1 Thursday, 16 December 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
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] Thank you. Could we have the
11 appearances for 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. We are again assisted
15 today by our intern, Jaspreet Saini, and our case manager,
16 Mr. Andres Vatter.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
18 for the Defence counsel, please.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
20 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
21 Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel Cauvin, our
22 legal assistant. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team,
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
1 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic and Nermin Mulalic, legal
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber would like to greet
4 everyone present, the Prosecution, Defence counsel, and the accused.
5 Before we call the witness into the courtroom, I'd like to inform of the
6 following: The Defence intervened when the Judges were asking some
7 questions. I'd like to point out that when Judges put questions to the
8 witness, as we have already said, Defence may ask questions, put questions
9 to the witness, but after the Judges' questions unless there is a problem
10 with the transcript or unless there is a translation problem.
11 As we are dealing with three languages, B/C/S, French, and
12 English, on a number of occasions, we have noticed that certain problems
13 arise. It's in the transcript that we may know there's a problem. In
14 such a case, you may intervene and ask for the transcript to be corrected.
15 But as far as the substance of the Judges' questions are concerned,
16 neither of the parties should intervene. Rule 46 is very precise. It
17 mentions smooth proceedings, which means that everyone should be allowed
18 to put questions to the witness, and then the parties can ask additional
19 questions if it's necessary to clarify certain issues. If one of the
20 parties is not satisfied or happy with an answer provided by a witness,
21 they may always take the floor again to ask the witness additional
22 questions. I hope we won't have to deal with this issue again.
23 I will now ask the usher to call the witness into the courtroom.
24 And I will also provide the Registrar with the documents he requested.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, General. Are you
2 receiving the interpretation?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day. I can hear you,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I have a few more
6 questions about three subjects. I will mention them immediately.
7 WITNESS: DZEMAL MERDAN [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They concern the monastery in
11 Guca Gora, then the music school, and finally I will deal with Maline.
12 Then the other Judges will also ask you questions. As far as the Guca
13 Gora monastery is concerned, do you remember how many times you went
15 A. Your Honours, could you please be more precise as to the period of
16 time you're referring to. Which period of time are you referring to?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's say in the
18 month of June 1993. Do you remember the number of times that you may have
19 gone to the monastery in June? If you don't remember, I'll try to refresh
20 your memory. Major Kent-Payne, do you remember having met him?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major Kent-Payne said that the
23 UN, on the 2nd or 3rd of June, he's not sure of the date, organised a
24 meeting in Guca Gora with the Croatian commander and Colonel Merdan. Do
25 you remember a meeting that took place in Guca Gora at the very beginning
1 of June? He said on the 2nd or 3rd of June, and he added - and if you
2 can't remember this, I'll try and refresh your memory - apparently he said
3 that you said there would be no attack. Do you remember this event?
4 A. Yes, I remember this event. I went to Guca Gora as a member of
5 the joint command which had its headquarters in Travnik, in the post
6 office building. In addition to myself who represented the Army of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina, there was also a representative of the Croatian Defence
8 Council, Mr. Franjo Nakic. And around that date that you indicated a
9 moment ago, we had a meeting in Guca Gora in the command of the HVO
10 brigade of Guca Gora. This was in the building next to the stadium in
11 Guca Gora. I remember this very well, Your Honours.
12 When Major Kent-Payne quoted me saying what you said I did, I
13 don't exclude the possibility that I said that. I'm sure that the BiH
14 Army during that period of time was not preparing for any attacks. It did
15 not intend to carry out any attack.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you confirm what
17 he said. Major Kent-Payne said that he went to Guca Gora on the 7th and
18 8th of June to evacuate the inhabitants. And he said there were 180
19 inhabitants who were allegedly placed in UN vehicles. Do you know
20 anything about evacuating 180 inhabitants from Guca Gora between the 7th
21 and 8th of June? Were they evacuated in UN vehicles on those dates?
22 A. Your Honours, I don't have any information about this happening on
23 the 7th or 8th of June, this transport of civilians from Guca Gora. I was
24 present when the evacuation took place. It was on the 9th of June 1993,
25 Your Honours, and I was involved in that evacuation. I was there.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. On the 9th of June,
2 you were apparently there because there is another witness, Tomislav Rajic
3 who knows you. Do you know him? Because he said, and it's in the
4 transcript, 2830, page 2830, he said that he knew you. Does this name
5 mean anything to you, Tomislav Rajic?
6 A. Your Honours, I know Mr. Tomislav Rajic. I knew him even before I
7 saw him on that day in the monastery.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And he was there in the
9 monastery on the 9th of June?
10 A. Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you also confirm what he
13 A. Your Honours, I do not wish to confirm what he said. I only wish
14 to confirm that I saw him in the monastery on that day. Your Honours,
15 please don't put words into my mouth.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's how we took your
17 testimony. You confirm that you met him on that day.
18 A. Yes, but I do not wish to confirm what he said on that day because
19 I don't know what he said on the day. I know what he told me on that day,
20 Your Honour, and this is what I can confirm.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 13th of June, there were
22 three members of the international community who went to Maline as part of
23 an investigation, that was Mr. Rhode [phoen], Mr. Bower, and Major
24 Kent-Payne. Apparently, they were to have difficulties. It was going to
25 be difficult for them to get there. And having encountered a certain
1 number of difficulties, Major Kent-Payne went to the headquarters of the
2 3rd Corps to meet General Hadzihasanovic there. And according to this
3 witness, you introduced Mr. Kent-Payne to General Hadzihasanovic, and he
4 then obtained authorisation for free passage, and they were also
5 accompanied by military policemen. Do you remember this event?
6 A. I can't remember this event, Your Honour. I can't remember it at
7 this moment. I do not exclude the possibility that this is how it
8 happened. However, I can't remember.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you can't remember this
10 event. Did you hear anything about members of the international community
11 sometimes having difficulties in getting through checkpoints, or did you
12 never receive such information? Because according to this witness, there
13 was a problem.
14 A. Your Honour, on several occasions, I did receive information that
15 members of the international community did encounter problems at various
16 checkpoints. And as soon as I received such information, I would go to
17 those checkpoints to deal with the issue. We, from the corps command,
18 never prevented anybody from the international community to move -- from
19 moving freely through the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. I
20 shared with you an example that I witnessed myself. I was there at the
21 checkpoint making sure that representatives of the international community
22 moved freely through a certain checkpoint.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll move on to the
24 music school now. On the 26th of January 1993, HVO soldiers from Dusina
25 were taken to the music school. Two of these soldiers have testified
1 before this Tribunal. I'll mention the names. One was called Batinic,
2 and another Rados but this certainly won't mean anything to you. But
3 these two witnesses told us that they had been taken to the music school,
4 and they were maltreated there, and one even said that one of the soldiers
5 who was there was called Geler. On the 26th or 27th of January, did you
6 in the 3rd Corps command know that HVO soldiers had been taken to the
7 music school? Were you aware of this event?
8 A. Your Honour, I personally was not aware of that. I didn't know
9 that members of the HVO had been taken to the music school.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In April, a few
11 months later, other HVO soldiers were also taken to the music school.
12 There are a number of names. A number of soldiers have testified here,
13 and one is called Anto Vrljo, and he said before this Tribunal that
14 someone called Jasmin Isic was in the music school, and another witness
15 called Kruno Rajic said that Jasmin Isic had been on trial, had been
16 sentenced by a court in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Were you aware of the fact
17 that in April, HVO soldiers were in the music school?
18 A. Your Honours, I received information from representatives of the
19 international community. They told me that some people had been taken to
20 the music school. I went there with representatives of the international
21 community. We visited the music school. When I was at the music school
22 together with the representatives of the music school, I did not find
23 anything unusual there in the music school. As far as I can remember, the
24 representative of the international community likewise remarked that he
25 did not see anything unusual there. We did not find any incarcerated men
1 there. And, Your Honours, I went to the music school once again around
2 that time because the international community insisted and they kept
3 saying that people were being taken there continuously. I thought that
4 maybe representatives of the international community didn't believe me
5 that there was nobody there. Once I went there unannounced to make sure
6 that I was right, and when I entered the music school unannounced, I still
7 did not see any incarcerated people in the music school. In other words,
8 I never saw anybody who might have been taken to this music school.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you tell us the precise
10 dates when you went to the music school? Do you remember them? Or do you
11 remember, roughly speaking, the dates?
12 A. Your Honour, this was during the period between April and June.
13 It is a rather broad time range. However, I can't give you anything more
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One detainee whose name was
16 Kruno Rajic, who was detained from the 23rd of April to the 10th of June,
17 his wife apparently telephoned you and asked you to go to the music school
18 because the 7th Muslim Brigade was there, and apparently you said that the
19 7th Brigade was not there. That took place over ten years ago. And
20 obviously, it's difficult to remember all the phone calls one received.
21 But do you remember a lady phoning you and mentioning the situation her
22 husband was in in the music school?
23 A. Your Honour, I claim with full responsibility that no woman ever
24 called me and asked me to go to the music school. Your Honour, I told you
25 who it was who asked me to go to the music school. I'm sure that it was
1 never a woman. No woman ever asked me to go to the music school on her
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. A witness who has
4 testified here mentioned a visit of the Red Cross on the 16th of May 1993.
5 And the witness said that he and two other men were taken to the first
6 floor of the music school, and that is where they saw the Red Cross. But
7 17 of their comrades had been previously been taken in a van to Bilmiste,
8 and after the end of the Red Cross's visit, they were brought back.
9 That's what he said. What's your opinion of that?
10 A. Your Honour, I don't have any opinion on that because I didn't see
11 it. I can't talk about things I didn't see, Your Honour. I don't have an
12 opinion. I didn't see this.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a report in evidence
14 from the commission of experts of the Security Council and from the
15 Commission on Human Rights. They date from the end of 1993. In the
16 report of the experts from the Security Council, paragraph 2827 reference
17 is made to the music school and to the fact that people were in the music
18 school. In the report of the Commission on Human Rights, in paragraph 41,
19 reference is also made to the music school. These reports were drafted
20 towards the end of 1993.
21 Did you remain in -- you said that you remained in the 3rd Corps
22 in the course of 1994. When these -- were these reports provided to you?
23 Were you aware of them? Didn't your superior command ask you about the
24 contents of these reports which were internationally known, given the
25 people who had drafted these reports? So first of all, were you aware of
1 these reports? And secondly, did anyone ask you to provide any
2 explanations, any comments on what was contained in these reports?
3 A. Your Honour, as far as I know, whenever the superior command asked
4 the 3rd Corps to provide a report on any of the issues, including this
5 issue, the 3rd Corps command would react. In October, as far as I can
6 remember, I had an opportunity to read requests coming from the Main Staff
7 of the supreme command. They requested from us to draft a report on
8 Maline. We did that, and we sent this report to the superior command.
9 Your Honour, I remember this very well. I do not remember any
10 other requests from the supreme command. They may have arrived. I do not
11 exclude that possibility. I personally don't know whether they did. I
12 was not informed about any of the requests from the supreme command as
13 follow up on these reports that you have mentioned.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the Presiding Judge.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This will enable me to move on
16 to the third and last subject, which is Maline. You said that you were
17 familiar with a letter that someone from the Centre For Human Rights had
18 forwarded to President Izetbegovic. Defence counsel provided this
19 document in its binder. At the same time, we can show you another
20 document, P171. Mr. Registrar, could you show the witness this document.
21 Have a look at the document, but you know the document since
22 Defence counsel has already shown it to you. Rasim Delic sent a letter to
23 the 3rd Corps saying that President Izetbegovic had received this letter
24 in which reference was made to a massacre of 25 Croats in Maline. And
25 naturally, Mr. Delic asked for information, et cetera. This letter
1 arrived in the 3rd Corps, and General Hadzihasanovic immediately sent a
2 letter to the command of the Bosanska Krajina operational group.
3 This is P111, Mr. Registrar.
4 Have a look at P111, a document that you're already familiar with.
5 When you compare the two documents, one notes that General Hadzihasanovic
6 relays all the requests and adds an additional request. So he includes
7 all the requests in this document and adds one additional one. The letter
8 from General Hadzihasanovic dated the 17th of October, were you aware of
9 this letter at the time? Or did you become aware of it at a subsequent
11 A. Your Honour, I was aware of this letter. However, I cannot be
12 specific about the period of time when I learned about this letter.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll show you the last document
14 now, which is P174, because in the last document you yourself actually
15 intervened. I will first check in the B/C/S version that that is, in
16 fact, your signature.
17 Yes, it's your signature. Have a look at the document. And could
18 you confirm that that is, in fact, your signature?
19 A. Yes, Your Honour. This is my signature.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question is as follows: This
21 letter was sent on the 21st of October; that is to say, between the 17th
22 and the 21st of October. There is a document we don't have, which is the
23 response from Bosanska Krajina OG to the 3rd Corps. This is missing. It
24 must be somewhere. We don't have the reply from the operational group to
25 the letter dated 17th October from General Hadzihasanovic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 When you replied and you signed on the 21st of October, how is it
2 that you signed and not General Hadzihasanovic? Wasn't he there on the
3 21st of October? Because you see how this was done. The letter was
4 addressed to the president of your country. The president then sent it to
5 the supreme military authority. Then it was forwarded to the 3rd Corps.
6 And you, as number two, replied, and your reply went up the hierarchical
7 chain. So why did you sign on the 21st of October? Do you have an
9 A. Your Honour, I wrote this letter based on the report that we
10 received from our subordinate unit. I know that this is what I based my
11 letter on. I can't give you a proper explanation as to how come I signed
12 this letter at that moment. I can only suppose that at that moment,
13 Commander General Hadzihasanovic was not at the command. Maybe not on
14 that day, or at least not at the time when I was drafting this report. I
15 had already been at the location with the representatives of the
16 international community and Father Stipan. I had seen the place with my
17 own two eyes. I saw where the killed Croats whose number is mentioned
18 here were buried. I cannot be sure why it was signed by me. However, I
19 believe that there were two reasons. The first one is that General
20 Hadzihasanovic was not there and I was. And the second reason is that I
21 had visited this place. I saw the place with my own two eyes. That's why
22 I drafted the report and signed it myself.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the letter, you say that in
24 the course of combat, no civilians were killed by ABiH members, and you
25 also say that no HVO soldiers were executed. And then you say all the
1 Croats were killed as a result of gunshot wounds or as a result of
2 shelling. How do you know that they were killed by bullets or shells?
3 Did you have a report on which you based these claims, or were these just
4 assumptions that you made? Because it says they were -- it says they were
5 killed by bullets and shells. Is this the report from the operational
6 group? Is it in the report from the operational group that this claim was
8 A. Your Honour, I claim with full responsibility that I drafted this
9 report based on the report from my subordinate unit. I'm sure that in the
10 report of the subordinate unit, it said that in the territory of Maline,
11 there had been combat operations and that during those combat operations,
12 some people were killed. Some members of the HVO. And when we are
13 talking about combat operations, there are two possibilities there. The
14 first one is that a soldier is shot at and hit. And therefore, killed in
15 combat. Or in other words, hit by a bullet from an automatic weapon or
16 some other weapon, or it may be hit by a shell shrapnel. It is a
17 well-known thing how a soldier can get killed during combat. And if that
18 is the report that I received from my subordinate command, that is what I
19 wrote in my report.
20 I'm sure, Your Honour, that in the report that I received from my
21 subordinate unit, it said that these Croats were killed in combat, that
22 they were not murdered by members of the BiH Army.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll take the
24 document back, and I will now give the floor to the other Judge who has
25 some questions for you.
1 JUDGE SWART: Good morning, Witness. We have been, all those
2 present here, making extraordinary demands on your memory in the past
3 week, and I'm quite amazed of how good your memory is of all those events
4 that took place 10 or 11 years ago. I will continue to put questions
5 which make a call on your good memory, and I will start by putting a few
6 questions on Dusina and only on your travel with the committee, with the
7 commission to the village itself where you met some soldiers in the first
8 place, and then you met some local inhabitants of the village. And I'm
9 referring to your visit in the company of this lady, this Croatian lady,
10 Milica Kegelj.
11 Now, I would like to have -- if possible, a somewhat more sharper
12 idea of your meeting with these Croatian inhabitants in the house of this
13 family of Milica Kegelj. My first question would be how many persons were
14 there? How many persons did you meet in that house?
15 A. Your Honour, I have already testified about that. I said that I
16 was in a joint delegation up there. I remember Mrs. or Ms. Milica Kegelj
17 who was the interpreter for the European Monitoring Mission as far as I
18 can remember. This is how Milica was introduced to me in any case. With
19 Milica and Mr. Franjo Nakic, I was in a house. Milica told us that the
20 house belonged to their cousins, or maybe it was her house. I can't
22 We entered the house. At that moment, there was nobody in the
23 house. I remember that Milica took some photos from the house, and then
24 we left the house. I was in no other house with Ms. Milica Kegelj.
25 JUDGE SWART: But I understood from your testimony a few days ago
1 that you spoke with a number of persons. And I'm not referring to the
2 soldiers you met, but to civilians who lived in the place. That's what I
3 understood --
4 A. Yes, yes, Your Honour. I didn't say that I spoke to them in the
5 house. Your question was very precise, and I must say that my biggest
6 problem is the fact that I'm trying to be very precise and very up to
7 point. Sometimes I'm prevented from providing an extensive and complete
8 answer about everything I know. You have asked me about my conversation
9 with Croats in the house in the presence of Ms. Milica Kegelj. I didn't
10 speak to any villagers in the house with Ms. Milica Kegelj. I told you
11 where I was when I spoke with Ms. Kegelj, which house it was. As we were
12 passing through the village, we came across some villagers. I didn't know
13 whether they were Croats, whether they were Bosniaks. I didn't ask what
14 their ethnic origin or religious background was. We were looking for the
15 local commander of Dusina, and we spoke to him. That is how I have
16 testified, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SWART: It shows how easy it is to make mistakes. I
18 spontaneously assumed that you have met -- had met these persons in the
19 house of the family of that lady. But that is apparently not the case.
20 So when speaking with these people you met in Dusina, this was in
21 the streets somewhere? How many people did you meet?
22 A. Your Honour, this was a path, a very steep path. There was a lot
23 of people there. We were passing through, and I can't remember how many
24 people we spoke to. In any case, there were a lot of people. Together
25 with Franjo Nakic, I tried to find a local commander which was the only
1 logical thing to do for a soldier. When we found the local commander, we
2 talked to him. I can't remember his name. He informed us what had
3 happened on the previous days in Dusina village.
4 JUDGE SWART: We've had the local commander a few weeks ago or a
5 few days ago before you came. And basically, he said the same as you said
6 last week, that there were -- that there had been fights, and that he
7 assumed that these persons were killed during fight.
8 So I understand that both Nakic and you were putting questions to
9 some of the people who were present in the group of persons that you met.
10 Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, Your Honour. I remember that.
12 JUDGE SWART: Now, when you talked for the first time about this
13 meeting, part of a report was read out to you. And it quotes what
14 Mr. Fleming, the member of the European Observers has said. He said the
15 following, I'll read it again to you: "We visited the town of Busovaca
16 and witnessed the consequences. It was sad. The inhabitants were
17 frightened and desperate, and in Lasva, Dusina," he said, "it was
18 difficult not to feel that something terrible had taken place." And then
19 he continues saying: "The citizens there did not give any sign of
20 noticing anything or did not dare to." And I was struck by the last
21 sentence "the citizens there did not give any sign of noticing anything or
22 did not dare to."
23 So if I understand this well, but please correct me if I'm wrong,
24 both of you were putting questions but not getting any answers. Is that a
25 correct interpretation of this phrase?
1 A. The information that we received from the local population talked
2 about combat operations and casualties. I did notice that these people
3 were frightened. It was the first time in the lives of these people to be
4 subject to combat operations in their vicinity. For the first time, they
5 saw their fellow villagers being killed in combat. This is a shock for
6 any human being when a neighbour sees their neighbours being killed. I
7 don't know whether you, Your Honour, have ever had an opportunity to see
8 or witness that. But I assure you, these are the most difficult moments
9 in the life of any one person. They were frightened. We were all
10 frightened. We were all afraid of war, of dying, of being killed. And
11 these people were really terrified, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SWART: Thank you.
13 The people you met --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like to
16 seek clarification. I have a report here quoting Mr. Fleming, but this is
17 a report that was drafted by Mr. Nakic. I don't know whether this is the
18 report that you're referring to because when you were conveying
19 Mr. Fleming's words and when you said that these people had not shown any
20 sign or didn't dare say anything, the reference is made to Busovaca rather
21 than to Dusina. So I don't know whether you're referring to this report
22 or to some other report. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE SWART: You understand this as having regard to Busovaca and
24 not to Dusina itself. Well, this is maybe a matter of debate. You could
25 argue that this has regard to Lasva and Dusina also. But I note that you
1 think it's only about Busovaca. I read it as having regard to Lasva and
2 Dusina also. But I'm mainly interested -- yes, it's the same document.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] This was just to confirm whether we
4 are talking about the same document. Thank you.
5 JUDGE SWART: But I hope that I have quoted the text correctly.
6 Would you concede that?
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour. I did not
8 understand because you mentioned that these words were conveyed by
9 Mr. Nakic.
10 JUDGE SWART: But you yourself read it out in the first questions
11 you put -- the Defence put on the meeting in Lasva.
12 Anyhow, I'm interested in your own observations. And this was
13 only to put to you questions on what you saw and what you heard.
14 A. Your Honour, I was very precise, and I provide you with a detailed
15 answer as to what I saw during my stay because this is what you asked me,
16 and I believe that I've given you very precise information as to what I
17 heard from these people and what I heard from the local commander. I
18 didn't hear anything else, Your Honour. And all I can do is just repeat
19 what I've already testified about.
20 JUDGE SWART: So let me continue asking you about your meetings
21 with the population in Lasva. You said there were Croats, there were
22 Bosnians, there were quite a lot of people. You spoke to some of them.
23 And my next question is: Did you also meet persons who were eyewitnesses
24 to the fighting, apart from the commander that we have already spoken
25 about? I understand that most villagers have an impression of hearing
1 firearms and -- but were there any direct eyewitnesses of the fighting
2 itself? Could you remember that?
3 A. Your Honour, I don't even know whether the local commander
4 participated in combat or not. I never asked him that. I never asked
5 anybody whether they were involved in combat directly. Your Honour, I
6 really did not ask that on that day. I didn't ask anybody about that in
8 JUDGE SWART: And were there, among the persons present at that
9 moment, were there any persons that you might consider to be able to have
10 taken part in the fighting? I mean, were there men there of fighting age,
11 not too old to have potentially participated in the fighting?
12 A. Your Honour, I saw some able-bodied men there. I also saw men in
13 uniform. People were passing through Dusina in the direction of Busovaca
14 Municipality because this was at the time the only way for some of the
15 people from Busovaca to go to Zenica. For a while, this was a very busy
16 road. I saw able-bodied men passing through the village. Your Honour,
17 you have to be aware of the fact that in the area of Busovaca at that
18 time, there was still a lot of area under the control of the BiH Army and
19 that the only way people from Busovaca could go to Zenica was by way of
20 this road. There was no other road. I've already told you that the main
21 road had been blocked, had been mined by the HVO. A lot of people moved
22 through that village every day.
23 JUDGE SWART: How long did your stay last there? Was it one hour,
24 15 minutes, two hours? Can you give an indication how long you have been
1 A. If I want to be as precise as possible, I believe that I was there
2 between one and two; not longer. An hour, two hours. We didn't stay less
3 than an hour there, but no longer than two hours.
4 JUDGE SWART: You spent that time talking to persons who you met?
5 A. Your Honour, I'm taking into account our travelling through the
6 village. I told you that this was a very difficult road to negotiate for
7 the vehicles. The road was very steep, very difficult to negotiate. We
8 did not spend two hours talking to the villagers. We spent maybe 15
9 minutes to half an hour talking to the villagers. But all in all, it took
10 us about two hours to go through the village.
11 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... considerably
12 for me.
13 A few moments ago, it was said that some of the Croat persons who
14 had participated in the fight were taken prisoners and brought to the
15 music school in Zenica. There was a discussion on your visits to the
16 music school. I still have one question, and I'm putting this question
17 because we heard earlier testimony from international witnesses. When
18 inspecting the school together with the international observers or when on
19 other occasions you yourself alone went to the school, I assume that you
20 inspected the whole building from top to bottom, so to speak. Is that
22 A. Yes, Your Honour. Whatever they wanted to see, whatever the
23 representatives of the international community wanted to see, they were
24 able to see in my presence. I don't know whether the international
25 community representatives had any other opportunity to go there in my
1 absence. I don't know. I'm only telling you what I know. Once, when I
2 went to the music school unannounced to dispel the suspicion of the
3 international community that the 3rd Corps was hiding something from the
4 international community with regard to the music school, I again inspected
5 all the rooms, and I did not find any incarcerated soldiers of the HVO or
7 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues]...
8 A. Yes, Your Honour. The basement as well.
9 JUDGE SWART: You also spoke about Miletici. I'm not going to ask
10 you any questions of substance on that event. But I have one very minor
11 question, so to speak, maybe even silly, but it arose yesterday when this
12 was again discussed. A document was quoted to you, and it says -- I'll
13 have a look. This is P148. A Brit -- a European Union report, and it
14 reports the statements of local persons as having observed persons with
15 police badges on their shoulders, including a triangle. And I'm not going
16 to ask you whether this observation was right or wrong or whether they
17 were mistaken or correct. But I only want to know the following. Out of
18 my ignorance of the situation in Bosnia at the time, if I would have met
19 in 1993 in Zenica or elsewhere a person with a badge and a triangle in it,
20 would that indicate? Would that be some form of police or whatever?
21 A. Your Honours, I can't answer that question. I don't know whether
22 such a person would have been a policeman or not. I'm familiar with the
23 official insignia worn by ABiH members. There are various types of
24 insignia. Men who wore various types of uniforms wore various types of
25 insignia. The international community had various types of insignia.
1 Perhaps you could have come across such a person wearing a triangle,
2 having such a badge. But I don't know what it would have meant.
3 Your Honours, there were a lot of insignia worn by individuals in the 3rd
4 Corps zone of responsibility. So it is possible that there was such
5 insignia, too.
6 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues]... such a badge.
7 A. No, Your Honour. I never saw such a triangle.
8 JUDGE SWART: Now, let's go to Maline. I have more questions to
9 put to you on the events in Maline. At the beginning of your testimony,
10 you said that you heard the first information about the murders -- "first
11 information about the murders reached me from the international community.
12 And as ever I reacted immediately. I suggested that we should go there in
13 order to investigate what kind of murders or killings had taken place.
14 And where they were presented to us by the international community." This
15 is a quote of what you said on the 9th of December last week.
16 Yesterday, I have not been able to note it down, but yesterday you
17 said what exactly happened in Maline only became clear to me when I was a
18 witness in the Kordic and Cerkez case, and I found this a very interesting
19 remark. What did you hear in the Kordic and Cerkez case, if it was that
20 case because you have also been a witness in another case, isn't it? But
21 my question is: What did you hear in that case? Because it was new to
22 you, you said.
23 A. That was all new to me at the time. When I heard that crimes had
24 been committed up there, that was new to me. When I heard that foreigners
25 had committed these crimes, well, this was information that was new to me,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Your Honours. Because up until then I had information that there had been
2 combat in that area up there, and that members of the HVO had been killed
3 in the course of the combat. But when I heard that crimes had been
4 committed by foreigners, I was very surprised by this piece of
6 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... who told you
7 that? Do you remember? Was it the Defence in that case?
8 A. Your Honours, I can't remember right now. I don't know whether
9 this took place when I was being proofed for my testimony in the Kordic
10 case, or perhaps it was in the course of the Prosecution's or Defence's
11 case. I really can't remember now, Your Honours. I don't remember when I
12 was told that these crimes were committed by foreigners up there.
13 JUDGE SWART: You told us that you went with a European observer,
14 Mr. Landry, and the person Stipan Radic to Maline in the beginning of
15 August. And my question is -- you visited Maline also, the three of you.
16 And my question to you is: Did any of them, either Mr. Remy Landry or
17 Mr. Stipan Radic, enter into details about the murders that could have
18 been taken place there? Did they add something to that?
19 A. Your Honours, I can't rule out that possibility. I know what we
20 asked the soldier, the soldier who took us to the site where these people
21 who had been killed were buried. The soldier told us that people who had
22 been killed in combat were buried there. I don't know whether Mr. Remy
23 asked any -- put any specific questions to the soldier who took us there,
24 or perhaps Mr. Stipan did that. But I can't remember.
25 JUDGE SWART: Well, I'm asking this because you don't go for
1 nothing to Maline. If you go to Maline in the company of an international
2 observer and a Croatian priest who want to be there, who want to go there,
3 there must be a reason that -- there must be a reason saying that
4 something unusual has happened. And I'm asking you, did either the
5 European observer or the Croatian priest give you some more information,
6 apart from saying there have been killings or something like that?
7 A. Your Honours, I said that representatives of the international
8 community and the priest, Stipan Radic, said that they suspected that
9 something like that may have happened. But they didn't say that the
10 murder had been committed. They just said that they suspected that this
11 might have occurred. They wanted me to take them to the site so they
12 could see that. And when the soldier who took us there told us that men
13 who had been killed in combat were buried there, we really didn't look
14 into the case. We didn't investigate it. At least not on my level.
15 Quite a few men had been killed in combat by that time. You
16 mentioned a number of over 500. If we investigated -- if we had
17 investigated all of those cases, we would have needed a lot of time. At
18 that point in time, I really couldn't investigate the matter. We only
19 went to see what the situation was as such a suspicion did exist.
20 JUDGE SWART: My next question, do you remember having been
21 visited by a person on behalf of the United Nations in September 1993?
22 The United Nations had an investigator, and he wrote a report in which he
23 mentioned that he had met you in September 1993, and that he -- you
24 discussed -- you two discussed the matter of Maline together. Do you
25 recall that meeting?
1 A. Your Honours, I had a lot of meetings in various locations with
2 representatives of the international community. Could you perhaps refresh
3 my memory, refer to a specific meeting, so that I can answer your question
4 more precisely.
14 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues]... do you
15 remember that name?
16 A. Your Honours, I can't really remember it. I wouldn't exclude the
17 possibility of having met this gentleman, too. It's difficult for me to
18 remember all the meetings I had with all the representatives of
19 international organisations who passed through the 3rd Corps zone of
20 responsibility in the course of a year or throughout the period that I was
21 in the 3rd Corps, which was for over two years. A lot of people passed
22 through the zone. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of meeting this
24 JUDGE SWART: I can imagine that. But let's look at the report
25 itself, there's a summary, a description of a conversation with you. And
1 I think in the B/C/S version, this would be page 5. And in the English
2 version, it is page -- it starts on page 3.
3 Have you found the page there?
4 A. Your Honours, everything is in English. And I don't understand
5 English. So it's difficult for me to find my bearings here.
6 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
7 A. No, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He should be shown the B/C/S
10 A. Your Honours, I have page 5 of this report.
11 JUDGE SWART: So you may note that this seems to be a summary of a
12 meeting this person had with you in Zenica on the 23rd of September. And
13 in the second linea, you may read that he is asking you for permission to
14 visit the village of Maline where reportedly 25 Croat civilians had been
15 massacred on the 8th of June. That is the first sentence of that linea.
16 I will not read the following text, but he is apparently asking
17 you for permission to go there, and you answer him: There's no need for
18 me to give you permission. You can go all by yourself or ask the local
19 commanders for permission. If you want to read that, go ahead. I'm just
20 summarising what is said in this part of the text.
21 A. That's correct, Your Honours. That's what it says in this
22 paragraph. As Mr. Kiril says, this part of the text says that the general
23 policy of the 3rd Corps command is not to provide written authorisation
24 because people have the right to move round freely unless someone from the
25 international community insisted on having such permission we wouldn't
1 give such an authorisation. And on a number of occasions I have said that
2 if someone from the international community could not reach a certain
3 destination, I would go to the location, to the site, and try and resolve
4 the difficulty. There were security problems at the front lines alone.
5 No one could guarantee your security there. The local commanders were in
6 the best position to know whether there was combat in their area.
7 And yesterday, I said that the corps command had an overview of
8 what was happening in the field at all times.
9 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... permits and
10 freedom to travel and respect for international organisations. I just
11 mentioned this to help you remember the meeting itself. Do you remember
12 having had this conversation with the man? Maybe you don't. That's all
18 JUDGE SWART: Then he -- let's skip the next linea and read the
19 following two lineas which are again on Maline, at least. Well, the first
20 of them is Maline.
21 Could you read them to us.
22 A. Your Honours, are you referring to the following paragraphs "in
23 the area under the control of the 3rd Corps"? Is that the paragraph
24 you're referring to?
25 JUDGE SWART: I'm referring to the linea that starts in B/C/S with
1 "Vracajuci se u Maline." It's on the bottom half of page 5. Can you find
3 A. Yes, Your Honours. It's not the following paragraph, it's two
4 paragraphs further down. I'll read it. "On returning to Maline, he
5 explained that usually after combat, the area was cleaned up. The dead
6 would be buried. The corpses of animals would be burnt, et cetera. In
7 the vicinity of Maline, there are two mass graves in which between 25 and
8 30 individuals have been buried." And he is not able to say how many
9 civilians there are among them. End of quote, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE SWART: I was asking you to read it mainly because it might
11 refresh your memory again. Do you now remember having met this person, or
12 is it still lost in your memory? And again, if you don't remember, I
13 can't blame you. That is...
14 A. Your Honours, I still have a very hazy recollection of these
15 details. I can't remember these details.
16 JUDGE SWART: Could you now read the next linea of this report,
17 the following linea.
18 A. "In response to my answer on the issue of the mujahedin, he
19 explained that there were no mujahedin units in the ABiH, but that there
20 were a lot of volunteers from various countries. And there were
21 westerners among these volunteers. They had come to "fight against the
22 contemporary form of fascism, and they were all expected to abide by the
23 laws of the ABiH." End of quote.
24 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Now that you have read this part of the
25 report, too, do you now remember the meeting? Or is it still lost in your
2 A. Your Honours, I remember that on two or three occasions when
3 speaking to representatives of the international community, I said that
4 there were no mujahedin units in the ABiH. But I said that there were
5 volunteers from various countries. Your Honours, you must understand that
6 there were people from various countries in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the
7 beginning of the Army [as interpreted], the army commander wasn't a
8 citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but nevertheless he was the commander of
9 the ABiH. I was referring to those volunteers who became engaged in the
10 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those are the foreigners I had in
11 mind, and not the armed foreigners.
12 When the Prosecution put their questions to me, we provided a --
13 we gave a very strict definition of the term "armed foreigners." I
14 accepted to call them the mujahedin, but then in whatever I say, we'll be
15 saying that they are mujahedin. I would accept that.
16 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... your
17 conversation, but apparently you don't remember the conversation with this
18 person, so I will put no further questions about it. But it has to do
19 with the report of the United Nations that you -- that was sent later on
20 to the army and on the basis of which you made your own report. That's
21 why I am discussing this document with you.
22 A. Your Honour, with your leave, if I may make a comment. I didn't
23 draft my report on the basis of this report. I didn't have the
24 opportunity of seeing this earlier report. The report I drafted wasn't on
25 the basis of the request contained in this report. I think it was on the
1 basis of a request made by someone else. I'm not sure if I have
2 understood you correctly.
3 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... suggest that
4 you used this in this text. I only said that this report was at the
5 basis -- or I wanted to say that this report was at the basis of the
6 request of the United Nations to give more information. The reason why
7 the United Nations asked for information to the Bosnian Army is partly
8 based on this report and other things he wrote to his superior,
9 Mr. Mazowiecki, the Polish gentleman. But I did not in any way suggest or
10 wanted to suggest that this report was at the basis of your report in the
11 sense that you had made use of it. That's not my purpose.
12 So let's go to your own report, and you have been given a binder
13 by the Defence that it may be useful to give you again.
14 I see it's time for a break. And I leave you with this material
15 for the break. And if you want to consult it, go ahead. We will come
16 back in some minutes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have our break
18 now. It's half past 10.00, and we'll resume at 5 to 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume.
22 JUDGE SWART: We were busy dealing with the events in Maline,
23 Witness, and I realise now that my questioning to you may make -- may
24 require more time than I expected, and maybe we should increase the tempo
25 of our exchanges a little bit. What I would like to ask you is to -- not
1 to resume -- repeat things you already said because we all know what you
2 said. Only if you think I'm misunderstanding you or I misunderstood you
3 in the past few days, please don't hesitate to answer. But if that is not
4 the case, don't repeat what you have already said, because we all know,
5 and this may perhaps increase the speed of our exchanges. Is that all
6 right with you?
7 A. Your Honour, I will abide by your rules.
8 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much.
9 I want to turn now to your own report of the 21st of October. You
10 have received this binder that the Defence used in the previous days to
11 discuss with you Maline. You have it before you?
12 A. Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Before I turn to your own report, I
14 would like to ask you a few other questions. The first is the following:
15 I suppose you know the former commander in the ABiH Army in 1993, Fikret
16 Cuskic. Am I right?
17 A. Yes, Your Honour. I know Mr. Fikret Cuskic. He is currently a
19 JUDGE SWART: Let me tell you that he has been testifying before
20 you came, and this was on the 9th of December. So some two -- no, no,
21 this is your testimony. I'm sorry. That was on the 22nd of November of
22 this year. And he said something about Maline that I would like to read
23 to you. He said the following, on page 12.001 of the transcript, about
24 Maline: "One soldier told me that he had information according to which a
25 group of HVO members had been kidnapped by the mujahedin, and rumour had
1 it that they had been killed. Since I knew that Commander Alagic
2 wasn't informed about this, I think he was in Krpeljici at the time, I
3 bypassed that chain of command, and I provided a letter to the corps
4 commander. I was quite categoric in that letter. I was quite severe
5 because I was seriously affected by this information."
6 His remarks were made within the framework of an exhibit presented
7 by the Defence, and that exhibit was a response of the commander of the
8 3rd Corps, Mr. Hadzihasanovic, to his letter. And that response has the
9 name of 20 of June of 1993. I'm now referring to Defence Exhibit 1224.
10 Maybe you could have a look at it, if the Registrar could produce
11 the document. Have a look at it and give me a sign when you are ready,
12 reading it.
13 A. Your Honour, I've looked at the document, and I have read it.
14 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Now, I have two questions about this
15 document of this exchange of letters. The first is: When you prepared
16 your report in October after the supreme command staff asked for a report,
17 were you aware of this exchange of letters? Was that among the
18 information you had? I'm asking this because you said before in the
19 beginning of your testimony last week "when I wrote my report on the
20 events in Maline, I had at my disposal what I heard and saw during our
21 visit to Maline, together with the international observer and the Croatian
22 priest, and my other source of information was the report that I received
23 from Mr. Delic," which is also in the binder and which you made a
24 reference to.
25 So I assume, having heard you saying that, that you were not aware
1 of this exchange of letters. Is that right?
2 A. Yes, Your Honour. I said that we had different information, and
3 what was written on the 10th was written in October 1993. I can see that
4 this letter was part of the exchange between the brigade commander and the
5 commander of the 3rd Corps, and that this was -- this happened in the
6 month of June.
7 JUDGE SWART: Yes. But my only question is, when you were asked
8 to write your report for the United Nations eventually, you were not aware
9 of these documents, these two letters? That is, the letter of Mr. Cuskic
10 to the commander of the 3rd Corps, and the answer? They were not given to
11 you by some librarian or some other person?
12 A. No, Your Honour. I asked for my subordinate unit to draft the
13 report and send it to me when I received it I drafted my report based on
15 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... the
16 response. If you look at the second line, the second sentence of the
17 report, it does say the following: "An investigation into the events in
18 the village of Maline has been launched." I'll stop there.
19 Were you aware of the existence of an earlier investigation when
20 you wrote your report?
21 A. Your Honour, I have already testified that the corps commander,
22 General Hadzihasanovic, asked for this problem to be solved. As far as I
23 can remember, I have already spoken about that. I was not aware of the
24 operative measures that had been taken with regard to this event. I wrote
25 my report based on the report that I received from my subordinate unit on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the day when the report was requested by the supreme command staff.
2 JUDGE SWART: Okay, thank you. I'm not suggesting that there was
3 an earlier investigation or that it was different from the investigation
4 on which you received a report a few days before you made your own report.
5 That is a matter that we will discuss with other witnesses. That has no
6 significance at this moment, but I only wanted to know whether you were
7 aware of this exchange of letters and what has been said in them.
8 Now, let's now turn to the report that you received from
9 Mr. Delic. That is one of the sources of your report, your own report.
10 This is number 4 of your binder, and the exhibit is DK17. It's not Drina
11 Corps, it's DK17. Seventeen, not 70. Now it's right, okay.
12 Do you have before you number 4? No, it's number 5. I apologise.
13 It's number 5. It's my mistake. I mean the report by Delic, Rasim. Do
14 you have it? All right.
15 A. Yes, Your Honour. I have this document before me.
16 JUDGE SWART: Since I'm not sure that the last sentence of this
17 report is properly translated into English, I would like to read you the
18 last sentence of this report for all of us. Could you do that, read the
19 last sentence of the report.
20 A. Your Honour, the last sentence reads: "We would like to point out
21 that all persons were killed during combat." End of quote.
22 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. I'm asking this because the translation
23 we have in the English version says -- uses the word "reminds," and you
24 now said in the English translation "to point out." That might make a
25 difference. That's why I asked you to read it.
1 Now, coming to your own report, Witness, this is number 6 in your
2 binder. And it is also Exhibit P174. You said before that your report on
3 the events of Maline were based on your trip to Maline together with
4 Landry and Radic, and on the report of Rasim Delic that we have looked at
5 a few moments ago. Your report is also about other matters that are not
6 of relevance to us at this moment, other events. The last part of your
7 report is especially devoted to Maline. And I think what is said there
8 reflects what you told -- basically reflects what you told about your
9 sources of information.
10 I would like you to pay attention to the third linea of your
11 report. Could you please read it out to us.
12 A. Your Honour, the text that I have before me is illegible. It's
13 very difficult for me to read it. Do you have a more legible version of
14 this text? I'm finding it very difficult to read this copy.
15 JUDGE SWART: I'm sorry.
16 A. I can do my best, and I can try and read it. It's really very
17 difficult to read from the copy that I have before me.
18 JUDGE SWART: I totally understand your difficulty. I can hardly
19 read it myself. Maybe there's a better copy, or otherwise I will read it
20 in the English text and will ask you whether this is a true reflection of
21 what you wrote. But maybe there is a better copy here. It's always a
23 We all seem to have the same bad copy, so maybe I could read out
24 the translation to you. Maybe you could follow the copy, and this would
25 possibly help you in reading the original text. Let me read the English
1 translation for you then. It says: "Soldiers of the [illegible]," I
2 think it's the 306th Brigade, "soldiers of the [illegible] and armed
3 citizens who were not members of the BH Army units and who obtained
4 weapons through some private channels took part in the combat actions in
5 the region of the village Maline." That is the English text.
6 Have you found it? Can you read --
7 A. Your Honour, I cannot see this in this copy. The copy is very
8 bad. Your Honour, please bear this in mind. Yesterday, I found myself in
9 very difficult positions when there were misunderstandings in the
10 translation of particular words. Some of the words of my language could
11 not be interpreted properly into English. I don't know whether I
12 understood what you read, and I don't know whether this is the true
13 reflection of the B/C/S text before me. I would kindly ask you to provide
14 me with a text that I can, (a), understand in my language and that I can,
15 (b), read easily.
16 JUDGE SWART: All right. That would be the proper thing to do. I
17 agree with you if you cannot read your original. So we'll have to ask, I
18 think, the Prosecutor to provide us with a -- the original. That must be
19 stored somewhere, and there's a special procedure for making it available.
20 Maybe I could continue with you on the basis -- you have it in
21 your possession? That's great.
22 Are you able to read it in the original? Or is that as bad as the
24 A. It is easier for me to read this original version, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SWART: So if you're able to read it, albeit with
1 difficulty, would you please read the third linea that I have read before.
2 A. Your Honour, I will read the third paragraph. "Soldiers of the
3 306th Mountain Brigade and armed villagers who were not members of BH Army
4 units and who had obtained weapons through some of the private channels
5 took part in the combat actions in the region of Maline." End of quote.
6 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Now, I have two questions about this
7 part of your report. The first is the following: This is information
8 about villagers who were not members of the BH Army units that I suppose,
9 but maybe I'm mistaken, was not information that was provided by Landry
10 and Radic, or was obtained in the report of Rasim Delic. It seems to be
11 outside the scope of what you heard from those sources. Is that right?
12 A. Your Honour, it says very clearly that in the general sector of
13 Maline village, there was combat, and that this happened in that general
14 sector. As an officer and a military professional, I know that with one
15 mentions the general sector of Maline, that doesn't refer only to the
16 village itself. Let me explain, Your Honour. During the same period when
17 the fighting took place, in the second paragraph of my letter, it says "at
18 the beginning of June 1993." After that, there's the paragraph that you
19 singled out and asked me to read. I knew from the report that had arrived
20 during that period in the command of the 3rd Corps that there had been
21 combat operations in the general area of Maline village. I have already
22 testified at great length about the situation that prevailed in these
23 villages in early June 1993.
24 So when you look at the second paragraph and the third paragraph
25 after that as a sequence to the second paragraph, you may conclude that
1 this covers a longer period and a broader area surrounding the village of
3 As a professional, when it comes to drafting reports, I could not
4 just copy the report that I had received from my subordinate command
5 because my superior officer would think of me as lacking skills and
6 professionalism in my job. I have already mentioned on several occasions
7 that our reports were often drafted by people who lacked skills, who were
8 not professionals, who had not completed military education. I knew that
9 this report of mine was very important and of very general operative
10 significance, and that is why I drafted it the way I did.
11 JUDGE SWART: I understand that. This line on armed citizens who
12 were not members of BH Army units is something you added yourself on
13 information you yourself possessed. It is not from Landry or from Radic,
14 nor is it from the report of Delic? But you said "I have other
15 information at my disposal, and I may use that in writing my report." I
16 understand that.
17 But then my next question is: Why do you mention "armed citizens
18 who were not members of the BH Army units and who obtained weapons through
19 private channels"? Why mention that? What is the relevance of that? If
20 there has been a fight and people have been killed during the fight as a
21 consequence of the fight, what is the relevance of this remark, your
23 A. Your Honours, in order to answer your question very clearly, in
24 order to be fully understood, one must understand what the situation was
25 like during the period referred to here. The date is the 21st of October,
1 but the report has to do with a broader context, and I've already
2 testified about this. During this period, we didn't have a unified
3 command of the 306th Brigade. The command of the 306th Brigade was crying
4 out for help. It was in a hopeless position. I wanted to demonstrate the
5 complexity of the situation at the time. It wasn't only ABiH members who
6 had been attacked there. But the inhabitants, the villagers were
7 attacked, too. The villagers mounted a defence themselves until the
8 command of the 306th Brigade managed to link up and before the 306th
9 Brigade obtained assistance from outside. The situation was chaotic, and
10 I'm referring to a longer period of time than this report. I'm not only
11 referring to a precise date, to the 8th of June 1993, because the superior
12 command requested that I provide a more general report.
13 JUDGE SWART: Did it happen in the region of Maline in that
14 period, that armed civilians took part in fights? That would be contrary
15 to any military procedure, I would think. Armed civilians take part; that
16 is against the rule of war, I would say.
17 A. Yes, I fully agree with you, but the inhabitants were attacked and
18 they were defending themselves, Your Honour. Your Honour, at that time,
19 our army wasn't strong enough to defend the people in all areas. I have
20 testified about this in very precise terms. So it's quite normal to
21 expect that when the population is attacked, they will defend themselves
22 as the army can't defend them. But there's no military logic to such
23 cases if you have a well-equipped army. But if you know how the army or
24 rather the 3rd Corps was equipped and armed, then, Your Honour, there's a
25 lot of logic.
1 JUDGE SWART: And you're saying also -- I'm sorry. You're saying
2 also that this is not something that happened in Maline only, but also in
3 other parts of Central Bosnia other times. Was this quite a regular
4 occurrence, that armed civilians took part in fighting by the army?
5 A. Your Honours, I agree that it's not logical for civilians to
6 engage in fighting. It's logical for soldiers to fight. I fully agree
7 with your position. But you must bear in mind the specific situation in
8 which this occurred. In other areas, when villages were attacked, the
9 inhabitants of those villages would defend themselves until the arrival of
10 the army. But when the troops arrived and organised themselves to defend
11 the village, then they would take over the defence of that village. So
12 this was not only characteristic of Maline. In practice, this occurred in
13 other places and at other times when it was necessary for the population
14 to defend themselves, not only in the area of the 3rd Corps but throughout
15 the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 JUDGE SWART: I still have a question on that because as I
17 understand, but I may be mistaken, but as I understand the events in
18 Maline on the 8th of June, the attack was from the BH Army. So Maline
19 was, if I remember well, not attacked by HVO forces, but on the contrary.
20 There was an attack by the BH Army. So I don't see how you can speak
21 about civilians defending their towns or villages.
22 A. Your Honours, I must remind you of something. At the beginning of
23 June, I was a member of the joint command that had its headquarters in the
24 post office in Travnik. The information that arrived at that joint
25 command -- well, there were representatives of the HVO, and sometimes
1 there were international monitors, and according to information we
2 obtained, there were shells that had been fired from the upper part of the
3 village of Maline where the majority of the population was Croatian. And
4 they shelled the lower part of the village of Maline inhabited by
5 Bosniaks, the majority was Bosniak in that part of the village. These
6 were provocations. Naturally, this affected the way events unfolded. But
7 according to information I had before the 8th of June, there was
8 information that the Bosniak part of the village had been shelled, which
9 is below the part of the village inhabited by Croats or where Croats form
10 the majority.
11 So when you go to the place, when you see the position of the
12 village -- of these two parts of the village, then you can say that the
13 lower part of the village was under greater threat than the upper part of
14 the village. I'm referring specifically to the village of Maline now.
15 JUDGE SWART: But I note that the letter of Delic as well as the
16 request for submission of data by Hadzihasanovic specifically speak about
17 the 8th June -- July, they say, but this must be June of 1993, not on the
18 days before, not on the days after, it's the 8th of June. And as far as I
19 know, but I may be mistaken, on the 8th of June, the ABiH Army took
21 A. That's correct. Yes, that's correct, Your Honour. Members of the
22 ABiH liberated Maline on the 8th of June.
23 JUDGE SWART: So that is where my question comes from. If that is
24 the case, why mention armed civilians with regard to the events of the 8th
25 of June?
1 A. Your Honours, as a professional, I linked up the paragraphs you
2 have referred to. I only read out the third paragraph. I didn't read out
3 the second paragraph. The following paragraphs were based on the second
4 paragraph or followed on from the second paragraph.
5 JUDGE SWART: So to resume our discussion on this point, are you
6 stating in the report that there were civilians engaged in an attack on
7 Maline on the 8th of June, or are you not stating that?
8 A. Your Honours, I mentioned the wider area, the general sector of
9 the village of Maline because I didn't have precise information as to
10 whether ABiH members were engaged in combat in Maline along with the
11 civilian population. I did not have such precise information on the 8th
12 of June 1993.
13 JUDGE SWART: Regarding your reports of the 17 October, you, of
14 course, saw the request for information by General Hadzihasanovic. I
15 suppose you also had received a copy of the letter of Rasim Delic? These
16 are number 3 and 4 of your binder. My question is: Were you also
17 provided at the time that you had to write your report with a copy of the
18 letter of the United Nations itself or a translation of it? Because I
19 understand you did not speak English, read English. Were you provided by
20 the superior commanders or by the government with a translation of the
21 letter of the United Nations?
22 A. Your Honours, the superior command, or rather supreme command
23 staff only provided me with this document from the supreme command staff.
24 I didn't receive the original letter from the State of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina or from international organisations, nor did I receive a
1 translation at the time. I only had the document from the supreme command
3 JUDGE SWART: All right. Let me explain why I'm asking you this.
4 If you read -- there's no need to do that now, but if you would read the
5 original letter of the United Nations, you would see that there's a
6 reference to mujahedin. And there is no mention of that any more in the
7 letter of Delic and the request of Hadzihasanovic. But in your report,
8 you speak about armed civilians with their own weapons and one might be
9 tempted to think there is a connection between the two, that you are, in
10 fact, making a reference to mujahedins. That's why I asked you all these
11 questions. Are you able to follow my reasoning?
12 A. Yes, Your Honour, I am able to follow your reasoning very well. I
13 have already testified about this to a certain extent. The first time
14 with, let's call them armed foreigners, let's say they were the mujahedin,
15 occurred after the 9th of June 1993.
16 JUDGE SWART: I think you would now repeat your testimony of the
17 previous days. But since you make a reference to armed civilians, and
18 since the original letter of the United Nations mentions mujahedin, I was
19 simply asking you whether this would be understood, this part of your
20 letter, to be a reference to mujahedin. And if you say "I was not aware
21 of the presence of mujahedin until much later," then I accept that as your
22 testimony. But read in isolation, you could think that your letter, in
23 fact, refers to mujahedin. That is my question.
24 A. Your Honours, in the letter from the supreme command staff, I
25 didn't come across the word "the mujahedin." So I did not have the letter
1 from Mr. Mazowiecki, and I couldn't have answered in precise terms as
2 Mr. Mazowiecki had requested. As a soldier, I tried to provide precise
3 answers to the questions put to me by my superior command. And I think
4 that as far as that is concerned, I was very successful in answering these
5 questions precisely.
6 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues]... Maline I
7 wanted to discuss with you.
8 Let's now turn to the large issue of the foreign fighters that you
9 have been discussing with the Defence as well as with the Prosecutor.
10 Before we do that, I'm sorry, I still have some questions, very few
11 questions on another aspect of the events in Central Bosnia in 1993 which
12 is related to the larger question of foreign fighters but has regard
13 specifically to one aspect of the indictment, and that aspect deals with
14 events in Travnik in October 1993. And I'm asking you questions about
15 that because, first of all, this may have to do with foreign fighters; and
16 secondly, your name has been mentioned in a document that I found in the
17 matter. Let me put you my questions.
18 In October 1993, some Croat persons were kidnapped in the city of
19 Travnik and taken to somewhere else. The allegation in the Indictment is
20 that one of these persons has been beheaded in a certain camp And that
21 this was done by members of the -- of mujahedin subordinated to the battle
22 group Bosanska Krajina. I don't want to discuss the whole matter with
23 you, but I'll only ask you a few questions. The first is that in a report
24 that has the number P226, BritBat is mentioning your name in respect to
25 these events. And what is said is the following. One of the officers of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 BritBat has apparently spoken with you, and he relates that "the 3rd Corps
2 had tasked Alagic, commander of the operational group Bosanska Krajina, to
3 resolve the ongoing problems with the mujahedin in Travnik." This may
4 have been the commander itself, Alistair Duncan. I'm not quite sure.
5 But do you remember having said to a member of BritBat that Alagic
6 was charged by the 3rd Corps to solve the problems of -- the ongoing
7 problems with the mujahedin in Travnik?
8 A. Your Honours, I can't remember that event very precisely. This
9 occurred in October. I have testified about this at length. I remember
10 that around that time, we issued an order stating that the El mujahedin
11 detachment should be subordinated - not subordinated, resubordinated, the
12 difference is important - to the Bosanska Krajina OG. At the time, the
13 commander of the Bosanska Krajina OG was General Alagic.
14 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... was this a
15 British officer? Do you remember having said this to this person?
16 A. Your Honour, it depends on how I was quoted in that report. I
17 know that the problem of the mujahedin was a serious problem, and that
18 General Alagic could not solve it. It was a problem that wasn't solved at
19 the highest level. I was in the 3rd Corps, and there were problems in
20 1994 with the El mujahedin detachment, too. And that report, it was
21 probably paraphrased, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE SWART: May we not assume that you were aware of the
23 kidnappings of a number of Croats in Travnik in October, or weren't you?
24 A. No, Your Honour, I wasn't aware of that.
25 JUDGE SWART: And how would you explain this quote? Let me read
1 it full to you again.
2 "Commander first PWO" - I think this is Alistair Duncan - "spoke
3 with General Merdan deputy commander of the 3rd Corps BH, BHO, who made
4 the following unsubstantiated points: (B) that 3rd Corps had tasked
5 Alagic commander operation group Bosanska Krajina to resolve the ongoing
6 problems with the mujahedin in Travnik." I can imagine you're not aware
7 any more of that meeting, but it is difficult for me to accept that he is
8 not telling the truth or that he is not representing correctly what
10 A. No, Your Honour. I can claim with full responsibility that Duncan
11 Alistair never told me that some Croats had been kidnapped in Travnik.
12 JUDGE SWART: Let me quote then from the transcript of Alistair
13 Duncan who has been a witness here on the 13th of May 2004. It is the
14 French transcript, and it is page 7.269.
15 I'll translate it to you in English. "I remember one occasion on
16 which Dzemal Merdan did -- that he instructed Alagic to settle the
17 question of the mujahedin in Travnik." So there is a written document who
18 says something about your meeting, and Duncan himself also testified to
19 the same effect.
20 A. Your Honour, I can claim with full responsibility before this
21 Trial Chamber that Colonel Alistair Duncan never informed me of some
22 Croats having been kidnapped in Travnik. Similarly, Your Honours, I claim
23 with full responsibility that I signed an order, or perhaps even two
24 orders, on behalf of the 3rd Corps commander according to which the El
25 mujahedin detachment was to be resubordinated to the Bosanska Krajina OG,
1 which was led by the late General Alagic. So if I said that
2 Colonel Alistair Duncan probably paraphrased what I said, but I would like
3 to emphasise the fact that Colonel Alistair Duncan never told me that
4 Croats had been kidnapped in Travnik.
5 JUDGE SWART: Maybe I have not quite correctly presented the whole
6 matter to you. I started by saying that some Croats had been kidnapped in
7 Travnik in October and that one person was beheaded, according to the
8 indictment. Then I went to the document, saying that Duncan had a
9 conversation with you about difficulties with mujahedin in Travnik. Now,
10 maybe this is not related to the kidnapping of the Croats but to some
11 other difficulty in Travnik at the time, in October 1993. I don't know.
12 But as far as we know, we only heard about one problem with the mujahedin
13 in Travnik, and that concerns the kidnapping of a number of Croats.
14 So this explains my reasoning. But if you are able to tell me
15 that there were other difficulties that you have discussed with Duncan at
16 the time, please tell me.
17 A. Your Honour, I did talk to Colonel Alistair in very general terms,
18 that members of the El mujahedin detachment or foreigners were a problem
19 for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On several occasions before
20 this Trial Chamber I have explained how we tried to deal with this
21 problem, and our conversation has to be regarded in that context. And
22 what I have testified about here has to be put in that context. That
23 problem persisted all the while I was a member of the 3rd Corps.
24 JUDGE SWART: That is right. I agree with you totally there. But
25 on the other hand, this is specific. It is "to resolve the ongoing
1 problems with the mujahedin in Travnik in October 1993." The "ongoing
2 problem." So it's not about mujahedin in general, but it's referring to
3 something specific for Travnik in October 1993. Do you recall any
4 conversations on that topic at that time?
5 A. Your Honour, I claim with full responsibility that I never spoke
6 about the problem of kidnapped Croats or the problem of mujahedin in
7 October in Travnik with Colonel Alistair Duncan. And more specifically, I
8 never discussed with him the case of kidnapped Croats in Travnik.
9 JUDGE SWART: All right. Now, this was the reason why I put
10 some -- I wanted to put some questions to you on the events in Travnik.
11 The events themselves, were you aware of that at that time? Were you
12 aware at the time in October 1993 that there was a problem with Croat
13 civilians having been kidnapped?
14 A. No, Your Honour. I wasn't aware of that.
15 JUDGE SWART: Did you ever become acquainted with the events? Was
16 there any later moment in which you heard about them? And when was that?
17 A. Your Honour, in the last month or so, this has been mentioned in
18 the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You can hear about that on TV and on
19 radio. I know that proceedings are being carried out in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina with regard to this case. And now I know the details
21 because the media have been following the court proceedings very closely.
22 However, if we are talking about October and the short period thereafter,
23 I didn't know about the kidnapping of Croats in Travnik. I didn't know
24 that a Croat had been beheaded. I didn't know it, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SWART: Okay, thank you. Okay, thank you. That's what I
1 wanted to ask you.
2 Well, let's now discuss the -- what appears to be the main subject
3 of your testimony, judging what has been said and asked the previous days
4 over the previous two weeks. The foreign fighters subject, I would like
5 to discuss with you. And I do this mainly on the basis of documents. And
6 you have already seen a document given by the Defence to you at the
7 beginning of your testimony on so-called mujahedins, and it would be
8 helpful to have it again. If the Registrar could give you that binder.
9 There are some other documents, too, that I may show to you. My main
10 purpose is -- of this exercise is to -- not the only purpose, but maybe
11 the main purpose is to have a good understanding of what the documents
12 say. I would like to put you a number of things that come up with me if I
13 read these documents.
14 You said at the beginning of your testimony that you had a meeting
15 with Halilovic, that Halilovic had a meeting with commanders of the 3rd
16 Corps in April 1993. Later on, a document was shown to you, a war diary
17 dated April 1993 which shows that indeed, in the evening of 21 April,
18 starting at 2330, there was a meeting in which you participated, and you
19 told us about it. I have a few questions to put to you with regard to
20 this meeting and what happened before.
21 The first thing that I would like to ask you is the following. Is
22 it true, as some witness has said to us before, that on the same day - in
23 the morning or the afternoon, I don't know - there was another meeting
24 with the European monitors on a cease-fire that should or could be
25 concluded between the army and the HVO. Was there a meeting, do you
1 recall, on the possibility of concluding a cease-fire between the parties?
2 A. Yes, I remember, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SWART: And was it also the case that Halilovic was present
4 at that meeting?
5 A. Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SWART: And my third question with regard to that meeting is
7 the following: Was that a meeting in which the international observers
8 voiced criticism with regard to the presence of foreign fighters? I know
9 that you said in your previous testimony several times "the international
10 community criticised us." What I want to know is whether this criticism
11 was also voiced in this meeting of the 21st of April on the cease-fire.
12 A. Your Honour, I remember this meeting which involved
13 representatives of the BiH Army, the HV, and the HVO. This meeting was
14 held in Zenica under the auspices of the European monitors. I remember
15 that the main topic of that meeting was cease-fire and putting an end to
16 the fighting between the BiH Army and the HVO. This was the main focus of
17 that meeting as far as I can remember. I cannot remember any discussion
18 on mujahedin at that meeting. I do not exclude the possibility that
19 mujahedin may have been discussed at that meeting. However, I'm sure that
20 this was not the focus of that meeting. Maybe only some sort of
21 information was provided to General Sefer Halilovic to that effect.
22 However, I cannot say anything about that because I can't remember that
23 this topic was discussed at this meeting in any way.
24 JUDGE SWART: So this would imply, for instance, that someone
25 spoke to Halilovic, some international observer during breaks or
1 informally, if I understand you correctly?
2 A. No, Your Honour. You have misunderstood me. I cannot confirm
3 this. I don't know what was being discussed during the break, who was it
4 who talked to General Sefer Halilovic. I cannot confirm that anybody from
5 the international community had any sort of conversation during a break
6 with General Sefer Halilovic.
7 JUDGE SWART: I wasn't implying that. I was only supposing that
8 if he had some information, if he received some information on that day,
9 it would not be -- have been during the official meeting. That is the
10 point of my question.
11 But you are saying in the official part of the meeting "I do not
12 recall that the foreign fighters were mentioned."
13 A. Yes, Your Honour. You're right. I can't recall that.
14 JUDGE SWART: We have no disagreement or no difference of opinion.
15 I'm asking you this because the 20th of April is a few days after
16 the kidnapping of Totic. And on the evening of the 21st, you are all
17 discussing the problems of foreign fighters among each other with
18 Halilovic being present. So if you told us that you presented the problem
19 of the mujahedins to the general command staff, then -- well, let me say
20 it in another way. Let me first go to the document that is the war diary.
21 You have been presented with the original a few days ago. Let me not -- I
22 don't think it's necessary to show you to the full extent. The commander
23 of the 3rd Corps is opening the meeting by making a reference to the
24 possible cease-fire. Then Halilovic is speaking. He is covering various
25 topics. And then he says "the international dimension as regards the lack
1 of control of the mujahedins and the like." I don't think it's in your
2 binder, but if you would like to read it, we may produce it.
3 May I ask the Registrar again to put P794 to the witness.
4 If need be, I can give you the copy, although it is not quite
5 proper. If you give me one copy of the English version.
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have got a spare copy that we
7 can provide to the witness, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE SWART: The Defence in the case of Kubura, Mr. Ibrisimovic,
9 offers to provide you with the text of the original.
10 A. I've got it, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Well, if everybody's in agreement that
12 we should follow this procedure, then I'll go on. On the first page of
13 your copy, Witness, the B/C/S version, at the lower half of the page you
14 see that Halilovic is taking the floor. Halilovic is speaking, and he
15 says a number of things. And one of the things he said, I think it's
16 better for me to read it in the English text, and you confirm whether you
17 have found it.
18 He says at a given moment: "The international dimension as
19 regards the lack of control over the mujahedins and the like." This is my
20 translation of the original Bosnian version text. Can you find the
21 corresponding part in the original? I think it's the last line of the
22 first page, and it continues on the second page.
23 A. Your Honour, I have found part of the text where the word
24 mujahedin is mentioned.
25 JUDGE SWART: And would you please read it out for us in order to
1 be able to check whether the translation is a proper one.
2 A. Your Honour, I will read what it says here. "The international
3 dimension of the failure to control the mujahedin and the like." End of
5 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. That is about the same as the
6 translation we have on paper.
7 Now, there is no need for us to go through the whole minutes of
8 the meeting. It's a rather long meeting, and please accept -- believe me
9 if I'm saying that this is the only part of the record of the meeting
10 where the problem is mentioned. I have not been able to find any other
11 parts of the record of the same meeting discussing the same problem. So
12 as a record of the meeting, it's very short compared to what you told us a
13 few days before. And I understand, of course, that a war diary is not a
14 newspaper. I also understand that a war diary is not a report or interim
15 report, let alone a novel. They have to be short, these diaries. So it
16 is possible that they do not reflect the real nature of the discussion.
17 One thing I tend to believe, if reading this very short line, is the
18 following: I get the impression that Halilovic was the one who began the
19 discussion on the matter. Is that correct?
20 A. Your Honour, what you have said and what has been presented to me
21 by way of the minutes of this meeting would point to that. However, I
22 know that within the system of command and control, the superior officer
23 is informed about problems in the area of responsibility of a unit when he
24 arrives in that area in somewhat greater detail than are mentioned in
25 here. I believe that General Halilovic did have information, more
1 detailed information before he uttered this word here.
2 JUDGE SWART: And was the information coming from the -- from you
3 or other members of the 3rd Corps, or did he have information already when
4 he arrived in Zenica?
5 A. Your Honour, we drafted reports. We sent those reports to our
6 superior command. I can't recall the exact times and what these reports
7 contained. I remember, however, that the information on the kidnapping of
8 Zivko Totic arrived from the European Monitoring Mission. As far as I can
9 remember, this was prior to the date when this meeting was held, i.e.,
10 prior to the 20th of April 1993 in which case, it would be obvious that
11 the mujahedin represented a major problem and that more specific measures
12 were to be taken against them.
13 JUDGE SWART: If I understand you well, you are saying he may have
14 had -- I mean Halilovic may have had reports from the 3rd Corps on the
15 problem before coming to Zenica on the 21st. Is that correct?
16 A. Your Honour, I cannot confirm this. I don't know whether he had
17 information from the 3rd Corps prior to his arrival in Zenica. I never
18 said that. I said that he might have had information. I don't know how
19 he was informed about the problem of foreigners prior to his arrival in
20 Zenica. I only know that we did have problems with foreigners. I have
21 already testified to that effect before this Trial Chamber. But we did
22 not consider this problem considerable for the 3rd Corps. It was only
23 after the kidnapping of Zivko Totic did we believe that the 3rd Corps
24 command should get involved in dealing with this problem.
25 JUDGE SWART: Well, in that case, I have indeed misunderstood your
1 previous answer. It was not clear to me. And it's now clear that he had
2 information from other sources.
3 A. Your Honour, I have been presented with a document. I don't know
4 whether this is a Prosecution exhibit or a Defence exhibit. It was the
5 document of the Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina which
6 pointed to the problem of foreigners who had been arrested. However,
7 before the kidnapping of Zivko Totic, this did not represent a problem for
8 the 3rd Corps. And the 3rd Corps never thought that it should address
9 this issue before the kidnapping of Zivko Totic.
10 JUDGE SWART: Let me explain to you what I'm trying to establish.
11 I'm trying to establish what was the knowledge of Halilovic at the time he
12 came to Zenica, whether he got information from the 3rd Corps before he
13 came or information from other sources. But as far as I understand you
14 now is that you simply don't know. That's the final conclusion I would
15 like to draw from what you said. Is that correct? Because it's not
16 always easy to -- for you to know what I intend to say and for me to know
17 what you intend to say.
18 A. This is correct, Your Honour. I don't know because Sefer
19 Halilovic never spoke to me about that.
20 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. I think we both deserve a break.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we do indeed.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now adjourn, and we
23 shall resume at 2.00.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 2.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
3 resumed. It is now 2.00.
4 JUDGE SWART: Good afternoon, Witness. Before the break, we have
5 discussed Maline, and we were busy discussing the foreign fighters issue.
6 I forgot to put you one question that I intended to put you on Maline. It
7 is the final question I would like to put to you. It's the following: It
8 struck me that the letter of Delic, the supreme command staff commander,
9 was written on the 17th of October, and the request for information of the
10 commander of the 3rd Corps also has the date 17th October. Now, this
11 report that you received and on which you based your own report on the
12 events dates from the 19th of October, and your report is dated the 21 of
14 So there are four days between Delic's letter and your report.
15 The question I have is you based your report on what you knew from your
16 trip to Maline in August and also on the report of Asim Delic -- Rasim
17 Delic. Did you consider additional steps of inquiry, or did you not?
18 A. Your Honours, I personally did not consider taking any other
19 measures because the information which I had received indicated that these
20 people were killed in combat. I've already explained this, Your Honours.
21 It was not possible to investigate all killings which had occurred in the
22 course of combat.
23 JUDGE SWART: I'm asking this because the --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 JUDGE SWART: I'm asking this because the report of Rasim Delic's
1 is rather short. It's a few lines, and that's it. That made me think
2 whether you have considered additional steps of inquiry.
3 A. Your Honours, I think I've already answered that question.
4 Namely, based on the reports I had at my disposal, there had been combat
5 activity during which some people were killed. This is the information I
6 would at the time. And based on that information, I produced my report,
7 based on the information that I had in my possession about the events at
8 the time.
9 JUDGE SWART: Let's go back to the foreign fighters issue then.
10 We were discussing the meeting at which Halilovic was present, other
11 meetings on the 21st of April. You also mentioned a second meeting which
12 took place in May, another meeting in Zenica with Halilovic. And you said
13 on the 9th of December here that at a meeting, it was suggested that two
14 people from the supreme command should deal with the issues very seriously
15 because the corps command was not capable of dealing with the issues on
16 their own.
17 Now, my question is, those two people from the supreme command who
18 should deal with the issues very seriously, do you still remember their
20 A. Yes, I remember their names. Those were members of the supreme
21 command staff, Mr. Rasim Delic and Mr. Sakib Mahmuljin.
22 JUDGE SWART: And -- I'm sorry. And before the commander of the
23 3rd Corps, Hadzihasanovic, wrote his letter of June, his letter of the
24 13th of June, did you hear anything from the command?
25 A. Your Honours, I didn't understand the question. Do you mean from
1 the superior command or subordinate command? You were not specific
3 JUDGE SWART: I mean from the superior command, yes.
4 A. Your Honours, I did not have any other information at my disposal.
5 It was not known to me whether any other information had arrived from the
6 supreme command staff.
7 JUDGE SWART: Now, let's turn to the letter of the 13th of June
8 which is in your binder that the Defence gave you. Do you still have it
9 with you? That's number 2 -- no, it's number 3 in the collection.
10 A. Yes, I've found it, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SWART: I have a few questions to put to you. Maybe you
12 cannot answer them, but then let me know. I'll read you the first lines,
13 the first linea. It says the following: "In the general area of Zenica
14 Municipality since the beginning of the war, there have been volunteers
15 from foreign countries, Arabs, Turks, as well as a group of Bosnians
16 trained by them, the so-called guerrilla who have not entered the ranks of
17 the BH Army in spite of being invited to."
18 The next sentence is: "They are still contemplating the proposals
19 made to them by the BiH Army chief of staff." Now, my question is the
20 following: I note that they have been invited to enter the army and also
21 that they are still contemplating the proposals made to them by the ABiH
22 Army's chief of staff. This suggests that something has been done between
23 the main meeting and this letter. I don't know what. Maybe you don't
24 know what. But I'm wondering what has happened in the meantime?
25 A. Your Honours, I cannot remember what went on in between these
1 dates that you have mentioned. However, I can repeat the general position
2 that I've reiterated several times already; namely, that all of those who
3 wanted to fight for freedom and independence of the Republic of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina have to be under one single command. And if there are any
5 groups outside of that system, they have to be placed under the command
6 and follow the orders of the top leadership of the Army of Bosnia and
8 JUDGE SWART: You said before -- I don't quite recall on what day,
9 but you said before regarding this letter that your commander may have had
10 more knowledge than you. That may have been the case apparently if you
11 don't know what this letter points to. Is that a fair conclusion, that
12 you simply did not -- that you simply were not able to follow everything
13 that developed?
14 A. Your Honours, I'm testifying here about what I know and what I
15 saw. I'm also giving evidence about the information at my disposal. I
16 cannot remember that I phrased it in exactly those terms; namely, that my
17 commander, General Hadzihasanovic, had communication with someone
18 regarding that, someone other than the supreme command staff. What I said
19 was that there was communication with the supreme command staff. This is
20 what I gave evidence, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE SWART: That's right. And that's also what I was saying.
22 But the point of the question is you didn't know anything more than you
23 told us before.
24 Now, let's turn to the second linea --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could Your Honour please tell us the number of
1 the exhibit you're reading from.
2 JUDGE SWART: You said the following: "They were in this
3 territory even before the formation of the 3rd Corps."
4 I'm sorry, this is DH165, number 1.
5 The second linea of this text says the following: "They were in
6 this territory even before the formation of the 3rd Corps, and fighting to
7 date they have been acting outside the usual context and lawful methods of
8 combat which is directly detrimental to the BH State and especially to the
9 RBH Army." This reference to "outside the usual context and lawful
10 methods of combat," this might be - this is my question to you - a
11 reference to the events of Miletici on which you told us already a number
12 of things. Is that correct? Or are you not able to say anything about it?
13 A. Your Honours, I really cannot entirely understand your question.
14 This document which is under 3, number 3 in my package, is the one we
15 focussed our attention on first and then we switched to document number 2,
16 and then we are saying that those foreigners were present there even
17 before the 3rd Corps was established. Your Honours, I simply cannot
18 testify about that because I don't know whether these are the same people.
19 In this text, under number 1, this text that you have just shown me, it is
20 stated that these are representatives of humanitarian organisations,
21 whereas the people who kidnapped Mr. Totic and who, let us assume the
22 worst, also committed the murders in Miletici, then I really couldn't tell
23 you whether these are the same people. You're asking me to confirm that
24 these are the same people, but I cannot do that, Your Honours, because I
25 don't know that. I don't know if I understood your question well.
1 JUDGE SWART: I wonder if we have the same text. I'm discussing
2 the letter of the 13th of June. Do you have that before you?
3 A. Yes, that's right, Your Honours. The document under number 3 is
4 the one I have here.
5 JUDGE SWART: You said that the letter mentioned representatives
6 of humanitarian organisations. I don't see that in my translation. My
7 translation runs "volunteers from foreign countries, Arabs and Turks" in
8 the second line. Is that correct?
9 A. Your Honours, yes, that's right. This is what is stated in my
10 document. However, further into your question when you elaborated on the
11 context, you stated that the foreigners were present there even before the
12 3rd Corps was established. And then you wanted me to focus on the
13 document under number 1 in my package, which is dated February 1993. And
14 this is what I do not understand because in February 1993, the
15 establishment of the 3rd Corps had begun.
16 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues]... conclude.
17 I'm only talking about the document of the 13th of June, not another
19 A. Very well, Your Honour. I've understood now. We are now
20 referring only to the document dated the 13th of June 1993, which is what
21 I have in front of me.
22 JUDGE SWART: I was reading to you the second linea of this
23 document, of the 13th of June. It says "they were in this territory even
24 before the formation of the 3rd Corps. In fighting to date, they have
25 been acting outside the usual context of lawful methods of combat which is
1 directly detrimental to the BH State and especially to the RBH Army." And
2 I invited you to comment on that by asking you could this remark have
3 something to do with the events in Miletici?
4 A. No, Your Honours. I interpret this somewhat differently. When
5 they say "before the 3rd Corps was established," and I've already
6 testified about this, Your Honours. In November of 1992 I heard rumours
7 that in the defence of Karaula, several foreigners had been observed
8 defending Karaula from the Serb aggressor who was very successful at the
9 time. The situation was quite chaotic in the territory. At the time,
10 only the Territorial Defence existed. The 3rd Corps was nowhere near
11 being established. This is what I testified about, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE SWART: Now, that may be the case. But it is hardly perhaps
13 a reason to write a letter to the supreme command in June. The second
14 sentence of the second linea says "in fighting to date, they have been
15 acting outside the usual context..." So that covers the whole period
16 until the 13th of June, I would say. And in this context, I put this
17 question: Could this have anything to do with Miletici?
18 A. No, Your Honours. I mentioned here another case of combat
19 activity when in December the blockade of Sarajevo was being prepared,
20 Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I gave evidence about
21 the fact that already at the time I had some information about the
22 engagement of a group of foreigners who had arrived in the territory,
23 participated in combat activities, suffered losses, and then went back or
24 went somewhere. We didn't establish where. They inflicted great damage
25 at the time. Their behaviour was quite destructive. The members of the
1 BH Army even captured some of them, and they were quite angry and wanted
2 to kill the foreigners because somebody had blamed members of the BH Army
3 for those terrible things that had been committed in the defence of the
4 capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I've already testified about this,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE SWART: I know you testified already about that, but this
7 letter is of the 13th of June, perhaps five months or more later than
8 these events you are referring to. The text says "in fighting to date..."
9 That means, in theory, linguistically, "until now," I would say.
10 A. Yes, that's correct, Your Honours. I interpret it in the same way
11 as you because November 1992 and December of 1992 were chronologically
12 before the 13th of June 1993. Therefore, we think identically,
13 Your Honours, you and I. This was the time when we received some rumours
14 that there had been some foreigners, small groups of them, participating
15 in combat activities. This text here mentions that, and they were
16 involved in some combat activities. I don't know if this was clear
17 enough, Your Honours. Perhaps you could reformulate your question so that
18 I could be more specific.
19 All of this took place before the 13th of June 1993. And as for
20 Miletici, I don't know what specifically you're interested in, what
21 context are you interested in? I stated that the BH Army was not involved
22 in any combat activity in Miletici. When the events took place in
23 Miletici, that was on the 24th of May -- no, I apologise. The 24th of
24 April 1993. We had no combat activity in which members of the BH Army
25 were involved at that time. This context that you read out cannot be
1 linked in any way to the events in Miletici.
2 Your Honours, I don't know if I succeeded in answering your
3 question, but this is how I interpreted your question.
4 JUDGE SWART: Let me make myself clear. I'm only asking you
5 questions. I'm not venturing any opinion myself on how I should read,
6 only to the extent that this seems to cover the whole period up to the
7 13th of June. Now, what strikes me is that on the 13th of June, your
8 commander finds it necessary to write this letter. You already had two
9 meetings with the supreme command staff, in April and in May. And your
10 commander found it necessary to write a letter in June. Apparently he had
11 very good reasons to do that at that moment. And I'm looking for an
12 explanation. And I asked you, could it be that the events of Miletici
13 prompted him to write this letter. That is the point of my question, and
14 that is what I'm asking you.
15 A. Your Honours, as far as is known to me, I believe that I could
16 understand well the conduct of my commander, General Hadzihasanovic.
17 Practically, this was the first written document sent to the supreme
18 command staff. Everything that my commander, General Hadzihasanovic,
19 informed the supreme command staff about was simply oral briefing during
20 meetings, or there was perhaps some other means of communication as well.
21 However, this here before us is an official, written document where my
22 commander asks for a written reply about the problems encountered by us in
23 the area of our responsibility.
24 JUDGE SWART: May I presume what you said so far by saying you're
25 not able to tell us what prompted the letter of the 13th of June? Or do I
1 misunderstand you now?
2 A. Your Honours, you asked me about my opinion. I told you what my
3 opinion about this matter was. I did not ask my commander to brief me on
4 everything that he did, on every action of his. All I'm doing is now
5 stating my opinion about this letter, which is what you've asked me to do.
13 A. You're right, Your Honour. Now, as I'm testifying here and having
14 the knowledge of all of the facts that I do, I really couldn't say that
15 this document is related to the events in Maline. I really couldn't say
16 that, Your Honour, because I don't know that.
17 JUDGE SWART: All right. Neither do I know whether this played a
18 role. That's why I'm asking you. And one of the reasons why I'm asking
19 is this is that -- this letter is of the 13th of June, and the events in
20 Maline were on the 8th of June. So if you have -- if there's a problem
21 with foreign fighters, then this would be the moment to write a letter to
22 the supreme command. That is a possible interpretation. I don't say it
23 is the correct interpretation, but it is one of the interpretations you
24 could have. This is by way of explaining why I'm asking this.
25 A. Your Honour, if I should tell you with all the information that I
1 have available to me now, that I'm testifying before this Court, the
2 answer to that question, then I completely agree with you. But I have to
3 go back to the time when this document was written. At that time, I was
4 not able to draw that conclusion. I did not have that information on the
5 13th of June. But now when you set all the dates in chronological order
6 and when I make the connections in my mind, it is certain that the 13th of
7 June is really a date that follows the 8th of June.
8 JUDGE SWART: All right. I was only talking about a possible
9 connection with Maline. I'm not suggesting that there is a connection,
10 but only -- I'm only trying to verify whether -- what you know about the
11 relationship. So your answer satisfies me in that respect.
12 Now, let's turn to the text of the second linea. There's an
13 additional sentence that I'll read now to you. It says the
14 following: "It is a known fact that some state organs and higher-ranking
15 Muslim clergymen are behind them." "It is a known fact..." Is that also
16 something that you have knowledge about, that some state organs and
17 high-ranking Muslim clergymen are behind them, or don't you know anything
18 about that?
19 A. Your Honour, I cannot remember having talked to the commander in
20 that way. I don't remember discussing any assumptions about who could be
21 standing behind those foreigners. I only recall that operative measures
22 were taken by security services, among others, and I already explained
23 what I mean by "operative measures." I am certain that one of the
24 measures was to put the foreigners under surveillance, to wiretap the
25 conversations, to try to infiltrate their man into that group. You know
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that this job is highly, highly confidential, and any knowledge about it
2 is limited to the very small circle of people implementing those operative
3 measures. I am not familiar, Your Honour, with the exact operative
4 measures taken by the security organs.
5 JUDGE SWART: All right. Let's go further. We have this letter
6 of the 13th of June. You were also shown the response by Commander Delic,
7 which is of the 16th of June. It's the next document, that's DH165,
8 number 2. You have explained the difficulties the 3rd Corps had with that
9 response, "send them to Mount Igman," and this has been discussed in great
10 length during the past days. Then there is another letter of Delic of the
11 23rd of July, this is DH165 number 4 authorising Sakib Mahmuljin to find a
12 solution. Then in the next month, we come to a letter of the 12th of
13 August, DH165, number 5, which is a proposal by the commander of the 3rd
14 Corps to establish a unit, El Mujahid or El Mujahedin. And then there is
15 a order, the final order of Delic, of the 13th of August, which is DH165,
16 number 6. And this set of documents concludes by an order of the
17 commander of the 3rd Corps with regard to the subordination of this unit
18 to the 306th Brigade.
19 Now, the whole time span is between the 13th of June when the
20 commander of the 3rd Corps wrote his letter to the supreme command. And
21 you have then the order of Delic of August the 13th settling the issue
22 finally and saying "my order should be implemented before the end of the
23 month August." I'm not going to discuss these documents with you, except
24 for the order of Delic of the 13th of August. This is number 8 in your
25 binder, I think. Let me check. Document DH165, number 6.
1 A. Yes, Your Honour. I've found the document here in my file under
2 number 8. It's an order by the headquarters of the supreme command of the
3 13th of August 1993.
4 JUDGE SWART: That's the document I wanted to discuss with you. I
5 only want to discuss with you the texts under II. It says "mobilisation
6 preparations." Could you read out to us what is said below II.
7 A. Yes, I can read it, Your Honour. And I will. "Reinforce
8 detachment El mujahedin from the men, that is, foreign nationals -
9 volunteers - who are located in the area of responsibility of the 3rd
10 Corps. The said personnel is carrying weapons and other supplies that
11 have been issued to them."
12 JUDGE SWART: This is slightly different from the translation we
13 have in English. I'll read it before you, and maybe you could then
14 comment on it. In the translation, it says the following: "These people
15 keep their weapons and other equipment which has already been issued to
16 them." I'm curious to know how this has been translated in B/C/S, but I'm
17 unable to check. Is what you read something different from what has been
18 translated from English into B/C/S?
19 A. Well, I see the difference, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SWART: What is the difference, according to you?
21 A. As far as I can recall the text that you read, which has
22 officially been interpreted to me relative to the text I see in front of
23 me, I see the difference in this part. "The weapons and other equipment
24 they are to continue to carry." "The weapons and other equipment that had
25 already been issued to them by somebody." I don't know by whom. That's
1 the point.
2 JUDGE SWART: The text as it has been translated in English
3 that -- or as you read it in B/C/S on page 69, lines 5 and 6, says "the
4 said personnel is carrying weapons and other supplies that have been
5 issued to them." My question is really the following: If the commander
6 says weapons and supplies that have been issued to them, I would be
7 curious to know who issued these weapons and supplies and when? And my
8 question is are you able to comment on that? Do you have any idea? Do
9 you know? If you don't, say it. But that is my question.
10 A. Your Honour, I could not clarify this. I'm not in a position to
11 explain. I don't know who issued weapons to those people.
12 JUDGE SWART: Could you say- that is maybe not a good question to
13 you - but if I read a sentence like this, I am inclined to think that
14 those who will receive the order know what he is talking about. Would you
15 like to comment on that, or wouldn't you?
16 A. Really, Your Honour, I could not give any comment because I have
17 absolutely no knowledge about this. I could not really comment. I really
18 don't know who gave them weapons, who issued weapons to them. I really
19 don't know.
20 JUDGE SWART: Now, yesterday, you told us about some combat
21 operations in which the foreign fighters refused to fight, and that
22 resulted in many casualties, and you also quoted the comment of the
23 commander on that event. I heard you telling this -- I'm not quoting
24 because I was not able to write down exactly what you said, but you did
25 not mention any date or place, and I was afterwards looking for a document
1 that would mention the same event as you spoke.
2 Could you tell us what kind of event you were referring to, in
3 what months of what year and what place?
4 A. Your Honour, to the best of my recollection, it was in the
5 beginning of September 1993. And to be even more precise, it was maybe
6 the 5th or the 6th of September 1993 when they were resubordinated to the
7 operational group Bosanska Krajina. Bosnian Krajina, and they were
8 included, involved, in a combat activity in the area of Kruscica. The
9 commander of the brigade which engaged part of its forces in that area,
10 Fikret Cuskic, said later that part of the combat activities as a result
11 of the behaviour of those foreigners resulted in great losses that this
12 commander suffered in the broader area of Kruscica.
13 JUDGE SWART: All right. Since I did not know what date and what
14 place you were pointing to yesterday, I was looking for some documents in
15 trying to find what you were talking about. I found another document that
16 I may show you now. And it describes basically a similar situation, I
17 would say. I would like you to comment on it. I'll ask you whether you
18 recognise that situation.
19 That document is of the 10th of August, and it has the number
20 P477. I would like you to have a look at it.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you have the floor.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] While the document is being
24 searched for, I would like to come back to the previous document regarding
25 the interpretation or translation of this second paragraph. I would like
1 to seek official translation of this second paragraph because when I
2 compare now the Bosnian and the English text, I see that in English, it
3 says that something had earlier been issued to those men, whereas in the
4 Bosnian text, I see that it says that this concerns materiel that is
5 currently in the possession of those men. This is perhaps not a great
6 deal, but it is essentially different from the text of the translation we
7 have now.
8 JUDGE SWART: I agree with you. But this is the third translation
9 of the same phrase. I think the translation in English that was given to
10 us when the witness read the sentence is slightly different from what you
11 said. Maybe we would have to ask again for an authorised translation. If
12 we cannot be sure what is the translation, well, let's decide then if you
13 all agree to have an authorised translation in the same manner we had some
14 days ago.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] That is precisely why I am on my
16 feet. I wanted to ask for an authorised translation of this second
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, the
19 Chamber is requesting an authorised translation of Document P477. The
20 translation would be submitted to us when we come back in January.
21 JUDGE SWART: In the meantime, Witness, do you have this document,
22 P477, of the 10th of August 1993?
23 A. Yes, I have in front of me a document dated the 9th of August
25 JUDGE SWART: Now, as you see, this is a report to the supreme
1 command staff by the commander of the 3rd Corps, and it is of -- on the
2 various operations groups in his command. First, there is the operations
3 group Bosna. And then under 3, you have the operations group Zapad. And
4 under 4, you have Lasva. This is quite a long text. But have a look at
5 the paragraph under 1.2, "our forces."
6 In my English translation, this would be line 8, and it starts
7 with the following words: "The Muslim forces or mujahedin brought from
8 Travnik as well as the part of Muslim forces from Zavidovici..." Do you
9 find this line? Are you able to spot where I am now?
10 A. Your Honours, I noticed -- I located this passage.
11 JUDGE SWART: Could you read for us, sir, what is said in this
12 sentence and the following sentences.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' request: Could it be put on the
14 ELMO, please, because we don't have this document. In the original, if
16 JUDGE SWART: The B/C/S text, of course, not the English text.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm taking advantage of this
18 situation to make a correction. I'm not asking for -- we are not asking
19 for the authorised translation of P477, but of DH165.6.
20 You have the document P477 in your language, Witness?
21 A. Yes, Your Honour. I have the document in front of me in the
22 Bosnian language.
23 JUDGE SWART: It's not on the ELMO as the interpreters requested,
24 but maybe...
25 Now, could you read to us the lines I indicated and that you have
1 been able to find now.
2 A. The passage that you indicated, Your Honour, I found it. And I
3 can read it out. I can read a sentence out of that passage.
4 JUDGE SWART: I would like to ask you, this is quite a job for you
5 to read the whole until the end of the 1.2. It's a long text, I know.
6 But then everybody's able to hear what the text is.
7 A. If I read the entire passage up to subitem 1.2, then it becomes
8 completely unclear to me because you read a part of the text from item
9 1.2. And now you want me to read up to 1.2. Did I understand you
11 JUDGE SWART: I think there is again a misunderstanding. We
12 started by saying there is -- I started by saying there is a paragraph
13 1.2, "our forces." And then I said at line 8 or 9, there is a sentence
14 beginning with the words, "the Muslim forces or mujahedin brought from
15 Travnik," and I asked you did you find it? And you said yes. And now I'm
16 asking you to start reading from that point, not from 1.1, but 1.2, the
17 part where this sentence begins. Is that clear now?
18 A. In the Bosnian language here, I have item 1.2. I've found this
19 passage. And it goes to item 2, up to the subheading OG Istok, OG East.
20 Is that the passage you mean?
21 JUDGE SWART: Yes, I said already that's quite a length. But
22 could you nevertheless read it for the benefit of all of us. Some of us
23 don't have this document.
24 A. "The planned offensive" -- sorry, sorry. I should start earlier.
25 "Muslim forces," is that where you want me to start?
1 JUDGE SWART: That's where I want you to start, yes.
2 A. "Muslim forces or mujahedin brought from Travnik as well as the
3 part of Muslim forces from Zavidovici did not want to carry out the order.
4 Those forces, together with the part of the 314th Motorised Brigade, were
5 supposed to attack along the axis Petrovici" -- the following word is not
6 quite legible. Then goes Misici, trig point 323.
7 "Thorough reconnaissance has been carried out with the
8 aforementioned, and not for a second had they shown a single sign that
9 they would refuse to carry out the assigned task. Readiness for execution
10 of the task was 2100 hours on the 8th of August 1993 for all units. At
11 1900 hours, they reported that they could not carry out combat activities
12 by night, and I postponed readiness for all units to 500 hours on the 9th
13 of August 1993.
14 "At 0400 hours, they refused the order again, stating as a reason
15 that they do not trust the army and fear treason. In view of the planning
16 and the fact that the execution of the task by the 314th Motorised Brigade
17 and 318th Motorised Brigade depended on it, I gave the order to cease the
18 action until further notice. Due to the conduct of this group of
19 mujahedin from Travnik, so far one can assume that they had been
20 dispatched to me or sent to me for the purpose of spreading some culture
21 unknown to me. In the course of the day, they shall be returned to where
22 they have come from. The rest of the Muslim forces from Zavidovici
23 Municipal Staff I will most probably disband and distribute them among the
24 battalions of the 318th Mountain Brigade."
25 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. There is another part in the same
1 document which deals with the operations group Lasva, and it more or less
2 tells the same story, but I will not ask you to read it. This part of the
3 report that you have read before us reminds me a little bit of what you
4 told about the problems in September in the units of Fikret Cuskic. Do
5 you agree that you recognise a pattern of these persons not being prepared
6 to perform what they had promised to do? Or what they were supposed to
8 A. Your Honour, I see a great difference here between what we had on
9 the 6th of September 1993 and what we have here dated the 9th of August
11 JUDGE SWART: There is no mention of casualties as a consequence
12 of their behaviour. That is obvious. But I pointed out the fact that
13 they, so to speak, went their own way, made their own decisions, that for
14 me is a similarity. Maybe I am mistaken. Please tell me.
15 A. Your Honour, as I interpret this text that I've read out, and
16 taking into account what we've already said about the document dated
17 September of 1993, this document dated the 9th of August 1993 clearly
18 indicates that the mujahedin had been brought there, or the Muslim forces,
19 the mujahedin. The author of this document cannot define them because the
20 author says the Muslim forces or the mujahedin. Therefore, he doesn't
21 know the difference between the Muslim forces and the mujahedin.
22 And the document from September of 1993 very clearly spells out
23 and orders the mujahedin detachment, which had been established somewhat
24 earlier to be resubordinated to the Bosanska Krajina operative group. In
25 military terms, Your Honour, the difference is huge. It is so significant
1 that these two things cannot be compared even. I've mentioned several
2 times that in the BH Army, there were not Muslim forces, and there were no
3 mujahedin up until the mujahedin detachment was established. I state that
4 with full responsibility. Therefore, these Muslim forces or the mujahedin
5 as they are referred to in this text had been brought in from Travnik by
6 someone. Now, in military terms, who can bring in someone and who cannot
7 is quite a significant matter. There are very strict rules about who can
8 issue orders or who can send somebody in military terms. Nobody can bring
9 in a unit, especially not a unit that is not familiar to anyone. This
10 text here refers to the Muslim forces or mujahedin. Therefore, the person
11 who wrote this document did not know who these people were and who had
12 brought them in. For me, Your Honours, this is a tremendous difference
13 for me as a military person.
14 JUDGE SWART: I agree with you that the text of September is an
15 order, and this is not an order. This is a combat report. It's not --
16 that is something different. If you point at that, that is quite proper
17 to do so. But I also draw your attention to the very end of the document.
18 It is purported to be a document written by the commander of the 3rd
19 Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic, although I do not see a signature. But this
20 may be due to the fact that it has been communicated to the supreme
21 command, and apparently this document in the form we have it comes from
22 the archives of the supreme command. But it bears the name at the end of
23 the commander Enver Hadzihasanovic.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the original?
25 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we will make the efforts to do that.
1 It may take us a little bit of time. Perhaps by the time we recommence
2 after the next break we'll have it, but Mr. Vatter will do what he can do
3 get us that as quickly as possible.
4 JUDGE SWART: Well, I guess it will not be an enhanced signature,
5 because it was communicated by electronic means, and that means very often
6 that the signature gets lost.
7 But let's not dwell on it any further. I would like to show you
8 another document. That is Document P434 of the 12th of July.
9 A. Your Honour, with your leave, I would like to make a comment. You
10 first put a question to me, and then you interrupted me. I believe that I
11 should answer.
12 JUDGE SWART: Well, I'm not aware of having you interrupted. At
13 any rate, that is not intentional. But if I did so, please tell me what
14 you intended to tell.
15 A. Thank you, Your Honour. I don't know what is stated in your
16 English version, but as was interpreted to me into my native language
17 through my headphones, I understood you to inquire as to whether this
18 document was created by Commander Hadzihasanovic. I can assure you with
19 full responsibility that my commander, General Hadzihasanovic, would never
20 have authored a document of this nature.
21 JUDGE SWART: I take note of that.
22 Let's have a look at Document P434. And for the benefit of the
23 parties, I may mention that there are two other documents related to the
24 same events or the same day, same -- well, event is maybe the best word.
25 That is P603 and P604.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 You have this document before you, General? 12th July 1993.
2 A. Dated 12th of July, yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SWART: Let's look first to the signature. It says
4 "Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic," but it's not his signature, I suppose,
5 as far as I'm able to tell. Could you confirm that.
6 A. Your Honour, I can read what is stated here. "Commander
7 Hadzihasanovic," however, the word Enver is hidden by the seal. I can see
8 only the letter R. I can see the signature clearly. And you're
9 absolutely right, Your Honour. This is not General Hadzihasanovic's
11 JUDGE SWART: My question is whose signature is it? Could you
12 recognise the signature?
13 A. Your Honour, I cannot recognise the signature. It is not familiar
14 to me. I am very well familiar with the signature of
15 General Hadzihasanovic. It is quite a unique signature and can be
16 deciphered very easily. I don't know who signed this, though.
17 JUDGE SWART: So would you please read what is stated in this
18 document, this -- which is called query.
19 A. You mean this text?
20 JUDGE SWART: Read it to yourself to start with to get familiar
21 with the content.
22 A. I've read it, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SWART: Maybe I could also give you Document P603. I think
24 it's better to show you also this document. It is two days earlier. It
25 is the 10th of July. And here again, if you look at the end, it mentions
1 the name of the commander of the 3rd Corps, but the signature is
2 different. Do you agree with that?
3 A. I've read it, Your Honour. I've read this document as well.
4 JUDGE SWART: Now, the second document that you read -- that you
5 received in a minute before is a letter to the 333rd Mountain Brigade.
6 And the first document, which is two days later, is a document that is
7 addressed to the 7th Mountain Brigade. Let me explain what I -- what my
8 understanding of the two documents is, and then you may comment on whether
9 I read this properly or not.
10 I understand that the 333rd Mountain Brigade is in some difficulty
11 and needs military assistance. And I also understand that it has asked
12 help from the commander of the 3rd Corps. This is clearly stated in
13 Document 604, but for the sake of time I have not shown you that.
14 Now, in the second document of the 10th of July, it is said that
15 "since the mentioned unit is not part of the BH Army, we cannot issue
16 orders to it." And secondly "we approve the use of this unit as
17 previously agreed." And third: "In the event of this unit's engagement,
18 inform this command in a combat report."
19 And the second document of the 12th of July is addressed to those
20 who should be -- who should offer assistance to the 333rd Mountain
21 Brigade. It's a call for help of the 7th Mountain Brigade -- 7th Muslim
22 Mountain Brigade, and it is conditional on something. That is apparent in
23 the first part of the text. It says "since the engagement of Arabs who
24 are ready to carry out combat activities in the 333rd Brigade zone of
25 responsibility, it is conditional on joint combat together with your
1 unit." And therefore, to summarise what is said, let me know if you
2 are -- whether you are prepared to offer assistance, the implication being
3 that if you are ready to offer assistance, those Arabs who are already
4 carrying out combat activities will also join the fight.
5 That is my understanding of these two documents. I don't know
6 whether you are of the same or of a different opinion.
7 A. Your Honour, you are giving us your thoughts regarding these
8 documents. I personally partially disagree with you because I have a
9 different opinion and a different interpretation of these documents.
10 Your Honour, I will simply point out to those parts where I disagree with
11 you, which is the essence of what I'm trying to tell you. Therefore,
12 you're asking me here for my opinion about these documents, and
13 Your Honour, I will give you my opinion. Now as to whether my opinion
14 will be the correct one, I don't know. I'm simply stating my opinion, and
15 my perception of these documents. And if I understood you right, you're
16 interested in my opinion about these documents. Is that right?
17 JUDGE SWART: Yes, go ahead. That's what I'm asking you.
18 A. Yes, Your Honour. I naturally will not read out everything. I
19 will simply mention the details which in my view are essential. The
20 document dated the 10th of July, under item 2, it is stated that this is
21 being approved "in accordance with previous agreement." I, as a soldier,
22 think that it should be stated here "in accordance with previous orders"
23 because there are no agreements in the army, only orders. I don't know
24 who, whether the person who authored this document or the persons who
25 prepared these documents had some previous agreements and arrangements.
1 This obviously has to do with the assistance to the 333rd Brigade.
2 Therefore, I believe you when you say that you found the document
3 indicating that the 333rd Brigade was facing some difficulties. However,
4 I, as a soldier, believe that within the command and control system, there
5 are no agreements and arrangements. Soldiers cannot say "we will do this
6 now, but on the next occasion maybe we won't do it." There are only
7 orders. In the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the command and control
8 system, only orders are recognised. Therefore, the text should say "in
9 accordance with previous orders," not "in accordance with previous
10 arrangements or agreements." I cannot accept this formulation.
11 If we look at these documents, and this is the first time that I
12 see these documents - I had no opportunity to see them earlier - I see
13 that mention is made of Arabs, as you have stated yourself. However,
14 based on this document, it is not clear to me that they were an integral
15 part of the 7th Muslim Brigade because the text here indicates that they
16 are ready to carry out combat activities together with your unit.
17 Therefore, if these Arabs are within the 7th Muslim Brigade, then they
18 cannot give any conditions because they are an integral part of this
19 brigade. And in that case, they can't say in this text "together with
20 your unit."
21 Therefore, on the basis of this text, I can only conclude that the
22 Arabs were absolutely not an integral part of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
23 Further on, as I read this text, there's a request here to place
24 reserve forces, the 3rd Company of the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Muslim
25 Brigade, and this is something that I can accept; namely, that this
1 company ought to be ready, waiting in reserve to assist the 333rd Brigade.
2 Your Honour, I disagree with you on the score that there can be
3 some agreements in the army, that people can agree or disagree on
4 something. In my view, the Arabs mentioned here were not within the 7th
5 Muslim Brigade because had there been an integral part of the intrigued,
6 the text formulation would have been different. No doubt about it.
7 Your Honours, this is what I keep reiterating, that these forces which are
8 mentioned here and there in smaller or greater numbers, better or worse
9 equipped, were not within the corps, the 3rd Corps. And when measures
10 were made at the highest level to place those forces under the command of
11 the 3rd Corps, they refused to carry out orders in the approved system, in
12 the established system, within the command and control system. And I
13 spoke quite a lot about that, Your Honour.
14 Therefore, to conclude, there can be no arrangements or agreements
15 made within the Army, and I interpret these documents to mean that Arabs
16 were not an integral part of any formation of any brigade.
17 JUDGE SWART: Well, that's exactly the point I am trying to make.
18 I'm not saying -- I have never said that these people were members of the
19 7th Brigade or any other brigade. I'm just asking you, and this is my
20 reading of the document, that outside the army, there were groups as
21 mentioned in the previous document of August that I've shown to you, and
22 now in these two documents. There are groups outside the army with which
23 there is some form of cooperation. I would not know how to call it.
24 Maybe horizontal cooperation, but nevertheless there is some cooperation.
25 How unhappily commanders may be and disappointed by the results. But that
1 is what I tend to read in the document, a form of cooperation, not with
2 people who are in the army but with people who are outside the army.
3 Let's continue after the break. We'll resume our discussions on
4 these documents.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now 3.30. The hearing
6 will resume at 5 to 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. During
10 the break, did you manage to find the original of the document?
11 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, we did, Mr. President. I'll pass this now to
12 the usher. I did show it to counsel for the Defence during the break, but
13 the accused obviously weren't present at that point.
14 JUDGE SWART: Witness, we have the original document of the 9th of
15 August, which is Number P477. Maybe it's good to show it to you because
16 you had some comments on it.
17 A. Your Honour, even last time I did not doubt the photocopy. I
18 don't have any doubts about the papers that I'm being shown here. I only
19 gave my comments in response to your question. Not for a moment did I
20 doubt what you presented me with. I did not even ask to see the original.
21 JUDGE SWART: Nevertheless, we had a discussion, a short
22 discussion, on the absence of a signature. I remember that was the one
23 point we were discussing to some extent. Now, you see, as I see, that
24 this is apparently a fax that has been sent by electronic means from one
25 place to another. And usually, in such a situation, the original
1 signature disappears, especially if you take into account the technique in
2 1993. If you fax a letter now, if I would fax you a letter and sign it,
3 you would get my signature. But with the techniques available in 1993, I
4 believe this was not yet possible. So in order to verify what kind of
5 document it was, it is good to have a look at it. Now we are all able to
6 see it is a fax, and that is the purpose of getting the original
7 documents. And if I may add, it is always better to have an original
8 document you can read it better, as you have seen this morning. There are
9 more characteristics on an original that get lost in photocopies. But
10 unfortunately, we all work mostly with copies, which is a huge
11 disadvantage in a criminal trial. So that is the -- let me explain the
12 reason why my colleagues and me thought it useful to have the original
14 A. I understand, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Usher, please get the
16 document back and return it to its owner.
17 JUDGE SWART: Now, to resume our discussion we had on the
18 documents in July and August, as an outsider, I say with some emphasis, as
19 an outsider, as someone who has not been in the army and certainly not in
20 the army in Bosnia at the time as you were, when you read these documents
21 on -- of August, the first document that you have seen, the document that
22 you have looked at seconds ago, and when you look at the other documents
23 that we have discussed before the break of July, as an outsider, I would
24 say I get the impression, I must be very careful in expressing myself.
25 But I get the impression - and this I want to check with you, and that is
1 the purpose also of the whole exercise - that there was some sort of, let
2 me say, horizontal cooperation of the army with group outside the army. I
3 never say, and I repeat it again, these people were a member of the army.
4 I have no opinion on that. But on the face of the documents, at first
5 blush, you would say, there might be some form of horizontal cooperation,
6 of people outside the army who under their own conditions from time to
7 time participate in combat or do not participate after having promised to
8 do so which causes enormous -- a lot of problems.
9 But what I would like to have your opinion about is whether we are
10 or I am right in reading this -- drawing these kind of conclusions from
11 these documents. If you say "no," go ahead. You already have said no,
12 and we'll take your opinion and your remarks into account, of course. It
13 is important for us to know what you think about these documents. So that
14 is -- that may explain why I am giving you these documents. And if you
15 want to comment again upon these documents, please do.
16 A. Your Honour, I have spoken extensively about these documents
17 already as a professional man, although I can't say I'm a great expert.
18 There are many better experts than I in specific fields. But as somebody
19 who spent his life serving in the army, I commented upon this as a soldier
20 in a particular line of service, and I said what I said. I can only
21 repeat myself now. This horizontal link that you refer to sounds very
22 interesting to me. It now affects my process of thinking, and maybe I
23 could say something about that.
24 As a soldier, I never see that horizontal link. You know how I
25 view things as a soldier. There's always a vertical connection. You can
1 have somebody by your side, but even in that horizontal connection
2 everything has to be agreed, everything has to be specified. And if you
3 conclude that there is a horizontal link, I will certainly not object to
4 that conclusion. But in principle, I don't agree with that because there
5 are no horizontal links in the army in terms of command and control. In
6 that sense, the army is very precise. A horizontal link may exist with
7 certain organisations with which certain arrangements are made. But in
8 principle, there are no arrangements in the army. Orders are given, and
9 they get executed or not executed. So that horizontal connection
10 practically doesn't exist. It is alien to me. That's why I can't really
11 comment upon horizontal links. There are professional connections in the
12 army, links based on expertise. And if you talk about connection based on
13 expertise which does exist in the global system of command, then in this
14 case I don't see even that connection. There may be a connection between
15 BH Army units and some groups which, as we see from this, are causing
16 problems and somebody's making arrangements with them. I would really not
17 be able to agree that this is a case of horizontal connection, speaking of
18 the army.
19 JUDGE SWART: I think we agree on the fact that horizontal
20 relations in the army are not conceivable, so to speak, that the whole
21 system of an army supposes vertical relationships. There's one at the top
22 who gives command to the others who have to comply. And the whole concept
23 of horizontal cooperation is utterly alien to the structure of an army, of
24 a regular army. That, we agree upon.
25 But I try to find an expression, a word for what I may have seen
1 in these documents. Let me be very careful in expressing my thoughts.
2 You understand what my problem is. Well, these are two documents that are
3 in July -- of July 1993 and August 1993. This is in the period between
4 the letter of 13 June of the commander of the 3rd Corps and the final
5 order of Delic settling the issue by ordering the creation of a separate
6 independent unit, El Mujahid or El Mujahedin.
7 In your testimony of this afternoon, and even before, you refer to
8 events in 1992. You refer to Karaula, battle for Karaula, and also to
9 Visoko. Visoko I think was at the end of December 1992, wasn't it?
10 A. Your Honour, as far as I'm able to recall, it was December.
11 JUDGE SWART: All right. And as far as Karaula is concerned, I
12 don't know what month or what date -- or it may have been a very long
13 period. Could you situate the time when there was a battle over Karaula.
14 A. Your Honour, I said that it happened in November, roughly
15 speaking. I can only give a precise chronology of events. I said we had
16 problems defending Karaula when the aggressor captured Jajce. And a great
17 number of people, both civilians and TO units that had been completely
18 crushed, were engulfed in chaos. Lots of troops with no commander in
19 sight. Everybody was mixed, people, cattle, livestock. I believe it
20 would be hard for you to even imagine that sight. Shooting, all that
21 mixed citizenry, Croats, Bosniaks, including people who had been expelled
22 from their homes even earlier in Krajina. Bosniaks and Croats joined by
23 people from Jajce, and then on top of that comes Karaula, aggravating the
24 situation. I can only tell you that I got a lot of grey hair in those
25 days. I was the one in charge, and I had to deal with it. It was really
1 hard for me, and it took me a long time to recover from the shock.
2 I can only place events in time. I think this was in November.
3 JUDGE SWART: You have mentioned the fall of Jajce, and quite a
4 few other witnesses have also mentioned that crucial event in the autumn
5 of 1992. As far as I can recall, no one has given us a specific date.
6 Could you give me a date for the fall of Jajce.
7 A. Your Honour, I cannot recall exactly the date. It was not a
8 particular day that Jajce fell into the hands of the aggressor. That
9 happened gradually. But from my point of view as a soldier, it happened
10 rather quickly. We had forces defending Jajce. And without my notes, I
11 would be hard put to give you a date. However, it happened over two or
12 three days, maybe even five or six days. In any case, I can't recall the
13 exact date.
14 JUDGE SWART: So we'll stick to the autumn of 1992. Because I'm
15 unable to make it more specific at this moment.
16 Now, what you said to us is that in Karaula and Visoko later on, a
17 number of foreigners took part in battles. Maybe on their own initiative,
18 without consulting any army unit, I don't know, but they were seen. And
19 you confirmed the fact that foreigners had fought in these two events.
20 And that's the only thing I know about that, and I know that, that you
21 already said -- also said and other witnesses have said before about these
22 two battles.
23 Now, I have shown you a few documents from the period of July and
24 August 1993 when a discussion was going on on what to do with these
25 foreigners starting with the meeting in April, 21st of April. Then you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 have this letter of the commander of the 3rd Corps to the supreme command
2 staff saying "make clear what you want. There's a problem." And ending
3 with the order of Delic of August, mid-August 1993. What happened in
4 August -- or in July doesn't necessarily indicate what happened before.
5 Apparently there is an evolving situation. We have in the beginning in
6 1992 two examples of foreigners taking part in battle under conditions
7 that we know nothing about. We have the mujahedin unit as of the
8 beginning of September, or maybe the last week of August. That is not
9 important for me. And we have this period of discussions on the whole
10 problem of foreign fighters within the army itself.
11 There are still some months, the beginning of January to the
12 letter of Hadzihasanovic saying "solve this problem. There is an urgent
13 problem." Could you tell me what was the case, the situation during these
14 months? And I would also like to discuss the situation of these months
15 with you on the basis of, let's say, at least one document.
16 A. Your Honour, I would like to make a remark. I heard
17 interpretation into my language to the effect that in this period you
18 refer to, up to August, they were in the ranks of the BH Army. I would
19 appreciate it very much, and I don't know how you put it in English, but I
20 already said yesterday that I had a lot of problems with interpretation.
21 A lot of the time, I hear something different. And when everything has
22 been read to me, I said that within a certain period, they were within the
23 ranks of the BH Army. However, I would like the interpreter to be more
24 careful, really.
25 JUDGE SWART: I agree with you that what you said now is not what
1 I said to you. I did not state that they were in the ranks of the army up
2 to August 1993. On the contrary. I said there was an intermediate stage
3 in which discussions were taking part. They became a member of the army
4 officially when the order of Rasim Delic took effect, and not before.
5 So if you have understood that I said that before August they were
6 part of the army, then this must be an error of translation. I did not
7 want to say it, even if you may have heard it, I believe I did not say it.
8 I am interested in the first months, the first six months, so to
9 speak, before the whole discussion on what to do with the problem of
10 foreign fighters in your area of responsibility became really acute. And
11 I would limit myself to showing you one document and have your comments on
12 that document in order to be able to assess the document better. And this
13 is a document from the 19th of January 1993. And it has the Exhibit
14 Number P702.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' request: We do not have this
16 document. If there will be any reading of it, then maybe it should be put
17 on the ELMO.
18 JUDGE SWART: If you look at the bottom of the document in your
19 version, you see the name of Selmo Cikotic. There is no signature. I
20 don't know why. Maybe this again is a fax. I don't know. Maybe there
21 are other reasons. Maybe it's not a document of Selmo Cikotic. And if
22 you look at the top of the document, you see that it is -- this document
23 is addressing -- is addressed to the 3rd Corps in Zenica, among other
25 Now, I would like you to read the third paragraph of this
2 A. "Requests: 1, that Lendo provide a man who would get to the
3 village of Bistrica during the night and take over command over" - I
4 suppose this means infantry company, the two initial letters are not quite
5 clear to me - "from Novi Travnik. The mujahedin and the troops or forces
6 from Bistrica. And then with these men, to execute an attack along the
7 axis checkpoint in Bistrica village, Franjkovac Kupa, Zvizde, Gornji
8 Vakuf, link up with the forces in town, and supply us with the materiel
9 and technical equipment that is located there; two, provide supply of all
10 types of assistance and provisions from the direction of Konjic towards
11 Voljevac village; three, to have Lendo meet our request and open artillery
12 fire at the designated targets; four, that the PDO anti-airborne assault
13 defence commanded by Faruk Aganovic, Jupi, urgently be sent from Bugojno
14 with a task to break through to Gornji Vakuf. He knows which direction to
15 take; five, that the infantry weaponry be sent to the fighters of 305th
16 Mountain Brigade."
17 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. What I want to discuss with you is the
18 first sentence beginning with the words "that Lendo." You see the word
19 "mujahedin" in his requests. And I would like to ask you -- I suppose you
20 have never seen this document before. Could you answer that?
21 A. Yes, Your Honour. I'm seeing this document for the first time.
22 JUDGE SWART: I'm just asking you, what do you think of the
23 document? What does it indicate? What does it not indicate? How do we
24 have to understand the document?
25 A. Looking at this document, it being what it seems, sent from Donji
1 Vakuf to the commander of the 3rd Corps with Selmo Cikotic indicated at
2 the bottom, then I can say that this document, written as it is, was sent
3 from Donji Vakuf -- Gornji Vakuf, sorry, to the command of the 3rd Corps
4 requesting that one man be taken from Lendo to be sent to the village of
5 Bistrica where he should get by the morning, and take over command of what
6 is probably an infantry company from Novi Travnik.
7 Furthermore, it says also of the mujahedin and the troops from
8 Bistrica. And then the axis of the attack is indicated, as I read before.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' note: PDO means anti-sabotage
11 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... in this
12 text, what are you thinking about. What is your association with that
13 word in this context?
14 A. It means to me that this man who wrote this, or as you said
15 yourself, if it is not necessarily Selmo Cikotic. Anyway, the person who
16 wrote this obviously has information that there are mujahedin in the
17 vicinity of Gornji Vakuf. It doesn't say exactly how many or which unit
18 they're in. But I read this as meaning that there are in the broader
19 locality of Gornji Vakuf some mujahedin.
20 JUDGE SWART: But it is also a request to order Lendo, a certain
21 Lendo, to do something with -- to take over command of persons among which
22 apparently there are mujahedin. And that is what I want to know. How do
23 you understand this phrase?
24 A. Your Honour, my thoughts run in a somewhat different direction.
25 What is requested here is that Lendo assign a man or give a man, not that
1 Lendo himself goes someplace, but that Lendo assigns a person who will go
3 JUDGE SWART: I think you're right there, but that is maybe a
4 minor aspect. Whoever goes there, Lendo himself or some other person,
5 someone has to take command over people, including, as the text says,
7 A. Yes, Your Honour. I fully agree with you. This is what is stated
8 in the text.
9 JUDGE SWART: Now, my -- I'm sorry. My question is who are they?
10 Have you any idea? Are these the foreign soldiers, these other people?
11 A. Your Honour, I have no information to that effect. Therefore, I
12 cannot answer your question. I don't know.
13 JUDGE SWART: All right. Well, let's move quickly to the last
14 topic I want to discuss with you as briefly as I can. That is the
15 exchange of -- yes, exchange of prisoners in the month of May. HVO
16 soldiers, HVO officers against foreign persons. We have already discussed
17 this at length, but I have only a few aspects to discuss with you.
18 I understand from what you said and from what I have seen from
19 other witnesses, that you were involved in effecting the exchange on
20 behalf of the army. You were offering assistance in the whole operation.
21 I also heard you saying that at a given moment in time, you went together
22 with international observers to Ravno Rostovo, from Travnik to Ravno
23 Rostovo. You inspected a site, a hotel, where the HVO said four officers
24 were, you found nothing, and you went back to Travnik. The same story as
25 you told us has been told by an international observer called Lars
1 Baggesen. Do you know him? Do you remember his name, Scandinavian
2 military man?
3 A. Your Honour, I have to acquaint you with my thoughts concerning my
4 testimony so far about the exchange of the HVO officers who had been
5 kidnapped. You may have said - I don't know because I don't understand
6 English - however, the interpreter interpreted to me as though I
7 participated in the exchange operation. Your Honour, I never participated
8 in the entire exchange operation. Your Honour, I gave testimony here
9 saying that I only participated in what took place in Travnik, not in the
10 entire exchange operation. Your Honour, I was the army representative for
11 Travnik only, and that was only the minor portion of the exchange
12 operation. Therefore, I do not appreciate being said something that I did
13 not give testimony about. This is very important for me. I cannot agree
14 with you that I participated in the entire operation because I didn't.
15 JUDGE SWART: All right. Fair enough. You have told us about
16 Travnik, and I considered that as a form of cooperation in solving the
17 problem. And I do not want to imply more, but maybe I was not careful
18 enough in phrasing my remarks.
19 But I don't want to talk about the whole operation, only about
20 Travnik and your visit to Ravno Rostovo. And I asked you whether you went
21 together among others with Lars Baggesen, if you remember that name.
22 A. Your Honour. The question, once again, was not specific enough
23 for me. I did meet with Mr. Lars Baggesen. However, when I went to
24 Rostovo, which you have mentioned, or at least the interpreter has
25 interpreted that to me, I stated that I went to Ravno Rostovo with
1 European monitors, which was prior to the exchange of the kidnapped HVO
2 officers. I went to Ravno Rostovo with the representatives of the
3 European Monitoring Mission. Their leader was Juan Valentino. He was the
4 leader of that visit. I was present there with Franjo Nakic. We were
5 searching for the kidnapped HVO officers from Novi Travnik.
6 Now, if you are referring to the exchange, to the bit in which I
7 participated in, that's a different matter. However, I would like to
8 point out that the people in charge of that exchange were the European
9 monitors. They were the ones who organised and executed that exchange.
10 Your Honour, could you please be more specific and tell me, did you have
11 in mind whether I knew Mr. Baggesen when I went to Ravno Rostovo with
12 Mr. Juan Valentino? Or were you perhaps referring to the exchange itself,
13 which took place much later? The exchange that I participated in did not
14 take place in Ravno Rostovo, and I testified in detail about this. I
15 don't know whether this was your question or it was misinterpreted by the
16 interpreter. So could you please clarify, and let us make sure that we
17 are keeping these things separate. The trip to Ravno Rostovo and the
18 exchange of the HVO officers. So please, clarify which of these two
19 instances do you want me to testify about?
20 JUDGE SWART: I wasn't yet so far that I could put you questions.
21 But I said you visited Ravno Rostovo; you inspected the place, and you
22 found no HVO officers. And I suggested to you that one of the members of
23 the European observers, European monitors, although I did not say, that
24 was a certain person called Lars Baggesen who has been here and has told
25 exactly the same story as you did.
1 A. I'm very glad, Your Honour, that Mr. Lars Baggesen gave the same
2 story as I'm telling you now. All I'm saying is that the head of the
3 delegation was Mr. Juan Valentino.
4 JUDGE SWART: So we have no disagreement there. I'm glad to hear
5 that you remember Mr. Lars Baggesen also as being one of the persons who
6 accompanied -- who went together to the hotel and came back. He also told
7 us an interesting detail about what happened after you visited the place.
8 He told us that you all went to report your findings of your visit to an
9 HVO commander and that when you were there, the military police of the HVO
10 came in and wanted to arrest you personally. And this was apparently
11 quite a row ending with the fact that the military police of the HVO
12 arrested all of you, the whole delegation. And as he said, only after
13 Blaskic had ordered our release could we leave the place. Is that also
14 something that you remember?
15 A. Your Honour, I remember those events very well. However, I
16 disagree with Mr. Lars Baggesen on one issue. I know that Blaskic was
17 requested to issue an order to the military police commander to release
18 us. However, at Tihomir Blaskic's request, the permission was not
19 granted. I said that our release was made possible on the basis of
20 consent given by somebody above Mr. Blaskic, not Mr. Blaskic. So this is
21 where Mr. Lars Baggesen and I differ.
22 JUDGE SWART: All right. I would now like to show you a document
23 that has the Exhibit Number P541. For those present, I may ask that there
24 are three other documents that are related to the same topic, and that is
25 P660, P461, and P409. I only want to discuss the Document P541. Have you
1 got them?
2 As you may note, these are two letters. The document on top is a
3 letter of 3 April 1993. And it says below, but this is barely visible.
4 It mentions the name of Tihomir Blaskic. Or the upper part of the
5 letters "Tihomir Blaskic." Do you see that on page 2 -- page 1? I'm
7 A. Yes, I see that, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE SWART: Is that also his signature? You said yesterday that
9 you had seen few orders of Blaskic, but are you familiar with his
11 A. Your Honour, I cannot recognise Blaskic's signature. I can't do
12 that with any great certainty. In addition to that, I see here in front
13 of the word "commander" the word "for." Therefore, I assume that somebody
14 signed it for Colonel Blaskic. I'm not an expert in recognising
16 Your Honour, I cannot give you a comment concerning this. I
17 simply don't know.
18 JUDGE SWART: You're right. It's -- it says "for Blaskic."
19 The second document which is behind it is a letter of the 2nd of
20 April. And if you look on the bottom, there is a stamp -- there is the
21 typed name "Enver Hadzihasanovic," and there is a signature. Is that also
22 a signature of the commander of the 3rd Corps? Again, I must say we have
23 to deal with copies at the moment.
24 A. Your Honour, I recognise here only the beginning part of the
25 signature, only the first part of the signature, based on what I know, and
1 I've already stated that I could recognise the signature of my commander
2 quite well. I don't see the second part of the signature, at least not in
3 the document that I have in front of me. It is illegible. I don't see
4 the entire signature. Therefore, I cannot confirm with full certainty
5 that this indeed is the signature of my commander, General Hadzihasanovic.
6 JUDGE SWART: I think it's better, then, to have the original
7 document, and maybe the Prosecutor could provide us with that document,
9 MR. MUNDIS: We'll do our best.
10 JUDGE SWART: Now, this is an exchange of letter. One letter has
11 been written on the 2nd of April 1993. It comes from the 3rd Corps
12 command apparently. And the other letter is of 3 April, and that is a
13 response to the letter of 2 April, and also to another letter that doesn't
14 matter at the moment. I would like you to have a look at the letter of
15 the 2nd of April. That is the letter from the 3rd Corps command. May I
16 ask you to read it in its entirety, and take your time and make it clear
17 when you're ready.
18 A. Your Honour, it is very difficult for me to read this letter. I
19 can't read the first part of the letter. Could I please see the original.
20 If you ask me to read the entire text, that must mean that you are going
21 to put questions to me about the whole document. So I would really need
22 to see the original of the document, not because of the signature, but
23 because of the text itself. It is quite a strain on my eyes. There have
24 been a lot of poorly legible documents here, and I'm doing may best to
25 answer all of your questions. Based on what I saw and what I experienced,
1 and based on my own opinion about certain documents shown to me.
2 Therefore, Your Honour, I would kindly ask at least for a better copy. It
3 doesn't have to be the original, but at least a copy that is more legible.
4 JUDGE SWART: Well, I'm afraid my copy is as bad as yours. But I
5 can lend you my copy. And if that is not sufficient, then we would
6 absolutely have to have the original.
7 A. Same, Your Honour. Also very difficult to read. Perhaps, if you
8 agree, I can read only portions of this letter, because this is quite a
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have a break, and
11 during the break -- but maybe Judge Swart could tell us the numbers of
12 other documents where we might need the originals as well.
13 No. Well, during the break, I'd like the Prosecution to try and
14 find these documents, these two documents. It's 5.00. So we'll resume at
15 25 past 5.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.00 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 5.30 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're waiting for
19 the accused to come in.
20 The Prosecution has found the originals, Mr. Mundis?
21 MR. MUNDIS: We have, Mr. President, obtained the best copies that
22 we have from the evidence unit. Unfortunately, they are not the originals
23 but are photocopies of the originals. But again, this is the best that we
24 have in the Tribunal. And again, I did show those to the Defence counsel
25 during the break.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are going to try
2 using these documents.
3 JUDGE SWART: Witness, you were given two new photocopies, still
4 not the original unfortunately. They are a little bit better to read, but
5 it does not make an enormous difference, I think.
6 Are you better able to read the documents, or do you still say "I
7 cannot really read." If you say you cannot read, we might have to stop
8 putting questions on the documents.
9 A. Your Honour, this copy is somewhat better than the previous one;
10 however, it is still very difficult to read the first part of the
11 document. If you want me to, I can read only the bits that are legible.
12 However, I don't know whether based on that I will be able to answer your
13 questions. It is up to you to decide. But there are portions that are
14 barely legible, and I don't know if I will be able to answer your
16 JUDGE SWART: Well, let's have a try then. Read it very slowly,
17 very carefully, read it again. If you are not able to understand the text
18 and if you say, well, I can't really get what is in the letter, we'll
20 A. Your Honour, I will do my best to read the portions that are
21 legible. I don't know whether you will be able to put together the entire
22 picture based on what I read out. But I will do my best.
23 JUDGE SWART: Before we start doing that, it is enough to try or
24 to try to read the letter of the 2nd of April, not the Blaskic letter,
25 which is a response or seems to be a response to the document dated 2
2 Before you read, is the signature of the person who wrote the
3 letter, is it more clear than the old copy you had?
4 A. No, Your Honour. It is identical to the signature on the previous
6 JUDGE SWART: So we still can't say with certainty whose signature
7 that is?
8 A. Your Honour, I'm not entirely certain as to whose signature this
10 JUDGE SWART: All right, then. Start to read, please, and take
11 your time. I would propose you to read it first for yourself. And then
12 if you think you're ready, then you may read it aloud for us, or we'll
13 find a way to discuss further.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' request: Could we also have a
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have read all that
17 was legible in this document, all that was clearly legible. And I can
18 understand most of what is written. If you want me, I can read it through
19 so that you can check whether I'm reading correctly or whether the
20 translation into English is accurate. It's up to you.
21 JUDGE SWART: I'm sorry. Let's first run through it together, and
22 then I'll ask you to comment on specific parts of the letter. I think at
23 the fourth linea of the text, there is mention of an event on the 31st of
24 March. Do you see that line? Can you read that?
25 A. Yes, yes, I see, Your Honour. And I see the date, 31st March
2 JUDGE SWART: What the letter is saying, that on the 31st of March
3 at the HVO checkpoint at a certain road junction, members of the HVO
4 police stopped a vehicle with foreign nationals. "Members of the BH
5 Army," it says. Is that also what your text is saying? This is my
6 translation, at least the translation I have.
7 A. Yes, yes, I can see the reference to the members of the BH Army.
8 JUDGE SWART: And then it goes on immediately after the vehicle
9 was stopped, the foreign nationals were beaten on the spot with rifle
10 butts and then taken to prison, most probably in Busovaca. Can you read
11 that also in your text?
12 A. There is a word before "members of the BH Army" that I cannot make
13 out. And below, I can read "instances when foreign nationals were
14 stopped, beaten with rifles" --
15 JUDGE SWART: Busovaca.
16 A. -- "after which they were taken to prison. Most probably in..."
17 I can't make out the following word.
18 JUDGE SWART: We may be now in different parts of the letter. I'm
19 not sure. We are in the part of the letter that mentions the date of the
20 31st of March 1993. You have that?
21 A. Yes, yes, I noticed that. And I read that date.
22 JUDGE SWART: And what is the word you cannot read in that part of
23 this letter?
24 A. I see the date and the indication of time. "Of 31st March 1993
25 when around 1700 hours" --
1 JUDGE SWART: Yeah.
2 A. -- "at," it says "HVO," "at the Vitez-Travnik-Novi Travnik Road
3 junction, members of the HVO stopped a vehicle in which there were foreign
4 nationals." And then there is a word I can't make out. "Members of the
5 Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," full stop.
6 JUDGE SWART: The words at the left-hand side of the text are
7 hardly readable, so to speak?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE SWART: I see your problem, yes. And the next sentence
10 after the word "Armija RBiH."
11 A. After the words "Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," I
12 can make out some words, can't make out the others. "After being stopped,
13 foreign nationals were physically beaten on the spot with" - a word I
14 can't make out - "rifles, after which they were taken to prison, most
15 probably in," and then a word I can't make out followed by a full stop.
16 The text goes on. I can make out that it's some day in April
17 1993. "One of the three foreign nationals who were" - illegible word "at
18 the checkpoint, was found killed in the area between Zabilje village and"
19 the other name I can't make out, followed by a full stop.
20 Then there is also an illegible bit, followed by the word "two
21 foreign nationals, still nothing is" - and then I can't make out the word
22 that follows. Full stop. The first word again is illegible --
23 JUDGE SWART: Maybe we will stop here for a moment, if I may
24 interrupt you. Let me check whether we have the same idea of the content.
25 I would summarise this by saying on the 31st of March some foreigners have
1 been arrested at a checkpoint near a junction by the HVO police. And
2 after their arrest, or after the car or the vehicle was stopped, these
3 foreign nationals were beaten and brought to, probably, Busovaca. And on
4 the 1st of April, one of the three foreign nationals was found dead or
5 murdered at a certain place. Do we agree on that summary of the...?
6 A. Yes, I can agree with you on the summary of this passage.
7 JUDGE SWART: Well, as you yourself read out, the first linea that
8 you have read speaks about members of the BH Army. The other two lineas
9 that we have read speak about foreign nationals. If you now turn to the
10 top of the document, the head of the letter, could you read that. I think
11 that is better readable than the rest of the text.
12 A. Yes, I have read, Your Honour, this first passage.
13 JUDGE SWART: Could you read the top of the letter before the real
14 text begins. I mean, read to us.
15 A. The first word is not very legible. "Behaviour of HVO members,"
16 or rather "treatment by HVO members of foreign nationals, members of the
17 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina." It probably says "violent treatment by HVO
18 members of foreign nationals who were volunteers in the BH Army." That's
19 how I read this part of the text.
20 JUDGE SWART: Yes. That's also how I would read it. Now, maybe
21 it is too much asking to go to through the whole letter in view of the
22 fact that you have difficulties in reading it. But I draw your attention
23 to the fact that we have now together looked at two parts of the letter
24 saying foreign nationals, volunteers in the BH Army. That's why I showed
25 the letter to you. Could you comment on these expressions. If a letter
1 says "foreign nationals, volunteers in the BH Army" or "foreign nationals,
2 members of the BH Army," or uses other phrases in the same sense, what is
3 your association with that? What -- how do we have to understand that as
4 a reader of this document?
5 A. Your Honour, I shall interpret this document the way I understood
6 it, and the way I partially read it. I completely understand the thrust
7 of your question based on the passages we read together. You seem to be
8 drawing my attention to the reference to "foreign nationals, volunteers in
9 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina." In the text below, it says that part
10 of those foreigners, some of those foreigners were members of the BH Army.
11 I have said, Your Honour, that we in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 have a great many foreign nationals. Those are men who were not nationals
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In some locations, in fact, we have a whole
14 brigade of men who are not nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina who were
15 nationals of other republics of the former Yugoslavia who came from other
16 parts of foreign Yugoslavia, and they still do not have the nationality of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 When it says "foreign nationals" here, it is not specified which
19 nationality they have, from which country they are. So when it says that
20 they were volunteers or members in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it
21 is not quite specific, even if it just says that they were foreign
22 nationals. We had people from Slovenia, Sandzak, even Albanians,
23 Macedonia. Most of those men later, after the war, returned to their
24 original states. I have said previously in my testimony that we have a
25 great number of men who came to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the beginning of
1 the war, and in various capacities they joined up to offer armed
2 resistance, armed resistance to the aggressor. Reference is made here to
3 various forms of resistance to the aggressor. That can involve also
4 humanitarian and other work in war-afflicted areas of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina. I cannot interpret this document otherwise.
6 So mention is made of foreign nationals, some of which even
7 remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I know of some cases of men from
8 Kosovo who after the war sought nationality of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
9 were granted nationality. I know men from Slovenia who later requested
10 citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina and received it. All of them were
11 also foreign nationals who joined up. It says it's true at some point
12 from Europe and the world. It doesn't say exactly which countries, what
13 kind of foreigners. It only says "foreign nationals."
14 JUDGE SWART: You're absolutely right, it doesn't specify what
15 kind of nationals these persons are. They may also be former fellow
16 countrymen who acquired a different nationality than the Bosnian
17 nationality. That's right.
18 I'm going to show you a related document now. That is P461. The
19 12th of April. I'm happy to say that the copy is better than the other
20 copy. If we look together through the document, we see on the left top a
21 mention of the 7th Muslim Brigade. There's a date, 12th of April. And at
22 the bottom of the second page, we see a stamp. We see a name, Ahmet
23 Adilovic, and a signature. Do you happen to know the signature of Ahmet
24 Adilovic? Could you say this is, in fact, his signature?
25 A. Your Honour, I cannot confirm that this is Ahmet Adilovic's
1 signature. I have never seen his signature. Even if I had seen it, it
2 would be difficult for me to confirm because as I said, I'm not an expert.
3 Maybe the signature should be subjected to proper expertise. I told you
4 that I can recognise the signature of my commander because it is peculiar,
5 but this one I can't. I see that this man is assistant commander for
6 morale, propaganda, and military affairs. I cannot, Your Honour, confirm
7 that this is Mr. Ahmet Adilovic's signature.
8 JUDGE SWART: I take that into account, General. Would you say on
9 the face of the letter that this is a document of the 3rd Corps or of the
10 7th Muslim Brigade?
11 A. Your Honours, what I've just read allows me to concur with you
12 that, yes, this document originates from the 7th Muslim Brigade, 3rd Corps
13 of the BH Army.
14 JUDGE SWART: [Previous interpretation continues] ... and that may
15 allow me to go on then. Could you read the top of the letter, the two
16 lines in capitals.
17 A. Your Honour, I'm having problems again with interpretation. I
18 didn't say that I recognise the document of the 7th Muslim Brigade and
19 that I can confirm that this is the document of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
20 I'm not stating that, Your Honour. All I'm saying is that this is what
21 the document reads. This is what is stated in this document. So there is
22 probability that this document is indeed a document of the 7th Muslim
23 Brigade. This is what is stated in the heading. However, I cannot
24 confirm that this document is indeed a document from the 7th Muslim
1 JUDGE SWART: I think I'll stop questioning you at this moment. I
2 think if you can not confirm this is of the 7th Brigade, I don't want to
3 discuss the content with you. All right.
4 So these were my questions. Thank you very much for your answers.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam Judge has a
6 few questions.
7 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] General, I have a few
8 questions regarding the follow up of orders and the addressees of the
9 investigation reports. But before I put my question, I have a few
10 questions regarding your relationship with General Hadzihasanovic. How
11 would you characterise your relationship with him? I mean, working
13 A. Your Honours, I'm a soldier. And if I'm to analyse the relations
14 between us as soldiers, then those relations were proper and fair. My
15 commander treated me properly, and I was content with the relations we had
16 and with the way my superior officer treated me. I don't know whether my
17 superior officer was content with my attitude towards him. However, in
18 the military sense, I was happy and satisfied with our relations. Our
19 relations were most proper.
20 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Before talking about the
21 subordinate units, were you consulted as number two in the corps by the
22 commander of the corps? When they would send orders to troops, to
23 subordinate units, would they consult with you because you were the number
24 two man?
25 A. Your Honours, there were such cases. I cannot claim that he
1 consulted me concerning the use of all units. However, there were such
2 discussions. And occasionally, the commander would ask me what I thought
3 of the combat activity of a certain unit.
4 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Would it happen that you took
5 decisions on your own, alone, when he wasn't there or when he wasn't at
6 his duty station? Would you take decisions, alone, without him knowing
7 about them?
8 A. Your Honours, I never wanted to issue a decision on the use of
9 units without prior consultation with the commander. However, I cannot
10 exclude the possibility that there had been such cases, albeit at a low,
11 tactical level. As far as I can remember, I never made a decision to use
12 a unit at the brigade level without prior consultation with the command
13 and the commander. I never made such decisions or orders on the use of a
14 brigade. It is possible that there were cases where a unit was put in use
15 when the commander was absent and such unit was perhaps used at a tactical
16 level for defence actions. However, I never issued decisions on using
17 units for other activity without consulting commander. I never issued
18 orders for units to be used for offensive action without prior
19 consultation with the commander.
20 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Were you aware of all the
21 orders issued by the general?
22 A. I was not aware of all of the orders issued and signed by the
23 commander, General Hadzihasanovic.
24 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] According to you, should a
25 general know of everything happening in his area of responsibility? What
1 do you think? Should he know about everything and anything happening in
2 his area of responsibility?
3 A. Yes, Your Honour. I understood your question. However, I need to
4 clarify. It depends on the position held by the general within the
5 command and control system. Your Honour, not all of the generals have to
6 be aware of the combat activity. If you were referring to me as deputy
7 commander of the 3rd Corps, then that's an entirely different matter, of
9 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] I wish to speak to you about
10 the knowledge a commander has as to crimes committed by his subordinates.
11 How is he made aware of them, of crimes committed by his subordinates?
12 How? Through reports? I don't know.
13 A. Your Honour, there are several ways of informing the commander.
14 The most proper way is by way of a report sent by a subordinate unit to
15 the commander informing him that in the territory where that subordinate
16 unit is deployed, a crime had been committed.
17 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] And what do you do if you
18 receive such a report?
19 A. Your Honour, I would like to remind you I do not wish to repeat
20 myself. But we are now referring only to the crimes committed by the
21 members of the BH Army. If we are clear on this, then, yes, I'm prepared
22 to proceed with my answer.
23 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Yes, quite.
24 A. Your Honour, I gave extensive evidence concerning this, but let me
25 remind you. When it is revealed that there had been a war crime, then
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 there are organs within the units which start proceedings. They launch
2 investigation, and then further proceedings against the soldiers who
3 committed that crime. If the crime was committed in one of the units,
4 then it is up to the military police of that unit to commence proceedings
5 to initiate an investigation for the crime committed.
6 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Let us assume that you
7 received a report stating that there was some looting or fire. What do
8 you do? I know that you initiate an investigation. You issue orders. We
9 have a lot of orders among our documents, orders issued by the general.
10 So he makes sure that an investigation is initiated, so he issues orders.
11 Who does he issue the orders to, to subordinate units, for measures to be
12 taken? Just correct me if I'm wrong.
13 A. Upon learning of an act that was committed, depending on where a
14 crime was committed, the proceedings are initiated by the military police.
15 The commander should order the military police to initiate proceedings for
16 the crime committed.
17 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] So he does send orders to the
18 military police?
19 A. Yes, Your Honour, to initiate proceedings.
20 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] When he sends orders to the
21 units regarding individuals who looted or burnt places, what do the units
22 do? I'm not yet speaking of the military police. What I have in mind is
23 the units.
24 A. Your Honour, we have police in units at the level of the brigade.
25 We have military police at the level of the corps. I've already said that
1 some brigades had military police units at the level of a company or at
2 the level of a platoon. At the corps level, military police is organised
3 in battalions. Therefore, the organs within the police are responsible
4 for writing criminal reports and forwarding them to the prosecutor. And
5 the perpetrators of crimes are tried by military courts. And this is a
6 court that is outside of the 3rd Corps.
7 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Does the military police send
8 them also a report, or does the police send the outcome of the
9 investigation directly to the prosecutor?
10 A. The military police sends it directly to the military prosecutor
11 and informs the commander that a criminal report had been filled against
12 the particular person. However, this is not done for individual cases.
13 It is done for a certain period of time, unless a terrible, very grave
14 crime had been committed in which case the police might decide to inform
15 the commander immediately, without waiting for other crimes. But in
16 principle, all of this is sent to the military prosecutor, and then
17 forwarded to the military courts. And the commander is briefed about this
18 on a monthly basis, or perhaps on a yearly basis. I also heard that
19 occasionally, the commander of the corps was informed on a yearly basis.
20 However, there could also be the cases where the commander was informed on
21 a daily basis about the number of crimes committed in a certain area.
22 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Can the corps commander
23 directly give the case or mention the case to the prosecutor?
24 A. Your Honour, I have no knowledge of that. I know that at the
25 level of the corps, there was a team of professionals who were supposed to
1 prepare the material needed for filing criminal reports. I have no
2 expertise in this field, Your Honour, so this is very difficult for me to
3 explain the system to you. Within the 3rd Corps, there were special
4 organs in charge of legal matters. This is a very important role played
5 by lawyers who have to have proper legal qualification in order to carry
6 out these duties. We had a person who was an expert within the 3rd Corps
7 and who gave expert advice to the commander. Your Honours, I was not
8 qualified in this field; therefore, I could give no advice to the
9 commander regarding these matters.
10 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Therefore, the military police
11 investigating a case will send the report to the prosecutor, but will also
12 send the report to the commander. Is that right? To inform the commander
13 so that the commander knows about it.
14 A. I cannot clarify this to you in professional terms. I told you
15 that commander would normally receive information about the number of
16 crimes committed. Now, I cannot claim that commander would also receive
17 the names of the perpetrators. I am sure that the military courts and
18 military prosecutor received much more specific information as to the
19 crimes and the perpetrators. I had occasion to see documents referring to
20 NN persons, meaning persons whose identity was not known. And even in
21 those cases where the perpetrators' identity was not known, the military
22 police would initiate proceedings.
23 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Which steps could you take, if
24 any, if a subordinate of yours committed a wrongdoing, crime? Would you
25 sue? Would you initiate legal action? Would that be person be relieved
1 of their duty? I don't know. What steps, if any, did you take or would
2 you take?
3 A. Your Honour, with respect to any crime committed by a member of
4 the BH Army, upon learning of that crime, the corps command or the command
5 over a lower subordinated unit would initiate proceedings. I don't know
6 what was the gravity of the crimes committed. But if the court issued a
7 judgement to remove that person from office or to strip them of their
8 rank, then this is what was done. I simply don't know about that,
9 Your Honours. It is very difficult for me to give an answer to that
10 question because this is not the field of my expertise. This was not
11 within my scope of authorities. I'm simply giving you my opinion.
12 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] If soldiers violated
13 humanitarian, international law, can you confirm that all soldiers in that
14 situation were prosecuted?
15 A. Your Honour, all the cases that we learned about, yes, I can
16 confirm you that. However, as I told you here during my testimony, I do
17 not exclude the possibility that there were cases when a BH Army member
18 committed a crime but we did not learn about that. Only in those cases
19 where we learned about that fact or had grounds to suspect that a member
20 of the BH Army had committed a crime did we initiate the proceedings that
21 I've described to you.
22 So it does not necessarily have to be a situation where we know
23 for sure that a member of the BH Army committed a crime. We could just
24 have grounds to suspect that he committed a crime, and that would be
25 sufficient to initiate criminal proceedings. And then in the course of
1 those proceedings, it would be proven whether that member had indeed
2 committed a crime or not.
3 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] I am asking you to remember
4 how many reports mentioned people, individuals who were prosecuted,
5 reports that you did see and read.
6 A. Your Honours, I have seen documents here indicating that there
7 were reports mentioning hundreds of members of the BH Army in a certain
8 period of time. I saw a document here stating that there were over 1.000
9 criminal reports filed against perpetrators who were members of the BH
10 Army. Therefore, this is a report pertaining to just one area, the area
11 of Travnik. If we were to put all the territory together, then I'm sure
12 that the number would be in several thousands of criminal reports filed
13 for crimes.
8 A. Your Honour, do you want me to read the first word so that we can
9 be sure that I'm reading the part that you want me to read? The first
10 word in that paragraph is "I emphasise." This is the third paragraph from
11 the bottom.
12 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
13 A. Your Honour, I shall read that now.
14 "I emphasise: Looting and crime dominate. Soldiers from the
15 'positions' are carrying bags full of goods through Zenica, and I have
16 received information some of them refuse to go to positions unless there
17 is something to loot." And then in parentheses, the 309th Mountain
19 "The police of some other brigades continue arresting and beating
20 up civilians in basements. The Ministry of the Interior and the Security
21 Services Centre and the 3rd Corps Security Service do not cooperate at all
22 as was seen by Mr. Ganic during his meeting held at the 3rd Corps on the
23 15th of May 1993. Based on the above, I ask that you respond to this
24 urgently as the personnel changes in the leadership of the 3rd Corps are
25 needed. I have specific suggestions regarding this. I have asked from
1 the commander of the 3rd Corps to replace the assistants for morale,
2 security, and organisational and mobilisation and personnel issues, but
3 there has been no response from him.
4 "Together with Karic and Siber, please appoint to the joint
5 command someone like Karisik, Vranj, and Najetovic instead of Merdan
6 because Merdan is a member of the 3rd Corps and because of what was said
7 about Merdan in the upper portion of this letter.
8 "Best regards, Deputy Commander Stipan Siber."
9 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] My question is as follows:
10 Are you able to state the grounds which prompted the deputy headquarters
11 or staff, Commander General Siber, to ask for a change in the personnel in
12 the 3rd Corps?
13 A. Your Honour, I cannot give you my comments on this document as a
14 person who has just had occasion to read it. This document is outside of
15 the system of control and command of the 3rd Corps. This is an expression
16 of cooperation of the deputy commander, the supreme command, and the chief
17 of staff. That's not at the level of the 3rd Corps, although I am not
18 really supposed to comment on documents issued by the supreme command.
19 But if you want me to, I'll try.
20 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] The commander recalls a number
21 of arrests in this document, arrests of civilians, and he talks about
22 basements, who were beaten up. Do you have any comments about this?
23 A. Your Honour, I don't know in which way Mr. Stipan Siber got hold
24 of this information. He probably had some information and was informing
25 his commander accordingly; namely, the head of the supreme command. But I
1 cannot explain where he found information that would justify this report.
2 I really cannot explain that. I don't know where he got this information.
3 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] But you yourself, as the
4 deputy commander of the 3rd Corps, were you not aware of these arrests and
5 of these beatings?
6 A. Your Honour, whenever I was aware that a member of the Army of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina did something like that, I wrote a report. And I
8 said already that members of the BH Army who were responsible for such
9 things and who were known to have done such things were subjected to
10 appropriate measures.
11 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] If soldiers were arrested, why
12 would General Siber have written that? Why would he have asked for
13 personnel changes within the 3rd Corps in your opinion?
14 A. Your Honour, I can only venture an opinion. Maybe
15 Mr. Stipan Siber thought these people were the most responsible for what
16 was going on, namely that civilians were being arrested, beaten in
17 basements, et cetera. And maybe he thought if these people were replaced,
18 these things would no longer go on. And that's why he's asking for these
20 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you
21 please give the witness Exhibit Number P771.
22 Can you tell us who signed this document. Who signed this report?
23 A. Your Honour, I can make out that the president of the court was
24 Mrs. Zijada Alihodzic.
25 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Can you please read the third
1 paragraph from the end dealing with the case of members of the army.
2 A. "Regarding the members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 according to the records of the court, there was no prosecution, neither
4 for the period for which the query is made or for the entire duration of
5 this court."
6 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] I would like to benefit from
7 your comments about this matter.
8 A. Your Honour, I have no comment. This was written by the president
9 of the court. I cannot comment. I really have no comment, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] You said that the members of
11 the army that had committed crimes and offences were prosecuted. Isn't
12 that contradictory with what is stated by the president of the tribunal?
13 A. Your Honour, it says "cantonal court in Zenica." I was referring
14 to the military court that operated during the war. I cannot really say
15 whether reports were obtained also from military courts that were active
16 during the war. But I have seen documents here that indicate that there
17 were indeed prosecutions initiated for specific crimes. And the person
18 who instituted criminal proceedings was signed below these documents. I
19 see there the president of this court, Mrs. Zijada Alihodzic, is in a way
20 denying this, saying the contrary. But I really cannot comment upon
21 documents from the court. I'm afraid I would make another slip. It's
22 really difficult for me to comment on documents of the court.
23 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I don't
24 have any other questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 20 to 7.00. Does the
1 Prosecutor want to use these 20 minutes?
2 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no questions for
3 this witness.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, let me turn to
5 the Defence counsel. We have 20 more minutes. Of course, we still have
6 tomorrow morning. Mr. Bourgon.
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Your Honour, following a very, very long day, I would suggest that we
9 break for today. And as for the additional questions by the Defence, they
10 will take about four hours tomorrow.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, tomorrow we will
12 finish at quarter to 2.00, on the dot. Therefore, I would like to know --
13 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
14 will have very few questions. No longer than 15 minutes at most.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. 15 minutes. And
16 four hours, Mr. Bourgon.
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I said four hours,
18 what I meant, and maybe I did not express myself clearly enough, what I
19 meant is that the normal session, from 9.00 to 1.45 would be enough for
20 the questions for both accused. Of course, if our colleague had asked for
21 one hour, we would have only have used three hours. But we will not go
22 beyond the hearing as it was set for tomorrow morning.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's try to avoid any confusion
24 as far as the documents are concerned.
25 Now, about the admission of documents. Last time I said that the
1 Defence was going to prepare a table, and then we would deal with that
2 matter when we come back in January because we won't have enough time to
3 deal with that tomorrow. In the same way, the lawyers of General Kubura
4 submitted two documents, two documents. As for the Prosecution, if I
5 remember rightly, there was one map -- no, two maps. That map over there,
6 and we have to make sure that it doesn't disappear during the break. So
7 we have two maps, and the two documents I mentioned, and another series of
9 So maybe as for the maps, we could solve and deal with that
10 immediately. Maybe it's a good idea not to wait for next year in order to
11 deal with the maps. Okay, the maps. Does the Defence have anything to
12 say about the maps? No?
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] No, we don't have any comments.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis. Okay.
16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since we offered
17 only two documents, we would like to tender them as Defence exhibits
18 because there are very few, and we can handle the issue immediately.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Mundis, what do
20 you have to say about the two documents submitted by Mr. Kubura's Defence?
21 MR. MUNDIS: No objection.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, we
23 need four numbers, four exhibit numbers.
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
25 I will start with the documents submitted by General Kubura's Defence.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Two documents, the first one dated 6 August 1993, it will receive Exhibit
2 Number DK25. And the English version will be DK25/E.
3 The second document submitted by Kubura's Defence is dated 11
4 December 1992. The Exhibit Number will be DK26. The English version will
5 be DK26/E.
6 Now, as for the exhibits submitted by the Prosecution, the first
7 map is the larger map that was used and that had already received a number
8 for identification purposes under the number P938/ID. The final number
9 will be P938.
10 As for the map used with Witness Merdan with a scale of 1 to
11 25.000 with the date of 17/11/2004, its Exhibit Number will be P939.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's still one document we
13 need to deal with following the comments made by the Defence about --
14 related to a problem in the interpretation of a specific sentence, of the
15 translation of a sentence in one document. We requested a translation
16 that you received, both the Defence and the Prosecution. I'm turning to
17 the Defence. Do you wish this document to be admitted, or to be tendered?
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no
19 objection to the translation we received in English and in French.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm turning to the Prosecution
22 about that specific document.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, is this the document that we received
24 a revised translation from?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it's Document P429.
1 MR. MUNDIS: We have no objection to the revised version being
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges will take
4 a decision immediately to decide whether it's going to be a Chamber
5 exhibit number or Defence exhibit number.
6 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have decided to give
8 this document a Chamber exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
10 Exhibit Number will be C3. It's the third document submitted by the
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a copy of the
13 document? Okay. So that's that with this document. And we requested
14 another document, and it will probably become Exhibit C4. We have ten
15 minutes left. Are there any comments you would like to make?
16 Well, we're probably going to be short with time tomorrow. As you
17 know, we'll resume work in January on Monday, the 10th of January. I'm
18 turning to the Registrar to confirm it. Yes, we'll start at 2.15, if I
19 remember correctly. And as far as I know, no list of witnesses has yet
20 been submitted. I'm speaking to the Defence here.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will submit our
22 list for the first set of hearings, from the 10th to the 16th, tomorrow
23 because we have already made sure that these witnesses have passports and
24 will receive visas.
25 The second thing, and I need your leave for this, I already
1 informed my colleagues from the Prosecution, additional questions
2 following the Judges' questions will be handled by my colleague,
3 Mr. Bourgon.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we had understood. We knew
5 that it was going to be Mr. Bourgon because he stood up earlier on.
6 Now, about the week of the 10th to the 16th, we'll be sitting in
7 the afternoon. The Registrar will be able to confirm it. Yes, I believe
8 we'll be sitting in the afternoon. The Queen of The Netherlands is going
9 to host a function for the Judges, but I think it's in the morning. So
10 the Judges will attend that function at the palace. We'll have enough
11 time to come back for the hearing at a quarter past 2.00. Well, subject
12 to additional information, I think it should be feasible for us to start
13 the hearing at a quarter past 2.00. But don't worry, you will be kept
14 informed about that. I do not have the date yet, but I think that we'll
15 have an additional Judges' plenary because during the last plenary, while
16 we were glad to listen to Mr. Bourgon's comments, we could not deal with
17 the entire agenda. So there will be another plenary, and as soon as I
18 know, I will tell you the day when we won't be sitting. But we might be
19 sitting because the plenary might -- depending on whether the plenary will
20 take place in the afternoon or the morning.
21 As the schedule stands now, we should be sitting every day in
22 January except for the 21st of January because I think it's a bank
23 holiday. Well, I was not talking to fill in the time, but I needed to
24 provide you with this information. Tomorrow, when we resume, I will give
25 the floor to Mr. Bourgon who will be in charge of the additional
1 questions. Then I will give the floor to Defence counsel who wish to take
2 the floor, and that should take us to a quarter to 2.00, unless we finish
4 Well, I wish you a very nice evening, a very good evening, because
5 we've had a very long day. We are the only ones in the Tribunal to sit
6 both in the morning and in the afternoon.
7 General, you will have to come back. I thought that we would be
8 able to complete your testimony today. But you'll have to come back
9 tomorrow morning, but rest assured that we'll complete your testimony
10 tomorrow at a quarter to 2.00. And you will be able to check with the
11 relevant services of the Tribunal if you can take a plane back tomorrow
12 afternoon. But rest assured that we will not be sitting beyond a quarter
13 to 2.00. Please have a rest tonight because tomorrow you will have to
14 answer the questions by the Defence.
15 Thank you very much. See you tomorrow morning at 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.52 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day of
18 December, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.