1 Thursday, 3 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.26 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
7 number IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon. Before we hear the witness, are
9 there any matters that the parties would like to bring to the attention of
10 this Bench?
11 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, there's one matter I'd like to
13 raise. Present in court now is Mr. Asim Dzambasovic, who is a team member
14 and an investigator in the Halilovic team. Mr. Dzambasovic is not going
15 to be in court for most of trial because it's likely that he'll be a
16 witness in the Defence case. But we would like him to be present in court
17 because this witness who is now coming, Mr. Gusic, is a witness who is
18 going to give some evidence, although it's not limited to technical
19 evidence, because he will give some technical sort of evidence and
20 evidence relating to the construction of particular orders and documents.
21 And for that reason, we would seek that Mr. Dzambasovic be present here
22 because it's likely his evidence would bear on those sort of matters,
23 bearing in mind that the Prosecution case includes an element of de jure
24 command responsibility attributed to Mr. Halilovic.
25 JUDGE LIU: Any objections from the Prosecution?
1 MS. CHANA: No objections to that, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
3 Your request is granted.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
5 Your Honour, there's one other -- well, two other preliminary
6 matters before the witness comes: One of them is that my learned friend
7 has sought leave to lead in relation to preliminary matters, and I've
8 indicated that I have no difficulty with that at all in line of with what
9 Your Honour said yesterday.
10 And secondly, there is a matter of exhibits that are not yet
11 admitted as exhibits. There is outstanding litigation in relation to
12 those. And the Prosecution might seek to make clear what position they
13 intend to take with respect to leading those documents when they're not
14 currently admitted.
15 JUDGE LIU: Which documents are you particularly in mind?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: In particular, I have in mind a report by Nusret
17 Sahic. It's the last -- I think it's 0165, Your Honour. The last -- 166,
18 I'm sorry. I think that the Court has not ruled on that matter.
19 JUDGE LIU: Any submissions?
20 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, yes. Pending Your Honours' decision on
21 the -- on our motion for our exhibit list, I would suggest that Your
22 Honours accept that as a mark for identification, subject on which Your
23 Honours will eventually rule. The translation has been provided to -- to
24 the Defence, and it is a pending motion, Your Honour. We do confirm that.
25 JUDGE LIU: And when did you furnish this document to the Defence
1 party? Do you have any record -- any signatures from Mr. Morrissey?
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I've -- I've seen it. We got the
3 translation two or three days ago. I don't want to suggest that I'd be
4 prejudiced by the information in it. The question is really one of
5 whether it's to be admitted now in advance of the ruling. We maintain, of
6 course, an objection to it, but I won't be caught by surprise by it.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there's no present danger for the prejudice
8 to your team, so I think there's no problem for us to allow this document
9 to be used in the proceedings.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, it's -- perhaps I should be
11 clear that we don't say there's no prejudice in our submission. What we
12 say is that I'm not prejudiced by the element of surprise. We may be
13 prejudiced in other ways.
14 May I put my submission about it, that it's a document which in my
15 submission ought not to go through this witness in any event. There's
16 another witness coming, Nermin Eminovic, to whom that document more or
17 less directly relates, and it would be more appropriate for the -- for
18 that document to go through that witness if this Tribunal permits it to go
19 in at all. So that therefore you're not -- the Tribunal is not put in an
20 embarrassing position if the matter is just deferred for that witness.
21 And that's the submission I make.
22 JUDGE LIU: Any response?
23 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, your practice directions in this matter
24 are quite clear, that all exhibits will be entered into evidence subject
25 to later on any authentic arguments based on authenticity. And at that
1 point Your Honours will rule on it. And this is not going to be ruled on
2 until the end of the trial in any event. So this witness can certainly
3 identify the document and it can be marked for identification and even as
4 -- I'll go as far to say tendered as an exhibit. But as Your Honour
5 said, that's something which you will always rule on later on.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that you mix the two things together.
7 At this moment, I would like you to submit to us this document as
8 early as possible so maybe during breaks we will read this and decide
9 whether there's any substantial prejudice to the Defence team. Then later
10 on we'll decide whether you are going to use it or not. Is that clear
12 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. It's clear enough.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, that's clear. Thank you.
15 There's just one other matter I should raise, and it's a matter
16 of concern. Given the way that the e-court is here set up -- Your Honour,
17 given the -- the way in which the e-court is proceeding here, it was to be
18 hoped that Mr. Halilovic would be in a position to see in B/C/S such
19 exhibits or potential exhibits as were going to the witness.
20 Now, because of the use of the Sanction process, I'm instructed
21 that that cannot occur. We were given some notice by the Prosecutor of
22 this in the past, but our resources -- it's not the Tribunal's problem,
23 frankly, but I can indicate our resources don't extend to the photocopying
24 of many documents for the accused man to read at this stage, bearing in
25 mind that Mr. Gusic has come on relatively quickly and the Tribunal has
1 admitted that, of course.
2 Now, I don't know what the remedy is, and there's no remedy
3 today, and I don't ask for there to be an adjournment. But I want there
4 to be a remedy in the future, because it's a very difficult situation for
5 Mr. Halilovic in a command responsibility case with technical evidence
6 which is going to start today. It's -- it creates an unfairness to him.
7 It's one that we think we can carry today, so we don't ask for the matter
8 to be adjourned. I would be put in the position of having to seek
9 adjournments and delays in the future if nothing can be done. I mention
10 it now and hopefully goodwill will prevail and discussions can take place,
11 but it's a serious matter.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for bringing these matters to my
13 attention. You know, I'm also new to this e-court, you know, system and
14 technically speaking if the witness could see the B/C/S version on the
15 monitor, there's no reason that your client could not.
16 But anyway, we'll see to it, to find a way to solve this problem
17 as early as possible so as to avoid any undue delay.
18 MS. CHANA: Your Honours.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MS. CHANA: May I -- I would like to make the Prosecution's
21 position very clear in this respect. Now, Mr. -- Defence counsel were
22 alerted that there are about 23 documents which we are going to refer to
23 today, so there's only 23. And the B/C/S version has been provided to the
24 Defence for this very purpose. And therefore, they should be able to have
25 got these 23 documents and shown them to the accused prior to today.
1 As we are every single time we're going to use documents, we are
2 allowing -- alerting the Defence to which documents we're going to use.
3 They do have the B/C/S. We've gone to all the trouble to provide these
4 documents. And it would be more -- more efficient for them to -- to bring
5 them to court themselves because this e-court, as we said, is all new. We
6 don't know whether we'll be able to put up the B/C/S version as well as
7 the English on Sanction. And last time, Your Honours, when we did the
8 split screen, you -- you could not actually read it.
9 So these are some of the problems which we'll have to solve. And
10 I think it's important that the Defence also try to cooperate in this
11 matter and bring their documents in B/C/S for their client.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much. We note that is your
13 position. But I believe there should be some improvement in the e-court
14 system, and I mainly regard Mr. Morrissey's remarks is addressing to the
15 court management, rather than to the other party.
16 Well, I also have some matters which -- mainly concerning with
17 the housekeeping issues; that is, the Prosecution asked for leave to
18 disclose the four statements of several witnesses. In order to enable the
19 Trial Chamber and the Defence to access the content of statement in
20 relation to any prejudice to the Defence, the Trial Chamber ordered the
21 Prosecution to disclose the statements to Defence and the Trial Chamber as
22 early as possible. The Trial Chamber has already received those
23 statements. I wonder whether the Defence has received them or not.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. MORRISSEY: These being the statements arising out of Ramiz
1 Delalic? The answer is yes.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's about four statements. One is -- one
3 witness statement is about the Selmo Cikotic.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
5 JUDGE LIU: And another is Ahmet Salihamidzic [phoen].
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, we have that bundle, if I may.
7 JUDGE LIU: Oh, thank you very much. I just want to make sure of
9 And could we go to the private session, please.
10 [Private session]
11 Page 8 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE LIU: And could we have the witness, please.
10 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, there is one --
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MS. CHANA: There is one other matter, with your permission which
13 I would like to raise, and that is with respect to exhibits again.
14 Your Honour, it would be inefficient for the Prosecution to the
15 prove the authenticity of every single document. And we feel to that end
16 if the Defence could indicate to us - and this is something we have asked
17 the Defence on several occasions - as to which exhibits they intend to
18 dispute the authenticity of. Then the Prosecution could make preparations
19 to prove those. But for us to prove every single one, it is certainly
20 inefficient, and it is an obligation on the Defence under 65 ter (iii)
21 that they indicate as to which ones they are objecting to and which ones
22 they are not. And we would be pleased for any indication from them today
23 as to -- if we can have the list of documents. I know there was a letter
24 which had come to us, and we had asked Mr. Guenael of the Defence team to
25 re-send it because -- for us to know which particular exhibits they are --
1 they are disputing.
2 We have given them the exhibit list, Your Honour, and the source
3 of all the documents, as to where each single document comes from, to
4 assist them in this task.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm afraid that this is not a practice of this
6 Tribunal. I think during the cross-examination, if the Defence team has
7 any doubts concerning of the authenticity of that document, they will ask
8 some questions and challenge these documents.
9 And you also have an opportunity to redirect your examination in
10 which you could give some explanations on authenticity of those documents.
11 So we'll see, you know, how many documents are you going to use
12 through this -- this witness and what is the challenge by the Defence team
13 during the proceedings. This is the only practice we adopted at this
15 MS. CHANA: As Your Honour pleases.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Could I just indicate that after the break, when
20 my learned friend furnishes the explanation that you asked her for, the
21 Defence would seek to be heard and to make a submission at that time
22 relating to the matters about which we spoke in the private session.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you.
24 Could we have the witness, please.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
4 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 WITNESS: SALKO GUSIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Ms. Chana, the witness is yours.
12 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Examined by Ms. Chana:
14 Q. Could you please tell us your last name.
15 A. My last name is Gusic.
16 Q. And your first name?
17 A. Salko.
18 MS. CHANA: With Your Honours' permission, I'll lead the witness
19 on his personal particulars. I think the Defence has no objection.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
21 MS. CHANA:
22 Q. You were born on 25th September 1963; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Your ethnic origin is a Bosniak.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were born in the hamlet -- I'll spell it out, P-i-j-e-s-a-k
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. On 1st September 1979, you joined the military college in
6 A. Yes, the secondary military school.
7 Q. Yes. Then you were sent to Belgrade to the Guards Brigade.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Then you were in the Military Police Battalion.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In 1986, you entered the military academy in Belgrade.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in 1988, you graduated from this academy.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you were given the rank of lieutenant.
16 A. Yes, I was a second lieutenant. That's the lowest officer's
18 Q. Thank you for that.
19 On 16th September 1991, you went to Knin in Croatia.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You were in the 9th Battalion of the military police.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You acted as assistant to the battalion commander there.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In December 1991, you left the JNA.
3 A. November or December, yes.
4 Q. And then you went to Sarajevo.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. At the beginning of 1992, you returned to Sarajevo and joined the
7 Patriotic League.
8 A. Yes. Although, there were already contacts with them in November
10 Q. About April 1992, you were appointed to the position of the
11 commander of the District TO Staff of the Kosovo.
12 A. That was the Regional Territorial Defence Staff Kosevsko Brdo,
14 Q. And at the end of May or the beginning of June 1992, you were
15 appointed to the position of commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In October 1992, you were the commander of the 1st Motorised
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the end of October 1992, you were appointed to the position of
21 the commander of the Sarajevo TO District Staff headquarters.
22 A. Yes. Yes, yes, the Sarajevo District Staff, yes.
23 Q. And did this also mean that you were in charge of all TO units in
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you were -- you were there at the staff headquarters until
2 end of January 1993.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were then appointed to the position of the commander of the
5 4th Motorised Brigade in Hrasnica. I'm sorry about the pronunciation.
6 A. Yes. But I never actually took up that duty.
7 Q. And why was that?
8 A. On my arrival in Hrasnica, the brigade commander did not want to
9 hand over his duty.
10 Q. Then where did you go?
11 A. After this, I went to Igman and spent some time at Igman without
12 any appointment. But very soon after that I was appointed commander of
13 the 8th Motorised Brigade, and after that commander of the Igman
14 Operational Group.
15 Q. And that was in March 1993.
16 A. From January to March, yes. The 28th of January until March. I
17 don't know the exact day in March.
18 Q. And the -- what was the OG established to do?
19 A. The OG is a temporary military structure unifying more than one
20 unit on a certain axis with a specific task relating to combat operations.
21 The OG covered the territory of the municipalities of Hadzici, Trnovo,
22 Hrasnica, and its task was to maintain communication with Gorazde. Apart
23 from that, it was significant that within the OG was artillery providing
24 support to the town which was besieged.
25 Q. And who was the OG directly subordinated to?
1 A. The OG was subordinated to the command of the 1st Corps, headed
2 by the late General Talijan. His name was Mustafa Hajrulahovic and he is
4 Q. And then in June 1993 you were appointed to the position of
5 commander of the 6th Corps; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Yes. I think it was on the 9th of June, 1993. I'm not
7 absolutely sure, but I think it was the 9th.
8 Q. Until what date did you retain this position?
9 A. I was corps command until the 28th of January, 1994.
10 Q. What did you do after this date?
11 A. After this date, for a while I was at the disposal of the staff
12 of the Supreme Command, and then I was appointed head of the Department
13 for Operative Command and Planning in the operations centre in the Supreme
14 Command Staff in Kakanj.
15 Q. What are you currently doing?
16 A. Currently I am retired.
17 Q. So how long would that have made it that you were in the armed
18 forces, Mr. Gusic?
19 A. I was active for 22 years, including -- if you include my
20 secondary schooling, then 26 years.
21 Q. And you -- you were in two armed forces, were you not, the JNA
22 and the ABiH?
23 A. Yes, I can say that, in the JNA and the Army of BH. But I also
24 had military schooling in Turkey from 1997 to 1999 in Istanbul.
25 Q. So during your career as a -- as a military -- as a senior
1 military officer in the ABiH, you must have seen many documents, military
2 documents; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. And I also participated in compiling such documents. I
4 personally drew up certain documents.
5 Q. And is there a standard format which was used for issuing these
7 A. Yes. Yes, there is. Every document in the left top corner has
8 to have a heading including the name of the unit issuing the document.
9 The document has to have a number and a date. On the right-hand side must
10 be the degree of confidentiality of that document. Underneath has to be
11 the subject matter, what the document refers to. On the right-hand side
12 is the address of the addressee. Then the document has a preamble.
13 Underneath the preamble, the type of document, whether it's an order, an
14 instruction, a report, an announcement. Then there are the points of the
15 order or report. On the right-hand side is the signature of the person
16 issuing the order. And then on the left-hand side, all the addresses to
17 which the document was sent to facilitate the distribution of that
19 Q. So you would also be very familiar with the language used in
20 these documents and the meaning of this language.
21 A. Yes. I think I have command of that terminology.
22 Q. And if you were to see any document which emanated from the ABiH
23 army, would you be in a position to identify the document?
24 A. Certainly.
25 Q. Because during the course of the testimony, Mr. Gusic, I will be
1 showing you documents, and then at that point you will be asked to comment
2 on it -- on them.
3 A. I think that should not be a problem.
4 Q. I would now like to show you Exhibit 18, which is 00520767, which
5 is MFI102.
6 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, please, Your Honour.
7 Your Honour, I will be giving the witness a B/C/S copy of this
9 Usher, would you please.
10 A. Yes. This is a decision on appointing me as the 6th Corps
11 commander. And it's also a decision on appointing General Delic as
12 commander of the Main Staff of the Supreme Command of the ABiH.
13 Q. This would be -- is it paragraph 2 --
14 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, it's coming up in the Sanction.
15 Q. And on the next page is when you're appointed as commander of the
16 6th Corps in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who else was appointed in this -- at the same time?
19 A. Well, as I have said, under "4", it says -- there's the
20 commander, Rasim Delic. He was appointed as the commander of the Main
21 Staff of the Supreme Command. And then there are deputies who were
22 appointed, Stjepan Siber, Jovan Divjak, and as Chief of the Main Staff of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sefer Halilovic was appointed to that post.
24 Q. And on what date was this?
25 A. This date isn't -- this document isn't quite the same as the
1 usual ones. The 8th of June is in the left, and 1993. So it was on the
2 8th of June, 1993. That's at the bottom, to the left.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
4 Now, during your military career, how much training were you
5 given with respect of aspects of international law regulating the conduct
6 of war?
7 A. Well, I received such education in my secondary school, at the
8 academy, at the police -- military police course, at various courses and
9 seminars organised in the unit. And when preparing myself for training
10 with officers or troops and when using the relevant literature, I obtained
11 such knowledge. So we continued to learn about that field. We consulted
12 the laws issued by Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, the documents issued by
13 them. These documents were difficult to obtain because they were
14 frequently provided in electronic copies. It was usually a matter of
15 reading them out in the presence of other officers. And when certain
16 tasks were assigned, the duties regarding how war should be conducted were
17 also referred to and respect for international conventions was also a
18 matter that was discussed.
19 Q. So, in other words, commanders would be expected to know the law
20 on the conduct of hostilities.
21 A. Well, I wouldn't just say the commanders. All the officers in
22 the former JNA and in the ABiH, because I don't think there were any
23 officers who weren't familiar with those documents because there were such
24 documents issued by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and all army
25 members had the duty to read these documents. Every army member had the
1 duty of being familiar with the basics.
2 Q. And were these soldiers given any training in this respect?
3 A. Well, if your question concerns ABiH members, then not much
4 training was given. It was -- they were usually trained in the course of
5 moral preparations. But given the tasks and the situation in the
6 battlefield, normal sort of training was not conducted during that period,
7 1992 and 1993, apart from the fact that documents were read out. But an
8 organised form of training hadn't been put into place for the soldiers, or
9 at least I'm not aware of such a system having been introduced.
10 Q. So before you conducted any -- any military operation, would you
11 talk to your soldiers before they went into combat?
12 A. Well, that depended on the men to whom the task was being
13 assigned. It depended on the level of the troops. When commanders were
14 concerned, we'd talk to commanders. But the person leading the troops
15 would speak to the troops about how the task was to be carried out. One
16 of the issues to be discussed was how POWs and civilians and war booty
17 should be treated, how men or people should be evacuated, as well as
18 wounded. They also had to discuss supply routes, routes for the rotation
19 of troops. So these were all matters that were discussed before going
20 into combat.
21 Q. Would you ever talk about civilians if the area of the military
22 operation was going to be in an area where there would be civilians in
23 that particular area?
24 A. Well, as far as civilians are concerned, I can't say that they
25 were discussed as a separate factor. But objectives were selected. Tasks
1 were assigned, tasks that had to be carried out. And I can claim with
2 full responsibility that there was never a task assigned to me or to
3 others that involved having civilian objectives or, rather, objectives,
4 targets that were not military. And I'm not aware of anyone having
5 ordered anything to be done of that kind.
6 Q. Was it the duty of the commanders to talk to the subordinates
7 about how to treat civilians in the zone of combat?
8 A. The commander's duty was to talk to the soldiers about all the
9 relevant subjects, and that included the subject you have mentioned too.
10 And that's a commander's duty to this very day.
11 Q. [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 Microphone, please.
14 MS. CHANA: Sorry.
15 Q. You said there were instructions and manuals which explained
16 these matters.
17 A. Yes. There were certain legal decisions, decrees, laws. There
18 were certain rules which had been taken over to a large extent from the
19 JNA, and they had been adapted to the conditions that prevailed and that
20 the ABiH could accept.
21 Q. Yes. I'd like to show you a document. And this is 00498463,
22 00498463. That's MFI103.
23 MS. CHANA: May we please refer to Sanction, Your Honours.
24 Q. Can you tell the Court what this document is, please.
25 A. I've never seen this order. Only the commander or the Chief of
1 Staff of the Supreme Command could have seen this order because the late
2 Alija Izetbegovic, the president, drafted it. We in the units,
3 subordinate units, must certainly have received orders on the basis of
4 this order. And as far as I can see, in the title it says "The
5 implementation of the law."
6 Item 2, it says: "Commanders of armed forces and soldiers are
7 bound to implement the rules of the International Laws of War." So
8 item 2. I apologise.
9 Item 2 in this order says: "Both commanders of armed forces and
10 soldiers are bound to implement the rules of the International Laws of
11 War. Commanders are duty-bound to inform their troops of these rules and
12 ensure that they are respected," as I have said.
13 We didn't have a sufficient copy of rules to distribute them to
14 all the soldiers, but when the men were being prepared, such rules would
15 be read out to inform the troops of the rules in force.
16 Q. [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 Microphone, please.
19 MS. CHANA:
20 Q. This is a law signed by the President Izetbegovic, is it not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I would now like to show you 00137881, MFI104.
23 Could you tell us what this document is.
24 A. This is the Official Gazette from the ABiH. And in this gazette,
25 on the first page "Instructions on the application of the international
1 law" is provided for the ABiH.
2 Q. Can you look at paragraph 4, please. Does it say that -- at
3 paragraph 4 that "The following acts are war crimes," and it lists a
4 number of crimes?
5 A. Yes. Yes. The war, genocide, the war against -- crimes against
6 the civilian population, against the wounded, against patients, against
7 medical staff, against prisoners of war, and other violations of the rules
8 of war, such as killing or wounding an enemy who has surrendered, cruelly
9 treating the wounded and the sick, killing without trial, et cetera. I
10 can't comment on anything else.
11 Q. Okay. Well, basically you had instructions on the conduct of
12 hostilities which all commanders and soldiers followed at the time of the
13 war; is that correct? Would you consider that to be a correct position?
14 A. Yes. Yes. But such a document could never be provided, not in
15 this form. It could only be provided in an electronic version. We didn't
16 have enough paper. And this is the first time I've seen a copy from the
17 gazette. But it could be provided electronically, and then it would be
18 printed in the unit and read out in the presence of the troops.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me the duties and responsibilities that
20 you had as a 6th Corps commander.
21 A. Well, as a corps commander, my first duty was to form a corps
22 because the 6th Corps did not exist when I was appointed -- or until I was
23 appointed as the commander. The next task was to carry out combat tasks
24 in the area of responsibility of the corps. We also had to work on
25 planning and drafting documents, making certain assessments, proposing
1 certain operations, carrying out certain combat tasks that I could carry
2 out without help from my superior command. I also had to take care of the
3 logistics. We issued certain instructions for training, although the
4 training wasn't as intensive as it should have been. We had a certain
5 training centre, and when there were lulls in combat actions, certain men
6 were trained. But this training was not sufficient.
7 The main task on the whole was to organise and control -- or
8 rather, conduct combat operations in the zone's AOR. I'm not going to
9 mention all the rules which provide more specific information on all these
10 tasks because I at the time did not have the occasion to consult such a
11 rule book.
12 Q. Okay. Can you please now tell me, Mr. Gusic, what was the zone
13 of responsibility of the 6th Corps. Can you tell me the municipalities
14 which were under your area of control.
15 A. The zone of responsibility of the corps was divided into
16 municipalities. I think that the first order referred to 12
17 municipalities, the municipality of Hadzici, Hrasnica, Trnovo, Kalinovik,
18 Jablanica, Konjic, Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Fojnica, Kresevo, Kiseljak, and
19 Visoko. I think I have listed the 12 municipalities concerned. I think
20 there were 12 of them.
21 Q. And whose zone of responsibility was Mostar?
22 A. Mostar was in the 4th Corps's zone of responsibility. The
23 territory of the municipality of Mostar. I'm not just referring to the
24 town of Mostar. And in my case, I was referring to the territory of the
25 municipality, not just the central part of the municipality, not just the
1 towns themselves.
2 Q. And the 4th Corps's headquarters was where?
3 A. The 4th Corps headquarters was in Mostar. The corps headquarters
4 was in Mostar.
5 Q. Was there access to Mostar at that time?
6 A. Before the conflict with HVO units, yes. After the conflict,
7 there was access but it was difficult. The route went over the mountains.
8 One had to bypass the roads. Footpaths had to be used.
9 Q. And in whose area of responsibility was Grabovica?
10 A. In the 4th Corps zone of responsibility, because that's the
11 territory of the municipality of Mostar.
12 Q. Mr. Gusic, can you please now tell the Court what units were in
13 the 6th Corps.
14 A. Perhaps I'll omit a unit or two, but I'll try to go on the basis
15 of municipalities. Each municipality had a municipal staff. There was
16 the Trnovo Municipal Staff, the Hadzici one, the Kiseljak, Kresevo,
17 Fojnica, Konjic, Jablanica Municipal Staffs. Then there were the 43rd and
18 45th units, the 49th Brigade, and then the Fojnica Municipal Staff became
19 the 310th Brigade. There was the 317th Brigade, the Gornji Vakuf
20 Municipal Staff. I think that municipal staff had two detachments. In
21 formal terms - when I say "formal" they were never really part of the
22 corps, but according to the orders there were the Crni Labudovi, the Black
23 Swans, and a few special purposes units, detachments for special purposes
24 within the Supreme Command Staff.
25 At the meeting in Zenica, I asked the commander to deal with the
1 issue of these units because officially they were part of the corps but
2 they were never actually part of the corps. I was never able to establish
3 command over those units.
4 Q. And was the Prozor Independent Battalion underneath the
5 6th Corps?
6 A. The Prozor Battalion, yes. The municipal staff -- yes, there was
7 the Independent Prozor Battalion that was part of the corps. There was
8 also the 81st Brigade. I think I failed to mention that unit. There were
9 a lot of units. I've probably forgotten to mention some of them.
10 Q. That's all right. And who was the commander of the Prozor
11 Independent Battalion?
12 A. The commander of the Prozor Battalion at that period of time was
13 Enver Buza.
14 Q. And can you tell us about the Zulfikar Unit. Under whose command
15 was that?
16 A. That was a detachment for the special purposes within the Supreme
17 Command Staff, and Zulfikar Alispago, Zuka, was the commander. For a
18 certain period of time, this unit was deployed on Igman and it was later
19 redeployed to the Jablanica area. It was a detachment for special
20 purposes. I participated with that unit in combat; however, that unit was
21 always tied to the Supreme Command Staff, and that was part of its title.
22 It was called a special detachment which was within the Supreme Command
24 Q. So was it ever under the 6th Corps command?
25 A. Officially, yes, on the basis of the orders issued, yes. But it
1 was never actually under the corps command. Because this is an issue that
2 I asked the commander at a meeting in Zenica to resolve, and after that
3 meeting, after that briefing, the commander assigned that unit to the
4 4th Corps.
5 Q. And can you tell me if you know under whose command were the 9th
6 and the 10th Brigades.
7 A. The 9th and 10th Brigades? They were within the 1st Corps, the
8 Sarajevo Corps.
9 Q. And under who was the -- who was the -- who were they subordinate
10 to, the Sarajevo Corps?
11 A. To the Supreme Command Staff. At the time, to General Delic in
12 1993. After he was appointed, they were subordinated to General Delic.
13 That was how the chain of command functioned.
14 Q. And who was the commander of the 1st Corps?
15 A. The commander of the 1st Corps was General Vahid Karavelic.
16 Q. Were the 9th and 10th -- the 9th Motorised Brigade and the
17 10th Mountain Brigade attached to the Supreme -- the staff of the Supreme
19 A. In 1993, yes.
20 Q. When was that?
21 A. Well, that was in September 1993, on the basis of an order from
22 the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, General Halilovic.
23 Q. I'll come back --
24 A. I know that because it was on the basis of that order that it was
25 my duty to take over the units in the Gradina area and to ensure that they
1 could pass through to Jablanica. My subordinates took them over down
2 there. I know that they had lunch in my command, and then we continued to
3 Jablanica. All those units that had left Sarajevo continued to Jablanica.
4 Q. Can you tell us what date this was?
5 A. Well, I think that it was at the beginning of September. Perhaps
6 it was on the 3rd or the 4th of September. They came to where I was
7 located on the 3rd or 4th, and I think that the order was dated either the
8 2nd or the 3rd of September. I can't remember the exact date.
9 Q. I'd like to show you a document, 00520807, MFI105.
10 MS. CHANA: And may we refer to Sanction, please, Your Honours.
11 A. Yes. This is the Official Gazette of the Republic of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina in which they published the rules of service in the Army of
13 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such rules were also printed in
14 the form of a green hardcover booklet, so I think that all brigade
15 commanders had access to such a manual.
16 Q. Other than at -- and this is going back a bit -- at paragraph 6,
17 where you are -- there's general guidance on combat activities. And we
18 already referred to this point, but this is yet another manual which tells
19 you about how operations are to be conducted. Would that be correct?
20 A. Yes. Yes. This is just a rule that refers to the documents that
21 you have already shown. This is just one item that refers to using those
23 Q. I want to use -- go to item 12. Are these the general principles
24 of superior-subordinate relationships within the army?
25 A. Yes. Yes. These are rules -- were also in force, or similar
1 ones were in force in the JNA.
2 Q. And they were completely followed in the -- in the ABiH army as
3 well? They were adopted?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. I'd like to take you to paragraph 2 now, please.
6 A. But I'd just like to add something.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Yes.
8 A. In 1993, there were no ranks. Posts were indicated in a certain
9 way. There were signs for corps commanders. There were signs that were
10 similar to ranks. There were lilies that they had, but I think that ranks
11 were introduced towards the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994. I
12 think the first ranks appeared in December 1993. But this item was
14 Q. If you look at -- from 15, 16. I think we'll have it in
15 Sanction. Where it says "Carrying out the orders is the basis for
16 successful life and work in the army and for completing existing tasks and
17 duties of service."
18 And 16 says: "The order of the superior commander, which is
19 related to the service, must be carried out by any person serving in the
20 army without discussion, completely, exactly and promptly."
21 A. Yes. Yes, I think that's the case in all armies throughout the
23 Q. And this is how it was conducted in your army.
24 A. Yes, certainly.
25 Q. And then it says that "Persons serving in the army must carry out
1 orders of the most senior present commander, when the superior commander
2 is absent and when it is necessary to take immediate measures for
3 completing urgent tasks, especially in combat, in exceptional
4 circumstances and under conditions of re-establishing damaged organisation
5 of work, order and discipline."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So would you say that inference from -- the direct order from
8 that is that the more superior person in the field is authorised to issue
9 orders in the absence of the commander?
10 A. Yes. Not only on the ground but the most senior person in terms
11 of rank commands everybody, and that the same obtains on the ground. So
12 in every place, wherever there is a senior officer present, he is always
13 the one commanding the junior, less senior officer.
14 Q. So as a -- as a corps commander, you were also authorised to
15 issue binding orders to all officers in the 6th Corps; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Would this also include military security?
18 A. Yes. Yes. But I have to point out that they had a separate
19 chain of command. We called them the security organs. And there was a
20 chain of command from battalion level. A battalion had one security
21 officer; a brigade had one with two other officers; the corps had an
22 assistant commander for security; and then there was also a security
23 administration at the level of the Supreme Command. And that was the
24 chain of command used to issue orders which were very often something that
25 the normal chain of command did not even know about. These were
1 operations that they carried out which required a certain amount of
3 Q. But nevertheless, were you authorised to issue orders to the
4 military security in your corps, despite this other chain of command?
5 A. Certainly, yes. Certainly.
6 Q. And to the military intelligence and to the military police?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And were they duty-bound to carry out your orders?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Whose orders would you be bound by?
11 A. I was bound by the orders of the commander of the Main Staff of
12 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rasim Delic, or orders issued by
13 someone on his behalf. Very often there were orders signed by his
14 deputies, General Siber, General Divjak, General Halilovic. There were
15 orders like that which I was duty-bound to respect.
16 Q. So what was the role over a deputy commander in the BH army?
17 A. The deputy commander was a person who stood in for the commander
18 and most often it was organised in almost all units so that he had
19 authority over Territorial Defence units and staffs, but in the
20 commander's absent, he stood in for the commander with reference to all
21 areas and all issues. Because there has to be continuity of command in an
22 army. The chain of command must never be broken. And this was ensured by
23 having a deputy commander in every unit in the corps, at corps level, and
24 not for a single moment could a unit be without a commander. If the
25 commander was absent, the deputy would be there, who was authorised to
1 issue orders on the commander's behalf.
2 Q. So the deputy commander could give binding orders to all
3 lower-level military commanders, to himself.
4 A. Certainly, yes. But he was also duty-bound to inform the
5 commander that he had issued such orders in the shortest possible
6 reasonable period of time. The commander had to be aware of what orders
7 he had issued.
8 Q. Yes. But the -- the junior commander, the subordinates of the
9 deputy commander, would have to listen to the orders of the deputy
10 commander; is that the correct position?
11 A. Yes. Yes. This order could only be challenged if two orders
12 arrived at the same time, one issued by the commander and the other issued
13 by his deputy. In that case, it would be the commander's order that would
14 be followed, unless it contained elements that would constitute a crime.
15 Q. I'd like to show you now document 023 -- oh, sorry, Your Honours.
16 Can I go again? K0239566. And it's MFI106.
17 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, please, Your Honour.
18 Q. Are these --
19 A. This is a chapter of the rules of the JNA, the rules on the work
20 of commands and staffs. This was adopted by the Army of BH and used in
21 its work. This is something that was very rarely available. The first
22 time I saw it was in Kakanj in 1994, but this was used to issue
23 instructions. This was used as a working document.
24 Q. Can I take you to item 501, please, where it says that "Combat
25 orders, commands, directives and instructions of general relevance and
1 written approvals (authorisations) for representatives of the command are
2 signed by the commander." That was the correct position in the army, was
3 it not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Then it goes on to say that "Reports of general relevance are
6 signed by the commander and Chief of Staff."
7 Further down on that paragraph, it says: "The Chief of Staff in
8 his capacity as a deputy commander signs documents from the commander's
9 jurisdiction only if the commander is not there and due to the urgency of
10 the matter it is not possible to wait for his return."
11 What does that tell you, Mr. Gusic? What do you understand by
13 A. What I have already said. In order to ensure continuity of
14 command, the deputy commander -- or rather, in these rules the deputy
15 commander is not mentioned, but the deputy commander or the Chief of Staff
16 could sign documents on behalf of the commander due to the urgency of what
17 was going on. In other words, they could issue combat orders or any kind
18 of binding orders if the commander was not in a situation to sign them.
19 And this was actually done on behalf of the commander.
20 Q. And what was the role of the Chief of Staff in the army?
21 A. The Chief of Staff was a professional organ belonging to the
22 commander, and he was the most responsible officer for the organisation of
23 the staff, all the staffs. And he was the one who compiled documents on
24 assessments, preparing the forces, the way the units would be used. He
25 made proposals to the commander regarding operations through his officers
1 and organs, and he looked after all the staff work, all the staff jobs.
2 Q. Who was your Chief of Staff?
3 A. My Chief of Staff was Dzevad Tirak.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Chana, is it a proper time for us to take a
6 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. That -- that's fine.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 4.00 sharp.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Please continue, Ms. Chana.
11 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I promised to come back to you after the
12 break about the question that you asked of the Prosecution, whether the
13 witnesses were withdrawn on the confirmation list.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, let us continue with this witness, because, you
15 know, it would be very awkward if we stop here and attend to something
16 else. Maybe tomorrow morning -- tomorrow afternoon will be the -- before
17 the witness came in we'll give you the opportunity to present your views
18 on that.
19 MS. CHANA: Absolutely, Your Honours. It's just that you
20 enjoined me to come back to you after the break, and I was doing as I was
21 asked. But I will continue now with the witness. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 MS. CHANA:
24 Q. Mr. Gusic, we were talking about the role of a deputy commander,
25 and you'd just seen this document. Would it be fair to say, Mr. Gusic,
1 that a deputy commander in the army could issue -- could authorise anyone
2 in their corps to issue orders on his behalf?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, might I raise an objection at this
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, the objection is this, that the
7 Defence is now baffled as to the way in which the Prosecutor is putting
8 its case, and we think it ought to be clarified now.
9 There are various ways in which Mr. Halilovic is said to have
10 been in the position of commander of the troops, and this is a case which
11 will ultimately require some analysis of the nature of command
12 responsibility. So we need to know is the Prosecutor putting this case as
13 one where he's commanding the troops in the exercise of his role as Chief
14 of Staff, or the exercise of his role as deputy, or as a person appointed
15 by an order or series of orders as a commander of a particular operation.
16 And those matters, in my submission, ought to be clarified because
17 otherwise this evidence is in danger of just being general evidence, not
18 focussed upon -- upon the issues that there are.
19 We've also understood that the Prosecution themselves have
20 advanced the case that his responsibility is not purely based upon his --
21 role as a Chief of Staff. Therefore, these questions may -- and there's
22 been many of them asked already -- may well have relevance and be
23 justifiable, but the basis ought to be made clear, and in my submission
24 can be purely and simply and quickly made clear now, and I'd ask that that
25 be done, and that's the reason for my objection.
1 JUDGE LIU: Any response?
2 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, in the fullness of time it will become
3 evident to the Defence counsel as to what exactly this witness is going to
4 be testifying about. By the end of his testimony, it will become clear
5 that Mr. Gusic has also been asked to give general answers about the
6 workings of the army doctrine -- military doctrine. Being a commander in
7 the army, he's well equipped to answer such questions. And our case
8 against the accused has been made very clear., that he is the effective
9 commander of the troops which committed the crimes.
10 JUDGE LIU: So you mean there's no relevance for a deputy
11 commander to issue orders, as the questioning addressed to the witness.
12 MS. CHANA: This is equally relevant because the accused had many
13 hats, Your Honour. He was a Chief of Staff and he was the deputy
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that this question put by the
16 Prosecution to the witness is relevant to this case, and we'll see, you
17 know, how things will go further. Maybe the Prosecution just to lay out
18 the general background issues, try to show the command -- chain of
19 commanders in the army.
20 Yes, you may proceed, Ms. Chana.
21 MS. CHANA:
22 Q. Did you as the commander, Mr. Gusic, authorise anybody in your
23 corps to issue orders on your behalf?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Would you also authorise a Chief of Staff, your Chief of Staff,
1 to issue orders on your behalf?
2 A. Yes. At that time in Fojnica, there was a forward command post
3 of the 6th Corps, and my Chief of Staff was the commander of that forward
4 command post.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
6 I would now like to take you to what you know about
7 investigations in the BH army. You were a commander, Mr. Gusic, of some
8 seniority; is that not correct?
9 A. In the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, yes.
10 Q. So you are aware of the procedures of military discipline.
11 A. Every member of the army is aware of that, and especially those
12 who had been active military men before the war, because there were not
13 any big differences in relation to the JNA as regards discipline.
14 Q. You have also presumably had occasion to use these procedures
16 A. On several occasions, yes.
17 Q. Can you then please tell the Chamber who was responsible for
18 investigating and prosecuting war crimes in the BH army. I would ask you
19 to be quite systematic, Mr. Gusic, when you inform the Chamber, and go one
20 step at a time, and imagine now a war crime has been committed by a
22 A. The commander of the unit who first learns of such an event is
23 duty-bound to take steps at his level. These are most often squad or
24 platoon commanders because they are in direct contact with the soldiers
25 who might do such a thing.
1 The squad or platoon commander would then be duty-bound to
2 immediately inform the company commander. The company commander is an
3 officer with more experience and more organs who can be tasked with this
4 job. He can either go in person or send one of his officers to see what
5 had happened, and then he would inform the battalion command.
6 At that level, there would already be reporting according to two
7 lines: One would be the security line; and the other one would be the
8 chain of command and control. This information would then be transmitted
9 up to the brigade command. The brigade command would be the first unit
10 that would have men especially designated to deal with this. Those would
11 be police companies. The brigade commander would then have to take the
12 military police company to secure the place and to inform the corps
13 command that this had happened. The corps would have military police
14 battalions which would work in coordination with the Ministry of the
15 Interior organs. In other words, if they did not have sufficient
16 professional personnel, they would have to inform the MUP.
17 They would then go to secure the place where the crime had taken
18 place. They would have to take statements from men. And then the joint
19 commander -- or rather, the staff of the Supreme Command would be
20 informed, and it would be their duty to activate the military prosecutor's
21 office. The military prosecutor and the investigating judge would be
22 duty-bound to visit the scene of the crime, to carry out an on-site
23 investigation, and the army units would assist the investigating judge by
24 meeting his requests.
25 If a member of the army had committed a crime, this person would
1 have to be deprived of his liberty, detained. This was not prison but
2 custody. According to our rules, commanders could detain someone between
3 seven and ten days. The company commander would be able to do this for
4 two days and then, depending on the level of the commander, the number of
5 days would increase that they could keep someone detained. In the
6 meantime, the investigating judge would hand down a decision on custody so
7 that -- and all this would have to take not more than three days from the
8 day the information was received.
9 Then the investigating judge would continue his work according to
10 his normal procedures.
11 Q. So to be quite clear, so it was the military police who were
12 responsible for investigating crimes.
13 A. The military police had to secure the site, find clues. They
14 would have to secure the place. But it would be the investigating judge
15 who would actually carry out the investigation. In the army, we did not
16 have people who were able to carry out an investigation professionally.
17 Q. That's quite so. And just in order for -- for the Chamber to be
18 quite clear on the matter: So the military police investigate, and then
19 the military investigative judge investigated the crime as well. It went
20 to the investigative judge after that.
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. And on whose orders would the military police act in the
23 investigation of this crime?
24 A. The officer -- it could be the brigade police, the brigade
25 commander. And if it was the police at the corps level, it would be the
1 corps commander. The security organs were professional units, and the
2 security organ could order the use of the unit for such things. He could
3 not use them in combat, but he could issue the order in order to do their
4 job, their professional job.
5 Q. So the military police would act on the orders of the
6 investigative judge.
7 A. Well, yes. Out on the ground, yes. But it would be the
8 commander or the security organ sending the military police out onto the
9 ground. When they got there, the investigating judge would issue the
10 orders, and the military police would have to do as he told them to.
11 Q. And what rules and regulations and the law would the
12 investigative judge follow in the conduct of his investigations?
13 A. The laws of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the laws and
14 other legislation regulating these matters. The prosecutor's office had
15 their own regulations. I have to admit I wasn't fully familiar with
16 those. But there were districts. Every district had its own prosecutor's
17 office -- military prosecutor's office, and those were Sarajevo, Mostar,
18 Tuzla, I think, Zenica. I don't know if there were any others. There
19 were probably more. Those are the four military prosecutor's offices that
20 I knew existed.
21 Q. All right. Now, the scene of the crime has been secured by the
22 military police. What happens next?
23 A. When the military police secures the scene, they must make sure
24 that nothing is moved. Then the investigating judge arrives, and he
25 carries out the procedures he has to perform. Those persons who are
1 suspects, if the unit is aware of that, the unit commander takes steps to
2 detain that person. Otherwise, the investigating judge issues a warrant.
3 This is all done under the supervision of the military police.
4 Q. And would the civilian police in any way assist the military?
5 A. The civilian police most often assisted, because we did not have
6 enough professionals in the army, and the civilian police always gave us
7 professional assistance at the request of a command at any level.
8 For example, in the area of responsibility of the 6th Corps,
9 there was an example where the civilian police of the municipality of
10 Fojnica carried out and completed an investigation. This was when the
11 friars in the Fojnica monastery were murdered. The military police only
12 helped by identifying the perpetrators, but the whole process of carrying
13 out the investigation, finding the accused, this was done by the Ministry
14 of the Interior of Fojnica, headed by the chief of police. His name was
15 Sead Mackic. This was the person who carried out the investigation. And
16 he was the chief of police in Fojnica, of the civilian police. This was
17 just an example to illustrate my point. And this could be done with any
18 chief of police in any town or village.
19 Q. So would -- could you tell us: Whose responsibility was it to
20 initiate these criminal investigations within the -- the army? Whose
21 responsibility was it?
22 A. Are you referring to specific cases?
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 A. That -- in general, the investigation was initiated by the
25 commanders at every level. It was their duty to initiate an
1 investigation, but it differed depending on their level. It was a platoon
2 commander who did the least; the company commander would do more. Then
3 the brigade commander would do even more. So the further up you went, the
4 more could be done. The Supreme Command was the highest level, and they
5 already had contact with the military prosecutor.
6 Q. So up the chain of command it was the responsibility of every
7 commander along the line.
8 A. Yes, of every commander and of every army member. Because
9 according to the rules we had, it's not only the commanders that had such
10 duties but all army members had such duties too. But in any event, the
11 commander was the person who bore the greatest amount of responsibility in
12 a unit.
13 Q. Did you have any instructions or manuals or any directives saying
15 A. There were instructions, legal instructions issued by the
16 Republic of the -- of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or rather, by the Supreme
17 Command Staff, and these instructions were forwarded to the lowest levels.
18 They were received via the chain of command or they were received through
19 the professional line from the Security Services. The interpretation of
20 these rules also went via the organ for morale, or rather, in the organ
21 for morale within the Supreme Command Staff.
22 Q. I want to show you a document, please, now, which is 00520821,
24 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, Your Honour.
25 Q. These are the rules on military discipline.
1 A. Yes. This is an Official Gazette in which rules on military
2 discipline were published.
3 Q. Before I ask you to go to a specific page, was there a difference
4 between initiating investigations during peacetime and wartime in the
5 BH army?
6 A. Yes, of course. Of course there was a difference.
7 Q. So different rules applied.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I will take you now to Section 5, "Establishment of
10 disciplinary accountability during a state of war." It starts at
11 Article 67.
12 Article 67 basically says that these rules shall be applied
13 accordingly in a state of war.
14 67 says: "Decisions on disciplinary accountability or breaches
15 of military discipline during a state of war shall be taken as a matter of
17 And 69 defines that urgency as 24 hours.
18 Was that the position that you followed?
19 A. Well, if it was urgent, it had to be dealt with within three
20 days. It wasn't a problem to do if there was a three-day period. But
21 when a matter was urgent, in all military documents, the time period was
22 three days unless otherwise stated. But if it could be dealt with in --
23 within 24 hours, that was the most efficient way to proceed. But in
24 wartime it's very difficult to respect this time limit, so they would
25 usually try to deal with matters within a three-day period.
1 Q. Article 71 is where it refers to the three days.
2 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, I didn't even have a look at that. While during
3 a state of war, yes, that's the rule that the army applied.
4 Q. Mr. Gusic, why is that the case? Why do you have to take
5 immediate measures during a state of war?
6 A. Well, measures must urgently be taken in a state of war to ensure
7 that negative incidents did not spread, to prevent such incidents in units
8 and to preserve the system of command and control. In very tense
9 situations, if you do not react to a certain incident, this can have a
10 very negative influence on everyone, on all the troops, and this is why it
11 is important to act immediately.
12 Q. You as a commander, were you equally responsible to ensure that
13 you would be informed of war crimes committed by your subordinates?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And how would you ensure that?
16 A. Through subordinate commanders or through the professional organs
17 within the command. Or if I was on the site, then by carrying out an
18 on-site investigation.
19 Q. No. But what was the established form by which commanders were
20 informed of possible breaches? What -- how would you be informed? You're
21 everywhere. You're in a war zone.
22 A. Through the chain of command, from commanders, platoon
23 commanders, company commanders, battalion commanders, brigade commanders.
24 So it would be forwarded through the usual chain that would be used to
25 report on events. Officers and subordinate units had the duty to forward
1 such information to their superiors as soon as possible.
2 Q. Was it in writing? Was it verbally? Was it by your -- your
3 radio communications?
4 A. As far as the chain of command is concerned, well, it was
5 forwarded in writing. But within the command itself, if someone -- if the
6 professional organs of the command were concerned, they could relay the
7 information orally. But it was their duty to provide a report on any
8 exceptional events. So this was one form in which they would report on
9 exceptional events. It was necessary to have a written trace, written
10 documents on the event in question.
11 Q. What were the communications like at that time? How were you
12 communicating with each other in the theatre of war?
13 A. Well, it was very difficult. Communications were very difficult.
14 Communications in the ABiH were very complicated, or rather, our
15 communications equipment was not of a very high standard. Usually we had
16 a stationary radio post, and these radio posts were usually located at the
17 command posts of certain units, so that the information one could receive
18 by using that means was only information you could use when you were in
19 the vicinity of the command post or in the command post itself. There
20 were very few mobile stations that commanders could take with them and
21 that would enable them to have communications at all points in time. So
22 usually we had to rely on the stationary communication posts which were
23 located at command posts. But if the equipment functioned, given the
24 conditions that prevailed, we did have a system of communications. We did
25 receive information. I can't say that it was always received in good
1 time, but it was possible to carry out the tasks assigned by using
2 these -- by using this system of communications.
3 Q. But there was an existing and a functional communications system.
4 Difficult though it may have been.
5 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. What if it was a matter of some urgency, like you're -- you're
7 away from your post at that time and there are some crimes being
8 committed. Immediately you need to be informed. What were -- what were
9 the procedures you set up with your subordinates who were left in charge?
10 A. Well, command and control is a permanent duty and function, so
11 there was always someone who had the authority to command and there was
12 always someone who was authorised to receive such information and take the
13 necessary measures. If the commander wasn't present, the deputy commander
14 was there or the Chief of Staff. If the Chief of Staff wasn't there, then
15 there would be someone appointed by the commander or there would be the
16 most senior commander in the brigade. One always knew who was responsible
17 to take certain measures. One always knew the identity of those replacing
18 other officers.
19 Q. But in such times, would you be -- would you have put into place
20 procedures where you'd be immediately informed, as soon as practically and
21 possible, of course?
22 A. Well, yes. If an officer was in the territory under the control
23 of the ABiH, the information was often relayed through neighbouring
24 communications centres, and at the bottom of such documents it usually
25 stated that we are requesting that our colleagues from such-and-such a
1 centre forward this information to such-and-such a person. So at the
2 bottom of the document, there was always such a message typed out by the
3 communications officials. I can't say that it was extremely efficient,
4 but it was the best way to proceed.
5 Q. What if -- what if it came to pass that you did not know who the
6 perpetrators were in a particular crime which had been committed? What
7 was the procedure then for a commander?
8 A. Well, in that case, the security organs tried to gather
9 information that might indicate the identity of the perpetrator of such a
10 crime, and most frequently they used their associates in army units or
11 outside the army to obtain such information, which they would then forward
12 to those within the system of command and control so that this information
13 could be processed. If something like that happened, it wasn't only the
14 responsibility of the army. The MUP and other structures, security
15 structures, would get involved too.
16 Q. What resources were at your disposal as a commander when you
17 conducted investigations or indeed any commander in the BH army?
18 A. What are you referring to? The activities of the military
19 police, of the communications service, activities involving combat action?
20 What are you referring to exactly?
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. To investigations. Well, the means were very poor. The
23 equipment we had was a little obsolete. We had some equipment in Konjic
24 in the police department. I'm referring to the 6th Corps. There wasn't
25 that much equipment. But there was cooperation at the highest level with
1 MUP units, and their equipment was better and they would provide us with
2 that equipment in such situations, and that is what the chief of the MUP,
3 the Ministry of the Interior, did in Fojnica, and he successfully
4 conducted that investigation.
5 Q. Can you tell me who were the investigative judges in the area at
6 the time, in your area of operations.
7 A. I know that at the time he was called Bahrudin Comor. The judge
8 was Bajric -- I can't remember his first name. But I think the
9 investigating judge was Comor. I think he was the investigating judge,
10 Bahrudin Comor. I'm not a hundred percent sure. I know about this
11 because on one occasion they conducted an investigation into me, and I
12 think that Bajric was the judge in that case.
13 Q. Before I leave this subject of military discipline, there is one
14 document I'd like to show you, and this is in respect of what your earlier
15 answer had been that deputy commanders had the authority to issue -- I
16 mean, sorry, a commander could authorise deputy commanders to issue
17 binding orders. It is 00554735, MFI108, Your Honours.
18 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, please, Your Honours.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, before that's done.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Could I just raise a matter. It's related to the
22 previous objection but different to it.
23 I'll just remind the Court that on the 24th of January, 2005
24 counsel appearing for the Prosecutor - at that time Mr. Re - said this --
25 and this is at page 14, line 1. He said: The exhibits on our exhibit
1 list, the pre-trial brief; both versions, the notice we gave to the
2 Defence in Chambers, in the purported supplement to the pre-trial brief --
3 he said some other things -- the Prosecution maintains -- it's still
4 notice to the Defence as to the legal case theory. We do concede the last
5 portion, the last paragraph of the motion filed today in relation to
6 paragraph 207. And the accused's alleged responsibility as a deputy
7 commander of the army. We concede - I'll say it straight up right now -
8 that what's in the pre-trial brief is incorrect.
9 Now, Your Honour ruled on the previous objection. This is a more
10 specific line of questioning, and it's revisiting that area. And in my
11 submission, again, the Prosecutor ought to be called upon in the
12 circumstances now of recovering this and perhaps recovering it in a more
13 specific way with this witness. What's the basis of this questioning? If
14 not to establish the very thing that has been renounced by Mr. Re on a
15 previous occasion.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage, frankly speaking, we are not
17 quite familiar with the theory of the Prosecution at this moment, and I
18 believe the testimony of this witness is just to give us some general
19 ideas of the commanders, you know. And whether, you know, the deputy
20 commander has the authority to issue any orders, which is quite normal in
21 the proceedings. And then we also believe that up to now we cannot see
22 that this piece of evidence is relevant to this case at this moment.
23 And -- and since it's a general question, and since it's not directly
24 pointing the fingers to your client, we'll allow this practice to go on.
25 And we'll see, you know, where the Prosecution stands in the future.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: [Microphone not activated] As the Court pleases.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
3 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Before I come to this document, I would first like to ask you:
5 Do you know the accused in this case?
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. What's his name? What's his name?
8 A. His name is General Sefer Halilovic.
9 Q. And what was his position in the BH army?
10 A. He was the chief of the Main Staff of the Armed Forces of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina. At that time -- at the beginning of the war, he -- there
12 was the post of the commander and then there was the post of the commander
13 of the Main Staff. So he became the Chief of Staff and then also deputy.
14 But this is sort of playing on words now.
15 Q. Was he one of the three deputy commanders when you saw that
16 document earlier on where you were -- he was made -- he was given that
17 rank at that time?
18 A. Yes. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Now, this document I want to show you --
20 MS. CHANA: Ms. Usher. Thank you.
21 Q. Would you look at this document, please, and tell us what -- what
22 it is.
23 A. This is an order from the commander of the Main Staff of --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Their Honours don't have it
25 in front of them at the moment.
1 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, can you just confirm. If you'd just
2 wait until it comes up in Sanction, please.
3 On the ELMO, Your Honour. Sorry. I don't know which technology
4 we're using when.
5 Q. All right. Sorry, Mr. Gusic, I interrupted you. Would you
6 please carry on.
7 A. This is an order from the commander of the Main Staff of the
8 BH Armed Forces. It's from General Rasim Delic on the formation of a
9 professional team in order to coordinate affairs and tasks in the areas of
10 responsibility of the 4th and 6th Corps. The team's assignments are
11 mentioned, the composition of the team, under 3, the authority of the
12 chief of the Main Staff is mentioned. He is authorised to deal with the
13 problems in the field, and it is also his duty to inform the commander.
14 And if there are exceptional changes, he should consult him before taking
15 certain measures. The task is to commence on the 31st of August. The
16 time by which the task should be carried out is not specified. And at the
17 end it states that a report should be submitted in the course of this
19 Item 3 provides authority to deal with problems, and it's only
20 the Chief of Staff who has such authority. The other members of this team
21 don't have such authority. Only he has the authority to deal with
22 problems in the areas of responsibility mentioned.
23 Q. What authority did Mr. Sefer Halilovic, the accused in this case,
24 have and according to this order and in your opinion?
25 A. To deal with all problems by issuing orders, if these problems
1 didn't have a radical effect on the organisation and structure of the
2 units where he was carrying out an inspection. So this means that he
3 could issue any kind of orders that concerned the life and work of units.
4 He could issue orders to take certain steps that had to do with arranging
5 combat positions, to initiate certain combat operations. And if more
6 radical measures had to be taken, if it was necessary to take measures
7 which were not usual, in such cases he had to submit a proposal to the
8 commander, and it was only then that he could issue the relevant orders.
9 Radical measures would be measures that have to be taken in a way that
10 changes the situation within a unit. But in the zone of responsibility of
11 a unit, I think that all the orders issued were orders that regulated the
12 life and work of units in the areas of responsibility mentioned, and this
13 is authority confirmed by the supreme military body in these areas, in the
14 areas of responsibility of the 4th and 6th Corps.
15 And as I said, radical measures involve measures which have an
16 effect on the situation in the unit itself.
17 Q. So this would be an authority to the Chief of Staff to issue
18 orders, this document.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: There's been no objection to leading up to now,
22 but it's the witness's testimony and not those propositions from the
23 Prosecutor that should be given.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: So I'd object to that leading question.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may rephrase your question, Ms. Chana.
2 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I thought I was simply repeating what
3 the witness had said, but I will rephrase it.
4 Q. So what authority did the accused have by this order, with
5 respect to orders?
6 A. He could issue orders. He could draft orders that he would sign
7 himself. He could issue orders that had to do with the life and work of
8 units, provided that these orders did not affect the actual situation
9 within the unit itself, provided it didn't change it radically. He could
10 also issue other orders because he wasn't duty-bound to explain to any
11 superior commanders whether measures were radical or not. I or General
12 Pasalic couldn't know whether General Halilovic had consulted the
13 commander. So he could have issued any kind of order. He could have
14 issued a radical order too, and this order would have had to be executed.
15 But according to the line followed when reporting, we would have informed
16 him and the commander that we had received such an order and had carried
17 it out.
18 Regular reports were provided at the end of every day to the
19 Supreme Command Staff, and the commander was informed of such reports. So
20 if any radical orders had been issued, the commander would have been aware
21 of the fact. He would have found out about it within one day.
22 Q. Yes. So these orders, would they be binding on every -- all the
23 other units?
24 A. Binding? Binding orders. But without this document, the Chief
25 of Staff could issue binding orders, and we received binding orders from
1 General Halilovic without this authorisation, so there were such orders
2 too. Because he wasn't duty-bound to show me his authorisation. If he'd
3 been in Sarajevo and drafted an order, well, that was a binding order for
5 Q. And who --
6 A. And he probably wouldn't have acted in this way if he had not
7 been authorised by the commander.
8 Q. That was the question I was going to ask; who authorised him.
9 And you've just answered it.
10 Now, Mr. Gusic, I would like to take you to the events in
11 Grabovica. Did you ever attend a meeting in Zenica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember what date this was?
14 A. I think it was the 21st and 22nd of August, as far as I can
15 recall. I think it was the 21st. I may be wrong, but it was certainly
16 the second half of August.
17 Q. And who was present at this meeting?
18 A. This meeting was attended by commander -- the commander, General
19 Delic; the chief, General Halilovic; the heads of the administrations,
20 General Suljevic, General Bilajac, General Vranj; General Zorlak.
21 Q. Can you summarise --
22 A. The corps commanders all except for the commander of the
23 5th Corps. There was the Air Force commander. I may have omitted to
24 mention someone, but I think that's it for the most part.
25 Q. Other than Sefer Halilovic, were there two other deputy
1 commanders there, the other two deputy commanders of the -- the army?
2 A. I don't think so. I don't think so.
3 Q. I would take you now to this document, Mr. Gusic, 01831684,
5 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, please, Your Honour.
6 Q. Now that it's up on Sanction, before I ask you to refer to it, I
7 would like to ask you: What were the general nature of the discussions at
8 the Zenica meeting?
9 A. This was the first meeting at which all the commanders had
10 gathered except for the commander of the 5th Corps. So this was the first
11 meeting of corps commanders; however, the commander of the 5th Corps was
12 prevented from coming, as was the commander of Gorazde and the commander
13 of Srebrenica. Those three commanders could not attend the meeting for
14 good reason.
15 In the first part of that meeting, an analysis was carried out of
16 the situation in the areas of responsibility of the various corps. There
17 was discussion of the need to plan new combat operations, the
18 implementation of measures to preserve what had already been achieved, and
19 some general guidelines were issued as to what should be planned in the
20 forthcoming period and what kind of combat operations should be carried
21 out. Some decisions were made about the organisation of the units. There
22 were some doctrinal issues that were debated about the organisation and
23 structure of the units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
24 finally, the meeting ended with the commander setting out his conclusions,
25 and the document I have before me is a document that arrived after this
1 meeting was held. It arrived in the units.
2 Q. And, of course, at the front of the document, you have those who
3 were present at the meeting, in which you are listed, and we have the
4 commander, Rasim Delic; the accused, Sefer Halilovic. So are these the
5 attendees that you remember?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Then there are conclusions. These are not the minutes of the
8 Zenica meeting, are they?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Then, number 10, on page 4 of my English version.
11 A. Where it says "Tasks"? Under the heading "Tasks"?
12 Q. Yes. So this is the forthcoming combat actions you were just
13 talking about.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And lower down, you as a commander of the 6th Corps were sent
16 to -- to ask for the necessary organisation and mobilisation for the
17 functioning of the corps.
18 Was the name "Operation Neretva" ever raised at this particular
19 meeting, Mr. Gusic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. But was it discussed there were going to be operations -- combat
22 operations in the Neretva Valley?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Once again, Your Honour, there should be no
24 leading on these matters. In any event, there is a transcript of this,
25 and if the witness needs to have his memory refreshed as to what the
1 discussion was, he can. But the objection now is confined to no leading
2 and no putting of propositions to the witness like that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I agree with you.
4 MS. CHANA: I'll rephrase it, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. CHANA:
7 Q. Where were these combat activities supposed to take place?
8 A. The 6th Corps was given three axes along which it was supposed to
9 plan carry out combat actions. You can see that in paragraph 10.
10 The second item, "Operative Group East" from the 3rd Corps is
11 reassigned to the 6th Corps, the boundary between the 3rd and the 6th
12 Corps being -- this is the axis towards Prozor. The second one is between
13 the 1st and the 6th Corps -- or rather, the areas where their boundary
14 line is between the corps. This is the area in the direction of Kiseljak,
15 that is, Sarajevo. And the third area is in the direction of the
16 4th Corps, that is, the town of Mostar and the valley of the River
17 Neretva. And pursuant to this, the corps command planned certain
18 activities and the corps command actively worked on this second task,
19 which is to stabilise the lines at Igman and to organise combat operations
20 in the direction of Kiseljak, which is why the forward command post in
21 Fojnica was set up, which I mentioned before. This was the forward
22 command post of the 6th Corps, and Dzevad Tirak, my Chief of Staff, was
23 its commander.
24 The other activities were carried out on the Neretva and Prozor
25 axes, and these activities were conducted by the forward command post of
1 the staff of the Supreme Command headed by General Halilovic.
2 Q. When did you --
3 A. This is not a plan of the operation. This is not even a
4 preparatory order in form. This is simply an indication that something
5 should be planned along these axes, and specific plans had to be worked
6 out afterwards.
7 Q. That's -- that's very clear. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
8 Did you ever hear of Operation Neretva as a military operation?
9 A. Later, after everything had happened, that's when I heard about
10 it. But in the preparation phase and in the initial stages of
11 implementing the operation, I hadn't heard about it. I heard about it for
12 the first time when the operation was already underway. I'm referring to
13 the name of the operation. I knew that there were preparations, that
14 forces were being brought into the area. I knew the axis along which they
15 would go. And I knew most of the forces that would be activated there. I
16 knew who was in charge of the combat activities. But I did not have
17 access to the plans. I did not know who approved them or how they had
18 been approved.
19 Q. What else did you know how this plan was to be conducted?
20 A. The plan was to be conducted in two directions. There were the
21 two areas between the corps. One was to be in the Neretva River Valley,
22 and the other one was to be in the direction of the town of Prozor. If
23 you analyse the terrain, those are two very important axes which would
24 enable the army forces to join up, to link up -- to link up with the city
25 of Sarajevo, and they would solve all the problems faced by the command of
1 the 4th Corps linking up to the corps of the army, and then toward Prozor
2 we would take the dominant features that would protect our flanks and
3 provide far greater security for life and work along the upper part of the
4 Neretva River.
5 I was present at several meetings where there was discussion of
6 this. The main axis, General Halilovic said to start with that it would
7 be in the Neretva River Valley. However, we had a meeting in Dugo Polje
8 where he changed his decision, and he said the main axis would be in the
9 direction of Prozor.
10 Q. Mr. Gusic --
11 A. Then --
12 Q. [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MS. CHANA:
15 Q. Can I stop you there, Mr. Gusic, because we will come to these
16 meetings a little later on. I just want to keep the -- the Grabovica
17 incidents at this time.
18 Can I go back and ask you: When were you informed of this
19 operation, if you ever were?
20 A. The first information that the operation was going on was in
21 early September, the 2nd or the 3rd of September, when the units left
22 Sarajevo. Because General Halilovic had issued an order that the units
23 should leave Sarajevo, go to Bradina, and be conducted towards Jablanica,
24 and that was the first information we had that an operation was going on.
25 Q. And who informed you?
1 A. I received an order from General Halilovic that I was to receive
2 the units at Bradina. I wasn't informed. I was given the order to
3 receive the units at Bradina, because General Halilovic was not duty-bound
4 to inform me about his activities. According to the chain of command, he
5 had to inform only the commander of the armed forces, Rasim Delic. He was
6 not duty-bound to inform me of what he was doing.
7 Q. Which units are you referring to, Mr. Gusic, that you had to
9 A. These were the units of the 9th and 10th Brigade, the Delta
10 Brigade, and another unit -- there were four units. I can't recall all of
11 their names. I can't recall. It escapes me now. But I think there is a
12 document. I think there is an order where you can see it.
13 Q. Were you asked to take part in this operation?
14 A. No. No. The units were asked and I was asked to attend some
15 meetings evaluating the forces, but I was never given any specific tasks
16 in connection with Neretva. I was not in charge of any axis or area of
17 responsibility, nor was I commanding any units participating in these
18 combat activities. I was not given any other tasks except putting some of
19 my units at their disposal, preparing some units, and giving them to --
20 making them be at the disposal of the forward command post.
21 Q. Mr. Gusic, I will now show you a document, 02196110, MFI110.
22 MS. CHANA: Can we go to Sanction, please, Your Honour.
23 Q. Could you look at this, Mr. Gusic, and tell the -- Your Honours
24 what -- what it is.
25 A. This is a report. This document did not look like this in its
1 original form. The format would be slightly different. This is the
2 electronic format which was obtained in the communications centre of the
3 Supreme Command, and such documents start with the indication of the
4 communications centre receiving them, the file -- the computer -- the name
5 of the computer file, then in the right-hand corner the person who
6 received them, and then in the left-hand corner the date and time of
7 receipt, and then they would follow the content of the document which I
8 sent to General Halilovic. This is a report. It's about implementing a
9 task. I can't recall precisely what task this refers to. It was probably
10 providing some kind of support, because in the second sentence I mention
11 Dr. Cibo, that's is Safet Cibo, he was the president of the municipalities
12 of Konjic, Jablanica, and Prozor. And he was a representative of the
13 authorities who provided logistic support to the units of the army. He
14 would provide certain foodstuffs, fuel, medicines, and other necessities
15 having to do with the life and work of the units.
16 This probably refers to fuel, and probably the tasks had to do
17 with some kind of transport because I had been unable to contact Dr. Cibo.
18 He was the mayor of three municipalities, so he might have been away.
19 Q. Mr. Gusic, we'll take a lot of time if you explain each document
20 in that kind of detail. What I really would like you to say is when you
21 say in this document you're not in a position to accomplish the
22 assignment, could you just explain what that means?
23 A. Very well. It means that the task was closely connected to the
24 support I was supposed to get from Dr. Cibo as the mayor of the
25 municipality. As he had not given me those means, I had to follow the
1 procedure and say that I could not perform this task so that other
2 measures could be taken. I wished to inform General Halilovic that it was
3 not possible to carry out an activity that he had ordered for reasons
4 which I feel are objective.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, this Operation Neretva, I would like now to go
6 back to that and ask you where was it to be coordinated and conducted
7 from; did you know?
8 A. The operation was coordinated and carried out from the Jablanica
9 forward command post, and General Halilovic was in charge of it.
10 Q. Who else was -- you said General Halilovic was in charge. What
11 other members were part of this IKM? Was it called IKM, this forward
12 command post?
13 MS. CHANA: Sorry for leading that, Your Honour. It's just --
14 it's the Bosnian acronym for the forward command post.
15 A. I can't recall the exact date I was there.
16 Q. No, Mr. Gusic. I asked you who were the other members.
17 A. The members of the command post: There was General Bilajac,
18 Brigadier Vehbija Karic, General Zicro Suljevic, the security organ Namik
19 Dzanko, I think, then it was secured. The command post was in the
20 administrative building of the Jablanica hydroelectric plant, and it was
21 secured by the special purpose unit called Zulfikar. It had its
22 communications centre. I visited this forward command post once or twice.
23 I'm certain that I visited it at least once while it was being set up.
24 Q. Can we go slowly, please. Where exactly was it located again?
25 Could you please tell the -- Your Honours.
1 A. The command post was in the administrative building of the
2 Jablanica hydroelectric power plant. These were offices in which the
3 forward command post was situated. This was within the compound of the
4 hydroelectric power plant, which could be secured with a small number of
5 troops. It had its telephone line, its communications centre. First they
6 used the communications centre of the 44th Brigade. Later on he had his
7 own communications centre. And I feel that the officers who were at the
8 forward command post with General Halilovic at the time were and still are
9 some of the most professional that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had.
10 General Bilajac, General Suljevic, Brigadier Karic, and certainly General
11 Halilovic. I think that this was a command post that was competent and
12 able to lead the forces on the ground. It was a team with military
13 authority and every other kind of authority with all of us. They were
14 experienced senior soldiers who had been soldiers for a long time.
15 Q. And were these experienced soldiers that you -- the members of
16 the inspection team you've just told us about, were they in your area of
17 responsibility? Did you ever see them there?
18 A. Yes. Yes. The members of the team - General Bilajac, General
19 Zicro Suljevic, and the late General Kemo Karisik - frequently came to my
20 area of responsibility very often, quite apart from this task of theirs.
21 And during this assignment, they would frequently come to the command post
22 in Konjic, especially Generals Bilajac and Suljevic.
23 Q. Now, you said that Sefer Halilovic was the commander at the IKM;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. Could he in that capacity issue binding orders, the IKM, to you?
2 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. Would you -- would you carry out all orders given to you by the
4 IKM under that -- the command of Sefer Halilovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Was there ever a time you would refuse to carry out his orders?
7 A. No.
8 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, at this stage I want to very quickly, so
9 I do not waste too much of the Court's time, show five documents, Your
10 Honours, and I will just give you all the names so that they can come up
11 one after the other, which is 00554674, MFI111; 02196114, MFI112;
12 00577879, MFI113; 02196115, MFI114; 00577876, MFI115.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, might I just request that
14 the P numbers of those be provided if it's been done in paper copy. That
15 would assist us.
16 MS. CHANA: [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MS. CHANA:
19 Q. Mr. Gusic, would you --
20 JUDGE LIU: Well --
21 MS. CHANA: Sorry.
22 JUDGE LIU: I believe that at this moment we also don't have that
23 number yet, but for the later submissions we'll ask the -- the party who
24 adduce any document to get in touch with the registrar or court deputy of
25 this case beforehand so that they could put a so-called MFI number on it.
1 That will greatly facilitate our work.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: And, Your Honour, I just -- frankly my ears were
3 slow then. I'm trying to accustom to the e-court, and I wasn't taking
4 note of the ERN numbers as they came there. So I wonder if the Prosecutor
5 would be good enough to identify for me now which are the P numbers on the
6 list provided.
7 MS. CHANA: Yes, of course.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Before they go to the witness so that I can see
9 if I have any objection.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. That's just what we want too.
11 MS. CHANA: I'm sorry, Your Honours. Apologies to the Defence.
12 I do have the exhibit numbers here. That would be --
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe the 65 ter number.
15 MS. CHANA: Exactly, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: That will be much easier.
17 MS. CHANA: We will refer to them as 65 ter numbers.
18 41, 48, 75, 79, 81.
19 Now -- may I continue, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
21 MS. CHANA:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Gusic, when you see these documents, I want you to be
23 fairly rapid about this because I'm not as worried that you comment on the
24 contents of them, but I want you to tell me what they are, who they are to
25 or from, so if you take each one and tell me -- let's take the first one,
1 which is MFI111.
2 First of all, does this look like an authentic document to you?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I'll pose an objection to that.
4 Your Honour, this witness -- some of these documents, it's plain,
5 are not -- are not necessarily documents that he may have seen. I make it
6 clear, I don't object to this being done so that they can be, but a
7 comment like -- a question like that one, doesn't appear to be authentic.
8 It begs many a question of expertise. And if he's going to be asked as to
9 authenticity, he better be asked whether he's seen it before first.
10 Because it's now 2005.
11 JUDGE LIU: I think this question is superfulous.
12 MS. CHANA: Yes.
13 JUDGE LIU: There's no need to ask this question, especially to
14 this witness.
15 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, what I really meant is does it look like
16 a document that he has seen.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe you could ask whether this witness has
18 seen this document or not before.
19 MS. CHANA:
20 Q. Have you seen this document before, Mr. Gusic, other than the
21 time I was showing it to you during proofing?
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. Do you recognize this document?
24 A. This is a document issued by the command of the 4th Corps and
25 signed by Commander Pasalic, the late Arif Pasalic.
1 Q. And who is this -- purportedly this order addressed to?
2 A. I can't see very well, but as far as I can see, it says: "IKM of
3 the Supreme Command Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina."
5 Q. And it's from Commander Arif Pasalic, or that's what it purports
6 to say.
7 A. Arif Pasalic, yes.
8 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, we will be at some later stage proofing
9 the -- the documents, but at this moment the witness is just commenting
10 and I'm marking them for identification.
11 Q. The next one, Mr. Gusic, which is 112. Could you tell us who
12 this is to and from purportedly.
13 A. I haven't seen this document either because it was sent by
14 General Pasalic, again to the IKM of the Supreme Command Staff in
16 Q. The next one now, have you seen this one before?
17 A. No. I couldn't have seen this one either because, again, it's
18 from the 4th Corps.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to whom is it?
20 A. To the Jablanica IKM. And again, the commander is the late Arif
22 Q. And the last document.
23 A. Again, it's addressed to the IKM of the Supreme Command Staff to
24 General Halilovic personally. The commander is Arif Pasalic, the late
25 Arif Pasalic. Again, it's from the 4th Corps, and I couldn't have seen
1 this document either because it wasn't forwarded to me. And it shouldn't
2 have been forwarded to me either.
3 Q. Why shouldn't -- why should it not have been forwarded to you?
4 A. Well, the corps commanders were at the same level of command, so
5 it wasn't their duty to provide personal documents to each other but only
6 to the superior command. They could only provide documents for
7 information if certain actions were taken in the vicinity of the zone of
8 responsibility of the adjacent commander and then this would affect the
9 life and work of the unit of the adjacent commander, as this was not the
10 case in this document.
11 Q. And the last document.
12 A. Again, this is a document from the 4th Corps command. It was
13 signed by Tetak [phoen], uncle, the Chief of Staff of the 4th Corps. It's
14 to the Supreme Command staff IKM, and General Halilovic and Zulfikar
15 Alispago. Personally, again, I have not seen this document before, and it
16 has nothing to do with me, but it probably relates to the other document
17 that I was looking at a minute ago because, as far as I could see when I
18 looked at it briefly, an OG North 2 was formed and its commander was the
19 commander of the special purposes unit, Zulfikar, that is to say, Zulfikar
20 Alispago, and that is probably why the Chief of Staff provided it to his
21 unit and to the superior command.
22 Q. Now, you did have an opportunity to see these documents at -- and
23 give them detailed consideration during proofing, did you not? You looked
24 at them?
25 A. Yes. During proofing, yes.
1 Q. And you've read them.
2 MS. CHANA: I mean, Your Honour, I can wait for the witness to
3 read them all here again, but would that be acceptable to the Defence that
4 he's read the contents of these documents?
5 MR. MORRISSEY: The Defence has no doubt that he's read the
6 contents of the documents.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think there's no problem.
8 But I wonder if it's the proper time for us to take a break at
9 this moment.
10 MS. CHANA: Yes. Yes, Your Honour, it is.
11 JUDGE LIU: We'll take a 20-minute break and then we'll resume at
12 quarter to 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Chana.
16 MS. CHANA: Your Honours.
17 JUDGE LIU: Would you please indicate how much time do you still
18 need to finish the testimony of this witness.
19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I'm going to endeavour to complete it
20 today, but I may run over 10, 15 minutes into the next session. But I'm
21 going to endeavour to finish today.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may proceed.
23 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Mr. Gusic, just before the break, I had shown you five documents.
25 Now I'm going to show you another three. And these are 01853829, and
1 that's MFI116 and 65 ter 45; the next one is 01853828, MFI117, 65 ter 46;
2 the next one is 02131909, MFI118, 65 ter 53.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: [Microphone not activated]
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honour. I forgot about the
7 We'd object to this -- the one that's labeled number 53,
8 02131909, for that to be shown to this witness.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, would you please tell me what is the 65 ter
10 number. The 65 ter number, I'm sorry.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: 53, Your Honour.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honour. I thought I said that in the
13 initial position. We'd object to that one being shown to this witness.
14 JUDGE LIU: What's the reason for that?
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, it's on a different topic. It seems to
16 be -- it's described as being an order from the IKM at Jablanica to the
17 4th Corps to send an individual, Mr. Alispahic, for a meeting. It's
18 different from the reporting and the, if you like, the matters which this
19 witness would be familiar with by way of internal protocols and so on like
20 that. It's just a message.
21 Now, again without pre-empting anything about witnesses,
22 Mr. Alispahic is likely to be one of some controversy as well. So we
23 object to documents relating to him. Unless the witness has seen this
24 document himself, in which case we've got no basis for the objection.
25 JUDGE LIU: Any response?
1 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, there is no difference with this
2 document from the others, but I will put it to the witness and ask him
3 whether he's seen it before. Otherwise, I will -- I will show it through
4 Mr. Alispahic.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, generally speaking, if the Defence team did not
6 show any prejudice to their positions by showing this document, so we'll
7 allow all documents to be used by the Prosecution team.
8 You may proceed.
9 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Would you look at the first document, Mr. Gusic. Like you did
11 with the last ones, could you please tell us what this document purports
12 to be.
13 A. This is a document -- it's an explanation in the form of a report
14 from the members of the Supreme Command Staff to General Halilovic, and it
15 is about combatants that General Karavelic has to forward. And they're
16 requesting a more detailed explanation. This has the form of a report,
17 and there is also a request for consultations, and it also asks for
18 information on the meeting held the previous evening. So this is a report
19 sent by the members of the Supreme Command Staff and the IKM, and it's
20 addressed to the commander of the Supreme Command; that is to say, to
21 General Halilovic. It's interesting to see that it was forwarded from the
22 Jablanica IKM and that it arrived in Sarajevo. It was received by the
23 communications centre in Sarajevo, and that's all I could say about the
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
1 And the next one? Who is it from?
2 A. The same individual signed it. It was forwarded to the same
3 address. And this is a report, an explanation stating that they can't
4 receive certain troops from General Karavelic. And they're informing
5 General Halilovic that if they don't have a reserve force of 200 men, they
6 won't be able to carry out the task that they had planned to carry out.
7 They are requesting vehicles -- they're requesting that the vehicles went
8 to fetch those soldiers return to Jablanica if they failed to secure the
9 forces that were requested.
10 So again, this is a kind of report and request. At the end of
11 document, under paragraph 2, there is a request. The address is the same;
12 it's from the Jablanica IKM. And its destination is in Sarajevo.
13 Q. And the third document, Mr. Gusic.
14 A. This is an order that doesn't contain all the elements of an
15 order. But since the Minister of Internal Affairs at the time is
16 concerned, I think that it's logical for it to be addressed to the corps
17 command by General Halilovic because the communications between the 4th
18 and the 6th Corps were not normal. So in order for this to arrive in
19 Konjic -- in order to arrive in Konjic for a meeting with Mr. Rusmir
20 Mahmutcehajic, it was necessary to keep this document confidential.
21 That's why it says it's strictly confidential. But it doesn't contain the
22 elements of a standard order; although, this could be an order. In fact,
23 it is an order. It's an order that has been issued by General Halilovic.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Gusic, you have seen these series of documents, and I
25 would like to ask you: What do you -- what is the gist of these
2 A. Well, the first series that I had a look at before the break,
3 these documents related to the duties of the commander of the 4th Corps,
4 with regard to the Jablanica IKM and General Halilovic, and these
5 documents had the form of reports or orders to his subordinate units.
6 Whereas, the second series of documents, the last three documents, have
7 the form of reports or information from the IKM. And again, this is an
8 order from General Halilovic to the late Arif Pasalic, General Arif
9 Pasalic. So they're a series of documents consisting of reports and
10 orders from the 4th Corps to the IKM and from the IKM to the 4th Corps,
11 and there's also internal correspondence from the members of the Supreme
12 Command Staff, or rather, from the members of the Jablanica IKM.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
14 Now, I'd like to ask you where you were personally in September,
15 starting from 6th to the 20th.
16 A. I think I was in the Konjic and Fojnica sector. Around the 20th,
17 I was in the Fojnica sector, my IKM in Fojnica. That was around the 20th.
18 Q. Did you ever hear anything about Grabovica during that period?
19 A. At that period -- well, two or three or five days later from my
20 assistant for security, Eminovic Nermin I received an oral report
21 according to which a crime had been committed down there, and I was
22 informed that he had sent a police company to the scene but the police
23 company did not enter the scene since they said that there was ongoing
24 combat action, that it was under control, and that this action would be
25 organised by the Jablanica IKM, or those measures would be taken by the
1 Jablanica IKM.
2 Q. So who was -- you said Eminovic was your chief of security, is
3 that correct, in your corps?
4 A. No. He was my assistant for security. He was an assistant for
5 all security matters in the corps. He was on a level with an assistant
6 for intelligence or the assistant for morale, the assistant for logistics,
7 the assistant for legal affairs. So as far as his professional work was
8 concerned, he was on the same level as the Chief of Staff because the
9 Chief of Staff was in charge of the operations in the staff. So these
10 officers were directly responsible to me for carrying out certain tasks,
11 certain professional tasks within the field of their duties, and Eminovic
12 was one of those officers.
13 Q. Can you recall exactly what he told you about this incident?
14 A. It's difficult to remember all the details because a lot of time
15 has passed since then. All I know is that at the time he told me that the
16 units that had left Sarajevo had been involved in an incident, that people
17 had been killed, that civilians had probably been killed. And he said
18 that as soon as he received that information, he sent a police company
19 from the 6th Corps police battalion to the scene. However, they weren't
20 able to enter the area because the officer in charge of security affairs
21 at the Jablanica IKM said that the time was not right because of combat
22 operations, and he said that these measures would be taken and organised
23 by the IKM.
24 Q. Sorry.
25 A. Naturally, I have not been able to remember everything. I've
1 just used my own words to tell you what happened. But I think Eminovic
2 informed the security administration in the Supreme Command Staff in
3 Sarajevo of this event. This was the procedure that should have been
5 Q. What did you understand by the Sarajevo units when you said --
6 what do you -- what do you mean?
7 A. Well, these units were units that we had received a few days
8 before and we helped them to get through to Jablanica. Parts of the 9th
9 and 10th Brigades, parts of the Delta Brigade, and parts of a unit --
10 well, I can't remember the name of the command of the unit. The order
11 stated that these men should be received and that we should help them to
12 get through. So those are the men from these units.
13 Q. I would now like to show you a document, 04034725, MFI119, and
14 65 ter 166.
15 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, I understand that -- what you are going to
17 say, Mr. Morrissey. And during the break, we have received a copy of this
18 document, and we believe that there's no, as I said before, immediate
19 danger of prejudice to the Defence team, and the contents of this document
20 we also believe is relevant to this case, so we'll allow the Prosecution
21 to use this document at this stage. But it does not mean that this
22 document has been admitted into the evidence. At a later stage, the
23 Defence team has the full right to challenge the admission of this
25 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 You may proceed, Ms. Chana.
3 MS. CHANA: I'm grateful, Your Honours.
4 Q. Would you look at this document, and would you tell us what it
5 is, please, Mr. Gusic.
6 A. This is a report from the military police battalion commander to
7 the 6th Corps and to my assistant for security, Nermin Eminovic. It
8 concerns the events that took place on the 10th of September. It concerns
9 action he took on the 10th of September in Jablanica and in order to
10 control and assist in the work of the subordinate unit in Jablanica. This
11 was a unit of the 44th Brigade. It's not very legible, but it has to do
12 with the genocide over the Croatian population in Grabovica. So he's
13 saying that he went to the scene and that Namik Dzankovic told him that
14 nothing was being done with regard to the matter and that he had received
15 this order from Mr. Vehbija Karic.
16 I haven't seen this document before, and it wasn't necessary for
17 me to see it because this is correspondence between -- or from the
18 professional organs to my security organ, and it's probably on the basis
19 of this information or similar information that Nermin Eminovic informed
20 me of this event.
21 Q. Mr. Gusic, I will take you to the last paragraph of this
22 particular document, where it says: "We went to Jablanica, where I
23 carried out consultations with Namik Dzankovic from Sarajevo UVB Military
24 Security Administration and he told me that the SVK, Supreme Command Staff
25 IKM forward command post knew that and that it had been ordered not to do
1 anything because of the planned operation."
2 Could you explain what this means and were you told this by your
3 security officer?
4 A. Well, perhaps this is what he said or perhaps he said it in the
5 way that I put it earlier on. But it means that the commander of the
6 military police battalion saw Namik Dzankovic from the military security
7 administration. This is an administration department within the Supreme
8 Command Staff in Sarajevo. And he was told since he was familiar with the
9 problem, that the Supreme Command Staff IKM was familiar with the problem,
10 and that an order had been issued not to do anything because of planned
11 combat operations. He received this order from Mr. Vehbija Karic. The
12 order not to do anything was received by Dzankovic from Vehbija Karic.
13 Q. And did this information -- did Mr. Eminovic give you this
14 information that you alluded to earlier?
15 A. Well, not these details. I can't remember that he told me that
16 Vehbija Karic had issued an order not to do anything, but he told me about
17 the event. He said that the police had been down there to provide
18 assistance and that that assistance had been refused. That's what he told
19 me. As to who issued an order not to do anything -- well, he probably
20 didn't tell me because that wasn't important for me, because Vehbija Karic
21 was a member of the Jablanica IKM. He was directly under General
22 Halilovic, and I couldn't order him to change anything and nor could his
23 order in any way affect my decisions.
24 Q. He may not have told you the specifics of names and details, but
25 what the general report of it, was that communicated to you, as per this
1 particular document and what you see? Whatever you see which has been
2 said in this document, was that conveyed to you?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Again, that is -- that is a leading question
4 that you can see from what went before is an attempt to repair the
5 problems. The witness shouldn't be asked a leading question at this
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 Ms. Chana, you should build the case step by step, one question
9 after another.
10 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honours. It's just that I thought the
11 witness had said that these are -- this is the information he was given.
12 JUDGE LIU: I understand that. But you should do it smoothly,
13 one peel after another.
14 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honours. I'm guided by you.
15 Q. Mr. Gusic, I'd like to go back to this conversation you had with
16 your chief of security, Mr. Eminovic. Can you look at this document,
17 please, and whatever it says. And can you please tell the Chamber from
18 this information that you see what you were personally told.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, excuse me. Could the witness stop for a
20 moment. Once again, this is an attempt to force the witness's hand. The
21 witness has said already what he can remember, and I have no objection to
22 my friend asking him to think again and try to remember more. But to ask
23 him whether he's prepared to adopt something from a thing that he's never
24 seen is really, in my submission, impermissible. It's an attempt to get
25 what has not successfully been got so far. Therefore, I don't object to
1 my friend seeking the detail she wants by legitimate means, but not to put
2 it into his mouth, so to speak. So that's the objection.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, we don't see your way, Mr. Morrissey, in this
5 But, Ms. Chana, could you ask a simple question, a very simple
6 question to this witness.
7 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honours.
8 Q. What did Mr. Eminovic tell you?
9 A. Nermin Eminovic, my assistant for security, transmitted to me the
10 information relating to this report. I'm not sure he told me the number
11 of people who were killed. I don't think he told me the manner in which
12 they were killed. But he did tell me that a crime had been committed,
13 that the units that had arrived from Sarajevo had participated in the
14 crime, that a military police unit had attempted to go to the scene but
15 had not succeeded in doing so. And as far as I can recall, that's what he
16 told me. More or less. He told me that the problem there had occurred
17 and that the forward command post knew of the event, that the IKM knew
18 about it.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
20 Now, I would like to ask you about the troops in the -- in that
21 region at the time. Do you know of any subordination orders personally
22 that were given to any troops?
23 A. Yes. I also had such orders.
24 Q. I will show you now --
25 MS. CHANA: Would you give me a moment, Your Honour.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MS. CHANA: It's 01850315, MFI120, and 65 ter 35. May we refer
3 to Sanction, please, Your Honour.
4 Q. Could you please tell us about this document.
5 A. This is an order on organisational changes in the zone of
6 responsibility of the 1st, 4th, and 6th Corps, and it's based on the
7 decision of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 Changes are ordered in the organic composition of the 3rd Corps, the
9 6th Corps, the sabotage and reconnaissance unit is entering the 6th Corps,
10 the Crni Labudovi, or Black Swans, are reincorporated within the structure
11 of the 6th Corps. The Zulfikar and Silver Fox units shall form part of
12 the structure of the 4th Corps. The Muderiz Independent Unit. And then
13 the order of the 4th of July of the staff of the Supreme Command is no
14 longer in force. The commands of the 4th and 6th Corps are to take over
15 the units referred to with respect to all elements of combat readiness,
16 combat use, organisation, and so forth. The command of the 4th Corps is
17 tasked with providing financial and logistical support.
18 Q. Would you look at number 7, please, Mr. Gusic.
19 A. Number 7: The officer at the IKM shall provide the necessary
20 specialised assistance to the commands of the 4th and 6th Corps in
21 executing the tasks set forth in this order. To this end, the commands of
22 the 4th and 6th Corps shall establish the necessary contacts with officers
23 at the forward command post, the staff of the Supreme Command of the BH
24 Armed Forces."
25 Q. Mr. Gusic -- I'm sorry, Mr. Gusic. What was your understanding
1 of this?
2 A. This is an order to the officers, that is, to the IKM, to give
3 assistance -- specialised assistance to the commands of the 4th and
4 6th Corps in establishing the new organisation pursuant to this order.
5 This implies the transfer of one unit to the 2nd Corps and vice versa. If
6 we connect this to paragraph 4 - and it is connected - they're to help in
7 all the elements of combat readiness and combat use. They are to help
8 these units to find their place in -- within the corps, to be given tasks,
9 and in accordance with the new structure to carry out new planning, and
10 based on these plans, to make use of these units.
11 Q. Who is to make use of these units?
12 A. It follows from this order that these units were to be used by
13 the corps commands and the specialised assistance in the use of these
14 units in the initial stages. Until these units were brought fully into
15 their establishment, they had to be given the necessary support. This
16 order does not directly indicate any specific combat operations. It is
17 aimed at preparing these units for their future use. It doesn't give any
18 specific tasks to be carried out by those units.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
20 I will now refer you to document 00 -- 02122414, and it's 51 on
21 the 65 ter list, and it's MFI121.
22 Can you tell us about this document, please.
23 A. This is an order on resubordination, the resubordination of units
24 in the combat disposition.
25 The first part of the document: The preamble mentions the units,
1 Zulfikar, Muderiz, Akrepi, and Silver Fox. And then tasks are given.
2 These units, together with the Dreznica battalion, make up the OG North 2.
3 This is a temporary formation set up to carry out a specific task. The
4 commander of the OG is appointed. His name is Zulfikar -- he's the
5 commander of the Zulfikar Unit. His name is Zulfikar Alispago. And this
6 document is addressed to him. The area of responsibility is defined.
7 Q. Would you look at item --
8 A. And under 3, the task was supposed to be defined but the task
9 will be defined by the forward command post of the Supreme Command Staff
10 in Jablanica. This was not the usual way of proceeding because the --
11 whoever established this unit was supposed to give it its task. But this
12 is evidently a question of resubordination, which is why no specific task
13 is mentioned and room is left open for the IKM in Jablanica to assign a
14 specific task.
15 In point 4, the commander of the Zulfikar Unit is given the task
16 of informing all commanders of the units with this order. This means that
17 only Mr. Zulfikar Alispago received this order, and that's why this task
18 is given. The other three commanders are to be informed of it.
19 The command was issued by General Pasalic.
20 Q. Is there any connection between this document and the last one
21 you just saw?
22 A. Yes. Yes. The connection is evident in the preamble. I haven't
23 looked at the number, but I think they even refer to the number of the
24 other document.
25 Up to that time, these units had not been part of the 4th Corps.
1 It was only by the previous document that you showed me that they became
2 part of the 4th Corps. That's when they were deployed within the combat
3 disposition of the 4th Corps.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 Did you yourself have any authority in this particular area, your
7 A. How do you mean "authority"? Do you mean in carrying out combat
9 Q. Yes. Authority in respect of the command between you and -- the
10 chain of command. What was your role, given that the IKM was there?
11 A. We have just seen the rules of service and the
12 superior-subordinate relationship, so I think that my answer is
13 superfluous. But since you asked, I could not have any control over those
14 units because there was a senior command and the senior officer directly
15 on the ground in command of those forces.
16 Q. I'd like to show you another document. There are two actually.
17 I'll just read out both names. 02141683, MFI122, 65 ter number 47; and
18 the other one is 01805262, 65 ter number 39, MFI123.
19 MS. CHANA: May we refer to Sanction, please.
20 Q. Could you please tell us about this document.
21 A. This is a combat order in which a task is assigned and
22 resubordination is carried out of part of the units within the framework
23 of, as it says here, the Zulfikar Reconnaissance and Sabotage Brigade, the
24 Dreznica Battalion and units of the 1st Corps are mentioned here. These
25 are probably the units I've mentioned before. Then the artillery weapons
1 are enumerated, which are put at their disposal. Some brief information
2 is provided as to the expected enemy response. The command of the
3 6th Corps is tasked with providing six field telephones. The commander of
4 the Zulfikar Brigade is tasked with taking over the hydroelectric power
5 plant on Neretva River, and he's tasked with regulating the level of the
6 water because this will probably affect the future combat operations, and
7 instructions are given as to the use of the distributed technical
8 equipment and materiel. And this command was delivered to the Zulfikar
9 Reconnaissance Sabotage Brigade, or rather, its commander, the 6th Corps
10 commander, and the 4th Corps commander, as well as the archives, to
11 General Halilovic personally and to the commander of the Dreznica
13 Colleagues from the communications centre are asked to forward
14 this document from the 6th Corps to the 4th Corps in Mostar. This is a
15 standard operative order, a combat order.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
17 Can I now refer you to the next document. Could you please tell
18 us the second one.
19 MS. CHANA: That's 65 ter 39, Your Honour.
20 A. This is an order whereby the following units, the Handzar
21 Divizija, the Silver Fox Unit, become part of the special purposes
22 detachment Zulfikar. This order was written in connection with the
23 decision of the Main Staff of the 21st of August in Zenica with a view to
24 making larger units out of smaller ones. And this is an organisational
25 order in form; although, personally I think that this kind of order should
1 have been signed by the commander since it relates to organisation.
2 We can also see it as an order on resubordination, although it
3 doesn't state so explicitly. Rather, this unit is ordered to enter the
4 organic composition. So it is an organisational order after all. It
5 should contain certain elements about manpower levels, replenishment, and
6 so on. Although it can be carried out in its current form, when it
7 relates to the transfer of a unit from one composition to another. The
8 other elements can be ordered later on.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
10 Could you now please tell the Chamber whether anyone asked you,
11 as a 6th Corps commander, for assistance in the matter and the incident
12 which had happened in Grabovica.
13 A. No. No. If you're asking about assistance, this can also be
14 viewed as assistance. For example, the transfer of a unit from one unit
15 to another in the form of an order. Such orders did arrive. But as to
16 solving the problem in Grabovica, the specific problem in Grabovica - I'm
17 referring to the crime that was committed - no one ever asked me for
18 assistance about that.
19 Q. Did Mr. Eminovic tell you anything about whether he had been
20 asked for assistance?
21 A. No. No. But he could have had that through the command and
22 control chain, from General Jasarevic. He could have received
23 instructions. If he asked him not to inform me or anyone else, then he
24 didn't do that, but he could have taken certain steps without informing
25 us. This did not happen infrequently. Certain things required by the
1 administration were ordered directly through the chain of command of the
2 security organ while the chain of command did not know about it. They
3 would know at the level at which the decision was reached. But I would
4 not necessarily have to know about it or any of the lower-ranking
5 commanders if such a decision was made. I can't say that this was always
6 the practice, but it did occur.
7 Q. Were you in a position to render assistance if asked in -- in
8 such an investigation?
9 A. Well, had he -- we could not have provided complete assistance
10 only with army units, but if we had been asked for assistance, we could
11 have assisted in cooperation with MUP units. We could have asked for
12 assistance from the police stations in Jablanica, Konjic, and Fojnica, and
13 they would certainly have provided us with assistance, as would have the
14 Hadzici police, the Visoko police, and others. And directly we could have
15 secured the scene. We could have activated the military police unit with
16 the equipment it had at its disposal, which was modest, but all the same
17 we could have provided some assistance.
18 But I do have to say that I cannot guarantee that we would have
19 been successful in performing our task. There was always a possibility
20 that somebody would hinder the investigation, as these were units over
21 whom I did not have direct command, nor was I able to control those units.
22 But if I had put my units at the disposal of somebody else who could
23 control them, then something might have been done. I think that
24 directly -- had I directly carried out this task or, rather, my organs in
25 my command, then the outcome would not have been certain. Because I could
1 not command units which were not in my organic composition.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
3 Now, I want to take you to now, again, back to mid-September 1993
4 and ask you whether you had any meetings with the accused, Sefer
6 A. I think on several occasions. I can't tell you the exact number
7 of meetings, but I'm sure that I was with him, General Bilajac and General
8 [indiscernible] at the Jablanica forward command post. I can't recall the
9 precise date. But this was when the IKM was being set up in early
10 September. I met him in the first ten days of September on the road to
11 Dugo Polje near Prozor in the village of Kruscica. On the way towards the
12 village of Voljevac, I was coming from Konjic and he, I think, was coming
13 from Jablanica - I don't know - or maybe even from Sarajevo. And there we
14 had a brief meeting in the village of Kruscica.
15 General Halilovic spoke to some local villagers. We took some
16 refreshments and rested a little. And then we continued on our way to
17 Dugo Polje -- or rather, we went to see the commander of the Independent
18 Prozor Battalion. We held a meeting there. At that meeting, General
19 Halilovic asked for me to be present.
20 At that meeting, the possibility was considered of using the
21 Prozor Battalion on the axis in the direction of Prozor jointly with the
22 forces of the West OG under the command of Brigadier Selmo Cikotic, and we
23 stayed there for quite a long time.
24 We had a meeting with Commander Buza. What I can say about this
25 meeting is that it was there that I heard about the decisions on the axis.
1 The main one was along the Neretva; then this was changed and the main
2 axis of attack was to be in the direction of Prozor. The battalion
3 commander Buza then informed General Halilovic that he could not carry out
4 the task in the way they had discussed previously. Buza was supposed to
5 infiltrate his forces into the town of Prozor, and they were to begin
6 operations from the rear. He then briefed the general that he was unable
7 to do that.
8 All the members of the staff of the Supreme Command who were
9 present expressed their displeasure. Mr. Karic was there. I think
10 General Zicro Suljevic was there and General Bilajac. General Halilovic
11 expressed his displeasure. I cannot express his precise words. I have to
12 paraphrase. But he said that the combat operations had been brought into
13 question because of the change in the information as to the possibilities
14 of the Prozor Battalion.
15 And this meeting ended in quite an unpleasant atmosphere. No
16 concrete specific tasks could be assigned to the Prozor Battalion, and
17 then Cikotic accepted some obligations in connection with his axis. I
18 think that the late Mr. Enver Zejnilagic, the commander of the
19 317th Brigade, which was a part of the 6th Corps, also accepted some
21 We left in the afternoon, and I don't remember that after this I
22 saw General Halilovic again. Maybe we met on the road again, but in this
23 period I was usually at my forward command post in Fojnica. This was the
24 other task we had been given at the meeting in Zenica.
25 Q. Tell me, how many directions of attack were in your area, the
1 6th Corps? How many directions of attack were you supposed to undertake
2 for this operation?
3 A. At my forward command post, there were two directions of attack.
4 This was a doctrinal approach. We always had to have a main direction of
5 attack on which we placed the focus and an auxiliary direction, which was
6 supposed to create the conditions for us to carry out our intentions on
7 the main axis or in the main direction. Neither of -- well, each of these
8 was established with realistic expectations, and we expected to succeed in
9 both those directions of attack.
10 As for the operations we planned in the Fojnica area, they were
11 supposed to extend the connection with the forces of the 3rd Corps because
12 in that area the HVO forces held the dominant features and they were
13 cutting off our main communication connecting us with Visoko.
14 Q. Can I go back to the meeting when you said that Enver Buza and
15 Mr. Halilovic was there at a meeting with yourself. What were -- exactly
16 was the problem? What was the discontent about? Briefly, please,
17 Mr. Gusic.
18 A. Well, they were unhappy because when I arrived, everything had
19 been planned and prepared. Commander Buza was supposed to introduce his
20 battalion in the wider area of the town of Prozor. And when the sign was
21 given to start combat operations, he was to go into combat with the --
22 against the HVO forces. He was to attack them from the rear. He was
23 supposed to take the forces to the enemy rear and to carry out the attack
24 against the HVO forces there. And this is a good decision to take when
25 it's possible to proceed in this manner. But Buza said that the forces
1 had been detected, he had been detected, and his reconnaissance had been
2 spotted, and he said that no one would be able to get through to that axis
3 or return alive. And the other members also expressed their discontent
4 because of this situation. This is an unfortunate situation. If this
5 happens before the combat operation, then the combat morale above the
6 units is also put into question, and that probably put into question the
7 execution of the entire task.
8 I must say that when Buza accepted the first task, he thought it
9 would be possible to carry out the task but he didn't have all the
10 information he needed in order to assess whether he would be able to
11 actually accomplish the mission.
12 Q. Other than that, was there any other problems with continuing
13 with the attack or launching this attack which was discussed at this
15 A. Well, the change of the focus point was a serious problem.
16 Changing the focus of the attack was a problem. It was supposed to go
17 from Neretva to Prozor. And doing that without introducing new forces,
18 new equipment is not correct. You can't just say I'm going to change the
19 main axis now in a decision. You can express the desire to have more
20 success on the secondary axis, but you can't say that you're going to turn
21 the secondary axis of attack into the main axis of attack. That's not
22 sufficient. Certain things need to be done in order to make such a claim.
23 Q. Do you remember what date this meeting was? Can you please try
24 and see whether you can remember?
25 A. It's difficult for me to remember, but I think it was between
1 the 10th, 12th, or 13th -- the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, or 13th of
2 September. I can't remember the exact date. But I think you could find
3 the exact date in Sevko Hodzic's book. There is a photograph, and I'm in
4 the photograph. It's in Dugo Polje. I think he spoke about that meeting,
5 so perhaps you could find the exact date there. But I think it was during
6 that three-to-four day period.
7 Q. Well, perhaps if you tell us, was it before or after your meeting
8 with Eminovic?
9 A. I think it was before. I think it was before.
10 Q. That's fine.
11 I want to show you now this document again, 02098431, 65 ter
12 is 66, and MFI124.
13 MS. CHANA: Could we refer to Sanction, Your Honour.
14 Q. Can you tell us about this document, please, Mr. Gusic?
15 A. This is the standard combat order in which brief information is
16 provided on --
17 Q. Mr. Gusic --
18 A. -- the axis of operations. It was sent by the chief of the Main
19 Staff, General Halilovic, and it appoints a commander for the axis from
20 the 317th Brigade. It's a 6th Corps brigade. The subordination of
21 certain units to the commander of tactical axis and the independent
22 battalion Prozor, part of the 45th Brigade, part of Sutjeska Brigade.
23 That's the brigade from the -- the battalion from the 81st Brigade. They
24 are providing equipment, zone of responsibility, and a task is -- are
25 issued. This is a standard order issued to the commander of the 317th,
1 the 45th, and the Prozor Independent Battalion by -- it's issued by
2 General Halilovic.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
4 Now, I would like to ask you: Do you know whether this operation
5 went ahead by the Prozor Independent Battalion under the command of Enver
7 A. The independent battalion participated in the combat operations
8 on the axis that I have just mentioned. It was involved in combat
9 operations on that axis, but the operation was not successfully completed.
10 Q. Would you please explain what you mean, that it was not
11 successfully completed.
12 A. Well, they didn't move any of the lines that they were supposed
13 to move. They were supposed to take control of certain areas, establish
14 new defence lines, and as far as I know, they didn't succeed in doing
15 this. But they were involved in combat in that area, but they remained at
16 the lines they had been at before the combat operation commenced.
17 Q. What was the name of this area where this operation -- what was
18 the name? Yes.
19 A. The area of the operation? Well, the area of that group of
20 villages was called Uzdol, and the entire area is the Rama Lake area
21 within the Prozor municipality.
22 Q. Did you hear about anything which may or may not have happened
23 during this operation? Did you get any information after the operation?
24 A. Well, I had certain information I obtained through the media.
25 The first -- or the initial information I received was through the public
1 media. There was information according to which a crime had been
2 committed in Uzdol by --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
4 A. -- army units.
5 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. What date was this?
6 A. I can't tell you the exact date. It was in the second half of
7 September, but I don't know the exact date because -- because after the
8 meeting that I have spoken about, after I'd gone to the IKM in Fojnica, we
9 launched combat operations towards Kiseljak and Kresevo, but it was in any
10 event in the second half of September. And according to information I
11 got, the late Smiljko Sagolj, well, he was someone who knew that there
12 were a lot of lies relayed by the media and the media --
13 Q. Which -- which media did you hear this from?
14 A. Well, look, usually I was able to listen to the radio. I didn't
15 have a television. So I heard it on the daily news. That was when I
16 first obtained information according to which something of that kind had
17 happened up there. But I didn't believe it because it wasn't the first
18 time that the media relayed such information and the information was not
20 Q. Mr. Gusic, can we just go a little slower. I just want to ask
21 you a couple of questions. This radio programme, I still want to know,
22 please, where was it broadcasted from?
23 A. Well, it was probably broadcast from -- well, I can't say
24 exactly. I don't know where the transmitter was. But it was probably
25 from territory that was under HVO control. But I listened to Sarajevo
1 Radio too just so that I could get some information and so that I could
2 know what was happening in various parts of the territory.
3 Q. What did this radio programme inform you of? Briefly, Mr. Gusic.
4 What exactly were you -- did you hear?
5 A. Well, you're asking me to tell you a lot, since 13 years have
6 passed since then, but on the whole it was that members of the ABiH had
7 committed a crime against the civilian population and that they had
8 killed -- well, I think they said about 20 people, women, children, the
9 elderly, innocent people. They said that they had set light to part of
10 the village and that they had withdrawn. On the whole, that was, roughly
11 speaking, the information that I heard at the time.
12 Q. Where was this? Did they say where it was?
13 A. Uzdol.
14 Q. Did you hear about it from anyone else?
15 A. Well, soon afterwards the commander asked for a report, General
16 Delic. He asked for information on the event.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... but did -- was there any
18 other person that you talked about this incident with?
19 A. Yes. Yes. With Commander Buza. I contacted him and asked him
20 about it, and I think that on that occasion he also sent a written report
21 to the corps command, a report on that event. And if you want to know
22 what the report stated exactly, well, all I could say is at the time he
23 said that they were involved in combat operations, HVO forces had
24 sustained losses. He mentioned some numbers that I can't remember right
25 now. But what was interesting is that he said that there were extremists
1 from the HVO in civilian clothes. Apparently they didn't have a
2 sufficient number of uniforms. And one shepherd entered the zone of
3 combat with his sheep and sheep were killed and he was killed. So that
4 was more or less the information that was received, and we forwarded that
5 information to General Delic in written form and orally as well.
6 And perhaps that was around the -- because something else happened
7 on the 20th, so it was on the 20th for sure. There was a problem with an
8 American citizen in the territory of Vrda. She'd been detained by the
9 forces from the 45th Brigade. Because at the time I was in Fojnica, and
10 the late Izetbegovic contacted me personally and asked me to resolve the
12 And just after that - perhaps a day or two later - there was this
13 event, and then we established contact via telephone and via radio, and I
14 think that I then relayed information of that kind to General Delic,
15 information on Uzdol.
16 Q. Under whose command was the Prozor Independent Battalion who
17 launched this attack, Mr. Gusic?
18 A. In the combat operations, it was under the command of Commander
19 Zejnilagic, and this was on the tactical axis, the commander of the 317th
20 Brigade. It was under the IKM Supreme Command Staff headed by General
21 Halilovic. But it was part of the 6th Corps.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Gusic, do you remember if there was ever a cease-fire
23 declared in the area around that time?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. If I can show you this document which might assist you, 01859031.
1 It's 70, 65 ter number; MFI125.
2 A. Yes. This is a supplement to the order, but there is an order
3 that came before this one. And I think that the previous order was signed
4 by General Siber.
5 Q. But the basic thing is the cease-fire, according to this
6 document - and I'll take you to the middle of the first paragraph - "The
7 Joint declarations, signed in Geneva on 14 September 1993 by President
8 Alija Izetbegovic and Franjo Tudjman, President of the Republic of
10 Is that your understanding of -- of the cease-fire?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. I want to move quickly along now. I can see the time is late,
13 Mr. Gusic, because -- do you know whether combat actions continued after
14 the -- this date? Of the cease-fire?
15 A. Yes. Combat action did continue.
16 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, to that end, I've got the last three
17 documents which I will show the witness. It is 0219 --
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Chana, it seems to me that we cannot finish
19 the testimony of this witness, and I believe that we have to stop at 7.00,
20 on time. So maybe we'll continue the direct examination tomorrow.
21 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honours. I've endeavoured my hardest to
22 finish by the appointed, but I am just left with a very small part.
23 JUDGE LIU: I quite understand. I appreciate very much your
24 effort, but we have to stop at 7.00. It's too late.
25 MS. CHANA: Yes. Of course, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE LIU: Witness, I'm afraid that you have to stay in
2 The Hague for another day and you have to understand that you're under the
3 oath. So during this period, please do not talk to anybody and do not let
4 anybody talk to you about your testimony. You understand that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I hope you have a good rest
8 And we'll resume tomorrow morning -- tomorrow afternoon at 2.15
9 in the same courtroom.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Friday, the 4th day of
12 February, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.