Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 15949

1 Monday, 14 February 2005

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you please

6 call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Case number

8 IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apparently our screens are

10 empty. We have nothing on our screens. Oh, it's better now. It's fine

11 now.

12 Can we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.

13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,

14 Your Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the

15 Prosecution, Stefan Waespi and Daryl Mundis, assisted by our case manager,

16 Andres Vatter.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18 And the appearances for the Defence, please.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.

20 Good afternoon, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic,

21 Edina Residovic, counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and

22 Mr. Demirdjian, legal assistant.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team?

24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

25 On behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin

Page 15950

1 Mulalic, legal assistant.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

3 On this Monday, the 14th of February, 2005, 183rd day of

4 hearings, I bid good afternoon to the Prosecution, the Defence, the two

5 accused, as well as all the personnel in this courtroom, be they inside or

6 outside the courtroom.

7 Before beginning hearing the witness, there are several small

8 problems that we need to deal with. First of all, I wish to inform the

9 parties that I was informed by the President of this Tribunal of the

10 possibility that we will have to work on Friday afternoon. As you know,

11 in the interest of good management and to allow both the Prosecution and

12 the Defence to prepare well for the next week of hearings, it was decided

13 up to now that we would not sit on Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

14 However, we know that the Defence needs to meet their witnesses and we

15 know the difficult conditions under which they are working, because you

16 told us quite recently that you would have -- you had to work very late at

17 night and to have documents copied during the night to disclose to the

18 Prosecution, which illustrate the difficulties you are encountering. And

19 to give you the Friday afternoon and the Monday morning time to prepare

20 was, we felt, a good solution, which allowed us to proceed smoothly.

21 However, the President has explained to me that we have three courtrooms

22 and that currently there are three trials on going -- six trials, which

23 means that for this reason we need to sit on Fridays afternoons.

24 Aware of this difficulty, I informed the Registrar; however, they

25 maintain their position, which is that as of the 1st of March, we will

Page 15951

1 have to sit on Friday's afternoon. We take note of this, and if they

2 have -- if anyone has any problems, I advise them to contact the President

3 of the Tribunal or the Registrar. Personally, I feel that to work for

4 five consecutive days is already a heavy burden, particularly as we are

5 sitting without any breaks since December 2003. If this measure can apply

6 to very short trials, in the case of longer trials like this one perhaps

7 it would be appropriate to reduce the number of working days, because, as

8 far as I know, in no country in the world do we have five consecutive

9 sittings, five consecutive days of sitting, for months on end. And if

10 anyone would like to comment on this, I would be glad to give them the

11 floor. That was by way of information for both parties.

12 I also wish to inform the parties about something that we Judges

13 have discussed. In the month of April, there is a holiday, that is,

14 Friday, the 29th of April. Like last year, we will have a break in the

15 month of April, and it will start from Monday, the 25th of April going

16 through until Friday, the 29th. This will certainly be of interest to the

17 Defence of General Kubura because at that time we will be having the

18 Defence witnesses for General Kubura. So I wish to inform them of this so

19 that they can take note of it and act accordingly.

20 I now move on to another subject, but I should like to discuss it

21 in private session.

22 Mr. Registrar, can we go into private session, please.

23 [Private session]

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

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Page 15955

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5 (redacted)

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7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

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13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 [Open session]

16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,

17 Mr. President.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to deal with the

19 question of the documents. And I give the floor to the Defence now.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

21 The Defence proposals -- proposes the following documents, that

22 is, number 3, 1717; number 4, 1724; and number 22, 1775, to be marked for

23 identification as they only exist in B/C/S.

24 We should like to tender as exhibits documents under number 7,

25 1726; number 9, 1727; number 10, 1735; number 11, 1737; number 13, 1742;

Page 15956

1 number 14, 0804; number 17, 0859; number 18, 0874; number 20, 0909. Thank

2 you.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.

4 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no objections, Mr. President.

5 I would ask before the next witness is brought into the courtroom

6 my co-counsel has a few issues he'd like to raise with the Chamber,

7 please.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, will

9 you please do your duty and give us final numbers for these documents to

10 be marked for identification first.

11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The following documents are being

12 marked for identification. I will give the numbers in English to avoid

13 any errors.

14 [In English] DH177 [sic], marked for identification; DH1724,

15 marked for identification --

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop for a moment. There's a

17 mistake. At the outset. Line 15, it's -- it's not 177. It's 1717.

18 Continue, please.

19 THE REGISTRAR: The next document is DH1726, English version

20 DH1726/E.

21 DH1727, its English translation DH1727/E.

22 The Registry notes that DH1735 is already an exhibit.

23 DH1737 with its English translation, DH1737/E.

24 1742, DH1742, with its English translation, DH1742/E.

25 DH804, its English translation, DH804/E.

Page 15957

1 DH1 -- sorry, 859, English translation DH859/E.

2 The DH874, its English translation, DH874/E.

3 DH909, with its English translation, DH909/E.

4 Eventually the DH1775, marked for identification only.

5 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

7 I turn to the Prosecution, who would like to take the floor.

8 MR. WAESPI: [Microphone not activated]

9 Good afternoon, Mr. President. There are a few points I would

10 like to raise are the following: The first one, if the Defence, I take

11 it, in closed session or private session could tell us the order of the

12 witnesses -- or rather, the -- I think the last witness on Friday hasn't

13 been yet confirmed or even told the name. And second, also to confirm the

14 witness for Thursday.

15 The other point though, Mr. President, is somewhat related to

16 what you told us about the burden of the Defence to conduct their case, to

17 disclose documents and so on, and so the related burden on the

18 Prosecution. Again, for today's witness we have received only this

19 morning 42 documents and 18 of them have not been translated into English,

20 so are in B/C/S. Something similar occurred last week. I believe it was

21 the BH military attache in the US, Mr. Husic, and there again we had out

22 of 64 documents only 30 -- or 30 were only in B/C/S.

23 And, Your Honours, that's really difficult for us to -- to

24 prepare. Of course, we -- we do have language assistants, but not the

25 same day the witness is -- is coming to testify. If these documents are

Page 15958












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Page 15959

1 disclosed a week before, it's -- it's really easier for us, and not the

2 same day. If it's only about one or two documents the same day or the

3 night before, that's really fine. We can deal with that. But 30 new,

4 untranslated documents, that's -- that's difficult. And we, you know,

5 reserve our right to recall these witnesses once we have received the

6 English translations and assessed that we have to -- to ask a few

7 questions to these witnesses. So we would make an assessment then whether

8 we need to recall these witnesses, and obviously that's a -- a issue about

9 resources and timing, which -- which we don't want to do.

10 But I just wanted -- wanted to inform Your Honours about this

11 point.

12 And just to -- to make it clear, it's about disclosure and -- and

13 translation, and we have absolutely no objections to the Defence bringing

14 in new documents. That's their right. We know exactly the way it is.

15 But it's sort of the untimely disclosure of untranslated documents in this

16 case.

17 The next point is a little bit related. That's the insufficiency

18 of the 65 ter summaries. We had a number of witnesses who really went

19 beyond these summaries. And again, it's very difficult for us to prepare

20 then these witnesses. You might recall I think last week or the week

21 before a witness -- an international witness talked about a secret source,

22 and I believe in other Trial Chambers the Defence team would inform the

23 Prosecution orally, "This witness has done something -- told us something

24 new," perhaps proofing notes, whatever. But if the Defence could -- could

25 tell us in advance, you know, what's coming, that would be very helpful,

Page 15960

1 if it goes beyond the 65 ter summaries.

2 That's the points I wanted to raise, Mr. President.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall give the floor to the

4 Defence. But before I do that, I should like to make two remarks. This

5 is a repeating problem that we are encountering. So the Prosecution is

6 raising two problems. The first is the summaries of witnesses are highly

7 concise; that is, the list, one can say. And the Prosecution notices that

8 sometimes the Defence addresses points that are not contained in the

9 summaries. And the Prosecution tell us that they are encountering

10 difficulties because they were unable to prepare properly. At this stage,

11 without making any judgement, I would like to say in my own name that the

12 witness summaries were far more detailed when the Prosecution provided

13 those summaries than the Defence summaries, which are highly -- summary,

14 and in those conditions it is very difficult for the Prosecution to

15 prepare. So I am asking you to respond regarding this matter, which is

16 not being raised for the first time. If I were to review the transcripts,

17 it is at least the fifth time that the Prosecution is raising this

18 problem.

19 The second problem which the Defence will certainly clarify for

20 us, and it follows on to what has just been said, that this -- the time

21 needed to prepare for witnesses, that this morning they received dozens of

22 documents, a large portion of which have not been translated, which means

23 that the Prosecution, in spite of the vast resources it has at its

24 disposal, cannot prepare properly for the cross-examination because the

25 documents are in B/C/S, and this is a true problem.

Page 15961

1 The Chamber through me would like to know why the Defence did not

2 consider it useful to have those documents translated before, or maybe

3 they found those documents at the last moment, which could be an

4 explanation, or you certainly must have encountered difficulties and could

5 you let us know what those were. In view of the fact that the Prosecution

6 has raised a certain number of problems and it is your duty to respond, I

7 give the floor - I don't know whom - to Mr. Bourgon. Very well.

8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good

9 afternoon, Your Honours.

10 Mr. President, I will respond to the points raised by my learned

11 friend from the Prosecution and in the same order in which he raised them.

12 First of all, my learned friend from the Prosecution spoke about

13 the witness of last Friday. Last Friday's witness I discussed with one of

14 the officials from the Prosecution to explain that this witness is a

15 witness who was substituted for another witness who could not come. I

16 myself didn't have the name of this witness. He was a technical witness

17 who will come to speak about distances and what one could see with

18 binoculars. And I informed my colleague of this, saying that as soon as I

19 have the name of this witness, I will be able to communicate it to him.

20 And I can tell him today the name of that person. The witness who should

21 have testified this week Friday --

22 I think I need to read the name in private session.

23 [Private session]

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 15962











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Page 15975

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15 [Open session]

16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,

17 Mr. President.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session, I would like

19 to ask you to stand up, because you have to take the solemn declaration.

20 Can you please give me your first name, your last name, the date

21 of birth, and the place of birth.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Mladen Veseljak. I was

23 born on 28 May 1952 in Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current

25 profession?

Page 15976

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am an attorney-at-law.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you a member of any bar or

3 associations?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a member of the Regional Bar

5 of Zenica in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, were you

7 employed? Did you work? Where did you work?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I worked in 1992. Up to 12

9 October, I worked as the director of personnel department in an export

10 company, and after that I was a judge of the military district court in

11 Zenica.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already

13 testified before an international tribunal or a national court about the

14 developments that took place in your country in 1992 and 1993?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have testified before this

16 Tribunal, and if my memory serves me well, it was in 1998, at the

17 beginning of that year, in the Blaskic case, and I was a Prosecution

18 witness.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

20 Can you please read the text of the solemn declaration.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I do it like this?

22 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

23 and nothing but the truth.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

Page 15977


2 [Witness answered through interpreter]

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the

4 Defence lawyers, I would like to provide you with some information about

5 your testimony. However, as a former judge and as an attorney-at-law, I'm

6 sure that you understand the procedure very well.

7 You're here to answer questions put to you by the Defence team of

8 the General -- of General Hadzihasanovic, whom you have already met in

9 preparation of your testimony. They have informed us that they will need

10 about an hour and a half for their examination-in-chief.

11 After that, the Defence team of General Kubura, who are seated on

12 my right, will also be given the floor to put some questions to you if

13 they so wish.

14 We are here practicing the kind of procedure which is a

15 combination of the common law and German law, but let me tell you that the

16 questions put to you by the Defence should not be leading, should be

17 neutral in their nature. If they put to you a question that might appear

18 leading, the Prosecution will certainly object.

19 After the examination-in-chief, the representatives of the

20 Prosecution, seated on your right, will have the right to cross-examine

21 you; however, their questions may be leading. They may be formulated in

22 such a way that sometimes it will suffice for you to answer either

23 by "yes" or "no." They are allowed to put such questions to you.

24 At the end of that stage, the Defence may have some additional

25 questions for you that will be linked with the questions put to you during

Page 15978












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Page 15979

1 the cross-examination. The Defence will certainly have some documents to

2 show you. They will ask you whether you are familiar with these

3 documents, whether you know something about them, and so on and so forth.

4 The three Judges, who are in front of you, can ask you questions

5 at any moment; however, for the convenience sake and to allow the Defence

6 to evaluate the entirety of your testimony, the Judges prefer to wait

7 until the end to put their questions to you. Whenever the Judges ask you

8 questions, this is with the sole goal in mind, and that is to search for

9 the truth. That is why we will ask you questions either to clarify some

10 of the answers that you provided to the questions put to you by the two

11 sides or if the Judges deem that none of the parties has asked you some

12 important questions that are important and that will help the Judges to

13 arrive at the truth.

14 At the end of that stage, after the Judges' questions, both the

15 Defence and the Prosecution will have the right to ask you questions

16 arising from the Judges' questions.

17 If at any moment a question appears too complicated to you, you

18 have the right to ask the person putting it to you to rephrase it;

19 however, since you yourself are an attorney-at-law, I believe that you

20 will not have any problems with any of the questions.

21 I have to remind you of two other things that appear in our Rules

22 of Procedure, and I'm doing this just to remind you of them, although we

23 have never been in the position to apply those Rules. You have taken the

24 solemn declaration, which means that you are not to -- to give us false

25 testimony. And the second technical question is that when a question is

Page 15980

1 put to the witness, the witness may refuse to answer that question if he

2 believes that the answer may one day be used against him or incriminate

3 him. And in that case, a very exceptional case that we have not seen so

4 far, in this very hypothetical case the Chamber may compel the witness to

5 answer such questions; however, the Chamber will guarantee the witness

6 immunity. And this is in very general outlines how your testimony is

7 going to proceed.

8 If at any moment you encounter a difficult in your testimony, you

9 can always ask for our help. For example, if your health does not allow

10 for the correct answer or if you're tired.

11 Let me just tell you one more thing for technical reasons and to

12 allow you to take a short rest, we will have a break every hour and a

13 half. Since we started at quarter past 2.00, we will have our first break

14 at quarter to 4.00 for 20 minutes and then we will proceed.

15 If everything goes well, which I fully believe that it will, your

16 testimony should end today.

17 I'm now going to give the floor to the Defence, who are going to

18 start their examination-in-chief.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

20 Examined by Ms. Residovic:

21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Veseljak.

22 A. Good afternoon.

23 Q. You said that by occupation you are an attorney-at-law. Will you

24 tell us your educational background.

25 A. I graduated at the Faculty of Law at the university in Sarajevo

Page 15981

1 in 1976. After that, I took all the other examinations prescribed by our

2 legal system to be able to act as an attorney, so I took the judicial

3 examination and later the exam for attorneys-at-law.

4 Q. Tell us, for how many years were you a judge?

5 A. Just under 12 years.

6 Q. What cases did you deal with as a judge?

7 A. Always criminal cases.

8 Q. Colleague, I would now like to make an observation that I omitted

9 to do at the beginning. As what we are saying needs to be interpreted for

10 Their Honours to be able to follow, would you please wait a few seconds

11 for my question to be translated before answering it.

12 Tell me, please, what was the ethnic composition of the district

13 military court in Zenica?

14 A. It was Bosnian, which means there were Bosniak, Croats, and I was

15 a Serb. Among the judges, of course. Roughly the composition

16 reflected -- among the judges, reflected the same composition as the rest

17 of the staff.

18 Q. In those days, was there any inequality or any discrimination

19 towards colleagues with different ethnic backgrounds?

20 A. Definitely not.

21 Q. Tell me now, Mr. Veseljak: Your district military court in

22 Zenica in those days, was it part of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina or

23 part of the 3rd Corps?

24 A. It was not then nor ever.

25 [Defence counsel confer]

Page 15982

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. My colleague tells

2 me that in French "district military court" was translated as "a cantonal

3 court." I think the word should be "district" because cantonal courts

4 were established after the war only, so I think it is advisable to have

5 the same term used in both languages. And I apologise.

6 Q. In view of the fact that you did not belong to the army nor were

7 you under its wing, what kind of relationships existed between the

8 district military court and the 3rd Corps of the BH army or any other

9 military units of the BH army in those days?

10 A. Professional relationships only; that is to say, certain elements

11 of the BH army or the corps. And I am referring to the Security Services,

12 the military police. They serviced or carried out the instructions of the

13 court.

14 Q. Tell me, colleague, did the 3rd Corps manifest its interest in

15 maintaining good cooperation with the district military court and were

16 there any pressures to that effect or were those relationships based on

17 the law and the position of the court?

18 A. Naturally the corps did have an interest in the proper

19 functioning of the district military court, which I thought then and still

20 think was only normal. There were literally no pressures, not even

21 suggestions, on the part of the corps command as to how we should work or

22 what we should do. If I may say this in this courtroom, I remember an

23 event or a meeting, a courtesy meeting -- actually, that was the only

24 occasion when I actually saw the gentleman who is on trial here today,

25 Mr. Hadzihasanovic. It took place shortly after the formation of the corps

Page 15983

1 when all of us judges of the district military courts and the military

2 prosecutor and his deputies were invited to meet Mr. Hadzihasanovic. This

3 was the only direct contact we had. And as it was the only one, I

4 remember it well.

5 Mr. Hadzihasanovic said first that he apologised for not coming

6 to see us but, rather, invited us to come and see him because he had so

7 much to do that he couldn't leave his command. He wanted to meet us, and

8 he wanted to ask us to do our utmost to speed up our criminal proceedings

9 as much as possible because that was in the interests of all of us and our

10 goal, which was to defend us and form a state.

11 Q. Mr. Veseljak, tell me, please: On what bases did the judges of

12 the district military court operate?

13 A. On the basis of the Law on Criminal Procedure taken over from the

14 former SFRY and on the basis of certain amendments made to it through

15 decrees with the effect of law in amending that Law on Criminal Procedure.

16 So the same laws were applied as were used by all the other courts in

17 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

18 Q. Who decided on appeal in relation to your rulings?

19 A. Two courts of a higher level. As a district military court, we

20 were responsible for all criminal acts committed by military personnel.

21 Sometimes we judged individually. In some cases there were one or -- were

22 several judges, and in the most -- in the gravest cases, there were three

23 judges.

24 In the first case, the appeals court in Zenica was responsible

25 for appeals against our rulings when we ruled individually.

Page 15984

1 Q. In addition to district military courts in the judicial system of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, were there any other judicial bodies?

3 A. There were courts that we called regular courts. Now they're

4 known as municipal courts. Earlier they were known as basic courts,

5 higher courts, and the supreme court.

6 Q. What was the difference between basic and higher courts as

7 regular courts?

8 A. Only in terms of the level of competencies. If we're talking

9 about crimes, then basic courts would try crimes envisaging sentences up

10 to ten years, and higher courts covered crimes for which sentences were

11 envisaged above ten years.

12 Q. Can you remember and tell us how many regular courts there were

13 in the territory covered by the 3rd Corps?

14 A. Actually, I'm not quite certain regarding the territory covered

15 by the 3rd Corps, but I think there was the higher court in Zenica in that

16 area, the municipal court in Zenica, the municipal court in Travnik, the

17 municipal court in Kakanj, I think in Zavidovici, I think even in Maglaj.

18 There were five or six. There may even have been up to eight municipal

19 courts and one higher court.

20 Q. What persons were tried by regular courts in criminal cases?

21 A. Civilians, and some military persons if they were co-perpetrators

22 in crimes.

23 Q. A moment ago you said that district military courts tried

24 military personnel. Tell me first how many district military courts there

25 were in the area of Central Bosnia, that is, the area of the 3rd Corps.

Page 15985

1 A. There were two; one in Zenica and one in Travnik.

2 Q. What acts were they responsible for?

3 A. They were responsible for all criminal acts committed by military

4 personnel. As for civilians, a certain number of criminal offences,

5 mostly covered by two chapters of the Criminal Code. There were -- one

6 set were crimes against the social order, and the other set were crimes

7 against the armed forces. Should there be dispute over competencies, if a

8 civilian was to be tried simultaneously for a criminal offence within the

9 competence of the district military court and another offence within the

10 competence of the civilian court, in that case both -- the person would be

11 tried for both offences in the military court.

12 Q. I'm informed by my colleague that the answer you gave may be not

13 quite precise, on page 33, line 16, so I'll ask you the question once

14 again. Will you tell me, please, what persons were regular courts -- had

15 jurisdiction over?

16 A. Over civilians and also military personnel if they were

17 co-perpetrators with civilians.

18 Q. Thank you. A moment ago you said that you tried in accordance

19 with the procedure laid down by the Law on Criminal Procedure taken over

20 from the former SFRY and applied as the republican law. Tell me whether

21 the criminal proceedings in regular courts were conducted in accordance

22 with the same law or in some different manner in those courts.

23 A. There was no difference. We were guided by the same law.

24 Q. In addition to responsibility of persons for acts committed

25 within our system and pursuant to the law, were there any other bodies

Page 15986

1 which would decide about the responsibility of individuals?

2 A. Yes, there were. There were bodies that established and ruled

3 certain disciplinary measures for disciplinary offences. Then there were

4 two-level courts for misdemeanours, and in establishing responsibility and

5 sanctioning those offences, there's what is known as the judicial

6 protection. This is an extraordinary remedy. And only beyond that were

7 there courses -- courts that tried criminal offences as laid down by the

8 Criminal Code.

9 Q. You just said that there were -- there was judicial control of

10 decisions made by magistrate courts. That is why I am asking you,

11 Mr. Veseljak, whether those magistrate courts and those disciplinary

12 bodies were a component part of the judicial system or were they a

13 component part of some other state structure.

14 A. I may not have quite understood your question initially.

15 Disciplinary bodies and the system of magistrate courts were never part of

16 the judicial system, and they are not today. Magistrate courts are

17 administrative bodies, and disciplinary bodies are located within other

18 bodies and they have legal jurisdiction to sanction certain disciplinary

19 violations or violations of discipline.

20 Q. Tell me, Mr. Veseljak: In the legal system of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina, which was the body that carried out the prosecution?

22 A. The responsible prosecutor exclusively.

23 Q. Before we move on to certain procedural matters, I should just

24 like to ask you one more thing: Do you have any knowledge, awareness of

25 the existence of any other courts that were not part of the judicial

Page 15987

1 system but were within the armed forces?

2 A. I know that there was a decree with the effect of law on

3 so-called special military courts. I knew and still know the gist of that

4 decree. It prescribed the possibility of forming special military courts

5 exclusively to sanction conduct contrary to the interests of the armed

6 forces and only on condition that serious consequences ensued from that

7 act, as the only sanction that those courts could issue was the death

8 penalty. And there was a corrector which said should that court discover

9 the existence of any mitigating circumstances which would not lead to the

10 death penalty, then the proceedings in those courts would be interrupted

11 and the case diverted to regular military courts. I know that in several

12 military units such courts were formed, but I am not aware of them ever

13 adopting any such decision.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As I will be using some documents

15 with this witness and it is now time for the break, perhaps it would be a

16 good idea to distribute this set of documents so the witness could have a

17 look at the documents to be able to answer my questions more easily. And

18 let me just say that this is the same set of documents that will be used

19 for the witness that appear -- will appear after this witness.

20 So could this binder be given to Their Honours.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, will you please

22 distribute the documents.

23 It is quarter to 4.00. We shall now have the break for 20 to 25

24 minutes. The witness will be able to rest and also consult the binder.

25 So we will resume at ten past 4.00.

Page 15988












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 15989

1 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

2 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the

4 Defence, I'll wait for the accused to arrive.

5 Before I give you the floor, with regard to the translation

6 issue, the Chamber has raised two issues: First of all the issue of

7 documents which are in B/C/S, in the binder you provided, and the

8 Prosecution has not had access to these documents. We believe that at

9 this moment the Prosecution is entitled to request additional time at the

10 end of the examination-in-chief in order to look for the documents that

11 have been provided. As a result of that, the witness may be requested to

12 come back later. It is up to the Prosecution.

13 What does the Prosecution have to say? Do you believe that after

14 the examination-in-chief you will be able to conduct your

15 cross-examination, or would you rather conduct your cross-examination on a

16 different occasion, which would require from the witness to come back to

17 The Hague later? Mr. Waespi.

18 MR. WAESPI: Well, I haven't heard much of the

19 examination-in-chief yet, so I don't know what the witness is going to say

20 about the heart of our case. But anticipating everything I know about the

21 testimony of the witness, I can certainly start and -- and finish

22 cross-examination today. But once we have received translation of these

23 perhaps 30 B/C/S documents, then we need to reassess. That's perhaps in a

24 week or two weeks. I don't know whether, you know, we need to recall

25 the -- the judge and ask additional questions, but we simply can't say at

Page 15990

1 this point.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall wait

3 for the end of the examination-in-chief and then you will advise us as to

4 what you wish to do.

5 As regards the other matter, we can discuss it in the presence of

6 the witness because there is nothing to hide there. We believe that the

7 fact has been mentioned that we have 300 documents that haven't been

8 translated yet, and the Prosecution doesn't have these documents. And

9 taking into account the fact that the Registry will be able to provide us

10 with a translation of these documents by 28 February, we believe that we

11 will be able to have a break next week while the documents are being

12 translated.

13 I'm going to ask the registrar to confirm to us whether all of

14 the documents will indeed be provided to the Prosecution in English and to

15 the Defence in the two languages by the 28th of February, that is, next

16 week. So shall we wait for all of us to have all the documents and to

17 have a break in the proceedings, as suggested by Mr. Bourgon. You can

18 inform us about that later.

19 We shall now continue with the examination-in-chief of the

20 witness.

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

22 Q. Mr. Veseljak, before the break, I asked you who was the

23 authorised Prosecution body. And as far as I could understand you, you

24 said that it was the prosecutor. Is that the case?

25 A. Yes, it is.

Page 15991

1 Q. Thank you. What was the document or the piece of regulation in

2 keeping with our Rules of Criminal Procedure served to start this criminal

3 proceedings or prosecution?

4 A. It started with the request to instigate investigation or

5 proposal for prosecution where there was no need for the investigation to

6 be carried out. Where investigation was not provided for by the law as is

7 stated in the criminal proceedings.

8 A. Before the criminal proceedings were instituted, which body was

9 in charge of the pre-prosecution proceedings and which body decided

10 whether the collective material gives enough reason to support -- suspect

11 that a crime has been committed and that criminal procedures should be

12 started?

13 A. It was always the prosecutor.

14 Q. When this decision was made by the prosecutor --

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The answer was not heard by the

16 French interpreter. Can you please ask the witness to repeat the answer.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Veseljak, before the beginning of criminal proceedings, what

19 body in keeping with the law on criminal procedure was authorised to

20 manage the pre-trial procedure and to decide whether the collected

21 evidence gives ample grounds to start criminal proceedings?

22 A. It was always the prosecutor.

23 Q. Mr. Veseljak, once the prosecutor reached the decision that there

24 is enough grounds to start criminal proceedings, did a military body, a

25 court, or the police have a say in that decision or could they influence

Page 15992

1 that decision?

2 A. Nobody could have an impact on the prosecutor's decision of that

3 kind.

4 Q. Mr. Veseljak, can you tell us, please, what authorities did the

5 prosecutor have at the moment when he learnt that there were grounds to

6 suspect that a crime had been committed or when he received a criminal

7 report? What is it that the prosecutor could do? What tools were

8 available to him?

9 A. The prosecutor could accept this criminal report and file a

10 request with the court to start criminal proceedings. He could decide

11 that there were no grounds for further criminal proceedings. And he could

12 reject such a criminal report. He -- in addition to that, he could

13 request from the police and even from the investigative judge of the

14 competent court to carry out certain pre-trial investigation actions in

15 order for him to be able to arrive at the previously mentioned decisions.

16 Q. In keeping with our law, who was it who carried out

17 investigations?

18 A. Investigations were carried out by the investigative judges of

19 the competent court.

20 Q. Was the investigative judge in the position to decide on the

21 proceedings, or in other words, what did the investigative judge do once

22 the investigation was completed?

23 A. If I understood your question well, I believe that it consists of

24 two parts. That's why I'm going to give you two answers. When the judge

25 received the request to start proceedings, an investigation, the judge

Page 15993

1 would evaluate this request and drafted an appropriate document by which

2 he either allowed for the investigation to be carried out or rejecting

3 such a request. In both cases the competent prosecutor's office had the

4 right to appeal against such a decision and the final decision upon the

5 appeal would be taken by the panel of judges of the competent court.

6 Q. And now I would kindly ask you --

7 A. After the end of the investigation.

8 Q. Yes, this was the second part of the question. I forgot.

9 A. After the end of the investigation, the investigative judge

10 informed the competent prosecutor that the investigation was completed,

11 and he forwarded to him the set of documents that resulted from the

12 investigation.

13 Q. Mr. Veseljak, what is -- what kind of decision could be taken by

14 the prosecutor once the investigation was completed and he was provided

15 with the documents by the investigative judge?

16 A. He could have taken three decisions. The first one would be to

17 ask for additional investigation if he deemed that the investigation was

18 not complete. Secondly, if he thought that the investigation was

19 complete, he could take either of the two following decisions: Either to

20 issue an indictment, or to halt any further proceedings, to suspend any

21 further proceedings.

22 Q. Mr. Veseljak, since you were a judge for a number of years, could

23 you tell us whether there were situations, and if so, can you describe

24 those situations to us, when judges became involved in certain

25 investigations or although criminal proceedings had not been formally

Page 15994

1 instigated.

2 A. Yes, there was such situations. And I can say that those

3 situations were not uncommon. A common situation would be for an

4 investigative judge to carry out certain activities before the criminal

5 proceedings in the form of an on-site investigation, once he was informed

6 that something had taken place which could later on be interpreted as a

7 crime.

8 The second situation is the situation in which the competent

9 prosecution -- prosecutor could officially ask the competent investigative

10 judge to carry out some preliminary actions that would serve -- that would

11 help the prosecutor to decide whether official criminal proceedings would

12 be started or not.

13 Q. If the judge carries out an on-site investigation upon having

14 been informed that a crime might have been committed, who was it who was

15 in charge of that investigation? Who was the one who decided how this

16 on-site inspection or investigation would be carried out?

17 A. If this stage, the investigative judge is the absolute dominus

18 litis. He is the one who decides what action will be taken and what course

19 the investigation will take.

20 Q. If an on-site investigation carried out by the judge also

21 involves the police bodies, either the civilian or the military police,

22 whose orders should they obey and what actions can they carry out?

23 A. An on-site investigation is carried out by the investigative

24 judge. The investigative judge sets up a team and he requests from the

25 police to place at his disposal certain experts with certain knowledge and

Page 15995

1 certain equipment and then on site everything is carried out according to

2 the judge's orders. During the on-site investigation, nobody can do

3 anything that has not either been requested by the judge or approved by

4 the judge.

5 Q. Mr. Veseljak, when the investigative judge receives all the

6 findings from the bodies from which he requested certain actions during

7 the investigation, what does the judge do with all this material?

8 A. The evidence collected in this way is forwarded by the

9 investigative judge to the competent prosecution, and in practice one copy

10 is also forwarded to the police organs that were involved in the

11 investigation, but this is not binding. It was just a custom. In any

12 case, the answer to your question is that all the evidence is forwarded to

13 the competent prosecutor, and at that moment the investigative judge, in

14 terms of the court administration, concludes his case. He proclaims it

15 completed, and it is filed in the court archives.

16 Q. After this procedural situation in which the investigative judge

17 forwards the complete evidence to the prosecutor who is -- who takes over

18 the management of the proceedings, who is it who decides how all the other

19 involved actors will act? In other words, who decides that the evidence

20 presents enough grounds for criminal proceedings?

21 A. Again, the -- this is completely in the hands of the prosecutor.

22 Q. While the judge is conducting his on-site investigation, who is

23 it who decides whether during the investigation certain professional or

24 forensic activities will be carried out? Who is it who decides on the

25 parts of procedure to be carried out in order to establish who the

Page 15996

1 perpetrators of the possible crime were?

2 A. It is always and exclusively the investigative judge.

3 Q. Before we move on to some other questions that arise from the

4 documents, can you please tell me: When the judge who learns about the

5 event does not have precise information as to where the event happened,

6 who is it who decides whether an investigation will be carried out on site

7 or, in other words, are there any real grounds for on-site inspection to

8 be carried out in such a case?

9 A. It is the investigative judge who decides on that. He will be

10 the one to evaluate whether there are any grounds to conduct an on-site

11 inspection if he learns that the on-site situation has changed, has been

12 altered, that the evidence is no longer present there. So it is the

13 investigative judge who has the right to decide on that. He makes a note

14 of his decision, and this serves to complete this stage.

15 Q. I should now like to ask you, Mr. Veseljak, to have a look at a

16 document which is under number 1, and the number is DH276. Tell me first

17 what kind of a document this is. Are you familiar with it or with the

18 event? And who carried out the on-site investigation?

19 A. I see from the signature that I wrote this document, which is a

20 report on the investigation. Yes, I remember this event too. This was an

21 event which was quite specific. It so happened that I was the on-duty

22 investigating judge of the district military court. I happened to be an

23 eyewitness of the event. And then I also carried out the on-site

24 inspection -- investigation.

25 Q. This example of an on-site investigation report, could you tell

Page 15997

1 us on the basis of it what are the elements that it has to contain and

2 that have to be entered by the judge?

3 A. The on-site investigation report, as can be seen from this

4 document, contains the markings, the number, the name of the court, the

5 title, that it is an on-site investigation report. Then the team of

6 investigators who carried out the actions required during the

7 investigation. The main elements that the judge is -- was aware of before

8 the investigation and during the investigation, certain basic elements

9 about the event, followed by a description of the scene, which, depending

10 on the circumstances, may be more or less detailed; then the eyewitnesses

11 are listed, as well as other persons who might be useful at a later stage

12 as witnesses if proceedings are instituted; and finally, the investigating

13 judge describes the measures he undertook and the instructions he gave

14 during the investigation, documents he signed to the police, forensic

15 experts, and other persons, in the aim of collecting or describing the

16 evidence or traces that may have been found at the scene.

17 Q. Look at this second chapter, "Description of the scene," and in

18 Chapter 5, it says that "The scene was sketched and photographed in detail

19 and that the sketch and photographs will be a component part of this

20 report." Does this statement correspond to what you said a moment ago,

21 that the judge on the scene is duty-bound to wait for the forensic reports

22 which he has required and, once he receives them, he hands everything over

23 to the prosecutor? Does this sentence reflect your testimony about the

24 role of the on-site judge?

25 A. Yes. I apologise. My headphones.

Page 15998












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 15999

1 All the instructions I gave as an investigating judge which could

2 not be completed during the on-site investigation itself, I will wait for

3 those documents, make a collection of those documents, and then forward

4 them to the prosecutor without entering into any analysis of the documents

5 I received. So if I gave instructions for a sketch to be made, then I

6 will attach the sketch made following my instructions by members of the

7 crime technology department of the military or civilian police, depending

8 on the period of time. The same applies to photo documents, traces of

9 blood, forensic reports about firearms, and -- et cetera.

10 Q. Now, look at page 3, paragraph 3 from the bottom, which says:

11 "Taking statements from the perpetrators and witnesses was handed over by

12 the judge to military police organs." Does the on-site judge give

13 instructions to the military police as well as to what they should do?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In connection with the statements taken by the police, be they

16 the military or the civilian police, what is the significance of those

17 statements in the proceedings themselves? Could the judge use those

18 statements as evidence, that is, the trial judge?

19 A. The President and Their Honours will forgive me, but I will tell

20 them what our practice was and how we called these reports. We called

21 them "holy water," which meant that they could do no harm and no good;

22 therefore, statements taken by the police according to the Law on Criminal

23 Procedure could not be used as evidence that could be relied on by the

24 court.

25 If I remember well, Article 79 obliged the investigating judge

Page 16000

1 himself that statements of this kind given to the police should be

2 separated from other documents, that they should be kept separate from

3 other documents. If the investigating judge omits to do this, there was a

4 provision of Rule 323 which obliged the trial chamber to do the same, and

5 in that case the trial chamber was duty-bound to return those separated

6 documents to the investigating judge to keep separately from others, which

7 meant these statements could not physically be part of the file, not to

8 mention that they could not be used at trial. Should it so happen that

9 the trial chamber used any one of these statements and relied on them for

10 their judgement, this would mean an absolute violation of the criminal

11 procedure and the higher level court would annul the decision of the lower

12 court on that basis.

13 Q. Would you please now look at document under tab 2 and tell me

14 whether this report is familiar and who did the investigation in this

15 particular case.

16 A. Yes, I am familiar with this report. I was the one who carried

17 out the on-site investigation in this case. This case was unfortunately

18 the worst case of civilian casualties in the town in which I live.

19 Q. Look at page 2, please, "Steps taken." In paragraph 2 it says

20 that "The duty judge allowed TV crews, Zetel, and BH Television to film

21 the scene." Tell me, apart from actions required --

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation

23 continues] Yes ...

24 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Mr. President, as it happens, this exhibit was

25 discussed by the witness during the -- the Blaskic trial, and it's part of

Page 16001

1 the documents I had prepared for cross-examination, so I do have a English

2 translation, if Your Honours, you know, would like to -- to see the -- it

3 will be ready. It's entirely up to you and, of course, to the Defence.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It was my understanding that

5 the Defence was questioning the witness about document 2, and document 2

6 does have an English translation.

7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Thanks to

8 our colleagues from the Prosecution, they provided us with documents they

9 intend to use and they provided this document in English. In the

10 meantime, we copied it and used that translation and provided copies for

11 the Trial Chamber and for the other party. So thanks to this cooperation,

12 we were able to have the document in translation.

13 So thank you.

14 Q. Tell me, Colleague Veseljak, I was just asking you about

15 paragraph 2, under "Steps taken," when you approved or allowed --

16 MR. WAESPI: I'm sorry to interrupt. At least in the binder we

17 received - and I take it the Judges have the -- the same one - there is no

18 translation. So I do have my translation, but perhaps the Judges don't

19 have it. I'm sorry to raise it again.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence, you didn't give

21 the translation to the Prosecution, but they have it nevertheless.

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as following your

23 suggestions we do our best to provide our colleagues far ahead of the time

24 that we give them to you, so we apologise for not providing the

25 translation in their binder, because we received the translation later.

Page 16002

1 We did, however, provide the translation in the other binders, so everyone

2 else does have a translation. Thank you.

3 Q. Mr. Veseljak, tell me now, looking at this second paragraph under

4 the subtitle "Steps taken," who has the competence during an investigation

5 to allow others and not just the participants in the investigation the

6 possibility of access to the scene or engaging in any other activities

7 in -- in the area where the judge is?

8 A. Whatever is happening on site, in those days there was a police

9 ribbon. In those days -- nowadays we have these ribbons. In those days

10 we didn't. But within the secure scene, the sovereign decision-maker is

11 the investigating judge. Whatever is being done there, including who will

12 be inside that secured area, which we call "the scene."

13 Q. A moment ago you said that the judge attaches all the evidence

14 and documents that he collects -- he forwards that without looking into

15 those reports. However, if the judge does give some sort of an assessment

16 during the investigation, is it binding for the prosecutor and does the

17 prosecutor have to take it as it is, as it stands?

18 A. The prosecutor is not bound by anything written by the

19 investigating judge in his report. He takes a position about the

20 contents, regardless of any assessments the report may contain. The

21 investigating judge could make certain assessments to the effect that this

22 could be used for further collecting evidence but later on it was the

23 prosecutor who was the dominus litis who would decide about all the facts

24 without being bound by the investigating judge or having to consult him.

25 Q. Look at page 3, where it says: "According to the greater

Page 16003

1 characteristics, the investigating team came to the conclusion that the

2 shells were fired from the Vitez-Bila direction." How did you come to

3 this conclusion and was this one of the conclusions that was merely your

4 own and was not binding for the prosecutor?

5 A. You see, in any situation in life, one does acquire certain

6 experience. We, unfortunately, learnt that a shell explosion leaves a

7 very -- highly recognisable trace. If a shell were to come into contact

8 with the surface at an angle of 90 degrees, then the dispersion of its

9 shrapnel would take lines that would spread out equally from the centre in

10 the form of a fan. However, shells usually hit the surface at a certain

11 angle which is smaller than 90 degrees, and in those cases, as in this

12 particular case, on the asphalt we have a visible spot in the form -- in

13 the shape of a crater showing that the shell hit the surface at an angle

14 and we know exactly where its point was, and in front of the shell there

15 is a spread of the shrapnel in shorter lines; whereas, behind the lines

16 the shrapnel disperse in longer lines. When you step at the point of

17 contact and face opposite the point from which it came, you will see

18 something, and what we saw was the direction west-southwest, and at the

19 end of that imaginary line would be Vitez and Bila.

20 Signing this report, I did not indicate the place from where the

21 shell was fired but only the direction from which they came. So

22 theoretically they could have come from the first department building in

23 that direction.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, will you please look at document under tab 4,

25 and tell me, please, what is the difference between this document

Page 16004

1 entitled "Official report" in relation to the documents that you saw a

2 moment ago that were entitled "On-site investigation report"? But first

3 tell me: Do you recognize this document?

4 A. I do. I do recognise this document. The difference between an

5 official report --

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Prosecution.

7 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Again, if the Defence could indicate for

8 existing exhibits the number of the exhibit. It's easier for all the

9 participants, including the clerks of the judges, you know, to trace the

10 exhibit. And I think this one, if I correctly see, that's tab 4, which

11 will be DH280. Thank you.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perhaps the Defence could tell

13 us the exhibit number, if they have already become exhibits, for the

14 benefit of the transcript and the other parties.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I will correct my

16 mistake.

17 The previous document that Mr. Veseljak has commented on was a

18 document of the district military court in Zenica, number 146 through 93,

19 dated the 19th of April, 1993.

20 This document is DH280.

21 Q. So, Mr. Veseljak, will you please look at it.

22 A. I already said that I do recognise this document.

23 The difference between this official report and an on-site

24 investigation report is the following: This time again we went to carry

25 out the on-site investigation. That was our intention. Upon arriving

Page 16005

1 close to the scene, we learnt that the scene had been changed, the bodies

2 of the victims had been taken away, that the on-site situation had

3 changed, that we are in the area of direct war operations, and the

4 investigating judge came to the conclusion that there were no conditions

5 or reason to carry out the investigation. And as can be seen, certain

6 instructions were given, but we did not carry out the investigation

7 itself.

8 Q. In paragraph 1 of this official report entitled "Description of

9 the crime scene," you said that the bodies had been taken to Dragovici

10 village, that the traces had been destroyed, and the scene of the crime

11 altered. For the on-site judge, is that reason enough for him to be

12 unable to carry out an investigation on site and is prompted to make such

13 a decision, or what decision could he later take in situations of this

14 kind, as you have described?

15 A. I have to say first that the duty of the judge is not to carry

16 out an investigation anywhere but on the crime scene, the actual scene of

17 the event. The reason in this case for not carrying out the investigation

18 is that the bodies had been taken away, which means that the on-site

19 situation is not as it was initially. However, during further

20 proceedings, should it prove to be essential for persons, objects, and the

21 actual event to be located at a particular site, it is possible to

22 reconstruct the scene as prescribed by the Law on Criminal Procedure and

23 this is carried out by the court in keeping with the relevant rules.

24 May I just add this does not mean posterior investigation. It

25 means reconstructing the event, assuming how it took place, and this is

Page 16006

1 done on the basis of certain other evidence, traces collected, forensic

2 opinions, witness statements, and so on.

3 Q. Thank you. Before you look at document under tab 5, this

4 reconstruction, when is it done? Is it done before or during the criminal

5 proceedings?

6 A. If you ask me what the prevalent practice was, then this act is

7 undertaken during criminal proceedings. But the same legal basis exists

8 if the trial judge requires from the investigating judge a reconstruction.

9 Both possibilities are envisaged, but it was more frequently done during

10 the trial phase itself.

11 Q. Look now at document under tab 5. It is a document of the

12 district military court of Zenica, number 202 through 93 dated the 1st of

13 September 1993. Do you recognize this document, please?

14 A. Yes, I do.

15 Q. This document too is entitled "Official note." Look at the first

16 paragraph after the investigation team is listed. Do we find here a

17 similar situation as in the previous case leading to a similar decision on

18 your part and wasn't this customary on the part of judges who found that

19 the scene had been altered in the meantime?

20 A. Yes. We are talking about a more or less identical situation.

21 Q. Thank you. Will you now look at document under tab 6, entitled

22 "CRY [as interpreted] 219 through 93 dated the 17th of October, 1993." Is

23 that another document that you can recognise?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. In paragraph 2 of this document, we can see that there was a

Page 16007

1 dilemma as to who the possible perpetrators of this act were. Tell me

2 what you did in this case and is this one of the documents showing one of

3 the ways in which the investigating judge acted in accordance with the

4 law?

5 A. Yes, this follows from your earlier questions about the division

6 of competencies. The duty judge, the duty on-site judge of the military

7 district court, in keeping with the competence of the court, did carry out

8 on-site investigations; however, there were different situations, and I

9 would like to remind you that the time in question was a time of war and

10 that information that we received initially was very scarce and did not

11 provide you with the ample grounds to decide what to do. And this is one

12 of the situations in which I asked my colleague who was on duty at the

13 time - he was a judge of the municipal court - I asked him to accompany me

14 to the site and to try and see what happened and who of the two of us

15 would be really competent in the case, and then once this was decided the

16 competent person would complete the investigation, or in other words, his

17 activities would end up with the investigation report and the activities

18 of the other person would end up with an official note in which he would

19 state that he was present and that he did take certain steps during the

20 course of the activities.

21 This document that you are showing to me now is somewhat specific

22 because I was the duty judge at the time and I recognise some

23 circumstances for which I thought that I should take interest in them

24 because this situation involved some missing weapons.

25 Q. Mr. Veseljak, can you please look at the documents which are

Page 16008












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13 English transcripts.













Page 16009

1 after tab 2, from 1 to 7. And for the record, I'm going to read their

2 numbers. The first one is 1366. The second one is document of the --

3 dated 25 August 1993. Number 3 is document of the prosecutor's office of

4 Zenica, KT387/93. The date is 25 August 1993. Number 4 is a document

5 issued by the Zenica district military court. The number is KI243/93,

6 dated 29 October 1993. Number 5 is document number 1560. Number 6 is

7 document 1973. And finally, number 7 is a document issued by the Zenica

8 senior public prosecutor's office, number KT11/94, dated 5 March 1994.

9 My question to you is as follows: When you look at these

10 documents, tell me, please, whether they are documents issued by the

11 competent prosecutor's office by which the prosecutor requests an

12 investigation to be carried out. In other words, are these documents of

13 the investigating judge by which the investigations are allowed?

14 A. Yes, these are indeed such documents. I'm looking at the

15 request, and based on the request there is a decision by which the

16 investigative judge decides that an investigation will be carried out, and

17 this document number KT389/83 [as interpreted], there is a mistake in the

18 title. It says here "To the senior prosecutor," so this is not to the --

19 to the senior public prosecutor's office but from the senior public

20 prosecutor's office. So this is a typo in the way you interpreted the

21 title. So these are the documents, one preceding and one following.

22 The preceding document is a request for investigation and the

23 subsequent act is the decision of the judge by which it is stated that the

24 investigation will indeed be carried out.

25 Q. Can you please look at the first document. In the description of

Page 16010

1 the action, it says that "In the village of Bjelavici somebody took a cow

2 weighing 280 kilogrammes from an abandoned Croatian house and a calf.

3 After that, it says that this is an aggravated burglary from Article 148

4 of the Penal Code.

5 My first question to you is as follows: Who would be the first

6 body who would suggest a certain legal qualification of the crime that is

7 the subject of the criminal proceedings?

8 A. It is the competent prosecutor's office.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop, please.

10 The Prosecution has the floor.

11 MR. WAESPI: Yes. If -- perhaps I am the only one who can't

12 follow. But just, again, identify which document are we now talking

13 about. She says it's the first document. And I looked at it and this one

14 dates 5th August 1993, a B/C/S document. It carries the Defence number

15 1366. Is that the one we are talking about now?

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence, could you please

17 be more precise and can you tell us whether this document is, after tab 2

18 in the binder, chapter number 2, and the date is 5th August 1993? Is that

19 the case?

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, this is the document, and

21 the number is 1366. My question to the witness is as follows:

22 Q. Firstly, is this a request to carry out an investigation which is

23 the beginning of every criminal proceedings? And the witness confirmed

24 that. And now I have asked the witness to comment upon the description of

25 the event, after the name of Jakob Torsum [phoen], in paragraph 3, and in

Page 16011

1 which the event or part of the event is described as I have quoted it, and

2 there is also the legal qualification of this crime, and it says here that

3 this is an aggravated theft pursuant to Article 148.

4 My question to the witness was: What is the first or the primary

5 body that suggests what the qualification of the crime should be, the

6 crime that is the subject of this criminal procedure?

7 A. The witness started his answer by saying that the first body that

8 suggests the legal qualification of the crime is the prosecutor's office

9 that files the request for criminal proceedings.

10 Q. Mr. Veseljak, who is it who decides on the final qualification --

11 legal qualification of the crime? In other words, is the court duty-bound

12 to adopt the qualification proposed by the prosecutor's office?

13 A. The court is not bound by that legal qualification, and the final

14 decision on the legal qualification of the crime lies with the court and

15 only the court.

16 Q. Tell me, please, when it comes to the police, did the police have

17 any say whatsoever in the factual description and the legal qualification

18 of the crime as proposed by the prosecutor, or can they have a say in the

19 final qualification of the crime as decided upon by the court?

20 A. The police has no obligation whatsoever to suggest any

21 qualification, legal qualification of the crime. In practice, it does

22 happen that the police try to see what a crime could constitute in legal

23 terms. However, this suggestion is not binding on -- either upon the

24 prosecutor or the court. So in other words, the police does not have any

25 say whatsoever as to what the legal qualification of the crime would be in

Page 16012

1 the further proceedings.

2 Q. In the description of this crime that I have just quoted, it says

3 that some things were stolen from the abandoned houses of Croat citizens.

4 Tell me, please: How did you as a judge evaluate and assess such acts?

5 How did you qualify those acts during your tour of duty in the military

6 district court in Zenica?

7 A. I did that from the point of view of the factual description of

8 the crime as per the Code. We evaluated whether in the actions

9 perpetrated by a person we could find the elements of crime in the way

10 this crime is described in the law.

11 Q. In the Penal Code, which was in effect at the time, which was the

12 Penal Code of the former Yugoslavia, which was later on adopted by Bosnia

13 and Herzegovina, there are also crimes against the civilian population

14 that were committed during the war and one element of those crimes is also

15 theft and plunder. Tell me, please: Did you in the court find any

16 elements or did you have any elements that could serve as the base for

17 qualifying such and similar acts in keeping with the provisions of the

18 Penal Code?

19 A. In a similar way, in the way that the court was not bound by the

20 qualification of the crime, it was bound by the fact provided to him by

21 the prosecutor about the crime that he was in charge of. Obviously in

22 every crime that happens during the war you are bound to recognise

23 possible murders of the crime -- war crime against the civilian population

24 pursuant to the then-provision 142 of the Penal Code. However, in this

25 particular case, these things were done by thief -- before the war, during

Page 16013

1 the war. Unfortunately, it is still being done by thieves today. So

2 whenever you have such a factual description, you will not find any

3 elements to qualify such crimes as war crimes. We -- and when I say "we,"

4 I don't want to speak on behalf of the others, so I'd like to say I was 14

5 thinking whether I could recognise a certain intention to perpetrate war

6 crimes or it was just the case of somebody needing a cow and the easiest

7 thing for this perpetrator to do was to go to an abandoned house and steal

8 a cow from such an abandoned house.

9 I have also to say that very soon there were no -- there was no

10 longer abandoned property and thieves continued stealing cows.

11 Q. Mr. Veseljak, were such crimes committed also against other

12 ethnic groups or did the situation apply only to one ethnic group?

13 A. These crimes involved those who possessed a cow. Unfortunately,

14 the situation was horrendous, and some people made the most of that

15 horrendous situation in order to steal goods from whoever the goods

16 belonged to. If we embarked on a statistical analysis, you -- we will

17 notice that at a certain moment the victims of the crimes were more often

18 members of a different ethnic group in a village that had been abandoned

19 by -- by the population. However, that statistic will soon change because

20 there were no more abandoned cattle after a while and theft continued. So

21 if you look at the final statistical picture, you will see that the

22 victims of the crime were members of -- of our own ethnic group, rather

23 than of a different ethnic group.

24 Q. When you evaluated crimes as a judge, can you tell me whether the

25 legislator, on the one hand, and the army or the 3rd Corps, on the other

Page 16014

1 hand, tried and did they do everything possible in order to prevent such

2 crime? Did they ask for efficient prosecution or did such -- was such

3 practice tolerated in the area?

4 A. Let me start by answering the second part of your question first.

5 No, this was not tolerated, and I can illustrate that by giving you an

6 example. I personally during the 39 months of the existence of the

7 military court, either as an individual judge or a member of a panel, I

8 was sitting in over 750 cases. I was involved in over 250 criminal

9 proceedings. I believe that these figures speak for themselves, and this

10 equally applies to all the other colleagues of mine. There were an

11 average of eight of us during that period of time.

12 In addition to that, I know the following: The military

13 authorities in some participants of the territory which were very

14 sensitive because they were populated by the minority population who were

15 sometimes exposed to harassment by individuals and who by the logic of the

16 matter felt more exposed -- so the military set up checkup points in order

17 to prevent looting of property from these areas. And I assure you that

18 every perpetrator who could be detected was prosecuted by the competent

19 bodies. The police would report them and then the prosecutors would

20 prosecute.

21 Q. Mr. Veseljak, do you remember before the war what was the penalty

22 for aggravated theft as provided for by the law?

23 A. I can't be 100 per cent sure that I remember, but I believe that

24 it was a maximum of five years in prison.

25 Q. During the war, do you know what was the penalty for theft of

Page 16015

1 property from an abandoned house?

2 A. I remember. It was either ten years or a maximum, it could have

3 been capital punishment.

4 Q. What was the position of the legislator and the bodies that were

5 involved in investigation of looting from abandoned property? Was the

6 position that this was a lesser crime or a crime equal to war crimes?

7 A. Let me give you an example. For the cases of aggravated robbery

8 and aggravated theft and the crimes of war crimes against the civilian

9 population, the punishment was identical in terms of a special minimum, a

10 special maximum, and in terms of the penalty provided for by the law. It

11 was from ten years in prison up to the capital punishment.

12 Q. Before I complete my examination, I should just like to ask you

13 to look at tab 4, and from 1 -- or Chapter 4, from 1 to 16,

14 entitled "Judgements," and could you please recognise the judgements that

15 you personally handed down or were a member of a trial chamber that handed

16 them down during the war as a member of the military court in Zenica.

17 A. I seem to be having problems like the prosecutor. You are

18 referring to Chapter 4 "Judgements"? And the first judgement is dated

19 K12/93? Is that the one you're referring to?

20 Q. Yes. Look at number 7, which is number IK233/93, dated the 27th

21 of September, 1993. Tell me, is this a judgement that you handed down as

22 president of a trial chamber? Would you be kind enough to look at the

23 document under tab 11, with the number Zenica district military court

24 number IK334/94, dated the 8th of September, 1995. Do you recognize this

25 judgement too?

Page 16016

1 A. Yes, I do. I recognise this one as well.

2 Q. This is a judgement for aggravated robbery provided for by the

3 Criminal Code, Rule 151/2. Was that the crime you referred to a moment

4 ago for which the same penalty was provided as for the crime of war crime

5 against civilian -- the civilian population?

6 A. Yes. But one correction: In this case, Mehrid Duvnjak [phoen],

7 when committing the crime, was a young adult, and that is why he could not

8 be sentenced to death but in principle the answer to your question is yes.

9 Q. Tell me, Mr. Veseljak, who decided about the penalty itself?

10 A. The trial chamber, consisting of five members: Two professional

11 judges and three lay judges, had a total of five votes. So each one of

12 them had one vote, and the majority would decide.

13 Q. The document under tab 12, it is Zenica district military court

14 number IK552/94 dated the 9th of December, 1994. It of course refers to

15 events in 1993. Tell me, did you participate in rendering this decision?

16 A. Yes, I was a member of the trial chamber in this case.

17 Q. Document number 13, district military court number IK606 through

18 94 from the 21st of December, 1994, is this a judgement that you were

19 involved in as a judge of the district military court?

20 A. Yes, in this case as president of the trial chamber.

21 Q. Look at document number 14. It is the document of the Zenica

22 court, IK169/93, dated the 13th of June, 1995. Were you involved in this

23 case as a judge?

24 A. Yes, and again, as the presiding judge.

25 But if I may, I would like to say why I emphasised when I was the

Page 16017

1 presiding judge and when I was a member of the trial chamber. The Law on

2 Criminal Procedure prescribed the order in which judges would participate

3 in chambers. When I was the presiding judge, I would have the last vote

4 when it came to the sentence.

5 Q. The previous document was DH314, and this document we are talking

6 about is DH155/20.

7 So a moment ago you said you were a member of the chamber, and

8 with respect to this one, of the 13th of June, you were the presiding

9 judge.

10 Now, please look at the next two documents of the Zenica high

11 court, number K194/96, dated the 20th of March, 1997. Tell us, were you a

12 judge in this case? And the document under number 16, K67/00, dated the

13 12th of March, 2002. Tell me whether this was a case that you tried.

14 A. In this one, I was the presiding judge, and the witness who is

15 following me was a member of the trial chamber.

16 Q. Mr. Veseljak, in these several cases, we saw that the sentences

17 were handed down in 1994, 1995, and even after the war. Can you tell us

18 briefly the kind of problems you encountered in discovering, prosecuting,

19 and sentencing -- you were faced with, especially the courts, and why in

20 some cases the proceedings lasted some time. Actually, my first question

21 would be whether proceedings were conducted speedily or not; and an

22 additional question: Why did in some cases trials last a long time?

23 A. Let me say first of all that in my deep conviction, trials did

24 not take long but what did take long was the preliminary process before a

25 trial could start. There were problems with communications.

Page 16018












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Page 16019

1 The last document you showed me, I was then already a judge of

2 the cantonal court, because this took place in 2002. There were very

3 great problems in finding people, identifying people. The territory was

4 cut up and it was impossible to communicate between various areas.

5 The event that this last document refers to took place in Bugojno

6 or Gornji Vakuf, which means that between the territory covered by the

7 district military court and this area was the area of another warring

8 party which couldn't be crossed. People moved around without ID

9 documents.

10 I will give you an example, with your permission: At the

11 cantonal court much later, we tried a murder in which a man, an Egyptian

12 citizen, was allegedly murdered. His name was Hisham Diyab and we found

13 the man guilty and sentenced him for this crime. Several years later,

14 through the mediation of the Egyptian Embassy, Mr. Hisham Diyab appeared.

15 He is well, alive, and kicking, thank God, a doctor in Egypt. So it just

16 shows the circumstances under which we worked and how we strove to be

17 efficient. But we had enormous difficulties of an objective nature, not

18 due to any -- any lack of will on the part of the court.

19 I have to tell you that never in my life and never again in my

20 life will I work as hard as I did in this period of time we are talking

21 about.

22 Q. Tell me, Mr. Veseljak, as judges or the prosecutor in your courts

23 or the police, be it civilian or military, could they from January 1st,

24 1993 until the end of the war reach areas that were de facto under the

25 control of the HVO or the VRS to investigate an event, to find a witness,

Page 16020

1 to interview a witness? Did you have any such possibilities?

2 A. With the exception of murder, no -- I'm sorry, with the exception

3 of suicide, no [as interpreted].

4 Q. And tell me, Mr. Veseljak, now: Mr. Veseljak, as a person who

5 spent the whole time in the district military court from the moment it was

6 founded until it ceased to operate, when looking back at that period and

7 your work in the court and the policy of the 3rd Corps to prevent, detect,

8 and punish the perpetrators of all crimes, do you believe now that more

9 could have been done than all of you together managed to do, that is, the

10 military authorities, the prosecutors, and the judges? Could you have

11 done more than you actually did?

12 A. If you're asking me and in view of the circumstances under which

13 we worked, we could not have done more. If I look back today, fortunately

14 some wounds have healed over the years and I'm doing my best to forget

15 many of the things that happened. But when you make me look back, as you

16 are doing now, I wonder from this point of view how we managed to do as

17 much as we did, because during 39 months I signed 750 judgements, three

18 and a half thousand cases were processed at the district military court.

19 I believe several thousand - I'm not quite sure of the figure - several

20 thousand requests for investigations, endless decisions on detention on

21 remand, innumerable instances when witnesses got killed, when they left to

22 go to third countries, we couldn't trace them. In a situation when a

23 single photograph with a camera was something we could only dream about,

24 when the paraffin glove test was something from outer space because you

25 simply didn't have paraffin, when we had to run to the laboratory to take

Page 16021

1 blood traces because we didn't have any means to prevent coagulation, and

2 so on.

3 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Veseljak.

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that completes our

5 examination-in-chief of this witness.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I close this now? Oh, it's not

8 finished. I see.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the break, the other

10 Defence team, do you have any questions?

11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

12 questions for this witness.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, it will be best

14 to have the break straight away, and we will resume at about 6.00 and give

15 the floor to the Prosecutor for their cross-examination.

16 --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.

17 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to

19 the Prosecution, and don't forget that we are supposed to finish at 7.00.

20 [Trial Chamber confers]

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Judges will also need a

22 few minutes for their questions. And so if you take too long, we will

23 have to continue tomorrow, tomorrow morning. In any case, you will be

24 given the same time as the Defence.

25 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Page 16022

1 If the -- Your Honours and the Defence could be distributed a set

2 of documents which I intend to show to the witness.

3 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:

4 Q. Good evening, Mr. Veseljak.

5 A. Good evening.

6 Q. Let me just start with just a few general points about the role

7 of a duty judge. And I believe you were a duty judge, a judge quite a

8 number of times, you know, in 1992 and 1993. Is that correct?

9 A. Yes, that is correct.

10 Q. And I think in the Blaskic case you also said that a duty judge

11 was on shift. He was available, I think, for a week or so and would be

12 called whenever it was required to do so.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Who would assign judges -- duty judges to be on a certain shift?

15 Who would do that?

16 A. The president of the court, and there would be a rota. Every

17 week we would start at 00 on Sunday and we finished at 2400 on the

18 following Sunday, and we took turns. If there were eight of us and I had

19 my shift during week 1, then my turn would again come during week 9, after

20 all of my eight colleagues had their turns. And this was the only

21 criterion.

22 Q. So in Zenica and for the jurisdiction of the military courts,

23 there was one duty judge at one time.

24 A. Yes, at any given time, there was a duty judge who was

25 accompanied by a deputy of the district military prosecutor. I believe

Page 16023

1 that in the prosecution their shifts were somewhat longer because there

2 were fewer of them.

3 Q. And if you were called to a given case, one of these many, many

4 you testified about before the break, how long on average would you be

5 concerned with one of these cases, you as the duty judge?

6 A. It's hard to say for how long, but I can give you a description.

7 For as long as it took me to complete my investigation and draft either an

8 official note or an official record after that. So as soon as I completed

9 my documentation and forwarded it to the competent prosecutor, I would be

10 finished with the case. We tried to spend as little time as possible on

11 the case, and I'm talking about the complete procedure. The on-site

12 inspection itself took as long as it had to take, depending on what you

13 found on the site, how many traces you had to collect, how big the site

14 was.

15 Q. Yes. I looked at a few of these documents which were presented

16 to us, and it's amazing how quick you acted that -- when the events

17 occurred on one day, usually the judge would arrive on the same day, and

18 the report would carry the date of the next day. So it was a very, very

19 efficient procedure.

20 A. If you are talking about the records that I drew up, I have to

21 say that the judgements that I signed as the presiding judge, I tried to

22 dictate them on the following day. If you're asking me about on-site

23 inspections, I can tell you that we arrived at the scene as fast as

24 possible, as fast as this was doable. I arrived at a number of such

25 scenes on foot.

Page 16024

1 Q. You mentioned a few documents, you know, which perhaps may be the

2 result of your inquest as a duty judge. Would it be correct to say that

3 the typical document, report which comes out of a detail for you as a duty

4 judge was this on-site inspection report? That would be a typical work

5 product of you being called as a duty judge to a crime scene?

6 A. Yes, on a condition that an on-site inspection was carried out.

7 Q. Yes. And if it wasn't carried out, you would even include that

8 very fact, as you have testified before the break, into the report, that

9 it was not possible to go to a specific crime scene.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, you already talked about a few of these reports, and I --

12 I'm going through a few of them again. But let me start with a different

13 one. And this one is contained in tab 1. That's the first document. It's

14 a Defence exhibit, DH279, and it has been discussed here before Your

15 Honours with Judge Adamovic. And I would just like you to have a look at

16 this report. It dates 23rd July 1993 and is a on-site investigation

17 report.

18 Now, that's again a typical report: Two pages, very succinct, a

19 typical example of -- of an on-site investigation report; is that correct?

20 A. Please give me a moment.

21 Q. Yes. Please take -- take your time. By all means.

22 A. Let us say that this is a typical report.

23 Q. And we see that Mr. Adamovic went to the -- to the crime scene

24 and he looked at what -- what happened. Apparently here a person was

25 killed while a -- a weapon was being cleaned, a person called Asim Sivro

Page 16025

1 was cleaning that weapon. And Mr. Adamovic was very precise in the

2 location he found the body of the victim. I think he says the body was

3 sort of half-sitting position, back to the wall. And he also looked at

4 blood traces.

5 Now, let me ask you: How important is it to record exactly the

6 position of a victim, a body, in your assessment? And you have a lot of

7 experience.

8 A. Whenever this is possible for the subsequent actions, this is

9 what one should do. This is important in principle; however, one cannot

10 be as precise as my colleague Adamovic was in this particular case. If

11 one takes this as being very precise, one cannot always be as precise as

12 that.

13 Q. But certainly the aim has to be as precise as possible under the

14 circumstances.

15 A. No objection to that. You're right.

16 Q. Now, another feature we see here is the heading "Information

17 about the participants," and Mr. Adamovic -- our colleague talked about,

18 you know, witnesses, mentioned specifically names of witnesses, and I

19 believe these are army members. And again, my -- my question is: How

20 important is it to list witnesses who may have been eyewitnesses to the

21 events, in your experience?

22 A. This is very important, if such information is available. If you

23 make an effort and if you look at the records that I signed, you will see

24 that I had an identical approach. Whenever I had information about

25 participants or eyewitnesses, I would make a record of that. If we didn't

Page 16026

1 know that, then we would instruct the military police to continue with

2 their operative work in order to get as much information as possible about

3 possible participants in the event.

4 Q. Yes. And I think we see that on the second page of the English

5 translation. It may be also on the second page -- on the first one in

6 your original, the role of the military police. But let me go to the

7 penultimate paragraph, when he talks about information of relatives, and

8 then, I quote, "As well as the command of the brigade to which the person

9 who inflicted the injury and the injured person belonged."

10 Perhaps you can tell us, how important is it to inform, you know,

11 these people, the relatives, and here the brigade? If you can help us.

12 A. First I have to tell you that this is certainly not a job of the

13 investigative judge. However, beyond this context, I would also provide

14 information if I had an opportunity to learn where they are and if I were

15 in the position to provide such information. However, these are personal

16 reasons, not formal reasons. This is what military police anywhere in the

17 world in the course of events should certainly do. They should do it, by

18 all means.

19 Q. And the last paragraph talks about the vicinity of combat

20 operations and that the scene of the crime was very close to -- to the

21 front line. I believe you also were working under difficult conditions in

22 your work. Is that correct?

23 A. Yes. Most often, but not always.

24 Q. And we might come to that, to the Zenica shelling of the 19th of

25 April, 1993. I think there you even conducted your investigation as a

Page 16027

1 duty judge while detonations were still being heard. Do you remember

2 that?

3 A. I do remember that. At that time, I was involved in an on-site

4 inspection. I was not in charge of investigations. I was involved in a

5 very concrete investigative action. I was involved in an on-site

6 inspection while detonations could be heard. That is correct.

7 Q. And I believe occasionally on the 19th of April you had even to

8 take shelter because, you know, you -- you feared, and rightly so, for

9 your life and the life of the people who were with you.

10 A. Yes, that is also correct.

11 Q. Let me go on to the next document, and this is tab 3 in this

12 bundle, and this is a document which features you as the duty judge. Just

13 take a look at the whole document, if you may. It's DH278, a Defence

14 exhibit, an on-site investigation report dated 1st of June, 1993. And if

15 you have familiarised yourself, do you still remember this investigation?

16 A. Yes, I do.

17 Q. Now, first of all, just above the title "Description of crime

18 scene," I see the sentence: "The scene of crime was secured by members of

19 the Military Police Battalion." That would be a battalion of the 3rd

20 Corps; is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And was that a normal feature that you would ask the military

23 police to secure a -- a area? You talked about in your chief that at that

24 time you didn't have these red-white tapes, if I correctly remember. But

25 at that time, did you sort of always have the military police operating on

Page 16028












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Page 16029

1 your behalf?

2 A. Let me first tell you something about this particular event. In

3 this particular event that we are discussing now, members of the military

4 police battalion secured the scene of crime because they were deployed in

5 its vicinity. This is what I said in the course of my direct. There was

6 a checkpoint the role of which was to protect the Croatian population in

7 the Stranjani village and that's why they were first to arrive at the

8 scene of crime. The military police was always involved in the

9 investigations -- actually, the police. Sometimes the military police,

10 sometimes the civilian police. Everything that we did was assisted by the

11 military police; to be more specific, by the battalion of the military

12 police of the 3rd Corps. There were also some exceptions. There were

13 some situations when I asked for the assistance of the civilian police

14 because the event was of such a nature that I required a more professional

15 team of crime experts, a team that was better equipped with equipment and

16 everything that was necessary to carry out an on-site investigation.

17 Q. Now, on the first page of this report, under the title

18 "Description of crime scene," you talk about - assuming you, I mean you

19 drafted this report - you talk about, and I quote, "Traces of blood and a

20 bloody bandage were found at about 10 metres away in the direction of the

21 woods and a gate was found next to the cow. The trace of a bullet was

22 found on a tree trunk on the edges of this clearing and about 5 metres

23 away there were several traces where the bullets struck on the ground."

24 And then you talk about photographs and sketches and so on.

25 Now, how important is it to look for traces of bullets and -- and

Page 16030

1 properly describe it in a -- in such a report, in your assessment?

2 A. I believe that this is extremely important. No doubts about

3 that. And every time you are in a position to do that, you should do

4 that. It is better to collect everything at the scene, even if it is not

5 important and even if later on you discover that those things are not

6 important, than to leave something uncollected. If you're asking me in

7 principle, this would -- this would be my answer to you.

8 In this particular case, whatever I was able to locate, I

9 collected. It was easy to collect evidence because the area was peaceful,

10 it was secure, and I had ample time to collect all these things.

11 Q. Now, let me ask you about the incident itself. The way I

12 understand it and it is described under the heading "Probable course of

13 events," was that initially a cow was stolen, abducted, and this incident,

14 the stealing of a cow - and you've mentioned cows before the break, by the

15 way, on a couple of incidents - triggered two members of the military

16 police to get involved. So being Swiss, I have obviously no problem with

17 taking cows very seriously, but why is it -- was it such an importance to

18 investigate using military police resources for that? Can you explain

19 that to us?

20 A. You don't understand. Your cows are violet and they have a name;

21 they're called Milka, aren't they? But here we're talking about a

22 different thing, we're talking about an area in which there is a certain

23 number of Croats residing and during the conflict they did not leave their

24 homes. And one of them had his cow stolen. He informed two military

25 policemen at the checkpoint that this had happened. This checkpoint had

Page 16031

1 been set up in order to protect this particular population from such

2 incidents, from somebody stealing their cow. These two military policemen

3 decided that they could not intervene on their own. In the meantime, the

4 thieves took a cow to a place which you could call a thicket or a wood and

5 this is where they slaughtered the cow, because I believe that they deemed

6 that they -- it would be easy for them to cover the traces of the theft if

7 they slaughtered the cow and butchered it.

8 When these two military policemen got reinforcements, they

9 encircled the area where these two thieves were with the butchered cow,

10 with the beheaded cow, and they asked them to surrender. Fire was opened.

11 The military police returned fire. And the result was what it was. And

12 you can see what happened from the reports. One of -- one of the military

13 policemen succumbed to his wounds. The other one was seriously injured

14 but -- but survived. And that is why the intervention of the military

15 police was needed. The military police intervened in order to detect and

16 capture the perpetrators of this serious crime.

17 I must say that during the time when this crime was committed,

18 the -- the penalty envisaged for this crime was a minimum of five years in

19 prison.

20 Q. But you would agree that a lot of resources and efforts, even

21 fighting, you know, shooting, was involved in -- in arresting the two

22 alleged perpetrators of that stealing of the cow.

23 A. I don't know what you are trying to imply. In my view, we -- we

24 reacted with an adequate response. At that particular moment, I'm sure

25 that none of the policemen intended to shoot at the perpetrators.

Page 16032

1 However, if you're a policeman and if you see somebody fleeing, if you ask

2 them to surrender and they open fire at you, I don't know whether you

3 would say that the reaction was inadequate and that this should not have

4 been done.

5 Q. And I believe here, again, witnesses were traced and -- and

6 talked to in this incident.

7 A. I have to change my glasses now. I can't see you very well with

8 my reading glasses, and with the others I can't read. I think you're

9 right, but let me look.

10 I know that at the time we knew about the policemen. I remember

11 that. But I don't believe that we knew at the time the names of the

12 perpetrators.

13 Q. Yes, but I think later you found out that there were two persons

14 called Fetic and then I believe you included that into this report.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And again, that's important that the -- obviously the possible

17 perpetrators are named right from the beginning if -- if they are known or

18 can be ascertained.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now --

21 A. There's -- also exists a criminal report against an unknown

22 perpetrator, and as a lawyer I think it is very important to document an

23 event, even if you don't know who the perpetrators are.

24 Q. Let me go to the next exhibit. That's tab 4. Again, it's a

25 Defence exhibit, DH280. And you have talked about that before the break,

Page 16033

1 because my learned colleague has showed you this document already.

2 Just a couple of points. It's about the killing of four persons

3 in a village called Sastavci on the 18th of August, 1993, and apparently

4 that village -- the municipality, Vares, lies, and I quote your report,"in

5 the zone of war operations."

6 And again, here you obviously didn't achieve to go to the crime

7 scene, and it's reported in -- under item 1, "Description of the crime

8 scene," that you could not go there; is that correct?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Yet you were able - and that's on page 2 of the English

11 translation and I believe also in your B/C/S version under item 3 - there

12 were some witnesses available who were talked to perhaps not by you but by

13 somebody else, and you incorporated that information into your report.

14 A. That is true, yes.

15 Q. And specifically, the second person, the witness B, Ibrahim

16 Sarac, the commander of the Bosnian Independent Company - I'll just read

17 out the first sentence of the what he apparently took - "a few hours after

18 we took over duty in our zone of responsibility, one villager informed us

19 that four bodies were lying on the road leading to Dragovici village not

20 far from Ljesvaca [phoen] village." He goes on and says what he was

21 doing.

22 How important, again in your assessment, having dealt with all

23 these military units on the ground, was it to talk to the commander who

24 was there and who could give information about what was happening in his

25 zone of responsibility?

Page 16034

1 A. I am not quite sure I understood correctly your question, so

2 would you be kind enough to elaborate a little. I didn't quite understand

3 what your question is.

4 Q. Yes. I'm sorry for the unprecise question.

5 You see that apparently you had information about two witnesses

6 or the person who drafted the report; that was your colleague Mr. Armin

7 Seco. The first witness was a -- in fact, two witnesses, Fikret Krivokapa

8 and Fahrudin Krivokapa, two members of the SJB police forces,

9 that's under A. And then you also had information from a Mr. Ibrahim

10 Sarac. He was the commander of the Bosnian Independent Company, the unit

11 in whose area of operations or the zone of responsibility the crimes

12 occurred. My question is for you: As duty judge, how important is it to

13 talk to the military commander of a unit who was in the vicinity and

14 perhaps indeed in the middle of that area where the crime scene was lying.

15 A. I don't believe that it was of any special importance; however,

16 you can see that my very young colleague at the time, Armin Seco and

17 myself were in a situation where we learnt that the bodies had been taken

18 from the scene, that we were on the edge of the area of combat operations,

19 and on that occasion we wanted to learn from peoples who were not

20 eyewitnesses of the event but who were witnesses of the consequences what

21 we might see if we were able to enter that area, and we learnt that

22 locals, villages, had removed the bodies, that they had informed the

23 soldiers present that they had removed the bodies, that in passing they

24 had seen pools of blood in the grass. These were elements that we wanted

25 to find out about so as to collect as much information as possible and to

Page 16035

1 be able to convey that information to the prosecutor later.

2 Q. So to summarise, because you did not have access to the crime

3 scene, you tried to talk to people who could sort of give information

4 about the -- the vicinity and the crime scene.

5 A. Certain information, assuming that they knew something which

6 might give us indication as to where we should look for future -- in our

7 future investigations.

8 Q. Let me go on to the next exhibit, Mr. Veseljak, and that's tab 5,

9 and again that's a document whose exhibit number is DH276, which you have

10 discussed in -- in chief already. And you remember that's the one dating

11 26 December 1992 to which you were also a witness, an eyewitness, the way

12 I understand it.

13 A. Your understanding is correct.

14 Q. And again, I see a very detailed description of the crime scene.

15 It talks in the middle of the first paragraph about a ricochet, a bullet

16 which had hit the radiator of a Golf car, and so on. So again, that would

17 be an example of what's requested if somebody like a duty judge or indeed

18 the police goes to a crime scene where a murder or a -- a murder involving

19 the death of a person is concerned.

20 A. All I can do is agree with what you said. You haven't asked me

21 anything yet.

22 Q. Yes. On the next page, you even went -- the next page in the

23 English version and I think in your version it's the same -- you are very

24 detailed again about the calibres of a gun. You talk about the locations

25 where a cartridge was found. Can you see that?

Page 16036

1 A. Yes. Yes.

2 Q. Something I'm interested in is the following: After you talk

3 about eyewitnesses to this incident and just above the heading "Measures

4 taken," we see that - and I quote the paragraph - "Along with the injured

5 man, the MUP employee also tried to arrest Sead Patkovic, son of Serif,

6 residing in Nemila, one Ahmet Spahica number 6 who was probably also an

7 eyewitness to the entire incident." Do you remember that? It's sort of

8 unusual that an eyewitness needs to be arrested in order to provide his

9 account for what has happened. Perhaps you remember what this was all

10 about. Just above the heading "Measures taken."

11 A. I'm trying to find the spot you're referring to.

12 Q. Yes, it's on page 2 of your B/C/S version, the last paragraph,

13 "Zajedno," and so on. Do you remember --

14 A. Yes, I do. I'm trying to recollect the whole event, to

15 reconstruct it in my memory. It was the centre of town, the street lined

16 with houses on both sides, and in those days at that spot people were

17 illegally converting money for German marks, and everything started with a

18 police raid against these people who were converting foreign currency for

19 local currency. So what you're reading out to me, I wouldn't call it

20 "arrest." It is a normal police procedure whereby an eyewitness is

21 identified and asked for an interview, an informative interview.

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that once

23 again we have a problem with the translation.

24 I am looking at the English translation, which says "arrest."

25 And in our own language, it says "to take in." And that -- or "bring in."

Page 16037

1 So that may be the cause of some confusion.

2 MR. WAESPI: [Previous translation continues] ... obviously

3 controlling what the B/C/S version says here.

4 Q. Anyway, do you remember the person Sead Patkovic, son of Serif?

5 Do you know who that person is?

6 A. I don't know.

7 Q. Do you know his father -- what appears to be his father, Serif

8 Patkovic? Do you know him?

9 A. I don't know who the person named Serif Patkovic may be. But

10 since I know what it is you're leading up to, I know that there is a Serif

11 Patkovic. I assure you that this person who was a very young man could

12 not have been -- had a son of the age that would be of interest for the

13 police. You see, we have villages with the entire population bearing the

14 same surname and every other person having the same first name. You know,

15 father Serif, son Serif. These are local customs.

16 Q. Let's move on to the -- to the next page, the last page of this

17 document. And, first of all, it mentions an interesting -- item 4 says:

18 "The perpetrator underwent a paraffin test." So I take it that, you know,

19 when you said before the break that it was -- I don't know what the exact

20 words you used -- impossible or it would have been a miracle to have it.

21 Occasionally it was done, a paraffin test.

22 A. We did have paraffin for a time, so we did do the paraffin tests.

23 And then later on we had no paraffin and we couldn't do the test. And I

24 must say to you as a professional that for me as a professional I was not

25 too sorry about the paraffin glove test because, as you know, by itself it

Page 16038












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 16039

1 is not proof of anything. The reaction you get is non-specific, through

2 nitrates, and it can only indirectly lead to gunpowder. When you have a

3 pistol, an eyewitness, an admission, then the paraffin test may be of

4 use. If you only have that test, then it's better not to have it at all.

5 Q. Let me go on to another paragraph on this page, and it's the

6 third one from the bottom. It starts: "On 27th December 1992, an autopsy

7 was performed. Attended by the judge and on this occasion a piece of lead

8 bullet without its jacket was found in the left lobe of the cerebellum of

9 the deceased, which was also handed over to VP operative Alija Limanovic."

10 Again, for you as a duty judge, an investigative judge, how

11 important is it to look for, find, report the presence of a bullet in --

12 in one of these bodies of a victim?

13 A. I have to tell you something else first: According to the Law on

14 Criminal Procedure in force at the time, it is the duty of the

15 investigating judge, though this may seem strange to you now -- it was the

16 legal obligation of the investigating judge to prepare a report on the

17 postmortem. We found various ways to do this. We attended postmortems

18 and copied down what the person performing the postmortem found during the

19 autopsy. And if we ordered an autopsy, it was very important for me to

20 find out the finding, because the finding of the autopsy was an indication

21 of many other things that may later arise during the investigation: The

22 type of weapon, the direction, the angle of the projectile, the injuries

23 caused, the injuries that were the cause of death, et cetera. So in

24 answer to your question, it was very important to write down what the

25 autopsy produced as a result.

Page 16040

1 Q. A related issue is the firearms, you know, the object of -- one

2 of the objects, you know, which -- which may be helpful in finding what

3 has occurred. Can you confirm that you as, you know, the representative

4 of the authority had the power to seize firearms of alleged perpetrators

5 and to analyse them in order to establish which rifle has fired, which

6 empty shells match with the rifles found, and -- and so on? You had the

7 authority to do that and you -- you did that? Can you confirm that?

8 A. Yes. In this particular case, as you have chosen this one, which

9 is highly specific -- you see, it was up to my personal assessment. Due

10 to the highly tense situation that all this was happening under, I seized

11 a cocked pistol from the man's hand. Now, whether I had the authority,

12 it's up to you to judge, but that is what I actually did at the time.

13 Q. Because you wanted to find out what happened.

14 A. The actual act of seizing the pistol from his hand was simply

15 motivated by stopping further action. This seizure of the pistol, which I

16 ordered the police to do against a receipt on temporary seizure, was

17 intended for further criminal processing to establish that the bullets

18 that we found had come from the -- that weapon, that the jackets we found

19 had been fired with that weapon. You're familiar with the technique. I

20 don't want to waste your time explaining how we compared disputed and

21 undisputed facts.

22 Q. Let me go on to -- briefly only to the Zenica shelling of the

23 19th April 1993.

24 MR. WAESPI: And, Your Honours, that's -- the report is in tab 2

25 of my -- my bundle.

Page 16041

1 Q. You already talked about that, and you were certainly very

2 specific also in the -- in the Blaskic trial about that.

3 Just a couple of points: In the Blaskic trial, you were shown

4 and commented upon a number of documents -- a number of photographs from

5 the crime scene and you explained, you know, the craters, whatever you

6 also told us before the break. Now, again in your expertise as a judge,

7 an investigative judge, how important is it to take photographs of the

8 crime scene?

9 A. It is of fundamental importance. In this particular case, I have

10 to tell you that we made as many photographs as we had available film.

11 Q. Just a couple of other points about the Zenica shelling of the

12 19th April. Just to confirm: It was you who ordered the civil defence

13 people to clean, to wash, the area from -- from blood? Do you remember

14 that?

15 A. The next day, yes.

16 Q. And just to go back to -- to the previous point: It was you who

17 had ordered the people, the specialist technicians, to take the photos of

18 all these impacts?

19 A. Yes.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It would be best to stop now.

21 We will continue tomorrow, because you haven't exhausted the time

22 available to you and the Defence will certainly have some re-examination,

23 as will the Judges.

24 So, sir, unfortunately you will have to stay until tomorrow, so I

25 would like to ask you to come for the hearing which will begin tomorrow

Page 16042

1 morning, luckily for you, because often we work in the afternoon. But

2 tomorrow we will continue at 9.00, and the Witness and Victims Department

3 will make sure that you will be present here tomorrow at 9.00.

4 From now until then, you must not meet with anyone because, as

5 you have taken the solemn declaration, you're a witness of justice and you

6 mustn't have any contact now with the Defence, which brought you here as a

7 witness.

8 I'm going to ask the usher to be kind enough to accompany you out

9 of the courtroom, and we will see you again tomorrow.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I've missed St. Valentines

11 Day with my wife today, I can just as well stay tomorrow. That's fine.

12 Thank you.

13 [The witness stands down]

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So tomorrow we will continue

15 our work, beginning at 9.00.

16 How much more time do you need do you think? You haven't taken

17 an hour and a half.

18 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps 20 minutes, half an hour, Mr. President.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's fine.

20 So we will now adjourn, and I'll see you all again tomorrow

21 morning.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.,

23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of

24 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.