1 Wednesday, 16 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. 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.
10 Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. And good afternoon,
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to continue?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. It won't be long.
16 Mr. Morrissey.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: I hope --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, one small matter. We have been informed
20 by the Victim and Witnesses Unit that this witness would like to leave by
21 3.00 because he has a plane to catch, so I was hoping that Mr. Morrissey
22 finishes cross-examination just -- and gives me just a few moments for my
24 Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Mr. Morrissey, your cross-examination, please.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honours.
3 And could I indicate to the witness, he will be comfortably
4 finished. I have to point out to all in court, I'm acting for Mr.
5 Halilovic here.
6 WITNESS: ZAKIR OKOVIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey: [Continued]
9 Q. But yes -- pardon me, Mr. Okovic. We will finish quickly.
10 Could I just ask you this -- you're quite a good car -- or at
11 that time, were you quite a talented car driver at the time when the war
12 was going on?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. And did you have to have experience in driving
15 four-wheel-drive vehicles and all-terrain vehicles?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, I've just got some questions for you about -- and the
18 questions that remain, so that you know what's coming, I've got a couple
19 of questions about your second day, that's the reconnaissance day that you
20 talked about, when you went out with Zuka. And then I've got some
21 questions about the third day, and I'm going to get you to put some marks
22 on a photograph. And then I've got a couple of final questions concerning
23 what happened after the third day, and then I'm finished. So that's
24 what's coming.
25 Now, turning to your second day, in other words, the day after
1 you arrived, the day you went on reconnaissance, you indicated that you
2 were in the company of Zulfikar Alispago on that day. You also indicated
3 yesterday that when you came back from that long reconnaissance, that Zuka
4 came became before you, either some minutes or some short period of time
5 before you did. And what I wanted to ask you was: At that time, did you
6 spend most of that day in the personal company of Zuka because he was the
7 person to show you the terrain that you were going to look at?
8 A. Yes, I practically spent the time there from the morning until
9 9.00 at night, and I think that we were together practically all of that
11 Q. Yes, I understand. All right. Thank you. Well, that puts an
12 end to that day.
13 Now, I want to move to the following day, that is, the day after
14 you arrived back and met Adnan Solakovic and heard all the terrible things
15 or heard some of the terrible things that happened in the village.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Now, could the witness please be shown a -- an
17 exhibit, it's a photograph and it's Exhibit P4.
18 Q. This is a photograph that's going to be brought up on the screen
19 there. And it's another view of the village of Grabovica that you have
20 seen -- you've seen a different photograph. Now you're going to see one
21 that's a little bit closer up.
22 And while that's being brought up, I'll explain what I'd like you
23 to do, if possible.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, the photograph that's appeared on
25 the screen, I believe, is P3. And it's P4 that I want, which is a
1 slightly more close-up. Yes, we have it.
2 Q. Very well. Do you have in front of you a photograph with -- in
3 the top right-hand corner the numbers 0149-4609?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Very well. Now, this is a slightly more close-up picture than
6 the one that you looked at before. Could I ask you, please -- the things
7 I'm going to ask for here that you -- that you mark on this are, first of
8 all, the -- the house where your command was set up, and then I'm going to
9 ask you to indicate a couple of other houses. So do that one first,
11 A. I think that that's the house that's here, in this area. That's
12 where this old railway station was.
13 Q. Yes. We're -- we're just having a little trouble getting that --
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Okay. Now, you've drawn a "1" on the screen.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I notice I've been going very fast, so I'll slow down a little
18 bit here.
19 Now, could you indicate by drawing a line whereabouts was the
20 original checkpoint where your soldiers were. In other words, you
21 remember when you came back from your reconnaissance in the middle of the
22 night and you saw a soldier there on guard? Was there -- was that soldier
23 at a checkpoint, or was he just simply on guard at the house?
24 A. My soldier was in front of the house. The guard from my unit was
25 in front of the house, not at the checkpoint.
1 Q. I understand. Very well. Okay. Now, the next thing I want you
2 to mark on the map is the point where the -- the second house where your
3 2nd Independent Battalion soldiers were before you pulled them back to
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Okay. Now, I just want you --
7 A. That's the house.
8 Q. I understand. Okay. And just to be clear, you see your red
9 circle there has captured one and a half houses, so I just want to ask
10 you, do you see you've -- you've got a part to have roof of -- of a house
11 down near the --
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Yes. You've now put a cross on that -- on a house, and that
14 cross indicates -- that's not the house you're talking about; is that
16 A. Yes, no. The house is on the hill. That's the house where my
17 soldiers were billeted. This house was damaged. This photograph is only
18 two or three years old, so that the whole terrain has changed. The wood
19 processing plant wasn't there and all the greenery now is much more --
20 it's much bigger. So you can't really see the house. But I know that the
21 house was there somewhere.
22 Q. Because of what you've said about the scenery changing, I'm going
23 to show you another photograph in a minute. But I still need this
24 photograph now to get you to mark something more.
25 Could you please mark on this map now where it was that the new
1 checkpoint appeared. Now, you remember saying yesterday that after you
2 pulled your soldiers back, I asked you whether you saw another checkpoint
3 spring up, and you indicated "yes." Would you please indicate where on
4 that map this new checkpoint appeared.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Yes, I understand.
9 A. I've marked it.
10 Q. And what -- okay. The letters -- you've marked it with a "C"
11 and "P" to indicate "checkpoint"?
12 A. Checkpoint, yes.
13 Q. Okay. Excellent. And those checkpoints went up after you had
14 withdrawn your men back to the safety of house marked number "1"; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I understand.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that document for tender, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: I guess there's no objections from the Prosecution?
20 MS. CHANA: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It's admitted into the
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Defence Exhibit D274.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm grateful to the court staff. D274.
25 Q. I'm going to show you one more photograph now, and that is
1 Exhibit P7. This will be a closer-up version of part of that photograph.
2 Okay. Do you have in front of you with photograph with the
3 numbers 0149-4612 in the top corner?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Excellent. Would you please mark on that photograph the house in
6 which your soldiers were billeted before you pulled them back to the -- to
7 the safety of the command house.
8 A. That's the house. It's marked with a number "2".
9 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, we're just having a little bit of
10 technical trouble here, which we'll resolve swiftly.
11 Thank you. We now have it. Very well. Thanks.
12 Q. I just have a question for you about that house: Do you recall
13 whether or not there were any women living in that house at any time when
14 you were in the village?
15 A. As far as I can remember, that house was empty.
16 Q. I understand. Would you please draw on this -- on that picture
17 where the checkpoint was that was put up at a later stage and mark it
18 with "CP."
19 A. [Marks] I think that he was there, the -- I don't know whether it
20 was in front of the house or behind the house, but that's where the
21 damaged structure was.
22 Q. Yes. Thank you.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I offer that document for tender as well.
24 MS. CHANA: No objection.
25 JUDGE LIU: It's admitted into the evidence.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Defence Exhibit D275.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
3 Q. I think I just have a handful of questions remaining now. We're
4 still on the day after you returned from your reconnaissance, and -- and
5 in relation to that day, I just wanted to ask you a question: Do you
6 recall a man named Namik Dzankovic arriving at your command post or
7 your -- when I say "command post," at your -- at your command house, at
8 the railway station, at any stage during that particular day?
9 A. I remember seeing him. I don't know whether it was that day or
10 not. And we probably just greeted each other, said hello, because we've
11 known each other. I know that man. I don't know whether that was on that
12 particular day. I'm not sure.
13 Q. Okay. Well, I just want to ask you just one question about --
14 about him: Whether you heard Namik Dzankovic ask any questions concerning
15 the deaths of civilians when you saw him.
16 A. No.
17 Q. When you saw him, was Adnan Solakovic present or not, to the best
18 of your recollection?
19 A. I think that we were together, the whole of the command of my
20 unit was together when he came, and we just said hello.
21 Q. I see. All right. When you say that you know Namik Dzankovic, I
22 take it you know him as a pretty straightforward honest sort of person; is
23 that correct?
24 A. I don't consider everyone to be a friend, but he is among those
25 that I do consider to be my friends.
1 Q. Yes. Okay. And just following from that, so far as you know
2 him, you've always known him to be a pretty honest and straightforward
3 person; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. The final questions are -- that I have concern this individual
6 that you've referred to, Caco, Musan Topalovic. You saw him behaving in
7 an apparently callous way towards a -- a dead body after the meeting at
8 Jablanica. But it wasn't until that time that you saw units -- either
9 Caco or -- well, perhaps I'll withdraw that question.
10 You were unable to put a date on -- on when you saw Caco, but it
11 was after -- it was on the way back from the meeting at Jablanica, wasn't
12 it, when you saw Caco dealing with this particular body?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. And after that time, you saw certain -- certain people
15 associated with Caco's unit in the area of the Neretva, including in
16 Grabovica; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. But not before that time; correct?
19 A. No, not before that time. I saw him in that area at that time,
20 but naturally before that I used to see him in Sarajevo.
21 Q. Oh, yes, I understand that. But the first time -- sorry, it
22 wasn't until after that body-burning episode or attempted body-burning
23 episode that you saw Caco in units of the 10th Brigade in the vicinity of
24 the Grabovica; that's accurate, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well. That completes the cross-examination.
2 Thank you for your patience.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 Any redirect, Ms. Chana?
5 MS. CHANA: [Microphone not activated] Yes, Your Honours. Thank
6 you, Your Honours.
7 Re-examined by Ms. Chana:
8 Q. Just one or two questions. I wanted to ask you about that day.
9 That would be the -- the second day, and that was the day you went on the
10 reconnaissance mission. Now, can you remember what time was it that Zuka
11 left wherever you were and -- to go back to Grabovica?
12 A. I think that we left the place where we were doing the
13 reconnaissance together, and then I think one of my company commanders
14 called Ibro hurt his foot slightly, so we lagged behind somewhat, so that
15 he probably arrived about half an hour at Donja Jablanica before I did.
16 And this is actually the only reason why we came back half an hour later
17 from reconnaissance.
18 Q. And remind us again what time you -- you did come back from
20 A. This was late at night. It was night. It was between 9.00 and
21 10.00 when we arrived at Donja Jablanica. That was about the time.
22 Q. Now, during your cross-examination, counsel for the Defence asked
23 you about how the soldiers were behaving towards the civilians. Now, did
24 you go around the village to notice how they were behaving? What was your
25 movement patterns when you were -- when you arrived in the village of
2 A. Which soldiers are you thinking of? The soldiers under my
3 command or soldiers of some other unit?
4 Q. I think you were -- generally you said that the soldiers -- when
5 you arrived in Grabovica, the soldiers were behaving very well to the
6 civilians, and you had agreed with that, and that's the clarification that
7 I seek.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you go around to observe?
10 A. Excuse me. Yes, I didn't understand the question. My soldiers
11 behaved properly towards the civilians that we found in the village.
12 There were no problems.
13 Q. And about other soldiers?
14 A. Well, other soldiers, when they came, then what happened
16 MS. CHANA: That will be all from this witness, Your Honour.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge El Mahdi, please.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 [Interpretation] Witness, this is just checking on a little
24 point. You said that on the 8th of September you received -- you were
25 visited by several officers, in particular Mr. Karic. And my question is
1 the following: Where was this conversation? Where did it happen?
2 A. The meeting was held at our provisional command at the old
3 railway station. Vehbija Karic was present with two other high-ranking
4 officers from the Main Staff.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. And the other troops, were
6 they all from your own battalion, or did you have all the other troops who
7 were there in Grabovica, were around?
8 A. At that point in time, only our unit was present in Grabovica.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Right. So on that same day you
10 went to Konjic, didn't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Therefore, for the conversation
13 which took place on that evening, you said that Mr. Halilovic had been
14 present and that it was he who had given all the tasks -- indicated all
15 the tasks for each battalion.
16 A. I don't think I said it like that. As the most senior-ranking
17 officer in that room, Mr. Halilovic - well, I could put it in a
18 nonmilitary way - who was chairing that meeting, just explained the
19 significance of the operation for the liberation of the road towards
20 Mostar, while lower-ranking officers actually did what you are asking me
21 about in the question.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. And did he give a code
23 name to this operation?
24 A. That was the Defence of People's Rights 93. That was the name of
25 the operation, as far as I can remember.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
2 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's question? It seems to
3 me none.
4 At this stage, are there any documents that need to be tendered?
5 No, I don't think so.
6 Well, Witness, thank you very much indeed for coming to The Hague
7 to give your evidence. Madam Usher will show you out of the room and we
8 wish you a very pleasant journey back home. You may go now.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that we still have some time, so
13 maybe it's the proper time for us to discuss the filings or submissions
14 from the Prosecution concerning of the 89(F) witnesses.
15 Mr. Morrissey.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, unfortunately, despite my bold claim
17 yesterday that I would be ready today, the Prosecutors, I think, worked
18 very hard and got something to us by e-mail at lunchtime today. I'm not
19 sure if the Court is aware of what the situation is is in the Defence
20 room, but there's six computer terminals and six teams with about 30
21 people competing for use there.
22 The news is not all bad, as far as delay goes, I can indicate. I
23 can't respond yet to everything that's been raised or to the matter
24 generally. But Mr. Kapur is the witness who needs to be resolved swiftly,
25 and I may hand over to my learned friend Mr. Mettraux, who's taking that
1 witness in cross-examination. We've had a think about our position about
2 that and we may be able to accommodate to some degree what the Prosecution
4 May I --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: -- sorry, perhaps before I do that -- so, I
7 apologise to the Court, I don't have a general answer yet because I think
8 the Prosecution have behaved in good faith and tried hard to get it to us.
9 We only had an hour and as it happened we wouldn't -- I still haven't seen
10 it. But they did send it before.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe we could just deal with one witness
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, good afternoon, Your Honour. The Defence
16 will not object to the admission of the evidence in chief of that witness
17 through Rule 89(F). There's a number of things, however, that we would
18 like to clarify at this stage.
19 And the first matter concerns the clarification given yesterday
20 by Mr. Re in relation to one particular paragraph contained in the Rule
21 89(F) of the witness, and the Defence takes the view that that specific
22 paragraph does not go to the acts and conduct of the accused insofar as
23 the charges are concerned and that, as a matter of fact, it is irrelevant
24 to the present charges. So that is essentially the basis for our not
25 Octobers to the evidence in chief going through 89(F).
1 The second matter which the Defence would like to point out at
2 this stage are matter which is we've already pointed out in relation to
3 Mr. Saban Neziric, the previous witness, which was put forth as a Rule
4 89(F) witness. We've indicated at the time that we considered the right
5 of Mr. Halilovic to a public trial to be a very important right and that
6 there was a public interest as well to having a public trial, and we stand
7 and reiterate that submission.
8 We also reiterate our position that the scope of permissible
9 re-examination in a situation where the evidence in chief has been put
10 forward as Rule 89(F) should be interpreted particularly strictly.
11 And finally, also a matter that we've raised with Mr. Neziric is
12 the lesser weight to be given to evidence submitted in that form.
13 And finally, there is one matter of some concern to the Defence,
14 which is the practice by the Prosecution of taking new witness statements
15 for the purpose of 89(F), and it is the Defence understanding that once
16 the Prosecution has decided to put forward or to put forth the evidence in
17 chief in the form of a written statement, it should be done in the form of
18 the existing statement.
19 If the Prosecution for one reason or another has some doubt as to
20 the reliability of those statements, it should not be permitted to proceed
21 under Rule 89(F).
22 There is a risk, which was highlighted, I think, by Judge Hunt in
23 his dissenting opinion in the Milosevic case that "a party putting such a
24 statement forward would perhaps unintentionally but put the best gloss
25 possible on the evidence, which would in essence distort the reality or
1 the nature of that witness evidence and it is a risk that we are
2 particularly sensitive to, and we think that from the moment when the
3 Prosecution has decided that a witness should be put forth as 89(F)
4 witness, there should be no need, nor any necessity for the Prosecution to
5 have further proofing. And that will be all of our submissions as far as
6 this matter is concerned.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
8 Any response, Mr. Ray.
9 MR. RE: Yes, there-most certainly is. On two particular points.
10 The first point is the right to a public trial. I have no idea why the
11 Defence is raising that. It is of course a public trial. 89(F) provides
12 that evidence may be given orally or in written form according to the
13 interests of justice. The interests of justice may allow a witness to
14 give evidence in written form. The witness is here for cross-examination.
15 It is the -- the evidence is public, it's a tendered statement. It is
16 released to the public. They are cross-examined on it, and I will read a
17 short summary of the contents of that -- of the 89(F) statement. So that
18 covers the first point.
19 The second point, in my respectful submission, is the point my
20 learned friend raises about us not putting a new document -- a new
21 document in the sense of a comprehensive document containing the witness's
22 evidence to the Trial Chamber. It's quite frankly nonsensical. The
23 situation is often witnesses may have been interviewed over a lengthy
24 period, given interviews to investigators or lawyers from various
25 entities, international and domestic. That evidence would be given orally
1 before the Trial Chamber. Is my learned friend seriously suggesting in --
2 in relation to a witness we would put four or five statements, maybe taken
3 over five years or ten years, together, and just hand them up to the Trial
4 Chamber and say to them, "Please, Your Honours, we -- we appreciate that a
5 lot of this is going to be irrelevant, but we're just going to ask you to
6 try and work out for yourself what is relevant and what is irrelevant"?
7 It is particularly germane in this particular trial where the
8 Defence daily raises complaint about the behaviour or misconduct, as they
9 characterise it, of the former lead investigator in this case,
10 Mr. Mikhailov, Nikolai Mikhailov.
11 The statement of Mr. Kapur and many other witnesses was in fact
12 taken by Mr. Mikhailov. This particular statement was not a bad one.
13 However, there were two particular statements in relation to Mr. Kapur:
14 One given to Bosnian authorities, some of which he says was not correct,
15 and some -- and one given to us.
16 The most logical, most practical, and the most efficacious way of
17 presenting the evidence is to prepare a document which encapsulates the
18 entirety of the witness's evidence and to do it in a professional manner
19 and to have the lawyer who is in fact leading the evidence do it. In this
20 sense, it is no different to in domestic proceedings where -- or any
21 domestic proceedings where evidence is taken by statement. In civil
22 proceedings and domestic countries it is normal and it is done in an
23 affidavit, which is tendered before the Court and cross-examination is
24 allowed. The situation is no different here, and the Prosecution submits
25 that the -- the most reliable way of getting the evidence before the Court
1 is to prepare a proper document setting it all out, have the witness sign
2 it, if possible in two languages, and then tender that. Otherwise, real
3 problems of practicality, reliability, and relevance arise as to what
4 we're putting before the Trial Chamber, and we want to ensure we have the
5 most relevant, the most probative, and the briefest -- the briefest
6 document we could possibly -- the briefest thing we could possibly put
7 before the Trial Chamber. So we strongly resist the last suggestion my
8 learned friend made us tendering multiple documents taken over many years
9 before the Trial Chamber.
10 And in relation to re-examination, I would say -- my submission
11 is it is no different from the evidence of any other witness, whether it's
12 oral or written.
13 And finally, my learned friend has made a submission that the
14 evidence of a witness given in chief, pursuant to 89(F), should somehow be
15 treated in a different manner by the Trial Chamber to that of a witness
16 giving their evidence live. If the Defence is going to make that
17 submission the Prosecution would invite the Trial Chamber to inform us now
18 whether that is in fact the Trial Chamber's view that less weight is to be
19 given to the evidence of a witness who gives their evidence in writing
20 or -- and adopts it, and whether in a judgement Your Honours will -- will
21 find that the evidence should be treated differently. Because if that's
22 the case, the Prosecution will withdraw its application to call any
23 evidence under 89(F) and we'll submit that all evidence should be given
24 orally, if that is the Trial Chamber's view.
25 So we invite the Trial Chamber to -- to give us an advance ruling
1 on your attitude towards the Defence submission.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
3 Any comments or response?
4 MR. METTRAUX: Well, very briefly, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Very briefly.
6 MR. METTRAUX: In relation to this particular witness -- I mean,
7 we have indicated that we would be ready to proceed upon 89(F) and we
8 indeed are.
9 The only matter which I would like very briefly to reply to is
10 indeed the confirmation that the basis upon which the summary which is
11 provided to the Chamber seems to be open to some question. My learned
12 colleague has indicated the allegations made by the Defence in relation to
13 the misconduct of their investigator.
14 The other matter which relates to that -- directly to that
15 witness is his own admission in his OTP statement to have been threatened
16 and otherwise abused during the taking of his 1993 statement. And part of
17 the evidence received at the time now forms part of the document which is
18 put before the Trial Chamber.
19 We -- we strongly believe that in situations where there are
20 doubts as to the reliability of the statements in question, the evidence
21 of the witness in chief should be taken live.
22 As for the suggestion that several -- or many statements should
23 be put before the Trial Chamber, this is not our position. We believe
24 that if the Prosecution intends to proceed pursuant to Rule 89(F), they
25 have the opportunity to put solely the OTP statements of which generally
1 there are one, two, or tree such statements and to proceed in that
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that there are two issues which need
4 the Bench to address at this stage.
5 The first one is about the so-called many statements. It is a
6 practice according to the Rule 89(F) that a statement will be admitted
7 into the evidence after the testimony of this witness. But as the
8 Prosecution pointed out that the person may make a lot of statements
9 concerning the same matter in the past few years and there are a lot of
10 irrelevant issues mentioned in that statement. We hope that the
11 Prosecution could somehow redact the statement and discuss it with the
12 Defence. The Trial Chamber will admit that redacted statement into the
14 The second issue is about the different weight. Here the Bench
15 could not agree with the propositions made by the Defence that the
16 evidence introduced through 89(F) should be given less weight. We all
17 understand that the evidence introduced through 92 bis without
18 cross-examination needs some corroboration, which means that the evidence
19 introduced according to 92 bis without cross-examination has less weight
20 than the evidence introduced through the 92 bis with the
21 cross-examination. Here we believe that the right of the accused for a
22 fair and expeditious trial is fully guaranteed by applying the 89(F) with
23 the cross-examination, so we could not agree with the Defence that this
24 kind of evidence should be given less weight in the elaboration of those
25 evidence in the future.
1 We notice that the Defence does not object to the application of
2 the Prosecution to hear the witness and to have his testimony admitted
3 into the Rule 89(F) concerning with the next witness. The Trial Chamber
4 in full recognition to the rights of the accused to a fair and expeditious
5 trial and considers it in the interests of justice to grant the
6 Prosecution's application to have the next witness testimony admitted
7 through Rule 89(F). It is so decided.
8 Could we have the next witness, please.
9 And by the way, Mr. Morrissey, are we in the position to discuss
10 with the rest of the witnesses tomorrow?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, the answer to that is yes
12 because the Prosecutor has -- has filed something, and the fact that I
13 failed to look at it can be rectified pretty quickly, so I think we can,
14 Your Honour.
15 And I think -- depending on how fast Mr. Kapur goes, can I
16 indicate we'll probably get to the next witness, Mr. Zebic, in respect of
17 whom there may be some legal discussions before we start. But it may be
18 that we'll be part heard with Mr. Zebic and then when he finishes, that
19 might be an opportune moment to -- as I expect him to finish at some stage
20 tomorrow, maybe after an hour or so.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that we'll find some time between the
22 witnesses to discuss all those matters, like we did right now.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, could we have the witness.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
4 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I solemnly declare that I
6 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 WITNESS: KEMO KAPUR
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
12 Examined by Mr. Re:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kapur. Is your name -- full name Kemo Kapur?
14 A. Good afternoon. Yes.
15 Q. Your date of birth is the 25th of February, 1967? Is that
17 A. 1965.
18 Q. I'm sorry, I meant 1965. I'm sorry.
19 And your occupation --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- is a judge of the municipal court in Sarajevo?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in 1993, you were the chief of the military police company in
24 the 9th Motorised Brigade; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I'm going to show you two documents, one in English and one in
2 B/C/S. Just have a look at those two documents. Look at the one in
3 B/C/S. Is it a statement you signed yesterday of eight pages relating to
4 the matters in these proceedings?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the statement in English, is that the English version, and
7 you've also signed that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Are the contents of that statement true and correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. RE: May those documents be received into evidence as the
12 evidence of this witness pursuant to Rule 89(F).
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. METTRAUX: No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It's admitted into the
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P276.
18 MR. RE: For the purposes of the -- for the Trial Chamber's
19 benefit and to -- for the purposes of the public proceedings, I'll just
20 read a brief summary of the contents of the witness's evidence onto the
22 In 1993, the witness was the chief of the military police company
23 of the 9th Motorised Brigade and was so until Operation Trebevic on the
24 26th of October, 1993.
25 In the summer of 1993, he became aware that soldiers from the
1 assault company of the 9th Motorised Brigade were introducing themselves
2 as military police and extorting money from civilians in Sarajevo. They
3 were taking civilians, mainly business people, such as cafe owners, into
4 custody and demanding "donations" from them for the 9th Motorised Brigade.
5 His Rule 98(F) [sic] statement provides specific examples of
6 this. One member of the brigade, Mustafa Hota, stole an UNPROFOR vehicle.
7 The witness is unaware whether Hota was investigated or punished for it.
8 Soldiers of the 9th were also going - assault company - were also
9 going to the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo, introducing themselves as
10 military police, and taking civilians to the front line to dig -- lines to
11 dig trenches.
12 Judge Kapur himself twice saw Mustafa Hota, Ertan Hukelic, and
13 Foca Kenan, and some other soldiers making civilians get onto a truck and
14 taking them to the front line.
15 The witness is aware that the 10th Mountain Brigade was doing the
16 same but in a worse manner.
17 At the front lines, military police stood between the civilians
18 and the enemy while they were digging the trenches.
19 In early July 1993, soldiers from the assault company blocked --
20 that's the 9th Motorised Brigade's assault company, blockaded the ABiH
21 Supreme Command in Central Sarajevo and blocked and attacked a police
22 station, also disarming central -- the civilian police in Central
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slowly -- read more slowly for
25 the interpreters. Thank you.
1 MR. RE: I will.
2 The military police did not participate in this but Ramiz Delalic
3 ordered Mr. Kapur to secure the military police headquarters on the first
5 Mr. Kapur himself ordered the release of two civilian police, who
6 had been taken into custody by members of the assault company. The
7 blockade ended after Ramiz Delalic and Musan Topalovic, that's Caco,
8 reached an agreement with President Izetbegovic about personal changes in
9 the military. Mr. Kapur was aware that members of the 9th Assault Company
10 and the 2nd Independent Battalion, including Adnan Solakovic, and the 10th
11 Mountain Brigade's assault unit, including Topalovic, was sent to
12 Herzegovina in September 1993 in an operation he later heard was called
13 "Neretva." No military police from the 9th accompanied them. He was not
14 asked to investigate any allegations in relation to Grabovica and the
15 murders upon their return.
16 Ramiz Delalic, that is, Celo, the 9th Motorised Brigade deputy
17 commander spent all of his time -- spent most of his time at the
18 headquarters of the assault company commanded by Malco Rovcanin. He had
19 his office there and slept there. Daily meetings of the 9th Motorised
20 Brigade subordinate commanders occurred every morning in the brigade
21 headquarters. Sefer Halilovic attended one such meeting when he was the
22 Chief of Staff in 1993 for about half an hour. Mr. Kapur does not
23 remember what was discussed on that day.
24 That's the summary.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Any cross-examination? Mr. Mettraux.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Mettraux:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kapur. My name is Guenael Mettraux and I
5 appear as co-counsel on behalf of Sefer Halilovic.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. The 9th Motorised Brigade of which you were a member, sir, was a
8 strong unit in the ABiH army; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. It was also a brigade that was most important to the defence of
11 Sarajevo; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And many of the soldiers who later become members of the 9th
14 Brigade were among the first in Sarajevo to have taken up arms to defend
15 the city; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And first among those was the man who would become the deputy
18 commander, Ramiz Delalic, Celo; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And the reputation which the 9th Motorised Brigade had acquired
21 as a good fighting unit explained the fact that it was later sent to fight
22 outside of Sarajevo, including on Mount Igman, where there was a
23 particular need for strong and mobile units; that is correct?
24 A. Probably.
25 Q. And although Celo or Ramiz Delalic was rumoured to have a rather
1 colourful past, the brigade as a whole had a good reputation; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it was no criminal brigade, as some have tried to portray it;
5 is that correct?
6 A. That is absolutely incorrect.
7 Q. So you mean it is correct it was not a criminal brigade; is that
8 what you're saying?
9 A. The brigade was certainly not; although, individuals probably
11 Q. Yes. We will come to that matter a little bit later.
12 You yourself, sir, would not have accepted to be part of a
13 criminal group. You would have refused to become a member of such a
15 A. That's correct, yes.
16 Q. And, in fact, it was a very patriotic unit, one you were proud to
17 be a member of.
18 A. Absolutely. Yes, certainly.
19 Q. And you've just pointed out, sir, it was not a perfect unit. It
20 also had its problems. It had its good and its bad soldiers. Is that
22 A. There were very few bad soldiers.
23 Q. And among those rather, I would say, colourful characters were
24 two individuals called Musa Hota -- Mustafa Hota and Kenan Foco; is that
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. And although those two did not shine in their respect, I should
3 say, for their -- for their military regulation and military discipline,
4 they nevertheless showed great courage in combat; is that correct?
5 A. I never participated in any fighting together with them, so I
6 really wouldn't know.
7 Q. But would you know, for instance, that Mr. Hota, Musa Hota, got
8 injured when he bravely was the first to walk through the enemy front line
9 and walked -- or stepped on a line and got very serious injuries as a
10 result? Are you aware of that incident, sir?
11 A. I -- no, I haven't heard about that incident.
12 Q. It's okay. And you would agree, sir, that Mr. Hota, knowing who
13 he is, would not have been the first choice in a military cadet school?
14 MR. RE: I -- objection to that. I don't quite understand what
15 the question is, what it means.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Is that related to our case?
17 MR. METTRAUX: It will become with the next question. I'm -- but
18 I will -- I will rephrase the question.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
20 MR. METTRAUX:
21 Q. At the time, sir, Sarajevo was encircled by Serbian forces; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the Serbian forces up the hills around Sarajevo didn't show
25 much respect for the laws of war; is that correct, sir?
1 A. It's well known.
2 MR. RE: Objection.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
4 MR. RE: The Prosecution understands what the Defence says and
5 where they're going. The attitude towards the Serbian forces towards the
6 laws of war are entirely relevant to allegations about what happened in
7 Grabovica and Uzdol and the reputation of the 9th and the 10th for
8 criminality or otherwise. There's no tu quoque if it's coming close to
9 that here. And we object to this line of cross-examination as to what the
10 Serbian soldiers were doing. What's the relevance to -- to the
11 allegations against Mr. Halilovic?
12 MR. METTRAUX: If I can --
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, well, here I don't think the Defence
14 counsel is talking about the attitude of the Serb soldiers; just to lay
15 the background for the situation which will lead to something happened in
16 Sarajevo under the siege.
17 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour. If --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
19 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you. And if I may reassure my colleague.
20 We are not running a tu quoque defence in any way.
21 JUDGE LIU: I understand that.
22 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you very much.
23 Q. And to your understanding, sir, it was the clear intention of the
24 Serbian forces to take the town of Sarajevo; is that correct?
25 A. That's common knowledge, yes.
1 Q. And at the time the Bosnian army would need any able-bodied men
2 who were brave or otherwise willing to fight on behalf of the army; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Correct, yes.
5 Q. And you've already said, sir, that although the 9th Motorised
6 Brigade might not be a model brigade, it was no worse or for that matter
7 no worse than other brigades in Sarajevo at the time; would that be
9 A. Correct, yes.
10 Q. And the truth is, sir, that prior to September 1993 you were not
11 aware of any serious criminal offences having been committed by any
12 members of the 9th Brigade; is that correct?
13 A. Correct, yes.
14 Q. And, in fact, would you agree -- or I will put it otherwise.
15 Would it be correct to describe the 9th Brigade as generally a morally
16 sound entity and one that was praised many times, including by the
17 president of the state, Alija Izetbegovic?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And is that a fact, sir, that some of the rumours which
20 circulated in Sarajevo as to the reputation of the 9th Brigade were the
21 result of jealousies or tensions between certain brigades and certain
22 units, for instance, of the MUP, or Ministry of the Interior? Is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that they were in fact or in part the result of Caco and Celo
1 having been particularly vocal and critical about some MUP units which did
2 not take much part in the defence of the town, although they were well
3 armed? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And a number of those rumours had to do with the deputy
6 commander, Celo himself; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And as far as you can tell and as far as you can indicate to this
9 Court, Celo was a strong fighter.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And a brave one.
12 A. Very brave.
13 Q. Just so that I'm clear, sir, about one small matter: The
14 nickname of Ramiz Delalic was Celo. Could you tell this Trial Chamber
15 what this means in your language, "Celo."
16 A. It means "without hair," a person who doesn't have any hair on
17 their head. They're bald.
18 Q. And is it correct to suggest that Ramiz Delalic, Celo, is
19 suffering from this common affliction of balding? Is that correct?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Does he have receding hair, which would explain his nickname?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Very well. Is that correct, sir, to suggest that Celo did not
24 have much of a military education at the time?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Would it also be correct to suggest that he was more interested
2 in doing his duty, defending the town, than ponder the finesses of
3 military regulations? Is that correct? He was a practical man?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And perhaps among all of those who can take some credit in
6 defending the city, he may be among the bravest; would that be correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. So, Celo was not a perfect commander, but would it be correct to
9 suggest that he would not tolerate illegal activities or misdemeanours
10 within his brigade? Is that correct?
11 A. To a degree that is correct. He frequently criticised those
12 people who committed minor misdemeanours or criminal acts, and he punished
14 Q. And, in fact, you've indicated to the Prosecution in your
15 statement that on a number of occasions he took certain measures when he
16 learned about those minor offences or misdemeanours to punish them; is
17 that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. You've also indicated that on a number of occasions Celo would
20 take certain, what I could call, shortcuts in doing so. He would detain
21 the person and the decision which should by law have been rendered prior
22 to detention would be rendered afterwards. Is that the way he would
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. Is it also correct, sir, to suggest that Celo would not entrust
1 it to anyone else -- please go ahead.
2 A. Excuse me. Excuse me. Just one short digression. This is not a
3 military prison. This is just military detention as part -- with the
4 military police company that I commanded over. And a specific example
5 also: On one occasion, he found out that two members of the assault
6 company seized money from a civilian, and he personally brought those
7 people in. He detained them.
8 Q. I'm grateful for this clarification and I apologise if I misled
9 you. Thank you for that.
10 Would it also be fair to suggest that Celo would not entrust it
11 to anyone else to deal with serious problems within the brigade? Is that
13 A. Could you please clarify your question.
14 Q. Yes. What I'm trying to understand or perhaps I will put it that
15 way to you: Celo was extremely protective of his own men, of the members
16 of the 9th Brigade; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And he considered that no one outside of the brigade should
19 interfere with those men; is that correct?
20 A. It's relatively correct.
21 Q. But that's correct to suggest that within the -- or that he
22 treated or regarded the 9th Brigade as his personal fiefdom; is that
24 A. No.
25 Q. How would you describe the way he was treating the 9th Brigade?
1 A. He was the deputy commander of the brigade, first of all. It's
2 true that he protected fighters who directly participated in armed combat
3 by that brigade. When they were going straight to the front, not once
4 when I was present would he allow any soldier to go beyond the line of
5 risk until he personally had carried out reconnaissance. Within the
6 brigade, he always suggested that the soldiers who had -- who directly
7 participated in combat be rewarded. On the other hand, he didn't like
8 those people who worked in the offices doing administrative work. And in
9 that way, he protected and in a way promoted those members who took part
10 in actions.
11 Q. And I'm grateful for this explanation. Would it be correct
12 that -- to say, to take on your last point, to say that he liked the sort
13 soldiers that he was, brave, practical men? He didn't like JNA
14 officers -- office -- soldiers, I think as you called them. Is that
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. And this practical approach of his and the courage he showed in
18 combat endeared him with the local population and with his soldiers; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And as a matter of fact, the inhabitants of Stari Grad, which is
22 the part of Sarajevo or parts of Sarajevo which he defended, petitioned
23 the army so that Celo would be appointed as commander of the brigade. As
24 you've indicated, it was not -- it did not happen. But that's what
25 happened, isn't it? Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. However, perhaps because of this too great popularity and perhaps
3 also because of his lack of military experience, his appointment as a
4 brigade commander was refused; is that correct?
5 A. I don't know that.
6 Q. What you know, however, is that Mr. Sulejman or Suljo Imsirovic
7 was appointed as commander of the brigade and not Mr. Delalic; is that
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And that Mr. Imsirovic was one of those former JNA officers whom
11 Mr. Delalic didn't like too much; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. And perhaps as a result of this dislike, there came a time when
14 Celo decided to ban Mr. Imsirovic from entering his own headquarters; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes. Excuse me. This happened only once, on one occasion. This
17 was not something that happened on a regular basis, but in one instance
18 there was some kind of misunderstanding when he said that the brigade
19 commander should not be allowed to enter the premises of the brigade
21 Q. Thank you. And it was rather difficult, wasn't it, to try to
22 resist Celo when he decided to do something or not to do something; is
23 that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And you attempted on a number of occasions to stand up to him,
1 but it was most of the time -- or to make proposals to him, but it was
2 rather difficult, as in the instance of the arrest of Kijabe Zahib
3 [phoen], which you've explained in your statement; is that correct?
4 A. I'm sorry, but I -- I'm not familiar with that name.
5 Q. You -- the name is Nedzad Burovic, can you remember that
6 incident, sir?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. And can you remember the attitude of Mr. Delalic, Celo, on that
10 A. Yes. Perhaps I can explain. I remember that specific case.
11 What happened was that Musa Hota literally seized a vehicle from this
12 gentleman, Nedzad Burovic. He simply took the vehicle. Mr. Burovic
13 contacted me, as the commander of the military police, because a cousin of
14 his was a member of the military police unit. I informed Delalic about
15 this and requested that the vehicle be returned to the gentleman. Delalic
16 agreed to this, that the vehicle be returned; however, because Burovic was
17 a civilian, he said that he should go and dig trenches for a day and then
18 the vehicle would be returned to him, and this is what happened.
19 Q. And on that occasion, sir, he also warned you -- or told you not
20 to intervene ever again in those matters, even if you were asked to do so
21 by Alija Izetbegovic; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Would it also be correct, sir, to suggest that Celo, Ramiz
24 Delalic, was someone one had to convince or negotiate with? That was the
25 way to handle him, try to convince him.
1 A. I think so, yes.
2 Q. And that's what you experienced yourself when you were dealing
3 with him.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'd like now, sir, to discuss another aspect of your evidence
6 given in the form of a statement to the Prosecution, which concerned the
7 so-called donations to the 9th Brigade. Would it be correct to suggest
8 that at the time in 1992 and in 1993 there was very little money available
9 in the army, in the ABiH army? Is that correct?
10 A. As far as I know, yes, that's correct.
11 Q. There was also a desperate need at the time to buy weapons and
12 ammunition; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That was crucial to the defence of Sarajevo at the time.
15 A. That was a generally known thing.
16 Q. There was also a desperate need at the time, sir, to obtain
17 medical supplies; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And there was also a need at the time to pay for the pensions of
20 the soldiers who had been injured in combat and to their family; is that
22 A. These were not pensions, because there was no money then. But it
23 was more assistance in food and medicines. We made packages in our units,
24 and then we would take them to the wounded fighters or to their families
25 so that they could get by.
1 Q. I'm grateful for that, sir.
2 And it is correct that a number of members of the 9th Brigade
3 took it upon themselves to collect money to pay for those things; is that
5 A. No, that's not correct. This wasn't done by the majority of the
6 brigade members. It was actually something that only the minority of the
7 brigade members did.
8 Q. Yes. I'm grateful for that. We must have been lost in
9 translation. I didn't intend to suggest that a large number of them but
10 only a very limited number of individuals were involved in -- is that
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. And that money, sir, was collected from people who -- those
14 people who collected the money considered to be war profiteers, people who
15 would not take part in the defence of the city but would do business
16 during the war; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And it is also a fact, sir, that because they were uncertain as
19 to whether Celo or, for that matter, any other military commander might
20 agree with what they were doing, they took a number of measures to hide
21 their activities and to give it an appearance of legality; is that
23 A. Could you please repeat the question.
24 Q. Yes. Perhaps it's not -- it's not very clear. I will start
25 with -- perhaps put the next question to you. Isn't it a fact, sir, that
1 when certain members of the 9th Brigade collected money from businessmen
2 and so on, they would generally give them -- or they would give them
3 certificates for their so-called donation? Isn't that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And they would also generally claim to be members of the military
6 police; isn't that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. But as a result of the money which was collected by some of those
9 individuals, the 9th Brigade became one of the strongest and one of the
10 best-armed units in the ABiH; is that correct, sir?
11 A. I really don't know that. The term "B and H army" is a broad
12 term. I know the situation in Sarajevo. I didn't leave Sarajevo, so I
13 know a little bit about Igman, but ...
14 Q. Thank you to correct me. Would that be correct in relation to
15 the troops which were based in Sarajevo, sir?
16 A. We were solidly equipped, as far as weapons are concerned.
17 Q. Isn't that a fact also, sir, that when this cavalier methods of
18 some of the members of the 9th Brigade came to light, it was regarded as
19 unacceptable and it was decided that it should be regulated? Isn't that
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And, in fact, a proposal was put forward to create a commission
23 to deal with legal donations; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And you, sir, as well as Dzevad Kasumovic, the chief of the
1 brigade, an individual call Budva, who was in charge, I believe, of the
2 kitchen, also became members of this three-persons commission; is that
4 A. This wasn't put on paper formally, to have a commission for those
5 purposes. But those two gentlemen suggested to me one day that we should
6 go and see two owners of restaurants who of their own volition had
7 expressed the desire to help the command. So people who had restaurants
8 during the war and who proposed themselves that they would give a certain
9 quantity of money would receive a receipt or a diploma as a form of
10 gratitude for their donations to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. And no coercion, sir, was used to have those people give any
12 money to this three-persons commission; is that correct?
13 A. No, it wasn't. That's correct.
14 Q. And, sir -- yes.
15 A. Just one moment. I would like to clarify something. They didn't
16 give this money to us. They took the money to the brigade command, to the
17 assistant commander for logistics in the command office. They would give
18 the money there and would receive receipts for that in return. I'm sure
19 that these donors were recorded in the archives, which must exist to this
20 day. So there is a record of them and receipts of them as donors.
21 Q. Thank you. I'm grateful for that, sir.
22 Sir, are you aware, either from your personal knowledge or from
23 the medias at the time, that Ramiz Delalic, Celo, was charged in 1994
24 allegedly for taking part in these so-called illegal donations and that he
25 was in fact acquitted? Are you aware of that?
1 A. No, I'm not aware of this matter.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Would that be a convenient time, Your Honour?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's take a break, and we'll resume at five
4 minutes past 4.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you very much.
9 Q. Sir, I would like to take you now to a different aspect of -- of
10 the evidence which you gave to the Prosecution in your statement, and that
11 relates to the digging of trenches around Sarajevo.
12 Would I be correct -- or would it be correct --
13 MR. RE: Could I just please -- I object to the form of the
14 question. It's not a statement. The -- my learned friend keeps saying
15 this. It's not a statement he gave to the Prosecution. It is his
16 evidence before the Trial Chamber. I kindly ask my learned friend to
17 refer to the exhibit which is the witness's evidence as his evidence to
18 the Trial Chamber, not a statement he gave to the Prosecution. That's not
19 what it is.
20 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, I'm happy to refer to it as the
21 evidence. But as the time when the witness signed the statement, it was a
22 statement. It only became evidence when it was admitted by the Trial
23 Chamber. So as far as it is concerned, it was a statement. But I will
24 refer to this matter.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I -- let's not mention anything about that.
1 Just take us to the incidents that happened there.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely.
3 Q. Sir, would it be correct to suggest that the digging of trenches
4 around Sarajevo was necessary at the time to protect the city?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you explain in -- in a few words perhaps the importance of
7 such protective mechanism, the trenches, that is.
8 A. As is well known, the enemy lines were very close to the city, so
9 it was important to dig trenches in order to protect the soldiers who were
10 manning these lines.
11 Q. And would it be correct to suggest that although a number of
12 people in Sarajevo disapproved of the method which was used to dig those
13 trenches, everyone saw the merit and the need for such trenches? Is that
15 A. That is correct.
16 THE INTERPRETER: And interpreter's correction: The soldiers who
17 were manning the lines protecting the city.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I can clarify the situation.
19 Later it turned out that it was essential to dig trenches and civilians
20 were engaged via the civilian organs to trench-digging duty. Perhaps the
21 way this was done wasn't the best possible way, the way it was done in
22 1993, the way it was done by the 9th and 10th Brigades. But later it
23 turned out to be something essential because civilians through civilian
24 organs who were not mobilised and who were on -- engaged on work duty were
25 also engaged on trench-digging activities in order to protect the city.
1 MR. METTRAUX:
2 Q. Thank you the for that. So would it be a fair summary to say
3 that everyone was glad that such trenches were dug --
4 MR. RE: Objection to this. This is the second time my learned
5 friend has said "everyone." Who is everyone? The citizens of Sarajevo?
6 The witness and his family and his friends? He should be specific.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you for that.
9 Q. Would it be correct to suggest that the citizens or the people
10 living in Sarajevo at the time were glad that such trenches had been dug
11 but that no one really wanted to dig them? Is that correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Is it also correct, sir, that Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks were
14 taken to dig those trenches?
15 A. That is correct, all together. Meaning Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats,
16 and Jews, and everybody who was not militarily engaged at the time.
17 Q. And are you aware, sir, of the fact that a number of -- a number
18 of family members of Mr. Halilovic themselves were taken to dig trenches?
19 Is that something you are aware of?
20 A. No, I'm not aware of that fact.
21 Q. You've indicated in your evidence in chief before this Trial
22 Chamber that it was not your duty as a military policeman to report any
23 illegal activities or misdemeanours occurring in the brigade; is that
25 A. Only within the 9th Motorised Brigade, as part of that.
1 Q. I'm sorry. Yes, thank you very much.
2 Is it -- is it also correct to suggest that the main function of
3 the military police of which you were a member were, first, to guard
4 commanding posts and other important locations? Was it one of your main
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And also to carry out patrols?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. To carry out requisitioning activities?
10 A. Could you please clarify these requisitioning activities.
11 Q. Well, were there times when the military police were asked to
12 obtain material -- logistical material for other units? Is that something
13 you were involved in?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Very well. And did members of the military police company ever
16 take part in military operations? And I mean as combatants.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You've pointed out earlier, sir, that it was not your duty to
19 report -- by law to report any illegal activities of which you would have
20 become aware, but is that correct that on a number of occasions you raised
21 it nevertheless with your superior, Mr. Tomo Juric?
22 A. If I can clarify the situation. As part of the military police
23 company, there was -- we didn't possess any rules of conduct, nothing
24 which would govern the conduct of members of the military police. Since I
25 was a lawyer by profession before the war, I insisted that the detention
1 as a -- within the brigade should be something that would be regulated,
2 the way this detention should be applied. And as company commander, I
3 allocated a military police officer who would be in charge of detention
4 and the way it was run. Daily I made reports about the work and the
5 activities of the military police, and I sent them on to the command --
6 brigade command, to Tomislav Juric, as deputy commander for security. A
7 copy of the report was taken by messenger to the General Staff military
8 security sector.
9 Q. And then, sir, it would have been for Tomo Juric to forward those
10 reports up the chain of command, if he -- if he had seen fit to do so; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And so that I'm clear about your duties as far as illegal
14 activities or misdemeanours, as you've -- as you've qualified them, are
15 concerned, your obligations were limited to that detention facility which
16 you've discussed a minute ago; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you mad no obligation to investigate crime and you had been
19 given no resources or facilities to do so in any case; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Sir, you've indicated earlier that the 9th Brigade was an
22 important piece of the defence of Sarajevo, and as such, a number of
23 important people came to visit your headquarters; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that headquarters was located in Trampina Street in Sarajevo.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And among the visitors that came to the headquarters of the 9th
3 Brigade was, for instance, the president himself, Alija Izetbegovic; is
4 that correct?
5 A. I'm not aware of that.
6 Q. Are you aware that a number of ministers came to visit the
8 A. I'm not aware of that. I'm not aware that they visited the
10 Q. High-ranking army officers came to visit the brigade; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Going chronologically, I would like to discuss an incident which
14 took place in the early days of July 1993. You've explained that the 9th
15 Brigade surrounded a number of police stations in their zone of
16 responsibility as well as the Supreme Command or the Main Staff of the
17 army and that a number of police officers were disarmed as part of this
18 blockade, so to say; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And as far as you could say, those police stations which were
21 surrounded and the Main Staff, were not attacked, in the sense that there
22 was no shoot-out, no exchange of fire between the police and the -- and
23 the members of the 9th Brigade; is that correct?
24 A. I must clarify. I was not present on the spot, and I did not see
25 how these policemen were disarmed and brought in. It is well known that
1 there was only one police station in the old town, Stari Grad. I didn't
2 see how that was blocked. I just heard from other soldiers that members
3 of our brigade together with members of the 10th Motorised Brigade, Caco's
4 brigade, that they disarmed some policemen and arrived at the eternal
5 flame. The eternal flame is very far from the headquarters of the main
7 Q. But as far as you heard -- I'm not suggesting that you saw it
8 yourself. But as far as you were told, no one was hurt, no one was
9 injured during the blockading and surrounding of the police station and
10 the Main Staff. No one was hurt by members of the 9th Brigade. Is that
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And apparently that whole incident was triggered by the mistrust
14 which existed between the 9th Brigade and the MUP, on the one hand, and
15 more specifically by a rumour spread by Musa Hota and Kenan Foco that the
16 9th Brigade was about to be attacked by the MUP; is that correct?
17 A. I heard that.
18 Q. And you've also indicated that the incident came to an end and
19 that the siege of both the Main Staff and the police station was lifted
20 after Caco and Celo had reached an agreement with Alija Izetbegovic; is
21 that correct?
22 A. I heard that from other soldiers.
23 Q. And you also heard that the condition put by Caco and Celo to the
24 lifting of the siege was the replacement of a number of individuals from
25 their position; is that correct?
1 A. I heard that too, yes.
2 Q. And the two individuals concerned, the two individuals which
3 the -- which Caco and Celo requested to be removed were respectively
4 Fikret Muslimovic and Mr. Hajrulahovic, known as Talijan; is that correct?
5 A. I heard only about Fikret Muslimovic. I didn't hear about
7 Q. And could you tell us what the position of Mr. Muslimovic was at
8 the time, sir.
9 A. I think at the time he was the chief of security at the General
11 Q. It is a fact, isn't it, that shortly thereafter Mr. Muslimovic
12 was removed and replaced by Mr. Jasarevic; is that correct?
13 A. I heard that.
14 Q. Sir, the -- you've indicated that the 9th Brigade is a rather
15 large entity. There was about 5.000 men in whole in the brigade; is that
17 A. I think there were about 3.000 men approximately.
18 Q. And it was a multi-ethnic brigade. There were Serbs, Croats,
19 Bosniaks in the brigade; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And within that brigade, there were a number of battalions. And
22 please correct me if I make my mistake in that respect. There were five
23 battalions, composed each of three companies; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And in addition to those, there were a number of additional
1 companies. There was, for instance, the military police company, of which
2 you were a member.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... company.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and a --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Engineering company.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And two or three artillery companies.
11 A. I think there was one artillery company. I'm not sure.
12 Q. Well, considering the size of the brigade, sir, you didn't know
13 every -- each and every member of the brigade? Is that correct? You
14 didn't know them personally.
15 A. No.
16 Q. And for many of them, you didn't know what battalion, what
17 company they were; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, a battalion or a company?
19 Q. I'm sorry. My question was probably not sufficiently clear.
20 You -- you wouldn't know for all the 3.000 or so men which you said
21 composed the 9th Brigade which particular battalion or which particular
22 company they were members of; is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Nor do you know the name -- all the names and identity of those
25 members of the 9th Brigade who were sent to Herzegovina; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Nor would you know for all of them or perhaps even for the
3 majority of them which company or which part of the brigade they were
4 members of; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You don't know, for instance -- or should I ask you it that way:
7 Do you know in what battalion Mr. Turkovic was a member of? Do you know
8 that or not??
9 A. I think it was an engineers unit. I happen to know him, and I
10 think he belonged to the engineers company.
11 Q. Crni, a man by the nickname Crni; isn't that correct, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Would individuals named Suljo and Regan -- or nicknamed Suljo and
14 Regan also be members of this engineers company, sir?
15 A. I don't know those names.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. METTRAUX:
18 Q. My apologies, sir.
19 In October 1993, you were arrested and detained.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And during that detention, you were interviewed.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And the person who interviewed you was the name -- was a person
24 named Arnautovic; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Nicknamed Brada.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know the first name of that person, sir?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Was a lawyer present when you were being interviewed by
6 Mr. Arnautovic?
7 A. No.
8 Q. And is that a fact that Mr. Arnautovic used illegal means during
9 this interview, that he threatened you physically and also threatened your
10 career as a -- as a lawyer? Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is it also correct that when you were released, you heard from
13 other members of the 9th Brigade that similar measures had been used
14 against them during those interviews?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. METTRAUX: [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you very much, Witness.
19 That will be all for the Defence. Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 Any redirect?
22 MR. RE: Yes, there is. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Re:
24 Q. Mr. Kapur, my learned colleague asked you a moment ago about when
25 you were in detention when you were interviewed. When you said you were
1 in detention, what did you mean?
2 A. During the Trebevic operation, I was wounded, which is why I was
3 hospitalised for a week. I was formally listed as detained.
4 Q. But where were you actually staying at the time when you were
5 interviewed in December 1993? Were you in a detention facility or
6 somewhere else?
7 A. I was not in detention. I was at home.
8 Q. Are you saying it was a form of house arrest or just a -- a way
9 of describing your status, that is, "in detention"?
10 A. No, it was not house arrest. I didn't know what my position was
11 at all at that time. As far as I know, I was not under house arrest.
12 Q. You were asked about the criminality of the 9th Motorised
13 Brigade, and you said that it was not a criminal brigade as such but some
14 individuals in it were. And you said there were very few bad soldiers,
15 and you named some, including Hota and Kenan.
16 You were also asked about whether any serious criminal offences
17 were committed by soldiers within the 9th before September 1993 -- or
18 whether you were aware of any. And you said "no."
19 Now, what I want to clarify is what did you -- what is your
20 understanding of "serious criminal offences"? What do you -- what did you
21 mean when you answered no to that?
22 A. It's common knowledge what serious criminal offences are. I know
23 that certain individuals from the brigade misused their weapons by going,
24 for example, to public markets where civilians were selling goods in order
25 to survive, to earn a living, and that they literally robbed them of their
1 goods and did what they wanted with those goods, sold them or -- I don't
2 know what. So I was not aware of any murders or rapes or serious
3 robberies. I only know that certain individuals engaged in petty criminal
5 Q. And to clarify what you mean by "petty criminal activities," in
6 your statement which is your evidence here, at paragraph 13 you referred
7 to "soldiers from the assault company introducing themselves as military
8 police and extorting money from citizens in Sarajevo." And you referred
9 to a person called Medeni informing you that --
10 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we object.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. METTRAUX: We object to that. I mean, this is a piece of
13 evidence which is indeed in the witness statement which became the
14 evidence in chief of the Prosecution. He was not cross-examined on that
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, but I believe that, you know, this kind of
17 evidence is just a natural follow-up from the previous question.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Well, the witness was cross-examined in relation
19 to donations in general. There was no queries in relation to any
20 particular incident which is listed in the Prosecution statement. We
21 would submit that this witness could be asked general questions as to the
22 matter of donations but that no specific incident can be touched upon in
24 MR. RE: Well, that's just incorrect. My learned friend
25 cross-examined him about a very specific incident in here, relating to
1 someone called --
2 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, that's the only incident which he was
3 cross-examined upon, Your Honour. That's correct. Not this one. Not the
4 one which the Prosecution is trying to lead now in re-examination.
5 MR. RE: I don't know how my learned friend knows because I
6 hadn't actually finished the question. If he'd let me finish the
7 question, I might have got to the point of the clarification of
8 what "petty criminal activities" meant. If I could be allowed to finish
9 it, I'll get to that point fairly quickly, and I would have done so now.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll see how far you could go.
11 MR. RE: I beg your pardon?
12 JUDGE LIU: We'll see how far you could go.
13 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Kapur, I'm trying to clarify what you mean by "petty criminal
15 activities." In your statement, which is your evidence, you referred to
16 the extortion of money from citizens in Sarajevo by members of the assault
17 company. You referred to a person called Medeni saying that he had been
18 brought -- that money had been taken from him by Mustafa Hota and Kenan.
19 You referred to the theft of an UNPROFOR car by Mustafa Hota --
20 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we really insist with this -- with
21 this objection. I mean, the Prosecution is trying to lead evidence in
22 re-examination which it -- it should have put and it has, as a matter of
23 fact, put in the statement --
24 MR. RE: Can I please finish my question without you
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, as a rule, Mr. Re, you are allowed to ask some
2 questions about extortions. But the theft of the car by Hota is in the
3 direct examination. So just narrow your scope of your question.
4 MR. RE: My clarification -- I will certainly do that. For the
5 Trial Chamber's benefit is only to clarify what the witness means
6 by "petty criminal activities." And if the things he referred to in his
7 statement are in fact petty criminal activities. That's --
8 JUDGE LIU: Maybe.
9 MR. RE: -- As far as I want to take it.
10 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could ask a general question and let the
11 witness answer that question.
12 MR. RE: Could I be permitted to give him his statement? It
13 would be much quicker -- and if say, "Look at paragraph 13, point 1, point
14 2, point 3, and are the things listed there referred --
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm afraid not because we have already admitted
16 that evidence, and we're not going to revisit it at redirect examination.
17 The redirect examination should be strictly within the scope of the
19 But anyway, you have the full right to clarify certain issues
20 which were mentioned in the cross-examination.
21 MR. RE:
22 Q. As a general proposition, Mr. Kapur, are the things you referred
23 to in your statement which is your evidence in chief and the specific
24 matter upon which Mr. Mettraux cross-examined you, did you consider those
25 to be petty criminal matters? The matters I mentioned earlier: The car,
1 the extortion, the taking civilians to the front line and so on.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Well, there again we have to object. The car make
3 a new appearance. The Prosecution could ask a very simple question: Sir,
4 what did you understand by "petty criminality"?
5 MR. RE: I must be entitled to clarify whether what is in --
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Of course.
7 MR. RE: -- evidence in chief --
8 JUDGE LIU: But you just ask a general question and let the
9 witness answer what is his understanding.
10 MR. RE:
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood your question. Please
12 allow me to answer. You said that they committed crimes. In the Criminal
13 Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, "crimes" imply serious crimes, such as
14 murders, rapes, robberies, armed robberies, and so on. I just wish to
15 draw a distinction between those kinds of crimes and petty crimes.
16 Petty crimes are also crimes. I'm speaking now as a lawyer. But the
17 sanctions prescribed by the law for such crimes are smaller. If during
18 the war an armed soldier steals a sack of potatoes from a market stall,
19 that is not a serious crime; it's a petty crime.
20 MR. RE:
21 Q. My learned friend also cross-examined you about taking civilians
22 to the front line. In the context of your last answer, did you also
23 consider that to be a petty criminal matter?
24 A. I would call that a petty crime.
25 Q. You also answered in response to a question from Mr. Mettraux --
1 A. Excuse me. Excuse me.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. May I explain why I say that? When these instances happened of
4 taking civilians to dig trenches by the 9th Motorised Brigade, those
5 people were absolutely protected. They were given a meal. And this was
6 very important during the war when there was no food. And they were also
7 given a box of -- a packet of cigarettes, which cost 20 German marks in
8 Sarajevo at the time. So in that way, they were paid in a way for what
9 they were doing. And not a single civilian was wounded or killed on the
10 line of the 9th Brigade, as far as I know. Had someone been killed, then
11 I would have considered it a serious crime. But if nobody suffered any
12 consequences, then I do not consider it a serious crime.
13 Q. You also answered in response to a question from Mr. Mettraux
14 about Ramiz Delalic, Celo's tolerance of legal activities. You said: "To
15 agree" -- sorry, that he would not tolerate it. You said: "To a degree,
16 that was correct." I just want to qualify with you: What do you mean
17 by "to a degree that was correct"? What sort of criminal activities or
18 illegal activities would or did Mr. Delalic tolerate?
19 A. Well, let's say that he tolerated people being taken to dig
20 trenches, but he did not tolerate someone going and committing a robbery.
21 For example, what I said in my statement, that they robbed Medeni, the
22 persons I named, and Ramiz Delalic when he learned that they had done that
23 and that they had said that he sent them to do it, he personally punished
24 them for that by bringing one of them into detention where I was, and he
25 was there for 20 days in detention.
1 Q. In cross-examination about Mr. Nedzad Burovic who had his vehicle
2 taken from him and you said that Mr. Delalic ordered that he go to the
3 trenches, I think for a day, did Mr. Burovic voluntarily go to the
4 trenches to do digging or did he just want --
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. -- his --
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Well, you're saying that he went there because he wanted his
9 vehicle back or because he wanted to go there?
10 A. He went in order to get his vehicle back, and he was happy to
11 have his vehicle back.
12 Q. You also in cross-examination in response to questions about
13 Mr. Delalic's attitude to other soldiers, Mr. Mettraux asked you about JNA
14 officers and you said that he didn't like former -- he didn't like former
15 JNA officers. Do you recall that?
16 A. I remember in general.
17 Q. Mr. Halilovic was, of course, a former JNA officer --
18 MR. METTRAUX: Well, I object, Your Honour.
19 MR. RE: Can I please finish the question?
20 MR. METTRAUX: No, no, you can't. Your Honour --
21 MR. RE: Your Honour, can I please ask the direction that I be
22 entitled to finish the question before my friend objects?
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe there's something very important in your
24 question which triggered the objection.
25 Is that?
1 MR. METTRAUX: Yes, Your Honour. We haven't asked any specifics,
2 other than Mr. Imsirovic as a JNA officer. And the question was of a very
3 general nature, and it's not the place in re-examination now to try to
4 have this witness give evidence about the relationship between
5 Mr. Halilovic or the alleged relationship and members of the 9th Brigade,
6 whoever they -- they would be. This -- the place to do so, if that's the
7 Prosecution's intention, was examination-in-chief.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I agree with the objections. It is not a right
9 place to have some evidence concerning with the relationship between those
11 MR. RE: Is Your Honour is referring to Mr. Halilovic? I
12 actually hadn't finished my question. And I'd -- really would ask as a
13 matter of professional courtesy that I complete the question before I --
14 an objection is made. And then I would respond to it, if necessary.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe you could put your question another way.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. Mr. Kapur, you gave evidence that Celo, Ramiz Delalic, did not
18 like JNA officers. Which JNA officers do you know that he didn't like?
19 A. I know that he did not like Muslimovic, Jasarevic, and generally
20 speaking he did not respect JNA officers, with the exception of
21 Mr. Sefer Halilovic, whom he respected as a commander.
22 Q. You were also asked about the money that was available to the
23 ABiH. The question was: There was very little money available to the
24 ABiH. That was your answer.
25 My question to you is -- for clarification is: Were you aware in
1 1993 of the sources of funding of the ABiH, whether internal or external?
2 Or what was the state of your awareness or otherwise of that?
3 A. I don't know how the Army of BH was funded, and I said that I
4 knew about Sarajevo but not about the BH army. Sarajevo was closed, and I
5 knew that there was a lack of ammunition, a lack of food, a lack of
6 medicines. But I wasn't aware of the sources of funding.
7 Q. Mr. Mettraux also cross-examined you about the collection of
8 money from people to "donate" to the 9th Motorised Brigade, and you said
9 that only a minority of people were actually collecting money for the 9th
10 Motorised Brigade. What was your knowledge about whether or not these
11 people were giving all of the money they got from business people to the
12 9th Motorised Brigade?
13 A. I know that a minority of those people got funds in that way.
14 They would bring to the brigade command or to the -- this assault
15 detachment people who had businesses during the war, who had hotels,
16 restaurants, and so on. And they had to give a certain amount of money to
17 the brigade. But I don't know who they gave the money to, nor was I ever
18 present when somebody gave money to somebody else.
19 Q. Your evidence in cross-examination, in response to Mr. Mettraux's
20 questions, was that these people, as far as you knew, in response to a
21 specific proposition put to you, only collected money from profiteers. In
22 the context of your evidence here, were Medeni, Druskic, and Semso, did
23 you consider them to be profiteers?
24 MR. METTRAUX: I'm sorry, Your Honour, just a clarification so
25 that the question is not put unfairly to the witness. I believe the
1 question to have been that they were regarded as war profiteers by the
2 people from whom the money was collected. And I think the -- the question
3 should be rephrased in that way.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. RE: Well, I -- I don't know how else the witness could
6 perceive the question.
7 A. I understood the question. I will explain. A certain Medeni,
8 who was mentioned, had a restaurant throughout the war. He wasn't engaged
9 as a member of the B and H army, and it was common knowledge that he was
10 earning a lot of money then when the people in question went and extorted
11 the money from him, they probably believed him to be a profiteer, because
12 it was common knowledge in Sarajevo about who was a profiteer and who
13 wasn't. Profiteers were all of those who were involved in business in
14 Sarajevo but were not involved in the combat activities. But they did it
15 on their own. I personally saw that Ramiz Delalic was not aware of that.
16 And when I intervened with Ramiz Delalic, a large quantity of money and
17 valuables were returned to Medeni, while some of it remained at the
18 brigade, and he received receipt and note of thanks for being a donor.
19 There was another person called Semso. He was a butcher. He was
20 also treated as a profiteer in Sarajevo. In that way, they probably
21 considered him to be a profiteer and they also took a certain quantity of
22 money from him as well. That's what I heard.
23 Q. What about the motel owner, Druskic? Was he in the same
25 A. Druskic? Yes, he was also well known as a profiteer. He feels
1 involved in large business deals and he was considered to be a profiteer
2 in Sarajevo.
3 Q. My learned colleague Mr. Mettraux also asked you about your
4 obligations as the chief of the military police company and specifically
5 your obligations to investigate crime. You said that -- to the effect,
6 you didn't consider you had an obligation to investigate crime. What --
7 what did you mean by that?
8 A. We had jurisdiction within the 9th Motorised Brigade, but then
9 within the military police you also had the crimes department. There were
10 four or five people working there who had been trained adequately for that
11 and who, according to instructions of Tomo Juric, the chief of security,
12 dealt with violations of discipline by members of the brigade. For
13 example, if a soldier did not report to the line or did not report for
14 guard duty, Tomislav Juric would issue instructions to the military police
15 or to the crimes section, and then we would just carry out his orders.
16 We were not authorised to investigate or to undertake any
17 measures independently; we, the military police.
18 Q. Mr. Mettraux also cross-examined you about the blockade of
19 Central -- of some parts of the centre of Sarajevo in July 1993 by members
20 of the 9th and 10th Brigades. In one of your answers, you said: "I did
21 not see how those policemen" - meaning civilian policemen - "were disarmed
22 and brought in."
23 Where were they brought into and who were these civilian police?
24 A. I didn't see the civilian police officers whom they disarmed, but
25 I heard it from other soldiers or through the radio communications,
1 because I did have a hand-held radio, a Motorola. I didn't see that
2 personally. I didn't see the blockade of the police station or the
3 disarming of the police officers personally.
4 Q. What you said was that they were disarmed and brought in. What
5 I'm trying to clarify is: Where were they brought into? What do you mean
6 by "brought in"?
7 A. I don't know where they were taken.
8 Q. How do you know they were brought in somewhere?
9 A. I'm saying that I heard that from other soldiers or through the
10 radio communications, that they had been disarmed and brought in. They
11 were not at the military police where I was, so I don't know where they
12 were taken. There were two members who were brought from the Laste
13 Special Unit in the meantime. That was a military unit. When I arrived,
14 I ordered that they should be released. No one else had been brought to
15 the military police.
16 Q. I'm just a little bit confused. Are you referring to the same
17 two people there, or is it two sets of two police?
18 A. Two people, I'm thinking -- I mean.
19 Q. The first one you said were not taken to the military police.
20 Then you said when you arrived, you ordered that two members of the Laste
21 Special Unit be released. Are you referring to two different police who
22 were brought in later?
23 A. No. No. I'm thinking of the same people. But you didn't state
24 it properly a little bit earlier. You asked me where the civilian police
25 officers were brought in. And what I said was I didn't know where they
1 were brought in but that I know these two police officers whom I'm speak
2 about were brought in when I wasn't at the military police and then I
3 ordered them to be released.
4 Q. Released from where?
5 A. To be released from detention and to go on about their business.
6 To be freed so that they are no longer in the military police building.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. RE: That completes my re-examination. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Are there any documents to tender through this witness?
11 MR. METTRAUX: No, Your Honour.
12 MR. RE: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you.
14 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to
15 give your evidence. Madam Usher will show you out of the room, and we
16 wish you a pleasant journey back home.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that we should have some
20 discussions about the next witness.
21 Yes, who will deal with the next witness? Yes, Mr. --
22 MR. SACHDEVA: May it please Your Honour. Yes, I will.
23 Oh, I understand that there may be some confusion about whether
24 this next witness, Mr. Emin Zebic is going to be -- his evidence will be
25 led live or via Rule 92 bis.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: The Prosecution intends to lead his evidence live,
3 unless there are objection from my learned colleague.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, after some discussions took place
6 with the Prosecutors, we have decided to agree to -- or to not object.
7 Though I think the -- I think the order of things is that the Prosecutors
8 have to make a formal application, although it was foreshadowed by Mr. --
9 Mr. Weiner on a previous occasion. We've now had time to think about the
10 position and -- well, without going into discussions, the fact is we don't
11 oppose the application that the Prosecutor is now about to make to have
12 that witness heard live.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 Yes. You want to have a reply or comments?
15 MR. SACHDEVA: No, that's fine, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, this Bench noted that the Defence does not
19 object to the application of the Prosecutor to vary its witness list to
20 add Zebic on the list of live witnesses.
21 The Trial Chamber has reviewed the statements of this witness and
22 considers that the statements of this witness goes to the acts and the
23 conduct of the accused. In particular, the knowledge of the accused that
24 crimes were committed. And may provide evidence which is very important
25 to this case.
1 Therefore, in full recognition of the rights of the accused to a
2 fair and expeditious trial, the Bench grants the Prosecution's application
3 to vary its 65 ter witness list so that Zebic will be heard as a live
5 In light of this decision, the Bench considers the Prosecution's
6 motion to admit the statement of this witness pursuant to Rule 92 bis to
7 be moot.
8 It is so decided.
9 Could we have the witness, please.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
14 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
18 WITNESS: EMIN ZEBIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Sachdeva.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Examined by Mr. Sachdeva:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Zebic.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. Could you please state your full name, your date, and place of
2 A. Emin Zebic, 24th of April, 1945.
3 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you some -- some questions about your
4 personal background, and I will lead this evidence from you.
5 You have lived in Jablanica all your life; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. From 1968 to 1969, you were in the JNA at the school of reserve
8 officers; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. From 1976 to 1980, you studied as the Faculty of Political
11 Science in Sarajevo?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. During that time, that is, 1976 to 1981, you were also the chief
14 of police at Jablanica; is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. From 1981 to 1984, you were president of the executive committee
17 in Jablanica; is that right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And from 1985 to 1992, you worked for the enterprise called
20 Granit and you were the manager and chief of development during that time;
21 is that right?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. From 8th of May, 1992 you were the chief of police at the SJB,
24 chief of police in Jablanica.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Presently you are on the verge of retirement; is that right?
2 From that position.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. I'm now going to ask you some questions about the
5 police station in Jablanica. First of all, can you describe -- or tell
6 the Court the area of responsibility of your police station during --
7 during the war, that is, 1992 to 1995.
8 A. The Jablanica Public Security Station covered the municipality of
9 Jablanica, meaning that it had police jurisdiction over that territory,
10 the territory of the municipality of Jablanica.
11 Q. Which police station or institution was the Jablanica police
12 responsible to?
13 A. The Jablanica Public Security Station was part of the Minister of
14 Internal Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The higher instance of
15 territorial organisation than the public security station would be the
16 Centre for Public Security with headquarters in Mostar, and then the
17 Minister for Internal Affairs, which had its headquarters in Sarajevo.
18 Q. Do you know of a village called Grabovica?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Now, at the time of September 1993, which area in terms of
21 policing did Grabovica fall under?
22 A. In terms of policing, since the municipal boarders were not
23 changed, the village of Grabovica belonged to the municipality of Mostar.
24 The public security station was from the territorial aspect in charge of
25 policing in the village of Grabovica.
1 Q. Since you've told us that Jablanica police station was also
2 responsible to the police security service in Mostar, please tell the
3 Court whether you, as chief of police in Jablanica, had a responsibility
4 over Grabovica.
5 A. I said that the police station in Mostar was in charge of
6 Jablanica while the public security centre was my superior. It was also
7 headquartered in Mostar. In 1993, the public security station in
8 Jablanica did not have any jurisdiction in the village of Grabovica.
9 Q. Was there a police station in Grabovica, if you know, in 1993?
10 A. The closest police station was in the village of Dreznica, which
11 is to the south of the village of Grabovica, but this was a reserve police
13 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to ask you some questions about
14 Grabovica. In September 1993, who was living in Grabovica?
15 A. In September 1993, the inhabitants of Grabovica were exclusively
16 of Croat ethnicity. At that time, there were perhaps several hundred
17 Bosniaks in Grabovica also who were refugees from Capljina and Stolac.
18 Q. When you say "inhabitants of Grabovica who were exclusively of
19 Croat ethnicity," are you referring to civilians or military personnel?
20 A. I'm speaking about the population. That's the civilian
21 population. As I said, the original inhabitants were exclusively of Croat
22 ethnicity and then there were also some Bosniaks who were accommodated
23 there, but all the citizens, all the inhabitants were civilians.
24 Q. In September 1993, which army controlled Grabovica?
25 A. In September 1993, the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina was in control.
2 Q. If you know, whereabouts in the village of Grabovica were the
3 Croat inhabitants living?
4 A. The Croat inhabitants were living on the left and the right bank
5 of the Neretva River. On both banks of the river -- both banks of the
6 river were inhabited by ethnic Croats.
7 Q. And a similar question for the Bosniak refugees from Capljina and
8 Stolac: Which side predominantly were they living on?
9 A. As far as I know, they, too, were accommodated on both banks, but
10 predominantly on the left bank of the river because there was some
11 prefabricated huts that were empty from -- that were used earlier on
12 construction sites, and that's where they were billeted.
13 Q. Now, I want you to cast your mind back to the 9th of September,
14 1993. In the morning of that day, did anybody come and visit the police
15 station in Jablanica?
16 A. Two young women, two Bosniak women came from amongst the expelled
17 Bosniak population, and they came to the Jablanica police station.
18 Q. Did you speak to them?
19 A. I personally did not speak to them.
20 Q. Who spoke to them?
21 A. The duty officer at the reception area of the Jablanica police
22 station did.
23 Q. Do you know what these two women said to the duty officer?
24 A. My deputy, the deputy chief of security of the public security
25 station in Jablanica, after they had already left, told me that they had
1 reported that in Jablanica the night before, mostly on the right bank,
2 some firing, quite loud firing was heard from firearms. And they thought,
3 or that they heard that some inhabitants of Grabovica were killed.
4 Q. All right. Let's go through that slowly. First of all, can you
5 tell the Court, please, who -- well, the name of your deputy.
6 A. My deputy's name is Ahmed Salihamidzic. I have to say that was
7 his name because he has for some time now been out of the police service.
8 He's no longer serving in the police.
9 Q. So if you know, did these two females speak to your deputy, at
10 that time, when they came into the station?
11 A. I don't know. I don't know if he spoke to them or not.
12 Q. How did he get this information from these two women?
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, can I just intervene there. Pardon
14 me. I don't think this witness says that Salihamidzic is the person who
15 got the information from these women. He says that -- Mr. Zebic says that
16 he got the information from Mr. Salihamidzic, but he hasn't said yet where
17 Mr. Salihamidzic got that information himself.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe -- yes, I believe there's some
19 misunderstandings between the counsel and the witness. Am I right,
20 Mr. Sachdeva?
21 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I understand that the witness said
22 that the females gave information to the duty officer. And then when I
23 asked him how he knew this information, he spoke about his deputy. So
24 I -- my next question was whether the females actually spoke as well to
25 the deputy as well. But I -- but I can clarify that.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: There's no objection to that, Your Honour.
3 MR. SACHDEVA:
4 Q. Well, how did your deputy, Mr. Salihamidzic, learn of this
6 A. All reports arriving in the public security station are recorded
7 in the logbook kept by the duty officer who receives the reports. My
8 deputy read what was recorded in the logbook and informed me about it.
9 Q. Did the duty officer record what these women told him?
10 A. Yes, because that's the procedure. All events are to be recorded
11 in the daily logbook.
12 Q. Now, you said that you learned that there was firing from the
13 right-hand side of the bank in Grabovica. This is what these two women
14 told your police station. Were you aware of any soldiers at Grabovica at
15 that time?
16 A. I heard that there were some soldiers in Grabovica.
17 Q. Where were these soldiers from, if you know?
18 A. I heard that some units from Sarajevo had arrived in the area.
19 Q. Who did you hear this from?
20 A. As the chief of the public security station, I was also a member
21 of the War Presidency of the municipality. Almost always the commander of
22 the local brigade of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 was invited to attend sessions of the War Presidency, so that the
24 Presidency would be informed of any needs of the local brigade and other
25 issues of interest to the civilian authorities. Besides this, cooperation
1 between the public security station and the 44th Mountain Brigade, which
2 was the local unit in the area, was something that went on on an almost
3 daily basis, and it was from these sources that I knew about the facts you
4 have just asked me about.
5 Q. All right. I will ask you about the 44th Mountain Brigade later
6 on, but for now did you know the names of the brigade -- names of the
7 brigades that were in Grabovica?
8 A. At the time, I didn't know the names and numbers of the units
9 that were there.
10 Q. Did you find out later?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What did you find out?
13 A. First of all, some hours after the event you have asked me about,
14 the commander of one of those units came to see me with his deputy. After
15 the following events that happened on that day, my deputy told me about
16 the contacts he had had in the area and the information he had obtained
17 and also about the units that were down there.
18 Q. When you say "the commander of one of those units came to see you
19 with his deputy," who are you referring to?
20 A. It was Mr. Edib Saric, who commanded a small unit called the
21 Igman Wolves.
22 Q. Where were they located?
23 A. They were located in the business premises of the Grabovica
24 hydroelectric power plant on the left bank of the Neretva at the entrance
25 to the village of Grabovica on the north side.
1 Q. If you can recall, when -- well, what time did they come and see
2 you and your deputy at the police station?
3 A. This was around noon or maybe 1.00 p.m.
4 Q. And just to be clear, what was the date, please?
5 A. The 9th of September, 1993.
6 Q. When they came to the police station, what did they tell you?
7 A. They told me that they, too, had heard shooting during the night
8 on the right bank of the Neretva and that they thought that there had been
9 civilian victims on that bank of the river, that there had been murders,
10 civilians who had been murdered.
11 Q. If you know, what was the basis of their thinking that civilians
12 had been murdered?
13 A. I really don't know. I do know that from where they were, they
14 could certainly have heard the shooting, in view of the distance dividing
15 the location where they were billeted and where the other units were
16 billeted on the right bank.
17 Q. Now, upon learning of this information from Grabovica, first from
18 the two women and then from the commander of -- and the deputy of the
19 Igman -- Igman's Wolves, what did you do?
20 A. I discussed with my deputy what we should do, because this was
21 not in our area of responsibility. On the other hand, it was the area of
22 responsibility of the military structures, including our 44th Mountain
23 Brigade with which we had frequent, almost daily contacts. In the end, we
24 agreed that we should try contacting the commander of the military police
25 company of the 44th Brigade to see what they thought about it and to have
1 the information checked. The commander of the military police company -
2 and I assume he had the approval of his brigade commander - came to see us
3 and he was willing to go to the scene of these events with my deputy.
4 Q. All right. Just to be clear, who was the commander of the 44th
5 Mountain Brigade?
6 A. At that time, the commander of the 44th was Enes Kovacevic.
7 Q. And if you know, which corps did the 44th Mountain Brigade fall
9 A. As far as I know, the 4th Corps.
10 Q. Who was the commander of the military police -- military police
11 company of the 44th Mountain Brigade?
12 A. The commander of the military police company was Sead Kurt.
13 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to ask you what happened after you
14 contacted the -- Mr. Kurt. But since you've mentioned the 44th Mountain
15 Brigade, let's move on to that topic. Where were they located, firstly?
16 A. The command was in Jablanica, in the town of Jablanica. Perhaps
17 100 metres away from the public security station.
18 Q. Was the 44th Mountain Brigade the only military presence in
19 Jablanica at that time?
20 A. I can't be certain, but at the time I know there was a forward
21 command post there of the Supreme Command Staff of the Army of the
22 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Q. If you know, where was the forward command post situated?
24 A. The forward command post was in the building of Elektroprivreda,
25 or rather, the administration building of the Jablanica hydroelectric
1 power plant.
2 Q. Who was at that post at the time? And when I say "at that time,"
3 I don't mean specifically on the 9th September but generally in and around
4 that time.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I think my learned friend has
6 to be specific about the time that he's referring to there. He doesn't
7 have to limit it to the 9th, but he has to set proper parameters, bearing
8 in behind what's said about the presence of the accused at various
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, how about at beginning of September.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: I'll clarify that.
12 Q. Mr. Zebic, from the beginning of September, who was at the
13 forward command post?
14 A. Believe me, I don't know that, nor can I know something like
15 that. I did not know who the members of the forward command post were.
16 They were a military formation and had nothing to do with the police.
17 Q. How did you know there was a forward command post in Jablanica?
18 A. Jablanica is a very small place, three or four thousand
19 inhabitants concentrated in several square kilometres along the main road.
20 It wasn't difficult to know that. And I have also just mentioned that the
21 public security station cooperated very well with the 44th Mountain
22 Brigade and also that I was a member of the War Presidency of Jablanica
23 municipality, so that I knew that, as did many of the inhabitants of
24 Jablanica municipality.
25 Q. You said that -- although you couldn't be certain, but you said
1 that there was a forward command post from the Supreme Command Staff of
2 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you know why there was a forward
3 command post in Jablanica?
4 A. [No audible response]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak into the microphone,
6 please. The interpreters did not hear the reply.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Perhaps this is time for a break.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, could we have a break. And we'll resume at
12 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Sachdeva, please continue.
15 MR. SACHDEVA:
16 Q. Mr. Zebic, just before we -- we had a break, I asked you how you
17 knew there was a forward command post in Jablanica, and you told the Court
18 that the public security station cooperated very well with the 44th
19 Mountain Brigade and also that "I was a member of the War Presidency of
20 Jablanica -- of the Jablanica municipality, so I knew that, as did many of
21 the inhabitants of Jablanica municipality."
22 On that day, the 9th of September, did you go to the War
24 A. Yes, in the afternoon.
25 Q. Who was the head of the War Presidency?
1 A. Dr. Safet Cibo was the president of the War Presidency.
2 Q. When you went there, did you speak to him?
3 A. Yes, I did. I spoke to Dr. Cibo.
4 Q. What did you tell him?
5 A. I told him about what I had heard up to that point as to what had
6 happened in Grabovica.
7 Q. What did he say to you?
8 A. As I told him about this after my deputy had returned from a
9 patrol to Grabovica, I conveyed to him what my deputy had told me, that
10 is, that he had confirmed that something had happened there and that the
11 remaining inhabitants on the right bank asked that they be taken out of
13 Q. Okay. Mr. Zebic, I will actually ask you more detail about the
14 visit of your deputy to the village soon, and I will try and have the
15 Court know about that. But right now I'm interested in your conversation
16 with Mr. Cibo when you went to the War Presidency. When you told him
17 about what had happened or what you had learnt that day in Grabovica, what
18 did he say to you, if anything, or what did he do?
19 A. He right away called by telephone somebody, as far as I could
20 understand, at the forward command post and asked about this. He asked
21 for fuller information about what had happened there, down there.
22 Q. Were you present when he made that phone call?
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I've got a matter of law to raise
25 here. It's no difficulty with what the witness is saying. I'm just not
1 sure what -- my friend has led this evidence, and I just don't see any
2 reference to it in the proofing notes at all.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that must be something in the
5 MR. MORRISSEY: I just want to clarify what it is, if that's the
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, this -- this information is indeed in
9 his statement he gave to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 25th of
10 November, 2000, to Mr. Mikhailov.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. To my understanding, that if there's anything
12 new to the statement, that should be added in the proofing notes.
13 Otherwise, we'll rely on the previous statements.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: I understand what my friend is pointing to, and I
15 put a sinister cast on something which I think on reflection is not
16 sinister at all, so I withdraw the objection, and frankly my friend can
17 proceed with that questioning. He's right.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
19 You may proceed, Mr. Sachdeva.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you have to repeat your question to this
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes. I'm grateful.
24 Q. Were you present when Mr. Cibo made that phone call to the IKM?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know who he spoke to, Mr. Cibo?
2 A. I don't know who he spoke to.
3 Q. All right. Now, let's go to the visit of your deputy to
4 Grabovica. Who did he go there with?
5 A. He went there with the commander of the military police company
6 of the 44th Mountain Brigade, Mr. Sead Kurt.
7 Q. And how long did they go there for? Roughly.
8 A. About two or three hours. Thereabouts.
9 Q. And when they returned -- well, did they return to the police
10 station after that?
11 A. My deputy returned to the public security station and informed me
12 about what he had done there -- or rather, what he had seen and heard.
13 Q. Did he put that information in writing at any time?
14 A. Yes, he wrote an official note in connection with this visit and
15 some later activities that he himself conducted, operative activities to
16 gather information.
17 Q. And this official note went to you?
18 A. Yes, I received this official note.
19 Q. All right. I will show you that note hereafter. But I now want
20 to stay with the 9th September, on that day, and ask you about a meeting
21 you had after you went to the -- the Presidency -- the War Presidency that
22 day. After that, did anybody else visit the police station?
23 A. At around 2000 hours, my minister, Mr. Bakir Alispahic, arrived.
24 Q. Why did he come to your police station?
25 A. A few days previously, he had taken a unit of the Ministry of the
1 Interior to Mostar to assist the public security services centre there.
2 In view of the fact that to reach Mostar from Jablanica you had to go on
3 foot over mountain crags, he stayed there for a few days and on that day,
4 the 9th of September, he came back across Mount Prenj to Jablanica, and
5 then he dropped into the public security station. He was on his way to
6 Sarajevo. He was passing through, in other words.
7 Q. Did you know beforehand that he was going to visit your police
9 A. I assumed he might drop in on the way back because it was
10 customary, but I didn't know he would be there at that time on that day.
11 Q. All right. When he came to the police station, did you have a
12 conversation with him?
13 A. Yes, I did. I had a conversation with him in my office.
14 Q. What did you say to him?
15 A. I informed him about everything I knew up to that point about
16 what had been happening in the village of Grabovica and, of course, about
17 other issues having to do with the public security station. He was my
18 superior, and it was my duty to inform him of all these issues.
19 Q. When you informed him about what had been happening in the
20 village of Grabovica, what was his reaction?
21 A. He asked that if possible I get a connection for him with
22 somebody from the forward command post of the army, and I did this through
23 my communications centre in the public security station, and this was by
24 telephone, of course.
25 Q. Did your communications centre have the telephone number of the
1 forward command post?
2 A. We were linked up. It was a small area. We had telephone
4 Q. When he asked you to get a connection with somebody at the
5 forward command post, did he ask for anybody in particular?
6 A. Yes. He asked to speak to Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
7 Q. Did you know who Sefer Halilovic was?
8 A. Of course I knew, because Mr. Halilovic was one of the well-known
9 military authorities at the time, and as far as I personally was
10 concerned, he was the best-known military authority in the Army of the
11 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. Had you -- well, I withdraw that.
13 When you asked your duty officer -- your communications officer
14 to put the call in to the forward command post, did you know that Sefer
15 Halilovic was there at that time?
16 A. Of course I didn't know.
17 Q. Did you anticipate that he would be there?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, some remote questions can be asked.
19 That one is too remote, whether he would anticipate that he was going to
20 be there or not, in my submission, can't assist and shouldn't be asked.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: I withdraw that, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
23 MR. SACHDEVA:
24 Q. Okay. Let's go back to the -- to the conversation. So you asked
25 your communications officer to -- after Mr. Alispahic asked to speak to
1 Mr. Halilovic, you asked your communications officer to connect to the
2 forward command post. Was the connection made?
3 A. Yes, the communication was made.
4 Q. Who was the communication made with?
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, once again, this question is
6 put in a very general way. It's quite obvious that the questions can be
7 asked as to what he heard, said, and -- and the witness is entitled to
8 give evidence about what he heard and what he saw, and that's what he
9 should be asked. When it's put in that way, this Tribunal is not going to
10 know what the basis of the witness's answer is, whether it's on something
11 that he assumes or whether it's on something that he saw. Now, I've got
12 no objection at all to the witness saying what he heard and what he saw,
13 and that seems to be what the question ought to be, in my respectful
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I see no problem with this question, because
16 the witness answered that the communication was made. Then the
17 Prosecution asked who was the communication made with. That's quite, you
18 know, natural. Maybe there will be some follow-up questions about the
19 contents of this communication later on.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, it's the basis of the witness's
21 knowledge, but I hear what Your Honour says about it.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: I'll extract the basis.
24 Q. When the connection was made, were you present at the time?
25 A. Yes, I was in the same room.
1 Q. And just to be clear, who else was in the room with you?
2 A. Mr. Bakir Alispahic, the minister of the interior, and me.
3 Q. Who first spoke to the person on the other end of the line?
4 A. The minister spoke directly to the person at the other end of the
6 Q. How did he address that person?
7 A. I think he said, "Sefer" when addressing that person, and then
8 continued the conversation.
9 Q. How far were you from Mr. Alispahic when he said "Sefer"?
10 A. About 3 metres away, across the table.
11 Q. What did Mr. Alispahic say to Sefer?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, the witness hasn't given evidence
13 that he was talking to Sefer. He's just given evidence that the first
14 thing was said by -- by Mr. Alispahic was "Sefer," that he addressed the
15 person as "Sefer" when he started. So that in my submission the witness
16 can be asked what Mr. Alispahic said and take it from there.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe you could lead this witness step by step.
18 MR. SACHDEVA:
19 Q. What did Mr. Alispahic say?
20 A. I can't recall all the words he said, but I do remember that he
21 conveyed in essence what I had told him about the events in Grabovica.
22 And he gave his opinion that this case should be investigated and that
23 other necessary measures should be taken. He said he was willing to
24 involve the police to assist the military security service.
25 Q. When that conversation proceeded, what was your understanding as
1 to who Mr. Alispahic was talking to?
2 A. I was convinced he was speaking to Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
3 Q. How long did the conversation last?
4 A. Maybe two or three minutes. Not longer.
5 MR. SACHDEVA: Let me just confer, Your Honour.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. SACHDEVA:
8 Q. Mr. Zebic, can I just take you back briefly. You told us that
9 you were convinced that he was speaking to Mr. Sefer Halilovic. Why were
10 you convinced?
11 A. Because I heard -- I heard him saying into the receiver "Sefer."
12 Q. All right. When the conversation ended, what did Mr. Alispahic
14 A. He said that he had spoken to Mr. Halilovic, that they had
15 agreed -- or rather, that he had received a promise that the case would be
16 investigated. He gave me oral orders that if any assistance was required
17 from the Jablanica Public Security Station and the police service, that we
18 should provide such assistance to the military security services.
19 Q. Was any such request for assistance forthcoming?
20 A. No, we never received any such request.
21 Q. Now, the next day, that is, the 10th of September, did anybody
22 not from the station come and visit you?
23 A. In the afternoon, the commander of the Zulfikar unit arrived and
24 the commander of the Igmanski Vukovi unit, Mr. Alispago and Mr. Edib
1 Q. Well, you say they came to see you in the afternoon. Did anybody
2 come and see you in the morning?
3 A. At this moment, I can't recall.
4 [Prosecution counsel confer]
5 MR. SACHDEVA:
6 Q. Now, Mr. Zebic, you told us earlier that your deputy,
7 Mr. Salihamidzic, prepared a report. Do you recall saying that?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And you told us that you saw that report; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. If a report is produced by somebody in your station, who is
12 ultimately responsible for releasing that report?
13 A. I was, as the chief of the station.
14 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, may the witness be shown MFI222, that
15 is, 222. It's actually D149.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Excuse me, Your Honours.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Can we have the English page 3 shown on the
20 screen, please, which should correspond to the B/C/S page 1.
21 Q. Mr. Zebic, can you read the first line of what you see on your
22 screen, please.
23 A. I can see the first page of the official note here -- or rather,
24 yes, my deputy's official note.
25 Q. Do you recognise that document?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. I want you to go to the last page, please. Do you see the
3 paragraph where it says: "At around 8.30 on the 10th of September,
4 1993 ..."? Do you see that paragraph there?
5 A. Yes, I see it. Excuse me, but you asked me whether anybody
6 visited me in the morning, but this was actually in the evening.
7 Q. All right. Who visited you -- who visited you in the evening?
8 A. I had two visits: One at approximately 1830 hours, the one by
9 Mr. Zulfikar Alispago and Edib Saric. The other one was at 2030 hours by
10 Mr. Sejo Brankovic and Namik Dzankovic.
11 Q. Who was Namik Dzankovic?
12 A. According to the way Mr. Brankovic introduced him, Mr. Dzankovic
13 was one of the members of the security service of the Army of the Republic
14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't know his rank. I didn't know it at
15 the time.
16 Q. Do you know where he had come from?
17 A. He had come, as I said, from the military security service of the
18 B and H army, the Supreme Command Staff, something like that.
19 Q. Well, if you'd go back to the -- to the document -- the report
20 prepared by your deputy, and at the paragraph where I asked you to look
21 at, do you see Mr. Dzankovic's name mentioned there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And do you see where it says: "Together with the IKM, forward
24 command post, security officer Namik Dzankovic."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is there any reason for you to doubt that description of
2 Mr. Dzankovic?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Perhaps if the witness could be just asked a
4 direct question rather than having his hand forced in a leading we. He
5 can be asked what his understanding is of Mr. Dzankovic's role. This is a
6 form of leading. Simply put a document in his hand and say, "Do you agree
7 with that," takes away any weight to the answer, generally speaking. But
8 I would just make the formal objection that he shouldn't lead on a matter
9 like that.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. SACHDEVA:
12 Q. What was your understanding, if any, about Mr. Dzankovic's role?
13 A. When he came, together with Mr. Brankovic, who was a police
14 officer whom we knew from before, and he introduced him as an officer of
15 the army security, it was all the same to me what his rank was, whether he
16 was from the IKM or from the Supreme Command Staff. So I can agree with
17 what it says -- what it says here. I have no reason not to believe them
18 if that's how they introduced themselves.
19 Q. What did Mr. Dzankovic say to you?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, may I just interrupt --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Dzankovic --
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Mr. Zebic. I just have an objection to
23 make about the question.
24 Your Honours, I'm just wanting to ask whether the Prosecutor is
25 wanting to put this document to the witness and ask him whether he agrees
1 with every word in it one by one, or whether he's going to ask the witness
2 any questions about the witness's own memory of the situation. Because
3 leaving the document in front of the witness has the effect that the
4 witness, quite understandably, is going to look at the document. That's
5 what I would do too, frankly. Now, it depends what my friend's course is
6 going to be. But he should clarify that before I go any further with the
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: That's correct. No, actually it was an
10 oversight. The document can be removed.
11 JUDGE LIU: The B/C/S version is gone.
12 MR. SACHDEVA:
13 Q. What did Mr. Dzankovic say to you when he came to the station?
14 A. He said that he had come as a member of the army security service
15 to see or to hear which information we had relating to the events in
16 Grabovica. Since my deputy was also present during this conversation, we
17 gave him everything that we knew up to that point in time.
18 Q. On receiving this information from yourself and your deputy, what
19 did Mr. Dzankovic do?
20 A. Mr. Brankovic and he also brought information for us relating to
21 Grabovica. They said that strange things were happening again in
22 Grabovica. And we made a call from there to Mr. Zulfikar Alispago, Zuka.
23 During the telephone conversation, he suggested that Mr. Dzankovic and
24 Brankovic come to visit his base. So from my office, they left to go to
25 Mr. Zulfikar Alispago's base. I know that Mr. Dzankovic went to
1 Mr. Zulfikar Alispago's following that conversation from my office.
2 Q. Did Mr. Dzankovic ask you for any assistance?
3 A. Of course. The conversation was quite proper. We expressed our
4 readiness to help, and he also sought our help to secure further
5 information required for him to be able to continue his work.
6 Q. What was the extent of -- of the help he sought from you?
7 A. Mostly providing information that we had received, and together
8 with my associates, giving him the opportunity possibly to visit the area
9 in question.
10 Q. You told us that Mr. Alispahic had -- when he came to visit you
11 had requested of you if you asked to -- to provide assistance to find out
12 what had happened in Grabovica.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Just tell the Court what the station had, in terms of facilities,
15 to assist in any investigation.
16 A. The Jablanica Public Security Station at the time functioned
17 fully. It had a modest amount of equipment, but it had as much as it
18 needed. We had police officers who were trained for on-site
19 investigations and for that time, wartime - that's what I am talking
20 about - we had the required technical equipment, such as cameras, film,
21 and so on, because at that time it was very important to have that. Also,
22 certain testing kits to look at the marks left on the scene of the crime.
23 The Jablanica Public Security Station did have all the essential equipment
24 to conduct an on-site investigation.
25 Q. Was the use of this equipment that you've described and this type
1 of assistance that you've described, was that ever asked of you from the
3 A. No. We never received a request for something like that.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honours, may the witness be shown MFI235.
5 It's D29.
6 Q. Mr. Zebic, do you have that document in front of you?
7 A. Yes, the beginning of it. Yes.
8 Q. Do you see the date on that document?
9 A. Yes, the 29th of September, 1993.
10 Q. Well, at that time, did you see this document?
11 A. The first time I saw this document was during the investigations
12 that have taken place recently.
13 Q. Investigations by whom? Just to be clear.
14 A. Mr. Mikhailov in Sarajevo, when he conducted the interview with
15 me. He showed me the document.
16 Q. Can you please look at the last paragraph of this document, right
17 at the very end.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I think the English page will have
19 to be turned over to get to that in English.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm grateful to my friend.
22 Q. Do you have that there, Mr. Zebic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you read that out, please.
25 A. "The investigation and other expert activities regarding the
1 exhumation will be carried out by the crimes service of the MUP and the
2 military police of Jablanica in cooperation with other experts."
3 Q. To your knowledge, is this -- is this correct?
4 A. I don't think that this stands.
5 Q. Why do you say that?
6 A. The way it's formulated is quite imprecise.
7 Q. Well, can you explain that, please, to the Court.
8 A. Could you please return the Bosnian version for me. [In English]
10 Q. Just to be clear, are you now looking at the B/C/S, the Bosnian
12 A. [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. It's all right now.
13 It states here: "The investigation and expert work regarding the
14 exhumation are agreed to be conducted by the crime services and the MUP."
15 This term "MUP" means the Ministry of Internal Affairs. That's the
16 Ministry of Internal Affairs headquartered in Sarajevo. The unit that was
17 in Jablanica is called the Public Security Station Jablanica, and it has
18 its own, albeit small, crimes department. That's one thing.
19 The other thing is that we never received any request in relation
20 to this particular item.
21 Q. Would you have received such a request in relation to this
22 particular item?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: My friend should clarify that, when he
24 says "would you have received such a request," that's, in my submission,
25 meaninglessly broad. There may be a particular form of request that he
1 wants to say. He's in a certain line of authority. I don't object that
2 that sort of question being asked.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, if you could put your question in another way.
4 MR. SACHDEVA:
5 Q. If a request had been made to -- to conduct an on-site
6 investigation and exhumation, would your station have been involved?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to persist in this.
8 Your Honours, the question is a request to who in this situation. Bearing
9 in mind the document says quite clearly that it's the -- as the witness
10 has pointed out, it says the Sarajevo MUP is going to be involved and the
11 Jablanica military police are going to be involved. Now, if -- my friend
12 is allowed to ask -- he has allowed to ask, and I'm not objecting to him
13 asking, but he's got to specify which of those two or another organ is the
14 subject of the request that he's -- he's talking about. In other words,
15 the line of -- the line of the request has to be made clear. That's what
16 I'm objecting to.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. SACHDEVA:
19 Q. If there was a request to your station, where would that have
20 come from?
21 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, I'm going to have to persist with the
22 objections here. Your Honour, that's -- that has got a different problem.
23 I don't know how the witness could ever answer where such a request would
24 have come from. He's allowed to ask -- my friend is allowed to ask "if
25 the army had asked your station to help, would you have helped," and
1 that's a legitimate question to ask and that -- I wouldn't object to that
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well.
5 Q. If the army had asked your station to help, would you have
7 A. Of course.
8 Q. Did the army ask your station to help?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, on the -- I want to take you to the 12th of September, 1993.
11 Was there a Presidency war session on that day?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you attend that session?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was anything discussed with respect to Grabovica at that session?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What was that?
18 A. The meeting was attended by the deputy commander of the 44th
19 Mountain Brigade, Senad Dzino. He reported about what happened in
20 Grabovica as the military component. And amongst other things, he said
21 that the gentlemen from the IKM had taken upon themselves the obligation
22 of investigating the events and taking the necessary measures. He
23 mentioned Mr. Vehbija Karic and Sefer Halilovic.
24 Q. Do you know who Vehbija Karic is or did you know then who Vehbija
25 Karic was?
1 A. I knew that from the beginning of the war. I think that he was
2 one of the major military authorities. I think he is of slightly lower
3 rank than Mr. Halilovic.
4 Q. Did you know whether he was in Grabovica in and around that time,
5 in September 1993?
6 A. No, I didn't have such information.
7 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honours, I'd like to show Mr. Zebic
8 Prosecution Exhibit 156, and since it's the first time, I'll read the ERN
9 numbers, 03639388. That's the B/C/S.
10 Q. Do you see -- well, firstly, do you recognise the document on
11 your screen?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is that your signature at the bottom of the document?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Just briefly explain the content of this document, please, to the
17 A. This is a note sent to the command of the 44th Mountain Brigade
18 on the 29th of September, 1993. During those days, we received
19 information from soldiers and citizens that there were a number of bodies
20 in Grabovica which were not buried and because of which there is terrible
21 fear. That's what it says here. I wanted with this note to draw the
22 attention of the commander of the 44th Brigade and ask them to take the
23 most basic humane measures to have the bodies -- to give the bodies a
24 decent burial, and I also asked them to enable a proper on-site
25 investigation to be conducted. I would like to state that I did this
1 because this was on territory that was not under the jurisdiction of the
2 Jablanica Public Security Station but the command of the 44th Brigade as a
3 part of the military structure, through the authorised higher commands
4 would perhaps be in a position to initiate the required steps. That was
5 the purpose of this correspondence.
6 Q. You told us earlier in your examination-in-chief that in addition
7 to the 44th Mountain Brigade, the IKM, forward command post, was also
8 located in Jablanica. Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you told us in your examination-in-chief that Mr. Alispahic
11 asked to be connected to the forward command post. Do you recall that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Why didn't you send this request to the forward command post?
14 A. A rule in communications simply states that according to the
15 vertical line, a public security station can contact its own superiors;
16 however, when we're talking about a different structure, a military
17 structure, then it is customary to contact those who are along the same --
18 who are on the same rank as we are, which in this case would be the unit
19 or the command of the same rank. In our case, that would be the command
20 of the 44th Mountain Brigade.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, that is the examination-in-chief.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. So it's time for the break and we'll break now
23 and -- yes.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I've just been advised by
25 my case manager that I must mention that this -- this document will be
1 MFI277, for the record.
2 JUDGE LIU: I see. Are you going to tender them into the
3 evidence now or at a later stage?
4 MR. SACHDEVA: If I -- if I can now, but I understand that we can
5 do that tomorrow.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, maybe we could do it tomorrow after the
7 cross-examination. I believe the Defence has some questions to ask
8 concerning of this document.
9 Well, Witness, I'm afraid that we have to keep you here for
10 another night. And as I did to all the witnesses, that I have to warn you
11 do not talk to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your
12 testimony. You understand that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. Thank you,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
16 I believe that we'll resume tomorrow afternoon. The hearing for
17 today is adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 17th day of
20 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.