1 Tuesday, 16 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case Number IT-01-47-T, The
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we have the
10 appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
12 Your Honours, counsel, and to everyone in and around the courtroom. For
13 the Prosecution, Matthias Neuner, Daryl Mundis, and the case manager,
14 Andres Vatter.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 And could we have the appearances for Defence counsel.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, good
18 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
19 Residovic, counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Muriel Cauvin, our
20 legal assistant. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And could we have
22 the appearances for the other Defence team.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
24 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
25 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
2 would like to greet everyone present in the courtroom, the Prosecution,
3 Defence counsel, the accused, and the Registrar who is back with us after
4 having been absent for a few days. I would also like to greet the
5 interpreters, the security officers, and everyone else.
6 We'll be hearing a witness today, but before we do so there are
7 two issues we have to deal with. Firstly, on the 11th of November,
8 Defence counsel filed a motion for an extension of the time for providing
9 their witness list and exhibit list. Defence counsel would like the
10 deadline to be the 3rd of December 2004. The Defence counsel in their
11 submissions explained to us the problems that they were encountering. The
12 Trial Chamber will deliberate on the matter in a short while, but does the
13 Prosecution have anything to say with regard to the extension of the time
14 limit to the 3rd of December 2004? We should point out that initially,
15 the deadline was the 12th of November.
16 Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I have checked with our case manager,
18 and we do not seem to have received that filing. We will endeavour to
19 ensure that we locate that as quickly as possible, unless it may have been
20 filed ex parte. I'm not aware of having even received that filing. So
21 perhaps we can during the next break check with the -- internally within
22 the Office of the Prosecutor to see if perhaps the filing was misaddressed
23 internally and perhaps we can make a comment on that later today. But as
24 of this point in time, not having seen the filing, I'm not in a position
25 to respond to it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But perhaps Defence
2 counsel has a copy.
3 Mr. Bourgon.
4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good day,
5 Your Honours. Good day, Mr. President. I'd just like to add something:
6 We will make a copy immediately to provide the Prosecution with one. The
7 submission was filed interparty, so not ex parte, but I will provide a
8 copy to my colleague during the first break. I'd also like to point
9 out -- I'd like to draw your attention to the last part of the motion
10 which provides the Trial Chamber with some information with regard to
11 translations. I would just like to point out that we are still discussing
12 the matter with the Registry. We'll have a meeting in order to provide
13 more information with regard to the translation situation. Thank you, Mr.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
16 The second issue concerned the documents that were shown to the
17 witness, Mustafa Hockic, the documents we have in this binder. We haven't
18 rendered any decision, so I'm turning to the Defence now.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, having heard this
20 witness -- after we heard this witness, we didn't have time to suggest
21 that the Trial Chamber render a decision about admitting into evidence all
22 the documents that we had shown the witness. So we now suggest that the
23 Trial Chamber admit into evidence all the documents from 1 to 47 which are
24 listed on the document list. These are documents that we showed the
25 witness. The main reasons for admitting them are that this witness
1 identified each of the documents as documents from the civilian protection
2 or as orders forwarded to the civilian protection staff, or as documents
3 that he received from commissions in the field or he recognised them as
4 his own personal documents, documents he had drafted. We therefore
5 believe that all the conditions have been met to admit these documents
6 into evidence.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Mr. Mundis, what is your position with regard to the 47 documents
9 referred to?
10 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, as my colleague, Ms. Henry-Benjamin
11 last week indicated, the Prosecution with respect to some of those
12 documents does not believe that they are relevant to the charges as listed
13 in the indictment in the current proceedings. At this point, I would be
14 unable to identify precisely which of those 47 documents we would object
15 to on relevance grounds. But our position is that among those 47
16 documents, there are certainly some documents which are not relevant in
17 the Prosecution's submission.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll put this
19 question on hold, and we would be -- we would appreciate it if you could
20 inform us in advance of the documents you will be objecting to, and we
21 will then deliberate on the matter at a subsequent date.
22 If there are no other issues to be raised, we will call the
23 witness into the courtroom. Could the usher please call the witness into
24 the courtroom.
25 Mr. Mundis.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Perhaps while the witness
2 is being called into the courtroom, for the record, in light of the fact
3 that one of the Judges was absent last week, the Prosecution believes that
4 the record should reflect that all three Judges are currently present.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. All three Judges are
7 present. We take note of the fact. We acknowledge that.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I'd first like
10 to make sure that you are receiving the interpretation of what I'm saying.
11 If so, please say yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can understand you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
14 witness for the Defence. Before you take the solemn declaration, could
15 you give me your first and last names, your date of birth, and place of
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Fahir Camdzic. I was
18 born on the 10th of June 1965 in the village of Obrenovci in the Zenica
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Are you currently
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an officer in the federation
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What rank do you hold and what
25 is your pursuant position?
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a major. I am the commander of
2 the educational centre in Bugojno.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. In 1992 and 1993,
4 did you hold a military or civilian position? If you held a military
5 position, where were you assigned and what rank did you have?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, I didn't have a rank, but I
7 performed the duties of the commander of the sector staff in Mehurici in
8 Travnik Municipality.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And were you assigned to a
10 brigade or to a unit?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at the time, there were no
12 brigades. I was a member of the Territorial Defence sector staff which
13 was under the command of the Territorial Defence municipal staff in
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in 1993?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, the 306th Mountain Brigade
17 was formed, and I performed the duties of the commander of the 2nd
18 Battalion in the 306th Mountain Brigade.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already
20 testified before an international or national court about the events that
21 took place in 1992 and 1993 in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Or is this the
22 first time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have never testified before. This
24 is the first time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please
1 read out the solemn declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
5 Before Defence commences its examination, I'd like to provide you
6 with some information about the procedures that will be followed here.
7 The hearing should be concluded at 1.45, and I hope that you will be free
8 at the beginning of the afternoon. You will first have to answer
9 questions put to you by Defence counsel for the accused. They are sitting
10 to your left. After that stage, members of the Prosecution who are to
11 your right will conduct their cross-examination. Three Judges before you
12 may also ask you questions. As a rule, we prefer to wait for the parties
13 to conclude with their questions before we put questions to you. Try to
14 provide simple answers for the questions. If you don't understand a
15 question, ask the person putting it to you to rephrase it. Sometimes the
16 questions can be very complicated, which means you should take time to
17 answer them.
18 We have no written documents concerning your testimony, so what
19 you say is very important. I would also like to inform you of the
20 following: You have taken a solemn declaration, which means that you
21 should not give false testimony. False testimony is an offence which is
22 punishable, and a prison sentence of up to seven years could be given for
23 false testimony. And secondly, when a witness answers a question, if the
24 witness believes that the information he provides might be incriminating,
25 in such a case, the witness may refuse to answer the question. But the
1 Trial Chamber in such a case can oblige the witness to answer the
2 question. However, the witness is granted a form of immunity in such
3 cases. This allows a witness to feel quite free to testify. If you
4 encounter any difficulties in the course of this hearing, do inform us of
5 the fact and we will try to resolve them. This is how we will be
6 proceeding today, and I know that Defence counsel has some additional
7 information to provide you with.
8 Defence counsel, you may proceed.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 WITNESS: FAHIR CAMDZIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Camdzic. As the
14 Presiding Judge has just said, I would like to ask you, Mr. Camdzic, to
15 make a brief pause after I put my question to you. This will enable the
16 interpreters to translate the question. I will also make a brief pause
17 after your answer so we have time for your answers to be interpreted.
18 This is very important because the Chamber and all my colleagues in the
19 courtroom must be able to follow what is being said. Have you under me,
20 Mr. Candzic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You said that you were an officer in the BH Federation Army.
23 Could you tell us about your educational background, Mr. Camdzic.
24 A. I completed primary and secondary school in Zenica Municipality.
25 I then went to the military academy in Belgrade, and I graduated from the
1 military academy in Belgrade.
2 Q. After you had graduated from the military academy, could you tell
3 us, Mr. Camdzic, where you were assigned?
4 A. Well, after I had graduated, I was first assigned to the island of
5 Vis in Croatia, and then I was -- I performed duties in Sibenik. And
6 finally, my final post in the JNA was in Titov Drvar in Bosnia and
8 Q. Did you have a rank in the JNA? If so, which rank did you have
9 and what were the last duties that you performed in the JNA?
10 A. The last duties that I performed in the JNA were the duties of a
11 commander of an infantry company. And at the time, I had the rank of
13 Q. Mr. Camdzic, did you at any time leave the JNA? And if so, could
14 you tell me when and why?
15 A. I left the JNA on the 1st of April 1992. The reason for doing so
16 was that this army was no longer the army I had been educated for. This
17 army had become the army of one of the peoples in Bosnia.
18 Q. When you left the JNA at the beginning of April, where did you go?
19 A. When I left the JNA, I went to my place of birth, to Zenica.
20 Q. Mr. Camdzic, at that time or at any subsequent time, did you join
21 any defence forces? And if so, which defence forces did you join and
23 A. Since I arrived in my place of birth, I reported to the regional
24 Territorial Defence staff in Zenica and placed myself at their disposal.
25 Q. How long did you stay in Zenica? And did you leave the Zenica
1 area? And if so, when?
2 A. I stayed for a month or month and a half in Zenica. And then by
3 order from the commander of the regional Territorial Defence staff in
4 Zenica, I was assigned a task in the municipal Territorial Defence staff
5 in Travnik, or rather in the Mehurici Territorial Defence sector staff.
6 Q. Which duties were you given in the Territorial Defence sector
7 staff in Mehurici?
8 A. Well, when I arrived in the municipal staff of the Territorial
9 Defence in Travnik, I was assigned the duties of the commander of the
10 Mehurici Territorial Defence sector staff.
11 Q. Mr. Camdzic, were you -- had you ever been in Mehurici before that
12 date, or rather in the Bila Valley?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Where was the commander -- the command of your sector staff
16 A. The command of the Territorial Defence sector staff in Mehurici
17 was located in the Mehurici primary school.
18 Q. Who provided the premises for the command of the sector staff?
19 A. Well, when I arrived in Mehurici, the premises for the sector
20 staff command in Mehurici were provided by the War Presidency of the local
21 commune in Mehurici.
22 Q. Did the sector staff command use the entire school building? And
23 if not, who else used that building?
24 A. Well, the sector staff command in Mehurici didn't use the entire
25 primary school building in Mehurici. On the whole, we used the offices on
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 the ground floor of the school, whereas other parts of the building were
2 still used by the school, by the director, et cetera.
3 Q. As commander of the sector staff, were you able to use the
4 remaining parts of the school?
5 A. Well, as far as the other parts of the school are concerned, no,
6 we couldn't use them and it wasn't necessary for us to make use of the
7 other parts of the school. A small number of people were located there,
8 and the premises we had were quite sufficient.
9 Q. Mr. Camdzic, could you now tell me which places were part of the
10 sector staff? Or rather, which villages in the Bila Valley were covered
11 by the Mehurici sector staff, if you can remember?
12 A. Well, I'll try and list all the villages covered by the sector
13 staff. There were the villages of Jezerci, Fazlici, Zagradje, Gornja and
14 Donja Orahovo, Bukovica, Velika Bukovica, Visnjevo, Dub, Suhi Do,
15 Poljanice, and Mehurici.
16 Q. You said that the sector staff command was located in the primary
17 school. Could you tell us where the combatants who were members of the
18 sector staff were accommodated?
19 A. Well, all the combatants who weren't at the positions facing the
20 Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor stayed in their homes. We didn't have
21 any barracks. We didn't have any facilities in which we could accommodate
22 the entire unit. Once they had finished their shift, they would return to
23 their homes.
24 Q. Mr. Camdzic, could you tell us how you mobilised the population
25 into the sector staff, or rather into the companies that were part of the
1 sector staff?
2 A. Well, initially, men who had joined the companies were mobilised
3 from villages. The secretariat mobilised them. The secretariat for
4 national defence in Travnik Municipality. I was just provided with these
5 combatants who had been called up by the secretariat for national defence
6 in Travnik.
7 Q. As far as you know, Mr. Camdzic, did Croats in your area also
8 receive these call-up papers and did they join the Territorial Defence?
9 A. Well, I can't say for sure, but as far as I know, they, too, were
10 called up. However, they never responded to the call-up. They never
11 joined the Territorial Defence units that were under my command.
12 Q. Do you know whether they organised themselves in a military
13 manner? And if so, do you know which units they joined?
14 A. Well, they formed their own units. While I was up there, there
15 were HOS units and HVO units.
16 Q. You were an officer in the JNA when you assumed the duties you
17 have mentioned. Could you tell us what sort of equipment your units had.
18 I'm referring primarily to weapons and uniforms.
19 A. Well, the JNA had been fully equipped, but when I assumed my new
20 duties, these units had no weapons and hardly any uniforms. And most of
21 the weapons were hunting rifles that the inhabitants had at the time, and
22 they had licenses for these weapons. But there were very few weapons.
23 Q. As commander of the sector staff, you were probably aware of how
24 the other Territorial Defence units in the area of your municipality were
25 armed. Were they in a better situation than the situation that your
1 combatants were in?
2 A. Well, the Territorial Defence as a whole in the Travnik
3 Municipality, as far as I know, was not in a better situation when
4 compared to the unit that I was in.
5 Q. We have heard evidence about the fact that before the war, the
6 Territorial Defence had weapons of its own. Could you tell us whether you
7 know what happened to the Territorial Defence weapons and why these
8 weapons weren't handed over to you?
9 A. Well, the JNA, in addition to regular units, paid a lot of
10 attention to Territorial Defence units. That's how it was formed. That's
11 how the JNA was formed. So in the area of Travnik, there were weapons
12 that belonged to the Territorial Defence. And at some point in time, JNA
13 units assumed control over these weapons. These weapons were located in
14 the barracks in Slimena -- were located in the Slimena barracks that used
15 to belong to the JNA. Pressure was exerted so that these weapons could be
16 taken, and the JNA officers who were there didn't want to hand over these
17 weapons. So the warehouse, or rather warehouses in which these weapons
18 were located were blown up. They blew these warehouses up. They
19 destroyed them.
20 Q. A little while ago you've told us that the Croatian population in
21 that area organised themselves into the HOS and the HVO. Compare those to
22 your units and tell us what weapons and equipment the HOS and the HVO had
23 at their disposal.
24 A. When you compare them to us, they were much better equipped and
25 much better armed. We envied them because all of them had modern weapons.
1 I'm now referring to rifles, automatic rifles, machine-guns and so on and
2 so forth. They were much better armed than we were.
3 Q. While the sector staff in Mehurici was functioning, did you take
4 place in combat, and where was that?
5 A. While I worked in the sector staff in Mehurici, I spent most of my
6 time on the line facing the Chetniks. This line was active all the time.
7 There were daily combat operations there. We were mostly engaged in
8 defence because we were under constant Chetnik attacks. So I spent most
9 of the time on the Vlasic plateau, on the line facing the Chetniks there.
10 Q. While you were the commander of the sector staff and subsequently,
11 did the Territorial Defence take the overall command in the territory of
12 local communes that fell under your sector?
13 A. Not only in my sector, but in the whole territory of the
14 municipality of Travnik. The Territorial Defence never took control or
15 power in those areas. We did what we were told to do by the War
16 Presidency in Travnik Municipality, and the War Presidency was in control
17 and had power.
18 Q. Mr. Camdzic, in the summer of 1992, were there any changes within
19 the Territorial Defence? And did the units become larger and bigger?
20 A. In mid-1992 in the month of July, the sector staffs in the
21 municipality were transformed. This was done pursuant to the order of the
22 commander. Sector staff stopped being active, and they were transformed
23 into detachments in the whole of the area of Travnik Municipality.
24 Q. How many detachments were established in the Bila Valley? Did you
25 keep any of the positions in any of the Territorial Defence detachments?
1 A. In the Bila Valley, four detachments were established. I remained
2 in the position of the commander of the Mehurici detachment, detachments
3 which were established. From Mehurici, there were two of them. One of
4 them was Luta Greda, and another one was Mehurici, and there was another
5 detachment called Hum and another one called Bila.
6 Q. Where was the command of that detachment?
7 A. The command of my detachment remained in the school in Mehurici.
8 Q. And what about the accommodation of members of your detachment?
9 Were there any changes with regard to the previous situation?
10 A. There were no changes. Everything remained the same. The only
11 thing that changed was the name. It was no longer the sector staff. It
12 was now the Mehurici detachment.
13 Q. Mr. Camdzic, I would like to move on to some other topics. In
14 your capacity as the commander of the sector staff or the commander of the
15 detachment, did you notice some foreigners appearing in Travnik
16 Municipality in the area covered by your detachment?
17 A. Yes. I noticed some foreigners. I don't know where from and how.
18 As I've already told you, I spent most of my time on the Vlasic plateau,
19 on the line there. So when I went back, I did notice some foreigners, and
20 the period in question was maybe the end of summer or the beginning of
21 autumn. And this is where I saw for the first time that some foreigners
22 had arrived in the area of Mehurici.
23 Q. Did you ever learn, did you find out where these foreigners were
24 accommodated? First, let me ask you who these foreigners were and what
25 countries they had arrived from. Were you aware of that?
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. No, I didn't know where they had come from. But judging by the
2 way they looked and judging by the way they were dressed, I could conclude
3 that they were foreigners from Arabic countries. I don't know exactly
4 where they came from.
5 Q. I'm now going to ask you to respond to my previous question, and
6 the question was whether you know where they were accommodated.
7 A. When they arrived in Mehurici, they were accommodated in the same
8 school in Mehurici where my command post was.
9 Q. Were they accommodated on the ground floor, in the offices on the
10 ground floor where your detachment was as well?
11 A. No. They were given the second and the third floor of the
12 elementary school. So they didn't share any of the offices that we had.
13 Q. You have told us that you noticed those foreigners once you
14 returned from your longer stay on the line. Did you react to the fact
15 that all of a sudden there were some foreigners in the school where your
16 command was?
17 A. Of course I reacted immediately. Since my command post was there,
18 I said that we did not feel safe with those foreigners so close to us. I
19 informed my immediate superior commander about the situation, and I asked
20 him what to do.
21 Q. Who was your immediate superior at the time?
22 A. At that time, my immediate superior commander was the commander of
23 the municipal staff of the Territorial Defence of Travnik, Mr. Haso Ribo.
24 Q. In light of the fact that you've already told us that you were not
25 in charge of allocating space, as the commander of the sector staff, did
1 you approach some civilian bodies in Mehurici or elsewhere with regard to
2 this problem?
3 A. At that time, I did try to talk to the president of the War
4 Presidency of Mehurici. I wanted to see why these people were billeted
5 there. He was the representative of the civilian power which was in full
6 control, and it seems that he had ordered the principal of the school to
7 give these people accommodation. I tried to talk to this man in order to
8 find a solution. It was not in my best interests to have these people so
9 close to me. However, I didn't manage to persuade the president of the
10 War Presidency to move those people from the school.
11 Q. How did these foreigners introduce themselves to you? Did they
12 tell you what their reason for being there was? Did anybody from the
13 civilian bodies of power tell you what was their relationship with the
14 civilian population?
15 A. In my conversation with the president of the War Presidency, he
16 told me that those people were representatives of humanitarian
17 organisations, that we needed them there because they would help us with
18 our problem of food and so on and so forth. So they were supposed to help
19 the civilian population. They were supposed to provide them with food
20 items and so on and so forth.
21 Q. How did people in your vicinity call these foreigners?
22 A. They started by calling them Arabs, just like I did. That's how
23 we recognised them, as Arabs.
24 Q. Mr. Camdzic, at any point in time, did the customary name used by
25 the population change?
1 A. Yes. Sometime later, these Arabs and foreigners started being
2 called the mujahedin.
3 Q. You were the commander of the Mehurici detachment. And just for
4 the record, this was in autumn 1992. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Since people called them Arabs and since you learned from the
7 civilian bodies that they were humanitarian workers, were you aware of the
8 fact that in autumn 1992, they indeed played a humanitarian role, that
9 they provided people with packages, with food, and everyone else that
10 would fall within the scope of humanitarian activities?
11 A. At the beginning, they really did that. They collected and
12 distributed various packages containing all sorts of things, mainly food
14 Q. Did they give anything to your sector staff, i.e., to the
15 Territorial Defence? Did they provide any logistical support to you?
16 A. No, no. They never provided me with any logistical support. They
17 even avoided any contact with me. I don't know why. They probably didn't
18 trust me or something like that.
19 Q. You said that at one point in time, they were given the name
20 mujahedin. You graduated from the military academy, and you were a JNA
21 officer. What did you know about the mujahedin, who the mujahedin were?
22 A. In the country and in the regions where I had resided up to then,
23 I never heard this word mujahedin, and I didn't what this word
24 represented. It was a foreign word to me.
25 Q. Mr. Camdzic, do you know whether these foreigners, the mujahedin,
1 ever changed their place of stay? If you're aware of that, can you tell
2 us when and why this happened?
3 A. When the Territorial Defence units were reorganised, the corps
4 were established within the BiH Army. In the Bila Valley, the 306th
5 Mountain Brigade was established. At the very beginning of the
6 establishment of the 306th Mountain Brigade, the foreigners who had been
7 accommodated in Mehurici, in the school in Mehurici, they started leaving
8 the school, and they moved to Poljanice village, some 900 metres from the
9 elementary school in Mehurici.
10 Q. You have just mentioned some changes in the organisation of the
11 army and the establishment of the 306th Mountain Brigade. Which units
12 became part of the 306th Brigade?
13 A. The 306th Mountain Brigade was composed of all the former
14 detachments plus a unit which had been formed from the ranks of the
15 refugees who had come from Kotor Varos, and this unit was called and was
16 best known as the Siprage Battalion.
17 Q. According to your knowledge and information, Mr. Camdzic, at the
18 beginning when the 306th Brigade was first established, were there any
19 problems? Did some of the population join some other units or brigades of
20 the BiH Army?
21 A. Yes. The mere fact that the 306th Brigade was established didn't
22 mean that there were no problems. These problems that existed primarily
23 had to do with the villages of Gluha Bukovica and Zagradje, which refused
24 to put themselves on the strength of the 306th Mountain Brigade. These
25 villages wanted to be on the strength of some other unit. And after
1 several rounds of negotiations, requests, and demands, these two villages
2 were put on the strength of the 314th Mountain Brigade.
3 Q. Mr. Camdzic, at that point in time, did you take over another duty
4 or position? And if that is the case, what was that position?
5 A. When the 306th Mountain Brigade was established, I assumed a new
6 position. I became the commander of the 2nd Battalion on the strength of
7 the 306th Mountain Brigade.
8 Q. Where was the command post of your battalion?
9 A. The command post of my battalion was in Krpeljici village.
10 Q. Are you aware of the fact that some other unit of the 306th
11 Mountain Brigade remained in the primary school in Mehurici?
12 A. When the 306th Mountain Brigade was established, a unit of the
13 Siprage Battalion entered the Mehurici primary school and made it its
14 command post.
15 Q. Mr. Camdzic, from which areas of the Bila Valley were people
16 recruited for the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade?
17 A. The 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade was replenished
18 from the areas from which the Hum detachment was replenished. The
19 following villages, Krpeljici, Maline, Velika Bukovica, Mosur, Bandol, and
20 Radojicici were the villages from which our recruits came.
21 Q. Where were the soldiers of your battalion billeted? Did you have
22 anything that would be known as the barracks of the 2nd Battalion?
23 A. No. As a unit, we never had our own barracks. Our members stayed
24 at home. They stayed in their houses. Just as was the case in the sector
25 staff and in the detachment that I belonged prior to that.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. When the 2nd Battalion was established, did you manage to
2 replenish it to the full strength? Did you have weapons? Did you have
3 the necessary military equipment? Did you have all the necessary staff?
4 A. It would have been only too good if I had been able to do that.
5 However, I could never bring the battalion to the full strength in terms
6 of men, weapons, ammunition, uniforms. I never had everything that was
7 foreseen for a unit of that strength.
8 Q. How many men did you have? How many pieces of weaponry did you
10 A. At the time, I had about 440 men. And I had about 120 rifles.
11 Q. Who were the people at your disposal? Did you have officers? Did
12 you have the necessary staff to perform all of the duties in the
14 A. No, we did not have educated officers. It was mostly replenished
15 from the ranks of the people who had served in the former JNA who had some
16 experience. They did not have any higher ranks. The highest rank was a
17 lance corporal, the lance corporal of the former JNA.
18 Q. What rank should be the officer in command of a battalion?
19 A. In normal conditions, the commander of a battalion should be a
20 major. That is the lowest possible rank.
21 Q. What was your rank?
22 A. At that time, I did not have a rank. I didn't have any rank of
23 the BiH Army. I had the rank of lieutenant from the former JNA.
24 Q. In addition to yourself, how many officers were in your battalion?
25 A. I've already told you that there were no higher ranking officers
1 in my battalion. There were neither officers or noncommissioned officers.
2 Q. Did you have any logistical reserves? Did you have reserve
3 ammunition for your soldiers?
4 A. No, we did not have any reserves. Whatever we had in terms of
5 ammunition and weapons was on the defence line facing the Serbian and
6 Montenegrin aggressor.
7 Q. Under such conditions, how did you establish the chain of command
8 between you as the commander and your soldiers? In other words, between
9 the superior commands and the subordinate commands?
10 A. The system of command and control in those conditions was very
11 difficult to establish. We could communicate to a certain extent with our
12 superiors. However, when it came to our subordinates, the communication
13 was not so easy. We did not have enough communication means or other
14 means that might have facilitated this communication.
15 Q. Given the human resources that you had at your disposal, and
16 you've just told us that these people were not prepared for war, can you
17 tell us whether in the battalion, in the brigade, or elsewhere, was any
18 sort of training carried out? If that was the case, can you tell me who
19 organised this training and how it was done?
20 A. At the level of the brigade command, an order was issued and plans
21 were drafted for our training and education. However, this training could
22 not be organised easily because of the constant obligations that we had on
23 the line and the obligations of the soldiers on leave who would go back to
24 their homes but had to do stuff at home, they had to provide their
25 families with food and all the other bare necessities. So they had to
1 make up for the time they spent on the line or the time they would spend
2 on the line. The training that we could carry out in our battalion, I was
3 in charge of that because I was the only one with some sort of a military
5 Q. The foreigners you have referred to, did they ever train members
6 of your battalion?
7 A. No. They never trained anyone in my battalion, and they weren't
8 present there.
9 Q. Since you left Mehurici and you went to Krpeljici with your
10 battalion command, tell me whether you yourself had any problems in the
11 battalion as a result of the presence of the foreigners, or rather, given
12 that you were one of the commanders of the 306th Brigade, did you ever
13 find out or notice that the presence of these foreigners caused certain
14 problems in the brigade?
15 A. Could you please repeat the question.
16 Q. I apologise. You left Mehurici and went to Krpeljici. As the
17 commander of the 2nd Battalion, did you ever come across problems caused
18 by these mujahedin in the area covered by your battalion?
19 A. Well, I had some problems with regard to my battalion members and
20 these mujahedin. The mujahedin were initially involved in humanitarian
21 work, and they would distribute aid packets. I wasn't in a position to do
22 this. So it was a problem to replenish the unit if someone left. But
23 luckily, I didn't have many such cases in the battalion. But when I was
24 part of the detachment, during that time, we had a lot of problems. Quite
25 a few of them wanted to leave; they did leave. As to what they gave them,
1 well, there were probably some men to whom they would also give money in
2 order to ensure that they stood by them, that they followed them.
3 Q. I'd now like to ask you about something else so that we can gain
4 better insight into the situation. At the beginning of your testimony,
5 you said that on the whole, the Croatian population joined the HVO, or
6 rather, the HOS, the Croatian Armed Forces. Tell me, where were HVO units
7 deployed? And where did they establish defence lines facing the common
9 A. As far as the HVO and the HOS are concerned, while I was present
10 in Mehurici, I'm not quite sure where they established lines, facing the
11 Chetniks or rather, the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor. But when I
12 arrived or when I joined the 2nd Battalion, their defence lines were
13 behind us. Perhaps 1 to 2 kilometres behind our defence lines that had
14 been established on the Vlasic plateau.
15 Q. Establishing lines behind the BH Army positions, did this cause
16 certain concern among the combatants and the officers in the 306th
18 A. Well, yes. Yes. Naturally this made us a little concerned, a
19 little restless. Because if we were fighting an enemy together, it would
20 have been logical for us to have been deployed on a certain lines and not
21 to have lines behind us. There might be reserve units behind us, but
22 while we were at the first lines facing the Chetniks, they were behind us.
23 And we didn't really understand the reason for this. It wasn't very
25 Q. In addition to that fact, in 1993, did the HVO conduct itself in a
1 way that prevented you from performing your duties as battalion
3 A. Well, in the autumn of 1992, when there were certain incidents
4 around Novi Travnik and at the beginning of 1993, too, when there were
5 certain misunderstandings, and later with the passage of time, I had more
6 and more problems with the HVO. Since in 1993, from March -- or perhaps
7 even before, I couldn't rotate my men in a normal way. Nothing could be
8 done without announcing one's intentions for they had established
9 checkpoints around Vlasic. And it was necessary to announce our intention
10 to pass through. So this made the situation difficult.
11 Q. What sort of contact was there with the basic centres in Travnik
12 and Zenica, and were there any problems as far as your battalion was
13 concerned in that sense, too?
14 A. Well, the communications, as far as my battalion is concerned, I
15 can say that I had problems when I had to communicate with the superior
16 command. And naturally, when it was necessary to go to Zenica or to
17 Travnik, this was so difficult -- it was so difficult that one felt that
18 an incident would occur at any time.
19 Q. Did you receive any orders with regard to those incidents? And if
20 so, what kind of orders? What was the army's position with regard to the
21 possibility of a conflict with the HVO?
22 A. Well, I had received specific orders from my commander according
23 to which we were to avoid incidents of any kind, whatever the cost. We
24 were supposed to avoid anything that might provoke a conflict in the area
25 with our allies. At the time, they were our allies.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. Did the HVO realise the efforts made by the 306th Brigade above
2 all, but he could also say by the BH Army, and did the HVO try to avoid
3 conflicts? And if not, how did the HVO behave?
4 A. Well, I can't really say whether the HVO was making efforts of any
5 kind or not. The situation in the field seemed to point to the contrary.
6 There were no changes. Perhaps some sort of a joint command had been
7 formed at our level, but if an order of some kind was issued, well, I
8 personally didn't notice that they had the desire to act in the way that
9 we were acting.
10 Q. Tell me, at any point in time did the way the HVO was behaving
11 make it impossible for you to reach your own command post? And if that
12 was the case, could you tell us a little more about it.
13 A. Well, yes. On one occasion, I left my command post to visit the
14 unit in Maline. I was maltreated when I left. I was maltreated by the
15 HVO. I must emphasise the fact, since I passed through Guca Gora, that's
16 when I first saw some new individuals. They weren't the inhabitants of
17 Guca Gora, but they were people who had been brought there from somewhere
18 in order to create a certain kind of situation. On the whole, these were
19 young men up to about 17 years of age. I'll just provide you with one
20 example. Once they pulled me out of the car, they searched me. So in
21 spite of the fact that I had a pistol on me, they didn't find it. It
22 hadn't been concealed, but they didn't find the pistol.
23 So perhaps these young men had been brought there to provoke such
24 incidents. Then they drove me out of the -- drove me away towards the
25 village of Maline. They said I shouldn't return and said that it would be
1 possible only for me to return to my place. I don't think they knew that
2 I was the commander of the 2nd Battalion.
3 Q. The young men who stopped you, which units were they a member of?
4 Were they members of the army or some other formation?
5 A. Well, if they had been army members, they certainly wouldn't have
6 stopped me. They were HVO members. They had HVO insignia on them. As to
7 the unit they belonged to within the HVO, I really don't know. In Guca
8 Gora, in the Guca Gora area, there was the Frankopan Brigade. I don't
9 think they were members of this brigade.
10 Q. Mr. Camdzic, tell me now, how did the situation develop in May
11 1993? And what happened to your battalion?
12 A. Well, in the village of Ahmici in May 1993, what happened there
13 affected the entire region. In May, there were large-scale blockades, and
14 my battalion, from May until the end, was practically no longer
15 functioning as a battalion. These units were village units which were
16 surrounded by the HVO and by the Croatian side, and they had been
17 abandoned to themselves. As far as communications and command is
18 concerned, it wasn't functioning. These command and communications were
19 not efficient. I had some sort of a Motorola, but there was no one in the
20 command to whom I could assign the duty of controlling that area.
21 Q. Were you still holding the lines on the Vlasic plateau, and what
22 sort of problems were there as a result of the blockade of your battalion
23 in certain villages?
24 A. In spite of everything that was happening down there, I had a zone
25 of responsibility facing the Chetniks. That's where my unit was. My unit
1 had remained in that area. And there was a serious problem that arose
2 since, from May until mid-June, I couldn't rotate the men who were there.
3 Given the situation in the field, given the fact that we had dugouts at
4 the positions, and the soldiers couldn't wash themselves, there wasn't
5 enough food, given the fact that I couldn't reach them because this was
6 very difficult, the company commander kept trying to convince me to rotate
7 the men. But the situation was particularly difficult when the first
8 clashes with the HVO occurred.
9 The situation was difficult because the families of these soldiers
10 who had remained up there, well, these soldiers had been left to their own
11 devices. So the situation was very difficult for the 2nd Battalion.
12 Q. When you first started performing the duties of the commander of
13 the 2nd Battalion, you told me which villages had men who were recruited
14 into the battalion. Now you say that most of the villages were
15 surrounded. Tell me which villages you were not able to communicate with,
16 and in which villages did you have some men from your battalion -- some of
17 the men from your battalion who were on leave?
18 A. Well, I didn't have any physical contact with the unit, or rather,
19 the village of Maline. It wasn't possible for me to go to the village of
20 Radojcici. I couldn't go to the village of Bandol. I couldn't go to the
21 village of Velika Bukovica. I could only go to the village of Mosur and
22 Krpeljici, and at great risk.
23 Q. What kind of weapons did your men have? I'm referring to the men
24 who were in the villages that you have just mentioned.
25 A. Well, on the whole, they had hunting rifles, and some weapons that
1 inhabitants had managed to buy on the street, on the black market. Many
2 people would sell the last cow they had to obtain weapons, so they didn't
3 have sufficient weapons to mount an effective defence.
4 Q. Mr. Camdzic, at the beginning of June, where was the commander of
5 your brigade?
6 A. Well, at the beginning of June, the commander of my brigade was in
7 the village of Krpeljici, which is where I was, too.
8 Q. Why didn't he go to the command post in Rudnik?
9 A. Well, he couldn't go to the command post in Rudnik because all the
10 roads used to reach Rudnik had been blocked. And I really didn't know how
11 he ended up in Krpeljici because to get to Krpeljici from Travnik, it
12 would have been necessary for him to pass through at least two HVO
14 Q. How many men from the 2nd Battalion were in the village of
15 Krpeljici at the beginning of June?
16 A. Well, at the beginning of June, the soldiers in the village of
17 Krpeljici were from that area, and those who had not been engaged to fight
18 the Chetniks were there. I think there were about 80 soldiers.
19 Q. As a battalion commander, did you receive any information from
20 your soldiers who were in these surrounded villages?
21 A. Well, yes. I was constantly receiving bad news from Velika
22 Bukovica. From the 30th of May onwards, they kept requesting assistance.
23 They were afraid. They were surrounded. They thought that something was
24 going to happen on the 4th of June. The situation was dramatic. Attacks
25 were launched against them. For the first hour or so, they asked for
1 assistance while they were able to use a radio link to do so. But after
2 an hour had passed, I no longer received any news from up there. I
3 thought it was all over. From the position I was at, at Krpeljici, from
4 that position I could hear loud explosions. I could hear fierce shooting.
5 Assistance was requested, but there was nothing we could do to help these
7 Q. Why wasn't it possible for the 80 combatants from Krpeljici to go
8 to help the combatants and the people in Velika Bukovica?
9 A. Well, the 80 soldiers who were there couldn't do anything for two
10 reasons: First of all, and this is the main reason: In my opinion, the
11 depth was great. And with such a small number of men, we couldn't pass
12 through the HVO defence line which was above Krpeljici. With such a small
13 number of men, it was impossible to pass through such an area and reach
14 those men.
15 And the second reason is that we couldn't allow the defence line
16 we were at to be weakened. Since we were surrounded, we couldn't spare
17 men for Velika Bukovica without endangering the security of the people.
18 So they were defending their village.
19 Q. As a battalion commander, did you request assistance? And if so,
20 who did you make such a request to?
21 A. Well, I asked my brigade commander to provide us with assistance,
22 since he was there. I asked him to see how we could deal with the
23 situation. But since the commander wasn't able to establish
24 communications, everything went through my command post. He immediately
25 forwarded a request to the 1st Battalion in Mehurici. And I think the 4th
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Battalion was also there. He requested that the commanders of those units
2 attempt to assist the men in Velika Bukovica.
3 Q. Given the fact that you're aware of the tragedy taking place in
4 Velika Bukovica, did you find out about the HVO attacking any other areas
5 in which your men who were on leave had been blocked?
6 A. Well, in addition to what happened on Bukovica, the HVO continued
7 exerting pressure on all the other places. And in particular, on the 7th
8 of June, the village of Maline was attacked by the HVO.
9 Q. At any point in time did the available units of the 306th Brigade
10 accept to implement the request of the command, and do you know what
11 happened in that area on the 8th of June?
12 A. As soon as we forwarded this request for assistance on the 4th of
13 June, well, nothing happened. We weren't told that anyone would go to
14 assist these men. And this was the situation right up until the 6th, and
15 even later. There was nothing to indicate that someone was going to
16 assist us. We were doing everything we could to organise ourselves as
17 best as possible. And later, on the basis of HVO documents that I
18 obtained, I saw that there was a plan for an attack. And according to the
19 plan, they were to take one village after the other. I'm referring to
20 Bosniak villages. And in this manner, they were to establish full control
21 of the area that we were in. So when I now examine how this started,
22 Velika Bukovica on the 4th, Maline on the 7th. That's when these places
23 were attacked. Well, we were getting prepared, but I didn't expect any
24 assistance on the 8th. Men from Mehurici came on that date and lifted the
25 blockade of our units that were surrounded.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Camdzic.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps this is a
3 good time for a break. But would the Trial Chamber allow me to examine
4 this witness for a little more than an hour and a half. I will shorten
5 the examination of the witness for tomorrow, and I believe that I will be
6 able to conclude my examination of both witnesses in the time -- within
7 the time limit planned.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's half past
9 10.00. We will resume at 5 to 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Camdzic, before the break, we were talking about the events on
15 the 8th of June. When and where did you receive information about certain
16 successes of the units that went to help the fighters of your battalion
17 who were encircled?
18 A. At the beginning, I didn't have any information whatsoever. The
19 first news of these successes came to me directly when we were deblocked
20 from the north, from the direction of Guca Gora. Our forces which had
21 been encircled linked up with the forces that were moving from the
22 direction of Mehurici. It was only then that I knew that we had success,
23 that we were finally deblocked.
24 Q. At that time, Mr. Camdzic, did you start to establish gradual
25 links with your fighters who had been blocked in the general area? At
1 that point in time, did you issue orders to your fighters? Did you give
2 them any tasks?
3 A. Yes. The first thing I wanted to do at that time was to
4 consolidate our ranks. I wanted us to be a unit again. The first tasks
5 that I gave to those units which were deblocked on that day were to
6 immediately link up. I wanted us to establish a communication, a line,
7 and to have full control of the entire unit.
8 Q. As far as we know from the testimonies that we've heard so far,
9 Krpeljici is very close to Guca Gora. Did you or your men at any point in
10 time enter Guca Gora? Did you continue combat operations even after the
11 8th of June?
12 A. As I've already said, between the 8th of June and the 10th of
13 June, we were mostly busy with the consolidation of our ranks and the
14 establishment of communication and command in our units. On the 10th of
15 June, we continued activities. And on the 10th of June, we entered Guca
16 Gora. We passed through Guca Gora, in other words, and we stayed on the
17 lines that were subsequently formed. That's where we stayed until the end
18 of that conflict.
19 Q. For how many days subsequent to that did your men participate in
20 combat operations facing the positions of the HVO, Nova Bila, and other
21 areas that you wanted to liberate?
22 A. Once the line was established in this area, once we carried out
23 the complete deblocking and once we managed to link up all the villages
24 from which the second battalion was recruited and replenished, we
25 continued moving towards the place called Kostrum [as interpreted].
1 Between the 10th and the 14th of June, we had some activities there
2 because that place was directly on the road leading from Travnik up to
3 Zenica. This road was still under blockade and was still not passable.
4 One could still not use it to go towards Zenica.
5 Q. Between the 8th and the 10th when you tried to establish
6 communication with your fighters and your companies, from that day on, did
7 you know where parts of your battalion were? Were you aware of the
8 whereabouts of all the companies of your battalion?
9 A. Yes. From that day on, I had all of my units on the strength,
10 although I can't say that the control was full, to the extent it would be
11 later on.
12 Q. Let me go back to your previous answer. You said that you entered
13 Guca Gora. In Guca Gora itself at the moment when you entered it, were
14 there any combat operations taking place? Did you find the population of
15 Guca Gora there?
16 A. No. When we entered Guca Gora, we did it without a bullet fired.
17 There was no fighting. The population had already left Guca Gora probably
18 on the 8th or on the 9th of June. Guca Gora was, therefore, completely
20 Q. As you were passing through Guca Gora, did you notice any
21 significant damage or any damage at all? Were there any burnt-down houses
22 or anything that could testify to the combat operations that had taken
23 place between the 8th and the 10th of June?
24 A. Between the 8th and the 10th of June, during the combat operations
25 that were taking place, I was, together with my men, as we were walking
1 through Guca Gora, as we were moving through Guca Gora, and I couldn't see
2 any damages. There may have been some burnt-down stables and cow sheds,
3 and I suppose that this happened on the 8th of June during the combat
4 operations. The rest of the village was intact. There were no damages.
5 Everything looked normal.
6 Q. When you entered Guca Gora, did you get hold of some of the
7 documents that belonged to the Frankopan Brigade?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The document that you mentioned a while ago, was it a part of that
11 A. I can't remember whether it was part of those documents, of that
12 archive of the Frankopan Brigade. But when this area was being liberated,
13 wherever we liberated places, the document must have been there. I did
14 not personally see it as part of that documentation. One of the fighters
15 actually brought this document to me, and that's when I saw it.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Given your previous answers, I
17 would like the witness to be shown Exhibit P690. That's the Prosecution
18 Exhibit P690.
19 Q. Before you look at the document and before I put a question to
20 you, can you please look at the last page. Who signed this document?
21 A. The document was signed by Commander Sipic who was the commander
22 of the 306th.
23 Q. Can you please look at the document, and then I will ask you a
24 couple of questions. Can you please pay special attention to item 4 and
25 the last sentence where it says "readiness for attack, 1100 hours on the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 13th of June," and also to items 5.4 and 5.5. Have you had a look at
2 these items?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You said that you took over the command and that you knew exactly
5 where the units were. Under 5.4 and 5.5, what does 2/306 refer to?
6 A. Under 5.4, this would refer to one part of my battalion, the 2nd
7 Battalion of 306th, whereas under item 5.5, the Mosur Company is a
8 reference to one part of my battalion. It seems here that I am the
9 commander of the entire battalion, and still the brigade commander issues
10 orders to parts of my battalion. That is not conceivable.
11 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
12 A. I see it for the first time. I have never received this document
14 Q. You have told me that you knew where your units were. Would items
15 5.4 and 5.5 reflect that? Would it correspond to what you have just told
16 us, and that is that you knew exactly where your units were?
17 A. The deployment of units corresponds to this item 5.4. However,
18 this is an assault order, and we did not engage in any assault. We were
19 holding a defence line. We were not on the attack line. I don't know
20 what the commander's idea was. Maybe he had an idea to do something of
21 that sort. I never received this order. And on that day, when this
22 combat readiness at 1100 hours is mentioned, I can claim with full
23 certainty that we were not getting ready for any attack. We were not on
24 any of the lines from which an attack was launched on that day.
25 Q. Mr. Camdzic, do you know Dervis Suljic?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Do you know what his position in the brigade was?
3 A. At this time here, he was the assistant commander for
4 intelligence. Actually, he was the assistant chief of staff for
6 Q. Did he exercise command over any units?
7 A. No, he didn't.
8 Q. A little while ago spontaneously, you said that you don't know why
9 the commander would issue orders to your companies. Why do you find it
10 inconceivable for a brigade commander to issue such orders? Is there any
11 other way in which units of certain battalions are engaged?
12 A. This is inconceivable because the commander does not have to go
13 that low down the chain. He doesn't have to issue orders to lower ranking
14 units if I am their commander. It would be normal for him to issue orders
15 to me. If he had some idea to do something, he could have established a
16 tactical group, and then some units could be resubordinated to that
17 tactical group in order to carry out an order. However, as far as I know,
18 on that day during that time there was no tactical group, there was
19 nothing put the brigade command.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Camdzic, are you aware of the fact that with
21 regard to all the problems that we have mentioned, that an order was
22 drafted, and it was never implemented, never carried out? Was that a
23 common occurrence?
24 A. Yes, there were such situations. In my battalion, I personally
25 encountered such situations. There were written orders which were not
1 carried out for several reasons.
2 Q. And finally, as far as you and your units are concerned, the ones
3 that are described herein, is this a combat order that you received and
4 that was carried out?
5 A. No. This is a combat order, an order for attack. However, I
6 never saw it before, and we didn't do anything on that day pursuant to
7 this order. My unit, my battalion, did not do anything to this effect.
8 Q. And now let's go back to Guca Gora. First of all, tell me how big
9 is Guca Gora? Can you give me some indication? How many houses are there
10 in Guca Gora?
11 A. Guca Gora is a somewhat bigger settlement, and the population was
12 Croatian. There are about 250 houses in Guca Gora. That would be the
13 indication of its size.
14 Q. When you established your lines facing the HVO south of Guca Gora
15 towards Nova Bila, did combat operations on those lines continue, and for
16 how long? How long did combat operations last in that area?
17 A. On the 14th of June, we stopped and established our lines. And
18 those lines were never changed after that. They were neither moved
19 forward or backward. Those lines were active on a daily basis. There
20 were daily assaults on both sides. We carried out a few attacks, but we
21 were pushed back and vice versa. Until the moment the Washington
22 Agreement was signed, these lines were active. There were activities on
23 those lines.
24 Q. How far is Guca Gora from those lines? Is Guca Gora within the
25 range of fire from those lines?
1 A. The distance between Guca Gora and those lines is approximately
2 2.5 to 3 kilometres, and it is certainly within the fire range. So all
3 the artillery pieces that were on the line could open fire on Guca Gora.
4 Q. Mr. Camdzic, do you have any personal information or knowledge
5 about what happened from then on? Was there any shelling or attack on
6 Guca Gora from the HVO lines? Were there any consequences due to such
7 combat operations?
8 A. In autumn, I became a member of the command of 306th Brigade. I
9 personally saw things that I didn't approve of. On one day, I don't know
10 when it was, the church in Guca Gora was shelled. Below the church and
11 the monastery, some 200 or 300 metres south of the church, some facilities
12 were shelled, some houses were shelled, and some ten houses were set on
13 fire as a result of the HVO shelling.
14 Q. Mr. Camdzic, did you as a member of the command of the 306th
15 Brigade know anything about the looting and torching of some houses during
16 that period when you were there in the area?
17 A. Yes. I was aware of those things. I was aware of the looting and
18 torching of the houses in Guca Gora. The brigade commander did take
19 measures in order to prevent such incidents. When houses were torched, it
20 usually happened either in the evening or during the night when it was
21 very difficult to control the territory.
22 Q. Mr. Camdzic, were there only troops moving through the area, or
23 were there also some other people moving through the area or coming to the
24 area under the control of the 306th Brigade and especially Guca Gora?
25 A. Yes. There were civilians moving from all over the place. They
1 came from all over the place as a result of the very difficult situation
2 that the population was in. A lot of people came from the territory of
3 Zenica. They passed through Guca Gora moving further. They were looking
4 for flour. They moved on foot all the way up to Bugojno. There were
5 people moving around every day. They would come from different corners of
6 the free territory.
7 Q. With regard to the monastery in Guca Gora, are you aware of any
8 orders issued by your commander? How were these orders carried out?
9 A. I am speaking as a battalion commander who received direct orders
10 from the brigade commander. We had very specific orders to protect houses
11 from torching, that special attention should be paid to the monastery and
12 the church in Guca Gora in order to prevent destruction and damage. We
13 had a specific order to prevent looting and plunder. We were told what we
14 were not supposed to do as a unit. As we were entering Guca Gora, I
15 decided on purpose to be close to my men in order to be able to carry out
16 the brigade commander's orders as well as possible. While I was there, I
17 can tell you that I had things under full control. Later on, another
18 order arrived according to which the security for the church and the
19 monastery should be provided by the military police platoon which was on
20 the strength of the 306th Brigade, and that was their subsequent role.
21 The military police secured this facility in Guca Gora.
22 Q. Given the situation that you have just described, did at any point
23 in time an order arrive for the brigade command to be accommodated in the
24 general area of the monastery in order to provide for its protection?
25 A. Yes, that is correct. At that time, I was already a member of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 brigade command. We were not absolutely sure that the military police
2 would carry out their task properly. And still, we wanted to protect the
3 monastery and the church in Guca Gora, and that's why the commander
4 decided that we should be accommodated in the offices that existed in the
5 monastery in Guca Gora.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague is telling me that
7 there is something that might have been misinterpreted.
8 Q. Until when were you the battalion commander?
9 A. I was the battalion commander up to the end of August or beginning
10 of September 1993.
11 Q. After that, what position did you take?
12 A. I became the operations person in the 306th Brigade.
13 Q. The brigade command?
14 A. Yes, in the brigade command.
15 Q. This is now clear and the possible error has been rectified.
16 Just a few more questions, Mr. Camdzic: You've told us that parts
17 of your brigade were encircled in the villages of Velika Bukovica and
18 Bandol and that from the 4th of June, terrible news reached you from
19 Velika Bukovica and also that you heard that this place was being shelled.
20 Can you tell us, please, whether your units finally managed to
21 enter Velika Bukovica and Bandol, and when they did, what did you find
23 A. Our units entered Velika Bukovica on the 8th. Nothing was found
24 there, in fact. Only burnt houses. I was afraid that we wouldn't find
25 civilians there. However, on that morning, HVO members took the civilian
1 population of Velika Bukovica away and used them as a human shield, and
2 they withdrew in the direction of Nova Bila.
3 As far as Bandol was concerned, we entered Bandol on the 14th when
4 we had taken Gostinj, too. And it was terrible. There, everything had
5 been burnt down. There was a mosque there over a hundred years old. It
6 had also burnt down. So nothing was left intact there.
7 Q. And finally, Mr. Camdzic, could you tell me whether the foreigners
8 we have spoken about, the mujahedin, did they at any time while you were
9 the battalion commander or a member of the 306th Brigade Command, or
10 rather were they at any time under the command of the 306th Brigade?
11 A. While I was the battalion commander, this was never the case in my
12 battalion. And when I joined the 306th Brigade Mountain Brigade, they
13 were never part of the units of the 306th Mountain Brigade.
14 Q. And finally, Mr. Camdzic, could you tell me about the brigade's
15 attitude towards violations of the law by army members pursuant to orders
16 issued by the 3rd Corps. What sort of measures were taken to deal with
17 violations, looting, torching, et cetera? What sort of measures were
18 taken to punish the perpetrators of such acts, and what sort of orders
19 were issued by the 3rd Corps command to this effect?
20 A. We did everything that we were allowed to do. We took
21 disciplinary measures, and this usually involved military detention for
22 all those who had been identified as perpetrators. As for more serious
23 violations, criminal reports were filed with the court in Travnik. I
24 wasn't in such a position to know who these individuals were, but I am
25 certain that these cases were dealt with.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Camdzic.
2 Mr. President, I have concluded my examination of this witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And the other Defence
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
6 have a few questions for this witness.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Camdzic, at the beginning of your testimony
9 today you said that you graduated from the military academy in Belgrade.
10 You were involved in land forces.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And then you served as a JNA officer in Croatia. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Before the beginning of the war, you already had a certain amount
15 of professional experience as an officer?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Afterwards, you became a detachment commander in the Mehurici
18 sector staff. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That detachment became part of the 306th Brigade after this
21 brigade had been formed, if I understood you correctly.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You became the commander of the 2nd Battalion in the 306th
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In response to my colleague's question, you said that the
2 battalion command was located in the village of Krpeljici?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. As the battalion commander, you were certainly informed of the
5 fact that in your battalion's zone of responsibility there were some other
6 BH Army unit that was active. Is that correct?
7 A. No, I didn't have any information according to which there was
8 another unit in that area, apart from what I mentioned at the beginning.
9 I said is that there were inhabitants of Gluha Bukovica and Zagradje and
10 they had become part of the 314th Brigade.
11 Q. But if a unit was engaged in combat or was active in the zone of
12 the responsibility of your battalion, you were informed of the fact?
13 A. Well, yes.
14 Q. Mr. Camdzic, in May and June 1993, you were the battalion
15 commander. Did you ever act together or cooperate in combat operations
16 with members of the 7th Muslim Brigade of the 3rd Corps of the BH Army?
17 A. No, I never had any contact with units of the 7th.
18 Q. During this period, did you ever receive any kind of order
19 according to which you were to take action together with [Realtime
20 transcript read in error "against"] members of the 7th Brigade?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Let's go back to the 8th of June. In response to a question of my
23 colleague, you said you and part of your battalion - I think you mentioned
24 about 80 men - you said you were in Krpeljici and you were holding the
25 line facing the HVO.
1 A. Correct.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I think there is an error on
3 page 45 of the transcript, line 5. It says that in response to my
4 question as to whether "the battalion ever acted in combat operations and
5 together with members of the 7th Muslim Brigade", it says "against with
6 the 7th Muslim Brigade." But the witness said he never acted together
7 with members of the 7th Brigade.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I never acted or took action
9 together with members of the 7th.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You said you were in Krpeljici with about 80 men who were holding
12 the line facing the HVO.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At the beginning of June, we're talking about the 7th and 8th of
15 June, the brigade commander was also in the village of Krpeljici.
16 A. Yes, in the village of Krpeljici.
17 Q. You said in the course of your testimony that the brigade
18 commander during that period when he saw what was happening and saw that
19 the village of Maline had been attacked, the commander forwarded a request
20 to the 1st and the 4th Battalion for assistance.
21 A. Yes. That's the 1st and 4th Battalion of the 306th Brigade.
22 Q. Afterwards, you said that you established contact with the 1st and
23 4th Battalions when the blockade of that area had been lifted.
24 A. That's absolutely correct. When the blockade was lifted, when
25 they reached us, that was when I first established contact with them.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. You then established contact with members of the 1st and 4th
2 Battalions of the 306th?
3 A. Well, that's the 1st Battalion because the 4th Battalion was
4 further to the north, but that is where I established contact with the 1st
5 Battalion. Perhaps with parts of the 4th as well. I can't remember
6 exactly, but I'm certain that these men were members of the 306th Brigade.
7 Q. Of the 1st Battalion?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You said that when the brigade commander made this request for
10 assistance for the village of Velika Bukovica, the 1st Battalion came from
11 the village of Mehurici and went in the direction of?
12 A. Well, I'm not sure. But they headed in our direction, the village
13 of Krpeljici.
14 Q. Could you describe the area.
15 A. Well, it's from Mehurici via Simulje, Carine, Radonjici,
16 Krpeljici. That would be the axis.
17 Q. On the 8th of June when you finally received information, met on
18 the axis from Mehurici towards Krpeljici, on that date members of the 7th
19 Brigade didn't go into action?
20 A. No, I didn't see any members of the 7th there.
21 Q. According to the information you later received, were any members
22 of the 7th involved in action on that axis?
23 A. No.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We have no
25 further questions, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, and the Prosecution.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
4 Q. Good morning, Witness. My name is Daryl Mundis, and along with my
5 colleagues here this morning, I represent the Prosecution in this case. I
6 want to assure you, sir, that our intention this morning is not in any way
7 to confuse you. We are simply going to ask you some questions, and I
8 would ask that if you find any of my questions confusing or you don't
9 understand the question, if you simply ask me to clarify or repeat the
10 question, and I will do that for you. Do you understand that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Sir, let me start by asking you a few preliminary questions about
13 your experience and background as a graduate of the military academy in
14 Belgrade and a former company commander in the JNA. You told us that at
15 the time you left the JNA, you were a company commander in the infantry.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And moving from that position into the time period when you were
19 with the sector staff in Mehurici and the Mehurici detachment, and
20 finally, the commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade,
21 would it be fair to say that based on your military experience you had a
22 lot of close contact in dealing with soldiers?
23 A. What do you mean, "close contact"? I don't understand. I had
24 contact with the soldiers, but as to close contact I don't understand.
25 Q. Let's start with the company. A company in the JNA has
1 approximately how many men in it? A JNA infantry company.
2 A. Well, it would have about 135 men.
3 Q. And how closely involved would a JNA infantry company commander be
4 with the men that were under his command? How much interaction would you
5 have with them?
6 A. Well, it would go through the system of control and command.
7 That's how it operated.
8 Q. Sir, I understand that. But my question is more like: On a
9 day-to-day basis, how much interaction would you have had or did you have
10 as a company commander with the men who were part of your infantry company
11 when you were in the JNA?
12 A. Well, I didn't have contact on a daily basis, apart from the daily
13 activities they had. The platoon commanders had more contact with the
14 soldiers than I did. It depended on what had been planned for the day.
15 But when necessary, if this was part of the plan for the day's activities,
16 I would have contact with the soldiers.
17 Q. Let me focus now on the time period when you were in Mehurici.
18 You told us that you spent a great deal of your time on the Vlasic
19 plateau. And I'm talking about 1992 at this point. You spent a great
20 deal of time on the Vlasic plateau. Is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. That position, was that one in which you had a great deal of
23 contact with the soldiers who were under your command?
24 A. Yes. Every day, I spent time with the soldiers at the lines.
25 Q. Now, let me talk about the time period or ask you a few questions
1 about the time period when you were the commander of the 2nd Battalion of
2 the 306th Mountain Brigade. I take it from your answers that you were in
3 that position from roughly November 1992 through the autumn of 1993?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And I believe, sir, you told us that you had at least during some
6 point in that time period approximately 440 men in your battalion. Is
7 that right?
8 A. According to the battalion's establishment, there should have been
9 more men. But it wasn't up to full strength. So I had more or less the
10 number that you have mentioned in my battalion.
11 Q. And during the period that you were the battalion commander, how
12 many interaction did you have with the soldiers who were members of the
13 battalion? Again, were you spending most of your time in the field with
14 the soldiers, most of your time in the command post? Can you just give us
15 a general sense as to the amount of time you spent with the men.
16 A. It depended on the situation. The situations were different. I
17 tried to spend as much time as possible with my soldiers. I don't know
18 how long I spent with them, but I'm certain that I spent a lot of time
19 with them.
20 Q. And can you briefly tell us a little bit about what you envisioned
21 your role being with respect to the soldiers that were in your battalion.
22 What was your job as the commander? What did that entail?
23 A. My job as commander of that unit entailed implementing all orders
24 received from my superior. It entailed influencing the soldiers,
25 motivating the soldiers, because these men were not professional men.
1 They were between 18 and 16 [as interpreted] years of age. They weren't
2 professional in the usual sense of the term, so I tried to explain the
3 situation to them, and I tried to explain to them why we had to implement
4 the order.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] On page 50 line 12, I just want to
6 correct something. It says that their age was from between 18 and 60 --
7 it says from 18 to 16, whereas the witness said from 18 to 60.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. Let's just clarify that. The soldiers you had in your battalion
10 were between the ages of 18 and 60 years of age.
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. I take it, sir, in light of the different types of tasks that you
13 just told us about, including explaining things to them, that part of what
14 you needed to do was to be concerned with their welfare, the well being of
15 the soldiers that were under your command. Would that be a fair
17 A. I haven't understood the last part of your question. What do you
18 mean when you said that I had to be concerned with something that --
19 Q. Would you be concerned with the welfare and well being of the
20 soldiers who were part of your command? Would that be part of your task
21 as a commander?
22 A. Well, naturally. I would be concerned with them. I would be
23 concerned with ensuring that they had enough food, ammunition, et cetera,
24 and I also had to concern myself with their health, et cetera.
25 Q. Let me move on to a slightly different topic, then. You told us
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 in response to some questions right at the end of the examination by Madam
2 Residovic, you were talking about disciplinary measures that were taken
3 against soldiers who were part of the 306th Mountain Brigade. Do you
4 remember telling us about --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Sir, can you recall the names of any soldier who was a member of
7 the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade who was disciplined during
8 the time period you were the battalion commander?
9 A. It's very difficult for me to answer that question. I know that
10 disciplinary measures were taken against soldiers, but since I wasn't from
11 that area, I really didn't know the names, family names. So it's very
12 difficult for me to remember the names of the soldiers against whom
13 disciplinary measures were taken. But it's certain that there were such
15 Q. Let me move up, then, a step. I assume based on this answer that
16 the same would hold once you moved up to the 306th Battalion as the
17 operations officer. You don't recall the names of any soldiers from any
18 battalions of the 306th Mountain Brigade who were disciplined?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you recall, again going back to the time period you were the
21 commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade, do you
22 recall the types of offences for which any soldiers under your command
23 were disciplined during the time period you were the commander?
24 A. Well, they were disciplined mainly for refusing to obey orders.
25 There were also attempts to loot property, and disciplinary measures were
1 taken in relation to such acts. Anything else that didn't concern the
2 military -- or if anything was done that wasn't considered to be
3 appropriate military behaviour, we would take all the measures that we
4 thought were necessary.
5 Q. Let me ask you about -- you mentioned looting property. Do you
6 recall the specifics as to the location where any property was looted that
7 soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade were
9 A. Well, I know there was looting in the area. As far as I can
10 remember, I don't think members of the 2nd Battalion were involved. But I
11 can't be sure.
12 Q. When you say "in the area," what area are you referring to? The
13 area where the 2nd Battalion was located?
14 A. Well, I'm referring to the area covered not just by the 2nd
15 Battalion, but the area in general. In the area covered by the 2nd
16 Battalion, there were places such as Guca Gora, Radojcici, et cetera.
17 Since most people passed through that area, people who weren't soldiers,
18 refugees from various regions, Chetniks, HVO members, well, people tried
19 to get by as best they could. So that's what happened.
20 Q. Let me try to focus our attention. I'm referring specifically to
21 looting carried out by soldiers who were members of the 306th Mountain
22 Brigade. Are you aware of incidents of looting by soldiers of the 306th
23 Mountain Brigade during the time period when you were the commander of the
24 2nd Battalion of that brigade?
25 A. I'm not aware of such incidents. I can only speak for my own
1 battalion at that time. I don't think there was any looting, but the
2 306th Brigade covered a vast area so I couldn't have known about such
3 incidents, nor was it my responsibility to know about such incidents.
4 Q. I understand that, sir. Let me just try to clarify the situation
5 then. You were unaware, because it wasn't your responsibility, of any
6 instances where soldiers from any battalions other than your own were
7 disciplined for looting?
8 A. No, I wasn't aware of that. It wasn't necessary for me to have
9 such information.
10 Q. And you are not aware of any incidents where soldiers of the 2nd
11 Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade were disciplined for looting?
12 A. I really can't remember. Perhaps there were such incidents. I
13 can't really say. Disciplinary measures weren't taken, but I didn't have
14 any information indicating that members of the 2nd Battalion had been
15 involved in looting. Because at the time, the 2nd Battalion was engaged
16 at the contact line. So they quite simply didn't have any time to get
17 involved in this. They were facing the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor,
18 and they were also facing the HVO.
19 Q. Thank you, sir.
20 Let me move on now to a different topic. You indicated earlier, I
21 think, on two separate occasions this morning, including at page 42, line
22 8, you said "our units entered Velika Bukovica on the 8th." Let me ask
23 you a few questions about that. First of all, do you remember saying
24 that, and is that the case?
25 A. Perhaps I did say on the 8th. It's possible. I don't know.
1 Maybe I said, that but I'm not sure.
2 Q. Do you recall approximately when the town of Velika Bukovica was
3 attacked by the HVO?
4 A. The HVO attacked Velika Bukovica on the 4th of June 1993.
5 Q. And approximately how long after that was the response of units of
6 the 306th Mountain Brigade?
7 A. I think it was four days later, on the 8th.
8 Q. And sir, which units of the 306th Mountain Brigade participated in
9 driving the HVO out of the village of Velika Bukovica?
10 A. I wouldn't say that they were driven out. In my view, this
11 territory was occupied, and we liberated the area of Velika Bukovica. The
12 306th Brigade, its 1st and 4th Battalions liberated Velika Bukovica.
13 Q. So the 2nd Battalion was not involved in the liberation, as you
14 put it, of Velika Bukovica?
15 A. No. We didn't stand a chance to do that, although we wanted to do
17 Q. Other than the 1st and 4th Battalions of the 306th Mountain
18 Brigade, were you aware of any other units of the ABiH 3rd Corps that
19 participated in liberating the village of Velika Bukovica?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Let me ask you a few questions now about Guca Gora. You testified
22 earlier today, page 33, line 19, that "we entered Guca Gora" and you then
23 said "we passed through," and this was during the period from the 8th to
24 the 10th of June 1993. Do you recall the precise or the date that your
25 battalion, the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade, entered Guca
2 A. Yes. I remember well. This was on the 10th of June 1993. And
3 when I said "entered and passed through," this means that we just moved on
4 to get to the contact line with the HVO. There was no conflict in Guca
5 Gora. That's why we didn't stay there any longer. We moved on to
6 establish a line where we would finally stop.
7 Q. And approximately to the best of your recollection, sir, what time
8 did the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade enter and pass through
9 Guca Gora on 10 June 1993?
10 A. Yes. It was not very early. I believe that we started moving
11 between 8.00 and 9.00 on the 10th of June. And we passed through -- it
12 took us about two hours to get there, so we passed through -- it took us
13 about two hours to get there, so we passed through and reached our lines
14 about half past 11.00. We linked up with the villagers of Radojcici, with
15 the unit that was on the strength of the 2nd Battalion.
16 Q. Now, sir, I take it from your answer that you were actually
17 accompanying your battalion as they entered and passed through Guca Gora
18 on the 10th of June 1993?
19 A. Yes, I was with my battalion.
20 Q. And sir, on the morning when you say "we started moving between
21 0800 and 0900 on the 10th of June 1993," where did you start from?
22 A. We started from the area of Krpeljici. The village of Krpeljici
23 borders on Guca Gora, and from the lines where we had stopped on the 8th,
24 we continued. Prior to that, there was a reconnaissance, and we
25 established that there were no members of the HVO or civilians there. Our
1 units that were sent to reconnoiter it, they did the job very well. They
2 established the situation just as it was.
3 Q. Sir, when you say there was reconnaissance and our units were sent
4 to reconnoiter, can you tell us what units were sent to reconnoiter Guca
5 Gora on the 10th of June 1993?
6 A. Those were volunteers, men who volunteered, who were members of
7 the companies in Krpeljici and Maline. It was not a large group. There
8 may have been five to seven men who were locals of the area who knew the
9 area well. It was not a unit. They were just volunteers that I singled
10 out to do the job.
11 Q. I take it, sir, now that you've mentioned this - I was going to
12 ask you this later but I'll do so now - you told us that the members of
13 the 306th Mountain Brigade were all recruited and replenished from the
14 areas where that battalion operated?
15 A. Are you referring to the battalion or the entire 306th Brigade?
16 Q. No, I'm referring, sir, to the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain
17 Brigade. It was recruited and replenished from men who were from the
18 area, and you gave us the villages earlier, where that battalion primarily
19 operated. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. I take it, sir, there were certain advantages in having local men
22 in the sense they knew the terrain, they knew routes, they knew pathways
23 through the forests and mountains, et cetera. Would that be fair to say?
24 A. It would be fair to say that if -- that we were not blocked, that
25 we were engaged and deployed around these villages, and we were defending
1 ourselves. So this did not have any special impact. It was not to our
2 advantage to have locals as members of our unit, locals who were familiar
3 with routes and pathways and so on and so forth.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with the assistance of the usher, I
5 would ask that some maps be produced for the witness, and I would ask him
6 to make some markings on the maps. We do have sufficient copies for
7 everyone in the courtroom.
8 Q. Witness, I'd ask you to take a look at the map which is on the
9 projector to your right and ask you to -- let me ask you first if you
10 recognise the locations that are shown on this map.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And first, sir, if you could take the pointer, the metal pointer
13 that's right by your left arm, I'd ask you to point to Krpeljici. And if
14 it's possible, to further identify where the command post of the 2nd
15 Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade was located at the time you were
16 the commander.
17 A. This is Krpeljici. This is the village of Krpeljici. The command
18 of -- the command post of my battalion was here. This is the local
19 commune -- community building or hall.
20 Q. Sir, if the usher could provide you with a fine-point marker, I
21 would ask you to circle the location where your command post was located
22 on the map, please.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And if you could perhaps just right above that write "2/306."
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Now, sir, again with the silver pointer rather than the marker, I
2 would ask you to point to, if you see it on the map, the monastery in Guca
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. Can you please take the marker and circle the monastery.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Now, sir, again with the silver pointer, I would ask you to the
8 best of your recollection if you can trace the route that the 2nd
9 Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade took on the 10th of June 1993 as
10 you entered and passed through Guca Gora.
11 A. We started from here, and this is how we moved. The axis of our
12 movement was along the road towards the village of Hraban [phoen]. This
13 was the route.
14 Q. Sir, you indicated an area and you said "we started from here."
15 What was the location you started from?
16 A. This was the line that we reached on the 8th. And we were stopped
17 there, we were there until the 10th of June. We were providing security
18 for Krpeljici, and at the same time we were getting ready to move on.
19 Q. So the area that you've just indicated was, in effect, a line?
20 There was a line there. Is that right?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. That's the line that we reached on the 8th
22 of June.
23 Q. And on the 10th, as your unit was preparing to move through Guca
24 Gora, you -- your forces, that is, the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain
25 Brigade, gathered at the front line, then. Would that be correct?
1 A. It was already on the line. That battalion was already holding
2 that line. According to our very precise information, there was nobody in
3 Guca Gora. We made sure that there were no booby traps, as a normal
4 precaution measure. So we set off, and we moved through Guca Gora without
5 any problems.
6 Q. Sir, was the second battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade the
7 first unit of the 3rd Corps to enter Guca Gora on the 10th of June 1993?
8 A. Yes, yes. That's the unit which entered.
9 Q. During the time, sir, that your unit entered and passed through
10 Guca Gora, did you see any other units of the 3rd Corps on the 10th of
11 June 1993 in Guca Gora?
12 A. No. On that day, I didn't see any other unit except for the unit
13 of the 306th, which was there -- the battalion that I was a member of as
15 Q. And sir, when you say "the battalion that I was a member of,"
16 you're talking about the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade, and
17 in fact --
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. -- and in fact you were the commander of that unit on the 10th of
21 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Sir, I would now ask with the black marker if you could please
23 draw the path or the route that the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain
24 Brigade took on the 10th of June from that front line through Guca Gora to
25 the point where you eventually stopped on the 10th of June.
1 A. [Marks]
2 We stopped around here, very close to Radojcici.
3 Q. And sir, approximately how long did it take you to get to that
4 point that you stopped -- where you stopped?
5 A. I've already said that. It didn't take long. Some two hours, two
6 and a half hours. Not more than that.
7 Q. Sir, during the day of the 8th of June 1993, as you left the front
8 line at Krpeljici to this new front line that was established, were the
9 members of your battalion on foot, or did you have any type of motorised
10 transport? I'm sorry, that should be the 10th of June, I'm sorry. On the
11 10th of June, did your unit move on foot, or did you have any type of
12 motorised transport?
13 A. We moved on foot, of course.
14 Q. And again, just so we're clear, sir, how many soldiers of the 2nd
15 Battalion, 306th Mountain Brigade, passed through Guca Gora on that day?
16 How many soldiers were with you on that day, the 10th of June 1993?
17 A. These were mostly men who were engaged at the time when Krpeljici
18 was encircled. There couldn't have been more than 50 of us among those
19 who entered and reached those lines.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the next thing the Prosecution would
22 respectfully request to do is to show the witness an excerpt from one of
23 the videotapes which is currently in evidence. I note the time, however,
24 and we probably can't get through that and ask those questions prior to
25 the break. So with all due respect, we would ask that the break be taken
1 a little bit early. We can then, of course, resume a little bit earlier
2 than usual, and we'll move on to that videotape.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. It is 20 past
4 12.00. We are going to make a break until quarter to 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We resume.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Before I show the witness
9 a video, I did have a couple of follow-up questions.
10 Q. Sir, on the -- during the first two weeks in June 1993, was the
11 306 Mountain Brigade part of the operation group Bosanska Krajina?
12 A. You are asking me something that I don't know. I was not a member
13 of the command of the 306th. In my view, it wasn't, but I don't know. I
14 wouldn't know. I was the commander of a battalion, and I received orders
15 from my brigade commander.
16 Q. Fair enough, sir. But let me just ask you this, then, or to
17 clarify this: You're not aware of who your brigade commander reported to?
18 A. No. There was no need for me to know that. I had my commander,
19 and that's it.
20 Q. But sir, you told us earlier, I believe, that at some point after
21 the 10th of June 1993, your battalion moved towards the direction of
22 Radojcici. Is that correct? Or did I misunderstand what you just told
24 A. After having stopped, we just continued moving along the line that
25 I pointed to you. There was no obstacles for us towards Radojcici. And
1 when we got there, we reached this line which was never moved, either
2 forward or backward. We arrived in that village where members of my
3 battalion were.
4 Q. Okay, sir, I'd ask you, sir, again just before we go to the
5 videotape, if you could again turn to the map that you've marked and which
6 is to your right, and with the pointer, if you could again point to the
7 place where you've marked that the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain
8 Brigade stopped on the 10th of June 1993 at about 11.30 in the morning.
9 A. [Indicates]
10 Q. Sir, how long, then, for purposes of clarification, how long did
11 the 2nd Battalion remain at that location?
12 A. It stayed there for a very short time, maybe an hour or so. We
13 proceeded very soon. This complete area was free. We continued towards
14 Radojcici. We arrived at the line here, and we stayed here at the very
15 end until the moment we were linked up with our members. So our stop was
16 very brief. This area was completely empty, and we just moved on.
17 Q. If you could, then, please, sir, take the black marker once again,
18 thin black marker, and continue the line indicating where the 2nd
19 Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade went on the 10th of June 1993.
20 A. [Marks]
21 MR. MUNDIS: And for the record, it would appear that the witness
22 has marked what appears to be an arrowhead to the right of the word
23 "Radojcici" on the map.
24 Q. Sir, at that point where the arrowhead touches the horizontal
25 line, is that where the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade
1 stopped on the 10th of June 1993?
2 A. Not only there. Parallel with this, with the movement of these
3 units I had as well. But since you were interested in this axis, this is
4 where I stopped, and this includes this very place. And along the front
5 line. And maybe I moved a bit further, but I didn't go this way. This
6 was not me.
7 Q. Thank you, Witness.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I would now ask that the witness be
9 shown a clip of P482, which is a videotape. And for the record, this
10 videotape contains two parts. We will be showing the time period 1
11 minute -- excuse me, 1 hour, 8 minutes, 34 seconds through 1 hour, 11
12 minutes, 22 seconds on part 1 of P482. I would propose that the witness
13 be shown this without the audio, simply look at the video, and I'll then
14 ask him some questions. But I do see my learned colleague on her feet, so
15 I will defer to her.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like my
17 friend to clarify his reasons for showing this videoclip to the witness
18 since this witness has not testified to anything that is contained in this
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. One more thing: I
22 would kindly ask my learned friend to first give us the reasons, and then
23 if the Prosecutor could first show us the clip without the sound, and
24 after that if the witness could be presented everything, that none of the
25 elements should be presented to the witness before the videoclip is shown
1 to him and before the questions are put to him.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a solution that may be
3 consistent with what the Defence counsel has requested. Can the witness
4 be taken out of the courtroom, please.
5 Mr. Mundis, we're listening.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. This clip, which is about
7 2 minutes and 45 seconds long shows the monastery in Guca Gora. It is in
8 evidence obviously as Prosecution Exhibit 482. We would propose
9 proceeding in the same manner that we have proceeded with respect to other
10 clips that have been shown to Defence witnesses; that is, we will play
11 without the audio. As I indicated to Mr. Bourgon at the break, there is
12 some Arabic script, and on the top of the video in English, it says
13 "operation Guca Gora." We would propose that the audio be turned down,
14 that the witness be asked to watch the clip, which again is 2 minutes and
15 45 seconds long, watch it in its entirety. Then I would ask the witness
16 to perhaps again watch it and to tell us what, if anything, he sees or
17 recognises on the videotape.
18 Among the questions we would be asking would be, if the witness is
19 able to answer, the location where the videotape was shot; in other words,
20 what the vantage point, and perhaps he can mark on the map where he
21 believes the person taking the video was standing at the time the video
22 was taken. It does show what appears to be combatants of some type.
23 Perhaps the witness can comment on that. And we would simply ask him for
24 any comments or observations he could make with respect to the videotape.
25 I'm certainly not going to tell him when the video was taken or anything
1 like that. I'm certainly not going to be testifying. The tape is in
2 evidence. We would simply ask that he be shown it and ask him to make
3 some comments or observations and then ask him a very few specific
4 questions about where, if he knows, the location of the video or the
5 videographer was standing at the time the videotape was made.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the fact that the
8 Guca Gora monastery can be recognised on the tape is certainly something
9 that could not be tied with this witness because the Prosecutor has
10 already had witnesses that could testify to that. However, as for the
11 other issues that were raised by my learned friend, maybe it would be good
12 if the -- my learned friend first put questions to the witness, the
13 questions that he has just mentioned, whether he knew that there was
14 somebody recording, whether there were any other men in front of the
15 monastery and so on and so forth. And only after that, maybe my learned
16 friend should show the videoclip to the witness.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence suggests that the
18 Prosecution should ask some preliminary questions in order to find out
19 whether the -- there were any other men on the spot. What do you think of
20 that, Mr. Mundis? It may be relevant because the witness has said that
21 there were some other men in Guca Gora on that morning. There were some
22 50 other men there on the 10th of June. And Defence suggests and would
23 like you to put some preliminary questions. What is your view on that?
24 MR. MUNDIS: I appreciate the suggestions of my learned colleague.
25 Of course, Mr. President, the Prosecution would take the position that the
1 way we conduct our cross-examination is -- as long as it's consistent with
2 the Rules and the orders of the Trial Chamber, that's up to us as to how
3 we wish to proceed. Again, we could ask some questions about the -- of
4 the witness, and then show him the tape, and he might not recognise
5 anything that's on the tape. It would seem to us the best way to proceed
6 would be to simply show him the tape, and then ask him to make any
7 comments about what's contained on the tape. It's entirely possible that
8 what's shown on the tape was not in the witness's view taken on the day in
9 question. It could be taken from a completely different angle than the
10 witness has testified about how he entered Guca Gora, et cetera. So it
11 seems to us the better way, since the tape is in evidence, is to show him
12 the tape and then ask him the questions.
13 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
15 has decided how to proceed. The Prosecution will first show the witness
16 the video and will then put questions to him.
17 Could we have the witness back in the courtroom, please.
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. Witness, we're going to show you now a videotape which the usher
20 will assist you so that you can see it on the screen in front of you.
21 Before we do that, I simply want to inform you of the procedure that we
22 will be working with this afternoon. I'm going to show you this clip. It
23 runs a little bit less than 3 minutes. There will be no sound. I simply,
24 first of all, want you first of all to look at the videotape. Then I will
25 ask you a few questions about the tape, and perhaps we will show the tape
1 again, and if you can -- if there's anything on the tape that you
2 recognise or you wish to tell us about, you can then on the second time we
3 watch the videotape tell us to stop and describe what you see on the
4 videotape in front of you. Do you understand this procedure?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with your leave, I ask that the tape
8 be shown now, please.
9 Mr. President, we seem to be having a technical problem. Perhaps
10 we can have a technician assist us in the...
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
12 the technician, please.
13 MR. MUNDIS: It seems possible, Mr. President, to observe it on
14 the "computer evidence" channel, if that would be acceptable. But I'm not
15 sure if that's being broadcast outside of the courtroom.
16 [Videoclip played]
17 MR. MUNDIS:
18 Q. Sir, let me ask you first of all if you recognised anything that
19 you saw in the videoclip that you just watched.
20 A. No. I recognised the church. That's what I recognised. But
21 nothing else.
22 Q. And when you say "church," sir, can you be more specific in terms
23 of what it was that you saw?
24 A. Well, I saw the church in Guca Gora. I saw these members. That's
25 all I know.
1 Q. Did you recognise any of the combatants that were shown on the
2 videotape? Or can you tell us anything about any of the people that you
3 saw on the videotape?
4 A. No, I couldn't say anything. I didn't see them, and at the time
5 that I passed through they certainly were not there. I don't know when
6 this was shot, but there's nothing I can say about this.
7 Q. Let me just ask you one last question about what we just saw on
8 the videotape, sir. Do you know -- or based on being in the area in June
9 of 1993, do you have any idea in the opening shots of the video, the first
10 shot that shows the monastery in Guca Gora, do you have any idea where the
11 person taking that picture might have been standing?
12 A. Well, no. I don't have any idea. I don't know where it could
13 have been shot from.
14 Q. So you don't know which angle or which direction the photographer
15 was standing in, in relation to the monastery?
16 A. No, I don't know.
17 Q. Now, sir, when you -- when the 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain
18 Brigade passed through Guca Gora, did you leave any soldiers from your
19 battalion behind in the village of Guca Gora?
20 A. No.
21 Q. So to the best of your recollection, none of your soldiers were
22 left behind to guard or to protect the property in Guca Gora, having --
23 your battalion having passed through?
24 A. That's what I said at the beginning. I had received an order from
25 the brigade commander to provide security for this building. And I
1 carried out the order. Perhaps two or three soldiers stayed down there
2 with the civilian protection who were there with us. But I really don't
3 know what happened because I was involved in the operations I have already
4 referred to, both on the left and on the right side.
5 Q. Sir, do you have any recollection as to how long the two or three
6 soldiers that stayed there remained in Guca Gora?
7 A. I can't remember how long they stayed there. I don't have any
8 information about that because I was elsewhere all the time, and I was
9 linking up the lines which I went to with the combatants.
10 Q. Okay, sir. I'd like to draw your attention back to what we have
11 referred to as Prosecution Exhibit P619.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, as we did with the previous witness,
13 we were able to get the best copy that the Tribunal has out of the
14 evidence unit, and I would ask that the witness be shown this copy of this
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P699? I see Mr. Bourgon on his
18 MR. MUNDIS: 690. I misspoke. 690.
19 Q. Sir, in response to some questions from the Defence, I believe you
20 told us that you had never seen this document before. Is that correct?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. I'd ask you to turn to the third page of this document at the
23 bottom on the left-hand side where it's indicated to whom this order is
24 addressed. Do you see that?
25 A. I can see it.
1 Q. Do you see that the document is addressed to the commander of the
2 2nd Battalion of the 306th Mountain Brigade?
3 A. It probably should have been addressed to him.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
5 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like
6 to know if the witness has the original that my colleague showed me during
7 the break, or does he have the same document that we have, which is
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, does the witness
10 have the original document?
11 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, he does, Mr. President. As I said, it's the
12 boast copy that the Tribunal has. I don't know if it's the actual
13 original --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We could put it on the ELMO in
15 that case so that everyone can see it.
16 MR. MUNDIS:
17 Q. Now, again, Witness, I draw your attention to the number 5 under
18 the list of addressees. It does, in fact, say commander, 2nd Battalion,
19 306th Mountain Brigade. Is that correct?
20 A. That's what it says.
21 Q. But again, you don't recall ever having received this document?
22 A. No. I can see that it says "to the commander of the MOS company."
23 That's my company. That's what I said in response to the Defence
24 counsel. But there's no logic here. Why should the brigade command
25 assign a task to my company, to my subordinate unit.
1 Q. Sir, do you recognise the signature that's on this document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is that, in fact, Esad Sipic's signature?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. MUNDIS: That document can be retrieved from the ELMO.
7 Q. Sir, I have just a few more questions, and I believe we will
8 finish in the next few moments. I want to ask you now -- I want to turn
9 your attention to the persons that you described as the Arabs who later
10 became known as the mujahedin. Now, did you ever hear of any instance
11 where these mujahedin or Arabs in Mehurici were recruiting any soldiers
12 from the Travnik municipal Territorial Defence staff or any of its lower
13 level units?
14 A. No, they never recruited in that area. They only obtained
15 followers there. They obtained followers who were poor, who didn't have
16 anything to eat. So they would give them food aid, and that's how they
17 gained these followers. And as they had money, this is also probably a
18 way in which they found supporters, followers.
19 Q. But to the best of your recollection, then, none of these poor
20 people that they recruited were members of the Territorial Defence staff?
21 Any component unit of the Territorial Defence staff. Is that right? As
22 far as you know?
23 A. I didn't say that there were no such members. There were such
24 cases. We had quite a few problems, as I said, for this very reason,
25 because this is how members of those detachments went to join them, on
1 their own initiative, as I have already said. But it was very difficult
2 for us, for us to replenish and recruit. So the situation was quite
4 Q. Did the same situation occur after the formation of the brigades?
5 That is, did soldiers leave the brigades to go be with the mujahedin?
6 A. Well, there were probably such cases, too. As far as my battalion
7 is concerned, I can say that there were not many such cases. There were a
8 few who left, but there were probably others from other units who left in
9 this way. I don't know exactly.
10 Q. Sir, do you know whether the mujahedin trained and/or equipped
11 these people who joined them?
12 A. I don't know. But as far as I know, there was religious training.
13 There wasn't much military training. And in return, they would give them
14 uniforms. They would be happy to be given a rifle, et cetera. And these
15 rifles would be obtained on the black market, for example.
16 Q. And the mujahedin would obtain rifles on the black market and
17 provide them to these young men?
18 A. As I said, there were some lucky individuals. They didn't give
19 these things to everyone. Not everyone would receive weapons from them.
20 Perhaps they liked certain individuals, and then gave them the weapons.
21 Q. Did any of these soldiers from your battalion who you've told us
22 left - you said there were a few - did any of them ever return to the
23 battalion after receiving uniforms or weapons from the mujahedin?
24 A. No. There were very few of them. Five or six of them, I think.
25 But they never returned. I carried out a replenishment of a certain kind.
1 They left. And in my opinion, they were deserters.
2 Q. Now, sir, you told us at page 16, line 20 earlier this morning
3 that "we didn't feel safe with these foreigners so close to us." And I
4 believe that was in the context of the time period of the late summer,
5 early fall of 1992. Is that correct? Is that a fair statement of your
7 A. Well, it's fair in the sense that I and the command had to be
8 secure. I had to be alone. They arrived, and I didn't feel comfortable
9 in their presence.
10 Q. Why is that, sir?
11 A. Well, quite simply because I didn't know who these people were. I
12 didn't know where they had come from. I didn't know why they were there.
13 It was said that they were representatives of humanitarian organisations,
14 but without checking up on this, it was difficult for me to know why they
15 were there.
16 Q. You also told us that you told or expressed your concerns to your
17 commander who at the time was Haso Ribo. Is that right?
18 A. Yes, that's what I said.
19 Q. Do you recall if you raised these concerns with him on one
20 occasion or more than one occasion?
21 A. Well, whenever we spoke freely to each other, I drew his attention
22 to the fact. It wasn't as if we were that concerned, but they had started
23 finding followers, local soldiers in the units, and I was afraid there
24 might be a conflict of some kind because there were people who supported
25 them and people who were against them in that area.
1 Q. Do you recall the reaction, if any, of Mr. Ribo when you informed
2 him of your concerns?
3 A. Well, he probably reacted. I don't know for sure. All I know is
4 that I received instructions according to which I was to wait. I was told
5 that it would be resolved at some level. And while I was waiting for a
6 response, I left the Mehurici area, so I don't know.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I think
9 that something is missing from the transcript. Page 74, line 8, as far as
10 I know, according to what I heard in French, the witness said that there
11 were people who were against them in the sector and who were afraid that
12 this might turn into a conflict. The last part of the sentence does not
13 appear in the transcript. Perhaps the witness could confirm that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis. Could you ask
15 the witness to specify that aspect.
16 MR. MUNDIS:
17 Q. Sir, you told us that there were some people who supported them,
18 referring to the mujahedin, and some people who were against them in that
19 area. Was there concern about a conflict opening up with the mujahedin?
20 A. Well, I wasn't that much afraid of a conflict with mujahedin; I
21 was more afraid of a conflict with our inhabitants who had joined them.
22 Q. Sir, when you say "I wasn't that much afraid of a conflict with
23 the mujahedin," can you tell us why? Why you weren't afraid of a conflict
24 with the mujahedin?
25 A. Well, I wasn't afraid for a number of reasons. Firstly, they were
1 there as humanitarian workers. Secondly, there were fewer of them than
2 us. So I'm sure they wouldn't have planned to do anything there. There
3 weren't that many of them. I never saw more than about 20 of them, or 25
4 of them at the most, in a group in that area. So there were very few of
6 Q. So I take it from that answer, sir, that from a military point of
7 view, they didn't pose any threat to your unit or the units that were in
8 the area of Mehurici?
9 A. No, they didn't pose a threat to anyone there.
10 Q. Sir, you also told us, page 18, line 2, that - and this is in the
11 context of when you were discussing the issue of the mujahedin with the
12 war presidency - you said "the mujahedin probably didn't trust me." Do
13 you remember saying that?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. What made you say that, sir? What would be the basis for the
16 mujahedin being distrustful of you?
17 A. Well, I was a member of the JNA. We knew what the JNA did in that
18 territory. And since that is my background, they did not trust me.
19 Q. I'm afraid, sir, I don't quite understand. When you say "we knew
20 what the JNA did in that territory. And since that is my background, they
21 did not trust me," can you perhaps explain or elaborate a little bit on
22 what you mean?
23 A. Well, in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, we know that
24 there was a conflict in Slovenia. We know that there was a conflict in
25 Croatia. We know that the JNA was involved in all of this. We know the
1 JNA members were involved in this. So I came from the same sort of
2 background. And they went from one fallout to another and attacked one
3 place at a time, so they didn't trust me very much because up until the
4 1st of April, I was with them.
5 Q. Did the mujahedin that were in the school in Mehurici know that
6 you had formerly been with the JNA?
7 A. I don't know, but I assumed that they did. I can't be certain. I
8 never spoke to them.
9 Q. Okay.
10 Let me ask you this, then: During the time period when you were
11 with the Territorial Defence sector staff in Mehurici, you told us that
12 you spent a great deal of time on the Vlasic plateau and on Mount Vlasic.
13 Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And during this time period in 1992, you were primarily engaged
16 against, as you call them, the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressors. Is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At any time while you were operating on the Vlasic plateau or on
20 Mount Vlasic, did you see any of these mujahedin on Vlasic plateau or
21 Mount Vlasic?
22 A. No, I didn't. I never saw them while I was up there.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 76, line
24 13, the words "I was with them," the witness said that he was with the
25 JNA. "With them," we don't know what "them" means. So could this either
1 be clarified -- could the witness say who he was with up until the 1st of
2 April 1992, or could we establish that the witness said that he was in the
4 MR. MUNDIS: We can certainly do that. I think it's clear from
5 the context of the answer.
6 Q. But sir, when you made reference to the mujahedin not trusting
7 you, you were referring to the fact that you had formerly been in the JNA.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you believe that perhaps was the grounds for the mujahedin
10 being distrustful of you, as a former member of the JNA.
11 A. Not only the mujahedin. I don't know. Others as well. I didn't
12 have anything to do with the mujahedin. They were there. They -- I don't
13 know. That was that, to put it simply.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. I would ask, if you could please take again the
15 black marker and in the bottom right-hand corner of the map, if you could
16 please sign your name and put today's date, which is 16 November 2004.
17 A. [Marks]
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, sir.
19 Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further questions at this
20 time for this witness.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence, any re-examination?
22 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Camdzic, my learned friend has asked you
24 several questions about the mujahedin and their relationship with you.
25 When did you leave the elementary school to assume the new duty of the
1 commander of the 1st Battalion [as interpreted]?
2 A. I left the school at the beginning of December 1992, and I became
3 the commander of the 2nd Battalion.
4 Q. As you've testified earlier, your command post was in Krpeljici.
5 After that time, did you have any other occasion to go to the primary
6 school in Mehurici or to meet with the mujahedin in any other way?
7 A. No. Once I left Mehurici, I never returned to the Mehurici
8 primary school, and I didn't have any contact with the mujahedin after
9 that time.
10 Q. Would I be right to say that whatever you said in response to
11 those questions by my learned friend is relative to the period when you
12 were the commander of the detachment?
13 A. Yes, absolutely.
14 Q. My learned friend also asked you about the reaction of your
15 superior commander. You have already told me that the sector staff or
16 detachment could not determine who would be accommodated in the primary
17 school. The commander of the municipal staff of the Territorial Defence,
18 did he have the authority to say who should be allowed to go into the
19 school and who shouldn't?
20 A. No, I don't think so. I don't think that he had any authorities
21 over that because the civilian structures functioned normally. The
22 situation was somewhat aggravated, but the civilian authorities did
24 Q. You also testified about the departure of these mujahedin from the
25 primary school when the Siprage Battalion was billeted there. Did the
1 Siprage Battalion have any other name? Was it a battalion of the 306th
3 A. Yes, it was a battalion of the 306th Brigade, and as far as I know
4 it, did not have any other insignia or name. The only marking it had was
5 number one, which stood for the 1st Battalion of the 306th Brigade.
6 Q. So the so-called Siprage Battalion or the 1st Battalion remained
7 in the school?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. There were no two battalions there?
10 A. No. There were not.
11 Q. My learned friend asked you about some measures that were taken,
12 and you said that you can't remember the names of the persons who these
13 disciplinary measures were taken against. Are you sure that during that
14 period measures were taken against members of the 306th Brigade?
15 A. Yes, I'm absolutely sure.
16 Q. In response to my learned friend's question, you explained that
17 you do not hail from the area, and that you spent only a very short period
18 of time there. In light of that fact, do you know how many disciplinary
19 measures were taken in other battalions? Or maybe at this moment you
20 can't tell us anything about that.
21 A. As far as other battalions are concerned, I don't know anything.
22 I have no knowledge of what was being done there.
23 Q. When we're talking about this period of time, can you recall
24 whether there were any cases, and if there were, how many, that such
25 crimes, for example, plunder and other destruction, were perpetrated by
1 civilians rather than army members?
2 A. I can say with certainty that most of these crimes were
3 perpetrated by civilians.
4 Q. Who was duty-bound to carry out investigations about crimes
5 perpetrated by civilians?
6 A. It was the Ministry of the Interior, the MUP or the SUP, as it was
7 called at the time, that was supposed to carry out the investigations into
8 those crimes.
9 Q. Are you aware how many police stations existed in the territory
10 covered by the 306th Brigade at the time?
11 A. I can't be sure about their exact number. I know that there were
12 some. There was a police station in Travnik which had its so-called
13 forward post. I know that in Guca Gora, there was a police station at the
14 beginning. It was in the area of Mosur, and then they were moved to the
15 area of Guca Gora. And I know for sure that there was a police station in
16 Han Bila, and there was one in Mehurici. I don't know whether there were
17 any other police stations in the area.
18 Q. In response to my learned friend's question, you said that you
19 didn't remember the names of any of the soldiers that allegedly committed
20 crimes against him, the 306th Brigade initiated disciplinary measure. My
21 question to you is as follows: In view of what you did at the time as the
22 commander and what you could learn as a member of the command, are you
23 aware of any of such measures being taken for disciplinary offences that
24 were perpetrated as well as for other actions that were perpetrated?
25 A. I know that a lot of disciplinary measures were carried out. A
1 lot of soldiers were remanded in custody. That was when I was the
2 battalion commander. I don't know what was going on in the brigade, at
3 the level of the brigade command. However, I believe that they also
4 instituted measures against their members and that there was a system for
5 that in place.
6 Q. When you were the brigade -- battalion commander and when you
7 worked in the training centre, did you have any problem when you wanted to
8 send men to the lines? Because some of the soldiers had been remanded in
10 A. Did you say battalion commander or the brigade commander?
11 Q. I did say brigade commander. I meant battalion commander. I'm
13 A. Yes, I did have problems with sending men to the front lines
14 because some of the men were -- had been remanded this custody, and I
15 would always ask why they were in custody and for how long.
16 Q. You are a young man. But still, you don't remember some of the
17 names, and you explained how come you don't remember them. Can you tell
18 me how well do you still remember the names of the members of the 306th
19 Brigade? How many of them would you be able to remember?
20 A. I really don't know. I don't know how many names I would recall.
21 Maybe up to 50. I wouldn't be able to recall more than 50, I'm sure.
22 Q. I would also like to know whether you received from your commander
23 an order to put in place all the measures in order to prevent plunder and
25 A. When I was supposed to enter certain places, we would receive very
1 specific orders from the brigade commander. Those orders were either
2 verbal or written.
3 Q. Earlier today, Mr. Camdzic, you said you are a major in the BiH
4 Army. When you look back and when you remember the times when you were
5 fighting and when you were defending your country, when you were taking
6 certain measures, can you tell the Trial Chamber, do you believe that you
7 did everything that was feasible under the conditions in order to prevent
8 crimes from taking place and in order to discover who the perpetrators of
9 the possible crimes were? What can you tell us about that?
10 A. My opinion is that throughout all this time that I spent in the
11 units of the BiH Army, I did everything possible to prevent any
12 unfortunate incidents that may have happened. How successful I was in
13 that, I don't know. But in any case, that was my main objective
14 throughout all this time. I endeavoured to prevent any possible crime.
15 Q. Mr. Camdzic, could you do more? But you didn't because you didn't
16 want to do it or you delayed action until some other time?
17 A. I did everything I could. I did not delay any action. I did
18 everything to the best of my ability.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
20 further questions.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
22 don't have any re-examination for this witness.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is quarter to
25 Your testimony is finished. We would like to thank you for having
1 come to The Hague to testify. We wish you a happy journey back home. I'm
2 going to ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom. Thank you.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I suppose that the Prosecution
5 would like to tender the map into evidence.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, we would, Mr. President. And also, if
7 Your Honours would like us to -- perhaps once that's done, we would be in
8 a position to respond at this point to the Defence request for an
9 extension of time with respect to their exhibit and witness list. And I
10 can do that orally in about 3 minutes maximum if you would like us to do
11 that after we've dealt with the map.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] About the map.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No objection, Your Honour.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, a number for the
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This map will be P937.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. This
19 is your Exhibit 690.
20 Mr. Mundis, you have a few minutes to take the floor.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I did discuss the issue
22 with Mr. Bourgon at the last break. As I think the Chamber is aware, the
23 Prosecution team in this case is a bit challenged when it comes to the
24 French language. He did explain to us the nature of their motion and what
25 it contained. The Prosecution would have no objection to the Defence
1 being entitled to additional time to file their witness and Defence list.
2 I did make our position clear, however, with respect to one issue: The
3 Prosecution is more concerned about the Defence dropping a witness or
4 witnesses than they would be in the case of adding witnesses for the
5 simply reason that quite frequently, as Your Honours can appreciate, we
6 might have a choice of one or two or three witnesses whom we might want to
7 cross-examine on a particular issue, and we might identify one of the
8 later witnesses as being the best witness to present with a certain issue,
9 and so I explained that also to Mr. Bourgon, and I think he has alleviated
10 our concerns with respect to that.
11 But we would have no objection to them being allowed additional
12 time pursuant to the motion that they have filed.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to discuss this and
14 tomorrow morning at 9.00 we are going to tell you what we have decided.
15 For tomorrow, we have a witness, so there's no problem. The
16 Witness Number 59. The Judges could not ask this witness any questions.
17 Tomorrow, if you take an hour and a half, that will leave us some time for
18 the questions. If you take more time, this will block us. So again, I
19 would like to ask both parties to try and stick to the time allocated to
20 them in order to allow the Judges to put questions to the witness. Thank
21 you very much, and I invite you to come back tomorrow for a session that
22 starts at 9.00 in the morning.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
25 November, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.