1 Thursday, 3 April 2008.
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
8 Madam Registrar would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, good morning everyone
10 in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-83-T, The Prosecutor versus
11 Rasim Delic.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 Could we have appearances for today, starting with the
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
16 Honour, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. Daryl Mundis
17 and Laurie Sartorio for the Prosecution assisted by our intern Laura
18 Greer and our case manager Alma Imamovic-Ivanov.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And for the Defence.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, good
21 morning to my learned friends from the Prosecution's office, to everyone
22 in and around the courtroom. My name is Vasvija Vidovic and I appear
23 together with Nicholas Robson on behalf of General Delic. With us is
24 Lejla Gluhic our legal assistant.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 Good morning, sir.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Would you please stand up.
4 Would you please make the declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I solemnly declare
6 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: IZET KARAHASANOVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 Madam Vidovic, I guess that's your witness. Mr. Robson.
11 MR. ROBSON: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning.
13 Examination by Mr. Robson:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Karahasanovic.
15 Could you please give your full name to the Tribunal for the
17 A. My name is Izet Karahasanovic.
18 Q. What is your date and place of birth?
19 A. I was born on the 13th of March, 1958, in Zavidovici.
20 Q. And what do you do for a living now?
21 A. I completed education as a wood processing technician. I work in
22 the Krivaja factory as a foreman, and I supervise some 25 works.
23 Q. If I can take you to the start of the war in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, when the war started, did you join any military unit?
25 A. In 1991, towards the end of that year when the first conflicts
1 broke out in Slovenia at first and then in Croatia, in Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina there were incidents taking place. In Zavidovici, we founded
3 the Patriotic League. In my village, I formed a platoon comprising 30
4 volunteers. We stood guard in our village. We were not particularly
5 well armed. We had a few hunting rifles and maybe two handguns.
6 Q. And prior to you forming a platoon in your village, did you have
7 any military experience?
8 A. I completed my military service term with the JNA in 1979. I was
9 a plain soldier with the infantry.
10 Q. And how long were you in the JNA for?
11 A. Fifteen months.
12 Q. And during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, did you remain
13 within the platoon in your village or did you join any other unit?
14 A. When the war broke out, my platoon joined the Kovaci Battalion
15 which is a municipality, or rather, like a commune within the
16 municipality of Zavidovici. The battalion was formed out of certain
17 plans; however, not all of them in the area joined the platoon -- joined
18 the battalion. But at that time, the Patriotic League ceased to exist
19 and the TO had been formed. There were, however, platoons, as I said,
20 which remained independent of the battalion.
21 Q. Okay. Can you tell us approximately when it was that you joined
22 the Kovaci battalion?
23 A. At the beginning of the war, in April 1992, that's when the war
24 officially began in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we joined the Kovaci
25 battalion. I remained in command of my platoon within the battalion.
1 Q. And did you remain a member of the Kovaci battalion throughout
2 the war, or did you become a member of any other unit?
3 A. There was another transformation, so to say, the TO ceased to
4 exist and brigades were formed. With my battalion, I became a member of
5 the 318th Brigade in Zavidovici.
6 Q. And can you say approximately when you became a member of the
7 318th Brigade?
8 A. Towards the end of 1991 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1992 and early 1993.
10 MR. ROBSON:
11 Q. And did you remain within the 318th Brigade or were there any
12 other further changes?
13 A. Our battalion remained within the brigade for a while and then
14 there was another change. Two brigades were formed within the
15 municipality of Zavidovici, the 318th and the 320th. We remained part of
16 the 320th Brigade from that point onwards.
17 Q. And did you serve in the 320th Brigade until the end of the war,
18 or, again, were there further changes?
19 A. Yes. Later, in 1994, towards the end, the two brigades were
20 merged into one again, becoming the 328th Brigade. I remained with that
21 brigade. However, I was no longer platoon commander, but I became
22 company commander within the 320th Brigade.
23 Q. Did you remain in that position -- sorry, if we could just
24 clarify your last answer.
25 You became the company commander of which brigade, did you say?
1 A. I became company commander in the 318th Brigade. I forgot to
2 mention that. When it became the 328th Brigade, I was appointed
3 assistant commander for security of the 328th Brigade.
4 Q. And which unit did you become the assistant commander for
5 security of --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, I'm getting confused here.
7 Sorry, sorry, sorry. I'm getting confused.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm getting confused, Mr. Robson. The witness
10 says at page 4, starting from line 13: "Our battalion within the brigade
11 for a while, and then there was another change. Two brigades were formed
12 within the municipality of Zavidovici, the 318th and the 320th. We
13 remained part of the 320th Brigade from that point onwards."
14 Now, at that same page, at line 21 to 22, he says: "However, I
15 was no longer platoon commander, but I became company commander within
16 the 320th."
17 Then you asked him to explain, and your next question was: "Did
18 you remain in that position -- sorry, if we could just clarify your last
20 He says: "I became company commander in the 318th Brigade."
21 MR. ROBSON: Perhaps if the witness just to clarify the sequence
22 of brigades that he was a member of, if he can just tell us
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: He has just told us that when the 318th and the
25 320th were formed, he stayed in the 320th. Now suddenly he becomes a
1 commander in the 318th.
2 MR. ROBSON:
3 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, can you clarify this for us?
4 A. Yes, I can. I failed to describe the exact developments.
5 When I became commander in 1993, that was with the 318th Brigade.
6 I became [Realtime transcript read in error "Bosnian Muslim"] company
7 commander there, since I only commanded the platoon for a year.
8 Therefore, I became company commander in the 318th. Later on, another
9 brigade was formed within the Zavidovici municipality. Our battalion was
10 then made part of the 320th Brigade. I remained company commander within
11 the 320th. Then the two brigades merged again into one, being the 328th,
12 where I was promoted to assistant commander for security.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second. Again, I'm getting confused.
14 He says: "When I became commander in 1993, that was with the
15 318th Brigade."
16 Now, I don't understand what is written here says: "Bosnian
17 Muslim company commander." I am not sure whether I heard him say that.
18 "Therefore I became company commander in the 318th. Later on,
19 another brigade was formed within the Zavidovici municipality." He
20 doesn't tell us what is the name of that brigade.
21 But then he says: "Our battalion was then made part of the 320th
22 Brigade." What is the other brigade that was formed? Is it the 320th
23 that you were made a part of?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Therefore, 318th and 320th then merged into one,
1 called 320th, right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, 328th.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right. Now, the 318th and 320th merged into one
4 to become 328th; is that what you are saying, sir?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: That explains it.
7 MR. ROBSON:
8 Q. And which unit of the 328th Brigade did you become the assistant
9 commander for security of?
10 A. Of the 4th Battalion of the 328th.
11 Q. When you became the assistant commander for security, did you
12 have any previous experience that enabled you to carry out your role as a
13 security officer?
14 A. Those of us who were appointed officers in battalions had no
15 experience. They simply assessed our readiness and level of education.
16 We did not undergo any special preparation or training. We simply worked
17 of our own accord as best we knew how. It was war, and there was no time
18 for us to educate ourselves any further.
19 Q. Did you remain the assistant commander for security of the
20 4th Battalion of the 328th Brigade, or were there any further changes to
21 your position?
22 A. Yes. In 1995, there were changes. At the level of assistance
23 [Realtime transcript read in error "civilian"] commanders for security, I
24 was transferred from the 4th Battalion to the 5th Battalion; whereas, my
25 colleague from the 5th Battalion was transferred to the 4th. All
1 battalions were included, and all of them saw changes in terms of
2 different people being appointed assistant commanders for security.
3 Q. Could you just repeat the first part of your answer
4 Mr. Karahasanovic. At which level was it that you say that you were
5 transferred from the 4th Battalion to the 5th Battalion?
6 A. At the level of assistant commanders for security. I have to
7 clarify. Since we worked in the environment where people knew each other
8 and officers knew each other, the changes were made because people were
9 getting too close to each other. That's why assistant commanders for
10 security were being transferred, and I switched positions with the
11 colleague from the 5th Battalion. They knew they were moving us to a
12 unit where we didn't know other people, and they thought we would
13 function better in a such an environment.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Any transcription errors
15 will be corrected later, pertaining to the repetition of the last answer.
16 MR. ROBSON: We hope.
17 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, do you remember when you became the assistant
18 commander for security in the 5th Battalion?
19 A. The 5th Battalion, I believe it was early September 1995.
20 Q. And when you assumed that position in the 5th Battalion, who did
21 you report to?
22 A. The battalion commander of the 5th Battalion was Sehic Ahmed.
23 Within the 328th Mountain Brigade, it was Enes Malcibegovic.
24 Q. So if I can clarify, the commander of your unit, the
25 5th Battalion, was Ahmed Sehic. Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And what position within the 328th Mountain Brigade did Enes
3 Malcibegovic hold?
4 A. He was assistant commander for security of the brigade.
5 Q. And can you tell us what happened in September 1995 when you
6 joined the 5th Battalion, briefly?
7 A. I was appointed assistant commander for security in a unit I did
8 not know, then I became acquainting myself with the officers at the level
9 of battalions, assistant commanders, company commanders, and so on and so
11 Q. Can you describe for us briefly what your main duties were at
12 that time?
13 A. My basic and main duty, as assistant commander for security in
14 the 5th Mountain Battalion, was to take care of security of officers,
15 soldiers, materiel, and equipment, as well as monitor any distribution of
16 food, cigarettes, et cetera.
17 Q. And at that point in time, September 1995, did the 5th Battalion
18 have a command?
19 A. Yes. The 5th Battalion did have a battalion command three
20 kilometres done the Gostovic river, since all battalion members lived in
21 the area around Gostovici. They were transferred down the Krivij river.
22 Before I arrived in the battalion, they had formed a forward command post
23 that was in Polje, down the Krivij some 12 kilometres away from
25 Q. So, just to clarify, the 5th Battalion had its main command post
1 three kilometres south of Zavidovici?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And it had a forward command post in the field at Polje. Is that
5 A. At Polje, yes.
6 Q. And were its members based at any other locations apart from
7 those two places?
8 A. There were. The lines were far from Polje, the lines of Defence,
9 that is. There was another IKM in Marici, but usually there would be
10 only one officer there as well as company commanders.
11 Q. And did any combat action take place during the month of
12 September 1995?
13 A. Yes. When I arrived in the 5th Battalion, I think it was the
14 10th of September, there was combat to liberate Vozuca.
15 Q. If I can ask you about the activities that day on the 10th of
17 Can you explain for us what happened?
18 A. In the morning, early in the morning, I was still sleeping at
19 Polje at the IKM. I had an office there with a bed. I would spend two
20 to three days there on occasion, and then I would go home for a day or
21 two. That morning, however, I was asleep in Polje, and I heard firing
22 along the entire defence line which meant that combat had started.
23 As I was having breakfast with several other officers, we decided
24 to leave for Marici to the IKM there; and around noon, at Marici we were
25 told to go to the defence line to observe further developments.
1 Q. Okay. We'll go into the events that day in a little more detail
2 in a moment. But before we do so, let me ask you this: Prior to these
3 combat activities on the 10th of September, had you ever been involved in
4 the capture of prisoners of war?
5 A. No. I never had any captured persons, and I had no contact with
7 Q. Do you know what, if anything, the members of the 328th Brigade
8 were supposed to do in the event that they captured prisoners of war
9 during a combat action?
10 A. Yes. At meetings held at the level of brigade, with assistant
11 commanders for security, we were told what we were supposed to do with
12 prisoners. We were advised how to treat them, et cetera.
13 Q. And what were you told to do in relation to prisoners; can you
15 A. Yes. We were told that, in case we have POWs, first we had to
16 search them and remove any weapons or similar objects. They should also
17 be taken their IDs and their first and last names as well as dates of
18 birth noted down.
19 The brigade should then be informed so that they could dispatch
20 the military police, since our battalion did not have its own military
21 policemen. Such military policemen were supposed to take them to the
22 brigade where statements were supposed to be taken from those prisoners.
23 Q. Okay. I'd now like to return back to the events on the 10th of
25 MR. ROBSON: And at this stage, Your Honours, if we could please
1 bring up map number 12 from the map collection. I will be asking the
2 witness to make some markings on this map as well.
3 If we could close in on the left-hand side of the map, upper
4 left-hand side, please. I think we can probably close in a little
5 further as well.
6 Is it possible to move across to the right-hand side, keeping the
7 map at the same scale? Carry on, please.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is this number 12?
9 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, it differs from the map that I've got
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed.
12 MR. ROBSON: It's map number 12 we're after. The ERN number is
13 06186707. That's better. And, again, if we could please close up, and
14 if we can scroll down, please. That's fine.
15 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, are you able to make out the names of the
16 places on this map? I'm not asking you to read them, but are you able to
17 see what they say?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You told us that you were at Polje on the morning of the 10th of
20 September. Do you see where Polje is on the map?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Are you able to draw a circle around Polje and mark it with a
23 number 1?
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. You then told us that you went -- well, you've mentioned, at
1 Marici, there was another forward command post. Do you see Marici on
2 this map?
3 A. No, I don't see Marici. It doesn't say Marici anywhere on this
4 map, but I know approximately where that is.
5 Q. Are you able to draw a circle around the location where Marici is
6 and to mark it with a number 2?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. So turning to the events on the 10th of September, did you go
9 through Marici after leaving Polje that day?
10 A. Yes. We stopped at Marici for a while and then we continued on.
11 We went there by car because it's quite a distance. It would have taken
12 us a long time to walk there, so we drove to Marici; and then from
13 Marici, I and two other men went to our position at the defence line.
14 That was our defence line, because the fighting was already under way and
15 our unit was supposed to clear up the terrain following after the units
16 that had liberated this area, and our lines were not manned anymore. We
17 were supposed to be there at one segment of the line where there was a
18 phone, and we were supposed to be there to observe further work.
19 Q. Did the location at the defence line that you went to have a
21 A. Yes, Malovan, Malovan Greda.
22 Q. Do you see that on the map?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Again, could you draw a circle around the location that you went
25 to with the defence line and mark that with a number 3.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. And what happened once you got to Malovan Greda?
3 A. Well, we sat down there in a dugout until our unit, that was the
4 2nd Mountain Company, descended down Malovan Greda moving down Kesten;
5 and then in the afternoon, I got a call from the company commander, Ismet
6 Sogan [as interpreted], who told me that he had some enemy soldiers that
7 had been captured. He told me that he had some captive soldiers and that
8 this was something for me, that I was supposed to go there and see what
9 should be done with them.
10 Q. Can you repeat for us the name of the officer that called you on
11 the telephone?
12 A. Ismet Sogolj.
13 Q. Perhaps if you can just spell the name of Mr. Sogolj?
14 A. S-O-G-O-L-J.
15 Q. And what was his position, just so we're clear?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, sorry. If I may just interrupt you, now
17 that we've made corrections. You said, sir, you descended down Malovan
18 Greda, moving down to where?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The unit moved down Malovan Greda;
20 and throughout that time, I was at Malovan Greda up until the time when
21 Ismet Sogolj called me.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 MR. ROBSON: What position did Mr. Sogolj hold?
24 A. Sogolj was the commander of the 2nd Company in the 5th Battalion.
25 Q. Did he say where he was when he made this call to you?
1 A. Yes. He told me that the prisoners that he had, that he put them
2 in the community hall, that was the biggest facility in Kesten, the place
3 where he could actually put they will in. He told me that they were
4 there in the hall and that I should go up there and deal with that.
5 Q. And can you tell us what were these telephones that you were
6 using that day? How were I able to communicate with Ismet Sogolj?
7 A. We had a land line up at the line, defence line. We used
8 induction telephones. You ring and then you turn the crank, and three or
9 four telephones can listen into the communication. That was the system
10 that we used to communicate and to arrange things up at the line.
11 Q. So having received this telephone call, what did you do next?
12 A. When he notified me that there were prisoners, I, as the
13 assistant commander for security, was duty bound to go and take in those
14 prisoners and then to transfer them further on. First of all, I went to
15 check what was actually there because I didn't know that. When I
16 descended down to Kesten, I used the road. The most difficult part was
17 moving through the area between our lines and the enemy lines because
18 there were minefield there is, but we managed to pass through without
19 walking into any of the mines. I went there to the hall in Kesten. The
20 company commander was waiting for me in front of the hall. He told me
21 there were quite a few prisoners and that I should have a look at them.
22 When I entered the hall, there were --
23 Q. Let's take this one stage at a time, Mr. Karahasanovic.
24 First of all, do you remember approximately what time it was
25 during the day that you descended down to Kesten?
1 A. I think that was in the afternoon. I can't remember now the
2 exact time, but I think it was maybe somewhere between 14 and 1500 hours.
3 Q. Are you able to say how long, approximately, it took you to get
4 to Kesten from Malovan Greda?
5 A. Maybe 20 minutes or so, since of it downhill and it was easier to
6 walk down.
7 Q. And did anything happen on the way down to Kesten?
8 A. Yes. As I walked towards Kesten, I encountered a soldier leading
9 three women. I asked him who they were, and he said that they, too, had
10 been captured together with the people who were in the hall. I told him
11 to go down to the command with them and to wait there for us to return.
12 Q. Which direction were they going in when you encountered them?
13 A. They were moving towards Malovan Greda, which means that they
14 were moving from Kesten to Malovan Greda. That was the footpath, a
15 footpath that we could use because it was already made and it was a
16 little bit safer than the other routes, primarily in terms of mine
18 Q. You told us earlier in your evidence that the 5th Battalion had a
19 number of command posts or forward command posts. Did you say which
20 location the soldier was to take the three women?
21 A. Yes. He was supposed to take them to Marici because Marici was
22 the closest location where he could wait and there was a path leading to
23 that place; and then on my way back, I was supposed to note down their
24 personal details because the soldiers had done some of that. But then
25 later on when the police would arrive, I was supposed to transfer them on
1 to the brigade.
2 Q. Now, on the map in front of you, do you see Kesten village?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And I think I'm right in saying that you mentioned that you saw
5 people. There were people in a hall. Are you able to mark on the map
6 where the hall was?
7 A. The hall, where the hall was?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Well, approximately, somewhere here. Can I make a circle?
10 Q. Yes, please.
11 A. Well, somewhere around this place.
12 Q. And if could you please mark that circle with the number 4.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And can you tell us what did you find when you got to the hall in
16 A. When I entered the hall, I was able to see a large number of
17 prisoners. The hall may have been maybe 12 metres long and maybe
18 8 metres wide; and then along the three of the walls, there was nobody at
19 the wall where the door was; but there, along the remaining three walls,
20 that's where the prisoners were lined up. They were facing the wall and
21 they were standing up.
22 Q. You told us early that Ismet Sogolj had called you from Kesten.
23 Did you see Mr. Sogolj when you arrived?
24 A. Yes. He was waiting for me in front of the hall. When I entered
25 the hall, Sogolj, since his units was supposed to move on cleaning up the
1 terrain, he said, "This is for you. There are three or four guards in
2 there and they're taking care of the prisoners, and now you should do
3 your job." Then he moved forwards with his unit.
4 Q. When he Mr. Sogolj moved forward with his unit, how many other
5 members of the ABiH were there with you at the hall in Kesten?
6 A. Well, there were three or four soldiers inside the hall and
8 Q. What happened next after you saw the soldiers in the hall?
9 A. When I saw the soldiers, I saw that there was a large number of
10 those prisoners, and I knew that I couldn't handle this on my own. So I
11 went to where the communication equipment was, the induction telephone
12 just across the road. I phoned up my commander telling him that we had a
13 large number of prisoners, that we would need assistance, and that we
14 would need some means of transport because you could not move them
15 anywhere on foot. He told me he would report to everyone that he would
16 tell the police, that I should wait up there, and that everything would
17 be taken care of.
18 Q. Just so we're clear, when you say you spoke to your commander,
19 who did you speak to?
20 A. I spoke to my commander because he was in charge of that area.
21 He was my immediate superior, the man that I was supposed to report to.
22 I couldn't use this phone to talk -- to report to the brigade, but he was
23 to report to them using other means of communication.
24 Q. And what was the name of the commander?
25 A. Ahmed Sehic.
1 Q. Do you know where he was at the time when you spoke to him?
2 A. Yes. He was at Polje.
3 Q. Can you please just spell the surname of your commander?
4 A. S-E-H-I-C.
5 Q. And what happened after you spoke to Commander Sehic?
6 A. When I spoke to him, I knew what I was to do. I was, first, to
7 note down the personal details of those prisoners, since the soldiers of
8 the 2nd Company had disarmed them. All the weapons were out there. They
9 were all soldiers wearing uniforms, either camouflage uniforms or olive
10 drab uniforms. There were no civilians among them. All the documents
11 had already been taken away from them, and they were there in front of
12 the hall. I went into the hall, and I started making a list of all of
13 them, one by one.
14 Q. And just so we're clear, and I don't think you've mentioned this,
15 these prisoners were members of which armed force?
16 A. They were members of the enemy army. They were Serbs.
17 Q. You said that there were documents in front of the hall. Was
18 there anything else outside of the hall that you saw?
19 A. Yes. I saw a heap of weapons that had been taken away from them.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Is your next question, Mr. Robson, which army
21 they belonged to?
22 MR. ROBSON: I could see you wanted clarification there.
23 Q. You told us they were Serbs. Could you tell us which army they
24 were members of?
25 A. Well, the Serbian army. Because they were members of the Serbian
1 army, there were all Serbs in that area, and it was quite natural,
2 therefore, that it was the Serb army.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Would that be the VRS or JNA or other parts?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the army the Republika
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I also have a question, Mr. Robson, if you don't
9 Sir, you said you took down the names and particulars of these
10 POWs, one by one. How many were there finally?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I started making a list
12 and I did that one by one. There were 51 of them on the list.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So that all of them that were in
15 the hall were put on the list.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 MR. ROBSON:
18 Q. And what details did you record exactly from the prisoners? What
19 information did you put on the list?
20 A. I asked them for their first and last names, year of birth, and
21 place of birth.
22 Q. Did each prisoner answer your question and provide you with
24 A. Yes. As I approached the prisoners, I did that one by one, they
25 were turned to face me; and when I asked them, "What 's your full name,
1 year of birth, and place of birth," they gave me their answers loud and
2 clear. And if I was unable to hear the last name, I would ask them,
3 "Could you please repeat your last name," and I'm sure 100 percent
4 certain that they gave me accurate information, names, and so on.
5 Q. Did anything happen while you were taking information from these
7 A. Yes. When there were only five or six of them left, a group of
8 Arabs walked in. They were armed. There were maybe 20 of them. They
9 were armed. As soon as they walked in, they started making racket in the
10 hall. I continued with my task, making this list, until I was finished,
11 until all 51 of them were on the list.
12 Q. Just so we're clear, could you repeat how many Arabs walked in?
13 A. Twenty or so. I didn't count them. There may have been 18 or 22
14 of them; but 20, that would be an estimate.
15 Q. Can you describe the Arabs that you saw?
16 A. Yes. They all spoke in a foreign language. I think it was
17 Arabic. Because I don't speak any other language apart from Bosnian, I
18 think they spoke Arabic. They were shouting and yelling. They had
19 longish beards. They wore those loose clothes, sandals or boots on their
20 foot. They looked like all kinds of things. But one thing was for sure,
21 they didn't look like soldiers. They were smaller in stature than I am.
22 Maybe they were the same size as Mr. Robson here.
23 Q. Are you able to describe the type of clothing that they were wore
24 in any more detail?
25 A. Yes. They wore those loose shirts and loose trousers. The
1 shirts were worn outside of the trousers. Some of them may have had
2 camouflage jackets, but then they did not have such trousers. They also
3 had some kind of head gear, some caps on their heads.
4 Q. Did you notice did any of them have any insignia or markings on
5 their clothing?
6 A. I didn't notice any insignia or markings on any of them; whereas,
7 the army soldiers would have patches on their sleeves with designations
8 of their brigades. They did not have any insignia that would make it
9 possible for one to ascertain where they belonged.
10 Q. And did you know which military unit these Arabs belonged to, if
12 A. No. I didn't know what unit they belonged to. In our area, we
13 knew that there was a Mujahid unit, that's what the rumour was. We were
14 not aware of any other units being in that area or coming into that area,
15 because all the Arabs that we would see, we considered them to be members
16 of the El Mujahedin Unit because we didn't know if they may have belonged
17 to any other unit.
18 Q. Okay. You said they came in shouting and yelling. What happened
20 A. Yes. When I finished making the list, one of them spoke our
21 language, Bosnian language. We were able to communicate. I told him
22 that they should leave the room since the prisoners were ours, and that
23 we would transfer them because we had already reported to our superiors
24 that we would transfer them. Once I made the list, once I gathered up
25 all the documents, that we would do that, and they had nothing -- there
1 was nothing for them to do is there in the hall. They started
2 brandishing their weapons in our direction.
3 It is difficult to describe their behaviour. At any moment, you
4 expect them to open fire. They told me that I and my soldiers should
5 leave that room, that I should go out, that they had liberated this area,
6 that we were out of place here, and that it was not our place to be
7 there. I didn't know what to do at that time.
8 In the meantime, the department commander came to the hall. He
9 may have arrived at the same time when those Arabs walked in. He
10 quarrelled them with some more, telling them that they should leave, that
11 we would deal with the prisoners, and that we would do it properly. They
12 were shouting at him. They told him that he should leave the room
13 together with us, that those prisoners belonged to them, and that they
14 were the only ones that could dispose with those prisoners as they saw
15 fit and nobody else.
16 Q. Just to clarify a few things there.
17 You said that "they" told you to leave. Who was it that spoke
18 and told to you leave the hall?
19 A. Well, one of those Arabs. He didn't tell us his name. He didn't
20 tell us what unit he belonged to. He simply told us, "Leave this area,
21 leave this room. Those prisoners are ours." Let me repeat what he said.
22 He said that they had liberated that area, that everything in that area
23 belonged to them, and that the BiH army had nothing to do with that.
24 Q. You said that the deputy commander arrived. What was his name?
25 A. Muhamed Omarasevic.
1 Q. And he was the deputy commander for what unit?
2 A. He was the assistant commander of the 5th Battalion.
3 Q. Are you able to say how members of the 328th Brigade were in and
4 around the hall at that point in time?
5 A. As I said, there were three or four soldiers in the hall. There
6 was myself and Muhamed Omarasevic came later. There were no troops
7 around the hall, because I said that this company went on to carry out
8 its mission elsewhere. They were supposed to search the terrain.
9 Q. And what happened next after you were told to leave the hall?
10 A. After this shouting and the brandishing of weapons, the weapons
11 being trained at us at prisoners and all that, as an officer, I pondered
12 this thing, what to do, and I concluded that the best thing to do would
13 for me to leave. If I oppose them, I had only three or four of those
14 soldiers with us. I was unarmed, Muhamed was unarmed, and they were all
15 unarm the.
16 If I resorted to force, it would have failed. We would maybe be
17 able to kill two or three of them, but I was sure that they would have
18 killed all of us; and so for the benefit of first myself and also of my
19 soldiers, because I was in charge of their safety and security, I decided
20 to leave this room together with those soldiers.
21 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, you told us that for the benefit of first
22 yourself and also your soldiers, you left the room. It may be that --
23 did you mention anything else, any other reason in your answer for
24 leaving the room?
25 A. Yes, I said because of safety and security, that of my security
1 as well as the security of my soldiers. If I protected myself, I thought
2 I would be able to protect the soldiers as well as the prisoners as well.
3 Had I used force, although it would have been impossible with the three
4 or four soldiers I had against the 20 of them, it would have meant that
5 my soldiers would have been killed as well as all of the prisoners.
6 Because of that reason, I decided to leave the room. I realised there
7 was no one there to help us and that we had to do what we were told.
8 Q. And what happened when you left the hall?
9 A. We went outside, and I stopped there with my soldiers and the
10 assistant commander. We discussed it; and perhaps some five minutes
11 later, those who were inside took the prisoners out, two by two, and went
12 towards Krcevine and Sjenokos.
13 Q. If you look at the happen in front of us, are you able to draw
14 with an arrow the direction that they went in?
15 A. Before I indicate it on the map, I just wanted to say this: When
16 I came out of the hall, there were some ten other Arabs in front of the
18 Now I can indicate it for you, if you wish.
19 Q. Yes, please.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. When the prisoners came out of the hall with the Arabs, what
22 happened to the Arabs that were standing outside of the cal?
23 A. Some of them positioned themselves on one side of the prisoners,
24 the others on the other. So they moved on the outside and the prisoners
25 were in pairs between them, and the soldiers that had been outside simply
1 joined the rest.
2 Q. You've pointed the direction that they headed in. Did you see
3 where they went?
4 A. I could not see where they went. There is a clearing around the
5 hall, but it amounts to several metres, then there's the forest. There's
6 also a junction there which can take you to Krcevine and Sjenokos;
7 however, I did not see what direction they took since I remained at the
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just clarify a point here.
10 Sir, you said there were approximately 20 Arabs who arrived
11 there. When you left out the hall, there were another ten outside. Are
12 you saying there was approximately a total of 30 Arabs there?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Some 20 were inside the hall;
14 but at that time, I wasn't able to see that there were another dozen
15 outside. When I came outside, I saw that some ten or a dozen of them
16 were there.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
18 You may proceed, Mr. Robson.
19 MR. ROBSON:
20 Q. What happened next after the Arabs headed north with the
22 A. The Arabs took the captured towards Kesten, or rather, towards
23 Krcevine and Sjenokos. I don't know which exactly. I informed Ahmed
24 Sehic, my superior, that the prisoners were taken away by force. I told
25 him that our lives were at stake as well and that the prisoners were
1 taken away. He said he would inform his superior level, that is, the
2 brigade level, and that he was to come to Kesten himself.
3 Since by that time the prisoners had already been taken away, the
4 heap of documents of theirs remained in front of the hall. I picked it
5 all up, put it in a plastic bag, and the company clerk collected the
6 weapons, since there was another heap of weapons there. He put it in the
7 building where the telephone was.
8 Q. And just to clarify a couple of things.
9 First of all, by what means did the Arabs and the prisoners leave
10 the area? What mode of transport did they use?
11 A. I don't know what mode of transport they had. As far as I could
12 tell, they left the hall on foot, in pairs; that is, the prisoners were
13 in pairs and on the sides were the Arabs. In one column, there were 25
14 or 26 of them, and in the other column, another 25; and then on the sides
15 were the Arabs. They left on foot for Krcevine or Sjenokos. That was
16 the direction they took.
17 Q. Next, you told us that you spoke to Ahmed Sehic. By what means
18 did you speak to him?
19 A. I used the phone, the induction phone. The land line was the
20 only one we had. I called him and I told him what I told you a moment
22 Q. After collecting the documents, what did you do next?
23 A. After the company clerk noted down the serial numbers of weapon,
24 I merely counted the weapons: This many light machine-guns, this many
25 automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, as well as M48s. I simply noted
1 down the number of pieces for the sake of my report.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.
3 Witness, could you be a little bit more specific please as
4 regards the direction which the Arabs took together with the prisoners,
5 because on page 24, line 22, you said that they went in the direction of
6 or crossed Krcevine. They passed through that town. Then on page 25
7 line 15, and on the following pages, you said that you don't know in
8 which direction they left. Then a little further, you said - just a
9 minute - on page 26, line 23, you said that "they went in the direction
10 of," and the name has not been recorded on the transcript.
11 I find this a little bit confusions as far as which direction
12 they went into is concerned.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a hall. The hall was in
14 Kesten; and as you leave the hall, there is only one road taking you to
15 Sjenokos and Krcevine. However, in the forest, not too far from the
16 hall, there is a cross-roads which can take you to Krcevine or to
17 Sjenokos. I don't know which direction they took; however, I know that
18 that was the general direction they left. I don't know which turn they
19 took, though. I couldn't see that.
20 MR. ROBSON:
21 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, just so we're clear, please could you spell
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Now things are
24 much clearer as far as I'm concerned. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] K-R-C-E-V-I-N-A --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: E.
2 MR. ROBSON:
3 Q. And could you please spell Sjenokos for us?
4 A. S-J-E-N-O-K-O-S.
5 Q. You mentioned that there was a junction in the forest. Do you
6 see that notice map; and if so, could you put a circle around it?
7 A. Yes, you can see it. It is here, next to the arrow, the tip of
8 the arrow. That's where it is.
9 Q. And could you put a number 5 above that circle, please.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us what happened after you collected
12 the ID documents? What did you do next?
13 A. I said that I made a list of the seized weapons for our records,
14 so that I could report that to the brigade. I wrote down how many pieces
15 there were of automatic rifles, light machine-guns, and so on and so
16 forth. There were also semi-automatic rifles and M48s. I simply noted
17 down the quantity of each type of weapon.
18 Q. I should ask you, do you know approximately what time it was when
19 the Arabs headed off with the prisoners of war?
20 A. I believe I was there between 2.00 and 3.00. By the time I made
21 the list, well, I don't think they left before 4.00 p.m. from the Kesten
22 hall in the direction I indicated. 4.00 p.m.
23 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, I note the time. Could I, first of
24 all, please ask that this map be admitted into evidence, and then we can
25 take the adjournment.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The map is admitted into evidence. May it please
2 be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map will become Exhibit number
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 We'll take the break at come back at quarter to 11.00.
7 Court adjourned.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.45 a.m.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
11 MR. ROBSON: Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, you were telling us about events on the
13 10th of September, 1995. Did there come a time when you left Kesten?
14 A. I left Kesten in the evening. When it began getting dark, that's
15 when I left Kesten.
16 Q. And where did you go?
17 A. Via Malovan Greda to Marici. I knew that the three women were
18 supposed to be there. I was supposed to go down there and get their
20 Q. And did you see the three women there?
21 A. No. When I arrived in Marici, the women were not there; however,
22 the soldier that was with them was still there.
23 Q. Did you speak to the soldier?
24 A. Yes, I did. I asked him where the women were. He was terrified
25 and pale and said, I'm conveying to you now what he told me, that a van
1 came along with some Arabs. They stopped next to him when he was already
2 in Marici close to the command post. They came out of the van and asked
3 him who the women were. He said that they had been captured with a group
4 of Serb soldiers.
5 As he told me, they also shouted at him, threatened him, and took
6 the women away. They put them in the van and drove off. He remained
8 Q. Can you tell us approximately what time was it during the day
9 that you saw the soldier and the three women as you travelled from
10 Malovan Greda to Kesten?
11 A. As I said, it was between 2.00 and 3.00, during which time I was
13 Q. Did the soldier tell you where he was when the Arabs arrived and
14 took the three women?
15 A. Yes. He was in Marici, on the road there, close to our forward
16 command post.
17 Q. Are you able to say how long approximately it should have taken
18 him and the three women to travel from the point where you met him to get
19 to the road at Marici?
20 A. From the point where we met, it would be some 35 minutes, 30 to
21 35 minutes, to get down to Marici.
22 Q. Where did you go to next?
23 A. I had the bag with the documents with me. Everyone by that time
24 knew of what had taken place that day, and I left for Polje with a
25 vehicle from Marici. It was a difficult day for me and I needed rest.
1 Q. After leaving Kesten, did you see the prisoners of war again at
2 any stage?
3 A. Once we left the hall, I never saw the prisoners again.
4 Q. Now, you told us that you wrote the names of all the Serb
5 prisoners of war on a piece of paper.
6 At this stage if I could please show you Exhibit 646, and if you
7 can look at the document on the left-hand side of the screen.
8 MR. ROBSON: If we can please go to the next page in the B/C/S
10 Q. Do you recognise this document at all?
11 A. Yes. This is the list I drafted.
12 Q. This list we see in front of us, when did you prepare it?
13 A. On the 10th. The report was sent on the 11th. When I was at the
14 Kesten hall, I wasn't able to spell this nicely. So this is actually a
15 copied version of the 18th, so that I could leave it with the commander
16 and send a written report to the brigade.
17 Q. That answer was not clear at all, Mr. Karahasanovic.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: It was clear. What's unclear about the answer,
19 sir? No, the date is the 18th. He can --
20 MR. ROBSON:
21 Q. You said: "When I was at Kesten hall, I wasn't able to spell
22 this nicely. So this is actually a copied version of the 18th."
23 What do you mean by that?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Robson. He means the 18th. I think
25 that's not a correct question to put the witness. I think this document
1 is dated the 11th. He says he redid the list on the 10th. Now he is
2 talking of a document of the 18th. He must explain the discrepancy. To
3 say to what does he mean by that. He means the 18th.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MR. ROBSON:
6 Q. Can you just -- let me ask that question again, please, if I may.
7 Can you just explain for us what this document is that we see in
8 front of us and how you prepared it?
9 A. This is my report that I drafted on the 11th, so that there would
10 be a written trace for the commander. The report was sent to the
11 brigade. That was the 11th of September, 1995; that is when I wrote the
12 report. I had to copy the original list since I couldn't send the report
13 I sent -- I wrote on the 10th. I copied it on the 11th, the next day, so
14 that I could send it to the brigade command, so that it could be
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir. Sir, what did you with the list that you
17 drew on the 10th, from which you copied this one?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I no longer needed the document
19 since I copied it legibly. I kept one original and sent another to the
20 commander and the brigade. The old, the previous one, to me was
21 unimportant. I discarded of it.
22 MR. ROBSON: If we can just look at the three pages in sequence.
23 We're looking at page number 1. If we can look at page number 2, and if
24 we go back to the first page in the B/C/S version.
25 Q. Have you had a chance to see that page?
1 A. Yes, I can see it.
2 MR. ROBSON: And if we can look at the third page.
3 Q. Is all of the writing that we see on this document your writing?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Can you tell us which writing we see in this document does not
6 belong to you?
7 MR. ROBSON: Perhaps we can start with page number 1.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At page 1, when it says "1300,"
9 that's not my handwriting. Everything else is.
10 MR. ROBSON: And if we look at page number 2.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At page 2, this is all my
13 MR. ROBSON: And then if we can move to the final page.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Page 3, down to 51, that is my
15 handwriting. My handwriting is also: 4 Arabs, 3 women, 2 killed,
16 2 children released. That is my handwriting.
17 MR. ROBSON:
18 Q. Do you know who wrote the other words that we can see in this
20 A. I don't. I don't know who had access to the documents so as to
21 be able to write this.
22 Q. If I can ask you about the words that you wrote underneath the
23 names of the men, where it says "4 Arabs," what does that mean?
24 A. That -- that morning, when I talked to the company commander, he
25 told me that that morning another four members of the Serb army had been
1 captured, I wrote "4 Arapi." I thought I would be the only one to use
2 the document and that the people at the brigade would understand the
3 meaning. In the report I forwarded subsequently, I expanded the note,
4 but this was merely to be added on to the list.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do we understand that the four BH army soldiers
6 who were captured were Arabs -- sorry, members of the Serb army?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Four soldiers that were
8 captured by the Arabs were from the Serb army.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, wait. I don't understand you, sir. In your
10 answer, at page 34, you said: "That morning, when I talked to the
11 company commander, he told me that that morning another four members of
12 the Serb army had been captured, and I wrote '4 Arapi.' I thought I
13 would be the only one to use the document."
14 Why did you write "4 Arapi"?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, just so that I knew that four
16 had been captured by Arabs.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sir, have I understood you well?
18 You said that four Serb soldiers were captured and taken away instantly
19 by the Arabs, in addition to the 51 members?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
22 ... list.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These four before a list is made of
24 the 51, because this is what happened -- that happened in the morning.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Therefore, they were captured
1 where they were found and then taken away by the Arabs. Is that right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I don't know where they had
3 captured them. I didn't see that. I just received this information from
4 the company commander that four of them had been captured in the morning
5 there in the Kesten area, and that they were taken away by the Arabs.
6 MR. ROBSON: If I can move on to the next item we see.
7 Q. Why did you write "3 women"?
8 A. Because three women were also captured and I did not list their
9 names. I didn't know their names, so I merely noted down that three
10 women will also been captured. As I explained, they had been taken away
11 by the Arabs.
12 I didn't have their names, the names of these women to put them
13 down there.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You haven't written "Arapi" next to them, but you
15 are telling us that they were taken by Arabs.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no, I didn't. I merely noted
17 that three women had been captured on that day. That's what I noted in
18 my report about those three women who had been captured.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to tell us with respect to the men
20 you write they were taken by Arabs, and with respect to the women you
21 don't; and yet today, you are telling us that the women were taken by the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, because the company commander
24 had told me that four had been captured by the Arabs and that had been
25 taken away immediately. The three women, as I've already noted, that was
1 the report that I merely sent to my commander and to the brigade. The
2 supplemental report that I drafted contained additional explanations to
3 the effect that those women were captured by the Arabs and that they had
4 been forcefully taken away from us, as had been the 51 prisoners.
5 So I provided more details in my report, and these are just the
6 names and just some bullet points explaining what happened. I didn't go
7 into any detailed explanations for each item. I just jotted down the
8 individual items.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that, sir. You're telling us today
10 that these three women were also taken by the Arabs. You found it
11 appropriate to write "4 Arapi," and you're telling us that by that you
12 mean that four POWs were taken by Arabs.
13 Now, you're also telling us today that the three women were also
14 taken by Arabs, but you're not also writing "Arapi" next to them in. I
15 just want you -- I understand that these were just short notes, bullet
16 points, but how then do you remember that these three women were taken by
17 Arabs if you don't write "Arapi" next to them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I do remember the events that
19 happened. I remember everything that happened on that day. It is still
20 in my memory, because that day was the day when 51 prisoners were taken
21 away from us forcefully by force. Three women were taken by force. It
22 all happened on that day, and it is not very easier for one to actually
23 forget that.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Robson.
25 MR. ROBSON:
1 Q. Do you know whether the Arabs that took the three women were
2 members of the same group of Arabs that you saw take the men from Kesten?
3 A. I don't know that. But it couldn't have been the same group,
4 because that must have happened at the same time when those people had
5 come to the hall, and that other lad leading the three women was taking
6 those women down that there at the same time. So it couldn't have been
7 the same group that was in the hall at the same time as the three women
8 were being taken away.
9 Q. Okay. Returning to the list, you wrote the words "2 killed."
10 What did you mean by that?
11 A. Yes. The company commander also relayed to me that two Serb
12 soldiers had been killed when the 51 and those two surrendered. The
13 thing that happened was probably that they regretted having done that,
14 and they tried to seize the rifle from one of the soldiers that was
15 escorting them towards the hall; and, as a result, they were killed by
16 our soldiers.
17 Q. You said: "The thing that happened was probably that they
18 regretted having done that ..."
19 Who is the "they" that you are referring to?
20 A. Well, those Serb prisoners, because when I said that they had
21 tried to seize the weapons, two of our soldiers were wounded in the
22 struggle about weapons; and quite naturally, the others opened fire,
23 killing those two men who had tried to seize the weapons from our
25 Q. And just so we're absolutely clear, when you say that "they were
1 killed by our soldiers," who do you mean by "our soldiers"?
2 A. Well, the soldiers of the BH army, from the 2nd Company, Ismet
3 Sogolj's company. He was the commander.
4 Q. And then the last thing that you wrote on this list was
5 "2 children."
6 Can you explain what you meant by that?
7 A. Well, two children, this is again what you heard from the company
8 commander in this conversation. He told me that they were two underage
9 children with the prisoners and that they had let those children go. I
10 don't know where those children had gone to, because I simply didn't hear
11 anything about that. They released them, they were alive and well when
12 they were let go, and I think they did it so as to prevent them being
13 imprisoned with the rest.
14 Q. Did you see the children?
15 A. No.
16 MR. ROBSON: Before we leave this document, if we can please go
17 back to the first page in the B/C/S version.
18 Q. Now, you wrote this document and I'd just like to have a look at
19 a few of the names that you wrote down. At number one, we can see the
20 name Nedzo Jovic; at number 2, we can see the name Nenad Gligoric;
21 number 3, it says Slavko Todorovic; and then at number 7, can you read
22 out the name there, please?
23 A. Cupeljic Mirko.
24 MR. ROBSON: And then if we look at the third page of this
1 Q. Can you read out the name at number 51 for us, please?
2 A. Cupeljic, M, Miodrag.
3 Q. If you could please bear those names in mind.
4 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours at this stage we can put this document
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just go back to the first Cupeljic.
9 Thank you.
10 MR. ROBSON: And if we could please bring up on the screen in
11 front of us, it is Exhibit 651, marked for identification.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Karahasanovic, this is a letter from the Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina Ministry of Defence to the Office of the Prosecutor dated
14 19th of April, 2006. It encloses a report from the Chief of Staff of the
15 Republika Srpska army.
16 Did you have a chance to see this document during the proofing
18 A. This document, yes.
19 Q. And just so we're clear, had you ever seen this document before
20 coming to The Hague just a few days ago?
21 A. No. No.
22 Q. I'd like to show you the report from the Chief of Staff of the
23 Republika Srpska army.
24 MR. ROBSON: It is at page 3 in the English version; and in the
25 B/C/S version, it is the second page.
1 Q. Now, a moment ago, we looked at some of the names contained on
2 your list. And if we could look at the names we find here, could you
3 read the first three names to us?
4 A. Jovic Nedzo, son of Milan; Gligorovic Nenad, son of Bozo,
5 Todorovic Savo, son of Djordje.
6 Q. And then at entry number 7 on the list, what name is there?
7 A. Cupeljic Mirko.
8 Q. Now you had the opportunity to look at this document. Do you
9 have any comments upon the names that we see on the list in front of us?
10 A. Yes. I can see that the names are the name as the ones that I
11 listed with some minor differences, and I can see that the places of
12 birth are not the same on this list. But the year of birth and the names
13 are the same with the exception of Savo Todorovic. I think it said
14 "Slavko," and it says "Savo" here.
15 Q. So with the exception of some minor differences, the 51 names
16 contained on this list and the 51 names contained on your list are the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And are the names listed in the same order or the same sequence
20 as we find them on your list?
21 A. As far as I was able to see, yes.
22 Q. And on your list, at entry number 7 and entry number 51, you read
23 out the names of those persons, and they both had the name -- the surname
24 Cupeljic. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. ROBSON: If we look at entry 51 on this list, please. It's
2 the last page in both documents.
3 Q. Can you read out the name at entry 51?
4 A. Maric Marko.
5 Q. So is this a different name to the entry 51 on your list?
6 A. Yes, it is a different name. I don't think that I have this name
7 on my list.
8 Q. And if we can look at the first sentence in the following
9 paragraph, what it says is: "According to the RS army General Staff
10 reports, under ordinal number 7 and 51 of the list attached to the
11 request, the same person is the case."
12 So that sentence suggests a list was attached to a request which
13 was sent to the Bosnian authorities, and it says "the same person is the
15 According to your list, is there any risk that you made a mistake
16 and repeated the details of the same person at entry number 7 and 52?
17 A. It's impossible that I might have made such a mistake, because
18 the first Cupeljic, I think, was born in 1945, as far as I could recall,
19 at the six kilometre; and the second one listed under 51 on my list is 20
20 years his junior. So it could not have happened that I made such a
21 mistake to confuse the two men of that kind, especially since I knew
22 there was another Cupeljic. So I wrote the initial of his father there,
23 indicating that there are two people with the same last names and that
24 these are two different people.
25 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I think it might be usual just to go
1 back to the first list just to clarify.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you go back to that first list, I don't
3 know what the witness said. I see the transcript says that one Cupeljic
4 was born "1945." It was "1954," according to his list.
5 MR. ROBSON:
6 Q. In your answer a moment ago, you mentioned the year that the
7 first Cupeljic was born. Can you remember what year that was that? What
8 year did you say?
9 A. 1945, yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: According to his list.
11 MR. ROBSON: If we can bring back Exhibit 646, please, and if we
12 can look at page number 1.
13 Q. So can we see here the first Cupeljic that you took details from?
14 A. Yes, Cupeljic. Yes, well, I did not remember the exact year. It
15 says "1954," but I said that the age difference between the two was 20
16 years. This other man was born there 1975, this one is born there 1954,
17 so that would be 20 years or thereabouts.
18 Q. The first was Mirko Cupeljic.
19 MR. ROBSON: And if we could go to page 3, please, at entry 51.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miodrag.
21 MR. ROBSON:
22 Q. And we see the capital "M" in brackets after the surname Cupeljic
23 there. Why did you write that?
24 A. Well, as I've just explained, since there was another Cupeljic
25 already, I took the initial of his father's name and I put it in
1 brackets, and then went on to write his name just to indicate that this
2 is not one and the name person. I have already explained that it was
3 impossible for them to be one person because there was this age
4 difference of some 20 years.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. ROBSON: If we can return back to Exhibit 651, MFI, please.
7 Your Honours, at this stage, I would move that we admit Exhibit 651, MFI,
8 into evidence.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Sartorio.
10 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, this document was marked for
11 identification before we objected to its admissibility based on a lack of
12 foundation that had been laid. Although the witness is able to comment
13 that the names appear to be the same on two documents, that is something
14 that Your Honours can also see, but there is other information contained
15 in this document that the witness is not able to -- to discuss.
16 He didn't author the document, he didn't receive the document, he
17 doesn't know anything about how this document was put together. There
18 is, as you know, mention in there about exhumation. There is no showing
19 at all that this person participated in any exhumations.
20 And if the document goes into evidence, it goes into evidence in
21 whole, and there's no foundation laid through this witness about the
22 details that are contained in the document.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
24 MR. ROBSON: Your Honours, you've heard today how
25 Mr. Karahasanovic took a list from -- from 51 men in very difficult
1 circumstances. Those men are the subject of this indictment. It
2 obviously goes to matters of key importance in this case.
3 Here, on the screen in front of us, we have a document from some
4 11 years later, which purports to give information and details about
5 those very same 51 men with some minor exceptions. There is no way that
6 this list in front of us could have been generated by chance or
7 coincidence. We have heard how the names are the same, save for those
8 slight differences. The names are sequentially in the same order as
9 Mr. Karahasanovic's list. Mr. Karahasanovic has been able to comment on
10 the substance of the document.
11 This Trial Chamber obviously requires a link between the witness
12 and the document in order to admit it. It is my submission that this
13 witness is not merely read out the list, he has been able to comment upon
14 it and deal with the substance of the document.
15 That being the case, Your Honours, I would submit that you could
16 and should admit it. And as to the question as to what wealth to attach
17 to this document, that is a matter that can you leave to your discretion
18 at a later stage.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson, I personally have a problem with this
20 number 51, and the comment that is made below that in this document. Are
21 you able to give guidance to this Chamber about that entry number 51 and
22 the comment there which is not part of this gentleman's handwritten
24 MR. ROBSON: I would make two points Your Honour.
25 First of all, what we saw in the last paragraph of the document,
1 and it is not on the page that front much us, is that there was reference
2 to a list being attached to the requested that was sent to the Bosnian
3 authorities. We don't know what that list is, but I would hazard a guess
4 that it was Mr. Karahasanovic's list, because we have the information
5 that's been provided on it; and then this document goes in to comment
6 upon that list that was provided to say that the entries at items 7 and
7 57 are not the same. So whoever prepared the Ministry of Defence has
8 drawn a conclusion that those two persons are one and the same.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then decides to substitute the one with
10 another name which we don't know.
11 MR. ROBSON: We don't know how that name arose, Your Honour.
12 But, again, that is a matter that goes to weight, I would submit. It is
13 a discrepancy; but looking at the number of names listed on it, it is one
14 of 51.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: It doesn't sound to me like a discrepancy. It
16 sounds to me like a deliberate, intended alteration by the person who
17 authored this document, because that this person comes to the conclusion
18 that number 7 and number 51 are one and the same person. So he intends
19 to change the document.
20 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I'm not in a position to speculate on
21 that, but what he would be say is that this witness has been able to
22 explain the process by which he prepared his list, and obviously --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm happy with this witness's list. I'm not happy
24 with this list.
25 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, the point is that at this stage we're
1 considering admissibility, and we would say that there's a clear link
2 between this witness and the Ministry of Defence document. Discrepancies
3 and problems with this document are obviously matters that can be
4 explored at a later stage when you come to consider the weight and
5 relevance of the document.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is there a relationship between this witness and
7 the document or is it just a relationship between the witness and some of
8 the contents of this document?
9 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I would suggest there was -- there is a
10 clear link. You have the witness preparing his list; and then on the
11 basis of that, you have this document we see in front of us prepared some
12 11 years later. It is clear that the author of this document had another
13 document in front of him. The list was attached to the request, he
14 states. It's -- this has followed on as a result of Mr. Karahasanovic
15 preparing his initial list in 1995, we would submit.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: If the list, and we don't know what list that is,
17 if the list was accompanied this document, why was it necessary to
18 re-list the people in this document? It could have been a very short
19 document just saying fine, enclosed herewith the list that we received of
20 the people, instead of re-listing them and then changing some of them or
21 at least one of them.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Again, Your Honour, that is an area
23 I wouldn't like to speculate upon. I would like to mention is that if we
24 refer to the indictment, what you will see in the indictment is an annex
25 of the names of the Serb prisoners of war who were alleged to have been
1 killed in 1995. And in that document, there is reference to the names as
2 mentioned in Mr. Karahasanovic's list and also this document. So this,
3 we would say, is a key document relating to the indictment.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: In the indictment, does the name at number 51 in
5 this document appear?
6 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I apologise, because I do not have the
7 indictment do hand.
8 Your Honour, what you will see is that there are 52 entries in
9 the indictment: 51 bears the surname Cupeljic, 52 is Marko Maric. So it
10 seems that the Prosecution are hedging their bets and going for both
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Sartorio.
13 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. I would just like to add to a
14 few of -- if the Chamber is inclined to admit this document, that there
15 are a series of other documents, internal documents that the Defence is
16 well aware of, and that we move to add to our exhibit list, those
17 documents. Those documents shed doubt on some of the -- on the accuracy
18 of some of the information in this document.
19 So Mr. Robson has mentioned, on a couple of occasions in his
20 argument to admit the document, the word "speculation": I can't
21 speculate, I can't speculate. That is exactly what we are doing,
22 speculating here about who made this document, what it was made from,
23 what its purpose was for, et cetera, et cetera. There is no evidence
24 that we used this list in drafting the indictment either. There is no
25 evidence that the list was attached either.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's also, from the Prosecution side,
3 Madam Sartorio, not embellish what has been said here. Nobody has
4 speculated about who drafted this document, what it was made from, and
5 what its purpose was.
6 MS. SARTORIO: No. I didn't say he was speculating, Your Honour.
7 I used the word "speculation" --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. You said: "So Mr. Robson has mentioned, on a
9 couple of occasions in his argument to admit the document, the word
10 'speculation': I can't speculate, I can't speculate. That is exactly
11 what we are doing here about who made this document, what it was made
12 from, what its purpose was for."
13 This is what you are saying.
14 MS. SARTORIO: I'm just arguing that to admit this document would
15 be based often speculation. I wasn't implying that we're speculating.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Robson, I have a difficulty with this
17 document, not because of the inaccuracy about the Cupeljic name. That
18 has some very practical explanation. My difficulty is different, because
19 what this document shows is that somehow the information included in the
20 witness's list was finally registered in the Ministry of Defence, in the
21 leadership of the ABiH. That suggests that the information about the
22 capture of these prisoners was brought up through the system somehow, and
23 I think this would be the point that the Prosecution wants to prove, that
24 the information was relayed.
25 So my question to you is: Do you have any information about how
1 the witness's list ultimately was turned into this document? That's the
2 link I need.
3 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, the witness is here, so I'm loathe to
4 say very much in the presence of the witness. What I will say is that
5 you will recall that we've heard a previous witness who dealt with this
6 document, and that witness - and I can name the person if necessary -
7 that person explained how he received this document and what he did with
8 the document. It may very well be that the question that you are putting
9 to me, Your Honour, has been dealt with by that witness.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: I shall have to look back into that witness's
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes. The Presiding Judge suggests that, to the
14 extent which this witness can provide us that same information, then that
15 would be a corroboration.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I, too, would like to say this.
18 I have a problem. Actually, I have two problems, especially so with the
19 issue of the link with this witness. If I understood properly, I stand
20 to be corrected. If I didn't, that's the link between two lists. The
21 witness made a list, he knows it, he can speak about it. With regard to
22 the list, unfortunately, there's no matching, there are doubts, strong
23 doubts. There is no link with the comments, if I understood properly.
24 I fail to see with regard to the link and with regard to the
25 prima facie reliability how it can be established. Because of this
1 difference, I find it difficult to admit the document.
2 Can I have further explanations? I would be grateful,
3 Mr. Robson.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson, you have two issues now: One from
5 Judge Harhoff and another from Judge Lattanzi. Would you like to deal
6 with them sequentially?
7 MR. ROBSON: Thank you. I think the only way really to properly
8 deal with Judge Harhoff's question is to put a further question to the
10 So with your leave, I'll do that.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: As you please.
12 MR. ROBSON:
13 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, do you know how the information contained in
14 your list has come to appear in a document generated by the Ministry of
15 Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006?
16 A. I don't. I only know that I drafted the report and sent it to
17 the brigade. As from that point onwards, I know nothing of the list or
18 the report.
19 MR. ROBSON: I don't think I can take that point any further.
20 Turning to Judge Lattanzi's question, the first point I'd like to
21 make is that the Defence came into receipt of this document prior to the
22 trial commencing, and it was a document supplied by the Prosecution. So
23 the Defence`s opportunities to inquire into the reliability of the list
24 have been rather limited.
25 However, it is clear that the names contained within the Ministry
1 of Defence list constitute a key part of the indictment, and the Defence
2 was extremely keen to try and find out more about this document. We
3 believe it is relevant and has probative value. However, the question of
4 weight is obviously a matter for the Judges, and also that would relate
5 to liability as well.
6 We would say it has sufficient prima facie reliability for it to
7 be admitted at this stage.
8 Just on that point, perhaps we could say -- I apologise, Judge
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Robson, you only answered
11 one part of my question. I had another problem, that of the link with
12 this witness, because this issue could be dealt with through another
13 witness who could provide further information or explanations.
14 The issue of the link with this witness, I wanted to hear from
15 you because maybe I didn't understand it. Is it a connection on the mere
16 basis of this list, because if it is on the list as such, then the issue
17 of the reliability is sort of -- comes after is that of the link.
18 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, if this had been a document bearing
19 only a fraction of the names contained on Mr. Karahasanovic's list, it
20 would be difficult to argue with you. But here we have almost
21 identically the same names listed. These were people that this witness
22 spoke to. He has been able to comment today on the substance of the
23 Ministry of Defence report. He has been able to explain how he obtained
24 the names and details, and he's been able to comment on what the Ministry
25 of Defence understood to be a discrepancy or a duplication between entry
1 7 and 51. In my submission, he -- the link is clear. This document
2 clearly flows from the list produced by Mr. Karahasanovic, and he is in a
3 position to comment on the substance of the document.
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So from the point of view of the
5 list, we just need the list provided by the witness. We do not need this
6 one, because we don't flow whether this one is reliable or not because
7 there is no connection, no matching. He was the first to draft this
8 list. Therefore, if the Ministry of Defence received the list, it
9 received it on the basis of this list. So the comment -- the comment is
10 not connected to the witness, so I still fail to see the connection with
11 that list or that document. Thank you.
12 MR. ROBSON: Perhaps just my final point on reliability. That is
13 that, at this stage, the Trial Chamber only need be satisfied that there
14 is a prima facie indicia of reliability. If we look at the document, the
15 source is clear. It's from the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 There's a name upon the document, it was stamped, it was sent to our
17 colleagues at the Office of the Prosecution, who forwarded the document
18 on to us.
19 So we would submit that the prima facie indicia are satisfied.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted by majority; Judge
22 Lattanzi dissenting.
23 MR. ROBSON:
24 Q. Mr. Karahasanovic, I want to take you back to your list.
25 What did you do with the list once you prepared it, if you could
1 remind us once again?
2 A. The list I drew up, as I said, was sent to the brigade and
3 another copy was given to my commander for his records. I sent it to the
4 brigade to the assistant commander for security, i.e., my superior.
5 Q. And what was his name?
6 A. Enes Malcibegovic.
7 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Malcibegovic did anything with the
8 information that you sent to him?
9 A. According to the system of command and control, I have no right
10 to ask my superior whether he did so or not. I know that when I attended
11 one of the monthly brigade meetings, I saw the documents I had sent in
12 the office. When we discussed those, he said that it had been processed
13 and that the list had reached him. As for what he did further, I don't
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just interrupt, Mr. Robson. The MFI 651
16 that was admitted will be given Exhibit number 651.
17 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. And do you know whether, based on the information that you sent,
19 the military security service conducted any investigation [Realtime
20 transcript read in error "information"]?
21 A. As far as I know, they did not. Had they done so, I would have
22 known. The only person who was following those events was myself;
23 therefore, they should have called me in to tell them what I knew. I
24 don't know whether they followed it up whatsoever, but no one asked me
25 anything about that case of again.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: While Mr. Robson is consulting, I just want to say
2 that, at page 53, line 4, the list word should be "investigation" and not
4 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Do you know who should have conducted the investigation, if one
6 was to be carried out?
7 A. The investigation should have been conducted by the security
8 service of the brigade and the military police.
9 Q. And you said that -- and who was the commander of the security
10 service -- no, sorry. Apart from the assistant commander for security,
11 you said that you sent the document to the commander. Who was the person
12 that you sent it to?
13 A. I sent it to my battalion commander, Ahmed Sehic. I also sent
14 the report to the assistant commander for security, Enes Malcibegovic.
15 He was the assistant commander for security of the 328th Brigade.
16 Q. Finally, on this point, who was the commander of the brigade?
17 A. The commander of the 328th Brigade was Fuad Zilkic.
18 MR. ROBSON: And, Your Honours, the last document I wish to use
19 is Exhibit 480.
20 Your Honours, while we're waiting for the document, I can explain
21 that this is a regular daily combat report dated 13th September 1995 from
22 the 328th Mountain Brigade to the 35th Division. If we can just look at
23 the final page in the document to see who it is from. That's page 5 in
24 the English and page 4 in the B/C/S.
25 Q. Are you able to see who this document is from?
1 A. Yes, Brigade Commander Fuad Zilkic.
2 Q. And he is the person you just told us was the commander of the
3 328th Brigade?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'd like to show you an entry on page 3 of the English version
6 and page 2 of the B/C/S.
7 MR. ROBSON: If we can scroll down in the B/C/S version, please.
8 Q. Do you see point number 4?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And, there, there's an entry that says: "On the 11th of
11 September, 1995, two companies of the 5th Battalion of the 328th Brigade
12 captured 61 hostiles and three Serbian women in the Kesten village
13 sector. Members of the El Mujahedin Unit took charge of all the captives
14 except two, while the two were turned over to the 328th Brigade military
15 police. A large number of fire-arms were captured in this action, about
16 which we will submit a report later."
17 Is this the information that you sent to Mr. Malcibegovic?
18 A. No. First of all, they were taken prisoner on the 10th of
19 September. It is correct that it was done by the 2nd Company in the
20 Kesten area, but the number was not 61. We had 51 captured. And as for
21 the two mentioned that were subsequently handed over to the military
22 police of the 328th, I don't know where that came from.
23 When I drafted my report and the list, it reads "51," not "61."
24 Here, it says they were handed over. They were not. They were taken
25 away forcefully. This sort of a report for a commander who was supposed
1 to have undergone military training would not be a good report. I don't
2 see a point in this.
3 Q. And --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, on Exhibit 646, your handwritten list, below
5 the 51 people, you wrote "4 Arapi, 3 women," and a few things, and then
6 right at the bottom was a total of 62, encircled. What did that mean?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means that, on that day, there
8 were 62.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. This one here gives 61 plus one.
10 Was that taken, killed, or something like that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says 61 hostiles and three
12 Serbian women, plus two who were turned over to the military police. In
13 total, that would be more than the one I wrote down.
14 MR. ROBSON:
15 Q. And on the list we saw earlier, where it was written "62," did
16 you write the word "62"?
17 A. No. I wasn't adding anything up. I wrote the things I did, and
18 I indicated those I did not.
19 Q. And when you gave your report to Mr. Malcibegovic, did you
20 mention who had taken the prisoners of war?
21 A. Yes. In my report, it states that the Arabs took the POWs away
22 by force. We did not hand them over to them, as one would clue from this
23 document. We had problems with them, and we should have physically
24 opposed them to prevent them from doing that; however, we did not and
25 they were taken away by force.
1 Q. In your report to Mr. Malcibegovic, did you say that they were
2 taken away by the El Mujahedin Unit?
3 A. No. We called everyone there Arabs. We used the "El Mujahedin"
4 term infrequently. All people who differed from us, whose complexion was
5 darker than ours, we used to call them Arabs.
6 MR. ROBSON: Thank you, Your Honour, I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Robson.
8 Madam Sartorio.
9 MS. SARTORIO: Would this be a good time for us to take a break,
10 Your Honours, or would you want me to proceed for five minutes?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you so command, we will.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just ask put one question.
13 MS. SARTORIO: Of course, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Based on this document, Mr. Witness, did you see
15 this report at the time?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This report was shown to me
17 for the first time by an investigator in Sarajevo. I think his name was
18 Mr. Majik, or so.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: My interest is to know if you were able to form
20 an opinion then, in September 1995, about the correctness of the
21 information that was sent up, further up into the system. You have
22 pointed to two or three important differences here today, by saying that
23 it is an inaccuracy, or a misstatement really, that the witness were
24 turned over because that was not the case. They were not turned over,
25 they were forcefully taken from you. Also, there is the issue of who
1 they were turned over to or who took them, because the document says that
2 it was the El Mujahed Detachment. But you, in your report, never stated
3 any such thing. So, here, we have two significant inaccuracies.
4 My question to you is: At the time, in September 1995, did you
5 hear anything or were you able to suspect that the information that you
6 had passed on was incorrectly passed on from further up into the system?
7 Do you understand my question?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I did.
9 I sent the report the way I did. I don't know in what form my
10 superiors sent it upwards. I cannot see what my superior wrote. That is
11 not something that I can demand of him. He was my superior. It was up
12 to him to order me what to do and not the other way around. It wasn't
13 his duty to show me his report.
14 My duty, when I draft a report, is to forward it to him, and then
15 he know what is I had written.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that perfectly.
17 But my question is: Really, did you discuss it with him, or did
18 you ever talk about these incidents again, you and your commander and the
19 assistant commander in the brigade?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As I said a moment ago, when
21 I attended a monthly meeting, I asked him whether that report of mine
22 reached him. I also saw the documents I sent attached to the report,
23 whereby he told me that, indeed, he received it and that it was his
24 problem from that point on. That was the end of the conversation. We
25 didn't discuss it any further at a meeting, because there was other
1 agenda to be discussed at the meeting. That was the last we talk about
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just one question, sir.
5 Within the system of command and control, is it possible that a
6 senior, on compiling a report, does so based on more than one source, if
7 there may be?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. When drafting a report, since
9 all battalions sent their reports into the brigade -- based on all
10 battalion reports sent to the brigade received by a superior at the
11 brigade, he compiles his own report that he then sends further.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: And this report comes from all these battalions,
13 various sources?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 Maybe this is a convenient time to take the break. We'll come
17 back at half past 12.00.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Sartorio:
23 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Good afternoon, sir. I will be asking you some questions on
25 behalf of the Prosecution.
1 MS. SARTORIO: Could we please bring up Exhibit 480 again.
2 Q. And while we're waiting for the exhibit to come up, I'd like to
3 ask you, as an assistant commander of security of a battalion, wasn't it
4 one of your responsibilities to be on the scene as soon as possible after
5 POWs were captured?
6 A. No, because I don't know what happened in what area or what might
7 happen in what area. I would go where ever I was called to. I was at
8 the forward command post where -- which was the closest to any place
9 where something might have happened and where I might have been called to
10 in the area of the 5th Battalion.
11 Q. But it was -- it would be important for you to learn about the
12 existence of POWs, so that you could interview them to get information
13 about what the enemy troops may be doing, because your job was to -- was
14 to make sure and to keep charge of security of the troops. Isn't that
16 A. Yes, because, naturally, I was supposed to. But since there was
17 a large group of those prisoners, I couldn't have interviewed them. If
18 there had been one or two, I could have interviewed them and asked them
19 what unit they belonged to. But as for any further questions as to what
20 their units was doing and so on, I did not have the appropriate training
21 to obtain this kind of information. There were other officers in the
22 brigade who had the appropriate training, and they would have taken their
24 Q. I'm not talking this particular instance. I'm asking, in
25 general, as assistant commander for security, wouldn't you be informed
1 very early if there were POWs captured, so that you could take measures
2 to go see those POWs and to get information from them which might impact
3 the security of the troops.
4 A. Since I did not have any prisoners of war before, and I never
5 talked to any or couldn't take any statements from them, that was the
6 first instance; and, suddenly, I faced 51 prisoners, and I did what was
7 the safest, the most expeditious, and the best solution for both for me,
8 my men, and the prisoners.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MS. SARTORIO: Now with regard to Exhibit 480, could we scroll
11 down to the paragraph that was discussed on direct examination, please.
12 It's, I believe, four. Okay.
13 Q. Now, sir, are you aware of any capture of any prisoners Serbian
14 troops and three Serbian women on the 11th of September by two companies
15 of the 5th Battalion of the 328th Brigade, anywhere in the area of
16 Kesten, other than the incident that has been the subject of your
17 testimony on direct examination?
18 A. All I know is that of our company because we couldn't move and we
19 couldn't get information from other battalions. And, in our battalion,
20 the only thing that happened was that this company of ours captured 51
21 people and the other persons that I noted down: Four that were taken by
22 the Arab, three women, and two that he were kill.
23 Q. But, again, the question is a just a simple yes or no. Are you
24 aware of the capture of any other prisoners and three Serbian women that
25 day by anyone in the 5th Battalion? That's a yes or no, sir.
1 A. Not in the 5th Battalion, no.
2 Q. Okay. Are you aware of capture of prisoners by any other
3 battalion on that day?
4 A. No.
5 MS. SARTORIO: May the witness please be shown Exhibit 466.
6 May I have one moment, Your Honour, or just a few minutes,
7 please --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may.
9 MS. SARTORIO: -- with the Court's indulgence. Thank you.
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you, Your Honours, four your indulgence.
12 Q. Now, sir, can you tell us the date of this document and can you
13 tell us who it is from and who it is going to?
14 A. 10th of September, 1995. It is sent to the commander of the
15 328th Mountain Brigade, 4th Manoeuvre, 2nd Manoeuvre, and OD El Mujahed.
16 Q. And what is the subject of this order -- or the subject of this
17 document is what, sir?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the English part of this scrolled
19 down, so that we can reed it, too.
20 MS. SARTORIO: I was getting to that.
21 Q. Could you tell us what this says at the top of the left? What is
22 the substance of this order, sir?
23 A. You mean, "based on the assessment of the situation and success
24 achieved in the assault on the basis of plan, illegible, 95, and in order
25 to reinforce and secure the results achieved ..."
1 I really don't know what that means.
2 Q. Well, this is an order that is engaging certain troops in certain
3 places, isn't it?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
5 MR. ROBSON: Objection, Your Honour. The Prosecution is inviting
6 the witness to comment on the document. It first needs to be established
7 that this witness had some knowledge of the matters contained in this
8 document. We can see it's from the 35th Division to a number of units
9 which do not include the 5th Battalion.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.
11 MS. SARTORIO: Well, if could scroll down to the part of the
12 document that I want to ask the witness about.
13 Q. Sir, isn't it true that the El Mujahedin Detachment operated in
14 the area of the 328th Brigade in September of 1995 as part of Operation
16 A. I don't know if the El Mujahedin did. I know that there were
17 Arabs in this area, in the area of responsibility of the 328th. But now
18 as whether it was the El Mujahedin Unit or not, I don't know. I know
19 that they were moving around that area. They would go out to the line.
20 Because, for instance, if I went to visit, to tour the defence lines, the
21 soldiers who were there would tell me that Arabs had come in, that they
22 had gone on a reconnaissance mission, and things of that nature. But I
23 don't know any other things.
24 Q. Okay. Well, rather than comment on the document, I'd like to
25 scroll up for just a minute and all I want to do is --
1 MS. SARTORIO: In the English, please, sorry. Scroll up in
2 English, down in Bosnian. No. The top of the second page, please.
3 Well, sorry. It's the bottom of the first page, in English. Number 8 is
4 what I need to read from the beginning. Second page, sorry. It is three
5 pages, long. The bottom of the second page.
6 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that this says: "Forces of the
7 El Mujahedin Detachment shall be kept for intervention in the ..."
8 MS. SARTORIO: Could you please go to the next page.
9 Q. "... area of responsibility of the 328th Brigade in accordance
10 with the following disposition: Part of the forces along the defence
11 line in the sector of Kesten village, Kosa village, and Prokop."
12 Would you agree me that that's what this says here?
13 A. Yes. That is what the document says.
14 Q. Now, I'd like to you remember the three names, Kesten, Kosa and
15 Prokop, if you would.
16 MS. SARTORIO: This document may be put away, and I would like
17 map number 19 to be brought up from the court binder.
18 If you could, yes, enlarge it considerably. Maybe one more
19 enlargement, if you could. No. That's it. Okay.
20 Q. Sir, on this map, can you tell us where Kesten is?
21 MS. SARTORIO: Could we have assistance for him to mark it,
23 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
24 MS. SARTORIO:
25 Q. Okay. Could you put a 1 there, please?
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you. Now do you see Koso on this map -- Kosa, K-O-S-A?
3 A. Kosa is further down. I think that's where it is.
4 Q. And could you circle it, please, and put a 2.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Okay. Now, sir, do you see Prokop - I apologise if I have
7 mispronounced it - Prokop on the map anywhere?
8 A. I think that's where it is, just below Pejanovici, here.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you.
10 A. Should I put a 3 next to it?
11 Q. Yes. Yes, please.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. So would it be fair to say that the area -- that is the area that
14 was just the subject matter of the order, the part of the order that we
15 just read, and that those three names were mentioned as being an area
16 where the El Mujahedin were to be prepared to intervene?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is the mention of those three
19 names in the report.
20 MS. SARTORIO: Now I'm going to work further with this map with
21 regard to another exhibit.
22 I need another moment, Your Honours, for just one second.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MS. SARTORIO: It's P0 2715, Your Honours. May this document be
25 brought up, and we'll put the map aside for the moment.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute. You can't put it aside. It will
2 be erased.
3 MS. SARTORIO: If we freeze, it are we able to bring it back and
4 then rewrite on it.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: You've got admit it; otherwise, you're going to
6 loose this.
7 MS. SARTORIO: Well, I want to add it but I want to add
8 further --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, you'd better add those things, because once
10 you move it, these things are gone.
11 MS. SARTORIO: All right. I'll add them.
12 Q. Sir, on this map, do you see where Durica [sic] is?
13 A. Durici.
14 Q. Thank you for correcting my pronunciation.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: There is Djurica Vis on the map and there is
16 Durici. Which one do you want, Madam?
17 MS. SARTORIO:
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Durici or Djurica? What do you want?
19 MS. SARTORIO: Djurica Vis.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then that is not Durici. Those are two different
22 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you for pointing that out.
23 Q. Djurica Vis, please?
24 A. Yes, I can see it.
25 Q. Could you please point it out and make a 4.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Sir, do you see where Visic is, the Visic facility,
3 elevation 497? Do you see that?
4 A. Is it further up from here? I think it is more or less.
5 Q. Let me ask you this: Do you know see, on this map, Gornji [sic]?
6 A. Gornjani, yes.
7 Q. Could you please mark that - thank you - and put a 5.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Now do you know -- again, I'll ask the question giving the
10 reference of Gornjani. Do you know where elevation 497 and the Visic
11 facility might be?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask a question, Madam Sartorio. You
13 are cross-examining.
14 MS. SARTORIO: Yes.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: And this map book has been admitted.
16 MS. SARTORIO: Yes.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why don't you just lead the witness and tell him
18 where these places are.
19 MS. SARTORIO: I will, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then you will save more time.
21 MS. SARTORIO: I can, but this is not labelled on the map, so I
22 do not want to mislead the witness.
23 Q. Is it near Jasik? Is it near that area, sir, if you know?
24 A. Kasike. It says "Kasike" on the map. Is that what you're asking
25 me about?
1 Q. I'm asking you about Visic, elevation 497.
2 MS. SARTORIO: Can we make it larger or not.
3 All right. I will move on if this witness is not able to
4 identify this particular area.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I can't see Visic here.
6 MS. SARTORIO: May this be admitted as an exhibit.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
8 MR. ROBSON: Objection, Your Honour. All that the Prosecution
9 has asked the witness to do is to identify places on the map that have
10 been told to him. There's has been no questions about the relevance of
11 those places, whether he has been there, whether anything happened there.
12 So all we have is a document with some circles and a number, and it is my
13 submission that it doesn't have any relevance or probative value.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would imagine, Madam Sartorio, that Mr. Robson
15 is talking specifically with respect to 4 and 5.
16 MS. SARTORIO: Yes. That's why I'm going to freeze it and then
17 show the witness a document that relates to 4 and 5.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but he wants to get from you the relevance of
19 4 and 5.
20 MS. SARTORIO: Well, Your Honour, I can't remove this from the
21 screen to show the relevance because I will loose it. And so you can
22 mark it marked for identification now, freeze it, we'll go to the
23 document, and then I will move that it be admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is marked for identification. May it
25 please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map will become Exhibit number
2 1353, marked for identification.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MS. SARTORIO: Now may the witness be shown PT 2715 -- PO, sorry.
5 It's P0 2715.
6 Q. Now, sir, this document purports to be dated the 24th of August,
7 1995. Is that correct?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see --
9 MS. SARTORIO: It's a range of dates, yes. The 24th of August to
10 the 10th of October.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just wait a minute. The document that we have is
12 dated the 14th of October.
13 MS. SARTORIO: Yes. It is dated the 14th.
14 Q. Sorry, sir. It is regarding activities between the 24th of
15 August and the 10th of October, 1995. Is that what it says in this
16 document? Is that what it says.
17 A. You're asking me?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Could you please repeat it. I didn't understand it.
20 Q. My question is: Does this document say that it is an analysis of
21 combat actions between 24 August and 10 October of 1995?
22 A. Yes. That's what it says here on the top.
23 MS. SARTORIO: I'd like to scroll down to 2.2, please, in both
24 the English and B/C/S. Now, 2.2, please, in English. Okay.
25 Q. Now, at the very bottom of the page, sir, well, in the English,
1 there's a time of day mentioned, 0900 hours. Do you see that in your
2 document in section 2.2?
3 A. In 2.2, I can't see 0900 hours anywhere.
4 MS. SARTORIO: Could you go to the next page in B/C/S, please, at
5 the top, please. No, not in English; in B/C/S. Leave the English one
6 where it was, please. Thank you.
7 Q. It's approximately eight lines down from the top the page, sir.
8 Do you see the time 0900 hours?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Now does the document say at 0900 hours: "On 11
11 September 1995, the 3rd Manoeuvre Company ..."
12 MS. SARTORIO: And you need to scroll --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It says: "On the next day,
14 the 11th of September 1995, at 0900 hours, the 3rd Manoeuvre," I guess.
15 MS. SARTORIO:
16 Q. Okay. Can you keep going?
17 MS. SARTORIO: Can you change over the page in English, please,
18 so the Judges can read.
19 Q. Could you finish that sentence, sir: The 3rd Manoeuvre
20 Company ..."
21 A. "... the 3rd Manoeuvre, together with the El Mujahedin
22 Detachment, took the features in the Vis sector and linked up with the
23 forces of the 2nd Manoeuvre Battalion and elements of the 222nd Mountain
24 Brigade. The fighters of the 3/2 Manoeuvre," I guess, "Battalion are in
25 the Vis sector, and they flew the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
1 Q. So this, what you just read - and I don't believe you said Vis -
2 does it say "Djurica Vis"?
3 A. "Vis," and there's is no "Djurica." Well, there is some kind of
4 a mark there, like a line; but it doesn't say "Djurica," it says "Uri."
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Robson.
6 MR. ROBSON: Objection, Your Honour. Prosecution counsel has
7 been asking a number of questions about this document for a while now.
8 The units that the document refers to are the 3rd Manoeuvre Company and
9 also the 2nd Manoeuvre Company. My understanding is that that has got
10 nothing to do with the 328th brigade. The objection is that the
11 Prosecution counsel should be putting questions of relevance to the
12 witness, in order to establish a link between him and the -- a question
13 of relevance between him and this document.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.
15 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I will be going over a number of
16 points with this witness, statements that he has made in his prior
17 statements about the El Mujahedin operating in the area of the
18 328th Brigade. This is a document, at the same time, that shows where
19 the El Mujahedin is operating. All I'm asking him is to tell me whether
20 the document say what is it says, and he has made a map for us to set the
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just hold on, Madam Sartorio.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio, I know I cut you short in the
25 middle of responding to an objection, but the Registry advises us that we
1 have got a bit of a technical problem. That map with villages 1 to 5 is
2 not retrievable up to the fifth village, but we can have it with villages
3 1, 2, 3. Are you likely to want it in the near future, while AV are
4 still busy trying to get the problem sorted out. If you are wanting that
5 exhibit, it is not going to be easy to get it back.
6 MS. SARTORIO: I think for this purpose, the Judges have seen the
7 map and the places that were indicated, so I trust that can you remember.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have real trust in our memory. That's fine.
9 Now can you go back to the objection, please.
10 MS. SARTORIO: Yes. Your Honour, I can ask get to this document
11 later or I can get to it now, but I think that overall it will become
12 clear, from the questions that I'm going to ask him about previous
13 statements that he has made, that there is a connection between his
14 testimony and prior statements and this particular document.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Sartorio. You see, I can understand
16 why Mr. Robson is objecting. You got to first establish a basis before
17 you ask the witness to show you villages in a map, rather than asking for
18 the villages to be shown and then say "I will show that link later." If
19 you put a basis for your questions about the map, in that way you
20 establish the link. You seem to be putting the cart before the horse.
21 MS. SARTORIO: I was trying to save time, Your Honour. I will go
22 back --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see, now you haven't.
24 MS. SARTORIO: I will put this document away, and I will proceed
25 with questions.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. Please establish that link; and then when
2 you show him the document, then at least we know why you are asking
3 [Microphone not activated].
4 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honours.
5 Q. Sir, you have provided a number of statements to the ICTY. Isn't
6 that true?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. And each time you have provided a statement, you have been
9 allowed to read -- statements have been read back to you in your
10 language, and you have signed and approved those documents -- those
11 statements. Isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes. When I gave statements to the investigators, the
13 interpreter who was there interpreted to me what was written down, and I
14 signed it as such. I never read a statement for myself because it was
15 never given to me in Bosnian. It was read out to me by the interpreter
16 from the laptop, and then I would sign the hard copy.
17 Q. Okay. Now, it's true that, in your statements, you have
18 mentioned on several occasions that the El Mujahedin Detachment operated
19 in the area of the 328th Brigade during Operation Farz in September 1995?
20 Do you recall saying that?
21 A. Yes. That Arab unit was in the area. Occasionally, it was
22 within the area of the 328th Brigade, among others. I said, a moment
23 ago, that those people, those Arabs, would come out to the front line.
24 They would do there reconnaissance and all that.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are not being asked about the Arabs, sir. You
1 are being asked about the El Mujahedin Detachment.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When I gave the statement and
3 whenever I mentioned "Arabs," the investigator present would insist that
4 that referred to the El Mujahedin Unit, and not to Arabs in general. We
5 knew, when we saw an Arab, that he belonged to the El Mujahedin Unit. We
6 presumed so, and that's why I said that it was the El Mujahedin Unit.
7 MS. SARTORIO: May the witness be shown P0 --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm getting confused here.
9 You're giving us two positions. You are saying each time you
10 said "Arab," the investigator insisted it was the El Mujahedin
11 Detachment. In the same breath, you say each time you saw an Arab, you
12 assumed it was an El Mujahedin Detachment, and that's why you said El
13 Mujahedin Detachment. Which is which?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct. When the
15 investigator talked to me about the topic, when I said "Arabs," that
16 Arabs were active in the area, he would say, "No, not Arabs; that
17 pertains to the El Mujahedin Unit."
18 As I said, since I knew of no one else, no other Arabs, and that
19 I only knew of the El Mujahedin Unit, I consented to that being
20 introduced into the statement as such.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, sir.
22 MS. SARTORIO: May the witness be shown his statement, P0 6203.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: While we wait for that document to come up on
24 screen, Mr. Witness, I just recall that this information that you have
25 given us actually contradicts the information that you gave us earlier
1 about not being able to identify the Arab that you saw in Kesten.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you what Arabs I saw. They
3 had beards, loose clothes, and such. They had head gear. That's what I
4 said I saw in Kesten, those Arabs.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, maybe the question is really: If you knew
6 that there were a separate unit of Arabs, which was called the
7 El Mujahedin Detachment, were you aware of that fact or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard of the El Mujahid unit.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: And were you aware that this unit was a separate
10 unit and that there were other Arab units?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: I don't know how to ask the question.
13 Are you able to form an opinion about the relation between the
14 El Mujahedin Detachment and the 328th Brigade?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the relation was
16 between the El Mujahedin Detachment and the 328th. I was the assistant
17 commander for security in the battalion, and I had nothing to do with
18 that relation concerning the battalion commander, the brigade commander
19 and the disposition of forces.
20 I had to take care of my unit, concerning the security of the
21 battalion, and I wasn't busying myself with the deployment of units and
22 who was where at what time. We, the assistant commanders, did not attend
23 commanders' meetings where they discussed things and made schedules and
24 so on and so forth, and those things were not conveyed to the assistants.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. But when you actually met the Arabs in
1 Kesten and they took away the prisoners of war from you, you must have
2 asked yourself who these gentlemen were?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But who was I to ask? They
4 were only shouting at us, holding us at gunpoint. I don't know what one
5 can do at such a moment, when you are being threatened with a fire-arm.
6 And if you're there with three or four soldiers of yourself, what can you
7 do? They had no insignia, and you have no power to oppose them. What
8 else can you do?
9 There's no possibility for you to ask questions. They don't want
10 to talk to you. They kept insisting, "Leave the room, leave the room,"
11 and that's it.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, I understand that. Did you subsequently try
13 to find out who they were?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I had no means to establish
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, I suppose you could have asked your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander was notified;
19 however, I don't think the commander knew who they were either.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Thank you.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I just would like to remind you
22 what the witness said during examination-in-chief, because apart from the
23 statement, the most important thing is what the witness said this
25 A question was asked on page 21, line 22, and here is the
1 question: "Do you know what unit these Arabs belonged to, if they
2 belonged to a unit at all? "
3 The witness answered: "I want to stress that until then no one
4 had named the Mujahedin." So the answer provided by the witness was very
5 neutral in this respect.
6 The witness said this: "No. I didn't know the unit they
7 belonged to in our area. We knew there was the Mujahedin Unit."
8 I'm translating from the English into French, and I'm sorry for
9 this: "This was a rumour," that's how I understand the English, "and we
10 did not know of any other unit that would have been in the area.
11 Therefore, we thought that they were members of that unit, because we did
12 not know if they were members of another unit."
13 Therefore, during the examination-in-chief, independently, the
14 witness of his own accord mentioned the El Mujahedin Unit, and I think
15 that this is a reason or it justifies this link with the
17 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you.
18 Q. Now, sir, do you recall -- strike that.
19 The El Mujahedin Detachment had a camp at the 13th Kilometre,
20 didn't they?
21 A. We heard of the existence of a camp. The rumour had it in the
22 unit that there was a camp at the 13th Kilometre.
23 Q. But you told an investigator during an interview, September of
24 2006, at paragraph 51, you were very sure about who these people were who
25 captured -- who took these POWs. You said: "The El Mujahedin came.
1 They consisted of foreigners. They are the same units I spoke about
2 previously in Livada Kamenica, at the 13th Kilometre where they had a
4 You seemed very sure at the time you made the statement, that
5 that's who took the prisoners?
6 MS. SARTORIO: If you may go to paragraph 51, please.
7 Q. So my question to you, sir, that is the unit that took the
8 prisoners, is it not?
9 A. As I said at the beginning, whenever I would say that these were
10 Arabs, they insisted on that being the El Mujahid Unit. I didn't know
11 whether there was any other Arab unit there, and I consented to that
12 being the El Mujahed Unit. We heard of a camp at the 13th Kilometre
13 towards Kamenica.
14 Since we did not hear of any other place of -- of any other place
15 that the captured or were taken, the presumption was that they took them
16 to that camp; that is to say, if those people took away those prisoners,
17 that they took them to the 13th Kilometre.
18 Q. Well, it doesn't say anything here about where they took them.
19 If you look at the statement, sir, did the -- did the investigator also
20 tell you to say that the unit consisted of foreigners and that it was the
21 same unit that you had spoken about previously in the Livade Kamenica at
22 the 13th Kilometre? Did the investigator tell you to say that as well?
23 A. The unit was comprised of foreigners. We know there were Arabs.
24 I explained to you what sort of people they were; however, they were
25 slightly better kept, slightly better uniforms from what we could see
1 when they would pass by in trucks. I was never with that unit, such as
2 the one discussed here, the one called El Mujahedin. I never talked to
3 them. I never attended a meeting with them and all that, so that I could
4 tell you anything more about those people.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
6 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, an issue of translation. I'm told that
7 when the witness initially answered the question, he gave an immediate
8 response to the question, which has not been captured and then went on to
9 say the words which are on the transcript. So I think that should be
10 clarified, his immediate response to the question.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, how did you start your answer to the question
12 that was put to you? Can you repeat what you said earlier?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It had to do with the statement.
14 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, I certainly don't want to suggest an
15 answer to the witness.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please don't.
17 MR. ROBSON: If we could just simply put the last part of the
18 question: Did the investigator put that to you as well? Then if we
19 could capture his answer.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does the witness remember what is the what. Let's
21 read the question to you. It was said to you: "Well, it doesn't say
22 anything here about where they took them. If you look at the statement,
23 sir, did the investigator also tell you to say that the unit consisted of
24 foreigners and that it was same unit that you had spoken about previously
25 in Livada Kamenica, at the 13th kilometre? Did the investigator tell you
1 to say that as well?"
2 Can you answer that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was talking about the
4 existence of ...
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well you have answered, and you said: "No." You
6 were "talking about the existence of..."
7 Can you finish that sentence, before I go to Madam Vidovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I talked about this incident,
9 I talked about Arabs. I repeat, upon the assistance of investigators,
10 they asked me whether this concerned the El Mujahed Unit. I had no
11 knowledge of any other units. I said, "possibly," since there were Arabs
12 in that unit. Therefore, I believe that all the Arabs within the area of
13 responsibility of the 328th belonged to the El Mujahed Unit. That is why
14 I confirmed that.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you.
17 I just wanted to ask you to allow the witness to complete his
18 answer, but you have already done that. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 Madam Sartorio.
21 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you. Well, leaving paragraph 51 for a
22 moment, could we show the witness paragraph 26 of the statement.
23 Q. Now, sir, in paragraph 26 you state: "They never participated in
24 meetings at my level. The El Mujahedin Unit was a conquering, offensive
1 Those were your words?
2 A. Yes. I never attended any meetings at that level. Since I was
3 the assistant commander for security, I did not attend those.
4 However, we did hear that they were an offensive unit and that
5 they participated in combat.
6 Q. Okay. So going back to paragraph 51, again you referred to the
7 unit called El Mujahed. So it is the same unit as you're talking about
8 in 26, correct?
9 A. We are talking about the same unit. We keep referring to Arabs,
10 and you keep insisting on that being the El Mujahed Unit. As I have
11 said, when the investigators insisted, when I would say Arabs, I would
12 sent six to seven hours working with them. They kept trying to convince
13 me it was thank it was the El Mujahed Unit and not Arabs, and that all
14 Arabs there belonged to that unit.
15 Even today, I don't know whether all the Arabs there were in the
16 area of the 328th coming there, whether they were all members of the
17 El Mujahed Unit. These were Arabs for me and those other people I saw at
18 the lines. I have no information of, say, Arabs participating here or as
19 stated the unit. It's called the El Mujahedin Unit. I didn't deploy
20 those units. I merely convey what happened I had told.
21 Q. Thank you, sir. One more question with regard to this statement,
22 and it is in paragraph 56, if you would just take a moment to look at it.
23 In this paragraph, sir, you are telling the investigator that --
24 you're referring to a document and that is the document referring to the
25 POWs that were captured, and you said: "There's a description of 61
1 prisoners handed over to the El Mujahed Detachment."
2 That is what is in your statement, correct?
3 A. This is what it is said in the statement, but I don't know how it
4 was translated. I never said that we handed over anyone. Whenever I
5 talked to the investigator, I kept stating the truth, which is that they
6 were being taken forcefully. As for how it was translated, it is a
7 different matter.
8 When Her Honour the Judge was reading the transcript before, I
9 could see that my words did not -- were not reflected in the
10 interpretation. It wasn't what I had said and there were differences in
12 Q. Well, sir, do you remember in October of 2007 some members of the
13 Office of the Prosecutor, as well as the Registry, came down to Sarajevo
14 to meet with you?
15 A. There was -- it was the date when Vanja was there and another
16 lady, when I was signing the statements.
17 Q. Right. And during that time-period, that took about a whole day,
18 didn't it?
19 A. Yes. I stayed there for a long time reading the statements and
20 making corrections.
21 Q. And you --
22 A. -- concerning translation and so on.
23 Q. And you read your statements in the Bosnian language, didn't you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you made whatever corrections you thought were necessary at
1 that time.
2 A. More or less, all.
3 Q. And I will be getting to that document eventually.
4 But, now, at the end of your review, did you meet with a person
5 from the Registry who then asked you a series of questions?
6 A. When I came here in November, when I attended your proofing, I
7 believe you talked to me here in The Hague, and not in Sarajevo.
8 Q. Right. I spoke with you in The Hague. But there were other
9 people who spoke with you in Sarajevo, where we're talking about the time
10 that you read all of your statements and made changes to the statements.
11 Then you signed those statements on that day, didn't you?
12 A. Vanja was there then, and another lady.
13 Q. And you signed your statements in the Bosnian language on that
14 day, didn't you?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. And you certified that everything in those statements was true
17 and correct before you signed, didn't you?
18 A. More or less, so.
19 Q. And you were asked by the person in the registry a series of
20 questions outside of the hearing of the Prosecutor, weren't you?
21 A. I don't recall on that occasion, because I read that and I made
22 some changes, and that was retyped. Then this lady came, and I signed it
23 in her presence. I remember doing that. Now as to whether somebody
24 talked to me at that time, no.
25 Q. Did that lady ever ask you whether had you been coerced to give
1 the statement or whether you had given the statement under duress?
2 A. No. Out of respect for this Tribunal, every time I was summoned
3 to come to Sarajevo, I responded and I cooperated with your
4 investigators. They asked me questions, and I tried and all that.
5 Simply, in a statement, I think the second time when I was there, I don't
6 know whether the investigator's name was Johann or something else, that
7 man really exerted as lot of pressure on me to say this or say that.
8 He said, "Well, it is nothing. This thing that I'm doing to you,
9 it is nothing compared to what will happen to you when you come to court
10 to testify. You simply have to get used to that."
11 Q. Now, but do you recall being asked by that lady whether you were
12 giving your statements freely?
13 A. Yes. Because since I was there on my own, nobody forced me to
14 come. I wanted to cooperate with this Tribunal. That means that I came
15 and I gave my statement. I gave it freely. Nobody forced me to give the
17 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I would ask that the statement be
18 admitted in evidence.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
20 MR. ROBSON: I object, Your Honour. But I think, at the minimum,
21 the Prosecution should submit arguments as to why it should be -- why
22 they're seeking it to be admitted, and then I will respond there due
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sartorio.
25 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, for the sake of presenting all of the
1 facts to Your Honours, and in order to ferret out what is the truth and
2 what is not the truth, I think it is important that the statements be
3 admitted in evidence; then Your Honours will judge the credibility and
4 reliability of the witness, based on his testimony and also based on his
5 prior statements. I think that it is important to seek the truth here,
6 and to have all of the facts before the Court.
7 This witness did sign a 92 bis statement; therefore, it would
8 have been admitted under that, without any objection, and it is important
9 to have all of the facts before the Court.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
11 MR. ROBSON: First of all, Your Honour, the Prosecution asks that
12 this statement be admitted into evidence. There are, in fact, four
13 statements, and we have seen a number of them today. I'm not sure which
14 statement the Prosecution is inviting to be admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The statement on the screen.
16 MR. ROBSON: Well, that wasn't said, Your Honour, but I will
17 accept --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: What statement do we have? You know of four. We
19 don't know of four. We know of this statement on the screen.
20 MR. ROBSON: If the Prosecution is seeking to tender the
21 statement for admission in order that you can examine it and have -- to
22 consider whether to attach to any weight to the substance of the
23 document, I don't think there is any need for that, Your Honour.
24 The Prosecution has read out the relevant parts to the witness in
25 full today, and he has been given the opportunity to comment and he has
1 commented on it. So by adding this statement into evidence, that would
2 not add anything. The principle before this Tribunal is on oral
3 testimony. We've heard the witness's explanations in respect of the
4 various questions pertaining to this statement, and, therefore, there is
5 absolutely no need to admit this statement into evidence, Your Honour.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the statement will become Exhibit
10 number 1354.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MS. SARTORIO: Now I would like to move to another statement that
13 you gave to the Tribunal, sir, and this is --
14 My colleague is on his feet.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Robson.
16 MR. ROBSON: Yes Your Honour. Just so that we deal with this
17 completely, it is important to know that the witness --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you still talking about that statement?
19 MR. ROBSON: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: We've ruled, Mr. Robson.
21 MR. ROBSON: I'll deal with it in due course, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine.
23 Yes, Madam Sartorio.
24 MS. SARTORIO: May I have a moment, Your Honour.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MS. SARTORIO: May the witness be shown P0 6206.
2 Q. And, sir, this is -- this is the statement we were speaking about
3 a moment ago, where you met with someone from the Office of the
4 Prosecutor, as well as from the Registry, and you were able to make
5 changes or comments with regard to your other statements. Isn't what
6 this document is?
7 A. Well, most probably, yes. Since this is the 19th of October,
8 that should be the statement; and then the signing, that's when I made
9 some changes and so on.
10 MS. SARTORIO: Now, I'd like to draw the witness's attention to
11 paragraph 11.
12 Q. Now, sir, in paragraph 11, you refer back to paragraph 51, and
13 I'm going to ask you if that was the same paragraph 51 that we just
14 looked at a moment ago from your prior statement?
15 A. I think that it does because you can see that every time Arabs
16 are mentioned. It is always said that it is the El Mujahid and the
17 El Mujahed is mentioned, and there were Arabs in El Mujahed, for
18 instance. So I really don't know whether the El Mujahed Unit was there.
19 I mentioned the El Mujahedin Unit, and I said here where ever the
20 El Mujahed is mentioned, Arabs should be mentioned, not the El Mujahed,
21 because I wasn't sure whether there was the El Mujahed unit.
22 I insisted all the time that it should say "Arabs," and that all
23 records should reflect this and should state "Arabs." Now, why this was
24 not done, I don't know, that's not for me to say.
25 Q. Do you also say in this paragraph that: "I think the Arabs were
1 in the El Mujahed unit, since this was the only unit in our zone of
2 responsibility that had Arabs."
3 Is that contained in that paragraph?
4 A. Well, I don't see that written here anywhere. Paragraph 51, I
5 want it to be stated that the soldiers who had come to the hall in Kesten
6 were Arabs. To my knowledge, I believe that Arabs were in the El Mujahed
7 Unit. Why did I say that, that the Arabs were in that unit? Because
8 those were not -- it was not the soldiers of the BH army that were in the
9 El Mujahed Unit. I had no knowledge of our soldiers being part of the
10 El Mujahed Unit, at least not in our area. I don't know about any other
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours, I think this would be a good place
14 to stop, because Mr. Mundis needs a few minutes with the Court.
15 Before that, I would also like to ask that that document be
16 admitted in evidence, this statement.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you not through with your cross-examination.
18 MS. SARTORIO: No.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. P0 6206 is admitted into evidence. May it
20 please be given an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will become Exhibit number 1355.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 With the assistance of the usher, I would just very quickly like
1 to hand out a document. I provided copies to the Defence and the legal
2 officer this morning.
3 For reasons that with completely unknown to me, I received a fax
4 on the 1st of April from the Italian Ministry of Justice concerning the
5 Trial Chamber's decision of 27 March. We have had an Italian colleague
6 in OTP do a quick translation of this document. Of course, Judge
7 Lattanzi won't require that. I'm not go into the contents of it, Your
9 I simply want to draw to Trial Chamber's attention and the
10 attention of the Defence that clearly, as reflected in this document,
11 action has been taken with respect to the Trial Chamber's decision. I
12 have no idea whatsoever why they copied me on this letter and faxed me a
13 copy of this letter. But I did think, since it pertained to the Trial
14 Chamber's decision and the forwarding of that decision to the relevant
15 prosecutorial office in Milan, that I would simply make this document
16 available to the Defence and to the Trial Chamber.
17 Again, I have no reason to know why they would have copied me on
18 this letter, but I just wanted to distribute this letter to all the
19 parties, and that's really all I wanted to draw to the Chamber's
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much Mr. Mundis.
22 Mr. Mundis, we see that you are -- do you know who Dr. Elio
23 Ramondini is?
24 MR. MUNDIS: I believe, based on the translation, that he is with
25 the Office of the Prosecutor of the Tribunal of Milan.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon.
2 MR. MUNDIS: The order went to the Italian authorities, and
3 basically my understanding of this is that the Italian authorities at the
4 state level are transferring the Trial Chamber's decision to the
5 authorities in Milan, who would be the ones who would actually be in a
6 position to comply with the Trial Chamber's decision.
7 Again, I have -- to be completely transparent and honest, I have
8 no idea why I was copied on this. I have no idea why the fax came to my
9 office. I am simply, at this point, serving as a conduit to get this
10 letter into the hands of the Defence and the Trial Chamber. It simply
11 appeared on my desk yesterday morning, coming off the fax machine on the
12 evening of the 1st of April. That's as far as I can take this.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
14 Yes, Mr. Robson.
15 MR. ROBSON: Your Honour, if I could just respond briefly on
16 this. There the Defence takes the view that this is rather
17 disappointing, this response.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Absolutely.
19 MR. ROBSON: It shows that it is on the 1st of April, some two
20 days ago. It looks as though somebody in Italy actually got around to
21 looking at the Trial Chamber's order and simply faxed it off to the
22 parties. So, it's not encouraging. We would invite the Trial Chamber to
23 take whatever measures, stringent measures, to deal with this. We will
24 be approaching the end of the Defence case in the not to distance future.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Robson. Any other thing to be
1 raised? I guess this would then be the opportune moment to take the
3 Court adjourned, to 9.00 tomorrow morning, same courtroom.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 4th day of April,
6 2008, at 9.00 a.m.