number that you would enter?
15 When you say that you did the pagination, what did you write in?
16 A. Well, these are the numbers in the upper right-hand corner
17 [indicates], number 1, number 2, number 3, and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Just stop there for a minute. So the page has the number 1, then
19 the next page is empty, and then the page after that has the next number?
20 A. Yes, precisely.
21 Q. Why -- I'm going to ask you to look at the last page now, and if
22 you can place it on the ELMO, the last page. I don't know if we have it.
23 We should also have it in English.
24 Your Honours, this is a document tendered by the Prosecution.
25 Witness, can you please read slowly what it says here, what it
1 says here on this last page, slowly?
2 A. It says here:
3 "This notebook has 95 pages, as stated and certified by the chief
4 of the Department for Operations and Training, Colonel Haso Ribo." And
5 there's my signature there and a stamp, and it says: "Record book number
7 Q. And now can you please tell us, why does it say: "Record book
8 number 35" here?
9 A. Because there was a special register, a protocol, where all these
10 books were entered, the number under which they were issued and how many
11 pages each notebook has.
12 Q. Thank you very much. You told us that you looked at this diary
13 during the break. Does that have 95 pages? Can you please tell us what
14 you remarked about this original document?
15 A. This document does not have 95 pages, as stated here. I noticed,
16 from page 19 up to 95, there are no paginated pages, and you can see
17 clearly from the document that it was handled and that the pages were torn
18 out or removed in some other way from this document.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now ask the usher, please, to
20 place the relevant pages on the ELMO. Can you please find the page you
21 mentioned, page 19?
22 A. Yes, page 19.
23 Q. And what did you say about it?
24 A. From page 19 until page 91, the pages are not there.
25 Q. Mr. Ribo, when you certified and signed the document, did you
1 number or paginate this notebook yourself, personally?
2 A. Yes, yes, I did.
3 Q. So what is your conclusion, now that you've looked at it?
4 A. I assume that the document was handled or tampered with, because
5 practically the way it was paginated and certified, pages could not have
6 been added or ripped out from this document or any other document. What I
7 remark here is that the documents from the 9th of October, 1995, onwards
8 are missing.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Again, I don't know whether this is a question of
11 translation. The English translation says:
12 "I assumed that the document was handled or tampered with, because
13 practically the way it was paginated and certified, pages could not have
14 been added or ripped out from this document ..."
15 Now, the fact of the matter is you are telling us that pages were
16 ripped out of the document, but if you're saying they could not be, you're
17 telling us of an impossibility, but it has happened. Are you able to
18 explain why it happened, if it is impossible for it to happen?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] None of the persons entering
20 information into this notebook could have added anything, or anyone else
21 could have added or taken pages out, and we can see, in the original
22 document that I have here, that a large number of pages is missing. This
23 should not have been allowed to happen. The person who had the book
24 should not have been permitted to add or to rip out any pages.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The correct answer, then, should have been: Pages
1 should not have been added or ripped out. That's what you meant to say.
2 Thank you. I don't know, maybe that's --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that is correct.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: As I say, it may be a problem of translation.
5 Thank you so much.
6 Thank you, ma'am.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You can put
8 away the document. Actually, you can return it to the Prosecutor.
9 At this point, I would like to ask the witness to look at the
10 original of Exhibit 394.
11 Q. While we're waiting, Mr. Ribo, did you have an opportunity to look
12 at the document during the break?
13 A. Yes, I did have a chance to look at the document.
14 Q. All right. First of all, can you please show us page 1? Can you
15 place it on the ELMO? First of all, I would like to ask you this: Did
16 you work also on this document? Did you apply the same procedure that you
17 described earlier, the pagination and the signature?
18 A. Yes, that was the identical procedure.
19 Q. Can you please show us page 1. Very well. Page 2. Very well.
20 Now I would like to ask you --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we interrupt a little bit? It looks like --
22 can we excuse Judge Lattanzi. Thank you very much. From now on, for the
23 remainder of the session, the Chamber will sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis.
24 Thank you very much.
25 You may proceed, ma'am.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
2 Q. Witness, when we're talking about ordinal numbers in this
3 document, do they go -- would these ordinal numbers have to begin from 1
4 and then until the last number indicating the end of this document?
5 A. Yes. Are you talking about the first column? Yes, the ordinal
6 numbers should go in sequence from 1 to N, the Nth number.
7 Q. And now can you please find -- leaf through the document and look
8 at page -- find the number 66, 66. One lower. Very well, very well.
9 And now let's move to the next page.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Maybe I'm not looking at the same thing,
11 but I'm not seeing number 66 on what is before me. On the B/C/S side --
12 that's better, now I begin to see "66" on the B/C/S side. I don't see it
13 on the English side.
14 Can we be shown 66 on the English side, please.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The English page is 15, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. I'm just interested in the entry number 66,
17 whatever page it comes on.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you look at the top of this
19 page? In fact, I invite Your Honour to look at the very top of this page.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of which page, ma'am, English or --
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 15, 15 in the English version,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I can't see the page number.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm still looking for it.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps we can -- okay,
2 yes, it's there, so we can see it now. Page 15 in the English version.
3 It was on the screen just a moment ago.
4 Please, that's the page. I hope, Your Honours, that now --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: We do see entry number 66, yeah.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 Q. Now I would like you to place the original of the page on the
8 ELMO, the page with the date the 15th of September.
9 Witness, should the numbers for the next day run from 67, 68, and
10 so on?
11 A. Yes, precisely.
12 Q. And what is the situation like in the original?
13 A. The date of the 15th of September starts with 1, and then we go on
14 to 2, 3, until 15.
15 Q. You told us that you had paginated this document, and do you know
16 what the practice is regarding the numbering of such documents? Is this
17 the usual practice?
18 A. No --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, I'm not seeing the top of -- the entry of
20 the 15th on the ELMO. That's better.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The 15th. Your Honours, I don't
22 know if you see it right below this, the first box here.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The point you are making is that from the 15th,
24 instead of 67, we have one; that's the point you are making? Thank you
25 very --
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely.
2 Q. Witness, as you yourself have just commented, is that the regular
3 procedure; can this be done in this way?
4 A. No, this is not the regular procedure, it's not proper.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look -- okay, so we've
6 seen page 15. Could we now go to page 12 in the Bosnian version of this
7 document. It's page 12 in the English version, too. Let's leave page 15
8 here in English, and let's move to page 12 in the Bosnian version.
9 Page 15 in the English is fine, but let us look at page 12 in the
10 Bosnian version.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam Vidovic, this is a bit confusing. When we
12 had the entry number 66 in the Bosnian version, I think the time was 1837
13 or something of that kind, and in the English version the entry 66 is
14 1905. I'm just wondering if the two entries are really the same or if
15 we're speaking about two different entries, both of which have number 66.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] If we can look at page 10, and then
17 everything will be clear, page 10 in the Bosnian version. So please leave
18 the English version as it stands, and let's move to page 10 in the Bosnian
20 Now, Your Honours, right at the bottom you can see an entry in the
21 Bosnian language, which is identical to the one in the English version.
22 Q. Sir, Witness, could you please read the entry under number 66?
23 A. It says here that:
24 "The commander of the 7th Chivalrous Muslim Liberation Brigade
25 arrived at the 3rd Corps forward command post."
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Fine. Do you see that now, Your
2 Honours? Fine.
3 Q. Now, in relation to this document, I would like to ask you this
4 question: Were you able to leaf through the whole document, and does this
5 document --
6 A. Yes, I did leaf through it.
7 Q. Could you please look at page 32 in the Bosnian version.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: "Were you able to leaf through," to page through?
9 The English says "leaf" as in a leaf. Did you mean by that to page
10 through the book?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: M'mm-hmm.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine, I just wanted to understand what
13 you ...
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I say 32 of the
15 Bosnian version, I'm referring to the page 32 of this exhibit. Now, in
16 the original, we have a different pagination because of the way in which
17 the Prosecutor uploaded it as an exhibit.
18 Now, we have in front of us -- unfortunately, Your Honours, this
19 exhibit has been uploaded in such a way that this part of the document was
20 not translated.
21 Q. Witness, could you please read what it says here in the Bosnian
23 A. Well, if this is the document that I have in front of me, then it
25 "Communications documents for concerted action with the HVO
2 Q. Well, the communications documents, do they exist in the original
3 of the document that you saw?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Yes, they exist. But the communications documents for the
6 concerted action with the HVO units, are they part of this document at
7 all, on any basis? Can they be an integral part of that document?
8 A. They cannot be an integral part of this document, because I
9 explained right at the beginning nothing can be inserted, nothing can be
10 removed from those record books, if it is not paginated or numbered. So
11 all those documents that were inserted or added should not have been
13 Q. And do those documents have anything to do with the main topic in
14 the diary?
15 A. No, no, the communications documents are documents that pertain to
16 the communications organ, and they had nothing to do with this document.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me, Madam Vidovic, for being a bit
21 The document we see here on the screen, "Dokumenta Veze," was
22 that -- I'm sorry for asking, but was that the same document that we had
23 with the entry number 66?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: And was that document the war diary or, as I
1 understood, the operations diary of the army -- of the 3rd Corps?
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the operations diary of
3 the observation post of the commander. That's the title of this
4 document: "Operations Diary of the Commander's Observation Post."
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: And again forgive me for not having all the
6 evidence completely clear for me, but the war diary or the operations
7 diary of the 3rd Corps was also the document in which we found a while ago
8 the entry about 57 prisoners of war; is that correct? So it's the same
9 document we're talking about?
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, it's not the same
11 document. The previous one was the war diary, and this is the operations
12 diary. But it is a record, but it's not the same document. Both documents
13 are records.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm very happy that I asked these questions,
15 because otherwise I would have not understood.
16 So the war diary is one record, and that contains a single notion
17 about 57 prisoners of war. The operations diary is another record made by
18 the same corps, the 3rd Corps, and this latter operations diary does not
19 contain any reference to the prisoners of war; is that correct?
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know at this
21 moment. I focused mostly on the authenticity, so I'm not sure at this
22 time. I will look into that, and I owe you an answer, but I really
23 focused on the authenticity of this document. I wanted to verify whether
24 this is an authentic document or whether the document has been tampered
25 with. That was the thrust of the questions that I asked, whether any
1 pages were modified, inserted. So I didn't go into the contents of the
2 document, so anything that I would tell you at this point would be -- I
3 believe that nothing is mentioned about those prisoners, but -- I think
4 not, but that would be -- at any rate, this is a Prosecution exhibit. It
5 was admitted as a Prosecution exhibit, and I challenged the authenticity
6 of this document.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, I accept that there is a problem of its
8 authenticity, for the reasons that we have seen and discussed several
9 times during this trial, but what I'm interested in and what I think is
10 crucial for the Chamber to learn is to know which source to consult for
11 the record of the daily operations and events that occurred in the units
12 falling under the 3rd Corps' authority, and I understand that some -- let
13 me just please finish my question.
14 I understand that some of the record was made in the war diary and
15 other information was entered into the operations diary. And may I add,
16 apparently the operations diary only dealt with the encounters with the
17 HVO. That's what it says on the title.
18 So -- but this may be wrong, but I want the witness now to tell
19 us, in which sources were the entries made for each day at the 3rd Corps
20 level? My expectation is that there has to be at least one document where
21 you would find evidence of what occurred during the day for each of the
22 units of the 3rd Corps, including the 3rd Corps itself.
23 Now, can you tell us, at the 3rd Corps level, where you were, what
24 was the source that was created reflecting the daily events?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the operations diary of the
1 command post or of the forward command post, and this is the operations
2 diary of the observation post. So during the operation, the commander was
3 at the observation post, forwarding him an overview of what is happening
4 at the front, and this records what happened at the commander's
5 observation post in the course of combat.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: But this would be -- forgive me for not
7 understanding this. I, unfortunately, have no battle experience myself.
8 Or maybe I should say "fortunately so."
9 The operations diary from this observation post, that would be
10 only part of the information that was collected during the day from the
11 3rd Corps, meaning that there would be other observation posts from other
12 parts of the front line which also would have an operations diary, and by
13 the end of the day, the information entered in each of these different
14 operations diaries would then be entered into either the war diary or some
15 other document at the 3rd Corps Command, or is that a misrepresentation of
16 your evidence?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The operations diary of an
18 observation post, a location where the commander is, all the information
19 is received via the phone or radio equipment, not -- nothing is received
20 in writing. He receives information from the -- via communications
21 equipment so that he could, at any -- at an opportune time, issue some
22 orders to his subordinates. And regular reports were sent to the forward
23 command post from the unit commands, and this forward command post was
24 located at Luke.
25 So this is just some of the information that was relevant at that
1 time for the commander to be able to exercise command during the
2 operation. It was relayed using radio communications or communications
3 equipment, and it was sent using other means to the forward command post
4 at Luke, and then we sent it on to the command -- forward command post of
5 the General Staff at Kakanj.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sure we will pursue this tomorrow also, but
7 let me just put one final question to you.
8 The forward command post in Kakanj would also have a diary
9 reflecting the main events of the day, would it not? And if so, what was
10 that document called?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know. I was not at
12 the General Staff command post. I did not hold any posts in the General
13 Staff, so I don't know.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I thought you were chief of staff. Were you not?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the chief of the department
16 for monitoring combat operations. I was the chief of staff at a later
17 stage, when the war was over.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have the original
20 now, and so that the Prosecution does not have to bring it back again
22 Just one more question, if you allow me. I didn't --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Sir, did you notice whether all the dates in September are listed
1 here in this diary? What happens with the dates between the 10th and the
2 15th of September? Are they listed in the diary?
3 A. Unfortunately, there are no records for the 6th of October.
4 Q. And when do they restart?
5 A. No, they don't. The rest of the pages are blank. And I was also
6 able to ascertain that in the middle part, some pages are missing, pages
7 from 18 through 42. So you see here we have number 19 [indicates], and
8 all the pages until page 42 are missing.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
10 That's all I have.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, if I may just get clarity, you said you
12 paginate these books, don't you -- didn't you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, just tell us what you -- you just put in the
15 pagination or did you also make the entries in the book, that book in
16 front of you, in particular?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was my task to open the document,
18 to paginate it, to sign it, and to give it to other people for their use.
19 So I didn't make any entries in the document.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That clears me.
21 We'll take an adjournment and come back tomorrow at 9.00 in the
22 morning. Same courtroom.
23 Court adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day of
1 March, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.