1 Wednesday, 10 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case Number
8 IT-01-47-T, The Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Could
10 we have the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
13 Prosecution, Mathias Neuner, Daryl Mundis, and our case manager, Ana
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
16 for Defence counsel, please.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
18 morning, Your Honour. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,
19 counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Alexis Demirdjian, our legal
20 assistant. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
24 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber would like to greet
1 the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused, and everyone else in the
3 Before we continue hearing the witness, the Chamber would like to
4 point out the following: First of all, with regard to the issue raised by
5 the Defence about the Prosecution's possibility of refreshing the
6 witness's memory by producing a document that wasn't presented as part of
7 its exhibits, yesterday we said that the Prosecution would address this
8 issue. The Chamber is not fully present, and we therefore give the
9 Prosecution 15 days for their oral response to the position expressed by
10 the Defence. Once we have heard what your position is, we will render our
11 oral decision, because the issue was raised before the Chamber orally. So
12 you have 15 days to prepare your response.
13 Secondly, yesterday when hearing a witness, the Prosecution
14 mentioned the situation of the people who were either in the blacksmith's
15 shop or in the Mehurici primary school. And they described these people
16 as prisoners or detainees. Defence counsel objected to this description,
17 saying that the accused weren't charged with illegal detention. As far as
18 this issue is concerned, the Chamber deliberated about the matter
19 yesterday, and we believe that to the extent that the term "prisoner"
20 or "detainee" is a term used in the indictment, the Prosecution is allowed
21 to use this term. But at this point in time, we won't draw any
22 conclusions about the matter. The Defence believes that these people were
23 being protected by the civilian authorities. Since they allege that they
24 were protected, the parties may use the terms they want to describe for
25 the situation these persons were in. But the Chamber will render a final
1 decision about how this situation should be described. I wanted to point
2 this out to you so as to avoid wasting any time on such issues.
3 And my third point is that the Defence filed a written motion that
4 concerned legal issues; in particular, this concerned a request made to us
5 to prohibit the Prosecution to ask questions that had to do with
6 international conflicts. We have been given a written submission, and the
7 Prosecution also needs to provide a written submission. 15 days should be
8 quite sufficient for the Prosecution to respond to the written submission
9 made by the Defence. So there are two pending motions. There's an oral
10 motion, and there is the written submission that was filed with the
11 Registrar. I wanted to point these things out to you.
12 If there are no other issues to raise, we will now continue --
13 yes, Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Perhaps while the witness
15 is being brought into the courtroom, we appreciate the opportunity to
16 respond both to the oral motion of yesterday and to the written motion.
17 We will certainly endeavour to get our responses prepared as quickly as
18 possible, but certainly within the 15-day limit.
19 I rise, Mr. President, simply to ask the Trial Chamber for any
20 guidance that we might get while the motion that was orally made yesterday
21 is pending; that is, what the Trial Chamber's views would be with respect
22 to the use of any such documents that were the subject of the oral motion
23 between now and the time the Trial Chamber has rendered its decision on
24 the issue. If there's any kind of provisional guidance that we might get
25 pending that oral ruling, we would certainly appreciate that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, look, if you're asking me
2 this question, that means that you perhaps intend to present other
3 documents in the course of the testimony of future witnesses. We'll
4 discuss this when we have the break, and we will tell you how one should
5 proceed for the following 15 days since we are waiting for your response,
6 unless it is your intention to show the witness who will be in the
7 courtroom in a minute a new document. Mr. Mundis, is this your intention?
8 Do you intend to show this witness a document that hasn't been disclosed
9 to the Defence as part of the Defence's evidence?
10 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we will --
11 THE INTERPRETER: As part of the Prosecution's evidence.
12 Interpreter's correction.
13 MR. MUNDIS: We will not be showing this next witness any such
14 documents. We may, however, reserve the right with respect to future
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. After the break, we
17 will inform you of how we should proceed before the decision is rendered,
18 once we have heard what your position is, once you have filed your written
20 You can call the witness into the courtroom now.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. Can you hear me?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day. Yes, Mr. President, I can
24 hear you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll continue with your
1 testimony today. The Prosecution told us yesterday that they needed about
2 another 20 minutes. So I will give them the floor now.
3 MR. NEUNER: Your Honour, I stated yesterday that the Defence had
4 used one hour 20 minutes in examination-in-chief, and the Prosecution has
5 calculated and has not used the -- or has not calculated with the time
6 used for the discussion about the document. This time has been
7 subtracted, as a result of which an hour would be in the Prosecution's
8 opinion be available. Is this a suitable way to proceed? Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I'll ask the
10 Defence to tell us what they think about this. It took you one hour and
11 20 minutes for your examination. We wasted a bit of time given the
12 objections that were made. So the Prosecution says they need another
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is in
15 accordance with your decision. We have no objections to raise. But we
16 are doing our best to have a little time or have enough time to conclude
17 our examination with the witness who will be appearing after this one.
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
19 have no objections.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, everyone. We'll try
21 to proceed expeditiously. Let's try to proceed in a manner that will make
22 it possible for the witness to leave when planned. Friday's a holiday,
23 and Monday we won't be working. So the witness will have to stay here for
24 a long time if we can't conclude with the examination as planned.
25 WITNESS: MUNIR KARIC [Resumed]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Neuner: [Continued]
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Karic.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. I want to take to you the month of April 1993. On 24 April 1993,
6 the Miletici incident occurred. At that time, where were you located?
7 Were you in Mehurici or were you in another location?
8 A. At that time, I was neither in Mehurici nor in Rudnik. I think I
9 had duties to perform at the lines near Vlasic, on the Vlasic plateau.
10 Q. When did you first come to Mehurici after the Miletici incident?
11 A. I know nothing about the incident in Miletici. I heard about
12 there being a problem there, but I really know nothing about it, and I
13 don't know when I was in Miletici after that event. In fact, I never was
14 in Miletici. I did pass by Miletici when trying to obtain materiel and
15 equipment from the logistics base of the 3rd Corps. But as to the date,
16 as to the time when I passed by Miletici, I don't remember.
17 Q. Prior to the combat operation on 8 June 1993, were there any
18 independent ABiH forces coming to the area of responsibility of the 306
20 A. Could you please repeat that question. This part that concerns
21 the independent ABiH forces, what did you mean?
22 Q. Let me start again. I was asking you for the period prior to the
23 operation on 8 June 1993. And you testified yesterday that the 7th Muslim
24 Mountain Brigade was not in the area, or no armed formation of the 7th
25 Muslim Mountain Brigade was in the area prior to 8 of June 1993. Is this
2 A. Well, as far as the organisation of any unit of the 7th Muslim
3 Brigade, no one was there as far as I can remember. Perhaps there were
4 individual members of the 7th Muslim in that area. Perhaps because they
5 weren't able to report to their unit, but yes, what I said is how it was.
6 But I'm quite willing to answer the question, but what I don't understand
7 is, well, how did you put it? Some unofficial, independent army units.
8 There can't be independent, unofficial units which are part of the army.
9 We knew which units were part of the BH Army. That was very clear. And
10 the units that weren't within that structure, they just weren't part of
11 the BH Army. There were such units.
12 Q. Thank you. Just to summarise, is it fair to say that your
13 testimony is that maybe individual members of the 7th Muslim Mountain
14 Brigade, but no organised formation of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade was
15 in the Bila Valley prior to June 1993?
16 A. Well, look, I can't claim anything for certain. I said that
17 perhaps there were some members of the 7th Muslim Brigade who were on
18 leave at the time, and given the newly developed situation, blockade --
19 the blockade of the road network, perhaps these people, these men weren't
20 able to return to their units. But I know very little about these things.
21 But that is a possibility.
22 MR. NEUNER: May I ask the usher to bring the witness Prosecution
23 Exhibit P474, please.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have the
25 English version of the document. Thank you.
1 MR. NEUNER:
2 Q. Mr. Karic, if you have a look at this document, it dates from the
3 22nd of May 1993?
4 MR. NEUNER: I note that my learned colleague is on his feet.
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Mr. Kubura's Defence would like to object to this document being shown to
7 the witness. We have already said that this is a 7th Brigade document.
8 And since Mr. Kubura's Defence will be calling witnesses before this
9 Chamber, only members of the 7th Brigade can talk about such a document.
10 The 306th Brigade isn't mentioned in this document, so there is no reason
11 to show the witness the document.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What does the Prosecution say to
13 the objection?
14 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, can I address this issue in the absence
15 of the witness, please.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll be wasting
17 more time now. But Madam Usher, could you escort the witness out of the
19 I'll give the floor to the Prosecution.
20 MR. NEUNER: Your Honour, this witness has yesterday and today
21 stated that there were no armed formations of the 7th Muslim Mountain
22 Brigade in the Bila Valley prior to the 8th June offensive. And this
23 document -- or facts deriving, originating from this document show that
24 there were indeed 92 members of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
25 Mountain Brigade in Mehurici, an area which the witness visited according
1 to his testimony from yesterday. And I just want to show this fact to
2 him. I don't have the witness -- I don't intend that the witness adopts
3 this document or says he has direct knowledge about it. I just want to
4 confront him with the fact that contrary to his testimony, according to
5 this document, there were 92 members, as you can see below under numerical
6 strengths, in the very last paragraph.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that this
8 document shows that the 7th Brigade was present in Mehurici. On what
9 basis do you make this claim? What allows you to make such a claim in the
11 MR. NEUNER: The document dates from the 22nd of May 1993. So
12 roughly two weeks before the offensive. And there's another document on
13 the Prosecution's exhibit list which follows up from this document and
14 which then involves the 306 Brigade.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Defence counsel.
16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like
17 to say that on page 2, they mention the strength of the 7th Brigade. It
18 doesn't say that there is an organised unit in the area the witness is
19 speaking about.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges believe
21 that in order to test the credibility of a witness, one may produce a
22 document that might contradict the witness's testimony. So you may show
23 the witness this document.
24 Madam Usher, could you bring the witness back into courtroom,
1 Yes, Mr. Bourgon. Our decision has been rendered. No more
2 objections. What did you want to say?
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I take
4 note of that.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You may go ahead and put
6 this question to the witness in order to test his credibility.
7 MR. NEUNER:
8 Q. Mr. Karic, I mentioned already that the document dates from the
9 22nd of May 1993, and it mentions the presence of the 1st Battalion, or
10 members of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade in certain
11 locations. If you please look at the very last paragraph where it
12 says: "Numerical strengths of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
13 Mountain Brigade." Do you find this paragraph?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If you please look under Mehurici --
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Which document
18 are you referring to? Which document refers to Mehurici? It's the second
19 document. It's on page 2. Please be precise when referring to documents.
20 Otherwise we won't be able to follow you. When I asked you a minute ago
21 where this location was referred to, it wasn't on page 1, it was on
22 page 2. So it's best to be precise to avoid any errors.
23 Please continue.
24 MR. NEUNER:
25 Q. So if you please look at page 2 under the heading "numerical
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 strengths of the 1st Battalion, 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade," do you find
2 Mehurici there? Can you please state so? Do you find Mehurici there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How many soldiers have been on 22nd of May 1993, according to this
5 document, in Mehurici?
6 A. According to this document, it says that there were 92 soldiers in
7 Mehurici. That's what it says here.
8 Q. If I may ask, 92 soldiers, where could they have been located in
9 Mehurici? You testified yesterday there were no barrack in a strict
10 sense. Where could 92 soldiers be located in Mehurici?
11 A. You'll have to ask Mr. Semir Terzic about that. Because I don't
12 know where these soldiers were as an organised whole in the area of
13 Mehurici. And in any case, this document hasn't been signed.
14 MR. NEUNER: May I ask the usher to bring a new document,
15 Prosecution Exhibit P481.
16 Q. If you please have a look at it, the date of the document is the
17 27th of May, 1993. So it's five days after the previously shown document.
18 Have you ever seen this document?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Paragraph 1 of this document mentions the redeployment of 20
21 soldiers of the 1st Company of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade from the
22 Mehurici sector. Is this correct?
23 A. That's what it says here.
24 Q. And paragraph 2 of this document mentions that these 20 soldiers
25 from the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Mountain
1 Brigade is to be resubordinated. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Resubordinated to the 306 Brigade and to a unit from Radojcici
4 village. Is this correct?
5 A. Well, that's what it says here. May I comment on this paragraph,
6 please. First of all, I don't know who this document was forwarded to.
7 Did the 306th Brigade receive this document? What sort of a
8 territorial-based unit was there in the village of Radojcici? This
9 concept is not clear to me. A territorially-based unit in the village of
10 Radojcici. This is something I don't understand. As a member of the
11 command of the 306 Mountain Brigade, I have never seen this document, and
12 I don't know whether it was ever forwarded to the 306 Brigade. I don't
13 know if this 1st Company referred to here was in that area.
14 Q. Sir, if I may ask, you mentioned the village of Radojcici. Do you
15 know where the village of Radojcici is located?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If I would show you a map, could you indicate where the village of
18 Radojcici is?
19 A. Of course.
20 MR. NEUNER: With the permission of Your Honours, can the witness
21 please be shown this map.
22 Q. Can you please point on the ELMO next to you on the village of
24 A. The village of Mehurici, you said?
25 Q. Yes, please.
1 A. Let me just take a moment to find it. [Indicates].
2 Q. Can you please now show the village of Radojcici.
3 A. [Indicates].
4 Q. How many kilometres away from Guca Gora is the village of
5 Radojcici? What do you estimate?
6 A. How many kilometres, you said? Well, two to three I would say.
7 Q. Two to three kilometres.
8 A. That's a rough estimate on my part. If you want an exact
9 calculation, I can give you that, too, and have a look.
10 Q. Can you please take a pen now and encircle the village of
11 Mehurici, or let's start this -- please encircle the village of Radojcici
13 A. The village or where it says Radojcici, the name.
14 Q. If you please --
15 A. The village or the name? Because the village is round here. Do
16 you want me to draw a circle around that, the settlement, the village, or
17 around the name where it says Radojcici?
18 Q. As you just did, the village itself. Thank you.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. Can you put a 1 next to it, please.
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. And do the same for Mehurici now, please, encircle it and put a 2
23 next to it.
24 A. The -- just Mehurici, the narrow proper Mehurici proper village,
25 you mean that?
1 Q. Mehurici proper, please.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. If I can now turn your attention back to the document, please, the
4 document I showed you before, can I turn your attention back, please. You
5 mentioned -- or it says in the document in paragraph 2 that the company of
6 the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade is resubordinated to
7 the 306. What does the term "resubordination" mean to you?
8 A. Paragraph 2, that the company is subordinated to the 306. To be
9 subordinated means that complete control over the unit that is being
10 resubordinated. That's what resubordination means.
11 Q. If you look at paragraph 3 of the document, paragraph 3 mentions
12 that logistical supplies shall be secured through the 306 Brigade. As
13 assistant commander for logistics of the 306 Brigade at the time, was --
14 were you personally - I think you answered it already - or was the person
15 dealing with logistics in Mehurici probably involved in the execution of
16 this paragraph?
17 A. I don't remember ever having seen this document as I said. But I
18 personally did not know -- even if it was like this, I didn't know about
19 it. But I don't really believe that the situation was as it is set out
20 here, I really don't. Because not a single unit of the 7th Muslim Brigade
21 relied on the logistics of the 306 Brigade. I can say that with full
22 responsibility. At least as far as matters reached me, the assistant
23 commander for logistics. And I can also claim that this unit -- what does
24 it say here? How is that said? That the members of the 1st Company are
25 resubordinated quite certainly on the terrain of Mehurici. That wasn't
1 done during that period of time. And I say that with full responsibility.
2 I never saw those people.
3 Q. Sir, you mentioned yesterday that at some point in time in May
4 1993, the brigade command of the 306 was encircled or was in Krpeljici?
5 Do you know where Krpeljici is?
6 A. We have to clarify matters there, too. The complete command of
7 the 306 Brigade wasn't encircled at Krpeljici. Part of the command - that
8 is to say, the commander, the Chief of Staff, the assistant for morale and
9 moral guidance - might have been. But I can show you where the village of
10 Krpeljici is on the map.
11 Q. Can you please show where the village of Krpeljici is.
12 A. [Indicates].
13 Q. Thank you. Can you now encircle Krpeljici and mark a 3 next to
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. How far away from Guca Gora is Krpeljici? Please give an estimate
17 in kilometres.
18 A. Well, up to one kilometre, although there's no actual division
19 between the villages, Guca Gora, I mean, and Krpeljici. One follows on
20 from the other. It's linked. And the population is also mixed.
21 Q. What was the reason for parts of the brigade command, 306 Brigade
22 command, to be in Krpeljici at that time?
23 A. I can't answer that question because the commander decided where
24 he was going to be and who he was going to be there with at any given
25 point in time and in any given area. I know why they couldn't leave
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Krpeljici, for instance, but I do not know why the commander went there in
2 the first place. So the commander is the person who decides where he's
3 going to go and who he's going to go there with. He knows the reasons. I
4 can't tell you. I don't know. But I do know why they were not able to
5 leave Krpeljici.
6 Q. When did the commander or his direct staff, when did they -- part
7 of his direct staff, when did they go there, to Krpeljici, what date?
8 A. I can't remember exactly, but I'm sure you have records of that
9 and can find it. As a member of the command, I myself can't remember when
10 that actually took place. But it's common knowledge. It's not a problem
11 to find that piece of data.
12 Q. I want to take you now to Maline on the 8th of June, 1993 --
13 excuse me, I want to take you to Mehurici on the 8th of June, 1993. You
14 testified you stayed in Mehurici proper on the 8th of June, 1993. Is this
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where exactly were you staying that day in Mehurici? At the
19 A. I was staying between the school and the clinic collecting up the
20 motor vehicles because we had to find transport to transport the wounded,
21 carts and whatever.
22 Q. Were there other senior officers present of the 306 Brigade
24 A. From the command, on that day, there was just Fazlic of the senior
25 officers. But he wasn't there that day, that particular day. While I was
1 there I'm saying. While I was there. I didn't spend the whole day in
2 Mehurici either. So while I was there, he wasn't there.
3 Q. So while you were there, who was the most senior officer in the
4 time period you were there on the 8th of June?
5 A. It should have been me, as far as I remember.
6 Q. Were there any members of the 3rd Corps next to you, or you
7 personally within the 306 were the most senior officer? But were there
8 also any 3rd Corps members on 8th of June in Mehurici? Did you see
10 A. On the 8th of June, from the corps, in the afternoon I seem to
11 remember having met Mr. Merdan from the command of the 3rd Corps. I don't
12 know whether he was in the command, but of the senior officers who came to
13 Mehurici in the afternoon, there was Mr. Merdan.
14 Q. So until the arrival of Mr. Merdan, you were the most senior
15 officer in rank, and then Mr. Merdan came in the afternoon. Is this
17 A. Yes. But when we're talking about the most senior rank here, I
18 was assistant commander for logistics, and my assignments were very
19 clear-cut on the basis of the position I occupied.
20 Q. Do you know the reason why -- you met Mr. Merdan when he was
21 arriving in the afternoon? Did you personally meet him?
22 A. Very briefly.
23 Q. Did you talk?
24 A. Well, we did talk, but I asked him what direction he had come
25 from, and he said he had come from -- I don't remember now. Some
1 direction. He had a sandwich to eat, and that was it.
2 Q. At the time you met Mr. Merdan, was the -- were the people from
3 Maline, had they already arrived at the Mehurici school? Or did
4 Mr. Merdan pass by before these people had been -- were arriving?
5 A. I can't remember exactly.
6 Q. Where did you meet him?
7 A. I met him on the premises of the forestry department's cafe.
8 Q. Did you convey a message to Mr. Merdan about what you learned
9 being there all the time while he was just passing through?
10 A. Please believe me when I say that I just can't remember details
11 like that. I can't remember everything I said to Mr. Merdan on the
12 occasion. Probably, the information I had received, I told him, but it
13 was information that hadn't been checked out yet, so it was only based on
14 the stories that were going round.
15 Q. To the best of your recollection, did Mr. Merdan pass through, or
16 did he intend to stay? Did he mention anything? Did he intend to stay in
18 A. I really don't remember. I really and honestly don't remember
19 what Mr. Merdan would have had to do after and what he intended.
20 Q. My last question relating to Mr. Merdan would be, do you know
21 where he was coming from?
22 A. I'm not quite sure. As I say, I'm not quite sure, but I seem to
23 remember him having coming from Zenica, or at least from the direction of
25 Q. He arrived in the afternoon, in the morning? Any idea what the
1 daylight was?
2 A. I really can't be certain what time of day. I just don't
4 Q. Thank you. You mentioned yesterday that in the course of the 8th
5 of June in Mehurici, you received information that HVO members from
6 Maline, and as you put it, "had been kidnapped by members of the Mujahedin
7 detachment." Do you remember at what point in time on 8th of June you
8 received that information?
9 A. What time I received that information?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but perhaps there has
11 been a mistake. Page 19, line 7, it says that the witness said the
12 Mujahedin detachment. As far as I remember, the witness didn't speak
13 about any detachment. All he mentioned was the Mujahedin.
14 MR. NEUNER: I have this -- this is actually a cut and paste from
15 the transcript from yesterday, page 62 of the transcript. But I can
16 rephrase that.
17 Q. So you had any -- at what point in time did you receive any
18 information that possibly members from the Mujahedin had kidnapped, as you
19 put it, HVO members from Maline? At what point of the day did you receive
20 that information?
21 A. I really can't remember the exact time. But upon arrival of those
22 people, escorted by members of the 1st Battalion of the 306th Mountain
23 Brigade, perhaps, so after their arrival -- well, that's when I received
24 that piece of information. And it's something that one knows. I think it
25 was before noon. But again, I can't be certain.
1 Q. And if I continue to quote you, you said also on page 62 of the
2 transcript, and I quote: "And perhaps" - in addition to the Mujahedin I
3 mean, and I quote: "And perhaps there were some local people accompanying
4 them as well. That's a possibility." Whom do you refer to by "local
6 A. I didn't mean anything. I just said what I had heard from the man
7 who was accompanying them, or rather those members of the 306th Mountain
8 Brigade, the 1st Battalion. So I just said what I had heard from those
9 people, those men. There's nothing for me to think or not think about it.
10 That was information I had received from them.
11 Q. Sir, you just testified you heard from those members of the 306
12 1st Battalion. Do you recall which members did tell you, did provide you
13 with this information?
14 A. I don't remember exactly. I don't remember the name, but that's
15 not a problem either. That's something that one can find out very easily
16 because we know which men accompanied those civilians, the civilians who
17 were brought into Mehurici. That's something that can be easily
19 Q. You said "we can find out which men did accompany the civilians."
20 Did you at the time have an idea about the identities of some of these men
21 who were doing the escorting?
22 A. After all the time that has gone by, I really can't. I can't be
23 more specific. I would happily do so if I could.
24 Q. Once you got this information, were there any discussion among the
25 senior officers in Mehurici about taking measures or about -- to find out
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 the fate of the missing Croat people from Maline? Were there any
3 A. I would like to try and clarify matters in that respect, if I
4 might be allowed to do so. At that point in time, when all this was going
5 on, the conflict was still going on. There was still heavy fighting. And
6 everyone from the brigade command had their assignments and duties. I
7 said yesterday what my duties and assignments were in the area. First of
8 all, I had to see to the wounded and to see that the people who were
9 coming in should be sent their different ways at the request of the
10 commanders and so on.
11 Now, what the talks and discussions were on the issue and who led
12 them, who conducted them, I really don't know.
13 Q. The ABiH soldiers who had escorted these people to the Mehurici
14 school were probably around the school or in the vicinity. And the Croat
15 civilians who could make it to the school were also - I don't want to say
16 at your disposal, but were also in the school. So wasn't it discussed
17 just to interview the escorters or the civilians being kept at the school
18 to find out what exactly had happened?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead, Defence counsel.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that the
21 witness has answered that question at least three times and said
22 everything he knew about the matter. I think that these questions now
23 could be understood as being pressure on the witness or badgering the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Prosecution, the
1 Defence says that you have asked the question. It's asked and answered
2 several times. You've asked him whether there were discussions among the
3 officers about the situation. The witness said he didn't know. And the
4 Defence considers that in repeating your question is a form of badgering
5 the witness. So perhaps you could move on.
6 MR. NEUNER:
7 Q. At what time did you leave Mehurici on 8th of June to go to Hum?
8 A. In the afternoon sometime.
9 Q. On the map next to you, would you be in a position to point out
10 where -- I think you met the 306 Brigade command there. Would you be in a
11 position to point out where you met them?
12 A. Where I met them. Well, it was towards evening in Krpeljici, but
13 very briefly. I met the commander very briefly.
14 Q. Who attended the meeting?
15 A. Well, you can't really say it was a meeting. It was just a brief
16 encounter and nothing more than that.
17 Q. I understand. But do you recall anybody being present at that
18 meeting? Who was present?
19 A. I don't remember exactly. But I know that -- well, I don't really
20 know who was there. I know that I met the commander of the 306th Mountain
21 Brigade, Mr. Sipic, for a very brief moment. He had his tasks and job to
22 do. I had my assignments, and that's it.
23 Q. You mentioned yesterday there was also a security organ there. Do
24 you remember the name of the security organ?
25 A. The security organ was not in Krpeljici. The security organ was
1 at Rudnik, according to my information, according to what I know. Now,
2 who was there and whether anybody was there from the brigade command of
3 the security organs, I don't know. But you have to realise that in the
4 battalion you have people who dealt in affairs of security, intelligence,
5 logistics, and so on and so forth. I have the feeling that you might not
6 have realised that.
7 Q. Sir, you mentioned yesterday that at this meeting it was mentioned
8 by the security organ, and I quote: "It was possible that a crime was
9 committed there." I'm referring to the disappearance of the Croat people
10 from Maline.
11 A. It wasn't that day, the 8th of June. At the meeting of the
12 brigade command, which was held after -- three or four days, or two or
13 three or four days later, I don't know the exact date, that's when I
14 received official information from the first time or first heard about
15 this information from the representatives of the security organs about the
16 issue. So that was the first official information as a member of the
17 command that I received and learned, that it was possible that what had
18 happened there had actually happened. What they say happened there
19 actually happened.
20 Q. Thank you for clarifying this. You said three or four days later.
21 Do you recall the location of this meeting?
22 A. I don't recall the exact place where the meeting was held. But it
23 has all been recorded in our documents, so...
24 Q. And at the end of this meeting where you first -- or the command
25 of the 306th first learned that possibly a crime was committed, was there
1 any conclusion taken at the end of the meeting in terms of measures,
2 conclusion to find out what was really happening, whether the possibility
3 of a crime was, in fact, a reality?
4 A. The command does not bring in conclusions. The command is an
5 organ with a number of component parts. It has the security section, the
6 operations section, logistics, moral guidance, and so on. And in
7 principle, each of those organs are given assignments after the reports
8 have come in. The commander issues assignments at the proposal of his
10 You keep wanting to try and extract information from me, but you
11 have to realise that at that point in time my task was to supply a front
12 line with the logistics necessary, a front line that was even bigger than
13 the front line towards the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor. So you had
14 to provide logistics for this whole area which was a large area, a large
15 front. But what I can tell you is about my own situation. Of course,
16 each department had their own problems. The moral guidance man had his
17 problems, the operations man had his problems and so on.
18 I had to find -- or they would say -- somebody would say I have to
19 find men to dig trenches, for example, just to paint a picture of what was
20 going on for you. But what I do remember is this: I know that the --
21 that what was sort of decided was to carry on trying to find out what
22 actually happened there because we were responsible men. So I suppose
23 that our organs and departments did take certain steps to throw as much
24 light on the matter as possible within the frameworks of our competencies,
25 to find out what actually happened in Maline.
1 Q. Do you recall whether anybody was tasked with going after this
2 incident as a result of the meeting?
3 A. A while ago, I said brigades have organs whose duty it is to take
4 such measures. And I believe that the people responsible did what they
5 could to the extent it was possible. You know how these things work. You
6 have the commander and you have the assistant commander, and this is how
7 one proceeds.
8 Q. I want to ask you a few more questions. Please, just answer this
9 question with yes or no. Were you present when Guca Gora, when the ABiH
10 took Guca Gora following the meeting in the night of the 8th of June in
11 Krpeljici? Were you personally present?
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I object to this
13 question. The witness never said that there was a meeting on the 8th of
14 June in Krpeljici. He said that he briefly met the commander, and then
15 went to perform other duties elsewhere.
16 MR. NEUNER: This is exactly why I'm asking the clarification.
17 Q. You went - you testified yesterday - to perform other duties. So
18 with this -- with the question I just put to you, I want to find out
19 whether you were in Guca Gora or whether you were performing your duties
20 somewhere else? Maybe a few kilometres away from Guca Gora? Were you
21 present in Guca Gora the next day, when the ABiH took Guca Gora?
22 A. On the following day, I think I passed through Guca Gora, but I
23 wasn't there on the day that the army took Guca Gora.
24 Q. When did the army take Guca Gora, the ABiH Army?
25 A. According to the information I have, was it on the 8th or the 9th
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 of June, I don't know. I don't remember. When the population of
2 Guca Gora evacuated with the help of UNPROFOR, et cetera, that's when this
3 occurred. I think it was on the 8th or on the 9th.
4 Q. You said the following day you passed through Guca Gora. Is this
5 the 9th of June? Just to clarify, please.
6 A. I don't know the exact date. Perhaps it was the 9th. Perhaps it
7 was the 10th. I don't know. But on the following day when it was
8 possible to pass through Guca Gora, I passed through it.
9 Q. Which ABiH units did you see in Guca Gora when you passed through
10 on the 9th or the 10th of June, 1993?
11 A. I only noticed members of the military police in Guca Gora, MPs
12 who were providing security for the monastery in Guca Gora.
13 Q. You returned in 1994 the Guca Gora monastery. At the time you
14 returned, you handed over the Guca Gora monastery, were all the books from
15 the library -- were all the books still left in the library of the
16 Guca Gora monastery?
17 A. Mr. President, if I may provide you with a lengthy answer with
18 regard to the library in the monastery in Guca Gora, may I? Thank you.
19 When I became commander of the 306th Mountain Brigade, I didn't
20 move into the Guca Gora monastery immediately. Upon moving into the
21 monastery, we established a library. We formed a library out of the books
22 that had remained there. They were all put in order. And during the
23 handover, this library wasn't handed over to the clergy representatives.
24 It was packed and handed over to the archives. And the civilian
25 authorities returned what had remained of the library to the monastery in
1 Guca Gora. I don't know exactly when this was done. I don't know the
2 exact year. But the books that remained were returned to the monastery in
3 Guca Gora.
4 Q. You said when you -- being commander of the 306, saw the books for
5 the first time in the library. What was your impression? Was the library
6 complete by then, or were some books missing?
7 A. I'll tell you what my personal impression was. I don't know what
8 sort of books were contained in the library before I moved into the
9 monastery in Guca Gora. The books weren't in the condition they should
10 have been in, but of the books remaining there, the documents, et cetera,
11 from the Vatican, from the local church, et cetera, well, we put all these
12 books and documents into order. When we left the monastery, we packed the
13 books. They were then transferred to the archives of Central Bosnia.
14 They were transferred from the command of the 306th in the primary school
15 to the Central Bosnian archives. And then the books from returned from
16 the archives in Central Bosnia to the monastery, at least the books that
17 we had found in the library were returned.
18 Q. At least the books you found. Can you maybe try to give a
19 quantity from your impression what you saw of books being present, books
20 being not present?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Defence counsel.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I really wouldn't
23 want to waste time on objections, but I would be grateful if my learned
24 colleague could tell us what the purpose of these questions is since the
25 count in the indictment concerns the destruction of the monastery. And I
1 don't see the purpose of asking questions about the library since we have
2 had evidence about this matter. We have been told about what was taken
3 away before the conflict and about other items. But given the counts in
4 the indictment, I don't know whether it's necessary to spend so much time
5 on this issue. Could my learned colleague please explain the purpose of
6 these questions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Defence counsel has
8 pointed out that the count in the indictment concerns destruction of the
9 monastery, and Defence counsel is surprised by the fact that you're asking
10 this witness questions about the library and the books contained in the
12 But I have found out from the witness that he says that he took
13 books from the library, the books were packed and transferred to the
14 Central Bosnian archives. Subsequently, the books were returned to the
15 monastery. This is the first time we have heard about this. What would
16 the Prosecution like to say in response to the objection raised by the
17 Defence concerning the books? Because apparently these books were not
18 destroyed. I'm listening to what you have to say.
19 MR. NEUNER: From the books which were found, certainly these
20 books were not destroyed. But I understood also that some books were
21 missing for whatever reason, and these books, since as the witness also
22 pointed out, they came partially from the Vatican and so on, they might
23 form part of the cultural heritage of the Croat people. But the
24 Prosecution is prepared to move on to its last question relating to
25 Mujahedin --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'll ask the witness a
2 question. It will save time.
3 Sir, it seems that some books allegedly disappeared. Could you
4 explain how these books disappeared since these books were part of a
5 people's cultural heritage. When you returned these books, it appears -
6 and I stress "appears" - that some books were missing. Could you answer
7 this question. This is the purpose of the question put to you by the
8 Prosecution, but it would be good to clarify the matter. What would you
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was telling you about what I was
11 aware of. But if some of the books were missing, well, that was because
12 the people who went there and didn't know the value of these books. They
13 didn't know what they represented. But when we moved into the monastery
14 with the commander, I know we put these books into order while the command
15 was in the monastery. These books were available to everyone for their
16 consultation, not to take away with them. When the command left, we
17 packed them and took them to a new command place. They were then
18 transferred from the Central Bosnian archives, and the books were
19 subsequently returned to the monastery. As to how many books were
20 destroyed, as to which books were destroyed, I don't know. If that was
21 the case, if this actually did happen, then naturally this is not
22 something that people who were responsible for these books or who were
23 concerned with these books would accept.
24 MR. NEUNER:
25 Q. Mr. Karic, my last question relates to the Mujahedin. During the
1 war, you pursued a double career. You were a military officer, and you
2 were a politician in the RBiH parliament. The presence of such foreigners
3 in Bosnia had a military and a political aspect to it. During formal or
4 informal sessions of the RBiH parliament, was there ever mention made of
5 the presence of the Mujahedin?
6 A. I really don't remember. I don't believe so, but I don't know.
7 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution has no further questions.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's almost time for
9 our break. It's 10.27. We'll resume at about five minutes to 11.00 for
10 additional questions.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give the floor to the
14 Defence now for their additional questions. But before I do so, I would
15 like to point something out. We said that we would render a decision on
16 documents that might be tendered. As far as this issue is concerned, the
17 Trial Chamber has taken note of the request made by the Defence, and the
18 Trial Chamber, when complete, will be rendering a decision. The Trial
19 Chamber distinguishes between two categories of documents. The first
20 category concerns documents that the Prosecution had in its possession,
21 but did not disclose to the Defence before the trial and as part of the
22 evidence presented. The second category of documents concerns documents
23 that the Prosecution obtained after the presentation of its case.
24 The Trial Chamber, on a provisional basis, and before hearing the
25 Prosecution's position expressed orally, hereby decides that when a
1 witness is being heard, only documents from the second category can be
2 presented. That is to say, only documents can be presented that have been
3 obtained after the presentation of the Prosecution's case. In such a
4 case, the Prosecution, before presenting such a document, should inform
5 the Trial Chamber of the following: Firstly, of the source of the
6 document; secondly, of the date on which it obtained the document;
7 thirdly, of the circumstances in which the Prosecution obtained the
8 document. The Trial Chamber also suggests to the Prosecution that they
9 inform us when making their oral submissions in 15 days' time of the
10 general circumstances concerning the Prosecution's knowledge of the
11 documents that they had or obtained after the presentation of its case. I
12 invite the Prosecution to reread this oral decision we have just rendered
13 and which will be in force until our final decision is rendered. This is
14 a decision we will render after we have heard what your position is.
15 And secondly, as I said at the beginning of the hearing - I'll say
16 it again to make it clear - the Chamber authorises both parties to use the
17 terms they want to use to describe the status of the people who were
18 guarded or who had voluntarily gathered in certain locations. If the
19 Prosecution wants to say that they were prisoners, they may. If the
20 Defence wants to say that they were free, they may do so. The parties may
21 use the terms that they deem appropriate. And naturally, given the fact
22 that the parties may use the terms they deem appropriate, they may ask any
23 questions about the people who were detained or who were free. Naturally,
24 the Trial Chamber is always in control of the questions put to witnesses.
25 I wanted to mention all these items to make everything clear.
1 But you may reread the transcript so that you are sure of what has
2 been said. Without wasting more time, I'll give you the floor now.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Karic.
6 A. Good day.
7 Q. Since the Prosecution has not yet said what they will be doing
8 with the part of the map that they have before you, I would like to ask
9 you to have another look at that map, and under number 2, you marked
10 Mehurici proper. Could you now please encircle on the same map the
11 Mehurici sector, including all the villages and hamlets that are part of
12 that sector.
13 A. You mean the Mehurici local commune? Or the sector?
14 Q. Well, what one would consider to be the sector of Mehurici, the
15 local commune, the villages, and the hamlets that were part of that place.
16 As far as I have understood you, you have marked the centre of Mehurici
18 A. [Marks].
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer since
20 he wasn't speaking to the microphone.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Could you please mark that with an interrupted line so that we can
23 be sure of whether -- the first part of your answer wasn't interpreted.
24 The witness said, "I'm not sure whether Podstinje is part of the Mehurici
25 or Guca Gora local commune. Perhaps it's part of both."
1 A. The local commune of Maline.
2 Q. Yes, the local commune of Maline. And as a result, he marked that
3 area with a dotted line.
4 Can you finish doing what you were doing, please.
5 A. This is what the situation was. I think that was the local
6 commune of Mehurici.
7 Q. Could you please mark the central area with a number 4, the area
8 you have just indicated.
9 A. [Marks].
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript, I
11 would like to point out that the witness has outlined the area of the
12 sector, or rather of the Mehurici local commune. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the area here.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 May we now take a look at Prosecution Exhibit P481 again, please.
16 Q. When asked by my learned colleague, you said you never saw the
17 document before and then went on to give your explanations. I'd just like
18 to ask you something with respect to point 3. Mr. Karic, if logistics
19 supplies of any unit were to be secured through the 306th Brigade, were
20 you the organ who would conduct the logistical supply issue, or would that
21 be somebody else?
22 A. Could you repeat that question, please.
23 Q. If the logistics supplies of a military unit had to be secured
24 through the 306th Brigade, would you be the assistant commander who would
25 yourself see to those supplies being secured?
1 A. Under normal conditions, the functioning of the brigade and its
2 command, I would have to know about activities of this kind. If I had the
3 logistics of a battalion in a certain area, I was able to issue
4 instructions according to the logistics of that battalion with agreement
5 from the battalion commander to secure logistics supplies in that way.
6 Q. Thank you. That will be sufficient. Tell me now, please, did you
7 ever receive an order to supply any company at all or any individuals from
8 the 7th Muslim Brigade?
9 A. No. And that was impossible, if we take a look --
10 Q. Thank you, thank you.
11 Now, take a look at the document again, please. The document
12 isn't signed.
13 A. No, it isn't signed.
14 Q. But I'd like to ask you something else about it. You were a
15 military man yourself. Due to forces of circumstance, you also hold a
16 rank. Was it at all possible for the commander of a battalion to
17 resubordinate its men, its unit to another brigade to which it does not
18 belong? Is that possible? Is it possible for a lower ranking officer to
19 resubordinate to another brigade his own men?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Karic, take a look at the first sentence of
22 this order. You've already given some explanations and said that you
23 don't know whether somebody was there or not. But if this order were
24 correct, would it specify the area in which those 20 soldiers could find
25 themselves possibly in some eventuality?
1 A. What did you say? Was it specified? Well, it says: "From the
2 Mehurici sector." It says: "From the Mehurici sector to Radojcici
3 village in order to," et cetera.
4 Q. Mr. Karic, the Mehurici sector, is that what you drew a moment ago
5 on the map for me?
6 A. I think that the Mehurici sector is even larger, but generally
7 speaking they are the villages incorporated by the Mehurici local commune.
8 Might I be allowed to give another explanation. I do apologise.
9 But may I? Some people consider the Mehurici sector to be much broader,
10 and the Mehurici sector could also incorporate the Dug, Visnje, Vobuka
11 [phoen], Bukovica local communes and even Zabrdje because some people
12 consider that to come under the Mehurici sector. But I limited myself
13 just to the local commune of Mehurici itself.
14 Q. Mr. Karic, the Mehurici sector, did it look like you have
15 encircled on the map, or was it as other people considered it a much
16 broader region, a much broader sector than the actual place called
18 A. Yes, the Mehurici sector is.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Might the witness now be shown
21 another document, P474.
22 Q. Once again, would you take a look at page 2 of that document.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have
24 page 2 of the document.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. At the bottom, what does it say? Can you tell me what it says
2 before the names in the document are enumerated. What does it say above
4 A. It says: "1/7 of the Muslim Mountain Brigade." Is that what you
6 Q. Yes. Do you see anywhere on that piece of paper the time when
7 these numbers for the brigade are referring to? The four -- the
8 battalion, the strength. Does this document indicate the time at which
9 these men were in that region, that area?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you see the time anywhere?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. And I have just one more question for you, Mr. Karic:
14 In response to a question from my learned colleague as to why the
15 commander found himself in Krpeljici, your answer was to say that the
16 commander knows the reasons why he happened to be in Krpeljici. But in
17 continuation on two occasions you tried to say "but I know the reasons why
18 he was not able to leave Krpeljici." Would you tell us now what those
19 reasons were. Why couldn't the commander, members of the command leave
20 Krpeljici and go to the command post? Why was that?
21 A. I remember, or rather as far as I remember, the rest of the
22 command from Rudnik and from Mehurici, they had been scattered as I
23 described yesterday when the blockades were set up by the HVO. We
24 insisted that the commander should leave Krpeljici with the help of
25 UNPROFOR. However, that was not enabled them. The HVO did not allow our
1 commander to leave Krpeljici even with UNPROFOR, to pass by their
2 checkpoints and barricades. So Krpeljici, not only the commander and the
3 command, the entire settlement was under a complete siege, a complete
4 encirclement, not with the checkpoints but with the front line going right
5 the way round it and the front line was manned by the HVO members. It was
6 a fortified area, trenches, communicating trenches right the way round the
7 village with members of the HVO and manned by the HVO.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
9 no further questions of this witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 The other Defence team.
12 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. We have no further questions
13 for this witness. We do wish to note, however, that there have been two
14 documents allegedly from the 7th Brigade shown to this witness. And
15 although the witness was able to say that he saw them as somewhat unusual
16 documents, he wasn't able to give any more information about those
17 particular documents. We are of the view that it will be much more
18 efficient if those documents can be shown to members of the 7th Brigade
19 who may be in a position to explain those documents. And hence, we're not
20 going to ask this witness any further questions about them, but we will
21 certainly return to that matter in order to address any questions that may
22 be outstanding on these documents. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
24 I have a few questions myself, Witness.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We learned something we didn't
2 know before, and that is that you were a deputy, you were elected as a
3 parliamentary deputy and that you were at the assembly meetings where your
4 other colleague deputies were. Having been elected, you ought to know
5 about the political action waged by the state at the time, by the state
6 leadership, and I'd like to ask you whether as a military man or as a
7 deputy at your level, did you have any knowledge of a decree, of a law
8 that was passed by the President, Mr. Izetbegovic, President Izetbegovic,
9 with regard to service in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 And that bill, decree, law in actual fact was dated the 1st of August,
12 Do you know -- are you familiar with the text of the decree
13 concerning the army in general terms, either as a parliamentarian yourself
14 or as an officer, as a military man?
15 A. At that period, the presidency, because the parliament of the
16 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina couldn't function normally, very often it
17 had to take decisions having the force of law. So could you tell us --
18 tell me what decree that actually was, what the name of the title of the
19 decree and law was?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It is P243, Exhibit P243,
21 Mr. Registrar. We'll show you the decree law in your own language.
22 A. Thank you.
23 I don't have enough time to read through all of this, but what I
24 can tell you is this --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you look at Article 31,
1 please. It says in Article 31 that somebody who is not a citizen of the
2 republic can be recruited into the army. Now, my question to you is this:
3 To your knowledge, foreigners who were not citizens, did not have
4 citizenship of your republican state, could they have been recruited into
5 the army, since according to this article that was allowed?
6 A. As far as the decree laws of the presidency are concerned, I know
7 that we as parliamentarians and deputies confirmed most of the decrees
8 passed by the presidency at the period of time when regular parliament
9 could be convened. I don't remember exactly when that period was. You
10 can check it out. It's not difficult to find out what period that applied
11 to. But as far as I know, and according to my information, in the area I
12 was in, I don't know that there were any foreigners who were members of
13 the Bosnia-Herzegovinian Army. At least, there were none like that in the
14 306th Mountain Brigade. I'm certain of that. So that's what I can tell
15 you. I am qualified to speak about the 306th Mountain Brigade, and I say
16 with absolute certainty that there were no foreigners like that in the
17 306th Mountain Brigade.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll move on to
19 another subject. You said to us on page 54, line 8, that members of the
20 army, that the Mujahedin, in fact, married young girls from the Mehurici
21 region, local young girls. Do you know the name of some young girl or
22 their family names who married Mujahedin? Because when you said that, you
23 were referring to specific cases, were you? Or were you referring to
24 rumours and stories that were going round to that effect that you could
25 have heard here and there? Or do you have personal knowledge of specific
1 cases of marriages between young girls and the Mujahedin?
2 A. As to that problem, I spoke generally -- in general terms
3 yesterday. I know that for most of us, domiciles, locals, this was a very
4 frustrating situation, that very young girls were marrying those
5 foreigners. That's what I know. In general terms, that was the general
6 attitude of the locals. And next, you should understand that it wasn't
7 only the young girls who were local to the area of Mehurici. The area was
8 saturated with refugees and displaced persons, so it wasn't only local
9 young girls from Mehurici who married those guys, those young men,
10 foreigners. So it would be difficult for me to give a name. But people
11 know about it. And if the Court is interested, it would be easy to check
12 out which girls from the area, which local girls married Mujahedin and
13 left to take up their life with them. It's no problem to check it out.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. But you can't give
15 us a concrete name or case. And to move on to another area: On page 46,
16 line 14 and 49, line 10, you said at a given point, there was the presence
17 of the Croatian Army in the region. So I'm asking you now, what allowed
18 you to say -- what led you to say that the Croatian Army was present in
19 the region? I'm not speaking about the HVO. You mentioned the HV, the
20 Croatian Army at one point. So as a military man yourself, how did you
21 draw that conclusion? Was it something that you saw personally, that you
22 were told about? You received reports about, or were there just rumours
23 going round the parliament and the deputies? Could you tell us, please?
24 A. Well, as far as I remember, I said yesterday, at least at one
25 point in response to a question asked, that in passing through the
1 checkpoints I saw - that's what I saw myself - I saw signs and insignia on
2 people manning those checkpoints, that they had HVO and HOS insignia. And
3 for us, the black shirts were the most dangerous. They didn't have any
4 insignia on themselves. But they had insignia of the HV, with the HV coat
5 of arms. So there was HV, HVO, the HOS, and the black shirts without any
6 insignia whatsoever. Those were the four different categories, and we
7 referred to them that way. We called them black shirts, this fourth
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much
10 for giving me that explanation. And now my last question and area, you
11 were in the 306th Brigade yourself. You were in charge of logistics. If
12 I understand what logistics means, it means that you had the
13 responsibility and task of providing supplies such as food, materiel and
14 equipment. That is what comes under the term "logistics." Is that right?
15 Is that what you were authorised to do? Is that what logistics meant?
16 Did it incorporate those things?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, starting out from that
19 assumption, the school of Mehurici, was it occupied by civilians? Were
20 civilians in the school, or the 306th Brigade? Who was in the school?
21 A. The primary school of Mehurici, or rather, the school building was
22 mobilised for the requirements of the 1st Battalion of the 306th Mountain
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Thank
1 A. So that's how it was.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, does that mean
3 that in the extent to which the school building had been requisitioned by
4 the 306th Brigade, that all the people inside it, inside the building,
5 should have been, as far as logistics is concerned, supplied by the army?
6 A. The soldiers, yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, let's take this
8 hypothetical question: At one given point, if there had been civilians on
9 the premises requisitioned by the army, those civilians on the premises,
10 how were they fed? Was it up to the army to feed them and to care for
11 them and to cater to their needs? And if so, was it you on a logistical
12 level who was the responsible person to do that?
13 A. Had they been prisoners, then until they had been handed over to
14 the higher organs of security authorised to take them over, you probably
15 mean these civilians who were put up in the sports hall of the Mehurici
16 school building from the Maline area, no, then it was not possible to do
17 that. We as a logistics department did not have sufficient food to
18 provide them, nor did we have the necessary medical equipment, nor did we
19 treat them as prisoners. On the contrary. As far as I was able to
20 understand at that point, the citizens of Maline were brought in to the
21 school building of Mehurici and the sports hall of the primary school for
22 security and safety reasons exclusively. And therefore, according to my
23 information, we contacted the civilian organs of power and authority, the
24 police, the civilian protection units, whose job it was to care for the
25 refugees and displaced persons coming into the area.
1 So as far as I remember, the command of the battalion, that's what
2 the battalion command did. And the population was taken care of through
3 the civilian protection. They were provided food as far as they were
4 able. They were given medical assistance by the doctor in the area. And
5 we, as a unit of the 1st Battalion, would lend a helping hand in ensuring
6 that their stay was as secure as possible under those circumstances during
7 that period, to avoid any problems. And as far as I understood it, we did
8 not consider those prisoners in the prisoner category. We did not
9 consider them to be prisoners.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. So your answer to my
11 question is that those -- as far as food for those people was concerned,
12 and that is line 41 -- page 43, line 1, were taken over by the civilian
13 authorities. So it was the civilian authorities whose job it was to bring
14 them food. Right? Not you. You didn't have any responsibility with
15 regard to supplying those people with food. Right?
16 A. Yes, that's right. Correct.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall take note
18 of your answers in that regard, with respect to supplying food to the
20 Are there any additional questions? Follow-up questions?
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a few, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I apologise. Prosecution first.
23 I forgot to turn to the Prosecution first. Any follow-up questions?
24 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution has no follow-up questions. But may
25 the witness please sign the map lying next to him and add today's date,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What's the date today please? Would
3 you tell me the date.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's the 10th of November, 2004.
6 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution would like to
8 tender the map. Well, let's have the map distributed, please.
9 MR. NEUNER: Yes, we request this to be tendered into evidence.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. No objection.
12 Mr. Registrar, may we have a number, just to see whether it's signed and
13 dated. Yes, it is.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P936.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I give the floor to
16 the Defence.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness once again be
18 shown the decree law on the army, P243, please. Document P243,
19 Article 31.
20 Further re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Karic, in response to questions put to you by
22 the President of the Trial Chamber, you said that the presidency would
23 pass decrees, and that the parliament would later confirm them once it was
24 able to meet. Do you remember whether this was one of those?
25 A. Well, when we confirmed the provisions or decrees, we would
1 usually be given the number and date of the decree in question. That's
2 what I remember. I'm not certain whether we confirmed this the first time
3 we met, but I think it was rather quite a long time afterwards.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, what I'm interested in is this: You spoke about
5 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, when it was gained, and the
6 dissolution of Yugoslavia. Did you, as a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 during that period of time know that on the territory of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, people were living who were not born in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you know that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example,
10 there were quite a number of people who weren't actually born in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were born elsewhere, in other parts of Yugoslavia?
12 A. Well, that was common knowledge. And I think I said yesterday
13 that a lot of soldiers from Croatia, Slovenia were transferred to
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And there were quite a number of what they called
15 volunteers at the time who were from Serbia and Montenegro, for example,
16 as well.
17 Q. Now, the people who weren't born in Bosnia-Herzegovina and who did
18 not have permanent residence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in keeping with the
19 law on citizenship, were they considered to be foreign citizens, foreign
21 A. Yes. You mean people who didn't have citizenship?
22 Q. Yes, people who didn't have Bosnian citizenship.
23 A. They were considered to be foreign nationals, foreigners.
24 Q. Do you know who [as interpreted] the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
25 Command Sefer Halilovic of the day was born, for example?
1 A. No, I don't. I don't know exactly.
2 Q. Well, can I give you the answer? Was it Bosnia-Herzegovina? Can
3 I suggest an answer?
4 A. I don't know that either. I really don't know. I can't say.
5 Possibly. Sefer Halilovic, you say?
6 Q. Yes. Do you know where the province of Sandzak is located?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Where is it?
9 A. It's in Serbia.
10 Q. So a person born in Sandzak, was it somebody who was not a citizen
11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina then but the Republic of Serbia?
12 A. Yes, that's right. And he wasn't the only one. I know that.
13 Q. Now, if an individual born in Serbia had permanent residence in
14 Croatia, would that person be considered a foreigner, a foreign national
15 from the viewpoint of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, of course.
17 Q. Now, since you don't know about your commander, were there people
18 who were not commanders, who were ordinary soldiers, combatants, fighters,
19 were there a large number of those at the beginning of the war in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you know that?
21 A. Yes, I do know about that.
22 Q. Can you tell us, please, if you look at this article -- or let me
23 ask you this first. Did you know in 1992 and 1993 that a large number of
24 members, that is to say citizens of the former SFRY born in Sandzak, born
25 in Kosovo, born in Croatia, for example, found themselves to be among the
1 ranks of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. That is common knowledge. It is something that is a well-known
4 Q. Can you tell me, Mr. Karic, in view of this fact the article
5 stipulated, in your opinion, who did this article apply to?
6 A. I know we had the problem you have mentioned, especially in the
7 1st Corps of the BH Army. In Sarajevo, there really were a lot of people
8 who had come to Sarajevo, they had all the official documents mentioning
9 the place of birth, Sandzak, Kosovo, et cetera, et cetera, and there were
10 people who weren't citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they joined the BH Army.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karic. I have no
13 further questions.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
15 have no questions.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This concludes your testimony,
17 Mr. Karic. Thank you for having spent a number of days in The Hague to
18 answer the questions put to you by Defence counsel, the Prosecution, and
19 the Judges. We wish you a good trip home, and we wish you all the best in
20 your professional career, in your company. I'll now ask the usher to
21 escort you out of the courtroom.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have another witness.
25 I'll take this opportunity to give some documents to the
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I'd first like
4 to make sure that you're receiving interpretation of what I'm saying. If
5 so, please tell me.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you, and I understand
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You'll have to take
9 the solemn declaration. But before you do so, could you approach the
10 microphones, please.
11 Before you take the solemn declaration, could you tell me your
12 first and last names, your date of birth, and your place of birth.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my name is Ferid
14 Jasarevic. I was born on the 15th of October, 1950 in the village of
15 Jezerci in Travnik Municipality.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current profession?
17 Do you receive a salary? What do you do?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the moment I work as
19 a teacher in a primary school.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, did you hold a
21 position of any kind? And if so, what was your position?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, in May, I joined the BH
23 Army, and I was a member of the army until the 19th of November 1993 when
24 I was given a work obligation, and I started working as a teacher in a
25 primary school.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you tell me what unit you
2 were a part of until November 1993, and did you have a rank?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until November 1993, I was a member
4 of the 306th Brigade. And I didn't have a rank of any kind.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were just a private, then.
6 Did you have any particular duties to perform within the 306th Brigade?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the 306th Brigade, I was a member
8 of the sector for morale. Husic Halim, the assistant commander for
9 morale, was my superior, and I was in the -- an officer in the 306th
10 Brigade in the sector for morale.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already
12 testified before an international or national court about the events that
13 took place in November 1993 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or is this the first
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've never testified
16 before a court before.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the
18 solemn declaration in your own language.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
22 You have been called here as a witness for the Defence. To ensure
23 that everything runs smoothly and to avoid wasting any time, I would like
24 to provide you with some information on the procedure that will be
25 followed. This is what I do whenever a witness appears before the
2 You will first have to answer questions put to you by Defence
3 counsel. Counsel for the accused, whom you have certainly met, are to
4 your left. They will conduct what we call the examination-in-chief. The
5 questions they put to you must not be leading. The questions put to you
6 will be neutral.
7 After this state has been completed, the Prosecution, who are
8 sitting to your right -- who are sitting to your right, will also ask you
9 questions. They will take up just as much time as the Defence took. This
10 is what we call the cross-examination. The party cross-examining is
11 allowed to put questions that are leading. And this is what makes it
12 different from examination-in-chief.
13 Try to provide clear answers to the questions put to you by both
14 parties because the Judges don't have any written documents that relate to
15 the testimony you will be giving. This is why your answers are so
16 important. If you fail to understand a question, ask the person putting
17 it to you to rephrase it. In addition, the Judges before you, and usually
18 there are three of us but one is absent for professional reasons, the
19 Judges sitting before you may also ask you questions at any point in time.
20 As a rule, the Judges ask questions after both parties have concluded
21 their questions. And the parties may ask a witness questions after the
22 Judges put questions to the witness. But if you answer all the questions,
23 it won't be necessary for the Judges to ask you any questions.
24 I should also point out two other factors: Given the fact that
25 you are a former member of the 306th Brigade, you have taken the solemn
1 declaration. This means that you are no longer a witness of either of the
2 parties. You are a witness who will be testifying in the interests of
3 justice. And this means that you are obliged to speak the truth. As a
4 teacher, you're aware of the fact that sanctions can be imposed in the
5 case of false testimony. Such sanctions could include a prison sentence.
6 Secondly, I would like to point out that when answering a question, a
7 witness might feel that his answer might provide information that could be
8 used in a subsequent prosecution against that witness. According to our
9 Rules, the witness can refuse to answer the question. In such a case, the
10 Trial Chamber can oblige the witness to answer the question, but if that
11 is the case, the witness is granted a form of immunity, which means that
12 whatever the witness says can't be used against the witness. This rule
13 allows witnesses to speak the truth. Roughly speaking, this is how we
14 will be proceeding. If you feel there are any difficulties, do inform us
15 of the fact. We will try to resolve them.
16 Usually, the hearing goes on for an hour and a half, and then we
17 have a break for technical reasons, after which we resume the hearing.
18 But since it's now already five to 12.00, we will continue until half past
19 12.00, and we will then have to have our break for technical reasons, and
20 then we will resume at about five to 1.00.
21 Without wasting any more time, I will give the floor to the
22 Defence who will provide you with a little additional information.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 WITNESS: FERID JASAREVIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Jasarevic.
3 A. Good day.
4 Q. As the Presiding Judge has just told you, I would like to ask you
5 to briefly pause after I put a question to you since we speak the same
6 language. My questions have to be interpreted so that everyone in the
7 courtroom can follow what is being said. And this is why I'd be grateful
8 if you could pause after I have put a question to you before answering.
9 Have you understood me?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. You have already said, Mr. Jasarevic, that you are a
12 teacher. Could you tell us something about your educational background.
13 Which schools did you complete, where, and when?
14 A. I went to primary school in Han Bila in Travnik Municipality. I
15 completed secondary school for teachers in Travnik in 1970. I studied
16 teacher training. And since then, I have been working as a teacher. I
17 work with children in the first four classes of primary school.
18 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, tell me, which areas have you worked in -- or which
19 areas did you work in and in which schools did you work before the war?
20 A. As I said, I started working in 1970. But I have always worked in
21 the Mehurici primary school. I still work in that school. There was a
22 break in 1972 when I was in the JNA, and also there was a break from 1992
23 to 1993 when I was a member of the BH Army.
24 Q. You already said that you were an officer in the sector for moral
25 guidance in the 306th Brigade. Mr. Jasarevic, could you tell me, when you
1 joined the defence, did the 306th Brigade exist at that time? Or did you
2 join some other defence units?
3 A. I joined the BH Army in May 1992. At the time, the 306th Brigade
4 did not exist. It was a problem to organise defence. So the Territorial
5 Defence sector staff in Mehurici was formed. It included Jezerci,
6 Fazlici, Zavidovici [phoen], Bozerce [phoen], Zabrdje, et cetera. We
7 organised companies or units in the villages, or platoons; it depended on
8 the size of the village. Our commander was in Mehurici. The sector staff
9 was our command.
10 Q. At any point in time, did the Territorial Defence sector staff
11 obtain a different name? Was it given a different name? Did you form
12 detachments or formations of a similar kind?
13 A. After a certain period of time, since the situation was becoming
14 increasingly complex, we had to organise ourselves as best as possible in
15 a military sense. So detachments were formed, and I think there were
16 three detachments. There was the Mehurici detachment, the Luta Greda
17 [phoen] detachment, and I think there was a detachment called the
18 Krpeljici detachment. I can't remember whether there was a Han Bila
19 detachment. I think there was.
20 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, which detachment were you a member of?
21 A. I apologise.
22 Q. Do go ahead. You do have to make such lengthy pauses. I hope
23 that the interpreters will have time to translate brief questions.
24 A. I was a member of the Mehurici detachment which was in the school.
25 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, who was your detachment commander?
1 A. At the time, the commander was Fahir Camdzic. I'll repeat this,
2 the commander of our detachment was Fahir Camdzic, Fahir.
3 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, what kind of weapons did you have when you joined
4 the sector staff and later the Mehurici detachment?
5 A. Well, I can tell you about the weapons that we had in my village.
6 For example, my village didn't have weapons of any kind. My village is a
7 small one. It has about 400 inhabitants. We had six hunting rifles. We
8 had one automatic rifle which a policeman lent us. We had two pistols.
9 Those were the weapons my village had. So at the beginning, as you can
10 see, we had no weapons of any kind. That's all we had.
11 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, did Croatian inhabitants from that area join
12 Territorial Defence units? Or to be more specific, do you know which
13 units were joined by the Croatian population? And do you know how they
14 joined these units?
15 A. A minor number of Croats joined the BH Army. I know that two
16 Croats from my village joined the Territorial Defence. Later it was to be
17 called the BH Army. And the other able-bodied inhabitants joined the HVO
18 at the very beginning. They were not members of the BH Army. There were
19 very few of them who were. Most of the able-bodied Croats joined the HVO.
20 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, you have just told us about the weapons you had.
21 How were the HVO units armed and equipped in your area?
22 A. The HVO units were far superior in terms of weapons and uniforms.
23 They had the most modern equipment, the most modern weapons, automatic
24 rifles. They had what we called camouflage uniforms. They were well
25 trained. They had good footwear. They had everything that a soldier
1 needed to have at the time in comparison to the members of the Territorial
2 Defence in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
3 Q. When the 306th Brigade was formed, you said that you were in
4 the -- you were an official in the sector for moral guidance, and
5 Mr. Husic was your superior, or rather, he was the assistant commander for
6 moral guidance. Could you tell me where the headquarters of the brigade
7 command was located at the time and where was your workplace located and
8 your military place of work, so to speak?
9 A. The headquarters of the brigade command was in Rudnik, and my
10 workplace, my military workplace was in Rudnik, in the offices of the
11 Rudnik building.
12 Q. Did the 306th Brigade have any barracks where its members were
13 billeted? And if it didn't have any such barracks, where were they when
14 they weren't at their combat positions?
15 A. The 306th Brigade didn't have barracks of any kind. They didn't
16 have any buildings of its own. The soldiers would spend their free time
17 at home. They weren't billeted in barracks. They returned home when they
18 left their combat positions.
19 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, as a member of one of the organs of the brigade
20 command, where would you be when you weren't at your workplace or when you
21 weren't carrying out any of your military duties?
22 A. When I wasn't carrying out military duties of any kind, I would
23 return to my village. And we farmed there. We would grow potatoes,
24 beans, carrots. The situation was difficult, so that's how we fed
25 ourselves. That food enabled us to survive. So I spent my free time in
1 the village where I farmed.
2 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, until when did you remain performing duties in the
3 organ for moral guidance? And did you assume any other duties? And if
4 so, what kind of duties did you assume?
5 A. I stayed in the organ for moral guidance until the 19th of
6 November, 1993. As I said, I was an official in the organ for moral
7 guidance. At some time in August 1993, in the sector for moral guidance,
8 I was the chief -- I became the chief of the social service within that
9 military hierarchy. Within the sector for morale and religious guidance,
10 a social service was formed, and I became the chief, and I had an
11 assistant. We were responsible for social care for soldiers and their
12 families. I'd also like to point out that for a brief period of time,
13 from the 19th or the 18th of June - I can't remember the exact date - up
14 until mid-August, pursuant to an order from the commander, I was
15 transferred to the Luta Greda forward command post northwest of Mehurici
16 at the lines facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor. As you can
17 see, I was involved in moral guidance at all times, but my duties varied
18 because sometimes the situation was such that I had to do what my superior
19 would order me to do.
20 Q. In November 1993, where did you go?
21 A. In November 1993, conditions were such that it was possible for
22 schools to function. So I returned to my job, and I did what I have
23 always done and what I still do. In wartime conditions, I taught children
24 with my colleagues, children who were in the first four classes of primary
25 school. I worked in Velika Bukovica, which is about nine kilometres north
1 of Mehurici.
2 Q. Could you briefly tell us about the duties you had in that organ
3 for moral guidance, the duties you had before you became involved in
4 social care for soldiers.
5 A. The duties I had in the sector -- in the organ for moral guidance
6 as an official for moral and religious guidance, I had the following
7 duties: We had to be concerned with the moral of the combatants. We
8 informed the combatants of the international laws and rules on how to
9 fight and how to treat wounded men. So we had to take care of combatants'
10 moral. But given the situation we were in, we were always involved in
11 social affairs since the main issue concerns how a soldier can get
12 involved in combat if he has a family that's hungry. So we had to ensure
13 that their family members were not hungry. So these were some of the main
14 tasks we had in the organ for moral guidance.
15 As far as religious affairs are concerned, I didn't get involved
16 in that very much since the assistant commander for moral, Husic Halim,
17 was a specialist in that field. He had completed a religious school in
18 Sarajevo. And he was concerned with those affairs as far as the soldiers
19 are concerned. I wasn't.
20 Q. Tell me, Mr. Jasarevic, under the prevailing conditions, how far
21 was your job linked to the needs for establishing lines of command or
22 chains of command as soldiers like to put it? Or rather, how far was it
23 linked to bringing the population into the army? And did you encounter
24 any problems in that respect?
25 A. At the beginning, there were, of course, problems. There were
1 serious problems with regard to organisation. Firstly, because the
2 Territorial Defence which had functioned up until then was disbanded to
3 all intents and purposes, and so the units of Territorial Defence, as we
4 said, included Bosniak Muslims mostly. So the first problem was lack of
5 men, and we had to make up for this lack of men by having more than one
6 shift or we had -- we didn't have enough men. But we managed to do our --
7 what we could to defend ourselves during that period of time.
8 The problem of command, or control and command, well, the soldiers
9 weren't properly trained at the beginning. And people weren't ready to
10 take the decision to go to the front lines because, of course, they could
11 have been killed there. But later on, people realised that they had this
12 duty and they performed that duty. There were less problems once the
13 brigade had been established, of course. And after that, the problems
15 Q. Tell me please, Mr. Jasarevic, what relations did you have with
16 the civilian organs working in the same area? What was your relationship
17 with them?
18 A. In the area that I worked in, or rather, where my brigade was
19 operative, or more precisely, the moral guidance and religious affairs
20 sector, there were local communities and communes who had their presidents
21 and representatives, and then there was the civilian protection or civil
22 defence organs. And we took care of the soldiers through the moral
23 guidance department, and we managed to coordinate with the civilian
24 authorities. And they, according to their possibilities, provided the
25 families in the villages with what they could and in that way saw to it
1 that they weren't left to go hungry. So among other things, this was one
2 of the ways of communicating with the civilian authorities in the local
3 communes, and they were representatives and presidents of the local
4 commune. And within the civilian defence there was civil protection,
5 defence, and so on. So via the moral guidance department we sought to
6 help the families of the soldiers, of the combatants.
7 Q. At a given point in time, were you in a superior position to the
8 civilian authorities and their organs, whether it was organs of power and
9 authority, the civilian police force, or civilian protection? So was the
10 306th Brigade in actual fact at one point, did it take over complete power
11 and authority, and was it superior and placed above the organs of civilian
12 power and authority?
13 A. No, never, not at any time was our command superior to the
14 civilian authorities. There was no need for that because as I said, the
15 civilian authorities existed. All we did was to coordinate our work. As
16 an official in charge of moral guidance, et cetera, we would contact the
17 organs of power and authority in the local communes when a matter arose
18 that needed coordination.
19 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Jasarevic, at some point in time, did you
20 happen to notice that in the area of the Bila Valley, some foreigners from
21 African and Asian countries had begun to appear?
22 A. While the regional staff existed before the brigade was
23 established, I arrived in Mehurici one day to the regional staff there,
24 and I was told that some men had come to the school, Arabs, Africans, but
25 I didn't know what their goal and intention was. I learned at the time --
1 I don't remember the date, but when I came to Mehurici, I learned that
2 some people had indeed arrived there and they had been put up in the floor
3 above. The regional staff was down below on the ground floor, and I
4 assume that these others were on the floor up, the upper storey.
5 Q. Did you know where these people came from, where they were coming
6 from, and did you learn later on what role they appeared there in? What
7 role they played when they came? What their role was there?
8 A. As a member of the BH Army myself and as an ordinary individual, I
9 had no official information as to who these people were. The information
10 I gained was only in talking to my neighbours. And I learned in talking
11 to my neighbours that they had mostly come in from Arab countries, Iraq
12 and Jordan, and that there were some Arab humanitarians who had come in to
13 help the local population. And at the beginning, they handed out some
14 packages, parcels, I don't know. But they called themselves
15 humanitarians, Arab humanitarians. Later on, I learned that they should
16 have -- or rather, people said that they were called Mujahedin. And that
17 was the accepted term.
18 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, you're a teacher yourself. What did you know about
19 the Mujahedins until then? What did you know about them?
20 A. Well, I am a teacher, and I try to keep abreast of world events.
21 I read the papers every day. I have a religious background as well, but I
22 never actually had heard about the concept of Mujahedin up until then and
23 what it actually denoted and what they were and what it meant.
24 Q. Did anything happen at one time when these foreigners, these
25 Mujahedin, changed the place of their sojourn? And do you know where they
1 came to be located, where they set up residence?
2 A. As far as I know, they were in the school building up until the
3 arrival of the 1st Detachment, the 1st Battalion in actual fact of the
4 306th Brigade. They lived a little freer. They would imbibe alcohol.
5 They sang. And they couldn't make contact with them. So I suppose they
6 left and set up a camp in Poljanice, in the abandoned Serb houses. So
7 they left in actual fact when the 1st Battalion of the 306th Brigade moved
8 into the school building.
9 Let me also say that their activities in the beginning were
10 exclusively humanitarian, but later on, gradually, they tried to establish
11 contact with the local population. And then they went to the mosques and
12 held religious teaching there. They told the people that they should pray
13 to God differently than they had been doing up until then. The people
14 reacted to this, and there was antagonism between them and the local
16 Q. In addition to the local population at that period, and we're
17 talking about 1993, in the Bila Valley, were there people, inhabitants who
18 had come in from other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. In addition to the local population, there were a lot of people
20 coming in from other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I would like to
21 mention firstly people from the neighbouring communes, such as
22 Kotor Varos, Siprage, and so on from the northwest, and they became
23 members of the BH Army. They joined the BH Army. I apologise, in
24 Han Bila, there was a transit point because there were too many refugees.
25 Some would come to Han Bila. Others would be sent further on to Zenica,
1 but there were a lot of people from the Krajina, mostly from the Krajina.
2 And as I said, from the neighbouring Kotor Varos Municipality. When I say
3 the Krajina, I meant that the area where in fact the Serb and Montenegrin
4 aggressors had occupied, expelling the local population from their homes.
5 Q. Tell me please, Mr. Jasarevic, in addition to the 306th Brigade,
6 which is as you've said was established on the -- in the area of the Bila
7 Valley and when its headquarters and command in Rudnik, the local
8 population and the other displaced population, did they mobilise fighters
9 for other brigades of the BH Army as well?
10 A. During that period of time, in view of the enormous influx of
11 people coming in from Krajina and the neighbouring commune, other brigades
12 were established. But let me say first that of the local population, or a
13 part of the local population led to problems of organisation because they
14 didn't wish to join up with the 306th Brigade. They were people from
15 Gluha Bukovica, for example, and Zabrdje. They were members. They became
16 members of the 314th Brigade in actual fact. And apart from that, there
17 another battalion of the 306th Brigade made up of men belonging to the
18 Siprage Municipality before the war. And they formed this brigade.
19 Q. Thank you. The important thing is that you've explained to us
20 that it wasn't only the local population that joined up with the 306th
22 Now, tell me, please, Mr. Jasarevic, and you began talking about
23 the foreigners who set up a camp in Poljanice and their relationship to
24 the population. Did you happen to notice that these foreigners began to
25 change their customs? And in addition -- and conduct? And in addition to
1 the humanitarian work that they were engaged in, that they began engaging
2 in if I can put it military activities? Did you have any knowledge to
3 that effect?
4 A. After their humanitarian activities and the work they did to give
5 religious training and instruction, they began to engage in military
6 activities, too. At first, we would see them wearing their national
7 dress. But later on, they would put on military uniforms, camouflage
8 uniforms. But sometimes even over their camouflage uniforms, they would
9 wear their national costume, their national dress. But their activity
10 boiled down to the fact that in their own units they would try and recruit
11 some young people and train them militarily, to give them military
12 training. And in return, the people that underwent training with them
13 would be issued rifles. So some of these military-able young men would
14 join up with these people to be trained, to obtain rifles, and then they
15 would go back to their own original unit or would join up with some other
16 unit. So that was the kind of activity, the military activity they
17 engaged in at the beginning, to the best of my knowledge, of course.
18 Q. And to the best of your knowledge, did those foreigners ever
19 belong to the 306th Brigade? Or to the best of your knowledge, were they
20 ever resubordinated to the 306th Brigade?
21 A. According to my knowledge as an official and clerk in the
22 department, and what I was able to see on the ground, the members of the
23 El Mujahed were never in the 306th Brigade, nor where they resubordinated
24 to it, nor did they wish to be subordinated or attached to it. So they
25 were not -- the Mujahid never belonged to the 306th Brigade. Quite the
2 Since you're asking me, I can tell you that as the command at the
3 beginning, there was a certain amount of antagonism because they didn't
4 wish to cooperate with us. So in a way, we were disillusioned with them.
5 And they had all kinds of food. They had all kinds of food on the floor
6 up above us, whereas we had to make do with lentils and beans. So not
7 only were they not members of the 306th Brigade, but we were never able to
8 establish any kind of contact, nor did they help us in any way or assist
9 us in any way. And they were not members of the 306th Brigade. Certainly
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jasarevic.
12 Now, these HVO units to which the Croatian population was
13 mobilised, can you tell me where they were deployed?
14 A. At the beginning of the war, the Territorial Defence units secured
15 the lines facing the Chetnik and Serb aggressor at Mount Vlasic. There
16 were no HVO troops with us. They were probably deployed in their own
17 villages. And then afterwards, they started to set up checkpoints. They
18 were mostly along the roads. And later on, they were on important
19 elevations and features above the Bosnian villages. So that is where they
20 were. And I know that their headquarters, the brigade headquarters
21 were -- what was the brigade's name? I can't remember. But it was at
22 Guca Gora. And they were in their own villages and along the various
23 checkpoints on features above the Bosnian villages.
24 Q. The position assumed by the HVO on dominant features and elevation
25 points as you said, did it lead to certain problems? Did it create
1 problems for you as assistant commander for moral guidance, for example,
2 in explaining to the soldiers why they were entrenching and fortifying
3 themselves rather than going to defend the area facing the Serb forces,
4 for instance?
5 A. Of course, it was a very great problem, a major problem how to
6 explain to the soldiers what was going on because people who were our
7 allies until yesterday had suddenly changed face and left us and were
8 waging a military policy of their own, if I could put it that way. There
9 was an about turn. So at the beginning, they didn't prevent us from going
10 to the front line. Later on they did. They started preventing our units
11 engaged in holding the lines facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor.
12 They didn't let them pass. And we had problems with moral guidance and
13 morale generally. We received orders from the superior command to begin
14 with that we should not enter into any conflicts with the HVO, but that we
15 should also -- always try to solve our differences peacefully because we
16 had to build up a state with them and we had to free Bosnia-Herzegovina by
17 joining forces with them. That was difficult to explain to the ordinary
18 rank-and-file soldier, but we did adhere to those instructions, and we
19 didn't enter into a conflict, although they were often superior in
20 equipment and materiel.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps this is a
22 good time to adjourn.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 12.30. We're going to
24 break and reconvene at five minutes to 1.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, before the break, we were talking about some
4 problems with the HVO. Tell me now, please, whether you, too, were one of
5 the victims of excessive incidents and situations, an attack launched by
6 the HVO, in fact.
7 A. Under such conditions, I myself could not have been spared
8 humiliation. It was very bad. I'll just mention two incidents which are
9 characteristic. Sometime at the beginning of May, end of April at the
10 Okoka [phoen] junction, we were in a bus driving to Travnik, and a
11 checkpoint there, and the HVO stopped the bus quite simply, told all the
12 Muslims to get out, and we had to go on on foot. It was a terrible
13 humiliation for us, but we had no other choice.
14 The second instance of humiliation was experienced by myself and
15 my co-fighters of the 306th Brigade. I think it was in May, while we were
16 returning from a work assignment at Rudnik, towards our house, towards
17 Mehurici. Near Mehurici, some masked HVO soldiers intercepted us. They
18 told us to get out of the van. They swore at us and forced us to lie face
19 down on the ground on our stomachs, and they told us to graze, to eat
20 grass. And then they went from one soldier to the next, confiscating all
21 their valuables, or rather what they had on them, a pistol, I think one of
22 them had a rifle. And they took the trainers, sneakers off one of them.
23 I heard a shot at that point. And I felt -- thought they would kill me.
24 I would have suffered death more easily than being taken off to a camp in
25 Busovaca or anything like that. But when they searched us and took the
1 items that they wanted, they left us alone and went back to their own
2 homes. I didn't reach the command post at Rudnik. So those are those two
3 instances of humiliation, humiliating behaviour that I remember.
4 Q. This kind of conduct on the part of the HVO, their conduct to the
5 army and the command, did it lead the brigade into a situation in which,
6 or rather the command into a situation in which it was unable to rally its
7 ranks? And do you know, for example, where at the end of May and
8 beginning of June the command of the 306th Brigade was actually located?
9 Where was it?
10 A. After that unfortunate event, I and my fellow fighters weren't
11 able to go to Rudnik any more, so we reported to Mehurici which is where
12 the headquarters of the 1st Battalion was. And part of the command was in
13 Mehurici, and I'm just going to mention the names I remember. There was
14 Munir Karic, Kasim Music and myself, and some other people from logistics
15 but I can't remember them all. We stayed there and tried to establish
16 communication as far as was possible and to go about our affairs in
17 keeping with the provisions and duties imposed on us at that time.
18 The second part of the command was in Krpeljici. I'll mention the
19 names I remember. There was commander Asim Semic [phoen], the assistant
20 for moral guidance, Husic Halim, and one of the battalion commanders,
21 Fahir Camdzic was his name, and I don't remember who else was there.
22 At the HQ at Rudnik, Husic remained there. What was his first
23 name? Arif Husic, yes. And Asim Delalic. So those two men stayed there.
24 And that's how we were able to function, from these sort of provisional
25 places in Guca Gora and Rudnik and so on.
1 Q. In addition to the fact that the blockades had been set up and the
2 conduct of the HVO was what it was that the command had been dispersed,
3 can you tell us the situation that the members of the 306th Brigade found
4 themselves in and whether it was possible to communicate between and among
5 the places in the Bila Dolina where they lived, Bila Valley where they
6 lived? Did you understand the question?
7 A. Yes, I did. I was just waiting for a pause. No communication was
8 possible because at all the important points, the HVO had set up their
9 checkpoints. I'll enumerate just some of them. The Lagev [phoen]
10 checkpoint, that was the first checkpoint as you go from Mehurici. The
11 Guca Gora checkpoint towards Travnik, the Putic checkpoint. And they
12 would stop people passing by. They confiscated any items they wanted.
13 And afterwards they didn't allow anybody to pass by. The next checkpoint
14 was towards Stala Bila, and it wasn't possible to communicate with Zenica
15 either which was equidistant from Travnik. There was an HVO checkpoint at
16 Ovnak. So faced with that situation, the fighters were not able to
17 respond and report to their units' positions, but stayed in the villages
18 where they did their best to perform their military assignments as best
19 they could.
20 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, in a situation of that kind which you have just
21 described to us, and when you yourself stayed on in Mehurici due to force
22 of circumstance, did news reach Mehurici about a possible attack, about
23 possible attacks launched by the HVO? Do you know anything about that?
24 A. I can tell you what I remember of those times, and this is what
25 happened. Refugees were coming in from Vitez and the surrounding villages
1 where the HVO had already started their cleansing operations of the
2 Bosnian population in the surrounding villages, Gacice, for example,
3 Veceriska, Grbavica, and the town Vitez, the town of Vitez itself. After
4 that, refugees came in from Radojcici, Bandol and places like that. And
5 then we learned about a terrible occurrence, a terrible crime that had
6 been committed at Bukovica where members of the Croatian Defence Council
7 had surrounded the village and massacred the civilian population, that
8 they even set fire to some people in a garage and killed them. I don't
9 know how many. But this news reached the HQ that there were a lot of
10 wounded, and that a lot of people had been killed, 9 or 10 of them, in
12 Q. As you were in the command of the 1st Battalion yourself, tell me,
13 please, whether you know what happened on the 8th of June, 1993, for
15 A. After we had found out that a crime in Bukovica had been
16 committed, an attempt was made to assist members of the BH Army who were
17 in that sector. Camdzic Fahir, the commander with his unit from
18 Krpeljici -- well, they couldn't break through because of the blockade by
19 the HVO. They tried to get to Vlasic, to get to Bukovica. But this
20 wasn't possible because HVO forces were located there. I think the area
21 was called Kosoric. I don't know exactly. So it wasn't possible to
22 assist those people in Bukovica at that time.
23 Q. Do you know, although you weren't involved in military planning
24 and organisation, do you know whether parts of the 306th Brigade
25 nevertheless went to assist members of the 306th in Gornja Bukovica? And
1 do you know which route BH Army units used?
2 A. I don't have enough information about that, but as far as I can
3 remember, an attempt was made. It wasn't possible to go over Vlasic and
4 Krpeljici, but an attempt was made to go in the direction of Radonjici and
5 Maline. They tried to break through the defence lines. They tried to
6 break through the lines of the HVO in that area. That's when I heard some
7 shooting, and I don't know what happened then. I didn't have the
8 information. There were no communications, and as an official I didn't
9 have any other information about how this operation was proceeding.
10 Q. As an army member and as an official for moral guidance, on the
11 8th of June, were you faced with the fact that some people were being
12 brought to Mehurici? And on that day or on subsequent days, did you
13 receive an order of any kind from your superior?
14 A. On the 8th of June, well, it's a day I remember quite well. First
15 of all, Bosniak refugees inundated the area, and I don't know at what time
16 but civilians arrived, civilians who had been transferred from Maline to
17 Mehurici. They had been transferred by combatants of the 1st Battalion.
18 Apparently they had asked the BH Army to protect them. They did so. They
19 tried to protect those people. So some Croatian civilians, women and
20 children, arrived in Mehurici. And they were placed in the sports hall.
21 I haven't fully answered your question. I apologise.
22 There was an unusual situation. On that day, I wasn't given an
23 order from my superiors. It was only on the following day that the
24 assistant commander for morale, my superior, gave me an order. Since I
25 had already been in contact with the civilian authorities, I was ordered
1 to try to coordinate action with the civilian authorities, with the
2 civilian protection and to provide those people with assistance, to see
3 what could be done through me and through the BH Army. I was to try and
4 make sure that the conditions were acceptable for them. So I immediately
5 contacted the chief of civilian protection. He agreed to cooperate, and
6 we tried to provide them with blankets and other material, with all of the
7 blankets and other material that we had, so that the children and old
8 people could use them. We tried to provide them with the same amount of
9 food as the amount provided to other refugees. So those civilians in the
10 sports hall had just -- had the same things that others had, other
11 refugees had.
17 (Redacted) We tried to do what we thought
18 was best for them. What happened happened, and I would have done
19 everything I could have done to protect those people. I think that we
20 managed to do this to a certain extent, and I think that we saved their
21 lives, which is what was most important at that point in time.
22 Q. Thank you. From that point in time when you established contact
23 with the civilian protection and the civilian authorities, who ensured
24 that those people had everything they needed in terms of food and other
25 necessary items that they required, given the conditions they were living
1 in and given the circumstances?
2 A. The civilian protection took care of this, and I as a member of
3 the BH Army, who happened to be there and I had certain experience. I
4 tried to help them, to coordinate action, so the civilian protection in
5 the Mehurici local commune helped them the most. And the policemen from
6 the Ministry of the Interior provided security for them. So there were
7 quite secure. Their lives were not under threat. And they had food.
8 Perhaps not enough, but enough to survive. That was the case for the
9 other refugees of Bosniak nationality. So the civilian protection took
10 care of them.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, just a minute. Could the
12 Registrar prepare an order to redact from page 71, line 5 a name that
13 appears there.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I just
15 wanted to draw your attention to that fact.
16 Mr. President, perhaps lines 3 to 8 should be redacted since these
17 lines might reveal the identity of the person concerned, and that person
18 had been granted full protective measures when testifying.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, prepare an order
20 to redact what appears in the transcript from line 3 to line 8. I'd also
21 like to point out that in response to a question put by you, he mentioned
22 the name of a person from the civilian protection with whom he had
23 contact. I heard him refer to this person in his own language, but the
24 name does not appear in the English transcript.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Sir, would you please repeat the name of the person with whom you
2 had contact in the Mehurici civilian protection.
3 A. The person whom I contacted in Mehurici civilian protection is
4 called Selava Kasim. Selava Kasim. He was an inhabitant of Mehurici, and
5 he still lives there now.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Jasarevic, could you tell me whether you at any
7 time tried to establish contact with the Red Cross or did you try to do
8 this immediately so they could visit these civilians? And as far as you
9 know, did such a visit ever take place?
10 A. Yes. My superior and I were obliged to inform the international
11 organisations as soon as possible, and above all the Red Cross, so that
12 they could come and see what sort of conditions the people were living in
13 and so that they could register the people and participate in providing
14 them with assistance. I think in eight or ten days' time we managed to
15 organise this. International Red Cross people came to Mehurici. They
16 visited the people, the civilians, the women and children in the sports
17 hall. They registered these people. And while I was there, they had no
18 objections to raise about their accommodation. They just observed the
19 situation, made a record of what they had seen, and I think that to a
20 certain extent, they were satisfied with the way in which these people had
21 been treated, as far as I know. So in about ten days' time, they came and
22 registered them. This was a task that we carried out as a matter of
24 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, from your body for moral guidance and together with
25 you and the civilian protection, were there any other individuals who
1 assisted the civilian authorities when carrying out their tasks and in
2 order to enable them to carry out their tasks as best as possible?
3 A. Yes. There was also a representative from the moral sector whose
4 name was Music, Kasim. Since I see there are errors when names are
5 mentioned, I'll repeat this name, Music Kasim. In my absence, he did the
6 same sort of duties I did. His role was identical to the one I had.
7 Q. Thank you. Mr. Jasarevic, did you stay on in Mehurici until these
8 civilians left the sports hall, or were you given a different task in the
10 A. When civilians left, I wasn't there because my commander assigned
11 me a different task. Music Kasim, my colleague, was present when they
12 left, but I wasn't. I was involved in another task. The command had
13 ordered me to go to the forward command post called Parica Greda which is
14 on Vlasic facing the Serbian and Montenegrin lines. During that period,
15 that two-month period, I was present up there, up until the second half of
16 August I would say, and my tasks were quite different at the time. They
17 had nothing to do with what I have already mentioned. And as far as the
18 events in that region down there are concerned, I knew nothing because my
19 duties were quite different, so I couldn't say anything about that period
20 since I was absent for two months.
21 Q. After you returned from the combat positions after two months,
22 tell me, what sort of duties did you then perform?
23 A. When I had carried out my task up there, I received another order
24 appointing me as chief of the social service in the 306th Brigade.
25 Naturally, all this was within the sector for moral guidance. My superior
1 was still Mr. Husic.
2 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, did you then come across any problems concerning
3 accommodation for troops, and were there any other problems concerning
4 social assistance for their families and refugees in that area?
5 A. Well, we weren't responsible for the refugees, apart from members
6 for -- of the BH Army. That was our only responsibility. Naturally, we
7 had lots of problems. There was a total blockade. Everyone in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina will remember 1993 as a year in which everyone's
9 fighting for survival. There was no food. There was nothing. And the
10 combatants had to go to the lines. They had to leave their families
11 behind. They were hungry. So again, we tried to coordinate action with
12 the civilian authorities and the municipality and with the local civilian
13 authorities, so we could enable these people to live a normal life to a
14 certain extent. There was a period when it was necessary to have at least
15 a little flour, and then the people would be happy. That meant they would
17 As far as accommodation is concerned, there were a lot of
18 problems. As I said, the soldiers didn't have their own premises where
19 units could -- to which units could return after a combat operation.
20 Instead, the troops had to return to their homes, to their villages, and
21 that is where they spent their free time doing agricultural work,
22 et cetera.
23 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, since your brigade troops were recruited from the
24 Bila region, and you said there was combat action in Bandol, Velika
25 Bukovica and in other areas, could you tell me, after these combat
1 operations, who remained or what remained in those villages? Bandol and
2 Velika Bukovica, what sort of a state did they remain in? What happened
3 to the troops from those places?
4 A. Bandol and Velika Bukovica were burned down to the ground. That's
5 what I was told by the soldiers who went there and then returned. That's
6 what they said. I didn't go there myself. But that's -- they did burn it
7 to the ground. The mosque in Bandol was also destroyed. All the houses
8 in Bukovica were also torched when the HVO launched its attack.
9 That's what happened.
10 Q. At that time, when you were involved in this social work, did you
11 notice a Croatian village that had been totally destroyed and torched in
12 the way that Bandol and Velika Bukovica had been destroyed and torched?
13 A. At the beginning when I was down there for that two-month period,
14 up until November, I couldn't notice anything like that. All the houses
15 were intact at the beginning. Perhaps stables had burned down in
16 Radonjici or Guca Gora. I did notice such things. But the houses in the
17 Croatian villages were intact, at least during the period that I'm
18 referring to.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jasarevic.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the other
23 Defence team.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. At
25 the moment, we have no questions for this witness.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Prosecution.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. My name is Daryl Mundis, and along with my colleagues here in the
7 courtroom, we represent the Prosecution in this case. I have just a few
8 questions for you, sir.
9 Let me ask you about a couple of things you've testified about
10 this morning. You mentioned the events in Bandol and Velika Bukovica and
11 the humiliations that you and other soldiers in the 306th Brigade suffered
12 at HVO checkpoints. These events, were they well known throughout the
13 306th Mountain Brigade? Did the soldiers in your brigade know about these
14 events that you've told us about?
15 A. The soldiers in the 306th Brigade knew about these events that I
16 have testified about today. Most of the soldiers knew about these events.
17 Q. And as someone, sir, who was dealing with, among other things,
18 morale of the soldiers within the 306th Mountain Brigade, can you tell us
19 what effect these events had upon morale in the 306th Mountain Brigade?
20 A. Well, the sector for moral guidance in the 306th Brigade worked a
21 lot with soldiers from the 306th Brigade in order to raise the level of
22 morale and to ensure they respected the level of conduct for BH Army
23 soldiers. At meetings, we often told these soldiers how they should
24 behave. We instructed them about the laws of war, and we told them about
25 the conventions that had to be respected. So I think they were aware of
1 these facts, and I believe that they didn't have revenge in their mind
2 because of what had happened in Velika Bukovica, and this is confirmed by
3 what I've already said, by the fact that when I was still an army member,
4 no houses were destroyed or torched, et cetera.
5 Q. Sir, you told us just now as well as earlier this morning that you
6 instructed them, or you said, "We instructed them about the laws of war
7 and we told them about the conventions that had to be respected." When
8 you say "we," "we told them about the laws of war," who do you mean?
9 A. I said quite specifically "we," the members of the sector for
10 moral guidance. Husic Halim was my superior, there was myself, Jasarevic
11 Ferid, and there was another person, Music Kasim, and Salim Tarakdzija.
12 That was the team in the sector for moral guidance. So when I say "we,"
13 I'm referring to these members of the sector for moral guidance in the
14 306th Brigade.
15 Q. Sir, can you tell the Trial Chamber what specialised training you
16 had in the laws of war or the conventions governing respect during war or
17 armed conflict?
18 A. I personally didn't have any training, but I had sufficient
19 information and I was sufficiently educated. What we knew at that time is
20 what we would explain to those people. I did this along with my superior
21 who was better educated than I was. This was done on the basis of my
22 general knowledge and the knowledge I had obtained in the former JNA. And
23 after the completion of one's military training, all able-bodied men had
24 to join the reserve forces. We would be involved in such tasks for a few
25 days. And when I was involved in training for the reserved forces, I also
1 obtained such knowledge.
2 Q. That actually brings me to the next subject I wanted to ask you a
3 couple of questions about. You told us earlier today - page 58, line 4 -
4 that many of the soldiers in your brigade were not properly trained. Do
5 you remember saying that, sir?
6 A. Yes, that's what I said.
7 Q. Can you give the Trial Chamber a rough approximation, if you know,
8 the approximate percentage of men who had at some point been in the JNA
9 when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia still existed?
10 A. Well, I would say that there were between 60 and 70 per cent of
11 men who had served in the former JNA that had certain military knowledge.
12 This is a rough estimate. I assume that that would be a correct estimate,
13 since I was a member of that brigade.
14 Q. Let me ask you now about some of the work that you did during the
15 period when you were involved in social services. You told us that among
16 your duties was to provide food to families of soldiers. Is that correct?
17 A. No, that's not correct. We tried to make it possible through the
18 civilian protection for the families of those soldiers to receive the
19 necessary food while their sons were on the lines. But it's the logistics
20 service that took care of the soldiers. So you have soldiers in units who
21 go to positions, and then they receive food there. And on the other hand,
22 you have the soldiers' families. We took care of the families of those
23 soldiers, and we cooperated with the civilian authorities to take care of
24 them. So these are two separate issues. This distinction has to be made.
25 Q. Okay. Let me try to understand what you're saying. You just told
1 us "we tried to make it possible through the civilian protection for the
2 families of those soldiers to receive the necessary food while their sons
3 were on the lines." And my question, sir, is who provided the food? The
4 army or the civilian protection? Or did the army give civilian protection
5 foodstuffs for these civilian family members? How did this work?
6 A. According to what I know, it functioned in the following manner:
7 The army didn't provide the civilian protection with anything. There were
8 humanitarian organisations that existed in Zenica, in Travnik. It was
9 through these organisations that the civilian protection was furnished
10 with certain supplies or certain food. And this was then given or
11 distributed to civilians in a given area. And these civilians were
12 naturally the families of soldiers who were at the lines. So the army
13 didn't give anything to the civilian protection. The civilian protection
14 would receive aid from humanitarian organisations present in the areas of
15 Zenica and Travnik.
16 Q. Sir, you also told us earlier today that many of the Arabs in
17 Mehurici originally were humanitarian workers. And later, some of them
18 became, in effect, combatants. At the time period you were involved in
19 social services, how many, if any, of the Arabs or Mujahedin in Mehurici
20 were still involved in humanitarian work?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I would like to
23 object to this question because the witness has quite clearly stated that
24 in August 1993 he became involved in social affairs, and he spoke about
25 the Arabs in 1992 and about their humanitarian work during that period of
1 time and at another period of time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I'll rephrase the question, Mr. President.
4 Q. Witness, you told us that in 1992, the Arabs were involved in
5 humanitarian work. How long did that continue for? If you know.
6 A. Unless I'm mistaken, I said that they represented themselves,
7 introduced themselves as being humanitarians and Arabs. And they really
8 did from some stocks they had, I don't know where they got them from, they
9 did give out quite a lot of assistance. There were a lot of poor
10 inhabitants. How long that went on for, I really don't know. I can't
12 Q. Sir, from any time in the period when these Arabs arrived in the
13 Mehurici area in late 1992 through mid-November 1993 when you returned to
14 being a teacher, did you personally have any contact with any of these
16 A. I did have personal contact with one Arab, and this is what it was
17 about. In principle, we didn't contact with them or very rarely. But I
18 personally was slightly afraid of those people. I didn't know them well
19 enough. It was just the initial stages. I didn't know how to come into
20 contact with them. But anyway, I met an Arab whose name was Ramadan, and
21 this was in 1992. I can't remember the exact date or month. But there
22 was an incident that happened, and it was this: While I was down there in
23 the meeting room of our school building, we were doing some work there,
24 and I heard that something was falling from the floor above, from the
25 first floor, something fell down into the ground floor hallway. I got up
1 to have a look, and they were books from my school, the school I work in
2 now. They were regular reading books, compulsory reading books, and they
3 were going to throw these books out and throw them into the river. I lost
4 control. I am a man who has associated with books all my life, and I
5 believe books to be the most important thing in life. I jumped up to
6 protect the books belonging to my school. I went up to Ramadan and said,
7 "Aren't you ashamed of what you are doing? Do you know? Do you realise?
8 How would you feel if I went to your country and threw your books out?
9 Threw your valuable books out, books that were a hundred years old?" And
10 he said, "Well, these are communist books, they're not worth a penny."
11 And I said, "That's not your affair. We're the ones who are going to
12 determine which books are worth something and worth reading, which aren't.
13 We'll do that after the war." And I told him not to do that any more.
14 And he listened to me. He no longer threw them out. We took all the
15 books up into the attic and stored them there, and once the war was over,
16 we returned the books to their proper place, and many of them are on the
17 compulsory reading list for students, for pupils.
18 So that was the only contact I had with an Arab. Otherwise, I
19 didn't have any direct contacts. I avoided them because in a way I
20 suppose I was a bit afraid of them.
21 Q. Sir, let me ask you a couple of questions about this incident with
22 this person Ramadan. First of all, how did you know his name?
23 A. Well, I knew his name. He would move about in the building every
24 day. He would go upstairs, and people would say, "That's Ramadan." And
25 he was perhaps the person who moved around most. And people said his name
1 was Ramadan. So when I saw him, I knew his name, called him out by name
2 and told him what I told him. So I learned his name from others. He was
3 the one that sort of moved around most and was most prominent perhaps.
4 Q. Do you know, other than this name Ramadan, do you know the full
5 name of this individual? His family name?
6 A. No, no. I knew nothing about the man. I think he came from Syria
7 somewhere. That's all I know.
8 Q. Did this person, Ramadan, speak or understand the Bosnian
10 A. During this encounter with the book incident, he spoke, but spoke
11 badly. He got his tenses wrong and his cases wrong, but you could sort of
12 follow what he was saying. So he did speak, but he spoke badly, with a
13 lot of mistakes.
14 Q. Now, sir, as a career educator in the Mehurici area, can you tell
15 us approximately how many local Bosniaks in that area speak Arabic.
16 A. I can't say exactly. All I can say is that they spoke Arabic,
17 people who had gone to university or studied in Arab countries or at the
18 university in Sarajevo. I know Husic Halim, for example, he could speak
19 Arabic. As to the others, I don't know.
20 Q. Was the Arabic language taught in the primary school in Mehurici
21 at any point in time during the 30-plus years you have been associated
22 with that school?
23 A. No, never. Arabic was never taught in our state schools. Arabic
24 was never taught at school. What was taught during the socialist times
25 was Russian. After that we moved to English. And in my school to this
1 day, English is the language, the foreign language that is taught. We
2 have very good teachers, highly qualified English teachers teaching our
3 young people. So let me repeat: Arabic was never taught in our school,
4 either during the war or before the war or indeed after the war.
5 Q. Sir, you have worked for a large number of years in the school in
6 Mehurici. And I'm wondering if perhaps you know or can enlighten us as to
7 how it came about that the school came to be used by the Arabs and then
8 units of the Territorial Defence and later the 306th Brigade?
9 A. I said at the beginning of my testimony that a part of the school
10 building was used by the regional staff of Territorial Defence of
11 Mehurici. And that was the command post for all our village units. So
12 the regional staff of the Territorial Defence, later on, to grow into the
13 306th Brigade pursuant to some orders. Now, how the Arabs came to the
14 school, I don't know. When I arrived one day, when I went home, they said
15 that there were some people there up on the floor above, and that they
16 were of Arab origin from Iraq and Iran. That's all I know. And later on
17 I would see them. They would wear their national dress, their traditional
18 costumes. So that's how it was. I don't know how they came to be there,
19 who brought them there or anything else. But they were just there. They
20 turned up there one day, but I don't know how.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I believe I've got just a few more
22 questions. I don't know if you want me to continue, or if you would
23 prefer that we adjourn for the day.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you just have a few questions
25 that take up a few minutes, and if the Defence have no further questions
1 and if the Judges have no questions, perhaps we can make an effort and go
2 on for a few more minutes to avoid having the witness-- but I see that you
3 need more time. Right, Defence?
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, not much time, but I would
5 need between five and ten minutes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In that case, it
7 would be more advisable to continue tomorrow. So we'll end there for the
8 day. Sir, although we need 15 or 20 minutes, we will have to adjourn. We
9 have to make a technical break for the day. And we reconvene tomorrow
10 morning at 9.00.
11 Having said that, I hope that you won't be kept for too long
12 tomorrow. And after this witness, we can get on with the next witness.
13 So we reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00.
14 The meeting is adjourned.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 11th day of
18 November, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.