1 Tuesday, 14 December 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
8 Number IT-01-47-T, The Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, please,
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
13 Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
14 Prosecution, Tecla Henry-Benjamin and Daryl Mundis, assisted again today
15 by our intern Jaspreet Saini, and Mr. Andres Vatter, our case manager.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll ask the Defence
17 for appearances now.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
19 morning, Your Honours. Defence for Mr. Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,
20 and my legal assistant.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
22 Defence of Mr. Kubura, Mr. Rodney Dixon and Nermin --
23 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't catch the name, sorry.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wish good morning to everyone;
25 Prosecution, the Defence, and Mr. Dixon, who is hidden behind the monitor.
1 Good morning to both the accused and all the personnel of the courtroom.
2 We are to continue today with cross-examination of the witness. Will the
3 usher please bring him in.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, General. The
6 hearing is continuing today with continued cross-examination. I'm
7 therefore giving the floor to Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 WITNESS: DZEMAL MERDAN [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis: [Continued]
12 Q. Good morning, General.
13 A. Good morning, everyone.
14 Q. Sir, over the course of last evening, I reviewed my notes, and I
15 do have a few additional questions with respect to the time you were in
16 the courtyard on the 11th or 12th of June 1993. And of course, by
17 "courtyard," I mean the courtyard of the monastery in Guca Gora.
18 The persons that you saw there that day, do you recall what type
19 of clothing they were wearing?
20 A. I have spoken already about this. They had varied clothing. Some
21 wore jackets, camouflage-uniform jackets. Some had mismatched trousers.
22 Some wore traditional clothing. They were not uniformly dressed.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with your leave, I would ask that the
24 witness be shown an excerpt of one of the videotapes, which is P482.
25 Before we do that, however, I would like to explain to the general a
1 little bit about this exhibit.
2 Q. Sir, we have a videotape which is in evidence, and I'm going to
3 show you a clip that runs about a minute and a half to two minutes. This
4 videotape shows some persons inside the church at the Guca Gora monastery.
5 I'm fully aware that you said on that day you were not inside the church.
6 I'm showing you the tape to ask you if you recognise any of the persons
7 inside the church as being among the persons that you saw on the 11th or
8 12th of June 1993 in the courtyard.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems there is no sound. No
11 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, you mean on the videotape? We will
12 not play any of the sound. We will simply show the videotape.
13 Q. And again, sir, I understand you were not inside the church, and
14 when we get to the clip, it does show the interior of the church. What I
15 will be asking you about is the persons inside the church, if you
16 recognise any of those persons as being the person or persons that you saw
17 in the courtyard on that day. Do you understand what I'm asking you, sir?
18 A. I completely understand.
19 Q. I would ask, General, that you, with the assistance of the usher,
20 if we can put it so you can see the videotape on the screen in front of
21 you. And perhaps if you do see any person that you recognise, if you
22 could just tell us, and we will attempt to stop the videotape at that
23 point in time. It may not be possible to do that. We may have to show
24 you the videoclip more than once. But if you do see anyone that you
25 recognise from that day, I would ask you to please just tell us at that
1 point and we will do our best to stop the video at that point.
2 MR. MUNDIS: And again, Mr. President, this is an excerpt from
4 [Videoclip played]
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. General Merdan, did you recognise any of the people that were
7 shown in that videoclip?
8 A. I did not recognise in this videoclip anybody from the group that
9 I talked to. I talked mainly with the interpreter out of that group.
10 Only one among the group communicated. The rest were standing around
11 without communicating. Only one of them spoke through the interpreter,
12 and I cannot recognise him in this picture, or rather videoclip that you
13 have just shown.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you told us on, I believe it was Thursday of
15 last week, that you recall a certain meeting held at the 3rd Corps
16 headquarters where General Halilovic was present, and the issue of
17 foreigners was discussed.
18 A. Yes. I said that. Correct.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, you have in the packets that we handed
20 out yesterday, Prosecution Exhibit P794, which is photocopies of certain
21 pages of the 3rd Corps war diary. I also have the actual physical,
22 original war diary, which might be easier for the witness to look at than
23 the photocopies.
24 Q. Sir, could you turn, please, to the tab that's marked P794.
25 MR. MUNDIS: And again, if it would be of assistance, we do have
1 the original for the witness to look at if it's clearer than the
2 photocopy. With the assistance --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You'd better give him the
5 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask the usher, perhaps, to show that to the
6 Defence, and then provide it to the witness.
7 Q. Sir, I'm presenting you with a notebook. And first, let me ask
8 you if that notebook looks familiar to you.
9 A. I have not seen this book in this form. Or rather, format before.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems there is a transcript
11 problem. We don't see a transcript on our screens.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Nor do we, Mr. President. I believe the technicians
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have the text. We have the
15 text on the screen of the computer, the laptop, but not on the monitors.
16 MR. MUNDIS:
17 Q. Sir, you just told us that you have not seen this book in this
18 format before. Can you perhaps elaborate on that.
19 A. I have this book in my hands for the first time, and I'm seeing it
20 for the first time.
21 Q. Sir, I suggest to you that this is the 3rd Corps -- one of the 3rd
22 Corps war diaries, or war logs, and you're telling us you've never seen
23 this document before, or this book before?
24 A. True. I never have seen it before.
25 Q. You told us on Thursday -- or Friday of last week that you had
1 reviewed on occasion the logbooks maintained by the 3rd Corps. Is that
3 A. I have reviewed only part of the records of the 3rd Corps. The
4 records of the 3rd Corps are humungous. Many days would be needed to
5 review the entire documentation on the 3rd Corps. I reviewed only a part
6 of it. I also testified before this Court that I had no time to review
7 all the reports, daily, combat and other reports, let alone the entire
8 documentation of the 3rd Corps. You have to understand that the
9 documentation of the 3rd Corps is enormous. It was the work product of
10 special organs, and all I know is that they kept special records for
11 operational organs, security organs, and other organs of the 3rd Corps.
12 Each had separate records. I could not see all that they combined have
13 written. And about this war log before me, I can only say that I haven't
14 seen it. At least, I think I have not seen it until now.
15 Q. Sir, you told us about different units or departments that kept
16 such logs. Can you tell us, based on perhaps the cover or title page of
17 this book, what department this log belonged to or was compiled by?
18 A. I know in principle that a war log is kept by a department within
19 the staff of the 3rd Corps, the section for operations and training. I
20 can see who has signed below.
21 Q. And do you --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Sorry, sir. Can you tell us who signed this book.
24 A. It says, "Concluding with the 14th of May 1993," 97 pages. But I
25 cannot recognise the signature. I can only say that it is not mine. I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 don't know who signed this.
2 Q. Sir, let me ask you to turn to page 70 of this diary. Actually,
3 if you could, sir, at the top, I would ask you to look at the page with
4 the stamped number 01814064, which I believe is the page opposite the
5 handwritten page numbered 70. Are you looking at that page, sir?
6 A. Yes, I see the page.
7 Q. Now, General, approximately what time did the meeting that was
8 attended by General Halilovic begin?
9 A. I cannot remember at what time that began. I testified that it
10 was held late at night. I don't remember when it began or when it ended,
11 but it was held late at night. It began late at night. I cannot remember
12 the exact time. I said I couldn't even remember the precise date. If I
13 remember correctly, it was on the 20th or the 21st. I gave that as a
14 rough date, and I also gave a rough time frame, but I could not remember
15 the exact time of the beginning and the end of the meeting.
16 Q. Well, sir, if you would look now at the preceding page, that is,
17 the page with the number 69 at the top, the handwritten page, do you see
18 at the top it indicates 21 April 1993?
19 A. Yes, I see the date, 21st of April 1993.
20 Q. Sir, if you could then turn the page to, again, the page with the
21 stamped number ending 4064, I would ask you, sir, to look down about
22 two-thirds of the way down that page, you see an entry that begins 2330.
23 Do you see that, sir?
24 A. Yes, I see on the left at the bottom, it says 2330.
25 Q. And below that and continuing on to the following page, there is a
1 list of individuals and their functions that were present on the 21st of
2 April 1993 at 2330 hours. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, from this log you could conclude that.
4 Q. I would ask you, sir, if you could just read through the pages
5 that depict or that are put forth in this document that concern this
6 meeting on the 21st of April 1993 commencing at 2330 hours. If you could
7 just briefly read through what's contained in this document.
8 A. I have finished reading the text that you instructed me to read.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, to the best of your recollection, do the
10 minutes as reflected in these written pages convey what occurred at the
11 meeting late on the evening of 21 April 1993?
12 A. I think the meeting is reflected in these minutes as far as I
13 remember the topics.
14 Q. Sir, if you could go back to the page again with the last four
15 digits 4064, and this is the page where the meeting minutes began, where
16 you saw the numbers 2330. Are you on that page, sir?
17 A. I've found the page.
18 Q. Can you look down the list of participants to where you see the
19 name Sakib Mahmuljin. Do you see, sir, that he's listed as the secretary
20 to the commander of the 3rd Corps?
21 A. I see that. That's what it says here.
22 Q. I ask you this question, sir, because you told us on the 9th of
23 December that you do not believe Sakib Mahmuljin was a member of the 3rd
24 Corps in July 1993. That was at page 68, line 16, of the transcripts on
25 the 9th of December. This 3rd Corps diary that you have before you seems
1 to indicate that Mr. Mahmuljin was, in fact, a member of the 3rd Corps as
2 of 21 April 1993. Can you perhaps explain that to us, if, in fact, he was
3 on that date?
4 A. As far as I can remember, I can say that at that time,
5 Mr. Mahmuljin was not a member of the 3rd Corps. I can interpret this in
6 the following way: This is a wrong wording, because in the 3rd Corps,
7 there was never a secretary. According to the establishment, the duty of
8 a secretary did not exist and it did not exist in practice. I can view
9 this from another angle maybe. Sakib Mahmuljin was introduced to us as a
10 member of the office of the Supreme Command. Maybe the person who
11 authored the diary on this day - I don't know who it was, I can't
12 recognise the signature - maybe he didn't understand too well when
13 Mr. Mahmuljin was being introduced. I remember that he was introduced as
14 a member of the office of the commander of the Supreme Command Staff
15 rather than a member of the 3rd Corps. And I can claim with full
16 responsibility before this Trial Chamber that Sakib Mahmuljin at that time
17 was not a member of the 3rd Corps.
18 Q. Sir, we had another witness who testified before this Trial
19 Chamber who told us that in June 1993, he saw Mr. Mahmuljin's name listed
20 in a 3rd Corps telephone directory, with the functional title of "advisor
21 to the 3rd Corps commander." Can you comment on that aspect.
22 A. I can't remember that anybody introduced Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin as an
23 advisor to the commander of the 3rd Corps in my presence. If somebody had
24 indeed presented Mr. Mahmuljin as the advisor to the commander of the 3rd
25 Corps, then you have to ask that person. In my presence, this was never
1 done. I told you how Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin was presented in my presence,
2 how he was introduced to me. I can repeat that just to confirm what I
3 remember. In my presence, Sakib Mahmuljin was introduced as a member of
4 the office of the commander of the Supreme Command Staff, and this is what
5 I knew at that time about Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin. Whether Mr. Sakib
6 Mahmuljin had a dual position, I wouldn't know. You have to ask people
7 who knew. I can only tell you what I know and what I can remember, so I
8 can only claim with full responsibility that Sakib Mahmuljin at that time
9 was not a member of the 3rd Corps. He was in the 3rd Corps; however, he
10 was not the advisor to the commander of the 3rd Corps, as far as I can
12 Actually, I cannot remember anybody having been in that position.
13 Nobody was the advisor to the 3rd Corps commander. I didn't have that
14 information; in practice it wasn't the case. It is not customary in the
15 army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to have an advisor to the
16 commander. I really don't have any information to that effect.
17 Q. General, at lines 11 and 12 of the current page of the transcript
18 it, said, "He was in the 3rd Corps." Now, can you tell us what position
19 Mr. Mahmuljin had in the 3rd Corps and the time period he had that
21 A. I've already testified about that. I remember this period of time
22 when I was told what the position of Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin was. As far as I
23 can remember, the first position he held in the 3rd Corps was the position
24 of the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps. Before Mr. Mahmuljin, the chief
25 of staff of the 3rd Corps was Mr. Muradif Mekic. I can't say exactly when
1 was it that Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin was appointed the chief of staff of the
2 3rd Corps, but I believe that this was in the early autumn. I can't
3 remember the exact date, but I'm sure it wasn't in April 1993. In the
4 month of April of 1993, he was not a member of the 3rd Corps, and he did
5 not hold a position in the 3rd Corps. I would like to underline once
6 again, as far as I know, Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin was appointed the chief of
7 staff of the 3rd Corps. Before that, he did not hold any positions in the
8 3rd Corps, and he was not a member of the 3rd Corps.
9 Q. And to clarify, sir, you say you believe he was appointed the
10 chief of staff for the 3rd Corps in the early autumn. Would that be the
11 early autumn of 1993?
12 A. Yes. I was referring to the autumn of 1993.
13 Q. Now, General, during the time period of June 1993, was there, in
14 fact, some kind of 3rd Corps telephone directory or listing that had the
15 personnel of the 3rd Corps with phone numbers on how to reach them?
16 A. I believe there was a telephone directory listing the most
17 important staff of the 3rd Corps. I also believe that on that list there
18 were some other people who could be contacted via the 3rd Corps, which
19 doesn't mean that they were members of the 3rd Corps. I can talk about
20 that. It is possible that there was such a list of names; in other words,
21 a directory, in the 3rd Corps. It was a long time ago. I can't remember
22 exactly, but I accept this possibility that this might have been the case.
23 Q. Do you recall ever seeing Mr. Mahmuljin's name listed in that
24 telephone directory with the functional title of "advisor to the 3rd Corps
25 commander"? Did you ever see that in the 3rd Corps directory?
1 A. I can't remember this detail. When I wanted to get hold of a
2 number of telephone to call somebody, I had a service below my level, the
3 service that operated telephones. I never gave them the number when I
4 needed to talk to somebody; I gave them the name of the person that I
5 wanted to talk to, and this was the service that called that person. I
6 can't remember having had in my hands such a telephone directory in which
7 the name of Mr. Mahmuljin would be listed. I can't remember that.
8 Q. Thank you, sir. Let me turn now to a different topic. Again,
9 however, it concerns the monastery in Guca Gora. You told us last week
10 that you returned to the monastery with Father Radic, the Catholic priest.
11 Do you recall the approximate time period when you visited the monastery
12 on that occasion?
13 A. Yes. I said that I visited the monastery in Guca Gora with a
14 delegation, a mixed delegation, headed by the European Monitors. And I
15 also already said that as far as I could remember, Mr. Landry Remi was the
16 head of the delegation, and I also said that Father Radic was a member of
17 that delegation. I've also testified that, as far as I can remember, this
18 was at the beginning of August 1993. We set off from Zenica. I don't
19 know what the time was. I assume that we arrived in Guca Gora around noon
20 or an hour earlier or maybe an hour later than that, but I believe that it
21 was around that time. I can't remember exactly. I can't even remember
22 the date. However, I remember the delegation very well. I remember the
23 names of the people, but I cannot give you the exact date, and especially,
24 I can't give you the precise time when we visited the monastery in Guca
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Now, General, on this occasion, at the beginning of August 1993
2 when you visited the monastery, did you observe any military police or any
3 military checkpoints controlled by units of the 3rd Corps in the immediate
4 vicinity of the Guca Gora monastery?
5 A. I saw the military police. However, I didn't know whether it was
6 the military police of the 3rd Corps or of the 306th Brigade. In any
7 case, I saw members of the military police who were standing around the
9 Q. Did you see any other soldiers of any units of the 3rd Corps in
10 addition to the military police that you saw on that day?
11 A. I'm not sure that I understand your question. When you say
12 "member of the 3rd Corps," are you referring to some other units of the
13 3rd Corps? Are you referring to members of the army in general? If you
14 mean troops of a unit of the 3rd Corps, I did see soldiers. I don't know
15 how many, I didn't pay too much attention to that. I focussed my
16 attention on the delegation that I was a member of. Our goal was to
17 comply with the requests of the European Monitors and Father Radic to
18 visit the church. I didn't pay too much attention as to who was moving
19 around us. I've told you that, as far as I remember, I saw the military
20 police. There may have been other soldiers, I'm not excluding that
21 possibility, but however, I did not pay too much attention to that. It
22 was 11 years ago. It is possible that there may have been men in uniform
23 who were members of one of the units of the 3rd Corps. I'm not ruling
24 that possibility out. However, I can't remember. I can't restore the
25 picture of how things were at the time around the monastery, whether there
1 were any other soldiers or not. I can't remember that.
2 Q. And sir, on that occasion, at the beginning of August 1993, did
3 you go into the church?
4 A. Yes, I did go into the church at the time.
5 Q. Did you also on that occasion go into the courtyard?
6 A. I don't know whether we entered the church from the south or from
7 the east, through the courtyard and then on to the church. I can't
8 remember how we entered the church. I only know that we did enter the
9 church. I believe, however, that we entered through the main gate, which
10 is on the south side of the church. I can't be a hundred per cent sure of
11 that because I can't remember. I believe that it was on the south, that
12 we used the south entrance to the church.
13 Q. And sir, can you please describe for us with as much detail as you
14 recall the condition of the interior of the Guca Gora monastery church in
15 early August 1993 when you visited.
16 A. I remember that we entered a somewhat larger room. I believe that
17 that room was the room entered by Catholics to -- who wanted to pray
18 together. The interior of that room was damaged. I've already said that
19 on one of the walls, I saw fresh paint. It looked as if somebody had
20 painted this wall in a haste. What was underneath that paint, I couldn't
21 see, I couldn't read. However, I did notice that something was painted
22 over. The fresh paint did not match the background. So one could easily
23 see that something had been painted over. I did not observe any other
24 rooms in any great detail. I kept standing in that big hall. I didn't
25 walk around to inspect everything. I could just see what I could see from
1 that place where I was standing. I did not visit all of the rooms in the
2 monastery to inspect what the condition of other rooms was. I can only
3 tell you what I can remember and what I saw when I entered this main, big
4 hall, which is quite a large hall.
5 I could not see precisely what the condition of the monastery was.
6 I only saw that this part was damaged, but the damage was not major.
7 Q. Can you please elaborate what you mean by "the damage." You've
8 told us that apparently something was painted on the hall and then covered
9 up with fresh paint. Other than painting on the hall, can you recall any
10 specific damage to the interior of the Guca Gora monastery's church?
11 A. I didn't say that there was an inscription on the wall. I only
12 said that the wall had been painted over and that the fresh paint did not
13 match the background. This is what I could observe. This is what
14 everybody else could observe. Because it was the biggest difference to
15 the rest of the room. There may have been some dirty spots on other parts
16 of the walls, I can't remember. This is what I meant when I said minor
17 damage. I thought that this was easily repairable. The fresh paint that
18 was applied on the wall in a haste could have been repaired rather quickly
19 and could be matched with the rest of the wall without any problems.
20 That's what I meant when I said there was minor damage. Whether there was
21 any other damage, I don't know. I didn't pay any attention to that. My
22 only goal was to make the delegation feel safe, to allow the delegation to
23 see everything. I did not personally strive to see everything and to
24 inspect the extent of the possible damage in the monastery.
25 Q. And sir, do you also recall seeing any damage to the courtyard or
1 the walls of the courtyard or the contents of the courtyard, including any
2 sculptures? Do you recall seeing any damage to any of those items or
4 A. No, I don't remember that.
5 Q. Sir, did you notice any damage to the exterior of the church
6 building itself?
7 A. I'm really sorry for not being able to remember. If I had paid
8 attention and if I had noticed any damage, I would tell you. I'm not
9 excluding that possibility. However, I've told you that I did not pay any
10 attention to that. I've told you what my mission was. My mission was not
11 to inspect damage and to assess the level of damage in the church. If
12 that was -- if that had been my mission, I would have taken a piece of
13 paper and a pen, and I would have noted it down. I believe that I was
14 carrying out my mission properly by escorting the mixed delegation and by
15 taking care that they felt safe. That was my main mission on the day. It
16 was not my mission to record the level of damage in the monastery and in
17 the church. If my mission had been that, I'm sure I would have recorded
18 everything because that's the kind of person I am. If I am given a
19 mission, then I record everything, and then I provide arguments to my
20 observations. I believe that my mission was not that at that moment.
21 I've told you what my mission was. I was not trying to observe the
22 details that you are mentioning at the moment. I just saw the damage that
23 I've described to you, nothing else.
24 Q. Sir, I understand your mission was to make sure the delegation
25 remained safe, but the fact of the matter is you were at an extremely
1 important cultural and religious site in Central Bosnia, the Guca Gora
2 monastery, and you went there with a very prominent member of the Catholic
3 clergy from Central Bosnia to show these people the condition of the Guca
4 Gora monastery. Isn't that why you took Father Radic to the monastery, to
5 show him that in fact it wasn't damaged?
6 A. The way I understood my mission was to allow Father Radic to see
7 what he wanted to see. And I believe that I carried out my mission on the
8 day. I allow the possibility of the outer walls of the monastery having
9 been damaged. You have to bear in mind that there had been fighting in
10 the vicinity of the monastery and that the monastery was very close to one
11 of the -- to the main road leading through Guca Gora. And I know that in
12 the month of June, there was fighting in that area. It is possible that
13 the outer walls of the monastery were damaged. I respect and value
14 religious buildings a lot, and wherever my mission carried me, I tried to
15 prevent people from damaging religious buildings irrespective of their
16 religion. And I believe that I carried my mission out in accordance with
17 the instructions and with my orders.
18 Q. General, we're going to move now to a different subject
19 altogether. And this concerns the small town or village of Mehurici. I
20 asked you yesterday about your presence in Mehurici in February 1992 in
21 the context of the Patriotic League meeting. Do you remember we talked
22 about that yesterday?
23 A. We did talk about it, but I don't remember that we said it was in
24 February 1993. It was in February 1992. If I said that it was in
25 February 1993, then I misspoke and I apologise to this Trial Chamber.
1 This meeting took place in February 1992 rather than in February 1993. It
2 was a year earlier.
3 Q. I don't --
4 A. I would not want words to be put in my mouth.
5 Q. General, my question was February 1992, and there's no one putting
6 words into your mouth about 1993. I simply asked you if you remembered
7 yesterday we spoke about you being in Mehurici in February 1992.
8 A. Yes. In 1992, in the general area of Mehurici. When you speak to
9 common people, then they refer to this area as Mehurici. However, the
10 meeting did not take place in Mehurici itself. It took place in a
11 different place. To be more precise, in a different location within the
12 general area that people refer to as Mehurici. It is the local name for a
13 broader area that people up there call Mehurici.
14 Q. Well, let me ask you this: What building or hamlet or physical
15 place on the ground did you have this meeting in February 1992?
16 A. I can be very precise on that. I can show you the house where the
17 meeting was held. We were moving towards the village of Mehurici, and
18 very close to the centre of Mehurici there is a bridge as you enter the
19 village. Before that bridge, we turned right along the banks of a little
20 brook. We arrived in Zagradje, and then we turned right along a road
21 which is rather steep. We arrived at a lonely house, and it is in this
22 house that the meeting was held in February 1992. I remember that very
23 well because I went back to the vicinity of that house after the war.
24 There is now a memorial plaque on the house to mark the date of that
25 meeting which was held in February 1992. So I know very well where this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 took place, and I can show you very precisely where that house is.
2 Q. Perhaps after the break, we will endeavour to get a map and I
3 might ask you to mark this house. But for now, can you tell us which
4 direction this house was from the centre of Mehurici. Was it south of
5 Mehurici, north of Mehurici? Southeast, northwest? East? West? From
6 the centre of Mehurici, where was this house?
7 A. As far as I can visualise it at this moment, this entire
8 situation, from the centre of Mehurici, it was to the northeast. But I
9 would more easily orient myself with a map, a large-scale map, so that I
10 can define the locality more precisely. I think it's to the northeast of
11 Mehurici, the centre of Mehurici.
12 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, let me ask you, other than this point in
13 time in February 1992, were you in Mehurici at any other point during
15 A. I remember passing through the area close to Mehurici on my way to
16 Visnjevo village. I cannot remember which date it was exactly, but it was
17 certainly in the first half of 1992. Whether I visited some other time in
18 1992, I can't remember. It didn't seem important enough for me to
19 remember any other passage through that area or visit to Mehurici.
20 Q. Do you recall being in Mehurici in the first six months of 1993?
21 A. I cannot remember precisely within that specific time frame. It's
22 a long one, after all, six months, and I already testified before this
23 Court that I passed by Mehurici village at least two or three times. At
24 one point I said that I passed very close to Mehurici when I was going to
25 Miletici village in April, on the 25th of April 1993. I also testified
1 before this Court that I passed by driving in an UNPROFOR vehicle through
2 the Biljana valley as part of a joint commission from Vitez, the joint
3 commission that we discussed at length.
4 I also testified that I passed through Biljana Valley also in my
5 capacity as the member of joint command, when we were talking about
6 Travnik. I also said that I don't know how far I went in Biljana Valley
7 on the 8th of June 1993 to attend the meeting of local communes. I
8 believe I testified about this passage through Biljana Valley. And it was
9 very close to Mehurici, so one of these times could have been in the first
10 half of 1993.
11 Q. General, I appreciate that answer, but my question wasn't whether
12 you passed by Mehurici on a number of questions; my question was were you
13 actually in the centre of the village of Mehurici at any point in time in
14 the first six months of 1993? In the village of Mehurici itself. Not in
15 the region, not passing by, but in the village of Mehurici.
16 A. I don't rule out the possibility that I was there. But if I may
17 add, it must have been an important event for me to go to Mehurici. But I
18 can't remember any important event that would have required me to go to
19 Mehurici. I don't rule out the possibility of having been there, but I
20 cannot claim with any certainty that I was there on such and such day, on
21 such and such an assignment, on such and such a mission.
22 Q. Let me ask you again so that we're 100 per cent clear, the last --
23 I'm talking now about the last six months of 1992, from, say, 1 July 1992
24 through 31 December 1992. During that six-month period, were you in the
25 village of Mehurici? And again, not the area, not the region, not passing
1 by, but in the village of Mehurici from 1 July 1992 to 31 December 1992.
2 A. Did I understand you correctly? From June to December 1992? Or
3 did you say 1993? I'm not quite clear on this, which year.
4 Q. 1992. The second half, the last six months of 1992.
5 A. I cannot remember going there in the last six months of 1992.
6 Q. Sir, during the last two months of 1992 and into 1993, where was
7 the headquarters of the 306th Mountain Brigade?
8 A. Towards the end of 1992 and in early 1993, when the 306th Brigade
9 was established, the command post of the brigade was located in the
10 building of the mine. That place is called Han Bila, if I remember
11 correctly. I know very well where the building of the mining company was,
12 where the headquarters of the brigade were.
13 Q. Sir, was there a command post or a battalion of the 306th Mountain
14 Brigade at the school, the primary school, in Mehurici?
15 A. I tried very hard to know exactly where my command posts of
16 brigades and of operation groups were. I tried to memorise details even
17 on a lower tactical level because, after all, the battalion command is on
18 a lower level, and I don't rule out the possibility that the headquarters
19 of one of the battalions was in the primary school. But I had never
20 visited that particular headquarters in Mehurici.
21 Q. Sir, do you recall where you were on the 31st of December 1992?
22 A. You mean, the New Year's Eve?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I know that just before the new year, I inspected the battalion
25 near Turbe. I remember that very well. It was the hardest front line,
1 the defence line of the town of Turbe, because it was an access to the
2 town of Travnik. I remember that well because it was the hardest line,
3 near the petrol station in Turbe. I remember I was there on the New
4 Year's Eve in the night of the 31st December 1992.
5 Q. Do you recall whether you inspected or visited the 306th Mountain
6 Brigade on the evening of 31 December 1992?
7 A. I can't remember. I can't rule out the possibility, but I
8 remember that forward defence line because in the entire area of
9 responsibility, right after the 3rd Corps was established, it was the
10 hardest defence line. And it is quite understandable and logical that I
11 should have inspected that forward defence line because it was so
12 difficult. And even if I had gone there, I didn't think of it as
13 important. My mission was to visit the troops. I spent a long time at
14 the forward defence lines speaking to the troops, trying to speak to every
15 soldier. You can imagine at a moment like that, what a high-ranking
16 officer could talk about with the troops whose life was constantly on the
17 line because the shooting never stopped. I thought it was the right thing
18 to do, and that's why it stuck in my memory, that date, I mean.
19 I don't rule out the possibility that I dropped by that place, but
20 it was hardly as important as inspecting the forward defence line. That
21 was really the most difficult and the most important in the area of
22 responsibility that I was the commander of.
23 Q. Well, sir, I ask you this question because the war diary of the
24 306th Mountain Brigade contains an entry on 31 December 1992 at 1935 hours
25 that indicates that you visited the command of the 306th Brigade on that
1 evening at that time.
2 A. Well, I said I didn't rule out the possibility. For that brigade,
3 it must have been a memorable event if I had been there indeed, that they
4 would have written it down in their war diary, their war log. I don't
5 rule out the possibility. If it's written in the war log, then it's
6 probably true. But I told you what my main mission was. I always focus
7 on my principal mission, the principal mission given me. And I don't rule
8 out the possibility that I might have also visited the command of the
9 306th Mountain Brigade.
10 Q. And had you visited the command of the 306th Mountain Brigade,
11 where would you have gone? Where would that have been on 31 December
13 A. If it had been my mission to visit that brigade command, then I
14 would have certainly prepared myself for that mission just as I had
15 prepared myself to visit the forward defence line. I was wearing a Kevlar
16 vest, knowing the kind of mission I was going on. And if I had been given
17 the mission to visit the brigade command, I would have certainly -- I
18 would have certainly known that and written that down in my notes. You
19 could look through them, if you like [as interpreted]. I know what my
20 main mission was, and I was quite happy with my mission for that day.
21 Q. Sir, you've just mentioned your notes. Did you, in fact, keep a
22 personal diary or a notebook during the time period 1992 through 1993?
23 A. I kept my personal notes, not in the form of a diary or anything.
24 Those are really very intimate, very personal notes, including some very
25 personal things, and they don't necessarily reflect the chronology of
1 events. Those are very, very personal notes that I kept.
2 Q. Well, you just told me at line 3 that we could look through them
3 if we like. And I'm wondering if you have these notes with you perhaps in
4 your bag that you bring to Court with you every day.
5 A. I cannot allow you to view my private, personal things.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know how it
7 was interpreted. I'm just seeing this for the first time now, but the
8 witness did not say at any point that he could allow anybody to review
9 these notes. I'm just going to check the transcript.
10 It says, "You could look through them, if you like." That's
11 something that the witness did not say.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Line 3, page 24, it
13 says in English: "You could look through them, if you like." But it
14 seems he didn't actually say that.
15 So General, did you say in your language - because maybe it's just
16 a misinterpretation - that your notes could be reviewed? Or is it the
17 case what you said at the end, that it's out of the question to review
18 your notes?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those are my very personal notes,
20 and showing them to anyone is out of the question. These notes are
21 something that I view from time to time, and I don't allow even my family
22 to read them.
23 MR. MUNDIS:
24 Q. Let's go back, then, sir, to the issue of the 306th Mountain
25 Brigade. I want to be very clear on this: At any point in time from
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 November 1992 through June 1993, were you ever in the primary school in
3 A. I cannot remember that within that period I went to the primary
4 school in Mehurici.
5 Q. Were you ever notified or informed by anyone that there were
6 foreigners on the upper floors of the primary school in Mehurici in 1992
7 or early 1993? And by "foreigners," again, I mean armed foreigners.
8 A. I had no such information ever.
9 Q. Were you aware, sir, that several hundred metres away from the
10 primary school in Mehurici, the foreigners established a camp in the
11 Savici settlement or the Poljanice area, several hundred metres south of
12 the Mehurici primary school? Did you ever become aware of that fact?
13 A. No, I never learnt about that. I have already said that I did not
14 know where those foreigners were located. And we defined yesterday what
15 we understand by this term "foreigners." So I did not know they were
16 located in those houses in that place.
17 Q. Now, sir, last week you told us that on the 8th of June -- and I'd
18 like to talk to you a little bit about the 8th of June 1993. On the 8th
19 of June, you told us that you were in the Bila Valley, but that you left
20 at some point in the early afternoon to return for an important meeting in
21 Zenica. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes. I said I couldn't remember the precise time, but sometime
23 around noon I received information that the Ovnak pass had been liberated
24 on the axis where units from the 3rd Corps were involved in joint action.
25 So I went there to check and I spent very little time there. I remember
1 crossing that Ovnak pass and going down into the Bila River Valley, and
2 then went straight back because I had very important commitments in Zenica
3 and had to return to Zenica by early afternoon. Whether it was 1.00 or
4 2.00 p.m., I can't remember, but in any case, I had to return to Zenica.
5 I can't remember now whether I actually reached -- how far I actually
6 went. I can't be precise. But I noticed that it was time for me to be
7 heading back. I don't know up to which village I actually went, but I had
8 to go back rather soon. I remember that much.
9 Q. General, let me see if I can help refresh your recollection,
10 because I suggest to you that on the 8th of June 1993, you certainly got
11 as far as the village of Mehurici and that you were in Mehurici on the 8th
12 of June 1993.
13 A. I said that I couldn't rule out any possibility. I don't know how
14 far I went that day. On that day, I didn't communicate with anyone.
15 Maybe you have information that somebody saw me. That's possible. But I
16 remember very well that I didn't speak to anyone. I had no time to linger
17 long enough to speak to anybody. I don't rule out the possibility that I
18 was seen by anybody. If you have such information, of course I will not
19 deny that it's possible.
20 I'm certain that I didn't go to the school or near the school.
21 Q. Okay. Sir, do you know an individual by the name of Munir Karic
22 who was the assistant commander for logistics in the 306th Mountain
23 Brigade? Do you know Mr. Karic?
24 A. Yes, I know Mr. Karic. For a while he was commander of the 306th
1 Q. Do you remember meeting with him on the premises of the forestry
2 department cafe on the 8th of June 1993?
3 A. I don't know where that cafe is. I can't remember that detail. I
4 only remember that I didn't speak to anybody. I don't rule out the
5 possibility. But I certainly didn't go into any catering establishment,
6 any tavern, any cafe. I had no reason to go to such places. I don't
7 drink alcohol. And it's hardly possible that anybody saw me inside a
8 cafe. I didn't go to any cafes that day. I don't even know where that
9 cafe is that you're talking about.
10 Q. General, I'm going to read you a passage from the transcript and
11 ask you your reaction to that when I'm finished. This commences at page
12 11.505 of the transcripts, from 10 November 2004. This is Mr. Karic
14 Question: "Do you know the reason why you met Mr. Merdan when he
15 was arriving in the afternoon? Did you personally meet him?"
16 Answer: "Very briefly."
17 Question: "Did you talk?"
18 Answer: "Well, we did talk. But I asked him what direction he
19 had come from, and he said he had come from -- I don't remember now. Some
20 direction. He had a sandwich to eat, and that was it."
21 My question -- that's the end of the transcript, and it runs to
22 the first line of page 11.506.
23 My question, sir, is: Is it your testimony that Mr. Karic was
24 mistaken about seeing you? Because he does go on to line 7 of page
25 11.506, and say, "I met him" - meaning you, sir - "on the premises of the
1 forestry department's cafe."
2 Is Mr. Karic mistaken about what happened on that day?
3 A. I cannot say that anybody is wrong, especially not Mr. Karic. I
4 can't say he got it wrong. But I can remember only what I can remember.
5 I remember that I came from the direction of Zenica, and I can't remember
6 saying this to him at all. At that moment, it must have been much less
7 important to me than to Mr. Munir Karic. It could not have been in the
8 afternoon, anyway. It could only have been before because I had to return
9 quickly to Zenica. And I told you already all I remember. I don't rule
10 out the possibility that I was seen by somebody, and now you quoted back
11 at me Mr. Karic who did see me. A lot of people saw me. I can't deny
12 that. I just told you where I was and when I was there. I can't remember
13 the conversation with Karic in particular, and I can't remember that
14 canteen of the forestry department.
15 I told you that, as a rule, I very rarely go to cafes and such
16 places. Whether I had something to eat on that occasion, I don't know. I
17 don't remember whether I did or not. And Mr. Munir Karic knows that I
18 occupied a high position, and in his eyes it must have been an important
19 thing to meet with me. To me it meant nothing. I don't remember at this
20 moment whether I saw Mr. Munir Karic and whether I talked to him. And if
21 he's saying that I did, then I can't say that he's lying. I'm just saying
22 that I don't remember. That doesn't mean that I'm saying that he's not
23 telling the truth. In those cases when I remember something clearly and I
24 remember the date, I say so definitely, but I don't remember this meeting
25 with Mr. Karic.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I do note it's time for the break.
3 Sir, I will have one or two extra questions for you after the break about
4 this, and then we're going to move on to the kidnapping of the HVO
5 officers, including Zivko Totic.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall
7 resume at 11.00. Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 During the break, the Prosecution was able to print out a map, and
13 I would ask -- I've shown this to the Defence during the break. I'd ask
14 that this map be shown to the witness and perhaps put onto the ELMO.
15 Q. Sir, before the break, you were telling us you could perhaps
16 locate the house where the February 1992 meeting concerning the Patriotic
17 League was held. If you're able to see the location, I would ask you to
18 point to it using the pointer.
19 A. I have looked at the map. I can tell you that the school in
20 Zagradje is here, and this is the road leading to the school, right to
21 this road. I don't know whether this road here on the map - I don't know
22 when this map was drawn - but it would be somewhere around here. If this
23 is the road, then it would be somewhere around here.
24 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness be provided with a thin
25 blue marker. He could perhaps circle that location and perhaps put the
1 letters "PL" for Patriotic League.
2 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
3 [Interpretation] This would be the approximate location. So if I
4 could mark that with a circle, this would be the approximate location.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. That's fine, sir. Do you recall -- was this in someone's house,
7 this meeting?
8 A. Yes, it was a private house.
9 Q. And who was the owner of that house, or who lived in that house?
10 A. At the time when this meeting was held, there was nobody in that
11 house. The owner lived there just for a short period of time, but he
12 left. The meeting was held in the absence of the owner of this house.
13 Q. And do you recall the name of the owner of the house?
14 A. I don't recall the name.
15 Q. Sir, if you could please put today's date, 14 December 2004, on
16 the bottom or the top of that map and sign your name on the map.
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Thank you, sir.
19 Let me turn now to the period in mid-April 1993 when the HVO
20 officers were kidnapped. You've talked about this, and Zivko Totic was
21 kidnapped. Do you remember testifying about that last week?
22 A. Yes, I remember testifying about that.
23 Q. And sir, you told us about the steps that you took following the
24 kidnapping of Zivko Totic, and I'd like to ask you some follow-up
25 questions concerning that kidnapping. Now, you told us on the 9th of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 December that the indications that you had were that the perpetrators were
2 foreigners and that no one from the 3rd Corps was involved. Is that
4 A. I said that at the moment when the kidnapping took place, we did
5 not have any information as to who had perpetrated that act. After a
6 certain time, we were informed by the European monitors that it was
7 probably foreigners who had committed the act because the foreigners were
8 in communication with the European monitors, and they asked for an
9 exchange of the foreigners who had been arrested and who were kept in the
10 HVO prisons. That's what I testified to.
11 Q. Now, sir, do you recall the date that the first of the HVO
12 officers were kidnapped?
13 A. I believe that the date was the 13th. I remember that on the 14th
14 of April 1993, we went to look for the kidnapped soldiers of the Novi
15 Travnik HVO Brigade. I believe it was on the 14th, if I'm not mistaken.
16 Q. Just so that we're clear, sir, you believe that the kidnapping was
17 on the 13th of April 1993, and on the following day, the 14th of April
18 1993, you went with a group of other persons searching for these kidnapped
19 HVO officers. Is that correct?
20 A. I don't know whether they were kidnapped on the 13th. I know that
21 on the 14th, if I'm not mistaken, a mixed commission went out to search
22 for the HVO officers from Novi Travnik. And that I know because at the
23 meeting of the joint commission, it was said that the HVO officers had
24 been kidnapped, and I said immediately, "No problem. Let's see where they
25 are." We inspected a large area. It was a commission consisting of the
1 European monitors, Mr. Franjo Nakic was there on behalf of the HVO, and I
2 was there on behalf of the army. And that's the way I testified.
3 Q. And sir, just so that we're all clear, the HVO officers from Novi
4 Travnik, that did not include Zivko Totic? He was kidnapped a few days
5 after the HVO officers from Novi Travnik. Is that right?
6 A. I didn't know who the kidnapped persons were. It was Mr. Franjo
7 Nakic who told me that at our meeting. And what Mr. Franjo Nakic told me
8 on that day did not include Mr. Zivko Totic as one of the kidnapped
9 persons. As far as I remember, Mr. Zivko Totic was kidnapped later, if
10 I'm not mistaken.
11 Q. Okay. Now, let's talk about the 14th of April. You told us that
12 you went with Mr. Nakic, and I believe you also told us that there was at
13 least one international person, whether from the European monitors or
14 BritBat. Was it the European monitors who went with you, at least one of
15 them, on the 14th of April 1993?
16 A. Yes. On the 14th of April, there was a representative of the
17 European monitors there. I believe that his name was Valentino. I
18 believe that he was from Spain.
19 Q. Okay. Excuse me. Now, sir --
20 A. I believe that his name was Juan Valentino.
21 Q. Now, sir, on the 14th of April 1993 when you and Mr. Nakic and
22 Mr. Valentino went searching, where exactly did you go?
23 A. We went to those places where the representatives of the HVO, that
24 is, Mr. Nakic, thought that they might have been taken to. On that day,
25 we went all the way up to Ravno Rostovo because they thought that they
1 might have been taken there. We went all the way to Ravno Rostovo to see
2 whether that was correct. Mr. Nakic, the European monitors, and myself
3 inspected those premises and did not find any kidnapped members of the HVO
5 Q. Now, sir, you were informed that the -- by the European monitors
6 that they believed that foreigners were involved in this kidnapping.
7 A. No. At that moment, I didn't have that information. At that
8 moment, four -- the foreigners did not take responsibility for the
9 kidnapping of the HVO officers from the Travnik Brigade. No, the European
10 monitors didn't say that on that day. It was Mr. Franjo Nakic who said
11 that there were indications and information that they had been kidnapped
12 and taken in the direction of Ravno Rostovo. Even Mr. Franjo Nakic didn't
13 say anything as to who had kidnapped the HVO officers.
14 At that moment, nobody mentioned who the perpetrators of the
15 kidnapping might have been. They only said that they were kidnapped.
16 Q. Well, where did the information or indications come from that
17 foreigners were involved in the kidnapping?
18 A. This information reached us quite a number of days after that
19 date. It was then that the 3rd Corps was informed that they had been in
20 contact with the foreigners who had committed a kidnapping and who wanted
21 to exchange these people for their friends who had been arrested and kept
22 prisoner by the HVO.
23 Q. Why, sir, did you go to Ravno Rostovo?
24 A. We went to Ravno Rostovo because Mr. Franjo Nakic told us that
25 there were indications that the kidnapped soldiers had been taken either
1 in the direction of Ravno Rostovo or to Ravno Rostovo.
2 Q. Now, sir, just a moment ago when I asked you about the information
3 or indications that foreigners were involved, you said, "This information
4 reached us quite a number of days after that date. It was then that the
5 3rd Corps was informed that they had been in contact with the foreigners."
6 When you said "they had been in contact with the foreigners," who were
7 you referring to?
8 A. I'm referring to the European monitors.
9 Q. Okay. Now, on the 14th of April 1993, when you went to Ravno
10 Rostovo, what unit or units of the 3rd Corps were in Ravno Rostovo?
11 A. On the 14th of April 1993, a company of the 7th Muslim Brigade of
12 the 1st Battalion was in Ravno Rostovo. And that's at least what we were
13 told by the local commander, who was billeted in that facility.
14 Q. And sir, I suggest to you that on that date, it was the 1st
15 Company of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade, and at
16 that time, that unit was commanded by Ramo Durmis. Were you aware of
18 A. I wasn't aware who the commander of the 1st Company was. But the
19 man who said that he was the local commander of that unit at that moment
20 at that facility did not introduce him testify as Ramo Durmis. I don't
21 know this person, Ramo Durmis. I'm sure that he did not introduce himself
22 as Ramo Durmis. If he had mentioned his name or his position, I would
23 remember that very well. I'm sure that he only said he was the commander
24 of that company, but he did not mention his name being Ramo Durmis, and
25 that is the truth. And I'm sure that Mr. Franjo Nakic and the European
1 monitors heard that. This man certainly did not introduce himself as Ramo
3 Q. So to your recollection, he simply indicated that he was the
4 commander of the 1st Company and left it at that? Is that what you
6 A. No, I didn't say that. Don't put words into my mouth. I said
7 that there was a company there. I didn't know that it was the 1st Company
8 of the 1st Battalion. He said that he was the local commander of the
9 company of the 1st Battalion. He didn't say that he was the commander or
10 that that was the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion. This is not what I
11 said. Please don't put words into my mouth because this is not what I
12 said here.
13 Q. Sir, where did you go in Ravno Rostovo, looking for these
14 kidnapped HVO officers from Novi Travnik?
15 A. I don't understand, how we went there. You mean what means we
16 used to go there? I don't understand your question.
17 Q. No, sir. Once you were in Ravno Rostovo, did you simply drive
18 around the village to see if the HVO officers were wandering in the
19 streets, or did you go in any buildings or did you look anywhere in the
20 village? Where did you go in Ravno Rostovo looking for these HVO officers
21 from Novi Travnik?
22 A. There's no village where we went. It's just one facility. Before
23 the war, it used to be a motel. We entered that building. We did not see
24 any HVO soldiers there. This is not a village, this is just a facility
25 which used to be a motel before the war.
1 Q. And sir, where did you speak to this local commander, this local
2 company commander that you've told us about? Where did you speak to him?
3 A. We spoke to this local commander in that facility, in that
4 building, in the motel.
5 Q. And how long did you speak to him?
6 A. Not for long. I can't be sure of the time, but it was a very
7 short time.
8 Q. Other than Ravno Rostovo, did you go on that day to other
9 locations? And if so, where did you go?
10 A. As far as I can remember, after Ravno Rostovo, we returned to Novi
11 Travnik, to the brigade command which was in the new hotel in Novi
12 Travnik. After that, we were taken to the premises of the military police
13 of the HVO of Novi Travnik, and this is where we were kept until late in
14 the night. On that day, we did not inspect any other areas in order to
15 search for the kidnapped officers of the HVO brigade from Novi Travnik.
16 Q. Now, sir, at the time that you went to Ravno Rostovo, did
17 Mr. Nakic or Mr. Valentino say to you that they believed that the 7th
18 Muslim Mountain Brigade was involved in these kidnappings?
19 A. No. Neither Mr. Nakic nor Juan Valentino ever told me that
20 members of the 7th Muslim Brigade took part in the kidnapping. They
21 didn't say that.
22 Q. Now, sir, can you recall any of the specific discussions or
23 questions that were asked of this local company commander in Ravno Rostovo
24 by yourself or Mr. Nakic or Mr. Valentino?
25 A. In the presence of Mr. Franjo Nakic and Mr. Valentino, I spoke to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the local commander who introduced himself as the local commander. And I
2 explained what our mission was. He told us that he didn't know that
3 members of the HVO had been kidnapped. I remember this well. We asked
4 him to inspect the premises. He said that there was no problem, but he
5 also said that he did not have any information about HVO members having
6 been kidnapped.
7 Q. Did anyone ask him about the presence of foreigners in Ravno
9 A. I can't remember anybody raising that issue. As far as I can
10 visualise this scene at this moment, I'm not sure, and I don't believe
11 that anybody raised this issue.
12 Q. Okay. Let me ask you now, sir, to focus your attention on the
13 Totic kidnapping and not these four or five or however many HVO soldiers
14 or officers from Novi Travnik. My next questions will focus on the
15 kidnapping of Zivko Totic.
16 Where were you, sir, when you first heard that Colonel Totic had
17 been kidnapped?
18 A. On the 15th of April 1993, I was on my way back from a meeting in
19 Vitez. I received information that a meeting had been held in the
20 International Hotel in Zenica. And that it was being held. And when I
21 arrived at that meeting, I received information that Zivko Totic had been
22 kidnapped on that day. It was then that I received this information for
23 the first time, that Zivko Totic had been kidnapped.
24 Q. So if I understand you correctly, you were on your way from a
25 meeting in Vitez, and while you were en route you received this
2 A. No. On the way back from Vitez, I received information that a
3 meeting was being held at the International. And it was at that meeting
4 at the International that I learned about the kidnapping of Mr. Zivko
6 Q. Okay. Did you receive this information while you were en route
7 via a radio or a cell phone? How did you know to go to the International
9 A. The European monitors told me that this meeting was being held in
10 the International Hotel. I did not have a radio set, and I could not
11 communicate with anybody. The European monitors had a radio set in the
12 vehicle that I was driving in. I could not communicate with anybody. I
13 did not have a radio set on me to be able to communicate with anybody.
14 Q. Okay. So you were in a European Union Monitoring Mission vehicle
15 coming back from Vitez, and you were informed by the European monitors
16 about the situation, and they took you to the International Hotel?
17 A. They said there was a meeting at the Hotel International, but they
18 didn't tell me what the meeting was discussing. They didn't tell me that
19 Zivko Totic had been kidnapped. I found that out from people who attended
20 the meeting at the International Hotel, not from ECMM monitors.
21 Q. Now, sir, what do you recall being told about the kidnapping of
22 Zivko Totic at the International Hotel on 15 April 1993?
23 A. The information was given me that Mr. Zivko Totic had been
24 kidnapped in the early morning hours of the 15th of April 1993, and that
25 extensive measures were being taken to find his whereabouts, to detect the
1 perpetrators. But at that point, it was still unknown who the kidnappers
2 were or where he was taken.
3 Q. So on the 15th of April 1993, you had no specific information
4 about who took him or where they took him?
5 A. No. I personally had no such knowledge, and from what I could
6 hear at the meeting, even the people at the meeting didn't know.
7 Q. Did there come a time shortly thereafter where you had certain
8 suspicions concerning this kidnapping?
9 A. First of all, I was absolutely astounded that this kidnapping
10 could have happened in Zenica because Zenica was pretty quiet and safe.
11 The representatives of HVO could move around freely, and there had been no
12 problems before. The Croats and the Muslims and even the Serbs in Zenica
13 coexisted peacefully, as far as that is possible with a war going on. But
14 there had been no particular problems in Zenica. And I was amazed that
15 this could have happened in a town with properly-functioning civilian
17 Q. Sir, where at that time in April 1993, where was Colonel Totic's
19 A. I cannot tell you the precise location. I don't know where the
20 command post -- where his command post was. I don't know.
21 Q. It was in Zenica, though. Isn't that right?
22 A. Yes, certainly. Whether it was in the centre of the town itself
23 or in the periphery, I don't know. But yes, it was in Zenica.
24 Q. And the 3rd Corps headquarters were also in Zenica?
25 A. At that time, yes.
1 Q. And you don't know where this HVO brigade headquarters were
2 located even though it was in the same town as your corps headquarters?
3 A. At that time, I had no particular problems with the HVO of Zenica,
4 and I didn't attach much importance to Zenica as such. Everything was
5 quiet and normal. I didn't think it necessary to even inspect the command
6 of that brigade, the conditions of accommodation. I didn't believe that
7 was necessary, and I, therefore, did not visit the headquarters of the HVO
8 or remember their location.
9 Q. Now, sir, what steps, if any, did you take after the 15th of April
10 1993 to determine who was responsible for the kidnapping of Colonel Totic
11 or where Colonel Totic was located?
12 A. I had information that the civilian police were searching for him
13 very intensively because the incident happened in the area where civilian
14 authorities were responsible, and that the civilian police was in charge,
15 assisted perhaps by the military police. To what extent they were
16 assisted by military police, I don't know. It goes into their expertise.
17 I already testified before this Court that the civilian police often
18 cooperated with the military police on specific assignments, and I believe
19 the necessary degree of cooperation between the civilian and military
20 police had been attained.
21 However, the primary responsibility lay with the civilian police
22 because life in that area was normal; people normally went to work,
23 children went to school, civilian authorities functioned properly,
24 normally in the conditions of war. And the incident was not within the
25 competence of the military police. It was quite logical that the civilian
1 police should be searching for the kidnapped person. As far as I know,
2 the investigation and search for Zivko Totic was handled by the civilian
4 Q. And sir, you told us the incident was not within the competence of
5 the military police; it was quite logical that the civilian police should
6 be searching for the kidnapped person. And my next question is: Why was
7 it logical for the civilian police to be searching and why was this
8 incident not within the competence of the military police?
9 A. I think I have already explained. The civilian authorities were
10 in operation. There were no combat operations in the area. Therefore, it
11 was quite logical, and I believe the main activity was handled by the
12 civilian police. But I also said that the civilian police cooperated with
13 the military police. As to the volume of that cooperation in the case of
14 Zivko Totic, this concerns operative activities that I had no access to at
15 the time. It was not my job to go into operative details of investigation
16 in the case of Zivko Totic. That's why I said it was logical for the
17 civilian police to handle it.
18 Zivko Totic was not a member of the BH Army. And as I said here,
19 the 3rd Corps was responsible only for its own troops. Zivko Totic was a
20 member of a different army. If he had been a member of the BH Army,
21 certainly our forces would have worked on the case. But since that was
22 not the case, it was not logical for the military police to be the primary
23 mover of this investigation. The primary vehicle of the investigation was
24 the civilian police.
25 Q. Sir, did you personally take any steps to determine the
1 whereabouts of Zivko Totic or who was responsible for kidnapping him? You
3 A. Later, I had an entirely different mission. Even at that time, I
4 had an entirely different mission. I was a member of the joint
5 commission, and my main job involved the meetings of the joint commission.
6 This was followed by a very difficult situation because the next day, the
7 HVO attacked the Ahmici village. So in the tactical and operative sense,
8 this consumed my attention. I did not focus on the investigation in the
9 case of Zivko Totic. I did not personally get involved in this
10 investigation. I didn't do anything personally to investigate. I only
11 would have welcomed any information.
12 Q. Sir, did you have any discussions with Colonel Robert Stewart of
13 BritBat concerning the kidnapping of Zivko Totic?
14 A. It's true that I talked to many people. Whenever somebody raised
15 the issue of the kidnapping of Zivko Totic, I never skirted around it, and
16 I didn't try to avoid. But if Mr. Bob Stewart, whom I hold in very high
17 esteem, told you that I discussed the kidnapping of Zivko Totic with him,
18 I have no reason not to believe him. But it's not like it was the only
19 subject of our discussions. We discussed the general situation in our
20 very frequent contacts. We were in touch all the time, especially because
21 his officers provided me with transportation, as a member of the joint
22 commission, and I had opportunity to meet him very often.
23 Q. I take it, then, sir, from your answer that you wouldn't rule out
24 the possibility that you spoke to Colonel Bob Stewart about the Zivko
25 Totic kidnapping?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Right, I don't rule out the possibility.
2 Q. Sir, did there come a time when you took any steps to deliver any
3 messages or information from the foreigners concerning the kidnapping of
4 Zivko Totic?
5 A. No, I did not mediate in the passing of information.
6 Q. Sir, do you know a person named Zvonko Vukovic?
7 A. I know Mr. Zvonko Vukovic because he was a member of the joint
8 command that was set up by the HVO and the ABiH in which both sides were
10 Q. Sir, did you deliver a letter to Mr. Vukovic in the PTT building
11 in Travnik and inform him that it was from the mujahedin and that you were
12 only the mailman?
13 A. I don't remember that detail, and I don't believe it happened
14 because I said already I did not mediate in negotiations between the
15 kidnappers and the HVO.
16 Q. Can you turn to Document P417 in the documents that we provided to
17 you this morning, please.
18 A. Could you repeat the number.
19 Q. 4-1-7.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps while the witness is doing that,
21 Mr. President, if the usher could return the 3rd Corps original log, which
22 is still in front of the witness.
23 Q. Sir, do you have P417 in front of you?
24 A. I've found the document.
25 I have read the document.
1 Q. Sir, have you ever seen this document before?
2 A. No, I'm seeing it for the first time.
3 Q. Sir, if you look towards the bottom of the document where it says,
4 "P. S.," it seems to indicate, sir, that you personally delivered this
5 letter to Mr. Zvonko Vukovic in the joint operations centre.
6 A. No, that is not true. I did not hand over any documents to
7 Mr. Zvonko Vukovic, and I see this, that this was typed on two different
8 typewriters. The postscript was added to the text, typed on a different
9 typewriter. And I'm seeing this document for the first time, as I said.
10 Q. Sir, could you look at the top of P417 where there appears to be a
11 header that a facsimile machine would put on a document. The number
12 beginning with 3-8 -- the number actually is 3872712903. Do you know
13 where that fax number operated in April 1993?
14 A. No, I really don't know this fax number from which this was sent.
15 I don't know this number.
16 Q. Well, sir, 387 is the country code for Bosnia. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes. 387 is the country code for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Q. And do you know where the location or city code, what the city
19 code is for Zenica?
20 A. I think it's 72. 71 is the code for Sarajevo. 72, I believe, is
21 the code for Zenica.
22 Q. But you don't recall delivering any document to Mr. Zvonko Vukovic
23 in late April 1993. Is that your testimony here today, sir?
24 A. Yes. That is my testimony before this Court, that I did not give
25 this document to Mr. Zvonko Vukovic, or any document of similar content.
1 Q. Now, sir, did there ever come a time when you were at a meeting in
2 Uskoplje with BritBat and Mr. Totic was in attendance? And I'm talking
3 about after he was released.
4 A. I remember meetings that were held after the Washington Agreement
5 was signed, in Gornji Vakuf, in the -- on the base of the BritBat. As far
6 as I remember, those were meetings of the joint committee of which I was a
7 member for a while representing the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
8 the head of our delegation on that joint commission was General Fikret
9 Muslimovic, if I'm not mistaken. I remember there were also
10 representatives of the HVO. I can't remember who their team leader was,
11 whether it was General Roso or somebody else. I can't remember. But I do
12 recall that I attended a number of these meetings.
13 Q. Let me, sir, try the question again. I'm referring to a meeting
14 in Uskoplje that was attended by Mr. Zivko Totic, and I believe BritBat
15 hosted this meeting. Do you recall any meetings in Uskoplje that
16 Mr. Zivko Totic attended?
17 A. If you mean the meetings of the joint committee, then I do
18 remember. If you mean some other kind of meeting, I don't remember. But
19 I remember that the meetings of the joint committee that was set up after
20 the Washington Agreement were attended also by Mr. Zivko Totic.
21 Q. Did you have any discussions with Mr. Zivko Totic at any of those
22 meetings about the kidnapping of Mr. Totic?
23 A. No, I don't remember any discussions involving the kidnapping of
24 Mr. Zivko Totic.
25 Q. Okay. Sir, I'd like to turn now to the 7th Muslim Mountain
1 Brigade and its formation, and you've testified about this and you've
2 actually been shown a document, which is again before you if you need to
3 consult it. It's P124. This is the document where you propose the
4 formation of the 7th Muslim Brigade in November 1992. Do you remember
5 testifying about that and seeing that document? Again, it's P124. It
6 should be the first document.
7 A. The first document is P133, not 124. I am leafing through, and I
8 still can't find 124.
9 Q. Sir, perhaps it's the very front document.
10 A. It's not marked. That's what confused me. Yes, but it is the
11 first document. I just found it.
12 Q. And, sir, this is the document dated 18 November 1992 in which you
13 proposed forming the 7th Brigade. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Now, sir, you also made some recommendations about persons to be
16 appointed brigade commander and chief of staff. And you see that down in
17 the fourth or fifth paragraph of this document. Do you see that, sir?
18 A. Yes, I see it. It's under numbers 1 and 2 in this proposal.
19 Q. There's actually two numbers 1 and two numbers 2. Can you tell us
20 who you recommended to be the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
21 A. I recognise this document. I suggested here Mr. Mahmut Karalic.
22 Q. And for the post of chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade, you
23 proposed Asim Koricic. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Now, sir, who was Mahmut Karalic?
1 A. Mahmut Karalic was an inhabitant of Zenica. I knew that he was
2 good at organising, that he was able to organise and lead a unit. That
3 was my understanding and my idea behind this proposal to the superior
4 command to appoint this gentleman Mahmut Karalic commander of the 7th
5 Muslim Brigade.
6 Q. And sir, who, in fact, became the first commander of the 7th
7 Muslim Brigade?
8 A. As far as I remember, the first commander of the 7th Muslim
9 Brigade was Mr. Koricic.
10 Q. The transcript said, sir, that you said it was Mr. Koricic. Is
11 that correct, or was it Mr. Karalic?
12 A. Koricic, Koricic. I suggested Karalic to become commander.
13 However, when the order came from the superior command, the appointment
14 was given to Koricic.
15 Q. Now, sir, prior to Asim Koricic being appointed commander of the
16 7th Muslim Brigade, did you know him? And if so, how did you know him?
17 A. I had superficial information about -- I had almost no information
18 about Mr. Asim Koricic. I knew that he was from Krajina, that he had
19 certain knowledge that would enable him to join the 7th Muslim Brigade.
20 That was my information. That's why I suggested that he should be
21 appointed chief of staff of the brigade.
22 Q. Now, sir, you told us that you had -- that you had --
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. MUNDIS:
25 Q. You told us, sir, that you had certain knowledge that would enable
1 him to join the 7th. What information or knowledge was that that you had?
2 A. According to my information, he had already participated in combat
3 in various areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't know where exactly.
4 I did not have precise information. I also knew that he was an
5 experienced fighter. This was the information that I had. That's why I
6 suggested that he should be the chief of staff of this brigade.
7 Q. And, sir, where had he gained this experience as a fighter? Or
8 where had he participated in combat?
9 A. I did not have precise information. I didn't know where exactly
10 he participated in combat. I had information, however, that he
11 participated in the defence of Karaula. I don't know how he had found
12 himself there after the fall of Jajce when the aggressor took the town of
13 Jajce. I've already spoken about these difficult moments. I had
14 information that he had been defending the territory threatened by the
15 aggressor in the general area of Vlasic. I knew that he was a seasoned
16 soldier who was at that moment not a member of the Territorial Defence
17 staff. I've already said that in Karaula and in the Vlasic plateau,
18 everybody was engaged. The refugees from Krajina and Jajce were engaged.
19 Everybody defended the territory there.
20 Central Bosnia was being defended in the area of the Vlasic
21 plateau and Karaula. And this is the information that I had, that he had
22 participated in combat in that area.
23 Q. General, Asim Koricic had been with the MOS prior to this
24 appointment to the 7th Muslim Brigade. Do you agree or disagree with that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I wouldn't rule that out. I've already said that MOS was never
2 part of the Territorial Defence. This is something that I have already
3 testified about. I've said that people organised themselves on a
4 voluntary basis to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't know that he
5 was a MOS commander, but I wouldn't rule it out. I only know that if the
6 MOS had existed, it was not part of the Territorial Defence. I didn't
7 know that he was a MOS commander. I didn't know that the MOS ever existed
8 in that area. I never personally saw him. I only knew that everybody
9 joined the defence of that area.
10 Q. Do you know, sir, if at the point Asim Koricic was appointed
11 commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, if any soldiers that he had
12 previously fought with followed him and joined that brigade?
13 A. I don't have that information. I can't remember how Asim Koricic
14 was appointed the commander of this brigade. It was up to the superior
15 command to decide that. Maybe they had more accurate information. Maybe
16 they were aware of him having appropriate military education. I, myself,
17 did not have that information at that point in time. I can't answer your
18 question because I don't have this information. I'm not aware of the
19 thing that you've just mentioned.
20 Q. General, at the time the 7th Muslim Brigade was formed and the
21 other units of the 3rd Corps were formed, the post of chief of staff at
22 the brigade level was an important one because there weren't deputy
23 commanders at the brigade level. Isn't that right?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. And so, in effect, the chief of staff would be the person who
1 would assume command if something happened to the brigade commander or the
2 brigade commander was temporarily not with the unit. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And sir, to the best of your recollection, who was the chief of
5 staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade upon its formation?
6 A. As far as I can remember, when the orders from the superior
7 command arrived, the person who was appointed the chief of staff was
8 Mr. Amir Kubura, if my memory serves me well.
9 Q. And sir, what, if anything, did you know about Mr. Amir Kubura at
10 the time he was appointed chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
11 A. I didn't have any special information at that time. The only
12 information that I had was that he was born in Kakanj, that he was an
13 officer of the former JNA, that he had completed military education, and
14 that he had joined the defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 This is all I knew at the time.
16 Q. General, do you recall the approximate dates that Mr. Koricic and
17 Mr. Kubura were appointed commander and chief of staff respectively of the
18 7th Muslim Brigade?
19 A. I can't remember the date.
20 Q. Can you recall the month and year?
21 A. I think that this was in January, or maybe even in late December.
22 I can't remember exactly whether it was in late December 1992 or January
23 1993. I would sooner say that it was in January 1993.
24 Q. Now, sir, there came a point, did there not, that Asim Koricic
25 left Bosnia in the spring of 1993 and did not return for the duration of
1 the war. Is that correct?
2 A. I can't remember. I don't know when he left or when he returned.
3 I only remember that for a while he was not in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that he
4 left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, I don't recall the
5 dates when he left or when he returned.
6 Q. Well, sir, I suggest to you that Mr. Asim Koricic left Central
7 Bosnia on the 31st of March 1993, and that he went to Croatia and was
8 involved in importing foreigners into Central Bosnia, and that he did so
9 on behalf of the 3rd Corps.
10 A. I don't have that information.
11 Q. But certainly in the absence of Mr. Koricic, Amir Kubura would be
12 in command of the 7th Muslim Brigade. Do you have any doubts about that?
13 A. Up to the appointment of the brigade commander, it would be the
14 chief of staff who would stand in for the brigade commander. This was
15 part of his job description. This was part of his mission.
16 Q. And sir, at some point after Mr. Asim Koricic left Bosnia,
17 Mr. Kubura was, in fact, appointed commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
18 Isn't that correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Do you have a recollection approximately when that happened?
21 A. I can't recall the date.
22 Q. Sir, let me ask you a couple of questions concerning your
23 testimony in the Kordic trial. You recall testifying in January 2000 in
24 the Kordic trial?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. And sir, you were asked some questions in that case. You were
2 cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski on the 25th of January 2000, and he asked
3 you some questions about the 7th Muslim Brigade. Do you remember him
4 asking you those questions about the 7th Muslim Brigade?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Do you remember him asking you questions about Asim Koricic as the
7 commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Do you remember saying under oath in the Kordic and Cerkez trial
10 that Mr. Asim Koricic was never the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
11 A. I don't rule out the possibility that I said that. If I had, it
12 must have been a huge slip of the tongue on my part. I sometimes do it
13 here, depending on the questions put to me, especially if people insist on
14 me saying something, I tend to make slips of the tongue. I don't rule out
15 the possibility that I made a slip of the tongue at that time. There may
16 have been such answers. If I had said that, I apologise to the Trial
17 Chamber. If I had been aware of my slip of the tongue at the time, I
18 would have corrected myself.
19 Q. Well, sir, actually, on page 12.910 of the Kordic transcript of
20 the 25th of January 2000, you stated that Mr. Koricic was not the
21 commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade on two separate occasions on that page
22 of the transcript. And I would like to read this part of the transcript
23 to you and see if, in fact, what you said in the Kordic trial was a slip
24 of the tongue.
25 Again, for the record, this is page 12.910, case number
1 IT-95-14/2-T, 25 January 2000, cross-examination by Mr. Naumovski,
2 line 1.
3 Question: "I'm referring to the time when Asim Koricic commanded
4 the 7th Muslim Brigade, so that would be -- the brigade was founded on the
5 1st of December 1992, so that would be that period until sometime in the
6 summer 1993."
7 Answer: "I believe you made a mistake because Asim Koricic was
8 never a commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade. And the El Mujahid was
9 founded, as far as I know, in late 1993 or perhaps early 1994, and when it
10 was established, it was placed under the command of the 3rd Corps."
11 Question: "If I understood you well, you say that Asim Koricic
12 was never the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade."
13 Answer: "No, Asim Koricic was never the commander of the 7th
14 Muslim Brigade."
15 Those are lines 1 through 16 of page 12.910 in the Kordic and
16 Cerkez trial. Now, sir, was that exchange simply a slip of the tongue or
17 a misunderstanding of the questions that were put to you?
18 A. Your Honours, I claim that it was a slip of the tongue. Now, I
19 can see what I said at the time. I did not have a possibility to follow
20 the transcript because the transcript is in English. Whatever I say is in
21 English on the transcript. I am not in a position to follow the
22 transcript of my words, but this was certainly a slip of the tongue. It
23 was a slip of the tongue on my part. I apologise, Your Honours. It is
24 possible for me to make such slips of the tongue. For example, I was
25 mistaken on several occasions here. I remember very well when you asked
1 me about 1992 or 1993, and I thought you were referring to the years 2002
2 and 2003. Slips of the tongue are possible, and I kindly ask the Trial
3 Chamber to take this into account.
4 So yes, this was a slip of the tongue on my part. You have to
5 understand that questions put to me are very difficult, very complex,
6 often repetitive, and I am being asked here to remember things that
7 happened 10 or 11 years ago. You're asking me about the exact times of
8 the day, the exact times of the night, the dates, the names of the people,
9 their description. And this is a huge frustration. It makes me
10 frustrated, and this frustration repeats every year or every two years or
11 so. And it is possible for me to be prone to making slips of the tongue
12 in such situations. I don't exclude that possibility. However, whenever
13 I'm aware of having made a slip of the tongue, whenever I am reminded of
14 the events by way of documents being presented to me, then I apologise. I
15 admit that I have made a mistake. In this case, this slip of the tongue
16 is so huge that I really can't understand how I could allow myself at that
17 moment to make such a slip of the tongue, especially now that I see the
18 documents and the reports that I saw last week. I can really say, and I
19 confirm, that this was a slip of the tongue on my part, and I sincerely
20 apologise, Your Honours.
21 Q. Sir, let me just ask you one follow-up question with respect to
22 your answer. In the Kordic trial, sir, were you hearing the
23 interpretation in your language or were you trying to follow the questions
24 that were put to you by reading the English transcript in light of the
25 fact that you've told us several times you don't read English? Were you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 answering the questions in response to what you heard via the
2 interpretation or were you trying to answer the questions based on reading
3 the rolling transcript in front of you?
4 A. I always try to answer questions put to me in my own language
5 because I can't speak or read English. I'm not looking at the screen
6 because I can't read what it says on the screen. That's why I'm always
7 focussed on what I receive in my own language. I do not refer to the
8 transcript. I don't refer to the screen.
9 Q. And to your recollection, were you referring to the screen in
10 Kordic, the English transcript on the screen, or were you responding to
11 the questions by way of the oral interpretation that you heard in the
12 headphones? Again, in the Kordic case, if you remember.
13 A. I was answering in my own language, and I was not trying to follow
14 the transcript on the screen.
15 Q. At any rate, sir, your testimony, and I believe your position now
16 is quite clear, Asim Koricic was, in fact, the first commander of the 7th
17 Muslim Brigade. Is that correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. And he held that post from sometime in late 1992 or early 1993
20 until he departed Bosnia, whenever that was. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, he did hold that post.
22 Q. And the first chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade was Amir
23 Kubura, and he held that post from, again, sometime in late December 1992
24 or early January 1993?
25 A. I've already testified that I can't remember the exact dates.
1 That's why I wouldn't want to say something that I'm not a hundred per
2 cent sure of. I don't remember those dates when Mr. Amir Kubura was
3 appointed the chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
4 Q. But Mr. Kubura would be the acting commander in the absence of
5 Mr. Koricic during 1993.
6 A. Up to the moment when a new commander is appointed, in the absence
7 of Mr. Asim Koricic, it was Mr. Amir Kubura who performed those duties.
8 That is correct.
9 Q. And in this instance of the 7th Muslim Brigade in 1993, when we
10 talk about the moment a new commander is appointed, in fact, for the 7th
11 Muslim Brigade in 1993, the new commander was the former chief of staff,
12 Mr. Amir Kubura. Isn't that right?
13 A. You keep on insisting that I should repeat what I have already
14 stated. I am really tired. This has been a long day. My feeling is that
15 you want me to make another slip of the tongue that you would base your
16 future questions on. I can't remember the date when Amir Kubura was
17 appointed the chief of staff of the brigade. You have to understand the
18 situation in which all this happened. I've already spoken at great length
19 about all that. I can't remember the dates and you have to accept that.
20 I'm just telling you what I remember and what I know. What I can't
21 remember and what I don't know, I can't share with you, and I can't claim
22 any of that before this Trial Chamber.
23 Q. Sir, I didn't ask you in this question about the date; I simply
24 asked you if it was your recollection that Mr. Kubura was appointed the
25 commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade in 1993 following the departure of
1 Mr. Koricic, whenever that was in 1993.
2 A. Since I am not sure of any of the dates, Mr. Amir Kubura was
3 appointed commander after Mr. Asim Koricic.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. This might be the
5 appropriate spot for our next technical break.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is almost half past 12.00.
7 The witness will have a half an hour to rest. We will resume at 1.00
9 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume.
12 Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. General, I have a few more questions about the 7th Muslim Brigade.
15 And I would ask you, sir, if you recall what has been described as an
16 assassination attempt against Amir Kubura in July 1993.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would object to
18 this question. It doesn't arise from the examination-in-chief, and I
19 don't see the legal foundation that the Prosecution has laid in order to
20 put such a question and contrast this with what the witness has been
21 saying so far.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you want to put a
23 question to the witness about the assassination of General Kubura. The
24 Defence objects to that question, and they say you can't put that question
25 because it doesn't arise from the examination-in-chief. This issue was
1 never raised either directly or indirectly during the
2 examination-in-chief. What is your response to that?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, it relates to the 7th Muslim Mountain
4 Brigade, and what I am intending on doing is showing the witness
5 Prosecution Exhibit P233, which is a milinfosum that discusses this and
6 also discusses some other issues relating to the 7th Muslim Brigade.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution says that
8 Exhibit P233, which is a milinfosum, is relative on page 4.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Prosecution
10 wishes to show the witness a document. However, I would like to point out
11 again that we did not put a single question to the witness with regard to
12 this document or to this issue, and I don't see the legal foundation for
13 the Prosecutor's line of questioning or showing the document to the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have deliberated, and
16 they say that it is in the interests of justice to ask the question. The
17 document is allowed, and the Defence themselves have mentioned this
18 assassination attempt. There is a document from the foreign source that
19 talk about that, and the witness is indeed mentioned in this document.
20 So Mr. Mundis, you have the floor. You may proceed.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. General, do you remember this incident in July 1993?
23 A. I don't have information as to what transpired. I know there was
24 an incident. I don't know the details.
25 Q. That's fine, sir. I'm simply asking if you recall being made
1 aware of the incident. I ask this question, sir, if you could turn,
2 please, to P233, and towards the end of that document you will see a
3 heading indicating "7th Muslim Brigade." It's paragraph 11 of P233, and I
4 would ask you, please, sir, if you could take a look at that paragraph and
5 read paragraph 11 of Prosecution Exhibit P233. And I have a couple of
6 questions for you about the contents of that paragraph.
7 A. I didn't say that I was aware of the report about this incident.
8 I said I had some information. If I said that I learned about the
9 incident, then it would mean that I'm aware of the details. So I'm going
10 to read the paragraph that you've mentioned.
11 Q. Let's, then, if you would prefer to do it this way, I can simply
12 ask you some questions. Did you play down this incident as merely being
13 an altercation in discussions that you had with any liaison officers of
14 UNPROFOR or BritBat?
15 A. I said that I was not aware of the incident. I had information
16 that this was an incident which in my mind was not a major problem because
17 I didn't have information as to what actually transpired. I don't know
18 what occurred on that day in the 7th Muslim Brigade.
19 Q. Sir, do you remember telling a liaison officer of BritBat or
20 UNPROFOR that this was simply an altercation?
21 A. I don't know how the British officer portrayed this in his report.
22 I will allow for his free interpretation of our conversation. He can say
23 that this was his opinion based on the conversation that we had. I can't
24 even remember that I ever spoke to any of these officers about this issue.
25 I do not rule out that possibility because I had a lot of conversations
1 with officers coming from various countries, including British officers
2 who were part of the UN mission. I don't exclude the possibility that I
3 spoke to him; however, I can't recall that this issue was raised. I can't
4 recall what I told this officer about that. I can't remember this issue
5 being raised in a conversation with an officer.
6 Q. Sir, let me ask you this: Do you recall at any point in time in
7 July of 1993 any orders being given by the 3rd Corps that commanders
8 should not talk on the subject of the 7th Muslim Brigade? And I'm talking
9 about to speak to international representatives about the 7th Muslim
11 A. As far as I can remember, we did not issue such an order. If
12 there was such an order, I wasn't aware of it. I don't know that we
13 issued an order forbidding anybody to talk about the 7th Muslim Brigade or
14 with the 7th Muslim Brigade. We did not forbid anybody to talk about any
15 of the units. I believed then and I still believe that there were no
16 secrets that should not have been discussed. I don't remember any such
17 order ever being issued by the 3rd Corps, forbidding people to talk with
18 or about the 7th Muslim Brigade.
19 Q. Sir, I'd like to draw your attention to June 23rd, 1993. There
20 was a meeting of a number of officers of the 3rd Corps and its subordinate
21 units held in Biljesevo on that day. And the minutes of that meeting
22 reflect the fact that you were there.
23 A. It is possible. I can't remember the date, June 23rd, 1993. I
24 don't know what happened on that day. It is possible that there was a
25 meeting. I don't exclude that possibility. If you have the minutes of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that meeting, then obviously there's no reason for me to doubt that a
2 meeting was held in Biljesevo on that day.
3 Q. Sir, can you please turn to Exhibit P429.
4 Now, sir, can you look at the first page of this document. Do you
5 see at the top of this document where it indicates -- in the original,
6 where it indicates the persons who were present?
7 A. Yes. I see that on the first page of this document.
8 Q. And, sir, you see the name of your commander, Enver
9 Hadzihasanovic; the chief of staff, Mr. Mekic; yourself; General Alagic;
10 Mr. Dugalic; Mr. Kubura; among others being present at this meeting.
11 Isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is correct. I've just read that.
13 Q. And, sir, the upper right portion, it indicates that this was at
14 Biljesevo on 23 June 1993?
15 A. Yes, I can see that.
16 Q. And the heading indicates that it's a meeting of officers of the
17 3rd Corps. Is that right?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Now, sir, in the Bosnian-language version of this document, if you
20 could turn, please, to the page with the stamped number ending - it's at
21 the top - 4203. The full number is 01814203. Are you on that page, sir?
22 A. Yes, I've found the page.
23 Q. And sir, about halfway down, it indicates 7th Muslim Mountain
24 Brigade with the initials "Chief of Staff Kubura." Do you see that part
25 of this document?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Sir, can you please, to yourself, read that section under 7th
3 Muslim Mountain Brigade, and it continues to the next page, and I would
4 ask you, please, to read up until it says "Kelestura" which is almost at
5 the bottom of the next page. If you could just review those minutes,
7 A. I've read the part from the indication "7th Muslim Brigade" to the
8 part where it says "Kelestura."
9 Q. Now, sir, you see under the part that says "proposal," there's
10 reference to "hiring foreign nationals." I ask you, sir, if you remember
11 that being discussed at this meeting, and I ask in addition, if you do
12 remember this being discussed, if you can fill us in on any additional
13 details that you remember being discussed about hiring foreign nationals
14 as of the 23rd of June 1993 in the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade.
15 A. As far as I can remember, at this meeting on this day, 23rd May
16 [as interpreted] 1993, the issue of foreigners was again raised in the
17 area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. As far as I remember, we were
18 provided with somewhat more detailed information about the problem. We
19 were told that this problem was getting bigger by the day, and that it
20 represented a problem for the 3rd Corps. I remember that on the 13th of
21 June, that is, before this meeting, the corps command sent a letter to the
22 supreme command staff, asking them to take urgent measures because the
23 corps command did not have the means to oppose the foreigners who were
24 turning into a big problem. I've already testified to that fact.
25 Around the 16th of June 1993, the supreme command staff provided
1 us with information according to which these foreigners should be placed
2 under control. And if they refused to do so, that they should be sent to
3 the area of Igman. I've already spoken about that in great length. At
4 this meeting, if I'm not mistaken, this issue was indeed raised. And
5 after this order, at the level of the corps command, we evaluated the
6 situation. I have testified to that as well. I've told you what this
7 would have meant for the 3rd Corps. According to our estimate, these
8 foreigners had a lot of influence with the people. I've already told you
9 why. They distributed food amongst our population. They distributed
10 money. They married our girls. And we believed at the time that a lot of
11 Bosniaks rallied around those foreigners. We did not know what their
12 number was. And we thought at the time that this would mean the opening
13 of the third front. This is what we discussed, and I believe that the
14 issue of foreigners was presented within that context. And the engagement
15 of foreigners within the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps was
16 mentioned within that context.
17 Q. Sir, before it disappears off the screen, line 24 on page 62 makes
18 reference to this meeting being the 23rd of May. I believe that the
19 document clearly indicates it was the 23rd of June 1993. I simply want to
20 clear that up. This meeting was on the 23rd of June 1993.
21 A. Are you referring to this meeting in Biljesevo?
22 Q. Yes, I am.
23 A. Yes, on the 23rd of June. If I said May, that was a slip of the
24 tongue, or maybe it was misinterpreted. It says here that this was in
25 June 1993, and this is correct.
1 Q. And to the best of your recollection, what was being discussed was
2 a follow-on to the order received on the 16th of June 1993 from the
3 supreme command staff. Is that what you're telling us?
4 A. Yes. There was a meeting after the 16th of June. In other words,
5 this meeting followed the events on the 16th of June.
6 Q. Now, sir, if you look at the line right after the one that says
7 "hiring foreign nationals," there's a question put into these minutes.
8 And it says, "Will we continue to hire them because they receive
9 ammunition?" What was that all about?
10 A. I don't know what the commander was saying. My interpretation
11 would be that they were still active in the area of the 3rd Corps, that
12 they were armed, that they had weapons. This was a problem which was
13 probably a problem not only for the commander of the 7th, but for all of
14 us. It was our joint problem. It says here that they received
15 ammunition. I don't know what the brigade commander was referring to when
16 he said that. I know that ammunition was being purchased on the black
17 market and that people obtained arms, ammunition, and other things on the
18 black market. You know that in the times of war, the black market
19 flourishes. You can buy anything, even a plane on the black market. We
20 in the 3rd Corps were not in the position to obtain enough ammunition or
21 weapons, and the black market was very active. People cooperated with the
22 aggressor, there were individuals who cooperated with the HVO, they
23 purchased arms and weapons from them as well. We did not have any control
24 over these individuals who were war profiteers. I believe that the
25 reference was made to these people, and that's how the foreigners also
1 obtained ammunition.
2 I claim with full responsibility that the 3rd Corps of the BiH
3 Army did not distribute ammunition to these foreigners. If the foreigners
4 had ammunition, this ammunition did not come from the 3rd Corps. I am
5 absolutely certain of that, and I claim that with full responsibility
6 before this Trial Chamber.
7 Q. Well, sir, again, looking at this sentence of these minutes, it
8 says, and I'd like you to focus on this part, "Will we continue to hire
9 them?" That language, sir, suggests that there were foreigners in the 7th
10 Muslim Brigade prior to the 23rd of June 1993, does it not?
11 A. That is not correct. I claim that foreigners --
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
13 wanted to object a while ago because the way he paraphrases Mr. Kubura's
14 words, it doesn't mention the engagement of these foreigners within the
15 7th Brigade. This issue was raised in a general context.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence for General Kubura
17 has objected. They say that the words of General Kubura do not say what
18 the Prosecution says they do. We have a problem here. When we put a
19 question to the witness, do we expect the witness to say who said that and
20 whether all the officers who were present at the meeting, do they all ask
21 the question whether we should continue to recruit and engage the
22 foreigners? Who was it who asked that question? Was it General Kubura,
23 the commander of the 3rd Corps? The whole body of officers?
24 General Merdan, you see the question that was raised. In your
25 view, who was it who asked that question? Who raised this issue? The
1 person who mentions this, was that the person who just summarises what had
2 been said up to then, or was this just a single question put by somebody,
3 General Kubura, and somebody else? As far as you can remember, what can
4 you tell us? There's this question, but there is also the next question,
5 which is very important. What can you tell us about that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have to read everything in
7 order to be able to provide you with a precise answer. I just -- I've
8 just told you what I read. I based my answer on the part I was instructed
9 to read. My comments are based on that, and this is how I attempted to
10 answer the Prosecutor's question. I've tried to see this problem within
11 the context of the overall problem with foreigners in the area of
12 responsibility of the 3rd Corps. If this is what has been recorded as
13 General Kubura's words, I see that he mentions the area of responsibility
14 of the 3rd Corps. So this is the problem of the 3rd Corps. I've already
15 testified to that effect.
16 The 7th Muslim Brigade did not have an area of responsibility. It
17 was a manoeuvre unit. So this is a problem for the entire 3rd Corps, not
18 for the 7th Muslim Brigade as such. I've already spoken about that at
19 great length. I don't know whether this is a summary of all the
20 discussions dealing with foreigners. It's very difficult for me to answer
21 this question. I don't remember that the overall conclusion of this
22 meeting was the problem of foreigners. This problem was mentioned as a
23 problem -- one of the problems for the 3rd Corps, but there were many
24 other problems. This is just one of the problems that we were aware of
25 and we were trying to find a solution to this problem. I've already
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 spoken about that. I've also mentioned the ways that the 3rd Corps
2 proposed to deal with this issue. The foreigners were not the only issue
3 on the agenda. It was just one of the issues. This is my opinion about a
4 document that I've had the opportunity to look at only briefly.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. Sir, let's try to look at this in a slightly different way. When
7 the 3rd Corps had meetings of the various subordinate units, such as this
8 one on the 23rd of June 1993, I suggest to you that the way these minutes
9 are structured indicates that what happened was the corps commander made
10 some initial comments, and then, in effect, they went around the room and
11 the different unit commanders spoke. And I say that because simply
12 looking at the document seems to indicate that that was the way the
13 meetings were conducted. And my question is, as a general rule, would
14 that be the way these meetings were conducted?
15 A. Yes, in principle. There were also meetings around one topical
16 issue. For example, under 1 here, the issue is the situation in the area
17 of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. So this was one of the topics of this
18 meeting. A number of problems were mentioned at this meeting as well.
19 Q. Again, if you turn back, sir, to the early part of this document,
20 it seems to indicate, after it lists who all is in attendance, the 3rd
21 Corps commander, General Hadzihasanovic, spoke and spoke about goals and
22 questions for the meeting and the order, and it says under Order, "five
23 minutes for each commander to present the situation." And then we have a
24 number of commands with the names of the commanders of those units, and it
25 appears as though it systematically follows that each command was
1 represented by a senior officer of that command and presented the
2 situation for that subordinate unit.
3 A. Yes, one may conclude that. From what you have just said, one may
4 arrive at such a conclusion.
5 Q. Let's go back, then, sir, to the portion under the heading
6 "proposal" under the subheading or heading "7th Muslim Mountain Brigade,
7 chief of staff Kubura." I would like to ask you, sir, if the fact that
8 it says "We will continue to hire them" [sic] with respect to foreigners,
9 reflects the fact that foreigners were part of the 3rd Corps prior to the
10 23rd of June 1993.
11 A. I will share my opinion with you and my knowledge with regard to
12 this issue that you have raised here. I can read here the following:
13 Will they be sent to Igman? Will they continue being engaged in the area
14 of the 3rd Corps? So there's no reference to the area of responsibility
15 of the 7th Brigade but of the 3rd Corps, which means that we do have
16 information that they are engaged and that they are a problem. But
17 they're not engaged in the units of the 3rd Corps.
18 Q. It says in the document, "Will we continue to hire them?" And I'm
19 asking you about that language "continue," that word "continue," whether
20 it was the 3rd Corps or the 7th or any other subordinate units.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe we have an interpretation
22 problem, but the words are very important here. The Defence team for
23 General Kubura want to object. You have the floor.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
25 have just -- I just wanted to point to this problem. I believe that we
1 have an interpretation or translation problem because in the B/C/S, we
2 have a question. "Are we going to continue engaging them?" In the
3 English translation, it says, "We will continue to hire them." So it's
4 not a question in the English version. So maybe the witness could
5 elaborate on this linguistic issue.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I must respond to that. The English
7 translation says, "Will we continue to hire them because they receive
8 ammunition?" The English translation clearly indicates it's a question.
9 My question to the witness is focussing on the word "continue," "Will we
10 continue to hire them because they receive ammunition?" I believe it's a
11 very straightforward question. "Will we continue to hire them?"
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, could you please read
13 in your language, in your own language, the sentence in your language, and
14 we will receive the interpretation of what you read in your language. Can
15 you read the two sentences.
16 In English, there are two questions: One which is relative to the
17 ammunition, and the second one is a double question in which the question
18 is asked whether they will be sent to the Mount Igman or will they
19 continue combat operations in the area of operations of the 3rd Corps.
20 Can you please read in your own language these two questions, and we will
21 receive the interpretation, the official interpretation, of what you read.
22 General, can you please read these two sentences.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Will they continue being engaged
24 because they receive ammunition?" "Will they go to Igman, or will they
25 continue carrying out combat operations in the area of responsibility of
1 the 3rd Corps?" This is what I read as questions. These are questions.
2 Questions are being raised whether they will be engaged, whether they will
3 continue being, whether they will remain in the area of responsibility of
4 the 3rd Corps. It doesn't say here that they are on the strength of the
5 BiH Army unit or the 3rd Corps of the BiH Army. They are beyond control,
6 and they act beyond control. I've spoken at great length about that.
7 This is a question. Are they going to still be engaged? My
8 interpretation is if they're engaged in any way, because we don't know who
9 is it who engages them and how, I've already spoken about that at great
10 length. Our mission was not to allow for them to be engaged beyond the
11 control of the 3rd Corps. As far as I know, they were not under the
12 control of either the 3rd Corps or the 7th Brigade. I don't know who
13 armed these foreigners, who provided them with ammunition. Somebody must
14 have provided them with ammunition. They probably purchased ammunition on
15 the black market. They had arms. They were engaged in combat operations
16 on their own. But this was not under our control. I've already explained
17 to this Trial Chamber what the command of the 3rd Corps did in order to
18 place them under their control.
19 This was such a huge problem that the 3rd Corps command could not
20 resolve it on their own.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have explained. The only
22 difference that I see in the English translation and the translation in
23 the transcript, instead of saying "in the zone of operations," you say "in
24 the area of responsibility." That's the only difference that I see.
25 Defence, you have the floor.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the main difference
2 between the written translation and the interpretation on the screen and
3 the text in our language is the fact that -- is in who is going to engage
4 whom? In our B/C/S version, the subject is impersonal. There's no
5 subject. The question is whether they will still continue being engaged.
6 It doesn't say -- are we still continuing engaging them? The first-person
7 plural in the English version does not exist in the original. The subject
8 is impersonal. It is nonexistent. This is possible in B/C/S. In all the
9 three questions, there is no subject.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence explains to us that
11 the "we" which could have been construed as the we, military, the 3rd
12 Corps, does not exist in the B/C/S, that it is impersonal in the original.
13 This is the impression that we got. The "we" in English is not the "we,"
14 the military. It should be considered as a nonexistent subject, as an
15 impersonal question. It doesn't imply that this question was asked by
16 somebody from the 3rd Corps.
17 Mr. Mundis, we have already gone beyond our allocated time. Maybe
18 we can continue tomorrow morning. Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps, Mr. President, because this is -- this type
20 of issue has arisen in other trials, I am aware in other cases where both
21 the transcript and the document itself can be presented to the head of
22 CLSS who is the Tribunal's, if you will, linguistic expert for an
23 absolutely authoritative determination, both as to the document as well as
24 the testimony of the past, say, 10 or 15 minutes. CLSS has, in previous
25 cases, provided such linguistic expertise because of the importance of
1 this subject. And I believe that that might be very helpful to all the
2 parties concerned so that we can an authoritative explanation or
3 translation of this document as well as what's been said here in the past
4 few minutes. Because I believe the Chamber is aware, this is a
5 potentially very important issue. And with all due respect to my
6 colleagues, we do have experts in the Bosnian-English and French languages
7 who are available to assist us with this very matter. I believe perhaps
8 the Registrar can assist us with getting that to the appropriate
9 senior-level person in CLSS who can assist us with this matter.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges will discuss the
11 matter briefly.
12 --- Break taken at 1.48 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.50 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has discussed the
15 issue of translation. We believe that the Registrar should ask the CLSS
16 to verify this before tomorrow's session, which starts at 9.00. We will
17 have the official translation of the sentences contained in the
18 handwritten document on pages 429 in B/C/S, and that these questions
19 should be translated into English and, if possible, into French. This
20 will provide us with double verification. So that these questions should
21 be translated from B/C/S into English, and B/C/S into French. If it
22 cannot be done from B/C/S into French, it should be done from English into
23 French, and that this should be done by the person most responsible within
24 the CLSS [as interpreted].
25 They have a whole afternoon at their disposal to do that, so I
1 suppose this should not be a problem.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar indicates that
4 there is a mistake in the transcript. The number of the page is wrong.
5 The text that should be translated is the text on pages 4 and 5 in
6 English; and in B/C/S, this text can be found on 01814204. And the number
7 of the Exhibit is P431. Tomorrow, we shall have the official translation.
8 We shall resume tomorrow at --
9 The number of the document is P429. We are all tired, I believe.
10 So a verbal decision should be taken. But before that, could I
11 ask the usher to bring the general out of the courtroom.
12 General, we shall see you at tomorrow's session which starts at
13 9.00. The usher is going to take you out of the courtroom. General,
14 tomorrow, Wednesday, I would like to tell you, tomorrow, the session
15 starts at 9.00 in the morning, and at 12.30 we will make a break, a lunch
16 break. We will continue at 2.00, and we shall work until 7.00 in the
17 afternoon. Take a good rest because tomorrow we will be working long
18 hours, from 9 to 12.30, and then from 2.00 to 7.00 in the afternoon.
19 You may leave the courtroom now. I'm going to ask the usher --
20 I'm going to ask the Registrar to go into private session.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is an issue that is still
18 pending. Will the Prosecution ask for the admission of the map that was
19 marked by the witness?
20 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, we will, Mr. President. And we would also ask
21 for the admission of the larger map that was marked yesterday. We would
22 ask for the admission of both of those maps.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you want to do it now? Do
24 you want to wait until the end?
25 MR. MUNDIS: We can wait, that's fine, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall wait, then.
2 It is 2.00. I thank everybody, and I invite you to come back
3 tomorrow at 9.00.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 15th day of
6 December, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.