1 Tuesday, 1 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
11 Good afternoon, Witness. Did you have a good rest?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for asking. I am ready
13 to perform my task.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
15 Ms. Chana, please continue.
16 MS. CHANA: May it please Your Honours.
17 WITNESS: JUSUF JASAREVIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Examined by Ms. Chana: [Continued]
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Jasarevic. We will now continue with your
22 Before the adjournment yesterday, I was asking you about your
23 relationship generally and the attitude of both the 9th and the 10th
24 Brigade to military security, and in that context I asked you - and that
25 was the last question I put to you - was: Did you know a man named Amir
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell me who he was, please.
4 A. Amir Deljkic was a member of the 1st Corps' security service, an
5 operations officer.
6 Q. And what happened to him, if anything?
7 A. One day early in the morning, he was on his way to work. He was
8 ambushed in his own street by members of the 10th Mountain Brigade. They
9 took him to their command post and mistreated him - that is perhaps the
10 simplest way to put it - in a very brutal way.
11 Q. How did you get to know about this?
12 A. As far as I remember, someone from the security service of the
13 1st Corps told me. The same day or some hours later - I can't remember
14 specifically - his wife came over and complained to me, asking for help.
15 She was crying.
16 Q. And what did you do?
17 A. In a bid to help Mr. Deljkic and being unable to get in touch
18 with the commander of the 10th Brigade, since it was quite obvious that he
19 was the only one in a position to help or release Mr. Deljkic, I went back
20 to Mr. Sefer Halilovic, as Chief of Staff and a person I knew and valued
21 very highly as my former superior, appealing to him to help Mr. Deljkic.
22 Q. Why was it that you chose to go to Mr. Halilovic over this
24 A. In terms of his command position, he was in a position of
25 authority. Besides, he was a person I knew and trusted. It was the most
1 natural thing for me to go to him. Commander Delic was not a person I
2 knew well at the time; whereas, I knew Mr. Halilovic well and I trusted
3 him. I was hoping that he would be able to give us a hand.
4 Q. When you said "in terms of his command position," can you please
5 further elaborate on that.
6 A. Whose command position do you mean?
7 Q. You said in your answer, Mr. Jasarevic: "In terms of his command
8 position, he was in a position of authority." Is that what you had said
9 earlier in your -- in response to my question to you?
10 A. Yes. I didn't understand immediately that your question was in
11 reference to Mr. Halilovic.
12 You see, Mr. Halilovic represented an authority that went
13 unquestioned by any member of the army at the moment or any of the brigade
14 members. I expected that he would be the only person with sufficient
15 authority to -- to bear on the commander of the 10th Brigade.
16 Q. And what exactly is it that you asked him to do?
17 A. I probably can't remember the details, but the crux of the matter
18 was that I had been told that Mr. Deljkic was being kept at the command of
19 the 10th Brigade, that he was being physically abused, humiliated, and so
20 on. If possible, I said, "Please try to get involved to -- to help this
22 Q. Was there any particular reason that Mr. Deljkic himself had been
23 chosen to be physically abused by this particular brigade?
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Could I object there.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: The witness said that he was abused by certain
2 members of it, and I object to the comment that he was chosen to be abused
3 by this brigade. The witness has been quite clear in saying that most of
4 the brigade was fine and that there were some difficult individuals, so
5 that question needs to be more specific, in my submission.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But I believe that when the Prosecution said
7 "the brigade," it means some members of the brigade, not the whole
9 And by the way, Ms. Chana, maybe I missed it from yesterday's
10 proceedings. Could you tell us about the time frame of this incident.
11 MS. CHANA: Yes. I will ask the witness, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
13 MS. CHANA:
14 Q. Can you remember when it was when this took place? This Deljkic
15 incident, as I call it.
16 A. I can't remember the date. It certainly occurred before I was
17 appointed chief of administration, so it was while I was still chief of a
18 department within the security administration. It may have been June
19 1993, but I'm afraid I can't remember the specific date.
20 Q. Yes. Now, I'll go back to my -- my question: Why was it that
21 certain members of this brigade had chosen Mr. Deljkic to abuse? Do you
23 A. I most certainly don't, but I have my assumptions. Mr. Amir
24 Deljkic, in terms of where he lived, where he resided, was quite near the
25 command of the 10th Brigade. That might be one aspect, to my mind.
1 Secondly, they knew that Mr. Deljkic was with the security
2 service of the 1st Corps, and they must have assumed that anything that
3 the security service knows about certain devious forms of behaviour by
4 members of the 10th Brigade -- as I say, their conclusion was probably
5 that this information was being forwarded to Mr. Deljkic and that Mr.
6 Deljkic was in possession of this information.
7 In my opinion, this was some sort of revenge against Mr. Deljkic
8 for that reason.
9 Q. Yes. Now I would like to show you a document. Its 65 ter number
10 is 162, it's 01474764, and that would be MFI209.
11 MS. CHANA: May I please give the witness the B/C/S version.
12 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, would you please look at this document and tell
13 us, is that your signature at the bottom of it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what is this document about generally? And then we'll go
16 into the substance of it in a minute.
17 A. This is the document that I spoke about some minutes ago. I was
18 wrong about the date. This is early July, so that's before I was
19 appointed the administration chief, and this is the document that I had in
20 mind when I said the things I said a while ago. This is an official note
21 that I produced myself.
22 Q. And this is on the 3rd of July, 1993; is that not correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It documents the conversation you had with Chief of Staff,
25 Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
1 A. Yes. I was probably not able to quote the entire conversation,
2 but it corresponds with the general meaning of the document.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I apologise to the witness for
4 interrupting. He doesn't know what the problem is. But Mr. Halilovic
5 can't see this on the screen. The Defence now can, but the accused was
6 unable to see it.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll ask Ms. Usher to check.
8 MS. CHANA: [Microphone not activated]
9 Q. Sorry, Mr. Jasarevic. We had a technical hitch there.
10 As I was saying, that this is -- it's a document of the
11 conversation you had with Mr. Sefer Halilovic. And if you look at the
12 document in which you said -- you requested Sefer -- "I asked Sefer to
13 intercede with Musan Topalovic, aka Caco, and Ramiz Delalic, aka Celo,
14 that Amir Deljkic, member of the military security service of the 1st
15 Corps be freed. In fact, I was informed that Mr. Amir Deljkic had been
16 unlawfully arrested by Musan Topalovic, aka Caco's men, and that he had
17 been savagely maltreated physically and practically beaten up."
18 Then you go on to say: "I knew that Mr. Sefer Halilovic would
19 sway Caco through Celo. So I rang up and asked him to intercede to set
20 Deljkic free. On 3rd July 1993, Sefer promised to do something. He said
21 he would try. However, the next day, when I rang Sefer up again and asked
22 him to save Deljkic because his life is in danger, Sefer replied to me in
23 a fairly rough manner, saying that he didn't want to intercede for anyone
24 individually. Even on the previous day, Mr. Sefer was more anxious to
25 know who had informed me about what was being done to Deljkic than
1 concerned by what was being done to him or thinking that he should be
2 helped. On that -- on the basis of all of this, I concluded that what
3 Caco and his villains were doing to officers from the 1st Corps command
4 suited him perfectly, especially when the person in question was a member
5 of the military security service, Amir Deljkic."
6 Do you confirm the information which I've just read out,
7 Mr. Jasarevic?
8 A. I confirm that I produced the document. I have to say, however,
9 that this obviously contains my own comments. This is an official note.
10 It's a very important kind of document for the military security,
11 especially given my position at the time, chief of counterintelligence.
12 In my desire to help Mr. Deljkic, I have taken a slightly emotional
13 approach to the problem. I'm not sure that you could state that
14 Mr. Halilovic was unwilling to help. I quoted these two things. The
15 first time round when we talked, he told me he would try. This is
16 probably true. I don't think I just made this up. And in the second
17 conversation, he probably replied that he did not wish to intercede on --
18 on the behalf of any one individual. This is probably also true.
19 The last passage is probably a conclusion, Your Honours, and I
20 believe it contains some emotional elements, all with the objective of
21 providing assistance for Mr. Deljkic. I can't challenge the entire
22 document, but certain emotional aspects of the document may be a trifle
24 Q. But nevertheless, these were your conclusions at the time, and
25 you documented them.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, I object to leading. Your Honour, the
2 witness has given his answers. They're out there now. They can't be
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, I believe the witness has answered your
5 question before.
6 MS. CHANA:
7 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, when you state - and that's at the -- the last
8 couple of lines in this particular document - I would like you to assist
9 Their Honours as to what you meant when you said, "On the basis of all
10 this, I concluded that what Caco and his villains were doing to officers
11 of the 1st Corps command suited him perfectly." What -- can you please
12 assist us in telling us how is it that you came to this particular
14 A. As you can tell, if you look at the date, this occurred
15 immediately after what happened between the 2nd and 3rd of July, the
16 incident caused by members of the 9th Brigade, their attack against the
17 operations centre of the General Staff. This conversation ensued on the
18 following day, as you can tell. There were different bits of information
19 floating about around me. Unofficially, I mean. Hearsay, not what I
20 heard in the office. People generally tended to express their opinions in
21 ways that were not entirely sober and sometimes without valid arguments.
22 My impression was, as I said earlier, that the only real authority with
23 power to do anything in relation to those brigades was Mr. Sefer
24 Halilovic, bearing in mind first and foremost his reputation as the army's
25 leading person. It was only natural that I should expect such a person of
1 authority to be able to do something. If it turns out that he was unable
2 to do anything, I couldn't think of anyone else who might. Since I failed
3 in resolving that issue, I provided this comment at the end of this
4 document. It is an emotional conclusion that I drew; namely, that Mr.
5 Sefer was simply unwilling because it was probably convenient for him,
6 also in view of the incident the previous day, the attack against the
7 operations centre. So this is a product of my own conclusion.
8 Q. And Mr. Rasim Delic, was he not the -- the head of the army at
9 that time? Why didn't you approach him?
10 A. Yes, he was at the head of the army, but I'm not sure if he was
11 in Sarajevo on that particular day. He would spend many days at the
12 forward command post in Kakanj. You will understand, given my position at
13 the time, I was not the administration chief but, rather, the chief of one
14 of its departments. I did not have an open line of communication with the
15 army commander. I felt personally closer and was inclined to trust
16 Mr. Sefer Halilovic much more, bearing in mind also the fact that
17 Mr. Sefer Halilovic would have been better able to achieve something with
18 the commanders of those two brigades, given the authority that he had.
19 That's one aspect of the entire matter.
20 Secondly, I'm not sure if that tallies with the date on the
21 document, but I did have some information, again based on information that
22 was coming in from the security service of the 1st Corps, and some
23 information from the Ministry of the Interior indicating that Mr. Delic
24 was not sufficiently respected by the brigades to have any influence over
25 them at all. So that would constitute some sort of an explanation.
1 Q. And, to your knowledge, was Mr. Sefer Halilovic respected by
2 these brigades?
3 A. Mr. Halilovic was respected by all the brigades and all the
4 commanders, as I've said already. He was the army's first man. He
5 enjoyed an enormous amount of authority. He certainly was respected
6 across the board.
7 Now, what happened here, were there perhaps some reservations
8 with regard to the breaches of discipline by these brigades, and perhaps
9 this was expressed in an unfavourable way, that was my conclusion.
10 Q. Can you please tell us: You said you had information about these
11 two -- two particular brigades I'm talking about, the 9th and the 10th.
12 What were the sources of that information?
13 A. Your Honours, I said that the source of the information, the most
14 important information, were the military security service of the 1st Corps
15 and institutions of the Ministry for Internal Affairs, primarily the State
16 Security Service.
17 Q. And how would this information be relayed to you?
18 A. I attached importance to written information. First of all,
19 probably there were oral -- there was also oral information from meetings
20 and so on, but I based my position on information which was contained in
21 documents which came from the 1st Corps Security Service and the State
22 Security Service. I cannot recall specifically this information, but I
23 know that such information existed.
24 Q. Can you tell us the general nature of this information? What
25 kind of information was filtering through to you about these two
1 particular brigades?
2 A. All the information mostly pertained to violations of military
3 discipline by individuals or certain parts of these brigades and sometimes
4 their commanders. This was qualified in that period as being a deviation
5 from the system of command and control, which is characteristic for a
6 military organisation. I'm talking about control and command, in which
7 the principle is of the singleness of command, military obedience, and the
8 execution of orders from superiors. These are the main principles,
9 main -- the mainstay of military organisation.
10 Q. Other than this military indiscipline and what you allege about
11 not following orders, was there any other information which was coming
12 through to you about these two brigades which was obviously of some
14 A. Yes. Information came which provided different indications of
15 deviant conduct by individuals from those brigades. Individuals from
16 those brigades and their commanders demonstrated reactions towards
17 individuals which were not quite proper, not in the trenches -- that was
18 inappropriate for behaviour in trenches during defence of the town.
19 A second characteristic of their dissatisfaction, based on the
20 information that I received, was very often demonstrated in relation to
21 members of MUP. They thought that members of the MUP were privileged in
22 relation to them, that they were better equipped, and that they were not
23 actually participating in the fighting. That's how they put it.
24 And perhaps a third point, if it's not contained in the first
25 point that I mentioned, is that they had their own convictions, and this
1 was something that bothered all the brigades, all the army members on the
2 lines, that individuals through certain connections were able to secure
3 their removal or being taken away. So they described that occurrence with
4 a certain term, "podrumasi," people who were in the cellars. This is
5 something which disturbed individuals in these brigades. So this would be
6 the gist of their feelings or their sense of injustice. I'm speaking
7 conditionally. This is how they felt at that time possibly. Of course,
8 they did not think out properly the way to resolve this issue which they
9 believed was unjustly dealt with, and that is why they resorted several
10 times on -- to collecting or assembling all these individuals from the
11 street or from cafes, wherever they found them. And it could be said that
12 they took them to the front lines through the application of force.
13 However, in the 10th Brigade, this was more drastic. We had
14 information that in the 10th Brigade people were being physically abused.
15 Q. What else would -- any other specific instances of this deviant
16 behaviour that you can give us before I show you a document?
17 A. I know one case, for example, and I recall that very well, that
18 members of the 9th Brigade either stole or seized - I can't really
19 remember the particulars - a vehicle from a unit of the French UNPROFOR.
20 After these gentlemen reacted to this from this UNPROFOR unit, after they
21 complained to President Izetbegovic, he requested that Commander Delic
22 resolve this question and that the vehicle be returned to the French
23 because it was creating a negative image about our army. Delic later
24 asked me to do this. He asked if I was able to do anything about this. I
25 understood this as a task given to me. And through some steps that I and
1 through some steps that I carried out, I managed to have the security
2 chief of the brigade -- of the 9th Brigade, Mr. Tomo Juric -- Tomislav
3 Juric, to come to my office, and Celo personally.
4 Your Honours, I think that I mentioned yesterday that it was
5 possible to have communication with Mr. Ramiz Delic [as interpreted] from
6 time to time, and I managed to do so sporadically. I don't know what were
7 all the skills that I used during that conversation to cajole Mr. Delic to
8 return this vehicle, and I managed to do this. I don't believe that any
9 other approach would have been successful except for this approach that I
10 adopted, a conversation between two professionals, two soldiers, and so
11 on. And perhaps an hour later they drove this vehicle in front of my
12 administration building. The vehicle was still -- the paint on the
13 vehicle was still wet. It was white and it had been painted some drab
14 military colour. The paint was still wet when they returned it. So we
15 have an incident here as well as the way this incident was resolved.
16 I remember very well that I was -- I encountered him on the
17 street. He was on his way to the administration building. It was a
18 younger man. He's the son of a well-known Sarajevo musician, Avdo
19 Smajlovic, so his last name is Smajlovic. I don't know his first name.
20 And he told me that he wanted to come, that he had heard about me, that he
21 had been taken to dig trenches by the 10th Brigade. And he was very
22 downhearted about this, exhausted, and of course I accepted that because
23 it was very difficult to receive any kind of information, especially from
24 or about the 10th Brigade. This gentleman told me - this was on the
25 street - I didn't make a record of this, but for me this was telling
1 information because he told me some things about how the people from the
2 10th Brigade were gathering people and taking them to dig trenches. He
3 said -- he told me how they were finding them on the street. Somebody
4 would be perhaps on their way to buy bread or they would be in a cafe or a
5 restaurant or something. It could be anywhere, and they would just pick
6 up that person simply as if they were catching criminals. They would take
7 them away and -- unprepared, not paying attention to the footwear the
8 person was wearing or the clothing they were wearing, whether they were
9 appropriately dressed for the weather conditions. They would just take
10 them to dig trenches, regardless of whether they were healthy or -- or
11 sick. This is mostly what they did. A person should keep this in mind.
12 He completed his shift - that's what he said - I don't know
13 whether this was five days or ten days. I don't know how long they would
14 keep these people to dig trenches and then they would release them. And
15 that is how he was released too.
16 These are two illustrations from direct conversations, and there
17 were many such examples, many more such examples from written documents.
18 Q. Yes. And I will show you some of those documents in due course,
19 but can you please tell us --
20 MS. CHANA: Give me a moment, please, Your Honour.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the court deputy could give us a number
23 of that document.
24 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. In the meantime I think I will give
25 you the -- the document is -- 65 ter number is 168. It's 04036176,
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, what I mean is the previous document. We don't
3 have an MFI number yet. That is, the document 163. What is -- what is
4 the MFI number for that document?
5 MS. CHANA: It's 209, Your Honour, I believe.
6 This is the next document I'm going to show the -- the witness,
7 but not just yet.
8 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, was it common knowledge, these activities of the
9 9th and the 10th Brigade, this -- this -- what you have now described to
10 the Court?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, that's, in my submission, a
12 meaningless question. The witness is entitled to say who he communicated
13 with about it and who he heard it from, but to ask whether it was common
14 knowledge, in my submission, it's just too broad and it's not a question
15 he's in a position to answer. Unless his expertise in the knowledge of
16 the rest of Sarajevo is established. Obviously that can't be done. He
17 can establish -- he can give evidence about where he heard it and who he
18 told, and that's relevant material, but that's all, in my submission.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the witness already testified
20 about how he gathered this information, and then this is a question for
21 the next layer, that is, whether it's common knowledge for the people to
22 know about this information.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, well, your, I think you have characterised
24 the question accurately. But that's what the difficulty is. It's not a
25 question that this witness can answer from his own knowledge. It's
1 difficult to see how he, as a responsible official, acting in an official
2 capacity, is able to comment on what was common knowledge and what wasn't.
3 If he was asked what -- whether it was circulated within his circles, in
4 the military security, of course he could answer that. In other words, if
5 that material was classified in some way or not classified, that's clearly
6 relevant. What my friend means by "common knowledge" is not clear, but
7 one can see what use might be attempted to be made of it later. So I just
8 want to be clear what the -- the question has to be confined so that it's
9 meaningful in some way.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well --
11 MR. MORRISSEY: So that's the objection.
12 JUDGE LIU: The witness was present during that time, during that
13 period. He testified his way of knowing this knowledge. Then the
14 Prosecutor asked a follow-up question, that -- whether everybody knows
15 about this incident.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, that's --
17 JUDGE LIU: But that's quite natural.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, the difficulty is it's -- you --
19 Your Honour might as well ask me that question. I'd have an opinion and
20 Mr. Jasarevic would have an opinion about it. But that's all it is.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: It's just an opinion.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.
24 We believe that we'll allow the witness to express his opinion on
1 MS. CHANA: Most obliged, Your Honour. The witness was the chief
2 of military security at the time, so I think his -- his answer would have
3 a little bit more value than my learned Defence counsel's opinion on the
5 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, was it common knowledge, these activities of the
6 9th and 10th Brigade?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, once again, I object, and I do -- I object
8 to the merging of common knowledge of the 9th and the 10th together.
9 My learned friend has persisted in -- well, I won't say
10 "deliberately," but not in distinguishing one from another. The witness
11 distinguished and made it quite clear that there are allegations of
12 beatings and so on by the 10th, whereas with the 9th he's referred to the
13 theft of the UNPROFOR vehicle. Now, this question run it is two things
14 together in an impermissible way. The 10th may have one reputation; the
15 9th may have a different reputation. And so my friend needs to
16 distinguish -- as Your Honours have allowed the question to be asked, I
17 won't argue that. But it needs to be distinguished.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We've heard evidence about the 10th Brigade,
19 but I'm afraid that we did not hear any evidence about 9th Brigade at this
21 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. Two things. One is I think
22 yesterday I did point out to Your Honours that some of these objections
23 and the lengthy explanations that the objections are made are
24 inappropriate before a witness while he's in court. Learned counsel can
25 allude to some certain matters.
1 And certainly, Your Honours, the witness had talked about the
2 brigades, but I take your point and will ask him about one brigade at a
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's go over both the brigades, but I take your
5 point and I will ask him at one brigade at a time.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's go brigade by brigade.
7 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, I want to distinguish between the two brigades,
9 the 9th and the 10th. Can you now, before I ask you whether the -- this
10 information was common knowledge, can you tell us, what had you heard
11 about the activities or the negative conduct of the 9th Brigade.
12 A. Your Honours, already in the description of the round-up of
13 citizens from the street and from cafes and other places for digging of
14 trenches, I spoke about that already, and it was characteristic for the
15 9th and 10th Brigades. But the members of the 9th Brigade were a little
16 bit more lenient in this matter than the members of the 10th Brigade,
17 which I described in examples.
18 Q. And now, Mr. Jasarevic, was this conduct of the 9th Brigade first
19 common knowledge in Sarajevo?
20 A. I received information from the 1st Corps. There were also some
21 things coming in from the General Staff counter-intelligence unit, from
22 the counter-intelligence unit of the administration, and their information
23 was based on operative work. And as an official responsible, in view of
24 the position I had, I took such information into account and attached
25 importance to this information.
1 I did not organise for this information to be treated in bulletins
2 and to be put into reports and included into reports which were forwarded
3 to the superior command. I didn't want to include things that came
4 through unofficial channels or based on things that were being talked
5 about on the street. I can't even remember all of the things that were
6 being said at the time, and it's not something that I would stand by 100
7 per cent.
8 Q. What things were being said on the streets?
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours --
10 A. I didn't sit on the street --
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: I withdraw the objection in light of the answer.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 MS. CHANA:
15 Q. Yes, carry on, Mr. Jasarevic. What were you saying?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, perhaps -- perhaps, Your Honour, I do
17 object. I think at a certain point, Your Honour, remoteness sets in.
18 When the witness, who's the head of military security, is called about
19 killings that take place in September in Herzegovina, to ask him what he
20 heard on the street in July or June is really just getting so speculative
21 and vague, especially given the answers that he has given so far, to be
22 just too remote from the question that we have to consider here. And in
23 my submission, this line of questioning now is just -- it's really just
24 fishing. And -- well, look, I object to it on the grounds of remoteness,
25 as, frankly, the witness himself seems to be commenting.
1 So I just raise the objection now that we -- we're really getting
2 into an area where we're -- there's nothing concrete about what's being
3 asked, and the answers themselves are quite appropriate. The witness is
4 answering as he's asked and he's entitled to answer as he's asked. What
5 I'm submitting is that he shouldn't be asked these questions. Let him be
6 asked about incidents or concrete things, if there are such things, and
7 things that are relevant to the case. But as to what was being said on
8 the street, Your Honour, it's just too vague to be meaningful, and I
9 object to it.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, first of all, I believe that it's not proper
11 for you to interrupt in the middle of the witness's answer.
12 Secondly, I think that -- I believe that the incidents that
13 happened before the specific case we are hearing has some relevance to
14 what happened later on, because I believe that it's part of the
15 Prosecution's case.
16 Thirdly, I believe that the Prosecution has already asked some
17 specific questions concerning a particular incident already. Then he will
18 ask some general reflections, maybe on the streets, maybe in some other
19 areas, on this issue. And the witness is going to answer that question,
20 which may be not unfavourable to your case.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm bound by Your Honour's ruling on the matter.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 Well, witness, you may continue to answer the question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I cannot remember or
25 talk about what was assumed to have been talked about on the street, in
1 view of the duties I performed. My positions and my views were based on
2 official information, written information of the 1st Corps primarily, and
3 there was enough of such information, also written information from the
4 security service, and possibly there were probably such indications as
5 well or such information from the sector -- from the General Staff
6 counter-intelligence sector, which turned its information into official
7 notes which would then reach me in that form. From this distance, it's
8 very hard for me to remember everything.
9 MS. CHANA:
10 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, did you ever have occasion to speak to
11 Mr. Halilovic about these matters?
12 A. I don't recall, except for this conversation regarding the
13 Deljkic problem and how to resolve that. Otherwise, I really don't recall
14 whether I did or not.
15 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, sometime ago in your testimony you -- you said
16 before this Court that Halilovic was the main man - I think that was the
17 word that you used - that he was the number one in the army. Do you know
18 what the relationship was between Mr. Delic and Mr. Halilovic? Did you
19 have any knowledge of this, the relationship between the two men?
20 A. Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Delic, after that, were my superior
21 officers. I am a soldier, and I accepted them as authorities superior to
22 me. I didn't want to and I didn't have any option of dealing or thinking
23 about the relationship between the two of them. There were information --
24 there was information in written material from which you could decide that
25 there was a certain animosity there. Of course, at working meetings in
1 the operations centre or at some other working meetings, at the staff, you
2 could tell that a certain number of people were more inclined towards Mr.
3 Halilovic because he had been there longer and they knew him better, and I
4 felt that this was quite natural in a way, that they were closer to him.
5 There was also a number of people who knew Delic from before, and
6 they were in favour of him coming. So in that sense, they might have been
7 more inclined towards Mr. Delic, because as an officer, he was more
9 Conditionally speaking, there was also a third group which was
10 mindful of the institution of person number one, of the post. First of
11 all, we had the Chief of the General Staff or the Main Staff, and then in
12 the second period we had the title Commander of the General Staff or the
13 Main Staff. So in that sense, I'm using the term "number-one man."
14 Throughout that period, what was important, from the aspect of my
15 position, was that their relationship did not result in any negative
16 aspects in the managing of the staff or in combat activities. It was just
17 something that could -- it was not something that was obvious. I didn't
18 acknowledge that there was any such animosity.
19 Q. But the ones who -- would they show their loyalty to Halilovic in
20 any -- any way, the ones who still liked Halilovic over Delic?
21 A. No. It wasn't that pronounced. It was a more flexible
23 Q. I'd like now to take you to this document that I've already --
24 MS. CHANA: This is MFI210, Your Honour. Can I give the -- thank
1 Q. Yes. Can you tell me about this document?
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour --
3 MS. CHANA:
4 Q. Have you seen this --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry. My learned friend is now about, I think,
7 to ask the question I want to ask, so ...
8 Sorry, I thought she was but she's not. Your Honours, I'm sorry,
9 it's just that, given the proofing notes here, Your Honour will notice
10 what the -- what appears to be the status of this document. So the
11 witness ought to be given the chance to indicate whether he knows the
12 document, first of all, and then move from that position onwards.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
14 MS. CHANA:
15 Q. Do you know this document, Mr. Jasarevic?
16 A. No. This document was produced at a time when I was not chief of
17 administration. I can tell by the handwriting that this is my
18 predecessor's, Mr. Muslimovic's signature. He is here, assigning this
19 task to the analysis sector to process this and include it in the bulletin
20 to be sent to the group of superiors that I mentioned yesterday.
21 Q. But at proofing, you had mentioned that you know the information
22 within this document. And I'd like to take you to a certain section of
23 this document, and that if you -- first of all, this is about the 9th
24 Motorised Brigade.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I object --
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: -- I object to this. Why doesn't -- well, my
3 submission is that, if there's an incident to be asked about and the
4 witness knows about it, then of course it's relevant and just ask him
5 about the incident. To direct him to a document that is not his, in my
6 submission, has the evils that I raised yesterday, and --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We had a ruling yesterday that, if the witness
8 does not know about this document, you could just ask a question directly
9 to that incident which he knows.
10 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I want to use this document to remind --
11 to ask the witness --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well --
13 MS. CHANA: -- to see whether he can recall, because I've already
14 asked the question.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, if he knows that incident, I believe that he
16 does not need anything to remind. If you give this document, the
17 document -- the witness has never seen this document, that will be
18 misleading the witness.
19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I will put the question to him first and
20 then I will request Your Honours whether I may show him, to remind him of
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MS. CHANA:
24 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, if you don't look at the document for the time
25 being and answer this question: Do you know whether any of Celo's men
1 were wearing Sefer Halilovic badges?
2 A. Some people from our administration told me that they had heard
3 something along these lines. There was something about this in the
4 written reports of the 1st Corps. I personally never saw a person with a
5 Halilovic badge on their chest.
6 Q. But you heard they existed?
7 A. Yes, as I've just said.
8 Q. I will now take you to another document, which is MFI211. The 65
9 ter is 160, 04035899.
10 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, this is of the same genre, and I think
11 the witness has already discussed and talked about trench-digging.
12 Q. So, Mr. Jasarevic, who was primarily taken to dig trenches on the
13 front line in Sarajevo?
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm just not sure at the moment, is
15 my friend showing the witness the document? Because if she is, she has to
16 ask the question, has he seen it before. If she's not showing it to him,
17 that's okay. I have no objection to the question that's now being asked,
18 because there had been other questions about it.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's make that clear first.
20 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I'm asking the -- the question again.
21 He has talked about this particular topic of trench-digging, and I wanted
22 to show him this particular document. And before I did, I asked the
23 question. So at this moment, he's not being shown the document, he's
24 being asked the question.
25 Q. Could you answer the question, Mr. Jasarevic?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MS. CHANA:
3 Q. Who was taken to dig trenches in the front lines in Sarajevo, to
4 your knowledge?
5 A. I've spoken about this before, Your Honours. Persons rounded up
6 in the streets, young people mostly, in cafes. The brigade members were
7 riled by this, particularly so the members of these two brigades. Also,
8 these two brigades were near the town centre, which means that they were
9 in contact with these people who weren't directly involved in combat, so
10 they decided to use these people at least to do some trench-digging for
11 them, and they would later use these trenches in combat. And also, the
12 people they referred to as cellar-dwellers, people hiding somewhere in
13 order to avoid being sent to the front line.
14 So these were the basic groups of people who were usually rounded
15 up by the members of these brigades. It was typical of both groups, but I
16 must say that the 10th Brigade was much more severe in how they went about
17 this job than the 9th Brigade.
18 Q. Now, just to confirm, were they civilians or military? A short
19 answer, please.
20 A. Civilians.
21 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I will not use this document any more,
22 but I will show the witness another document, which is MFI212, 65 ter 151,
24 Q. Now, before you look at this document, Mr. Jasarevic, can you
25 tell us: Did you get any information on Sefer Halilovic, his activities?
1 A. I don't understand your question. What exactly do you have in
2 mind? What sort of activity?
3 Q. Negative activities.
4 A. Yes, I got some information from the State Security Service. For
5 the most part, this information had to do with how he treated those two
6 brigades. I am only speaking about what I received in writing.
7 Sometimes in these written reports one would find something being
8 said about how he treated Commander Delic. I'm not sure, but also the
9 state president was mentioned. I'm afraid I might go wrong, because what
10 I'm saying is based on my memory, but these written documents exist. They
11 were processed by the administration, included in bulletins, and sent on
12 to superior officers.
13 When I spoke about our operative work yesterday, the sort of work
14 usually performed by the security service, I said, Your Honours, that we
15 were not entitled to keep information back. If this information appeared
16 at all relevant, we were supposed to process this information
17 immediately. In wartime it was difficult to verify all the information
18 received, needless to say, so whatever knowledge or information we had
19 would invariably be forwarded higher up; otherwise, we would have been
20 responsible for the potential consequences, if, for example, we received a
21 bit of information and kept silent about it. So this was a regular
23 Q. Yes. Now, let's look at this document. You've seen this
24 document before. If you look at the front page, Mr. Jasarevic.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I've got an objection to this
1 document, and the objection is one of relevance. Now, this witness did,
2 it may be, see this document, it might have passed through his hands, so
3 he would be allowed to comment on it. And if he's permitted to go ahead,
4 I won't object to him commenting on it, as he's entitled to do. But this
5 appears to be different to the reputation of the 9th Brigade, the 10th
6 Brigade, or anything like that. This just appears to be being led to the
7 reputation of Sefer Halilovic, and he's not charged with having notice of
8 his own bad behaviour. This seems to be an attack on the character of
10 Now, I call on the Prosecutor to indicate that it's not an attack
11 on his character and that it's got some relevance to the charge.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, this document very much talks about the
14 two brigades. It talks about many other aspects of the accused's
15 relationships with various other people. It is extremely relevant to the
16 Prosecution case. Your Honour, this is my examination-in-chief. The
17 witness has seen this document. My learned friend has objected
18 throughout, and this one, if I may be permitted to continue with it, it
19 will become obvious because the witness had said in proofing, and it's
20 part of the proofing notes, that he had actually prepared a draft based on
21 this information and sent the information forward, which is what the
22 witness just said; that he would get this information and disseminate it
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, let's come to the contents of this document.
25 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Can we look at the front page of this document. You have seen
2 this document before. Did you do anything with the document yourself, the
3 -- the contents of it?
4 A. Your Honours, may I be allowed to say that this is not a document
5 I produced.
6 Secondly, I never said that I saw this document before. I am
7 familiar with its substance, however. Also, because at the time it was
8 produced, it was produced by the State Security Service, and the memo also
9 includes the Supreme Command Staff and the security service. This is
10 going on at the same time as the Trebevic I and Trebevic II operations.
11 In my opinion, in a purely formal sense, there is a signature
12 missing. Whoever produced this document forgot to sign it. I did tell
13 the OTP, however - and I shall repeat it before the Trial Chamber - that
14 the information contained in this document are a result of information
15 provided by the military security service of the 4th Corps. And what I
16 spoke about a while ago, the State Security Service and the corps security
17 services, whenever they submitted a report to us at the security service
18 administration, any reports indicating forms of behaviour that might
19 escalate and cause serious consequences or perhaps adversely affect any
20 decisions on how the army should be used, we would, of course, process
21 these and produce special reports of the security administration. These
22 were numbered, signed by the chief of administration, stamped, assigned a
23 number, and these reports were sent higher up as official documents. But
24 again, I must refer you back to the concept of operative information,
25 which I believe I have already sufficiently explained in the course of my
2 Q. Yes, Mr. Jasarevic. Can we now, please -- is the document headed
3 "On the Negative Conduct and Activities of Sefer Halilovic, Chief of Staff
4 of the Supreme Command of the BH Armed Forces"? Would you confirm that's
5 the heading of the document, please?
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, the witness has given a clear
7 answer here. He said -- he never said that he'd seen the document before,
8 so perhaps there's a misunderstanding that's happened in proofing here. I
9 don't know. But I don't want to go and look into that issue at all. All
10 I'd say is the witness has said that he hasn't seen -- or he says, "I
11 never said that I saw this document before." He is familiar with its
12 substance. If it's relevant to the Prosecution case - and my friend has
13 given an undertaking that it is - then he can be asked about that
14 substance, so long as it's relevant to the case. So long as it's not a
15 mere smear, I won't object.
16 But this document now falls into the same category as all the
17 other ones, in which -- where the witness says he either hasn't seen it or
18 doesn't know about it, so that the witness can be asked what he knows.
19 Frankly, I think he's already said -- given the answer to that. But my
20 friend now wanting to proceed with the document as she is, shouldn't be
21 permitted to. It falls into the same category as the other ones, based on
22 the answer which you'll see there at the -- at the top of the paragraph
23 that's now vanished on my screen, unfortunately, because I talked so much.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, the witness said that, "I never said I saw this
25 document before. I'm familiar with its substance."
1 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. May I -- may I ask the witness --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may ask a question to this witness when --
3 MS. CHANA: Yes.
4 JUDGE LIU: -- did he see this document.
5 MS. CHANA: Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, you remember I showed you this document in
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And you -- what did you say at the time I showed you this
10 particular document?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour gave a clear direction as to what
12 could be asked. My friend can ask that, not this.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Just ask the question in the way I asked.
14 MS. CHANA:
15 Q. Have you seen this document before, Mr. Jasarevic?
16 A. I saw this document as I was being proofed here. It was shown to
17 me by a member of the OTP. But I can't remember that I had ever seen this
18 document prior to that. It was my established practice; you're likely to
19 see that if you look at any of the documents that I produced. In the
20 upper right-hand corner, wherever there was a bit of room, I would provide
21 suggestions and hand out tasks to my subordinates.
22 Again, I stated quite unambiguously that the substance of this
23 document is something that I was familiar with based on my conversations
24 with the State Security Service, with the security service of the 4th
25 Corps, and, in part, also the 5th and 6th.
1 This was transformed and included in a special report that I
2 signed. The fact that the report was signed by the security
3 administration means that I hereby accept something that the analysis
4 sector wrote based on the primary documents that they used and sent on to
5 the security administration, but also as a result of operative information
6 and knowledge, which is something that we were in no position to verify at
7 the time, and by the same token, we were in no position to be 100 per cent
8 certain about the veracity of the information contained in this document.
9 Q. I'd like to take you to the information contained in this, and I
10 want to ask you whether this is something that was to your knowledge,
11 because you said that your analytical department used this as a basis.
12 I'll start at the beginning of the document by saying:
13 "By using measures designed to protect BH Armed Forces units and
14 commands, under the jurisdiction of the State Security Service and the
15 Supreme Command Staff, documented factual evidence has been obtained which
16 clearly demonstrates that Sefer Halilovic, Chief of Staff of the BH Armed
17 Forces, Supreme Command, operated deliberately and methodically with the
18 goal of provoking a crisis situation in BH, especially in the Sarajevo
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I'd seek to interrupt here. My
21 friend is reading this into the record now.
22 Now, Your Honours, this has gone on long enough. My friend
23 started that question there by saying, "I'd like to take you to the
24 information contained within this," and that was ambiguous, so I didn't
25 object to it at the time. But then ultimately the question became simply
1 one of reading out this document, which the witness has made quite clear
2 when he saw it.
3 Now, there's a legitimate line for my friend to explore in this.
4 It's not for me to wonder about these things. But the answer having been
5 given that he hadn't seen this document until proofing, it's just not
6 proper to read it into the transcript and to attempt to put it to the
7 witness in the form that's happening. So I object.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, in the testimony, this witness said that he was
9 familiar with the contents of this document and his report was based on
10 the contents of this document. That is very clear. So the Prosecution
11 could ask some questions concerning of this document or ask this witness
12 to verify some points in this document. However, the Prosecution cannot
13 read the whole document to this witness. Let's come to the specific
14 incidents or contents in this document and ask this witness to verify it.
15 MS. CHANA: Yes. The most -- one of the more important aspects
16 of this document is -- I'll put it to Mr. Jasarevic in this way:
17 Q. If you turn to page 2 of this document - this is the second
18 paragraph on that document - it says there that, "In order to achieve this
19 objective, Halilovic found support in the commands of units which included
20 a large number of criminals. Their criminal actions were organised by the
21 closest associates" --
22 MS. CHANA: In B/C/S it's page 2, Your Honour. No, it's page 1
23 in the B/C/S.
24 Q. Are you with me, Mr. Jasarevic? Can you -- have you identified
25 the chapter that I'm reading from, the paragraph? Page 1, paragraph 2.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. "Their criminal actions were organised by closest associates who
3 held posts in the command and control system. Every day Sefer encouraged
4 such people to direct contacts by phone or wire radio, especially after
5 the office of commander of the staff of the supreme command was created to
6 obstruct their official corps commands, the 1st or the 4th Corps, and to
7 grow independent distance themselves from and dodge any form of control by
8 their commanders."
9 Now, Mr. Jasarevic, in respect of that particular paragraph, was
10 this information available to you, that this was the activities of Sefer
11 Halilovic in respect of these criminal units?
12 A. It was available to me through the document that I have already
14 Q. Then I'll go on. And I'm now looking at the third paragraph,
15 where it starts --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Prosecutor please slow down when
17 reading. Thank you.
18 MS. CHANA: Yes. Sorry, Ms. Interpreter.
19 Q. Have you -- are you with me on that third paragraph, that "He
20 especially imbued" --
21 A. [No audible response]
22 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, I didn't get your answer. Have you found that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. "He especially imbued the individuals listed
1 hereafter with a high degree of personal animosity towards the figures
2 mentioned above: Ramiz Delalic, aka Celo, commander of the 9th Motorised
3 Brigade; Musan Topalovic, aka Caco, commander of the 10th Mountain
4 Brigade; Zulfikar Alispago, commander of the so-called special detachment
5 of the Supreme Command Staff, and individual unit commanders in the
6 Konjic, Jablanica, and Visoko area. In doing so, he presented himself as
7 the sole, rightful military leader who had the right concept of how to
8 defend the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; whereas, according to him, the
9 figures mentioned above lacked a clear-cut defence concept and
10 consequently conducted a policy of betrayal."
11 Now, in respect of what I have just read out to you, were you
12 familiar, Mr. Jasarevic, with this information?
13 A. Your Honours, to a certain extent, I've answered this already.
14 Any information I received in this way, or rather, any information
15 received by the administration which I headed, would be state security
16 information. Statements like these and conclusions like these were
17 binding for my department, for my administration, and me personally. We
18 would receive this information and forward it to our superiors. That is
19 why I am inclined to conclude that, as information goes, yes, I was
20 familiar with this bit of information.
21 My apologies. However, there was no way I could back this sort
22 information as authentic, not then, not now. As the administration chief,
23 for me, this was operative information which needed verifying.
24 I remember, Your Honours, that this information by the State
25 Security Service was based on their own transcripts. I didn't use their
1 equipment; I didn't see their documents; I never listened to their tapes
2 or indeed transcribed the conversations from those tapes.
3 Q. And this information, you said, is based on transcripts and their
4 own documents and tapes. Which transcripts, documents, and tapes would
5 this be, Mr. Jasarevic?
6 A. I also said that I never actually saw the transcripts or the
8 Q. Mr. Jasarevic --
9 A. But --
10 Q. -- sorry to interrupt you. If you can please answer which -- I
11 know you did not see them; you've already said that. But could you please
12 tell the Court what -- upon what it was based. And you've mentioned three
13 pieces there - documents, transcripts, and tapes. To your knowledge, what
14 were these? That's the question, Mr. Jasarevic.
15 A. They are a result of the application of a measure known to the
16 security services as "the secret method." This means putting taps on the
17 phone belonging to a person under surveillance, a person whose behaviour
18 and acts need to be investigated to attain the truth about that person.
19 The military security service had no power to use that method. The
20 possibility to use this method is enshrined in some of the rules governing
21 the work of the service, and this was under the jurisdiction of the state
22 security. I didn't see the tapes, I didn't see the equipment used, and I
23 didn't see what certain people were listening to and transcribing. It is
24 base on one of these documents that this report was drafted and forwarded
25 to its end-users.
1 Q. Yes. Yes, Mr. Jasarevic, we do understand that. So are you then
2 saying this was on intercepted telephone conversations? That's what you
3 -- before Mr. Morrissey gets up, I hear him reaching for his gun.
4 You -- it's on intercepted telephone conversations?
5 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
6 Q. You said here that this is based on tapes and conversations which
7 were intercepted. These would be telephone conversations which were --
8 I'm just confirming that's what you mean.
9 A. Yes. Yes. I now understand what you mean by "intercepts," or
10 "listening in." Listening in is something that the secret services do.
11 That means tapping people's phones. And this is a result of that kind of
13 Q. So this report is a result of that kind of work; is that correct?
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I object to that.
15 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
16 MR. MORRISSEY: The witness is not -- the witness is saying what
17 he understood the source of the information given to him to be. He's not
18 saying that these transcripts are genuine or that -- that there's any
19 truth in it whatsoever. He's just saying what the source of his material
20 is. And my friend shouldn't -- shouldn't lead on that topic but should
21 just allow the witness to answer in his own way about that.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the witness has already answered that
23 question. And --
24 Did you finish this document, Ms. Chana?
25 MS. CHANA: No, unfortunately not, Your Honour. I want to put
1 another -- another couple of paragraphs.
2 JUDGE LIU: But it's high time for us to take a break.
3 MS. CHANA: Yes, absolutely.
4 JUDGE LIU: -- for the tape.
5 MS. CHANA: Yes. We can continue after the break, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And we'll resume at quarter past 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Chana.
10 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, I want to take you to another paragraph in this
12 document, please, where it says: "In expressing these political
13 ambitions..." I don't know what page yours will be. It starts with "In
14 expressing these political ambitions..." Middle of page 2.
15 A. I found it.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jasarevic.
17 "In expressing these political ambitions, with the wish of
18 provoking a crisis which should be conducive to a conflict within the BH
19 army and between army and MUP units, Sefer often incited the commanders of
20 receptive units loyal to him against other commanders and their units, MUP
21 units, and the MUP leadership. He did this by sending them a series of
22 conspiratorial messages in succession to the effect that the MUP was about
23 to attack their units which the commanders of the 9th Motorised Brigade,
24 the 10th Mountain Brigade, the Deltas, and the Zulfikar detachment,
25 accepted with complete seriousness so that they continually prepared the
1 units for the eventuality of such clashes. He deduced hatred and discord
2 within the most sensitive segments of the defence system, and prepared
3 extremists under the influence of commanders devoted to him to carry out
4 the most serious form of terror and crime in the event a clash should
5 arise, which was demonstrated in the brutal murders of nine members of the
6 military police and MUP 3 and in countless other cases of terror
7 perpetrated against the residents of Sarajevo, all of which lasted over a
8 number of months."
9 Now, Mr. Jasarevic, may I ask first you to confirm that this was
10 information that you had. Now, I know you've already said that -- that
11 you cannot confirm the veracity of it, but is this information which was
12 put forward to you and upon which you yourself made a report and sent
14 A. Yes, especially this last part, dealing with the killing of nine
15 members of the military police; six from the military police and three
16 from the MUP, a total of nine. These are police officers who were killed
17 at the end of -- with the commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade. The
18 action to deal with these people, this is part of the action Trebevic I
19 and Trebevic II, and this is the part that I had indicated. And this is a
20 summary or an overview of the information in its final, most intensive
21 phase of the operations Trebevic I and Trebevic II, when the negative
22 occurrences in the 9th and 10th Brigade were being dealt with.
23 As I said before, this is an information and there was no
24 possibility to check on what is there. Except for the killing of these
25 nine police officers, this is something that is already known to myself
1 and to others, so there can be no doubt about that.
2 As for the other things, the same things applied to this
3 particular thing as to all the other information that I spoke about
5 Q. Yes. Now, Mr. Jasarevic, when it says, "did this by sending them
6 a series of conspiratorial messages," there a star and there's a
7 footnote. Can you see that footnote, please? Are you -- are you --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Yes. Now, this footnote says: "Sefer warned Delalic about the
10 alleged attack by MUP units on 13 October 1993. The one who told me about
11 that illness, you know", and it quotes: "The one who told me about that
12 illness, you know, and that" --
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. -- "this is rather serious. In any event, appropriate medicine
15 should be prepared and, if need be, if things get worse, it should be
16 applied. In any event, therapy. Get the medicine ready and that's it."
17 What does this footnote mean to you?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Just --
19 JUDGE LIU: Well --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says --
21 JUDGE LIU: Excuse me, witness.
22 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry. I apologise to the witness for
24 intervening there.
25 Well, Your Honour, this is being read into the transcript. The
1 witness is now being asked to comment on a footnote. It's completely
2 against the spirit of what was -- what was ruled on earlier on.
3 I've got some other objections I want to raise, but I'll leave
4 them until we're finished with this document. But Your Honour will see
5 that my friend is just reading the whole thing, or most of it, into the
6 transcript, despite Your Honour's ruling, frankly. And as to taking the
7 footnote, this is commentary on the document.
8 Now, my friend knows and Your Honour has -- I took Your Honour to
9 rule that the witness can comment on whether he received particular
10 information or not, and Your Honours made a ruling to that effect. But to
11 ask him to comment on what that footnote means when he said what he's
12 already said about it, in my submission, is impermissible. It's getting
13 him to comment on this document.
14 There's been reference to the -- to a document that he brought
15 into being, and frankly it would be appropriate if there -- you know, if
16 that document is around, to refer to that rather than this. But that's
17 the objection I make.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 Ms. Chana, do you have anything to say on that issue?
20 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. This witness is familiar with
21 documents, is familiar with the way they are framed. He's already stated
22 to the Court, Your Honour, that this is -- based on this information, he
23 drafts his own and sends his up the line. And this footnote has a quote
24 in it, and I would like to ask him what does that mean in the sense of
25 when it's quoted in that way. I could clearly ask him the question: Is
1 it a quote from an intercepted conversation?
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that sometimes you need to ask a
3 direct question to this witness without quoting whatever is said in this
4 document, because later on we might have a discussion on whether to admit
5 it, this document, into the evidence or not.
6 Since we used this document very extensively, so there might be a
7 chance for this document to be admitted into the evidence. If so, there's
8 no need for you to read the whole paragraph of this document to this
10 As for the footnotes, well, frankly speaking, I'm also curious
11 about, you know, the meaning of this footnote, but you could ask him a
12 direct question to this point rather than quoting whatever is said in the
13 document as well as in the footnote.
14 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I'd be very happy to ask him a direct
15 question, but there'll be no doubt that counsel will stand on his feet and
16 say it's a leading question. So whichever way I go, Your Honour, counsel
17 seems to be determined to put his cross-examination during my
18 examination-in-chief. There are --
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the Defence counsel has full
20 opportunity to cross-examine this witness --
21 MS. CHANA: Thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: -- at a later stage.
23 MS. CHANA: Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, does this footnote mean to you that this was a
25 quote from a telephone conversation? If you look at it again.
1 A. Yes, this has been placed in quotation marks and is a quotation
2 of a recorded telephone conversation. That's my opinion.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, without having to read the document, if I just
4 -- if you just keep looking at the document, I'll ask you a few questions.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Before that happens, Your Honour, I've got
6 another matter to raise.
7 Your Honours, if the source of this is telephone conversations,
8 then Your Honours' ruling at the start of the trial as to evidentiary
9 matters concerning the best-evidence rule ought to be considered. You
10 know, we were served with this material late. The Prosecution, because
11 the trial was imminent, was permitted, as Your Honours have indicated, in
12 a ruling, to use this material. They are doing so now without providing
13 the chain of custody. They're just using it.
14 But now it emerges that it's based on something else, or might
15 well be based on something else, and the Prosecution ought to indicate to
16 you whether they have any such telephone tapes, which would be the best
17 evidence; or failing that, transcripts by people who listened to those
18 tapes, if that's the next best evidence.
19 The Prosecutor ought to reveal now whether they have such
20 material, and if they do, they ought to tell why we don't have it and why
21 it's not being put in evidence properly.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think that's a legitimate question being put
23 by the Defence team.
24 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, at this stage, for this witness -- all
25 I've asked is whether he understands this is to be a telephone intercept,
1 and that's the only question. He's answered that question, and I'm going
2 to move on.
3 JUDGE LIU: But my question is: What's the relevance, this piece
4 of the information, to our case?
5 MS. CHANA: The relevance is, Your Honour, in the context of the
6 criminality of the -- of the brigades, and Halilovic's knowledge. The
7 relevance is extremely clear, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe I could sense it at a later stage, but at
9 this moment it seems to me that I fail to understand the relevance of this
11 So you did not answer my question -- I mean, the Defence
12 counsel's question in the first place.
13 MS. CHANA: Sorry, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Do you have those intercepts or some other records
15 concerning the information of this piece of document?
16 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, full disclosure has been made to the
17 Defence as to the -- the exhibits and -- that we're going to be using.
18 And as of now, I cannot confirm or deny whether we have these particular
19 telephone conversations. This document is based on a collection of
20 information, and for my purposes and this witness, I'm dealing only with
21 that, that this is a report being collected through intercepts.
22 JUDGE LIU: So you neither have the report written by this
23 witness based on this document. You don't have it?
24 MS. CHANA: I have another report which I'll be coming to. If I
25 am allowed to finish my examination-in-chief, all will become clear, Your
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm expecting that time.
3 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Unfortunately, you still don't have an answer to
7 the question, and the question is: Has the Prosecutor got those tapes or
9 Now, there's a non-responsive answer so far. It doesn't matter
10 what my friend has in mind for this witness or not. The question is - and
11 it's a clear one - do they have these tapes and/or such transcripts? It's
12 no use to say that disclosure has been made to the Defence and that the
13 Prosecution are very fair and that they have the carriage of the
14 Prosecution. Of course, all of those things may be right. But Your
15 Honour's question and my question are simple and easy to answer. They're
16 easy to answer. Unlike the question the other day that we had, this one
17 can be answered by yes or no. Do they have these telephone transcripts or
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Morrissey, Ms. Chana has promised us that
20 she will check it after today's sitting, and this witness will stay here
21 at least for another day. And before we finish this witness, I believe
22 that I could get a definite answer to that issue.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I won't press the matter any
24 further. Would it be acceptable that the Prosecutor give us a report to
25 that effect before court starts tomorrow? And that way we don't waste
1 time now.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are going to sit until 7.00, you know. I
3 think we need some time for supper and for rest, you know. Maybe before
4 the start of your cross.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, Your Honour, that's acceptable to me.
6 But I need that information before I begin. But yes, I accept that, Your
7 Honour. I'll say no more.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 You may proceed, Ms. Chana.
10 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. So your answer was, witness, that it -- it is -- would be a
12 telephone intercept, and it's a direct quotation, and I think you
13 confirmed that in respect of that particular footnote.
14 Were you aware that Sefer Halilovic was inciting commanders of
15 units loyal to him?
16 A. No. Except for the reports which I received of such a nature, I
17 had some doubt or concerns that the consequences could be quite
19 Q. Yes. For the time being I'll move right on.
20 Now, can you tell me: In late July 1993, you had a meeting. Did
21 you have a meeting?
22 A. Where? What kind of meeting? Could you just please clarify this
23 a little bit more. I don't understand the question.
24 Q. In Sarajevo, of the Council for Protection of the Constitutional
1 A. Yes, I understand. I confirm that there was such a meeting.
2 Q. And could you tell us who was present, please, at this meeting.
3 A. It was a meeting at the level of the Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 Presidency, attended by the members of the Presidency. I don't know if
5 all of them attended it. It was a meeting of the Council for the
6 Protection of the Constitutional Order. That is the name of that body.
7 It was headed by Mr. Mirko Pejanovic. One of the people who initiated
8 this meeting was actually I myself, after I took on the post of chief of
9 security. We were assessing the security situation in the town, also the
10 extremely complex problem of the defence of the city --
11 Q. Mr. --
12 A. -- lack of discipline in the --
13 Q. -- Jasarevic, I'm sorry to interrupt. Before we go on to the
14 substance of this meeting, I would like you to please inform me who was at
15 this meeting, other than Mr. Pejanovic and yourself. Of course I mean --
16 I mean the more superior -- the supreme -- the higher-level commanders and
18 A. The initiators or the participants, on the one hand, at the
19 meeting were Mr. Rasim Delic, as the commander of the army; Mr. Bakir
20 Alispahic, as the Minister of Internal Affairs; and I myself, as the head
21 of the security administration of the Main Staff. In a way, we reported
22 on the increasing problems amongst the units --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 A. -- which were not within the ...
25 Q. I would still -- I haven't finished with the people who attended.
1 Were there members of the Presidency there? Was Alija Izetbegovic there?
2 A. Yes, I thought I mentioned that. Yes, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic was
3 present, also Mr. Stjepan Kljuic was present. I remember that Mr. Muhamed
4 Filipovic was present. I think that the president of the Centar
5 municipality, Mr. Kambur or Kamber, was present. I can't recall the rest,
6 but that is more the composition of the Council for the Protection of the
7 Constitutional Order.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... there?
9 A. I can't remember. I really can't remember that particular
11 Q. Now, what was discussed at this meeting? And this is in
12 relation, of course, to the situation in Sarajevo.
13 A. Yes. I started to talk about that. The growing problems with
14 respect to the conduct primarily of the 9th and 10th Brigades was
15 discussed, as well as the absence of discipline as a problem in the town,
16 which potentially posed a danger due to which the whole town could fall.
17 All the information that we had had to be considered, and we could not
18 underestimate this problem, because if we allowed these two brigades to
19 continue to be undisciplined, we would have a massacre which, by scale,
20 would be greater than the one in Zenica. And that is why we asked that
21 the Presidency and the Supreme Command of the state states its position on
22 this problem, because the risk at some other level could be quite great,
23 the risk of making any kind of decision was quite great, because the
24 consequences of that could be catastrophic. And that is why we wanted the
25 Presidency or that body participates in the resolution of that problem
1 which was affecting the town of Sarajevo.
2 Q. And who put this information forward to the council? Who spoke
3 about it? Who actually talked about this?
4 A. As far as I can remember - I cannot be quite certain about it -
5 but I think Mr. Rasim Delic spoke first, followed by Mr. Alispahic, the
6 MUP minister. I also addressed the meeting. The present members of the
7 council and the Presidency also addressed the meeting.
8 Q. And what kind of conduct did you place before the council in
9 respect of these two brigades?
10 A. The problem boiled down to the fact that the brigades, to a
11 certain extent, were outside of the command-and-control system of the 1st
12 Corps. We expressed the concern that these two brigades, their command or
13 some sections of that command, could affect the other units in the town.
14 Also, based on reports that we mentioned so far, it was not clear to us
15 what the role of Mr. Sefer Halilovic was, and even though we didn't have
16 definite information that had been checked about his having a direct
17 influence or being in direct command, we could still talk about the lack
18 of discipline amongst those units but we could not do anything. In view
19 of the consequences, we could not risk anything. And this is why we asked
20 for the top leadership of the state and the military to take a position
21 regarding this problem.
22 Q. So was there a suggestion that Sefer Halilovic might have been de
23 facto commander of these brigades?
24 MR. MORRISSEY: The Prosecutor has to endeavour not to lead.
25 Furthermore, that's an ultimate issue question, so I object to it.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it is a leading question. You may put your
2 question in another way.
3 MS. CHANA:
4 Q. You said, "It was not clear to us what the role of Mr. Sefer
5 Halilovic was." Can you elaborate on that, please, as to -- what was it
6 that you were not sure about? In respect -- the role in respect of what?
7 A. First of all, I am talking about whether I was certain or not.
8 This was 11 years ago, so I cannot remember all the particulars regarding
9 the views of the others or what Mr. Alispahic or Mr. Delic said. I myself
10 absolutely had no definite information about the direct involvement of
11 Mr. Halilovic in all of this. But the information, the reports that we
12 had, which we talked about today and yesterday, provided a kind of basis
13 to take such information seriously. They were operative -- this was
14 operative data. It was something that was not checked.
15 Q. Were these views expressed - and I'm not talking about your own
16 personal one, but by others at this meeting - about Sefer Halilovic's role
17 and their understanding of it?
18 A. I cannot give you an absolutely definite answer to that question
19 because I cannot really remember that particular issue.
20 Q. Did you yourself give any personal recommendations to this
21 meeting as to what ought to be done?
22 A. As far as I can remember, I commented on one act to partially
23 resolve this problem, and that was to bring in the chief of the 10th
24 Mountain Brigade, Mr. Pecar, his last name was Pecar, where - this was
25 earlier actually, even before I took up this duty - where this had taken
1 on a provocative aspect for that unit. I was even of the opinion that
2 this was something that provoked the incident between the 2nd and 3rd of
3 July, and I even described this detail that it was my opinion that this
4 problem cannot be resolved in that way, that this way or manner of
5 resolving this problem could provoke far-reaching effects affecting the
6 position of the units and the defence of the town.
7 I discussed this at the meeting and requested that, from the
8 aspect of security, not going into any military particulars - the tactical
9 operative details, because the commander was present and he is more in
10 charge of that aspect of the question - that actually we needed to
11 approach this -- the resolution of this problem in a very responsible
12 way. That's what I remember saying now, but this was a long time ago and
13 there are too many things to recall about it.
14 Q. What concerns were expressed in solving this problem? What were
15 the other concerns that this meeting generally had in solving the problem
16 of the 9th and the 10th Brigade?
17 A. Your Honours, I believe that the method selected was the most
18 reasonable method to be employed at the time simply because most of those
19 present understood what the problem was, and for everyone the problem of
20 actually defending the town was foremost. If an error occurred in that
21 area, consequences would be far-reaching and disastrous. This was a
22 predominant note with all of those who were involved in the meeting. I
23 can't remember any further details.
24 Q. Now, what was the -- the defence of Sarajevo, can you elaborate
25 on that, please. What was concerning the meeting about dealing with these
1 units vis-a-vis the defence of Sarajevo?
2 A. The 9th and the 10th Brigades were strong units. Roughly
3 speaking, their strengths -- their respective strengths were between 5.000
4 and 6.000 people altogether. The 10th Brigade held the southern and the
5 south-eastern sector of the town defence, the slopes of the -- of Mount
6 Trebevic, and the 10th held most of the northern sector, roughly speaking,
7 the Centar municipality.
8 In a liberal estimate, this was about one-fourth or even as much
9 as one-third of the entire town's defence, of the defence line of the
10 entire town. This was the greatest concern, the greatest problem; namely,
11 our fear that any unwarranted mistakes might provoke the commands of these
12 units, units that were, as they were, conditionally speaking, outside the
13 control and command system of the 1st Corps. At least, that's how we put
14 it at the time. Again, I'm must say "conditionally speaking," though I
15 must say they were entirely -- I can't say they were entirely outside the
16 system of command and control, but in part they were.
17 This required a serious approach by the army, by the Ministry of
18 the Interior, by the authorities and by the politicians. A decision had
19 to be taken on what course of action to take.
20 Q. Why couldn't Rasim Delic call them in? What did he say at the
21 meeting in respect of that. He's the head of the army. He's the Supreme
23 A. Your Honours, again I am speaking from memory. I can't quote a
24 single thing, but as far as I remember, speaking of the meetings which I
25 then began to attend, meetings of the Main Staff, in my capacity as
1 administration chief, Commander Delic spoke about the problem of poor
2 discipline of some of the units. When he spoke about these matters, he
3 said that he had tried to get in touch with those units through the corps
4 commander. He said something along the same lines at the meeting, and he
5 said it didn't work.
6 I'm not sure if the time frame is the same, but it was at about
7 the same time that members of the 10th Mountain Brigade rounded up his
8 son, a young man of about 20 years of age who was a member of the army.
9 They took him back to their base and beat him up properly. He somehow
10 managed to escape and he was assisted in this by UNPROFOR. During that
11 time, Delic tried to get through to the commander of the 10th Mountain
12 Brigade, but as far as I'm aware, to no avail.
13 Q. I --
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, you testified that the method selected
15 was the most reasonable one and you also said that a decision has to be
16 taken on what course of action to take. What is the method selected at
17 this meeting and what is the decision made at this meeting?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the method, or part
19 of the method, should I say, was the request itself and the meeting to
20 have a discussion at that level and for a decision to be taken at that
21 level. That's what I have in mind. So that the problem would not be
22 dealt with exclusively at Main Staff level or at MUP level or at 1st Corps
23 level, which would have been a perfectly natural situation under a
24 different set of circumstances, where discipline was good, where there was
25 subordination. Now, in a hypothetical situation of that nature, it would
1 have been dealt with by the 1st Corps only.
2 MS. CHANA:
3 Q. Were any minutes taken at this meeting? Was there any written
4 memoranda produced?
5 A. Not that I remember.
6 Q. So as the meeting ended, what was the final conclusion?
7 A. As far as I remember, the three of us were assigned -- were given
8 instructions, actually, to review the plan to be proposed to the president
9 on how to deal with this problem, to advise the corps commander, and to
10 look at the various possibilities to resolve this problem.
11 Q. And can you please define "the three of us." Who are the three
12 of you?
13 A. The three of us who attended the meeting. In terms of their
14 respective positions, first and foremost, the reference was to Commander
15 Delic and Minister Alispahic, but I was there too. And part of this
16 assignment certainly applied to myself.
17 Q. And when you said "deal with the problem," what were the
18 parameters of the problem?
19 A. The basic parameter was that there had been deviation from the
20 standard system of command and control. This was likely to pose a danger
21 leading to the fall of the town, and this would have resulted in disaster,
22 in a massacre of probably dozens of thousands of people.
23 Q. To put it another way: Who were the people who you were supposed
24 to devise a plan about? Who was included amongst the tasking that you
25 were to make the plan about?
1 A. Later, at the implementation stage, things were taken one step at
2 a time, bearing in mind all along the sensitive nature of the issue,
3 bearing in mind the need to make no mistakes and not to disclose the
4 nature of our objective. Three groups were set up to deal with the
6 The first group in charge of the control -- command and control
7 of the entire operation --
8 Q. Before I get into the detail of the operation itself, I just want
9 to know what was your parameters of your tasking. Who was it? Was it the
10 9th Brigade? Yes or no, please.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, no, no, no. My friend -- well, I object to
12 it as leading. I have won't make a speech.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. Yes.
14 MS. CHANA:
15 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, can we -- you said -- and I -- before we continue
16 with other matters, you said "to look into the problem." Now, I want to
17 know, who was the problem? Who were you looking into? We'll go into the
18 details of the various units later, but who was it that you were looking
19 into as you were given your taskings?
20 A. What we were looking into was acts of indiscipline predominantly
21 by the 9th and the 10th Brigades. However, also other information was
22 reviewed --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 A. And this information was in reference to some other units.
25 Just what I was about to say. Reference was made to some other
1 units, such as the Delta unit, the Zulfikar unit. I'm not sure of any
2 other units or not. In actual fact, there was concerns about evaluating
3 the sum total of these difficulties. We had no reliable parameters on
4 what influence exactly they exercised over the other units that were part
5 of the corps.
6 Q. Other than these units, was there anybody else you were looking
8 A. Based on these reports, a plan was drawn up to deal with this
9 issue, and Mr. Sefer Halilovic was certainly involved in his official
10 capacity as Chief of Staff.
11 Q. So now, you were saying -- before we get on to exactly the detail
12 of this, I want to remain in chronological order and I want to take you on
13 to another subject matter. I'm now into late August 1993. Do you know
14 any military operation which was planned during that time?
15 A. I'm not aware of any operations.
16 Q. Are you aware there was a meeting in Zenica?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Do you know of an operation called Operation Neretva 93?
19 A. The name of the operation and its scope became clear to me
20 gradually, at a later stage. As for how the operation was planned and
21 conducted, I knew practically nothing and I also knew nothing about its
23 Q. Were you required to put a -- make a security assessment for this
24 forthcoming operation?
25 A. Unfortunately not. I wish I had taken part.
1 Q. Would it have been normal for you to make a security assessment
2 for military operations?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you allocate a military security operative -- a security
5 officer, I'm sorry, for the operation?
6 A. No, not for the operation. I was not even aware of the operation
7 to begin with.
8 Q. Do you know somebody called Namik Dzankovic?
9 A. Yes. He was an officer in the administration of which I was
11 Q. Did he have anything to do with this operation?
12 A. I don't know whether he did or not.
13 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, I want to show you a document. It's 163, 65 --
14 it's 213, MFI213, 04035783.
15 Do you see this document, Mr. Jasarevic? Is it signed by
17 A. I didn't sign this document. My signature is not here. I was
18 probably away at the time. But I am familiar with the substance of this
19 document, and I stand by it.
20 Q. And what does this document in fact do or say?
21 A. I was requested, as the chief of the administration, to assign
22 one of my men to a team that was to be led by Chief of Staff of the
23 Supreme Command, Sefer Halilovic, and this team would be on its way to the
24 Neretva Valley. This team was named, as I was to remember later,
25 inspection team.
1 One of the senior officers - I can't remember who specifically,
2 whether General Rasuljevic or General Rifat Bilajac - okay, they were not
3 generals at the time, but they were later promoted - there was an oral
4 communication or something else perhaps. I think there was a even a
5 conclusion from an operations centre meeting at the General Staff that a
6 team like this should be set up and that I should assign one of my
7 officers to the team.
8 I would like to point out what was particularly important for me
9 in the whole thing: No conditions were imposed, no criteria as to who
10 this officer should be or what his tasks would be. Coincidentally,
11 Mr. Dzankovic requested several days prior to go to the Neretva Valley to
12 look for his mother who was there among the refugees, among the countless
13 refugees fleeing Mostar after an HVO onslaught. They were fleeing down
14 the river, and he had received word that his mother was ill, that there
15 was something wrong with her legs. Obviously I allowed him to leave.
16 Then I was requested to assign one of my own officers to the team.
17 As no conditions were specified, no requirements, and I didn't
18 know what the requests -- what the tasks would be, I made a rational
19 decision to appoint Dzankovic, since he was already out in the field. I
20 was not aware of his specific whereabouts, so this document was sent to
21 the commands of the 4th and 6th Corps, who then located him on the ground
22 through their own teams.
23 I got in touch with them, told them to find the man and tell him
24 that he should join an inspection team led by Mr. Sefer Halilovic, Chief
25 of Staff of the Supreme Staff of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
1 Q. Was he a professional security officer?
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, before that question is persisted with, I'm
3 sorry, we have a technical problem. I don't believe Mr. Halilovic had in
4 front of him the relevant order on that occasion, and unfortunately we
5 didn't either. We had another document there.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry about that, but I just thought I would
8 try not to interrupt the witness. But that problem has been there for a
9 minute or so.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MS. CHANA:
12 Q. Was Mr. Dzankovic a professional --
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Chana --
14 MS. CHANA: Sorry.
15 JUDGE LIU: -- I believe our court deputy is checking with the
17 MS. CHANA: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought
18 we'd got it now.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, thank you. We have that.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed, Ms. Chana.
21 MS. CHANA: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Was Mr. Dzankovic a professional security officer, Mr. Jasarevic?
23 A. Not before the war. That is the kind of problem that we had
24 across the board with professional officers, and the same applies to the
25 military security service. We had about 30 men. This fluctuated. We had
1 about five or six men who had had professional experience with the service
2 before the war, but this was a person with a university degree, with
3 university education. He was an honourable man. And if we were convinced
4 of someone's moral fibre, we would usually take them on and we would train
5 them to perform their tasks. That was our only choice, really.
6 Mr. Dzankovic had had a certain amount of experience during the
7 induction period in performing operative tasks about town, clarifying
8 issues that had to do with the work of the security service. Therefore,
9 you can't say that he was an absolute layperson, but you can say that he
10 was perfectly trained, a perfectly trained security officer. You
11 certainly could claim that.
12 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, what was your understanding as to what he was
13 supposed to do in this inspection team?
14 A. When they asked me to send him in, I didn't know what he was
15 supposed to do, what his assignment would be about, except what I could
16 tell based on the order indicating the competencies of the inspection
17 team, the powers of the inspection team. Based on the order, this was a
18 team that had to exercise control over certain issues of combat readiness,
19 including the security detail. I was not in a position to make any
20 specific assumptions. I simply didn't know.
21 Q. What combat operations were these? What was your understanding?
22 A. None whatsoever, none that I was aware of. I knew that he was to
23 join a team headed by the Chief of Staff, one of my security service
24 officers. What his specific assignments or obligations would be was
25 something that I was in no position to assume at the time. As I have
1 pointed out, by this time I had no idea about the Neretva 93 operation,
2 its scope, or who would be involved. By this time. I'm talking about the
3 time period when Dzankovic was to join the inspection team.
4 Q. But you know now what he was sent for? Did you find out later?
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Hang on a moment. I object to that. My friend
6 has to make that a specific question. If he's asking whether this witness
7 has now come to a view -- well, in fact, the question -- I object to that
8 question on a number of different grounds.
9 He's already been asked why he selected Mr. Dzankovic and what he
10 understood his role to be, and he's answered that question. Now, if it's
11 being asked, has somebody else told him that Dzankovic was selected for
12 some other purpose, then that can be asked. But otherwise it's simply a
13 question either asking for him to give a different answer to the one he's
14 already given or it's meaningless, because the witness has answered this,
15 in my submission.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe that the witness has answered that
18 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I want to show the witness P146,
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I think that's correctly described
21 as D146.
22 MS. CHANA: Yes, D146. It's -- it's the Defence version as
23 attached by that note from CLSS, Your Honour. This is the famous August
25 Would you please give the B/C/S version. Thank you very much.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just raise a matter here.
2 JUDGE LIU: It's coming.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, no, I know it is. But I just -- I'm not
4 sure whether the practice is changing that the witness be given a -- a
5 paper copy of each document. It's not a -- it's not a practice the
6 Defence is going to be able to comply with because we are operating within
7 e-court and we are just simply -- in general, we're loading our documents
9 It's probably not a concern generally, but I just want to mention
10 it now that I've noticed it because we want to know that we're looking at
11 the same thing that the witness is looking at. Of course I'm sure that
12 that's the case. But it's a hard copy, so ...
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, with the e-court system, I believe that all the
14 parties, including the witness, should rely on the documents appearing on
15 the screen, generally speaking.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: And, Your Honour --
17 JUDGE LIU: And in some occasions, maybe the witness is not in --
18 has a very good eyesight, you know, to stick to the screen all the day or,
19 for some other reasons, the hard copy is furnished.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour --
21 JUDGE LIU: -- to the witness.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, may I indicate, with respect, I agree with
23 what Your Honour says. And if the Prosecutor has that view about a
24 particular witness and they want to see a hard copy, then if the
25 Prosecutor assures us it's the same thing, we completely accept that and
1 we're happy for it to happen. Perhaps for the future it would be best if
2 the Prosecutor mentions that that's going to happen in advance. I can't
3 see it being a problem, but I can imagine situations that might arise. So
4 for that reason, I -- I don't object to Mr. Jasarevic having this paper
5 copy if the Prosecutor tells me it's the same -- it's the same thing.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I have been -- I have been giving the
8 B/C/S version to the witness all this time, and now we -- we have this
9 objection. This is the B/C/S version. It's the same version as the paper
11 It's D146. Sorry.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that we have some problem with
13 the documents. What if we had a break now and we'll come back at quarter
14 to 6.00.
15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Now we'll break.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.44 p.m.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I saw that famous document on our screen.
21 You may proceed, Ms. Chana.
22 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Jasarevic, I've just shown you this document, and I will
24 ask you, first and foremost: Have you seen this document before?
25 A. Yes, I've seen this document before.
1 Q. Now, can you tell us, what is this document?
2 A. This is an order by the command of the -- Main Staff command, by
3 General Rasim, on the formation of an expert team in order to control
4 tasks in the area of responsibility of the 4th and 6th Corps.
5 Q. And was this where you sent Dzankovic to, to this particular
6 inspection team, as is delineated in this particular order?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I would ask you to look at where it says "The main tasks of the
9 team are as follows..." Would you please read this line: "Review of the
10 combat readiness of the commands and units in the field and control of
11 combat operations."
12 Mr. Jasarevic, in your opinion, what does this -- what is
13 encompassed in this one line?
14 A. The first task, the first item in the order, talks about
15 evaluating the combat readiness. Combat readiness has its elements, and
16 they need to be checked. These are six elements of combat readiness which
17 are checked through the institution of an inspection, and here it says,
18 the commands of the units specifically out in the field. The term
19 "commanding" or "controlling combat activities" is mentioned.
20 The last word or the last three words here, to me, as a person
21 who is not a linguistic expert, are unclear; namely, we have -- we have a
22 comma here, and after that there is the word "and" and then the word
23 "command" is mentioned "of combat operations." I'm not an expert to be
24 able to interpret the absolute meaning of this part of this sentence, what
25 it implies. Is it to control the command of these units or to command the
1 combat activities of these units? This is a dilemma that I really don't
2 know how to resolve.
3 Q. How would you interpret the comma after "na terenu" and before
4 "rukovodjenje," which is "in the field" in English, and a comma after this
5 "and control"?
6 A. Your Honours, I responded already. I'm not a linguistic expert
7 and I would not like to go into the interpretation of that. As a superior
8 officer, as an officer, I know of another principle, and that is that
9 orders to the armed forces, including our army, had to be issued in a
10 clear way, in an unambiguous way. I would not like to go into the
11 linguistic interpretations. A task would have to be clear to the
12 soldiers, unambiguous. This is a principle that I would observe.
13 Q. What authority would you think this particular order gave Sefer
14 Halilovic in respect of combat operations, as you look at this order?
15 A. All of these tasks under item 1, except for this one, this part
16 that we talked about, the last two words in the first item, everything
17 else besides that is clear and I have no dilemmas about that.
18 Point 2 is also clear, about which security officers are part of
19 the inspection team.
20 However, Your Honours, item 3 has a section introducing the
21 obligation to the Chief of Staff that, in his orders, he can resolve the
22 problems that crop up. This item 3 is much clearer than the one that we
23 already commented upon, under 1, the first task, task number 1. From item
24 3, in the way that I interpret this order, the Chief of Staff has the
25 right, under the orders of the staff commander and in accordance with his
1 authorities out in the field, can resolve the problems that crop up, by
2 his orders.
3 However, Your Honours, I have already said that this sentence is
4 much clearer than the first one, but for me, as an officer, there is still
5 a minor dilemma. The words "in accordance with his authority" is
6 mentioned. This is not quite clear to me what kind of authority is meant,
7 the authorities arising from this order or those which the gentleman in
8 question, Sefer Halilovic, as the Chief of Staff, has according to his
9 post or function. This is a dilemma that I have not been able to resolve
10 so far.
11 Q. So do you know who was the commander of this military operation?
12 A. Your Honours, this is one of the most complex of questions, to
13 which I have never been able to find an answer. I actually don't know who
14 was the commander of this operation because I never saw the order which
15 would say who the commander of the Neretva 93 operation was. I am
16 absolutely aware, as a superior officer, that for combat operations
17 certain clear documents are required: First of all, an organisational
18 order establishing the tasks, the time, the place, the composition, the
19 command staff, the place where the operation is carried out, the
20 participants, units, and so on are stated. Based on such an order, the
21 situation is assessed.
22 A little while earlier I expressed it in a more general way, that
23 it would have been a good thing had I taken part in the evaluation of the
24 situation. This evaluation would need to contain four crucial elements:
25 the enemy force, the enemy strength evaluation, the assessment of one's
1 own strength, the assessment of the terrain, and then the assessment of
2 time as a factor of space, and also assessment of the weather. Then you
3 would need an order for combat activities or a directive, if it comes from
4 the Main Staff or the General Staff. And this order would imply
5 participation in the drafting of such an order and helping the commander
6 to reach such a decision. This is a process of work which is also
7 prescribed under the rules. There can be no improvising in this
9 Once the process of decision-making is completed - and this is
10 what I have been talking about - this can also be done in a summary way,
11 but the main principles in this process cannot be skipped. After such an
12 order or a decision is reached -- no, excuse me, directive is drafted,
13 then the combat documents are drafted, and then all of that has to be
14 presented in detail. And it's quite a thick file, including the map of
15 operations and other documents.
16 I give you such a detailed explanation in order to explain why I
17 wasn't ware of who the commander was of Neretva 93. What I have stated
18 quite briefly here, because of all of those reasons, if all of this had
19 been done, then it would have been quite clear who was the commander,
20 which activities needed to be carried out, and how and in what way they
21 would need to be carried out.
22 Q. But Dzankovic is your security officer which you allocated to
23 Sefer Halilovic, which you said earlier on in your evidence, and you
24 actually wrote that order that we saw. It was for this operation, was it
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, just a moment. My friend has to stop.
2 Would Your Honours care to look at that proposition, argumentative in form
3 and contrary to the evidence actually already given, and then consider
4 what is being done by the learned Prosecutor here. And, frankly,
5 disappointed by the answer, she's now trying to get another one.
6 Now, that cannot be a proper question. And it's not just a
7 question of form that I'm objecting to here, it's one of substance.
8 Everyone in the court can see what the Prosecutor was hoping for, and --
9 well, I'm about to make a speech and I've already started. I'll stop.
10 I'm sorry. I object to that question.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, first of all, I believe that Dzankovic is the
12 security officer, you know, in this -- in the witness's unit, and that he
13 was assigned to be a member of that inspection team --
14 MS. CHANA: Yes.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
16 JUDGE LIU: By the previous order, there's no problem.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Correct.
18 Your Honour, if you look at the last line of the -- of the
19 question, you'll see what the difficulty is: "It was for this operation,
20 was it not"? Now, that's what -- that's where the problem lies in the
21 question. The witness has said the contrary of that already. He assigned
22 Dzankovic, and the evidence is quite plain, to be the security officer to
23 Sefer Halilovic for the inspection team, as the order says, as he says.
24 JUDGE LIU: Maybe the word "operation" is not quite clear, you
25 know, what it means. Does it mean a military operation or does it mean
1 the inspection team? You know --
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Is that --
3 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Chana.
4 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: You may put your question in another way.
6 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I would like to say that the
7 witness was shown a document where he allocates Dzankovic to the team
8 commanded by Sefer Halilovic --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, that's not -- no disputes.
10 MS. CHANA: -- for the security administration, and that's what I
11 was referring to in his previous testimony, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, there's no disputes on that. But the
13 question is about operation. What do you mean by "operation" by asking
14 this question? So I ask you to put your question in another way.
15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
16 Q. Now, you just saw this document, Mr. Jasarevic, which you have
17 still before you, nominating Sefer Halilovic for a -- to control combat
19 MS. CHANA: It's in the document, Your Honour. The witness has
20 talked about it, before counsel gets to his feet.
21 Q. Is that correct? "Na teruna rukovodjenje," that one.
22 A. Your Honours, I explained quite clearly the first item under
23 paragraph 1 of this order, and you can see from the first sentence in item
24 1 that this body, this team, where it states, "should coordinate the work
25 and tasks in the areas of responsibility," and then later it says, "review
1 the combat readiness of the commands and units in the field and control of
2 combat operations," and then this is the linguistic problem that I was
3 explaining. I don't see that Mr. Sefer Halilovic is the commander of the
5 If you permit me, since here the word "operation" is used, I
6 would like to also express my opinion on that.
7 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, you may certainly express your opinion, but can we
8 just get back to my question and I'll give you an opportunity to express
9 that opinion that you had. Was Dzankovic -- did you give him to Sefer
10 Halilovic for this particular tasking, can I call it?
11 A. I allocated Mr. Dzankovic to be in the inspection team headed by
12 Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
13 Q. Yes. And you said you wanted to express an opinion. Would you
14 now do that.
15 A. The term "operation," the conduct of armed combat in our military
16 is called "borba," fighting at the lowest level; then combat at a higher
17 level, where more units, more force is used. In this case, it's a more
18 extensive, more complex combat task or combat activity. Under this term,
19 "Neretva 93", "Operation Neretva 93," "Neretva 93" is in quotation marks,
20 it's a quote, in the way that this is the secret name for this operation.
21 The usual practice - and this had to happen - is that all the documents
22 that are formed in the part that I spoke about, that I spoke about a
23 little bit briefly, about the estimate in -- that go in the
24 decision-making and the drafting of the documents, each of those pieces of
25 paper, each of those documents in the upper right-hand corner should have
1 the kind of confidentiality level, the type of secret, and then underneath
2 it should have the secret name, "Neretva 93," in quotation marks, and then
3 underneath that, as 3 and 4, is the place where the copy, the number of
4 the copy is stated.
5 I never received such a paper from out in the ground with that
6 particular title on the document, and that is why I cannot connect this or
7 link this document with the Neretva 93 operation in -- not in a military,
8 theoretical sense, or in the practical sense, in view of the distance of
9 my position, and I was not able to de facto join this operation.
10 Q. So it's your evidence that you did not see any of such documents,
11 if they indeed existed. You don't know anything about them. That's your
12 evidence, isn't it? You just simply don't know.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour --
14 MS. CHANA: That's what he said, Your Honour.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: My friend may cross-examine me if the Court
16 permits her to, but she's not to cross-examine the witness, and I object
17 to her doing so.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the Prosecution just asked
19 confirmation from this witness.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: [Microphone not activated]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry. If that's what the Prosecution is
23 doing, Your Honour, well, Your Honour has ruled on it. I've made my
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, it is your evidence - and I'm summing up what
3 you've just been saying - is that if indeed any documents existed, you
4 have no sight of them and you don't know anything about them. Is that
5 your evidence by way of confirmation? It would be a yes or no answer,
6 Mr. Jasarevic.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, no, no, no, no, no. Mr. Jasarevic can give
8 his answer, without being told whether it has to be a yes or no by counsel
9 in chief.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, in this courtroom, I believe, first of all, the
11 witness has to answer yes or no. That will save us a lot of time. If the
12 witness feels the need to give an explanation, he's allowed to do so.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
14 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour
15 Q. Would that be a yes or no, Mr. Jasarevic?
16 A. Your Honours, I cannot respond to this question with a yes or
17 no. The answer would be no, if it's connected to the secret name of
18 Neretva 93 and that I never had any documents with such a name on it.
19 However, I could respond with a yes if we're speaking about receiving
20 certain information from out in the field. I received two pieces of
21 information from Namik Dzankovic when he was out in the field, one piece
22 of information from the security chief of the 6th Corps, and also one
23 piece of information from the chief out at the Jablanica station, which
24 were connected to the events out in the field. However, I am not familiar
25 with the Neretva 93 operation as a military operation from which or in
1 which I could say that I knew who the command was, the commander, and all
2 the other elements that I mentioned as being part of a operation of that
4 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, what happened in the field I'll be coming to in a
5 minute. But before I come to that, I wanted to just confirm that you had
6 not seen any documents in respect of Operation Neretva 93. It's just --
7 this is what you had said earlier on. Is that correct?
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I'm sorry.
9 A. I can answer with a yes to such a question.
10 MS. CHANA:
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jasarevic.
12 Now, did you give Dzankovic his duties before he went to the
13 command of Sefer Halilovic?
14 A. No. No, I said that Dzankovic was already out in the field and
15 that -- and even if he had gone out as part of the team, I couldn't have
16 issued any to him because I didn't know any orders.
17 Q. So let's go to the field now, Mr. Jasarevic. What did you hear
18 in the field, if anything, from Dzankovic? Did you hear anything in the
20 A. What I heard from the field?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Your Honours, here also I have to be more thorough. I received a
23 report from the field from Dzankovic quite late, quite late. Before that,
24 I received information from someone, probably via telephone, that a crime
25 had occurred against the civilian Croat population in some Croat village
1 in the Neretva River Valley. For a long time I couldn't remember who gave
2 me this information. I assume that this came from Minister Alispahic. I
3 assume so, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.
4 Having found out about it - and this was probably on the 11th of
5 September, in the afternoon or in the evening hours - I think that it was
6 probably in the evening because I wrote some kind of guidelines to the
7 chief of security of the 6th Corps. I usually didn't write these
8 directions, I usually asked the drafter to put his initials on the left
9 side and the person who types the document to put his initials on the
10 right side. So by those criteria, I drafted such a document. And I -- I
11 told or informed the security chief of the 6th Corps that there had been a
12 crime in some Croat village against Croat civilians in the area of
14 I need to make a digression here from my main point because,
15 based on this, you can tell that I didn't know much or anything about the
16 Neretva 93 operation, the extent of the operation, the location, the
17 command, and so on. According to my understanding, I sent two quite
18 important tasks to the security chief of the 6th Corps: The first one was
19 to check the information; and the second task was for him to propose to
20 his commander the actions as you -- that you can see are mentioned in that
21 document. That was my reaction in relation to what had happened. Later I
22 will find out about the events in the village of Grabovica.
23 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, you ran ahead of me. I will be showing you some
24 of these documents, and perhaps from there you can -- we can continue with
25 your testimony.
1 May I show you, please, 63 -- 63 is the 66 [sic] ter number,
2 02131910, MFI214.
3 Can you tell us about this document, please. First of all, who
4 is it from and who is it to?
5 A. This document is from the military security service of the 6th
6 Corps. It's sent to the security administration. And you can see the
7 "to" and my initials. It was sent by the security chief of the 6th Corps,
8 Mr. Nermin Eminovic. This document did pass through my hands, and this is
9 my handwriting at the top of page 1 of the document. It's my reaction to
10 the document. And, as you can see in the lower left-hand corner, the
11 document was received on the 15th of September. It was drafted the day
12 before, on the 14th of September, and this is my reaction. And you can
13 see it here in "re your notification." It's a response to the document I
14 sent on the 12th.
15 As I said earlier, I apologise for going ahead of you. I was
16 pulled forward by the time of the event because the -- what I said about
17 Dzankovic will follow after this. This particular response came a little
19 Q. And what is it talking about, this document? What is the
21 A. The person who produced this document says that the commander of
22 the military police battalion of the 6th Corps was out on the ground in
23 order to give a hand to the military police company and the service
24 detachment of the military police stationed at Jablanica. I'm just trying
25 to go quickly through it. That he found out about what had happened over
1 there. I immediately called this thing a crime.
2 He also says that he couldn't get there pursuant to my request.
3 All these are my reactions. Where you see things underlined, circled,
4 exclamation marks, written by hand, these are by me. I was particularly
5 confused by the fact that he referred to IKM, forward command post, and he
6 continues to use this term. I used the term sometimes too when expressing
7 my opinion. I was prompted by his use of term.
8 He claims that everything was under control, but he places this in
9 quotation marks himself. He says that the forward command post is holding
10 everything under control. He also points out that this is a dangerous
11 area to visit, again in quotation marks -- this is a quote based on what
12 he said.
13 Interesting, also, is the last sentence, which I underlined. He
14 says that he has been consulted by Namik Dzankovic from the security
15 administration. He says he was told or ordered, something along these
16 lines, that because of an action that was already in the pipeline, nothing
17 should be done about it for the time being. Purportedly, this is an order
18 that was issued by Mr. Vehbija Karic, who had been a colonel before the
19 war and who was a member of this inspection team.
20 If you look at my reactions in relation to this document, there
21 were a lot of things that needed clarifying. I tasked my immediate
22 subordinate, Vahid Bogunic with this. I gave him these assignments. I'm
23 not sure if I should comment on these too.
24 Q. What assignments did you give?
25 A. The first assignment I gave him was to link this up with our
1 communications so that we may know at all times the whereabouts of all
2 those involved. It's a purely technical issue. The other assignment
3 being very much a hands-on assignment, reaching the 6th Corps through
4 Namik Dzankovic. I didn't know Mr. Dzankovic's whereabouts at the time;
5 therefore, we should establish communication through the 6th Corps.
6 Again, I'm pointing out that the problem of communications under those
7 conditions was an extremely complex one.
8 I also said that Dzankovic should inform us as soon as possible
9 whose units were the units that killed over 20 civilians in Grabovica, who
10 their commander was. You can see this initial attempt on my part to
11 request information and to put together some sort of a picture of what
12 exactly had happened.
13 Q. Yes. Thank you. I'd now like to show you another document, 62
14 on our 65 ter list, MFI215, 00587898.
15 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, this is indeed the document I said
16 earlier where I'm giving the Defence copy because of his markings on it,
17 which I have already spoken to Mr. ...
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honours, I just want to ensure that
20 Mr. Halilovic has the document in front of him which the Prosecutor is
21 putting in front of the witness as well so that everyone is looking at the
22 same thing. I think we'll get the English translation, but the Prosecutor
23 wants to draw the witness's attention, I think, to some markings on the
24 page, which she's entitled to do. But I just want to make sure that
25 Mr. Halilovic has got -- has that as well.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, it's a document that the Defence
3 would -- probably would put to this witness in any event, so we've got no
4 difficulty with it being done. Right now I just want Mr. Halilovic to
5 have a copy of -- of what he's being shown to the witness.
6 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, we could put that via Sanction, the
7 document with the etchings of the witness on the document in the B/C/S
9 JUDGE LIU: Let's put that document to the ELMO.
10 MS. CHANA: That's fine, Your Honour. Is it available to the
11 accused now? Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, could you look at this particular document and
13 tell us about this particular document.
14 A. Your Honours, there's supposed to be an attachment, which is not
15 there. There was an attachment that came with this document, an official
16 note by the deputy chief of the Jablanica Public Security Station,
17 Mr. Salihamidzic.
18 At the end of the document which we have in front of us, in the
19 lower left corner, it is clearly stated: "Attachment, official note."
20 There's a stamp and a date at the bottom of the document showing when the
21 document came in, when I received it. This is important because you can
22 see how much time had elapsed before the document reached me, and this
23 clearly illustrates the problem of communications at the time, prior to
24 which I can say that this is a report that I received from Namik
25 Dzankovic, who was out on the ground.
1 The report --
2 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, what is this report? If you could tell us --
3 A. -- speaks --
4 Q. -- what the report is about and who is it from? Let's start with
5 the beginning. What is it? Where did you get it?
6 A. This report came from Namik Dzankovic, a member of inspection
7 team of the Supreme Command Staff. It's easy to notice, if you look at
8 the heading -- again, it says "Forward Command Post." It was sent by
9 Dzankovic, a member of the inspection team, and it speaks about a crime
10 that occurred in the village of Grabovica against the local civilian Croat
12 Q. And it's to you personally, is it not? It's written up there:
13 "Forwarded to" ...
14 A. Yes. It's addressed to the administration, and then I would
15 usually receive it.
16 Q. And --
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, could I ...
18 MS. CHANA:
19 Q. What date did you get this particular document? Do you remember?
20 A. I think on the 20th. It should be in the attachment. I
21 requested that an attachment be made, and I think there it is stated
22 clearly the 20th of September.
23 Q. And what did you request to be done? You say you have some of
24 your own comments. Could you tell us the comments which appear on the --
25 on this document, your reaction to this document.
1 A. Yes. Again, I'm talking about Vahid Bogunic, who was then my
2 deputy in the security administration. I gave him two assignments:
3 Firstly, to inform the chief of security of the 1st Corps, because the
4 units mentioned in Mr. Dzankovic's report belonged to the 1st Corps.
5 Secondly, I ordered him to consult a legal expert and to come up with some
6 measures to be taken.
7 When I talked about the security structure in the 1st Corps
8 yesterday, there was a legal expert there who acted as my assistant and
9 who advised me on steps to be taken. This was very important for me at
10 the time.
11 Thirdly, on the right-hand side, where it says "analytical" and
12 then "SI" with a dot, that means that they should draft a special report.
13 Again, this is a much-discussed document that was sent to the five or six
14 leading positions in the army.
15 Q. Was this done?
16 A. Yes. Assignment number 2, or rather, item 2, in relation to
17 this, there was a document that was sent back to Namik Dzankovic through
18 the 6th Corps. This document contained certain tasks that Dzankovic was
19 to organise and carry out. Two of the five assignments were in relation
20 to the Jablanica Public Security Station. We were fully aware at the
21 time, both my legal advisor, Goran Radovic, who happens to be alive and
22 well, working as a municipal judge in Sarajevo, who is the author of this
23 document, which I signed and which was sent to Dzankovic, who was out on
24 the ground.
25 As I was saying, we were fully aware that the task we faced was a
1 complex one and that much time had elapsed. By this time, it was the 20th
2 of September and we realised that Dzankovic couldn't handle this on his
4 Q. Whose responsibility was it to handle it?
5 A. Quite definitely the commander of the operation either had to
6 order that the problem be dealt with or create the necessary conditions,
7 if he had the power to do this, to have this problem dealt with.
8 Q. And who would that be?
9 A. I believe I've answered that. I don't know who the commander of
10 this operation was. It may strike you as unusual, but it's just the case.
11 Q. Mr. Jasarevic, when you got this document which talked about
12 crimes done, committed, between the night of the 8th and the 9th September
13 - and I'm reading from the document - "Rifle shots were heard in the
14 village which went on almost the whole night. In the morning, 9th
15 September, news spread that the civilian population, that Croats had been
16 massacred by BH army members from Sarajevo. Jablanica police station
17 chief Emin Zebic, having been informed by two female Muslim refugees, who
18 confirmed that several murders had been committed on the right bank of the
19 Neretva, but he did not know the scope of the crime, nor who the
20 perpetrators were," et cetera, et cetera. Basically it gives some
21 horrific information; you would agree?
22 Who was responsible for investigating this, according to you?
23 A. According to a later interpretation from people who were on the
24 ground, the crime took place in the zone of operations during the Neretva
25 93 operation. There were military police and state bodies in the area.
1 The highest-ranking officer was Mr. Sefer Halilovic, Chief of Staff of the
2 Supreme Command. Somewhere in the area, I'm not sure about the specific
3 whereabouts, the other military authorities in the area were the
4 commanders of the 4th and 6th Corps - somewhere in the area, or in the
5 broader area of the Neretva River Valley. These are three very powerful
6 positions in the army. At the time, the Minister of the Interior was also
7 present in the area as well as another minister, Mr. Mahmut Cehajic,
8 another government minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is authority
9 number 5 or 6.
10 Mr. Cebo, who was the president of the War Presidency of three
11 different municipalities, was also a highly-positioned person in the area,
12 in the respective areas of Jablanica and Konjic. I can't quite put my
13 finger on the person's name whom I don't know as operations commander,
14 which means that I can't say that this or that person should have ordered
15 anything, but it was absolutely impossible, bearing in mind the peculiar
16 nature of the unit mentioned here as having committed the crime; namely,
17 Ramiz Delalic, Celo's unit.
18 If you look at this report, what clearly transpires - and we've
19 looked at Eminovic's report a while ago - is that you can't have a proper
20 professional inspection, which means that the only thing that could have
21 been used to resolve the situation was power and authority, enforce an
23 I must point out that in terms of the units that were present in
24 the area, there was the military police battalion of the 6th Corps, the
25 military police battalion of the 4th Corps. There was a civil police
1 station in Jablanica, another one in Konjic, a detachment of the state
2 security in Konjic. Bearing all these factors in mind, one realises that
3 there were quite powerful figures in the area who, in my opinion at least,
4 would have been responsible for carrying out an inspection and enforcing
5 some sort of a solution.
6 The first thing that had to be done was to arrest the
7 perpetrators, and then you can take it further from there.
8 Q. Who were -- who would be the persons who would arrest the
9 perpetrators? Who would those be?
10 A. Bearing in mind the nature of those units, as well as the
11 permanent threat which can easily be identified based on these reports,
12 they simply did not allow civilian or military police into the area. I
13 believe there is a hint in one of these documents by someone that this was
14 in fact the case.
15 Furthermore, there seems to be permanent hints in these reports
16 that if an inspection was to be carried out, these would seriously
17 prejudice and threaten any future combat operations. Based on these
18 documents, you can see that the commander of the military police company
19 from Jablanica went there together with the deputy chief of the Jablanica
20 Public Security Station. It's in the attachment for you to see,
21 Dzankovic's report that I referred to, the official note signed by Salih
22 Amidzic, I really can't be sure. He speaks about precisely the same
23 problem as Dzankovic.
24 But if you look at this, you can see what a complex situation
25 there was over there in the area. What it would have taken is a huge
1 physical force to carry out an inspection like that, and only the
2 operations commander would have had the authority to order something like
3 that. This would have led to further consequences. I believe there would
4 have been further casualties if this had happened.
5 Q. At page 3 of this document, it says - if you'd look at page 3;
6 it's the last page, although I don't know what page it is in yours, the
7 last page - "Sefer Halilovic, who has disassociated himself from the
8 crime, has ordered me personally to work with other military security
9 service members and MUP officials to collect as much information as
10 possible about the infamous event." What is your understanding of this?
11 A. The description of the assignment as set out in this document has
12 a certain value based on which one could conclude that Mr. Sefer Halilovic
13 did react after all, that he gave Dzankovic an assignment to do
14 something. However, Your Honours, I must point out that this was
15 absolutely unrealistic from a purely professional point of view, and if we
16 consider the objective circumstances surrounding these circumstances, then
17 this objective situation is something that was described in all these
18 documents that came in from the field. You have the same term recurring
19 all throughout: Danger, danger, danger; threats, threats made by this man
20 and by that man, over here and over there. It would have been extremely
21 adventurous, even for someone much more qualified than Dzankovic, to take
22 up these demanding assignments, professionally demanding assignments, to
23 come to grips with these demanding assignments. It would have been
24 unrealistic to expect Dzankovic on his own to deal with these.
25 It's as if ...
1 Q. Whose superior was Dzankovic -- sorry, who was Dzankovic's
3 A. Dzankovic's superior throughout this time, while the inspection
4 team was still in existence, was certainly Mr. Sefer Halilovic. This was
5 his team to all practical intents and purposes, as well as in theory.
6 Q. So why was it that Mr. Dzankovic was the one who had to send you
7 this report?
8 A. I talked yesterday about the assignments of the military security
9 service. I said that there was vertical reporting to the service wherever
10 its individual members were, at least as far as intelligence work was
11 concerned, intelligence-related issued, as well as
12 counter-intelligence-related issues. It reports on complex crimes. I
13 think that's line 3 or line 2 of item 5, which speaks about war crimes.
14 I commented yesterday that it speaks about crimes committed by the
15 aggressor against us, but I believe the reverse is also true; a war crime
16 is always a war crime, no matter who the perpetrator is. I believe
17 Dzankovic's interpretation was quite correct in that sense.
18 I'm not sure if I can remember this correctly, but I believe I
19 read somewhere - and I can't be certain - that such an assignment was also
20 given to him by Mr. Halilovic; namely, to inform the administration. I
21 believe I found this somewhere, but I can't be positive about it.
22 Q. Now, I'll go back to that section I just read out to you. And if
23 you would answer the question relating to Sefer Halilovic here, please,
24 who says he has "disassociated himself from the crime." Why would he do
25 something like that? What is your reading of that? Was he in charge?
1 A. He was Namik Dzankovic's superior. Namik was a member of his
2 team. To be quite honest, from a purely professional and linguistic point
3 of view, this report is a little clumsy, to say the least, which makes it
4 difficult to interpret. I'm not sure what Dzankovic meant, even less what
5 Sefer meant, by ordering this sort of assignment or dissociating himself,
6 as you said, from the crime. I believe that the author of this document,
7 Dzankovic, probably used the term "disassociated himself from the crime,"
8 in a very conditional sense, meaning that he did not approve. The
9 intention was to distance himself from what was done. But this, again, is
10 a problem of interpretation and style more than anything.
11 Q. Now, did you know the troops which were to be used and who were
12 billeted in Grabovica who committed these crimes at the time -- before you
13 saw this report? Did you know which troops were in the area in Grabovica?
14 A. No. No. No. I didn't go down there. I was the security chief
15 of the General Staff. So to know a soldier in a given brigade is not
16 quite realistic. I knew Mr. Ramiz Delalic. And as far as his soldiers
17 are concerned, I knew Mr. Adnan Solakovic, who happened to be there and is
18 mentioned in some reports from the field, and also these more superior
19 officers with whom I was in communication. But I didn't know any of the
21 Q. So what -- would it have been Dzankovic's duty to do a security
22 assessment before billeting these soldiers, since it wasn't yours?
23 A. That was not Dzankovic's duty because Dzankovic was not in the
24 command. He wasn't an organ of the command, he was an organ of the
25 inspection team. Had there been a command there, which is more numerous,
1 which has its organs for all the elements -- as I spoke earlier about the
2 assessment of the situation and the drafting of the combat documents,
3 primarily the combat orders and so on, in that case the security organs,
4 according to that scheme, would carry out an assessment of the situation.
5 When we're talking about this, it is precisely one of the key
6 mistakes that this assessment wasn't carried out, or I don't know about it
7 being carried out, because when one estimates the strength of one's own
8 forces and the terrain, a security officer would never propose that a unit
9 -- or the unit of Ramiz Delalic, Celo, be billeted in the region, in the
10 waiting area, which would be a location to the rear of the combat area,
11 so to the waiting area, to some Croat village, when they are about to
12 embark on -- into battle with Croats, some of whom are from that village.
13 If, for objective reasons, in view of the time and the
14 conditions, the weather conditions, that unit had to be billeted there,
15 then it would not only be the task of the security officer but of other
16 competent officers from the command to act in this manner; i.e., either to
17 evacuate the civilian population from the village or to have this
18 accommodation, which is called "bivak," the camp, in a waiting area where
19 the soldiers would be billeted, provided with organs or somebody who would
20 protect or secure that population to make sure that there was order there.
21 I don't want to prejudice in any way the things that happened, but
22 an evaluation implies the securing of law and order. So in such cases, to
23 bring in a unit from outside, from some other composition, it has to be
24 resubordinated to somebody. This is a well-known concept in command and
25 control. So through the institution of resubordination, all of these
1 instruments are secured - billeting, conditions of law, order, work,
2 discipline, and so on.
3 And if you would like, I could broaden my answer by the
4 following: Any superior officer, the commander of a squad, a platoon, and
5 then the commander of a company, as the highest ranking in this respect,
6 would be responsible for the conditions, accommodation, discipline, and
7 everything else which graces a disciplined soldier in such conditions.
8 What I am trying to say is that these soldiers should not have
9 been just left to their own devices like that. I noticed one detail from
10 this document and its attachment, where it says that the units were
11 brought on the 8th and the 9th in the afternoon, and already in the
12 evening they started with shooting and exhibiting conduct that was very
13 far from model conduct of a soldier. So the question I am asking myself
14 is: Where are these superior units or the other authority's soldiers who
15 are trained, who are intelligent, in order to stop this from going on?
16 Q. So you're not aware whether such a security assessment was
17 actually carried out for this -- this billeting.
18 A. No. This is precisely why I gave such a broad commentary,
19 because I didn't know about it. If this had taken place, then that is
20 quite a different question. Then the question would be why it wasn't
21 carried out properly.
22 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, given the time, I would like to refresh
23 this witness's memory, with the -- with the Court's permission, and I
24 would do that tomorrow. If that would be something -- a course of action
25 I would be entitled to take, with your leave. I would like to bring in
1 some of the relevant extracts from the statements and I would like to
2 refresh this witness's memory on certain aspects of this testimony.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, could I know how long do you still need to
4 finish your direct examination to this witness.
5 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I really don't have very much longer. I
6 have about four documents, which shouldn't take time. It will be purely
7 putting them into evidence. I'm not going to take very long on them.
8 Other than that, I would like to just refresh the witness's testimony on
9 certain aspects, with the leave of the Court, of course. And that would
10 take an hour, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: What do you mean by "refresh"?
12 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, to show him his statements, some of the
13 statements he's made, previous statements, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, maybe we could stop here at this moment
15 and we'll meet tomorrow afternoon. But anyway, we have spent a very long
16 time here with the testimony.
17 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, let there be no doubt that there'll
19 be a controversy tomorrow if there's any attempt made to refresh the
20 witness's memory from those statements. So I won't argue it now. I'll
21 just tell you that that controversy is coming if my friend attempts to do
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, that depends how to do it, you know.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
25 JUDGE LIU: Maybe the refreshment could be used in a way of
1 questions and answers. I think there is no need to show the previous
2 statements to this witness at all. It depends, you know.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, I agree. I just make it clear
4 -- we'll await -- we'll await events.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, I believe that we have to stop here.
6 And, witness, you still remember that what I said yesterday, that
7 you are still under the oath, and do not talk to anybody about your
8 testimony and do not let anybody talk to you about it? Thank you.
9 And we'll resume tomorrow afternoon.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 2nd day of
12 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.