1 Wednesday, 30 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you call case number,
6 Mr. Registrar, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Enver Hadzihasanovic, and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we have the
10 appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel,
12 and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the Prosecution, Tecla
13 Henry-Benjamin, Daryl Mundis, and the case manager Andres Vatter.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis. And
15 could we have the appearances for the Defence, who are not all present.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President; good
17 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of the General Enver Hadzihasanovic,
18 Edina Residovic, lead counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, legal assistant.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
21 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic and Nermin Mulalic, legal
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
24 would like to greet everyone present in the courtroom, members of the
25 Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused, and everyone else present in
1 the courtroom as well as the interpreters who are outside the courtroom.
2 Today we will continue with the examination of a witness. Before
3 we call the witness into the courtroom, there is a minor clarification I
4 would like to provide you with concerning the -- our future work.
5 Tomorrow is the beginning of July. We have a number of witnesses who
6 still have to be called. I would like to inform the Prosecution that they
7 will have up until Friday, the 23rd. That will be the last day on which
8 we will be able to have a hearing, because after that date the Trial
9 Chamber will be occupied with the Tribunal's Plenary Sessions, and then we
10 will have the holiday period in August. So after the 23rd of July, the
11 first hearing that we could have would be on the 31st of August, Monday,
12 the 31st of August. In July there are also two days when the Trial
13 Chamber won't be sitting. That will be on the 19th and the 20th of July.
14 So the Prosecution should bear this in mind when planning its
15 case. And the end of its case, the Prosecution's case, should have been
16 at the beginning of June, but given the particular circumstances that
17 arose, we have not yet concluded this stage of the proceedings.
18 So in summary, we have 23 days, but Friday the 23rd will have to
19 be the last day. And on the 19th and 20th of July, we won't be having a
20 hearing. We will resume on Wednesday, the 21st. And if there is a
21 witness who is not available for 15 days, I think that might cause a
23 Mr. Mundis, as far as this schedule is concerned, are there any
24 comments you would like to make?
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. As the Trial Chamber is
1 well aware, we -- we do have just a small number of witnesses, but as Your
2 Honour has indicated, one of those witnesses is unavailable for
3 approximately 15 days. VWS is in the process of attempting to communicate
4 with the other witness. We will, of course, ensure that we comply with
5 the Trial Chamber's Scheduling Order as just indicated.
6 At some point it would, I think, be of assistance to both parties
7 to at least get some preliminary thoughts from the Trial Chamber as to
8 scheduling with respect to 98 bis submissions. Of course the time frame
9 for those, pursuant to the Rules, runs from the completion of the
10 Prosecution case. However, it might be of some assistance at some point
11 if we could get some preliminary thoughts after, of course, hearing from
12 the Defence, as to the timetable in which the Trial Chamber might be
13 expecting the parties to file their written submissions pursuant to that
15 Other than that, Mr. President, the schedule as set forth is
16 certainly manageable from the Prosecution point of view, assuming that we
17 get the documents all sorted and the remaining witnesses are made
18 available. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I will give the floor to
20 the Defence to hear what their comments are. According to the schedule I
21 have just mentioned, as I said, the last day on which we could have a
22 hearing would be the 23rd of July. 98 bis can only enter into force at
23 the end of the Prosecution's case. So if I extrapolate from what you
24 said, you said that the witness who should be here in 15 days' time should
25 enable you to finish by the 23rd of July, at the latest. Is that correct,
1 Mr. Mundis?
2 MR. MUNDIS: We anticipate no problems with that schedule,
3 Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm now addressing
5 the Defence. You've heard what has just been said. The Prosecution would
6 like to have certain clarifications with regard to Rule 98 bis, because as
7 you are well aware, once the Prosecution has officially stated that they
8 have completed the presentation of their case, you have seven days, and if
9 necessary, you can be granted additional time. So it would be useful if
10 you could tell us at this point in time whether you have already given any
11 thought to the matter.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. And I'd like
13 to thank the Trial Chamber for having indicated certain dates when it will
14 be possible to work, and the Plenary Session. It's quite clear to us that
15 after the Prosecution has concluded the presentation of its case, it is
16 then time for us to prepare for the entry into force of Rule 98 bis. As
17 far as I have understood my colleagues from the Prosecution, they stated
18 before the Trial Chamber that their case should be concluded not only once
19 they have completed the examinations of the witnesses but also once the
20 Trial Chamber's decision on the admissibility of documents has been
21 rendered. So it is obvious that today we can't say when the exact date
22 would be as far as submissions or filing of submission is concerned.
23 Naturally we will take advantage of our right according to the
24 Rules. It's at least eight days after the decision has been rendered on
25 the conclusion of the Prosecution's case, but according to the practice
1 followed before this Chamber, even in simpler cases the Defence is given
2 three weeks, and we believe that the Trial Chamber will understand that
3 this is the minimum period the Defence requires in order to file its
5 I also think that the Chamber will give the Prosecution an
6 opportunity to respond to our motion. If the Trial Chamber could take
7 into consideration the fact that August is a holiday period, not only for
8 all those who work in the Tribunal but also -- and for us who will be
9 dealing with the defence, but it's also a holiday period for the people
10 working for us or the witnesses whom we have to contact during that
11 period. As a result, when the Trial Chamber presents its plan, could they
12 take into consideration the fact that the Defence counsel will not be in a
13 position to work effectively for a one-month period, and could we be
14 allowed to have sufficient time to prepare?
15 According to the practice followed before the Tribunal, after
16 submissions are filed, the Trial Chamber usually lets the Defence have two
17 or three weeks to prepare in order to present its case. That's when the
18 Defence case commences with its opening statement. We have discussed this
19 subject. We don't have any specific suggestions, but we do believe that
20 the Trial Chamber, when giving thought to the proceedings that will be
21 followed -- the procedure that will be followed by the Defence and by the
22 Prosecution, we believe that the Trial Chamber will take into
23 consideration the suggestions and submissions that we have made today.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your submissions.
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13 English transcripts.
1 And the other Defence team.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
3 have nothing other to add to what Mrs. Residovic has just stated.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the Defence
5 counsel have said that after the Prosecution has concluded the
6 presentation of its case, it believes that, in conformity with the
7 practice followed here, they should be granted at least three weeks to
8 make their submissions, file their motions. The Defence counsel has also
9 stated that this is something that will occur during the so-called court
10 recess, during the holiday period, and this is something that should be
11 borne in mind.
12 It is also obvious that once the submissions have been made, once
13 the motions have been filed, the Prosecution will have a certain period of
14 time, usually the same period of time, so that the Prosecution can
16 So if I add this up very rapidly, three weeks plus three weeks
17 means that we would -- that it would take us up to mid-September more or
18 less. The Judges will discuss the matter, and we will then provide you
19 with a schedule for the future, but for the moment we have taken note of
20 what you have said and your positions. The positions you have stated have
21 been very reasonable.
22 Mr. Mundis, in view of what the Defence has just said, is there
23 anything you would like to add?
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We have nothing to add at
25 this point. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What is important,
2 naturally, is to know when you will have concluded the presentation of
3 your case. It's important to know the exact date, and that's when we will
4 decide on when time should start running for the Defence, but we know that
5 you have plans to make, things that you have to organise, so this is
6 something that will be addressed later.
7 I think that Mr. Bourgon wanted to say something about the
8 documents. That's the impression I had yesterday, but he is not here, so
9 you won't be making any submissions. Mr. Bourgon said that he would be
10 making some submissions, but he is not present here. So if he hasn't
11 given you any instructions, any information --
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As you know, this is Mr. Bourgon's
13 responsibility. That's how we have divided our tasks. So if he thinks it
14 is necessary, he will address the Trial Chamber tomorrow. Thank you very
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's with great pleasure that we
17 have heard that he will be here tomorrow and we will give him the floor so
18 that he can make the submissions he wants to make.
19 If there are no other issues to raise by either of the parties, I
20 will now ask the usher to bring the witness into the courtroom.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I -- if I could, while the witness
22 is being brought in, again for the record as the Prosecution has
23 previously indicated, this witness we expect will be a Defence witness and
24 consequently the questioning put to this witness by the Prosecution will
25 be limited to one of the specific points pursuant to the Trial Chamber's
1 17 May 2004 oral order.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I would like to
4 make sure that you are receiving interpretation of what I'm saying. If
5 so, please say that you are receiving the interpretation and that you can
6 understand everything.
7 THE WITNESS: Hear in English.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He can hear what I'm saying in
9 English. Can you hear what is being said in English?
10 I wanted to say that you have been called here as a witness by the
11 Prosecution. I will get back to that in a minute, but as you've been
12 called to testify, you have to take the solemn declaration. Before you do
13 so, could you please give me your first and last names, could you tell me
14 your date of birth and your place of birth.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Senad Selimovic. I was
16 born on the 30th of December, 1956, in Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What duties do you perform at
18 the moment or what is your current position?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a pensioner now, and I'm a
20 former member of the BH Federation army.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're a member of the military
22 as retired. What was the rank you held before you retired and when did
23 you retire?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a brigadier in the Federation
25 army, and I retired on the 30th of May, 2004.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Brigadier. Would that be an
2 officer's rank?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's the highest rank an
4 officer can have in the Federation army. It's above the rank of general.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So should one call you
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shouldn't call you "General."
9 The rank below that of general in all the armies throughout the world is
10 that of a colonel.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, I don't know
12 why that is the case. That is the rank in certain armies. In other
13 armies that's the rank of colonel.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The witness said that
15 the rank above that of brigadier is general.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will ask you, Colonel -- I
17 will call you Colonel. That will be a lot simpler.
18 When you went into retirement, which unit were you in just before
19 you went into retirement in the year 2004?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of the Joint Command
21 of the Federation army.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And my last question
23 before you take the solemn declaration. In 1993, were you a member of the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which unit were you a member of
2 and what rank did you hold?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of the 3rd Corps of
4 the BH army. I had the rank that I had in the former JNA, the rank of
5 captain first class.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, sir. In 1993, you
7 were a captain.
8 Have you already testified before an international or national
9 court with regard to the events that took place in Bosnia in 1993 or is
10 this the first time?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please
13 read out the solemn declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
17 WITNESS: SENAD SELIMOVIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, as I have already said,
20 you have been called here as a witness by the Prosecution. You have been
21 called here to testify because the Trial Chamber has to resolve an issue
22 that concerns certain documents. Your presence here has to do with
23 certain technical issues that relate to documents.
24 In the course of previous hearings, we found out that you were
25 supposed to be a witness for the Defence, and it is only recently that we
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13 English transcripts.
1 discovered that you were a Defence witness, whereas you have now been
2 called by the Prosecution. So all you will have to do now is answer
3 technical questions that have to do with the documents. We won't be
4 talking about any other issues of substance. The Prosecution will be
5 putting questions to you. Once they have put their questions to you --
6 the Prosecution are to your right and you met them awhile ago in your
7 country. Once they have put the questions to you, Defence counsel, who
8 are to your left, will conduct what we call their cross-examination. If
9 necessary, the Prosecution will take the floor again to put additional
10 questions to you. The three Judges sitting before you will also ask you
11 questions that relate to technical issues, relate to the transmission of
12 documents, et cetera, et cetera. Perhaps we won't have so many questions
13 to ask you, but when we do ask you questions, this will be to clarify
14 certain answers you have provided or because the Judges believe that there
15 are certain gaps that should be filled and certain issues that should be
17 You've taken the solemn declaration. If you give false testimony
18 -- if one gives false testimony, one could be prosecuted. And there is
19 something else I would like to inform you of, but this shouldn't be
20 applicable to you: A witness may refuse to answer questions that could
21 incriminate the witness. In such a case, the Trial Chamber can compel the
22 witness to answer, but the witness is granted a form of immunity.
23 Try to answer the questions as precisely and clearly as possible.
24 That is, you are an officer, you know what that means. It's necessary for
25 your answer to be sufficiently clear for us to understand, because if we
1 don't understand your answer, then there's no point in putting questions
2 to you. That's why your testimony is so important.
3 If you fail to understand a question, ask the person putting it to
4 you to rephrase it. If you encounter difficulties of any kind, do tell
5 us. You're here to testify about purely technical matters, so you should
6 be relaxed, and you shouldn't be concerned by the questions that will be
7 put to you.
8 I am now turning to Mr. Mundis, who will take the floor.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
11 Q. Good morning, Mr. Selimovic. You told the Trial Chamber in
12 response to one of the preliminary questions that you had been in the JNA.
13 Can you please tell us when you first joined the Yugoslav People's Army.
14 A. I joined the Yugoslav People's Army in June 1978, when I graduated
15 from the Military Air Force Academy in Rajlovac, near Sarajevo.
16 Q. And upon graduating from the Military Air Force Academy, what
17 subsequent training or specialisation, specialised training, did you
19 A. In the JNA, after graduation and after I began working at the
20 Bihac airport to which I was assigned, I mainly attended these military
21 courses intended for advanced training. The first course I completed was
22 as a commander of a communications company, a course for commanders of
23 communication companies. But nothing more than that in the JNA.
24 Q. Can you tell us about the branch or specialised branch of the JNA
25 air force that you served in?
1 A. I was promoted to the position of communications officer so that
2 throughout I was mainly active in that area. That is the branch of the
3 army that deals with communications.
4 Q. Can you tell us, when you say "throughout," what time period or
5 for what period of time were you a communications specialist?
6 A. From -- at the beginning, I was commander of a communications
7 platoon, then a communications company, then in Bihac there was at the
8 level of the brigade. Those were the duties I performed for the JNA.
9 As for the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I performed the duties of
10 the head of communications for the district staff in Zenica up until the
11 formation of the 3rd Corps. When the 3rd Corps was formed, I became head
12 of communications for the 3rd Corps as assistant chief of staff for
14 And after the war, I was appointed to the position of deputy
15 assistant chief of staff for telecommunications in the Joint Command of
16 the army of the Federation. That was the duty that I performed until my
18 Q. So based on this answer, Mr. Selimovic, would it be fair to say
19 that for more than a quarter century you were involved in military
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let me just go back and ask you to elaborate briefly on your
23 answer of a few moments ago. You told us that in Bihac, while serving
24 with the JNA air force, you commanded a brigade, a communications brigade.
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. Actually, I was commander of the communications company at
2 Bihac airport, which is an air force base. And for those who don't know,
3 this is the equivalent to a brigade. And at the same time, I was chief of
4 communications in the brigade. So I had those two positions. I was
5 commander of the communications company, and at the same time head of
6 communications for the brigade.
7 Q. Sir, can you tell us approximately when you left the JNA?
8 A. In April 1992.
9 Q. Following your departure from the JNA, what military did you
10 immediately serve in, or what force did you immediately serve in after
11 leaving the JNA?
12 A. With my children, I went to Zenica. This was in April 1992. And
13 then after that, I couldn't return to Bihac, where I had lived until then,
14 and on the 30th of April I reported to the district staff of the defence
15 of Zenica, of the Territorial Defence. So the district staff of the
16 Territorial Defence of Zenica.
17 Q. Sir, just for the record, you told us that you reported there on
18 30 April. Can you tell us what year?
19 A. 1992.
20 Q. How long did you remain with the district staff of the Territorial
21 Defence of Zenica?
22 A. Until the establishment of the command of the 3rd Corps. Simply
23 as soon as the 3rd Corps was established, I was appointed to head of
24 communications of the 3rd Corps.
25 Q. Sir, while you remained from the 30th of April, 1992, until the
1 establishment of the 3rd Corps, during the time period you were with the
2 district staff of the Territorial Defence of Zenica, what were your duties
3 and responsibilities?
4 A. In the district staff, I was appointed to the position of chief of
5 communications of the district staff of the Territorial Defence of Zenica.
6 Q. Mr. Selimovic, do you recall approximately when the 3rd Corps was
8 A. In November 19 -- end of November 1992. Yes, 1992.
9 Q. And you told us, sir, that your duties there were as assistant --
10 assistant staff -- can you tell us again your precise title with the 3rd
12 A. In the staff, I was appointed to the position assistant chief of
13 staff for communications. Actually, it was the position of chief of
14 communications of the 3rd Corps. These positions are frequently given
15 different names, but actually they're one and the same.
16 Q. And based on this position, would it be fair to characterise you
17 as being the chief of communications or the most senior communications
18 officer within the 3rd Corps?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber how long you remained with
21 the 3rd Corps?
22 A. I remained in the 3rd Corps actually until the end of the war.
23 And in 1997, I think, I became a member of the Joint Command of the
24 Federation army.
25 Q. And throughout the period of time from the establishment of the
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13 English transcripts.
1 3rd Corps, when you were attached to that unit until you detached from
2 that unit sometime after the war, did you remain in the post of chief of
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us the -- to whom you reported as the chief of
6 communications. Who was your immediate supervisor?
7 A. In the 3rd Corps, you mean?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. My superior was Mekic Muradif, chief of staff in the command of
10 the 3rd Corps, my immediate superior.
11 Q. How long was Mekic Muradif your supervisor as the chief of staff?
12 A. I can't remember exactly now, but for as long as he was chief of
13 staff. I can't give you the exact date. I think it was the end of 1992,
14 which would mean from November until, shall we say, mid-1993 maybe. Maybe
15 even into the autumn. I can't remember.
16 Q. I take it then, sir, based on these answers that you've given us,
17 that as the chief of communications you reported directly to the chief of
19 A. Yes, most often.
20 Q. And can you tell us, then, the chain of command upwards from the
21 chief of staff within the 3rd Corps.
22 A. If I may, I would like to say that the commander of the 3rd Corps
23 was General Hadzihasanovic. His deputy -- there was the position of
24 Deputy Commander in those days, and General Dzemal Merdan was appointed to
25 that position, and I think that the number three man in the hierarchy was
1 Muradif Mekic. Actually, this position of deputy commander existed in
2 some units and others it didn't. In units in which there was no deputy
3 commander, then the chief of staff was the second in command.
4 Q. But just so that we're clear, in the 3rd Corps, there was at the
5 top the commander, followed by the deputy commander, followed by the chief
6 of staff?
7 A. I think that is how it was.
8 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about what your
9 responsibilities entailed as the communications officer for the 3rd
11 A. This communications section within the staff was an administration
12 and planning body engaged in the planning and organisation of
13 communications in the command.
14 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what you mean by "planning and
15 organisation of communications"? What exactly does that mean?
16 A. I would be the specialised body of the chief of staff who was the
17 highest person responsible for the system of communications and its
18 planning and organisation, that is of the communications system within the
19 command of the 3rd Corps. And an administrative planning body, when I say
20 that, it means that I didn't have the ability to issue orders. I was a
21 consultative body, somebody who would propose the organisation of the
22 system of communications.
23 Q. You told us that you didn't have the ability to issue orders. Are
24 you familiar in any sense of how orders or regulations that would govern
25 orders, what regulations were in effect?
1 A. Well, a certain organisational process was applied when decisions
2 were made. Sometimes the process would take time, sometimes it was quite
3 brief, and sometimes the commander himself would make the decisions. And
4 I would take part, as the chief of communications, in drafting orders with
5 respect to communications.
6 Q. Let me -- let me take a step backwards. I'll ask you a little bit
7 more about these issues in just a moment. Were there regulations in force
8 that governed how to draft orders and what orders should look like and the
9 formatting of orders and these types of issues?
10 A. We applied what we knew on the basis of our professional
11 experience from the past. We used certain instructions from the former
12 JNA which regulated the format of orders and what they should contain.
13 Q. So there was some type of set template or format for what orders
14 should look like. Is that what you're telling us?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, you've mentioned to us a little bit about how orders actually
17 came to be drafted. Can you tell us how -- in some detail how that
18 actually worked in practice. How were orders actually drafted?
19 A. The orders were drafted in different ways, ranging from an
20 individual or a specialist in a particular area. If the order related to
21 that area only, he would prepare the possible text of the order. And then
22 also this could be done during an organisational process, in a summary
23 proceeding, or when several participants would contribute elements or
24 parts to that order. And also there were cases where the commander
25 himself or one of his deputies or the chief of staff could draft the order
2 Q. I'd like you to be as precise as possible, Witness, with respect
3 to the issue of who had the authority to issue the order.
4 A. First of all, the commander of the 3rd Corps, General
5 Hadzihasanovic. Also, up to a point, the deputy commander, General Dzemal
6 Merdan, and the chief of staff, Mr. Muradif Mekic.
7 Q. You've told us about the process whereby a number of individuals
8 might be involved in drafting the orders. Would those individuals be
9 doing that at their own initiative or would they be following specific
10 instructions from the senior leadership of the 3rd Corps?
11 A. In most cases there would be instructions from the superiors. In
12 most cases on the whole, yes.
13 Q. Can you tell us about specific instances where an officer or a
14 staff officer might draft an order on his or her own initiative?
15 A. Well, occasionally there would be a situation when only that
16 particular area was affected, and then orders might be issued that were of
17 lesser importance. When something needed to be regulated and the
18 superiors were not there, who were frequently in the field or at advance
19 command posts or touring the units, and then what might happen would be
20 for such orders to be written in their absence. Or a superior might give
21 instructions to someone to prepare an order for a particular unit for the
22 particular area for which he is the expert, because the commander and
23 chief of staff couldn't be familiar with all the details, so they most
24 frequently consulted their subordinates.
25 Q. Who had the authority to sign written orders for the 3rd Corps?
1 A. As far as I can recollect, as far as I know and to the best of my
2 knowledge, it was the commander, the deputy commander, and the chief of
3 staff. Those are the three persons who had that authority. Sometimes - I
4 can't say exactly when - there would be case when an officer from the
5 operations department who would sometimes be, shall we say, the number
6 four in rank, and possibly also from the special branches or services, an
7 order of lesser importance, one that didn't affect everyone, so maybe the
8 best term to use might be the orders of lesser importance might be signed
9 by them.
10 Q. Witness, you've told us that the deputy commander or the chief of
11 staff or some of these other officers could sign orders. Would they sign
12 orders if the commander were present? Would those individuals be the one
13 issuing orders if the commander was present at the headquarters?
14 A. I think not. In writing, no. Certainly if the commander is
15 there, then he was the one to do it mostly.
16 Q. So if we're clear, then the commander would sign the orders if he
17 was present; but if he was not present, then who would sign?
18 A. In most cases, these two other persons; that is, the deputy
19 commander, General Merdan, and the chief of staff, Muradif Mekic.
20 Q. And if General Merdan was present but General Hadzihasanovic was
21 not, would the chief of staff sign the documents?
22 A. Yes. I've already told you that that position was questionable.
23 Actually, we weren't sure whether the deputy was number two or the chief
24 of staff was number two, and even later on a clear distinction couldn't be
25 made. But in any case, both of them would sign if the commander was
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13 English transcripts.
1 absent, or if two of the three were absent. There were such situations.
2 Q. And what about situations where all three of them were absent?
3 Who would sign orders for the 3rd Corps in those circumstances?
4 A. In exceptional cases, but rather rarely, it would be the
5 operations officer, or the head of the operations department, the chief of
6 the operations department.
7 Q. To your knowledge, sir, were there any standing orders within the
8 3rd Corps setting forth who could sign documents when the senior leaders
9 were absent?
10 A. I can't remember actually seeing such standing orders, but it was
11 a kind of unwritten rule that I remember such, that it was the persons who
12 held these positions who had the authority to sign orders.
13 Q. And, sir, that would in fact follow from common military sense and
14 training, would it not, that there is always someone in charge, even in
15 the absence of the commander, deputy, chief of staff?
16 A. Yes, you're quite right.
17 Q. Sir, let me turn now to the issue of the preparation, if you will,
18 the physical preparation of written orders. You've already told us that
19 in some instances there might be a collaborative process or a number of
20 individuals might be involved in writing an order, but how would that be
21 done? How would they write an order?
22 A. Well, in brief, the commander would have and set forth his idea as
23 to what the contents of the document should be, of the order, and then the
24 specialised bodies, the assistants, and senior officers in the staff would
25 actually start the process, and they would finally propose points in the
1 order relating to the specific areas that the order was meant to cover,
2 upon which the commander would accept or reject these proposals made by
3 his assistants or the assistants of the chief of staff with respect to
4 their specific areas.
5 Q. Were these orders written by hand or were they typed on a
6 typewriter or a computer? How were they actually physically produced, the
7 written orders?
8 A. In the beginning, the orders were mostly written on a typewriter,
9 and then later on a computer would be used. Actually, in most cases it
10 was a PC, so that mostly all the orders, at least in the 3rd Corps
11 Command, were done on a computer, afterwards printed out by a printer.
12 Q. And what would happen to the document that was printed out after
13 it came out of the printer? What would be the process?
14 A. It would be carried to the commander for him to sign it.
15 Q. And once the commander signed the document, the order, what would
16 happen then?
17 A. Then the order would go to the administrative department of the
18 staff, where it would be registered and certified with a stamp, that is to
19 certify the commander's signature or the signature of whoever it was that
20 had signed the document.
21 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what you mean by "certifying."
22 What was the process about? How was it done?
23 A. The first certification is the signature itself of the person who
24 signed the document. In this case, it would be the commander, his deputy,
25 or chief of staff. After that, a stamp was used, a round stamp specific
1 to the unit, whereby the authenticity of the signature is certified.
2 Q. Who did the certifying?
3 A. Mainly the -- in the administrative department, the staff in that
4 department. That may have consisted of three or four men who would take
5 turns working there. Anyway, that was their responsibility.
6 Q. And how would they actually determine the authenticity of the
7 signature prior to placing the stamp on the order?
8 A. They had to know what the signature looked like, the signature of
9 the commander or the person who has the right to sign. I think they would
10 know more about that, actually.
11 Q. Do you know how -- you told us they, the administrative officer,
12 had to know what the signature looked like. Do you have any information
13 or knowledge as to how they would know what the signature looked like?
14 A. I believe that they -- the person who has the authority to sign
15 and his signature to be stamped has to deposit that signature. I'm not
16 sure that we implemented that rule at the time, but probably that was how
17 it was.
18 Q. So I take it from that answer, then, that when you say deposit the
19 signature, there would be some kind of a list of these authorised
20 signatures and the administrative officer would compare that and then
21 certificate it and stamp it?
22 A. I think so, yes. I think that's how it was done.
23 Q. Once the written order was then signed, certified, and stamped,
24 what would be done with the written order?
25 A. In view of the fact that communications had been planned, in those
1 days we had planned radio communications, some wire communications,
2 courier communications, the way would be defined how the document would be
3 carried. In most cases it was by courier because the communications
4 system could not send off documents that were lengthy, that consisted of
5 several pages. So brief orders went through communications links,
6 documents that were one to two pages long at the outside, but in most
7 cases the orders would be carried by courier.
8 Q. Were the orders that were carried by the couriers, did they all
9 have original signatures and original stamps, or did the original signed
10 copy remain with the 3rd Corps headquarters?
11 A. Well, different procedures were followed at times, but on the
12 whole, these documents were documents that had all been signed, all copies
13 of these documents had been signed by the commander and then this circular
14 stamp was placed on the document. Sometimes, for the sake of procedure,
15 in order to be rapid, the commander would only sign one original document,
16 which would remain in the archives, and then the document would be copied,
17 the document with his signature, and then that copy would be stamped and
18 perhaps there would be something mentioning that the copy had been made on
19 the basis of an authentic document issued by the commander.
20 So two procedures were followed. A copy of the commander's
21 signature could be stamped, so to speak, but there would be an authentic
23 Q. Let me ask you a few follow-on questions based on -- on what
24 you've just told us. I take it from the answer that in some circumstances
25 or in some situations multiple copies of an order, such as an order to all
1 units, multiple copies might be printed out and all of those signed by the
2 commander and certified and stamped?
3 A. Yes. There were cases when this procedure was followed, but as I
4 said, there were also cases in which there was only one document, one
5 order that was signed, and then copies of that document with the
6 commander's signature would be made. The copy would then be stamped, and
7 this was confirmation that the document was an authentic one.
8 Q. So just so that we're clear, sir, the -- if the document were to
9 be photocopied or somehow copied after the commander signed it, it would
10 still get a stamp on it to certify that the photocopy was an accurate copy
11 of the original before it was then sent out to the unit it was addressed
13 A. Yes. That's what was most frequently done.
14 Q. What colour or colours were used by the administrative staff to
15 stamp documents?
16 A. Usually the colour used was blue.
17 Q. Now, you've also told us, sir, that the document, after it was
18 sent, or -- let me rephrase the question.
19 Was an original or was the original copy of the order retained at
20 the 3rd Corps headquarters?
21 A. Yes. Usually, yes.
22 Q. And what would happen to that original? Where was it kept? How
23 were they maintained?
24 A. That was usually kept in the archives. It was changed at
25 different times, but it was usually kept in the archives. That's the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 document that would be kept by the person who had drafted the order, by
2 the person who had processed it. Sometimes it was the commander, and
3 sometimes, as I said, it was the deputy, sometimes it was the chief of
4 staff. These people might have the document, but it was kept in a
5 so-called archive. So it wasn't in fact a real archives, but that's more
6 or less how the documents were kept or stored in the archives. Or let's
7 say it would be in the administration department that was in charge of
8 those archives.
9 Q. So the 3rd Corps administrative department maintained an archive
10 of the original documents?
11 A. Usually, yes.
12 Q. I neglected to ask you one question earlier when we were talking
13 about individuals other than the commander signing the original document.
14 Can you tell us the typewritten or computer written signature block on 3rd
15 Corps documents, whose name would appear on documents issued by the 3rd
16 Corps, the typewritten or computer written name at the bottom of the
18 A. Usually the first and last name of the 3rd Corps commander,
19 General Hadzihasanovic.
20 Q. What about those instances where someone other than General
21 Hadzihasanovic signed the document? Whose typewritten name would appear?
22 Would it still be the commander's, or who it be the individual who
23 actually signed the order?
24 A. Usually in most of the cases there would be the first and last
25 name of the commander, General Hadzihasanovic. His name was always
1 printed out at the bottom. The document was ready to be signed.
2 Q. In the event someone other than the commander signed the document,
3 such as the deputy commander or chief of staff or someone from the
4 operations department, if they signed the document, would there be any
5 indication on the document that someone other than the commander was
6 signing the document?
7 A. Sometimes there would be the handwritten word "for," which meant
8 the deputy, and then there would be the signature of that person. You'd
9 have the printed name of General Hadzihasanovic, and it would be signed by
10 one of these two or three persons. Sometimes there was the word "for,"
11 and sometimes the word "for" wasn't contained on the document and then you
12 would have the signature.
13 Q. So what you're telling us, sir, is that the word "for" might not
14 appear on all the documents when someone other than the commander signed
16 A. Yes. That's what would happen. That's what the documents looked
17 like, as far as I can remember.
18 Q. And again, for the benefit of those of us who unfortunately don't
19 speak the Bosnian language, can you spell the word "for" in Bosnian for
20 the transcript?
21 A. Z-a. Z-a.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Selimovic. Let me turn now to the issue of the
23 transmission of written orders to the field. You've already told us that
24 in general if a document was lengthy it would be sent by courier, but if
25 it was a shorter document, it would be sent by other means. Let me ask
1 you in general about what communications means were available to the 3rd
2 Corps for the transmission of written orders during the period 1993.
3 A. As I have already said, radio communications were used, wire
4 communications, and courier -- couriers were used. That was the plan. We
5 had communications means. When I say radio communications, I'm thinking
6 of HF, high frequency, communications, and VVF -- VHF, very high frequency
7 radio links. These -- the high frequency means were amateur devices at
8 the time in the course of 1993, and VHF -- the VF equipment was used for
9 long distances, and the VHF shorter distances.
10 We also used equipment devices from the former JNA. It was very
11 difficult for us to maintain these devices, this equipment, owing to the
12 lack of spare parts and cuts in electricity supplies -- supply. This was
13 old equipment.
14 Then we used wire communications between units. We used the
15 communication means of the post office. Their equipment hadn't been
16 destroyed when the fighting first broke out. This was the case in
17 territory where we could use such equipment. And as I said, we also used
19 Q. Again, sir, let me ask you some follow-on questions based on that
20 answer. Can you tell us how an HF or VHF radio system would be used to
21 transmit written orders?
22 A. Speeches were forwarded through the system, the spoken word was
23 transmitted through this system, but later we obtained certain modems,
24 radio modems, and with that device they were linked up to a computer. And
25 then information would be noted at one point, we'd have the computer, the
1 modem, and the radio device, and this would then be relayed to a second
2 point which also consisted of a modem/computer set-up. So we used the
3 adequate communications programmes and also cryptographic programmes that
4 made it possible for written documents to be forwarded to another point in
5 written form, in the form in which the document had been issued.
6 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about the wire communication
7 systems? What kind of systems were those, and what were the names of any
8 of such systems?
9 A. As I said, to an extent, we used this means with the brigade in
10 Kakanj, the units in Kakanj. I know that wire link functioned there, and
11 again we used a similar system: There was a telephone linked to a
12 telephone modem and a computer. This was the set-up at one point. And
13 the second point we'd have the same set-up, if it was at our disposal, and
14 again it was again possible to relay written information between those two
15 points, as is the case today.
16 Q. Sir, you also mentioned using the communication means of the post
17 office. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you meant when you
18 said that?
19 A. That system was destroyed in the course of the conflict. So parts
20 of the system were used. In some places there was an automatic telephone
21 exchange that was operational, and we used those means in order to phone.
22 This was mostly locally, between those individual towns. For example, as
23 far as Kakanj, this was a system that functioned. We had lines consisting
24 of two wires similar to telephone lines.
25 Q. Sir, are you familiar with a system known as the Paket or package
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. Did the 3rd Corps have the Paket or package system; and if so,
4 when was that first available to the 3rd Corps?
5 A. Yes. That's a system that was developed on VHF radio links. That
6 was a form of communication developed by amateurs, radio amateurs, and it
7 made it possible to send written information, and we started organising
8 such a system. The 3rd Corps did have this system, but naturally it was
9 being developed with all units. It started at the beginning of 1993, and
10 as time passed by, this system was used more and more frequently, because
11 as I said, it's necessary to have two points to maintain such a link-up.
12 You need two set-ups between two units. It wasn't always possible to have
13 such a set-up on the other side, at the other point, but the command in
14 the 3rd Corps did have Paket communications.
15 Q. I take it when you say it started at the beginning of 1993, that
16 over the course of some period of time, the Paket system became widely
17 used by the subordinate units of the 3rd Corps?
18 A. Yes. But as I have said, this is a system that took us a lot of
19 time to develop because we didn't have a sufficient number of computers.
20 We didn't have enough equipment. We didn't have enough modems. There was
21 the blockade, and finally these modems arrived from Croatia through
22 certain channels. The system was limited as a result of lack of
23 resources, and it was further limited because of personnel problems. We
24 had to train people on one side, then this training had to be provided to
25 the other side. So we needed all these elements, all these material
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 elements, for it to function.
2 There were links between the corps command and individual units,
3 and later on this developed into a real system which did function if, as I
4 said, all the other means had been provided, because this system was quite
5 frequently obstructed since the other side used a similar system and knew
6 how to obstruct it.
7 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what the document, the order,
8 looked like when it came out on the other end of the Paket system, at the
9 receiving end. The unit receiving an order via the Paket system, how did
10 that order look different than the original order that was maintained at
11 the headquarters in the archive?
12 A. Well, it was different in that it wasn't possible to relay the
13 signature to the other side. We couldn't send the electronic signature of
14 the person who had signed the original document. So the contents of the
15 document were identical at the other side, but there was no stamp and no
16 signature. All we had was the typewritten name, for example, of the 3rd
17 Corps commander, General Hadzihasanovic.
18 Q. So, sir, I take it from that answer, then, that the Paket system
19 was not like - was not like - fax technology where you scan a document in
20 and the document comes out the other end with signatures, characters,
21 stamps, et cetera.
22 A. Yes, you're right, it's different. There's no signature, no
23 stamp. It's just the electronic part that is relayed. All you have is
24 what the computer recorded.
25 Q. And if you can, sir, briefly, because we're almost up to our
1 technical break, can you tell us a little bit about how that written order
2 that had been certified, signed, stamped, et cetera, how was that written
3 order entered into the Paket system for transmission to subordinate units
4 in the field? How was this done since it wasn't scanned into the computer
5 or system?
6 A. At first, as I said, the documents were typed out on typewriters,
7 and the document would be signed and certified, and if it had to be
8 relayed by the communications system, it would go through the
9 administration department to the corps command. There was a computer in
10 the communications centre -- once we had developed the Paket system, there
11 was a computer linked up to a modem, and sometimes there was a radio or a
12 modem, and such a document as an authentic document with a stamp and
13 signature would arrive in the centre. First of all, it would be typed out
14 again, but this system was soon changed and a computer was used. So an
15 electronic record would arrive on a disk, it would arrive in the centre,
16 and also original document with the stamp and a signature. And the
17 official in the communications centre who dealt with these matters, once
18 he opened a file on the computer, would check the authenticity. He would
19 compare the document to the original, and the document would then be
20 forwarded. It would be encrypted and sent to its destination.
21 Q. Sir, I have just a couple of follow-up questions and then we'll
22 take our technical break. The first one is, just so that we're clear,
23 there were really two systems or two ways the written order could be sent
24 via Paket: It could either be retyped in by the administrative officer
25 who had the original signed, certified copy in front of him; is that
2 A. This is something that was done in the communications centre. As
3 you say, the document would be retyped, but we soon got a second computer
4 which made it possible for the document to be processed immediately so it
5 was not necessary to retype it as this took up a lot of time. So we
6 accelerated the process. The document was then processed on the computer,
7 and a disk would be used to take it to the communications centre, and the
8 centre was then able to forward the document more rapidly.
9 Q. But, sir, under either of those two approaches, whether it was
10 retyped or whether it was used or transmitted from a disk, the person
11 actually sending the order via the Paket system would confirm the contents
12 of the electronic order with the signed, certified, and stamped original
13 prior to sending it.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. MUNDIS: I note the time, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You will continue a short
18 while later. Is it your intention to show the witness documents?
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I have two or perhaps three additional
20 areas to cover in the examination and then our intention was - and I
21 notified the Defence of this this morning - was to show the witness four
22 of the original contested documents and ask him to comment briefly on
23 those documents. Obviously, document handling can take a little bit of
24 time. I'm -- I will endeavour to finish within 30 minutes, but I may not
25 make it quite within 30 minutes.
1 I do have copies --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Do you have the numbers of
3 the documents that you will be presenting?
4 MR. MUNDIS: I do, and I also have copies. If I -- if that would
5 be easier for the Chamber, I can hand out the copies now. I have provided
6 copies to both of the Defence teams as well as to both of the accused, but
7 I certainly have sufficient copies that I can make available now for Your
8 Honours. There are, as I said, four documents. There are numerous copies
9 there, and I'll take whatever is remaining after the usher has handed them
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I put this question to you
12 so that the Chamber's legal officer can find the originals that should be
14 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I could just, to short circuit
15 this, I signed out from the legal officer custody of a number of documents
16 yesterday. The documents I'll be showing the witness, I have physical
17 custody of the originals and they were the ones that I signed out
18 yesterday, so I have the original documents with me.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you will be
20 showing the witness the originals.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now adjourn, and we will
23 resume at about 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you may continue.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Immediately before the break, Mr. Selimovic, we were talking about
4 how orders were actually transmitted to units in the field, and I'd like
5 to pick up on a related issue. Once the document, the order, the written
6 order, was sent to a subordinate unit or units, you told us the original
7 was kept at the 3rd Corps headquarters; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Sir, what markings, if any, would have been made on the original
10 to indicate that it was actually sent or transmitted?
11 A. It depended on the way it was sent. If it went by courier -- if
12 it went by courier, then somebody would sign in the -- at the destination
13 that he had received such an order. If the communications devices were
14 used on the original, a rectangular stamp would be affixed indicating when
15 the message was sent and received and the hour when it was sent to the
16 other unit. This stamp contained several pieces of information as
17 evidence that something had been sent at a certain time, and on the other
18 hand that it was also received at a certain point in time.
19 Q. Okay, sir. I'd like you to focus -- I'll ask you a little bit
20 about the documents being received, but I'm specifically talking about
21 documents being sent from the 3rd Corps headquarters.
22 These markings that you've told us about, did those apply to
23 documents being sent, a stamp and/or a signature indicating that it was
25 A. Yes, if the documents were being sent by courier. But if a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 communications system was used, at the other end, for technical reasons,
2 the signature could not be received. That is, the stamp could not be
3 transmitted. So it wasn't the same system as faxes but only the written
4 text that was typed out on the computer could be transmitted in that way.
5 Q. Let me try to go about this a slightly different way just to make
6 sure we're all clear. When an order was sent by courier, what indication,
7 if any, would be made on the original order maintained in the headquarters
8 to demonstrate that the order was sent out by courier?
9 A. In most cases it would be the same document, an identical document
10 to the one sent out to the other unit. There would be the original
11 signature of the person who signed it. All documents could be identical,
12 only I think it was in the left bottom-hand corner there would be a list
13 of units to whom the order was to be sent, if it was sent to several
14 units, and in the second or third line in the top right-hand corner, the
15 addressee would be specified. So this was in the event that it was sent
16 by courier.
17 However, if communications were used, then again in the lower
18 left-hand corner would be a list of the units to whom the order should be
19 delivered, and on the back side most frequently, most often by hand,
20 sometimes electronically, an indication would be made as to when a
21 particular unit received a particular document, the name of the unit and
22 when it received it. It could be that several units would be receiving
23 the same order.
24 Q. Now let's turn very briefly to the unit receiving the order. What
25 marks, if any, would the receiving unit have placed on the order if it
1 were to be received via a courier?
2 A. There may have been cases - I say may be - that a copy which
3 should be archived should be accompanied by an added piece of paper on
4 which all the units that received the order would be listed. It would be
5 attached to the same order or on the order itself. The things changed in
6 time, but anyway, one could see thereby that a person would sign, a person
7 in the chain of command, whether the administrative department of the
8 lower unit had received it or actually one of the on-duty officers that
9 may have been there at the time, or even perhaps the commander of the
11 So the situation varied, but this service functioned in this way
12 so that the document would reach a particular unit and that unit would
13 have an administrative section that received the document and one of the
14 officers would sign, saying that the order had been received, and then it
15 would be sent back and probably archived, or the first copy of the order
16 would be archived.
17 Q. Would the -- pursuant to the regulations in practice, would the
18 unit receiving the order by courier make any notations on the actual order
19 indicating the date and time they received the order from the higher
21 A. I'm afraid I don't quite understand the question. Could you
22 repeat it, please.
23 Q. Let's use an example. Let's say the corps command sends a written
24 order to a brigade command headquarters via courier. Someone at the
25 administrative section of the brigade headquarters receives the written
1 order from the courier. So far, is that how the system would work?
2 A. Yes. Sometimes this was indeed done by the courier service
3 between units, but sometimes the couriers would also be staff officers who
4 would at the same time take advantage of the opportunity to tour a unit,
5 to visit a unit, and take the orders with them. It could have been staff
6 officers, sometimes even a high-ranking officer or someone from the
7 operations department. Most often the person in the operations department
8 could act as courier. Sometimes it would be an ordinary soldier, a
9 private whose only work was to carry mail from one place to another.
10 Q. Okay. Once the -- again using our example, once the
11 administrative section at the brigade headquarters receives the written
12 order from the corps headquarters via the courier, in accordance with the
13 regulations and practice at that time, did that administrative section
14 make any markings or indications on the order they had just received to
15 show the date and time they had received it?
16 A. As far as I can remember, yes, there was some kind of marking that
17 the order had been received. And the order would have to be registered in
18 one way or another in the command. But there were other situations, too.
19 It was chaotic and disorderly. But on the whole, that is how it should
20 have been done, and in most cases it was.
21 Q. Let me turn now to documents received via the Paket system or via
22 some other type of electronic means. When those documents were received,
23 those orders were received, you told us they would print them out and they
24 would -- the contents would be identical to the original order but there
25 would be no stamp or signature on the document. Is that right?
1 A. At the receiving end, yes. But at the sending end they had the
2 original document on the disk and the paper copy as well.
3 Q. I'm focusing now, sir, on the receiving end. Would the receiving
4 unit that had received a written order via electronic means make any
5 markings on that document to indicate that they had received it in
6 accordance with the regulations and practice?
7 A. Yes. In that other unit, the regulation was that an adequate
8 square stamp should be used with similar information as that entered at
9 the sending end, but in this case you would fill in the column saying when
10 the document was received. That is how it should have been done.
11 Q. Mr. Selimovic, I'd like to turn now to a slightly different topic.
12 You told us earlier this morning that the documents were prepared or the
13 orders, written orders, were prepared according to a format. Can you tell
14 the Trial Chamber briefly what that format was or what the components and
15 characteristics of a written order were?
16 A. If I need to describe it, then there would be a heading. In the
17 top left-hand corner the number of the unit, the registration number of
18 the document, when it was registered. On the right-hand side, in the
19 corner, would be indication that it was a military secret. Then in the
20 second line the contents of the order, briefly, what type of an order it
21 is, and then in that line on the right to whom the order is addressed. It
22 would be stated whether it was one unit or several units. If there was
23 enough space, all the units would be indicated there. Then in the next
24 line there would be a kind of introduction to the order when usually this
25 order referred to another order from the superior command, and then after
1 that, the order itself. There would be the word "I order," and then the
2 main body of the document containing the substance of the order, and below
3 that, in the left-hand corner, there could be the initials of the person
4 who drafted, processed or typed the document. Those initials would be in
5 the left-hand corner, and also possibly the units to whom this order was
6 intended for. And on the right-hand side, the first and last name of the
7 commander and his signature on the original. Or if it was sent by
8 electronic means, then it would just state the first and last name of the
10 Q. Mr. Selimovic, we've -- we've talked at great length about the
11 various procedures that were employed and the regulations that governed
12 the use of written orders. You've also told us that the situation was a
13 bit chaotic. Were these procedures that you've outlined for us
14 consistently followed? In other words, did all the documents always have
15 all of these elements?
16 A. Most of the documents did, I would say, but I can remember some
17 documents that -- in fact, you showed me some documents earlier on from
18 which we can see that a different procedure was applied. Some people
19 applied the knowledge they had acquired earlier on or the instructions
20 they were given, but some individuals would adapt things, so the document
21 may appear differently and some of those elements may have been left out.
22 Q. You've told us that some people may have applied knowledge they
23 had acquired earlier. Are there any other reasons why there might be
24 slight variations between different orders coming from the 3rd Corps?
25 A. I'm afraid the question is not quite clear to me. I'm sorry.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Let me try to rephrase the question for you. You've told us that
2 there might have been slight variations among the documents or that items
3 may have been missing that you would expect to see on the documents. One
4 of the reasons you've told us was because people may have used knowledge
5 that they'd acquired earlier.
6 Can you tell us any other reasons why the systems and procedures
7 and regulations might not have always been 100 per cent complied with in
8 the 3rd Corps during 1993.
9 A. In most cases it depended on the personnel. There were
10 professionals who knew what an order should look like, and there were
11 others who encountered such things for the first time, it was their first
12 time for them to write an order, and that is why there may have been
14 I can't remember any other special example, but sometimes there
15 may have been problems because the communications system was not perhaps
16 working too well and a message had to be repeated. Then only a part of
17 the document would go through and then it had to be sent again. But
18 things like that could happen. But I think what I first said is the main
19 reason for the variations, because the electronic system did provide for
20 the document being identical -- the content of the document to be
21 identical once it is sent through electronic media.
22 Q. What impact, if any, did the tempo of combat operations have on
23 following procedures with respect to written orders?
24 A. In any event, the tempo did have some effect. Orders may have
25 been done in haste. Sometimes it would be one person who would complete
1 the order himself. This also may have been a reason that some documents
2 were abbreviated with some items or parts left out, but it had to convey
3 the gist of the order, what the order was telling the person at the other
5 Q. Mr. Selimovic, based on the time that you served as the chief of
6 communications for the 3rd Corps in 1993, were you aware of any instances
7 where unauthorised orders were transmitted from the 3rd Corps
8 headquarters; that is, orders that the commander disagreed with or did not
10 A. I can't recollect any such particular situation, but I have said
11 that there were people who would appear, and we down there would realise
12 that they had been sent by someone, and they started signing. I can be
13 specific and give you a particular instance of that.
14 Q. Let me just ask you before -- I will ask you to elaborate on that,
15 but is this the only instance that you recall any such instance?
16 A. I said that occasionally the people from the operations section
17 would sign a document. In my view, perhaps they shouldn't have, but I
18 think that it did happen occasionally. But this would apply more to
19 reports. The operations officer on duty might sign a document, but not
20 orders, mostly reports. Sometimes individuals would get things mixed up
21 and they might sign an order as well.
22 Now, whether the commander sanctioned this, I don't know. I can't
23 remember. He may have orally let them know that this is something they
24 shouldn't do, but I don't -- I can't be any more specific than that.
25 Q. So you certainly don't recall any specific instances where that
1 happened other than the one incident?
2 A. Yes. I know of that one instance. I don't know whether it is
3 really linked to that particular question, but I think that such a
4 situation did arise. General Mahmuljin appeared in the corps command, and
5 suddenly he started signing some orders, and the corps commander was in
6 the field at the forward command post. The chief of staff, I think, was
7 in an operations group or something like that. I don't know where the
8 deputy was. But anyway, I did see such a signature by this person, and I
9 actually didn't know who he was. Later on, I heard about him, that he had
10 become a commander and that he had come from the General Staff, the
11 Supreme Command. But just at that moment, I didn't know who he was. And
12 the soldiers who were meant to send them, these orders on, they were
13 confused, wondering what it was. But later on this was settled. But for
14 a time there was this unknown person who was signing on behalf of the
16 On the electronic copy, there would be just the printed name
17 "Enver Hadzihasanovic," and on the original Mahmuljin would be --
18 Mahmuljin's signature would appear.
19 Q. Do you recall the approximate date or month and year in which this
21 A. I think it was halfway through 1993. Perhaps in June. I can't be
22 sure. Or perhaps it was in the second half or 1993, but that was, roughly
23 speaking, the period.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we're at the point in time where I
25 would ask the witness be shown original orders.
1 Q. And for the benefit of the witness, sir, what I'm going to do is
2 show you four documents, one at a time. To your left is a machine that
3 will allow us all to watch exactly what document it is that you're looking
4 at, and I'm going to ask you to indicate on the document some of these
5 various components and characteristics that you have already told us
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the first such document is contested
8 document 162. And again for the record, copies of these documents have
9 been previously provided. I would ask that this now be shown to the
10 witness, and after the witness has had a chance to look at it, if he could
11 please put it onto the ELMO.
12 Q. And again, Witness, I will not be asking you any questions about
13 the contents of the document, simply on the form and format and markings
14 on the document.
15 Sir, have you had an opportunity to look at this document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us, please -- and I'd ask that the witness be
18 provided with some kind of pointer or something that he can --
19 Sir, if you could -- let's start at the top of the document.
20 There are two places where there are numbers that are circled at the top
21 of the document. Do you have any idea what those circled numbers
22 represent? And if you -- if you -- sorry, if you do speak of -- of any of
23 the markings, if you could please point to it so we all know exactly what
24 it is you're talking about.
25 A. You're referring to these two numbers at the top. These numbers
1 were subsequently added. That is obvious. I don't know, perhaps it
2 indicates the time. I really don't know. It's very odd. Perhaps it --
3 it's the time when someone processed the document or received it. It's
4 not customary for someone in the communications centre to add such
5 numbers. Someone who had this document in his hands at a later date must
6 have done it.
7 Q. Can you please now proceed, starting with the written or
8 typewritten script on the upper left and just, again, tell us what these
9 elements are on the document.
10 A. So this document obviously comes from the 3rd Corps Command. This
11 is more or less how we would register the document. The first two numbers
12 usually refer to the function of the document. This document had this
13 number, which allowed one to recognise the document to be one from a
14 certain department or from a certain person. And then we have the date
15 indicating when the document was drafted, typed out.
16 As I said, in the right-hand corner it mentions the degree of
17 confidentiality. I haven't said this yet, but it says "Urgent" here, and
18 that means that when the document is received in the communications
19 centre, it has to be forwarded as soon as possible to the command to which
20 it is addressed.
21 This part under "Order," it doesn't say what the contents are, it
22 just says who it is to be forwarded to, and this is the initial part that
23 has to do with the assessment or the evaluation of the situation. I
24 mentioned the part under "Order," and there are a number of items which
25 state what the orders are.
1 In the right-hand corner, it says "Commander, Enver
2 Hadzihasanovic," and it says "Signed and stamped -- verified with
3 signature and stamp." But as far as I remember, this isn't General
4 Hadzihasanovic's signature, with which I'm more or less familiar, so
5 someone else must have signed it, because this is not a signature that I'm
6 familiar with. So this is an assumption I'm making, that perhaps Muradif
7 Mekic signed the document, although I can't be certain [Realtime
8 transcript read in error "concern"].
9 If I may turn the document over. This is the rectangular stamp
10 that I have already mentioned.
11 Q. Sir --
12 A. And you can see that it was received by the 3rd Corps
13 communications centre, and it was entered into an internal register of
14 theirs. And "Handed over" has been underlined, and then we have the date
15 and the year and the time, and it mentions the persons who sent the
16 document or, rather, who drafted the document. I think this is some sort
17 of indication too, some sort of electronic reference for the document
18 which was probably made in the communications centre, by some official in
19 the communications centre. This is a number that was obviously added
20 later on. Perhaps it's an archives number or something like that.
21 Q. Sir, let me -- let me ask you a couple of follow-on questions, and
22 you will see those eight-digit numbers --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague said that on page 46,
25 line 3 -- page 46, line 3, according to the transcript, it says the
1 witness who was speaking about whose signature it might be on the
2 document, he said "I assume it was Muradif Mekic who signed the document,"
3 and then it says something, but he said I'm not sure, I can't be certain,
4 but "concern" and "certain" is not the same thing. So perhaps my
5 colleague could ask this question again or perhaps the witness could
6 confirm what he said with regard to this document.
7 MR. MUNDIS: I thank my colleague from the Defence with respect to
8 the transcript.
9 Q. Sir, there appears to be an error in the English transcript. Can
10 you please turn this document back over, and again if you could look,
11 please, at the -- not the typed signature block but the actual handwritten
12 signature, and tell us about that if you know anything about that
14 A. I really don't know whose signature this is. I can make an
15 assumption, but I really never came across this signature. I know what
16 General Hadzihasanovic's signature looks like, because later on I was in
17 the Joint Command, and I would see this signature. I would see the
18 signature of General Dzemal Merdan. I have a document that he signed,
19 too. But this is a signature I really am not familiar with, but I can
20 make certain assumptions. I can assume that it might be Muradif Mekic's
21 signature. I don't know what else to say because I'm not certain. I
22 don't know.
23 Q. Thank you, Witness. If you could now turn the document over, I
24 have a few follow-on questions concerning the stamp at the top of the
1 You told us that the first line indicates the time the document
2 was received at the communications centre. Is that what you've told us?
3 A. No. In the first line you have the number of an internal register
4 in the communications centre. There was some sort of register, and this
5 document was recorded under a certain number. An official in the
6 communications centre did that. The number I'm referring to is 1768.
7 Q. And the next line indicates precisely what?
8 A. It indicates that the document was handed over. It was sent. It
9 says "Handed over." That means sent. The word "Handed over" has been
10 underlined. That means it was handed over.
11 From the other page, on the second page, in the other command --
12 on the other side there was an identical document and it must have been
13 received since the stamp is a universal one. So on the other side they
14 would have underlined the word "Received," but this is a document from the
15 3rd Corps, which means that it was handed over from the 3rd Corps.
16 And on the -- in the other line we have the date, the year, the
17 date, and the time when the document was handed over, that is to say when
18 it was forwarded by electronic means.
19 Q. So just so that I'm clear, sir, you're telling us that this stamp
20 -- or from this stamp we know that this document was sent on the 17th of
21 April, 1993, at 2245 hours?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So the word that's underlined meaning "Handed over," in fact means
24 it was sent?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the signature at the bottom, do you recognise that signature?
2 A. It's probably one of the officials from the communications centre.
3 I'll try to read it. Ademovic. Ademovic, if I'm reading it correctly.
4 Q. That signature would --
5 A. I think that there was an official who had that name in the
6 communications centre. I think I can remember him. That's his signature.
7 Q. What does that signature --
8 A. That was a person in the communications centre. This means that
9 the document was received and sent in the communications centre and that
10 this person will claim that the document was sent to the forwarding
11 address. That was that person's responsibility. He had certain
12 responsibilities, certain duties he had to perform in the communications
14 Q. Mr. Selimovic, immediately above that signature there are a number
15 of what appear to be abbreviations. Can you tell us what those
16 abbreviations stand for?
17 A. I think that these abbreviations were noted down in the
18 communications centre, too, and that this is in fact the electronic title
19 of the document. I don't know if you understand what I'm saying. The
20 name of the file, the abbreviated name of the file. It would be the
21 abbreviated name of the electronic file.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Okay. With the assistance of the usher, I would ask
23 that that document be retrieved and the next document, which is CD, or
24 contested document, 35 be provided to the witness.
25 Q. And again, sir, I'll be asking you the same types of questions.
1 If you could just take a moment to look at that document. And again I
2 will not be asking you questions concerning the substance of the document.
3 Okay. Again, sir, if you could point out some of the
4 characteristics of this document, please.
5 A. At the top, again I can't say what it is. Perhaps it indicates
6 the time or it's some sort of internal number for a register in the
7 administration. Perhaps it was a number that was given to the document
8 when it was being processed, but I really don't know. Perhaps it's some
9 sort of internal number for the document.
10 Again this is quite usual. This is what documents usually looked
11 like. You have the name of the unit, the name of the document, the number
12 of the document, the time. It says "Military secret." And then it says
13 "Query," and "Forward to." It says who the document should be forwarded
15 There's an introduction, and then we have the main contents.
16 These are the initials of someone who prepared the document and typed it
17 out. So this refers to the person who drafted the document and to the
18 person who typed it out.
19 On the right-hand side, it says "Commander, Enver Hadzihasanovic,"
20 and we have a different signature here, and there is the word "za," which
21 means "for," as I said. So a pen was used to add the word "za" meaning
22 "for," and we have the signature and the circular stamp of the 3rd Corps
24 Q. Sir, before we turn the document over, do you recognise the
25 signature on this document?
1 A. I'm a little confused. I can't recognise the signature right now,
2 but it's not General Hadzihasanovic's signatures.
3 Q. Thank you, Witness. If you could please turn the document over.
4 Again there's a number of handwritten markings on the very top line of the
6 A. Yes. Again we have this -- well, let's say electronic number or
7 name of the file. This is the number they used in the communications
8 centre, and this was probably the time when the document was sent. We
9 have this rectangular stamp again, and it says that the number in the
10 communication centre register under which it was registered is 2426. This
11 means that the document was sent, so the word "Sent" has been underlined.
12 It was sent via communications centre on the 12th of July, 1993, at 1408
13 hours. It says that it was processed or, rather, drafted by - I can't
14 read the signature right now - Music, Mesic. And here it's -- it states
15 the type of radio communications that was used. The circled letters here
16 mean that the document was sent by Paket communications.
17 Q. Just so that we're clear then, sir, the line or series of
18 abbreviations on the line where there is a circle immediately above the
19 signature is a place where the communications centre could indicate the
20 method by which the document was sent. Is that what you're telling us?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you tell us, please, what those abbreviations stand for,
23 beginning with the one on the far left, if you recall.
24 A. Some documents of the former JNA were used. So all possible types
25 of communications were listed, all the various forms of communications
1 that people were familiar with at the time. "TLP" means teleprinter.
2 "TGR" means a telegram or the Morse code. "TLF" means phone. "RRV"
3 means radio relay communication. "ZV," I think that means wire
4 communication. And finally there is "RV." It's not very clear. It
5 should say "RV." That means radio communication. And this means that it
6 was sent by Paket communications. That's the type of communications
8 Q. Thank you, Witness.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Again with the assistance of the usher, I would ask
10 that that document be returned to the Prosecution table and that the
11 witness be shown contested document 41.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, at the top, as I have already
13 said, it's probably some kind of internal number that was used by someone
14 in the administrative department or in the archives. Perhaps this is a
15 number used in the archives, since it's in red. I have the impression
16 that this is some sort of a number that was used in the archives, an
17 internal number of some sort. Again, this is quite common.
18 You can see that the document comes from the 3rd Corps, and here
19 it says "Military secret." I really don't know what this number is. Here
20 it says "Order," "Forward to," and it says who the document should be
21 forwarded to. We have an introduction. It says: "I hereby order..."
22 And then we have the contents of the order. Here we have the initials of
23 someone who drafted the document and typed it out.
24 In the lower right-hand corner, it says "Commander, Enver
25 Hadzihasanovic," certified, verified with a stamp. I can recognise this
1 signature. It is Dzemal Merdan's signature, if I remember this correctly.
2 I think it is Dzemal Merdan. And again we have the word "For" here.
3 MR. MUNDIS:
4 Q. Witness, if you could turn that document over. Again, if you're
5 able to tell us what the markings on the back of this document are,
7 A. Again we have the electronic name for the file, the computer file.
8 I've already mentioned this, the number used in the communications centre.
9 Again we have the stamp from communications centre. This is the internal
10 number used by an official in the communications centre. The number is
11 1711. We have the word "Sent," which has been underlined. This means
12 that the document was sent from the 3rd Corps Command, from the
13 communications centre, and the date is the 6th of September, 1993. It was
14 sent at 1710 hours. You can't see how the document was sent. If someone
15 had done this properly, he would have indicated the means used to send the
16 document. And here we have the signature of the person who sent the
17 document to a certain unit. The name is Alic, if I can read it correctly.
18 This would be an official in the communications centre.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. MUNDIS: With again the assistance of the usher, I would ask
21 that the witness be shown one last document. This is contested document
22 649. For the record, document CD41 has been returned to the Prosecution.
23 Q. Again, Witness, if you could please tell us any distinguishing
24 features of this document, please.
25 A. Once again, we can see the document was drafted in the 3rd Corps
1 Command, the number of the document, the time it was issued, an indication
2 that it is a military secret, the degree of secrecy. Then a brief summary
3 of the contents, indicating the type of document it is, to whom it is
4 addressed, and then, underlined, the unit it is addressed to.
5 Now, here we have an additional stamp. This is the 325th Mountain
6 Brigade. It is their verification that the document reached their
7 command, and the number under which it was registered and the time when it
8 arrived at the command. So clearly this document went by courier. Then
9 the introduction, then the order, and then the main points of the order.
10 Attached to this document we see that there's an annex. This is
11 probably what follows the order. Then there's an indication that it is
12 the commander, Enver Hadzihasanovic, without a signature. However, as
13 this document is linked together, we see that the plan was approved by the
14 chief of staff, Muradif Mekic. And his signature, probably his signature.
15 As I was saying, I don't say that I'm a hundred per cent sure, but as
16 chief of staff, he approved such a plan.
17 Now, why there's no signature by the commander, obviously he
18 didn't see it. It must have been seen by the chief of staff, that somehow
19 he either prepared it or took part in its preparation or ordered it to be
21 So then comes the plan itself, and that is the plan of the visit
22 to units.
23 Q. Sir, could you please look on the back of this document, computer
24 printout document. Do you see any markings on the back of the document?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Can you explain why this document has no markings unlike the
2 previous three documents we looked at?
3 A. This document did not go to the communications centre. I can see
4 that it was not sent through the communications centre. It probably went
5 by courier. That is the most probable explanation.
6 As far as I can see, it was signed by Mekic Muradif, followed by
7 his signature, probably his signature. Now, whether the commander saw
8 this or not, I really don't know, but there's no signature of his there.
9 Now, whether the document may have been in the computer, but in anyway, I
10 can see from this that it was received by the 325th Mountain Brigade. And
11 here there's an indication that it was sent to the Municipal Staff of
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask that that document be returned to the
16 Q. Mr. Selimovic, I thank you very much for your answers and your
17 willingness again to meet with the Prosecution.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I also would like to thank my friends
19 from the Defence for allowing me to lead the evidence of this witness
20 today. The Prosecution has no further questions.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I now give the floor
22 to the Defence counsel for their cross-examination.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We will
24 cross-examine the witness but only with respect to the questions that he
25 has discussed with the Prosecutor. So we, too, will only limit our
1 questions to the questions indicated by the Trial Chamber in their oral
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Selimovic. Though we know one
5 another, for the record let me introduce myself. I'm Edina Residovic, and
6 I am representing General Enver Hadzihasanovic.
7 You've already told my learned friend that in the Yugoslav
8 People's Army you were an officer with a rank of captain first class and
9 that throughout your service in the JNA you were involved with
10 communications; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Actually, answering those questions you confirmed that throughout
13 your professional career, first in the Yugoslav People's Army and then in
14 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and finally in the Federation army of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina, you were always linked to the communications
16 system; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. As chief of communications, you joined the 3rd Corps in November
19 1993 when that corps or the command of that corps was actually
20 established; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You have already said that you were an organ for planning and
23 organising communications, but is it also true that there was a
24 communications company in the command which directly dealt with the
25 reception and dispatch of certain documents, orders, and other documents
1 through the established communications system? Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In fact, the communications system was housed in the basement of
4 the 3rd Corps headquarters, which before the war had been used by the
5 Zenica steelworks as a nuclear shelter, that is a shelter which
6 administrative buildings had to provide in accordance with the law that
7 was in force at the time.
8 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, that is right.
9 Q. You have already explained that at first your working conditions
10 were very difficult. My question is: Is it true that as a professional
11 officer specialising in communications, you managed quite quickly to draw
12 up a plan of possible communications in the 3rd Corps but it took several
13 months and maybe, for some communications, even a whole year before those
14 plans were implemented? Is that right?
15 A. Yes, you could say that.
16 Q. You explained the conditions under which you were working, but in
17 order to ask you a few more specific questions, I shall repeat some of the
18 difficulties you encountered. First of all, you were short of certain
19 communications devices, and what little you had were frequently outdated,
20 and you didn't have the possibilities to repair them. Most of the
21 high-quality communications equipment was taken by the Yugoslav People's
22 Army, and there were many other obstacles to the system you were
23 establishing working on a regular basis and efficiently.
24 A. Yes. The situation really was a difficult one.
25 Q. You also said that you had radio equipment. Is it true that these
1 were radios which you received mainly by using the old radio equipment of
2 the Territorial Defence, whereas others were mobilised or requisitioned
3 from radio amateurs?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. My learned friend asked you about telephone communications and the
6 use of the PTT system of communications. My question is: Am I right in
7 saying that in the course of 1993, this system was still highly unreliable
8 and that, due to various circumstances and particularly the war, was
9 frequently down so that it was not a communications system you could rely
10 on. Is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Answering one of the questions from my learned friend, you said
13 that there was jamming and sometimes a message had to be sent repeatedly
14 or it simply couldn't reach its destination. So my question is: Am I
15 right in saying that at the beginning of 1993, when overt conflicts broke
16 out between the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO, a powerful
17 jamming device was left in the hands of the HVO so that throughout 1993
18 you had a lot of problems with interception and jamming or breakdown of
19 your communications. Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. However, as you have already explained, investing a maximum of
22 effort and all your skill and knowledge, you did gradually manage to set
23 up a -- quite a reliable communications system. Tell me, is it true that
24 this establishment was done as follows: First of all, you yourself, in
25 addition to the radios, came into the possession of modems and computers,
1 and then you managed to link them up in such a way that they could be used
2 as communications devices through which encrypted packets could be sent,
3 and up until March 1993 was your Paket connection with the Supreme
4 Command, was that the process through which you started establishing the
5 communications system?
6 A. I think that at the beginning of that year, we did have a Paket,
7 one channel of communications with somebody in the General Staff. In
8 those days I didn't know who it was we had communication with, but
9 somebody in the General Staff. This was at the beginning of 1993.
10 Q. It was only later, after the establishment of this Paket system
11 with the General Staff or the Supreme Command, you gradually procured
12 modems and radio devices which you supplied certain brigades with, and
13 only once those brigades had the same devices as you yourself were you
14 able to communicate with them through these Paket communications; is that
16 A. Yes. Quantities were limited and few, so that it was really
17 difficult to find a computer and a modem and link it all up with an
18 operator who would be able to use them, and only then could it be set in
20 Q. Though you said that earlier on, in addition to devices you were
21 also short of qualified personnel, so that parallel with the establishment
22 of the system, you planned training of personnel and provided basic
23 training so that you did your best to train operators to use those
24 devices. However, in spite of all these efforts, it could be said that a
25 complete system was not established with all the units and brigades within
1 the 3rd Corps by the end of 1993. Is that true, or did you already have
2 Paket communications with all brigades in the course of 1993?
3 A. We did have them mostly by the end of 1993 with all the brigades.
4 However, again there was the question of security or reliability. This
5 was a daily problem: You establish a system but the next day it breaks
6 down, a device is destroyed, or a computer. But a system as a system did
8 Q. Once you established this system, you have already said that one
9 of the problems was the breakdown of the system, but you also said that
10 once it was established, you could only send brief messages using that
11 system, of one to two pages.
12 A. People who have any knowledge about these matters, because of the
13 speed of transmission, the quantity was limited. Every document of any
14 weight - that is how we referred to it - meaning the quantity of
15 information contained or, rather, the number of pages that the document
16 consisted of could not be sent in that way.
17 Q. Would it be right to say, Mr. Selimovic, that while the system was
18 operational, when both sides had the devices and the operators and there
19 was no jamming or breakdowns, that a certain report going from the 3rd
20 Corps could be sent to a certain unit or brigade in only a few minutes,
21 but due to the problems that we have just referred to, sometimes it took
22 several hours and sometimes even several days before it could be sent.
23 Is that right?
24 A. Yes, quite so.
25 Q. However, throughout 1993, you were unable to establish a
1 communications system that would be reliable with units that were
2 resubordinated to the brigades, that is battalions, companies, and
3 platoons. Their system mainly relied on couriers or radios, depending on
4 the configuration of the ground and other circumstances that affected
6 A. The lower down we went, it was more and more difficult to maintain
7 communications. In fact, we were constrained by the number of devices,
8 which we were short of.
9 Q. I will now ask you about a particular situation. Within a normal
10 system of communications, a lower-level unit sends reports and information
11 to a superior command and then that command to the command above it in the
12 hierarchy. Is it true to say that sometimes communications would break
13 down completely between, for instance, a brigade and an operations group,
14 and then the brigade would use the communications centre of the 3rd Corps
15 as a means of sending information to a superior command? Do you remember
16 any such situations when the 3rd Corps communications centre was used to
17 bridge a breakdown between a brigade and a superior command?
18 A. Yes, there were such situations. Sometimes the brigade command
19 was close to the operations group command, and then a report would be sent
20 to that address and not to the proper address. It -- it didn't end up in
21 the communications centre of that particular unit but, rather, in a
22 lower-level unit and then the report would go to the higher-level unit, or
23 vice versa. There were such situations in this general confusion and
24 chaos and combat operations, and the absence of communications devices
25 required that we somehow get round it.
1 Q. In answer to several questions from my learned friend, you
2 indicated how you monitored how a document or order went from the 3rd
3 Corps to a subordinated unit. This was usually done, in the documents
4 that we have seen, by documents reaching operations groups, brigades, or
5 Municipal Staffs.
6 Tell me, please, is it true that you were not able to follow what
7 happened with that order after that, because you in the communications
8 system in the 3rd Corps had no way of monitoring to see whether that order
9 went beyond the brigade or, rather, whether the battalion, platoon, or the
10 foot soldier had been informed of it.
11 A. Yes. That is the principle. A superior goes to the first
12 subordinate, and then it goes from there downwards according to the chain
13 of command. So that I didn't have any knowledge as to how the document
14 moved down the chain.
15 Q. In answer to a question from my colleagues, you spoke in detail
16 about your own knowledge based on your experience from the former JNA and
17 your professional training with respect to the drafting of orders and
18 other corps documents, and you illustrated this with a number of examples.
19 I should now like to ask you: Is it true that there was a certain
20 difference between basic orders, combat orders - which may be an order for
21 an attack or for defence - and certain specialised orders?
22 Let me explain what I mean. Is it true that what you -- the
23 explanations you gave regarding teamwork, that applied more to a group of
24 specialists in the staff working together on combat orders with
25 complicated assignments to units, whereas certain specialist orders could
1 have been compiled by individual officers; is that right?
2 A. Yes, I am [as interpreted].
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Correction: Yes, you are.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC:
6 Q. As I'm quite sure my learned friend has far more knowledge of the
7 military than myself, I won't go into those military orders in further
8 detail, but I felt it was important. There were certain types of orders
9 which by nature of things were more complicated than others which were led
10 simply to a particular area. For example, the organisation of
11 communications in a particular unit, you might have sent a message to
12 somebody in the unit there to say receive this device or set up a
13 communications system, something to that effect.
14 A. Yes. The technical aspect for the functioning of a particular
15 system, if something needed to be added or something like that.
16 Q. Also explaining the way in which documents were sent through the
17 communications centre, you showed us that the person, according to the
18 internal organisation, was - at that point in time operating the
19 communications device - was duty-bound to fill in a certain stamp
20 indicating when the document was sent, and he would sign to confirm that
21 that information is correct.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You also explained that the person at the other end in the
24 receiving unit, receiving the order, had a similar stamp when -- on which
25 that person would sign that he had received the document.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. However, is it true that that unit was not under any obligation to
3 send back that document, with the stamp that it had been received, to the
4 3rd Corps Command?
5 A. Mostly not.
6 Q. So you would be quite certain that the order had been received
7 only if you were able to check with the unit you sent it to that the order
8 had indeed been received. Otherwise, you in the communications system
9 would not know whether the message that was sent was intercepted,
10 interrupted, or in fact received.
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. You also answered the question as to who the persons were who
13 signed certain orders. You said it was the commander, the deputy
14 commander, and the chief of staff.
15 Tell me, please, were there any instances of a person being given
16 special authorisation by the commander to sign a particular document, and
17 for persons sending the document to the communications centre, that would
18 be enough to show that that person could sign?
19 A. If the people in the administration section put a stamp on it,
20 then it could have been sent from the communications centre with a
21 different signature.
22 Q. Let me then ask you: Is it true that in the communications centre
23 you would receive or accept every document that had a signature and a
24 stamp because you felt that the first check had been done by someone else?
25 The communications centre was not the entity controlling or checking
1 whether the signature was of an authorised person or not.
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. So this administrative or protocol service, or whatever it was
4 called, was the service whose duty it was to check whether the document
5 was signed by an authorised person or not; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. We've seen several documents which says "Commander, Enver
8 Hadzihasanovic," but signed by others. Some signatures you have
9 recognised, others you're not sure about.
10 Actually, in the communications centre, when you receive a
11 document, for you it is a document that has to be sent; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. However, at the moment you're sending the document, you don't know
14 whether the commander has seen that document or not at all?
15 A. Lower-ranking people cannot make any such verifications. For
16 them, it's valid document if it is signed and if it bears a stamp. The
17 stamp was maybe even more important. It was even more decisive than the
18 actual signature.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Though it is now time for the break, I have only
20 one or two questions left. Perhaps I could finish off before the break,
21 Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How much time do you need?
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] A couple of minutes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's better to have
25 the break, because it is already half past twelve, and we will resume at
1 five to 1.00, and the Judges will have some questions after that.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give the floor to the
5 Defence now.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. When answering a question put to you by my learned colleague from
8 the Prosecution, you said that at the beginning you would receive a signed
9 and certified document in the communications centre, and you would then
10 type it out and forward it through electronic means. Is that true --
11 would it be true to say that that happened at the beginning of 1993, until
12 the first computers arrived in the corps, computers on which one could
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. However, as you explained, when the 3rd Corps received the
16 computers, from that time onwards you would receive a disk with the
17 original document, a disk on which the text of the document would be
18 contained, and you would forward that text from the disk to the units to
19 which the document had been addressed; is that correct?
20 A. It is.
21 Q. As you explained, it wasn't possible to send signatures and stamps
22 through electronic means, so that the unit receiving the document didn't
23 know who actually had signed the document, whether it had been the
24 commander whose name was printed out or some other person on behalf of the
25 commander; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Since you were given computers in order to facilitate the work for
3 all professional officers who were drafting these orders, would it be
4 correct to say that the computers contained certain types of orders or
5 documents? There was, for example, a copy of an order, and there was a
6 heading in the computer indicating that the 3rd Corps Command was
7 concerned, and there would be the signature of the commander. The
8 official who processed the document would add other information and the
9 contents of the order, whereas the block signature and the heading were in
10 the computer on a permanent basis and would be used in each order.
11 Are you aware of the fact that there was a record of the block
12 signature in the computer at all times?
13 A. Well, on the whole that is how it was. Quite frequently we used a
14 previous file to compile the next file if the contents were identical. We
15 always tried to do what was most efficient and most rapid.
16 Q. Since you explained to us in detail that it was the duty of the
17 administrative staff to check whether the person who had signed the
18 document was an authorised person, you don't know, and in fact you don't
19 have any information whether it was possible for you to receive a document
20 from someone who had no authority at all, and you don't know how this was
22 A. Yes, I wasn't even in a position to check this, because in the
23 communications centre, if there was a signature and a stamp, it was a
24 legitimate document. As to checking these things, as a rule we didn't do
1 Q. As a chief -- as the chief of the communications centre and when
2 communicating with your communications company, could you confirm that one
3 couldn't rule out the possibility of such signatures being abused?
4 A. Well, yes, in principle.
5 Q. I don't mean causing any damage of any kind, but I'm referring to
6 documents containing the name of a commander that was signed by people who
7 were supposed to sign such documents.
8 A. Well, that was something that could happen.
9 Q. In fact, you cited a number of examples. For example, examples of
10 people who had signed documents although they had no authorisation to do
12 I have one more question. You described to us in detail the
13 circulation of documents from the time a document was drafted. You
14 described the preparation of the document and how documents were forwarded
15 to certain units. My question is: Would it be correct to say that in the
16 communications centre in the 3rd Corps you weren't able to follow the
17 circulation of documents in units that were subordinated to you?
18 I'll be a little clearer. You weren't able to follow orders of
19 the brigade commanders or battalion commanders. So you weren't able to
20 follow how these orders were forwarded to the subordinate units, and you
21 weren't able to control information that the leaders of companies would
22 send to other units. Is it true that you never had contact with such
24 A. As far as I know, no.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
1 Mr. President. I have no further questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the other
3 Defence team.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have
5 no questions.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis?
7 MR. MUNDIS: No further questions.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I have some questions
10 that follow on from the questions that have just been put to you.
11 In response to a question from the Prosecution, you said that you
12 were in charge of forwarding documents as part of your responsibilities.
13 Did you just have to deal with the issue of orders forwarded to external
14 units, or did you have other responsibilities? For example, the issue of
15 radio frequencies, the logistical equipment provided to units involved in
16 communications? Wasn't your role more important than that of a person who
17 was just responsible for forwarding orders? Could you answer that
18 question, please.
19 A. I was describing the communications system and described my own
20 role. I carried out those duties, but you are quite correct, I carried
21 out those staff duties, too, and I also had to manage the frequencies
22 used. That is something that has to be done when dealing with the
23 communications plan. You have to establish the sort of frequencies and
24 devices that will be used. So perhaps I haven't presented you with a very
25 accurate picture in that I didn't directly draft messages and send
1 messages. A unit in the 3rd Corps that had been designated for this was
2 responsible for such matters, but I knew more about the communications
3 system as a professional, and I tried to develop the most efficient
4 communications system possible because it was difficult to operate such a
5 system and establish such a system. So in the staff, I was the one who
6 knew the most about such communication systems. So I was closest to the
7 soldiers in the communications units who were involved in forwarding
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your premises were
10 in -- located in the headquarters. How many officers or soldiers did you
11 have under you, and how many rooms did you have for your mission?
12 A. This number changed. On the whole, the department had up to about
13 three employees, and I was the chief. That was in the communications
14 department, and it was part of the 3rd Corps staff. And there was also a
15 communications company that dealt with forwarding and receiving messages
16 within the communications system.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But this company, this
18 communications company, you were in charge of them, weren't you?
19 A. No.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was the name of the person
21 who was in charge of the company responsible for forwarding messages?
22 A. Well, according to the hierarchy of the 3rd Corps Command, since I
23 wasn't in a position to command, I didn't have such duties. I couldn't
24 even make use of that unit. I knew what it was supposed to do, but they
25 were linked to the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps. And that is the case
1 today, more or less.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to the orders that
3 you were shown a minute ago, but I'll go back to that, how many people did
4 you have at your disposal who, after they received disks, used a modem or
5 a radio system to send orders to the outside? How many people were under
6 you who were involved in such work?
7 A. In that department, there was an organ for cryptographic
8 protection very often, and they were closer to that system of sending
9 messages, because they should have known how a cryptographic system was
10 used. They were familiar with the rules for cryptographic protection so
11 they would be closer to that unit that was involved in receiving
12 documents, encrypting them and sending them to other units. So that's
13 what this unit in the communications company did. And sometimes with my
14 associates I had the possibility of controlling how they worked or the
15 possibility of helping them if there was anything I could help them with.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that the orders that
17 you saw, thanks to the computers that your department had been provided
18 with, would arrive on a disk and then the disk would be used to relay the
19 orders to the outside. The computers that the 3rd Corps had, do you know
20 what brand of computers they had?
21 A. Well, I know some of them. At the time, I think they had IBMs
22 perhaps. A 286, for example.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So roughly speaking,
24 how many computers did the 3rd Corps have? Could you give us a rough
1 A. In fact, we started working with only one computer. We had a very
2 limited number of computers, just a couple at the beginning of 1993. I
3 don't believe that we had more than three or four computers of different
4 kinds at the time. They'd been commandeered from certain organisations
5 where such computers could be found at the time.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So they were IBM
7 computers that had been commandeered from certain companies. What
8 happened to these computers and the disks? Do you know what happened to
10 A. Well, as technology developed and time passed, we received, I'd
11 say, other computers, 386 computers, for example. Sometimes such a new
12 computer would appear and that's how this processed developed.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the old computers, what
14 happened to them? Were they thrown in the trash? Were they handed over
15 to certain departments in Bosnia? What happened to these computers? As
16 far as you know. If you don't know, just say so.
17 A. Well, these computers were used as much as that was possible.
18 They were fully exploited, and I think, if I may say so, that some of them
19 remained in warehouses. Many of them have remained there to this very
20 day, and many of them were destroyed, damaged in the fighting. Some of
21 them were seized. Various things happened.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If we follow the
23 circulation or the process of drafting an order as far as we have
24 understood this, because it's not very clear for me yet, it's not totally
25 clear for me, an order is drafted by, let's say, the 3rd Corps Commander,
1 either by himself or by someone who works under him. This order is
2 drafted and then with a -- it's drafted with the help of the computer the
3 3rd Corps has. There is a disk taken from this computer, and the floppy
4 disk is used to edit the document on the outside. Can you confirm that
5 that is the process followed?
6 A. Well, the computer has a floppy disk. You insert it, you record
7 the document on the hard disk, and then you send it on, and the floppy
8 disk is then returned to the person who sent it to the communications
9 centre, together with the original document.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Between the
11 communications centre and the 3rd Corps Command office, are all the
12 computers linked up or was it necessary to take a floppy disk from the
13 office of the commander of the 3rd Corps, take it to the communications
14 centre in order to have it forwarded or was there a network that was in
16 A. At the time the corps commander didn't have a computer. We just
17 had a computer in the communications centre. Perhaps at the very
18 beginning. That was in the office that was near the administrative
19 department, and there was an official who helped to find the relevant
20 document on the computer. We didn't have a network of any kind. We
21 didn't have such possibilities. We didn't even know what a network was at
22 the time.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm still not quite clear. The
24 single computer that you seem to have had at the beginning, where was it
1 A. In the 3rd Corps communications centre.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I have understood you
3 correctly, the secretary of the 3rd Corps commander would use a typewriter
4 to type out a text. This text would then be taken to the computer in the
5 communications centre and that's when the text would be downloaded on a
6 disk and then a modem was used and it would be relayed to the outside. Is
7 that correct? Is that the process followed?
8 You're nodding. Please say it out aloud.
9 A. Yes, you are right, but that's the first stage. At the time there
10 were no other computers in the command that would allow one to advance the
11 process of drafting documents. As soon as we received the second
12 computer, it was put into operation. And there was an additional one,
13 there was a third one. But initially we just had one computer in the
14 communications centre, and we didn't need a floppy disk at the time. We'd
15 type out the text directly onto the hard disk because the computer was, at
16 the time, a means of communications and - how should I put it? - it was
17 used both for administrative needs and for communications purposes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like you to be shown the
19 documents that you've already been shown. Document 649. Put it on the
21 You have document 649 before you. At the top and to the left you
22 can see the date, the 11th of March, 1993. Above we have the number
23 02/742. The three other documents that you were shown had the numbers
24 02/33. Isn't the number 33 missing in this document? Because the three
25 other documents - we can show them to you - have the number 02/33, and
1 then there is another number. 02 should correspond to the command of the
2 3rd Corps. Number 33, what does that correspond to? We'll show you
3 document number 41.
4 Could you place document 41 on the ELMO.
5 As you can see, this document, we still have the number 02, but we
6 have number 33 as well, and this is a number that doesn't appear in the
7 first document you were shown. In your opinion, what does this number
8 represent, number 33?
9 A. I'm really not a specialist. I didn't deal with this task. A
10 different service dealt with it. They would then have to have this matter
12 As far as I can remember, the first two numbers, for example 02, I
13 think that's the number designating the corps. I think this was done in
14 the corps. These are things that changed, you know. This changed as
15 someone read through something or knew something. But number 33 might
16 have to do with some sort of a function or type of document since there
17 were orders and reports and -- well, let's say warnings as well.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you can't answer that
19 question. You can see that there are numbers 542, 2236. All the numbers
20 -- all the documents have numbers. If we follow the chronological order
21 from the 1st of January, 1993, that must be number 1 on the hard disk of
22 the computer, it should be possible to find, if this was typed on the
23 computer, the totality of the documents, all these documents.
24 A. Yes, it should be possible to find them on the computer. It
25 should be possible to find all the documents there. Either in the
1 archives or on the computer, although this can be deleted from the
2 computer from time to time.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In fact, you can
4 delete this, but you can't erase anything from a hard disk.
5 We'll show you document 162 now. Could you have a look at the
6 stamp on page 2 of this document.
7 In the penultimate line, you -- you mentioned what TLF, telex, et
8 cetera, means. How is it that in this document we don't know the means
9 used to forward the document? None of these letters have been encircled.
10 None of these indications have been encircled. How could you explain
12 As you can see --
13 A. As a rule, the person who signed this should have encircled the
14 means of communications used. Obviously the person failed to do that. He
15 didn't correctly do what he should have done.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The person who processed the
17 document, Ademovic who signed it, how would he have the document sent; by
18 telephone, by telex, by radio, by amateur radio system? What would he do
19 given that there's no indication as to how this document should be sent?
20 A. There was an unwritten rule according to which a document should
21 be sent to the point it was supposed to arrive at by using the most
22 efficient and the most rapid means. So you would use the best
23 communications line.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you can see it
25 says 2245 hours. So there was certainly no postman or courier at the
1 time. So how would this order be sent? Would a telephone be used, a
2 telex? What would happen in such a situation? Because it was sent at
3 2245 hours, but we don't know how.
4 A. Well, the person processing this document obviously didn't
5 complete his work and didn't indicate the means of communication used to
6 send the document. I assume that Paket communications or a telephone
7 modem was used to send the document. I think Paket communications were
8 used. It was sent to the Krajina operations group by Paket
9 communications. It must have been sent by Paket communications. That's
10 what should be indicated on the end, a radio link. It's not very legible.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If the order was sent at 2245
12 hours, one might think that the order was drafted half an hour or five
13 minutes earlier. When one sends a document at such a late time, it means
14 that it's urgent, or is that not the case?
15 And my question -- well, the answer is contained in the document,
16 because I can see that there is the word "Urgent" that appears on the
17 first page. If you have a look at the first page, you will see it.
18 So you were a superior officer. In your opinion, was such an
19 order drafted immediately prior to 2245 hours, given the urgent nature of
20 the document?
21 A. I think that the document was drafted perhaps an hour or two
22 before it was sent, but there is a certain procedure of circulation. The
23 document has to be signed, certified. The courier has to take it to the
24 communications centre. This takes a certain time. And then sometimes the
25 document would be kept by the person who drafted it for a certain amount
1 of time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But isn't it the person who
3 drafted it and signed it who should determine how the order should be
4 forwarded? Isn't it for the person who has drafted the order - isn't this
5 usually the case in the army - isn't it for this person to say whether it
6 should be sent by telephone, telex, by courier? And if that is the case,
7 why is nothing stated about this on page 1?
8 A. As I have already said, we were developing this system to the
9 extent that we had knowledge about it. We tried to ensure that it
10 functioned, but it's obvious that not everything was done.
11 So here we have no indication as to how the document should be
12 sent, that's true, but all fairly short documents could often be processed
13 by the communications centre. They could be sent by the communications
14 centre. But for lengthy documents it was difficult for the communications
15 centre to send them, so the person who drafted the document or if a person
16 was aware of the importance of a document or that someone might find out
17 about the document, in such cases a courier was used to deliver the
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You had the impression, because
20 the Defence asked you about this, and you answered by saying that there
21 was indeed jamming, and you said that one might be tapped. So do you
22 believe that orders which were not encrypted may come to be known by the
24 A. The soldiers who were working in the communications centre knew
25 that they must not, on an open line, send orders or documents. So that by
1 developing this system for encryption and communication, we used that
2 system. And in that case, some documents which were a military secret
3 could be sent through the communications system.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Using the Paket system and what
5 was sent by telex, did the army have its own network or did you have to
6 use the PTT network, which is the normal network? Were you dependent upon
7 the civilian network or did you have your own network?
8 A. We used parts of the telecom or PTT system. For instance, I
9 already said that as far as Kakanj, we did have a line, a wire line, so
10 that then the document would be sent by telephone modems. But, for
11 instance, in the direction of Bosanska Krajina throughout the period
12 almost, we didn't have any wire connections, but the only communications
13 possible was by Paket. So written information could be sent in that form
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,
16 you were the person responsible for the entire communications system of
17 the 3rd Corps.
18 A. Yes. I was the most responsible system [as interpreted] for the
19 functioning of the communications system.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Most responsible person. I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did this communications system
22 function round the clock? Was there a duty officer at the level of the
23 communications centre?
24 A. The communications company had certain communications centre
25 functioning all the time. That would be at the basic command post and at
1 the forward command post. We planned work on around-the-clock basis, and
2 people took shifts. The staff members worked in shifts, but there was
3 duty work all the time. Sometimes the shift would be 12 hours or 24
4 hours, depending on the circumstances. And that was the customary method
5 of work.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The duty officer in the
7 communications, he had a register in which he noted down everything that
8 happened, that he received a telex, a phone call. Did he have a register
9 in which he noted down all those things? If a unit in a field would call
10 up at 2.00 a.m., saying that there was fire being opened at them, would
11 this officer note all that down?
12 A. Yes. At the communications centre there would be an officer in
13 charge, usually a non-commissioned officer by rank, whose duty it was to
14 make sure that the communications centre should function as best it could
15 at that point in time. He was of a slightly higher rank than the regular
16 operator, and this communications centre was an element of the operations
17 centre, and the operations centre there was an officer who would at times
18 enter the communications centre and might receive a message either there
19 or in the operations centre, or he would get a written document received
20 by the communications centre just then and handed over to him at such a
21 late hour. And then he would decide whether to wake the commander or not
22 if the commander should be asleep, if he was asleep at such a late hour,
23 or perhaps he himself would deal with the situation because the operations
24 centre functioned parallel with the communications centre.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Judges have no
1 other questions for the witness. Does the Defence have any questions?
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, a couple of
4 Further cross-examination by Ms. Residovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] In answer to a question from the Presiding Judge
6 in connection to the writing of documents, it is still a bit unclear to
7 me, so I would like to ask you to clarify.
8 Is my understanding of the situation correct; namely, when you
9 were describing how an order or some other document was compiled, you
10 spoke about the preparations for that order, and am I right in
11 understanding that most of the orders, as a draft, would be prepared and
12 typed by one of the staff officers, to be shown to the commander?
13 A. Yes, most frequently.
14 Q. So very rarely would the commander himself dictate an order to his
15 secretary. He would mostly receive a draft order that you may have
16 drafted in response to his idea or on your own initiative and then he
17 would sign the document?
18 A. In most cases, yes.
19 Q. My next question has to do with these numbers. Probably in the
20 corps command there must have been some record of what each number meant,
21 and if we were to find those records, we would know what 01, 02, et
22 cetera, all the other numbers, mean?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. My next question is linked to what you have just explained. The
25 communications system worked round-the-clock as well as the operations
1 centre of the 3rd Corps.
2 A. Yes. There were crews, there were staff working in that centre.
3 Q. But earlier on you explained that there were frequent
4 interruptions on the lines, and as people were working non-stop, when
5 there were interruptions it would be quite possible that they would send a
6 document in the night that they may have received a day before but were
7 unable to send it before the connection was re-established.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And is it true to say that in wartime, at night it is easier to
10 establish a connection than during the day?
11 A. Not necessarily so. It's not really linked to the time of day or
13 Q. Just one more question linked to communications. You have
14 explained the various devices, but as the communications centre was
15 working all night so that couriers in that communications company were
16 also available 24 hours, and whenever necessary, they could carry a
17 message if something was urgent?
18 A. Yes, if it could not be sent through the communications system.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
21 no further questions.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
23 have no questions.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We have no questions, but
1 I would ask that contested document 162 be returned, please. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll return all the
3 documents to you.
4 Colonel, your testimony is now over as you have answered all the
5 questions put to you by the Prosecution, the Defence, and the Judges. We
6 wish to thank you for coming to The Hague, and we wish you a safe journey
7 home with best wishes for your retirement. And I will ask the usher to be
8 kind enough to escort you out unless Mr. Mundis has something to say
10 MR. MUNDIS: If I could, Mr. President. It might be a rather
11 unique situation because the witness will be most likely coming back as a
12 Defence witness. Although he's obviously taken the oath, the Prosecution
13 would have no objection at this point with the Defence communicating with
14 him. In effect, he can be considered released. I just want to put that
15 on the record.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Quite. As I was just saying,
17 your testimony is now over. You can contact who you wish, of course the
18 Defence included. So there's no problem. Perhaps we will have the
19 pleasure of seeing you again sometime in the future, but that doesn't
20 depend on us. I wish you a safe journey home, and I will ask the usher to
21 be kind enough to escort you out. Thank you.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I give you the floor
24 to tell us what the scheduling is for Thursday and Friday and where we
1 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I would ask that we go
2 into private session for just a few minutes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please. Mr. Registrar,
4 let's go into private session.
5 [Private session]
12 Page 9937 – redacted – private session.
12 page 9938 – redacted – private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, I declare the end
22 of today's hearing, as we have completed the testimony of this witness.
23 Tomorrow's hearing will begin at 11.00 instead of at 9.00 a.m., and I
24 invite all the participants to come back here tomorrow at 11.00 a.m.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day of July,
2 2004, at 11.00 a.m.