1 Tuesday, 22 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case Number IT-01-47-T, The
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we have the
10 appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
12 Your Honours. For the Prosecution, Sureta Chana, Tecla Henry-Benjamin,
13 myself, and case manager, Andres Vatter.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the appearances
15 for Defence counsel.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
17 morning, Mr. President. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina
18 Residovic, counsel, and Alexis Demirdjian case manager. Thank you.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, on
20 behalf of Amir Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
21 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
23 would like to greet everyone present, the Prosecution, Defence counsel,
24 the accused, and everyone else present in the courtroom. Today we will
25 continue with the examination of an archivist, and we will then be
1 examining a second archivist. So the agenda will be quite full given the
2 questions we have for these two witnesses. Could the usher call the
3 witness who testified yesterday into the courtroom, please.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Major. I would
6 first like to check that you are receiving the interpretation.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day. Yes, I am receiving the
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now continue with the
12 cross-examination. The Defence may proceed.
13 WITNESS: ADEM OMERKIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Omerkic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. At the end of the day yesterday we discussed that fact that the
20 Prosecution took from the archives of Bosnia and Hercegovina in October
21 2000 several thousand documents. Is that correct?
22 A. I don't know how many documents they took exactly. A list has
23 been made. We had a list here of all the material issued. We had this
24 list yesterday, and I think that it is correct. It was a list of the
25 material issued in Konjic.
1 Q. And yesterday, you said that the greatest number of documents were
2 taken from the archives in a military facility in Konjic. Is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Konjic is 70 kilometres south of Sarajevo. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Other documents were taken from the Ramiz Salcin barracks in
8 Sarajevo. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, but that was before Konjic. These documents were taken from
10 those archives in the Ramiz Salcin barracks before Konjic. And then after
11 some time had elapsed, documents were taken from Konjic, too, as we moved
12 to Konjic.
13 Q. Yesterday, you also said that investigators took entire binders
14 from the archives in Konjic. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. There were such cases, too. They took what they were
16 interested in. They were given access to whatever they thought was
17 necessary. I know that they took an entire binder.
18 Q. Mr. Omerkic, please tell me whether this search in Konjic was
19 carried out during the day or at night?
20 A. During the day. During working hours.
21 Q. After they had taken those documents away, the investigators made
22 a list of them, and they provided you with this list?
23 A. As soon as they took either an individual document or, for
24 example, an entire binder, they would make a note of it. I was present at
25 all times as well as my colleagues. We would always make a record of
1 this. We would say the 1st Corps commander issued an order in 1996 that
2 concerned a given document or a number of documents, and we would make a
3 list. We would make a record of the document.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell me whether the search for documents in the Ramiz
5 Salcin barracks was carried out during the day or at night?
6 A. In the Ramiz Salcin barracks, it's possible that it was carried
7 out during the day, but also at night. That's quite correct. I know that
8 I was there, and the representative from the ministry because it was a lot
9 of work. All the material in the Ramiz Salcin barracks had to be
10 photocopied immediately by us because they asked for a lot of documents.
11 We had a lot of work to do. So they took documents from Konjic and then
12 kept them here in this Tribunal as they saw there were a lot of documents.
13 Q. Original documents were taken from Konjic; documents weren't
14 photocopied in Konjic. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. The documents from the Ramiz Salcin barracks were -- some of them
17 were photocopied, and others were originals that were taken away. Is that
19 A. More documents -- when they took a lot of documents from the Ramiz
20 Salcin barracks, in such cases I think that all the original material they
21 requested was material that they photocopied, and then we made a list of
22 these documents. I don't think that they took any originals on that
23 occasion from the Ramiz Salcin barracks, whereas in Konjic they only took
24 originals. They didn't photocopy any documents.
25 Q. In the Ramiz Salcin barracks, were you also present when the
1 documents were listed, or were you subsequently provided with a list of
2 the documents for you to check and certify?
3 A. Whatever was provided to these people, to the Tribunal, a record
4 was made of this immediately on the spot. It was typed out. I was
5 present, and when the list was compiled I would sign it as the chief of
6 the archives, the representative of the Tribunal and the representative of
7 the ministry - Eremisic [phoen] was his name at the time - signed this
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we show the witness a
11 document shown to him by the Prosecution. 01062519 is the number of the
12 document, and it is a certificate of documents taken from the archives.
13 And a list of the documents taken. If the Registry doesn't have this
14 document, I have a copy that the Prosecution showed to the witness
15 yesterday. So could the witness please be shown this document.
16 Q. Could you have a look at it and then place it on the ELMO so that
17 everyone else in the courtroom can see the same document. You should now
18 be able to see the document on your screen. My colleague from the
19 Prosecution showed you this document yesterday.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You recognised your signature on the document.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It is obvious that this document is in English.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You don't know English?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No.
2 Q. You signed the English document. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In the first sentence -- yes, please, go ahead.
5 A. In Sarajevo, in the archives, there is a translation into the
6 Bosnian language of this document. So I also signed the Bosnian version
7 of this document.
8 Q. Thank you. Since in the second line it says that these documents
9 were taken from the archives located at the Ramiz Salcin barracks in
10 Sarajevo, this is one of the lists of documents that on the 12th and 13th
11 of October were taken from this location.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Could you please have a look at the last page of this document.
14 At the top, the number is 01062526. That's the Prosecution's number. Do
15 you have that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Could you tell us what the numbers in the first column mean. It
18 says "document number" at the top. What do the documents in the first
19 column represent? What do the numbers in the first column represent?
20 A. The first column?
21 Q. Yes. A hundred thousand and something.
22 A. And 47. Is that right?
23 Q. Yes. What does that represent?
24 A. Well, it represents a binder or a binder that contained --
25 Q. I apologise. My question is do you know what this number is? Is
1 that a number used in the archives? Was that a number that came from the
2 Prosecution, or is it some other number the meaning of which is unknown to
4 A. This number is the number of the list typed out. The Tribunal
5 representative did this. For example, let's say it says the 1st Corps
6 here. That's its number. That must be his number.
7 Q. So you know what this number is, what it means? It's not an
8 archives' number, it's not a number from the archives of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina? It's a number that was typed out by the person who was
10 taking away the documents. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The last column, is it a column that refers to the description of
13 the documents that are being taken? At the top, it says "description of
14 documents". Isn't that correct?
15 A. Under that column, it mentioned the unit this material came from.
16 It's, in fact, a binder or some of the material from one binder. I can't
17 see this very clearly. I can't see which unit is referred to, but for
18 example, it says the 1st Corps Command, and then it mentions the year. It
19 says 1992-1993 here.
20 Q. Very well. It's important to know that it's a description of
21 these documents --
22 A. Yes. And then it continues to refer to the units, whether they're
23 from Zenica or Bihac.
24 Q. So under this column we should have a list of all the documents
25 that were taken from the archive. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. Documents from one binder.
2 Q. Yes. And in all the columns, we'll have references to all
3 documents taken away?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Please have a look at the third line now. Here it says that it is
6 a binder containing documents from the year 1992. Group 1, the supreme
7 command staff, the security services administration, and a report is
8 mentioned. And at the end, we have a number, 61. There's also the date,
9 the 16th of May. Is this correct?
10 A. I'm not sure what this number means.
11 Q. Have a look at number 5 now. It says the 13th of October, 2000,
12 and then it goes on. The binder contains documents from 1992, 1993.
13 Group 1. The Bugojno municipal staff combat reports from the 22nd of July
14 1992 to 24th of September 1993. And then we have the number 140. Does
15 this mean that there were 140 documents in this binder?
16 A. That's possible. But again, I'm not sure. It's possible that the
17 Tribunal wasn't interested in the entire binder. Perhaps they only took
18 60 or 140 documents from a given binder.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. I'm not sure about that.
21 Q. Have a look at the their one from below, the 13th of October. It
22 says that the document concerns the year 1993. It says the corps is the
23 third one; the unit is KD. An order from the 4th -- from 413 up until 3,
24 and then you don't see the other number. Does that mean that these are
25 documents that the Prosecution took?
1 A. Probably.
2 Q. In the penultimate line, it says that the documents contained in
3 the binder are from 1993. It's group 1, the 3rd Corps. The command units
4 orders. The date is from the 9th of January up until the 10th of May, and
5 the number is 314. It's mentioned 314 documents. Is that correct?
6 A. Most probably.
7 Q. And the last line for 1993, we have a binder from the 3rd Corps.
8 I won't read everything out. It says from the 5th of January until the
9 24th of July, and we would have 426 documents in this binder. Is this
11 A. Yes, that's probably a record of how many documents were provided.
12 Q. Apart from this document, I didn't sign any other document that
13 might describe each of these 426 documents individually. Is that correct?
14 A. That's quite possible because that's a huge amount of documents.
15 Q. So they took entire binders, and you just signed that you had
16 handed over documents with a certain -- binders with a certain number of
17 documents, but you didn't sign for having handed over individual
19 A. Well, each binder had a list of the documents, of the original
20 documents. At that time, we probably thought - I always consulted with
21 the representative from the Ministry of Defence who was a constant link
22 between me as the chief, the Tribunal, the army, the Ministry of Defence,
23 et cetera - and that was probably the best way to hand over archival
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. I'm not at all criticising you. I just
1 want to know whether you handed over documents to the Tribunal in complete
2 binders, and you only noted the name of the binder and the number of
3 documents contained in the binder.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You didn't make a list of individual documents as there were tens
6 of thousands of documents, and the work involved would have been immense.
7 Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When the original documents were brought to The Hague, in fact,
10 you left without any documents in the archives. All you had were these
11 receipts. I've shown you an example of such receipts.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. The Prosecution kept for one year those documents and returned you
14 copies of the originals. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you returned the copies of the originals, you could only
17 compare these documents with these receipts. You could only check to see
18 whether there were a sufficient number of binders and whether each binder
19 contained a sufficient number of documents. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. They returned all the originals, but only -- they returned
21 photocopies of the originals.
22 Q. But you didn't have a document that would allow you to make a
23 comparison, that would allow you to check that each of these 426 documents
24 were there. All you could check was that there were 426 documents.
25 A. We had photocopied lists. We didn't photocopy each document. But
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we had a list of all the orders from one binder, from one box. So we knew
2 what we had to search for if it was necessary. We knew where these
3 documents were located. We had our security service which also controlled
4 these operations, and everyone suggested that this is how we should work.
5 And there was no other way to proceed. There was no other possibility.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Omerkic.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
8 Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the other
10 Defence team, do you have any questions?
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
12 don't have any questions for this witness.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At this point in
14 time, Ms. Benjamin, do you have any additional questions for the witness?
15 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further
16 questions of this witness.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major, I have a number of
18 questions for you.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, yesterday, you
21 said that when the investigators arrived, you were in contact with your
22 superior. I would like you to tell me who your superior was in the
23 Ministry of Defence. You said the commander, but who was he? What was
24 his name?
25 A. I'm not sure whether I expressed myself well, but I'll try to
1 clarify this now. When I mentioned the commander, I wanted to say that I
2 worked as a soldier, as an officer, under the orders of the commander.
3 And it was my duty to work in such a way independently of the Tribunal's
4 attitude. The attitude of my superiors was, the political view in Bosnia
5 was also, that it was necessary to be particularly open when cooperating
6 with the Tribunal. So it was quite clearly -- I was quite clearly told
7 from my -- by my commanders that this is how I was to work, although I
8 personally never actually met the commander. But we knew each other, but
9 they probably wouldn't have recognised me if we had met. But it's not as
10 if orders were issued at all times. But an order would arrive, and an
11 order would say "for the needs of the International Tribunal in The Hague,
12 it's necessary to issue such and such a document." Well, what I want to
13 say is that I received orders. For example, the Tribunal would ask for a
14 document, and then they would ask us for a document on a second occasion,
15 and we would do all we could to find the document but we couldn't find the
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question is precise. What is
18 your commander's name?
19 A. The name of my first commander was General Rasim Delic. He was my
20 superior in the archives. He was a well-known general in the army. After
21 him, it was General Dudakovic. And both acted as I have described.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are telling us that you,
23 who are the chief of the archives in the army, between you and your
24 superior, the only person above you was either General Delic or
25 General Dudakovic. There was no one else. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, but the person I did have some kind of direct contact with
2 was someone from the Ministry of Defence who was in civilian clothes, but
3 he held the rank of major. It was in the Ministry of Defence. I think
4 that the political view, of the view of the Presidency and the military
5 authorities was that he should establish contact and say, Adem, this is
6 how you should proceed. Our age was similar. We held a similar rank. So
7 when material was handed over to the Tribunal, he would also sign for
8 this. And this seemed to be logical to me. So I didn't have direct
9 contact with the commander. It's not as if he told me what had to be
10 done, but first of all we would receive something in writing, and then
11 this person from the ministry would establish contact. It was an officer.
12 I don't know what his duties were. Perhaps he was involved in security or
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the investigators arrived,
15 you signed the documents -- a document that the Defence showed you. Your
16 name is on the document, but also the name of Commander Ramesic Suad.
17 A. Suad Ramesic is not a commander. I apologise.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what rank did he hold?
19 A. He held the rank of major. So we held the same rank. We were the
20 executive organ, so to speak. He performed his duties in the sense of
21 establishing contact --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But he worked with you or did he
23 have an office somewhere else, Major Suad Ramezic.
24 A. He had an office in the Ministry of Defence. That's where the
25 Ministry of Defence is located now. That's where he had an office. When
1 Tribunal representatives arrived, he was always present. He controlled
2 things to make sure that nothing went wrong.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So now we have a
4 clearer view of this. When you assumed your duties in 1995, when you
5 arrived in this building where the archives were already located, could
6 you confirm that archival material had already arrived there, but you
7 weren't aware of how this material had arrived there?
8 A. Yes. There were documents in boxes which hadn't been processed.
9 Later on, among those documents, we found some very important documents
10 for this Tribunal which we later processed.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yesterday, I listened to you
12 carefully, and at a certain point you said that there were three other
13 persons working with you, one of whom was a woman --
14 A. Three women.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you were the only man
16 with three women. Is that right?
17 A. Yes. At the beginning, there was another lady, but she retired
18 later. Or she left anyway.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you were four in all.
20 Before the investigators came, and they came in October because this
21 operation took place in October 2000, before they came, were there any
22 other persons who came to consult the archives? And if so, who gave them
23 the authorisation to do that?
24 A. In Konjic, before this seizure of large quantities,
25 representatives of the Tribunal came earlier on as well.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Representatives of the
2 Tribunal. But were there any other persons, officers, investigators,
3 university professors, or others? Did any other people come to look at
4 the archives?
5 A. A component part of our duties was to lend archival material to
6 people in Bosnia who were in the army preparing reports or monographs
7 about various events during the war. And it was our duty to give them
8 these documents.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When those people came, they had
10 authorisation issued by whom? Was it by the Defence Ministry or by you?
11 Who granted them this authorisation.
12 A. Before they would come, we would receive an order from the
13 commander. This was only an order. These were very high-ranking
14 officers. But only an order from the commander of the BH Army would come
15 to me, and only once I had such an order could I, through the Ministry of
16 Defence, we would receive a document from the army commander saying that
17 on such and such a day, such and such a person, first and last name, rank,
18 would come looking for certain documents from a certain period. And when
19 we received such a document, then we prepare the material requested if we
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I'm understanding you
22 properly, between 1995 and 2000, before the investigators came, you're
23 telling us that army commanders of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Corps would
24 send people to look at the archives with the authorisation of the Defence
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. It was like this: I can't quite interpret things like that. But
2 I wish to say in this Tribunal, that whatever I did, I did following
3 orders of the commander of the army. And if someone was coming from the
4 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Corps, the commander of the army would inform me that
5 such and such a person would be coming.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So when this person
7 arrived, would he show you an ID card, and did you have a book in which
8 you registered the arrival of this person who came to consult the
10 A. When we receive the document from the command, and when the date
11 mentioned in the order comes, and if one of these people arrives, then he
12 gets a copy of that same document, and he shows us this, and we say "we
13 have the same document. Everything is fine." And then we act as ordered.
14 If we're unable to find something, then we ask him what it is he needs.
15 At the end, we would note down what document we gave him, and he would
16 sign it and I would sign it. But they were under the obligation to return
17 these documents to us within one month.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, I'm touching on a
19 question that has escaped the attention of many. You're telling us that
20 people who came took documents, left with those documents, and then
21 returned them to you later on?
22 A. If they took documents, they could only take photocopies. For
23 instance, the monograph of a particular brigade is in preparation. And
24 they're looking for reports from 1992, 1993, et cetera. And then a list
25 is made of what they need for this monograph. Then we bring the original
1 documents, and he says, "yes, that's the document I'm looking for." But
2 we don't give him the original. We photocopy it on our own photocopying
3 machine and give him the photocopy, and he has to sign a document saying
4 that we have given him a photocopy of an original document which we kept
5 in the archives.
6 But even those photocopies, they had to return to us after a month
7 or so, just in case there could be some sort of abuse or something.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After the investigators came in
9 2000, did other people come to look at the documents that had been looked
10 at by the investigators?
11 A. I don't think that anyone came specifically to check the material.
12 At least for as long as I was there. I have to note that 2001, I was
13 transferred to another position. And from then on, I had nothing to do
14 with the archives. But while I was there, I don't think that anyone
15 checked on the documents given to the Tribunal. I don't think so, nor was
16 it possible to do that because the system was such as it was. He would
17 have to go to the commander and then the commander would have to give me
18 the appropriate order. Though I was of a low rank, I was very wary in
19 allowing access to the archives.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand that the archives
21 were in certain rooms and that the brigade or army corps also had places
22 to keep documents. Regarding the 7th Muslim Brigade, you know what the
23 7th Muslim Brigade is?
24 A. Yes, I know of it. I don't know particularly what you're
25 interested in.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The archives of the 7th Muslim
2 Brigade, where were they?
3 A. In our command, there was a significant quantity of archival
4 material belonging to the 7th Muslim Brigade. I don't know how much, but
5 a considerable amount of documents of all kinds, orders, commands,
6 reports, et cetera.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And to the best of your
8 knowledge, the archives of the 7th Brigade, were they frequently
10 A. Well, I think that the Tribunal looked at those documents most. I
11 don't think there was a great deal of viewing of archival documents. We
12 were really somehow -- I can't say barricaded in, but we wouldn't allow
13 archival material to be taken away easily. I know that when these
14 monographs of particular brigades were prepared, then all the brigades
15 would come from time to time. But I don't think that this particular
16 brigade was very much in demand. But there were individual cases when the
17 Tribunal - I don't know why - a person might come looking for a particular
18 set of documents. But not so much. With the exception of these large
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The national courts, the courts
21 of your country, would the judges or investigators of those courts come to
22 look at the archives? Or was it only investigators of The Hague Tribunal?
23 Were there other investigators linked to your national courts that would
24 come to consult the archives as far as you know?
25 A. I do know that some judges would request certain documents from
1 us. And there were not so many instances of this, but they didn't like
2 our system because our response would be that they would address
3 themselves to the commander, and then the commander would send an order to
4 us. So that is how we proceeded, through written documents. They never
5 sent us a representative of the Hague Tribunal without a written document
6 reaching us first. I don't remember, but there were some demand, and we
7 did our best to meet those demands by indicating what the proper procedure
8 was. They had to respect the procedure and go through the command.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. I'm going to show you
10 now a document. It is 301 on the Prosecution list. You will see it is an
11 order. I won't enter into the substance of that order because it is in
12 B/C/S. I just wish you to comment on the markings on this document. You
13 will see that there are numbers on it, so I would like to ask the usher to
14 put this document under the ELMO.
15 You see this document. In the left, there are two numbers
16 encircled. 2022. We see two numbers. 2022 with a circle around it. And
17 622 encircled. Who wrote those numbers?
18 A. Could it be clearer, please. It's what I was saying yesterday. I
19 don't know whether this is my handwriting. In an ordinary pencil, I would
20 write down this number. We would on our own initiative write this down in
21 pencil so that we could later rub it out if necessary in order to classify
22 documents. For instance, if this 622, if I wrote down that number and the
23 document didn't come from the main command, it was not processed in the
24 main command archive, the other one written in, 2022, is clearly a sign
25 that someone in a lower-level unit had been working on it and who
1 classified it in his own way. He didn't really classify it at all. He
2 just put together reports and orders and all kinds of things, and
3 obviously this list of his was much bigger. So we see the number 2022,
4 whereas 622 is probably -- means that it was a document belonging to the
5 fourth group, which was a large one, but not a very significant one.
6 I told our assistant that if you write down numbers, do it in
7 pencil so that we can rub it out easily. And this other one in marker, I
8 don't think was done in our archives but in a lower-level unit where they
9 had a big pile of all sorts of documents.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. President. Microphone
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was saying on the right,
13 there's S/R0182/140613/891 -- 1991. Who could have written down these
15 A. Personally, we didn't pay much attention to these numbers. But
16 clearly, they are an administrative numbering of the unit in question.
17 Sometimes it was kind of an identification number. When we didn't know
18 which group to put it in, then we would try to decipher where it came
19 from. But this is obviously from the administrative archive that
20 registered the document for the first time. I must say this is confusing.
21 I don't know what it is at all.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see at the bottom, there's a
23 blue stamp. And this type of stamp, was it the official stamp used in the
24 units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
25 A. Well, I assume that was so. Each large unit had its own stamp
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 from the corps level down to the brigade level. I don't know whether any
2 battalion had a stamp. Maybe a military police battalion. Larger units
3 had their own stamps with our coat of arms.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, please turn the document
5 over. You see that on the back, there are markings as well. There's a
6 large stamp in blue, and we see the word "korpus" with a number. Then
7 Predato in circles, and then a date, an hour. This type of stamp, did you
8 see such stamps frequently?
9 A. Yes, I did. I would interpret this as being the archival stamp.
10 Or if this document was drawn up in a particular brigade, and then we see
11 this number up here, they didn't have this square stamp, then they just
12 wrote down the protocol number or archival number. And then when it
13 reached a higher level, 3rd Corps, for instance, the corps had its own
14 stamp. So they had a stamp, and in this stamp, the orderly number was
15 written, and everything else. So I assume that this document came from a
16 lower-level unit to the 3rd Corps command as the superior command, and I
17 would say that this is quite customary. I'm not surprised by anything I
18 see here.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Usher, will you pick
20 up the document, please. And I'm coming to the end of my questions. I
21 will show you another document that you were shown yesterday. And this is
22 Exhibit 132 which you will also place under the ELMO. I'm sorry, 133.
23 Look at this document, please. Yesterday, the Defence asked you
24 some questions about it saying that it was not signed. Will you please
25 look at the top of this document, the top, please. You see that there is
1 a line, and I see in B/C/S the word "kripto." Was this document a
2 document sent to be encrypted?
3 A. Most probably, yes. We considered this to be an element.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you will agree with me that
5 it is not signed. When you're encrypting a document, you don't sign it.
6 You never encrypt a signature. That never happens, does it?
7 When a document is encrypted, and "kripto" is indicated, the
8 arrival of that document must be indicated the date and the hour when the
9 document was decrypted. I see here that this document was sent on the
10 26th of January 1993, and it was probably decrypted on the 27th of January
11 at 0021 hours. Would that be the way to interpret this document? I must
12 remind you, after all, you were a major, an officer.
13 A. Yes. This would be my interpretation.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.
15 A. The 26th of January is the date when the document was drafted, the
16 time when the time was issued. The 27th, the document may have been
17 written today but perhaps the commander was not there to sign it or for
18 some other reason it wasn't urgent, and then they sent it the next day on
19 the 27th. So the date is not at all important, the 26th or the 27th. For
20 me, that is the same. It would happen often that we would have a document
21 on the 26th, and it would be sent on the 28th, particularly if a weekend
22 intervenes. For instance, it may be written on a Friday and sent on
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For instance, the person sending
25 the document, the encryptor, the person that we see initialed on the
1 right-hand side, it says "obradio" in B/C/S, is that the person in charge
2 of encrypting the document? You can see a signature in the right-hand
4 A. I assume so.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What does obradio
6 mean in English.
7 A. Let me first say that I assume that that is the signature of the
8 person working on the encrypting though I personally never had any contact
9 with those people so I don't know how they work. So it is only an
10 assumption on our part -- on my part.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So when this
12 document is encrypted and needs to be decrypted by an electronic system
13 and received, would they then have a stamp on it, a stamp of arrival? Is
14 that the one we see in the middle which says "Sarajevo, the 2nd of
15 October - 291"? Would that be the arrival stamp in the middle of the
17 A. Well, you see, this stamp is again the square stamp that every
18 larger unit or brigade had. So it's an administrative stamp. And we see
19 it says "Defence Ministry" here. And we personally considered such stamps
20 as an element of authenticity. Now, how it was put there, I didn't enter
21 into that. We did our best to collect all the indications that we needed
22 for our work.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. My very last
24 question is why these documents which were archived, why no one had the
25 idea of putting on them an archive stamp with a signature of the person in
1 charge of the archives, yourself, which would indicate that such a
2 document has been archived? Why isn't there any archive stamp on these
3 documents? Why didn't you have this idea to suggest to your superior
4 general that all these documents needed to be stamped by the archives,
5 needed to have an archive stamp on them?
6 A. There were many ideas and proposals on my own part based on my
7 experience and work in the archives that I addressed to my superior
8 commands. However, some suggestions were adopted; others were not. Why
9 this wasn't, my simple explanation would be that probably -- actually,
10 what they had in mind, I don't know. But deep down, I did believe that we
11 needed something like that. And I did have some proposals. But I didn't
12 insist too much because out of modesty, I would say I feared that my
13 superiors might say "you want to have a stamp to be able to sign yourself"
14 so that I had to carry every document to my boss for him to sign, and then
15 that document would be put under the command of the Army of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. So this would add to the importance of the archives, and
17 also to the chief of the archives. But out of modesty, I didn't want to
18 put any pressure on them because I was more of a manual worker over there.
19 Why they didn't do that, I don't know. It would require certain personnel
20 changes probably.
21 Anyway, it's perhaps beyond my terms of reference, nor am I able
22 to give you a proper answer. Because only high-level military units were
23 entitled to stamps, brigades, corps. I was chief of the archives and of
24 the library. So...
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But didn't you believe that you,
1 too, were important, the best evidence of that is that you are in the
2 Tribunal now. Don't you think that you had the responsibility to inform
3 your hierarchy of the fact that these documents should be stamped by the
4 archives? Did you write any written reports suggesting and conveying
5 these ideas that you have been mentioning?
6 A. I can't remember exactly, but there were some generalised
7 proposals on our part regarding the organisational structure of the
8 library and archives. There was a joint command of the federation army
9 where there was the Bosniak and the Croatian component together. And
10 within such general documents, we would indicate that that might be
11 necessary. But I can't remember now. I would talk about this with my
12 immediate superior. What I did insist upon was that they facilitate our
13 work or modernise the work of the archives. And as the years passed after
14 the war, we felt that we could be provided with the more modern technical
15 resources and devices to deal with the archives. But we were treated as a
16 small segment, a small sector within the main command which had its own
17 stamp. Maybe I wasn't aware of the importance myself.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
19 Are there any additional questions?
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the part of the Defence, no
22 questions. On the part of the Prosecution, no questions. In that case,
23 Major, thank you. You have completed your testimony here. We thank you
24 for coming to The Hague, for having answered all the questions of all the
25 parties, for trying to explain to the Judges your work in the archives,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and the problems connected with the preservation of these documents.
2 Thank you. And we wish you a safe journey home, and best wishes hoping
3 that your postgraduate studies will be completed successfully so that you
4 can continue your career because you told us that you are in early
5 retirement, but we hope you will have occasion to become active again. So
6 we thank you very much. And I'll ask the usher to escort you out of the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honours.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Benjamin, I believe you have
11 a second archivist who will be called to be heard as a witness. Is that
13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Yes, Mr. President. But this is not an
14 archivist. This is more like a data-entry recorder clerk. And if I may
15 inform the Trial Chamber, if I'm so allowed, Mr. President, in my mission
16 a week ago, if we look at Prosecution Exhibit 133, which is the one that I
17 indicated to the witness while he was on the stand, we would see the name
18 Major Ramezic Suad appearing all the time. And for the benefit of the
19 Trial Chamber, those people were liaison officers, they came from the
20 ministry, and they just came to assist the Tribunals when they were doing
21 the search. In fact, we interviewed six people, and out of the six only
22 two, this gentleman and the one who's to come next, had anything about or
23 knew anything about archives.
24 Since I'm on that point, my colleague at this moment is also
25 interviewing somebody who we just discovered with some 30 years of
1 experience of archiving, so we would probably have her come in next week.
2 And with respect to Prosecution Exhibit 301, if I could just draw your
3 attention to the fact that the number 0182-1461, which was also written by
4 hand, is a Prosecution number, it's an ERN number, and I'm told that the
5 repeated number in handwriting came from the evidence unit. So those
6 numbers derived out of the Prosecution.
7 Yes, we have the second witness now, Smriko Sabahudin, who is a
8 data clerk. And my colleague, Sureta Chana, will be taking that witness.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will ask the usher to call
10 this witness into the courtroom now.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 WITNESS: SABAHUDIN SMRIKO
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. I would
15 first like to check that you are receiving interpretation of what I am
16 saying. If so, please say so.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've been called here as a
19 witness for the Prosecution to testify about technical matters that
20 concern the archives. Before you take the solemn declaration, could you
21 please tell me your first and last names, your date of birth, and your
22 place of birth.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Sabahudin Smriko. I was
24 born on the 3rd of February 1964.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which town or village were you
1 born in?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born in Zenica.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current occupation?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a professional member of the
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current rank?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a lieutenant first-class.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, what position did you
9 hold in 1993?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, I was involved in the
11 delivery of mail.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were you a civilian or a member
13 of the military in 1993?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of the military.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which unit were you a member of?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before 1993, I was the member of the
17 1st Zenica Detachment. It was a territorial unit.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before 1993 and during the year
19 1993, where were you? During 1993, from January to December, where were
20 you on duty?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the 1st of April, I was in the
22 7th Muslim Brigade.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were a member of the 7th
24 Muslim Brigade. And what did you do in the 7th Muslim Brigade?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was involved in the delivery of
1 the mail to other units within the brigade. We delivered documents to
2 subordinate units.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you were in a
4 certain sense the postman who would deliver the 7th Brigade mail to other
5 units. Is that correct?
6 THE WITNESS: [No audible response]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a military term for
8 such a postman. I'm not sure what it is in your language. But that is
9 what you were? Is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was the deliverer.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You were the
12 dispatcher. That's an English term, but why not.
13 You'll take the solemn declaration. Could you please read out the
14 text that you will be shown.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down
19 Before I give the floor to the Prosecution, I would like to
20 provide you with some information about the procedure that will be
21 followed here. You will first have to answer questions that will be put
22 to you by the Prosecution, who are to your right. And the person sitting
23 in the middle will be examining you. After this stage has been completed,
24 Defence counsel, who are to your left, will also ask you questions. This
25 is what we call the cross-examination. This is the common-law term.
1 After these questions have been put to you, the Prosecution can
2 ask you additional questions. The three Judges sitting before you may at
3 any point in time put questions to you, but as a rule we prefer to wait
4 for the end of the examination and cross-examination, and the Judges will
5 certainly put questions to you. If a question appears to be complicated,
6 ask the person putting it to you to rephrase it because we expect your
7 answers to be clear and precise. If a question is too complex, ask the
8 person putting it to you to rephrase it. As you have taken the solemn
9 declaration, you should naturally not lie because if you give false
10 testimony you could end up in prison. A witness could be fined or given a
11 prison sentence of up to seven years.
12 The Trial Chamber informs witnesses of this possibility if false
13 testimony is given. And there is another element, another factor I would
14 like to mention, but it shouldn't be applicable to you. When a witness
15 answers a question, if a witness doesn't want to answer a question because
16 he believes that this could be -- his answer could be used against him, in
17 such a case the witness may refuse to answer the question. In such a
18 case, the Trial Chamber may compel the witness to answer the question but
19 guarantees the witness a form of immunity.
20 I'll now turn to the second thing I wanted to tell you. As you
21 said that you were a former 7th Muslim Brigade soldier, we won't be asking
22 you questions about the 7th Muslim Brigade, about what the 7th Muslim
23 Brigade did. You are a witness who is here to testify about technical
24 issues, and you will only be answering technical questions about
25 documents. We won't be dealing with what the 7th Muslim Brigade actually
1 did. We'll be dealing with purely technical issues. So it is the Trial
2 Chamber's opinion that you will only be answering technical questions
3 about the work that you were involved in.
4 Have you understood everything that I have said? If so, say "da."
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've understood you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll now turn to the
7 Prosecution. They have 15 minutes because we'll have to have the break
8 very soon.
9 You may proceed.
10 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 With the Court's permission, I will lead the witness on certain
12 nonessential particulars and employment history.
13 Examined by Ms. Chana:
14 Q. Could you please give your full name for to Court.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's already been done. So
16 it's not necessary to put questions to the witness that have already been
17 put to him. We've already asked him to inform us of his identity.
18 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I just thought for the record.
19 Q. You're currently serving as a military --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but when a Judge asks a
21 witness to inform us of his identity, his name appears in the transcript.
22 So it's already into the record. If you want to do this again, why not,
23 but that would be a waste of time.
24 MS. CHANA: Yes, I'm obliged to Your Honour.
25 Q. You're serving as a military officer in the Army of the Federation
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that correct?
2 A. As a junior officer.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please try to speak more loudly
4 so that we can hear your voice, so that we can hear your answers. Please
5 speak loudly.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a junior officer, not an
7 officer. I was a noncommissioned officer.
8 MS. CHANA:
9 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ...
10 A. I was a sergeant first-class.
11 Q. Are you stationed in Zenica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you're involved in administration duties as a chief of general
14 services. Is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. You were educated in Zenica?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At the administrative school, secondary-school level. Right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You obtained a diploma in administration as a qualified
21 administration technician. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. At 18 years of age, you performed compulsory military service in
24 the Yugoslav National Army, the JNA. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. And that would be from October 1982 until December 1983?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, following your military service, you were unemployed until
4 1986, and then you took up a position at the Zenica Steel Works as a
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. And then you worked there until 1990?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In 1992, you joined the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ABiH,
10 in the 1st Zenica Detachment as an infantry man. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. By the end of 1993, you were appointed to administrative duties
13 responsible for the distribution of mail within that unit?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And your duties primarily consisted of you delivering mail?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Now, in the spring of 1996, you became the chief of the general
18 services section at the headquarters of the 7th Mechanised Brigade in
19 Zenica. Is that correct?
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. Was your role to act as the chief of administration which included
22 mail distribution and archiving of documents?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yes, thank you, Mr. Smriko. I'm going to now take you through
25 your role as an archivist within this unit. What was the military system
1 for the archiving of documents based on? What kind of instructions did
2 you have?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Ibrisimovic.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, at the beginning,
5 Ms. Benjamin, our learned colleague, said that the witness was just a
6 clerk, not an archivist. So I don't see the purpose of asking such
8 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I think if I can correct that, can
9 I put it to the witness and ask him what exactly his role was.
10 Q. Can you please tell us exactly what was your role in this unit of
11 the 7th Mechanised Brigade in Zenica.
12 A. We have to make a difference between the role I had before 1996
13 and after 1996. It's necessary to make a distinction between the roles I
14 had at these various periods of time.
15 Q. Yes. Then, can you briefly tell us what was your role before
17 A. Before 1996, my role was just to distribute documents, not to take
18 care of the archives as well. These duties were performed by my
20 Q. And can you tell us your duties after 1996.
21 A. When my predecessor left, I took over that job.
22 Q. What was that job? Can you please describe in greater detail what
23 exactly was that job and what it entailed. What was your title, to begin
24 with? Did you have another title then?
25 A. I was the dispatcher or courier up until 1996. And as of 1996, I
1 was the chief of the office for general affairs.
2 Q. What was your duty -- what were your duties in relation to
3 archiving documents, if any?
4 A. As far as archiving is concerned, we would receive orders from our
5 superior commands at the end of the calendar year. We didn't do anything
6 on our own initiative. We would receive orders from our superior command.
7 Q. And who would that superior command be?
8 A. At the time, it was the 3rd Corps command.
9 Q. The 3rd Corps command, did you say?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Do you know what system of archiving documents was used in the
12 military at that time? Were you aware of it?
13 A. The system we followed was one based on temporary rules for
14 handing over archival material. It had been issued by the BH Army General
16 Q. Did this archiving system follow some sort of methodology or
17 formula as any other institution that you know?
18 A. I don't know about the system in force in other institutions. But
19 it was quite explicitly stated how archival material should be collected
20 and handed over to the relevant institutions.
21 Q. Did you have any instruction manual as to how you should approach
22 the documentation and archiving?
23 A. Yes. As I have already said, we followed the temporary rules that
24 had been issued by the BH Army General Staff.
25 Q. Were you given any formal training in this?
1 A. No. I wasn't given any formal training. The instructions weren't
2 complex, and it was possible to be in a position to follow them very
4 Q. Now, how many people were in the staff of who were doing the same
5 thing? Were you alone, or were there other people with you?
6 A. There were three of us who worked there. But as of 1996, I was
7 the person in charge.
8 Q. What did it mean to be the "person in charge"? Were you somebody
9 who would give orders to the other staff members?
10 A. I was the person in charge in the sense that the archival material
11 had to be handed over to the relevant archives in time according to the
13 Q. Now, what were you ordered to do when you got some documents?
14 What were your instructions? What did you do?
15 A. We would draft our own order at the level of the brigade, and we
16 would distribute it to our subordinate units so that they could follow the
17 same order.
18 Q. Now, when you say that you would draft your own orders, who would
19 sign these orders?
20 A. The brigade commander would sign them.
21 Q. Would his deputy also sign?
22 A. It was customary, if this was necessary, the commander to let his
23 deputy sign documents if he was absent for whatever reason.
24 Q. So what would you do? How would you classify these documents when
25 you got them?
1 A. We followed the instructions in force at the time. And the
2 documents were categorised. They were placed into five or six categories.
3 For example, orders were placed in a separate category; analyses in a
4 different category; reports in a third category. And there were certain
5 other categories of documents different from the ones that I have
7 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, perhaps this might be an appropriate
8 time to break. I see the time is 10.30.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's 10.30. We'll have a
10 break now. And we will resume at about 5 to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I give
14 the floor to the Prosecution.
15 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Witness, before the break, you were telling Their Honours that you
17 were categorising the documents in various general headings. Could you
18 tell us, after you categorised the documents under these various headings,
19 what would you then do with these documents?
20 A. The documents were put in chronological order according to the
21 date when they were drafted going from January through to December. And
22 then they would be individually entered into a certain form which was
23 called the archival list from the first to the last. And once this was
24 done, space was left for a signature on the part of the persons who
25 completed this part of the job. And it would be signed by the authorised
1 person, and thereby it was felt that all the archival units, or rather,
2 documents, had been entered into the archival list. And then it was
3 possible to hand over the archived documents.
4 Q. How was this done? Was this done electronically or was it done by
6 A. More recently, with the help of computers. But during the war, it
7 was done by hand.
8 Q. Can you tell us the approximate date you started to computerise.
9 Was it after 1996?
10 A. Yes. Perhaps in 1998 or 1999.
11 Q. How would you actually select the documents? Would you select
12 them in order of importance? Was there some criteria that you used?
13 A. No. Only according to the temporary instructions issued by the
14 General Staff of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina documents would be
15 classified into groups, not according to importance or weight. For
16 instance, a group for reports, a group for analyses, a group for orders, a
17 group for plans and so on. Without taking into consideration their
18 importance or the weight they carried.
19 Q. Were these documents stamped as you archived them, as you gave
20 them a number?
21 A. For a document to be archived, it had to meet certain criteria.
22 And those were that it should be signed by the authorised person and that
23 there should be a stamp on the document.
24 Q. And were you familiar with the kind of stamps which were used?
25 A. There were changes over time in the stamps. If a unit changed its
1 name, this automatically meant that the stamps would also have to be
2 amended. And while I was working with stamps, I had to be familiar with
4 Q. Were you also familiar with the various signatures of the
5 commanders and the deputy commanders when you looked at them in the
7 A. Yes. We had to be able to recognise the signature of our
8 commander and other persons that he might authorise to sign on his behalf.
9 Q. How would you then -- would you be able to say after looking at
10 any particular document that you received that it was authentic in the
11 sense it was genuine?
12 A. Are you referring to the period in the past or now?
13 Q. Tell us in the period in the past first, and then you can tell us
15 A. Within the system of military correspondence, the office I was
16 working in was one of the links in the chain of security to make sure that
17 there should be no unauthorised use of stamps or signatures by persons who
18 did not have the authorisation to do that. So we paid a great deal of
19 attention to the authenticity and trustworthiness of both the stamp and
20 the signature.
21 Q. Now, this register, was it kept on an annual basis?
22 A. I don't understand.
23 Q. Was this register, were you meant to transport the documents after
24 one year, a week, a month, to the general archives?
25 A. We acted at the end of the year, calendar year.
1 Q. What would you do at the end of the calendar year?
2 A. The rule was that an order would come from the superior command
3 with detailed instructions, brief instructions, with reference to the book
4 of rules that we have already referred to, that we should prepare the
5 documents and complete the archival activities up to a certain deadline,
6 and these deadlines were given to all the units; that is, the date by
7 which they had to complete the work on the documents and hand over the
9 Q. Where would they be handed over?
10 A. In the case of my unit, we would hand over the complete archives
11 to the 3rd Corps Command, which was our immediate superior unit.
12 Q. And after you handed over to the 3rd Corps, you were ceased of the
13 matter, or did you know what happened after that?
14 A. Let me tell you briefly the actual technique of handing over
15 documents between my unit and the corresponding archives of the 3rd Corps.
16 When arriving in the 3rd Corps archive on the date scheduled for the
17 handing over of documents, the authorised person from the command of the
18 3rd Corps who was authorised to take over the archives would check out the
19 technical correctness of the archived material which was about to be
20 handed over. He would, applying a certain methodology, in the spirit of
21 the rules on the handing over of archives, he would check out certain
22 things. And any incorrectly archived document would be sent back to the
23 unit for completion; or if everything was in order, he would take over the
24 archived material, and then an official note would be compiled with the
25 signature of both the person handing over the material and the person
1 taking over that archived material.
2 Once the archives were handed over, the person who was fully
3 responsible for its further use would be the person, the authorised person
4 in the superior command, and that would be the end of my responsibilities.
5 Q. At the time the documents were in your custody, could you tell us,
6 please -- could you tell the Court, please, who would have access to these
7 documents other than yourself and your staff?
8 A. I believe that during one calendar year, an order would be
9 written, or rather instructions issued as to who was permitted to enter
10 the archives, or rather to use the archives. And this was limited to a
11 very small number of persons. Maybe the commander and his two assistants
12 or something like that, in addition to my staff.
13 Q. So only authorised personnel could come into your archives. And
14 when they did come into your archives, did they have to sign any sort of
15 register to say they had visited the archives and seen certain documents?
16 A. I don't remember during my duties there that anyone had ever taken
17 any documents from the archives. If he would do that, it was envisaged
18 that a receipt should be given or a report written, though I do not
19 remember that anyone availed himself of this possibility.
20 Q. So they were, according to you, very secure while in your custody
21 and control?
22 A. My experience in these activities, which covers a number of years,
23 shows that the commander carefully monitored and selected the persons he
24 could entrust, stamps, documents, and archives, too. And it was a certain
25 honour and a great responsibility for the persons chosen.
1 Q. Indeed. Just one last question, now, Witness: What did you do
2 with the documents which you didn't archive?
3 A. There was a group of documents that could not be considered as
4 archival material because they do not have the necessary significance.
5 These were insignificant documents which don't have the need to be
6 preserved for any length of time, and they would be destroyed, again, with
7 a report being written. So destroyed legally. What I have in mind
8 primarily are documents of lesser significance such as requests and other
9 documents which didn't have any real significance and could not be treated
10 as archival material because they weren't important.
11 Q. Before I end with you, Witness, can you please tell the Court,
12 when you looked at a document, how would you authenticate it? How would
13 you archive it? What would you look for in that document?
14 A. Of the greatest importance for us was that it should be signed and
15 certified and that it was classified in the proper group.
16 Q. Would it also need a stamp?
17 A. Yes. Yes, that was obligatory.
18 Q. So a stamp, a signature, and certification; these are the three
19 things you would look for?
20 A. First the signature. That is the proper order. First the
21 signature, and then the stamp.
22 Q. Would that be the seal? Would it be sealed as well?
23 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand.
24 Q. What do you consider a stamp? What would you call the stamp, this
25 stamp that you talk about on a document?
1 A. A stamp and a seal. There were the reception stamps that were
2 placed on documents reaching the unit which confirmed the date and the
3 time when that document reached our unit. And the seals were round in
4 shape, and they confirmed the authenticity of the signature of the
6 Q. Was there anything else you would look for in a particular
7 document before you decided it was authentic?
8 A. No. Nothing else that would be important for us.
9 Q. Now, can I ask you about your rules of archiving and the basic
10 characteristics that you would look for.
11 Sorry, can you please -- what I want to ask you is where would
12 these rules come from which you utilised to do this work of yours?
13 A. I can't remember exactly now, but as far as I can remember we used
14 the rules taken over from the former Yugoslav People's Army that were
15 slightly modified. But basically, it corresponds to the present
16 methodology applied with documents. It hasn't changed substantially, the
17 organisation of work when it comes to documents and seals.
18 Q. And is it the same formula as the Federation of the BH Government
19 is now using, the same kind of rules?
20 A. When the joint command was formed of the army of the federation, a
21 change occurred at the same time in the method of work applied in the
22 offices of the administration. So we are using the instructions and rules
23 and decrees which are currently in use by all the administrative organs of
24 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1999 so that we are now
25 working on the basis of unified principles.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. CHANA: That's all from this witness, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I turn now to the
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Smriko. My name is Edina
8 Residovic, and I represent General Enver Hadzihasanovic.
9 You told my learned friend that ever since 1996, you had been
10 working in the 7th Mechanised Brigade, which is the successor of the 7th
11 Muslim Brigade, as chief of the general services office. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You also said that since 1993, you were working in the same
14 service, but mostly as a dispatcher or courier of mail. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In view of the fact that some questions put to you were not quite
17 clear to me, I wanted to ask you whether everything you have just said
18 explaining how mail is registered, how lists are made for the archives, is
19 that what you did after you became chief of this office? That is, after
20 1996, is that the procedure that you have now explained?
21 A. Yes, that is the procedure, and it hasn't been changed to this
22 day. We are using the same archive lists. The procedure slightly differs
23 from what I just said because I indicated that certain changes were made,
24 but not of any significance, once the joint commander of the federation
25 was established.
1 Q. So that means that when you said that you received orders and
2 instructions from your superior command, that is, the 3rd Corps, you were
3 referring to the period when you took over the position of chief of the
5 A. Yes. It is important to note that since 1996, my responsibilities
6 have visibly increased with respect to archives. But up to 1996, I can't
7 say that I had considerable responsibilities. I was just an assistant
9 Q. In view of the changes that have taken place in the Federation
10 Army in 1997, the 3rd Corps is no longer identical to the one we had
11 during the war. Actually, your brigade now is part of the 2nd Corps
12 headquartered in Tuzla. Is that right?
13 A. Yes. But before that, for a while we were under the direct
15 Q. So all the explanations you gave regarding the handing over of
16 documents to the responsible person in the 3rd Corps, you did the same to
17 responsible persons in the supreme command or the 2nd Corps when they were
18 your superior command. Is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. During the war, you were one of the assistant workers in the
21 general services office of your brigade. Is that right?
22 A. During the war?
23 Q. Yes, during the war.
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Since most of the questions were linked to your
1 activities once you became chief of the office, I wanted to ask you
2 whether it is true that your general services office within the framework
3 of its terms of reference has the reception and dispatch of mail,
4 auxiliary activities such as the work of cooks, cleaning persons, and
5 other activities required for the normal functioning of the command?
6 A. No. The general services office only did office work; that is,
7 the reception, processing, and delivery of documents to other entities,
8 and not these services that you have referred to.
9 Q. But within the framework of your office, you were also the
10 custodian of documents for the period indicated by the order or
12 A. Yes. Usually up until the end of the calendar year.
13 Q. However, how long they would be preserved depended on the nature
14 of the document and what the order specified. For instance, an order may
15 say that orders should be kept until the end of the year and financial
16 documents for five years?
17 A. You see, we didn't have the possibility to retain these documents
18 and keep them. We had to hand them over every year. And there was a
19 special element within the chain that took care of the safekeeping of
20 these documents. Brigades are not allowed to keep documents for longer
21 than two years in their archive depots. So this is a legal provision.
22 Q. So in fact, the answer you have just provided is the basis for my
23 following question: The brigade didn't have any archives in the usual
24 sense; it didn't have an institution that would permanently keep
25 documents. But it only collected documents which it would later hand over
1 to the archives once an order had been issued. And the documents would be
2 permanently kept in those archives. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct. And I would also like to point out that it
4 was only in 2002, two years ago, that the brigade officially had the
5 position, got the position of a noncommissioned officer for the archives.
6 So this is the person who could be said to be in charge of the archives.
7 This only happened in 2002. Members of the general services offices had
8 the duty to do this.
9 Q. Also, while involved in these duties, you were certainly aware of
10 the fact that not even the corps commands had an institution with
11 permanent archives, but they also collected documents from their
12 subordinate units, and they would then forward these documents to the
13 archives of the BH Army. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. On one occasion, since documents had to be
15 handed over very rapidly, archival material from the 3rd Corps to the
16 archives of the General Staff had to be handed over at the same time. So
17 it means that they didn't have the possibility of permanently preserving
18 archival material.
19 Q. You were involved in receiving and delivering mail. And this
20 means that when you receive a document, you then stamp the document to
21 show that it has been received, and you then forward that document to the
22 person it's intended for, to the commander, to a service, et cetera. Is
23 that correct?
24 A. At that time, and even today, there haven't been any significant
25 changes as far as the receiving of mail is concerned. Our duty was to
1 stamp each document that arrived in our unit. And we weren't able to
2 forward these documents on our own initiative. That wasn't a possibility
3 for us. But we handed over these documents, we put them in the
4 commander's file. And afterwards, we would distribute those documents to
5 the addressees, the people referred to as the addressees by the commander.
6 Q. Similarly, documents from your brigade were forwarded to you -- by
7 you to others. When the commander would give you an order telling you to
8 whom the document should be distributed, you would then distribute the
9 documents to the addressees. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. For example, the person processing the document or the
11 person who drafted the order or secret document would bring a document
12 that hadn't been verified into our office. We would then take this
13 document to be signed, and it was then our duty to make a certain number
14 of copies and to provide them to the person processing the document. We
15 would then copy the documents and forward them to the people mentioned as
16 the addressees.
17 Q. You said that in the course of the war and afterwards, naturally
18 the office for receiving and forwarding mail was an element in the chain
19 of institutions that were supposed to ensure that stamps and signatures
20 weren't abused. I'm asking you whether you are aware of the fact that in
21 the course of the war, certain documents did arrive with unfamiliar or
22 unauthorised stamps or the names of certain brigades had been misused and
23 as a result special orders were issued prohibiting such acts or the
24 perpetrators of such illegal acts were even sought after. Are you aware
25 of this?
1 A. As far as I'm aware, I never encountered any cases of abuse. But
2 it was our duty to immediately react in such cases if anything of that
3 kind happened.
4 Q. Thank you. In response to a question put to you by the colleague
5 with regard to how you worked as the chief of the office after the war,
6 you said that you would sort documents into certain categories, documents
7 that had to be handed over to the archives. Is it correct to say that in
8 fact you had received a precise order or precise instructions according to
9 which you were to sort documents before forwarding them to the superior
10 command, or rather to the BH Army archives?
11 A. Yes. As I said, we had received instructions contained within the
12 temporary instructions on archival material. And it was our duty to
13 follow these instructions. These were guidelines for our work with
14 archival material, and we had to follow these guidelines quite strictly.
15 Otherwise, we would have to return our archival material for further
17 Q. If I have understood you correctly, you would then compile lists
18 of these documents, and you did all of this so that you could hand over
19 documents in an orderly manner to the army archives in existence, namely,
20 to the BH Army archives. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. And those lists of archives really provided
22 a certain guarantee showing that you had handed over the documents to the
23 relevant archives.
24 Q. Given that you assumed your duties after the war, in 1996, you
25 have no personal knowledge about how documents were stored or arrived in
1 your brigade up in the time that you assumed your duties. Your
2 predecessor was in charge of this. Isn't that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
6 questions for this witness.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team?
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
9 only have a few questions for this witness.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Smriko, I will only have a few questions for
12 you on behalf of Mr. Kubura. It has to do with your testimony today and
13 your answers that you provided to the Prosecution and to my colleague,
14 Ms. Residovic.
15 In 1996, you assumed the duties of the chief of the general
16 services office. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. On that occasion, they compiled a record of the handing over of
20 A. Yes. There was a modest record on the number of documents that
21 had been recorded. A sort of record was made.
22 Q. Do you know the name of the person who was your predecessor?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. What was the name of that person?
25 A. His name was Nusret Duranovic.
1 Q. Duranovic, Nusret.
2 In response to a question from the Prosecution, you said that
3 authorisation to sign documents was only something that the brigade
4 commander or person who had been authorised by the commander. Is that
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Is that also true for the use of the official brigade stamp?
8 A. I'm sorry. I haven't understood that question.
9 Q. Does that also apply to the use of the brigade's official stamp?
10 Only a commander and an authorised person could use the official stamp?
11 A. Well, yes, that immediately means that if the commander authorised
12 someone to sign on his behalf, to sign documents on his behalf, that meant
13 that we could also certify these documents by using this person's
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could the witness
16 be shown a document. As an example, I would like the witness to explain
17 something that he has testified about today.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could the usher
19 please fetch the document.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have copies of the document
21 in B/C/S and in English.
22 I have copies for everyone in the courtroom, so you could
23 distribute them. And perhaps place the document on the ELMO.
24 Could the witness put the document in front of him.
25 Q. I won't deal with the merits of the order, the document. It's an
1 order on the basis of the corps commander. In the upper left-hand side,
2 we have the stamp of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
3 A. This is the reception stamp.
4 Q. In the upper left-hand side it says the 7th Muslim Brigade?
5 A. Yes, it does say the 7th Muslim Brigade.
6 Q. At the bottom, it says "for the commander Asim Koricic," and there
7 is a circular stamp of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
8 A. Yes, that's correct. That's on the document.
9 Q. As you explained a while ago, is this a document that might be
10 considered authentic?
11 A. I can see a copy here.
12 Q. I'm not talking about the copy; I'm talking about the elements
13 that you mentioned. There's a stamp. It has been signed. And we have
14 the name of the commander.
15 A. In this case, we would have written authorisation allowing us to
16 confirm the signature of this person. I can't tell you who it is at this
17 moment. We would have authorisation to certify the document.
18 Q. Let me ask you, if it says "commander," or "for the commander,"
19 does the document also have to contain the typewritten name of the
20 commander as is the case on this document? It says Asim Koricic.
21 A. That was common practice at the time. But now, they use the term
22 "with the authorisation of the commander" or "represents the commander,"
23 et cetera.
24 Q. Let me be clear, if it says "the commander," or "for the
25 commander," is it necessary to have the commander's name typed out beneath
1 the signature?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You're talking about the period after 1996?
4 A. I'm referring to the wartime period. I'm saying that not much
5 importance was attributed to the culture in the staff, as they say, to
6 what was practice in the staff. But recently, the practice or the
7 procedure followed is different.
8 Q. Thank you very much. You can remove the document now.
9 You were present when some documents were taken from the 7th
10 Brigade archives in Zenica. That was on the 7th of October 2000?
11 A. Yes, I was present.
12 Q. On the basis of this record, we can see that the documents taken
13 weren't in the archives of the 7th Brigade; they were in the library.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. That concerned books, magazines, et cetera.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. You didn't keep a record of that material. Is that correct?
18 A. I wasn't responsible for those documents. That's true. I wasn't
19 responsible for those kinds of documents.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We have no
21 more questions, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Usher, leave the document there,
23 please, because I will be referring to it in a minute.
24 Does the Prosecution have any other questions, any additional
25 questions to put to this witness?
1 MS. CHANA: No, Your Honour. The Prosecution has no further
2 questions for this witness. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Lieutenant, you have this
6 document that was -- that has been shown to you by the Defence. Could you
7 confirm that the copy of this document was addressed to the commander of
8 the 1st Battalion of the 7th Brigade? Since we can see that 1/7 has been
9 underlined "commander."
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this document arrives, it is
12 delivered to the commander, and there is a reception stamp. It's on the
13 top to the left. Is that correct?
14 A. As far as I've understood you, and going back to that period, they
15 didn't use the usual title when drafting documents. They used this
16 reception stamp. I think that it replaced this title, and I can see that
17 something has been underlined, and I think this copy was to be distributed
18 to the commander of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade. So to a
19 commander of a lower unit, to the rank of a battalion.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The soldier, the
21 noncommissioned officer or the officer in the 1st Battalion who received
22 this order would then use the stamp which is at the top to the left. Is
23 that the person who will then make a note of the date, the 15th of April,
24 and the number 714/93? Are these the references made at the level of the
25 1st Battalion of the 7th Brigade in your opinion?
1 A. As far as I know, it wasn't necessary for him to write these
2 numbers down. These are numbers that come from the -- an official in the
3 general services offices. It was only necessary for him to make certain
4 records, to have someone working for him make a record of the reception of
5 this document.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So who made a note
7 of the date, the 15th of April, 514/93? Who wrote these figures down?
8 A. Well, this was probably noted by the chief of the office at the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That means your
11 predecessor, whose name was Nusret Duranovic.
12 A. The handwriting isn't clear to me. But yes, it was the chief of
13 the general services offices or an official.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If you have a look
15 at the signature and the stamp at the bottom of the document, it says
16 "Commander, Asim Koricic," but it appears that he didn't sign the document
17 as there are two elements before and after the word which is indicates
18 that someone signed on his behalf. Could you confirm that Koricic himself
19 did not sign this document?
20 A. Well, Mr. Koricic wouldn't have used the word "za" meaning "for."
21 He wouldn't have used the word "for." And he wouldn't have used the
22 letters "ta" at the end of the word. It wouldn't have been necessary
23 because he would have signed the document himself.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, sir. The signature
25 you see on this document, do you know who signed the document on behalf of
1 Mr. Koricic, if you remember this?
2 A. Given the time that has passed, I really can't recognise the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have another
5 question that has nothing to do with this document. You told us that
6 before 1996, you would deliver documents to units during the war. In 1993
7 when there was an order which had to be delivered to a unit, the order
8 that you carried, was it sealed or was there an order with a signature
9 that you were asked to deliver to such and such a unit, which was deployed
10 somewhere in the field. How did this take place since you were the
12 A. Yes. Before such a document and other documents were delivered to
13 this unit or other units, the person who was in charge in the general
14 services offices had the duty to ensure that legal procedure was followed,
15 to ensure that the document had been signed by an authorised person, and
16 to ensure that there was a stamp on the document. And my duties involved
17 delivering this document to the subordinate unit as rapidly as possible so
18 they could act on the basis of the document.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So are you saying
20 that you had the document and you went into the field to deliver the
21 document to the unit for whom the document was intended. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct. But it wasn't for me to make any
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So did you ever
25 carry documents while units were in an operational mode; that is to say,
1 while they were engaged in combat? Did you ever have to deliver units at
2 a time that units were engaged in the field and under enemy fire? Did
3 this ever happen?
4 A. As a rule, administrative personnel were never exposed to direct
5 enemy fire. Many documents in territory that was more secure were
6 exchanged. An exchange was involved. The units in the field had their
7 own couriers, and we would agree on an area that was secure. And this is
8 where the mail would be received.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But from January to
10 December, at any time of the day or night, were you ever asked to take a
11 document to a unit engaged in combat in the field. Does this ever happen?
12 My question was a lot more specific.
13 A. No, that never happened.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That never happened. So you
15 only delivered mail in zones that were fairly calm and in zones where you
16 had no risk?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So when you transported such
19 mail, and we know that there were telephones, telexes, means of
20 cryptographic communication, when you transported such documents, when you
21 carried such documents, were they classified? That is to say, were they
22 marked "military secret"? Did you ever carry classified material,
23 material that had been classified as secret?
24 A. As I said, I never did that in wartime conditions. But in other
25 cases, there were documents that required a certain form of security.
1 Discretion had to be exercised when transporting them.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The headquarters of the 7th
3 Brigade, where were they situated? Where were they located?
4 A. In Zenica.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You had an office or a building
6 where you would be present before you carried the mail around?
7 A. Yes, we had our own office.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The documents, the archives of
9 the 7th Brigade during the year 1993, were they in an office, were they
10 kept in cupboards, in binders? Where were orders of the kind that you saw
11 a minute ago kept?
12 I will show you the document. Mr. Usher, could you show the
13 witness the document again.
14 Have a look at the document, you can see the last line. It says
15 there, 1XA/A. Doesn't this reference mean that one copy of this order has
16 to be stored in the archives?
17 A. Yes. And usually it was the original.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So in which room, in
19 which building of the 7th Brigade would the original document be stored?
20 A. During the period that I worked there as a courier and as a
21 dispatcher, we did not have an office of our own. We had a cupboard, and
22 we had keys for the cupboard. And this was -- this cupboard was in the
23 place where we worked. And the documents were kept in an orderly manner
24 in binders.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they were ordered on the
1 basis of chronology or on the basis of the subjects? Did you classify
2 them in different ways, or were they placed one after the other?
3 A. During that period, we didn't classify them in any particular way.
4 The documents were just placed in binders, and at the end of the year, it
5 wasn't until the end of the year that we would sort them into the
6 categories that I have already mentioned on a number of occasions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Who had the keys to
8 the cupboard? Was it the person in charge of the office? Was it an
9 officer? Who had the keys which would enable one to open the cupboard and
10 gain access to the orders?
11 A. An authorised official had the keys. That is to say, the chief of
12 the office had these keys. And it was his duty --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apart from the commander of the
14 7th Brigade, was anyone else able to come and have a look at these
16 A. Only if the commander had authorised such an inspection.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In response to a
18 question a minute ago, you said that after two years had expired, this
19 archival material was sent to the 3rd Corps. As far as you know, the
20 documents during the period January to December 1993 or after that period
21 in 1994, were these documents collected and delivered to the 3rd Corps?
22 Do you have any knowledge about this?
23 A. In that period of time, I'm afraid I can't remember because I
24 wasn't responsible for the handing over of archives. I'm not familiar
25 with the details. But I do know and remember that my predecessor was
1 involved in taking over documents from lower-level units and handing them
2 over to the higher-level units.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that your
4 predecessor must have passed on the documents to the 3rd Corps, though you
5 don't know. Is that what you're telling us?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A moment ago, the Defence put a
8 question to you on page 49, lines 3 and 4. And I must say, I didn't
9 understand the full meaning of it. The Defence said the following: It
10 would happen without further specification that during wartime there were
11 false stamps, false orders, and that following these false or fakes, there
12 would be an instruction drawing the attention of the chief of the offices
13 to this question. And you answered, this is on page 49, line 7, that you
14 never heard of it.
15 So the Chamber doesn't know where the Defence got this information
16 from. Perhaps it would be interesting to learn that. But to come back to
17 this question, when you were the courier and when you were working in this
18 office in which there was a cupboard and a key and you provided quite a
19 lot of elements which show that you were there indeed, were there any
20 rumours that there may have been faked orders circulating with false
21 indications of the name of units? Did you ever hear of any such rumours?
22 Because you were at the heart of the functioning of the system of orders.
23 Did you ever hear of any such forged or falsified documents?
24 A. I don't remember that there were any such rumours. But regarding
25 the security of the transportation of documents in which we were one of
1 the links, if there was any lack of clarity, we would necessarily have to
2 react. But I do not remember that there were any instances of that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will move on to
4 1996 when you became chief in the 7th Mechanised Brigade of this office.
5 When you took over your position, because you were the chief of this
6 office, when you arrived, were there documents there that were still in
7 the cupboards? Or rather, this 7th Mechanised Brigade, was it in the same
8 premises as the former 7th Muslim Brigade?
9 A. Yes. It was the same office, and I took over duties from my
10 predecessor in that same office.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So for a number of years, you
12 didn't change the office. You were there in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996.
13 So it's an office that you're quite familiar with. Can you confirm that
14 from 1993 up to 1996 and even later, you were still in the same office?
15 A. I came to an office. When I joined the unit, I came to another
16 office. But I stayed there very briefly. I can hardly remember. But we
17 spent most of our time in the office in which the handing over, takeover
18 of duties took place between me and my predecessor.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When this handing over of duties
20 took place, were there documents in the cupboards which dated back to the
21 period 1993, 1994? Were there still any such documents in the cupboard?
22 A. Yes, there were.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. There were. What did
24 you do with those documents?
25 A. Having received an order from my superior's command, I had to list
1 them according to instructions on archives that was in force at the time,
2 and to hand over those documents to the archives of the 3rd Corps, which
3 I, in fact, did.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the document that
5 you had in front of you a moment ago, the document produced by the
6 Defence, dated the 15th of April, so this document which was archived
7 within the 7th Brigade, you would normally have to pass it on to the 2nd
8 Corps that succeeded the 3rd Corps in accordance with the order you
9 received. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So all these documents, you
12 listed them, you put them in binders, and a vehicle must have come to pick
13 them up and transport them to Tuzla, I suppose.
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when those documents were
16 handed over in Tuzla, somebody must have signed a receipt that you had
17 passed on or delivered the totality of documents?
18 A. Yes. That was the situation in Tuzla. Again, we made a report on
19 the handing over of archived documents and an official note was written.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] During the period 1995, 1996,
21 1997 to the best of your knowledge, were there persons outside your unit
22 who inquired about those documents? For instance, the judicial
23 institutions in your country? Are you aware of any requests for examining
24 those documents before you handed them over to Tuzla?
25 A. No. There wasn't any such interest. The only interest shown and
1 which we had to coordinate with was the team of investigators who visited
2 our unit in the year 2000. That was the first time for anyone to request
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And a last question that comes
5 to mind: In 1993, while you were the courier and you had no other
6 responsibilities, so I'm talking about this period in 1993, do you know
7 whether the military judge or the military prosecutor or a civilian judge
8 either within the framework of inquiry or for any other purposes came to
9 examine the documents of the 7th Brigade? Did anyone show any interest in
10 the documents in 1993? Because if a judge or a prosecutor or a policeman
11 comes to look at documents, it's quite an important event that one would
12 remember. So do you remember whether that happened or not?
13 A. To the best of my recollection, that did not happen.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
15 I'm going to give the floor again to the Defence -- unless the
16 other Judges have any questions to put.
17 Do any of the Defence counsel wish to re-examine on the basis of
18 the questions that I put to the witness?
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence for General
20 Hadzihasanovic has no additional questions. But I thought that you would
21 first ask the Prosecution whether they had any re-examination.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Just
23 one question for the sake of clarification.
24 Further cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] In 1993 in the 7th Brigade, was there a lawyer in
1 charge of legal affairs?
2 A. Yes, there was.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 The Defence noted that they thought that I would give the floor
5 for the Prosecution for re-examination. But I've already given the
6 Prosecution the floor for the re-examination following your
7 cross-examination. But we can ask them once again whether they have any
8 more questions for this witness.
9 So I'm asking the Prosecution, have they any additional questions
10 for this witness?
11 MS. CHANA: No, thank you, Mr. President. No additional questions
12 for this witness.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
14 Has the Defence any additional questions that may have occurred to
15 them even though the Prosecution has no questions?
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you. Thank you very
17 much, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As the Judges have no additional
19 questions either, Lieutenant, I wish to thank you on behalf of the Chamber
20 for coming to The Hague to testify about certain matters linked to
21 documents. In view of your previous activities as a courier and then
22 chief of these general services office, you have answered all the
23 questions put to you by the Prosecution, the Defence attorneys, and the
24 Judges, and we thank you for contributing to the establishment of the
25 truth through your answers. We wish you a safe journey home, and success
1 in your military career within the army. You told us that you are a
2 lieutenant. We hope that very soon you will become captain. Thank you.
3 And I'm going is to ask the usher to be kind enough to escort you out of
4 the courtroom.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will address Madam Benjamin to
7 ask her what the schedule is for tomorrow's hearing. Madam Benjamin.
8 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, the schedule is as indicated
9 before. Tomorrow, we have Mika Tauru who will be dealing with the
10 sketches. And Thursday, Judge Adamovic, perhaps he may continue until
11 Friday, and Peter Hackshaw, the investigator.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Regarding next week,
13 I know that the Prosecution is working very hard just now. But I also
14 know that nothing is planned as of Monday. Have they envisaged witnesses
15 from Monday on? Can you already give us some indications?
20 And as to the end of the week, the witnesses that my colleague is
21 now dealing with, that's the insiders, plus another archivist, we plan
22 that we would use those for the end of next week. I think I'll be in a
23 better position tomorrow to indicate what exactly will be the order of the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With respect to the
1 videoconference, indeed, we are waiting for a ruling of the Appeals
2 Chamber. But would it nevertheless be possible, notwithstanding the
3 decision of the Appeals Chamber, to proceed with the videoconference of
4 the other witness with whom there's no problem, except for problems of
5 health which perhaps can be dealt with? Would it be possible to begin the
6 video with the other witness so that we don't lose any time?
7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I think it would most certainly be, except
8 for the fact that we were looking in light of the cost. You know, because
9 if we have to do just one alone now and then do the other one next two
10 weeks, it may just be very costly. But this afternoon I am due to speak
11 with my colleague, Mr. Mundis, and a final decision will be taken, and
12 I'll certainly let the Chamber know tomorrow.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
14 We have a few minutes left before the break but which will
15 actually be the end of the hearing for today. Would the Defence like to
16 take advantage of the remaining time for any observations or submissions
17 or representations, as Mr. Bourgon would say?
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. For
19 today, we have no other matters to address.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team, do
21 they wish to take the floor? We haven't heard Mr. Dixon for a long time.
22 MR. DIXON: No, Your Honour. We have unfortunately nothing to
23 raise at the moment. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In that case, let me
25 thank you all. As I have indicated, the agenda for today has been
1 exhausted. And I invite you to come back for the hearing beginning at
2 9.00 tomorrow morning with the testimony of a former investigator of the
3 OTP, a witness we can also ask about documents because I have noted that
4 his name appears on the documents shown to the witness a moment ago. That
5 is in October. So it will be useful to ask him some questions about the
6 documents as well.
7 So we meet again tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.21 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of
10 June, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.