1 Monday, 21 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Case Number IT-01-47-T, The
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Can I ask Madam Benjamin to tell us the appearances for the
12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good
13 afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon everybody. For the Prosecution
14 this afternoon, Sureta Chana with me, and Andres Vatter is the case
15 manager. Tecla Henry-Benjamin.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Benjamin. I
17 turn now to the Defence lawyers who are all present I see.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President,
19 good afternoon, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
20 Residovic, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Muriel Cauvin, legal
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
23 On behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
24 Mulalic, legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. For the beginning of
1 the week, the Chamber bids a good afternoon to everyone, representatives
2 of the Prosecution, the Defence counsel, the accused, as well as all the
3 staff of this courtroom, and especially Madam Court Reporter and the
5 As you know, we need to continue the hearing of a witness called
6 by the Prosecution -- or rather, an archivist who will be testifying today
7 and tomorrow. But before we have the first archivist called in, I need to
8 address a number of problems. First of all, the question of exhibits
9 which will be admitted into evidence. Last Friday, we delayed the
10 admission of documents so that both the Defence and the Prosecution may
11 have a complete list of the exhibits for which admission will be
13 Regarding these documents, Madam Benjamin, as far as the
14 Prosecution is concerned, do you have a list of the exhibits produced and
15 shown to the witness last week whose name I will not mention and which you
16 should like to tender into evidence?
17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I do not have a list from the
18 Prosecution, but I certainly have the Defence list, and it is my
19 instructions from Mr. Mundis who took the last witness that the
20 Prosecution will not be objecting to the documents.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In that case, can we
22 hear the counsel for the Defence. I see that Madam Benjamin has a list in
23 her hands which I don't have.
24 Mr. Bourgon.
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Madam, good
1 afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon, Mr. President. We are now ready
2 to discuss the admissibility of certain documents that were used during
3 the questions put to the witness by the Defence last week.
4 We have selected all documents that are new, and we have provided
5 the legal officer and the Prosecution as well as the Registrar of these
6 documents so that we can proceed in an orderly manner. Let us begin with
7 the documents which were not included in the binders. So last week, my
8 colleague produced two binders containing documents divided into seven
9 themes, and also seven additional documents were used which were not in
10 the binders. The first document, therefore, Mr. President, is a document
11 dated the 31st of December 1992. It is a reply on the part of a certain
12 Blaskic addressed to the commander of the 3rd Corps. And this document
13 was distributed to all the parties last Friday. For this document, we
14 would like it to be admitted into evidence, though that is not possible
15 straight away because we don't have a translation. So to begin with, we
16 would like this document of the 31st of December to be marked for
17 identification until we are able to provide a translation of that
19 I will continue, Mr. President, with new documents. There are
20 then four documents of the European Community Monitoring Mission. Those
21 documents dated the 22nd of April; another one of the 22nd of April; a
22 third is dated the 28th of April; and finally a document dated the 23rd of
23 May 1993. For these four documents, as they are official documents
24 emanating from the ECMM, and since these documents were recognised by the
25 witness and he referred to the events discussed in these four documents,
1 we would request a final exhibit number for them.
2 I go on now to the two last documents -- two last documents which
3 are not in the binders, and they are two documents dated the 14th of June
4 1993. In the first case, it is a request for clarification coming from
5 the 3rd Corps; and in the second case, it is a response coming from the
6 Operational Group East addressed to the 3rd Corps. For these two
7 documents, we would also like a number for identification because though
8 the witness recognised the situation referred to in these documents, he
9 was not able to recognise the documents itself, nor to authenticate them.
10 We will have a witness who will be heard by the Chamber during the Defence
11 case who will be able to add to these documents so that they will reach
12 the necessary level of reliability to be admitted and be useful to the
13 Chamber. So that is the end of that list. The first document, 31st of
14 December, an ID number; the four ECMM documents, a final exhibit number;
15 and the last two documents to be marked for identification. Thank you,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we have a table
18 with these documents. So will you please give us an ID number for the
19 first four -- no, I'm sorry. For the second four marked for
20 identification, the first two final number, and the last two marked for
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated 31st December
23 1992 gets the Exhibit Number DH202 marked for identification.
24 The document dated 22nd of April 1993, ECMM, RC, gets Exhibit
25 Number DH203.
1 The document dated 22 of April 1993, excerpts of political
2 material, gets Exhibit Number DH204.
3 The document dated 28th of April 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
5 The document dated 23rd of May 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH206.
6 The document dated 14th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH207
7 marked for identification. And its B/C/S translation gets the Exhibit
8 Number DH207/B/C/S marked for identification.
9 The document dated 14th of June 1993 gets Exhibit Number DH208
10 marked for identification. And its B/C/S translation gets the Exhibit
11 Number DH208/B/C/S marked for identification.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Bourgon, I give you the floor once for the second table.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Regarding
15 the second table, this is a table consisting of 12 documents. I will
16 begin with the first ten. All of them are documents which are official
17 documents, documents that were first used through a witness in this
18 Chamber; that is, Witness Totic, and who were then discussed with the
19 witness who appeared last week. The witness from last week was able to
20 recognise both the events corresponding to those documents as well as the
21 whole situation and relations between the HVO and the 3rd Corps of the BH
22 Army during 1993.
23 For this reason, Mr. President, we would like to ask that all the
24 documents on this list, 1 to 10, be admitted into evidence as we have now
25 had two witnesses who have provided the necessary threshold of reliability
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 for them to be admitted. There are two numbers added by hand with respect
2 to this list. Those two numbers are DH41 and DH165. And this was an
3 error on the part of the Defence. We thought that this was a document
4 which had already been admitted into evidence. And upon verification, we
5 found that those two documents were not admitted and that is why we are
6 asking that they be admitted today and be given an exhibit number because
7 again, those documents were discussed with Witness Totic, and also on
8 several occasions with other witnesses before the Chamber and also with
9 last week's witness. For these reasons, we would like that the following
10 exhibits be admitted, DH35 ID, DH43 ID, DH47 for identification, DH2 for
11 identification, DH45 for identification, DH46 for identification, DH44 for
12 identification, DH48 for identification, DH49 for identification, and DH50
13 for identification, DH41 for identification, and finally DH165. We would
14 request, Mr. President, that all these documents now be admitted into
15 evidence and be given final exhibit numbers rather than ID numbers. Thank
16 you, Mr. President.
17 In each of these cases, the translations are attached to each of
18 these documents. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that the
20 Prosecution has no objections, the Chamber hereby decides that all these
21 documents that were marked for identification now become exhibits.
22 So Mr. Registrar, will you confirm that from DH35 to DH165, that
23 these documents are now finally and definitely admitted into evidence.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, all the documents mentioned by
25 Mr. Bourgon and the relevant translations into English and French are
1 admitted into evidence.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We now have DH34, DH43, DH47,
3 DH2, DH45, DH46, DH44, DH48, DH49, DH50, DH41, and DH165. We now move on
4 to the third table.
5 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Now I
6 come to the third list, and I will begin with the first document on this
7 list. And I will go through all the themes that were included in the two
8 binders. Beginning with the first theme on the list that you have in
9 front of you, there are nine documents. And for documents from 1 through
10 8, you will find them in the binder for theme I. They are documents 3, 4,
11 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12. And we would like to tender these documents into
12 evidence as they are documents which are either official documents coming
13 from the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina or documents originating
14 from the supreme staff of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
15 in each of the cases, the witness was not just able to identify the
16 documents, but to say much more and to elaborate on the context within
17 which those documents were produced as well as the events described in
18 each of those documents. Therefore, for documents 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11,
19 and 12 we wish to tender them into evidence.
20 As for the ninth document, we are also tendering it, but in this
21 case we don't have the translation. So until a translation is provided,
22 we would like this document to be marked for identification only.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that the
24 Prosecution has no objection, can the Registrar please give us a final
25 exhibit number for documents from 1 to 8 on the Defence list relating to
1 theme I in the binder that has been produced. As for document number 9,
2 it should be marked for identification as the English translation has
3 still not been provided.
4 So Mr. Registrar, will you give us eight final exhibit numbers and
5 one ID number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated 13th [sic] of
7 June 1992 gets the Exhibit Number DH209, and its English translation gets
8 the Exhibit Number DH209/E. The document dated 4th of July 1992 gets the
9 exhibit number --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop, please. There's an error
11 on the transcript. It is not the document of the 13th of June, but of the
12 30th of June.
13 Mr. Bourgon, it is indeed the 30th of June.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, quite, Mr. President, thank
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So please continue.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The document dated 4th of July 1992 gets Exhibit
18 Number DH210, and its English translation gets Exhibit Number 210/E. The
19 document RBH Main Staff of armed forces dated 17th of July 1992 gets the
20 Exhibit Number DH211, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number
22 The document dated the 17th of July 1992, RBH Main Staff of armed
23 forces decision, ERN number 01830149 gets the Exhibit Number DH212, and
24 its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH212/E.
25 The document dated the 5th of September 1992 gets the Exhibit
1 Number DH213 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH213/E.
2 The document dated the 10th of September 1992 gets the Exhibit
3 Number 214 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number 214/E.
4 The document dated 29th of September 1992 gets the Exhibit Number
5 DH215, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number 215/E.
6 The document dated 11th of October 1992 gets the Exhibit Number
7 216, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH216/E.
8 The document dated the 30th of August 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
9 DH217 marked for identification.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. There's now a
11 document relating to theme number II. Mr. Bourgon.
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Regarding
13 theme number II, there are six documents, Mr. President. For the document
14 from numbers 2, 5, and 9 we would like them to be admitted into evidence
15 as exhibits because these are documents coming from the supreme command of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the armed forces. The witness did not recognise
17 them as such, but he did refer to the events and recognised the context
18 within which those documents were produced.
19 Regarding numbers 1 -- number 1, we also ask for it to be
20 admitted, but once again the English translation is missing, so we would
21 like it to be marked for identification.
22 Finally, documents 3 and 6 are documents coming from the 3rd
23 Corps. The witness did not recognise them and did not provide sufficient
24 information for those documents to be admitted into evidence. And further
25 to all our arguments submitted from the beginning, we feel that until the
1 threshold of reliability is achieved, they cannot be admitted, so we ask
2 that they be marked for identification.
3 So 2, 5, and 9 should be admitted as exhibits, whereas 1, 3, and 6
4 should be marked for identification.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But before giving the
6 floor to the Registrar, I note that on page 9, line 20, you say "in
7 agreement with all the parties." But that is not binding for the Chamber.
8 The parties mean all the lawyers, but the Chamber is not bound by what you
9 define as the minimum threshold of reliability.
10 Having said that, I will ask the Registrar regarding number 10 on
11 this list to give me an ID number. For number 12 also an ID number. And
12 for number 14, also an ID number. As for numbers 11, 13, and 15, a final
13 exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated October 1992 gets
15 the Exhibit Number DH218 marked for identification.
16 The document dated 1st of November 1992 gets the Exhibit Number
17 DH219, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH219/E.
18 The document dated the 5th of November 1992 gets the Exhibit
19 Number DH220 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH220/E,
20 both marked for identification.
21 The document dated 18th of November 1992 gets the Exhibit Number
22 DH221, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH221/E.
23 The document dated 27th November 1992 gets the Exhibit Number
24 DH222 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
25 Exhibit Number DH222/E marked for identification.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The exhibit dated the 21st of August 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
2 DH223, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH223/E.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 As far as theme number II is concerned, the document dated -- the
5 document from the Presidency has been marked for identification. It is
6 DH218. Whereas the others have been given final exhibit numbers. We'll
7 now deal with the third theme.
8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. As far as
9 the third theme is concerned, there are only two documents we would like
10 to be admitted into evidence. These are the documents number 21 and 22 in
11 the list. As far as Document 21 is concerned, this is a document dated
12 the 13th of February 1993. It's a document that was first admitted at the
13 request of the Prosecution, P140 was the number. This was an agreement
14 signed by the two forces present, by the HVO and by the BH Army. And it
15 concerns eight orders that were to lead to the establishment of peace
16 between the two sides. So with this document there are eight separate
17 orders. Each order was not included with the Document P140 that the
18 Prosecution asked to be admitted into evidence. So last week, we
19 discussed the eight orders with the witness, and he was able to recognise
20 these orders. He also recognised the context within which these orders
21 were given and signed following the agreement reached by the parties. So
22 Document 21, which is the three, item 25, we are asking that this document
23 be given final number.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. If I have
25 understood you correctly, under number 21, which consists of eight orders
1 from the 3rd Corps, you said that these orders follow on from Document
2 P140, a continuation of this document. This document has been admitted.
3 You are requesting that the orders that are linked to Document P140 be
4 given final numbers.
5 Ms. Benjamin, any comments you would like to make with regard to
6 this document? Apparently not. You seem to be in agreement with what the
7 Defence has stated.
8 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I think so, Mr. President, because I believe
9 the order is comprised in the 140. So I believe we don't have any
10 objections, if that's what it is.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll just provide a
12 DH number because it could have been P140, 1, 2, et cetera, up until
13 eight. And the Defence for strategic reasons prefers it to be DH224, et
14 cetera. Is that correct, Mr. Bourgon?
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, and Ms. Benjamin
18 Mr. Registrar, as far as number 21 is concerned, could we have a
19 final exhibit number for this document.
20 Very well. The Registrar prefers to take a number that follows
21 on. As he is in charge, we'll deal with this later. You can carry on
22 with 16, 17, et cetera.
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
24 now like to deal with Document Number 22. This is the second document
25 that we would like to tender into evidence and have a final exhibit number
1 for the document. These are the conclusions of the Busovaca commission.
2 It's the coordination committee that is concerned. We discussed the
3 document with the witness last week, and the witness attended meetings of
4 this commission. It's an agreement. The witness recognised the agreement
5 and the context within which this agreement was reached on the 26th of
6 March 1993. For these reasons, Mr. President, as far as this document is
7 concerned, we would like a final number for it.
8 As far as the other documents under theme III are concerned, theme
9 III in the binder, documents 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 27, 28, 29, and 30,
10 Mr. President, we would like numbers for all of these documents because
11 the witness was able to tell us about his knowledge of the context within
12 which these documents were produced. He didn't recognise the documents;
13 he didn't recognise the context either. So we couldn't have these
14 documents admitted finally into evidence. And the Defence will examine
15 additional witnesses who will be in a position to authenticate not only
16 the documents but also the context and the events referred to. So for all
17 these documents, we would like all these documents to be marked for
18 identification, Mr. President. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution has no
20 objections to raise. Mr. Registrar, from documents 16 up until 26, could
21 we have numbers marked for identification, or could we have final numbers
22 for documents 21 and 22.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated the 28th of
24 December 1992 gets the Exhibit Number DH224 marked for identification and
25 its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH224/E marked for
2 The document dated the 13th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
3 DH225 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
4 Exhibit Number DH225/E marked for identification. I apologise, it was
5 January and not June.
6 The document dated 17th of January 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
7 DH226 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
8 Exhibit Number DH226/E marked for identification.
9 The document dated 17th of January 1993, ERN Number 01531603 gets
10 the Exhibit Number DH227 marked for identification, and its English
11 translation gets the Exhibit Number DH227/E marked for identification.
12 The document dated 17th of January 1993, ERN Number 00797945, gets
13 the Exhibit Number DH228 marked for identification, and its English
14 translation gets the Exhibit Number DH228/E marked for identification.
15 The set with eight orders dated the 13th February 1993 gets the
16 Exhibit Number DH229, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number
17 DH229/E. In it, the Document 02/33-431 gets the Exhibit Number tab 1; 432
18 gets the Exhibit Number tab 2. The Document 433 gets the tab 3. The
19 Document 434 will be tab 4. 435 will be tab 5. 436 will be tab 6. 437
20 will be tab 7. And 438 will be tab 8.
21 The document dated 26 of March 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
22 DH230, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number 230/E.
23 The document dated 17th of April 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
24 DH231 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
25 Exhibit Number DH231/E marked for identification. Its French translation
1 gets the Exhibit Number DH231/F marked for identification.
2 The document dated the 6th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
3 DH232 marked for identification and its English translation gets the
4 Exhibit Number DH232/E marked for identification.
5 The document dated the 6th of June 1993, ERN number 00812369, gets
6 the Exhibit Number 233 marked for identification, and its English
7 translation gets the Exhibit Number DH233/E marked for identification.
8 The document dated 18th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH234
9 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the Exhibit
10 Number 234/E marked for identification.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will now move on
12 to theme IV. There are four documents under this theme. Four final
13 numbers have been requested.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, that's what we
15 are requesting. The first one is a document from the ECMM Monitoring
16 Mission. It's an official document that was discussed by the witness. He
17 discussed a letter that he wrote himself. It's a document to the joint
18 command. He was a member of it. And there's a document that was an
19 interview that he recognised, and there was another document that he
20 himself signed. In all these cases, the witness was in a position to
21 discuss the context and the events described in these four documents.
22 Could we have final numbers for these documents, please.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have
24 four final numbers for the documents under theme IV.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated 30th of April
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH235 and its English translation gets the
2 Exhibit Number DH235/E.
3 The document dated 24th of May 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH236
4 and its B/C/S translation gets the Exhibit Number DH236/B/C/S.
5 The document dated the 25th of May 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
6 237 and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH237/E. The document
7 dated the 13th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH238 and its English
8 translation gets the Exhibit Number DH238/E.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. As far as theme V is
10 concerned, we have a long list of documents. Some will be marked for
11 identification, and you'll be requesting final numbers for others. Final
12 numbers for 33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49.
13 Numbers marked for identification will be 31, 32, 38, and 43.
14 Mr. Bourgon.
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In column
16 entitled "location under theme V," documents 2 and 10, for these documents
17 we'll be requesting witnesses to come. We would like these numbers for
18 identification. Number 11 is a report received by the witness himself.
19 It concerns the detainees. We would like a final number. Documents 13,
20 15, 17, and 19 we would like final numbers since these are either
21 documents that he himself drafted or signed or they're documents from the
22 commission that he recognised.
23 Document Number 20 for this one we would like a number marked for
24 identification since a witness will appear to -- so that we can tender
25 this document into evidence. For 21 and 22 we would like final numbers.
1 These are documents either from the Presidency or the supreme command.
2 And the witness recognised not only the context, but also General Delic's
3 signature. Documents 23 and 24, we would like final numbers for these
4 documents. These are documents drafted by the witness himself.
5 For Document 25, we would like this document marked for
6 identification since a witness will be appearing so that this document can
7 be admitted into evidence and given a final number. Document 26, 27, 28,
8 29, 30, Mr. President, we want final numbers for these documents since
9 these documents come from the forward command post of the BH Army, from
10 the command post, and the witness was linked to this post.
11 Document number 31, Mr. President, there's an error. This
12 document has already been admitted into evidence. So we're not requesting
13 that Document 31 under theme V be admitted. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Mr. Registrar, from number 31 onwards, could we have numbers for
16 the documents listed.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated the 10th of June
18 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH239 marked for identification and its
19 English translation gets Exhibit Number 239/E marked for identification.
20 The document dated the 19th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
21 DH240 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
22 Exhibit Number DH240/E marked for identification.
23 Your Honours, the document dated the 20th of June 1993 gets the
24 Exhibit Number DH241 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number
1 The document dated 21st of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number DH242
2 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH242/E.
3 The document dated the 23rd of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
4 DH243 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH243/E.
5 The document dated the 26th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
6 DH244 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH244/E.
7 The document dated the 28th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
8 DH245 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH245/E.
9 The document dated the 24th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
10 DH246 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
11 Exhibit Number DH246/E marked for identification.
12 The document dated the 25th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
13 DH247, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH247/E.
14 The document dated the 25th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
15 DH248 and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH248/E.
16 The document dated the 30th of June 1993 gets Exhibit Number DH249
17 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH249/E.
18 The document dated 1st of July 1993 gets Exhibit Number DH250, and
19 its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH250/E.
20 The document dated the 2nd of July 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
21 DH251 marked for identification, and its English translation gets the
22 Exhibit Number DL251/E marked for identification.
23 The document dated the 3rd of July 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
24 DH252, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH252/E.
25 The document dated the 4th of July 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
1 DH253, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH253/E.
2 The document dated the 9th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
3 DH254 and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH254/E.
4 The document dated the 21st of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
5 DH255, and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH255/E.
6 The document dated the 21st of June 1993, ERN number 01809216 gets
7 the Exhibit Number DH256, and its English translation gets the Exhibit
8 Number DH256/E.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. As far as theme VI
10 is concerned, all those documents with the exception of the one under
11 number 53, all these documents, you would like them to be marked for
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Document number
14 8 is a document signed by the witness. It's an order that he himself
15 issued, and we discussed it before the Trial Chamber last week. All other
16 documents are various measures taken within the 3rd Corps. They're
17 related to the prevention of crime or measures taken after violations were
18 committed, after violations may have been committed. And they also have
19 to do with illegal acts. Mr. President, we would like all these documents
20 to be marked for identification, unless my colleague from the Prosecution
21 doesn't accept this, unless they object to having them marked for
22 identification. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Benjamin, as far as theme VI
24 is concerned, the Prosecution with the exception of Document 53, which
25 should be DH260, all the other documents should be marked for
1 identification according to the Defence. But the Defence says that if the
2 Prosecution doesn't object, these documents could be given final exhibit
3 numbers. What is your position, Ms. Benjamin?
4 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, my instructions were, and I
5 take it my colleague who took the witness last week, would have gone
6 through this. His instructions were that we would not object to any. So
7 I would suggest that the Prosecution has no objections based on my
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we will give
10 these documents from number 50 to number 61 under theme VI, final numbers.
11 Mr. Registrar, we'll start with the document dated the 14th of
12 June and I assume that the number will be DH256 -- 257.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated the 14th of June
14 1993 gets, in fact, Exhibit Number DH257, and its English translation gets
15 Exhibit Number DH257/E.
16 The document dated June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number dated DH258,
17 and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH258/E.
18 The document dated the 12th of June 1993 gets Exhibit Number
19 DH259, and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH259/E.
20 The document dated the 13th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
21 DH260, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH260/E.
22 The document dated the 15th of June 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
23 DH261, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number 261/E.
24 The document dated the 27th of September 1993 gets the Exhibit
25 Number DH262, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number 262/E.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The document dated the 4th of February gets the Exhibit Number
2 DH263, and its English translation gets Exhibit Number 263/E.
3 The document dated the 18th of April 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
4 DH264, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH264/E.
5 The document dated the 18th of April 1993, 3rd Corps letter to
6 Zenica gets Exhibit Number DH265, and its English translation gets Exhibit
7 Number DH265/E.
8 The document dated the 24th of April 1993 gets Exhibit Number
9 DH266, and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH266/E.
10 The document dated the 28th of May 1993 gets the Exhibit Number
11 DH267, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH267/E.
12 The document dated the 9th of June 1993 gets Exhibit Number DH268,
13 and its English translation gets Exhibit Number DH268/E.
14 The document dated the 19th of --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, you
16 were going too fast. We'll deal with theme number VII now. And we only
17 have five documents left. So rest reassured. Under theme Number VII,
18 Defence is requesting that four documents be marked for identification,
19 one document should be given a final number. If the Defence refers to
20 number 66, document number 66, please don't mention the name that is
21 referred to there.
22 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. After
23 having discussed the matter and re-examined the transcript, the Defence
24 would like the five documents under theme VII be definitively admitted.
25 These are documents 4, 6, 11, 14, and 15. As far as Document 15 is
1 concerned, under number 66, this is an interview that the witness
2 recognised. He agreed to having this interview himself.
3 As far as the first four documents are concerned, these are
4 documents that we discussed with the witness, and the witness recognised
5 them. He was able to discuss the context. These documents were also used
6 to show what the witness's position was with regard to the situation in
7 1993 with regard to the mujahedin in Central Bosnia. And this is why,
8 Mr. President, we would like these five documents to be given final
9 numbers. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have
11 five numbers for these documents which are listed under theme VII.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document dated the 19th of July
13 1993 gets Exhibit Number DH269, and its English translation gets Exhibit
14 Number 269/E.
15 The document dated the 2nd of August 1993 gets Exhibit Number
16 DH270, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH270/E.
17 The document dated the 28th of November 1993 gets the Exhibit
18 Number DH271, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH271/E.
19 The document dated the 26th of February 1994 gets the Exhibit
20 Number DH242, and its English translation gets the Exhibit Number DH -- I
21 apologise. It was DH272. And the English translation gets Exhibit Number
23 The document dated the 22nd of October 2001 gets the Exhibit
24 Number DH273, under seal. And the English translation gets the Exhibit
25 Number DH273/E, confidential under seal.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have completed
2 this numbering which can sometimes be fatiguing. But it has to be done.
3 And I wish to thank the Defence for drafting these tables which has
4 allowed the Registrar to provide us with the numbers. I also thank the
5 Prosecution. In their concern to show wisdom, they did not object to the
6 admission of these documents, all of which are official documents.
7 We are now going to go on to another subject --
8 MR. DIXON: Sorry, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.
10 MR. DIXON: Sorry to interrupt. Just before we move on, if I
11 could just mention in relation to the admissability of documents. As
12 Your Honours will know, we introduced three documents last week, two are
13 marked for identification because the witness couldn't identify them, one
14 which we did identify from his signature. And that leads me to making a
15 brief, general point on the admissibility of documents which is that our
16 position remains very clear on this: There were a number of documents
17 which Your Honours showed the witness which the Prosecution showed the
18 witness and which were shown by the Defence. Our view is that none of
19 those documents should be admitted unless the witness was able to identify
20 them in a very concrete fashion, either because it was his signature or he
21 was involved in the document or he received the document.
22 Merely because a witness may be able to identify a name in a
23 document or an event or the context, in our view, isn't sufficient to have
24 the document rendered reliable. What is necessary is a form of
25 identification. And that has been our position throughout. It is
1 possible that a witness may well identify a name in a document but without
2 being able to indicate in any way whether that document is reliable. If a
3 document is to be relied upon as a record of facts, as a record which
4 could contribute to the truth-finding process, in our view, a witness must
5 be called who can identify that document so that, as we've said all along,
6 the Defence or maybe the Prosecution is in a position to cross-examine on
7 the record itself, on the information itself that is contained in those
8 documents. And that's the principle which we would ask Your Honours to
9 apply when looking at all the contested documents which as Your Honours
10 are of course aware is a decision which still has to be rendered. I thank
11 you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon. You have
13 repeated what you've told us on endless occasions, and we understand your
14 point. And thank you for reminding us of it.
15 I should like to pass on to another subject before we call in the
16 witness. So I would like to request the parties to take note of what I'm
17 going to say. I'm going to say it slowly so that the interpreters can
18 follow. I think they have been given the document.
19 I'm reading what we wish to tell the parties. The Chamber invites
20 the parties, which means the Prosecution and the Defence for both accused,
21 if they so wish to provide clarifications on the two following points:
22 Firstly, the Chamber notes that up to the present, the parties have not in
23 their submissions in writing, including their pre-trial briefs, provided
24 an analysis of essential legal elements of the crimes mentioned in the
25 indictment. In the wish to be fully informed, the Chamber, therefore,
1 calls on the parties if they so wish to express their positions in writing
2 on this subject.
3 Secondly, the Chamber notes that the indictment indicates, and I
4 quote: "During the entire period covered by the present indictment,
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina was the scene of an armed conflict." However, the
6 Chamber is not aware that the Prosecution has taken a position regarding
7 the nature of international humanitarian law applicable to this armed
8 conflict. It is, we underline, in the aim of being fully informed that
9 the Chamber, therefore, calls on the Prosecution if it so wishes to
10 express its position in writing on this subject.
11 Naturally, the lawyers for the accused may, if they so wish,
12 respond in writing to any explanations provided by the Prosecution on this
13 point. The Chamber notes in this connection that the lawyers representing
14 General Hadzihasanovic have already indicated in their pre-trial brief
15 that they are of the opinion, and I quote: "International humanitarian
16 law applying specifically to international armed conflicts cannot apply"
17 to the present case. Therefore, the Chamber is calling on the parties, of
18 course, if they wish to do that, they're not obliged in any way, this is
19 simply an invitation to them and it is up to the parties to judge whether
20 they wish to or not, to provide the Chamber with clarifications regarding
21 these two points that I have referred to. The first having to do with the
22 elements of -- legal elements of the crimes charged in the indictment.
23 And secondly, the question relating to international humanitarian law that
24 is applicable to an armed conflict. Having noted, as indicated by the
25 Chamber, that as far as one Defence team for one of the accused is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 concerned, the international humanitarian law that is applicable to
2 international armed conflict is not applicable in this case.
3 So I ask you with a clear head to read through what has been said.
4 And if you consider it to be useful, to provide us your submissions in
5 writing if you so wish.
6 That is the second point that is now settled. We shall now pass
7 on to the next witness. Does anyone have anything to say at this stage?
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before the witness
9 comes in, I should like to inform you that my colleague, Stephane Bourgon,
10 has just left the courtroom. He didn't want to interrupt you. He's going
11 to Sarajevo to interview a witness that has been called by the Trial
12 Chamber. And the appointment was made by the OTP. We have advised the
13 legal officer that there were certain problems in this connection. We
14 wanted a legal assistant from our team to attend. However, at the last
15 moment, the per diems were not authorised for our legal assistant. So the
16 co-counsel had to leave. He will be coming and going twice this week. We
17 feel that that is not economical. That costs the Tribunal a lot. And his
18 absence is not legally justifiable. We do not wish to discuss this issue
19 in court today, but as we are coming close to the end of the Prosecution
20 case and in connection with the Defence preparations, we would appeal to
21 the Chamber to support the Defence in their request for assistance so that
22 our clients should have all the rights that are guaranteed to them and for
23 us to be able to carry out all the obligations that have been assigned to
24 the Defence team. Thank you for hearing me out.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Regarding this
1 problem, we learn that the Prosecution is about to interview a witness in
2 Sarajevo. We knew that last week Mr. Mundis told us that he had to go
3 there. We don't know who is the person who will be heard or interviewed.
4 And we discover that there is a problem linked to the fact that the
5 Defence wanted to be present in person during the examination on the spot,
6 that the Defence originally wanted to send one of its assistants. But due
7 to matters linked to the financing on the part of the Registrar and the
8 Tribunal, the Registrar would not approve the allowance for the assistant.
9 And that is why you have had to send your co-counsel to be present during
10 those proceedings. And you are asking for our assistance.
11 As you know, and as I have said on a number of occasions, the
12 Chamber unfortunately does not have any financial resources at its
13 disposal with which it would be able to resolve such a problem. The only
14 authority is the Registrar over which we have absolutely no influence. So
15 the matter should be addressed with the Registry.
16 However, in my personal opinion there was an absolute necessity
17 for a Defence lawyer to be present so that once the witness comes to
18 The Hague following an agreement reached and a decision of the Pre-Trial
19 Judge, you still have the opportunity to meet this witness before he
20 testifies here in The Hague. So I don't think it was absolutely essential
21 for you to go there when you can see the witness later on. That is just a
22 personal remark I have to make. And I'm speaking in my own name solely
23 and not on behalf of the whole Trial Chamber. If I was to rule regarding
24 the need for the Defence to be in contact with the witness, I think it is
25 up to the party calling the witness that should interview the witness. I
1 don't see why the other party should be present during that examination
2 when the other party will always have an opportunity to cross-examine the
3 witness later on.
4 So anyway, that is a very -- purely personal remark on my part and
5 that I wish to make. Of course, you will have the full assistance of the
6 Chamber as far as its possibilities allow to make sure that the rights of
7 both accused are respected. And unfortunately, your co-counsel has had to
8 leave. Clearly, this will be a difficulty for you. But the very reason
9 for having a co-counsel is because such a possibility should be envisaged,
10 that one Defence counsel has to be present whereas the other one may be
11 usefully employed assisting the accused.
12 Madam Benjamin, do you have anything to say regarding these
13 particular financial issues? Having noted that when this problem arose,
14 the parties could have gone to see the Registrar together in an effort to
15 resolve the problem jointly. Madam Benjamin.
16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I don't have anything to say
17 on this matter. But I do wish to thank the Chamber for the guidance that
18 you have given to us, and we will certainly deal with it. Secondly, I
19 wish to inform the Chamber in the manner in which I wish to proceed to the
20 witness that is coming. My understanding from the request of the Trial
21 Chamber is that this is a witness that is basically coming to inform us as
22 to the running of the archives. And so, my intention is to have him deal
23 with the role of the archives and the operation of the archives. I have
24 indicated to my colleagues on the other side that that's how I intend to
25 proceed. Thanks.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. The
2 witness, who is an archivist, will certainly be able to provide
3 information for us.
4 In any event, I have brought the originals. And as we do have the
5 originals, should the need arise, we can show the originals to the witness
6 so that the archivist can inform us regarding elements of reliability that
7 are so dear to Mr. Bourgon and to Mr. Dixon, regarding the signatures, the
8 stamps, the registration, et cetera.
9 So during the questions by the Judges, we will ask the archivist
10 to give us his assessments on the indicia of reliability. So before
11 calling the witness, has the Defence anything to say? I saw that you were
12 about to stand, so I give you the floor.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you have already
14 moved on to another subject, and I don't wish to interrupt. But related
15 to the previous matter, I just wish to point out, the Defence is never
16 present during the interview of a witness of the other party. This was an
17 order by the Trial Chamber to the Prosecutor. There is reference to
18 hundreds of documents which are of extreme significance to both parties,
19 and especially for the Trial Chamber. In the interests of expediency, the
20 Prosecutor said that they would not be able to provide us with written
21 statements. So the agreement was that we should attend because the
22 conversation or the interview would be videotaped. And it is the only
23 occasion when the Defence has asked to be present during the proofing of
24 the witness. Otherwise, we are fully guided by your instructions, and we
25 do our best to rationally use all our personnel in the Defence team.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam.
2 Mr. Dixon.
3 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. Just for the record I do
4 wish to clarify that for Mr. Kubura, we have arranged for an investigator
5 from our team who is a lawyer based in Sarajevo to be present during the
6 interviews next week. So we have been able to take advantage of the
7 Prosecution's offer. Because the timing was so short to have somebody
8 present during the interviews, and she will be attending each of the
9 interviews next week. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have 20 minutes
11 to the break. So let us bring in the witness, ask him a few questions for
12 the purpose of identification, have him read the solemn declaration, and
13 then move on to questions. And I will give the floor to Madam Benjamin.
14 No, no, I'm sorry. We have another five minutes left. Maybe it's
15 best then to have the break to tell the witness so that he doesn't
16 disappear, because he must be wondering why he has been waiting so long.
17 He should be told that we had our own problems to deal with. And so we
18 shall resume at around 4.00 or 5 minutes past 4.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Usher, could you bring in
22 the witness into the courtroom, please.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to greet the new
25 representative from the Registry who has taken the place of the former
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Good day. I'd like to first check that you are receiving the
3 interpretation of what I'm saying. So please say so.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here by the
6 Prosecution at the request of the Trial Chamber. You will be testifying
7 about the BH Army archives. Before you take the solemn declaration, could
8 you please tell me your first and last name, your date of birth and your
9 place of birth.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Adem Omerkic. I was born
11 on the 5th of February 1953 in a place called Priluk.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Which town do you
13 live in at the moment?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Sarajevo.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your position or what is
16 your current rank?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I retired two months ago. I retired
18 from the military. I was an officer in the army, but I have now retired.
19 I retired on the 1st of May.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what rank did you hold when
21 you left the army?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a major in the RBH Army.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Had you reached the
24 age to retire, or had you requested to go into retirement, or was your
25 retirement involuntary?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Bosnia and Herzegovina, they were
2 reducing the number of members in the army. In the federation army, 8.000
3 people have left the army, and they went before their time. I personally
4 didn't want to leave the army, but I have fulfilled the criteria that have
5 to be fulfilled in order to go into retirement. So I sort of retired on a
6 voluntary basis, but in a way I had to leave.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And are you
8 receiving a pension now?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't received a pension yet.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you will have a pension,
11 won't you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] God willing, yes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, what sort of situation
14 were you in? Were you a member of the military? And if you were, which
15 unit were you a member of?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a soldier in the Municipality
17 of Stari Grad, which is where I lived. There was a municipal staff, the
18 Stari Grad municipal staff. And my first position in the army, so to
19 speak, was within a small detachment. It was called the Bascarsija
20 detachment, and it wasn't in existence for very long. At the beginning,
21 these things kept transforming all the time until we managed to organise
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in 1993, if I have understood
24 you correctly, you were -- you had a position in the Municipality of Stari
25 Grad. Is that correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. It was within
2 the Stari Grad municipal staff.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified
4 before an international or national court with regard to your position as
5 an archivist, or is this the first time?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my third time before this
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is your third time here.
9 Do you remember which case you testified in, or do you no longer remember
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first time I was here was when
12 the first four Bosniaks were put on trial, or rather, there were three
13 Bosniaks, and someone called Mucic, I think he's a Croat. I'm not sure.
14 Delic, Landzo, and Delalic were their names and there was someone called
15 Mucic. But I don't know exactly whether that was his name. At the time I
16 was a representative of the military archives. I was the chief of the
17 military archives. On the second occasion, I had been called here by a
18 lawyer -- well, I can't remember the case right now. Again, it had to do
19 with the archives and with evidence.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you are telling
21 us that you testified in the Delalic case.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So that will bring
24 back certain memories.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I can see the lawyer Edina
1 Residovic here. I was called here on the second occasion by her. I've
2 just noticed her now.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the situation is not
4 unfamiliar to you.
5 Could you please read out the solemn declaration now. The usher
6 will show it to you. Please go ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down
11 WITNESS: ADEM OMERKIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major, you have a lot of
14 experience at this Tribunal because this is the third time you are
15 testifying here. So what I will now tell you is just to remind you of
16 certain issues. You will first have to answer the questions that will be
17 put to you by representatives of the Prosecution. They are to your right.
18 Their questions will have to do with your position as an archivist at the
19 time up until your retirement.
20 Once Ms. Benjamin has concluded her examination-in-chief, Defence
21 counsel who are to your left will conduct their cross-examination. Once
22 this stage has been completed, the three Judges who are before you, who
23 wanted you to be called as a witness, will also ask you questions. I have
24 a binder here containing documents that were provided to OTP investigators
25 when they went to the archives. And we will certainly have the
1 opportunity of asking you some questions that have to deal with these
2 documents, that have to do with these documents. They are purely
3 technical documents. They don't have to do with the substance of the
4 case. These are just questions that are related to the documents since
5 you held the position of an archivist. There are two other points I'd
6 like to inform you of. As you have taken the solemn declaration, you are
7 aware of the fact that you should speak the truth because false testimony
8 could result in the prosecution of a witness. But there's also another
9 point I would like to inform you. This shouldn't be applicable to you.
10 When a witness refuses to answer a question, the Trial Chamber can compel
11 a witness to answer the Chamber's question, but that in such a case you
12 are guaranteed immunity. But this shouldn't be applicable to you.
13 Try and answer the questions in a precise and clear manner. Since
14 the proceedings are oral and your answers are important as we are relying
15 on your testimony, if you do not understand a question, ask the person
16 putting the question to you to rephrase it. You'll also have to answer
17 the questions put to you by Defence counsel, and they will certainly deal
18 with the technical problems. And this should enable the Trial Chamber to
19 become quite familiar with your work as an archivist. This is how we will
20 be proceeding. And without wasting any more time, I will now give
21 Ms. Benjamin the floor.
22 Ms. Benjamin, you may start with your examination-in-chief now.
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Major. Could you please state for the Trial
1 Chamber your professional qualifications, please.
2 A. I graduated from the faculty of philosophy in Sarajevo. I studied
3 comparative literature and library science. At the university of
4 political science, I'm still enrolled at the university of political
5 science. I'm doing postgraduate studies there, and I have one more exam
6 to take at the university of political science, which is also located in
8 As far as my military education is concerned, as far as the
9 military courses I attended are concerned, I have certain diplomas, but
10 these are courses and in my opinion they are not of great importance for
11 this Tribunal. They don't have much importance. I attended a course in
12 SFOR, for example, and I received a diploma there.
13 Q. Major, could you for the Trial Chamber's benefit tell us for how
14 long have you been practicing as an archivist.
15 A. Well, as far as I can remember, I don't remember the exact dates,
16 but it was from 1995, 1996 up until 2001. During that period, I worked as
17 the chief of the archives and of the central military library. That's
18 what my position was called at the time. That was the name of my
19 establishment duties at the time.
20 Q. Prior to your duties before you retired two months ago, were your
21 duties the same as when you testified here in 1997 and 1998? Were your
22 duties the same as prior to when you retired?
23 A. From 1991 - I don't know the exact date, though - I was
24 transferred from the military archives where I was the chief of the
25 archives and of the library. I was transferred to the administration for
1 civilian and military relations within the federation army. I worked as
2 an officer for liaising with the organs of power in municipalities and
3 local communes, republican organs and so on.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think there's a problem.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In line -- page 36, line 9, it
6 says "from 1991." As far as I understood, the year was 2001. That was my
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise. That's quite
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I also noticed the
12 Please continue.
13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:
14 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber for which archive you were
15 responsible for prior to your retirement two months ago.
16 A. Just a little digression, I retired as an officer for liaison with
17 the organs of power, so there's a slight time gap from 2001. So my memory
18 might not be very precise as far as the dates are concerned.
19 Q. Okay. The last time that you practiced as archivist was what
21 A. I think it was in 2001, but I'm not quite sure.
22 Q. And for which archive were you the custodian?
23 A. Well, it was the archives of the BH Army. The military archives
24 of the BH Army because at the beginning when the army was established, we
25 wanted it to be an army for the entire area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That
1 was its name. And whenever there was some sort of a mixed structure, we
2 thought this was important because we were, I think, in an army that was
3 fighting for the idea of Bosnia-Herzegovina's totality, comprising all the
4 various ethnic groups.
5 Q. Major, could you state for us what was the location of this
7 A. The archives of the BH Army changed its location from time to
8 time. Its first location was in the immediate vicinity of the building of
9 the Ministry of Defence. It was a small building, and circumstances were
10 such that there was a fire in the archives. And in my opinion, the
11 archives were preserved in spite of the damage caused by the water they
12 used to put the fire out above all. And as I personally participated in
13 the saving of the archives, it is my opinion that the essential archival
14 material that we had at our disposal was saved.
15 After that, we temporarily moved to the library of what is now the
16 building of the University of political science. And we stayed there for
17 a while until a building was established in the Ramiz Salcin barracks.
18 That was the former Viktor Bubanj barracks. At the time of the JNA, the
19 name of the barracks was Viktor Bubanj. We were provided with the
20 necessary conditions for preserving and protecting documents. This is
21 where we spent the longest period of time. And the third location while I
22 was in that position, and because of the needs -- because the barracks
23 were needed for other purposes, we were moved to Konjic, a small town
24 which is about 50 or 80 kilometres from Sarajevo. We moved to a special
25 military facility there. And I stayed there until I was transferred.
1 Q. Would I be correct in saying, then, that even though in spite of
2 the fire, you were able to preserve all your documents? Am I correct?
3 A. Well, it's my opinion that the most essential archival material
4 was preserved. Many things happened. It took a long time to save the
5 material. It's quite possible that certain documents were lost. But I
6 was personally present there, and since we later received reinforcements,
7 help in protecting the material, I think that the important material was
9 Later, it was difficult to dry the material that was wet. This
10 took a certain amount of time. Some of the material was damaged. But I
11 think that the essential, most important archival material was preserved
12 and saved.
13 Q. Thank you. Major, could you briefly describe for the Trial
14 Chamber what is the purpose of an archive. For what purpose are archives
16 A. Well, the purpose of establishing a military archive is known
17 generally speaking, but we as idealists involved in the defence of our
18 state, when we were given the task of establishing an archive, naturally
19 we received orders from the relevant command that it was our belief that
20 this was our main task. We had to preserve such archival material which
21 would be proof of our fight for a normal state in which normal people
22 could live, and this was to be a place where we would preserve evidence on
23 the people and the defenders of that state. And this is how we operated.
24 And I told the personnel whose chief I was that this was a sacred task for
25 us and that a positive version of history would be written on the basis of
1 these documents. So we were moved by an ideal at the time. We wanted to
2 preserve everything that could be preserved. So this was our ideal that
3 prevailed. That was the main purpose, rather than the usual purpose of
4 archival material. We didn't even think that it might be necessary for a
5 Tribunal, but now we see it's necessary for a Tribunal, too. And what's
6 important for an archive is to preserve documents, papers from various
7 institutions, et cetera.
8 Q. Now, Major, could you tell us within the archives of the BH Army,
9 was there any particular -- any emphasis placed on any particular type of
11 A. Well, we received instructions. We received a set of rules, and
12 this was to govern our operations. We were at liberty to sort the
13 material into various categories. For example, we had within category
14 number 1 the most important material in our opinion. This category
15 included material signed by commanders, for example, orders --
16 Q. May I interrupt you. Before we go into the category of the
17 documents, I was looking for general category. What type of documents
18 were you responsible for preserving in the BH Army archives? And maybe if
19 the Trial Chamber would allow me, maybe I can assist you.
20 Did your archive concentrate basically on war documents or
21 documents of a general nature?
22 A. Well, the material created in the course of the war, and it had to
23 do with our army. And some of the material we had was material that was
24 seized, for example. We received some material from the Ministry of
25 Defence. And it had to do with documents of a general who is no longer
1 alive. It was General Kukanjac who had a command in Sarajevo. That's
2 where he was captured and so on. We had some of that material, for
3 example, and we also had other material. So this is material that wasn't
4 created within our units and our commands.
5 Q. Okay. So before we get into the documents itself, could you
6 explain to the Trial Chamber the role of an archivist like yourself and
7 what were your duties?
8 A. If I may make a general remark, it was my duty to organise work,
9 the keeping and collecting and processing of archival material on the
10 basis of a temporary regulation that we received from the main command
11 within the framework of a document signed by the command. And pursuant to
12 the provisions of those rules, we sought to abide by them as much as
14 Q. So would these rules be -- would you be referring to the temporary
15 book of rules when you say "rules"? Is that it?
16 A. Yes, the temporary book of rules, yes. We had to be guided by
17 that temporary document because we knew that the war was a temporary
18 situation. So that temporary set of rules was probably modelled on some
19 other rules, be they civilian or military. But essentially, we were
20 guided by that book of rules. And it provided a framework for all our
22 Q. And would you be able to assist us with the author of the
23 temporary book of rules? How did this book of rules come into -- into the
24 application of the archives?
25 A. It came through the normal channels. It was signed by our
1 commander, General Delic. And as we were in the central army archive, we
2 received it through the regular military mail, through correspondence. It
3 came as a certified and signed document with indications as to what should
4 be done next with respect to the formation of the archives, the
5 safekeeping, collecting, and processing.
6 Q. Thank you, Major. And now we move on to the area that you
7 previously began to describe for us. When the documents come to the
8 archives, what is your first -- what do you do first? When you receive
9 the documents, what do you do first?
10 A. We had a customary way of dealing with documents. There was a
11 procedure prescribed for collecting documents. But there were cases when
12 we happened to come across some documents by chance or we were told that
13 there was some documents in a certain location. And it was wartime, and
14 we didn't have normal conditions. There were shortage of electricity,
15 water, paper, the quality of the typewriter ribbons was poor. But
16 regardless of the way we found the material, we would group it, and then
17 protect it from further deterioration. For instance, if the visibility or
18 legibility was poor, if it was faxed and then the print would come off,
19 you could notice it on your fingers, we would photocopy the document
20 immediately and then attach it to the original and classify it according
21 to subject matter.
22 Q. Okay. Before we get into the classification of the documents,
23 we're talking about the source of the documents. And I think -- was the
24 army obliged to send you documents? How did you source your documents?
25 A. As this was the central archive of the Army of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina of the General Staff which was later transformed again, but
2 through orders sent to subordinate units, we obliged them to send us
3 archive material. And it was an obligation on their part to respect the
4 deadlines, the method of processing, and to send us those materials as
5 soon as possible.
6 So we issued a number of acts that were, in fact, orders
7 instructing subordinate units to keep collecting, safekeeping, and
8 processing documents, and passing them on to us.
9 Q. So now that we have learned how you source your documents, could
10 you tell us how you -- the categories you put the documents in and how you
11 identified the documents.
12 A. I already said that we had roughly four main groups, but the most
13 important among those groups was the first group where we placed documents
14 signed by the commander or the main commanders from the main commands and
15 units. So these were documents that were orders, commands. Those were
16 the most important documents in our view.
17 Then came the second group of documents that we called reports.
18 These were documents coming from subordinate units or units that received
19 orders from a higher command. And then they sent reports following such
20 orders. And these were reports mostly signed by subordinate unit
21 commanders. So we had the freedom to make those categories and classify
22 documents accordingly.
23 The third and fourth group of documents were related to training,
24 decisions, plans, I can't remember exactly all the details. But these
25 were military documents. So to facilitate our work, we made these
2 Then there was another breakdown according to commands, for
3 instance. For example, we had the General Staff on one ledge, or the 1st
4 Corps, and then within that the four groups of documents.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, what means did you use or what method did you use
6 to assess the authenticity of the document?
7 A. The customary ways. There were several things that were
8 recognisable. Of course, first of all, there was the correspondence.
9 Once the archive was fully set in motion, then the handover, takeover of
10 documents was a kind of authentication because when a document was handed
11 over, then it had to be logged and certified. However, other points of
12 importance probably in all archives, we knew the heading, the form of the
13 document, the signature, roughly. We were familiar with the stamps that
14 all documents should have had as far as that was possible.
15 Among those documents, there were frequent cases that we didn't
16 have the original, but we had a photocopy of an original. But we kept
17 even those because of the contents or because of some information they
18 contained. And then we did our best to trace the original if we could.
19 Q. So, Major, if I were to understand you correctly, there were
20 certain characteristics that had to be present in a document before it
21 could be considered genuine or authentic?
22 A. Well, yes.
23 Q. And some of those characteristics will be the seal, the signature,
24 and could you assist us if there were any more.
25 A. At the beginning of the war, for instance, in 1992, documents bore
1 a red seal. And we knew immediately who the commander was for as long as
2 there was this red seal. We later learned that it was a sign of
3 authenticity. Because at first, I don't know if I may speak freely, the
4 point was to prevent the so-called first column from infiltrating a
5 document of their own. So this red seal indicated genuineness. I don't
6 think there were many such documents. I think only in 1992 and the
7 beginning of 1993. But later on, there were the blue seals when things
8 became more developed.
9 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, at this time may the witness
10 be shown Prosecution Exhibit 133, please.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could it be placed on the ELMO,
13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Yes, Mr. President.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something, Your Honour?
15 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say that in my last
17 contact with representatives of the Tribunal, when we were in Konjic, some
18 of the archival material was taken for the needs of the Tribunal in
19 The Hague. And it is my moral duty --
20 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: We will come to that. We're coming to that.
21 One second.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Could you put -- is it on the ELMO?
24 Q. Okay. Major, do you see the document on your screen?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. If you had to look at that document, could you illustrate
2 for us the characters you would try to pull out of it to determine whether
3 it's genuine or authentic. And could we start from the top of the
5 A. We see immediately in the heading whose document it is, which
6 command it comes from, the dates, the year, the square stamp which often
7 we used as indication of authenticity, though we gave priority to the
8 round stamp. But this administrative stamp indicating that it is the
9 Ministry of Defence also meant a lot. It was one of the signs of
10 recognition. Then to whom it is addressed, who the author is, and who the
11 addressee. Then we also looked at the subject. From this heading, we see
12 discussions on cessation of hostilities. Actually, we didn't analyse the
13 contents as a whole because that would move us away from our daily duties.
14 But as the head or chief, I always tried to learn what the text was about.
15 As I lived in Sarajevo and I followed developments as much as I
16 could, I think it didn't take me long to realise what the text was about.
17 Then the capitals, the abbreviations which were mostly in capitals, and
18 that also served as a sign of recognition. I see UNPROFOR here, then the
19 HVO, then Central Bosnia, RBiH. All these are capitals that I would
20 notice immediately. So that was also one of the ways of identifying the
21 document. And then we knew who the main commander was, and we recognised
22 many signatures, many signatures of commanders. So if all these details
23 were logical, then we knew that this was some sort of an original
25 But if one of those main elements was missing, for instance, a
1 stamp, it would still be classified as part of the archives and as an
2 original document. Also, if there's anything in handwriting, as on this
3 document, this also helped us to recognise it because it would contain a
4 signature or a message, and we had a certain trust in these elements.
5 Q. So Major, ideally this document with the characteristics that you
6 pointed out, this is basically what would be considered as an authentic
7 document as far as the archives are concerned? This document would have
8 presented all the characteristics that you would have needed for you to
9 verify it is authentic or genuine?
10 A. This document doesn't have some key evidence. It doesn't have a
11 stamp and a written signature. However, in view of the fact that our
12 intention was to keep archival documents, I would have taken this one
13 probably and classified it among -- under the subject it belongs to. If
14 it was a discussion of hostilities, as this one is, it wouldn't be in the
15 first group but certainly in the second group. But again, it depends on
16 the contents.
17 This is not an order, so it wouldn't be put in the first group,
18 but somewhere there even though commanders' documents were basically put
19 in group 1. But it has quite a number of elements showing that it was
20 drafted in our units, in our command, and even the event it refers to, as
21 I was able to see by glancing through it quickly. But something is
22 missing. Yet, I would keep it in the group, and that is probably what I
23 did with this particular document as well.
24 Q. Thank you, Major.
25 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Could the document be removed, please. Thank
2 Q. Major, could you kindly assist us now with photocopies. When you
3 received photocopies, what was the procedure in the archives? Did you
4 attempt to find the originals? How did you deal with photocopies? How
5 were they categorised?
6 A. Particularly at the beginning, it was my position that we must
7 take care of all archival material. We would keep them in big boxes. And
8 there were originals and photocopies and fax reports, et cetera, in those
9 boxes. But my opinion was that all these documents should be carefully
10 looked through, but this required a lot of time and we were always under
11 pressure of other obligations. We had our regular duties to take care of.
12 And I believe that we have managed to preserve quite a number of
13 documents. There were some papers written by a commander on a piece of
14 paper somewhere on the ground, on top of a hill or I don't know where.
15 But we kept it. It may not have any importance, but we still kept it even
16 though it didn't have a heading or anything. He may be saying "send such
17 and such a unit up there." I can't remember all the details. But we
18 would keep photocopies and duplicates until we found a particular place to
19 put them in, until we saw that they were superfluous and an additional
20 burden for our archives.
21 But we kept a lot of these documents, and we were proven to have
22 acted correctly later on.
23 Q. Thank you, Major. What is the procedure that is followed by the
24 archives with respect to requests for documents at the archives? Did you
25 dispatch your originals? How did you deal with the requests for documents
1 in the archives? Generally first.
2 A. Do you mean requests from the Tribunal?
3 Q. Well, let us first deal with it generally. How would you deal
4 with a general request, and then we'll go into the specifics of the
6 A. Whatever we were under obligation to give to someone, I would
7 receive an order from the commander, from the main commander of the army.
8 He would say "to the head of the archives personally" or "to the archives,
9 I order that for the needs of the Tribunal in The Hague or for the needs
10 of a court in Zenica or anywhere else, reports dated the 5th of October,
11 for instance, should be provided." So only following orders from the
12 commander. So we would hand over archived material to individuals coming
13 to look for it once we received the order from the commander. In most
14 cases, somebody from the Defence Ministry could clarify any points that
15 were not clear. That was the procedure. And that was the procedure
16 followed when we had to give material to the Tribunal.
17 Q. Now, what would you give -- would you give the original, the
18 authentic document, or would you give photocopies?
19 A. We would mostly give originals or whatever it is we had.
20 Sometimes we only had a photocopy. Then we would give that photocopy
21 pointing out that that is what we have found in our archives. It is in
22 the first group, but it is a photocopy, or it may be a document that it
23 doesn't contain all the elements proving its validity or authenticity.
24 So whatever we were requested to give, we had to give. In what
25 form? In the form in which we had it. But mostly, it was originals that
1 were requested, and we gave the originals if we had them.
2 Q. But earlier on in your testimony, you indicated to us that the
3 major purpose of the archives was for preservation of the documents. If
4 you give out your originals, I'm thinking, what happens? Do you make
5 photocopies to keep in the archives? How do you deal with it?
6 A. In most cases when we give originals, we would produce photocopies
7 and keep them. However, when the Tribunal was in question, the last time
8 a large quantity of original archive material was taken from the military
9 archives, we simply for technical and physical reasons were unable to
10 photocopy all those documents straight away as they were so numerous.
11 And so that brings me to what I wanted to say: The archived
12 material taken in large quantities for the needs of the Tribunal in The
13 Hague was handed over to the Tribunal in the original, in most cases.
14 However, after a certain period of time the Tribunal returned photocopies
15 of those documents. All the originals that were handed over were
16 photocopied and returned to the military archives as photocopies, whereas
17 the originals are here in the Tribunal. Because we were unable to
18 photocopy them straight away because they were so numerous.
19 Q. Major, how do you determine what documents you're handing over?
20 A. I would usually read this order. And in this order, it would be
21 stated that you need to give such and such material to somebody who will
22 be coming either from a military unit or a civilian authority indicating
23 the date and the time when this person would come. And following the
24 order, we would then hand over those documents to that person. And, of
25 course, there would be a written receipt that would have to be signed.
1 Q. And correct me if I'm wrong, would you not have to have some
2 inventory taken?
3 A. Inventory? I don't understand. I don't understand the question.
4 Q. Would a list of the documents that have been removed be recorded?
5 A. Yes, there would be a list. For example, they would ask for an
6 order from the 3rd Corps command, from the 2nd Corps command, or a certain
7 report would be requested. There would be a list. We would compile a
8 list. And on the basis of this list, it would be easier for us when
9 entering the archives to find the documents requested in the order.
10 Q. So in particular, the Tribunal, any documents that you would have
11 handed over, you would have made a list and you would have been able to
12 know whether it's an authentic document or if it's a photocopy that you
13 would have handed over. Am I correct?
14 A. When dealing with the Tribunal, all the archival material taken by
15 the Tribunal would be listed by us, or rather Tribunal representative
16 would compile an entire list, and I would follow this. And then the
17 entire list of the archival material that had been taken would be signed
18 by myself and the Tribunal representative. As far as the material that
19 was important is concerned or interesting, we would usually provide the
20 originals, and these documents would be listed. And it was clear that we
21 had handed over orders, reports, et cetera, et cetera. So there were
22 lists which had been signed. And the Tribunal and the archives would have
23 these signatures, these list that had been signed. And even the
24 representative of the ministry would have a copy because a representative
25 of the Ministry of Defence was present in the archives. He was a sort of
1 link between my subordinates and the civilian bodies. And naturally, he'd
2 be a link with the representative of -- from this Tribunal. He was also
3 present there and would sign a list of -- listing the archival material
4 that had been handed over.
5 Q. And that list would be basically to verify or to represent that
6 the documents listed were the documents that were in your custody, and
7 they were original documents which you handed over. Am I correct?
8 A. Yes. That's correct.
9 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, could the
10 witness be shown document with the ERN 01062519, please, for verification.
11 Q. Witness, could you put the document on the ELMO, please. In
12 discussing the procedure that went on in particular with the Tribunal and
13 the accessing of documents from the archives, you indicated to us that a
14 list is prepared normally. Could you indicate for us on the document, and
15 this is just an example, could you indicate for us the list on this
16 document, please.
17 A. Is there something I should say?
18 Q. Yes. This is a typical document that you just referred to? Is
19 this how it's prepared?
20 A. Yes. Yes, this is a good example. On the top, under the title,
21 it mentions the relevant period, the year of the material that I signed.
22 A representative is also referred to. And here, there's a reference to
23 the documents that we handed over. It mentions a signature. This is a
24 good example of how archival material was handed over.
25 Q. And would the covering page be the receipt that you referred to?
1 The top page, would that be the receipt that you referred to?
2 A. Yes, yes. The date is mentioned here; the period, from the 12th
3 to the 13th. It says who participated in this, representatives of the
4 Tribunal, of the ministry, and myself. My signature is here.
5 Q. Thank you, Major.
6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I think we can remove the document.
7 Q. And one final question, Major: Would you say that your archive,
8 the archive of the ABiH Army, would have collected basically all the
9 materials which existed during the conflict? And if not all, most of the
11 A. I think that most of the documents were collected, although a
12 significant part is missing. Above all, because of certain things that
13 were the result of the war. I know that we had problems in certain units
14 because there were no premises in which archival material could be kept.
15 A lot of material was damaged because we didn't have the premises in which
16 to keep them because the paper would be damaged by humidity, et cetera.
17 And there were changes which occurred all the time, and as a result we
18 didn't have the appropriate personnel for the archives. In Bosnia, we
19 didn't have people who had been educated in archival science. There was a
20 secondary school -- the secondary school in Sarajevo which -- out of
21 which certain archival specialists would come out from time to time. But
22 there are many factors which contributed to the fact that certain archival
23 material was damaged. And perhaps certain people weren't aware of the
24 fact that it was important to preserve archival material. Naturally, we
25 attempted to influence them through orders, through persuasion, et cetera,
1 et cetera.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Major.
3 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is the
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 I'll now turn to the Defence.
7 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Omerkic. You have recognised me,
9 but I'll introduce myself again. My name is Edina Residovic and I am
10 representing General Hadzihasanovic in this case. I'd be grateful if you
11 could answer a number of questions that have to do with the subject
12 discussed by my learned colleague from the Prosecution.
13 You've already told the Trial Chamber that you've appeared before
14 this Tribunal as a witness, and you testified about archival material.
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. On both occasions, it was in the Celebici case; on one occasion,
17 the Prosecution called you as a witness, and on the second occasion it was
18 the Defence for Mr. Delalic. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's quite correct.
20 Q. Recently, you gave two statements to the Prosecution, one on the
21 15th of March and one on the 3rd of June 2004. Is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. On both occasions, your statements had to do with free access on
24 the part of OTP investigators to the BH Army archives. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since I want to ask
2 a question to the Prosecution, could the witness leave the courtroom for a
3 minute since I have to ask the Prosecution a question given the answer
4 that the witness has just given us.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major, you will have to leave
6 the courtroom for a few minutes, and we will call you back.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, with your leave,
9 I'd like the Prosecution to explain this fact to us. From the statement
10 that the Prosecution provided us with dated the 3rd of June 2004, we found
11 out that this witness told the Prosecution that he already testified on
12 the 15th of March 2001 with regard to the archives. We informed the
13 Prosecution of this yesterday, and we received a copy of the second
14 statement in English. We are not asking why it wasn't provided to us at a
15 prior date, given the obligations of the Prosecution, and we are not
16 asking why the statement isn't in B/C/S because it's a very short
18 As a result -- since it was a short statement, we were able to
19 inform our client of its contents. But my question is: Given that the
20 witness in this statement talks about the fact that between the 9th of
21 March 2001 and the 15th of March 2001, members of the ICTY had free access
22 to the archives and they took from the BH archives certain documents,
23 maps, various other documents that they copied. My question for the
24 Prosecution is whether this is material that has to do with this case
25 because when explaining the documents that the Prosecution has at its
1 disposal, Mr. Withopf on the 27th of April informed the Trial Chamber that
2 the Prosecution only had access to the BH army archives on two occasions,
3 in the year 2000 in the month of October, and in the year 2002. No one
4 mentioned access to the archives and taking documents from the archives in
5 March 2001. And the witness testified about this, or stated that this was
6 something that happened in his statement.
7 So it is our belief that the Prosecution should first provide us
8 with an explanation, and we should be informed of whether we have all the
9 material that we need in order to cross-examine this witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Benjamin, the Defence
11 has told us the following: The witness allegedly -- according to
12 Mr. Withopf, the witness was examined, and Mr. Withopf said that the OTP
13 went to the archives and apparently worked within the archives and took
14 some documents from the archives in the course of the year 2000. This was
15 done on two occasions, in the year 2000, October 2000, and in the course
16 of the year 2002. And the Defence notes that in the witness's written
17 statement, the archivist said that in the year 2001, not in the year 2000
18 or the year 2002, the OTP returned to the archives and took documents from
19 the archives. The Defence would like to know whether the documents taken
20 in the year 2001 are documents that relate to this case, documents that
21 they are not familiar with. Or the visit in 2001 perhaps had to do with
22 another case and not with this one. Are you in a position to inform the
23 Trial Chamber about this subject?
24 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I became involved in this
25 matter some 16, 17 weeks ago, and I'm not too familiar with what
1 transpired before. But I do know that when I went to Sarajevo to conduct
2 interview, I discovered that the witness had given evidence twice at a
3 Trial Chamber here, and so I requested the transcripts be forwarded to me
4 right away. And then subsequently I got the witness statement of which my
5 friend alludes to. And I was told when I called that this apparently was
6 investigations done for another case, and that the investigations that
7 were done in 2002 or the seizure that was done in 2002. In 2001 was done
8 for the purposes of this case, the one that was done by Mr. Withopf and
9 company. That was done in relation to the present case that's before us.
10 And I'm told that the one -- two or one was in particular in relation to
11 another case.
12 Mr. Mundis who I think would be more familiar, is not with us now.
13 But if my friend wishes, I can investigate further and certainly let the
14 Trial Chamber know. But I think that that was for another case, I'm
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the Prosecution
17 has told us that according to the information they have, if someone went
18 to the archives in 2001, it had nothing to do with the present case. But
19 Ms. Benjamin can't confirm this; only Mr. Mundis could do so. So this is
20 something we could ask Mr. Mundis next week when he will be present in the
22 Is there anything else you would like to tell us? It's quite
23 possible, unless the witness is mistaken, but it is quite possible that
24 the OTP went there in March 2001 to investigate a completely different
25 case that has nothing to do with this one.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I take note of the
2 explanations from the Prosecution. But for the sake of the transcript, I
3 would just like to point out that a representative of the Prosecution on
4 the 27th of April 2004 informed all of us, and above all, the Trial
5 Chamber, that they only went to the archives on two occasions, from the
6 11th of October to the 19th of October 2000; this is on page 6170. And on
7 the second occasion, it was from the 15th to the 19th of April 2001 [as
8 interpreted]; this is on page 6181.
9 We wanted to clarify this matter. I will now continue with my
10 cross-examination of the witness. And if my learned colleague obtains any
11 additional information, I would be grateful if she could inform the
13 There is a mistake in line 18. It's from the 15th to the 19th of
14 April 2002, not 2001, which is what the transcript says.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I also noticed that, and I
16 was wondering whether there was a fourth visit to the archives which would
17 have made the situation even more complex.
18 It's 5.25. We should have our break at 5.30. So it would be best
19 to have our break now. And we will resume at 5 to 6.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 5.59 p.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor for your
23 questions, Madam.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Omerkic, you told us that you graduated from the university
1 and from the department that has library science as a subject.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But before the war you never worked in an archives or library, did
5 A. No.
6 Q. Also before the war, you didn't have any experience with the
7 Yugoslav Army, nor did you work for it?
8 A. No, but I do my regular military service in the former JNA.
9 Q. Also before the war you did not work in the Territorial Defence of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Like any other citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the
13 beginning of the war you joined the Territorial Defence, and as you told
14 us you were engaged in the municipal TO staff of Stari Grad Municipality
15 in Sarajevo. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. After that, during the war, you spent some time in the military
18 police, and then in the regional staff of the TO, and finally in the 1st
19 Corps. Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. None of these duties had to do with collecting archival material,
22 did it?
23 A. No.
24 Q. As you already told us, in 1995, sometime in 1995, you were
25 appointed to the newly formed archives of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When you took over your duty there, you found a certain number of
4 army documents which needed to be categorised. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You had no knowledge as to how those documents were collected or
7 brought there which the archives had to register and categorise and
9 A. I would like to add that before I joined the archives, a former
10 JNA colonel was working there for a short time because he had already
11 announced that he would be leaving. And I was appointed by order from the
12 1st Corps as head of the archives. And when I came, this other gentleman
13 left. They had started work on the archives, but they hadn't done much.
14 There were lots of documents that had not been processed, and we continued
15 processing this material, and we worked from then on as I have described.
16 Q. There were three other persons working with you. Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Neither they nor you had any prior knowledge regarding collecting
19 and processing archival material. Is that right?
20 A. They worked there. They would work in the way their chief told
21 them to. But these were the initial steps. It was only after my arrival
22 that more organised efforts were invested.
23 After me, another lady joined, and she was an archival technician.
24 She had graduated from a secondary school which trained people in that
25 field, though she was new there with no experience.
1 Q. So you started working there after you received an order from
2 Commander Delic and after a temporary book of rules was adopted, and it
3 was only then that you started in an organised manner to collect and
4 classify the material.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But this was already after the war in 1995 and 1996. Is that
8 A. I think that the war was still on. I'm afraid I'm not very good
9 with dates. But I think this was before Dayton that the archives had been
10 set in motion. An order had been issued to set up the archives, but I
11 don't remember exactly when that was. But I think the war was still going
13 Q. This order obliged war units to send a copy of all their documents
14 to the archives. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You've already said that the conditions for work in the archives
17 were poor and that you were moved several times from the time you joined
18 until you left the archives. Is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. First of all, you were housed in the small building not far from
21 the Defence Ministry which was destroyed by fire. Though, according to
22 your testimony, many documents were saved, the most important part of the
23 archives was saved, nevertheless many documents were damaged. And there
24 was a certain disruption from the already-established structure of your
25 archival material. Is that right?
1 A. Let's say it is, though actually we acted according to the system
2 imposed upon us. There were certain disturbances, but we believe that the
3 most important documents were preserved.
4 Q. From then until the present to the best of your recollection, the
5 archives moved four times. They were accommodated in four different
6 places, the faculty of political sciences, Ramiz Salcin, Konjic, and now
7 the most recent accommodation is in the premises of the former military
9 A. A small building next to the military hospital.
10 Q. As a person dealing with archives, you can certainly confirm in
11 court that transportation of tens of thousands of documents can lead to
12 the loss and damage of documents and other problems which affect the value
13 of the documents in the archives?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If I understood you correctly, you said that the first reason to
16 form the archives were of a historical reason; that is, to preserve army
17 documents so that one day one would be able to say what was going on
18 during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 A. I had to work according to the orders of the command. I was an
20 officer, and I had to obey orders. And in my statement, I emphasised
21 this. I was living in the hope that by these compulsory activities of
22 ours, we would be doing something that would be meaningful, that would
23 help to establish the truth regarding this unfortunate history that we
25 Q. The order by Delic was forwarded to units throughout the area
1 under the control of the BH Army?
2 A. I expect so.
3 Q. You acted on those orders, and I assume that some of your own
4 documents were meant to speed up the execution of the order. Is that
6 A. Yes, though, at the beginning, now that some time has passed, it
7 seems to me that no one took the archives seriously or sufficiently
8 seriously, seriously enough. In Bosnia, even today, people somehow think
9 that the archives are a nuisance and they can end up somewhere in the
10 dump. And that is how people looked at it in the army at least. That is
11 my impression.
12 Q. Even though Commander Delic's order indicated the deadlines
13 whereby the archives were to be established, as the head of those
14 archives, you knew that those deadlines were not observed and that new
15 orders had to be issued, but the documents did not reach you precisely for
16 the reasons you have now mentioned.
17 A. That is true. Deadlines were not respected. Some documents would
18 be forwarded; others not.
19 Q. Tell me, please, when you received some material, that material
20 was usually not systematised or orderly for you to be able to file it into
21 the archives immediately but you yourself had to categorise those
22 documents according to the book of rules?
23 A. At the beginning when I was still very enthusiastic about it, I
24 tried to save as much as I possibly could, and maybe I was an idealist.
25 And I would accept even documents that were not adequately processed.
1 There were such cases. But there were also other cases as the archives
2 were running in, I would turn back a whole military truckful of documents
3 because they hadn't been properly processed. And we were unable to do it
4 ourselves as we were too few. Later on, our activities were expanded, and
5 then we forced them to do their bit of the work properly. At first, there
6 may have been some cases when we didn't strictly abide by the archival
8 Q. But another reason why the unit did not send you documents, and
9 you referred to it to some extent, was that much of the army documents due
10 to the war were lost, destroyed, or simply went missing. So the units
11 couldn't send you the documents that had disappeared from their own
13 A. Well, this is a question that perhaps needs a lengthy explanation.
14 Whatever I would say would not be adequate because people who were
15 assigned to the archives were not aware of what they should do or they
16 didn't have the means to do it. Things varied from one unit to another.
17 So that what would happen was that in premises where a certain unit used
18 to be or a command, we would find it empty and no materials available. If
19 we found some material, we would collect it and process it ourselves. But
20 later on, we forced those whose responsibility it was to do it properly.
21 Q. Once those materials reached your archives, did you mark it in any
22 way so that you would know when and which document reached the archive?
23 A. This was regulated by the handover-takeover. For instance, we
24 found a box of documents with no notes on them or we would find four
25 boxfuls of various archival material. Actually, whatever reached us was
1 registered once the archives became more effective.
2 Q. At first, and maybe even now, documents would be received in large
3 quantities, several packages of documents from the 306th Brigade or the
4 5th Corps, so that when you receive those documents you were simply unable
5 to log each and every document in that package. Is that right?
6 A. There were no cases when a unit would bring us documents and give
7 them to us and say "here you are, process them." But archival material
8 that someone came across that were not registered, I don't know how they
9 reached the archives. Even before this archives was formed, I don't know
10 what was going on. Obviously, archival material had accumulated in the
11 meantime which hadn't been registered anywhere. They were just -- these
12 documents would just be put in boxes, and what we did was to classify
13 those documents and process them in accordance with the rules. However,
14 there were no cases when somebody would come from a particular unit and
15 give us documents and say "here you are, there were attempts to make us do
16 it all ourselves, but we didn't have the time to do it."
17 Q. Tell me, please, once a document reaches the archives of the BH
18 Army, is it given some kind of a mark whereby it can be recognised as
19 coming from the BH archives regardless of whether it will be taken from
20 the archives or get lost or be returned to it? So my question is: Did
21 you mark a document that reached you, mark it in a recognisable manner, or
22 did you just log it into a book?
23 A. In addition to the logging of documents, we took the liberty with
24 an ordinary pencil to mark these documents. And there were boxfuls of
25 them. And looking through all those papers, we would indicate this is the
1 1st Corps. To speed things up. We weren't even aware that we shouldn't
2 be doing that. But I said that we could use an ordinary pencil. This
3 should be under group 1 in pencil, 1, 2, or 3, in pencil. So once we
4 complete the reports from a particular unit, then we make a list according
5 to how many we have. Sometimes a document may be missing. Then we would
6 note it down on a piece of paper. We would just down the numbers.
7 Q. If I understand you correctly, so these documents that are logged
8 in the archival documents is -- are not marked in any particular way.
9 A. No. I would write down these numbers, though I shouldn't have
10 done that either. But in view of the conditions we were working in, it
11 made it easier.
12 Q. You made reference to the red seal. Is it true that red seals in
13 the former JNA were placed only on the most confidential documents bearing
14 the designation of a state secret regardless of who drafted it and from
15 what level? For instance, war plans and plans of deployment of units.
16 Did you know that?
17 A. I didn't know that the red seal was the seal of the former JNA and
18 of the military secret. But before I became an archivist, I was told that
19 I should trust only the orders signed by the main commander and bearing
20 the red seal, which would indicate that it was strictly confidential so
21 that nobody could plant a false document on us. Actually, both the red
22 seal and the blue seals are authentic for me. But I think that the red
23 seal, and I don't know who I learned it from, was the one that should be
24 relied upon.
25 Q. Very well. Now, you told us about the shortage of all kind of
1 materials during the war, including the ink for stamps was in short
2 supply. So, as you said, there were no rules as to which colour or what
3 kind of stamp should be used for documents. Everyone did their best and
4 used what they had.
5 A. Yes. But I think the colour of the stamp is complicating things a
6 little. When I said that there was a shortage of ink, I didn't really
7 mention ink. But one could see that the text wasn't clear, the words were
8 not clear, which meant that the typewriter ribbons were old so that the
9 letters were not clear.
10 Q. Let me clarify my questions to make it easier for you to answer
11 them. You told us when you receive a document, you look to see whether
12 there's a stamp, whether there's a signature. And if you recognise the
13 signature of commanders then these would be put in a more important
14 category, shall we call it first or second category. Is that right?
15 A. All these key and recognisable elements were crucial. There
16 wasn't one that was of primordial importance. The signature itself was
17 not enough. When we had a stamp and a heading and many other elements of
18 evidence, could we consider a document to be authentic.
19 Q. However, none of you was a handwriting expert, and you couldn't
20 claim with certainty that a particular signature belonged to the person
21 indicated on the document. Is that right?
22 A. Well, I suppose so.
23 Q. Actually, it was up to you to judge whether a particular commander
24 or chief of staff or some other person has signed the document, or that
25 you believed had signed the document. Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a document. This is P133, which you
3 described. So I would like to ask you to look at that document once again
4 so that I can ask you a few questions about it.
5 This literature has the typewritten name of the commander, and it
6 says here that it is certified by stamp and signature.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you make a distinction between a document like this and
9 another one which would have in addition to the name that is typewritten,
10 the handwritten signature of the commander and the stamp of that
11 particular unit; in this case, the 3rd Corps? Would you attribute less
12 importance to this document as compared to a document that would contain a
13 signature and a stamp?
14 A. I said a moment ago that a document of this kind which doesn't
15 contain all the important elements like a stamp, handwritten signature in
16 ink, we would classify it in the group it belonged to. When other
17 documents such documents stored signed by the same commander, the same
18 stamp, regardless of the fact that we don't see the signature here. I
19 wasn't saying whether this is authentic or not. But I would put a
20 document of this kind in the group it belonged to, and then I would search
21 for the original with the stamp and signature and all the other indicia.
22 That was how we worked. Because if I were to reject this, then somebody
23 in the lower-level units might act irresponsibly. We thought this could
24 be of assistance in finding the original with the stamp and all the other
25 key elements required.
1 Q. If I understand you correctly, when you received a document of
2 this kind without a signature and a stamp, you would continue your
3 investigations, and only once you found the original, that is, the
4 document with a signature and stamp, would it -- you consider that to be
5 the original of that document. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. However, in addition to the documents that reached you
8 in the archives in the wartime military units for many years in accordance
9 with your book of rules, certain documents were left behind that were kept
10 in the units. Is that right?
11 A. Probably, yes. All the documents were not handed over.
12 Q. So some documents had to be kept in the units according to the
13 rules for a certain number of years, and only after that time elapsed did
14 it have to be handed over to the archives?
15 A. For as long as this document may have been needed by the unit
16 because it was more difficult to get the document from the archives. So I
17 think it was the rule to keep documents in the units for about a year to
18 be able to monitor the execution of orders. I'm not sure I can express
19 myself properly, but I think that they had up to a year to keep the
20 document in their own unit if that is where it originated.
21 Q. However, all these requirements, when documents should be handed
22 over, which documents, for how long they should stay in the units, all
23 this was regulated by instructions issued by the army commander regarding
24 the handling of certain documents. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When you saw this document a moment ago that doesn't have a stamp
2 or signature on it, is it true that in the archives you didn't know why a
3 particular document does not bear a signature or stamp, nor was it your
4 duty to establish why that particular document doesn't have a signature or
5 stamp? That was not part of your work, was it?
6 A. No, it wasn't. But we felt it to be our duty to seek out the
7 documents or what was lacking on documents. We didn't have the time nor
8 could we leave and go to the 3rd Corps or somewhere else looking for it.
9 Though sometimes we did go to certain units to show them how they should
10 work and how they should hand over documents to us. So how this document
11 reached us, we don't know. It doesn't have the key characteristics
12 needed, but we accepted it, and we continued looking for the original.
13 Q. You said if a unit failed to give you processed material, later on
14 you would send those materials back to the unit to put it in order.
15 However, is it true that you never expected or asked the units to tell you
16 how they had come into the possession of those documents? That was not a
17 question of interest to the archives, was it?
18 A. I'm afraid the question is not quite clear to me. But later on,
19 as the archives became more developed, we received documents which were
20 listed. When we checked the documents against the list, I don't think
21 that they would ever give us some other document that didn't belong to
22 that particular unit. If they did, I can't remember now. But if they
23 did, we would insist that there would be -- there should be a list, a list
24 showing that you handed over this certain documents and that we received
25 them. Actually, they were handing over documents for which they were
1 responsible. In their units there was an archivist who had to make a list
2 of those documents and hand it over to us.
3 Q. As you mostly collected documents or material that originated
4 during the war, is it true that during the war there were frequent
5 organisational changes in the army so that documents would frequently
6 change hands going from one unit to another so that you don't know which
7 unit was actually the author of the document; you just know who gave you
8 the document. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, it is true that there were transformations in units. For
10 example, a brigade would first be called 1st Brigade, then two years later
11 it would be called the 101st, and then towards the end of the war it may
12 be called the 501st Brigade. So there were changes in the units. And we
13 always contacted with the individual who handed over documents. And once
14 we put documents on the shelf belonging to a particular brigade, for
15 instance, the 1st Brigade, then as it changed names, we put 101st, and
16 then 501st without entering into who the commander was. But still knowing
17 that the documents related to a particular unit, regardless of any
18 transformations that may have been taken place. It may be the 1st or the
19 101st. So we wanted to help future investigators in this way.
20 Q. In fact, if I put it this way, you didn't follow the chain of
21 transmission of documents from the time it was created up until the time
22 that a given unit carrying out the orders of Commander Delic provided you
23 with the document in question. For example, in Travnik, the 17th Krajina
24 Brigade perhaps issued a document that you would receive in the archives
25 in 1995. But would it be true to say that you didn't know how this
1 document circulated, which units it passed through, whose hands it passed
2 through until the time that it arrived in the archives of the BH Army. Is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. But in such a situation, it was important
5 for me that the person who came to hand over such material to me in the
6 archives was material -- this was material that I took charge of as
7 original material. And all such material I considered to be material of a
8 certain kind, although some of the documents didn't have some of the key
9 elements required. They didn't have some of the key elements that an
10 original requires. Sometimes it would be a photocopy. Sometimes
11 something would be missing.
12 Q. When you would receive a document from the year 1992 or 1993, for
13 example, when you had it in your hands, you didn't know who issued the
14 document, who signed it, whether the person's whose name is mentioned is
15 the actual person who signed it, you don't know whether the order was
16 forwarded to a unit or not; in such cases you wouldn't know whether the
17 unit received a document or not. All such important issues for the
18 military are not issues that you in the archives could be aware of. You
19 couldn't find answers to these questions when you received documents from
20 units at a subsequent date. Is that correct?
21 A. The question is a little lengthy, and I'm not sure that I've
22 followed you. In 1996 and later on, when we received such material, the
23 quantity of material received was substantial. Among the material we
24 received, when the material was delivered by a car full of material, I was
25 interested in the certified list. Then I would check the order. And then
1 we would proceed rapidly because at the time I didn't have enough time to
2 examine all the essential characteristics. What was important for me was
3 that I had a complete list of documents that had been certified by their
4 commander who was in Tuzla or I don't know where.
5 And then if there was a complete list of all the orders, we were
6 able to proceed with this handover of documents more rapidly. So for us
7 archivists this manner of proceeding was sufficient. So I couldn't
8 examine the documents in detail as I did in 1995 when the quantity of
9 documents handed over was not that great.
10 Q. Very well. Perhaps we haven't understood each other very well.
11 I'll try to put briefer questions to you. Do you still have the document,
12 the Prosecution's Document P133 dated 26th of January 1993?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. It says that this document was issued on the 26th of January 1993.
15 Would it be correct to say that you personally do not know whether this
16 document was issued on the 26th of January 1993 or not? This isn't one of
17 your tasks. Is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. You also don't know whether Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic drafted
20 this document?
21 A. No, I don't. The name can be found at the bottom --
22 Q. But as an archivist have no personal knowledge of this?
23 A. No.
24 Q. If you received this document in 1996 when the archives were
25 created, you do not know where this document was from the 26th of January
1 1993 up until the time it entered your archives. You don't know the chain
2 of custody.
3 A. No.
4 Q. Likewise, you do not know whether in the meantime anyone added
5 other information to this document or whether anyone amended or changed
6 the document because this isn't an archivist's task. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 Likewise, you don't know who from January 1993 up until the time
10 that the document arrived in the archives, you don't know who had access
11 to this document during that period?
12 A. No, I don't know. All I know is about the documents that I was
13 handed over. These aren't things that I can answer because I don't know
14 whose office it was in, which commander had given the document, et cetera.
15 These are things I don't know. I know how I received certain documents.
16 This is what I know. But as to what certain units had, I can't say
17 anything about that. But I could tell you certain stories just like every
18 other Bosnian could. I could tell you that a certain commander was in a
19 given place, another commander in another place. I could engage in
21 Q. Likewise, you didn't know when a unit was disbanded or, for
22 example, the 3rd Corps was disbanded? In such cases, weren't interested
23 in who within those units preserved some of the wartime material of those
24 documents. This isn't something you were interested in until the time
25 that you received those documents.
1 A. Look, this was of importance to us. I asked my chief, my boss, to
2 ask the commander -- to tell the commander that educated people should
3 work in the archives, people who had a certain degree of literacy, people
4 in a position to process such material. Because sometimes material could
5 get dirty. It was wartime. It wasn't a gentleman's job, as they said in
6 Bosnia. But we insisted on the fact that it was very important for us to
7 have educated and trained people working in the archives. And we asked
8 for good equipment, and they promised to provide us with more contemporary
10 Q. Very well. You said that when you received a document in
11 accordance with the orders issued by your superior, you were authorised to
12 allow people mentioned in that order to have access to the archives?
13 A. Yes. If someone requested access to the archives -- well, in
14 fact, the commander would inform us of who would be coming to the
15 archives, and then we were told to provide that person with access to the
17 Q. You also said that if there was a state request, request from
18 military organs, you could issue documents from the archives if the
19 commander ordered you to do so.
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. As a rule, you provided such people, such individuals with copies
22 of the documents, and you would provide a statement according to which the
23 original was in the archives of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 A. Well, if the Tribunal is in question, yes, we would provide a
25 statement stating what the case was. But when certain civilians, people
1 from civilian structures, for example, doctors, the police, et cetera,
2 judges in Bosnia, when they made requests, we would make a record of this
3 in a certain notebook. We would say on the basis of a commander's order,
4 such and such a document was provided, and I would then sign this. This
5 was the usual way of providing archival material.
6 Q. At the request of a state organ, a court, or someone else, you
7 would also check to see whether the documents that they had in their
8 possession were documents the originals of which you had in the archives.
9 And you would either provide oral testimony with regard to this matter as
10 you did in the case of -- in the Celebici case, or you would put this in
12 A. Yes, that's correct. I did this very seldom, and it was usually
13 in situations like the one I'm in now. It was at the request of the
14 Tribunal, et cetera. That's when I would personally testify.
15 Q. Before this large quantity of documents were taken out of the
16 archives, and my learned colleague has asked you about this, you would on
17 the whole provide smaller quantities of documents, at the most about ten
18 documents would be provided in the archives. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. In the year 2000, in fact, at the request of the Tribunal and on
21 the basis of an order issued to you by your superiors, you gave free
22 access to the archives for investigators from the Tribunal. Is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. They examined the archives in the barracks that used to be called
1 the Viktor Bubanj barracks?
2 A. No, no. First of all, this took place in the Viktor Bubanj
3 barracks. But the large amount of documents was delivered in Konjic. The
4 archival material was kept in a military facility, and that is where we
5 delivered this significant quantity of archival material. We had been in
6 Konjic for a year or two, a year and a half, I think. And the archives
7 was then relocated to Sarajevo. But when the archival material was
8 delivered to the Tribunal, the archives were in Konjic.
9 Q. Do you remember who was in the archives in Konjic on behalf of the
11 A. In the document that I saw a minute ago, I think that the person
12 who was involved in this signed this document. But I don't know the
13 person's name.
14 Q. To the best of your recollection, these tens of thousands of
15 documents that were taken from the archives of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
16 not taken from the Ramiz Salcin barracks; they were taken from the
17 archives that were located in Konjic?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. DO. That's where we were located. But the
19 representatives of the Tribunal came to the Ramiz Salcin on another
20 occasion, and that's where they took documents from as well. So the
21 commander of the Ministry of Defence ordered that they should be allowed
22 to take whatever they were interested in. I can't remember this exactly,
23 but there's a record of this, documents that I have signed and documents
24 signed by the minister of defence. And on the basis of the commander's
25 order and an order of the minister of defence, archival was delivered on
1 two occasions, the archival material requested by OTP representatives.
2 Q. I'm now interested in Konjic. When representatives from the
3 Tribunal came to Konjic, did they arrive with a list of documents that
4 they were interested in, and did they immediately take away all of the
5 documents that were kept in the archives?
6 A. They wanted to take away certain documents, and they were able to
7 take whatever they wanted. A representative could say that he wanted such
8 and such a document, and he would take it. They had access to everything,
9 and they could take whatever they wanted, which is what they did.
10 Similarly in the Ramiz Salcin barracks, the same thing was done. That was
11 done on the basis of an order. Representatives from the Tribunal arrived
12 with a translator, and they were given access to all of the rooms in which
13 archival material was kept and they could take what they were interested
14 in. For example, if they found in a binder, document 1, 2, 5, 100, it
15 doesn't matter what the number is, in such a case we would immediately
16 photocopy the original, we would leave the originals, and they would take
17 the photocopies to the Tribunal. This was how we handed over material in
18 the Ramiz Salcin barracks.
19 But later on when they took even more documents from the Konjic
20 archives, they took all the archival material, all the original material,
21 but this was -- they signed for it. The Tribunal returned photocopies of
22 these documents. They didn't return the originals. But all the
23 photocopies were returned to the military archives.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] 15 minutes. Between 15 minutes
1 and half an hour at the most.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as for the other Defence
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we probably won't
5 have any questions for this witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, try to proceed rapidly.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would again like
8 to draw your attention to -- I would like to address an issue for which I
9 would need an additional 15 minutes. We don't have any records or any
10 statements according to which documents were taken in Konjic. As a
11 result, would you allow me to continue for 15 minutes tomorrow.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have to
13 continue tomorrow. Since we will have to adjourn, it will be best to
14 continue tomorrow. You will require a full 15 minutes?
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, 15 minutes would be the
16 minimum, and half an hour would be the most time I'd require. It depends
17 on what the witness says because the witness has mentioned a fact that we
18 weren't aware of.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The legal officer will do
20 her calculations, but I think you'll be going over time. But the Judges
21 have questions, and I personally have questions for the witness. And as a
22 result, it will be necessary to continue tomorrow. So it would be best if
23 we adjourned now.
24 Major, you will have to return tomorrow at 9.00. Unfortunately,
25 you will have to spend the night in The Hague and we will continue with
1 your examination tomorrow at 9.00.
2 Madam Usher, would you escort the witness out of the courtroom.
3 And in the meantime, you should not have contact with anyone. You should
4 not have contact with either of the sides, and you shouldn't have any
5 contact with the Judges either, who in any event won't be seeing you. You
6 may escort the witness out of the courtroom now.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It will be best to adjourn now,
9 and we will continue with the cross-examination of this witness tomorrow.
10 As we have another witnessed for tomorrow, I would like to ask the parties
11 not to ask the second witness the same questions. That would not be
12 useful. Try to ask important questions. What is important is to know how
13 the archives were organised and it's important to know how they dealt with
14 the archival materials. Perhaps the second witness could provide
15 additional information. But do not ask the second witness the same
16 questions. These issues aside, are there any other subjects that either
17 of the parties would like to address? Ms. Benjamin, anything else you
18 would like to address?
19 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Not at this moment, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. No issues to be
21 raised by the Defence? In that case, I will see everyone at the hearing
22 tomorrow at 9.00.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.50 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day of June,
25 2004, at 6.49 p.m.