1 Tuesday, 11 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, can you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-83-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Rasim Delic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Could we please have the appearances, starting with the
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Good afternoon, Your Honours, counsel and everyone in and around
16 the courtroom. Daryl Mundis and Matthias Neuner, 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 afternoon, Your Honours. Good
21 afternoon to my colleagues from the Prosecutor's office, to everyone in
22 and around the courtroom. I'm Vasvija Vidovic, with Mr. Nicholas Robson,
23 representing General Rasim Delic, with our legal assistant, Lejla Gluhic,
24 and our intern, Ms. Tineke Baird.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I believe the parties have something to raise
1 before we call the witness.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 I'm not sure if the Defence does, but certainly the Prosecution
4 has two very quick issues to raise.
5 The first issue concerns a motion filed on the 10th of March,
6 2008, for protective measures. The Prosecution will take no position
7 with respect to that application. It's clearly a matter for the Trial
8 Chamber to decide if protective measures are merited, and we will not be
9 filing a written response. And therefore, as far as the Prosecution is
10 concerned, that matter is ready for the Trial Chamber to determine.
11 Secondly, also on the 10th of March, 2008, the Defence filed a
12 motion for the adjournment of the hearing on the 1st and 2nd of April.
13 As was the case with the motion for protective measures, the Prosecution
14 takes no position with respect to the Defence request. Certainly, that's
15 a matter for the Trial Chamber to decide, and we neither oppose nor
16 support that motion.
17 I do note, however, that there is a reference in that motion to a
18 witness whose apparently scheduled to appear on the 3rd and 4th of April,
19 2008. To this, as of today, we have not received any information
20 concerning the schedule for the month of April, in terms of Defence
21 witnesses, and I would again ask that to the extent possible, we be
22 provided with as much advance notice of the anticipated dates that the
23 Defence intends to call their witnesses as possible.
24 Clearly, in this application, there is reference to a witness
25 being scheduled to appear, but that was actually the first we'd heard of
1 that witness and the proposed dates for his appearance, so I simply want
2 to put that on the record.
3 But with respect to the issue of whether an adjournment is
4 merited for the reasons stated in the motion, that is clearly up to the
5 Trial Chamber to decide, and we will not take a position on that.
6 Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Mundis, and thanks for
8 the position that the Prosecution takes on the point. I would imagine
9 that the Defence did hear, insofar as the next witness for April is
10 concerned that is mentioned in the second motion, and that as soon as is
11 possible for them to do so, they will make sure that you're provided with
12 the necessary information. Thank you very much.
13 Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
15 Defence would like to call Mr. Halim Husic as our next witness.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please be brought into the court.
17 Thank you very much.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, sir.
20 May the witness please make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS:[Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: HALIM HUSIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry.
1 Good afternoon.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may be seated.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 Madam Vidovic.
7 Examination by Ms. Vidovic:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Husic.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. As you know, I'm Vasvija Vidovic, and I will be putting questions
11 to you today on behalf of General Delic's Defence.
12 What I would like to draw your attention to is the following: We
13 speak the same language, and it's very important that my question and
14 your answer be recorded in the transcript and that we do not overlap when
15 speaking. So I kindly ask you that after I finish my question, you leave
16 some time for the interpreters to translate the question and then to
17 begin your answer.
18 Did you understand?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Husic, when and where were you born?
21 A. I was born on the 25th of September, 1958, in Travnik.
22 Q. And which schools did you complete after --
23 A. After elementary school, I completed the high school, the Medresa
24 in Sarajevo, and then I graduated from the Faculty of Theology, Islamic
25 Sciences, also at the Faculty of Theology in Sarajevo.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Remember to pause after the question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Husic, can you tell us what is your profession now?
5 A. Yes. I'm a professor at the Gazi Husref Medresa in Sarajevo. I
6 teach history.
7 Q. Mr. Husic, do you speak Arabic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And what duties were you carrying out during the war, if any?
10 A. During the war, from May 1992 until November 1992, I was a member
11 of the Han Bila Detachment, attached to the Travnik Municipality
12 Territorial Defence. After that, from November 1992 until December 1993,
13 I was a member of the 306th Mountain Brigade. I was a assistant
14 commander for morale in that brigade.
15 After that, for three months, I was at the Supreme Command Staff
16 at the forward command post in Kakanj at the organ for morale, and after
17 that, from February 1993 -- sorry, 1994, I was in the 3rd Corps of the
18 Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was first deputy
19 commander for morale and then, as of April 1995, I was the assistant
20 commander for morale in the 3rd Corps of the Army of the Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina until I was demobilized from the army after 1545
22 days which I spent in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Q. Can you just repeat the number of days? It's not in the
25 A. 1545 days I was a member of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. 1545 days, this is what you said?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And did you testify before this Tribunal before?
4 A. Yes, I testified in the Kubura-Hadzihasanovic case.
5 Q. Very well. And will you please tell us where you happened to be
6 when the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
7 A. At the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in
8 February 1992, to be more precise, I went to the Republic of Croatia
9 officially on business, and I spent a month in Umag in Istria.
10 After that, I came to Zagreb, intending to return to Bosnia and
12 Q. Please, I understood, from the particulars that you provided,
13 that at the time you were a religious official, you had -- you were a
14 member of the clergy. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. At the time when you were in Zagreb, do you recall if there was a
17 mosque there?
18 A. Yes, there was a mosque, and I was actually staying on premises
19 that were right next to the mosque.
20 Q. So to be quite clear about the time period, we're talking about
21 the spring of 1993 -- no, 1992. I apologise. Did you notice if anything
22 was happening in the mosque or around the mosque at that time?
23 A. At the time, the mosque in Zagreb, and Zagreb in generally was
24 the destination of a large number of refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 who were arriving daily, because of the combat actions being conducted in
1 northern parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the one hand, and on the
2 other hand, a vast number of workers were arriving from Western European
3 countries who wanted to link up with their families, provide them with
4 assistance or find out some more information about actually what was
5 happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was actually a very chaotic
6 state at the time, because a large number of families were separated.
7 They didn't know what was happening with the rest of their family. They
8 didn't know where to go. They didn't have any basic funds to live. They
9 didn't have personal documents. Generally, it was chaos.
10 Q. Mr. Husic, thank you very much for your detailed answer, but I
11 would like to focus now on something else.
12 The mosque in Zagreb and around it, did you notice any people who
13 were not originally from Europe?
14 A. Yes. Among other things, there was a large number of Arabs
15 coming to the mosque every day. They were together with my colleagues or
16 some of my students that I had taught and who at the time were studying
17 in Arab countries, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and many others.
18 Q. And you, personally, did you have any contacts with any of those
20 A. Yes. I was in contact with a large number of them, because all
21 of us actually had a common problem, and that was the inability to enter
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is what we wanted to do. We tried to get
23 some documents or get information about how we could enter Bosnia and
25 Q. And do you know anything about how the Arabs were finding their
1 way in Croatia, the ones that you had contacts with?
2 A. Compared to us and a large number of Bosniaks refugees who didn't
3 have any documents with them, so their movements were limited, the police
4 in town checked IDs, so our movements were limited. But a considerable
5 number of those people already had Croatian documents, passports,
6 personal ID cards. They had considerable sums of money. They were
7 moving around freely.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam Vidovic, excuse me for interrupting.
9 Mrs. Vidovic, could we just establish the time? Is it still spring of
10 1992 that we're talking about?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was in April 1992.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And, sir, when you say, "But a considerable number
14 of those people already had Croatian documents, passports, personal IDs,"
15 which people are you referring to?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The people of Arab origin.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. What I wanted to ask you about, Mr. Husic, is this: Were you
19 able to observe that these Arabs had contacts with other people in
20 Croatia or not? Did you pay any attention to that?
21 A. Yes. In addition to they're being able to move around freely, a
22 number of them spent some time every day with uniformed men, members of
23 the Croatian Army, but also with some Bosniak units which at the time had
24 their headquarters in Zagreb. And from there, they went to Northern
25 Bosnia, to the battlefields. I know the names of some of those
1 commanders, such as the unit of the Commander Ermin Pohrana, Ekrem
2 Mandal, my neighbor, Midhat Puric, a.k.a. Hadzija, and some others.
3 Q. Thank you. Just to clarify this a little bit, you said that
4 there were members of the Croatian Army who moved around, but also
5 members of Bosniak units that were seated in Zagreb, so let's clarify
6 that, please, for the record.
7 Were these men, the Bosniaks, members of the Croatian Army or of
8 some other armed force at the time?
9 A. Members of the Croatian Army which, as independent units, went to
10 various battlefields in Posavina from Zagreb. I know from Midhat Puric,
11 specifically, that he went almost every day.
12 Q. In other words, have I understood you correctly, Midhat Puric was
13 a member of the Croatian Army?
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we please see
16 Exhibit 1127. This is a video clip, so in fact it's video 1127.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please stop it here.
19 Thank you.
20 Q. Witness, would you please look at this frame that you can see on
21 the screen. Can you recognise anyone in this frame?
22 A. Yes. This person with a beard and the blue cap on the head, in
23 the central position on this video clip, is Midhat Puric, a.k.a. Hadzija.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please continue.
25 [Videotape played]
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may interrupt you, Madam Vidovic, your
3 witness's testify will have more probative value if you ask him to ask
4 the video to stop when you have put the question, not for you to stop and
5 then ask a question. Put the question and ask him to stop the video when
6 he gets to that point.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
8 certainly do that in the future. I tried to establish whether one person
9 could be recognized there, but he was -- he appeared with his back
10 turned, and I didn't want the witness to comment on that. But I would
11 now like to go back to this individual, Midhat Puric, that you saw in the
13 Q. Could you tell me, Witness, is this the person or not that you
14 mentioned earlier as a member of the Croatian Army?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you tell us a bit more about this person, please? Did he
17 come to Bosnia-Herzegovina at some point in time, if you know?
18 A. Yes. While I was in Zagreb, myself, he called me up. He asked
19 me to come to his unit, and he told me that he would soon go to
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is a man that I knew from childhood. We were
21 neighbours. At first I agreed, because this was the only way that I
22 could actually enter Bosnia-Herzegovina, but when I told
23 Mr. Semso Pankovic about this, who knew about my stay in Zagreb, he
24 advised that I should not join such units, and that if I wanted to go to
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an individual, I should go as an individual and
1 then join the armed forces.
2 However, when I arrived, and this trip took over a month, in our
3 area, in our native town, Mehurici, I found Mr. Puric and his unit there,
4 and this unit was very well armed. I don't know exactly how many men it
5 numbered; 20 to 30, I think. And we often referred to them as "Zengas"
6 because earlier on they had fought in Croatia. And on their part, at
7 this time they joined the Patriotic League, because Midhat's close
8 relative was at the head of the Patriotic League in Zenica. I cannot
9 recall his name.
10 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to hear.
11 Now I would like to show you a document.
12 Could the witness please be shown D801. This is a document from
13 the Ministry of Defence of Republic of Croatia, SIS, of the 19th of
14 September, 1992. Could the witness please be shown page 2 of the
15 document right away: The English version, 2, page 2 also. Thank you.
16 Are you able to read this document, Mr. Husic?
17 A. Unfortunately, the copy is pretty bad. The English version is
18 clearer, but the Bosnian version is very difficult to read.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you please give the witness a
20 hard copy of this document. Also, if possible, could you please just
21 zoom in on the first three paragraphs of this document.
22 Q. Please read the text on this page from the beginning up to about
23 half page.
24 A. "Information on the arrival of the Mujahedin ... "
25 Q. Mr. Husic, would you please just read it to yourself. And then
1 once you've read it, could you please just comment on what it's about.
2 Just please take your time to read it.
3 Okay, now we have the document in English as well.
4 Could you now please give us the answer?
5 A. Yes, this is what I was just talking about. So a large number of
6 Arabs, as we called them at the time, used to go with these armed groups
7 in Posavina and join the fighters there, in other words, the Croatian
8 units, units of the Croatian Army and the HVO.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Your Honours, I would like to tender this document into evidence.
11 But before that, can we just make this perfectly clear?
12 Q. How do you know that these were Croatian units or HVO units?
13 A. Well, because of the heading, for one, and also because this
14 information comes from the Ministry of Defence of Croatia.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you have any information to this effect while you
16 were in Croatia and when you wanted to go back to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. Yes. I already mentioned this. I saw these people going daily
18 and coming back, and socializing with these uniformed men from the
19 Croatian Army or from independent units which also belonged to the
20 Croatian Army.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Your Honours, may we have a number for this document.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
24 please be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will become
1 Exhibit 1199.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. A few moments ago during your testimony, you mentioned that you
5 managed to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but that this took a while,
6 that this was a long journey. How much time did you spend on this trip,
7 on this journey, and could you also tell us, just by way of comparison,
8 normally how long does this trip last?
9 A. My attempt to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, this trip to
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina took over a month. Normally, this would take just
11 a couple of hours or, at most, half a day, or a full day if you were to
12 take some public transportation bus. However, at this time no roads
13 leading to Bosnia and Herzegovina were under the control of the legal
14 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that you had to go through a
15 dozen of check-points which you could not get through with personal
16 documents alone on you. It was necessary to have a pass issued by the
17 Croatian Army or the HVO, so that I had to travel from Zagreb to Rijeka,
18 Split, along the so-called Put Spasa or road from salvation, after I
19 obtained a certificate from Caritas, I did this through some personal
20 acquaintances, and also I had to pay, and I travelled with a convoy of
21 humanitarian aid and managed in this way to reach Kiseljak, in the
22 vicinity of Sarajevo, with a lot of difficulties along the way.
23 And then I stayed in Kiseljak for 10 days, following which I paid
24 a man, a Croat, to take me in his own vehicle, going on dirt roads to
25 Travnik and to the house of my parents.
1 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you this: Did you have any
2 impressions about why these Mujahedin found it much easier to enter
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina than you did, although you were a religious
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Neuner.
6 MR. NEUNER: Just an objection to the way the question was
7 phrased. The witness so far has not said that it was easier for the
8 Mujahedin to go to Bosnia, and this is being suggested in this question.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic. What the witness said, if I
10 remember well, he said they moved freely in Zagreb.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may explain.
12 The witness also explained that they were able to enter Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina - perhaps this was something that escaped you - that they
14 were able to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with the units of the Croatian
15 Army and go to Posavina. Maybe you're not very familiar with Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, but this is a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when the
17 witness referred to them entering Posavina. But to clarify this, I can
18 rephrase my question.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't rephrase, because now you've told us a lot
20 of information, Madam Vidovic.
21 Can I just refer us, on the transcript, to where the witness said
22 things that you say he just said, just so that your opposite number is
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, page 12, line 11.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, for those of us who don't know the geography,
1 this doesn't mean much. They went, a large number of them, used to go
2 with these armed groups in Posavina and join the fighters there. It
3 doesn't -- yes, Mr. Neuner.
4 MR. NEUNER: I also wish to say or note that the witness didn't
5 say this was an easy way to enter Bosnia. And as far as I understood the
6 witness's testimony, he was not taking the route via Posavina, but rather
7 towards the Dalmatija, meaning the south of Croatia.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree that a person
10 who doesn't know what Posavina is would find this part of the question
11 unclear, but I will clarify this with the witness. I agree with my
12 learned friend, that this can cause confusion, so I will proceed step by
13 step. I just wanted to make better use of the time.
14 So, Your Honours, if you permit me, I'll continue.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may continue, ma'am.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Witness, when you mentioned Posavina, can you please tell us if
18 Posavina is a part of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. Posavina is the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina along the
20 River Sava.
21 Q. Thank you. And now if we can move to this next part of the
22 question. When you came to Bosnia and Herzegovina, did you talk to any
23 of those Arabs about how they entered Bosnia and Herzegovina and if
24 they -- and if you did, what did they say?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Neuner.
2 MR. NEUNER: I'm sorry. As far as I know, the witness has not
3 stated that upon his arrival in Bosnia, he talked to Arabs, and it's
4 again being suggested here in the question, or the way the question is
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to tell you the
8 truth, I didn't quite understand. From the -- I didn't understand from
9 the objection. From the particulars given by the witness, it is very
10 clear that he came to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now I'm asking him if
11 he spoke with any of the Arabs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the
12 gist of my question.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And that is the gist of the objection. You see,
14 you said in your question:
15 "When you came to Bosnia and Herzegovina, did you talk to any of
16 the Arabs about how they entered Bosnia and Herzegovina and if they --
17 and if you did, what did they say?"
18 That was the reason for the objection, that you are suggesting to
19 him that he did talk to them and that they talked to him about the way he
20 entered Bosnia and Herzegovina. You see, I'm just explaining to you what
21 Mr. Neuner's objection was.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't believe that
23 this is a leading question. I am simply trying to explore to see if the
24 witness spoke with any of the Arabs about how they entered Bosnia and
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That is what is being objected to, Madam Vidovic.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honours. I am
3 going to approach this topic in a different way. I understand your
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have no position. It's the Prosecution's
6 position. I'm merely explaining it to you, Madam Vidovic.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I replied that I did
8 not find this to be a leading question, but that I'm trying to explore if
9 the witness spoke with Arabs or not. But very well, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Vidovic, I apologise, but
11 if you'd asked the question like you're putting it now, I would have
12 understood, but you asked, "Did you talk to the Arabs about the way they
13 managed to enter, but first you should have asked, "Did you have the
14 opportunity to talk with the Arabs?" That's the problem. Maybe he
15 didn't talk to these Arabs. You don't know right now.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour. As I said, I
17 have a lot of questions, and I'm trying to go faster. But from this
18 point on, this is the way I will be putting my questions.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You will go faster, Madam Vidovic, if I may just
20 help, if you ask the questions correctly and evoke no objections. If you
21 have objections, then we're taking more time. Rather than trying to bite
22 too big a bite at a time, take it step by step and you'll go faster. One
23 question at a time.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Husic, at some point did you return to Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 or not?
2 A. Yes. In early May, I returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Q. What year was that?
4 A. 1992.
5 Q. And did you have the opportunity to speak with any Arabs?
6 A. Yes. As my parents' house, where I returned at that time and
7 where my family lived, my wife and two under-age children, happened to be
8 near Mehurici. I was surprised because they arrived before I did, and I
9 spoke with one of those with whom I most frequently met in Zagreb
10 because, among other things, he was the one who spoke the Bosnian
11 language the best among them. I think his name was Abdullah.
12 So I asked him how they arrived, did they have any problems on
13 the journey like I did, to which he replied that they had proper
14 documents and that they didn't have any problems.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I would like to ask a question.
16 If you had accepted Mr. Puric's proposal, if you'd agreed to go
17 with him and to cross Posavina, if I remember correctly, do you think it
18 would have been easier for you to reach Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know all the details, how
20 they entered. All I know is that they entered with their own vehicles
21 that they had in Zagreb, with their complete weaponry that they had in
22 Zagreb, and they entered as an organised group, as a military unit.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And you mentioned documents. Did you talk about what kind of
1 documents those were, these proper documents?
2 A. I mentioned at the beginning that the only way to enter Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina was through the HVO territory, but it was not possible to
4 enter via HVO territory without papers from the Croatian state, and that
5 is why I also obtained a document from Caritas in order to be able to
6 enter Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. Can you just explain what Caritas is, please?
8 A. Caritas is a humanitarian organisation, but we obtained documents
9 via certain mediators, and they treated us as humanitarian workers on the
10 basis of the documents.
11 Q. Thank you. Now I want to ask you something else, please.
12 What was the relationship of the Croatian and Muslim population
13 in Central Bosnia before the war? This is where you lived; isn't that
15 A. Yes, I was born there, completed my elementary school there, and
16 lived there until high school. In places where the Croat and Muslim
17 population was mixed, we went to school together, socialized, worked
18 together, and our relations, especially during the last decade or on the
19 eve of the war, were excellent.
20 From World War II onwards, when this area was actually part of
21 the independent State of Croatia, the relations kept on improving.
22 Q. All right. You told us that you came in May, if I understood you
23 correctly, to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and where did you come?
24 A. Yes, I came to the house of my parents in the place of Han Bila,
25 in the Bila Valley.
1 Q. All right, thank you. Can you briefly describe what was the
2 situation as you found it, very briefly?
3 A. The Bila Valley was in chaos at that point in time. The
4 municipalities from Northwestern Bosnia where places from where a vast
5 number of refugees were arriving daily. Families were separated. They
6 had gone through much suffering. Many didn't know about what happened to
7 other members of their family. They were without any funds, and they
8 were looking for a place to stay, for some sort of refuge.
9 Q. All right. When you came, did you notice if there was any
10 military organisation in that area?
11 A. Yes. My brother and I also immediately joined the Han Bila
12 Detachment, which was part of the TO Staff of the Travnik Municipality,
13 which wasn't actually functioning in the best possible way.
14 Q. Very well.
15 A. Because the HDZ cadres were blocking its work, and the Croatian
16 people were creating the HOS, the Croat Armed Forces, at the same time,
17 and the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council, because of which the Bosniaks
18 started to create mono-ethnic village units which had different names and
19 which were outside of the system of the only legal army, the Territorial
20 Defence Staff.
21 Q. All right. So I'm going to ask you this: Did the Muslim
22 population at that time have a unified military organisation or not?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you know people who -- well, you said that they did not have
25 a unified organisation, and you said that the units had different names.
1 What are those names?
2 A. We were already talking about this group that was called the
3 Patriotic League. Then there were the village units, which were called
4 MOS. Some were calling themselves the Muslim forces, Muslimanske Snage.
5 There was some armed groups taking names, which I don't remember right
6 now, well-sounding names.
7 Q. Thank you. At any point, did you find out anything more about
8 the Muslim forces?
9 A. Yes. Since I was a member of the TO forces and I was interested
10 in why the equipping and arming of those units were proceeding slowly, I
11 came to see some friends and acquaintances, and they invited me to join
12 the MOS, Muslim Armed Forces, because they were being equipped much
13 faster. They tried to convince me that the TO Staff could never function
14 because the Croats were making their own army and obstructing the
15 establishment of a joint army.
16 Q. And did you ever join those Muslim forces at any point or not?
17 A. No. I was opposed to the idea of making a mono-ethnic army
18 because it was contributing to the aggressor's objectives and plans.
19 What particularly bothered me at the time was the fact that these were
20 very young people. Many of them weren't even of age. There was a
21 significant number of my students among them, and I believed that they
22 would suffer very quickly because of that, and this is why this idea was
23 unacceptable to me.
24 Q. Please, now I would like to ask you this: How did your father
25 look at the TO? How did he view the TO?
1 A. The TO or the joint army, which was the term that we used more
2 often, as far as the elderly people were concerned and a large number of
3 the Bila Valley population was concerned, too, was, as they said, a
4 partisan army, and it brought them associations to the army from World
5 War II which, during the period of communist rule, considerably narrowed
6 democracy, freedoms and rights in many segments of life, especially in
7 the religious sphere.
8 Q. Thank you. You've already explained to us that you did join the
9 Territorial Defence in Travnik. I will return to this question later,
10 but before that I would like to ask some questions about these
11 foreigners, these Arabs, that we spoke about a little earlier.
12 You mentioned that you contacted a certain -- had contacts with a
13 certain Abdullah. Did you have any other contacts with the Arabs after
15 A. Yes. A relative of mine, Muradif Husic, was the principal of the
16 elementary school in Mehurici and a member of the Civilian Protection
17 Unit. And as a member of the Civilian Protection, he was ordered to
18 provide accommodation for these Arabs in -- on the premises of the school
19 in Mehurici.
20 After he did this, they began to destroy the facilities of the
21 school, the books, the musical instruments that the school had, and he
22 was unable to communicate with them because he could not speak Arabic.
23 So he asked me to help him to resolve this and to prevent them from
24 vandalizing the school. However, our attempt bore no results whatsoever.
25 They simply ignored us, and the book shelves, they would just topple them
1 over and remove the books and take them to Rijeka.
2 Q. When you say "to Rijeka," do you mean Rijeka the city or are you
3 referring to something else?
4 A. No, I mean the river, the Bila River, which flows through
5 Mehurici. So, in other words, they threw these books into the river.
6 Q. Thank you. Now let me ask you this: Did you discuss with
7 Mr. Muradif Husic who it was who ordered him to provide accommodation for
8 these Arabs on the premises of the school?
9 A. Yes. I asked him, "What have you brought on to yourself?" And he
10 said that the civilian authorities of the Travnik Municipality ordered
11 the Civilian Defence, or Civilian Protection, to use the school -- to
12 allow the school to be used by this group, which brought in humanitarian
13 aid, because it was in the interests of the refugees and the local
14 population to -- it was in their interests to obtain some food.
15 Q. Can you tell me, were you able to learn more about what these
16 Arabs did, these Arabs that you saw in the school in Mehurici later on?
17 A. Yes. After the initial activities in providing humanitarian aid,
18 this group began to set up schools, because our schools had stopped --
19 had closed. And since both my wife and I have a background in theology,
20 one of them, who was in charge of organizing these schools, came to our
21 home and offered -- offered us to teach in these schools.
22 At first, I agreed on the condition that we could use the books
23 and follow the curriculum, as had been followed for decades in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina in schools, but they refused that and they demanded that we
25 follow their own curricula and use the books that they were very busy and
1 active in printing and distributing all over various towns and places.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. At this point, I would
3 request that the witness be shown document D1064.
4 Your Honour, this document, let me just say that we have in the
5 e-court system the original Arabic version and the English translation,
6 but we have a copy of the Bosnian version, translation into Bosnian,
7 which we can give to the witness and also to the Prosecutor, in view of
8 the fact that they have an assistant who can speak Bosnian so they can be
9 able to verify this translation.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought I also heard that the witness can
11 understand Arabic. So he can read from the Arabic and tell us what he
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 Could we please zoom on this Arabic text.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The text -- it's a bit difficult
16 to follow this, but basically we can. So this is a call to Jihad and to
17 Allah -- to Allah, the Merciful, and may he be saved as God's prophet,
18 Jihad in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see page 2 of the
20 English version, page 2 of the document.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not very legible.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yes. I believe if you look at the second page, also in Arabic.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it possible to get the documents to share the
25 screen equally so that we can have the full view of the English version.
1 Thank you so much.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Witness, are you able to read this from Arabic?
4 A. Well, in part, but it's not complete, it's not completely
6 Q. All right. Would you then -- could you please take a look at the
7 Bosnian version. Do you have it in front of you? And I would request
8 that you read the first paragraph on the second page:
9 Witness, do you have the Bosnian version in front of you, not on
10 the screen but in hard copy?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Registrar, in hard copy, not on the screen.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, please look at page 04685628.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you please read the first paragraph of this document, the
16 first section of this document, just read it to yourself. Thank you.
17 I will quote the gist of what the Defence would like to point to.
18 At the very beginning of page 2, it says:
19 "Another characteristic of this Jihad is a focus and great care
20 on the missionary aspect, given all elementary and advanced Sharia
21 courses for Ensari [phoen] and Bosnians, equal and serious efforts to
22 establish a complete library in the Bosnian language."
23 I would like to ask you this: You just mentioned that you had
24 opportunity to speak to the Arabs in the Mehurici school about the
25 establishment of their schools, and in relation to that, could you please
1 comment on this portion that you've just read?
2 A. Yes. This precisely reflects the goals that they had, which
3 completely put aside our tradition in Islamic education in Bosnia, in the
4 Bosnian way of many generations, and they tried to impose a completely
5 new, different concept which had not existed in our parts of the country.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may we please have a
7 number assigned to this document.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
9 please be given an exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become
11 Exhibit 1200.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And would that be a
13 convenient moment, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I
15 was just going to suggest that.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take a break and come back at 4.00.
17 Court adjourned.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Husic, before the break we discussed the religious training
23 or the religious schools organised by Arabs. Did you notice, in the
24 course of 1992 and 1993, any other activities carried out by Arabs?
25 A. Yes. After having developed this particular activity and having
1 opened a number of schools, they started calling upon young men, some of
2 them were even under age, to attend a sort of training. In doing so,
3 they equipped them with uniforms and weapons.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. At this time, could we
5 look at Exhibit Number 89. And can I kindly ask the usher to zoom in on
6 both documents.
7 Q. Mr. Husic, while we're waiting for the document to be enlarged,
8 I'll ask you to direct your attention to the second paragraph, starting
9 with the words: "At the command of the 306th ... "
10 Since I'm interested in only a small portion of the document that
11 I want you to comment on, I will quote that, that's the second paragraph
12 of the document.
13 Before dealing with that portion of the document, I want to ask
14 you the following: Can you see what the document deals with, from the
16 A. Yes. This is the report on the inspection of the 306th Mountain
17 Brigade that was conducted by the superior command of the 3rd Corps on
18 the 7th of June, 1993.
19 Q. It seems to me that the date is the 2nd of June, 1993. In
20 connection with this, tell me, were you a member of the brigade at the
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. The
24 printed number is not very clear. The date, in fact, is that of the 2nd
25 of August, 1993, whereas I had the impression that the date was the 2nd
1 of June, and I misled the witness.
2 Let me quote the relevant part of the document to you. It reads:
3 "At the 306th Mountain Brigade Command in Krpeljici village, the
4 commander of the 4th Battalion of the 306th Brigade, Lujanovic [phoen]
5 informed the brigade chief and us that one platoon from Kotor Varos no
6 longer wished to be part of the 306th Brigade and wished instead to join
7 the 17th Krajina Brigade. A communication was also sent to all the
8 villages from the Muslim forces stationed in Mehurici village, calling
9 soldiers to attend a 40-day training. The question of a timely rotation
10 of personnel in the Ljuta Greda ..." and so on and so forth is being
12 Q. Tell me, are you familiar with this problem?
13 A. Yes. We held the Defence lines at Vlasic, facing the Chetniks.
14 Q. Mr. Husic, my apologies, but could you please focus on the issue
15 of these invitations sent out by the Muslim forces, rather than this
16 other issue of the shortage of men?
17 A. The fact is that the young men were being invited to attend
18 training. In view of the conduct of our members, who were onlookers of
19 that process, who were on the flanks holding defence lines, instead of
20 the domestic army, to be in charge of that, they sought that they -- they
21 asked that they join the 17th Glorious Krajina Brigade.
22 Q. Evidently, you didn't quite understand what I asked you. I'm
23 interested in the problem, and I'll repeat it again. I'll read: The
24 Muslim forces stationed at Mehuric sent out an invitation to all the
25 villages, inviting young men to attend a 40-day training?
1 A. Yes. This invitation was sent by the group that we referred to
2 as the Muslim forces, who were in no way an official unit. They were
3 together with the Arabs in part of this training of theirs.
4 Q. The Muslim forces are being referred to here.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Are we talking here of three forces, the
6 306th -- 4th Battalion, 4th Battalion of the 306th Brigade, the 17th
7 Glorious Krajina Brigade and the Muslim forces? Do I understand it that
8 way, Madam Vidovic, and the Muslim forces, are these what you call the
9 Muslimanske Snage? Thank you.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will ask
11 the witness to clarify this.
12 Q. When you referred to the Muslim forces in such documents, what
13 did you have in mind? Was it the MOS or what does "the Muslim forces"
14 stand for, if you know?
15 A. This isn't the MOS, that particular MOS unit that was being
16 formed in Travnik and that we discussed. This refers to local young men
17 that -- a group of Arabs organised into units by dint of holding training
18 for them, providing them with uniforms, and, in part, weapons.
19 Q. Thank you. What was the relationship, if any, between the local
20 Muslim population and the Arabs in the area of the Bila Valley?
21 THE WITNESS: The population expected that the aggression on
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be stopped by the International Community and
23 the European countries, and these expectations of theirs were not met.
24 The aggression gained momentum, and the only party who provided
25 assistance, primarily large supplies of food and other necessities, were
1 precisely these Arabs. For that reason, the population looked upon their
2 activities favorably and accepted them. They wielded an enormous
3 influence on the population in general.
4 Q. You described having had contact with a group of Arabs from
5 Mehurici. Based on what you saw and observed, was that the only group of
6 Arabs, the one that you saw?
7 A. No. In that period of time, there were several different groups
8 that were oftentimes mutually conflicting and were stationed and active
9 in different areas. Some of them came to the Bila Valley periodically,
10 only to disappear after that, and many of them were stationed in the
11 different parts of the Bila Valley. It was difficult to identify all of
12 them. I know that one of the groups was situated at Guca Gora.
13 Q. Please, can you stop there. When you say one group was situated
14 at Guca Gora, can you tell me what the basis of your knowledge of that
15 is? Did you have any contacts through correspondence?
16 A. Yes. At the time when the Croatian population left Guca Gora, in
17 addition to the civilian authorities taking care for the abandoned
18 properties --
19 Q. Mr. Husic, please pause there. Can you please specify the time
20 frame? Which period of time are you referring to when you say that the
21 Croatian population left Guca Gora?
22 A. That was the 10th -- the 9th or the 10th of June, 1993. The
23 military police provided security for the monastery at Guca Gora and sent
24 word to the Command of the 306th of the fact that some properties were
25 being set on fire. At that point, the military police or, rather, the
1 Security Service tried to investigate these events, and the young men who
2 were charged with guarding these houses informed the police that the
3 perpetrators were a group called "Abu Hamza." That's how they referred
4 them. That group inhabited the village. They moved into the village at
5 their own will.
6 Q. Did you have any contacts with any of the Arab groups in that
7 area at that period of time?
8 A. Yes. On the 10th of June, after the Croatian propaganda had
9 informed the public that the monastery at Guca Gora had been completely
10 damaged and destroyed, the superior command ordered us to send a denial
11 of that piece of news, since it was broadcast by the CNN as well. Thus,
12 I and a group of journalists who had arrived from Zenica set out from
13 Krpeljici to Guca Gora and observed large quantities of household
14 appliances, refrigerators, stoves, and such like, having been taken out
15 of Croat properties by some very strangely-dressed, uniformed persons who
16 had pirate-like scarves on their heads. I walked away from a group of
17 journalists and cameramen with an intention to check who the individuals
19 As I walked some 10 metres down toward them, I inquired who they
20 were and which unit they belonged to. I observed that they didn't have
21 any insignia. One of them answered my question rudely by saying, "What
22 do you care about which unit we belong to?" By saying that, he grabbed
23 me by my hair and placed a knife against my neck. A cameraman, who had a
24 camera on him, was trying to film what was going on and adjusting the
25 camera accordingly.
1 When the man holding the knife against my neck noticed that the
2 cameraman was trying to film him, he let go of me and ran toward the
3 cameraman. At that point, there was general commotion already, and the
4 police officers who were providing security for the monastery heard these
5 shouts and headed in our direction. At that point, these individuals
6 fled. They jumped a wall and went away, running among the houses there.
7 Q. Mr. Husic, did you ever learn who the individual belonged to, to
8 which group, if any?
9 A. Yes. I informed the commander of the brigade, and then he
10 informed the superior officer, the commander of the Operations Group
11 Bosanska Krajina, Mr. Alagic, who immediately sent the most elite
12 military police unit that we had to block that entire area and to
13 investigate the entire matter.
14 Our policemen, who were securing the monastery, had already
15 established that these were members of the Gerila from Zenica.
16 Q. Just one moment, please. When you say "Gerila from Zenica," are
17 these foreigners or locals?
18 A. Turkish guerrilla comprising mostly foreigners. I don't know
19 exactly who made up the group, but they are most often referred to in
20 Central Bosnia under this name, "Gerila," a group of foreigners that we
21 could not really ever properly identify.
22 So the trucks that they sent for these looted articles, these
23 were refrigerator trucks of these Zmajevac, butcher's plant from Zenica.
24 They were found completely empty, because in cooperation with some
25 members of the local population, when they understood -- when they
1 realized that there was a search on -- after them, they probably sold or
2 hid the looted articles, so that no one was arrested and the only
3 evidence were the trucks that the military or military police actually
4 seized then.
5 Q. All right. Mr. Husic, I would like to ask you this: How far is
6 Guca Gora from the village of Bikosi? I'm referring to the distance.
7 A. It's at a distance of some two kilometres away. Bikosi, Maline
8 and Guca Gora are linked by an asphalt road. More recently, those
9 settlements had grown all the way up to the road, so that now you could
10 say that they're almost one populated area, one settlement.
11 Q. All right, thank you. You described your meetings with Mujahedin
12 in the period of 1992 and early 1993. I would like you to look at some
13 documents, and I would ask you to comment on them, please.
14 Can the witness now look at Exhibit 135, please. For the
15 transcript, this is a daily report of the 3rd Corps Command of the 10th
16 of May, 1993.
17 Witness, can you please look at page 1 in the Bosnian version,
18 and this is page 2 in the English version, Your Honours.
19 Can we scroll down the document in both the Bosnian and the
20 English versions so that we see the lower part of the document. Thank
22 Witness, can you please look at this portion. Would you agree
23 that this is referring to the 306th Brigade?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I'm going to quote now -- well, please look at this portion, and
1 then after that we will move to the second page of the document.
2 Can we now look at the second page of the Bosnian version of the
3 document. Thank you.
4 Do you see here that there is a portion of the document that is
5 underlined, Mr. Husic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I would like to draw your attention to that. It says:
8 "We have a lot of problems about the undefined status of the
9 Muslimanske Snage from Mehurici, which according to our information are
10 currently working on the forming of the 8th Muslim Brigade, and there are
11 every day fighters from our brigade who are joining them or reporting to
12 them or to other units."
13 Are you familiar with this situation that is being described in the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The forming of the 8th Muslim Brigade is being referred to.
17 According to what you know, was it ever formed?
18 A. The 8th Muslim Brigade was never formed. These were just pieces
19 of mis-information spread by these groups in order to attract the largest
20 possible number of individuals from our valley. Our problem was that a
21 large number of our fighters from the 306th, because we still didn't have
22 uniforms or weapons or many other things, reported precisely to these
23 groups, and we needed to stop this.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We can put this
25 document away.
1 Can the witness now look at Exhibit 88. For the transcript,
2 while we're waiting for the document to appear on the monitor, I can say
3 that this is a document of the 306th Brigade Command, the Section for
4 Morale, dated the 30th of July, 1993, and it talks about the information
5 of the status of combat morale in the area of responsibility and units of
6 the 306th Brigade. This is page 1 of this document. I would like the
7 witness also to look at page 2 of the Bosnian version of this document,
8 which is actually the fourth page of the English version.
9 Q. It appears, Mr. Husic, that your name is next to the stamp in the
10 lower right-hand corner of this document?
11 A. Yes. I drafted this document as the assistant.
12 Q. Can you please speak up a little bit? I'm afraid that they don't
13 hear you.
14 A. Yes. As the commander's person for morale, I was responsible and
15 reporting about the situation of the morale in the situation of the 306th
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now go back to
18 page 1 of the document, please, the first page of the document. And when
19 it appears in the Bosnian version, I would like to ask you, first of
20 all -- actually, I would like to ask the usher to scroll the Bosnian
21 version of the document down. Also, can we look at page 2 of the English
22 version. We're going to focus on this part that deals with the situation
23 in the units. Can you please show the last two paragraphs of the
25 Q. Witness, can you look at the last two paragraphs of the document.
1 In English version that would be the last paragraph and then it crosses
2 on to the next page, page 3.
3 So when Their Honours read it, and the Prosecutors reads it,
4 maybe the usher then can show us the next page of the English version.
5 Very well, thank you.
6 Witness, have you managed to read these last two paragraphs?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I would like to ask you this: The El Jihad group is mentioned
9 here. What was your information about that group?
10 A. The fact itself that they were referred to by different names,
11 Jihad, Mujahid, Mujahedin, indicates we didn't even know their real name,
12 never mind any other details about their structure. But the problem that
13 we are talking about here is the fact that they attracted a large number
14 of people which were from the -- from our unit, and also they attracted a
15 large number of persons who had not been mobilized into the 306th
16 Mountain Brigade yet. People were going to different units while at the
17 time we were at an elevation of over 1800 meters, and we had to hold an
18 enormous line for which task we did not have enough men or weapons or
20 Q. I would like you to -- to ask you this now: You, as the author
21 of this document, sent the document to the 3rd Corps. Did you ever
22 receive confirmation from the 3rd Corps that any unit named "El Jihad"
23 was established?
24 A. No.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like the
1 usher to put away this document and to show the witness Exhibit 145,
3 Q. Witness, I would like to draw your attention to the first part of
4 this official note of the 306th Brigade, dated the 26th of August, 1993.
5 Can you please look at the first half of the document, where the
6 situation in Guca Gora is being described, the burning of buildings
7 belonging to Croats. It also says that the perpetrators are foreign
8 nationals who are currently living in "our area of responsibility."
9 Please, is this the situation that you were just describing when
10 you were talking about burning?
11 A. Yes, but this was something that was repeated several times.
12 This was not the only such instance.
13 Q. I would like to ask you the following: Did you find out, you and
14 the brigade, did you find out who were the perpetrators of this incident
15 that is described in this document?
16 A. Yes. It's this group called "Abu Hamza's group." The only thing
17 we knew was that they were living in Guca Gora. As for any other
18 details, how many of them were there and so on, we didn't know that and
19 it was something that we couldn't really find out.
20 Q. Thank you. Today, you mentioned in your testimony the group from
21 Mehurici and this group from Guca Gora, and my question to you is this:
22 Did these groups take part, together with you -- when I say "with you,"
23 I'm thinking of the 306th Brigade. Did they take part in combat actions
24 together with the 306th Brigade?
25 A. No, none of these groups ever participated in combat actions
1 together with us, nor was it possible to establish any kind of contact or
2 cooperation. You could say more, that we were kind of hostile towards
3 each other.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we put this
5 document away now. I would like the witness to look at Exhibit number
6 263. For the transcript, this is a document of the 306th Brigade of the
7 28th of July, 1993, and its title is "Information on the Situation and
8 factors of influence on combat morale in the area of responsibility and
9 units of the 306th Mountain Brigade." I would like the witness to look
10 at page 3 of the Bosnian version, which is page 5 of the English version.
11 Q. Witness, can you look at the signature part of the page?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you recognise this?
14 A. This is my handwriting, my signature. This is a document that I
15 thus drafted.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now go back to page 1,
18 Q. First of all, can you please look at -- you are the author of the
19 document, so, first of all, can you please, but just briefly, explain the
20 context in which this document was written?
21 A. Because of the facts that I described earlier, that in our area
22 of responsibility there was a large number of refugees, a large number of
23 different armed groups about which we had no information who they were,
24 what they were, where they were from, and we were unable to identify them
25 in any way, and we wished to have the situation under control as much as
1 we could. In this document, we resolved a large number of problems that
2 we were facing as a unit, and generally as the local population, because
3 most of our fighters came from that area. So anything that was happening
4 in that area had an adverse effect on the combat morale, so this is what
5 I was specifically informing about in this report.
6 Q. All right. I would like you to look at the beginning of the
7 document, the part -- well, actually, can you scroll the document down.
8 You already explained that maybe we can scroll down this document.
9 Can you please -- I'm interested in this part here at Hrasce. It
10 begins somewhere towards the end of the document, it says: "At Hrasce,"
11 and then "(688)." This is page 2 of the English version.
12 Can the usher please show us page 2 of the English version, the
13 third paragraph from the bottom. Page 2, the third paragraph from the
14 bottom. Okay, we can see it. Thank you.
15 What is described here are some activities that relate to the
16 Hrasce feature. The units that tried to capture it are mentioned. I'm
17 going to quote:
18 "In Hrasce (688), where the latest offensive conducted by our
19 forces failed, and the 17th, the 314th, the Mujahedin and our forces
20 tried the same several times, but it was unsuccessful just like it was
21 this time."
22 I would like you to comment on this part of the document.
23 A. This time, the 306th Mountain Brigade tried to capture feature
24 688 called "Hrasce." We were not successful. We had many losses,
25 because of which our failure prompted different not-so-nice tales to
1 circulate in the brigade, and I mentioned the units which had earlier, on
2 several occasions, each on its own, attempted to eliminate this feature,
3 because it was in a dominant position in the middle of the Bila Valley,
4 and it was possible to control all the roads from there, all the roads
5 that lead through the Bila Valley. So this was something that was in the
6 way of the 17th Glorious, which had to effect the replacements of its
7 fighters through our area of responsibility, and it was an obstacle to
8 the 314th as well, which had to also relieve its own troops by passing
9 through our area of responsibility, as well as an obstacle to the
10 Mujahedin, who particularly did not allow movement, as well as members of
11 the 306th Mountain Brigade, who whenever they wanted to were not able to
12 carry out their regular activities. And numbering the -- or mentioning
13 the units here, I would put a comma after that, and I put "our forces"
14 too, but that does not mean that we ever took part together with any of
15 these units in attempts to eliminate this feature.
16 Q. A few moments ago, you said that you had never -- that you had
17 never fought together, side by side, with a Mujahedin, in no action. Did
18 you ever fight together with them, and I mean the 306th, in any action
19 connected with the -- in relation to elevation Hrasce?
20 A. No.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may remove this
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before it gets removed and then I get confused,
24 Madam Vidovic, because this document, which is authored by this witness,
1 "In Hrasce (688), where the latest offensive conducted by our
2 forces failed, 17th, 314th, Mujahedin and our forces tried the same
3 several times, but it was unsuccessful like this time."
4 Now, that, together with what he has just said a few minutes ago
5 before you asked the question, he said, at page 40, it's a very long
7 "So this was something that was in the way of the --"
8 Sorry, page 40, line 5:
9 "So this was something that was in the way of 17th Glorious,
10 which had to effect the replacements of its fighters through our area of
11 responsibility, and it was an obstacle to the 314th as well, which had
12 to," I don't know what, "its own troops by passing through the area of
13 responsibility, as well as an obstacle to the Mujahedin, who particularly
14 did not allow movement, as well as members of the 306th Mountain Brigade,
15 who, whenever they wanted to, were not able to carry out their regular
17 So it looks like all four, the 17th Glorious, the 314th, the Mujahedin
18 and the 306th Mountain Brigade had similar obstacles which they were
19 together facing, which tends to corroborate what is said in this
20 document, but which is contradictory to what I hear the witness saying.
21 Are you able to explain this, Mr. Witness?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This sentence is rather
23 long, and especially now, listening to the translation, I myself find it
24 difficult to understand what you are saying, because it does not exactly
25 correspond to what it was that I meant to say, initially.
1 What it is is that this feature, Hrasce feature, is in a dominant
2 position in the central part of the Bila Valley. Many units that had to
3 pass that way were stopped, and each of them separately, when they were
4 threatened from this feature, they tried to eliminate the weapons or the
5 army -- members of the army that were up there. So it was never any of
6 these units together. They all acted separately. Whenever they were
7 prevented to move on and proceed along the route, they would try to
8 eliminate them, but they never tried to do it together, all of them
9 together, they did it separately, each on their own.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you then explain the contents of your letter,
11 of your report, sir, which says, I repeat:
12 "In Hrasce, (688), where "The latest offensive conducted by our
13 forces failed, 17th, 314th, Mujahedin and our forces tried the same
14 several times, but it was unsuccessful like this time."
15 This is what you wrote, or at least the English translation of
16 what is alleged to have been written by you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was the assistant
18 commander of the 306th Mountain Brigade, and when I say "our forces" --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... just explain
20 that sentence that I have just talked about. You have told us that you
21 were the assistant commander. Don't start there.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but it says here that earlier
23 on -- just a moment, please:
24 "Earlier on, the following units tried or attempted to capture
25 this feature."
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where are you reading from, sir, in this document?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my document, there is a
3 sentence reading as follows:
4 "At Hrasce (688), where the latest offensive mounted by our
5 forces failed," and I'm referring here to the 306th, earlier on at this
6 feature, the 17th, the 314th, the Mujahedin and "our forces also
7 attempted," in other words, also our brigade, the 306th Brigade at some
8 point in the past.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: In the English version, there's no --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. I was saying in the English, there is no
12 phrase "earlier on," but nonetheless, you still trap together the 17th,
13 the 314th, the Mujahedin, and "our forces" having tried the same several
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Each of these units had attempted
16 this earlier on, and so did the 306th on one occasion before this one
17 that I was now reporting on. So this was our second failure, and all of
18 these units had attempted to eliminate this feature, but none of them was
19 successful. And yet we were the only ones who were proclaimed uncapable.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You understand, though, that the reader of this
21 sentence, without the use of the words that all of these units attended
22 independently and separately, would understand this sentence to mean that
23 they actually did attempt -- took this attempt together. This is the
24 problem, you see. Your document doesn't say you did this independently
25 and separately. It just lists the people -- the groups that did it and
1 leaves the reader with the impression that you were in a joint action.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible to read this
3 document in that light, but these words that I mentioned here "earlier
4 on," these units, and then I named all the units, also tried their hand
5 at this. It doesn't mean that they all did this together.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Even if you put the words "earlier on," it still
7 gives the same impression, without using words "independently" or
8 "separately" or something to that effect. It just says:
9 "Earlier on, the 17th, 314th, Mujahedin and our forces tried the
10 same several times ..."
11 That is what it says, and that is what the reader is left with.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the possible
13 interpretation of this, but the sentence is a bit long and unwieldy, but
14 it does reflect what I mentioned here. At least that's how I attempted
15 to report it.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 Madam Vidovic, you may proceed.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I will ask you a question relating to this. In this period, in
20 the summer of 1993, did the units mentioned here, the 17th, the 314th,
21 the Mujahedin and the 306th, ever together attack the Hrasce feature?
22 A. No, never, not the four together nor either of these units in
23 combination with one other unit. All of them just attempted this
24 separately much earlier.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: If this is the fact -- sorry. If this is the
2 fact, Mrs. Vidovic, the question that springs to mind is: Why not? Why
3 was an attempt never made to coordinate the forces and to take this hill
4 in a joint and coordinated action?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because all our forces, in fact,
6 still had their own priorities, tasks, that related to the defence of the
7 defence line facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor, and only in
8 those cases, where we were stopped by forces and where parts of our
9 forces were prevented to move further, only on those occasions did we
10 attempt to eliminate this feature. In other words, we did not have time
11 to deal with this feature, in view of far greater problems that we faced
12 at the time on the defence line.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, just organize
15 the operations in a separate fashion. You had to coordinate your action
16 at one point in time, or didn't you have to do that? Otherwise, you
17 could have -- you could have ended up on the elevation, all of you at the
18 same time?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. All these units, from time to
20 time every one of these units would pass through that area, and on those
21 occasions where they were stopped from progressing further, they would
22 then draw attempt -- they would then enter into conflict with those who
23 were on this feature.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So this was not -- the taking of
25 this elevation was not a coordinated action, but the point was just to be
1 able to go through this area when needed; that was the whole idea?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because from this feature, it was
3 possible to control all movement through the Bila Valley.
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Maybe it's because I'm a woman,
5 but I'm having a hard time with this. I'm sorry. But if taking this
6 elevation was really necessary to control passage, taking this elevation
7 in order to control it must have been an operation that would have been
8 decided and coordinated by the superior command of the units that were
9 going through. Isn't that the case?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with you, but units
11 have their priorities, and this feature, although it was just a single,
12 tiny feature, it was very well fortified and we were not able to mount a
13 large operation for just this one point that would occasionally prevent
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, I'm getting even more confused, the more I
16 hear you.
17 You told us that you never undertook a joint effort to take this
18 feature because your forces still had their own priorities related to the
19 defence of the defence line facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor.
20 But in the same breath, you say this was an important feature that
21 controlled movement. And, in fact, to underline how important it is,
22 there have been four separate units that have attempted to take this
23 feature, and all of them have failed. Yours, in particular, has tried it
24 twice and has twice failed. Surely, this is an important priority, it
25 looks like, that needs to be taken in order to control movement. And the
1 question that the Judge raised then remains unanswered, "Why was there no
2 joint effort mounted to take this important feature that controls
3 movement which has been attempted by four separate units who have
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is difficult to answer this
6 question, why we did not communicate more together. I think what was at
7 stake here was the interests of each separate unit, and they're focusing
8 on their own tasks, so it wasn't really perceived as a joint problem to
9 such an extent that we would actually sacrifice a large number of people
10 for just this one feature.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me ask you what, I hope, will be my last
12 question on this point.
13 All these four units that attempted to take this feature had a
14 common goal and a common objective about this feature, and they were --
15 although they attended to take the feature at different times and
16 independently of one another, they were both -- they were all interested
17 in freeing this feature for their common purpose; am I right?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it, therefore, fair to say the Mujahedin was
20 fighting side by side with the other three units of the ARBiH?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely not, because each
22 one tried at different times, whenever they were prevented from passing,
23 to capture that feature.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you said you had a common objective. You
25 agreed that you had a common objective.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we had a common problem,
2 which --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was not my question. Not "problem," I said
4 "common objective." That was my question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I cannot give you an
6 answer about why there was no cooperation among the units. I wasn't the
7 commander of any of them.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking about cooperation now. You have
9 asked the question about cooperation and you said it was a difficult
10 question to answer. I'm asking you about fighting side by side with one
11 another and having your common objective.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I don't understand.
13 There was no coordination. There was -- I don't know.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... coordination,
15 sir. Please don't put words into my question. I'm talking about a
16 common objective. And if you say you don't understand, that's fine,
17 we'll leave it at that.
18 Madam Vidovic, you may proceed.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Husic, I would like to ask you this: Did the Mujahedin fight
21 in 1992 and in the spring of 1993 with the 306th Brigade, with an
22 objective or without an objective?
23 A. No, never. We were never together in any single action.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 Your Honours, can this document be put away, and if we could look
1 at Exhibit 291.
2 All right. This is a summary of military information, dated --
3 100, dated -- number 100, dated the 7th of August, 1993. I would like
4 you to please look at item numbered 3 in the document.
5 Can we scroll down the document, both in the English and the
6 Bosnian version, so we can look at paragraph marked "3" of the document.
7 Q. Please, can you look at this paragraph marked "3." The document
8 describes the visit of the Travnik liaison officer to the commander of
9 the 306th Brigade. It's a very short paragraph. Could you please read
10 and comment upon it, as briefly as possible.
11 A. I believe that this assessment of the liaison officer is
12 superficial. Our relationship with the Mujahedin, all from the Command
13 of the 306th Mountain Brigade, was hostile, simply because we tried to
14 control any kind of behaviour in our area of responsibility, and they did
15 not agree. They did not want in any way to take into account all the
16 legal, military regulations in respect of behaviour or conduct in our
17 area of responsibility. They didn't take that into account at all. So I
18 don't know if their presence would ensure safe passage. That doesn't
19 sound credible to me.
20 Q. All right. I'm asking this now: This document bears the date
21 7th of August, 1993. Do you remember where the Mujahedin were billeted
22 at that time?
23 A. At the time, they were in a place called Poljanica [Realtime
24 transcript read in error "Poljice"] it was a settlement close to
25 Mehurici, where they were relocated after beginning to get into conflict
1 with our battalion in Mehurici.
2 Q. Can you please tell us where they transferred to?
3 A. To the elementary school in Mehurici, because these were members
4 of a battalion comprised mostly of those who were expelled or whose
5 families were split up, and for this reason they drank a lot, they got
6 drunk a lot, and so these incidents and the fact that the Arabs did not
7 accept the alcohol aspect, led to them leaving the school and settling
8 down in two abandoned houses in Poljanica.
9 Q. I would like to ask you this in relation to this document, too:
10 If you can look at the second sentence of the document, where it says --
11 the first sentence says:
12 "Sepic also spoke on the subject of the Mujahedin based in the
13 school ..."
14 And then it says: "This grouping of the 7th Muslim Brigade." How
15 do you comment on that?
16 A. First of all, the 7th Muslim was never in Mehurici except for
17 individuals from the area of responsibility or the Bila Valley, who were
18 in 7th Brigade, but evidently here the Bosniaks who were with the Arabs
19 were often taken for some other units, to be the same as some other
20 units, the 7th, the MOS, the Mujahedin. They were described in different
21 ways, depending on how they were seen.
22 A battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade was in the school only.
23 The Arabs had two rooms which served as a storage area and offices, where
24 they were bringing in humanitarian articles and distributing them, and
25 they had some sort of administrative work there.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right, thank you.
2 MR. NEUNER: It has disappeared from the screen already. On
3 transcript page 49, lines 22, I think the witness said "Poljanica" and
4 the transcript reflects "Poljice." I just wanted to correct that.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 If I can clarify a little bit, earlier you told us of some
7 Mujahedin staying in a school of which your brother -- your cousin was a
8 principal in Mehurici. Am I right? You are now talking of --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are now talking here of people being
11 transferred to an elementary school in Mehurici. Are these two different
12 schools that you're talking about, two different time places, two
13 different organizations, or is this the same group that we talked about
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It's one school, actually,
16 where the Mujahedin were billeted first, as I explained earlier. Then,
17 later, we came to the same building, but a floor below. We came to the
18 ground floor. That's where we put the 1st Battalion of our 306th
19 Mountain Brigade. Because of their mutual quarrelling, most frequently
20 over alcohol, but some other problems, too, these Mujahedin who were on
21 the upper floor left the school --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who were drinking alcohol? Your members? The
23 Mujahedin was there on the top floor. Your brigade, is that the 306th
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: They were on the bottom floor?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then members of the 306th were drinking
4 alcohol, hence quarrelling with the Mujahedin?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then what happened?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Mujahedin left the
8 school and went to stay in the village of Poljanice, but two rooms in the
9 school they kept as a storage area, where they kept humanitarian aid
10 which arrived and was distributed to the locals, because it wasn't safe
11 to keep that in Poljanice. They couldn't keep it there in a secure way.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Let's just put away the storage side.
13 At page 50, line 1, or let me say page 49, line 25, Madam Vidovic
14 asked you:
15 "Can you please tell us where they transferred to?"
16 And the answer was:
17 "To the elementary school in Mehurici."
18 So this is not stock being kept in Mehurici. These are people
19 transferring to Mehurici. Which are these? Who are these people now,
20 because the Mujahedin left and went to Poljanice. In fact, you're making
21 this statement after you've told us that they've gone to Poljanice.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I really didn't
23 understand the question.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me back off. You said -- let me --
25 Madam Vidovic said:
1 "All right. I'm asking this now: This document bears the date
2 7th August 1993. Do you remember where the Mujahedin were billeted at
3 that time?"
4 You said:
5 "At that time, they were in a place called Poljanice. It was a
6 settlement close to Mehurici, where they were relocated after beginning
7 to get into conflict with our battalion in Mehurici."
8 That's what you said.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: And the next question was:
11 "Can you please tell us where they were transferred to?"
12 And you said:
13 "To the elementary school in Mehurici."
14 Who are these people who are being transferred to the elementary school
15 in Mehurici?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I said that, then I made a
17 mistake. The Mujahedin, from the elementary school in Mehurici, because
18 of conflicts with our unit that was billeted in the school, left that
19 area and went to Poljanice. No one else came.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: And no Mujahedin or Arabs now remained in Mehurici
21 school after that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they just kept those two rooms
23 where they were keeping the humanitarian aid.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 Madam Vidovic, I think it clears the point.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that it's
2 time for a break.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, indeed. I'm sorry I took your time up, but I
4 was not following the witness.
5 We'll take a break and come back at quarter to 6.00.
6 Court adjourned.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
9 THE COURT: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can the witness be
11 shown Exhibit 1137. For the record, this is the document of the 30 -- or
12 rather of the commander of the 3rd August -- of the 28th of August, 1993,
13 order for the resubordination of units, signed by the commander,
15 Q. Mr. Husic, as you can see, the resubordination to the 306th
16 Brigade of the Independent El Mudjahedin Detachment is mentioned,
17 complete with their manpower and materiel and technical equipment. What
18 is your comment in relation to this document, if any?
19 A. As the document clearly says, this request had not been met.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Neuner.
21 MR. NEUNER: I wanted to put this on the record. The way the
22 documents are introduced at the moment is in a summary fashion, so that
23 my learned colleague is giving already certain content of the document.
24 I, myself, couldn't so quickly read through the documents. I would just
25 make a suggestion that maybe the witness gets some time to look
1 independently at the document before its content is introduced the way it
2 was just done.
3 I see the answer is already on the record, but I understand my
4 learned colleague wants to save time by this way, but I find that this
5 is, in a way, indirectly leading also by already summarizing the content
6 without the witness having time to look at it.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any comment, Madam Vidovic?
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I can, Your Honour. I did the
9 following: I indicated the date of the document, the title of the
10 document, which indicates that this is an order for resubordination, and
11 what I described was the first paragraph of the document. I invited the
12 witness to comment upon the document without in any way suggesting what
13 sort of a comment the witness is supposed to give.
14 MR. NEUNER: Just the very fact that my learned colleague has
15 said that this is an order for resubordination to the 306th Brigade of
16 the independent El Mudjahedin Detachment, I have to say I don't get this
17 so quickly here from reading the first paragraph of this document. It
18 says, at least in my translation:
19 "The aggressor forces in the 35th Division ..."
20 So I don't get it so quickly.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: "Aggressor forces"?
22 MR. NEUNER: Exhibit 1137.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where is "aggressor forces"?
24 MR. NEUNER: That's the first paragraph here. Oh, I'm sorry, I'm
25 obviously working from a wrong copy here.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You certainly are, sir.
2 MR. NEUNER: I apologise.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are. Okay. And also remember that this is
4 already an exhibit. There's no need to lay a foundation for it. So,
5 okay, Madam Vidovic, your learned friend has realized his mistake.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] That's fine, Your Honour. I also
7 happen to make such errors.
8 Q. Can the witness please comment on the document?
9 A. The document clearly states this order was never implemented, and
10 this was confirmed with a signature that I can decipher right now. The
11 fact of the matter is that the El Mujahid Detachment had never, in any
12 way, been resubordinated to or engaged in coordinated action with the
13 306th Mountain Brigade. That's become quite clear by now, I think.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We can put this
15 document away now.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam Vidovic, again the question is: If the
17 witness testifies that the subordination never happened, and this was
18 ordered in August 1993, which is, as I recall, shortly after the
19 establishment of the El Mujahid Detachment, the question that springs to
20 mind is: Why on earth didn't it happen?
21 Now we see that the Command of the 3rd Corps is taking an active
22 role in coordinating matters within the ambit of the corps, so one would
23 expect that things would change now. But apparently they did not, and I
24 would like the witness to explain to us why not.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the start of the inception
1 of the 306th Mountain Brigade, or, rather, since its inception, our
2 relations with the detachment were quite troubled, since we wanted them
3 to abide by all the legal, military and other regulations, which they
4 never did. They saw us, members of the brigade command, as enemies
5 trying to impose upon them matters that they did not wish to accept. Our
6 relations were so poor that they did not want to go along with us. They
7 would not have acted upon the order of the commander of the 306th
8 Mountain Brigade. This was something that we could not work upon them to
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: But may I then ask why a matter like this was not
11 handled and resolved by the 3rd Corps? And I suppose that in my question
12 lies a presumption that this noncompliance with the corps' order was
13 reported to the corps, so I should be more precise and ask you, first of
14 all: Did you report this to the 3rd Corps Command, to Commander
15 Hadzihasanovic, and what did he do about it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Naturally, we had to submit a
17 report. Now, why he did not take certain measures, I cannot speak on his
18 behalf, but I suppose that he had the same reasons as we did. The 306th
19 Mountain Brigade, although we were a strong unit, why we were unable to
20 come into a direct conflict with them, this was because of the great
21 support that the population, in general, gave them. And their weaponry,
22 although fewer in quantity, was far more sophisticated.
23 Entering into such a conflict with them would not have been wise
24 at all under those circumstances.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for my edification, you said you can decipher
2 the signature below the handwritten comment. Whose signature is that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I suppose it's the
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: But the commander's signature is below the order.
6 It's a long signature. That other one is a short, small signature. And
7 you said the document clearly states this --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Commander?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me tell you what you said at page 56, line 6:
10 "The document clearly states this order was never implemented,
11 and this was confirmed with a signature that I can decipher right now."
12 I thought you were talking about the signature below the comment:
13 "Order not carried out." Are you mistaken to say you can decipher the
14 signature? Was that a mistake, sir, or are you misinterpreted,
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The signature which was placed
17 below the block of text saying: "Not carried out," is something that I
18 cannot decipher, this short signature.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Then I suspect, then, the interpretation
20 was -- thank you very much.
21 You may proceed.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Unless there are other questions related to the document, I want
24 the document to be put away.
25 I would like to dwell for some time on the 7th Muslim Brigade and
1 the Mujahedin. Can the witness be shown two documents, one at a time,
2 and I will invite the witness then to comment upon both documents at the
3 same time, because I have my reasons for it.
4 Can the witness now be shown Exhibit 997, please.
5 For the record, I will state that this is an information about
6 the factors that affect the morale within the AOR of the 306th Mountain
7 Brigade of the 6th of July -- or, rather, the 6th of May, 1993.
8 Can the witness be shown page 3 of the document to see where the
9 signature is. In the English version, that's also page 3, I believe.
10 Yes, that's fine.
11 Q. Witness, do you recognise the signature?
12 A. Yes, the signature is mine. I'm the author of the document.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown page 2 of
14 the document now. The last paragraph of the page, can the witness be
15 shown the last paragraph of the page. That's page 3 of the English
16 version, second and third paragraphs.
17 Q. If you're finished with the last paragraph, Mr. Husic, can we
18 turn to the last page, page 3 of the Bosnian version. Please look at the
19 first paragraph. It is clear that the document speaks of the presence of
20 a larger number of foreigners in the area and of the 7th Muslim and the
21 314th Brigade are mentioned, and please keep this in mind while I show
22 you another document. And remember that the document is dated the 6th of
23 May. Also --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Previous translation continues] ... the
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We can, Your Honours. If it's
2 easier, I can put my question in relation to this document right now.
3 Otherwise, I wasn't meaning to go back to the document. But we can
4 complete it first and then move on.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm asking because I would have a request for
6 clarification of the two paragraphs that you have drawn our attention to
7 on page 3. Now, I don't expect you to put my questions, but you could
8 ask the witness if he could clarify a bit about, first of all, in the
9 second paragraph, in the last line, he mentions that they had made
10 several appeals to the command of the different Mujahedin Arab groups in
11 Mehurici, and all of these appeals had turned out to be fruitless. I'd
12 like to hear more about that.
13 And, secondly, still you will recall that a number of questions
14 had been put by the Judges this afternoon about the variety of Arab
15 groups in Mehurici, so I wonder if you could clarify, at this time here
16 in May, June 1993, which Arab groups were stationed in Mehurici.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was one group at Mehuric.
18 There was another group at Guca Gora. In our area of responsibility,
19 from the Zenica area a third group would oftentimes arrive, which we
20 referred to as the unit called -- just give me a moment -- "Gerila."
21 This was a group which we didn't know where it was stationed, but which
22 was active within our AOR. They were known as the Abu Zubeir's group.
23 Therefore, there were several groups of which status we were unaware.
24 But these appeals were sent to the Command of the 306th, which wanted to,
25 with the assistant of the superior command, introduce order in the AOR of
1 the 306th Mountain Brigade, among all the groups moving about the area
2 and creating problems.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: You said that you had made appeals to them. Can
4 you explain to us how you made appeals to them and what happened?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whenever we received a complaint
6 which had to do with members of the Army of the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we asked their commands to keep their members in
9 Now, as for these groups of foreigners, there was no way that we
10 could work upon them or influence them. They did not want to communicate
11 with us, and for that reason we asked the superior command to assist us
12 in this matter, and we, in turn, also reported to them on the problems
13 that we were faced with.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I realize the situation must have been very
15 frustrating, but what I'm -- what I'm looking for is whether you were
16 actually in contact with the commands of these two or three groups within
17 your area of responsibility. Were you on talking levels to them or, you
18 know -- how did you appeal to them?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, except for this group in
20 Mehurici, none of them had a command, nor did we know who was the person
21 in charge in these groups.
22 I have to explain that these were what we would call "dogs of
23 war," groupings which looted in an organised way and plundered, and any
24 contact with them was impossible. And this is why they felt, to a large
25 degree, that we were their enemies. And our part, we were not any more
1 tolerant towards them, either.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: But let us then just have a look at the Arabs who
3 were billeted in Mehurici. Did you just cross the bridge over the river
4 and walk over Poljanice and ask to talk to the commander?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the only group that we
6 were able to communicate with was that group in Poljanice. I did not
7 personally go to Poljanice and communicate, but some people that they
8 tolerated better or respected more, we would send such people to their
9 unit; yes, that is what we did.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: This is exactly what I was looking for. So what
11 happened when you sent these guys over? As I recall, the distance
12 between Mehurici and Poljanice is very short, so they could have walked
13 over there in ten minutes. What happened?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, after those individuals got a
15 promise, there were actually no changes in the behaviour.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. So you're telling us that, in fact,
17 someone from the 306th Brigade actually did manage to talk to them and
18 also got a promise or some sort of reassurance that now things would be
19 better, but they never became any better; is that what you're telling us?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did appeal, not only the people
21 from the 306th Mountain Brigade, but also from the civilian structures
22 and the clerics. People from those circles were asked to convey to them
23 our appeals not to create problems, but we did not get explicit
24 guarantees that they would stop or not stop doing this. But actually, in
25 practice, nothing changed, in terms of the previous situation.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: May I put one last question? I hope that I'm not
2 taking the wind out of your sails, but the question that I have is: Was
3 the 3rd Corps ever involved in these appeals? I mean,
4 General Hadzihasanovic was not just anybody, he was a very powerful and
5 strong man, so did he take a part in seeking to clarify these?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From our side, this is precisely
7 what we asked for, but there was no specific result. I don't know
8 whether the 3rd Corps did anything at the time in relation to that unit,
9 but I know that some other problems that had to do with the 17th [as
10 interpreted]Muslims with the members of -- which we also had some
11 problems, these were people from our valley who lived there, their homes,
12 their families were there, so we did manage to resolve the problems with
13 the members of those units.
14 However, it was ordered that the 7th, in its direct contacts with
15 us, should resolve those problems, and we did this very effectively.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just to clarify for
18 the transcript, you mentioned the 17th Muslim Brigade?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 7th.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The 7th. So page 63, line 4,
21 instead of "the 17th Muslim," it should say "the 7th Muslim Brigade."
22 And while we're still here, and I see the document on this page,
23 it says: "The willful behaviour of groups and the 7th Muslim Brigade."
24 Q. Can you please just give us a very brief comment on that?
25 A. Individuals who belonged to the 7th, which was later confirmed by
1 their command, then a group joined this group of Arabs who actually
2 introduced themselves as members of the 7th Muslim Brigade. And the 7th
3 Muslim Brigade Command, we were actually told that these were not their
4 members, that they had become renegades a long time ago, that they didn't
5 know where they were and where they were billeted.
6 Q. Please, if you can remember approximately when you got this
7 information about this group representing itself as being part of the 7th
9 A. Well, I probably will not be able to be specific, but it was
10 sometime in April or May 1993.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
12 I would now briefly like the witness -- well, we can put this
13 document away, and the witness can look at Exhibit 167.
14 For the transcript, this is the minutes from a meeting of the
15 Joint Command -- the Joint Operations Team meeting held on the 8th of
16 May, 1993. This is also a document in which the 306th Brigade is
18 Q. Do you see that? And I would like you to look at the end of this
19 document. This is on page 2 in the English. Can you please look at
20 paragraph 3.
21 Very well. I would like to ask you this: Do you recognise the
22 names that are mentioned here?
23 A. Yes, these are my colleagues from the 306th Mountain Brigade,
24 Mustafa Fazlic and Omer Alihodza.
25 Q. Very well. Can you look at paragraph 3 now?
1 Could we zoom in on paragraph number 3, please. Could the usher
2 enlarge that portion of the text.
3 Witness, the document states in paragraph 3 that:
4 "The problem of foreigners in the brigades' zones of
5 responsibility was discussed, and it was established that they are only
6 present in the 7th Muslim Brigade. The 3rd Corps Command was requested
7 to either relocate them from the area of responsibility of the 306th
8 Brigade or to place them under their command."
9 I would like to ask you if you were aware of this situation.
10 A. Yes, this is the problem that we had spent a long time on, but we
11 didn't have a solution or a way of resolving it.
12 Q. Please, foreigners in the 7th Muslim Brigade are mentioned. What
13 is your comment about that?
14 A. First of all, the Bila Valley never had units of the 7th Muslim
15 Brigade. No unit of the 7th Muslim Brigade was located there. What this
16 is about is this group that I mentioned before that did not belong to the
17 7th Muslim Brigade but was headed by a certain person called
18 "Ramo Durmis," and the 7th Muslim Brigade regularly informed us about
20 Q. And what did the 7th Muslim Brigade say about Ramo Durmis in this
22 A. That a few months before that, he had left the 7th Muslim with
23 that group, and for a long time he said in the Bila Valley that he was --
24 or that this was a unit of the 7th Muslim Brigade. But when this was
25 denied by the 7th Muslim Brigade and the true situation was made known,
1 then he joined the Mujahedin, and from then on said, about himself and
2 his group, that they were Mujahedin.
3 Q. In this paragraph 3, it is said that the corps was asked either
4 to relocate them or to place them under the command. Do you know if
5 there was any reaction back from the 3rd Corps?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, I'm sorry to interrupt. I know you
8 asked the witness to comment on the statement that it was established
9 that they are only present in the 7th Muslim Brigade, and I tried to
10 follow the answer the witness gave. It just does not seem to address
11 that point, and I would like to get that point addressed, because I was
12 going to ask that question myself.
13 You had established, sir -- this group of yours here, Mustafa
14 Fazlic and Omer Alihodza and the rest, established that these people --
15 these foreigners were present only in the 7th Muslim Brigade. You were
16 being asked to comment on that. Is it a fact that there were foreigners
17 in the 7th Muslim Brigade?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That part that we were considering
19 or that part about which Ramo Durmis said was the 7th Muslim, there was
20 some foreigners in that group, and we informed the command about that.
21 Then the 7th Command denied this, about these foreigners --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt you, sir. You see, this is
23 precisely what is confusing me. I don't see the name "Ramo Durmis" in
24 this page or on this paragraph, and I'm asking you a very simple
25 question. You can answer it either by saying "yes" or "no" or, "I don't
2 Did you establish, as this team here, operations team, that there
3 were foreigners in the 7th Muslim Brigade? Don't give me a long story,
4 one word, "yes" --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: So this is not correct that is mentioned here on
7 this document?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot answer this
9 question with a "yes" or "no," because that part that represented itself
10 as being part of the 7th but was not actually a part of the 7th was
11 considered by these people to be part of the 7th.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, you said this group --
14 I thought it was part of the 7th Muslim Brigade and that this group
15 abandoned the brigade and established the El Mujahid Detachment, or did I
16 misunderstand something?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So could you please explain?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The group that left the 7th Muslim
20 Brigade for a long time represented itself separately from the 7th as
21 part of the 7th. And when we were informed by the 7th Muslim Brigade
22 that they --
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, but after -- I'd like to
24 know exactly, but before they actually left the 7th, they were part of
25 the 7th Brigade, weren't they? That's more clear, then, if they were.
1 But then could you make a difference in time, in the timeline, to tell us
2 exactly when they left the 7th Muslim Brigade?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot answer precisely, but we
4 were informed by the command that for several months the group headed by
5 Ramo Durmis did not belong to their unit any more because they had left
6 it of their own will.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before they left, they belonged to the 7th Muslim
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 Q. And I'm going to ask you again. When did you find out this fact
13 that they were at one time members of the 7th and that they were now
14 quite incorrectly saying they were still the 7th?
15 A. After a few months, the 7th Muslim Brigade informed us in the way
16 that the assistant commander for morale came to the 306th Mountain
17 Brigade, he gave us a list of their members from our valley, and told us
18 that many of those presenting themselves as members of that unit were not
19 actually members of that unit. I cannot tell you the date, but this is
20 maybe April or May. More likely, it would be April 1993.
21 Q. All right, thank you very much. Now I would like to look at this
22 document with you.
23 Can we please look at Exhibit 123. For the transcript, this is a
24 document of the 7th Muslim Brigade of the 30th of May, 1993. It's a
25 short document. I don't expect you to recognise a document of the
1 7th Muslim Brigade, but it's a short document. I would like you to look
2 at it. It talks about insignia and the process of marking, which
3 according to this document, and to gain a little bit of time, I'm going
4 to interpret it, it says the process of marking has not even begun. And
5 you can see this is the 30th of May, 1993.
6 I would like to ask you the following: In that area on the 30th
7 of May, 1993, did the units have insignia on their sleeves?
8 A. Not only did they not have insignia, they didn't even have
9 uniforms for another two or three months after that. We didn't even have
10 30 per cent of the men with weapons and uniforms, never mind with
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We can put
13 this document away, and the witness can now please look at Exhibit 90.
14 For the record, let me say that this is a document from the 306th
15 Brigade, and it deals with the death of Sakib Brkic. It's the 17th of
16 May, 1993. This document is also short. Please take a look at it. It
17 says here: "Official note" on the death of this person, drafted on 26
18 May, 1993.
19 Q. Let me ask you this: Had you heard of the death of Sakib Brkic?
20 A. Yes, he's a very close -- he's a neighbour. Our parents were
21 very close friends, and this is a minor boy. His parents had allowed him
22 to join the training, and he died, and it took about six days to remove
23 his body from the place where he had been killed.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please take a look at the last
25 sentence of this document. It says there:
1 "The group of Mujahedin was led by Ramo Durmis from Zenica, who
2 is currently the commander of the Bosniaks among the Mujahedin in
4 In relation to this, let me ask you this: At this time, when
5 this document was drafted on the 26th of May, 1993, did you or did you
6 not know the status of Ramo Durmis then?
7 A. No.
8 Q. This is a document from the 306th Brigade, where it says that the
9 group of Mujahedin was led by Ramo Durmis from Zenica. Was this the
10 time -- or, rather, did you find out about Ramo Durmis before or after
11 this document?
12 A. We found out that Ramo Durmis had left the 7th Muslim Brigade.
13 We knew that, but we didn't know what his relationship with the Mujahedin
14 was. He posed as the Mujahedin, his unit as the Mujahedins. For a
15 while, they would deny this. Occasionally, they cooperated. So their
16 relationship remained unclear to us to the end. We took it as he
17 represented it.
18 Q. The gist of my question is this: Perhaps we did not understand
19 each other very well. Did you find out -- did you receive the
20 information about Ramo Durmis and his membership of the 7th Brigade, find
21 out before or after this document which bears the date 26th of May, 1993?
22 A. Before.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right, thank you. This
24 document may not be removed.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. Was Sakib Brkic a member of either the
1 Mujahedin or the Frankopan Brigade? How did he die? Was he a member of
2 any of these two groups that were fighting?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was a minor, a young boy who
4 joined the group of Ramo Durmis for training, and as they were moving in
5 the area of responsibility under the control of the HVO, they drew fire
6 from them and, among other things, this young boy was killed.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: They drew fire from whom, from the Frankopan
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This document may now be removed,
12 and I would like the witness to be shown document D1032. Let's just wait
13 for the document to be removed, the current document.
14 Could we please go to page 11 of this document, page 11 of the
15 original, which is in Italian, and in English it is page 1. If we can
16 just see this blown up. Of course, the witness cannot read Italian, but
17 we will provide for the witness a hard copy of this document.
18 May I ask the assistance of the Court Usher. We've prepared
19 copies of this document in the Bosnian language for both the witness and
20 the Prosecution.
21 This is a fax sent from Sarajevo to Sheik Shaaban. I don't
22 expect you to identify this document. I would just like to ask you some
23 questions about some facts that we see in this document, and I'm
24 specifically talking about the last portion -- the last third of this
1 Could we bring that up on the screens, please. But before we do
2 that, I have this question:
3 Q. From what you have said so far, we can understand that you were
4 in contact with the 7th Muslim Brigade to deal with the issue of rowdy
5 behaviour of their members, the Mujahedin. What I would like to ask you
6 is this: Did you know, in June and July of 1993, what the relationship
7 between the foreigners and the 7th Muslim Brigade were, if you had such
9 A. Yes, we knew of this because, in addition to these official
10 reports on contacts, I had a colleague within the Command of the 7th
11 Brigade, he was a colleague from work, Mahmut Effendi Karalic.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm apologise, Your Honour. I have
13 to react. I have to say for the record that I will request -- that I
14 would request that the audiotape of today's proceedings are to be
15 checked, because at times I can see questions that are absolutely -- do
16 not reflect what I said.
17 So what I would now like to ask is this: I would just like to
18 correct the question.
19 I never said in my question, that's line 22, that -- I said that
20 I wanted to ask him about the conduct of the members of the 7th Muslim
21 Brigade and of the Mujahedin, and I never said that they were, as it says
22 here, that the Mujahedin were members of the 7th Muslim Brigade. That's
23 what could be inferred from what it says here in the transcript. If I
24 misunderstood this, to me it appears as if this question here suggests,
25 as read from the transcript, that the Mujahedin were members of the 7th
1 Brigade. What I did ask is this:
2 Q. Witness, in June and July 1993, did you know what the
3 relationship between the Mujahedin and the members of the 7th Brigade
4 were, if you know?
5 A. Yes. Because within the Command of the 7th, I had a colleague
6 from work, Mahmut Karalic, whom they tried to assassinate, and on this
7 occasion several people were killed. I do not know exactly what number
8 of people, and from then this conflict was simmering on both sides.
9 Q. And just to clarify, Mr. Husic, when you say Mr. Karalic, there
10 was an attempt on his life from them, who is "they"?
11 A. The Mujahedin.
12 Q. Now, would you please take a look at this document, and
13 especially the part beginning with: "Dear Sheik --" "Dear and noble
14 sheik ... " it is 10 to 12 lines from the bottom. It says:
15 "I would like to tell you about treason committed by the Bosnian
16 Army. The commander of the Bosnian forces managed to kill four Mujahedin
17 Arabs here. After this, he escaped. We tried to find him and demanded
18 that he be tried according to the Sharia law, but they," as it says here,
19 "refused knowing full well that he was a graduate of the Al-Azar
20 University, an Islamic religious school from Cairo. This commander's
21 name is Ahmed Karalic, and he is the head of two combat units in the city
22 of Zenica."
23 What I would like to ask you is this: You just mentioned that
24 you knew Effendi Karalic. Was he a graduate of the Cairo University?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How would you comment, this portion of the document?
2 A. The facts are these: Whoever tried to bring some order and
3 orderly conduct, he would clash with these groups.
4 Q. Sir, I would like to ask you something else. Did this actually
6 A. Yes, this is about -- this is the same event that I mentioned
8 Q. The name mentioned here is "Ahmed Karalic"?
9 A. When you translated back from the Arabic, and everyone who
10 translates knows what it's like, this is translated into B/C/S in the
11 Latin script alphabet, and it says C-A-R-O-L-I-C, where in fact it should
12 be "Karalic," "Ahmed Karalic."
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Your Honour, I would like to tender this into evidence.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
16 please be given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become
18 Exhibit 1201.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I didn't quite
21 understand who refused, because in Italian, it is in the singular,
22 whereas here we've been told "they refused," so I'm not quite sure I
23 understand who refused, from what you understood in B/C/S.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, can we just clarify this question that Judge Lattanzi
2 Tell us, did you have information -- you said you knew
3 Effendi Karalic. Did the Arabs seek for him to be handed over, and if
4 so, who by?
5 A. Yes. They asked from the Command of the 7th Brigade to hand him
6 over so that they can try him according to their own rules and
7 regulations, and the Command of the 7th refused to do this. They refused
8 to hand over Professor Karalic.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So it is possible that's in the
10 singular, because in Italian the singular is being used, "he refused ,"
11 "he refused."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The brigade or the brigade command
13 refused to do so.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this further
16 complicates the matter. Now we have a fourth language, an additional
17 language. But, okay.
18 Q. Witness, you mentioned during your testimony, and I think you
19 mentioned it at least twice today, that in the Bila River Valley, there
20 were no units of the 7th Muslim Brigade, and I would now like to clarify
21 this a bit.
22 Could we please show the witness Exhibit 568 [as interpreted]
23 Exhibit 268.
24 Your Honour, I apologise. In the transcript, it says "568," but
25 in fact it should be "268."
1 Witness, this is a short document. For the record, may I say
2 that this is a document from the 306th Brigade of the 13 May 1993, and
3 would you please read it. It says -- it speaks of a part of the troops
4 currently stationed in Kljaci village who are members of the 7th Muslim
5 Brigade, that they should be attached to the unit of Kljaci village. And
6 I would just like to hear your comment on this. Were you aware of this?
7 A. Yes. This was a situation, after the blockade of the Bila River,
8 Bila River Valley, and after it was cut off in several places, as a
9 result of which a number of villagers from the Kljaci village who were
10 members of the 7th Muslim Brigade found themselves stationed at their own
11 houses, and the commander of the 306th Brigade, the 306th Mountain
12 Brigade, asked that these members of the 7th be resubordinated to him so
13 that they would not act on their own in our area of responsibility, which
14 is what happened. But because at this time the 306th Brigade was also
15 not operating within a formation, but rather each village was cut off and
16 acting on their own, these members of the 7th Muslim Brigade were
17 together with their people from the village of Kljaci regarding of which
18 unit they were in, because we did not operate as a military unit but,
19 rather, as the local population.
20 Q. All right. Whatever the case may have been, I would like to ask
21 you this: How far was this village of Kljaci from Maline, if you know?
22 A. It's difficult for me to be precise, but I believe some 10 to 15
23 kilometres. It was impossible to communicate between two villages, let
24 alone along greater distances.
25 Q. When you say that it was impossible to communicate, what are you
1 referring to?
2 A. I'm referring to the fact that the HVO forces had cut off
3 internally the various parts of the Bila Valley, one from another.
4 Q. Whatever the case, was this group active with the 306th in
5 Kljaci, did it become a part of it from that point?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Tell me, did you know these lads? Did you see them at the time?
8 A. I knew most of them. Some of them were my schoolmates. Others
9 were my neighbours. Han Bila and Kljaci are very close to each other.
10 Q. Did they wear insignia -- or, rather, did they have long beards
11 or did they have any other hallmarks that would indicate that they were
12 foreigners, or were they local lads?
13 A. No, by all the traits they were local lads who were members of
14 the 306th, and they had more uniforms themselves, locally, than other
15 members of the 306th Mountain Brigade at the time.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We can put this document away now.
17 Can the witness be shown D230 now. For the Registrar's benefit,
18 let me say that this document, D230, was admitted into evidence pursuant
19 to a decision of the Trial Chamber, dated the 5th of March, 2008, but has
20 not been given an exhibit number yet. We wouldn't want it to receive an
21 exhibit number twice. That's why I'm saying this.
22 This isn't the document I was calling for. I'm calling for D230.
23 What we're looking at is 1230. I'm referring to document 230. That's
24 fine. Can we have the English version as well.
25 While we're waiting for it to showup, let me state that this is
1 an order of the 3rd Corps, dated the 3rd of April, 1993.
2 Q. Witness, I would like to direct your attention to the portion
3 which states that the document was sent to the commands of the
4 operational groups, to OG Commands, therefore. Let me ask you this: Did
5 it so happen that the commands of the operations groups would forward
6 documents to you?
7 A. Yes, that was the regular procedure.
8 Q. Please turn to item 5, which states the name, the reputation and
9 image --
10 MR. NEUNER: I'm sorry to interrupt. I don't understand why the
11 witness would have received this document. As far as I have understood,
12 he was in the 306th Brigade, and this document is addressed to the 301st
13 3rd and 314th Brigades, but maybe the witness can help us.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 306th Mountain Brigade was
15 resubordinated to Operations Group West, Zapad at the time, which means
16 that it was part of the Operations Group, Zapad. It was true this
17 Operations Group that the document we have here also relates to the 306th
18 Mountain Brigade.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Let me clarifies this further.
20 Q. Did you see this document? Did I show this document to you
21 during proofing?
22 A. I don't remember seeing this document.
23 Q. Please look at item 5 of the document --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, which one is Operation Zapad
25 here, or Operation Group Zapad here, or Group West, Zapad? It's
1 operation groups commands of 301, 303, 314 Brigades, commander of
2 Reconnaissance and Sabotage Brigade, commander of Headquarter Support
3 Units, District Defence Staff. Which one is Operations Group Zapad of
4 which 306th was a part?
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
6 assistance. Please read the first line in the heading, which says: "OG
7 Operations Group Commands." One of the groups is OG West, the group the
8 witness was referring to.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, did you have occasion to read item 5 of the document?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you have occasion to see the document earlier or, rather, to
14 receive it at the time of the war?
15 A. Yes.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to page 2 of the
17 document. The same applies to the English version, or, rather, it's page
18 3 of the English version.
19 Q. Witness, while we're waiting for the right page in the English
20 version to appear, please look at item 16 of the document.
21 Can we scroll the document down to see the stamp and signature.
22 Thank you.
23 We can see that it says: "Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic." Look
24 at item 16. A moment ago, His Honour Judge Harhoff asked you about the
25 reactions of the 3rd Corps to the reports you sent them. I will quote
1 item 16 and ask you to comment upon it. It reads:
2 "All armed formations that have not placed themselves under the
3 command of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina are to be dealt
4 with straight away. As for the HVO units, full cooperation should be
5 established with them due to their being part of the regular armed
6 forces. Instructions as to the further modes of organisation will soon
8 Please, what is your comment about this? You will recall that
9 you received an order to sort the situation out with regard to armed
11 A. Yes, but I did not tie that up with those reports. This was the
12 general area of the 3rd Corps Command. From the very start, we had been
13 trying to place everything under our --
14 MR. NEUNER: Just I -- sorry to interrupt, because the witness is
15 in the middle of answering already, but I had to listen to the
16 translation. The question which was just put was leading again: "You
17 will recall that you received an order to sort the situation out with
18 regard to armed formations?"
19 I must say this is fully leading, and I don't understand where
20 this is coming from.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will say it again,
23 that it's been misinterpreted. I asked the witness, "Did you remember
24 whether you received this order?"
25 Your Honour, I'm sure that I didn't put the question the way it's
1 been interpreted. I put it precisely the way I speak. I suppose
2 Judge Lattanzi can hear the way it is interpreted in French, and I'm sure
3 this is not the way it was put.
4 MR. NEUNER: Just the use of the language, "the order to sort the
5 situation out with regard to armed formations," I don't see that in the
6 wording of this document in that specific way as it is put to this
7 witness, and I find it is leading, therefore.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: But your learned friend says that's not what she
9 said, it is being misinterpreted, so --
10 MR. NEUNER: I'm not a judge and cannot assess this.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Neither can I. We're in the hands of the people
12 who speak the language.
13 Okay. Thanks for the explanation, Madam Vidovic. I guess you
14 may proceed, Madam Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Witness, please, do you remember, did you receive such an order
17 with the contents that we can read in item 16 of the document from the
18 3rd Corps?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did the 306th Brigade or not try to resolve problems with armed
21 formations? And I'm referring only to the Mujahedin here.
22 A. I've repeated it several times already. We've been trying -- we
23 had been trying to do that, but were unsuccessful. We weren't able to
24 attack them, to use force, because in that case we would have come into
25 conflict with our own population and we would have produced a second
1 Bosnian Krajina. And we had no other ways of dealing with this.
2 Q. Please, the Judges or most of us here, for that matter, fail to
3 understand what you meant to say when you said, "We would have made a
4 second Bosnian Krajina." Just explain briefly, please.
5 A. Our units would have clashed with our population, a brother
6 against a brother, a child against a child. We would have produced the
7 same effect that Fikret Abdic produced in Bosnian Krajina.
8 Q. Can you please explain the extent to which the support of the
9 population and why was there, in fact? Was it solely the population or
10 was there somebody else involved in this support?
11 A. Primarily, the grassroots population supported them because of
12 the humanitarian aid they received, and there were some politicians, some
13 members of the religious circles, and engaging in conflict with them
14 would have meant engaging in conflict with one's own people.
15 I can give you an illustration from my own home. My father,
16 after I refused to join them, and went off, as he put it, with the
17 partisans, because that's how he referred to the 306th, refused to speak
18 to me for months after that, but he simply failed to understand the
19 political situation.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems to me
21 that --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
23 But just before we remove this document, I want to clear one
24 little point.
25 At this time in point in the war in Bosnia, now this is around
1 April 1993, against which army were the Bosnian Army fighting?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Against the Serbian-Montenegrin
3 aggressor, or the Chetniks, as we called them.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'll tell you why I asked this question. I
5 thought I got the impression, or I thought I heard you a few minutes ago
6 talking of fighting the Croats or the HVO; and now I see this document
7 talks of the HVO units, full cooperation should be established, and that
8 is why I am asking this question. I may have misheard you.
9 You have not said this afternoon, at some stage, that the HVO
10 were your opponents? I'm not able to find it on the transcript. I would
11 have to take time to find it.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, you're right.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At this point in time, we
14 were aware of the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the BH Army, if
15 they entered into a conflict with the HVO, would not survive. We did our
16 best to avert any such clashes.
17 There were occasional incidents, but every time we tried to
18 overcome them. Such were also the orders and suggestions arriving from
19 the higher command, that we should engage in conversations and
20 negotiations to overcome these excesses that occasionally happened and
21 involved the HVO forces.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought you wanted to -- did you want to say
23 something, Madam Vidovic?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'll try and find this.
1 Thank you very much. We will take an adjournment and reconvene
2 tomorrow at quarter past 2.00, same court.
3 Court adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05
5 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 12th day
6 of March, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.