1 Friday, 14 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, could you please call out the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to everyone in and
10 around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-83-T, the Prosecutor
11 versus Rasim Delic. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 Could we have the appearances for today, starting with the
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Good afternoon, Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around
17 the courtroom. Daryl Mundis, Matthias Neuner, Kyle Wood and our case
18 manager, Alma Imamovic, for the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 And for the Defence.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
22 afternoon to my colleagues from the Prosecutor's office and to all in and
23 around the courtroom. I'm Vasvija Vidovic, with Nicholas Robson,
24 representing General Delic, with our legal assistants, Lana Deljkic and
25 Lejla Gluhic.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
2 I see the witness is not in court. I believe there is a
3 housekeeping matter to be raised.
4 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
6 Your Honour, the Defence, on the 12th of March of this year,
7 submitted a confidential submission regarding omissions of the Prosecutor
8 to act in accordance with Rule 68 of the Rules.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just interrupt you. Seeing that it's
10 confidential, would you like to go into private session?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour. I will
12 explain now why.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We submitted a motion in accordance
15 with Rule 68 of the Rules --
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: Sorry, but I cannot find --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I can't find the French channel.
19 Excuse me. I'm the one perhaps who is confused, but I can't find the
20 French channel.
21 Could you speak in French, please. I've found it. Thank you
22 very much. Please excuse me.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had just started,
24 but I will say it again.
25 So on the 12th of March, 2008, we submitted a confidential motion
1 regarding omissions of the Prosecutor to act in accordance with Rule 68
2 of the Rules on Procedure and Evidence, in respect of several categories
3 of documents which we specified in that motion.
4 Today, on the 14th of March, we have informed the Trial Chamber
5 that we have resubmitted this document as a public document, with one
6 confidential annex, annex H. These documents, in the view of the
7 Defence, are crucial, especially one of the categories of the documents
8 which we name "the Italian collection of documents," which the Italian
9 police or judiciary had seized in the Islamic Cultural Institute in Milan
10 and submitted most probably to the OTP.
11 So far, we managed to just look at the documents cursorily, and
12 right now I can claim with absolute certainty now that those documents
13 throw a new light on this whole new case and that they are perhaps
14 absolutely crucial for the Defence of General Delic.
15 These and other matters from our brief were discussed briefly
16 with our friends from the OTP, and on the basis of that conversation, I
17 am afraid that the situation regarding the non-disclosure of documents is
18 even more serious than we had originally thought when we drafted the
20 There have been some problems in the Prosecutor's office which I
21 do not wish to comment on and about which the Prosecutor's office will
22 probably inform you.
23 Why am I stating this now? Your Honours, for the Defence this is
24 a new and unexpected, very worrying and alarming situation. From how it
25 looks to us now, the Defence will urgently have to sit down, and perhaps
1 we will have to review and consider another line of defence in relation
2 to these documents, and perhaps review our list of witnesses in the light
3 of these documents, as well as the actual list of documents that we
4 submitted to the Trial Chamber and our colleagues from the Prosecutor's
6 As to what exactly we will do and which steps we will take, I am
7 unable to specify at this point, because that depends on the contents of
8 the documents, which we would like to have translated. Some of them are
9 in Italian. A vast majority of the documents are in Arabic. We just
10 looked at them cursorily in order to see. We paid an Arab translator
11 just to tell us what the documents are about.
12 But it seems that the Prosecution has some other mitigating
13 materials, and, Your Honours, we would like to ask you at this point to
14 instruct the Prosecutor to urgently, in the shortest possible amount of
15 time, respond to our motion so that you could make your ruling, because
16 as I say, again, the Defence might have to review its position in terms
17 of the continuation of its case.
18 I do not want to take up any more court time or my own time to
19 bring out witnesses whose testimony, in the light of these documents,
20 would be unnecessary, and perhaps we will have to locate some other
21 witnesses urgently, once again in the light of the said documents.
22 At this point, Your Honours, I can say that shortly before the
23 beginning of this session, the person who is the Arab translator and is
24 looking through the documents, I -- sent me information that among the
25 documents, there are combat reports from 1994 and 1995 which were sent
1 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the detachment, to the institute in
3 At this point in time, Your Honours, I would like to just say
4 that I'm not going to bring the witness that we had planned for next
5 Monday, for the simple reason that we are unable to prepare these
6 documents, to have them translated. We are not able to translate them
7 into English, and even less into B/C/S for the witness to be able to look
8 at the documents and to try to see if the witness could comment on these
9 documents. The same thing relates to General Cuskic, who was supposed to
10 testify late this week.
11 At this point, Your Honours, we are trying to really find the
12 best solution and to see what we can do with this evidence, without
13 prejudicing too much the proceedings. We have lost the possibility of
14 showing these documents to numerous witnesses brought forward by the
15 Prosecution, for which we are sure they could have commented on the
16 documents. I now have to stop some of my own witnesses at this point.
17 The witness we were planning for Monday, he has already left,
18 unfortunately, but I think that no time will be lost. I will be able to
19 have some sort of preliminary interview with him. And also Witness
20 Cuskic, who was supposed to testify at the end of next week.
21 So next week, Your Honours, from what I can see, we will be only
22 able to hear one witness. I'm very sorry about this, but at this point
23 there's nothing more that I can do. I tried to see if any other
24 witnesses who are coming after that can perhaps come at the end of the
25 week, but this was not possible, at least not from this category of
1 witnesses who are not in the same situation as these two that I have
3 Your Honours, I hope that you and also my colleagues from the
4 Prosecutor's office will understand this situation.
5 As I said, we will also try to see how to deal with this problem.
6 I'm not going to go into detail about that. We did write down certain
7 things in the brief. All I can say, Your Honours, is that as the
8 Defence, we have taken a series of steps to avoid a situation like this
9 from happening.
10 I would just like to say that in preparation for this trial, at
11 each status conference, we initiated the question of disclosure of
12 materials pursuant to Rule 68. I think, and I'm going to check, I think
13 that I specifically requested all documents that had to do with the
14 communication with the El Mudjahedin Detachment with foreign centres,
15 including Sheikh Shaaban, and I really think that we are not in this
16 situation through any fault of our own.
17 Also, you know we have taken certain efforts. We tried to get to
18 certain documents that the Italian authorities had in their possession.
19 Your Honours, for months we tried to get to those documents, but the
20 Italian government was exceptionally uncooperative in relation to the
21 Defence. We don't know any reasons for that. I believe that they were
22 even uncooperative following your ruling. I also believe, Your Honours,
23 that they have much more material than the material that even the
24 Prosecutor's office has, and we are going to ask, as soon as possible,
25 for your further assistance in order to gain access to these materials.
1 I apologise once again to the Trial Chamber because of these two
2 witnesses, but the situation is what it is, and there was nothing else
3 that I could do.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
5 Just for my own clarification, when did you receive the material
6 which you have now handed over to the Arabic interpreter?
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one moment, Your Honour.
8 Your Honour, I think it was the 3rd of March, the 3rd of March.
9 We received it definitely after we submitted our list of witnesses and
10 documents. What we were able to put on the list, we did put on the list,
11 but it was untranslated.
12 A large document that we were given by the Prosecutor was
13 something that we put on the list without a translation.
14 The third part or batch of those Italian materials was disclosed
15 to us on the 26th of February, and of course, Your Honours, we had to
16 locate -- it's very hard to find a translator for Arabic who also is able
17 to translate into English and B/C/S. This is the same problem the
18 Prosecutor was facing. So this was the first time we saw this document,
19 on the 26th of February.
20 We immediately asked the translation service to translate that.
21 However, as you know, they have particular problems of their own, and
22 that's that. We were not able to resolve this matter.
23 As soon as we found an Arabic translator and was able to give him
24 the materials, he started to work on them, and he is submitting the
25 information to me in batches.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 Now, Madam Vidovic, if I understood you well, the purpose for
3 telling us what you have told us this afternoon is: One, to ask the
4 Prosecution to respond as quickly as possible to your motion compelling
5 Rule 68 disclosure; two, to warn us that you are not calling your witness
6 for Monday; three, to warn us that as a result of these disclosures, that
7 the recently-received ones and possibly also the ones that are still
8 coming, there may or there will be a change of strategy in the Defence
9 case; and, four, you want the assistance of the Trial Chamber with
10 respect to further information from the Italian government.
11 Have I summarised your issues correctly? Okay, thank you so
13 Mr. Mundis, are you --
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely right, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to respond on the first point,
16 Mr. Mundis?
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Yes, I think I can respond on the first point. Let me put one
19 issue out at the outset, and that is: The Prosecution is well aware that
20 the Defence has considered this type of material to be Rule 68. That is
21 not an issue. I'm not going to stand here and say we were unaware that
22 anything that falls into this category of material would not have been
23 something that we would have considered to be Rule 68 in this case. And
24 I say that for the simple reason that when we discovered that this
25 material had not been disclosed to the Defence in mid-February, we took
1 immediate steps to disclose it.
2 As a result of that and as a result of the motion that was filed
3 two days ago, we have undertaken a massive project in-house to determine
4 exactly what has happened and what, if anything, still needs to be
5 disclosed pursuant to Rule 68. I do not anticipate that I will be in a
6 position to fully respond to that by, say, Monday or Tuesday of next
7 week. I do understand and appreciate the urgency of the situation, and
8 I can assure you that we are doing everything possible so that we are in
9 a position not necessarily to simply respond to the Defence motion, but
10 to provide not only the assurances that the Defence have requested in
11 that motion, but to take it, in effect, a step further.
12 Just to telegraph to the Chamber what it is we're doing, we have
13 identified, through the assistance of an internal database that we have,
14 every single document that has been seized in the course of this
15 investigation. We are in the process of comparing that spreadsheet with
16 the master disclosure log in this case and isolating out any material
17 that has not been disclosed, and identifying whether or not any of that
18 material falls within the scope of Rule 68. That is not something that
19 can be done overnight. And once we have those results, they need to be
20 reviewed on a document-by-document basis with a lawyer and a language
21 assistant who reads the language of the documents.
22 I would expect and I would hope that by the end of next week,
23 that is, Thursday, since I'm aware Friday is a holiday, I would hope by
24 the end of next week to be in a position to file a response, but I cannot
25 at this point in time guarantee the Chamber that we will have undertaken
1 the comprehensive review that we are undertaking by that point in time.
2 I have redoubled our efforts with respect to any material that
3 was obtained from the Islamic Cultural Institute in Milan or searches
4 that were done, material that was seized, material that was gathered from
5 the Italian authorities, and I believe -- we're double-checking, but I
6 believe that all that material has, in fact, now been disclosed to the
8 As I've said, Mr. President and Your Honours, I am aware of the
9 Defence position with respect to this material. I am not in a position
10 to explain why this particular group of material was not previously
11 disclosed, and I have undertaken immediately a full review of all
12 disclosure in this case to ensure that everything that the Defence team
13 needs to put on their case is available to them.
14 I do understand and appreciate, as you'll perhaps see from I
15 believe it's annex D, this material that came from Milan was, in fact,
16 put into the EDS, the Electronic Disclosure Suite. That is not
17 sufficient. I fully accept that, as my letter indicates. This material
18 was in Arabic. It was certainly not something that would have been
19 searchable by the Defence.
20 So with respect to that particular material, I will take full
21 responsibility for the failure to disclose that. It was within our
22 actual knowledge, and I accept that. What I'm trying to do at this point
23 in time is to ensure that there's nothing else out there that needs to be
24 disclosed to the Defence. And if there is, we will take immediate steps
25 to disclose it.
1 I think that's about all I can say at this point in time, pending
2 this review. Obviously, if the Defence needs to recall any of the
3 witnesses who've testified to cross-examine them on any of the documents,
4 we would certainly not oppose that. I have indicated to the Defence if
5 they want to amend their witness list or amend their exhibit list, we
6 will not oppose that.
7 With respect to any of this material that's now being disclosed,
8 nor I would say we'll -- and I can engage my learned colleague from the
9 Defence on this point in time. We would probably be amenable to any kind
10 of Bar Table motion with respect to some of this material as well. So we
11 will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the Defence is in a
12 position to put forward the case that they think that they need to put
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
15 Just a point of clarification for me. I hear you, in the same
16 breath, talking about ability to respond and promising to respond by next
17 Thursday, but also about acknowledging the fact that you were aware of
18 material that is Rule 68 that is within your possession, that you will
19 take immediate steps to disclose it.
20 Given those two points all in one, do I understand you to be
21 saying that you agree you do owe the Defence some Rule 68 material, and
22 therefore you are going to disclose it, or are you saying, "No, no, no,
23 I'm going to respond to your motion, and I'm going to respond by
24 Thursday," or are you saying that the response will be also together with
25 the disclosure to the extent possible?
1 MR. MUNDIS: Let me try to be clear. I understand what
2 Your Honour is getting at.
3 Our position is that what we need to do, in order to respond to
4 the Defence motion, is to undertake an absolutely thorough review of what
5 has been disclosed and to determine if there is anything else that needs
6 to be disclosed. Once we are done with that review, we will immediately
7 disclose anything that remains to be disclosed, and then immediately
8 respond to the Defence motion, in terms of what she's asked for, what the
9 Defence, Mrs. Vidovic and the Defence team have asked for is, at least as
10 I'm reading it, an order from the Trial Chamber that we meet our Rule 68
11 obligations. What I'm saying is I need to determine if there are any
12 outstanding Rule 68 obligations to be met, and then I can, in my
13 response, report to the Trial Chamber what we have done in order to meet
14 our Rule 68 obligations.
15 To be as open and transparent as I possibly can, I'm well aware
16 of what my Rule 68 obligations are. The issue, from where I'm standing,
17 is: Have I met them or not? And I cannot respond to whether I've met
18 them or not until I know if there is anything else that I need to
20 And again, as I've stated at the outset, and I would hope that my
21 learned colleagues from the Defence accept and understand this, I have --
22 this team has never taken the view that any of the material that relates
23 to the material that was disclosed earlier coming from Milan is not
24 within the scope of Rule 68, as the Defence perceives that. We are not
25 saying, "We don't think this is Rule 68." We have always disclosed it as
1 saying, in effect, "We understand you believe this is Rule 68.
2 Therefore, we're giving it to you."
3 So I cannot stress enough that we understand and accept the
4 Defence position that this is Rule 68. That's not the point.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand.
6 MR. MUNDIS: We have identified -- we've found some material that
7 should have been -- and I want to be clear about this. This material
8 that was disclosed in February should have been disclosed to the Defence
9 when we got it. I cannot explain why that did not happen, and I want to
10 make sure that there's nothing else like that that similarly should have
11 been disclosed earlier. And I can only give that assurance or take steps
12 to immediately disclose it once I am confident that we have captured it
13 all. And that's what's going to take me a few more days to complete.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Judge Harhoff would like to know, when did you get
15 this material that you disclosed on the 26th of February?
16 MR. MUNDIS: I'm looking again. I believe it's -- I don't know
17 if Your Honours have the Defence filing in front of you. It's annex D.
18 Annex D is a letter that was submitted by myself to the Defence team
19 shortly -- what happened was this material -- we discovered that this
20 material had not been disclosed. We immediately disclosed it. As a
21 result, Mrs. Vidovic wrote me a letter, in effect saying, "Is there
22 anything else like this? What else is there? We want it." And on the
23 29th of February, I responded to Mrs. Vidovic, and in that letter you'll
24 find the dates. And what I wrote was that this material was registered
25 in the Evidence Unit on the 3rd of March, 2006. It was obtained sometime
1 after the 19th of January, 2006, and before the 3rd of March, 2006. In
2 other words, we have it at least since March 3, 2006. It was -- and as I
3 also indicate in the letter, it was put into EDS on the 18th of May, but
4 I do -- 18th of May, 2006, but I do fully appreciate that because large
5 amounts of this material were in Arabic, it would not have turned up in
6 an electronic search of this material. I fully concede that point.
7 So as I've said in the letter, this material should have been
8 disclosed to the Defence pursuant to Rule 68. That is a position that I
9 am taking today. It should have been disclosed, and I am, of course,
10 disappointed that it wasn't. But that's the point we're at now. We are
11 trying to take immediate remedial actions, and I will report back to the
12 Chamber, in terms of a filing and response to the Defence motion, as soon
13 as I am in a position to do so.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
15 Just one last point. I've forgotten it now. Oh, yes.
16 Just for my own edification, in this -- and this is a general
17 question, it's not specific to this problem. In this Tribunal, there is
18 a disclosure of all material that the Prosecution intends using to prove
19 its case, in terms of Rule 66. Then -- and that disclosure is
20 compulsory. Then there is a compulsory disclosure, in terms of Rule 68,
21 of all exculpatory material. Why don't you just turn everything that you
22 have to the -- it looks like this disclosure calls on disclosing
23 everything that you have to the opposite. Why don't you just give them
24 everything, "From Day 1, you get them," in Arabic, in French, in
25 Japanese, in every other language?
1 MR. MUNDIS: Part of the problem, Your Honour, relates --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Except Rule 70 material.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Well, that yeah, of course, and of course, perhaps
4 witness-related material that deals with other cases, but if you're
5 talking about giving them everything, there's two responses to that.
6 First of all, define "everything," because if we actually mean
7 everything, then they're -- we're talking about eight million pages of
8 material, number 1.
9 Number 2, in fact, excluding Rule 70 and excluding
10 witness-related material, the Defence do have access to everything
11 through the Electronic Disclosure Suite.
12 So on the one hand, they have access to everything. On the other
13 hand, to provide them with everything means eight million pages of paper,
14 and --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: But it does seem as if you end up having to review
16 eight million pages of paper in order to give them 7.000.999 pages.
17 MR. MUNDIS: It might seem that way, and perhaps if I were
18 sitting on the other side of the courtroom on the receiving end of all of
19 this material, it very well might seem like I'm getting 7.999.912 pieces
20 of paper. But let me, let me say that I believe that's why there's the
21 specific requirement under Rule 68 that -- that talks about any actual
22 knowledge of the Prosecutor, and that's a different kettle of fish
24 And with respect to that actual knowledge prong, the material
25 we're talking about today fits that perfectly, and again I want to stress
1 that very clearly.
2 But the short answer to the "make everything available to the
3 Defence," the answer to that, of course, is the Electronic Disclosure
4 Suite, in which event virtually all this material is available to the
5 Defence. The problem then comes with particular subcomponents of the
6 EDS, such as material in Arabic, material that is not easily searchable
7 in an electronic format.
8 So there are some difficulties, and of course when we provide
9 Rule 66 disclosure, that's material relating to this case, we're not
10 disclosing all -- or making available to all the Defence teams in the
11 various cases, all the witness-related material, because quite frankly
12 there could be need for protective measures or privacy concerns or other
13 issues that relate to the witness-related material, but the document
14 collection, excluding Rule 70 and excluding witness-related material is
15 available in the Electronic Disclosure Suite.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
17 Madam Vidovic, you have heard what Mr. Mundis has to say on that
18 point. Without elaborating, are you able to live with his response?
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in principle, I am,
20 except that I believe that my Colleague Mundis is aware, in this
21 situation, as far as the material from the Italian authorities is
22 concerned, that this was -- these were communications between the Chief
23 Prosecutor and the Italian authorities. So this is a category of
24 material that was not collected from different archives, where you're in
25 a situation to receive hundreds of thousands of documents and you don't
1 know what it's about. This is a situation where the Prosecutor's office
2 knew that this was important material, they knew what it was about, and
3 therefore they should have been careful to determine whether there were
4 exculpatory materials within them.
5 Of course, I am aware of the position of -- I understand the
6 position of my Colleague Mundis, but at this point what I would want to
7 know, Your Honours, is this: As Defence of my client, I want to know
8 when exactly I will get this material, when it will be translated,
9 because as you know, I only had two months to prepare my Defence -- for
10 my Defence, and this is what I want to know at this point, because I
11 cannot wait a full month now for them to check their archives because
12 after that time I would still need some time to check those documents,
13 and then again I will be in a situation where all the witnesses will have
14 gone who could have witnessed -- testified about this, except if I'm
15 given the opportunity to recall either their witnesses or my own. And
16 this is why I've put this before the Chamber, because I'm trying to save
17 whatever can be salvaged at this point.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand your problems, Madam Vidovic. That's
19 why I was asking you to -- just whether you can live with it without
20 elaborating. I'm trying to save time.
21 Judge Harhoff has something to ...
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Chamber understands, Madam Vidovic, your
24 situation, and I think you have put it as succinctly as you possibly can.
25 Mr. Mundis, I think, has also put his side quite clearly and concisely.
1 Obviously, the Chamber is going to do everything in its power, like
2 Mr. Mundis has promised, to accommodate the Defence in its difficulties.
3 We understand that the problem is not of your own making, and
4 therefore we should give the accused an opportunity to prepare his
5 defence. We understand that. Okay.
6 All I wanted to find out from you, and I know you've raised a
7 specific question, you want a specific answer from the Prosecution, when
8 can you expect documents. Are you able to say -- to give that in one
10 MR. MUNDIS: No, I'm not, because I need to -- I need to, first
11 of all, reduce the preliminary list of all the material seized to what
12 has not been disclosed. That material then needs to be reviewed. I will
13 say, based on the preliminary cut that we made yesterday, that the
14 overwhelming bulk of the material that was seized for the investigation
15 against this accused is not Rule 68 material, because it relates to
16 non-Mujahedin crimes for other crime basis for which the accused was
17 under investigation, in a nutshell.
18 So the initial response is there's a huge amount of material, but
19 when you actually start looking at that material, it is neither relevant
20 nor exculpatory with respect to this case.
21 So it's not -- I don't believe it's going to be a large number of
22 documents, but I don't want to say anything else about how long it will
23 take us until we get a little bit farther down the track, in terms of
24 seeing what we're actually talking about. I'm not talking about
25 something that's going to take me four weeks, but I'm not also talking
1 about something that can be done by tomorrow morning or by Monday
2 morning. It's most likely towards the middle to end of next week.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. That's the answer I think --
4 Madam Vidovic, that last sentence is the answer you were asking for.
5 Given that, I would like us, if there is nothing else to raise on
6 this point, to move to point number 2, and I would imagine that point
7 number 2 is going to be impacted upon by what we have been talking about
8 now. And point number 2 related to you, the Defence, not being able to
9 call a witness for Monday.
10 Now, given the previous discussion, it may very well be that it's
11 not just the witness for Monday, but the witness for Tuesday, Wednesday
12 and Thursday that you're not able to call. What are you saying on that?
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this will affect the
14 witness who was supposed to testify on Monday. The witness scheduled for
15 Wednesday -- the witness scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday we expect
16 will be able to testify. He does not fall in this category. And the
17 witness that was supposed to be the last witness next week -- or, rather,
18 the witness who was not scheduled for next week, but the week after, and
19 we'll see what we can do about that and how to resolve that situation.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me give you this assurance from the Chamber's
21 side. Whatever difficulties you encounter as a result of this situation,
22 the Chamber will try to accommodate you to the extent possible. Okay?
23 So as it unfolds, you'll let us know what witness you're able to
24 call and what witness you're not able to call.
25 But just to get it clear, with respect then to Monday
1 next week -- is it Monday or Tuesday? Monday. With respect to Monday's
2 witness, are you then asking for a postponement for that day? We can
3 record that we will not be sitting on that day.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. So Monday and
5 Tuesday, that and the next one.
6 Can I just consult with my assistant, please.
7 Your Honour, my assistant is pointing out the following: It is
8 possible that this witness, who will start testifying today, so we do
9 have a witness -- we have a witness who will finish testifying today, and
10 then we have a new one lined up who is supposed to begin his testimony.
11 It is possible that he will continue his testimony on Monday, so that is
13 So, please, let's wait for the decision about the adjournment for
14 Monday. So, in other words, the witness who is coming after -- following
15 the witness who is already here, he is the one who will not be able to
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
18 So we will decide to what date we postpone as this afternoon
20 I would imagine that -- for the sake of brevity, I just want us
21 to wrap up points 3 and 4 in one. Point 3 is the change of strategy
22 because of the information that is coming, and point 4 was the assistance
23 that you were asking from -- that you may ask from the Chamber with
24 respect to the Italian officials.
25 Can I wrap those two up by saying -- yes, ma'am, as we say, we
1 will accommodate the Defence. The Chamber, to the extent possible, it
2 will accommodate you on those two points as well.
3 Is that okay? Fine.
4 Does that wrap the discussion?
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, I just -- I just felt that I need to
9 respond to one point that was --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, I'm sorry.
11 MR. MUNDIS: -- that was actually related back to point 1,
12 something that Mrs. Vidovic said that I really believe needs to be
13 responded to. This is on page 16, lines 15 through 25.
14 I want to make it very clear, so that there is absolutely no
15 confusion about this point, when Mrs. Vidovic said, at line 22 through 25
16 of page 16:
17 "This is a situation where the Prosecutor's office knew that this
18 was important, knew what it was about, and therefore should have been
19 careful to determine whether there was exculpatory materials within
20 them," I want to be absolutely 100 per cent transparent here that this
21 was an error on the part of the Prosecution. It's not a question of we
22 should have known. It's a question of we did know, and in this respect,
23 with respect to this material, the buck stops right here as the
24 responsible party.
25 So I want to be absolutely clear on that, and I want the Defence
1 to fully understand the importance of what we're talking about here and
2 the seriousness with which this team takes that obligation.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you had said so earlier, Mr. Mundis. We
4 understood you, and I'm sure that Madam Vidovic takes that on board.
5 Thank you very much for, in the case, stressing that point once again.
6 I guess this wraps up the issue.
7 If we -- I don't know -- shall we call the witness or do you want
8 us to rule on yesterday's objection in his absence? It arose in his
10 Madam Vidovic, I think you should be the dominus litis on this
11 one, and we should defer to you.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps it is better
13 for you to give your ruling without the witness being present. I think
14 it's always better.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
16 The Trial Chamber finds itself in a situation where it cannot
17 rule on this objection for the reasons I'm just about to give.
18 1. Madam Vidovic, you said yesterday:
19 "But he will have an opportunity to answer in detail on this
20 issue, Mr. Neuner, and it's very probable that we will address the Judges
21 panel on this issue in a while, and he will have the opportunity to
22 address it then."
23 As a result of that statement, Mr. Mundis stood up and said:
24 "Before the Chamber renders a decision, I would simply telegraph
25 that Mrs. Vidovic has discussed this issue with me."
1 Now, it looks like the Trial Chamber is being called upon to make
2 a ruling on this objection based, amongst others, on a discussion that
3 took place to which this Trial Chamber is not privy, a discussion that
4 took place somewhere else.
5 Now, on the basis of what is before the -- and let me be very
6 clear. I am not suggesting that the parties must tell us what they
7 discussed, because it may be something that you don't want the Trial
8 Chamber to know. But on the basis of what was before us yesterday, we
9 find it difficult to uphold this objection, but we also appreciate that
10 it looks like there may be something here that is important and that at a
11 later stage, if this matter is not resolved now, may lengthen the
12 proceedings. Now, we don't want to lengthen the proceedings. We would
13 like to exercise our discretion in a way that makes the proceedings
14 expeditious and we therefore wanted to find out from both sides whether
15 you are able to motivate your positions a little more. You don't have to
16 tell us what is not -- what we are not supposed to hear, but give us a
17 good reason to be able to make a ruling here, particularly because,
18 Madam Vidovic, you said, where I quoted you, that you will address us on
19 this issue in a while.
20 Now, it looks we've got the cart before the horse here. We're
21 now being asked to make a ruling before we are addressed. So this is the
22 difficulty we're finding ourselves in.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may.
25 Your Honour, this has to do with an issue that relates to the
1 contact of the Office of the Prosecution with our witnesses. I don't
2 mean the Office of the Prosecutor, but some individuals from the Office
3 of the Prosecutor. And I've discussed this with my colleague,
4 Mr. Mundis.
5 Your Honour, at this point -- I don't think at this point it
6 would take too much -- it would be too wide a scope, and I don't think I
7 want to broach this topic now, or, rather, I think this is an issue that
8 should be further discussed between me and Mr. Mundis and that we should
9 try and resolve some of these problems in these discussions. It seems to
10 me that Mr. Mundis has a lot of understanding for some of the proposals
11 and some of the suggestions that I made in that respect.
12 Now, I don't think that this issue may affect the length of the
13 proceedings, themselves. In this situation, what kind of affect it can
14 have on the situation we had yesterday at the end of the day, let me try
15 and put this into a legal framework.
16 Both sides in these proceedings and the Trial Chamber will find
17 themselves in this situation, this legal framework: The colleague who
18 was questioning the witness and did the cross-examination, then I had
19 some re-examination and asked some questions, and my main concern -- my
20 main objection had to do with this, that this was not -- that he was not
21 questioning about something that was arising from the questions of the
22 Trial Chamber and that that was why the Trial Chamber should not allow
23 him to put those questions. That was the basis of my objection.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that that was the basis of your
25 objection. In fact, your opposition to his application, he realised if
1 he asked those questions, he would be asking questions that do not arise
2 from the Trial Chamber's questions, but questions that arise from your
3 re-examination. Hence, he made an application to be allowed to put those
4 questions. Now -- and this is what I was trying to cut this discussion
5 short when I didn't go back to that history.
6 Now, you opposed that, and in your opposition to that, that's
7 when you mentioned that you will address the panel of Judges on that
9 Now, it seems as if you still do have a complaint about this
10 issue. You will raise it, and the point where I'm saying we don't want
11 to lengthen the proceedings is that Mr. Mundis rose up to say, "While
12 this witness is here, could we please be allowed to ask him questions on
13 this particular issue that was raised by Madam Vidovic to avoid possibly
14 having to call him back or possibly having to get another witness to come
15 and testify on those issues?" And that is where there is a possibility
16 of lengthening the proceedings.
17 And we feel that if we allow them to ask those questions, we will
18 shorten the proceedings.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if that is your view,
20 then I will withdraw my objection. If you believe that there is that
21 danger, then I withdraw my objection.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. Understand, Madam Vidovic, when I started
23 this topic today, I said we are not in a position to rule, but then I
24 said, "However, we realise these possibilities." So this is what I'm
25 trying to explain to you. This is a possibility that we realise, and we
1 do think that -- mind you, we are groping in the dark, we don't know what
2 is the underlying thing, except that what you asked the witness, and he
3 told us that he was working from 2.00 and then goes straight to an
4 interview, then go back to work, then come back for an interview. There
5 was mention of four days, there was mention of seventeen days. We are
6 aware of -- that's all we know, and we don't know what the Defence
7 intends doing about that. We don't know whether the Defence wants to
8 address the Chamber about that. And we've been asked to make this ruling
9 in the air.
10 So if we make the ruling, we'll be making it on gut feel, rather
11 than on facts. And, really, the gut feel here is expeditiousness. And
12 we would like, therefore, if we make that ruling, at least to make it
13 with hopefully the consent of both parties.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a question
15 that has not been explored enough by the Defence. This is the question
16 of having access to witnesses in general in this case. We still have not
17 explored it enough. And I've discussed this with my colleague,
18 Mr. Mundis. I will speak with him some more. I'm not someone who would
19 rush with a submission without establishing the facts properly first.
20 Having heard your opinion, I believe that perhaps it would be
21 advisable to allow the cross-examination or to grant the request from the
22 Prosecution and then allow me also then to put some questions to the
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
25 May we call the witness.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, Mr. Husic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: We apologise to call you just for 10 minutes
5 before we take the break, but we had to deal with other business that
6 didn't need you.
7 Mr. Husic, I need not remind you, but again I remind you. You
8 are still bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of your
9 testimony, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
10 truth. Okay?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: HALIM HUSIC [Resumed]
13 [The witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 Your application is granted, Mr. Neuner.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Neuner: [Continued]
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Husic.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I have a few questions relating to the statement from last week,
20 and I can ensure you right away I'm only asking about the formal taking
21 of the statement, not about its content itself. Do you understand?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. NEUNER: Could we have, for a second, the statement on our
24 screens. This is PT6254.
25 Q. While this is being displayed, you will remember that last
1 Tuesday, you came to the Sarajevo field office, Tuesday of last week?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this is the 4th of March, as we can see here on the lower
4 part of the statement?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. NEUNER: For Your Honours, the dates in the English statement
7 have not fully been provided.
8 Q. We see here three dates on the B/C/S version which you signed,
9 the 4th, the 5th, and the 7th of March. Is it correct that on these
10 three days, you came to the Sarajevo field office?
11 A. Yes, but also on Thursday I brought materials that I was supposed
12 to look at and go through and correct previously. I brought those
13 materials and gave them.
14 Q. I will come to that. Yeah, I will just do it step by step.
15 So the 4th of March, 2008, was the Tuesday; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And on the 5th of March, Wednesday, you also came to the Sarajevo
18 field office?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. As well as on Friday, the 7th of March?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And have I a correct recollection that on Tuesday, the 4th of
23 March, you arrived at about 2.30 in the afternoon in the Sarajevo field
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And once you arrived, a general introduction was given to you;
2 you were informed about your rights as a witness and your obligations?
3 A. Yes, but I informed you that I was coming from my place of work
4 after my work hours.
5 Q. Correct. And in the course of the afternoon, three breaks were
6 undertaken; correct?
7 A. It's possible. I don't remember.
8 Q. But you remember that we informed you that the translator,
9 himself, needed to have breaks because he cannot translate for such a
10 long time; do you remember?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And in these breaks, upon your request and wish expressed, we
13 also served you with coffee?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the interview that day completed at around 7.00 in the
16 evening, is it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And afterwards, we tried to drive you home, but de facto we
19 couldn't do that and we organised that you came home by a taxi?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So I'm coming now to Wednesday, the 5th of March. You, as far as
22 I can recall, came at 2.20 in the afternoon to the field office.
23 A. Yes, also after my office hours.
24 Q. And, again, breaks were made in the course of the afternoon, and
25 coffee, if and when requested, was provided?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And this time, the interview concluded a little bit earlier at
3 6.00 in the evening?
4 A. It's possible.
5 Q. And on that occasion, you were handed out the translation of the
6 first part of your statement you had given on Tuesday, this time in the
7 Bosnian language?
8 A. Yes, yes, and this is where the problems began, because the
9 translation was very incorrect and my corrections were very difficult.
10 Q. I come to your corrections.
11 So that evening, we drove you home?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the next day, Thursday, you were not coming to the Sarajevo
14 field office at all?
15 A. I didn't come to the field office, but I was obliged, in the
16 break between my work and the afternoon meeting I had at the school, to
17 give the material to Mr. Mueller [as interpreted], who had come to get
18 that material. But I had work all day, obligations all day at my place
19 of work, at the school where I am employed.
20 Q. Correct, but weren't you asked the day before when you wanted to
21 have a meeting, and you proposed that particular time period, and you
22 even proposed the place where somebody drove to in order to make the
23 break from your obligations as short as possible?
24 A. Yes, because that day I had too many things to do at the school
25 and it was hard to find 20 minutes' time to hand that over.
1 Q. In fact, somebody drove to the city centre of Sarajevo, where you
2 were probably working or whatever, and handed out of the car just the
3 newly-translated second part of this statement in the Bosnian language,
4 and in return he became your corrected version of the Bosnian language
5 statement which you had received the previous day. So it was a meeting
6 of about one minute; right?
7 A. Yes, it didn't last that long.
8 Q. So apart from that one-minute meeting, you weren't obliged by the
9 Prosecution to come to the field office that day or to undertake some
10 other way; you had the time available to plan for your own business?
11 A. Yes, but I did need time to get to that place and to return, so
12 it was some 20 minutes.
13 Q. But you proposed it. You told us we should come there, and we
14 accepted that right away, did we?
15 A. Yes, there was no other way.
16 Q. So I want to move on to Friday. On Friday, you came at 2.30 to
17 the Sarajevo field office, did you?
18 A. Probably.
19 Q. And that day, in essence, there was no new statement taken or no
20 further questioning done; it was just incorporating the suggestions which
21 you had, corrections you wanted to have?
22 A. That and, along with that, a conversation about the map that we
23 spent a long time discussing.
24 Q. I have to say I, myself, was not present, so I don't know. But
25 in essence, you had the opportunity to make corrections that day, is it,
1 to the entire statement in the Bosnian language?
2 A. Yes, but on that day we spent more time on the video footage,
3 maps, and then after that we did the corrections of the material.
4 Q. Okay. So I have here that you left the field office at around
5 5.00, is that correct, on Friday?
6 A. It's possible. I don't remember.
7 Q. So I have here you arrived at 2.30 and left at 5.00. This would
8 then mean that you had been at the Sarajevo field office for two and a
9 half hours on Friday?
10 A. The Sarajevo office is very far from my place of work. It was
11 Friday, it was crowded, so I spent a lot of time on the trip there and
12 back. I mean, every day it's crowded, but particularly on Friday it's
13 very crowded in Sarajevo.
14 Q. I wasn't asking you for the way going there or coming back. I
15 was asking: The actual time you spent on Friday was about two and a half
16 hours at the Sarajevo field office?
17 A. It's possible, it's possible.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Neuner, are you still going to be a little
20 MR. NEUNER: I'm practically done.
21 Q. So you had the opportunity to read your entire statement in the
22 Bosnian language on Friday again?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you read it before you signed it?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. NEUNER: I have no further questions.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 Would this be then a convenient time to take the break?
4 We'll come back at 4.00. Court adjourned.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.33 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Trial Chamber has just been advised by the
8 Registrar that the witness says he would like to make a comment at this
9 point in time.
10 Mr. Husic, what would you like to say?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I stated an oath and
12 committed myself to saying the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
13 the truth, testifying practically for the eighth day over these past two
14 weeks. I have understood that -- I think that two details are not quite
15 clear and that they bring in confusion about the entire testimony.
16 The first detail that I would like to explain is the problem of
17 units in the Bila Valley.
18 The Bila Valley is a territory, the population of which was
19 divided or was joined on to seven units of the Army of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina. Most of them were in the 306th, a part in the 312th, some
21 in 314th, then some in 325th, then the 307th Muslim unit and the 17th
22 Krajina unit. Besides these large units, we saw that there were also
23 groups that were paramilitary groups. When they were at their homes, if
24 an incident took place in a location anywhere in the Bila Valley,
25 automatically a large number of units were involved in that incident,
1 members from three, four, five, sometimes even six units, and this is
2 what was creating confusion in the understanding of the situation in Bila
3 throughout the testimony. The 306th Mountain Brigade, when there was an
4 incident in a location, had its members, but in the same location,
5 perhaps on rest, there would also be members of some other units.
6 The other problem that I would like to talk about briefly, in a
7 few sentences, and which also creates confusion in the whole of the
8 testimony, and which I think was caused by the fact that the positions of
9 the Prosecutor or the evidence is the dates that are stated erroneously
10 there, because when we're talking about the June, the early June, the
11 beginning of the conflict, practically, as of the 28th of May, the
12 conflicts broke out. The complete valley -- entire valley was blocked,
13 and for the next two days all the dominant features in the Bila Valley
14 and around it were taken by the HVO artillery. And in that way, movement
15 was prevented.
16 Secondly, there was contact with the Chetniks at that time, and
17 we knew that, and this gave rise to additional concern.
18 Then on the 2nd of May, the HVO Army, in four neighbouring
19 Bosniak settlements, issued an ultimatum for them to give up their
20 weapons. Velika Bukovica, Bandol, Ricice and Radonjici.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Again, the transcript says "2nd of May." Do you
22 mean 2nd of June?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 2nd of June, yes, I apologise. I'm
24 sorry, I am sorry. Excuse me, please.
25 So the 2nd of June, an ultimatum was issued to four neighbouring
1 Bosniak villages to hand over their weapons, and when they did not do so,
2 the HVO forces attack started on those four villages, Ricice, hand over
3 their weapons after the attack, and they were moved out. Bandol was
4 destroyed, it was razed. The homes were destroyed. Four people were
5 killed. The rest of the population fled. A boy was killed who, when he
6 was alive, was bound with wire, and he was dragged along the ground in
7 front of his house. The population of Velika Bukovica, which was also
8 attacked, fought until they ran out of ammunition.
9 Of 30 houses that were there, only two were left from which they
10 put up resistance when they ran out of ammunition. 18 armed people
11 pulled out. They left their families to the mercy of the HVO forces, and
12 actually, I think this is a key detail, those 18 people who pulled out of
13 the area actually brought out the news about what was going on in this
14 part of the Bila Valley. And you will understand that in all of these
15 villages, the population was related in families or in-laws.
16 After that event in Bukovica, the counter-attack was launched
17 that is discussed here all the time. So when we're talking about an
18 attack and when we fix that on the 8th of June, and you rule out the days
19 before that, then you cannot understand that this was actually a
20 counter-attack in response to an attack that was previously carried out
21 from the other side of the Bila Valley.
22 So I'm in a position that after eight days of testimony, I have
23 to return, and if you understand me, psychological it's very difficult.
24 All of this happened 15 or 16 years ago. I have to go back to my
25 environment and live with people whose names and roles I talked about
1 here. And I wanted to say this so that I would actually meet my
2 obligation to fully speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
4 Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Husic, for those words.
6 Thank you. I don't think I need to comment on those words. Thank you so
7 much. We appreciate that you have given us that bit of information.
8 Madam Vidovic, do you wish to re-examine the witness on the
9 modalities of taking the statement and not on what he has just told us
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I wanted to put a
12 few questions about the modalities of taking statements.
13 Further re-examination by Ms. Vidovic:
14 Q. Mr. Husic, the Prosecutor put some questions to you about the
15 schedule of your interviews; when you went, how long you were there, when
16 did you leave, whether you had coffee or not and so on. I would like you
17 to say, before this Trial Chamber, please, how this testimony looked.
18 Let me just cut things short. You mentioned that you had to make
19 corrections to the statement. Why did you make these corrections?
20 A. First of all, I obliged myself by signing it, but I must say that
21 each time, I would come after working for a whole day and after having
22 different duties throughout the day. I emphasised that each day, I was
23 tired, and I think that it would have been all right for the Prosecutor
24 also to mention that, because I mentioned that each time.
25 Secondly, what was the biggest problem in those statements,
1 besides the fact that I was so busy, was the inaccurate translation or
2 interpretation that I received, and I was tired -- well, I started, so if
3 the Prosecutor wants to be quite clear about it, he could say what the
4 first pages of my corrections looked like. There were a lot of
5 corrections. Then I saw that this took a lot of time. I was working all
6 day, and then I had to do this in the evening. So then I just simply
7 focused my corrections on the most essential, necessary things.
8 The way it looked was how after working for a full day, you come
9 to an office where people take turns in asking you about events from 15
10 years ago, so that's how it was.
11 Q. Mr. Husic, did you provide a clear statement and were you
12 speaking in your own words?
13 A. No. What my objection or remark is about this statement, and
14 what is frustrating to me, is that there are no questions there that were
15 put to me. They are not in the statement, and my answer is being placed
16 in the context of different questions that are being put here. And this
17 is why my answer, then, seems different.
18 Q. Can you please tell us, who was there when you were giving this
20 A. The Prosecutor who is asking me here and Mr. Koehler.
21 Q. Koehler?
22 A. Koehler.
23 Q. Let me ask you this. Was that your first meeting with
24 Mr. Koehler?
25 A. No, we met when I testified in the first case, in the
1 Hadzihasanovic-Kubura case.
2 Q. During that testimony, you also appeared as a Defence witness,
3 didn't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you have just told us that you spoke with Mr. Koehler. Just
6 one moment, please.
7 How would you describe that interview? Was that a professional
8 interview? What was it like?
9 A. Because of the way the interview with me was conducted, I refused
10 to have any other contacts with Mr. Koehler. He knows that very well. I
11 didn't want to come anymore, because those interviews -- it was still the
12 time when I still didn't understand the position of a witness, and I was,
13 myself, afraid. And in conversations, when I was still not sure if I
14 should give a statement or not, he said to me that, amongst other things,
15 that anyone who had spent four years in the war could be in the situation
16 of having other people imagining what his role was. So I experienced
17 that as a kind of threat, and this is why I refused further cooperation
18 with him.
19 Q. And is it true that you told me this now, when you received a
20 summons to speak with Mr. K oehler again?
21 A. Yes, I also wished to refuse to cooperate with that gentleman
23 Q. And what was the answer I gave you?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. --
25 MR. NEUNER: I'm sorry. I just wanted to object to the last
1 question, though the answer was given.
2 So far, the witness has not mentioned that he received a summons,
3 but my learned colleague has just suggested that a summons was issued.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I respond.
5 The witness said that Mr. Koehler was sitting with him at the
6 interview. Well, he didn't fall from the sky. He mentioned Mr. Koehler
7 as conducting the interview together with him, together with Mr. Neuner,
8 so he probably did receive a summons to go to the interview. That was
9 the basis for my question. I don't know if I was clear enough.
10 MR. NEUNER: I believe the answer my learned colleague has just
11 given speaks for itself. "I believe that a summons was issued." This
12 mere speculation, and it is put here to the witness in a leading form.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Is it a material issue?
14 MR. NEUNER: It may -- I also believe, in the context, if we talk
15 about the behaviour of Mr. Koehler, it would maybe make a difference,
16 whether Mr. Koeh ler is employing summonses in order to see witnesses or
17 not, or also the fact, and that's my main issue here, that it is
18 suggested in a leading form to witnesses, though we are in a
19 re-examination at this point in time.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, okay. Do I also understand you to be
21 disputing that a summons was issued?
22 MR. NEUNER: For the interview last week, I'm disputing that a
23 summons was issued to this witness, yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you receive a summons to go and talk to
25 Mr. Koehler, sir, or were you just asked to call at the offices of the
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was called by telephone.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Madam Vidovic.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Please, at some point did you find out that Mr. Koehler was
6 supposed to be among those to put questions to you?
7 A. Yes. When I received this telephone call, I was told that -- I
8 didn't remember all the details, but that I should come, and I recognised
9 Koehler's name because I remembered that person from before, and that was
10 the reason why I did not accept that until you called me when I
11 complained or -- that I didn't wish to. And when you suggested that I
12 should, nevertheless, go and respond to this call, then I went for the
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
17 Mr. Husic, thank you very much. This brings us to the end of
18 your testimony.
19 Let's take this opportunity to thank you very much for taking
20 time from your very busy schedule to come and testify here in the
21 Tribunal, and wish you a safe trip back home. I hope you have lots of
22 time to rest when you do get home, before you go back to work.
23 Have a good weekend. You are now excused. You may stand down.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. The
4 Defence calls Witness Hajrudin Hubo to testify.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: "Hajrudin Hubo," interpreter correction.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: HAJRUDIN HUBO
12 [The witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 Good afternoon, sir. You may be seated.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Robson.
18 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Examination by Mr. Robson:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Hubo. My make is Nicholas Robson, and I'll
21 be asking you some questions today on behalf of General Rasim Delic.
22 Could you please state your full name for the record?
23 A. I wish you all a good afternoon, everyone in the courtroom. My
24 name is Hajrudin Hubo, born on October 4, 1964.
25 Q. And where were you born?
1 A. I was born in the Mavrovici place, Visoko Municipality.
2 Q. And what do you do for a living now?
3 A. I'm currently the chief of the Verification Centre in the Joint
4 Staff in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. And do you hold any military rank?
6 A. Yes. I'm a brigadier.
7 Q. Prior to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, did you have any
8 military experience?
9 A. Yes, I did. I finished the Military Academy, and I worked in the
10 former Yugoslav People's Army in Kragujevac.
11 Q. Did there come a time when you left the Yugoslav People's Army?
12 A. I left the former Yugoslav People's Army at the end of August,
13 sometime in September, 1991, in the circumstances of the breakdown of
14 Yugoslavia and when the former [Realtime transcript read in error "four"]
15 Yugoslav Republics of Slovenia and Croatia were attacked.
16 Q. And following the start of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, did
17 you take up any military duties at that time?
18 A. Before the war, I was engaged in the Patriotic League, and by
19 decision of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that
20 everyone should be put under the command and control of the Territorial
21 Defence of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I reported to the
22 Regional Staff in Zenica and joined, on the 6th of April, I joined the
23 Territorial Defence of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. And just so we're clear, which year was it that you joined the
25 Regional Staff of the Territorial Defence?
1 A. Officially, on the 6th of April, 1992.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson, at line 15, I just want to record that
3 I think I heard the witness say "when the former Yugoslav republics of
4 Slovenia and Croatia were attacked," not "the fall."
5 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I think the court reporter
6 would have caught that now.
7 Q. And when you joined the Territorial Defence, did you take up any
9 A. Yes, I was one of the desk officers in the Regional Staff of the
10 Territorial Defence of Zenica.
11 Q. Did you remain as a desk officer in the Territorial Defence or
12 did your position change at any stage?
13 A. Well, after a while I became the assistant commander for
14 intelligence in the Regional Staff of the Territorial Defence, and when
15 the corps began to be established, I was the chief of staff, the Regional
16 Staff of the Territorial Defence, in the phase when the army was
17 undergoing reorganisation, until it was disbanded.
18 Q. Just to clear a few things, can you tell us, first of all, which
19 corps you are talking about which began to be established?
20 A. Well, generally speaking, the reorganisation of the army was
21 underway, and specifically this was the period when the 3rd Corps of the
22 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was being established. And the official
23 date of its establishment was December 1st. Of course, it wasn't
24 established overnight. It took some period of time.
25 Q. And, again, just so we're clear, the official date of the
1 establishment of the 3rd Corps was the 1st of December of which year?
2 A. 1992.
3 Q. Concerning the position that you occupied, once the 3rd Corps was
4 formed, what position did you hold?
5 A. When the 3rd Corps was established, as I mentioned earlier, I was
6 also the acting chief of staff of the District TO Staff, because it was
7 still in existence, the staffs of the Territorial Defence within
8 municipalities were still in existence and operational during 1993 for a
9 while. And when our staff was closed down, at the Corps Command, within
10 its staff, an organ was formed that was called "the Organ for Spatial
11 Structures." I was chief of that organ, and in fact I had similar duties
12 that I performed in the District Staff under new circumstances and within
13 this new organisation, which means that I still -- that it was still my
14 duty to coordinate the activities of the territorial staffs, municipal
15 territorial staffs, until they were closed down.
16 Q. And can you tell us approximately when it was that you took up
17 the position of chief of the organ for special structures within the
18 3rd Corps?
19 A. It is not "special structures" but "spatial structures" or
20 "territorial structures." That's what's meant by "spatial." And this
21 was approximately, if I can recall, in April 1993.
22 MR. ROBSON: Okay, thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand that the responsibility of the
24 organ for spatial structures was to still coordinate the activities of
25 the territorial staff, as you said, or did it have other
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Its primary goal was to coordinate
3 the municipality staff -- the activities of the municipal staffs of
4 Territorial Defence, because higher territorial staffs were subordinated
5 to the Command, and there were, I believe, some 12 municipalities.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Robson.
7 MR. ROBSON:
8 Q. Mr. Hubo, just to clarify something in your last answer, I don't
9 know whether something was missed out of the translation, did you say
10 that its primary goal was to coordinate the activities of the municipal
11 staffs of Territorial Defence?
12 A. Yes, in one segment of the Command, and the municipality staffs
13 were already logistically -- they had support -- were subordinated to the
14 corps commands, but this was the phase when the staffs were restructured.
15 Q. Okay. And did you remain as the chief of the organ for spatial
16 structures during 1993 or did your position change at some point?
17 A. I think that sometime in August/September 1993, there were some
18 personnel changes in the Command of the 3rd Corps, and at this time I
19 was -- I became the chief of the organ for personnel at the Command -- at
20 the Corps Command. So this is -- this was called at the time "the
21 assistant commander for personnel and replenishment."
22 Q. Just so we're clear, could you please again repeat the name --
23 the full name of the organ that you became the chief of?
24 A. The organ's name at this time was the Organ for Replenishments
25 and Personnel for the 3rd Corps Command.
1 Q. And did that organ's name change at a later stage?
2 A. In the structural changes and organisational changes that
3 followed, this organ was later changed into the Organ for Organisation,
4 Mobilisation and Personnel Affairs. But, in effect, it did the same
5 duties, but there were only a different number of people employed there.
6 Q. I see. Could you tell us briefly what the duties were of the
8 A. This organ primarily had the task -- it was a technical organ of
9 the Corps Command, and its duties were organisation and replenishment of
10 commands and units of the 3rd Corps, resolution of the status of the
11 members of those units. In other words, it dealt with the structure and
12 replenishment of units. This term "replenishment" can be clarified
13 perhaps in English, but it just meant that the units had to be fully
14 manned, as was -- as was recommended or prescribed by a certain book of
15 rules for formation.
16 Q. I'm going to come on to replenishment and what that entailed in a
17 little while, but at this stage if I can ask you a different question.
18 In August or September, when you became the chief of this organ,
19 can you tell us, what was the situation like in the 3rd Corps at that
21 A. The situation was delicate in several senses. Specifically, in
22 the organ where I was, when I arrived there, there were one or two other
23 men who were, because of their dissatisfaction, perhaps, for the work of
24 my -- of the person who was there before me, the records were almost
25 nonexistent, and the situation, in short, was very, very bad, difficult.
1 Q. Could you explain to us, if at all -- if you can, why the records
2 were almost nonexistent? What records are you talking about?
3 A. I'm talking about the records of personnel that belonged to
4 certain units, and according to the organisational structure and
5 formations within the Secretariats of those -- Secretariats that were
6 under the law obliged to deal with replenishment, because there were
7 many -- there were many irregularities in the work of those organs, so --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last portion
9 of the witness's answer.
10 MR. ROBSON:
11 Q. Mr. Hubo, could you just repeat the last part of your answer.
12 You mentioned secretariats that were obliged to deal with replenishment,
13 and there were many irregularities. Can you continue?
14 A. Well, I could speak further on this. I'm afraid it would take
15 much longer to explain the situation in full, but it was the
16 secretariats, under the law, had the responsibility, on the basis of the
17 plans, the decisions of the Presidency, the laws and all documents, to
18 carry out mobilisation and send personnel to man units. But this did not
19 function properly.
20 Q. I'm going to ask you to explain about the secretariats in due
21 course, so we won't focus on that at this moment.
22 Obviously, one of the duties of your organ was to deal with
23 replenishment and the manning of units. When you took up your position
24 in 1993, were the units of the 3rd Corps fully manned?
25 A. I said at one point most units, I would say up to 90 per cent of
1 units, were not fully manned, either in terms of manpower or materiel.
2 And I could also add another fact. In the beginning, we did not even
3 have access to all this information so that we could perform analyses and
4 take certain steps, so that we wasted time on this also to obtain that
6 Q. And in terms of the units of the 3rd Corps not being fully
7 manned, was this a problem only during 1993? Can you tell us how long
8 this problem lasted for?
9 A. This problem was, in fact, resolved, in part, when it comes to
10 procedures and the carrying out of duties and roles of all of those who
11 participated in the mobilisation of men, and I can say that up until the
12 end of the war, it was not completely overcome, because of many different
13 circumstances that could be described. For instance, there were many
14 borderline municipalities that existed on different territories at the
15 beginning of the war, and so on and so forth. There was a lack of
16 documents and many other details.
17 Q. If I could clarify something, Mr. Hubo. You said that this
18 problem was not completely overcome. You said that this lasted until the
19 end of when?
20 A. This lasted up until the end of the war. The official date was
21 the 22nd of December, 1995, the Dayton Accords.
22 Q. Okay. Now, what I want you to focus on is the issue of
23 replenishment of units, the idea of manning -- of putting men into units.
24 Could you tell us who or what was responsible for carrying out
1 A. The responsible organ was the Superior Secretariat for National
2 Defence, and under the law this was the state organ that informed and
3 sent people -- assigned people to commands of army units.
4 Q. Okay. Now, for those of us that don't understand what the
5 Superior Secretariat for National Defence is, can you briefly describe
6 for us what that organisation is?
7 A. It's not the Supreme Secretariat for National Defence. There
8 were different levels. The Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, in other words, was a ministry of the government. Below it
10 in the organisational scheme, there were District Secretariats for
11 National Defence that spread over territories of several municipalities,
12 and each municipality had their own municipal organs, and they were all
13 set up differently.
14 Most of the work that had to do with replenishment and the
15 manning of units was within the jurisdiction of the Municipal
16 Secretariats. So in those areas where that was possible, of course,
17 where I said it before, those that were not on the border -- from the
18 border municipality.
19 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I seem to have lost translation. I'm
20 just wondering if it's me or the rest of the court.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You and I are in the same boat.
22 MR. ROBSON:
23 Q. Can you hear me, Mr. Hubo? I think we got the last part of your
24 sentence, but I'm going to ask you to clarify a few things.
25 Just so I understand you, when we talk about responsibility for
1 replenishment, that responsibility fell to the organs of the Ministry of
2 Defence; is that right?
3 A. Primarily, the organs of the Ministry of Defence, the
4 responsibility was to conduct or to prepare the plans of manning, and the
5 situation was such that some units did not fully abide by this. So this
6 was a very complex administrative work that had to be done, but the
7 primary responsibility for replenishment, mobilisation and demobilisation
8 of personnel and materiel was on the Ministry of Defence at different
10 Q. Okay. And just so I understand you, as to those levels, we had
11 the Ministry of Defence at ministerial level. Below that, we had the
12 District Secretariats for Defence, and then below that, at the
13 municipality level, we had the Municipal Secretariat for Defence. Is
14 that right?
15 A. Yes, you are right.
16 Q. Very briefly, can you explain to us how, in fact, the Municipal
17 Defence Secretariat actually carried out replenishment of units?
18 A. First of all, the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence
19 replenished the unit commands that were formed in the area of the
20 territory of that municipality. They would be replenished on the basis
21 of plans of replenishment which the units drew up and which were sent to
22 the Secretariat for final execution. This is how it functioned.
23 Q. Okay. So if the Municipal Defence Secretariat received a plan
24 asking for units to be replenished with men, what would the Municipal
25 Defence Secretariat do next so that men actually were sent to those
2 A. If a unit were to be formed, its role was to choose the personnel
3 from its records of conscripts, so the secretariats had records of all
4 military conscripts from their municipal territory. On the basis of
5 plans and requests, they would make the selection by age, by specialties
6 and by need, and they would issue the summons and then send the soldiers,
7 non-commissioned officers and officers to the unit that was being formed
8 or that already was formed.
9 Q. You mentioned that the Municipal Defence Secretariat kept a
10 record of conscripts. Can you explain this a little more about that?
11 What sort of information was kept?
12 A. In brief, each military conscript who, in the former Yugoslavia,
13 served his compulsory military term of duty, would have all information
14 on him maintained by the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence. So
15 this data included the person's particulars, what they were trained for,
16 the blood group, and a lot of other relevant information that was
17 required so that the person could carry out any particular duty.
18 Q. So the Municipal Defence Secretariat kept a record of each person
19 sent to a unit. Would the actual unit, itself, keep a record about the
20 individuals coming to the unit?
21 A. If a person, a military conscript, was included in this way, they
22 would report to the unit. Then the unit would receive the so-called unit
23 booklet or card with this information. So this card file was something
24 that the unit needed to maintain on the particular military conscript in
25 order to resolve any status issues relating to the person, until the time
1 that he was no longer in the unit, until the point in time he was
2 transferred, demobilised, or no longer in the unit for some other reason.
3 The Secretariat in the municipality had the personal card with
4 identical information, so those two cards and all the information on them
5 should have been identical in the unit and in the Municipal Secretariat
6 for National Defence.
7 Q. I see. So the unit card that was held by the unit itself, which
8 part of the unit kept the card?
9 A. Each independent unit, the command of that unit, its personnel
10 organ would maintain these records.
11 Q. And was there any law or regulations that regulated this issue of
12 keeping records about conscripts?
13 A. Records of military conscripts was something that we actually
14 used according to the rules on the mobilisation of armed forces, which
15 was taken over from the former Yugoslav People's Army. It was a kind of
16 subsidiary rule, with all the relevant forms and details. And the legal
17 basis on that was the decree on the criteria and norms on the deployment
18 of citizens and material funds, which was published in the Official
19 Gazette of the Republic of B and H 19/92.
20 Q. So you've just mentioned a decree on the criteria and norms on
21 the development -- on the deployment of citizens and material funds.
22 Your Honours, could we please bring up Defence document D547.
23 Mr. Hubo, can you see the title of this document?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And in the English version, I'll just read it out: "Decree on
1 the criteria and standards for the assignment of citizens and material
2 resources to the armed forces and for other defence needs." Is this the
3 legislation that you mentioned that governed the issue of replenishment
4 of units?
5 A. Yes, this is the basic document pursuant to which all of these
6 tasks were carried out, and which was binding on all of those who took
7 part in the implementation of this activity.
8 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'd like to refer to Article 42, which
9 is at page 10 in the English version and page 8 in the B/C/S version.
10 If I can just read out part of Article 42, it says:
11 "The assignment of personnel to the army shall be carried out by
12 the Municipal Secretariat which keeps military records of the personnel
13 in question."
14 Can you comment on this Article 42, Mr. Hubo? What, if anything,
15 does it tell us?
16 A. Well, it says who was responsible for assigning and mobilising
17 units to the army. There were also other subjects. There was the work
18 duty, the police, civil protection, and so on and so forth.
19 Q. So you say it says who was responsible. This article confirms
20 that it was the Municipal Defence Secretariat who had that role?
21 A. Yes, that was in its exclusive jurisdiction.
22 Q. Okay. If we can now look at Article 20 of this decree.
23 Your Honours, this is at page 6 in the English and page 4 in the
24 B/C/S version. If we can just very quickly go to the page before this in
25 English so we can just see that we are about to refer to Article 20.
1 Your Honours, you'll see the heading's been chopped off.
2 So we can see the heading: "Article 20." And if we can go to
3 the next page in the English, please. What this says is:
4 "During a state of war, army ranks may also be manned by military
5 conscripts directly reporting to the war unit without having been called
6 up by the responsible Municipal Secretariat."
7 Now, my question, Mr. Hubo, is: You explained to us a procedure
8 whereby the Municipal Defence Secretariat was responsible for writing to
9 conscripts and assigning them to a particular unit. Can you tell us what
10 the effect of Article 20 is?
11 A. Of course. This Article 20 says that in a state of war, the
12 manning can be carried out in the manner that the conscripts directly
13 reporting to the war unit without having been called up by the
14 responsible Municipal Secretariat. I must say that in the initial stage
15 of the war was the most frequent case.
16 When we were carrying out an analysis, at least 60 per cent of
17 the people had reported themselves, without any summons from the
18 Secretariat, and joined the army.
19 Q. If I could just clarify something in the transcript, Mr. Hubo.
20 Did you say that in the initial stages of the war, this was the most
21 frequent case?
22 A. I would say that the most frequent case -- as far as I know, only
23 one brigade, out of twenty of them -- I don't want to guess now, but the
24 mobilisation was carried out through the Secretariat. The bulk of other
25 units were mobilised in this way, that the conscripts and those who were
1 not conscripts joined the nearest staffs and unit commands with their own
2 weapons, motor vehicles, and whatever they had that was needed.
3 Q. And do you know --
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question.
5 This Article 20 was taken up from the law that ruled the former
6 Yugoslavia, right, or is it something totally new, an article that was
7 drafted for the purposes of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam Judge, I really couldn't say
9 whether this was something that was like that in the former Yugoslav
10 People's Army. But according to me, it asserts the right of every man to
11 defend himself or to defend his country.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. ROBSON:
14 Q. Mr. Hubo, do you know, if a man decided to go directly to a unit,
15 was there any procedure that had to be followed?
16 A. This article enables a person to join a unit. The unit would
17 usually assess if there was a need, if the person was trained, and so on.
18 And then if it accepted the person into its ranks, and this later
19 referred to the ranks of units that were primarily in combat areas and
20 not in peaceful territory, the unit was supposed to draw up the
21 information and again inform the Secretariat for National Defence with
22 this information so that the organ could -- or the Secretariat could then
23 update its records and continue to maintain them.
24 Q. So the unit was supposed to draw up information. What sort of
25 information should it have collected and passed on to the Municipal
1 Secretariat for Defence?
2 A. It was supposed to compile the particulars of a person, which is
3 something that is provided for in this second part, and what was crucial
4 was to record the date of engagement or the date of reporting to the
6 Q. While we're discussing Article 20, I want to ask you about the
7 next paragraph, the last sentence. And what this says is:
8 "Army ranks may also be manned by volunteers in the manner
9 envisaged in paragraph 1 of this Article."
10 Can you briefly explain what this means?
11 A. Yes. This is part of the answer, and perhaps it's something that
12 Her Honour, the Judge, would be interested in.
13 This paragraph, it's referred to military conscripts, and
14 military conscripts were people of 18 to 60, mostly men, who had
15 undergone training. And this second paragraph says "including
16 volunteers," meaning women, people above 65, or younger than 18, all
17 those who are not included in this age category from 18 to 65.
18 Q. So "volunteers "could mean women and men above or below military
19 age. Did "volunteers" also include foreigners on the territory of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina?
21 A. Yes, the category of foreigners is also under the category of
22 volunteers, because although they did fit into the age group that was
23 required, they were not citizens, so -- and that was one of the
24 conditions for them to be able to be military conscripts.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand you, sir, to be saying that people
1 under the age of 18 could volunteer into the army and the army would
2 accept them?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this article
4 practically permits that, and there were many instances of a young man of
5 17 joining up. They would lead horses, bring water, carry out some other
6 duties. They were not assigned to the front line, but they did
7 participate. This also applies to women.
8 I can give you some information. I think that at one point there
9 were 5.000 women in the corps itself. Nobody forced them to do that, but
10 they simply carried out duties in logistics or communications, something
11 women were able to do. In other words, they were all volunteers.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just staying with the under 18s, was there a
13 cut-off age below which a volunteer would not be allowed? A 12 year-old,
14 for instance?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Perhaps I wasn't clear.
16 As for people under 18, these were just possible cases, and I saw
17 that sometimes in the field, but the -- it was something that was a
18 matter of the person. They had to go through training once they were 18,
19 and then there were centres for training. After six months' initial
20 training, these people were assigned and entered into the records, taking
21 into account their youth and things they were assigned to lighter duties.
22 It was out of the question to use children or anything like that.
23 Perhaps you can find cases of young men of 16 or 17 who had come from a
24 village and had come with their own horse who left, but they would be
25 turned back.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was the essence of my question. Obviously,
2 we don't use children in the army, and I wanted to find out that if we
3 allow children of under 18 to volunteer, was there somewhere where we
4 say, "No, no, no, you are too young and we can't accept you, even if you
5 volunteer"? You know, obviously you can't accept a three year-old but
6 would you accept a 12 year-old or would you -- was there a cut-off age
7 where you would say, "You are a child, you can't be allowed to join, even
8 if you want to volunteer"? That's my question, and if there was such a
9 cut-off age, I'm asking you, what was that age?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say that in 99.9 per cent,
11 we would refuse these things, they were not accepted. There were some
12 cases of persons of 17. I did see some cases like that. But generally
13 people like that were not considered or accepted into units, especially
14 combat units.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe you don't understand. My question is: At
16 what age would you refuse to accept them? What was the cut-off age, if
17 there was any?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot reply to that question,
19 because I don't know of any such cases. Once, I saw a young boy in the
20 field who was leading his horse, and I asked him how old he was, and he
21 said he was 17, but according to our records this was not possible, nor
22 was it encouraged in any way.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: In this law, this decree, is there no such cut-off
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean Article 20?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no, any article. Is there no article in this
2 law which refers to that point that I'm raising?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was possible in the early
4 stages, as I mentioned earlier, in the phase -- in 1993, recruitment
5 centres -- mobilisation centres had already been established, and young
6 men under the age of 18 were not mobilised. So the cut-off age was 18.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Excuse me. In
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in former Yugoslavia, how old do you have to be to
10 enter the Military Academy? Was it 16?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was a student at the
12 Military Academy, but I had -- before that, I had completed the Military
13 High School. This was when I was 16, 17. This is Military High School,
14 but you enrolled in the Military Academy after you have completed high
15 school, meaning at 18.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, but do you -- so you enter
17 the Military High School at 16 or before 16?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean the JNA?
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] The JNA and afterwards, if it's
20 the same law that was still applied in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Was there a
21 minimum age at which you could enter a military school?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the former JNA, the minimum age
23 was after the completion of the elementary school, which is boys of 15,
24 16. And in our case, the minimum age in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a boy
25 to be recruited, there were no military schools then, was 18. I don't
1 know if you could follow me and whether I understood your question
3 MR. ROBSON:
4 Q. Mr. Hubo, you told us that foreigners would fall within this
5 category of volunteer. When you talk of foreigners, what sort of
6 countries did people come from to join the Bosnian Army?
7 A. In the category of foreigner, first of all, there were citizens
8 of all the former republics of the former Yugoslavia who were not born in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then of course also, outside of that, from
10 everywhere around the world. So to stress it one more time, all the
11 persons who were not born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, under this
12 provision, they were considered foreigners.
13 Q. And so far as the people from the former republics of the former
14 Yugoslavia are concerned, which former republics did people come from to
15 fight in the Bosnian Army, if you can say?
16 A. Well, I can say that there were people from all over the former
17 Yugoslav republics. There were people who were born in one republic and
18 they worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In other words, all those
19 citizens who were born in other republics but were married or worked or
20 were in any way connected to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. Okay. Now, what I want to focus on for a moment is the procedure
22 by which a volunteer could join the Bosnian Army, and I'd like to turn
23 your attention to Article 46.
24 And, Your Honours, this is at page 11 in the English version, and
25 it's page 8 in the Bosnian version.
1 If we can scroll down in the English, please, and also in the
2 B/C/S. Okay, we're at the bottom there.
3 Q. Because this is cut off in the Bosnian version, I'm going to read
4 it to you, Mr. Hubo. It says that:
5 "The wartime assignments for volunteers shall be determined by
6 the Municipal Secretariat, which shall first take statements from the
7 volunteers to the effect that they wish to join the army of their own
8 accord and then establish for such persons a central register and
9 individual file cards as required for military conscripts. However, the
10 word 'volunteer' shall be indicated on the card or a separate roster
11 established for volunteers.
12 "Volunteers shall personally sign the statements referred to in
13 paragraph 1 of this article or leave a finger impression in case they are
15 It then goes on to say:
16 "After completing the procedure prescribed in paragraph 2 of the
17 article, volunteers shall be issued service and conduct books containing
18 the wartime duty station assigned to them. The word 'volunteer' shall be
19 clearly indicated in them."
20 I've read the article out to us. Could you explain briefly what
21 the procedure was, then, for a volunteer signing up with the army?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you --
23 MR. ROBSON: Let me ask it a different way.
24 Q. The article sets out the procedure, Mr. Hubo. Did it work in
25 that fashion? Was the volunteer required to -- I suppose, to sign a
1 statement indicating that they were joining the army of their own free
3 A. This was in those cases where the Municipal Secretariat mobilised
4 people who wanted to, who volunteered, and that that municipal organ had
5 to do this. So these persons were considered by such secretariats as
6 volunteers, and records were created where it was possible, in those
7 cases where it was possible.
8 MR. ROBSON: Okay.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask a question.
10 Do you know if volunteers from all over the world that you
11 referred to made these statements?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I never saw that, and
13 in my contacts with the secretariats, they never mentioned that anyone,
14 any such person ever made such a statement.
15 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, perhaps this is a convenient time to
16 take the break.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Absolutely.
18 Can we come back at quarter to 6.00.
19 Court adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
23 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. So, Mr. Hubo, before the break we looked at one of the ways by
25 which a volunteer could join the Bosnian Army, and we looked at the
1 procedure. In Article 46, at the end of the article it talked about a
2 service and conduct booklet being issued. Could you tell the Tribunal,
3 what was the service and conduct book?
4 A. Each conscript had a military booklet. That's a personal
5 document, a sort of ID containing his data, personal data, including the
6 blood type and the specialty, the time spent in a certain unit, and so
7 on. So that kind of information would be entered.
8 MR. ROBSON: Okay. If at this stage we could please bring up
9 Exhibit 785.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, Mr. Robson, what would you like
11 to do with D547?
12 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, you'll see that I'm going to continue
13 referring to a couple more extracts, but perhaps it could be entered into
14 evidence as an exhibit at this stage. I will be referring to it again,
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Only Articles 42, 20 and 46?
17 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I'll be moving around the document a
18 bit, so perhaps if you prefer, we can leave the admission to a later
19 stage. I'm in your hands.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you going to be dealing with quite a number of
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. We'll admit the document at this stage,
24 then. May it please be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit
1 number 1310. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: "13"?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, 1310.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: We were at 1215 ...
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, 1310. Okay, thank you so much.
7 MR. ROBSON: It was Exhibit 785 that I referred to.
8 Your Honours, I apologise for the quality. For some reason it's
9 been scanned in as a poor-quality document. I do have a better copy
10 which I can pass around the court.
11 Q. Mr. Hubo, you just talked about a military booklet and that it
12 would contain certain information. The document that we can see on the
13 screen in front of us, is that an example of such a document?
14 A. Yes, this is an example of a military booklet.
15 Q. And so, for example, we can see here that it has information
16 about the person's surname, first name, date and place of birth,
17 et cetera, and so on?
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Where does it say that this is a volunteer, or
19 does it say?
20 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I'm just about to come to that.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: But before you get to that, what is the
22 significance of that date, 18th March 1965? What is that date?
23 MR. ROBSON: I think if we can move on in the next version ...
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, you've actually -- there was only one
1 version of this document, so --
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: One page each.
3 MR. ROBSON: One page each, yes. The purpose was just really so
4 that you could see that there was a photograph there and certain
5 information appeared within the document. I think Mr. Hubo's established
6 that what we can see is a military booklet, it's an example, and what I'd
7 like to ask Mr. Hubo is:
8 Q. The decree that we looked at talked about a military booklet
9 being --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry to do this to you, but I'd asked a
11 question. I didn't get an answer. I asked: Of what date is the 18th of
12 March, 1965? What does it signify?
13 MR. ROBSON: Perhaps the --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: If the witness can answer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we just see the earlier -- the
16 earlier screen? I think that's where the date is shown.
17 The booklet, if you take a look here at this booklet, you will
18 see that it says that this man was born on May 20th, 1943, in Bosanska
19 Dubica. That's on the left-hand side of the booklet copy. On the
20 right-hand side, it says: "In military records since ... ," and then the
21 date is from the year of 1965, but I cannot read the date. So this means
22 that the man served in the army when he was 18 or 20 and that his
23 record -- that there is a file record and that since then he is -- has
24 been a military conscript. In other words, the Defence Secretariat is
25 keeping records on his information from that date on.
1 If he moved from a municipality to another municipality, then the
2 information would be updated by that new -- by that new municipality. So
3 this is the date when he served in the army.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That answers the question
6 MR. ROBSON: Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Hubo, we can see that this person was born in Dubica in
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Does it follow that he was a Bosnian citizen?
9 A. Yes, Bosanska Dubica is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. Now, if the person had been born outside of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, the Article 46 of the decree talked about the booklet being
12 stamped with the word "Volunteer." Do you know where that would have
13 been stamped within the booklet?
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I thought the witness once said that that had
15 never occurred, so how would the witness know where to put the stamp if
16 there had never been an example of a foreigner signing up as a volunteer
17 under this law?
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sorry.
20 MR. ROBSON: Let me rephrase the question.
21 Q. Mr. Hubo, did you ever see a military booklet issued to a
22 volunteer or a booklet that had the word "Volunteer" stamped upon it?
23 A. I've never seen it, personally, such a military booklet, so that
24 I can affirm here to the Judge that this gentleman, if he were, for
25 instance, a volunteer from Croatia, where it says "Military record" there
1 should be the word stamped "Volunteer" by this number, "3306261 ,"
2 because when it says that he's in the military records Municipality of
3 Zenica, then there should be a word there affixed "Volunteer," and of
4 course there should also be a file card issued by the Secretariat.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Robson, when you were
6 searching through documentation, you never found a military booklet for
7 volunteer; you don't have that available?
8 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I can confirm I don't have an example
9 of a military booklet with the word "Volunteer" stamped on it.
10 Q. Mr. Hubo, moving on, we just looked at the procedure whereby a
11 volunteer would go to the Municipal Defence Secretariat and give a
12 statement. I'd like to look at the other procedure that was envisaged --
13 or a situation that was envisaged in Article 20, where it was explained
14 that the volunteer could go directly to a unit.
15 In the situation where a volunteer went directly to a unit in the
16 field, were there any procedural requirements that he had to -- or that
17 had to be satisfied?
18 A. The unit would have had to compile a list of information that
19 were required, as you can see in this booklet here, and such information
20 should be forwarded to the Defence Secretariat so that they could confirm
21 his membership and keep a record of it.
22 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I wonder if we could go back to the
23 decree, which is Exhibit 1310, and it's Article 48 that I'm interested
24 in, which is at page number 12 in the English, and it's page 9 in the
25 B/C/S version. Page 12 in the English, page 9 in the B/C/S. It's
1 Article 48 we're looking for.
2 Q. Mr. Hubo, perhaps we can deal with this quickly. Does Article 48
3 confirm what you've just told us; in other words, that the -- a person
4 within the unit to which the volunteer goes to had to take certain
5 information and supply that information to the Municipal Defence
7 A. Yes, this confirms the procedure which you asked me about
9 MR. ROBSON: If we can look at Article 51, which is connected to
10 Article 48.
11 Q. Can you explain to us what Article 51 is all about?
12 Perhaps if we can look at the next page in the B/C/S version.
13 A. This article again shows when the Secretariat had received the
14 list with the information from Article 48 and what they would have to do
15 then. They would have to enter it into record, prepare documents for the
16 persons from the list who have reported to a wartime unit.
17 Q. And would it also be foreseen that having taken that information
18 from the list, entering it into the records, the Municipal Defence
19 Secretariat would also issue a military booklet to the volunteer?
20 A. Yes, that can be concluded on the basis of these previous
21 actions, and it says here that the war assignment is written also in the
22 record of those persons, meaning that the Secretariat would need to issue
23 them the military booklets too.
24 Q. And then just so we're clear, in the situation where a volunteer
25 goes directly to a military unit, apart from the obligation of the
1 military unit to send information to the Municipal Defence Secretariat,
2 would there also be an obligation on the unit to keep information about
3 the volunteer?
4 A. Of course, the unit was obliged to use all the previous
5 information, update it, and maintain all the entries of all changes from
6 the time when he joined the unit until that person left the unit.
7 Q. I'm going to come to the issue of foreigners in a moment, but
8 before we do so I have one last issue to touch upon in connection with
9 military booklets.
10 Please, could we show the witness Exhibit 124.
11 Your Honours, just to complicate things, I am going to be
12 referring to Exhibit 124, but what's happened is that the Defence noticed
13 a few words were missing from the English translation, and therefore what
14 we've done is we've produced a new version of Exhibit 124 which is
15 Defence document D1047. And what we're going to be doing is applying, in
16 due course, to substitute Exhibit D1047 for Exhibit 124, so could we
17 please bring up D1047, which is the same document as Exhibit 124 with the
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: What should we do now with Exhibit 124? At this
20 stage, you have called for it.
21 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, if it could be put away. If it could
22 be substituted with D1047. I apologise for that.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Have your learned colleagues on the opposite side
24 seen your corrected document?
25 MR. WOOD: No, Your Honour, we haven't.
1 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, what I can tell you is that the
2 correction is in the first sentence of the first paragraph that we can
4 Q. Mr. Hubo, what we can see before us is a document from the chief
5 of the security sector, Ramiz Dugalic, dated the 12th of September, 1993.
6 And we can see that the document was received by the 7th Muslim Brigade.
7 And in the first paragraph, what we can see is that it says that:
8 "Through the operative work, we came to the information that a
9 certain number of persons was using the military booklets as the
10 identification documents and proof of the engagement within the RBiH
11 Army, although they are not engaged and they are involved in other (even
12 criminal) work."
13 It then goes on to talk about the cause of such a situation is
14 the lack of responsibility of the personnel bodies during the
15 transformation of units. And then in the next sentence, it talks about
16 that the information that shows also the fictive issuance of the
17 documents as the cover of the engagement.
18 Could you explain to us, does this document reflect the situation
19 that existed in September 1993 in connection with military booklets?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson, shouldn't you have led this witness on
21 these facts first before you showed him this document?
22 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, this is an exhibit, and I was hoping
23 to save some time by -- I'll certainly lay the foundation with Defence
24 "D" documents.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: But we want to know that this witness has
1 independent knowledge of these facts.
2 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I withdraw the question, and perhaps
3 Mr. Hubo can just explain to us --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead, but I'm suggesting that at least in the
5 future, talk about the issue first and then show him the document as
6 confirmation of what he has said, rather than the other way around.
7 MR. ROBSON: Okay.
8 Q. Mr. Hubo, are you able to comment on this first paragraph of the
9 document that I've made reference to?
10 A. I can comment, but when you asked me at the beginning about the
11 state, I found, once I assumed that duty, this is just one of those
12 segments about which we talked. And this document of the security sector
13 is practically trying in this way, along that line of command, to
14 establish order or, rather, to organise all the necessary documents and
15 all the -- respect all the establishment requirements.
16 What is here associates possibly on the use of coercion or some
17 consequences that can be drawn on the basis of this.
18 I can add, not directly linked to this, that many people wore
19 military uniforms without insignia, without documents, so it was a very
20 difficult situation in terms of identification by uniform or on the basis
21 of documents. So this is just one of those documents that intimates
22 something like this.
23 In this document, organs of the subordinate commands of the corps
24 were supposed to place a stamp on a completed military booklet, once a
25 person had left the unit. There was such cases, but a person had left
1 and was stamped as leaving the brigade, when they were actually never a
2 member of the brigade. And this is something that can be considered an
4 Q. Mr. Hubo, I'm told by my colleague that part of your answer
5 wasn't captured. If you can please tell us about these persons that left
6 the brigade and their military booklets were stamped as leaving the
7 brigade. Can you explain, once again, what happened to such persons and
8 what sort of problems may have been caused?
9 A. There were a number of cases, and I can explain that on one
11 You had the option, first of all, that a man voluntarily left a
12 unit. Once he left the unit, the unit did not finalise his booklet. It
13 should have stamped the booklet when he joined the unit, stamped his
14 date, and when the person leaves the unit, they should also enter the
15 date of departure and affirm that with a stamp in the military booklet.
16 What would happen was that the person's date of entry would be
17 entered, and the time of departure would not be entered, even though they
18 had left of their own free will or because of some other reason. The
19 person who would look at the booklet would then think that this was a
20 member of the unit, although there was no legal basis for that. The unit
21 simply did not maintain him on its records. That would be one of the
22 possible cases of potential abuse.
23 For the person who looked at the document, specifically for the
24 military police, they were a member of the brigade, but formally,
25 legally, the brigade did not consider that person to be its member as of
1 the date that they had left the unit.
2 Q. And what sort of --
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question.
4 In this situation that you're describing, where there's abuse and
5 so on, could there also be the opposite? Could there also be volunteers
6 who joined the army, but who had no booklet? As far as you know, all
7 procedures were carefully followed and well followed, from 1992 to 1995?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There could have been different
9 kinds of abuses, and there were different types of abuses, but the
10 consequences in that sense were borne by the commands of those units.
11 What we are talking about here are specific individuals who abused this
12 personal document. Somebody could have been considered to be something,
13 but if this was not recorded in the Secretariat in the proper manner,
14 then that would have primarily been that person's problem. They did not
15 then get the status of a member of the army.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] From an official point of view,
17 if they fought, as far as you know, do you know of cases where a
18 volunteer that was not recorded and, according to this procedure, could
19 have fought along with or within the Bosnian Army?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can give you an
21 example. For example, the Municipality of Stari Vitez, Stari Grad, where
22 the conscripts were also women, did they fight? They probably did, and
23 they had weapons, but they were never recorded in the Secretariat. They
24 were never given the status of army members. That a person could have
25 had a rifle, could have worn a uniform, but if they were not registered
1 in the Defence Secretariat or at the unit, they did not enjoy the status
2 of -- that went with it.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, that's enough. Thank
5 MR. ROBSON:
6 Q. Mr. Hubo, in your last answer, you said that if persons were not
7 registered in the Defence Secretariat or at the unit, they did not enjoy
8 the status of ... and then the transcript didn't capture the next part
9 of your answer. What status did they not enjoy?
10 A. Specifically, it means that they did not enjoy the status of a
11 member of the army, or a member of the police, or any other status that
12 they would enjoy under the law.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask. I'm getting confused now,
14 Mr. Hubo.
15 Earlier, you told us that people out -- men outside the age of 18
16 and 60 and that women could volunteer. And when these people
17 volunteered, they became part of the army, although they could be given
18 jobs not necessarily on the front line. Now, in this answer, you are
19 saying women conscripts were not recorded in the Secretariat, and you are
20 saying these people who are not recorded in the Secretariat did not enjoy
21 the benefits of the status of being members of the army. Is that how the
22 women were treated in this army; they joined the army, but they never got
23 the status of being members of the army? They volunteered into the army,
24 but they never got the status of being in the army, so they never got
25 these cards?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I wasn't clear perhaps.
2 It's like this: If a person was a volunteer in the specific case
3 and they came to a unit, then according to the described procedure, the
4 unit was obliged to draft a list with all the information and send that
5 to the Secretariat for Defence. In that situation, that person would
6 then have the status of a member of the army.
7 If the person waged war by themselves and were not registered in
8 the unit or in the Secretariat, there was no record of that person, then
9 the person could not be granted such status. So those persons that were
10 recorded in the unit or at the Secretariat for National Defence, they had
11 the status of members of the army -- I'm talking about women -- because
12 somebody affirmed that status.
13 I don't know if I was clearer.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't know, either. I was just trying to
15 understand the statement you made earlier, when you said:
16 "Your Honour, I can give you an example. For example, the
17 Municipality of Stari Vitez, Stari Grad, where the conscripts were also
18 women, did they fight, they probably did, and they had weapons, but they
19 were never recorded in the Secretariat. They were never given the status
20 of army members. That person could have had a rifle, could have worn a
21 uniform, but if they were not registered in the Defence Secretariat or at
22 the unit, they did not enjoy the status of being army members."
23 That is what confused me, and that's why I came back and said,
24 "Are you saying women joined the army and women never enjoyed the status
25 of the members of the army?"
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The women who were registered at
2 the Secretariats for National Defence, that were in the records, they had
3 that status. But those persons who were not registered as members of the
4 army and did not belong to any unit, then they were never granted this
5 status. And maybe it can sound like nonsense, but that's how it was.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, perhaps these are not the easiest of
8 concepts to grapple with at 20 past 6.00 on a Friday evening.
9 But moving to a more concrete issue, Mr. Hubo, I'd like to ask
10 you about foreign volunteers and specifically the El Mujahid Detachment.
11 Q. Did there come a time during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 that you heard of the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once again, let me interrupt you, Mr. Robson, and
14 I'm sorry to do so.
15 Would you like D1047 to be tendered into evidence before you move
16 on to the EMD?
17 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, what we would like is we would like to
18 substitute that for the exhibit.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. Is that what you would like done?
20 MR. ROBSON: Yes, please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Wood.
22 MR. WOOD: The Prosecution has no objection to that, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Have you seen the
25 MR. WOOD: Yes. I'm not a B/C/S speaker, but it seems apparent,
1 on the face of it, that those words are missing. I'm satisfied -- the
2 Prosecution is satisfied that the translation is accurate.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 Well, then D1047 is admitted into evidence in substitution of
5 Exhibit 124. May it please be given an exhibit number.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this document shall be given the
8 same number as the previous document, which is Exhibit number 00124.
9 Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 Yes, Mr. Robson, you may proceed.
12 MR. ROBSON: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Hubo, did there come a time when you heard of the
14 El Mudjahedin Detachment?
15 A. Yes, I heard about them.
16 Q. Can you tell us approximately the time period when you first
17 heard of the detachment?
18 A. This was in the second half of 1993.
19 Q. We've discussed the procedures for an individual volunteering to
20 join the army. On the one hand, an individual could go directly to the
21 Municipal Defence Secretariat and sign a statement, or, on the other
22 hand, they could go directly to a unit, and then the unit would have to
23 send information to the Municipal Defence Secretariat.
24 As to the first situation, are you aware of any members of the
25 El Mudjahedin Detachment ever going directly to a municipal defence
1 secretariat and signing a statement?
2 A. In contacts with defence secretariats, I never heard of anything,
3 any such information.
4 Q. Concerning the second possibility of a foreign volunteer going
5 directly to a unit, are you aware of -- are you aware of a situation
6 where the El Mudjahedin Detachment ever sent the necessary information,
7 such as name, date of birth, et cetera, to the Municipal Defence
9 A. Information of that type were sent to the Corps Command in a
10 certain period of time, and such information was sent -- I couldn't even
11 call it "information," but bits and pieces of information that was not
12 very easily discernible and understandable and incomplete.
13 Q. Okay. So information at some time was sent to the Corps Command,
14 but my question was: Are you aware of the El Mudjahedin Detachment ever
15 sending information directly to the Municipal Defence Secretariat?
16 A. As far as I was informed from the Secretariat, they never
17 received such information as they requested. I could not really answer
18 that question, except on the basis of what I had heard and the
19 discussions that I had with my colleagues at the Secretariat.
20 Q. You told us earlier that the Municipal Defence Secretariat had an
21 obligation to keep information in its records about each member of every
22 military unit. Do you know if any municipal Defence Secretariat kept
23 information about members of the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
24 A. They complained to us, in fact. They requested this from them.
25 They complained, but they never had those -- that information, and that
1 is why they turned to someone and tried to obtain it through some other
2 channels, although it was the responsibility of the unit to report to the
3 Secretariat directly and not through any other channels.
4 Q. You told us earlier that each military unit had an obligation to
5 keep a unit card containing information about its members. Do you know
6 whether the El Mudjahedin Detachment kept a unit card containing such
7 information about its members?
8 A. I don't know, nor was I ever in a position to check that.
9 Q. I'll come on to checking in a little while, if I may. I won't
10 explore that with you just yet.
11 A little earlier, you also said that the Municipal Defence
12 Secretariat should have issued military booklets to volunteers joining
13 the Bosnian Army. Do you know whether military booklets were ever issued
14 to the members of the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
15 A. I think the Secretariat never issued any booklets to them.
16 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'd like to bring up Defence document
18 Q. Mr. Hubo, first of all, can you see what the document says? Are
19 you able to make it out on the screen?
20 A. Cannot. I apologise.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises.
22 A. This is an order from the army -- the Command of the 3rd Corps,
23 sent to all units, of 18 July 1994, the purpose being to establish a
24 single system of filing, as we discussed earlier, in the following -- in
25 the items that follow. They describe the procedure and how this should
1 be done in those municipalities that did not have their own territories,
2 that they were temporarily in different -- in occupied territories, and
3 it also points out in item 5 that all military conscripts that are
4 transferred from one unit to another, that the same thing should be done;
5 in other words, their card files should be closed. And in item 6, it
6 says that units have the responsibility to inform the Defence Secretariat
7 as soon as a new conscript arrives, and so on and so forth. So this is
8 an order trying to establish unit card files, as envisaged.
9 Q. So this is an order trying to establish unit card files. Just so
10 we're clear, a unit card file, is that the information that would be kept
11 within the unit or is it the information that's kept in the Municipal
12 Defence Secretariat?
13 A. Here, mention is made of unit card files, so these files had to
14 be maintained within units, and they should keep these records. And it
15 also says that these -- this information should correspond to the
16 information that is held by the Secretariats for National Defence.
17 MR. ROBSON: And if we look at -- if we can scroll down in the
18 English version, you say that the information should correspond to the
19 information held by the secretariats.
20 Q. In point number 7, does that specify the frequency with which the
21 unit should correspond with the Defence Secretariat?
22 A. The item says that the matching or the coordination of the unit
23 cards should be carried out immediately with the authorised Defence
24 Secretariats, and it also stresses that in the coming period, in the
25 upcoming period, this collating should be carried out once a month. In
1 other words, once a month, a representative from the unit and a
2 representative -- should inform the representative from the Secretariat.
3 They should compare their records, and the records that were in the
4 Secretariat should be reflected and collated with the unit records, and
5 they should be collated, as it were.
6 Q. Okay. If we can look at the bottom of the document, if we can go
7 to page 2 in the English version, was this document sent to the
8 El Mudjahedin Detachment?
9 A. Yes, it was. This was also forwarded to all other units, because
10 this was something that was topical up until the end of the war. This
11 was something that related to military records.
12 Q. And can you help us, do you know whether the El Mudjahedin
13 Detachment complied with this order to immediately establish unit cards
14 within the unit?
15 A. I was not in a position to verify that, but all the relevant
16 persons from the Secretariat, and according to what we received from
17 them, they never -- they never established such records. Simply, they
18 did not have the information required in order to set up something like
20 Q. Just so we're clear, you say :
21 "According to what we received from them ..."
22 And there you're referring to the Secretariat. You say:
23 "... they never established such records."
24 When you say "they," who do you mean?
25 A. I mean El Mujahedin, first, primarily. The other units, it was
1 clear because we were able to verify these things. And as far as these
2 units are concerned, I used the word "they" because you asked me whether
3 they had it.
4 Q. Okay. And we can see that this order was sent to other
5 subordinate units. Do you know whether the other subordinate -- well,
6 these other subordinate units listed here complied with the order?
7 A. We controlled the status by this segment of combat readiness, and
8 this order was produced because the situation was such that it needed to
9 be improved. So we had the opportunity to improve the situation, and it
10 was improved on the spot. This situation was -- we continued to work on
11 it up until the end of the war. It was never completely complied with,
12 but we were seeking to reach that point.
13 And you have to understand that at one point, this meant there
14 were 70.000 people, and files should be complied on each and every one of
15 these persons, and the secretariats very frequently, because of bad
16 communications, lack of fuel and so on, were unable to comply with this
17 in time..
18 Q. I'm just a little bit unclear about that last answer. I was
19 asking you about other units within the 3rd Corps, and you mentioned, "we
20 controlled the status." Could you explain that in a bit more detail?
21 What did you mean by that?
22 A. Could you please clarify your question about the status? We
23 tried to monitor the overall situation in this respect, not the status,
24 because the status was something that was regulated by law.
25 Q. Perhaps that's a translation issue. What I can ask you is: Were
1 you able to check whether other subordinate units within the 3rd Corps
2 had produced unit cards for its members?
3 A. We did this in all those instances where we had physical access.
4 For instance, at one point in time Operative Group 7, Doboj South, was
5 physically cut off from the Corps Command, so we were unable to
6 physically contact them. In all other units, we were able to physically
7 check the information, because we would send our people there and they
8 would verify on the spot, check all the files, monitor, check how they
9 are maintained, and so on and so forth, of course except with the
10 El Mudjahedin Detachment, because we were never able to access them,
11 members from the Command.
12 Q. Okay. So you say you were not able to access the El Mudjahedin
13 Detachment. Can you please explain why your organ was not able to access
14 the detachment?
15 A. Well, first of all, we didn't know who the responsible person
16 was. There was a person who was sent as a courier with information when
17 they needed it; in other words, whenever they felt like doing that. And,
18 secondly, I, for instance, went on two occasions with a colleague of
19 mine, and simply we were physically prevented from entering there.
20 When you tried to reach someone by phone, you never knew whom to
21 ask for or where to look for that person. It was impossible to maintain
22 any normal communication that we had with other units.
23 Q. When you say --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Microphone not activated]
25 MR. ROBSON: I'll explore that, Your Honour.
1 Q. When you say "we didn't know who the responsible person was,"
2 what would you have expected in a typical unit? Who would you have
3 liaised with on these issues?
4 A. In a typical unit, what I did was to try to get in touch with
5 someone. It was usually one person. Actually, it was a man by the name
6 Muris Supic there, who spoke Bosnian, who brought information when they
7 felt it was necessary that it should be brought, insisting at least on a
8 minimum, that person could not have been considered as a responsible
9 person because he couldn't really say much. You couldn't rely on him as
10 an expert and ask him for something and rely on his answer. He was just
11 some kind of person who carried out different things and was a kind of
12 intermediary because of the language and maybe because of his training.
13 I mean, I don't know what else.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm a little lost. I'm a bit lost, Mr. Robson.
15 And, Witness, you said in your answer "in a typical unit." By that, I
16 understand that in any type of unit, any unit, not a specific unit. But
17 then when you said: "Actually, it was a man by the name Muris Supic
18 there," I get the impression you're talking about a specific unit now,
19 and I'm lost.
20 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'm told that the word "typical" was
21 omitted and hence, the witness gathered -- I'm told --
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to you
23 and to my colleague. A part of the reply was omitted.
24 In the first and the second part, the transcript did not catch
25 the answer, and perhaps if my colleague can repeat the question for the
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
3 MR. ROBSON: I'll go back to the question.
4 Q. Mr. Hubo, you started explaining to us about the El Mudjahedin
5 Detachment. What I was trying to find out from you is: In relation to a
6 regular unit of the 3rd Corps, let's call it a brigade, who would you
7 have normally dealt with on issues relating to unit cards?
8 Shall I repeat my question?
9 A. I think that I understand. Lower subordinate compositions who
10 were linked to the Corps Command at their commands had organs for
11 replenishment and personnel. These were commanders, professional organs,
12 that dealt with these matters, and they were those persons, two, three,
13 five, depending on the command level, with whom, according to the
14 professional level, we communicated.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have a question for the witness.
16 MR. ROBSON: Okay.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir. When the El Mudjahedin Detachment was
18 established, were these professional organs also not established within
19 the El Mudjahedin Detachment so that you can liaise with them?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The professional organ for
21 replenishment and personnel was never established, and if it was
22 established, I never knew that. And, again, I'm saying that I never had
23 the opportunity to see that. Judging by all that they did, practically,
24 it did not -- not that professional, if you understand what I'm saying.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't, and I would like you to understand what
1 I'm trying to ask.
2 I'm trying to find out, from the point of view of the Army of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, when they established the El Mudjahedin
4 Detachment, was it not established along the same lines as all other
5 units of the army were established? There must be a commander, there
6 must be a person for replenishment, there must be a person for security,
7 there must be a military police, all those organs that are found in a
8 unit, so that other units must know who to communicate with within this
9 unit? Was that not done for the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, you said, when
11 you're talking about regular units, all the professional organs from the
12 Corps Command down participated in the election of persons at all
13 segments, but in this unit this was never done. We're talking about
14 logistics, security, finances, meaning none such, which indicates an
15 irregular way of organising, if you wish.
16 I simply didn't have access even to be able to say which person
17 would be able to do this professional part or anything else. In the
18 other units that were formed, we did have professionals linked to us. We
19 knew what their abilities were, their options were, and we had a certain
20 kind of influence on them, to a degree, as to how they would need to do
21 this job.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand you. Okay, let me put my question
24 You said that in other units, these people participated in
25 elections. Was the El Mudjahedin Detachment not ordered to hold
1 elections of these people and give -- I'm talking now right at the
2 beginning, when it was being established -- and give the names to the
3 superior commands of the various professional organs, or the names of the
4 people holding the various positions in the various professional organs?
5 Was that not done? If you know.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I'm talking about the
7 El Mujahedin, specifically, they did that without any consultations.
8 They did that the way they wanted to. So it would have been logical for
9 the Corps Command organs to have been consulted, to participate, to help,
10 and to help in the selection, in a way, but in their particular case none
11 of this actually was done.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see, I'm getting confused even more. In the
13 one sense, you're saying they hold elections and then they give
14 information. Now you're saying Corps Command organs should have been
15 consulted to participate to help, and that is precisely my question.
16 From the point of view of the army, were the superior commands --
17 did the superior commands not come and say, "Guys, you are now being
18 subordinated to the army, and this army runs like this: You've got to
19 have a person who holds this position, that position, and that position,
20 and that position, and we want a list of those names," right at the
21 beginning? I would imagine this must have been done to all the other
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This request is not something that
24 I'm aware of, but it was something that was implied. When a command was
25 formed, the command organs, and when I say organs, they participated in
1 the assistance, selection, and so on and so forth. None of this
2 happened, though. I don't know why not.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You have answered me.
4 You're not aware of it.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I'm also -- I'm
6 also very confused now. I have not understood whether, on the basis of
7 the decree that we saw earlier, whether the volunteers joined other
8 regular units in the army or whether volunteers made up their own units
9 of volunteers.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was, until then, no case of
11 forming a unit made up of volunteers, which would be composed of
12 volunteers. The volunteers that we talked about before were in the
13 existing units of the army.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes. Up until then, that's what
15 you said. You meant up until the El Mudjahedin Detachment was set up; is
16 that it?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in that specific case.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Therefore, you considered that
19 the El Mujahid Detachment as a unit made up of volunteers?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't called that, but in its
21 composition, it was a volunteer unit. But in the formal sense, it was
22 never treated as such anywhere.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Volunteers, according to the
24 decree that we just saw, something different, exceptional, outside the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it was formed, this unit, I
2 don't think that it was known, how many men it had, who they were. There
3 was some people who were walking around, so I don't know if it would have
4 made any sense to bring those people under control. There are elements
5 as to whether a person is a volunteer, what does he look like, how many
6 of them are there. I think at the moment it was formed, nobody had any
7 information about that.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. ROBSON:
10 Q. Mr. Hubo, if I can just clarify one part of your last answer.
11 According to the transcript, what it captured was this:
12 "When it was formed, this unit, I don't think that it was known,
13 how many men it had, who they were. There was some people who were
14 walking around, so I don't know if it would have made any sense to bring
15 those people under control."
16 Is that correct, what is recorded in the transcript?
17 A. My assumption is that in the beginning and when this unit was
18 formed, they didn't have enough elements. And what Her Honour asked
19 about, who were these people, who are they, how many of them are there,
20 this is the reason why this couldn't be defined, because you didn't have
21 the situation.
22 Q. Mr. Hubo, I want to go to the issue that His Honour Judge Harhoff
23 wished to raise.
24 During your evidence, you said that on two occasions, you went
25 with a colleague somewhere to try and find out information. Can you
1 please clarify where you and your colleague went to to try and find out
2 information about the El Mudjahedin Detachment?
3 A. We went where the Command was officially located in the part of
4 Zenica called "Podbrijezje."
5 Q. And do you remember what happened on occasions when you went
6 there to find that information?
7 A. We simply asked to enter the Command, that we had come here with
8 such-and-such an objective, and simply we were refused. There were no
9 persons who were supposed to be, so that we actually ended our job even
10 before we had started it.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who did you go there with?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was the assistant
13 commander for security who was with me at the time. I don't remember who
14 else was in the team.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the name of the assistant commander for
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, it was Mr. Adnan
18 Hasanic [as interpreted] who was the assistant commander for security.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 MR. ROBSON:
21 Q. Could you repeat the name of the assistant commander for
22 security, please?
23 A. It was Agan Haseljic.
24 Q. And are you able to say approximately what time period it was
25 when you made those two visits?
1 A. I couldn't say exactly, but maybe it was 1995. In any case,
2 judging by this gentleman, when he came, then it could have been 1995.
3 Q. When you say "judging by this gentleman," who is the gentleman
4 that you're referring to?
5 A. Mr. Agan Haseljic, the one I mentioned earlier when you asked me.
6 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'm about to turn to some documents,
7 and I'm just looking at the clock. And rather than getting into a series
8 of documents at this stage, I'm wondering if it might be a good time to
9 take the adjournment.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: We welcome that. Thank you very much.
11 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I'm reminded that this is a "D"
12 number, so, please, could I get an exhibit number for this document?
13 MR. WOOD: First of all, if I could be heard on that,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: On D969?
16 MR. WOOD: Yes.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Yes, Mr. Wood.
18 MR. WOOD: The Prosecution objects on grounds of foundation.
19 This is not a document that has been written by this witness or sent to
20 him. I don't believe there's been a sufficient relationship between this
21 witness and this document shown. I've heard him speculate on why it
22 might have been written, I've heard him read parts of it, but I don't
23 believe a sufficient foundation has been laid for this to be put into
24 evidence. And I do apologise for making this at the last moment,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson.
2 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, the witness has commented on the
3 comment of -- on the content of this document at some length. He has
4 discussed how the document was sent to various units, how -- he talks
5 about his knowledge that the El Mudjahedin Detachment failed to comply,
6 and he spoke about the units, what they did and the ways that they --
7 that his organ was able to control the unit. So my submission would be
8 that there is a sufficient link to enable the document to be admitted
9 into evidence.
10 It's a document from the 3rd Corps which we know that the -- we
11 know that the witness is a member of the Command of the 3rd Corps, or he
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is overruled. The document will be
15 admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. 65 ter D969 is admitted as
17 Exhibit number 1311.
18 Thank you, Your Honours.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Vidovic, we do postpone to Monday, in the
21 light of our discussion earlier in the day?
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, and probably the
23 witness will continue with his testimony the whole day.
24 I think that we will have a witness on Tuesday who will most
25 probably testify on Tuesday and Wednesday. And then most likely there
1 will be no witness for Thursday and Friday.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Friday, even if you had a witness, I wouldn't be
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I think we will only
5 be losing one day, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Vidovic.
7 Can I just be reminded? Are we postponing to the afternoon or
8 the morning? There has been some e-mails coming through about the time.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Monday afternoon.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: Afternoon.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, then, Mr. Hubo, we will ask you to come back
12 on Monday afternoon at quarter past 2.00. This is the date to which we
13 postpone the matter. Unfortunately, you'll have to spend the weekend
14 here. I'm sorry about that, but we couldn't finish with you. Okay?
15 The matter is adjourned to quarter past 2.00 on Monday, the 17th,
16 in this courtroom at quarter past 2.00.
17 Court adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 17th day of March,
20 2008, at 2.15 p.m.