1 Friday, 18 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
11 Good morning, Witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to continue?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Mr. Re.
17 WITNESS: AHMED SALIHAMIDZIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Salihamidzic. Yesterday you were telling the
21 Trial Chamber about a conversation on the 9th of September, 1993 with
22 Mr. Edib Saric and your chief, Mr. Emin Zebic.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'd just take you back one -- one moment to remind you of what
25 you said yesterday. You said that Mr. Edib Saric had confirmed that you
1 insisted in view of the fact that he had -- that army troops were
2 insisted -- that you insisted some of the military go with you to
3 Grabovica. Now, who was Mr. Edib Saric?
4 A. I didn't know Edib Saric before that, but I was told that he was
5 the commander of a unit called Igman Wolves, which was billeted on the
6 left bank of the Neretva River in Grabovica on the premises of the
7 administration of the Grabovica hydroelectric power plant.
8 Q. And we know it's been a long time, but could you, if possible,
9 just tell the Trial Chamber what the information was that you were given
10 at that point about civilians being killed. Just -- just try and be as
11 specific as you can.
12 A. They still didn't have any reliable information other than they
13 assumed that there were some civilians who were killed in the village of
15 Q. What was your information at that point as to who had killed the
17 A. Edib Saric himself said that units had arrived from Sarajevo and
18 that it was most likely that soldiers from those units who arrived from
19 Sarajevo did that.
20 Q. And what did Mr. Zebic instruct you to do?
21 A. Mr. Zebic told me that it would be good to go to Grabovica to
22 check the information. I then suggested, since these were military
23 formations, to also take somebody from the unit, from the military
24 structures. So we agreed to ask that the commander of the military police
25 unit comes with us, which Zebic agreed to. So within the hour, as soon as
1 we found him, Sead Kurt and I - who is the military police commander in
2 the 44th Brigade - set off in a military -- in a police vehicle, which I
3 drove to Grabovica.
4 Q. All right. Was Grabovica within your police station's area of
5 responsibility or jurisdiction?
6 A. No. Our police station was next to the Aleksin Han bridge in the
7 direction of Mostar. Grabovica is about 5 kilometres farther down-river
8 from there.
9 Q. Was it within the jurisdiction of the Mostar police?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know of any reason why the Mostar police couldn't have
12 gone to Grabovica on that day or weren't involved in this?
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Well--
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, the first part of the question is
16 not objectable -- objectionable. The witness hasn't given any evidence at
17 all as to the second part of it. So the question itself has got two
18 parts. The first part, I don't object to. The second part, I would. And
19 in any event, putting the two questions in one question can't be right.
20 So that's the objection.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the answer to the first question is
22 very simple. Then Mr. Re asked the second question.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well --
24 JUDGE LIU: It --
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, possibly, yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But if there's an objection, Mr. Re, maybe you
2 split your question. Ask this witness one by one.
3 MR. RE: I'm actually only trying to speed things up, but that's
4 why I asked the two at once on something I didn't think was an issue.
5 Q. Mr. Salihamidzic, do you know of any reason why the Mostar police
6 couldn't have gone to Grabovica on that day? As briefly as possible.
7 A. The main road to Mostar was blocked. It was exposed to the fire
8 of the HVO forces.
9 Q. What time did you get to Grabovica approximately?
10 A. We arrived at Grabovica at 1500 hours.
11 Q. How far -- or where did you go to in Grabovica?
12 A. We arrived on the inhabited part on the right bank of the Neretva
13 River. That was the village of Grabovica.
14 Q. Were there any soldiers there?
15 A. When we came to the village, in front of the building where the
16 old railway station used to be there was an improvised checkpoint that was
17 set up and a soldier was standing there.
18 Q. What did the soldier do?
19 A. We stopped the car. We came out, showed our ID. He asked us
20 where we were going. I said that we were there to speak to some of the
21 commanders. He told us that about 10 metres from the place where we were
22 talking -- and he showed us one of two men in civilian clothing who were
23 there, and he said that that was his commander. We went inside. This man
24 approached us. That was the commander of the Independent Battalion. He
25 introduced himself. Next to him was another man, also in civilian
1 clothes. He was a refugee. His name was Zulfo.
2 Q. What did the -- what was the name of the commander of the
3 Independent Battalion?
4 A. I didn't know -- I didn't find that out immediately, but later I
5 found out that it was Adnan Solakovic. He did introduce himself, but I
6 didn't really understand it or hear it well.
7 Q. Did you know a person called Ivan Pranjic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What about Stoja Pranjic?
10 A. Stoja Pranjic is the wife of Ivan Pranjic.
11 Q. Did you see them when you went to Grabovica?
12 A. We first spoke with Adnan and Zulfo, and then later in the
13 courtyard of the house I saw Ivan and Stoja Pranjic. They were very
14 frightened. I talked to them for a little bit.
15 Q. All right. Let's just go back to your conversation with Adnan
16 Solakovic. What did he tell you? What did you speak about?
17 A. I spoke to Adnan Solakovic, and he told me that over the past 24
18 hours at least five civilians were killed of Croat ethnicity. He -- this
19 refugee who had been there for some time told me their names. The
20 refugee's name, again, was Zulfo. I found out that they were most
21 probably killed and the people who were most probably killed were Marinko
22 Maric, his wife Luca, his father Martin, their neighbour Ilka Maric, and
23 her daughter, Ruzica. Yes, Ruzica.
24 Q. What did Zulfo tell you about how they had been killed or what
25 had happened to them?
1 A. Zulfo said, and Adnan confirmed it, that soldiers of the unit
2 which was about 100 metres down-river towards Mostar had killed those
3 civilians. Zulfo said the same thing. According to what they said, the
4 three women's bodies were seen near the house of Marinko Maric and the
5 body of Maric Marinko was up-river from this checkpoint, at which point we
6 entered, towards a place called Crno Vrelo. That was perhaps some 300
7 metres up-river. The body of Marinko Maric was lying below the road.
8 Q. Did you, Mr. Salihamidzic, know any of the people you just listed
9 as having been probably killed on that day: Marinko Maric, Luca Maric,
10 Martin Maric, Ilka Maric, and Ruzica Maric?
11 A. Yes, I personally knew Marinko Maric. I met him in 1992 when I
12 worked in UNIS in Jablanica and he worked in Igman. Those two companies
13 had a business arrangement, and that's when we met. At the same time, I
14 met his wife Luca. He was a mechanical engineer by profession.
15 Q. And what was the name of the unit to which the soldiers belonged
16 that Adnan Solakovic said had killed the civilians?
17 A. I don't know what the unit was called, but I know who the
18 commander of the unit was.
19 Q. When did you find that out?
20 A. Adnan told me that on that occasion.
21 Q. What did he tell you?
22 A. That what was done -- actually, that the soldiers were killed by
23 soldiers of the unit that was billeted downriver, and the commander was --
24 of that unit was Ramiz Delalic, Celo.
25 Can I add something? Adnan also told me that we should not be
1 going down to the other checkpoint, because he would not be able to
2 guarantee that we would come back alive.
3 Q. Could you see the other checkpoint from where you were near the
4 old railway station?
5 A. Yes, I could. It was about 100 metres down-river before the road
6 that turns right into the village. From before, I know that the house of
7 Anto Maric was behind the checkpoint, and there was a soldier standing at
8 the checkpoint.
9 Q. Do you know what Adnan Solakovic's soldiers were doing when the
10 civilians were being killed?
11 A. Other than the soldier at the first checkpoint, I didn't see any
12 other soldiers. I don't know what they were doing.
13 Q. Did Adnan Solakovic tell you where he was or what his soldiers
14 were doing at the time when the civilians, the five civilians you named
15 earlier, were killed by soldiers of the other unit?
16 A. No, he didn't say anything. He didn't tell me. The only thing
17 he told me was that he couldn't guarantee that Ivan and Stoja would stay
18 alive. Actually, he said the following: That they shouldn't try anything
19 with Celo's unit; otherwise, these people would not stay alive. And he
20 said that we should try to get those two elderly people out of there.
21 Q. Did he say anything to you when you spoke to him about whether or
22 not he was in a position to prevent any killings in the village?
23 A. Yes. He just said that only through a fight between his unit and
24 the unit of Ramiz Delalic, Celo, could this killing have been prevented.
25 Q. You spoke earlier about Ivan and Stoja Pranjic. You said they
1 were in the courtyard. Were they there with -- were they participating in
2 the conversation between you and Mr. Solakovic?
3 A. Very little, because they were very frightened.
4 Q. Had you known them from before?
5 A. Yes. I was better acquainted with Ivan. I only knew Stoja by
6 sight. Earlier I used to go fishing in that area, so I knew Ivan very
7 well. Also, they were the mother and father of a neighbour of mine in
8 Jablanica. Her name is Krstic Olga.
9 Q. Were Ivan and Stoja Pranjic residents of Grabovica?
10 A. Yes, they permanently resided in Grabovica.
11 Q. You said that Adnan Solakovic expressed some concern for their
12 safety. What was your response?
13 A. I told him that I would try to do that, because I knew their
14 son-in-law, Nehru Manjusak, and I said that I would tell him. He was a
15 cook in Zulfikar Alispago's unit, and I intended to go and see him
16 immediately to tell him that he should try to do that.
17 Q. You've said you saw -- there was a soldier at the checkpoint when
18 you came into the village. You spoke to Mr. Solakovic. You saw
19 another -- another soldier at another checkpoint about 100 metres away.
20 At that particular point, when you were talking to Mr. Solakovic, did
21 you -- were there any other soldiers in the area?
22 A. Except for the soldier at the checkpoint, there were no other
23 soldiers. I didn't see any, at least.
24 Q. Did you hear anything that indicated that soldiers were in the
1 A. Yes. You could hear several shots fired in the depth of the
3 Q. Where were they coming from, these shots?
4 A. From the road in the direction of the railway tracks, deeper
5 inside the village, on the right bank.
6 Q. A little earlier you said that Zulfo had said that three women's
7 bodies were near the house of Marinko Maric and Maric Maric [sic] was
8 up-river from the checkpoint and the body of Marinko Maric was lying below
9 the road. Did --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- he say anything about Martin Maric, where his body was?
12 A. Nobody knew about Martin Maric's body. He was paralysed. He lay
13 in his house. I know that Marinko's wife, Luca, took care of him. She
14 even came from Konjic and left her husband there in order to care for his
16 Q. After speaking to Mr. Solakovic in the old railway station, what
17 did you and Kurt do?
18 A. After finding out the information, we started back. And then we
19 agreed to go in the direction of Crno Vrelo, in the direction of
20 Jablanica, and that he would look on the right side of the road and I
21 would look at the left side of the road. After covering about 150 to 200
22 metres, we stopped at a shoulder of the road. This was at my suggestion
23 because already you couldn't see down to the Neretva from the right side
24 of the road. So I parked the car. He stayed by the car. And we had a
25 look around. I went all the way down to the river bed to check if perhaps
1 the body that they were talking about hadn't been pushed into the river.
2 But I didn't see anything. I didn't find the body.
3 Q. Just going back very briefly. You -- you said you spoke to
4 Mr. Solakovic. Then you started back. When you came out of the railway
5 station speaking to Mr. Solakovic, was the soldier who had stopped you at
6 first still there?
7 A. Yes, the soldier was there. He came up to me and said that he
8 was afraid that the soldiers in the unit next to them were committing
9 killings, and he was afraid because he wasn't a Muslim.
10 I went back briefly and told Adnan what he said and told him that
11 it would be good if he moved him from there so that -- to prevent anything
12 from happening.
13 Q. Who did he say the soldiers were killing?
14 A. They were killing the Croat inhabitants of Grabovica.
15 Q. Why did you drive back along the side of the road looking -- what
16 were you looking for when you drove back towards Jablanica with Mr. Kurt?
17 A. We wanted to check if Marinko Maric's body was still there, which
18 was mentioned during our conversation with Zulfo. Zulfo said that the
19 body was after the checkpoint towards the Crno Jezero [as interpreted].
20 Q. Was that all you were looking for, just his body specifically, or
21 were you looking for other things along the way?
22 A. His body or anything else. Anything that would confirm what they
23 had told us. Regardless of the body that we found, we would look and stop
24 and inspect the body; However, we didn't find any body -- any bodies.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It's not Crno Jezero
1 but Crno Vrelo.
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. When you were down by the river looking for the body, was there
4 any traffic on the road?
5 A. After I had looked around on my way back, I noticed that across
6 the bridge at Crno Vrelo in the direction of Jablanica a car passed. I
7 asked Kurt, "Who was it that passed?" And he said that Celo had come by
8 in his car, had stopped next to him, and asked him, "Are you looking?"
9 And -- but, "Just look at what they're doing to our people." And he was
10 probably thinking of the refugees, the people who had been brought from
11 the Dretelj camp and who were accommodated in the settlement on the left
12 bank in Grabovica.
13 Q. All right. Where did you go with Mr. Kurt after that?
14 A. We went back to Jablanica to convey all the information to our
16 Q. Approximately how long was it between when you left and when you
17 returned to the police station? I mean, what time did you get back
19 A. I wasn't really paying attention to that, but perhaps the whole
20 thing lasted from an hour to an hour and a half.
21 Q. What about Ivan and Stoja Pranjic? Did they go back with you?
22 A. No. They remained there. Upon returning to Jablanica, I
23 immediately went to the police station. My chief, Emin Zebic, was there.
24 I informed him orally about what I had found out. And immediately
25 afterwards, I went to Olga Krstic's house. I found her brother-in-law,
1 Nehru, there and told him that he should go there and save Ivan and Stoja,
2 to save Ivan and Stoja. He said that he'd ask Zuka to go down there
3 together and to do that. And that's what happened.
4 Q. Why didn't you and Mr. Kurt take Ivan and Stoja Pranjic back with
6 A. We were a little afraid because of the warning Adnan Solakovic
7 had given us. We were afraid that we might be intercepted on the way, on
8 the right bank by these soldiers and that because we were taking them
9 away, they might attack us, as well as these Croats.
10 Q. What's your ethnicity?
11 A. I'm a Muslim, a Bosniak.
12 Q. You just said that you orally informed Mr. Zebic about what --
13 what you'd found out. Did he give you any instructions about what you
14 should do?
15 A. In fact I made a suggestion; I suggested that we wait, because it
16 was necessary to get Ivan and Stoja out rapidly, and I said it would be
17 good to wait to see whether they would come and then to gather more
18 information and that afterwards I would draft the written part of the
19 report, and he agreed.
20 Q. Now, moving to the next day, which was September the 10th. Did
21 you see the Pranjics on the 10th?
22 A. Yes. In the morning, on the 10th, perhaps at about 9.00 or half
23 past 9.00, between 9.00 and 10.00, I went to Olga Krstic's house. That's
24 their -- she's their daughter. And I saw Ivan and Stoja there. I spoke
25 to them. Ivan was a fairly taciturn man. Stoja would speak the most.
1 I asked them to tell me the first and last names and the
2 approximate age of all the Croat inhabitants who lived on the right bank
3 at the time. She did that, and I compiled the list.
4 Q. How many were on the list?
5 A. There were 30 individuals on that list.
6 Q. Was it a handwritten list you compiled?
7 A. Yes, it was handwritten.
8 Q. Do you know what happened to your list? Or what did you do with
10 A. On that day, I had other things to do. I had to gather other
11 information. So on the following day, I drafted an official note. That
12 was on the 11th. And the list was attached to that note.
13 Q. How had Ivan and Stoja Pranjic managed to get from Grabovica to
14 Jablanica by the 10th of September?
15 A. They told me that their son-in-law -- their daughter's son-in-law
16 had appeared with Zuka, with Zulfikar Alispago. They arrived in a van and
17 they took them to Jablanica.
18 Q. Did you speak to them more - that's Stoja and Ivan Pranjic -
19 about what they had seen or heard in Grabovica?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. What --
22 A. They'd calmed down a bit. By that time, it was possible to speak
23 to them, and it was Stoja, rather than Ivan, who told me what had
24 happened, who said that on the 8th in the afternoon they were in front of
25 their house. Ivan and Stoja were in front of their house and Marinko
1 Maric appeared and they had a chat. Then the soldiers arrived. They
2 passed by them. And immediately afterwards, shooting broke out, and
3 shortly after that his wife, Luca -- Marinko's wife, Luca, arrived in a
4 state and asked what he was doing there since the troops were driving them
5 out of their houses. And Marinko immediately went downstream with her,
6 because that's where their house was, and Ivan and Stoja didn't see them
7 after that.
8 Q. Had they seen any bodies?
9 A. Ivan and Stoja hadn't seen any bodies. They didn't dare leave
10 their house. But as these refugees provided them with information on that
11 morning, on the 9th, the refugees from Stolac went to get bread on the
12 left bank of the Neretva and they then noticed a body and they assumed
13 that it could have been Marinko Maric. And some women who had come from
14 Marinko Maric's house said that they had seen three bodies next to
15 Marinko's house, Maric Luca's house, Ilka's -- the bodies of Marinko,
16 Luca, Ilka, and Ruzica.
17 Q. Now, what about the bridge? Had any of them been on the bridge?
18 A. The refugees who went to get bread said that at the bridge that
19 joins the left and right bank they saw blood. They saw blood on the
20 bridge, but there was no body there.
21 Q. Was speaking to -- was your speaking to Ivan and Stoja a part of
22 your information-gathering on the 10th of September?
23 A. Well, I spoke to them to gather as much information as possible
24 in relation to this affair.
25 Q. What else did you do on the 10th of September to gather
2 A. Semso Halebic came to the police station, and I provided him with
3 this information that I had. He was a security officer in the 44th
4 Brigade. I provided him with the information I'd gathered, and he
5 suggested that we speak to some of the guards who were securing the
6 administrative building of the Grabovica hydroelectric power plant. We
7 went there, and we found Alija Turkic, who was on guard duty between the
8 8th and 9th.
9 Q. Who was Alija Turkic?
10 A. Alija Turkic was an employee of the hydroelectric power plant on
11 the Neretva, a driver by profession. But during this period of time, he
12 worked as a guard in that facility.
13 Q. And were there soldiers at the Grabovica hydroelectric plant?
14 Were there soldiers based there?
15 A. This was the administrative building of the power plant, and the
16 Igman Wolves was located there, which was commanded by Edib Saric.
17 Q. What did Alija Turkic tell you?
18 A. Alija Turkic more or less confirmed the arrival of the troops in
19 the afternoon on the 8th. He said that as soon as they had arrived on the
20 scene, they started shooting. Then when night started to fall, they lit a
21 fire, and given the noise they were making, he assumed that they had been
22 drinking. So throughout the night between the 8th and the 9th, there was
23 shooting on the right bank. The administrative building is on the left
24 bank of the Neretva.
25 He also said that in the morning at about 5.00, between 5.00 and
1 6.00, an elderly Croatian married couple came to see him and told him that
2 two elderly Croats had been taken away from their house on the left bank,
3 and they suggested that the command be informed of the fact.
4 Q. Do you mean on that very morning, the morning of the 10th of
5 September? Is that the morning you're referring to?
6 A. No, on the 9th of September in the morning. They were there
7 between the 8th and the 9th. It was on the 9th in the morning at about
8 half past 5.00. That's when this elderly couple came to see him.
9 Q. Now, did that complete your information-gathering for the day,
10 when you spoke to Mr. Turkic?
11 A. Well, yes. I thought I had completed my information-gathering,
12 but about 1830 hours Zuka arrived at the station and Edib Saric arrived
14 Q. Did you speak to them?
15 A. Yes, I spoke to them.
16 Q. And was Mr. Zebic there when you spoke to them?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Zebic was present.
18 Q. Now, what did Zuka and Edib Saric tell you?
19 A. They told us that they had surveyed the area and that they had
20 established that on the right bank six bodies had been found and on the
21 left bank two bodies had been found and that among the bodies that had
22 been found on the right bank, there was a child, and apparently 14
23 inhabitants had been evacuated. And two children were still alive. They
24 had been evacuated too.
25 Q. To -- you mean also? They had also been evacuated? I'm sorry, I
1 heard the word "to" in my hear phones and I thought it was "too," "o-o,"
2 the other way around.
3 Mr. Salihamidzic, you were of course just then referring to
4 Grabovica, weren't you, where Zuka and Edib Saric --
5 A. No, I said two children had also been evacuated. In addition to
6 the 14 adults, there were two children who had also been evacuated and
7 they had been put up in Zulfikar Alispago's command.
8 Q. When you were saying that they had established on the right bank
9 six bodies had been found and on the left bank two bodies had been found,
10 I take it you were referring to the village of Grabovica?
11 A. Yes. Yes. I'm referring to the same area that we more or less
13 Q. Had Zuka and Edib Saric seen or found the bodies themselves, or
14 was it something they had been told?
15 A. I don't know how this was done. They just relayed this
16 information to us.
17 Q. And the dead child and the two children that were evacuated, were
18 they from the same family?
19 A. At that time, I didn't know that. Later it was established that
20 they were from that family, Zadro. In fact, Zuka and Edib didn't mention
21 any names. No one mentioned any first or last names. Reference was only
22 made to individuals of Croat nationality.
23 Q. How long was Zuka and Mr. Saric at the police station for?
24 A. Not for very long. They weren't there for very long. Perhaps
25 about 15 minutes. Half an hour at the most.
1 Q. Did you communicate with Zuka again that night?
2 A. Later I saw Sejo Brankovic. He was from Mostar. He worked in
3 the Mostar MUP. And at that time, I think he also worked for the State
4 Security Service and he had been deployed in Jablanica. He was in
5 Jablanica. He told me there were problems in Grabovica again and that
6 some girl called (redacted), a girl who worked as a
7 cleaning lady in the settlement up there. She was a refugee, he said, and
8 two other girls had fled and they had fled to the dam of the power plant
9 near Grabovica.
10 Q. I asked whether you had communicated with Zuka again that night,
11 and you said later you saw Sejo Brankovic. How did you come to see Sejo
12 Brankovic and where did you see him?
13 A. Yes. Yes. First I met Sejo Brankovic and he told me -- he'd
14 spoken to Zuka over the phone, and he said that we should go to his flat
15 together. That flat was just behind the MUP building, perhaps 50 metres
16 behind it. And we went there together to examine the situation.
17 Q. That's Zuka's flat? You went to Zuka's flat?
18 A. Yes, we went to Zuka's flat. Zuka was there, Edib Saric was
19 there, and someone called Namik was there. It was said that he worked as
20 a security officer in the army.
21 Q. Do you remember his family name at the moment, Namik?
22 A. Later I found out that his name was Namik Dzankovic.
23 Q. And just to go back slightly. Was it at -- when those people
24 were there that Sejo Brankovic told you about someone having been raped
25 in -- in Grabovica? Was it at that point?
1 A. Sejo told me that he had such information and this is why we
2 should go to see Zuka. When we arrived in Zuka's flat, Zuka confirmed
3 that certain things had taken place and he in fact confirmed what Sejo
4 Brankovic had previously told me.
5 Q. You'd been to Grabovica the day before and Adnan Solakovic had
6 told you about the behaviour of one unit there, which was Celo's unit,
7 which had been killing some Croat civilians. Was that discussed when you
8 were at Zuka's flat?
9 A. I don't think that was really discussed, but it was said that it
10 was the soldiers who did what they did the previous day, who had raped the
11 girl, the soldiers from the same unit who had killed people moved over to
12 the left bank and raped this refugee girl.
13 Q. Was any action suggested that should be taken?
14 A. That's what was being discussed when this discussion was
15 interrupted quite abruptly, because Ramiz Delalic, Celo, appeared at the
16 door together with one of his men, who was a large man, just like him. I
17 don't know whether that was his deputy, an escort. And as soon as he
18 entered, he looked in my direction. He looked at me.
19 Q. I'll just stop you there.
20 MR. RE: Perhaps we could go into private session for a moment
21 here, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. What -- what did you --
25 JUDGE LIU: Wait. Wait.
1 MR. RE: I'm sorry. I apologise.
2 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, before anything happens further,
15 that last part there, in my submission, ought not to be in -- in private
17 MR. RE: I'll repeat it on record. It's all right. I'll just
18 read the question back to the witness.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, that's not necessary. Maybe at a later stage
20 we could have the protective measures lifted later on.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: With respect to that, yes, Your Honour. Thanks.
22 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Mr. Re.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. Mr. Salihamidzic, you were just saying -- I won't go through the
25 whole thing. You were just saying that it had been said that Vehbija
1 Karic had said -- one of the soldiers had asked, "What would happen if one
2 of the Croats were put -- were to put them up, protested?" He said, "Kill
3 them and throw them into the lake, or into the Neretva," or something like
5 My question is: When that was said, who was present in the room?
6 A. I was present, Zuka, Edib Saric, Namik, and Sejo Brankovic.
7 Q. Did Zuka make a telephone call?
8 A. Yes. After Celo left the room with his escort, Zuka picked up
9 the receiver, dialed a number, and said that there were problems, that he
10 needed to go back. And then when he hung up, he said, "Sefer is in
11 Konjic" and that he had telephoned him and told him that he should return
12 in order to deal with the problems.
13 Q. Who is Sefer? Who is the Sefer he was referring to?
14 A. Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
15 Q. When he spoke to the person on the phone, did he use the
16 word "Sefer," or was it something he said afterwards?
17 A. More or less he said, "Sefer, we have problems. You need to come
18 back to Jablanica as soon as possible in order to resolve these problems."
19 Q. Mr. Zebic had asked you to prepare a written report after you'd
20 given him the oral report. Did you prepare a written report? And if so,
22 A. Yes. I made my report the next day, on the 11th, typed it out,
23 and submitted it to Mr. Emin Zebic.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown MFI D222.
1 Q. Just have a look at that document.
2 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown both -- all the pages in
3 the document.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honours, the -- what's on the
5 English-speaking page seems to be the Brankovic report. I think the --
6 the English version of this witness's report is on the third page. I just
7 want to be clear. I'm not sure which one my friend wants him to look at,
8 which -- either one he can, of course, but ...
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. RE: The Bosnian.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
12 MR. RE: I've got the Bosnian on the --
13 JUDGE LIU: No. The English version on the screen. Now we have
14 the official note here.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Thank you.
16 Yes, that's okay. We have it.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 MR. RE:
19 Q. Mr. Salihamidzic, can you just -- have you just seen the
20 document? And can you identify that? Is that the official note you
21 prepared in relation to the events in Grabovica?
22 A. Yes, that's the one.
23 Q. All right. And is everything recorded in that document based
24 upon the information you gathered, the interviews you had with people, and
25 the conversations you -- you had with the people you've described in your
1 evidence this morning?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. And is it a compilation of what you knew as of -- about the 11th
4 of September, 1993?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I'd just like to, if possible, fill in some blanks which appear
7 to be on that particular document.
8 MR. RE: If you could just move back to the first page, please.
9 Q. And can you please highlight the first -- or the first half of
10 the page, enlargen it.
11 Q. There's a name in handwriting at the bottom of the first
12 paragraph to the right --
13 MR. RE: Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.
14 Q. To the right of the word "batoljona." What's the word there in
16 A. I can't see it now. Could you please scroll it down a little bit
17 more. Just scroll it down a little bit.
18 MR. RE: Up. Up. Up. Stop. Bang in the middle of that one, to
19 the left.
20 This doesn't work very well.
21 A. Commander Solakovic. "Solakovic" was written later -- written in
22 later because we found that out later. This is something -- this last
23 name was added in by Mr. Zebic. Although, it's not correct here. It
24 still states "Sokolovic," but it should be Solakovic.
25 Q. Okay. If you'd look at -- the name seems to be written again on
1 the left-hand side on the --
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. Is that the same?
4 A. Yes, it's the same name.
5 Q. If you could turn to the second page, please, and please
6 highlight the second or third paragraph from the bottom. If you'd just
7 scroll down. There's a name which is handwritten in. It says: "Namikom
9 A. That's Dzankovic. The chief, Mr. Zebic, wrote that in later after
10 he found out the last name. He -- he put it in.
11 MR. RE: I move for that to be received into evidence. It has an
12 MFI number at the moment.
13 JUDGE LIU: I believe it has already -- has already been admitted
14 into the evidence. Right? Yes, it's admitted into evidence already.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown the next document, MFI
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for this previous document, I believe the
19 parties have to work together to sort out the problem of the translation,
20 because we found two versions which are slightly different. Maybe after
21 this sitting the parties could meet together.
22 MR. RE: We most certainly will do that.
23 I said "MFI221." I actually meant P215. I apologise for that.
24 Now, could you just scroll down through that, please.
25 Q. Mr. Salihamidzic, I know that's not particularly -- can you read
1 that on the screen?
2 A. The top, I can. But the bottom part, it's difficult.
3 MR. RE: Can you please turn the page over, to see whether you
4 can read that page.
5 Q. Can you read that on the screen, or do you need a paper copy -- a
6 paper copy to be given to you?
7 A. It's difficult to read, but I can see that this is some kind of
8 report along the military lines. I didn't write this one.
9 Q. Had you seen this document before coming to give your evidence in
10 The Hague?
11 A. No, I haven't seen it before.
12 Q. What is your -- can you read the part that says: "The whole of
13 the Jablanica SVK IKM, civilian authorities, and the MUP organs are aware
14 of the incident. Work on the clarification of this case, gathering of
15 operative information on the exact number of dead, how they were murdered,
16 and detection of possible perpetrators has been done in cooperation with
17 (illegible). On-site is currently impossible to carry out because of the
18 large number -- large number of units in the Grabovica area, the attitude
19 of units led by Ramiz Delalic and fear that giving importance to this
20 incident would result in (illegible, missing text) return of the whole
21 unit to Sarajevo, which would directly endanger the planned action on
23 Now, that information refers to your police station.
24 A. This mentions my report. My name is mentioned. It says that I
25 was -- I was the one who went down there.
1 From what I can see, Mr. Dzankovic is writing a report to his
3 Q. All right. I just want you to comment upon, from your knowledge
4 of your investigations, what you saw and what you heard, the accuracy of
5 the part which I just read out to you.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I don't mind the -- excuse
7 me --
8 JUDGE LIU: Well --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I please look at --
10 JUDGE LIU: Please wait for a minute.
11 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, just the witness -- it's not the
13 witness's fault. I don't -- I'm quite happy for the Prosecutor to show
14 the witness that passage and -- and ask the witness for his comments, if
15 needs be, but I don't agree that the Prosecutor is allowed to make a
16 comment, as he did on the transcript, to say, "Now, that information" --
17 he said this at line -- page 26, Line 21, and without asking a question.
18 He just made the statement: "Now, that information refers to your police
19 station." Now, Your Honours have got that in front of you and it plainly
20 doesn't not refer to his police station at all, so that it was a leading
21 question and it was -- it contained false information.
22 So I don't mind the witness being asked to comment on that
23 passage. And he's perfectly entitled to do so as far as he knows. But
24 it's that passage this he's got to comment on, not the proposition that
25 was put by Mr. Re, particularly when it's not a truthful proposition.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re.
2 MR. RE: But the commentary was entirely unnecessary about it
3 being false and untruthful. That was a slip on my part and I apologise.
4 I read Jablanica and MUP in my own mind and saw them as the police
6 JUDGE LIU: You may ask the witness to comment on that section.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. Can you please comment on the accuracy of that section based upon
9 what you yourself observed.
10 A. I ask see that this is a report which was probably drafted by
11 Dzankovic, from what I can see at the bottom. He is sending a report to
12 his superior command. A joint commission comprising MUP members is
13 mentioned. This is just a proposal. I don't think that this ever
14 actually reached us. This is a proposal that these things should be done,
15 but this is something that was never actually implemented.
16 Q. Now, were you involved in any continuing investigation in
17 Grabovica as to what happened in Grabovica, beyond the information you
18 gathered and put in your report on about the 11th of September, 1993?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Was any further request, to your knowledge, ever made to the
21 Grabovica -- the Jablanica police station to assist in any further
22 investigation of what happened in Grabovica?
23 A. No, no request ever came, as far as I know. Had it arrived, my
24 chief would have probably told me about it.
25 Q. When was the last -- when was the next time after you wrote your
1 report -- your official note about the 11th of September, 1993 -- when was
2 the next time you heard about any investigations in relation to what
3 happened in Grabovica?
4 A. I didn't know anything about any investigation. Our public
5 security station in Jablanica didn't do anything about this. The next
6 time I heard about this case was in 1998, when I was called, after I
7 retired, to see a crime-fighting inspector, to provide a statement about
8 these events.
9 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown document MFI235.
10 Q. Now, have you seen this document -- had you seen this document
11 before you came to The Hague to give your evidence here?
12 A. I've never seen this document before.
13 Q. Now, there's -- if you look at the third -- or the first line
14 underneath "To the chief of the UB, Mr. Jusuf Jasarevic personally." It
15 says: "The following 30 persons lived in the Grabovica area where the
16 massacre of Croatian civilians took place," and there are 30 names listed.
17 And under this it says: "Of these people, Ivan Pranjic and Stoja
18 Pranjic are still alive."
19 Now, you said that -- I think it was Ivan or Stoja Pranjic gave
20 you a list of 30 people who were in Grabovica. Are those the people on
21 the list that they gave you?
22 A. Thirty people are on this list here. I took their names down by
23 hand according to Stoja's statement. This is obviously typed out. I gave
24 the list to Mr. Zebic, and I never saw it again. I assume that this is
25 the list that I made. It was probably typed out based on the list that I
1 compiled, which was based on the statement of Stoja Pranjic. I know some
2 people from this list. I cannot recall all of them though.
3 Q. Does the information in this report -- if it could just be
4 scrolled down so the witness could see the bottom two paragraphs -- or
5 three paragraphs. Does that accord with the information you had gathered
6 about what happened in Grabovica as of the 11th of September, 1993?
7 A. Yes, that's it. I agree with what it says here, that "Of the
8 above-named inhabitants, Ivan and Stoja Pranjic are still alive and with
9 whom Adnan Solakovic and some of his men were staying, and they protected
10 them and evacuated them." This is more or less the information that I am
11 aware of.
12 Q. All right. Let's go to the last paragraph. It has -- and
13 bearing the mind the date of this is the 29th of September, 1993, the last
14 paragraph says: "It has been agreed that the on-site investigation and
15 exhumation work will be carried out by the crime scene of the MUP and the
16 Jablanica military police in cooperation with other professionals."
17 Is that paragraph, based on your knowledge of what was happening
18 on the 29th of September, 1993, correct or incorrect?
19 A. The on-site investigation and activities relating to the
20 exhumation were never carried out. This is not true, definitely.
21 Q. Did your police station have the ability or the expertise in
22 September 1993 to perform exhumations or do pathology investigations?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, perhaps that question ought
24 to be divided in two questions.
25 MR. RE: Why?
1 MR. MORRISSEY: I submit that the --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well -- well, maybe the answer is the same.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, it could be so. But there's two different
4 propositions in the question, so that's why I raise the objection.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness, you may answer that question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know what our -- the means that
7 are at our disposal. I know that very well. In Jablanica at the time, I
8 believe that we did not have the means to conduct a proper investigation
9 of this case. We didn't have experts who could perform such an
10 investigation, and we didn't have the equipment that was required.
11 Q. Did you have the ability to take fingerprints?
12 A. Yes, we did have a kit for simple investigations, on-scene
13 investigations, and we could take fingerprints, but any kind of expert
14 testing was something that we were not able to do. Even identification
15 based on fingerprints was something that we could not do. The kit that we
16 had was mostly used for break-ins, theft, or some other minor crimes.
17 Q. What about the ability to interview witnesses? Could you do
19 A. Why not? At that point in time, when we had live witnesses or
20 eyewitnesses, we did interview them. As far as eyewitnesses from the
21 units, we were not in a position to do anything in relation to that.
22 I would just like to repeat here what we said in the beginning,
23 and that was that this was not in the jurisdiction of the Jablanica Public
24 Security Station. It was not in its territorial jurisdiction.
25 Q. In your professional opinion as a -- as a police officer of many
1 years standing, could this case have been solved if properly investigated
2 at the time?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, that could never be a justified
4 question to ask, and I object to it.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Re, it's not a proper question to put to
6 this witness.
7 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown -- I've just got to
8 show him two photographs. It might take a few minutes to do so, and
9 I'll -- I'll be finished then.
10 JUDGE LIU: In less than ten minutes?
11 MR. RE: Less than ...?
12 JUDGE LIU: Ten minutes.
13 MR. RE: Oh, yes.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We could continue until you finish this
16 MR. RE: We'll do.
17 Could the witness please be shown photograph P3.
18 Q. Now, do you -- do you recognise that, Mr. Salihamidzic, as a
19 photograph of the village of Grabovica?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You told us you came in from Jablanica. I just want you to draw
22 an arrow where you came from. If you could do it on the right side of the
24 A. We were here and --
25 Q. Just put an arrowhead on the -- on the end of that.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. You said there was a checkpoint. Now, you've drawn a -- a line.
3 Is that the checkpoint you're referring to?
4 A. Yes. Yes. The line indicates where the checkpoint was, and then
5 in the greenery here you can see the top of the roof of the old railway
6 station building where Ivan Pranjic and his wife, Stoja, lived and where
7 Adnan Solakovic's command was at the time.
8 Q. Okay. I just want you to put some numbers on this. Where the
9 checkpoint is, could you put below the checkpoint in the greenery a --
10 a "1", underneath where the checkpoint was.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Could you perhaps put a -- a line across the bottom of the "1",
13 just to make it a little bit clearer.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And then conjoin it.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Okay. And above the arrow pointing to the house, can you please
18 put a "2".
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Okay. Now, you said there was another checkpoint which you could
21 see in the distance about 100 metres away. Can you please just draw a
22 line where that checkpoint is and maybe put an arrow towards it and a "3".
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. The line is indicating the checkpoint; is that correct?
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Okay. Thank you.
2 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
4 MR. MORRISSEY: No, there no objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. It's admitted into the evidence.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P278.
7 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown Exhibit P9.
8 Q. Now, what's that a photograph of, if you can see it there?
9 MR. RE: The witness doesn't yet have P9.
10 [The registrar and usher confer]
11 A. That's it.
12 Q. What's that a photograph of, Mr. Salihamidzic?
13 A. The photograph shows where actually Crno Vrelo is, which I
14 mentioned earlier during my testimony.
15 Q. And you said you went looking for a body. Does the photo show
16 the area where you were looking for the body?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you put a mark on it with a -- an arrow, just like you did
19 before, where you went to, looking for the body.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Can you put an arrowhead at the end of where you went to, please.
22 Just to make it completely clear, just an arrowhead at the end of the
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Thank you. And does that show the -- the road on which Celo
1 drove when you were looking for the body, or drove past and stopped?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. Which way -- I'm sorry?
4 A. That's upstream from where the checkpoint was. The checkpoint
5 was downstream. When you go upstream, you return towards Jablanica,
6 towards the bridge that joins the left and right bank, and you then
7 continue to Jablanica.
8 Q. All right. So --
9 A. So this would be the direction.
10 Q. That's the direction of Jablanica.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... just put a "J" on it.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you. And in which direction was Celo travelling? Towards
15 Jablanica or towards Grabovica?
16 A. Towards Jablanica.
17 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence as well.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: There's no objection.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. It's admitted into the evidence.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P279.
21 MR. RE: That completes my examination-in-chief.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 We might have a short break, and we'll resume at five minutes
24 past 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
3 And, Mr. Re used about 100 minutes for his direct examination. I
4 hope you could conduct your cross-examination more or less in the same
5 time frame.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey:
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Salihamidzic.
9 A. Good day.
10 Q. I think we -- we'll go straight to the -- the incidents.
11 When you attended at -- at Grabovica on the 9th of September, can
12 you just explain what vehicle you were in.
13 A. We went there in an official vehicle that belonged to our police
14 station. I think it was a Volkswagen.
15 Q. And can you tell the Tribunal, was it a marked vehicle identified
16 with police markings?
17 A. Yes, it was.
18 Q. I understand. And when you got to the checkpoint, whereabouts
19 did you park that vehicle? On the river side of the road or on the uphill
20 side of the road?
21 A. At the place where the checkpoint is located, there is a sort of
22 enlargement, an enlarged area. We parked to the right.
23 Q. I understand. I take it that you took no steps at that point to
24 conceal the fact that you were police attending at Grabovica. Is that
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And it was only once you -- well, I withdraw that. I'll come to
3 that question in a minute.
4 All right. Now, you've indicated that you held discussions there
5 with -- with Mr. Solakovic and the two Pranjics. Did you also have the
6 opportunity to speak to Zulfo, the refugee?
7 A. Yes. In fact, I spoke to Mr. Adnan Solakovic and the refugee
8 called Zulfo the most, and I only briefly saw Ivan Pranjic and Stoja. And
9 on that occasion, I don't think it was possible to speak to them, because
10 they were very frightened.
11 Q. Yes. I think you -- yes, I think you indicated that you were
12 able to take a statement from them the following day, when they calmed
13 down a bit. But at the time you saw them in Grabovica, they were
14 terrified; is that right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Now, when you turned around to leave the village, you didn't take
17 those two with you because you were concerned that you might endanger
18 yourselves and them by doing that; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, as you left the village, you indicated that you stopped at
21 the iron bridge and had a look down on the river-bank to see if you could
22 see a body. And what I wanted to ask you was: Apart from the body that
23 you searched for, did you notice any blood or human remains of any sort on
24 the iron bridge at the time of day that you were there?
25 A. At the bridge by which we stopped -- well, it was an iron bridge,
1 and you are probably referring to the bridge where there were allegedly
2 traces of blood, and that's not the same bridge. That bridge crosses the
3 Neretva; whereas, there's this other one, and on that bridge that crosses
4 the Neretva, there weren't any traces.
5 Q. I see. I'll just have to clarify that, because we've had
6 evidence from other witnesses on this topic. My questions at the moment,
7 first of all, concern the iron bridge, near to which you stopped and --
8 and performed a search for a body. On that particular iron bridge, is it
9 accurate that you saw no blood or human remains? Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I understand. But you have indicated that there's another bridge
12 that may be of interest in this regard. And I want to ask you this
13 question: Did you personally notice any blood on this other bridge?
14 A. We didn't stop on that bridge and from the car we didn't see any
16 Q. You heard some news about blood on that bridge; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When was it that you heard that news? Was it this day, the 9th
19 of September, or was it the following day, the 10th of September, or was
20 it later on again?
21 A. No. The information that concerned those traces was information
22 that we heard on the following day. When I spoke to Stoja, she told me
23 that the refugees who had gone to get bread that morning noticed blood on
24 the bridge but there were no bodies there.
25 Q. I understand. And can you just explain where that bridge is that
1 we're talking about now where -- on which the refugees had reported seeing
2 blood. Is it a bridge -- taking as your reference point the -- the road
3 that goes off to the right bank, departing from the main road. So I'm
4 taking as the reference point the junction of the -- the right bank road
5 with the main M17 highway. Okay?
6 Now, where is the bridge in relation to that junction? Is it
7 back towards Jablanica, or is it further on down towards Mostar?
8 A. No, the bridge is upstream from the junction where the M17 road
9 is. It's about 200 metres in the direction of the power plant dam. When
10 you come down from the main road, then the road goes back towards the dam.
11 You cross the bridge, and then you continue downstream towards the -- the
12 ramp we have mentioned. From the M17 road, you go upstream to the bridge
13 that crosses the Neretva River.
14 Q. Yes. I understand. So it's -- from the road junction we're
15 talking about, it's in the Jablanica direction, rather than the Mostar
16 direction; is that correct?
17 A. Yes. That's correct.
18 Q. Now, this bridge that we're now talking about is not the Aleksin
19 Han bridge but a separate bridge; is that correct?
20 A. No, that's not the Aleksin Han bridge. From Aleksin Han to this
21 bridge, the distance is about almost 5 kilometres.
22 Q. Yes, I understand. And as far as the jurisdiction of the
23 Jablanica police station goes, in peacetime and in normal circumstances
24 that jurisdiction stopped at the Aleksin Han bridge; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And as far as you know, there was no change made to that
2 jurisdiction, even after the war started. Is that also correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. So in a -- in a formal sense, the civilian police centre that was
5 supposed to be responsible for Grabovica and the villages south of that,
6 including Dreznica, was the public security centre at Mostar; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In fact, there was a police -- or there was a -- sorry, a state
10 security official named Sead Brankovic who was at that time from the
11 Mostar office, even though he was based at -- at your Jablanica police
12 station; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Very well. Now, persisting with the -- with what happened
15 on the 9th. You've already answered many of the questions that I had to
16 the learned Prosecutor, so I'm going to move fairly swiftly through this
17 part of the -- the day.
18 On your way -- after you'd -- after you'd been down to look at
19 the -- at the river, you saw a vehicle, and Mr. Kurt then described a
20 conversation that he had. Can I just ask you: When you saw that vehicle,
21 was it stopped or was it moving?
22 A. I saw that the vehicle was leaving. When I came from down below,
23 I could see that the vehicle was crossing the iron bridge and it was
24 heading in the direction of Jablanica.
25 Q. And were you able to tell, given the view you had, whether there
1 was one or more than one person in that vehicle?
2 A. I couldn't even see who was in the vehicle, nor could I see how
3 many people there were in it.
4 Q. And, in fact -- well, I understand that. You -- you were told
5 certain things by Mr. Kurt, and then you and he got in the car and drove
6 back to Jablanica; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, on the way back to Jablanica, did you pass by the checkpoint
9 or a -- a checkpoint, a long-standing checkpoint, actually, at the Aleksin
10 Han bridge?
11 A. Yes, at the Aleksin Han bridge, at the border between the
12 municipality of Jablanica and Mostar, there was a permanent checkpoint
13 manned by policemen from the Jablanica police station.
14 Q. Was that checkpoint manned in cooperation with the army, or was
15 it wholly and solely a police checkpoint?
16 A. At the time, this checkpoint was manned by the police alone.
17 Q. Very well. Now, at some stage in that journey, did you and
18 Mr. Kurt pass by three relatively old people walking on foot in the
19 direction of Jablanica?
20 A. On the road from Grabovica to Jablanica, there are two short
21 tunnels. Between the two tunnels, we met two women and a man. One of the
22 women raised her hand. In fact, she stopped the vehicle I was in. I
23 stopped and the woman then told me that they were inhabitants from the
24 left bank of Grabovica. She said they were Croats and they were taking a
25 man away who had survived a serious heart attack a month ago. And given
1 his condition, the temperature, they doubted he would reach Jablanica
2 alive, and they asked me to drive him to Jablanica, which is what I did.
3 Q. I understand. And did you get -- did you get the names of those
4 three individuals at the time or not?
5 A. No, I didn't know them. And when they got into the car, they
6 told me who they were, that they were the relatives of the wife of one of
7 my friends, Ljubas Stipe, someone I had known from before, his wife. They
8 called her Mica. I don't know if that's her name or nickname. But they
9 told me that they were relatives of theirs. And I took them to Jablanica
10 to his house -- to the flat in which Ljubas Stipe lives, but he worked as
11 an electrical technician in the hydroelectric power plant.
12 Q. I understand. And once -- I asked you whether you got their
13 names. Do you -- did you in subsequent times learn the names of these
15 A. I really didn't ask about their names. It wasn't necessary.
16 Q. No, that's okay. All right. So that your first thing -- the
17 first thing you did when you got back to Jablanica was to take -- take
18 those civilians to their relative's house.
19 When you went back to the police station, did you have Mr. Kurt
20 with you at that time, or -- or did you drop him off somewhere else?
21 A. No, he left before, and I went to the station on my own and
22 briefed Mr. Zebic.
23 Q. I understand. Can you just explain where you took Mr. Kurt to
24 before you -- before you went back to the police station.
25 A. As far as I can remember, I think he got out at the
1 administrative building of the Granit facility, which is where part of the
2 command of the 44th Brigade was located at the time.
3 Q. Could I just ask you, although I'm getting the narrative at the
4 moment, I'll just pause there. Did you know a 44th Brigade security
5 officer, SVB officer, named Zajko Sihirlic?
6 A. Yes. I knew him. I had known him in peacetime. He also worked
7 in the Jablanica power plant, and he still works there.
8 Q. Yes. Just in -- in terms of the building where you dropped off
9 Mr. Kurt. Was that also the building where Mr. Sihirlic worked at that
11 A. I couldn't answer that question. I'm not certain.
12 Q. Very well. Very well. And after that, you -- you made a -- you
13 went to the police station and gave a briefing to your senior -- to your
14 chief, Emin Zebic.
15 After that time, did you make contact with Nehru Manjusak, with a
16 view to rescuing the -- the two elderly people that you'd seen in the old
17 railway station at Grabovica?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Very well. Were you able to do that by telephone, given the
20 telephone situation in Jablanica at the time, or did you have to use some
21 other form of communication?
22 A. No, I went there personally. I went to the house in which Olga
23 Krstic lives together with her son-in-law.
24 Q. I understand and can you -- you don't have to be precise about
25 this, but just to give an estimate: Approximately how long were you away
1 from the police station undertaking that task?
2 A. I don't think that I was away for more than half an hour.
3 Q. I understand and after that, you formed the opinion that before
4 any other steps were taken, it was best to give Mr. Manjusak and, indeed,
5 Zuka some time to accomplish the task of rescuing these two persons; is
6 that correct?
7 A. I told Nehru Manjusak that he should do that as soon as possible,
8 and I think that he listened to my advice and that he left quite soon.
9 Q. Yes. And I just wanted to clarify what your position was about
10 the steps that you were going to take or might -- might take after that
11 time. Did you form the opinion that it was best to allow him a short
12 period of time at least to get to Grabovica and get out again before
13 anything else happened?
14 A. Well, Mr. Adnan Solakovic had warned me. He said that he
15 couldn't guarantee for the lives of those two elderly Croats who were in
16 that house and I believed that this should be done as a matter of priority
17 and that is why I proceeded in this way.
18 Q. Yes. Well, I -- I understand that completely. Well, my question
19 is, then: Did you become aware that Mr. Manjusak and Zuka had
20 successfully completed that mission?
21 A. I didn't know about that that evening. On the following day, in
22 the morning, I went to see whether Stoja and Ivan had been taken out. And
23 when I saw that that had been done, I was happy. And then the
24 circumstances were more normal to have a discussion about this affair.
25 Q. Very well. I understand that.
1 Now, after you had made that arrangement, did you go back to
2 the -- to the police station and speak once again to Mr. Zebic?
3 A. I returned to the police station, and afterwards Mr. Emin Zebic
4 summoned me. I was in my office. He called me because at the time Zuka
5 and Edib Saric had come to see him. He asked me to come to see him, to
6 see what they were discussing, and to exchange our opinions on what had
7 happened. And I was present when Zuka said that there had been a review.
8 Q. Yes. Okay. Now, I just want to be clear about -- about when
9 this particular meeting took place in the offices of -- of Mr. Zebic.
10 You've indicated that you -- I just want to make sure I'm right. So you
11 correct me if this order of events is wrong. Okay?
12 Firstly, you came back from Grabovica and you took the -- the
13 three travellers to their relative's house; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Next you dropped off Mr. Kurt where he had to go, at the 44th
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Next you went back to see Mr. Zebic at the police station.
19 A. On the 9th.
20 Q. Yes, we're on the 9th. Definitely we're still on the 9th.
21 A. That's the 9th.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. The next day, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Let me just stop there for a moment. I don't want to go
25 over into the 10th yet. I want to keep going with the 9th now if that's
1 okay. So on the 9th, you went and visited Mr. Nehru Manjusak, who was the
2 man who was going to go and rescue Ivan and Stoja Pranjic; is that
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Okay. And --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you told Emin Zebic that
8 that's what you were going to do.
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. I understand that. And then you've indicated that you were away
11 from the police station for no more than about half an hour. So after
12 that half hour was finished, did you then go back to the police station?
13 And this is still on the evening of the 9th at this stage.
14 A. I probably did. I was at the police station practically 24 hours
15 a day. At that time, I spent very little time away from the police
17 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, I understand that. And look, may I just say:
18 If I ask you about a detail that you don't remember, you're perfectly
19 entitled to say that to me. But I have to ask you the questions first to
20 find out.
21 Okay. After you arrived back at the police station from Nehru
22 Manjusak's house, do you recall at that time whether or not Emin Zebic
23 made some contact with the War Presidency?
24 A. I don't remember that. I don't know.
25 Q. I should just ask you this: Was -- was Emin Zebic obliged to
1 tell you whenever he made a contact with the War Presidency, of which he
2 was an ex officio member?
3 A. No, he didn't have this obligation. I am his subordinate, and I
4 have to inform my superior. But the information did not have to
5 necessarily flow from the other direction.
6 Q. I understand. So that's -- that's the -- that's the chain of
7 command issue. Do you now not recall whether or not he said anything to
8 you about this topic on the evening of the 9th, or do you have a
9 recollection of him raising that?
10 A. I don't remember anything. I don't remember that.
11 Q. Okay. Do you recall a visit being paid to the police station by
12 the minister of the interior, Bakir Alispahic, at that time?
13 A. I wasn't present. If yes, then I didn't attend that
15 Q. That's okay. My question to you right now is: On the evening of
16 the 9th, that is, the evening -- the very same evening of the day that you
17 went to Grabovica and spoke to Solakovic, were you told that Mr. Alispahic
18 was coming?
19 A. No, nobody informed me about that.
20 Q. Did you see --
21 A. Or rather, I don't know about that case.
22 Q. No, that's okay. I just have to ask you what you saw and what
23 you heard. I'm not going to ask you to make any guesses,
24 Mr. Salihamidzic.
25 Well, did you see a vehicle arrive bringing Mr. Alispahic to the
1 police station?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you see Bakir Alispahic in the police station at any time?
4 On that evening, I mean.
5 A. Yes. Yes. No, I didn't see him.
6 Q. Okay. And do you recall whether anyone of the other staff who
7 were present at the police station that evening mentioned to you the
8 presence of Bakir Alispahic, the minister of the interior of the Bosnian
10 A. I don't remember that.
11 Q. And where is your office located in respect of the office of your
12 superior, Emin Zebic, within the confines of that building?
13 A. When you go up the stairs and then you go straight after that,
14 there is another staircase to the right, and in that part is where
15 Mr. Zebic's office is. So I really didn't have to know whether he was
16 there or not.
17 Q. I see. And a person going to Mr. Zebic's office, did they have
18 to pass by your office in the normal course of events?
19 A. No. No, he didn't -- or they didn't. My office was in a
20 different part of the building in relation to where Mr. Zebic's office
22 Q. Okay. I understand.
23 Could you just explain: When -- if you wanted to make a call on
24 the telephone line to a military unit in town, could you just dial a
25 number from your office, or did you have to arrange it through a
1 communications officer at the police station?
2 A. Civilian telephones were functioning at the time, and it was just
3 possible to use regular numbers and regular telephones. The PTT was
4 functioning normally in Jablanica at the time.
5 Q. In the event that you needed to ring, for example, a -- a
6 military security person at the 44th Brigade, would it have been your
7 practice just to pick up the telephone and dial the number?
8 A. To tell you the truth, I had very little contacts with the 44th
9 Brigade. The contacts with the 44th Brigade went mainly through
10 Mr. Zebic.
11 Q. I understand.
12 A. If I can explain that. We divided our duties in such a way that
13 I dealt with the organisational matters within the police station, while
14 Mr. Zebic was in charge of contacts with the outside.
15 Q. I understand. Was there at the police station a -- apart from
16 the normal telephone -- the normal civilian telephone system, was there
17 another telephone system in existence that the police would use for
18 particular calls, or did you just always use the normal telephone system?
19 A. We used the normal public telephone system.
20 Q. Did that involve any intermediary from your station placing the
21 call to the receiver of the call, or was it -- or was the situation this:
22 That the caller would simply dial the number and go through in the normal
23 way to the receiver of the call?
24 A. There was a telephone in Mr. Zebic's office with which you could
25 dial the outside lines directly. All the other offices were linked to the
1 duty officer in the station, and he would be the one to dial outside
3 Q. But when it came to Mr. Zebic, he could make the calls himself;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Very well. And do you recall now the name of the duty officer
7 who handled other calls from the other telephones in the institution? At
8 least, the duty officer who was on that night, if you can remember.
9 A. No, I don't remember that.
10 Q. Very well. Okay. And later that night, did anyone tell you that
11 Bakir Alispahic had been in the -- in the building?
12 A. I didn't know about it that night. I didn't find out that Bakir
13 Alispahic had been there, no.
14 Q. Yes. Were you told on some later occasion that Bakir Alispahic
15 had visited, or not?
16 A. I don't remember that, but at some point I was probably told.
17 Emin Zebic probably told me that Alispahic was there, but I really don't
18 remember that right now.
19 Q. Yes, I understand. So your position is it's possible that you
20 were told this, but you yourself do not recall being told this; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. I just want to ask you a couple of other quick questions
24 on this basis. You -- you told an investigator from the ICTY, a man
25 called Nikolai Mikhailov, the following information. I just want to check
1 whether -- whether it's the case or not.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this is the statement dated the
3 20th of the 2nd, 2000. The interviewer on this occasion was
4 Mr. Nikolai Mikhailov. This is a document provided to us by the
6 Q. I'm just going to read you a passage now and I just want to
7 confirm with you whether the information is -- is accurate to your
9 You said this -- and which this is at page 5, the third-last
10 paragraph, Your Honours: "On the 11th of September, I prepared
11 information which was sent to the Ministry of the Interior in Mostar by
12 way of Sejo Brankovic." I'm going to put some more information to you,
13 but I just want to check with you: Is that accurate? Is that what you
15 A. Yes. Yes. I put the report together on the 11th, and I gave it
16 to the chief, Mr. Zebic.
17 Q. Yes. And you told the truth about that to this investigator,
18 Nikolai Mikhailov, and you signed a statement to that effect; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. I'll go on to the next sentence: "Emin Zebic told me that
22 he had informed Jusuf Jasarevic, military security chief in Sarajevo, by
24 Now, is that accurate?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. That's what you told the investigator and you signed the
2 statement as true because it is true; correct?
3 A. I really don't know about this right now. I'm not sure. I gave
4 the statement, I think, in 2000. That's already seven years after the
5 events. I remember the following: During a conversation with Mr. Zebic,
6 when we were discussing it, he informed me that everybody who should have
7 received the report had received it, and he meant both those from the
8 military and the civilian structures. Perhaps later we spoke about it and
9 he mentioned that Jusuf Jasarevic had also received a report, but ...
10 Q. Well, I'm just wanting to check right now whether what you said
11 to Mr. Mikhailov was accurate. And the sentence that I read to you
12 is: "Emin Zebic told me that he had informed Jusuf Jasarevic, military
13 security chief in Sarajevo, by facsimile."
14 Now, is that the fact? Is that what Emin Zebic did tell you?
15 A. I don't know how he informed me, but I think I think he asked me
16 whether it was possible to inform Mr. Jasarevic by fax or something like
17 that. I cannot really confirm this statement. He did say that he was
18 informed, but I don't know in which manner. I'm not sure about that any
20 Q. Okay. Well, I just want to be clear. I don't want to mislead
21 you here, so I'll just clarify that. Is your position this: Emin Zebic
22 told you that he had informed Jusuf Jasarevic but you can't recall whether
23 that was done by fax or by some other means? Is that accurate?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Okay. Well, I'll go on now with this statement. And once again,
3 you're entitled to -- to make the comment that you -- that you have to
4 make, but I'll ask you some questions about it.
5 You then said to the investigator: "I have with me a copy of my
6 report, and I can provide the investigator with a copy of the report."
7 And I just want -- I want to ask you this: Did you tell the investigator
8 that you -- that you had a copy of that report, and did you in fact give
9 the investigator a copy of that report?
10 A. Yes, this is an official note that we saw here earlier. What I
11 want to add also is that the official note that copy, you can see that it
12 was given to Sejo Brankovic on the 12th of September.
13 Q. Yes. And to your -- just again, we're jumping forward, but to
14 your knowledge, Sejo Brankovic in turn reported to his superiors at the
15 Mostar Public Security Station; is that correct?
16 A. I think that we saw that report. Nobody informed me about it,
17 but I've seen that document somewhere.
18 Q. Yes. That's okay. Anyway, the last sentence I wanted to -- to
19 take you to from this statement was this one, and it's the final sentence
20 in paragraph 3: "Emin said that he had already informed Sefer Halilovic."
21 Now, is that the fact? Is that what Emin told you?
22 A. I don't know, to be exact. I'm not sure about that particular
24 Q. Sorry. Just excuse me one second.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. MORRISSEY:
2 Q. Okay. Thanks. Do you agree that you said that to Mr. Mikhailov
3 in the statement here: "Emin said that he had already informed Sefer
5 A. If that's written, then I probably did say it.
6 Q. I'm not going to hold you to that, in light of developments in
7 the case. I just want to ask you: Do you have any recollection of
8 telling that to this particular investigator, as I'm interested in your
9 words, not his, frankly. So do you recall telling that to the
10 investigator or not?
11 A. I remember saying it. I signed it. I did have a translation of
13 Q. Okay. Since you remember saying it, "Emin said that he had
14 already informed Sefer Halilovic," did you say that because it's true?
15 A. I don't remember all the particulars. I remember the following,
16 and I said that before. Information was sent to all those that it should
17 have been sent to. I don't know whether it was sent to Sefer Halilovic.
18 I'm not sure about that.
19 Q. Okay. Well, look, thank you for clarifying that. Those are the
20 questions on that topic.
21 All right. Now, pardon me, we did jump forward then, but we
22 were -- I want to go back now to the evening of the 9th, and I'd ask you
23 some questions about Mr. Alispahic, and you've indicated you didn't know
24 anything about it. But before any of that happened, there was some
25 evacuation of citizens from the left bank -- from the left side of
1 Grabovica that was arranged. I wanted to ask you about that. Did you
2 have any part in arranging the evacuation of left-bank Croatian civilians
3 in the evening or late in the afternoon, early in the evening of the 9th
4 of September? Did you play any part in that?
5 A. No, I didn't play any part in that. My part of it were the --
6 was the driving-back of those three people.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. And I mentioned that before.
9 Q. Yes, you did mention that. I agree. We've heard some evidence
10 in this court from particular witnesses about what occurred on that
11 occasion. I just want to ask whether you had operative information about
12 these matters.
13 First of all, were you aware that soldiers and, indeed, people
14 from the War Presidency assisted in driving elderly Croatian civilians out
15 of the left bank of Grabovica late in the afternoon and into the evening
16 of the 9th? I understand you didn't do it yourself, but were you aware
17 that that was going on?
18 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
19 Q. Okay. Well, if that's the case, I won't pester you with
20 questions about it.
21 You were aware though that the following day Zulfikar Alispago
22 came along and indicated some numbers of people that had been evacuated;
23 is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. All right. Thank you. Well, I'm now going to come
1 to that -- that day, and I must say to you I'm grateful to you for going
2 through this in detail, as -- as we are, bearing in mind His Honour's
4 On the following day, you asked questions of a number of -- well,
5 I want to ask you about this. You went and visited the two Pranjics and
6 asked some questions of them; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. They provided you with a list of persons who, in their opinion,
9 were living in the village on the right bank in September of 1993; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In fact, that information chiefly came from Stoja; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I just want to press you for some detail about that. You may
15 remember; you may not. But let me just ask the questions and we'll see.
16 When asking about those people who were living in Grabovica on
17 the right bank at the relevant time, did you ask Stoja how long it was
18 since she had personally sighted each of these individuals or not?
19 A. No, I didn't ask Stoja about that. What I wanted was for Stoja
20 and me to make a list of the inhabitants grouped by families. Stoja
21 couldn't really see anything because she didn't really budge from the
23 Q. No. And in respect of the individuals who were on that list
24 therefor ^, you had no information as to how recently those individuals
25 had been seen in the village, apart, of course, from the ones that you'd
1 heard of as being killed; is that correct?
2 A. The list that was made, the list with 30 persons on it, those
3 were the people who lived there before the soldiers came to the left bank.
4 Q. Now, which soldiers are you talking about that came to the left
5 bank? Do you mean Cedo's Wolves?
6 A. The right bank.
7 Q. Oh.
8 A. No, no, I am thinking of the soldiers who came to the right bank
9 of the Neretva. These are units -- soldiers of the -- Adnan Solakovic's
10 unit, and then there was another unit, the unit of Ramiz Delalic, Celo.
11 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, I think my question has been a bit -- a bit
12 general there, so I'm going to try to put it a bit more precisely.
13 When you were given this information about the -- the civilians
14 who lived in the village prior to the arrival of those soldiers, you were
15 not told how recently those persons had actually been seen by Stoja before
16 the time of those troops' arrival. In other words, had she seen them one
17 day before? Had she seen them four days before? Had she seen them a week
18 before? You just didn't have any information on that score. Is that
19 correct or not?
20 A. I'm speaking about the people who are the original inhabitants of
21 that part of Grabovica.
22 Q. Yes. Very well. I'm sorry, this does seem to be tiresome. I
23 apologise for it. Taking, for example, on that list the name Brekalo.
24 She didn't tell you when was the last time she saw any of the Brekalo
25 family; is that correct?
1 A. No, she didn't.
2 Q. Yes. What she told you is, "This family lived in Grabovica at
3 the time."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Yes. Okay. Thank you. We got there.
6 Very well. On the 10th of -- we're now on to the 10th. On the
7 10th of September, you have indicated that you had certain about --
8 conversations and meetings with potential witnesses in the case. I want
9 to ask you about operative information that you may have received about
10 steps taken by other people at the time, and in particular I'm going to
11 ask you about the SVB.
12 Did you become aware that Mr. Sahic and Mr. Dzelmo went to the
13 left bank to try to speak to the Muslim refugees who were still there?
14 A. Excuse me, but could you please repeat the last names again.
15 Q. Yes. I will, and you'll have to forgive the pronunciation.
16 Mr. Nusret Sahic and Mr. Dzenaid Dzelmo, both people we understand to be
17 associated with the -- the military police and military security in
18 Jablanica. Did you become aware that -- I know you didn't go with them,
19 but did you become aware that they went to the left bank of Grabovica and
20 tried to talk to the Muslim refugees who were present there?
21 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
22 Q. Just to be clear about this, they didn't have any obligation to
23 report to you, of course, did they?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. We've heard some evidence from Mr. Zebic on this topic already.
1 Was Mr. Zebic obliged to share what he knew about that with you, or not?
2 A. No, he went obliged.
3 Q. Okay. Well -- yes, well, okay. I understand that. I just have
4 one final question on that topic for you, and it may jog your memory. Do
5 you recall whether military police investigators spoke to or tried to
6 speak to a particular refugee with the name Muharem, who was said to be
7 resident on the left bank of the Neretva River?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. No, okay.
10 A. That's the first time I've heard about this.
11 Q. Okay. On the 10th of September, you saw Namik Dzankovic; is that
13 A. Sejo Brankovic, in fact, introduced me to him.
14 Q. And it was on that occasion that you met Namik Dzankovic; is that
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. I understand. Okay.
18 A. I didn't even know his last name. He told me that his name was
19 Namik. I didn't know his last name at the time.
20 Q. Okay. I understand. Anyway, just to confirm this, though, that
21 it was on the 10th of January -- not January. Sorry. That it was on the
22 10th of September that you met him for the first time in the company of
23 Sejo Brankovic; is that right?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Okay. We've heard some evidence from Mr. Zebic already about
1 visits by Dzankovic to the -- to the police station. Do you recall
2 meeting Mr. Dzankovic yourself during any of those visits, or not? And
3 these are visits subsequent to the first time you met him.
4 A. I can't remember any subsequent meetings now. I think that we
5 would meet each other, but we didn't really have discussions of any kind.
6 I think he would see Sejo Brankovic the most.
7 Q. That was my --
8 A. Who had an office.
9 Q. I'm sorry. Now, I cut you off. That was going to be my next
11 To your knowledge, Namik Dzankovic, when he came to the police
12 station, would chiefly associate with Sejo Brankovic; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. And to your knowledge, Brankovic was associated with the
15 Mostar police station?
16 A. I knew him from before, and I know that he worked in the Mostar
17 MUP. But I think that at this time he worked in the state security sector
18 and he was representing an organ in Jablanica --
19 Q. I understand. On a report that he wrote, we've seen that he
20 reported to somebody in Mostar - sorry - called Alica Bilic. I just want
21 to ask: Do you know who Alica Bilic is, or was at that time?
22 A. I think Alica Bilic was the chief of the State Security Service
23 in Mostar.
24 Q. Yes. Thank you. Did Sejo Brankovic have access to a vehicle in
25 the two weeks or so following the killings at Grabovica?
1 A. I don't know. I know that they requested that the police station
2 assist them, as far as having a vehicle at their disposal was concerned.
3 But as to whether he had a vehicle of his own, I don't know.
4 Q. That's okay. But your recollection is that the police station
5 did provide a vehicle to Brankovic and Dzankovic in the -- in the
6 fortnight or so after the killings; is that correct?
7 A. I can't remember how long that took, as to whether they had it at
8 their disposal at all times or not, I don't know. I know we had some
9 vehicles which had no police markings. They were, in fact, civilian
10 vehicles, and those are the vehicles that they probably used.
11 Q. I understand. I'm just going to get to that meeting at the flat
12 of Zuka in a minute, but before that, I just have one question about
13 this -- the rumour that was passed to you by Zuka and I think by -- I just
14 can't recall if you said Brankovic or not but -- in relation to the rape
15 that was said to have taken place on that day. (redacted)
18 Q. Now, moving to the incident at the flat --
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Re.
20 MR. RE: Just in relation to the -- the last question and answer,
21 perhaps that's something that could be redacted from the transcript and
22 not broadcast.
23 JUDGE LIU: Why?
24 MR. RE: Personal details of an alleged rape victim.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll redact the name.
1 You may proceed.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
3 Very well. Now, Your Honours, I'm going to ask some questions
4 about that -- that meeting at the -- at the flat, so perhaps we could move
5 into the private session briefly.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into the private session, please.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 63 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 64 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 65 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 MR. MORRISSEY:
4 Q. Very well. After that time, you personally had no involvement in
5 investigating the killings at Grabovica; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you were not shown any of the correspondence that passed
8 between members of the military security at that time; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, not until I arrived there -- not until I came here. I never
10 saw such correspondence.
11 Q. Yes. Well, in that case, I won't ask you about it.
12 And I take it that given the large number of refugees and all of
13 the social problems that there were in Jablanica at that time, you had
14 plenty of other work to do in your job as deputy of the police station at
15 Jablanica. Is that correct?
16 [Trial Chamber and usher confer]
17 A. Well, I don't know. We weren't responsible for social cases. We
18 were more concerned with public law and order. There were other services
19 responsible for social cases.
20 Q. That's okay. My question was quite badly phrased, actually, so
21 I'll put it again.
22 Around late August and early September was a very busy time for
23 you working at that police station, quite apart from the killings at
24 Grabovica; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. There was quite a lot of work.
1 Q. And you yourself were working very long hours at that time.
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Very well. Just excuse me one minute, please.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. MORRISSEY:
6 Q. Yes. Sorry. I'm just reminded of one other matter.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: I've nearly finished now, Your Honour. I'm not
8 sure whether I've made it within the 100 minutes.
9 Q. But you gave evidence about a person called Mr. Turkic. Do you
10 recall that he was one of the people you spoke to?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I just wanted to ask you whether you spoke to or -- or you tried
13 to speak to a person called Osman Kovacevic in the course of that part of
14 the investigation.
15 A. No, I don't know who that person is. This is the first time I've
16 heard this name.
17 Q. That's okay.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Thank you very much for your patience.
19 Those are the questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 Well, maybe we could take a break right now, and we'll resume at
22 quarter to 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, any redirect, Mr. Re?
1 MR. RE: Yes, there is a -- there are a few short questions.
2 Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. RE: Could the court officer please show the witness Exhibit
5 P67, which is a photograph.
6 Re-examined by Mr. Re:
7 Q. The reason for this will become very apparent, Mr. Salihamidzic,
8 when you see it.
9 You were asked a number of questions about an iron bridge into
10 Grabovica. Is that the iron bridge in question?
11 A. Yes, that's the bridge in question.
12 MR. RE: That be the removed. Thank you.
13 Q. My learned colleague Mr. Morrissey asked you about your -- your
14 list -- the list of people who had been living in Grabovica that Stoja
15 Pranjic had given you, and he asked you at page 57 about information as to
16 whether or not she had seen -- seen those persons before, or a number of
17 questions; in other words, had she seen them one day before? Had she seen
18 them four days before? Had she seen them a week before? You didn't have
19 any information on that score. "Is that correct or not?" And you
20 answered, "I'm speaking about the people who are the original inhabitants
21 of that part of Grabovica."
22 He then asked, "Very well. I'm sorry. This does seem to be
23 tiresome. I apologise for it. Take, for example, the name of that list
24 Brekalo. She didn't tell you when was the last time she saw any of the
25 Brekalo family; is that correct?"
1 To which you answered, "No, she didn't."
2 Next question: "Well, what she told you is this family lived in
3 Grabovica at the time."
4 Answer: "Yes."
5 Were you aware yourself whether or not the Brekalo family lived
6 in Grabovica at the time, independently of anything that Stoja Pranjic
7 told you?
8 A. Mr. Josip Brekalo lived in Jablanica before the war. He was the
9 chief of the waitering service in the Jablanica Hotel. But when the
10 fighting broke out in the first half of 1993, he went to Grabovica, and
11 that's where he lived.
12 Q. What about Luca Brekalo, the other member of the Brekalo family?
13 A. Luca Brekalo came from Konjic to take care of her husband's sick
14 father, Martin Maric.
15 Q. Have you ever seen any of those people since September 1993?
16 A. No, I haven't seen Luca or Josip Brekalo.
17 MR. RE: That completes my re-examination. Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Judge El Mahdi, please.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to clarify a
24 few matters firstly. I'd like to ask you about your visit to Mr. Zuka's
25 flat, which was on the 9th in the evening. My first question is as
1 follows: Who was present?
2 A. At that meeting, in addition to Zulfikar Alispago, I was present,
3 Namik Dzankovic was there, Sejo Brankovic, and Edib Saric were there.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And could you tell
5 us the reason for this meeting?
6 A. The reason for the meeting was the information provided by Sejo
7 Brankovic. He said that he had found out there were excesses occurring in
8 Grabovica again and there was the alleged rape of some girl. This was on
9 the left bank of the Neretva.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. So is it Zuka who took the
11 initiative and wanted to organise this meeting? Was he in some sense
12 responsible for the area, the person in charge of the area?
13 A. Sejo Brankovic told me that Zuka was calling us to go there for
14 that reason, and in fact there was an agreement between Zuka and Sejo
15 Brankovic when I went there. It was Sejo Brankovic who called me there.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So it was a friendly meeting,
17 then. Or was it a meeting of an official kind? Would you describe the
18 meeting as "friendly," rather than "official"?
19 A. Well, I don't know in what sense it would have been an official
20 meeting. I think it was more to see what was going on and to see if we
21 could agree on certain measures. But there was nothing particularly
22 official. It's not as if someone had ordered us to attend that meeting.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, in your opinion,
24 were you asked to attend the meeting in a personal capacity or in an
25 official capacity? That is to say, were you invited to the meeting as a
1 police member, as the police representative?
2 A. Well, I really don't know. Sejo Brankovic asked me to go there,
3 and I did.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And did you have the impression
5 that Celo had been invited to the meeting, or did he just appear
6 unexpectedly? Did you have the impression that Zuka had asked him to
8 A. I didn't have that impression. I think he turned up by chance.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And my last question: Could you
10 tell us whether Zuka had the duty of taking care of logistical support for
11 the troops that were to stay in Grabovica.
12 A. I don't know anything about that.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [In English] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's question?
16 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, there is.
18 Your Honour, I'm -- it's just one matter that arose.
19 I'm sorry, would you just excuse me while this transcript is
20 fixed. I just want to get the correct quote.
21 Further cross-examination by Mr. Morrissey:
22 Q. At line -- at page 69, line 15, His Honour Judge El Mahdi asked
23 you a question concerning the meeting at Zuka's, and he -- he put to you,
24 I think it's been translated as -- that "This meeting was on the 9th of
25 September in the evening." Now, to your understanding, that meeting took
1 place actually, which I think was your evidence, on the evening of the
2 10th of September; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, on the 10th.
4 Q. Yes, I understand.
5 Would you just excuse me for one moment.
6 And indeed, it's -- it's included in your official note that at
7 around 2030 hours -- this is at page 3 on the English translation,
8 Your Honours. It's included in your official note, that on 2030 hours on
9 the 10th of September, 1993 you were informed by Sead Brankovic -- Sead
10 Brankovic of the Mostar SDB that strange things were happening and you
11 went on to explain how that meeting took place. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: That's the only matter, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
17 MR. RE: Not from the Prosecution side, no.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Thank you.
19 Well, Witness, thank you very much indeed for coming to The Hague
20 to give your evidence. Madam Usher will show you out of the room, and we
21 wish you a pleasant journey back home.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, we still have some time left. Maybe it's the
25 opportunity for us to discuss about the motions filed by the Prosecution
1 concerning with the 89(F) witnesses.
2 I have received the filings from the Prosecution and I would like
3 to know whether there's any response from the Defence team.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 There's a short response in respect to two of the witnesses,
6 and -- and a slightly longer one in respect of another.
7 The witnesses Zelenika and Stojanovic -- well, perhaps I should
8 say this: I should start by saying this, Your Honours: Given the way
9 that the Prosecution have put the case there, it really appears that the
10 witnesses shouldn't be called at all, though they just seem to be
11 extraneous in the Prosecution's case, quite frankly. So my initial
12 position would be that they shouldn't be witnesses at all, any -- all
13 three of them. And that's simply based on the -- on matters of relevance,
14 quite frankly, and remoteness.
15 It's the Prosecution's own case that they're -- these statements
16 are cumulative; and I'm quoting now from paragraph 7: "These statements
17 are short, succinct, and in essence cumulative of evidence already heard
18 and to be heard in the case." And if that's right, well, there's just no
19 need for that evidence to trouble the Court at all. If the evidence
20 doesn't matter, it shouldn't be led.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, you mean three of them?
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, that's in respect of all three, Your Honour.
23 The other submission I have is in the alternative to that, and I'll deal
24 with the other two separately, so --
25 JUDGE LIU: Can you tell me the name of the three potential
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, I can. But, Your Honour, sorry, does
3 this -- I just notice that this as got a confidential mark on it. Do we
4 have to --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into the private session, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 75-79 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
7 Are there any other matters that the parties would like to bring
8 to the attention to this Bench at this stage?
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I just have one matter that -- I'm
10 not sure whether this Bench can -- can assist us or not. But it relates
11 to the -- the transcript, and this is a problem that bedevils both the
12 Defence and, I imagine, the Prosecutor in the same way. I'm told that on
13 the old LiveNote system, it used to be easy to tell where the parties had
14 gone into closed session. And we are concerned -- my learned friend Mr.
15 Re, I think it was he, and it might also have been Ms. Chana who raised as
16 a possible issue at the end of the case the -- in presenting closing
17 arguments and so on that looking to the transcript one has to be very
18 careful to see what parts are in -- in open session and which parts
19 aren't. And I just wanted to put on record that -- that the need, perhaps
20 in this Chamber but also probably in other ones as well -- that there be
21 some indication on the LiveNote system that's easy for counsel on both
22 sides to -- to use in order to prepare statements that are -- prepare
23 closing statements and other submissions that -- that don't breach the
24 Rules and don't -- don't inadvertently betray material that shouldn't have
25 been betrayed at -- with the public.
1 One expedient that seemed to me to be a possibility was that
2 through some technical intervention it might be possible to shade the page
3 a different shade of colour when it is in -- when it's in the closed
4 session. For example, that it could have a particular green tinge or some
5 other sort of sign that indicated easily for counsel, who are trying to
6 think about other things, frankly, at the time when they're going through
7 the material.
8 Now, it's only a thought now, and I -- I don't ask for a ruling.
9 From the Defence point of view, we would welcome any initiative from the
10 Prosecutors, from the Court, or from -- from the registry, which would
11 assist in that. And I think about that because this case is moving along
12 reasonably swiftly. And although there are some miles still to go, the
13 time has come to start thinking about the end presentation and when and
14 how this case is to be presented.
15 So I raise it for that reason now, Your Honour, and place it on
16 record, effectively, for the Court's assistance and -- and in order to
17 elicit any ideas that can help, frankly.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, to my knowledge, according to the present
19 practice, in the transcript we see the "open session" in square brackets,
20 then "private session" or "closed session" also in the square brackets.
21 Don't you think that's enough?
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, it assists when you're using the
23 transcript in a linear way in preparation. But in a case like this where
24 there is to be some cross-referencing between witnesses, both by the
25 Prosecutor and the Defence, no doubt, at the end, one simply goes from --
1 from page numbers.
2 Now, you may have a situation with some witnesses who have spent
3 a number of pages in the open session and a number of pages not. In those
4 situations, if one went at random to page 300 and it didn't have a marking
5 on it, yes, it's true you can scroll back and look. And that's what we'll
6 have to do. It is a matter that's potentially time consuming. Well, I've
7 found it time consuming myself. It doesn't end justice, I say, but if
8 anything can be done, it would be welcome. And I just mention it now.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any good ideas or suggestions from the
11 Yes, Mr. Re.
12 MR. RE: There is one. I hope it may assist. I -- I did allude
13 to it last week or earlier this week, and that is if there's a -- a Word
14 version published. I've been told by our case manager that there is in
15 fact a Word version being prepared by the transcript coordinators. Now,
16 the Word version, as Your Honours will appreciate, of course, has on the
17 top of every page whether it's in open, private, or closed session. So
18 it -- and it also has a running transcript. So it's very easy if you --
19 you look at the Word version to work out from the top of each page whether
20 there is anything on that page which is in open or closed session.
21 Now, the Prosecution -- I mean, bearing where we are now, it
22 would be very difficult for to go back right through the LiveNote and to
23 shade it, because it's very hard to find when you're reading on the screen
24 whether something is continuing in open or closed session. So my
25 suggestion would be -- my respectful suggestion, if the parties could use
1 the Word version with "open" or "closed" written on the top of each page,
2 we would certainly know and the Trial Chamber would certainly know whether
3 something was in open or closed session just by looking at the top of the
4 page, because it indicates how long it goes, whether it's the next page or
5 the page afterwards.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
7 Well, as I said at the very beginning of this trial, this trial
8 is the first one in the International Tribunal to practice so-called
9 e-court system, which is supposed to be a non-paper trial. Of course
10 there are many shortcomings or inconveniences using the e-court system,
11 but the direction that we should stick to is very important. So I'm
12 afraid that we could not issue the hard copies of the transcripts at this
13 stage, but Defence's suggestion to using the different colours on those
14 transcripts might be a very good idea. Certainly I'll refer these
15 suggestions to the technicians for the e-court system. And frankly
16 speaking, I'm not quite familiar with those computers, the new gadgets
18 So I believe that we have to leave it in the hands of the
20 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
21 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, could I -- I'm grateful for the
22 Prosecutor's suggestions and also I'm grateful for the indication that
23 Your Honour gave.
24 Could I say on behalf of the Defence that notwithstanding raising
25 that matter, we want to express our great appreciation for the e-court
1 system and make it clear that although we raise issues from time to time,
2 in general terms we consider that we've been helped greatly by it. It's
3 made our presentation of the case easier. We hope it's made it easier for
4 other parties to -- to deal with as well. And we are very appreciative
5 of -- of the support that the -- those involved in presenting the e-court
6 system have given us.
7 We, too, make mistakes in using that system, and we have no
8 difficulty with having those pointed out to us. Indeed, that has been
9 done in a constructive and sensible way.
10 So I want to be clear that in raising the matters I raise, it's
11 not a criticism of the e-court system as such. Quite the contrary. And
12 we hope to continue using it in the way that we have and we're very happy
13 with it.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
15 Yes, Mr. Re.
16 MR. RE: Just one clarification, Your Honour, from -- my
17 submission earlier. I wasn't suggesting that there'd be a printout of the
18 Word version. It's just provided electronically in a folder and when you
19 open it on the page, you can see at the top of each page that it's open or
20 closed session. So just to clarify any confusion about that.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much indeed.
22 Are there any other matters?
23 It seems to me none. And the hearing for today is adjourned, and
24 we'll meet next Monday in the morning sitting, I believe.
25 The hearing is adjourned.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.21 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of
3 March, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.