1 Thursday, 24 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Today we'll continue the examination of this witness, and after
11 that, if we have time, we might have a discussion on the procedural
13 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
14 Yes, Mr. Re.
15 MR. RE: Could I just indicate the Prosecution was able to locate
16 yesterday one of the documents - I think it was MFI196 - that
17 Mr. Morrissey put to the witness. It's the command and control JNA
18 book -- manual which has been translated. I think it's in its entirety.
19 We've provided copies electronically to the registry, Chambers, and to my
20 learned friends.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We might have the opportunity
22 to deal with this issue at a later stage.
23 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. I confirm that I received the
25 document that is indicated by Mr. Re. I'm grateful for the Prosecutor's
1 assistance in that regard. Thank you very much.
2 WITNESS: SELMO CIKOTIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey: [Continued]
5 Q. Now -- sorry, Mr. Cikotic. I just want to turn to another area
6 of military doctrine, and that's -- it's really an expert opinion or an
7 opinion from somebody who -- who practiced in the field that I ask you
8 this question. You've already been asked some questions about the -- the
9 situation of a Chief of Staff. Now I want to ask you now some questions
10 about deputy commanders and the way in which a deputy commander might sign
11 an order when they sign an order.
12 First of all, I'll just ask a couple of general questions: Is it
13 the fact that in the situation where a commander gives an order to the
14 deputy to exercise command power, even combat command power, then the
15 deputy may, given that order by the commander, exercise such power? Is
16 that true?
17 A. That's true.
18 Q. In circumstances like that, it's customary or it's the practice
19 for a deputy commander to sign the order using the word "zastupa"
20 z-a-s-t-u-p-a; is that true?
21 A. That's true.
22 Q. Very well. Would you just excuse me. I'm just going to show you
23 a couple of examples of this so that the Tribunal can see how this works
24 in practice.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, we're just going to find the right
1 number to -- this is a document that's already in evidence.
2 Yes. Could the witness please be shown MFI160 on the screen.
3 Q. While this is being produced, Mr. Cikotic, this is an order you
4 may not have seen, and I don't presume that you have seen it. I'm really
5 going to ask you to comment on the -- the signing practice of that
7 MR. MORRISSEY: I think the witness should be shown, please, page
8 2 of the document in B/C/S so that he can see the words at the end of the
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have some, you know, technical problem, that
12 is, that we could not have the English version on the screen, but ...
13 MR. MORRISSEY: For the purpose of this cross-examination, that
14 may not pose a problem because I'm really seeking just to draw the
15 Tribunal's attention to the -- actually, to the B/C/S word and then have
16 the witness explain in the best way that he can.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. MORRISSEY:
19 Q. On the screen now is the front page of a particular order dated
20 the 16th of the 9th, 1993. Just to be clear about this, can you recall
21 whether or not you've actually seen this particular order before?
22 A. No.
23 Q. All right. Nevertheless, I'll still show you the following page
24 to ask you to comment on the formula that's used.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Could we please see the ...
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, if there be a technical problem,
3 Mr. Cengic is going to fetch the original document and it can be shown on
4 the ELMO because, as I say, it's not about the substance of the document
5 but its form that I'm -- that I'm questioning the witness.
6 I'll move on to another topic until that's done.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 MR. MORRISSEY:
9 Q. Yes. Sorry, Mr. Cikotic. That miscarried.
10 Very well. Mr. -- while we're waiting for that to be done, I'm
11 just going to ask you some further questions about the -- the meeting at
12 Dobro Polje on the 5th of September. Can you indicate approximately --
13 only -- doing the best you can with your memory, how long that meeting
14 lasted for?
15 A. I think it could have lasted an hour or two.
16 Q. Yes. And in terms of the tasks that were assigned, I'm going to
17 now ask you some questions about the arrows that are drawn on the map
19 On the map that you were shown, did the directions indicated for
20 the various units correspond -- or perhaps I'll ask you about your
21 experience first. The directions indicated on that map corresponded to
22 plans which essentially you had already considered over the preceding
23 weeks as an appropriate way to proceed on your axis; is that true?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. And to the extent that you can comment about this, in
1 the areas of the 6th Corps responsibility that were near to you, were you
2 aware that the 6th Corps had themselves already drafted -- sorry, I
3 shouldn't say "drafted" -- but had already considered attacks in those
4 areas even before this meeting at Dobro Polje?
5 A. I suppose so, but I don't know and I can't claim with any
7 Q. That's okay. Well, if that's the case, I won't press you about
9 But certainly at Dobro Polje nothing new was added to that map
10 that's behind you there but, rather, what happened was that that map was
11 explained and details about it were explained to those who actually had to
12 do the fighting. Is that true?
13 A. Mostly so.
14 Q. Yes. And after that time, after you went back to your -- your
15 command, you never did meet with Sefer Halilovic in person again during
16 the time, well, before he was arrested on the 26th of October of 1993; is
17 that accurate?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you personally were not present at any discussions
20 between Commander Delic and Chief of Staff Halilovic which preceded the
21 meeting at Dobro Polje; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Did you personally see Commander Delic the day before the Dobro
24 Polje meeting when it appears he came to Jablanica and to Konjic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Very well. And were you aware that Commander Delic sometimes in
2 the course of -- well, perhaps I should ask you this: In the week
3 following the Dobro Polje meeting, did you become aware that
4 Commander Delic was at one stage in the city of Zenica, which was in the
5 3rd Corps zone of responsibility?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Okay. Now, there's a document I want to show you which you may
8 or may not have seen. I'll show it to you and then I'm going to ask you
9 some questions about -- about its form as well.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 Q. Excuse me, please, Mr. Cikotic, while we locate the document
12 which is going to be shown to you on the screen.
13 While that's being searched for, I now notice that the lost
14 document from earlier has now appeared. And because that's a short topic,
15 I might -- although it's unsequential, I might jump back to it now while
16 it's tonne screen.
17 Mr. Cikotic, do you now have on the screen the second page of
18 that document, which appears to be signed by Stjepan Siber?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. Now, I'm not concerned with the content of the
21 document, but could you just read into the transcript the words used and
22 the title used in the signature by Mr. Siber at the bottom right of that
24 A. Yes, I do. I see it.
25 Q. Okay. Now, what -- are the words that are used there "zastupa
2 A. That's that is what it says.
3 Q. And what's the meaning of the word "zastupa" as it's used there
4 in that document?
5 A. This means that he is acting on behalf of the commander as his
6 representative in signing this document.
7 Q. And as a result of signing the document in that way, that means
8 that the order is a binding order to those it's directed to; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Very well.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Morrissey, are you going to tender this
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. I -- well, it's already in evidence.
15 JUDGE LIU: Oh, I see.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, and I'm really just asking the
17 witness to comment on the form that's used there.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness please be shown now a document,
21 Q. All right. Do you have that document in the Bosnian language in
22 front of you?
23 A. Yes. But could it be zoomed in so that I could read the text?
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Could the witness please have it zoomed in,
25 and in particular the part I want to show you is the bottom right, the
1 signature area.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. Do you notice that this document is signed -- at
4 least -- it may not be signed, but it's got the title of the name "Sefer
5 Halilovic" under it under the heading of "nacalnik" but also using the
6 term "zamjenik komandanta". Do you see that both terms are used there?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Now, just to be clear, and to your understanding, Sefer Halilovic
9 was indeed the Chief of the General Staff?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. All right. Now, was it also your understanding that -- you may
12 or may not know the answer to this, but if you do, please tell us -- that
13 the -- after the order of the 18th of July, 1993 the Chief of Staff was ex
14 officio one of the three deputy commanders of the Bosnian army, that being
15 one Croat, one Serb, and one Bosniak person? Was that your understanding?
16 A. I believe that this is how it was interpreted.
17 Q. Yes. And just to be clear, I -- I don't want to misrepresent
18 your position. Do you remember whether or not you actually saw that order
19 of the 18th of July which -- which brought about that ex officio state of
21 A. No, I didn't see the order.
22 Q. Very well. In signing this document with the words "Chief of
23 Staff" in capital letters and then the words "zamjenik komandanta" in
24 small letters in brackets and without using the word "zastupa"," would you
25 agree that -- would you interpret this as -- as a -- a letter and an order
1 indeed that's signed by Sefer Halilovic in his capacity as Chief of Staff?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If it was being signed by him in his capacity as deputy
4 commander, you would expect him to use the term "zastupa"; is that
6 A. That's correct.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: There's one more document that I -- both of these
8 documents were tendered at an earlier time by the Prosecutor and I just
9 want to put both of them to you. So that was MFI161.
10 Could the witness now be shown MFI123.
11 Q. And I'm going to go through the same process in asking you
12 questions about this document as well.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: And perhaps, Your Honours, while that's being
14 brought up, could I just indicate the context of this questioning is that
15 you may recall in cross -- in re-examination of the witness Salko Gusic,
16 he having been questioned about whether Mr. Halilovic acted as deputy or
17 as Chief of Staff. Learned counsel for the Prosecutor, Ms. Chana at the
18 time, put these two documents to him because each has the -- the word
19 "zamjenik" there, and so I'm seeking to clarify how that operates by this
21 Q. Thank you. Now, do you now have before you another document
22 which once again is under the name of Sefer Halilovic in the bottom
23 right-hand corner, signed as Chief of -- of the General Staff, but with
24 the words "deputy commander" in brackets? Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Okay. And do you agree with me that, as with the last document,
2 that appears to be signed by Halilovic in his capacity as Chief of Staff?
3 A. I agree.
4 Q. And that if he was signing in his capacity as deputy commander,
5 you would have expected to see the word "zastupa" used? Is that also
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. I've completed those -- those
11 There's one other document that I want to put to you. This is
12 Defence document that should be in the system now. This is unrelated to
13 those matters and this is a document that appears to pass through the
14 3rd Corps. I wish to ask you about that.
15 It's document -- Defence document DD00.2468. It should be
16 MFI201. And I will offer it for tender through this witness.
17 Q. Very well. Now, could I just ask you: Do you have in front of
18 you now a document with the handwritten words "D535" in the top right-hand
20 A. I have a document here, number 535.
21 Q. Yes. Now, just excuse me one moment, Mr. Cikotic. I want to say
22 something to the Court about this document.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this document has been accessed
24 from the archives, and it will be apparent on the face of it that the
25 photocopy accessed by the Defence has got two orders on it. And so that
1 the Prosecutor can be clear and so that the Court can be clear as well,
2 you'll see that the top order ceases about halfway down the page, and
3 thereafter is to be found an unrelated order upon which I'm not relying,
4 but it's included there because we didn't want to be editing the -- what
5 we found. So it's evident that what's being taken from the archives is
6 a -- a photocopied document which has got two documents on it. I'm
7 relying on the first and not on the second, but I think that should be
8 pointed out, that there is another document, an unrelated one there.
9 JUDGE LIU: And this document did not appear on the list you
10 submitted to us.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: No, I can indicate that the decision to -- to
12 refer to it was taken probably 20 minutes before we came to court.
13 JUDGE LIU: And how about the translation? Who did the
14 translation of this document?
15 MR. MORRISSEY: It's -- it's been translated long ago, and
16 it's -- it's been in Defence possession for a long time. The decision to
17 put it through this witness has -- was taken right now. And the reason
18 will be evident when I -- when I ask the witness.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: It's a -- pardon me, Your Honour, but the answer
21 to your question is it's a CLSS translation.
22 Q. Now, first of all, this order -- or sorry, this letter or request
23 here is a letter that is under the hand of Zulfikar Alispago, Zuka, and
24 it's addressed to Commander Rasim Delic personally, and it's headed the
25 "3rd Corps" -- now -- and dated the 15th of December, 1993.
1 Now, my question is first of all is: What reason might there be
2 for a letter to be addressed to Rasim Delic of the 3rd Corps. And you'll
3 recall I asked you a question earlier on about Commander Delic being as
4 Zenica. You said you didn't recall, you didn't know. But are you able to
5 explain how such a letter may be addressed to the 3rd Corps when it seems
6 to be addressed to Commander Rasim Delic personally?
7 A. Probably the command of the 3rd Corps was the closest
8 communications centre that could convey letter, this document, to
9 Commander Rasim Delic.
10 Q. Yes. And perhaps I -- perhaps if I could just ask you this: In
11 the real world of the battlefield, was it the case that because commanders
12 sometimes moved around, they had to be chased to various command posts in
13 order to get messages to them?
14 A. Yes, there were such cases.
15 Q. All right. Now, does that appear to you, that document there, to
16 be a simple combat report with an additional specific request concerning a
18 A. Yes. As far as I can read it here, because it's not really
19 legible, I believe that's what it's about.
20 Q. I don't want you to be put in a bad position about this. Would
21 it assist if the zoom function was used to help you look at it?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Could the witness have that done, please.
25 A. I don't see the entire document now.
1 Q. I see. Well, just perhaps if you're able to comment -- if you
2 look at the top of it and then when you've exhausted that, then ask that
3 it -- ask that it be moved down and the Court staff will assist you in
4 doing that.
5 Mr. Cikotic, have you read as much as you can read of it now?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you need the screen to be adjusted in any way now?
8 A. No. No.
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. I can see it now.
11 Q. Well, can you confirm that what you have there is a combat report
12 from Zulfikar Alispago to Commander Delic on the 15th of September, 1993
13 which contains an additional request for a helicopter to help some wounded
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Okay. And as far as you can see, that passed through the
17 communications centre of the 3rd Corps, a member of which you were?
18 A. That's right.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, I offer that document for tender,
20 Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, any objections?
22 MR. RE: The Prosecution's concern about the tender of this
23 particular document is this is probably not the correct witness to tender
24 that document through. It's a document written extensively by Mr.
25 Alispago Zulfikar to Rasim Delic personally. Now, the witness is entitled
1 to comment upon the order in general -- sorry, the report in general
2 terms, but what's the basis of tendering it through him? What's the basis
3 of tendering it?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, the link is the 3rd Corps
6 communications centre, this -- this witness being a member of the 3rd
7 Corps and it being his organisation through which -- through which the
8 document came. It's a little difficult to deal with the Prosecutor's
9 objection because both Rasim Delic and Zulfikar Alispago were both
10 Prosecution witnesses until one month ago, both of them having been
11 withdrawn at a very late stage by the Prosecutors. Now, that's within
12 their prerogative. They've sought leave of the court and that leave has
13 been granted and we don't seek to traverse that. But on any view, this
14 document is plainly relevant and directly relevant to the command
15 responsibilities and the answerabilty of Mr. Zulfikar Alispago to
16 Commander Rasim Delic. It's just a clearly relevant document.
17 In all the circumstances, if there was any genuine challenge to
18 its -- to its authenticity, that might be a different thing, but my
19 learned friend doesn't raise that objection and rightly not. And because
20 it's passed through the 3rd Corps, because it's a military document,
21 because it's in the archives, in my submission unless there was something
22 about it that rendered its provenance important or -- or difficult or
23 significant, then this witness is the only witness in the Prosecution case
24 through whom it should be tendered, because he's from the 3rd Corps and
25 it's not suggested that he personally saw it, but he can indicate how it
1 arrived in -- in -- if you like, in typical terms, which he has done.
2 MR. RE: I withdraw the objection.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Re.
5 In my view, the contents of this document is totally irrelevant
6 [Realtime transcript read in error "relevant"] to our case. But you
7 tender it because of the form and the chain of the transmission of the
9 So we'll have it admitted into the evidence. And the court
10 deputy will announce a number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be Defence Exhibit D201.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 MR. RE: Could I just clarify something? I thought I heard
14 Your Honour say the document is totally irrelevant. Did Your Honour say
15 "relevant" or "totally irrelevant"?
16 JUDGE LIU: I mean the contents. As for asking for the
17 helicopters -- all this has nothing to do with our case, so in this way I
18 believe it's irrelevant to our case. But the Defence tenders this
19 document not only for the contents of this document. More important is
20 for the chain of the transmission and the commander's responsibility, you
21 know, here is involved. So we believe in this aspect it's relevant.
22 Based on this reason, we admit it into the evidence.
23 MR. RE: My clarification was only because the transcript said
24 "totally relevant" and I thought I heard Your Honour say "irrelevant."
25 JUDGE LIU: Oh. Okay. Thank you very much.
1 You may proceed.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. Sorry, I'm just reminded,
3 Your Honour, that -- no, I'll deal with the matter later. Thank you.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Cikotic. That's the -- those are the
5 questions about the -- the deputy situation.
6 Now, I just wish to move now to what happened after Dobro Polje.
7 It was the fact that you awaited a signal of some sort to commence your
8 part of the operation at the northern end of this line of -- of military
9 operations; is that the case?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you some questions about the -- the timing
12 and the way that this operation unfolded.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: And, first of all, I just want to witness to be
14 shown the document MFI149. This is a document that has not yet been
15 admitted into evidence but the Prosecution have indicated they don't
16 oppose it being admitted. It's one of the documents that was put to
17 Commander -- Commander Gusic by the Defence.
18 Q. And just as it's being brought up on the screen, Mr. Cikotic,
19 I'll explain that it's a report by the commander of the Independent Prozor
20 Battalion, Enver Buza.
21 Now, do you have before you -- I'm sorry, do you have before you
22 now in Bosnian a copy of -- or this report?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. Please just excuse me a moment while I -- I've got a
25 marked copy which I want to put to you. I've taken it out.
1 My apologies for that.
2 Is that a report that appears to you -- and take as much time as
3 you need to look at the report. Does it appear to you to be a document
4 addressed to the 6th Corps command and emanating from the Prozor
5 Independent Battalion?
6 A. Yes, this is a report of the Prozor Independent Battalion
7 commander to the commander of the 6th Corps.
8 Q. Yes. And could I just ask you to direct your attention to the
9 very first paragraph, where it commences: "Pursuant to attack order,
10 operative number 01/1500-27 of the 11th of the 9th, 1993." Do you see
11 that passage?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Now, could you just explain to the Tribunal why it is that a
14 report like this might refer to the number of an operative order, as this
15 one appears to do.
16 A. This is a combat report, and I believe that this implies that the
17 task has been accomplished as defined in the report.
18 Q. Yes. And by referring to the order operative number, the writer
19 of this report is indicating that the tasks accomplished were accomplished
20 pursuant to that particular order; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Very well. Now, does this order indicate to you that -- and this
23 is on -- it's still in that first paragraph -- that "The Prozor
24 Independent Battalion infiltrated enemy territory on the night between the
25 13th and the 14th of September"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that -- and now, I'm not sticking to one paragraph here, but
3 generally speaking in the follow-up paragraphs does the writer of this
4 report indicate that combat activities thereafter took place in the
5 morning following that infiltration?
6 A. Yes, that would make sense after all.
7 Q. Okay. Thanks. Just excuse me -- can I ask you please,
8 Mr. Cikotic, to indicate: Is that whole report in the Bosnian language
9 contained on one page in the screen in front of you, or is it divided into
10 two pages?
11 A. Just one.
12 Q. Okay. Good.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, could I just indicate to the Court,
14 Your Honours, the English translation is in two parts, so it may be that
15 the -- the Court will need to turn over the page here.
16 Q. But if you -- I won't turn over the page yet, so if we just stay
17 where we are. But I indicate I'm going to -- I'm sorry, the court staff
18 anticipated me there.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Would it be possible to go back to the previous
20 page in English. Thank you. And we'll go back to a moment. But just now
21 I want to take you to a couple aspects of it.
22 Q. Now, do you notice there's a -- a paragraph there that says the
23 following words: "The following units participated in the attack, two
24 platoons of the 1st Company, two platoons of the 2nd Company, one platoon
25 to the 3rd Company, one of the 4th Company, the military police, part of
1 the Prozor MUP forces," and then it goes on to refer to other company
2 commanders and so on. Do you see that paragraph?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were -- was it very common that the -- now, the MUP, the M-U-P,
5 that's the civilian police, isn't it?
6 A. [No audible response]
7 Q. Could I just ask you this: When the MUP were used, when the
8 M-U-P, the civilian police, were used in an operation, did there have to
9 be a specific subordination of those units to the army commander before
10 the army commander was able to command them? And my question is really a
11 general one, from your knowledge. I appreciate you weren't in Uzdol
13 A. It would be the unit commander from the MUP who would command the
14 MUP unit, but they were subordinated to the BiH army within the scope of
15 that action that they participated in.
16 Q. And how would they be resubordinated? Would it be by an order?
17 And if so, who had -- who had to issue such an order before the police
18 were -- the civilian police were resubordinated to the army?
19 A. It depended on the resubordination level. In any case, it had to
20 be somebody who had the authority to carry out such resubordination.
21 Q. Yes. And -- and that order -- the order that was given to the
22 MUP units to be resubordinated to the army had to come from someone inside
23 the Ministry of the Interior; is that correct? In other words, one of
24 their own commanders had to resubordinate them before they could cross
1 A. Yes, in principle that would be the case. However, I believe
2 that in real situations MUP units were engaged based on the agreement
3 between the Prozor MUP and the Prozor Independent Battalion.
4 Q. Yes. And in such situations, what you'd have is -- well, you
5 tell me. I won't put words in your mouth. You tell me. But in a
6 situation like that, you would have MUP units fighting alongside army
7 units without the army units having -- without the army commander having
8 any formal power to command those units; is that correct?
9 A. The commander of the military unit who is in charge of the
10 operation will also command the MUP unit that is involved in that
12 Q. Yes. But if there's no specific legal resubordination of the MUP
13 unit to the army, then the commander doesn't have any legal power to
14 command that unit; is that accurate or is that artificial?
15 MR. RE: Well, the -- perhaps the question should be -- could be
16 clarified. My learned friend has used the word "legal subordination." As
17 the Trial Chamber is, of course, aware, subordination or effective control
18 can be de facto or de jure. So the use of the word "legal" is perhaps
19 misleading in the context where the Prosecution is in fact alleging a
20 combination of both.
21 JUDGE LIU: To my understanding, "legal" means according to the
22 rules of the army. You know, maybe that should be clarified.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, that was the --
24 JUDGE LIU: But -- but I don't think we should confuse the
25 witness with the specific, you know, legal terms, like the de facto, de
1 jure. You know, it sounds strange to the -- to a layman, you know.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, I agree. But the witness is
3 competent to comment upon the rules of the army, and that's really what I
4 was asking him.
5 Q. Mr. Cikotic, just so that -- so that my question doesn't mislead
6 anyone in the court, what I'm putting to you when I say -- when I use the
7 term "legal," I mean according to the rules of the army as you understood
8 them to be.
9 Now, I'll just -- I'll come back to my question in that context.
10 In the absence of a specific order of resubordination to the MUP units, is
11 it the fact that the army commander doesn't have any power under the rules
12 to command the MUP units?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And just to come to the specific concrete case here, you
15 personally cannot comment on whether Enver Buza in fact had any power, de
16 facto or de jure, over the Prozor civilian police that are said to have
17 joined in the attack here; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Now, I just want to take you to the -- to the end of that
21 MR. MORRISSEY: And could the English translation be turned over,
22 please, to the following page. Thank you.
23 Q. Having regard to the -- do you notice that there's a -- a
24 paragraph there: "Conclusion. This report and the overall data have been
25 made available to the Seveka [phoen] -- sorry, SVK chief, Sefer Halilovic,
1 Colonel Vehbija Karic, and Colonel Zikrija Suljevic, who monitored the
2 whole operation from the observation post," and signed Commander Buza.
3 To your understanding, given Sefer Halilovic's function of the
4 coordination of this operation, it was necessary for Enver Buza to send a
5 copy of -- of combat reports such as this to Sefer Halilovic; is that
7 A. If he was on the strength of the 6th Corps, it would have
8 sufficed for him to send his report to the commander.
9 Q. Well, it's apparent here that he sent the report to -- sent this
10 combat report to the command of the 6th Corps but that he has also made
11 the overall data available to Sefer Halilovic. Do you agree with that?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. And you also agree that the order to which Buza refers in the
14 very first paragraph is given an identifying number so that we can find
15 out exactly which order Buza was obeying when he went into battle by
16 reference to that number?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, could the witness please be shown -- there's
20 another document -- well, I'm going to show you that -- that document now.
21 Could the witness please be shown MFI152.
22 Q. And here again, as the -- as the document is being brought up,
23 Mr. Cikotic, I'll make it clear I'm not going to ask you to comment on --
24 on anything here other than the form of the document and -- and the number
25 on it in particular.
1 Do you now have in front of you the Bosnian version of a
2 particular order to attack?
3 A. Now yes, I do.
4 Q. Yes. And do you see that that order to attack has been given an
5 operation number, namely the same one that was on the other document, the
6 Buza document, 01/1500-27?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And this appears to you to be -- sorry, the process between those
9 two letters is what I'm asking you about -- or this -- this order and the
10 report. I'll start that question again because it got lost. It's quite
11 apparent to you that the report of Buza is referring to this order here,
12 which has the number on it at the top; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Yes. Thank you. Very well. Those are the questions about those
16 Now, I just want to ask you some narrative questions about what
17 actually happened at around the time of the start of the attack. You
18 personally at a distance of 11 and a half years do not recall the precise
19 date of the attack that you launched; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. But what you can say is that you went into battle in cooperation
22 with the 317th Brigade under Enver Zejnilagic; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what you can say is that on the first day of that operation,
25 you achieved your objective, which was the occupation of the village of
1 Vilica Guvno; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The troops of Zejnilagic were tasked to occupy a particular high
4 hill named Crni Vrh; is that correct?
5 A. I believe that it was not Zejnilagic's task. He may have
6 assisted somebody else, but I believe that this was the task of the 6th
8 Q. Yes, I understand.
9 The units of the 6th Corps which were tasked to occupy Crni Vrh,
10 to your knowledge initially succeeded in doing so on the first day of that
11 operation; is that correct?
12 A. As far as I can remember, on the first day they were not engaged
13 in the expected activities.
14 Q. Well, what we have in this case is -- well, perhaps I'll put the
15 questions another way. Do you recall that those who were tasked to occupy
16 that area were not assisted, as they should have been, by the Prozor
17 Independent Battalion on that -- on the first day of their operations?
18 A. The situation in that part of the front line was not clear at the
19 time, but I know that they did not advance in that area, as it was ordered
20 and as it was expected.
21 Q. Yes, and when you say "they did not advance," what you heard
22 about that was that it was the Prozor Independent Battalion under Enver
23 Buza who did not advance as he was expected; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, I'm primarily referring to the Prozor Battalion.
25 Q. Yes. And I understand you were busy doing your task in your
1 area, but according to the intelligence that you received and the -- the
2 battlefront news that you received, was it the case that you heard that
3 the Prozor Independent Battalion was then told that they had to perform
4 their task and they were ordered to do so overnight and the morning of the
5 following day? Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, I received information that there would be some delay in the
7 accomplishment of his task but that he would do it.
8 Q. Yes, I understand.
9 And then on the -- you've seen that the Prozor Independent
10 Battalion commander indicates that he infiltrated on the night of the 13th
11 and fought on the -- on the morning of the 14th in the hamlet of Uzdol.
12 And what I want to ask you is: You've got no reason to doubt the accuracy
13 of that particular date, have you?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Working backwards from that, if the Prozor Independent Battalion
16 went into action belatedly on the morning of the 14th, does that mean that
17 your unit went into action the day before that, on the 13th, or did you go
18 into action two days before that, on the 12th?
19 A. I believe that we're talking about one day.
20 Q. Yes. Okay. And I appreciate that you don't have a note of the
21 date, of which day it was, but it would appear to you, bearing in mind the
22 Buza report and what you know of the -- of the incidents, that on the 13th
23 of -- of September troops at the northern end of that line on the map went
24 into battle, with the exception of the Prozor Independent Battalion, and
25 then on the 14th the Prozor Independent Battalion belatedly went into
1 action. Does that appear to reflect the true situation now that you've
2 had a look at the report and given the evidence that you have given?
3 A. I believe that this would have been the case in the northern
5 Q. Yes. Now, subsequently to the Prozor Independent Battalion going
6 to Uzdol -- well, I withdraw that.
7 To your knowledge, the troops which were supposed to be supported
8 by -- by Buza and the Prozor Independent Battalion in fact were unable to
9 hold onto the mountain Crni Vrh; is that correct?
10 A. I believe so.
11 Q. And effectively that was because the flank of that mountain was
12 exposed to fire by the HVO; whereas, the plan had been that the HVO in
13 that sector were to be distracted by Buza; is that correct?
14 A. I can only assume that that was the case; however, the details
15 escape me.
16 Q. Yes. Just so that the Tribunal has a grasp of what the ABiH
17 strategy was: In those days, the HVO had a marked advantage over you in
18 terms of tanks, shells, and materiel equipment; is that true?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. And the advantage that you had was that you had a superiority in
21 manpower and a possible superiority in knowledge of the terrain by your
23 A. [No audible response]
24 Q. I'm sorry, you'll have to say yes or no, because it's recording.
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Thanks. So that generally speaking the strategy of -- of the
2 Bosnian army at that place was to attack in a coordinated way on many
3 small fronts.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And in that way, to distract the HVO and to stretch their forces
6 as thinly as you could do.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. But that required very good staffwork and coordination at a
9 higher level in order to make sure that the attacks all happened at the
10 same time; is that correct?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. And that was the need to have Sefer Halilovic, Zucro Suljevic,
13 Rifat Bilajac, and Vehbija Karic performing that coordinating role because
14 it needed experienced cool heads who had been in battle and had experience
15 in battle; is that true?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Okay. Now, just excuse me a moment. I've --
18 MR. MORRISSEY: I've finished with that document now, Madam Court
19 Deputy. Thank you very much.
20 Q. Now, you indicated, Mr. Cikotic, that you accomplished your tasks
21 effectively within the first two to three days of the operation; is that
23 A. No.
24 Q. And thereafter, you were concerned -- your job was effectively to
25 hold onto the area which you had occupied; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And that area included a number of villages which were formally
3 occupied but were not empty; is that true?
4 A. No. In this particular area, there were no inhabited
6 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, I was going to ask you -- there was no inhabited
7 settlement as Vilica Guvno?
8 A. Vilica Guvno is not a village. It's a feature on the ground.
9 Q. I understand. My apologies. Yes, well,--
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the transcript reveal that that was
11 counsel's mistake about that.
12 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Cikotic.
13 Very well. Now, could I just continue about what happened after
14 that. If it be assumed that your attack took -- and that's using the
15 detective work that we've used, working backwards from Buza's order and so
16 on. If it be assumed that you attacked on the 13th, would you say that
17 your -- your own forces' offensive operations came to a stop around the
18 15th or the 16th approximately?
19 A. The offensive stopped during the first day, and in the course of
20 the second day there were mostly defensive activities taking place in the
22 Q. I see. Because the HVO, using a nonmilitary term, were not very
23 happy about your victory and they tried to chase you off again; is that
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Now, I understand you were not -- one thing we can be clear
2 about: You were not the commander of Operation Neretva 93. But you may
3 be able to comment on your knowledge because you were on the ground at the
4 time in that area. As far as you know, the effort to relieve Mostar
5 continued right into 1994; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Yes, until the end of 1993 and early 1994.
7 Q. Yes. And in that time, to your recollection, operations as
8 depicted upon the map there, the Operation Neretva map, continued to be
9 attempted and continued to be put into place by the Bosnian army in that
10 time with the view of liberating Mostar; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And those actions continued even after Sefer Halilovic was
13 arrested on the 26th of October of 1993; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And to your knowledge, after the time that he was arrested on the
16 26th of October, 1993, you never heard of Sefer Halilovic performing any
17 command role in the army after that time, did you?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Okay. The power to stop this particular operation, to put a stop
20 to it, lay with two people, I suggest: Rasim Delic, as commander of the
21 army and the signer of that map, and Alija Izetbegovic, as the head of the
22 Presidency. Is that correct?
23 A. I don't know whether Alija Izetbegovic commanded the operations
24 directly, but Rasim Delic definitely did.
25 Q. Yes. And Rasim Delic had the power to stop this operation if
1 that was the decision that he wanted to take; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But Sefer Halilovic, the Chief of Staff of the operation --
4 sorry, the Chief of Staff of the General Staff, certainly did not have the
5 power of his own motion or of his own decision to put a stop to this
6 operation, did he?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When I put that proposition to you about Alija Izetbegovic
9 before, I -- I didn't mean to mislead you. Obviously he was not directly
10 commanding combat operations. But to your understanding, was Alija
11 Izetbegovic, as the head of the Bosnian Presidency, the Supreme Commander
12 of all the armed forces in a formal sense?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Yes. Would you please just excuse me for a moment,
15 please, Mr. Cikotic.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, there may be a couple of small
17 matters. I'd just like maybe a minute. I don't ask for an adjournment of
18 the case. But I'd just like to consult briefly with Mr. Dzambasovic and
19 with co-counsel, but I think I've effectively finished the
21 Just excuse me a moment.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, that's the cross-examination.
24 Mr. Cikotic, thank you for your patience in answering the
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 Any redirect, Mr. Re?
3 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Re:
5 Q. Mr. Cikotic, just on the last questions that Mr. Morrissey asked
6 you, about Rasim Delic's role in Operation Neretva, did you have any
7 personal knowledge about what Rasim Delic may or may not have done in
8 relation to this operation, apart from appending his signature to the top
9 left of the map, which is just behind you on that board?
10 A. I have no knowledge about his involvement in the operation.
11 Q. To clarify, your knowledge is confined to the fact that his
12 signature is on -- is appended to the top left of the map headed
13 "Operacija Neretva"?
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I don't want there to be any leading
15 questions in redirect, and I object to that one.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, thing is -- question was a follow-up question.
17 This time, you are allowed, Mr. Re, to continue.
18 MR. RE: Thank you.
19 Q. My question was to clarify your previous answer, are you saying
20 that your knowledge about Rasim Delic's role is confined to the fact that
21 his signature is on the top of that map?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Mr. Morrissey also asked you a number of questions and showed you
24 some documents signed by Mr. Halilovic in different capacities as Chief of
25 Staff and as the deputy commander. From your position as the commander of
1 an operational group within the 3rd Corps, if you had received an order
2 from Sefer -- or a document purporting to be an order signed by Sefer
3 Halilovic, either signed as the Chief of Staff or as the deputy commander
4 of the ABiH, would you have obeyed that order?
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, there's an objection to the form of
6 that question. My learned friend is indeed entitled to ask questions
7 arising out of the cross-examination and in particular what he's referring
8 to is a line of questions I asked clarifying what a signature of a deputy
9 meant. And you'll recall it focussed on the use of the term
10 "zastupa." Now, my learned friend may be entitled to ask the follow-up
11 question on a different basis, but -- so I won't quibble about it,
12 although it didn't really seem to follow. But the witness shouldn't be
13 asked a speculative question. What he can be asked is: What would be the
14 effect of an order signed by Halilovic in one capacity? What would be the
15 effect of it being signed in another capacity? And using the
16 term "deputy" there disguises the very issue I was asking about and which
17 Mr. Re uses to base his question. So I don't object to questioning -- to
18 clarify what this witness -- how this witness may have responded to a
19 particular order. That's admissible. But I do object to the way that's
20 phrased, as I've just said.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I see no problem for the Prosecution to ask
22 this question.
23 You may proceed, Mr. Re.
24 MR. RE:
25 Q. Do you remember and do you understand the question I asked you a
1 moment ago, Mr. Cikotic?
2 A. Yes, I do remember and I've understood it. I would obey an order
3 signed by Chief of Staff.
4 Q. All right. Would it make any difference -- would it have made
5 any difference to you whether you would have obeyed the order had
6 Mr. Halilovic signed it as either Chief of Staff or deputy commander of
7 the ABiH? That was the essence of my question.
8 A. At the time, I believe that it would have made very little
10 Q. Does that apply whether it was an oral or a written order?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you ever discuss at any time with Mr. Halilovic the capacity
13 in which he would sign a document or an order, whether as deputy commander
14 or as Chief of Staff?
15 A. No, I didn't.
16 Q. Yesterday Mr. Morrissey showed you three JNA military books,
17 the "Introduction to theory of military control," "The rule on the
18 divisions of the land army," and one called "Rule on the corps." That's
19 the translations which were read onto the record yesterday, and he read
20 extracts to you which were of relating to JNA military doctrine and asked
21 you about its applicability to the ABiH in 1993.
22 He also asked you about operational groups and how they worked
23 within the ABiH. Now, you had -- you've given evidence that you were a
24 career JNA officer and had been in the JNA for, I think, seven years
25 before you joined the ABiH. Was there any difference that you know of
1 between an operational group under JNA military doctrine and an
2 operational group in the fledgling ABiH in 1993?
3 A. In my -- or rather, I was not familiar with the operations
4 groups' terms under the JNA doctrine, because I didn't have occasion to
5 study the doctrine prior to the war; however, since the BiH army doctrine
6 to a certain extent was taken over from the JNA doctrine, I believe that
7 the terms were interpreted in a similar fashion.
8 Q. And when you say "in a similar fashion," are you referring to the
9 size, the types of units which would be in an operational group, and the
10 geography, the area which they could encompass?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, sorry, could I just intervene there.
12 That is a leading question because it limits the sort of areas in which
13 the similarities might exist.
14 MR. RE: Okay. I'll clarify.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that it is a leading question, but in
16 this context I regard it as a clarification on that.
17 Maybe you could just ask a blunt question on that.
18 MR. RE: Yes.
19 Q. Just to make the question more general, to clarify your earlier
20 answer when you said "in a similar fashion": Were you -- are you
21 referring to the size, types of units which would be in an operational
22 group, the geography, the area they would encompass, the type of command,
23 or something else?
24 A. I was mostly referring to the structure of the units, that
25 numbered a certain number of men and that covered a certain area in which
1 they were engaged.
2 Q. Mr. Morrissey also showed you a -- a document, which is MFI146,
3 which referred to "inspection team." The date of the document was the
4 30th of August, 1993. Do you remember that document or do you want me to
5 show it to you again? He asked you some questions at -- questions at some
6 length about various parts of the document and the composition of what was
7 called "the inspection team." Do you need to see it again or do you
8 recall the document?
9 A. I believe I recall the contents of the document.
10 Q. My question is this: Mr. Morrissey asked you a lot of questions
11 about that document. When was the first time you ever saw that document?
12 A. I've seen it here three days ago.
13 Q. Had you ever heard of the existence of that document before you
14 came to The Hague earlier this week?
15 A. In the past two or three years, I believe I had heard about the
16 document being discussed. But at the relevant time, I didn't know of its
18 Q. What about this term "inspection team"? Had you heard it
19 discussed in the context of Mr. Halilovic being a member of a so-called
20 inspection team in 1993?
21 A. I don't remember him representing his role this way. As far as I
22 remember, he said that his role was to coordinate combat activities on the
24 Q. Are you aware of there being a specific military term within JNA
25 or ABiH doctrine; namely, "inspection team"?
1 A. Yes, there was such a term.
2 Q. And encompassed within that term is -- is -- I withdraw that.
3 Is the coordination of combat activities encompassed within the
4 term "inspection team"?
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, sorry, there's an objection to
6 that question. My learned friend ought to specify there whether he's
7 asking the witness one of two questions: Is he asking the witness about
8 inspection teams in the abstract as they're represented in manuals, in
9 which case the witness can answer about that; or is he talking about this
10 document and the inspection team that is confronted here?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We need some specifications in your question.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. My question wasn't precise enough, Mr. Cikotic, and I apologise
14 for that. I'm talking in the doctrinal sense. In the doctrinal sense, do
15 you understand an inspection team or the term "inspection team" to include
16 the coordination of combat activities, or do you -- or do you understand
17 it to refer to some other function?
18 A. This all depends on what the specific task of the inspection team
19 is. In principle, an inspection team could have very broad powers,
20 including the dismissal of the core personnel and the engagement of troops
21 in any sort of combat.
22 Q. I just want you to elaborate on that slightly and I don't want to
23 lead. In your experience and under doctrine, how wide or how many powers
24 could an inspection team be given?
25 A. Once again, I believe that this depends on the decision by the
1 commander, or rather, by the authority that decides to set up and send an
2 inspection team in the field.
3 Q. You just referred to the engagement of troops in any sort of
4 combat. Does that also include the issuing of orders in combat?
5 A. Again, I suppose that this is something that is defined within
6 the role of the inspection team, which can include such powers too.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Mr. Cikotic, Mr. Morrissey also asked you about -- specifically
10 about MUP units and the use of MUP units in combat activities. Did OG
11 Zapad ever use MUP units in either -- within the -- the corps or within --
12 I'm sorry, I withdraw that last part.
13 Did your OG, OG Zapad, ever use MUP units in combat or in any
14 other functions?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How many times did you use MUP units in combat?
17 A. Several times, I believe.
18 Q. What was the process whereby they were put under your command for
19 use in combat?
20 A. I was in contact with the chief of the MUP, whose unit I would
21 engage, and the chief would give his consent for the engagement of the
22 unit and I was then free to proceed.
23 Q. And what was the process whereby you gave them back to the chief
24 of the MUP, that is, transferred the subordination back to the chief of
25 the MUP? How did you do that?
1 A. Most often, when I tell the commander of the unit in combat that
2 his mission was finished, he would go back to his chief, contact him, and
3 that would mean that his engagement within my unit was finished.
4 Q. Was that done verbally or in writing or in combination? What was
5 the practice?
6 A. Both ways.
7 Q. What about the subordination of the MUP units to you in combat?
8 Was that done verbally or in writing or in combination?
9 A. This could also take place in combination.
10 Q. To your knowledge, was the -- was there a practice in -- within
11 the former Yugoslavia and the armies engaged in the various conflicts,
12 ABiH, HV, VRS, HVO, VJ, to use MUP units in combats?
13 A. Yes, they were in principle a component part of the armed forces
14 during the war.
15 Q. Mr. Morrissey also asked you directly about the comparative
16 strengths of the HVO and the ABiH and suggested that the HVO had a marked
17 advantage in terms of tanks, shells, and materiel equipment; whereas, the
18 ABiH had a -- an advantage in troop numbers. The HVO, he suggested -- I
19 withdraw that.
20 What was your knowledge of where the HVO was obtaining its tanks
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, there can be no question of that
23 arising out of cross-examination.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I agree with you. That's beyond the scope of
25 the cross-examination.
1 MR. RE: Your Honour, I may be about another ten minutes or so
2 in -- in re-examination. I note the time. I wish to move to another
3 topic. It's 27 past 10.00. Would this be an appropriate time?
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, maybe we could have a break, and we'll
5 resume at 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
9 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. Mr. Cikotic, yesterday Mr. Morrissey asked you about the 6th --
11 the involvement of the 6th Corps and its units in Operation Neretva, and
12 the question he specifically asked was: "And to your knowledge, Salko
13 Gusic remained involved in the operation as commander of the 6th Corps as
14 long as it lasted; is that correct?" To which your answer was: "That was
15 my understanding." That's at page 57 of the transcript of yesterday in my
17 My questions of clarification in relation to that answer are the
18 following: Did you have any contact -- personal contact with Salko Gusic
19 during the days in which you were in combat in Operation Neretva?
20 A. I didn't have any contacts with him.
21 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge of what he was doing, he
22 personally and physically, in the days in which you were in combat in your
23 participation in Operation Neretva?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Are you aware during that same period who, if anyone, was issuing
1 direct orders to the units which would have been under his control in the
2 6th Corps, at least before Operation Neretva?
3 A. No, I didn't know that. At the meeting at which I was given my
4 mission, Salko Gusic was given his mission, and I assume that after that
5 he continued his command role over the 6th Corps.
6 Q. My colleague Mr. Morrissey questioned you about subordination of
7 the 6th Corps units and their be given -- their being given tasks in the
8 same way that you were. This is at page 53 of yesterday's transcript.
9 And then he asked you: "So bearing in mind the military principles that
10 you're familiar with, had there been an offence committed by 6th Corps
11 soldiers, that should have been investigated by the brigade and ultimately
12 the 6th Corps military security; is that correct?" To which you
13 responded: "It is."
14 Were you aware whether the Operation Neretva had attached to it
15 military security service units or military police units?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, can I just object to that question.
17 As I understand the evidence, operations don't have such things attached
18 to them at all. The question is whether Mr. Halilovic, his team, or the
19 IKM had such units attached to them, rather than whether they attached in
20 this way.
21 MR. RE: I'm certainly happy to clarify it in that manner.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. Did you hear the reclarified question, Mr. Cikotic, that is:
25 Were you aware whether Mr. Halilovic, the team, or the IKM, which were
1 according to the Prosecution case within Operation Neretva, had attached
2 to them military police or military security service units?
3 A. I was not aware of that.
4 Q. On the issue of disciplining or investigation or the
5 responsibility for the investigation of offences and in the context of the
6 question Mr. Morrissey asked you about the 6th Corps and who should
7 investigate offenses committed by the 6th Corps, my question is this: As
8 an operational group commander, if units were subordinated to you for a
9 specific operation, who would have the responsibility to investigate
10 offenses committed -- allegedly committed by units subordinated to you as
11 an OG commander during the period in which they were subordinated to you?
12 A. Your question is a hypothetical one, isn't it?
13 Q. Well, it could also be a concrete one. If, for example -- or if
14 offences were committed by your units, the 307th or the 317th, for
15 example, was it your responsibility as the commander of the operational
16 group to investigate and punish offenses committed by subordinates of
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, that ought to be clarified.
19 It's now said this is a concrete one. Is my learned friend putting to the
20 witness that this happened, that -- that such units did commit offenses?
21 Because he's used the term "a concrete one." So either it's hypothetical
22 or it's not and it better be made clear what the situation is.
23 MR. RE: In my submission it doesn't matter because if it has
24 happened, what did he or what should he have done, and if he didn't, in
25 terms of subordination, who has the responsibility, whether it happened or
1 not. It's a hypothetical question, but if he can answer it concretely,
2 he's certainly entitled to.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe you should stick to the hypothetical
5 MR. RE: All right.
6 Q. In terms of your understanding of military law and doctrine, was
7 it the responsibility of the operational group commander to discipline or
8 investigate offenses committed by units under that person's control?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And if you were taking orders from Mr. Halilovic in relation to
11 this operation, as you've given evidence of, and at that point were still
12 organically within the 3rd Corps but under the command of Mr. Halilovic
13 for that particular operation, if you, Mr. Cikotic, personally had
14 committed an offense - for example, murdered a POW or shot some
15 civilians - would it have been Mr. Halilovic's responsibility or someone
16 else's to investigate - it's an open-ended question - Mr. Halilovic's
17 responsibility or someone else's to investigate your alleged criminality
18 and to punish you?
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, there's a number of objections
20 to that, but I'll -- I'll leave the main objection to it, and that is this
21 question doesn't arise out of cross-examination. It's got a number of
22 misleading clauses in it. Not deliberately, I don't suggest that. But --
23 and it's got some assumptions built into it too, which -- which the
24 witness has not agreed to. If my friend wants to ask -- there's a
25 question there that I wouldn't object to, frankly, although I don't want
1 to be -- it's not meant to be a rude comment about it. I don't object to
2 questions being asked to clarify the question that I asked when this
3 witness said that the responsibility for military police and military
4 investigations for the units subordinate -- the units that were
5 subordinated to Operation Neretva 93, he said that responsibility remained
6 with the 3rd Corps. And if my friend wants to ask the question: If this
7 witness shot somebody in the head while in a -- in a particular
8 hypothetical situation, then that may assist the Tribunal and I wouldn't
9 object to it. But putting this in a sort of half hypothetical and half
10 real way is just misleading, and it's -- the answer couldn't help anyone,
11 frankly. So I'd -- I'd submit that if it's hypothetical, it's got to be
12 clear and defined and -- I probably wouldn't object it to, frankly.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, maybe you could put your question in
14 another way.
15 MR. RE: I'm happy to put the question in another way, if it
16 assist it is Trial Chamber's understanding.
17 Q. Yesterday Mr. Morrissey asked you directly about the
18 investigation of crimes, if any, committed by your soldiers. The question
19 was -- I put the question to you. He said: Question -- this is at page
20 52 of my printout: "And I want to put some propositions arising out of
21 the" -- "out of that" meaning resubordination out of the organic structure
22 of the 3rd Corps. "At all times you retained your links and
23 responsibilities with regard to the 3rd Corps, with regard to logistic,
24 military security, investigation of crimes, if any, by your soldiers, or
25 matters outside of the combat activities of Neretva 93; is that accurate?"
1 "Yes" -- Answer: "That's correct."
2 "Now, I understand that none of your soldiers committed any
3 outrages against civilians in the period we're talking about, but you
4 being a commander on the spot there can tell us this. If one of your
5 soldiers had been accused of suspecting of doing such a thing, the way you
6 understood the structure that you operated under, that would have been
7 investigated by the military security of the 3rd Corps; is that correct?"
8 Answer: "The brigade where such a crime might have occurred and
9 security services of the 3rd Corps."
10 In the context of that question, what I'm asking you is your
11 evidence has been that Mr. Halilovic commanded the operation and gave you
12 orders --
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Just a minute. He -- never did he say that
14 Mr. Halilovic commanded the operation. That's what the Prosecution have
15 been hoping for for a long time. But that's just not what he said. He
16 said he coordinated. My -- I object to this line of questioning,
17 Your Honour. I think its true purpose has now been revealed. It
18 doesn't -- it's not really re-examination at all. It's a -- it's another
19 try and I object to it now in total.
20 MR. RE: It's actually a clarification of that -- of that issue,
21 as to who bore, if -- if the troops were subordinated, if Mr. Cikotic's OG
22 was subordinated to Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Cikotic committed a crime or his
23 troops committed a crime, would it have been Mr. Hadzihasanovic's
24 responsibility or Mr. Halilovic's responsibility for crimes committed
25 within that period. Now, that goes to the -- the heart of the allegations
1 in the indictment. And it must arise out of cross-examination because
2 he -- Mr. Morrissey asked a similar question. I want to clarify it by
3 moving it to whether it's Mr. Hadzihasanovic or Mr. Halilovic. That has
4 to - has to - come out of cross-examination.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may ask a hypothetical question without
6 mentioning any names. The issue is that we should make sure who has the
7 responsibility to punish any crimes.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. If you committed a crime or troops under your control committed a
10 crime, as Mr. Morrissey put to you hypothetically yesterday whilst still
11 within the organic instruct of the 3rd Corps but following orders issued
12 by Mr. Halilovic in relation to that operation, whose responsibility would
13 it have been to punish you? The 3rd Corps commander or the person issuing
14 the orders?
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, as I understood it, you gave clear
16 guidance as to the sort of question that could be asked, and this question
17 is not within that guideline.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Don't mention any names.
19 MR. RE: All right.
20 Q. Withdrawing the name -- or withdrawing the positions, whose
21 responsibility would it have been to punish you or to investigate?
22 MR. MORRISSEY: That's -- Your Honour, this is just card playing
23 now of -- that question simply says: "Withdrawing the names; answer
24 exactly the question that I've just asked you."
25 MR. RE: The objection was -- the objection was as to names, so
1 I'm saying who -- who was it? Anyone -- I mean, I can't be any less --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, let Mr. Morrissey finish. Let Mr. Morrissey
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, as I understand the position, what
5 the Prosecutor is entitled to ask is as follows: If an -- and this is
6 following the terms of his questions earlier. If an operations group were
7 subordinated to a commander for an operation, who would be responsible for
8 punishing the crimes? That's the type of hypothetical question as I
9 understood my friend was endeavouring to ask, and it can be phrased in
10 that neutral way. And I wouldn't object.
11 MR. RE: I'm indebted to my learned friend.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. RE: And I'll put the question in exactly those terms.
14 Q. If an operations group was subordinated to a commander for an
15 operation, who would be responsible for punishing any crimes?
16 A. In terms of the superior command, it would be the command of the
17 3rd Corps.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. I'm actually more specifically referring to the -- I want to --
21 want you to tell me if your last answer was referring to the commander of
22 the operations group, as opposed to the commander of the organic structure
23 which you were within, because I'm directing it at the commander of the
24 operations group.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, my friend may be directing it
1 at the commander of the operations group and he's made that pretty clear,
2 but, Your Honour, the answer there looks pretty clear as well.
3 Clarification is one thing, and attempts to try for what is now about the
4 ninth time for the answer you want is another. I now object to this line
5 of questioning continuing. It's pretty clear, in my submission.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, to make the matter, you know, settled, I will
7 allow the -- the ninth time try on this occasion.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Did you understand that the clarification I'm seeking is in your
10 last answer were you referring to the commander of the operations group at
11 the time when the crime was committed or the commander of the 3rd Corps,
12 for crimes committed by people within the operations group at that time?
13 That's -- that's what I'm getting at.
14 A. If a crime is committed within the -- the OG, then it is the
15 relevant units of the OG that deal with the crime or in terms of the
16 superior command, it would be the command of the 3rd Corps, if the crime
17 has taken place within the operations group that I was in command of.
18 Q. You said earlier that on some occasions MUP units were
19 subordinated to you from the Ministry of the Interior. If those MUP units
20 had committed crimes whilst within your -- whilst under your command, who
21 would have been responsible or investigating the crimes committed by them
22 while under your crime in combat? Would it have been you or someone else?
23 A. I would be the one to instigate the investigation; however, the
24 MUP bodies would be involved and they would be in charge of the
25 investigation itself.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. RE: I have nothing further.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE LIU: Judge El Mahdi.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 [Interpretation] I am seeking a clarification here to be sure
9 that I have understood you well. You have told us that Mr. Halilovic told
10 you that his role was to coordinate the activities within combat
11 operations on the ground. When he -- when did he tell you this?
12 A. I believe that he told me this at the first meeting in Jablanica
13 or maybe on the way from Jablanica to Konjic, when we were in his vehicle.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] At the meeting in Dobro Polje,
15 did he repeat that phrase?
16 A. I don't remember.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] How did you understand this
18 formula to coordinate combat activities on the ground? How did you
19 understand -- how did you understand the meaning of that sentence?
20 A. The way I understood it is that he had the authority to issue
21 concrete tasks on the ground and to engage units in a very specific sense
22 and that behind that idea there was the Main Staff or the commander of the
23 Main Staff, Mr. Delalic [as interpreted].
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But in your view, who was it who
25 was in charge of that operation? Who was the commander of that operation?
1 A. In very specific terms, I received my orders and I reported to
2 Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you were convinced that
4 Mr. Halilovic was the commander. Wasn't that the case?
5 A. I did not have any dilemmas as to his function. He was the Chief
6 of Staff. However, I believe that in his capacity he was in the position
7 to issue orders to me on the ground and I was duty-bound to report to him
8 on the execution of his orders.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Why did he give you the
10 explanation of his function? Why did he tell you that his role was to
11 coordinate the combat? If somebody is a commander, does he have to
12 explain his role? Why did he have to explain to you that he had this
13 authority? Why did he say what he said to you, in your view? What was he
14 trying to explain to you?
15 A. I really don't know what his aim was. I believe that he wanted
16 to explain his role to me as a participant in the previous operations.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But do you find it normal if it
18 comes from a commander -- would it be normal for a commander to explain
19 his role? Wouldn't it suffice for him to just exercise his authority?
20 Did he feel the need -- why did he feel the need to explain what his
21 mission entailed?
22 A. Most probably Mr. Halilovic knows why he did what he did. I
23 believe that at that time there was a lot of confusion.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] No, no. I am asking for your
25 personal opinion. What did you yourself understand? How did you feel
1 about this explanation?
2 A. I believe that at the time there was a lot of confusion about
3 many things on the ground, amongst which one has to say that a few months
4 before that Mr. Delalic [as interpreted] was appointed commander of the
5 Main Staff, and I believe that among the soldiers on the ground there was
6 certain confusion about the new role of the commander and the old role of
7 the Chief of Staff, and the way I understood it is that Mr. Halilovic
8 wanted to explain his situation to the commanders that he came in contact
9 with at the time. In that sense, that's why he did it.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 MR. RE: I apologise to interrupt. The transcript has twice
12 said "Mr. Delalic." I think the witness actually said "Mr. Delic" and it
13 won't be corrected in the transcript because we actually heard the
14 words "Delalic." So if that could be corrected before we go on.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You have heard the
16 representative of the Prosecution. The name that you have mentioned, did
17 you mention the name of Mr. Delic or Mr. Delalic?
18 A. Delic.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 I move to another topic that needs to be clarified. This is
21 about what you have said with regard to the use of MUP forces. And you
22 have explained that the -- it was up to the commander of that unit to
23 agree upon that use with the -- the head of the local MUP. My question is
24 as follows: In that particular case, the superior MUP officials, would
25 they be aware of that fact or do you believe that the agreement between
1 you as the commander and the head of the civilian police would be kept to
3 A. Yes, that should be the case in principle. In practical
4 situations there was often very little time. There were no communication
5 means. So I believe that this was more often done in the direct contact
6 with the local commander of the police and no official approval was sought
7 from higher echelons of the police.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Did you, however, notify your
9 superiors? Was it possible that the units under your authority acted
10 without informing your superiors about what is going on?
11 A. This is what happened in 1993. The situation changed somewhat in
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [In English] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Judge El Mahdi. I have some questions out
16 of your questions.
17 The first one is that: Witness, you told Judge El Mahdi that you
18 sent combat reports to Mr. Halilovic. My question is that: Where could
19 you be sent this report to and where could Mr. Halilovic be reached in the
20 first half of September 1993?
21 A. From my IKM, I sent the reports to the command post of the 317th
22 Brigade. I had the information that at this command post there was
23 Mr. Suljevic and Mr. Bilajac, and they communicated over the communication
24 means with Mr. Sefer Halilovic. I didn't know where Mr. Sefer Halilovic
25 was at the time.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course, you know, there is a so-called
2 forward command post. Why don't you send your report directly to that
4 A. To whose forward command post?
5 JUDGE LIU: So you don't know at all there is a forward command
6 post in Jablanica during that time?
7 A. I didn't know that there was one, no.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, the next question is that you testified
9 Mr. Halilovic could issue orders in the spirit of general guidelines.
10 Which guidelines are these?
11 A. I was referring to the active defence and the tasks that the
12 units had to liberate the area. I am also referring to the orders issued
13 by the Main Staff to individual units or commands.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, in your testimony you used the
15 term "General Staff" and the "Supreme Command" on a number of occasions.
16 Are these different organs within the ABiH?
17 A. In my understanding, the Supreme Commander was the Presidency of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Main Staff was its professional organ,
19 which in technical terms engaged in combat and commanded the office of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Any questions out of the Judges' questions?
24 MR. RE: I just have one, thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
1 Further examination by Mr. Re:
2 Q. Just arising out of a question His Honour Judge Liu asked you a
3 moment ago about your awareness -- well, you said you didn't know there
4 was a forward command post at Jablanica. The question is just this: How
5 far away geographically or physically were you located from Jablanica in
6 that period in September 1993?
7 A. Physically, the distance was less than 100 kilometres; however,
8 in order for me to reach Jablanica from my forward command post, it would
9 take me two days.
10 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: No questions from Defence?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: There are no questions.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 At this stage, are there any documents to tender from both sides?
15 Mr. Re?
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. RE: Could I just confer with my case manager. I'm just not
18 sure whether one of the documents --
19 JUDGE LIU: You.
20 MR. RE: -- I referred to is in evidence or is marked for
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. RE: No, I understand that the three documents I referred to
25 are already in evidence.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Morrissey?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, the Defence seeks to tender those
4 documents that were offered for tender during the course of the
5 cross-examination. I believe the ones that were only marked for
6 exhibit -- marked for identification were military manuals 195, 196, 197,
7 and then parts, I think, 198. Some of those were then broken up into
8 parts as exhibits, 198 and 199 and 200 were separate pages. I'd seek to
9 tender those -- those documents.
10 I believe that our -- Mr. Cengic has provided a list of and
11 copies of the documents that we promised yesterday, and also to the
12 Prosecution. And I should indicate what my learned friend Mr. Re
13 confirmed earlier on, that the Prosecutor have located a translation of
14 one of those documents, and perhaps after discussion with the Prosecutor
15 we can add that as an exhibit. But I won't do so now because I haven't
16 cited it myself.
17 And finally, MFI -- sorry, document D201 is in evidence. So it's
18 really the military manuals that I offer and seek to tender.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
22 MR. RE: There's -- there's no objection.
23 Could I just note that the translation -- or the documents we
24 provided yesterday late to the Defence, one is the entire translation of
25 the book "Rukovodjenje i komondovanje." That's the entire -- that's
1 the -- that includes the three extracts which are MFI198, 199, and 200.
2 So the Trial Chamber basically has the opportunity to have the three
3 English translations before it almost immediately.
4 We don't object to the tender of those documents, no.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your assistance. And those
6 documents are admitted into the evidence, and our request to the Defence
7 to submit all those documents to the registrar or to the court deputy of
8 our case so that she could scan it into the system.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. That will be done.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
11 Well, witness, thank you very much indeed for coming to The Hague
12 to give your evidence. Madam Usher will show you out of the room and we
13 wish you a very pleasant journey back home.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, as we decided that we still have some time, we
16 would like to discuss about the submissions by the Defence yesterday. And
17 I instructed both parties to meet after yesterday's sitting, and I want to
18 know are there any positive results from those meetings?
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, just to clarify, we are now
20 referring to the -- the submissions commenced by Mr. Mettraux yesterday
21 concerning the admissibility of certain documents through the witness
22 Jusuf Jasarevic.
23 Your Honour, we have complied with Your Honour's suggestion and
24 we have discussed the matters, but in the event -- and I should say that
25 with respect to some other documents which were not the subject of
1 controversy yesterday but in the occasion of discussion, my learned friend
2 and I have had some discussion, and there are other documents to be
3 admitted by consent through this witness.
4 As to the ones raised yesterday, Your Honour, I have to report
5 that all of those documents which were foreshadowed as being objected to
6 by my learned friend Mr. Mettraux, co-counsel, remain objected to, with
7 the exception of one document, that is, D -- that is the document number
8 163, number 163.
9 Now, could I indicate in short -- well, my learned friend will
10 have more to say about this in a moment, but just so that the Court
11 know -- the Tribunal know where is the controversy lies at this point, I
12 can indicate this: With respect to the list provided by the Prosecutor,
13 any document above 150 is objected to. And they are objected to on a
14 number of grounds. The first ground on which they're objected to at this
15 stage is the ground that these documents were provided late and were
16 permitted to be added to the exhibit list by this Tribunal after objection
17 by the Defence. The Tribunal considered the matters and ruled upon these
19 Leaving aside any proceedings that occur elsewhere, which are not
20 appropriate really to concern ourselves with here -- would Your Honours
21 just excuse me for one moment, please.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I would -- I don't ask Your Honours to -- to make
24 any finding about this, but you'll be aware that there's been an
25 application made by the Defence with respect to that ruling. However, for
1 these purposes we proceed on the basis, of course, that it's a binding
3 Nevertheless, there's a remedy being pursued in relation to that.
4 That is one reason not to admit them now at this point.
5 Secondly, when the Chamber made its ruling there, it furnished
6 the Defence with one residual protection, and that was the requirement
7 that these documents be led at a later time. Now, that -- and I'm
8 remaining now on matters of form rather than matters of substance, but
9 they're important protections.
10 That left the Prosecution with two possibilities: Either they
11 could call this witness now and put the documents in through somebody
12 else, or they could call this witness later. That was a choice that the
13 Prosecution had, and that's really their decision. But it's a matter of
14 prosecutorial convenience rather than necessity that this matter -- that
15 these documents go in now.
16 So that's the first matter that the Defence will raise.
17 The second matter is -- and I won't go through these document by
18 document now, because the Prosecutor should be allowed to say what they
19 have to say first about that. But we can indicate that almost none of
20 these documents ought to be tendered through this witness at all. Some of
21 documents the Defence will say should not be admitted into evidence
22 through any witness at all, and it will be the Defence position that most
23 of them are -- they're not just hearsay; they're third-hand, fourth-hand,
24 gossip, unverifiable rumours relating to periods of time that in the most
25 is part have nothing so do with the indictment here. They're being led in
1 essence to establish the notice of Mr. Halilovic, and what we'd submit is
2 that they're not probative, they're not reliable, and they're not
3 appropriate to this witness, so they're objected to on just about any
4 ground that could be imagined. But we've got substantive arguments to
5 mount about each document in respect to each of those matters. That's why
6 the controversy exists. And I won't go into each document now. The
7 Prosecutor can indicate what her position is.
8 So that's the controversy that's before the Tribunal.
9 Could I say something about how it might be appropriate to deal
10 with it and what might be an efficient way. Because the objections taken
11 by the Defence focus in substance upon the relevance and reliability on
12 one hand but also on the suitability of this witness, Mr. Jasarevic, the
13 forthcoming witness, it may be appropriate to notice that they fall into
14 categories, these documents. Some of them are documents that come from
15 the civilian police, as the evidence will reveal -- well, no speeches, but
16 so that they're sourced with the civilian police.
17 Some of them do appear to have passed through the office of this
18 witness. In respect of those, a different position may be available. We
19 argue the contrary, but so that the Court will be in a position to
20 distinguish on the basis of that. Some of the documents may have been
21 cited by the witness himself. The question of their relevance and
22 reliability remains an issue, but those documents would be in a different
23 category again, of course, because if he saw them or had good reason to
24 see them, then they may be relevant to his evidence directly.
25 So that that may be a logical way to proceed with these
1 documents, rather than engaging in a -- a pre-trial trial where we go
2 through each document at length with evidence, that seems to be
3 inefficient and it's desirable to deal with this today if possible.
4 So that may be a good way to deal with it. And I raise it as a
5 possibility. My friend can respond as she sees fit.
6 But the final issue that we would raise in terms of -- what our
7 objections are is that we just haven't had a chance to test the
8 reliability or the admissibility of many of these documents as we'd like
9 to have. As I say, some of them are -- are -- the bulk of them are
10 intelligence - and I use that term in the broadest possible tense -
11 intelligence reports concerning what some people say another person said
12 about Sefer Halilovic or in some cases about Ramiz Delalic and other
14 They look on their face to be entirely untestable, but perhaps it
15 may be that with the exercise of diligence we'll be able to find something
16 that's relevant. And finding that may be directly relevant to whether it
17 should -- whether the document should get in at all.
18 And for those reasons, we'd be submitting that the chain of
19 custody of these documents is not an idle matter. It's not simply putting
20 the Prosecution over the -- over the jumps. It's a matter that may be
21 relevant. Because in order to test these documents, we -- we may be able
22 to find something and it will require some work to be done frankly in
23 Sarajevo. That will have to be done.
24 However, I -- I want to make this clear too, that I do not at
25 this point have a clear plan as to how to deal with that matter. I can't
1 say to the Tribunal, "If you give us a week, I'm going to send operatives
2 there." So I don't want to pretend that that's the case. What I can say
3 is that some of documents look on their face as if they need a bit of
4 investigation, but I make that concession in advance.
5 And, of course, the other thing is -- is about -- frankly, we --
6 as my friend indicated yesterday, we did rely on the court order in
7 preparing for witnesses. It's true, the Prosecution point out they're not
8 voluminous. And that is -- that is the fact. They're not voluminous.
9 It's not their length that troubles us. It's the fact that we can't test
10 them and that we frankly in recent times as Your Honours probably have
11 noticed have been relatively busy and we don't just the time. It comes
12 back to that problem, being exposed to the need to investigate like that
13 in the middle of a trial. The Court makes its decisions on a variety of
14 bases, but we are left with that problem that's posed by the late
15 provision of material. And for that reason, we ask that the protection
16 furnished in that order be maintained and we're going to object to all
17 those documents, as I've indicated.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I have some questions concerning of your
19 submission just now.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
21 JUDGE LIU: In your statement, you mentioned that you object to
22 admit this document. What do you mean by that? You know, using a
23 document in the courtroom is different with the admission of the document.
24 Do you mean the using or its admission?
25 MR. MORRISSEY: I mean both. I'm -- in relation to these
1 documents, I mean the using as well. I'm sorry, I should have specified
2 that. But I do mean -- that's a common-law habit. I apologise. We
3 telescoped the two things into one. So I apologise for that. Yes, I do
4 mean by -- I object to this witness being shown these documents, and
5 frankly I object to them being shown to the Tribunal.
6 And could I say this -- and this is in response to Your Honour's
7 question. We appreciate that is this not a jury trial and we appreciate
8 too that the Court consists of experienced and professional Judges who are
9 well able to deal with - and I concede you are trained to and do - deal
10 with material that may be prejudicial and set it aside. But when a weight
11 of such material of a vague and untestable character is provided, it
12 cannot be in the interests of the -- of the Defence and in the interests
13 of justice. And although we -- we trust, of course, in the Tribunal and
14 that you may give such materials no weight, but it will be part of my
15 submission later, and I'll -- I'll put it in advance now that, this
16 material comes essentially from the police and the political enemies of
17 Mr. Halilovic. And you may well appreciate what it's going to say. Some
18 of it's very -- well, I won't go into it. But, you know, there's material
19 in there that we're very concerned by. And of course we know the
20 Prosecutor is not trying to poison the mind of the Tribunal by elicit
21 material. We know they would never do that. And we know that they would
22 submit this material only for what they say is a legitimate reason. But
23 we think it's very, very far fetched, this material. And when you look at
24 it, Your Honours will no doubt see why that is, and you'll rule then.
25 You have to be acquainted with its contents to some degree. But
1 that's why we object to it being produced at all. We think it's really
2 colour and movement rather than substance, and it's colour and movement
3 that's deleterious to a fair trial and not probative of the matters that
4 are before the Court. That's a matter for argument. The Prosecutor will
5 put her arguments. And that's a long response to Your Honour's question,
6 I understand.
7 JUDGE LIU: It seems to me that you are very, very familiar with
8 the contents of these materials already.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: I can indicate I am very familiar with the
10 contents of these materials. And am not embarrassed by their volume at
11 all. I know what's in them. And we won't be prejudiced by their -- in
12 that respect, we don't allege any prejudice as to not knowing what's in
13 them. It's a question of proving what we want to prove about them that is
14 a problem.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And could -- could I hear the Prosecution.
16 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
17 The Prosecution intends to tender 22 -- or not tender. I'm
18 sorry. I used the wrong word -- to show the witness 22 documents. And
19 out of these 22 documents, Your Honour, 14 are the new ones. They are not
20 huge documents, and my learned friend has already conceded that he's very
21 familiar with these documents, so it's not the element of time.
22 Now, if one would look at Your Honours' ruling, and your ruling
23 said that we should introduce the documents at a later stage, Your Honour.
24 We would invite this Chamber, Your Honour, to draw a distinction between
25 tendering the documents and getting a witness to comment on the substance
1 of these documents. And I would also respectfully submit, Your Honours
2 that this is the late later stage that we talked about. Counsel has now
3 indicated he's familiar, he's not prejudiced by the contents of these
4 documents, and as a result there'll be no prejudice if we ask this
5 particular witness to comment on the substance of these documents.
6 Your Honour, I will also point you to the guidelines that you
7 issued on the admissibility of evidence, and clearly, Your Honour, within
8 the substance of that is that the rule is in favour of admissibility of
9 documents, and your Chambers will then have the -- you will decide on the
10 weight and the probative value.
11 And if indeed during the course of this trial it came to pass
12 that these are indeed not admissible because the Defence have come forward
13 with some proof on this, Your Honours will then discard it and not give
14 the weight that is needed. But this can always be done, Your Honour, as
15 the -- as the trial progresses. There is no need for it to be decided
16 here and now. So the Defence is quite capable of continuing with their
17 investigations and coming up with whatever arguments they want on the
18 admissibility or the lack thereof of these particular documents.
19 Your Honour, this witness that we are going to call is an
20 extremely senior witness. He's a very high-ranking officer. He was the
21 chief of the military police. As such, he is the one amply positioned to
22 comment on the information in these documents. To deprive the Prosecution
23 of the opportunity at this time, it really renders this witness -- perhaps
24 the evidence will not assist the Trial Chamber as much as it ought to if
25 we were allowed to show these documents.
1 The Defence, on the other hand, Your Honour, will be showing this
2 witness their documents. Therefore, I do not think that the -- that the
3 Chamber will be assisted with the evidence of this witness to come to the
4 totality of the understanding of -- of what this witness is going to be
6 Your Honour, so far the -- the practice here in this particular
7 case has been that such -- such documents have been used. And I showed a
8 lot of them to the witness Gusic. And these were a similar category of
9 documents. And if you look at your practice directions, Your Honour, at
10 6, it does say that there's no blanket prohibition on the admission of
11 documents simply on the grounds that the purported author has not been
12 called to testify or similarly that a document is unsigned or unstamped,
13 et cetera. I mean, Your Honours are familiar with your own directions to
15 And in accordance with those directions, we would submit,
16 Your Honour, that it would be quite proper and would not be prejudicial to
17 the Defence to ask the witness to comment on them. Your Honours are quite
18 capable if, as I said, it comes to pass to disregard the comments of the
19 documents itself.
20 Your Honour, the Defence have also been introducing documents
21 here which they -- which are plainly relevant, and even if the witness did
22 not know of the particular document but can confirm whether the
23 information contained therein is accurate and to their own knowledge that
24 that's what they knew.
25 Your Honour, one of the mains -- grounds my learned counsel
1 raises is that they have not had the opportunity to test the reliability.
2 Reliability is different to relevance, and they are -- have the
3 opportunity as the trial continues to test it and bring forth to the -- to
4 the -- to the Chamber.
5 The other is the -- the other ground that the Defence counsel
6 have raised is that they are not relevant. Now, the Prosecution would
7 submit in that regard, Your Honour, they're clearly relevant documents.
8 They are very relevant. They are in the time period. They're going to
9 talk about a critical aspect of the Prosecution case theory, and a lot of
10 the documents, as my learned friend has indicated, do point to the 9th
11 Brigade and what the atmosphere was at the time and what was happening.
12 This witness is clearly the one who can talk about it.
13 Your Honours, we have cut down our Prosecution list dramatically.
14 We don't have another witness at this seniority. The other security
15 officers, Your Honour, are security officers of brigades and they will not
16 be able to at the vantage-point that this particular witness is to explain
17 and assist the Trial Chamber in arriving at the truth of the matter.
18 Otherwise, Your Honours, it would be an extremely lopsided evidence as the
19 Defence have been showing documents to which we have never been privy
20 before, and it will prejudice the Prosecution -- I mean if the Prosecution
21 is capable of being prejudicing, and its takes an extreme case, and I
22 think this is the one.
23 If Your Honour is so minded as to grant this, then perhaps we
24 would request this Chamber that we -- that we retain the right to recall
25 this witness or, indeed, the second answer may be that we don't call this
1 witness at all. And since the -- the witness which was supposed to have
2 been here as the next witness is not well, this will delay the
3 proceedings, Your Honours.
4 But the most important point, Your Honour, is your ruling said to
5 be admitted at a later date, to be introduced. We are not introducing
6 these documents, Your Honour. We are merely asking the witness to comment
7 upon them. And it will be at a later stage. And I think this is the
8 later stage, given the indications from counsel that he's very familiar
9 with them. The prejudice was going to be caused by the fact that he was
10 not familiar with them. There are only 14 new documents, Your Honour, and
11 they were primarily from the ABiH archives.
12 So, Your Honour, these would be my submissions in this regard,
13 unless there's anything else I can assist Your Honours with. But we would
14 insist that we show these documents to this witness so that he may comment
15 on them. And they're extremely relevant and probative.
16 JUDGE LIU: I have one question to -- for the clarification
17 that -- in your submissions, you mentioned that it is impossible to
18 introduce those documents through other witnesses at a later stage. Am I
20 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I -- I would not -- I would not
21 say "impossible." I would say there would be some of these documents
22 which we will be able to -- to introduce through another witness but just
23 some, not all of them. But nevertheless, they do not have the -- the
24 position that this particular witness has, as the chief of the military
25 security. And some documents will not be. Some documents, he's not the
1 author and not the addressee of. We freely admit that. But we would like
2 to show the documents, as we did to Mr. Gusic, so he may comment on the
3 information contained therein.
4 So I will again, Your Honours, draw the distinction between
5 producing the documents and showing the witnesses the document for their
6 comments about the information. And yes, some of them are from the
7 police. Some are from other organs. But it's vital for us that we -- we
8 ask the -- this particular witness. So not all of them. That was -- I'm
9 getting the habit from Mr. Morrissey in giving you a long answer to your
10 questions. The short answer is although we could introduce some of them,
11 but not all of them, but the prejudice to us is not allowing this witness
12 to comment on them., not the production in itself.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 Well, another question to Mr. Morrissey: That concerning with
15 that witness, have you received the proofing notes submitted by the
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I received those notes this morning.
18 Can I indicate that I got a -- a phone call from my friend last night who
19 indicated that she was proofing very cautiously in light of what she was
20 being told, and I indicated to her that I understood that that was an
21 appropriate course. So we make no complaint about any delay. The
22 Prosecutor didn't delay. They have worked hard, up until late last night,
23 as I understand the position, and it may be also this morning.
24 We have received those notes at a relatively late time t
25 Prosecutor has given us an explanation as to why, and frankly we accept
1 that explanation completely.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Do you have anything to add?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, I do. I do, Your Honour.
4 With respect to that, the Prosecutor has got two real problems on
5 this application. The first is that there's an order in place and it was
6 an order designed to protect the Defence from the very problems that we're
7 now facing.
8 The Prosecutor seeks to evade that order by saying that the order
9 related to the admissibility of -- of evidence, but in the end she
10 corrected that to the introduction of evidence, and that was an
11 appropriate change for my friend to make because it was the introduction
12 of evidence that was the problem.
13 Secondly, in respect of the MUP documents, the Prosecution are
14 calling two individuals in this case. One is called Bakir Alispahic, who
15 is featured in a colourful, short way in the evidence given last week; and
16 the other is Enver Mujezinovic. Both of those are Ministry of the
17 Interior people. Bakir Alispahic has the vantage-point, among other
18 things, of being the Minister of the Interior at the time, so it couldn't
19 be said that he was a mere brigade commander or lower. He was the
20 Minister of the Interior. And Enver Mujezinovic was a senior officer at
21 that time.
22 We've got other objections to these documents, of course, but
23 they're objections relating to the individual document. But at a general
24 level, when you're calling the Minister of the Interior, that's the person
25 through whom to put Minister of the Interior documents. And in my
1 submission, there's no basis at all for suggesting that the Prosecutor
2 would be embarrassed by not putting those documents to that witness.
3 Your Honours, it is the fact that the Prosecutor is entitled to
4 try to prove the notice of Mr. Halilovic. That's an element of the
5 offence they've got to prove. So of course they're entitled to do that,
6 and I don't want the Prosecutor to misunderstand what our objection is.
7 We say that these documents are not capable of doing that.
8 The evidence of the witnesses may be relevant to that fact, and
9 those witnesses can be asked about the relevant facts within their
10 knowledge. Should they need -- and they should be asked that orally in
11 court. And then if they need to refresh their memory from documents that
12 they brought into being, yes.
13 Furthermore, if there are expert documents or documents within
14 their competence that are brought into being, then of course even if they
15 don't remember them or didn't see them, then, as with this witness and as
16 with Mr. Gusic, they can be shown those documents and to comment on them
17 in a relevant way. But you can't get one -- an expert in eggs to comment
18 on expertise about oranges. This man who's coming now is a military
19 security chief. He's not the head of the military police. That's not his
20 position. He's the head of the SVB, the military security service.
21 That's a distinct organ within the army.
22 The Minister of the Interior is the police, the civilian police.
23 They're quite different. They're organically different. They're under
24 different ministries and I don't think there'll be any challenge to this,
1 So that my friend hits the hurdle -- both that there's an order
2 in place which she hasn't, in my submission, explained a reason for
3 departing from, and secondly, that there are people through whom these
4 documents should be tendered, if they're otherwise relevant.
5 This witness here, I indicated there's an argument to be mounted
6 which is a sensible one that if this witness -- if the document passed
7 through the witness's hand, it may be appropriate to show him. But this
8 MUP material really should not even be shown in proofing. It's -- after
9 11 years there's a real danger in showing witnesses things that they had
10 no idea at the time, didn't see, and they are then shown this to refresh
11 their memory. You know, there's a clear danger in doing that and frankly
12 I'm -- I'm a bit concerned about it. But whatever the propriety to have
13 that may be, it doesn't need to be done in court, it doesn't help this
14 Tribunal. You want to hear the evidence of that witness and that's what
15 you should hear, not something that comes from another branch of the
16 government which he may not ever have seen or had reason to see.
17 So I won't go to the specifics of each document now. That really
18 arises on a document-by-document basis and you don't need to deal with all
19 those in that way now. But that's my response to my learned friend.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.
21 Well, it seems to me that the two extreme views between the
22 parties and the issue has not been solved after yesterday's meetings
23 between the parties. I believe the Defence raised their objections for
24 the using of those documents on two reasons: The first one is the late
25 submission; the second one is that they believe that the witness will not
1 be the right witness to put these documents to.
2 As for the second reason, the Trial Chamber has very serious
3 doubts on that because we are still in the Prosecution's case. Whatever
4 documents they use, it's their strategy. And only after using these
5 documents could the Trial Chamber be in a better position to know whether
6 this document is relevant or not, whether this witness is the right person
7 or not. So I'm afraid that we cannot agree with the second reasoning on
8 that particular issue.
9 The first reasoning, that is, the late submission, as the Defence
10 counsel rightly pointed out, we made a ruling on the 14th of February,
11 2005 to this aspect, and we believe that it is in the interest of justice
12 and in full respect of the rights of the accused that Defence should have
13 adequate time to prepare properly for trial, which includes the
14 examination of the exhibits the Prosecution intends to use during the
16 Since we have already made a decision subject to any decisions
17 contrary to it, no matter in this Bench or in the Appeals Chamber, this
18 decision should be respected and abided by by both parties, as well as
19 this Bench.
20 But, however, there might be some way for manoeuvre according to
21 this stage because we said that the new exhibits should be used at a later
22 stage. We did not specify the period. I mean, what is the later stage?
23 There's no definition on it. So under those circumstances, I would like
24 to know whether it's possible for us to hear this witness next Monday.
25 So during the weekend, this afternoon, and tomorrow, the Defence
1 will have enough time to consult with their client and to discuss this
3 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: It's possible that that delay would remove the
5 objection raised as to being embarrassed by timing. I would be clear that
6 we maintain our objection to the admissibility of the documents, but it is
7 true that if we had that time, that would allow us to consider whether
8 there was a particular line of examination that needed to happen. And to
9 that extent, that would palliate the element of surprise and lateness
10 which has been raised, and I agree that would be of benefit in that
12 I have to clear that that would not cause us to withdraw our
13 objection to the introduction or admissibility of -- of the evidence, but
14 it may be relevant to Your Honours' consideration of it.
15 JUDGE LIU: Is it agreeable to the Prosecution?
16 MS. CHANA: We're in Your Honours' hands in this matter, your, --
17 Your Honour, yes.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So we'll --
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: May I just raise one matter there?
22 My learned friend Mr. Weiner raised a possibility yesterday
23 constructively, and we don't know whether it's in Your Honours' hands to
24 help us, but it may be that if Your Honour gave an indication, that would
25 help us in dealing with the authorities elsewhere.
1 Could we indicate that we would like to opportunity to visit
2 Mr. Halilovic on the weekend at some point. And if Your Honour were to
3 indicate that that may expedite and speed up the trial proceedings, then
4 such a comment from the Bench might assist the authorities to make their
5 decisions. And I wonder if Your Honour would be prepared to give such an
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much indeed.
8 And so we decided that we'll hear the next witness next Monday by
9 using all the documents proposed by the Prosecution, which does not mean
10 that we have to admit them.
11 We'll consider that during the proceedings and after the
13 Another consideration is that the proofing notes provided to
14 Defence in a very short notice, we also would like to give enough time for
15 the Defence to study that proofing notes on the next witness. At the
16 meantime, I will do my best or maybe issue an instruction or order to the
17 registrar concerning with the visit during the weekend, which means Sunday
18 or Saturday, for the Defence team to have the access to their client to
19 discuss all the matters involved in those new documents.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, that's so decided.
22 Mr. Morrissey.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Could I just indicate that we will endeavour to see Mr. Halilovic
25 tomorrow in any event, since we have that opportunity. So we'll stay in
1 touch with the authorities about that. And yes, we're grateful for the
2 indications. Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
4 Well, another issue is that we understand that the Defence filed
5 the application for certification. Now we are waiting for the response
6 from the Prosecution on that issue. Are you going to respond on that
7 issue or not?
8 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. As the Court know, we have seven
9 days. I know they're working on it right now and it should be ready today
10 or tomorrow.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much indeed.
12 And by the way, the so-called Gusic decision concerning of the
13 document will be rendered after this sitting.
14 Are there any other things that the parties would like to mention
15 at this stage? I see none.
16 So the hearing is adjourned, and we'll see you next Monday.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.17 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day of
19 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.