1 Monday, 11 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President, case
8 number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, could we have the
11 appearances for the Prosecutor please.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon
13 Your Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
14 Prosecution, Tecla Henry-Benjamin and Daryl Mundis, assisted by our case
15 manager, Andres Vatter.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
17 Could we have the appearances for Defence counsel, please.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President, good day,
19 Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,
20 lead counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Alexis Demirdjian, our
21 legal assistant.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
23 for the other Defence team, please.
24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
25 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
1 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we start hearing the
3 witness scheduled for today, there are a number of issues we have to deal
4 with. First of all, we have the 92 bis statements that have to be
5 tendered into evidence. I'd like to remind you that Defence counsel
6 submitted a motion requesting authorisation to modify their list of
7 witnesses and reference was made to 92 bis statements that had been taken.
8 When reviewing the submissions, we noted that a witness, a new witness
9 subsequently appeared in the statements that we received. This concerns
10 Mr. Zukanovic. We would like to know whether the Prosecution has any
11 objections to make to having Mr. Zukanovic's statement admitted into
13 Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. During the course of the
15 discussions between the parties with respect to the Rule 92 bis
16 statements, Mr. Zukanovic's statement was certainly among those that was
17 included in that material and we have no objection to that statement being
18 admitted into evidence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, with
20 regard to the statements, the 92 bis statements that we have received,
21 that have authenticated, could we have some numbers.
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President. The 92
23 bis statements --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. There is
25 something that Mr. Bourgon would like to say.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good day,
2 Madam Judge, good day, Your Honour. There is a correction I would like to
3 make, Mr. President, concerning the new witness who is referred to in the
4 motion that we filed on the 4th of April. As far as Mr. Zukanovic is
5 concerned, are we in private session?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we go into private
7 session, please?
8 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session now.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Having heard what the Defence
24 has just said, Mr. Registrar, could we have some numbers for these
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, the 92
2 bis statements will be admitted into evidence. The exhibit numbers will
3 be as follows: Adnan Gunic's statement shall have the number 2090; the
4 English version will be DH2090/E.
5 Hasan Zukanovic's statement is admitted into evidence. DH2091
6 will be the exhibit number and the English version DH2091/E.
7 Dedo Suljic's statement is admitted under the number DH2092 and
8 the English version will be DH2092/E.
9 Mustafa Polutak's statement is admitted into evidence under number
10 DH2093 and the English version will be DH2093/E.
11 Jeremy Fleming's statement will be admitted into DH2094 and the
12 English version will be DH2094 -- I apologise. There is just one version
13 it's DH2094. Andrew Jackson's statement is admitted into evidence under
14 the number DH2095 and that is the only version that we have available.
15 William Stutt's statement is admitted into evidence under
16 DH209 -- I seem to be a little lost, DH2095 -- no, I apologise. DH2096
17 and the English version will be DH2096 --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Registrar,
19 could you say that in English because I can see that the English
20 transcript is not following what you have been saying.
21 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, I will
22 perhaps start again.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please start again, but in
25 THE REGISTRAR: [In English] The reference DH2094, the declaration
1 of Andrew Jackson is admitted into evidence under the reference DH2095;
2 the declaration of William Stutt is admitted into evidence under the
3 reference DH2096; the declaration by Mr. Pajam Akhavan - I spell it for
4 the record, A-k-h-a-v-a-n - is admitted into evidence under the reference
5 DH2097. [Interpretation] And that is the list of the 92 bis statements.
6 Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, I can see that in the
8 transcript when we had DH, the -- "D 8" would appear in the transcript.
9 So you should check the transcript, Mr. Registrar, and make the necessary
11 The Defence also filed a motion last week dated the 1st of April,
12 a motion concerning documents that have been marked for identification.
13 414, 939, et cetera, and we now need final exhibit numbers since the
14 Defence has provided us with the English transcripts.
15 Are there any objections that the Prosecution would like to raise,
16 Mr. Mundis?
17 MR. MUNDIS: No, no, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, could
19 you deal with the matter rapidly but slowly at the same time so that the
20 court reporter can follow you.
21 Mr. Bourgon.
22 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
23 purpose of filing the motion, Mr. President, was to avoid the necessity of
24 reading out hundreds of numbers. Perhaps if the Prosecution agrees, we
25 could simply take note of the Chamber's decision and then the registrar
1 could deal with the file ...
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we have agreed to this
3 request. In the future, the registrar should tell us that ID414 has
4 become Exhibit 414, et cetera, and this will enable you us to save time.
5 Otherwise it will take ages to deal with the matter.
6 We can do this -- we can deal with this matter at a subsequent
8 As far as the documents are concerned, we have consulted our files
9 and we have noticed that some documents are missing either the English
10 translations or B/C/S translations. I've asked the Chamber's legal
11 officer to consult the parties in order to find a solution to some of
12 these outstanding matters but this is not a serious problem.
13 In addition, tomorrow or the day after, we will be rendering our
14 decision on taking judicial notice. The decision has been taken. We are
15 just completing it, but we have taken a decision on the motion filed a
16 while ago and tomorrow or the day after, at the latest, we will inform you
17 of it.
18 We will now go into closed session -- into private session, it's
19 not necessary to lower the blinds as we are in courtroom number 2. We are
20 in private session now.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 18169 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now that we are in
10 open session, there's one last issue that I would like to raise. We've
11 been informed that following an agreement between the parties, there will
12 be three statements that were taken in accordance with American
13 stipulation procedure. This concerns three witnesses and without
14 referring to their names, could Defence counsel confirm that an agreement
15 has been reached with the Prosecution and that in the course of the week,
16 we will be provided with these statements.
17 Mr. Bourgon
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Could we
19 go into private session, please.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go back into private
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 18171-18175 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So now I'll give the floor to
16 the Defence in order for them to ...
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For their official statement.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Before closing on
20 this, we have one request that we have already discussed and it has been
21 submitted recently and it is about the final list of the Defence documents
22 for the accused, General Hadzihasanovic.
23 As the Trial Chamber is well aware, since the very start, we have
24 had a list of documents for the Defence. It has developed over time and
25 today, we've got the final list. As it is indicated in our request, this
1 final list includes several pieces of information, that is to say,
2 references for identification purposes to everything that has already been
3 admitted into evidence and everything that has already been admitted into
4 evidence as a DH number and also, in those cases where the translations
5 have already been submitted, and also the ones that are still missing.
6 To this day, if I remember correctly, we are missing exactly 81
7 documents which still need to be translated. Since we would like to close
8 our case today, what we are asking now is for the Defence to be authorised
9 to close the case today whilst reserving the right, if of course the
10 Prosecution were to object, to still submit the documents outstanding. So
11 let me just reiterate that these are secondary documents, as it were,
12 documents that we would like to use without using the witnesses. So they
13 are related to documents that have already been used with witnesses and
14 therefore we can say that they do have some probative value and they
15 simply confirm what is already included in the documents which have
16 already been accepted into evidence.
17 For this reason, if the Trial Chamber agrees, we could close our
18 case today and reserve the right to submit those arguments or rather the
19 extra information indicated in this list at a later stage.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we have to turn to
21 Mr. Mundis here. The Defence is asking to be authorised to close the case
22 today whilst reserving the right to ask us to approve the request they're
23 making today; that is to say, they've got this list of documents and
24 they're still missing some 80-odd translations and certain documents have
25 not been introduced or used with witnesses but they are related to these
1 witness accounts but we need you to say that you don't object to that.
2 Now, I would like to invite Mr. Mundis whether you can go along
3 with this proposal made by the Defence since -- or do you still need to
4 talk about it? Thank you.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, in principle, we have no objection; of
6 course, we would need to see the documents prior to having any final
7 position with respect to the documents, but as of this point in time, we
8 certainly have no objection to this type of procedure being followed.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right, then. We have taken note
10 of that. The Prosecution will of course study the document that you've
11 drafted today and then we shall talk about it again.
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. I would just like
13 to specify a couple of points with regard to that motion. We would
14 suggest for the Prosecution to have a fortnight within which to respond;
15 that is to say, once all the translations have been submitted. We would
16 also like to stress, Mr. President, that some of these documents could be
17 used by the Defence of General Hadzihasanovic in the case of
18 cross-examination of the second accused. And we're also asking for all
19 these documents -- I mean, they have been used by joint military experts
20 of both accused in order to prepare both their expert witness reports as
21 well as to prepare for testimony.
22 And also, all the documents there would make it easier for the
23 Trial Chamber to have a full overview of all the documents included in
24 this dossier and the relevant numbers, and that's something that we hope
25 to -- and we are going to complete as soon as possible with the legal
1 officer here.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. So you said a
3 fortnight, but the last document will be translated when? If it's within
4 this week, it's okay, but if it's in a month, it is going to be a month
5 plus two weeks. So as of when?
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] According to the Tribunal services,
7 the last translation should be submitted in the third week of April. We
8 don't have a specific date yet but I believe that it will be not next week
9 but I believe the week after that. I don't have the specific date,
10 though. The only information I have at the moment is that the
11 translations will be available in the third week of April.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Thank you.
13 Mr. Mundis, according to what you've gathered, all the documents
14 will have been translated by the third week of April and as of then,
15 you'll have a fortnight which will take us to mid-May, sometimes around
16 the 15th of May. Would that date, the 15th of May be convenient to the
17 Prosecution in order for you to study all these documents?
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, he we would not anticipate any problem
19 with meeting that deadline if our learned colleagues could perhaps
20 indicate either on the record or by a written notification that all of the
21 materials have in fact been translated and we of course receive copies of
22 all of that material, we will endeavour to review it as quickly as
23 possible. I certainly don't think there will be any problem with a
24 deadline of 15 May, assuming that we have them by the third week or the
25 end of the third week of April. That certainly wouldn't be a problem.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well then.
2 Mr. Bourgon, the Prosecution wishes to receive the documents as
3 soon as possible and then, of course, the 15th of May is the deadline for
4 their point of view. So as of the 15th of May, we will give our opinion
5 or, rather, our approval if there are no other problems.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, we fully
7 agree with the Prosecution. As soon as the last one of the 81 missing
8 documents in terms of translations is submitted, we shall immediately
9 notify them officially in order to confirm that the dossier has been
11 Mr. President, you have to take account of the fact that all the
12 documents that have been submitted today together with our final list are
13 already available to the Prosecution. What's currently missing are the 81
14 translations which are still missing. But as to everything else, they
15 already have all the documents available.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Except that the Trial Chamber
17 doesn't have all those documents but we'll have them soon. So the Trial
18 Chamber accepts -- takes note of the fact that they can close the case
19 today but of course with the proviso that we still get those documents
20 according to the modalities that we have heard about over the past few
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, for
23 the sake of the transcript, I would just like to say that with regard to
24 the Defence of General Hadzihasanovic, I would just like to state once
25 again formally that we have closed our case. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now we shall move on
2 to the next stage and it was my understanding that there would be an
3 opening statement now.
4 So we are in open session, so in open session.
5 [Mr. Kubura's Defence opening statement]
6 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. There will be an opening
7 statement now on behalf of Mr. Kubura, and he will also use this
8 opportunity to address Your Honours pursuant to Rule 84 bis after I've
9 completed my opening statement.
10 It will last just over an hour and I would propose that I commence
11 now and find an appropriate place to break for the technical break and
12 then continue thereafter to be followed then by Mr. Kubura's short
13 statement to Your Honours.
14 As Your Honours will be aware, it is always said of lengthy
15 criminal trials like the one that we have been involved in for some 206
16 days now, that no matter how complex the case might first appear, the path
17 to discovering the truth is invariably one which depends on a very small
18 number of crucial and narrow factual questions, Your Honours. Questions
19 which we say that mostly always have simple answers and complicated
20 answers, once all the irrelevant material has been stripped away.
21 Mr. Kubura's Defence is very clear and to the point. This is how
22 it happened, we say. For the killings in Miletici and Maline, as they are
23 alleged in the indictment, no members or units of the 7th Brigade were
24 there at the relevant time - that being 24th April and 6 June 1993,
25 respectively; I apologise, 8 June, 1993 - let alone involved in the
1 commission of any crimes on these days.
2 For the music school and Motel Sretno, in our submission, there's
3 not a shred of evidence that Mr. Kubura knew or had reason to know about
4 any particular beatings that occurred at these places. On the contrary,
5 there are reasons why he would not have had information at his disposal.
6 For the alleged destruction and looting in the Ovnak area and
7 Vares, in some instances, there is simply no evidence presented by the
8 Prosecution of destruction. And in others, no evidence of the identity of
9 the perpetrators. In circumstances where various brigades and units were
10 involved in the military operations, civilians were on the loose, and many
11 of the alleged crimes were committed when units of the 7th Brigade were no
12 longer even present in the area.
13 Finally, throughout all of these alleged incidents, Mr. Kubura was
14 only appointed as the commander of the 7th Brigade from the 6th August
16 A simple defence, Your Honours, but not a simplistic one. There
17 is a big difference, in our submission. When the historical expert,
18 Professor Cihic [phoen] was asked by the Prosecution in cross-examination,
19 and I quote here, it was Ms. Henry-Benjamin who asked the question. These
20 were her words, "So then would I be correct in assuming or saying that the
21 7th Brigade accommodated the Muslim race so that your foreigners, who
22 might have been Muslims, they automatically would have gone to the 7th
23 Brigade; am I correct?" His answer was, "I think that would be a
24 simplistic interpretation."
25 In our view, simplistic here, Your Honours, means naive, one
1 dimensional, and in our submission that is an apt description of the whole
2 of the Prosecution's case against our client. I say this with the
3 greatest respect to my colleagues from the Office of the Prosecutor who we
4 have worked with and cooperated with the best and most professional of
5 spirits throughout this case. But they have simply got it wrong. Their
6 case oversimplifies matters and relies on sweeping generalisations without
7 any hard evidence to back-up those assertions. There are too many leaps
8 too far, in our submission.
9 To illustrate my point, Your Honours, at the heart of this case,
10 and for which it will always be remembered in the records of international
11 criminal law, is the presence of foreign fighters, Mujahedin. Who is
12 criminally responsible for their actions is an ultimate issue in this
14 A simplistic proposition by the Prosecution by way of example has
15 been that MOS, the Muslim forces that which you have heard about, was
16 formed in 1992 and it included foreigners who had arrived in Central
17 Bosnia. The Prosecution then go on to say that the MOS became the 7th
18 Brigade wholesale. They said this in their 98 bis submission and Mr.
19 Mundis said this in oral argument, and I quote his words directly; he
20 said, "Our case has been one, and we explained this in our 98 bis
21 submission, that the Travnik Muslim forces evolved into the 7th Muslim
22 Mountain Brigade." He said that on the 24th of October, 2004.
23 And the Prosecution then go on to say Mr. Kubura must have
24 effectively controlled foreign fighters including those who allegedly
25 committed the offences in late April and early June 1993. But they don't
1 finish there. They take it further to say, well suddenly in August, 1993,
2 the Mujahedin were moved, the Prosecution say, into a new unit called the
3 El Mujahed Unit.
4 Now, in our submission, Your Honours, such a theory is both
5 riddled with assertions that have absolutely no factual basis on the
6 evidence we have heard. For instance, there is no evidence that all or
7 any foreigners were incorporated into the MOS. There's no evidence that
8 the MOS was transformed into the 7th Brigade. As an aside, Mr. Kubura was
9 never even a member of the MOS. And there's also no evidence that later
10 any foreigners were moved from the 7th Brigade into the El Mujahed unit.
11 This theory, in our view, is riddled with leaps of logic that can never be
12 used to prove criminal responsibility beyond reasonable doubt.
13 For instance, why would there be any need to form an El Mujahed
14 unit to accommodate foreigners if they were already in the army and neatly
15 all under the control of the 7th Brigade of the 3rd Corps? Has the
16 Prosecution come up with an answer to that question? No, we say.
17 But what is the Prosecution's case? It has never been clear from
18 day one until today or ever been stated in our view with any certainty or
19 confidence by the Prosecution. They have a fundamental problem at the
20 core of their case against Mr. Kubura. We say they cannot establish any
21 connection between the 7th Brigade and the Mujahedin for the offences in
22 Miletici and Maline. The Prosecution has tried four times to clarify the
23 issue and come up with no less than four different stories and I'll go
24 through each of those for Your Honours.
25 The first started way back in July 2001, the original indictment
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 where, in paragraph 62, the Prosecution said that and I quote from the
2 indictment, "With the creation of the ABiH 3rd Corps area of command, the
3 Mujahedin were attached to and subordinated to the 7th Muslim Mountain
4 Brigade. Subsequently, the Mujahedin were heavily involved in combat
5 activities with the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade. As principally an
6 offensive unit, the Mujahedin frequently spearheaded operations." That
7 means in our view, all Mujahedin, the Prosecution were saying, were
8 actually in the 7th Brigade.
9 In the rest of the indictment, they said that the 306th Brigade
10 and the 7th Brigade attacked Miletici and Maline after which the crimes
11 were committed.
12 We then move on to January 2002, the second indictment. This
13 indictment was an amendment of the first because we, as the Defence, had
14 challenged the form of the indictment. We'd argued that it was imprecise,
15 that the identity of the perpetrators was not clear, and who they were
16 subordinated, which particular brigades, if any, was not made clear. What
17 the Prosecution then did in response, paragraph 25 of the second
18 indictment was they included the word "predominantly." They said that the
19 Mujahedin were predominantly incorporated into the 7th Muslim Mountain
21 We then come to the third indictment which was the indictment
22 before Your Honours for the trial, and we see two things. Firstly, the
23 word "predominantly" is now removed. And secondly, the "the" which I
24 referred to earlier on, "the Mujahedin" is also removed. So in paragraph
25 19, all it says now is that Mujahedin were incorporated and subordinated
1 in the 7th Brigade. There is no indication which, whether it is some or
3 The Prosecution has kept it vague, deliberately, we say, because
4 they don't know what their case is.
5 Also in the rest of the indictment, they continued with the
6 allegation that the 306th and the 7th Brigade attacked Miletici and Maline
7 after which the crimes were committed. That's paragraph 39.
8 The fourth version, Your Honours, came out with the indictment of
9 Mr. Rasim Delic, the indictment of 15 February, 2005. In paragraph 13 of
10 that indictment, the Prosecution now allege the following: "That after
11 its formation on 19 November 1992, the 7th Brigade incorporated Mujahedin
12 into its structure as did other units of the ABiH 3rd Corps and the
13 paragraph continues, "the Mujahedin were involved in combat activities of
14 units of the ABiH 3rd Corps including the 7th Brigade and frequently
15 spearheaded April 3rd corps combat operations." There are two points that
16 arise. Here we see for the first time the OTP has alleged that the
17 Mujahedin were in other units and involved in combat activities of units
18 of the 3rd corps. Secondly, they now allege that Mujahedin spearheaded
19 operations not of the 7th Brigade any longer, as they had said in all the
20 other indictments, but just generally of the 3rd Corps.
21 Moving on then to the alleged killings in Miletici and Maline.
22 Paragraphs 25 and 25 of the Delic indictment are relevant, and I have a
23 copy of that indictment here, Your Honours. And I would ask that it be
24 put on the ELMO at those paragraphs, 24 and 25, so one can appreciate the
25 changes that have been made.
1 Starting with paragraph 24, which is just on the previous page,
2 this regards the alleged killings in Maline. I will read the paragraph,
3 Your Honours. "On 8 June 1993, the day that Rasim Delic assumed the post
4 of commander of the Main Staff units of the ABiH 3rd Corps, including the
5 306th Mountain Brigade, the 7th Muslim Brigade, and the Mujahedin,
6 launched an attack on the village of Maline in Travnik municipality."
7 Pausing there, we see here for the first time the Prosecution now
8 alleging that not only was it the 306th and the 7th but also the Mujahedin
9 listed as a separate entity in the indictment.
10 "Following the HVO surrender, more than 200 Bosnian Croat
11 civilians and HVO soldiers were captured and ordered by the military
12 police of the ABiH 306th Mountain Brigade to march towards Mehurici, a
13 village several kilometres from Maline. As the this column was
14 approaching the village of Poljanice, several hundred meters from
15 Mehurici, a group of approximately ten Mujahedin and local Bosnian Muslim
16 soldiers approached from the direction of Mehurici and ordered the column
17 to stop."
18 Pausing there, Your Honours, it is significant, we say, that there
19 is no allegation that the 7th Brigade were involved at all with these
20 prisoners and their escort or their kidnapping. It simply mentioned 10
21 Mujahedin and local Bosnian Muslim soldiers. We may ask: Is this change
22 a result of the evidence that has been presented before Your Honours in
23 this trial?
24 Continuing then over the page to paragraph 25, "Shortly
25 thereafter, this group met a smaller group of persons who had also been
1 captured in Maline and the two groups proceeded towards Maline. When the
2 group arrived at the junction that led to Bikosi, they were ordered to
3 turn towards that village and, after arriving there, they were ordered to
4 form a line. The Mujahedin then indiscriminately opened gunfire on the
5 group, executing some of the survivors of this initial shooting by single
6 gunshots to the head."
7 We say, once again, it's significant that it's alleged by the
8 Prosecution now that Mujahedin, not any brigades of the Bosnian army, not
9 the 7th Brigade, committed these killings. It's still not alleged which
10 particular Mujahedin, but the group of Mujahedin is referred to as "the
11 perpetrators." Is this the result of evidence that has been presented
12 before Your Honours in this case?
13 In essence, we say that the OTP have conceded that the
14 perpetrators were not in the 7th Brigade. They have accepted in the Delic
15 indictment the case of the Defence.
16 Thank you, Your Honours. I will not refer any longer to the
17 indictment; it can be taken from the ELMO.
18 Your Honours, before I turn to the counts in the indictment, a
19 word about Mr. Kubura himself and his position in 1993. As the evidence
20 will show, the narrative Amir Kubura's life at the time war broke out in
21 Bosnia reads like that of so many ordinary persons and soldiers who were
22 caught up in the painful events that were to follow. Mr. Kubura will tell
23 Your Honours more about his background when he makes his statement. But
24 in summary, he was with his wife and children in Kosovo at the beginning
25 of 1992. He was stationed there in a time of peace as an officer of the
1 JNA. A young man of 29 years old with a young family, unaware of how
2 dramatically their lives were about to change.
3 His late mother and other family members were living in the town
4 of Kakanj in Bosnia; that's the town of his birth. He had grown up there,
5 gone to school there before joining the JNA to undertake his military
7 As we all began to learn with great trepidation from the media and
8 on our television sets, in early 1992 the war was spreading from Slovenia
9 and Croatia into neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. The horrifying
10 spectre of ethnic cleansing arose for the first time, a new term that had
11 been fashioned to describe the treatment meted out on innocent civilians
12 by advancing Serb forces and paramilitary groupings.
13 When Mr. Kubura heard that fighting was breaking out all over
14 Bosnia and that his home region was now also under threat, he took the
15 hard decision to return to Kakanj in Bosnia to be there for his family, to
16 defend his country. It was a defining moment for him. He was out of
17 Bosnia at the time. He could have left the region like so many other
18 people did but he wanted to be there to return, to serve, to help, to do
19 what he could do. That was the overriding impulse that drove him.
20 He was not a political man; the evidence will show this. Not a
21 member of any political party. Not an outspoken religious person. He had
22 never been in any trouble before and had never stood out for any reason,
23 good or bad. He had an uncontroversial background and a reasonably
24 promising career that was on track. He was a young, typical JNA officer,
25 one of many who had never fought in armed conflict, although trained to,
1 but never believed that he would.
2 As a person, he was well liked and popular. People at work and in
3 his social life warmed to him easily. He had that rare quality to be
4 respected by both friends and foe alike.
5 Your Honours, at his core, a good man. I'll say no more about
6 this, Your Honours; the evidence about him will emerge. But to pause
7 there for a moment and ask a question: Is this why the Mujahedin sought
8 to assassinate him in the summer of 1993? Something we have heard about
9 from the international witnesses and something that is recorded in their
10 reports. He represented everything that they sought to destroy. They
11 were waging, as the indictment alleges, a holy war, and people like the I
12 ill-fated victims of the Mujahedin and like Mr. Kubura could be expended
13 in the name of that cause. It would be a mockery, we say, to suggest that
14 he commanded these people or could have punished them.
15 Mr. Kubura could not be apart from his family, and they
16 accompanied him to Kakanj, arriving there in May of 1992, and he
17 immediately joined the TO in Kakanj. On 5 September 1992, he was
18 appointed of the deputy commander of the 1st Battalion of the armed forces
19 of Kakanj municipality and was appointed as the commander of this
20 Battalion on 1 December 1992.
21 As Your Honours have heard in the evidence, towards the end of the
22 1992, the corps and the brigades in the Bosnian army were beginning to be
23 established, one such brigade being the 7th Brigade which Your Honours
24 have heard much about already in this trial. It was formed as part of the
25 3rd Corps by the Supreme Command Staff order dated 19 November 1993.
1 Mr. Kubura was not involved at all in the formation of this
2 brigade. As I've mentioned already, he was a member of the armed forces
3 of the Kakanj municipality at the time. He was assigned to the 7th
4 Brigade by order on 11 December 1992 to the position of assistant chief of
5 staff for operational and educational affairs. These allegations
6 regarding his background are set out in paragraph 6 of the indictment,
7 Your Honours. There are some inaccuracies, we say, in those allegations
8 which should be corrected at the outset.
9 The first is that by a Supreme Command Staff order, Mr. Kubura was
10 appointed as chief of staff and deputy commander of the 7th Brigade on 12
11 March 1993 and not 1 January 1993 as is stated in the indictment.
12 Your Honours have seen this document when the military expert
13 testified and it will be introduced as evidence during our Defence case.
14 Mr. Koricic was appointed as the brigade commander at the same
15 time. Thereafter, by a Supreme Command staff order dated 6 August 1993,
16 Mr. Kubura was appointed as the commander of the 7th Brigade. He did not
17 become the commander on 21 July 1993 as is stated in the indictment. DK25
18 is the document regarding his appointment on 6 August 1993.
19 Before this date, we say it is for the Prosecution to prove what
20 his position was and over whom he exercised effective control, if any.
21 The indictment alleges from 1 April 1993 he acted as the substitute for
22 Mr. Koricic, and the indictment continues "the then-assigned 7th Brigade
23 commander who was absent during this period."
24 Where is the evidence to support this allegation that Mr. Koricic
25 was absent and that Mr. Kubura became his substitute?
1 Mr. Mundis said, when cross-examining the expert, that it was a
2 gap in the expert's report that he could not conclude where Mr. Koricic
3 was and whether he was still the commander. We say this is a gap in the
4 Prosecution's case.
5 The Prosecution try to fill this gap by saying Mr. Koricic went to
6 recruit Mujahedins in Croatia. On the 14th of December last year,
7 Mr. Mundis said, and I quote his words, "I suggest to you that Mr. Asim
8 Koricic left Central Bosnia on 31 March 1993 and that he went to Croatia
9 and was involved in importing foreigners into Central Bosnia and that he
10 did so on behalf of the 3rd Corps."
11 There is not an ounce of evidence to support this sweeping
12 allegation. Another example, we say, of a leap too far.
13 Rather, the evidence is, and there are four points that I wish to
14 summarise here, firstly, that Mr. Kubura was not the formally appointed
15 commander until 6 August. There's no official appointment to acting
16 commander or any other position as there ought to have been according to
17 the military regulations. That's Article 78 which was referred to the
18 military expert. No one was appointed as chief of staff to replace
19 Mr. Kubura.
20 Secondly, the documents from the 7th Brigade in this case before
21 August 1993 that are signed by the commander were done in the name of Asim
22 Koricic as the commander, even documents in June and July 1993. Some were
23 signed by Mr. Kubura but some were signed by other persons. Your Honours
24 will recall the testimony of the military expert: A commander is a
25 commander wherever he might be.
1 Thirdly, Mr. Kubura was not the prominent face of the 7th Brigade.
2 Your Honours will recall that almost all the international witnesses had
3 never heard about him, never met him, never had any reason to seek him
5 The 7th Brigade member who testified, Witness BA, even said he
6 thought Mr. Kubura was in Germany at the time. You will recall he was one
7 of the early witnesses called by the Prosecution.
8 Fourthly, Your Honours will also recall what even Mr. Totic, who
9 could be regarded as Mr. Kubura's main adversary stated in his testimony,
10 he said, "There were other more influential people in the brigade." That
11 was on the 23rd of February, 2004.
12 Now, Your Honours, Mr. Kubura is not suggesting for a moment that
13 he did not person form functions in the 7th Brigade or, for that matter,
14 that he was in Germany at the time. That's not his defence. He's never
15 challenged his position in the brigade. But Your Honours must consider,
16 on the evidence presented, what his concrete position as a young officer
17 was before August 1993. Your Honours must assess what powers, in fact, he
18 possessed and what information in his position he may in reality have been
19 exposed to. And this should be done against the backdrop, Your Honours,
20 of the well-settled law on the responsibilities of staff officers which
21 was set out in the High Command case, the case tried by the United States
22 military tribunal after the Second World War.
23 I quote a small section from that case which was referred to in
24 the Celebici judgement at paragraph 367. It reads, "Staff officers are
25 indispensable in the link" -- I will start again, Your Honours. "Staff
1 officers are an indispensable link in the chain of the execution of
2 orders. Since a chief of staff does not have command authority in the
3 chain of command, an order over his signature does not have authority for
4 subordinates in the chain of command. A failure to properly exercise
5 command responsibility is not the responsibility of a chief of staff. In
6 the absence of participation in criminal orders, or the execution within a
7 command, a chief of staff does not become criminally responsible for
8 criminal acts occurring therein. He has no command authority over
9 subordinate's units. All he can do in such cases is call those matters to
10 the attention of his commanding General. Command authority and
11 responsibility forwards exercise rest definitively upon his commander."
12 Your Honours, in the indictment at paragraphs 36 to 38, the
13 Prosecution set out what they allege Mr. Kubura's powers were. And in a
14 nutshell, they say at all relevant times by virtue of his position and
15 authority, he commanded all units of the 7th Brigade including those
16 operating detention facilities. The question must be asked, we say: Has
17 the Prosecution proved those allegations and that Mr. Kubura acted as the
18 commander or acting commander from 1 April 1993?
19 Where is the evidence that he had de facto control of all
20 commanding officers and troops of the 7th Brigade? It is correct, as the
21 Prosecution say that in military terms, someone is always in command. But
22 the question is who and with what powers?
23 What is clear from the evidence is that the 7th Brigade was a
24 manoeuvre unit, one of many in the 3rd Corps which is not unusual.
25 Without a fixed area of responsibility, it was not fully replenished.
1 Your Honours will recall the report of August 1993 where its manpower
2 levels were listed at 76 per cent. The total numbers of the brigade were
3 roughly 1.400 troops with its members assigned, like all other brigades,
4 by the municipal defence staff. People drawn from the surrounding
5 villages, ordinary people, joining up to defend their towns and their
6 villages together with refugees.
7 Looking further about other allegations that are made about the
8 brigade in the indictment, paragraph 17, Your Honours. There is, in our
9 submission, and this will be borne out by the witnesses who are called in
10 our case, that there is no evidence that this unit was required to
11 strictly adhere to Islamic beliefs. No evidence that recruits had to
12 swear an oath to follow the example of a proper Muslim soldier, as is set
13 out in the instructions to the Muslim fighter. And no evidence that
14 20.000 copies of this were distributed in the 3rd Corps area of
15 responsibility. Once again, leaps too far, we say, by the Prosecution.
16 Mr. Kubura was based at the headquarters of the 7th Brigade as its
17 chief of staff but he operated in the field and on the front lines
18 coordinating particular military operations. Your Honours will hear
19 evidence about this. His main operations were in Ovnak in May and June of
20 1993 and Vares in October and November 1993, as is evidenced by the
21 documents in this trial. For example, DK23 and 24, they are the plans and
22 orders relating to the operations of the 7th Brigade immediately after the
23 operation in Ovnak. They were both signed by Mr. Kubura as chief of staff
24 on 10 and 11 June respectively.
25 It is significant that there are no similar documents for any
1 operations in Maline and Miletici because the 7th Brigade was not there.
2 As an aside, Your Honours, I do wish to add that there are other
3 documents where Mr. Kubura signed as chief of staff during this time, not
4 as anything else.
5 On the context of these operations, and I will finish with this
6 point before continuing after the break, we will not lead evidence about
7 the context of the operations that occurred. But there is one point which
8 must be made at this stage. It is important to keep some perspective.
9 The broad context of these alleged offences, which is not set out in the
10 indictment, is in our submission, the ethnic cleansing campaigns conducted
11 by the Bosnian Serb forces under the direction of Belgrade and the HVO
12 with the support from Croatia against the largely Muslim population of
13 Bosnia. The aim was to gain control of parts of Bosnia and create greater
14 Serbias and greater Croatias respectively.
15 This conclusion has been confirmed in various judgements of the
16 ICTY, including the Kordic judgement, which was not overturned on appeal.
17 And there, the Trial Chamber said that there was overwhelming evidence of
18 a campaign of persecution in 1992 and 1993 aimed at the Bosnian Muslim
20 The most important part which I wish to emphasise is that the
21 Trial Chamber held that the Defence case, that's the Defence of
22 Mr. Kordic, "that these events amounted to a civil war in which the
23 Bosnian Croats were on the defensive and themselves subject to persecution
24 is rejected." That's at paragraph 827 of the Kordic judgement.
25 The Prosecution cannot have it both ways. They can't say in
1 Kordic that the HVO were on the offensive, which was accepted by the Trial
2 Chamber, but then suddenly in our case they are on the defensive. Of
3 course, Your Honours, a war crime is a war crime. It's not a defence to
4 say the other side was attacking and committing worse crimes. But we can
5 also not pretend that this trial is divorced from the position that the
6 OTP has taken in other cases. Over and over again, and it's been accepted
7 by the Trial Chambers, the OTP has stated that the conflicts in Bosnia
8 were driven by the raw political and territorial ambitions of the
9 then-leadership of Serbia and Croatia.
10 I will return now to my opening point which is the key factual
11 issues that this case turns on. Perhaps after the break, Your Honours, I
12 can move to those very specific issues. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now quarter to 4.00. We'll
14 have a break and we will resume at about ten past 4.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon, you may proceed.
18 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 In the case of Mr. Kubura, we say the ultimate issue is: Were any
20 of the perpetrators, Mujahedin or otherwise, of the alleged killings in
21 Miletici and Maline under the effective control of Mr. Kubura in the sense
22 that they were his subordinates with him able to prevent or punish their
23 actions. That is the key question. Your Honours have heard all of the
24 evidence, the answer must be "no." No, because the 7th Brigade was not
25 deployed or present at these places, and no, because the Mujahedin or
1 their followers who were present in Mehurici, which I referred to as the
2 nerve centre of the alleged offences, where they were perpetrated from,
3 none of those persons were in any way linked to the 7th Brigade and for
4 the purposes of Article 7(3) under the effective control of Mr. Kubura.
5 As we have said all along, there are only three ways that the
6 Prosecution can prove Mr. Kubura is liable. Either they have to show that
7 members of the 7th Brigade were present and involved in the commission of
8 those offences on those days. The answer to that is that there's
9 absolutely no evidence of presence and perpetration of the offences.
10 So they must move on to the second leg, which is they can try and
11 prove that all the Mujahedin were under the effective control of
12 Mr. Kubura including those stationed in the camp in Mehurici. The answer
13 to that, Your Honours, is that on their own case, I cited the Delic case
14 earlier on, they can't prove that all Mujahedin were incorporated in the
15 7th Brigade.
16 So they have to move on to the third option which is that they
17 have to show who were the particular individual Mujahedin or people who
18 committed the offences and then show that those people were under the
19 effective control of Mr. Kubura.
20 We say that option can be crossed out as well because the
21 Prosecution have conceded that they cannot identify who the precise
22 perpetrators of the offences were. They said as much in their 98 bis
23 submission. They said, "We cannot identify the individual perpetrators
24 with any degree of specificity."
25 And they haven't led any evidence to show who the particular
1 individuals were. But let's take it step by step, Your Honours. Part A
2 will be: The 7th Brigade was not present. And here, I wish to briefly
3 summarise the main Defence points as they will be confirmed by the
4 evidence in the case for Mr. Kubura.
5 Firstly, as we've said on many occasions, the Prosecution's own
6 expert, General Reinhardt, confirmed, having looked at all the evidence in
7 the case, there was no evidence of a presence of a 7th Brigade. That was
8 confirmed by the Defence military expert as well.
9 Secondly, the oral evidence confirms exactly the same. Witness
10 after witness has stated that the 7th Brigade, and in particular they were
11 looking at the 1st Battalion stationed in the town of Travnik, was not in
12 Miletici and Maline. Your Honours have heard from the commander of the
13 306th Brigade, Mr. Sipic, and the testimony of no less than 16 witnesses
14 from the 306th Brigade, all confirming that the 7th Brigade was not there
15 and involved.
16 If the 1st Battalion was in Mehurici, in our submission there
17 would be no reason for the local commanders like Mr. Sipic to seek to
18 protect the 7th Brigade. Quite the contrary, in fact. There are no
19 allegations in any of the 306 documents, in any of the command documents
20 from the 3rd Corps or any of the supreme command documents that the 7th
21 Brigade was involved or responsible in any way.
22 Thirdly, witnesses have confirmed that the 1st Battalion was
23 elsewhere on the relevant dates. And during the case for Mr. Kubura, we
24 will call witnesses from the 1st Battalion who will state exactly where
25 they were and what they were doing on those days.
1 Fourthly, as Your Honours will be aware, there is a host of
2 documentation regarding the activities of the forces on that day. Many of
3 them have been shown during the Defence case for Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
4 Your Honours will recall the document from General Alagic of 8 June 1993,
5 that's P465, clearly showing that the 7th Brigade was not in Maline on
6 that day.
7 Your Honours will also recall the war diaries of the 306th Brigade
8 and the OG Bosanska Krajina documents which were not introduced by the
9 Prosecution for the relevant days. And they match up, they both confirm
10 the 7th Brigade was not involved, and they outline which brigades and
11 units were involved.
12 There are many similar documents which will be shown to our
13 witnesses and they will explain the activities of the 7th Brigade on those
15 Fifthly, the lack of presence of the 7th Brigade is confirmed by
16 the reporting about what happened for the incidents in Miletici and
17 Maline. Your Honours will recall complaints being made, inquiries being
18 made, and then letters being sent from people like Mr. Delalic,
19 Mr. Dugalic, and ultimately Mr. Merdan in November 1993. None of those
20 documents mention involvement of the 7th Brigade. All inquiries about
21 what happened were either sent to the OG or to the 306th Brigade. Nothing
22 was ever sent to the 7th Brigade about these incidents. And the 7th
23 Brigade was not involved at all in the investigations that properly
24 followed those incidents.
25 Part B, Your Honour, is that there is no link with the Mujahedin
1 in respect of Miletici and Maline. In the Prosecution's 98 bis
2 submission, they alleged that the Mujahedin were deployed including with
3 the 7th Brigade. But we say if there is no evidence that the 7th Brigade
4 was present, it is impossible for the foreigners to have been deployed
5 with them, as the Prosecution say. The Prosecution case must become, and
6 of course it's for them to say this, but it must become, although it might
7 seem odd, that the Mujahedin in Mehurici were under the effective control
8 of Mr. Kubura even if no 7th Brigade command or members were present
10 But we return to the original question: Who were the
11 perpetrators? If they cannot be identified, how can the Prosecution even
12 begin to try and prove their case, begin to try and prove who was
13 effectively controlled by Mr. Kubura?
14 Your Honours, there are admitted documents, the majority of which
15 were admitted without any witness, purportedly from the 7th Brigade which
16 mentioned foreigners. Taken at their very highest, the Prosecution could
17 argue that they indicate an association with some foreigners. But they
18 can't argue with all foreigners, and they cannot use any of those
19 documents to argue a link with the foreigners, particularly those in the
20 camp at Mehurici, and then the particular perpetrators. We say that only
21 documents concerning the foreigners in Mehurici or those connected with
22 the offences in Miletici and Maline are relevant in respect of the
23 ultimate issue which I outlined earlier for Mr. Kubura.
24 In the event, no witnesses have been called by the OTP on these
25 documents, even though we have contested them. They had been admitted,
1 but as Your Honours have stated, weight has not been determined as yet.
2 The Prosecution cannot expect Mr. Kubura to fill in the gaps
3 during his case. We are not obliged to call witnesses in our case to
4 address documents which have nothing to do with Miletici and Maline. The
5 OTP could have called the authors of these documents if they had wanted
7 Moreover, the documents in this case do not, as the Prosecution
8 have said on many occasions, speak for themselves. The documents merely
9 confirm words on a page but not the truth of their contents. It's only
10 witnesses that can bring these documents to life and permit Your Honours
11 to assess the probative value. Otherwise, anybody could write a document
12 claiming that they are innocent and submit it for the truth of its
13 contents and say, "Well, the document speaks for itself."
14 In summary, Your Honours, the Prosecution's evidence simply does
15 not prove that the Mujahedin perpetrators were with the 7th Brigade and
16 under the effective control of Mr. Kubura. Not a single witness has said
17 that and not a single document states that. On the contrary, the
18 Prosecution's own military expert, General Reinhardt, stated, and I must
19 stress here, this is not the case of the Defence, but it's what the
20 Prosecution has stated in its case. He said, "You could not say who from
21 the foreigners may be in the brigade or out of the brigade." His words
22 were, "It was dubious to me."
23 So on the Prosecution's own case, this is not the Defence case,
24 but on their own case, the perpetrators could have been out. We say that
25 is enough, in and of itself, to acquit Mr. Kubura.
1 Even the Prosecution would also have to concede that on the face
2 of their own indictment, there is a contradiction. Mr. Kubura is not
3 charged for offences in Guca Gora and Travnik where the indictment alleges
4 the Mujahedin were present. How do they make such a distinction?
5 Also, the Prosecution didn't initially charge Mr. Kubura for the
6 offences in Miletici. They only added that after Dusina been removed
7 following Appeals Chamber's judgement. And although I don't want to go
8 into the all the detail, but Your Honours will know that in the
9 Prosecution pre-trial brief, the Prosecution set out what their evidence
10 was for Miletici when they managed to get the charge added. That was at
11 paragraphs 53 to 56. And having reviewed the paragraphs and that evidence
12 again before today the evidence is simply not there. They mention a
13 resubordination order which has nothing to do with Miletici and they
14 mention two witnesses who talk about the 7th Brigade arriving in Miletici.
15 But when one examines the testimony of those witnesses, they never said
16 anything about the 7th Brigade coming to Miletici on 24 April or before.
17 In our submission, very clear and firm links must be made between
18 the alleged perpetrator and Mr. Kubura if the Prosecution is going to seek
19 to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Prosecution knows this and
20 they have been attempting to make such links. I wish now to briefly
21 mention only a few of those attempt links to show how, in our Defence
22 case, it will be made clear that those links are not there. In truth they
23 do not exist.
24 Firstly there is at Turkish guerilla. This matter in our
25 submission has been dealt with already. There is testimony that makes it
1 quite clear that this group was not part of the 7th Brigade. No documents
2 mention the 7th Brigade in relation to the Turkish guerilla. Our
3 witnesses will confirm exactly that.
4 In any event, there's no connection between the Turkish guerilla
5 and the offences in Miletici and Maline.
6 Secondly, the Prosecution has raised the question which Mr. Kubura
7 asked about the Mujahedin at the meeting of the 3rd Corps on the 20th of
8 June 1993. That was P429. It was recorded in those minutes that
9 apparently he asked, "Will the Mujahedin continue to be engaged?" There
10 was a translation problem but that was clarified. "Will they go to Mount
11 Igman or will they continue to conduct combat operations in the zone of
12 operations of the 3rd Corps?"
13 However, in our submission, it would be reasonable to ask such a
14 question at a meeting on the 23rd of June when General Delic's earlier
15 order of 16 June 1993 was for the Mujahedin to be sent to Igman. That's
16 P270. And there is testimony before Your Honours that all officers would
17 have known about that order.
18 In this context, the Prosecution might seek to raise document
19 P616, another translation problem about Arabs wanting to go to Igman. But
20 this is much later. This is 27 August 1993. The document has nothing to
21 do with Mr. Kubura and nothing to do with Miletici or Maline.
22 Thirdly, there's the allegation that members of the 7th Brigade
23 were involved in a demining operation on 24 May 1993 in the Bila valley.
24 That's Mr. Sipic's report DH1053 and a new document P951. This
25 information, on the face of the document, originally came from the HVO,
1 and the involvement of members of the 7th Brigade in such an operation was
2 not confirmed in the testimony of the witnesses.
3 In any event, how does this demining operation show that the 7th
4 Brigade was involved in any operations in Miletici and Maline bearing in
5 mind that all witnesses of the 306th Brigade confirmed that the 7th
6 Brigade was not involved.
7 Fourthly, there are the documents that purport to mention the 7th
8 Brigade in relation to Mehurici. The Prosecution has sought to mention
9 many of these documents. Your Honours have also raised questions about
10 these documents, and we said we will return to our case which we will do.
11 For instance, there's document P481, an unsigned document with no
12 name talking about the resubordination of 20 troops from the Mehurici
13 sector. Your Honours heard the testimony of the witness that it was not
14 possible to resubordinate in this fashion, and Your Honours will hear
15 further evidence about that alleged document.
16 Then there's document P663 of 5 May 1993 which talked about the
17 need to resolve the status of the Mujahedin and members of the 17th or 7th
18 Muslim Brigade quartered in Mehurici. But Mr. Sipic clarified this matter
19 in we say, in his testimony. He said he was referring to renegade
20 individuals that had left the 7th Brigade and that their status needed to
21 be resolved.
22 Also, Your Honours have heard the evidence and this will be
23 confirmed that the 1st Battalion of the 7th Brigade was in the town of
24 Mehurici -- in the town of Travnik. That's where they were based, not in
25 Mehurici. This will be confirmed by our witnesses and they will address
1 other documents P471 and P474, a document which the first witness will be
2 called will address when he gives his testimony before Your Honours.
3 On this point, in our submission, it is significant, but in the
4 original indictment, the one that went right back to 2001, the OTP had
5 charged Mr. Kubura for the incidents in the Mehurici elementary school and
6 the blacksmith shop. But when we challenged these charges on the basis
7 that it was not alleged in the indictment that the 7th Brigade was there,
8 being only alleged that the Mujahedin were there, the Prosecution withdrew
9 those charges. And in the second indictment and in the third indictment,
10 he is not charged for the incidents in the Mehurici elementary school and
11 the blacksmith shop. That's at paragraph 20 of the original indictment.
12 If the 7th Brigade was in Mehurici, why did the Prosecution
13 withdraw those charges?
14 This leads me on to the fifth attempted link and that is
15 Mr. Ramo Durmis. In the words of Mr. Waespi he was described as a
16 "prominent figure," but by Mr. Durmis's own account, he left the 7th
17 Brigade April 1993, in other words before Miletici and Maline. That's
18 document P941 a document the Prosecution has been seeking to introduce.
19 We do not disagree with the Prosecution's own document but, moreover, our
20 witnesses from the 7th Brigade will state that Mr. Durmis left the brigade
21 earlier - April, 1993 - after the operations in Visoko in December 1992.
22 The citation that has been referred to, that's P727 where
23 Mr. Durmis's name has been mentioned will, on the testimony, be shown to
24 relate to events in 1992, those in Visoko. The award was given to the 1st
25 Battalion, not to Mr. Durmis himself, and it related to events in 1992.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Lastly, to the extent that the Prosecution might seek to link him
2 with an interview conducted by Witness ZP, that's document P598, the
3 person who was interviewed never said he was with the 7th Brigade when he
4 participated in the kidnappings of Mr. Totic and when he was involved, as
5 he says, in Miletici. We will also invite Your Honours to look at what
6 Witness ZP said about the person he interviewed, that he was a complete
7 fool and he did not take him seriously at all.
8 The last attempted link which relates to the subject of names is
9 that those names mentioned in the HVO document, that's P561 about the
10 people involved in Miletici, none of them were ever members of the 7th
11 Brigade and no other names that have been mentioned in the evidence,
12 whether they are local or foreign were members of the 7th Brigade.
13 In our submission, each and every attempt to make a link fails
14 because, in truth, there is no such link.
15 Your Honours, moving now on to the rest of the indictment against
16 Mr. Kubura, in many ways an indictment within an indictment which does not
17 concern the Mujahedin. Count 4, the Zenica music school. The Defence
18 does not dispute that some beatings occurred at the music school; that has
19 been clear from the beginning. But paragraph 41 (A) of the indictment
20 says persons that were kept there from 1 April to at least January 1994;
21 however, according to witness testimony, it was months earlier that people
22 were no longer detained there and the main incidents really occurred in
23 May and June of 1993. However, the key issue here is where is the
24 evidence that Mr. Kubura knew or had reason to know about these particular
25 incidents? No evidence is identified in the Prosecution pre-trial brief
1 or the 98 bis submission other than to say that the offences were
2 notorious and that rumours were rife. But not a single report send or
3 received by Mr. Kubura, not a single meeting on the matter, not a single
4 complaint made to Mr. Kubura, not a single visit, indeed, not a single
5 reference to him in respect of the music school.
6 Mr. Merdan and Mr. Dugalic both visited the music school and found
7 nothing to report. As the superiors of Mr. Kubura, if they had no reason
8 to act, how could he be expected to do more? Neither of them consults
9 Mr. Kubura about the music school. Was this because he was not regarded
10 as the commander at the time in charge, bearing in mind when the alleged
11 incidents occurred.
12 In any event, in our submission, general rumours are not enough.
13 There must be evidence that Mr. Kubura had some information that crimes
14 were suspected. According to the Blaskic Appeals Chamber decision, that
15 is the standard. It is necessary for the Prosecution to introduce
16 evidence of information being available to Mr. Kubura that would put him
17 on notice of offences committed by persons in the music school. There's
18 no such evidence in this case.
19 In addition, the evidence has confirmed that if there were any
20 reports of beatings, they would have passed through the security organs of
21 the brigade directly to the 3rd Corps command security organs. That is
22 the usual chain of command for security matters regarding prisoners held
23 by the military police; in other words, not through the brigade command.
24 Such reports may well not have been made at all. As the evidence
25 suggests that subordinates had every motivation to hide from the command
1 what they were up to. Beating persons for personal revenge,
2 gratification, exchanges of family, and financial gain. Of course once
3 the evidence emerges of suspected crimes, the command must act swiftly and
4 decisively. Proceedings have now been brought against those responsible
5 for the music school, including Mr. Jasmin Isic [phoen]. The Prosecution
6 will say there has been too much of a delay but in our submission, Article
7 7(3) does not place a time limit on the punishment process. The
8 perpetrators are being proceeded against.
9 Count 4, Motel Sretno. As alleged in the indictment, the
10 incidents there occurred over a very limited period of time from 18 May to
11 21 June. In other words, before 6 August 1993. The witnesses all
12 testified that they were released within 24 hours of having been detained
13 on 18 May 1993. There is no evidence that Mr. Kubura was ever informed
14 about these incidents or was at the motel or in the vicinity at the
15 material time. No evidence that he received any reports or complaints
16 about these beatings. Once again, there can be no basis for concluding
17 that he knew or had any reason to know about these beatings.
18 Lastly, Counts 5 and 6, destruction and looting. This is for the
19 Ovnak area and Vares, two operations that Mr. Kubura was involved in.
20 Significantly, though, no evidence that Mujahedin were involved in these
21 operations. Once again, undermining the Prosecution position that the 7th
22 Brigade acted with the Mujahedin in spearheading crucial operations.
23 Ovnak and Vares were one of the most significant operations conducted
24 during that time period.
25 If the Mujahedin were spearheading, well why isn't the evidence
1 that they were there in those operations?
2 Firstly, on the crime base there is no dispute and there never has
3 been that some lootings occurred but the issue is timing. When did they
4 occur and who were the perpetrators? In respect of the alleged
5 destruction, in Vares, there is no evidence of such destruction.
6 Your Honours heard about cross-firing into buildings when troops arrived,
7 but this is a standard military procedure for first entering a defended
8 town and can hardly be characterised as devastation of a town not
9 justified by military necessity. Destruction must be on a large scale in
10 order to qualify as a crime under the jurisdiction of the ICTY.
11 For the destruction in Ovnak, the issue, again, is when and by
12 whom? The evidence is so far that either there was no destruction
13 observed by the Prosecution witnesses in June 1993, or that the damage was
14 caused by legitimate military action, and there is evidence that
15 destruction took place after June 1993. The operations involved many
16 brigades, many units, and civilians were also present at the time.
17 Mr. Kubura can only be held responsible for the acts of his subordinates
18 and not those of the members of other brigades or units or civilians.
19 In respect of the lootings, our witnesses will confirm that the
20 7th Brigade withdrew on each occasion, as a manoeuvre unit does,
21 immediately after the military operations concluded and before any looting
22 commenced. The only evidence that could be used against the 7th Brigade
23 is in respect of Vares where, to the extent that anyone was recognised as
24 a member of the brigade, they were seen taking bread, and on one occasion,
25 women's shoes. These are minor matters, Your Honour, which simply do not
1 rise to the level of seriousness required by this Tribunal.
2 Likewise in Ovnak, no evidence that the 7th Brigade committed
3 these offences. Many brigades were present, police forces, and civilians
4 who observed looting as well, and evidence that looting occurred after
5 June 1993, the time period in the indictment.
6 Turning to my concluding remarks, Your Honour, the cornerstone of
7 the Tribunal's procedure, irrespective of what national jurisdiction we
8 come from, is that the Prosecution bear the burden of proving the case.
9 That is provided for in Rule 87. The standard is beyond reasonable doubt.
10 Anything less obliges the triers of fact to acquit and the accused is
11 always entitled to the benefit of the doubt as to whether the offence has
12 been proved or not. This has been applied in many judgements.
13 The bottom line for us is that the Prosecution have not proved
14 their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and where there is doubt, the
15 Chamber must acquit. It might seem trite but it is a fundamental
16 obligation in a system of international justice, and one by which the ICTY
17 itself will be judged by history. It is a principle that was that was
18 strongly underlined by the Celebici Trial Chamber in its judgement which
19 is probably one of the most referred to judgements on the doctrine of
20 command responsibility and I quote from paragraph 377 of that judgement
21 where the Trial Chamber said, "The doctrine of command responsibility is
22 ultimately predicated upon the power of the superior to control the acts
23 of his subordinates. Great care must be taken lest an injustice be
24 committed in holding individuals responsible for the acts of others in
25 situations where the link of control is absent or too remote."
1 Your Honours, Mr. Kubura will not testify in his case. He's not
2 obliged to and that cannot be held against him. There is no need to, as
3 there is no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that links him to any of
4 the alleged offences. He has barely even been mentioned throughout this
5 entire trial. Some witnesses will be called merely to confirm that the
6 7th Brigade had nothing to do with the alleged killings and the other
8 We will start with Travnik, covering the alleged killings in
9 Miletici and Maline, and then we will move on to the rest of the
10 indictment. We will not lead evidence in relation to the context or in
11 relation to the activities of other brigades or of the 3rd Corps and its
12 command. Our focus will be on the 7th Brigade and the allegations that
13 are made against it in the indictment.
14 At the outset, as I have said, Mr. Kubura will provide a brief
15 statement to Your Honours in terms of Rule 84 bis, with Your Honours to
16 determine the probative value to be given to such a statement. He simply
17 wishes to make his position quite clear that he had nothing to do with
18 these alleged crimes.
19 I conclude with returning to the Prosecutor's indictment and the
20 fundamental allegation which is set out in paragraph 38. "At all times
21 relevant to this indictment, Amir Kubura exercised effective control over
22 all his subordinates alleged to have committed crimes." But which
23 subordinates exactly of Mr. Kubura do the Prosecution say and show in the
24 evidence committed the alleged killings and offences? All four
25 indictments are silent on that matter. The evidence is silent, and the
1 Prosecution is still silent.
2 As Your Honours have remarked on many occasions, this is an
3 adversarial truth-seeking exercise. Have the Prosecution taken us closer
4 to the truth in the presentation and examination of the evidence? Yes,
5 they have, in fact, on the actual evidence. Leaving aside the comments
6 and the oversimplifications that they've made, the evidence shows that
7 Mr. Kubura did not effectively control any Mujahedin perpetrators, and
8 he's not criminally responsible for any of the offences charged.
9 Our Defence case will confirm that and we respectively ask
10 Your Honours to confirm that in your judgement.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 With your leave, I would now request that Mr. Kubura be given an
13 opportunity to make his statement and thereafter, we will call the first
14 witness in his Defence case. I'm grateful for this opportunity.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
16 Mr. Kubura, you may stand and pursuant to Rule 84 bis (A) you may
17 make a statement. I give you the floor now.
18 THE ACCUSED KUBURA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Your Honours, I will focus on the following. First, my biography and my
20 background up until the time the indictment was brought. Secondly, my
21 engagement in the course of the war, and I will focus on the time spent in
22 the 7th Muslim brigade. I will then deal or, rather, address the
23 allegations in the indictment.
24 I was born on the 4th of March 1964 in Kakanj in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina. Having completed primary school, I completed the secondary
1 military school in Mostar and then the academy for ground forces in
2 Belgrade. In 1987, I graduated from the academy and I was promoted to the
3 rank of second lieutenant. I was then sent or, rather, appointed to the
4 duty of a commander of the platoon in Djakovici in Kosovo. After a year
5 in the military service, I was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Three
6 years later I was appointed as commander of a border company.
7 In the first half of 1991 in the territory of the former
8 Yugoslavia, the military and political situation deteriorated and the
9 situation came to a climax when the former Yugoslavia broke down and
10 Slovenia declared its independence, which the then-JNA attempted to
11 prevent by using force. And as a result, the first victims fell.
12 Officers and soldiers in Slovenia, Slovenian officers and soldiers left
13 the JNA and he we drew from Slovenia.
14 In the second half of 1991, the military situation was transferred
15 to Croatia and this caused Croatian officers and soldiers to leave the
16 JNA. At the end of 1991 and at the beginning of 1992, Macedonians and
17 Bosniaks also started leaving the JNA, and it became evident that the rump
18 Yugoslav Peoples' Army had become an army composed of one ethnic group,
19 composed of only Serbian and Montenegrin soldiers and officers.
20 At the beginning of 1992 I sent a request to my command in
21 Djakovici in which I requested that I leave the JNA because I couldn't see
22 a role for me in that army since it was conducting a war against my people
23 or, rather, against its own people.
24 At the beginning of April 1992, since they did not want to let me
25 leave the JNA, I decided to leave of my own accord and to leave Kosovo and
1 go to Bosnia and Herzegovina, to my birthplace, which is where my parents,
2 family and friends lived. I left together with my wife and my two
3 children, one of which was 16-months old and the other 3-months old. I
4 left Kosovo and I went to Macedonia. Given the war that was raging in
5 Croatia, and had only just broken out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I had to
6 leave with my family via Macedonia. I first went from Macedonia to
7 Bulgaria, then to Romania, then to Hungary, then to Croatia, and only then
8 to Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had no contact with my parents and relatives
9 for over a month as they didn't know where we were nor what had happened
10 to us. They didn't know whether we were alive.
11 At the beginning of 1992, I went to Kakanj to stay with family
12 members and as of that date I was engaged in the Kakanj Municipality
13 Defence Staff by order of the command of the 3rd Corps. Dated the 11th of
14 December 1992. I was appointed as the assistant chief of staff for
15 operations in training in the 7th Muslim Brigade Staff, and at the first
16 meeting -- in the 7th Muslim Brigade, I was called to the first meeting in
17 the 7th Muslim Brigade by the they be command of the 7th Muslim Brigade
18 Karajilic Mahmut [phoen]. This was on the 24th of December 1992. That's
19 the first time I came to know the command -- the commander of the brigade
20 and the chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade Asim Koricic, who was my
21 immediate superior in the Brigade.
22 They gave me the duty to transfer my duty of the demander of the
23 battalion which I had performed up until that time to my deputy Osman
24 Ibrahim Spahic and by mid-January 1993 I was to report to the 7th Muslim
25 Brigade to take over my duties. By order of the Supreme Command staff
1 dated the 12th of March, 1993, I was appointed as the chief of staff of
2 the 7th Muslim Brigade and the chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade,
3 the person who had been the chief of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade up
4 until that time, Asim Koricic, was appointed to the position of the
5 brigade commander by order of the Supreme Command Staff dated 6th of
6 August, 1993. I was appointed as the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade
7 and also an appointment was made ...
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, please speak a little
9 more slowly because the interpreters are finding it difficult to follow
11 THE ACCUSED KUBURA: [Interpretation] By an order of the president
12 dated the 16th of March 1994, I was transferred to the Sarajevo 1st Corps
13 as commander of the brigade. And towards 1995, at the end of 1995, I was
14 transferred to the post of commander of the brigade in Konjic. It was the
15 end of 1997, I was appointed as the deputy commander of the division in
17 At the end of the war, when the Dayton agreement had been signed,
18 in -- and the troops were demobilised, and a professional army was formed,
19 which was created in accordance with the NATO standards and in accordance
20 with the programme "equip and train." The plan equip and train was a plan
21 that NATO officers were in charge of, mainly American officers, and a
22 selection was made of officers who were to be trained and who attended a
23 course. After this selection had been made, I was sent to attend a course
24 in a school for foreign languages. I was sent to attend the Staff
25 Officer's College, a course for commanding a brigade, a course for
1 commanding the corps staff, and, of course, for carrying out combat
2 operations in a simulation centre. All of this in accordance with NATO
3 standards. At the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000, in the
4 federation army, the Bosniak part received the task of performing 5
5 professional brigades and one brigade in Sarajevo, one in Tuzla, one in
6 Mostar, one in Bihac, and one in Gorazde.
7 It was necessary to select five brigade commanders when selecting
8 these officers. I was selected as the commander of a professional brigade
9 located in Sarajevo, and on that occasion I was promoted to the rank of
11 At the beginning of 2001, when an indictment was brought against
12 me, I was with my wife and three children in Croatia at the sea. In 1996,
13 I had a third child. I was informed over the phone about the indictment,
14 and without giving it any thought, I returned to Sarajevo and reported to
15 the Bosnia and Herzegovinian authorities and placed myself at the disposal
16 of the Tribunal. I signed a document saying that I would voluntarily
17 surrender to The Hague and as of the 4th of August 2001, I have been in
18 the Detention Unit in Scheveningen.
19 Why have I come here? For two reasons: Firstly, because I knew
20 and felt that I was not guilty and that the allegations in the indictment
21 with which I have been charged are erroneous.
22 Secondly, I have absolutely no doubts and I have full confidence
23 in this International Tribunal and in this Trial Chamber, which I believe
24 will realise that the events of which I have been charged with have
25 nothing to do with me. I will support this claim by referring to some
1 facts that have recently been discussed and that will be discussed in the
2 course of my Defence.
3 Your Honours, I will now address the period relevant to the
4 charges levelled against me and I will address the counts in the
5 indictment. When I first saw the indictment and read through it, when I
6 read through the charges that concerned Maline and Miletici, I asked my
7 counsel to tell me where these villages were located and asked him to
8 bring me a map. I asked him to do this because I had never heard where --
9 about the of Miletici and Maline. I didn't know where they were and the
10 first time I became aware of their existence was when I read the
12 Your Honours, in the course of this trial and the proceedings that
13 commenced in December of 2003, you have had the occasion to listen to the
14 testimony of many witnesses and to examine numerous documents. I was
15 certain then and I'm certain now that while I was in the 7th Muslim
16 Brigade, my soldiers and I were never involved in combat activity of any
17 kind in those villages. It's obvious that these events did take place in
18 Miletici and Maline on the 24th of April and the 8th of June 1993;
19 however, it is also obvious that the 7th Muslim Brigade are -- not a
20 single part of the 7th Muslim Brigade had a task to perform there, nor did
21 the 7th Muslim Brigade participate in combat of any kind in those
23 It is also correct to say that the Prosecution and Defence
24 witnesses have testified here, and at in point in time did they mention
25 that the 7th Muslim Brigade participated in the events in those villages;
1 on the contrary, they claimed that the 7th Muslim Brigade was not there
2 and was not involved in combat activity.
3 It is quite obvious that witnesses, officers, and soldiers have
4 confirmed this, individuals who weren't members of the 7th Muslim Brigade
5 but they were from the Bosanska Krajina Operative Group from the 306th,
6 the 314th, and the 312th Brigade. And the villages of Miletici and Maline
7 were located in those zones of responsibility, and they quite clearly
8 stated who was responsible for those events.
9 The superior command did not request the 7th Muslim Brigade to
10 submit reports of any kind about the events in Miletici and Maline. In
11 the HVO reports and ABiH reports, no one mentions the participation of the
12 7th Muslim Brigade in those events, not in any respect. This is quite
13 understandable. It wasn't possible to ask the 7th Muslim Brigade to
14 submit a report since the 7th Muslim Brigade did not participate in the
16 In the course of the proceedings, it has been established that
17 Mujahedin were responsible for what happened in the villages of Miletici
18 and Maline, and no one established a connection between the 7th Muslim
19 Brigade and these events. In the course of these proceedings, it has been
20 established that these individuals were not members of the 7th Muslim
21 Brigade, and it has been established that I had no control over the
22 Mujahedin. No one invited 7th Muslim Brigade officers or myself to
23 negotiate or to discussions concerning a problem of the Mujahedin. No one
24 asked for a report about the Mujahedin. Your Honours, you have heard the
25 testimony of witnesses according to which there were problems that they
1 had caused and you have heard the testimony of witnesses who asked to come
2 and discuss matters with them. But no one ever asked me to become
3 involved in negotiations or discussions with them, and no one ever
4 provided me with any reports or any information about them. It's quite
5 understandable that there is no such correspondence because I can't be
6 responsible for the acts of individuals who were not members of my unit.
7 The music school and Sretno hotel. Your Honours, in the course of
8 the trial I found out -- became aware that certain events happened at the
9 school. I found out about that in the course of testimony of people who
10 for brief periods of time spent time there. But in the same way when I
11 was a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade, have never known anything or
12 received any information as to what was taking place at music school and
13 Sretno motel. Everything I knew was that music school was a detention
14 centre and that it was the headquarters of the military police and that
15 the 3rd Battalion was stationed at Motel Sretno. I have never visited or
16 spent time at the music school and all tasks and duties with respect to
17 music school were carried out by the security services.
18 The Trial so far, the proceedings so far, have indicated that no
19 witness or no piece of evidence ever established a link between myself and
20 the events at music school and Motel Sretno. Not a single witness had
21 ever heard of me or of ever seen me or mentioned me in their testimony.
22 Witnesses who testified and visited and carried out controls of music
23 school premises, either announced or unannounced, had never contacted me
24 either prior to or after those controls and never mentioned me in any
25 other context.
1 It is also the case with regard to the representatives of the
2 international organisations, institutions which were present in Zenica and
3 visited music school at that time. Had I known anything at all about the
4 irregularities and abuse there, it is quite certain that within my power,
5 I would have introduced the measures and taken steps to make sure that
6 such things did not happen again, and to punish the perpetrators in the
7 same way in which I did in all the other cases in the course of my duties.
8 The same applies to Motel Sretno because at that period of time, I
9 was involved in combat operations 20 kilometres away from Kakanj. In this
10 case, too, there's no document, no witness making a reference to me and I
11 was in no way informed or aware of those events. Susanj, Ovnak,
12 Brajkovici, and Grahovcici. As to the events at the beginning of June
13 1993 in the area of Ovnak, it is correct that the 2nd and the 3rd
14 Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade did participate within the framework
15 of the tactics group which was set up on the basis of superior command
16 orders with regard to combat activities. The 7th Muslim Brigade did
17 participate in those combat activities, together with the units of the
18 314th Brigade, the Anti-sabotage Unit of the Municipal Staff Zenica and
19 the Manevar unit. The tactic group carried out this task on the 9th of
20 June 1993 and already on the 10th and the 11th of June 1993, the 7th
21 Muslim Brigade left the area and went to the area of Kakanj when the --
22 where the HVO offensive had already started.
23 This indicates, in much the same way as the other facts which have
24 been established, that the members of the 7th Muslim Brigade did not
25 participate in looting and the destruction of property in this area, also
1 because very soon after the end of the operation, we left the area. So de
2 facto, the 7th Muslim Brigade would have been unable to do that anyway.
3 In the same way, Your Honours, if you can just think back of the
4 statements made by some witnesses who asked to visit the area of Ovnak,
5 you will see that they never asked for such authorisation from the 7th
6 Muslim Brigade, that is to say, after the 10th of June, because that
7 Brigade was not stationed in the area. We've heard some witnesses talk
8 about other units having been set up and then they came and were in charge
9 of the security situation in the area. But there was no mention of the
10 7th Muslim Brigade Vares.
11 The 7th Muslim Brigade on the basis of the order of the Superior
12 Command was supposed to take part in the liberation of Vares. In those
13 combat activities, we had units of the 2nd the 3rd Corps and the 6th
14 Corps. It is undisputable that the units of the 2nd the 3rd and 6th Corps
15 enter the city of the Vares on the 4th of November 1993, and it is also
16 obvious that the members of the 7th Muslim Brigade entered the city of
17 Vares without any combat activity taking place. The city had already been
18 partially looted and set on fire on the part of the members of the HVO and
19 they -- who had left.
20 I, myself, who at the time was a commander of the 7th Muslim
21 Brigade on the 5th of November 1993 ordered the withdrawal of my own units
22 from Vares, and that order was obeyed. And on the 6th of November, the
23 unit left Vares and went back to Zenica. In the same way, I ordered for
24 checkpoints to be set up for control purposes within the framework of an
25 effort, an overall effort aimed at preventing any illegal activities.
1 The destruction and the looting did not take place at Vares and
2 especially not on the part of the members of the 7th Muslim Brigade which
3 left Vares as early as the 6th of November 1993. Amongst other things,
4 we've heard earlier on that witnesses saw one soldier coming out with a
5 pair of shoes out of a shoe shop and somebody else was carrying bread and
6 chocolates and a witness mentioned that a group of people had been chased
7 away from a flower warehouse by UN members and they were unable to take
8 anything, and so on and so forth.
9 Your Honours, before I conclude, I'd just like to point out a
10 number of facts which have to do with my duties, my establishment duties.
11 On the 12th of March, I was made the chief of staff and on the 6th
12 of August, the Brigade Commander. Up to that point, I had never received
13 any orders about representing the commander in his absence or any orders
14 to take over the duty aimed at a final solution or until such time as the
15 commander was able to come back.
16 Since I was surprised by the situation, I was basically forced to
17 somehow continue as I was awaiting an order or an appointment of somebody
18 else to this position of commander or awaiting some other order which
19 would refer to myself.
20 Since I had no formal order at that time, I, myself, as the chief
21 of staff of the 7th Muslim Brigade, according to the indictment, was at
22 the same time the deputy commander and the acting commander. It is
23 obvious that this would run counter to all the rules and it is obvious
24 that I was simply unable to carry out three different duties within the
25 same unit.
1 Something else that was indicated in the indictment was the date
2 of the 1st of April which apparently indicated the date as of when I
3 started acting as a commander. But it was a haphazardly chosen date.
4 Your Honours, when, on the 6th of August, 1993, I was made the
5 commander of this brigade, Mr. Halil Brzina was appointed as my deputy and
6 Mr. Serif Patkovic was made the chief of staff. So we have three people
7 who, on the basis of the same order, were appointed to three different
8 jobs, which indicates that I could not at the same time be the chief of
9 staff, the Deputy Commander, and the Acting Commander.
10 So this is legally speaking and practically speaking impossible.
11 Now I come to my conclusion. Your Honours, on the basis of the
12 proceedings so far, the facts have indicated the following: One, that the
13 that the 7th Muslim Brigade did not participate in the events that took
14 place at the villages of Miletici and Maline.
15 Two, that I did not know and that I was in no way informed or
16 familiar with the events at music school and Motel Sretno.
17 Three, that the 7th Muslim Brigade did not participate in the
18 destruction and the looting of the following villages: Susanj, Ovnak,
19 Brajkovici, and Grahovcici, and the city of Vares.
20 And four, the counts in the indictment accusing me of these facts
21 have not been proven with regard to myself.
22 Your Honours, I reported to this court voluntarily in order to
23 prove my innocence on the counts of the indictment. When there was a
24 meeting with regard to the request for temporary release in December of
25 2001, Judge Schaumburg pointed out to my behaviour and my attitude to the
1 Tribunal, and set it up as an example. He asked for my officer's word to
2 prove that I would come back at the time of the start of the trial. I
3 have come back and now I'm giving you my officer's and my word, and my
4 word as a man, that I'm not guilty. Let justice prevail.
5 Your Honours, thank you for your attention.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. You may sit
7 down, General. You have just made your statement in line with the
8 provisions of our Statute. It is now 5.25 so it is a good time to have a
9 break now and at the end of the break, we shall hear the witness and then
10 we'll continue until 7.00. So we'll start again at ten to 6.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we can continue and I'd like
14 to ask the usher to bring the witness in.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 WITNESS: SEMIR TERZIC
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Let me
18 first of all check that you can hear the translation of what I'm saying in
19 your own language.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, we've asked you to come in
22 somewhat late because we were busy working on other points that we had to
23 deal with prior to your arrival, so we do apologise for the fact that
24 you've had to wait. Now, we shall first of all listen to your oath --
25 first of all, however, I need you to give me your name and family name and
1 the place and date of birth.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Semir Terzic, I was born on the 30th
3 of November, 1957.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell us whether you
5 have a profession or a job at the moment, and if so, which one?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I work at the defence unit of
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a rank, are you an
9 officer or ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a professor philosophy and
11 sociology by profession, and I'm a reserve captain. That's how I left the
12 war, a reserve major, in fact.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Between 1992 and 1993, at that
14 time, did you have a rank or -- a military job. If so, which one, and
15 where were you? Where were you stationed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, I was a professor at the
17 grammar school and the nurses school, and that was at the beginning of the
18 war. And then joined the army and since I was a reserve officer and I had
19 gone to the reserve officer's course at Bilici - I was a reserve captain
20 or a reserve senior official from the former JNA in the reserve forces of
21 the former JNA - I joined the BH army.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you joined the BH army in
23 what specific unit?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the beginning of the war, the
25 start of the war had been declared and the municipal staff, we had a
1 detachment that we had set up, the Muslim forces detachment at Travnik.
2 That was on the 10th of May, 1992.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And thereafter?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the BH army brigades were set
5 up, the 17th, somewhere mid-November, the 7th Muslim Brigade. And on the
6 14th of February, the 27th Light Muslim Brigade, the liberating brigade
7 was set up.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified
9 before this Court or a national court, maybe, with regard to the facts
10 that -- and the events that happened in your country between 1993 and 1994
11 or is this the first time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm here for the first time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like you to read the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly swear that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit now.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
20 Defence counsel for General Kubura who is going to ask you some questions,
21 I would just like to provide you some information as to the way in which
22 the hearing is going to proceed.
23 Today, we are starting at around 6.00 p.m., and as I've mentioned
24 earlier, we're going to finish at 7.00 and, unfortunately, you will have
25 to come back tomorrow and tomorrow morning, we'll start at 9.00, 9.00 a.m.
1 But you won't have to stay here any longer than tomorrow morning so you
2 can be reassured now.
3 I would like to ask you to answer the questions that will be put
4 to you by one of the lawyers whom you have no doubt already had the
5 opportunity to meet whilst preparing for this. The lawyers will expect
6 you to provide detailed answers. Once all the questions have been asked,
7 I think the Defence would like to ask questions for about two and a half
8 hours, maybe it may go beyond that, but once they have exhausted that
9 period of time, the Prosecution, which is to your right, is going to
10 proceed to what we call cross-examination in the common law.
11 Of course the nature of these questions is going to be quite
12 different because within the framework of cross-examination, you may be
13 asked leading questions and you will be asked to answer by either a yes or
14 a no. Once the Prosecution says this they've completed their
15 cross-examination, I will once again give the floor to the Defence counsel
16 who will be able to ask you some extra questions which will be related to
17 the questions asked of you by the Prosecution. And the Judges sitting in
18 front of you may also asks questions at any moment, but, normally, we
19 wait, we prefer to wait for the examination-in-chief and cross-examination
20 to be completed before we ask any questions.
21 Of course this is for the sake of justice that we shall be asking
22 questions, that goes without saying, but also we try to shed some more
23 light on certain answers that you may have already provided in answer to
24 certain questions because we feel that some things may be a bit vague or
25 because we feel that there are certain voids, certain gaps that we need to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 fill. And it is in such a situation that we decide to ask questions.
2 But once we have finished with our questions, we once again give
3 the floor to both the Prosecution and the Defence, and the last word is
4 for the Defence in order for them to ask you any useful questions that may
5 follow in response to the questions asked by Judges. So this is the way
6 in which we shall work today and tomorrow.
7 And I would also like to draw your attention to two more points
8 which may prove important. You have solemnly declared that you would tell
9 the truth and you know that perjury is a crime as well and I would just
10 like to remind you of that, and I would like to remind you of another
11 complicated provision which exists at least in our Regulations. Once a
12 question is asked of a witness if the witness believes that this question
13 may lead to an answer which might be a problem for him and that it might
14 lead to him being accused of some wrongdoing, he may refuse to answer the
15 question and the Trial Chamber may invite the witness to reply anyway but
16 in that case, we may offer immunity to such an incriminating question. So
17 if there is a difficulty at any point, please don't hesitate to say so.
18 So we are left with one hour now and I'm going to give the floor
19 to the counsel who is going to start with the examination-in-chief.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
21 would just like to stress, we had a announced that we would need to
22 examine this witness for two and a half hours but I believe it is likely
23 to be shorter since this week we have several other witnesses and we would
24 like to finish on Thursday. So we'll try to speed things up and finish
1 Examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
2 Q. Mr. Terzic, let me just warn you about this. Between my question
3 and your answer, I would like you to pause for a second for the sake of
4 the interpreters, to make their job easier.
5 Mr. Terzic, you have already mentioned that in 1992, you joined
6 the 7th Muslim Brigade. Could you tell us when exactly it was and what
7 time and what were your duties within the 7th Muslim Brigade?
8 A. On the occasion the order came from the Supreme Staff the
9 headquarters of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the setting up of these
10 brigades, on the 17th of November, either the 16th or the 17th, I don't
11 know. When the 7th Muslim Brigade was being set up, my unit, my
12 detachment of Muslim forces, a part of it became a part of the 7th Muslim
13 Brigade and I myself as an officer, because I had been a reserve officer
14 from before, and therefore, I was a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade and I
15 was carrying out operative duties.
16 Q. Can you tell us whether the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
17 Brigade was set up at the same time in Travnik?
18 A. The very fact that the Brigade was formed, set up, and it was made
19 up of 3 battalions, at Travnik. At Zenica and after there was one at
20 Kakanj, so the structure of the brigade is a body with three battalions
21 and the headquarters and the command post was at Zenica and advanced
22 command post was at Travnik. As all the other brigades, we got tasks
23 depending on our area of responsibility, that is to say, the defence
24 against the Serb and Montenegrin enemies.
25 Q. You said that it was based on the order of the Supreme Command
1 staff. Was the name of the brigade indicated in that order?
2 A. The name of the brigade was indicated because when it was set up
3 on the basis of this order, the name was defined on the basis of this
4 decision made by the Supreme Command Staff.
5 Q. You told us in reply to the President's question that before that,
6 you were a member of the Muslim forces?
7 A. Yes, I was a member of the Muslim detachment at Travnik.
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since in the
9 course of our examination-in-chief, we shall be using some documents, I
10 would like for those documents to be shown to the witness by the usher
11 straight away and we have a sufficient number of copies for the Judges and
12 the colleagues as well.
13 If I may, Mr. President, since the witness has just confirmed that
14 he was a member of the Muslim forces, and we've already seen a specific
15 video here, a specific tape here on a number of occasions, I would like
16 for that tape to be shown to the witness. I had already shown it to the
17 witness before, and I would like him to be able to comment what he is
18 shown and also to comment on the events that took place on that day in
20 For the transcript, it's P762.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Have you seen the film? On that day - it says the 21st of August,
24 1992 - were you present on that occasion?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you recognise yourself on the film?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you tell us what was going on on that day?
4 A. It was an oath taken by every unit, a traditional one ordered and
5 prescribed for every single unit of the BH army. There was the commander
6 of the unit and Redzic Emir, then we had religious and political leaders
7 of the municipality of Travnik.
8 Q. You mentioned Mr. Redzic. Did he join in later or did he join the
9 Muslim Brigade?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
13 Mr. President, it says "Fazlic" [as interpreted] instead of "Redzic,"
14 whereas the witness confirmed that Emir Redzic never joined the 7th Muslim
16 Q. Mr. Terzic, could you answer my question again, please?
17 A. I think that this is a textbook case of an oath taken by these
18 youths, the Municipal Staff or the ABiH would order them to take such an
19 oath and the political representatives from the municipality of Travnik
20 were present, members of the clergy were present, and naturally officers
21 from this unit and unit members.
22 Q. With regard to the last question, whether Mr. Redzic joined the
23 7th Muslim Brigade, what was your answer?
24 A. No, he did not join that brigade.
25 Q. I would be grateful if you could make a brief pause after my
1 question for the sake of the transcript and the interpretation.
2 Could you have a look at the document in the series of documents.
3 It's document number 2 for the sake of the transcript, this is P695.
4 Have you found the document? It's a list of soldiers of the
5 Travnik Muslim forces.
6 A. Yes, I found it.
7 Q. As I have already shown you this document, could you tell the
8 Trial Chamber something about this list of 80 individuals? All the
9 soldiers here, did they join the 7th Muslim Brigade or did they join any
10 other units of the ABiH?
11 A. If you have a good look at this list, you can see that some of
12 them entered the 7th Muslim Brigade whereas the others probably entered
13 the 306th, the 325th, the 17th and some other brigades that existed at
14 that time in that area. So not everyone in this list joined the 7th
15 Muslim Brigade perhaps because of territorial links or because they wanted
16 to join other units.
17 Q. Thank you. Up until when did the Muslim forces referred to here
19 A. The Muslim forces referred to here existed up until the 16th or
20 perhaps the 17th of November, 1992, and they ceased to exist as of that
22 Q. When the corps was reorganised and brigades were formed, were
23 these forces disbanded or did they continue to exist in the area?
24 A. When the brigades were formed, they were disbanded. There was a
25 transformation, brigades were formed. In accordance with an order from
1 the Main Staff, these units were disbanded and there was only the 7th
2 Muslim Brigade. As far as the Muslim forces are concerned, they ceased to
4 Q. I'd like to go back to the period when you became an officer in
5 the 7th Muslim Brigade. Could you explain how men were mobilised, how men
6 joined the 7th Muslim Brigade? Could you explain the procedure for it?
7 A. The procedure was as follows: If there was an individual who was
8 a member of the ever a unit to ceased to exist, they would be -- join the
9 unit, their files would be included in the files of the 7th Muslim
10 Brigade. Then everything else was done through the secretariat for
11 Defence. Naturally, there was a mobilisation, papers were issued, a
12 individual would be referred to a certain unit, but sometimes this was
13 done in a different way. Sometimes there were requests to be transferred
14 to one unit to another, et cetera.
15 Q. The procedure -- was the procedure dealt with through the
16 secretariat for national defence at the time?
17 A. Yes, through the secretariat for national defence.
18 Q. The secretariat must have had records and had to have records on
19 members of various units and brigades and on the 7th Muslim Brigade
21 A. The duties of the personnel department in each brigade is to
22 inform the secretariats for defence of the records, so they have to inform
23 the secretariats that are responsible for individuals who are members of
24 their units.
25 Q. Mr. Terzic, have you heard that in the ABiH, other brigades were
1 formed that were designated as Muslim brigades?
2 A. Yes, I've heard about that. There were a number of brigades that
3 had been established in Krajina, in Posavina. There was the 4th Muslim,
4 for example, in Konjits ^, in Krajina. I think that was the 5th or 1st
5 one and there was a unit in the Tuzla canton so the 7th Muslim Brigade was
6 not the only such example.
7 Q. Were members of the 7th Muslim brigade individuals who had to take
8 an oath?
9 A. Yes, all members of the 7th Muslim Brigade if they had already
10 taken an oath didn't have to take the oath again, but if an order had been
11 issued from the command or from units, then naturally, they had to take an
13 Q. What kind of an oath did they have to take and did it only concern
14 members of the 7th or of all other units of the ABiH?
15 A. It's an ordinary oath that all members of the ABiH have to take.
16 It's the usual oath they have to take.
17 Q. Could you please have a look at the following document. In the
18 bundle of documents it's document number three. P11 is the number.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is a
20 document that we have discussed at length. It is instructions to the
21 Muslim fighters. I have the original here. I've already shown it to the
22 witness, and if my friends from the Prosecution or the Trial Chamber would
23 like to look at the original document, we can provide you with this
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't seen this before.
1 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Have you ever seen this booklet before, Mr. Terzic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Have you in any way ever become familiar with the contents of this
6 A. No.
7 Q. Before we met, preparing you, have you ever seen it?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you see that any member of the 7th Muslim Brigade had this
10 booklet on him and read it?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Was this booklet an item that members of the 7th Muslim Brigade
13 had to have?
14 A. As far as I know, no, that's not the case.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 Just for the sake of the transcript, I think there's a mistake in
17 the transcript. Have you ever seen this booklet? Did you ever see the
18 booklet before I showed it to you in the course of the proofing.
19 A. No.
20 Q. Mr. Terzic, as a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade, as an officer
21 you had certain duties to perform, did you receive a salary?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You didn't have a salary of any kind?
24 A. The regular salary, if it was obtained by the army, but nothing
1 Q. The salary amounted to 100 or 200 German marks?
2 A. No, one could have requested salaries that were late.
3 Q. If I've understood you, you had a salary like other members of the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was the amount of that salary?
7 A. Well, in BH dinars, well, I don't know how much it would be in
8 dinars. I don't know how much it was in German marks at the time.
9 Q. Mr. Terzic, how is the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade
10 equipped? What was its strength in the course of 1992 and 1993?
11 A. As was the case in all units at the time, I think that it had 55
12 per cent of the equipment, 60 per cent at the most. That concerns
13 uniforms, weapons, and materiel and technical equipment. As far as the
14 manpower is concerned, it wasn't up to full strength. It was never up to
15 more than about 60 per cent of its establishment strength.
16 Q. Could you have a look at the documents, documents 7 and 8 in the
17 book of documents.
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] These are new documents,
19 Mr. President.
20 Q. It's dated the 22nd -- the 23rd of February 1993. Could we have a
21 look at what it says for the 1st Battalion. It says that there were 252
22 soldiers in the 1st Battalion, and if you include the officers, there were
23 a total of 290 members of that battalion. Does that reflect the actual
24 situation and what you have just been referring to?
25 A. Yes. On the 23rd of February, 1993, that was in fact the
2 Q. Could you please have a look at document number 8. It's a new
3 document dated the 14th of March, 1993. You could perhaps comment on the
4 document, the part that mentions the level of manpower in percentages for
5 the 1st Battalion?
6 A. The 1st Battalion it had 55 per cent of its strength. In the
7 lower role it says automatic rifles, 112; Kalashnikovs, 100, Pops ^ --
8 Q. I'll interrupt you there. According to this document, the 1st
9 Battalion had 55 per cent manpower and equipment; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. A minute ago you mentioned the fact that the 1st Travnik Battalion
12 had its zone of responsibility?
13 A. Yes, facing the enemy the Serbian and Montenegrin enemy.
14 Q. Could you tell us where this zone was located?
15 A. The zone of responsibility extended from the village of Kazici
16 [phoen] inclusive up to ban 60 elevation [as interpreted]. That's a
17 stretch of territory of about four, four and a half kilometres, it also
18 included a unit of a local people, a platoon of some kind, I think.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, we
20 would like to show this witness a map that has already been used this
21 these proceedings so that he can refer to the map.
22 Q. What's this zone called?
23 A. That's the zone of responsibility from the village of Kazici
24 [phoen], it's the Turbit [phoen] battlefield.
25 Q. Could you take a felt tip and mark the area with a circle. You
1 can circle the area, you can draw a large circle.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter can't hear the witness.
3 A. [Marks]
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Does this zone of responsibility face the Serbian and Montenegrin
6 aggressor, the Army of Republika Srpska?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. It's near the town of Turbit?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This is the zone that you have indicated, how far is it from
12 A. About five to six kilometres from Travnik or rather it would
13 sooner be between seven and eight kilometres away, because there were no
14 asphalt roads. It was under blockade so you had to use a village road
15 which wasn't that good, so it took longer.
16 Q. From a geographic point of view, the zone of responsibility that
17 belonged to the 1st Battalion in relation to Travnik, Han Vila, Vitez, and
18 Mehurici, was it on the opposite side? Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it's on the opposite side. It's over 40 kilometres away by
21 Q. Thank you. Could we leave the map there because we'll probably be
22 using it later on or perhaps tomorrow if we don't have time today.
23 Mr. Terzic, do you know who Ramo Durmis is?
24 A. Yes, I do. He was a member of the detachment of Muslim forces.
25 How -- he was the commander of the 1st Company.
1 Q. He was the commander of the 1st Company. In which battalion was
2 he a commander of the 1st Company in the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
3 Brigade in the course of 1992?
4 A. Yes, he was the commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion
5 of the 7th Muslim Brigade up until the beginning of January.
6 Q. Do you know when Ramo Durmis left the 1st Battalion of the 7th
7 Muslim Brigade?
8 A. He left the Muslim Brigade after a battle or rather on the 28th of
9 December, the Visegrad elevation. And as of that date, Ramo Durmis and
10 his company were no longer in the 7th Muslim Brigade.
11 Q. After that, did Ramo Durmis ever go to the 7th Muslim Brigade did
12 he have any contact of any kind with the 7th Muslim Brigade?
13 A. I don't remember. I don't remember him coming or having contact
14 of any kind. It wasn't my responsibility, I didn't focus on such matters.
15 I don't think he came but I can't remember exactly.
16 Q. Please have a look at document number 4 in the bundle of documents
17 that we have, it's a new document.
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
19 I don't think it has been recorded that the witness said that Ramo Durmis
20 by the end of December 1992 left the 7th Muslim Brigade after the combat
21 activities at Visoko, if I've understood it correctly.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Terzic, this is dated the 19th of February, 1993, a document
24 coming from the 7th Muslim Brigade?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If we look at the bottom of this document, the commander of the
2 1st Company, the 3rd, the 4th Company, can you please read out loud the
3 names of the commanders of the 1st Company of the 1st Travnik Battalion.
4 A. The commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion, Travnik
5 Battalion, is Basic Muhamed, the son of Mustafa, born on the 6th of May,
6 1965 from Donji Vakuf. And then Jusovic Suad, the son of Mehmo, born on
7 the third of November 1965 at Kazarici [phoen] in Prijedor. And then
8 Podojak Faik, I believe he was the son of Fehim, born on the 20th of July,
9 1967, from Kakanj and Bektas. Asim, son of Hamdo, born on the 22nd of
10 February 1955 at the village of Poculica at Vitez.
11 Q. Since we do have interpretation as well, could you please read
12 slightly more slowly because it is simply sufficient for us to hear you
13 read out the name of the commander of the 1st company of the Travnik
15 A. The commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion is Muhamed
16 Basic, son of Mustafa, born on the 6th of May, 1965, at Donji Vakuf.
17 Q. This is a document dated the 19th of February, 1993. Does this
18 indicate that Ramo Durmis at that time in February of 1993 was no longer
19 the commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. I would like you to look for the document number 20,
22 it's at the very end.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] This is a new document as well,
24 Mr. President.
25 Q. I would like you to read out the preamble to this document very
2 A. "The Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the 3rd Corps 7th Muslim
3 Brigade; the military security service number PM 735/93; date the 17th of
4 August, 1993. Because of frequent accesses made by fighter Durmis Ramo in
5 the region of Zenica municipality and wider, and related to that frequent
6 telephone and other means of complaints to outbreak -- brigade by
7 civilians, to the effect that he is a member of the 7th Muslim Mountain
8 Brigade," which is not true, "I order the following: It shall be
9 forbidden for Durmis Ramo to enter in the barracks area of the 7th Muslim
10 Mountain Brigade and all its facilities. Not carrying out of this order
11 shall lead to serious disciplinary responsibility. First of all, the
12 immediate dismissal of the security officer on duty at the time." [as
13 interpreted] Thank you.
14 Q. Thank you. Does this document indicate that the Security Service
15 of the 7th Brigade distanced itself from some complaints to the effect
16 that Ramo Durmis was a member of that service and even went as far as to
17 bar him, ban him from all their facilities and premises? Shall I repeat
18 the question, Mr. Terzic? Does this document that you've just read out to
19 us indicate that the security services, when they received complaints from
20 citizens, stated that he was not a member of the 7th Muslim Brigade and
21 that, moreover, he was banned from entering their premises?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Terzic, have you ever heard of the Miletici
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know where it is?
2 A. In the municipality of Zvarnik [phoen], somewhere are in the area
3 of Mehurici.
4 Q. Have you ever been there?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Have you ever heard or heard any information about the 22nd of
7 April 1993 being the day when -- the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim
8 Brigade arriving at Miletici or spending time there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. The 7th Muslim Brigade and the 1st Battalion, did they have any
11 organised units in the area of Mehurici, Miletici or any other part of
12 that valley?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Have you ever found out what happened at Miletici?
15 A. A lot later.
16 Q. I'd like you to look for another document here, the numbers 9, 10,
17 11, and 12.
18 These are new documents as well, Mr. President.
19 If you take a look at the document dated the 24th of April, 1993,
20 the operative group of Bosanska Krajina, 09/373, and item 1 of this
21 document -- item 2, sorry. Did you find item 2 where it says, "Mujahedin
22 from Miletici village of Brhandi [phoen], 30 elderly people, women, and
23 children to Mehurici village." Is that the information that you received
24 at - I don't know at what point in time - about what had happened at
1 A. I found out about that much, much later. That was new information
2 for me when I did find out, perhaps five years later.
3 Q. Was the information you got five years later the information that
4 is also reflected in the text here in this report?
5 A. Here and there.
6 Q. Does this regular combat report refer to any presence of the 7th
7 Muslim Brigade there in the area?
8 A. The 7th Brigade was never there.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the last series of questions have been
10 leading and due to the pace with which they're coming, it's extremely
11 difficult to object. But again, for the record, the direct examination
12 should not be leading.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right, then. I would like to
14 turn to the Defence and ask them to please take account of this comment.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Can you take a look at the next document. Once again, on the 24th
17 of April, 1993. The number is 09381.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Have you taken a look at it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Does this document refer to the presence of the brigade that you
22 belonged to there?
23 A. No, it does not, and let me repeat once again the 7th Brigade was
24 never there.
25 Q. Could you take a look at the next document, number 11, that is.
1 This is the Prosecution document. I'd like you to turn to page 2 of this
2 document and the one before last paragraph.
3 A. The one before last?
4 Q. Are you familiar with the name Vahid Jasarevic?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know of a Lutvo Milanovic?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know of an Osman Tahirovic?
9 A. Vaguely. I think he must be a electrician. No.
10 Q. Were the members of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Can you take a look at the next document
13 which again is a Prosecution document P561, and if you look at page number
14 2, the Travnik sector, there are references to other names here. Could
15 you read them out and tell us whether those people were members of the 7th
16 Muslim Brigade? Have you found the list of names? Some are in the middle
17 for the Travnik area?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Fuad Delic, Zijad Kasumovic, Esref Prcanovic, Adem Colo?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Are you familiar with these names?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Have they ever been members of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Senad Lukovic?
1 A. No, you can check it on the basis of our staff lists.
2 Q. Fahrudin Kumro?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Have they ever been members of the Muslim Brigade?
5 A. No, they have never been members of the Muslim Brigade.
6 Q. Thank you. Let me just repeat the question once again for the
7 sake of the transcript: Have the names that are indicated in this
8 document -- are these the names of people who were members of the 7th
9 Muslim Brigade?
10 A. They have never been members of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since I would
12 like to move on to another topic, that is to say the 8th of June at the
13 village of Maline, do you want me to continue now or start tomorrow
14 morning. Perhaps it might be better.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right. It is
16 7 minutes to 7.00, and so it might be a better idea to stop now and
17 continue tomorrow. Right, then.
18 Sir, you have taken an oath and you are a witness before justice
19 and this means that between now and tomorrow, you will not be meeting with
20 any of parties here, either the Defence team or the Prosecution team, and
21 especially not the Judges. So you will not be meeting with any of us and
22 you will come back for the hearing which will start tomorrow morning at
24 Now I'm going to ask the usher to accompany you out of the
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I would just like to turn to
3 the Defence, how much more time will you need tomorrow in complete your
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I believe we would need 45
6 minutes, at most, so it is less than we thought and planned for.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. And the second
8 witness will be ready as well, he is already there.
9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] The second witness is here as
10 well and we just wanted to hear what your suggestion would be. But I
11 don't know. Obviously the colleagues from the Prosecution might want to
12 use the time that we don't need to use, but we would like to know whether
13 we can invite the second witness after the second break. It won't take
14 very long, it will mean that we might probably finish with that witness
15 tomorrow in the course of the day.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. So we shall go
17 into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Page 18251 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are once again in open session.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it is 7.00 and we shall stop
25 now and continue tomorrow morning at 9.00.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
2 To be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of April,
3 2005, at 9.00 a.m.