1 Thursday, 21 October 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case Number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
12 Honours. Counsel and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
13 Prosecution Ms. Tecla Henry-Benjamin, Mr. Daryl Mundis and the case
14 manager, Andres Vatter.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
16 Could we have the appearances for the Defence counsel.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
18 behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, Stephane Bourgon,
19 co-counsel, and Mirna Milanovic, our legal assistant. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team,
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
24 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
1 would like to greet everyone present at the hearing today, Prosecution,
2 the Defence, the accused, and everyone else present in the courtroom.
3 Before we commence with the examination of the witness scheduled
4 for today I would like to ask the registrar to go into private session.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 10425 – redacted – private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in fact in open session,
24 Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated]
1 [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise. I didn't switch the
2 microphone on, but there was the question of documents that we had to
3 deal with.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
6 In accordance with what was decided yesterday, all these documents will
7 be given the following numbers. I will now repeat them for the sake of
8 the transcript. The following documents will be tendered:
9 DH511, the English translation, DH 603; the English translation
10 DH 603/1 [as interpreted].
11 DH606; English translation, DH 606/E.
12 DH613; English version DH613.
13 DH700; English version DH 700E.
14 DH788; English version DH788/E.
15 DH791; English translation DH791/E.
16 DH821; English translation DH821/E.
17 DH847; English translation DH847/E.
18 DH848; English translation DH848/E.
19 DH956 tendered into evidence; for the English version, DH956/E.
20 DH959; the English version 959/E.
21 DH1078; the English version DH1078/E.
22 DH1083; the English version DH1083/E.
23 DH1098; the English version will be DH1098/E.
24 DH1099; the English version will be DH1099/E.
25 DH1100; the English version will be DH1100/E.
1 DH 1102; English version DH1102/E.
2 DH1107; the English version will be DH1107/E.
3 DH1128; the English version will be DH1128/E.
4 DH1135; the English version will be DH1135/E.
5 DH1155; the English version will be DH1155/E.
6 DH1162; the English version will be DH1162/E.
7 DH1173; the English version will be DH1173/E.
8 DH1232; the English version will be DH1232/E.
9 DH1269; the English version will be DH1269/E.
10 In the second list of documents, we have first of all DH599 --
11 593 and the English version 593/E.
12 582; the English version will be 582/E.
13 DH818; the English version will be DH818/E.
14 DH820; the English version will be DH820/E.
15 DH830; the English version will be DH83/E.
16 DH835; the English version will be DH835/E.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see in the transcript that
18 we've arrived up to 835/E.
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] I'll continue.
20 DH104; the English version DH104/E.
21 DH1062; the English version will be DH1062/E.
22 DH1111; the English version will be DH1111/E.
23 Then we have the third category which was presented yesterday and
24 will be tendered into evidence under the following numbers.
25 DH625; the English version DH625/E.
1 DH626; the English version will be DH626/E.
2 DH638; the English version will be DH638/E.
3 DH639; the English version will be DH639/E.
4 DH640; the English version will be DH640/E.
5 DH641; the English version will be DH641/E.
6 DH644; the English version will be DH644/E.
7 DH650; the English version will be DH650/E.
8 DH661; the English version will be DH661/E.
9 DH665; the English version will be DH665/E.
10 DH671; the English version will be DH671/E.
11 DH684; the English version will be DH684/E.
12 DH687; the English version will be DH687/E.
13 DH691; the English version will be DH691/E.
14 DH692; the English version will be DH692/E.
15 DH693; the English number will be DH693/E.
16 DH727; the English version will be DH727/E [as interpreted].
17 DH806; the English version DH 806/E.
18 DH811; the English version will be DH811/E.
19 DH1079; the English version will be DH1079/E.
20 DH1082; the English version will be DH1082/E.
21 Finally we have the fourth list of exhibits that have been
22 admitted into evidence. DH826 -- DH426 [as interpreted] and the English
23 version is DH426/E.
24 DH453; the English version will be DH453/E.
25 DH505 --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is an error in the
2 transcript. DH826 it should be DH426. It's line 14.
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'll
4 continue from DH453.
5 DH505; the English version DH505/E.
6 DH720; the English version will be DH720/E.
7 DH816; the English version will be DH816/E.
8 And finally, DH836; the English version will be DH836/E.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. It
10 was necessary to do this. We will now call the witness.
11 Yes, Defence counsel would like to say something.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, given that there
13 are numerous documents and as you have noticed the interpreters were not
14 always perhaps able to follow the precise number that the registrar said,
15 we noticed a few errors. On page 5, line 24, one document was mentioned,
16 10262, but such a document doesn't exist. DH104 in line 22 was also
17 mentioned, but we have 350 documents so far so that can't be the right
18 number. Then on page 6 they said that the Bosnian version was 627 and
19 the English version 727. Those are just some of our comments. We have
20 some others. So we suggest when we get the transcript this evening we
21 should have a look at the numbers and tomorrow before the beginning of
22 the trial we will inform you of any errors in the transcript.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 The registrar who has the transcript will by that time be able to
25 make the necessary corrections. Since these documents are the
1 responsibility of the registrar and they're only his responsibility.
2 Could the usher please call the witness into the courtroom.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, Witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day, sir.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would first like to make sure
7 you are receiving interpretation of what is said into your own witness.
8 If so, please say yes.
9 Can you hear me?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would be grateful if the
11 interpreters could speak up a little, since I am somewhat deaf.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If the interpreters
13 could speak a little more loudly, that would be useful for the witness.
14 I will ask you my question again. Sir, do you hear -- can you hear what
15 I am saying in your own language.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not loud enough. I won't be
17 able to answer the questions.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, the usher should
19 perhaps make sure that the headphones -- that you have put the headphones
20 on correctly. Can you hear me now.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I hear you well now.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
23 witness for the Defence in order to testify. Before you take the solemn
24 declaration I would like to ask you to tell me your first and last names,
25 your date of birth and your place of birth.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Remzija Siljak. I was
2 born on 15th of November 1953, in the village of Kljaci in Travnik
3 municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What position do you hold at
5 the moment.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am retired.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 1993, what position did you
8 hold or what rank did you hold, if you were a member of the military.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, I was first the chief of
10 staff of the 306th Mountain Brigade and then the chief of staff of the
11 Bosanska Krajina OG. And in 1993 in the BH army there were no ranks, but
12 those were the duties I performed, whereas ranks were conferred in 1994
13 and I was given the rank of major.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Is this the first
15 time you will be testifying in an international court or have you already
16 testified in a national court.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have never testified either --
18 neither before international court nor before a local court.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please
20 read the solemn declaration that you will be shown.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You can sit down.
24 Before I give the floor to the Defence counsel who is going to
25 conduct the examination-in-chief, I should like to give you some
1 explanations as to how these proceedings are going to be conducted. This
2 is what I do with every witness so that you know what to expect.
3 You're first going to answer questions which will be asked of you
4 by one of the Defence counsel who is present in the courtroom. After
5 this part of the examination, which is likely to be rather long because
6 you have been scheduled for two days, the Prosecution will also have some
7 questions for you within the framework of the so-called
8 cross-examination. The three Judges that you can see in front of you,
9 pursuant to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, may also ask any
10 question of you if they deem it appropriate or useful. These issues are
11 regulated. At the same time we are triers of fact and triers of law at
12 the same time because there is no jury in these proceedings. So we will
13 also ask you questions that we deem necessary and useful, depending
14 either on the questions that are going to be asked of you by the parties
15 or because we believe it to be useful and necessary in the interest of
16 justice. We have that right pursuant to the Rules and we will free to
17 ask questions of you. Usually we do not ask many questions. This is the
18 role that is normally played by the parties. We will only have several
19 minutes at the end to ask questions if we deem them necessary.
20 When you answer a question, try to be as clear as possible for
21 the Judges who are in front of you, who have to be able to understand
22 you. If you do not understand the question, feel free to ask that the
23 question be rephrased, especially if the question is too long and if you
24 don't think that you can understand the contents of the question.
25 I should also like to draw your attention to two very important
1 points. You have just read the oath which excludes normally any false
2 testimony. If it turns out that you have lied, you may be subject to
3 charges of perjury. The punishment that is provided for such cases can
4 go to seven years of imprisonment.
5 You're now a witness of the Court. You're no longer a witness of
6 any of the parties. You have to answer the questions, but you're also a
7 witness of the court and a witness of justice and therefore you have a
8 special status. If in the course of your responses you provide answers
9 that might be incriminating, you should be aware of the fact that what
10 you say cannot be used against you at a subsequent date. And for this
11 reason, you have all the more reason to speak the truth. If you feel
12 that there are any difficulties, do not hesitate to inform us of the
13 fact. We are here to deal with any problems that might arise.
14 There are no questions you would like to ask, I will now give the
15 floor to Defence counsel, who will commence with their
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 WITNESS: REMZIJA SILJAK
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Siljak.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Before I proceed with my questions, in addition to what the
24 President of the Chamber has told you, I also have to ask you to bear in
25 mind one additional thing. As you have been informed by the President of
1 this Chamber, it is very important for the Judges of this Chamber to hear
2 everything that you're going to say here. You and I speak the same
3 language. As soon as I ask my question, I know that you are able to
4 start immediately with your answer, but in that case it would be very
5 difficult for the interpreters to convey both my question and your
6 answer. So I have to kindly ask you to pause a little and wait until you
7 hear that the interpretation is finished and then proceed with your
8 answer. Have you understood me?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you very much. You have already told us your name, your
11 date, and your place of birth. Could you also tell us, please, what
12 nationality you are and what citizenship you hold.
13 A. I am a Bosniak by nationality and I am a national. I hold
14 citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Q. Where do you currently reside, Mr. Siljak?
16 A. I currently reside in Travnik.
17 Q. Where did you live at the beginning of the war in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, that is in April 1992?
19 A. In April 1992, I lived in Travnik.
20 Q. Mr. Siljak, could you tell us about your education.
21 A. I completed teacher training college.
22 Q. What was your profession or your occupation before the war and
23 where did you work?
24 A. After graduating from teachers' college, I found a job in the
25 village of Visnjevo in Biljanska Valley. And for the first ten years of
1 my life after I graduated, I worked as a teacher in the villages of
2 Biljanska Valley up until 1984.
3 Q. After you have had a series of jobs as a teacher, did you do
4 something else? Did you change occupation, and if so what did you do?
5 A. Since there was a teachers' college in Travnik, there was always
6 a surplus of teachers. So at one point in time, I became so-called
7 surplus and I applied for a different job, for a job of operations and
8 training chief in my municipality. And I started on that job on the 1st
9 of January, 1984.
10 Q. Did you do any military service before the war, and if so in
11 which army?
12 A. Yes. I did my military service in the former JNA, that is with
13 the army of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
14 Q. Were you given any rank in that army?
15 A. In that army, I was a member of the officers' school in Bileca.
16 Normally one is made lieutenant after that school.
17 Q. Did that have any effect on the fact that you were an admitted
18 member of the Territorial Defence staff in the municipality of Travnik?
19 A. If I had not completed officers' school and if I had not been a
20 reserve officer, I would have never been able to apply for that job and I
21 would have never been given that position.
22 Q. You stated that as a teacher you worked in the village of
23 Visnjevo in Biljanska Valley. Can you explain to us what Biljanska
24 Valley is and where that area is located.
25 A. I stated only one village where I worked as a teacher. I also
1 worked in Dub, Cukle, Grahovcici, Han Bila and Kljaci, all of which are
2 situated in Biljanska Valley. That area is part of the Travnik
3 municipality and lies to the north-east of the municipality of Travnik.
4 These villages are part of the valley of the Bila River.
5 Q. Could you please indicate for us on this map the area in question
6 and after that, if you are familiar enough with the area, I should also
7 like to ask you to indicate the area on the model. There is a pointer on
8 your desk which you can indicate the area on the map, and I think that
9 the usher could also perhaps give you the microphone so that you can
10 continue speaking and providing us with relevant information while you're
11 indicating the area in question.
12 Let me first ask you whether you can recognise this map.
13 A. Yes. Yes, I can. But let me just add that as a teacher I was
14 able to really know all of these villages. I am a native from the area,
15 and as an employee of the municipal staff which was involved in planning
16 and preparation of the training of the units of the Territorial Defence
17 staff, I was able to know the entire area of the Travnik municipality
18 because it is in these locations that we carried out our training. So
19 this is how I was able to gain knowledge about the area. I know where
20 these villages are. I am fully familiar with the national composition of
21 the population in this area and I can indicate this on the map.
22 Q. Thank you very much. I should like to ask you now to indicate
23 the area for us on the map so that we and the Chamber have a clear
24 understanding as to the area in question.
25 A. As I have already indicated --
1 Q. First of all, you have already told us that you can recognise the
2 map. Tell us about the map and tell us how it is that you recognise it.
3 A. It is a military topographic map. The ratio is 1:25.000. I used
4 this map on a daily basis when working for the Territorial Defence staff
5 for the purpose of preparing the training and making plans and
6 preparations for the training.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Could you now show us the area of Biljanska
8 Valley and the villages making up that area.
9 A. The area I'm going to indicate now is the territory of the
10 Travnik municipality. The municipality of Travnik is made up of two
11 parts. One is the valley of the Lasva River and the other is the village
12 of Bila River. The Biljanska valley, as I have already told you, follows
13 the river of Bila. The Bila River area is not inhabited in the upper
14 part. However, in the lower part of the river, that area is more
15 inhabited and this is where these villages are located, the villages that
16 I have spoken about.
17 Q. Could you please slow down when indicating the area on the map so
18 that we can follow on our screens the area that you are indicating and
19 your words.
20 A. I have stated that the upper part of the valley is not inhabited.
21 The first village is Gluha Bukovica. I did not work in Gluha Bukovica,
22 but I often went there for the purposes of training because there was a
23 TO unit in Gluha Bukovica.
24 The next village located near the Bila River is Visnjevo. In
25 Visnjevo I did work. Actually, this was my first job. Going down the
1 river, we see the village of Dub which is where I worked as a teacher as
2 well. The villages after Dub in Biljanska Valley on the left bank are
3 Orahovo, Zagradje, Skomorje, Bana; and on the right bank, Suhi Dol,
4 Poljanice and Mehurici.
5 The River Bila actually flows through the village of Mehurici,
6 but you cannot see this village on this -- these maps. This village is
7 can be seen on the new map. Then we have the villages of Postinje,
8 Maline. Do you want me to enumerate the villages located on the right
9 bank? They are Postinje, Maline, Guca Gora, Krpeljici. And although
10 those villages are not really in or near the Bila River, they are part of
11 the Biljanska River Valley. Then we have the village of Radoncici,
12 Bandol, Han Bila. The Bila flows through this one. But let me go back
13 to --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miletici, Jezerci, Podovi, Orasac,
16 Cukle, Novo Selo, Piljaci, Brajkovici, Grahovcici. There's also Dolac,
17 Rudnik, and the village of Kljaci on this bank. From Han Bila to the
18 right bank, we see the villages of --
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please slow down, Mr. Siljak, so that both the image
21 and interpreters can following your testimony. Please go on.
22 A. So from Han Bila downstream on the right bank we see the villages
23 Banovici, Rajici, or Zolote, as the population commonly referred to it,
24 Alihodze and Karahodze. And in the lower part of the Bila River we see
25 Pokrajcici on the right bank and on the left bank the villages of
1 Zabilje, Sadovace and Rijeka Bila. And actually the village of Stara
2 Bila where the Bila River joins the Lasva.
3 Q. Thank you very much. On the model - you don't have to repeat all
4 the villages - could you use the model and indicate the general area for
5 us if you are able to recognise it for us on the model as well.
6 A. So there is a valley of the Lasva River --
7 Q. I don't think the microphone is on.
8 A. As I have indicated, the municipality of Travnik is made up of
9 two valleys: the Lasva valley, starting on the southern slopes of the
10 Vlasic mountain; and the Bila River Valley, which is located to the
11 north-east of the municipality of Travnik and the north-east slopes of
12 the Vlasic mountain.
13 Q. Since you're now next to the model, can you please also tell us
14 something about the terrain of the Travnik municipality and Biljanska
16 A. Well, you can see for yourself the area. The entire area of the
17 municipality of Travnik is a mountainous area. The largest part of the
18 municipality is occupied by the Vlasic mountain, and on the other side
19 Radalj, Komar, and Moralica [phoen], as far as the Lasva River valley is
20 concerned. As for the Bila River valley, the terrain is similar. The
21 River Bila flows through the mountainous area in the upper part and in
22 the mid-part, and in the lower part the terrain is a bit more even.
23 However, these two areas are separated. You see here that the Lasva
24 River valley is separated from the Bila River valley.
25 Q. It is separated from a mountain range, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. You can now go back to your seat.
3 Mr. Siljak, we're just going to dwell upon the Bila River valley
4 for a moment. Can you please tell us what the population is in that
5 valley. Who lived in the Bila River valley?
6 A. The Bila river valley was ethnically mixed; however, the majority
7 population was Bosniak and Croat with only two small villages inhabited
8 by Serbs. However, these villages were not really separated. Most of
9 the these -- or rather, many of these villages were mixed and were
10 inhabited by both Croat and Bosniak populations. Likewise, there were
11 cases of villages, Croatian villages, right next to Bosniak villages.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. I believe you have clarified that. Can
13 we now go back to your position as a member of the municipal staff of the
14 Territorial Defence before the war. Tell me, what was your job in the
15 municipal staff?
16 A. As I have already indicated, I started on my job as a coordinator
17 for instruction and training, but I was soon transferred to the position
18 of the assistant chief of staff for instruction and training.
19 Q. Is this the position that you had when the war broke out? And I
20 apologise if the question is leading. I just need some clarification
21 with respect to the previous question. What was your position at the
22 beginning of April 1992?
23 A. There had been some changes in the meantime in the municipality
24 staff of the Territorial Defence. In peacetime, the assistant chief of
25 staff became assistant commander, and this entailed further changes. And
1 as a result of that in April 1992 my position was assistant commander for
2 instruction and training.
3 Q. Can you briefly tell us what is the role of the municipal staff
4 of the Territorial Defence and how it fit in the overall system of the
5 Territorial Defence in the former Yugoslavia.
6 A. As part of the armed forces, the Territorial Defence was always
7 tasked with specific assignments linked with the geographical area where
8 it was located. So performing combat assignments in case of attack on
9 the territory of the former Yugoslavia, in particular in the area of the
10 Travnik municipality.
11 Q. Who were you subordinated to? The municipal staff of the
12 Territorial Defence, who was your superior?
13 A. I think it is important to distinguish between peacetime and
14 wartime staff. The municipal staff of the Territorial Defence as a
15 peacetime organ was a municipal organ of the Travnik municipality,
16 whereas the war staff was a unit which would normally come into existence
17 only in case of war or if it became necessary to defend the country.
18 Q. What was the role of the Municipal Assembly with respect to the
19 municipal staff of the Territorial Defence?
20 A. They were in charge of assigning officials to various positions.
21 I, for instance, was appointed by the Municipal Assembly to my position
22 of assistant commander for instruction and training. So the Municipal
23 Assembly was in charge of appointments in various organs, therefore it
24 had a rather important role.
25 Q. Who were members of the units of the Territorial Defence of every
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 municipality, therefore of the municipality of Travnik as well?
2 A. The composition of the units, the members of these units were all
3 able-bodied men of the Travnik municipality, regardless of their
4 ethnicity. However -- I don't know if this is necessary, but it might be
5 useful for me to state that the municipal staff was a municipal organ.
6 Horizontally speaking, it was connected to the municipality; however,
7 militarily speaking, the superior command was the district command of the
8 Territorial Defence which was located in Zenica. The municipal staff was
9 in charge of drafting plans for mobilisation of units on the basis of
10 assessment of needs and orders receipt from the superior command and also
11 pursuant to a request issued by the Municipal Assembly for the purposes
12 of providing, for instance, security to important facilities on the
13 territory of the municipality.
14 Q. What was the ethnic composition of these units? And also, what
15 was the ethnic composition of the commands of these units and the
16 municipal staff?
17 A. When I started at the municipality -- at the municipal staff in
18 1992 and actually throughout that period of time, the ethnic composition
19 of Travnik municipality corresponded to the ethnic composition of the
20 population of the Travnik municipality. In the municipal staff of the
21 Territorial Defence up until 1989 when, pursuant to the law on early
22 retirement of administrative organs, the national composition of the
23 officers of the command and the staff, it was more or less similar to the
24 ethnic composition of the population. However, after that there was no
25 replenishment of the staff. Therefore, the situation was somewhat
1 different at the beginning of the war. There were four Bosniaks in the
2 staff, four Croats, I believe, and three Serbs at the beginning of the
4 Q. Mr. Siljak, since when answering my questions you said that
5 everyone from the area of your municipality was mobilised into the unit,
6 tell me about the able-bodied men. In the case of war, where were they
7 mobilised and who was given priority when these men were being mobilised?
8 A. When I started working in the municipality of Travnik, there were
9 two brigades, JNA reserve forces and there was a regiment was replenished
10 with men from the entire area. There were Territorial Defence units.
11 There were police units, units of the military police. There were units
12 of the civilian protection. People who had to do work obligation. There
13 were various bodies that we used for mobilisation.
14 But you asked about priority. Men from the former JNA were given
15 priority, and then manoeuvring units from the TO, and then tactical units
16 from the Territorial Defence. I don't know whether it's necessary to
17 provide further clarifications.
18 Q. I don't think it's necessary to go into further details. But
19 since that system existed before the war started, we think it might be
20 good for you to provide us with some information about this. I'll ask
21 you some questions about this matter. My first question is: What sort
22 of equipment did the Territorial Defence staff and its units have and who
23 obtained this equipment?
24 A. The TO municipal staff, as I said, was in charge of the
25 mobilisation plan for units and it supervised the drafting of plans for
1 developing and supplying Territorial Defence units. And on the basis of
2 these plans, the necessary equipment was obtained. To finance the
3 equipment and the training of the units, one used funds that had -- from
4 the entire population. They would contribute 1 per cent of their
5 salaries, and this would be shared out among the JNA and other
6 structures. And with regard to these funds, the Municipal Assembly would
7 decide about these funds. The Municipal Assembly would be provided with
8 the plan for obtaining funds and the Municipal Assembly would allocate
9 funds for obtaining this equipment, the necessary equipment, and for
10 training units, commands, and Territorial Defence staffs.
11 Q. Mr. Siljak, since you worked in the TO staff just before the war,
12 tell me: Was there -- was anything reorganised, were there any changes
13 in the Territorial Defence in a way that might significantly effect
14 subsequent developments in the capacity of your municipality for defence?
15 I'm referring to manpower, equipment.
16 A. I said I started working in the TO staff as of the 1st of
17 January, 1994. When I assumed that post, the TO in Travnik municipality
18 had about 4.200 members. With time, this number diminished. It was
19 reduced to 3 per cent of the population, then to 2 per cent of the
20 population, so that just before the war in 1990 there were about a
21 thousand or even fewer members of the Territorial Defence.
22 Q. Since a minute ago you said that significant funds were allocated
23 from national salaries for the purposes of the Territorial Defence, tell
24 me what sort of equipment, what sort of weapons did the TO have and at
25 the beginning of the war. Was it in a position to make use of its
2 A. The TO units were not units that had heavy artillery, but a TO
3 detachment, a TO battalion that we were composing for the 13th brigade --
4 TO brigade, other local commune units had weapons in accordance with the
5 establishment. They had infantry weapons -- I'm referring to rifles,
6 light machine-guns, hand-held rocket launchers, anti-armour equipment,
7 recoilless cannons, because this is what the TO units according to the
8 establishment should have had. These weapons were kept in JNA barracks
9 in Muslimeni [as interpreted]. In that barracks, those barracks, the
10 Muslimeni [as interpreted], the Territorial Defence staff built a special
11 warehouse where this equipment was kept. It wasn't possible to keep all
12 the weapons in that one warehouse, but a JNA warehouse also had to be
14 When I had only just started working it wasn't a problem to use
15 that equipment for the purposes of training or for other needs. But -- I
16 don't remember the exact date but at some time in 1990 or at the
17 beginning of 1991, there was an order according to which we were no
18 longer to be allowed access to those weapons without special
19 authorisation from a high JNA command.
20 Q. Mr. Siljak, the Chamber is already aware of the fact that in 1990
21 there were the multi-party elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tell me
22 who in the municipality of Travnik won at the elections and how was the
23 government subsequently formed, from the viewpoint of whether these
24 changes had an effect on the organisation of the Territorial Defence
25 staff in Travnik. Could you tell me whether the way in which it was
1 organised was effective as a result of these elections.
2 A. The first multi-party elections, the nationalist parties were
3 victorious. And when I refer to the nationalist parties, I mean that the
4 SDA received the greatest number of votes. They were followed by the HDZ
5 and the SDS. This had a significant influence on the appointments of
6 individuals to various positions. So the SDA, since this was a
7 victorious party, was given the position of the chief of the public
8 security station and the position of the TO commander in Travnik. And
9 the HDZ was given the position of the secretary of the secretariat of
10 defence in Travnik.
11 Q. Mr. Siljak, just a while ago --
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My colleagues have informed me
13 and I just checked this -- on page 22, line 12 instead of the word of
14 Slimena being mentioned, which is the name of the JNA barracks, the word
15 Muslimeni appeared. This is something that should be corrected. The
16 name of the barracks is Slimena. As you see here in the JNA barracks in
17 Muslimeni it should say in Slimena. Slimena is the place where those
18 barracks were located.
19 May I continue?
20 Q. Let's continue, Mr. Siljak. You told us about the changes in the
21 structure of the TO staff when power was divided. Tell me at the time
22 who was the commander of the TO staff in which you worked and you were
23 involved as an operations and training instructor.
24 A. Well, when I assumed that post until the end of December 1991, my
25 commander was Dragan Petrusic and in 1991 when the elections were won
1 Zijad Caber became the commander. And from that time on until the
2 beginning of the war Zijad Caber was the commander of the TO staff.
3 Q. Could you tell us who the commanders were until the end of 1992
4 before you left to perform other duties.
5 A. I think from the beginning of June the commander was Haso Ribo.
6 And he remained the commander until around the 15th of November, 1992.
7 Then Ahmed Kulanovic took over and I moved to the 306th Brigade.
8 Q. On the 8th of April according to the evidence we have, the
9 presidency took a decision on renaming the BH TO staff and it was
10 supposed to become the Republican TO staff. Tell me whether the
11 municipal staff of Territorial Defence in Travnik accepted the
12 Territorial Defence staff as a legitimate superior command.
13 A. We then received from the district command from the Territorial
14 Defence in Zenica instructions according to which we should pledge our
15 loyalty to that newly formed staff of the Territorial Defence in the
16 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were to sign a document pledging
17 our loyalty, and this is what we did.
18 Q. Given this new situation, the wartime situation, as a result of
19 the attack of the JNA and the Serbian forces launched against Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, could you tell me whether the Territorial Defence staff in
21 Travnik was able to mobilise men in accordance with a previously drafted
22 mobilisation plan, and if this was not the case, could you explain to us
23 why it was not possible to do this.
24 A. The TO municipal staff in the earlier period just before the war
25 developed so-called tactical units which were supposed to be used for
1 combat operation territory of Travnik municipality. These units were
2 replenished in accordance with or on the basis of the national
3 composition of the population. Likewise, area units, local commune
4 units, were also brought up to strength on the basis of the national
5 composition of the population.
6 On the 8th of April, the situation was such that these plans were
7 quite simply not valid. They had to be cancelled and we had to start
8 from zero because the Serbian population, the majority of the Serbian
9 population, had already moved to a territory where the inhabitants were
10 mainly Serbs because they had joined the former JNA which, under the
11 pretext of carrying out military manoeuvres, had taken quite a bit of the
12 Travnik municipality, the Vlasic plateau, the Prijedor area. So these
13 units couldn't be mobilised like this.
14 And similarly, in addition to the Serbian population, the
15 Croatian population didn't join these TO units but they organised
16 themselves on a national basis. So this is something that happened at
17 the same staff. There was the TO staff in the municipality, but an HVO
18 headquarters started functioning in the area of Travnik municipality at
19 the same time.
20 Q. Do you know what happened to men liable for municipality service
21 who according to wartime plans were supposed to join JNA units?
22 A. Perhaps I haven't explained this sufficiently. In the
23 municipality of Travnik it appeared as if things had been prepared in
24 advance, because when I started working in the municipality of Travnik
25 there were two brigades from the JNA reserve force. But before 1991,
1 both brigades were disbanded. The JNA units in the municipality of
2 Travnik barely existed because new brigades were formed, the 19th in
3 Donji Vakuf was formed. The 22nd in Skender Vakuf was formed too. They
4 provided them with equipment that had been brought in from Slovenia and
5 Croatia. This was equipment kept in the warehouse in Slimena. There
6 were a lot of men who hadn't been given assignments. They were wandering
7 aimlessly. Quite simply, they didn't fit in with the mobilisation plans
8 that the TO had drafted.
9 Q. You have just given us a fairly clear explanation of the
10 situation as far as men are concerned and so as the possibility of
11 mobilising them is concerned, since the mobilisation plans you had
12 prepared were more or less invalid.
13 Now, could you please tell me what happened to the Territorial
14 Defence's weapons, and as you said, the Territorial Defence staff had
15 placed itself under the control of the Yugoslav army as early as 1991.
16 A. In Travnik at that time in 1991, there was a JNA barracks, a
17 small barracks and a technical battalion was located there. But what is
18 important is under the pretext of carrying out military manoeuvres in
19 1991 and in the beginning of 1992, the Komar area was taken by JNA units.
20 This is on the road N5 which goes through Travnik towards Bosanska
21 Krajina. They also took over the entire Vlasic area as well.
22 Q. Could you please point to these areas on the model we have, if
23 that is possible.
24 A. As I said, this is the road that connects Travnik by the Lasva
25 valley in Bosna in the direction of Sarajevo. It connects Travnik and
1 Sarajevo. The JNA units had taken this pass from one side of the pass
2 you have the Komar mountain and on the other side you have Radalj. The
3 next area the JNA units took is this plateau called Smet Gostilj. And
4 then they reached the Galice plateau, Devecani, and they approached the
5 radio transmitter on the top Paljenik. If we have a good look you can
6 see from this side there's Travnik and Lasva valley which were under
7 complete blockade.
8 Q. Thank you. You may go back to your seat.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll perhaps have
10 our break now and resume at about 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume. You may
14 take the floor.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Siljak, you were just telling us that some of the JNA forces
17 were deployed at elevated positions outside of Travnik and practically,
18 totally blocked the town. What happened to the TO weapons under the
19 control of the army? Were they returned to the Territorial Defence?
20 A. The Territorial Defence weapons remained in the Slimena
21 warehouse. They were never returned to the TO, whereas the JNA units
22 secured the warehouse, Slimena. When they were leaving they blew up the
23 warehouse. In particular, they blew up the warehouse where weapons and
24 other materiel of the TO in Travnik were located.
25 Q. Given what you have just said, what sort of weapons did the
1 Territorial Defence staff have when war broke out?
2 A. On the 8th of April when a new TO staff was formed, a new staff
3 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Travnik didn't have a
4 single gun. First of all, the weapons that the TO staff had in order to
5 distribute the weapons to its members, these weapons were weapons that
6 when leaving the institute in Travnik and the barracks of the JNA in
7 Travnik, these were weapons that would remain in those facilities.
8 Q. Can you tell how many weapons were concerned and what kind of
10 A. I wasn't personally present at those two locations, but according
11 to the briefing given by the commander of the Territorial Defence, or
12 rather of the municipal staff at the time there were about a hundred
13 barrels, a hundred long barrels. So these were ordinary army rifles.
14 And I refer to the maintenance depot and the barracks. These were the
15 two facilities.
16 Q. In such a situation, given that you were no longer able to follow
17 the plan for mobilising men and given that you no longer had any weapons,
18 was there any combat in the area of your municipal staff? Who confronted
19 the enemy?
20 A. In the area of the municipal staff of Travnik the first combat,
21 or rather the attack launched by the Serbian army against the territory
22 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was carried out on the 20th of
23 April, 1992, in the Turbe area, that is to say from the direction of
24 Komar and Radalj. And the Serbian forces attacked Turbe, whereas the
25 defenders of Turbe were local people. There was the Turbe police station
1 and only the police station had weapons and was able to resist, whereas
2 the locals of Turbe had their own weapons which they had obtained on the
3 black market or they had hunting weapons.
4 Q. With regard to the attack of the Serbian forces against Travnik
5 and with regard to the lines that the TO and other armed forces had
6 established, could you show us the location of these lines on the map and
7 on the model.
8 A. Could I just clarify your question. Do you mean on that very day
9 or are you referring to the line -- the front line, or the first line
10 that was established in the municipality of Travnik?
11 Q. I think it would be important for you to tell us about the
12 direction from which the attack was launched and where was that first
13 line, the front line, that was established after the initial combat
15 A. Before I get up to show this on the map to you or to draw it, in
16 the Travnik municipality after Turbe there was fighting on the Vlasic
17 plateau and lines were established both in Turbe and throughout the
18 territory of the municipality of Travnik. This is why I asked you
19 whether I should draw the lines after the beginning of those combat
21 Q. You don't have to do so at this moment, but please could you
22 point to those lines on Vlasic or rather Turbe, as you just said. Could
23 you show us where those lines were, how far they were from various places
24 and from the centre of the town.
25 A. Here we have Turbe. The first attack of the Serbs and
1 Montenegrins was carried out from the direction of Radalj, as I said.
2 They attacked Turbe, an inhabited place which is where the Turbe police
3 station was located. Some of the inhabitants -- the attack was launched
4 from the Vocnijak [phoen] village. And in the pretext of doing work on
5 the water supply -- that's what they said, because the TO staff had a
6 warehouse in Turbe and a training centre for its men. They told us that
7 they were digging canals for the water supply but they were preparing
8 defence lines. The attack was from Vocnijak against Turbe. And along
9 the Lasva Valley, that's where a defence line was established. The Serbian
10 forces immediately took "Metalorad", the metal works which was in the middle,
11 in an area between the Territorial Defence and Serb forces. The Serbian
12 forces then took this entire Radalj area. They took Vasici Kuca,
13 elevated points in Komar towards Karaula. This valley here is the valley
14 of Karaula. And our forces facing them mounted some sort of defence to
15 repel the attack launched by these forces.
16 Then on the other side, on this road in the direction of Komar,
17 the Serbian forces held this entire road and they then moved over to the
18 other side and held this area which is called Sarmaja. Lines were
19 established in the village of Goles the inhabitants of which were mixed.
20 Half of them were Serbs and the other half were Bosniaks. In Goles
21 itself, in the village, that's were lines were established.
22 As for Komar and elevated points, these areas were held by the
23 Serbian forces. As far as the other area is concerned, this territory
24 here -- well, there is a part missing on the map, but this part is called
25 Smet, and we have Gostilj. So it's above the Karaula valley. Karaula is
1 at an altitude of about 600 metres and the altitude of Smet and Gostilj
2 is about 1.000 or 1.100 metres. There were tanks and other equipment
3 with which they arrived in this area and they took this entire Karaula
5 On the other side as I said a minute ago, there is part of this
6 place called Galice. They took that, and if you have a look at the map
7 you will see how much higher it is in relation to the Turbe valley. They
8 reached Devecani and took Devecani. On the 1st of May, 1992, they
9 carried out a frontal attack and used all their equipment and all their
10 forces and they took the radio transmitter on Paljenik, which the
11 Travnik police force was guarding. They were from Han Bila. In this
12 attack there were strong Serbian and Montenegrin forces that captured a
13 significant of our soldiers and the line was established along this road
14 which leads to Paljenik. And then it was established beyond the Cavo
15 feature which is 1817 metres, Pavo 1807 metres. Then we have Crni Vrh,
16 which was also taken. Then there's Kraljevo Guvno, Tvrda Ravan, Duge;
17 they didn't take Ljuta Greda but they took Duge Kvrkusa. And then via
18 Bijelik they established a line in the direction of Neokrnje at the
19 border of the municipality of Travnik with Teslic.
20 Q. Thank you. Just briefly could you indicate these lines on the
21 model. It won't be necessary to provide any additional explanations to
22 the elevations and villages that they took.
23 A. Here you can see Turbe. The attack came from Radalj. They came
24 all the way down to Turbe and it was in Turbe that a line was
25 established. On the other side -- I said they crossed to the other side
1 of the road and took possession of these elevated points here alongside
2 the line between parts of the villages -- part of the village of Goles.
3 The line went through Goles, the line between TO and Serb forces. I'm
4 not talking about Radalj because the whole area was taken possession of,
5 including elevated points. Karaulska valley. In this area it was Smet
6 Gostilj and the road leading to Skender Vakuf and Banja Luka was taken
7 possession of. They controlled the area of Galice, this part here. Then
8 they went over to this other area of Galice and the relay at the highest
9 point of Vlasic, 1.903 metres included Cavo, Pavo and all the way to Crni
10 Vrh. They took all these points here, which are all located in the
11 Travnik municipality.
12 Q. Thank you very much. You may be seated.
13 Could you please tell us, in light of this very dispersed
14 structure and the possibilities of mobilising the population in case of
15 war, what were the measures that were taken by the Territorial Defence to
16 mobilise the population? What parameters were taken into account?
17 According to what structure was it done and at what pace?
18 A. Upon the call-up for the volunteers to report to the Territorial
19 Defence staffs, the municipal staff recorded such volunteers. They were
20 not yet ready to establish proper units. The TO wanted to put under
21 control, pursuant to an order issued by the superior command, what was
22 already in the area, in the field. So what we could do was to tour the
23 area, inspect the existing village units, and proceed with organising
24 them into proper units. Pursuant to the principles which were applicable
25 in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, the
1 replenishment of JNA was supposed to be done by the secretariat of
2 National Defence. However, in this situation this was not done. Or
3 rather, people were dispatched to the area, into the field, in order to
4 inspect the situation in particular villages and to draw lists of
5 potential candidates so that the Territorial Defence staff could then
6 register them as potential members of such units.
7 Q. In addition to these purely military difficulties that you were
8 faced with, what was the situation in Travnik which affected the
9 preparation of the defence and the establishment of the units?
10 A. As early as April 1992, from the villages of the Vlasic area such
11 as Mudrik, Vitoljevi, Sazici, Mehici - these are all Bosniak villages -
12 inhabitants were expelled from these villages. So we had refugees from
13 these villages and villagers had already started coming up from Bosanska
14 Krajina. However, we as a military component -- of course this had a
15 certain influence on us, however the greatest problem for us was the fact
16 that in parallel with the municipal Territorial Defence staff, we had --
17 or rather, all of a sudden there appeared another military organisation
18 that wanted to implement the decision of the presidency of the BH on
19 placing all armed groups and individuals under the Territorial Defence.
20 Q. What parallel structure are you talking about?
21 A. Well, there is the municipality staff of the HVO, and Croatian
22 population joined the HVO forces that were established within the HVO
23 staff, municipal HVO staff.
24 Q. Were there any other armed groups in addition to HVO which
25 refused the command of the municipal staff, the control and command of
1 the municipal staff?
2 A. There were members of HOS at the time. There were units or
3 groups made up of Croatian nationals, although later there were Bosniaks
4 as well in these HOS units. In addition to that, all kinds of
5 self-organised groups passed through Travnik. And I think that later I
6 noticed something which was rather odd for our area, the fact that these
7 people shouted out "Tekbir" and things like that, people who were not
8 members of the Territorial Defence of the Travnik municipality.
9 Q. You said that a parallel command, HVO, was established at one
10 point in time and then you went on to enumerate a number of other groups.
11 This HVO staff and HVO units, did they have any military characteristics
12 at the time? Were they similar to military formations, or are we only
13 talking about individuals and individual groups?
14 A. The commander of the HVO staff in Travnik at the beginning was
15 Ivica Stojak. Ivica Stojak was a commander of a part of an antisabotage
16 unit. So it was one of the detachments that had to respond to the TO
17 mobilisation call-up. At the time,I would meet him from time to time.
18 He would come to see the commander. We talked a number of times. And
19 what we were able to conclude is that he was tasked with establishing an
20 HVO staff, but he was saying, or rather they were saying that the
21 objective was common objective and that was the defence against the
22 Serbian aggressor. However, there was not enough interest or perhaps not
23 enough willingness on his part - or perhaps he was never given consent
24 for that - to establish a joint unified command so that we could
25 establish proper joint armed forces which would have been much easier and
1 much better for the defence against the enemy.
2 If I may just add one point. A moment ago just before we broke,
3 when I stood up to indicate something on the map I was able to hear the
4 interpreter in my earphones. However, now I cannot hear the
5 interpretation and that's why I don't know whether they have finished or
6 not. So I am trying to make -- to pause because you warned me to do so.
7 However I'm not able to respect that completely because I don't hear the
8 interpretation at all times. Is it possible perhaps to increase the
9 volume of the interpretation so that I can tell when they have finished?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] With your kind permission, Mr.
11 President, I would like to ask the assistance of the usher. Perhaps the
12 usher could check whether it is possible for the witness to hear the
13 interpretation in his earphones so that he has enough time to wait before
14 he answers my question.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
16 Please continue and then we will be able to see if there is any
17 problem with that.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, like I told you at the
19 beginning, maybe I don't hear very well. But perhaps I can continue
20 without really hearing the interpretation.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as interpretation is
22 concerned, you don't need interpretation because you speak the same
23 language. Perhaps you don't need earphones at all. But perhaps it would
24 be a good idea for the witness to follow on the screen the
25 interpretation. In that way, he will not need earphones, which he
1 doesn't need because he speaks the same language, except if the Chamber
2 asks a question either in English or in French. But if it's only you
3 asking the questions, I don't think the witness needs earphones. Unless
4 you don't hear the counsel. But the counsel can then shout if you cannot
5 hear her very well.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear the counsel and I
7 think I can continue.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, the commander of the HVO staff did
10 not accept the command of the municipal staff. Is that what you wanted
11 to say?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Why is it that the municipal staff failed to take any measures,
14 including military measures, to place the HVO units under its control,
15 under its command, in light of the fact that they constituted legitimate
16 force of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. The municipal staff of the Territorial Defence at that time did
18 not have a mandate to that effect. They were not able to make such
19 decisions. No soldier could reach such a decision. Such a decision
20 could only be reached at a political, higher, level. But apart from that
21 the HVO, such as it was, was useful for the purposes of the defence
22 against the enemy because they did maintain certain portions of the line
23 against the Serbian aggressor. So of course anyone taking part in the
24 defence was more than welcome. But it was not up to us. We couldn't
25 reach a decision of that kind, and that was not the situation prevailing
1 in the Travnik municipality area only. It was a much greater, larger
3 Q. You spoke about the organisation of the municipal staff in
4 peacetime. We are in 1992 now. Had there been any changes in terms of
5 rules and regulations and the position of the Territorial Defence staff
6 in the overall system of the state?
7 A. Right after the order was issued to that effect, we started
8 establishing units and staffs similar to the ones we had had before.
9 That is to say, it was our objective to establish such units in all
10 inhabited areas and we wanted to include everyone in the defence. Now,
11 the immediate threat of war had been declared; not war, not wartime. So
12 it was not possible to involve the entire population. It had to be done
13 on a voluntary basis, and that is how those units were established.
14 However, changes were taking place rapidly and regulations had changed
15 for the Territorial Defence. A new staff had been established, a new
16 staff at the level of the republic. And it was at that level that
17 appropriate regulations were adopted. So it was in accordance with that
18 that we acted in the field on our terrain. We reorganised units and took
19 certain measures in response and pursuant to the regulations that had
20 been adopted in the meantime.
21 Q. You were a member of the Territorial Defence staff in spring and
22 summer of 1992. As such, were you aware of the fact that regulations
23 from the area of defence had been adopted? And if so, what was the link
24 of these regulations with the formal regulations on the All People's
1 A. At the beginning of the war we implemented the rules and regulations
2 of the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is the
3 law that had applied to the armed forces including Territorial Defence in
4 the former Yugoslavia. I don't know exactly when that was, but at one
5 point these laws were declared null and void and new decrees,
6 presidential decrees were adopted, including the decrees on national
7 defence and armed forces. So we endeavoured to behave in the spirit of
8 these regulations.
9 Q. Tell us please, at that time were you aware of the aims and
10 objectives of these decrees adopted at the level of the state? And if
11 so, tell us which specific decree provided for the aims and objectives of
12 the Territorial Defence.
13 A. The units of the Territorial Defence received at the municipal
14 level the platform of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on
15 activity in wartime. And that platform, so-called platform, was welcome
16 and approved of because it implied a multi-ethnic state, a kind of state
17 that we were fighting for. However, members of the Territorial Defence
18 also recognise their possibility to find a peaceful solution for the
19 current problems, for the existing problems. So yes, we did receive such
20 a decree. We gave it appropriate interpretation, and this particular act
21 was welcome in the Travnik municipality.
22 Q. You said a moment ago that HVO was established at one point in
23 time. In the Travnik municipality on the part of the Territorial Defence
24 staff, were any efforts made with the objectives of having a joint
25 command and coming up with a joint plan for fighting the enemy? And if
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 yes, can you please tell us what the results were of such efforts.
2 A. As I already indicated, at the first multi-party elections, SDA
3 and HDZ won the majority of votes. Both of these parties spent
4 considerable time negotiating. I don't know what it was that they
5 discussed. However, the results of their talks were -- first of all,
6 when HVO staff, when a commander of the HVO did not express interest to
7 come under a joint command, then there were attempts to reach a common
8 solution for fighting the common enemy. I know that because the late
9 Stojak would come from time to time to the TO staff. Whether he talked
10 to the commander, I don't know. I talked to him as well because we had
11 known each other from before.
12 The next step in these negotiations was to establish a joint
13 staff, a joint staff of armed forces of the Travnik municipality. So it
14 was no longer Territorial Defence staff -- the idea was that it would no
15 longer be the Territorial Defence staff, because as far as Croats were
16 concerned the expression "Territorial Defence" was not really
17 appreciated. They thought of it as a Serbian expression. So we wanted
18 to avoid it. And we came up with the proposal of having armed forces
19 staff. And the idea was that the HVO, HDZ, and SDA would delegate their
20 participants, their members, into this armed forces staff. However, this
21 idea was never implemented. Who knows? Many casualties could have
22 perhaps been avoided, but such an agreement never came to life.
23 Q. Why?
24 A. Because of the fact that there had already been an HVO staff and
25 because the Croat community, the Croat leadership, had already decided to
1 establish an armed force of their own. And they already had decided that
2 they would not recognise any other force. Territorial Defence was a
3 legitimate organ and the decisions of the Territorial Defence, they
4 thought, were not legitimate. And they also thought that the Territorial
5 Defence forces should be subordinate to HVO.
6 Q. Well, it was proclaimed at one point that you were fighting a
7 common enemy. I would like to know where the HVO lines against the
8 common enemy - that is, the Serb forces - were being established.
9 A. I would like to point out a very good example, and that is the
10 village of Turbe, inhabited by Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks. Bosniaks and
11 Croats did manage to organise common defence in that village. I'm saying
12 this because a moment ago when I spoke about the defence of Turbe - and
13 because this is the first time I find myself in this situation. Maybe I
14 omitted to say that but now I'm correcting myself. The Croat community
15 of Turbe did take active part in defence. And for quite some time they
16 were engaged with Armija with the defence against the enemy. So the
17 Territorial Defence worked together with the members of the Croatian
18 community in Turbe.
19 As for other parts of the theatre, other parts of the front line,
20 my experience is mostly negative because I did tour those lines at the
21 time. I'm afraid I'm sometimes confusing these terms because the
22 situation was rather complex. In the area west of Travnik and south of
23 Turbe -- that is, in Bijelo, Buca, Pula, Dolac -- there was a line which
24 was maintained by the army of BH. And in the area of Mescema two
25 kilometres away from that the line was manned by the HVO. So the front
1 line was manned by the BH army and the HVO maintained the rear line.
2 Another example is the Vlasic plateau. The second-highest point
3 is Vlaska Gromila, 1.919 or 20 metres. That is where the Armija was.
4 Whereas the HVO manned or was deployed on the positions in the area of
5 Krunovo. I can perhaps indicate on the map or the model. But again it
6 was on the depth of the area. Again, it was not the front line that the
7 HVO manned. And if I may add, the HVO manned the line in those areas
8 inhabited by Croatian population --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am beginning to be concerned.
10 You have scheduled this witness for six hours. We have now spent two
11 hours talking about defence, operations, the issue of Serbs. And on list
12 number 52 you said that the witness would be examined on the issue of
13 municipalities; where the events took place; about the role of the 306th
14 Brigade; the issue of Mujahedin and so on. I fear that if we continue on
15 this pace we will not be able to finish his testimony in two days.
16 I strongly appeal to you to finish these questions concerning
17 Serbs and Turbe and focus what is really important in the testimony of
18 this witness. Otherwise we will never finish. We still have
19 three-quarters of an hour before the break and then again one hour and
20 that will be one-half of your testimony. Tomorrow we have to think of
21 the cross-examination and also the questions of the Judges.
22 So I really strongly appeal to you to focus on the essential.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr.
24 President. These questions are somewhat longer because these are our
25 first witnesses. I only have a few things before I move to the 306th
1 Brigade. And with your indulgence, I would like to finish these
2 questions so that I can move to the next subject, that is the position of
3 Mr. Siljak in 1993.
4 Q. In connection with what you have told us so far, witness, tell us
5 please: In Travnik where the municipal staff of the defence is located,
6 who is the authority? Who is the local authority there?
7 A. In Travnik, it was the War Presidency of the municipality of
8 Travnik acting as Municipal Assembly of Travnik.
9 Q. In 1992, did the municipal staff at any point in time have any
10 superior position with respect to this civilian organ of government, that
11 is, the War Presidency, which acted as Municipal Assembly at the time?
12 A. None whatsoever.
13 Q. In Travnik town, were there any other organs which had their
14 military, armed wing, and did Territorial Defence at the time have any
15 superior position with respect to them?
16 A. In addition to the Territorial Defence, I believe I indicated at
17 the beginning that members of the MUP were the first ones who were armed.
18 There was a police station in Travnik and there was a network of police
19 stations in the municipality, and their members were armed. And they
20 were in direct communication with the public security services centre in
21 Zenica. And as organs of the Travnik municipality, they were subordinate
22 to the War Presidency. They were never subordinate to the Territorial
24 Q. Mr. Siljak, the municipality of Travnik or the War Presidency,
25 did they have any responsibilities with respect to TO units as armed
1 forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. According to the earlier law on defence, the Travnik Municipal
3 Assembly or any other municipal assembly decided about the mobilisation
4 of units, about the needs of units. It took care of equipping units.
5 And as I said, they funded the training. And similarly, during this
6 period they continued to proceed in this manner because the commander of
7 the TO, the second one, Ribo Haso, was appointed by the War Presidency.
8 And later the War Presidency also appointed instead of Ribo Haso,
10 Q. Thank you. I think we have provided the Chamber with enough
11 information about the organs in Travnik in 1992. I would like to ask the
12 following: At any point in time did you notice that foreigners were
13 appearing in Travnik? Foreigners who were not refugees, who would arrive
14 from Krajina or from occupied territory.
15 A. As I said I performed the duties for assistant for operational
16 and training matters, and those duties consisted of evaluating the
17 situation and suggesting what action could be taken to the commander.
18 That's why I was often in the field but when returning from the field I
19 noticed the presence of such foreigners. Some of them were in civilian
20 clothing and I don't know whether they were members of humanitarian
21 organisations. There were journalists who were present, too. I'm not
22 sure which countries they were from but I did notice their presence
24 Q. In the municipal staff did you at any point in time in 1992, did
25 you accept these foreigners as integral parts of TO units and did you
1 have any contact with them? Did you provide them with logistical
2 support? Did you provide them with weapons and the like?
3 A. On the premises of the municipal staff, I never saw them. As I
4 said, I spent most of my time in the field. But as to whether they were
5 in those units or whether they were some kind of unit, I would have
6 [Realtime transcript read in error: "wouldn't"] know that. Since I was
7 the assistant commander for operational and training matters, if any
8 operation was being planned I was to be informed about it. I was to make
9 suggestions as to how forces should be used and I was to draft plans. So
10 we didn't have any such foreigners and we didn't provide them with any
11 logistical support either.
12 Q. On page 43, line 10, my colleague has just pointed out that the
13 transcript says that he wouldn't know that, whereas he said "I would know
14 that." If they had participated, I would have been aware of the fact.
15 So could that part of the transcript please be corrected.
16 Mr. Siljak, towards the end of 1992, can you tell me whether
17 there were any significant organisational changes within the BH army, and
18 if you are familiar with any such changes could you tell us about the
19 nature and could you tell us what sort of a position you were given
20 within the framework of those changes.
21 A. In the municipality of Travnik, given the organisational changes,
22 in the BH republic army, some of the units were built up, as a team of
23 officers came from the republican staff who supervised the changes -- the
24 organisational changes in Travnik municipality. The order was that in
25 Travnik municipality the 17th Krajina Brigade should first be formed. It
1 was composed of refugees from Bosanska Krajina. There were hundreds of
2 thousands of them who had passed through Travnik from the 1st Krajina
3 Battalion and the 7th Krajina Brigade who used to be in the municipality
4 of Travnik. From these units, the 17th Krajina Brigade was formed. And
5 from the able-bodied men or from the units that were present in the
6 municipality of Travnik, in the Territorial Defence defence they formed
7 the 312th Motorised Brigade, from the detachment in the Lasva valley.
8 And the 306th Brigade was to be formed from the detachment in the Bila
10 You asked me about the position I was given then. I was
11 appointed as the chief of staff of the 306th Brigade, since I knew the
12 territory, I knew the men, I knew the settlements in that part of Travnik
14 Q. Who became the commander of that brigade?
15 A. Esid Sipic was appointed as the commander of that brigade.
16 Q. Did you immediately assume those duties?
17 A. No, not immediately, because at that time in the territory of
18 Travnik, General Praljac was present as a representative of the Croatian
19 president Tudjman and Jasmin Jaganjac was also there as a representative
20 of President Izetbegovic. Their tasks were to form a joint command which
21 would contribute to calming the situation and solving the problems in
22 Travnik in the month of October, then they were to plan joint action
23 against the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor.
24 Within that command my role was that of an operations officer.
25 My task at the time was a task I was assigned by Jasmin Jaganjac. On the
1 map of the territory of Novi Travnik and Travnik, I was to indicate all
2 the forces of the BH army, all the artillery that was available. And the
3 HVO operations officers were supposed to do the same. I performed that
4 task. I didn't go to assist with the formation of the 306th Brigade. I
5 was involved in that work. But since the HVO didn't do its part of the
6 task, I didn't continue. I was sent to the 306th to continue working on
7 the formation of the 306th Brigade.
8 Q. Mr. Siljak, let's move on to the formation of the 306th Brigade
9 now and everything that happened in the territory covered by the 306th
10 Brigade. Could you please tell me now, what was the composition of the
11 population? And which TO units entered the 306th Brigade?
12 A. In the area of the Bila Valley they had already formed TO
13 detachments. The Han Bila detachment had been formed, and that covered
14 the villages of Han Bila, Cukle, Pode, Brajkovici, Jake, Alihodze,
15 Karahodze, Zolote and Rajici. The able-bodied men from those villages
16 were those who formed that detachment.
17 The 2nd Detachment was the Mehurici one, which was composed of
18 men from Mehurici, Jezerci, Orahovo, Fazlici, and Boljavje [phoen]. Then
19 there was the Ljuta Greda detachment composed of able-bodied men from the
20 villages of Suhi Dol, Dub and Visnjevo. The detachment had previously
21 been formed and it covered the villages of Krpeljici, Mosor, Radojcici,
22 Bandol, and Vukovine and Maline.
23 Q. Very well, Mr. Siljak. Perhaps it's not necessary to mention
24 each village. I think you mentioned them a while ago and you have now
25 told us that there were detachments and the 306th was formed out of the
1 population in -- out of the men in those detachments. Could you tell me,
2 when the brigade itself was being formed, were there any problems as far
3 as the formation and establishment of this brigade is concerned? And to
4 what extent did these problems effect establishing this brigade in a
5 normal manner?
6 A. Well, with regard to the first orders about forming the 306th
7 Brigade, these orders stipulated that all other detachments and all the
8 units including the Patriotic League Battalion that had previously been
9 formed, the Sipliske battalion that had been formed it was said that they
10 should enter the 306th Brigade. The commander of the Patriotic League
11 Battalion did not want such an order to be carried out because he wanted
12 to enter the 314th Motorised Brigade. And his relative was supposed to
13 be appointed commander of that brigade. That's when the first problems
14 arose. We lost quite a lot of time on this before we managed to clarify
15 the situation, and finally that battalion did enter the 304th Motorised
16 Brigade. It became part of it. But I'd also like to say that the men
17 from that battalion were men from Gluha Bukovic, Zagradje, and Skomorje,
18 these villages. They were from the territory of the municipality
19 Travnik, or rather the territory of the Bila Valley.
20 Q. If I have understood you correctly, the inhabitants of the Bila
21 valley did not all join the 306th Brigade. I apologise if this question
22 is leading. If it is correct, could you please tell me who from that
23 territory mobilised the inhabitants in the Bila Valley.
24 A. Well, the able-bodied men, most of them were in the 306th
25 Brigade. But one battalion from the villages I have mentioned entered
1 the 314th Zenica Brigade. And then there was a Howitzer battery of the
2 312th brigade. And then some of the inhabitants on their own initiative
3 were included into the 7th Muslim Brigade. So from the area of the Bila
4 Valley able-bodied men entered various units. So the 306th Brigade
5 couldn't be brought up to strength in accordance with the usual
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will now ask the usher to show
8 the witness a series of documents to see whether the witness has anything
9 to say about them. We've already provided these documents to the
10 Chamber, to the registrar, and to our colleagues from the Prosecution.
11 Q. Mr. Siljak, could you please have a look at the documents. Under
12 the titles "formation of the 306th Mountain Brigade," have a look under
13 numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5. And first of all, could you tell me whether you
14 recognise these documents. Documents 2, 3, 4, and 5.
15 A. Document number 2 refers to the problem that we had in relation
16 to the Patriotic League and battalion. It says that they will be
17 entering the 314th, that they -- that it won't enter the 306th Brigade,
18 it won't become part of the 306th Brigade.
19 Q. Document number 3.
20 A. It also states exactly which units will enter from the Mehurici
21 Detachment. It mentions which units will enter the 314th Motorised
22 Brigade because there were several problems and it was necessary for the
23 3rd Corps command to intervene on several occasions to solve the problem.
24 Q. Have a look at document number 4 dated the 20th of December,
1 A. This was a reaction to these events.
2 MS. BENJAMIN: Chamber's indulgence please. I think the
3 Prosecution is a little lost here. Because it says 1, 2, and 3, 157/10.
4 We can't find 157/10 because we have it in 015 going those numbers. So I
5 would have to go through the whole pile to be able to determine the dates
6 you're talking about.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I was just showing
8 the witness the documents in the order that they have been placed in.
9 But perhaps there is some confusion because I didn't indicate the numbers
10 from the lists which have been provided as defence numbers.
11 The first document that the witness commented on is dated the
12 6th of December, 1992, and the number is 0515; that's the Defence number.
13 The second document is a document dated the 4th of December, 1992. The
14 number of this document is Defence number 0526. The third document which
15 the witness is commenting on right now is dated the 20th of December,
16 1992; the number of this document is 0531. All these documents are
17 referred to on our list under numbers 2, 3, and 4.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber is
19 following you. There aren't any problems.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Siljak, you started commenting on this document dated the
22 20th of December, 1992, which is addressed to the command of the 306th
23 Brigade, it's from Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic. Please go ahead.
24 A. Authorisation for the battalion of the Patriotic League to enter
25 the 314th Motorised Brigade gave rise to reactions elsewhere. So the
1 company of the Mehurici local commune directly contacted the command of
2 the 3rd Corps requesting that they too join some other unit or that they
3 be independent. Because their intention, the intention of those units
4 was to hold the defence lines above their villages. So this is a
5 response on an order from the 3rd Corps command saying how this matter
6 should be regulated and stating how units should be formed. It states
7 that a specialist team should do this, and not individuals as they see
9 Q. Mr. Siljak, for how long did you have to confront the problem of
10 forming units and training the soldiers, the men, who were supposed to
11 enter given brigades?
12 A. The formation of the 306th Brigade or just compiling lists for
13 the brigade took almost two months, and this is why. In 1992 in one
14 detachment in over one day in the Okrinje [phoen] region, six men died as
15 a result of a mortar shell and four men were seriously wounded. All
16 these men were from the village of Gluha Bukovica. We wanted to avoid
17 such tragedies. For one single village, this is an immense tragedy. We
18 wanted to have a unit which was not territorial based in the Bila Valley.
19 So we issued a task to the organ for mobilisation and organisation and
20 requested that they compile lists and that they take this into
21 consideration. We did this together with this organ for mobilisation and
22 organisation, so the first battalion that was from areas such as Kotor
23 Varos and Skender Vakuf, they took over the defence line on the 21st of
25 But when a second battalion had to go and take over a line facing
1 a Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor, we faced obstructions. Because
2 people didn't want to go there on non-territorial basis, but they wanted
3 the inhabitants of one single village to be in the unit. This is one of
4 the problems we had to confront. There were no one to replace these men.
5 So we again started forming units in order to transform the previous
6 detachments into battalions.
7 Q. As to other problems -- as far as other problems were concerned,
8 where were your men located? The 306th have the facilities for billeting
9 these listed men in barracks.
10 A. The 306th brigade -- well, first of all I could talk about the
11 commands. They didn't have any facilities for accommodating the
12 commands, but they found facilities in the premises of the Bila mine. We
13 didn't have any barracks anywhere, but the commands of the battalions
14 usually used schools as premises, the schools that were in that area. So
15 the 1st Battalion command was located in the school in Mehurici. The 2nd
16 Battalion command was located in Peljici. There isn't a school there.
17 They were in a cell or a garage. That's where the communications centre
18 was. And the command was located in a public utilities premises of the
19 local commune, which was very small. The 3rd battalion command was
20 located in a school in Han Bila and the 4th Battalion command was located
21 in the school in Visnjevo. We had a problem as far as locating the
22 command where Visnjevo was concerned because the Sipreski Battalion used
23 to be located in Visnjevo and we had a problem down in Mehurici because
24 previously, and I don't know on whose authorisation, there was the --
25 there was some foreigners who were present there in addition to the TO
1 detachment. So if the command of the battalion was to be located in
2 Mehurici and if we were to provide some of the men with accommodation
3 there -- since they didn't have their families or their homes in those
4 areas, some of them just had nothing -- we had to find accommodation for
5 them, too. And then it was necessary to remove those foreigners. They
6 had to liberate those premises so that the command of the battalion could
7 be located there.
8 MS. BENJAMIN: The Chamber's indulgence. If I'm following my
9 friend right I think she's dealing with the document 531 dated the 20th
10 of December. Am I correct? I'm not sure if we are still on the same
11 document. I think I am lost.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness
13 recognised the document and he said that this was one of the problems
14 that they encountered. Now he is speaking about other problems that are
15 not linked to that document, but rather these problems are linked to the
16 problems that the 306th Brigade had. So these answers, these problems,
17 are not ones that concern this document.
18 You mentioned facilities and barracks, Mr. Siljak --
19 MS. BENJAMIN: May I interrupt. But I think the document speaks
20 of the organisational structure, and it seems to me we have gone much
21 wider than that. We are not talking now about the organisational
22 structure as such, now their location, where they were housed, their
23 barracks, and I'm not sure if that is appropriate with this document.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think you have
25 understood me well. The document was shown to the witness. When the
1 witness finished answering questions about organisational problems, three
2 documents were shown and I have moved on to another subject. I asked
3 about other problems that arose when 306th Brigade was being formed. If
4 I haven't been clear enough, I could try to --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Trial Chamber is
6 following you very well. Please go ahead, especially since interesting
7 issues have been raised.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Sir, you said that facilities for command were, on the whole,
10 schools, and you spoke about the location of these commands and about the
11 school in Mehurici. Can you tell us where the men were, where the
12 soldiers were, with the exception of the Sipreski Battalion composed of
13 refugees located in the school in Mehurici.
14 A. Our soldiers, those who were at the positions facing the Serbian
15 and Montenegrin aggressor, that's where they were and the other soldiers
16 were at home because they didn't have barracks. So when they weren't at
17 positions, they remained at home.
18 Q. Tell me, what sort of skilled staff did the 306th Brigade and its
19 units have at the time of its formation and up until mid-1993?
20 A. Well, I usually like to use myself as an example when I address
21 an issue. First of all, I was appointed as the chief of staff, and as
22 far as educational background is concerned, I had completed secondary
23 school, teacher training school. I had completed a school for reserve
24 officers. This course in Bileca lasted four months and I trained in
25 Turbe. So while doing my military service I was trained as a platoon
1 commander. I had the rank of captain first class in the former JNA. And
2 on the basis of my educational background and my military knowledge I was
3 not fit for the post I was assigned.
4 Esid Sipic, my commander, was a commander of Karaula somewhere in
5 Slovenia, in the JNA. That's what he said. He was a senior officer --
6 he was a senior sergeant. I don't know whether he completed this later
7 on, but he had a -- he was given the possibility of forming a brigade, of
8 commanding a brigade. The other members of the command, although quite a
9 few of them who didn't have military or specialist knowledge, there was
10 some reserve officers who had never even come across the sort of tasks
11 they had to carry out that time.
12 And I could first mention the assistant for organisation,
13 mobilisation and his official. They had never been involved in such work
14 before but now they had to do this. Then the chief of communications in
15 the brigade command was a senior sergeant who certainly couldn't have
16 taken stock of the situation, but he was a reserve staff sergeant; he
17 wasn't an active one.
18 The battalion commanders were active duty officers. They had
19 finished the military academy and I thought they would provide us with
20 significant assistance, but they were very young and they had only just
21 graduated from the military academy so that they were not sufficiently
22 prepared for the tasks they were assigned. They were either commanders
23 of platoons or commanders of companies in the former JNA. Now they were
24 appointed as battalion commanders and given the task of establishing
1 As for the companies we didn't have a single active-duty officer
2 in companies, we didn't have an active duty company command or active
3 duty assistants. But these were people who had gained a certain
4 reputation in the villages, people who could be leaders. But I won't
5 even mention the problem of commanders of detachments.
6 Q. Tell me, what sort of weapons did you have?
7 A. Well, as I said at the beginning, we received about a hundred
8 barrels at the beginning, and when this is shared out among the
9 Territorial Defence in Travnik municipality, and if you try to give each
10 unit at least some weapons, this amounts to a very insignificant amount
11 of weapons.
12 When the warehouse was blown up, when it was being left by
13 members of the former JNA, when they blew it up, one couldn't say all the
14 weapons were destroyed, that's impossible. Some weapons remained. The
15 explosion had thrown them at some distance, but some individuals would go
16 to the warehouse; they would gather weapons or ammunition for themselves.
17 There was some rifles that had been burned. There were rifles with
18 faults, but they were used.
19 Weapons that people bought on the black market were also used.
20 They would buy these weapons for themselves. Hunting weapons. 306th
21 Brigade were also used, I think. Sometime at the beginning of February
22 when we were taking stock of the situation we realised we had between 500
23 and 600 barrels, various sorts of weapons, hunting weapons, military
24 weapons that were -- functioned correctly or had faults.
25 Q. Could you please have a look at the next document, the document
1 listed under number 5 in your file. This is Defence number 0730. Can
2 you tell me if you recognise this document, and if you do to comment. So
3 if you do recognise the document, can you please comment on some of the
4 points in this document.
5 A. This document was drafted by the instruction and training body.
6 I do recognise it because this organ was in direct communication with the
7 chief of staff.
8 Q. Could you please look at the text under 1(A). This column under
9 1 to 13, what is it?
10 A. As you can see from the document, it indicates the situation in
11 the unit, what the replenishment situation of the units was on the 11th
12 of February, 1993.
13 Q. Does that mean, and my apologies in advance if this sounds like a
14 leading question, but your 306th Brigade on this date did not have enough
15 men, that it was not replenished to full strength.
16 A. The 306th Mountain Brigade not only on this date, never -- was
17 never replenished with appropriate number of troops.
18 Q. Information under 1(B), the total that we see here 572. Was that
19 reflect what you just indicated, the total number of weapons that you had
20 at your disposal at the time?
21 A. Yes. This is exactly what the document confirms. It confirms
22 what I said a moment ago.
23 Q. On page 2, I should like to hear your comment on the assessment
24 of the situation with the weapons and the difficulties in taking
25 possession of this area. Now, the information indicated here, does it
1 correspond to the actual situation as it was familiar to you in 1993?
2 A. This is perhaps an understatement because we hesitated to inform
3 the command of how band the situation was in the field. The situation
4 was very complex indeed, and the information contained here is definitely
6 Q. Mr. Siljak, I would like to finish with this document. A moment
7 ago you indicated for us on the map all of the villages in the Biljanska
8 Valley. You also showed us the area on the model. Can you now tell us
9 what the composition of the population was in your area. And in
10 connection to that, did additional problems arise concerning the
11 formation of the brigade?
12 A. A moment ago when I spoke about the villages of the Biljanska
13 Valley, I said that the Croat villages were not located in one single
14 area, nor was that the case with the Bosniak villages. I could perhaps
15 indicate for you on the map what specific villages were Bosniak, what
16 were Croat, and so on and so forth.
17 Q. Yes. Would you please do that for us.
18 A. What one should bear in mind and what I should perhaps start with
19 is the fact that the upper part of the Bila River was inhabited by
20 predominantly Bosniak villages -- Gluha Bukovica, Visnjevo, Dub, Orahovo,
21 Zagradje, Skomorje, Mehurici, Suhi Dol. Now, Suhi Dol was not a purely
22 Bosniak village. Part of the population was Serb. The same situation
23 was in Poljanice. It was a predominantly Bosniak village with several
24 Serb households. Fazlici was a Bosniak village. Jezerci also and
25 between Jezerci and Zagradje, there was a hamlet of Miletici where the
1 majority population was Croat with three to four Bosniak households.
2 Going further down, down the Bila River, we come across the Croat
3 village of Postinje, Puselje, and Matici. And on the right bank of the
4 Bila, you have the village of Malinje. Gornji Malinje is inhabited by
5 Croats and Donji Malinje by Bosniaks. Now, since I'm here on the right
6 bank of the Bila let me mention Guca Gora, which is a Croat village.
7 Krpeljici. There is a small Croat population there, however the majority
8 is Bosniak. To the north-west of Krpeljici we come across the village of
9 Radonjici, also predominantly Croat. South of Radonjici there are two
10 hamlets, Velika Bukovica and Mala Bukovica. Vela Bukovica is Bosniak and
11 Mala Bukovica is Croat. Now, these Vela Bukovica and Mala Bukovica, the
12 names of the villages are misleading because Mala Bukovica is actually
13 larger than Velika Bukovica in terms of number of residents.
14 To the east of Bukovica we find the village of Mosor. Mosor is a
15 Bosniak village and to the south-east of Mosor there is the village of
16 Bandol, partly Bosniak, partly Croat. Radojcici, north-east of Bandol,
17 is inhabited by Bosniak population.
18 Let me now finish with the right bank of the Bila and then I will
19 go back to this area here. The villages of Banovici and Sarici are
20 inhabited by Croats. The village of Zolote, Alihodze, and Karahodze are
21 Bosniak villages. If we continue, we come across the village of
22 Pokrajcici and neighbouring hamlets, which is a Croat village. The town
23 of Stara Bila is located at the mouth of the River Bila into the River
24 Lasva, which area is inhabited by Croats. On this side, in this area
25 here, I think I should also mention the village of Brankovac. Now, in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 this village which was also referred to by Bosniaks as Ricice, only a
2 small portion of the population was Bosniak and all other villages in the
3 area were inhabited by Croats. Let me now go back to --
4 Q. I would like to ask you to indicate interesting places on the
5 other side as well when you're indicating on the map, so as not to lose
6 too much time. I know all these villages are significant but later on we
7 will be only interested in the locations linked with the events contained
8 in the indictment. So can you show us only those villages that are of
9 interest in terms of the position and the positions of the 306th Brigade
10 when you move to this other side.
11 A. It is very difficult to choose what to show because the villages
12 here are like leopard skin, but let me give it a try. Cukle, for
13 instance, is located on the border with the Zenica municipality. Part of
14 the village, the hamlet of Softici, is inhabited by Bosniaks. The
15 remainder of the population is Croat. Novo Selo is located right on the
16 border between the Travnik and Zenica municipalities. This area is
17 sometimes referred to as Ovnak because of the vicinity of the Ovnak Pass,
18 the mountain pass. This village a Croat village, just as Grahovcici,
19 which I'm indicating now.
20 On the road leading to Zenica, we find the village of Brajkovici
21 which is a predominantly Croat village with only the part towards Han
22 Bila being inhabited by Bosniaks. The road going alongside the Bila,
23 that is from Han Bila onwards, on the portion of the road where we see
24 the words "Dolac" and "Baje" where the command of the 306th was located,
25 now, in this area Baje are inhabited by Croats, whereas Dolac by
1 Bosniaks. We also have the village of Kljaci, a Bosniak village on this
2 bank of the river.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you. If later on it turns out to be necessary
4 to indicate more villages, we will ask you to do that.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now have a recess and
6 resume at 6.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give you the floor,
10 let me remind you of the time. We have one hour left and tomorrow only
11 three hours and 45 minutes. If you do not manage to finish tomorrow,
12 unfortunately the witness will have to stay until Tuesday. So either you
13 speed up and we're able to finish tomorrow -- but given the speed, the
14 rhythm, so far I am not sure. You have asked for six hours. If six
15 hours are then needed for cross-examination, it's then not two days only
16 but longer than that because six hours, if we take into account the
17 breaks, it's not two days but at least four days. And I think that there
18 are two witnesses scheduled for six to eight hours. All others are one
19 to two hours. So now we really have a problem. If the testimony is not
20 completed, the witness will have to stay for additional three days,
21 minimum, or you really have to speed up the examination. Now let me hear
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I take note of
24 what you say. Yesterday evening we indicated that the Defence would
25 examine this witness within the envisaged six hours. We're really very
1 sorry that yesterday's witness stayed longer than expected; after all, he
2 was the first one. And we really hoped that Remzija Siljak would appear
3 right after that. We will definitely try to finish within six hours. I
4 will try to shorten the testimony, but it will be not longer than for 30
5 minutes. Whether we are going to finish tomorrow I don't know. It will
6 be up to the Prosecution and the Chamber to make the best use of their
7 time for the questions for this witness. But it is very important for us
8 to complete the examination of the witness within the envisaged time
10 Q. Mr. Siljak, before the break you spoke about the problems of the
11 composition of the population which effected the activity of the 306th
12 Brigade. Earlier you indicated that in one of the buildings where the
13 battalion command was located there were also foreigners. What happened
14 with those foreigner later on? Did they remain in the building where the
15 command of your battalion was located?
16 A. In order to carry on the transfer of this battalion, that is the
17 people from Visnjevo to the Mehurici school, the foreigners left the
18 school premises. I myself wasn't present in there, but I think that they
19 left behind two to three offices which were full of their equipment. So
20 yes. Physically they were no longer present in this building, but they
21 would come back from time to time to these offices to get their things.
22 Q. Do you know where they went?
23 A. They took up quarters in the village of Poljanice, not far from
25 Q. My apologies, my colleague has drawn my attention to the French
1 interpretation. Apparently the French interpretation was that three
2 officers remained behind; however, the witness said that three offices
3 were left empty. So if the remark of my colleague is correct, I kindly
4 ask that the transcript be corrected.
5 Sorry, I interrupted you. What happened with those foreigners?
6 A. They moved to the village of Poljanice and took up quarters in
7 some barns and houses that had been occupied by Serb families. So they
8 established a kind of camp there. I never went there. It was impossible
9 to go there. They didn't allow anyone near their camp.
10 Q. Mr. Siljak, the presence of these foreigners in the area where
11 elements of your brigade were deployed, did that presence create problems
12 for your brigade in the area where you were, and if so what kind of
13 problems were there?
14 A. Yes. There were problems, first of all, because of the fact that
15 part of the troops from that area, regardless of the fact that pursuant
16 to this order that I mentioned were supposed to become members of the
17 306th Brigade went to them. Now, when I say that they went to them, I
18 have to explain. Now, one must admit that part of the population, when
19 they foreigners arrived, accepted them in the beginning wholeheartedly,
20 because after all they had come to help the people in this area.
21 However, later when they started calling up young men to join
22 their ranks, they were able to offer them some payment in kind and even
23 some salaries. And those who did not want to go to the line, towards the
24 Serbian aggressor, preferred to go to these foreigners.
25 Q. I apologise. I think there is another very important mistake.
1 Page 65 [as interpreted], line 24 which says that part of the troops from
2 the area went to them. You spoke about individuals. You spoke about
3 persons. Who went to see them? Who went to them -- went over to them?
4 A. I said that because some able-bodied men who pursuant to the
5 order of the command of the 3rd Corps of the replenishment of the 306th
6 Brigade were supposed to join the 306th Brigade didn't go to the 306th
7 Brigade but went over to them, because they gave them weapons, clothes,
8 all sorts of parcels and even sometimes payment in kind. One other
9 reason why these young men prefer to go over to them was because they
10 didn't go to the front line against the Serbs. So in order to avoid
11 service in the ranks of the 306th Brigade and being deployed on the line
12 towards the Serbs, they went over to these foreigners.
13 Q. Did the presence of these foreigners create other problems in
14 connection with the local population? And were there inhabitants who
15 accepted their presence in the area for some other reasons?
16 A. A moment ago I started about -- with explaining what other
17 problems there were. Yes, there were problems with the local population
18 because the foreigners who had come to this area practiced their religion
19 in a different way, the so-called Mesud, which is completely different
20 than the kind of service that is normally performed in the area. And
21 those who were not willing to accept this new type of service had
22 problems. So these villages experienced division amongst their own
23 population because some of the residents had accepted this new type of
24 religious service because they thought after all because of the fact that
25 these foreigners spoke very good Arabic they must be right. Whereas
1 others continued with the usual type of service. So, for instance, a
2 mosque would be divided according to the types of service practiced.
3 Q. Can you just tell me who these people are, the people who did not
4 accept this. Were they inhabitants, soldiers, or other people? You
5 mentioned people who accepted this and others who didn't.
6 A. I was speaking about the population of the Bila area. As far as
7 I know their arrival had an effect on the wide area, but I am sure that
8 they had an effect on the Bila area. I know that there were problems in
9 the village where I was born, too.
10 Q. Since we have referred to a number of significant problems that
11 occurred at the time of formation of the brigade, could you tell me in
12 what manner the brigade command attempted to establish command and
13 control and to what extent was it in contact with the superior command,
14 and what measures were taken to train and fill up your brigade. To what
15 extent was this possible? It's a broad question but try and answer it.
16 A. As I said, after those problems at the beginning in relation to
17 the formation of the brigade when we returned to the idea of formation on
18 the basis of territory, that is to say when a battalion is formed from a
19 detachment and when the brigade started functioning in this manner, we
20 then tried to make use of the existing infrastructure, of the existing
21 communications, in order to link up with battalion commands -- not with
22 the barracks, but with the places where battalion commands were located.
23 The communication lines were never very reliable and even before, the
24 Bila Valley was quite far away from the centre of Travnik; there weren't
25 that many telephone lines in that area. A small exchange was set up, but
1 it was overburdened. So one could never be sure of having a telephone
2 line or having communication lines. This wire line passed through
3 Travnik and villages where there were Croats and villages where there are
4 Bosniaks, too. In this sense it was not reliable either.
5 As far as other equipment is concerned, we used former JNA
6 equipment. That would be an RUP-12 radio device. We had a WW device for
7 communications with the superior command. But such devices require a
8 source of power. They require spare parts. So at the beginning we
9 thought that we would be able to cope to a certain extent, that the
10 situation with regard to communications equipment would improve, but it
11 deteriorated because we were short of batteries, we didn't have sources
12 of energy for these devices. And if a device was faulty we didn't have
13 any spare parts and it was impossible to use these communication means.
14 Couriers were the best way to maintain communications because of the
15 configuration of the land. That is to say, the roads that were used if
16 there were any excess situations with the HVO, these roads could no
17 longer be used [as interpreted]. They were no longer safe. So it was
18 difficult to use couriers, too. Within the brigade, where the brigade
19 was located, we tried to have good communication lines on the line
20 towards the Serbian aggressor. So the communications, the lines
21 themselves, were ones that were supposed to be good and we had good
22 communication lines up there.
23 Q. As the brigade command, and the 3rd Corps command, did you take
24 any measure to train soldiers?
25 MS. BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think we have a technical
1 problem. We are unable to see or understand the question that is posed.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, nothing appears in the
3 transcript. The transcript doesn't reflect what we are speaking of.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
5 the technical booth.
6 I'm told the technician will arrive in one minute.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps we could
8 make this use. After the questions I intend to put now, I would like to
9 ask the witness if he could mark the positions of the BH army units, and
10 the 306th Brigade positions of HVO units and Serbian forces. While
11 waiting for the technician to deal with this problem, he could perhaps
12 indicate this on the map. He could draw them on the map.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It would be best for him to
14 indicate these positions in order to save time and then as soon as the
15 problem has been solved, we will take care of the transcript.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Siljak, could you please point on the map to the positions of
18 the 306th Brigade and the positions of BH army units in the Bila Valley
19 at the end of May 1993. Could you point to the positions of the HVO.
20 This will make it easier for me to put further questions to you.
21 A. Just one technical question. What colour should I use to mark
22 these positions?
23 Q. Use blue for the BH army, red for the Republika Srpska forces,
24 and green for the HVO forces.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's working now,
1 so we no longer have a problem. Please go ahead.
2 If the technician could zoom in. It's a pity I can't use the
3 controls myself.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I asked the
5 witness to do this now because tomorrow, if I have understood the
6 situation correctly, we'll be in Courtroom II and we can only use the map
7 in the courtroom. We won't be able to use the model. Have I understood
8 this correctly?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Tomorrow means tomorrow morning
10 at 9.00.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In Courtroom II.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, in Courtroom II. So the
13 map will have to be moved there. The registrar will take care of that,
14 not alone of course.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are the lines of the Serbian
16 and Montenegrin aggressor. In this part of the Vlasic plateau I have
17 indicated a wider area. There is the zone of responsibility of the
18 312th. And this will enable me to mark the adjacent unit, the position
19 of an adjacent unit.
20 These were the defence lines held by the 306th facing the Serbian
21 and Montenegrin aggressor before those conflicts that broke out, or
22 rather before the 31st of May, 1993. This is the zone of responsibility
23 where the 306th was present, but I have added this, too, because it's one
24 whole and this is where the HVO held the lines. And as I said a while
25 ago, we had army forces here facing the Serbian and Montenegrin
1 aggressor. And here in Rakic and Krnjevo and there was a forward
2 security post in Rajkovici held by the HVO. I personally visited these
3 areas, since when we cooperated, before problems arose, I passed through
4 these lines, so I know about their location. And the depth, do you want
5 me to indicate the positions in the depth, too?
6 I said that one battalion of the 306th, or rather its command
7 post was in the village of Visnjevo. The 4th Battalion was there. The
8 2nd Battalion of the 306th, the battalion command, was in the village of
9 Krpeljici. The third battalion, its command post was in Han Bila. And
10 the 1st Battalion was in the school in Mehurici. These were the
11 battalions in the forward command post of the 306th facing the Serbian
12 and Montenegrin aggressor was in the area of Paric Greda in a hut. The
13 brigade command was located in the premises, in the facilities of the
14 Bila mine, that concerns these units. In Mehurici some of the men from
15 that battalion were located there. Some of the men from the 1st
16 Battalion were there.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Page 65 line 14 it says that the battalion was at the forward
19 command post. That's what the transcript says. In fact it's line 15.
20 These were the battalions at the forward command post.
21 The witness said that there was a forward command post that
22 existed towards the Serbian Montenegrin aggressor. There was a number of
23 officers from the brigade command and they had servicemen who were there.
24 They were part of the military police platoon intended to provide
25 security for the command post and there was some people who were there to
1 prepare food and there were officers, too.
2 Could you please indicate the positions of the HVO now.
3 A. The positions of the HVO in the Bila Valley? Well, I have
4 already drawn or indicated where some of the men were at the positions
5 facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor. In Guce Gora there was the
6 command of the Frankopan Brigade. That's where the command of that
7 Frankopan Brigade was located and the command of a battalion was there.
8 I don't know which one, but it was a battalion from the Frankopan
9 Brigade. Other men from the Frankopan Brigade were deployed in the
10 villages -- well, I don't know how to draw it. But one unit was in Cukle
11 and there was another unit in Grahovcici.
12 As far as the strength of these units are concerned, according to
13 the information I had at the time and the estimates that were made at the
14 time, or the estimates we received from the intelligence organs, here
15 they had the strength of one company and here there was a unit strength
16 of one battalion. But after the events in Zenica, part of the Jure
17 Francetic Brigade from Zenica was relocated here in this area. Here of
18 Novo Selo and Grahovcici, we had some men from the Jure Francetic Brigade
19 there. We had part of the Jure Francetic Brigade located there. I'll
20 mark legitimate JF for Jure Francetici.
21 Nova Bila, well, I would prefer to draw a line here which would
22 enable you to see the territory that was exclusively Croatian territory
23 and territory where it wasn't possible to pass through. It was under the
24 complete control of the HVO. I will also indicate this area which was
25 under the control of the BH republic army and no one else could pass
1 through that area without some sort of a joint agreement having been
2 reached, or if there was a crisis situation, checkpoints would be moved
3 on both sides. So in -- when there was a crisis, because the 31st of May
4 was a crisis of sorts, at the permanent checkpoint -- there was a
5 permanent checkpoint, it was never removed even when there was a crisis.
6 There was an HVO checkpoint in the area of this crossroads in Ovnak.
7 That's the checkpoint here, and it was on the road leading from Zenica,
8 Han Bila, onwards to Mehurici or rather via Guca Gora to Han Bila. As I
9 lived in Travnik at that time and I would go to the commands or to the
10 306th Brigade, there was a checkpoint at the exit from Travnik in the
11 area that we called Kanare and I'd indicate this position on the map by
12 saying that it's north from Gradac. There is this crossroads and there
13 is road that turns off towards Guca Gora. It's on the Travnik-Vitez
14 road. And it is this checkpoint here which was an HVO checkpoint. What
15 is very important -- it is very important for this zone of responsibility
16 because it wasn't possible to go to Zenica or Travnik without permission
17 to pass through these checkpoints.
18 And then a checkpoint which was occasionally set up, because
19 there were permanent checkpoints and there were temporary ones, there was
20 a checkpoint here at Okuka. And I think that there wasn't a soul who
21 wasn't aware of this checkpoint in the municipality of Travnik. It was
22 frequently discussed, but it was never removed and it wasn't set up on a
23 joint basis. It was this checkpoint on Okuka. Again, you control the
24 routes to Novi Travnik and Vitez and other areas.
25 Temporary checkpoints, and I know this because I had an
1 unpleasant experience myself because as chief of staff, although I had
2 permission from the Frankopan Brigade to take a computer to Travnik to be
3 repaired, although I had such permission, there was a group that had
4 organised itself at this temporary checkpoint. And this wasn't a rare
5 appearance, because in our brigade there were frequent complaints with
6 regard to this pass. My computer was taken from me at this checkpoint.
7 It was a computer used by the brigade command. It was taken away by men
8 at the checkpoint. They more or less allowed us to pass through, but
9 they took the computer for themselves. So those are the checkpoints I
10 have mentioned.
11 Now let me also mention the Bosniak side, the BH republic army or
12 the Travnik public security station. The Travnik public security
13 station, or rather the police station at Mehurici, had a checkpoint at
14 the entrance to Mehurici at the location I have marked. So you could say
15 that this area from this checkpoint here, Poljanice, Suhi Dol, and then
16 you could say from Suhi Dol further upwards, you could say that this area
17 was under the complete control of the BH republic army. This includes
18 the villages of Jezerci and this northeastern part of Travnik
20 The villages down here, well, I'd like to show you how
21 complicated the situation was. I'd like to do so. I don't know if I
22 will succeed but I would like to do this for the sake of the truth,
23 because it was difficult for the Bosniak population as they felt
24 surrounded, and it was difficult for the Croatian population, too.
25 Cukle. It's a bit difficult to use this felt tip. This part of
1 the village of Cukle. In Softici it has been marked in blue. Softici is
2 a village inhabited by Muslims. Everything around here is inhabited by
3 Croats. I'll extend this line because it also covered Mrkonje,
4 Alibasici. This part was inhabited by Croats. In this part, in the
5 lower part of Cukle -- it's called Drinak, but you can't see the name on
6 the map -- a small group of Muslims lived here. And in this part here as
7 you can see there were Muslims and they constantly complained and they
8 were always in some sort of danger or their lives were always threatened.
9 That is what they thought.
10 Q. Mr. Siljak, when marking the locations on the map, could you
11 perhaps move a little bit to the right so that the camera can record and
12 everyone can see what you are saying and drawing.
13 A. It is slightly difficult for me, because when I draw a line or
14 mark a position it gets rubbed out later. I marked the battalion
15 command, but it's no longer there; it's been smudged.
16 Let me continue. The Croatian -- the village of Orasac was also
17 inhabited by Croats. The village of Puselje is also a Croatian area.
18 Between Cukle and Orasac there is a small Muslim village called Vranici.
19 And then we have Podovi, or Pode. This is an area of Muslim villages and
20 it links up with Han Bila. Maline, as I have said, it's inhabited by
21 both Muslims in Donji Maline. It's a mixed village and I'm drawing this
22 because at that time for these people each of these villages was a sort
23 of front in itself. It wasn't possible to move from here and no one
24 wanted to leave because no one wanted to leave the villages and go to the
25 lines facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor, because their
1 families could be endangered. I also mentioned Krpeljici, with a
2 minority Croatian population. Then there's Mala Bukovica and Mosor, part
3 of the village of Bandol, Radonjici. I mentioned Han Bila and then
4 Zolote, Brajici and Alihodze. I'll encircle all of these villages
5 because they form one whole. And then the line continues to the villages
6 of Dolac and Knjaci. These are the last villages in this part. And I
7 also said in this part in the area of Brankovac there was a village
8 inhabited by some Muslims.
9 I said up here this was an area inhabited just by Muslims. What
10 about the Croatian part? Let me start with Mala Bukovica. Mala Bukovica
11 was a Croat village; Radonjici, another Croat village; Gornji Maline and
12 Bikosi, also Croat; Postinje, which is linked up with Matici and Puselje;
13 also inhabited by Croats, Guca Gora; part of Bandol, linked up with the
14 area of Brizenje [phoen] and Kule; Cifluk. Brankovac got erased in the
16 So all of this area here that I'm now going to mark -- Pestovici,
17 Pokrajcici -- is linked up with Zabile, part of Zadavici [phoen] and
18 Stara Bila. This whole area here that I'm indicated is inhabited by
19 Croat population. Puticevo and on to Putac. This area, too, is a Croat
21 Q. Thank you very much. You may sit down. Now, the map was filmed
22 so that we can use it for questions later on. We spoke about links in
23 communications and I would like to finish with that part by the end of
24 the hearing today. So in relation to that, let us have a look at the
25 document entitled "Formation of the 306th Brigade" under number 6, 7, 8,
1 and 9.
2 Tell me, please, do you recognise these documents? Do they
3 indicate the problems that you had with formation of this brigade and the
4 steps taken in order to solve these problems?
5 A. Yes, I do recognise all of these documents. Document under
6 number 6 is an order of the 3rd Corps command. For the purposes of
7 getting insight, in light of the assessment of the situation there the
8 commander of the corps ordered that teams be formed, teams that will tour
9 the units and acquaint themselves with the structure of the units and the
10 level of organisation and formation of the units, and as far as I
11 remember, as part of the formation of operations groups within the
12 3rd Corps. It was at that time that the OGs within the 3rd Corps were
13 formed and the commanders were to tour the units and familiarise
14 themselves with the situation there. But the command of the 3rd Corps
15 also found it necessary that a team be dispatched into the field to take
16 stock of the situation. The 306th was within the OG Zapad at the time.
17 As far as I know one such team went there and the commander of the OG
18 West inspected the troops that were not deployed on the lines at that
19 time and the team filed or sent a report, after which we received an
20 order that deficiencies be removed and the problems that we had
21 identified be resolved.
22 Q. Document number 7, please.
23 A. Number 7 is an order that I received as an individual. This
24 order appointed me to the position of the chief of staff, but this is not
25 a final order. This is just an order of the staff of the supreme command
1 of the 12th of March, 1993, so four or five months after the formation of
2 the brigade. Here I am appointed as acting chief of staff because the
3 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was authorised to
4 issue an order to that effect.
5 Document number 8 is what I spoke about a moment ago. The
6 feedback, the team dispatched by the command of the 3rd Corps, did
7 identify certain problems. Maybe they ignored some of the problems that
8 we had at the beginning where the units were being formed, but now they
9 are more specific and they are ordering us to carry out the replenishment
10 of the units and equipment in accordance with the appropriate regulations
11 through the secretariat of the Territorial Defence acting in the
12 territory of Travnik municipality. So these would be the relevant
13 documents for that purpose.
14 Q. Document number 9?
15 A. As part of the assessment of the situation in our units, the
16 command of the 306th dispatched their people, their teams, with the task
17 to assess the situation and in an effort to resolve the problems. So
18 this is another report of the inspection on the ground with the
19 assignments signed by the commander of the 306th. This was drafted by an
20 operations officer from the 306th Brigade.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the name of the
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Can we now move to your relationship with the HVO in the area
25 where HVO units and BH army units were active.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since we have only a little
2 time left maybe it is better to move on to that issue tomorrow. I think
3 it will be more coherent.
4 Sir, as you have heard, you will have to come back tomorrow at
5 9.00. Tomorrow the hearing will start at 9.00, and in case your
6 testimony is not finished tomorrow at 1345, you will have to come back
7 and appear on Tuesday afternoon, which will probably necessitate your
8 remaining in The Hague over the weekend, unless the Defence is able to
9 speed up tomorrow and the Prosecution does not take up all -- too long
10 for the cross-examination. Is there any problem with your remaining in
11 The Hague over the weekend?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have come here to tell you what I
13 know about. I don't have any specific commitments because, after all, I
14 am retired. I would like to finish tomorrow because I arrived on
15 Saturday. However, if it is necessary for me to stay longer than that, I
16 am prepared to stay.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I am counting on
18 the ability of the Defence to be succinct and we hope that the witness
19 will not have to stay in The Hague but will be able to go back to his
20 country and his family. We will see tomorrow -- I will see tomorrow how
21 much time we will need for additional questions. I am now going to ask
22 the usher to escort you out of the courtroom. You are now under oath.
23 You are not allowed to see anyone until tomorrow.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We still have a few minutes
2 left. Does the Defence wish to inform us on how the situation will
3 evolve tomorrow? You have heard what our concerns are.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as I have informed
5 you a moment ago, I had scheduled examination of this witness for six
6 hours. In view of the developments in this -- during this week for the
7 reasons that we are all familiar with, I shall endeavour to shorten my
8 examination for about 30 minutes. I still have two subjects left for
9 tomorrow, which subjects are contained in the summary, namely the
10 relationship with the HVO which escalated into a conflict in June; and
11 individual events to the extent the witness is aware of them, the events
12 connected to Maline and Guca Gora. I also intend to show a few documents
13 to the witness in connection to that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, do you have -- or
15 Ms. Benjamin, do you have any idea about the duration of the
16 cross-examination tomorrow?
17 MS. BENJAMIN: Mr. President, the Prosecution will be dealing
18 very certainly with the first three hours of this testimony today so it
19 will leave us with the latter two paragraphs. And I do not anticipate we
20 will go an hour, an hour and a half. So I believe if my friends were to
21 keep to their word, I think we can get out of here tomorrow. Thanks.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, we hope that
23 we will be able to finish tomorrow because, as we have heard, the witness
24 would prefer to finish tomorrow.
25 Are there any other questions? Yes, Counsel.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I just wish to
2 remind you that we will probably have a few questions for this witness
3 but not longer than 30 minutes.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We take note of
5 that. You need half an hour. Of course we understand that. It is
6 almost 7.00. We are now going to resume until tomorrow 9.00.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Friday the 22nd day of October,
9 2004, at 9.00 a.m.