1 Monday, 20 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-29-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Stanislav Galic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 My laptop is not working, and the same is true for my colleagues,
10 as far as I can see.
11 I think we discussed last Friday there was some need for further
12 communication between the parties. Has this -- has that caused any
13 question to be discussed at this very moment?
14 MR. IERACE: Yes, Mr. President. We have not heard from the
15 Defence. And I think there was a deadline of this morning on the
16 communication on the subject of whether the accused would give evidence.
17 But there are also some matters that I seek to raise in private
18 session that I think should take about five minutes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, I think we should turn in to --
20 perhaps -- I don't know whether the Defence wants to answer to that first
21 question of the Prosecution in open session or would it prefer to --
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. Thank
23 you. And good day, first of all. But I think it would be better to do
24 that in a hearing which is either a private hearing or a closed hearing.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think private would do for the moment. Mainly, our
1 words not to be heard by the outside world.
2 Could we turn in to private session.
3 [Private session]
12 Pages 17841 to 17848 – redacted – private session
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, would you please escort the witness into
25 the courtroom.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. DP34. You still can hear me in a
3 language you understand?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. I can hear
5 you very clearly.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated.
7 May I remind you that you are still bound by the solemn
8 declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And please proceed, Ms. Pilipovic.
11 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: WITNESS DP34 [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examined by Ms. Pilipovic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. DP34, good day.
16 A. Good day.
17 Q. We stopped before the weekend with your examination. You were
18 speaking about the fact that at the meeting that you attended in the corps
19 command you said that you would report to your superiors there and analyse
20 the preceding period. Do you remember that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. DP34, can you tell us whether truce of that had been signed
23 were discussed at those meetings, and can you tell us what you know about
25 A. Yes. This issue was discussed and they insisted on the fact that
1 such truces should be respected.
2 Q. Can you tell us as the brigade commander whether in your brigade's
3 zone of responsibility the truce was respected?
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. Were you -- did you ever receive reports according to which the
6 truce was violated? Did the enemy side violate a truce or did members of
7 your brigade violate a truce? Did you receive any such reports?
8 A. Written reports, no.
9 Q. Did you receive any reports from your subordinates according to
10 which the enemy side had violated the truce?
11 A. Not in written form; although, they spoke about these minor
12 incidents, so to say. But there weren't any violations of the truce in my
14 Q. When you say "verbal reports," can you be a little more precise
15 and tell us how they reported to you, or rather, what the contents of such
16 verbal reports were when your subordinates reported to you that there were
17 certain skirmishes.
18 A. You're asking me about subordinates?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. There were regular daily reports if fire was opened, infantry
21 fire, for example, or if a shell fell somewhere, then this was recorded.
22 But when the truces were signed, then during that period there weren't
23 large-scale attacks but there were reports on a daily basis from
24 subordinates, and if fire was opened at a certain part of the line, then
25 this would be reported.
1 Q. If I understand you correctly, on the basis of reports according
2 to which fire had been opened, you were able to draw up reports on
3 cease-fire violations.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On the basis of such reports provided to you, that is, the
6 information provided to you by your subordinates, did you send any
7 subsequent information to your command?
8 A. Yes, there were daily reports to the duty officer of the
9 operations department of the command, and we informed them in detail what
10 had happened the previous day, including any cease-fire violations. They
11 were also reported.
12 Q. On behalf of the command of your brigade, did you send such
13 reports to the corps command as well?
14 A. As I have just said, yes, they were sent to the superior command,
15 which was the corps command. Such reports were sent on a daily basis to
16 the duty operations officer. Usually codes would be used and appropriate
17 systems of communication.
18 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this point the
19 Defence would like to show a document to Mr. DP34.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
21 Could the usher assist.
22 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. DP34, before you have a look at this document, can you please
24 tell us around the 8th of August, 1993 did your brigade form part of the
25 Vogosca Tactical Group?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. DP34, do you recognise the document that has just
3 been put in front of you?
4 A. Just a second, please.
5 Q. In the left corner do we read the words "SRK command"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And is the date the 8th of August, 1993?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it a regular combat report sent out at 17.00 hours?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was it sent to the main staff of the Republika Srpska army?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please read out item 1.
14 A. Item 1: "The enemy is still not respecting the signed
16 Q. Can you confirm for us that the reports on cease-fire violations
17 in your area of responsibility did reach the corps command and that this
18 was written on the basis of reports that had been sent out by specific
19 brigades, that is, from their relevant areas of responsibility?
20 A. Yes, I can confirm that. Specifically, this does not concern my
21 brigade, but it is a regular report, the kind that was usually sent and
22 then forwarded to the main command, to the main staff.
23 Q. Would you please slow down, DP34, please, and read item 3 for us.
24 A. Item 3: "The situation on the area of responsibility of the corps
25 does not present any significant changes compared to the previous day.
1 The Igman operations and the operations concerning the tactical group of
2 Vogosca are being conducted according to the plan. As far as the area of
3 responsibility of the SRK, flights of NATO aircraft have been sighted."
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. DP34. Having read item 3, can you tell us that
5 this would normally also concern the situation as it was in the territory
6 of the area of responsibility of your brigade?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Witness 34, during the relevant period of time, that is, September
9 1992 to August 1994, in your brigade's area of responsibility, were there
10 any problems concerning water and power supplies?
11 A. Yes. You said in 1992, if I'm not mistaken.
12 Q. 1992, 1993, up until August 1994.
13 A. Yes. Yes, I understand.
14 Q. Were there any problems with water and electricity?
15 JUDGE ORIE: You're going far too quick. And I noticed that -- I
16 take it due to the speed, that part of what has been read, I take it, by
17 the witness has not been translated because it reads now that -- and I'm
18 referring to page 16, line 3. It says, "Are being conducted according to
19 the plan," whereas I read in the English translation - and it seems to me
20 that it corresponds with the English language - that mention is made of
21 "the plan Lukavac 93," and where it even says in the English translation
22 but I can't check that, whether it's correct, that the plan Lukavac 93
23 which is delivered in special report.
24 Is that what it says, Mr. 34?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a second. Item 3. Just a
1 moment. "The situation in the area of responsibility of the corps, no
2 significant changes compared to the previous day. The operations of our
3 units at Igman and TG Vogosca are being conducted according to the Lukavac
4 93 plan, which is submitted in a special report."
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now the interpretation is complete.
6 Please proceed, Ms. Pilipovic.
7 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just a small
8 remark simply in order to -- no, nothing. Nothing. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's a very small remark, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 Please proceed.
11 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. DP34, I asked you whether in the area of responsibility of
13 your brigade there were problems concerning water and electricity
15 A. In particular in 1993 there was a long period of time during
16 which -- I think for about seven or eight months that we didn't have any
17 electricity. Electricity lines were improvised at one point in time and
18 the problem was for a certain extent alleviated. The water problem was
19 not that serious because there were sources located in the relevant area.
20 Q. Mr. DP34, did you personally know what the reasons for power
21 shortages were in your area of responsibility?
22 A. No. There were shortages on a greater area as well. There was no
23 electricity in the overall area. I guess the power supply lines were cut
25 Q. When you say that power supply lines were cut off, do you know how
1 it happened, how it had come about?
2 A. We had a unique system of distribution of electric energy, parts
3 of which were towns such as Kakanj, Visegrad, and so on and so forth,
4 and the lines were I guess interrupted, and at one point in time, in
5 particular those around Zvornik, which is not located far from our area.
6 Q. Thank you, Witness DP34.
7 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my colleague will
8 take over.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] With your permission, Your
12 Examined by Mr. Piletta-Zanin:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, good afternoon. I should like to
14 focus on the issue of weapons. Could you tell us if you ever had an
15 opportunity to see for yourself weapons which were not of a fixed nature.
16 And if yes, what -- which weapons they were. I am referring, sir, in
17 particular to the area of Sarajevo which remained under the BH army
19 A. Yes, I understand your question quite clearly. There were
20 so-called mobile mortars which could be fixed atop of vehicles.
21 Q. As far as the subject is concerned, can you give us some more
22 information. What types of vehicles in particular were you personally
23 able to observe?
24 A. On the basis of intelligence information that we disposed of, they
25 were deployed all over the town. They included various types of vehicles,
1 such as a pick-up, a Volkswagen vehicle which was slightly modified but
2 resembled a Golf, for instance; the only difference being a larger trunk.
3 And also 2-tonne trucks, TAM trucks.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 For the record, were you speaking about PAM trucks or TAM trucks?
6 A. PAM is a completely different thing. It's a -- it's a weapon.
7 TAM is a motor vehicle, 2, 2 and a half tonne motor vehicle, and PAM is an
8 anti-aircraft machine-gun.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, do you know at which specific
10 locations was it possible for you or your troops to observe these types of
11 vehicles? I'm still referring to the same part of the town.
12 A. The area of Betanija, Sip, south of Betanija, actually, and
13 the area of Kosevo, and also the neighbourhood that stretches all the way
14 to Panjina Kula, although we had information to the effect that they were
15 moving around the town, but this was something that we could not
16 specifically observe. We saw mortars all around that area. They would
17 appear very briefly, open fire, and then take shelter behind buildings.
18 Sometimes they wouldn't -- they wouldn't open fire at all but we were able
19 to see them move around.
20 Q. You just told us that they would take shelter behind buildings.
21 What type of buildings do you have in mind?
22 A. Well, they took various kinds of shelter: Buildings, or hills, or
23 different trees or some other type of shelter, including, of course,
25 Q. A moment ago you mentioned Kosevo. Were you referring to the
1 actual hill or something else? I don't know, a particular building that
2 would have been referred to as Kosevo.
3 A. No. The vehicles moved around the streets often, that is,
4 wherever it was possible for them to move, because there were roads in the
5 area, of course, so they would move along the road, the street, or a
6 larger parking lot, wherever it was possible for them to move.
7 Q. Thank you. In this area, the area of Kosevo that you've just
8 described, are you aware of the existence of any cemetery? And if yes,
9 which one?
10 A. When I said "Kosevo," I was referring to the larger area of
11 Kosevo. There is Kosevo I and Kosevo II. There is a residential area of
12 Kosevo, but that one is also located in the centre. There were
13 cemeteries. There was a cemetery called Kosevo that existed before the
14 war; I think that its name was Kosevo. It existed before the war, but
15 it was no longer active because a new cemetery had been opened in the
16 meantime in the area of Bare.
17 Q. Thank you very much. I have just one additional question that I
18 wanted to ask you. And your answer was not recorded in the transcript.
19 I'm interested in the mono-religious or multi-religious character of the
20 cemetery. Were there cemeteries that organised various types of services,
21 various types of religious services that would have been conducted at the
22 same location, at the same cemetery?
23 A. There were several cemeteries in this area, which was relatively
24 small, and several religious communities were buried there. There was a
25 Catholic cemetery, an Orthodox one not far from the centre of the town,
1 then there was this so-called Lav cemetery, which was a Partizan or an
2 atheist cemetery. There was a Muslim cemetery as well. In any case,
3 there were several cemeteries in the same area.
4 Q. I should like to focus to the police force now, Witness DP34.
5 What can you tell us about their involvement in fighting? I am speaking
6 of the enemy forces, of course. So in light of your experience, what can
7 you tell us about the engagement of the police?
8 A. As far as the police is concerned, there were so-called manoeuvre
9 police units before the war which were essentially military in character
10 and were intended to perform tasks which are normally performed by the
11 military. So there were such police units which were normally used
12 together with the military, with the same types of assignments, the same
13 types of tasks. I cannot talk specifically about these tasks because I am
14 not familiar with that, but I know that both police and military units
15 would participate in attacks.
16 Q. Thank you. Would they wear uniforms? And if yes, what kind and
17 what was the colour of their uniform?
18 A. Again it all depends on various periods of the war. I am -- it
19 applies to our side as well. They wore blue and camouflage uniforms.
20 There were also standard police uniforms that were worn by the former
21 Yugoslav or BH police before the war, but then after a while probably they
22 obtained some different uniforms, including camouflage uniforms, which I
23 guess were of better quality. But at any rate, there was a difference
24 between police and military uniforms, but the main colour was always
25 blue. As far as our units -- police units are concerned, and their units
1 as well.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now move on to enemy attacks. To the
3 effect that a particular attack is important, can you tell us, did they
4 take place more during the night or during the day or equally? I am, of
5 course, speaking of the enemy forces.
6 A. There was a difference, not only in terms of night and day but
7 also in terms of length of time. They were the fiercest at the beginning
8 of the war and during the night. It is well known that the other side had
9 sabotage and manoeuvre units. I don't think that they were particularly
10 well trained, but they were certainly able to conduct attacks during the
11 night. At the beginning, those attacks took place every day, but later on
12 their intensity decreased. So as far as the period -- the relevant period
13 of time is concerned, I think the attacks had already decreased in their
14 intensity. The fiercest one having been perpetrated at the beginning of
15 the war and during the night, which caused us significant problems. We
16 were even obliged to engage dogs.
17 Q. Let me interrupt you. You told us that it caused you significant
18 problems. You will tell us what kind of problems, but tell us, please,
19 first of all, as far as these night attacks are concerned, what were the
20 measures that your brigade, your army or your corps, had to take in order
21 to prevent -- of course these attacks or to prevent them in resulting in a
23 A. Well, we involved everyone, everyone we could get hold of, even
24 young boys, women, and dogs because dogs can sense the approach of troops.
25 It happened mostly during the night, but most of them again were
1 perpetrated right before dawn, at 4 or 5.00 a.m. So of course we didn't
2 want to be surprised. That is, of course, the most efficient defence. If
3 you're able to uncover an approaching attack on time, then that's the most
4 efficient defence that you can have.
5 Q. After this initial phase, once the attack takes place anyway, what
6 were the steps that you were able to take, in particular during the night,
7 in order to fend off the attack?
8 A. We would open barrage fire. Mines were also laid sometimes. We
9 had very efficient explosive devices which were laid in front of the
10 trenches and which could be activated manually with the use of batteries.
11 Hand-held rocket launchers, the so-called tromblons were very efficient,
12 and so on and so forth.
13 Q. Speaking of barrage fire and what has been translated to me as
14 "hand-held rocket launchers," as far as the French transcript is
15 concerned, what can you tell us about the use of these means and this type
16 of equipment during the night? Specifically, can you tell something about
17 the use of mortars?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, could you please check whether on
19 line -- page 23, line 14 and following where you say, "What has been
20 translated to me as "hand-held rocket launchers," I think --
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. That's
22 why I mentioned the French transcript. I was listening to the French
23 interpretation, not -- I was not paying attention to the B/C/S words of
24 the witness. I think that the translation was hand-held rocket launcher
25 and not the rifle launcher. But perhaps I can rephrase the question and
1 put it once again in order to avoid confusion.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] With your permission, please.
4 Q. When you said, "And so on and so forth," Witness DP34, we perhaps
5 had a problem in interpretation. Could you briefly give us a list of
6 weapons other than small arms, such as guns and rifles. What other types
7 of weapons did you have as far as shelling is concerned?
8 A. Let me first respond to His Honour the Presiding Judge, because I
9 think that's exactly what I said. I was not referring to mortars. I was
10 referring to rifle launchers, hand-held launchers, which is a standard
11 type of weapon that the former JNA had. It was somewhat dated, but it
12 proved to be very efficient, and it is fired by holding this rifle
13 launcher on the shoulder, and its range is 400 or 500 metres. It is
14 designed to bring about destruction of fortifications and vehicles. But
15 it proved to be excellent in its use against infantry forces, also because
16 it had a major psychological impact. So that was the kind of weapon that
17 I was referring to.
18 Q. Thank you, Witness DP34. But were there also mortars in your
19 unit? I think you mentioned something to that effect, but I would like to
20 hear it once again clearly, yes or no.
21 A. Yes, although not at the beginning. Depending on the period of
22 time that you have in mind.
23 Q. These weapons at the beginning of the war and then later, after
24 September 1992 and the subsequent months, were these particular weapons
25 used and when would they be used during these attacks?
1 A. In September we did have mortars. We had 60-millimetre,
2 80-millimetre mortars, and we had one 120-millimetre mortar. But at the
3 beginning we didn't have any ammunition for it, but we did for the other
5 Q. Thank you. When one uses these weapons, what is the possible
6 margin of error? I'm referring to the mortars. What could you tell us
7 about this, please?
8 A. Well, the margin of error, you are referring to the target?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Well, this is always possible. Errors are always possible,
11 depending on how well trained the crew is, and it also depends on how
12 properly the weapon functions. It depends on the quality of the mortar
13 shell and it depends on the weather, on whether it was windy, et cetera,
14 because the shell could be carried to the left or to the right. There are
15 quite a few factors that could cause errors.
16 Q. What could you tell us with regard to the margin of error itself?
17 Not the possibility of errors but the margin of error. I'm asking for a
18 general response.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Objection. Lack of foundation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'll rephrase
22 that by asking the witness what he knows about this.
23 Q. Witness, as a member of the military, did you know anything about
24 this type of problem that could arise when mortar shells are fired; yes or
1 A. I do know that such errors can occur, but there were no particular
2 problems. For that very reason we didn't use mortars that much because we
3 trusted weapons that could be used for direct fire. They proved to be the
4 most efficient type of weapons.
5 Q. Thank you very much. With regard to this matter, and in relation
6 to the part of the town that was in front of your units, what can you tell
7 us about targets, in inverted commas, such as mosques or other buildings
8 of a symbolic nature?
9 A. There are quite a few such buildings in the town of Sarajevo, not
10 only religious buildings but also cultural buildings which UNESCO --
11 protected by UNESCO, hospitals and so on. They were mostly concentrated
12 in the densely inhabited part of the town in the centre of the town
13 and we didn't open fire on these buildings. It was not necessary.
14 Q. Thank you very much. I'll put the question differently, and could
15 you please focus on it. In technical terms, the buildings that you
16 mentioned, the cultural, religious, or symbolic buildings, were any of
17 these buildings or some of them within the range of your weapons? And I'm
18 not saying you fired on these buildings, but were they in range?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Witness, I would now like to go back to certain
21 technical issues which concern mortars. You spoke about barrages of
22 fire. I asked you about the possible margin of error. When you fired
23 barrages, was this from your lines or from the rear of your lines? What
24 was the position from which fire was opened if you were attacked?
25 A. If we were attacked, fire would be opened from the front lines
1 primarily, and then some fire would be opened from behind the lines.
2 Light machine-guns would be used, machine-guns. That would be fire coming
3 from the rear, and it would go over our trenches.
4 Q. Thank you. Witness, when such fire was opened, was it also
5 possible for errors to be made, technically speaking?
6 A. Well, yes, there was the danger of opening fire on our positions.
7 That was a possibility. Such things happen, and it's dangerous because
8 weapons are used from positions which are just in front of the first
9 lines. That's the danger. But at the first line no errors are possible.
10 That's up to 500 metres.
11 Q. Thank you, Witness. I'm interested now in General Galic himself.
12 I think that you had the opportunity of meeting him on several occasions
13 in the course of the war. Could you tell us approximately how many times
14 you met him.
15 A. Well, I can't give you a precise number, but I would see him about
16 once or twice a month. But I really don't know the exact number. But to
17 be more precise, that was while I was commander of --
18 Q. Thank you, Witness. The approximate figure is quite all right.
19 Thank you.
20 At these meetings that you had with General Galic, you certainly
21 gained the image of -- or the impression of -- a certain impression of
22 your commander. I am interested in this impression, and I would like you
23 to tell us what impression General Galic left on you. Was he of a liberal
24 nature? Was he hard-core, et cetera?
25 A. Well, I have to apologise. It's not really customary for a
1 subordinate to assess a commander, but we all knew that he was highly
2 educated, that he had finished all schools that could be finished in the
3 former Yugoslavia in the army, and that he performed his duties with
4 competence. I think he was someone who could be characterised as
6 Q. Thank you, Witness. With regard to this matter, could you tell us
7 whether you have ever heard a plan of some kind being discussed, the
8 objective of which was to destroy the town or the non-Serb population
9 living in the town.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you. And I did say "at any possible level" -- "from any
12 level," not just from General Galic, but in your immediate surroundings
13 too. Is this how we are to understand your testimony?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Thank you. Witness, I would like to ask you certain questions
16 about the sites where humanitarian aid was distributed. Do you know
17 anything about the existence of such sites; yes or no?
18 A. You mean the zone in front of me? Yes, we did know that
19 humanitarian aid was being distributed, but we weren't aware of the
20 precise locations, no.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you on occasion see queues, people waiting for
22 something, I don't know what, perhaps for bread or water, et cetera?
23 A. No. No. That was in the centre.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Thank you. I would now like you to go back
25 to the number of soldiers in your brigade. Could you remind us of the
1 approximate number and the average, because I assume that this figure
3 A. Well, in the course of the entire war, about 1011 soldiers passed
4 through the brigade, but they were usually between 7 and 8 hundred of
5 them. That would be the highest number.
6 Q. Thank you. Witness, as someone who was in command -- or for
7 someone in command, given the number of men under your orders, either
8 directly or indirectly, was it possible for them to be entirely familiar
9 with everything that was happening on the lines?
10 A. You're referring to the commander?
11 Q. When exercising the post of a commander.
12 A. At a given point in time, he can't know everything. Certain
13 information can be found out in the course of the day or the next day, et
14 cetera. But he must have the most important information as far as this is
15 possible, but it's physically impossible for him to have an entire
16 overview of -- a complete overview of the entire line.
17 Q. Could you develop that a bit, please. Even though this may seem
18 obvious to you, could you expand on that.
19 A. Well, I am claiming that this is the case. The commander's main
20 task is to command, and this includes receiving reports from subordinate
21 units, his subordinate commanders. It includes receiving reports and
22 orders from his superior command. A commander must take care of and
23 follow the work of all the command organs, and this will have to do with
24 communications, logistics, the medical section. There are many such
25 tasks. And although the line was not very long, the unit whose commander
1 I was did not have a very long line, so it was easier to have an overview
2 of the line, to be familiar with it. But as far as your question as to
3 whether a commander can be totally familiar with the entire situation, my
4 answer is no.
5 Q. Thank you. Speaking about your line, which was fairly short, can
6 you tell us if you are aware of this how long the front was, which was the
7 responsibility -- the front line which was the responsibility of General
8 Galic. Could you even give us an approximate figure?
9 A. I don't know how long it was, but we had a look at the map. There
10 was the interior front and there was the external front.
11 Q. Thank you. If you don't know, you don't know. Thank you.
12 A. I couldn't give you a number in kilometres.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, a minute ago you said that it was
14 impossible to know everything. You said this with relation to a certain
15 level. My question is the following: Would this be possible at the level
16 of the command itself? Would it be possible to be familiar with the
18 A. Well, it is my personal opinion that the longer the front line is,
19 the greater the unit is. It's more and more difficult for a commander to
20 be familiar with the situation. He needs more time to gather information
21 in order to be aware of what is happening at the front. He has to receive
22 information from several units, from brigades, from regiments, from
23 independent units. Information has to be obtained from all these
24 formations and this requires time.
25 Q. Thank you. At the level of the brigade - and I am speaking in
1 general terms now - Witness, who is in charge of ammunition, and I am
2 referring to all kinds of weapons, and in particular to the weapons that
3 you mentioned, weapons used for shelling in particular?
4 A. Logistics, the rear. They have direct contact with the commander,
5 the assistant commander for logistics. So it's the logistics unit.
6 Q. When you referred to the commander, are you referring to the
7 brigade commander?
8 A. Yes, the brigade commander. Or if it concerns other units, the
9 commanders of other units.
10 Q. Witness, did you yourself have an idea of the amount of ammunition
11 that would be used for certain kind of fire? For example, let's imagine
12 that it was necessary to fire mortars for about five minutes? In such a
13 case, how much ammunition would one use, et cetera, et cetera? Do you
14 have any personal knowledge about this, even if this knowledge is only
16 A. I can't provide you with precise information about that, but this
17 depends on a whole series of circumstances. It depends on the calibre of
18 the weapon. It depends on the capability of the crew, of those charging
19 the mortar, 60-millimetre mortar, because a 60-millimetre mortar can be
20 used for bursts of fire almost. 20-millimetre fire can't be -- can't fire
21 so rapidly.
22 Q. Very well. You said a minute ago that you also had machine-guns
23 in your brigade; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Would these be what we call heavy machine-guns? For example, that
1 have a calibre of 12.7 millimetres or more?
2 A. No. These were machine-guns that had a calibre up to 12.7
4 Q. Thank you. Witness, this is a purely hypothetical question, but
5 if you had had to use a barrage of fire, to fire a barrage from the
6 weapons that you had from the part of your front line for about 20 minutes
7 in continuity, do you have any idea how much ammunition you would have
8 used in such a case? Have you understood my question?
9 A. Yes, I have. This would happen quite often. Attacks would last
10 for even more than 20 minutes. Sometimes the attack would last throughout
11 the day in our direction. You have a combat set then. For example, the
12 infantry would use an entire combat set, 150 bullets, for example. An
13 M-70 automatic rifle would use about that amount of bullets.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you see or did you have any knowledge of a barrage
15 of fire which was allegedly opened by all the SRK forces on the 24th of
16 December, 1992 and simultaneously against the town; yes or no?
17 A. No. That's the first time I've heard about this.
18 Q. Thank you very much. If such fire had been opened from your
19 lines, at the level of your brigade, would this have resulted in an
20 imbalance, as far as ammunition is concerned? And yet again, this is a
21 hypothetical question. If you fire -- if there is a barrage of fire
22 opened for 20 minutes in continuity and this fire is directed against
23 Sarajevo, would this have been felt at the level of the ammunition?
24 A. Well, obviously, but I don't know why we would have done such a
25 thing. That would seem that some sort of victory was at stake.
1 Q. Well, my question is as follows: Did you ever observe in the
2 surroundings on the 24th of December, 1992 any orders for ammunition that
3 would have had to do with the event that I have just described; yes or
5 A. No. I don't remember anything like that. This question is a bit
6 strange, in my opinion.
7 Q. Thank you. Witness, I apologise but I have to ask: Since the
8 24th is the date of Catholic Christmas, I'm going to ask you the same
9 question for the Orthodox Christmas. What would your reply be?
10 A. Now the question is clearer to me. As far as holidays are
11 concerned in general --
12 Q. I'd like you to understand my question, Witness. The 24th is
13 Catholic or even Protestant Christmas. That's the date. Would you give
14 me the same answer if we were talking about Orthodox Christmas?
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- to answer the question as to holidays.
16 Could you please, where you said "as far as holidays are concerned
17 in general," could you please continue your answer. Yes, please do.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. As far as holidays are
19 concerned, we were warned on several occasions about being in a state of
20 heightened alert from the corps because there were certain indications
21 according to which the enemy side could then take advantage of the
22 festivities, let's call them that, and try and penetrate the line and so
23 on. I remember that. But as far as opening fire is concerned, they
24 opened it a lot more before the war and after the war. But then to a
25 lesser extent, for that very reason.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Yes. But, Witness, you haven't fully understood my question. My
4 question is the same, and this is purely hypothetical: Was there a
5 situation which resembled the one that I have described but not on the
6 Catholic Christmas but on Orthodox Christmas?
7 A. No, not -- no such fire. Perhaps there were individual shots --
8 but no.
9 Q. Thank you. Witness, I would now like to turn to the other side of
10 the line, the one that you defended. Do you know whether there were any
11 hospitals -- any field hospitals in your territory?
12 A. In our territory, yes. Throughout the war there was the
13 Dr. Ernest Green hospital, it was an active hospital.
14 Q. Thank you. Without providing too much information, too many
15 names, et cetera, what can you tell us about what may have happened in
16 relation to this hospital? Were there any problems that arose there?
17 A. Well, the hospital was run by the Ministry of Health. It was a
18 civilian hospital. But it also treated the entire population, and this
19 included civilians and members of the military.
20 Q. Very well. Was this -- were there any problems with regard to
21 this hospital? Were there any military incidents or something of that
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Mundis.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Objection, relevance.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: May I respond?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the relevance might come from the answer of
2 the witness. So I would first like to ask the witness to tell us whether
3 there were any military incidents or something of that nature in respect
4 of the hospital just mentioned to you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was occasionally exposed to
6 mortar fire, but the most significant incident in my opinion was when the
7 doctor was killed -- or rather, the director of that hospital. You told
8 me that I shouldn't mention any names. I know the name, but I don't know
9 whether I should mention his name.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Mundis, the Chamber might be in a better
11 position now. It's -- the question was about an incident where someone
12 was killed. What would make that less or more relevant than other
13 incidents that have been dealt with in the examination of witnesses?
14 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution will withdraw the objection,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Witness, were there any reasons to target this hospital?
19 A. No.
20 Q. If you say "no," how do you explain the fact that shells or other
21 types of ammunition fell on the hospital?
22 MR. MUNDIS: Objection, calls for speculation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness does not know about any targets.
24 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, if -- yes.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps the
1 witness should take his headphones off.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we'll do it differently. It's quarter to
3 4.00. We'll discuss the objection upon -- I'll first ask the witness to
4 be escorted out of the courtroom. We'll then hear further about the
5 objection and then --
6 Yes. The curtains first have to be pulled down, Mr. Usher.
7 If you'll wait for one second.
8 Yes. Would you please follow the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, do you wish me
11 to -- wish to hear me now?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness has left the room.
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: Very briefly. Very briefly.
14 Thank you very much. Our position is as follows: The witness
15 responded to my question that he saw no reason why there should have been
16 shelling, including a military reason as far as the position of the
17 hospital is concerned and so on and so forth. It is possible, and again
18 this is a speculation, that this witness knows if it was a mistake, in
19 terms of targeting, that something else was being targeted, or perhaps
20 that it was a faulty manoeuvre or maybe the witness knows something about
21 this fact. Our position is quite clear, as far as weapons are concerned.
22 It's always possible to make an error, and I think that the Defence has an
23 obligation to demonstrate specifically that such errors could have taken
25 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. Well, first of all, targeting
1 errors that are possible, that is similar like whether it's possible that
2 it rains. I think it needs no further explanation. You didn't ask
3 whether he has any knowledge as to where the shells came from, et cetera,
4 which would be a factual approach, but you said, "How can you explain."
5 You didn't even ask the witness whether he could explain but how he would
6 explain. This explanation might be of some relevance if there would be
7 certain specific knowledge. And I take it, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, that if you
8 put these kind of questions to a witness that you might have discussed
9 this prior to his testimony. So then you could ask him about whether he
10 knew who exactly would have fired that shot. Or if you keep it to facts,
11 then we stay out of the domain of speculation and certainly Mr. Mundis
12 would have no reason to object to your question. So if you would like to
13 explore this matter, I think there would be no objection against that.
14 But then please start with the facts and then finally we'll find out
15 whether the witness has an explanation and what his explanation will be.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: We'll break until twenty minutes past 4.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.24 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before we resume the examination of the witness,
21 there are a few issues. The first one is a very practical one. The
22 Chamber is made aware of the fact that we could sit tomorrow in the
23 morning instead of the afternoon. The Chamber would not oppose to that,
24 and it's generally felt that sitting in the morning is more attractive
25 than sitting in the afternoon. But I would like first to hear from the
1 parties whether there would be any objection against sitting in the
2 morning rather than in the afternoon.
3 MR. MUNDIS: No objection from the Prosecution, Mr. President.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No objection whatsoever.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The general is nodding no, so I took that that
7 you have no objections other.
8 So then we'll sit tomorrow morning.
9 There has been another request to sit on Friday in the afternoon.
10 And apart from other problems, would that find objections as far as the
11 parties are concerned? That would be we change from the afternoon to the
12 morning and now the Chamber was requested to change again from the morning
13 to the afternoon. And there are other problems as well. But I'd just
14 like to know how the parties would respond.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, could the Prosecution reserve getting
16 back to you on that until after the next break?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you.
19 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I'll try to check,
20 Mr. President. It has to do with my trip back. If you are talking about
21 Friday, I don't know the time of my flight. I understand that it costs a
22 lot if we change the schedule, if I change the reservation. So with that
23 proviso --
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- might be opposed by the parties, and I had in mind
25 that you might have to travel over the weekend, so -- and there are other
1 reasons why this request might fail to work out well. But I just wanted
2 to know from the parties.
3 Then as far as two other issues are concerned: Whatever
4 instructions the Chamber has given to the parties on informing the
5 Prosecution and the Chamber on the appearance of witnesses, as long as
6 such instructions have not been withdrawn, they stand. That means that
7 whatever the Chamber has instructed the parties to do, irrespective of
8 what the Chamber could still expect, that as long as they have not been
9 withdrawn, we continue as -- as we have decided.
10 Then finally, the translation of annexes. On the 26th of
11 November, Ms. Pilipovic, you have clearly indicated that you would solve
12 the problem of the translation of the annexes. If my learned colleague
13 insists on having certain texts and articles translated into one of the
14 official languages of the Tribunal, I can solve this problem too. My
15 colleague and I will sit down and we'll solve this problem. That's what
16 the Chamber expects the parties to do. That means the Defence to assist
17 in solving the problem and to sit together perhaps and find out what will
18 be the priorities.
19 Those are our decisions.
20 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, in light of the first decision with
22 respect to timetable and scheduling of witnesses, the Prosecution would
23 respectfully request from the Chamber additional guidance to the Defence
24 with respect to the issue of whether the accused will be testifying.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the Defence indicate when it intends to
1 give this information.
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will meet,
3 first of all, with General Galic. And once we have had an opportunity of
4 calmly discussing the situation, in light of the overall information that
5 we have, I think that we will be able to provide you with the response
6 either tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis, if this information would be available by
9 next Wednesday, would that cause insurmountable problems?
10 MR. MUNDIS: By Wednesday meaning of this week or --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Of this week, yes. We're talking about tomorrow or
12 the day after tomorrow, so that's Wednesday.
13 MR. MUNDIS: That's -- that's certainly acceptable,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then -- yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. President,
17 Ms. Pilipovic is reminding me --
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE ORIE: We earlier discussed a matter in private session. Is
20 there any specific need to have everything redacted? I see,
21 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you are nodding no. The nodding of Ms. Pilipovic is
22 not quite clear. We didn't go into any content of it.
23 Yes. Okay. Then we'll leave it as it is.
24 Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Ms. Pilipovic
1 is reminding me that the deadline is seven days, that the Defence is under
2 the obligation to inform whether this testimony will take place or not
3 within seven days. So why should it not be in the case of this witness?
4 Because that is the normal procedure in case of other witnesses. So we
5 would like to stick to this if this is possible. If the witness expresses
6 his willingness to testify, then you will be notified of his decision
7 within seven days.
8 JUDGE ORIE: This system is a different one. I think that as
9 latest seven days prior to the testimony of the witness the summary should
10 be made available. I think that the system is that witnesses are on the
11 list. You have put a witness on the list and you reserve the right. You
12 said you were not sure. We accepted that at that time. Usually if
13 someone is to be added to the list, permission has to be asked. And I
14 would say that we should -- that the Prosecution should have sufficient
15 time for cross-examination. That's not an easy task to prepare, I would
16 say. We -- I asked last week when you would provide this information.
17 You said by today. And for reasons you have explained, you said you would
18 not do so today. Then we asked the Defence when they would provide this
19 information, and the answer was by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
20 That is a fair way of dealing with it. So there is no general rule that
21 you give notice seven days in advance on whether a witness will appear or
23 Then is the Defence ready to continue the examination of the
25 Could the usher be assisted in pulling down the curtains by
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 17880 to 17889.
1 whatever forces that are available in this courtroom.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you may proceed.
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. In application of what you said, Witness, do you know perhaps not
6 who exactly but which side it was that shelled the hospital that we
7 mentioned before the break?
8 A. The opposing side. They shelled the hospital on the 27th of July,
9 1993, sometime around noon.
10 Q. Thank you. Witness, to the extent that -- well, according to your
11 testimony, there were no military targets in or around the hospital, could
12 you explain to us why according to your knowledge this shelling took
14 A. I'm not in the position to know that. It is true that the
15 hospital is located relatively close to the front lines.
16 Q. What do you mean by "relatively close"?
17 A. When I say that it was located relatively close to that area, I
18 mean that it was possible to target the hospital with infantry weapons,
19 such as semi-automatic rifles. It was -- light machine-guns.
20 Q. How far approximately was this hospital located from the
21 front-line trenches, approximately?
22 A. 1.000 metres approximately. That would have been the closest
23 distance, as the crow flies.
24 Q. Thank you. Witness, apart from what you just said, that the
25 hospital was relatively close to the trenches, to the front lines, are
1 there any other reasons why it should have become a target, to your
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Mundis --
4 Yes. Please proceed.
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Q. Can you answer my question, Witness?
7 A. Yes, I can answer your question. Do you mean in the vicinity of
8 the hospital?
9 Q. Apart from the distance problem, that is, the fact that the
10 hospital was located relatively close to the front line, were there any
11 other reasons why this hospital should have become a target, if you know?
12 MR. MUNDIS: Objection, Mr. President.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay. I understand -- I understand
14 the question.
15 JUDGE ORIE: One moment, please.
16 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: The question was asked and answered. I refer to page
18 42, line 15, the first sentence.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Piletta-Zanin --
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] My colleague is quite right.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let us move on to another subject. With respect to a document
24 which I would like to show to you in a moment -- but let me start with the
25 question. Can you tell us precisely what documents, what documentation
1 could have been found at the brigade, the documents in connection with
2 humanitarian law, that is, in connection with the Geneva Conventions in
4 A. From our superior command, we received on several occasions orders
5 regarding the respect of the Geneva Conventions, which were then
6 transmitted to subordinate units.
7 Q. Thank you. Could you perhaps be more precise and give us a few
8 more details regarding the issue. What type of instructions are we
9 talking about here?
10 A. We received written instructions printed on an A4 paper, which we
11 then copied and then transmitted to subordinate units. There were cases
12 when these instructions were posted on the entrances to the trenches. One
13 of the commanding officers was surprised to see one such document posted
14 on the entrance to a trench, alongside other documents.
15 Q. Let us focus on this document specifically. You said that they
16 were usually printed on an A4 piece of paper. What exactly was it? Was
17 it just a resume, a summary of the document, or the entire document? What
18 exactly was it?
19 A. It consisted of two -- the document consisted of two pages with
20 specific provisions of the Geneva Conventions, including the treatment of
21 civilians, the prohibition of the use of weapons against civilians, the
22 treatment of the wounded, the treatment of the prisoners of war, the
23 prohibition of targeting -- on targeting civilian objects, cultural
24 monuments, and so on and so forth. I don't know -- I don't remember all
25 of the items by heart.
1 Q. Thank you. How often did you yourself see such documents being
2 posted in the combat area, in particular in the trenches? How often did
3 you personally see such instructions being displayed in this manner?
4 A. I personally escorted the commanding officer of the Vogosca
5 Tactical Group, and I once saw that in the Klomolj trenches. The
6 commander commended this use, and then others also followed suit. But I
7 remember this specific example as having taken place in the area of
9 Q. Thank you. You mentioned a commanding officer, a commander. Was
10 it an officer who was attached to the corps?
11 A. No. I was quite precise. I said commander of the Vogosca
12 operative group who was visiting the lines.
13 Q. I apologise. I apologise.
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] With the assistance of the
15 usher, I would now like to show you a document, the number of which is
16 1453, and this will probably be our last line of questions. Naturally,
17 with your permission, Mr. President.
18 Q. Witness, the first question: Do you recognise this type of
19 document and do you recognise the signature it bears?
20 A. Yes, this type of document is familiar to me. And there are two
21 signatures here, and I can recognise them.
22 Q. Do you recognise both signatures? Do you recognise both
24 A. Yes. Yes. I think both signatures are authentic. This one up
25 here is the general's, and the one under "certified," says "Colonel."
1 Q. Thank you. Witness, could you concentrate on item 1. And I am
2 interested in the second paragraph in particular. I don't think it will
3 be necessary to look at the first paragraph, but if you wait for just a
4 minute, I will confer with my colleague.
5 No. We can take the time to do this, so I would appreciate it if
6 you could read the first two paragraphs under item 1.
7 A. Item 1: "Prepare the most persistent and decisive defence on
8 reached lines and by the manoeuvre of forces find appropriate grouping
9 of forces in select directions, improve operative positions of the
10 corps. Cut off the communications of Ustasha forces between Treskavica
11 and Bjelasnica. Unblock the Sarajevo-Trnovo-Dobro Polje road, and the
12 Sarajevo-Srednje-Olovo road, Pazaric-Igman. With liberation and reaching
13 the important parts of the town -- I think it says "reaching" --
14 structures within its vicinity (Mojmilo, Stupska Petlja) and settlements
15 (Kotorac, Hrasnica, Butmir, Sokolovic Kolonija)."
16 Q. And the second paragraph too, please.
17 A. "Stop the weekend war and habits in that sense. Furthermore,
18 defeat the Ustasha's forces in that region of Gorazde, Foca, Visegrad, and
19 make parts for actions --"
20 Q. Thank you. It was just the second paragraph.
21 A. I apologise.
22 Q. A minute ago -- and you can find this in the first line of the
23 first paragraph -- you spoke about the organisation of defence. Can you
24 tell us exactly and in greater detail what this order -- what these
25 instructions mean.
1 A. Well, in concrete terms, it's an order to units. A specific task
2 is assigned. Here it says "decisive defence." And then further on it
3 says "the manoeuvre of forces --"
4 Q. I'll interrupt you. What does "decisive defence" mean, please?
5 A. "Decisive defence" -- in our brigade, I and the commander who came
6 later, our main task was to mount a decisive defence because of the
7 character of the unit, the fact that there weren't many men. So it
8 excludes offensive action of any kind. All it has to do with is the
9 defence of the lines that are established.
10 Q. Very well. Witness, as a member of the military, and given
11 experience that you have had, what is this idea of decisive defence
12 opposed to? What is the opposite of a decisive defence, if you know
13 anything about this?
14 A. Well, it would be a frontal attack, an attack. That would be the
15 opposite of a decisive defence.
16 Q. Thank you, Witness. I would now like to examine the second
17 paragraph, which mentions the weekend war. Those are the terms used in
18 the document. First of all, if this is the case, can you confirm that
19 such orders were issued to you by the command in order to suppress this
20 problem? And if this was the case, how frequently were such orders
22 A. Well, quite frequently -- I'll read it out. "Stop the weekend war
23 and habits in that sense." That means that there were members of the
24 unit who would go away on leave and then they would stay on leave. They
25 would take leave of their own accord. So they used the term "weekend
1 war." For example, you would get two days of leave, but then he would
2 take five days. He would even go to Belgrade and then return. And then
3 he was called a "weekend warrior." That's a term that existed, that was
4 in use. It's something that was condemned or, rather, they insisted on
5 terminating such activities, but such activities were never fully
7 Q. Very well. Does that mean that an attempt was made in your corps
8 and in particular in your brigade to introduce the most organised possible
9 form of discipline?
10 A. As far as the brigade which was under my command is concerned,
11 this was not something that was very widespread. Weekend war was not an
12 issue that was very present.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No further questions,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
17 Mr. Mundis, is the Prosecution ready to cross-examine the
19 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. DP34, you'll now be examined by counsel for the
22 MR. MUNDIS: Actually, Mr. Usher, if that document could please
23 remain with the witness for one moment.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
25 Q. Witness, can you please turn to the second page of that document
1 and read paragraph numbered 19.
2 A. Just a minute. Item 19: "Stop robbery, profiteering and other
3 vices that besmirch the reputation of the army and people and cause huge
5 Q. To your knowledge, Witness, was robbery and profiteering a problem
6 during the time that you were a brigade commander?
7 A. It was a problem.
8 Q. Can you please read paragraph number 20.
9 A. "Remove persons and those who do not accept an invitation --
10 runaway persons and those who do not accept the invitation are considered
11 as the most dangerous traitor of his own people and start the procedure of
12 confiscation of his property."
13 Q. Witness, with respect to the word "invitation" that appears in
14 that paragraph, do you know what that reference is about?
15 A. Well, it's a call-up. It has to do with not responding to a
16 call-up to engage in the military. That's what it means. Just a minute.
17 Just a minute. In this specific case -- in this case, within this
18 context, when it says "who do not accept an invitation," it means those
19 who left and who are then asked to return again. So it means those who
20 left and were then asked to return again. Such people are to be
21 considered as traitors. I think that in this context, this reply would be
22 more precise. I think it means those who were in the unit who left were
23 then called to return and didn't return.
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] For the sake of clarity in the
2 transcript, I think it's clear to everyone but nevertheless page 49, line
3 10 I don't think the witness said "we move," as it says in the
4 transcript. I think it would sooner be the past participle, so that
5 things are clear.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I think the interpreters then re-took the
7 translations at persons. Yes.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I'd ask that we go into private
10 session for a few questions, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll turn in to private session.
12 [Private session]
12 Page 17899 – redacted – private session
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We are in open session again.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. Witness, you told us today that you saw the accused General Galic
7 approximately one or two times per month. I assume that that was in your
8 capacity as a brigade commander; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And was that throughout the period of the time that you were a
11 brigade commander, that is, during the entire length of your tenure as a
12 brigade commander you saw General Galic once or twice a month?
13 A. Well, yes. Yes. I went to regular meetings at which commanders
14 were present.
15 Q. Were these meetings held at the corps headquarters at Lukavica
17 A. Yes, but not all of them.
18 Q. Where else do you recall these meetings taking place, other than
19 Lukavica barracks?
20 A. Well, they also took place in the western part of Sarajevo, in
21 Butile, I think, there was a barracks in Butile. That's where they were
22 held. There was a ring road. Sometimes it was difficult to get from one
23 part to the other, so the commander would go to the western part. And on
24 Jahorina there were meetings in a hotel there too. That's -- those are
25 the locations I can remember.
1 Q. Do you recall the positions of other individuals who attended
2 these meetings?
3 A. You mean all those who attended them?
4 Q. To the best of your recollection, those people who attended them.
5 A. The corps command, members of the corps command, the brigade
6 commanders, the commanders of independent regiments and battalions who
7 were part of the corps, so directly subordinated to the corps. There were
8 others too, but as far as the military structure is concerned, that's what
9 was most frequently the case.
10 Q. General Galic was in effect the chair of these meetings; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. At any of these meetings, either at Lukavica barracks or any of
14 the other locations that you mentioned, did you ever hear anyone
15 mentioning the topic of protests concerning shelling?
16 A. Yes, this was mentioned. It was said that UNPROFOR had made such
17 suggestions, that UNPROFOR had suggested that there shouldn't be any
19 Q. Were these protests that you've just mentioned concerning the
20 shelling of civilians and civilian objects such as apartment blocks?
21 A. I can't answer that question precisely. I don't know about that.
22 But the subject was discussed, in any event.
23 Q. Did you ever hear anyone at any of these meetings discuss the
24 topics of protests concerning the sniping of civilians?
25 A. I heard them talking about snipers. I heard that they said that
1 they fired at our side, but this wasn't discussed very much.
2 Q. Do you recall hearing General Galic complain at these meetings
3 about protests that he received concerning the unlawful sniping of Bosnian
4 Muslim civilians?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you ever hear General Galic complain about any protests that
7 he received concerning unlawful shelling of Bosnian Muslim civilians?
8 A. I'm not aware of that.
9 Q. Did General Galic during the time that you were a brigade
10 commander ever visit the area of responsibility that your brigade
12 A. While I was commander, General Galic came to the zone of
13 responsibility on two occasions, but he passed through the zone of
14 responsibility on several occasions. But he came on two occasions when I
15 was commander, and he would pass through towards the western part of the
16 battlefield, towards Vogosca on several occasions.
17 Q. On the two occasions that General Galic came to your brigade's
18 zone of responsibility, what was the purpose of those visits?
19 A. Well, he found out about the situation on the ground. He became
20 familiar with the situation on the ground and with the problems. From the
21 positions, he observed the lines. He issued instructions, orders. As I
22 said, he didn't have any problems with us; he never did.
23 Q. Do you recall the contents of the instructions or orders that you
24 received from General Galic during the times that he was in your brigade's
25 zone of responsibility?
1 A. He mainly insisted on a decisive defence, and he said that we
2 should at no -- by no means allow the line to be penetrated because in
3 such a case, the enemy forces would advance 10 kilometres or even more.
4 That was his opinion. They would take certain important positions in a
5 northern part of the battlefield. And again, we complained that we didn't
6 have enough men and we said that we needed more men.
7 Q. Do you recall on these two occasions that the accused visited your
8 zone of responsibility how long he remained there?
9 A. Well, to be exact, on the first occasion - that was at the
10 beginning when he came - he spoke very briefly, and it was more a sake of
11 protocol, a matter of introducing himself. And the second time was in
12 1993, I think -- 1993 or the beginning of 1994. I know it was winter. I
13 can't remember the exact time. But the first time was just when he
14 assumed the post of commander, and he was there for a very brief period of
16 Q. By "brief" do you mean more than or less than one hour?
17 A. Well, something like that. About an hour.
18 Q. How long was the accused General Galic present on the second
20 A. On the second occasion, he spent more time there. As I said, he
21 went to the positions. He came to the forward command post. I forgot to
22 mention that.
23 Q. Where was the forward command post located?
24 A. In the Pretrzanj area.
25 Q. Is that where your brigade's artillery positions were located as
1 you've described on Friday?
2 A. It's in the vicinity, yes.
3 Q. As part of this visit to the command's forward command post, did
4 General Galic visit those artillery positions?
5 A. He was with the officers, and he was only with the officers. He
6 passed by our position. He spoke to the soldiers. But he didn't visit
7 all the positions. UNPROFOR was positioned there too.
8 Q. You say "he didn't visit all the positions." Did he visit some of
9 the artillery positions?
10 A. Yes. Yes, on the way he did.
11 Q. You also told us that he passed through your brigade's zone of
12 responsibility on his way to Vogosca on a few occasions. Did he make any
13 stops in your zone of responsibility during any of those times that he was
14 transiting your brigade's area of responsibility?
15 A. I have to say that I don't know how many times he transited the
16 area because he would also escort UNPROFOR through the town. But he
17 didn't get in touch with me on those occasions, no.
18 Q. Based on the meetings that you attended at Lukavica barracks and
19 other places where General Galic presided and the times he visited your
20 command, were you able to make an assessment as to whether or not General
21 Galic had a good grasp of events occurring within the corps?
22 A. I don't know about the corps. But as far as my brigade is
23 concerned, I think he had a full grasp of the situation because his
24 subordinate officers, that is, assistant commanders of the corps, often
25 came to the area. Members of his staff, they frequently visited the area,
1 and it is my assumption that they would convey to him what the situation
2 was, in addition to the regular reports that we sent out. I don't know
3 about other brigades.
4 Q. Based on the meetings that you attended where information was
5 passed up and down the chain of command, was General Galic receiving
6 sufficient information to keep himself informed about events that were
7 occurring in the corps's area of responsibility?
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The expression "about events"
11 is not precise enough. It's much too wide for the witness to answer the
12 question, and I think the questions should be limited to the subject
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis.
15 MR. MUNDIS: I'll rephrase the question, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
17 MR. MUNDIS:
18 Q. Witness, what type of information was relayed from the brigade
19 commanders or other senior subordinate officers to General Galic during
20 the meetings that you attended at Lukavica or other locations?
21 A. I can only answer so far as my brigade is concerned, if we're
22 talking about all reports. Are you referring only to what was
23 specifically discussed at the meetings or generally speaking? Are you
24 including in this the written reports that were relayed, that we sent out
25 to the corps? That's what I'm not clear about.
1 Q. Let me attempt to explain. You attended meetings once or twice a
2 month for a period of more than one year, and during these meetings the
3 brigade commanders, members of the corps staff were in attendance. What
4 matters -- what issues do you recall being discussed at these meetings?
5 A. Now I fully understand what you mean. First of all, the brigade
6 commanders would submit a written report, a kind of briefing, either oral
7 or on paper, but they would usually read out their reports on what the
8 situation was in the territory of their units, including the situation as
9 it was at the front line, the problems with which the unit was faced,
10 including logistics, lack of ammunition, problems with communication
11 equipment, the quartermaster issues, and other similar problems that would
12 arise within a unit. They would also submit their proposals as to how a
13 situation should be resolved. They made such proposals to the commanders,
14 and then members of the corps command, depending on their relevant
15 department, would also submit their reports. For example, the assistant
16 commander for logistics or the assistant commander for intelligence, they
17 would make their appropriate reports, and then the corps commander would
18 make a summary thereof, give his opinion, and issue guidelines or orders
19 as to what should be done.
20 Q. Do you recall at any of these meetings if General Galic ever asked
21 questions or engaged any of the briefers on issues that they discussed at
22 the meeting?
23 A. Speaking of myself, for example, to be as specific as possible, I
24 always insisted on the problem of shortage of manpower. And the response
25 I would usually get was that there were no -- enough people and that I
1 should make the best possible use of what I had. Others had other types
2 of problems. The corps commander would sometimes describe how our unit
3 was doing, how we were able to manage as best as we could with the little
4 troops that we had, so he would give us as an example. So those were the
5 kinds of things that he discussed.
6 Q. Do you know, Witness, if the corps had liaison officers whose job
7 it was or whose area of responsibility was dealing with UNPROFOR and other
8 UN personnel in the theatre?
9 A. In the area of the corps, yes.
10 Q. Do you recall if the liaison officer or officers attended the
11 meetings that you attended once or twice a month with the corps commander
12 and others?
13 A. They did attend such meetings, but I don't know whether it was at
14 all such meetings. I don't know whether they always attended. I guess it
15 was whenever it was necessary.
16 Q. Do you recall the liaison officer or officers raising issues
17 concerning protests or complaints at the meetings that you attended in
18 which General Galic was presiding?
19 A. They would inform him on the problems that they were faced with.
20 There were lots of such meetings, the meetings between UNPROFOR and the
21 belligerent parties. There were many such contacts, and they were in
22 charge of that, so that was the only topic that they discussed, nothing
23 else. That is, what had been agreed at a particular meeting.
24 Q. Based on the subjects that were discussed at these meetings, did
25 it appear to you that the corps commander, General Galic, had a good grasp
1 with respect to these issues that we've been discussing, everything from
2 logistics, personnel issues, complaints received by the UN, et cetera?
3 Based on your attendance at the meetings, did it seem to you that he had a
4 good grasp of these issues?
5 A. Yes, I had that feeling. Sometimes the situation would be
6 explained by the relevant officer, the officer in charge of a specific
7 department. If, for example, the problem discussed was a logistics
8 problem, then the assistant commander for logistics would address it.
9 Q. Witness, based on your attendance at these meetings, do you ever
10 recall an instance at any of these meetings where the subject of
11 non-compliance with the corps commander's orders was raised?
12 A. Non-compliance with the orders coming from the corps command? Is
13 that what you have in mind?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No, not in that form. There were, if I may explain, as far as I
16 remember, discussions as to whether a particular commander had fully
17 complied with an order, had fully acted pursuant to an order, but not as
18 to whether he had complied with the order at all. At least, not to my
20 Q. Do you ever recall at any of these meetings the corps commander,
21 General Galic, getting upset or angry because any of his orders were not
22 carried out?
23 A. No. I think he was always very calm. No. No, not that.
24 Q. Did you ever hear about any instance in which General Galic became
25 angry or upset because his orders weren't being carried out?
1 A. No, not with respect to non-compliance with the orders. Not with
2 respect to that, at least.
3 Q. Witness, how did your brigade typically receive its orders from
4 the corps?
5 A. The orders were usually in written form, that is, a written order
6 issued by the corps commander to defend. So that was the standing order
7 from the very beginning of the war.
8 Q. Witness, you say "the orders were usually in written form." That
9 implies that there were also periodic oral orders. Would that be right?
10 A. As I said a moment ago, during the meetings and the regular
11 briefings, oral tasks were sometimes given. But in principle, they were
12 in writing. That is, as I said, the standing order was to defend, and
13 then we had orders concerning the external line of defence and similar.
14 Q. Do you recall ever receiving any kind of standing order regarding
15 sniping of civilians?
16 A. First of all, I have to say we did not have sniper rifles. We had
17 no need for such weapons. As far as our lines are concerned, everything
18 could be achieved with normal weapons, as far as all sides are concerned.
19 Later on we used automatic weapons for fighting. So the sniping, as it is
20 usually referred to and as it is often used in war, as far as our brigade
21 line is concerned, there were no such cases on either side. Although, we
22 had more than ten casualties on our side, and the explanations sometimes
23 were sniping. But in most of the cases these casualties were the result
24 of normal fire, fire from normal, ordinary weapons. But every time when
25 there was no real fighting, no real conflict, the term that was used would
1 be "sniping." But that was really not the case. As far as our side is
2 concerned, it was, practically speaking, impossible to use them.
3 Q. Witness, a few moments ago you said "the standing order was to
4 defend, and then we had orders concerning the external line of defence and
5 similar." Do you recall any other standing orders issued by the corps
6 that would apply to all the subordinate units of the corps, any other
7 standing orders?
8 A. In my view, a standing order was decisive defence. Whether other
9 brigades had the same order, I don't know, but in case of my brigade that
10 was the basic order to be followed.
11 Q. You don't recall any other standing orders issued by the corps
12 that applied to all the subordinate units of the corps?
13 A. You asked me a moment ago about snipers, if that's what you have
14 in mind. Our unit didn't have any such weapons, and I think that the same
15 is implied with respect of other units. The Geneva Conventions provide
16 for prohibition on targeting civilian persons. As to whether there was a
17 specific standing order to that effect, I don't know. I don't remember.
18 Q. Witness, your brigade made daily reports -- daily written reports
19 to the corps headquarters; is that right?
20 A. Our brigade made daily reports to the duty operations officer. We
21 also submitted brief oral reports and also written reports that were
22 submitted through the Vogosca Brigade, because we didn't have the code.
23 We did not have daily written reports, but we did have reports made on a
24 daily basis in one way or another. It was customary for the brigade duty
25 operations officer to report daily to the corps duty operations officer
1 and to inform him briefly on the situation or on what had happened the
2 previous day. If there was anything important to be conveyed to the
3 corps, then such reports were made in writing by using the coded
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: One more question, Mr. President, then a break.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. Witness, these -- you said "customary for the brigade duty
10 operations officer to report daily to the corps duty operations officer."
11 Was this reporting done at a certain time every day?
12 A. Not that it was customary. It was an obligation for the duty
13 officer of the brigade to inform regularly the duty officer of the corps.
14 It was always done as a specific time of the day; for instance, between
15 8.00 and 9.00 in the evening. Actually, I don't think that the time was
16 always the same during the war, but they knew when to expect a report.
17 Also, one hour prior to that time, the subordinate units would report to
18 the brigade command so that the brigade command could collate the
19 information and then transmit it to the corps. That was the procedure.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until five minutes to 6.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.56 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: While waiting until the witness will be brought in,
24 document 1453, we -- it's a relatively short document of which we only
25 received the first and the third page. Could the second page be provided
1 as well so that we can relate the first page with the third page with
2 the -- yes.
3 Mr. Mundis, please proceed.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Witness, I believe you told us on Friday that the Vogosca
6 Operational Group subsequently became the Vogosca Tactical Group. Is that
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do you receive translation?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Witness, do you know why the Vogosca Operational Group was first
16 A. The Vogosca Operational Group was formed at the very beginning.
17 As far as I can recall, it was sometime in early May. I don't know the
18 exact date. I don't know who issued the order as to its establishment,
19 but the reason why it was formed was, I think, because it was assessed
20 that it would be easier to mount a defence in this manner. But it is
21 possible that there were other reasons as well.
22 Q. The Vogosca Operational Group was commanded by Vukota Vukovic;
23 is that right?
24 A. I actually have a question for you, Your Honours. May I? May I
25 ask a question?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You said on Friday that when names
3 need to be mentioned that I can request a private session.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you rather respond to this question in
5 private session as far as -- if I understand you well? Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I mean, I think you said
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I would like to ask for one
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you would be hesitant to mention a name, you could
12 ask for private session. That's what I told you. Here, of course, the
13 name already is mentioned. But nevertheless, if even for confirming or
14 denying that he was, you would prefer to go into private session --
15 looking at the parties, there seems to be no major objection --
16 MR. MUNDIS: No objection.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll turn in to private session.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 17914 – redacted – private session
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE ORIE: We are in open session again.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Witness, how frequently did you have dealings with Lieutenant
3 Colonel Jusipovic?
4 A. You mean while the tactical group was still in existence?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. During that period?
7 Quite frequently. Quite frequently. Because there were meetings
8 which were held quite often.
9 Q. Did you have daily contact with him during this period?
10 A. Not daily meetings, but this took place very frequently, far more
11 frequently than with the corps command.
12 Q. Did your brigade receive targeting orders from Lieutenant Colonel
14 A. Could you please be more specific. Which targets are you
15 referring to?
16 Q. Did your unit receive orders from that individual to engage enemy
17 forces or positions held by the ABiH?
18 A. No. And this is something I have already said. Our task was
19 never to carry out an attack. We never received such orders. We only put
20 aside part of our forces for the outer ring, part of the forces which at
21 the Nisici plateau. But we didn't carry out an attack against the
22 Federation army in the course of the war. The brigade never carried out
23 an attack, neither on its own or in cooperation with someone else.
24 Q. Did your brigade --
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just
1 like to intervene because part of the witness's response was not
2 translated to -- it doesn't appear in the French translation. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please check with the English translation
4 whether that's complete.
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The English translation is
6 complete inasmuch as it refers to what happened in the case of the
7 external ring, and this does not appear in the French translation. Thank
9 JUDGE ORIE: Your observation as such will cause those who are
10 working on the transcript to be very alert.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Mundis.
12 MR. MUNDIS:
13 Q. Witness, you told us that your brigade did not carry out any
14 attack against the Federation army during the war. Did your brigade in
15 any way engage the Federation army during the course of the war?
16 A. Yes, of course. How else would there have been so many wounded
17 and dead in the brigade? I said that last time, and I've said it today
18 too. There was a period during which attacks were carried out on a daily
19 basis. Most of them took place at night. Gradually the number of attacks
20 diminished, yes. There was fierce fighting. For example, if several men
21 died on our side and we didn't have any information about how many died on
22 their side and if there were tens of wounded, then that's a conflict.
23 That's engagement.
24 Q. With respect to these engagements, did your unit receive any
25 orders -- specific orders regarding targeting from Lieutenant Colonel
2 A. When the tactical group was established and while it existed, I
3 don't know how many months it was in existence exactly, but during that
4 period there weren't very many frontal attacks in our direction. It was
5 one of the calmer axes on the Sarajevo battlefield.
6 Q. Witness, did you ever receive any orders from Lieutenant Colonel
7 Jusipovic that troubled you with respect to their legitimacy or
9 A. You mean in the sense that civilians were targeted? Are you
10 referring to civilian features and features that according to the Geneva
11 Conventions must not be targeted?
12 Q. Well, let's start with that category. Did you ever receive any
13 orders from Lieutenant Colonel Jusipovic concerning targeting of civilians
14 that caused you concern?
15 A. First of all, I never received such an order from anyone, and I
16 never issued such an order, nor would I ever do such a thing. I'm
17 referring to indiscriminately targeting civilian features. That would be
18 totally senseless.
19 Q. Witness, I put to you that Lieutenant Colonel Jusipovic condoned
20 the targeting of unlawful targets and specifically civilians. What do you
21 say to that?
22 A. Sir, I can tell you that while Lieutenant Colonel Jusipovic was
23 the commander of the tactical group, that was a unit that covered almost
24 the entire northern -- north-western battlefield and the western
25 battlefield. If you have any such information, I can't comment on it.
1 There were a number of firing positions, a number of units which were part
2 of the tactical group. It was larger than the operative group, although
3 one might have the other impression given the names. But it had more men
4 and more equipment. So this is not something I could either confirm or
6 Q. With respect to any other orders, that is, any order whatsoever
7 from Lieutenant Colonel Jusipovic, did any order that you received from
8 him cause you concern with respect to its legitimacy?
9 A. I don't know --
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President.
11 Objection, given that it appears that the witness has already answered
12 this question, page 70, line 16. He said he had never received such
13 orders and as a result it's obvious that he could not contest the
15 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous interpretation continues] ... whether
16 specific orders were asked for. And then Mr. Mundis said, "Okay. Let's
17 start with the order you indicate." And now he's asking about other
18 orders. The question is whether apart from what you've told us about
19 whether you ever received any orders or whether ever any orders were given
20 by Colonel Jusipovic to target civilians, whether there were ever any
21 other orders -- that means orders not specifically dealing with targeting
22 civilians -- that caused you to think about whether these orders were
23 legitimate or not. So we're not talking now about orders in respect of
24 targeting civilians but any other order, whatever the order might have
25 been about.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't remember.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Mundis.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Witness, do you recall receiving any orders from anyone in the
5 Sarajevo Romanija Corps that gave you concern or caused you concern with
6 respect to the legitimacy of that order?
7 A. I don't know about anything so drastic. There were certain events
8 which appeared on television -- for example, Markale and other similar
9 incidents in which civilians had died. But that has nothing to do with
10 our unit. Whether it has something to do with some unit from the Vogosca
11 Tactical Group, that's something I don't know.
12 Q. You told us, Witness, on Friday that at one point you were no
13 longer the commander of a brigade but, rather, became the commander of a
14 battalion. Is that correct?
15 A. No. To be precise, once the operative group -- you mean after the
16 operative group had been disbanded? Is that what you are thinking of?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. No. As I said - I was very precise, I think - I said I was the
19 commander of the brigade while it existed. But after that I wasn't in the
20 Kosevo Brigade at all. I assumed another post. I said it didn't even
21 exist. I wasn't in that unit at all. It was part of that brigade. I now
22 remember what you are asking me about. I remember it quite clearly now.
23 When that unit was disbanded as a brigade, it was transformed. Most of it
24 remained as a battalion. I wasn't the commander of that battalion. I
25 think I have understood you now. I think I have been clear. Sir, I never
1 had that position. I assumed a totally different post.
2 Q. In this new post, what were your primary responsibilities or
4 A. Well, first of all, I'd like to say I went to the 3rd Sarajevo,
5 when it was formed, from the beginning of February. And I was assistant
6 for morale and for information and for legal affairs. That's what it was
7 called. And my responsibility was also to liaise with UNPROFOR. I was
8 the person who would most frequently contact UNPROFOR at the level of the
9 brigade. And I remained at that post until the end of the war.
10 Q. Witness, at any time when you were a member of the -- of any unit
11 of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps between September 1992 and August 1994,
12 were you ever directed or ordered to conduct any type of investigation
13 concerning unlawful targeting of Bosnian Muslim civilians by any member of
14 the Sarajevo Romanija Corps?
15 A. Could you please clarify that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we please stop for one second.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm just interested in the question
19 being put in precise terms.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I apologise for interrupting. Please proceed.
21 Can we please -- the last question, Mr. Mundis, was whether the
22 witness could clarify. Perhaps you'll resume in such a way that we don't
23 lose anything.
24 MR. MUNDIS:
25 Q. Witness, during the period from September 1992 through August
1 1994, while you were the member of subordinate units of the Sarajevo
2 Romanija Corps, were you ever directed or ordered to conduct any type of
3 investigation concerning the unlawful targeting of Bosnian Muslim
4 civilians by any member of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps?
5 A. The question is quite clear to me now. No, I never did receive
6 such orders. But during that period, I think representatives from the
7 main staff even came once or twice, and UNPROFOR representatives, as well
8 as members of the corps, and they checked certain things in our units and
9 in other units. But no complaint was ever made to us as a side that had
10 violated a truce or done something like that, and I think that took place
11 on two occasions. That was with UNPROFOR. But it wasn't an order. All
12 we had -- all we received was an order according to which a certain team
13 would be arriving and that we should allow them to work without hindrance.
14 Q. Did you ever hear at any time between September 1992 and August
15 1994 that any investigations were carried out within the Sarajevo Romanija
16 Corps concerning unlawful targeting of Bosnian Muslim civilians?
17 A. I think that some kind of action was taken to that effect but I
18 don't know anything more specific about it.
19 Q. Do you recall any discussions at any of the meetings that you
20 attended where the corps commander was present where the subject of such
21 investigations was discussed?
22 A. No. Not in detail. And this is something I said just before the
23 break. No.
24 Q. Do you recall any discussions at any of the meetings that you
25 attended where the corps commander was present where the subject of
1 military prosecutions for the unlawful targeting of Bosnian Muslim
2 civilians was discussed?
3 A. Do I remember whether this was discussed? I remember that they
4 discussed that opening such fire would result in criminal prosecution and
5 other penalties. In particular, attention was drawn to the fact that a
6 lot of damage was being done to our image in the eyes of the International
7 Community. Yes, something to that effect. Yes.
8 Q. Do you recall any specific discussions about whether any such
9 prosecutions were undertaken during the time period September 1992 through
10 August 1994?
11 A. Not that I know of. At least, not in my brigade. And I'm not
12 aware of the situation in other brigades.
13 Q. So I take it from the fact that you weren't aware of the situation
14 in other brigades that you do not recall ever hearing the issue of
15 prosecutions for these offences being discussed at meetings that you
16 attended in which the corps commander was also present during this
18 A. I said, and I repeat, mention was made at such meetings that in
19 cases of opening non-selective fire on civilian targets such action is
20 very damaging and that the perpetrators could be sanctioned. But that the
21 commander should have -- would have mentioned any names, names of specific
22 commanders? No.
23 Q. Let me be absolutely clear, Witness. My question is not in
24 general terms that such unlawful targeting damaged the reputations or that
25 it could result in prosecutions. My question is: Do you recall any
1 discussions in which actual Prosecution of individuals for these
2 violations was discussed?
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I object because quite
6 specifically the question implies something that has not been the
7 testimony of this witness, that is, that such orders were allegedly given
8 and obeyed.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you have any recollection in
11 which it was discussed to investigate or to prosecute any individual for
12 violation of the prohibition of opening non-selective fire on civilian
13 targets or whatever other violation of the rules. So was there ever any
14 discussion on -- we have to investigate or we should prosecute Mr. X, Y,
15 or Z for what he has done in violation of the rules? Yes, could you
16 please answer that question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question is quite clear. But I
18 never attended such meetings. I mean, it was not discussed when I
19 attended these meetings. It is possible that it happened, but I cannot
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. MUNDIS:
23 Q. Witness, on Friday you told us that you were aware that two
24 murders had occurred and that the individuals responsible were prosecuted;
25 is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know the facts underlying the prosecution of these
4 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the witness.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer because the
6 interpreters couldn't hear you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the crime of murder.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. Do you know with respect to either of these individuals charged
10 who the victim was?
11 A. Both perpetrators and victims were soldiers of the VRS.
12 Q. Were the perpetrators prosecuted in civilian courts or in some
13 type of courts martial?
14 A. No. The arrest was carried out by the military police, but the
15 case was then taken to the civilian court, to the civilian jurisdiction at
16 the Kula headquarters where the civilian police was located, and they
17 received several years in prison. I don't know exactly how it ended, but
18 I know that they were tried and convicted in a civilian court and that
19 they were imprisoned in a civilian prison which still exists today and was
20 a civilian prison even before the war.
21 Q. Do you know, Witness, why they were prosecuted in civilian court
22 rather than in a military court or before a court-martial?
23 A. I said that they served their sentences at the civilian court, but
24 I don't know what the outcome of the proceedings was. If that was the
25 case, I think it was because there were no military courts or
1 court-martial in that area, because the state of war had not been declared
2 and courts martial were not established at the level of the unit, at the
3 level of the corps. So what happened later, I don't know. I don't know
4 only that proceedings indeed took place and that they served their
5 sentence at the Lukavica prison, which is under the jurisdiction of the
6 civilian police. This civilian prison had existed prior to the war and it
7 still exists.
8 Q. At any time during September 1992 through August 1994, are you
9 aware of any military courts being set up or anyone being prosecuted by a
10 military prosecutor during that time period?
11 A. At the brigade, that is, in my unit, no. In the Kosevo Brigade
12 and in the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade, no. It was established in 1995 at one
13 point in time, this military court; however, it never reached any judgment
14 and it lasted only a brief period of time.
15 Q. Do you know when these two individuals were arrested on murder
17 A. One individual at the beginning of the war, either in May or in
18 June - I don't know the exact date - but fairly early in the war. And the
19 second one, in 1994, when I was already a member of the 3rd Sarajevo
21 Q. Do you recall the ranks of the perpetrators and/or the ranks of
22 the victims?
23 A. They were soldiers, both of them, privates, had no rank, as far as
24 I remember.
25 Q. Witness, on Friday you told us that UNPROFOR had their own maps.
1 Did you ever see these maps, these UNPROFOR maps?
2 A. Yes, several times.
3 Q. Do you recall if these UNPROFOR maps included the positions of the
4 parties' forces?
5 A. Yes. I mean, I didn't have full insight in such maps, but
6 occasionally when a member of UNPROFOR would unfold a map and ask us about
7 our combat positions, I was able to see what the situation on the opposing
8 side was, but it was never officially presented to us nor were we ever
9 able to see it in detail. In most of the cases they would show us the
10 situation on our side. But of course from time to time you could glance
11 at the other side as well, when the map was fully unrolled.
12 Q. Do you recall if these maps indicated positions before and after
13 the heavy weapons agreement came into force? Were those positions marked
14 on the map or maps that you saw?
15 A. They changed, both before and after. My recollection is not very
16 precise. I can only tell you that I am sure that I saw such maps. As for
17 the details, I'm afraid I cannot tell you about the details. After all,
18 it was ten years ago.
19 Q. Was it your understanding that UNPROFOR's role during the heavy
20 weapons agreement was to ensure that the monitored weapons were not used?
21 A. Yes. And not only the heavy weapons but the overall compliance
22 with the cease-fire agreement, that the area of responsibility should be
23 monitored in order to see if there were any violations, any cases of
24 opening of fire, and similar. And this was relatively easy to control in
25 my area of responsibility.
1 Q. Did the fact that the UN as monitors of the heavy weapons
2 agreement was there to ensure that those heavy weapons weren't being used
3 by the parties, did that have any influence or impact upon targeting
5 A. No. I mean, UNPROFOR was present in the immediate vicinity of the
6 weapons for a period of time, and then they also toured the area. They
7 visited the relevant positions. We had received instructions as to our
8 obligation to enable this to UNPROFOR. I don't know if there are any
9 cases of -- if there were any cases of complaints by UNPROFOR as to our
10 possible failure to comply. Such protests never reached me, in any case.
11 Q. Witness, on Friday you mentioned that the Federation army had
12 81-millimetre and 82-millimetre mortars. Are these different types of
14 A. If I'm not mistaken, I said either 81- or 82-millimetre mortars,
15 and I said that because practically these are two same types of weapon.
16 You can only identify which weapon had fired if you have an unexploded
17 shell. In other cases, you can identify the firing weapon on the basis of
18 shrapnel or fragments, but not in the case of these two weapons. They
19 have equal capabilities, the same performance. The only difference is the
20 radius of the shell.
21 Q. Witness, do you know if the Federation army had both 81- and
22 82-millimetre mortars?
23 A. No, I don't know that. All I know was that UNPROFOR used the term
24 "81" in respect of our mortars as well; although, we never had an
25 81-millimetre mortar. I think that the NATO standard was 81 and that the
1 JNA standard was 82 and that that was the only difference. So both of
2 these exist but with no significant difference between the two.
3 Q. Witness, you told us on Friday that your brigade never received an
4 official protest, which you then characterised as being one from any of
5 the United Nations forces. Is that right?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Did your brigade ever receive any type of written protest from any
9 A. Protest? No.
10 Q. Did your --
11 A. I don't remember that.
12 Q. Did your brigade ever receive any type of oral protest from any
14 A. No.
15 Q. And that would include either from superior units in the Sarajevo
16 Romanija Corps or from the United Nations? Would that be -- would that be
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Witness, you told us also on Friday that your unit did not have
20 uniforms at the beginning of the war. Do you remember saying that?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. But it's also right that most able-bodied men in the former
23 Yugoslavia served in either the military reserves or in the police
24 reserves; isn't that right?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. So that those individuals who were serving in a reserve capacity
2 in the JNA reserve would have had uniforms at home, so that if they were
3 recalled they would have those uniforms available; isn't that right?
4 A. I repeat what I stated on Friday: Partly, yes, they did. But
5 generally, no. A large number of them didn't have such uniforms. These
6 uniforms were sometimes worn privately, when people went to work. Some of
7 these uniforms were returned to the units where these people had their
8 assignments. So yes, some of them had them, but the majority didn't.
9 Q. Witness, you also told us on Friday that you were aware of
10 paramilitary groups operating in your brigade's area of responsibility.
11 Do you know where these groups were operating?
12 A. I didn't say that I had known that. I knew that they existed de
13 facto and were active in the area of responsibility of the brigade. But
14 for a very brief period of time. I said that I remembered that we were
15 the first unit of this corps that had eliminated the problem for good and
16 probably the only one until the end of the war.
17 Q. What steps did you take, if any, to alert the corps commander at
18 the beginning when you realised you had this problem that this problem
20 A. First of all, I didn't alert the corps commander, in particular
21 General Galic, at all, because by the time he arrived the problem had been
22 solved for good. But before General Galic arrived, there was General
23 Sipcic, whom I didn't alert either. I mean, I never saw him. It all
24 went through the Vogosca Tactical Group and its commander. I insisted
25 there with him and drew his attention to the problems. There were even
1 some arrests that were carried out by them because our unit was not able
2 to do it.
3 Q. Do you know on the basis of your attendance at meetings involving
4 the corps leadership what other areas paramilitary forces may have been
5 operating in?
6 A. There were such forces in the corps's area of responsibility.
7 Well, it was an interesting phenomenon. It all depended on what you
8 considered to be a paramilitary unit. As far as I'm concerned,
9 paramilitary units are all those units who are not subordinated to either
10 the regular military unit in their area or the regular police unit
11 deployed in their area. They had to be either under the Ministry of
12 Defence, that is, the main staff or the corps, or the Ministry of the
13 Interior. If that was not the case, then automatically this unit would be
14 considered as a paramilitary unit.
15 Q. Do you recall discussions at Lukavica barracks or elsewhere where
16 General Galic was in attendance that the problem of paramilitary forces
17 operating anywhere within the Sarajevo Romanija Corps's area of
18 responsibility was discussed?
19 A. Yes, I do. It was a big problem which occurred on several
20 occasions throughout a longer period of time. The issue was -- let me be
21 specific. Let's take the example of the Kosevo Brigade. Throughout the
22 war, for as long as it existed as a brigade and as a battalion, we never
23 had a Praga weapon. A civilian may have had it; I don't know. There were
24 such weapons at the beginning of the war, several multi-barrel weapons,
25 and it was requested that these people, these individuals be placed under
1 an appropriate command. It was a chain of events. If you have a
2 parapolice unit, then of course you will end up having paramilitary
4 Q. And Witness, my final question for today: What steps did you take
5 within your brigade to stop paramilitary activities in your area of
7 A. We first tried to place all these units under appropriate control
8 in a normal manner. That is, we tried to involve their commanders in the
9 defence, to ensure that they carry out the usual assignments, the usual
10 tasks normally performed by any military or police in the world. But they
11 refused it. After that, I attempted through the command of the tactical
12 group -- that is, the operative group at the time to secure arrests,
13 which indeed took place. Several individuals were arrested and then --
14 but this was just a make-shift prison. They were in custody only for
15 several days for as long as it could be ensured by the commander of the
16 tactical group. The problem therefore persisted, and in the end the
17 Vogosca Tactical Group commander issued a written order on the basis of my
18 request to remove them from the area of responsibility of the brigade, and
19 they moved to another area of responsibility because he was simply unable
20 to remove them from the tactical group for good, permanently. They were
21 simply moved to another zone, but they were no longer in the area of the
22 Kosevo Brigade when it was transformed into a battalion as well.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time, and I think we've
24 come to the end for today.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning. But I
1 informed the parties already that next Friday there will be no change for
2 other reasons. We're not able to meet the request. So therefore,
3 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, it's -- your travelling will be as secure as I hope it
4 always is.
5 Then we'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, in this same
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of
9 January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.