1 Wednesday, 23 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, 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 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Before we have the witness,
10 are there any matters that the parties would like to bring to the
11 attention to this Bench?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, there's one matter I could raise.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: We requested yesterday of the Prosecutor if the
15 Defence am I correct on this occasion have the opportunity to spend a
16 period of time with the forthcoming witness for the purposes of proofing
17 the witness, bearing in mind that he may have -- may be capable of giving
18 some -- some theoretical and expert sort of comments, and the Prosecution
19 were kind enough to allow us to do that, so I just indicate to the Court
20 that that was done this morning. It was completed at about ten to 9.00,
21 so no proofing notes of that discussion have taken place. I'm not sure
22 that it would be required of the Defence in any event to provide proofing
23 notes, but whether it's required or not, I've indicated to my learned
24 friend that I put certain documents to him which I'm proposing to question
25 him about in the future, and I thought it proper to indicate that to the
2 I can indicate this, that as a result of that proofing it may
3 be - and depending upon the evidence given, as it's about to be given - it
4 may be that I will need to take some instructions from Mr. Halilovic and
5 also from our team member Asim Dzambasovic, who I indicate is present in
6 court today precisely because of the -- what might be some military theory
7 answers to be elicited from this witness.
8 Now, I thought rather than seeking to delay the process in any
9 way, that the -- the course best to be taken might be this: That the
10 evidence in chief be given now and then rather than asking for a special
11 adjournment, that just the normal break be then taken, even though it's
12 likely to be a little bit early, and in that time I would -- I believe I
13 would have ample time to get such instructions as I need, and then we'd be
14 able to proceed.
15 It's -- I had thought this witness was going to go two days. I
16 now think it will go significantly shorter than that. It is even possible
17 that we'll finish him today.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 Whenever you need time for a discussion with your client, just
20 inform us.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, my screen isn't
22 working -- I didn't hear.
23 JUDGE LIU: I mean that if during the proceedings you have the
24 need to consult with your client, just do that. Inform us and we could
25 maybe have a break, you know.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
2 JUDGE LIU: For your convenience.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 So could we have the witness, please.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
8 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
13 Yes, Mr. Re.
14 WITNESS: SELMO CIKOTIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examined by Mr. Re:
17 Q. Good morning. Is your name Selmo Cikotic?
18 A. Yes, my name is Selmo Cikotic.
19 Q. And were you born on the 25th of January, 1964?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And is your occupation a retired Bosnian army officer?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you retire last year from the Bosnian federation army with
24 the rank of brigadier but having acted as the commander of the 1st Corps
25 for the preceding few years, which is effectively the rank of a general?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Were you a career JNA officer who joined the JNA upon leaving
3 school in 1986 and were in the JNA until May 1992, when you joined the
4 fledgling Bosnian Territorial Defence?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And from March 1993 to April 1994, were you the commander of an
7 operational group called Zapad, or in English, West, which was within the
8 3rd Corps of the ABiH?
9 A. From March 1993 to April 1994 I was, yes.
10 Q. And from -- when you started as the commander of the operational
11 group or the OG Zapad, was Enver Hadzihasanovic the 3rd Corps commander
12 and he remained in that position until about November 1993?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How many groups or how many units -- I'll put it another way.
15 What is your understanding of what an operational group was in 1993? As
16 briefly as you possibly can, please.
17 A. OGs were established as temporary units to coordinate and lead
18 combat operations and to deal with any operational issues. The goal was
19 to reduce the number of links towards the corps commander.
20 Q. How many units were in the operational group under your command?
21 A. At the moment when it was established, there were five brigades
22 and five municipal TO staffs.
23 Q. Were those brigades the 307th, the 317th, the 308th, and
24 Territorial Defence groups?
25 A. Yes, Territorial Defence units that belonged to Municipal Defence
2 Q. How many soldiers were under your command in that operational
4 A. The number of soldiers varied, as did the number of units.
5 During the summer, there were some seven to eight thousand troops who were
6 members of the units that we have just mentioned.
7 Q. Does the summer extend to September 1993?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And were you directly, as the commander of the OG Zapad,
10 subordinated to Enver Hadzihasanovic, the 3rd Corps commander? There was
11 no one between you and him in the chain of command.
12 A. That's correct
13 Q. And were you yourself based in Bugojno, where your headquarters
14 were, that is, in -- in August, September 1993?
15 A. Yes, that's where my command post was.
16 Q. Did you have a forward command post in August and September 1993?
17 A. I did. Close to Gornji Vakuf on Planica Mountain.
18 Q. Were the units under your control fighting at a front line
19 against HVO and HV soldiers?
20 A. At that time, we were engaged in combat with the HVO. And as for
21 the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor, there was not much activity on that
22 front line.
23 Q. What was the next group of ABiH soldiers not under your control
24 which bordered your soldiers at the front line? What was the name of that
1 A. There was the Independent Prozor Battalion and also the 6th
3 Q. Did you know Sefer Halilovic in August and September 1993?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. What position, to your understanding, did he occupy in August and
6 September 1993?
7 A. He was the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of Bosnia and
9 Q. How did you know or how did you come to know Sefer Halilovic?
10 A. I met him in July 1993, when I was appointed the liaison officer
11 between the staff of the Supreme Command of the BiH army and the UNPROFOR
12 command in Sarajevo.
13 Q. And given your position in August and September 1993 as the
14 commander of an operational group and your experience as a career JNA and
15 then Bosnian army officer, what was your understanding of whether or not
16 the Chief of the Main -- the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command could
17 issue binding orders? Could he do so and in what circumstances?
18 A. At the time, Rasim Delic was the commander of the General Staff.
19 Sefer Halilovic was the Chief of Staff, the Chief of the General Staff,
20 and my understanding is that Sefer Halilovic, in the spirit of general
21 guidelines, orders and authorisations issued by the commander, did have
22 the authority to issue certain orders on the ground.
23 Q. To your understanding, did he have that authority by virtue of
24 his position or did it have to be delegated to him?
25 A. My understanding that within the principles of work and within
1 the general guidelines, he could do certain things. I believe that he did
2 not have to be issued any particular orders to do that.
3 Q. What about -- what about combat orders? Were you aware whether
4 the Chief of the Staff could issue combat orders by virtue of his
6 A. My understanding is that the commander could issue orders for
7 combat and the Chief of Staff could work on the implementation of these
8 orders, on putting these orders to work.
9 Q. Did you have a meeting with Sefer Halilovic in August or
10 September 1993?
11 A. We had a meeting. I believe that it was in late August or early
12 September in Jablanica. The second meeting that we had was in September
13 1993 before the operation.
14 Q. Just concentrate on the first meeting at the moment. Whereabouts
15 in Jablanica was the first meeting?
16 A. The first meeting was in Donja Jablanica at the command post of
17 Zuka's Unit in the so-called Zuka's base.
18 Q. Why did you go to a meeting with Sefer Halilovic at Zuka's base?
19 A. Because that's the order I had been issued, to go to the meeting
21 Q. Who issued you that order?
22 A. I believe that I received this order from Sefer Halilovic.
23 Q. Who did you go to the meeting with?
24 A. I went with my officer for operations, Amer Durakovic.
25 Q. Who else was at the meeting?
1 A. At the meeting, which was not very formal, there were Sefer
2 Halilovic, Zuka, journalist [Realtime transcript read in error "General"]
3 Sevko Hodzic, myself, and my operations officer.
4 Q. The transcript says General Sevko Hodzic. Is that correct? The
5 transcript, if you just look at the transcript, it says "General Sevko
6 Hodzic." Is that what you said?
7 A. No. He was a journalist. Sevko Hodzic was a journalist.
8 Q. Why did Sefer Halilovic call this meeting with you or order you
9 to this meeting?
10 A. At this first meeting, he announced to me that in the territory
11 of Herzegovina there would be a combat operation taking place and that
12 preparations should be carried out for that.
13 Q. Which combat operation and preparations for it was he referring
15 A. I am referring to something that at the time I didn't know what
16 it was because I had not received any specific information about this
18 Q. Did Sefer Halilovic tell you what the operation involved at that
19 particular meeting?
20 A. No. At that time, I did not have any particular information. It
21 was only said that the operation would be undertaken in order to reduce
22 the front line and to liberate certain roads.
23 Q. In which area?
24 A. In the area of Herzegovina and between the municipalities of
25 Prozor and Vakuf, closer to the borders of Bosnia, and this was all the
1 area that I was particularly interested in.
2 Q. Who was to lead this particular operation?
3 A. I understood at the time that it would be Mr. Sefer Halilovic who
4 would be coordinating combat activities within that operation.
5 Q. What gave you that understanding?
6 A. I think that this is the interpretation of his words on his role:
7 He said that he would be on the ground with a team from the General Staff
8 and that he would be taking the coordinating role in this operation.
9 Q. Did you understand that coordinating could mean issuing orders to
10 commanders, subordinate commanders?
11 A. I think that this did involve issuing specific orders.
12 Q. At that point, that first meeting, did you know what the name of
13 the operation was?
14 A. No, I didn't.
15 Q. When did you come to learn what the name of the operation was?
16 A. I believe that I learnt it at the subsequent meeting that was
17 held in Dobro Polje.
18 Q. What was the name?
19 A. As far as I can remember, the name of it was Neretva 93.
20 Q. How long did that first meeting last?
21 A. The first meeting lasted for the duration of a brief lunch and
22 coffee afterwards, so we talked over lunch.
23 Q. Forgive me if I've asked you this before and you've answered it.
24 Was Zuka present at this meeting?
25 A. Yes, he was present at the meeting. He was present during the
1 lunch, but I actually do not recall talking about the forthcoming
2 operation during the entire lunch.
3 Q. Where did you go -- I'm sorry, were you about to say something?
4 A. I believe that Mr. Sefer Halilovic told me about the operation in
5 his car as we were travelling to the next meeting that took place that
6 same evening.
7 Q. Where was that next meeting?
8 A. That meeting was in a village near Konjic. I don't -- I don't
9 know what village that was. It was dark and the meeting took place in a
10 military depot.
11 Q. Who was at the meeting?
12 A. Mr. Sefer Halilovic and I met with Salko Gusic, the commander of
13 the 6th Corps.
14 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting?
15 A. The purpose was to inform me and Gusic who were supposed to
16 cooperate in the forthcoming operation and to introduce us to each other,
17 because we hadn't known each other before.
18 Q. You said that Sefer Halilovic -- sorry, you travelled there in
19 Sefer Halilovic's car. Did he -- whose idea was it for the meeting to
21 A. You're referring to that next meeting, the subsequent meeting?
22 Q. That's right, the meeting with Mr. Gusic.
23 A. I believe that it was Mr. Sefer Halilovic's idea.
24 Q. How long did that meeting go for?
25 A. It was a brief meeting.
1 Q. Had you met Mr. Gusic before?
2 A. No. That was when I saw him for the first time.
3 Q. You said the purpose was to inform you and Gusic who was supposed
4 to cooperate in the forthcoming operation. Did Mr. Halilovic discuss with
5 you and Mr. Gusic your respective roles in the forthcoming operation?
6 A. I don't think we were told what our specific roles were to be,
7 but in order to act better in a coordinated action, we needed to know each
9 Q. On that day, did Mr. Sefer Halilovic tell you what role your OG
10 was to perform in the operation which you came to know as Neretva?
11 A. I don't think he told me anything specific about it that day
12 except for telling me that my operational group was to be a participant in
13 that operation.
14 Q. Did he want your entire operational group or merely units of it
15 to participate in that operation?
16 A. I think that in his view I was covering a rather wide -- a rather
17 long front line that I had to defend and therefore I could only engage a
18 part of my forces in this particular action, and I don't think we were at
19 cross-purposes on that particular issue.
20 Q. Do you remember discussing which particular forces you could
21 offer for the operation, which of your units you could lend for the
23 A. I don't know whether we discussed the strength of our forces on
24 this particular meeting or on some other meeting, but I believe that only
25 one battalion was discussed as a force that could be engaged in this
1 particular operation in addition to a reserve battalion that could be
2 drawn upon as an optional fresh force to be used in the operation.
3 Q. Which battalion was the one that was discussed as a force that
4 could be engaged in that particular operation?
5 A. We weren't talking about any specific battalions at the time. It
6 was to be my own choice.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. And did you return to your forward command post at the conclusion
10 of this meeting?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Did you inform your commander, Hadzihasanovic, of the meeting and
13 Mr. Halilovic's orders to attend the meeting?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 MR. RE: I'm going to display Prosecution Exhibit P93, which is a
17 Q. If you'd just look at the screen to your left, sir. Just look at
18 that photograph. What is that a photograph of?
19 A. I think that this is a photograph of Donja Jablanica. I see the
20 house where the so-called Zuka's base was located.
21 Q. Actually, someone has helpfully drawn a "1" with two arrows on
22 it. Would that be where it is?
23 A. In my opinion, this is the house that's been marked with the
24 left -- or rather, the top arrow as we see it here.
25 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown on the screen MFI192.
1 The 65 ter number of that is 107, which we will show through Sanction. If
2 I have to read out the ERN, it is 01814325 and 01814396. And I'll just
3 show the witness a paper copy in Bosnian and a paper copy of the front
4 page. Thank you.
5 Q. Do you recognise that, Mr. Cikotic, as an extract from a war
6 diary of the 3rd Corps?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. That's an excerpt from the war diary of the
8 3rd Corps.
9 MR. RE: If the next page could please be displayed, the one that
10 is 4396. Thank you. And if you could just enlarge the bottom half which
11 says "OG Zapad/West." I'm sorry. Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Cikotic, there's a reference there to an OG Zapad/West and at
13 the bottom of the page the date is the 3rd or 4th of September, 1993, and
14 at the bottom of the page a reference to you meeting the chief of the --
15 Chief of the Staff of the Supreme Command in Jablanica. Is it displayed
16 in English there for you?
17 A. Yes, I do have it.
18 Q. Do you need it in Bosnian or is the English okay?
19 A. I think I have a printed copy of the document in Bosnian which
20 correspond -- corresponds to the one in English.
21 MR. RE: For the Court's benefit, if the Trial Chamber has read
22 the bottom, could the next page please be shown, just the top part.
23 Q. All right. Have you read that?
24 A. Yes, I have.
25 Q. Okay. I'm interested in two things: Firstly, the date; and
1 secondly, the accuracy of the details of the meeting. Is that entry
2 referring to the meeting you had with Mr. Halilovic which you testified
3 about over the last 20 minutes or so?
4 A. Evidently the war diary covers all the meetings that I had as I
5 was on my way to Jablanica; namely, two. And I can see that one can read
6 here the area on which the forces of my operational group were to be
7 engaged within this operation.
8 Q. All right. The date in the ward is the 3rd/4th of September,
9 1993. Do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of that date, as to
10 the date on which you held the meeting with Mr. Halilovic?
11 A. The date is probably correct.
12 Q. And are the details in that paragraph referring to the meeting
13 more or less accurate as to the discussion you had with him?
14 A. I believe so.
15 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, would you please inform us about the author and
17 the chain of custody of this document.
18 MR. RE: It's a -- it's a war diary from the 3rd Corps, which was
19 one of the -- the documents -- many documents the -- which came into the
20 possession of the Office of the Prosecutor in searching the various
21 archives. This is a 3rd Corps archive. It's called the Sarajevo
22 collection, which I think was seized in August - I'm saying this last part
23 from memory - August and November 2000 from the ABiH archives in Sarajevo.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And who is the author of this diary? Is
25 it a personal diary or is the kind of log, you know?
1 MR. RE: It's the official 3rd Corps war diary which was kept in
2 the operations centre and would have been written by the operations
3 officer on the staff of the commander of the 3rd Corps. As far as we
4 can -- we can ascertain, it is just a standard war diary.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any objections, Mr. Morrissey?
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, with respect to this specific war
7 diary and given the answers that the witness has already given, we don't
8 seek to press any further issues with it. We agree that in this case --
9 I'm deal with them on a case-by-case basis, but in this case it should be
10 permitted to be admitted into the evidence.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It is admitted into the
13 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Prosecution Exhibit P192.
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. Now, Mr. Cikotic, when did you next meet Sefer Halilovic?
16 A. The next time I met Mr. Sefer Halilovic, at Dobro Polje, several
17 days prior to the operation.
18 Q. How long after the first meeting, which having looked at the war
19 diary you agree was probably on the 3rd or 4th of September, 1993 -- how
20 long after that was it?
21 A. Several days later.
22 Q. Whereabouts at Dobro Polje did you meet?
23 A. We met at the command of the Independent Prozor Battalion,
24 commanded by Enver Buza.
25 Q. Why did you go there?
1 A. Because I received an order to attend the meeting.
2 Q. From whom?
3 A. From Mr. Halilovic.
4 Q. Was your commander of the 3rd Corps, Hadzihasanovic, aware that
5 you -- that Mr. Halilovic had ordered you to attend the meeting at the --
6 that meeting?
7 A. Yes. I informed my commander of the earlier meetings and got his
8 consent for my participation in the operation to take part in the region
9 of Herzegovina.
10 Q. Who was at the meeting? Was there anyone from the General Staff?
11 A. In addition to Mr. Sefer Halilovic, there was Mr. Suljevic, Rifat
12 Bilajac, and Vehbija Karic from the Main -- the General Staff.
13 Q. Was there anyone from the 6th Corps there?
14 A. There was the commander of the 6th Corps, and I recall the
15 brigade commanders, Haso Hakalovic, Enes Kovacovic, and the commander of
16 the Prozor Battalion, Buza.
17 Q. The commander of the 6th Corps, that -- you're referring to
18 Mr. Gusic there?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. What about the 4th Corps -- the 4th Corps?
21 A. I don't remember seeing anyone from the 4th Corps there, unless
22 some of the brigades present -- or rather, the commanders present there
23 were from the 4th Corps.
24 Q. Who came from your operational group?
25 A. With me, there were my officers for operational and intelligence
1 affairs, Kenan Dautovic and Tahir Granic and Enver Zejnilagic.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the name of one of the
3 first two assistants.
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. Would you just repeat the first name. Kenan Dautovic. There was
6 someone else you mentioned.
7 A. Amir Durakovic.
8 Q. What was Tahir Granic's position?
9 A. Tahir Granic was commander of the 307th Motorised Brigade from
10 Bugojno at the time.
11 Q. What about Enver Zejnilagic? What was his position?
12 A. Enver Zejnilagic was commander of the 317th Brigade from Gornji
14 Q. About how many people in total were at this meeting?
15 A. I think there were some 10 to 15 people in the room where we had
16 the meeting.
17 Q. Who was chairing or running the meeting?
18 A. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
19 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting?
20 A. The purpose of the meeting was to issue specific tasks for the
21 operation to the units participating in it.
22 Q. You said the meeting was chaired by Mr. Halilovic. Who was in
23 charge of the operation?
24 A. As concerned my own position, my understanding was that the
25 operation was led and, had been earlier told to me, coordinated by
1 Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
2 Q. Did Mr. Halilovic issue orders to the various units at that
3 meeting as to their roles in this operation?
4 A. Yes, he did specify the unit's tasks within the operation.
5 Q. What task did he specify for you and your units?
6 A. The task for my operational group was to launch an attack from
7 the village of Planjiste and to seize --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The location the interpreter missed.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. Can you just repeat that last location you were to seize, please.
11 A. To launch an attack from the area of Voljice and Planjiste to
12 seize the area of Vilica Guvno.
13 Q. Which of your units were to do this?
14 A. In this particular attack, the -- a battalion of the 307th
15 Motorised Brigade took place, which was reinforced to a certain extent by
16 the forces from the Territorial Defence Staff.
17 Q. Was the 3rd Corps command to have any role at all in this
18 particular operation that Mr. Halilovic -- in which Mr. Halilovic was
19 issuing orders?
20 A. It was my understanding that the 3rd Corps wasn't in any way
21 tasked to do so, but I did perceive my unit as still forming part of the
22 3rd Corps.
23 Q. Was your unit or were you receiving orders from the 3rd Corps in
24 relation to this operation or were you only receiving them from
25 Mr. Halilovic?
1 A. In relation to this operation, my orders came directly from
2 Mr. Halilovic.
3 Q. Did Mr. Halilovic also give orders to 6th Corps units at that
4 meeting as to their role in the operation?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What did he tell them their role was to be?
7 A. As far as I remember, the main task of the 6th Corps was to
8 capture the area of Crni Vrh and Makljen.
9 Q. What about the Prozor Independent Battalion?
10 A. In my understanding, the battalion was involved in this task.
11 The 6th Corps may have had some obligations to the south as well, but for
12 me the task related to Crni Vrh and Makljen was interesting about it
13 affected in a way the manner in which I was to carry out my orders, my
15 Q. Did Mr. Halilovic give Buza, Enver Buza, any orders in relation
16 to his unit at that meeting, what it was to do?
17 A. I think that Enver Buza was also given his task at this meeting
18 by Mr. Halilovic.
19 Q. Do you remember what that task was?
20 A. I don't remember. I think that the task was one that came under
21 the general task of -- given to the 6th Corps.
22 Q. Was Zuka at this -- at this second meeting you had with
23 Mr. Halilovic?
24 A. I don't think so.
25 Q. What was his unit called?
1 A. His unit was called the Unit of the General Staff for Special
3 Q. Who was it subordinated -- or who was he subordinated to?
4 A. In my understanding, he was subordinated to the General Staff, to
5 the commander of the General Staff.
6 Q. I want you to have a look at the large map just behind you to the
7 right, headed -- headed "Operacija Neretva." That is Exhibit D131. When
8 did you first see that map, Mr. Cikotic? Do you remember if you saw it at
9 that meeting, the second meeting we've just been talking about?
10 A. Yes. I believe this is the map that was presented at this
11 meeting, where we -- where we received specific tasks.
12 Q. Who presented the map?
13 A. I believe the map was attended there, that Mr. Suljevic and
14 Bilajac commented on their tasks by drawing upon the map. And I'm
15 referring to the tasks assigned by Mr. Halilovic.
16 Q. Are you saying that people at the map [sic] drew on the map, put
17 the map together at that particular meeting? Or are you saying they drew
18 over it? What are you saying?
19 A. We had a map at the meeting that had already been drawn out, so
20 that they were merely pointing to the map and explaining the specifics of
21 the tasks assigned to different units by pointing to different locations
22 on the map.
23 Q. And are the specific assignments given to your unit, that is, the
24 OG Zapad, on that map? Just watch those headphones.
25 A. Yes. The map does show the task assigned to my operational
2 Q. Perhaps if you could just get the pointer and for the -- for the
3 Trial Chamber point to where those specific assignments are marked on the
5 A. [Indicates]
6 Q. All right. You're pointing to the area in which OG Zapad is
8 A. [No audible response]
9 Q. You'll have to speak into the microphone.
10 A. I've just shown the area where the Operational Group West was
11 supposed to carry out its attack.
12 Q. And you're pointing down the line, pointing south, circling it.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. Now, just go to the right, and you'll see marked on the map
15 "317th Brigade." Was that the unit you were referring to before which was
16 a unit of your OG?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Why is that marked separately on the map to "OG Zapad"?
19 A. Because the area of responsibility of the OG West was much
20 broader. And the map only shows the task that the operational group was
21 supposed to carry out, that is, the area where the operational group was
22 supposed to launch its attack.
23 Q. What I want to just concentrate on at the moment is the
24 difference between OG Zapad and the 317th. You told us -- the Trial
25 Chamber earlier that the 317th was a unit within OG Zapad. Now, here on
1 the map, "OG Zapad" is marked in a different area to the 317th. Does that
2 mean else that the 317th was operating outside the OG Zapad or does it
3 mean something? I'm talking only for the purposes of Operation Neretva.
4 A. It wasn't my understanding that the 317th was acting outside the
5 OG, but my understanding was that the 317th was given an assignment to
6 launch an attack. In my understanding, the 317th was defending the area
7 within its responsibility; whereas, the units of the OG West were to
8 launch an attack along a different axis that I've just pointed out here.
9 Q. Do you mean by that that the 317th was already in that particular
10 area when the map was drawn up?
11 A. The 317th Brigade was here as well as here, so this was the total
12 area of responsibility of the 317th Brigade.
13 Q. Just -- just for the record, you were marking down the blue line
14 which is in the middle -- on the top of the map, from the top to where it
15 says "317th."
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. Can I just clarify that? Are you saying by that the 317th was
18 already precisely in that area?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have a look at the map and you'll see two names. At the bottom,
21 you'll see Sefer Halilovic's name and at the top you'll see Rasim Delic's
22 name. What -- what is the significance of Sefer Halilovic's name being at
23 the bottom of the map? What does that mean? The bottom right-hand
25 A. It is my understanding that Mr. Halilovic signed the map as the
1 leader of the team who had drawn up the map in the first place, and it is
2 also my understanding that the commander, Mr. Rasim Delic, signed the map
3 as the commander of the Supreme Staff and that in this way he approved the
5 Q. Under JNA or ABiH doctrine, did the -- was the person leading the
6 operation, that is, the person commanding the operation, required to sign
7 such a map?
8 A. I believe that there were several options as to who signed such
9 maps; however, in this particular situation, the map was signed in the way
10 I've just explained to you.
11 Q. And did your units in fact go into battle in accordance with the
12 plans and orders drawn up at that meeting at Dobro Polje?
13 A. Yes, they did.
14 Q. Approximately when?
15 A. I saw documents that mentioned the 13th; however, I remember that
16 it was sometime in mid-September.
17 Q. How did you receive the order to act in accordance with that plan
18 and that map?
19 A. I received verbal orders.
20 Q. Who were the orders from?
21 A. From Mr. Halilovic.
22 Q. Did he personally convey them to you or did they come through
23 someone else?
24 A. He did it personally, directly, at the meeting.
25 Q. What about the actual attack itself? Did he give you an order
1 before or on the day of the attack to participate in it?
2 A. I believe that on the day when the operation started we received
3 a signal of some sort. I believe that it was a coded signal that meant
4 the operation has started, that the attack was to be launched.
5 Q. Who was that from?
6 A. Also from Mr. Halilovic.
7 Q. How long did you and your group participate - that's OG Zapad -
8 participate in this operation for?
9 A. During the first day of attack, I reached Vilica Guvno.
10 Q. How many days were you involved in this operation, that is, after
11 you received the -- a signal that the operation had started?
12 A. I sent reports to Sefer Halilovic for the next few days, and it
13 was my understanding that this is -- this was the duration of the
14 operation. However, my troops remained in the area even after that.
15 Q. You were sending reports to Sefer Halilovic. Were you receiving
16 orders from Sefer Halilovic in relation to your group's participation in
17 that operation over those few days?
18 A. I don't remember having received any further orders on the
19 engagement of my OG after that meeting. It was my standing order to
20 perform the tasks that I had been given and that was all.
21 Q. How long was your OG participating in that operation?
22 A. I remember that I had communication with Mr. Sefer Halilovic and
23 members of his team for a few days; however, my OG continued engaging in
24 combat even after that in that area.
25 Q. When did your communication with Mr. Halilovic cease in relation
1 to your combat role in that area?
2 A. A couple of days after the launch of the operation.
3 Q. Did you consider your -- I'm sorry, I withdraw that.
4 And to be completely clear about this, during those few days was
5 your OG subordinated to Enver Hadzihasanovic, as the 3rd Corps commander,
6 or Sefer Halilovic in this operation, just for those few days?
7 A. I was still on the strength of the 3rd Corps; however, I was
8 temporarily engaged in the operation that was coordinated by
9 Mr. Halilovic.
10 Q. To clarify that, do you mean that you were -- your group was
11 subordinated to Sefer Halilovic for those few days?
12 A. I don't remember having received an order resubordinating me to
13 him. However, I did receive an order and approval to participate in the
14 operation that was coordinated by him.
15 Q. Were you -- were you reporting back to your commander - that's
16 Enver Hadzihasanovic - during those few days as to what your group was
18 A. Yes. I sent my combat reports to him as well.
19 MR. RE: Could the witness -- I want to show him MFI -- I'm
20 sorry, MFI124, please.
21 Q. This is an order dated -- or a document headed "Order," dated the
22 15th of September, 1993 and signed by Sefer Halilovic. Can you see it in
23 front of you on the screen in it should be there in Bosnian for you.
24 A. Can this be zoomed in a little? It is quite illegible as it is
1 Q. I'll give you a hard copy, if it might assist.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, since the witness has a hard copy, could we
3 have the English version on our screen.
4 MR. RE: Can we show it through Sanction? It might be a little
5 bit quicker.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 MR. RE: Can Your Honours see it now?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, thank you.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. RE: Do Your Honours wish to see the second page of the order
11 now? We can broadcast that.
12 Q. Mr. Cikotic, do you remember seeing that order -- did you ever
13 see that order in -- in September 1993?
14 A. No. Today is the first time I see this order.
15 Q. When you say "today," do you mean when you came to The Hague, as
16 opposed to this morning in court?
17 A. I didn't say "today." I said "here." -- Here I see this order
18 for the first time.
19 Q. I just want you to comment on the meaning of this order. It's
20 signed by Sefer Halilovic and is directed to one of your -- a brigade
21 which was under your command, the 317th. What does that mean to you as
22 the commander of OG Zapad to which the 317th was subordinated? What -- I
23 mean, what does this order mean in military terms, an order from Sefer
24 Halilovic directed to the commander of a subordinate unit of yours?
25 A. In principle, the orders issued to my unit would be via my
1 command or via myself; however, I deem that the situation on the ground,
2 the distance between the command post, and the inability to communicate
3 dictated certain solutions when it came to issuing orders to the units
4 that were on the ground.
5 Q. Was it a normal or an unusual situation for the -- a commander in
6 Sefer Halilovic's position to be issuing this sort of order, an order with
7 that detail in it to the subordinate commanders of the -- to subordinate
8 commanders of units such as the 317th, the 45th, and the Prozor
9 Independent Battalion?
10 A. This was not a common way to issue orders, but it was a
11 possibility. And within this possibility, I don't see it strange to issue
12 specific orders to the units that were engaged in certain tasks in this
14 Q. Is that order consistent with the markings on the map, which is
15 Exhibit D131, behind you where "OG Zapad" is marked separately on the map
16 to the "317th Brigade"?
17 A. Yes. The units were engaged in those areas where they had been
18 engaged in combat before that, or in other words, in the area where they
19 were supposed to be when they had been given their tasks in Dobro Polje.
20 Q. I want you to have a look at, please, another document, which is
21 MFI193, which is Prosecution 65 ter exhibit number L0107043, B/C/S
22 03342945, and we'll do that via Sanction in English and I will show you --
23 give you a hard copy in Bosnian to read. For the record, it's a document
24 dated the 15th of September, 1993 headed "Command for attack," and is
25 signed by Enver Zejnilagic, the commander of the 317th Brigade.
1 MR. RE: Could I just -- we are doing this one through -- we are
2 broadcasting this one through Sanction. It's a multiple-page document.
3 One, two, three, four -- a six-page document. So perhaps if Your Honours
4 could signal to us, we'll -- we'll -- signal to the case manager, she'll
5 move the pages one by one for you.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, just --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just clarify something here.
9 We think this is already in evidence as MFI151 -- 150, I'm sorry. I just
10 want to make sure that we're -- because we've cross-examined other
11 witnesses about it, I think. We just want to make sure that we're not
12 doubling up on the exhibits.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Which of course is going to happen from time to
15 time, but I think this is one that we've already put into evidence.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Is the same document?
17 MR. RE: Just checking, Your Honour.
18 150 or 151?
19 MR. MORRISSEY: 150 I'm instructed.
20 MR. RE: Yes, I've been completely correct and I apologise. It
21 is in fact -- it's MFI150.
22 Q. Mr. Cikotic, having looked at that document which purports to be
23 an order from the commander of the 317th, I want you to comment upon it in
24 relation to the document you just saw which was an order from
25 Mr. Halilovic directed to that very brigade. Firstly, have you seen that
1 document before -- that document before coming to The Hague?
2 A. No. The first time I've seen this document was here. And I
3 believe that this combat command for attack is a typical example of a
4 complete order for attack, and this is the implementation of the task
5 given by Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
6 Q. And that implementation, is that, too, consistent with the
7 markings on that map which give the 317th a different area to OG Zapad?
8 I'm referring to map D131, Operation Neretva.
9 A. This task is linked with the area of responsibility where the 2nd
10 Battalion of the 317th Brigade was. In other words, this task that the
11 317th received, although this links up with the Independent Battalion
12 Prozor, the task refers to the units which are here and which carry out
13 the task in the areas previously assigned to them.
14 Q. While your units were engaged in Operation Neretva, did you at
15 that time hear of -- about the killings of any Croat civilians in
17 A. [interpretation inaudible]
18 Q. I think you said no. Is that correct?
19 A. That is correct. I didn't hear.
20 Q. When did you first hear about that?
21 A. I believe that I heard about Grabovica after the war.
22 Q. What about Uzdol? Did you hear that Croat civilians had died
23 during the attack on Uzdol?
24 A. I heard that a few days after the operation on one of the local
25 Croatian radio stations.
1 MR. RE: That's the evidence in chief.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 Well, we might have a longer break and we'll resume at 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Your cross-examination, Mr. Morrissey.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey:
9 Q. And thank you very much, Mr. Cikotic.
10 Could I just start the questions by asking you this: You knew
11 Sefer Halilovic before you took up your position in Central Bosnia; is
12 that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And you -- it doesn't matter what it was now, but you had a job
15 in Sarajevo up until late in 1992; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. All right. And after that, you performed a number of different
18 functions in the area of the 3rd Corps, ultimately becoming commander of
19 Operations Group Zapad; is that right?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And ultimately -- and during that time, you dealt with Sefer
22 Halilovic on a professional basis relatively frequently; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. In the period between July and October, 1992.
24 Q. Yes. Okay. And in the time that you knew Sefer Halilovic right
25 up to the time of this operation, frankly, what attitude did Sefer
1 Halilovic express to you about the treatment of civilians by the Army of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. In this respect, Sefer Halilovic left the impression also to me
4 of a honourable officer who adhered to the customs and laws of war.
5 Q. And as far as you understood the policies of the Bosnian army and
6 indeed the Bosnian state generally at that time, was it your policy to
7 fight for and maintain a multi-ethnic Bosnia?
8 A. Yes. That was also the official policy, and as it seems to me,
9 the personal belief of most of the people who were in the Army of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina.
11 Q. Yes. And included in that number of persons, to your
12 observation, was Sefer Halilovic; is that correct?
13 A. I think he was at the forefront in that respect.
14 Q. And to your knowledge, was it Sefer Halilovic who led the way in
15 introducing the rules in the Bosnian army governing the application of the
16 Geneva Conventions late in 1992?
17 A. I think that this took place precisely at the time when he was at
18 the head of the General Staff.
19 Q. Yes. And to your knowledge, was it Sefer Halilovic who led the
20 attempts to bring the armed forces in Bosnia into the shape of a regular
21 and accountable army?
22 A. Yes. I think that throughout his office at the head of the staff
23 he was working along those lines.
24 Q. Yes. Now, I've got some questions about the effect on the
25 Bosnian army's efforts of any atrocities against civilians. Given the
1 policies of the army and the Bosnian government to encourage a
2 multi-ethnic Bosnia, is it the fact that killings of civilians or indeed
3 any mistreatment of civilians was completely contrary to the successful
4 implementation of the Bosnian army's policy?
5 A. Yes, that was not in accordance with the policy and principles of
6 strengthening the Bosnian army.
7 Q. Just to use your experience as an example, did you have to deal
8 from time to time with angry and upset civilians who had been displaced
9 from their homes in your area of combat?
10 A. Yes, I did have such an experience.
11 Q. And did you in those situations advise them in the best way that
12 you could that pursuing a policy of revenge was very counter-productive
13 and dangerous for the war effort?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Yes. Okay. Is it also the case that -- I think I've asked you
16 enough questions about that. Thank you.
17 Mr. Cikotic, I'm going to ask you some questions -- questions in
18 this cross-examination really of two types: One, they're going to be
19 narrative questions about the facts of what happened; and there will also
20 be some questions concerning various aspects of military doctrine and
21 details of that nature. The questions, I have to say, will be mixed in
22 together to some degree, but feel free to ask for clarification of any
23 question you wish and to stop me if you think the questions are proceeding
24 misleadingly or too fast in any form.
25 My first question relates to a topic raised by the Prosecutor,
1 and that is: What is an operations group? And I've got some questions
2 about the nature of an operations group.
3 Now, firstly, is an operations group a temporary formation within
4 the army structure?
5 A. In principle, it is a temporary formation, but the operations
6 group that I commanded over was in existence for a bit over one year.
7 Q. Yes. Apart from tactical groups -- well, perhaps I'll ask you
8 another question.
9 Are there three types of such temporary -- or were there three
10 types of such temporary structures within the Bosnian army at that time:
11 Tactical groups, which were quite small in nature; operations groups,
12 which were at a level above the brigade but below the corps; and at the
13 top level, the possibility of a strategic group? And perhaps I should ask
14 the question now that I've listed those -- those topics. In principle, is
15 there the possibility within the army of creating groups at those three
16 levels, tactical group, operations group, and strategic group?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Okay. Now, dealing with the -- with the -- with an operations
19 group. Is an operations group a group that exists above the level of a
20 brigade but below the level of a corps?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Okay. And is the person appointed to command an operations group
23 generally speaking someone who is, one might say, a particularly competent
24 person at the brigade level? In other words, it might -- it would be
25 appropriate to appoint a person of the seniority of a brigade commander
1 and, in addition, someone who is pretty good.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. One thing that you never heard at the time or now is that
4 Sefer Halilovic had been appointed as commander of an operations group; is
5 that correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And as far as you're concerned, whatever may have happened down
8 in the Neretva Valley in September 1993, Sefer Halilovic wasn't the
9 commander of an operations group, as far as you're concerned. Is that
11 A. No. No.
12 Q. And indeed, appointing someone of Sefer Halilovic's seniority to
13 a position in charge of one of these temporary formations, an operations
14 group or even a strategic group, would have required a presidential order;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Probably. Perhaps the commander of the General Staff also had
17 the authority to set up such a temporary formation.
18 Q. Yes. And I'm going to come to the -- the powers of the commander
19 of the General Staff in a moment. But when you refer to the commander of
20 the General Staff, at all times in the relevant period that person was
21 Commander Rasim Delic, whose name appears on the map to your right; is
22 that correct?
23 A. [No audible response]
24 Q. I'm sorry, I don't think the interpreter caught your answer to
25 that question.
1 A. Yes. Yes. That's correct.
2 Q. Very well. Now, you were -- perhaps I've just got a couple of
3 other questions about temporary formations to ask you. In creating a
4 temporary formation such as an operations group, it is very, very
5 important that the order creating that group specify who the commander is
6 and which units are to be under that commander's control in order to avoid
7 confusion with other permanent organic groups in the area. Is that an
8 accurate statement by me?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. And in addition, I believe that the order
10 will specify the tasks of both the commander and the operations group.
11 Q. Yes. Would you just excuse me one moment.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. Could the witness please be now shown
14 on the computer Defence document D41. It's MFI, marked for Exhibit at the
15 moment, 144.
16 Q. Mr. Cikotic on the screen in a moment the document is going to be
18 I'm sorry. Do you have before you the Bosnian version of that at
19 this stage?
20 A. At the moment, I have the English version on the screen. But for
21 a moment there I had the Bosnian version as well.
22 Q. So did I. There are technical hitches from time to time here.
23 Would you just bear with us, please, for a moment.
24 Now, you have it now?
25 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Now, this is -- this is not an order that concerns you directly.
2 I'm just asking you to comment on it as an example of an order and -- and
3 the information provided in it.
4 Now, does that appear to you to be a decision creating a
5 temporary command named JUG?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And at paragraph 2, does it spell out a method by which the
8 organisation and establishment structure of JUG may be established?
9 A. Yes, that's what item 2 says.
10 Q. Yes.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: All right. Could the witness please be shown the
12 following page which is attached to this decision.
13 Q. Very well. Do you have in front of you now another document
14 appointing particular people to particular functions within that
15 operations -- in that temporary command of JUG -- of the JUG group?
16 A. Yes, I do now.
17 Q. And without going through each of the -- each of the
18 officeholders in that -- in that group, it specifies a commander and it
19 specifies particular members of the staff and their functions; is that
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And it's created by the president of the republic of the Bosnian
23 Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And -- very well. Thank you.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: I just ask that the witness be shown one more
2 such document, and this is D287. Now, Your Honours, this is only just
3 being brought into being now. It has not yet been uploaded. We have
4 copies which has now be distributed.
5 What you have, Your Honours, is both the English and Bosnian
6 stapled together. And could the Prosecutors please be provided with a
7 copy of that as well.
8 Q. Mr. Cikotic, could I indicate to the Court as well that we will
9 very speedily provide this and have it scanned and loaded into the system
10 of documents.
11 The English version -- sorry, the front two pages ought to be in
12 Bosnian. Do you have those?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Does this appear to be an order creating an operations
15 group on Igman?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And does this order also specify the -- the units to be included
18 in that -- in that group in paragraph number 2 at A and B?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Importantly, under -- under B, the 6th Corps -- does it indicate
21 that to be taken from the 6th Corps is the special -- the Special Zulfikar
22 Detachment for special purposes and then giving a detail, VJ military unit
24 Q. All right.
25 A. Yes, it does. It's included in the list as a unit on the
1 strength of the 6th Corps.
2 Q. Yes. I'm just going to ask you a question -- I'm going to go
3 through more questions on this document in a moment, but I'd just ask you
4 about the Zulfikar unit. Although the Zulfikar unit is here in this order
5 recognised to be part of the 6th Corps, was it your understanding that
6 the -- the Zulfikar unit always signed itself as being a special
7 detachment of the General Staff?
8 A. Yes, that's how I remember the title and the position of the
10 Q. Yes. Was it the case that at that stage the system of command
11 and control in the -- in the Bosnian army whilst the leadership were
12 attempting to get it to work, not all the units operated efficiently
13 within that system of command and control and, in particular, I would ask
14 you if -- well, I'll ask you that general question first and then I'll ask
15 you about the Zulfikar unit after that? I think if the question is
16 woolly, which I recognise it is, I shall withdraw it and I'll ask a more
17 focussed question.
18 At that time, did it sometimes happen that units would be
19 apparently under the command of one organic structure, such as a corps,
20 and would occasionally comply with that but otherwise represent themselves
21 to be accountable only -- to some other higher unit?
22 A. Would you please clarify a bit.
23 Q. Did it ever happen that a unit was supposed to be subordinated to
24 a corps command but in fact acted as if it was subordinated to someone
25 else? For example, the General Staff or a different corps.
1 A. I believe that such examples could be found, yes.
2 Q. Yes. Did you have direct experience of that yourself in your own
3 area, or is it just something that you heard about in other areas?
4 A. In some instances that I experienced, the status of a certain
5 unit would not really be clear. In such cases, however, I sought
7 Q. Yes. And could I just ask you now -- I'm going to come to this
8 in detail later, but as to the status of the 317th Brigade about which the
9 Prosecutor asked you some questions, was there late in August of 1993 some
10 doubts as to the -- to where that unit, the 317th, was assigned, your unit
11 or the 6th Corps?
12 A. At the time, it was very clear to me that this unit belonged to
13 my operations group.
14 Q. Yes. In this case, we've had evidence from a commander called
15 Salko Gusic, the commander of the 6th Corps. And when he was asked to
16 list the relevant units in -- that were under the 6th Corps, he told this
17 Tribunal that among those units was the 317th Brigade. Now, I understand
18 what you say, that you're quite clear that it was under your command, and
19 I just ask you to comment upon that. Do you know -- and you may not know,
20 but if you do know, could you explain: Do you know how it is that
21 Commander Gusic could come to that conclusion, that the 317th was under
22 his command?
23 A. I think it was in early summer. I'm not sure exactly when the
24 6th Corps was established, but with the formation of the corps, the 317th
25 Brigade entered -- formed part of the 6th Corps.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. However, the situation on the ground dictated a more practical
3 status of the unit vis-a-vis the operations group, and that's -- that was
4 the prevailing mood in the brigade anyhow, and it seems to me that I
5 received an interpretation from the 3rd Corps that the 317th Brigade was
6 to remain on the strength, and that is, to remain part of the operations
7 group. And that's how I understood it to be within my operations group.
8 Q. Yes. I understand that. And perhaps just to conclude that, you
9 had a good working relationship too, did you not, with Enver Zejnilagic,
10 who was the commander of that brigade at the time?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Okay. Well, I'm going to come back to that a bit later at an
13 appropriate moment. At the moment, I was just getting you to notice some
14 things about this order.
15 At paragraph -- would you mind just turning over the page to the
16 following page. And just note that this temporary formation was directly
17 subordinated to the 1st Corps command. Is that correct?
18 A. I don't understand.
19 Q. Do you see paragraph 3 of the order?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. Well, could I just ask you this: It's very important in
22 creating temporary functions to make it quite clear who those -- let me
23 start that again. I'm sorry. It's very important when creating a
24 temporary formation that it be specified who that formation answers to and
25 is accountable to; is that correct?
1 A. [No audible response]
2 Q. And for those who are not military people here, the reasoning
3 behind all of this really is to protect the principle of single command so
4 that orders are carried out in a coherent and meaningful fashion in the
5 armed forces; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Cikotic. The -- the interpretation here did not
8 pick up your answer to a question a little bit of a minute ago, so I'm
9 going to ask you that question again just so that the answer can be
10 recorded. This is at page 40, line 16, Your Honours. And the question
11 was this -- in fact, it's at line 18.
12 Question: "It's very important when creating a temporary
13 formation that it be specified who that formation answers to and is
14 accountable to; is that correct?"
15 And that was my question. What's the answer?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Thank you. Very well. And in short, the order that you've just
18 seen here is an appropriate, adequate, and sensible order by which to
19 create a temporary military formation, as far as you can see; is that
21 A. That's correct.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. I offer that document for tender. It
23 should be marked as MFI193.
24 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
25 MR. RE: Notwithstanding there's been no explanation as to the
1 provenance of the document, the Prosecution isn't objecting to its tender.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Morrissey, would you please inform us about
3 the source and the chain of custody of this document.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: It's got an ERN number. It's a Prosecution
5 document. 01850231. So provided to us by the Prosecutors.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.
7 So this document is admitted into the evidence. And what's the
8 MFI document on it?
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be Defence Exhibit D193.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 MR. MORRISSEY:
12 Q. And perhaps the final question about operations groups is: It's
13 absolutely crucial that the order creating the operations group spell out
14 who the commander is; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, the next area of military doctrine that we move to is the
17 nature of forward command posts, also known in this Tribunal as IKMs.
18 Now, an IKM, a forward command post, to your knowledge is a kind of -- is
19 one of a variety of derivative command posts, which includes forward
20 command posts, rear command posts, and a number of other kinds of
21 temporary command posts. Is that correct generally speaking?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It's axiomatic, is it not, that in each case where there's a
24 forward command post there really have to be a command post.
25 A. Of course.
1 Q. A forward command post can be staffed by -- perhaps I'll withdraw
3 To your knowledge, there was a forward command post of the
4 General Staff positioned in the town of Zenica during the course of 1993?
5 Do you recall that?
6 A. I don't know whether it was in Zenica or in Kakanj. It -- yes,
7 maybe it was in Zenica.
8 Q. Yes. Very well. I'm just going to ask you to look at the order
9 creating that document for your comments.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown -- this is
11 MFI135, a document which is, I think --
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Might I just raise one
14 matter. Your Honour, you'll recall that many documents were introduced
15 through the witness Mr. Gusic a long time ago, and at that time
16 submissions were called for regarding the admissibility of evidence
17 tendered by the Prosecutor and the Defence.
18 The Prosecution indicated at that time that they had no objection
19 to any of those documents going in, but Your Honours have not yet ruled on
20 that because the Defence objected to a limited number of those documents
21 for a variety of reasons. As expressed in due course this Tribunal will
23 For that reason, I'll continue to refer to the -- the Defence
24 ones as "MFI" because they haven't been ruled upon yet.
25 Q. Thank you. Sorry, Mr. Cikotic.
1 Very well. Now, do you have in front of you now a document
2 that's -- in the Bosnian language it creates a forward command post in
4 A. Yes, I have it, but it is rather illegible.
5 Q. Okay. Well, if -- if you need to clarify any particular part,
6 there's an English translation of it admitted, but I'll just take you
7 through some of the details.
8 Does this appear to be a typical order creating a -- a forward
9 command post, an IKM?
10 Or perhaps I should ask you: Do you need that to be enlarged,
11 what you have in front of you now?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please have that enlarged for
14 A. I can see the document now, yes.
15 Q. Okay. Good. Now, I just want you to comment on a couple
16 characteristics of -- of IKMs generally, and in particular by reference to
17 this order.
18 Firstly, in -- in analysing that order, is it fact that no person
19 is individually specified as being the commander of that IKM, and the
20 reason being that -- sorry, yes, well, first of all I just ask you to
21 confirm that. But there -- there is no commander of the IKM specified as
22 such in that order?
23 A. I can -- I cannot see it in this order.
24 Q. Yes. But nevertheless, a number of persons are designated to
25 perform particular functions at that IKM; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, is it also the fact that this IKM in Zenica and IKMs in
3 general can perfectly well continue to function without there being any
4 commander present at all but just have staff there doing their
5 information-collecting and the other sort of tasks that they perform?
6 A. I don't think it was possible.
7 Q. For example, just -- just considering this IKM that's listed
8 here: Supposing on a particular day there had have been present the IKM,
9 the people listed on that list, numbers 3, 4, and 5 and nobody else was
10 present. Just -- and this is only an example.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In such a situation, none of those people would be the commander
13 of any combat operations just merely by virtue of being at the IKM on that
14 day; is that correct?
15 A. It is correct.
16 Q. Yes. And I think rather than -- I don't want to beat around the
17 bush about this. I'll put the -- the specific proposition that I want to
18 put in the end so that everyone understands where it's going.
19 Just because there's an IKM in existence doesn't mean that any
20 operation is being commanded from it at that particular time; is that
22 A. It is correct.
23 Q. Yes. I've got another question now. I'm not sure if you're
24 aware of this or not, Mr. Cikotic, but in this case there was said to be
25 an IKM in Jablanica, and in fact it was referred to in -- in -- from time
1 to time by -- by various people. Did you ever see an IKM as you would
2 understand a real proper IKM to be in Jablanica when you were there?
3 A. Are you referring to the IKM of the General Staff?
4 Q. That's what I'm referring to.
5 A. No, I didn't see it.
6 Q. And if an IKM was established in order to deal with an operation
7 of the size of Neretva 93, you would expect to see an IKM with proper
8 communications; is that correct?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. With proper military police to protect and provide security for
11 that command post; is that correct?
12 A. Either a military police unit or any other unit providing
14 Q. Yes. And the various branches appropriate to the conduct of an
15 operation like this, such as a chief of artillery and the other branches
16 that one would normally find; is that correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. You've heard of such a thing as an inspection team before,
19 haven't you?
20 A. I heard that term, but not during the operation. I believe that
21 I heard it somewhat later.
22 Q. Yes. Later on were you asked by -- by any lawyers or by any
23 people at all here in The Hague to comment upon an order dated the 30th of
24 August, 1993 that set up an inspection team and made Sefer Halilovic the
25 head of it?
1 A. Yes. I saw that order during the preparations, and to a certain
2 extent I provided my comment to it.
3 Q. Yes. I'm going to ask you for your comment about that later. At
4 this stage, I'm just asking you really about the -- an inspection team.
5 And I wanted to ask you this question: Is there an official name that you
6 know of for the place where an inspection team bases itself when it's out
7 in the terrain? Is there some official terminology for that place?
8 A. Not that I know.
9 Q. Very well. Well, if it -- if an inspection team was to refer to
10 its officers in shorthand as an "IKM"," would that seem to you to be a
11 lazy but comprehensible mistake to make, given what you know about --
12 MR. RE: The Prosecution objects to the inherent speculation in
13 that question.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe it's a mischaracterisation, you know.
15 Unless -- unless you have some -- some evidence, you know, to show how it
16 is called.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, at this stage the admissibility
18 of -- of the -- of some of the documents using that term has not been
19 determined by the Tribunal yet, so I don't want to descend to the
20 particulars of those documents.
21 But it may be the case in the future that the Tribunal has to
22 deal with the use of the term "IKM" by certain people. And what I want to
23 do is to -- what I'm seeking here and I want the witness to understand
24 precisely -- I don't want to make a speech about it, however. I'll put it
25 as carefully as I can. I want to test how it is that that term could be
1 used. If somebody says "IKM," does it really mean they're referring to an
2 official IKM or might it be shorthand for something else? That's really
3 the issue that I wanted to test with this witness.
4 JUDGE LIU: You may differentiate the nature of the IKM with the
5 inspection team, you know, what's the difference between the two, you
6 know, how it is used normally, you know. You may ask some questions along
7 this line.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Yes, as the Court pleases.
9 Q. Yes. Mr. Cikotic, having been given some guidance, I'll ask
10 you -- ask you those questions. Normally speaking, there's no term that
11 you know of for the base of an inspection team; is that correct?
12 A. I don't know, because the inspection team is usually accepted by
13 the unit which is the subject of this inspection and the inspection team
14 stays with the unit throughout the course of the inspection.
15 Q. Yes. The evidence in this case is that the order setting up the
16 inspection team didn't limit its job just to one corps but required it to
17 coordinate between the 4th Corps and the 6th Corps, so that it didn't have
18 a -- an inherent place that it had to go to in the way you've described.
19 But following from that, normally speaking an IKM is -- is a
20 institution that -- from which a commander can issue commands when he's on
21 the field; is that correct?
22 A. It is correct.
23 Q. So if a commander comes to the IKM, he's able to issue commands
24 from that spot.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. But I believe so also possible, isn't it, that a person might use
2 the term "IKM" wrongly and lazily, but as shorthand, simply to describe
3 the resting place of the -- of the inspection team? Do you agree with
4 that possibility?
5 A. I can't rule this out, but I don't think that this would be done
6 by a good soldier.
7 Q. Because it would be a lazy use of terminology; correct?
8 A. Yes, one might interpret it this way.
9 Q. Very well. Thanks. Okay. Now, I just want to take you now to
10 some narrative matters. You were not present at the meeting of corps
11 commanders in Zenica on the 21st and 22nd of August, 1993; is that true?
12 A. Yes, that's true.
13 Q. However, even before that time, troops in the area of your
14 responsibility had been contemplating attacks along the very lines which
15 are indicated on the map to your right, Operation Neretva; is that true?
16 A. [No audible response]
17 Q. I'm sorry. The interpreter didn't pick up your answer there.
18 Would you mind answering again, please.
19 A. That is true.
20 Q. And in fact when you came to make the attacks that you did
21 ultimately make, they proceeded very much along the lines which you had
22 already considered in the time before the Zenica meeting took place; is
23 that correct?
24 A. We took the most logical axes of attack. They had been
25 considered previously and they were included in this mission.
1 Q. Yes. And indeed --
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness just be shown -- yes, sorry.
3 This -- we have another new document here which has not been uploaded yet.
4 Copy wills be now provided to everyone. This is -- I'm going to show an
5 order which -- I'll get you to consider whether it's yours or not, but it
6 seems to be yours, dated 30th of July, 1993.
7 Q. And would you mind just inspecting that document, please.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: And Your Honours and Mr. Prosecutor, could I just
9 indicate that the provenance of this document that's being shown to the
10 witness now is one that was collected by our inspector -- our team member
11 Mr. Dzambasovic in the archives of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 during one of his two visits between 2002 to 2005 to those archives.
13 There were ten such visits that he made there.
14 Q. Do you recognise that order?
15 A. It looks logical to me.
16 Q. And in effect, does it indicate that you were actively engaged in
17 combat activities at that time in that area?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I offer that document for tender, and it
20 should be marked as MFI194.
21 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
22 MR. RE: No, so long as the witness indicates that it is in fact
23 his order. It wasn't quite clear from the last -- the answer was "it
24 looks logical to me," rather than "that was an order that I signed." If
25 the witness indicates that, we don't object it to.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, certainly, yes.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: I understand that.
4 Q. Is the document you have in front of you signed by you?
5 A. I'm not sure, but it is logical and it is very possible that I
6 signed it.
7 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, the document that you have not bearing your
8 signature, what do you say about that document? Do you say that is an
9 order from you on that date or not?
10 A. It is possible that I issued a verbal order to that effect and
11 that my assistant for intelligence turned into -- turned that into a
12 written order and sent this order via our communication means, and I can
13 tell that it was my assistant by the initials.
14 Q. Yes. I understand what you say. So is your position this: That
15 you certainly issued an order to that effect, whether you produced that
16 written order or somebody else did. You're not sure? Is that an accurate
17 way to put the position?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay. Well, yes, I'd persist for the tender.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's admitted into the evidence.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be Defence Exhibit D194.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well.
24 Q. Now, at some stage early in September you were requested to go
25 for a meeting with Sefer Halilovic in Jablanica. Can I ask you whether
1 that was an order given to you personally by Sefer Halilovic or was it an
2 order that came through the 3rd Corps command.
3 A. This order may have arrived via the 3rd Corps or maybe via the
4 command of the 317th Brigade, which was on my strength. In any case, I
5 did not receive it directly from Sefer Halilovic.
6 Q. Can you remember how it was expressed to you? Were you simply
7 told orally, "You have to go and see Sefer Halilovic in Jablanica on a
8 certain date," or were you given additional information to that?
9 A. I don't remember. I believe that it was just a short
10 notification for me to report to Mr. Halilovic in Jablanica.
11 Q. Very well. Now, you've indicated that you spoke to the 3rd Corps
12 command about your involvement in this operation. And what I wanted to
13 ask you is: Did you speak to the 3rd Corps commander, Enver
14 Hadzihasanovic, prior to going down to Jablanica or did you do so after
15 you'd been to Jablanica and you knew a little bit more about what
16 Mr. Halilovic had in mind? In other words, at what point was it that you
17 first spoke to the 3rd Corps commander about this?
18 A. I'm not sure that I spoke to him before I left for Jablanica, but
19 I am sure that I reported to him about my travel to Jablanica and the
20 outcomes of that meeting after I returned from Jablanica.
21 Q. Okay. Just to be quite clear about this, you were never given an
22 order resubordinating you out of the organic structure of the 3rd Corps at
23 any time; is that correct?
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. And I just want to put some -- some propositions to you arising
1 out of that. At all times you retained your -- your links and -- your
2 links with and responsibilities to the 3rd Corps with regard to logistics,
3 military security, investigation of crimes, if any, by your soldiers, and
4 all matters outside of the combat activities of Neretva 93; is that
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Now, I understand that fortunately none of your soldiers
8 committed any outrages against civilians in the period we're talking
9 about, but you being the commander on the spot there can tell us this: If
10 one of your soldiers had have been accused of or suspected of doing such a
11 thing, the way you understood the structure that you operated under, that
12 would have been investigated by the military security of the 3rd Corps; is
13 that correct?
14 A. The brigade where such a crime might have occurred and security
15 services of the 3rd Corps.
16 Q. Yes. And as far as you could see -- I understand you weren't a
17 member of the 6th Corps -- very well. Perhaps I'll just confirm that with
18 you. You were not a member of the 6th Corps and nor were you subordinate
19 in any way to the 6th Corps at that time; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. But as far as you could observe from the orders given by --
22 orders and instructions given by Sefer Halilovic in your presence, there
23 was no resubordination of 6th Corps units but, rather, they were given
24 tasks in the same way that you were; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. So bearing in mind the military principles that you're familiar
2 with, had there been an offence committed by 6th Corps soldiers, that
3 should have been investigated by the brigade and ultimately the 6th Corps
4 military security; is that correct?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. Okay. Now, at the initial meeting that you had with Sefer --
7 sorry, now, I have a question for you about the war diary and the date of
8 your meeting with -- the date of your first meeting with Sefer Halilovic.
9 The war diary suggests that it's the -- the 3rd or the 4th. What I want
10 to ask you is this: You're pretty sure that the -- the Dobro Polje
11 meeting took place more than one day after this -- this first meeting; is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If the journalist Sefko Hodzic should -- well, I'm not sure if
15 that's the proper way to put this question. According to your memory,
16 it's quite possible that that meeting -- I mean, forget about the 3rd
17 Corps diary for a minute. But according to your memory, you'd say it's
18 quite possible that that meeting took place a bit earlier than the 3rd or
19 4th of September but, in fact, might have taken place on the 1st of
20 September. Do you agree with that?
21 A. It is possible.
22 Q. Okay. What you can certainly recall is that Sefko Hodzic was
23 present on that occasion.
24 A. Yes, he was present at our first meeting in Jablanica.
25 Q. Do you remember whether Sefer Halilovic had with him on that
1 occasion an escort by the name of Sele Halilovic, S-e-l-e Halilovic?
2 A. I think so.
3 Q. Do you remember whether he also had with him on that occasion or
4 the other occasion, indeed, a driver who went by the nickname of Mesar,
5 the butcher, but his real name was Casovic?
6 A. I don't remember.
7 Q. That's okay. But of the staff of Sefer, the personal staff of
8 Sefer, I mean, you can remember Sele Halilovic, you don't recall Casovic.
9 Do you recall his son, Semir, being there?
10 A. He was.
11 Q. And to your understanding, he had Semir there with him because by
12 some misfortune Sefer Halilovic's wife was blown up in her own apartment
13 that she shared with Sefer Halilovic a month or so before; is that
15 A. Yes, and if I remember it well, I believe that Mr. Halilovic even
16 said it on one occasion, that his son was much safer with him and that he
17 would overcome the difficulties of the time better with him.
18 Q. Yes. Okay. Now, as you've indicated, nothing of substance was
19 discussed when you met with Sefer Halilovic in -- in Jablanica in the
20 company of Zuka but that it was when you got into the car with Sefer after
21 that and drove to the village near Konjic that he explained to you what
22 was being contemplated; is that true?
23 A. I think so.
24 Q. Yes. Okay. It's a bit deceptive looking at the road maps
25 nowadays. How long did it take on that occasion to get from Jablanica up
1 to Konjic?
2 A. I don't think that the Jablanica-to-Konjic journey lasted long.
3 But from Privor, where I could use the vehicle, up to the arrival at my
4 destination, it might have taken some four or five hours.
5 Q. We've had some evidence from Mr. Gusic that the
6 Jablanica-to-Konjic road had its difficulties. On this occasion when you
7 drove there, was the road open? I'm talking about your journey with Sefer
8 Halilovic on this particular evening.
9 A. I don't remember.
10 Q. Well, in any event, you can recall meeting with Salko Gusic at
11 this village. Can you indicate at that time whether Mr. Gusic had any
12 staff members with him?
13 A. I don't remember. I believe there was an escort with him and
14 that at this depot where we met there were some logistics staff there, but
15 I don't remember that any staff members were there with him.
16 Q. But one thing's quite clear: The purpose was -- the purpose
17 expressed by Sefer Halilovic in bringing about this meeting was that you
18 were going to have to work with Mr. Gusic because his 6th Corps -- he and
19 his 6th Corps were going to be involved in this operation; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And, in fact, just to jump forward to something else so that
23 there's no doubt in this court as to the truth: When you did have the
24 meeting at Dobro Polje later on, Salko Gusic was there; correct?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. That map was displayed on that occasion?
2 A. Yes, I believe that was the map.
3 Q. Yes. It had -- yes. Okay. And on that occasion, Mr. Gusic
4 was -- was included in the discussions and played his part in assigning
5 the tasks to units from the 6th Corps; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And to your knowledge, Salko Gusic remained involved in the
8 operation as commander of the 6th Corps as long as it lasted; is that
10 A. That was my understanding.
11 Q. And from the date of the 5th of September at Dobro Polje, when
12 that map was displayed, the name written on the map, "Operation Neretva,"
13 was known to those involved in it; is that correct?
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. Very well. Now, I just want to take a step back to the short --
16 the shorter meeting that you had early in -- in September. After that
17 meeting was completed -- perhaps I should ask you this: At that meeting,
18 did Sefer Halilovic show you or tell you about this order from the 30th of
19 August signed by Rasim Delic creating an inspection team?
20 A. I don't remember him mentioning this. If I believe well, he told
21 me that he was there on the ground with a number of people from the
22 General Staff to coordinate combat activities.
23 Q. And you've used the term "coordinate" there. Is that -- is the
24 Bosnian term appropriate to be used there, the term "rukovodjenje," which
25 I've probably mangled in pronunciation, but the term "rukovodjenje"?
1 A. Control, "rukovodjenje"; and coordination, "koordinacija" are
2 somewhat different terms.
3 Q. Yes. But under the heading "rukovodjenje" one of the functions
4 that's performed is the function of coordination, "koordinacija"; is that
6 A. In principle, yes.
7 Q. Okay. And the system -- there is a system in the army referred
8 to as RIK, which is "rukovodjenje i komandomenje"; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. What's the connotation of those two terms, "rukovodjenje" on the
11 one hand and "komandomenje", on the other hand?
12 A. The term "rukovodjenje" implied the function of control of
13 general character in the social institutions, including the army. It was
14 a generic term and as such it was above the term of "command." The
15 command as a function was specifically related to the military
16 organisation --
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. -- and involved a more formal and firm approach to the
19 organisational units that were under that term, or rather, to the entire
20 function that it was supposed to perform. In practice, also in the Army
21 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this term RIK, was a syntagm that was often
23 Q. Yes. Okay. And I'm going to ask you some questions from
24 particular manuals at a time just in the future.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: But could the witness please be shown now the
1 order of the 30th of the 8th.
2 Your Honour, I had marked to show MFI146 but I don't want that
3 one shown because we've agreed now on a later version, and I just don't
4 have the number, I'm sorry to say.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just ask: The -- the
7 subsequent order that -- where there's been a -- when this Court submitted
8 that document for a further review, has that been put into evidence yet
9 formally or not? I -- I don't have a note of it being done.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't know. I think according to my record,
11 it's 150. But sometimes we used the number 146. But whatever we are
12 going to use it, we'll refer it to the August 30th order.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Just so that the witness -- the witness
14 needs to have the order -- there's no controversy about the Bosnian order.
15 It's all an English controversy.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, perhaps if we could -- if the witness could
18 be shown MFI146, the Bosnian version, and those English speakers in the
19 court can bear in mind the -- the other issues.
20 Q. Very well. Do you have in front of you the Bosnian version of
21 the order of the 30th of August?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, you'll see that that order -- there's a preamble to the
24 order. Could I just ask you to indicate what's the significance of that
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I wonder if I could have the
2 English version. At the moment I've got the Bosnian version.
3 A. To me this means that the order constitutes an implementation of
4 the conclusions adopted at the meeting of the General Staff.
5 Q. Did you -- do you -- are you in a position to comment whether
6 that is an adoption of the conclusions of the General Staff at the Zenica
7 meeting, or not?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's an implementation of
11 these conclusions.
12 Could you please have the preamble on the screen again.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Could that be provided to the witness, please.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. This order aims at removing the shortcomings that were mentioned
16 in the conclusions of the General Staff.
17 Q. Yes. Okay. And I'm really talking -- what I'm asking you now
18 about is the limits that this -- the limits on the inspection team which
19 are imposed by this order, and in particular the limits imposed on Sefer
20 Halilovic by this order.
21 First of all, in the preamble, is the -- the competence of this
22 team limited to the zones of responsibility of the 4th and 6th Corps, in
23 specific terms in the last line of that preamble?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Yes. Okay. And is that picked up -- is that picked up again in
1 the first line of paragraph 1, indicating that "The task is to
2 coordinate -- is to form a professional inspection team to coordinate the
3 work and tasks in the zone of responsibility of the 4th and 6th Corps."
4 And therefore what I'm asking you about here is: Is the competence of
5 this team effectively limited to the 4th and 6th Corps by the terms of the
7 A. Yes, based on the order, that would be my conclusion.
8 Q. Yes. Now, the instruction given appears to be there:
9 Professional inspection team to coordinate. Now, that part of paragraph 1
10 does not place the team leader of this inspection team under the command
11 of the 4th and 6th Corps under any circumstances, does it?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Okay. Now, I want to move now to the tasks that are assigned,
14 and -- just excuse me a moment. Sorry. If you'd just look at those
15 tasks. There are four tasks as -- the main tasks that are listed in
16 paragraph 1. And what I want to ask you about them is this: Those tasks
17 have to be read in light of the preamble and the first sentence in
18 paragraph 1; is that correct? In other words, in interpreting the powers
19 given to this inspection team and its leader in those four points, you as
20 a soldier interpreting this -- this order would of course have regard to
21 the preamble and the first sentence in paragraph 1 in order to interpret
22 the ambit of those powers; is that true?
23 A. That's true.
24 Q. Yes. Now, next of all, those -- sorry if you'd just look at
25 paragraph 2 now. You'd see that the office given to Sefer Halilovic is
1 the office of team leader. Now, you as an experience military person
2 would agree that if this order was designed to appoint Sefer Halilovic as
3 a commander of an operation, it would say that; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And -- yes, thank you. Look at paragraph number 3 now, and in
6 particular I want you to look on the second line of paragraph 3. That's
7 the bit I'm going to stress. But I'll read the whole thing: "The Chief
8 of Staff of the SVK of the armed forces should, in keeping with his
9 authority, solve the problems in the field by issuing orders." Now, does
10 that paragraph appear to you to give the team leader a limited and
11 confined power to issue certain orders?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And does it give that power with two important limits imposed
14 upon it? First of all, that those orders have to be issued - and I quote
15 now - "In keeping with his authority"? Is that correct?
16 A. Whose authority? I don't understand.
17 Q. Yes. No, sorry, well, don't be misled by me. But just have
18 regard to the actual paragraph itself. Look at the first sentence again.
19 Do you see the phrase there "in keeping with his authority"? That's how
20 it's translated in English. It comes after the -- after the term: "The
21 Chief of Staff of the SVK --"
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you have that now?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I don't know whether in Bosnian it comes out more as "consistent
1 with his authority," or "in keeping with his authority" but do you see is
2 that phrase there in front of you?
3 A. [No interpretation]
4 Q. Okay. So do you agree with me that that phrase imposes a limit
5 on the type of orders that -- that the team leader, Sefer Halilovic, is
6 empowered to issue?
7 A. Yes. I understand that the authority or powers are those as
8 defined under item 1; whereas, for any instances where this authority has
9 not been provided for, the commander should be consulted.
10 Q. Yes. And in -- in saying what you just said there, you're, I
11 take it, picking up that requirement to consult with -- the requirement in
12 the last sentence of that paragraph.
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Okay. And the other limit that's imposed upon the power given to
15 the team leader, Sefer Halilovic, in paragraph 3 is that "Such power can
16 be exercised with the purpose to solve the problems in the field." Now,
17 do you see that phrase -- the phrase "solve the problems in the field"?
18 A. [No audible response]
19 Q. All right. Now, do you agree with -- sorry, again, you nodded
20 your head there but there was no audible response. Did you agree with
21 my -- the proposition I put to you?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Very well. Now, under no circumstances can this
24 order here be regarded as an order appointing Sefer Halilovic commander of
25 any unit and of any operation; do you agree with me?
1 A. I do agree.
2 Q. Very well. Now, I move on now to the time after -- I'm sorry,
4 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could take a break at this time.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: I saw you are leaving that document.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, I am living it.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at quarter to 1.00.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just indicate for the
10 convenience of all parties, I think it's likely that this witness will go
11 over to tomorrow and I think probably by about half an hour. You can see
12 there's -- it's a methodical way to go through things. It's not likely
13 we'd finish him today. It is likely that we'd finish him in the early
14 part of tomorrow. And I say that because the Prosecutor has to organise
15 witnesses. So that's how I think it will proceed.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your information.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please continue, Mr. Morrissey.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cikotic.
22 On the screen still appears that order, and I have one final
23 question concerning that order, or one final topic concerning that order.
24 Do you have that order still on your screen, Mr. Cikotic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Very well. Would you look, please, at -- at paragraph 4.
2 There's -- paragraph 4 in English here is rendered "the monitoring should
3 begin on 31st August," but in B/C/S the word that is used there is the
4 word "kontrola"; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. All right. Now, we referred earlier to the system of command and
7 control -- the system of RIK, R-I-K, rukovodjenje and komondovanje. Under
8 the heading of "rukovodjenje" are various other more specific functions.
9 Is one of those functions the function of kontrola?
10 A. I believe so.
11 Q. And is one of the other functions a distinct function, the
12 function of command, komandi?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So paragraph 4 specifically refers to: "The kontrola should
15 begin on 31st August and be completed by" a -- unspecified date at the
16 bottom of the page; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in other words, both at the start of this order and at its
19 very end the real true functions of this -- of this inspection team are
20 made absolutely explicit; correct?
21 A. Yes. That's what one can conclude on the basis of these
22 documents here.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm going to in a moment go to some military
24 theory that may be of importance to the Tribunal at a later time. I just
25 have one narrative matter I want to deal with before that. This order
1 being issued on the 30th of August, you then met with Sefer Halilovic and
2 Zulfikar Alispago in Donja Jablanica on a date early in September and you
3 then went back to your area of responsibilities in the zone of the 3rd
4 Corps; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And at that time, you discussed with your commanding officer,
7 Enver Hadzihasanovic, what -- whether or not you were indeed permitted and
8 authorised to be a part of this operation and Hadzihasanovic gave you
9 the -- the right -- sorry, gave you permission to go ahead; is that
11 A. We didn't talk. I sent him a written report where I asked for
12 his approval for me to go ahead with the activities, and I did receive
14 Q. I understand. In the -- I'm going to ask you about your -- your
15 request in a minute. But in the reply that you received from
16 Hadzihasanovic, did he go into detail as to why he was giving you that
17 approval, or did he just give you a functional military answer, "Yes, you
18 have approval"?
19 A. I don't remember the contents of this communication of ours, but
20 I don't think that there was any specific approval.
21 Q. I understand. It's the fact you needed to speak to -- to your
22 commander, Hadzihasanovic, for two reasons: The first being that you had
23 not been resubordinated, your unit, OG Zapad, had not been resubordinated
24 out of the 3rd Corps; and secondly, to your knowledge Halilovic was the
25 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command Staff rather than the commander of
1 the Supreme Command Staff. Is that accurate?
2 A. It is true that I continued being within the 3rd Corps, but had
3 the commander of the Main Staff called upon me for any reason, I would
4 have had to inform my superior thereof.
5 Q. If you had have been resubordinated out of the 3rd Corps, then
6 you would not need to have contacted him; is that correct?
7 A. You mean with the commander of the 3rd Corps?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. We're now -- I'm now going to ask you some
11 questions in an area that may be difficult for the layperson but is -- is
12 of some significance, and these are questions about the doctrine of
13 command and control. And as I say, they may be relevant to the Court in
14 some time considering that -- the matters that they have to try.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: I ask that the witness now be shown a textbook,
16 and perhaps if this could be shown first to the Prosecutor.
17 Your Honours, this is a -- this document here is a document
18 called "Introduction to the theory of military control." It's a textbook
19 available in libraries. We do not as yet have it copied or translated so
20 that showing it to my learned friend now may pose its difficulties for
21 him. But because it's a professional manual available readily to all,
22 what I have in mind is to get the witness to look at it, to read the
23 relevant passage, and simply to confirm that this was -- if he does
24 confirm it, of course, to confirm that this was the applicable law and
25 rules at the time. So that's the reason I'm doing it in the way I am. Of
1 course I'll have to get the witness to identify the -- the document he's
2 being shown first. That's what I have in mind.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
4 MR. RE: Could I just say this: I'm not sure -- it's just been
5 basically sprung upon us. I've been handed this at the moment, as my
6 learned friend just said.
7 I have a recollection dim, dark, recesses of my mind that this
8 might actually be in -- might have been an exhibit in the Strugar case.
9 I'm fairly sure the Prosecution introduced excerpts from this particular
10 manual, and I'm pretty sure it's been translated. It must have been over
11 the history of the -- of the Tribunal's trials. But I -- but having not
12 been warned of this in advance, I can't comment upon that.
13 We would certainly want to see the English while the witness is
14 being cross-examined. If my learned friend could perhaps delay this until
15 the last part of his cross-examination until tomorrow morning, we might be
16 able to find an English translation overnight, because I'm sure one exists
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I need some flexibility from both parties.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Your Honour, well, I'm -- look, I'm -- I
20 agree, and I don't want the Prosecution or the Court to be disadvantaged
21 by this. Could I indicate what I had in mind now was simply to get the
22 witness to read it. The interpreters will then interpret it live. My
23 learned friend would not be re-examining upon it -- redirecting today, if
24 that's what he wants to do, of course -- today in any event.
25 I certainly would have no objection at all, and in fact these --
1 these military manuals are all of their very nature tenderable. The only
2 question is they're not much use to the Tribunal in the -- in the native
3 language, of course. I understand that. On the other hand, the wholesale
4 translation of military documents poses its own problems. And therefore,
5 what I'd seek to is to proceed to ask these questions now. We can
6 indicate that -- I've indicated before we have some translation delays
7 which -- the registry is doing everything it can and doing the best it
8 can. But we have got some problems, about which more can be said if you
9 need to know.
10 I wonder if we can be permitted to proceed with this now, just to
11 let the witness read those thing, because the evidence is not going to be
12 technical in nature other than the witness saying, "I agree that this was
13 the law" or "I disagree that this was the law." So it's going to be a
14 very simple statement of fact that we're seeking to elicit from him.
15 Where the Prosecutor may be disadvantaged and where I want to be
16 clear that they shouldn't be disadvantaged is that if there's some context
17 that they are being denied, then by giving them what I'm giving them now I
18 agree they don't have the opportunity to -- to put it in context. So
19 if -- if we're leaving something of importance out, then of course the
20 Prosecutor is being denied that and they should have that opportunity, I
21 can concede that quite freely. Of course they should. But that shouldn't
22 prevent us from proceeding now in doing what I'm going to do. It really
23 is if the Prosecutor needs a delay or wants to point out to us something
24 that we've done unfairly or in a way that distort it is truth, that's not
25 the intention. I can be sure. I haven't read the -- the full thing. But
1 we would seek to proceed now if we could.
2 MR. RE: If we could just get the pages or the references to
3 which Mr. Morrissey wishes to cross-examine, we might even be able to find
4 it now while he's talking. It will be on our system.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. So in principle you do not object that we are
6 going to proceed?
7 MR. RE: Well, I -- we are disadvantaged because -- I don't know
8 what -- I don't know what he's going to be referring to. All I'm asking
9 is if he could perhaps delay this part until tomorrow morning and proceed
10 with the rest and we'll see what we can do in cooperation and find the
11 English, which will help him and the Trial Chamber. I'm sure it's there
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: I think it would be to the Prosecutor's advantage
15 if we did it now because then they know, rather than delaying it until
16 tomorrow, when their time is cut shorter.
17 But I'll indicate --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's proceed based on this document.
21 But, Mr. Morrissey, I have to warn you that since there is no
22 official translations and we could only rely on the simultaneous
23 translation, there might be some disputes, you know, concerning the
24 translation of a certain word. I hope you don't mind. And later on if
25 there's some official, you know, written translations, we will rely on it.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, it -- I thank you for that. I agree
2 that that is an issue. But because we're dealing with official or quasi
3 official documents, it should be that any problems like that can be sorted
4 out sensibly at a later time without troubling the witness to come back.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: That's my hope.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
9 Q. Very well. Now, could I just indicate that I'm now going to put
10 to you a document, Mr. Cikotic, from -- a book entitled "Introduction to
11 the theory of military control," and the page I'm going to get you to look
12 at is page 105.3. And that is noted there in the text.
13 Now, what I'd ask you to do: Would you please read that section,
14 that -- the noted part into the transcript, and then I'll ask you some
15 questions about it. Would you mind reading it aloud, because then the
16 translator will interpret it for us?
17 MR. RE: Shouldn't it be put on the ELMO so that they can
18 actually read it from -- directly.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: That's a good suggestion and I ask that that be
21 done, please.
22 Q. While that's being done, would you mind just looking at the front
23 of that book and identifying -- as the book, "The theory of military
24 control". Are you familiar with that book?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Are you able to see from the front cover of it --
2 perhaps I'll ask those formal questions in a moment. What I'll ask you to
3 do is to read that passage. It's the encircled passage. And just if you
4 wouldn't mind reading that so that the interpreters can interpret aloud
5 for the rest of us.
6 A. "Definition of the process of control. The process of control
7 constitutes five mutually dependent functions: Planning, organising,
8 commanding, coordination, and control."
9 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to ask you a question about that:
10 First of all, do you agree that that's an accurate summary of the military
11 principle of the process of control?
12 A. I believe so.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that the term "rukovodjenje," as defined
14 here, is broader than the term "command"? Is a higher-level term than the
15 term "command"?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. Do you agree also that the process of rukovodjenje is something
18 that not only commanders take care of but is also an activity of staffs
19 and other organs of the army?
20 A. Please repeat.
21 Q. Do you agree that the process of rukovodjenje is a process that's
22 not only exercised by commanders but also an activity that's exercised by
23 staffs and other functionaries in the armed forces?
24 A. Yes, they do participate in it.
25 Q. Thank you. Whereas, command is a function exercised pursuant to
1 the process of single command by commanders; is that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Thank you. Would you please --
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown page 102 and
5 point 2, paragraph 2 has been there encircled.
6 Q. Would you please read that passage into the transcript.
7 A. "The military dictionary defines command as the function of
8 control in the armed forces, with the interpretation of the right of the
9 officers to make decisions. It is important to say that only persons
10 authorised by law, regulations, and rules are authorised to command and
11 not other command staffs or some other control structures."
12 Q. Thank you. Is that an accurate quotation -- or does that
13 quotation accurately reflect military doctrine in the Bosnian army?
14 A. Yes, I believe it does.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Now could the witness please be shown another
16 document. This one is uploaded. But if that document could remain there
17 because it will be used again.
18 Could the witness now please be shown Marked for Exhibit, MFI142.
19 And on the B/C/S version it's page 25 of that document, but on the English
20 version, pages 27 to 28 will need to be displayed.
21 Yes, could I indicate while that's being uploaded that this is a
22 Prosecution exhibit. It's the book entitled "Rukovodjenje i
23 komondovanje." I'm sorry for the pronunciation.
24 Very well. Thank you. Now, what needs to be shown here is page
25 25 of the B/C/S version. That needs to be shown to the witness on the
2 A. I believe that I have page 28, which gives the explanation of the
3 terms "operativity" and "confidentiality."
4 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, you don't have the right pages as yet. You need
5 to have page --
6 MR. MORRISSEY: The witness needs to have page 25. It may be
7 that I misled there.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, although we think the entire
10 passage that the witness needs is on page 25 of the Bosnian version, the
11 version Your Honours are looking at is at pages 27 and continuing into 28,
12 so you'll need to turn over the pages in this passage.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MORRISSEY:
15 Q. Okay. Could I just ask you to read out, please, the section
16 under the heading "Single authority."
17 MR. MORRISSEY: And perhaps if the Court could turn other,
18 because the substance is on the following page in English. In Bosnian the
19 whole thing is contained on one page. Okay.
20 Your Honours, I think because this may be looked at by others who
21 will give evidence at a future stage and in order to make it easier for
22 them I shall read this into the transcript in English.
23 Q. Mr. Cikotic, I'm going to read that into the transcript in
24 English now, and then I'll ask you to comment.
25 This passage is under the heading "Single authority," and it
1 provides this: "The principle of single authority in command and control
2 implies an inalienable right of a commander to command and control a
3 subordinated command and a unit. In keeping with the powers deriving from
4 the competence ascribed to a specific level of command and control. This
5 principle ensures that in the process of command and control there is only
6 one superior who issues commands and to whom the others report about the
7 execution of tasks. The commander's authority is stipulated by
8 regulations. It is his right to make decisions for which he is therefore
9 solely responsible. In his work, a commander relies on his aides, staff,
10 other command organs. The rights and obligations of these organs are
11 stipulated by regulations and they are responsible for their scope of
12 work. A commander may delegate some of his duties and obligations on the
13 Chief of Staff, his aides, a staff organ, and subordinated commands, but
14 he cannot delegate the responsibility for the situation in the unit and
15 its use. The principle of single authority does not bar a commander from
16 including a wider circle of associates into the decision-making process or
17 from hearing out their opinions and suggestions. In that way favourable
18 conditions are created for a commander to reach the best possible
19 decisions and for his associates to develop inventiveness and creativity."
20 Now, let me ask you the question: Do you agree that that
21 accurately reflects the Bosnian army military doctrine?
22 A. Yes, because it adopted the elements of the military doctrine of
23 the former JNA.
24 Q. Yes. Thank you.
25 Okay. Just excuse me for one moment.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you. Could I just ask that Mr. Cikotic be
3 assisted again with respect to the document that's on the ELMO.
4 And I would ask that the witness now be shown the encircled part
5 of page 176. The correct part is now displayed on the ELMO.
6 Q. Would you please read into the transcript - and if you could read
7 as slowly as possible, it will assist the interpreters - the encircled
8 passage that you see on that page.
9 A. "The command is linked with certain formation duties; in other
10 words, only certain places in the organisational structure are
11 characterised by the entitlement to command."
12 Q. Thank you. Does that accurately reflect Bosnian army doctrine?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Once again, was that inherited directly from the old JNA?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, those are the questions concerning command and
17 control directly.
18 I now have some questions concerning another topic that's an
19 important topic in this case, and that is the conveying of orders, the
20 conveying an explanation of decisions.
21 Would you just excuse me one moment, please.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. MORRISSEY: [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry.
1 As with the previous document that's been shown to the witness, I
2 now wish to show the witness another manual. It has the same -- it is in
3 the same situation in terms of not being interpreted. It has the same
4 shortcomings and the same difficulties for the Prosecutor, but I'd seek to
5 follow the same proper and acknowledge again any difficulties the
6 Prosecutor may have and indicate my preparedness to cooperate in any
7 possible way.
8 Could that be shown to the Prosecutor in its hard form first,
10 MR. RE: Thank you.
11 I'm not going to make any more comments about this, but perhaps
12 we could be given a photocopy of the pages which have been read out and we
13 could actually then pursue our inquiries as to whether or not it's been
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think that's a reasonable request.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, frankly, I -- can I indicate that
17 the Prosecutor are indeed being very reasonable about this. We could sort
18 this out by having a delay of a day. It's best to proceed as best we
19 can. But I indicate gratitude to Mr. Re for taking the approach that he
20 does. Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Cikotic -- I'm sorry, that document has just been -- the
22 Prosecutor is just making an inquiry about that document, so I'll just
23 wait for that to be done.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. MORRISSEY:
1 Q. Thank you. I've now put before the witness a document called the
2 "Rule on the land army." Could I just ask you please, Mr. Cikotic, to
3 look at page 77 of that document and direct your attention to point 137.
4 Thank you. And you'll see it's marked there.
5 Could I ask you to read slowly into the transcript the first
6 paragraph at point 137.
7 A. "The conveyance of decisions to subordinates has to be timely,
8 correct, clear, and confidential. It can be either verbal or written and
9 it has to follow the rank of urgency and execution of certain tasks. It
10 can be done by orders, instructions, and at command reconnaissance."
11 Q. Thank you. Would you be able to explain perhaps in lay terms to
12 the Tribunal here what that passage entails in practical terms? In other
13 words, how are orders to be communicated?
14 Before you answer that, could I just ask this: In formal terms,
15 does that accurately state the law concerning the conveying of
16 explanations within the Bosnian army?
17 A. The definition of the way to convey orders was orally in a
18 written form or by means of communication. However, this particular
19 paragraph contains all of these elements and explains them in broader
20 terms and also mentions the urgency, the contents of orders and commands.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. And it also mentions the relationship that exists in the
23 conveyance of orders with regard to the subordinate units.
24 Q. Would you please read -- would you please now read the second
25 paragraph in 137 right down to the end. And if you don't mind, please
1 read it as slowly as possible because the interpreters are simultaneously
3 MR. RE: The interpreters could always read it themselves
4 directly from the book. That might be quicker.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: I think --
6 JUDGE LIU: But we only have one book there. Am I right?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: That's correct, Your Honour. And I think the
8 interpreters may benefit from having the -- the document on the screen as
9 they do, but at the same time, frankly, I don't know how they do it
10 already, and I think the slower it's done, the better.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's try that.
12 MR. MORRISSEY:
13 Q. So would you please read that second paragraph into the
15 A. "The commander's reconnaissance is the best way to convey
16 messages to the subordinates -- to convey orders to the subordinates. It
17 is carried out with all the subordinates or the cooperating commanders of
18 units or only with those who are in charge of the tasks in -- within the
19 forthcoming mission. It is carried out by the commander and in some
20 situations and on some axes it can also be done by the Chief of Staff.
21 This serves to lay out and define the tasks that the units -- unit is
22 going to have and this is done in the form of orders and also cooperation
23 is organised. The course of the action is defined by the plan of the
24 commander's reconnaissance."
25 Q. Yes. Could I just ask for this comment: It's one of the
1 important roles of a Chief of Staff to convey the orders of the commander
2 and explain them in detail to the units who have to carry them out; is
3 that accurate?
4 A. This is accurate. What is underlined here is the function of
5 cooperation or concert activity.
6 Q. Yes. And that function plainly fell within the role that Sefer
7 Halilovic indicated to you when he spoke to you about the forthcoming
8 operation early in September 1993; is that correct?
9 A. That's the way I understood it.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness now be shown another document.
11 This is a third document --
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Morrissey, I think, you know, before we leave
13 those two documents, we'd better have a number, you know, on these two so
14 that they could be traceable in the future.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, that's certainly correct. It's
16 likely I'll come back to them. But -- but yes, that's why I didn't give
17 them a number now. But I agree, we'll give them a number straight away.
18 Could the -- the first of those documents -- would you just
19 excuse me a moment, please. The first document entitled "Introduction to
20 the theory of military control," we would ask be marked for Exhibit -- as
21 MFI195; the second of those documents, which was the "Rule on the land
22 army" I would ask --
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, "Rule on divisions of the land army." I
25 apologise. It should be marked MFI196.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Now, the next document to be -- I'd ask that the witness look at,
4 please, is the "Rule on the corps." This document suffers from the same
5 shortcomings as the previous two. I offer it as MFI197.
6 And I note for the record that this is not the original book but
7 a photocopy of it and should evidence need to be called about how it --
8 how it came to be, we're happy to oblige. It may be that the Prosecutor
9 can have a chance to review that first and, if satisfied of the bona fides
10 of it, they may not require that of us and they can raise any questions
11 with us, but at this stage I offer it as well.
12 Q. Now, with respect to that rule on the corps, would you please
13 turn to page 50, point 105, and look at paragraph number 1. And now,
14 would you please slowly read into the transcript the -- the heading next
15 to "105", and the paragraph immediately below it.
16 A. "A decision is conveyed to the subordinate commands as soon as it
17 is made, taking into account the urgency to convey this order as soon as
18 possible to their end executives.
19 "If the time other conditions so allow, the subordinate commander
20 wills be present during the decision-making process. If due to distances
21 and other reasons this cannot be provided for, the decision will be
22 conveyed to the subordinates in written form or orally during the
23 commander's reconnaissance, via combat orders, commands, and similar."
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. "The commander will decide on the ways decision is going to be
1 conveyed, and the conveyance of the decision will be in the hands of the
2 Chief of Staff. He will organise it."
3 Q. I have a question about that last sentence. It's clear that
4 according to this rule the commander decides how his order is to be
5 conveyed and the delivery of that order and its communication is in the
6 hands of the Chief of Staff. Is that accurate?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. Very well.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, I wish to show the witness another document.
10 This one is the textbook, "Rukovodjenje i komondovanje."
11 Would Your Honour just excuse me.
12 Mr. Cikotic, just excuse me a moment, please.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 JUDGE LIU: And what's the number for that document you just
16 MR. MORRISSEY: The previous document should be marked as MFI197.
17 The current document I'm going to show is a Prosecution document
18 and is currently MFI142. But, however, the passage that I want to show to
19 the witness has not yet been interpreted into English, so that even though
20 it has an existing exhibit number, because it hasn't been interpreted it
21 may be appropriate to give it a further exhibit number because the passage
22 that is now being put is different, and so that people can work backwards
23 and work out what has been shown, I will be offering this as MFI198.
24 MR. RE: I don't agree with that.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. RE: It may well have been interpreted into English at one
2 point. If I can just emphasise that if my friend is going the put public
3 documents to the witness as before, it would certainly assist everyone if
4 he told us and we would be able to check our own records see if it has
5 been interpreted. That isn't really revealing his hand.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, that depends on the willingness from the
7 Defence team, you know --
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
9 JUDGE LIU: -- because sometimes the cross-examination is quite
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, Your Honour, could I just put on
12 record something about that. The Prosecutor is right to feel caught out
13 in a sense. I fully appreciate that. But it's -- it's not tactically
14 clever to conceal public documents like this. Sometimes you do hold
15 things back in order to surprise. Not when it's of this nature. This is
16 simply being done as quickly as we -- as we can. There'll be other times
17 when certainly we will be keeping things in our hand. This isn't a time
18 when we're doing that deliberately.
19 I do acknowledge the Prosecution's situation.
20 Nevertheless, that having been said, I'd now seek to press on. I
21 just ask that the witness be shown the textbook "Rukovodjenje i
22 komondovanje." This would be offered as MFI199.
23 Now, could the witness please be shown, first of all, page 338 on
24 the ELMO, and there is a sentence in yellow brackets there.
25 Q. Would you please read that sentence in the yellow brackets three
1 lines from the top into the transcript.
2 A. "When the commander words a decision and defines all of its
3 elements, it gives it a legal force that all the subordinates have to
4 abide by. However, the wording of the decision in the form of a document
5 in addition to everything aforementioned also provides for the following:
6 Giving combat orders to the subordinate units, a suitable way to inform
7 the superior officer, and the implementation of control, and the
8 implementation of tasks which have been given to the subordinates."
9 Q. [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cikotic. Does that accurately state the -- the
13 military rules of the Bosnian army?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you please look on the opposite page - that's 339 - there's
16 a section there under the heading of "Informing of a decision," encircled
17 in orange. Would you please read slowly that passage into the transcript.
18 A. "A decision taken by a commander shall become the basis for
19 command over units and shall become a binding document only once it has
20 been conveyed to those who will implement it. The significance and
21 importance of the conveyance of the decision lies in the fact that
22 subordinate units cannot carry out any combat activities until such time
23 as the decision has been conveyed or, rather, until such time as they have
24 received specific tasks contained in the decision by the commander."
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: And could we please move down that page now to a
2 spot lower, which is also encircled in orange.
3 Q. And would you please read that lower passage on page 339 into the
5 A. "The decision taken by a unit commander on a case-to-case basis
6 may be conveyed to those who will implement it in one of the following
7 ways: Verbally, on the ground, through commander's reconnaissance on the
8 ground, or by issuing commands; in writing, in a command, or brief orders;
9 on the map; over communications means; in front of the lined-up units
10 verbally (exceptionally only when it is necessary to explain the
11 significance and the objective of the forthcoming combat)."
12 Q. Thank you. And applying that to the concrete case here, Sefer
13 Halilovic as Chief of Staff did indeed relay the orders and the tasks
14 pursuant to the bigger order on that map to the subordinate commanders at
15 Dobro Polje; do you agree with that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And now having regard to that map that's next to you. If you
18 wouldn't mind just having a look at that. Were the orders that -- that
19 Sefer Halilovic conveyed to the commanders at Dobro Polje all completely
20 consistent with what is depicted on that map so far as you're able to
21 remember it?
22 A. Yes, to the extent I remember, especially in the part that
23 concerned my task.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cikotic.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: That can now be removed from the ELMO. I have
1 now completed that part of the cross-examination.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, would you please inform us about the
3 number of that part from the document 142.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: That was -- those three sections were pages 338
5 and then two sections from pages 339. This document, as I indicated, has
6 only been partially translated, so up to page 89 it does -- as I say, the
7 Prosecutor may well have a translation of it somewhere in the archives.
8 JUDGE LIU: But let's have a separate MFI number on it.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Does Your Honour wish for a separate MFI number
10 for each of those passages or just for the book?
11 JUDGE LIU: No, for -- for those passages.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: For each passage?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Very well.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 JUDGE LIU: It might be 198.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the passage from page 338 be marked as
18 MFI198; the first passage on page 399 be marked as MFI199; and the final
19 passage be marked as MFI200.
20 I have, Your Honours, two more questions relevant to that and
21 then I understand that there's a matter that has to be raised. And the
22 next topic is -- is a substantive one, so perhaps if I ask those two
23 topics and then complete the -- if -- if Your Honours wish to raise
24 another matter before close.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we still have eight minutes, but I'm
1 not sure that we could finish our sitting this morning, so we'd better,
2 you know, stop here for the cross-examination and continue tomorrow
4 MR. MORRISSEY: As Your Honour pleases.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, thank you very much for coming here to
6 give your evidence. I'm afraid that you have to stay here overnight and
7 during this period you are still under the oath, so as I did to other
8 witnesses, do not talk to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about
9 your testimony. Do you understand that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
12 Madam Usher will show you out of the room. We'll see you
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Good afternoon.
19 The Defence would like to raise a matter which relates to the
20 next witness in this case, Mr. Jasarevic.
21 The Defence has received yesterday an indication as to the
22 exhibits which the Prosecution was proposing to use in relation to that
23 witness. Among the exhibits -- the list of exhibits which the -- which
24 the Prosecution has put forward, there are, I believe, 20 new exhibits,
25 that is, the exhibits which Your Honour have granted leave to the
1 Prosecution to add to its list on the 14th of February.
2 In the disposition to that decision - this is number 3 of the
3 order - the Trial Chamber stated or ordered the Prosecution, and I quote,
4 "To introduce the new exhibits at a later stage in the proceedings in
5 order to provide the Defence with adequate time to examine them."
6 The Trial Chamber will remember that on previous occasions the
7 Defence has refrained from objecting to the use of a number of exhibits
8 which were not yet on the Rule 65 ter exhibit list of the Prosecution with
9 a view to speed up proceedings and not to block those proceedings. On
10 that -- on this occasion, however, the Defence strongly objects to all of
11 those exhibits being used at this stage.
12 And as I mentioned earlier, there are 20 of them. The basis for
13 that is essentially the one that was mentioned by Your Honour in our own
14 decision, which is the necessity for the Defence to have adequate time to
15 acquaint itself with those to prepare them and also to discuss it with our
16 client, Mr. Halilovic.
17 We'd therefore like the Trial Chamber -- we pray the Trial
18 Chamber to enforce that part of its decision of the 14th of February and
19 to not permit the Prosecution to use any of those 20 proposed exhibits
20 tomorrow in relation to that particular witness.
21 If the Trial Chamber would not -- were not minded to do so, the
22 Defence might have to ask for additional time, again as provided in your
23 decision of the 14th, in order to prepare for those exhibits and discuss
24 them with Mr. Halilovic. The Defence wants to make it clear on that point
25 that we do not wish to postpone the testimony of Mr. Jasarevic and that
1 other than for those exhibits, the ready -- the Defence is ready to go
2 ahead with the cross-examination. So we would skimpily -- simply ask the
3 Trial Chamber to enforce the decision of the 14th of February on that
4 matter. Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
6 And I believe that we have been already furnished with exhibit
7 list by the Prosecution. And, Mr. Mettraux, would you please be more
8 specific concerning which documents belong to the category you mentioned.
9 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, absolutely, Your Honour. I believe that this
10 is the last 20 exhibits on the list. That would be exhibit from number
11 150 to 170.
12 I will be corrected by the Prosecution if I have made a mistake
13 in that regard.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Your Honour, this matter should have been brought up at the last
18 break between counsel. We've had no notice that this matter was going to
19 be raised. No one has notified me or any member of this team.
20 With regard to those documents, if -- if this matter was raised,
21 we could have talked, possibly worked it out. We just went through a
22 whole hour of being -- of having documents introduced that we had never
23 seen. There were no translations here. We could have discussed it, seen
24 what time they need, if they need time.
25 All of these documents have been supplied to them, the
1 translations to these, between the 4th and the 15th of February. So at
2 the worst, they've had at least eight days to review the documents.
3 If it's a matter of additional time is needed, we can finish this
4 witness today, the next witness, and possibly resume on Monday, if it's a
5 matter of a few days. If it's a matter of a few hours, we can finish this
6 witness, finish the next witness, who hopefully will be well by tomorrow,
7 and give them the afternoon off and resume on Friday. But some of these
8 matters, if -- if we had more cooperation here, can just be worked out
9 among the parties and know that these issues are being raised and we can
10 just both approach the Court or the legal officer. These are all ABiH
11 documents. They have people who are non-B/C/S speaking on their team.
12 They have their non- -- they have their military advise sitting right
13 here. They've had enough time to take care of this.
14 And we'd ask that if there's additional time that they need, if
15 it's a day or so or a few hours, please let us know. We can put the
16 witness off from tomorrow till Friday or Monday, if necessary.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I agree with you on this aspect, that the
19 parties should meet to discuss all those matters. Only as the last result
20 it could come to our help.
21 MR. METTRAUX: Yes. Just --
22 JUDGE LIU: And -- and, Mr. Mettraux, I believe that the
23 Prosecution made a proposal to you. What's your response to that?
24 MR. METTRAUX: Well, just to -- just to respond to the issue of
25 forewarning the Prosecution. We were just as surprised as they were to
1 see those documents being put forth in relation to that witness,
2 considering that a week or so ago the Chamber had made a clear ruling in
3 relation to those documents.
4 As we indicated, we have prepared ourself for the
5 cross-examination of that witness on the basis that Your Honours' order of
6 the 14th of February would be complied with; namely, that those documents
7 would not be used.
8 The Defence has spent a lot of time in the last week preparing
9 the current witnesses and the witness that is to appear tomorrow with the
10 documents in -- with the documents already on the exhibit list in mind and
11 not those new documents. So the Defence team is only human and it's been
12 an enormous task this week to prepare for those documents.
13 So with a view to continuing with the proceedings and not
14 delaying further, we would propose simply to go ahead with that witness
15 with the documents which are not new documents and the Prosecution having
16 to find what we believe another witness to put those documents through, as
17 they would be expected to do under the order of the 14th of February.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I want to know whether there's a middle way
19 between the two positions, that is, could we have this witness heard on
20 Friday or next Monday and -- because, you know, if, you know, this witness
21 is halfway down, we have to recall him back, you know, to this Tribunal
22 and to ask, you know, more or less similar questions again using the new
23 disclosure documents. And I just want to know whether we could have some
24 flexibility, you know, on that issue.
25 Yes. Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
1 MR. METTRAUX: Well, one other issue, Your Honour, is those are
2 document which is we want and need to discuss with our client. And
3 unfortunately, we are not allowed or permitted to go and visit
4 Mr. Halilovic during the weekend. So that's an added problem that we face
5 at this stage. So that would mean if this witness were to be delayed yet
6 further, we would at least need him to be postponed until later next week
7 to have an opportunity to discuss those documents with Mr. Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Mr. Weiner.
10 MR. WEINER: Just a few points, Your Honour. Number one, these
11 are not voluminous documents.
12 Number two, they've had them, again, in B/C/S for quite a long
14 And I also know from the Simic case, the Bosanski Samac case,
15 where the Court made an order or the Court through the Registry requested
16 to the detention centre authorisation for counsel to go into the -- the
17 jail during the evening. I think they -- they were allowed to go in on
18 Friday evening. So with the Court's assistance, we might still be able to
19 speed this up through the Registry to make a request, if that's what they
20 need, to meet with their client over the weekend.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. By the way, are there any other witnesses
24 MR. WEINER: We have the witness who has been ill. I don't want
25 to say his name because he's --
1 JUDGE LIU: I know. I know. But --
2 MR. WEINER: That's it, Your Honour, right now.
3 JUDGE LIU: Is he in a condition to testify tomorrow?
4 MR. WEINER: I will know as soon as we get out of court. He --
5 he's -- the witness started on antibiotics yesterday, so ...
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you.
7 Mr. Morrissey.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Your Honour, thank you.
9 Yes or no, in relation to that witness, I'll be dealing with him.
10 I think it's appropriate that we speak further with the Prosecutor. We'll
11 do that. But we want to make it quite clear that the difficulties are not
12 simply related to the time lapse here. Those new documents in the main
13 should not be tendered through this witness and we'll be making a
14 submission to that effect. A lot of the documents are -- Mr. Jasarevic is
15 a military security -- he's -- in fact, he was the head of military
16 security or the chief of the SVB, as you'll hear them called throughout.
17 Now, one of the reasons why the Prosecutor are calling
18 Mr. Jasarevic, among various reasons, is because he may be able to say
19 something about what Sefer Halilovic knew concerning some members or all
20 members of the 9th Brigade. And that's a matter that the Prosecution, of
21 course, are entitled to. They've set out to prove it, so they're of
22 course entitled to try.
23 That doesn't mean that they're entitled to fling any allegation
24 that comes along through any witness that comes along. And some of these
25 documents on their face -- and frankly, I've read the bulk of them
1 already. As my friend say, they're not voluminous. That's not the issue.
2 But they don't seem to have anything to do with that witness whatsoever.
3 And I can indicate that there will be some substantive objections taken
4 not just as matters of form but just because he's not the right person.
5 So that -- that's unlikely to be resolved between the parties.
6 I can say that we're not standing on ceremony here. We do wish
7 to cooperate. It's not a -- it's not a question of delay. We don't want
8 this witness to go. We've worked on him. And frankly, I can indicate I
9 prepared him once before. That preparation has gone sour and I've
10 forgotten it and now I've had to prepare him again. So it's definitely
11 not in the Defence's interest to put him off and we don't want to.
12 But we relied on the Court order. And as my friend indicates
13 that, we based our -- our preparation around that. There may be other
14 witnesses. One looks forward to hearing from Mr. Alispahic and his
15 erstwhile employee Mr. Mujezinovic when they come and perhaps they could
16 give evidence about these things.
17 So I indicate there is a controversy that might be resolved
18 simply by matters of timing and I indicate that we'll discuss it with the
19 Prosecutor and perhaps Your Honours might suspend ruling on my friend's --
20 on Mr. Mettraux's -- what Mr. Mettraux has raised orally. He -- You could
21 suspend the issue until my friends -- my learned friends from the
22 Prosecution and I have discussed what can be done to palliate it. But
23 adds he points out, it's not a matter of timing. There are substantive
25 However, we will speak about it and advise the Chamber tomorrow
1 what the position is.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well --
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, with this witness, we have now almost
4 completed the difficult slogging through military doctrine, and there is
5 not a great deal left. I'm not -- he's going to comment on a couple
6 orders and he's going to give some narrative evidence and then the
7 cross-examination is finished.
8 It seems to me likely that the other witness, should he be well
9 enough, should also contemplate being finished within the day tomorrow.
10 So Mr. Jasarevic is -- is coming the following day. And therefore the
11 matter will need to be decided tomorrow.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much.
13 And I believe that we have already passed the time allocated to
14 our sitting, and I hope the parties could meet together this afternoon to
15 discuss this issue and try to find a way out on that one. I'm prepared to
16 hear the report from the parties tomorrow morning, the first thing.
17 So the sitting for today is adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.52 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 24th day of
20 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.