1 Tuesday, 8 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 Before we hear the witness, I would like to know whether the
10 parties had a chance to meet yesterday and to discuss on which document
11 they are going to use.
12 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I take it -- referring to the -- the
14 disputed translation of the order of the 30th of August. What's agreed
15 between the parties at this stage is that each side can refer to its own
16 document. We think the Prosecutor has two translations, and what we think
17 they're going to do, and I can indicate this to you, is withdraw the one
18 that says "command," rely on the one that uses the word "direct," and
19 contains the additional sentence that was noticed by the witness. That
20 matches our translation entirely with the exception of one word. Our
21 translation, which is a CLSS translation, uses the word "control," and the
22 OTP's version uses the word "direct." Now, that's a dispute that
23 Mr. Gusic can't resolve because he doesn't speak English. It will be
24 resolved later, and it need not trouble Mr. Gusic so that we can otherwise
25 proceed with translations that match each other and it won't distract the
1 Court or interfere with the cross-examination of this witness.
2 Your Honour, we were inclined to -- well, sorry, we understood
3 what Your Honour said yesterday, that as to the history of these
4 translations, that's not a matter that should interrupt this witness
5 because we're rushing to finish him. And I'm going to indicate how that's
6 to be achieved in a minute, if I can.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down a little, please.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry. I've been asked to slow down. I will.
9 I'm concerned about time.
10 Your Honour, that matter of what happened with the translation
11 can be resolved on another occasion, and it may be that when the witness
12 Katica Miletic, who is a video witness is dealt with, we expect that she
13 will take a small amount less than a day, so that there may be half an
14 hour or so residual time with her, and it's not a matter for me to decide,
15 but we would be prepared to raise the matter at that time, because it
16 being a videolink witness and only a half-hour gap remaining, that may be
17 an appropriate time.
18 Could I indicate, Your Honour, that in an effort to finish this
19 witness today, what I have done is very, very serious slashing, and it's
20 chiefly document slashing. What it means is that I'm not going to put a
21 number of documents to this witness because those documents can be put
22 through other witnesses, particularly Mr. Eminovic and Mr. Dzankovic.
23 That's what's going to happen. It may cause trouble because the witness
24 himself may say that he wants to see the document, and in that event I'll
25 try to control the situation as best I can, but I'm indicating that's one
1 way I'm going to keep it short. I think we're going to save an hour by
2 doing that because that was a significant chunk of cross-examination. I'm
3 going to put the principles to him and move on.
4 Your Honour, there remains a large number of documents to be
5 dealt with today, but, however, what we would like to do is do everything
6 we can to finish today and I think we will finish today and just reserve
7 our right if needs be, if in fairness to the witness he needs to be
8 confronted with the document, then we pursue the alternative that was
9 discussed before of having a videolink with him at a later time to clean
10 up anything that remains. And otherwise we're ready to proceed and --
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much for your efforts.
12 Ms. Chana, do you want to say something on this subject?
13 MS. CHANA: Yes. I just wanted to confirm that what my learned
14 counsel has just said is the correct position, that we are going to
15 withdraw the first translation and rely on our second one, which says
16 "direct." And as Mr. Morrissey indicated, now the dispute lies on the
17 word "direct" and "control," and for the time being we are tendering our
18 document and Mr. Morrissey is tendering his, and then later on we can
19 resolve it by perhaps another -- another translation from CLSS.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much. I believe that we have to
21 find some other time to discuss this issue in detail. So at this stage,
22 as the parties agrees that we will give each party's document a number so
23 that it could be used in the courtroom. And then later on we will send
24 those documents to the CLSS for the more authentic explanation of
25 translation of that document. Yes.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Morrissey, yes.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Your Honour, so pursuant to that we would
4 ask that the bundle of documents that we handed up yesterday be marked as
5 MFI145. That's a bundle including some correspondence between CLSS and
6 the Defence team, as it then was constituted before me, and that -- the
7 order itself as translated, which as an exhibit should not be polluted by
8 the other correspondence, should be marked -- the number of it is D --
9 Defence document 1502, and its number is DD00.2497. And it should be
10 given the MFI number of 146.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 Mr. Weiner.
13 MR. WEINER: Good morning, Your Honour.
14 Your Honour, based on the schedule just described by Defence
15 counsel that they will be spending most of tomorrow -- or all day today on
16 Mr. Gusic, most of tomorrow on Ms. Miletic, and then most of the following
17 day on the second witness - I'm not mentioning the name because she has
18 now indicated -- the person has indicated that they might want measures,
19 protective measures - I would like to release the other two witnesses that
20 are here that came in to testify that we thought we would start one today,
21 finish it -- finish the first one sometime during Wednesday or Thursday,
22 use both days to finish that one, and then finish the next one on
23 Thursday. So I might as well just release both of them. There's no need
24 for them to stay here and then stay right through the weekend.
25 I could see if they could then come the following week the first
1 few days maybe, if they could arrive again on Sunday and start Monday or
2 Tuesday. But I'll -- I will re-work the schedule for next week.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Maybe that is the only options, you know,
4 facing us. They may be released for this week.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: So could we have the witness, please.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Good morning.
10 JUDGE LIU: I can assure you that I will let you go home today.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's good news, Your Honour.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Morrissey.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 WITNESS: SALKO GUSIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey: [Continued]
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown document
23 MFI146, that being the order of the 30th of August by Rasim Delic.
24 A. Yes, I have it.
25 Q. Now, as to paragraph number 1 there, what I put to you is this:
1 If that document intended -- if it was the tension of the author of this
2 that document to appoint Sefer Halilovic as a commander, then that is what
3 would have been stated in that document; do you agree?
4 A. Yes, it should state that. Although, in paragraph 2, it is
5 somehow defined not precisely to be sure, but the team leader is appointed
7 Q. Yes. And the use of the term "team leader" is quite a specific
8 term, isn't it, Mr. Gusic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Yes. Turning to paragraph 3 now. I just want you to look at
11 that, if you would.
12 A. Yes. Yes, I see it.
13 Q. Paragraph 3 clearly gives the Chief of Staff a power to issue
14 certain orders; is that correct?
15 A. That's right, yes.
16 Q. But it's also correct, isn't it, that that power to issue orders
17 is specified to particular situations; namely, where -- sorry, in keeping
18 with his authority and in relation to solving problems in the field. Is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In other words, it is not a general commanding power at all, is
23 A. I wouldn't agree with you there though. I think it is, because
24 in the field, to solve problems in the field, that is endowing him with
25 part of command authority. It gives him the possibility to command. Not
1 a great possibility, to be sure, but still a possibility to command.
2 Q. May I ask you this: Have a look at the preamble. And I suggest
3 to you that the preamble provides you with the context in which he can
4 issue those limited problem-solving orders, and that context is to
5 eliminate current shortcomings and weaknesses in the zones of
6 responsibility of the 4th and 6th Corps. Do you agree with that
8 A. Yes. But if a unit can -- if a unit does not launch an attack
9 although it has been ordered to do so, that means weakness, and he can
10 deal with it on the spot. That's weakness.
11 Q. Yes. And, for example, if the Supreme Commander had issued a
12 commander to a unit to go into battle on a particular day, a binding
13 command, and the chief of the inspection team saw that that order was not
14 complied with, the chief of the inspection team could solve that problem
15 by ordering in accordance with the original order the recalcitrant unit to
16 go into battle; is that correct?
17 A. In accordance with this order, yes. But pursuant to this
18 paragraph, he could issue such an order even without the superior order,
19 if the unit is prepared to carry out the task he decides should be done.
20 There was a general order defining the conduct of combat operations, and
21 all units were duty-bound to carry out active combat operations to
22 liberate as much territory as possible. In this context, if through his
23 personal information gained on the field, if he saw that a unit did not
24 wish to go into battle or carry out a task, that it was waivering, then he
25 could issue an order to have the unit go into battle. I am talking about
1 offensive operations.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. This paragraph, I wish to be very correct, gives him not a great
4 possibility but still a possibility to command, a very limited possibility
5 to command.
6 Q. Very well. And as you've indicated, it's a possibility to
7 command that only arises where there is a problem to solve; is that
8 correct? And I'm referring --
9 A. That's correct. Yes. Yes. That is a limited possibility to
11 Q. Yes, I understand. Thank you.
12 Now, the -- Mr. Gusic, I apologise for the problems that arose
13 out of the translation yesterday, but I'd ask you now to confirm that
14 paragraph 1 of this document requires that an inspection team be formed
15 with the role of coordinating work. Is that correct? And I'm looking at
16 the first line in paragraph 1.
17 A. Yes. Yes, the beginning of the first paragraph. Yes,
18 "coordination." That's right.
19 Q. And really, an inspection team is no more than the eyes and ears
20 of the main staff out on the terrain; is that correct?
21 A. To a large extent, yes.
22 Q. And when paragraph 2 appoints -- well, I withdraw that. I've
23 asked you that question already. Just excuse me a moment now, please.
24 Okay. Thank you. Those are the questions to be asked about that
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown document --
2 A. Just a moment, please. I am not satisfied with your question
3 about paragraph 3. You dealt with half of it and not the other half, the
4 radical half. "He must consult the commander in the case of more drastic
5 proposals and solutions." So this has to do with the decision scheme.
6 That would be a drastic decision. That's how I interpret it.
7 Q. Well, just a moment. What I put to you is in fact what is
8 referred to there is drastic proposals and solutions. It doesn't say
9 "drastic orders or drastic decisions." It says "drastic proposals and
10 solutions." Do you agree with that?
11 A. This is the solution, sir. This is only one part. I don't want
12 to go into the content of this document. I believe that it is incomplete.
13 It doesn't contain all the elements of combat disposition. In the
14 terminology we used, this was the framework of the decision which
15 graphically represented the fourth point of the combat order. And when I
16 look at it, as I'd never seen the title of the Operation Neretva before or
17 any plan of combat operations, for me it will always remain a drastic
18 change in everything that was happening in the area of responsibility of
19 the corps, because an active front was being opened up on a large section
20 of the front and the units were not left the discretion of opening up
21 pieces of the front but a very large part of the front was being opened
22 up, and that's a drastic decision. Although, again I say this is not an
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, could the witness please be shown document
2 Would you excuse me for a moment. I'll give you the number. It
3 is DD00.0354, and it's to be marked as -- as MFI147.
4 Q. Mr. Gusic, what you're about to be shown now is a -- another
5 order and it's an example of another order appointing an inspection team
6 later on in your zone of responsibility in October of 1993. Do you have
7 that document in front of you?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And can you confirm that an inspection team led by Asim
10 Dzambasovic, actually present in court today, was sent to the 6th Corps
11 area? Do you agree with that? At a time shortly after 21st of October,
13 A. This is the first time I've seen this order, and I don't remember
14 the team being in the area of the corps.
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. This is the first time I've seen it.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if you don't recall it,
18 that's okay. I just want to ask you something about the form of the
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the following page please be shown. Thank
22 Q. Do you have that following page?
23 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this inspection team has a
25 variety of functions such as reviewing organisation, checking the work of
1 the commands, and cooperating and establishing contact with the
2 authorities? Do you see that? I understand I'm rushing through it here,
3 Mr. Gusic, but --
4 A. Yes. Yes, I see it. I see it.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you.
6 A. But --
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness be shown the following page,
8 please. Thank you.
9 Q. Do you have that in front of you now?
10 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
11 Q. Look at paragraph 4, and in particular look at the last section
12 of that -- sorry, paragraph 5. I'm sorry. We've got a note on it.
13 Paragraph 5 indicates: "The team leader will occasionally sent reports to
14 me" - that being Rasim Delic - "The team leader with occasionally send
15 reports to me on the situation on the ground and proposals for orders to
16 improve work."
17 A. I don't have that. I just have the authorisation before me.
18 Q. Don't you have -- do you have a paragraph 5 in front of you?
19 A. No. No, I don't. I have the authorisation listing seven members
20 of the team.
21 Q. I'm sorry. You will have to ask that -- perhaps in the Bosnian
22 version one page go back. The Bosnian version is differently paginated to
23 the -- the English, the Australian version.
24 A. Yes, I see it now: "The team leader will from time to time
25 deliver a report."
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the next sub: "In urgent
2 cases, he will resolve a situation by giving an order on the spot." Now,
3 do you see that para there?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I take it an example of the
6 same sort of problem-solving power that you referred to earlier in -- in
7 the order which we just looked at before dated 30th of August.
8 A. Yes. Yes. But it's not the same. It's essentially different
9 from what we spoke about before. There's an important difference. In the
10 first part there, it says "solve problems on the spot." It doesn't define
11 urgency or the category of the problem. Whereas, here it says "submit
12 proposals." In the other document, it says, as far as I can recall
13 it, "inform me or consult me about any drastic decisions," whereas, here
14 it says "in urgent situations resolve the situation on the ground, on the
15 spot." So that's a big difference.
16 Q. I understand what you put there, but do you acknowledge this,
17 that in general terms it is a usual feature of inspection teams to give
18 the team leader of the inspection team some small and limited power to
19 issue orders of a problem-solving kind? Is that accurate?
20 A. This order is what I consider to be usual in the case of teams;
21 whereas, the first order is a bit broader than what is generally
22 understood as the powers of an inspection team. Whereas, here it defines
23 what is necessary for an inspection field to operate on the ground.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that document for tender.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic.
1 I'm now going to take you briefly to the chronology of the days
2 between -- the days when the inspection team arrived in -- to Herzegovina.
3 On the 1st of September -- and this is now a period of chronology that
4 will take you from their arrival up until the Dobro Polje conference on
5 the 5th of September. Do you understand that? Okay.
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. On the 1st of September, Sefer Halilovic arrived in Herzegovina
8 and did he meet with you along with Sevko Hodzic, Selmo Cikotic, and other
9 officers to discuss the potential for combat operations in your area?
10 A. I don't remember. I told you at the outset I cannot stand by any
11 dates, because I didn't note down any dates. They exist in the
12 operational records, but I accept the date. I cannot confirm that that's
13 the date without looking at the documents.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I understand your
15 reservation about the date. But generally speaking, when Halilovic first
16 arrived in Herzegovina, do you agree that you had such a meeting with him,
17 Cikotic, other commanders, and in the presence of Sevko Hodzic, the
19 A. I don't remember whether Brigadier Cikotic was there or not.
20 Sevko Hodzic was one of the permanent members of the team, and almost
21 always when the general was in the area of responsibility of the corps
22 Sevko Hodzic was with him. Almost always. I can't say always, but very
23 frequently. I did meet the general in early September, but which other
24 officers were present, I couldn't say at present.
25 Q. Okay. At that meeting and bearing in mind the preparations that
1 had already been going on for combat activities in the zone of
2 responsibility of the 6th Corps, which you have already acknowledged, do
3 you agree that you discussed in detail with Sefer Halilovic the potential
4 lines of attack by Bosnian army forces in order to relieve Mostar and
5 unblock the road between Jablanica and Mostar?
6 A. Well, this word "in detail," that's more than we were able to
7 discuss at that meeting, but we did talk about the various possibilities;
8 however, a detailed analysis of the lines of attack would take more than a
9 single meeting.
10 Q. Was Zulfikar Alispago present at that meeting or not?
11 A. I am not sure. He probably was, but I'm not certain. He
12 probably was though because he was always there when the general was in
13 the zone of responsibility. I cannot say with full certainty that he was
14 there, but he was almost always there.
15 Q. Very well. Now, in the days following that meeting, I suggest to
16 you that the -- the senior staff members -- I was going to call them "old
17 soldiers." I'll ask you a question about that in a moment. The senior
18 staff member, Suljevic, Bilajac, and Karic, along with Sefer Halilovic,
19 commenced to work on plans to attack along the lines which you in the 6th
20 Corps had already commenced to plan. Do you agree with that?
21 A. Yes, that much is true. They had already commenced to work on
22 things that were the subject already of our own plans. But we hadn't yet
23 gun to realise, to implement those plans.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Gusic, I understand that you do not acknowledge seeing
25 that map that is next to you, and by these questions I'm not seeking to
1 suggest that you have acknowledged it. But what I want to put to you is
2 this: That the map Neretva 93 discloses lines of attack that were exactly
3 what the 6th Corps had been planning for a week before the inspection team
4 even arrived in Herzegovina. Do you agree with that?
5 A. I have to respond to this. I had thought we had already
6 established a normal relationship and we would not resort to insults, but
7 I'm really insulted by this approach of yours. If you tell me you find me
8 responsible, say so clearly. If the general stands up and tells me you
9 were responsible, you were in command, I will say okay, I'm guilty.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. But please don't let me go back to Sarajevo without allowing me
12 to tell you what I want.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
14 A. Don't be unfair. I don't want to stop.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. Stop stopping me. You shouldn't have provoked me. After having
17 provoked me, why do you want to stop me? You shouldn't have called me
18 here in the first place if you won't let me say what I have to say.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, please cool down. I believe that the
20 Defence counsel just asked you a very simple question, a very simple
21 question. And -- and I also believe that we come across this issue
22 yesterday. I don't think, in my view, that Defence counsel is blaming
23 you. He just wants to know a very simple fact. If you do not agree with
24 what the Defence counsel said, you may say so. There's no problem about
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not say the
2 Defence counsel was blaming me, but he said in a nice way -- he put it to
3 me that I was lying. I said from the very beginning I am not saying what
4 people want to hear. I'm saying the truth, and the truth is I have never
5 seen this map before it was shown to me right here. I stated so right at
6 the beginning and right at the beginning I asked the kind lawyer not to
7 ask me questions of that kind; otherwise, I am prepared to say that I have
8 made mistakes, I have made errors, and I stand by them and I am prepared
9 to be held responsible for the errors that I really made, but not this
10 one, because I was not involved in that. All I have to fear is God
11 himself and nobody shall call me a liar just like that.
12 MR. MORRISSEY:
13 Q. Very well, Mr. Gusic.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown document 119,
15 that's Defence document 119. It's DD00.0514, and it's to be marked for
16 identification as 148.
17 Q. While that's being brought up on the screen, Mr. Gusic, I
18 indicate to you that this is an order from Stjepan Siber to the 6th Corps
19 dated the 4th of September. Do you have that order in front of you?
20 A. Yes, I can see it.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... some formal facts about it,
22 and you can just agree or disagree whether this is the case. The order is
23 dated the 4th of September and it is from Stjepan Siber; is that correct?
24 A. Certainly.
25 Q. And just as a matter of interest on the deputy question from
1 yesterday, would you look and see the way in which Siber -- Mr. Siber
2 signed himself as standing in for the commander deputy? Do you notice
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. And could I just ask -- let me ask the questions for a moment.
6 You indicated yesterday that perfectly understandably, I might comment,
7 that you couldn't recall exactly what the practice was in terms of signing
8 as deputy at different times but you were prepared to accept that there
9 was a practice like this at one time.
10 Now, seeing this document, do you agree that that was the
11 practice in September of 1993?
12 A. Well, I have said before that this looks authentic to me,
13 everything that was written in the official logbooks of the army I am
14 prepared to accept, and there were several formats. This is probably one
15 of them.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. That's all I wanted to know.
17 Now, Mr. Gusic, that is a combat order directed from the deputy
18 commander, Siber, to the 6th Corps command and not to the IKM or to Sefer
19 Halilovic; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And at that point -- well, I withdraw that question.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: All right. I offer that for tender, that
24 Q. Now I have a question arises out of the 4th of September of
25 another kind: Did Commander Delic arrive in Herzegovina on the 4th of
1 September? Let me ask --
2 A. I'm already --
3 Q. Let me ask the question another way. I'm sorry. It does contain
4 the date problem, so I'll ask the question another day.
5 On a date somewhere early in September, do you agree that
6 Commander Delic arrived in Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Do you agree that he attended at a meeting in Jablanica -- in
9 fact, at Donja Jablanica, with Sefer Halilovic and other senior
10 commanders, including Zulfikar Alispago?
11 A. I did not attend that meeting, but I know that the commander did
12 have a meeting in Jablanica. I was not present there.
13 Q. Who was the most senior 6th Corps official who was present at
14 that meeting? Was it Mr. Fazlic or another officer?
15 A. I think -- I think it was Fazlic, but I'm not certain. I think
16 my deputy, Bahrudin Fazlic, was there.
17 Q. Yes. Very well. And after that meeting, you met with Commander
18 Delic at the 6th Corps command in Konjic; correct?
19 A. Well, right after the meeting -- in fact, I can't really say
20 whether it was the same day or the day after, but after that
21 Commander Delic did drop by the command of the corps.
22 Q. Mr. Gusic --
23 A. Or rather, more precisely, the ARK building.
24 Q. Yes, certainly. I'll come to the ARK building in a moment but
25 the fact is that Commander Delic came and spent many hours with you at
1 Konjic on the night of the 4th and he stayed the night there as well; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Well, there was a night in the month of September that he spent
4 in the ARK building. I don't know exactly when. And I had the honour and
5 privilege of spending quite a long time together with him in that period.
6 Q. And on that occasion, Mr. Gusic, I put it to you that the chief
7 topic of conversation with him was nothing else than Neretva 93, the
8 operation which he had just signed the map of that very afternoon before
9 he met you. Do you agree?
10 A. No. No. He did not mention the Neretva operation to me in a
11 single word, not a single time. So even then I did not receive that
13 Q. So do you stick with your story that you -- with your account
14 that you gave to this Tribunal in the evidence in chief that the first you
15 heard of Operation Neretva 93 is when you collected or when you -- when
16 you arranged the transport of Sarajevo units in your 6th Corps trucks? Do
17 you retain that -- do you stay with that account?
18 A. Not even then did I know the name of that operation. All I knew
19 was that there were preparations that should eventually result in combat
20 operations but that it was called the "Neretva 93 operation" is something
21 I didn't know. I found out the name only after the whole operation was
22 completed. I'm talking only about the name, Neretva 93; although I was
23 aware, I admit, of the combat operations.
24 Q. And you're saying that commander Delic, who was your commander,
25 and Bahrudin Fazlic, who was your deputy, didn't tell you the name of this
1 operation on the 4th of September? That is your honest evidence, is it?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. It is my most honest evidence. They did not.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if that's the case.
6 That night at Konjic, did Sefer Halilovic also stay in Konjic at
7 a premises called the ARK, the A-R-K?
8 A. I don't know. I believe he did, but I'm not quite sure.
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. I can't be sure.
11 Q. And just so that the Tribunal understands some Konjic geography
12 at which may become important later, your command -- I don't need the
13 details. I just need these facts. Your command was located in one part
14 of Konjic; the ARK was a JNA facility with an antinuclear bunker that was
15 positioned near to Konjic. Are both those facts correct so far as they
17 A. It is close by now, nowadays, but at that time it was very far
18 away, a whole lifetime away, because they were separated by a clearance;
19 whereas, the ARK building was constantly under fire. In the conditions in
20 which we found ourselves, it was light years away, because it was
21 constantly being fired upon.
22 Q. I understand, Mr. Gusic. Could I just ask you one other question
23 about the geography which may be important: From Konjic to Jablanica in
24 peacetime is a relatively quick journey. How long did it take in wartime,
25 and, in particular September 1993, approximately, to get from Konjic to
1 Jablanica, and was the main road open at all?
2 A. The main road was not open. It took half a day, depending on the
3 vehicle you had. If it was an all-terrain vehicle, you could reach it
4 sooner. If you had a simple passenger car, it took half a day.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you. Very well. Now, what I want to put to you
6 now -- I'm turning now to the 5th, so we're actually making some progress.
7 I'm going to move now to the 5th of September.
8 After you woke up in Konjic -- or sorry, perhaps one other
9 question about the 4th of September. Before you came back to Konjic on
10 the 4th of September, I put to you that you attended with Delic and Sefer
11 Halilovic at an inspection of the 45th Brigade or some elements of the
12 45th Brigade at Buturovic Polje prior to coming back to the ARK. Do you
13 agree that that took place?
14 A. Probably, yes. Most likely, yes. I cannot say with 100 per cent
15 certainty, but probably.
16 Q. Very well. I understand that. Now, dish Now -- I will now
17 turn to what happened on the day of the Dobro Polje meeting. Now,
18 Mr. Gusic, there was in fact a meeting of commanders at Dobro Polje on the
19 5th of September. And if you don't recall the date, that's okay. But do
20 you agree that there was such a meeting at around that time?
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. And on that occasion, Sefer Halilovic discussed with -- perhaps I
23 should ask you this: At that meeting, there were numerous of the
24 commanders of the -- of the units below corps level, in particular Hasan
25 Hakanovic, the commander of the 317th division, Zejnilagic, Mr. Cikotic
1 was there, and Mr. Buza, the commander of the Independent Prozor
2 Battalion. Do you agree that those persons were present?
3 A. There were more people. There were certain associates of
4 commanders and there was a large number of people, and those you mentioned
5 were there too.
6 Q. Yes. And -- well, thank you for that, because I was going to put
7 to you that other lesser commanders were there as well.
8 Now, at that meeting, it is the fact that Sefer Halilovic -- and
9 were also -- I should ask you this: Were there members of staff of the
10 inspection team there, Karic, Bilajac, Suljevic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, at that meeting, did Karic, Bilajac, Suljevic and Sefer
13 Halilovic indicate to the lesser commanders - and I don't mean "lesser
14 commanders" in an insulting way. I'm just referring to them as
15 lower-order commanders - did the inspection team members, including
16 Halilovic, there explain to those lesser commanders the tasks that they
17 would be required to fulfil in the course of Operation Neretva 93?
18 A. Yes, most of the talk concentrated on Buza, the commander of the
19 independent battalion.
20 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, I'm not going to go into the details of what
21 each one was told at this point, but thank you for confirming the general
23 You have indicated in the past that Sefer Halilovic
24 resubordinated some of your 6th Corps units into the Operation Neretva 93.
25 Do you agree that that's been your position?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Yes. And do you say that that took place here at Dobro Polje
3 when these tasks were explained to the units?
4 A. No. No.
5 Q. Well, do you say that it happened at a later time?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you -- are you in a position to point to a written order, or
8 even a written order number, under which that supposed resubordination
9 took place?
10 A. I cannot because I haven't seen any orders. I saw one order when
11 I was proofed by the Prosecutor, and even that was the first time I saw
12 it. And I can't produce the order anyway to prove what I'm saying, except
13 the order that was shown to me by the Prosecutor.
14 Q. What was this order that was shown to you by the Prosecutor,
15 Mr. Gusic? First of all, what date was it?
16 A. I can't give you the exact date. I wasn't memorising dates.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. -- at any point, but it was an order appointing the commander for
19 the axis of attack, the late Enver Zejnilagic, and determining -- or,
20 rather, directing the 317th, 400-something Brigade, and another
21 brigade --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter misses the numbers of the
24 A. -- to become engaged with only one copy being sent to files. Not
25 even the archives of the corps. It is possible that there is an order
1 dating before that time, but I don't remember it.
2 Q. Yes. So the order you were shown was an order --
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown the order which
4 is MFI124. I don't want there to be any doubt about which order we're
5 talking about here. Could the witness please be shown that, MFI124.
6 Thank you.
7 Q. Do you have that order in front of you now?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. That is the order.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. That is the order I was shown by the Prosecutor.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic. You're going to be questioned about this
14 order in about an hour's time, but at this stage it's sufficient to put --
15 look at the top and see if that order is dated at Voljevac on the 15th of
16 September, 1993. Do you agree with that?
17 A. That's what's written here.
18 Q. Yes. Thank you. All right. And, of course, did the -- I should
19 ask -- well, I won't. I'll come to that in a minute.
20 All right. Thank you for that. So that that's the only written
21 order that you're able to point this Tribunal to whereby 6th Corps units,
22 you say, are resubordinated by Sefer Halilovic; is that correct?
23 A. Well, you see, I wasn't looking nor was I intending to produce a
24 written order. Maybe there are other written orders. What was the
25 reality on the ground was that General Halilovic was the real authority
1 there and those units there did not need a written order to enable him to
2 engage them. This is - and that's the only thing I'm saying - that this
3 is the only order I have ever seen, and it -- I didn't even know about it
4 until I was shown it by the Prosecutor.
5 Q. Yes. Well, Mr. Gusic, look, at the moment I've just dealt
6 with -- you understand I've got to deal with some de jure command
7 responsibility allegations by this Prosecutor. I'll come to the de facto
8 point now, given your comments.
9 Mr. Gusic, I want to put some propositions to you here, and
10 there's no need to be personally insulted by it. This is a Tribunal and
11 contentions of fact arise, and this is one.
12 I want to put it to you that when Sefer Halilovic gave the
13 instructions that he gave at Dobro Polje and later, he gave those
14 instructions in accordance with two things and two things only: First of
15 all, his role as Chief of Staff under Delic pursuant to the map that's
16 behind you and, secondly, pursuant to the occasional problem-solving
17 power, the limited problem-solving power that he had as head of the
18 inspection team. Now, do you agree with that proposition or do you
19 disagree with that proposition?
20 A. Look, it's not for me to agree or disagree. He knows himself on
21 what basis he issued orders. And I have no intention of agreeing or
22 disagreeing. General Halilovic knows best what gave him the powers to
23 issue orders. He may have had other things to rely on that I have never
24 had the opportunity to see.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic. Now, I want to put a proposition to you
1 here, and you indicated last week we were going to part company. Here we
2 are about to part company. But I want to put that this is to you quite
3 clearly so that you know where the questions are headed. I put to you
4 that after Dobro Polje and up to and including and after the Uzdol
5 incident, you personally did retain a commanding role as commander of the
6 6th Corps over the units on that map, the Independent Prozor Battalion,
7 the detached parts of the 44th and 45th Brigade, the Sutjeska Brigade and
8 the 317th or such a part of that as took part in the battles. Now, I have
9 to ask you, although I understand your answer is going to be no: Do you
10 agree with that proposition?
11 A. I do not agree with that proposition. I was on the side -- I
12 sided with the commander of the Independent Prozor Battalion in a very
13 heartfelt way when he disagreed that this attack should be executed in the
14 way it was ordered, and I agreed with that. I did not agree with the
15 execution of any combat operations along that axis. The information that
16 you have, that you are relying upon, is probably incorrect, because -- and
17 I will leave it for the end -- or maybe I can say now what I wanted to say
18 from the beginning yesterday. I questioned the credibility of your
19 Defence witness Asim Dzambasovic because in the beginning of last year,
20 early last year, he attempted to take a statement from Mr. Dautovic
21 regarding the circumstances in a way that differed from the reality of
22 what happened in Dobro Polje. And that failed. After that, a certain
23 Mrs. or Miss Edina took it upon herself to harass his wife, the man whose
24 statement they wanted to take, and she offered to give him the
25 Prosecutor's telephone number because he is more inclined allegedly to act
1 as a Prosecution witness than as a Defence witness, although I wouldn't
2 understand why, and perhaps Mr. Halilovic knows this. Perhaps he doesn't.
3 But I don't think he would support it anyway, because he doesn't need to
4 be supported by false witnesses.
5 On the 6th of September --
6 Q. Just stop there --
7 A. -- they met with me.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... before we go to the 6th of
9 September, this allegation you're making about Dzambasovic, did you tell
10 the police about that?
11 A. I said that, and I wanted to finish. I've been wanting to tell
12 you this since the beginning of the day yesterday to avoid this situation.
13 I was held responsible by --
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I would ask the witness to
15 be directed to answer the original question and not to -- whatever
16 justification he may feel he has, and I don't want to enter into that.
17 This is non-response, and I ask that he be -- now be asked to come back to
18 the path.
19 A. I was taken to the carpet by the commander over this.
20 Q. Very well. Mr. Gusic, could I just come back to the issues in
21 the case. You do not dispute that the following units were 6th Corps
22 units prior to being -- I think I've asked you that, but I'll just make
23 sure it's right -- the Independent Prozor Battalion, the 44th Brigade, the
24 45th Brigade, and 317th, and the Sutjeska Battalion were all part of the
25 6th Corps prior to what you say was a resubordination to the IKM; is that
2 A. It's correct.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. That's the truth.
5 Q. Now, you've indicated that there's no written order. I won't ask
6 you about that again. But what I -- now, you've indicated that you can't
7 recall the precise dates, and I understand that, but is it the fact that
8 to your knowledge the 317th Brigade and attached battalions to it launched
9 an attack one day on an area including a hill called Black Top - Crni Vrh,
10 I think is the pronunciation - and that only on the following day did
11 Enver Buza and his Independent Prozor Battalion launch their part of
12 the -- the attack. Now, do you agree with that, that the 317th and its
13 units attacked on one day and the following day Buza went in to attack
14 with his Independent Prozor Battalion? Is that the fact?
15 A. I'm not aware of these details. I wasn't up there and I wasn't
16 commanding those troops. Whatever I say might be wrong. I will say,
17 however, that even before the time you're referring to, combat operations
18 were executed along the axes you mentioned. And --
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... so just stay with this.
20 What I'm asking about is: The order of things was the 317th attacked and
21 next -- and Buza failed to go into attack, so that the next morning Buza
22 and the Independent Prozor Battalion went into the attack. Do you agree
23 that that's what you were told happened?
24 A. Had I commanded those troops, I would be able to tell you, but I
25 cannot say. I cannot confirm this.
1 Q. You say you can't confirm it. Very well.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown Defence
3 document D476. I'll just provide the proper number in a moment. It is
4 DD00.2185. And it's to be marked for Exhibit 149.
5 Q. Very well. Do you have that document in front of you now?
6 A. Yes. Yes, I see it.
7 Q. And is that document a report from the Independent Prozor
8 Battalion to the 6th Corps command?
9 A. This does have the form of a report. I would have to read the
10 document to refresh my memory of it.
11 Q. Yes. Well, I'm going to give you every opportunity to read this
12 document. You can be sure, Mr. Gusic. But let's just start with the
13 headline part of it. Is that -- is the fact that it's addressed to the
14 6th Corps command? Is that right?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Very well. And is it from the Prozor Independent Battalion and
17 does it have the form of a report?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Very well. Now, just read through it. And on the first line,
20 does it say that "Pursuant to attack order operative number" -- and I want
21 you to notice this number, please -- "01/1500-27 of 11th of September, the
22 Prozor Independent Battalion units infiltrated deep into enemy territory
23 as planned in the night between 13 and 14 September 1993 with the aim
24 of" -- and it goes on to spell out what the aims were? Now, do you notice
25 that? Do you see that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And you can see here that what the Prozor Independent Battalion
3 say they were doing is following an order and they give the order number.
4 It's order number 01/1500-27 of 11 September 1993.
5 Now, you understand that orders are given operative numbers so as
6 to be able to be identified; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that's what appears to be happening here; correct?
9 A. Yes. But I would like to see this order of the 11th of
10 September, who issued it.
11 Q. Yes. Well, just let's -- let's persist with this order first and
12 we'll see what happens after that. Could the -- have you finished reading
13 that page or do you need a bit more time to read it?
14 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. As you read, I'll ask you a general question, and you may find
16 yourself able to respond. It appears to be the Prozor Independent
17 Battalion reporting upon its actions during the attack on Uzdol on the
18 night of the 13th and the morning of the 14th of September, 1993. Do you
19 agree with that broad proposition?
20 A. Yes, you can see from this that they are reporting to the corps
21 command. If this is an authentic document, then yes.
22 Q. Turn over the page, please. Sorry, perhaps I shouldn't demand
23 that you turn it over.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness have the page turned over so
25 that he can see what follows, and perhaps the Defence as well.
1 Q. Okay. Do you have the second page before you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. And do you see here -- and this is something that may
4 come up with another witness, but I'd better stress it with you. Buza
5 gives an estimate that "65 Croatian soldiers and 30 civilians, mostly
6 armed, were liquidated during the entire operation. One should bear in
7 mind that the Ustasha artillery was literally destroying the entire Uzdol
8 sector the whole time."
9 Now, was Buza there giving an account of the dead on the Croat
10 side to you, the -- or sorry, perhaps -- to the 6th Corps command? Is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Very well. And at the bottom, does the conclusion say: "This
14 report and the overall data have been made available to General Staff
15 Chief Sefer Halilovic, Colonel Vehbija Karic, and Colonel Zicro Suljevic,
16 who monitored" - and you note that word "monitored" - "the whole operation
17 from the observation post?" Do you see that conclusion that's noted
19 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Yes. And then do you see that in the end it's indicated that
21 it's addressed to the 6th Corps command and to the files; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Gusic, you don't dispute that you received this report from
24 Enver Buza, do you?
25 A. No, I've never seen it like this. This is the first time I see
1 this report, because the conclusion down there, I would certainly have
2 recalled it had I seen it before. As for the information you've
3 mentioned, 65, 30, there was a similar report mentioning the number of
4 casualties in these operations. I can't say it's exactly the same, but I
5 did see a similar report which I received from Buza. Having learned of
6 this, I asked about the losses. But as for the time when I saw it, that
7 is something I cannot confirm at this moment. But this is the first time
8 I've seen the report in this form.
9 Q. Nevertheless, the information in the report was all communicated
10 to you, including the order number; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. The corps command and not to me. They came to the corps command.
14 But yes, I should have seen this. I was supposed to have seen this. This
15 is an important report, and I was supposed to have seen it.
16 Q. Very well. I --
17 A. But I didn't see it.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer it for tender.
19 Q. Now, in relation to -- all right.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: To this matter -- could I please have the witness
21 now shown Exhibit -- Defence document D271, and the number of that is
22 DD00.0416 -- sorry, I take that back. It's DD00.1416 - I have no idea how
23 I came up with that - and the MFI number would be 150.
24 Q. Now, this is a document which is going to come up on the screen.
25 Is it? Okay. Do you have this --
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... very well
3 A. I saw this document -- I was shown it by the Prosecutor.
4 Q. Yes, certainly. Okay. Now, in -- in looking at that document,
5 does this appear to be an order to attack and when it's turned over it
6 will become clear, and I'll take you to that page in a moment -- but when
7 it's turned over, it will become clear that it was an order by
8 Mr. Zejnilagic who was the commander of the 317th. Now, is that what it
9 appears to be, an attack order by Mr. Zejnilagic.
10 A. Well, not that it appears to be. The first part is a typical
11 combat order in form. Yes, that's what it is, what I've seen so far.
12 Q. Now, could you just look carefully, please, at the preamble,
13 where it says: "On the basis of the order of the NGS Chief of General
14 Staff" -- and I'll just stop there. That's -- although it doesn't name
15 Sefer Halilovic, the fact is Sefer Halilovic was that person; do you
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But it goes on. It says: "On the basis of the order of the NGS
19 Chief of Staff and the command of the commander of the 6th Corps OP." And
20 then it gives an operative number which is -- which I put to you is an
21 order number: "01/1500-27 of 11 September 1993." So does Zejnilagic base
22 his order for the attack explicitly in this document on an order from the
23 Chief of Staff, that's obviously Sefer Halilovic, and on a written order
24 number -- a written number with an order number attached to it from the
25 6th Corps -- from the commander 6th Corps? Do you agree that that's the
1 dual basis on which Zejnilagic appears to be acting?
2 A. That's what it says here. That's correct. As I had an
3 opportunity of seeing this document and the order OP 01/150-27, when
4 talking to the Prosecutor, but I'd never seen it before, I can say that I
5 did not issue or approve this order. It was not issued by me. This
6 morning --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. -- I have my passport with me, and you can see my signature in
9 it. It has not changed in 26 years. So you can see for yourself whether
10 this is a document I signed and approved.
11 Q. Well, I'll come to that issue about who signed it in just a
12 moment, Mr. Gusic, but as you can see, the clues are beginning to point
13 very clearly, aren't they, to the fact that there's an order from the 6th
14 Corps command with a particular number on it? Do you agree with that?
15 Because now it's turned up in Buza's report and in this order. Is that
17 A. That's what it says here, yes.
18 Q. Yes. And looking at the detail of this order now, if you
19 wouldn't mind.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Could we just go down to point 4.
21 Q. Where you can see the -- the axis of attack. While you're look
22 at point number 4, Mr. Gusic, if you need to turn over the page, you'd
23 better indicate, because you've got a Bosnian version, I haven't.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the court staff assist by turning to the
25 following page in the English version. And perhaps Mr. Gusic can indicate
1 if he needs that done too.
2 A. Yes. Yes. I can see paragraph 4, and it's written: "According
3 to the standards and procedures that are in use." It specifies the
4 manoeuvre, the axes of attack, the combat readiness, and so on.
5 Q. Yes. And it's all entirely consistent with what's on that map
6 right behind you which you have never seen before; is that correct?
7 A. Well, this is far more precise than can be seen on the map. The
8 terrain specified is much narrower and more precise, and that's as it
9 should be. Because we already have the focus expressed, the directions of
10 attack, the manoeuvre is defined. Assignments are given. The combat
11 disposition is specified. Combat readiness is specified. The command
12 post is specified. Even the next command post, because the commander
13 assesses that the operation will be successful. So it contains everything
14 it should.
15 Q. All right. And would you look, please, at the date that is
16 specified for the attack that's contained in that paragraph; namely, the
17 date of the 16th of September, 1993.
18 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
19 Q. So you can see -- going back -- oh, sorry, perhaps I won't go
20 back just yet. Yes, could you please now just go back -- could we go back
21 to the first page once again.
22 Very well. Do you have that?
23 A. Can you just scroll up a bit, please. I can see the beginning of
24 the document, the first part.
25 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to direct you to --
1 A. Now I can see it all. Now I can see the document.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you can see that this is a
3 document which was issued -- an order to attack which was issued on the
4 15th of September contemplating attacks to take place on the 16th of
5 September; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's what it says in the document.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that for tender, that document.
9 Could the witness now please be shown Defence Exhibit D270. That
10 is DD00.1414, and it's MFI151.
11 Q. Mr. Gusic, this is a short letter, and I want you to read it but
12 first just to identify the dates. Firstly, do you agree that it is a
13 letter addressed to the command of the 6th Corps to the commander
14 personally and that it's come from a man called Commander Enes Kovacevic?
15 Do you agree with that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it's dated as being sent from Jablanica on the 13th of
18 September, 1993; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And Kovacevic was the commander of the 44th Mountain Brigade, the
21 headquarters of which was based in Jablanica; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in reading this letter out -- and I'm going to take you
24 through it. This letter provides: "On the 11th of September at 2000
25 hours, I briefed the chief of the Supreme Command Staff about the
1 possibilities of combat operations on the Jablanica-Gracanica axis, and
2 after this a request was sent to the command of the 6th Corps for supply
3 of the necessary materiel and technical equipment. During the evening of
4 11 September, the corps commander informed me in person in a telephone
5 conversation about the activities of the 45th Mountain Brigade and
6 promised the equipment where needed."
7 Now, do you agree that there's no room for doubt here that
8 Kovacevic is talking about a conversation with you personally?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The following paragraph: "During 12 September, we were expecting
11 the corps commander to come in -- to come in order to work out the details
12 for the next combat operations, but we have not so far received anything
13 concrete regarding the planned combat operations nor the material support
14 we are asking you to inform us about the following."
15 And he goes on: "In the 44th -- is the 44th Brigade going to
16 receive the requested equipment to conduct combat operations and is the
17 45th Brigade going to conduct combat operations, and on which axis? And
18 how are we going to work out coordinated action?"
19 Now, do you see what I've just read out in -- before your eyes in
20 this court -- in this Tribunal, Mr. Gusic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And that letter, I put to you, indicates plainly that you had
23 discussed with Kovacevic not just some supply of materials and not just
24 some other topic that enabled you not to mention the word "Neretva 93" but
25 direct and obvious combat operations explicitly spelled out more than
1 once; do you agree?
2 A. You see, if you were a soldier, I would challenge what you said.
3 But I appreciate that you are probably an excellent lawyer. I understand
4 the way you're putting your question and the context in which you're
5 putting it. However, this doesn't say that I am leading the operations or
6 commanding them. What the commander of the 44th Brigade is asking me,
7 these are questions of joint operations and the success of the 44th
9 THE INTERPRETER: 45th Brigade. Interpreter's apology.
10 A. The 45th was my brigade, and I had to take care of the men and
11 what was going on. Let me remind you that unfortunately in that period I
12 lost a very good man and good commander from that brigade. It was my
13 obligation - and I still feel this today - to be aware of what my men were
14 doing and what was happening to them; however, this does not indicate that
15 I was assigning the tasks. As I would apply to my father for help, the
16 brigade commander was asking me for help to give him the information he
17 needed for his combat operations. He probably didn't get the information
18 he needed, which is why he applied to the corps command for help in
19 carrying out the combat operations. This, however, does not indicate that
20 the corps commander was actually leading the operations. We were just
21 providing support on the ground, and we certainly did this. However, it
22 did not lead the combat operations. It did not directly command the
23 combat operations.
24 Q. Mr. Gusic -- well, I'll go on to --
25 MR. MORRISSEY: I tender that document. Sorry, I offer that
1 document for tender at this point.
2 Your Honour, I now want to show the document -- show the witness
3 a document. It's D1500 -- would you just excuse me a moment, please.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, this is a document received by us
6 from the Prosecution. It hasn't been uploaded into the system, so we must
7 now commit an act of treachery against the e-court system, which we'll
8 rectify as soon as we can but rather than delay the witness, we'd just as
9 soon proceed by paper copies if we can for now. Thank you.
10 And could Mr. Gusic be provided with the -- a Bosnian original,
12 Your Honours, we'd ask that this be marked for exhibit, MFI152.
13 Q. Very well. Now, Mr. Gusic, this is a document provided by the
14 Prosecutor. I'll give you the chance to read it in a moment. But I just
15 want you to confirm some formal matters about it first of all. Firstly,
16 is this a document that's headed "Order to attack," operation number
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And is that the number that was referred to in the Buza report
20 which we looked at earlier and also the Zejnilagic attack order which we
21 looked at earlier?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And is this order to attack now on the face of it a document
24 emanating from the 6th Corps and in particular the command of the 6th
25 Corps? I'll come to the person who signed it in a minute, but is that
1 what it says that, it comes from the 6th Corps from Dobro Polje on the
2 11th of September?
3 A. Yes. It says here that this is a document drawn up in Dobro
4 Polje on the 11th of September, 1993.
5 Q. Very well. Now, I want to take you through some details of this
6 document. And I ask you, first of all: In form, the form of this
7 document, is the form of a combat order given by a commander; is that
9 A. Yes. This is more or less at the level of the battalion
10 commander, but this is a very meagre order. It contains some elements,
11 but it is not written in the best way. However, this is at the level of
12 battalion commander. If I were marking it, I would fail it actually as an
14 Q. Well, I won't go into school issues at this stage, Mr. Gusic.
15 I'll just stick to the text. Does this document explicitly detach a
16 company from the Independent Prozor Battalion, a company from the 45th
17 Brigade, a battalion from the 317th Brigade, and two platoons from the
18 Sutjeska Battalion, which was a unit from Foca? Is that correct?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Very well. Now, when I asked you questions before about the
21 Buza -- well, and I'll come back to that in a minute.
22 The axis of the attack described in this document is completely
23 consistent once again with what's marked on the big map which you say
24 you've never seen of Neretva 93 right behind you; is that correct?
25 A. On the map, I don't see the Prozor Independent Battalion, but
1 it's probably within the 317th Brigade, and the axis is here, so I have no
2 reason to doubt what you say. You have probably checked it. I don't see
3 the Prozor Independent Battalion, but it's probably there as part of the
4 317th Brigade.
5 Q. Looking at the -- at the order to attack that you have in front
6 of you here, you'll note in paragraph 1 in the second-last -- or it's
7 possibly the third-last sentence -- the third-last short sentence makes
8 reference to units which are facing the Uzdol sector and also to a
9 minefield that's placed there. Do you see that section?
10 A. In what paragraph? Sorry? In 1?
11 Q. The first paragraph. It's the very end of the first paragraph.
12 A. Oh, yes. Yes. Now I see it, yes.
13 Q. Incidentally, Mr. Gusic, you're indicating that you have seen
14 this document before but you're saying that you only just saw it when you
15 were with the Prosecutors. Can you indicate how long ago it was that you
16 saw this -- this document, according to you, for the first time?
17 A. I saw it last Tuesday or Wednesday, about a week ago, seven or
18 eight days ago.
19 Q. And just in case my memory is playing me tricks, you don't recall
20 mentioning this order or any of the other ones that I have referred you to
21 when you gave your evidence in chief to this Tribunal. You didn't mention
22 them at that time, did you?
23 A. It wasn't shown to me. But in the process of proofing, this
24 order has been shown to me here in this building. That was the first time
25 I saw it in this format.
1 Q. But, Mr. Gusic, the fact of the matter is that either you or
2 someone signing on your behalf issued this combat order on the 11th of the
3 9th. That's correct, isn't it?
4 A. I said that I had not signed the order. I can show you my
5 signature; that hasn't changed in 26 years. If you find a single document
6 signed in a different way, that would be amazing. Have a look at my
7 signature. If you find any other kind of signature allegedly pertaining
8 to me, I'll take back every word. But I -- this particular signature,
9 I've never seen before.
10 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ...
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I've got no objection to the witness
12 displaying his signature, if that's what he wishes to do.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But you may ask some questions about the
14 signature in the document, whether, you know, the witness knew who really
15 signed it.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Of course. Very well.
17 Q. Well, could I just ask you this before we come to -- just holding
18 that document there, if you don't mind. I'm sorry to do that.
19 You wouldn't really dignify the signature on the -- the scrawl on
20 the document as being a signature at all, would you, Mr. Gusic?
21 A. You mean the one on the document?
22 Q. The one on the document. That's what I'm talking about. Can you
23 say that that refers to any letter of the alphabet that you know?
24 A. Well, look at my own signature. It may not look like any
25 particular letter of the alphabet, but I can read my name and surname in
1 it. I think a signature is a personal thing and it identifies us.
2 If we are now talking about this document, what should have been
3 done was to write the full name of the person who drew up and signed this
4 order. It is not proper to only initial such documents, because this
5 looks like an initial rather than a signature. It is not proper
6 procedure. Both the addressee and the author should be clearly
8 Q. Thank you. All right. Well, I'll -- although, Mr. Gusic, feel
9 free to refer to the signatures at any time you need to, but I don't need
10 the court usher -- the court staff to continue doing what they are now
12 MR. MORRISSEY: But could we leave the -- leave that -- the
13 original document on the ELMO like that for a moment.
14 Q. You see, this document you indicated was a relatively poorly
15 drafted document, and what I want to put to you is that it really does
16 look as if it was drafted hastily, doesn't it, Mr. Gusic? Quickly.
17 A. I don't know how it was drafted, under what circumstances, but
18 there is quite a lot missing in it, not specified. It's probably
19 something done in haste and something that was not properly done by a full
20 team of people normally expected to participate in drafting a document of
21 this kind.
22 Q. And the -- and the pen marks or the writing marks near to the
23 word "komandant"," you don't dispute this: They might have been done in
24 haste as well, mightn't they?
25 A. Well, "komandant" -- which komandant? It could be battalion
1 commander, brigade commander, army commander. What commander.
2 Q. Well, Mr. Gusic, could I ask you --
3 A. The title is a title.
4 Q. Yes, I understand that. But the question I'm going to ask you
5 is: Were you at Dobro Polje on the 11th of the 9th?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Where were you?
8 A. On the 11th September, I can't tell you where I was, but I
9 certainly wasn't at Dobro Polje, because if I had been there, I would
10 certainly have seen this document. I know for sure that I was not in
11 Dobro Polje on the 11th of September. If this was written on the 11th of
12 September in Dobro Polje, then I wasn't there.
13 Q. And was your deputy, Fazlic, present in Dobro Polje on that
14 occasion, or your Chief of Staff, Tirak, present in Dobro Polje on that
16 A. Tirak could not have been in Dobro Polje, and Bahrudin Fazlic
17 could possibly have been there.
18 Q. Yes. Very well. And, Mr. Gusic, just in relation to this
19 document, you agree that that document has been referred to by other
20 commanders within the 6th Corps zone of responsibility, Buza and
21 Zejnilagic, in the week following -- or I won't say "the week," but in the
22 nine days following this document. And what I want to ask you is this:
23 Did you ever tell them or ask them what on earth they were referring to in
24 ascribing a command document to the commander of the 6th Corps with a
25 particular number identifying it when you personally had never signed any
1 such document nor knew anything about it? Did you approach -- in other
2 words, perhaps the question was a bit lengthy, but did you approach Buza
3 or Zejnilagic on this topic, bearing in mind that they had identified by
4 number this report which you say you'd never signed?
5 A. I didn't see even the things they signed later, after this
6 document, but I'll try to answer chronologically to your question. They
7 must have invoked this document or another document bearing the same
8 number, because this is a handwritten number, so it must have been an
9 authentic document. I'm not going to call into question it authenticity.
10 They could have referred to a number of 001/something, ending in "37."
11 But how could I have approached them on this topic if unfortunate as it
12 is - and it's really an insult to me that I had to come here 10, 15 years
13 later to find certain things out for the first time - so how could I have
14 approached them on this topic if I hadn't seen this before? I was unable
15 to ask them why they did something or why they decided the way they
16 decided if I wasn't aware of it. This is the first time I --
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. -- I saw this order by Zejnilagic.
19 Q. Why did you --
20 A. Why? Because I had never seen that document. I never saw the
21 document invoking the corps order. And unfortunately, it was from the
22 media that I found out that there had been a massacre up there, and I
23 talked about it to Buza. But I didn't have a report. There was in fact a
24 report which contained no more than a paragraph. It was a report written
25 by Buza relating to the casualties, losses that he inflicted on the enemy
1 in heavy fighting. But I was aware that Buza was participating in combat
2 activities at the forward command post of Jablanica together with
3 General Halilovic. That much I knew.
4 Q. Very well.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that document for tender. I think I did
6 that already, actually.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, it's time for a break.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Is it the right time?
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, before leaving that document, could I put a
15 question to this witness, Mr. Morrissey
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, on the front page, the first page of this
18 document, there is also a signature. In the English version, is that also
19 written by somebody. Witness, do you recognize what is this signature?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot confirm with certainty to
21 whom it belongs, but it is not unsimilar to the signature of my deputy.
22 However, I could not confirm that it is his signature. It does look like
23 it though. I see it, for instance, in the letter "F," but I cannot claim
24 for sure. I cannot say positively it is my deputy's signature. I can
25 only suppose it could be his.
1 JUDGE LIU: According to the rules, generally speaking who will
2 sign there? Who has power to sign there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should have signed this if it was
4 an order of a unit subordinate to me. But you cannot see from the
5 preamble to which unit it is directed, Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina-6 Corps. Below that it should have stated
7 "Corps command" or maybe "317th Brigade" or "The Independent Prozor
8 Battalion." So this third line is missing. If it had been corps command,
9 then I would have been the one who was supposed to approve, to endorse
10 this document.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
12 Mr. Morrissey, I'm sorry for the interruption. You may proceed.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: I don't know if it -- if it interrupts or
14 detracts from the question or not, but it's saved me asking it.
15 Q. Well, did you ever discuss with Bahrudin Fazlic this order?
16 A. It's been a long time. The way I see it here, I never discussed
17 this order because I had never seen it in this form until here. Whether I
18 discussed his place and his role there, that's a question I could answer
19 with a yes. I must have.
20 Q. And, therefore, looking at that signature, what you can conclude
21 is that in issuing that order, it's likely that Fazlic consulted with you
22 before he did; do you agree?
23 A. I do not agree. He did not consult me. That's for sure. There
24 have been no consultations with me concerning this order, if he is indeed
25 the one who signed it, and I cannot confirm that. Bahrudin Fazlic is
1 alive. He lives in Sarajevo. If he can confirm that the signature is
2 his, I have no choice but to agree. But I personally do not remember. He
3 certainly didn't consult with me. But he is not at the end of the world.
4 The two of us can be confronted. If he had indeed drafted this order, he
5 could have written it following or looking at the current situation or
6 looking at some prior order from above, such as from General Halilovic.
7 If he had received such an order from General Halilovic, he could have
8 written this order in keeping with that. But he certainly wasn't
9 instructed by me to write it, and I didn't instruct him to do anything
10 else, apart from what was strictly demanded by General Halilovic.
11 Q. Well, I was going ask you this: Did you authorise him to conduct
12 combat operations, as your deputy, in any written or oral order?
13 A. I could not have authorised him to conduct combat operations in
14 my name because I wasn't involved in that combat operations, but he was
15 empowered by me to do -- to take whatever step is necessary to continue
16 efficiently the combat operations if I wasn't around. However, I couldn't
17 have conveyed or transferred to him the powers that I myself did not have.
18 Q. And in the break between the last lot of questioning and this
19 one, have you had the opportunity to think of where you actually were on
20 that day, the 11th?
21 A. Well, the break was too short. Even if I had tried, I could not
22 have remembered during the break where exactly I was on the 11th. I
23 cannot remember with any certainty; although, I must say I didn't even
25 Q. The final question about this document is this: Do you see any
1 reference -- well, I have a preliminary final question first. Do you
2 remember back in Zejnilagic -- the Zejnilagic order - I won't put it up on
3 the screen now - but you might recall Zejnilagic mentioned two orders. He
4 mentioned one from the chief of the Chief of Staff; he mentioned one from
5 the 6th Corps. Do you recall that that was part of the preamble? Is that
6 right? I'll --
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. The fact that there was no number attaching to the Chief
9 of Staff's order indicates the likelihood that it was an oral order; is
10 that correct?
11 A. There was no number; that's true. But he could have referred to
12 the time when he received that order. There must be some sort of number.
13 If there is no number whatsoever, I wouldn't know the reason, and we would
14 probably never find out because Mr. Zejnilagic has moved.
15 Q. When you say he's moved, where is he now?
16 A. I think he passed away actually.
17 Q. He died. He didn't move. He died; correct?
18 A. Well, I am not insulting your faith and I would appreciate it if
19 you didn't insult mine.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... sorry.
21 A. I expressed the thing as we Muslims tend to do.
22 Q. I'm sorry. Well, if that's the case, you can accept my
23 apologies. But I do want to raise another matter, Mr. Gusic: Is it your
24 practice to represent yourself to be polite and caring about Sefer
25 Halilovic and concerned about protocol matters, on the one hand, but,
1 on the other hand, make a completely unsolicited attack on the character
2 of Asim Dzambasovic when it suits your purpose? Is that your
4 A. No, that is not my position. I'm not attacking anyone; although,
5 I hold in very high esteem General Halilovic. I am simply stating the
6 facts and I have stated those same facts personally when I contacted with
7 him last year on the 26th of March. I told him on that occasion that I
8 don't want to come into contact with people who are telling untruths. I
9 am trying to be well-mannered. I am only human. Sometimes I make
10 mistakes. But I believe that after all is said and done, all that one
11 leaves behind is good words and good deeds or, on the contrary, bad words
12 and bad deeds. I hope that I will have something to leave -- something
13 good to leave behind, at least as much as you can fit behind your smallest
15 Q. Well, Mr. Gusic, one thing that the author of that order did not
16 leave behind on that order was a reference to Sefer Halilovic; do you
17 agree with that? And I'm talking now of the order of the 11th of the 9th,
18 which we have just been discussing.
19 A. You mean the order with those signatures?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. As far as I remember, there is no reference to Sefer Halilovic,
22 as far as I remember.
23 Q. There's no reference to any order that he issued which -- upon
24 which this order is based, is there, either oral or written?
25 A. To the best of my recollection, there is no such reference.
1 Q. Thank you. Those are the questions concerning that area.
2 I now wish to turn to some very brief questions concerning the
3 investigation of the crimes. This is out of chronology, but, Mr. Gusic,
4 you understand you've asserted on previous occasions that you had
5 effectively no or no meaningful involvement in Operation Neretva 93.
6 You've now answered my questions concerning those orders and documents.
7 And now I've got some questions concerning the course of the
9 Mr. Gusic, you, I suggest, were advised about the killings in
10 Grabovica late in the day or in the evening of the 9th of September, that
11 being the day, the morning of which the killings were continuing; do you
12 agree with that or not?
13 A. I cannot either agree or disagree. I have told you already I
14 cannot confirm precisely the date when I was informed thereof. I told you
15 it was my assistant commander for security who notified me. I cannot say
16 on which day. I don't --
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. -- think it was the day after the killings, but it was very
19 shortly, maybe a couple of days after the killings.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... three days in the past or
21 two to three days in the past. Now, when you say your chief of security,
22 do you mean Mr. Nermin Eminovic?
23 A. That's probably right.
24 Q. Do you mean Mr. Eminovic?
25 A. I don't mean the chief of the security. I mean my assistant
1 commander for security. He is from the security sector, Eminovic.
2 Q. Is this person's name Zajko Sahirlic?
3 A. Zajko Sahirlic? No.
4 Q. Okay. Could the witness please be shown Defence Exhibit --
5 Defence document D26b. I'll just give you the number. Okay. This is
7 Could I just explain in relation to this document that there has
8 been a glitch -- an error in the scanning of the Bosnian version, so that
9 when Mr. Gusic receives this on the screen, it will only have the first
10 page of the Bosnian version and not the second page, and therefor in
11 fairness to him he ought to be provided with a paper copy of the entire
12 thing, which we have present in court.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, and we have a copy obviously for the
16 And while that's being distributed, might I inquire of court
17 staff what the next MFI number is that we --
18 THE REGISTRAR: As far as that will be MFI153.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay. I would seek that that be notified as
21 Q. Okay. While we've been talking, Mr. Gusic, have you had the
22 opportunity to briefly look at that document?
23 A. Right. I didn't read it, but I can see it's a report received by
24 the sector of military security of the command of the 6th Corps from the
25 44th Mountain Brigade on the 9th of September. That's the date of the
1 drafting. However, the time when this was drafted, I can't see. It is
2 drafted - and I must say the document is one I'm seeing for the first
3 time - I was unable to see it in its original format because it was
4 addressed originally to the security sector. It must have been received
5 by my assistant for security.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. Nermin Eminovic. And that's probably one among various pieces of
8 information he had at his disposal when he was notifying me.
9 Q. Okay. Let's get to -- to what Eminovic told you in a minute.
10 At least from this document, it's quite plain -- could you just explain to
11 the court who Mr. Sahirlic is and who Mr. Kevric is, the names of which
12 are to be found at the bottom of this.
13 A. These two officers were assistant commanders, one for security
14 and another for intelligence in the 44th Mountain Brigade. So assistant
15 commanders to Enes Kovacevic.
16 Q. All right. So what this document consists of is it's a report
17 sent by relatively senior officers from the 44th Mountain Brigade to the
18 SVB, this is the military security sector, of the 6th Corps on the 9th --
19 on the evening of the 9th - evening or night, it's not quite clear, the
20 timing - but at least at some stage on the 9th of September, 1993. Is
21 that correct? Is that -- is that what it is in form? And I'll come to
22 the substance in a minute rather than --
23 A. Yes. Yes. Correct.
24 Q. Okay. Let's go into the substance of it. Does this document
25 indicate this: "We have information that members of the Bosnian army
1 staying in the location of Grabovica physically abused the residents of
2 Croatian nationality. There are indications that several murders were
3 committed and a part of the Croatian population set off towards Jablanica.
4 Members of the Jablanica SJB" - public security station - "and VP," -
5 military police - "visited the site, and we shall provide you with new
6 information in more detail"?
7 Now, you can see that information in the middle paragraph; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, I can see that.
10 Q. All right. Okay. Now, Mr. Gusic, that information that there
11 was the potential of several murders to be committed had to be relayed to
12 you personally, given its importance, didn't it?
13 A. Well, look, there are indications here only. There is no
14 confirmation at this stage that a crime had been committed. These are
15 only indications. And even though they are only indications, I should
16 have been made aware. However, I wasn't made aware of these indications.
17 And when I received my first information, it was already to find out that
18 a crime had definitely been committed. At this stage, my assistant
19 already had some information.
20 Q. Well, okay. So the position is this: What you say is you should
21 have been told but you weren't; correct?
22 A. In my view, yes, I should have been told. I should have known
23 there were indications; although, let me reiterate, this information
24 probably arrived and -- piecemeal. The pieces of information arrived in
25 bits and pieces, so they were probably waiting to collect the entire
1 story. But yes, they should have told me about the indications right
3 Q. The other thing I want you to note is that in -- in the first
4 paragraph, that in the night between the 8th and 9th of September some 250
5 detainees from the Dretelj camp arrived in Jablanica. Now, did you -- I
6 understand what you say about when you were told about this, but it's the
7 fact, isn't it, you came to know in due course that Dretelj camp detainees
8 passed through Grabovica that very night of the killings, didn't you?
9 A. I don't know about that. The way you're putting it now, I don't
10 think I had this information. I did know, however, that former camp
11 detainees had arrived, but I really cannot be certain about the dates. I
12 have no reason to doubt this document. If that's what it says, then this
13 probably happened at the time the document was compiled. But I cannot say
14 that I knew that at the same time as the document was compiled. There has
15 to be a time gap. This kind of document needed at least half a day to
16 arrive from Jablanica if it was sent immediately. If it was waiting for a
17 courier, it might arrive a day later. If it was transmitted in the
18 original form, in the hard copy. If it was sent electronically, then of
19 course it would travel much faster. But again, it was not addressed to me
20 directly and it is not marked "urgent," so perhaps I was not informed of
21 it right away. However, information that camp detainees had arrived in
22 Jablanica did reach me, and it was the duty of the civilian authorities to
23 accommodate them.
24 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Gusic, I want to -- there's a lot of
25 evidence in this case to be led through other witnesses concerning the
1 investigation by military security of both of the crimes, at Grabovica and
2 the -- at Uzdol as well. I'm not going to put those documents all to you,
3 but I want to put to you a couple of general propositions and possibly two
4 documents, just depending on what you say. But you know as a fact that
5 your chief of -- your chief of military security, Nermin Eminovic, did
6 assume the competence to investigate the killings at Grabovica and
7 subsequently the killings at Uzdol. You know that, don't you?
8 A. This is the first time I have heard that he took over the
9 obligation to investigate the killings. I never knew it was his duty to
10 carry out the investigation. I don't want to comment on this. He is
11 alive, living in Sarajevo, and he can probably say more about it. My
12 personal opinion is that he was not competent to do this on his own.
13 Q. Well, if I may join company with you once again, briefly,
14 Mr. Gusic. We agree with you, and we're not putting to you that he alone
15 had the competence to do it. What we're putting to you is that he, in
16 partnership with Namik Dzankovic, who was another military security
17 operative, both of them answering to Jusuf Jasarevic, who was the chief
18 of -- of military security in -- in Sarajevo, assumed the competence to
19 investigate the -- both the offences, Grabovica initially and Uzdol
20 subsequently. Now, do you agree that the SVB, the military security,
21 assumed that competence?
22 A. I never saw any documents that would enable me to confirm this
23 with certainty; however, I have no reason to doubt the documents you have
24 and I am not challenging what General Jasarevic stated or the other
25 persons you have mentioned. You probably have reason to believe that they
1 did, but I don't know.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, could the witness please be -- now, just
4 excuse me one moment.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. MORRISSEY:
7 Q. Mr. Gusic, just excuse me a moment. I just want to verify
8 something before I put a document to you.
9 Mr. Gusic, could -- let me just ask you this: Did you ever see
10 any of the correspondence that passed between your chief of security,
11 Nermin Eminovic, on the one hand, and Jusuf Jasarevic in Sarajevo, on the
12 other hand?
13 A. The documents Eminovic showed in their original form are
14 documents I could have seen. I could have seen them if he showed them to
15 me. But there was no reason for me to see most of the documents because,
16 as I said, the correspondence went along the security chain of command, so
17 I didn't see a large part of them. However, there is a part that I did
18 see and, if I saw them, I would note this down in some way or mark it in
19 some way, either by my signature or by writing down the name of the person
20 who told me about this document. When I saw a document like that, I left
21 a written trace on the document itself to show that I had seen it, because
22 these were always strictly confidential documents.
23 Q. Yes. Very well.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, could the witness please be shown now
25 Exhibit -- Defence document D472, which is DD00.2178. And it's
2 Q. Do you have that?
3 A. Yes, I see it. Yes.
4 Q. Is that a direction --
5 A. This is an instruction to my assistant -- or rather, the chief,
6 Nermin Eminovic. It was probably sent electronically to the attention of
7 Zajko Sihirlic, the assistant for security in the 44th Brigade. And as I
8 can now see the heading of the corps command, you can see what I said.
9 The bit that's meeting in the previous command, I want says: "The Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina, Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, commander of the 6th
11 Corps," so it was standard when the 6th Corps was issuing documents to
12 have this heading and then it would be evident that this was a document
13 issued by the core command.
14 Q. Yes. But just in terms of this document, is there a marking here
15 on this document indicating that you saw it.
16 A. Not on this document. No, I don't see it.
17 Q. Okay. Now, just let me ask you some questions about the
18 substance of the document anyway. This is a direction from the -- the
19 chief of military security at the 6th Corps, Nermin Eminovic, to
20 Mr. Sihirlic, who as we understand it is down at the 44th Brigade, to take
21 all necessary measures to shed light on the massacre of Croatian civilians
22 in Dreznica; correct?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 Q. And Dreznica is the region in which Grabovica is to be found;
1 A. Well, maybe this was being viewed as a whole region. In that
2 context, yes.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. Dreznica is a separate village, but the term could also be used
5 to cover the broader territory around Dreznica.
6 Q. Yes. Very well. Well, what I want to know is: Did you know and
7 did you agree with Eminovic giving this direction?
8 A. No, I didn't know about this. And let me tell you again: There
9 was no reason for me to know. This could have been ordered by the
10 security administration in Sarajevo, that is, General Jasarevic, telling
11 him to cooperate with the other corps because Dreznica was not in the area
12 of responsibility of our corps but they were asking for help, and if he
13 had the approval of General Jasarevic, then he could undertake this kind
14 of activity even without my knowledge. Because I'm not trying to say that
15 the commander was not allowed to know. It wasn't all that secret. But if
16 General Jasarevic wanted to involve as few people as possible in this
17 investigation and keep the information in as narrow a circle as possible
18 about the crime, then he could have reduced this to the smallest possible
19 number of people to be involved, and this was probably done with a view to
20 discovering the perpetrators.
21 Q. Well, Mr. Gusic, you had to be told about this because if there
22 was to be an investigation, it might involve the use of your military
23 police, mightn't it? So you had to be told because it would impact upon
24 your use of military police or it could impact upon your use of military
25 police. Do you agree?
1 A. I didn't have to be told, because for this kind of work my
2 assistant for security could use the police battalion and this would fall
3 within his competence. He had authority to do that, and he could give the
4 military police battalion commander the order to do that, or any military
5 police unit.
6 Q. Just a moment, please, Mr. -- Mr. Gusic?
7 A. Of course he could give that order. But you were able to use the
8 military police for your own pushes. And what I'm putting to you to: You
9 had informed that the military police might be deployed in this way for
10 your own purposes; do you agree with that?
11 A. Yes, I should have been told that because if I was planning to
12 use the military police battalion in combat operations, which would be
13 exclusively within my sphere of competence, then I would have to be
14 informed that the unit was deployed doing this work and that I couldn't
15 count on it. However, at that point in time, I had defined the forces I
16 was using and my assistant knew that, so I don't wish to go into what his
17 intentions and decisions were at the time. What I can assert is that I
18 did not know they were deployed in that way, and this is the first time I
19 have seen this document.
20 Q. Mr. Gusic, what I'm putting to you is that you very well knew,
21 regardless of what your military security representative was compelled to
22 tell you -- what I'm putting to you is you very well knew that he was
23 actively pursuing the investigation into the crime at Grabovica and
24 ultimately the crime at Uzdol. Now, do you agree that you knew that or do
25 you say you didn't know that he was doing that?
1 A. I didn't know he was doing that, but I did know that information
2 was coming through him because he told me what had happened down there, so
3 he had that information. But I didn't know about his role in these
5 Q. Mr. Gusic, you've said in the past that you got the news about
6 the Uzdol massacre on the radio. Do you stand by that account?
7 A. Yes, from the media. I think it was first on the radio, yes.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 A. I think
10 Q. I'm sorry. I cut you off there, but could we please show the
11 witness D67, that is, DD00.0261, and it's to be MFI155.
12 Now, have you got that in front of you?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Have you got that?
15 Now, here's a letter written by you to the commander of the 3rd
16 Corps - is that correct - on the 16th?
17 A. Yes, I probably wrote it.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. But please, I cannot confirm with absolute certainty that I wrote
20 this document. Today I can agree that this is the information I had. And
21 when I heard about this information, I checked with the commander and on
22 the basis of the information I had received from Buza, I do not deny that
23 I could have written something like this. However, as this is
24 correspondence between commanders, I cannot say with any certainty whether
25 and when I wrote it.
1 Q. Well, first of all, you note that it's dated the 16th of
2 September, 1993. And, second of all, you note that you've had a report,
3 an official operative report, from Mr. Buza. Does that assist you to put
4 a date on it?
5 A. No, it doesn't assist me. I say again that I did not see that
6 report until you showed it to me here. I received information from Buza
7 in a completely different form. It was much shorter, more meagre. It
8 referred to the losses and the casualties in the village of Uzdol. I did
9 not see the entire report before.
10 Q. Yes. Okay. Because looking at that document there, you've got
11 no reason to doubt that you did send that document, have you?
12 A. The information here is in accordance with the information I
13 received, and I do not deny that I might have written this.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. All my information indicated that this was ideological propaganda
16 activity fabricated by the HVO because that's what I had heard from the
18 Q. Yes. I understand that. But -- and I'm not being critical of
19 you in any way, Mr. Gusic. I just want you to be clear. You don't
20 dispute the authenticity of that document, and what you say is it's highly
21 likely you did send it. Correct?
22 A. I'm not talking about the authenticity of the document but,
23 rather, about the authenticity of the information contained in it.
24 Q. Yes. I --
25 A. I'm not challenging the authenticity of the information contained
1 in the document.
2 Q. No, that's okay. But you're not challenging the authenticity of
3 the document either, are you, Mr. Gusic?
4 A. I can say that I'm not.
5 Q. Yes. Okay. And I want to put this to you: That document isn't
6 signed by you, is it?
7 A. I don't remember. I don't recall. Don't ask me that. But I
8 don't see my signature on it.
9 Q. Okay. All right, Mr. Gusic. Now, it's the fact, isn't it, that
10 your -- Mr. Eminovic, once the Uzdol investigation became -- once Uzdol
11 was -- had happened, Mr. Eminovic engaged himself in the investigation
12 of -- as part of the SVB, engaged himself in the investigation. Do you
14 A. The investigation? From what you showed me, yes. That's what
15 you say. Yes. But at the time, I didn't know that he was participating
16 in the investigation as actively as these documents show.
17 Q. Mr. Gusic, I want to ask you a question very quickly about the
18 military police. There was in Konjic one company of military police and
19 there was in Jablanica another company of military police; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And when -- if those units were in a -- a properly upkept army
23 and properly resourced and kept up to -- up to the requisite level of
24 manpower, those units would have had in them each approximately 70 men; is
25 that correct?
1 A. It would depend on the structure of the unit and its purpose. A
2 police company could be bigger than that number. But this was the minimum
3 number it had to have.
4 Q. But these units, in fact, had less than the full complement of
5 men in September 1993?
6 A. I think that's correct, yes. I think there is a report on
7 manpower levels and from it you can see that they were not up to the
8 requisite manpower levels because this kind of unit requires men who are
9 properly trained for military police tasks. They have to be trained
10 differently from other men. They have certain tasks and obligations that
11 are essentially different from those executed by other soldiers in other
13 Q. All right. And finally, in terms of military police numbers,
14 there was also a -- a smaller platoon of military police attaching to the
15 44th Brigade itself in Jablanica; is that correct?
16 A. You can check that in the establishment, but I think that's so,
18 Q. Yes. All right. Very well. Now, it's also the fact isn't it,
19 now -- that's the end of that line of questioning. And I now want to turn
20 to some other information concerning your activities at that time.
21 You're familiar with the logbook -- the logbooks of the 6th
23 A. Am I familiar with the logbook?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I am familiar with part of the logbooks, the ones I kept. But as
1 for all the records and all the logbooks, there was a special logbook that
2 was kept by the security organ which I can't say I'm fully familiar with.
3 The operations organ also had a logbook. I think I am familiar with the
4 operations part, yes.
5 Q. Have you shown a copy of any logbook in recent times?
6 A. I had occasion to see only a war diary of the 44th Brigade, but
7 not of the 6th Corps, no.
8 Q. Very well.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown D334, which is
11 While that's being -- sorry, which is DD00.1544, and it will be
12 Marked for Exhibit 156. And I believe I neglected to offer for tender the
13 previous three exhibits, and I offer those for tender.
14 A. Yes, I can see the front page.
15 Q. Yes. Very well.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, could the next page please --
17 Q. And what does that appear to be?
18 A. This is the cover page of a logbook, an operative or operations
19 logbook of the 6th Corps.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. I don't know what it says underneath. There seems to be
22 something covered up. I don't know why.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Yes.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Could we show the witness the next page, please.
25 Very well. We need to show the page after that. I'm sorry. No, we'll
1 have to keep going, please. I'm sorry.
2 A. Yes, I can see the second page now.
3 Q. I'm sorry, yes.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Could we just go to -- I think it's the third
5 page, where the -- the entries begin. Very well.
6 A. The third page is a record of events, and it lists the reports
7 that arrived and the time when they arrived.
8 Q. Yes. Very well. Now, looking at that -- at that document. Is
9 it apparent -- I'm going to take you to the 8th of September --
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Just one moment.
11 Can I enquire of the Court. Does the Court and the Prosecutor
12 have before them an English translation or -- oh, good. Yes, thank you.
13 Q. Okay. Sorry, Mr. Gusic. Very well. Do you see there that there
14 are -- this is dated the 8th of September, 1993? Do you have that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And at 1150 hours is there a regular combat report from the 44th
18 A. 11 ...
19 Q. 1150 hours.
20 A. 11.50, combat report from the 44th Brigade.
21 Q. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes. Yes, I do see it. Yes.
23 Q. Do you see at 1330 hours there are many different reports that
24 come in but one of them is a regular report from the 45th Brigade? Do you
25 see that?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I see it.
2 Q. Do you see at 1957 hours there's a regular combat report from the
3 45th Brigade?
4 A. What time? 11 ...?
5 Q. 19.57.
6 A. 19.57, daily combat report, yes, 45th Brigade.
7 Q. And -- and at 2040 hours there's a regular combat report from the
8 44th Brigade. Do you see that?
9 A. 20.40, daily combat report, yes. 44th, yes.
10 Q. Okay. Do you also -- and now we'll need to, I think, turn over
11 the page now and go to 0800 hours on the 9th of September.
12 Now, I just want to ask you about one there, and not to
13 misrepresent the position. There's a combat report from the 6th Corps to
14 the supreme corps -- to the Sjever [phoen] SVK, which is the General
15 Staff; is that right?
16 A. What time?
17 Q. This is 0800 hours.
18 A. 0800 hours? Yes. The time isn't stated. It says: "Combat
19 report between 08.00 and 13.10. In the interval between 0800 and 1310,
21 Q. Okay. Do you have at 13.10 a regular combat report by the 45th
23 A. 13.10, yes.
24 Q. And then there's a combat report from the 44th; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And then at last you have one from Sefer Halilovic which is
2 mentioned immediately below that.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Jablanica IKM?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it's an example of the IKM word being used.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then here you have an order for technical and materiel
9 equipment; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And if you keep going down, you've got further combat
12 reports at 2100 hours from the 45th Brigade; correct?
13 A. From the 45th Brigade, yes.
14 Q. And then you've got another combat report sent by you -- or by
15 the 6th Corps to the General Staff at 2340 hours; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. And then if you'd turn over -- now we have -- just
18 excuse me one moment, please.
19 [Microphone not activated]
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay. Could we turn over to the next page.
21 Q. Do you have -- this is on the 12th of September. Do you see the
22 entries under the 12th of September?
23 A. The 12th of September, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Very well. Can you see there at the -- it's the second
25 entry. It doesn't have a time, but it's a regular combat report from the
1 Neretvica Brigade.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That's -- that's the 45th Brigade, isn't it?
4 A. Yes. I don't see what brigade it is. Regular combat report, but
5 what brigade. Neretvica BB, that's battalion. Probably it's the 45th,
6 but I can't really see it all that well on this document. I think it says
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. "BB." I don't know. But certainly it says "Neretvica." That
10 implies other the brigade or a part of the brigade, the 45th.
11 Q. Yes. And do you notice there at -- at a time after 1520 hours
12 there's another report from the 44th Brigade?
13 A. 1500 hours?
14 Q. It's the time after 1520 hours. You'll see it's three down --
15 it's three entries down from that.
16 A. I don't see the 45th Brigade here. The 43rd, the 9th, the 43rd.
17 I don't see the report from the 45th. What time was it?
18 Q. Well, do you see a time entry, 1520 hours, which relates to a
19 regular combat report of the 43rd Battalion?
20 A. Yes, I see that.
21 Q. Well, if you count two lines, two down from that.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. It's the 44th Brigade.
25 Q. Yes. Very well. Now, Mr. Gusic -- well, you confirm that that
1 is a document of the 6th Corps?
2 A. It probably is. It probably is. This is the operations logbook
3 of the operations and training organ, who was keeping a record of the
4 incoming and outgoing mail. The title "Operations logbook," is a bit
5 misleading. It's not really the right title to indicate the contents, but
6 this is certainly a record of incoming and outgoing mail and information.
7 Q. Very well. Well,
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I offer that for tender.
9 Q. And now I want to put a conclusion to you, Mr. Gusic.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Because of the orders issued, because of the correspondence
12 that's been tendered or being offered for tender, because of your constant
13 contacts with combat units, and because of your corps' involvement in the
14 investigation, I put it to you that you were deeply involved in Neretva 93
15 and I further put it to you so that you understand where this question is
16 going that you have deliberately attempted to minimise your involvement in
17 that operation. Do you agree with either or both of those propositions?
18 A. I don't agree with either of them. My participation in Operation
19 Neretva -- and it seems I have to keep repeating. I didn't know the name
20 of the operation. I knew that combat operations were going on, and my
21 only obligation -- the only obligation of the corps command was to put
22 certain units at the disposal of the IKM in Jablanica, where
23 General Halilovic was in command.
24 Q. Very well. The last series of questions I have before this
25 cross-examination finishes is a -- is a chronological series. And where
1 we departed from the strict chronology -- chronology earlier and plunged
2 into these orders was at the date of the 5th of September; namely, the
3 meeting of Dobro Polje.
4 On the 5th of September, I put it to you that Sefer Halilovic
5 left Dobro Polje suddenly and went back to Sarajevo. Do you agree with
7 A. I'm not aware of that, but it's probably true. If you say so, I
8 have no reason to doubt your words, or the general's, if he says it is so.
9 Q. Do you also know that -- that at that -- on the 6th of September,
10 Bakir Alispahic arrived in the region of Jablanica? Is that correct?
11 A. I am saying again I don't know the date, but sometime around that
12 time, the period that we are discussing, Minister Alispahic did go down
13 there. Yes, that's -- that much I can confirm.
14 Q. Now, although the Prosecutor has asked you to examine a number of
15 orders by General Arif, as you -- I shouldn't say "general" -- by Arif
16 Pasalic in the period between the 4th and the 7th of September, you didn't
17 see any of those documents at the time, did you?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. I saw them for the first time when they were shown to me here.
21 Q. Very well. On the 8th of September, there was a meeting -- well,
22 the evidence may show that there was a meeting at Donja Jablanica between
23 various commanders involved in the Operation Neretva 93 at the base of
24 Zulfikar Alispago. And my question to you is: On the 8th of September,
25 did you attend a meeting at the base of Zulfikar Alispago concerning the
1 operations -- the offensive operations in the Neretva Valley?
2 A. I don't think so.
3 Q. Did your deputy, Fazlic, attend?
4 A. I don't know. I don't think he did. But I don't know for sure.
5 Bahrudin Fazlic is available, and he must know the facts better than I do.
6 I cannot confirm about him.
7 Q. Very well.
8 A. You're asking me too much.
9 Q. On the 8th of September, did you find yourself that evening in
10 Konjic -- well, no, I withdraw that question. I'm going to put another
11 one to you.
12 I suggest to you that on the 8th of September -- the night of the
13 8th of September, that in fact Sefer Halilovic along with some other
14 persons, including Seli [phoen] Halilovic and his driver and a variety of
15 other people, some of whom I'll name in a minute, were present in Konjic,
16 where you also were? Do you agree with that?
17 A. I cannot be specific about the dates, but I did meet a couple of
18 times; I can even say several times with General Halilovic in the ARK
19 building. That much is true. But what other people attended in addition
20 to the general, I cannot specify with any certainty.
21 Q. But do you know a man -- did you meet a man called Kerim
22 Lucarevic on that occasion, a man who had been a leader of military police
23 in Sarajevo and was at this time forming a political party? Perhaps to
24 assist your memory, a man with the nickname of "Doktor"?
25 A. I know the doctor. I know him personally. It's no problem to
1 identify him. But as far as I remember, I did not meet with him in the
2 area of Jablanica, in the area of the zone of responsibility of the 6th
3 Corps, to the best of my recollection.
4 Q. Very well. I want to take you to the next day, the 9th of
5 September, and ask you this: That -- do you know a man called Ibro
7 A. Ibro Puric, certainly. I know him. He was the commander of
8 the reconnaissance and sabotage brigade that at the time became an
9 integral part of the 6th Corps. Before that, it used to be part of the
10 3rd Corps.
11 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, I'll just ask you about what was happening on
12 the 9th now. I put to you that Ibro Puric was present in Konjic on that--
13 on the night of the 8th and 9th and was present in -- in Konjic on that
14 day of the 9th when the news came through to your headquarters that there
15 might have been killings in Grabovica. Do you agree with that or not?
16 A. I don't know where Ibro Puric was. He's still alive. He lives
17 in Zenica. And he could have even written it down or maybe he remembers
18 it better. I am certainly not well placed to remember where Ibro Puric
19 was at the time. The only thing I can say is that he was supposed to be
20 together with his unit and his unit was supposed to be deployed at Kitcevo
21 [phoen] village -- in Bjelinici village, rather. That's where his unit
22 was. Whether he was around in Konjic in that period, I can neither
23 confirm nor deny.
24 Q. Very well. Now, you've already given an account of what -- of
25 how you heard about Grabovica. I want to go to the 12th of September.
1 Have you ever been shown an order from Commander Delic that is supposed to
2 be directed to you and to Sefer Halilovic concerning, first of all, the
3 scope of Operation Neretva 93 and, secondly, the need to investigate
4 certain crimes? Have you ever been shown such a document?
5 A. I think it was the Prosecutor who showed me that document, if we
6 mean the same document, the one where my Chief of Staff notifies the
7 commander of the information on the basis of which this order is written.
8 If that's the document you mean, I saw it in the possession of the Office
9 of the Prosecutor.
10 Q. Very well.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry. Just excuse me.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well.
14 Q. Well, this is a document, OTP 65 ter number is 57, and its ERN
15 number is 01805265, and it will become MFI157.
16 Mr. Gusic, what I'm trying to do is get a copy of that document
17 up on the screen here, and then I'll ask you about it.
18 A. Yes, I can see it.
19 Q. Well,-- thanks. All right. Now, does that document record that
20 the Chief of Staff of the 6th Corps has given Delic certain information?
21 A. Yes, it does.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you send that to the Chief
23 of Staff, to give Delic that information?
24 A. No, I did not. And I must say this was not the usual practice.
25 It was not the usual practice for an underling to comment on their
1 superior's decision, so my --
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
3 A. -- Chief of Staff violated the procedure here. I did not send
4 him to the commander to say that, nor did he have my approval for doing
5 so. And if you want my opinion, he shouldn't have said anything to the
6 commander because the commander should have ex officio received all that
7 information directly from General Halilovic or from some other person who
8 was together with General Halilovic. Dzevad Tirak, my Chief of Staff, in
9 other words, should not have conveyed this information.
10 Q. Because -- if you'd just stop there just for one moment.
11 A. And it was outside the regular procedural channels.
12 Q. Because you agree that if the regular procedural channels apply,
13 then this order here looks very much like you are the one who's reported
14 directly to Delic about what happened. Do you agree with that?
15 A. No, no, no. It says quite clearly here: "Chief of Staff of the
16 6th Corps informed me of the decision of the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
17 Command." My name is not mentioned in any of these lines, nor is any
18 reference made to me personally. My Chief of Staff was Tirak Dzevad. And
19 he did what he did, and I continue to think to this day that it was not
20 proper for him to do so.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. It is extremely hypocritical.
23 Q. Yes. Well, your position about this order, in any event, is that
24 you didn't receive it; is that correct?
25 A. Well, let me tell you, I could not identify it the very moment
1 when I see it, but I did eventually receive it because it has something to
2 do with my Chief of Staff, so it must have been sent to me, among other
3 people, if for no other reason, than to let me know that the basis for
4 this order was information provided by my Chief of Staff.
5 Q. All right. But -- and just in terms of the timing of that
6 document, are you able to say looking at it that it arrived at Jablanica
7 at 1414 hours?
8 A. Let me just look through the whole document. All I can see now
9 is para 1 and 3. If you could downsize it a little, zoom out.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours --
11 A. I think he arrived at 1414 hours on the 12th of September, 1993.
12 "Sent to Prozor at 20.30."
13 Q. Now, Mr. Gusic, this isn't your problem, but it's going to arise
14 in relation to somebody else?
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, you don't have that in front of
16 you. The witness is looking at the -- at the document, and where on the
17 English version it says: "Stamp," is actually a relatively advanced
19 Could I ask, therefore that, the screen show for all parties the
20 Bosnian original.
21 Q. Mr. Gusic, would you just bear with me for a moment, please. I
22 want to show the Judges that -- the timing there, and the Prosecution, of
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay. Thank you.
25 Q. Yes, all right. So having regard to -- to the timing on this
1 document, it appears to arrive at Jablanica on 14 minutes past 2.00 in the
2 afternoon, 1414 hours, and it appears to be sent off to Prozor at 2030
3 hours; is that correct?
4 A. You can read this on the document.
5 Q. Okay. Now, just -- again, Mr. Gusic, just bear with me for one
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the English version come back up, for those
8 who normally use English. Okay. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, just having regard to that order, it's evident that the
10 order itself concerns, among other things, the -- what is described as --
11 I'll just take you to the first paragraph or the preamble. It says -- it
12 is regarding planned combat operations towards Prozor and Mostar. Now, do
13 you agree that that's what's specified in the preamble?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. Do you agree that there's an order to re-examine the decision and
16 the decision being the decision to pursue the attack in those directions?
17 Do you agree with that?
18 A. Not only the activities related to attack but also all the other
19 activities. It says: "Review the decision in all its aspects," and the
20 decision is made up of several elements: "Engagement of forces,
21 manoeuvre, axes of action, combat disposition or deployment, depending on
22 the level, and combat readiness." All these elements should be reviewed
23 under this decision. The entire decision is being questioned, supervised.
24 Q. Yes. I understand that. But there's also, isn't there, a
25 requirement that the -- the Grabovica incident be investigated? Or at
1 least for the information --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- for the information to be checked. Okay.
4 A. Yes. Yes. It is said that the information should be reviewed,
5 verified, and if irregularities are found, perpetrators should be
6 identified and punished, and everything should be done to prevent a
7 further occurrence of similar incidents. It says: "Order the commander
8 of the -- or rather, the deputy commander of the 9th Brigade and the 1st
9 Corps to immediately return to Sarajevo to solve problems within the
11 Q. Now, Mr. Gusic, if Sefer Halilovic was the commander in his own
12 right of that -- of that operation, I put to you there was absolutely no
13 need to address this document to you personally and that, rather,
14 addressing it in that way makes it quite clear that Commander Delic
15 regarded you as a part of the chain of command in this operation. Do you
16 agree with that?
17 A. I do not agree with you. General Halilovic commanded the forces
18 on the ground involved in the operation we are talking about, and the
19 reason why I received this document is probably only one; namely, that the
20 source of information was, as it turns out, my Chief of Staff. That's the
21 only reason why it was sent to me. I didn't even have to receive it
22 necessarily in its original form. It could have been sent to me in some
23 other format. It was a way of asking me to -- of asking me whether the
24 information provided by my Chief of Staff was correct. This commander
25 should try to achieve both objectives by writing one single paper. But
1 the whole thing shouldn't have happened in the first place, even though
2 the commander did not agree with the decision. So it is not a typical
3 piece of correspondence.
4 Q. Very well. Mr. Gusic, on the 13th -- or you've indicated you
5 don't know the dates of the attack at Uzdol, but what I want to put to you
6 is this: That after the Uzdol attack -- and I want to ask you whether you
7 were told about this -- after the Uzdol attack had taken place and failed,
8 there was an angry meeting of the commanders at which Zejnilagic and
9 Hakanovic and other local commanders became very angry with Enver Buza
10 because he failed to comply with the attack direction. Do you agree with
12 A. I don't know. I did not attend the meeting. I don't even know
13 whether it was actually held. It probably was. I'm not doubting your
14 words as such for a moment, but I'm not aware of the atmosphere among the
15 commanders because I -- or their feelings, because I wasn't there.
16 Q. Very well. Well, I might assist your memory with this. Could
17 you please --
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown document D22a.
19 Now, this is DD00.0076, and it will be MFI158.
20 A. Yes. Yes. I have seen this document before.
21 Q. All right. On the English version of this document, Mr. Gusic,
22 it simply records that there is a signature on the bottom. It says: "For
23 the Chief of General Staff, Sefer Halilovic," and then it's got the
24 words "a signature" underneath it. You looking at that document are able
25 to say that that signature underneath there is quite plainly the signature
1 of Vehbija Karic; is that correct?
2 A. Can I have a look?
3 Q. Yes, of course.
4 A. Just a moment.
5 Q. I thought you had it. Pardon me.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: And perhaps if the -- if the B/C/S version could
7 be displayed to the Judges and to the Prosecution as well.
8 A. Well, the signature I see here does not belong to
9 General Halilovic. At least, I don't think it does; although, I'm not an
10 expert and I cannot be emphatic, but it doesn't look like
11 General Halilovic's signature.
12 Q. Well, it doesn't --
13 A. It looks to me like the signature of the brigadier commander,
14 Vehbija Karic. I'm reading: "V" -- letter "V" and then "Karic."
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. I can identify that.
17 Q. Very well.
18 A. Although, I don't remember his -- Karic's signature specifically,
19 so I can't confirm it, but I can read "V." Karic in this handwriting.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the English version go back to the English
22 speakers now.
23 Q. Now, what I suggest -- what I'm putting to you now is that
24 document that's signed by Karic appears to be a combat document. And
25 indeed --
1 A. Yes. Yes. Moreover, it's a combat document assigning a task or
2 a mission and appointing the commander for that axis.
3 Q. All right. Now,-- and quite plainly -- and in fact we -- well,
4 we'll come to another document now, but what I want to put to you is that
5 this is quite plainly Mr. Halilovic issuing an order. This document here
6 being Karic, but the next one which you'll look at will clench the
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown D22, which is
9 already in evidence and is marked for Exhibit 124 -- MFI124.
10 A. Yes. Yes, I can see this. It looks to me like another order.
11 Q. Yes. Okay. And --
12 A. At first blush. I haven't read the contents.
13 Q. That's all right. I'll give you a chance to read it. Just,
14 first of all, could you just notice the date on it. And is the date of
15 this one like the previous one, the 15th?
16 A. The 15th and the -- I didn't look at the date at the previous
17 document, but this is the -- from the 15th of September, 1993. A strictly
18 confidential number, 21-1.
19 Q. Well, I'm going to -- I'm going to have to ask you to look at the
20 date of the previous one. I'll do that in a minute. But take it from
21 me -- assume for a moment that the date of the previous one was the same.
22 What you have then --
23 A. I believe that. I have no reason to disbelieve it.
24 Q. No, I understand that. You have a document therefore that's
25 signed by Karic on behalf of Sefer Halilovic that's dated the 15th of --
1 of September, which is a combat document without any doubt at all. And
2 then after that you have a similar document with a couple of terminology
3 changes but similar in all other essences, which is signed personally by
4 Sefer Halilovic on the 15th of September as well; do you agree with that?
5 A. I saw that. I can see that on the screen as we speak. A
6 document signed by General Halilovic. And moment ago I saw a very similar
7 document signed by Brigadier Karic.
8 Q. Now, what I want to put to you is this: That the Karic document,
9 D22a -- sorry, MFI158, and the Halilovic document, which is MFI124, are
10 both orders that fall within that part of the inspection team order, the
11 power to solve problems that arise, and the inspection team order being
12 the order from the 30th of August, and that in particular these orders
13 arose from the crisis caused -- and the argument caused by Buza's failure
14 which occurred between the leaders in the afternoon and evening of the
15 14th of September. Now, bearing in mind I understand your difficulty with
16 dates, but do you agree that that's the basis on which both Karic and
17 ultimately Halilovic produced those two orders?
18 A. I cannot agree that these are orders issued by the inspection
19 team. Those are orders governing combat operations. But I'm not saying,
20 mind you, that they do not follow from the orders issued earlier by the
21 inspection team. You can see the link with paragraph 3, where it speaks
22 of radical changes. But this is beyond the realm of inspection work.
23 This is at the level of command and control. I don't know about this
24 other document. I believe it is the same. I believe both documents are
25 firmly in the area of command and control.
1 Q. Okay. Well, at all events, what you say is you don't know
2 whether there was in fact a crisis such as the one I've described late on
3 the 14th of the 9th where the -- where the other commanders criticised
4 Mr. Buza; is that correct?
5 A. No. No, I was not aware of that, because I wasn't directly in
6 charge of those combat activities.
7 Q. Very well. I understand that. Now, Mr. Gusic --
8 A. Just one -- all right.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... let me press on because of
10 the time factor.
11 Mr. Gusic, did you receive a request from the deputy commander of
12 the entire Bosnian army, Stjepan Siber, to inform you what the
13 situation -- to -- sorry, to inform him about the rumours concerning
14 killings at Uzdol on the 16th of September?
15 A. I don't remember whether that request came from the commander or
16 the commander's deputy, but there were several requests of that nature and
17 all of them were relying on the information received from Enver.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Morrissey, yesterday you promised me that
19 you could finish your cross-examination in two hours. Now we have gone
20 for three hours already.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. Well, Your Honour can see the
22 situation that obtains, and can I indicate this -- because as I've said,
23 this witness is one who's not to be cut off because he's being asked for
24 explanations and it's not his fault. I don't criticise him for it. He
25 has given some lengthy answers, as you've seen. It's not his fault. But
1 the number of questions I've asked have been, in any event, relatively
2 confined. But, however, can I indicate what is left. I've got a number
3 of chronology questions which cover the period the 16th of the 9th, which
4 we're now at, and three documents, and that will then will followed by
5 some odds and ends questions, frankly, to clean up, and that's the end.
6 So we are very nearly at the end now. I do appreciate I've gone over
7 time, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: So how much time do you estimate?
9 MR. MORRISSEY: I think 15 minutes for the thing I'm on now, and
10 then I would -- I would very much appreciate a short break -- I know we
11 haven't had one, because collecting your thoughts can save time as well
12 frankly. There may be some matters that I've got here that I may not need
13 to ask, and I just want to consider those, if I may. I think that would
14 be time well spent, frankly.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I hope you could leave some time for the
16 redirect as well --
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
18 JUDGE LIU: -- as Judges questions at the end.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Of course.
20 JUDGE LIU: And by the way, we have a lot of documents to tender,
21 so I would like to ask you or your team to submit to me a new list of the
22 documents with the MFI numbers on it so -- like the Prosecution did in
23 this case.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, as the Court pleases.
25 JUDGE LIU: It's high time to take a break because, you know, we
1 have been sitting here for 90 minutes, and we have to take a break for 20
2 minutes, and we'll resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: We have saved time, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Gusic, just before I ask you the last series of questions in
8 the chronology, I have a question for you. On Thursday prior to giving
9 your evidence, prior to being called by the Prosecution to give your
10 evidence, and in the -- in the two hours before you gave that evidence,
11 did you receive a visit from any person from Bosnia?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Prior to coming to The Hague, did you meet with an individual by
14 the name of Mr. Dugalic?
15 A. No.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness be shown D122, please. That is
17 DD00 -- sorry, DD00.0524, and it should be marked as MFI159.
18 Q. Do you have that document?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Excellent. Now, is this document a document signed by Stjepan
21 Siber inquiring --
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. Is that -- is that addressed to you?
24 A. It's addressed to the corps command. It could have been
25 received -- as it's information having the character of information and
1 propaganda, it could have been received by the assistant for morale, the
2 assistant for security, the assistant for security, my deputy, the Chief
3 of Staff, or myself. This is a general document. I should have been
4 informed about it. I needn't have received it personally, but I should
5 have been informed about it, and I think that I did have this information
6 and that this information was requested on several occasions, both by the
7 commander and by General Siber and perhaps by some other officers and
8 commanders in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 Q. Very well. And -- very well. Thank you. And do you note also
10 the nature of the -- of the signature -- sorry, the nature of the
11 signature there that Siber signs explicitly as "deputy"? Do you agree?
12 And uses the form we discussed earlier?
13 A. This is a document that does not have the form of a document
14 issued by the deputy. It is a document having the form of a document
15 issued by the commander. So he was actually signing for the commander at
16 that point. He was acting on the commander's behalf.
17 Q. Yes.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. I offer that document.
19 Could the witness please be shown a document -- Defence document
20 23. This has the number DD00.0080 and it will be MFI160.
21 Q. This document that's about to come up on the screen is a document
22 concerning cease-fire.
23 A. Yes. I have the front page.
24 Q. Very well. Does it indicate that it's sent from Sarajevo on the
25 16th of September?
1 A. It indicates that it was compiled in Sarajevo on the 16th of
2 September, 1993, yes.
3 Q. Does it indicate that no later than -- in paragraph 1, does it
4 indicate that the latest at which combat operations can cease is 1200
5 hours on the 18th of September?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. And does it indicate in fact that there was already a
8 cease-fire agreement dated the 30th of July, 1993?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. And -- very well. Now --
11 A. It says "an agreement." It doesn't say "cease-fire," but an
12 agreement which probably contained provisions about a cease-fire.
13 Q. That's okay. I won't press you about that, Mr. Gusic. What I
14 want you to do is look at the second paragraph, if you don't mind, and
15 consider the -- one might say the caveats or exceptions from this order.
16 Paragraph 2: "Units of -- units of the Bosnian army are allowed to act
17 only in the event of" -- and then the order goes on to explain some of the
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. "A breach by the HVO or joint forces."
21 Now, can I ask you this -- well, perhaps we'll go on a bit
22 further: "In other words, operations are allowed only in when unit
23 positions and lives of the members of the BiH army are threatened
24 including the territories and facilities under their control. Or" -- and
25 this is the bit I stress --"or if civilian population living in BiH
1 army-controlled territories comes under threat from the HVO or joint
2 forces. Now, let me ask you this: As far as you know, did the population
3 of Mostar stop being under threat from the HVO forces at this time?
4 A. I Cannot assert this with any certainty, but according to
5 information coming from the command of the 4th Corps, the threat never
6 ceased in that period. There was always activity on the side where
7 members of the Army of BH were. Whether there were provocations from the
8 other side, I cannot say. But according to information coming from the
9 corps command, Mostar was constantly under threat in that period. That's
10 the information that reached me. There may have been other information.
11 I don't know.
12 Q. Certainly. And would you be prepared to assert that the HVO
13 loyally and honestly stuck to that cease-fire agreement when it was
14 entered into?
15 A. I cannot assert that with respect to the 4th Corps which was part
16 of the ABiH, let alone the HVO. I wasn't a member of the HVO, so I don't
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. Somebody from the HVO might know.
20 Q. Perhaps I could ask the question another way: On the 17th and
21 18th of September, did the HVO soldiers stop shooting at your soldiers and
22 did they stop shelling and did they stop holding prisoners in camps and
23 did they stop blockading Mostar and generally behaving as you'd found them
24 to behave over the previous months?
25 A. I don't think they did. I think their behaviour continued as it
1 had been. The intensity of their activity might have dropped in some
2 parts, but I don't think their activity ceased.
3 Q. Mr. Gusic the final chronology questions are these: You've
4 already been asked questions -- I withdraw those. I've covered those.
5 That's the end of the chronology questions.
6 And I now have one technical area to ask you about that will be
7 very short indeed. I undertake to all parties in court, but it's a
8 relevant matter. You're aware of a military formation entitled "an
9 operations group," which is a temporary military formation; is that
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. In fact, you had an involvement in an operations group yourself
13 on Igman at one stage.
14 A. That's correct, yes.
15 Q. The rules relating to -- operations groups are effectively an ad
16 hoc group; is that correct?
17 A. I wouldn't call it an ad hoc group. It's a temporary formation
18 formed to carry out a specific task, and on completion of that task or the
19 abandonment of that task, those formations are generally disbanded and
20 restored to their organic composition.
21 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, as you understand -- the -- the nature of each
22 different operations group depends upon the tasks and powers given to it
23 in the order which creates it; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 Q. And in order to assist the -- if you like, the ambit of authority
1 of the commander of a particular operations group, you have to look at the
2 order creating that group; is that correct??
3 A. Well, that is a procedure that would indicate the easiest way to
4 conduct correspondence and assistance; although, it could be done
5 differently, through instructions, guidelines, or a number of other
6 documents. However, most frequently and the easiest way to do it is
7 through orders.
8 Q. Mr. Gusic, in the past and, in fact, on the 16th and 17th of
9 November in the year 2000, when you made a statement to the ICTY
10 investigators, you said this - and I'm just going to ask you whether it's
11 accurate or not - "The duties and responsibilities of the operations group
12 commander" - it's at page 4 of that document - "The duties and
13 responsibilities of the operations group commander were written in each
14 particular order by which each operations group was formed. However,
15 everyone understood that the commander had less authority than a corps
16 commander but that he had more authority than a brigade commander."
17 Now, I've read two -- two sentences to you there. But is that
19 A. Yes, that's true. The brigade commander did not have to be part
20 of the operations group. A lower-ranking customer of a smaller unit might
21 be that. So the level would not be important whether it's a company or a
22 brigade. In the case we are discussing, in the case of Igman, they were
23 brigades. So he would have more authority than a brigade commander and
24 less than the corps commander.
25 Q. Yes. You never saw any order indicating that an operations group
1 had been set up under the command of Sefer Halilovic for the purpose of
2 Neretva 93, did you?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And, in fact, an operations group is a rather smaller group than
5 the assembly of troops that were used in Operation Neretva 93; is that
7 A. An operations group is a smaller group? Well, that's a moot
8 point. I wouldn't agree with that. It's a temporary formation, and its
9 size depends on the specific task at hand. The operations group can be
10 bigger or smaller, depending on the units that form part of that
11 operations group.
12 Q. All right. But I want to ask you some final -- some final
13 questions about the order that would create an operations group.
14 First of all, in order to appoint Sefer Halilovic to head an
15 operations group, there would have to have been an order of the
16 Presidency; is that correct?
17 A. That's how it should have been, according to the correct
18 procedure, yes.
19 Q. And the order appointing Sefer Halilovic --
20 A. Because the competence to appoint commanders belonged only to the
22 Q. Yes. When you say "appoint commanders," just to be clear, you're
23 referring to higher-level commanders, are you?
24 A. Yes. Yes, certainly.
25 Q. I understand that. And in the order creating an operations
1 group, it would be necessary to spell out to whom that operations group
2 was subordinated; is that correct?
3 A. Certainly, yes. Unless it was formed by a commander using only
4 his troops. If it was formed by a corps commander, then it would be
5 something logical. However, if it's composed of several different kinds
6 of units, then that would be true, yes.
7 Q. And finally, because an operations group is a temporary group,
8 it's necessary in the order creating the operations group to spell out
9 either what those units are or how those units are to be brought into the
10 operations group in the future; is that accurate?
11 A. That would facilitate the work of the command of the operations
12 group. Certainly. I don't want to comment on the appearance of each
13 document because it would depend on the ability of the person drawing up
14 the document, but that's what it should specify, yes.
15 Q. Yes, certainly. And finally, the commander of an operations
16 group would not have power on his own to unilaterally resubordinate units
17 from other corps into his operations group unless he was specifically
18 authorised to do that in the order that he had; is that accurate?
19 A. That's logical, yes. He could not have power to use any other
20 units without approval, the approval of his superior. So only his
21 superior could give him that approval. And, for example, I could not give
22 approval for the use of units from the 3rd Corps; only the army commander
23 could do that; only General Delic could have given such authority.
24 Q. Yes. Mr. Gusic, thank you for your considerable patience. Those
25 are the questions.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Mr. Morrissey.
2 Any redirect, Ms. Chana?
3 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, a few questions.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
5 Re-examined by Ms. Chana:
6 Q. I'll start with this last point straightaway. Mr. Gusic, you
7 said that Commander Delic would have the authority to give Sefer
8 Halilovic -- to resubordinate units. Delic could -- could authorise
9 Halilovic to resubordinate certain units to the IKM.
10 A. He didn't have to authorise it. He could order him. The
11 commander issues orders. The commander could put those units at his
12 disposal. The commander could order me or the commander of some other
13 corps to put certain units at the disposal of General Halilovic. That
14 would not have the form of approval but of an order. He could also
15 authorise General Halilovic to do that himself.
16 Q. So he could authorise Sefer Halilovic to resubordinate units the
17 way he wanted, according to his own discretion.
18 A. Yes, he could. Yes. He could, yes.
19 Q. And from some of the documents I showed you in my direct
20 examination, was that the case, that Sefer Halilovic did indeed
21 resubordinate these units to his IKM command?
22 A. That's correct, yes. Some of the documents, I don't recall
23 whether you showed them all to me in the courtroom, but during the
24 proofing you showed me documents where this was the case. I think this
25 was the case with the units entitled "Handzar Divizija," which were part
1 of the Zulfikar Detachment. I don't know whether I saw the documents here
2 in the courtroom but I did see it during the proofing.
3 Q. Well, I did show you some documents, and I don't want to waste
4 the Court's time, but --
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, may I just raise an objection here?
6 It's very desirable that, first of all, the Defence knows what documents
7 are being put to the witness for the purpose of him giving an opinion and,
8 secondly, it's very desirable that it be made sure that they are documents
9 that are in evidence, because otherwise they are hard to test.
10 Now, the line of questioning is perfectly legitimate, but it just
11 better be made clear exactly which documents are being relied on, and if
12 they're not in-court documents, then they shouldn't be relied on, frankly.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe we could ask the witness to answer the
14 question first. And if you still have some doubts on it, you may raise it
16 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 A. By your leave, I can expand on my answer. There were units from
18 the 1st Corps, and I saw that document - I think it was shown in the
19 courtroom - where I was duty-bound to receive them at Bradina and help
20 them to proceed through Jablanica. This is a document which shows that
21 General Halilovic was competent to use units from the corps.
22 Q. What about the Zulfikar Unit? Was that resubordinated by an
23 order of Sefer Halilovic that you did see in this court?
24 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, you could show each document again but
25 it's just covering old territory, and I'm mindful of the time and the fact
1 that the Court would like to put some questions to this witness.
2 A. I think that there was an order in which the late Arif Pasalic,
3 General Pasalic, puts the Zulfikar Unit at the disposal of the IKM and
4 General Halilovic.
5 Q. Yes. Now, Mr. Gusic, it's been put to you that normally an order
6 is required when an operational group is set up so that all the duties and
7 what the commander can do and -- are written in detail in that particular
8 order. Is that -- that's what you have stated to learned counsel for the
10 A. That is the procedure that should be respected; however, in
11 practice there were other kinds of activities. Something could be done
12 orally, for example, and then a written order would arrive later on or
13 only an oral order would be issued. However, I beg not to have to comment
14 on the orders or instructions issued by my superiors. It's up to them to
15 tell you why they did things in certain ways.
16 Q. That's quite right, Mr. Gusic. It's for your superiors to know
17 why they do. But you would confirm that there were occasions that oral --
18 oral orders could be given?
19 A. It did happen, yes. It did happen. There were very many such
20 instances. More than one, certainly.
21 Q. So you -- could it also be the case, Mr. Gusic, that a -- a
22 written document, a written order, would be given giving a kind of a
23 largesse theme but the more detailed aspects of it would come out during
24 discussions and during oral -- and an oral order after that as to the --
25 as to the fullness of the implementation of any particular operation or
2 A. What you have just described is the best method of arriving at
3 the best solution. The commanders, whenever they had the opportunity,
4 would ask us for our opinion, and then we would discuss our joint
5 proposals, and this would be transformed into an order on the spot. That
6 was the best method and it was used wherever practicable, because after
7 all, it was the commander in the field who was best familiar with the
8 situation in the field, and Commander Delic appreciated that.
9 Q. Yes, Mr. Gusic. These were difficult times for the army, were
10 they not?
11 A. Certainly. Certainly, yes.
12 Q. And there was a lot to be done.
13 A. Certainly.
14 Q. So there were times perhaps the administration could not keep up
15 with the -- the -- what was actually happening on the ground.
16 A. I can't speak for other commands, but I know that very frequently
17 my command and I had to do things orally. And whether everything was
18 covered by orders or not, I don't know. The situation would change from
19 hour to hour sometimes, and there were a lot of oral orders issued.
20 Q. I will take you to this 30th August document. Do you need to see
21 it or do you remember it? That's the one which set up -- this is the one
22 that we -- we've had this translation problem over.
23 A. I remember it. Yes, I recall the document. I don't need to see
25 Q. Now, if you look at that document. Would it have been possible
1 for some oral discussions to have taken place in respect of that document
2 as to the implementation of the -- the lines of attack in the Operation
4 A. I have already told Defence counsel that in paragraph 3,
5 discussing drastic changes, this would lead to such a conclusion.
6 However, whether this happened or not, I can't say. It does, however,
7 provide for the possibility of discussing the axes, drawing up a plan, or
8 continuing combat operations in -- with new plans. It does provide for
9 that possibility.
10 Q. Now, could you please tell us again - and I know you have talked
11 about this at some length, but nevertheless it would bear a bit of
12 repeating - did this in fact, on the ground, did it -- what Sefer
13 Halilovic was doing, did it translate into command authority for the
15 A. It's not that one can consider it to be so. I assert that he was
16 the commander in the field for those combat operations and that he was the
17 actual authority on the ground, the authority that was respected.
18 Q. Could you tell us why you know this. What were the indicia to --
19 for you to draw this particular conclusion?
20 A. Well, I draw it from everything that happened on the ground. He
21 could use the forces of the 6th Corps, of the 1st Corps. He issued a
22 decision on a change in the plan. He was in charge of the operation. He
23 led the troops. And he was able to assign any task that had to do with
24 those combat operations. And this would constitute an order for all of us
25 who were out there in the field, and I think that part of the documents
1 you showed me indicate that, as well as the documents shown by counsel for
2 the Defence.
3 Q. Mr. Gusic, to your awareness and knowledge, did the troops on the
4 ground, did all the soldiers and the units, whatever, follow Sefer
5 Halilovic's orders?
6 A. I don't know whether the soldiers -- the men carried out the
7 orders, but I think that the commanders at all levels respected and
8 complied with the orders. I'm not saying that they executed each and
9 every one of them. It would depend on the circumstances. But I think
10 that they did everything in their power to implement those orders.
11 Q. To your knowledge, did anybody, yourself included, ever challenge
12 Mr. Halilovic's authority to give such orders and his authority in the
13 area of operations, the theatre of war?
14 A. No. No, never to this day have I challenged the authority or the
15 significance of everything done by General Halilovic. I have a deep
16 respect for it all. Nobody ever challenged it. Nobody ever dared
17 challenge his contribution. I don't want to comment on the rest.
18 Q. So you did not challenge his authority once, clearly, because you
19 respected General Halilovic. Were there any other reasons why nobody
20 challenged it?
21 A. I don't see a single reason why anyone should challenge his
22 authority, nor do I know that anyone did challenge the authority of
23 General Halilovic. I don't wish to say, however, that when there were
24 discussions on certain issues, I necessarily agreed with
25 General Halilovic's positions. This does not mean, however, that I
1 challenged or brought into question in any way his importance. However,
2 let me repeat: I have never in my life said things I thought the other
3 side wanted to hear. I always said what my opinion was. I may have made
4 mistakes, because I'm only human after all.
5 Q. Yes, Mr. Gusic. You did say that you had several meetings with
6 Sefer Halilovic during the course of mid-September, when all of this was
7 happening. Did he ever suggest to you that he has no authority -- command
8 authority whatsoever? Did -- were are there any utterances made to you
9 saying to you that, "Look, I'm the Chief of Staff here. I have no
11 A. We never came to that point in any of our conversations. We
12 never came to discuss that issue, and, after all, General Halilovic never
13 needed to explain that to me. I never heard such an utterance.
14 Q. Yes. Now, I want to quickly take you to the IKM command.
15 Several questions were put to you by learned counsel for the Defence where
16 he suggested to you that IKM was merely a location. Now, could you
17 explain to us as to why there was a need, if you know, of course, to set
18 up an IKM in Jablanica. Why was the operation not commanded from
19 Sarajevo? After all Delic was in Sarajevo at the time.
20 A. Well, forward command posts were established normally only for
21 one particular purpose, to be closer to the forces executing the mission,
22 to be closer to the forces on the ground. If you were commanding forces
23 from Sarajevo, you would be deprived of direct insight because our means
24 of communication were pretty outdated, even obsolete, and messages took
25 some time to arrive; whereas, the situation on the ground required quick
1 response, quick reaction, and decision-making, and in such cases it was
2 always justified and reasonable to set up a forward command post to
3 command and control the activities. The forward command itself can be a
4 facility from which you command and control. It is not a stable facility
5 where personnel is based, normally, in addition to effective command and
7 So by definition, the forward command post is smaller than a
8 command. It contains only as much personnel and equipment as is necessary
9 to effect these functions of control and command.
10 Q. And in having such senior officers at this forward command post,
11 it is quite plausible then to say that it had the full command authority,
12 given the reasons about the lack of communications and things from
14 A. Certainly. They had the necessary experience and knowledge to
15 effect successful command and control.
16 Q. Yes. Now, I'd like to quickly take you to breaches of military
17 discipline and -- and crimes committed by -- by soldiers. Now, again, it
18 was put to you that there are various lines of -- of military security and
19 different levels at which -- a chain, as it were, as to who takes
20 different kinds of actions in any breaches of discipline or any crimes
21 committed by subordinates. Now, can you please in this respect tell me
22 that -- what are the duplicates of a commander in respect of before,
23 during, and after crimes being committed. Let's say, before you go into
24 combat, what is a commander in respect of crimes or possible crimes being
25 committed by subordinates?
1 Secondly, what are your duties of a commander as the crimes are
2 being committed? And then after, what are the duties of a commander?
3 This is notwithstanding, of course, that there are other organs and
4 institutions which are also seized of this -- of some duties in this
5 respect. And I'm sorry it's a very long question, Mr. Gusic.
6 A. All right. I'll try to answer it. Before --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. Before combat operations begin, commanders need to address the
9 troops invoking international convenance, investigations, et cetera.
10 During combat operation, they are required to cot the -- control the
11 conduct of their troops. And if any role or international regulation is
12 violated, they are required to take appropriate measures. That means to
13 identify and locate the perpetrator of the violation in question and to
14 institute disciplinary proceedings. Disciplinary proceedings are solely
15 within the competence of commanders. And if criminal charges are pending,
16 then professional bodies were available to help out, and the head of the
17 professional authority would conduct this to the end.
18 Q. But the duty of the commander himself, now, what -- what would
19 his duty be under these circumstances, when a crime has been committed?
20 What would he do in practical terms, Mr. Gusic?
21 A. In practical terms, the commander institutes an investigation.
22 He starts an investigation within his purview, within the framework of his
23 powers. We have a two-pronged system: One problem is the disciplinary
24 proceedings; and another one is criminal charges. If it is only
25 disciplinary proceedings, then the commander is able to handle that by
1 himself. If criminal charges are involved, then professional services
2 need to collect evidence on the ground, create a picture of the event or,
3 rather, reconstruct it, write a report, and depending on where the unit
4 is, a decision is made whether to implement the punitive measure against
5 the perpetrator immediately or to delay it until a later time.
6 The duty of the commander in this case is to make sure that all
7 the evidence in the case is preserved and to locate and isolate the
8 perpetrators as soon as possible in order to hand them over to the
9 professional authorities in charge.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic. Now, what would a duty of a commander be
11 if he becomes aware that soldiers are committing crimes? They're
12 happening. Soldiers under your command are committing crimes. What is
13 the duties of a commander in that event?
14 A. Well, such a commander, if it is practically possible to start an
15 investigation, should start an investigation. If that is practically
16 impossible, then he should seek help on is that score. But in any case,
17 he should inform his superior of the occurrence because that's an
18 extraordinary event, and according to our regulations, information has to
19 be passed on vertically through the chain of command within 24 hours.
20 Q. Mr. Gusic, perhaps you didn't quite understand my question. Your
21 soldiers -- I'll give you a hypothetical -- are at the moment -- you're in
22 the theatre of war. You get information your soldiers are killing some
23 civilians. They're doing it right now. What do you do?
24 A. Very categoric action needs to be taken. Forces need to be
25 engaged immediately to stop this and prevent further killing, prevent the
1 continuation of such activities, without any delay. The closest troops at
2 hand should be engaged and sent there to stop any violation of the
3 prevailing rules and regulations, and, of course, that involves locating,
4 detecting, isolating perpetrators, and starting further proceedings. But
5 the first step is to stop the violation, to minimise, contain the damage.
6 Q. So then in that case, writing a report and reporting to your
7 superiors would not be the option, would it?
8 A. The report can be filed within 24 hours. But if the reaction is
9 late, then the damage eventually caused could be far greater than would
10 have been the case if an earlier response had been secured.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic. Now, I want to ask you -- counsel for the
12 Defence had asked you whether you'd seen any orders signed by Sefer
13 Halilovic signed in his capacity both as Chief of Staff and as deputy
14 commander. And to that end, I'd like to show you two documents. One is
15 MFI161, Your Honour. And the 65 ter number was 38.
16 MS. CHANA: Is that enough identification for you, court orderly?
17 And 01805261.
18 And the other one I want to show you is MFI123, and it's --
19 that's it?
20 A. Yes, I see this document. That's one of the documents that I saw
21 earlier. You showed it to me.
22 Q. And I --
23 A. It concerns the engagement of the forces of the 1st Corps. Chief
24 of Staff of the Supreme Command, and below that it says "Assistant
25 commander." Yes.
1 Q. So I want to take you to the signature page, Mr. Gusic, please.
2 And is that signed by Sefer Halilovic in his capacity as deputy commander
3 and Chief of Staff?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the next document too. Could you also look at that. And I'm
6 not sure if I'm going too fast for you, Mr. -- Mr. Ram.
7 MS. CHANA: Is that on the ELMO? I can't see.
8 Q. Could you also look at the signature page of that.
9 A. No, I haven't seen it yet. I'm still looking at the first
11 Q. Would you call it a resubordination order? It's a bit leading,
12 Your Honour. I'm just keeping eye on the time. If it's not, you'll
13 correct me.
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. And is it --
16 A. This is -- [Previous translation continues] ...
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. Yes. That's the order I mentioned before, resubordinating units
19 from one larger unit to another larger unit or, alternatively, making
20 previously independent units part of a larger unit. For instance, the
21 Handzar Division becomes part of the special purpose unit Zulfikar. It is
22 certainly a resubordination order. It should have been drafted properly
23 by establishment, but it can be said that this is an organisational order
24 as well, depending on -- on how you look at it.
25 Q. And could you please look at the signature. Is this also signed
1 by Sefer Halilovic in his capacity as deputy commander?
2 A. Yes. "Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander and deputy
4 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Sorry, Your Honour.
6 Q. The other question is about investigations of crimes, or that was
7 the Defence counsel's heading anyway. It's in relation to document D623.
8 I don't necessarily have to show it to you, unless you want to refresh
9 your memory, but there it said -- this was a document where it basically
10 was giving information that crimes were being committed by the BH army in
11 Grabovica, and counsel for the Defence had put to you at the time that
12 there were detainees who had been passing. Do you remember that document?
13 A. Yes, I remember that. It is a handwritten document drafted by
14 the assistant from the 43rd Brigade; right?
15 Q. And the information in that document was that the Army of the BH
16 had committed these crimes. There was nowhere in that document where it
17 said the detainees had committed crimes. Would you like to refresh
18 yourself or -- or do you think you can answer that question?
19 A. I think that document does not state that a crime had been
20 committed. It says "there are indications that a crime may have been
21 committed," meaning unverified information pointing to the possibility, et
22 cetera. But I don't think that the context supports the assumption that
23 it was done by the detainees.
24 Q. Yes, I stand corrected. Yes, purported and -- of crimes.
25 Mr. Gusic, you cannot confirm, can you, where Mr. Halilovic was
1 on the 8th and 9th of September, can you, from your own knowledge of his
3 A. I told you I cannot confirm a single date with any amount of
5 Q. Mid-September generally would you -- was he at Konjic, according
6 to your own information?
7 A. General Halilovic was in early September, mid-September, and late
8 September there, according to my information, but I do not contest any
9 document that may come from the archives of the BH army that would run
10 counter to this. As I told you at the outset, I cannot confirm any dates
11 after so much time has passed. We can talk only about periods. Yes,
12 early September, mid-September, late September, yes.
13 Q. One last question, Mr. Gusic --
14 MS. CHANA: The last question, Your Honour.
15 Q. This is in respect of MFI157. This was the document learned
16 counsel for the Defence showed you, and this was about -- reassess the
17 situation, the genocide committed in Grabovica, et cetera. Do you
18 remember that particular order addressed to the Supreme Command Staff -- I
19 mean, to the IK command and to yourself?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. And you said you'd never seen that document. That's correct,
22 isn't it?
23 A. I don't remember that I had seen the document in that form. I
24 can't remember seeing it. But I know the contents of the document. I'm
25 aware of it because later on I had a talk with my Chief of Staff about why
1 he had done it. I can't visualise the document, in other words, but that
2 particular piece of information and the fact that it was something relayed
3 by my Chief of Staff to the commander outside proper channels is something
4 that stuck in my mind.
5 Q. But who was it primarily addressed to? You -- it was -- you
6 said it was to you for information, but who was the addressee who had to
7 take action on that particular order?
8 A. Well, the action stems from a chain of events that predates that
9 order. The order was to revise the decision that had been taken earlier.
10 I think it had to be sent to General Halilovic. If a certain crime had
11 been committed, then the person in whose zone of responsibility it
12 occurred had to be involved. The superior commander in that area, along
13 that axis, was General Halilovic, so on both counts it should have been
14 addressed to him. But I have to repeat: It was not usual in
15 correspondence to submit a copy of such a document to underlings as well.
16 That document should not have reached me, but maybe the commander decided
17 to send it to me as well simply because my Chief of Staff provided the
18 information in the first place. Perhaps my Chief of Staff would be better
19 placed to answer your question.
20 Q. So it was General Halilovic who had to act on it; yes or no?
21 A. I can't hear the interpretation.
22 Yes. Yes, that's my opinion.
23 Q. I thank you very much, Mr. Gusic.
24 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, that will be my examination.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Ms. Chana.
1 Witness, you mentioned that you would like to say something to
2 this Bench. We still have two minutes left. You may say whatever you
3 like at this stage.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have actually said it already.
5 As I mentioned, I should have said it at the outset yesterday, the bit
6 about Mr. Asim Dzambasovic. That is something I heard last year from
7 Mr. Dautovic, who told me that Mr. Dzambasovic had attempted to take a
8 statement from him reflecting different circumstances to those that
9 actually happened in Prozor. Mr. Dzambasovic was one of the participants
10 in that meeting, and I confirmed -- I cannot confirm that this was his
11 precise establishment position but he was a commander of the operative
12 group, an intelligence officer in the Prozor Battalion. Later when
13 Mr. Dautovic declined to give this false statement, his wife was harassed
14 by a young later whom they didn't know by the name of Edina or something
15 like that, and Mr. Dautovic's wife was told that she can have the
16 telephone number of the Prosecutor. I don't understand exactly what this
17 insinuation was about. Briefly, I got this information from Mr. Dautovic
18 before I met with Mr. Dzambasovic. And when I finally met him, I said, "I
19 am not going to say hello or shake hands with people who stoop to such
21 A couple of days later, one of my superiors invited me to a
22 conference and told me that I shouldn't have acted like that with
23 Mr. Dzambasovic. Mr. Dzambasovic went to so far as to address a very
24 insulting letter to my commander, a letter insulting to me, but this
25 letter led me to ask to be relieved of my duties in the army of the
1 Federation after 26 years of service because I did not wish to stay in the
2 ranks of an army which was subject to influence by such unsavoury
3 individuals, and I saw the map that Mr. Dzambasovic produced. I believe
4 it was tendentiously made, and it does not reflect the information, the
5 facts I remember from the conference in Zenica. It doesn't say anywhere
6 "inclusive of" or "exclusive of. And for your information, Your Honours,
7 "exclusive" in our terms means that a certain unit is obliged to also
8 provide security for a particular feature or facility, and if you write
9 "exclusively," that means that security falls within somebody else's
11 I emphatically claimed, therefore, that the map later made by
12 Mr. Dzambasovic does not reflect the reality because he arrogated the
13 right to add words "inclusive" or "exclusive." This is what I wanted to
14 get off my chest, and I'm sorry if this led to some bad blood. I tried to
15 answer questions honestly, in good faith, and I am prepared to accept any
16 responsibility that I may rightly be subject to, and I can only say what
17 I've already mentioned before: Everything that a person has to leave
18 behind are good deeds and good words or, alternatively, bad deeds and bad
19 words. This is what I wanted to leave behind me.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: I just have one question to ask you: Did you tell
22 this information to the Prosecution team before testifying this time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I shared this
24 information with the Office of the Prosecutor. I cannot tell you the
25 exact date, but it was at the time when I was reviewing the DVD. I made a
1 copy of the letter at that time and gave it to Mr. Brun, and I can show
2 you that letter. I have it with me. I gave them this letter. However, I
3 had no detailed conversation with the Prosecutor about this letter.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We'll certainly look into this
5 matter. Thank you.
6 Well, at this moment, we have two lists of the documents that
7 both parties would like to tender at this stage, but it seems to me that
8 we could not do it for today, so I hope that the parties could write a
9 very concise motion challenging the admission of each other's documents in
10 two days. Maybe we have to do it in written form. I'm very sorry to say
11 that this is the last result we would like to use, but since we are
12 constrained by the time limits, we have to do that.
14 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, just to make sure that I understand
15 Your Honour as well, this is with respect to the documents to be tendered
16 just by this witness alone?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, by this witness alone.
18 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. And I hope that my -- the Defence
19 counsel team would be mindful that some of the documents they used
20 themselves, to take that into consideration when they're doing their
22 JUDGE LIU: Oh, yes, of course. Of course.
23 Well, witness, thank you very much indeed for coming to The Hague
24 to give your testimony, and we wish you a pleasant journey back home, and
25 I apologise for having kept you here for so long.
1 The hearing is adjourned.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
4 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.