1 Friday, 30 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
6 call the case.
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. May I have the
10 appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours. Good morning, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Ekkehard Withopf
13 and Kimberly Fleming, the case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Appearances for the Defence.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
17 Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Mirna
18 Milanovic, legal assistant.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 Mr. Rodney Dixon and Mr. Fahrudin Ibrisimovic and Mr. Mulalic, legal
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. The
23 Chamber greets everybody present in the courtroom, the Prosecution,
24 represented by Mr. Withopf; the Defence counsel; the accused; and
25 everybody present in the courtroom.
1 Before we bring in the witness, I would like to clarify certain
2 matters. Firstly, yesterday we mentioned the issue of the duration of
3 testimonies. As you know, in a document that was submitted before the
4 trial, the Prosecution summarised -- provided us with the summaries of
5 the witnesses with the expected timing for every witness; that was
6 between 30 minutes up to 1 or 2 days. This was just an indication of the
7 time that would be required for the witnesses of the Prosecution, and the
8 time indicated was not binding upon the Prosecution. If the Prosecution
9 estimates that they would take more time, they are certainly free to take
10 more time. If the Prosecution says that they will need 45 minutes and
11 they require 1 hour and a half, then they will examine for 1 hour and a
12 half. The only risk that we face is that if the testimony of one witness
13 is not finished within the course of one day, then the witness has to
14 come back on the following day. The same is true of the Defence; the
15 Defence will also have all the time necessary at their disposal for their
17 Having said that, of course I would like to emphasise that if the
18 Prosecution took an hour, then I can't give the Defence two hours for
19 their cross-examination. So when it comes to the timing, we're talking
20 merely about indications of time. The Prosecution obviously will have as
21 much time as necessary to put their questions, and the Defence, when they
22 start calling their witnesses, they will also have as much time as
23 necessary. This is just by way of clarification on this issue.
24 The second issue is to do with cross-examination. As you may
25 well know, you have submitted a motion in order to clarify an oral
1 decision rendered on the 17th of December, 2003. We rendered that
2 decision regarding cross-examination, and I would like to remind you that
3 based on that decision, the issues of context are allowed, but when you
4 ask a question about a context of an event, to the extent possible before
5 you ask the question you have to explain what the purpose of that
6 question is and what are you aiming at with your question. So what are
7 the reasons for you to putting the question, to establish a link between
8 your question and the particular witness.
9 So far things have been going on well, and in the future can you
10 please inform us about the general context of the specific question that
11 you are putting to a particular witness.
12 When it comes to hearsay, hearsay is acceptable on one condition:
13 When you put this type of question, if the witness does provide us with
14 the facts that he heard from somebody else, he has to specify who the
15 origin of the information is. So every time we have to endeavour and
16 identify the source of knowledge. So far we haven't had any problems
17 with that. In the future, if there are any problems, we will deal with
18 them as we go.
19 The third point I wish to raise concerns the rights of the
20 accused and the rights of the Defence to be informed about the admitted
21 exhibits, exhibits admitted into evidence. The accused are not sitting
22 next to their counsel. In the continental law system, the accused sit
23 next to their counsel, and the only way the accused are able to
24 communicate with their counsel is by passing on notes to them. In the
25 future, when we are faced with some important documents produced by the
1 Prosecution, we will have to have one copy for the Chamber, several
2 copies for the Defence counsel, and there will have to be a copy for the
3 accused. Only in that way will the accused be able to follow the
4 exhibits and give their opinions on those exhibits.
5 So far the documents have been provided to the Defence counsel,
6 and they were not provided to the accused. Since we already are making a
7 certain number of copies, I'm sure that the Prosecution will not find it
8 difficult to add to that two more copies for the accused.
9 These were the three points that I wished to raise before we
10 bring in today's witness.
11 Can we please have the witness.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. I would
14 just like to check whether you can hear me in a language that you can
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you, and I can
17 understand you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You were
19 called to testify in this case by the Prosecution. In order to testify,
20 you have to enter a solemn declaration. Before that, I would like to
21 hear your name.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Ivo Fisic. I come from
23 Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was born on 6 November 1942 in
24 Nevica Polje, Novi Travnik municipality. My father was Marko, and my
25 mother was Andjelka.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. What is
2 your current profession?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am an economist, specialising in
4 accountancy for companies.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. In 1993, what
6 did you do? What was your profession?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time when these events took
8 place, I was the CEO of a company which was a part of Borac Travnik
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 Can you now, please, read the text of the solemn declaration.
12 Read it in your language, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I shall
14 tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.
16 WITNESS: IVO FISIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I have already told you,
19 first you're going to answer the questions put to you by the
20 representatives of the OTP, on your right-hand side. Try to answer as
21 completely as possible and as precisely as possible.
22 After that, the Defence counsel, sitting on your left, will also
23 ask you some questions. At any point in time, the three Judges, when
24 they deem it is necessary, can also ask you questions. If you have
25 problems understanding a question or any other difficulties with any
1 question, you may ask for the question to be rephrased. If you don't
2 want to answer a question, you have to tell us why you don't want to do
4 As you have entered this solemn declaration, you must tell the
5 truth. And if any question is not answered truthfully, you may be liable
6 for false testimony. If any question or any answer you may give may
7 incriminate you, you may refuse to answer. If the Chamber then decides
8 that the witness has to answer the question, the Chamber will inform the
9 witness that there will be no incrimination against him.
10 We are going to start first with the examination-in-chief, and
11 for that purpose I'm going to give the floor to the Prosecution.
12 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President, Your Honours.
13 Prior to examining the witness, I wish to express my gratitude
14 for the clarifications made today by the Presiding Judge, in particular
15 in respect to the time estimates of the examination-in-chief provided
16 with the Rule 65 ter witness summaries.
17 Examined by Mr. Withopf:
18 Q. Mr. Fisic, good morning.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Mr. Fisic, you informed the Trial Chamber that you were born in
21 Travnik. Can you please also inform the Trial Chamber where you grew up.
22 A. I was born in Nevica Polje, 3 and a half kilometres from the town
23 of Travnik and 7 kilometres away from Novi Travnik; however, my village
24 belonged to the municipality of Novi Travnik. In that village, I lived
25 up to 1974, and then I moved to Travnik, to my apartment. And from that
1 moment on, up to the beginning of conflicts, even up to this very day I
2 have lived at that same address.
3 Q. Very well. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber whether you
4 joined the JNA. And if so, can you please provide us with the dates when
5 you joined it and when you left it.
6 A. I served in the JNA from the 18th of September, 1963, to the end
7 of February 1965. I served in Umag in Istria. This was my compulsory
8 military service.
9 Q. And Mr. Fisic, did you have a military rank once you left the
11 A. Yes. Yes. When I left the JNA, I became a corporal.
12 Q. Do you have a university degree?
13 A. Yes. I have an associate degree. I graduated in Sarajevo. I
14 graduated as a part-time student of the university in Sarajevo.
15 Q. You already informed the Trial Chamber that in 1992 and 1993 you
16 were living and working in Travnik. What actually was your work about
17 during this time?
18 A. I was the general manager of a work organisation which was a part
19 of the Borac company, which was basically a publishing house that also
20 engaged in the trade of printed matter.
21 Q. Having lived and worked in Travnik in 1992 and early 1993, did
22 there come a time when you noticed foreigners in this area of Travnik?
23 A. Yes. Sometime in the course of 1992 foreign citizens started
24 arriving in Travnik. Their general appearance was different. One could
25 conclude that they were Arabs, I don't know where from, but it was
1 obvious that they were Arabs. They wore very distinctive uniforms that I
2 noticed when they came for prayers to the mosques. Some of them also
3 wore military uniforms, camouflage uniforms.
4 Q. The ones who wore military camouflage uniforms, did you see them
5 carrying any weapons?
6 A. Yes. Yes. Some of them - not many - wore -- carried
7 long-barrelled rifles. They had their headquarters in a building where I
8 had used to work, which belonged to the General Trading Company. That's
9 where they had their headquarters or the command or something like that.
10 There was a flag on that building, very visible. I had never seen such a
11 flag before in Travnik. It was a flag -- a black flag with Arabic
12 inscription in golden thread.
13 Q. These headquarters of the foreign citizens you are referring to,
14 just for clarification, in which town was it located?
15 A. In Travnik, in Marsal Tito Street, in a building where I used to
16 work which belonged to the General Trading Company. Before my company
17 bought this building, it housed the Vlasic Hotel. It was in the very
18 centre of the town.
19 Q. At this point in time, 1992 and early 1993, did your community
20 use a certain word to describe these Arab-looking foreigners?
21 A. Yes. From the very beginning, they were referred to as
22 Mujahedins. I never heard the word before. I didn't know what this
23 meant. However, people referred to them and recognised them as
25 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether such Mujahedins at this point
1 in time or later on got granted Bosnian citizenship?
2 A. Yes, I know something about that. Between 1981 and 1994, I
3 discharged the duties of the president of the executive board, that is,
4 the government of the Municipal Assembly of Travnik. From the officials
5 of the Federal Secretariat of National Defence, I learnt that these
6 foreign citizens were being awarded citizenship.
7 Q. For clarification, the citizenship they have been awarded, was it
8 the Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizenship?
9 A. Most probably. Most probably. In 1992, I don't remember exactly
10 whether at that moment Bosnia and Herzegovina was an internationally
11 recognised state. However, they were given certificates from the
12 secretariat, based on which they could obtain citizenship.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a remark. On
14 page 8, lines 10 to 11, when the witness was talking about this black
15 flag that he saw on the building of the trading company, he said one
16 sentence which was not translated. So could we please have the witness
17 confirm that he indeed said that so that it may be recorded subsequently
18 or may he be asked the question again. The witness said, "I never saw
19 such a flag amongst Bosnian Muslims." Is that correct, sir?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is what I said. And I
21 stand by that.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. This hasn't
23 been recorded, so I wanted it to be -- to enter the record.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Having said that, the witness
25 confirms that he had never seen this flag before among the Bosnian
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Among Bosnian Muslims.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Among Bosnian Muslims.
4 Very well, then. Mr. Withopf, since we heard this clarification,
5 can you please proceed.
6 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Fisic, did there come a time when you got involved with the
8 HVO either on a military basis or on a civilian basis?
9 A. The presidency of the Municipality of Travnik, I think it was
10 from the 20th to the 23rd of July 1992, it had eight conclusions
11 according to which certain reconstructions of the executive power in
12 Travnik should be implemented. The objective was to try to solve the
13 tension, the animosity that was manifest in that area. According to some
14 considerations, they thought that I and others were people who can
15 contribute to calming the situation down. They suggested that I and some
16 other people within the HVO, the so-called HVO government, attempt to
17 adopt positions that would be closer to those of the representatives of
18 the Muslim authorities, and the intention was that the power structure
19 should be a single structure at one point in time. But this was all to
20 no avail. And now I'm referring to the military and police units and
21 so-called paramilitary formations, paramilitary units. We didn't manage
22 to get them over to our side, and as a result, that government had no
23 success up until the time when the conflict broke out.
24 Q. Mr. Fisic, during the time you worked for the HVO as a civilian,
25 did you wear at any point in time a military uniform?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No. Government representatives didn't wear uniforms. We wanted
2 the usual civilian clothes. And none of the representatives of that
3 government ever wore a uniform of any kind.
4 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber the situation or
5 the relationship between the Croats and the Muslims in early 1993 in the
6 region of Travnik.
7 A. From that critical moment, when it was concluded that something
8 should be done in order to reduce the tension and the animosity and the
9 lack of trust, as far as I understood the situation, it was increasingly
10 complex from day to day. We attempted to unify certain services, such as
11 the post office, the food supply for units and for the population.
12 However, at that time, there were some invisible forces at work which I
13 didn't recognise immediately, and they disrupted all these attempts. And
14 wishes of the population to form some sort of a single body, a single
15 authority, was fruitless. We didn't wear uniforms, though.
16 Q. What role did the Mujahedin play, if any, in creating the tension
17 and the animosity between the two ethnic groups?
18 A. I believe that the role they played was very important, because
19 this lack of trust was increasingly evident. There were conflicts
20 between them and units which were in the village of Ovcarevo or in
21 Miskica Brdo, in those passes to the lines in Bila Buce [phoen] Conflicts
22 could break out in those areas. So these people were not authorities who
23 instilled trust but they instilled fear in others. At the time, you
24 could hear people crying "Allah-U-Ekber" and "Tekbir," other such cries
25 that made the population afraid. But you could see that there were some
1 citizens with those people who used to be hooligans when they were minors
2 or they had already been convicted and so on. The citizens of Travnik
3 and of the municipality noticed this, and naturally this made the people
5 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Fisic, when these tensions and
6 animosities resulted in an actual conflict?
7 A. Yes. In the town itself, within its urban limits, this did not
8 occur. But in the south-west part, in the Kalibunar settlement, such
9 incidents did occur, and as a rule, at night there were skirmishes
10 between the police, the HVO, who were stationed up there between regular
11 and irregular units. But at night it was a problem for the population of
12 that area in Travnik.
13 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber more concrete --
14 more concretely the situation in June 1993.
15 A. In June 1993, they started setting up a lot of checkpoints.
16 Whoever was -- dominated would set up the checkpoint. They checked each
17 other. It was unnecessary. It was more difficult to pass through. I'm
18 talking about the year 1993.
19 So in Travnik, in May I think it was, some Croats were arrested
20 and taken away, some Croats who had been found in the street. They were
21 taken to Stari Grad, the old town. I found out that they'd been
22 arrested because information had arrived that in the south-eastern part
23 of Travnik, Kalibunar, an incident had occurred and one or several Muslim
24 members of some units had been captured. So at that time, the reaction
25 was to arrest some Croatian citizens of Travnik, take them to the Stari
1 Grad area, which is where they stayed for a while. They were then
2 transferred to Plava Voda. That is a source where there is a restaurant.
3 It's in the immediate vicinity of the Medresa, and they stayed there for
4 a certain while. And after some politicians from the Muslim side
5 intervened, they were released. They were allowed to go home. In fact,
6 nothing else happened to them, apart from the fact that they were
7 arrested, taken to Stari Grad, then transferred to Plava Voda, which is
8 where they spent the day. They stayed there until sometime at night.
9 But they were returned to their homes without having been maltreated.
10 That's one of the details that points to the fact that this lack of trust
11 was on the rise.
12 I attended a meeting, a circle of combatants from Travnik. They
13 were military commanders, the president of the presidency of the Travnik
14 Municipality, and the president of the HVO. And at that meeting, they
15 discussed how to deal with the situation, how to solve the problems.
16 Q. Mr. Fisic, can I interrupt you at this point. You were
17 mentioning that in June 1993 they started setting up a lot of
18 checkpoints. Whom are you actually referring to in saying "they set up a
19 lot of checkpoints"?
20 A. I'm referring to all those who at that time were in a position to
21 carry weapons and wear uniforms, members of all units, of military units,
22 of paramilitary, police units, all those who at that time carried weapons
23 and wore uniforms. All those who had power.
24 Q. In June 1993, Mr. Fisic, who were the military commanders of the
25 ABiH in Travnik?
1 A. The late Colonel Alagic, Mr. Fikret Cuskic, Sipic - I don't know
2 his first name, Ahmed Mesanovic, Enes Balagija, Osman Poric. Those are
3 the people I know.
4 Q. Can you please go in a bit more respect to the military units
5 they have commanded at the time, as far as you can tell.
6 A. I recognised them as Territorial Defence units. These were
7 Krajina units of some kind. I don't know how they were organised
8 exactly. And there were some so-called HOS, Croatian armed forces,
9 units. And this is what I know about those units in Travnik and its
11 Q. Moving on, Mr. Fisic, to October 1993. Did there come a time
12 when you have been arrested in October 1993?
13 A. With your permission, there was something else I would like to
14 add about the animosity and other important events that occurred in
15 Travnik, if I may.
16 Q. Please go ahead, but keep it brief.
17 A. Very briefly, at that time the commander of the Travnik HVO,
18 Ivica Stojak, was killed at the exit from Travnik to the east. He was
19 killed by units who were present in the area at the time. These were
20 army units.
21 Secondly, Dana Gaso was killed in her flat by some militant
22 units; that's what they say. There were two victims in Travnik, and this
23 was a reason for even more animosity and an even greater lack of
25 Yes. On the 18th of October, I was arrested in my flat in a very
1 rough manner. When I was arrested, they didn't just arrest me but they
2 also stole property from my flat. They maltreated my wife and the
3 neighbours who were in my home at the time. One of the Croatian
4 neighbours was arrested together with me, whereas the other neighbour,
5 Mr. Kulovac and his wife, were maltreated for a long time because they
6 were in my flat, et cetera.
7 Q. Mr. Fisic, can you please go in more detail. Who arrested you
8 and your Croatian neighbour and who is actually your Croatian neighbour?
9 Can you please give us the name.
10 A. At that critical point in time, about an hour and a half before I
11 was officially arrested, I went from my sister's flat - her name is
12 Marija Martinovic - which is in Zvijezda I, the Zvijezda building.
13 That's about 3 or 4 hundred metres from my flat. So I was leaving her
14 flat, and it was about 6.00 or 6.30 p.m. As I was going along the road
15 to my flat, a vehicle stopped in front of me and the people in the
16 vehicle asked me to help them and to tell them where Mr. Salko Beba's
17 flat was. I noticed that a local man was in the vehicle; at least,
18 that's what he looked like. And there was an Arab. I wasn't able to
19 answer their question because I didn't know where Salko Beba lived. But
20 I told them to ask a group of citizens who were in the vicinity, three or
21 four of them, and I told them they should ask them as to the whereabouts
22 of Salko Beba's flat. I then continued to my flat.
23 When I got to my flat, I had to go to the toilet, which I did. I
24 then decided to remain in the bathroom, to have a shower, and so on.
25 While I was getting ready to have a shower, my wife called me and said
1 that someone had appeared at the door and wanted to come into the flat.
2 She said that the person said he was a friend of mine, but he didn't want
3 to introduce himself, and naturally my wife didn't allow him to enter the
4 flat. I then abandoned the idea of having a shower.
5 We called the local police. Part of the local police force is
6 in the building in which I live. It's called Amerikanka. That's the
7 name of the building. And the police arrived immediately. They listened
8 to what my wife had to say about the person who appeared. They made a
9 record of what she said. They had a look around the hall of the
10 building. They didn't notice anything, but they said if this happened
11 again that we should call them immediately.
12 My neighbour Kulovac came to my flat immediately. He heard
13 something was happening. He wanted to see what was going on and to see
14 if he could help me or perhaps he just wanted to talk to me. His wife
15 also stayed on in my flat.
16 After them, Kazimir Pobric also appeared. He also lives in that
17 building but a few floors further up. But he worked for the Territorial
18 Defence staff of Travnik municipality. He was returning from his duties,
19 and he thought that his wife was with us. So he appeared in my flat too.
20 Afterwards, some people appeared again. They wanted to enter the
21 flat. In a similar manner, as on the previous occasion, we didn't open
22 the door. They didn't introduce themselves, and they went away. Maybe
23 half an hour later, perhaps more, perhaps less, someone knocked on the
24 door again. But after the second time someone appeared, we informed the
25 police. The police came. They introduced themselves as the police. We
1 opened the door, but in fact the people who arrested me entered. The
2 first person to enter was someone with a sabre. This person was wearing
3 a Palestinian-style head scarf. He was followed by a number of members
4 of some kind of units. I then hid behind a piece of furniture to avoid
5 being within the reach of that sabre. Some of those members entered
6 after this person, and as there was no electricity in the town at the
7 time, in part of the flat there was a candle burning and in front of that
8 candle there was a man who was standing there. He had my phone book in
9 his hands. It had been taken from me when I was attacked on one
10 occasion. This was done by the Muslim forces located in the Stari Grad.
11 I saw him holding that phone book, and I think that person was a
12 civilian. I couldn't see him very well, but I did recognise this phone
13 book that had been taken from me.
14 He ordered me to put my shoes on, to get dressed. He said that I
15 was under arrest. And I was a bit confused. And that's how they took me
16 out of my flat. I live on the second floor. Then there were two
17 soldiers at the exits from the floors on the building. I could see that
18 they were soldiers in camouflage uniforms and they had weapons on them;
19 that is to say, they were carrying rifles. They took me to some sort of
20 all-terrain vehicle. I think it was a Niva all-terrain vehicle. They
21 put me into the vehicle. At the back they put a hood over my head --
22 they put a cap over my head and they told me to lie down.
23 Q. Mr. Fisic, may I please stop you there. I have two questions for
24 clarification: You said that the person with the sabre was accompanied
25 by soldiers. Do you know by soldiers of which army?
1 A. This group was called the MOS, Muslim armed forces. I think
2 that's what it means. And they were billeted in Stari Grad in Travnik.
3 Q. And the second question: The two soldiers who were waiting
4 outside, which armed forces did they belong to?
5 A. I think they belonged to the same forces. I think it was the
6 same unit. They were from some MOS unit.
7 Q. And finally, a third question for clarification: Have you been
8 the only one who has been arrested, or has there been another person been
9 arrested at the very same occasion?
10 A. On that same occasion, Pobric Kazimir was taken out of my flat
11 and taken to the same vehicle and the same hood was put over his head.
12 He was issued the same orders as I had been issued, and then he was
13 driven away in an unknown direction. The drive lasted for quite a long
14 time. And when the vehicle stopped, they got us out of the vehicle. It
15 was already night-time. But they had some sort of torches. I could see
16 that we were entering someone's house. There was a metal fence. The
17 house was 20, 30, or 50 paces from the place where they got us out of the
18 car. And then we were taken into the house. But at the time, I wasn't
19 sure of where we were, but I was sure that we were quite far from Travnik
20 because we had travelled for quite a long time.
21 As they were taking us in the house -- when they took us in the
22 house, they put us in a room. When I entered the room, I noticed that
23 there were some other people inside. I immediately recognised Dragan
24 Popovic, Professor Ivo Rajkovic, and there was a third person whom I
25 didn't know at the time. This person was a minor. His name was Dalibor
2 When we were lined up in that room, Popovic, Kazimir, and myself
3 entered the room. Then the beatings -- then the beating started, and I
4 think that Popovic was the one who fared the worst. And I noticed that
5 the person who was dealing the blows was well trained in karate. And
6 this person was an Arab, whereas there were a group of soldiers and they
7 would kick some of us or punch others. It depended. Then the beating
8 stopped. We were told to take our watches off, our rings off, our shoes
9 off, the jacket that I had on me. So they took those away and left us
10 standing there in our shirts and socks. They then tied us up with some
11 sort of rope and they brought us a blanket on which we sat down. Then
12 this Arab appeared again. He gave us all nicknames of some kind, on the
13 basis of the way we looked. We were all pigs. Some was a big pig, some
14 was a small pig, some was a Serbian pig, some were thin pigs. Those are
15 the sort of nicknames we were given. And then the beating continued.
16 And if you weren't able to say whether you were a big pig or a small pig,
17 you -- you would get the beating. If you realised that you were a big
18 pig or a small pig, then the beating would stop.
19 Q. Mr. Fisic, may I just stop you there for a number of questions
20 for clarification. The three individuals which were detained in the same
21 building as you have been detained - namely, the ones you mentioned,
22 Dragan Popovic, Professor Ivan Rajkovic, and Dalibor Adzaip - what was or
23 what is or what has been their ethnicity?
24 A. I am Croat; Rajkovic is a Croat; Popovic was from a mixed
25 marriage; and Dalibor Adzaip as well was also from a mixed marriage. His
1 father is a Serb and his mother is a Croat. So I don't know what the
2 latter two declared themselves as. Actually, Dragan Popovic was also
3 from a mixed marriage. His father is a Serb and his mother --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear what the mother
6 MR. WITHOPF:
7 Q. Can you please, Mr. Fisic, repeat what ethnicity the mother of
8 Mr. Dragan Popovic has been.
9 A. She was a Croat.
10 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Fisic, the profession of Mr. Dragan Popovic at
11 the time you were arrested together with him?
12 A. Dragan Popovic is an economist. At that moment, he was the
13 financial director of Sebesic forestry company. Before that, he was a
14 member of the reserve police, according to the then-formation of the
15 police structures.
16 Q. And you and the persons you just mentioned who were detained
17 together with you, where did they actually live prior to being arrested?
18 A. We all lived in the town of Travnik in urban locations, Zvijezda
19 I, Amerikanka. And the distance -- the diameter of that area of that is
20 about 400 metres. We knew each other well during the war and before the
22 Q. Mr. Fisic, you were mentioning an Arab and you were mentioning
23 soldiers being around and actually inflicting the beatings. Do you
24 recall which army these soldiers belonged to?
25 A. At that moment, I didn't know. I later on learned that it was
1 the camp of El Mujahed forces. In that camp, there were some foreign
2 citizens, but there also were local lads. And this was all a military
4 Q. You were describing the beatings, Mr. Fisic, which were inflicted
5 on you. Can you please continue and go in more detail.
6 A. As they entered the room where we were, this beating lasted up to
7 midnight, and the beatings were random. Some were hit in the head; some
8 were hit in the back. Dragan Popovic was as a rule beaten by the Arab,
9 and this was done professionally, I would say.
10 Sometime after midnight the beating in our room stopped, but from
11 the next-door room we heard noise and wailings, and I recognised the
12 voice of Zvonko Kukric, my ex-associate, who was arrested with the priest
13 Vinko from Travnik. This was before we were arrested. So the priest
14 from Travnik was arrested together with officials of Caritas, Zvonko
15 Kukric and Petric's brother. A few nuns were also arrested on that
16 occasion. From the moment they started bursting into our room and
17 stopped, they moved to this other room. And really, it was painful to
18 hear the continuation of the torture that was happening there and the
19 sound of the wailing that reached our room. And that's how that night,
20 between the 18th and the 19th of October, 1993, went on.
21 Q. Do I understand you correctly, Mr. Fisic, that all prisoners who
22 were detained together with you were beaten to the more or less same
24 A. Popovic was really much more heavily beaten than the rest of us.
25 Popovic suffered most and was exposed most to the torture and heavy
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. The beatings inflicted on you, did they result in any injury?
3 A. Yes, of course. On the following day, Wednesday, the 19th
4 October, sometime in the course of the day we were moved from that room
5 and we were joined -- the priest who had -- who was already not there. I
6 noticed blood on the walls and the window that was in that room was
7 completely blocked with black curtains, so we were moved from the first
8 room to the second room. But Priest Vinko or any others were no longer
9 there. We stayed there until late in the night. And then on that second
10 night they also would enter the room and they would beat us, but less
11 than the first day. That's how we fared on Wednesday and on the night.
12 And then on the early -- in the early morning hours of Thursday,
13 the door opened, and this Arab motioned to me with a finger to come out,
14 and he motioned to the others as well. We were tied with ropes in that
15 corridor, the corridor of that house. And that's how they escorted us.
16 And we started moving forward.
17 As we were leaving this house, I saw a sticker on the door, a
18 sticker such as put in Catholic houses showing that they were blessed on
19 the 6th of January. So I was wondering where I was but I couldn't guess.
20 We were taken out of the house, and we were taken across the
21 village road to a meadow. And as we were walking across this meadow,
22 there were uniformed soldiers lined in a semicircle. The four of us were
23 walking. Professor Rajkovic was not with us. There were just three of
24 us, Popovic, Fisic, and Adzaip, and Kazimir Pobric. There were actually
25 four of us. So these soldiers were lined in a semicircle. And as we
1 were passing across this meadow they were shouting, "Tekbir,
2 Allah-U-Ekber," and some other things, but I could not understand those
3 other things. We had been ill-treated. I can't give you all the
5 We were brought to the end of this semicircle, and I noticed that
6 a graveyard had been dug for maybe two or three people, two at the most.
7 An Arab was standing there, an Arab in a uniform, and he was the one who
8 was conducting this ritual of shouting which went on continuously in a
9 high-pitched voice. They were shouting. My hands were untied. Popovic
10 was the last in -- as they untied me, they gave the rope to somebody in
11 the semicircle, and at that moment on one road that was there an
12 all-terrain vehicle arrived that I had seen in Travnik already. Its
13 windows were dark. It stopped at an elevation from which the passengers
14 could watch what was going on below that elevation. The vehicle came.
15 We were all untied. At that moment, Popovic was taken forward in a very
16 coarse way and he was thrown on the ground.
17 Then some soldiers jumped on him, and the Arab called Hasan to
18 step out. Hasan stepped out. Somebody handed him a knife, and that's
19 how he started slaughtering Popovic, who was lying underneath the
20 soldier. I was not all there, but I could see that Hasan was doing a
21 very bad job slaughtering him. And another soldier approached the body,
22 a very sturdy and heavily-built man, and he completed the slaughtering in
23 a very brutal way. It's very hard for me to describe how this was done.
24 When the head was separated from the body, the Arab brought the
25 head to me and forced me to kiss that head from the dead body. And
1 that's what happened.
2 And then the body and the head were taken to the grave, and the
3 knife was placed by the body but in a wrong way, against the ritual. So
4 the soldier had to approach the body again to change the position of the
5 knife. And then we were ordered to fill the grave with our hands and
6 legs and all the while the shouting went on. And the Lasva Valley was
7 shaking from the -- from the strength of these sounds and the shouting.
8 Then the soldiers approached me. They twisted my arm behind my back and
9 took me back to the house where we were before.
10 As I was returning, down a slope I noticed a school in Guca Gora,
11 and I also saw the sandpit Pese across two hills. So my assumption was
12 that I was somewhere in the area of Mehurici, in the north of Travnik
13 municipality. I didn't know what the name of the village was. I
14 subsequently learned that I was in Bobasi hamlet in Orahovac village. I
15 subsequently learned that when I went to show the investigators where the
16 body of Popovic had been buried. That's when I learned that the area is
17 called Orahovac and that the hamlet where the execution took place was
18 Bobasi and Pese and it all belonged to the local commune of Mehurici. I
19 was familiar with Mehurici, but I was not familiar with these hamlets.
20 So I was returned. And as I was being returned, the soldier kept
21 on telling me, "It is your turn tomorrow. That's what we have planned
22 for you." We were again put in the same room from which we had been
23 taken. Kazimir Pobric was given the task to tell in very great detail
24 what the ritual was like. Whenever he omitted an important detail, he
25 would be beaten and he would have to start from the very beginning. He
1 was telling the story to Rajkovic, who was absent from this act of
3 Q. May I just stop you there for a moment, Mr. Fisic. Do you
4 recall, Mr. Fisic, how many soldiers were present when this ritual
5 beheading of Mr. Dragan Popovic took place?
6 A. I believe at least 50 members of that unit were there, maybe even
8 Q. Mr. Fisic, you described to some extent the area where all this
10 MR. WITHOPF: With the permission of the Trial Chamber, I will
11 now show the witness a photograph. We will use the Sanction technology.
12 We have also the necessary photocopies available in hard copy.
13 Can, please, one copy be made available to the witness, please.
14 For the information of the Trial Chamber and Defence counsel,
15 this photograph has been taken by the Dutch forensic photographers in the
16 course of the year 2002.
17 Q. Mr. Fisic, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can
18 see on this photograph.
19 A. Do you have a felt-tip pen or something? I would like to make
20 some markings on the photo. I would like to mark some of these
22 MR. WITHOPF: Can the witness please be provided with such a pen.
23 Q. Before you make the markings -- before you make the markings,
24 Mr. Fisic, can you please first inform us what you can see on this
1 A. I can see the area where we stayed and which I saw when I came to
2 help the investigators and tell them where Mr. Popovic had been buried.
3 That is when I had the occasion to inspect the area more thoroughly, much
4 more than in those moments when I was being taken to and from that
5 execution. I recognised the building where we were imprisoned.
6 Q. Just for clarification, does this photograph show the area where
7 the beheading of Mr. Dragan Popovic took place?
8 A. I cannot be absolutely sure, but I believe that this was the
9 route that we took. And here, where you see the ruins of a building,
10 this is the area where the vehicle was and this is where the execution
11 took place. The distance is about 3 to 4 hundred metres. This is Pese
12 hamlet. This is Bobasi hamlet. I also notice this big building. Later
13 on, I learnt that this was the Mujahedin camp. It belonged to a shepherd
14 who was tending to his sheep while I was there. And this is all that I
15 can see in this photo.
16 Q. Mr. Fisic, you made a number of markings. Can you please mark
17 the different buildings and the killing site with numbers from 1 to 4 or
19 A. Number 1 is the building where we were placed; number 2 is a
20 family house in front of which the execution took place; number 3 is the
21 part of the road where the vehicle was and from which people were
22 observing the execution; and number 4 is the Mujahedin camp in the
23 building that belonged to a shepherd who was tending to his sheep in the
25 Q. For the ease of reference, can you please at the very bottom of
1 the photograph write down what the different numbers actually mean.
2 A. [Witness complies]
3 Q. Mr. Fisic, since my knowledge of the Croatian language is a
4 limited one, can you please tell us what you have written down.
5 A. Number 4, "The Mujahedin camp." "The building of the Mujahedin
6 camp, a newly built building, which did not exist before the conflict.
7 It was built during the conflict --
8 Q. Mr. Fisic -- Mr. Fisic, this is just for clarification. Can you
9 please just repeat what you have written down. This is for the ease of
10 reference. Don't give any further explanation. Just read out what you
11 have written down.
12 A. Number 1, "The house where we were." Number 2, "The house in
13 front of which the execution took place." Number 3, "The position of the
14 vehicle." Number 4, "The Mujahedin camp."
15 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Fisic.
16 This area which you can see on the photograph, is it also known
17 as the area of Guca Gora?
18 A. No, not really. Guca Gora is something else. It's a separate
19 area. But they are very close. This is the area of Mehurici. Guca Gora
20 is in a different area, not very far but different.
21 Q. Mr. Fisic, can you please sign and date the photograph you just
22 made the markings on.
23 A. 29 or 30?
24 Q. Mr. Fisic, today is the 30th of January.
25 A. [Marks]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you give me
2 an exhibit number.
3 MR. WITHOPF: The Prosecution wishes to tender this photograph
4 into evidence, please.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can we then have an
6 exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P52.
8 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much.
9 With the permission of the Presiding Judge, I would like to
10 continue for one or two further minutes before the break. Thank you.
11 Q. You were mentioning, Mr. Fisic, the beatings that were inflicted
12 on all of you during your detention in the area you just identified on
13 the photograph. What was the result of such beatings in respect to you?
14 Did you have any injuries, any serious injuries?
15 A. I can tell you how I felt. We did not have any medical
16 assistance. I was beaten most in the head. I would like to take the
17 opportunity to see whether somebody could examine me here, because I
18 still have problems. My head was banged on the wall, my ribs were
19 broken, and I had contusions all over the body. I was black and blue all
20 over. What degree of invalidity would that be, I don't know. I did not
21 have anybody to complain to. Nobody ever asked us until the following
22 Thursday how we were. On the 4th of October, I had first contacts with
23 people who asked me something officially. In the meantime, almost every
24 night an Arab would enter our room to talk to us, to try and persuade us
25 of things. They didn't beat us; they just talked to us. And then on
1 that Thursday --
2 Q. Mr. Fisic -- Mr. Fisic, could I please stop you there. The very
3 last question before the break: You were informing the Trial Chamber
4 that your ribs were broken. What about your nose?
5 A. That was the result of the beating on the first night. My shirt
6 was all covered in blood and my bone in the nose must have been broken.
7 I'm generally healthy, so I could sustain the beatings better than
8 others, maybe. My shirt was stained with blood, and this all lasted
9 until the 4th of October. We couldn't bathe. We couldn't wash our
10 faces. The hygienic conditions were non-existent, so to say.
11 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Fisic.
12 MR. WITHOPF: That's it for the time being. And I would suggest
13 to make the break before I continue with the examination-in-chief.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A 25-minute break. We shall
15 resume at five minutes to 11.00.
16 Witness, the usher is going to take you to a room where you will
17 be able to rest. We shall resume at five to 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume with the
22 Mr. Withopf, you may proceed.
23 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Fisic, prior to the break, you were informing the Trial
25 Chamber that you couldn't wash your faces and the hygienic conditions
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 were non-existent. And you were informing the Trial Chamber that a bone
2 in your nose must have been broken.
3 The beatings, did they result at some point in time that you
4 actually lost consciousness?
5 A. On the 20th, in the afternoon, when they took me out of that room
6 into the hall, Hasan and the slaughterer, the person who had executed the
7 other man, approached me and they forced me to identify the person who
8 had committed the execution. I really did know who the person was. I
9 identified the person, but I decided not to admit it. I thought that
10 would be better for me. As I didn't say that I recognised the person who
11 had committed the act, they beat me. Hasan was a slightly-built person.
12 His blows weren't that severe, weren't that threatening. But on -- at
13 one point in time this slaughterer said, "Now this Ustasha will see how I
14 can beat," and after the second or third blow I fell down in the hall.
15 And when I came to, I was in the room in which the other detainees were
16 present. I don't know how long I remained lying on the floor or how long
17 it took for me to regain consciousness. These are things that I still
18 don't know to this very day. So this was the most severe beating that I
19 received on that Thursday in the afternoon.
20 In the evening hours, I wasn't maltreated -- not severely
21 maltreated. But on the contrary, one of the local men - I think his name
22 was Muradif, and I think he comes from Kakanj or Moscanica, that's what
23 he told me - he must have taken pity on me. He gave me half a litre of
24 milk and a pear and said I should take care to hide it very well. So he
25 helped me a lot when he gave me these things. It was humane. And that
1 was between Thursday and Friday.
2 On Friday -- the date was the 21st -- Friday wasn't too bad, as
3 far as the beatings are concerned. We were given meals and some sort of
4 dishes. I don't know how much we needed or didn't need, but we were
5 provided with these meals. And in the early evening someone from our
6 cell was taken to be questioned. It was Professor Rajkovic. This
7 question lasted for a while. And when he returned, he said that someone
8 had appeared from Travnik. He hadn't recognised him, he didn't know who
9 he was, and he didn't tell us who he was.
10 In the meantime, I was called to talk to someone.
11 Q. May I please stop you there for a moment. You informed the Trial
12 Chamber about ribs being broken, about the nose -- the bone in the nose
13 broken. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber whether anything
14 happened to your hands.
15 A. Well, I think it was on that Friday. One of the guards, he was
16 particularly bad. He said that he came from the area of Maglaj,
17 somewhere around there, and he said that he had been expelled by the
18 Croats and he said he wasn't doing us any more harm an the harm the
19 Croats did to him. At one point he gave he a truncheon to hit him,
20 Rajkovic, with, but I noticed that this was of some -- it was made of
21 some sort of heated metal. I grasped it and I burnt my hand. But later
22 on he didn't insist on me picking it up from the floor. It was a
23 practical joke. It was a minor detail. So that was the kind of act that
24 he had committed. But that guard was very brutal to everyone. So that
25 is what happened to my hands.
1 Q. Mr. Fisic, did there come a time when you were transferred to
2 somewhere else?
3 A. I have to say that the conversation on Friday was one that I
4 wasn't capable of conducting, engaging in. I wasn't very concentrated.
5 But I remember that the person questioning me, a local man whom I did not
6 recognise, he asked me who the other prominent Croats in Travnik were and
7 he particularly asked me about Mrs. Saric and her whereabouts. She is a
8 teacher. I couldn't answer the question, and he asked me, "Who are the
9 other prominent Croats?"
10 What is important for me is that Kazimir Pobric went for such a
11 discussion, for such a questioning. And after that questioning, he was
12 no longer in the camp with us. I was told that he returned to Travnik,
13 and in fact he was returned to Travnik on that Friday. So that's the
14 20th, on Friday.
15 On Saturday -- Saturday was a fairly normal day. And from
16 Saturday onwards, we weren't maltreated until our return to Travnik. No
17 maltreatment such as the maltreatment we had received up until then.
18 Q. May I please stop you there. During the time you had been
19 detained and maltreated, did anybody on your behalf make any attempt to
20 inform anybody in power about your abduction?
21 A. Yes. Yes. Please don't insist on me telling you the name of
22 this person, a friend of mine who held an important position -- an
23 important professional position in Zenica at the time. He found a way of
24 finding out where we were and he informed my wife of the fact that on
25 that Thursday I hadn't been eliminated. Please don't insist on me
1 telling you his name. It wouldn't be fair. He found a way of gaining
2 access to the Mujahedin, to the camp, and of checking to see whether we
3 were alive.
4 Q. Did your wife or anybody else approach anybody with the aim to
5 get you released?
6 A. Yes. One of the doctors from Travnik who like my friend from
7 Zenica had a way of getting information, he came one evening, perhaps on
8 Friday or Saturday, and he informed my wife that I was alive and hadn't
9 been executed. So that's the second person from Travnik, this doctor,
10 who gave such good news to my wife.
11 Q. And did your wife make any attempt to get you released?
12 A. Yes. My wife and sister, they were in Travnik in their flats.
13 They undertook everything they could. They contacted international
14 organisations in Travnik and the state authorities, the president of the
15 municipality, the police and the military commander, the deceased
16 Mr. Alagic and Mr. Cuskic. They contacted them and tried to get them to
17 help. And I must say that the military authorities, with Mr. Alagic and
18 Mr. Cuskic at their head, did everything they could to help my wife. And
19 I know that many of the citizens of Travnik asked for our situation to be
20 clarified -- my situation, Rajkovic's, and Adzaip's situation. So there
21 was cooperation among these forces. Alagic and Cuskic undertook certain
22 actions and they informed my wife as to what they were doing in order to
23 obtain our release from that camp.
24 I should point out that that lasted from the 20th to the 4th,
25 this attempt to get us released and the pressure that was exerted in
1 order to obtain our release from that camp.
2 Q. Mr. Fisic -- Mr. Fisic, did your wife and your sister inform
3 Mr. Alagic and the military authorities about the location of the camp
4 you were detained?
5 A. Yes. They believed we were in the area of Mehurici. They
6 claimed that we were there all the time, and they said we could be found
7 in those hamlets. And my wife obtained information according to which
8 Mr. Alagic and Mr. Cuskic could do this, because they had released one of
9 their members who had fallen foul of the Mujahedin. So if he could do
10 so, he could -- they could also get us released. They had influence of
11 some kind. The information that my wife obtained surprised Alagic and
12 Cuskic. They wondered how she knew about that. They insisted on this
13 being said. But my wife didn't reveal her sources, didn't tell them
14 where she had obtained this information. But she asked them to tell her
15 whether this was true or not. She said if it wasn't true, she would
16 withdraw her request; but if it was true, they should take the same steps
17 to get us released. And they really did take certain steps to obtain our
19 On the 4th of April, I was taken out of my room. I was taken
20 into another room, where I was questioned. The position -- the people
21 were positioned in the room in the same way as the people are positioned
22 in this courtroom.
23 Q. Let's move on to your transfer. You were telling us that on
24 Saturday, the 6th of November, 1993, you were transferred back to
1 A. Yes, on the 6th of November, 1993. I must tell you that that's
2 my birthday. I was taken to Travnik much to everyone's surprise, because
3 the process of transferring us from Orasac to Travnik lasted from the 4th
4 to the 5th, which is when the late Mr. Alagic informed my wife, in the
5 evening of the 5th at about 1800 hours, that there was no hope for our
6 release and that there was nothing more he could do to obtain our
7 release. He said, "I can do no more in order to save your husband and
8 the others who are up there now."
9 On Saturday, the 6th of November, at about half past 12.00, we
10 were taken to Travnik to the barracks. At the time of Austro-Hungarian,
11 it was also a barracks. I'd been blindfolded there in an all-terrain
12 vehicle. I was taken down into a basement where there was a prison for
13 BH Army members who were in prison on account of certain actions, and
14 there was also a group of, I think, about ten HVO members who had fallen
15 into the hands of the army members in various ways, and that's where
16 these people were being detained. So on the 6th of November, at about
17 half past 12.00, I was taken there in an all-terrain vehicle. And when
18 they untied my hands and took the blindfold off, they took me into
19 another room where I saw Professor Rajkovic crying and a BH Army member
20 whom I didn't know. He was sitting on a chair and explaining something
21 to Professor Rajkovic concerning our arrest.
22 When I entered that room, that member addressed me by my name.
23 He said, "It's no longer necessary for you to be afraid. You're in good
24 hands now. Nothing more will happen to you." But I was suspicious. I
25 asked him, "Who are you? Who can promise such things to me?" He said,
1 "I'm Salko Beba." I had heard of Salko Beba, but I didn't know him
2 personally. I then asked him if that was the case. "If everything is
3 fine now, is there some way for us to inform my family. My wife and my
4 sister, can we inform them that I'm here. Tell them that I'm in the
5 barracks." He did this. But I must point out that before he did so,
6 Alagic had already informed my family that I arrived and he congratulated
7 my wife because it was my birthday. So that's as far as my arrival day
8 is concerned.
9 Q. Right. Mr. Fisic, you are making reference to the barracks in
10 Travnik. For clarification, are these the former JNA barracks in
12 A. Yes, it's the former JNA barracks. It's a compound which is
13 called a barracks. It contains various buildings, various facilities.
14 Q. Right. You were mentioning a certain individual named Salko
15 Beba, whom you met during your detention in the JNA -- former JNA
16 barracks in Travnik. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber what the
17 position of Mr. Salko Beba has been at the time you talked to him.
18 A. Yes. I can say for sure that at the time he had the position of
19 an assistant for Mr. Alagic, a security assistance. I found out about
20 this two or three days later, because I went to give him a statement.
21 Q. And what was the statement you went to give him about?
22 A. Mr. Salko Beba called me into my office [as interpreted], which
23 is on the grounds of the barracks. He was interested in everything that
24 -- he was interested in everything that had happened to us from the time
25 we were arrested and he wanted to know what the conditions were like up
1 there, et cetera. I think that my statement was a little more detailed
2 than the statement I am giving you here today. And I gave the statement
3 to Mr. Salko Beba. He listened to me. He listened to what I had to say
4 up until the time of the execution. There was a recording clerk who made
5 a note of everything. He then jumped up. He was excited. He left the
6 room and left me and the secretary there and he didn't come back to hear
7 the end of my statement. But one of -- someone else who worked with him
8 - his name is Jasmin - continued to take the statement. And I gave the
9 statement in a manner which is similar to the manner in which I'm giving
10 a statement here today.
11 Q. Mr. Fisic, were you able to inform Mr. Salko Beba, the security
12 officer to Mr. Alagic, about the fact and the circumstances Mr. Popovic
13 has been beheaded?
14 A. Yes, in detail. I told him about this in great detail. That is
15 the last thing he questioned me about.
16 Q. Did you also inform other individuals about what you had
17 experienced in the detention facility in the area of Orasac?
18 A. When we asked to be seen by Mr. Fikret Cuskic so that he could
19 explain to us the reason for which we were there, because we were among a
20 group of Croatian detainees, of HVO members, Mr. Cuskic received us in a
21 very gentlemanly and courteous manner and he said that as far as we were
22 concerned, he had no business with us as a soldier. He'd been ordered to
23 see us. And as there was no room, he said that in a few days' time, five
24 days at the most, we would no longer be kept with the HVO members who had
25 fallen into the hands of BH army members in various ways.
1 On that occasion, we told Mr. Cuskic about everything, not in
2 such detail but we gave him a brief outline about what had happened. He
3 was very nervous when listening to all we had to say, and I think he
4 would have preferred it if we hadn't informed him about this. But we
5 did. And he said, "There are some units I can't deal with in this area.
6 I have to solve this issue. We'll call President Izetbegovic." And this
7 is what happened. Mr. Izetbegovic came to Travnik while we were still in
8 the basement of that prison, in that building where the prison was
10 And the next thing that Mr. Cuskic did: Rajkovic was a sick man,
11 but in two days' time in the clinic which was also on the compound, I
12 left two days after Rajkovic and I think he gave us more than he could
13 have given us. He gave us a room next to where patients were kept. And
14 we were under medical surveillance from that time onwards. I have asked
15 for a general checkup and that was done. They determined that there had
16 been some serious injuries. I didn't receive the medical documentation,
17 which probably remained in the archives of the Travnik General Hospital.
18 On the grounds of that barracks, the name of the doctor was
19 Begzad. He was from Kljuc, and he treated us very correctly. When we
20 arrived there, I don't think we had any more problems. On the contrary,
21 the conditions there were very good, given their possibilities at the
23 Q. Mr. Fisic, at the time you arrived in the Travnik barracks and
24 had your meeting with Mr. Salko Beba, were your injuries still visible?
25 A. Yes, the injuries were visible. They were very -- we looked very
1 ugly because we were unshaven, we hadn't had a bath for a long time. We
2 looked terrible. You could see the bruises. You could see the injuries
3 on our bodies. But we were alive.
4 Q. And you mentioned several times, Mr. Fisic, the name of Mr.
5 Fikret Cuskic. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber who Mr. Fikret
6 Cuskic is and what his position has been at the time.
7 A. I met him when he was the commander of some 27th Krajina unit. I
8 don't know which one exactly. He held the rank of a major. He was an
9 officer par excellence. That's what he looked like, too. I'm just
10 speaking about what concerns Ivo Fisic, Rajkovic, and the others who were
11 detained there. He was very fair towards us. He knew what the rules of
12 conduct were, and he was very knowledgeable about military matters. And
13 he didn't treat us in a bad manner. I don't know whether he treated
14 others badly, but in our case he was fair. He took all the steps he
15 could to make it better for us and to prevent us from being BH army
16 detainees. He tried to avoid this. And when my family, the Pobric
17 family, and the Adzaip family gave some sort of military agreement for us
18 to leave, he wrote something down. He said he was allowing the
19 evacuation of families from Travnik.
20 Q. Mr. Fisic, other than providing Mr. Salko Beba and Mr. Fikret
21 Cuskic with details about your experiences in the Orasac camp, did you
22 inform any members of international organisations about the experiences
23 you made?
24 A. Everyone knew that we'd been detained two hours after our arrest.
25 So some groups that had a positive attitude towards me - I have such a
1 document - they informed me and my wife and sister were in favour of this
2 information being provided -- well, they were aware of this, but no one
3 came when we were in Orasac. When I got to the barracks in Travnik, the
4 first person to appear was the representative of the international
5 monitors, followed by Mrs. Mary Jo, who was the regional head of the Red
6 Cross whose headquarters were in Zenica. We told these representatives
7 about everything that I have said here but in greater detail, so they had
8 firsthand knowledge about these events.
9 Mr. Cuskic made this possible, and there was no fear that we
10 might be maltreated because of this. So they were informed. They were
11 aware of the case, and Mrs. Mary Jo took charge of the entire case and
12 she took steps to get us released from our detention in the barracks.
13 From the management of the barracks, we received their agreement that
14 whenever we wanted to go to town we could do that, on a daily basis. But
15 we had to inform them of this -- we could go to town but under -- under
16 escort. We had to be escorted by guards, by armed soldiers. But at the
17 time when I went to the town, I heard that there were a number of
18 accusations that concerned me. They would say that I'd done -- committed
19 certain crimes, and this is what I heard when I would go to town with the
20 soldiers who were escorting us.
21 So we had a limited form of freedom, and this continued up until
22 the time when we asked what was going to happen to us. We wanted to know
23 why we were there. If we were guilty, we wanted an indictment issued to
24 say that we were suspects so that we could be held to account. This did
25 not happen. And in the meantime, as Ivo Rajkovic was also the director
1 and the monitor - I think this was in December - he managed to get
2 Rajkovic transferred to Croatia because his entire family was in Croatia,
3 but his wife is a citizen of Croatia from Dubrovnik, I think, so that his
4 children, his wife, and his brothers were there and he got out. I asked
5 the wife what she was doing, what we could do. And then she said that
6 Mr. Cuskic had said, "It would be best for you to leave Travnik."
7 Q. And did there come a time -- to move on, did there come a time
8 when you were finally released? And can you please inform the Trial
9 Chamber as to when this happened.
10 A. I wasn't officially released. But it happened in the following
11 way: When everything had been settled between the International Red
12 Cross and UNPROFOR, in order to evacuate us from Travnik, and when on the
13 18th of January, 1994 we were supposed to leave, someone put up
14 resistance to this. That's what Mary Jo said. And this had to do with
15 the military presidency in Travnik and the command of the 3rd Corps in
16 Zenica. The Travnik authorities wouldn't allow it, and the military
17 authorities wouldn't allow it in Zenica, and Mrs. Mary Jo wasn't able to
18 solve this, so that on the 18th, when these all-terrain vehicles, et
19 cetera, arrived to transfer us, this release didn't take place.
20 I remained in the barracks for another ten days, and one evening
21 - I think it was on the 30th in the afternoon - on the 31st of January,
22 through Dr. Begzad I asked to be seen by Cuskic to see what should be
23 done now. Cuskic told me that there was really nothing more he could
24 tell me other than what he had already told me, so then I said that I
25 would leave the barracks alone. And if someone had to eliminate them,
1 they should do so because it wasn't appropriate for me to be kept in such
2 a position any more.
3 When Mr. Begzad returned, the doctor, he told me what I have
4 already said that, Cuskic had no more business with me. I then gathered
5 my possessions, went to the reception area. No one stopped me. No one
6 asked me why I didn't have an escort with me. And I went home. And that
7 is how I left the barracks in Travnik. That is how I was released.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Fisic.
9 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this concludes the
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
12 I'm going to give the floor to the Defence, who are going to ask
13 you several questions. But before that, I have several questions myself
14 in order to -- for you to clarify the answers that you have given to the
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You spoke about the person who
18 was decapitated, Mr. Dragan Popovic. Who was that person? What was his
19 official position? Who was he?
20 A. This person was a native of Travnik. He had a degree in
21 economics. He worked in the Sebesic company. He was a financial expert.
22 And according to the assignment of citizens to duties during the imminent
23 threat of war, according to the old system, before the elections he was a
24 member of the reserve police of the municipality of Travnik. He remained
25 on the strength of the reserve police up to the year 1993, the beginning
1 of 1993. Then he was returned to his previous position, to the company
2 where he became financial director, and that was his official position at
3 the moment when he was arrested. His wife is my neighbour, also an
4 economist. She worked in the forestry company as an employee of the
5 transport department. They were just normal citizens of Travnik.
6 So I am speaking about the person who was a native of Travnik,
7 who was born and bred in Travnik. And as I have already said, he came
8 from a mixed marriage. His father was a Serb of the Orthodox religion,
9 and his mother was a Croat.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 When you were taken to the execution site, although you were
12 detained together with him, why was he chosen of all of you? Why were
13 others not chosen to be executed? So what made him to be chosen that
15 A. I don't have a precise answer to your question. I don't know
16 why. I don't know why I was detained, to this very day.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Another
18 question: You have told us that at the execution site there were about
19 50 Mujahedins or about 50 persons, and you also told us that there was a
20 vehicle there. The 50 people who were there, you saw them. According to
21 you, was there somebody who was in command of these persons or were there
22 just independent agents, so to speak? Was there a hierarchical
23 structure according to which one of them was in command?
24 A. I didn't recognise any such structure. And if I had been told
25 who to address, I would have done that. But nobody told us that. We
1 were just numbers. What I saw was a ritual that was led by an Arab
2 person. Whether he was in command or not, I don't know. I must tell you
3 that there were two people from Travnik, Nektib [phoen], a foreign
4 citizen, who had been in Travnik from before the war. He was a student
5 at the Sarajevo university; and an interpreter, Huso Delic, who was at
6 that time the Secretary of the Interior of Travnik Municipality. These
7 persons could enter freely this camp. The latter was the official
8 interpreter, and the former person was the person of trust who was always
9 with them. I believe that we were transported in his vehicle, the Niva
10 vehicle. And I also know for sure that he was one of those who were
11 there on Friday, when Kazimir was allowed to return to Travnik.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 You've also told us that there was a vehicle which was close to
14 the execution site. You have marked the position of that vehicle on the
15 photo. Can you confirm that there was a vehicle and whose vehicle that
17 A. I can't give you the type of the vehicle. It was an all-terrain
18 vehicle, darkened windows. It was metallic grey. I used to see that
19 vehicle in Travnik, and it belonged to the MOS. Who was in the vehicle,
20 I wouldn't be able to tell you because I didn't see. I didn't look too
21 hard, but I recognised the vehicle because I recognised it from Travnik.
22 I had seen it before.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I would
24 like to thank you for this clarification. And my last question to you,
25 arising from your answer: You have told us that Mr. Fikret Cuskic heard
1 what you had said, and according to you he was the commander of the
2 25th unit. He should have called President Izetbegovic and he arrived in
3 the barracks. According to you, the arrival of Mr. Izetbegovic, is it
4 directly connected to what you said to Mr. Cuskic?
5 A. I'll repeat and I'll clarify what I've said. When we went to
6 Mr. Cuskic, he listened to us very carefully, very patiently. But he
7 reacted very nervously and he said, "I can no longer be a soldier in this
8 area if things continue like this. And I'm going to ask Mr. Izetbegovic
9 to deal with this." That's what he told us. After that, Mr. Izetbegovic
10 did visit Travnik and Bugojno. Whether there was any discussion on those
11 issues at that meeting or not, I don't know. However, I noticed that
12 after that, Mektauf could not longer enter the compound of the barracks.
13 The gate was closed to him, and his presence was no longer seen in the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 I'm going to give the floor to the Defence for their
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Fisic. I am Edina
21 Residovic. I represent General Enver Hadzihasanovic.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will mostly stay
23 within the context of the questions put by the Prosecution, but in order
24 to seek some clarification I am also going to ask Mr. Fisic to answer a
25 few questions about the general situation in Travnik.
1 Q. Mr. Fisic, before the war, you were a prominent person in
2 Travnik; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. That is correct.
4 Q. I am a bit far from the microphone, so I'll move closer. You
5 discharged various duties. You were the general manager of Borac Travnik
6 for the longest time; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. In addition to your duties in the business life, you were also a
9 very active in the social and political life and you discharged various
10 duties in the League of Communists and the Socialist Alliance, but this
11 was always a voluntary position; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. In 1981, you were elected as president of the executive committee
14 of the municipality, that is, of the municipal government; is that
16 A. Yes, it is correct.
17 Q. In 1990, there were the first so-called multiparty elections, and
18 in those elections the ethnic party won the elections; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, this is true of Travnik.
20 Q. In Travnik, the winners were the SDA and the HDZ and to a lesser
21 extent the SDS, and they formed the government composed of ethnically
22 based parties; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's how the government was composed.
24 Q. In that time, you never opted for any of these parties; is that
1 A. Yes, it is correct.
2 Q. You've already told us that at the beginning of the war you were
3 the general manager of one of the companies within the Borac company
4 which engaged in printing and trade in printed matters. And you stayed
5 in that position up to mid-1993. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is correct.
7 Q. Due to the war and everything else that you have mentioned in
8 your testimony, very quickly there were some divisions in the government,
9 the government which was composed of the ethnically based parties. The
10 HDZ left government and formed its own HVO government.
11 A. It would be more precise to say that the president of the
12 presidency at that time, of the Travnik municipality, Mr. Tamburic,
13 realised that the conflicts and that discords could no longer persist.
14 And conclusion was issued at that session, which consisted of eight
15 items. He looked for some new people who could help to overcome the
16 prevailing situation, and that was the reason why I joined the HVO
17 structure -- but the civilian structure, mind you. We wanted to create a
18 single government. I'm talking about my role. I wouldn't go any
19 further. We managed at the end of the day to form a government that
20 nobody respected. And as soon as it was formed, new conflicts started.
21 Q. That would have been my next question. So your efforts to form a
22 single government timely fell through and there were no results. That
23 was fruitless. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is true.
25 Q. The attempts to form a single government were the result of the
1 bad relationship between the War Presidency and the representatives of
2 the HDZ at the end of April 1993, when it was ordered to the HVO
3 authorities to leave the building of the municipality up to -- in which
4 up to then it had its headquarters; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Let's move on to a different topic. You participated in a
7 certain way in the attempt to form a single government, so you will know
8 that the War Presidency of the municipality, as well as the civilian HVO
9 government, were actually civilian branches of authorities in Travnik
10 municipality. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. As a matter of time, throughout the war in Travnik there was
13 never military government, so to speak. Throughout this time, the
14 military formations were separate from the civilian government.
15 A. The police forces were also separate from the civic forces. The
16 police was under the command of somebody else rather than of the civilian
17 government in Travnik. I mean the presidency and the civilian sector of
18 the HVO.
19 Q. However, let's clarify this. The civilian police had its line of
20 command and its superior body was the Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina; is that true?
22 A. At that time, there were some invisible forces that were in
23 command, and I cannot tell you who they were. In any case, it was not
24 the situation that arose from the security situation in Travnik. We
25 wanted to deal with the matter, but they did not respect what they
1 said -- what we said.
2 Q. As a citizen of Travnik and a participant in the organs of power,
3 can you please confirm before this Trial Chamber that the overall
4 situation in Travnik after the beginning of the war was very complex and
5 was compounded by the refugees who flocked into Travnik in great numbers.
6 A. I believe that the situation in Travnik was compounded by the
7 failure of agreement amongst the international forces - I'm referring to
8 the Vance-Owen Plan and Stoltenberg Plan - and I believe that this
9 created lot more tension in Travnik than refugees. It is true that there
10 were refugees there and that -- and that people left Travnik in rather
11 unpleasant circumstances. And what I'm saying is that only people who
12 did not have anywhere else to go remained in Travnik. But in any case,
13 there was a significant number of refugees. They were poor, and there
14 were many refugees.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Is it also true that in Travnik at that
16 time new organs of power were being formed to represent those refugees --
17 the Banja Luka district, the Travnik district -- so all of a sudden in
18 Travnik there were several bodies of government, several authorities
19 which tried to exert influence on the population who resided in Travnik
20 at the time?
21 A. This wouldn't be correct. The process of forming of War
22 Presidencies and other bodies that represented other areas and other
23 people who resided in Travnik, this existed, but after the conflict
24 between Croats and Muslims. This did not exist before the 4th of June.
25 These organs were created after the 4th of June, after the conflict
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 between the Croats and Muslims, which happened on the 4th of June or
2 sometime between the 4th and the 6th of June, in any case.
3 Q. I am also not sure about the dates, but we are talking about the
4 year 1993.
5 A. In 1993, yes, these bodies did exist. After the 4th of June,
6 there was a conflict, and these bodies were established in Travnik to
7 represent other people who had fled from different areas of Bosnia and
9 Q. To the Prosecutor's question, you replied that in the course of
10 1992, in the summer of 1992 you started noticing foreigners in the town
11 of Travnik. These people arrived in Travnik via third countries, and you
12 said that they were Arabs.
13 A. I think I was right when I said that they were Arabs. I believe
14 that their origins were Arabic. I don't know whether they were from
15 Algiers or from Tunis. Hamza, for example, was an Arab. He was an
16 Arabic person. And he was well known in Travnik. He was well known.
17 Q. I was not in Travnik; you were. But I wanted to ask you whether
18 it is correct that the commander of these Arabs was a person known as
20 A. Yes. He tried to introduce a new order in Travnik. He, for
21 example, wouldn't allow coffee bars to serve alcoholic drinks. He, also,
22 because of that, came in clash with the people from Krajina. He tried to
23 instil fear.
24 Q. And let's try with first things first. From the very beginning
25 they were something that caused anxiety and then fear amongst both Croats
1 and Muslims.
2 A. I believe that quite a lot of the Muslim population found them
3 undesirable. They didn't try to fight them, but they found them
4 undesirable. And very soon it was realised that these people would be a
5 peril for everybody.
6 Q. Ribo Haso was also one of those who opposed their influence in
7 the area; is that correct?
8 A. I know Haso Ribo, but I would not hesitate to say that I don't
9 know to what extent he opposed. If he had, then he was absolutely
10 powerless. This is just my speculation. He -- they relied on their
11 priests, on their religious officials, who laid the ground for their
12 actions. They said that they did not belong to any units and they could
13 do whatever they wanted to do.
14 Q. You seem to be reading my mind. You have already answered my
15 next question. It was obvious that these people rallied around various
16 Muslim humanitarian and religious organisations and individual, Merhamet
17 and over others, and that they found support in those organisations and
19 A. In Travnik, I believe that this was the case.
20 Q. However, it was obvious that these people had a lot of money and
21 that this fact also had a bearing on the local population which started
22 rallying around them and imitating them.
23 A. I believe that their relationship was symbiotic, that there was a
24 symbiotic relationship with these foreigners who had political goals who
25 could incorporate quite nicely into the structure of the people that
1 found this favourable. Some people found material interest, and some
2 people, on the other hand, were convinced that this is the right road for
3 the Bosniak Muslims.
4 Q. You said that the commander, Fikret Cuskic, was the commander of
5 the 27th Krajina Brigade. If I were to put to you that it was the
6 17th Krajina Brigade at the time, could you agree with me?
7 A. I can accept that. It was the 17th, not the 27th. I correct
8 myself -- I stand corrected on that.
9 Q. When you were talking about your attempt to form a joint
10 government, one of those people who offered certain positions to you and
11 did it even after the conflict in June, he offered you to join the local
12 administration, that was Dr. Genjac, at the time president of the local
13 SDA, the ethnically-based party of the Muslim people; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. After the conflict in Travnik, you remained in Travnik together
16 with your family. You're still there. However, for a few days you
17 didn't go to work. And when you eventually returned to work, you
18 realised that the local authorities had replaced the management board of
19 your company. Is that correct?
20 A. Let me be more precise. I stayed with my family in Travnik, not
21 with my entire family. My two children on that day, on that unfortunate
22 day when the conflict happened -- my wife's family lives about 3 to 5
23 kilometres away from Travnik. There was no school. My children went
24 with my in-laws. They abandoned their house. They went barefoot because
25 they had been walking around the house. So I stayed in Travnik with my
1 wife, my sister as well, and her son stayed up there in the same manner.
2 So this is a more precise answer as to the composition of my family in
4 As for Mr. Genjac, it is true that he offered us to penetrate -
5 that's his expression - into the organs of power. We couldn't accept
6 that because we were not elected by -- on behalf of the HDZ. We would
7 have been intruders. We wanted to have a legitimate status. And it was
8 up to them to run the politics as they thought it was appropriate and
9 protect the interests of the citizens.
10 Q. However, when you returned to your company where you were the
11 general manager, you realised that a new management board had been
12 established. You didn't want to work with them, and that's why you
13 resigned and you abandoned the position of the general manager.
14 A. No, that's not correct. For a few days I stayed at home. Some
15 people visited me, my friends. Muslims visited me, and they were of the
16 opinion that I shouldn't leave the house because there were some people
17 who could do me harm. A few days later I went to my company. I met with
18 the president of the supervisory board, and we saw that our company, just
19 like the others, had sustained some damage. Nothing major actually
20 happened, but there was some damage. And then I realised that the
21 economy department of Travnik municipality appointed Dalo Muhar [phoen]
22 and Halilovic Mersad. One of them was in charge of the marketing and the
23 other was in charge of municipal affairs -- they did that without having
24 consulted me first. According to the then-prevailing instructions on the
25 operations of companies in war conditions, I should have been consulted.
1 I took that as a sign of mistrust, and I started the procedure to be
3 Q. You replaced certain persons in Travnik at the time. Huso Delic,
4 whom you mentioned, was the chief of the Travnik MUP. You mentioned
5 these persons --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Correction: Not replaced.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And he was able to enter the Orasac camp, and he acted as an
11 interpreter for the Mujahedin and other people; is that correct?
12 A. That's what I know about for sure.
13 Q. At the time, the president of the civilian authorities of the War
14 Presidency was Mehmet Curcic; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. In response to a question put to you by the Presiding Judge, you
17 said that you -- or rather, this is what you said earlier on. You said
18 you had been taken away in a Lada Niva vehicle. And in response to a
19 question from the Presiding Judge, you recognised that this was a vehicle
20 that belonged to Mektauf; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Mektauf was an Arab who had been living in Travnik, and he
23 cooperated with these Arabs and was involved in various duties; is that
25 A. I think that everyone from Travnik would confirm that, and I will
1 too, so yes, he was in Travnik. Up until the war, he was someone who ran
2 a discotheque, and he lived probably happily with his wife.
3 Q. There was another Arab who lived in Travnik before the war. His
4 name was Tafija and he was a dentist; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, and he lives in Travnik to this day. He's married to a
6 woman from Travnik.
7 Q. At the time when you were taken to Orasac, you found out from
8 your wife and later on from the wife of the late Popovic too, that when
9 attempting to obtain information about you and to obtain your release,
10 they went both to Mektauf and Tafija, as they thought that they were
11 persons who had influence with these foreigners; is that correct?
12 A. My wife and my sister didn't go to see them. My sister went to
13 the Travnik mufti. She thought he had a certain influence. She knew him
14 from before. He wouldn't see her and he refused to help her. Mektauf is
15 a friend of Popovic Kazimir. He worked as an engineer for him. He
16 carried out construction work on his discotheque, and they knew each
18 But Ljilja Popovic was a friend of my wife and of Tafija. She
19 went to see Tafija. So my family didn't go so see Tafija and Mektauf.
20 They went to Nusret Efendija and to see other religious people who might
21 have had some influence and might have been able to obtain our release.
22 Q. Your wife and Mrs. Popovic, as far as I've understood from your
23 answers, you spoke to them later and in fact contacted a number of
24 persons. They contacted Mr. Genjac, the president of the SDA, and Huso
25 Delic, the chief of the civilian police. And now you have just explained
1 something about Mektauf. And they contacted the president of the War
2 Presidency, Mr. Cuskic. But is it correct to say that they told you,
3 what Commander Cuskic and Commander Alagic said was they would do all
4 they could to get your release?
5 A. I would like to confirm that the late Mr. Alagic and Mr. Cuskic
6 did all they could to obtain our release. That is the impression I'm
7 under. As to what else they did in the course of the war, I wouldn't
8 like to say. But as far as we are concerned -- as far as I am concerned,
9 as far as my wife and sister are concerned -- they were very fair and we
10 were treated correctly.
11 Q. A while ago you said that when you were arrested, Fikret Cuskic
12 was the commander of the 17th Krajina Brigade. And at the time, Mehmet
13 Alagic was the commander of the operative group of Bosnian Krajina in the
14 BH Army.
15 A. I think that that was the structure at the time.
16 Q. You were released on the 6th of November.
17 A. I was forcibly removed.
18 Q. You got to the barracks from Orasac on the 6th of November
19 though; is that isn't that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Up until you left the barracks and went home, you saw Commander
22 Cuskic; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. I'm not going to repeat everything that you have said that you
25 spoke to him about, but would it be correct to say that at the time you
1 did not meet Commander Alagic, because he had gone to Zenica where he
2 took over the duties as commander of the 3rd Corps; is that correct?
3 A. I didn't meet the late Alagic there. He was still in Travnik.
4 And rumour had it that he would be transferred to Zenica. So no, I
5 didn't establish contact of any kind with Mr. Alagic.
6 Q. Commander Cuskic replaced Commander Alagic after he went to
7 Zenica and took over the duties of 3rd Corps command; is that correct?
8 A. That would be in the month of December, I think. So yes, it's
10 Q. That information is contained in the documents.
11 A. Yes, I think that that is how the events unfolded.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
13 questions. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Does the Defence team for Mr. Kubura have any cross-examination.
16 MR. DIXON: [Previous translation continues] ... Charged with any
17 incidents that this witness has testified about, there are no questions
18 for this witness on behalf of Mr. Kubura. I'm grateful, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
20 Is there any re-examination for the Prosecution?
21 MR. WITHOPF: Very briefly, Mr. President, Your Honours.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Withopf:
23 Q. Mr. Fisic, these soldiers whom you have seen at the Orasac camp,
24 were they all Mujahedin, meaning foreign soldiers, or did you also -- did
25 you also see local --
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I apologise, but I
2 didn't ask any questions about Orasac, so there are no grounds for
3 re-examining the witness with regard to issues that weren't touched upon
4 by the Defence in the course of its cross-examination.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Defence says that as
6 these questions weren't put to the witness, you are now asking the
7 witness to provide clarifications. Normally you should ask for
8 clarifications about questions asked by the Defence, but as the Defence
9 didn't ask any questions about this group of 50 persons, this is not
10 appropriate. It's something you should have asked before. Please
12 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, the Trial Chamber actually asked
13 such a question, and I wish to clarify the answer the witness has given.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll withdraw to deliberate
15 for a few minutes to see whether we may allow you to ask this question.
16 --- Break taken at 12.10 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.15 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has
19 deliberated in order to determine whether the Prosecution could ask the
20 witness to clarify what the composition of the group of 50 persons was.
21 After having heard the objection raised by the Defence -- the Trial
22 Chamber has taken note of the objection raised by the Defence. As far as
23 the Prosecution's request is concerned and the Defence's position, on the
24 basis of Rule 89, the Trial Chamber will ask the witness this question;
25 although, the answers that he has already provided make the issue clear.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But in order to be quite clear,
3 Witness, I'm going to put a question to you along the lines of what has
4 already been asked of you.
5 The 50 people that were there, were they all Mujahedin or were
6 there others who were there too, people who weren't Mujahedin? It's very
8 A. I couldn't identify the Mujahedin and others, but I can say that
9 most of the soldiers were members of the El Mujahed unit, and they were
10 mostly local people. So they were part of the El Mujahed unit, so they
11 were most likely Mujahedin themselves.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that most
13 of them were part of the El Mujahed unit, but you have added that there
14 were some local people, people from the area too. There were some local
16 A. Yes, that's correct, Bosnian Muslims from various areas. But
17 they were part of that unit.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we have heard
19 your answer.
20 The Prosecution may continue, but please ensure that your
21 questions relate to the questions put to the witness in the course of the
22 Defence's cross-examination. If necessary, the Trial Chamber can also
23 ask some questions to obtain clarification.
24 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President, Your Honours.
25 The Prosecution has no further questions in re-examination.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
2 Witness, you have answered the questions put to you by the
3 Prosecution and the Defence for one of the accused. You have also
4 answered questions put to you by the Judges. Thank you for having
6 At one point in time you said that - and you were addressing the
7 Trial Chamber - you said that you wanted your medical condition to be
8 checked here in The Hague, and it appeared that you said that you were
9 still suffering from the consequences of your injuries. So this question
10 which you have put to the Trial Chamber, I must have to say that
11 according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence the Trial Chamber
12 doesn't have any power. In this situation, it's not possible; in other
13 situations, it might be possible. But the Rules of Procedure are such
14 that the Trial Chamber cannot grant your request, we cannot grant your
15 request for a medical checkup.
16 However, there is the Victims and Witnesses Unit here, and when
17 you are escorted out of the courtroom, the Victims and Witnesses Unit
18 will take charge of you and you can ask them this question. And then on
19 the basis of the answer you get -- regardless of the answer you get, you
20 should contact someone in your country to see what the various procedures
21 might be in order to have your request satisfied there. But this Trial
22 Chamber cannot grant the very precise request you have made.
23 Having said that, thank you for your testimony. We wish you a
24 good trip home. And I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. And I hope that I have
2 helped justice to be done. Thank you.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We don't have any
5 witnesses scheduled.
6 Yesterday I pointed out that we would resume our hearings on
7 Tuesday morning, since we'll be sitting in the morning next week. Monday
8 is a holiday, so we will resume on Tuesday morning.
9 The CD-ROM question is one that we still have to deal with, but
10 this matter will be resolved as soon as possible. The Trial Chamber
11 still has to hand down a number of decisions which are still pending. We
12 will do so rapidly, since they are in the process of being completed.
13 In addition, at the beginning of next week -- we have not yet
14 received this letter from the European Union. We're waiting to receive
15 it, to read it. It has been promised to us. But perhaps you will have
16 other information for us on Tuesday when we resume with our hearing.
17 If there are no more issues to be raised, in that case we will
18 adjourn, and I will see everyone next week on Tuesday at 9.00 in the
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.24 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
22 February, 2004 at 9.00 a.m.