1 Thursday, 24 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, 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. Did you have a good rest yesterday?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Good morning.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll try to let you go back to spend your
14 Easter at home.
15 Yes, Ms. Chana.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 WITNESS: SEFKO HODZIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 MS. CHANA: May it please Your Honours. If you'd give me a
20 moment, please.
21 Examined by Ms. Chana: [Continued]
22 MS. CHANA: Sorry, Your Honours. If you would give me a moment,
24 Q. Yes. Good morning, Mr. Hodzic.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Yesterday before the break, we were talking about the offensive
2 which was supposed to have begun from Bugojno to Mostar and that was on
3 the 13th of September. Now, did this offensive begin on that day?
4 A. Not the entire area. Just one part of that area, in the
5 direction of Crni Vrh, and probably somewhere from Bugojno. I'm not
7 Q. And why was that?
8 A. When we got back to Jablanica on the 12th, we realised that for
9 the central, southern part of the front, things had not been prepared
10 yet. And the telephone lines were not there, and so it was not possible
11 to do anything.
12 Q. Now, where did you go next on -- on the 13th of September?
13 A. On the 13th of September in the morning, I went to see Mr. Sefer
14 Halilovic at Zuka's flat where he was staying and then we set out to
15 Dobro Polje. Actually, we went to Voljevac and Dobro Polje. We were
16 expecting some fighting because we heard shelling. Jablanica was being
18 Q. And where did you go after that? Who did you see?
19 A. When we got there, to the area of Dobro Polje where the fighters
20 of the Prozor Battalion were, they were all resting basically and they
21 should have been at the front line. Sefer -- and there was a fighter
22 there who had a sense of humour, and we laughed a lot with him the day
23 before. And he said, "Why are you lying around? Why aren't you
24 fighting?" And he said, "Well, I'm awaiting orders." And then we found
25 out that the Prozor Battalion did not go anywhere that morning, although
1 it had been their task.
2 Q. And why was it that they did not go into action that morning?
3 A. Enver Buza, the commander of the battalion, came rather fast, and
4 he said, "Somebody is pulling somebody's leg here because I only got the
5 fuel this morning at 4.00 a.m. and I had 2 litres of petrol before and I
6 couldn't go into action because I didn't have any fuel." So he could not
7 have his ambulances with him in case there were any wounded.
8 Q. And how did Sefer Halilovic react to this news about the Prozor
9 Independent Battalion not going into action?
10 A. Well, he was very surprised, and he said -- well, he didn't want
11 Buza's fighters to hear and he said, "Who made him a commander of the
12 battalion anyway?"
13 Q. Did he say anything else?
14 A. I think -- I think that -- he said that there were similar
15 occasions in the past where three or four times similar situations arose.
16 And I mean, he did not cause any unpleasantness in front of the fighters,
17 but he said, "Let's go in the direction of Voljevac," and he asked him to
18 come along. And then Braco Fazlic came along, who was the deputy or the
19 Chief of Staff of the commander of the 6th Corps. And I asked him,
20 "Well, who put Buza there?" And he said, "I did. He's a good man."
21 Q. But what was Sefer Halilovic's demeanour towards Enver Buza?
22 A. As far as I remember, he did not cause any problems in front of
23 the men, but he said to him to come down to Voljevac, the village that we
24 were going to.
25 Q. And was there any other meeting with Enver Buza that you heard
1 and Sefer Halilovic?
2 A. It was when we got to Voljevac.
3 Q. And what happened then?
4 A. We got there first, before they did, and there was Bilajac there.
5 So it was a private home owned by some man, and we got to that house and
6 Bilajac, Suljevic, and Karic were there and Enver Zejnilagic. And we
7 were later joined by Buza and Braco Fazlic.
8 Q. Yes. And what were they discussing?
9 A. Well, Sefer told him that he did not carry out his task and that
10 he had to go into operation the day after and that Suljevic was to
11 accompany him.
12 Q. Why did he want to send Suljevic with him?
13 A. Well, I suppose he didn't really trust him to go -- to go into
14 operation. I suppose.
15 Q. All right. And then what did you do after that?
16 A. We spent almost a whole day there. We were following combat
17 operations. We went to the liaison centre in the basement, all of us,
18 and fighting was underway. And our fighters took Gvozd. That was the
20 And everything looked great in the beginning, but later on in the
21 afternoon we heard the news that one of the most famous farmers --
22 fighters, other, of Neretvica fell. So I went out and I was interviewing
23 someone. But at any rate, we were there. We were following combat
24 operations and then we went back.
25 Q. Did you ever hear anything about what happened during this combat
1 in Uzdol?
2 A. That was prior to the fighting in Uzdol. It was before they went
3 to Uzdol.
4 Q. No, but did you ever discover any -- any crimes, if they had been
5 committed, in Uzdol?
6 A. On that day, there could have been no crimes, because nobody left
7 their bases. It happened the day after.
8 Q. Yes. And what happened the day after?
9 A. On the day after, this real fighting was supposed to start in the
10 real area, in the intended area, the area that we had organised it all
11 for in order to go in the direction of Mostar. And it was Sefer's plan
12 to go in the -- towards the south, in the direction of Mostar, and not
13 Prozor. And I myself wished to be there as well and to follow what was
14 going on. But we heard nothing in the morning, to the south, in the
15 direction of Mostar. There was no fighting there.
16 And at around 10.00, slightly after 10.00 perhaps, I went to
17 Zuka's flat and I visited Sefer Halilovic, and he was sitting there
18 playing with the son, and his escorts were there and I said, "Sefer,
19 there's nothing going on down there," because I was more to the south.
20 My accommodation was is there, in Grabovica. And I said, "Well look,
21 nothing seems to be going on. And then -- but there is fighting in
22 Prozor." We could hear explosions. And he made a phone call and he
23 said, "Yes, it's true. Nothing is going down there. Let's go in the
24 direction of Prozor."
25 Q. And did you go?
1 A. And we set out at around 1.00 p.m. We arrived at Dobro Polje,
2 where the base was, the base of the Prozor Battalion. It was a kind of
3 shack, in fact. And there was a small house where you could have two or
4 three people inside and it was the liaison centre.
5 I don't know how Sefer found out about it, but I found out, I was
6 told -- I mean, I wasn't there when Sefer was talking to them, but I did
7 hear that fighters of the Prozor Battalion entered Uzdol early and they
8 found the Ustashas asleep and they - that's what they said - and they
9 killed quite a few of them. And -- but then that the HVO counterattack,
10 they started shelling, and then they withdrew.
11 Q. And the soldiers were telling Sefer this, was it?
12 A. To me. That's what I heard. And I don't know what Sefer heard.
13 I suppose he must have heard it as well.
14 Q. But he was there at the time.
15 A. Yes, he was. But I did not witness his conversation with them.
16 I assume that he would have heard it as well. Because I went straight
17 into the shack that I mentioned before. I didn't go to the liaison
18 centre. And that's what I was told.
19 And then I came by the liaison centre and they were standing at
20 the door and they said, "Well, yes, everything is okay but the soldiers
21 are withdrawing." And Sefer was there with his escorts. And there were
22 a couple of women there, some elderly people and he was talking to them.
23 And we got in the car straight away and went in -- and went in the
24 direction of Voljevac. But the impression was that it was a fight which
25 was okay, a battle which was okay, but they had to withdraw. And there
1 was no mention of anything else.
2 Q. But there was mention that people had been killed.
3 A. Yes, that they found them asleep in their pyjamas. And they said
4 their fights were found asleep at some school. They surprised them in
5 their sleep. That was the story.
6 Q. And did you write a report about this on that day?
7 A. No, I did not. I did not write any reports on that day.
8 Q. Did you watch CNN on that day?
9 A. We went down to Voljevac and then we went back to Mostar, and --
10 I can't really remember. No, it couldn't have been on that day, because
11 we went straight to Donja Jablanica in the evening, and I myself went to
12 Dreznica, and there was indeed fighting when we came back. I did not
13 find or see anyone from the Prozorski Battalion, Sefer or Buza or
14 anything else.
15 We got back and I didn't go back there. I went to Dreznica and I
16 stayed there another day. And then I got back. And then I visited a
17 cousin of mine and she mentioned that perhaps she saw on the CNN or on
18 some other TV station that there was some crime committed in Uzdol and
19 that some civilians had been killed. And I thought that it was about
20 these soldiers who were asleep and killed in their sleep, in their
21 pyjamas. But whilst I was there, we saw excerpts from that report on
22 some TV station. I can't remember which one. And that was the time when
23 I actually found out that something had happened there.
24 But I was not at all sure. I mean, even until the end of the
25 war, we were not sure that any crimes had been committed in Uzdol,
1 whether it was some sort of orchestrated operation that they had put dead
2 Bosniaks there, that apparently there was snow seen there but there was
3 really no snow. And for years after the war there were some doubts in
4 our minds as to whether any crimes had actually been committed there, and
5 a great deal has been written about it.
6 Q. But at that day on the 14th, when you discovered at this centre
7 that people had been killed, what time was that? And how long were you
8 with Sefer on that particular day? When did you -- if you did indeed
9 part company?
10 A. I stayed with Sefer throughout that period. We went to Voljevac
11 and then we went in the direction of either Gornji or Donji Vakuf, I
12 can't remember. And then we went back through Dobro Polje to Jablanica.
13 And then we went to Donje Jablanica straightaway, where Zuka's base was
14 and we separated. And I went in the direction of Dreznica with Celo's
15 fighters. We walked through the night basically. And they were fighting
16 -- there were battles there. And that was it.
17 Q. So when -- when you heard about this, you -- you did not go back
18 to where the -- the combat activity was of the Prozor Independent
19 Battalion to find out what happened.
20 A. No. No, we didn't. And it wasn't possible anyway, because we
21 had already been told that the Prozor Battalion had withdrawn, that they
22 were no longer at Uzdol, that they were withdrawing. I really don't know
23 exactly where that place Uzdol is.
24 Q. And how -- how many days after did you actually see this on the
25 CNN or hear about it? When you -- you said your cousin told you that it
1 was on the CNN.
2 A. I don't know. I had to kind of put it all together in my mind,
3 all this information. Because we went away from Voljevac and we went
4 through Jablanica and Donja Jablanica and then I went to Dreznica and I
5 spent there one night and another day until the evening, and then in the
6 evening I went back to Donja Jablanica. So it might have been on the
7 16th, the 17th, or the 18th. That was the period roughly. One of those
8 days, but I'm not sure which one.
9 Q. Then what did you do after that?
10 A. After what?
11 Q. The next day, I'm sorry.
12 A. On the next day, I was following the fighting in the direction of
13 Mostar at a place called Dreznica. There was a blockade there. And the
14 blockade was lifted because some surrounding areas had been liberated and
15 I went to the centre and I filmed a little bit and I sent in a very short
16 report from Dreznica.
17 Q. Did you go to Grabovica at any time?
18 A. I went through Grabovica that evening. When I left Zuka's base
19 to go to Grabovica, I had to go through Grabovica, and I remember this.
20 It was at night and we were standing outside and I remember -- well, I
21 don't really know who else was there, whether it was in front of Adnan's
22 base or Celo's base. I've forgotten.
23 But at any rate, I do remember I saw Caco there. And I talked to
24 him a little bit, and he had forgotten who I was. He said, "You have to
25 remind me. I'm sorry, I don't remember you." And then we made small
1 talk and then three or four of Celo's fighters came by - Malco Rovcanin
2 and two people and a guide, whose name was Joja - and we spent four hours
3 going to Dreznica on foot across these hills and mountains, and we got
4 there at about 1.00 a.m.
5 Q. Was Sefer Halilovic with you at this time?
6 A. No. He stayed in Donja Jablanica.
7 Q. Did you ever go back to the village of Grabovica with Sefer
8 Halilovic a few days later?
9 A. I can't recollect the date exactly. I suppose it must have been
10 the 18th of November -- no.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The speaker corrects himself.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] September. When fighting continued
13 in the south and -- we went to an artillery position. And from there
14 Sefer tried to get in touch with Zuka, who was the commander of this
15 entire front line, and his deputy, Nihad, and I don't really know where
16 Nihad was. But they never managed to get in touch with them.
17 Now, I seem to have forgotten something here. But I suppose, I
18 assume, I'm not at all sure -- but what I'm going to tell you now
19 actually happened. We went through Grabovica. We went by an iron
20 bridge, and then we went to a house, and Caco was there. I do remember
21 Caco. There were quite a few fighters there. And later on they started
22 playing ball. I suppose they finished their game, but that was probably
23 on that day. I don't remember us going to Grabovica ever again except on
24 the 19th. And then there is a picture in my mind of fighters diving into
25 the Neretva and -- they were fishing, basically, and every time they came
1 back up, they had a fish. And Caco was there and he was laughing, and I
2 tried to take a photo of him, but all the people around gave me a nasty
3 look. And Rovcanin then took my camera and he wanted to take his picture
4 and then they gave him a nasty look as well, and so he didn't dare
6 And then I went to Jablanica, Donja Jablanica, and that's what I
7 remember, my time with Sefer in Grabovica until the next day.
8 Q. Yes. I'm going to ask you to hear something.
9 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, this is the -- we will listen to this
10 recording through Sanction, Your Honour. It is -- 65 ter is 177,
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI291.
13 MS. CHANA: Thank you.
14 [Audiotape played]
15 MS. CHANA:
16 Q. Can you tell us what that was, please, Mr. Hodzic.
17 A. It was a recording of one of my extended talks with a number of
18 fighters and commanders: Celo, Adnan, his -- or Celo's and Caco's
19 fighters who a couple of days before had been in combat operations. And
20 even some of them came back from Dreznica with me, some of Celo's people,
21 because I think six of his people were wounded there.
22 And in the end, there was this conversation. We were all
23 enthusiastic. And if you could have the entire tape, you could hear the
24 atmosphere basically. And then when we found out that Medvjed had been
25 freed and five times more than that, as Zuka had said. So we were having
1 this rather euphoric conversation and things dampened down a little bit
2 when we finally reached Sefer, because we had already been talking about
3 it for an hour. And then as you can see, at the very end I asked Mr.
4 Halilovic to say a few words as well.
5 Q. So that was Mr. Halilovic, was it, that you were talking to?
6 A. Yes. Yes, it was.
7 Q. And do you remember the date?
8 A. Yes, I do. The 19th of September, 1993.
9 Q. And you say that: "So the Sarajevans are defending Herzegovina
10 and the Chief of Staff is here of the Supreme Command, which I know this
11 very well. He organised it, conceived it, and so on and so forth."
12 Now, can you tell me when this was -- Halilovic is talking about
13 the troops from Sarajevo. Who was he referring to?
14 A. Yes. I think fighters from the Sarajevo units which got there
15 and which in a way, a month before, became famous in stopping the Serb
16 offensive at Igman. It was the same units. And they even managed to
17 recapture some of the positions there. The name of one of the places was
18 Tresnjevo Brdo.
19 Q. Now, just to be quite clear about this, Mr. Hodzic, was this
20 interview after the crimes in Grabovica and Uzdol?
21 A. Yes. It is the 19th.
22 Q. And was anything mentioned at the time about what had happened in
24 A. Well, I was thinking in terms of a story, Sarajevans defending
25 Herzegovina. And when I talked to Sefer about Grabovica, we talked about
1 that. And then I went through the story that we discussed yesterday. So
2 there was no other story there.
3 MS. CHANA: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I'm just looking at my
4 question, and I had said: "Was anything mentioned at the time about what
5 happened in Grabovica?" I meant and Uzdol as well.
6 Q. So would you answer -- would your answer be the same for
7 Grabovica and Uzdol?
8 A. No.
9 Q. No?
10 A. No, nothing there. We -- we didn't make any reference to Uzdol
11 or Grabovica at all.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Chana, do you have the English transcript
14 for that recording?
15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. The transcript should be in
16 evidence. Let me -- excuse me, Your Honour.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you. We have it.
20 MS. CHANA: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, there is another document I wish to show you. This is your
22 diary, Mr. Hodzic, and its 65 ter number is 126 -- I'm sorry. Can I take
23 that back. It's 106. It's 01057700.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI292.
25 MS. CHANA:
1 Q. Mr. Hodzic, I'm just going to show you a small portion from your
2 diary. It will come up on your screen in a minute. And it's dated
3 "Jablanica 1st October 1993." Is it on your screen now, Mr. Hodzic?
4 A. No.
5 Q. It's not on your screen?
6 A. No.
7 MS. CHANA: If you could please scroll down to 01057848 to
8 01057849. It's the last portion of the diary, and the entry is on 1st
9 October 1993.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is that your diary, Mr. Hodzic, that you see before you?
12 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. And it starts with: "Amela came and told Sefer while we were in
14 Zuka's camp, 'One of the soldiers wants to squeeze your hand.'"
15 And then it goes on to say: "Sefer told her to let him in. He
16 had a badge with Sefer's face pinned on his chest and he said his name
17 was Nasko Softic."
18 I would like to ask you in respect of the badge, you saw that
19 badge of Sefer's face pinned onto the soldier's chest.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Had you seen such badges before, or was that the first time you
22 saw such a badge?
23 A. I think that was the first time. Perhaps I'd seen such badges
24 before, but that's what I remember and that's what I wrote down.
25 Q. Had you heard that badges -- that some soldiers were bearing
1 badges with Sefer Halilovic's face on it? Picture on it. Sorry.
2 A. It's possible that I had -- or I may not have. It didn't mean
3 much to me. I really can't say. I think I laid eyes on that badge for
4 the first time then and perhaps I never saw it again. But I really can't
5 say. I may have heard before, and I may have not, but that's when I saw
7 Q. Why would it be, Mr. Hodzic, that soldiers would be wearing
9 MS. CHANA: I see counsel.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, my friend does see counsel objecting and I
13 don't want any speculative questions to be asked, Your Honour, so I
14 object to that one.
15 In particular, the witness has made it clear that he saw this
16 particular soldier on the -- I think the date in the diary is specified
17 as being the 1st of October, 1993. And that's the only occasion he
18 recalls doing it. Now, for my friend to say "why would soldiers wear
19 such a badge" is -- well, it's speculative and I object.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may ask "that particular soldier."
21 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Why do you think that particular soldier who came into Zuka's
23 base was wearing a badge with Sefer's picture on it?
24 A. I really can't say. Like many other fighters, he probably liked
25 Sefer. There were many mothers at the time who named their son after
1 Sefer, although I had not been aware of the name in Bosnia prior to that
2 time. But that's only my interpretation.
3 Q. And what -- very briefly, what were the circumstances of the --
4 what was the purport of the conversation between the soldier and Sefer?
5 A. Well, I can see it right here. I'll read it out for you. He
6 says his name is Nasko Softic from Bijelo Polje. He says he's been
7 wearing the badge from day one, since it first appeared. He said, "I've
8 been listening to the radio and Sefko Hodzic's reports." And then it
9 goes on. He said he was an employee of the Ministry of the Interior.
10 They listened to my reports over the radio.
11 And there were 105 of them volunteering to go to Herzegovina and
12 to fight, but they were employees of the Ministry of the Interior and
13 they were forbidden -- they were banned from going and threatened to be
14 fired in case they went to Herzegovina. 105 of them still decided to go,
15 even at the risk of losing their jobs. They went to see their boss and
16 they said, "We are here to say goodbye because we want to go down and
17 join the fray, join the fighting." So they did eventually.
18 It was later on that I found out that the MUP, the Ministry of
19 the Interior, had filed criminal complaints against those people.
20 Actually, he was the one I met and he told me that they had fired him.
21 Q. Yes. Mr. Hodzic, I want to ask you a final question in respect
22 of this part of the evidence. This is much later on now. Did you hear
23 of Operation Trebevic?
24 A. Yes. Yes, of course.
25 Q. And after that operation, did you have occasion to meet Mr. Sefer
2 A. On the 28th of July or possibly August [as interpreted], I got a
3 call from the chief of the public security station in Sarajevo, Munir
4 Alibabic, in a threatening tone of voice. And this is what he told me:
5 "Today at 11.00 you should go and speak to Enver Mujezinovic, chief of
6 the SDB. Bring all your tapes, all your footage, your diary, everything
7 you have so we don't come looking for you." Why was it that he said
8 that? He said, "You spoke well of people who had committed crimes over
9 there." And I said, "Those were no criminals. Those were our fighters."
10 He threatened me again and said, "Be there at 11.00." So I gathered all
11 my tapes and everything that I later handed over to you. I had no more
12 tapes at one point, so I had to I raise the old ones to record reports on
13 new battles. I gathered all my stuff and there I was 11.00 sharp outside
14 the SDB building.
15 That very moment Sefer came down the street and entered the same
16 building by some coincidence. We came in together. I asked him, "Sefer,
17 are you in trouble too?" And he said, "Indeed I am. They are trying to
18 frame me," something along these lines, something to the effect that he
19 was behind those people there, Caco, Celo. Caco had already been killed
20 by this time. And he told them, "I created a state for you. I created
21 an army. And now you may as well arrest me if you like."
22 Q. Yes. Mr. Hodzic, there's one clarification. The transcript has
23 said you said "28th of July or possibly August." That can't be -- that
24 cannot be the correct date.
25 A. No. No. October.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I may have mixed them up. It was 22 or 23 days following the
3 Trebevic operation.
4 Q. Yes. Well, that was in October, so if that -- that date --
5 A. October, yes. The 27th, possibly the 28th of October, 1993.
6 Q. Yes. Now, one final document. And this would be MFI --
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, could I just intervene for one second? I
8 think there's -- I'm sorry. Pardon me.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: I apologise for interrupting. We think there's a
11 translation issue there which we'd just like to have clarified. On page
12 17 at line 16, the translation says: "I may have mixed them up. It was
13 22 or 23 days following the Trebevic operation." My instructions from
14 the Bosnian speaker here is that the witness said two or three days, not
15 22 or 23. Could we just ask for a translator's clarification of that
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe Ms. Chana could re-ask this question to
18 this witness, because that's important.
19 MS. CHANA:
20 Q. Mr. Hodzic, could you please clarify this for us. Was it 22 or
21 23 days or was it 2 or 3 days following the Operation Trebevic?
22 A. Two or three days after, after the operation commenced. The 27th
23 or possibly 28th of October, 1993.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Hodzic.
25 The next document is MFI281.
1 This, Mr. Hodzic, is a book written by Sefer Halilovic, and
2 there's a chapter there which relates to events. Firstly, have you read
3 Mr. Halilovic's book "Cunning Strategy"?
4 A. Yes. I was there when the book was published. There was a
5 ceremony attended by the present-day president of the Republic of
6 Croatia, Stipe Mesic, and one of the people that published the book.
7 That's when I purchased the book and I read it over the following two
9 Q. And do you see that particular chapter before you on the screen
11 A. Yes. "The Truth about Uzdol," that's what I can see.
12 Q. And you're familiar with the events that Mr. Halilovic writes
13 about in this particular chapter? You've read it?
14 A. Yes. Yes, I've read it.
15 Q. Would you say that this is an accurate rendition of the events as
16 you also witnessed them?
17 A. Well, it's interesting to know that there are quite a number of
18 things that I didn't witness myself, certain documents that I never
19 obtained, especially in relation to the briefing at Zenica. These
20 decisions -- and he spends a lot of time speaking about what the
21 commander spoke about among themselves at meetings that I never attended.
22 When I read this, I saw two or three areas, in terms of dates, and that's
23 all I can say about it. I've got nothing else to say. This is Sefer's
24 account, and there is nothing I can add to it.
25 Q. And what -- what do you mean "in terms of dates"?
1 A. Well, I'm not sure. If I were to go through this again, I think
2 he got the date wrong when the offensive commenced. He said the 13th --
3 or rather, he said the 12th, and to the best of my recollection, it was
4 the 13th in actual fact. The time we went out together, I think he said
5 the 2nd of October, and I believe it may have been on the 31st of August.
6 And then we got to Jablanica.
7 These are not technical issues really, nothing essential. He
8 just got a few dates wrong. That's all.
9 Q. Now, again, I'll seek a clarification on the date. The record
10 reflects that you said 2nd of October. You probably meant 2nd of
12 A. No. No. Yes, precisely, 2nd of September. I think that's what
13 it says, if we were to go through this again. But I do believe there
14 were a handful of errors there. That's what I noticed.
15 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Hodzic.
16 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, that would be my examination-in-chief.
17 As promised to you, tops 40 minutes.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 Any cross, Mr. Morrissey?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, yes, there is, Your Honour. But I just
21 want to raise one matter before we commence, and that is in terms of the
22 -- of the -- the book of Mr. Halilovic.
23 Now, it is a matter we've got to raise later on, but it's one of
24 those matters that ought to be canvassed now because sometimes if counsel
25 cross-examine on a document, that becomes a basis in some cases for it to
1 be tendered -- for it to be admitted into the evidence. And I just want
2 to know where I stand, effectively, in regard to that, because at the
3 moment what I'll be submitting at the end, I make it quite clear, there's
4 been no sufficient basis for that document to be tendered through this
5 witness, no more than with the previous witness. But I don't want to
6 then cross-examine the witness on it and place everyone in the position
7 where they'd say, "Well, now there's a new reason to tender it through
8 this witness," because I've cross-examined on it.
9 So I just seek that the Prosecutor clarify that now, because I
10 need to know what the consequences are for me cross-examining on that
11 document before I start. And I want to know whether the Prosecutor is
12 intending still to attempt to put that document into evidence through Mr.
13 Hodzic based on what he's now said. I would seek that clarification.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Chana.
15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. We are certainly asking to tender
16 all the exhibits that were listed through this witness. But I can ask
17 now for all my exhibits to be tendered into evidence, including Mr.
18 Halilovic's book.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, I -- I'm in a position to
21 respond now. It may be appropriate to give the witness a break then at
22 this point before I commence cross-examination. I certainly can respond
23 to my learned friend's motion to tender these documents now.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe we could deal with the document at a
25 later stage, as we did usually. We don't have time. Maybe we could have
1 the written decisions at a later stage.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Well --
3 JUDGE LIU: And I don't think any cross-examination will add any
4 weight for consideration of this Bench to have it admitted.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
6 JUDGE LIU: I believe that everybody is free -- since it's a
7 publicly available document, everybody is free to comment on the
8 document, to offer their own views concerning of that document.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I'm -- yes, I -- thank you
10 for that indication. And I'm ready to proceed to -- to cross-examine Mr.
11 Hodzic now.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey:
15 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Hodzic.
16 Could I just ask you firstly about some matters that arise before
17 the combat down in -- in -- in Herzegovina. You became aware that Sefer
18 Halilovic was replaced as the leader of the Bosnian Armed Forces on the
19 8th of June, 1993 by Rasim Delic; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Okay. And you became aware that from that time on Sefer
22 Halilovic performed the function of Chief of Staff of the Bosnian army,
23 although Rasim Delic was the commander of the staff of the Bosnian army;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Very well. And did you become aware that there was - I won't go
2 into the details of, this but just the timing factor - that on the 2nd of
3 July, perhaps the night of the 2nd and the early morning of the 3rd of
4 July, there was some sort of armed confrontation between members of the
5 9th and 10th Brigade on the one hand, and members of the MUP and certain
6 civil -- certain military security officers on the other hand? Did you
7 become aware that -- in broad terms that such a confrontation did take
8 place on that date?
9 A. Yes, I became aware of that. But that was much later, because I
10 wasn't in Sarajevo at the time.
11 Q. Yes. And I'm certainly not going to ask you to -- to comment on
12 that -- on the substance of that confrontation. It's just the date that
13 I'm really interested in now.
14 Okay. So that happened on the 2nd. Now, on the 7th of July --
15 I'm sorry, I'll just -- I'll just wait a moment. Okay.
16 Now, on the -- were you aware that five days after that armed
17 conflict -- that armed conflict took place that you heard about, that
18 Sefer Halilovic's wife and his brother-in-law were blown up while
19 standing on the balcony of Sefer Halilovic's flat? In other words, on
20 the 7th of July, that Sefer Halilovic's wife was killed by an explosion.
21 A. It was two or three days later that I found out about it. I was
22 at Igman at the time, and that's what I was told. Someone from the
23 command told me what had occurred, and they said that they would be
24 expressing their condolences in due course.
25 MS. CHANA: Sorry. Sorry, Counsel. I'm not sure that we got a
1 year. 7th of July of what year?
2 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry. I apologise for that. The transcript
3 doesn't reveal what year.
4 Q. Was that on the 7th of July -- the 7th of July, 1993?
5 A. I read in Sefer's book, and I heard later that that's indeed what
6 it was, but I was at Igman when I heard that Sefer's wife had been
7 killed. Apparently that was true.
8 Q. Yes. And did you hear that as well as Sefer's wife being killed
9 that Sefer's brother-in-law, a dark-haired man dressed in a military
10 uniform at the time, was also killed by the same explosion on the same
12 A. Well, that's what I read in the book.
13 Q. And -- very well. And did the -- did the death of Sefer's wife
14 cause some interest in the local press at the time when it happened?
15 A. I was outside Sarajevo between the 24th of June and the 26th of
16 July. No newspapers there, only Oslobodjenje, which was actually
17 published in Sarajevo, but nothing from outside. There was combat going
18 on, and I was all over the hills at the time. I have no idea what the
19 media said.
20 Q. Yes. Sorry, well, you've -- I think you've answered my
21 questions. You didn't come back into Sarajevo until after the 26th of
22 July; is that correct?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. There was combat going on at Igman, and I was sending my reports.
1 Q. Okay. Well, look, in that event, I won't proceed to ask you any
2 questions about that phase.
3 All right. Just to move on now. You had come to know Sefer
4 Halilovic over the course of the war, commencing in 1992, and you'd had
5 the opportunity to observe him as the leader of the army quite closely in
6 that time; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's true. I met him on the 28th of May, five [Realtime
8 transcript read in error: "1995"] days after he was appointed. Ever
9 since -- he was fair to all journalists, and the same applies to me. He
10 was reluctant about giving interviews, but we had satisfactory
11 cooperation on the whole.
12 Q. Very well. I'm sorry. The transcript has revealed that you said
13 you met him on 28 May 1995. I wonder if that may just be an error,
14 either in translation or --
15 A. 1992. That was five days after he was appointed.
16 Q. Yes. Yes. Thank you. We just have to correct these -- these as
17 they arise, Mr. Hodzic, but thank you for that.
18 Okay. Well, and in that time, your observation of Sefer
19 Halilovic was that he was an officer who was dedicated to a unified and
20 multi-ethnic Bosnia; is that correct?
21 A. Correct. And the same applies to all Bosnian patriots at the
23 Q. Yes. And indeed it was apparent to you that during the time when
24 Sefer Halilovic was in control of the army, during the time when he was
25 the head man of the army, before the 8th of June, that he made it quite
1 clear at all times that the army was to respect the multi-ethnic
2 character of the Bosnian state; is that correct?
3 A. It was at the same time that the Presidency reached their own
4 platform, and everything was headed in that direction, and Sefer very
5 much held his own at that time.
6 Q. Yes. I'm going to ask you some -- some more specific questions
7 about what Sefer said on this topic down in Herzegovina, and I'm really
8 just asking you some preliminary questions now about what he'd said at
9 earlier times.
10 Had you observed Sefer to introduce various rules into the army
11 designed to bring the army, the Bosnian army, under the
12 command-and-control system in an organised way?
13 A. Yes. I saw documents to that effect too, and I witnessed it
14 myself, and I know that he was the one who established the
15 command-and-control system and made the Bosnian army a soldierly
16 organisation, to the extent that he could, because after all it was an
17 army of volunteers by and large.
18 Q. Yes. And -- and in particular -- okay. Well, I'll come to some
19 specific questions about his political position -- or sorry, his -- his
20 goals when we get to the questions about Herzegovina.
21 Now, after -- you indicated that you met Sefer in Konjic when you
22 were attempting to resolve the situation with your -- your mother's
23 travel. And you indicated at that time that he'd -- he'd indicated that
24 he was going to Mostar as well.
25 Now, at that time, did he tell you that he was going to
1 coordinate the operation down in -- or coordinate combat actions, I
2 should say? Did he tell you that he was going to coordinate combat
3 actions in Herzegovina, and in particular did he use the word
5 A. As far as I remember, he did not use that word at the time. It
6 was once we arrived - I didn't write this down - and it was only what I
7 wrote down in my reports. Maybe he said "exercise control" or maybe
8 something slightly different. But I'm quite sure he didn't actually use
9 the term "coordination." Because later when ever on when I asked him on
10 the record, "What's your role," he said "coordinator." But he had
11 originally used a different expression, or that was my impression. And
12 that's what I wrote down at the time: "Exercise control." But I don't
13 have that in writing. I didn't actually record anything at the time the
14 minute he said it.
15 Q. No, that's okay. Could you just say for the benefit of the
16 Court, if you can remember the precise word that he used at Konjic, are
17 you able to say what that is? If you can't recall it, that's fine too.
18 A. I can't say specifically, but that's what I remember. He said he
19 would be exercising control. He may have said something else, but that's
20 what remained with me, the expression he used.
21 Q. That's okay. But you've indicated that in due course you
22 clarified that on the record with him at -- in Herzegovina. And I just
23 wonder, could you specify for the Tribunal when it was - if you can
24 remember the date, that would help - but when it was that he placed this
25 word "koordinacija" on the record.
1 A. You have it right here in my diary. I believe you have a copy.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. I was preparing that particular report, and I couldn't quite put
4 my finger on the date. I had trouble defining the exact date. It was --
5 I was just turning the pages. There were still some blank pages to go.
6 And it may be that actually what was published was something that
7 happened later on in relation to what had been recorded in my diary.
8 I believe it was prior to the commencement of operations. That's
9 my impression, but I didn't actually write it down. It may have been on
10 the 12th, but it was certainly just on the eve of the operation. That
11 was when I interviewed him. I said, "There's an operation due to
12 commence tomorrow." And I said, "What would you say about your own role,
13 commander?" And he said, "Coordinator." And that's precisely what I
14 wrote down at the time: "Sefer - coordinator," and you can see it right
16 Q. All right. Do you -- because your diary is your own document, do
17 you have a copy of that diary in front of you right now?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Okay. Look, what I might do is come back to that question in the
20 break and -- and give you the opportunity to -- to identify that.
21 Thanks. Sorry.
22 Okay. Thank you for that. Now, I did jump forward there and --
23 and I'd asked you some questions about what happened in Konjic. Now I
24 want to go to -- directly to the -- what happened in Herzegovina.
25 When you got down -- could I just indicate to you as well, Mr.
1 Hodzic, I'm not going to -- I'm not going to go over every -- every
2 question that you've been asked by the learned Prosecutor who -- who took
3 you through these matters in a fairly complete sort of a way, so it's
4 specific details I'll be going to.
5 Now, when you got down to -- to Herzegovina, on that first night,
6 as far as you know, Sefer stayed in Zuka's flat; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When he was staying up in -- up in the -- the more northern area
9 near to the Independent Prozor Battalion or the 45th Brigade or
10 Operations Group Zapad, where was it his habit to stay when in that area?
11 A. We visited the commands of those units, but as far as I know, we
12 never spent the night. We always went back.
13 Q. There's been some evidence in this court of Mr. Halilovic
14 spending a night or more than one night actually at the -- at a facility
15 called the ARK in Konjic. Does that jog your memory in any way?
16 A. That's something else. That was from the 4th or the 5th. It was
17 not the Prozor area. It was in the direction of Konjic. We spent a
18 night there between the 4th and the 5th together with Delic, Cibo,
19 Suljevic, Ranje [phoen]. We had dinner together and we stayed together
20 for a long time.
21 Q. Yes. I understand. And do you recall whether you met an
22 individual named Mitke Perkic on that -- on the night of the 4th and the
23 5th in Konjic?
24 A. Mitke Perkic used to be the commander of the 43rd Mountain
25 Brigade from Konjic. And when we reached Konjic on the 4th, together
1 with Delic -- well, not in the same car with Delic but perhaps within 10
2 minutes of one another, Mr. Delic and Mr. Halilovic and -- and the others
3 held a meeting at the command with this guy Perkic and that command from
4 Konjic. And I myself, as usual, was not present at the meeting.
5 Q. That was a military meeting, was it?
6 A. It was a military meeting, yes.
7 Q. Yes, okay. Very well. Now, on the occasion when you arrived on
8 the 1st of September, 1993 with Sefer, you indicated that he'd said to
9 you words to the effect, "You do your job, and I'll do mine." What did
10 you take him to be saying to you on that occasion? What did you
11 understand that to be all about?
12 A. I don't know what it was supposed to mean, but at a later stage
13 -- well, we had nice relations and perhaps it was meant like for me not
14 to mind if I was not allowed to be present at those meetings. I mean,
15 that was my assessment. I can't really say with any degree of certainty
16 that that's what was meant. Perhaps that I was not there at the
17 meetings. But I mean, it was the same in the past. Whenever there were
18 battles going on, I never participated in meetings. And -- but that was
19 certainly what he said. That was -- and I mean, he didn't interfere with
20 my job and I, of course, couldn't have anything to do with his.
21 Q. Yes. And thank you. I was really asking -- really directing the
22 question towards the question of his interfering with you. Did Sefer
23 Halilovic ever interfere with the content of your reports? And in
24 particular, did he do so in Herzegovina?
25 A. No. No, no, no. He had no idea what I was writing about, where
1 I was writing. I did say yesterday that I wrote my reports at the police
2 station. They were the only ones who had a typewriter. And then I sent
3 in my reports and he was nowhere in sight.
4 Q. Yes. I understand. Very well. Now, you also indicated
5 yesterday when you were giving evidence that you had a discussion with
6 Sefer. I can't remember if it was on the 1st of September or the 2nd.
7 You can tell us that answer. But you had a discussion with him
8 concerning the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan and what his opinion about that plan
9 was. Could you give us a bit more detail about that discussion and in
10 particular what Sefer's position was about the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. Or
11 perhaps to start with, maybe you could explain to the Tribunal very
12 briefly as well what you understood the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan to be and
13 then say what Sefer thought about it.
14 A. According to Stoltenberg's plan -- three months before I wrote
15 this series of articles in 40 instalments. I studied the documents, all
16 the materials telling about what was happening there. So I do know. I'm
17 very familiar with this. It was a slightly modified plan of the proposal
18 -- a joint proposal put forward by Milosevic and Tudjman that was
19 presented in Geneva on the 14th of June, 1993 for Bosnia to be divided up
20 into three parts - according to Milosevic, into three republics; and
21 according to Tudjman, into three provinces. And the President
22 Izetbegovic was there and he actually left, walked out of that meeting.
23 And over the coming few days, he resisted it and then there were meetings
24 in Zagreb and Owen was threatening both Izetbegovic and the others, and
25 he managed to kind of break the other members of the Presidency and he
1 managed to win over Fikret Abdic completely. And at a certain point
2 President Izetbegovic also kind of relented under threat and accepted the
3 division of Bosnia into three republics, with the proviso that the
4 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved it.
5 Q. Okay. Now, as of the time of the Neretva -- sorry, I won't use
6 Neretva. Now, as at the time of the combat operations in Herzegovina --
7 well, perhaps I'll take a step back. Until the 27th of September, 1993,
8 that Assembly of Bosnia had not yet approved that plan; is that correct?
9 A. If -- if I did write about it -- I think until the 27th of
10 September, I think -- no. No, no, no, no, not on the next day. No, it
11 was later.
12 Q. So as -- just to be clear for the Tribunal -- the Tribunal has to
13 have only a limited interest in this matter. But just to be clear, in --
14 at the time of the -- at the time the killings took place in Grabovica
15 and Uzdol, the Assembly -- the Bosnian Assembly had not yet approved that
16 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan to be adopted; is that correct?
17 A. But I think that it was for the Assembly on the 28th or the 29th
18 of September. I think. There were quite a few conditions attached.
19 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, I'm just concerned with the timing now. And
20 now I'll ask you some questions about this -- more about the substance of
21 it. Very briefly, the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan involved the division of the
22 State of Bosnia along the lines of local provinces or local cantons into
23 the three republics or provinces that you've described; is that correct?
24 And, in fact, it was a division along -- effectively along ethnic lines.
25 A. Mostly, yes, but not into provinces. Into republics. So
1 Milosevic's original proposal, not Tudjman's original proposal, was
2 approved. And that was the operational term, as it were. But along the
3 ethnic lines.
4 Q. All right. Now, in the time before the Bosnian Assembly had to
5 deal with the proposal by Owen and Stoltenberg, to which you've indicated
6 Mr. Izetbegovic was leaning, what view did Sefer Halilovic express of
7 that particular political solution when he spoke to you?
8 A. Sefer Halilovic repeated that at least 10 times a day in
9 different situations, and it was a burden for him, and he kept saying
10 that Bosnia should not be divided up, that we could not allow for that,
11 and that it had to be a single country.
12 Q. Yes. And after the Zenica meeting, which you didn't attend, did
13 Sefer Halilovic express happiness that the army had resolved to continue
14 to -- to fight for a unified Bosnia?
15 A. It's correct. When I met him at Konjic, I asked him - and that
16 was on the 23rd of August, 1993 - I said, "What did you agree, Sefer, in
17 relation to that plan?" And he said, "No way. No division of Bosnia,"
18 and he was very pleased. And so the war was going to go on until the
19 country was freed.
20 Q. Yes. Now, when you got down to Herzegovina, you had a discussion
21 with him, as you mentioned to my learned friend the Prosecutor yesterday.
22 And what did he say about that topic when you talked about that with him
23 in Herzegovina on the 1st or 2nd of -- of September?
24 A. It was at Zuka's base. We stayed there until 2.00 or 3.00 a.m.
25 and Selmo Cikotic came along with his group of people. And we discussed
1 this at great length. And he talked about how he disagreed with
2 President Izetbegovic on that point and Bosnia should not be divided. So
3 that was the bottom line.
4 Q. Yes. And leaving aside Sefer Halilovic for a moment, were you
5 aware that within Bosnia there was at that time a strong political debate
6 between those who favoured the Izetbegovic solution of agreeing to some
7 modified form of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan on the one hand, and those on
8 the other hand who rejected the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan altogether?
9 A. Well, no, Izetbegovic agreed -- well, he was the one talking on
10 our behalf and in principle he had agreed to this division, but he set
11 quite a few conditions because he was against the idea of it being
12 divided along ethnic lines. And he asked -- I mean, it is known because
13 of the session of the National Assembly and there was a heated debate on
14 that occasion. And one MP - I think his surname was Softic - he attacked
15 and accused President Izetbegovic for going along with that proposal. He
16 said that it would be the end of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there were
17 some other people as well. But the most outspoken opponent was Muhamed
18 Filipovic, and he, too, was very much against this division.
19 And Izetbegovic tried to do a balancing act there. He was
20 against the division. He was not in favour of the division, as it was
21 being suggested by Owen.
22 Q. Okay. Well, thank you for that -- for that explanation.
23 Now, just remaining on the 1st of September for a moment. I just
24 want to ask you some questions about the village -- the visit that was
25 paid to the village of Grabovica on that first day. Do you recall
1 driving down to Grabovica with -- with Sefer Halilovic and Vehbija Karic
2 and a number of others and stopping on the left bank of that village?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. And you -- I think you indicated that there was --
5 before you spoke to the Igman Wolves, there was some discussion that took
6 place with some of the local refugees who were living on the left bank.
7 Is that correct?
8 A. On the left side, yes, there were shacks where the builders
9 lived, working on the power plant, and there were people who had been
10 released from Dretelj and other camps of the HVO. There were some
11 refugees, but the dominant group were the people who were released from
12 camps, and they were worn out, et cetera, and we did talk to them and I
13 took some pictures and they gathered round us and we spent some time with
14 them, about half an hour, because we needed to press ahead. So we left.
15 Q. And to the extent that you could hear what Sefer Halilovic was
16 saying, what did Sefer Halilovic say to these people who gathered around?
17 A. I really don't remember. I published it, and it's probably
18 mentioned in one of the articles, and I recorded it and it was on the
19 radio as well. But people were complaining to us. One of them said, for
20 example, that for three days and three nights they didn't get any water.
21 One actually said that he had to drink his own urine. And one said that
22 they were being beaten up. And so it was a very heavy atmosphere. And
23 they looked awful, these people. And he did give them some hope that --
24 he kept telling them that there was some hope for -- for them.
25 Q. Yes. I just wanted the to ask you to exercise your memory and
1 see if you can recall this. We've heard some evidence from -- actually
2 from -- I can't say their names but from local people who were of Croat
3 nationality and they said they took in some refugees into their homes.
4 And I just want to ask you: Do you recall meeting any of the -- any of
5 the local Croatian people on that occasion or, alternatively, any of the
6 Muslim people who had been taken in by such Croats?
7 A. I don't recall that. I don't think so. No, no. We didn't go to
8 any of those houses, because we were in a hurry. We were travelling fast
9 from one place to another.
10 Q. I see. So was this really just a gathering out in the open
11 beside the road near to the Igman Wolves' huts?
12 A. It was in front of the huts. It was a big courtyard above the
13 road between Konjic and Mostar.
14 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you for that. Now, on the 2nd of
15 September -- well, perhaps I won't put on the 2nd of September. Do you
16 recall -- do you recall seeing Mr. Cikotic at some stage while you were
17 in Herzegovina in the -- in the first day or so that you arrived down
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I --
21 A. On -- on the 2nd or the 3rd, sometime around the 2nd and --
22 perhaps the first -- the first night or the second night. But at that
23 initial stage. That's where I met him.
24 Q. Okay. Look, I just wanted to clarify something that might give a
25 flavour of what was happening down there. Did he tell you about a
1 particular cannon that was taken from the museum down there and used?
2 A. I don't know whether it was him exactly who said that to me, but
3 I am familiar with the story. It was a Howitzer 115 millimetres from
4 World War II and fighters got it out of a museum and -- and they
5 nicknamed it Nana, and they kind of repaired it a little bit. And I
6 think Cikotic told me -- if that was when it happened. But I do know
7 that Nana had a facelift, basically. And -- if that's what you have in
8 mind. So yeah. There was this rejuvenation effort.
9 Q. I take it from what you observed artillery guns were in quite
10 short supply for the Bosnian army down in Herzegovina; is that correct?
11 A. I saw one only, a 155 millimetres -- or maybe two. I don't know.
12 No, one.
13 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to go to the following day. You
14 indicated that -- that you went for a drive with Sefer Halilovic, which
15 took you to Diva Grabovica and on to Kostajnica. At Diva Grabovica, you
16 indicated that you saw some signs indicating minefields. Did you ever
17 ascertain for your own -- to your own satisfaction precisely where those
18 minefields were?
19 A. The first and the only time in my life that I was there, I think
20 that there were markings on the sides and somebody said, "Okay, this is a
21 minefield." And we got out of the car. "Are we allowed to go further?"
22 "No." And then Sefer said, "Well, it's a matter of fate," and he set
23 out, and we followed him. And then we went by car even further through
24 the forest to the village.
25 Q. Okay. And after that, you went down to Kostajnica. And that's
1 -- and that was where there was a conversation with some refugees from
2 the Capljina area; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, most of them were from Capljina.
4 Q. Okay. And I'm not going to take you to sections of your book,
5 but it's -- it's true, isn't it, that it was at that discussion that
6 Sefer made the comment which you tape-recorded live, that "We are not an
7 avenging army"; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That speech that you heard -- sorry, that -- not speech. I take
10 that back. But those comments that you heard Sefer Halilovic make on
11 that occasion were the typical sort of comments that he would make when
12 speaking in public in situations like that; is that correct?
13 A. Whenever I was present, that was a characteristic part of his
14 speech, as it were. And I've had the opportunity to hear it, and I did
15 mention it in the book on several occasions. There were quite a few
16 situations. It seemed to me that he complied with the law even too much,
17 considering the circumstances, especially at the first stage of the war.
18 There was a guy called Juka Prazina. He was a fighter and -- he was a
19 common criminal, actually, to be honest. And he was such a nuisance that
20 some people are saying that he should be killed, liquidated, and gotten
21 rid of. And once talked about these rumours and comments with Sefer and
22 he said, "No, no, no, we can't have that. We have to act in line with
23 the law. The law exists. They can arrest him and then he can be
24 punished. If according to the law he is to be released, okay, but he has
25 to be hanged. He will have to be hanged according to the provisions to
1 have law. But nobody should take it upon themselves to dispense
3 Q. I just want to jump forward to the conversation you had with
4 Sefer Halilovic in the car on the way to Dobro Polje, where you asked him
5 about what should be done about the investigation and what he'd discussed
6 with Bakir Alispahic at Konjic. Do you recall that conversation?
7 A. Yes, I remember that.
8 Q. Okay. Well, is what he said in the car on that occasion
9 consistent with the stance that you've just described that Sefer
10 Halilovic had towards investigating of criminal matters; namely, that --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- it was important that criminal offences be investigated by the
13 proper organs without interference?
14 A. Completely. And it was clear to me and it was quite clear to me
15 that that was what he was like. Always.
16 Q. And just remaining with that conversation for a minute. Is it
17 the fact that he told you that he'd already tasked the security officer
18 from the inspection team, Namik Dzankovic, to perform exactly that task;
19 namely, to investigate the crime?
20 A. Yes. He did not mention any names at the time, but he did say,
21 "There are people who are in charge of investigating crime. That's their
23 Q. And as part of your journalistic work some years later, did you
24 take the opportunity to speak to Namik Dzankovic yourself personally and
25 see what he said about it?
1 A. Yes. I talked to Dzankovic when I was preparing to write my
2 series, and I asked him and phoned him up and I asked him to meet. And I
3 said, "Now I have to write about this. Did you get any orders from Sefer
4 in relation to the crime?" And he said "Yes." He came to see me in a
5 room with Nedzad and Brankovic. I can't remember the other's name. And
6 he said, "No, no, no. I -- I can't account for that. You have to
7 investigate and do what needs to be done."
8 Q. When you say -- you've just said, "No, no, no. I can't can you
9 tell account for that." Did you mean by that that Halilovic was telling
10 Dzankovic that he, Sefer, did not approve of the crime and was not
11 associated with it?
12 A. Yes, that he had nothing to do with this crime; in that sense,
13 that he had nothing to do with the crime and that it has nothing to do
14 with him.
15 Q. And -- yes, I understand. Okay. Well, now, returning back to
16 the -- to the 3rd of September and the meeting at -- at Kostajnica. Did
17 -- where is Kostajnica? Can you just say what's the nearest military
18 unit to Kostajnica at that time?
19 A. Yes. At Kostajnica -- no, Buturovic Polje. That was where the
20 45th Mountain Brigade was.
21 Q. Yes. And that was where the headquarters of Haso Hakalovic was;
22 is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yes, okay. All right. Thank you for that. And some of the
25 refugees at Kostajnica were very emotional and upset and were using terms
1 such as "revenge" during their discussions; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. I remember, for example, that a woman said that as many as
3 11 members of her family had been killed, and there were all sorts of
4 things, even more than I managed to record. But there was a sort of
5 threatening atmosphere.
6 Q. Yes. And it was in that context that Sefer Halilovic made the --
7 the comments that you tape-recorded and about which you've given evidence
8 here; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. I did report it accurately. I didn't change a single word.
10 I recorded it on a tape. And even when a sentence was kind of hanging in
11 the air and unfinished, I left it that way.
12 Q. Yes, I understand. All right. Now, I want to turn to the 4th of
13 September, 1993.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe it's time for a break.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll take a break, and we'll resume at 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour. We've now found the page
21 that -- that -- of the diary that the witness was referring to.
22 Q. Thanks, Mr. Hodzic. What I'm going to do is show you that page
23 that you referred to, and then it might be possible --
24 MR. MORRISSEY: We're just having research done now to see if we
25 could find the date of that.
1 Could that page please be brought up. The diary -- the diary is
2 MFI292. And the page that we want to be shown on the screen is 01057811.
3 But because it's handwritten, I'd also ask, just to assist the witness,
4 that he have a chance of -- to have this -- to have this hard copy.
5 Q. What I'm going to get you to do, when this appears on the screen,
6 Mr. Hodzic, is just to read it out in your own language, just read it
7 live into the transcript so that the interpreters can interpret it for
8 those English speakers present in court.
9 A. What I wrote down here, but I can't see the date, unfortunately,
10 so it reads: "Sefer Halilovic is coordinating military operations from
11 Bugojno to Mostar."
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm not getting a translation
13 there, I'm sorry to say.
14 Q. My apologies, Mr. Hodzic. I've got -- I've got earphone
15 troubles, I think. Now it's fixed.
16 All right. And just for completeness, so that the -- the
17 Tribunal has a -- has a clear idea. I think they can possibly read
18 what's above. But if you just read the notes above that on the top half
19 of the page as well just to explain what those are.
20 A. Up here, at the top of the page, I wrote down: "Caco - the 10th
21 Mountain. Celo - the 9th Motorised. Adnan - the 2nd Independent
22 Battalion Sarajevo." I drew a line underneath that and a dash, "Sefer
23 Halilovic coordinating military operations between Bugojno and Mostar."
24 This is my handwriting you can see here. And that's what I jotted down
25 during the actual action, just before combat activities began, in order
1 to know later on in my reports how I would refer to each of these. Sefer
2 told me at the time, "I am the coordinator," and that was the first I
3 heard of it.
4 Q. Yes, I understand. All right. Now, in terms of locating the
5 precise date of that -- I understand that you say it was done just before
6 the commencement of combat operations. What may be possible is that
7 during the next break, if you were provided with a copy of -- of -- of
8 your diary in its original form, would you be prepared to just have a
9 look at that page and the pages around it and just see if you're able to
10 work out the precise date from looking like that? Would you be prepared
11 to do that when we have the next break in evidence?
12 A. Yes. I've looked at it already, and I know exactly what it says
14 Q. All right.
15 A. But as I have already told you, in my diary I would just open a
16 page. Those were difficult times, and I had suffered a trauma myself.
17 The dates may be a bit confusing, and there may be some predating or
18 postdating. As far as I remember, the previous page talks about Dreznica
19 and the fighting at Dreznica. I can't be quite certain about this, but I
20 think this should be after Dreznica, a while after, but I can't be
21 certain about this. I think it was before, actually.
22 I remember when we talked about it, I found that slightly
23 surprising, even shocking, when the -- when he told me this about being
24 coordinator. I thought to myself, He must mean commander. But he said
25 "coordinator," and that's what I recorded.
1 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Chana, are there any objections to furnish the
2 hard copy of this diary during the next break to refresh the memory of
3 this witness?
4 MS. CHANA: Not at all, Your Honour. I will make it available.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Thanks. I'm grateful to my learned friend for
7 that. Thank you for --
8 MS. CHANA: Sorry, Counsel. In fact, I can assist the Court and
9 I have it available straightaway.
10 JUDGE LIU: I see. But not now. Maybe that will waste a lot of
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well -- Your Honours, what I had in mind
13 was it might -- the witness could do that at his leisure at that time.
14 But I'm grateful to the Prosecutor in any event. Thank you. And that
15 will be done. Very well. So thank you.
16 Your Honours, I offer that separate page as a separate exhibit,
17 bearing in mind that -- the word that's used on it.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. MORRISSEY: We think that's -- sorry. Could I just assist --
20 ask for some assistance.
21 THE REGISTRAR: MFI293.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: 293. Yes. I'm grateful for that. Thank you.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Hodzic. Now, I wanted to -- before the break, we
24 were at September the 4th. And on that day you found -- you indicated
25 that you found yourself sitting at -- outside Dr. Cibo's residence when
1 you know urgent telegram -- is it the fact that on that occasion you were
2 told of an urgent telegram, that it arrived from Mostar, in particular
3 from Arif Pasalic, indicating that there was likely to be a serious
4 offensive by the HVO at some time in the next week?
5 A. Yes, that's what it said. I got the telegram later from the
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina files, and I included it in my book.
7 Q. Yes. And to your knowledge, at that time, the HVO leadership had
8 made it quite clear in public that their intention was to establish the
9 capital city of the new state of Herceg-Bosna, indeed in the city of
10 Mostar; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. Yes. The capital. That's what they called it.
12 Q. Yes. Now, this is not the time to -- for me to ask you the full
13 picture of the situation in Mostar. I just want to ask you two very
14 brief questions, and answer to the -- to the best of your ability, so far
15 as you know the answer to this question. What was the -- what was the
16 humanitarian situation facing civilians of the Bosnian state in the city
17 of Mostar at that time?
18 A. I wasn't there myself at the time; however, based on what I could
19 glean from media reports and the documents that I had the occasion to
20 inspect in relation to a different series that I published, the situation
21 was critical. It was simply dreadful. The HVO would not allow any
22 humanitarian convoys to get through. That was the situation at the time.
23 It was dreadful. It was hair-raising. And that was the first time I
24 entered Mostar, I think in September 1994. But the town had been
25 destroyed entirely. I had no idea where the people from the eastern part
1 of the town lived. They had no roofs over their heads. It was a -- a
2 catastrophe in Mostar.
3 Q. Okay. Well, look, bearing in mind you didn't see the town
4 yourself at that time, in September 1993, I won't ask you any further
5 questions about it.
6 But I will ask you this: It appeared to you in your time with
7 Sefer Halilovic that he personally was very concerned and worried about
8 the fate of the civilians in Mostar; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. I think he had emotional ties to Mostar too. As far as I
10 know, he had spent a long time there as an officer.
11 Secondly, he was facing a dramatic situation. In the war, he
12 entered Mostar as Chief of Staff. And there was some sort of a fluid
13 connection, if I may call it that, between him and the soldiers of Mostar.
14 Q. Yes. And -- yes, I understand. All right. Well, now -- sorry,
15 to continue back to the 4th of September. On that occasion, you
16 indicated that there was a -- a meeting between Commander Delic and his
17 group on the road and Sefer Halilovic and his group. And you indicated
18 that after that meeting, it was agreed that there'd be -- sorry, I take
19 that back. I'll ask the question again.
20 After that roadside meeting, there was then after that a
21 conference that took place down in -- in Zuka's base in Donja Jablanica;
22 is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. And an agreement to that effect was -- well, sorry,
25 perhaps I'll -- again, I'll start again.
1 The meeting in Donja Jablanica was agreed upon when you parted
2 company from Delic at that roadside meeting; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, when we were there, not earlier. Before we parted ways, we
4 agreed about this meeting.
5 Q. Yes. I understand that. And so it was -- and then in the car
6 after the roadside meeting but before the Donja Jablanica meeting, it was
7 then that Sefer made his comment to Dr. Cibo about Delic; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And --
11 A. Though he made the comment to me too.
12 Q. Yes, I understand. And so that -- the context of the comment was
13 that you were already driving to have a meeting with Commander Delic a
14 little bit later in the morning; is that correct?
15 A. That was on our way to Neretvica, and later we would return from
16 Neretvica and go to the meeting. On our way there, near Here, we were
17 looking for the commander of the 6th Corps and another brigade, but we
18 couldn't find either of them.
19 Q. Yes. To your observation, the commander of the 6th Corps -- no,
20 I withdraw that. I'll ask you some questions about him a bit later on.
21 Now, I just have a question though quickly about -- about the
22 comment that -- that Sefer Halilovic made to Dr. Cibo and to you
23 concerning what he alleged about Delic. He was telling you that Delic
24 had effectively restricted his power to a -- a management role. Are you
25 able to recall the precise words that he used? If you can't, you can't.
1 But what can you tell us about the actual words he used?
2 A. I think he said something along the following lines: "Delic had
3 received an assignment to take as many powers from me as he could," and
4 that he - that is, Sefer Halilovic - should have under his purview a
5 couple of small things, an administration department, something like
6 that. Nothing major.
7 Q. Yes, I understand. And in that regard -- I just want to jump
8 forward to something else. You mentioned that at -- at Hrasnica, when
9 you came back out of Sarajevo later on on the -- on the night of the 7th
10 of September, that Sefer on that occasion had trouble arranging trucks
11 and had some trouble persuading Caco to come on the journey. Do you
12 remember that incident?
13 A. Yes, I do. I do.
14 Q. Is it the fact that Sefer Halilovic appeared to you to have to
15 persuade soldiers to cooperate in the combat actions? I take that back,
16 not soldiers. That Sefer Halilovic had to persuade officers to assist
17 him in the combat operations in which he was involved in Herzegovina at
18 this time?
19 A. Obviously, yes.
20 Q. And it appeared to you that Sefer had to deal with officers by
21 persuasion rather than by the issuing of orders, as a commander normally
22 would do; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. But -- and this may be surprising. It
24 didn't surprise me at the time, though, because that was the situation up
25 until the end of the war in the army. There was no major difference
1 between a commander on the one hand and a soldier on the other.
2 Q. Yes. Mr. Hodzic, we've heard evidence about the theory of how
3 military orders are supposed to be issued by the commander neatly down to
4 a subordinate and then on to other subordinates and so on. But in the
5 real world of the Bosnian army at that time, those leading an operation
6 really had to work by persuading the junior people to do what they were
7 being asked to do, whether it be to go into combat or to perform some
8 other task. Is that accurate?
9 A. This was the case many times, not only in this particular
10 situation. It was the same in other battles too. Commanders would try
11 to persuade people, but people just refused to do anything about it and
12 the commander would be powerless in these situations.
13 Q. Yes. And certainly in the case of -- the cases of two
14 individuals - and I'm going to mention them, Zuka and Celo - you didn't
15 see Sefer Halilovic issue direct orders to either of those people in the
16 time when you were in -- in Herzegovina; is that correct?
17 A. I always say they had their own meetings. I saw him tell Zicro
18 Suljevic to go with Buza. That's one thing I witnessed personally. But
19 I didn't exactly see him give orders to anyone. If I had, I would have
20 recorded it. I would have taken footage and I could show it to you now.
21 But I have no idea what happened -- what was happening behind closed
22 doors at the time.
23 Q. Of course. And I'm not asking you to speculate about those
24 matters but simply to comment, as you have, on what you saw yourself.
25 And I should just ask you this question: Did you ever see any
1 person issue a direct order to Ramiz Delalic, Celo? And I'll -- well,
2 I'll ask you that question first and then I've got one afterwards.
3 A. No. No, certainly not.
4 Q. And just based on what you observed, would that have been a very
5 realistic thing to do, based on your knowledge of Ramiz Delalic, Celo?
6 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. What exactly do you
7 mean? Would it have been realistic for someone to order Ramiz Delalic
8 about? Is that what you have in mind?
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes.
10 A. I have no idea who it could have been. He was subordinated to
11 the 1st Corps. I met him there a couple of times. He would come there.
12 I have no idea what they did [as interpreted]. Specifically he asked for
13 reinforcements for the officers to be sent over.
14 I did go to his brigade a couple of times in my capacity as
15 journalist. I saw soldiers heading for the front line. The situation
16 was critical. But I didn't hear anything special about Celo at the time.
17 All the bad things I heard about him were in relation to a Serb that he
18 had killed at the beginning of the war who was in the middle of a wedding
19 ceremony. If you could please specify or substantiate, because I still
20 don't think I entirely understand your question.
21 Q. Look, it was really a very impressionistic question, frankly.
22 And I think you've had two bona fide tries at answering it, so I won't
23 persist any further with it.
24 I should ask you -- you've mentioned that you saw Sefer Halilovic
25 give an order to Zicro Suljevic to go with -- with Buza. Did you ever
1 see the order creating the inspection team?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I see. And when did you see that? Did you see that when you
4 were down in Herzegovina or later on, when you were doing research?
5 A. No. I had no idea about that order. It was later when I
6 obtained a copy from the archives.
7 Q. Yes. Okay.
8 A. During my research.
9 Q. Well, I won't press you about that any further, if that's the
10 case as well.
11 Very well. Thank you. Well, now, I had jumped forward there,
12 but at this stage I -- we were back on the 4th of September. You've
13 indicated that you didn't attend the -- the meeting at Donja Jablanica,
14 but it's the fact, isn't it, that Delic, Sefer and a number of other
15 commanders attended a meeting at Donja Jablanica later on on the 4th and
16 that they stayed in that meeting for over an hour discussing various
17 matters; is that correct?
18 A. I have no idea what they discussed. I didn't hear anything about
19 that. They were there. They talked. They had a meeting. Once the
20 meeting was over, I took a brief statement from Delic and we were on our
22 Q. Could I ask you -- you may recall this; you may not. Did you
23 ever see a map that was signed by both Commander Delic and Chief of
24 Staff, Halilovic, after -- after that meeting?
25 A. No. I didn't see a map. The first time I saw it was after the
1 war. It was published in a Sarajevo newspaper. Just in the heading they
2 showed perhaps half the map.
3 Q. Yes. And look, I -- I think perhaps this will save some time for
4 later on. There's just a couple of documents. I want to ask you whether
5 you saw them at the time. You may have, you may not, and you can tell
6 us. Did you see when you were still down in Herzegovina a combat order
7 headed "Defence of People's Rights, Vrdi 93," a combat order dated the
8 11th of September and signed by Zulfikar Alispago?
9 A. I don't remember having seen that. I don't think I ever obtained
10 it at any of the later stages and I certainly don't have it on my now.
11 Q. No, no, that's okay. And I'm not suggesting that you should have
12 had it. Was it the practice of any of the commanders in Herzegovina when
13 you were down there to show you the combat orders, or not?
14 A. No one ever showed me anything. Not Sefer, not anyone else. I'm
15 not sure who would have been entitled to show me anything, including
16 Karic and the rest of them. Well, actually, Sefer did show me things two
17 or three times, but I never actually held any of these in my own hands,
18 not any of the orders.
19 Q. And just with particular reference to that, you didn't see the
20 map at -- at that time -- well, sorry. I think you've answered that
21 question already.
22 Very well. I can move now to the 5th of -- of September and just
23 ask you: At approximately what time did you set off to go back to
24 Sarajevo after that Dobro Polje meeting which you've given evidence
1 A. I can't say when specifically we set off. It was in the evening.
2 I can't say what time it was. But we reached a fountain near a Croatian
3 village. I'm not sure what the name of the village was. We would always
4 stop there on our way from Jablanica to Sarajevo and the other way
5 around. The water in that well was lovely and cold. There was an apple
6 tree with ripe apples on it, and then 20 metres down there was a group of
7 houses all grouped together. We arrived from Dobro Polje and we stopped
8 there, as we always did. I saw that a light was on in one of the houses,
9 an oil lamp, actually. We set off from Dobro Polje for Sarajevo on a
10 moment's notice and we always tried to bring food back to Sarajevo
11 because it cost an arm and a leg in Sarajevo and over there everything
12 was cheap. I tried to get some cheese, because the discrepancy in the
13 prices was enormous. In Sarajevo, it cost between 30 and 40 Deutschmark,
14 and over there it was just 2. I told Sefer, "Please, can you just wait a
15 minute? I'm going to that house over there where you can see the lamp
16 burning. I'll ask them whether they have any cheese to sell." And he
17 said, "What's the matter with you? It's past 10.00. It's late. No time
18 for that."
19 I was wearing a camouflage jacket, and he said, "If you show up
20 at their door in a uniform like this and those people over there are
21 Croats, you'll frighten those poor people out of their wits. You won't
22 achieve anything. They will give it to you for nothing. But I advise
23 you not to go. Just let the people sleep. Don't disturb them."
24 So we were at the well. It was past 10.00. And I can't remember
25 specifically when we left the place. So I decided not to go down to the
1 house and we just pressed on back to Sarajevo.
2 Q. Okay. Thanks. Now, I won't ask you any questions about what
3 happened in Sarajevo. And I want to just move quickly now to the 7th of
4 September at Hrasnica, and just to ask you -- ask for a couple of
5 clarifications about what happened there.
6 The procedure was to get to Hrasnica that you went and met Sefer
7 at a headquarters; is that correct?
8 A. No. We met at his headquarters in Sarajevo and then we went to
9 Hrasnica together.
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. And we went again together.
12 Q. Yes. No, sorry, I -- I must have been misleading, because that's
13 what I meant.
14 And when you went there to meet him, did you observe Ramiz
15 Delalic to be present at the headquarters when you got there?
16 A. Yes, I met him in the corridor, and I asked him whether he was
17 going as well, and that's when I found out he was, and his unit.
18 Q. Okay. And then did he -- did Ramiz Delalic travel to the tunnel
19 with you, or did he go another way?
20 A. I don't think so. I'm not sure.
21 Q. Okay. I mean, incidentally, although a lot of things are said
22 about Ramiz Delalic, the fact is in the defence of Sarajevo he was a very
23 brave fighter who defended a very important part of the front line; is
24 that correct?
25 A. That's correct. His men and he himself were really at a very
1 important -- a long very important line from Miljacka northwards to the
2 north-east of the city. And I must say that I once had the opportunity
3 to go there and to see how those fighters at a critical time, when they
4 were closing off that area and the Serb lines -- the Serb forces were
5 advancing, and then there was a break in these lines in the defence, and
6 he sent these really courageous, brave people there. And there was a
7 really nice atmosphere, and they managed to close ranks and they defended
8 the area. And I think it was in -- and he had a very good relationship
9 with these people and he talked to them nicely and he said, "Are you
10 okay? Hurry up." I mean, I couldn't see anything bad about the person
11 at all when I was there. Afterwards I did hear stuff, but I have seen no
12 nasty things firsthand.
13 Q. No. And just one final question about that, that -- that Ramiz
14 Delalic was plainly a person who took a very hands-on interest in the
15 well-being of his soldiers when you were there present with him; is that
17 A. Yes. And I think Caco was one of the best ones in that respect
18 as well. They took special care of their soldiers. I don't know about
19 Celo, but Caco -- I know some relatives of mine used to live there. And
20 -- well, he did it in a strange way, but he did care about people.
21 Q. Yes. Okay. Now, I just want to take you to -- take you to
22 Hrasnica. You travelled to the tunnel and you went through the tunnel,
23 and then you found yourself out of Sarajevo and at the forward command
24 post of the 1st Corps in the Hrasnica area.
25 Now, could I just ask you this: Fikret Prevljak was a person who
1 was the commander of the local brigade stationed outside Sarajevo in and
2 around Hrasnica; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, the 4th Motorised Brigade, and he was the commander.
4 Q. I understand. Now, I just want to clarify something that -- that
5 my learned friend asked you yesterday. You indicated that -- that when
6 you and Sefer arrived there, there was some news that Caco was not going
7 to come. Is that correct? Or that he was refusing to come to
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. And at that point, Sefer Halilovic tried to persuade Ramiz
11 Delalic to go and help him get Caco to come; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And ultimately Sefer Halilovic succeeded in persuading Caco to do
14 that and the two of them set off; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. But they didn't have to go back into Sarajevo through the
17 tunnel, did they, as far as you knew? They just had to go somewhere else
18 in the area of Hrasnica to find Caco; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, he was there.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Chana.
21 MS. CHANA: Counsel, I think there is -- you said "Caco" when I
22 think you meant Celo, the two of them set off. Line 20, 11:34.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, I might have a different numbering
24 system from my friend. I'll just make sure.
25 MS. CHANA: And ultimately --
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. No, no, yes, my friend is right there.
2 Yes, okay. I can recollect that. It's line 13, Your Honours.
3 Q. I'm sorry, I -- I made a technical mistake there. I think you
4 probably understood it the right way, Mr. Hodzic, but I'll just put it
6 Firstly, you've already said that Sefer tried to persuade Ramiz
7 Delalic to get Caco to come. And then after that, Sefer Halilovic did
8 persuade Celo to help and the two of them set off. And you've said --
9 sorry, is that correct? I just have to ask -- get you to answer that
10 one, because it's been --
11 A. It's correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Okay. And after they left -- so we have Sefer and --
13 and Ramiz Delalic leaving to go to find Caco. And to your knowledge,
14 they were looking in the area of Hrasnica, where Caco already was;
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So to your understanding, the situation that Halilovic was trying
18 to resolve was this one: Soldiers had already come from Sarajevo with
19 Caco and come to Hrasnica, but now on the eve of departing Caco was
20 talking about going back to Sarajevo; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it could be concluded on the basis of what we had heard
23 Q. Yes. Now, I understand that you were going on what you were
24 told. Of course.
25 How long did it take before Ramiz Delalic -- well, first of all,
1 did Ramiz Delalic and Sefer Halilovic come back together or separately?
2 A. I really don't know. I really don't know whether they were
3 together or not. But they certainly left together.
4 Q. Yes. I understand. Very well. And then -- and how long was it
5 that they were gone? I understand you may not be able to give us a
6 minute-perfect answer, but were they gone for 20 minutes or an hour?
7 What -- what sort of range?
8 A. It's hard for me to say. I really did not pay much attention.
9 Perhaps 20 minutes. Perhaps 15. Perhaps half an hour. I don't know.
10 It's speculation only. I can't really say anything. But after a little
11 bit of time, Sefer came back, and I suppose Celo as well.
12 Q. Okay. Well, look, thank you for trying. I understand some of
13 these questions might be asking for detail that's too far away.
14 Very well. Well, now, I'm not going to ask you any questions
15 about the journey down to -- to Jablanica. And I want to move forward
16 now to the time when you saw Sefer Halilovic after you'd already heard
17 the horrible rumours that you'd already heard about -- about Grabovica.
18 Now, you indicated that you saw Sefer Halilovic while you were
19 sitting on chairs, and I think you said at Zuka's base. Is that correct?
20 A. Well, I got there before he did, and then he joined me soon
21 afterwards. He sat next to me.
22 Q. Very well. I understand that. And the conditions were not
23 possible for you to hold a -- a conversation with him on this topic
24 because there were many soldiers around; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. It's a very small -- a small room.
1 Q. Yes. But so far as you could judge, Sefer Halilovic appeared to
2 be visibly shaken and shocked by the news that you'd both received coming
3 out of Grabovica; is that correct?
4 A. Well, it is a bit difficult now, but yes, he was really absent --
5 how should I put this? I thought of the right word when Ms. Chana asked
6 me this question. He was quiet. And something else I wanted to say,
7 something more accurate: He was more than just quiet. He was pensive,
8 not just quiet.
9 Q. Yes, I understand. How long do you think you were with him on
10 that occasion? Was it a matter of two minutes or five minutes or -- or a
11 significantly longer time than that?
12 A. Very briefly, just to say that he was in the direction of Konjic,
13 that he was with Mahmutcehajic. And when I asked him about whether he
14 had heard about this, and I asked him in a very low voice, and he said,
15 "Yes." And I asked him, "Do you think that it may be one of the refugees
16 that may be the killer?" And he said, "Yes." And the others joined us.
17 And it was mostly the same whenever he came.
18 Q. Yes, I understand. All right. Now, I just want to move on to
19 the next morning, the 10th, the morning of the 10th of September, and ask
20 you some questions about the arrival of Ramiz Delalic on -- on that
21 morning. Now, I think your evidence was that you were hoping to get a
22 lift from somebody who went past, because you didn't have your own
23 vehicle, and you were just seated hoping someone would come by.
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 Q. Okay. So when -- when the car pulled up driven by Ramiz Delalic,
1 can you recall where it parked? Did it park right up against the houses
2 or did it park -- the houses of Zuka's base or did it park some distance
3 away from those houses?
4 A. Right in front of the building, in the middle of the road.
5 Nothing -- no traffic would be disturbed. Because for about half an
6 hour, an hour, no car would drive by. And it was right across the street
7 from Zuka's base.
8 Q. Okay. So are you able to say approximately -- this is getting a
9 little bit -- a bit difficult; but I just ask you to do the best you can.
10 Could you estimate how many metres away from the front steps of Zuka's
11 base this car was parked? Just doing the best you can.
12 A. I don't believe it was further than 5 metres away.
13 Q. Okay. Now, can you just indicate to the Tribunal what sort of
14 vehicle was it? Was it a jeep or was it an Audi? What was it?
15 A. I don't know. I can't remember. I can't really say.
16 Q. Can you recall whether or not it was a military vehicle or a
17 civilian vehicle?
18 A. I can't say that either.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you saw Ramiz Delalic exit the -- the vehicle. At
20 the time he exited the vehicle, was there any other person, apart from
21 the two boys, in the vehicle that you could see?
22 A. There was this driver. The driver was there. Celo wasn't
24 Q. I understand. Do you recall the name of that particular driver
25 that you saw?
1 A. I can't say whether it was him on that particular occasion, but
2 the one who drove him most often. He almost always drove him. And I
3 keep meeting him all over Sarajevo, because he's a taxi driver in
4 Sarajevo at the moment. But I can't remember -- maybe Arnautovic Erdin,
5 Arnatalic. I can't remember. I know him. I say hello to him. But I
6 don't know what's his name.
7 Q. Okay. So could -- if I refresh your memory by mentioning the
8 name Erdin Arnautovic, that's the person who --
9 A. I believe he was his permanent driver.
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. And he must have been there at -- on that occasion as well.
12 Q. Okay. Now, just referring to that particular occasion, you
13 indicated earlier on you weren't sure whether he was the driver on that
14 day. Do you have a specific memory of it being him that day or not?
15 A. No. I can't remember. I wasn't really paying attention. But
16 there was a driver, some driver.
17 Q. Okay. And for how long did the boys stay in the car before Ramiz
18 came back and got them?
19 A. It is hard to say. I mean, Celo didn't come in and go straight
20 back out, but he talked to Nihad Bojadzic and the deputy commander. It
21 wasn't a very long conversation, but I looked in and I saw them still
22 talking. I am afraid I might make a mistake here. Whatever I tell you,
23 how many minutes, two, three, five. I really don't want to make a
25 Q. That's okay. I -- I think you've made yourself very clear about
2 Just to explain to the Tribunal who Nihad Bojadzic is. Nihad
3 Bojadzic was the deputy commander of Zulfikar Alispago's unit; is that
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Okay. And he's a person who played a leading part in the
7 fighting down in Dreznica in the following week or so; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, I think he was in charge of that at that time.
9 Q. Yes. Okay. So were you able to observe the demeanour of the two
10 men, Bojadzic and Ramiz Delalic, during the time of this short
12 A. No. I didn't have the opportunity to, but I was sitting outside.
13 I was sitting on a chair facing the street. And they were indoors and
14 there was a kind of bar, a table. And I was in a hurry and I was looking
15 for Celo and they were still talking. But then he came out again.
16 Q. Yes. Okay. Thank you. And -- and thereafter you got a lift
17 with Mr. Delalic not yet knowing who those boys were; is that correct?
18 A. No. I thought some of the refugee children, some poor devils
19 that he was taking to Jablanica.
20 Q. Yes. Just -- from the position that you were in, sitting outside
21 of the restaurant -- sorry, I take that back, "restaurant." I've got
22 that on the brain.
23 Mr. Hodzic, I'm sorry. Sitting outside as you were, you were not
24 in a position to overhear the conversation that took place between Ramiz
25 and -- and Nihad Bojadzic; is that correct?
1 A. No, absolutely not. I didn't hear a single word.
2 Q. And during the time when they were inside, did the driver of the
3 car appear to you to stay seated inside that car with the boys?
4 A. I think he had stayed in the car. And he certainly did not go
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. I really don't remember, by the way. But I -- I don't think he
8 went in.
9 Q. And he certainly didn't come and sit with you where you were
10 sitting; is that correct?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Okay. Thanks. Now, the next matter I want to take you to is
13 that? In due course -- sorry, I asked you about this earlier on. So I
14 now want to move forward to the time when you found yourself in the car
15 talking to Sefer Halilovic about what should be done in respect of this
16 investigation. And I've already asked you some questions about that
17 earlier on, so these -- these will now be very quick.
18 At the time when you were in that vehicle and that conversation
19 took place, who else was in the car with you? Was -- was Dr. Cibo in the
20 car on that occasion or was there any other person in the car with you on
21 that occasion?
22 A. Dr. Cibo, the driver, this person called Mesar who was driving,
23 and the escorts.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Sefer's brother and his son, I believe. That was it. And apart
1 from this entourage, Cibo and myself.
2 Q. Yes. There's been quite a few mentions in passing about Sefer's
3 son. And perhaps you can clarify what the situation was there. To your
4 understanding, when Sefer came down to Herzegovina, did he bring with him
5 his son, whose name is Semir?
6 A. Yes, he always brought him with him, and he never separated from
7 him, and he never wanted to be away from him. It is a kind of a mystery
8 to me even now, because we had some very risky trips, actually, and we
9 were risking our lives. We could have been hit by a bullet or we could
10 have ended up off the road on those mountain roads. But he always took
11 him along.
12 Q. Yes. I suppose you could perhaps comment on this: Did it come
13 to your knowledge that Semir Halilovic, Sefer's son, was actually in the
14 flat when his mother was blown to pieces?
15 A. I read that in Sefer's book.
16 Q. And to your observation, Sefer wanted to keep Semir in eye
17 contact all the time; is that correct?
18 A. I never asked him about that, I must admit. I felt uncomfortable
19 about asking about it. But it was a bit of a mystery. Why does he
20 insist on taking a 13-year-old boy to such risky trips. I don't know.
21 It was obvious that he wanted to be with him. But I couldn't really
22 guess what was in his mind. But it was surprising, because I had never
23 witnessed anything like that in the war. There were commanders who
24 brought their sons along as escorts. Delic used to do that, and Sefer
25 took his brother, and Karic's son was with him most of the time in the
1 course of operation. But for a 12- or 13-year-old boy to be taken along,
2 it has still remained a mystery. It is even a mystery to me now.
3 Q. Just on the topic that you raised then, did you meet Vehbija
4 Karic's son in the course of your time in Herzegovina?
5 A. Quite a few times, and it was precisely to him that I gave the
6 pictures on the 8th of November when we came back and we went to Donja
7 Jablanica in front of the base, when Karic, Bilajac, and Zicro came, and
8 I think there was somebody else there called Sokolo [phoen] or something
9 like that. And I was circulating pictures that I brought along. And I
10 gave them to this boy -- well, a young man. And he said to me, "Well,
11 you'll see this is going to be quite something. We are preparing this
12 operation." He was with his father all the time, and I had known him
13 from before, from Sarajevo. I think I had met him in June.
14 Q. Yes. And was it within your knowledge that the wife of Vehbija
15 Karic and the mother of this young boy was Croatian?
16 A. I found out in a weird way. It is not unusual to see mixed
17 marriages back home, but I found out about three weeks after we came
18 back, some days after the start of the Trebevic operation.
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I was at Karic's place, in case you're interested in this story.
21 Q. Just -- it's really the question of whether you knew that as a
22 fact or not. I won't trouble you with the -- with the history of it.
23 A. Yes, it is important.
24 Q. Well, sorry, no, if you think -- look, I'll press on with the
25 questions in regard to that. Sorry, just bearing in mind the time, I
1 must say. I'm torn. I'm torn, actually.
2 But look, anyway, I will press on. Sorry.
3 Look, if you see it as a matter of importance, perhaps you should
4 say what -- what you have to say about that.
5 A. Okay. I came to Karic's place precisely on the day when some
6 international agency broadcasted news that Sefer Halilovic was under
7 house arrest, and I think it was also mentioned on the radio. And there
8 was information from the Chief of Staff [as interpreted] that he wasn't,
9 and we knew that he was, and so I came to Karic's place and I asked
10 him -- I told him that -- is it true that Sefer is under house arrest and
11 that there was some mistreatment in the State Security Service? And then
12 I said, "Well, he had some problems." And I asked, "Did you have any
13 problems?" And he said, "Yes, yes, I had problems." And that was the
14 occasion when he told me -- he said, "Jusuf Jasarevic asked me to make a
15 statement because those people down there" -- I'm not really going to use
16 the word that he used. I might make a mistake, but at any rate, "These
17 people who killed those people down in Grabovica said that I had told
18 them if they don't give you accommodation, throw them into the river,
19 into Neretva." And I couldn't say that ever. Apart from that, my son
20 was there. And my wife is Croatian, and that's how I found out that she
21 was Croatian. And he said, "She's half Croatian and there's no way I
22 could say that in front of my son. His grandmother and grandfather are
23 Croats and I couldn't say, "Go ahead and kill those Croats." That's how
24 I found out, and I think that's a pretty important point.
25 Q. I think you're right. Thank you for the explanation.
1 Okay. Well, there's -- sorry, there's just --
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, there's just a translation issue
3 that I need to raise there. At line 5, the interpretation says, starting
4 at line 4: "And there was information from the Chief of Staff that he
5 wasn't." And we are advised by the Bosnian speaker at the table that the
6 word used there was not "Chief of Staff" but "Main Staff." And I just
7 ask for a clarification on that point, if possible.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please. Well, you may ask a question to this
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, as sometimes happens with me, I talk
11 too much and then the phrase disappears at the top of the screen.
12 Q. I just want to clarify one part of your evidence there. You said
13 this - and I'm just going to ask for a comment on one point - you said
14 this: "I came to Karic's place precisely on the day when some
15 international agency broadcasted news that Sefer Halilovic was under
16 house arrest. And I think it was also mentioned on the radio. And there
17 was information from the Chief of Staff that he wasn't." Now, we've got
18 on our screen that "there was information from the Chief of Staff that he
19 wasn't." Did you mean to say "the Chief of Staff" or did you mean to say
20 "there was information from the Main Staff that he wasn't"?
21 A. No, no, no, it wasn't from the Chief of Staff. The army came
22 along. But it came from the army. They denied this information, that --
23 they said that Sefer Halilovic was not under house arrest. Of course we
24 laughed at it because we knew that he was. Karic spoke to him on the
25 phone that very day.
1 Q. And just to clarify two matters there. As to the names of the
2 people who were accusing Karic, did Karic say who it was that was
3 pointing the finger at him as to making this comment, or did he not give
4 you that information?
5 A. No. Once again, I am afraid I might use a wrong word here,
6 something he didn't say, so I'm going to paraphrase it. He said to me,
7 yes, that he had problems as well. He had a call from the general -- no,
8 he wasn't the general -- from Jusuf Jasarevic to clarify some things and
9 to make a statement. And then he found out that those who perpetrated
10 the crimes at Grabovica accused him by saying that he had told them,
11 "Okay, if you are not given accommodation, just throw these people into
12 the river." And he said that there was no problem with accommodation.
13 He said that to me as well. And that everything was fine. And he said,
14 "Bilajac was down there and they were sitting together with these people
15 and apparently Bilajac got some garlic from some Croats and the army and
16 all of them were talking to them, with these Croats, and there were no
17 problems there, and there's no way he could have said that. And then he
18 went on to say, "Well, my son was standing next to me, and he's half
19 Croat, half Bosnian, because my wife, his mother, is Croatian and his
20 grandparents are Croatian, and how could I say that?"
21 Q. Okay. Yes. Well, thank you very much for that clarification.
22 Now I want to ask you some questions about the document that
23 Sefer Halilovic read out to you.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, may I just inquire when Your
25 Honours would be inclined to take the break? I think it's likely that I
1 would go into the extra session, if that's needed. I also think it's
2 likely that we would -- if that's available still. And I think it's
3 likely that I would finish in that time. But can I just -- just so that
4 I know how to manage the time now.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm at your disposal. If you believe that it's
6 the right time for us to take a break, we could.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, it would help me just to organise now
8 because -- that would help.
9 JUDGE LIU: The courtroom for this afternoon's sitting is
10 reserved already, so there's no problem on that.
11 Yes. We'll resume at 12.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
16 Q. Thanks, Mr. Hodzic. I've now got some questions concerning the
17 conversation that you had with Sefer Halilovic when he indicated a
18 particular telegram that was sent to you and he read to you a -- a
19 passage from that telegram.
20 Now, first of all, the questions I'm going to ask you concern a
21 particular document, and that's the document that you were shown by the
22 Prosecutor which you indicated had been given to you in archives a long
23 time later. So I'm going to show you the document and -- and then I'll
24 ask you some preliminary questions about it. But perhaps if the document
25 could be brought up now.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: It's MFI259. I think it is.
2 Sorry, excuse me.
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. MORRISSEY: No, no, no, it's not to be do with MFI259. It's
5 D157. My apologies for that. I just saw the "259" notation on it.
6 Q. Now, the document I'm going to show you now is a document that
7 you were shown earlier on. It's a document that -- it purports to be an
8 order from Komandant Rasim Delic dated 12/9/1993. Now, just tell us when
9 you have that on the screen, if you wouldn't mind.
10 A. I can see it now.
11 Q. Okay. Thanks. Now, just -- just before I come to the -- the
12 text of it, I'll tell you frankly so there's no sneakiness about, this
13 I've just got some questions about some of the times down -- down at the
14 bottom on this particular piece of paper. But first questions are just
15 general ones.
16 To the best of your recollection, you -- you've indicated here
17 that -- that Mr. Halilovic produced a piece of paper in the car and he
18 read out some words from that -- from that piece of paper to you, but you
19 didn't have your glasses on, so you couldn't read it. Is that correct?
20 Have I got it right, what you said?
21 A. No, it wasn't in the car. It was outside Zuka's base.
22 Q. Sorry.
23 A. We headed for the car, and it was before we got into the car.
24 It's true, however, that I was unable to read this. I had forgotten to
25 put my glasses on. It's as simple as that.
1 Q. Well, that's okay. I'm just -- what I'm going to be asking you
2 is when you first actually saw this particular document, which -- which
3 has been put into evidence here. Now -- and so I'm going to trace
4 through what you actually saw on the day of the 12th.
5 What you saw outside Zuka's base was a piece of paper, and you
6 heard Sefer Halilovic reading out certain things to you from that piece
7 of paper. Is that -- is that accurate?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. And what he read out to you was that -- the passage which
10 said: "Re-examine the decision in the sense of a realistic estimate of
11 forces and possibilities of carrying out the tasks in accordance with
12 that. Amend the decision so it conforms to real possibilities." Is that
13 what he read out to you, the words that I've just stated?
14 A. Yes. Yes. That section, thereabouts.
15 Q. Yes. As I understand.
16 A. I don't recall it word by word right now, but ...
17 Q. No, of course not. I understand that. But at that time, Sefer
18 Halilovic read out nothing to do with any checking of the accuracy of
19 information about genocide committed against civilian population by
20 members of the 1st Corps 9th Mountain Brigade. At that time, and in
21 relation to this piece of paper that you saw, Sefer Halilovic said
22 nothing about Grabovica; is that accurate as well?
23 A. No, he didn't say anything.
24 Q. I understand. Okay. Now, the next -- I'm just -- this is just
25 chasing -- tracing through what you saw on the day.
1 After that, did you see that piece of paper again that Sefer
2 Halilovic had?
3 A. No. Never.
4 Q. Okay. Now, however, when you got up to the northern front or the
5 northern part of the lines, you saw Vehbija Karic, and he also mentioned
6 receiving -- mentioned to Sefer Halilovic receiving some sort of telegram
7 as well; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. I understand. Okay. And -- but on that occasion, you didn't see
10 any piece of paper in Vehbija Karic's hands, did you?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Okay. And -- all right. And after the discussion between
13 Vehbija Karic and Sefer on that occasion, there was no -- okay. Well,
14 I'll stop there.
15 Now, the reason I ask this is because I just want to put to you
16 the possibility that the -- the document that you were shown later from
17 the archives might turn out not to be the original one. Now, I don't
18 know. But I'm going to give you the chance to comment about that. And
19 -- and I'm going to show you some things on the document. So there's no
20 trickery here, and I just want you to be able -- you say whatever you
21 have to say about this.
22 Would you mind just having a look, please, at the -- at the marks
23 at the bottom of that document there, the stamps of when things were sent
24 and when they were received and so on.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, what's being shown -- on the
2 English version --
3 Sorry, just excuse me, Mr. Hodzic.
4 On the English version that you have before you on the screen,
5 it's --
6 JUDGE LIU: No. I don't think so.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: What I'm going to do is ask that the Bosnian
8 version be displayed -- sorry, would you just excuse me a moment.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, sorry. Pardon me. I'm just going to ask
11 that the Bosnian version be displayed to all in court so that you can see
12 what's being pointed out to the witness.
13 Q. What I'm going to ask you about is the timing here, Mr. Hodzic,
14 because it just looks as if this particular document that I've got in my
15 hands just doesn't appear to have been sent down to Jablanica until much
16 later in the day. And so for that reason I'm just going to ask you, and
17 any comment you've got to make, feel free. Do you see on the left there
18 there's a stamp indicating the arrival of this document on the 12th of
19 the 9th, 1993 at 14.14 hours? Can you see that on the bottom left?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. And just from your recollection, you had well and truly
22 left Jablanica by the time 14.14 hours came along, hadn't you?
23 A. At about 10.00 in the morning.
24 Q. Yes, I understand.
25 A. Perhaps even earlier.
1 Q. Okay. Now, just -- just thinking about that. When you were
2 shown this particular document when you went back to the archives, how
3 did it come to be in your hands? Was it given to you by archivist, or
4 did you have to write a letter? Can you just explain how it came about?
5 A. I filed a request in writing, and I was given the documents. I
6 didn't physically search the archive to locate these documents myself. I
7 requested both documents when I was preparing a series for my newspaper.
8 The request was approved, and the chief of cabinet of Rasim Delic told me
9 that it would be okay and that there were some other things that he had
10 for me but they didn't give these to me after all for my series. It was
11 only a good while later that I was able to convince them to -- to hand
12 them over. But as far as my experience in the archives is concerned,
13 this document appears to be accurate.
14 Q. Yes. No, that's okay. Do you remember, was it the original
15 document -- was the document that you received a copy, or was it an
17 A. I don't know. It's hard for me to say. It must have been a
18 copy. I suppose it couldn't have been the original. I would not have
19 been allowed to take the original from the archive and take it away. Not
20 a chance.
21 Q. No, well, that's -- I mean, I'm very much in your hands here
22 about the procedures there, Mr. Hodzic, and I'm grateful for the
23 explanations. Now, there's no criticism at all being made of you about
24 this. I just wonder if you can think of any explanation as to how this
25 would happen, that this would -- sorry, there's an objection coming,
1 so ...?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I think Counsel knows what my
4 objection is. The witness has very clearly stated he never saw this
5 document. He can hardly now be asked to look at the -- the stamps. He
6 may be asked what time he left. Yes, that's fine. As it reflects on the
7 document. But the witness cannot answer these questions.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe the witness is not in the good position
9 to make any comments as for those stamps.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: I think, with the greatest sadness, I think my
11 learned friend is right. I don't think this witness can comment any
12 further than he has.
13 Q. Perhaps I'll just ask -- I'll ask one question about it: When
14 you came to inspect this document during the -- during your writing of
15 your book, it wasn't a matter that concerned you to look at these stamps;
16 is that correct?
17 A. No. Why would I want to waste time on something like that? But
18 I really did use these little things, the small print, and I often
19 compared them, but I'm not sure about the copy I received them.
20 Q. No, that's okay. I understand. But when you received this
21 document, when you ultimately got your copy of it that was provided for
22 you, that's the first time you'd seen or heard of paragraph 2, the part
23 that contains the reference to Grabovica; is that correct?
24 A. I can't remember. That was a long time ago. But I can explain
25 how the misunderstanding came about. I think I was wrong about the date,
1 because after all, once I wrote down the series of articles, I tried to
2 recall things clearly, and there was a discrepancy that occurred to me at
3 that point because I think the next day Karic told Sefer, in my book at
4 least, "There's something for you," and this probably indicates that
5 Sefer showed this to me on the 13th. And I'm very grateful to you for
6 this because it's only now that I realise how I got the dates wrong. It
7 must be a different date. That is it. That's the explanation that we're
9 Q. No, that's okay. All right. Well, thank you for that. Now, I
10 just want to ask you questions about the -- what the news was that you
11 got about the Uzdol events. So we're now jumping forward from the --
12 from the 13th. You've answered questions asked of you by the -- by the
13 learned Prosecutor.
14 You indicated that combat started on the 13th in that area and
15 that Sefer Halilovic ordered Suljevic to go with Buza and accompany him
16 after finding out that Buza had not gone into action, as he was supposed
17 to do.
18 And then you said that on the 14th you went with Sefer and you
19 went to a communications centre and heard certain news. And the
20 Prosecutor asked you about that, and now I'm just going to ask you to
21 clarify something. At the time when you attended at that communications
22 centre, and -- and heard the news about the fighting in Uzdol, there was
23 no story whatsoever that old civilians or young children had been killed;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes, certainly.
1 Q. Because if there was any such material, you would have, of
2 course, made further inquiries about it; is that correct?
3 A. I assume so. Nothing was said about that.
4 Q. I understand that. Now, some days later, you became aware of
5 reports in the media - and you've described that you were at somebody's
6 house when -- when you learned about those reports in the media - that
7 there may have been crimes committed in -- in Uzdol. And I wanted to ask
8 you about the believability of these reports in the media.
9 First of all, at the time when -- when you learned about these --
10 the rumours or the stories in the media about killings at Uzdol, were you
11 told that Croat media had featured photographs of bodies lying in the
12 snow, in snow-covered fields?
13 A. I don't know that, or I don't remember. It was later that I
14 heard people talk about this, and I can remember specifically whether I'd
15 seen snow myself when I saw the reports on TV, but there was someone --
16 or rather, who told me -- but I'm not sure how to put it. A crime
17 occurred, after all. They said that this was probably fabrication and
18 that some Bosnian bodies of people who had been killed earlier on were
19 being shown.
20 The massacre story was a different story altogether. For
21 example, when my series came out in 1999, someone or other from the army
22 had a reaction but they couldn't really say if the crime in Uzdol
23 happened. It was like this: They couldn't be very specific about it.
24 Until the book on the crime came out, I wasn't sure myself. It came out
25 about three or four years ago. I had a look, and --
1 THE INTERPRETER: The witness didn't get the last part of the --
2 Or the interpreter didn't get the last part of the interpreter's answer.
3 MR. MORRISSEY:
4 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Hodzic. The interpreter just lost you there. You
5 were a bit fast for him at the end. Would you mind just saying that last
6 part again so that the interpreter catches it.
7 A. Until as late as four years ago, which is when the book came out
8 on the crime at Uzdol with photographs, I, or the general public in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, had no idea whether the crime really occurred or not.
10 It was only once I had bought the book that I realised the full extent.
11 Q. Now, that book that you're referring to now was a publication
12 concerning Uzdol that specified the victims and so on; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. There's not only that one.
14 Q. Yes. Oh, no, I understand that. I'm really talk about back at
15 the time when -- when the rumours first started.
16 You mentioned in evidence earlier on that -- the mention of the
17 word "snow" in connection with these reports, and I just wonder if you
18 could explain to the Tribunal what you meant by that. What did snow have
19 to do with these rumours that you heard?
20 A. Allegedly this was in September. There couldn't have been any
21 snow on the ground at this time. It was a nice day, beautiful weather,
22 sunny. You can see the photographs with snow on the ground. This is
23 impossible. It must have been fabricated in some way. Or at least
24 rumour had it that the photographs had been fabricated and that no crime
25 had occurred. That was the general drift.
1 I think Zicro Suljevic gave an interview explaining more or less
2 the same thing, that no crime had in fact occurred.
3 Q. Yes. Okay. And just as a journalist and a person participating
4 in the media at the time, within your knowledge did media from the
5 Herceg-Bosna side, or the -- well, I don't want to call it the Croatian
6 -- the Croat side, but from the Herceg-Bosna side -- did media from that
7 side sometimes appear to exaggerate or even invent atrocities by the
8 Bosnian government army or by Muslims generally?
9 A. How should I put this? I really can't say. There was a lot of
10 propaganda involved. Some people were saying things, but I spent most of
11 my time at the front lines and I didn't really follow the media closely
12 for the simple reason that I spent most of my time on the ground, so I
13 can't say. I imagine there was a good deal of that around, propaganda
14 quite thick on the ground, but I really can't vouch for anything. I
15 can't be pushed to say anything definite about this.
16 Q. No, I understand. No, well, thanks for that indication. I won't
17 push you any further on that topic at all.
18 I just want to ask you one more question about the -- the lead-up
19 to the Uzdol fighting and the fights on that front generally, at Crni Vrh
20 and other places like that. Were you present when Sefer Halilovic
21 addressed the soldiers of the Independent Prozor Battalion before the
22 fighting at Uzdol?
23 A. I was there every time he spoke: The time he spoke to the Prozor
24 Battalion, the time he spoke to the Neretva Battalion. It was a
25 battalion, the Neretvica Battalion. All of these. He spoke to people
1 two or three times.
2 Q. Yes. Okay. And as to the speech that he made -- well, I suppose
3 the speeches generally up there I'll ask you about and then I'll ask you
4 specifically. In those speeches, did Sefer Halilovic refer to the fact
5 that they shouldn't be killing civilians and indeed they should be
6 careful of civilians and prisoners of war during their operations?
7 A. Yes. I did say so yesterday. He was very clear about that. But
8 I can't remember anything else specifically. There must be dozens of
9 people who were there and who remember everything exactly word for word.
10 There was one group he addressed and he made this clear in no uncertain
11 terms. He said the same thing he had said in Kostajnica on the 3rd of
12 September, 1993. He said, "We should not touch civilians. Our army
13 mustn't touch any civilians. It's the Chetniks and Ustashas that we're
14 fighting." He repeated this word for word on the other occasion, but I
15 couldn't get this on tape, simply because I'd run out of tapes by this
16 time. It did occur to me at the time, though.
17 Q. Yes, I understand. And that expression about not touching
18 civilians and so on and --
19 A. Yes, precisely.
20 Q. That really was -- because you had spoken about his political
21 position, that statement of not touching civilians was particularly
22 consistent with Sefer Halilovic's own commitment to the political
23 solution of a multi-ethnic, unified Bosnia; is that correct?
24 A. It's difficult for me to say if it's consistent with this or not.
25 As I've told you, I went through the archives. There are quite many
1 orders issued by General Halilovic that seems to be very much in
2 compliance with this principle and respectful of these principles, but
3 same applies to Delic. This was a trend, so to speak, throughout the
4 army, from the very beginning to the very end.
5 Q. Yes. Yes, I understand what you say. Very well. Now, you've
6 already given evidence in fairly complete form about -- about what
7 occurred after that time. I just want to go very briefly for a survey
8 just to preserve the chronology for the -- for the Tribunal here.
9 After the Independent Prozor Battalion came back, having been to
10 Uzdol and come back, do you recall there being -- do you recall attending
11 at Voljevac after that time when soldiers of -- of those other -- other
12 units were expressing some resentment and dislike against Enver Buza
13 because of the lateness of the Independent Prozor Battalion? I'm talking
14 now really about the afternoon of the 14th.
15 A. Yes. I described this in some detail. They were furious. They
16 were mad. One of their favourite commanders had been killed, the deputy
17 commander, Seid Padalovc. They abandoned the lines for that reason, the
18 lot of them, and they all wanted to go to his funeral. They gathered on
19 a piece of flat ground, a plateau, and they expressed so much anger in
20 fact at Buza's expense. So the first question that was addressed to
21 Sefer when he arrived was: When is -- when will Mehmed Buza [as
22 interpreted] be shot? So that's what I wrote down at the moment, that
23 Buza should go to Voljevac and report on his actions.
24 Every time a car passed by, I feared that Buza would be taken
25 away. No chance he would have survived. I think Sefer and Haso Sakovic
1 [as interpreted] would have done him in [Realtime transcript read in
2 error: "any more"] right there. But this was the report that I published
3 at that time and I have nothing new to add. That was the impression that
4 I had at the time. Fortunately, he never turned up. We didn't see him
5 on that day. We eventually left Voljevac, we left Prozor, and we drove
7 Q. Yes. The transcript here is recorded that you said Haso Sakovic.
8 But you said the words Haso Hakalovic; is that correct?
9 A. Haso Hakalovic, that's correct.
10 Q. And --
11 MS. CHANA: There is -- sorry, Counsel. I think he said "would
12 have done him in," not "done any more right there." "Would have done him
14 MR. MORRISSEY: I'll clarify if, if you like.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
16 MR. MORRISSEY:
17 Q. Yes, sorry. Pardon me. You made a comment at the end of that
18 and the transcript here has recorded you as saying that Haso -- I think
19 it's Sefer -- "Haso Sakovic [sic] would have done any more right there."
20 Could you just explain what you said and what you meant there because
21 there may be a transcript problem; there may not be.
22 A. Those soldiers were so furious. They were driven mad. They were
23 to be sent back to the front lines. So Hakalovic spoke to him to calm
24 them down, and Sefer did too. He managed to a certain extent to talk
25 sense to them. It was a very shocking situation. Yet again,
1 Zejnilagic's men referred from another unit, from the lines they had
2 reached the day before, and we were back to square one.
3 Q. Okay. Now, I just have -- this -- I've got to ask you a question
4 about a military matter here. You may have been told about it; you may
5 not have been. I'll ask you and you can tell us.
6 Were you aware of whether Vehbija Karic and then subsequently
7 confirmed by Sefer Halilovic issued an order that from that time on the
8 combat operations on that area were to be conducted by Mr. Zejnilagic?
9 A. This is the first I hear of it.
10 Q. Okay. Well, if that's the case, I won't press you about it.
11 In the time of your involvement in that area, the Voljevac-Dobro
12 Polje -- the northern part of the operation, if one could use that term,
13 in that time did you notice the -- the frequent presence of Braco Fazlic,
14 the deputy of the -- of the 6th Corps?
15 A. Yes. He was the deputy. He was up there. I saw him. I know
16 for sure that I saw him once, maybe twice. We were at Voljevac together,
17 at Dobro Polje. And since I know Braco quite well from Sarajevo, I could
18 have met him many more times. But those two times I remember
20 Q. And I just -- just want to clarify this. At the time when you
21 saw Braco Fazlic up at -- I'm speaking now of the day that combat
22 commenced, the 13th of the 9th. And, in fact, perhaps I'm really asking
23 about three days, the 11th, 12th, and 13th of September. On any of those
24 days, apart from Braco Fazlic, do you recall whether or not you saw Salko
25 Gusic in that area of Voljevac, Dobro Polje, and generally the northern
2 A. Gusic?
3 Q. Gusic, yes.
4 A. I don't remember that he was there on that day. Maybe he was,
5 but I am not sure. I don't know.
6 Q. Very well. All right. Well, thank you for that.
7 Now, I promised to get on to the 16th of September and the
8 subsequent days. After those problems on the afternoon of the 14th that
9 you've indicated, did you become aware that combat operations were
10 finally beginning at the very south of the operation, in the Vrdi,
11 Dreznica sort of area?
12 A. I was down there. I followed the combat operations throughout
13 the night. And on the day after, I talked to the fighters who were
14 coming back and I was making the -- recordings and I heard orders being
15 issued through the liaison centre from Zuka and the others. So I
16 followed everything from Dreznica very closely.
17 Q. Yes, I understand. Now, I won't trouble you with -- you've
18 already indicated what -- or the relevant parts of all of that evidence.
19 And I just wanted to ask you this: The combat activities, at least the
20 offensive activities, ceased very suddenly at the end of the 19th of --
21 of September and were followed by the -- the -- by the return -- or
22 sorry, I'm asking two questions there. Perhaps I'll just ask you that
23 first bit first. The combat activities ceased on the 19th of September;
24 is that accurate?
25 A. Yes, it's true.
1 Q. And as far as you know, straightaway the Sarajevo units went back
2 to Sarajevo.
3 A. I don't know whether they went back, but Sefer went back and I
4 did myself as well. But as far as I know, something may have continued.
5 I'm not sure. It depends on the documents. I'm not sure.
6 Q. No, that's okay. I -- I was really -- yes, well, thank you for
7 those answers.
8 I just wanted to clarify something with you: Is it within your
9 knowledge whether or not the units -- the Sarajevo units, that being the
10 9th, the 10th, and the 2nd Independent Battalion, whether the elements of
11 those units in Herzegovina went back to Sarajevo on or about the 20th?
12 Do you recall that?
13 A. I know nothing. I know nothing about the return of any of the
15 Q. That's okay. All right. Well, thank you for that. Apart from
16 Sefer Halilovic returning to Sarajevo, to your knowledge did Suljevic,
17 Bilajac, and Karic all also return to Sarajevo at around that time or
18 possibly a day before?
19 A. I don't know. They were in the northern part. I didn't see them
20 down there. I saw them in Sarajevo a few days later. We met. But I
21 really don't know when.
22 Q. Okay. So the last time you saw -- just to be clear about that,
23 you left them at the northern part of the front when you went down to
24 Dreznica; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. That's true.
3 Q. And you went back to Sarajevo yourself on what date?
4 A. We returned on the 19th in the evening, so on the 20th -- I think
5 it was probably past midnight when we went through the tunnel to
6 Sarajevo. We left on the 19th and probably in the early hours of the
7 morning, just after midnight we got there.
8 Q. I understand. And can you just explain who you were with when
9 you went back.
10 A. We went back three times. I once returned with Cibo, and there
11 was a bit of a crowd there. But then I went with Sefer from up there. I
12 don't know whether then or before. It is possible, but Cibo was with us
13 as well. I'm a bit confused. It is probably clear in the book, but I'm
14 afraid I'm confused now.
15 Q. No, that's okay. It's just -- it's just a detail. I was -- I
16 won't pursue it with you. Very well. Thank you for that.
17 Did you have the opportunity -- well, were you given the
18 opportunity to look at the report drafted by the inspection team, that
19 being Sefer, Suljevic, Karic and Bilajac, which they drafted on the 18th
20 of -- of September? Were you shown that report at the time or not? I'm
21 not suggesting you should have been, but I just need to ask whether you
23 A. No. No, no.
24 Q. At the time -- yes. Sorry. Just excuse me a moment now.
25 Yes. Okay. Did you -- at that time, just in -- maybe the last
1 two days or so of your time in -- in -- down at Dreznica and following
2 the combat as you were down there, did anyone show you a cease-fire order
3 at that time, an order signed by Stjepan Siber, as deputy for Rasim
5 A. Nobody showed me any notice or information.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please speak up -- the
7 witness, I mean, because we can't hear him.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Sorry I think it's the case that as I speak
9 louder, the witness may speak --
10 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Hodzic.
11 Okay. Well, now I just -- just excuse me a moment while that's
12 fixed. The interpreter has just asked if you wouldn't mind speaking
13 slightly louder, please, Mr. Hodzic.
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. Very well. Now, the next thing I want to ask -- I want to ask
16 you about now is moving forward to the time of Operation Trebevic and
17 what happened on that occasion.
18 Now, where were you actually when the news of Operation Trebevic
19 first came to your knowledge?
20 A. On the 26th, in the morning, I was in my flat and I heard it in
21 the morning on the radio, this alarming -- perhaps I shouldn't say
22 "alarming," but this information, this notice coming from the Presidency
23 of Bosnia and Herzegovina that Caco and Celo were removed and the units
24 -- and that it was being recommended to people not to even go out of
25 their houses, not to go out into the street, and they didn't go to work
1 on that day.
2 And I think my newspaper called me at some point and asked me to
3 go and ask for a statement from someone about what was going on, and I
4 rang Sefer, and he was not willing to make a statement, and I didn't know
5 what situation he was in, and I called Delic and I was told that he was
6 out in the field.
7 And then the newspaper at some point in the afternoon asked me
8 once again to try and do something, to go to the 1st Corps. And late in
9 the afternoon, early evening I went to the 1st Corps and basically it was
10 like going to visit my friends, Karavelic and so on. But I was stopped
11 at the gates, and I was being told, okay, just wait a minute. They will
12 tell me something. At a certain point, a couple of policemen came along
13 and they said, "Celo is surrendering. We must find some handcuffs for
14 him." But they can't have any. They didn't have any handcuffs. So
15 somebody brought a piece of string and they said, "Okay. We can tie his
16 hands with this one."
17 And Caco had not surrendered yet, and I was told -- the guard
18 said, "Well, nobody wants to see you, you know. Can you please go away."
19 And I was still not really aware of the fact that I was likely to run
20 into problems as well. I did have problems two days later, but perhaps
21 that's not of interest now.
22 Q. Well, no, frankly, it is of interest. But -- but up to this
23 point, you -- you had -- you were simply doing your job as a journalist
24 in attending at the 1st Corps, as you indicated. I see.
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 Q. Okay. Now, after that, you -- you were, however, in -- I use the
2 word "invited" very loosely. But you were asked to attend at a police
3 station. Can you just explain how that all came about and what took you
4 to -- to be interviewed yourself.
5 A. Well, you know this story already. Munir Alibabic called me and
6 I met with Sefer at the entrance, and I was asked to go in very quickly.
7 And then the bit that you know, I met Sefer. And it was quite by chance.
8 It was the State Security offices. And he said to me, "They want to
9 blame me for what this gang did, for all these misdeeds, and then I'm
10 saying, 'Okay. Yes. I created your state and your army and now you're
11 free to arrest me.'"
12 And then they called Mujezinovic who was the chief of the centre
13 SDB. I can't remember the name of it. And I went up to him and he
14 started shouting at me straightaway. And he was saying, "What is it that
15 Sefer and you did once again? Take him away." And then I was taken to
16 another room across the hall and there was an inspector standing by a
17 table. And as soon as I went in, he said, "What you've got involved in
18 is something that you would get at least 20 years in prison or even a
19 death penalty for."
20 And then I had a long conversation with him, 16 hours.
21 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, now, I just want to take that all step by
22 step. Firstly, you found yourself in -- at the downstairs part, and you
23 saw Sefer Halilovic, and you spoke with him. And after that, Sefer was
24 taken somewhere else. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes. He went for some other talks in the same building.
1 Q. And did Sefer have a gun with him when -- when you saw him?
2 A. I don't believe so. I wasn't paying attention really. I don't
4 Q. Okay. Now, you were then taken upstairs to meet somebody. And
5 can you just explain, who is the person that you were taken upstairs to
7 A. According to what I found out later from some people, that
8 inspector was Jasmin Sendijarevic, but it was Munir Alibabic, Enver
9 Mujezinovic, and this Jasmin Sendijarevic.
10 Q. Okay. Well, Munir Alibabic is the person who made the telephone
11 call to you initially. Now it's moved to Enver Mujezinovic. Now, what
12 did you understand Enver --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What did you understand his position to be, Enver Mujezinovic?
15 A. Mujezinovic was the chief of the centre SDB, the State Security
16 Service of the city of Sarajevo.
17 Q. All right. Now, although I understand you're not -- not here as
18 an expert witness in -- in the structures of the security organs, the SDB
19 was an organ of the MUP, of the Ministry of the Interior; is that
21 A. I suppose so.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Supposedly.
24 Q. The Minister of the Interior at that time was an individual with
25 the name Bakir Alispahic; is that correct?
1 A. Correct. I knew him well as well.
2 Q. Yes, I understand. Now, Mujezinovic was a person about whom you
3 had had discussions with Sefer while you were on the road in Herzegovina;
4 is that true?
5 A. That's correct. And that was the first time that I saw him in my
6 whole life.
7 Q. Yes, I understand. What did Sefer Halilovic tell you about his
8 relations with Mujezinovic during the time when you were down in
10 A. He mentioned Mujezinovic several times as a man who worked at
11 this KOS. He said that he got there late and reported to the Armed
12 Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and his conclusion was that it was
13 possible for him to go through Bijeljina and -- well, something along
14 those lines. And for the most part, he was kind of against him. He --
15 he considered him an enemy, so to say.
16 Q. Yes. Did Sefer indicate to you that in the past Mujezinovic --
17 Mr. Mujezinovic had attempted to damage Sefer's reputation by providing
18 some documentation concerning Sefer's relations back in the old JNA days
19 with the Secret Services there?
20 A. I can't remember that. I do not remember.
21 Q. That's okay. At all events, based on what Sefer told you,
22 relations between Sefer Halilovic and Enver Mujezinovic were not friendly
23 relations at all; is that correct?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And I'm going to come to -- well, I'll deal with Mujezinovic now.
1 You personally had had no dealings with Mr. Mujezinovic face to face
2 before this day, as you've said. Just tell us about the first meeting
3 that you had with him. What was the conversation that you had. Were any
4 threats or nasty things said during that conversation?
5 A. Well, I've already told you. But at any rate, so that was, apart
6 from the fact that I had to go there, and he started shouting at me -- I
7 mean, I've said it. I don't really know what you're getting at.
8 Q. Sorry. Pardon me. I asked the question --
9 A. Well, I wrote about it. So he started threatening me, "What are
10 you planning there?"
11 Oh, yes, yes. There was something else. Okay. "Let's see who
12 is going to slit whose stomach," or something. And I had no idea who was
13 supposed to do anything like that. They said something -- "Well, we'll
14 wait and see who slits whose stomach," apparently. And I had no idea
15 what they were talking about.
16 Q. Okay. Well, that's -- that was really the issue I was somewhat
17 clumsily trying to get to, so thank you for trying to give the answer.
18 But who made the comment about slitting bellies? Was that Mr.
20 A. Yes, Mujezinovic was kind of threatening me. And then he didn't
21 even wait for me to answer, and he just said, "Take him away."
22 Q. Very well. And then you were taken away, and you then were
23 interviewed by another individual, an inspector, for about 16 hours; is
24 that correct?
25 A. 16 hours. That's correct.
1 Q. Yes. Okay. And in that time, were you given the chance to
2 consult a lawyer or a family member?
3 A. No way. Of course not. I thought that I'd never get to see my
4 children or my wife ever again. No lawyer, no.
5 Q. And were there further threats made to you by this inspector
6 which you've mentioned?
7 A. Yes, one more time. I don't know at what stage of the
8 conversation. Well, the way he talked to me was this. Okay? He was
9 questioning me for two hours then and he was writing things down, and
10 then after two hours he would start dictating. And then okay, he was
11 dictating, and then he started writing things down or dictating things
12 that I had heard for the first time. And I kind of argued with him. And
13 quite energetically, more than once. And I said to him -- well, the way
14 I assessed the situation at a certain point was that -- perhaps I was a
15 bit slow off the mark, anyway. But I understood what game he was playing
16 at rather late; that is to say, that whatever I said, whatever positive I
17 had to say about Sefer, he was not going to write it down. And even if I
18 made a neutral statement, he would turn it round and turn it into
19 something horrible.
20 And I said, "Well, what? Do you want to orchestrate a trial
21 through me? Well, that's not something you can do. I am a religious man
22 and I am afraid of God." And I know that I can be killed by Ustasha and
23 Chetniks and the others, at the hands of all of them, but I don't want to
24 die and have that sin on my soul." Then he relented slightly, but he had
25 already mounted the whole operation. It was rather late. He had already
1 written his report, and I really and truly believed -- well, I said to
2 myself, I'm never signing this piece of paper.
3 And some of the stuff -- I mean, when I looked at the text later
4 -- were never mentioned in the course of the conversation and he wrote
5 them down anyway. I don't know whether the whole thing was set up
6 before, or maybe it wasn't. I mean, I don't even remember what exactly I
7 heard. But there were two points specifically: First of all, apparently
8 that Sefer Halilovic forbade me to write about those crimes, and there
9 was another sentence to the effect that I was an eyewitness of both of
10 the massacres.
11 And then I spent a long time thinking about how -- how could I
12 have signed those papers. First of all, I lost faith. I said to myself,
13 Okay, the trial will go ahead and I'll be able to tell the truth. This
14 is not important any more. And at one point he looked at me and he said,
15 "Don't you know that we are at war and people get killed for this kind of
17 And then later on -- I mean, at some point, this main person,
18 then somebody who kind of sympathised with me a little bit more, when he
19 the threatening guy left, he would say, "Okay. Forget about him. He's a
20 fool. But you have to admit to something." And I thought, What should I
21 admit to? And then I think it was a kind of a custody, because I think I
22 was there in prison for about 26 hours. And I was convinced that --
23 Well, I said to myself, If I am sent to prison, it might be good. And
24 even if I were sent to prison for 10 years, it wouldn't be so bad. And
25 then that strict, rigid guy left. And I started reading through the text
1 and I tried to correct a couple of things. And he said, "No, no, no, no,
2 don't make any corrections. No way."
3 And then the friendlier guy stayed behind and he said, "You know,
4 what are you thinking of? You just sign these papers and my family is
5 waiting for me and your family is waiting for you and then we can go
6 home." And then I was surprised. I thought, How come? I'm going to be
7 allowed to go home? But I should have read through all the pages and I
8 had worked at the radio, but I knew that two minutes were enough to scan
9 through a page. But I -- I signed every page, you know, within a minute.
10 And when I finished, they said, "Okay. Great. Thank you very much. You
11 can go home now." And I got home, and I didn't know what to do. Was I
12 supposed to commit suicide or what? What was happening to me and so
13 briefly --
14 Q. No mean to stop you -- to interrupt the account, it's just that
15 there is a specific matter I have got to raise with you and this is an
16 appropriate point to do it.
17 At the time when you were with -- with these police, had you
18 already heard of what happened to Caco, Musan Topalovic?
19 A. Yes. Yes. It had already been announced that he had lost his
20 life that, he had been killed.
21 Q. Yes. And was your understanding this: That Musan Topalovic
22 handed himself in to the police and -- after a siege for a period of
23 time, but then after that he was somehow killed? Is that what you heard?
24 A. I heard the same thing, that he had been killed, this way and
25 that. But basically I heard he had been killed.
1 Q. Yes. Incidentally, after he was killed, to your knowledge was
2 Caco buried in the hero's cemetery?
3 A. No, not at first. And as far as I know -- I mean, there were a
4 couple of possibilities. We are not sure. Initially at Zuc and then he
5 was exhumed and taken somewhere else and then somewhere else again, but
6 then I don't know exactly when. After the war, he did get a burial at --
7 at the most important cemetery in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the central
8 cemetery for the fallen fighters at Kovaci. That's the main cemetery,
10 Q. Yes. To your knowledge, on the 1st of -- well, you saw Sefer
11 Halilovic going into the -- the hands of the -- of the police. When you
12 saw Halilovic, did he appear to you to be in custody on that day when you
13 yourself were questioned?
14 A. Of course. It was broad daylight.
15 Q. Yes. And to your knowledge, from that moment on Sefer Halilovic
16 played no role or no active role in the Army of Bosnia whatsoever; is
17 that correct?
18 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I don't think this witness is in a
19 position to answer what role Sefer played in the Bosnian army.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe this witness could give us a general
21 account, because he's not in the army but he was a journalist.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
23 Q. Yes, would you just remind giving an account such as the one His
24 Honour just asked for then, just a general account as to what you knew,
25 whether Sefer Halilovic played any further role, any active role, in the
1 Army of Bosnia after that time you saw him in custody.
2 A. He was a suspect in custody.
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Or under house arrest, rather.
5 Q. Did you know he was formally removed as Chief of Staff by an
6 order on the 1st of November, 1993, an order of Alija Izetbegovic?
7 A. This was announced soon after that Sefer had been removed and
8 replaced as Chief of Staff by Enver Hadzihasanovic, Dzedo.
9 Q. Yes. And after that time, to your knowledge, did Sefer Halilovic
10 then form -- sometime later, many months or even years later, did Sefer
11 Halilovic then form a political party?
12 A. Yes. He offered me to become the secretary-general of his party,
13 but I refused.
14 Q. Yes. And what was the name of that party?
15 A. Bosnian Patriotic Party.
16 Q. Very well. What was the name or is the name of the party of
17 which Alija Izetbegovic and Bakir Alispahic were senior members?
18 A. Alija Izetbegovic was the president of the Party of Democratic
19 Action. I don't know about Bakir Alispahic, whether he was a member of
20 that same party or not.
21 Q. Very well. And at that time -- well, I withdraw that question.
22 Just excuse me a moment, please. I'm sorry, Mr. Hodzic.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I have effectively
25 finished the cross-examination now. I just -- there's one matter I'd
1 just like to take instructions from Mr. Halilovic, if I might be
2 permitted two minutes to do that. There's no need to adjourn the court.
3 I'd be happy to just approach.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you.
6 Just excuse me, Mr. Hodzic. We're nearly finished here.
7 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm grateful for the
9 time. And I apologise for keeping the witness waiting there. It was a
10 matter that I was just a little unsure about, and I've now had -- had it
12 Q. So that's the last thing I want to ask you about now before I
13 finish the cross-examining is that during the time when -- when Sefer
14 Halilovic was -- after he was finished his questioning and placed at home
15 under house arrest, did you in fact go and visit him there, while he was
16 under house arrest?
17 A. Many times. I spent a lot of time with him.
18 Q. Okay. And did he indicate to you that in his view the reason
19 he'd been reduced to the status he now was essentially because of his
20 political disagreement with Alija Izetbegovic? Over the different ways of
21 dealing with Bosnia's future?
22 A. Yes. He was very explicit about this. That was his own
23 impression, that this had been the reason behind his removal.
24 Q. And finally, you're aware that in -- I'm not going to ask you
25 about the details of the article, but you're aware that in 1995 in an
1 article published in your newspaper, Oslobodjenje, Sefer Halilovic
2 effectively called for a reopening of the investigation into the crimes
3 at Grabovica in a very, very public way? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. When we talked about this, we were
5 surprised that no one had raised the issue. There was the showdown with
6 Caco and Celo earlier on, and yet no one seemed to be doing anything
7 about it.
8 Q. That will be my final question for you: When you were asked
9 questions by this inspector for 16 hours, did he show the least interest
10 in finding the true killers at Grabovica?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. No. No.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you for your patience.
15 Those are the questions I have.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Any redirect examination? Ms. Chana?
18 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, just very few questions and
19 clarifications, if I may.
20 Re-examined by Ms. Chana:
21 Q. Mr. Hodzic, I'll not keep you very long.
22 Now, you were asked by Defence counsel about Halilovic's correct
23 way of behaving in the sense that he liked to work within a legal
24 framework. Do you recall that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in respect of that roadside meeting, one of the things
2 Halilovic said was that Delic is taking away his powers and wants to
3 leave him with purely administrative matters. From your own
4 observations, Mr. Hodzic, when you were with him during this combat
5 operations, was Halilovic performing administrative functions?
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, I should interrupt that. It had better be
7 clear whether this is being asked in an expert capacity or not. Because
8 I don't object to some clarification, of course, in -- any that my friend
9 sees fit. But it had better be made clear whether it's -- he's being
10 asked whether these were technically administrative functions within the
11 military hierarchy or whether it's just a general question as to his
12 observations. If that's the case, I don't object to it.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Chana. Maybe you could clarify this
15 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, it's -- it is a kind of a general
16 question, in his own observation as to what exactly was his own
17 perception of the duties that Halilovic carried out in the field.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
19 MS. CHANA: Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Hodzic, you -- you -- my question was: While Halilovic was
21 lamenting to you that his role has been reduced to purely administrative
22 matters, what was your perception as you were shadowing him those days in
24 A. What do you expect me to say? I'm not sure how I should explain
25 this. This was no headquarters or staff, if you like. It was just a
1 group of people down there. There was no administration to speak of. It
2 was all in flux. I'm not sure how I should describe that. We were in
3 flux, going hither and thither, all of us, the team members, and I was
4 swept alongside with them. There was no real headquarters to speak of or
5 anything like that.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Hodzic. Now, I'll -- I just want to take you back
7 to the 9th, if I may. This is when Halilovic came and you whispered to
8 him, "Have you heard about the -- the murders in Grabovica?" Did he ever
9 say to you at the time, ^"I am now -- I have made arrangements for some
10 sort of investigations," or "I've told Dzankovic to investigate this" at
11 the time you were discussing it on the 9th of September?
12 A. As I said, I was a very brief conversation. It took a minute or
13 two at most. And the next day he told me, as we were on our way to Dobro
14 Polje, that there were people around whose duty it was to investigate
15 these matters. He didn't refer to Dzankovic specifically, but he said
16 that there were people looking into that.
17 Q. Mr. Hodzic, I just wanted to clarify the date Halilovic left --
18 left Herzegovina. And you had said that it was when -- I've got to --
19 A. The 19th.
20 Q. When you left, you parted company when you were in the northern
21 part of the front in Dreznica. What date was that?
22 A. The 14th, just when we returned from Dobro Polje and Prozor, the
23 two of us reached Donja Jablanica. I asked to be driven further down to
24 Dreznica because there was combat underway there. There was another man
25 who was supposed to drive me there, but Celo turned up out of nowhere.
1 He said, "You can come with us because my men are going there." I joined
2 them on their way to Grabovica and Sefer stayed behind. So that was
3 where we parted ways.
4 Q. So you really don't know what date Sefer Halilovic returned to
5 Sarajevo, do you? Is it within your knowledge?
6 A. What do you mean? I know. Of course I know that.
7 Q. What --
8 A. The 19th. The 19th of September, 1993.
9 Q. Were you with him when he returned?
10 A. With him, yes.
11 Q. All right. Now, thanks for that clarification.
12 One last question, Mr. Hodzic: This is when learned counsel for
13 the Defence was asking you about coordinating the operation and -- and
14 those -- those questions. Do you remember those questions that were put
15 to you, about Halilovic's role?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. You said you were shocked and surprised when he said that he was
18 the coordinator. Could you please explain why you were shocked and
20 A. Well, first of all, it was the first time he told me that anyone
21 was in charge of coordination at all. There was no coordinator there.
22 Secondly, here was Sefer, a commander, symbolically speaking, turned
23 coordinator of sorts. What was that supposed to mean? I wasn't aware of
24 the order at the time. I wasn't aware of what was going on or what the
25 substance of the order was. It was only much later when I saw the order
1 appointing the inspection team to be led by Sefer Halilovic. Later when
2 I investigated the Igman case that was a month later at least, I found
3 another order by Delic dated the 3rd of August, 1993, which was very much
4 like the other order but a bit -- it was issued a bit earlier on. Delic
5 ordered a team to be set up and to be sent to Igman to help stabilise the
6 situation over there, and so on and so forth. Zicro Suljevic was one
7 member of the team; Rifat Bilajac and some other people too; and the team
8 was to be led by Sefer Halilovic. I think that's what he was basing
9 himself on when he wrote the next order.
10 I see an analogy between the two orders. They looked the same to
11 me. And if I had known about that order on the 19th of September, 1993,
12 when I was trying to think of the questions and when I was thinking about
13 how I should introduce him. Had I known about all of them, I would never
14 have said that he was the commander of that operation. I looked through
15 the files. You may have a document to that effect. I certainly don't,
16 but no one ever called him commander, apart from me.
17 MS. CHANA: Yes. That will be my re-examination, Your Honour.
18 Thank you very much, Mr. Hodzic, for your patience.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
20 At this stage, any documents to tender through this witness?
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 Ms. Chana?
23 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour, I would like to
24 tender all the documents that form part of this -- the exhibits that we
25 -- the documents that we gave and it's got all the documents.
1 JUDGE LIU: I see. Could you please read the numbers into the
3 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. It will be MFI161 --
4 Your Honour, this document, may I explain? It was supposed to
5 have been admitted through Witness Gusic and it was a document I used in
6 re-examination and somehow - I think it's been explained to Your Honours
7 - it slipped the net and was not part of the exhibits that were admitted.
8 So I would now tender that to be admitted.
9 Then it's 288, Your Honour; 289; 290; 291; 292; and 281.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 Any objections?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, there are a number of objections. I
13 just wonder whether the witness needs to be detained any further. It's
14 -- whether he needs to be concerned with this. And I just note the time.
15 With the best will in the world, I don't think I can accomplish my answer
16 in five minutes, Your Honours. I wonder whether it might be appropriate
17 to release the witness. I'm happy to proceed this afternoon, and I can
18 answer and deal with the matter without delay.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well --
20 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm not Court's hands, frankly.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, if we could finish this matter in 15 minutes,
22 so we'd better not call our afternoon session, you know, because --
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I agree.
24 JUDGE LIU: We'll have a recess, you know. Yes.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Try to -- well, you have already expressed your
2 objections, you know --
3 MR. MORRISSEY: I have.
4 JUDGE LIU: -- to those documents already. And so at this time,
5 would you please be more concise.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, could I just indicate this: What
7 I'll do is -- I think I can accomplish what I have to do in ten minutes,
8 and I just -- if -- if Your Honour wants the witness to stay, I'll --
9 I'll do it with the witness here.
10 It just means speeches by me when the witness is here. My
11 learned friend Mr. Weiner expressed a concern about that being done in
12 the past. So I'm in the Court's hands. If you want me to start now,
13 I'll start.
14 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Chana, do you think we could release the witness
15 at this stage?
16 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, I think the witness can be
17 released, unless you think that tendering to have documents may
18 somehow --
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much indeed.
20 MS. CHANA: Yes.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, thank you very much indeed for coming
22 to The Hague to give your evidence. Madam Usher will show you out of the
23 room and we wish you a very pleasant journey back home. You may go now.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours. It
25 has been an honour to be here and give testimony.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Well, I just -- there -- I oppose the -- the tendering into
6 evidence of the newspaper articles. I oppose the tendering into evidence
7 of the book "The Unsealed Envelope," written by this witness. I oppose
8 the tendering into evidence of the book by Halilovic. As to the diary, I
9 have nothing to say about that now, in the circumstances.
10 Your Honour, could I start with the issues of the articles and of
11 the book, which now appear to be able to be dealt with as a group. In
12 cross-examination, the witness was not cross-examined once about those
13 documents at all. It's a matter for -- for the Court -- for the Tribunal
14 to decide now, but you may form the view that the witness gave extremely
15 detailed, live evidence on the relevant topics. Never did he say -- or
16 never was there a topic upon which he needed to refresh his memory from
17 the diaries. He did mention from time to time that there were some
18 matters in there that he couldn't now recall, but they were all
19 peripheral, small matters. I didn't press him about them and the learned
20 Prosecutor didn't press him about them either.
21 Now, when a witness gives good -- what I'd submit is good,
22 responsive viva voce evidence, then that ought to be the evidence. The
23 -- the materials -- the books and the articles have got real problems
24 about them which have emerged from the evidence and I'm going to say what
25 they are in just a moment.
1 But in any event, even if they were perfect, they would be
2 nothing ever than a previous statement by the witness. He's given
3 effectively unchallenged -- unchallenged, uncontested evidence here in
4 court and no one has -- well, I mean, that couldn't really be suggested,
5 but no one has suggested any attack on his credibility or doubts about
6 it. In fact the only time there was any what I might call clever
7 cross-examination about that document and the dates about it, he had a
8 very clear answer. He said, "Well, I may have made a mistake about the
9 date." And he finished the controversy in one answer and did it very
10 frankly and well. So that I'd submit his evidence doesn't need those
11 other documents to be there and they are apt to distract.
12 What I am afraid one might see is that at the end of the case,
13 when the Sanction device is used to present closing argument, one will
14 get pieces of the -- pieces of the articles, pieces of the book, whereas
15 really what this Tribunal is about and what the public have seen and
16 heard and what we've seen and heard is what we've said is there.
17 And that's even if the book and articles are good. But the fact
18 is they're not. They suffer from the following vices: First of all,
19 they're done years after the event. The article is in 1999. The book
21 Secondly, they are not compiled from his memory. They are
22 compiled from his memory plus other documents which he got from archival
23 sources and from discussions that he had, no doubt in perfectly good
24 faith, with various people. Possibly including the accused man, but also
25 including Commander Delic, to whom he spoke, and other people to whom he
1 spoke. Bilajac, and Suljevic have both been mentioned. We make no
2 criticism of that. He's a good journalist and he's entitled to do
3 exactly that. We don't criticise that. But books and the articles --
4 well, the book because they haven't tendered the other book. The book
5 and the articles are imperfect. They're not his memory. They're a
6 reconstruction by him, and he -- and -- and a legitimate reconstruction,
7 but a reconstruction nevertheless. And because of that, they are not the
8 best evidence. They're not the second-best evidence. They're -- they're
9 quite remote.
10 It would be different if they were used -- and that's why I said
11 that the issue of how they're to be used in cross-examination is
12 important. But Your Honours have seen -- I simply didn't cross-examine
13 on those documents at all. The diary, I did. But that was probably
14 tenderable in any event because it was quite contemporaneous and is there
15 were good reasons why it should go. And anyway I don't oppose it. So
16 that puts an end to that.
17 So for those reasons I submit that there is no need whatsoever
18 for that material to go in.
19 There are some problems of detail about it. And if Your Honours
20 are against me about admitting those materials, then certainly as far as
21 the book is concerned, we've got some concerns about the selective nature
22 of what has been chosen. Now, the Prosecutor in quite good faith, I have
23 no doubt, has made selections of the material they want to put. But
24 frankly, of the material --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could Counsel please slow down for the record.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: I have the warning to slow down, Your Honour. I
2 feel the competing pressures, but I will be concise and slow.
3 The material that's been sought to be tendered by the Prosecutor
4 is a selection. Now, we don't suggest that it's in bad faith at all. Of
5 course it's not, and my learned friend would not do any such thing.
6 But it's a selection. And the original contains other material upon
7 which -- which would give a fuller picture, if you like, of what this
8 witness was saying in the book.
9 But I didn't cross-examine him about the book. And frankly, it's
10 just a distraction. When you -- when you turn now to see what Sefko
11 Hodzic says, you've got a really good record, live in evidence, and it
12 will be a distraction if if Prosecutor at the end of the case -- and I'm
13 not suggesting they will, but I'll just dealing with the possibilities --
14 if they turn to say, "Well, we'd like you to look at what he said in an
15 article in the year 1999." Now, that can't help. It can't have any
16 weight. And it does serve to distract.
17 When my friend said there's no prejudice, there is a prejudice to
18 the Defence. The Defence doesn't want any strategies in this case. We
19 want a clear presentation of the evidence. And there are many aspects of
20 thiz evidence which it's quite obvious the Defence would rely on. We
21 don't want to be turning to explain away pages in books from years
22 intermediate between the time of the offences and today's trial.
23 In particular, the book -- the passages that have been given to
24 Your Honour from the book misses a number of sections, and I'll put them
25 on the record now just so that there's no doubt about it. On pages
1 161 -- there's a part of page 165 missing, but that's -- 165 of the
2 Bosnian version. We say that pages 178 to 197 are missing. 202 to 214
3 are missing. And 217 to 225 are missing.
4 The titles of the chapters that appear not to have been provided
5 are the chapter headed are: "Save Mostar in ten days," another chapter
6 "Who shot at Haso Hakalovic," another chapter called "We are not an
7 avenging army," has been left out.
8 "We also cried together" is the fourth missing chapter. Chapter
9 5, "Why Caco was angry." Chapter 6, "The smell of living corpses."
10 Sorry I'm giving -- it's not chapter 6 at all. It's the sixth one left
11 out. These chapters are not numbered. "Croats like brothers to me" is
12 another chapter. "The Boots of Marta Ibrahim" is another chapter. "A
13 new trick on the Neretva" is another chapter.
14 Now, frankly at least two of those chapters are concerned with
15 later events. And I make it clear that we are not imputing ill faith to
16 the Prosecutor, so my learned friend does not have to respond to any
17 accusation like that and she would be entitled to be cross if we are
18 making that. But what you're being given is a very partial selection.
19 And that can't help you, so that there's all these different problems.
20 That exist.
21 The newspaper articles -- obviously, I made the comment and the
22 Prosecutor in the past has said what they have to say about newspaper
24 As to Mr. Halilovic's book, he was present. There was a new
25 development about that, quite frankly. I oppose its admission because --
1 for the reasons given before, it has to be acknowledged that it may stand
2 in a different position than it did before because the Prosecutor did
3 lead some new evidence about that. You'd be entitled to take that into
4 account in the Prosecutor's favour in that it was proved that he was
5 aware of the launch and -- and that he had a -- if you like, a more close
6 knowledge than the previous witness. But, at the end of the day, I still
7 oppose it being admitted through this witness because of the complaint
8 I've made before about an investigator. That this should go through an
9 investigator. He has no comment other than that he read it. Perhaps he
10 can comment on it better than some others can, and he did comment on it.
11 This is really a matter for the Tribunal, I have to say, but our position
12 is that we oppose it.
13 If I may put it in these terms: I strongly oppose the book and
14 the articles, and those are the submissions I have.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. A very short response, Ms.
17 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. I would merely adopt the
18 submissions I made to you earlier in this regard, Your Honour, but there
19 was -- when Defence counsel points out the aspect of selective
20 translation, and that's absolutely true, Your Honours, and we could as
21 the Prosecution have it translated by CLSS and put it in at a later date,
22 the entire book, if that -- that is -- that will solve the problem, Your
23 Honour. We have only translated selective portions, and I -- I mentioned
24 this to Your Honours earlier on. And the reason was that it was done at
25 a late stage. It would have been very difficult, and I was also mindful
1 of Your Honours' earlier decision that one should not burden the Court
2 with -- with more paper than it needs. So they're not exactly missing,
3 Your Honour, and that's important to know.
4 The witness has been here. There was an opportunity to
5 cross-examine him. And I would once again refer Your Honours to your own
6 practice directions, that the rule is in favour of admissibility and the
7 -- the criteria being -- the test being is relevant, it has probative
8 value. Your Honours then is the question of weight to be given to it.
9 No doubt Your Honours will look at the matters and give the appropriate
11 I think counsel has confuse the two concepts again: The
12 admissibility and the weight to be given to the documents. And in his
13 submissions, he is saying the -- the documents are not admissible. But
14 essentially arguing the weight of the documents.
15 So as I said, Your Honours, I will just merely adopt my earlier
16 submissions on this, in view of the time, and they should be tendered
17 into evidence.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, after consultations with my colleagues, I would
21 like to record the guidelines on the admission of the evidence issued by
22 this Trial Chamber under Rule 89 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
23 At this point, the Trial Chamber would like to remind the parties of the
24 basic distinction that exists between the admissibility of the
25 documentary evidence and the weight the documentary evidence is given
1 under the principle of free evaluation of the evidence.
2 The mere admission of a document into evidence does not in itself
3 signify that the statements contained herewithin will necessarily be
4 deemed to be an accurate portrayal of the facts. The practice of this
5 Tribunal is therefore in favour of admissibility, as the rule.
6 As for those -- those documents publicly available, generally
7 speaking they are admissible so long as they are relevant to this case
8 and has a probative value in the contents.
9 Of course there are some objections from the Defence team which I
10 believe has been rightly recorded in the transcript and which will go to
11 the weight of those evidence admitted at a later stage.
12 This Trial Chamber has already stated that we would not like to
13 see the whole book is translated into English and admitted into the
14 evidence at this stage if there's no entire necessity for doing that. We
15 only need the relevant part of that book to be admitted.
16 At the same time, the Defence team also could have the
17 opportunity to challenge the translation of that book or, if necessary,
18 they also could introduce a certain part of the book into evidence in
19 their case at a later stage.
20 Therefore, the Bench makes the following ruling: That those
21 documents tendered by the Prosecution are admitted into the evidence. It
22 is so decided.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, there's a couple of matters that
1 have to be raised and they should be raised before Easter break, even
2 though I acknowledge that we've raised a late stage.
3 There's one I particularly have to raise because it affects the
4 Prosecutor's scheduling. It's been indicated to me that next week the
5 proposal is to call the witnesses Tirak, Okic, and Mujezinovic. Now,
6 we're not ready for Mujezinovic. And we ask that the Prosecutor make
7 other arrangements in relation to that. There are a number of reasons
8 why we're not ready for him. Frankly, I'd prefer not to enunciate what
9 they are right now. Broadly speaking, there are investigations that we
10 wish to proceed with there. We don't do this out of any ill-faith with
11 the Prosecutor. It's just the necessity that we have, unfortunately.
12 I'm afraid to say the same thing really applies to the
13 late-coming witnesses. It may be that the Prosecutor would have to
14 consider turning to the Uzdol witnesses. I don't know what the answer so
15 that is, and we'll attempt to -- to be cooperative. But we are not -- as
16 currently advised, ready to deal with the witnesses Mujezinovic,
17 Alispahic, and Delalic because we have further investigations that we
18 have to perform. It's unfortunate. It's bad for the Prosecutors. We
19 acknowledge it can cause inconvenience for them. And we apologise for
20 that. But that is the reality of the situation we now find ourselves in.
21 In relation to those people, we have a second point we have to
22 make, and that is that in relation to all three, there really has to be
23 some further Rule 68 material available, given what's now known on the
24 public record about these persons and their current status. We ask that
25 the Prosecutor look as earnestly as they possibly can in the next few
1 days to see what Rule 68 material they may chance to have.
2 In a case where inquiry notice is at issue, the Prosecution are
3 very much on notice as to the situation relating to those three
4 individuals and they really have got to tell us what they have and -- and
5 so we asked that that be done as soon as it can be.
6 Your Honours, I'd just finally -- I'm sorry. And there are many
7 matters that we could raise here and I had thought they were going to the
8 evening session. Your Honours -- yes, those are the matters.
9 There is one other matter. There's a document we have to tender
10 into the evidence, and that is MFI293, the single page of the diary which
11 I forgot to -- to offer. But those other two matters are important.
12 A final matter is this: Although we haven't done so yet, the
13 witness Okic, who's coming next week, is the bearer of a -- a potential
14 exhibit. The Prosecutors wish to elicit into evidence through Mr. Okic a
15 statement said to be made by Halilovic at the time he was interviewed at
16 around the same time that this witness was interviewed by the -- the
17 Trebevic investigators.
18 We oppose the admissibility of that interview. It's not fair to
19 spring that at the last minute on -- on either Mr. Okic, who would then
20 sit is there while a legal argument took place, or the Tribunal, who
21 would then be forced to deal with some relatively significant legal
22 issues at the time. Therefore we have decided that we will file a motion
23 and we thought we'd -- in a rush we'd file it before Easter. We don't
24 expect the Prosecutor to reply to us until -- as soon as they can. But
25 we know it will be later. We thought that we'd better rush to do that
1 now rather than cause a controversy next week. So we are going to file
2 that. We mention that to indicate that we don't think that should be
3 admitted into evidence.
4 The final matter that I was going to raise concerns the
5 deposition of Mr. Karic. That issue has got to be faced. Mr. Re raised
6 it. Your Honour raised it with Mr. Re. He said he'd come back. We
7 think that should be played to the Court and Mr. Re or the Prosecution
8 should respond to that sometime soon.
9 Those are the matters, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. Weiner, very, very briefly.
11 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, just very briefly. For next week we
12 cannot change the schedule or bring another witness instead of Mr.
13 Mujezinovic in on Friday. That's number one. So if we are going only
14 going to be running with two witness next week and since they are going
15 to be filing late -- a last-motion, I'd request that we not sit on
16 Wednesday. That we get a chance to see what this motion is, have a
17 chance to talk to the witness, who will only be arriving on Monday. So
18 we won't even see him until Tuesday. We're going to have to spring a
19 motion on the witness on Tuesday. If we're not going to be bringing Mr.
20 Mujezinovic -- and any witnesses for the following week were those other
21 individuals that were mentioned -- I'd have to see and also deal with the
22 Victim and Witness Unit if we can start making schedule changes.
23 This -- we have taken these witnesses. We've moved them towards
24 the end of our case, which is in April. We have them. We want to get
25 them here, have them testify. And I see no reason why they can't
1 testify. Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much.
3 I believe that this Trial Chamber has made a decision concerning
4 of the further investigations of certain witnesses. I will not go into
5 the details about that decision because it is filed ex parte and
7 But anyway, we believe that the Defence request for postponement
8 of the testimony of Mujezinovic is reasonable. So the request from the
9 Defence is granted.
10 At the same time, I believe that the Prosecution has the
11 consistent obligations to disclose any documents concerning of Rule 68,
12 if there's any.
13 MR. WEINER: If there is any.
14 JUDGE LIU: Of course.
15 MR. WEINER: And we have continued to do that.
16 JUDGE LIU: Of course. But I just want to remind you of this on
18 And as for the document tendered by the Defence, I see no
19 objections from the Prosecution team. That's the translation of the
21 MS. CHANA: Not at all, Your Honour. And in respect of that, may
22 I also say that while the whole diary is in ringtail, as it were, we only
23 want our last two pages as well.
24 JUDGE LIU: All right.
25 MS. CHANA: Again, not to burden the Court.
1 JUDGE LIU: I understand that. So the document is admitted into
2 the evidence.
3 I believe that's all I have to say at this stage. And I would
4 like to thank the interpreters, the typewriters, and all the technicians
5 for their a-little-bit-longer working hours this morning, but anyway, we
6 don't have to sit this afternoon. So I wish everybody a good Easter, and
7 the hearing is adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.10 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
10 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.