1 Monday, 16 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could 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, Mr. Registrar.
10 Appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
12 Counsel. For the Prosecution, Tecla Benjamin, Ekkehard Withopf, and the
13 case manager, Kimberly Fleming.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
15 Appearances for the Defence.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
17 Good afternoon, Your Honours. Today representing General Hadzihasanovic,
18 Edina Residovic and Alexis Demirdjian, our legal assistant.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 The other Defence counsel, please.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
22 Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Mr. Mulalic, legal assistant.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 The Chamber would like to welcome all in the courtroom, the
25 Prosecution, the Defence, the accused, and all the others present in the
1 courtroom, and especially the interpreters, who are doing a tremendous
2 job in order to facilitate the exchange of thoughts in the courtroom.
3 First I'm going to turn to the Prosecution in order to hear what
4 the schedule is for today.
5 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, can we please go into
6 private session?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we please go
8 into private session.
9 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
1 And now I'm going to ask the usher to bring the witness into the
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Let me first
5 check whether you hear the interpretation of my words into your language.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You have
8 been called by the Prosecution to testify in this courtroom. In order to
9 do that, you have to tell us your name first.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tomislav Rajic.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. When were you born?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 25th May, 1959.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were your born?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Travnik.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. What is your
16 current profession?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I currently work in a law firm in
18 Novi Travnik.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are a lawyer, aren't
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am an apprentice lawyer.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are an apprentice
24 In 1993, what did you do at the time?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a degree in law, and at that
1 time I was the Secretary for People's Defence in Travnik municipality.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Before you take the solemn declaration, can you please tell us
4 whether you have ever testified either before this Tribunal, an
5 international tribunal, or before any domestic court.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you be more precise. Where
8 did you testify?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified before this Tribunal,
10 in the Aleksovski case and in the Blaskic case.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
12 Can you please read the solemn declaration. Read it in your own
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
17 be seated.
18 WITNESS: TOMISLAV RAJIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you are already used to
21 testifying before an international court, you don't need an elaborate
22 explanation as to what is going to happen. You are an apprentice lawyer,
23 so you probably understand the procedure.
24 I would like to give you some guidelines. You are going to be
25 asked questions first by the Prosecution, because you have been called by
1 the Prosecution to testify. The Prosecution is seated on your right-hand
3 Once they have completed their examination-in-chief, the Defence
4 counsel, on your left - we have two accused and two Defence counsel;
5 there are five lawyers present in the courtroom but only two will be
6 asking you questions during the cross-examination - they can also ask you
7 questions within the scope of the cross-examination.
8 The three Judges, who are seated in front of you, can ask you
9 questions at any moment when they deem necessary to do so.
10 Since you have taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth, we
11 expect you not to give false testimony. If it turns out that you have
12 given us false testimony, you will be liable before the law. It is
13 either a fine or an imprisonment up to seven years. I have to remind you
14 of these conditions attached to false testimony.
15 First you are going to be asked questions by the parties and by
16 the Judges. At the moment when you are asked a question which might
17 incriminate you, you have to notify us of that, so you can ask the
18 Chamber to allow you not to answer such a question.
19 Take your time when answering the questions about what happened
20 in 1993. If a question seems too complicated to you, you can always ask
21 the person who has put it to you to rephrase it. Take your time, because
22 what you are going to say is very important and deserves precision,
23 deserves some time to think about the question. If you don't know the
24 answer to a question, you can say "I don't know" or "I do not remember."
25 Having said that, the Judges, who are in front of you, are
1 responsible for the running of this procedure in the most proper way. I
2 believe that I have given you enough guidelines. We are going to begin
3 the examination-in-chief, and for that purpose I am going to give the
4 floor to the Prosecution. I don't know whether it's going to be
5 Mrs. Benjamin or Mr. Withopf. I suppose it's going to be Mrs. Benjamin.
6 Mrs. Benjamin, you have the floor.
7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
8 Your Honours.
9 Examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
10 Q. Mr. Rajic, could you state for the Trial Chamber -- could you
11 state for the Trial Chamber, please, the municipality in which your
12 village is located.
13 A. Travnik.
14 Q. What is your ethnic background and that of your fellow villagers?
15 A. I'm a Croat.
16 Q. Could you tell us what is the general ethnic background of the
18 A. A hundred per cent Croat.
19 Q. Did you do national service at any time with the JNA?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Mr. Rajic, could you tell the Trial Chamber the period in which
22 you did your national service, please.
23 A. I served in the JNA from 8th August 1984 to 1st of July, 1985, in
24 the School for Reserve Officers in Bileca.
25 Q. And subsequent to that, were you a member of any other military
2 A. Later on I became a member of the HVO.
3 Q. And for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, could you tell us your
4 rank and what was your responsibility.
5 A. Currently I am a major. I received that rank in May 1994, after
6 the first multiparty elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When the
7 municipal government was being established in Travnik, I was appointed
8 the Secretary for National Defence in Travnik. That was the name of the
9 body, and that was on the 22nd of February, 1991.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, there came a time, somewhere around the
11 beginning of the year 1993, when there may have been soldiers or
12 individuals other than the local soldiers in the village. Could you tell
13 us your observations with respect to that, please.
14 A. Some other people appeared in -- not in 1993 but before that, as
15 early as the summer of 1992. In the course of 1993, they came in greater
16 numbers. They walked around with weapons. There were different units.
17 There were -- in addition to local people, there were people from other
18 areas of a different race, who wore different clothes and behaved in a
19 different way.
20 Q. Would you be able to assist the Trial Chamber with the name that
21 these people were referred to as?
22 A. I don't know what people you are referring to. Are you referring
23 to the local population or people who came from somewhere else?
24 Q. The ones -- the foreign ones that you said appeared on the scene.
25 Could you tell the Court how they were referred to.
1 A. They were referred to as Mujahedin.
2 Q. And could you give us some idea as to the -- the outpost or the
3 offices of these Mujahedins, where they were found and where they
4 operated, please.
5 A. As far as their positions, I would have to know what period you
6 are referring to. They were not static. They did not keep to one place
7 only. These people who arrived, they arrived as members of various
8 Arabic humanitarian organisations.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... More specific. During the
10 period 1993 to around March 1994, could you tell us what you know of
11 their outposts, where they operated from.
12 A. You could see these people in the town of Travnik itself and in
13 the neighbouring Muslim villages. In our neck of the woods, the villages
14 are quite intermixed and close to each other. For example, Guca Gora is
15 a transit place. They would, therefore, pass through Guca Gora, through
16 Travnik. They used public roads to move around.
17 When they first arrived, they were stationed in Mehurici, to be
18 more precise, in Jezerce, which is a part of Mehurici. This is where
19 they had some sort of a camp. They had money. There was weapons
20 smuggling. Those who had weapons could sell those weapons to them at a
21 good price. They also --
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to
25 react to the translation. Page 8, line 18, the witness said that they
1 were stationed in Mehurici, in Jezerce. Later on he said that it was
2 some sort of a camp. The witness said that rumours had it that they had
3 some sort of a camp.
4 Also, the witness said that the rumours had it that they had
5 money. Since this has not been translated in that way, I would kindly
6 ask for the correction in the translation.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your vigilance
8 when it comes to the translation from B/C/S into English.
9 Witness, you have responded to a question that was put to you by
10 the Prosecution regarding the arrival of these foreigners, and the
11 Prosecution has asked for some precisions. According to the English
12 translation - maybe you can read English - that you have in front of you,
13 it has been indicated that these foreigners were in Jezerce. The Defence
14 says that you have said that according rumours to they were in that camp.
15 According to you, were they really there and you know or it, or did you
16 hear it from somebody else? Can you be more precise on that, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't dare go there. None of us
18 at that time could go there. None of the non-Muslims could go to the
19 camp and verify the nature of that camp. But I know because I saw them -
20 I saw them passing through, going to Mehurici - and I know from
21 conversations that I had with other people, with both Croats and Muslims
22 from the area. I was told that the camp was indeed there. It was a
23 public secret. We all knew it in Travnik, and we also knew that they
24 were buying weapons. We knew that if anybody had weapons to sell, that
25 they were buying weapons, that they were buyers.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. So you have
2 specified that it is on the basis of the conversation that you had with
3 both Croats and Muslims that you found out that that camp was in that
4 place, that is to say, Jezerce. But you yourself have never been there.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have been there, but later.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the reply is satisfactory.
7 In order to do away with any ambiguity, I'm going to put another question
8 to you, and then I'll give the floor to the Prosecution. But we do have
9 time today.
10 So you have said that these foreigners arrived through
11 humanitarian organisations, and then you went on to say that they were
12 armed. Is it compatible to arrive within the framework of a humanitarian
13 mission and to come armed? Is your answer with regard to the
14 humanitarian organisations means that all those who came from abroad came
15 with their humanitarian organisations and they were armed - which is
16 rather surprising - or else some of them came with the humanitarian
17 organisations and others came in different ways? Could you specify your
18 answer to the extent that you are in a position to reply. If you are in
19 no position to reply, just tell us so.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, I don't know whether all of
21 them - and I really don't think that all of them came with the
22 humanitarian organisations - but a certain number certainly have.
23 On the other hand, the fact that they have arms, I didn't say
24 that they came along armed with the same sort of arms and that they
25 walked around Travnik. They did carry those arms. I mean, they had
1 arms. I saw them and everybody saw them. I don't believe that whilst
2 they were travelling from the countries that they had come from that that
3 they actually travelled in the same guise that they looked when they
4 actually came. Probably they got the arms -- I mean, not probably --
5 They got those arms once they arrived. As to how they did that, I don't
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for
8 specifying that.
9 Mrs. Benjamin, you may continue.
10 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Rajic, from your own personal knowledge, could you give us a
12 description of an outpost that you would have seen these Mujahedins at,
13 at any particular outpost. Could you give us a description, please.
14 A. In the town itself? We are talking about the town of Travnik at
15 the moment. The humanitarian -- well, at least they were called like
16 that, relief and another one from the United Arab Emirates, one from
17 Kuwait, one from Egypt. I can't remember exactly what humanitarian
18 organisations -- But they had a number of premises that they had in the
19 town of Travnik itself. I do know that they were in Plava Voda. It is a
20 large restaurant in the most beautiful part of town. And there is a huge
21 spring of fresh water there. And they were at the tax office. It was
22 the tax authority's premises. Previously they were in that building,
23 which is a municipal building. They were at the cinema. And I used to
24 see them in the building of our Dom. It was a supermarket in the centre
25 of town, and on the top floor they could be seen. And it is in the same
1 building as the police station of Travnik. Maybe -- they could be
2 exactly next door, or perhaps there is one door between those two. And
3 then they had two nursery schools in Travnik.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Rajic, could you describe for the Trial Chamber
5 the physical appearance of these foreigners or Mujahedins, as you
6 referred to them, please.
7 A. Look, I used to meet them -- they did not really wear uniforms so
8 that I could say, "Okay, this is the way one of them looked and the way
9 everybody looked." Some of them used to wear camouflage uniforms or
10 parts of those uniforms. They might have had just the trousers or just
11 the top and combined with something else. And if they had trousers, they
12 had slightly shorter ones. And then some of them used to walk about in
13 long garments. I think in some instances they were even below the knee,
14 some sort of dress garment which resembles what you see on TV -- what you
15 see in Afghanistan. And they had those characteristic Arab scarves that
16 they used to wear. I mean, you come across people wearing those scarves
17 even today. Yeah, that was it. More or less that's the way they looked.
18 Q. That was how they dressed. But could you tell us their physical
19 appearance, their features, what they looked like, the complexion of
20 their skins.
21 A. Yes. For the most part, those were people you could tell were
22 not locals, because we look differently. They had darker skin, and most
23 of them had beards, but not very well groomed, so to say. And darker
24 skin. They were not blacks, but they were -- well, they looked like
25 Arabs, because they were Arabs.
1 Q. In the presence in the streets of Travnik, were their armed with
2 anything? Did you see them with any weapons of any sort on their
4 A. Yes, I did. Arms were carried publicly, and they had them. For
5 the most part, they had automatic guns, Kalashnikovs, for the most part.
6 Q. What of the village of Orasac? Could you tell us about the
7 presence of these people in the village of Orasac.
8 A. Do you mean Orasac?
9 Q. Thank you. Yes.
10 A. Orasac is a smaller Croat village which the Croats left, I think
11 before the 8th of June, because there had been conflicts in Miletici
12 there. There was a crime committed there. And before open conflict,
13 there were quite a few incidents. A number of people lost their lives.
14 And people lived in fear in those areas in which they were in minority.
15 So they tried to save their lives and they went off to other places. If
16 you live in a bigger village, you're a bigger group, so you feel safer.
17 So as I was saying, after the Croats were chased away, not only from
18 Orasac but from many other Croat villages in the eastern part of the
19 municipality of Travnik, I do know that they went on to Orasac and they
20 built a large facility for that area. It was a four-storey house built
21 of concrete blocks, ground floor, two floors, and the top floor. That
22 building is still there, only it has been destroyed -- damaged. And they
23 also lived in people's houses. I mean, the people had left Orasac but
24 the houses were left intact. So they lived in some of the houses, not
25 just that building that they erected.
1 Q. Thank you. April 1993, and to be exact, the 9th would have been
2 Easter in Travnik. And could you indicate to the Trial Chamber the
3 significance of this period to you.
4 A. I think it was a Saturday, the 9th of April, 1993, and it was the
5 day before Easter, Holy Saturday. And in order to mark Easter, because
6 Croats too were living in Travnik - fortunately, they still do - and so
7 we decorated the town. In some places, we hung out the Croat flags near
8 the church and the hotel and in that part of town in which the Croat
9 population was the prevalent one. And so it was probably what triggered
10 off the incident that followed. All the flags were taken down and set
11 alight. There was some shooting. And it seems to me that on that day --
12 it's not that it seems to me. That's what happened -- In the evening,
13 there was some sort of hunt for the more eminent Croats, doctors,
14 lawyers, prominent people which -- who meant something for Travnik. Not
15 just the Croat community, but the town of Travnik. And about 40 people
16 were taken away and locked up in a medieval fortress, an old fortress of
17 Bosnian kings that used to be used by Turks after the Turkish occupation,
18 during the Turkish Empire. And they were locked up there. Some people
19 were kicked or slapped or insulted, verbal insults. That was overnight.
20 That happened overnight. And they were released the next day. I know
21 some people who were there. I don't know all of them, but I know some
23 Q. Could you tell us who you refer to when you say to the Trial
24 Chamber "they arrested," "they detained these 40 people." Who do you
25 refer to when you say "they"?
1 A. I mean the members of the Bosniak military component. There were
2 various formations there, the sports company, which belonged to the
3 police force; and then in Travnik we also had members of the 7th Muslim
4 Brigade; and then -- well, let's say the members of the regular BH armed
5 forces, the Bosniak military component, as it was. That's who I mean.
6 Q. During this time, could you tell the Trial Chamber where you were
8 A. During that time, I was living in Guca Gora in my own family
10 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber actually when the conflict
11 began in Guca Gora.
12 A. Guca Gora was attacked on the 8th of June, in the early hours of
13 the morning. More specifically, at 4.30 a.m. I will never be able to
14 forget that.
15 Q. And prior to the commencement of the conflict, days before
16 perhaps, could you tell the Trial Chamber what you did in preparation for
17 the conflict.
18 A. As to the conflict, about -- for a month and a half or two months
19 the situation had been very difficult indeed. Lots of incidents. The
20 conflict could have broken out any moment. And basically every village
21 organised some sort of night watch. Guards around our own houses, our
22 own backyards. We had to try to organise some sort of shelter, some sort
23 of protection to protect our villages. But this was going on everywhere,
24 not just Guca Gora, because all those villages were close to one another.
25 Unfortunately, we had to protect ourselves from the others. There was no
1 front line there. You couldn't be sure that okay, in front of you
2 there's somebody -- there is an enemy that's going to attack you or that
3 you are going to attack. But it was coming from all sides. So then we
4 simply agreed that we would guard what was ours.
5 Q. Did there come a time when you left your home?
6 A. Yes. A couple of days before the 8th, due to the nature of this
7 situation, since my house is set apart a bit, 2 to 3 hundred metres away
8 from the other house, and my uncle's house -- but apart from my uncle,
9 who is over 70 years of age, I was the only man in the house. So we
10 moved in closer in to the village to -- where our cousins lived. Because
11 in Guca Gora, that's where my whole family is and we're all called Rajic.
12 And we found one slightly newer house with a good basement, and also
13 people from some ten other houses in the neighbourhood also came to spend
14 the night. And during the day, my mother used to go to our own house,
15 because also we had some animals. But I myself did not go.
16 Q. So you indicated earlier on that the conflict began at
17 approximately 4.30 a.m. on the 8th of June, 1993. Could you unfold --
18 could you relate to the Trial Chamber the events as they unfolded from
19 that moment, please.
20 A. That evening -- that night I went to bed very late. In this
21 other people's home, there were about 30 of us there. And I -- around
22 2.00 a.m. I went to bed to have some rest. And very soon I was woken up
23 by explosions and shooting from light arms. I ran out into the yard of
24 that house, and I could see that shells were falling across the monastery
25 and they were landing between the house where we were and the monastery.
1 There was a kind of small valley there, and most of them were landing
2 there. But there was shooting all around the village.
3 But Guca Gora was not the only village that was being attacked.
4 The shooting -- I mean, the people who are familiar with the situation
5 would know that I'm talking about a part of Cakovici, near Hum, across
6 Radonjici, which is a Croat village, and then all the way down to
7 Maljine, Postinje, and then across the River Bila, Podovi, Orasac, Cukle,
8 Grahovcici, Brajkovici. And then all around you, you could hear shelling
9 for perhaps the first half-hour. You could hear powerful explosions and
10 gunfire could be heard all along. And then at around 8.00, 8.30 in the
11 morning things calmed down. There was some sporadic shooting, and it was
12 more intense in the part of -- below Guca Gora in the direction of Nova
14 Q. Well, during this time, Mr. Rajic, could you tell the Court how
15 you felt for yourself and your family.
16 A. How could I have felt? I saw that what we feared most was
17 actually happening. Since I was wearing a military uniform -- well, we
18 had sent one of us to go to the centre of the village and check out the
19 situation in the village, and he came back rather swiftly, half an hour
20 later, and they said, "Well, there's nobody left in the village, nobody
21 to defend Guca Gora." We were the only ones left who had arms. There
22 were about ten of us in that part.
23 Q. Did you leave the village then?
24 A. No, not straight away, because we didn't know where to go. We
25 knew from what side we were being attacked. But where we thought we
1 could withdraw, there was shooting. There was a great deal of shooting
2 there. So I myself actually suggested -- well, we said goodbye to our
3 families. I said goodbye to my sister, to my mother, to my wife, who was
4 seven months pregnant at the time. One of my cousins had had a baby one
5 or two nights before, so this cousin of mine said goodbye to his son.
6 And then we went to the creek just below the village, and then we said,
7 "Well, we'll wait until night-time and then until dark and then we'll see
8 what we can do."
9 And early in the afternoon, at about 1.00 in the afternoon, I
10 could see a couple of UNPROFOR vehicles, transport vehicles. We could
11 see them clearly on the road below, and we could see that they stopped in
12 front of the village church and the monastery, where there was a
13 clearing. And we could see that there were locals all around. And then
14 we simply ran up this road going to the village and we got to the
15 monastery, the area in front of the monastery where the vehicles were.
16 We had to relinquish our weapons straight away. To be honest, I was
17 quite pleased to do so. We had to get out of our uniforms. And then
18 from the houses around the area, there were some civilians, because half
19 of them had left by 8.00 and the other half basically stayed at home,
20 because they didn't really know what was going on. They knew that there
21 was some shooting, but they didn't know what was happening to other
22 people, what other people were doing, because not everybody was grouped
23 in one area. And I mean we were in several houses in the village,
24 sitting in the basement, but you don't know what's going on. You can
25 hear the shooting, but you don't know who is doing what.
1 So as I was saying, we were there. We asked the UNPROFOR
2 people - and I must say that they got the reinforcement Warrior tanks,
3 the light tanks, which were positioned around the monastery, and we were
4 placed within the monastery. The priests had left together with a part
5 of the population that had left on the 8th of June, and only two nuns had
6 stayed behind.
7 And then somebody from the BH army came to visit us. I do know
8 that they were not getting out of the transport vehicles. But there was
9 basically no communication between ourselves and them. But I know
10 everybody in Travnik, the commanders on both sides, and there was nothing
11 going on that day. But we were told to go into the church, actually. We
12 were sitting in the church and not the monastery.
13 Q. So you sought refuge in the church on the 8th. Could you tell us
14 what happened on the 9th of June, 1993.
15 A. On the next day, on the 9th, that is, we didn't know who was
16 where. But let's say we knew who was supposed to be where on that day.
17 So we asked the UNPROFOR staff for permission to go around the village
18 and see whether anyone was wounded or dead. But elderly people could go
19 with the UNPROFOR staff, I think two of them, and the rest of us, who
20 were younger, were not allowed to get out of the monastery. And we
21 couldn't have done it anyway. And there were no Croats left in Guca
22 Gora, except for the monastery.
23 And then they brought seven people in who had lost their lives
24 the day before.
25 Q. Is it your testimony to this Trial Chamber that on the 9th of
1 June, 1993, that while you were at the church seven bodies were brought
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were you able to recognise any of these bodies?
5 A. Yes, I did recognise all of them, because I had known them.
6 Q. Could you give us the average age of these people.
7 A. I don't know the average age, but I know about all of them.
8 Vlado Volic is my own age, born in 1959. We went to school together.
9 And Niko Sluganovic was probably born in 1949 or 1950. Drago Volic was
10 retired, so he was over 60. And Rudo Petrusic too, he was a pensioner
11 and he was about 65 or 66. And the same goes for Drago Petrusic. And
12 Stipo Kafadar was around -- was born in 1950, as Niko Sluganovic. But
13 when he was a young boy, he lost one eye. The oldest of them was Ljubo,
14 Ljubomir Petrusic. He was about 70 at the time.
15 Q. So the bodies were made up of young and old individuals; am I
17 A. Yes, you are.
18 Q. Did you assist in disposing of the bodies?
19 A. Yes. Together with the others, we dug those seven graves, and
20 that's where they were buried. And the burial ceremony was performed by
21 an UNPROFOR priest. He was wearing an UNPROFOR uniform. He did not have
22 any clothes that would mark him out as a priest, but I know that somebody
23 said that he was indeed a priest, so he was in charge of the ceremony.
24 And then when they were already placed in the graves, they were
25 in blankets. And then a bullet hit the wall of the church and then many
1 people just ran away. And the service was speeded up and we stayed back
2 to, you know, fill the graves.
3 Q. Mr. Rajic, aside from the dead bodies that were brought back from
4 Guca Gora, could you tell us what you heard or know about that took place
5 or happened in the village itself.
6 A. I don't understand your question, I'm afraid.
7 Q. Specifically with respect to the houses in the village, and --
8 how was the village after the conflict?
9 A. Only one barn burned down on that day. There was no other
10 damage. The houses were intact. Nothing had been taken out of them.
11 Half of the people from my village work either in Switzerland or Germany,
12 some in Austria. Everything remained intact. Later on the whole
13 village was burned, but it was only later, during the conflict and after
14 the peace agreement was signed.
15 Q. Were you able to return to your home?
16 A. No, not yet.
17 Q. Can you tell us what happened to your home during that time.
18 A. It was not either on the 8th or on the 9th of June; however, my
19 house was set to fire. The barn was destroyed, and only the concrete
20 columns remained. And whatever was in the house was taken away. Some
21 people told me that, firstly, all of my clothes and technical appliances
22 were taken out and then the house was set on fire. This is what my
23 Muslim neighbours told me. There were two houses, one next to each
24 other; one was mine and the other belonged to my uncle. Both were set on
1 Q. What do you know of your other fellow villagers' houses?
2 A. The houses were set on fire. From the part of the Nova Bila to
3 which we withdrew, we could see houses burning. You could see it with
4 your naked eye and especially through binoculars. So we knew exactly
5 whose house was set on fire, whose house was it that was burning.
6 Q. And, Mr. Rajic, would you be able to assist the Trial Chamber
7 with who you think may have been responsible for the burning, as you say,
8 and the looting, and the killing that took place?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence counsel has the floor.
10 I give you the floor.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this witness
12 testifies about the fact known to him, and it is not correct to put
13 questions to this witness which go beyond his role as a witness. This
14 question calls for speculation.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, you have noted
16 the observation put forth by the Defence. The Defence believes that your
17 question calls for this witness's speculation. He did see the houses
18 burning, the houses that were situated in the village of Nova Bila, and
19 from the place where he was he could see the houses burning.
20 Witness, you have followed this discussion. The Prosecution has
21 asked you a question, and the Defence observation is that your answer
22 would call for speculation. The question was very clear. From the place
23 where you were, how far away was Nova Bila from the place where you were?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two kilometres. Not Nova Bila, but
25 the place from which we could observe the situation.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So two kilometres.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the crow flies.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So two kilometres. What could
4 you see from the place where you were at a two-kilometre distance? What
5 could you see precisely from the place where you were?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could see the houses burning.
7 You could see even further than that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you could see the houses
9 burning. From the place where you were, could you see the persons that
10 set the houses on fire? Did you see anybody setting these houses on
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I couldn't. I couldn't see
13 anybody. I couldn't see the people.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. So you don't
15 know, because you couldn't see who was setting the houses on fire. How
16 can you then infer that the houses were set on fire by the persons who
17 could have been persons who did not belong to your community? You don't
18 know who set these houses on fire. How could you make an inference that
19 those people were not members of your community? You -- did you find
20 that out only later?
21 When you testify, you testify about the facts that you saw with
22 your own two eyes, and if you didn't see anybody, you can't tell us who
23 was it who set the houses on fire. Maybe you can say that later on
24 there were rumours about who set the houses on fire. This is a
25 difference. And the observation by the Defence was exactly that, that
1 the Prosecution is calling for your speculation. So when they ask you --
2 when the Prosecution asks you who was it who set the houses on fire, what
3 can you tell us?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you want me to give you the
5 names of the people who set the houses on fire, I can't give you their
6 names. But what I can tell you is this: Nobody else could have set
7 these houses on fire but those who had expelled us from there.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what you're saying is that
9 those who set the houses on fire were the ones who expelled us? This is
10 your inference. Is this your inference, or do you know it for a fact?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the truth. I don't know
12 what you want to call this truth.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Benjamin.
14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Mr. Rajic, tell us who expelled you from your village.
16 A. The BH army.
17 Q. And would you be able to identify the unit from which these
18 people came from?
19 A. It was the zone of the 306th Mountain Brigade of the BH army.
20 Q. Along with those members from the BH army, were there any other
21 individuals who was involved in the expulsion of yourselves and your
22 fellow villagers from their village?
23 A. I didn't see anybody else. I didn't see any other people. But I
24 heard that in other areas there were some others as well.
25 Q. Mr. Rajic, what about the Mujahedins? Could you assist us?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence have jumped to their
2 feet, both Defence counsel, because needless to say they want to say to
3 the Chamber that this was a leading question. Am I right, Madam Counsel?
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] You're right, Mr. President. The
5 witness has clearly answered every question put to him so far by the
6 Prosecution. He said that he was expelled by the BH army and that was
7 the zone of the responsibility of the 306th Brigade, and that he did not
8 see any other soldier in the area. The leading question, it has to be
9 redacted and the witness has to be instructed not to answer a question
10 like that.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my objection
12 would have been the same, so I don't have to repeat it, I believe.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The intention of
14 the Prosecution was to ask a question who would not be a leading
15 question. I believe that the question was too fast. Maybe you should
16 have arrived at the question in a different way. Maybe you should have
17 asked the witness what he saw. And you can see on page 24, line 10, when
18 the witness said that this was the zone of the 306th Mountain Brigade.
19 But we do not know whether this was just their zone or whether these were
20 members of the 306th Brigade. So the witness is not precise in his
22 I'm going to put a question to the witness: Sir, you are
23 saying -- you know that we are here in a verbal procedure. We don't have
24 any written documents. In order to arrive at the truth, what is
25 important to us is what you say to us. Are you saying -- your answer has
1 to be precise and it has to be correct. And when there is any sort of
2 ambiguity, then your answer does not provide the answer to the question
3 and is not helping us.
4 At the one moment the Prosecutor asked: Who is it who expelled
5 you? The translation into English was that it was -- you didn't say that
6 they were members of the 306th Brigade. In the translation, we read this
7 was the zone of the 306th Brigade.
8 I'll repeat the question to you: Who was it who expelled you?
9 When I say "who," that means did you see anybody, anybody who belonged to
10 any military formation? So who was it who expelled you? Who were the
11 persons who expelled you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I can't answer that
13 question. Nobody can answer that question, because -- if you're shot at,
14 then you run to save your life. I was not paying too much attention to
15 the insignia. I don't know who they were. I know who they could have
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Why did you
18 then say that it was in the zone of the responsibility of the 306th
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I know that this was the
21 zone of the 306th Mountain Brigade.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. So you're
23 saying that you were shot at in order to be expelled. You don't know who
24 did the shooting. However, since this was the zone of responsibility of
25 the 306th Brigade, you concluded that it could have been him. You are a
1 lawyer. You understand the importance of your question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Benjamin, you have the
4 floor again. You may proceed. So the witness does not really know who
5 was it who expelled them, because he was being shot at; but he has told
6 us that since this was the zone covered by the 306th Brigade he deducted
7 that these could have been members of the 306th Brigade.
8 Mrs. Benjamin, you may proceed.
9 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Rajic, prior to the conflict and on the day of the conflict,
11 could you tell the Trial Chamber who you saw in your village.
12 A. Members of the BH army.
13 Q. Thank you. And did you see any other military personnel?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We go back to the same thing.
15 The Prosecutor asks you who you saw. You say, "I didn't see anybody. I
16 saw some people. I saw a soldier of the 306th Brigade." You have to
17 answer this question. The question was whom you saw. You either know or
18 you don't know. If you don't know, you just tell us that you don't know.
19 You can tell us you didn't see anybody. You can tell us that you saw
20 somebody. If you did see somebody, you can please tell us whom you saw.
21 Otherwise, the Defence will again object and say that the Prosecution is
22 putting a leading question. So you must not be led in your testimony.
23 Listen carefully and answer based on what you saw, not based on
24 what you may be able to conclude or based on what some other people told
25 you. If you heard something from other people, tell us so. Or if you
1 are inferring, then you just tell us that you're making an inference.
2 Mrs. Benjamin, I give you the floor again. Please be cautious.
3 Make sure that the question is put in such a way so as to enable the
4 witness to answer precisely, without you leading him. It is a bit of an
5 art. However, you have the floor, Mrs. Benjamin.
6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, thank you. And I could not
7 agree with you more. But at the same time, with the greatest respect, I
8 do not think that the question was a leading question. It was a very
9 straightforward question based on the evidence and the testimony that the
10 witness has led before. And I don't think that I can put it in any other
11 way except to ask him:
12 Q. On the day in question, the 8th of June and prior to that, did
13 you see anybody in the streets of -- of Guca Gora?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Benjamin, please look at
15 the line 1 on page 27 and read it and see what it says. The answer is on
16 page 26 in lines 24 and 25. You asked the witness as follows: On the
17 day of the conflict, what were the sides or parties which were present?
18 Whom did you see? His answer was: Members of the BH army.
19 My translation into French - and I believe that it was the same
20 in English - it was not an affirmation. It was a question. Can you
21 please repeat the question, and we shall wait for the witness to reply
22 and see what the reply is going to be.
23 The reply was a question. It was in the form of a question,
24 rather than in the form of an affirmation. And the Defence counsel
25 objected to that. Can you please rephrase your question. Let's try
1 again from the beginning. And we have a lot of time today. Mrs.
2 Benjamin, you have the floor. Please rephrase your question. Repeat the
3 question that is on the page of the transcript that I have just mentioned
4 to you.
5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: And that would be line 26.
6 Could we get it back, please, line 26.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me help you. Page 26,
8 lines 24 and 25. Read the question that you have put. Can you please
9 read it again. You asked: "Can you tell the Chamber what you saw on the
10 day of the conflict." On page 27, it says: "Members of the BH army."
11 However, I heard him answer in his own language. The answer sounded like
12 a question. It was not an affirmation. I believe that the Defence
13 counsel understood it in the same way in their -- in the B/C/S. You took
14 his answer as a fact, as if he had said that they were BH army members.
15 However, it seemed to me that he replied with a question. Can you please
16 repeat the question that you find on page 26 in lines 24 and 25.
17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Very well, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Rajic, prior to the conflict and on the day of the conflict,
19 which was 8 June 1993, could you tell the Trial Chamber who you saw on
20 the streets on that day.
21 A. I will explain. On the 8th of June, in the afternoon, in front
22 of the monastery an UNPROFOR vehicle arrived and Colonel Alagic came. He
23 was in the vehicle. With him was Salko Beba, with whom I had worked in
24 the exchange commission in Travnik. Salko wore a camouflage uniform, as
25 well as Alagic. Salko got off the personnel carrier, whereas Alagic
1 stayed on. I spoke personally with Alagic. Salko Beba wore an Heckler
2 Koch, a short automatic rifle that is usually carried by special police.
3 On the following day, on the 9th of June, sometime before we were
4 transported by UNPROFOR from the monastery in Guca Gora, together with
5 the priest, of Dolac, Ivo Markovic, Dzemo Merdan came. I know him
6 personally as well, because we, together, took over the barracks in
7 Travnik from the JNA. I believe that at the moment he is a high-ranking
8 officer of the federation army. And that is why I know that what
9 happened to us was done to us by the BH army and those who were
10 subordinated to them.
11 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Can I continue, Mr. President?
12 Q. Mr. Rajic, could you tell me -- or could you tell the Trial
13 Chamber what rank did Dzemo Merdan hold in his unit.
14 A. I don't know what unit he belonged to. I don't think he was a
15 member of any brigade from Travnik. I believe that at the time he
16 discharged a duty in the 3rd Corps of the BH army. What his duties were,
17 I don't know. I don't know what his rank was, because at the time he did
18 not wear any of his rank insignia on the uniform.
19 Q. Thank you. And with respect to the Mujahedins that you have
20 spoken of before in your testimony, would you be able to assist this
21 Trial Chamber --
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Prosecutor
23 insists on putting the question to which the witness has not replied
24 anything that had to do with the events that took place on the 8th and on
25 the 9th of June, despite several questions put by you and the Prosecutor.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Benjamin, you are again
2 coming back to the issue of Mujahedins. Are you starting a new line of
3 questioning or are you coming back to Mr. Salko Beba, to Mr. Merdan?
4 Your question, does it stem from the fact that they were seen on the 8th
5 and the 9th of June, or is this question going to be linked with
6 something that you have already mentioned? The Defence believes that you
7 are coming back to -- in order to force the witness to talk about the
8 Mujahedin, although this does not stem from any of the questions that you
9 have put to the witness before.
10 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, if my learned friend would
11 allow me to finish the question, then she'd see where I'm coming from.
12 Because the witness did indicate in his testimony earlier on, very much
13 earlier on, of Mujahedins. And I wanted to tie in the question with the
14 Mujahedins. But she wouldn't allow me to do it.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Can you then
16 repeat your question so that we can hear all of it.
17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 Q. With respect to earlier responses given with respect to the
19 Mujahedins, could you tell this Trial Chamber, if you can, who was
20 responsible or who were the Mujahedins subordinated to?
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will have to
22 object this time, because this time this is obviously a leading question
23 and the witness is asked to provide his own opinion on something.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. What can the
25 Prosecution tell us about this objection put forth by the Defence
2 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, the question is -- It's a very clear
3 straightforward question: Who was responsible or who were the Mujahedins
4 subordinated to? This is by no means a leading question. And I would
5 like to rule the Trial Chamber on this issue. This is an important
6 issue, and the Prosecution wants to put this question to the witness.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Residovic.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I agree with the
9 second part of the objection put forth by my colleague Ibrisimovic. The
10 witness is asked to provide his opinion. Before that, the Prosecutor has
11 not established any basis based on which the witness could provide such
12 an opinion.
13 I repeat again: This is a witness that has been called to
14 testify about facts, not to provide us with his opinions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the
17 MR. WITHOPF: Again, Mr. President, Your Honours, the witness is
18 not asked about his opinion. The witness, as we got to know in the
19 course of his today's testimony, he has a military background and he has
20 a strong military background, and he's asked about his knowledge of the
21 subordination of the Mujahedin. He is not asked about his opinion. It
22 doesn't require any particular expertise on this issue; only the
23 knowledge of the witness in this respect is asked for. Again, this is
24 neither a leading question nor is it a question asking the witness for
25 his opinion.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have one -- on one
2 side we have the Prosecution; on the other side, we have the Defence
3 counsel. The Prosecution has put a question to you about the Mujahedin
4 and asked you to tell the Chamber who they were subordinated to or who
5 their commander was.
6 The Defence, on the other hand, believes that this question might
7 be a leading question because you never saw any of commanders who
8 commanded these Muslims and that there is a risk that your answer might
9 be linked to other facts that you have provided us with, and then the
10 Trial Chamber may come at a conclusion that Mujahedins were commanded by
11 somebody and you don't know who they were commanded by.
12 You are testifying to the facts that you personally saw. If a
13 question is put to you as to who the commander of the Mujahedin was, you
14 either saw the commander or you didn't see him. However, if you tell us
15 that it was Mr. X or Mr. Y whom you never saw, then you are providing us
16 with your own personal opinion or you are relating to us something that
17 somebody told you. You were an eyewitness to certain events; however, if
18 you were not an eyewitness to the command chain of the Mujahedin, you
19 have to tell us that.
20 I am going to repeat the question in the way it was put to you.
21 You told us that there were foreigners who arrived in Travnik and in
22 other places. You described them to us. So when we are talking about
23 these foreigners that you saw, did you personally see any commander? Did
24 they have a commander at all? Or were they people who just came and
1 The Prosecutor has told us that you were also and you know what a
2 commander is. The question is now a bit more precise: Among the people
3 who had beards, who wore different clothes, who wore something on their
4 heads, did you see a commander among them? What can you tell us about
5 that? How can you answer this question?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I tell you what I know and in
7 the way I know it?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question is about the
9 things that you know personally. Did you see things for yourself or did
10 you read it somewhere in did you see it on TV? What is important for us
11 is what you saw personally, with your own two eyes. That's why you have
12 been called to testify, because you were an eyewitness of certain events.
13 Maybe you saw certain things on TV. Maybe you read about them in the
14 papers or you were told about them. What is important to us is what you
15 saw in 1993 in April through June, what you saw personally. The persons
16 who were Mujahedin, did they have a commander, somebody who was in
17 charge? This is what the Prosecutor has asked you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand the question. I
19 worked for the commission that investigated war crimes involving Croats
20 in Travnik, and I was also the commissioner of the Commission for War
21 Crimes. I spoke to hundreds of witnesses. I took their statements. On
22 several occasions, I visited the camp in Orasac. It was in 1996, but the
23 Mujahedin were still there. I spoke with one of them who introduced
24 himself to us. Until the moment he came, nobody wanted to talk to us.
25 We were in a mixed delegation of the BH army and the HVO. I went there
1 as a person who was familiar with the area. He introduced himself to us
2 as Abu Aiman. He spoke Croatian.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. But you are
4 now talking about 1996. The question put to you refers to the year 1993.
5 Now you are talking about 1996. As I've already told you, we don't have
6 any written documents and we hear it for the first time. Maybe the
7 question should have been put differently. Maybe it should have referred
8 to things that you did subsequently, that you were a member of the
9 Commission for War Crimes and that you -- that there were Croats and some
10 other people as members of this commission, and that in 1996, at that
11 moment you realised that they had had a person in charge.
12 However, the question put to you refers to the year 1993, not to
13 the year 1996. Do you see the difference? So the question refers to the
14 year 1993. In that year, when people were expelled from the village, the
15 question follows up on that event. So in 1993, at the moment when you
16 were expelled from your village, the Prosecutor asked you about Mujahedin
17 and asked you whether they had a commander. In 1993, not in 1996. If
18 you didn't know it in 1993, then you just simply tell us "I don't know."
19 Mrs. Benjamin.
20 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, with all due respect, if I
21 may assist the Court. The question that was asked of the witness had to
22 do with his response on page 8, lines 1 to 12, when he was describing for
23 us the different venues in April of 1993 that he knew the Mujahedins used
24 as units, as posts. And the question was posed in that light. In light
25 of that fact, in light of the fact the Mujahedins were around, could you
1 assist the Trial Chamber.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my learned
3 colleague has misinterpreted the transcript. The witness has never
4 mentioned the units. He never referred to any units, at least in that
5 part of the transcript. He said that they used to come. He said where
6 they were. But he never mentioned them being in units.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Withopf. Perhaps we
8 could all take a look at page 8 and lines between 1 and 12. That's what
9 we are going to do during the break. And we shall continue afterwards.
10 So everybody will be able to ponder this question. Once again, I believe
11 that we will be able to overcome this slight difficulty in no time at all
12 and it is going to be very simple to overcome that problem.
13 At any rate, we must have a break. It is five to 4.00. We've
14 been working for more than an hour and a half. Unless, of course, you
15 have something crucial to say in a couple of seconds so that the Judges
16 have some food for thought during the break. Of course we would like to
17 have a break, but we can still consider all these points. So fire away.
18 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, very briefly. The witness mentioned
19 at the beginning of his today's testimony the arrival of Mujahedin in the
20 area of Travnik. Later on a very simple question based on this was
21 asked: To whom were the Mujahedin subordinated to? This is not a
22 leading question. This is not a question asking the witness for his
23 opinion. And the Defence objected.
24 I would suggest -- I would strongly suggest to in such a
25 situation to rule on the objection. Then the answer will be very clear:
1 Either the Prosecution is allowed to ask this question or not; otherwise,
2 we are going to waste time and time. I really request the Trial Chamber
3 to rule whether the Prosecution is allowed to ask the witness to whom
4 were the Mujahedin subordinated to.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall
6 consider it. It is five to 4.00, and we shall continue with the hearing
7 at 25 past 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.56 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.28 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. We can
11 continue with our session.
12 The Trial Chamber has deliberated longer than planned, so we've
13 exceeded the time for the break that I had indicated in the beginning.
14 Now, the decision of the Trial Chamber, with regard to the
15 objections raised by the Defence, is the following: The Trial Chamber,
16 having deliberated the matter, has reached the conclusion that the
17 witness in the beginning of the examination-in-chief has referred to the
18 presence of Mujahedin in Travnik in 1992 and 1995. Apart from that, the
19 Trial Chamber has reached the conclusion that afterwards the questions
20 referred to the events in Guca Gora on the 8th and 9th of June, 1993.
21 Within this context, the Prosecution has then asked the witness a
22 question about the Mujahedin. That question, according to the
23 transcript, and from the Trial Chamber's point of view, had no link with
24 the events of Guca Gora. That question, put in that way, could have
25 given the impression that it was linked to the events in Guca Gora.
1 The Trial Chamber believes that the Prosecution may put to the
2 witness a question about the link of subordination in relation to the
3 Mujahedin, but only on the basis of what he had previously stated with
4 regard to the situation in Travnik and on the basis of his own experience
5 in Travnik; and not with regard to the results that he is supposed to
6 have obtained himself in 1996 whilst being a member of a commission of
7 inquiry on war crimes.
8 All this is to say is the question about the Mujahedin, following
9 a question about the events in Guca Gora, gives the impression is that
10 the Prosecution wishes to establish a link, and therefore it is not
11 possible to establish that link.
12 All right, then. Now I'll give the floor back to the
13 Prosecution, who may of course ask any questions of the witness relating
14 to the subordination ring; but only with regard to 1993, when the witness
15 saw for himself that there was this presence in the area and not in
16 relation to some extrapolated conclusions or rumours that he might have
17 heard or the results of a later inquiry in 1996.
18 Apart from that, the Trial Chamber believes that it would also be
19 useful in order for us to properly judge the situation, perhaps either
20 the Prosecution or the Defence could ask the witness to give us some
21 information as to his participation in the work of that commission of
22 inquiry in 1996; why and how he participated in that work, to what
23 purpose, what was the nature of that commission, what was their
24 competencies, their remit, their nature. But all that of course must be
25 kept separate from the matter of the Mujahedin in 1993. And if this is
1 mentioned today, this is not in order to reply to questions about the
2 results of the commission of inquiry in 1996 but only in relation to the
3 events that he has witnessed himself in 1993.
4 Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.
5 However, the Trial Chamber has indeed indicated that the question
6 just gave the impression. We did not say that it was your intention to.
7 It is just a subjective impression on the part of the Defence.
8 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honour, at the beginning of you
9 explaining your decision on this issue, you are making reference to the
10 fact -- to the alleged fact that the witness was testifying about the
11 arrival of Mujahedin in 1992 in the area of Travnik and later on in 1995,
12 and that therefore the events in Guca Gora in 1993 could not be of any --
13 it could not be of any context. May I please draw the Chamber's
14 attention to the answer of the witness.
15 The question was: "Thank you. Now, there came a time, somewhere
16 around the beginning of the year 1993, when there have been soldiers or
17 individuals other than the local soldiers in the village. Could you tell
18 us your observations in respect to that, please."
19 Answer: "Some other people appeared in -- not in 1993 but before
20 that, as early as the summer of 1992. In the course of 1993, they came
21 in greater numbers. They walked around with weapons."
22 And later on the witness asked whether there was a certain name.
23 The witness referred to these foreign people. He answered: "They were
24 referred to as Mujahedin." That means the witness has testified that
25 Mujahedin arrived in Travnik in 1992 and in 1993. That means the
1 question, to whom were they subordinated, is related to an answer the
2 witness gave to a previous question.
3 Guca Gora, as Your Honours certainly know from the indictment,
4 Guca Gora is a village within the municipality of Travnik. That means
5 the witness has said in 1993 there were Mujahedin in Travnik. And the
6 question was: "Who was the commander of the Mujahedin in Travnik?" And
7 this was in relation to an attack which was done in a wider area of
8 Travnik. So the Prosecution, with all due respect, is still of the
9 opinion that this question can be asked. It's not a leading question.
10 It doesn't require particular expertise. Therefore, the Prosecution,
11 with all due respect, asks to reconsider the decision.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. I'm turning
13 to the Defence. You have heard what the Prosecution has said. They're
14 saying that the witness has explained to us that foreigners, described as
15 Mujahedin, arrived at Travnik in 1992 and 1993. The Prosecution is
16 stressing that the events of Guca Gora, which happened in 1993, are
17 characterised by the specific fact that Guca Gora is within the
18 administrative area of the municipality of Travnik, and therefore the
19 Prosecution is entitled to ask the question about the subordination link
20 of the Mujahedin in Travnik. Whilst of course, including the fact that
21 if there is a reply to be given to that question, that would also cover
22 the fact that the events of Guca Gora which took place in June 1993 could
23 have been committed by the Mujahedin.
24 Okay, so this is the theory put forward by the Prosecution and
25 they are asking us to revise our decision.
1 Now, I'm turning to the Defence.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone please to the
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that you
6 should stick to your decision because following a number of questions put
7 to the witness by the Prosecution and put by the Judges to the witness,
8 he gave a comprehensive account of what he saw in Guca Gora in June and
9 also in relation to the Mujahedin. Now, the direct link between what he
10 saw and described before the Court and that, with regard to the conflict
11 on the 8th -- 9th of June, has nothing to do with the account of the
12 Mujahedin from earlier on. I don't know what the Prosecution's intention
13 is, and I don't want to try and interpret it. But I believe that
14 after -- even after the clarification put forward by my learned
15 colleague, there's no reason why we should in conjunction with the events
16 of the 8th and the 9th of June ask any question of this witness with
17 regard to the command for the Mujahedin.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated]
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have no comment
20 at this stage.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to withdraw for a
22 couple of minutes. Don't go away.
23 --- Break taken at 4.41 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.43 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can continue with the
2 Having deliberated again, the Trial Chamber believes that the
3 Prosecution probably has not quite grasped what we said in the beginning.
4 We have indeed indicated that the Prosecution was free to put any
5 questions to the witness relating to the presence of the Mujahedin in
6 Travnik in 1992 and 1993, and the subordination link of those Mujahedins.
7 So the Prosecution may ask the question.
8 We even went on to say that the witness could also be asked
9 questions concerning the conclusions that he himself had reached in 1996
10 within the framework of that commission, but at that stage he would not
11 be acting as a direct witness but he would be relating secondhand
13 So I believe that it is an error of appreciation regarding the
14 scope of our decision. We're not going to revise our decision, which
15 gives you the possibility to put questions to the witness about the
16 Mujahedin and the subordination link of those Mujahedin and any people,
17 units or military entities.
18 So you may ask the question. You're not banned from asking the
20 All right, then. So I'm turning to you. I believe that it is
21 probably a point of understanding.
22 Mrs. Benjamin, you can continue.
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think my friends would have
24 preferred me to ask the question in chronological order, but it's just it
25 was my style and I choose to ask it at this point in time.
1 Q. And, Mr. Rajic, could you tell us --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that that's where --
3 that's the origin of the problem. If the question had been asked in the
4 chronological order, we would not have had this situation. It's the fact
5 that you've turned things upside down a bit which has given us this
6 impression. So it is for this reason that the Trial Chamber has indeed
7 said that we thought that there was no intention on your part to ask a
8 leading question. But it is a possible impression, which one may get.
9 But it is due to the fact that you have not asked your questions in a
10 chronological order. So please try and follow the chronological order of
11 events and then we'll avoid this sort of problem.
12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Much obliged, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Rajic, could you tell the Trial Chamber whom do you think the
14 Mujahedins were subordinated to.
15 A. I don't know exactly who they were subordinated to, but I think
16 that they were not subordinated to brigade commanders. On one occasion,
17 when a joint commission was set up in order to go to Orasac - and this
18 commission consisted of Colonel Zimic, Adnan Solakovic - I don't know
19 what his rank was - they represented the General Staff of the BH army.
20 On behalf of the HVO, there was Mr. -- Colonel Slavicek --
21 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I think the witness is a bit confused.
22 Q. We are talking about the period 1993. Originally the question
23 was asked of you with respect to events that took place on the 9th of
24 April, 1993. And based on your response, I am now asking you the
25 question: Who do you think the Mujahedins were subordinated to then?
1 A. I believe that they were subordinated to the command of the
2 3rd Corps of the BH army.
3 Q. And would your answer be the same for the 9th of June, 1993 as
4 well, for clarification to the Trial Chamber?
5 A. Yes. If you asked me about the 9th of June, my answer would be
6 the same.
7 Q. Much obliged. Mr. Rajic, could you tell the Trial Chamber where
8 you live at present.
9 A. I live in Vitez, which is adjacent to the municipality of
11 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is the
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question for
15 you, just for clarification.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A little while ago, to the
18 Prosecutor's question you said that you believed that on the 9th of April
19 and on the 9th of June the Mujahedin had been subordinated to the
20 3rd Corps. What do you base this claim on? How did you arrive at that
21 opinion? Why did you say that? One may be speculating. One may be
22 putting forth opinions. What is your basis for being so sure when you
23 say that? When you say "I believe," does that mean that you're
24 absolutely sure that this was a fact or is this just your opinion? In
25 addition to that, why on the 9th of April, why on the 9th of June?
1 A. This is just the logic of a soldier's way of thinking. This area
2 where Mujahedin were, in Travnik the Mujahedin were in the area of the
3 3rd Corps of the BH army.
4 Later on I was able to confirm this opinion of mine when we went
5 to visit Orasac in the municipality of Travnik where the Mujahedin camp
6 was. This camp was supposed to be visited by a joint commission which
7 consisted of the BH army and the HVO. I've already mentioned the names
8 of people that represented the BH army and those that represented the
10 When we asked for the permission to visit --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When were you in Orasac? On
12 what date?
13 A. I was not allowed to visit, but Colonel Zimic went. Adnan
14 Solakovic went there; Colonel Ivan Slavicek, who was a representative of
15 the HVO. They all went there. I was not allowed to go there a member of
16 this delegation, but I did go with them together to Travnik.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When was that? When?
18 A. That was at the end of winter, the beginning of spring 1996, but
19 I can't be sure of the year. I can't remember exactly which year it was.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
21 the Defence for their cross-examination. I would just like to say to the
22 witness that according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, any
23 cross-examination has various objectives: Firstly, to make sure that you
24 are a credible witness, that what you have told is indeed the truth, that
25 you have related the facts that are directly connected with the facts;
1 and the Defence can also ask you questions about the military-political
2 context of the time; and judging from the experience, first you are going
3 to be asked general questions about the context and then more precise
4 questions about the facts.
5 I am turning to the Defence for their cross-examination.
6 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Rajic. I am Edina
8 Residovic, and I defend General Hadzihasanovic. As the President of the
9 Trial Chamber has already told you, I'm going to be asking you questions
10 firstly about the general context, as I believe that you have personal
11 knowledge about a number of these questions and that you can assist the
12 Trial Chamber.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to inform you,
14 Mr. President, that these questions that relate to the general situation
15 in Travnik and in the area are of interest for the defence of my client
16 and I would kindly ask you, for that reason, to allow me to put such
17 questions to the witness.
18 Q. Mr. Rajic, I would also kindly ask you to make a break between my
19 question and your answer, because as you know, we speak the same language
20 and both my question and your answer are being interpreted into two
21 languages. We would like to help the interpreters help us understand
22 each other and help the Trial Chamber understand us as well.
23 When you were answering my learned friend's questions and the
24 questions of the Trial Chamber, you said that you have already appeared
25 in two cases before this Tribunal, in the Aleksovski case and in the
1 Blaskic case; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. On both occasions, you were a Defence witness; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. In the Aleksovski case, you testified in August 1998; and in the
6 Blaskic case, you testified in December of the same year. Is that
8 A. Yes, I believe so.
9 Q. In addition to these two occasions, you gave a statement to the
10 OTP. This was in February 2000. Is that correct?
11 A. I don't know exactly when I gave this statement. I had several
12 meetings with the OTP, so you may be correct.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to ask for the
14 clarification of a minor point which still remains after your answer to
15 my learned friend. Is it true that you were born in the town of Travnik?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Travnik is a small town but it has a long history; is that
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. But you lived in Guca Gora, a well-known place not far from
21 Travnik; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Since we are colleagues, we share the same profession. You
24 graduated from the University of Sarajevo in 1982. Actually, you
25 graduated from its department in Zenica; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the English transcript, it
3 says "in 1982," and in the French interpretation, I heard "1992." Can
4 you clarify, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in 1982.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Up to 1990, you worked as a lawyer in a company. You were in
8 charge of the application drafting an implementation of legal acts of
9 that company.
10 A. No, that was not all. I also represented my company before
12 Q. So you drafted the legal enactments. You applied law. You
13 implemented those legal enactments. And you represented the legal
14 interests of your company. And this was your experience up to then.
15 A. Yes, up to then, that was my experience.
16 Q. In 1990, the first multi-party elections were held in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. After the elections, in February 1990 -- 1991, you were
18 appointed the Secretary of the Secretariat for the National Defence of
19 Travnik Municipality; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is. However, I was first transferred to the municipality
21 as the head of the military department, which is a part of the
22 secretariat. It was on the 4th of October, 1990, before the multi-party
23 elections were held.
24 Q. So you were an employee of the Secretariat of the National
25 Defence which was the municipal Ministry for Defence, from the year 1990.
1 And then you were appointed its secretary; or in other words, the
2 Ministry of the Secretariat for Defence in February 1991. Is that
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Although this was a defence organ, which functioned at the level
6 of Travnik municipality, your secretariat, as a matter of fact, was a
7 state organ and it was an integral part of the Ministry of Defence of the
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes, more or less that would be correct.
10 Q. You actually held two positions: One of your positions was
11 subordinated to the Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and your second
12 link was with the executive board or the administration of Travnik
13 municipality. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that would be correct later on.
15 Q. Pursuant to the law, you were also a member of the executive
16 board of the municipality by virtue of your position; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. A similar legal position was also held by the Secretariat for the
19 Interior Affairs or -- is that correct?
20 A. I'm not sure about that. I don't know whether that secretariat
21 occupied the same position as my secretariat, whether it had the same
23 Q. Your Secretariat for National Defence belonged to the civilian
24 structure rather than to the military structure; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is correct. This was a link between the civilian and
1 military authorities.
2 Q. Your secretariat at that time, from 1991 onwards, for as long as
3 you were its member, consisted of three departments: The military
4 department that discharged duties pertaining to the scope of defence; the
5 civilian department which executed duties belonging to the civilian
6 defence; and the department for monitoring and surveillance. Is that
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. The military department that you had belonged to before becoming
10 the head of the secretariat was in charge of the mobilisation of
11 able-bodied men and also kept track of the able-bodied men who were older
12 than 18.
13 A. Yes, all the able-bodied men up to the age of 60.
14 Q. Once a person is 18, they become conscripts and the military
15 department sends them call-up papers for the compulsory military service.
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. After the compulsory military service, these people were then
18 assigned to reserve military duties as reserve members of the Yugoslav
19 People's Army, the reserve members of the Territorial Defence, reserve
20 members of the police, or those who had work obligation within their
21 respective companies and those who were assigned to various duties in the
22 civilian protection; is that more or less the way, how you kept a record
23 of military conscripts in your secretariat?
24 A. Yes, that is more or less the way.
25 Q. In addition to that, the military department of your secretariat
1 also had a duty and obligation to look after the logistics in case of war
2 and in case of natural disasters; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. In the former SFRY and in Bosnia-Herzegovina all the way up to
5 the war, in addition to the Yugoslav People's Army the only military
6 structure was the Territorial Defence which had its command structure; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Before the war, the commander of the Territorial Defence was
10 elected - that is, the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina - was
11 elected by the Assembly of the Republic and the Territorial Defence of
12 the Municipality was -- the commander of the Territorial Defence in the
13 municipality was elected by the municipal assembly.
14 A. Yes. But I don't know what period you're referring to. There
15 are two periods; before the war.
16 Q. You know better. I'm not that familiar with the issue, but I
17 believe that the commander of the Territorial Defence had to be confirmed
18 by the municipal assembly.
19 A. You are right. But when you're talking about two periods. I'm
20 talking about the period while the SFRY still existed and the second
21 period is the period once Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed its independence.
22 Q. Very well, then. Thank you.
23 In the former SFRY, you have just reminded me, in case of war the
24 Territorial Defence was duty-bound to subordinate itself to the Yugoslav
25 People's Army, to its command; is that correct?
1 A. I believe so.
2 Q. Is it correct that sometime at the beginning of 1990, before the
3 multi-party elections, the former SFRY passed a decision according to
4 which all the weapons in the possession of the Territorial Defence should
5 be placed under the control of the Yugoslav People's Army? This was
6 later abused and these arms were turned against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is
7 that correct?
8 A. I don't know. I can't be sure of that. However, I know that the
9 weapons that belonged to the Territorial Defence was kept in special
10 warehouses which were guarded by the regular JNA.
11 Q. In case of war, the reserve police and the civilian protection,
12 the Department for Surveillance and Monitoring were placed under civilian
13 structures, whereas the Territorial Defence was a military structure. Is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Is it true, Mr. Rajic, that throughout all this time while you
17 were in Travnik and after the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 not for a moment in the municipality military authorities were set up?
19 The civilian authorities carried out its duties and the military
20 structures carried out their duties.
21 A. I wouldn't agree with you. There was a bit of overlapping and
22 interference, if we are talking about these structures. I am not talking
23 about the JNA -- the JNA was not involved -- but the Territorial Defence
24 and some other units and formations which already existed and which had
25 not been under the strength of the organisation of military structures in
1 the former Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia.
2 Q. What you're saying is that after the beginning of the war, given
3 the role the municipal and political structures played in the
4 municipalities, that they still had a significant influence over the
5 military structures. Would I be correct in saying that their influence
6 sometimes even prevailed?
7 A. In case of war or imminent danger of war, the civilian structures
8 at the time -- the municipal assembly no longer carried out its role.
9 According to the law on the National Defence of the former Yugoslavia
10 which was in effect in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the War Presidency of the
11 municipality was set up. Under such conditions, the War Presidency took
12 over the role of the municipal assembly, the political structures, and
13 others. This was prescribed by the law. The War Presidency was headed
14 by the president of the municipal assembly, according to the law.
15 Q. Let's move on and let's explain some things that preceded the
16 war. Is it true that on the 6th of April, 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 was internationally recognised as a state?
18 A. Yes, I believe so.
19 Q. Is it true that on that same day the JNA and the Serbian forces
20 attacked Sarajevo and that this was the beginning of war in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina? Is that correct?
22 A. Sarajevo did come under attack. It had already been blocked.
23 But I don't think that this was the beginning of war in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina. It was earlier.
25 Q. The war started with the attack on Ravno village, certain events
1 in Bijeljina, and so on. However, the official attack on the capital
2 meant that the war was going on.
3 A. I cannot agree with that. For me the war started before that.
4 It was going on at the time; however, it was still going on in 1993 as
6 Q. Mr. Rajic, would you agree with me if I said that Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, as a matter of fact, was the only known state which on the
8 day when it proclaimed its independence was attacked and in its struggle
9 for independence it started creating its armed forces? Would you agree
10 with that?
11 A. No, I can't agree with that, because when we are talking about
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina -- I voted in the referendum and voted for the
13 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was my homeland. However,
14 up to then -- that's why I can't agree with you about the beginning of
15 the war. Up to then there had already been some preparations for war and
16 this was obvious. It started with Slovenia. It moved down to Croatia
17 and then arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Travnik, both sides and
18 the third side even before that - I'm talk about Bosniaks, Serbs, and
19 Croats - started organising themselves because it was already clear that
20 at that moment unity was not going to be useful to any of them. And that
21 is why I am saying that the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, that is, of Bosnia-Herzegovina, started being created even
23 before that date.
24 Q. Very well, then. And now we as lawyers, can we agree about some
25 facts? Is it true that on the 8th of April, 1992, after the JNA attacked
1 Sarajevo, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the legitimate
2 body of that state, proclaimed the imminent threat of war? Is that
4 A. I believe that this was when the imminent state of war was
5 proclaimed. I can't be sure of the date.
6 Q. Is it correct that the Presidency on the same day reached the
7 decision according to which the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina was proclaimed as the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
9 A. I am not aware of that statement.
10 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Rajic, that in May 1992 the Presidency
11 approved a legal provision about defence and about the military and the
12 Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to which they were
13 proclaimed to be the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. I'm not aware of that claim.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to witness to be
16 shown the text of the above-mentioned provision -- we have enough copies
17 to go around -- so that the witness may be reminded.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm turning to the Defence.
19 Before you ask the question, could you indicate to the Trial Chamber what
20 is the point of this question about context.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness was
22 secretary for the Territorial Defence of the Municipality of Travnik.
23 These are the legal documents, some of which we got from the Prosecution
24 in relation to the expert-witness account, and others are documents
25 pertaining to other cases. These are the basic defence documents about
1 the defence and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. My client is
2 a commander in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would like
3 to put a couple of questions to the witness in this respect.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
5 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, first of all, we haven't received
6 copies of the document that will be shown to the witness.
7 And in respect to the last question of my learned colleague, I
8 wish to draw the attention of both Defence and the Trial Chamber to
9 paragraph 4 of the Annex to the Third Amended Indictment, in which is
10 written: "On 20 May 1992, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 passed the decree on the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina which
12 formally established the ABiH."
13 As the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution cannot see the relevance of
14 the questions put to this witness, since the answers the Defence will
15 find in the indictment.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is an act
17 which is either proven or argued against. If it is useful for the
18 Prosecution to do that, I don't see the point of this complaint.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. You can
20 continue with your cross-examination of the witness on the basis of the
21 document dated the 20th of May, 1992, which is a very official document.
22 It can't get more official than that.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My question to the witness is
24 this: As the secretary for the Territorial Defence -- basically the
25 Minister of Defence for the Municipality of Travnik -- was he aware of
1 the fact that the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina had approved a law, had
2 passed a law, about the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. I was not aware of it. I have never set eyes on this document.
4 At the time when this provision was approved, I was no longer the
5 Secretary for the Territorial Defence. I was, formally speaking, legally
6 speaking, because I had been the only elected person; but I no longer
7 worked and did any work for the Secretariat of the Territorial Defence
8 and I had no power over the members of the Bosniak nationality. And this
9 is dated the 15th of November, 1992, and it is very questionable as to
10 whether my colleagues, Bosniaks, had been given this paper. I mean, this
11 is just something I suppose. I'm not going to go into this. But I'd
12 like to let you know why I was no longer a secretary.
13 Q. I mean, were you relieved of your duties?
14 A. I had never been relieved of my duties.
15 Q. It says underneath that it was published in the official journal
16 number 4, 1992, and at the end of the provision there is the date of
17 publication. But the date of the 15th of November is the date when, in
18 the special OJ of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the same provision
19 was published again. It was approved in May and published in May 1992.
20 This is just for clarification.
21 And I'm asking you, in case you did not see this text yourself,
22 okay, this is your answer. And due to the relevance of this document, I
23 would like to Trial Chamber to accept it as a submission from the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. This text
1 indicates that it was created on the 14th of May, 1992. It was signed by
2 President Izetbegovic. It is indicated here. And that Article 139
3 indicates that this decree with a force of law refers to the defence, and
4 it will be published in the OJ of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 So it is an official document. And so we can't object to you tendering
6 or submitting a document which was drawn up by a legal authority. So you
7 are tendering this document in B/C/S plus an English translation; is that
9 All right. Mr. Registrar, give me a B/C/S number and a number
10 for the English translation.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S version will get the
12 exhibit number DH29; and the English translation will get the exhibit
13 number DH29/E.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 I would now like the witness to be shown another decree with the
16 force of law, and it is the decree which refers to the Armed Forces of
17 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Once again, we've got enough
18 copies for everyone.
19 Q. Mr. Rajic, are you aware of the fact that the Presidency of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 20th of May, 1992 passed a decree with a
21 force of law about the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and
23 A. I am not aware of that. And in order for me to have been aware
24 of it, I would have had to receive a copy of the official journal of the
25 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I did not get that. And I'm not
1 aware of this.
2 And this, once again, is a copy of the text. I would like to see
3 an official journal of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not the
4 official journal of the Armed Forces of BH, because only the
5 provisions -- as you know full well -- published in the official journal
6 or Official Gazette, whatever it was called at the time, were published
7 -- considered to have been published on the day of publication. But as I
8 was saying, I never got to see this and I'm not aware of it.
9 Q. Once again, for the purpose of clarification, since the
10 Prosecution referred to the Official Gazette of the Armed Forces of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina which put together a number of decrees and legal
12 documents from the military field, in this document too you can see that
13 this decree too was published in the official journal of the Republic of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina for 1992 -- in May 1992. And here it is repeated
15 once again, it is being published once again in the Official Gazette of
16 the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is for
17 the sake of clarification and for the sake of the transcript. And you
18 did say that you did not get to see the text of this provision.
19 Did you find out about it through the media, the radio, for
20 example? Did you find out about the Armed Forces of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina being set up?
22 A. I think -- I had heard -- I don't think. I did hear about it.
23 But when exactly, I don't know.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I wanted to intervene at
25 this stage. The Defence has produced an English translation of a decree
1 which was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. And we have a B/C/S document which apparently reproduces in
3 full the text of the articles, since in the English text we have 43
4 articles; in the B/C/S text, we also have 43 articles, so apparently it's
5 the same text. But the witness, who is a law graduate as well, is
6 stressing that the B/C/S text is taken from a document of the armed
7 forces, and indeed my knowledge of the B/C/S language is not quite
8 sufficient, but I can see on top of this page the words "Sluzbeni List,
9 Armije BiH." I suppose that it is a reference to a military type of
10 document and the witness is saying this is a military text. In order to
11 give an opinion, he would have had to see a copy of the official journal.
12 Now, the translation is based on the military text or on the text
13 published in the OJ? Because in the English translation, you have a
14 reference to this Official Gazette and not the military text.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for the sake of
16 clarification, the Prosecution has submitted this text along with the
17 translation into English to us, plus all the other documents for General
18 Reinhardt, and it is a translation based on the OJ published on the 20th
19 of May, 1992. The Prosecution did not enclose to that document the BH
20 translation of the text [as interpreted], and this is the reason why we
21 used the same text as it was published in the official journal of the
22 armed forces several months later. This is the difference.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Now it is
24 much more clear, and it will be recorded in the transcript.
25 Now, following a question from the Defence and an answer from the
1 witness and a question put to the witness -- and a question put by the
2 Trial Chamber, it appears now that the English text, which was submitted
3 by the Prosecution - and there is a number which does establish that this
4 is a text coming from the Prosecution - is the text which was translated
5 from the B/C/S. It would have been better if the Prosecution had at the
6 same time given the B/C/S version of the text to the Defence, since the
7 Defence did not have the original text in the B/C/S, looked into the army
8 documents and came up with this decree in the B/C/S language. So that's
9 the explanation of this mystery; is that it?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the witness, who is an
12 eminent legal expert, has noticed straight away that there was a
13 difference between the two documents, to the extent that the B/C/S text
14 was coming from the army; whereas, the English text was coming from the
15 Prosecution and was a translation based on the official journal.
16 But what I believe is the most important thing is for the 43
17 articles to be included in both texts.
18 You may continue, madam.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Rajic, is it correct that Article 2 of this provision
21 establishes that the armed forces of the republic, made up of the armed
22 forces of the republic, thereafter army, and then the police and the
23 armed units coming under the unified command of the armed forces of the
24 republic? Is that the provision of the armed forces of the republic?
25 A. That's what it says in the text, but I can't tell you whether it
1 really happened. It says so in the text, but you know full well that
2 that was not the situation reflected on the ground. This could not have
3 been implemented on the ground, because Bosnia and Herzegovina was made
4 up of three peoples. It was a uniform -- unified territory. And in
5 order for this to apply, in order for your claim to apply, this would
6 have had to apply throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. May I ask you not to get away from the topic.
8 A. Yes, that's what it says in the text. But one can write whatever
9 one likes, if it has no bearing on the real situation.
10 Q. Well, let's come back to your question. Is it correct that the
11 constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina up until the war and even later
12 guaranteed full equality and constitutional rights for all peoples of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina: Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, Bosniaks? Is that
14 correct? Is it correct that it was all enshrined in the Constitution?
15 A. Yes, that was indeed enshrined in the Constitution.
16 Q. Is it also correct that all the institutions at the level of the
17 republic and the municipality were made up of members of all peoples,
18 nationalities? Is that correct?
19 A. In those places in which there was multi-ethnic population, it
20 was indeed the case. The members of all the peoples living in that given
22 Q. Is it correct that after the multi-party elections in 1990, the
23 multi-ethnic make-up of the municipalities continued to exist, except
24 that new people have come to power with new political agendas?
25 A. That was the case in Travnik, yes.
1 Q. And right before the war, the political allegiance of the
2 authorities in Travnik changed, but the national structure, the national
3 make-up, including members of all nationalities remained the same; is
4 that true?
5 A. Well, it lasted for a very short time after the elections,
6 because - and I'm referring to Travnik now - because the representatives
7 of the Serb people who were carrying out certain political and executive
8 duties left those authorities and withdrew, basically.
9 Q. That was precisely what I was going to ask you about. Is it
10 indeed true that in the beginning of 1992 the elected officials, members
11 of the SDS party, left there -- their jobs in the municipality and set up
12 their own separate power structure or simply left?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. However, in the -- within the authorities, we had certain members
15 of the Serb population, not members of the nationalist parties, but there
16 were much -- there were fewer of them. Is that true?
17 A. I don't know whether any members of the Serb nation remained in
18 any official positions of power. But as to people working in clerical
19 positions for the municipality, within administrations, yes; but they did
20 not have any position of power or responsibility. Yes, it's correct.
21 Q. Is it correct that once these SDS representatives withdrew in the
22 joint institutions, Croats and Muslims continued to work together?
23 A. Yes, it is, after the departure of the Serbs.
24 Q. Earlier on, you said that in the municipality, in line with the
25 legal provisions, the War Presidency was set up. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is, but prior to the departure of the Serbs.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my colleagues are
3 telling me that maybe I've missed it. Perhaps the law on the armed
4 forces should be tendered as a document from the Defence. I just
5 wouldn't like to forget. So perhaps it would be appropriate for us to do
6 so before the next break.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, by all means.
8 On the other hand, as we are dealing with all these legal matters
9 at the moment, this decree, this legal decree, which is based apparently
10 on one article, para 3 of the Constitution -- I mean, we don't have the
11 text of the Constitution here, and we don't have the amendment either.
12 Perhaps at a later stage you'll get the opportunity to submit those texts
13 as well. But as you know, there is a certain hierarchy when it comes to
14 the legal documents. If there is a reference to a legal document in
15 another text, you have to have the original text as well, and I don't see
16 it here.
17 On the other hand, this legal decree is signed by
18 Mr. Izetbegovic, but it followed the recommendation submitted by the
19 government. And apparently the Presidency had the competence to approve
20 this legal decree. But we would really like to see the text of the
21 constitutional document.
22 Certainly it will be submitted on another occasion.
23 Now, Mr. Registrar, the Defence is asking us for the English text
24 to be tendered. It is a translation from -- of the text from the OJ of
25 the BH Republic and the document coming from the armed forces, and it
1 refers to the same text. Do please give us a number now.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S text will get the exhibit
3 number DH30; and the English translation will get the exhibit number
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. It is twenty
6 to 6.00, so we'd better have a break now and we'll continue at five past
8 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. We can
11 continue with the hearing as soon as everybody's here again.
12 All right, then. We have about an hour left.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, just one more question in conjunction with these laws:
15 Can you tell me if it is correct that at the time when these laws were
16 approved - that is to say, the first half of 1992 - the defence minister
17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was Mr. Jerko Doko? Are you aware of that?
18 A. I know that he was a minister in 1991. As to for how long in
19 1992 or later, I don't know. I don't know until what time exactly and I
20 don't know whether in the period of time that you're referring to he was
21 indeed a minister or not. He might have been.
22 Q. Mr. Jerko Doko is a Croat; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Well, thank you. Now I would like to ask you to talk to me about
25 a number of points that you did talk about with my learned colleague from
1 the Prosecution. You said that already by the middle of 1992 or in the
2 summer of 1992 in Travnik you noticed that some foreigners were coming.
3 And I'm going to paraphrase what you said - from the Middle East, from
4 the Middle Eastern countries, that is to say, the Northern African
5 countries. The Middle East, the African countries; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You also --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, he
9 did not mention Northern Africa.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] He mentioned Egypt and so on, so
11 I thought Egypt was in the north of Africa, so that's why I said I'm
12 going to paraphrase your statement. I didn't quote the witness, in fact.
13 Q. But yes. To simplify things, you noticed some people coming from
14 the Arab countries; is that so?
15 A. It is more or less so.
16 Q. You also said that they came with various humanitarian
17 organisations and that those humanitarian organisations had their
18 premises in different places in Travnik. Is that correct?
19 A. I think that they came through the humanitarian organisations
20 because I saw them in those areas and on the premises rented by the
21 humanitarian organisations of the Arab countries.
22 Q. Is it correct that they most often could be seen in the company
23 of the representatives of those humanitarian organisations and the
24 representatives and persons belonging to the religious life of Travnik?
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Look, I don't know whether they could be seen with the
2 representatives of those international humanitarian organisations,
3 because I don't know who the representatives of those humanitarian
4 organisations were. But I saw those people in the area where they had
5 those offices. But as to contacts, as to whether they were in touch with
6 the representatives of the religion or whatever, yes, I did see them in
7 the company with -- in the company of various representatives of the
8 Muslim nation in Travnik.
9 Q. Also in reply to a question put to you by the Prosecution, you
10 answered that they probably obtained arms in different ways. My question
11 is this: Is it correct that at that time, in the beginning of the war in
12 1992, both in Travnik and in the wider area there was a very active black
13 market for arms and weapons? Under various different circumstances and
14 conditions people were trying to buy arms? Is that correct?
15 A. I think that there was a black market for arms. But as to
16 whether it was legal -- I mean, it was a black market in fact. It was
18 Q. You're aware of the fact that those people -- the Arabs, I
19 mean -- would come with the money and they too were able to purchase arms
20 on that black market? Is that so?
21 A. Well, not only that they could, but I heard it being said that
22 they did indeed buy and that they had the money for those purchases.
23 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Rajic, that at the same time - that is to say,
24 between April and May 1992 and then throughout the year, and especially
25 after the fall of Jajce - tens of thousands of displaced persons, having
1 been chased away from Bosanska Krajina, arrived in Travnik?
2 A. Yes, it is true. And according to my knowledge - and my
3 impressions were based on what was said by the official representatives
4 in Travnik at the time - about 120.000 people came through Travnik and
5 some of them stayed there. Most of them were Muslims. The overwhelming
6 majority were Muslims.
7 Q. Is it correct that those displaced persons came or stayed or
8 transitted through Travnik and they had no property, no personal
9 belongings, nothing at all, because they had been chased away from their
10 houses, from their homes? Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is correct. Those were poor people. Because I myself
12 was one of them later on. In -- exactly the same as those people, and I
13 had organised some sort of assistance for them earlier on.
14 Q. Is it correct that after the fall of Jajce and after the
15 withdrawal of the armed forces from that area there were individuals or
16 groups of people coming to Travnik and they were carrying arms?
17 A. Yes, it is true.
18 Q. Is it true that at that time - that is to say, by the end of 1992
19 and the beginning of 1993 - the army tried to get those people mobilised
20 and get them under the army control?
21 A. Not only the people from Jajce, but also the earlier refugees
22 from Bosanska Krajina who had come to the area. And that was before the
23 fall of Jajce. In the meantime, the 17th Krajiska Brigade was already
24 stationed in Travnik and they recruited able-bodied men out of those
25 groups chased away by Serb armed forces from the area of Bosanska
1 Krajina. And I believe that every man had some sort of war schedule
2 assigned to them.
3 Q. And is it true that together with these refugees new institutions
4 of power were being set up, Okruglo [phoen], Banja Luka, the War
5 Presidency of the Kotor Varos municipality, and they were trying to make
6 an impact and exert influence over this part of the displaced population?
7 A. Well, I don't know whether it was then when they arrived, but the
8 bodies that you referred to just now, well, I heard about them after the
9 hostilities between the Bosnian armed forces and the HVO were suspended.
10 Q. In your replies to my earlier questions -- you have actually
11 answered this -- but before the beginning of the war there were
12 preparations being made for the war in Travnik as well. Is it correct
13 that at that time the preparations were being made under the influence
14 and in the organisation of the political parties rather than the actual
15 official authorities; that is to say, your secretariats? Is that
17 A. I believe that this is the case. Nothing was obtained through
18 the secretariat, save for the things that I did as the secretary. I
19 managed to obtain some 20 short-barrelled rifles from the depot of the
20 Territorial Defence, and also in Travnik we managed to obtain and
21 distribute arms to the reserve force of the police. We're talking about
22 400 long-barrel rifles. But this is all small arms, infantry arms.
23 Q. So some units are formed by both peoples, apart from the legal
24 bodies of authorities. Is it true that Bosnia-Herzegovina, which on the
25 22nd of May, just like the Republic of Croatia was admitted in the United
1 Nations, was still the only internationally recognised state in the area?
2 A. The fact is that Bosnia-Herzegovina was the only internationally
3 recognised state in that area within the borders of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina. That is true.
5 Q. Up to the end of the war, there were no other elections which
6 would replace the government elected in 1992. The first elections after
7 the war took place after the war. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, as far as the elections are concerned. However, in Travnik
9 everything was changed even without the elections. The president of the
10 municipal assembly was replaced. Instead of Izet Tamuric, who is a
11 Bosniak, Muhamed Curic was elected as president. I'm talking about top
12 positions, but the same applied to other positions. So the ones who were
13 elected in the first elections no longer represented any relevant force
14 that anybody would obey or respect.
15 Q. In answering one of my previous questions, you said that Sarajevo
16 had been completely blocked from the 2nd of May, 1992. You didn't
17 mention the date; I have just added that. And for that reason, there was
18 practically no communication with Sarajevo. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes. At that time, I did not have any communication with
20 Sarajevo at all. Only from time to time I would be able to listen to the
21 news at 10.00, and that was the only thing that I could listen to.
22 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Rajic, that Travnik, as well as in the entire
23 Central Bosnia, depended on the freedom of communication with the borders
24 with the Republic of Croatia so that it was -- one possibility was
25 Busovaca and Kiseljak, and other possibility was Gornji Vakuf and
1 Kiseljak, and further on via Western Bosnia towards the Republic of
2 Croatia; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, this is correct. However, this communication was not via
4 the main roads. This communication, most of it was via -- or across the
5 mountains, across Rostovo, as you go towards Gornji Vakuf or across
6 Vrana, if you move further on. You couldn't use the main roads that
7 still exist because the main roads -- the traffic on the main roads was
8 interrupted in Kupres and in other places.
9 Q. This interruption was due to the fact that these places were
10 temporarily occupied by the Serbian forces; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is. That was precisely the reason.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the usher to
13 show the witness two maps. We have enough copies for all the parties in
14 the courtroom. We would like to use these maps to illustrate what is
15 being said in the courtroom for all the parties in the courtroom.
16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, with all due respect, I know
17 that my friend had a lot of latitude in cross-examination, but where --
18 where is this taking us? And how does this tie in with what is -- what
19 was -- how does it relate to the evidence that was led by the witness in
20 examination-in-chief? I am totally at a loss. And perhaps with some
21 guidance from the Court, we could probably get back on track.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have just asked
23 questions which are directly related to the situation in Travnik. And
24 now I'm moving on and asking questions of general interest because the
25 witness has just told me that communication is one of the major issues
1 that had an impact on the situation in the area.
2 I would like to show the Trial Chamber the illustration of the
3 situation that Travnik and the whole general area was in at that time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. In any case,
5 there is no need to put forth any objections to the map, once the map is
6 presented. Any map is just going to enable us to be better acquainted
7 with the whole situation and to see where Travnik is. So we have two
8 documents. Which one do you want to see first?
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We would like the witness to
10 recognise both, because we will be coming back to the same questions with
11 other witnesses as well.
12 Q. My question to the witness is as follows: Do you recognise the
13 borders of any of the republics in any of these two maps? The one that
14 you recognise, can you please put it on the ELMO so that we can all see
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just for the transcript, are you
17 saying that these borders are the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
18 A. Yes, I believe that these are the borders.
19 Q. Can you please tell us: The sign in the middle, does it
20 approximately depict the area that we know as Central Bosnia?
21 A. Yes, but it doesn't stretch as far as Sarajevo. And maybe it is
22 too close to Konjic.
23 Q. Very well, then. Thank you. We have heard the explanation.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this map
25 into evidence. We want to have a map of Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of
1 the evidence in this case.
2 The second map --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Can we give
4 an exhibit number to this document. The first map with the borders of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Registrar, can we have a number for the
6 first map that we have seen on the ELMO.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the first map showing the whole
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina will get the exhibit number DH31.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Rajic, can you please pay attention to the roads, because my
12 previous question was about the roads and about communication. Is it
13 true that the main road towards the sea went from Bosanski Brod via
14 Zenica, Visoko, and Sarajevo and further down towards Konjic and Mostar,
15 and its exit to the sea was in the Republic of Croatia? Was that the
16 main road in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. This is a very small scale, so I don't know whether this -- these
18 are roads or these are river streams.
19 As far as I can see it here, this is the Neretva, the Bosna, the
20 Lasva, and the Vrbas Rivers. So in this map it is very hard to tell and
21 answer your question. However, it is true that the road from the north
22 to the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina did follow the flow of the Bosna
23 River and then the Neretva River down to the sea.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my learned friend
25 is on his feet. I'm going to withdraw my question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the
3 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, the Prosecution noticed a number of
4 times - and I think now it's the time to raise it - that whenever Defence
5 tries to tender a map there was never ever a scale on the map. This is
6 only one issue.
7 However, the Defence wishes this witness to comment on the roads
8 which are detailed on this map. The Defence, may it please inform the
9 Trial Chamber and the Prosecution of the -- whether the maps -- whether
10 the roads on this map mirror the situation of the relevant time frame;
11 namely, 1993. The Prosecution nor -- neither the Prosecution nor the
12 Trial Chamber is in any position to say or to evaluate whether the roads
13 detailed on this map were the roads in 1993.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I'm not receiving an
15 interpretation -- no, I am receiving the interpretation now.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Prosecution says that
17 there's no scale on the map. We don't know what the scale of the map is.
18 And secondly, when it comes to roads, since we do not have a
19 scale, we cannot be able to tell what the length of the roads is.
20 In addition to that, the witness cannot answer your question
21 because he says that -- that these might be river flows rather than
22 roads. And I am in the same position. So we have a problem identifying
23 features on your map.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in addition to that,
1 something that has just been pointed to me by my fellow Judge, we don't
2 know whether this map dates from the year 1993 or this is a current map
3 that was drawn this year. So we don't have the date.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] When the witness said that he
5 cannot speak about the map, I withdrew my question. So all other
6 discussion is pointless. So I am withdrawing my motion for this map to
7 be tendered into evidence. So I withdraw my question and I withdraw the
8 motion to tender this into evidence.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're withdrawing the
10 second map.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As for the first map, you are
13 not withdrawing that. You want this to be tendered into evidence.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, then, thank you very
17 You may proceed.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Rajic, let's go back to some questions that pertain to your
20 job. And you said that the situation on the ground was different. Once
21 the general mobilisation was proclaimed, in your Secretariat for National
22 Defence in Travnik you carried out mobilisation of the population into
23 the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
24 A. Only partly. However, it is not completely true, because at that
25 time I was no longer the secretary. I was the secretary formally, on
1 paper, but I could not influence the situation on the ground. I was in
2 charge for the replenishment of the HVO units and Bosniaks who worked
3 with me, my colleagues, they were in charge of the replenishment of the
4 Territorial Defence and other units, because it was -- there was not just
5 the Territorial Defence. There were also other units.
6 In order to clarify things for you, at that time I could not send
7 call-up papers to a member of the Bosniak people. I could not mobilise
8 Bosniak people into a unit that was predominantly a Bosniak unit.
9 Q. So you only mobilised the able-bodied Croats, for the Croatian
10 Defence Council.
11 A. Only partly, because the units themselves also were in charge of
12 their replenishment. It was not just the secretariat.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown a
14 document that we have in both -- in English, French, and in B/C/S. This
15 document has been located by the Defence in the Kordic case. In the
16 Kordic case, it was a Prosecution exhibit.
17 At the same time, I would like the witness to be shown another
18 document which is the same document published in the Official Gazette of
19 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. We have this only in B/C/S and
20 in English. We have enough copies for all the parties in the courtroom.
21 Q. Mr. Rajic, is this the decision on the establishment of the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which was passed on the 18th of
23 November, 1991? Later on this was published in the Official Gazette of
24 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in September 1992.
25 A. Yes, this is the decision. However, I see it for the first time.
1 At that time, representatives of the political parties were involved, and
2 I was not a member of the HDZ at the time. I only joined in 1992 or
3 1993. I don't know exactly. So I was not present at any of the
4 meetings. I am aware of the fact that this decision was published in the
5 Official Gazette. However, I have never seen this decision before in the
6 form presented to me today.
7 Q. So you saw it when it was published in the Official Gazette.
8 A. Yes. It is true, but I was aware of its existence even before.
9 However, I was not aware of who the people were who were informed in the
10 proclamation of this community.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since the witness has been given
12 a copy of the decision from the Official Gazette - it's the same wording;
13 the only difference is the list of the persons who were present when the
14 decision was being adopted - so I would like to tender both documents as
15 Defence exhibit.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President -- Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the
19 MR. WITHOPF: Although - and I really emphasise that - although
20 the fact that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna proclaimed its
21 existence on the 18th of November, 1991, is detailed in paragraph 5 of
22 the Annex to the Third Amended Indictment, as a matter of principle the
23 Prosecution objects against tendering this document into evidence.
24 The witness has clearly answered that he wasn't at any point in
25 time involved in rendering this decision. The witness was only saying
1 yes, it has been published in the Official Gazette. It's an official
2 document; of course it has been published in the Official Gazette. The
3 witness cannot contribute and cannot add anything to this document. The
4 Prosecution objects against tendering this document into evidence, as a
5 matter of principle.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems to me that the witness
7 has said that he never saw this document in this form. He never read it,
8 he never saw it. However, he did say that he was aware of its existence.
9 Witness, this text is a decision, the decision on the
10 establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. You said that
11 you did not read it before; however, it seems to me that you have told us
12 that you were aware of its existence. You knew that this decision had
13 been passed. Can you please tell us something more about that.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first time I received the text
15 was one year after the proclamation, and then I became aware of what it
16 says in this text. I know people from Travnik who went and were
17 involved. I know that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that the text
20 which was published in November 1991, you only saw it a year later, in
21 1992; is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was towards the end of 1992,
23 because you can see that this Official Gazette was published in September
24 1992. It was only after that date that I was able to read this text,
25 because it was only after that that I could lay my hands on this
1 document; not before.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that you did
3 read this text at the end of 1992.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After this clarification
6 provided by the witness, does the Prosecution still claim that the
7 witness was not aware of the document? Although, the witness has just
8 told us that he became aware of the document towards the end of 1992,
9 which precedes the time relevant for the indictment. Can the Prosecution
10 tell us something about that?
11 I would like to remind you that in the indictment the
12 establishment of this community is specifically mentioned. "On the 18th
13 of November, 1991," it says in the indictment, "the political, cultural,
14 economic and territorial entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
15 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna," and so on and so forth. So this is
16 specifically mentioned in the indictment. And the witness has told us
17 that he was aware of the document. He got to read it towards the end of
18 1992. The time relevant to the indictment is the period from April to
19 January 1992. Is the Prosecution still opposed to these two documents
20 being admitted? Are you still objecting to that, Mr. Withopf?
21 The witness has told us that towards the end of 1992 he was aware
22 of the existence of this document.
23 MR. WITHOPF: That's exactly the point, Mr. President, Your
24 Honours. What's the evidential value of a document that only proves or
25 is supposed to prove what's written in the indictment? I don't see any
1 need to tender anything into evidence what is written in the indictment,
2 and the witness is not in a position to add anything to the fact that is
3 pleaded in the indictment.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall
5 withdraw to deliberate. Can you please remain in the courtroom. We will
6 be back shortly.
7 --- Break taken at 6.42 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 6.46 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing can continue.
10 The Trial Chamber allows for this document to be tendered, to the
11 extent that the constitution of that community is referred to
12 specifically in the indictment, and it sets to illustrate the overall
13 military context and political context at the time.
14 So we will attribute a number to, this because we've got two sets
15 of documents. Mr. Registrar, so we've got one document, B/C/S, in
16 English, and in French. So we need a number, and the three references.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be DH32 for
18 the B/C/S version of the decision; DH32/E for the English version; and
19 DH32/F for the French version.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. And the
21 second document: Because we've got a second document which is B/C/S and
22 the translation into English. The reference is 00311937, et cetera.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S version gets the exhibit
24 number DH33; and the English translation gets the exhibit number DH33/E.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Could the
1 Defence continue.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to tell you
3 straight away that I believe I will be unable to complete the
4 cross-examination of the witness by 7.00. So do please have some
5 understanding for this, because we believe that this is a witness who had
6 an important position in the municipality of Travnik and who can make a
7 major contribution to establishing the truth.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that we shall
9 have to continue tomorrow.
10 All right, then. Witness, you will have understood that there is
11 a problem. You'll have to come back tomorrow morning. There's no
12 problem for you, specifically.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No problem.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall
15 continue until 7.00, and then we'll stop at 7.00.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to look
17 at this decision from the OJ that in his capacity -- in his job in
18 Travnik he must have received. I would just like to put a couple of
19 questions to him in relation to this document.
20 Q. Is it correct that in Article 2 of these basic provisions, it is
21 indicated what municipalities make up the Croat Community of
23 A. That's what it says.
24 Q. Is it correct that the municipalities of Jajce, Travnik, Fojnica,
25 Kakanj, Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Konjic, Jablanica, Mostar, and Stolac are
1 on that list; and these are towns in which, according to the census of
2 1991, the majority population was Bosniak and Muslim, whether we were
3 talking about the absolute majority or relative majority?
4 A. I'm not sure that what you're saying is correct. I have a
5 list -- but not here -- a list with the census data in BH, and if I were
6 able to consult that, I could tell you. But I really don't know the
7 population make-up of all these municipalities you've listed here. In
8 Travnik, yes, there was a relative majority for Muslims and Bosniaks.
9 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that on the basis of this decision, all
10 Lasva Valley communities are here, Lasva, Vitez, Busovaca, Travnik and
11 Nova Travnik, as well as the other municipalities in central Bosnia,
12 Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno? Is that correct?
13 A. What you're saying is correct. This article encompasses those
14 municipalities. But it's not really true, because some of them, which
15 are not covered, were from that area that you're referring to, Central
16 Bosnia, and they're not listed here. And -- I do apologise. And they
17 were -- they were included in that sort of organisation for the Croat
18 population in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. Mr. Rajic, are you aware of the fact that this decision about the
20 setting up of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was arrived at without
21 consulting or without the approval of the legal authorities of Bosnia and
23 A. Look, if you're asking about the legal authorities which were set
24 up after the first free democratic elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
25 there was no approval of that kind. But if you are asking me whether
1 those were the leftovers of those authorities, in spite of the fact that
2 I did not participate in any of it, I believe that there was not actually
3 any need for a thing like that from those institutions which had de facto
4 ceased to exist.
5 Q. However, we are talking about the bodies which represented Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina on the occasion of it being accepted as a member of the
7 United Nations, and they were the official representation of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina in the eyes of the International Community and in its
9 relations with all the other countries of the world. Do you consider
10 those bodies to be not legal?
11 A. I don't know what bodies you're talking about. The Presidency
12 and what else?
13 Q. The Presidency, the General Assembly, the ministries, the
15 A. I know about the Presidency but I'm not aware of all those other
16 bodies functioning during the war. I'm not aware of it.
17 Q. So this decision was arrived at without consulting those bodies;
18 is that true?
19 A. Without consulting that one particular body, which did exist
20 to -- up to a point.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Fine, then.
22 I would like to witness to be shown another document, which we
23 have in the Bosnian and English language. It is from the OJ of the
24 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. And the Defence has taken the text
25 and the translation from the documents in the case against Martinovic and
1 Naletilic. It was used as a document for the Prosecution.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
3 MR. WITHOPF: In the transcript there's a certain section that
4 says "cannot distinguish between question and answer." If my learned
5 colleague would please be so polite to again ask the question in order to
6 allow the witness to answer.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. The last question I put was: Was this decision reached without
9 consulting those bodies? And you replied, "Without consulting that one
10 particular body, which at that time existed."
11 I don't see that there were any other questions, because I moved
12 on to the request for the witness to be shown another document.
13 Is that true, Mr. Rajic? You answered to my question that yes,
14 there was that -- just one body and you meant the Presidency.
15 A. Yes, that's what I think. I don't know whether there was any
16 approval. But what I said was that there was no need for approval from
17 such a body. That's my own personal opinion. But as to whether there
18 was any approval, I don't know. I was not involved, so I don't know.
19 Q. You have in front of you the decision of the Croat Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna dated the 8th of April, 1992 about the setting up of the
21 Croatian Defence Council. Is that true?
22 A. Yes, that's what I see here.
23 Q. And this decision too was published in the official journal of
24 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna in September 1992. Did you see that
25 decision and was it in line with that decision that the units of the HVO
1 were formed?
2 A. I could have seen that decision, and also the other decision, at
3 approximately the same time because I believe that they were published in
4 the same OJ. As to whether I had seen it, prior to that I couldn't have
5 done. I can't remember exactly when I did see it. But if I saw the
6 other one, I would have seen this one too. As to the setting up of the
7 HVO as a military component of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 and in Travnik, that's true.
9 Q. Is it true, Mr. Rajic, that this decision establishes that the
10 Croat Defence Council is set up as the supreme body for the defence of
11 the Croat people, and in Article 2 it is stated that "The Croat Defence
12 Council would take care of the defence of the sovereignty of the area of
13 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna"? Are these provisions that you were
14 aware of when you received the text of that decision?
15 A. I'm aware of that, but I had also said that there were some areas
16 in which Croats got organised and those areas are not referred to in that
17 founding provision.
18 Q. Such as, for example, Zenica?
19 A. No. Such as, for example, in Zepce.
20 Q. Okay. In the beginning of our conversation, we established --
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps, since this is at the
22 very end, perhaps it would be appropriate for me to ask for this decision
23 to be tendered as evidence and perhaps we could conclude for today. I am
24 probably going to need slightly longer than half an hour tomorrow.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we keep discovering
3 important text being produced by the Defence. I would like to find out
4 about how you feel about the fact that the first document, which refers
5 to this decision of the 18th of November, 1991, which is translated into
6 English and into French, in its Article 8 indicates that the organisation
7 and the functioning and the relations with other communities are governed
8 by a statute. You've told us just now that this document was something
9 that you found out about at the end of 1992.
10 The Defence then produces a new document which still refers to
11 this decision of the 18th of November, 1991, but the reading of that
12 document shows that the first document of the 18th of November of 1991
13 was amended on the 3rd of July, 1992. And I no longer find in the text
14 of the articles Article 8, which becomes Article 9, and in Article 9 it
15 is stated that "The internal organisation of that community and its
16 relations with other communities will be organised by separate
17 instruments," in the plural; whereas in the first text it was singular
18 and it was with reference to a statute.
19 Now, this document that you seem to have discovered in 1992,
20 apparently it was amended in July 1992. Did you know that this document
21 had been amended?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know. I said when I saw
23 those documents - and I could only see them once they had been published
24 in the OJ - I know nothing about the amendments you've referred to.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. So you're
1 saying that you discovered them when they were published in the official
2 journal. And it was published at what time, according to you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see here that it was in
4 September 1992, but you normally don't get the copy on time. The
5 communications were really bad. And we couldn't get it on the same day
6 or even the day after. I suppose it must be appropriate -- and I must
7 have received those documents by the end of the year, the documents
8 you've just referred to.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the end of the year. All
10 right, then.
11 So you wanted to tender into evidence the document which was
12 published in the OJ; is that it?
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. About the setting up of the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So we now need a
16 number and we have to specify that we've got the text in English and in
18 Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S version gets the exhibit
20 number DH34; and the English translation gets the exhibit number DH34/E.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 Now, the best thing to do is to continue tomorrow, so we'll
23 continue at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
24 Witness, unfortunately for you you'll have to spend an extra
25 night in The Hague. So as you know, you no longer have the right to see
1 people between this evening and tomorrow morning. You can't talk to
2 either the Defence or the Prosecution this evening. And do please come
3 back tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you very much.
4 And I'll ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I'm turning to the
7 Prosecution. So we've got this witness tomorrow plus certainly another
9 Mr. Withopf.
10 MR. WITHOPF: Right, Mr. President, Your Honours. Can we please
11 go into private session?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem. Partial private
14 [Private session]
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 17th day of
16 February, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.