1 Thursday, January 29, 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
10 Mr. Registrar.
11 May I ask the Prosecution to introduce themselves.
12 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
13 Counsel. For the Prosecution, Tecla Benjamin and Ekkehard Withopf, with
14 Kimberly Fleming, the case manager.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
16 Can we have the appearances for the Defence, please.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President,
18 Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,
19 Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Mirna Milanovic, legal assistant.
20 Thank you.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
22 On behalf of Mr. Kubura, Mr. Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
23 Nermin Mulalic, legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber wishes
25 to greet all persons present, representatives of the Prosecution, members
1 of the Defence teams, the accused, and all the others present in this
2 courtroom. We have one witness today who will be testifying. But before
3 we hear the witness, there are two problems we have to deal with.
4 First of all, our ruling regarding the reply of the Defence
5 concerning the admission of certain facts from three other cases. And
6 the Chamber, after having deliberated yesterday following the oral
7 request of the Defence, authorises the Defence to produce a reply to the
8 response of the Prosecution. And in order to do so, we give you a time
9 period of one week. You have seven days to produce that reply. And, of
10 course, we will make our ruling after receiving that reply from you.
11 That is the first problem, which we have resolved in the manner
13 The second outstanding issue has to do with the request made by
14 the Chamber yesterday regarding the list of documents which were given to
15 the expert military witness. In this connection, the Chamber wishes to
16 recall that before the beginning of the trial a list of documents
17 produced by the Prosecution and disclosed to the Defence was agreed upon.
18 After that, a new list with some new witnesses was also proposed by the
19 Prosecution, and this new list of documents that could become exhibits
20 once tendered into evidence were also agreed upon.
21 Having studied in detail the mentioned documents which were given
22 to the expert witness, that is, General Reinhardt, it appears in fact
23 that he had in his possession 107 documents numbered 1 to 107, 108 being
24 his final report. And also, there was a list of additional documents
25 which figure in Annex B. Therefore, the witness had in his possession
1 107 documents plus all those appearing in Annex B.
2 In order to have an exhaustive review of all the documents in the
3 possession of this expert witness, I ask the Prosecution to provide us
4 with a recapitulation covering all the documents given to the expert
5 witness, numbering those documents in a numerical order starting from the
6 lowest PT to the highest PT number, and to specify in that list which are
7 the documents that were already on the list that was approved by the
8 Pre-Trial Judge before the opening of the case and which are the
9 documents which were produced as supplementary documents subsequently.
10 I wish to remind the parties - that is, the Prosecution and the
11 Defence - that the documents referred to are, legally, documents which
12 can become exhibits only once during the proceedings they are tendered
13 into evidence at the request of one of the parties - in this case, it
14 will be the Prosecution - and once the document is tendered, the
15 registrar gives it as exhibit number if it is admitted, which mean that
16 the numbers appearing on the Prosecution documents as PT X are only
17 reference numbers of the Prosecution, because there will be a final
18 numbering of those documents which will be provided by the registrar.
19 And I wanted to make that clarification to avoid any confusion.
20 I ask the Prosecution to prepare such a list as soon as possible.
21 I don't think that will be too complicated, because as you know, we have
22 to make a ruling on Exhibit 108, that is, the report. And in order to
23 make a ruling on document 108, we must have this list which would
24 recapitulate the documents mentioned before the beginning of trial, the
25 supplementary documents agreed upon, so that we should know exactly which
1 documents we are talking about. Because as both the Defence and the
2 Prosecution and the Chamber have noted, the expert witness in his
3 preliminary report referred in footnotes to those mentioned documents.
4 For the report to be legible and easily used during the examination and
5 cross-examination, it is necessary to have clearly indicated in the
6 footnotes the numbers that will refer to the -- and that will correspond
7 to the final list that will be drawn up.
8 Mr. Withopf, have you understood the request of the Chamber
9 regarding this list? Which is not complicated, I'm sure, and I hope that
10 we'll be able to have it at the beginning of next week. Mr. Withopf, I
11 give you the floor.
12 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours. Mr. President, I
13 certainly agree with what you have just said. On the 10th of October, we
14 filed the pre-trial brief with the annexed exhibit list. We filed a
15 motion later on in late December to amend the exhibit list, and we
16 detailed that the first 107 out of the 130 exhibits -- proposed exhibits
17 on the supplementary list are such documents the Prosecution has provided
18 its military expert with.
19 We filed on the 23rd of December a further filing, namely, a
20 reply to a Defence response to Prosecution motion to amend the exhibit
21 list. And as you mentioned, Mr. President, in Annex B we attached the
22 consolidated List of Documents provided to General Reinhardt. From this
23 list, it is obvious that the Prosecution provided its military expert
24 many more documents as the ones as listed in the supplementary list. The
25 military expert of the Prosecution received several hundreds of
1 documents, and we will be able to comply with the request by the Chamber
2 at the beginning of next week.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Mr. Bourgon.
5 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In
6 response to what my learned friend said, on behalf of the Defence, we can
7 confirm that we have indeed received a consolidated list of all the
8 documents given to the expert suggested by the Prosecution, Dr.
9 Reinhardt. We also received from the Prosecution a copy of all those
10 documents which consist of a series of binders. So that we have all the
11 necessary material to prepare the cross-examination of the expert if so
12 decided by the Chamber. All the documents which were given to the
13 experts are a part of the consolidated lists of all the PTs, which the
14 Prosecution intends to tender into evidence in the course of these
16 And following what I noted -- what I said yesterday, concerning
17 the videos that we viewed yesterday, I told the Chamber that we would
18 check because we didn't know whether those videos figured on the list --
19 on the PT lists which the Prosecutor intended to produce. And we did
20 check, and the video did indeed figure on the list of documents which was
21 provided to us by the Prosecution.
22 Nevertheless, Mr. President, I should like to go back to an issue
23 because to this day we are lacking this consolidated list of all the PTs,
24 all the documents which the Prosecutor intends to produce during the
25 trial. We have the initial list of the 10th of October, two or three
1 additional documents given to us either in accordance with the pre-trial
2 brief, and then there are also documents -- additional documents. We
3 have all the documents for the general, but we still do not have a
4 consolidated list of all the documents, and such a list would be very
5 useful for us; that is, a list that would cover all the documents that
6 the Prosecution intends to produce at trial. We have spoken to the
7 Prosecution. They have promised to provide us such a list. And we hope
8 that they will indeed do so as soon as possible.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thank the Defence for their
10 comments intended to inform the Judges and the participants in this legal
11 debate. It is true that in semantics one must make a distinction between
12 a list of documents and a list of exhibits. The documents become
13 exhibits only once they have been admitted by the Chamber as exhibits and
14 are given an appropriate number. Therefore, quite rightly, the Defence
15 would like to have a complete list, a comprehensive list of the documents
16 which the Prosecution envisages to produce and tender, which doesn't mean
17 to say that all the documents appearing on that list will indeed be
18 tendered and admitted. Therefore, among all the documents referred to so
19 far, they may all be produced, but maybe some will not, and of course it
20 is up to the Prosecution to request the admission of documents when they
21 consider it necessary.
22 For the debate to be fruitful and for all of us to save time, it
23 would be desirable to have a general list of documents which the
24 Prosecution wishes to produce or tender into evidence. Maybe there could
25 even be a blank column which could be filled in once a final exhibit
1 number is given, which would allow us easily to follow the progress made
2 with the admission of documents. Then this list could have an internal
3 Prosecution number, that is, the numbers 00, et cetera, ERN number, then
4 a PT number, and then a blank column which will as the proceedings
5 develop be filled in with the exhibit numbers once they have been
6 admitted into evidence. I think it would be -- this would be useful for
7 the Prosecution, for the Defence, and of course useful for the Judges.
8 I take advantage of the opportunity to ask both the Prosecution
9 and the Defence that when parties intend to tender documents, important
10 documents as exhibits, either Prosecution or Defence exhibits, that when
11 they are official documents - those documents in most cases will be in
12 B/C/S, perhaps some in English - but I cannot emphasise sufficiently that
13 if we have a B/C/S document, a document translated into English, and a
14 document translated into French. Because as you know, when a document is
15 tendered - this may apply just to one paragraph, but it would be better
16 to have the totality of the document - and if the document is originally
17 in the B/C/S, it will of course be entirely translated into English, but
18 it would be desirable to have it translated into French as well.
19 Therefore, an important document that is tendered into evidence,
20 if the document was originally in B/C/S, it should be translated into
21 English and into French to allow the Chamber to fully appreciate the
22 probative value, the relevance, and weight of the document. Because as
23 you know, those documents are produced in the course of the
24 examination-in-chief, sometimes, as we saw yesterday and the day before,
25 there were ten documents produced at the same time. And if all the
1 documents are in B/C/S and then also in English, for the Chamber to be
2 able to quickly evaluate them they should also be translated into French
3 to the extent possible, of course. I hope we have understood each other.
4 Documents that are originally in B/C/S should be translated into English
5 and French.
6 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I should
8 simply like to inform the Chamber that the representatives of the Defence
9 have just come from a meeting with representatives of the Registrar
10 regarding the subject of translations. We are still having some
11 difficulties in this connection. Since the last intervention of the
12 Chamber in December, we held several meetings with representatives of the
13 Registrar. A few minutes ago we made a suggestion, a practical
14 suggestion and which would be economical for the Tribunal, which would
15 allow us to always have the documents at least in English for the
16 cross-examination. We fully understand the concern of the Chamber to
17 have those documents in French. We will do our best to have those
18 documents in French as well. But there is a question of resources, which
19 are a major constraint. We have informed the representatives of the
20 Registrar that we would like to have a written response to our request so
21 that the decision that will be taken by the Registrar can be passed on to
22 the Chamber if certain difficulties persist. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give you the floor, Mr.
24 Withopf, in a minute.
25 But concerning this problem that we are all well aware of, I wish
1 to tell both to indicate to the Registrar the documents that will be
2 admitted into evidence or tendered into evidence. By way of example:
3 Two days ago, regarding a particular witness, there was a series of
4 documents that were produced and admitted. There were documents that
5 were more or less important. But it was possible for the Defence to
6 take, for example, one document - there was a judgement - to have the
7 body of it translated into French, not more than that. At least this
8 applies to the important documents.
9 Later on, during the proceedings, when we have a military expert
10 and others, and if there's a document that has to do with rules of
11 discipline, the status of officers, the Criminal Code of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, et cetera, those documents are important and, of
13 course, they deserve to be translated. It's up to both sides to judge
14 the relevance of the documents. And if at your level you're unable to
15 have them translated, you tell the Registrar that these documents are
16 going to be tendered and they need to be translated into both languages
17 to be able to used in the courtroom.
18 Mr. Withopf -- because otherwise the problem of marking documents
19 for identification and then we have to wait. And to avoid this problem,
20 it is best to have all the documents ready at the moment the witness
21 appears -- I give you the floor.
22 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, my learned colleague
23 from the Defence side has already addressed the issue of resources. The
24 Prosecution intends to tender into evidence hundreds - hundreds - of
25 documents, documents which consist quite often not only of one page but
1 voluminous documents consisting of tens of pages. We are talking about
2 the translation of thousands of pages of documents into French.
3 As already indicated in the earlier stages of these proceedings,
4 our resources are stretched -- are already stretched to the absolute
5 maximum. To have such documents and even only the important documents -
6 and the Prosecution considers most, at least the vast majority of its
7 documents as important documents - to have them translated into French
8 would cause a serious - a serious - delay in the proceedings. I have,
9 unfortunately -- also I have an understanding for the concern of the
10 Trial Chamber, but realistically, I cannot at this point promise that the
11 Prosecution will translate the documents into French. It would cause a
12 serious problem, and it would most likely cause a delay in the
14 This is the situation that both Defence counsel and the
15 Prosecution are facing. I understand Defence has actually a serious
16 problem to get the documents being translated into English. To request
17 from both parties to in addition get such documents being translated into
18 French - and I really think we need to have a realistic view - this would
19 stretch the resources to the -- to an extent which we cannot cope with.
20 Unfortunately, I have to say this, but I wish to have it on the record.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has taken note of
22 your remarks. You are telling us that there are hundreds of thousands of
23 pages or thousands of documents. It's not a question of the number of
24 pages or thousands of documents. The point is that certain documents
25 have a crucial value; others have a lesser value. And it is up to us to
1 have a hierarchy of documents according to the value or significance
2 attached to those documents.
3 Let us take an example. Let us take a five-page document.
4 Clearly all the paragraphs on this five-page document are not of equal
5 importance. There may be one or two paragraphs on those five pages of
6 importance. Let us in that case translate one or two paragraphs, not the
7 five pages. Clearly, among the thousands of documents we can't ask you
8 to translate all those documents. But when a document is being tendered,
9 everyone knows the importance attached to a particular sentence, a
10 phrase, or a paragraph. Then it would be useful for that particular
11 paragraph to be translated. Because when a witness comes to testify, and
12 on the basis of his testimony a document is produced, this will not be
13 1.000 pages. It may refer to one or two paragraphs of a written
14 document. And what he will say, which may be important, will be
15 referring to a particular paragraph of a particular document, and it is
16 that paragraph that it would be useful to have. Therefore, both parties
17 should produce a hierarchy of documents and indicate an underlined
18 sentence in B/C/S or English. Instead of it being underlined simply, let
19 it be translated into French, the part that otherwise would be just
20 underlined. That isn't all that complicated.
21 Of course, if there's no other way, then produce your documents
22 in English. But as the majority of the documents will be in B/C/S, or at
23 least a large portion, those documents are translated into English. I
24 might say, "Why in English? Why not in French?", as both languages are
25 official languages. It is up to the Prosecution to establish an
1 equilibrium, a balance between the two languages. Certainly the
2 documents that are in English and are produced by the Prosecution in
3 English, the accused and Defence counsel need to have them in B/C/S. So
4 clearly, those have to be translated into B/C/S for the benefit of the
6 We'll see as we proceed. But this problem has been raised a long
7 time ago already.
8 Let us now proceed with the hearing of the next witness. I'm
9 going to ask the usher to bring the witness into the courtroom. And
10 until he comes, can the Prosecution tell us whether the witness who has
11 been held up by the snow will be here tomorrow, because the snow hasn't
12 stopped falling since yesterday.
13 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is unfortunately
14 the case. The witness has been transported from Sarajevo to Zagreb
15 yesterday. The latest information I got prior to this court session is
16 the following: The witness was still in Zagreb. Due to the weather
17 conditions, flights have been delayed. It's not yet determined as to
18 whether the witness will arrive today or not. I will keep both the Trial
19 Chamber and Defence counsel posted in respect to the further
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's a daily flight. If a
23 flight is cancelled, in that case he can only take the flight on the next
24 day; is that right? There's only one flight a day?
25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, there are a number of flights and a
1 number of different connections between Zagreb and Amsterdam. The fact
2 that a flight has been delayed or has been cancelled doesn't exclude the
3 possibility that the witness can take a different flight. So there is
4 still some hope that the witness can be presented tomorrow. I may
5 actually get to know in the course of the today's court proceedings.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Witness, do you hear me in a language that you can understand?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been invited to give
10 your testimony on behalf of the Prosecution. In order to do that, you're
11 going to give us your first and last names.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milenko Borovcanin.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When were you born?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 6th of February, 1940.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were you born?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born in Olovo Ponor.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a tradesman.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where do you currently reside?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I currently reside in Germany.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you give your testimony,
23 you have to take a solemn declaration. Can you please read the text that
24 the usher is giving to you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
3 be seated.
4 WITNESS: MILENKO BOROVCANIN
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I already indicated, you are
7 here on the invitation of the Prosecution to talk about the facts that
8 took place in 1993. Prosecution is going to ask you certain questions.
9 Can you please answer as completely as possible. If you don't understand
10 a question, you can always ask the person who has put the question to you
11 to rephrase it.
12 After having replied to the questions put to you by the
13 Prosecution - the Prosecution is seated on your right - then the Defence,
14 on your left, is also going to ask you some questions. And also, the
15 three Judges, who are in front of you, can at any moment ask you some
16 questions to clarify things.
17 As you have declared that you will speak the truth and nothing
18 but the truth, I have to tell you that false testimony may be penalised.
19 It may happen that a witness may be asked to answer a question that may
20 bring charges upon him. In that case, the witness is allowed to inform
21 the Chamber that he's not going to answer this question because of that.
22 And in that case the Chamber is going to guarantee such a witness that
23 his answer cannot be used against him, that he will not be able to be
24 incriminated based on his answer. If such a thing happens during your
25 testimony, please tell us that.
1 I will now give the floor to the Prosecution, who are going to
2 start their examination-in-chief. You have the floor.
3 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
5 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, could you tell the Trial Chamber if you're known
6 by another name, please.
7 A. Yes. People call me Pobro.
8 Q. Thank you. And could you tell the Trial Chamber which
9 municipality your birthplace is located in, please.
10 A. The municipality of Olovo.
11 Q. What is your ethnic background?
12 A. I'm a Serb.
13 Q. Were you ever a member of the JNA?
14 A. Yes, in 1966, when I served my compulsory military service in
16 Q. And for how long did you serve?
17 A. For a year.
18 Q. Did you ever become a member of any other army? Could you tell
19 the Trial Chamber, please.
20 A. Yes. In 1992 -- to be more precise, on the 1st of May, I became
21 a member of the BH Army.
22 Q. And for how long did you serve in the BH Army?
23 A. I served until 1995.
24 Q. And from the 1st of May, 1992, when you joined the BH Army, were
25 you on the front lines up until 1995?
1 A. Yes. I was in a detachment. The name of this detachment was
2 Korita. Later on the 126th Mountain Brigade was formed, and I was
3 assigned to it up to the 15th of December, 1993. And later on I did not
4 any have assignment.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Borovcanin, you told us that you served up until the
6 15th of December, 1993 actively. During that time when you were a member
7 of the -- an active member, that is, of the ABiH, could you tell us what
8 unit you belonged to.
9 A. I belonged to the Korita Detachment from the very beginning.
10 That was the Territorial Defence of Ilijas municipality. That was up to
11 the establishment of the corps, and that is of the 126th Mountain
12 Brigade. And I had a war assignment up to the 15th December 1993. Then
13 I was said I was too old to be assigned to any war unit; however, I was a
14 volunteer, and a volunteer cannot lose his assignment. And in addition
15 to that, I was not older than 60 at that time, and I was still considered
16 to be an able-bodied man. I lost my assignment. I remained in the army,
17 but I did not have an assignment. And then I received a decision by the
18 Ministry of Defence.
19 Q. Now, at the time when you were in active service, the
20 126th Brigade, under whose command did it come?
21 A. The 126th Brigade was under the command of the 1st Corps, but it
22 was in the operational zone of the 3rd Corps in the view of the area
23 where it operated.
24 Q. And who at that time was the 1st Corps responsible to in the
25 3rd Corps?
1 A. I apologise. I don't understand your question.
2 Q. To put it simply, who did the 1st Corps report to?
3 A. The 1st Corps reported to the Supreme Command or to the Main
5 Q. Was the 3rd Corps responsible for the 1st Corps?
6 A. In my opinion, it should not have been, but they coordinated
7 their activities. Given the fact that our brigade was in that territory
8 together with the units of the 3rd Corps, in that area the 3rd Corps was
9 the most important military body.
10 Q. And, Mr. Borovcanin, could you tell the Trial Chamber who was the
11 commander of the 3rd Corps at that time.
12 A. First it was Mr. Alagic and then Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
13 Q. Thank you. Could you tell the Trial Chamber where you resided
14 from July of 1992.
15 A. My family resided in Kakanj, in Povezice. And I would
16 occasionally visit them when I was on leave for seven or ten days. I
17 would then come to Kakanj, and I stayed there. Povezice is the name of
18 the street, but also the name of that neighbourhood in the town of
20 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber if there was any other
21 building on that street that you're aware of.
22 A. Yes. Across the road from my house was the Sretno Motel. The
23 only thing that separated my house from that hotel was an embankment, a
24 railway embankment. The distance is about 70 metres as the crow flies.
25 Q. Now, sir, kindly inform the Trial Chamber what you know of the
1 18th of May, 1993.
2 A. I had arrived two days earlier from the front line. I was at
3 home. I came in a caddy vehicle which was mine, but it had been
4 requisitioned by my brigade. I was on a leave, as I've said, and on that
5 day in the late afternoon I saw some vehicles and some troops arriving in
6 front of the Sretno Motel. Truth be told, I was surprised to see that
7 because sometimes I would see military police in various vehicles. This
8 time I don't know what kind of troops were in these vehicles. Their
9 arrival surprised me. At first I thought that this was
10 Mr. Hadzihasanovic's escorts, because up to that time Mr. Hadzihasanovic
11 did not have any escorts. I would see him on two or three occasions. I
12 saw him because his house was maybe three or four houses away from mine.
13 However, due to the conflicts that had been going on in Central Bosnia
14 between Croats and the BH Army, I thought that maybe since there was
15 already the Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian police that for his
16 personal safety he now was escorted by bodyguards.
17 Later on I heard singing and music coming from the motel, and
18 that is all that I saw on that day as I was standing nearby.
19 On the following day I went to the centre of the town of Kakanj.
20 I went for a walk, and I was supposed to collect some food from the Red
21 Cross office. I saw a van was on patrol. Its door was open, and there
22 were some armed people sitting and shouting from the van. I also noticed
23 that some coffee bars were being closed and people were saying, "These
24 men are members of the MOS." They were afraid that something would
25 happen to them and that's why they were closing their establishments.
1 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, were you able to see these men? And if you were,
2 could you describe what you saw for us. How did they look physically?
3 A. They wore uniforms. Some wore military blouses; some wore
4 camouflage uniforms. They wore bandannas around their heads. They were
5 armed. Later on one van stopped by a petrol station. There were three
6 soldiers inside and two Mujahedins. They had darker coloured skin. They
7 had beards. They looked Arabic to me. They had white shirts and
8 camouflage uniforms. They didn't have military blouses. And these two
9 men also had knives. I was standing by the shop. Across the road is a
10 small petrol station, a little bit higher from that shop. I was standing
11 with a friend of mine, who said to me -- when I asked him, "What is this
12 MOS doing here in Kakanj," he told me, "Let's split. This doesn't look
13 good. Whenever MOS comes into town, there will be operations. MOS are
14 sabotage units. They didn't come just like that. They must have a
15 reason to be here."
16 I started walking home. When I arrived home --
17 Q. [Microphone not activated] Did you later that afternoon go back
18 home? Did you return to your home later that afternoon?
19 A. Yes, I returned home.
20 Q. And could you tell us what -- if you did anything, and what?
21 A. I said to my wife that something was wrong and to be on the safe
22 side, that she should pack our bags. And I also told a friend of mine,
23 who was also my neighbour - his child had died in Zenica - I asked him if
24 he could watch some of my things. Those were not very valuable things.
25 I took them as I was fleeing my village. And he told me that my things
1 would be safe with him.
2 At dusk, I looked -- actually, I heard some noise coming from the
3 motel. And from the motel, two groups of MOS members started walking
4 across the embankment. One was walking to the left, right from my house;
5 and the other group was on their way towards Kakanj.
6 Q. Mr. -- sorry to interrupt you, Witness, but you say that you saw
7 two groups of men, MOS. Could you tell us how you know that these were
9 A. Well, I knew that they were in the motel, and I knew it was them.
10 And I could see them, because this is not far from where I was, maybe 20
11 or 30 metres away from my house. They wore bandannas and some had
12 insignia on their arms, and some had green bandannas around their heads.
13 Q. Could you continue. Tell us what transpired, please.
14 A. This group, which was to my right, stopped in a little meadow, in
15 a little opening. I looked and I saw Mr. Hadzihasanovic, who was talking
16 to them. I couldn't hear what he was saying. I could only see him
17 just -- I ran outside. I took the ABiH registration plates that one
18 normally puts on the car. There was a garage there, and I parked my car
19 there and I covered it with a camouflage cover so that they wouldn't know
20 that this was an ABiH army car.
21 When I looked, the second time I could no longer see Mr.
22 Hadzihasanovic. I could only see a couple of soldiers taking two
23 civilians, who were not tied, and at gunpoint they were taking them
24 towards the Sretno Motel. Within a space -- the space of a couple of
25 minutes, two more civilians were brought in the same direction. At that
1 moment, I could hear a burst of fire from a machine-gun. And a few
2 minutes later I saw that one soldier was carrying a pair of boots in his
3 hand. The others asked him, "What happened?" And then this lad replied,
4 "Foolish guy. He started shooting towards the concrete floor and he
5 wounded himself," and he says, "Give me a car." And then their van came
6 by and those people who were in the van asked what had happened. They
7 repeated the same story. They got into the van and went towards the
8 place from which the burst of fire had been heard, and they left me
9 alone. They didn't take my car, which originally they were going to
11 Later on I was not allowed to move about. Nobody was moving
12 about. At a window of the Sretno Motel, there was a sniper. I didn't
13 know what was going on. I thought that these were deserters, but usually
14 when people deserted they would be brought by the military policemen of
15 their own unit. And if -- so I wasn't clear what was going on. I knew
16 that there was something happening, but I didn't know why -- what.
17 Q. When you saw what you thought appeared to be a sniper, did you do
19 A. No, I didn't. I just didn't dare leave my house. But I asked a
20 woman who lived next to me, because Tone Baric was there with his family.
21 He was the deputy commander of the detachment. I asked her - I didn't
22 dare go myself - I asked her to go and ask Tone what this was all about.
23 And she indeed went there, and when she returned she told me that Tone
24 had been arrested.
25 Q. Upon hearing that Tone was arrested, did you do anything?
1 A. Then I decided -- it was already the time of curfew. I said to
2 my wife that something major was happening. I didn't want to scare her.
3 I didn't want to scare my child. I thought that this must have been a
4 mistake, because he was the deputy commander. So I said to my wife that
5 I would go and see Mr. Hadzihasanovic to tell him about the mistake that
6 had been made.
7 I did try to do that. On the following morning, I went in that
8 direction where Mr. Hadzihasanovic's house was. And in front of one
9 house I saw a table and there was a soldier sitting there. I didn't see
10 Mr. Hadzihasanovic. On the table, in front of the soldier there was a
11 leather briefcase that officers usually carry. It was my briefcase, the
12 briefcase that I had given as a present to Tone. And I also gave
13 Commander Mirso a torchlight. He had already had a briefcase, so I gave
14 him a torchlight. I also saw papers, a notebook, some papers, and all of
15 a sudden I realised what that was. I realised that this belonged to a
16 prisoner. And the only thing I asked was "I apologise. Do
17 you know where he resides? He has to take me to the headquarters." He
18 told me, "I'm not a local," and I turned around, went home, and I said to
19 my wife, "Take the child, take your bag and go. Take a taxi and go to
20 Kraljeva Sutjeska, and I will try to do something else and then I will
21 join you later."
22 Q. Okay. Did you join your family later?
23 A. I arrived before my wife. My wife arrived in the evening, and I
24 reached Kraljeva Sutjeska that same day. Only I met a person who would
25 come to visit us. He didn't have a father or mother and he was with me
1 in the detachment. His name was Vito Baric. And I took him with me to
2 accompany me or to guide me to Kraljeva Sutjeska. I didn't know the
3 route, because I hadn't been there before. But before I met him, Vito, I
4 didn't dare go by the hotel. I didn't dare take the highway. I passed
5 the electrical power station, and then I reached the highway there. I
6 went to Visoko --
7 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, can I interrupt you. Could you tell the Trial
8 Chamber why you say that you didn't dare go by the hotel, you didn't dare
9 pass there. Could you tell us why?
10 A. Well, you see, if a deputy commander is arrested, what would
11 happen to me then? So I knew immediately if a deputy commander with
12 official documents - he even had an official pistol - if he can be
13 arrested, then you can imagine what would happen to me. So I didn't
14 dare, because they could have intercepted me there, asked for my ID, and
15 of course I would have ended up there. I would have even fared worse,
17 Q. Thank you. Now, you said you were on your way to Kraljeva
18 Sutjeska. Could you tell us when you got there.
19 A. I got there in the afternoon. It's quite a long way. I went on
20 foot and I took roundabout routes. I arrived in the afternoon, because
21 Francika Baric, Franjo and -- Francika Baric came with me. He used to be
22 in the military police. I went to see him because I thought it was safer
23 for me to go with him to headquarters. However, when I arrived, Franjo
24 had already left, so I went to see his parents. His parents were there,
25 as well as his brother. I asked where Francika was, and they told me,
1 "He has gone. He heard that something was going on in Kakanj." I told
2 them what I had seen, and I said that my wife would come in the
3 afternoon. I didn't dare go via Visoko, since all this was going on. I
4 reckoned I would find full protection in Kraljeva Sutjeska. There's a
5 monastery there. The Franciscans -- the Franciscan order was there, and
6 historically they were always protected.
7 Q. Did there come a time when you went to the monastery?
8 A. I didn't enter the monastery.
9 Q. Did you arrive at Kraljeva Sutjeska? Did you ever arrive?
10 A. I did arrive at Kraljeva Sutjeska. And then Francika's father,
11 they called a neighbour, a lady, Kata Subasic was her name, close to the
12 monastery. And she gave me -- she indicated the basement, which is about
13 some 50 metres from where Francika's father lived. I said that my wife
14 would come. She offered me the top floor too. I said, "I don't need it.
15 I just want to see how I can reach Breza and headquarters." However, I
16 stayed there.
17 Q. Did your family eventually join you?
18 A. Yes. In the evening, my wife arrived, and the child, our child.
19 Q. And for how long did you remain there?
20 A. I stayed there until the 13th of June. On that day, in the
21 morning, around 9.00 or maybe -- I apologise. Let me go back a day. The
22 shelling had already started from the direction of Kakanj, the shelling
23 of surrounding villages around Kraljeva Sutjeska, Tesevo, and other
24 villages whose name I didn't know, a Nora was shelling. It's a far --
25 long-range artillery weapon, and there were mortars as well. And in the
1 evening, women and children fled from Tesevo up there.
2 Q. Excuse me. Witness, would that be the 12th of June, 1993?
3 A. The 12th, yes. Yes.
4 Q. Continue. Thank you.
5 A. They had found accommodation in a large house. There was no one
6 living in it because the owners, they were brothers, I think, in Germany,
7 and we shared a fence. On the ground floor was a large room that was
8 intended as a workshop, and the women went into that premise, business
9 premise. In the morning, about 9.00, shooting could be heard.
10 Q. Witness, would this be the morning of the 13th of June now?
11 A. Yes, the 13th of June, in the morning.
12 Shooting could be heard. And I went outside to see what was
13 happening, and just then from the direction of Tesevo across a small
14 river a group appeared, a large group of soldiers, shooting. Some were
15 going up towards the road, which led to Vares. There's a tunnel up
16 there, and they were climbing up the hill. Later I saw what their
17 intention was. It was not just an intention. It was what they achieved,
18 that is, to block the road. And they came across the river shooting all
19 the while and shouting, "Allah-U-Ekber." And they surrounded these
20 houses, the surrounding houses, and these women and myself. I showed
21 them my army ID card. He didn't even look at it. He just put it in his
22 pocket. And they shepherded us all into this business premise of this
23 house. And in this premises, I was there among the men; Francika's
24 father, a disabled son, another man, an older man that I didn't know; and
25 two young men of about 15 or 16. All the others, more than 50 persons,
1 were all women and children.
2 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, would you be able to describe for the Trial
3 Chamber what these soldiers looked like? Could you assist us, please.
4 A. It was a special unit, I know, because they were wearing
5 bulletproof vests, they had real uniforms, as we would say, and they had
6 all the appropriate weaponry, so that, compared with other soldiers,
7 people knew who were special forces or elite forces. I also saw the
8 insignia of the army.
9 There was a young woman inside who recognised one of them as a
10 school friend, and it was thanks to him -- one wanted to shoot with a
11 rifle grenade, but he took it from him and forced him outside. And he
12 said to us, "Don't be afraid. No one will hurt you. Only if we're
13 attacked by your combatants we will force you in front of us so that we
14 can pull out." They went out --
15 Q. Could you explain for the Trial Chamber when you say "army,"
16 which army are you speaking about? You said you were able to recognise
17 the insignia of the army. Which army?
18 A. I'm talking about the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. Thank you. From this house, did you go anywhere?
20 A. I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand.
21 Q. From this house that you were housed in, did you leave to go
23 A. First they forced us all not to the first floor but to the attic.
24 We weren't allowed to take anything with us. They shoved us into two
25 small rooms, and there was just enough room to stand, and we spent about
1 an hour there. Then they chased us out of those rooms, downstairs, and
2 they took us across the road to another house. But all the things were
3 left behind, all our bags. Usually women were carrying bags with their
4 most valuable things, their most valuable belongings. And in that house
5 there was a corridor, one room to one side, and one to the other. And
6 they pushed us inside. They pulled down the blinds. They designated two
7 women to bring water for the children at 1.00. I remember that very
8 well. And then they left.
9 We were there. We didn't know what to do or what to expect. We
10 couldn't see anything, what was going on. We could hear shooting around
11 us. One woman close to the blind, she raised it and looked out and
12 didn't see anyone. The two young men of 15 or 16 were taken away by
14 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, did you do anything with your family then? When
15 these soldiers left, did you do anything with your family? Did you take
16 your family anywhere?
17 A. When we saw there were no soldiers around us, then we took the --
18 we used the windows facing the hills to get out, all of us. We got out
19 slowly and started uphill. It's a steep hill. Maybe it's about 7 to 8
20 hundred metres to the top. And we somehow managed to get there through
21 the woods. We reached a meadow near a big transformer station. Then I
22 looked down. Below us were the fields where there were many, many people
23 by then. Throughout that period, one could see the smoke from Kakanj,
24 one could hear shooting. We came down the slope again and joined this
25 host of people, this large group of people.
1 Q. What area would that be?
2 A. This is Kraljeva Sutjeska, Poljane, the area is called. There's
3 a small field, the polje, and by the end of that field it's called
4 Poljane. Kraljeva Sutjeska is the whole area, however part of it is
5 known as Poljane. It was about 300 metres from the monastery perhaps.
6 And then these people - and I was with them, as well as my
7 family - some had come there in cars, in tractors. There were even
8 trucks. There was even a bus.
9 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, did you eventually end up in a particular area?
10 A. Yes. When these people started burning their property, the cars
11 and things, then the column headed towards Vares. There was about 10.000
12 people, and I joined the column. We had to pass through territory held
13 by the Serb army - it was called Pernice - in order to reach Vares.
14 Q. And did you stay in Vares?
15 A. Yes. I reached Vares, and I stayed there. I got in touch with
16 headquarters. They wrote me a letter saying that if I could, I could
17 help the families - and there were about ten Croatian families who were
18 with us in the army - and that I should try and help them out.
19 Q. And did you go anywhere else from Vares?
20 A. I then, together with these families, managed to find a small
21 tractor with four wheels. The headquarters were waiting with a bus at
22 the border between the HVO and the army. And from there they took us and
23 took us to Breza, where our brigade headquarters was located.
24 Q. And for how long did you live in Breza?
25 A. I stayed in Breza until 1995.
1 Q. And where did you go to after Breza?
2 A. When I got the appropriate decision and a passport from the
3 Ministry of Defence, I left Breza for Germany.
4 Q. Where do you live at present, Mr. Borovcanin?
5 A. I am living in Germany now.
6 Q. Thank you, Witness.
7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, this is the
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before starting the
10 cross-examination, we are going to have a break.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But just two small questions,
13 Witness: I didn't quite understand. You told us that you were a member
14 of the 126th Mountain Brigade. What was your rank? Were you an ordinary
15 foot soldier? What was your rank?
16 A. I had no rank. I was a regular soldier.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you have a military
18 uniform? Did you have a weapon, insignia?
19 A. I had a weapon, a rifle, until 1993. After that I did other jobs
20 as required, but they did not require a weapon.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You explained to us that at a
22 certain point in time you saw close to the Sretno Motel an officer who,
23 according to you, had bodyguards. When you saw him, were you in military
24 uniform or in civilian clothing?
25 A. At the time, I put on the top part of my uniform, that is, the
1 jacket, because I was at home.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. There's another
3 point to clear up: You told us at the beginning that you were Serb.
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you joined the 126th
6 Brigade, which belonged to the 1st Corps, were there Serbs, Croats,
7 Muslims in the 126th Brigade? Who were the members of that brigade?
8 A. Before the brigade was formed, our detachment consisted of three
9 companies: One was the HVO company of the Croatian Defence Council; two
10 companies were Korita and Solakovici. So that apart from me, there were
11 no other Serbs. But there were Croats up until August 1992, when that
12 company -- the HVO company -- was disbanded, and 12 of us, Croats and
13 myself, remained in the detachment. Tone Baric stayed on, who was deputy
14 commander; Ilko Baric, who was assistant chief of staff; Francika,
15 Franjo; Kadar, Braco; Zoka.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were the only Serb with
18 A. I was the only Serb, and the others were Muslims.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There were Muslims too?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the question that comes to
22 mind: Who was the enemy?
23 A. I was a volunteer there. I was the only Serb in the detachment
24 and later on in the brigade. And in our brigade - the rest had fled or
25 left, I don't know how to put it - there were 12 Croats that stayed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 behind, whereas all the others were Muslims.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But you say that
3 you were in an area in which the 3rd Corps was also present. So you were
4 deployed in the same geographic area. But you were deployed against
6 A. Against the Serb army.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 It's quarter to 4.00. We're now going to have the break. And we
9 will resume in 25 minutes' time at ten past 4.00 sharp.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall now
14 I'm going to give the floor to the Defence for their
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Borovcanin. My name is
19 Edina Residovic. I represent General Hadzihasanovic. I'm going to ask
20 you to answer a few questions. I believe that these questions are
21 important for the defence of my client.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I hear a noise. Papers are being
23 shuffled. And I don't know whether it's the interpreters who do that.
24 Thank you. Now it's okay.
25 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, I am going to start with some questions that
1 follow from the questions put to you by the Presiding Judge. Is it true
2 that the Territorial Defence, and later on the BH Army, was actually a
3 multi-ethnic army and that the deputy commander of the Main Staff at that
4 time when you were a member of that army was a Serb, General Jovan
5 Divjak; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, is that is correct.
7 Q. To the Prosecutor's question, you answered that you currently
8 reside in Germany. Can you please tell me whether you reside in Germany
9 only temporarily or have you regulated your status in Germany.
10 A. I reside in Germany only temporarily.
11 Q. You said that you were born in February 1940; is that true?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. A person who would be ten years your junior or ten years your
14 senior, you wouldn't be in the position to say that that person is of the
15 same age.
16 A. I don't understand your question.
17 Q. In everyday life, if we say that somebody is of our age, we imply
18 that that person was born either the same year as we or one or two years
19 earlier or later; is that true? If somebody were born ten years after or
20 ten years before, you wouldn't say of that person that he was your age;
21 is that true?
22 A. It depends on how they look. There are persons who look younger
23 and who are nevertheless older and vice versa. For example, somebody
24 will say, "I am 70, and others will say I am 50." I don't know what
25 you're referring to.
1 Q. Later on I'll ask about that. I was just asking it is not
2 customary to say about somebody who is ten years younger or older that
3 they are of our own age; is that correct?
4 A. It depends on how they look. In 1992, I didn't have a single
5 white hair on my head. A year or two later I had a head full of white
6 hair. I changed.
7 Q. In -- where we come from, people are rather tall. If somebody
8 was 170 centimetres tall, we wouldn't say that he was tall. Is that
10 A. No, we wouldn't say that. I am 181, and I'm tall.
11 Q. If you were 170, would you be tall then?
12 A. Well, that is also a certain height. It's very difficult for me
13 to say.
14 Q. If somebody weighed 65 kilos and he was a man, would we say that
15 he was a strong, sturdily built person?
16 A. No, we wouldn't.
17 Q. And let me ask you something that arises from your testimony. So
18 far I've only asked you general questions. Is it true that before your
19 today's testimony you also gave a statement to the Prosecutors of The
20 Hague Tribunal?
21 A. Yes, it is true.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since some of my questions will
23 arise from the statement, I would kindly ask for the witness to be
24 provided with a copy of his statement in B/C/S and in English as well.
25 You can also give it to the other participants; however, I don't think I
1 will tender any of the parts of this statement into evidence. But it
2 would be useful for all of us to have it in front of us at the moment
3 when I put my questions to the witness.
4 Q. You can look at the statement in B/C/S. Is it true that you gave
5 this statement on 17th September 2001?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Can you please look at page 4, the last paragraph on that page.
8 Here you give a detailed description of Enver Hadzihasanovic. You say
9 that you think that he was of about your age, that he was about 1.80
10 metres tall, and that he is of strong build. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes. I would repeat the same thing today.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: May I interrupt, please. Nowhere in my
14 examination-in-chief did I ask the witness about any description with
15 respect to the accused Hadzihasanovic.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As I've said, Mr. President, I
17 would like to use parts of the statement in order to check the
18 credibility and I am not going to base my questions on the questions put
19 to the witness by my learned friend. I'm going to use another basis for
20 checking the credibility of the witness.
21 Q. Let's go back to the questions put to you by my learned friend.
22 You said that on the 1st of May, 1992 you had joined the Territorial
23 Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which later on became the Army of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. According to the then-constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
2 that was the only armed force in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Although you were born in Olovo, at that time you resided in
6 Ilijas; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, I resided in Ilijas.
8 Q. Since at the time Serbs had proclaimed Ilijas a part of the
9 Serbian Autonomous Province, most, if not all citizens who were not Serbs
10 were either expelled or had left the territory under the control of the
11 Serb forces; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. According to your own words, you were a volunteer, you abandoned
14 the area, and you decided to become a member of the Territorial Defence;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Your detachment, Korita, as well as some other detachments which
18 existed at the time in the course of 1993 became integral parts of the
19 brigades of the army which was being established at the time; is that
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Your brigade was part of the 1st Corps of the BH Army whose
23 headquarters were in Sarajevo; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is. I said that this is correct.
25 Q. So your superior command was the command of the 1st Corps; is
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. However, as a matter of fact, in the course of 1993, because of
4 the blockade of Sarajevo, some of the units of the 1st Corps were also
5 active in the territories covered by other corps; is that correct?
6 A. I didn't understand your question. I apologise.
7 Q. The headquarters of the 1st Corps was in Sarajevo. Sarajevo was
8 blocked at the time. Some of the units and brigades of the 1st Corps
9 were active outside of the boundaries of the city of Sarajevo. Sometimes
10 in the areas that belonged to the zone of responsibility of other corps.
11 For example, some units were active in the territory of the 3rd Corps,
12 some in the territory of the 4th Corps; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, part of this is correct. However, units of the 1st Corps,
14 as far as I know - and I know about our area of responsibility - were in
15 the zone of the command of the 3rd Corps. But they only arrived once the
16 tunnel had been dug. They arrived in the area of Vares and I believe
17 that it was the 105th and some other brigades. I know that they arrived
18 in the vicinity of Vares.
19 Q. So this did happen for some specific reasons that were prevalent
20 during that war.
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. You as a member of the army at that time were aware of the fact
23 that in late 1992 and beginning 1993 in the general area where your unit
24 also was a lot of refugees arrived from the areas which were under the
25 control of the Serb forces and later on under the control of the HVO; is
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes. I know that there were refugees from that area, mostly in
3 Breza, Kakanj, and in Visoko. From our area, some Croats also went to
4 Kiseljak and further on. I don't know where they went at that time. But
5 in any case, there were a lot of displaced persons in the area of Kakanj,
6 Breza, Visoko.
7 Q. Is it true that at that time a lot of refugees who came after the
8 fall of Jajce arrived in that area carrying their own arms and that there
9 were a lot of self-organised groups which were active in that general
11 A. In the area where I was - and that was from Naborzici [phoen] -
12 if you have a map, I can show you - towards Visoko, Breza, and Kakanj, I
13 didn't see any other. And I claim that there weren't any such groups
14 besides the BH Army and the HVO. As I've already said, there was also
15 MOS --
16 Q. HOS?
17 A. No, MOS. Some said that the abbreviation stood for the Muslim
18 Liberation Alliance, or something like that. I don't know what the
19 abbreviation stood for.
20 Q. Is it true that some of these units were mostly formed in various
21 villages close to the religious buildings and under the influence of some
22 religious leaders? Would that be correct?
23 A. That was not the case in our area. A detachment was formed, but
24 there was no priest or hodza involved. A detachment was formed. The 1st
25 Detachment, and later on --
1 Q. I'm not talking about the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You
2 mentioned the MOS and some other forces. Do you know anything about
3 them? How were they formed? If you don't know, just say you don't know.
4 That is also an answer.
5 A. Yes, it is an answer; however, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't know who
6 created those forces and why, who established them.
7 Q. Your family was for a while in Breza and later on you moved to
8 Kakanj; is that correct?
9 A. No. My family was in Kakanj, and then when we went from Kakanj
10 to Kraljeva Sutjeska and then to Vares. Then we arrived in Breza, where
11 we stayed until 1995. That's how we closed the full refugee circle.
12 Q. In Kakanj, there was the Municipal Staff of the Territorial
13 Defence of the BH Army and the majority of the local population,
14 especially Muslims, were mobilised into the BH Army; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Although you were in Kakanj, you were up to the end of May --
17 that is, 20 May 1993 -- at the front line most of the time; is that
19 A. It depended on the situation. I would occasionally be on the
20 front line for ten days in a row. Sometimes, when it was calm and
21 peaceful, I would go to help the refugees to transport food for them.
22 That was -- that's how I was more useful than if I had been sitting up
23 there. So sometimes I would be on the front line for ten days, sometimes
24 for seven days. It would depend on the shifts and on the situation.
25 Q. You said that in Kakanj you lived in Povezice, in the house of a
1 local Serb; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. As a matter of fact, you were in the street the name of which was
4 the Fraternity and Unity Street, which belonged to that neighbourhood of
6 A. The street name was Povezice. I never heard of this other name
7 that you mentioned. I never heard of this other name. I know that
8 Povezice was Povezice and that was the name of the street.
9 Q. That street or that neighbourhood -- according to me, although
10 you say it was just the name of the street -- on one side of the street
11 there was a row of terrace houses and on the other side of the railroad
12 there was another block of apartments.
13 A. Yes, on the other side of the railroad in front of the motel
14 there was another block of apartments.
15 Q. There is an embankment there and there still is, and from the
16 terraced houses, because of the embankment and the block of apartments
17 across the railroad you could see nothing but the roof of the motel. You
18 couldn't see the entrance.
19 A. I couldn't see the entrance, because it was -- the vision was
20 blocked. But it is not true that I could see nothing but the roof. I
21 could also see the windows on the upper floors. I couldn't see the
22 basement and the entrance, but I could see the rooms and the windows on
23 the upper floors, as well as the roof.
24 Q. You were not the only refugee family in that street. In the row
25 of terraced houses, there were a number of refugees who had arrived from
1 Romanija, Sokolac, and from other areas; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Maybe you will remember that the families of Ivica and Emina
4 Komljen; Pero and Rosa Banovac, Petla Batlavic [phoen], his sons Marko
5 and Ilija, and some other families resided there at the same time like
6 the Penjic family; is that correct family is that correct?
7 A. In that row of houses, as far as the refugees are concerned, I
8 didn't know any refugee. I didn't know them because I didn't know this
9 area of Kakanj. I knew Kakanj as such very well. I was the president of
10 the Society of Private Entrepreneurs, but I didn't know this particular
12 I knew by sight some people. I saw Mr. Hadzihasanovic's family.
13 There was his wife and two children, the son and the daughter. There were
14 some other families whom I didn't know. I didn't know where they were
15 from. I was not interested in that. So in that part there were not so
16 many refugees as you're saying.
17 Q. To the Prosecution's question, you said that at that time in 1993
18 the 3rd Corps was established. Is it true that its base was in Zenica?
19 A. Yes, it is correct.
20 Q. You also said that the first commander of the 3rd Corps was
21 General Alagic, who was followed by General Hadzihasanovic.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you please be more precise and tell us up to when was
24 General Alagic the commander of the 3rd Corps.
25 A. Believe me, I can't be more precise. They -- when I was in
1 Kakanj, there were no ranks. He was not a general. They referred to him
2 as a commander. When one replaced the other and what their positions in
3 the Main Staff was -- I really don't know what was the situation in the
4 3rd Corps. I can only tell you about the things that I witnessed and
5 where I was. I can tell you about any detachment.
6 Q. Very well, then. But in any case --
7 A. I can also tell you about my Main Staff.
8 Q. Since this is correct that there were no ranks, you know that the
9 first commander of the 3rd Corps was Alagic and then that he was followed
10 by Hadzihasanovic as commander. You've already said that to -- in reply
11 to the Prosecutor's question.
12 A little while ago, Mr. Borovcanin, you said that in this row of
13 terraced houses, in one of these houses there was the wife and children
14 of Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
15 A. Yes. This was a couple of houses further on.
16 Q. On that morning that you were talking about, up to that morning
17 you never knew which house this was. So on the morning of the 20th, you
18 asked somebody to point the Hadzihasanovic family's house to you.
19 A. I knew these houses, because you could see them. This is not far
20 from where I was, maybe three or four houses further away. I knew that
21 one of these three or four houses was his house. I knew that it was
22 there, because I would see him and I would see his wife, his cows walking
23 around. I was not interested in who was walking where and who was there.
24 I minded my own business. I had my family and my commitments.
25 Q. Actually, Enver Hadzihasanovic's family, together with other
1 refugees, was living in a still-not-completed house which had been
2 abandoned by a Serb family; is that correct?
3 A. I don't know whether they had abandoned it and how they were
4 living in it. I don't know that.
5 Q. If I tell you that in this unfinished house there were 11 people
6 living on the ground floor, 4 refugee families, you will agree with me
7 that that is correct?
8 A. No, I won't. I don't remember that anywhere in Kakanj at the
9 time that I was there that there were in a house in the area I was in
10 that was inhabited by four or five families. I can't agree with that,
11 and I'm afraid I can't even believe it. You would have to convince me of
13 Q. You personally never entered that house, did you?
14 A. No, I didn't, but I know -- I know that in front there were some
15 Serbs; to the right, there was Jelic houses. And therefore I know how it
16 was. In Dumanac [phoen], a little further on, there was a friend of mine
17 -- Ferid, his name was. He was also with me on the front. But there,
18 where I lived, I can claim that there was no house inhabited by four
20 Q. 11 persons.
21 A. I didn't count.
22 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, please: You never personally met Enver
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. And as you testified, when you saw that he had come to visit his
1 wife and children, you would always see him alone. You never saw him
2 with an escort.
3 A. He didn't have a military escort. When he came in a car, once I
4 saw him in a jeep - I don't know who was inside. I wouldn't stand
5 watching to see who was passing by. I didn't see him having a military
7 Q. In answer to a question from the Prosecution, you said that on
8 the 18th of May, 1993, you saw a van with these soldiers with green bands
9 round their heads.
10 A. On the 18th, they arrived at the motel up there, at the Sretno
12 Q. Thank you. And on that day, you didn't see Enver Hadzihasanovic
13 anywhere, did you?
14 A. No, I didn't see him that day. I didn't.
15 Q. Actually, the conclusion as to why these men had arrived was your
16 own assumption. You had no information about that, did you?
17 A. I didn't have anyone to get information from. But knowing the
18 area; knowing the reality; and how and what things were happening and how
19 a combat unit acts; and that the police would come to the Sretno Motel;
20 and that a unit was located there -- at first, I thought it might be
21 because of conflicts in Central Bosnia, that perhaps some kind of
22 security had arrived for Hadzihasanovic because a conflict had broken out
23 between the Croats and the army and in Kakanj there was the Croatian
24 Defence Council.
25 Q. Very well. Mr. Borovcanin, you told me a moment ago that in
1 addition to the HVO there was the Territorial Defence and units of the
2 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the same time.
3 A. Yes. There was a special unit located up there, a special unit
4 of the police, in the centre up there. I know some men. I know the
6 Q. Among these refugees that you saw, you said, seeing some in the
7 Povezice neighbourhood there were some who were members of the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina like yourself.
9 A. Yes. Across the road from my place there was Tone Baric. And
10 next to me, the house next to where I was, in the direction of Kakanj -
11 I've forgotten his name - but he was in Tale's detachment. We knew each
12 other very well. His little son had a heart attack and died, et cetera.
13 Everyone knows about that.
14 Q. Also among the refugee families there was Bilal and Mirsad who
15 were members of the army.
16 A. Could you repeat the names.
17 Q. Refugees from Sokolac, Milavica Mirsad and Milavica Bilal. They
18 were also members of the Territorial Defence of Kakanj.
19 A. I don't know them.
20 Q. You said that on that day, that is, the 18th of May, and then
21 again the next day, on the 19th of day, you saw this group of soldiers
22 who had come with these green scarves. That was an exceptional event and
23 that is why you remembered it so well, because those men were not in
24 Kakanj before. Is that right?
25 A. Earlier on I would see one or two sitting, a Mujahedin or a MOS
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 member in camouflage and with those scarves, but on that day there was a
2 van driving round Kakanj, shouting, yelling, carrying rifles. But in
3 those days there were big posters saying that people were not allowed to
4 wear even uniforms if they were not members of military units. And never
5 mind weapons. They were supposed to leave their weapons on the front or
6 to the place of deployment. If I am at number 7, I go to number 7. And
7 everyone knew who went where.
8 Q. Very well. On the 19th of May, as you said in answer to a
9 question from the Prosecution, in front of your house on a meadow, some
10 200 metres away from you perhaps, you noticed this group talking to a man
11 in uniform; is that right?
12 A. There's no 200 metres there. I'm sorry. It may be perhaps --
13 well, let's say not even 60 or 70 metres away. It's right nearby. 200
14 metres may be the distance up to the last house over there.
15 Q. However, in your statement you gave to the Prosecutor, you said
16 that between your house and the house in which Enver Hadzihasanovic
17 family was staying was about 250 to 300 metres.
18 A. We are talking about houses. But you asked me about the meadow
19 where these soldiers were. That's a different matter. The house is one
20 thing, and the spot where the soldiers were is another.
21 Q. You didn't hear any -- anything of the conversation that was
22 going on between that man and these soldiers.
23 A. I couldn't hear anything, because I was looking through my
25 I could see some gesturing with their hands. I didn't hear
1 words, but it is true that I saw them. And then -- I'm sorry. I don't
2 know what you were asking.
3 Q. You've clarified that. You couldn't hear it. You saw them from
4 a distance that you indicated.
5 The next day in the morning, that is, on the 20th of May, you had
6 decided to go to the house where the wife and two small children of Enver
7 Hadzihasanovic were living; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you inquired with the neighbours to point out the house.
10 A. I didn't ask the neighbours, because I knew where the row of
11 houses was. I know it was one of the three or four. But once I got
12 there, I would ask somebody.
13 Q. I see. When you arrived nearby, you asked somebody to tell you.
14 A. No, I didn't, because I didn't see anyone in the street except in
15 front of one house there was a table and a soldier, and I asked him.
16 Q. Very well. Before I move on to my next question, the soldiers
17 that you saw in the meadow, you didn't see any insignia that may have
18 been worn by those soldiers except for those green bandannas on their
20 A. I saw on those soldiers -- I had seen them in Kakanj the day
21 before, and I saw them wearing bandannas. I knew that they were the same
22 ones. They had all kinds of wording, "The MOS," on them. Because they
23 passed by my house, maybe a couple of steps away.
24 Q. When you reached that house, you said that in the garden you saw
25 soldiers sitting at a table; is that right?
1 A. It isn't a garden. It was in front of the house. On the
2 pavement or on the small piece of land in front of the house.
3 Q. But at the time you didn't see the wife or the children of Enver
5 A. No, I didn't see anyone.
6 Q. You didn't see Enver Hadzihasanovic there either.
7 A. No, I didn't. He wasn't there.
8 Q. The soldier that you did see, you didn't know him at all, did
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the
13 other Defence team, a Judge of the Chamber has a question for the
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Witness, let us go back to
17 the moment when you were at Kraljeva Sutjeska before going to Vares. And
18 you told the Chamber that there were people who were burning cars and
19 goods. I want to know who were those people that you mentioned.
20 A. In Poljane, where these people had gathered, they were Croats who
21 were fleeing from the surrounding villages. And their property in
22 question was their personal property, tractors and trucks. As the BH
23 Army had cut across or blocked the main road -- in fact, the only road
24 that was passing through Kraljeva Sutjeska, and they couldn't use their
25 vehicles, and so as not to let the army get hold of that property, they
1 set fire to those vehicles. There were quite a number of tractors,
2 passenger cars on fire. And then they all took the route towards Planica
3 where Serb positions were, and we crossed those Serb positions. We went
4 through Serb positions to reach Vares.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 I should like to give the floor to the other Defence counsel for
7 the cross-examination.
8 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. On behalf of Mr. Kubura,
9 there are no questions that we have for this witness. I'm grateful, Your
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
12 I turn now to the Prosecution to ask them whether they have any
13 additional questions in view of the questions put by the Defence counsel
14 within the framework of their cross-examination.
15 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no
16 re-examination for this witness.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Witness, you came at the request of the Prosecution to testify.
19 You have answered questions put to you by the parties and the Judges. We
20 wish to thank you for your testimony, and we wish you a safe return trip.
21 We hope that the climactic conditions will allow you to go home quickly.
22 And as you're coming from Germany, I don't think that you will be having
23 any major problems.
24 I will ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Now, let me ask the
2 Prosecution to inform us about the weather forecast and the arrival of
3 the witness that we're all expecting.
4 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I would be glad if I
5 could inform you about the weather forecast, but I can tell you that the
6 witness who is scheduled for tomorrow has arrived and he will be called
7 tomorrow at 9.00.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That is good news.
9 Then we'll be able to complete the hearing of the witnesses for this
11 It seems to me that there's another outstanding matter to
12 address, and that is the CDs. I saw some being passed around a moment
13 ago. Is the Prosecution going to tender into evidence the CD-ROM
14 containing the video clips of the witnesses we heard yesterday?
15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honour, in order to discuss
16 this issue, may I please ask to go into private session.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That was what I was going to
19 Let us go into private session.
20 [Private session]
13 Pages 2217 – 2229 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As it is 5.30, we have no more
21 witnesses, we will adjourn and we will see all the parties again tomorrow
22 at 9.00 a.m.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.31 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 30th day of
25 January, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.