1 Thursday, 6 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the court.
7 Madam Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning everyone
9 in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Rasim Delic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Good morning, Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around
16 the courtroom. Aditya Menon and Daryl Mundis for the Prosecution,
17 assisted by our case manager, Alma Imamovic.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
19 And for the Defence.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
21 morning to my colleagues from the OTP, to everyone in and around the
22 courtroom. I am Vasvija Vidovic, with Mr. Nicholas Robson, representing
23 General Delic, with legal assistant, Lejla Gluhic, and today helped with
24 our intern, Claire Bonnel.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
1 Good morning, Mr. Ribo.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I know you must be knowing this by now, but it's
4 still my duty to remind you that you are still bound by the declaration
5 you made at the beginning of your testimony, to tell the truth, the whole
6 truth, and nothing else but the truth.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know, I know.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 WITNESS: HASO RIBO [Resumed]
10 [The witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Perhaps if the usher could assist by lower the mirror on the ELMO,
14 that might be helpful.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: For you to see Mr. Ribo?
16 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Mundis:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ribo.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. My name is Daryl Mundis. I represent the Prosecution in this
22 case. I'm going to be asking you some questions.
23 You, sir, remember testifying here at the Tribunal in the
24 Hadzihasanovic case and Kubura case?
25 A. Yes, I remember.
1 Q. That was, perhaps if you don't recall, on the 28th of October,
3 A. I don't remember the date, but I remember that I did testify.
4 Q. And on that day, I also asked you some questions. Do you remember
6 A. I'm sorry, I really didn't remember your face.
7 Q. That's fine. Let me just ask you some preliminary questions about
8 testifying in the Hadzihasanovic case.
9 You remember that, just like in this case, you took a solemn
10 declaration to tell the whole truth before you testified?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that point in time, when you testified in the
13 Hadzihasanovic case, you answered all the questions truthfully and to the
14 best of your recollection?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, would it be fair to say, Mr. Ribo, that when you testified in
17 that trial more than three years ago, that your memory of the events
18 during the war was better than it is today?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, at the time, Mr. Ribo, you testified in the Hadzihasanovic
21 case, if I remember correctly, you told us that you were a brigadier in
22 the Army of BiH.
23 A. I was a colonel in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; but in the
24 Army of the Federation, I was a brigadier.
25 Q. Okay. And let me ask you, sir, do you still hold that position
1 today or are you currently retired?
2 A. I am retired now.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which position are we referring to, the colonel
4 position in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina or brigadier in the Army of
5 the Federation?
6 MR. MUNDIS: I can ask some questions about that.
7 Q. Can you just tell us, sir, the difference between the Army of BiH
8 and the Army of the Federation of BiH?
9 A. The Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a wartime organisation in
10 which I was a colonel. After the signing of the Dayton Accords, the Army
11 of the Federation was formed, composed of Croats and Bosniaks, and then it
12 was the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. So, in effect, what happened was the Army of BiH became the Army
14 of the Federation of BiH, with the HVO joining the Armija?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. And during the war, you were a colonel in the ABiH; and after the
17 war, you were a brigadier in the Federation -- in the Army of the
18 Federation of BiH?
19 A. That is correct, that is correct.
20 Q. And sometime between the time when you testified in Hadzihasanovic
21 on 28 October 2004 and today, you retired from the Army of the Federation
22 of BiH?
23 A. I retired from the Ministry of Defence of the Federation of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina.
25 Q. When did you retire, Mr. Ribo?
1 A. About a year and a half ago, I think.
2 Q. Let me go back, sir, to the time period 1994 and 1995. Can you
3 just remind us of what position you held within the 3rd Corps in 1994 and
5 A. Yes. In 1994, I was the chief of the armoured mechanised units at
6 the Staff of the 3rd Corps. In 1995, I was the chief of the section for
7 operations and training. After that, after the signing of the day Dayton
8 Accords, I was the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to focus your attention for a few moments on 1995,
10 at which point in time you were the chief of the section for operations
11 and training within the 3rd Corps. Can you tell us, Mr. Ribo, a little
12 bit about what that job entailed and what your responsibilities were?
13 A. Just like I've been testifying over the past few days, I was
14 responsible for planning, drafting of monthly and annual plans, analysis
15 of the plans, drafting combat documentation, drawing topographical maps,
16 and drafting other kinds of combat documents like orders, different record
17 books. I was also entrusted with combat training and education, so I was
18 responsible for training. Some other matters also I will probably
19 remember in the course of the testimony.
20 Q. And as part of your responsibilities that you've just outlined,
21 you would need to know about the units that were part of the 3rd Corps; is
22 that right?
23 A. In principle, yes.
24 Q. And part of that information that you would require to fulfill
25 your duties would be to know which lower-level units were subordinated to
1 mid-level units within the corps?
2 A. I'm sorry, I really don't understand this question.
3 Q. Let me phrase it a different way.
4 In 1995, the corps had divisions; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And as part of fulfilling the duties you had, as chief of
7 operations and training, you would need to know which brigades were in
8 which division?
9 A. In principle, I didn't have to know, but I did.
10 Q. Let me ask you to clarify that, because when you say you didn't
11 have to know, why wouldn't you have to know that if you were in charge of
12 planning? Wouldn't you have to know which brigades were in which
14 A. The Corps Command didn't order tasks to lower-ranking units, ones
15 that were part of divisions. We were issuing assignments to divisions and
16 not to its brigades. We were not responsible for issuing assignments to
17 brigades, because that would violate the chain of command. We would issue
18 orders first to the subordinate units of the corps. If that happened to
19 be a division, then we would be issuing assignments to a division.
20 Q. I understand. I understand the differentiation that you're
21 making. I'm not talking about issuing orders to the brigade, because
22 clearly that would violate the principles of unity of command. What I'm
23 talking about is you simply knowing, in your position, which brigades were
24 in which divisions.
25 A. Yes, yes, I did know.
1 Q. And, again, in order to fulfill your duties and responsibilities,
2 you would have to know the locations, the areas of responsibility, of all
3 of the lower-level units of the 3rd Corps?
4 A. No. I didn't have to know the areas of responsibility. I had to
5 know the area of responsibility of the 35th Division, the 37th Division,
6 for example, but I did not have to know the area of responsibility of
7 their subordinate units.
8 Q. Did you know that information, whether you had to know it or not?
9 Did you know it in 1995?
10 A. No. I didn't have that information.
11 Q. Let's go back now, sir, to the period 1992, when you were the
12 chief of the Travnik Territorial Defence Staff. I'm particularly
13 interested in some of the testimony that you gave both this week and also
14 in the Hadzihasanovic trial concerning the Patriotic League, so I'd like
15 you to focus your attention on the Patriotic League for a moment.
16 You told us two days ago that the Territorial Defence was not
17 accepted by the Patriotic League. Do you remember saying that?
18 A. Yes, precisely.
19 Q. Because I believe you also told us - and this is reflected on page
20 7003, lines 17 to 22 of yesterday's transcript - that the Patriotic League
21 was on the right flank of units within your AOR in Gluha Bukovica. Do you
22 remember that?
23 A. Yes, I do. I do, I do.
24 Q. So, in 1992, within the area of responsibility of the Travnik
25 Territorial Defence Staff, the Patriotic League was on the front lines to
1 the right-hand side of your units, but within your AOR?
2 A. That was the Patriotic League that came from Zenica. That was the
3 314th Brigade, with the Commander Midhat Puric. He and his Patriotic
4 League unit was in that sector of the front, but not constantly, only from
5 time to time.
6 Q. Now, can you tell us what the relationship was? Because your
7 answer spoke about both the Patriotic League and the 314th Brigade. Was
8 the 314th Brigade formed out of the Patriotic League?
9 A. You could say that it was -- well, it was a unit that was in
10 Zenica, and the smaller units of the Patriotic League joined together to
11 form it.
12 Q. And can you tell us, sir, in 1992, when the Patriotic League was
13 on the right wing or right flank of units within your AOR, what the
14 Patriotic League was doing?
15 A. Just like all the other units, it was executing combat assignments
16 in that part. It's a small section of the front that the Patriotic League
17 held. It had 40 or 50 people, and it couldn't really hold any particular
18 positions. It was a very small section, but I have to say that it was not
19 logistically connected to my TO Staff. I did not provide weapons to them.
20 They simply came and carried out combat tasks, held defence positions,
21 without my logistical support.
22 Q. And when you say they carried out combat tasks and held defence
23 positions, the armed force that they were engaging in combat against or
24 holding defence positions against was the VRS?
25 A. They just held the lines of defence. They didn't participate in
1 active combat. But that is correct, they were facing the lines of the
2 Army of Republika Srpska on their lines.
3 Q. Which was the same army that you were defending against with the
4 Territorial Staff of Travnik?
5 A. That is correct, yes.
6 Q. Now, let me ask you this, because you've mentioned logistics, with
7 respect to the Patriotic League: Where was the Patriotic League getting
8 its logistical support from?
9 A. I really don't know. They did not depend, in the logistical
10 sense, on my units or on my staff.
11 Q. Mr. Ribo, you are aware, however, that the Patriotic League was
12 receiving financial support from outside Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. To an extent, yes.
14 Q. Do you remember, sir, testifying about the Patriotic League
15 receiving 40.000 German marks from Turkish journalists?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And you were actually called or summoned to be a witness to this
18 transaction, were you not?
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 Q. When was that, approximately?
21 A. This was maybe in August 1992.
22 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the circumstances surrounding
23 that, your recollection of what happened, concerning this financial
25 A. The Patriotic League commander of this small unit asked me to be
1 there as a witness when the journalists handed this money to him. I
2 agreed simply to be a witness, and I know that Midhat Puric did receive
3 this money. He was the commander of the unit. And I know that
4 definitely, because I saw that man after that, that he was captured when
5 he still had the 40.000 marks on him, by the HVO. He was at the Novi
6 Travnik camp called "Kaci," and this money was confiscated from him.
7 Q. And just so we're clear, when you talk about this person being
8 captured with the 40.000 marks at Kaci, you're referring to Midhat Puric?
9 A. Yes, that is correct, I am thinking of him.
10 Q. Let's turn now, Mr. Ribo, to --
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, we didn't quite finish the story
12 of the relations between the Patriotic League and the 314th Brigade. I
13 think the witness said that smaller units of the Patriotic League somehow
14 broke away from that league and joined in or formed the 314th Brigade.
15 Now, this may be of some significance, and I'd like you to elicit from the
16 witness a little bit of information about what happened, and particularly
17 if the Patriotic League continued to exist after the formation of the
18 314th Brigade.
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Mr. Ribo, let me ask you this: For how long did the Patriotic
21 League exist as a military formation or with military capabilities?
22 A. I think that it existed up until the forming of the Army of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, I think up to June or July. At least in my Travnik area,
24 the Patriotic League disbanded in that period.
25 Q. And, sir, when you say "June or July," what year are you referring
2 A. 1992.
3 Q. And I take it, then, you told us Midhat Puric, who had been the
4 commander of the Patriotic League forces, became the commander of the
5 314th Mountain Brigade of the 3rd Corps.
6 A. No, no, no. He was not the commander of the 314th. He did not
7 join the 314th. Midhat Puric did not join the 314th. After the brigade
8 was formed, he personally did not become a member of the 314th Brigade.
9 Q. Do you know, sir, what position, if any, Midhat Puric held after
10 the Patriotic League was disbanded?
11 A. I don't know. I really don't know what his function was or in
12 which unit he was.
13 Q. Do you remember seeing Midhat Puric after the Patriotic League was
15 A. No. I didn't see Midhat Puric.
16 Q. And the Patriotic League forces that you've been talking about,
17 what geographic area were they operating in?
18 A. If you're thinking about the Travnik Municipality, I've already
19 said that this was in the Gluha Bukovica sector, which is an area called
21 Q. And after the 314th Mountain Brigade was formed, what geographic
22 area was it responsible for?
23 A. I really cannot say where the 314th Brigade was located. I know
24 it was a manoeuvre unit. It was not in the area of Zenica. There was no
25 aggressor in Zenica. So it was engaged on different assignments within
1 the 3rd Corps area of responsibility, but I don't know the locations that
2 it actually was in.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, I think we've taken that about as far
4 as we can, and I'll move on to another topic.
5 Q. Mr. Ribo, I'd now like to turn your attention to the Muslim Forces
6 or the Muslimanske Snage.
7 A few days ago, you were shown a document.
8 MR. MUNDIS: This is Exhibit 103. Perhaps we can pull that up for
9 the benefit of the witness.
10 Q. Mr. Ribo, do you see this document on the screen in front of you?
11 A. Yes. I don't see the whole document, but I see the heading on the
12 first page.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if we can just zoom out so the witness can
14 see the entire first page.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, you were asked some questions about this document
16 two days ago. Do you remember that?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And you were asked a question by my learned colleague,
19 Mrs. Vidovic, and this is reflected on page 6997, lines 7 through 9:
20 "Can you tell us whether this document ever reached your TO
22 And your answer was: "No, never."
23 And my first question to you, Mr. Ribo, is: Do you remember
24 saying that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And are you absolutely sure that this document never reached your
2 TO Staff?
3 A. I'm quite sure I've never seen this document before.
4 Q. I ask you that, sir, because you were shown the same document in
5 the Hadzihasanovic and Kubura trial. Do you remember that?
6 A. No, I don't remember.
7 Q. Well, again, on the 28th of October, 2004, the transcript in that
8 case, page 10865, Judge Swart, one of the Judges in that trial, asked you
9 about this document, and he said to you: "Did you ever receive the
11 And the transcript records the following answer:
12 "I may have. I'm not sure. There are many bodies within my
13 command. It could have been sent to one of those bodies. Those bodies
14 were independent. Logistics people could write certain instructions,
15 orders, et cetera. Even the chief of security could do that, especially
16 the officer in charge of personnel could draft such documents, affix
17 stamps, request certain data. So this list didn't necessarily pass
18 through my hands."
19 A. I have just said that I personally never saw this list. I'm not
20 familiar with it.
21 Q. Okay. But the question, sir, is whether -- the question that
22 Mrs. Vidovic asked was: "Can you tell us whether this document ever
23 reached your TO Staff?"
24 And you said: "No, never."
25 And so what I'm asking you, in light of what you've told us about
1 this document, concerns whether the document reached the TO Staff.
2 A. I really can't remember such a document passing through my hands
3 or reaching me. I don't know -- or rather, I can't see, from this list,
4 why it was requested, what the purpose of the list was. And even if it
5 was sought by one of the organs of my command, I really don't know what
6 they would do with such a list.
7 Q. I understand. I understand what you're saying, Mr. Ribo, but I
8 just -- what I'm trying to get from you, sir, is whether you are in a
9 position to categorically state that this document never reached the TO
10 Staff, or it's possible it reached the TO Staff but it didn't reach your
11 hands, personally.
12 A. In my view, whatever my Command sought in writing had to have my
13 signature; and whatever arrived in writing, I had to place my initials on
15 Q. Again, Mr. Ribo, it's clear from the document it makes no
16 reference that it's being sent in response to a request from the TO Staff.
17 The question is whether you're in a position to state categorically that
18 this document was never received by the TO Staff in Travnik.
19 A. I can state with certainty that it never reached my staff, because
20 I had daily briefings with my assistants. Had any of my assistants asked
21 this, he would have had to tell me why, what he was intending to do with
22 the list, and so on and so forth. This list means nothing.
23 When I was analysing the document, I saw that it differed
24 considerably from other documents that we had concerning the
25 Muslim Forces. I don't know why or what the contents of the list are. It
1 really is not clear to me at all.
2 Q. Can you explain to us, Mr. Ribo, in light of this answer, where
3 you state with certainty that it never reached your staff, can you explain
4 to us why, more than three years ago when Judge Swart showed you this
5 document and asked you, "Did you ever see the document," you answered, "I
6 may have. I'm not sure"?
7 A. I don't know, really. I don't remember the answer. You say that
8 that was my statement. I really don't remember.
9 Q. Do you remember, sir, at any point in time in 1992, when you were
10 serving as the chief of the Territorial Defence Staff in Travnik,
11 receiving any documents from the Muslimanske Snage, Travnik?
12 A. I don't. I really don't remember.
13 Q. Now, again, a few days ago, you testified that there were no
14 foreign fighters in the Muslim Forces. Do you remember saying that?
15 A. That's correct, that's what I said.
16 Q. You also told us, sir - and this is on 4 March, page 6997, lines
17 19 through 22 of the transcript - that you know Mr. Makteuf, who's listed
18 as number 2 on this document?
19 A. I'm familiar with the name of the individual mentioned under
20 number 2 on this list.
21 Q. How do you know Mr. Makteuf or how are you familiar with his name?
22 A. Because my people at the Staff -- or rather, sometime on the 25th
23 of February, I arrived in Travnik after having been away from Travnik for
24 a long time. My colleagues from the Staff were aware of this individual,
25 Makteuf; and when I asked about him, they told me that he had lived in
1 Travnik some ten to 15 years before the war as a citizen of
3 Q. You also, two days ago when asked about this, mentioned that
4 Mr. Makteuf lived in Travnik as a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I
5 highlight that, sir, because Mr. Makteuf is an Iraqi who acquired Bosnian
6 citizenship. Isn't that right?
7 A. I have no idea, really.
8 Q. Why do you -- why have you, on two separate occasions, then,
9 indicated or stressed that he was a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. Because my men from the Staff told me, when I asked them about
11 this individual after having testified in Hadzihasanovic and Kubara, that
12 this was an individual who had lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina for a long
13 time, some 15 years in Travnik, and that he was a Bosnian citizen.
14 Q. Have you ever met Mr. Makteuf?
15 A. No, never. I never got to know him.
16 Q. Two days ago, you were also shown a video, which is Exhibit 55,
17 and you made some comments about this video. And perhaps, out of an
18 abundance of caution and to refresh your memory, we should take a quick
19 look at this video once again.
20 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that we now play Exhibit 55.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. MUNDIS:
23 Q. Mr. Ribo, do you remember seeing this videotape?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what this videotape depicts?
1 A. I see that the two individuals are holding a speech. I suppose
2 that this is Plava Voda or the area below the Medresa, since you can see
3 the cemetery in the background.
4 Q. When you say Plava Voda or the area below the Medresa, this is
6 A. Yes, yes, that's correct, Travnik.
7 Q. And on the 4th of March, just two days ago, at page 6993, lines 16
8 through 21, in response to a question concerning this tape, you answered:
9 "I think that this was the celebration or the ceremony, the formal
10 ceremony of the formation of this force, the Muslim Armed Forces, and it
11 is the oath-swearing ceremony."
12 Is that correct?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. This person holding the megaphone that you see on your screen
15 immediately in front of you, which is at 12.24 on Exhibit 55, that's Abdul
16 Aziz, is it not?
17 A. I don't know that individual. I've never seen him before.
18 Q. Do you know where this person is from, Abdul Aziz?
19 A. Believe me, I don't know.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The witness
22 said that he didn't know the individual or that he had heard -- that he
23 hadn't heard of him.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
25 MR. MUNDIS: He said, "I don't know the individual. I never seen
1 him before." That doesn't preclude him knowing something about him from
2 another source. But the question's been answered, anyway, and I'll move
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 MR. MUNDIS: We'll turn now to a different subtopic concerning the
6 Muslim Forces, Mr. Ribo.
7 Q. Can you recall who the first commander of the Muslim Forces was?
8 A. As far as I know, it was Asim Koricic.
9 Q. And after the 3rd Corps was established and its brigades were
10 formed, Asim Koricic became the commander of the 7th Muslim Mountain
11 Brigade; isn't that right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And Mr. Koricic was later replaced as the 7th Muslim Mountain
14 Brigade commander by his deputy Amir Kubura; is that right?
15 A. I assumed that that was the case, but I don't know what the
16 personnel developments were. There were several commanders of the 7th
17 Muslim Brigade.
18 Q. Well, after Amir Kubura, the commander of the 7th Muslim Mountain
19 Brigade, was Halil Brzina; is that right?
20 A. No, no. Halil Brzina became the commander toward the end of the
21 war, I mean the commander of the brigade. His predecessor, as far as I
22 remember, was Patkovic --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name well.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreter didn't hear the name--
25 MR. MUNDIS: We're getting there, Mr. President.
1 Q. After Amir Kubura, the commander of the 7th Muslim Mountain
2 Brigade was Serif Patkovic?
3 A. As far as I remember, yes, I believe it was Patkovic.
4 Q. And after Serif Patkovic, the commander of the 7th Muslim Mountain
5 Brigade was Halil Brzina?
6 A. That's correct, because I know for a fact that Patkovic, as the
7 commander of the 7th, had been sent for medical treatment in Germany from
8 the positions in Zenica, and Brzina was appointed in his stead.
9 Q. And after the 3rd Corps was established and its brigades were
10 formed, many of the soldiers who had been with the Travnik Muslimanske
11 Snage were added to the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade?
12 A. Not all of them, of course. As far as I know, some of them became
13 members -- became members of the 1st Battalion of the 7th. The others
14 became members of the 306th, 312th, 325th, 308th, 317th. For the most
15 part, they joined the units from the areas where they actually originally
16 came from, where they hailed from.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ribo, the question was "many of the soldiers,"
18 not "all of the soldiers," "many of the soldiers who joined the Travnik
19 Muslimanske Snage were added to the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
20 Mountain Brigade." Would you agree or disagree with the characterization
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I believe that most of
23 them became members of the 1st Battalion.
24 MR. MUNDIS:
25 Q. Just so we're clear, then, most of the members of the Travnik
1 Muslimanske Snage became members of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
2 Mountain Brigade after that brigade was established?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade, after it
5 was established, was based in Travnik?
6 A. I can't remember the area of deployment of the 7th Muslim, most
7 probably because I wasn't in Travnik at the time when the 7th Muslim
8 Brigade was set up. I really don't know their areas of deployment or
9 where they were stationed.
10 MR. MUNDIS: I would -- perhaps if we can get Exhibit 1127 ready
11 to play.
12 Q. I want to just go back now for one brief second, sir, to Mr. Puric
13 that we've talked about earlier this morning.
14 I'm going to show you Exhibit 1127, and I'm going to ask you if
15 you see Mr. Puric on this videotape. And if you do, tell us to stop and
16 we'll stop the videotape.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: Stop.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Stop.
20 MR. MUNDIS:
21 Q. Can you tell us, sir, if you see Mr. Puric?
22 A. Could we rewind the footage a bit? It seems to me that the
23 bearded individual is Midhat Puric.
24 Q. And that is, sir, the person wearing what appears to be a blue
25 beret; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we do have some still captures from
3 this videotape. Perhaps if I can distribute these and I just have the
4 witness identify the person he's identified as Mr. Puric. Then we'd ask
5 that that be admitted as a court exhibit, please.
6 Q. If you could please just hold on a minute, Mr. Ribo, while these
7 are being distributed.
8 MR. MUNDIS: One there, and if the usher could assist with putting
9 that photo on the ELMO, please.
10 Now, if the witness could be handed just a marker.
11 Q. I would ask you, sir, on the hard copy, not on the computer
12 screen, on the hard copy, if you could please circle the person that
13 you've identified as Midhat Puric.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And if you could then just write on there, please, "Puric."
16 A. [Marks]
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: And I suggest you add "Midhat" as well.
18 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
19 MR. MUNDIS: We'd ask that that be admitted into evidence, Your
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The still photograph is admitted into evidence.
22 May it please be given an exhibit number. What did it come as, a still
23 photograph of Mr. Puric?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will become Exhibit
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 MR. MUNDIS: If we could now have Exhibit 92. That document can
3 be removed, Mr. Usher. Thank you.
4 If we could have Exhibit 92 pulled up, please, and specifically
5 page 11 of Exhibit 92.
6 That's fine. I also have a hard copy of this page which may be of
7 assistance to the witness.
8 Q. Sir, do you recognise any of the persons on this photograph that's
9 on the screen in front of you?
10 A. I recognise Nusret Avdibegovic, the Travnik Mufti, and I recognise
11 Sakib Mahmuljin, the commander of the 3rd Corps.
12 MR. MUNDIS: And, again, if perhaps the usher could assist with
13 then pen and placing this on the ELMO.
14 Q. Could you please, sir, write or draw an arrow to the person you've
15 identified as Nusret Avdibegovic and write his name in the white margin on
16 the outside of the photo?
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And he's the Travnik Mufti; is that correct? You don't need to
19 write that, Mr. Ribo.
20 And Sakib Mahmuljin, can you do the same thing, write his name on
21 the right?
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, the person between the mufti and General Mahmuljin,
24 do you know who that is, the person in the military uniform with the
1 A. I don't.
2 Q. I'd like you to look at the person very closely, the person behind
3 General Mahmuljin and the person that you don't know the identity of, the
4 person in the -- with the beard and the uniform. Do you see the man in a
5 light-coloured shirt who also has a beard, sitting to the right behind
6 General Mahmuljin?
7 A. I see him.
8 Q. Who is that person?
9 A. I don't know, I really don't.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you very much.
11 We would ask that this document be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Isn't that Exhibit 92, page 11?
13 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, it is, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You want this page to be admitted?
15 MR. MUNDIS: This page with the markings.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: This page of Exhibit 92 is entered into evidence.
17 May it please be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit 1192.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 MR. MUNDIS:
21 Q. Mr. Ribo, yesterday or the day before, you mentioned the name of
22 Adil Lozo. Do you know that person?
23 A. Yes. In fact, I believe that the person in the light-coloured
24 shirt is Adil Lozo, but I couldn't see his forehead. There's an obstacle
25 in the way.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Is it possible to have that photo returned to the
3 Perhaps if we could put it back on the ELMO.
4 Q. Is that person, sir, sitting behind Mr. Mahmuljin, in the
5 light-coloured shirt with the trimmed beard, Adil Lozo?
6 A. His forehead is obscured. The person does look like him very
7 much, but I can't say for a fact that it is him, for not seeing the upper
8 part of his head.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Okay. Your Honours, I am aware that this document's
10 already been admitted, and I don't believe we should make any further
11 markings on it; but for the record, I believe it's clear enough, what the
12 witness has just testified about.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis. You may proceed.
14 MR. MUNDIS:
15 Q. Now, you told us, I believe it was two days ago, that Mr. Lozo was
16 an attorney and that he was --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- and that he was involved with the Patriotic League. Is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What was his function in the Patriotic League?
22 A. I can't claim with certainty that he was connected with the
23 Patriotic League, but he socialised with Aganovic, who was the commander
24 of the Sector Staff of the Patriotic League in Mehurici.
25 Q. When you tell us "Aganovic," can you tell us the first name of
1 this person Aganovic that you just mentioned?
2 A. I was mentioning Aganovic yesterday, and today I can't recall his
3 first name. Zihnija Aganovic.
4 Q. Zihnija Aganovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you very much. That exhibit can be withdrawn.
7 I ask that we now pull up P01314, P01314.
8 Q. And while that's coming up, Mr. Ribo, do you recall or can you
9 tell us what position you held in June 1993?
10 A. The commander of the 301st Mechanised Brigade.
11 Q. In the period of June 1993, would it be fair to say that there
12 were periodic meetings at the 3rd Corps Command, which was at that point
13 in time commanded by General Enver Hadzihasanovic?
14 A. Yes, it would be fair to say that.
15 Q. And at this periodic meetings, was it the normal routine that the
16 various brigade commanders would report on what was happening in their
17 AORs or with respect to the combat taskings or combat situation in their
19 A. Yes. If they were briefings, then the commanders briefed the
20 corps commander on these matters, but it was quite possible that other
21 matters were discussed, in addition to the briefings.
22 Q. Can you just perhaps explain to us a little bit about how these
23 briefings went? I mean, was it the situation where General Hadzihasanovic
24 would simply go around the room and each brigade commander would give a
25 brief oral report or an update; is that how these worked?
1 A. As a rule, that's the way it went, yes.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps if the English version of this document could
3 be scrolled to the very bottom.
4 Q. Mr. Ribo, I draw your attention to the document that you see on
5 the screen on the left-hand side. This is a page, sir, from the 3rd Corps
6 war diary of 23 June 1993, concerning a meeting at Biljesevo. Do you see
8 A. Yes, I see it, but I don't see that it's a war diary.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Well, I do have the original here, and if I can just
10 have one moment. I would ask, perhaps with the assistance of the usher,
11 that this be shown to the witness.
12 Q. Sir, if you're looking for the actual page on the screen, you'll
13 note that stamped on the top of each page is an eight-digit number. Do
14 you see those numbers that have been stamped?
15 A. Yes, I see it.
16 Q. Just so you understand, those numbers are put on documents by the
17 Evidence Unit here at the Tribunal. Those are not stamp numbers that
18 would have been put on by the 3rd Corps.
19 If you go, sir, to the page that's stamped -- the last four digits
20 are stamped "4198," that will take you to the pages that we have on the
21 screen in front of us. "4198" stamped on the top.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: While you're paging, Mr. Ribo, are you satisfied
23 that that is the war diary?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a book, so it's a PTT post
25 office book and it's not paginated, so it's a little bit strange.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Does it appear to be the war diary of the 3rd Corps?
3 A. I cannot confirm that it's a 3rd Corps war diary. There's no
4 stamp, it's not certified, it's not paginated. It's not the usual book
5 that we would use for the war diaries, so I really don't know. I would
6 have difficulty in asserting that this was a war diary.
7 Q. Let me -- let me ask you a couple of additional questions, then,
8 because we've seen several other war diaries.
9 When you say, "It's not the usual book that we would use for the
10 war diaries," what does the usual book that you would use for the war
11 diaries look like?
12 A. The columns are different, the ones that are printed at the top of
13 the page. The actual columns are not the same. This is a book with
14 columns used by a post office, where you enter records of post sent out.
15 It looks more like some sort of a court register or book.
16 Q. Okay. Well, yesterday you looked at two other diaries or books. I
17 have here, for example, Exhibit 394, which is a pink notebook. Is this
18 what a usual war diary would look like?
19 A. The columns are very important and the name put in the column, and
20 here they are quite different.
21 Q. And, similarly, Exhibit 511, which I'm holding up and you looked
22 at yesterday, is this a usual war diary book, this notebook?
23 A. Yes. Well, judging by the war diaries that were maintained by my
24 department, that is correct. You can see that the columns required are
1 Q. And these two exhibits, 394 and 511 again that I'm holding up,
2 where did you go to get these? Were these issued by the army?
3 A. No. We would just buy the notebooks on the market, and you can
4 see that the columns were entered by hand. They were not printed. They
5 were just purchased in the shops, and then we would actually format the
7 Q. And isn't it true, Mr. Ribo, that during the war, and particularly
8 in the summer of 1993, that you were forced to get these books wherever
9 you could get them, the blank books?
10 A. Yes. There were places in companies where we could find
11 notebooks. It wasn't a problem, as far as notebooks and paper are
12 concerned. Really, it wasn't a problem.
13 Q. But what I'm saying is there wasn't a standard distribution system
14 set up for blank war diaries or notebooks. You were simply getting them
15 wherever you could find them.
16 A. That is correct, yes.
17 Q. And this book that you have in front of you, you told us, you
18 think comes from the post office, based on the printed headings on each of
19 the top of the pages?
20 A. [No verbal response]
21 Q. Okay. Well, let's turn to this --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Ribo. When you nod, we can see that you
23 are agreeing, but unfortunately the transcript doesn't show that you have
24 nodded. So if you could please say something to say whether you're
25 agreeing with what is being said or disagreeing with it, then it gets
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree. I agree with what the
3 Prosecutor said.
4 MR. MUNDIS:
5 Q. Let's turn, then, to this page 4198; and if it would be easier for
6 you in the hard copy, sir, by all means look at that. But, otherwise, it
7 is visible on the computer screen, page 4198.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: While Mr. Mundis is looking at his pages, Mr. Ribo,
9 can I ask you a question? Is it fair to say that at page 4198, the
10 handwritten entries are made not according to the columns printed on that
11 book? The entries are just in manuscript, going across the entire page,
12 so that, in fact --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That is correct, yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. MUNDIS:
16 Q. Do you see, sir, at the top of the page - and, again, this is the
17 very bottom of the page in the English translation - but at the top of the
18 page in the original, it indicates that it's referring to a meeting
19 between the officers of the 3rd Corps, Biljesevo, 23 June 1993, and then a
20 list of attendees? Is that what this document indicates, sir?
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Mundis, to me the two pages we have on the
22 screen do not look the same, and I wonder if there is some sort of a
23 discrepancy between the English and the --
24 MR. MUNDIS: The English translation, Your Honour, simply runs
25 from the entire document. What we have here, as a proposed exhibit, is an
1 excerpt from the diary. So if the witness were to turn to the preceding
2 page, in the original you would see the information that's contained at
3 the top of the page on the English translation.
4 Is that clear, Your Honours?
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, yes. Thank you. Sorry.
6 MR. MUNDIS:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, let me return to the question. Based on what's
8 written in this document, this page purports to reflect a meeting between
9 the officers of the 3rd Corps, on 23 June 1993, in Biljesevo, and contains
10 a list of persons attending that meeting; is that correct?
11 A. I can see that that is written there, but I don't know if it's
13 Q. Well, your name appears on that list, does it not?
14 A. My name does appear, but I was not at this meeting. I've never
15 been to Biljesevo, ever.
16 Q. Well, okay. Are you absolutely sure about that?
17 A. I'm 100 per cent sure. Perhaps it was my chief of staff of the
18 brigade that was present, because I was really not there. I have never --
19 I've never been to Biljesevo.
20 Q. Could you then turn, sir, to the page, again looking at the
21 stamped numbers, 4204, 4204.
22 MR MUNDIS: And in the English, this would be page 5. It's about
23 the top third in the English. It's right in the middle in the Bosnian.
24 Q. Do you see, sir, the entry: "301 Mechanised Brigade-Ribo, Haso"?
25 A. I see it, yes.
1 Q. Because this document would purport to indicate or to specify what
2 you were reporting at this meeting in Biljesevo; a reference to a field
3 gun, references to Maglaj, Tarcin, problems with ammunition, and an
4 indication that: "We have no other problems."
5 A. Again, I'm saying that in 1993, I was never in Biljesevo; and, I
6 don't know, it's possible that my chief of staff was there, but I don't
7 recall actually sending my chief of staff to a briefing like this, really.
8 I only heard of Biljesevo when I became the chief of the department for
9 planning of combat operations when a training centre was located there.
10 But I've never heard of it before and I've never been there, so I really
11 don't know what location -- where this meeting was held.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's just get clarity.
13 Earlier, you said you've never been to Biljesevo, ever. Now
14 you're saying in 1993. Which is the correct position?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, the year to which this
16 document refers that I have in front of you, in 1993 I never was in
17 Biljesevo. I'd never been to Biljesevo before as a civilian, as a
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you have been in Biljesevo at some other time
20 outside 1993 in your life?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, that is correct. I
22 did go to Biljesevo after 1993. In 1995, I was there, I went there.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you're chief of staff attended the meeting,
24 would he mention your name as present or would he mention himself as
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know if anyone from
2 my brigade actually attended this meeting. I really don't recall.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the practice, to your knowledge, where
4 somebody went on behalf of another person? Would he then say the other
5 person whom he represents is attending the meeting or would he say he or
6 she, himself, is attending the meeting?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know what the
8 practice was. It's possible that this record was not taken by experienced
9 officers and they don't know all the senior officers, but I really did not
10 attend this meeting.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're speculating now.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not speculating. It's just that
13 I was not at that meeting.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness
16 specifically is saying, "I was not present at that meeting"; and with the
17 greatest possible respect and consideration, I don't see how that could be
19 And another thing, Your Honours, since I'm already on my feet. I
20 just would like to draw attention that -- to the fact that my learned
21 colleague, the Prosecutor, is saying or is suggesting that Mr. Ribo spoke
22 or said something there. Can we please read exactly what is written here,
23 and are there any indications at all that Mr. Ribo said anything or does
24 it actually say something else here?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will do that in due course. Let me just respond
1 to what you said about me.
2 I am not, by any means, disputing what Mr. Ribo is saying, that he
3 was not there, but I don't know how you can deny that it is speculation to
4 suggest or for a person who was not present to suggest that maybe - he
5 actually says "maybe" - it was written by inexperienced people.
6 That's speculation, isn't that?
7 Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, I note the time. Is this not when we
9 normally have our first break?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. Thank you very much.
11 We'll take a break and come back at quarter after 11.00. Quarter
12 to 11.00.
13 Court adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS:
18 Q. Mr. Ribo, earlier this morning, before I showed you this diary or
19 this book, I asked you a series of questions about the normal routine that
20 was undertaken at corps -- these periodic corps meetings. Do you remember
21 me asking you about that, sir?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. And the normal procedure was that the corps commander would chair
24 the meeting, the brigade commanders would report about what was going on
25 in their area of responsibility and highlight any problems that they might
1 have encountered; isn't that right?
2 A. That is correct, but not all the commanders were always present,
3 as a rule.
4 Q. That's clear. Now, just so that we're absolutely certain about
5 one thing here, in the 301st Mechanised Brigade, the brigade that you
6 commanded in 1993, or at least the middle of 1993, you were the only
7 person named "Haso Ribo" in that brigade?
8 A. That is correct, yes.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Now, if we could please - and, again, I still have
10 the original, if we'd like to look at that - but I would ask if we could
11 go back to the preceding page in both the Bosnian and the English on the
12 screen. And if the witness would like to see the book, we can do that as
14 Q. Would you prefer to see this version, sir, or would you like to
15 look at it on the screen?
16 MR. MUNDIS: And for the record, we're looking now at the Bosnian
17 page bearing ERN number 0181 -- no. I need to go back to the page
18 immediately before the last one. It should end in "41" -- or "4203."
19 0181-4203. Then immediately -- yeah. Then if we can go to the bottom on
20 the English. Thank you.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, if you look at this page bearing the number "4203"
22 at the top, halfway down there's a reference to: "7th Muslim Mountain
23 Brigade, NS," or chief of staff, "Kubura." Do you see that, sir?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. I would ask you if you could please read that entry to yourself,
1 continuing on to the top of the following page?
2 MR. MUNDIS: And, similarly, this goes on to the following page in
3 English, once everyone's had a chance to read it.
4 If we could please go to the next page in English and in Bosnian.
5 Q. Have you finished reading this, Mr. Ribo?
6 A. Yes, I have.
7 Q. Now, I know, sir, that you've already told us that, in 1993, you
8 were never in Biljesevo. My question to you is: In light of the fact
9 that it might be possible that this meeting did not occur in Biljesevo,
10 were you present at this meeting where Mr. Kubura discussed foreign
11 nationals and apparently spoke about continuing to hire them because they
12 receive ammunition?
13 A. No, no, I wasn't. I wasn't there.
14 Q. Were you ever present, sir, in the first half of 1993, at meetings
15 of the 3rd Corps where the -- where there was a discussion about sending
16 foreigners to Mount Igman if they refused to participate in combat
18 A. I don't know anything about that, really. I really don't know
19 anything about it.
20 Q. Do you remember, sir, again in the first six months of 1993,
21 discussions at the 3rd Corps concerning foreign fighters, persons from
22 Asian or African countries?
23 A. I don't recall that, no. I was not a participant in such a
24 discussion, no.
25 Q. Do you remember at any point in time, sir, discussing the issue of
1 Asian or African foreign fighters with any of the leadership of the
2 3rd Corps, such as the commander, Enver Hadzihasanovic, or the chief of
3 staff, Dzemal Merdan, in the first six months of 1993?
4 A. I don't remember attending a meeting like that; definitely not.
5 Q. Whether it was a meeting or one-on-one discussions with Commander
6 Hadzihasanovic or his deputy, Dzemal Merdan, did you ever discuss this
7 issue of foreign fighters in the first six months of 1993?
8 A. No. I was a brigade commander, and my command post was at least
9 two kilometres away from the Corps Command, so I couldn't know what they
10 were talking about on that matter. At briefings and official meetings
11 that I took part in, and I did take part in them from time to time, the
12 matter of foreign fighters was not discussed.
13 Q. And when you say, sir, "my command post was at least two
14 kilometres away from the Corps Command," can you tell us where your
15 command post was when you were the 301st Mechanised Brigade commander?
16 A. My command post was in the building of the Chamber of Commerce
17 across the street from the printworks in the town of Zenica.
18 Q. Now, we were talking about, or I was asking you about, any
19 discussions in the first six months of 1993 concerning foreign fighters.
20 Did you have any discussions, or were you at any meetings, or do you
21 recall any time when the topic of Asian or African foreign fighters were
22 discussed in months of July and August 1993?
23 A. I did not attend such discussions, no.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we'd ask that this document, PT01314,
25 be marked for identification.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Sorry. No, this is fine. I was a
3 bit too early.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it P01314 or is it PT?
5 MR. MUNDIS: Sorry, Your Honours. It's the same thing, but
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: P01314 is admitted as marked for identification.
8 May it please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit 1193,
10 marked for identification.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's just clarify, Mr. Mundis. Do you want these
13 two pages that you have referred to?
14 MR. MUNDIS: I believe it's about six pages in total,
15 Mr. President, from the first page. I think it's uploaded in e-court.
16 It's the first page which indicates the location and the persons present,
17 and then the two pages we've just looked at. It can either be those three
18 pages or the entire -- I think it's -- just those three pages, the first
19 page and then the two pages referred to.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Three pages in all.
21 MR. MUNDIS:
22 Q. Now, before we -- before we leave this document, Mr. Ribo, this
23 excerpt or this war diary, this document that you have in front of you,
24 have you ever seen that before today?
25 A. No. I've never seen it before.
1 Q. So before your testimony in this trial or before your testimony in
2 the Hadzihasanovic and Kubura trial, no one ever showed you this document
3 or these pages of this document before?
4 A. No, no.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Let's turn to -- I would ask the usher to return that
6 original document. Thank you very much.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, yesterday, you were asked a number of questions and
8 we talked a little bit about this Vlasic operation in the spring of 1995.
9 Do you remember talking about that, sir?
10 A. I do recall.
11 Q. I'm going to ask you a few questions about that operation and that
12 time period, the spring, early spring, March time period, in 1995. And
13 you told us that the El Mudjahedin Detachment was not prepared or ready to
14 take part in this Vlasic operation at that point in time; they needed
15 additional time; is that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Ribo, any of the specifics, the specific
18 reasons why the El Mudjahedin Detachment needed additional time?
19 A. I don't remember, other than that they were not ready, and they
20 reported this to the officer on duty. He informed me, and I informed the
21 corps commander, who was at Vlasic.
22 Q. Do you remember, sir, who the officer on duty at this time was?
23 A. I can't remember, really.
24 Q. Do you remember the date, or the approximate date, when you were
25 informed by the duty officer that he had received this report from the
1 El Mudjahedin Detachment?
2 A. It was in the month of March - I don't know the exact date -
3 between the 20th and the 30th of March.
4 Q. Do you recall, sir, or do you know, or did you know that the
5 El Mudjahedin Detachment had been operating in the Zavidovici area in
6 October/November 1994?
7 A. I don't remember. At the time, I was the chief of the armoured
8 mechanised units, and I couldn't know about the participation of all the
9 units, where they were deployed and what they were doing at all the
10 defence lines they were holding.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take a moment for the technical problems.
12 [Technical difficulties]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. Ribo, we had some technical problems. I'm going
15 to ask you that question again, and if you could please repeat the answer
16 so we have it on the transcript.
17 Q. Do you recall, sir, or do you know, or did you know that the
18 El Mudjahedin Detachment had been operating in the Zavidovici area in
19 October/November 1994?
20 A. I don't remember, because I was the chief of the armoured
21 mechanised units at the time and I didn't have to know the areas of the
22 units' deployment.
23 Q. Sir, when did you become the chief of operations and training for
24 the 3rd Corps, the approximate date, if you don't recall the exact date?
25 A. Roughly, toward the end of March 1995.
1 Q. So I take it, then, that when you received this report or this
2 information from the duty officer concerning the El Mudjahedin Detachment,
3 you told us that was between the 20th and 30th of March, would that have
4 been in the first few days that you took over this position?
5 A. In the first couple of days after I took up that position, I think
6 I got the decision on my appointment on the 31st of March.
7 Q. At that point in time, sir, when you became the chief or head of
8 the operations and training for the 3rd Corps, to what unit was the
9 El Mudjahedin Detachment subordinated to?
10 A. It was not subordinated to any unit.
11 Q. It reported directly to the 3rd Corps?
12 A. It was an independent unit.
13 Q. But it reported directly to the 3rd Corps commander?
14 A. It should have.
15 Q. This unit, the El Mudjahedin Detachment, during time periods when
16 it was directly subordinated to the 3rd Corps commander, was used as a
17 manoeuvre unit, was it not?
18 A. Well, I wouldn't really be able to call it a manoeuvre unit, since
19 it took part in a very small number of operations.
20 Q. But those operations it did take part in, it was used in a very
21 specialised function, wasn't it?
22 A. As an assault unit.
23 Q. Absolutely. It was used as a spearheading unit in some of the
24 most difficult operations undertaken by the 3rd Corps in 1995?
25 A. I said that it took part in assault activities. It was not
1 related to the defence lines. It didn't have a role to play there. It
2 took part in assault actions.
3 Q. Absolutely. The El Mudjahedin Detachment was not used as a static
4 unit along assigned parts of defence lines, but rather was used throughout
5 the 3rd Corps AOR in some of the most difficult assault assignments that
6 corps undertook in 1995; isn't that right?
7 A. We had several manoeuvre units which were also of high quality,
8 which is why they were given those assignments. The El Mujahid Detachment
9 took part in assault combat actions.
10 Q. And the El Mudjahedin Detachment was one of the high-quality
11 assault units of the 3rd Corps?
12 A. One couldn't put it that way.
13 Q. Well, you just said, "We had several manoeuvre units which were
14 also of high quality, which is why they were given those assignments. The
15 El Mujahid Detachment took part in assault combat actions."
16 My question to you is: The El Mudjahedin Detachment was one of
17 the high-quality assault units, and that's precisely why they were given
18 the taskings they were given?
19 A. From the military aspect, no, it was not of high quality, nor was
20 it particularly a well-trained unit. That's definitely not the case.
21 Q. Well, Mr. Ribo, on the 10th and 11th of September, you told us you
22 were at the forward command post of the 35th Division in Babylon
23 Restaurant; is that right?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. What task was the El Mudjahedin Detachment given on the 10th of
1 September, 1995?
2 A. As far as the Corps Command is concerned, it did not issue a
3 specific task to the El Mujahid Detachment. It issued a specific
4 assignment to the 35th Division.
5 Q. That wasn't my question, sir. My question was: What task was the
6 El Mudjahedin Detachment given, not which unit gave the El Mudjahedin
7 Detachment that tasking?
8 A. The El Mujahid Detachment was given its tasks by the commander of
9 the 35th Division, Hasanagic.
10 Q. Absolutely. I understand what you're saying, Mr. Ribo. My
11 question wasn't who gave them the task. My question is: What was the
12 task? What did Commander Hasanagic task the El Mudjahedin Detachment to
13 do on 10 September 1995?
14 A. To my recollection, the commander of the 35th Division set up
15 combined forces, including the El Mujahid Detachment, the 2nd or the 3rd
16 Manoeuvre Battalions - I can't remember now off the top of my head - and
17 as far as I know, they, the detachment, had the task to attack along the
18 axis of Opaljenik and Stog.
19 Q. And with respect to Paljenik, the El Mudjahedin Detachment was
20 highly successful in capturing the Paljenik feature in the early morning
21 of 10 September 1995?
22 A. I didn't hear the interpretation of the first part of your
24 Q. With respect to the Paljenik feature, the El Mudjahedin Detachment
25 was highly successful in capturing the Paljenik feature in the early
1 morning hours of 10 September 1995?
2 A. I stressed that those were combined forces, including two more
3 manoeuvre battalions, yes. The feature, Opaljenik Mount, was, indeed,
4 successfully captured that morning.
5 Q. I keep hearing in the translation "Opaljenik Mount." We're
6 talking about Paljenik, not Opaljenik.
7 A. Perhaps we're confusing these places. There are two different
8 topographical positions. There is Paljenik at Vlasic, and there is
9 Opaljenik at Zavidovici in the valley of Krivaja River.
10 Q. The feature that is in the immediate vicinity of the Restaurant
11 Babylon is which feature?
12 A. That is Opaljenik.
13 Q. Now, that feature was taken in the early morning hours of
14 10 September 1995 within a matter of minutes; is that correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And that operation was spearheaded by the El Mudjahedin
18 A. Yes. There were several units that were subordinated to it, the
19 2nd or the 3rd Manoeuvre Battalions and some other brigades from the 35th
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's just get clarity here. Mr. Ribo, the
22 translation of your answer says: "Yes. There were several units that
23 were subordinated to it ..."
24 Now, the "it" that is there, now which has been referred to
25 previously, is the El Mudjahedin Detachment. Are you suggesting that
1 several units were subordinated to the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this operation, yes. That's why
3 the commander called them "combined units," and then he said "the
4 Detachment of El Mujahid."
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 You may proceed, Mr. Mundis.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. And the 2nd or 3rd Manoeuvre Battalions that you indicated were
9 subordinated to the El Mudjahedin Detachment for this operation, to what
10 superior unit did the 2nd or 3rd Manoeuvre Battalion report to?
11 A. In this operation, it was the 35th Division. Under the normal
12 circumstances, they were subordinated to the corps commander. There were
13 five manoeuvre battalions, and all five of them were subordinated to the
14 commander of the 3rd Corps.
15 Q. And for this operation, the 3rd Corps commander resubordinated the
16 manoeuvre battalions, the 2nd and 3rd Manoeuvre Battalions, to the 35th
17 Division commander; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And with respect to the operation concerning Paljenik, it's your
20 testimony, sir, that the 35th Division commander then resubordinated the
21 2nd or 3rd Manoeuvre Battalion to the El Mudjahedin Detachment in order to
22 carry out the assault on Paljenik?
23 A. Precisely so.
24 Q. The Paljenik feature, Mr. Ribo, was that a difficult feature to
1 A. It is a peak overlooking the entire valley of the Krivaja River.
2 The 35th Division had tried on several occasions, let's say once or twice,
3 to capture the elevation, but failed. The peak was only liberated in the
4 Operation Farz.
5 Q. That peak, the Paljenik feature, the top of that does not have any
6 tree cover or any other type of brush cover, does it?
7 A. It does, it does.
8 Q. At the top?
9 A. Not at the very top, I don't think; but looking at it from the
10 foot of the peak all the way almost through to the end, there is
11 vegetation and there are also trees.
12 Q. Now, what else can you remember about the events that happened on
13 the 10th of September, 1995, other than this action?
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting. I'm a
15 bit lost. We were speaking of Paljenik or Opaljenik here just now?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We're discussing Opaljenik, in the
17 valley of the Krivaja River, which is from Zavidovici toward Vozuca.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] This is what I had understood;
19 but in the transcript, we read all the time "Paljenik."
20 MR. MUNDIS:
21 Q. Mr. Ribo, let's try to see if we can completely clear this up.
22 There's a feature on Mount Vlasic, and your testimony is that the feature
23 on Mount Vlasic is called "Paljenik"?
24 A. That's correct.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just so that we are very clear, that "Paljenik" is
1 spelled P-A-L-J-E-N-I-K?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: There's no "O" at the beginning of the word.
4 That's the "Paljenik" you're talking about?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's correct. Mr. Mundis.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. And this Paljenik that is a feature on Mount Vlasic is how far,
9 approximately, how far away from the Krivaja River and Zavidovici?
10 A. Perhaps 150 kilometres.
11 Q. And this operation that we've been talking about that was
12 spearheaded by the El Mudjahedin Detachment with the 2nd or 3rd Manoeuvre
13 Battalions was, according to your testimony, at the Opaljenik feature in
14 the Krivaja Valley near Zavidovici?
15 A. Correct, on the road from Zavidovici towards Vozuca.
16 Q. And it's, approximately, how far from the Babylon Restaurant,
17 where you were on that day, that served as the 35th Division forward
18 command post?
19 A. Roughly two kilometres.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, other than this operation to seize this feature
21 that you've told us is Opaljenik, what other operations do you recall that
22 took place on 10 September 1995?
23 A. Except for this operation and Operation Farz, as a whole, I am not
24 aware of there having been any other operation.
25 Q. And, again, just for a moment, putting aside this assault on
1 Opaljenik in the Krivaja Valley, what other part of Operation Farz do you
2 remember taking place on the 10th of September, 1995?
3 A. In the same area, toward Vozuca, from the direction of Kamenica,
4 the operation was carried out by the 1st Manoeuvre Battalion,
5 375th Liberation Brigade, 7th Chivalrous Muslim Brigade, the 5th Battalion
6 of the 303rd Brigade --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down, slow down.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Attacking from the north, from the
9 direction of Kamenica, the following operations were conducted by -- or
10 rather, the following units: 1st Manoeuvre Battalion, 375th Liberation
11 Brigade, 7th Chivalrous Muslim Liberation Brigade, 5th Battalion of the
12 303rd Brigade. These were the units attacking from the west, from the
13 direction of the Kamenica River, or rather, also the Kamenica settlement.
14 Now, the El Mudjahedin Detachment was attacking along the axis of
15 the attack of the 35th Division, which went upstream alongside the Krivaja
16 River toward Vozuca.
17 Q. And throughout that operation on the 10th of September, 1995,
18 involving all of these units that you've just been talking about, you were
19 at the forward command post of the 35th Division in Babylon Restaurant?
20 A. Correct. I was there, and two more associates of mine. The
21 assistant commander for moral guidance and a security officer were there
22 with me.
23 Q. And this assistant commander for moral guidance you've just
24 mentioned is Halim Husic; is that right?
25 A. Halim Husic, yes.
1 Q. Halim Husic was with you at that forward command post also from
2 the 3rd Corps?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And your job there was basically to monitor progress concerning
5 Operation Farz?
6 A. Precisely so, and to assist the subordinate commands where
8 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, do you remember, shortly after these events on
9 10 September 1995, speaking to a journalist by the name of Adnon Dzonlic?
10 A. I remember speaking to him. This journalist was a member of the
11 Information Service of the 3rd Corps.
12 Q. And his job was to write articles for newsletters and magazines of
13 the 3rd Corps; is that right?
14 A. Military magazines.
15 Q. Which were, in part, to serve as a historical record, but also to
16 build morale of the soldiers in the 3rd Corps?
17 A. I believe that the magazines were primarily published to provide
18 information to the units.
19 Q. And one of those publications is called "Prva Linija"?
20 A. Yes. But it wasn't a publication of the 3rd Corps. It is,
21 indeed, a military publication, but not of the 3rd Corps.
22 Q. Which military unit is responsible for Prva Linija?
23 A. I can't remember if it was the General Staff or the 1st Corps.
24 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness be shown the document
25 P02696, P02696.
1 Q. Mr. Ribo, do you see on the screen in front of you a copy of
2 "Prva Linija"?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. And do you see, sir, where, to the left-hand side under the
5 word "Linija," it says: "List Armija RBiH"?
6 A. I do, yes.
7 Q. And, Mr. Ribo, that would indicate that this is a magazine or a
8 publication of the Army of the RBiH?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And this copy of the magazine or journal is dated 1 October 1995.
11 Do you see that, sir?
12 A. I do.
13 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask if we could please go to the page bearing
14 ERN number 0469-6976, 0469-6976. And in English, this is page 9, I
15 believe. Let's start on page 6, actually, in the English, please, and
16 it's the bottom half of page 6 in English, the bottom. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Ribo, do you see this article: "The 'Chetnik Stalingrad'
18 Liberated," by Adnan Dzonlic?
19 A. I do see that, but I can't make out the rest. It's quite poor,
20 the copy.
21 Q. Have you ever seen this before, sir? Do you remember seeing this
22 perhaps when it was published?
23 A. I saw it at some point, but I can't remember when that was.
24 Q. All right. This is the journalist that you spoke to; is that
1 A. Yes. I did speak with him, but very briefly. Later, I can
2 clarify how it was.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Well, let's just start, if we could, if we could go,
5 please, to the right-hand column in the middle of the page in Bosnian, and
6 page 9 in the English translation, and about the middle of the page in the
7 English version on page 9.
8 Q. Do you see, sir, reference to -- or your name as a source for this
10 A. I do, yes.
11 Q. And it says: "We have learned about the final assault on the
12 Chetnik front lines around Vozuca in the conversation with Colonel
13 Hasim Riba"?
14 A. I see it, yes.
15 Q. And, Mr. Ribo, you were a source, were you not, for the
16 information that's contained in this article?
17 A. Mostly, but not in the verbal sense. A few sentences, I did say;
18 but for the rest, I gave him the document. I gave him the entire order
19 for the assault operation, and he copied from that. I didn't have time to
20 speak with him for long and to give him all the specifics.
21 Q. Okay. And --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ribo, do you confirm that "Colonel Hasim Riba"
23 written in this document refers to Haso Ribo, yourself? You confirm that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, yes, yes.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. And, Mr. Ribo, a few moments ago, you told us that you could
3 explain how this article was written, and I think you've just done that.
4 In effect, you spoke briefly to Mr. Dzonlic, and then you provided him
5 with the document or documents relating to this operation; is that right?
6 A. That is correct, because these are documents from the initial
7 phase of the operation; and because he was a member of the 3rd Corps
8 Command Information Service, I told him, "Here's the order. So you can
9 write on the basis of the order, this is the practical action of the units
10 in this action. So that is what you can do." So he did copy from the
11 order, and you can see, from the map, that it is actually a copy of the
12 orders that I actually issued to the units.
13 Q. And, of course, when you spoke to him, since this article is in a
14 magazine dated 1 October 1995, I assume, sir, that you spoke to him almost
15 immediately after this operation had been undertaken.
16 A. I can't remember the exact date when I spoke with him. I really
17 cannot remember, but I was with him very briefly. This initial part, if
18 you looked at the map yesterday that I was explaining, this is the initial
19 phase of the operation, and he's describing the initial phase of the
20 operation here, the entry into Vozuca, but not the further course of the
21 operation on Vozuca.
22 Q. But it would have been obviously sometime after the 10th of
23 September, 1995 and before the 1st of October, 1995, when you spoke to
24 this journalist?
25 A. Probably in that period from September 10th until the end of
1 October. Probably, this is the period.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we'd ask that P02696 be admitted into
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object to the
6 admission of this whole document into evidence since this document
7 actually contains two articles, one that begins on page ending with
8 numbers 6974, and the witness didn't even see that. He didn't have the
9 opportunity to look at it. The other is the article that has been shown
10 to the witness now, which begins on page 046969, and ends with the page --
11 ends on this page 96976.
12 So I object to material being admitted that the witness hadn't
13 even seen, and never mind commented upon. Otherwise, this is also an
14 exhibit with a large number of pages, as far as I can see, and it contains
15 a number of different articles.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Fair enough, Your Honours. We're simply tendering
18 those pages which are this very article. We'd ask that the cover page be
19 admitted and the three-page article that the witness has testified about.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Mundis, excuse me. It has escaped me what the
21 significance of this article is, other than the fact that the witness
22 spoke to the journalist, who then wrote the article.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Well, Your Honours, it would be our submission that
24 it's a contemporaneous account of what happened in an official army
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: But rather than asking the Judges then to read
2 the article, I think it would be more prudent to elicit this information
3 directly from the witness.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Well, I'm happy to do that, if you would prefer me to
5 do that. I'm basically going to read the article to him and put
6 questions, if you'd prefer me to --
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: If that's the way you want to proceed, I just
8 thought that you were going to put the article away now, without having --
9 MR. MUNDIS: I can certainly do that. We can go paragraph by
10 paragraph and I can put questions to him, or we could simply --
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please don't.
12 MR. MUNDIS: -- put the article in.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please don't. Proceed the way you had thought.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we would just tender the cover page and
15 the three pages that constitute this article, which are the ERN numbers --
16 the three-page article being 0469-6976 through 0469-6978, and the cover
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, let me just be clear that,
19 Judge Harhoff, are you withdrawing, sir, what you were asking Mr. Mundis
20 to do?
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes and no. What I want to know, when we are
22 finished with this article, is what the information is relating to the
23 actions of the El Mujahid Detachment.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. I still don't understand now, when you say
25 "Yes and no," Judge, because Mr. Mundis said, "I can certainly do that.
1 We can go paragraph by paragraph, and I can put questions to him," and you
2 said, "Please don't."
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. President, I withdraw my objection.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Judge.
5 Mr. Mundis, you say we admit pages 0469 to 6976 -- I beg your
6 pardon, 0469-6976 through to 0469-6978?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Plus the cover page.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Plus the cover page. Well, the cover page of this
9 magazine, together with pages 0469-6976 through to 0469-6978, are admitted
10 into evidence. May they please be given an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the following pages will become
12 Exhibit 1194.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, what was 1193, ma'am? Yes,
14 I know now what it was. Thank you very much.
15 MR. MUNDIS:
16 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, are you familiar with a journal or a magazine
17 called "The Patriotic List"?
18 A. Yes, yes, I am.
19 Q. What can you tell us about that publication?
20 A. I don't know. I'm not sure. Perhaps it's a wartime periodical of
21 the 3rd Corps to keep the members of the 3rd Corps informed. I'm not
23 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness be shown P02747. If we
24 could go to the page bearing ERN number 0093-0229 in the Bosnia, and I'll
25 give you the ERN number for the English, which is 0093-1503.
1 Q. Mr. Ribo, have you seen this article before?
2 A. No.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Could we please go to the page in Bosnian bearing
4 ERN number 0233, and in English bearing ERN number 1515.
5 Q. Do you see, sir, at the bottom of this, that this article is also
6 written by Mr. Adnan Dzonlic?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Can we now go, in the Bosnian version, to the page
9 bearing ERN number 0232, and the English version bearing ERN number 1507.
10 Now, if we could zoom in to the middle of the page in the Bosnian
11 version, please.
12 Q. Do you see, sir, to the left of the photograph, there is a
13 paragraph that refers to Colonel Ribo?
14 A. Yes, I see it.
15 Q. In English, it's towards the bottom. It's now being scrolled up.
16 It's the paragraph that begins: "We learned about the final strike ..."
17 Is that reference, sir, to you as again being the source for Adnan Dzonlic
18 in preparing this article?
19 A. Yes. From what I was able to notice earlier, it's the same
20 article as the same one earlier in the patriotic paper, and it has the
21 same order. It seems to me that it's almost an -- the identical text,
22 because the editor of this paper, Patriotski List, issued by the 3rd
23 Corps, was Spahija Kozlic, and his officer for information is this Adnan
24 Dzonlic. So he's the author of both articles, I believe.
25 Q. It's clear, sir, Adnan Dzonlic is the article of -- is the author
1 of both of these articles, but I would suggest to you that there are some
2 slight differences between the two articles.
3 A. It's possible. I didn't read the article.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Okay. If we could please, in the Bosnian version,
5 zoom back out a little bit and go to the top part of the middle column.
6 The English version is fine.
7 Q. Can you please take a look at this part that's now visible, sir,
8 on the screen. Sir, can you tell us, were you the source of that
9 information, or do you know what the source of that information is?
10 A. Perhaps we need to go back a little bit to the beginning, so I can
11 see what this is about. I think the units are listed, but I don't see the
12 whole thing.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Can we zoom out on that, perhaps go to the bottom of
14 the preceding column.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is all right. I see it now.
16 MR. MUNDIS:
17 MR. MUNDIS: And for this part, we need to go to page 1059 in the
18 English, and we're in the bottom half of that page.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, do you recall being the source of the information
20 contained in this part of the article?
21 A. Well, that same procedure was valid. I gave the combat documents
22 for the journalist to copy the engagement of the units. It was a written
23 document. I don't know what the journalist actually wrote. I didn't have
24 the opportunity to actually read this document.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Let me go to one more part of this article. In
2 Bosnian, it's page 0231; and in the English, it's 1507. And in the
3 Bosnian, it's the far-right column under the photo. And in the English,
4 we need to just go up a little bit to capture that paragraph.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, can you take a look at this part written at the top
6 of the Bosnian language version of this article.
7 A. I've looked at it.
8 Q. Can you comment, sir, or do you know anything about the reference
9 here to taking a number of Chetnik officers prisoners, in relation to this
10 operation at Paljenik?
11 A. I don't know. I know about the officers captured at a later stage
12 who were brought to the forward command post at Natron in Maglaj, but I
13 don't know anything about this.
14 Q. Okay. So I take it then, sir, that with respect to these captured
15 Chetnik prisoners, as reported in this 3rd Corps magazine, "Patriotic
16 List," you were not the source of that information.
17 A. What I have here begins the sentence about the actual -- "We
18 learned about the final strike on Chetnik lines around Vozuca from Colonel
19 Ribo, Haso," this is where my text actually begins.
20 Q. You also told us you provided journalist, Adnan Dzonlic, with some
21 documents or a document. Do you recall if the written material you gave
22 him made reference to Chetnik officers being captured by the El Mudjahedin
24 A. No, definitely not. I gave the journalist in question the combat
25 document that was entitled, "Order for Battle," where the use of the units
1 was precisely regulated, then he copied that, and then he used it
2 according to his methods as a writer, a journalist.
3 Q. When you say, sir, "his methods as a writer, as a journalist," do
4 you know if Mr. Dzonlic's methods would have included both speaking to
5 officers and also referring to or looking at or being provided with
6 official documents?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, we would ask that P02747 be admitted,
9 and I will specify again the page numbers just as they relate to this
10 article. In Bosnian, it's 0093-0229 through 0093-0233, and the
11 corresponding English translation runs from ERN range 0093-1503 through
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
14 Sorry. I guess I don't need to repeat those pages. They are
15 quite clear from the record. They're admitted into evidence. May they
16 please be given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This will become Exhibit number 1195, Your
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, yesterday, there was a lengthy bit of your
23 testimony that had to do with a tank. Do you remember that part of the
25 A. I do.
1 Q. And there were some questions about a document that seemed to say
2 that the tank was given to the 3rd Tank Company of the 3rd Corps, and you
3 told us that that was incorrect, that the El Mudjahedin Detachment kept
4 that tank. Do you remember that?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. And I believe you also told us - and this is reflected on pages
7 7036 and 7037 - that the tank wasn't given to the 3rd Tank Company, but
8 rather the 3rd Tank Company manned the tank, but the tank remained with
9 the El Mudjahedin Detachment. Is that correct?
10 A. That is correct. The 3rd Tank Company provided a crew to service
11 the tank because the El Mujahid Detachment did not permit the tank to
12 leave their zone. It was in their zone, the zone of the El Mujahid
14 Q. Now, I take it, Mr. Ribo, that the El Mudjahedin Detachment did
15 not have personnel who were qualified, or competent, for that matter, to
16 operate a tank.
17 A. No, no, it didn't. From what I knew, if they did have that, they
18 wouldn't request people from the 3rd Tank Company to operate the tank.
19 Q. Now, I believe this was a T-55 tank. Is that right?
20 A. Correct, correct.
21 Q. Do you remember, sir, if this was the only T-55 tank that the
22 El Mudjahedin Detachment captured in 1995, or were there other tanks?
23 A. Well, I don't recall, but I believe that it was only this tank.
24 According to my information, it was only this tank.
25 Q. And just as the El Mudjahedin Detachment didn't have personnel who
1 were qualified to operate the tank, they also lacked experienced personnel
2 who could service and maintain this tank; wouldn't that be correct?
3 A. Absolutely correct. They didn't have any specially-trained
4 personnel in order to be able to maintain and service that type of combat
6 Q. You're a former armoured officer; is that correct?
7 A. Correct, correct.
8 Q. So I'm sure you'd agree with me that servicing and maintaining a
9 T-55 tank, so that it's actually operational, is not something that the
10 average person on the street can do?
11 A. I agree.
12 Q. So, when this T-55 tank that the El Mudjahedin Detachment captured
13 required servicing or maintenance, they would require the support and
14 assistance of the 3rd Corps 3rd Tank Company; is that right?
15 A. It's not correct that it was the 3rd Tank Company; but as part of
16 the 3rd Corps Logistics, there was a section for the maintenance of tanks
17 in all units, in the 3rd Tank Company and also in the 37th Tank Company.
18 Q. Let me see if I can clear this up, and I think it will be an
19 appropriate time for the break. Let me just see if I understand this.
20 The 3rd Tank Company provided the crew to operate the tank while
21 it was with the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
22 A. Correct, correct, exactly.
23 Q. But it was the 3rd Corps Logistics Service that provided
24 maintenance and servicing for the tank, just like they did for the
25 3rd Tank Company and the 37th Tank Company of the 3rd Corps?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. I also assume, Mr. Ribo, that you don't buy ordnance for a T-55
3 tank on the streets in Zavidovici or Zenica.
4 A. I agree, you don't.
5 Q. So the 3rd Corps Logistics Department was also providing any
6 ordnance, ammunition, et cetera, that this T-55 tank required in order to
7 be fully operational?
8 A. They captured the tank, and it was full of ammunition. They did
9 have ammunition in the tank. It was completely fully stocked.
10 Q. That would seem to be quite a coup. Do you know if, during the
11 course of 1995, that tank required additional ammunition or ordnance?
12 A. I am not aware. I don't know that.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, this would be an appropriate time for
14 the break. I have just a couple of issues. I won't be much longer after
15 the break.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 We'll take a break and come back at half past 12.00.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Ribo, I just have a few more questions for you concerning just
24 a couple of topics.
25 The first one -- the first topic I want to go back to is this
1 issue of the logbooks or war diaries and how they were paginated and
2 certified. And I know you spoke about that over the last couple of days.
3 Let's just start with this process of paginating the books, paginating the
4 diaries or the logs. Let me see if I understand correctly how that works.
5 When you paginate the books, you do that before the logbooks are
6 actually filled in; is that right?
7 A. Correct. Before any entry is made in the diary, that has to be
8 dealt with. The pages have to be paginated, the appropriate writing must
9 be made at the end, then it must be also registered with a logbook, and
10 only then can you start writing entry into the book.
11 Q. So you get a blank notebook or logbook, it's completely blank,
12 Then you hand-number each of the pages from 1 to 95, however many pages
13 are in the book; is that right?
14 A. Correct, because it's governed by the rules of handling office
15 material, and we had to abide by it.
16 Q. Okay. And then after you've hand-paginated the book, at the end
17 of the book, on the last page, the back of the last page, you write a
18 declaration as to how many pages the book has, you signed it, and you put
19 a stamp on it?
20 A. Yes. On the last page of the notebook, you have to write down
21 that this notebook has such-and-such a number of pages. Then I have to
22 place my name, my rank and position, I have to sign it, and only then is
23 it entered into the logbook of operational notebooks.
24 Q. Okay. And then someone else, perhaps from the Operations Centre,
25 puts the actual lines with the column headings and fills in all of the
1 template, if you will, for the logbook; someone else does that?
2 A. Correct, correct.
3 Q. And then the individual duty officers actually make the various
4 entries and sign at the end of their shifts?
5 A. Depending on the notebook in question, on the type of data
6 entered, and so on and so forth. For instance, the book of duty officers
7 has such a procedure that, in the left column, you have the signature of
8 the person taking over from the person who was there previously, who will
9 place his signature on the right-hand side.
10 Q. And all of this is done pursuant to some kind of instruction or
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. So I take it, sir, from that answer, that you're not in a position
14 to tell us why it was done that way. You simply did it that way; is that
16 A. No, it's regulated in --
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The witness
18 answered that it was done in accordance with the office procedure, the
19 office rules.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: But that was not the question, Madam Vidovic. The
21 question was, "You don't know why the procedure was like that; you just
22 did it like that?" I'm not quite sure you're on the page with your
24 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps I might just rephrase to see if we can get
25 the same information.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: All right.
2 MR. MUNDIS:
3 Q. Mr. Ribo, I asked this question because it seems a bit strange
4 that you would certify how many pages the book has before all of the pages
5 have been filled out and completed.
6 A. It was done in accordance with the rules on office procedure. Not
7 a single piece of data could be entered into the book before the book has
8 been paginated, certified at the end, and entered into the logbook of
9 operational notebooks. These were the rules, and one could not depart
10 from them, not for any particular notebook.
11 Q. Well, I understand what you're saying, sir.
12 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now, with the assistance of the usher,
13 that the witness be shown P511 [sic], the original which I have here in my
14 hand, and I would ask that that be placed on the ELMO so that we can all
15 take another look at this.
16 For the record, this is Exhibit 511, not P511. This is Exhibit
17 511. This is the original.
18 Now, if we could please turn to page 15.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Ribo, we see now before us page 15 of Exhibit 511, and
20 that seems to be filled out -- that page seems to be filled out
21 completely, right to the bottom of the page.
22 MR. MUNDIS: If we could maybe see the whole page, please, and if
23 we could zoom out and see the whole page. Yeah, that's fine.
24 Q. And if you need to, Mr. Ribo, the original is actually on the
25 machine next to you. It might be easier for you to look at. I don't
2 You see page 15 is filled out completely, right to the bottom of
3 the page; is that right?
4 A. Right.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Let's turn to page 16.
6 Q. And I note, sir, that you only paginate the front side of each
7 page, is that correct, so that there are no numbers on the left-hand side
8 at the top of the document?
9 A. I don't think you understand me correctly. We paginated the pages
10 of the notebook. This was page number 15, the one we looked at -- or
11 rather, the sheet, and then it has its front and back page.
12 Q. And you only put the number on the front side of each page?
13 A. We placed the number on the sheet.
14 Q. Right, okay. So each page -- so page 15 has a front side and a
15 back side?
16 A. Sheet number 15 has the front and back cover. Had the clause
17 indicated that the book had 56 pages, then they would all have been
18 numbered, the front and the back pages would be numbered; whereas, the --
19 those that are numbered are merely sheets.
20 MR. MUNDIS: So if we could please then see the right-hand side of
21 this, so we can see page 16.
22 Q. And, again, Mr. Ribo, page 16 is completely filled out to the
23 bottom of that page; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Turn that page over, and we'll see the back of page 16 is also
1 completely filled out to the bottom of the page?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. The next page, which is blank, contains the number "17"?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. But there were no entries made on page 17?
6 A. Not even the columns were drawn. I don't know why. One did not
7 have to draw the columns before filling the book. What mattered were the
8 numbers at the top. That's what mattered.
9 Q. Exactly. I'm not disagreeing with you at all, sir. And, quite
10 often, I would imagine that the duty officer, when he came in to take over
11 his shift, probably put those lines in, because there might not be a lot
12 going on at 1.00 in the morning and he has plenty of time to actually draw
13 the lines and the columns on those pages. Would you agree with that?
14 A. Fully. The officer had time enough to draw the columns and make
15 the entries. That's only logical.
16 Q. All right.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Well, let's go to the next page, then, if we can see
18 that and down a little bit.
19 Q. Page 18, again nothing written on the page. You agree with that?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Let's go to the next page, and that would appear to be page 19; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Correct, sheet number 19.
24 Q. Sheet 19. And the next page, what page is that, sir?
25 A. Sheet 21.
1 Q. Are you sure it's 21? I think it might be 91.
2 A. 91.
3 Q. And we can actually see, on the ELMO, in between the pages, where
4 a number of pages have been removed from this diary; would you agree with
6 A. I do agree.
7 Q. But I suggest to you, Mr. Ribo, if we go back to page 17, for
8 whatever reason, this diary ends at the entry on the bottom of the back
9 side of page 16.
10 A. According to what we can see here, that's the case.
11 Q. Right. Because they wouldn't or they shouldn't have left pages
12 17, 18, and 19 blank, and then resumed on page 21 or 22 of the diary; is
13 that correct?
14 A. It would be normal for them to take it sheet by sheet. Now, why
15 somebody should come up with the idea of skipping a couple of pages, I
16 don't know. It would be only normal to take it sheet by sheet; although,
17 it wouldn't be a disaster if they skipped one page. They could cross it
18 out, they could even skip it, they could do whatever they wanted with it,
19 except for tearing it out.
20 Q. Right. I agree there is something that is abnormal about a number
21 of pages being taken out, but I suggest to you, because pages 17, 18, and
22 19 remain in the book and are blank, that this war diary ends at the
23 bottom of the back side of page 16.
24 A. I can't claim that because I don't know when the notebook started,
25 with what date, and when it ended, so I can't really state that with any
1 certainty. I can only observe that several sheets are missing. That's
2 definitely the case.
3 Q. But the sheets before the missing sheets are in the book, they're
4 paginated, and they're blank?
5 A. I can see that. I've just observed that the diary was kept until
6 the 9th of October, so that, really, I doubt the authenticity of this
7 document. I don't know. I have my doubts as to why there are no more
8 entries made in this diary.
9 Q. But what I'm saying to you, sir, is that the following pages, the
10 following three or four pages, are properly paginated and they're blank,
11 and there's really no dispute about that whatsoever, is there?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And if you go to the page immediately after that part where the
14 pages have been removed, the pages resume at page 91, continue to the end
15 of the book, and are also blank?
16 A. Correct.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you. That exhibit can be removed. We're done.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question.
19 Witness, to your knowledge, according to the practice you were
20 following, since you told us that those pages were written upon and
21 certification was done before the book was being used -- the book was
22 used, have there been other cases where only part of the book was used?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of such cases.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] According to you, the book should
25 have been used until the last page, until the end, where there was a
1 certification of the number of pages, according to you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Judge Lattanzi.
5 Q. Let me pick up on that, then, Mr. Ribo, because again you've told
6 us earlier that you certify the book before there's any entries made in
7 the book.
8 A. Correct.
9 MR. MUNDIS: If I could retrieve Exhibit 511, and I'd now like to
10 show the witness Exhibit 394.
11 Q. And again, sir, I would ask you to go to page 15 of this diary.
12 MR. MUNDIS: And if we could then flip.
13 Q. We see that page 15 is completely filled out to the bottom of the
14 page; is that right?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon. Where is page 15? Where is the
16 number "15"? Thank you.
17 MR. MUNDIS:
18 Q. You see page 15 is filled out to the bottom of the page; is that
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And page 16 stops towards the top of the page; is that right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Let's go to the next page. Page 17 is blank?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Page 18 is blank?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Page 19 is blank?
3 A. It is.
4 Q. Page 20, there were some papers inserted into that?
5 A. Page 20 is missing.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Okay. Can we see the upper right-hand corner of this
7 page. Okay.
8 Q. So we, again --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is that figure? Is that "42"?
10 MR. MUNDIS: 42.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Because the witness said page 20 is missing. Is it
12 page 20 up to page 41 that are missing, or is it just page 20 that is
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sheet number 20 is missing, and all
15 the other sheets up to 42.
16 MR. MUNDIS: 41.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: To 41.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
20 MR. MUNDIS:
21 Q. So, if we go back, though, sir, to page 16, we clearly have
22 another logbook that is not filled in all the way to the end of the book;
23 isn't that correct?
24 A. I see the same diary. It's not another diary. It's simply the
25 case of the columns not having been filled out fully on page 16.
1 Q. Well, it would seem that this diary stops with the entry on the
2 top of the page 16.
3 A. According to what I can see, that's the case. The entries were
4 made up until sheet 16.
5 Q. So, in fact, this book wasn't completed or wasn't filled out until
6 the very last page in the book?
7 A. No. It hasn't been completed either.
8 Q. And when these books are completed or when they've -- when they're
9 full or when they're no longer used, are they again in any way certified
10 by anyone?
11 A. They are handed over to the office and are signed off in the
12 logbook in which they were entered as issued, and sent to the files.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: But are they certified by anyone? That was the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nobody certifies that. Only the
16 person who keeps records, the logbooks of the book having been issued,
17 takes it in and puts it on the file.
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. And, Mr. Ribo, that's why I asked you a question right after the
20 break about a policy or a regulation or instruction that requires you to
21 certify the number of pages in a blank document before all those pages are
22 filled in. That's a bit of an odd way of certifying these books. I
23 understand it's the instruction, but it's a bit of an odd way of doing
24 things, that you would certify how many pages are in it before anything's
25 written in it.
1 A. This wasn't only the case in the army. It was also the case in
2 the former Yugoslav People's Army, in the Territorial Defence.
3 Practically, as far as I know, there were some minor modifications made,
4 but that was practically it.
5 Q. And these diaries or logs, such as the one you have in front of
6 you, Exhibit 394, or the one we just looked at, Exhibit 511, which section
7 or department within the 3rd Corps was responsible for maintaining these
9 A. That was the Department for Operations and Training and the duty
10 officer at the Corps Command and at the IKM, forward command post.
11 Q. So it was actually the department that you headed that was
12 responsible for maintaining these documents?
13 A. That's correct.
14 MR. MUNDIS: That exhibit can be removed from the ELMO, please.
15 Q. Now, I just have really one last topic, just a couple of
17 Mr. Ribo, yesterday, there were some comments made about documents
18 that you had been involved in drafting that had some inaccurate
20 And on page 7046 of yesterday's hearing, at lines 10 to 12, you
21 were asked by my learned colleague from the Defence: "Mr. Ribo, did you
22 write inaccurate documents during the war?"
23 And the answer was: "No. A mistake, small, minor mistake could
24 slip by, but no."
25 Do you remember that question and your answer?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. These minor mistakes, mistake, or mistakes that you mentioned, the
3 ones that you say could slip by, did you notice these mistakes at the time
4 you drafted the documents or only when you came here to court and were
5 shown the documents?
6 A. Sometimes, I'd observe them at the point when I'd be sending them
7 out, and I'd realise that they didn't really have the proper military
8 form, they have errors. Sometimes, I'd notice these errors only once the
9 documents were shown to me here. With hindsight and the experience I have
10 now, I'd never repeat the same mistakes again.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. When you observe them, when you send them
12 out, you send them out to where, sir?
13 Your answer was: "Sometimes, I would observe them at the point
14 when I'd be sending them out ..."
15 Sending them out where to?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I made the draft version of the
17 document in my handwriting, then I give the document to be typewritten,
18 and then ultimately the document is sent to the addressee. Then once the
19 document has been sent out, it comes back to the person who has drafted it
20 to be filed or to simply have it there to see what the follow-up requested
21 in the document has been.
22 MR. MUNDIS:
23 Q. With respect, sir, to the answer, when you said, at line 11 and 12
24 of page 35, "Sometimes I'd observe them at the point when I'd be sending
25 them out," when you found mistakes at that point in time, sir, why didn't
1 you take steps to correct the document, if you spotted, as you were
2 sending it out, that it had inaccurate information?
3 A. Well, it more applied to when the document was returned to me to
4 be archived. Then I would look and see that I perhaps made a mistake or
5 slipped in a small way.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. Ribo. The Prosecution has no further
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, any re-examination?
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] A few questions only, Your Honours.
10 Re-examination by Ms. Vidovic:
11 Q. Good day again, Mr. Ribo. In response to questions by the
12 Prosecutor, you talked about a meeting with the commander of the Patriotic
13 League in the situation when he received 40.000 marks from a foreign
14 donor. Do you recall that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. You said that his name was Mr. Puric and that he invited you, if I
17 understood correctly, to witness that act.
18 A. Yes, yes, that is true, to witness that.
19 Q. At that point in time, was Mr. Puric a subordinate of yours or
21 A. No.
22 Q. At the time when this happened, were you there to be a witness
23 when he received the money in his capacity as commander or not?
24 A. No.
25 Q. I'm going to ask you something else.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at MFI 1193.
2 Q. Mr. Ribo, while we are waiting for the document, I'm just going to
3 remind you that this is something that the Prosecutor described or called
4 a diary that describes some meeting in the village of Biljesevo.
5 What I'd like to ask you is this: It has to do with the record
6 books that you testified about a little bit earlier, please. All the
7 books of records, including working notebooks, according to the rules on
8 office procedure in the former SFRY and in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the
9 war, had to be paginated and certified?
10 A. Yes, they had to be.
11 Q. This document here that you saw, that the Prosecutor showed you
12 the original, were the sheets numbered, and was the book or the notebook
13 or the diary, however you want to describe it, was that certified?
14 A. They were not marked. The sheets or the pages were not numbered.
15 It was not certified at the back, and it was not entered in the protocol
16 of books or notebooks issued.
17 Q. And such a document, was it considered to be an official document
18 or not?
19 A. According to our military rules, it was not considered that. In
20 the courts of former Yugoslavia, especially the military courts recognised
21 only information from the work books that were certified and entered into
22 the protocol books, as being books issued within a unit.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Maybe we can put this
24 protocol away.
25 Can we look at Exhibit 1195 briefly. Can we look at page
1 0093-0232, the page ending with the numbers 0232, 0232. I'm talking about
2 an exhibit. Can we please look at the middle column so that the witness
3 can see what it says here.
4 Q. The Prosecutor also showed you this part that described the
5 direction of movement of the El Mudjahedin Detachment in this article,
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, are we having the equivalent of this
8 middle column on the English side?
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that the page
10 we see does not correspond to the B/C/S. The corresponding page is the
11 one that ends with 1509, 1509. I apologise, I didn't notice this.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Ribo, here, in this part of the text, you can see the
15 journalist's description of the movement of the El Mudjahedin Detachment
16 during the Farz action.
17 Please, did you describe to Journalist Adnan Dzonlic the movement
18 of the El Mudjahedin Detachment? Are you the source of that information
19 during this Farz action?
20 A. No. This is his own phrasing. I gave him a document for all
21 units, a document entitled, "Order," "Zapovjest," and he copied that
22 document on his own.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. When we talk about what you gave him, you
24 said that you gave him an order determining the axes of attack. I would
25 like to ask you - let's be as specific as possible - was this an order of
1 the 3rd Corps or of some other unit? What did you give him? What kind of
2 an order was it?
3 A. It was an order of the Corps Command.
4 Q. The 3rd Corps?
5 A. The 3rd Corps.
6 Q. Now I would like to ask you this: Did an order of the 3rd Corps
7 contain information about the movement of the El Mudjahedin Detachment,
8 this order that you gave, "yes" or "no"?
9 MR. MUNDIS: Objection. Leading.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
11 MR. MUNDIS: It's leading, and I'll reiterate what I've said the
12 past two days concerning the overlap between my learned colleague and the
13 witness, and leading questions on both direct examination and
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I put the question.
17 I'm just reading it in the transcript. I'm sorry for rushing perhaps to
18 gain time. I put the question, "if that order contained the axis or not,"
19 so I don't know how that would be suggestive. Perhaps it is a little bit
20 clear. I see that now on the transcript.
21 Q. So I asked: "Did or did it not, this order, include the axes of
22 movement of the El Mudjahedin Detachment?"
23 A. The 3rd Corps order for the Operation Farz at Vozuca did not
24 contain the tasks, meaning we did not issue -- the Command of the 3rd
25 Corps did not issue a task to the El Mujahid Detachment, but it issued an
1 assignment to the 35th Division.
2 Q. Now let me ask you this: So this document that you gave, or
3 documents in general that you gave, could have served as the basis of this
4 story by the journalist?
5 A. I say that possibly the journalist used documents of the
6 35th Division in writing this article.
7 Q. Mr. Ribo, but I'm asking you specifically. The document that
8 you -- or documents that you gave to the journalist, could they or it have
9 served as the basis or as the source of this story about the movement of
10 the Mujahedin?
11 A. No. It did not, or they did not.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
13 MR. MUNDIS: These are leading questions, and that question, the
14 last question, is the same question that the witness had just answered
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may respond.
17 When I objected to questions by the Prosecutor, I didn't say,
18 "This is a leading question." The Prosecutor should say, "In what way
19 this constitutes a leading question. This is an open-ended question.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
21 MR. MUNDIS: I think the question suggested the answer, and that
22 is the definition of a leading question. When the question is phrased in
23 such a way as, "Could it have served as the basis or source of this
24 story," that suggests that the answer is either "yes" or "no," which is a
25 textbook example of a leading question, rather than, "What were the
1 sources of the journalist's story," or, "What information did the
2 journalist base the story on," or, "What documents did the journalist base
3 the story on," rather than, "Could this document" or "Could that document
4 be the basis or the source for the story?"
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not share the
6 Prosecutor's opinion. I don't see in which way -- well, the question is
7 very important.
8 So I don't see in what way could I put it other than, "Did this
9 that you gave serve as the basis for the journalist's story?" In any
10 case, the witness answered and it's in the transcript, and I just briefly
11 wish to put only two questions to the witness.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Court please rule on the objection?
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is overruled. You may proceed,
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: What for? You have no reason to apologise.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, for not
19 stopping in time so that you could resolve this objection. This is my
21 Q. Witness, yesterday I put this question to you, and today the
22 Prosecutor put specific questions to you, about the tank. It was Exhibit
23 1188. You explained that on the basis of this document -- you remember
24 that document? I don't have to show it to you, do I? You remember it?
25 A. Yes, I remember it.
1 Q. Please, you said that the El Mudjahedin Detachment captured that
2 document. That tank, was there an order or a request of the corps -- any
3 kind of request from the corps regarding that tank?
4 A. There was an order from the Corps Command that the tank should be
5 handed over to the 3rd Tank Company because it was a unit that was
6 intended -- it was an armoured mechanised unit in the 3rd Corps that had
7 all the tanks in the 3rd Corps, and that was that 3rd Tank Company and the
8 37th Tank Company.
9 Q. Thank you. All right. Please, so you explained to us - you don't
10 have to repeat it - that the tank did not go to this unit, but that it --
11 the crew from that unit went off to operate that tank; do you remember
12 saying that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. All right. Well, did the El Mudjahedin Detachment ultimately
15 respect the order of the corps or not, in view of that tank, or it did
16 something that they felt was fit or appropriate?
17 MR. MUNDIS: A leading question.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will rephrase it, Your Honours, if
20 you allow me. I accept. I will rephrase my question.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was, indeed, a leading question.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll rephrase it, Your Honour.
23 Q. Witness, please, ultimately, what happened regarding this tank, in
24 terms of the order from the corps?
25 A. The El Mujahid Detachment did not obey the order for the tank to
1 be handed over to the 3rd Company, and the Corps Command informed the
2 chief of the armoured mechanised units at the General Staff of the Army of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina about this.
4 Q. Mr. Ribo, I'm going to put just one more question to you about
5 this last document, the war diary, the last document that we looked at.
6 This is Exhibit 394. You leafed through it.
7 You noticed that the document was numbered up to page 19 or 20,
8 and then what follows is page 41. According to customary practice, is
9 something like that possible or not, when we look at documents?
10 A. It's not possible.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
12 further questions.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, you talked about a
17 military unit. Was this a military unit right from the start or was it a
18 political entity first of all? I'm talking about the Patriotic Unit.
19 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know the way and the system in
20 which the Patriotic League functioned.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So you don't know whether right
22 from the start it was a military unit or not that was going to battle
23 against the enemy of Bosnia-Herzegovina or whether, instead, it was an
24 association, an organisation, or a political party that recruited
25 volunteers to fight the enemy?
1 A. From what I know, this was not a political organisation. It was
2 some form of military organising, not entirely so, but they were working
3 to prepare the population for the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They
4 were a clandestine organisation in the beginning. Nobody knew about
5 them. It was a clandestine organisation, but later they declared
6 themselves openly.
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So it wasn't composed of military
8 personnel, professional military personnel or reservists?
9 A. No, no. They didn't even have uniforms. They simply operated in
10 civilian clothes in certain municipalities, sectors, in villages, but they
11 were not uniformed persons. They were not allowed to wear uniforms. I
12 think they were founded before the beginning of the armed conflict in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, but I don't know any details about them, not
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Am I right to understand that
16 afterwards, when the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was set up, that they were
17 integrated, incorporated into the army; or, rather, the individuals that
18 were members of the Patriotic League integrated a unit or entered a unit
19 of the army? I'm afraid I don't remember which one.
20 A. Well, individuals, yes, they joined the brigades that were in
21 their area, but most of them went into politics. It was much easier to be
22 a politician than a soldier at that period. Among others, we have the
23 example of Zihnija Aganovic, who was originally the commander of the
24 Regional Staff of the Patriotic League, only to become the president of
25 the Travnik District later on.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you. One last question,
2 once again, about the article drafted by this journalist.
3 You said to us that you provided him with information, verbally -
4 that is what I understood and you should correct me if I'm mistaken - and
5 that you also gave him a written order, the written order of the 3rd Corps
6 to the 35th Division, with the tasks to be accomplished; is that right?
7 A. Yes. I spoke to him very briefly; and as I stated when I was
8 looking at the article, I only spoke to him by way of an introduction
9 briefly. I then gave him documents which he then freely interpreted in
10 his article that was ultimately published in "Patriotski List" and this
11 other publication.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we, once again,
13 take a look at this article, the last article we had up on the screen, the
14 journalist's article.
15 Let me ask you just one thing. Given that you spoke to us about
16 many things concerning the El Mudjahedin Detachment during the Farz
17 Operation, in particular as regards the questions raised by Mrs. Vidovic
18 on the tank, is it possible --
19 Next page, please. Could we see the next page on the screen.
20 Next page in the English version, please.
21 Is it possible that where a reference is made halfway through the
22 page, after Mala Satnica: [In English] "The task was completed. It
23 united the units under the commander ..."
24 [Interpretation] Is it possible that these details concerning the
25 El Mudjahedin Detachment and the 2nd Manoeuvre Battalion - I'm afraid I'm
1 not very well acquainted with the military terminology - the 4th
2 Battalion, the 5th Battalion, that all these details could have been
3 inferred from the order that the 3rd Corps was giving to the 35th Division
4 or perhaps from the conversation, the direct conversation that you had
5 with the journalist? Because as regards the examination, the
6 cross-examination, and the additional questions, there were doubts about
7 the source. That's why I want to elucidate this aspect.
8 A. It is possible that the journalist -- or rather, I presume that
9 the journalist took the information from the Command of the 35th Division,
10 because that's not the way the corps formulated it. We wrote the task for
11 the 35th Division. We didn't go into the lower-level subordinated units.
12 It was the commander of the 35th Division who issued the order, in turn,
13 to his subordinate units.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. But since you
15 seem to be familiar with many things concerning this operation, in
16 particular, relating to the El Mudjahedin Detachment, perhaps some of the
17 details came out of your direct conversation with the journalist, or do
18 you exclude that completely, categorically?
19 A. Whatever was under the command of the 3rd Corps, directly under
20 the command of the 3rd Corps, I could explain to him directly because I
21 knew about that. Whatever had to do with the 35th Division or the
22 7th Muslim Brigade, that sort of information he could have gotten out in
23 the field from the commander of the 35th Division or the commander of the
24 7th Muslim Brigade. It could have come from them.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 May I just have a few questions to the witness.
3 The first question relates to the perception that you had about
4 the El Mudjahedin Detachment. When I asked you about this yesterday or
5 the day before, you seemed to acknowledge that, yes, on the one hand, the
6 El Mujahid Detachment was known as a brave and courageous unit; yet, on
7 the other hand, they were also -- I think I used the word "lazy," and you
8 used another word, but the gist of your answer to me was that they were
9 difficult to cooperate with because they only took part in the action when
10 they wanted.
11 Today, you informed us further on this issue, and you said that
12 they were neither a very effective unit, nor were they very well trained,
13 and I want your evaluation of the El Mujahid Detachment as a partner in
14 the conflict.
15 Can you -- in your capacity as chief of operations of the
16 3rd Corps, you must have had a pretty good view or grasp of the way in
17 which the different units functioned, and we have also received
18 information that the El Mujahid Detachment was an assault unit, along with
19 two or three other similar assault units.
20 Now, could you give us your evaluation, in terms of a comparison
21 between the El Mujahid Detachment and the two or three other assault units
22 under the authority of the 3rd Corps?
23 Do you understand my question?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 I can tell you that we, in the 3rd Corps, had far better units
1 than the El Mujahid Detachment. If we look at Operation Farz only and we
2 look at the western flank and the units attacking from there, and the
3 terrain that they had to cross over, such as the 1st Manoeuvre Battalion,
4 such as the 7th Muslim Liberation Brigade, the 375th Brigade, we had far
5 better units than the El Mujahid Detachment ever was. These units were
6 very successful; and on the 10th of September, in Operation Farz, they
7 managed to accomplish their tasks under very difficult conditions.
8 In my view, as a soldier, they were able to overcome far more
9 difficult tasks than El Mujahid ever could. I don't think that by any
10 standards could the El Mujahid Detachment be ranked higher than the units
11 that belonged to the establishment. I can tell you, sitting here, that we
12 had units that were far better than the El Mujahid Detachment.
13 These units could take our orders whenever and head out into
14 battle, be it within the AOR of the 3rd Corps or of any other corps.
15 This, however, was not the case with the El Mujahid Detachment. They were
16 encamped and they needed considerable time to get ready and to get engaged
17 in whatever combat assignments their superior gave them or would give
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And give me, if you can, a brief
20 answer. By what standards or what criteria do you make this comparison?
21 A. By their performance in the field.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yet we have seen today and we have had other
23 information during this trial that the success of the El Mujahid
24 Detachment was quite impressive, in particular in relation to the seizure
25 of the Paljenik feature or the, as you call it, Opaljenik feature.
1 A. If we looked at the map of Operation Farz and if we looked at the
2 other units that took part in the assault actions, we would be able to
3 gauge the area which the El Mudjahedin Detachment attacked. They had only
4 one elevation point and only the village of Stog that they were attacking,
5 and that's where their mission was over, whereas the other units had to
6 break the enemy lines, and when they reached Vozuca, we ordered them to
7 continue chasing the enemy. That was the tactical order. We wanted to be
8 at the heels of the enemy so that they cannot defend themselves.
9 This was not the case with the El Mujahid. The El Mujahid unit
10 merely took -- captured Opaljenik and the village of Stog, together with
11 the other units with whom they had to coordinate their activities, and
12 that was the end of the story for them.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Let me move on because the time is
14 short. Let me move on to the tank issue which we have spoken a lot about
16 If I have understood this correctly, the tank was seized by the El
17 Mujahid Detachment and was kept under or was kept within their camp or
18 their control, yet we've also heard that the tank was, in fact, operated
19 by the 3rd Corps. And this doesn't make sense to me, because if the tank
20 was actually used later on in combat and it was operated by units of the
21 3rd Corps, then why didn't the drivers of the tank just drive away with
22 the tank after the operation?
23 This is maybe a very naive question. But once you have the
24 drivers and the team inside the tank, and it is operating, it's firing,
25 and then at a certain point the battle stops, the natural thing would be
1 then just to drive home to the 3rd Corps with the thing?
2 A. I understand what you're saying, but that would mean that you
3 would lose your head.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: How so?
5 A. Well, very well so. They'd find you. They'd search you out, find
6 you, and kill you.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: You mean afterwards. Even so, if the driver of
8 the 3rd Corps would drive the tank back to the 3rd Corps --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes,.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: -- then the El Mujahed soldiers would know who it
11 was who drove the tank and then come after them afterwards?
12 A. 100 per cent.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 Mr. Ribo, the war diaries that you were using or that we saw here
16 today, did they all come from the unit that was under you, the department?
17 A. Yes. The war diaries and all the notebooks that are kept, I was
18 the one to open the documents and get them ready for use. That's
19 precisely the case.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You did that for the entire units of the 3rd Corps?
21 A. No, no, no. I did that only for the purposes of the Command of
22 the 3rd Corps. Whatever the 3rd Corps Command used was within my
23 competence. All the subordinate commands had their protocols, their books
24 and people in charge of them. I worked solely for the 3rd Corps Command.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The war diaries or the documents, the diaries that
1 you were shown here today, I think you were shown three, do they all come
2 from the 3rd Corps?
3 A. From the Command of the 3rd Corps.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: But were they issued by you? That's what I want to
6 A. Two documents that are up there, I was the one who numbered them,
7 signed them, and issued them for use.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. But I'm asking you about all the war diaries
9 that you have been shown in this court. Were they all issued by you?
10 A. No. I didn't issue one of them, the one relating to -- perhaps I
11 could indicate the one that I did not issue.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You can do so, with the help of the usher, please.
13 A. I had never seen this document or taken any part in issuing it. I
14 don't know who issued the document or anything like that. As for the
15 others, I issued them.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please specify
17 the number of the document the witness is referring to? Let us know that
18 this is MFI 1193, because the witness has been referring to it as "this
19 document," and later on we won't know which one it was.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic. Do we confirm
21 that it is MFI 1193?
22 MR. MUNDIS: That's correct.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Okay. Does MFI 1193 purport to be a
24 3rd Corps document?
25 A. Are you referring to this document?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's correct.
2 A. I can't state that with any certainty. It doesn't have a stamp.
3 I don't know if it's a document of the 3rd Corps. I was probably away
4 from the 3rd Corps Command at the time, and I can't make any such
5 statement about this document.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: When were you away from the 3rd Corps Command?
7 A. I was away from the 3rd Corps Command at the time when I was the
8 commander of the 301st Mechanised Brigade, between the 28th of November,
9 1992 and the 30th of November, 2003 [as interpreted]. In that period, I
10 was not a member of the 3rd Corps Command. I was the commander of the
11 301st Mechanised Brigade.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] 1993 or 2003? The date in
13 transcript, I'm not sure I understand.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's a mistake.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: "2003", I was going to ask that question.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the command of the 301st
17 Mechanised Brigade between the 28th of November, 1992 and the 30th of
18 November, roughly 30, the end of November, 1993. In that period of time,
19 I was not a member of the 3rd Corps Command, I was a brigade commander.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you so much. I can't pursue my
22 Any questions arising from the questions by the Trial Chamber,
23 starting with you, Madam Vidovic?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
1 MR. MUNDIS: I just have one question arising from Judge Harhoff's
3 Further cross-examination by Mr. Mundis:
4 Q. Mr. Ribo, earlier today, in response to some questions I asked
5 you, the picture that was portrayed was that the El Mudjahedin Detachment
6 was spearheading operations; and in response to questions put to you by
7 Judge Harhoff, you seem to portray the El Mudjahedin Detachment as being
9 My question to you, sir, in light of these two positions that
10 you've told us about that seem to be contradictory, is the following: If
11 the Mujahedin Detachment was being used to spearhead operations and that
12 unit was ineffective, from a military point of view, would it be fair to
13 say that the 3rd Corps or the 35th Division was using that unit on suicide
15 A. I don't quite understand the question. I was asked about the
16 efficiency of the unit, and I was asked to compare this unit with the
17 other ones of the 3rd Corps. I said that the El Mujahid Detachment was by
18 no standards a unit better than our other units, such as the manoeuvre
19 battalions, the liberation brigades, and so on and so forth. Here, the
20 35th Division commander ordered the El Mujahid Detachment to get engaged,
21 together with the 2nd and 3rd Manoeuvre Battalions. These were combined
22 forces, and all these forces were, in practical terms, assault units.
23 However, here the El Mujahid Detachment was given the role of
24 combining these two or three or how many there were units of the
25 35th Division.
1 Q. But, sir, if the - and I am aware of the time, Your Honours - if
2 the El Mudjahedin Detachment was ineffective and the 2nd and 3rd Manoeuvre
3 Battalions were highly effective units, why did the 35th Division
4 commander subordinate those manoeuvre battalions to the El Mudjahedin
5 Detachment rather than vice versa?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The witness
8 is called to speculate. How could he know anything about what the
9 35th Division commander was doing?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mundis.
11 MR. MUNDIS: The witness very well may have a basis for answering
12 that question, or it goes to the issue that I put in the previous question
13 to the witness, that perhaps the El Mudjahedin Detachment was being used
14 to undertake, in effect, suicide missions, was being sent places, because
15 if they were ineffective and yet spearheading operations, there has to be
16 some explanation for why they were being used in that role.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe if you just stay with that question, rather
18 than the second one.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't claim that they were
20 completely inefficient. You asked me the question which said that they
21 were one of the most elite units of the 3rd Corps, and this is out of the
22 question. We had far better units, such as the 7th Muslim. We had five
23 manoeuvre battalions which were 100 per cent better than the El Mujahid
25 In this situation, they were given two manoeuvre battalions to the
1 El Mujahid Detachment in order for them to together attack along this
2 axis, and this was sufficient forces on the basis of the decision taken by
3 the division commander, who decided that the three units should be
4 sufficient to attack along that axis.
5 That's my answer.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I ask you to slow down, Mr. Ribo. Okay.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you very much, sir. We have no further
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis.
10 Mr. Ribo, this brings us to the conclusion of your testimony.
11 Thank you very much for taking the time to come and testify.
12 You are now excused. You may stand down. Thank you very much,
13 and travel well back home.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Court will adjourn to tomorrow at 9.00 in the
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Friday, the 7th day of
21 March, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.