1 Monday, 17 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
12 Your Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
13 Prosecution, Tecla Henry-Benjamin and Daryl Mundis. We are assisted today
14 by our case manager, Skye Winner. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Could we have the appearances for the Defence counsel, please.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Good day, Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina
19 Residovic, counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Alexis Demirdjian,
20 our legal assistant. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
22 for the other Defence, please.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
24 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
25 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
2 would like to greet everyone present, the Prosecution, Defence counsel,
3 the accused, and everyone else in the courtroom, and I would like to
4 mention our legal officer in particular, who has left us and should soon
5 be replaced. In the meantime, we will continue with our work.
6 We have a witness scheduled for today. But before we call the
7 witness into the courtroom, I would like to address the Defence about the
8 issue of two revisions that we have asked the translation service to do.
9 On the 22nd of December, we asked CLSS to inform us of the translation of
10 DH165. CLSS told us that having examined the document, they were of the
11 opinion that the translation was correct.
12 The Defence objected or said that they would provide us with
13 other clarifications. For the moment, I haven't received any such
14 clarifications, but we are waiting for Defence counsel to tell us in what
15 respect CLSS has mistranslated the section in question.
16 On the 13th of January, we also requested another translation.
17 We wanted to know whether the 30 Arab soldiers were with or behind the 7th
18 Muslim Brigade. The translation department sent us a memo dated the 13th
19 of January saying that it was possible to interpret this passage in two
20 manners and that one might also interpret the passages meaning that the
21 Arabs were behind the 7th Brigade in the relevant area.
22 So you have certainly received this memo. Is there anything that
23 any of the parties would like to comment on with regard to the memo?
24 Mr. Dixon, I believe that you would like to take the floor.
25 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 In respect of the Exhibit 4, Mr. Hadzihasanovic, that's document
2 1360, about whether the Arab soldiers were left behind by the 7th Muslim
3 Brigade or after the 7th Muslim Brigade left the area, Your Honour, we
4 have studied the same document that came from the Translation Unit. It
5 appears, as Your Honour has correctly said, that the matter can be looked
6 at either way. This is somewhat confusing to us because in our view,
7 certainly looking at it with the English translation in mind, the meaning
8 is very different from the one translation to the next. There are
9 certainly significant differences in the two meanings. And we would have
10 expected that that would have, in the translation, been made clear as
12 In our submission, the correct way of reviewing that particular
13 passage is that the 30 Arab soldiers remained behind after the 7th Muslim
14 Brigade left this area and that that is the interpretation which we would
15 submit should be given to this passage.
16 Your Honours, we would request that if necessary, if this is a
17 significant matter that, further inquiry be made in order to resolve this
18 matter, as it may be one of some significance.
19 In addition, Your Honours, we, as the Defence, would also be in a
20 position to provide a independent translation of that passage should that
21 be necessary to seek to resolve the matter and to support our submission
22 that the correct interpretation is that these Arab soldiers were there
23 remaining behind after the 7th Brigade left this area.
24 Your Honour -- Your Honour, if I may add one further matter: The
25 other point which should be taken into account when assessing this matter
1 is that the witness himself who prepared this document and who gave
2 testimony in this respect has confirmed in his testimony - and I can find
3 the relevant page - that the interpretation, which is correct, is the one
4 that the 7th Brigade was there remaining behind after the 30 Arab soldiers
5 had left, but that was the -- the way in which this situation unfolded,
6 and in our submission his account would accord with what is recorded in
7 the document if the interpretation that we submit is correct is given
8 to -- to that document.
9 Sorry, Your Honour, there's one problem with the translation
10 again, and that is that the 7th Brigade had left this area and -- and not
11 the Arab soldiers. That's in line 5 on page 4.
12 Sorry, in our submission, Your Honour, what the witness said in
13 his testimony accords with what we say is the correct interpretation.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 The translation we have in English is not satisfactory because
16 the first translation states that the small unit of Arabs consisting of 30
17 soldiers "left behind by." This means that the 7th left them behind
18 because we have the preposition "by." One has the impression that this
19 small unit was left behind by the 7th Brigade. And the English continues
20 and it states "which has left this area." Maybe the 7th Brigade left the
21 area. The translation gives the impression that this unit was left behind
22 by the 7th Brigade, which had apparently left the area.
23 The second translation omits the term "by" and says: "All
24 remained behind the 7th Brigade," et cetera. So it's not very clear. And
25 I believe that it is necessary to ask CLSS to provide us with a precise
1 response. There are two essential issues at stake here: Was this unit
2 left behind by the 7th Brigade, and did it remain behind the position of
3 the 7th Brigade? Because the key issue is the term "by" the 7th Brigade.
4 Are there any linguistic comment that the Prosecution would like
5 to make about the matter? Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The Prosecution would
7 have no objection to the Trial Chamber again querying CLSS on this
8 specific. It appears however that the memo that we've received has
9 clearly indicated that it found the translation to be correct, although
10 there is an alternate way of rendering the text, which is what the memo
11 says. It appears as though the way the bracketed text is set forth in
12 both the correct version and the alternate version, it seems to us to be
13 really a reflection of the passive use of the language versus a more
14 active use of the English language, but again we would have no objection
15 to CLSS being asked again to attempt to clarify this for us. We -- and
16 this may be premature at this point, but we would certainly like to be
17 heard before any kind of independent translation is again taking of this.
18 Our view is that CLSS within the registry here is in fact an independent
19 translation service and it's an excellent one. And before the parties go
20 out seeking to have, in brackets, independent translations done of
21 document, we would certainly like to be heard before that course is taken.
22 But we certainly have no objection to CLSS being asked very specifically
23 to clarify this point. Although, again, in our submission, it seems to us
24 that it's quite clear they have said the translation is correct; however,
25 there is an alternative way of rendering this text, and the difference it
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 seems to us is one in which in the -- in the first version, it's a very
2 active voice; and in the second version, it's simply a passive voice.
3 Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, CLSS
5 should translate the B/C/S text into French. So we should have a
6 translation from B/C/S into French. And then a translation of B/C/S into
7 English. And this will enable us to compare the two translations. This
8 should shed a little more light on -- on the issue. But it's necessary to
9 have a direct translation from B/C/S into French so that we can make a
11 We'll address this issue again once this matter has been dealt
13 As far as the other document is concerned, D165, you may take the
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Good day, Mr. President. Good day, Your Honours.
17 As far as DH165 is concerned, the difficulty, Mr. President, is
18 that we don't know exactly which part of the sentence was confirmed by
19 CLSS. When their reply arrived, they said that they were confirming the
20 translation but didn't specify the exact part concerned.
21 In addition, we have the same document that was translated into
22 French in another case, and the result was quite different from the
23 English translation. So we have a French version and we have an English
24 version and a B/C/S version. It's necessary to take additional steps to
25 have this document confirmed.
1 As far as we are concerned - and if necessary, we'll ask for a
2 final verification by the CLSS - but as far as we are concerned, we are
3 trying to obtain such confirmation of the relevant passage.
4 Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As far as the first
6 document is concerned, we are on standby now and we'll wait for more
7 information before we render our decision.
8 There's also another decision that had to be rendered about a
9 document that the Prosecution objected to. We will inform you of our
10 decision after the break.
11 Without wasting any more time, we will now call the witness
12 scheduled for today into the courtroom.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I would first
15 like to make sure that you are receiving the interpretation of what I am
16 saying. If so, please confirm the fact.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day. And yes, I can hear you
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
20 witness for Defence counsel for one of the accused. Before you take the
21 solemn declaration, I would be grateful if you could tell me your first
22 and last names, your date of birth, and your place of birth.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Mirsad Ibrakovic. I was
24 born on the 1st of January, 1950 in Zenica.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Are you currently
1 employed? And if so, what sort of position do you hold?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am employed. I work in the
3 Ministry of Defence.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You work in the Ministry of
5 Defence. Are you employed there in a military capacity? If so, what is
6 your rank and what sort of assignment do you have?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a state functionary. And the
8 rank I have is that of a reserve brigadier. But I don't work as a member
9 of the military. I work as a state official. At the moment, I work as
10 the chief of the Department for Defence in Zenica.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, did you hold
12 a position of any kind in your country? And if you were a member of the
13 military, which unit were you in?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was employed in the Municipal
15 Staff of the Territorial Defence in Zenica, and I was the chief of the
16 Municipal Staff of the Territorial Defence in Zenica.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You remained in the Municipal
18 Staff of the Territorial Defence in Zenica. Were you assigned to an ABiH
19 unit at some subsequent date?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Municipal Territorial
21 Defence -- when the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff in Zenica was
22 disbanded, I went to the 33rd Light Brigade [as interpreted], a newly
23 formed brigade, where I was appointed the commander.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You were the
25 commander of the 33rd Brigade. The 33rd Brigade, because according to the
1 transcript it says "the 33rd Brigade."
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the 330th Light Brigade.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 330th. Very well. There
4 is an error in the transcript in that case. Three-three-zero. Very well.
5 Should I call you, sir, by general? How would you like called?
6 Mr. Ibrakovic or general?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. or sir is fine.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, have you
9 already testified before a national or international court about the
10 events that took place in your country, or is this the first time?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have never testified before.
12 This is the first time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the
14 solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
18 WITNESS: MIRSAD IBRAKOVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to
21 Defence counsel, I would like to provide you with some information about
22 the procedure that we will be following here.
23 As you know, you will be testifying here at the request of the
24 Defence. Defence counsel for one of the accused at your left, and you
25 have already met them before coming here, and you will have to answer a
1 series of questions that we'll put to you. The questions put to you
2 should be put in neutral terms. They should not be leading. You will be
3 asked to answer the question. Defence counsel shouldn't try to put words
4 into your mouth.
5 Once this has -- once this stage has been completed, the
6 Prosecution, who are to your right, will ask you questions, but the
7 questions put to you in the course of their cross-examination will be
8 different from the ones put to you by Defence counsel. Defence counsel
9 may not put leading questions to you; however, the party that
10 cross-examines a witness may put leading questions to the witness. For
11 example, they might say: Would you agree with me if I said such and such
12 a thing. And then you will either agree or you won't agree. So the
13 questions put to you in the course of the cross-examination will be
14 somewhat different. This is perhaps a little complicated, but I wanted to
15 inform you of the fact.
16 Once this stage has been completed, Defence counsel may ask you
17 additional questions, if they wish to do so, but these questions will be
18 directly related to the questions put to you by the Prosecution. Defence
19 counsel and the Prosecution may also show you documents to ask you to
20 comment on them. Usually these documents are documents of a military
22 The three Judges sitting before you may ask you questions at any
23 point in time, according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, but
24 usually the Judges prefer to wait for the parties to have completed their
25 examination before intervening.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 If it seems that it's important to clarify an issue, in such a
2 case the Judges might ask the witness a question. According to the Rules,
3 the Judges are allowed to put any type of question to witnesses. There
4 are no limits. This is what the Rules provide for. As a rule, the Judges
5 ask questions to clarify a witness's testimony or because they believe
6 that it would be in the interest of justice to ask a witness to confirm,
7 for example, something stated by the Defence. We might also use some of
8 the documents presented to you or some of the documents that have already
9 been admitted into evidence. Because in addition to verifying the
10 substance of your testimony, the Judges might feel it necessary to verify
11 the credibility of a witness.
12 Generally speaking, this is the procedure we'll be following, but
13 there are two other points I need to mention: You have taken the solemn
14 declaration and you have said you will be speaking the truth, which means
15 that you should not give false testimony. False testimony given before
16 this Tribunal is an offence and a prison sentence of up to seven years
17 could be given to a witness for false testimony. As you have taken the
18 solemn declaration, you are obliged to tell the truth.
19 In addition, when a witness is asked to answer a question, he may
20 refuse to answer the question if the witness believes that his answer
21 could be used against him. In such a case, the Chamber can compel the
22 witness to answer the question, but the Chamber grants the witness a form
23 of immunity. I wanted to point this out to you.
24 If you feel that a question is complicated, ask the person
25 putting the question to you to rephrase it. You will be asked about
1 events that took place over ten years ago, and perhaps you can't remember
2 everything or perhaps you won't understand a question, so ask the person
3 putting the question to you to rephrase it. In such a case, try to be as
4 concise and clear as possible. We don't have any written documents
5 concerning your testimony. I have just found out that you were the
6 commander of the 330th Brigade. But that's only because this is something
7 that you have stated. I don't know what sort of questions you will be
8 asked and I don't know what sort of answers you will be providing.
9 As you will see, there is a screen before you, and you will be
10 able to follow your answers transcribed in English on the screen.
11 If you feel the need to ask any questions, don't hesitate to do
12 so. We are here to answer any questions you might have.
13 Your hearing should take up part of the afternoon, but this is
14 the information I wanted to provide you with before giving the floor to
15 Defence counsel, who will now commence with the examination-in-chief.
16 Defence counsel will be putting non-leading questions to you now.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Examined by Ms. Residovic
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Ibrakovic.
20 A. Good day.
21 Q. In addition to the important information the Presiding Judge has
22 just provided you with, there is something else I would like to point out
23 to you. When you hear my question, please pause briefly so that the
24 interpreters have time to interpret the question, and then you can answer
25 the question. This will enable the Chamber and my colleagues in the
1 courtroom to follow our exchanges. Have you understood me?
2 A. Yes, I have.
3 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Ibrakovic, what is your profession and what
4 was your education before the war?
5 A. By profession I am a teacher. I obtained my university degree at
6 the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo.
7 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, before the war, did you serve in the army and did
8 you hold any rank?
9 A. Yes. Before the war, I served in the JNA in the reserve officers
10 school in Bileca, and before the beginning of the war I was deployed in
11 the Territorial Defence and my rank was that of reserve major.
12 Q. Thank you. When asked by the President, you said that when the
13 war started and during 1992 and 1993 you were the chief of the Municipal
14 Territorial Staff of Zenica -- Territorial Defence Staff. Mr. Ibrakovic,
15 was this the duty you were performing on the 6th of April when Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina was attacked?
17 A. Yes. I was employed in the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff.
18 And when the aggression started, I was holding that post.
19 Q. Who were the commanders of the Municipal Territorial Defence
20 Staff in 1992 and 1993?
21 A. The commander of the Municipal Staff was Jozo Jerkic, whom I
22 found in the staff. And until he was wounded sometime in May, he was the
23 commander of the staff. In May, a new commander was appointed, Mr. Branko
24 Boncina, who had been a commander previously but he had retired. However,
25 as the then-commander, Jozo Jerkic had been wounded. The wartime
1 president of Zenica Municipality appointed Branko Boncina commander. He
2 was commander until about the month of October or November, when Jasmin
3 Saric was appointed commander. Jasmin Saric remained the commander until
4 the staff was disbanded in 1993. So these were the three commanders in
5 that period.
6 Q. You have just told us that one of the commanders was appointed by
7 the wartime presidency. Tell us: In 1992, who appointed the commanders
8 of the Municipal Staff of the Territorial Defence?
9 A. It's like this: Pursuant to the then-law on All People's
10 Defence, which had been enacted in 1974, the commander of the Municipal
11 Staff was appointed by the municipal assembly with a previous approval of
12 the commander of the Republican Territorial Defence Staff. Within that
13 legal framework, Jozo Jerkic was appointed command. After he was wounded,
14 the role was taken over by the wartime Presidency and the Crisis Staff of
15 the municipality, and they took on all the powers that the municipal
16 assembly had had. With the previous approval of, I think, the
17 then-commander of the District Staff, the wartime Presidency appointed
18 Branko Boncina commander. So they were taking on the role of the
19 assembly. And that's what happened with the commander who was appointed
20 after that.
21 Q. I will now ask before I continue my examination that a set of
22 documents be shown to the witness. We have a sufficient number of copies
23 for Your Honours, and I must apologise, Your Honours, due to the
24 well-known translation problem, there is a significant number of documents
25 pertaining to the work of the TO that -- in the relevant period that has
1 not been translated in 1992. We shall submit the translations as soon as
2 we receive them from CLSS so that we shall now act on your suggestion and
3 show the witness the documents and ask him to tell us what they are
5 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, you said that when the war in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina started, you started applying the then-law of the SFRY on All
7 People's Defence. And I am now asking you whether the organs in Zenica in
8 the first half or, rather, in what period of 1992 did they implement the
9 previous law on All People's Defence?
10 A. Madam, I have to correct you. It was not the law of All People's
11 Defence of the SFRY. It was the law on All People's Defence of the
12 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was the law that was
13 valid for us; although, of course, it had been brought into line with the
14 law of the SFRY of the time. However, this was the law that was in force.
15 And because I had been employed in the TO staff previously - "TO" means
16 "Territorial Defence," of course - I was familiar with the law because I
17 had implemented it in peacetime.
18 When the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina started, the law
19 was still valid and we implemented it for quite a long time. In the
20 beginning, in the initial confusion, it was the basis on which we acted.
21 And I think until the autumn of 1992, we worked in compliance as far as we
22 were able to with that law.
23 Q. You said "until the autumn." In the autumn, did you get new
24 legislation from Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted in May of the same year?
25 A. We had certain information that a change of the legislation was
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 about to take place, but it was rather late that we received this
2 legislation. I don't know why it was not sent on to us at once, why it
3 wasn't available to us right away, but we received it quite late.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Would you now look at the document in Roman
5 I, 0409, that's the first document in the bundle, and would you please
6 read what organ issued this document, its number and date, and tell me
7 what this is actually about.
8 A. This is a conclusion of the Council for National Defence of the
9 Municipality of Zenica.
10 Your Honours, you may know that the way the work of the assembly
11 was organised: There was an advisory body of the municipal assembly and
12 this was the Council for National Defence or the National Defence Council.
13 And important people from the municipality were on that council, including
14 a representative of the JNA barracks, a representative of the TO and of
15 the Secretariat of Defence. These were the military structures
17 There was also the president of the Municipality, the president
18 of the Municipal Executive Council. And at this meeting on the 7th of
19 June, they reached a conclusion on the mobilisation of the complete TO
20 force at the disposal of the Municipal Territorial Defence Staff in
21 accordance with the valid defence plans that had been drawn up in
23 Q. Thank you very much. I just wanted to indicate clearly for
24 Their Honours what this document is about because unfortunately it has no
1 Would you now, please, look at document number 2 and tell us when
2 it was enacted and what this is about. It's Defence number 1652.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Number 1 has a translation.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Number 2 has no translation.
5 Q. Would you please read the title of the document, when it was
6 issued, and by whom, and tell us what this is about.
7 A. As this was still in the early stages, when Zenica had not yet
8 been attacked directly, the Municipal Assembly of Zenica in its full
9 numbers, pursuant to the Statute of the Municipality, Article 293, item 2,
10 regulated that during an imminent threat of war or during a war a Crisis
11 Staff should be established. On the basis of the statutory decision, the
12 municipal assembly reached a decision on forming a Crisis Staff of Zenica
13 municipality, which would include a certain number of civil servants
14 holding posts in the municipality in various areas, such as defence,
15 security, the police, and so on.
16 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, would you now please look at the document numbered
17 "3," Defence number 1654. And this has no translation either, so would
18 you please read the preamble, the title of the document, and then I will
19 ask you just to read some parts of the document and respond to some
20 questions about it.
21 Please go ahead.
22 A. The previous document regulated the formation of the Crisis
23 Staff. The Crisis Staff issued its own documents on its work, and
24 pursuant to this decision, sessions were scheduled.
25 This document reads as follows: "Pursuant to Article 1 of the
1 decision on the forming of a Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Zenica,
2 the Crisis Staff of the Municipality at its third session, held on the
3 11th of April, 1992, hereby makes the following conclusions." And there
4 is a list of conclusions here.
5 Q. Would you please read paragraph 1 and paragraph 3 and paragraph
7 A. In paragraph 2, it says: "The already-existing armed forces on
8 the ground should be put under the control of the Territorial Defence and
9 mobilisation should be carried out."
10 Item 3: "In order to expand the Crisis Staff and to have the
11 following become permanent members, Mirsad Mesic, commander of the
12 municipal TO staff, and Dizdar Dzevad, the secretary of the Municipal
13 Secretariat for the Economy and Finance."
14 Q. And paragraph 7.
15 A. Paragraph 7 reads as follows: "The TO Staff is to be put into a
16 state of full combat readiness with the focus on forming new units and
17 their arming."
18 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, this newly established Territorial Defence Staff
19 and wartime presidency of the Municipality of Zenica which took on the
20 functions of the assembly, in accordance with their position under the
21 previous law on All People's Defence, are they now taking on certain
22 duties and responsibilities in relation to the Municipal Territorial
23 Defence Staff and what was their role?
24 A. Yes. You see, according to the law on All People's Defence, even
25 previously, the municipal assembly formed the staff, regulated its
1 organisation and formation, appointed the commander, and the commander
2 according to these provisions was responsible both to the Municipal
3 Assembly of Zenica and now, as the Crisis Staff, it felt that it had
4 certain competencies in assigning tasks. And we received these tasks and
5 carried them out.
6 Q. Would you now, please, look at the document in tab 5, 1656 is the
7 number of the document. Again, there is no translation. So would you
8 please read the preamble and the title of the document and tell us
9 briefly, if you can, what this document indicates.
10 A. "Pursuant to Article 1 of the decision on the forming of the
11 Crisis Staff of Zenica municipality, the Crisis Staff of the municipality
12 at its eighth session, held on the 13th of April, adopts the following
14 Q. Would you please look at conclusion number 3 and tell us what the
15 Crisis Staff is trying to do here.
16 A. Conclusion number 3: "The Crisis Staff of Zenica municipality,
17 the security forces, and the Territorial Defence guarantee to citizens of
18 all nationalities, Muslims, Serbs, Croats, and members of other nations,
19 safety and security on the territory of the Municipality of Zenica." This
20 is dated the 13th of April.
21 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, as you were employed in the Municipal TO Staff
22 before the beginning of the war and continued in April during the war,
23 when the municipality took over its wartime duties, tell me, at that time,
24 did you carry out a certain mobilisation and according to what rules and
25 regulations did you do so in 1992?
1 A. It's like this: Of course we had the task in peacetime of
2 organising the Territorial Defence, of preparing it, training it,
3 equipping it, and using it in certain situations according to plans we
4 drew up at the time and according to the doctrine of the superior
5 commands. These plans existed in case there was a war, in case there was
6 an aggression, but not this kind of aggression that happened.
7 Q. Would you please look at the document under tab 7, 0393. This
8 document does have a translation. Could you please tell me what it refers
10 A. Yes. Do you want me to read or just comment?
11 Q. No, just comment on it.
12 A. Well, as we already had a certain Territorial Defence that had
13 been established and certain existing units, units which were to be
14 mobilised in a situation like the one which arose, and we had received the
15 order from the Crisis Staff to mobilise these units, this is a report
16 submitted to the superior command on the mobilisation of these units,
17 which had been carried out, the number of men who responded and the
18 situation after the mobilisation.
19 Q. Would you please look at document number 8. It's 1658, a Defence
20 number. It has no translation. And you will read only the preamble, the
21 conclusion, and paragraph 1, and please tell me whether this is in fact a
22 document corroborating your testimony to the effect that the Crisis Staff
23 was now giving its approval, issuing orders for mobilisation, and the
24 creation of new Territorial Defence units.
25 A. On the basis of this decision, to form a Crisis Staff, the Crisis
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Staff of the Municipality of Zenica at its 11th session, held on the 16th
2 of April, adopted a conclusion. "The proposal made by the TO Staff to
3 form new TO units is hereby accepted, and leave is given for the TO Staff
4 to take decisions on mobilising Territorial Defence units." And I'll
5 emphasise again that forming TO units -- that the assembly is giving leave
6 for the formation of TO units. The municipal assembly made such a
8 The commander of the Municipal Staff on the basis of such a
9 decision at the time believed that it was necessary to mobilise new units.
10 This was accepted by the municipal assembly -- or rather, the TO.
11 Q. Read conclusion 3, and could you read that through. Is that also
12 one of the rules that was necessary to respect?
13 A. "It's necessary to urgently form a military police unit which
14 will control members of TO units in cooperation with the MUP." I wouldn't
15 say that this was the competence of the municipal assembly and the
16 assembly according to the law at the time, but given the situation and the
17 fact that there were a lot of armed individuals and groups in the town, it
18 was necessary to establish order to the extent this was possible and it
19 was necessary to form adequate MP, military police units. We had a
20 detachment of ten men, and this was not sufficient to deal with all the
21 work. This is probably why this conclusion was adopted and afterwards we
22 formed a large MP unit of 30 men.
23 Q. Have a look at document 9. 1659 is the number. We don't have a
24 translation of the document. But tell me what the heading, the title of
25 the document is, and tell me what this document represents.
1 A. 1659; is that correct?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. "On the basis of a decision of the Presidency on declaring an
4 imminent threat of war and pursuant to Article 1 of the decision on
5 forming a Crisis Staff in the Municipality of Zenica, the Crisis Staff of
6 the municipality at a session -- at the twentieth session held on the 22nd
7 of April, 1992 adopted the following order on introducing a curfew in the
8 territory of the Municipality of Zenica. "A curfew is hereby introduced
9 in the Municipality of Zenica from 2400 hours to 0500 hours. The public
10 security station in Zenica will be responsible for carrying out this
12 Q. As you have just said, that the Crisis Staff started taking
13 certain decisions because of the overall situation and the armed
14 individuals present in the area, have a look at document number 11, 1660.
15 We don't have a translation of this document either. And could you tell
16 me what this conclusion relates to.
17 A. Should I read it out?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. "On the basis of Article 1 of the decision on forming a Crisis
20 Staff in the Municipality of Zenica, the Crisis Staff of the municipality
21 at the 24th session held on the 1st of May, 1992 hereby adopts the
22 following conclusion: The commander of the regional TO Staff is hereby
23 made responsible to deal with the relationship, with members of the
24 Busovaca TO -- or, rather, to investigate the movement of armed
25 individuals in the territory of the Municipality of Zenica and must take
1 the necessary measures if they have been moving around without
3 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, we have heard that a region consists of a lot of
4 municipalities, so tell me, how is it that the Crisis Staff is now taking
5 over this role? It's also issuing orders to an organ that is superior to
6 it. What were the conditions in Zenica at the time that made it necessary
7 for such things to occur as well?
8 A. Yes, this doesn't seem to be quite logical, but the situation in
9 the field was far more complex. The Crisis Staff of the Municipality of
10 Zenica met on a daily basis, had sessions on a daily basis; whereas, the
11 region that was responsible for a number of municipalities wasn't fully
12 staffed. There were few members. They probably couldn't follow the
13 entire situation. But since there were armed individuals from other
14 municipalities, in particular in Busovaca, who were in Zenica - that's
15 where they would cause certain problems - since this was the case, the
16 Crisis Staff at its session, when it examined the political and security
17 situation in the town, made the Regional TO Staff responsible to introduce
18 order, to deal with the situation. I assume that that is what is -- what
19 happened, because this is the first time I've seen the document.
20 Q. Could you please have a look at document number 22. 1673 is the
21 number of the document. We don't have a -- an English version of the
22 document either.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It's a document from the War Presidency of the Crisis Staff.
25 Could you please read out the preamble and the first paragraph and the
1 name listed under number 2.
2 A. "Pursuant to Article 1 on the decision of forming a War Presidency
3 of the Crisis Staff of Zenica municipality, Official Gazette such and such
4 a number, the War Presidency at the session held on the 20th of October
5 1992, having examined the political and security situation in the
6 territory of the Municipality of Zenica adopted the following conclusion:
7 In order to put an end to hostilities in the territory of the municipality
8 Novi Travnik and Vitez, a working group composed of the following member
9 will hereby be formed. Under number 2 it says Dzemal Merdan, commander of
10 the army regional staff.
11 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, do the two document that is you have just had a
12 look at show that in fact in 1992 the Crisis Staff of Zenica municipality
13 was in fact the body that dealt with all the problems that arose,
14 regardless of what its specific role in fact was, because the conditions
15 were such that it was necessary to proceed in this manner?
16 A. Yes, that's quite correct.
17 Q. In normal conditions, would it be possible for the president of
18 the municipality to issue orders to the commander of a regional staff who
19 is in a totally different position in -- from a military point of view and
20 could he give orders to someone who had responsibilities that had nothing
21 to do with the Zenica municipality?
22 A. No, this wouldn't have occurred. But given the events in the
23 surroundings, the Zenica was also affected. There was pressure on the
24 town of Zenica. And when we tried to find solution -- well, they probably
25 weren't doing what they were in fact responsible for, but in such cases
1 people do everything they can to improve the situation.
2 Q. Have a look at document number 12, please. It hasn't been
3 translated. 1662 is the number, and could you please read out the
4 preamble and the first, second, and third conclusions.
5 A. "Pursuant to Article 1 of the decision on forming a Crisis Staff
6 of the Municipality of Zenica, the Crisis Staff of the municipality at its
7 44th session, held on the 17th of May, 1992, in order to withdraw from the
8 Josip Jovanovic barracks in safety and unhindered, the following
9 conclusion was adopted:
10 Number one, the Crisis Staffs in local communes in the territory
11 of Zenica must not take any measures or any steps without the Crisis Staff
12 of Zenica municipality having issued orders and instructions.
13 Conclusion number 2 or item number 1: Crisis Staffs in local
14 communes are hereby ordered not to interfere in the command and control of
15 TO units present in their area."
16 Conclusion 3: "All armed groups and units in the territory of
17 certain local communes that are not under the command of the TO and the
18 MUP must be placed under the command of the Crisis Staff of the relevant
19 local commune."
20 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, since we have read out some conclusions of the
21 Crisis Staff from April to October, could you tell me who had real power
22 in Zenica, who took certain measures in terms of defence, who had civilian
23 authority. So who in fact had real power and whose orders and
24 instructions did you in fact carry out?
25 A. On the basis of everything that we have seen here, it is quite
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 clear that the Crisis Staff and the War Presidency in Zenica municipality
2 were the bodies that took very important and essential decisions, and
3 these bodies in fact had real power in Zenica.
4 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, could you please tell me what the overall
5 situation was like in Zenica in 1992. What sort of issues was the town of
6 Zenica confronted with during that period of time?
7 A. As you can see in this introduction, Zenica soon organised
8 itself -- organised itself for a pre-war crisis situation, so to speak.
9 It established a certain number of bodies so it were in a position to
10 govern the town. Naturally, in the territory of the municipality. Of
11 course, the town also faced a number of other problems because many of the
12 bodies, many of the institutions had been damaged. They were ineffective.
13 People had left. All the bodies had in a certain sense been truncated,
14 but new -- new staff were recruited in order to ensure that all these
15 institutions functioned properly.
16 In certain cases, this proceeded smoothly; in other cases, not so
17 smoothly. But in any event, an attempt was made to ensure that the town
18 would not suffer the sort of fighting or sort of war that other towns in
19 the vicinity had had to go through. So such measures were taken, but
20 there was a lot of pressure. A lot of refugees arrived. And in a certain
21 sense these people saw that there was some form of security in Zenica.
22 There were many refugees from those areas, in particular from Krajina and
23 from Eastern Bosnia, and they found refuge in Zenica, and this was a
24 problem that compounded the difficulties we were faced with.
25 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, given that there were so many refugees, given the
1 wartime conditions, were military units being formed in addition to the
2 mobilisation that you carried out in the Territorial Defence, were various
3 military units also established? If so, what sort of units were
4 established and what was their attitude towards the Territorial Defence?
5 A. Well, look, this was the most serious problem that the Municipal
6 Staff had to confront at the time. Above all, the Municipal Staff was
7 organised -- or rather, a new form of the TO was organised and certain
8 changes were made in the TO in Sarajevo, as far as we know. A lot of
9 pressure was exerted on the staff itself. People wanted to arm
10 themselves. They wanted units to be organised. Because companies weren't
11 really functioning properly. The people were afraid. They wanted
12 security by organising units -- by establishing units. Naturally, we
13 mobilised units that had been prepared according to plans. And in
14 addition to those TO units, to our units -- I say "our units," because the
15 TO at the time was the only legitimate force. In addition to those units,
16 other units were formed. They did this on their own initiative and
17 certain political potentates and political parties formed such units.
18 There were a number of such groups, a number of such units, and
19 we all tried to place these units under unified TO command, and we
20 received orders from our superior command according to which we were to
21 place all these units under a single command. At the time in Zenica, in
22 addition to the Territorial Defence, there was the HVO, there was the
23 HOS - the Croatian Defence forces - there was the Patriotic League, and
24 naturally the Territorial Defence, and then there were many other
25 formations that had come from other areas and were present in the
1 territory of the Municipality of Zenica. So there was a collection of
2 such units and we tried to place all these units under a single command.
3 In April and May, the work we had to carry out in this respect
4 was very intensive.
5 Q. Since you mentioned the HVO, the HOS, and the Patriotic League,
6 were these formations placed under the command -- or, rather, did they
7 become part of the Territorial Defence? That's my first question. And
8 the second question is whether they were placed under the command of your
9 Municipal Staff.
10 A. Well, as I have already said, there were negotiations.
11 Agreements were made. And on the basis of the order from the regional
12 staff, by the 15th of April they had formally joined the TO but they had
13 set certain conditions. Formally they had joined the Territorial Defence
14 but they were not under the Territorial Defence's de facto command. This
15 caused me significant problems. But they did join the Territorial Defence
16 Staff because of their logistical needs on the whole.
17 Q. Tell me: Since you have mentioned the formation of numerous
18 other units, how many armed formations were there in Zenica in 1992 at any
19 point in time?
20 A. Well, first there were five or six and then another five. Then
21 they started forming new units in labour organisations and in local
22 communes in accordance with the -- the law that made this possible. Units
23 were formed in local communes and in labour organisations. They then
24 started forming groups where it wasn't that necessary but groups were
25 formed because people were afraid that they would be attacked in certain
1 places. So the number of groups and units formed continued to increase.
2 I remember a report we sent to the Regional Staff according to
3 which there were 127 different units which had formally joined the
4 Territorial Defence. These were units from detachments, to companies, to
5 platoons, to groups. The 127th unit was a TV unit, and their task was to
6 provide security for the television companies at the time.
7 Q. Thank you. Let's not dwell on these problems any longer because
8 I think that Their Honours have already heard about this difficult
10 Tell me, how would you describe the situation from the aspect of
11 military organisation in Zenica in early November when
12 Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic arrived there with the task of reorganising
13 all the forces in that area?
14 A. The situation in Zenica was critical. Seen from the viewpoint of
15 the tasks of accommodating and feeding the refugees and the local
16 population, the situation was very difficult and very chaotic. This is
17 what the wartime Presidency was dealing with. I was dealing with the
18 organisation and the security for the various facilities in the
19 municipality, but this was beyond our capacity to ensure because so many
20 people were arriving. They all wanted to join TO units, at first because
21 they wanted to get cigarettes or salaries or because they wanted to get
22 weapons so they could defend their homes, and it grew to the number I've
23 mentioned. And this became unmanageable. It was impossible to keep all
24 this under control. You couldn't have 127 different units, so we welcomed
25 the news that there would be a reorganisation, that a military structure
1 would be imposed, and I was glad to hear that this team, headed by
2 Mr. Hadzihasanovic, was arriving. I felt a great sense of relief because
3 somebody with knowledge and with authority was arriving who would be able
4 to solve this. We didn't need that number of units in Zenica at the time.
5 The process was difficult. It was very hard to bring them all
6 into line, because they were already there.
7 Q. Well, that's precisely what my next question was going to be.
8 Through the decisions you have read out, we saw that real control over the
9 Municipal Staff and other units was exerted by the wartime Presidency.
10 127 different armed units were recorded by you alone. What was the task
11 now facing Enver Hadzihasanovic when he had to take over authority from
12 all these various commanders and draw a distinction, a dividing line,
13 between military and civilian authorities? Were you a witness of all the
14 problems that the 3rd Corps faced when it was being established?
15 A. Yes. As I said, I was relieved. We needed someone with
16 authority to come along, someone who was not burdened with local politics,
17 who could not be influenced by local politicians, because we were all
18 local people and we came under the influence of local politicians since we
19 lived there. And, of course, Mr. Hadzihasanovic was welcomed by some of
20 the officers who knew what the problems were. I myself was very
21 enthusiastic. However, there were others who were not enthusiastic at
22 all, who didn't want law and order to be imposed, who profited from this
23 kind of situation.
24 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, tell me, what happened to the HVO? Did they
25 accept the command of the 3rd Corps?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. The HVO was always playing a double game. From the very
2 beginning, they had their own organisation and they gladly joined the
3 Territorial Defence in March or April because, when the JNA left the
4 barracks in Zenica, we had our TO depots there with quite a lot of weapons
5 and ammunition and other equipment. They joined the Territorial Defence
6 in order to get as much of this as possible for themselves, and they
7 always paid lip service. But when we had to secure a facility -- we had
8 150 facilities on the territory of the municipality which had to be
9 guarded in crisis situations and we didn't have enough weapons. We
10 protected only 50 of these. And the HVO refused to abide by any of the
11 previous decisions. They did not agree that, for example, a certain
12 transformer station or something had to be guarded, that it was of
13 significance for the municipality. They always did as they pleased, and
14 they never de facto accepted the command of the TO. And as far as I know,
15 the same happened with the 3rd Corps, as far as I know.
16 Q. Was a brigade formed outside the Army of BH?
17 A. This brigade in Zenica I believe was formed by people from Vitez.
18 When Zivko Totic arrived as HVO commander in Zenica - he was probably sent
19 by the operations command in Vitez with a task of establishing a brigade -
20 in the autumn -- in October, but I'm not sure precisely -- they set
21 themselves apart from the TO. They no longer needed its logistical
22 support. They had got what they wanted from it. And now they were
23 receiving logistical support from Vitez. They established the Jure
24 Francetic Brigade in Zenica.
25 Q. Were you there when this brigade was formed?
1 A. As we had certain orders that there should not be a conflict in
2 Zenica and that all the minor incidents that took place from day to day
3 should be solved so as not to escalate into a conflict, we cooperated
4 quite well with the HVO commander, Zoran Covic, who was there initially.
5 And later on, when Zivko Totic arrived, as he had been born in Zenica
6 municipality, we continued our cooperation.
7 I cannot recall now whether he invited us to the first line-up of
8 the brigade or whether we went there purely out of curiosity, to see it.
9 We were not in any special place of honour. We just stood to one side and
10 observed the ceremony of the lining-up of the brigade and the speeches
11 made by the guests.
12 Q. And does anything stick in your memory?
13 A. Well, yes. After the official line-up and the initial ceremony,
14 speeches were made. And when Mr. -- his name escapes me at the moment.
15 Q. Are you referring to Dario Kordic?
16 A. Dario Kordic, yes. When he took the floor, he made a very
17 extreme speech. Apart from the terrible statements made by Karadzic in
18 the Assembly, I hadn't heard anything like it. He was referring to
19 Zenica, the borders of Herceg-Bosna, about the oath they had taken, that
20 they were going to defend Herceg-Bosna and Zenica, and I was amazed. So I
21 walked out and I don't know what happened afterwards. However, I recall
22 that the speech was very extreme.
23 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, the corps was now established. Did the role of
24 the Municipal TO Staff change after that and what units did you have at
25 your disposal after this?
1 A. Of course, the Territorial Defence continued performing the tasks
2 and duties pertaining to guarding facilities in Zenica. This was the Home
3 Guard Unit, which was linked to its own territory on which it had been
4 established. Of course new units were formed, and the idea arose that
5 municipal and direct defence staffs had to be set up, but because we had
6 to guard this large number of facilities which were targets not only for
7 aggressor's forces but also for possible criminal gangs or sabotage units,
8 we needed to retain a certain number of forces guarding these facilities.
9 When the new organisation was set up, when the 3rd Corps was first
10 established, the forces of the Municipal Defence Staff were reduced to
11 three detachments which were -- which had men from the territories on
12 which they were deployed. Zenica was divided into three sectors, and
13 these three units were guarding facilities in these three sectors.
14 Then there was the Municipal Staff that had three units for
15 logistical support. This was now less than a thousand fighters.
16 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, among these important facilities, can you mention
17 two or three that were truly significant not only for Zenica but for
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole and as the Municipal Staff, was the
19 guarding of these facilities your responsibility?
20 A. Yes. That was our main task at the time. For example, in the
21 area whether the 1st Detachment was, there was the Vranduk tunnel which
22 had to be guarded so that it would not be blocked up by anyone.
23 In the area of the 2nd Detachment, there was the mine, the
24 transformer stations. There was the Lasva junction, the junction in
25 Blatusa and so on.
1 And where the 3rd Detachment was, the main facility was the
2 Klopce 2 transformer station. It was a large transformer station for the
3 whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was another transformer station
4 and a relay station in Klopce.
5 And where the 2nd Detachment was, there was a radio relay station
6 which had to be guarded. These were the major facilities. There were
7 also bridges, school, banks, hospitals, and so on and so forth.
8 Q. Tell me, where were the HVO units deployed?
9 A. In that period you mean? Well, in a way, we were -- well, I
10 won't say we were deceived, but there was a story told by Zivko Totic, who
11 was in fact doing something quite different. He asked us to get space in
12 the KP Dom, the prison, and Kemal Kapetanovic had the meteorological
13 institution and some other facilities. But at the same time he deployed
14 his units, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalion in dominant features around
15 Zenica so as to observe movements. In other words, he wasn't carrying out
16 the tasks that we had to perform, but he was saying that they were going
17 to defend Zenica from any possible breakthrough by the enemy in the Vlasic
18 area, so they started taking up positions at these elevations.
19 Q. Would you please look at the last document in tab 12. Does
20 this -- it's 1662. Does this reflect the deployment of the HVO forces
21 that you have just been talking about? This is the last document in this
22 set of documents. This document has no translation. It's 0786, the Jure
23 Francetic Brigade. And tell me, what is this about and does this document
24 reflect what you have just been saying?
25 A. Yes, yes, this is precisely that.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as it is now time
2 for a break, after the break I will ask the witness to indicate on the map
3 the HVO positions in relation to Zenica which follow from this document.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will have our
5 technical break now. This will allow the witness to rest for a while.
6 It's quarter to 4.00, and we'll resume at about ten past 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence counsel may continue
10 with their examination-in-chief now.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Could the usher now show the witness a map, the scale of which is
13 1 to 50.000. It's a map of Zenica and it's in a set of maps called Zenica
14 set 4/4/2. The scale of the map is 1 to 50.000.
15 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, in the order, the number of which is 0786, could
16 you please read out the zones of responsibility of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
17 Battalion of the Jure Francetic Brigade and could you then mark the
18 relevant positions on the map. Mark the map with the number "1" for the
19 1st Battalion and "2" for the 2nd Battalion, et cetera. This is in order
20 to show the positions of the HVO units you were testifying about before
21 the break.
22 A. "Pursuant to the order of the command of the operative zone of
23 Central Bosnia," such and such a number, dated the 20th of March, 1993.
24 And in connection with the newly developed situation and the aggressor's
25 attack on - and it's not very legible here - "We here issue the following
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 order: Order to -- reconnaissance, under number 1. Establish -- in the
2 Catholic cemetery sector of the village of Raspotocje and monitor the
3 movement of the ABiH army in the garrison. The labour organisation
4 Grijanje and both the roads leading to the Lasva Valley.
5 Q. Could you please encircle the area and mark it with a Roman I so
6 that we can be sure, so that we can know that it's the 1st Battalion that
7 is in question.
8 A. The 1st Battalion was deployed in this area, along this line,
9 Raspotocje, Vucjak, then we have this elevation here. And they controlled
10 this road that leads by the left bank of the Bosna River towards the
11 Lasva. And as these are elevated features in relation to these roads,
12 they controlled the road to the right of the River Bosna, on the right
13 bank of the River Bosna. And this is where the barracks were located, and
14 there was the unit of the ABiH.
15 Q. In the middle of this line that you have just drawn to indicate
16 the position of the 1st Battalion, could you draw a circle and mark it
17 with Roman I.
18 A. The 1st Battalion reached to the depth in Ovnak. This was its
19 depth in Saracevica, Debela Medja, Zvecaj, Janjicki Vrh. That was the
20 depth of the battalion. And this would more or less be its zone of
21 responsibility, the 1st Battalion.
22 Q. Thank you. Now please have a look at the area in which the 2nd
23 Battalion was deployed. Could you read out the relevant part.
24 A. Number 2. The zone of responsibility of the 2nd Battalion.
25 "Establish an observation post in the Negraj sector. I'll mark Negraj
1 here. Above the village of Gradisce Jankovici, Jokivici, this is where
2 the observation post was. "In order to observe the access towards Lisac."
3 You can't see Lisac here, but you have the television and radio relay
4 tower there.
5 "Towards the village of Gradisce. This is the area called
6 Gradisce. And Zmajevac, Zmajevac is a very important feature. Zmajevac
7 is located here. The 2nd Battalion had its forces deployed in this area.
8 There's a part that you can't see on the map. It goes towards Strnokosi
9 and Gradisce; Zmajevac is here. Other parts of the forces were near the
10 village of Stranjani. This is where the 2nd Battalion was. This was its
11 zone of responsibility.
12 Q. Have a look at the area where the 3rd Battalion was deployed in
13 relation to the town of Zenica.
14 A. The zone of responsibility of the 3rd Battalion, establish an
15 observation post in the village of Kopilo sector. Kopilo is a village
16 that is in this area to the right. So establish an observation post in
17 the village of Kopilo sector in order to monitor the roads leading to the
18 village of Arnauti, et cetera. This is the road here, from Zenica,
19 Crkvica, Babino, Briznik, Arnauti, et cetera, these are the villages and
20 the depth.
21 "Control the road leading towards Perin Han. That's the road
22 that continues here towards Lasva.
23 The 3rd Battalion -- well, there's this area here near Crkvica
25 The 3rd Battalion had the zone of responsibility on the right
1 bank of the river of Bosna, and I could indicate this in this manner.
2 Here is the Crkvica hill. So this would more or less be the area where
3 the 3rd Battalion was located.
4 Q. And the reconnaissance platoon?
5 A. The reconnaissance platoon of the Jure Francetic Brigade should
6 engage its forces to monitor the sector of Kuber and the road from
7 Cajdras, Stranjani, Pojskent [phoen], and Ovnak. You can see that this
8 was a mobile manoeuvre unit which was engaged in this area, from the top
9 of Vjetrenice -- from the peak of Vjetrenice there's a road that passes
10 through Saracevica and Kuber and then links up with Kacuni and continues
11 in the direction of Busovaca municipality. This is the route it follows.
12 So that would be the location of the reconnaissance platoon.
13 And then there is this road towards Zenica and Vjetrenice and
14 Cajdras. And the following road from -- crossroads at Cajdras leads
15 towards Stranjani, Ovnak, et cetera. As you can see, this is the
16 north-western part of Zenica municipality.
17 Q. Thank you. Since we have now seen the positions of the HVO --
18 but I do apologise. To make things easier to follow, could you just mark
19 the letters "IP" for reconnaissance patrol, and "C" for company on these
21 A. This is the access here and here we have the reconnaissance
22 patrol of the company. These are the three reconnaissance platoons that
23 were engaged along these axes.
24 Q. Thank you. As far as the important feature that is you
25 controlled, you -- among the important features you controlled, you
1 mentioned the Lasva junction. Towards the beginning of 1993, could you
2 tell me whether there was any fighting which made that junction the focus
3 of attention and did the Municipal TO Staff ask and receive assistance to
4 carry out its task?
5 A. The Lasva junction is a very important feature in the territory
6 of Zenica municipality, and according to peacetime plans it also had a
7 very important role. Certain forces had been planned for this feature.
8 If there was a crisis situation, if there was a war, these forces should
9 provide direct security for it and also provide security for its depth,
10 because this is a very important junction which connects Zenica to
11 Travnik, Busovaca, and above all with the municipalities that are south of
12 Zenica, Kakanj, Visoko, and further on Sarajevo. So this was an extremely
13 important strategic feature. It was at the junction of roads. There were
14 viaducts there. There were bridges over the Bosna and the Lasva, and it
15 was important enough to protect. It was a very essential and expensive
16 feature. So certain forces had always been planned to provide protection
17 for it.
18 However, at one time, when relations were quite calm, the -- part
19 of the forces securing the feature weren't very strong. But as the
20 tension increased, as the situation became more complex, part of the road
21 in the vicinity of the junction towards Busovaca had been threatened by
22 the HVO. We believed that it was necessary to provide more -- stronger
23 forces to protect the junction, to prevent it from being destroyed or
24 taken. If it had been -- if it had been taken or destroyed, it would have
25 prevented -- it would have blocked the road between Zenica and Sarajevo.
1 Since the situation was becoming increasingly complex at the
2 time, increasingly tense, we didn't have a sufficient amount of forces to
3 secure the junction. As a result we asked for assistance. We asked the
4 3rd Corps to provide us with reinforcements to make sure that the junction
5 was adequately protected.
6 Q. Did you receive such reinforcements and which unit came to
7 reinforce the forces guarding the junction?
8 A. Well, naturally this didn't take place immediately. The 3rd
9 Corps didn't have enough available forces for such action and they
10 believed we had some forces on the battlefield in Maglaj. After a few
11 exchanges, the 3rd Corps sent a unit from the 7th Brigade, a unit from the
12 7th, and later a unit from the 303rd, I think. They were sent as
13 reinforcements to protect the junction.
14 Q. Will you now, sir, look at the document in tab 11, that's
15 document 456 [Realtime transcript read in error "4576"] of the
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And would you please read paragraph 2 and tell me whether this is
19 the unit that was sent as a reinforcement for the Municipal Staff.
20 A. Question 2: "The 7th Muslim Brigade with part of the forces
21 continue defence and active combat operations against the Chetniks in the
22 Bijelo Bucje area. Resubordinate the 1st Company, which is deployed in
23 Zenica to the commander of the Zenica Municipal Staff, which will carry
24 out tasks according to the decision of the staff commander."
25 Q. Let me just correct the transcript. The number of the document
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 is 406, and by mistake the transcript reads "4576."
2 Thank you. Would you now please look at tab number 10,
3 Prosecution Exhibit P310.
4 A. P310?
5 Q. Yes. Have you found it? Do you recognise this document? Is it
6 a document issued by your staff?
7 A. Yes. It's a document issued by the Municipal Staff.
8 Q. Does this document --
9 A. Yes, it confirms that this company became part of the Municipal
10 Staff and was resubordinated to the Zenica Municipal Staff.
11 Q. In view of the importance of this communication and the Lasva
12 junction, would you please look at the document in tab 9, Prosecution
13 Exhibit P210. This document has been issued by the 3rd Corps. To whom is
14 it addressed, Mr. Ibrakovic?
15 A. You can see from this that it was addressed to the Municipal
16 Staff of the defence of Zenica and to the Kakanj Municipal Staff, and it's
17 about securing a road.
18 Under "2" it says: "The Zenica Municipal Staff shall use some of
19 its forces to permanently secure and maintain the Zenica-Lasva, village
20 of -- Dusina village of Sudine road for the needs of our armed forces, and
21 the signature is that of Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic.
22 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, did you implement this order and did you
23 understand what road you were supposed to secure?
24 A. Yes. In spite of the difficult and complex situation, we
25 immediately implemented this order. Certain communications had been
1 blocked up in the direction of Busovaca, and the only road from Zenica to
2 Busovaca, the part of Busovaca where the army forces were, and the
3 population that the HVO had not yet expelled, was this communication
4 leading from Zenica through Lasva, the village of Dusina, the village of
5 Sudine in the direction of Kacuni and this communication was very
7 Q. I will now ask the usher to give you another map and I would like
8 you to draw this road on the map, the road that you had to secure. This
9 is an excerpt from a map already admitted into evidence, Dusina 4/2.
10 It's -- the scale is 25.000.
11 A. May I?
12 Q. Yes. Look at the order and indicate on the map what it says.
13 A. This is the junction in question. And along here the HVO had
14 blocked up this road. This road leads towards Travnik, Vitez, and
15 Busovaca. And very close to the junction the road had already been
16 damaged. The only communication leading to Lasva was along this road --
17 the village of Lasva, I mean, along the left bank of the River Bosna.
18 That's the road. Up to the village of Lasva and the Lasva railway
19 station. And then it went up through the hamlet.
20 Q. Lasva, Dusina, Sudine?
21 A. Yes. And now from Dusina this road went towards Sudine. As far
22 as I can tell probably it went along here. I don't see that it went here.
23 It's possible that you could have taken an alternative route. I'm not
24 absolutely sure now. It's one of these two. I'm marking them Roman I and
25 Roman II, but I think Roman I is this road. I passed along this road, but
1 now it's -- it's more or less the same.
2 What is important is the section of road from the Lasva junction
3 to the railway station in the village of Lasva and then up to Dusina. On
4 route from Dusina the road was very bad, which is why the order mentions
5 maintaining the communication. In winter, vehicles couldn't pass through
6 certain sections. This was a temporary road for horse-drawn vehicles, so
7 that you had to use tractors and horses to pull out vehicles that had
8 become stuck there. So it was important to maintain this communication.
9 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, where you circled "Lasva," would you mark that
10 with "1," and could you mark the communication showing the direction from
11 Lasva towards the village of Sudine.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Thank you.
14 In the report you submitted to the 3rd Corps, Prosecution number
15 310, it says that this order was carried out and that units were put in a
16 state of combat readiness. Tell me, as the Municipal Staff, did you ever
17 issue an order for the use of these units in combat?
18 A. Of course not, and all our orders were quite to the contrary. To
19 avoid any conflict, not to open fire unless in extreme need, if our forces
20 were attacked. So not for a single moment was there ever such an order
21 that fire should be opened.
22 Q. We shall tender these two documents later on. Would you please
23 put the date on them and sign them and I will continue with my
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. If you did not issue an order for the use of the units in combat,
2 tell me, was there a time when you started receiving information that
3 there was fighting going on in this area, and what kind of information was
4 this, if any?
5 A. In view of the fact that certain convoys were using this
6 communication, it was being used in other words, the unit securing this
7 communication of course worked in shifts. One shift would be eight hours
8 long. One part of the unit would be there for eight hours. Then they
9 would go to rest and be replaced by another part of the unit. And this
10 functioned quite well. However, around the 26th and the 27th, we received
11 information that there had been an incident up there, that there had been
12 fighting, and that some sort of combat activities had taken place leading
13 to the conflict we were trying to avoid.
14 In any case, we received information to this effect, and I think
15 it was in the afternoon on the 26th.
16 Q. Was there any information about casualties?
17 A. Yes. Yes, yes, there was. I remember at that time - because I
18 had some other duties to attend to - various kinds of information came.
19 People would arrive from there in a state of panic, and they carried all
20 sorts of information and one didn't really know what the actual situation
21 was. And then we ordered the command of the 2nd Detachment to send people
22 up there to see what was actually going on.
23 In the evening hours, we received information that two members of
24 the army had been killed, that there had also been losses on the HVO
25 side - I don't know how many casualties - and the operations organ of the
1 2nd Detachment at Lapoce [phoen] sent this information.
2 As for this other information, we didn't know how reliable it
4 Q. Your information, did some of it indicate that there may have
5 been a murder up there or murders?
6 A. No, there was no reason to suspect that on that day. The only
7 information we had was that there had been a conflict, that fire had been
8 opened on both sides, and that there were casualties on both sides, that
9 people on both sides had been killed. As for suspicions that a crime
10 might have been committed, we only received some indications on the
11 following day or a few days later that something like that might have
13 Q. If such information arrived on the following day, tell me, as
14 these units were under your command, was there an order that these
15 suspicions should be investigated and did your Municipal Staff in some way
16 participate in this, if there was any investigation? And if so, who?
17 A. I have been trying to concentrate on this period of time and
18 recollect it. According to our chain of command from the District Staff,
19 I think the commander of the District Staff at that time was Mr. Merdan
20 and he asked that an investigation should be carried out to see if
21 anything at all had happened up there, apart from the combat activity.
22 This suspicion required that the commander do whatever fell within his
23 competence. I remember that the commander got our security officer to
24 look into it, and I think also our intelligence officer. The security
25 officer was told to go, and there was also a team from the corps, to carry
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 out an on-site investigation and establish what had happened. In other
2 words, the commander sent his assistance for security to investigate the
3 suspicion. He later returned and reported to the commander.
4 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Ibrakovic: Do you know who in Zenica
5 conducted this investigation? Was the court informed and do you know
6 whether there was in fact an investigation and what were its results?
7 A. When our security assistant returned, he informed the commander
8 that a team had been up there, an extended team, including the military
9 prosecutor and the court investigator as well as members of a department
10 of the security services centre that was an expert team, and there was
11 also someone from the civilian protection and organs of the civil police.
12 And from his report to the commander, I concluded that certain measures
13 had been taken and that the most competent people had gone up there to
14 establish what had happened. Apparently the HVO had intervened. They
15 were prone to exaggerate things and they said that a crime had been
16 committed. So this entire team went up there to investigate and establish
17 what had actually happened. And we all understood that everything
18 possible had been done at that point in time.
19 Now with hindsight, I think that really everything that was
20 possible and that could have been done at that moment was done in order to
21 investigate the situation, and it was established that no crime had been
22 committed in the Lasva local commune.
23 Q. As you were the Chief of Staff, the security organ was not part
24 of the staff. It was linked to the commander. Is that what you've just
25 been saying? Because he reported to the commander, if I understood you
2 A. Yes, precisely so. The security officer was an assistant to the
3 commander. I was the Chief of Staff, and I did not have the competency or
4 any kind of power over the security organ.
5 Q. Although this might sound like a leading question, but tell me,
6 you personally did not go to conduct any on-site investigation. It was
7 the competent organs whose job it was. Is this correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I don't want to belabour this point, so would you now just tell
10 me, please: Apart from this company that was resubordinated to you and
11 part of the fighters from the PDO who were not at the Maglaj war theatre,
12 were there any other large units of the BH army up there?
13 A. With your permission, I would like to say something about the HVO
14 forces in Lasva at the time.
15 Q. I don't want to go into that now. I am only asking you to tell
16 me how many fighters of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in your opinion
17 were active in that area at that point in time. I'm referring to parts of
18 the PDO and the 7th Muslim Company that had been resubordinated to you.
19 Can you recall that?
20 A. I know that we had a reinforced platoon up there, about 20 to 30
21 combatants. They were providing security for all those features in that
22 area. Naturally, most of the men at that time -- most of the men of the
23 TO and the PDO, were on the Maglaj battlefield, because every 15 days we
24 would send a company to Maglaj to hold certain lines. We had a line that
25 was being held there to prevent the Chetniks from penetrating.
1 At that time, there was a unit from that PDO there because the
2 schedule had been made in time and we knew which unit would be going there
3 in 15 days' time, et cetera. So that unit was down there, and that area
4 wasn't as well defended then. And the company that came from the 7th,
5 that had about 60 men - I don't know whether it had more than that,
6 because at the time the companies were never up to full strength. Some
7 men were on leave. Some were on sick leave. So I don't believe there
8 were more than 80 to 100 combatants in that area at the time.
9 Q. In the document that's been admitted into evidence, in the HVO
10 document it says that there were eight and a half thousand men from the
11 ABiH up there. What would you say about that?
12 A. Well -- well, if we had had so many men, we would have been in
13 Sarajevo. I apologise, Your Honours. This was just a joke, but the HVO
14 at that time was spreading incredible propaganda and saying that there
15 were camps and massacres and murders in Zenica. It said that there were
16 various substantial forces there. So the propaganda was worthy of a
17 Goebbels so I'm not at all surprised by some information.
18 As I said, I mentioned 80 do 100 men, so you can see the
19 difference of opinion.
20 Q. Mr. Ibrakovic, we've mentioned Mr. Zivko Totic, the commander of
21 the Jure Francetic Brigade. We've mentioned him on a number of occasions.
22 Did you at any point in time find that Zivko Totic had been kidnapped?
23 A. Yes. The entire town was aware of that on the 15th of April,
24 1993. I think that's the date there was an incident in the territory of
25 the Pobrijezje local commune. Zivko Totic was kidnapped on that occasion,
1 and we found out about that, I think, around noon. I can't be precise,
2 but it was around noon.
3 Q. Was there an order of any kind from the 3rd Corps Command -- or,
4 rather, did your commander order you to do anything in relation to this
6 A. Well, naturally this was an exceptional situation, an incident
7 that caught us all by surprise. And in the afternoon, the commander
8 called me to his office and he said that I should report to the 3rd Corps
9 Command. He said I should report to the commander, Enver Hadzihasanovic,
10 in order to be assigned a certain task that concerned the affair.
11 Q. And what sort of task were you assigned, if you were assigned a
12 task, and was the task carried out?
13 A. Well, naturally I said that the commander was quite agitated, he
14 was angry that the problem had arisen in a certain sense. He gave us a
15 task orally. He said that all measures should be taken to locate
16 Mr. Zivko Totic. Naturally, since I was familiar with the territory - I
17 was born in Zenica - and since the task he issued was issued to me orally,
18 the commander told me that I, together with a certain group that was
19 already ready, and together with part of military security and part of the
20 military police and together with the civilian police, members of the MUP
21 with vehicles and together with a certain number of policemen, I was told
22 to go to the axis of Zenica, Crkvica, Babino, and as far as the final
23 village the last village in that area.
24 Once this task had been assigned to me, we left. I left with
25 this team in three or four vehicles and with the necessary escort. We
1 headed off in that direction. We tried to identify certain traces, to
2 interview certain people. We reached the last village, which was the
3 village of Arnauti, and we also spoke to some members of the unit who were
4 present there and to the inhabitants. We went to buildings where we
5 thought that Zivko Totic might be detained, if he was in the area.
6 Naturally, we did not succeed in finding any traces.
7 We then returned to the corps command, the command of the 3rd
8 Corps, and told the commander that we hadn't found Zivko Totic in that
10 Q. Could you please tell me: Which part of your PDO, anti-sabotage
11 detachment, was in the village of Arnauti when you went there and spoke to
13 A. Well, the village of Arnauti is one of the remotest villages in
14 the municipality of Zenica and it's on the border with the municipality of
15 Kakanj. It's quite elevated. It's located in a forest. And part of the
16 forces were there. They were part of the 3rd PDO. We had a unit up there
17 the strength of one platoon, and they were providing security for certain
18 features in that area, because the territory of the municipality of
19 Zavidovici has a few axes that could be used by the Serbian and Chetnik
20 forces to approach Zenica from that direction. So they were controlling
21 that territory and the features that led towards the territory where the
22 Serbs were present.
23 Q. Did you subsequently discover who had in fact kidnapped Mr. Zivko
25 A. Well, yes. Mr. Saric and I were on good terms and we were on
1 good terms with Mr. Zivko Totic. We were friendly. Apart from our
2 military duties, we would often speak to each other, not just for military
3 purposes, and I felt a little sorry for the man. So we were interested in
4 the case, and two or three days later we found out that the Arabs were
5 responsible for the kidnapping. But this was not part of our
6 responsibilities. We couldn't deal with the matter any more. This is the
7 information we received, and then we stopped thinking about the -- the
9 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Ibrakovic, tell me whether you in some
10 way participated in the fighting that took place at the beginning of June
11 1993 in the territory of your municipality too.
12 A. Yes. In 1992 and in the brief clashes at the beginning of 1993,
13 the territory in the municipality of Zenica was quite open. There were no
14 lines and there was no possibility for fighting, for combat action. But
15 when the conflict with the HVO started, part of the territory, towards
16 Travnik and Vitez, Narovnak [phoen], was under the control of HVO forces.
17 And in the immediate vicinity, below that feature, there were a few
18 villages, a few Zenica villages inhabited by Bosniaks. And in a certain
19 sense they were irritated and provoked from the HVO lines. Very
20 frequently there were requests to have this line moved beyond the pass so
21 that they wouldn't threaten them, because they couldn't work on the land.
22 Snipers provoked them, and they were provoked in a few other ways. There
23 were quite a few wounded men, quite a few wounded people, and pressure was
24 exerted on the staff to ensure that the line was moved beyond the pass.
25 But we didn't have enough forces. We didn't have forces that were ready
1 to do something of that kind. Because these were individuals who could
2 only defend certain features and territory that hadn't been occupied by
3 the aggressor. These were home guards of a sort. So there was this
4 problem. And it was also a problem because we had contact with neighbours
5 of ours. It was also our duty to exchange information with these
7 And I remember that there was a very difficult situation in the
8 Travnik municipality, especially in the part of the municipality in the
9 Bila Valley. And the traditional ties between these villages on one side
10 of the Ovnak and on the other side of the Ovnak - they were Bosniak
11 villages then - well, the inhabitants found that their lives had become
12 extremely complicated. In that time, the HVO was acting in a very
13 aggressive way in the area beyond the hill. They were acting aggressively
14 towards the Bosniaks and other people. They would move them out of their
15 houses, expel them. So they were acting very aggressively. But we did
16 not do anything, nor could we do anything. We didn't have the forces.
17 But on the whole, the situation was becoming increasingly complex.
18 Q. Tell me, what happened at the beginning of June? Were you
19 assigned a specific task? If so, what sort of task were you assigned and
20 what happened subsequently?
21 A. Yes. At the beginning of June - I think it was on the 4th or
22 5th. It's probably the 5th - I was contacted through my commander,
23 because the commander would often go to see Mr. Hadzihasanovic to be
24 briefed by him. And in the evening hours, my commander said, "You have to
25 report this evening to the 7th Brigade command and you are to assist the
1 7th Brigade officers in drafting certain documents."
2 The men had insufficient experience and training and they weren't
3 capable of drafting certain documents, so I went to the 7th command. I
4 was assigned a certain task by the commander of the 7th, Mr. Amir Kubura.
5 Q. I assume that you drafted the documents in question. And at any
6 point in time, did the units from Zenica set off to assist the units in
7 the Bila Valley?
8 A. At the time, I was informed of the fact that a tactical group had
9 been established that was supposed to carry out a certain plan which
10 involved linking up the forces in Zenica with the forces in the Bila
11 Valley. As far as I know, the forces there at the time were in a very
12 difficult position, so they were supposed to be assisted. The forces were
13 supposed to be linked up. Naturally, in the course of the night and on
14 the basis of Mr. Kubura's main idea, I and Mr. Kubura's assistants drafted
15 orders, issued orders for the units that had been designated as units that
16 would participate in the action, and naturally maps were also drawn.
17 Everything was done that should be done for an organised unit. We carried
18 out that task overnight and the task had been completed by the morning.
19 Q. When did you start carrying out the task and what sort of
20 resistance did you encounter from the HVO in that area?
21 A. Well, it's easy to prepare such things on paper, but in reality
22 things are a little different and a little more difficult. The main and
23 initial position was taken up by the units during the night between the
24 6th and 7th, naturally, on the base of the document s that we had drafted
25 the previous evening. The action was to commence in the early morning
1 hours, and naturally it did commence, but we encountered fierce
2 resistance, extremely fierce resistance. Naturally, it's impossible to
3 conceal anything, and the information had leaked somehow. The HVO on the
4 Ovnak line, which is the dominant line, well, this line had been fortified
5 in a way that we hadn't expected. The line had been very well prepared
6 and covered. So on that day, we didn't manage to do much. We had to halt
7 the action. We had to amend the order in a certain sense. We had to
8 regroup the forces. And on the following day, at the same time, we wanted
9 to make another attempt at opening up the road towards Han Bila.
10 Q. Tell me, now that so many years have passed, do you know anything
11 about how intense the fighting was when Novo Selo was liberated at the top
12 of Ovnak and when other dominant elevations on that day were liberated?
13 A. According to the new amended order, the attack was launched very
14 early in the morning. HVO units that had probably brought in
15 reinforcements during the day and night opened very intense fire, and the
16 pace of the attack did not go ahead as planned.
17 At around eleven o'clock, we managed to break through to the line
18 above Novo Selo. That's on the attack axis for the main forces. The
19 auxiliary forces remained at the initial positions. The task of these
20 forces was to take the Strmac feature that dominated the valley.
21 Naturally, they didn't succeed in doing much; although, well, two or three
22 units were focussed there and there were certain misunderstandings. About
23 2.00 or 3.00 in the afternoon, we succeeded in breaking through to the
24 line near Novo Selo and Cukle. That was the immediate task. And I know
25 that it was not until 2000 hours that the HVO flag on Strmac was taken
1 down. It was only around 2000 hours on the 8th that that action came to
2 an end. So things proceeded quite slowly. It was quite difficult. There
3 was fierce fighting for specific features, and it wasn't until 2000 hours
4 that Strmac was taken.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ibrakovic. I have no further
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Does the other Defence team have any questions for the witness?
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
11 only have a few questions for today's witness on behalf of Mr. Kubura.
12 As the witness talked about this operation in early June, I ask
13 that Prosecution Exhibit P420 be shown to the witness.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P420, Mr. Registrar.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrakovic, you took part in drawing up the
17 documentation, that is, the orders in respect of these military activities
18 in early June, so I'm asking you, is this document familiar to you?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. This is a document issued by the command of the tactical group,
21 and it's an attack order. Please look at paragraph 2 of the document.
22 The tactical -- the -- the tactical group is composed of units of the 7th
23 Brigade, a detachment of the 314th Motorised Brigade, a company of the
24 Manevar Detachment, a PDO company, and a unit from the 314th Brigade; is
25 this correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would you now please look at page 2. In paragraph 5.1, in this
3 operation the 2nd and 3rd Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade will
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in the same paragraph, the axis of attack of the 7th Muslim
7 Brigade is indicated.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you please look at paragraph 5.3.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Which indicates that the Manevar Detachment, the Ministry of the
12 Interior cooperating with a detachment from the 314th Brigade is to take
13 control of Strmac and, as the next task, take control of Grahovcici. I
14 assume it's the village of Grahovcici.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is this what the order for attack says?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Would you look at paragraph 5.4, please, which indicates that a
19 detachment from the 314th Brigade jointly with the Manevar Detachment is
20 to take control of the village Grahovcici-Vrpce line.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you confirm that in paragraph 5.3 and paragraph 5.4 in this
23 attack order one can see that the 7th Muslim Brigade did not go in the
24 direction of the village of Grahovcici?
25 A. No, we didn't.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Those were all my questions.
3 Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I would like to
5 have the document back, but in B/C/S. And I'll have a question to put to
6 the witness a little later.
7 The Prosecution may take the floor now.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
10 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Daryl Mundis, and along with my
11 colleagues here today, we represent the Prosecution in this case.
12 As the Presiding Judge told you earlier this afternoon, we will
13 have some questions for you; although, we certainly won't take as much
14 time as my learned colleagues from the Defence did.
15 At the outset, sir, let me simply indicate to you that it's not
16 our intention in any way to confuse you. And in the event you find any of
17 my questions confusing, if you simply tell me that, I will rephrase the
18 question so that you understand what it is I'm asking you.
19 Let me start out, sir, by asking you a few questions about the
20 events in the Lasva local commune or the village of Dusina towards the end
21 of January 1993. You -- you answered some questions about that. I have
22 just a few additional questions for you.
23 You told us, I believe, that at the time of the events in Dusina,
24 late January 1993, that Dzemal Merdan was the district staff commander.
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know, sir, until approximately when Dzemal Merdan was the
3 district staff commander? When did he cease being the district staff
5 A. I'm not sure. It's like this, for the sake of clarification: As
6 the 3rd Corps was established, certain elements and services and
7 commanding officers were designated from the command of the district staff
8 and transferred to positions in the 3rd Corps. That's what the order
9 provided for. The core of the 3rd Corps was formed from the District
10 Staff. Part of the officers from the District Staff were transferred to
11 the 3rd Corps. This process took place over a certain period of time.
12 One officer after another was transferred from the District Staff to the
13 3rd Corps according to certain plans which I'm not familiar with.
14 The District Staff was slowly disbanded over a period of two to
15 three months. That's why I can't be sure of the exact time. Some
16 officers may have even held two posts simultaneously. This process went
17 on over some time, so I cannot be precise in my answer, but I think that
18 it was in April or March -- at any rate, in the spring that this staff was
19 disbanded, and I don't think that Dzemal Merdan was the last officer in
20 that staff. However, this transformation took place over a period of
22 Q. Sir, you just told us that you believed that some officers may
23 have held two posts simultaneously. And I suggest to you that in fact
24 Dzemal Merdan was one such person, because in late January 1993 he was
25 also the deputy commander of the 3rd Corps. Is that right?
1 A. Well, I don't know. I didn't think about that. I didn't look
2 into it. It wasn't within my competence. So I don't know what you want
3 me to say. In any rate -- at any rate, I saw Dzemal Merdan as superior to
5 Q. And that was because as part of the Zenica Municipal Staff you
6 reported to the District Staff; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. As far as the District Staff was operating, we received and
8 implemented tasks according to the orders and decisions of the District
9 Staff, among others, because this was a period of transformation, when
10 Municipal Staffs and District Staffs were being disbanded. This, you have
11 to understand, was a transitional period. You couldn't simply do it
12 overnight because certain activities had to be carried on.
13 Q. Now, sir, turning again or turning more specifically to the
14 events in Dusina in late January 1993. You told us about a team that went
15 to Dusina in order to investigate what had occurred there. Is that -- is
16 that correct?
17 A. As I said, from what I -- from what I knew, I received this
18 information from our security officer, and this team went there to
19 establish the true state of affairs and to see whether there were grounds
20 to suspect that something had happened in the village of Dusina beyond
21 normal combat activities. This was a highly expert team, the best that
22 could be assembled at that time in Zenica municipality, very professional
23 people. Because the army was still in the process of being established --
24 I mean the 3rd Corps, and it didn't yet have all the necessary organs or
25 equipment. This is a very expert job. As you know, you need
1 professionals to do it. It can't be done by volunteers or lay people.
2 Q. Sir, if I understand what you told us earlier, this team
3 included, among other, someone from the security services centre, a
4 military prosecutor, a court investigator, someone from civilian
5 protection, and someone from the civilian police. At least that's what's
6 recorded in the English transcript. Do you recall the names of any of
7 these people?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you please tell us the names of the people that you remember
10 who formed part of this team and which position those persons had.
11 A. I know that Vlado Adamovic went there. He was, I think, the
12 military prosecutor. I can't be absolutely sure, but he was employed in
13 the military prosecutor's office. Then I know that Mr. Mesic went there
14 on behalf of the civilian protection. I can't remember the names of the
15 people from the security services centre. They were forensic technicians
16 and policemen, authorised personnel. But according to the report by the
17 assistant commander for security, they were part of the team, and I don't
18 know which of the court investigators went there. I can't recall now.
19 Q. And, sir, when you say "the report by the assistant commander for
20 security," do you remember who that person was at the time?
21 A. Yes. At that time, the assistant commander for security in the
22 Municipal Staff was Zulfikar Bojcic.
23 Q. Now, sir, this report that Mr. Karbojcic [sic] produced, did you
24 read that report, do you remember?
25 A. No, it wasn't a written report. It was just oral information to
1 the commander.
2 Q. And to whom did Mr. Karbojcic present this oral report?
3 A. To the commander
4 Q. And the name of the commander at that point in time?
5 A. Mr. Jasmin Saric.
6 Q. Do you remember -- let me ask you this: Were you present when
7 this oral report was given to the commander?
8 A. I wasn't present when he was briefing the commander, but just
9 after he had seen the commander he came to my office and we exchanged
10 information orally. As far as I know, there was no written report.
11 Q. Do you recall if when you received this briefing from
12 Mr. Karbojcic whether he informed you as to the steps that were taken, in
13 terms of trying to find out exactly what happened in Dusina?
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I object to this
15 question because there are no grounds for it in the witness's reply. The
16 witness said that this gentleman only briefed the commander and that
17 afterwards he exchanged a few pieces of information with him. So the
18 question cannot be put in this way.
19 MR. MUNDIS: I'll rephrase the question.
20 Q. When you exchanged information orally with Mr. Karbojcic, did you
21 obtain any information from him concerning the methodology used by this
22 team to determine what happened in Dusina in late January 1993?
23 A. Based on the information I received, I gained the impression that
24 everything had been done. We didn't go into details, but I understood
25 that everything that had to be done had been done, so I didn't really deal
1 with this matter any further.
2 Q. Did Mr. Karbojcic tell you or did you ask him whether any people
3 had been interviewed in the village of Dusina?
4 A. No. I repeat, it didn't fall within my competence and I didn't
5 want to interfere in this activity because it was being done by another
7 Q. So if I -- if I understand you correctly, sir - and tell me if
8 I'm mistaken - Mr. Karbojcic informed you that the team had concluded that
9 there were no crimes committed in Dusina but didn't go into detail in
10 terms of informing you how that conclusion was reached.
11 A. First of all, Mr. Karbojcic didn't say that, because he himself
12 was not expert enough to say such things. I only learned these things
13 later on. But he did say that an expert team had been present up there on
14 the ground.
15 Q. So if I -- I'm a bit confused, sir. What exactly did he tell you
16 this expert team did?
17 A. That they were up there, on the ground. Because someone who
18 doesn't know what has to be done is not expert enough, cannot enter into
19 the essence of the problem. He simply established that these people were
20 up there and then he withdrew and brought this information back to us. I
21 don't know what is not clear here.
22 Q. My question then goes to -- to the point: Did he inform you that
23 the conclusion was no crimes were committed, or did he simply tell you
24 that this team went to Dusina?
25 A. The latter.
1 Q. And you subsequently found out from other sources that no crime
2 had been committed in Dusina; is that correct?
3 A. After the expert team had done part of their job, that's when
4 this conclusion was reached. It couldn't be reached right away.
5 Q. And do you recall from whom it was that you learned or were told
6 that no crimes had been committed in Dusina?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you remember the setting or the context in which you were
9 informed of that?
10 A. I can't give you a precise answer to this question, but most
11 probably during conversations, at meetings. But it wasn't official. It
12 was nothing official. It was during informal conversations and meetings
13 that I gained this information. Because nobody was duty-bound to brief
14 the Municipal Staff about this.
15 Q. Thank you, sir.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. It might be a good
17 point in time for the next technical break.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's half past 5.00 now. We'll
19 have our technical break, and we'll resume at about five to 6.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.29 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 5.55 p.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you may take the
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Sir, I'd like to turn now to the kidnapping of Zivko Totic, which
1 you told us about or testified about earlier this afternoon.
2 You told us, if I recall correctly, that you found out about the
3 kidnapping on the day it happened, that is, the 15th of April, 1993, about
4 noon. Do you recall how you found out about this or who told you about
5 this event?
6 A. No, I can't remember who told me about the event, but the entire
7 town knew about it, so the information may have been forwarded from a
8 number of sources.
9 Q. And you said that you were ordered to report to the 3rd Corps
10 commander in order to be assigned a task in relation to this event and
11 that when you got there, the 3rd Corps commander was angry. I'm wondering
12 if Commander Hadzihasanovic said anything to you or explained anything to
13 you about why he was angry about this event.
14 A. No, he didn't. I had the impression that he had been quite
15 affected by the event, but he didn't say anything in particular about it,
16 as far as I can remember right now.
17 Q. And you told us, sir, that you went to the remote village of
18 Arnauti pursuant to the tasking that you received. Can you tell us why
19 you were sent to Arnauti?
20 A. I was sent to the Zenica-Crkvice-Babino-Briznik-Arnauti axis.
21 That is the area -- that's the part of the territory of the municipality
22 of Zenica that was concerned. And Arnauti is the last village in that
23 area and it borders with the municipality of Kakanj. There were no other
24 villages beyond that point, there was just a forest there.
25 Q. When you say, sir, there were no villages beyond Arnauti, just
1 the forest, at that point in time, in the spring of 1993, was there a road
2 from Arnauti to Kakanj through the forest?
3 A. Yes, there was some sort of an alternative forest road that could
4 be used during certain periods of the year, but it was in a pretty poor
6 Q. Can you tell us, sir, who you spoke to when you reached the
7 village of Arnauti and who -- or the subject of the discussion as it
8 related to the kidnapping of Commander Totic.
9 A. Yes. When I arrived in the village of Arnauti, I spoke to a
10 number of local people there. There were also members of TO units. There
11 were representatives of the local commune. There were the local
12 inhabitants, and so on. So I spoke to a number of individuals, but I
13 really can't remember their names. There were a number of individuals I
14 spoke to, but I wouldn't single out any of the individuals. There weren't
15 any important names. I can't even remember the commander of the unit. I
16 can't remember his name and I can't remember what he looked like either.
17 There were a lot of people there, a lot of contacts, and quite a lot of
18 time has passed since then.
19 Q. Sir, was there one TO unit in Arnauti at that time or more than
20 one TO unit in Arnauti in April 1993?
21 A. There was just one TO unit.
22 Q. And this was one of the anti-sabotage detachments?
23 A. No. It was part of that unit, because that detachment covered
24 the entire right bank of the Bosna River, from Perin Han to Klopce,
25 Crkvica. That was a fairly wide area. Because the territory was divided
1 into three sectors and there was PDO that covered that territory. Part of
2 the unit that only secured some features up there was located in that
3 narrowest stretch of territory.
4 Q. Other than the TO unit or part of a TO unit that was in Arnauti,
5 were there any other units of the ABiH in Arnauti in the middle of April
7 A. No. And it wasn't necessary for any other unit to be present in
8 the area.
9 Q. Sir, you told us earlier this afternoon that Arabs were
10 responsible for the kidnapping of Zivko Totic, and I'm wondering how you
11 came across that information.
12 A. Well, I don't know whether I received that information from Vinko
13 Baresic, who at the time was Zivko Totic's deputy. Perhaps it was from
14 someone else, but that's the information I received at the time, and I
15 couldn't really say who I received it from. I spoke to Vinko about the
16 subject, but I don't know whether I received the information from him.
17 Q. And, sir, when approximately did you speak to Commander Totic's
18 deputy, Vinko Baresic concerning this kidnapping? Was it sometime in the
19 spring of 1993, or was it several years after the war? When approximately
20 was it you spoke to him about this incident?
21 A. At the time. Vinko and I knew each other from before, and we
22 discussed things. It was during that period. I can't remember the exact
23 date, but it was during that period.
24 Q. Do you remember receiving any information after the kidnapping
25 from any ABiH or 3rd Corps or TO officials concerning the kidnapping? Was
1 it discussed at any TO Staff meetings or at any meetings that you were
2 aware of of any units of the ABiH?
3 A. No. No, because I never attended those meetings. The commander
4 was the one who attended them, so I really don't remember. But I at least
5 did not receive such information at such meetings.
6 Q. Sir, were you aware or did you ever become aware of where
7 Commander Totic was held during the time he had been kidnapped?
8 A. No, never. I never became aware of that, and I never concerned
9 myself with that issue. I had other problems to deal with that were far
10 more important. It was only after the war that I saw Zivko and obtained
11 some kind of information. But I don't really like talking about -- I
12 don't really enjoy talking about it.
13 Q. Sir, were you aware in the spring of 1993 that there were persons
14 that you've described as Arabs in Arnauti?
15 A. That's true. When I arrived in Arnauti, I saw some people there,
16 but I didn't think that they were members of any particular units, but
17 they were reminiscent of members of such units [as interpreted].
18 Q. Can you tell us what you mean, sir, when you say "they were
19 reminiscent of members of such units." What do you mean by that, sir?
20 A. No. In fact, I said they did not make me think that they were
21 members of such units because --
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. The translation in
23 67.5 is quite wrong. I've just noticed that. It say that is they were
24 reminiscent of members of certain units. The witness quite clearly stated
25 that they did not resemble members of certain units, which is quite
2 MR. MUNDIS: I thank my colleague for that clarification.
3 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: What were those people that you saw in
4 Arnauti wearing?
5 A. What were they wearing? Well, they were wearing sort of clothes
6 the people wore at the time. People wore whatever they had. They were
7 wearing civilian clothes.
8 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: Did you see any persons who appeared
9 to be of Middle Eastern or North African origin in Arnauti in mid-April
10 1993 when you went there to try to find out what had happened to Zivko
12 A. As I have said, there was only the unit -- the Territorial
13 Defence unit that was present there. There were some people who looked as
14 if they were something like that. They looked as if they were Arabs.
15 Because at the time in Zenica there was a number of humanitarian
16 organisations, and that is the link I made. I made such a link. There
17 were organisations present that were helping the people, and they were
18 acting in a humanitarian capacity.
19 Q. And these Arabs or persons that you say appeared as though they
20 might have been Arabs, what type of clothing were they wearing in Arnauti
21 in mid-April 1993?
22 A. As I said, they were wearing civilian clothes, shirts of some
23 kind, waistcoats worn by civilians. They had beards, and that's what made
24 them resemble the people you have been mentioning, but otherwise they were
25 in no way different from the inhabitants of the village.
1 Q. Can you tell us, sir, whether these persons were armed or
3 A. They weren't armed.
4 Q. And when you say, sir, that they were otherwise in no way
5 different from the inhabitants of the village, can you tell us whether or
6 not it appeared to you that their skin colour was such that they were from
7 Middle Eastern or North African countries?
8 A. Yes, they left the impression -- or I was under the impression
9 that they were such people.
10 Q. Did you speak to any of these people on the day you were in
11 Arnauti searching for information about Mr. Totic?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. Sir, do you have any information or any knowledge about -- let me
14 strike that question.
15 How, to the best of your recollection, was the Zivko Totic
16 kidnapping incident resolved? How did it come to a conclusion?
17 A. The incident itself?
18 Q. No, the resolution. Did Mr. Totic eventually -- was he released?
19 How did that -- to the best of your recollection, what happened? How did
20 it resolve itself?
21 A. Well, since we received such information -- we received
22 information according to which Arabs were involved in this, it was no
23 longer a matter of interest and I found out, like all the other citizens
24 in Zenica, that some sort of an exchange had taken place involving the
25 Arabs. It took place two or three months after the incident. I don't
1 know how long afterwards this thing happened exactly, but I know that
2 there was an exchange and the European Mission acted as an intermediary,
3 which that's the right name of the organisation that was involved in the
5 Q. Sir, other than the Arabs that were involved in this kidnapping,
6 did you ever receive any information from any source indicating that there
7 may have been Bosnians or Bosniaks involved in the kidnapping?
8 A. No, I never received any information of that kind, official or
10 Q. Let me turn now to the last subject I'd like to cover with you.
11 During the time period when -- in 1992, when the TO had a large number of
12 units that were assigned to it, you told us at one point there were 127
13 different units including a TV unit. Is that -- is that correct?
14 A. No. No. The TV company had a group, and that group had one
15 pistol, and the group was providing security for their studio to ensure
16 that nothing was stolen from them. So that is the group that was
17 protecting the entrance to the building and the building itself. So it
18 was a security service. They were providing security.
19 Q. Sir, you told us - and this was on page 29, line 1 of today's
20 transcript, the English transcript - that there were 127 different units,
21 and earlier you had said that in addition to the Patriotic League there
22 were many other formations that had come from other areas. Do you recall
23 telling us that earlier this afternoon?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Do you recall in the Zenica area in 1992 whether there were any
1 units that went by the name of Muslimanske Snage or MOS?
2 A. There were no such forces in Zenica, but, you know, we're not
3 soldiers in the full sense of the term, so certain terms that aren't
4 military terms are accepted. So some of the inhabitants started using
5 terms like MOS, HOS, and HVO. But such forces didn't officially exist,
6 but this was the slang used by combatants and it gained currency. But as
7 far as I know, there were no such formations. There were units that were
8 part of the TO. They had their title. For example, the Lasva TO,
9 Orahovica, or the Lasta TO detachment, the Stijena TO detachment. But the
10 term "Muslim" wasn't used as part of the name. This was a term that was
11 added by individuals, but such forces did not officially exist.
12 Q. Thank you, sir.
13 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions at this
14 time, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 I will now ask Defence counsel whether they have any
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrakovic, in response so a question put to
21 you by my learned colleague, you said that the regional staff was your
22 immediate superior command in 1992 and you said that Mr. Dzemal Merdan was
23 the commander of the Regional Staff; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know who the chief of the staff was?
1 A. Well, at the beginning, Vinko Baresic.
2 Q. And later?
3 A. Well, was Ramiz Dugalic in that position for a certain period of
4 time? I think so.
5 Q. Do you know Mr. Ramiz Dugalic?
6 A. I do know Ramiz Dugalic personally.
7 Q. Although, you said that you were not in fact a real soldier, you
8 nevertheless do know that -- or rather, you're nevertheless familiar with
9 military terminology and you are familiar with military orders.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could P245 please be shown to the
12 Q. This is an order from the Supreme Command Staff dated the 18th of
13 November, 1992; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Under A2, do you see the name of the individual listed there and
16 do you see the position he was appointed to?
17 A. Under number two, there's the name of Merdan, Dzemal, deputy
18 commander of the corps. That's the position he was appointed to.
19 Q. Have a look at item two on the second page at the top.
20 A. "The officers designated as acting officers in this order shall
21 be relieved of the duties they had to date. "
22 Q. As someone who's in the Territorial Defence and later in the army
23 units, does this mean that Mr. Dzemal Merdan after the 18th of November,
24 1992 was able to retain his previous position as commander of the Regional
25 Staff or was he relieved of these duties?
1 A. According to this document, no. But this period lasted for a
2 certain time. So I don't know when this took place exactly. I don't know
3 the exact date. But I can see that he was not the commander of the
4 Regional Staff.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
6 document P200.
7 Q. This is a document from the Zenica District Defence Staff dated
8 the 26th of January, 1993. Have a look at the signature on the second
9 page, please. Can you tell me whose signature this is?
10 A. Ramiz Dugalic. It's Ramiz Dugalic's.
11 Q. When the commander assumes other duties, what sort of position
12 does the Chief of Staff have?
13 A. He change it is -- or he replaces the commander in his absence
14 and someone else performs those duties.
15 Q. Thank you. In relation to a question put to you by my learned
16 colleague about Mr. Bojcic, if I have understood you correctly, you said
17 that you didn't have detailed information about the matter and you didn't
18 go to the site yourself. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have personal information about the way in which the
21 investigation was carried out, or was it secondhand information?
22 A. Could you repeat the question?
23 Q. The knowledge you had about the investigation, was this direct
24 knowledge that you had? Were you present at the site? Or did you find
25 out about the location of the investigation from others?
1 A. I didn't go to the scene myself. It was only after about two
2 months that I went to that area. And the information I obtained was
3 obtained from others.
4 Q. Did you ever examine documents drafted by the Security Services
5 Centre or been an investigating judge or is this also information that you
6 obtained from others?
7 A. I didn't see any such documents because I wasn't responsible for
8 this and none had the duty of informing the Municipal Staff or the chief
9 of the Municipal Staff. In particular, I never saw those documents during
10 that period of time.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ibrakovic.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
15 have no questions.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I have a few questions for
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you left the Municipal
20 Staff, you said that you assumed the duties of commander. According to
21 the transcript, it says the 330th Brigade was concerned. You became the
22 commander of which unit exactly? Could you please tell me.
23 A. I was the commander of the 330th Light Brigade, which was part of
24 the 3rd Corps.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the 330th Light Brigade,
1 which town was it located in? Where were its headquarters?
2 A. Mr. President, when the transformation, when the change took
3 place, it was no longer necessary for the staffs to continue to exist,
4 from the first anti-sabotage detachment --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question was precise: Where
6 was your command office, your office -- your command office for the 330th
8 A. My command, my office was in Bistricak, which is about 30
9 kilometres to the north of Zenica.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Was the 330th Light
11 Brigade attached to an operational group? We have heard testimony
12 according to p according to which there were OG's in Bosnia. There was
13 the Bosnia OG, the Lasva OG. There was the Bosanska Krajina OG. There
14 was the Zapad or West OG. Was your light brigade attached to an OG?
15 A. Yes, it was attached to the operative group 3 North.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, OG 3 North.
17 Usher, could we place the map that we have referred to on the
18 ELMO. It's the first map.
19 You've indicated the position of the battalions of the HVO.
20 You've marked the positions of three battalions. Are these positions
21 valid for the entire year of 1993, or did they change in the course of
22 that year?
23 A. The positions of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalion were in the
24 first half of 1993, until April.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the map that you have used
1 to indicate these positions corresponds to a situation that was valid up
2 until the month of April. Because that wasn't said and it is important.
3 So after April, this changed. The positions of the battalions changed
4 after that date.
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It changed. Very well.
7 As we have the map before us, why not have a good look at it.
8 Please use the pointer, because I don't think this has been done yet.
9 Please use the pointer to indicate the location of the 3rd Corps
10 headquarters -- we have a very large map before us, so could you use the
11 map to indicate the position, the exact position, of the 3rd Corps.
12 A. [Indicates]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we can see the
14 precise location.
15 The Zenica Municipal Staff, where was this body located?
16 A. [Indicates]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wanted to ask you something
18 about the kidnapping of Mr. Totic. You know that Mr. Totic was involved
19 in an exchange and he was released. Do you remember his release, which
20 must have been given extensive coverage in Zenica. Do you remember the
21 day of his release? Can you recall the time when he was freed?
22 A. Yes, I recall that day because of the heavy presence of UN
23 forces. There were white APCs and so on and so forth.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you use the pointer to
25 indicate the location at which Mr. Totic was released. Because you have
1 just told us that this left a firm impression on your memory.
2 A. He was exchanged.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And when he was released,
4 where was he released?
5 A. At the stadium, this red building.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, because we have seen a
7 video and we could see the stadium in the background.
8 On that day, where were you?
9 A. I truly don't remember. I was in town. Because the Municipal
10 Staff was in town. But I can't remember precisely where I was. You
11 couldn't come close. There was a blockade around the place.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you said there were
13 blockades. Who had erected these blockades, these barriers, you just said
14 that it was blocked.
15 A. I saw white armoured personnel carriers.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] White personnel carriers. Who
17 did these white personnel carriers belong to? Which army? Which unit?
18 A. The United Nations and their observers, as we called them. I
19 don't know what their precise title was, but you know who I mean.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the UN were responsible for
21 these blockades, for these barriers?
22 A. Well, it wasn't exactly a barrier, but the approach to that area
23 was made impossible. Probably so that the exchange could take place more
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I would like P420
1 to be shown to you. Again, the B/C/S version, I kept it with me because
2 I said I was going to use it later.
3 Could you please place the document on the ELMO.
4 So we have the first page there. And in response to a question
5 put to you by Defence counsel, you said that you had assisted in drafting
6 orders in the 7th Brigade. My question is: Did you contribute to
7 drafting this document which consists of a number of pages and deals with
8 a number of issues? Were you, intellectually speaking, involved in the
9 drafting of this document?
10 A. In view of the fact that one of the units from the Municipal
11 Staff participated in this task - and that's the company from the PDO; it
12 was a weakened company - on a certain axis I, as a representative of the
13 Municipal Staff, participated in this tactical group. Therefore, I was
14 appointed to the tactical group, as was the person from the 314th and so
15 on. And of course I participated in drawing up this document.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you participated in
17 drafting this document. When this order was typed out, you and others had
18 already drafted it.
19 A. No. In the process of work of a command, more than one person
20 takes part. This document was typed out by some of the officers from the
21 operations and training organ or, rather, their typists based on an
22 outline that we gave them, and then they brought it to the commander for
23 his signature.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the commander signed
25 it, and did you yourself read the order?
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Have a look
3 at paragraph 5.1, item 5.1. 5.1 consists of two paragraphs. I would like
4 you to read out the second paragraph.
5 A. "The second echelon will be made up of the 3rd Battalion of the
6 7th Motorised Brigade, the 7th Muslim Brigade on the main axis of
7 attack -- on the main axis of attack. The immediate task is to take
8 control of -- the word" -- the line is missing -- "of the village of
9 Cukle, Novo Selo, and the next task is to take control of the villages
10 Brajkovici, Plavcici. The right-hand neighbour is the company of the
11 second PDO OGO Zenica. The attack is supported by the PVG 2, the village
12 of Vrselje and the next is Novo Selo.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's not the paragraph that I
14 wanted you to read out. Have a look at paragraph 5.1. Have a look at the
15 beginning of this paragraph.
16 A. Yes, 5.1.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second paragraph that
18 begins with the words "Napad" in your language. It's line number 4. The
19 word it starts with is "Napad," attack. Could you please read it out.
20 A. Oh, I didn't realise that this was the second paragraph.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please read it out.
22 A. "The attack will be carried out by three detachments. The first
23 echelon will consist of the 2nd Detachment of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th
24 Muslim Brigade with GG." I can't remember what "GG" stands for. "GD
25 Planina on the first axis and the 2nd Detachment of the 2nd Battalion of
1 the 7th Muslim Brigade on the auxiliary axis."
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So my question in
3 fact concerns the part that refers to GG Planina. According to the
4 English translation that I have, the 2nd Detachment of the 2nd Battalion
5 of the 7th Muslim Brigade together with Planina, or mountain, GG, and then
6 it says Guca Gora. In military terms, what does "Planina" mean? What
7 does "Planina" mean in military terms?
8 A. It's probably one of the groups. Because you can see here that
9 it wasn't battalions that were attacking. A battalion is lower than a
10 brigade. Within the battalions, temporary groups were formed for this
11 activity. Detachments, detachment -- a detachment does not exist in terms
12 of establishment. There is a brigade, and the next lowest unit is a
13 battalion, and then comes a company and then comes a platoon. There are
14 no detachments. But for this activity probably smaller groups
15 participated. A detachment is therefore part of a battalion. And "GG"
16 can mean -- it can refer to some group, a name -- the "Planina," which
17 means "mountain"," because when you're using means of communication and
18 secret signals, instead of a name like "Mirso," for example, you use a
19 number, in case the line is being intercepted. So "Planina," which means
20 mountains, is probably the name of a group. Guca Gora is far away from
21 us, so it can't be that.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are telling us that
23 "Planina" is the name of a group, but there's nothing else you can say.
24 Very well.
25 A. I'm convinced that's it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Any semantic issues you would
2 like to raise?
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I just wanted
4 to say that Guca Gora was something added by the interpreters with a
5 question mark. It's not something contained in the document itself, but
6 it's something suggested by the translation service.
7 Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We should take note
9 of the fact that Guca Gora in the English translation is perhaps an
10 interpretation of the letters "GG," but the witness had another
12 What would you say about the meaning of the letters "GG"?
13 A. "GG" might refer to "group." Various names were given. It could
14 be a -- an upper group, a group for chasing. I don't know. There are
15 various possibilities. And after all this time, I really can't recall.
16 But I'm convinced it refers to a group, because there were various groups
17 being used at the time.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for
19 having provided that answer.
20 The other Judges have no questions for you.
21 Mr. Mundis, do you have any additional questions that relate to
22 the questions that I have just put?
23 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has just a few questions that relate
24 to questions that Your Honour has put to the witness.
25 Further cross-examination by Mr. Mundis:
1 Q. Sir, I suggest to you that the initial "GG" in the document we
2 were just looking at refer to "guerilla group."
3 A. That's what you say. I would not agree with that.
4 Q. Sir, were you familiar with a guerilla group that was named
5 Planina Suma, or did you ever hear of a guerilla group Planina Suma?
6 A. No. I've never heard of it. I'm hearing about it for the first
7 time now, from you.
8 Q. Sir, can you tell us the approximate date that you became the
9 commander of the 330th Light Brigade with headquarters in the area of
11 A. Yes, I can recall that because it was a significant day in my
12 life; the 24th of December, 1993.
13 Q. Let me ask you, sir, if you were aware or if you had any
14 knowledge about training of guerilla groups in the area of Bistricak in
15 the spring or late -- let me put it this way, in February 1993.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is not
17 connected with the questions put by Your Honour or with the indictment.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Mundis, that has
19 nothing to do with the questions I put to him. I didn't ask him if there
20 were any guerilla groups in Bistricak. Why do you want to ask the witness
21 this question?
22 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, Prosecution Exhibit P724 makes a
23 reference to guerilla group Planina Suma being trained in the area of
24 Bistricak in February 1993.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't up there at that time.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, he wasn't there, because
2 he assumed his duties in December, on the 24th of December.
3 MR. MUNDIS: With all due respect, Mr. President, the question
4 was simply whether he was aware of that going on in February 1993. It was
5 simply whether he had any awareness or any knowledge of, in light of his
6 position within the Zenica Municipal Staff, about training of a guerilla
7 group with the name Planina Suma, as reflected in Prosecution Exhibit 724.
8 That's simply the extent of the question and as far as we would be
9 prepared to go.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have already
11 answered the question, but --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time I've heard
13 this, now, from the prosecutor, this term Suma Planina or whatever it is.
14 The first time.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution would like to
16 know whether in February 1993 in Zenica, when you were the Chief of Staff,
17 did you at that point in time hear about any guerilla groups or a guerilla
18 group in Bistricak.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, Mr. President.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Finally, if the witness still has the binder
21 prepared by the Defence.
22 Q. If you could look, sir, at the last document, that is, 786. My
23 only question, sir, is: This map, which -- the map which you earlier drew
24 the locations of the HVO unit around Zenica, His Honour the
25 Presiding Judge asked you about the time period in which these units were
1 in the locations as depicted on the map. And my question, sir, is whether
2 or not the document numbered "786" was the basis for you making the
3 markings on the map.
4 A. Sir, as I told you previously, the HVO was playing a double role
5 in Zenica. It was talking to us nicely, while at the same time they were
6 taking up certain positions. Of course, we had information about this
7 from the ground. We knew what they were doing, and we knew the
8 approximate location of their commands in this location, as I indicated on
9 the map. But this document is something I saw here. And on the basis of
10 this document, I marked the position approximately. It's not entirely
11 precise, but it's thereabouts.
12 Q. And, sir, it's -- it's difficult to tell from the photocopy, at
13 least the one that we have, but I'm wondering if the copy that you have,
14 the date of that document is legible.
15 A. Time, 12.00. Date, it seems to me to be dated in March 1993.
16 Q. Thank you, sir.
17 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Defence
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
21 have no questions, but for the sake of the record, my learned friend
22 mentioned document 5724, but it mentions neither guerillas nor Planina nor
23 Suma, simply for the sake of the record.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 And the other Defence team?
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would ask that
2 this map be shown to the witness. It's Brajkovici, Z5, Zenica/1 and 2, 3,
3 scale 25.000, because I wish to put a question to the witness.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please put it on the ELMO.
5 Everyone will then be able to see it.
6 Further re-examination by Ms. Residovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] In connection with Their Honours question about
8 this Planina, or mountain, and the interpretation of the translators as to
9 the meaning of "GG," I would like to -- you to tell me in which area all
10 these units of the tactical group were active that were mentioned in the
11 order attack of the 5th of June. Can you show us with the pointer where
12 these units were?
13 A. Do you want the initial deployment or during the 8th of June?
14 Q. During the 8th of June. You said first that Novo Selo was taken.
15 That's what it says in the record. Can you show us where Novo Selo is.
16 A. I'll mark it, if need be.
17 The main forces went from the direction of Crni Vrh and Usice,
18 from this mountain up here. And that's probably where the name, Planina,
19 or mountain, comes from. Usice. And then there's Crni Vrh, which is not
20 on this map. And they moved in this direction. That was the central
21 axis. That's the axis along which they moved.
22 Q. And who --
23 A. The second day -- the second day, at around noon, the line
24 reached by these main forces was on the Cukle -- on the line of Cukle and
25 above Novo Selo. This is the line that they reached.
1 Q. Can you just show us where the most fierce fighting took place on
2 that day. You said around 2000 hours at Vis [as interpreted] and when the
3 flag was taken down at Strmac.
4 A. The auxiliary forces had the task of getting up on this hill
5 called Strmac from the direction of Kljaci and the other direction from
6 Osojnici. These forces did not succeed on that day. They did not achieve
7 the planned task and that's why the main forces were stopped at this line
8 they had achieved because they were under fierce fire from their flanks.
9 This activity had to be strengthened on the axis of the auxiliary forces
10 because the main forces had been halted because there was resistance here
11 and the main forces from their axis had the task of reaching this
12 communication, and the most fierce fighting took place here in the area of
13 Brajkovici and the village of Grahovcici, where there was resistance. And
14 the longest and fiercest resistance was in the village of Vodine [phoen]
15 and Strmac and around the village of Grahovcici.
16 Q. Tell me, please: Did your forces have to go not direction of
17 Guca Gora at all and where would this axis have been on your map?
18 A. By no means. We never even considered it. What was important
19 for us was to take this communication leading from Zenica via Han Bila and
20 Novo Selo to liberate it, because this communication was very important
21 for us, so that we could join up with these forces here and this
22 communication. So the task was for the forces to reach Brajkovici and
23 Grahovcici. And the furthest point was the village of Vrbice, the
24 individuals of Vrbice which they were supposed to reach.
25 Q. So this map does not show parts of the Bijanska [phoen] Valley at
1 all, where Guca Gora is.
2 A. Guca Gora is far away from here.
3 Q. So "GG" in your opinion can be no means refer to Guca Gora, as
4 you've already said.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Very well.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then thank you,
9 sir. This concludes your testimony. We thank you for having answered all
10 the questions put to you and for the indications -- the markings you made
11 on the maps, which I think will be tendered into evidence. We'll deal
12 with that in a minute.
13 I wish you a good trip home and all the best in the position that
14 you hold at the moment in the Ministry of Defence.
15 I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll now turn to the Defence to
18 deal with the documents that you would like to tender. You may proceed.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we wish to tender
20 the documents on the list of documents which are marked under Roman I, ID
21 0409 and the document under number VII, ID0393. As there is no
22 translation into English, for purposes of identification until we get a
23 translation, we ask for numbers to be given to document number 2, 1652;
24 number 3, 1654; tab 4, 1655; tab 8, 1658; tab 9, 1659; tab 11, 1660; tab
25 12, 1662; and tab 22, 1673. We also wish to tender the two maps that the
1 witness has marked and signed as Defence exhibits.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, the two maps that
3 we have documents 1 and 7, and we have been asked to give definite numbers
4 for these documents; and then we have documents 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, and
5 22 that should be marked for identification as we don't have the
6 translations of these documents. What is your position?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we have no objection to the documents
8 going into evidence. There does seem to be a discrepancy, at least in the
9 English transcript, between which precise documents they're asking to be
10 marked for identification at this point in time. Perhaps if we could just
11 get that clarified. It's 2, 3, 4, 8 -- or 5? 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, and
12 22. We have no objection to those documents being marked for
13 identification, nor to the other documents for which there is an English
14 translation being admitted into evidence, as well as the two maps being
15 admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Registrar, you may
17 take the floor to deal with this task.
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We'll
19 start with the maps. The first map shall be admitted; DH1991 will be the
20 number. The scale of the map is 1 to 50.000. And "Zenica" can be seen at
21 the bottom to the left.
22 The second map will be admitted into evidence as DH1992. The
23 scale of this map is 1 to 25.000. And we can see the name "Dusina" to the
24 left at the bottom of the map.
25 As far as the documents are concerned, the first document will be
1 admitted into evidence. It used to be marked for identification, and the
2 number is DH409. The English version will be DH409/E.
3 The second document which will be admitted into evidence as an
4 exhibit is DH393, formerly marked for identification. Its English version
5 will be DH0393/E [as interpreted].
6 As far as the documents that will be marked for identification
7 alone, the first one is DH1652. Then we have DH1654, DH1656, DH1658,
8 DH1659, DH1660, DH1662, and finally DH1673. And that concludes the list.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Last Friday there was a DH document -- a Defence document, 1423,
11 which was characterised as propaganda, dated the 1st of September, 1993.
12 The Prosecution objected to admitting this document into evidence. After
13 having deliberated, the Trial Chamber will admit this document into
15 Mr. Registrar, document 1423 will be admitted into evidence. You
16 may take the floor to confirm the fact.
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] I hereby confirm that DH1423 will
18 be admitted into evidence and the English version will be DH1424/E.
19 Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Before we adjourn, I'd like to inform the parties that on Friday,
22 the 11th of February, we will not be sitting, as the Judges have a Plenary
23 Session. So on the 11th of February, 2005 there will be no hearing. The
24 Judges will be meeting as of 9.30 and the meeting will probably go on
25 throughout the day. As a result, there will be no hearing.
1 What is the schedule for tomorrow? I will give the floor to the
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as we have already
4 said, tomorrow we have a witness who is already here in The Hague. This
5 is witness Serif Kadric. And he is the only witness for that day.
6 On the following days, we have three more witnesses for two days
7 because we estimate that their testimony will not be long, and we feel
8 they can all be completed in two days.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
10 MR. DIXON: Sorry, Your Honour, could I --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will see everyone tomorrow at
12 nine o'clock --
13 Yes, Mr. Dixon.
14 MR. DIXON: I know we're after 7.00, but I wondered if I could
15 just bring us back to where we started today on this translation issue
17 I have now located the page where the witness who looked at the
18 document testified about what was written in the document. It's page
19 14034 of the transcript of February -- of, sorry, Wednesday, 12 January
21 Your Honours, I would request, with Your Honours' leave, that
22 this document be provided to the Translation Unit by Mr. Registrar when he
23 conveys the -- the new request to them to look at the matter. The reason
24 being is that at the top of the page, when Mr. Ibrisimovic asked the
25 witness about this document and he read out the section that has been
1 focussed on in the Bosnian language - he read it from the original - and
2 it was translated by the translation booths around us, and I quote from
3 the page, as the Arabs - and the quote starts - "remained behind the 7th
4 Muslim Brigade which has left the territory." So it was translated in
5 court on the day as "remained behind" and not "were left behind" by the
6 7th Brigade. And I would request that that be conveyed to the Translation
7 Unit, as it may be helpful to them in resolving this issue.
8 Your Honours, on the rest of the page, the witness describes
9 what -- what he intended when he wrote the document, but of course the
10 translators have to look at what is -- is in the written document. And we
11 would request that that be taken into account and that once we get the
12 report from the Translation Unit, we can take the matter further from
13 there, if necessary.
14 Thank you for the -- the time over the time, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Mundis, as far
16 as this issue is concerned, you've heard what Mr. Dixon has just said. He
17 would like CLSS to have the entire document.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we would actually oppose that. We --
19 we have no objection to CLSS undertaking a re-look at the document, nor do
20 we have any objection to CLSS listening again to the tapes of what the
21 witness said and determining precisely what the witness said to determine
22 if in fact the transcript accurately capture what is the witness said, but
23 we don't believe, if -- if we're looking at -- to see what the document
24 says, that should be independent of what the witness says the document
25 says, in our respectful views. We have, again, no objection to both the
1 tapes of the witness's testimony and the transcripts being looked at, nor
2 do we have an objection to the document being re-looked at, but we don't
3 believe that it would be appropriate for the person who is reviewing the
4 document to have recourse to what the witness says about the document. We
5 believe that the two pieces of evidence in fact need to be looked at
6 separately, in terms of the -- the language used in the document and the
7 language used by the witness in describing what's contained in the
9 MR. DIXON: Your Honour --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute I'll give you the
11 floor in a minute.
12 If I have understood the Prosecution's position correctly - but
13 it's becoming increasingly complex - the Prosecution is saying that they
14 don't object as a rule to having CLSS re-examining the text, the document,
15 but the Prosecution would like those who do the work to do it without
16 listening to the sound recording. It's necessary to disassociate these
17 two elements. Is that what you are saying, Mr. Mundis? Are you saying
18 that the translation service should have a look at the document but listen
19 to the sound recording at the same time? What is it that you are trying
20 to say exactly?
21 MR. MUNDIS: No, Mr. President. What we're saying is there's a
22 document which CLSS has looked at and which the Defence would now like
23 CLSS to look at again. We have no objection to CLSS looking at the
24 document again, nor do we have an objection to CLSS listening to the tape
25 of what the witness testified about last Wednesday and verifying if the
1 transcript accurately captures what the witness said. What we do have an
2 objection to is CLSS -- is in effect those two things being done
3 simultaneously by the same person for the simple reason that when the
4 witness was questioned about it, the phrasing of the question may have
5 influenced what the witness said the document said.
6 In other words, the two things need to be looked at
7 independently. Let's get the document reviewed again, and let's have CLSS
8 listen to the tape of what the witness actually said and make sure the
9 transcript is accurate, but we don't believe it's the role of CLSS to be
10 engaged in an -- in an exercise of interpreting what the witness says the
11 document says, and then somehow revising the written document's
12 translation to reflect what a witness said in court. Mr. President,
13 that's the role of the Chamber in the event there's a discrepancy between
14 what the witness says the document says and what the document as written
15 in 1993 actually says. So we have no objection to trying to determine
16 precisely what those two pieces of evidence say. What we do object to is
17 someone in CLSS sitting down listening to the tape and then revising a
18 written translation of a document based on what a witness testified about
19 here in the courtroom.
20 Those are two separate issues, as far as we're concerned, and it's
21 for the Trial Chamber to determine what the document actually means, in
22 terms of what the witness says it means and in terms of the written
23 document. But the translation and interpretation issues should be kept
24 separate, in our respectful submission.
25 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, to be brief, I wholly agree with my
1 learned friend. What the witness said about what he intended the document
2 to mean is evidence, and Your Honours can assess whether that evidence is
3 probative or not.
4 What we are here concerned about with is exactly what is written
5 in the original written document. The reason why I wanted this page
6 referred to the Translation Unit is that Mr. Ibrisimovic read out the
7 Bosnian document, and somebody in the witness booth interpreted it as it
8 was read out to be "remained behind the 7th Brigade." In other words, did
9 not say "was left there by the 7th brigade." So we have one translator
10 spontaneously translating it already. And that might be a helpful
11 interpretation for the CLSS to take into account when they look at what
12 the meaning is now.
13 It was on the basis of -- of that translation in court by a
14 translator that Mr. Ibrisimovic then explained that the Bosnian document,
15 the way it is translated, on the written translation is incorrect, and
16 that's why it was then referred to the Translation Unit.
17 So I'm simply asking that that page be given to the Translation
18 Unit because there is one spontaneous translation there already. It might
19 help them in resolving this issue.
20 Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Dixon has drawn our
22 attention to a fundamental issue. When the question was put in B/C/S by
23 his colleague, it was interpreted into English. And we should at least
24 know whether the interpretation does in fact correspond precisely to the
25 question and the answer. So CLSS should also listen to the question put
1 by Defence, to the interpretation into English, to the answer.
2 So when I said that this was a complicated issue, I would in fact
3 add that it is extremely complicated. Since it is so complicated, CLSS
4 and all the relevant material, the question put by Defence counsel, the
5 interpretation of the question into English, the response provided in
6 B/C/S by the witness, the interpretation of the response provided by the
7 witness, and the comparison of all these various elements, with the
8 document, all of these elements should be examined and then we will be
9 able to have a more precise idea of this complicated matter.
10 This took 15 minutes of our time, and it might take up a few
11 hours in the future, but let's hope that CLSS does what is necessary.
12 As I was saying, we will resume our work tomorrow at 9.00.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.13 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of
15 January 2005, at 9.00 a.m.