1 Friday, 18 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, Madam 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, there are three matters that we have
10 to deal with.
11 Oh, I'm very glad Ms. Chana is present in this courtroom.
12 Frankly speaking, we miss you very much since there's some motions that we
13 have to --
14 MS. CHANA: Yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: -- deal with.
16 The first issue is that the Defence counsel will furnish us with
17 some information about the chain of custody of the documents yesterday we
19 The second issue is about the petition of the Prosecution
20 concerning the document of the, I think, MFI108.
21 The third issue is about the protective measures for the next
23 Let's go through them one by one.
24 Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
25 MR. METTRAUX: Good morning, Your Honour.
1 As requested last night by Your Honour, we have made a few
2 inquiries about the chain of custody of that document and we believe of
3 the Chamber present today in Court is our investigator,
4 Mr. Asim Dzambasovic, who is the person who located that document.
5 That document, as mentioned yesterday, I believe, was found in
6 the military archives of the 1st Corps in Sarajevo. The Defence put an
7 official request to the Ministry of Defence to obtain that document.
8 Unfortunately, the request that we put is in Sarajevo, but we've made a
9 number of phone calls late last night to be faxed our request together
10 with the official response from the ministry, as they provided us with
11 that document, and we hope to be receiving that fax in the course of the
13 For the time being, what we have, Your Honour, is the actual
14 pages of the log which we obtained from the archives. It is this
15 document. The first page is not part of the document. Instead -- in the
16 sense it's a cover page which has been written by an investigator.
17 However, the rest of the document contains it is photocopies made for the
18 Defence by the archives of the 1st Corps, and it's made of three different
19 parts, depending on the names of the former members of the 9th Brigade.
20 It goes into alphabetic order. And for each section there is an official
21 stamp with the signature of the officer who signed the log in question.
22 It has the official stamp of the Bosnian army in three different parts of
23 the document, which we have obtained, including the part which concern
24 Mr. Sakrak himself.
25 As I noted earlier, we are expecting to receive this day our
1 request to the ministry concerning that very document as well as the
2 official response of the ministry or the -- the archive in that respect
3 and we hope to be able to provide those to the Chamber if so required.
4 In addition, we have asked our investigator to be present in
5 court in case Your Honour wanted to ask him any further question as to the
6 whereabouts of those documents, and his having found them in the archives
7 of the 1st Corps.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Mr. Re, is that information satisfactory to you?
10 MR. RE: Not -- unfortunately, not yet. This is, as far as we --
11 I don't dispute anything Mr. Mettraux says, but it is information provided
12 from the bar table. At the moment, there are a number of unresolved
13 issues relating to a Defence challenge to the Prosecution's attempt to do
14 exactly the same thing, which is to provide fairly similar information
15 about how we obtained documents, that is, by putting in requests through
16 the Bosnian -- a request for assistance through the Bosnian Embassy here,
17 going to archives in Sarajevo, investigators physically taking documents
18 from them. So I would ask the Court to defer the tender of those sorts of
19 documents until the issue is resolved as to how the Prosecution is allowed
20 to tender its documents and what the Trial Chamber requires us to prove as
21 to the source of the documents or the chain of custody.
22 I mean, on their face, they appear to be the similar sorts of
23 documents. They have one which they say comes from an archive; we have
24 documents we say comes from an archive. And our position is it can't be
25 good enough for the -- it's not fair, the principle of the equality of
1 arms, for the Defence to say -- assert from the bar table, "This is where
2 ours come from," but we're not allowed to do so.
3 There's also another issue on the equality of arms, and that is
4 the Defence has had almost all of our documents for a long time. We don't
5 see these documents, and the first time we saw this document was
6 yesterday, when it was flashed across the screen in front of us. We
7 don't -- we haven't seen the original. And the Prosecution is in an
8 extreme disadvantage in trying to rebut on the spot any -- any issues
9 relating to the provenance of the documents because we have not had time.
10 We see them briefly in court.
11 And finally, on the admissibility of that particular document -
12 this may well resolve the issue on this particular one - our objection is
13 also to the relevance of putting this particular document into evidence
14 now. The witness gave evidence yesterday that he joined -- he became a
15 member of the 9th Motorised Brigade in September, a few days before he
16 went to Herzegovina, Grabovica. He gave that evidence in
17 examination-in-chief and then in cross-examination, and my learned friend
18 showed him a document which he -- which apparently purports to say that he
19 was formally noted for the records of, I assume, the ABiH as having
20 formally joined in November, but his -- his oral evidence is that he was
21 in the brigade from September. And I don't think there's any dispute
22 between the parties that he was in the brigade in September and he went to
23 Grabovica as part of the 9th Mountain Brigade. So in that sense, the
24 tender of this document won't -- won't assist the Trial Chamber in its
25 determination, won't advance the proceedings, and in our view just
1 clutters up the trial record by putting in unnecessary written material.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much.
3 I think the reason you said is just a reason for the relevance of
4 this document in this particular case. I believe that the Defence team is
5 entitled to show any documents to challenge the evidence presented in the
6 direct examination, and we believe that we are satisfied with the reasons
7 at this stage for the chain of custody of that document, and we believe
8 that this document is relevant to -- to this case and the reliability is
9 prima facie satisfied. So we decided to admit it into the evidence, and
10 this rule will apply equally to both parties in the future.
11 And in the future, if there's any new information which disputes
12 the authenticity of this document, any party will be free to inform the
13 Trial Chamber. We could easily reconsider the admission of that document.
14 It is so decided.
15 Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
16 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 In relation to this issue, there is another matter which my
18 colleague from the Prosecution has raised, which is that there are at
19 least three letters from the Defence to the Prosecution in relation to the
20 chain of custody of Prosecution documents. Those letters have been
21 outstanding for months for some of them, and we had been given several
22 undertakings that this information would be provided to the Defence.
23 The Defence will challenge the authenticity of a number of
24 documents. In addition, one of the reasons why the Defence had requested
25 search information relates to the next document which we are going to
1 discuss, the order of the 30th of August, and the realisation on the part
2 of the Defence that something very strange had happened with that
3 document. That triggered our request.
4 And as I just pointed out, those requests for the chain of
5 custody of a number of Prosecution documents are still outstanding and we
6 would really need that information before we can decide whether or not to
7 challenge the authenticity of those documents.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any response?
9 MS. CHANA: Yes. Yes, Your Honour, I'll respond to this.
10 What had happened, and Mr. Guenael is quite right, is there were
11 some letters that had requested the chain of custody of certain documents.
12 What we had done, Your Honour - and this was at least some, I
13 believe, two and a half months ago; I will stand corrected by the
14 Defence - we had given them the source of all the documents. So for each
15 document on our exhibit list, we'd given them a chart with all the source
16 of documents.
17 Subsequently, Mr. Guenael had sent a letter specifying certain
18 documents, and we are looking into the chain of custody into the specific
20 But I will say one thing here, that some of the documents which
21 are in that list are open-source documents. They are like decrees and
22 statutes and laws, so -- which really begs to question, Your Honour, how
23 seriously have they sort of looked at their own list. Because it's a huge
24 number that they request the chain of custody from.
25 I would request the Defence through Your Honours if they could
1 look at that list again and perhaps take out some of these open-source
2 documents and really leave in the list only those that they truly need to
3 know the chain of custody about.
4 But nevertheless, at this very moment there is somebody being
5 tasked to look at the chain of custody of the documents, and we are not
6 going to give the -- the chain of custody on open documents. We will give
7 them on the others. And a lot of them, Your Honour, are from our
8 collections, very much like the document which has been produced by the
9 Defence yesterday.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you. On that issue, I agree with you
11 that open documents should not be asked for the chain of custody of that
13 MR. METTRAUX: We -- we agree with Your Honour. And if there is
14 indeed search documents on our list, we will definitely take them out and
15 streamline the list. But we have done so already. And this was our
16 understanding, that none of those documents remain on the last letter
17 which we had sent to the Prosecution.
18 But if we are wrong about this, we would certainly undertake to
19 take those open-source documents away from our list and ask the
20 Prosecution to accelerate their research in relation to the others.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
22 Let's come to the second issue. It's about the position of the
23 Prosecution concerning of the document 108.
24 Yes, Ms. Chana.
25 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, our position in this -- on this
1 particular document is that we have this memorandum to yourselves, to the
2 Bench, from Philip Hepburn where he actually gives what is he thinks is
3 the definitive translation. Both translations, Your Honour, were done by
4 CLSS. And there is this -- this note which attempts to explain as to why
5 it came about that there are two different meanings.
6 We would, with your leave, Your Honour, request that we would
7 accept the -- the last one, as they say, as a definitive version but we
8 would tender -- would like to tender this -- this memorandum as an exhibit
9 to be attached to that document. I think that probably would be the most
10 expedient way of dealing with this matter.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much for your cooperation.
12 Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
14 Insofar as the issue of the translation is concerned, the Defence
15 would have no problem with the latest version, as confirmed by CLSS, to go
16 in the record and, if necessary, together with that letter. But with
17 respect, we think that the issue here is much more fundamental than a mere
18 issue of translation.
19 I would just point out the two issues which we think are at issue
20 here: The first one relates to the original document; that is the one
21 which was shown to be, let's say, incorrect. The second issue is the
22 swapping of this first document to the second. And I will just touch upon
23 the issue at first. But the original document which contains the word
24 "command" rather than "control" or "direct" and which also misses a
25 crucial sentence as to the nature of the task of the inspection team, was
1 the document which was before Judge Wald, who confirmed the indictment,
2 among other things. This is also the document which was shown to a number
3 of Prosecution witnesses, including their military expert, giving, the
4 Defence submit, an inappropriate impression that this order is a
5 commanding order, that it gives the power to Mr. Halilovic of commanding
6 the operation, which is a totally misleading impression, in our
8 And as pointed out earlier, the Defence has made a request to
9 obtain the chain of custody of that document and also asked the
10 Prosecution for information as to the person who translated that document.
11 The Defence thinks it is perhaps the -- the point to raise again
12 or to point Your Honours, at least, to a filing from the Defence from the
13 16th of August, 2004 where the Defence made a number of pretty serious
14 allegations against a Prosecution investigator which -- who has been named
15 on a number of occasion this is week. And Your Honour will be familiar
16 with that person. We think that the issue is one which is much more than
17 an issue of language, and I draw the Chamber's attention to this filing so
18 that the matter can be decided further.
19 But in relation to that issue, and before the Trial Chamber takes
20 any decision on that matter, the Defence believe that we are entitled to
21 obtain the chain of custody of that document, an explanation as to who
22 translated that document, and what happened with that document.
23 Concerning the second issue, which is the issue of the swapping,
24 if I may use that expression, of the old version to the new version.
25 There's been what we could call a tour de passe-passe between the
1 document. The document which was part of the Rule 65 ter and which had
2 been given to the Defence was the old version and only, I think, during
3 the testimony of Mr. Gusic did the Defence realise that another document
4 had replaced this document. And neither the Defence nor the Trial Chamber
5 had been given any notice that an exhibit has been swapped for another.
6 This is a totally new document that Your Honour have seen and this is not
7 the document upon which we based ourself or that the -- the
8 Confirming Judge based itself or that, for that matter, the military
9 expert of the Prosecution based itself. And I think that the Defence and
10 the Trial Chamber are entitled to an explanation as to what happened and
11 the circumstances under which an exhibit was replaced by another.
12 These are our submissions, Your Honour, in relation to this
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think, you know, this document is a very
15 important document to this case. And as for the document submitted to the
16 Confirming Judge, I have to say that I myself have been or am now a
17 Confirming Judge to some cases.
18 I don't think that Confirming Judge will base her finding
19 entirely on one piece of document to confirm an indictment. There must be
20 a lot of supporting material for her consideration as well as there may be
21 some conference between the Prosecution and the Confirming Judge
22 concerning with the clarification on certain points in the indictment.
23 And the Defence also said this document, the command document,
24 was shown to some witnesses, but I believe that most of the witnesses who
25 understand the B/C/S will read the original one instead of the
1 translations at all. Only we, the international persons, who could
2 possibly be misled by this document.
3 It seems to me that the Defence failed to show any prejudice
4 against their interest in this concerning with the document, and they did
5 not request any remedies to that aspect.
6 But anyway, we'll take into consideration of the submissions of
7 the both parties when we consider the admission of that document or maybe
8 we could find another time at a later stage when there are more
9 informations available to reconsider this issue.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Just so that it's -- that we make our point quite clear here. We
13 were not asking for the exclusion of the document as retranslated or as
14 properly translated by CLSS.
15 In addition, the Defence fully agrees with Your Honour about the
16 process of confirmation of an indictment.
17 The Defence would like to underline, however, that this is the
18 document in this case. This is the most fundamental document.
19 In addition, this document has polluted a number of other
20 witnesses who don't speak the B/C/S language, such as the military expert,
21 who in turn submitted a report to the Confirming Judge based on the order
22 in question.
23 The other thing which the Defence would like to point out at this
24 stage and in relation to Your Honour's statement, is that the Defence has
25 raised a number of very, very grave concerns about other material which
1 was put before the Confirming Judge at the time, including many, many
2 witnesses' statements who the Defence thinks might have been tampered
3 with. These issues have been raised in several filings, in particular the
4 filing which I referred to of the 16th of August, 2004. Your Honour
5 have -- has heard this week evidence to that effect from at least two
7 What we would like is -- or what we are seeking at this stage is
8 not to exclude the document of the 30th of August as properly translated
9 but for an explanation on the part of the Prosecution and an order to that
10 effect to explain what went on, what happened, both in relation to the
11 original document and in relation to the swapping of that document. And
12 the Defence believe, with respect, that we are entitled to such a remedy.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, so you are in agreement that we admit one
14 document, that is, the latest document with the --
15 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely.
16 JUDGE LIU: -- with the memo as an annex.
17 MR. METTRAUX:
18 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Ms. Chana.
21 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, perhaps I can assist the Chamber. There
22 is one explanation, that is, when our expert was given the document, it
23 was not the document -- the old one, it was the -- the newly translated
24 one which he got. In fact, that was what prompted the new translation was
25 when we were -- we were supposed to give the document to the expert. And
1 so the only person- and I do agree with the Defence to the extent that it
2 was the Defence -- it was the Confirming Judge which got the old
3 translation which we have now withdrawn. But the expert did not.
4 Perhaps it may assist if I give a short explanation,
5 Your Honours, with your leave, as to how we came upon these documents.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the -- the best way is that you
7 submit a memo to the Chamber or to the Defence team on that very issue.
8 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I have actually verbally explained
9 to the Defence as to what exactly happened, and I -- and I have all the --
10 the pieces of paper which sort of deal with our documents and how they
11 come into the collection, et cetera, but I would be very happy to do a
12 memo. And I think we have also in some letters explained this to them.
13 But if it will assist, we are very happy to do a new memo to the Defence.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Just one point, Your Honour. If the position of
16 the Prosecution is correct in relation to the document which was given to
17 the military expert, we would like to point out that the report of that
18 expert was done, if I believe, sometime in June 2002, and we are quite
19 concerned that it took the Prosecution almost two years to give us the
20 translation of the actual document. And our understanding is that Major
21 General Ridgway, the expert, in fact received the old document. We're not
22 questioning the truth of what has just been told to us but we think that
23 this issue should be addressed in the memo that the Prosecution will
24 submit to the Trial Chamber.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, I believe so. I believe that the
1 Prosecution will mention that issue in her memo.
2 Let's go to -- go into the private session, please.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 15-22 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE LIU: And could we have the witness, please.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE LIU: Can you hear me?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. And I said good
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, are you ready to start?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. Mettraux.
21 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
22 WITNESS: ENES SAKRAK [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Mettraux: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sakrak.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. I'd like to take you back where I left you last night. You were
3 telling the Trial Chamber about your arrival in Grabovica and Ramiz
4 Delalic, Celo, asking the troops to go and accommodate themselves into
5 empty houses. Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Having given that order, Celo then promptly left Grabovica; isn't
8 that the case, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And only after Celo had left did someone from the 9th Brigade
11 look for alternative accommodation; isn't that so, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And your evidence is also that in fact you don't know why this
14 person decided to look for accommodation, whether it was because the house
15 was -- the houses were too small or simply because they didn't find them
16 comfortable enough; isn't that so?
17 A. [No interpretation]
18 Q. What you know, however, is that Nihad Vlahovljak ordered all of
19 you from his platoon to go and find accommodation with local civilians.
20 A. He just passed on the message.
21 Q. And no one before him had suggested to you that you would be
22 accommodated with local civilians.
23 A. No.
24 Q. That was the first time anyone made such a suggestion to you, the
25 first time that people said that you should or that you would be
1 accommodated with local civilians.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you didn't go to be accommodated with local civilians of your
4 own free will. You did because Nihad told you so.
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. RE: Your Honour, I object to the form of the question. "Of
7 your own free will" implies something involuntary. Military is of course
8 subject to a form of discipline and hierarchy. An order -- being issued
9 with an order and a bang, doesn't imply that you're doing it of your own
10 free will because if you're in the army, you're subjected to certain
11 disciplinary measures. I'd just ask my friend to put it in a proper form.
12 If he means "involuntary," say so. If he means "you were ordered to do
13 so," say so.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, I -- in this occasion, I see no difference with
15 the "free will" or "voluntarily." But if the Prosecution prefers like
16 this, you know.
17 MR. METTRAUX: We believe the question was clear enough,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. METTRAUX: And that the answer was clear enough from the
22 MR. RE: Well, it -- from the Prosecution's perspective, it's
23 not. Is the witness replying that it was involuntary, he was forced to do
24 something? Or is he replying to a question which he understands to
25 mean, "I was ordered to do it and because I was in the army, I obeyed an
1 order"? There is quite a difference. One is you could be forced. It
2 could be at gunpoint. You could have been marched there. The other is,
3 "I was ordered to do so, so I just went around the village looking." It's
4 entirely unclear from that answer.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the situation in this case is very
7 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour. I will proceed.
8 Q. Mr. Sakrak, you had nothing against Croats. As a matter of fact,
9 you had many Croatian friends. Did you hear me, Mr. Sakrak?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. And your answer is yes, you had Croatian friends and you had
12 nothing against Croats?
13 A. I had nothing against Croats.
14 Q. You also indicated in evidence in chief that at first Pero Maric
15 was not particularly happy to see you arrive with your colleagues and that
16 at first he didn't want you to enter his home; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But you eventually persuaded him to let you in and let you sleep
19 in two rooms in his house; is that so?
20 A. Yes. And you didn't use nor did any of your colleagues use any
21 threats or force to persuade him to let you in his home.
22 A. Nobody applied any force. He agreed to it himself.
23 Q. Just to finish this issue of accommodation, sir. Did you at any
24 time or, rather, on that night, on the 8th, between the 8th and the 9th of
25 September, 1993, did you see anyone sleeping outside in the meadows or in
1 front of houses?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 Q. I didn't get an interpretation.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Because we find it hard to hear the witness.
5 He has to open his mouth.
6 MR. METTRAUX:
7 Q. Can I ask you, Mr. Sakrak, to move a bit forward. The
8 interpreters have problems hearing your voice.
9 Am I correct in understanding your answer as a "no," to the
10 effect that no, you didn't see anyone sleeping outside in the night
11 between the 8th or the 9th of September, 1993 either in front of houses or
12 in meadows? Is that your answer?
13 A. Everybody slept inside houses.
14 Q. Thank you. I'd like now to ask you a few questions about the
15 atmosphere, so to say, in the village when you arrived. As far as the
16 soldiers were concerned, you, the 9th Brigade, when you arrived, the
17 atmosphere was quite euphoric, wasn't it? People were happy to be there.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You were glad to be finally outside of Sarajevo.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And some of the members of the 9th Brigade demonstrated loudly
22 their happiness by shooting in the air as they arrived.
23 A. Possibly. Everybody expresses happiness in a variety of ways. I
24 personally would not regard shooting in the air as an incident because it
25 was not targeting anybody.
1 Q. And some of the locals greeted you in a very friendly manner.
2 Some of the locals cooked food for you and others offered you drinks, like
3 Pero did.
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Some of -- some of the members of your brigade just went on to
6 pick up fruit in the village, figs. It was the season of the figs, wasn't
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. Others went fishing and others still went swimming as they
10 arrived in the village.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And until the incident that you've described yesterday, the
13 incident involving Pero Maric, there had been no problems with the locals.
14 A. No, no problems. The atmosphere was a friendly one.
15 Q. And there was no reason to believe until the Pero Maric incident
16 that something bad would happen.
17 A. I didn't understand your question well.
18 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Sakrak. I will repeat it. Until the -- we will
19 come to the -- to the timing, but until the incident involving Pero Maric,
20 you had no reason to believe that something bad would happen, something of
21 the sort which eventually happened in the village.
22 A. No, we had no reason.
23 Q. And, in fact, as far as you, Mr. Sakrak, can tell, the murder of
24 Pero Maric was the first incident of that sort to occur in Grabovica on
25 that day.
1 A. As far as I know, yes.
2 Q. And from the evidence which you've given to the Chamber
3 yesterday, the murder of Pero Maric must have taken place at around 8.00
4 in the evening of the 8th of September, 1993? Would that be correct, sir,
5 or approximately correct? Or if you can specify it more clearly, please
6 do so.
7 A. It was toward dusk. I can't say it was 8.00 precisely. But as
8 the days were getting longer, it's possible.
9 Q. Very well. And there was no combat activity in the village on
10 that day.
11 A. No, there wasn't.
12 Q. And Pero Maric was not in any way engaged in any military
13 activity on that day.
14 A. No, he wasn't.
15 Q. And you indicated that earlier that day you said, I believe,
16 3.00, 3.30, there had been a bit of taunting and verbal abuse towards --
17 directed towards Pero Maric because someone in your brigade had found a
18 picture of his son in HVO uniform.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. But by the time Pero -- I'm sorry, by the time Musa Hota arrived
21 at dusk, the situation had calmed down and you and the other people who
22 were sleeping in this house were actually sitting around the table and
23 having drinks with Pero Maric; isn't that so, sir?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you've indicated that a number of -- other than the soldiers
1 who slept in this house - and you said that there were about seven or
2 eight of them - other than those soldiers, a number of individuals came to
3 the house on that night, on the night of the 8th of September, 1993.
4 A. They came and went.
5 Q. And one or two such individuals or individual came together with
6 Musa Hota; isn't that so?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And do you know, sir, who that individual or those two
9 individuals were?
10 A. I can't tell you their first and last names. I can only guess or
11 assume, but I don't want to mention names because I'm not sure who was
12 with him. I know Musa arrived with some other people, but I couldn't tell
13 you their names.
14 MR. METTRAUX: Can we go in private session for a minute,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 31 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 32 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 33 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 MR. METTRAUX:
9 Q. Sir, the killing of Pero Maric - so that we're all clear about
10 this issue - had nothing to do with military combat.
11 A. No.
12 Q. It had even less to do with the mission which you were sent to
13 perform in Herzegovina.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. After this incident, you've indicated that you and your friends
16 went to sleep -- went to sleep, and that the next morning - that would be
17 the 9th of September - you woke up in Pero Maric's house.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At the time when you woke up on the 9th of September, you had no
20 idea that you would be involved in the killing of civilians during that
22 A. No, I couldn't assume something like that might happen.
23 Q. And had you had the slightest indication that this could be the
24 case, you would have done everything in your power to avoid having a part
25 therein; isn't that so, sir?
1 A. I fully agree with you.
2 Q. And as you went out that morning, you said at around 9.00 or
3 9.30, the order which you received from Nihad was totally unexpected.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you hadn't drank any alcohol that morning nor had you taken
6 any drugs, sir?
7 A. No, I don't use either alcohol or drugs.
8 Q. And nor, as far as you can tell, had Sead Karagic or Haris
9 Rajkic, your two friends.
10 A. Well, just like me, no, they hadn't taken anything.
11 Q. You've also mentioned a lineup organised by Celo on the 10th of
13 A. I can't recall the exact date, but there was a line-up when we
14 were supposed to go to Dreznica, a line-up in which I participated.
15 Q. And the line-up, sir, took place on the day after the killing had
16 taken place in Grabovica, of the Zadros, that is. I mean, the day after
17 you killed two members of the Zadro family. That was the next day.
18 A. The line-up in which I participated was several days later,
19 before we left for Dreznica. I heard there was another line-up on the
20 same day when the boys were found and that was a line-up in which I did
21 not participate.
22 Q. That is because from the time when you heard that the boys had
23 been found, you did everything to avoid them.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In fact, you were hiding from Celo.
1 A. Yes, because he would have punished us.
2 Q. You also talked about another incident involving or allegedly
3 involving Mr. Habib.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This incident, sir, if it happened at all, and according to Mr.
6 Habib's own words to you, would have happened around 1.00 p.m. on the 9th
7 of September, 1993; isn't that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you don't know nor did you mention the name or identity of
10 the person which Mr. Habib allegedly killed on that day.
11 A. No, I don't know. He didn't mention the name at all.
12 Q. You don't even know, sir, whether that person was a Muslim or a
14 A. I don't even know if it's true. Maybe he just said that.
15 Q. And you didn't see him take that person away, did you?
16 A. I didn't see it. He just told me about it.
17 Q. And as you just pointed out to this court, it may just have been
18 an invention or some sort of stupid boasting on the part of Mr. Habib.
19 A. It's possible, but a shot was heard. That doesn't mean that the
20 shot was aimed at that person.
21 Q. And the shot was only heard in the general direction of the house
22 where Mr. Habib said he committed that crime.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that house was a couple of hundred metres from where you were
25 at the time when you heard the shot.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Concerning the killing, sir, of the Zadro family, that killing,
3 sir, took place around 12.00 or 13.00 on the 9th of September, 1993.
4 A. Well, probably around noon.
5 Q. And the killing of that family took place at a time when the
6 killing in the village had almost finished.
7 MR. RE: Is this -- is this something this witness knows?
8 There's a proper way of establishing the foundation for this particular
10 MR. METTRAUX: Well, I certainly will, Your Honour.
11 Q. In your statement, sir, of the 15th of December, 2003 given to
12 the Office of the Prosecution at page 7 of your statement you indicated
13 that at the time when this incident occurred, the killing in the village
14 had - and I quote your words in the English translation - "almost
15 finished." Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The shooting in the village was indeed abating and it soon ceased
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it -- it ceased altogether, and I quote again your words from
21 the same statement, this time paragraph 30: "It stopped altogether in
22 early afternoon."
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 Q. So as far as you can tell, sir, after noon or perhaps shortly
25 thereafter the killing had stopped in the village.
1 MR. RE: Well, is this -- it appears to be speculation, from the
2 Prosecution's perspective. The witness can give evidence of what he saw,
3 told, or was heard. He can't be asked to speculate about what might have
4 happened that he didn't know about.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, that's because, you know, the previous
6 statement of this witness. Because the witness testified it stopped
7 altogether in early afternoon, and the Defence counsel is entitled to make
8 a clarification or ask further questions along this line.
9 You may proceed.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you very much.
11 Q. Sir, as far as you can tell with your own eyes and your own ears,
12 the killing had stopped in early afternoon of the 9th of September, 1993;
13 isn't that correct, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Then, sir, you made your way back from the Zadros house to Pero
16 Maric's house where you were staying and you came back with Sead and
17 Haris; isn't that so?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And as you -- and as you reached this house, you came across
20 Nihad. It was immediately after you had come back, so it must have been
21 shortly after noon, shortly after 12.00 on the 9th of September.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And on that occasion, Nihad conveyed an order to you to bury the
24 bodies of the victims.
25 A. A little after that. Not right away, but a little while after
2 Q. It would have been less than half an hour later, sir; isn't that
4 A. Something like that, yes.
5 Q. And as he gave you the order, that is, Nihad, he knew very well
6 that what he was asking of you was illegal?
7 A. Nihad didn't issue the order. He only transmitted it. As to
8 whether he knew it was illegal or not, I don't know that.
9 Q. Nihad told you, as you just pointed out, that an order had come
10 from Vehbija Karic to clean up traces of crimes because he said they
11 suspected that the UNPROFOR was coming in the village.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. But you, sir, did not verify whether Nihad had really received
14 such an order from Karic.
15 A. I don't understand your question.
16 Q. Well, I will -- I will try to formulate it a bit better. You
17 were not in a position at the time to determine whether Nihad really had
18 received such an order from Karic or whether perhaps he was deceiving you
19 in that regard to give more authority to the order which he was giving
21 A. We couldn't check it, no.
22 Q. Just so that it's clear, I'm not criticising you or anything or
23 questioning what you -- what you're saying. I'm just trying to determine
24 the facts. Because you had no way yourself to ascertain whether Nihad had
25 indeed received that order or that alleged order from Karic.
1 A. I agree with you.
2 Q. So you're not telling this Trial Chamber that Karic actually gave
3 that order. All you're saying is that Nihad claimed to have received such
4 an order.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Concerning the actual cleaning-up of the scene, as soon as you
7 had received this order, passed on, conveyed, or given by Nihad, you
8 immediately set up with Haris, Sead, and two others to bury bodies.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it was all done in the greatest hurry because you were
11 concerned that the UNPROFOR was indeed trying to -- or might come in the
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So that by mid-afternoon on the 9th of September, 1993, and
15 again, as far as you can tell from your own eyes or ears, there were no
16 more traces of crimes in the village of Grabovica.
17 A. No, there were no more traces, at least none that I could see.
18 Q. And as far as you could see or as far as you can tell this Court,
19 all the bodies of the victims had been buried in Grabovica.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you saw no trucks coming in the village on that day, sir.
22 A. No.
23 Q. Nor, as a matter of fact, did you see UNPROFOR trying to enter
24 the village.
25 A. No, I didn't.
1 Q. I have just one question about evidence which you gave -- or
2 several questions, as a matter of fact, which you gave to the Prosecution
3 about what happened on that day. You said that you could not see or you
4 did not see anyone trying to enter the village on that day. Am I correct
5 in understanding that?
6 A. [No audible response]
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the answer.
8 MR. METTRAUX:
9 Q. Could you please repeat the answer, Mr. Sakrak. The interpreters
10 did not hear you.
11 A. Yes, yes, you understood it correctly.
12 Q. But you don't know, sir, whether anyone tried to enter the
13 village. You don't know that.
14 A. I don't know that. I agree with you fully. Because I didn't
15 walk around much. If I didn't see that, it doesn't mean other people
16 didn't see it or that they didn't arrive.
17 Q. And, actually, after the incident in which you took part - and I
18 mean the killing of the Zadro family - you mostly stayed in or just
19 outside the house of Pero Maric. You didn't go around the village, sir.
20 A. I agree with you.
21 Q. And you never heard that the Minister of Interior,
22 Mr. Bakir Alispahic, ever tried to enter the village of Grabovica on the
23 9th or the 10th of September, 1993.
24 A. No, I never heard that.
25 Q. The day after the incident in which you took part, the killing of
1 the Zadros, most of the troops which had been accommodated in the village
2 left Grabovica for combat; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. And I among them.
4 Q. Concerning the individuals involved in the killing of civilians
5 in Grabovica, other than yourself, Haris Rajkic, Sead Karagic, and as far
6 as Pero Maric is concerned, you don't know who else committed crimes in
7 Grabovica - and by "crimes" I mean murders - you don't know the names of
8 those persons.
9 A. I don't. I don't.
10 Q. And you don't know either, sir, whether the individuals whom you
11 saw walking around the village as you were going towards the house of the
12 Zadros themselves had any part in the killing of civilians in Grabovica.
13 A. I'm sorry, I really didn't understand your question.
14 Q. I'm sorry, sir. I will try to -- to rephrase it. You've
15 indicated yesterday that as you walked towards -- as you walked away from
16 Pero's house, you came across a number of soldiers, one of whom or several
17 of whom told you that "everything is clear down there." Do you remember
19 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
20 Q. My question is, sir: You don't know whether any of those
21 individuals whom you passed or met or saw on that day took any part in the
22 killing of civilians in Grabovica on that day. You don't know that, sir.
23 A. I don't know. I really don't know.
24 Q. Concerning the victims, sir, of the incident in Grabovica, you
25 don't know and you're unable to ascertain or to give any evidence to this
1 Trial Chamber as to how many people might have been killed on that day.
2 A. I don't know the exact number.
3 Q. Nor can you assist the Court in any way in relation to the
4 identity of those people, other than Pero Maric and his wife, and you've
5 indicated obviously the Zadro family. Other than those people, sir, you
6 cannot assist the Chamber.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Nor can you give any additional evidence than the one you've
9 already given about the circumstances in which other civilians - and I
10 mean other than the Zadros and the Maric, Pero and Dragica - might have
11 been killed. You cannot give any other evidence about that -- about the
12 circumstances of the death of other individuals.
13 A. I can only speak about Pero and the Zadro family.
14 Q. Sir, you've indicated yesterday that you were a mere foot soldier
15 in the Bosnian army; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And as such, you were not aware or you were not privy to the
18 structure of the operation or the commanding structure of the operation in
19 which you were taking a part; is that correct?
20 A. [No interpretation]
21 Q. Can you repeat your answer, sir, please, for the interpreters.
22 A. I agree with that.
23 Q. And yesterday, sir, you've indicated in response to a question by
24 the Prosecution that Sefer Halilovic might have been in charge of the
25 operation. This is what you told the Prosecution yesterday, isn't it?
1 A. Yes. But those are only assumptions, because nothing was
2 formally said as to Mr. Sefer Halilovic leading that operation.
3 Q. May I put a proposition to you in that regard. Would I be
4 correct in suggesting that your assumption as to the role and function of
5 Mr. Halilovic during that operation is based on two things: Firstly, you
6 thought that at the time Mr. Halilovic was still the commander of the
7 Bosnian army; and, secondly, that considering the size and the importance
8 of the operation, a very senior official or officer of the army must be in
9 charge of that operation? Isn't that the basis for your assumption, sir?
10 A. Yes. Yes, just that.
11 Q. And as you just indicated, you never saw any document suggesting
12 that Mr. Halilovic had been given such a role.
13 A. Neither did I see any documents, nor did I see Mr. Sefer himself.
14 Q. You didn't see Sefer Halilovic in Grabovica.
15 A. I didn't see him before or after. I mean, I didn't see Mr. Sefer
16 Halilovic a single time in the period I spent there.
17 Q. You've indicated yesterday as well to the Prosecution that until
18 the year 2000, I believe, you had not been interviewed by anyone about the
19 incidents in Grabovica.
20 A. Yes, I said that.
21 Q. And that's quite normal, sir, because considering what you had
22 done down there in Grabovica, you were very careful not to let anyone know
23 that you had been in Grabovica at the time; isn't that so?
24 A. Yes, I agree with you.
25 Q. And there was no list, sir, of the individuals, the members of
1 the 9th Brigade, who had gone to Herzegovina. There was no search list.
2 Isn't that correct?
3 MR. RE: Well, unless my learned friend can establish how this
4 witness who he has just obtained evidence from was a mere "foot soldier"
5 would be in a position to know what sort of list or records the ABiH kept
6 of soldiers and where they were, he can't ask this question. He has to --
7 there's a foundation.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
9 MR. METTRAUX: I will rephrase, Your Honour. I will rephrase.
10 Q. Sir, were you shown a list of the individuals who were to be
11 taken in Grabovica either before you went there or upon your return? Did
12 you see such a list?
13 A. No, I did not see anything like that.
14 Q. And as you returned to Sarajevo, you were very careful, sir, to
15 distance yourself from many of the members of the 9th Brigade, didn't you?
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 Q. In particular, you stayed away as much as you could from Nihad
18 Vlahovljak; isn't that so, sir?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. But you did not turn yourself to the police, neither did you
21 volunteer to give a statement at the time about what happened; isn't that
23 A. I agree with you on that.
24 Q. And for several years, sir, you denied having had any part in
25 what happened in Grabovica.
1 A. I did.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... any individuals who were
3 directly involved in the killing in Grabovica in September 1993, you
4 acknowledged your responsibility instead of inventing intricate stories to
5 explain yourself out of the -- out of the events. Isn't that so, sir?
6 MR. RE: Well, I object to that. First of all, my learned friend
7 has to establish that the witness knows who the other people involved in
8 the killings were, what stories they would have invented, who they told
9 them to, whether they were given to the authorities, whether this
10 prevented the authorities from investigating and so on. He can certainly
11 confine it to what's in this witness's knowledge.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Well -- the story referring to Your Honour,
14 the -- he gave a statement, or a suspect interview, to be more precise, in
15 the year 2000 to the Prosecution where he himself acknowledged yesterday
16 that he had invented a story. I was referring to the story of that
17 witness, who invented a story and who told it to the Prosecution.
18 I will move on, Your Honour, in any case.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
20 MR. METTRAUX:
21 Q. Sir, after your return to Sarajevo, many members of the 9th
22 Brigade were arrested and detained as part of an operation known as
23 "Trebevic"; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. But you yourself were not arrested, sir.
1 A. I was not, because in my military service book that we had to
2 produce during a rest, it was not recorded that I was a member of the 9th
3 Brigade in 1993/1994. Something else was written in my military service
5 Q. In the back of the document which I showed you yesterday, sir, to
6 the effect that you only formally became a member of the 9th Brigade on
7 the 30th November, 1993; isn't that so?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You know, however, that a number of other members of the 9th
10 Brigade were arrested during that operation and that several of them were
11 interviewed about the incident in Grabovica. You know that.
12 A. I know that for certain. That is perfectly true.
13 Q. And you also know, sir, that none of them was charged with
14 committing a crime in relation to Grabovica; isn't that so, sir?
15 A. You mean was any of them indicted? Is that what you ask? I'm
16 sorry, I didn't understand the question very well.
17 Q. I will put it in another way. Of all the members of the 9th
18 Brigade who were arrested during the Trebevic operation, none of them was
19 indicted in relation to a crime related to Grabovica. I'm not talking
20 about other incidents in -- to which they might have been referred, but
21 none of them, as far as you know, or perhaps with the exception of Musa
22 Hota, were charged with anything in relation to Grabovica. Is that
24 A. As far as I know, that's correct.
25 Q. And you also know for a fact, sir, that Sefer Halilovic was
1 arrested as part of the same operation.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you also know, sir, that Sefer Halilovic was detained for
4 more than three weeks during that operation; isn't that so, sir?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But whereas Mr. Halilovic was removed from the army on the 1st of
7 November, 1993, all of the former members of the 9th Brigade continued to
8 act as soldiers in the Bosnian army; isn't that so, sir?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And many of the former members of the 9th Brigade, just as you
11 did, joined the 105th Brigade, that's the 105 Brigade. Isn't that so,
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. And that would concern, for instance, individuals such as
15 yourself, Haris Rajkic, Sead Karagic, Sabahudin Djenanovic [phoen], known
16 as Dziki, and that also involves Nihad and Celo; isn't that so?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Finally, sir, just to finish up a short question. I believe that
19 you were gravely wounded in 1994. Is that correct, sir? Was it in 1994?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that you left the army because you had been gravely wounded
22 and couldn't continue as a soldier.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So for a while you decided to go back to studies and you went to
25 university to study criminology; is that correct, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But for some reason you stopped your studies and went to work for
3 the OSCE instead for a little while; is that correct?
4 A. OSC.
5 Q. Okay. And you didn't stay there for very long. After that, sir,
6 you found another job with the Commission on the Establishment of War
7 Crimes in the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina; isn't that so, sir?
8 A. When I was demobilised, I started working. I worked for about
9 two months perhaps in the Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes
10 and then I transferred to the OSC, to which the commission was affiliated.
11 MR. METTRAUX: That would be all the questions from the Defence.
12 Thank you.
13 Thank you, Mr. Sakrak.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's high time to take a break, and we'll have
15 30 minutes' break and we'll resume at 20 minutes past 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.47 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.20 a.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, in the break, I was approached by
20 the Prosecutor and provided with information that's directly relevant --
21 yes, I'm sorry, I'm reminded now that we should go into the private
22 session, and I ask that we go into private session, please.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into the private session, please.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 50-63 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE LIU: And could we have the witness, please.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Re, your redirect, please.
9 Re-examined by Mr. Re:
10 Q. Defence counsel Mr. Mettraux, asked you, Mr. Sakrak, about the
11 membership or the ethnic composition of the 9th Motorised Brigade. Were
12 there any Serbs or Croats to your knowledge in the group of soldiers who
13 went from Sarajevo to Grabovica in September 1993?
14 A. Yes, there were.
15 Q. Do you know whether any of the Serb or Croat members of the 9th
16 Brigade participated in the murder of the Croat villagers in that killing
17 spree on the 9th of September, 1993?
18 A. I don't know that.
19 Q. You were also asked about the presence or otherwise of groups --
20 military groups called Cedo's Wolves or the Handzar Division. You said
21 you didn't know if they were there. Did you know of their existence when
22 you were in Grabovica in September 1993?
23 A. I didn't know that they existed or that they were there.
24 Q. Would you have known what they looked like?
25 A. I can't know who belongs to what unit. I couldn't know that.
1 Q. Your evidence was that you joined the 9th Motorised Brigade
2 sometime shortly before you left for Herzegovina in September 1993. Where
3 were you based?
4 A. I think it was at the Faculty of Physical Education.
5 Q. Where's that?
6 A. Sarajevo.
7 Q. Was that army barracks?
8 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. METTRAUX: The Defence has asked no question about the
11 location of the 9th Brigade or the facilities in which they were staying.
12 I can't see how this could ever come out of cross-examination.
13 JUDGE LIU: But you asked the time that the witness joined the
14 9th Mountain Brigade.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, Your Honour, I asked about the timing. But
16 certainly nothing to do with their location or the facilities which they
17 were using in Sarajevo.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Re, unless this question is closely related to
19 the cross-examination, I don't hope ask you to expand the scope of the
20 redirect examination.
21 MR. RE: Under --
22 JUDGE LIU: I don't know whether this kind of evidence is
23 relevant to our present case.
24 MR. RE: In my submission, the relevance is this: In
25 cross-examination and through the tender of that document showing that the
1 witness formally joined the 9th Brigade in November 1993, there seemed to
2 be a suggestion or it seems to be the Defence case that he was not really
3 a part of the 9th Motorised Brigade before November 1993 and, therefore,
4 it would have been impossible for the Bosnian authorities, had they so
5 wished to track him down, because he wasn't listed as being in the 9th
6 Brigade. Now, I'm asking him about where he was located, who he was there
7 with, was it 9th Brigade -- Mountain Brigade -- Motorised Brigade
8 premises, just to establish in re-examination that he was in fact in the
9 9th Brigade and locatable in that -- in the indictment period.
10 JUDGE LIU: It seems to me that we come across an issue of de
11 jure or de facto soldiers, you know.
12 MR. METTRAUX: Well, in effect, the way the Defence case on that
13 point has been presented by the Prosecution is inaccurate, Your Honour.
14 We are not suggesting that Mr. Sakrak was in fact a member of the 9th
15 Brigade from the period from September to November 1993. What we are
16 saying is he joined three or four days before going to Herzegovina,
17 remained a member of that brigade during the period between September and
18 November, but only became a member formally on the 30th of November.
19 That's the only thing the Defence is suggesting at this stage.
20 JUDGE LIU: So I think this issue is settled.
21 MR. RE: May it please Your Honours.
22 Q. You were shown, Mr. Sakrak, a copy of some records from the 9th
23 Motorised Brigade suggesting that you formally joined in November 1993.
24 Did your own -- I just can't think of the word -- military registration
25 book, what did it say about your military service?
1 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, the witness has already
2 answered that question in relation to his arrest. He's indicated to the
3 Court that the reason why he wasn't arrested is precisely because of that,
4 because his military record did not indicate that he was a member of the
5 9th Brigade at the time. This question has been asked and answered.
6 MR. RE: I'm asking about what his own registration book says,
7 and I'm going to ask him about investigations which arise from that. And
8 I'm not quite sure it was answered in the way my friend suggests that he
9 wasn't arrested because he was --
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, you have the right to make any clarifications
11 on that issue. But only this.
12 MR. RE: Thank you.
13 Q. What did your military -- your own registration book, the one --
14 the record you kept yourself, what did it say about when you formally
15 joined the 9th Motorised Brigade?
16 A. The 30th of November, 1993.
17 Q. When you returned from Herzegovina, did you go back to the same
18 place, that is, the Faculty of Physical Education?
19 MR. RE: And I know what the objection is going to be, and I can
20 answer it. It is directly relevant to the question --
21 MR. METTRAUX: Well, the important question, Your Honour, is --
22 MR. RE: Can I just finish, please.
23 I understand -- I anticipate the objection. And --
24 MR. METTRAUX: Well, I don't want to be anticipated on this
25 matter, Your Honour. It's for me to make the objection, and the objection
1 is, again, that this matter has not been raised in cross-examination.
2 It's been raised before. It's raised again. And this has not been raised
3 in cross-examination.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have already made a ruling that this
5 issue has been settled. There's no disputes between the parties
6 concerning of that particular issue, so you may skip that over, Mr. Re.
7 MR. RE: That's not the issue I'm after. There seems -- maybe
8 there's a misunderstanding or maybe I'm not expressing myself as clearly
9 as I should.
10 The issue I'm attempting to clarify was the possibility of the
11 witness being investigated or arrested upon his return from - if I can
12 finish, please - from Herzegovina.
13 Now, Mr. Mettraux just said he wasn't arrested because he wasn't
14 on the books. All I want from the witness is where he was, was he with
15 the other soldiers, the same ones he returned with, from Grabovica, the
16 ones who were interrogated in October 1993. Was he with them at the same
17 time; that is, was he physically able to be interrogated. And that -- in
18 my submission, that must rise out of cross-examination because
19 Mr. Mettraux just put to Your Honours the suggestion that he wasn't
20 arrested because he wasn't formally written down in the books. I must be
21 entitled to clarify that in re-examination.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. METTRAUX: With respect, Your Honour, there's no
24 clarification to be brought to this issue. There was no cross-examination
25 in relation to the investigation of Mr. Sakrak. The only issue which was
1 raised at the time was the issue as to whether or not he had been
2 arrested. That's the only one issue that was raised in relation to this
3 matter. There was no issue going to the issue of investigation which
4 Mr. Re is now trying to lead in re-examination.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Re, you may ask a direct leading question
6 to this witness concerning of the arrest.
7 MR. RE: His own arrest?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. RE: He wasn't arrested till 2003.
10 JUDGE LIU: Maybe why not he was arrested during that time.
11 MR. RE:
12 Q. In 1993 - and the Defence has just conceded that you were a
13 member of the 9th Brigade between September and November - did you
14 consider yourself subject to order and discipline of the 9th Mountain
15 Brigade --
16 MR. METTRAUX: Just a second. Could the Prosecution be more
17 precise about whether he considered himself. He stated the facts.
18 MR. RE: Well, I actually didn't finish the question. And I --
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, the question is not direct enough. I allowed
20 you to make a very direct and leading question to the witness, just up to
21 the point.
22 MR. RE: Maybe if I could return to that. I've got a different
23 area I wish to -- to cover.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
25 MR. RE: Thank you.
1 Q. The Defence asked you in cross-examination, Mr. Sakrak, whether
2 you had seen Mr. Sefer Halilovic in Grabovica when you were there. Did
3 you know Mr. Halilovic personally at the time?
4 A. I knew him through the media, but I never saw him down there.
5 Q. When you say you knew him through the media, are you saying you
6 knew what he looked like? You'd seen him in the media?
7 A. Yes, I knew very well what he looked like, and I could not make a
8 mistake. I assert with full responsibility that Mr. Sefer Halilovic was
9 not there, at least as far as I was able to see.
10 Q. One of the first things Mr. Mettraux asked you today was about
11 when you went looking for accommodation, and the question was: Was it not
12 of your own free will? And you answered "yes." I want you to clarify
13 what you meant by that. Did you mean by the answer "yes" to the question
14 "was it not of your own free will," that you were forced or that you were
15 obeying an order to look for accommodation?
16 A. I don't quite understand the question, but from what I
17 understand, is that we were told or the suggestion was made to go looking
18 elsewhere, other than in those two houses. Whether it was an order or
19 not, I couldn't say.
20 Q. I'm just trying to clarify what you meant when you responded to
21 the question "it was not of your own free will." What -- what did you
22 understand the question, when it was asked, in the sense of -- you were
23 doing something not of your own free will -- what did you understand that
24 to mean?
25 A. I'm sorry, but I really don't understand.
1 Q. It was also suggested to you that Habib Alic was boasting about
2 having raped and killed a woman.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, it wasn't suggested. What was
5 put to the witness is an alternative as to whether Mr. Sakrak would give
6 evidence as to whether this event happened or whether it was a
8 MR. RE: I will rephrase it.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
10 MR. RE:
11 Q. It was suggested to you in cross-examination that Mr. Habib Alic
12 was possibly boasting about having killed and raped a woman. In your
13 experience, as a person, have you ever heard anyone else boast about
14 having possibly killed and raped a woman? Has anyone ever boasted to you
15 before about killing and raping a woman?
16 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, I have to object again. This
17 is totally speculative.
18 JUDGE LIU: I agree with you on that issue.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. On the 9th of September, Mr. Sakrak, after you participated in
21 the murder of the Zadro family, where -- where did you go after the
22 incident you described with Mr. Habib Alic telling you about having
23 attempted to rape and then killing a woman? Where did you spend the rest
24 of the day?
25 MR. RE: And it does arise directly out of cross-examination,
1 with respect.
2 Q. The question is: Where did you spend the right of the afternoon
3 before nightfall? Were you in the house? Were you walking around? Were
4 you in the village? Were you somewhere else?
5 A. I was inside the house or around the house. Never too far away
6 from the house.
7 Q. Did you visit the other houses in the village on the afternoon of
8 the 9th of September?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Yes. I object again, Your Honour. There was no
11 evidence led in cross-examination in relation to his whereabouts during
12 the afternoon. He was asked where he was. He said, "In the house or
13 around the house." That is all that was asked. The question has been
14 asked again by the Prosecution in re-examination. There was nothing in
15 cross-examination about him visiting other houses or such matters.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Re, I believe that the witness has answered
17 your question already. He said he was "inside the house or around the
18 house. Never too far away from the house."
19 MR. RE: He --
20 JUDGE LIU: So your next question has been answered.
21 MR. RE: I do accept that. And I do accept that it was slightly
22 repetitive and it goes directly to the issue of what else he could have
23 seen that afternoon, which was directly covered by the Defence.
24 JUDGE LIU: I understand the lines of your question, but I think
25 your question has been answered already.
1 MR. RE: May it please Your Honour.
2 Q. When you -- when Mr. Mettraux questioned you and you answered him
3 about your belief that there were no more killings that afternoon, were
4 you in a position from being inside the house or just slightly around the
6 MR. RE: Please don't -- can you please let me finish the
8 MR. METTRAUX: No, I'm sorry. I have an objection, Your Honour,
9 in relation to this matter. The Defence should not be misquoted. The
10 witness was not asked to express a belief. He was clearly asked whether
11 he saw or heard anything relating to that matter, and as -- it was as a
12 result of a fair objection of the Prosecution that he should be asked in
13 that way. He was asked whether he had seen or heard. He was not asked
14 whether he had any such belief. So I think that the Defence should be
15 quoted correctly when put questions in re-examination and perhaps the
16 transcript should be used to that effect.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Re.
18 MR. RE: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: I believe that your point has been made by asking the
20 previous question, so there's no need to digging into this matter any
21 more. It is so obvious.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. You were also asked about your awareness of killings by other
24 people, other soldiers, in Grabovica. How many people did you hear were
25 killed in Grabovica on around the 8th and 9th of September, 1993?
1 A. I know about the Zadro family, Pero and Marica, and the two
2 corpses that I saw lying on the ground. I don't know about anything else.
3 Q. What I'm asking you is what you heard at the time about the
4 deaths of other villagers. What did you hear about how many people had
5 been killed? Apart from the ones you had seen yourself.
6 A. I'm not sure I understand your question. These victims that I
7 just mentioned are the only ones I know about.
8 Q. Were you aware of the recordkeeping system of the 1st Corps and
9 the 9th Motorised Brigade in relation to the location of its soldiers at
10 various times?
11 MR. METTRAUX: There again, Your Honour, I think it's the fourth
12 time I have to stand up in relation to that matter. I'm sorry to do so so
13 often, but this is the same line of questioning and it has nothing to do
14 with cross-examination.
15 MR. RE: Well, I -- I resist that objection very strongly. It
16 does. It relates directly to the cross-examination. He was asked about
17 the record. A record was produced. I'm not asking him about that. I'm
18 asking about his knowledge of the recordkeeping system within the 1st
19 Corps and whether he knew whether or not the soldiers who were in
20 Grabovica could have been located. He may know; he may not know.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the first part of the question is
22 relevant, but the second part in relation to the location of the soldiers
23 at various times is not related. So you may just put the first question
24 to this witness.
25 MR. RE: I'm sorry, Your Honour's ruling is that I can't ask him
1 about whether he knew the recordkeeping extended to where soldiers were
2 sent to?
3 JUDGE LIU: You could ask a question whether the witness is aware
4 of the recordkeeping system of the 1st Corps, but you cannot ask the
5 following questions.
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. Mr. Sakrak, you heard the question. Were you aware or what was
8 your awareness of the recordkeeping systems within the 1st Corps, and more
9 specifically, the 9th Motorised Brigade?
10 A. I was not aware.
11 Q. Was there anything you know of from the system of military
12 discipline and the command structure within the 9th Motorised Brigade that
13 could have prevented the military police or military security service from
14 finding you and interrogating you and other soldiers about what happened
15 in Grabovica?
16 MR. METTRAUX: Well --
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. METTRAUX: -- I think the objection will be very obvious to
19 Your Honour. I've raised it previously. And the question is just put in
20 a different manner. The witness was not cross-examined about any
21 investigation that would concern him. He was asked about his arrest.
22 That's all that came out of cross-examination. This line of
23 re-examination does not come out of the cross-examination.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, you may skip this question.
25 MR. RE: The witness has given evidence -- or was questioned
1 about when he was arrested and when he was interrogated.
2 JUDGE LIU: I believe that's the second time. Very late.
3 MR. RE: I'm sorry?
4 JUDGE LIU: You may ask some questions about he was arrested.
5 MR. RE: Yes. Yes.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. You've already told us that you were arrested, I think, in 2003
9 and charged in relation to these particular murders. Was there anything
10 that prevented you being arrested between --
11 MR. RE: Well, it's exactly the same --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Re did not finish his question.
13 MR. RE:
14 Q. Was there anything to your knowledge that prevented you being
15 arrested or investigated for the offences you committed between September
16 1993 and August 2003, when you were arrested?
17 MR. METTRAUX: Well, now I can object and I can do so on three
18 bases: It is not coming out of cross-examination; and it is speculative;
19 and Mr. -- I didn't ask Mr. Sakrak about his arrest in 2003 but in
20 relation to his having pleaded guilty. The question in essence, and the
21 most important issue is in relation to the objections, that they do not
22 come of cross-examination and, as I said, they are totally speculative.
23 JUDGE LIU: But this question is related to his arrest in 2000.
24 We will allow this question.
25 MR. RE: May it please Your Honours.
1 Q. Mr. Sakrak, I repeat the question, and it's this: Was there
2 anything to your knowledge that prevented you being arrested or
3 investigated for the offences you committed in September 1993 between then
4 and August 2003, when you were arrested and charged?
5 A. The only thing I can think of is that I was not actually a member
6 of that unit and they couldn't reach me. They couldn't get to me. And
7 naturally, I didn't turn myself in.
8 Q. Were you still in the same company when you returned from
10 A. No, there was a change.
11 Q. What about Sead Karagic and Haris Reich -- Rajkic? Did they stay
12 in the same -- did they go with you to the new company or remain in the
13 old one?
14 A. As far as I can remember, they transferred, but they were not in
15 the same company as I. A new classification had been introduced and we
16 were no longer in the same company.
17 Q. Do you know whether they were ever investigated or interrogated
18 in September 1993 for what they had done with you in Grabovica?
19 A. I don't know, because -- I don't know, because we didn't keep in
20 touch that much. We didn't keep in touch enough to discuss that.
21 Q. You were also asked about the criminal reputation or -- or the
22 criminal -- the reputation alleged or otherwise of criminal behaviour of
23 the 9th Brigade in Sarajevo. What was Celo's reputation at the time?
24 A. That he was a good fighting man and not a criminal, as imputed by
1 Q. When you say "imputed by some," do you mean imputed by some at
2 the time?
3 A. No, not in our parts. What I mean is the way they seemed to be
4 treated here, the whole unit, including Rasim Delalic [as interpreted].
5 And from what I know, that unit was a good unit. It consisted of good
6 fighting men, not criminals.
7 Q. Was that a unit you were in?
8 A. Yes, the eight men that I served with.
9 Q. You answered in cross-examination that -- or it was put to you
10 that there were between four and five thousand people in the 9th Motorised
11 Brigade. How many of these people did you know -- personally know?
12 A. A lot. I knew many, many people. And many of these people had
13 family ties through intermarriage, and I really don't see how anybody can
14 claim that these people inspired fear or threatened members of each
15 other's families. They are talked about here in a totally different way
16 than they were known at the time in our locality.
17 Q. Did you know how many units were in the 9th Motorised Brigade and
18 the names of those units?
19 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, there again it's not something
20 that comes out of cross-examination.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. That's like re-presenting the evidence in
23 MR. RE: The reason I was putting that goes to the witness's
24 knowledge of the structure of the unit and, hence, what people in it were
25 doing and, hence, how many people he knew or didn't know whether or not
1 they were criminals, because it was a very general proposition put to him
2 in cross-examination, and I just wished to make it slightly more specific
3 to find out the extent of the witness's knowledge of how many people were
4 in the brigades and whether in fact there were criminals and how many he
6 JUDGE LIU: You should have done that in your direct examination.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. Were you aware of whether members of the 9th Brigade had criminal
9 records? Was it something within your knowledge?
10 A. I didn't know that anybody had a criminal past.
11 MR. RE: There's nothing further. But I make it clear that I
12 deliberately didn't lead that evidence. It wasn't part of our case with
13 this witness. It was raised by the Defence in cross-examination. But
14 that's the end of my redirect.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge El Mahdi, please.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to ask you for
21 clarification because I want to make sure that I have understood you
23 My first question relates to what was raised by the Defence in
24 relation with the Trebevic operation. You stated with regard to that
25 operation, you stated that a number of members from the 9th Brigade were
1 detained and you stated that as part of that operation, some of these
2 people were questioned about the events in Grabovica. Would you be in a
3 position to remember some of the names, the names of those members who
4 were questioned about the events in Grabovica?
5 A. I can't remember the names exactly now, but I know there was a
6 number of people who were arrested at the time.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But then how can you
8 confirm that these people were questioned about, among other things, the
9 events in Grabovica? How can you confirm that?
10 A. I know that because there were a couple of people from my
11 company, such as Nihad Vlahovljak. He was questioned on that score. And
12 a couple of other men were questioned to the same events.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Can you please make an effort
14 and do you remember any other names apart from Nihad?
15 A. From the unit in which I served, I can remember Nihad, Klos,
16 Hajre, and I really can't remember any more names. Plus the men -- all of
17 the men from the other base. I believe it was called the Romanija base.
18 All of them together were taken into custody.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Can you give us a percentage of
20 the members of your unit that were questioned about the events in
21 Grabovica? Fifty? Sixty of you? Sorry, there were about 50, 60 of you?
22 A. I would say that around 70 per cent were questioned.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But this did not lead to
24 an indictment being drawn up in relation to the events.
25 A. I don't know whether it resulted in an indictment one way or
1 another. I cannot confirm that. All I know is that people were
2 questioned. But I would like to make one thing clear: I made sure to
3 distance myself from all that, and I stayed away from these men on
4 purpose. I didn't want to get involved, so I didn't get to know a lot
5 about it.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I
8 My second question is in relation to the fact that Mr. Delalic
9 showed an interest in finding those who had committed the murder of the
10 parents of the two children. You stated that you did not take part in the
11 identification of the suspected people, those who were suspected of having
12 committed these murders. My question is the following: For you was it
13 clear that your commander was serious, was determined and serious and
14 really wanted to find out and arrest those who had committed these
15 murders? What impression did you get? What impression did you get from
16 the attitude of your commander? What sort of impact or effect did it have
17 on you and, if you know, if you talked about other members of your
18 company, what impact, what effect did it have on the other members of your
20 A. As for me personally, as I said before, I spent most of the time
21 inside the house, in my room, and I didn't wish to be found at that moment
22 because I assumed that the perpetrator would be very fiercely punished.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but that was not my
24 question. What impact -- it was a message. It was a message. It was
25 about how serious these events were, and also it showed that the commander
1 was very serious, that he really wanted to find those who had committed
2 these murders and in order to punish them possibly. Was it -- did you get
3 that message from this?
4 A. Yes, to find the perpetrators.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, in order to punish them.
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] What impact, if you're in a
8 position to answer my question, but what sort of impact did this have on
9 you, on the members of your unit? Did they get the same message? Did
10 they understand that the commander did not in any way agree with that --
11 the sort of attitude that had been shown there?
12 A. I think they did.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You believe so, but based on
14 what? Did you talk about it with your fellow soldiers?
15 A. Nobody was very happy about all that. Everybody was afraid for
16 himself, because our superior was very angry because of everything that
17 had happened.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] My last question: When you
19 heard Nihad, who -- that amounted to allowing such acts, you were not,
20 however, convinced that orders had been given in that sense.
21 A. One might say that. I didn't know exactly whether the order had
22 been issued or not. I can't be 100 per cent certain. But because I knew
23 Nihad very well, I know he wouldn't have done something like that on his
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but that feeling, that
1 impression, when you think back -- when you -- do you come to a different
2 conclusion? Do you now think that everything came from him, or do you
3 still maintain what you said at the beginning, that all this was due to
4 orders given by somebody higher up?
5 A. When I say "someone higher up," I'm not talking about the top of
6 the army. It could be someone who was just superior to him. I am not
7 saying that the order arrived from the forward command post.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And who, for example? When you
9 had that impression, that feeling, who did you think about at that time,
10 at that specific time? Who did you think about?
11 A. Well, I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular at the time.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, witness.
13 [In English] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Judge El Mahdi.
15 Any questions out of Judge's question?
16 MR. METTRAUX: A very short one, Your Honour, if I may.
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. Mettraux:
18 Q. Mr. Sakrak, you've been asked by His Honour about the effect
19 which Celo's line-up might have had on other soldiers, other than you.
20 And you stated, if I'm correct, that you assumed that it would have had
21 the same effect on others. Is it correct that, apart from you, sir, Haris
22 Rajkic and Sead Karagic were also hiding in the house together with you on
23 that day when you had committed the crimes?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that all of you were hiding from Celo?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 MR. RE: Yes, thank you. There is something.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. RE: I think needs to be clarified, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. RE: When Judge El Mahdi asked his question -- my second
9 question, I'm quoting is in relation to the fact that Mr. Delalic showed
10 an interest in finding those who had committed the murder of the parents
11 of the two children.
12 Down two lines: "My question is the following: For you was it
13 clear that your commander was serious -- was determined and serious and
14 really wanted to find out and arrest those who committed these murders?"
15 I think the witness's evidence has been that the commander was Nihad. If
16 I could just clarify that with the witness, whether he understood by that
17 question that Celo was the commander or whether it was someone else.
18 MR. METTRAUX: I can clarify that very easily by withdrawing --
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the best person to clarify this issue
20 is Judge El Mahdi himself.
21 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 [Interpretation] No, I was not referring to Nihad. I was
25 thinking of the commander, of the one who was in charge and who took the
1 initiative and who called the men, who called the troops to detain and to
2 arrest those who were suspected of having committed this murder. And I
3 believe that the witness understood me perfectly well and I believe that
4 my question was very clear.
5 MR. METTRAUX: My question was in the same sense, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Re.
7 MR. RE: I'm not -- I'm not -- I have no issue with Your Honour's
8 question. Your Honour's question was entirely clear. It's just that it
9 says several times "your commander," and the witness's evidence so far has
10 been that Nihad was the commander. And Your Honour referred to Celo.
11 Perhaps if the witness could clarify whether he understood Your Honour's
12 question to mean -- be referring to Celo as his commander or someone else.
13 That's my only concern, that we might have -- at the end of the case,
14 there might be different submissions as to who the witness thought was the
15 commander -- his commander.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: In my opinion, the witness understood me very
17 well. But I think if you want to clarify more this question, I think
18 you -- you can put a question, only one. Thank you.
19 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Further examination by Mr. Re:
21 Q. Mr. Sakrak, when His Honour Judge El Mahdi talked about Celo as
22 your commander, were you understanding -- or who did you understand to be
23 "your commander" by His Honour's question?
24 A. Ramiz Delalic, in the context of this question.
25 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. METTRAUX: We are not clear whether the documents -- we
5 believe the document 965, which would be the log, has already been
6 admitted. We just want confirmation.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it has.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Yes. And a set of picture which we marked for
9 identification. We tendered those, I think, and my colleague --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. METTRAUX: They've been admitted as well.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. Yes.
13 Mr. Re.
14 MR. RE: No document from the Prosecution side, no.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
16 Well, witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to
17 give your evidence. When we are adjourned and -- the guard will show you
18 out of the room. We wish you a very pleasant journey back home.
19 The hearing for today is adjourned and we'll --
21 MR. RE: I'm sorry, when you asked me about documents, it was
22 only the photographs, unless they haven't been tendered. If they're
23 tendered ...
24 JUDGE LIU: I believe so. I believe all the documents has been
25 admitted into the evidence.
1 MR. RE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: So I have to remind the parties next week we will sit
3 in the morning session for the whole week.
4 The hearing for today is adjourned.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.39 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of
7 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.