1 Friday, 4 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
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] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Can
10 we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel
12 and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the Prosecution, Matthias
13 Neuner and Daryl Mundis assisted by our case manager Andres Vatter.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have the appearances for
15 the Defence now.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President; good
17 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina
18 Residovic, counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team,
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
22 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
23 Mulalic, legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 4th of March, 2005, the
25 190th day of sitting, I bid good morning to all those present, the
1 representatives of the Prosecution, the Defence, the Accused, and all
2 those present within and outside this courtroom. We will be hearing the
3 testimony of a witness, but before we do that, would I like us to consider
4 the plan for next week. So could we go into private session, please.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 16766 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session, let me ask
21 Madam Usher to bring the witness in.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: IZET MAHIR
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me check
1 that you are hearing the translation of my words in your own language. If
2 so, tell me that you understand.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called as a
5 witness by the Defence of General Hadzihasanovic. Before asking you to
6 read the solemn declaration, I need to know your name in order to avoid
7 any errors that may occur. Can you give me your name, date and place of
8 birth, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Izet Mahir. I was born
10 on the 5th of June, 1953 in Sarajevo.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current occupation?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a professional soldier, an
13 officer in the army of the federation.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your rank and to which
15 unit are you assigned.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the rank of colonel, and I'm
17 engaged in legal affairs of the command of the army of the federation.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, could you also tell us
19 in 1992, 1993, what was your occupation at the time? Were you in the
20 military? Where were you assigned, and was your rank.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak into the microphone,
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're referring to the beginning
24 of the war or before the war. I'm not sure I understand.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Tell us what you were doing in
1 1992 and 1993. They are the two years that interest us.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the beginning of the war, I
3 was employed in the municipal legal department in Zenica. When the war
4 started, I joined the Territorial Defence, that is on the 5th of December,
5 1992 [as interpreted]. And around the 8th of October, 1992, I joined the
6 military police company of the district staff with changes that occurred
7 in the BiH army. I worked in the military police battalion of the 3rd
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you testified
10 in an international or national court of law about the events that took
11 place in your country in 1992 and 1993, or is this the first time for you
12 to testify in a court law?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Today is the first time that I am
14 appearing in court to testify about these events.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you please read the solemn
16 declaration now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.
20 Colonel, before giving the floor to the Defence attorneys, I need
21 to give you some information about the procedure here. I think that some
22 of the points I will refer to you are already familiar with because you
23 worked in the legal services, so you have a minimum of knowledge at least
24 about our procedure.
25 Our procedure, which is inspired by the common law system is that
1 first you will be asked to answer questions that will be put to you by the
2 Defence attorneys, which you must have met in preparation for this
3 hearing. Once those questions have been answered by you, once this
4 examination-in-chief has been completed, the Prosecution seated to your
5 right will have questions for you within what is known as the
6 cross-examination, and the Prosecution will have at its disposal the same
7 amount of time as the Defence for those questions, but you will be able to
8 notice very quickly a difference in the nature of the questions. The
9 Defence will put neutral questions to you, which will require commentaries
10 which may be quite long from you. On the other hand, the Prosecution is
11 allowed to put leading questions to you which may be answered by you with
12 a yes or no. Once these questions from the Prosecution have been
13 completed, the Defence will take the floor once again to ask you
14 additional questions linked to the questions put to you by the
16 The three Judges in front of you may, according to the Rules which
17 have some continental law influence, too, can ask you questions at any
18 point in time, but for the good procedure of the adversarial system we
19 prefer you to answer the questions of both parties before we ask you any
20 questions. It is quite possible we may not have any questions for you,
21 because all the issues have been covered fully and you have provided clear
22 answers. So there may be no need for any additional questions. But it is
23 possible that we may ask you to clarify certain answers, or we may find
24 that in the interest of justice you can fill in certain vacuums which
25 require additional comment.
1 I should like to remind you of two other points. You have taken
2 the solemn declaration promising to tell the truth, the whole truth. You
3 know what that means, so there's no need to insist on it, but I wish to
4 highlight a specific feature of our procedure which is linked to the very
5 status of the witness. If a witness believes that an answer to a question
6 may later be used against him to incriminate him, the witness may say that
7 he doesn't wish to answer that question. But under these very exceptional
8 circumstances which we have never encountered, the Chamber may ask the
9 witness to answer nonetheless, at the same time guaranteeing him immunity
10 from prosecution.
11 As you know, this is an oral procedure, which means that we have
12 no written documents about what you are going to say except for a very
13 brief summary as to why the Defence is calling you. Apart from that, we
14 know nothing about you or about what you may say. Hence the importance of
15 the answers that you will give. So please be as clear as possible. We
16 know that as a general rule soldiers are very precise, so we don't expect
17 any difficulty in that area.
18 Should you fail to understand the meaning of a question, ask the
19 person putting it to you to rephrase it, because sometimes the questions
20 may be complicated, and even the Judges may not fully understand the
21 meaning of a question. So ask for it to be rephrased.
22 Should you have any difficulty at all, don't hesitate to address
23 us. Your testimony should be completed in the course of this morning, and
24 I don't think it will go beyond that.
25 But before giving the floor to the Defence, the Defence will tell
1 us how much time they intend to use. I forgot to ask them this. So I
2 give the floor to the Defence.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
4 Defence expects to complete its examination within an hour and 15 or an
5 hour and a half, but I think it will be closer to one hour, 15 minutes.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have no documents for this
8 Examined by Ms. Residovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Mahir. In addition to the
10 cautions given to you by the president of the Trial Chamber, I need to
11 remind you that we speak the same language, so of course you can answer my
12 question as soon as I put it to you, but please wait a few seconds so that
13 my question can be answered fully so that our friends in the courtroom and
14 Their Honours can follow the proceedings easily.
15 Before I pass on to questions, let me ask you a question that has
16 already been asked by the president of the Trial Chamber, and I think on
17 page 6, lines 5 to 6, an error has been committed. Could you tell us once
18 again when you became a member of the Zenica Territorial Defence.
19 A. On the 12th of May, 1992.
20 Q. Thank you. The transcript recorded the 5th of December. That is
21 why I wanted to correct that.
22 You're working in the legal department, as you told the President
23 of the Trial Chamber. What is your profession?
24 A. I have a degree in law, and so I am an officer for normative and
25 legal affairs in the joint command of the army of the federation.
1 Q. Mr. Mahir, did you serve in the JNA before the war, and did you
2 have a rank in that army?
3 A. Yes. I did my regular military service in the JNA, and I got the
4 rank of lance corporal, and afterwards I was in the reserve.
5 Q. Mr. Mahir, since you said in answer to a question from the
6 president of the Trial Chamber that you joined a military police
7 battalion, were you involved in any policing before the war?
8 A. No, I did not work in the police.
9 Q. When in December 1992 you became a member of the military police
10 battalion of the 3rd Corps after it was formed, tell me, what positions
11 did you hold in the military police battalion?
12 A. In the military police company, I was a military policeman. And
13 at the very beginning when the battalion was formed, I was a military
14 policeman. After that, I was an official engaged in investigations, and
15 then I became a commander of a military police battalion, after that
16 deputy commander of the military police battalion, and towards the end I
17 was the acting commander of the military police battalion.
18 Q. In 1993, can you tell us who was your immediate superior?
19 A. My immediate superior or the commander of the military police
20 battalion was Mr. Zaim Mujezinovic.
21 Q. We apologise. We were just checking the transcript in English,
22 and I think the translation is correct.
23 In view of the fact that you were a member of the military police
24 battalion of the 3rd Corps. For the needs of the Trial Chamber could you
25 tell us what regulated the jurisdiction and tasks of the military police
1 in those days.
2 A. There were instructions for military police units, the Law on
3 Criminal Procedure, the law on the work of military security, and
4 instructions from the superior command.
5 Q. Mr. Mahir, could you now describe the tasks of the military police
6 in that period of time, that is between 1991 and 1993.
7 A. The tasks of the military police are regulated by the rules of
8 service, and I shall try and be as clear as possible. They had to do with
9 securing military -- senior military personnel and military facilities,
10 then to control military traffic along roads, to secure important premises
11 containing important documents and operations centres, then to prevent
12 crime in the army, and then later to implement measures of military
13 discipline, anti-sabotage protection, and the military police could be
14 used, though we were not used, for fighting infiltrated sabotage groups.
15 Q. Over whom was the military police in charge of when working to
16 prevent criminal activity or detect the perpetrators of crimes?
17 A. The main duties as prescribed by rules and regulations is to work
18 against the perpetrators of crimes but primarily military personnel. The
19 military police could also act against civilians if military property was
20 in jeopardy or if there were criminal offences for which the district
21 military courts were responsible.
22 Q. Could you please clarify that? It's clear that the military
23 police could act vis-a-vis civilians if they jeopardise military property
24 and facilities, but can you tell us what other crimes, as you say, would
25 come under your jurisdiction, that is to say the military District Court,
1 if crimes are perpetrated by civilians, what could the military police do
2 in that respect? Could you give us examples of crimes of that kind?
3 A. They are crimes which were listed in the bill that has the force
4 of law with the military court. It's difficult for me to enumerate them
5 all but I'll try. They are crimes against the state and system of a
6 country, subversive acts, espionage acts against military facilities, and
7 crimes against the armed forces. But as I say, a list of those exist.
8 I'm sure you can come by that list because I don't think I can enumerate
9 them now one by one here now. I might leave something out.
10 Q. As a military policeman yourself and in connection with the
11 military police and your tasks relating to discovering any criminal acts
12 of members in the army, tell us in what situations did the -- was the
13 military police active, could it go into action? What stage in that
14 process faced with crimes perpetrated in that way?
15 A. The military police had a certain amount of autonomy in the
16 pre-trial [Realtime transcript read in error "previous"] phase, and that
17 is where the job of the military police came into play before a case was
18 taken to trial.
19 Q. This autonomy on the part of the military police, was it identical
20 when this came to members of the army and when it came to civilians? Did
21 it have the same autonomy and jurisdiction?
22 A. The military police had complete authority over military
23 personnel. However, and perhaps I forgot to say this a moment ago, the
24 military police when it had December with the military police it had to
25 ask assistance from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It itself did not
1 have the authority to interrogate civilians or work with civilians in that
2 way. It had to ask the help of the organs in the interior.
3 Q. In view of this authority, that is to say to work autonomously in
4 the pre-trial stage --
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there seems to be
6 an error in the interpretation here so let me ask the witness another
7 question to clarify that point, because in line 12 -- on page 12, line 23,
8 some words appear which the witness did not utter.
9 Q. So I should like to ask Mr. Mahir you something else now. Let me
10 ask you again. Did the military police have the same degree of autonomy
11 working in the pre-trial stage with members of the army, army personnel,
12 and when it had dealings with the civilians which had perpetrated acts
13 which come under the authority of the District Court.
14 A. I said that the military police was completely autonomous when it
15 came to members of the military but when we were dealing with crimes
16 perpetrated by civilians then this would be crimes provided for by war.
17 It -- by law. It asked for the assistance and worked in cooperation with
18 the organs of the internal affairs.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise. It seems
20 that there are some mistakes that have been cropping up here. In line --
21 on page 12, line 17, it says "in the previous trial phrase."
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said pre-trial phase and we're
23 talking -- says the interpreter.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We're talking about the pre-trial
25 phase, before a criminal file is brought. That is "pre-trial" not
1 "previous trial." I think that has been corrected and I do apologise,
2 but we have to be certain of the details that crop up in the transcript.
3 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Mahir --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see in the English according
5 to the French translation they said we were autonomous. I don't know. In
6 your language what word was used. Could he tell us what he means,
7 autonomous with respect to what? To the civilian authorities, or with
8 respect to his own hierarchy, because there is an ambiguity there.
9 Perhaps we need clarification on that point. What is meant by the word
10 autonomy, because the translation of the word can allow us to suppose any
11 number of things.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. You have heard, Mr. Mahir, what the president of the Trial Chamber
14 has just asked you. When you spoke about autonomy in your acts with
15 respect to military personnel, what do you mean by that? In what way were
16 you autonomous?
17 A. Well, the rules of service for military security and the works of
18 the military police were prescribed -- prescribed the competencies of the
19 military police. When I say autonomous I mean we didn't have to ask
20 agreement by the civilian organs in doing our work. If we did our work
21 according to the rules of service and instructions. Then we would apply
22 authorisations given to us provided to us by the war -- by the law. I'm
23 sorry. We didn't have to ask for anybody's agreement on -- from the
24 civilian authorities. So when I say autonomous, in keeping with the law
25 governing the work of the military police.
1 Q. And if we wanted to show this by highlighting an example, if you
2 wish to give us an example, for example, if somebody said something is
3 being stolen from a house, for example, and that it is assumed that a
4 military member of the staff was doing this, then what autonomous actions
5 could you undertake?
6 A. In we had a report of that kind as the investigation -- we had a
7 duty service that functioned round the clock 24 hours. If a call came in
8 that way, we wouldn't have to ask anybody's agreement and accord to send
9 in an intervention unit and to send in the authorised military personnel
10 to go on the spot to determine what was going on and to prevent a crime
11 and if necessary to take the perpetrator into custody if they had
12 committed acts against the law.
13 Q. In view of the fact that you also said that when crimes were
14 perpetrated for which civilians were responsible and taken to the District
15 Court that you then worked together with the civilian police. So I should
16 now like you to tell us in view of the examples that you have just quoted
17 this: If for example you were to learn that a civilian had broken into a
18 military equipment warehouse, for example, belonging to one of your units,
19 for instance, what would you do? How would you act in that particular
21 A. If circumstances allowed and in this case they certainly wouldn't
22 allow for that in the example you quoted, we would intervene straight
23 away. We would try and prevent what was going on and take the individual
24 into custody and prevent a crime from being committed. We would call up
25 the unit and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the operative work would
1 be alongside their presence with people from the internal affairs. So we
2 would act straight away and not wait for them to arrive.
3 Q. But at any rate, if there was any doubt that a civilian had
4 engaged in some crime which came under the competencies of the military
5 court as you have explained you would either do so immediately or when the
6 conditions were ripe. You would continue to work alongside with the
7 civilian police force; is that right? You would cooperate with them?
8 A. Yes, that's correct, 100 per cent, precisely as you have just put
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me now, please, Mr. Mahir, if one was to learn or
11 there was any doubt or suspicions that a crime had been committed and that
12 the investigating judge would go on the spot on site, could you tell us
13 what the situation would be with respect to the members of the military
15 A. If a situation of that kind occurred, and they did occur, the
16 military police, once an investigating duty judge would go out onto the
17 spot, the military police would work exclusively upon the orders of the
18 duty investigating judge.
19 Q. In situations in which some material, for example, which could
20 indicate the existence of a crime being perpetrated and pinpoint a
21 perpetrator, if this comes into the hands of the prosecutor, what would
22 then be the role and position of the military police, for instance?
23 A. Well, according to our law, the law prescribes in fact that the
24 pre-trial investigation should be conducted by the prosecutor. So if a
25 criminal report were to reach the prosecutor or knowledge reach him that
1 something was done which would constitute a crime, the military police
2 would then work according to the instruction and requests of the
3 prosecutor. So it would be the prosecutor who would be in charge of the
4 pre-trial process.
5 Q. Mr. Mahir, if somebody had committed a crime and a criminal --
6 criminal action was taken for an investigation to be conducted into that
7 crime, what role in that particular case and in what way would the
8 military police act?
9 A. In that stage, that is to say the military police would work
10 pursuant to the instructions of the investigating judge, because it is not
11 up to us to collect information. We do so pursuant to orders and
12 instructions from the investigating judge in the matter.
13 Q. Thank you. Those were some general questions and I should like
14 now to go back to the battalion of the military police of the 3rd Corps.
15 Tell me this, please, Mr. Mahir, how was the battalion organised, the
16 battalion of the military police, in 1993? How was that organised?
17 A. The battalion of the military police along with certain amendments
18 but always had four companies. In a subsequent phase it was expanded but
19 you're talking about 1993, so there were three companies, a unit for
20 anti-terrorist activities and a platoon for investigations. So that would
21 be the composition of the battalion itself.
22 Q. Could you tell us, please, briefly explain to us what the scope of
23 work of the companies was and what the other units of the battalion of the
24 military police that you have just mentioned did.
25 A. I said a moment ago that the tasks of the military police and the
1 scope of their work was regulated by the services of the military police,
2 and I'll try and say that the first company did patrol work and escort
3 work escorting individuals. The second company worked for the --
4 providing security details of facilities and individuals. The third
5 company was engaged -- well, that unit in fact most often was used in 1993
6 in the zone of combat operations, but if they were in town they would be
7 used for patrol servicing and also as a security service as well. The
8 fourth company was the traffic company in fact which was in charge of
9 traffic security or controlled traffic on the roads and the Anti-Terrorist
10 Unit in the first stage was just an expanded -- was a small department but
11 was trained in the course of 1993 and strengthened, but it was a unit
12 which built up its image in disciplining the army. That is to say
13 ensuring patrol work, the patrol services, effecting control over military
14 discipline and sometimes providing security for high-ranking military
15 officials. And then the military political investigations platoon, that
16 was perhaps the professional part, the sole section that did police work.
17 Translated into police -- into everyday terms it did policing and police
19 Q. In view of the fact that from the very beginning you yourself were
20 a member of the battalion of the military police of the 3rd Corps, could
21 you tell us what the cadres were like? How many members did the battalion
22 have in 1993? What personnel? What members did it have?
23 A. The military police in fact or the battalion of the military
24 police was established on the basis of the district staff and the platoon
25 there, and it was from the Municipal Staff that had been disbanded. It
1 received members from there, and they were brought to the battalion as
2 were other people from the combat unit. So at the beginning it numbered
3 about 230 to 250 people. That was the maximum number. But as the tasks
4 increased and the requirements grew, we had a full complement which was
5 about 450 to 480 men.
6 Q. A moment ago, you said that the most professional part, if I can
7 put it that way or I think you put it that way, the part we would be
8 interested in in the criminal proceedings section, was the part of the
9 battalion which dealt with police investigations. Tell me -- us, please,
10 how many members were there -- were engaged in police investigations,
11 military police investigations, and what was their job? What was their
13 A. Police investigations numbered about 20 to 22 or 3 men, and I said
14 that within the military police investigations, we had the duty service
15 which was operational, which had six soldiers, six soldiers providing
16 round the clock 24 hour duty service much then we had authorised people in
17 the military police, 8 to 10 soldiers there, eight to ten members. We
18 also had lawyers who tried to organise and coordinate the work and compile
19 criminal reports and dealt with the legal aspects of this job, and there
20 were between four to six of these men. Then we had the crime technicians,
21 two men there, two crime technicians. And that would be it.
22 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mahir, please, the people in the military police,
23 whether we're dealing with members of the companies or the particular
24 services to prevent crime and detect crime, before they would take up
25 their duties there did they have any professional experience or knowledge
1 in military police work? Were they trained in that way?
2 A. A limiting factor was the replenishment of cadres. The BH army
3 was created and established as it was under the conditions that prevailed,
4 and the same thing was reflected on the police. There were very few
5 people in the military police that had been specially trained as military
6 policemen and educated as military policemen. A very small number. Two
7 or three people had just come to us from the MUP, for instance, joined the
8 military police having worked in the MUP previously, and usually they were
9 retired people who had expressed a desire to move to the military police
10 and work there. Or for whatever reason. Some people from Orasje for
11 example left the police there for reasons that were known and then came to
12 Zenica. They didn't find jobs there and then they became members of the
13 military police. But I think that this cadre profile expressed in
14 percentages would be very small. Of a total number, 10 per cent at the
15 most had any knowledge beforehand in police work or were trained and
16 educated in police work. So that would be it.
17 Q. To what extent was the corps command aware of the situation and
18 did it make efforts to see that people were trained to work in the
19 battalions, people work in the battalions receive additional training to
20 bring them up to scratch if I can put it that way?
21 A. Well, this sound quite improbable but as soon as the units were
22 formed and when the fighting was going around Zenica and all over
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina in fact, the corps command issued a number of orders by
24 which they should become organised. Military policemen should undergo
25 police training and also specialised training, and at a certain stage
1 during 1993, agreement was asked from the MUP and assist -- the MUP
2 offered assistance for training crime technicians. We just had one
3 camera, for example, and that was the entire state of the equipment we had
4 for crime technicians. So -- and later on, people were brought in who did
5 have some professional military knowledge. One man was a military
6 prosecutor, for example, in the JNA, and he was a member of the police
7 later on and joined the 3rd Corps.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Mahir, let us see how the chain of command
9 functioned. What was the chain of command with respect to the military
10 police battalion? Who were the superior officers in relation to you as
11 members and in relation to the battalion as an entity of the 3rd Corps?
12 A. The commander of the battalion was its commander. I said a moment
13 ago Mr. Zaim Mujezinovic was the commander of the battalion. It was a
14 staff unit of the 3rd Corps, and the commander was in command of the
15 brigades and all the other units, and he was also in command of the
16 battalion of the military police through its specialised body the security
18 Q. So the commander commands through the security organ. Tell me,
19 can the commander sometimes make a decision regarding the engagement of
20 the military police?
21 A. The commander may make all decisions independently. If he did, it
22 may have been to militarily engage the battalion of the military police.
23 But if a military police battalion company was to be sent somewhere, it
24 had to go through the chief of the security organ.
25 Q. You said that the corps commander commanded the military police
1 via the security organ. Tell me, how did the chief of the military police
2 security organ or the commander of the 3rd Corps, how did he command units
3 through the security organ?
4 A. The rules of service prescribed from the very beginning that the
5 senior commander is the specialised body through which the commander
6 exercises his function, and the chief of security, because that is what he
7 actually was, was the most responsible person for combat readiness of
8 military police units. And military security service chose personnel,
9 their training, their resources, and means. Those were one of the ways
10 for military police units to carry out the task -- their tasks through
11 instructions from the security organ.
12 Q. A moment ago, Mr. Mahir, the President of the Trial Chamber using
13 the example of the autonomy that you used referred to your tasks in the
14 pre-trial procedure. Tell us what were the tasks of the military police
15 in the pre-trial procedures? Could you describe that for us, please?
16 What did you actually do?
17 A. Yes. Well, the military police had the same tasks as organs of
18 internal affairs. I shall try and be as clear as possible. Having learnt
19 that there is grounds to suspect that a criminal offence had been
20 committed, it was the duty of the military police, that is their
21 investigators, to find the perpetrator of the criminal offence, to find
22 clues and traces, to protect them, and then later in the criminal
23 procedure phase he would act in accordance with the instructions of the
25 Q. You just said, Mr. Mahir, that it was your duty to collect
1 information. Tell me, could you interview certain people or interrogate
2 them as witnesses or was your role different according to the law?
3 A. The military police does not have the right to interrogate
4 persons. It collects information that will help in dealing with the case.
5 And had any statements been taken, they couldn't be used in trial.
6 Q. What happened with statements that you took from persons if a
7 criminal procedure was instituted?
8 A. I said that as such they couldn't be used in criminal proceedings,
9 but they could be used by the prosecutor to ask for additional information
10 and to channel the work of the military police, to provide guidelines to
12 Q. Once you had clues that a certain person may have committed an
13 offence, what measures would you take for that person to be taken to
15 A. Perpetrators are different. Criminal offences are different. If
16 we were to find out that a person had made an offence, we would try and
17 identify him and take him into custody. When that was not possible, we'd
18 issue a wanted poster in the aim of bringing that person to justice either
19 for disciplinary sanctions or criminal sanctions.
20 Q. How did you forward the information you collected to other bodies
21 that were responsible for processing these cases?
22 A. Through regular exchanges of reports, exchanges of information,
23 through -- we would address regular reports to the military security organ
24 daily, weekly, and monthly, and even annually. Then if it had to do with
25 criminal reports, these would be filed with the courts.
1 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mahir, did the military police battalion -- was it
2 the only military police within the 3rd Corps or were there some military
3 police units in other military units as well?
4 A. Military police battalion was the battalion of the 3rd Corps, but
5 every entity of the level of a brigade had a military police unit. The
6 mountain brigades had platoons, the motorised brigade had companies of
7 military police, then there were provisional formations of operations
8 groups, which as a rule did not have military police units, but because
9 they were far from Zenica, the operations group of Bosanska Krajina was
10 allowed to form a military police company.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow down, please.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. Did the military police battalion of the 3rd Corps have
14 superiority over these companies or platoons in lower-level units?
15 A. No. The military police battalion had no superior function
16 because these units were commanded by the commanders of the units. Of
17 course, through their specialised security organ.
18 Q. Even though you were not superior to these military units in the
19 brigades, which were commanded by their commanders through their security
20 organs, did you have any relations with those units? Did you have any
21 kind of jurisdiction towards them?
22 A. In a later stage of the formation of the military police battalion
23 following orders of the command of the 3rd Corps and in line with the
24 plans made by the military security service, the military police battalion
25 engaged in training of these smaller units and also in providing
1 equipment. A certain part of the equipment for the battalion would be
2 given to these units. And also if instructions were given by the chief of
3 military security or the corps commander, we could be sent and were sent
4 to the areas of responsibility of certain brigades when we provided
5 assistance, professional assistance, in carrying out police work.
6 Q. If in a particular area a certain criminal offence were to be
7 committed, what were the competencies of the military police unit of the
8 brigade stationed in that area?
9 A. If that happened in their area of responsibility, they were the
10 competent unit. In that case, that unit would act. If it didn't have the
11 capacity, and quite frequently this did happen, they could address
12 themselves for assistance, and then in -- the chief of the security
13 service might send their officers to assist them.
14 Q. In answer to a previous question from me, Mr. Mahir, you told us
15 when the military police could act in relation to civilians. Tell me, who
16 would normally protect public law and order, lawfulness, protection of
17 civilians in the whole area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps? Whose
18 competence was that? Or to be more precise, was the military police
19 responsible for the overall security situation in the area of 3rd Corps?
20 A. It was not responsible for the overall security situation. The
21 civilian police would implement the curfew, and we would assist them, too,
22 sometimes in patrols. But on the free territory in-depth the military
23 police of the 3rd Corps was not responsible for overall security. But if
24 we're talking about military police work, military police work in the town
25 of Zenica itself, the military police was in a sense following orders of
1 the corps commander responsible for the activities of other services,
2 crime prevention, patrolling the town, implementing military discipline
3 measures. For that, the military police of the 3rd Corps in Zenica itself
4 was responsible for security in the town.
5 Q. In those situations implementing the 3rd Corps order, tell me what
6 kind of cooperation you had with the security services centre and the
7 police station in Zenica.
8 A. I can say that our relations were correct. They had their terms
9 of reference. We had ours. So we cooperated well with the MUP. We had
10 to cooperate with them because we relied frequently on the MUP because our
11 equipment was practically non-existent. So their assistance was
13 Q. A moment ago, you spoke about the number of members of the
14 military police battalion. Tell me, what was the ethnic composition of
15 that battalion and to what extent the 3rd Corps Commander insisted on
16 maintaining such an ethnic composition?
17 A. This may be my personal judgement, but I believe that military
18 police battalion was one of the few units that -- in which all ethnicities
19 were represented from the beginning until the end. I know that there were
20 people of Orthodox and Catholic faith. Therefore, all the ethnic groups
21 were represented.
22 To what extent the commander had an influence over this, well, if
23 the commander felt that its composition was not appropriate, it could have
24 asked for changes. I do know that from the beginning until the end, it
25 was mixed and, in fact, the number of Croats and Serbs increased in 1994
1 in relation to 1992.
2 Q. When you were speaking about certain competencies of the military
3 police battalion in town, tell me to what extent you cooperated with
4 military police platoons of brigades stationed in town and whether crime
5 prevention by the military was exclusively the task of the battalion or
6 was it also done in cooperation with military police platoons of brigades.
7 A. If you're referring to the city of Zenica itself, I said that the
8 command of the 3rd Corps issued an order with the aim of preventing any
9 unlawful actions. For example, false identity or taking insignia of the
10 military police of the 3rd Corps. And for that reason, the commander
11 ordered that military police platoons should deal with only three matters,
12 and that is to provide security of the facilities and persons in their
13 unit, to patrol their own areas of activity, to do reception work, but not
14 to patrol the city or to implement any other measures.
15 But if we had soldiers, deserters from the 303rd Brigade, for
16 instance, then they would have to deal with it, because we had too much to
17 do anyway as compared to the units of the 1st and 2nd Corps and also the
18 303rd Brigade.
19 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mahir, in 1993, did the military police at any point
20 in time have superiority over the civilian police and take over its
21 competencies, or were relationships between them relationships of
22 cooperation throughout?
23 A. The military police never had any superior position in relation to
24 other bodies, especially not over the civilian police. How could it when
25 they were much larger than we were.
1 Q. Since you were working on detection and prevention of crime, tell
2 me, Mr. Mahir, what was the policy of the 3rd Corps and its commander with
3 respect to measures to prevent crime and especially with regard to
4 measures to detect and prosecute the perpetrators?
5 A. I hope I have made a sufficient pause this time. Yes, thank you.
6 I was a bit confused. I forgot your question.
7 Q. My question was: Since you were working in a part of the
8 battalion dealing with crime prevention, what was the policy and to what
9 extent that was the position of the 3rd Corps commander.
10 A. In addition to what was prescribed by law, we were one of the rare
11 services that had heightened measures, stricter measures. Every effort
12 was made to prevent crime. But should crime be committed, it was almost
13 impossible to seek out the perpetrators. I don't know whether it's
14 appropriate for me to say that members of the military police from Zenica
15 to Visoko would hitchhike. There were very few motor vehicles on the
16 road. So to go to Visoko to collect information was a problem for us.
17 Q. In conducting your stringent measures and requests from your
18 commander to do everything to prevent the perpetration of crimes and
19 uncover the perpetrators, what problems did you encounter? You gave us
20 one example. You said you didn't have any vehicles, and you had to do the
21 journey as you described. What other problems did you encounter in
22 that -- that year of 1993 which made it difficult for you to comply with
23 the stringent instructions given to you?
24 A. We had numerous problems. Some were objective, some were not, but
25 most of them -- when I say subjective problems, those were problems that
1 were conditioned by the wartime circumstances that we couldn't influence.
2 But the constant displacements of the population, migration -- population
3 migrations, a large number of people in Zenica. At one point it had over
4 120.000 there. More than 60, 70 per cent of the people had come in from
5 different areas. Most of them had no documents, no proof of identity of
6 any kind. Many people wore uniforms. Some people would come by in
7 military uniforms. Some of them didn't wish to take to off even when they
8 went to sleep. So you had situations of that kind. And we were amassing
9 a data under areas controlled by the HVO in 1992, 1993, 1994 and even
10 1995, for example. Then there was fighting going on, combat operations,
11 lack of ammunition and weapons and everything else, which made the
12 situation very difficult.
13 Q. With respect to the strict orders that were given to you, and I
14 repeat that, orders that you must carry out your tasks and duties, were
15 there any exceptions in the policies of the 3rd Corps Command and its
16 commander, for example? Was there an order according to which you should
17 not implement military/political measures of investigation? Were any
18 people except from that?
19 A. No. Not a single member of the army was except from these rules
20 and regulations.
21 Q. Could you tell me now, please, Mr. Mahir, in 1993 how were the
22 members of the army held responsible and for what offences?
23 A. Well, some -- this might seem a bit strange as misdemeanours, but
24 they were sanctioned, disciplines was in force. They were discipline.
25 That's what we did in the army.
1 Q. And who decided whether we were dealing with petty offences,
2 misdemeanors or whatever?
3 A. The military courts did.
4 Q. Who decided on the disciplinary measures to be enforced and
5 sanctions and sentences?
6 A. This kind of discipline was conducted according to the rules of
7 service governing discipline, and this was decided on by the superior
8 officers and the military courts. So members of the army would be held
9 responsible for crimes, depending on their gravity, of course.
10 Q. For a discipline offence, what kind of sentences could be meted
12 A. I have already said the rules set this out. The commander of
13 platoon, battalion, command, and so on could issue measures of this kind.
14 They would either be reprimanded, issued reprimands, given duty work to
15 do, and more stringent measures, too. So it was the commander who would
16 issue a stay in prison of up to 30 days, for example.
17 Q. And what about disciplinary offences?
18 A. The commander would be in charge there for more serious forms, and
19 he could mete out prison sentences of up to 60 days, but usually it was
20 the disciplinary courts that issued sentences of that kind in cases of
21 that kind.
22 Q. There seems to have been a mistake somewhere but I can't find it
23 so I'll deal with it later on.
24 How else could these soldiers be held responsible and in fact how
25 did they -- how were they held accountable in 1993 for any offences?
1 A. In addition to this kind of offence, the petty offences,
2 misdemeanours and so on there was criminal responsibility as well for more
3 serious crimes.
4 Q. Who was the organ there who was in charge and who would deal with
5 more serious cases, that is to say with crimes?
6 A. For Zenica it would be the military District Court in Zenica. So
7 military District Courts were set up and it was their responsibility to
8 deal with more serious cases committed by members of the military. If
9 they were co-perpetrators, if there was a military person co-perpetrating
10 a crime with a civilian, then this would be handed over to the civilian
12 Q. Could you tell us, please --
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but on page 31, line
14 3 there is a word omitted or words omitted, criminal responsibility. So
15 there were different types of responsibility and criminal responsibility
16 were the words missing there. So I'd just like to make a note of that and
17 have that corrected. Thank you.
18 Q. Tell me, please, how often, to the best of your recollections did
19 the members of the units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina of the 3rd
20 Corps in 1993 were disciplined and held accountable and punished? How
21 many people, members of the army were punished in 1993 for any offences?
22 A. In 1993, I think hundreds of them but I'm just giving you out that
23 kind of figure. But I didn't expect the question. But you could look
24 that up and see how many people had custodial sentences. But in 1993,
25 several hundred.
1 Q. Since you yourself were a policeman, soldier, tell me, please, the
2 members of the military police, were they privileged in any way or exempt
3 from any disciplinary measures or from being punished for acts -- acting
4 contrary to the law or contrary to orders?
5 Q. Madam, not only were we privileged but our members were sanctioned
6 more stringently than the members of other units and we wouldn't comment
7 on that amongst themselves. And say that in addition to all the
8 difficulties a military policeman faced in going about his duties, in
9 addition to all that, if he were to do something that was contrary to
10 discipline and the Criminal Code they would be held accountable far more
11 stringently than anybody else and I could give you countless examples,
12 very characteristic examples.
13 For example, for an offence in another unit you might not have
14 been punished at all. You might have just been reprimanded, whereas a
15 member of the military police would be re-commanded to another combat unit
16 as far away as possible from his place of residence in most cases.
17 Q. In going about your duties as a military policeman, you have
18 already told us the problems you encountered in your job, but tell me now,
19 please, to what extent did these problems affect your ability to detect
20 crimes and the period of time necessary to elucidate certain acts that had
21 been committed?
22 A. I've already said that this depended on the type of crime or
23 misdemeanour or offence that was committed, the type of act. There were
24 acts that you could unravel in the space of several hours, whereas for
25 others you needed operative work with cooperation among crime -- with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 crime technicians, and then this would go on for seven or eight months
2 sometimes, as long as that.
3 Q. Can you quote some examples in which the battalion of the military
4 police was engaged, involved, over a period of several months in order to
5 uncover and prevent the criminal acts of certain groups, for example?
6 A. Yes, I can quote you a case in point of a complete unit. The
7 Green Legion, the 314th Brigade, a unit which almost the whole it have was
8 under the commander, the deputy commander of the staff. It was a crime
9 group and behave -- they behaved as criminals at that particular stage,
10 but we had to find proof. We had to prove it. And some of the knowledge
11 that we gathered were linked to April 1993, but to take these individuals
12 to justice and to take them into custody, we didn't succeed in doing until
13 January 1994. For example, there was another characteristic case, a
14 member of the 7th Muslim unit which was called, I thought, the mountain
15 guerrilla or the Sokol group, unit, falcon group, and a group that engaged
16 in crime sometime towards the end of May, for example. And we were able
17 only in September and October to collect the data necessary to show us who
18 the perpetrators were, and I think it was only in 1994 that they were
19 brought to justice. But they were taken into custody towards the end of
20 1993. So that was another case in point.
21 This guerrilla, the Turkish guerrilla, counter-intelligence work,
22 security services and the military police battalion was just used as a
23 unit to realise the final stages of that settling of accounts. I don't
24 know if I was clear enough in explaining that. If not, I shall be happy
25 to explain.
1 Q. Well, if I have understood you correctly, you said that that you
2 received information that certain individuals were engaging in crime on a
3 continuous basis, and then you did all the work necessary to bring them to
4 justice and after many months you were able to collect sufficient evidence
5 and proof in order to bring a lawsuit against them; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You gave us three examples. One example was the members of the
8 7th and then the Green Legion belonging to the 314th and as a result of
9 work with the counter-intelligence service and military security of the
10 3rd Corps. That was the Turkish guerrilla that you mentioned.
11 Now, tell me, these individuals, these perpetrators, were criminal
12 reports filed later on and were criminal proceedings undertaken against
13 them all?
14 A. Yes, against all of them. These were the most characteristic
15 cases, and everybody was held accountable. Some were brought before the
16 district military courts, others between the regular civilian courts, but
17 they were all brought to justice.
18 Q. As you mentioned the Turkish guerrilla and said it was the result
19 of operational work of the counter-intelligence service, tell me, please,
20 whether those foreigners, in view of the acts that they were held
21 accountable for, were they within any units, within the composition of any
22 units or were they independent units before -- because as far as I can see
23 the first groups came under the brigade, the composition of the brigade of
24 the 1st -- 3rd Corps.
25 A. As to the Turkish guerrilla, I was never quite -- I never quite
1 knew about its status. People joined up with them, people who found some
2 refuge there or protection in that unit. I don't really know. But as it
3 was counter intelligence, the counter-intelligence department, I don't
4 really know what their actual status was but we did take part together
5 with them in bringing people to justice. So therefore I might assume that
6 they were members of -- well, I don't really know. I can't say.
7 Q. Tell me now, please, from the beginning of the work of the
8 military police, when it started working, what attitude did the 3rd Corps
9 have towards cooperating with the Croatian Defence Council, for example,
10 and towards protecting some property -- property belonging to the Croatian
11 people, religious property and other religious and cultural monuments?
12 A. Well, at the -- at the very beginning when the military police
13 battalion was established we were told that our district staff company
14 would be the basic point and the HVO corresponding units. Now, why we
15 didn't do that, why we didn't set up a joint unit, I don't know. It --
16 this cooperation never came about.
17 Now, as regards mutual relationships, many of our members in
18 different stages had some very -- if I can put it, say, ugly pressure from
19 members of the -- of -- from Croatian -- from the Croatian ethnicity. A
20 man called Mario who was a deputy commander of the military police, for
21 example, for the first few months in 1993 and then after what happened to
22 Mr. Breko [phoen] in Busovaca and Sasa Stjepanovic, the man left the army.
23 He left. He joined some humanitarian organisation and no longer was a
24 member of the army.
25 Now, as protection, you mentioned something about the protection
1 of -- of monuments. There were orders according to which certain
2 facilities from the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Both the civilian
3 police and the military police guarded Orthodox churches or Catholic
4 churches and the monastery at Guca Gora, for example, is a case in point.
5 Q. Before I ask you about the Guca Gora case, let's just make things
6 clearer. You said that Croatian members in the battalion, there was
7 certain pressures being -- there was certain pressure being exerted
8 against these Croatian members. Now, the members of the Bosniak people
9 did you expert pressure on them or was there some other pressure exerted
10 on these Croatian members that you wanted to explain?
11 A. Unfortunately I'm sorry for that because the Judge said at the
12 beginning that as a soldier, he expect immediate to be clear. No, it was
13 the HVO members that exerted pressure on our members, the members of the
14 battalion of the military police. Croat members who were in our
15 battalion. It was the HVO exerting pressure on them. So I apologise for
16 not being clear enough. Zoran, for example, or some other members. I
17 never had myself any qualms or queries at all. We were all --
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, anyway, Mr. President, I
19 think that this would be a good time to break.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is 10.30. We're going to
21 take the technical break now in order to allow the witness and the
22 technical staff to take a break or do the necessary -- make the necessary
23 technical adjustments in the meantime, and we'll reconvene at five to
25 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. The
3 give the floor to the Defence.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Mahir, in answer to my previous questions, you said that in
6 certain situations, you were engaged for special assignments. Tell me, if
7 my understanding is correct, you started out as an ordinary military
8 policeman; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you have any tasks as a military policeman at the end of
11 January 1993 in connection with certain combat operations that were
12 happening in the village of Dusina?
13 A. Yes, I did have the assignment that as a member of the 1st company
14 of the military police battalion to go there with the company commander to
15 escort certain people from the area of combat operations to the KP Dom in
17 Q. Can you tell me who those persons were?
18 A. They were members of the HVO captured in combat in the
19 surroundings of Dusina.
20 Q. How did you transport those captured members of the HVO, and where
21 did you take them from to the KP Dom in Zenica?
22 A. As members of the 1st company, we went to Lasva. A group went to
23 the school in Lasva and took over custody. I wasn't at the school. I was
24 near the bus, the vehicle. So I didn't go to the school. They picked
25 them up and drove them to the bus. We boarded them on the bus and drove
1 to Zenica.
2 Q. While you were transporting those captured members of the HVO from
3 Lasva to Zenica, did any of the military policemen who were with you or
4 you personally, did you mistreat those HVO members?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did any member of the HVO whom you were transporting by bus
7 complain to you because of harassment?
8 A. I must admit that we didn't converse with them, but no one
9 complained to us. We were travelling by bus, 10 or 15 people boarded the
10 bus, there wasn't much talk, and we transported them to Zenica.
11 Q. As a military policeman, did any of the captured HVO soldiers say
12 to you or one of your colleagues that any persons had been killed? Did
13 they give you any intimations of that?
14 A. No one said anything to that effect to me. After we had
15 transported those prisoners to the KP Dom and handed them over, I didn't
16 meet them again, but I do know that the next day our members during
17 investigations did have interviews with them, but I don't know that anyone
18 said anything about any murders. There were dead on both sides in combat.
19 We knew that even before we left for Zenica.
20 Q. Did the investigating judge or the prosecutor ever ask you as
21 members of the military police to carry out any kind of additional
22 inquiries in connection with the events in Dusina?
23 A. Me personally, no. But I do know that two or three days after the
24 combat operations, I think a commission was formed. I think somebody from
25 the department of military police investigations went to Dusina, and I
1 think the next day the Civil Defence carried out assignation of the
2 battlefield. That's as much as I know.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Sanitation of the battlefield. Sorry.
4 Q. I apologise. This is something that is not clear here. You said
5 that the Civil Defence carried out sanitation of the battlefield, cleared
6 the battlefield. That is on page 39, line 6.
7 Who was legally responsible for sanitisation of the areas?
8 A. The Civil Defence, wherever that was possible.
9 Q. You are probably familiar with the broader area of Lasva, Dusina,
10 and the surrounding villages. Tell me, did anyone from the Civil Defence
11 inform you, the military police, that when bodies were found in that whole
12 area there were any suspicions that they may have died in some other way
13 and not in combat?
14 A. I am not aware of any of our members having gained any such
16 Q. Mr. Mahir, do you have any knowledge at all about what happened
17 after the kidnapping of Zivko Totic in April 1993 in Zenica and whether
18 the military police had any kind of assignments in that connection and, if
19 so, which?
20 A. I do know that Mr. Zivko Totic was kidnapped in Podbrezje.
21 There's a monument there to the escorts who were escorting him. I must
22 say that this was shocking piece of news that somebody was kidnapped and
23 especially that the escort was killed.
24 The military police first, as well as HVO policemen, went on-site
25 investigation, and then they had a slightly broader assignment that each
1 one of us should, through our daily activities, and some were members of
2 commissions who went to tour the area, we were all asked to collect
3 information linked to that event.
4 Q. Mr. Mahir, do you know whether the military police carried out
5 these orders and tried to collect information? Are you aware of the kind
6 of information that was obtained?
7 A. As I said, the military police accompanied these joint commissions
8 formed by the corps command that toured the villages around Zenica
9 expecting to find them there. I think the whole battalion was allotted to
10 this task. This went on for four or five days. And then we were tasked
11 to stop the search four or five days later because allegedly, I don't know
12 whether in fact, that the kidnappers had got in touch with the European
13 Monitors and that the monitors had asked the search to be stopped in the
14 interest of the safety of the person kidnapped.
15 Q. Tell me, please, did the military police battalion or any other
16 segment of the military forces of the 3rd Corps involved in the kidnapping
17 of Zivko Totic?
18 A. Ms. Residovic, I can't say no a hundred per cent for any other
19 entity, but as far as the military police battalion is concerned, I can
20 claim with certainty that no one had anything to do with the kidnapping
21 except for the processes that took place afterwards.
22 Q. If Zivko Totic testifying in this court were to say that a special
23 unit of the 3rd Corps or, rather, of the security of the 3rd Corps took
24 part in his kidnapping, tell me first, was there any such special unit,
25 and secondly, do you know anything at all about that?
1 A. I would be pleased if the 3rd Corps had marines or commandos or
2 these special units. We didn't have a proper police unit, never mind
3 special police. No such unit ever existed. There were no special units.
4 In the 3rd Corps, as far as I know, there was no unit that would -- could
5 be described as a special unit, because I'm familiar with the criteria
6 they would have to fulfil. So no such unit existed in the 3rd Corps, and
7 particularly not in the military police battalion.
8 Q. If I understand you correctly, you reject any possibility of a
9 police unit of the 3rd Corps ever thinking about a kidnapping, never mind
10 carrying it out. Is that what you're trying to say?
11 A. Yes. I think I was quite clear as the President of the Chamber
12 asked me to be. No unit of the military police took part in that
13 kidnapping or any other.
14 Q. A moment ago, you mentioned Guca Gora. Tell me, please, did you
15 and upon whose orders take part in providing security for the monastery at
16 Guca Gora?
17 A. I personally was involved. I was tasked by my commander, and I
18 assume the task came from the 3rd Corps Command that together with 16 men
19 that we go in a minibus to the Guca Gora area to secure the monastery at
20 Guca Gora. Upon arriving there near the command of the 306th Brigade, I
21 saw there was a command post there. I assume it was of the 306th Brigade.
22 Another squad of the 306th Brigade joined us, and with some difficulty we
23 managed to enter the facility and to secure the facility for and month and
24 a month and a half, until August. I was there for only a couple of days
1 Q. When you left, who was threatening that facility so that you had
2 to engage the Police Battalion of the 3rd Corps?
3 A. On site we came across several foreigners, Arabs. They didn't
4 speak our language. They spoke Arabic, which I don't understand. But in
5 any event, they were not locals. There were a couple of local people,
6 maybe 15 or 20 among those we saw, and at the very entrance there was a
7 kind of machine-gun nest, a person manning it, and a position fortified.
8 So this was a group of people who were within the monastery of Guca Gora.
9 Q. Upon your request, did they leave immediately or did you have some
10 difficulty in taking over control of the facility?
11 A. This reached a point -- I don't know whether incident is the
12 proper word, but it was really very tense. We were about to fire because
13 we were tasked to enter and secure the Guca Gora monastery because these
14 persons allegedly wanted to blow it up. So we had to carry out that task.
15 There was no choice. I had to do it.
16 After a couple of hours and some squabbling and threatening and
17 posing of conditions, we managed to enter the monastery.
18 Q. Did you notice whether there was any damage to the monastery?
19 A. There was damage to the monastery. There were books thrown
20 around. There were some objects in front of the monastery. In one of the
21 halls, I think a piece of the organ was broken off. There was some
22 inscriptions in Arabic, wine spilt and things like that. That is what we
23 could see at first glance.
24 Q. Tell me, did members of the army try to put in order the mess made
25 by the Mujahedin?
1 A. About early evening, a gentleman came. I don't know him
2 personally, but I know his name. Mr. Beba came. I think he was in the
3 operations group or in Travnik. I don't know what his status was. He
4 came with a group of people to paint over the graffiti, and we assisted,
5 though I left the next day in the evening. So I don't know personally
6 what happened later on. I just know that in August our unit came to
7 Zenica and that this squad of the 306th remained securing the monastery
8 and then handed it over to the church authorities when the conditions were
9 ripe for that.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That
11 ends my examination-in-chief.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have the other Defence team any
13 questions for this witness?
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, at this point in
15 time we have no questions for this witness.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] With your permission,
17 Mr. President, in view of the fact that the witness mentioned an order - I
18 didn't expect him to say that - I have that order in the B/C/S. May I be
19 allowed to show him this order, and if the witness recognises it, I would
20 be glad to tender it into evidence.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I didn't provide
23 the document to the Prosecution nor anybody else because I didn't think
24 that witness would know anything about the document. Perhaps the witness
25 could read through it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If I understand the
2 situation, there's an order of some kind, I don't know who from, which you
3 have in your possession, and the witness mentioned an order in the course
4 of his testimony. Now you would like to show the witness this order for
5 him to say whether he recognises it or not. So that's the situation.
6 Mr. Mundis, you were on your feet.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, perhaps if we could have a look at the
8 order. I don't know the date of the order. The witness has mentioned
9 several orders. I have no idea even a rough time period.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Let me explain. The witness said
11 during the evidence that at one point General Hadzihasanovic had issued an
12 order according to which a military police battalion would take over
13 certain authorisation of the platoons of military police in the town of
14 Zenica. And during the break I managed to look through my documents, and
15 I'd just like to see if the witness can state whether that was the order
16 he had in mind when he said what he said.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We would have no objection
19 to the document being shown to the witness. I would ask, though, in the
20 future if my learned colleague discovers documents during the breaks if
21 perhaps we could get a little more advanced notice.
22 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, could we also have a look at the
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We're going to show it to
25 Mr. Dixon as well.
1 I assume that the order is in B/C/S; right? Perhaps we could
2 place it on the ELMO, and the witness could read it, and that will
3 facilitate matters for one and all.
4 Very well. No objections from you, Mr. Dixon? No, none?
5 MR. DIXON: No, Your Honour.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that was precisely
7 what I was going to suggest. It's not a long order. Perhaps he could
8 read it out. We're going to hear it, and the witness will be able to say
9 whether it was indeed the order that he referred to, whether it is indeed
10 the order.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the order I was
12 referring to. It is the order by which the authorisations were restricted
13 of the platoons of the military police, and I'd like to read it out.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Go ahead, please.
15 THE WITNESS: "Because of instances of abuse --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead. Read it. Read it in
17 its entirety.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Due to the abuse of the official
19 position -- of official positions on the part of members of the units of
20 military police located in the area of Zenica, it is necessary for us to
21 warn you about the use and deployment of military police units in the
22 spirit of the rules and regulations governing the work of the military
23 police in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In view of the fact in the
24 area of the town of Zenica there is a battalion of the military police
25 existent there and linked to the need for the members of the units of the
1 military police in your unit I order the following." And point one
2 is: "The units of the military police belonging to your units may be
3 deployed exclusively for tasks stipulated in chapter 1, paragraph 2.6, and
4 they are as follows: "One, the organisation of shift duty patrols and
5 reconnoitering points, and physical security for command posts.
6 "Second, within the frameworks of the commands, the operative
7 centre and the communications centre and the encryption centre should be
8 established for documents, organisation of control points for controlling
9 exits and entrances to the command post can search the area and premises
10 which the commands are required to take over and to ensure that these have
11 been properly examined.
12 "2. All other tasks from the area of work of the military police
13 come under the competency of the battalion of the military police.
14 "3. The assistant commander for security in the unit shall be
15 held responsible for the proper handling of the military police units."
16 And then it says in the signature, "The commander Enver
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Can you give us the date? Can you see the date when the order was
21 A. The 23rd of October, 1993, is the date.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As the witness has recognised this
24 document, may it be marked for identification until we receive a
25 translation in English of it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The signature there,
2 is it the signature of the commander of the 3rd Corps or is it somebody
3 who signed for him, for the commander?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not quite sure whether
5 this is the commander's signature. I would -- I think it's signed for the
6 commander. I don't think it's the commander's happened writing and
7 signature. I think somebody signed for him.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As it's a document having to do
9 with the military police, the -- in the contents, the intellectual
10 contents of the order, was it compiled in the military police battalion or
11 not? And we see the IM/TA. What is that IM/TA? What does that stand
13 A. IM/TA are the initials of the person that put the document
14 together. It was not done in the military police battalion.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You want a number,
16 an identification number, do you, Defence?
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What about the
20 MR. MUNDIS: No objection.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, may we have a
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] It will be DH2052, and the date is
24 the 23rd of October, 1993. Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about the other Defence
1 counsel? Would they like to ask any questions with respect to the
2 document, because there was the 7th Muslim Brigade stamp on it.
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
4 said earlier on that we had no questions, but since the document has
5 appeared in the meantime, I would like to show the document to the witness
6 once again. He didn't read it out fully.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mahir, would you take a look at the upper
9 right-hand corner, who the addressee is, who this was accept to.
10 A. It was sent to the organ of security, the security organ of the
11 7th Muslim Brigade. If you mean the stamp in the middle.
12 Q. I'm talking about the upper right hand document. It is a 3rd
13 Corps document. Who was if addressed to? Only to the 7th Muslim Brigade
14 or other units, too?
15 A. No, to all units in the area of the 3rd Corps.
16 Q. Not just to the 7th Muslim Brigade; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. And that's what it says, to the command of the units located and
20 stationed in Zenica. I forgot to say that. That's this part here, the
21 right-hand corner.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm now going to
23 give the floor to the Prosecution for the cross-examination.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 I would ask, Madam Usher, if you could perhaps leave that there.
1 I'm going to ask the witness some questions about that in just a moment.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Mundis:
3 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Daryl Mundis. My name is Daryl
4 Mundis, and along with my colleagues here we represent the Prosecution
5 this morning. I'm going to ask you a number of questions. Before I do
6 so, however, I would ask if you don't understand any of my questions,
7 simply tell me that and I'll rephrase them. It's not my intention in any
8 way to confuse you with any of the questions that I'm going to ask you
9 about today.
10 MR. MUNDIS: I would also ask if Madam Usher could move the ELMO
11 or at least move it back a bit perhaps.
12 Q. Let me start, sir, with this document that is before you now since
13 it's still here. Can you tell us, sir, in 1993, up to the time period
14 this document was written, that is in October 1993, other than the 3rd
15 Corps military police battalion, what other military police units of any
16 other brigades of the 3rd Corps were present in Zenica?
17 A. I said that a moment ago in addition to the military police
18 battalion and the brigade in its organic composition, there were units of
19 the military police. And in addition to the battalion of the military
20 police of the 3rd Corps, there was also a unit of the military police of
21 the 7th Muslim Brigade and a unit of the military police of the 303rd
22 Brigade, and another of the 314th Brigade, a company of the 301st Brigade
23 as well, a unit of that, because that was in existence still at that time.
24 Q. Let's talk about each of these different brigades and their
25 military police companies individually. How many military policemen of
1 the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade were, if you will, stationed in Zenica?
2 How many of them were there and where were they?
3 A. To my knowledge, about one platoon of the military police. That
4 needn't be exact. I didn't have an insight into the number of men either
5 for the military police or for the brigade, actually.
6 Q. And, sir, approximately, and again I understand that you don't
7 know the specific numbers, but approximately how many men would be in a
8 Military Police Platoon?
9 A. Between 27 and 31 men.
10 Q. And this Military Police Platoon from the 7th Muslim Mountain
11 Brigade that was in Zenica, where were they located?
12 A. The platoon was located or, rather, the command of the platoon was
13 located in the musical school in Zenica, that building.
14 Q. Sir, how many -- approximately how many military policemen of the
15 303rd Brigade were in Zenica in 1993, and where were they located?
16 A. The same. One platoon strong, and they were at the machine
17 engineering faculty. The institute and faculty itself. That's where they
18 were. And a part of them were in town near the Jugoplastika company's
20 Q. And the 314th brigade, how many military policemen in Zenica and
21 where were they located?
22 A. The same thing. The 314th also had one platoon and they were in
23 the upper portion of the institute.
24 Q. And, sir, the 301st Brigade, same questions.
25 A. The 301st Brigade used facility or premises of -- actually, it was
1 in the middle of town. It was the planning centre or planning institute,
2 that building. I can't quite remember what its name was. And in the
3 economical commercial centre part of it. That's where the platoon was. I
4 can't recall the name of it, actually the name of the facility, the
5 premises themselves. But it's a building in the centre of town near the
6 municipality building and the MUP.
7 Q. Now, sir, can you tell us again the reason why the 3rd Corps
8 Commander issued the document that you have before you? What was the --
9 what was the purpose behind him sending this document to these units or to
10 the units to which it's addressed? Why was that done?
11 A. Because of what it says here in the preamble. In the introduction
12 it says because of the abuse of the positions by individual members of the
13 military police. For that reason.
14 Q. Sir, do you have any additional information or can you elaborate
15 upon what abuse was being referred to? Did you have any knowledge about
17 A. There were situations in which the patrol service was moving
18 around the town itself. There would be five patrols, the military police
19 patrol, the 314th and the 7th Muslim Brigade, and the 303rd. You would
20 have all these patrols patrolling the town, and then you would gain the
21 impression that it was only the police who were there, full the police.
22 And then military personnel were carrying long-barrelled weapons. So I
23 think there was another order that the defence and prosecution could see
24 and that was prohibiting the use of carrying long-barrelled weapons around
25 town without having the insignia of the unit you belonged to displayed on
1 your sleeve. So if a patrol would enter somebody else's premises or
2 apartment or whatever, they would know that this was done by the 3rd Corps
3 police and you wouldn't -- you would know exactly that they were our
4 policemen who were engaged in that and not members of the 314th or 303rd
5 or 7th Muslim or whatever.
6 Q. Sir, this reference to abuses, do you know if it made or in any
7 way was referring to the situation in the music school where the command
8 of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade Military Police Platoon was located?
9 A. I really do apologise. I won't come up to expectations but I
10 don't know what the commander had in mind. Perhaps it was because the 7th
11 and 303rd and the military police battalion. I really don't know. I
12 can't say what prompted him to write this order. Now, as for abuse of the
13 military police of the 7th they were equal or similar in behaviour to the
14 behaviour of the other military police forces in my opinion which --
15 that's my own personal opinion. It need not be right.
16 Q. Sir, at any point in 1993, as part of your duties within the 3rd
17 Corps military police battalion, did you ever become aware of persons
18 being abused in the Zenica Music School?
19 A. I personally never had any information like that nor was I aware
20 of it, but I know that there was some rumours going round about some kind
21 of abuse, but to my knowledge and awareness from the corps command I think
22 that some humanitarians, perhaps the Red Cross, went to check and
23 investigate. I never received a report of that kind or -- nor do I know
24 that anybody was detained there beyond a certain deadline or anything like
1 Q. Now, sir, as a -- as a deputy commander of the military police
2 battalion within the 3rd Corps and as someone with legal training, when
3 you heard these rumours what steps did you take as a military police
4 official to determine if those rumours had any validity to them?
5 A. Well, I have to correct you. During that period of time I wasn't
6 the deputy commander of the military police. I was -- yes, I apologise.
7 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
8 witness has just answered and said that at that point in time he wasn't
9 the deputy commander of the military police, and he clearly stated that he
10 had no personal knowledge of any kind of goings-on in the music school.
11 So therefore that is our objection to the manner in which the question was
13 MR. MUNDIS: I'll rephrase the question, Mr. President.
14 Q. In the summer of 1993, sir, what position did you hold?
15 A. I was the official to combat crime in Zenica, and I was official
16 officer, and I was engaged in a team set up by the public security
17 station, a member of the team, and set up by the military police and the
18 police department, to uncover crimes, the looting of apartments and
19 burglaries and things like that.
20 Q. So during the summer of 1993, sir, you were responsible or you
21 were involved in combatting crime in Zenica, and a few moments ago, page
22 52, line 24, you said that you were aware of rumours going around about
23 some kind of abuse, and my question is: As someone who was involved in
24 combatting crime in Zenica, what steps did you take based on these rumours
25 you heard?
1 A. As an individual working to prevent crime, we dealt exclusively
2 with property, crimes against property. That's what I want to point out.
3 And had I had any knowledge about anything else, I would be duty-bound and
4 would have done that. I would have written a report informing my
5 commander or the superior professional organ that something untoward was
6 going on indicating some sort of crime. And to this day I don't know that
7 something was going on which is contrary to the rules and provisions we
8 were working under at the time, in violation of those.
9 Q. I take it then, sir, that you disregarded those rumours that you
10 heard about abuse at the music school.
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, very often, for example I now work as the official
12 on the part of the army of the federation. I would hear rumours that some
13 young people were -- Mladic was located at Pale, but those are rumours,
14 and there was no trace of that. So if you have propaganda working
15 strongly, and let me quote another case, for example, a very serious
16 rumour, but anybody with any reason couldn't believe that something like
17 that could be put out on the air. For example, in front -- when a shell
18 fell in front of a department store and 16 people were killed, the rumours
19 were that members of the army had taken the people out of the store and
20 killed them. Now, would you have believed that if you had seen what had
21 happened and then hear rumours, different kinds of rumours going round
22 describing the situation differently.
23 Q. I take it then, sir, from your answer that in fact when you heard
24 these rumours about abuse in the music school you didn't take any steps at
25 all to determine whether the rumours were true.
1 A. You're right.
2 Q. Let me turn now, sir, to some of the other issues that the Defence
3 have asked you about, and let's start with Dusina. I'd like to ask you,
4 sir -- you told us that you were tasked with going to Lasva with some
5 other military police and transporting surrendered HVO soldiers to the KP
6 Dom. Is that corrected?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And do you recall, sir, approximately the date and time that you
9 were given this tasking?
10 A. I know it was in the evening after 8.00 certainly, after 8.00 p.m.
11 I can't remember exactly. It was the end of January, but I can't remember
12 the exact date.
13 Q. Do you recall, sir, if it was the actual day that the combat had
14 occurred in the area around Dusina?
15 A. I think it was that day when the fighting stopped.
16 Q. And, sir, can you tell us approximately what time it was that you
17 arrived at the school in Lasva?
18 A. I apologise. I said I wasn't at the school. I was by the bus and
19 the vehicle.
20 Q. Where was the bus?
21 A. By the railway station, on the bridge there. I don't know if you
22 know the area, but there's a railway station, a bridge you cross to get to
23 the village over there.
24 Q. And, sir, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, can you tell us
25 how far it was from the bridge at the railway station to the school?
1 A. If you were to take the road, the asphalt road, more than 400
2 metres. If you were to go on foot and take a shortcut used by the
3 locals, then about 200 metres.
4 Q. And, sir, what time -- I assume you went on the bus. You
5 personally travelled from Zenica to the Lasva train station on the bus?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What time did you arrive at the train station in Lasva?
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I really wouldn't like to hazard a guess. I
9 don't remember whether it was -- from Zenica to Lasva doesn't take you
10 more than 20 minutes. About 20 minutes roughly. I can't give you an
11 exact time or the exact date. It was in the evening hours at any rate,
12 during the night.
13 Q. Do you recall approximately what time the bus left the railway
14 station at Lasva?
15 A. Forty minutes at the most after our arrival. A group of people
16 had gone to take up -- to take those people, bring them to the bus, and
17 then we went back to Zenica by bus.
18 Q. Okay. And do you recall approximately what time you arrived,
19 then, at the KP Dom on this day?
20 A. I don't know what time it was because, believe me, the time wasn't
21 so important to me in those days.
22 Q. Okay. Do you know if it was before or after midnight?
23 A. It was before midnight. I'm sure of that. So if we left about
24 8.00, by 10.00, half past 10.00 on the outside, we would have returned to
1 Q. And, sir, approximately how many surrendered HVO soldiers did you
2 transport in this bus?
3 A. Up to 15 men.
4 Q. To your knowledge, sir, were those men, were their identities
5 recorded in any way as they were put onto the bus?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I was a soldier, a policeman, a military policeman
7 tasked to ensure the safe transport of those persons. What the authorised
8 people were doing, the company commanders, the people who took over the
9 prisoners from the school, I really don't know. I know that once we
10 entered the KP Dom, we entered through the main gate, we disembarked from
11 the bus and took them to the receptionist, and that was the end of our
12 task. I was merely a military policeman at the time.
13 Q. Do you recall, sir, whether any of the persons, these surrendered
14 HVO soldiers, approximately 15 of whom got on the bus, do you recall if
15 any of them had any visible signs of injury, any wounds, any bleeding,
16 anything like that?
17 A. Yes. One person, our military officials of the military police,
18 transported one person in a passenger car because he had some injuries. I
19 don't know whether they were inflicted during combat or in some other way,
20 but he was injured, and he was transported by a passenger car.
21 Q. At any point in time on that day, sir, did you become aware of the
22 identity of any of these surrendered HVO soldiers?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You told us, sir, that there were, as you put it, the authorised
25 people, the company commanders, the people who took over the prisoners
1 from the school, do you recall the names of any of those persons?
2 A. Yes. One of the authorised persons was Mr. Semir Saric. I didn't
3 know him by name at the time, but I remember a rather strange thing. That
4 man was making a lot of noise. He warned of the Geneva Conventions, take
5 care, don't hurt anyone, and that is how I remember him. And we are good
6 friends to this day when I started working in police investigations. So I
7 remember him in particular. And I remember Nermin Dzambegovic, my company
8 commander, who was an active-duty officer in the JNA and I think he's now
9 working in Gorazde, somewhere in the MUP.
10 Q. And both of these two individuals, Mr. Semir Saric and Mr. Nermin
11 Dzambegovic - I'm sorry for the pronunciation - both of those two men were
12 members of your military police unit or the unit you were in, not the --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Other than -- other than the military police officers from the 3rd
15 Corps who were present, did you know or recognise or learn the identity of
16 any other 3rd Corps soldiers who were present at the time you were in
18 A. We came after the combat operations ended. Around the railway
19 station in Lasva, there were a lot of soldiers close to the tracks. I
20 think they belonged to the Municipal Staff, members of the 7th Muslim
21 Brigade. In fact, I know they were because of someone I knew personally.
22 I heard that he was killed in Zenica. He was a company commander. So I
23 know there were two or three units there and the men of those units.
24 Q. Sir, can you tell us the name of the person that you knew who was
25 later killed in Zenica?
1 A. Mr. Camdzic, the company commander. We had heard in Zenica that
2 he had been killed in combat operations there before that.
3 Q. So you were in Zenica when you heard that Mr. Camdzic had been
4 killed but he had been killed in fact in the area around Dusina; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you recall, sir, the identity of any of the other 3rd Corps
8 soldiers that you saw present in Lasva on the evening you were there?
9 Again, excluding your fellow military police officers.
10 A. No. I can't now recall the names of those men. The situation was
11 rather tense. We policemen had arrived. No one likes the police. So I
12 wasn't really interested in seeing who was there.
13 Q. Sir, you told us earlier that you were aware that there were dead
14 on both sides due to the conflict in Dusina. When did you first become
15 aware of that, that there had been casualties on both sides during the
16 conflicts in Dusina?
17 A. I'm afraid I haven't understood you properly. When did I first
18 learn about casualties. When we set off to carry out our tasks, we heard
19 that there had been casualties on both sides.
20 Q. That's precisely what I was answering -- asking. So by the time
21 you arrived in Lasva at the train station, you were already aware that
22 there had been combat casualties on both sides during the fighting in the
23 area around Dusina?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Can you tell me, sir, and this is I believe my last question about
1 events in Dusina, can you tell us a little bit about the 15 surrendered
2 HVO soldiers that got on the bus? Can you tell us a little bit about,
3 based on perhaps their body language or the way they were moving or the
4 way they were acting, can you tell us a little bit about how their mood
5 was or how their spirits were as they got on that bus?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know whether you were ever in the position
7 of a captive or a prisoner of war or for your life to be at risk during
8 combat. I hope you never have, but somebody participating in combat
9 operations and captured by the opposing side can hardly be expected to
10 feel at ease. I think they were happy to learn that we were going to the
11 KP Dom. The most important thing is to get them away from the front
13 Q. Well, that's precisely my point, sir, because the fact that none
14 of those persons felt comfortable speaking to you or any of your fellow
15 military policemen was a direct result of the fact that they didn't feel
16 at ease. They had been captured by forces from your army. One wouldn't
17 expect them to be in a mood to engage you in a conversation.
18 A. Exactly. I am not too relaxed even now. If we leave the
19 courtroom, we can joke around, but I don't feel too comfortable even now,
20 and especially when we talk of combat.
21 Q. I understand, sir, exactly how you feel. Let me move on now to
22 the incident concerning the kidnapping of Mr. Zivko Totic.
23 You told us, sir, about the steps that you -- that your military
24 police unit was ordered to undertake, and my question, sir, relates more
25 to you personally, that is, what actions, if any, were you personally
1 involved in in terms of trying to discover what had happened to Mr. Zivko
3 A. Personally, we were following a commission led by Mr. Ibrakovic,
4 so I was escorting that commission if we're talking about that particular
5 task. As for other talk with colleagues inquiring into the possibility of
6 who might have done the kidnapping, but we, all of us, endeavoured to find
7 some sort of clue or traces linked to the kidnapping of Mr. Totic.
8 Q. When you say you were escorting the commission, sir, where did you
9 go? Where did you escort that commission to?
10 A. We went to a village called Arnauti or Gliznik [phoen] or both of
11 those villages. These are two or three villages up near Babina Rijeka.
12 These are localities you're probably not familiar with, or maybe you know
13 more than I do, because I reached Zenica just before the war. So I was
14 providing physical security and trying it assist. I personally didn't
15 enter any of these places. They went into the mosque, into houses. I was
16 in the village looking around.
17 Q. And what did you see in the village?
18 A. What did I see in the village? The villagers.
19 Q. Did you see any foreigners, or people who appeared to be
20 foreigners in the village of Arnauti when you were there that day?
21 A. Well, you see, I didn't speak to anyone to be able to say that he
22 was a foreigner. Now, if I let my beard grow and neglect my appearance, I
23 know that -- what you're referring to. There were some bearded men in
24 front of a house, but I couldn't tell if he was a Bosnian or a foreigner.
25 Q. These people that you saw weren't wearing any type of distinctive
1 clothing that might lead you to believe that they were from the Middle
2 East or of Arab or north African descent?
3 A. I didn't look at them carefully regarding their apparel.
4 Q. And, sir, you told us that these efforts that were undertaken by
5 military police from the 3rd Corps occurred in the period up to four or
6 five days after Mr. Totic was kidnapped and then that involvement of the
7 3rd Corps military police ended; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, correct. That's what I said, four or five days.
9 Q. And during this period that you were in Arnauti, that would be
10 within that four- or five-day window following Mr. Totic's kidnapping?
11 A. Yes. Maybe towards the end, the 4th or 5th day.
12 Q. Sir, do you recall who the members of this commission that you
13 were escorting were? Who were these people in this commission?
14 A. I said that one of the members, Mirso Ibrakovic. I think he was
15 commander of the Municipal Staff. I'm not quite sure what his position
16 was. Then there was a representative of the Croatian nation. I don't
17 know the names. Some left already in 1993. I was an ordinary policeman.
18 My task was to ensure the security of these people, to make sure that
19 nobody would disturb them. As soon as they finished their work, my task
20 was over too.
21 Q. Do you recall -- do you recall, sir, whose idea it was to go to
23 A. These are political matters. This was -- these were matters dealt
24 with at the corps level and above.
25 Q. Sir, do you recall whether among the members of this commission
1 was anyone from CSB or anyone from any kind of intelligence service?
2 A. I'm not sure. I don't remember that.
3 Q. Now, my learned colleague asked you a number of questions about
4 the involvement of military police and the kidnapping, and you told us
5 that there was no involvement by any military police or 3rd Corps security
6 units in this kidnapping. Did you ever become aware, sir, of anyone who
7 was involved in the kidnapping of Zivko Totic?
8 A. According to rumours after the exchange, apparently foreigners who
9 were in Zenica were behind it. I don't know their names and whether that
10 was true or not, but that was the rumour.
11 Q. Sir, did you ever hear or whether it was part of your military
12 police duties or otherwise, did you ever hear that an individual named
13 Ramo Durmis was involved in any way in the kidnapping of Zivko Totic?
14 A. I did have occasion to hear that name.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have heard in
17 this Tribunal the testimony of Mr. Totic, and if we look carefully at the
18 transcript, we will see that he gives answers who could have done that.
19 So I think this question can confuse the witness, and I think it is beyond
20 the scope of the examination-in-chief by my colleague, Mrs. Residovic.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your response,
22 Mr. Mundis, to the objection of the Defence?
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, let me try to do this in the presence
24 of the witness to save time. Our position is that my learned colleague
25 from the Defence asked the witness a number of questions about who was
1 responsible for this kidnapping, particularly in an effort to preclude 3rd
2 Corps military police and security units from any involvement in that
3 kidnapping. I would respectfully disagree with my colleague from the
4 Kubura Defence. I believe that the testimony of the previous witness that
5 he's referred to quite clearly indicated that there were certain
6 individuals among those kidnappers who tried to reveal their identity, who
7 pretended to speak a foreign language when in fact they didn't, and who
8 also wearing gloves and taking other steps to disguise perhaps the colour
9 of their skin. And I believe that the witness would have some information
10 that would shed some light on this issue for the Chamber but it's clearly
11 not beyond the scope of the direct examination in the first place, and in
12 the second place we would respectfully disagree with the evidence as
13 described and as it relates to a previous witness who has testified.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the Defence had to do with
15 Ramo Durmis. You referred to Totic's testimony, who according to you
16 mentioned Mr. Durmis. Can you give us a reference, a precise reference,
17 or is this a leading question that you're putting to the witness?
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I didn't say that Mr. Totic mentioned
19 Ramo Durmis by name. What I did say is Mr. Totic talked about individuals
20 who pretended to speak Arabic but didn't, and he spoke about individuals
21 who wore gloves to the colour of their skin or shade of their skin
22 couldn't be visible. That leads directly to an inference that local
23 people were involved with or in conjunction with the Arabs or the
24 foreigners. I believe that I have a good faith basis for asking this
25 series of questions on cross-examination. It clearly arises out of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 direct examination by the Hadzihasanovic team. We have a good faith basis
2 for doing this in cross-examination, Mr. President, as you note we are
3 certainly entitled to ask leading questions when we have a good faith
4 basis for doing so.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the
6 Defence, I will summarise the position of the Prosecution. The
7 Prosecution tells us on page 64, line 23 and onwards, that when Mr. Totic
8 testified, he indicated that those who captured him and who pretended to
9 be Arabs could in fact have been locals who masked themselves and that
10 within that framework he wanted to ask a question about Mr. Durmis. That
11 is the position of the Prosecution.
12 I saw the Defence attorney on her feet. What does she wish to
13 tell us since on line 3209 the following is stated by Totic: "The
14 kidnapper spoke in Arabic except for the locals who pretended to speak
15 Arabic but they couldn't speak it correctly." This is line 319. Please
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on the basis of
18 what you have just read and my own examination, I think that the question
19 put to the witness mentioning a certain name is not appropriate nor does
20 it have any grounds in the previous testimony nor in my
21 examination-in-chief. I think the Prosecution has to find out first from
22 the witness whether he knows that, in addition to foreigners, any other
23 persons were involved. Does he know that there were people pretending to
24 speak foreign languages. And I don't know how he could come to the name
25 of a particular person. To put into the witness's mouth a name that was
1 not mentioned at all I think is inappropriate for the examination of the
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis. The Defence is
4 indicating that you mentioned directly the name of Durmis, and the Defence
5 is asking how did you reach that name since there were no preliminary
6 stages in your questioning leading to go Durmis.
7 Apparently the other Defence team have something to add.
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. A
9 point of clarification. I think that the witness has already answered
10 that he heard that the Mujahedin were behind this. Now, our learned
11 colleague should explain the link between the persons mentioned by
12 Mr. Totic, that is possibly people who were Bosniaks and who didn't speak
13 Arabic well, and Ramiz Durmis -- Ramo Durmis who did the colleague
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. As the Prosecution has
16 repeatedly committed when the Defence objects, what we are required to do
17 is have a good faith basis to put our questions to the witness during
18 cross-examination. There is not a need for a lengthy foundation to be
19 laid. There is simply a need for us to have a good faith basis.
20 We believe we have that good faith basis. We -- I have -- I have
21 explained to the Trial Chamber precisely where we're trying to go, and
22 once again this series of objections has consumed significantly more time
23 than would have been the case had the witness been allowed to continue the
24 answer that he gave us. He did say, as my learned colleague from the
25 Defence --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead with your question,
2 because we are wasting time, and the Judges will judge the relevance of
3 the questions. Please go ahead.
4 MR. MUNDIS:
5 Q. Sir, you just told us or prior to this discussion you told us that
6 you had heard of the name Ramo Durmis; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you hear that name in connection with the events concerning
9 the kidnapping of Mr. Totic?
10 A. Yes, I did hear, but let me add something. Whenever something was
11 wrong in Zenica involving foreigners was linked to Ramo Durmis. So this
12 could have been true or not true. So that person was not important for
13 me, nor did I have any contact with him to be able to say more about him.
14 Q. Can you tell me why that person, Ramo Durmis, was not important to
15 you, sir? How did you reach that conclusion that he was not important to
17 A. The first time I heard of that man and his name there was a combat
18 operations in the surroundings of Visoko, and allegedly from that moment
19 on the man left the army. No one knew his real status, who he was or
20 where he came from and who he belonged to, and from that moment on, he was
21 not a member of the army. And as the army and the military police had no
22 knowledge that he acted against military property, military facilities and
23 other acts that are prosecuted by the District Military Court, we as the
24 police were not interested.
25 Q. But, sir, can you tell us what you mean by the man left the army?
1 Was he discharged or demobilised?
2 A. If he may have had access to army. Now, whether he was a legal
3 member of the army, I really don't know, but I do know he took part in
4 combat operations in Visoko, and because of some failures and the killing
5 of people he was fighting with, from that moment on he was not accessible
6 to us or to the army.
7 Q. Let me turn now, sir, to a different topic, and that is the steps
8 that the 3rd Corps military police battalion took with respect to the
9 monastery at Guca Gora. Do you recall, sir, the date that you and your
10 fellow military policemen were first ordered to go to Guca Gora?
11 A. I think it was -- I'm afraid I have a problem with dates, but I
12 think it was the 15th or the 16th of June. 15th and the 16th of June.
13 Q. And, sir, how many military policemen went with you from the 3rd
14 Corps military police battalion in mid-June when you went to Guca Gora?
15 A. We used a minibus for transport, a small bus that can accommodate
16 16. So there was me, another authorised official person, and the rest
17 were policemen.
18 Q. Can you give me a rough number? Was the minibus full? You said
19 it could accommodate 16, but was the minibus full?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now --
22 A. It was.
23 Q. When you arrived at the monastery in Guca Gora in mid-June 1993,
24 how many other ABiH 3rd Corps soldiers or military policemen were present
25 at the monastery at the time you arrived?
1 A. You're asking me how many members of the military police of the
2 306th joined us. One squad, about ten men. If we're talking about
3 members of the BH army, ten men. So there was a total of about 26 of us.
4 Q. And the squad of military police from the 306th Mountain Brigade,
5 they were already present when you arrived in Guca Gora, or did they
6 arrive at about the same time as you, or did they arrive after you?
7 A. We found them there by the command post. A military police squad
8 were there. They joined us. I don't know where they came from. I don't
9 know where they were before that.
10 Q. Now, you told us, sir, that it was difficult to enter the
11 facility, and then you a few moments after that spoke about the presence
12 of Arabs. Was it difficult to enter the facility because of the presence
13 of the Arabs or was there another reason why it was difficult to enter the
15 A. Well --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was some of us who speak the
18 language. The people inside were the only impediment. Otherwise, we
19 could have entered.
20 MR. MUNDIS:
21 Q. Okay. So I take it then, sir, from your answer that there were
22 some of the military policemen from the 3rd Corps military police
23 battalion or the 306th Mountain Brigade military police squad who spoke
25 A. No. That's not what I said. What I said was this: With the
1 Arabs inside the premises, there were our men there, locals, Bosnians, and
2 all communication went through them.
3 Q. I appreciate that, because the English transcript certainly leads
4 one to a different conclusion.
5 Now, sir, when you got there, I take it because you -- you've kept
6 referring to people being inside, all of these Arabs were inside the
7 monastery when you arrived?
8 A. This group, the group I'm talking about, was inside. We saw some
9 of them, and others appeared later on when they were supposed to come out.
10 So they were within the gates. I don't know whether you know what Guca
11 Gora looks like, but they were inside.
12 Q. Let me ask you this then, sir: Were they inside the church
13 building part of the monastery or inside the gated courtyard that is
14 immediately adjacent to the church building?
15 A. Some people that we hadn't seen were inside the church, whereas
16 others were within the gated courtyard, the stone slabs that were there.
17 Q. How many of these foreign people would you estimate were present
18 in total on the grounds or in the buildings of the Guca Gora monastery?
19 A. I think the total number -- once again I don't want to hazard a
20 guess nor did I count them, but there were not more than 25. Twenty to
21 25, I would say. But you could get into the monastery from another
22 entrance. I don't know if you know the area. I was there for two or
23 three days. I went to investigate. There could have been 20, 25 at the
25 Q. And how many local Bosnians were with those Arab individuals?
1 A. Altogether, both, 20 to 25.
2 Q. So there was a total of 20 to 25 Arabs and locals that were
3 present and approximately 25 military policemen from the 3rd Corps
4 military police battalion and the 306th military police squad. Is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What kind of armaments if any did the Arabs and locals who were in
8 the monastery have?
9 A. At the very entrance, whether it was a machine-gun or some heavy
10 weaponry of another kind, all the rest was infantry weapons, ordinary
11 infantry weapons, and on our side the same. We did have a sniper here or
12 there. We were a bit better equipped than what they had, but that would
13 be roughly it.
14 Q. And I don't believe this is clear from the transcript, sir, but of
15 the 20 to 25 Arabs and locals who were present, how many of them were
16 Arabs and how many of them were local Bosnians?
17 A. I talked to one of them, shouted at one of them. I don't know how
18 many there were, some of ours, some of them, but I talked to one
19 particular man. And if I were to see him today without his beard, I would
20 find it difficult to recognise him. But I talked to one of them. There
21 were more inside.
22 Q. So I take it then, sir, that it's not really possible to -- for
23 you to give us a rough estimate of the breakdown between the Arabs and the
24 locals who were present in the monastery; is that correct?
25 A. You're right, yes. Your assumptions are correct.
1 Q. Now, what eventually happened to this group of 20 to 25 locals and
2 Arabs who were in the monastery? Where did they go? What did they do?
3 How did you get them to leave? Can you tell us a little bit more about
5 A. Well, we didn't get them to leave. In a way, we threatened that
6 we would bring in reinforcements, that we would shoot, and they threatened
7 to shoot at us too. And finally, if I can use a civilian expression, we
8 reached an agreement, and then we entered the premises. And that was our
9 goal. It wasn't our intention to arrest anybody. All we wanted to do was
10 to get into the premises and to protect it and to prevent an escalation.
11 Q. Why was it not your intention to arrest anyone who was present?
12 A. Well, since I was the senior there by way of rank and age, my
13 assessment was that we didn't have -- that we couldn't arrest them, that
14 there was nobody we could single out and arrest. So that was the basic
15 reason. And we wouldn't have achieved the assignment we were sent there
16 to achieve and from Zenica to Guca Gora is quite a long way away. So we
17 couldn't expect reinforcements to come in and help us out there.
18 Q. What -- can you elaborate or explain to us what you mean when you
19 say, "There was nobody we could single out and arrest?" What do you mean
20 by that?
21 A. Well, it was like this: If we were literally to apply the rules
22 and regulations, we ought to have arrested all of them, because we saw
23 devastations on the building, which means that private property was being
24 devastated. So we would have had to have arrested them all.
25 Q. And I take it also in light of the orders that you'd received that
1 you told us about earlier to protect religious facilities. That would be
2 another reason to take special precautions in terms of arresting these
4 A. It was our aim to enter the facility and protect it from being
5 destroyed any further. That's what I said a moment ago. That was our
6 main goal. We wanted to fulfil the assignment we had been given in Zenica
7 to protect the facility.
8 Q. But you didn't arrest anyone who was present on the grounds or in
9 the buildings of the monastery on that day?
10 A. No. No, we didn't.
11 Q. Where did these people go?
12 A. They went towards Travnik, towards the village. We didn't follow
13 them. We didn't have the need to follow them. All we wanted to do was to
14 get inside the premises and to place guards on both sides, on both -- at
15 both the entrances, and we did what we were sent to do. We accomplished
16 the task.
17 Q. I take it, sir, that these people had some kind of vehicles and
18 they just exited the monastery grounds and got in their vehicles and drove
19 off towards Travnik?
20 A. I didn't see any vehicles. I think there was one just underneath
21 the monastery, below the monastery, but I didn't go to see. I saw one
22 myself, and that was on the curve, the first curve you could see. I
23 didn't see any others. Some went on foot. Others went -- well, I don't
24 know how they left.
25 Q. And the direction that they were going was area that was
1 controlled by units of the 3rd Corps. Would that be correct?
2 A. I doubt that they would have gone to the area under the HVO
3 control, although it wasn't that far off. So, yes, I would say they went
4 offer to the area controlled by the 3rd Corps.
5 Q. Sir, was this the first time that you were aware of the presence
6 of any of these foreigners or, more specifically, Arabs in the 3rd Corps
7 area of responsibility?
8 A. When I learnt of their existence. Well, I saw them. I would see
9 them. I would see Arabs in Zenica and on the roads towards Zenica.
10 Q. Did you see armed foreigners in Zenica in 1993?
11 A. I didn't see them with rifles, but I can't guarantee that they
12 didn't have them. Towards the end of 1993, yes. Yes, I did see them
13 armed as well. There were those who were armed, yes.
14 Q. Was this incident at Guca Gora -- or not incident but this series
15 of events that you've described for us in mid-June 1993 in Guca Gora, was
16 this the first time that you'd ever encountered any of these armed
17 foreigners during the course of your military police duties?
18 A. I personally -- well, I'm talking about myself. I had no contact
19 with them, which means I didn't have any conflicts with them or anything
20 else. Once again, let me say there was an incident. I was called to the
21 police administration because allegedly they had taken into custody some
22 members of the army who were Arabs. I arrived there, and when we asked to
23 see the identity papers of the person who had been taken into custody, he
24 didn't have any, and he showed us a UNHCR card. And as of that moment on,
25 that person wasn't of any interest to us. And when I went back to my
1 unit, I said it wasn't a member of the army.
2 Q. So you were aware, sir, if I understand what you've said, there
3 was an incident where one of these foreigners attempted to take people out
4 of the army, take -- it says here take members of the army out of -- let
5 me try again. "They had taken into custody some members of the army who
6 were Arabs." Can you explain that to us, please?
7 A. I do apologise. I don't seem to be speaking clearly enough. What
8 I said was this: We were informed by the duty policeman from the police
9 station in Zenica that in their premises they had one member of the
10 military who was a foreigner, and he introduced himself as being a member
11 of the BH army. That's how he represented himself.
12 I and a colleague of mine went to the police department to be
13 present while he was being questioned because he was allegedly found in a
14 stolen car. So it was one man. And when we arrived there, we asked to
15 see his identification papers. And when we established that he wasn't a
16 member of the army of the BH, that he had no proof of being an army
17 member, we went back and that's where our responsibilities ended.
18 Q. Thank, sir.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I see the time, too, and I
21 was getting a bit worried there. How much longer do you need, Mr. Mundis,
22 to complete your cross-examination?
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I would -- I will review that during
24 the course of the break. My understanding is that the Defence for
25 Hadzihasanovic took about an hour and 28 minutes by my calculation. I can
1 discuss this with the registrar. Do I have a number other issues I'd like
2 to address with the witness. I would be prepared, if the -- I understand
3 the time constraints. I would be prepared to try to pair that down. It
4 would be helpful if the Chamber had questions, if you could give me a
5 rough idea and I could take that into consideration as well.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have the
7 additional questions that have to be asked. So we understood yesterday
8 that this witness needed to leave today because he had other business to
9 attend to and couldn't stay until Monday, over the weekend.
10 Now, how many -- how much time do you need for your questions,
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would say, as things now stand,
13 ten more minutes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, if it's ten minutes, this
15 leaves 45 minutes afterwards. I had some questions myself, but we can
16 sacrifice those questions because we were told that the witness has to
17 leave today.
18 I know that there was another witness that was waiting, so,
19 Mr. Registrar, could you tell the other witness that he will be coming
20 back on Monday afternoon. He doesn't have to wait. We'll be starting
21 with him at quarter past two Monday afternoon. And we have to end these
22 proceedings today at 1.45, so we're going to have 45 minutes left to get
23 through everything. We will be back here at five to one.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
2 Mr. Mundis.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Now, sir, let me just ask you one or two more questions about the
5 time you were in Guca Gora or actually more specifically after Guca Gora.
6 What kind of report, whether oral or written, did you give your superiors
7 concerning what you had observed in Guca Gora in mid-June 1993?
8 A. I orally reported to my immediate superior about the events in
9 Guca Gora and then regular reports began coming in, written ones, from
10 Guca Gora.
11 Q. So you informed your commander, Mr. Mujezinovic, about what you
12 had seen on the presence of these Arabs in the monastery in mid-June 1993?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Let me ask you a few questions, sir, about your
15 relationship in general to Mr. Mujezinovic, the 3rd Corps Military Police
16 Battalion commander. In a typical, say, workday, how much interaction did
17 you have with him in 1993?
18 A. During 1993, very little. Perhaps once a day or not even once a
19 day. Sometimes once a week.
20 Q. During 1993, sir, did you spend most of your -- well, let me ask
21 you this: Where was the military police, the 3rd Corps military police
22 battalion headquartered?
23 A. In the Zenica KP Dom. They -- that's where they were. This was
24 given over to us.
25 Q. And, sir, did you maintain an office there or was there a
1 dedicated space that was allocated to the battalion?
2 A. They used five facilities, but where we worked myself and the rest
3 of the members of the military police platoon were on the ground floor in
4 the command building. So the last building. That was the battalion
5 command. And the premises used by military police investigations, and I
6 had my office there.
7 Q. And did Mr. Mujezinovic also have an office in the same building
8 or in one of these other buildings?
9 A. In that same building but the other entrance, an entrance on the
10 other side and on the upper storey. The first floor, in fact.
11 Q. And I take, sir, from your answers that you gave earlier this
12 morning, Mr. Mujezinovic reported to Mr. Dugalic?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Who in turn reported directly to the 3rd Corps commander. That
15 answer, sir, wasn't reflected in the transcript. Could you please say it
16 maybe a little louder.
17 A. [In English] Sorry. I am sorry.
18 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic reported to Mr. Dugalic, who reported to the 3rd
19 Corps commander; is that correct?
20 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
21 Q. Now, during 1993, did you personally have any involvement in
22 directly briefing the 3rd Corps commander on any issues relating to
23 military police work?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Can you tell me a little bit about the units within the military
1 police battalion of the 3rd Corps in the sense of -- you've told us there
2 were four companies and a couple of smaller units including an
3 investigation unit and a counter-terrorism or anti-terrorism unit. Who
4 gave the taskings to the companies and these other two smaller units
5 within the battalion?
6 A. The battalion commander of the military police. He issued tasks
7 to the commanders of units or companies.
8 Q. And you've told us, sir, about how each of the companies had a
9 specific task or function; is that correct?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Do you recall, sir, who the commanders of these four companies
12 were during 1993?
13 A. Yes, I do recall. The first company was Dzambegovic, Nermin
14 Dzambegovic. After him, there was -- what was his name? Faik, Faik
15 something. I can't remember the surname. Faik Skopljak, I think, the
16 commander of the 1st company after Dzambegovic. The commander of the 2nd
17 Company was Zead Ganic, and then Fetic Suad was the 3rd Company commander.
18 The PTD [Realtime transcript read in error "PTT"] unit at that stage was
19 Mirza, Mirza something. I can't remember the surname. He left fairly
20 soon. And then there was Hasim, and finally there was the leader or
21 commander of the traffic group, Cago Ibrahim. And afterwards it was
22 Mustafic, Mevludin Mustafic, and finally the military police
23 investigations, Bakir Alispahic, and then after him, Ruzmir Skopljak.
24 Q. Okay. Now, sir, in the English transcript there is abbreviation.
25 It says the PTT unit. This is on page 79, line 25. Can you tell us,
1 first of all, if that's a correct abbreviation, and second of all, what
2 that stands for.
3 A. The abbreviation is not PTT but PTD. PTD is the acronym, unit for
4 anti-terrorist activity.
5 Q. Now, you told us in general terms earlier this morning what the
6 PTD unit did. I'm wondering if you can elaborate for us a little bit in
7 terms of what type of anti-terrorist activities this unit was conducting
8 and perhaps explain to us, if you know, the nature of the terrorist threat
9 that the 3rd Corps was seeking to alleviate.
10 A. This battalion of the military police was established to resemble
11 the JNA battalions with slight amendments, and within those units there
12 were also the PTD units as we will called them, and the establishment of
13 that union, I don't know how it came about but I know the union had a
14 separate task to discipline the army of the federation because it was made
15 up of, let's say, military policemen mostly. They were trained better
16 later on, but that was in the final stages of the war and the conflict
17 with the HVO. But towards the end of the war, they were better trained
18 and had better equipment.
19 So these were young guys who -- well, they were sportsmen and were
20 able to provide security for various personages, that kind of thing.
21 Q. I asked this, sir, and you've explained it was a structure that
22 mirrored that of the JNA, but it just struck me as a bit odd that an
23 anti-terrorist unit would have a role in discipline and I'm just wondering
24 why that was the case, if you can perhaps explain or shed a little light
25 on that.
1 A. I said a moment ago that all the units had their own permanent
2 assignments, and they implemented them to the letter. This unit, and I
3 can freely say that, was a little freer by way of deployment, that is to
4 say it didn't have fixed security assignments. We could use it as an
5 intervention unit if we needed to send out a patrol, for example. We
6 could send a patrol into town for the curfew, to ensure curfew. So that's
7 what I mean by discipline. And they were readily recognisable. They
8 had -- wielded certain respect in Zenica. People knew about them.
9 Q. Just so we're clear then, sir, this anti-terrorist or
10 counter-terrorist unit, did it have any specific responsibilities with
11 respect to the Arabs that you've talked about or the armed foreigners, the
12 armed Arabs that were in the 3rd Corps area?
13 A. In that stage it dealt with itself more than it dealt with others
14 during that initial stage of formation. So during that initial phase it
15 had no assignments. Later on it was used when there were some more
16 serious takings into custody and so on to form a unit which would be the
17 fulcrum of the battalion, but that was later on, 1994 and so on.
18 Q. And what -- what unit were you referring to when you said the
19 fulcrum of the battalion in 1994? What is that a reference to?
20 A. It took part in arresting the Green Legion, for example.
21 Q. Let me ask you a little bit more about the battalion, the 3rd
22 Corps military police battalion's structure. How many staff officers were
23 part of the command of the battalion? Was the battalion structured like
24 other battalions, like an infantry battalion in terms of a staff for the
25 battalion command itself?
1 A. The battalion command of the military police was a little specific
2 compared to the other infantry battalions, for example. So in the command
3 of the battalion, we had an assistant for educational affairs, for
4 personnel affairs, logistics, because there was no security officer within
5 the battalion, for example, like the Mountain Battalions did. But we did
6 have a man dealing with things like that in addition to all the other
7 assignments. And I think this came under the security organ. They had an
8 assistant for financial matters, and that's what it had. In the
9 battalions you could have an assistant commander, mountain battalions
10 assistant commander for communications, for example, because it didn't
11 have a communications man, a signalsman. So this was an operative and an
12 educational and training organ.
13 Q. Did the battalion -- the military police battalion of the 3rd
14 Corps have a duty system or a duty roster so there was always duty
15 officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
16 A. Within the battalion itself, there was duty in companies. There
17 was the duty officer of the battalion. In addition to that, in military
18 police investigations there was a department for 24-hour duty service, and
19 this was on duty round the clock.
20 Q. And I assume that there were some kind of regular battalion
21 meetings whether on a daily or other regular schedule?
22 A. If you're talking about 1993, I can't tell you with certainty
23 because I wasn't a member of the battalion command. I was later on, and I
24 know how it worked.
25 Q. Now, sir, you -- I neglected to ask you one question earlier when
1 we were talking about the events in Lasva and Dusina. You told us that
2 when the HVO -- surrendered HVO soldiers arrived at KP Dom there was some
3 kind of a receptionist at the KP Dom. Can you tell us, was that
4 receptionist part of the army or was that a civilian person, and what
5 exactly was the role of this receptionist at the KP Dom who -- to whom
6 these surrendered HVO soldiers were transferred?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, we took this unit to the centre for prisoners of
8 war. From the moment they were taken into custody, the people who were
9 securing this military prison and the centre for prisoners of war took
10 care of them and only official persons in charge of the investigation
11 could have contact with them. The military police finishes its task upon
12 delivering them to the prison.
13 Q. Excuse me. Sir, let me ask you just a couple of questions about
14 the military offence or military crime of desertion. What steps, if any,
15 did military police officers of the 3rd Corps military police battalion
16 take with respect to deserters?
17 A. I have to admit it may not be a good thing, but desertion was
18 quite widespread. Soldiers were leaving units, going to another unit
19 without telling anyone, and the military police in that situation would
20 start a search for such persons. That would be the first phase, to try
21 and contact them physically. If it was not possible to find them, then I
22 don't know. Other methods were applied such as checking the records,
23 issuing a wanted poster for such persons, and if we don't find them,
24 there's nothing much we can do.
25 Q. But it certainly wasn't the case that by deserting a soldier could
1 somehow unilaterally sever his or her ties with the military?
2 A. I don't know what leads you to such a conclusion. He may sever
3 it. He may escape beyond the borders, beyond the control -- area
4 controlled by the army.
5 Q. Let me -- let me ask you this same question in a slightly
6 different way. An individual, a person who is in the army, remains in the
7 army from a legal point of view until they're demobilised or discharged;
8 isn't that right?
9 A. A person who is in the army, if we're talking about mobilisation.
10 If we're talking about a mobilised person abandoning the army or somebody
11 who is doing his military service, once he leaves the army he is for
12 another 30 days a member of the army. After that, he is eliminated for --
13 from the roster, from the register.
14 Q. So a person, in 1993, who left the army without permission or
15 without being demobilised, would that person remain subject to arrest by
16 the military police and trial by a District Military Court, again in 1993
17 during the war, or could a soldier just simply quit the army and the army
18 had no recourse with respect to that person?
19 A. If a military officer leaves the unit and a unit starts a search
20 for such a person, and this is entrusted to the military police, then the
21 military police should arrest him, and then he's sanctioned according to
22 the law.
23 Q. Thank you, sir.
24 MR. MUNDIS: We had a few other issues, but I think in light of
25 the time as well as giving everyone an opportunity who has any remaining
1 questions, we'll stop our cross-examination at this point. I do thank
2 you, Colonel, for answering our questions today.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mahir, you said that when you set off to
7 arrest captured members of the HVO and transport them from Lasva that you
8 already knew that commander Camdzic had been killed. How did you known
9 commander Camdzic?
10 A. I knew him from sight. We weren't friends, but I did know him. I
11 don't know how we learnt. Somebody probably reported that he had been
13 Q. In answer to a question from my learned friend, you also said that
14 before you left, you knew that in Dusina soldiers had been killed on both
15 sides. Tell me, please, in wartime is it customary when there are combat
16 operations somewhere for there to be casualties on both sides or was this
17 a shocking piece of news for you?
18 A. Madam Residovic, as I know that you were in Sarajevo and you know
19 how many people were killed, I think that even families couldn't mourn
20 their dead. So that the death of a colleague of ours became almost
21 normal. We knew the man had been killed, and ...
22 Q. But more precisely, is it normal when you heard that there were
23 combat operations, is it also normal to hear that there were casualties on
24 both sides, on the enemy side and among your own ranks, or is this
25 something exceptional?
1 A. It is only normal for people to be killed on both sides and to
2 have casualties on both sides. There was a war on, madam.
3 Q. Mr. Mahir, when you set off with your assignment to Guca Gora, at
4 that point in time were you already aware that the monastery was at risk
5 from some persons?
6 A. Yes. We knew that the monastery needed to be protected from
7 destruction. That is what we were told. We have to prevent it from being
9 Q. Was that the reason that you had better weapons, as you told us,
10 because you expected to come across people who were holding to the
11 facility by force?
12 A. Yes, of course. We took a unit that could deal with the problem
13 confronting it.
14 Q. What was your main task when you set off? Did the task relate to
15 the monastery itself or something else? Was it the monastery and the
16 church that you were tasked to protect?
17 A. Our task was to enter the monastery and prevent it from being
18 destroyed, and that facility was called the monastery in Guca Gora.
19 Q. When you got there you said that you saw a group of some 20 armed
20 Arabs and some locals with them, and you described your efforts to remove
21 them from the facility. Tell me, please, for you as the leader of that
22 group, was it most important for you to --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes?
24 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we simply object to the first two
25 lines of that question. I repeatedly asked the witness if he could tell
1 us how many Arabs and how many locals there were, and he was unable to do
2 so. I think the testimony was 20 to 25 people in total including both the
3 Arabs and the locals. And perhaps it's just the interpretation, but ...
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Maybe I was mistaken
5 in not saying 25, but my understanding was that was the total number of
6 locals and foreigners. I think I was misunderstood.
7 Q. My question, Mr. Mahir, was: When you got there, did you realise
8 that the monastery was in real danger from these men?
9 A. Madam, we were told on leaving that it had to be protected, that
10 they were threatening to destroy it and blow it up. When they wouldn't
11 let us enter, what conclusion could we reach? If they let them stay
12 there, the only conclusion we could make would be that they would destroy
14 Q. If I understood you properly, in your lengthy endeavours to have
15 them leave the facility, you gave them ultimatums and you were ready to
16 open fire.
17 A. Yes. That is what I said. There were threats on both sides. We
18 threatened to bring in reinforcements from Zenica, that another unit would
19 come to assist us although we didn't have any such unit, but we tried in
20 every possible way without any losses to enter the monastery.
21 Q. Had you resorted to force immediately or arrested one of those 25
22 persons, would that have, according to your conviction at the time,
23 jeopardised the safety of the monastery and lead to consequences that you
24 were meant to prevent?
25 A. I made the decision, and I claim that it was right. And now in
1 the same circumstances, I would make the same decision. I wouldn't try to
2 arrest anyone. I would protect the facility I was sent to protect. And
3 then there are other people who will arrest, establish the identity, and
4 do all those other things.
5 Q. In answer to a question from -- no. Let me ask you something else
6 first. Tell me, please, as you were first a policeman and then engaged in
7 investigations, were those foreigners members of the army?
8 A. I told you of one case when I was able to see for myself that they
9 were not at that moment. Now, whether each and every foreigner belonged
10 somewhere, I don't know, but for us they were not members of the BH army.
11 Q. In connection with the question of my learned colleague about the
12 music school and your knowledge about it, you said that you had heard some
13 rumours and that you yourself didn't go there. Do you know, Mr. Mahir,
14 whether other members of the battalion had the task to check out those --
15 those reports or members of the 3rd Corps security? Do you know anything
16 about that?
17 A. Madam, I can only tell you what I know. As far as I know, members
18 of the military security sector did enter and control the facility. I
19 really don't know because I wasn't there. I didn't go there.
20 Q. Do you know what they found out as a result of the control?
21 A. Had they found out anything, they would have acted in the same way
22 as we would have. If they had found anything, there would have been no
23 music school.
24 Q. And finally my learned friend asked you about this situation: If
25 a soldier deserts a unit does he really remain in the unit or not. You
1 mentioned the example of Ramo Durmis, for instance, who during fighting in
2 1992 deserted and headed for the hills. Tell me, these persons who leave
3 the unit or desert the unit, does the unit have effective command and
4 control over that person?
5 A. I told you that he -- once he is scrapped from the records, he
6 becomes a civilian. That person is no longer a military serviceman. When
7 arresting people who still haven't joined the unit, they are escapees and
8 only the Ministry of the Interior can have any jurisdiction over them.
9 Q. And my last question is linked to what you just said but in a
10 different situation. If a military unit commander of any level,
11 battalion, brigade, or corps, doesn't do what the law says, that is remove
12 him from the records and that person has deserted, does that commander
13 have effective control and command over that person?
14 A. You can't have effective control over a person as soon as he has
15 gone. He's no longer under your control or command. You can't give him
16 any orders. Even if he didn't remove him from the list, he's on the list
17 of the unit, but the law prescribes that he should be scrapped from the
18 records, returned to the Ministry of the Interior, and then he is under
19 the jurisdiction of other institutions.
20 Q. As a member of the military police, in 1993 and later, did you
21 come across lists of units including many combatants who were not in the
22 unit at all or who had left the unit without being removed from the
24 A. Yes, indeed, but some people were killed. Their family members
25 were proving that they had been killed, but they were on the list.
1 Transfers from one unit to another, from 181st. That was the Foca brigade
2 which was on Mount Igman. Do you know how many people crossed over to the
3 1st Corps units? They were in the records of the 1st Corps and the 3rd
4 Corps and there were searches for them. And to what extent the personnel
5 officer kept track of all these changes should be explained by people
6 responsible for personnel, why such omissions were made.
7 Q. Thank you, sir?
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We'll
10 just take up one minute for the sake of clarification.
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] I think on page 67 of the transcript, you were
13 saying that Ramo Durmis was not a member of the army since the operation
14 in Visoko. Could you tell us when that operation took place?
15 A. If you're asking me the exact date, I don't know, but I think it
16 was in the first half of December 1992. There was no 3rd Corps at the
17 time. District units and some other local units tried to make a
18 breakthrough towards Sarajevo. In December 1992.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I have a few small
22 questions for you. Answering a question from the Defence, you said that
23 there were problems. You conducted investigations, and you mentioned
24 three types of investigations. One regarding the 314th, the Green Legion.
25 You spoke about the Turk guerrilla, and a third investigation that began
1 in the month of May and which ended in September, and the perpetrators
2 were judged in 1994, and you spoke about the mountain guerrilla, and my
3 understanding was that they were called the Falcons or Black Falcons. And
4 you told us that you were ready to provide details about this mountain
5 guerrilla. What can you tell us, to the best of your recollection of
7 A. There was a unit that was called mountain guerrilla or Falcons,
8 Sokolovi. These were one in the same unit, members of the 7th Muslim
9 Brigade. A part of them were engaged in criminal acts which were later
10 sanctioned. I mention just two or three typical examples. I was talking
11 about the period of investigations. I can tell you when it took us one
12 hour to find the perpetrator of a criminal offence. Only one hour went by
13 from the moment he acted to his arrest. For instance, opening fire in
14 town or stealing property or fighting amongst themselves. But more
15 complicated cases took several months and sometimes seven or eight months
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But these young men
18 who were members of this unit called the Sokolovi, what did they do as an
20 A. This group, which included civilians, Hazic Jasmin was a civilian,
21 this is a group for which we had evidence that they had committed at least
22 eight criminal offences, some of which were burglaries, attacks on the
23 parish house in Crkvice, various forms of robbery, of motor vehicles,
24 break-ins into houses, and they stole at least three or four vehicles.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another question: The military
1 police, could you describe to us the typical apparel of a military
2 policeman? Did he have a uniform? What was the insignia? What were his
3 weapons? What did a military policeman look like? As you were such and
4 you even had a command position, could you describe what a military
5 policeman looked like as compared to a soldier of any other unit?
6 A. In the first stage when the army was being formed, including the
7 3rd Corps, he looked awful. He didn't look like a military policeman.
8 But our aim was to have the unit made recognisable. In addition to the
9 truncheon, a pistol and white belts and white insignia, we endeavoured,
10 not me but the superior command, endeavoured as soon as possible to
11 provide military police insignia for this unit so that they would be
12 recognisable in town and wherever they went.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did they have insignia with the
14 words "military police" in your own language written on it?
15 A. I said, first badges were made, and afterwards we had insignia on
16 the sleeves because this badge was rather small. But when we
17 had "VP", "military police," on the sleeves, then it was more easily
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question. Concerning
20 the investigations that you undertook, I shall start from an ultra simple
21 case. Let us imagine that in any unit there is a soldier who steals the
22 shoes of another soldier. The soldier victim says that his colleague
23 stole him his boots. What will happen with respect to disciplinary
24 sanction or penal prosecution? Who decides what will be done following
25 the complaint of the soldier?
1 A. Your Honour, first of all, those shoes are not worth anything, so
2 the damage is insignificant. If it were an act or an offence which had
3 more significant consequences, like the stealing of his rifle, the
4 commander of that unit through his security organ would be responsible for
5 calling that person to account. So if it's a weapon that is stolen, he
6 would go to the District Military Court. If it's insignificant, then he
7 will be held accountable through disciplinary measures. But it is the
8 commander through his security organs who would issue the steps to be
9 taken in such an event.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I just have one, perhaps
12 two questions arising from those of Your Honour.
13 Further cross-examination by Mr. Mundis:
14 Q. Sir, do you recall the names of any of the mountain guerrilla or
15 the Falcons that you've told us about?
16 A. Guerrillas. Well, I can give you all their nicknames. Isakovic
17 Kasim, nicknamed Kale. Hazic Jasmin, nicknamed Kazi [phoen]. Miki's
18 surname I cannot remember, but Fuad was his name. I can't remember his
19 surname. So yes I can. If you want to I can send you their names and
20 surnames. And if you have the criminal list -- register, then you will be
21 able to see and that they were given prison sentences ranging from four to
22 eight years and that they served their sentences.
23 Q. Thank you, sir?
24 MR. MUNDIS: No further questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about the Defence?
1 Further examination by Ms. Residovic
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mahir, with respect to the question asked you
3 by the President of this Trial Chamber, your answer -- you answered who
4 decided on whether somebody will be held accountable through disciplinary
5 measures if he committed an offence, grave or lesser grave. Tell me, the
6 military police of the military unit, did it have rights and duties
7 prescribed for it by law to be taken -- to take steps against perpetrators
8 itself, or did it have to wait in each particular case to be given
9 permission or issued an order to do so?
10 A. This is called filing a report. A military policeman files a
11 report. That's what happens first. If an individual is held back, held
12 in custody, then we file a criminal report to our superior. So the
13 military police could file criminal reports against the perpetrators of
14 misdemeanors, offences or crimes.
15 Q. And could it do this for crimes?
16 A. Yes. It was duty-bound to do so, yes.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about the other Defence
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mahir, you have already confirmed that the
23 individuals you took into custody and conducted an investigation about
24 were from the Sokolovi or Falcon unit and that they were taken to the
25 military court in Zenica.
1 A. I think they were taken to the higher military court, so they were
2 sentenced by the higher court.
3 Q. Yes. And I'm saying that during the investigation, you had
4 complete support and cooperation by the military police of the 7th Muslim
5 brigade and the security service of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
6 A. Sir, not only did we have it but we were arresting their people.
7 So we were duty-bound to inform them about that. But this didn't stop us
8 and when we went out to prove they were the perpetrators, of course, we
9 did have support, yes.
10 Q. So that means you had full support from the military security of
11 the 7th Muslim Brigade?
12 A. Yes, and we asked them for many documents and evidence that those
13 individuals were on the spotted at the given time, which we were trying to
14 prove that they were.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
16 have no further questions.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Colonel. Your
18 testimony has come to an end. I thank all the parties concerned, and
19 thank you for keeping your questions so short enabling us to end today's
20 proceedings on time.
21 I thank you for your contribution, Colonel, and on behalf of the
22 Judges, best wishes for bon voyage back home and for your further military
23 activities. I'm going to ask Madam Usher to escort you out of the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too. I would like to
1 take advantage of this opportunity while the microphone is still on to
2 thank you all and for keeping it brief, the Prosecution and the Defence
3 and Your Honours. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have just a few more seconds
5 left. Would any -- if the Prosecution has nothing to add. I'm looking
6 towards the Defence. Mr. Dixon is signifying he does not have anything
7 more to add.
8 It is 1.45. We shall reconvene Monday afternoon at quarter past
9 two when we shall be continuing the cross-examination of the witness we
10 started yesterday. Thank you all. Until Monday, then.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of
13 February, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.