1 Wednesday, 30 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
7 number IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 Well, before we hear the next witness, are there any other
11 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honours. There are a couple of
13 matters, Your Honour.
14 The first matter I would seek to raise is this: That the current
15 witness has provided -- we've been provided with some lengthy proofing
16 notes from this witness. Now, they have -- we have not had the
17 opportunity to put those to the accused man, Mr. Halilovic, as yet. What
18 I thought would be the right course to take is to allow the witness to
19 give his evidence in chief, first of all, and -- and then after that seek
20 perhaps a short amount of extra time in order to acquaint Mr. Halilovic
21 with what's in those notes, and it may be then that after the evidence in
22 chief that will go quicker than if we have to go it in the abstract before
23 we commence.
24 It may be appropriate to take the break at that time in any
25 event, and then we may not suffer any great delay. It is desirable, if
1 all possible, for the Prosecutors to provide us with the proofing notes in
2 a language the accused person understands because these -- these proofing
3 notes sometimes contain more detail or advance or change the statements
4 that were originally provided. And if we get them late, it can cause
5 embarrassment. And it may be that on this occasion it won't, and I think
6 we should press on, and I'm not asking for any adjournments right now, but
7 I just mention that because it has the capacity to cause trouble. Maybe
8 it won't in this case. So that's what I want to say about that particular
9 proofing note issue.
10 Your Honours, the next issue I wanted to raise was one concerning
11 the following witness, Mr. Okic. We received from the Prosecutor by
12 e-mail an indication that that particular person, last name Okic, wishes
13 to speak to the Defence team. Now, we are prepared to speak to him, and
14 we've made contact with the Victims -- VWS unit in order to bring that
15 about. But they were unable to come back to us before court commenced
16 today, and I think their indication was they were having trouble locating
17 him. I don't know why that was, and it may not mean anything.
18 In any event, we do wish to do that. And it may be that when the
19 current witness, Mr. Tirak, is finished that Mr. Okic will have been found
20 and then that will be an opportunity for the Defence to meet with him and
21 see what it is that he wants to say to us, if anything, at that time.
22 Now, we know -- we know no more than what I've told Your Honours
23 at this point now, but we -- I thought it was best to raise it and prudent
24 to raise it now, so I do. Therefore, when the current witness, Mr. Tirak,
25 is finished, we may then seek -- depending on what we're told by the
1 Victim and Witness Unit, we may seek a further short period of time to
2 speak to him. Now, these matters are unfortunate. They're just matters
3 that have arisen. And -- and I raise them so that the Court is informed
4 of what the difficulties are.
5 The third matter I wanted to raise is -- is one which might
6 require some -- some argument at some point. I'm not sure if it will or
7 it might. But it's the matter of Vehbija Karic. Now, that matter has got
8 to be resolved and it should be resolved now, either today or tomorrow.
9 Your Honour, Mr. Karic was interviewed and was the subject of a
10 deposition before Ms. Featherstone, an officer of this court, some time
11 ago. That was, as I understand it, videotaped, recorded, a transcript was
12 made, and that evidence is admissible as evidence in chief.
13 Now, on the occasion when that was done, Your Honours will --
14 will have to consider the content of that -- of that deposition because it
15 really did feature some unusual features, and they'll be the subject of
16 submissions in due course. But before we get to those submissions, the
17 time has now come, really, for that deposition to be played to the Court
18 because we've now had evidence from various witnesses, some of whom say
19 that Mr. Karic did not say any of the outrageous things that are
20 attributed to him, some of whom say that he did say those terrible things.
21 And really now the time has come. We're nearly at the end of the
22 Grabovica case. And whatever reasons there were for delaying in the past,
23 have now evaporated.
24 There's another reason why haste is needed. My instructions are
25 that Mr. Karic is a person who has got -- has suffered for a long time
1 with stomach cancer, and that's the reason why some time ago the procedure
2 was adopted that the deposition be taken. And it should be recalled that
3 he was called at that time to give the deposition and he was -- his
4 evidence was led from him by no less than two members of prosecuting
5 counsel, Mr. Withopf, and another Prosecutor, Ms. Tuma, both of whom were
6 then on the team and neither of whom are now.
7 Now, that evidence was led. Mr. Hodzic, who was then counsel --
8 no relation, I believe, to the current Mr. Hodzic who gave evidence here.
9 Mr. Hodzic of counsel appeared and he expressed a view at the time that he
10 was not ready to cross-examine and he was unable to cross-examine. He was
11 asked by Ms. Featherstone to -- to reconsider that, bearing in mind the
12 urgency of the situation and that there's a -- there's a discussion that
13 takes place in the transcript about all of that. And he then did agree
14 to -- to cross-examine, but he'd indicated a number of shortcomings that
15 he suffered from, one of which was that he was seeking to be withdrawn
16 from the case.
17 Now, as a result of all of that, what I'm submitting is that
18 there is a time pressure with Mr. Karic. It's a very important time
19 pressure. The Defence wants to be able to cross-examine him further
20 because, as you'll see when you see the transcript, and -- and watch
21 the -- the tape, of course, you'll see that there was anything but a
22 proper cross-examination conducted. And I make no -- no criticisms at
23 this stage. Unfortunately, it will be my lot to make some criticisms
24 later about that. But at this stage what can be said is that counsel very
25 properly indicated that he just wasn't in a position to proceed properly.
1 And in any event the Defence now wishes to further cross-examine
2 Mr. Karic. And we don't want to do so with the shadow of illness or worse
3 hanging over him anymore. Now, our understanding is that he is alive, in
4 Sarajevo, and unwell, and that there is a time pressure about these
5 things. So it's my submission now that the Prosecutor ought to interpose
6 or build into the case, at this point now, seeing as it's come along, the
7 deposition of Mr. Karic. An arrangement should be made to make him
8 available for further cross-examination by the Defence, and in particular
9 the Defence would indicate that we have no objection and indeed it looks
10 likely that it would be the only possibility that that cross-examination
11 took place by videolink because of the health situation. Now it's -- in
12 the first instance it probably is up to the Prosecutors to indicate what
13 his health position is. But our understanding is that he's unwell and it
14 may be an issue for him to travel. He certainly was on the videolink
15 during the course of the deposition that was taken.
16 So that's matter I raise now. It was indicated by my learned
17 friend Mr. Re in the past that the Prosecution was going to turn its mind
18 to this question. In my submission, the moment has now arrived.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Could I turn to the Prosecution --
20 MR. RE: Yeah. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: -- about those three issues. One is about the
22 proofing notes. The other is about Mr. Okic's testimony. The third one
23 is Mr. Karic's deposition matters.
24 MR. RE: Yes, the three issues.
25 The first one, the Prosecution doesn't object to the Defence
1 seeking an adjournment to put the proofing notes to Mr. Halilovic.
2 The second matter was their speaking to Mr. Okic. Yes, Mr. Okic
3 did ask to speak to the Defence yesterday. And the Prosecution has tried
4 to facilitate that through VWS. We understand that Mr. Okic will be
5 brought here at some point this afternoon in case his evidence is reached.
6 We certainly don't object to an adjournment for the Defence to speak to
7 Mr. Okic before he's called.
8 The third matter my learned friend Mr. Morrissey just raised on
9 the matter of Mr. Karic. Mr. Morrissey seeks resolution of the matter
10 either today or tomorrow. We have a witness awaiting, ready to give
11 evidence. Could the matter await til tomorrow and the Prosecution will be
12 in a proper position to argue the matter properly tomorrow, if it's
13 suitable to the Court.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you.
15 Well, as for the first matter, I believe that the request from
16 the Defence is granted.
17 But as for the translation of the proofing notes into the B/C/S,
18 I'm afraid that is not the usual practice of this Tribunal. Usually the
19 proofing notes should be very short, very concise, and at this moment we
20 don't see any Rules saying that the proofing notes should be translated
21 into a language that the accused himself could understand.
22 As for the second matter, we'll try to find a time for the
23 Defence to meet Mr. Okic, since both parties agreed on this matter. But,
24 however, this kind of practice should not be encouraged because we would
25 like to hear his live testimony first.
1 As for the third matter, well, since the Prosecution is not in
2 the position to deal with it at this moment, so we might postpone it until
3 tomorrow. I hope this matter could be done as early as possible since we
4 are approaching to the end of the Prosecution's case very soon.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases. Sorry.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And there are also several matters on my
8 The first one is about the scheduling for tomorrow's hearing. I
9 understand Mr. Morrissey will appear in an Initial Appearance. Is that
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I won't appear anywhere unless
12 I'm -- I'm released by this court because my duty is to be at this court.
13 But I've been asked to appear as duty counsel for the second time in the
14 matter of Miletic. And if this Court is prepared to release me for a
15 brief period of time, then that's what I'll do. But as I made clear to
16 those who sought to engage me, my duties are in this court, so I do ask of
17 the Court for the indulgence to release me for a period of time. I
18 estimate that we won't need more than 15 minutes of court time because
19 I've been told that the hear willing only take half an hour, and it's
20 likely that if it coincides with our break, then a further 15 minutes
21 should do it.
22 And, Your Honours, I do seek that leave. Mr. Miletic is in a
23 difficult position because he hasn't settled on counsel of his choice yet
24 and it's probably in the interest of justice as somebody who has as slight
25 familiarity of it as I do go to represent him. That might save more time
1 than for the Tribunal, generally speaking, even though it costs 15 minutes
2 here. But I make it quite clear that that's only on -- only if I'm
3 released by this Chamber, because I'm appearing for Mr. Halilovic and
4 that's where my first loyalty and connection lies, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much. So tomorrow afternoon
6 we'll sit from 2.15 to 3.45. Then we'll take a break for an hour, and
7 we'll restart our case at 4.45 until that Initial Appearance is over.,
8 whichever is later. Then we'll resume our hearing until 7.00. I hope 45
9 minutes will be enough for the Initial Appearance.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, those instructing me are the
11 Registry. They are in charge of -- of briefing duty counsel. And I'm
12 told that that is likely, and the small contact I've had with the other
13 Chamber indicates that that is likely as well. So should it appear that
14 it's going to run over that time, I'll endeavour to withdraw from that
15 obligation immediately. But that's what I'm told is the situation now.
16 So I'm grateful to Your Honours for giving that indulgence.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. By the way, there's a matter that I have
18 to mention at this stage, that is, we might have a break starting from
19 25th April for two weeks. So when the Prosecution's team is arranging for
20 the testimony of the witnesses, they should take that break into
22 Of course we are still waiting for the confirmation of any formal
23 decisions concerning with other cases, but -- but anyway, I have to inform
24 the parties beforehand, so everybody should be prepared for that two
25 weeks' break.
1 The third matter is a Defence motion on use and admission of the
2 statement of the accused person obtained under coercion, filed on March
3 30th, 2005.
4 The Trial Chamber received a list of the exhibits that the
5 Prosecution intends to use during the testimony of the witness Zlatan
6 Okic. This list was sent on the 29th March 2005. Witness Zlatan Okic is
7 scheduled to appear before this Trial Chamber later this afternoon or
8 tomorrow, the 31st of March, 2005. On the list there appears a document
9 which is not indicated on the Prosecution's Rule 65 ter exhibit list.
10 This document is a statement of Mr. Sefer Halilovic, given on the 12th
11 November, 1993 to the State Security Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 We only received these filings today, and I wonder, is there any response?
13 [Technical difficulty]
14 JUDGE LIU: I was told there is something wrong with the LiveNote.
15 Well, I would like to hear from the Prosecution their response to
16 this filing.
17 MR. RE: The Prosecution's response to the filing of the Defence
18 to exclude the records of -- or the statement to the Bosnian State
20 The Prosecution's response in general -- I wasn't prepared to
21 answer it in full at this -- at this moment, but I can certainly respond
22 in general terms as to what the Prosecution's response and the proposal
23 for how the Trial Chamber should deal with this is.
24 The Prosecution will be pressing for the admission into evidence
25 of the statement of the 8th of November, 2003 to Bosnian State Security.
1 I said "2003". I meant 1993. The Prosecution takes issue -- I won't go
2 into it at the moment, there's too much detail there. I think we
3 received this on Friday or Thursday afternoon, just before Easter, Easter
4 break. The Prosecution takes issue with many of the matters raised in the
5 Defence motion, many matters which the Prosecution says or submits
6 assertions as opposed to matters which are properly the subject of putting
7 into argument.
8 For example, paragraph 5: "During the period of about three
9 weeks Mr. Halilovic was confined to his house and then kept under de facto
10 house arrest," which is footnoted to some evidence Mr. Hodzic gave last
11 Thursday. The Prosecution submission in relation to that and many other
12 assertions contained in the motion are that that's hearsay evidence which
13 should not -- which should be properly tested on the application rather
14 than footnoted to some small reference, perhaps not on point given during
15 the evidence. That's just -- that's just one which I have referred to in
17 The Prosecution, of course, accepts that it bears the onus of
18 establishing that a statement by the accused is -- is voluntary and should
19 not be excluded under Rule 89(D) or Rule 95, and of course the Trial
20 Chamber's guidelines on the admission -- admissibility of evidence refer
21 to Rule 95. The Prosecution does not -- or submits that the references or
22 the passage in that particular motion referring to Rule 42 do not apply to
23 this particular interview because it was to Bosnian State Security in
24 1993, before the Tribunal even existed, and Rule 42 only -- and Rule 43
25 only apply to accused or suspects being interviewed by the Prosecution,
1 which was of course established after the Tribunal was established, and
2 those parts of the submission are irrelevant.
3 The Prosecution has a witness here ready to give evidence who was
4 present during the taking of the statement. Your Honours have seen the
5 statement. It's been provided to the Trial Chamber and, of course, to the
6 Defence, and proofing notes which I took yesterday when I interviewed the
7 witness, which of his anticipated evidence further clarifying the
8 circumstances of the taking of the statement.
9 The Prosecution's submission is that this is a matter for -- for
10 evidence. It's not a matter which should be decided on paper. It's a
11 matter which should be decided by hearing from a witness who was actually
12 present when the interview was taken, that is, Mr. Okic. From Mr. Okic's
13 statement, he makes fairly strong statements that the interview was
14 entirely voluntary and that Mr. Halilovic didn't ask for a lawyer and that
15 Mr. Halilovic was treated with the utmost respect, was in uniform, had his
16 weapon with him, was brought there every day by a military police officer,
17 had breaks, and approved basically every sentence or every word in the
18 statement before it was finished and before he signed it.
19 Now, the Prosecution would argue that prima facie that gets it
20 over the voluntary -- the hurdle of voluntariness, the Prosecution getting
21 the Prosecution over the hurdle, which is of course the -- in our
22 submission would shift it back to the Defence to an evidentiary onus to
23 rebut, to rebut that. But having said that, the Prosecution submits that
24 it is a matter in which the Trial Chamber should hear evidence as to
25 whether or not the statement was voluntary or -- or coerced and was not
2 There is a possible procedure which as far as I'm aware -- or we
3 are aware hasn't been used in the Tribunal before but was expressly
4 approved in the Celebici Appeals decision at paragraph 542 and 543, which
5 refers to the possibility of having a voir dire as to the admissibility of
6 a confession or a statement as Your Honours are no doubt aware, it's a
7 fairly common common-law procedure in which both parties give evidence on
8 a particular point of the admissibility of evidence of a trial within a
9 trial. And the Celebici Appeals Chamber expressly said that there was
10 nothing -- that it would be: "A state of this procedure is not expressly
11 provided for in the Rules; however, does this is does not mean that it
12 would be unsuitable for a Trial Chamber to utilise it if a particular
13 case -- if in a particular case it thought it appropriate." So there is
14 express approval from the Appeals Chamber to utilise that procedure if the
15 Trial Chamber thinks it's appropriate.
16 So the Prosecution's submission, without going into too much
17 detail, would -- line by line in response to the Defence motion at the
18 moment is to hear the evidence of Mr. Okic as to the circumstances of the
19 taking of the statement and then to rule after -- after cross-examination
20 as to whether or not it is this -- the statements are admissible.
21 Which brings me to the other point Your Honour has raised, and
22 that is there is in fact a second statement which is very much germane to
23 these proceedings, which was taken on the 12th of September -- sorry, 12th
24 of November, 1993, again by Mr. Okic and Mr. Popovic. That particular
25 statement is -- for a reason I -- I just cannot -- I don't know and I
1 cannot explain, but I suspect was to have to do with it not being
2 translated -- was not only the Prosecution's Rule 65 ter exhibit list, but
3 it's certainly a document that the Prosecution says having only -- only
4 located it yesterday, when I was preparing or proofing Mr. Okic, is
5 certainly highly relevant to the proceedings and was certainly disclosed -
6 I think it was in September last year - to the Defence and we would submit
7 there is no prejudice to the accused in putting that particular document
8 into evidence, it being merely another statement taking -- taken during
9 the course of the interviews the accused made to Bosnian State Security in
10 November 1993. We'd submit it's certainly something which any prejudice
11 could be cured by an adjournment, if necessary, to take instructions, but
12 the Prosecution wouldn't think it would be the subject of too many
13 instructions because it is -- the Defence challenge to the record of
14 interview is as to whether it was coerced, whether it was taken in
15 oppressive circumstances. So we'd be moving orally to amend our Rule 65
16 ter exhibit list to add that second document to -- to the list.
17 If I could -- there is a reason -- if I could just find the
19 The English translation, which is at page 8 of the document we
20 circulated to Chamber -- to the Chamber's legal officer and the Defence
21 yesterday, shows precisely how relevant that particular interview is to
22 the proceedings. I'm sorry, it starts at page 7, where it
23 says: "Sometime in early September 1993, I received an order from the
24 commander of the Main Staff to make preparations for and execute Operation
25 Mostar. I do not propose -- do not know who proposed this order. After
1 receiving an order to carry out an inspection in the zone of
2 responsibility, the 4th, 6th, and 3rd Corps and the authorisation to
3 conduct combat operations in Operation Mostar, an operational plan was
4 drawn up which was approved by the commander of the Main Staff ..." and so
6 It then -- it then goes on to Mr. Halilovic saying that he wanted
7 a force of at least 300 men, some who would be found in Sarajevo, the
8 commander of the Main Staff - that's Mr. Delic - accepting the proposal.
9 Mr. Halilovic presenting it to the commander of the 1st Corps,
10 General Karavelic, Karavelic resisting it, saying that he needed the 300
11 men. Mr. Halilovic -- this is at page 8 -- saying in this -- he said: "I
12 then issued an order to the 1st Corps commander. In this order we suggest
13 that it would be a good idea to allocate troops from the 9th Motorised
14 Brigade, the 10th Mountain Brigade, and Delta and we -- of course we took
15 into account the opinion set out by the 1st Corps commander earlier, that
16 he could not allocate troops from other units. In the conclusion of the
17 order I wrote that I was assuming full responsibility for any potential
18 repercussions which could ensue in Sarajevo."
19 It then goes on to -- talking about the arrival of the men in the
20 9th and the 10th in Jablanica, Mr. Halilovic contacting Ramiz Delalic,
21 Celo --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Re, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but we are
23 not going into the details of that statement at this stage, and I believe
24 that you made it very clear you want to amend the 65 ter list, to add this
25 statement into your document list.
1 MR. RE: That's correct. I was merely using that to illustrate
2 its relevance and, we say, importance -- albeit at a late stage,
3 importance to the Prosecution case, it being a contemporaneous statement
4 in November 1993 of the accused, a contemporaneous signed statement, as to
5 his version of -- of what occurred. And in the Prosecution's submission,
6 it is of the utmost importance that the Trial Chamber has the benefit of
7 that particular document. That is, of course, subject to any ruling as --
8 ruling its admissibility into evidence.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 I believe that we understand the position from the Defence from
11 your filings, but I'll give you one minute to state it in a very concise
13 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll try to be less than
14 one minute and not the repeat our submission. But there are a number of
15 matters with which we take issue with the submission of the Prosecution.
16 The first one is the suggestion that the evidence which has been
17 referred to in our filing is hearsay evidence. Apart from the fact that
18 hearsay evidence is admissible in this court, this evidence was in fact
19 very direct evidence about the matters which are relevant to this filing,
20 including the testimony of Mr. Kapur and Mr. Hodzic and also including the
21 letter of Mr -- or sorry, the statement to the Defence of Mr. Popovic.
22 Secondly, and as very properly pointed out by the Prosecution,
23 the burden of establishing the noncoersive nation of the taking of that
24 statement is upon the Prosecution and not upon the Defence.
25 Thirdly, my colleague from the Prosecution suggested that Rule 42
1 would not apply to a statement taken by authorities other than the Office
2 of the Prosecutor. And I direct the Trial Chamber to paragraph 29 of our
3 submission -- of our filing, where we have referred to precedents which
4 suggest the exact opposite in the Delalic and other cases.
5 Finally, concerning this issue, the Prosecution has suggested
6 that at the time the Tribunal didn't exist. Well, the Tribunal was
7 established in May 1993 and the statements were taken in November of that
8 month. Concerning the reasons why this statement was not put forward at
9 an earlier stage or that the application for the amendment of the list was
10 not made any earlier, the Prosecution has suggested that this may be a
11 matter of translation. With respect, the Defence disagrees, since we have
12 received translation of that document, I believe, in the autumn of 2003.
13 We received the B/C/S version in September and the English translation
14 shortly thereafter.
15 Finally, concerning submissions, as for -- to the prejudice to
16 the Defence of amending that list yet again, I think the burden is the
17 other way round; that it is for the Prosecution to establish good cause
18 and that they have failed to do so at this stage. But if more detailed
19 submissions were to be made by the Prosecution at a later stage, we'd
20 be -- we would be asking to be heard about our reply.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 Well, as the parties understand that we have two motions in front
24 of us, one is concerning of the statement on the 8th November 1993 and the
25 other is on the 12th November 1993.
1 As the first submissions, I do not believe this Bench is in the
2 position to make a ruling at this stage. We'll give more time to the
3 parties, especially the Prosecution, to prepare their oral submissions
4 when we come to the next witness.
5 As for the second motion filed by the Prosecution, which is
6 concerning with the statement of Mr. Halilovic on the 12th November 1993,
7 this Bench believes the Prosecution is trying to introduce a new exhibit
8 not included in its Rule 95 ter exhibit list at this stage of the
9 proceedings. The Trial Chamber believes that this has not been done in
10 compliance with the Rules because we do not want to see a pre-emptive
11 attack from one party to another and caught the other party unprepared in
12 these proceedings.
13 The Prosecution has not shown good cause as to why this document
14 should be added on its exhibit list at this stage. The Trial Chamber
15 finds that the introduction and use of this document at this very advanced
16 stage in the proceedings would be infringing upon the rights of the
17 accused to a fair trial and his right to have adequate time to prepare his
18 defence. Therefore, the Trial Chamber does not allow the introduction and
19 the use of this statement during the testimony of witness Zlatan Okic. It
20 is so decided.
21 We'll find another time to discuss another statement.
22 MR. METTRAUX: As the Court pleases.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. RE: Can I just clarify something from Your Honours's ruling,
25 and that relates to -- you said "we'll give more time to the parties to
1 prepare their oral submissions when we come to the next witness." Is the
2 Trial Chamber prepared -- proposing to hear the evidence of the witness
3 and then take the oral submissions as to the admissibility of that
4 document, having heard the witness's evidence as to how the statement was
5 taken, or is the Trial Chamber proposing to adopt another course?
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, on this matter, I believe that in the Defence
7 filings they asked the Trial Chamber to forbid the use and the admission
8 of that document, so before we hear the next witness, Mr. Okic, we have to
9 decide -- we have to decide whether we should allow this document to be
10 used or not.
11 As for the admission of the document, we'll deal with it at a
12 later stage. So maybe before the next witness, we'll hold a very short
13 hearing like this one.
14 Well, there's a very small matter which is kind of housekeeping,
15 that is, concerning with Mr. Josarevic's documents. We believe that the
16 Defence has objected to the admission of the Prosecution's document
17 MFI204, 205, 210, 212, 218 on the basis that the witness had not seen
18 those documents prior to proofing session with the Prosecution. The
19 Defence submits that when a document has not been seen by the witness or
20 where the security administration of the ABiH has not received it or had
21 no reason to know about the document, the document should not be admitted
22 into the evidence.
23 The Trial Chamber recalls the guidelines on the admission of the
24 evidence issued by the Trial Chamber under Rule 89 of the Rules of
25 Procedure and Evidence. This Bench reminds the parties of the basic
1 distinction that exists between the admissibility of documentary evidence
2 and the weight of the documentary evidence that's given under the
3 principle of free evaluation of evidence. The mere admission of a
4 document into the evidence does not in itself signify that the statements
5 contained will necessarily be deemed to be an accurate portrayal of the
6 facts. The practise is therefore in favour of admissibility of the Rule.
7 This Bench finds that there's no blanket prohibition to the admission of
8 documents simply on the grounds that a witness has not seen the document
9 before proofing by either party. The Trial Chamber has assessed the
10 relevance and the probative value of each document and has decided as
11 follows: For the Prosecution's exhibit, document MFI 210 and 212 are
12 admitted into the evidence. Document 204, 205, 218 are not admitted
13 through that witness, but without prejudice to further application for
14 admission. The Trial Chamber also noted that the Prosecution did not
15 object to the admission of the documents tendered by the Defence. The
16 Trial Chamber has assessed the relevance and the probative value of each
17 document and has decided as follows: The document 219 -- yes, I think we
18 have some technical problem.
19 [Technical difficulty]
20 JUDGE LIU: The document 219, 220, 222, 224, 226, 227, 228, 229,
21 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 237, 238, and 243 are admitted into the evidence.
22 The documents 223, 236, 239, 240, 241, 242, and 244 are not
23 admitted into the evidence through that witness without any prejudice to
24 further applications of admission.
25 The registrar has informed the Trial Chamber that the document
1 203 is identical to the exhibit D137. Therefore, the Trial Chamber will
2 not admit this document into evidence.
3 The Defence also tendered document 221. This document is
4 essentially the same as Prosecution's document 215 with a different
5 translation. This Bench would request the parties to discuss the matter
6 of the translation of this document and to inform the Trial Chamber which
7 of the documents they feel would be best admitted into the evidence. It
8 is so decided.
9 Yes, at this stage, could we have the next witness, please.
10 MR. RE: [Microphone not activated] Mr. Sachdeva will take the
11 next witness.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you very much.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
16 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
17 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I solemnly declare that I'll
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but truth.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
21 WITNESS: DZEVAD TIRAK
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: May it please Your Honours. Thank you.
25 Examined by Mr. Sachdeva:
1 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Could you please state your full name, your place, and date of
5 A. My name is Tirak Dzevad. I was born on the 31st of October, 1938
6 in Cuprija.
7 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions about your background and I
8 will ask you leading questions in this regard. In 1975 you did your
9 military service in Zadar and Krajovac [phoen] for 10 months and you were
10 part of the anti-aircraft artillery unit; is that right?
11 A. Yes. I served in the army in order to act in the defence --
12 anti-aircraft defence.
13 Q. You had the rank of sergeant; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thereafter, from 1976 to 1987, you were employed in the military
16 factory called Famos, which made armoured vehicles; is that right?
17 A. Yes, between 1976 and 1987, I was at Famos.
18 Q. And you were given the rank of captain; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, since it was a military production plant, I had a contract
20 on the basis of which I was formally made a captain, so that I -- that was
21 because of the confidentiality of military information as to what was
22 being manufactured there.
23 Q. All right. Thank you for that.
24 From 1987 to 1992, you worked at the private enterprise company
25 called Aret in Sarajevo; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. From August or September 1992, you then joined the 1st Corps of
3 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And within the 1st Corps, which unit were you employed with?
6 A. Initially and until the end of 1992, I was in the 6th Mountain
7 Brigade and I was an assistant commander for logistics. After that, in
8 the beginning of 1993 and thereafter, I moved on to the logistics base of
9 the 1st Corps in Pazaric, where I was the commander of this logistics
11 Q. Could you just please tell the Court briefly the area of
12 responsibility of the 6th Mountain Brigade.
13 A. At that time, when I was there, the area of competence of that
14 brigade was the area around the -- Grbavica, Hrasno Brdo, and Hero's
16 Q. After your term with the logistics base in Pazaric, did you join
17 the 6th Corps?
18 A. Yes. After the 6th Corps was formed, I moved to the 6th Corps
19 and I was the Chief of Staff of the 6th Corps.
20 Q. When was that?
21 A. I think by the end of May or the beginning of June, but I can't
22 remember exactly.
23 Q. Now, apart from your military deployments, did you always live or
24 have you always lived in Sarajevo?
25 A. Yes. Actually, I was in Sarajevo since 1963, but prior to that I
1 was living in Serbia.
2 Q. All right. Now, I want to ask you some questions about the 1st
3 Corps and -- and we're going to deal with that right now. Firstly, when
4 you were at the 1st Corps, who was the commander of the corps?
5 A. At that stage, the commander was Mustafa Hajrulahovic.
6 Q. Did he have a nickname?
7 A. Talijan. Yes, that was his nickname.
8 Q. And if you recall at that time, roughly how many brigades
9 comprised the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Could I just --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you precisely --
12 MR. MORRISSEY: [Previous translation continues] ... please, I'm
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: I apologise to the witness. It's not the
16 witness's fault. I just would ask that it be clarified what time my
17 friend is talking about when he asks that question. He refers to a -- "at
18 about that time," and it ought to be specified what time.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, Your Honour, I'm referring to the time the
21 witness was actually part of the 1st Corps.
22 Q. While you were part of the 1st Corps, can you tell the Court,
23 please, roughly how many brigades comprised the 1st Corps.
24 A. I can't remember exactly, but I think there were about 10
25 brigades in the city itself and two outside the city, plus a number of
1 units within the framework of the Operational Group in Gorazde.
2 Q. Can you give us some names of the brigades that were within the
3 city of Sarajevo, please.
4 A. I'll try. As far as I can remember, it was the 1st Brigade, then
5 the 2nd Vitez Brigade, the 3rd Brigade, the Dobrinja Brigade. I can't
6 remember what exactly the name of that brigade was. Then there was the
7 6th Mountain, where I was, the 101st. They merged afterwards. And then
8 the 9th Mountain, the 10th Mountain Brigade. I can't remember -- I might
9 have missed one or two. It's a bit difficult to remember after 12 years.
10 Apart from that, there was the 4th Motorised Brigade at Hrasnica,
11 then the Pazaric Brigade, and the Foca Brigade, and a number of units
12 within the framework of the -- this operative group in Gorazde.
13 Q. Now, I want to concentrate on the 9th and 10th Brigades. What do
14 you know about those two brigades, given your participation in the 1st
16 A. Those two brigades were quite well known within the framework of
17 the 1st Corps as brigades which, if I may say so, were prone to accidents.
18 They caused incidents quite often, and sometimes they even mistreated the
19 population and there had been any number of complaints about that.
20 Q. When you say "mistreated the population," could you please
21 elaborate for the Court.
22 A. Well, I can quote one example. It could happen that people
23 walking around town were simply stopped, picked up, and taken to dig
25 Q. Were these people military personnel or civilians?
1 A. I don't know, but generally speaking mostly civilians.
2 Q. Where were they picked up from?
3 A. Most frequently in the old part of town, in the area called
4 Ferhadija -- anyway, the old part of town, at least on the basis of what I
5 had heard.
6 Q. From what you know, where were these trenches that therm taken
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Yours, perhaps -- would the witness please excuse
9 me for one moment, please.
10 Your Honours, this evidence is being led in a very general way.
11 Now, there's nothing against hearsay being led per se, but we need to know
12 whether this witness is giving evidence from his own knowledge or whether
13 it's from what he was told. And that should be made clear, in my
14 submission, before this goes any further.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that evidence is from the witness's
16 experience. And of course the Prosecution could be more specific on this
17 aspect and the Defence has the opportunity to cross-examine on this issue.
18 You may proceed.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. I'll just repeat the question: From what you know, where were
21 these trenches that people were taken to?
22 A. Mostly in the direction of Trebevic, a hill above Sarajevo.
23 Q. Were these trenches at the front lines?
24 A. Of course. Trenches are always dug on the front lines.
25 Q. And from your military knowledge, was that area dangerous or
2 A. It was relatively safe, but any digging of trenches is risky for
3 the simple reason that the enemy at the time would start shooting
4 haphazardly, without any reason at all. You could never tell when they
5 were going to start shooting. So that's why this digging of trenches was
7 Q. Do you know of any particular example of someone being taken to
8 the trenches?
9 A. I myself know of only one example. When my geography professor
10 who at the time might have been 60 or something, and he complained that he
11 was stopped on his way to the market looking for some food, and he was
12 taken away to dig trenches. That's the only actual case that somebody
13 complained directly to me.
14 Q. When did he tell you about this?
15 A. Well, I can't recollect exactly when. I believe it was at some
16 point in the fall of 1992. I can't tell you precisely.
17 Q. If he did, who did he say told -- told him to go to the trenches
18 or took him to the trenches?
19 A. At the time, the way he put it, it was Caco's men.
20 Q. Who was Caco?
21 A. Caco was the commander of the brigade that was stationed in that
23 Q. And just for clarity, what was the name of that brigade, please?
24 A. I think it was the 9th Mountain. I seem to have confused all
25 these names and numbers. But it was the brigade that was stationed in the
1 area towards Trebevic.
2 Q. Do you know of somebody called Celo?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who was he?
5 A. He was the commander of the 10th Brigade.
6 Q. What do you know about him?
7 A. I had never met him in person, but I do know that in much the
8 same way as Caco's brigade -- basically these were the two units that
9 caused most of those incidents in Sarajevo.
10 Q. Given your participation in the 1st Corps, how widespread was the
11 knowledge of the reputation of these two brigades?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, how could the witness possibly
13 answer that question? It's a completely speculative question, calling for
14 a speculative answer. It's not fair to the witness and not useful to the
15 Court, and I object to it.
16 JUDGE LIU: And you have to establish whether it's from his own
17 knowledge or it's hearsay evidence.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: I'll withdraw that question, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 MR. SACHDEVA:
21 Q. Did soldiers in the 6th Mountain Brigade know of the reputation
22 of the 9th and 10th Brigades?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I don't object to this witness
24 being asked the simple question: Did he know about the reputation? But
25 this one, again, has just got that --
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: -- quality that's on the face of the record.
3 JUDGE LIU: The best way to elicit the evidence is to ask some
4 question directly to this witness.
5 MR. SACHDEVA:
6 Q. Did you know of the reputation of these two brigades?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And how did you know of that reputation?
9 A. Well, especially in the course of 1993, whenever and for whatever
10 reason I came to Sarajevo, the people I met very often complained of the
11 fact that the members of those two brigades were causing trouble in
12 Sarajevo, so to say I can say with a great deal of certainty that that was
13 a widely held opinion in Sarajevo.
14 Q. Who were these people that you met?
15 A. Well, normal people, my friends, professors, people who worked
16 for the government that I worked with, soldiers, people from different
17 walks of life, but they all lived in Sarajevo.
18 Q. Well, you said "soldiers" there.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you also said that this was a widely held opinion in
21 Sarajevo. On what basis do you say it was a widely held opinion in
23 A. Because I kept hearing about it from different people and
24 therefore I can conclude that it was a widely held opinion.
25 Q. Mr. Tirak, at the time you were in the 1st Corps, who was the
1 commander of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
3 Q. Now, you've told the Court about your professor and what he told
4 you about being taken to the trenches. Apart from that, do you know of
5 any other example of the [inaudible] the 9th and 10th Brigades in
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Just a moment. The witness gave evidence that
8 that professor was taken away by the 10th Brigade, by Caco's soldiers.
9 Well, perhaps I should take that back and make it clear that he didn't
10 mention either -- the 10th brigade at all. He simply said "Caco's
11 soldiers." So to say now any other example of the 9th or 10th Brigade,
12 well, the witness hasn't made it clear who did this outside of Caco's
13 soldiers. And therefore, if he's got a specific example he wants to go
14 to, it shouldn't be put in that -- in that way, merging the 9th and 10th
15 Brigades, but it should be precise. Once again, there's a simple way to
16 do it. A simple question would suffice. But merging those two has got
17 that the problem I've pointed out in the past, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Sachdeva, maybe you could clarify that for
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I'll ask another question.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. SACHDEVA:
23 Q. You've told us about -- you've told us that you know who Celo
24 was. Is there anything in particular that you could tell us about Celo's
25 activity in Sarajevo?
1 A. As I've said, I myself did not have the opportunity to meet this
2 man or to engage in any direct cooperation with him, but quite often I
3 heard from many different people that, so to say, he was involved in
4 things having to do with the exchanges of prisoners, cigarette smuggling,
5 et cetera. I had heard it from others, but I've never myself witnessed
6 any such dealings.
7 Q. Do you know of an area in Sarajevo called Novo Sarajevo?
8 A. Yes, of course. So to say, in the beginning of the war I myself
9 lived in that part of town and an incident took place at that time as
10 well. And members, so to say, of that Celo's group - the actual brigades
11 had not been formed yet - they attacked the headquarters of the
12 Territorial Defence in Novo Sarajevo because the Territorial Defence
13 people had argued with them for making trouble, and apparently they beat
14 everybody up there. At the headquarters, I mean.
15 Q. How did you hear of this incident?
16 A. It was Mr. Fazlic who told me about it, Bahrudin Fazlic, who at
17 the time was at the headquarters at the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo.
18 Q. Did Mr. Fazlic belong to the 6th Corps?
19 A. Yes. Later he was the deputy commander of the 6th Corps. But in
20 the summer in which that happened, in the summer of 1992, he was at the
21 headquarters of the Territorial Defence of the Municipality of Novo
23 Q. When did he tell you this incident took place in Novo Sarajevo?
24 A. Well, he told me -- I can't tell you with a great deal of
25 precision, but maybe five or six days later, when we met, at the time when
1 talks were being held about the setting-up of the 6th Mountain Brigade.
2 Q. Now, you've told us that at the time you were in the 1st Corps
3 Mr. Halilovic was the commander of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
4 you've also told the Court that your knowledge of the reputation of the
5 9th and 10th Brigades was through meetings with soldiers, government
6 people, and your friends. During those conversations you had, was there
7 any indication about the involvement or - sorry, I withdraw that - the
8 relationship between Mr. Halilovic and Celo?
9 A. I don't know what specifically you mean by "relationship," but
10 what was prevalent at the time was the perception that only Mr. Halilovic
11 was in a position to somehow get them under control. But as to whether
12 they had any sort of relationship, I suppose they did have a relationship
13 along the lines of those they had with all the other brigades. I can't
14 tell you. But most people used to say, "Okay, that's lucky, because
15 Mr. Halilovic will be able to get them under control to a certain extent."
16 Q. Can you elaborate when you say "prevalent at the time." What do
17 you mean by that exactly?
18 A. Well, I suppose, at least on the basis of what I heard from other
19 people, that the idea was that it was -- well, I suppose Mr. Halilovic
20 will be able to tell you more precisely, but apparently many people
21 complained to him. And as opposed to many others who did not even listen
22 to these complaints, he was apparently in a position to exert some
23 influence to a certain extent. That's what I heard.
24 Q. When you say "people complained to him," which people are you
25 talking about?
1 A. Mind you, I have no idea who specifically went to him to
2 complain, but at the time people were talking and regardless of all the
3 difficulties in the city at the time - no water, no electricity, no food -
4 people always said that they felt unsafe, in a manner of speaking, in
5 their own city, always referring to people from those two units. And as I
6 say, quite frequently, I have no idea who explained to Mr. Halilovic. I'm
7 sure that he can tell you, and I'm sure that complaints were frequent.
8 But people would always end this debate by saying, "Well, it's a lucky
9 thing that at least Mr. Halilovic can keep these people at bay to a
10 certain extent."
11 Q. Yes, Mr. Tirak, maybe my question wasn't clear enough, and I'm
12 sorry about that, but when I -- when I asked you about a clarification of
13 people, I mean whether they were military personnel or civilians, if you
14 know that.
15 A. The people who complained were usually civilians. I don't
16 believe that any military men would have complained to Mr. Halilovic
17 directly. They would have done it through their own superiors, or at
18 least that's what I assume.
19 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to move to your role in the 6th Corps.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe it's the right time for a break.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: As you wish, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll take a break, and we'll resume at 4.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva. You may continue.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Mr. Tirak, I -- before the break, I told you we would talk about
3 the 6th Corps, but I think I jumped ahead of myself there. So I want to
4 just go back briefly to the units in the 9th and 10th Brigade, units of
5 the 1st Corps, if I may.
6 When you told us that the 9th and 10th Brigades had caused
7 incidents and mistreated the population, who in the brigade did that, if
8 you know?
9 A. Well, one thing I know for sure is that this wasn't done by all
10 the members of that unit. Many of the lads who were in that brigade did
11 their job properly. Those were commanders, a specific group of people,
12 I'm not sure how many. Some people around him, but not the entire unit.
13 Those were the persons who did that. That's my opinion.
14 Q. Just to be clear, Mr. Tirak, when you say "those were the persons
15 who did that," what are you referring to, please?
16 A. I think Caco, Celo, and a group of people around them. Mind you,
17 not all the members of those units were the ones who caused trouble around
19 Q. And how do you know that?
20 A. I know that because some people who were members of those units,
21 let me say -- well, at least based on what I heard, did their job
22 properly. They were brave lads who held their positions and defended the
23 town but had no part in any of this.
24 Q. Now, were there any other brigades or units within the 1st Corps
25 that had a similar reputation to the 9th and 10th Brigades?
1 A. Not nearly that kind of reputation as those two.
2 Q. To your knowledge, were there any other units within the Army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina that had a similar reputation to the 9th and 10th
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry. Just excuse me one moment. Pardon me,
7 Your Honours, I'm not sure what the relevance of that question
8 could possibly be. The witness is be -- is entitled to be asked about
9 what he knows of the reputation, and we don't object to that. But this
10 question just seems to be speculative and have a variety of faults, so I
11 object to it.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, are we going outside the scope of the case?
13 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, in my submission, it's not outside
14 the scope to have indictment, but I would prefer to make submissions about
15 that in the absence of the witness, with your leave, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe you could try another way to see whether
17 you could reach your goal.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Tirak, have you heard of the Mujahedin?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, that looks like it's way outside of
21 the indictment. I object.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, does this have something to do with Mujahedin?
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I would like to explain this, if I
24 may, in the absence of the witness. If that's not an inappropriate
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think it is relevant to our case.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I would say that it is -- in my
3 submission, I would say that it is relevant to the reputation of the 9th
4 and 10th Brigades -- the evidence of the reputation of the 9th and 10th
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, if you insist.
7 Witness, we are going to discuss some procedural matters, and
8 Madam Usher will show you out of the room for a very few minutes.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, the witness has been -- has
12 participated in the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina for about one and a half to
13 two years. Given that participation, the parameters of his knowledge are
14 quite wide and it is entirely conceivable that he would know about other
15 units within the army that had similar negative reputations, and I'm
16 simply going to ask him about those units. And in his evidence -- in the
17 anticipated evidence about those units, the inference, I would submit,
18 would be that the 9th and 10th Brigades did indeed have a negative
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I fail to understand your logic of reasoning,
21 Mr. Sachdeva, unless there's something specifically charged in the
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, Your Honour, I can see that there is nothing
24 specifically charged about the Mujahedin in the indictment. In any case,
25 I'll withdraw that. It's no problem.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. So we could recall our witness back.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I apologise to you, and this kind of
4 situation happened before. I hope you don't mind.
5 Mr. Sachdeva, you may proceed.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. I apologise, Mr. Tirak.
8 Mr. Tirak, relative to other brigades in the 1st Corps and within
9 the army, how bad was the reputation of the 9th and 10th Brigades?
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I object to that.
11 Your Honours, the witness has given evidence of what he knew about, and he
12 indicated that he was in the 1st Corps. He's given -- he's already
13 answered the question so far as he's able to, and he's given answers that
14 were not objectionable and I didn't object. But now we're asking to
15 expand this topic way out into, I think, within the army. Now, the
16 witness has given evidence that he was in a logistics brigade for a period
17 of time -- or a logistics unit at Pazaric. Before that, he was in the 6th
18 Brigade. And after that, he joined the 6th Corps. Now, that's -- that's
19 what he said. That's his evidence. And he's given his account of where
20 these two brigades, so far as the rumours he heard, went, and in my
21 submission, that's as far as it should go. My friend is really trying to
22 open the same door a different way now, but in my submission, he just
23 shouldn't be permitted to do it, and I object.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, generally speaking, I see no problem with this
25 question. We'll see how far the Prosecution could go in this aspect.
1 You may proceed.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Tirak, could you please answer that question. Or if you need
4 me to repeat it, I will.
5 A. My experience and my knowledge -- well, I can't say this about
6 all the units of the BH army, because there were many units that I heard
7 nothing about. They were far away. So I'm speaking about those that I
8 know about and those that I'm familiar with. I believe that those two
9 units had the worst reputation in terms of discipline, frequent incidents,
10 that sort of trouble.
11 Q. Thank you. Now I will move to your role in the 6th Corps. When
12 were you deployed to the 6th Corps?
13 A. I was transferred to the 6th Corps when it was first set up.
14 This was in late May or possibly early June 1993.
15 Q. What was your functioning there?
16 A. I was Chief of Staff.
17 Q. Just for completeness, who was the commander and the deputy
18 commander of the 6th Corps?
19 A. The commander was Mr. Salko Gusic and Mr. Bahrudin Fazlic was his
21 Q. Why was the 6th Corps established?
22 A. This was a time when hostilities started by the HVO and the 4th
23 Corps was based in Mostar. The 4th Corps then fell apart, if I may put it
24 that way. There was no real command. Units moved chaotically. It was
25 virtually impossible to have any communication between the defence units
1 in that area. It was then that the Presidency of the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the army Supreme Command, decided to establish the
3 6th Corps, using primarily some of the corps' units that were at that time
4 in a state of chaos.
5 Q. Could you please give the Court some examples of these units that
6 were in a state of chaos and were then brought under the 6th Corps.
7 A. At that point in time, there was a direct clash with the HVO
8 units throughout the area. There had been more or less friendly relations
9 with those HVO units up until that point, so many of the units were at a
10 loss as to how they should react. Many of the communication lines had
11 broken down and BH army units fled Konjic, for example, in a manner of
12 speaking. Jablanica was surrounded. There was a state of chaos
13 throughout the area, if I may put it that way.
14 Q. So which units came under your -- under the 6th Corps' control?
15 A. The first order that we were given indicated that the following
16 units should be resubordinated under the control of the 6th Corps: Units
17 from Jablanica, from Konjic, from Visoko, from Gornji Vakuf, the Prozor
18 Independent Battalion, as well as a company from the Hrasnica Brigade, and
19 the Pazaric Brigade, as well as a number of smaller units. Soon after,
20 however, the Prozoric and Hrasnica Brigades were returned to the 1st
22 Q. The unit from Jablanica, was that the 44th Mountain Brigade?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were there any other units that operated within the 4th Corps
25 that were eventually not brought under the 6th Corps' control?
1 A. At the time, in the area covered by the 6th Corps, there were two
2 units operating that were under the direct control of the Supreme Command
3 Staff. I am talking about the Crni Labudovi, the Black Swans unit, and
4 the unit under the command of Mr. Alispago, generally known as Zulfikar.
5 Q. Now, you told us that you were the Chief of Staff of the 6th
6 Corps. Could you very briefly describe to the Trial Chamber your role,
7 what you did in that function.
8 A. When Mr. Gusic and Fazlic asked me to join their command, the
9 basic reason was the fact that I had organisational skills. My military
10 training was not that extensive, so that was not the chief reason. So the
11 two of them ran the military aspect and I tried to get the units to
12 know -- to get to know each other better. I set up a logistics base. In
13 a manner of speaking, I was dealing with the less-military aspect.
14 However, it was essential to set up an effective communications system.
15 Q. In trying to get the units to know each other, did you go and
16 meet with any of the units of the 6th Corps?
17 A. Yes. It goes without saying. I visited all the units, seeing as
18 I'd never been in the area before, it was also important for people to get
19 to know each other so that they could work together.
20 Q. Did you meet with the Prozor Independent Battalion?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When was that?
23 A. This was in the summer of 1993. I can't be very specific about
24 it. I think it was July. It was midsummer.
25 Q. Now, I'm going to -- I will in the future ask you some detailed
1 questioned about your meeting with the Prozor Independent Battalion, but
2 for reasons of chronology, I will take you to another point in topic at
3 this point in time. Do you know of a village called Grabovica?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Under whose control militarily was Grabovica?
6 A. Formally, at least pursuant to the order that we had, it was
7 under the control of the 4th Corps. The area covered by the 6th Corps
8 ended at Jablanica, Donja Jablanica. Precisely for that reason, because
9 it was clear that the 4th Corps was not able to keep that area under
10 control at the time, the 6th Corps took over.
11 Q. Now, at the time -- well, firstly let me ask you: When you
12 say "at that time," roughly which time are you talking about?
13 A. I am talking about the first couple of months after the 6th Corps
14 had been set up, until the situation normalised and the North Herzegovina
15 Operations Group was set up that was to take control of that area.
16 Q. Which part of the 6th Corps took over control of Grabovica?
17 A. The brigade that was based at Jablanica, the 44th Brigade. One
18 thing you should know is that "control" does not imply that any of the
19 units of the 44th Brigade were actually present there, because there were
21 Q. Well, I will get to that later, but firstly, about Grabovica, do
22 you know who was living in Grabovica at that time?
23 A. No, not specifically, but I know most of the people there were
24 Croats. They said right away that they wanted no part of all that
25 trouble. They just wanted to live on peacefully. But I don't know their
2 Q. Do you know if these people who lived there were military people
3 or civilians?
4 A. I have to underline this again: They said they wanted no part in
5 that. In a formal sense, they were civilians.
6 Q. Now, at that time, if you know, what was the atmosphere like in
8 A. I don't know what it was like at the time. I know there was a
9 lot of tension between the ethnic groups. To the extent that we could, we
10 tried to alleviate the tension, and that is precisely why the decision was
11 taken to not have a BH army presence in Grabovica itself. But I must make
12 this clear: I was not physically present there and I can't be more
13 specific about the nature of the tensions that arose, if any.
14 Q. Now, you've said that there were no -- there was no military
15 presence in Grabovica at that time. Do you know if that situation
17 A. I know that during the operation to lift the blockade of Mostar,
18 BH army units came to the area and they hadn't been there up to that
20 Q. Well, how do you know this, firstly?
21 A. I was informed by my deputy, Mr. Andric, and Mr. Fazlic when I
22 came back from my assignment in Vakuf. That's when I returned to the 6th
23 Corps command.
24 Q. Roughly when was that?
25 A. I can't give you the exact date. It was sometime in September,
1 but I'm afraid I can't be more specific about the date.
2 Q. From your information from Mr. Andric and Mr. Fazlic, what did
3 you learn about this operation to lift the blockade of Mostar?
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I object to that, Your Honour.
5 Your Honours know that Mr. Fazlic was once upon a time a witness
6 who the Prosecutor was going to call. Now they have renounced calling him
7 by withdrawing him from the witness list, and this evidence is now a
8 direct breach of the best-evidence rule because this witness now would
9 be -- would be able to give an account of the conversation that he
10 remembers, but he wasn't there and I don't think he's ever claimed that he
11 was there, frankly. If I'm wrong about that. If he's going to be called
12 to say that he was there and looking at these things, well, I've got no
13 objection, of course. But as I understand the position, this witness is
14 simply being called to say what he was told by Bahrudin Fazlic, who's also
15 got the nickname of Braco, and that's a direct breach of the best-evidence
16 rule. I'm not objecting on the hearsay evidence. That sometimes gets in
17 and sometimes doesn't. But to renounce calling Mr. Fazlic and then to
18 seek by the back door to lead in a conversation an account from him is
19 just not permissible and I object.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that objection went outside to this
21 particular witness.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours -- I'm sorry, Your Honour, it
23 does because I know what's -- I know what is being sought to be -- to be
24 led here, and the witness has had a conversation with Mr. Fazlic, and I
25 object to that conversation being led because they're not calling
1 Mr. Fazlic. This witness is just relaying that. So that's the objection.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honours, this witness is perfectly capable of
4 giving evidence about his conversation with -- with another person. I see
5 no -- I submit there's no reason why this evidence should not be
6 admissible. As to the weight given to this evidence, that's another issue
7 which is clearly stated in Your Honours' guidelines to this court.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll hear the evidence this witness is going
9 to give, and we'll bear in mind this is hearsay evidence.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, might I add one matter to that,
11 please: The real issue here is not one of hearsay. I don't understand
12 why my friend objects in that form. It's not a question of hearsay. It's
13 a question of relevance. Now, the relevance of this witness's -- what
14 this witness has been told is zero. Why the Prosecution is leading this
15 evidence is to get before you what Mr. Braco Fazlic had to say. That's
16 why it's being led. If my friend says I'm wrong about that, he can say
17 so. But that really is why they're leading this evidence. If that's the
18 case, then it's irrelevant for this witness to say what he said and what
19 he did and so on, so it's -- so I just want it to be clear that's what the
20 objection was.
21 Now, if -- but I take Your Honour to have ruled on the matter
22 of -- of my previous objection, so I just -- as long as that's clear that
23 that's what my objection is, it's not -- it's not an attack on this
24 witness at all but it's just the relevance --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. We understand that. And we'll take
1 your objections into the consideration at a later stage.
2 You may proceed, Mr. Sachdeva.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Let's take this step by step. You said you spoke to Mr. Andric.
5 What did he say to you?
6 A. He said that the operation for the lifting of the blockade of
7 Mostar was underway, but he said that he couldn't reveal too many details
8 because not all communication went through the liaison centre at Konjic,
9 the headquarters of the 6th Corps. That would have been the normal
10 procedure. But that it went through the liaison centre at Jablanica. And
11 he said that there was a command department of the -- of the forward
12 command post that was leading that information. I was rather surprised by
13 that because within the 6th Corps there were no plans for any such
14 operation and because of that, I -- well, since the commander was absent,
15 I went to see his deputy, Mr. Fazlic, to find out what the situation was.
16 Q. What did you ask Mr. Fazlic?
17 A. Well, I asked him to, so to say, explain to me in somewhat
18 greater detail than Mr. Andric could have done what was actually going on
19 and how come I myself, as the Chief of Staff, knew nothing about it, about
20 this sort of operation. Then -- well, I'm going to try and kind of
21 interpret everything that he said, but you have to take account of the
22 fact that 12 years have gone by, I had not taken any notes or anything, so
23 I can only tell you what I remember.
24 So he informed me that a couple of days earlier they called him
25 and Commander Gusic to Jablanica, and there were some members of the
1 Supreme Command there, and Mr. Sefer Halilovic as well. And they were
2 informed that the operation for the lifting of the blockade of Mostar
3 would start and that in that operation, that there would be units from
4 Sarajevo, Mr. Zuka's units, and they asked for three units from the 6th
5 Corps to participate in that operation. They would have been the brigade
6 from Jablanica, the 44th Brigade, and a unit from a brigade from Buturovic
7 Polje, that is to say, the 45th Brigade, and the Independent Battalion
9 On that occasion, a more detailed explanation was given of the
10 entire operation, and afterwards, on the day after, he was asked to issue
11 relevant orders to those three units, which he did.
12 And then I asked several questions. First of all, it wasn't
13 quite clear to me because at that time we did not have sufficient
14 provision, sufficient ammunition, or any other technical or materiel
15 support for such an operation, and therefore it was not clear to me in
16 what way such an operation would be conducted. And he was rather resigned
17 in reply, and he said to me that it wasn't very clear to him either what
18 was going on. And when I asked him what units those were, what units from
19 Sarajevo had arrived to participate in that operation, and when he told me
20 that it was the 9th and the 10th Mountain Brigades, I must say that I was
21 rather surprised that it was precisely those units which had a very bad
22 reputation that had been sent down there, instead of units which were much
23 more capable and had a better track record in terms of being able to carry
24 out such an operation. Thereupon, Mr. Fazlic told me that he had just
25 found out that some crimes had already happened at Grabovica but at that
1 stage he was not familiar with any details.
2 And then he order me, in spite of the fact that I had only just
3 arrived and I was quite tired, he ordered me to go back to Visoko and look
4 for Mr. Delic, who was appointed commander of the BH armed forces and to
5 report to him and to insist that those Sarajevo units should be withdrawn.
6 THE INTERPRETER: And could the witness please remove his hand
7 from in front of his mouth, because we can't hear him.
8 MR. SACHDEVA:
9 Q. Mr. Tirak, sorry to interrupt you. You've just been asked by the
10 interpreters to remove your hand so they can -- so the Court can hear your
11 evidence properly, if you don't mind.
12 A. Thank you.
13 Q. And also, may I just stop you there for the moment, and I will
14 allow you to continue in a minute. But I want to ask you: When you spoke
15 to Mr. Fazlic, did he tell you who was to be the commander of this
16 operation to lift the blockade of Mostar?
17 A. He then told me in so many words that Mr. Sefer Halilovic was in
18 command of that operation.
19 Q. Did he tell you which other persons were involved in this
20 operation to lift the blockade of Mostar?
21 A. I haven't quite understood the question. What people do you
23 Q. Well, which other persons were with Mr. Halilovic in Jablanica at
24 the time they met with Mr. Gusic and Mr. Fazlic?
25 A. He mentioned a number of names. I can't recollect all of them.
1 If my -- if I remember properly, Karic, Suljevic, but I must say that I
2 can't remember precisely, because -- but he did tell me precisely, but 12
3 years later it is a bit difficult for me to remember all the names.
4 Q. That's all right. I understand.
5 You were talking about the track record of the 9th and 10th
6 Brigades in your detailed answer to the court. Could you please explain
8 A. As I said, I mean, I can't really say much more. It is my view -
9 and not just my view - that those two brigades had a reputation for
10 causing trouble and problems. And after I returned from reporting, after
11 I returned to the 6th Corps, I read through some additional reports and
12 complaints - for example, from Mr. Cibo from the Municipality of Konjic;
13 he protested because those units had beaten up two police officers and
14 they stole a police boat at Jablanica and so on. So this is just to
15 illustrate their reputation. It only confirmed their reputation. It was
16 no news, basically.
17 Q. Well, Mr. Tirak, leaving aside the reputation. In military
18 terms, how suitable were the 9th and 10th Brigades for an operation to
19 lift a blockade in a city?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: If there's one witness who can't answer that
21 question, given what he's already said about his level of expertise, it is
22 this witness. Your Honours, Mr. Karavelic is coming, I believe, and it
23 may be that he's got the experience and the -- the knowledge to give a
24 meaningful answer to that question. To ask it of this witness, who at his
25 own level of -- of seniority, which he's already given evidence about, in
1 my submission he just shouldn't be asked this question. It goes outside
2 of what he can testify about as an expert, and giving direct evidence he
3 can say absolutely nothing about it, because as he's indicated already, he
4 wasn't there. So if my friend wants to lead expert evidence, he'd have to
5 qualify him as somebody who's able to give an opinion on this topic. If
6 he wants to give evidence -- lead evidence about what he directly knows
7 and says, he can do that. But that question is not permissible, in my
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I think --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: I submit that this is well within the parameters
12 of the witness's knowledge; however, I will approach it a different way.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may try it another way.
14 MR. SACHDEVA:
15 Q. Mr. Tirak, earlier on in your evidence, you told the Court about
16 the brigades in the 1st Corps. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You told the Court -- well, you named to the Court the brigade --
19 the 1st Sarajevo Brigade and the 2nd Knightly Brigade. Do you recall
21 A. Yes, amongst other things, those brigades were in Sarajevo as
23 Q. Militarily, from your knowledge within the 1st Corps at that
24 time, what did the 1st Sarajevo Brigade and the 2nd Knightly Brigade
25 achieve in Sarajevo?
1 A. Those are brigades that had the reputation as being the best
2 units in the Sarajevo Corps. They had not only a great deal of success in
3 defending but also in attacking an enemy, and they had always been quoted
4 as examples of well-organised units with brave soldiers.
5 Q. Those examples of attacking the enemy, can you tell us more about
6 that, please.
7 A. Well, they had a number of such attack operations, but they
8 became famous by taking the area of Zuc, which is a part of Sarajevo. And
9 when it was conquered, the enemy units were pushed back to Vogosce and so
10 defending Sarajevo from that side was impossible.
11 Q. What about the 4th Hrasnica Brigade?
12 A. Well, I've had more contacts with that brigade during the time
13 that I was at Pazaric. And if I may say so, what I myself and -- well, on
14 the basis of my experience, they had a battalion that could move quickly
15 at any time and engage in combat, and most units at that time were not
16 capable of that, considering the level of training, the skill, and the
17 logistical support and everything else.
18 Q. During your time in the 1st Corps, not only in Sarajevo with the
19 6th Mountain Brigade but also in Pazaric, did you know whether the 9th and
20 10th Brigades had similar military successes?
21 A. No. As far as I can tell, no.
22 Q. Are you saying you don't know, or are you saying they did not
23 have similar military successes?
24 A. I don't know whether they had. And if they had, I would have
25 heard of it, as all the other citizens of BH, because every success of our
1 units was talked about publicly.
2 Q. Now, when you heard from Mr. Fazlic that the 9th and 10th
3 Brigades were being brought into the region, what exactly was your
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Pardon me. Just a moment.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I must correct you.
7 MR. MORRISSEY: I must interrupt again. Your Honour, once again,
8 this question here seems to ask what this witness's reaction to that was,
9 and I'd ask what possible relevance that could have to the case
10 Mr. Halilovic is facing.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that this piece of the evidence will go
12 to the reputation of the two brigades.
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, if it's a question of the reputation of the
14 brigades, Your Honour, I don't mind that question being asked, even for a
15 third time. But if that's what it's about, it's becoming repetitious. If
16 it's something different, I object to it. I don't want evidence to be
17 led, and I submit it shouldn't be led, of this witness's state of mind and
18 his personal reactions to things. They're very hard matters to deal with
19 in cross-examination because we can't see what they're relevant to. If
20 it's as Your Honour say, I don't object this last time to him eliciting,
21 again, the reputation of those units.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that it will go to the reputation of
23 two brigades. Am I right?
24 MR. SACHDEVA: That's right, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Then I think that you have already -- already have
1 your case established on that by asking so many questions on that aspect.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Your Honour. I'll move on.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 MR. SACHDEVA:
5 Q. I think you started to tell the Court about what Mr. Fazlic said
6 with respect to Grabovica, Mr. Tirak. Can you please continue with that.
7 A. Well, Mr. Fazlic told me that he had just received information
8 that some crime had happened in Grabovica but at the time of our
9 conversation, he was unable to tell me anything else about that.
10 Q. Did he tell you what kind of crime happened in Grabovica?
11 A. He just said that civilians were harmed, but at that time he did
12 not have any real information as to what it was all about. But as I was
13 getting ready to go and see Mr. Delic straight away when I set off, I had
14 no additional information about that.
15 Q. Why did you go and see Mr. Delic?
16 A. I went, first of all, because I was ordered to do so by the
17 deputy commander, to go and inform him about the entire situation and
18 to -- for him to order for those units to be withdrawn straight away from
19 the 6th Corps, from the area of responsibility of the 6th Corps, I mean.
20 And apart from that, there was a whole range of other issues that we
21 wanted to discuss with Mr. Delic of course, matters not pertaining to that
22 particular operation.
23 Q. Why didn't Mr. Fazlic or Mr. Gusic go and speak to Mr. Delic?
24 A. At that time, Mr -- well, the commander of the 6th Corps was
25 absent, and Mr. Fazlic, so to say, was a lot less mobile than I was. I
1 was much quicker. I was younger. And I weighed 30 kilos less, so it was
2 easier for me to -- to go through that physical exertion, because at the
3 time going between Konjic and Visoko was a kind of adventure because there
4 were no true communication lines. You had to go across the hills and ride
5 on horseback, et cetera.
6 Q. So where did you meet Mr. Delic?
7 A. At a school at Visoko where he most often stayed when he was in
8 the area.
9 Q. Do you know when that meeting took place?
10 A. I can't say precisely. It was approximately a day after -- or
11 rather, slightly later than 24 hours after I left, after that conversation
12 with Mr. Fazlic. Because at the time, one needed roughly 24 hours to get
14 Q. Now, you told us that you went to inform him about the entire
15 situation and to -- and for him to order those units to be withdrawn
16 straight away from the 6th Corps. Did you tell Mr. Delic that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What exactly did you say to him?
19 A. I told him everything that Mr. Fazlic had told me. And I would
20 just like to stress a whole range of other things that had to do with many
21 other issues in relation to the organisation of the corps or coordination
22 amongst units at the time, so that that conversation took several hours.
23 Q. Well, in particular, what did you tell him about Grabovica?
24 A. If we talk about the fact that the coordination amongst units
25 sometimes was very bad or non-existent in the sense that units moved from
1 the area of one corps to another without sufficient organisation or
2 aimlessly sort of, and then I said that because of that sort of
3 [indiscernible], that because of that sometimes tragic events could take
4 place. Even though, and I'd like to stress this once again, at the time I
5 did not know exactly what had happened. We had received the information
6 that there were some crimes against civilians there, but I could say
7 nothing else, because I had no more specific information myself.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I just want to put on record again-
9 and Your Honours have already ruled so that the ruling will be binding, as
10 with this one as with the last one - but I want to put on record again
11 that Mr. Delic again was withdrawn as a witness. What we now have is
12 another conversation that's being led in exactly the same way. I object
13 to it. I understand what the ruling is likely to be. But I place the
14 objection on record, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We'll note that.
16 You may proceed.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. When you said that sometimes communication was bad or
19 non-existent in the sense that units moved from the area -- from one area
20 of the corps to another without sufficient organisation, which units were
21 you referring to?
22 A. Well, generally speaking, I mean. I'd like to stress that. What
23 I said to Mr. Delic was not only about that specific event that was taking
24 place at the time but also in general, because prior to that it used to
25 happen that individual units would arrive unannounced, without us knowing
1 what was their aim, where they were headed, and what they were supposed to
2 be doing. And when I asked Mr. Fazlic to give me a slightly more detailed
3 account so that I could relate that to Mr. Delic, and he said to
4 me, "Well, that precisely is the problem. We really don't know ourselves
5 everything that's going on and we should know." So basically that was the
6 way he saw this problem. And then I told Mr. Delic that.
7 Q. Mr. Fazlic -- Mr. Fazlic -- well, you've told the Court that
8 Mr. Fazlic told you about the 9th and 10th Brigades comes into the region;
9 is that right?
10 A. Not that they were on their way but that they were already there.
11 Q. Did you -- well, in respect of that, did you tell -- what did you
12 tell to Mr. Delic in respect of that?
13 A. I must say that I was rather surprised and I think -- I dare say
14 that I was rather irritated by that, and I said that whoever had brought
15 those units to that area did not know what they were doing.
16 Q. Did you know who brought those units to that area?
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Is my learned friend now attempting to bring this
18 witness's direct evidence in or is he talking about the relayed
19 conversation with Mr. Fazlic to Mr. Delic? Because that question there
20 doesn't seem to be anything to do with the conversation. It seems to be
21 to do with this witness's own thoughts. If so, it's irrelevant and I
22 object to it.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, in my submission, it's a perfectly
25 legitimate question. I'm asking him about his knowledge. As simple as
1 that. He can either say yes or no.
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Could my friend please spell out the relevance of
3 this man's knowledge.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Do you have any, I mean, background information
5 about this man's knowledge on that information?
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, I was -- I was going to ask him about that,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Try to establish that foundation first.
9 MR. SACHDEVA:
10 Q. Which corps did the 9th and 10th Brigades belong to?
11 A. The 1st Corps.
12 Q. Do you know if the commander of the 1st Corps ordered these
13 troops to go to the region?
14 A. I don't know that.
15 Q. When you spoke to Mr. Delic, did he tell you that he had asked
16 those troops to go to the region?
17 A. No, he didn't say anything like that.
18 Q. You told the Court earlier that Mr. Halilovic was the commander
19 of the operation to deblockade Mostar; is that right?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: No, it's not right. He didn't tell anything like
21 that to the Court. He said Mr. Fazlic told him that. And, Your Honour,
22 this is a deliberate -- well, I won't say "deliberate." I withdraw that.
23 This is making the error of blurring what he's told by the witness --
24 sorry, by the non-witness, Fazlic, with what he says himself. So I object
25 to it.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: I'll rephrase that question, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
3 MR. SACHDEVA:
4 Q. You told the Court that Mr. Fazlic had told you that Mr.
5 Halilovic was the commander of the operation; is that right?
6 A. Yes. He was the one who told me.
7 Q. You told the Court that Mr. Fazlic told you that the 9th and 10th
8 Brigades were brought into the region for that operation; isn't that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What did Mr. Fazlic tell you, if anything, about the command role
12 of the 6th Corps with respect to this operation to deblockade Mostar?
13 A. He told me he had issued orders for those three units of ours
14 that I've mentioned to be involved in the operation. He also said that
15 unfortunately he was not privy to all the details. He struck me as
16 depressed, downbeat, simply because something was happening in the zone of
17 responsibility of our own corps without us being aware of all the details.
18 Q. Well, as the Chief of Staff of the 6th Corps, was your corps
19 responsible for -- in a command function for the operation to deblockade
21 A. This is based on what I was told, because I must say this again,
22 I wasn't there physically at the time. So what I was told was that the
23 objective of the command of the 6th Corps was to have those three units
24 resubordinated to the forward command post of the Supreme Command
25 headquarters so that they would then be running all the other units that
1 were involved in the operation. That's at least what I was told.
2 Q. As Chief of Staff of the 6th Corps, if the 6th Corps was involved
3 in the running of this operation, would you have known about that?
4 A. One thing I can say for sure is that the command of the 6th
5 Corps -- if the command of the 6th Corps had planned a large-scale
6 operation like this, I would have been involved without a shadow of a
7 doubt and I wouldn't have been this far away from the scene had this been
8 the case. So one thing I can say for certain is that this operation was
9 not planned by the 6th Corps. Anything else I can only talk about based
10 on what I was told by other persons, but one thing I can tell you from
11 firsthand personal knowledge is that the operation was not planned by the
12 6th Corps. Had that been the case, I would have been in the know too.
13 Q. Mr. Tirak, I'm sorry if this is repetition, but just to be clear,
14 did your corps have any command role with respect to the 9th and 10th
15 Brigades when they came into the region?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, I'm not sure that the witness has
17 given any evidence that he was anywhere nearby to form an opinion about
18 that. And perhaps he was, and if so, that evidence can be led. There's a
19 basis for asking that question. But in its current form, I object to it.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's not necessary for this witness to be
21 nearby that area since his position is the Chief of Staff of the 6th
22 Corps --
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well --
24 JUDGE LIU: -- which has a zone or area of responsibility.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. I -- Your Honours, I think the learned
1 Prosecutors well know -- if I have to cross-examine this out, I will, but
2 I'll put it on record now, in my view, in my submission, it's proper for
3 the Prosecutor to lay the foundation f they refuse to do it, I'll
4 cross-examine on it, as of course I'm entitled to do. And Your Honours
5 will see where he was.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, of course.
7 You may proceed.
8 MR. SACHDEVA:
9 Q. Mr. Tirak, could you please answer that question, if you recall
10 it. Did your corps have any command role with respect to the 9th and 10th
11 Brigades when they came to the region?
12 A. Based on what my deputy shared with me and based on what I was
13 told by Mr. Fazlic, we were in no way in command of any of those units,
14 nor were we providing any logistical or other support, nor did we have
15 anything to do with any operations that they were carrying out, if indeed
17 I am not sure if there were any further contacts between the
18 commands during the operation itself. This is something that I can't
19 confirm for the simple fact that I don't know.
20 Q. All right. Now, let's get back to the -- to the meeting with
21 Mr. Delic. You told us earlier that you wanted to tell Mr. Delic to order
22 those units, the 9th and 10th Brigades, to go back to Sarajevo. Did you
23 tell Mr. Delic that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What did Mr. Delic say?
1 A. I briefed him, and he provided a diplomatic reply. He said he
2 would look into the whole matter and then take whatever steps were
4 Q. Did you tell Mr. Delic about what you learnt with respect to the
5 forward command post in Jablanica?
6 A. I've said -- I told him about it; Mr. Fazlic told me that the
7 forward command post was in Jablanica, and he replied that he sort of knew
8 that Mr. Halilovic was in the area but he said he didn't know exactly what
9 he was doing. It didn't strike me as very logical, but that was precisely
10 what he told me.
11 Q. Why didn't it strike you as logical?
12 A. It doesn't strike me as logical that a commander should not know
13 what his Chief of Staff is doing. It just doesn't strike me as logical.
14 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, may I have a moment, please?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. SACHDEVA:
18 Q. Mr. Tirak, in one of your answers, you've said that -- just to
19 assist you, in line 25 on page 39, you said, "I've said -- I told him
20 about it. Mr. Fazlic told me that the forward command post was in
21 Jablanica." Is that an accurate reflection of what you -- what you have
22 answered from what you recall you answered?
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I don't know what that question means,
24 Your Honour. I object to it as a confusing one. Is he asking whether the
25 witness told the truth a few minutes ago when he gave that answer?
1 Your Honours, it --
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I'm just trying to clarify the name,
3 I'm sorry. Whether it's Mr. Fazlic or Mr. Delic, as simple as that.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may ask a question directly to this effect.
5 MR. SACHDEVA:
6 Q. Mr. Tirak, sorry, do you mean Mr. Fazlic or Mr. Delic in that
8 A. Mr. Fazlic told me that, and then I relayed it to Mr. Delic.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you.
10 Now, did you at some point find out about the details of what
11 happened in Grabovica?
12 A. Yes. I found out later. I read the report drafted by the chief
13 of security of the 6th Corps, what he wrote about what happened. I didn't
14 take any steps in that respect though. The commander had said that he
15 would notify and inform all those who needed to know, which I assume that
16 he eventually did.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I'd like to show the witness a
18 document, and it's D157.
19 Do you need the ERN number?
20 Q. Mr. Tirak, do you have that document on the screen?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you see the English version or the B/C/S version?
23 A. The B/C/S version. Both things I can see on the screen are in
24 the Bosnian language.
25 Q. Have you seen this document before?
1 A. I first saw this document when the investigators showed it to me,
2 but not prior to that.
3 Q. Which investigator? Just to be clear.
4 A. I think it was Mr. Bruno Bernard [phoen], something along these
5 lines. I'm not sure though. That was when I first saw the document.
6 Q. Can you see who signed the document?
7 A. Yes. "Rasim Delic," that's what it says.
8 Q. Now, if you go to the top of the document and the initial
9 paragraph. Can you just briefly -- well, just read that out for the
10 Court, if you don't mind.
11 A. Before where it says "Order" you mean?
12 Q. That's right, yes.
13 A. "Chief of Staff -- Chief of Staff of the 6th Corps informed me
14 about the decision of the Chief of the Supreme Command Staff in connection
15 with combat operations planned along the Prozor and Mostar axes pursuant
16 to which I hereby order."
17 Is that the only thing you want me to read out, or is there
18 anything else?
19 Q. For the moment that's fine. Thanks.
20 Well, this is probably redundant, but just to be sure, the Chief
21 of Staff of the 6th Corps, that is yourself; is that right?
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, it's not for the witness to
23 say whether that's right or not right. He can confirm, as he already has,
24 that he was the 6th Corps Chief of Staff. He can't confirm -- at the
25 moment, there's no basis for him confirming anything about this piece of
1 paper. He said that it was shown to him by Bernard Brun or someone
2 sounding similar and that's as far as it goes. And he's not to be asked
3 that question in that form, but he can confirm, of course, that he was the
4 6th Corps Chief of Staff. The Defence isn't going to challenge that --
5 that fact.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, the witness said that he first saw this
7 document when the investigators showed it to -- to this witness. But here
8 in the document it says "the 6th Corps Chief of Staff has informed
9 Mr. Delic about certain matters," so there's a problem there.
10 You may ask a question to clarify it, this problem.
11 MR. SACHDEVA:
12 Q. Let me ask you this, Mr. Tirak: Do the contents of this document
13 reflect any part of your conversation with Mr. Delic?
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I object --
15 MR. SACHDEVA:
16 Q. Any conversation that you told the Court about?
17 MR. MORRISSEY: I want -- I object to that. It's not for this
18 witness to say whether this document reflects the conversation that he had
19 or not, unless he's told something about the order at a later time by
20 Mr. Delic or it's otherwise confirmed as being connected with him. What
21 he can legitimately say is, "I told Mr. Delic certain things, he told me
22 certain things." But unless he saw the making of this document or had
23 something to do with it, he just can't ask. He can't be asked whether
24 that is connected in any way with that conversation.
25 As I've said -- I want it to be clear so that no one is in any
1 doubt, the Defence has got the gravest concerns about this document and
2 provenance and we don't accept it as genuine, frankly, at this stage.
3 There's going to be challenges to it. So that's why I'm objecting in the
4 detail that I am. It's not for fun or to make Mr. Sachdeva's day more
5 difficult than it otherwise should be. It's because of that issue. And
6 that's why I'm being very precise about it. And that's why I object to
7 this witness being asked to comment on whether that document matches what
8 he told Mr. Delic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, the answer to this witness may also be helpful
10 to your case on that, you know.
11 And -- Mr. Sachdeva, you may put the first line of this document
12 into a question and put it to this witness.
13 MR. SACHDEVA:
14 Q. Mr. Tirak, did you inform Mr. Delic about the decision of the
15 Chief of the -- about planned combat operations towards Prozor and Mostar
16 in your conversation with Mr. Delic?
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, with respect, that's got to be put
18 accurately. That's left out a chunk of what's in that sentence. If my
19 friend wants to do that, he's got to put the whole sentence. And leaving
20 that part out really gives away what they're worried about, with respect.
21 But I'll limit my objection to -- that he's got to put the whole thing
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But I believe that everything is almost there,
24 you know.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, it's -- Your Honours, the bit that I was
1 concerned about being left out was -- the line says: "The 6th Corps Chief
2 of Staff has my friend me about," and then my friend left out this
3 bit: "the decision of the Chief of Staff -- Chief of Supreme Command
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: In other words, it's the Halilovic bit that got
7 left out. And that's what my friend didn't want to ask, apparently. I
8 submit that if he wants to ask that question, he should put the whole
9 thing fairly and in context, in my submission.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, since there's a Defence objection, well,
11 Mr. Sachdeva, would you please do according to what the Defence said.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Tirak, did you inform Mr. Delic about the decision of the
14 Chief of the Supreme Command Staff regarding planned combat operations --
15 actions towards Prozor and Mostar.
16 A. I informed Mr. Delic about the situation as it was at the time,
17 based on what Mr. Fazlic had told me. The conversation took three hours,
18 and I'm not sure why Mr. Delic chose to speak only about this particular
19 segment. I really have no idea.
20 Q. Your conversation with Mr. Delic, you say it took three hours.
21 A. I can't say exactly. Between two and three hours. It was a long
22 one, though.
23 Q. Was this segment in this document part of your conversation with
24 Mr. Delic?
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Once again, I object. That was the original
1 objection. What I submit the Prosecutor is trying to do here is to get
2 this witness to validate a suspect document by his memory. Now, we've got
3 no objection to him saying what he told the witness, and he -- he has done
4 that. But if they want it again, I don't object to that. But to attempt
5 to validate this document is not legitimate. And I -- I object to it.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, Mr. -- Mr. Tirak has already given
7 evidence about the conversation he had with Mr. Delic and he's been quite
8 detailed in that evidence. Now, I'm simply asking him whether the
9 material in this document, leaving aside whether it's authentic or -- or
10 anything else, reflects, either in part or in totality, that conversation
11 with Mr. Delic.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, this question is allowed. You may proceed.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What this document says: "In part
14 also reflects what I had told him." But again I must say it includes
15 something that he got from another source, because at the time we spoke
16 the only thing I knew was that units from Sarajevo had committed some sort
17 of a crime in Grabovica. At the time, I was not aware of the fact that it
18 had been the 9th Mountain Brigade, nor was I in a position tell him about
19 it. He must have found out from a different source. Let me make this
20 clear. At that time, I had no idea what unit it was that had committed
21 the crimes. I only told him that crimes had been committed in Grabovica,
22 but I could not talk about the exact extent of those crimes or indeed who
23 the perpetrators had been.
24 MR. SACHDEVA:
25 Q. Why did you ask Mr. Delic for the 9th and 10th Brigades to be
1 sent back to Sarajevo?
2 A. Because I believed that those units were not able to contribute
3 much to any offensive operations. It wasn't only my opinion. It was
4 shared by all the members of the 6th Corps command who were there. They
5 could only cause trouble, and that's why we asked for those units to be
6 withdrawn from the area of responsibility of the 6th Corps a.s.a.p. That
7 was why I requested their urgent withdrawal. The news of this crime that
8 had taken place only reinforced me in this request.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, perhaps this is the time for a break?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And we will take a longer break, since the
11 Defence will have an opportunity to talk to the next witness. And we'll
12 resume at 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Sachdeva. Please continue.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Q. Mr. Tirak, I want to ask you, as I said earlier, some questions
18 about the Prozor Independent Battalion. Now, you told the Court that
19 you -- you went to meet the battalion in -- sometime in July 1993. Where
20 did you meet with them?
21 A. It was three villages in that region: Scipe, Here, and Kute.
22 Q. Who was the commander of that battalion?
23 A. I can't remember the name exactly, but I know we all used to call
24 him Buza, but I can't really remember what his real name was.
25 Q. At that time, who comprised the Prozor Independent Battalion?
1 A. At that time, the Independent Battalion Prozor was made up of
2 peasants from those three villages, about 50 of them, and up to 100 people
3 who were actually refugees from Prozor and the surrounding settlements,
4 and that's where they found their refuge.
5 Q. To your knowledge, did these villagers and refugees have any
6 military experience?
7 A. No. They were farmers, people who were mostly farmers and apart
8 from doing their military service, I don't suppose they've had any other
9 military experience.
10 Q. Now, was this situation, in that the Prozor Independent Battalion
11 was made up of persons without military experience, was this situation
12 mirrored throughout the 6th Corps
13 A. Of course not just throughout the 6th Corps but in the BH army in
14 general there has always been a shortage of people with military
15 experience, but in other units we did have superiors and other soldiers
16 with some military experience. Some of them even had considerable
17 military experience. It was just in that unit that there was nobody at
18 all who would have had any military experience.
19 Q. So would you say that the situation with respect to the Prozor
20 Independent Battalion was a unique situation with respect to the other
21 units in the corps?
22 A. If by that you mean that there were no people with any military
23 experience there, yes. Other units had a certain number of people with
24 military experience, but there was nobody like that in that particular
1 Q. Now, did you know of a -- a place called Uzdol?
2 A. I've heard of that place after those tragic events. Prior to
3 that, I must admit I'd never heard of it.
4 Q. What tragic events are you referring to?
5 A. What I found out later, that a certain number of people had come
6 to grief there. That's what I have in mind.
7 Q. When did you find out about this?
8 A. I'm unable to tell you precisely, but sometime in the course of
9 October, but I can't tell you exactly on what day.
10 Q. When you say "come to grief," what -- what do you mean by that?
11 A. Since I'm not a lawyer, I don't know what a legal definition
12 would be, but people there had been killed in a way which is inappropriate
13 at any time, and that includes war operations as well.
14 Q. Do you know or were you told who was responsible for this
16 A. I must say that when I found out about that incident, I was quite
17 surprised because in the course of my visit to that unit, those people
18 gave me the impression of being rather peaceful, if I may say that. They
19 did not look like people who were capable of doing a thing like that.
20 There were people that tended to think about their cattle, about farming a
21 lot more than about military matters, and they did not come across as
22 people who were capable of doing something like that. When I found out
23 about it, I really wanted to find out exactly what had happened, but
24 relatively soon afterwards I actually left the 6th Corps, so unfortunately
25 I never got the opportunity what exactly happened there.
1 Q. You told the Court that 100 of these persons who made up the
2 Prozor Independent Battalion were refugees from Prozor.
3 A. Yes, or from the surrounding areas. Perhaps not just Prozor
4 itself but from the surrounding area as well.
5 Q. To your knowledge, is there any significance of that fact with
6 respect to what you heard happened in Uzdol?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this seems to be an attempt to get
9 the witness to speculate as to who might be guilty of committing certain
10 acts at Uzdol. To say as a fact that somebody was a refugee got something
11 to do with what might have happened is speculative even of a witness who
12 knew something about the case. But this witness has said he didn't find
13 out anything until October, so that not only was it an impermissible
14 question for a witness who knew something, but it's wrong to ask this
15 witness this question.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, we haven't come to the evidence in Uzdol
17 and who committed the crime has not been introduced, you know, in our
18 proceedings, so you might come too fast to that point, Mr. Sachdeva.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: One second, Your Honour.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. SACHDEVA:
22 Q. You told the Court that people had been -- from what you heard,
23 people had been killed in an inappropriate way. Who were killed?
24 A. What I heard was that the inhabitants of that village had been
25 killed, but I must say that after 12 years I can't tell you specifically,
1 who exactly, and how many they were and all that.
2 Q. Do you know who did the killings?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, I'm sorry, pardon me, Witness.
4 Again, I object to that. This now seems to be an attempt to get
5 crime-base evidence in from someone who didn't know anything about it for
6 a month. Your Honours, I object. If it be proved of course that he has
7 some basis for knowing, then I won't object. For example, if he was there
8 or if he participated in the investigation in some way, I wouldn't.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that must be some, you know, hearsay
10 evidence because the witness already testified that he heard those
11 incidents much later, so there's some hearsay evidence.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: It --
13 JUDGE LIU: So in this aspect, we'll allow the question to go on.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: As long as -- Your Honour, may I just say -- it's
15 true and I'm bound by Your Honours' ruling, but at least we ought to know
16 where the hearsay came from. It's hard for -- hard to see what use it
17 could be otherwise.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Tirak, could you please answer the question. Do you know who
21 did the killing?
22 A. No, who exactly, I don't know. If I knew, well, I would have
23 said it a long time ago and I would have asked for the actually
24 perpetrators to be punished.
25 Q. When you say you would have asked for the actual perpetrators to
1 be punished, at that time was the 6th Corps responsible for the Prozor
2 Independent Battalion?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was the 6th Corps responsible for the Prozor Independent
5 Battalion when Mr. Fazlic ordered the Prozor Independent Battalion to be
6 part of the operation to liberate Mostar?
7 A. At that juncture all those three units were subject to the
8 forward command post, so at the time the 6th Corps was not in charge of
9 them. And on the basis of what I found out from my colleagues, it was not
10 just that they were not formally in charge but in terms of substance as
12 Q. Now, I'm going to leave the topic of the Prozor Independent
13 Battalion and ask you a few more questions about the 9th and 10th
14 Brigades, if I may. Given what you've told the Court about the other
15 brigades of the 1st Corps and their military successes, and given what
16 you've told the Court additionally about the reputation of the 9th and
17 10th Brigades of the 1st Corps, were you told at any time why the 9th and
18 10th Brigades were brought to the region for this operation?
19 A. I've already told you when I heard that those units were included
20 in the operation and the reason for their coming was to participate in the
21 operation aimed at lifting the blockade of Mostar. As to why those units
22 were chosen and not some other units, well, that's something I can't tell
23 you at any rate. Had I been in a position to choose, it is certain that I
24 wouldn't have selected those units and I would have chosen some other
25 units. But as to why they were selected, I must say I don't know.
1 Q. Were you told or do you know who selected those units for the
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honour, again it's one of those double
4 questions. First of all, the witness could be asked was he told, and just
5 as a courtesy to the Defence, he might be asked who he was told by, so
6 that we know, but not to put the two questions together.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You might have it -- split it, Mr. Sachdeva.
8 MR. SACHDEVA:
9 Q. Were you told who selected those units for the operation?
10 A. Yes. Well, I never found out about it. All I can say is that it
11 is certain that the decision for those two units to be participating in
12 that operation certainly did not originate in the 6th Corps. Otherwise, I
13 would have known about it.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, pardon me for intervening here.
16 I'm told by the Bosnian speakers at the table that the witness actually
17 said "no" as the first word there and it's come out as "yes." I wonder if
18 we could just clarify with the interpreters or the translators what the
19 situation is.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The translators acoustically heard "da," but I
21 it may well be that it's a no.
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, I'm no expert so it better be
23 clarified. I'm not going to say anyone was wrong.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the witness himself is the best person to
25 answer this question.
1 MR. MORRISSEY: I think that's correct, Your Honour.
2 MR. SACHDEVA:
3 Q. Mr. Tirak, when I asked you who selected those units for the
4 operation, the transcript reads: "Yes." What is your answer to that
6 A. No, I said I did not know who actually selected those two units.
7 I also said that if I had been in a position to choose, I certainly would
8 not have selected those two units. And finally, I also said something
9 that I was certain about was that certainly no one from the 6th Corps
10 invited those two units to participate in that or any other operation,
11 because I would have known about it.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, that's the examination-in-chief.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Any cross-examination? Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Morrissey:
18 Q. Very well, Mr. Tirak. You were the Chief of Staff of the 6th
19 Corps, is that correct, in September of 1993?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you can tell this Tribunal one thing about Chiefs of Staff,
22 and that is that Chiefs of Staff cannot issue combat orders unless they're
23 specifically authorised to do so by their commander; is that true?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Yes. Very well. Now, you've given evidence about what you were
1 told by Mr. Bahrudin Fazlic. Now, I just want to be clear about a couple
2 of things. First of all, Bahrudin Fazlic was the deputy commander of the
3 6th Corps; is that correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And his nickname was Braco, B-r-a-c-o; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Very well. Now, at no time were you shown any document
8 appointing Sefer Halilovic to command any operation; is that true?
9 A. No. If you mean an order, I haven't seen it.
10 Q. That was precisely what I meant.
11 Now, I just wanted to ask you some questions about the 9th and
12 10th Brigades. Your position in -- in Sarajevo was that you joined the
13 struggle and you joined the 6th Mountain Brigade on its part of the front
14 line within Sarajevo; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. At that time, you participated in combat with that brigade until
17 the end of 1992, at which time you were transferred to other duties; is
18 that true?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The other duties took you to be in command of a logistics base in
21 Pazaric located outside of Sarajevo; is that correct?
22 A. Correct. Yes.
23 Q. And Pazaric was an area which was covered by these -- it was in
24 the area of responsibility of the 1st Corps; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But it also lay on the other side of the tunnel; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. At the time when I was there, the tunnel did not exist.
3 Q. Yes. And communications at that time between Pazaric and -- and
4 the Chief of the -- or sorry, the command post of the 1st Corps were quite
5 difficult; is that correct?
6 A. No more and no less than on a regular basis normally during the
8 Q. Well, it was easier to move from Pazaric to Sarajevo once the
9 tunnel was built, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes, but even before the tunnel, I used to go -- come and go very
12 Q. Yes. And were you under fire when you came and went from time to
14 A. Very often.
15 Q. Yes. All right. Now, I've got a question for you about the
16 1st -- the 4th Brigade at Hrasnica. You gave evidence about that brigade
17 earlier on. Was that brigade, the 4th Brigade, commanded by an individual
18 named Fikret Prevljak?
19 A. Fikret Prevljak.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And your indication was that that unit had a -- a mobile
23 battalion or a battalion that was able to be deployed away from its --
24 from the area of operations of that brigade; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. And they did so several times.
1 Q. Did you know -- there's been evidence about this in this court
2 already. Did you know that Fikret Prevljak refused even to lend any
3 trucks to Sefer Halilovic in September of 1993 during the course of combat
4 operations or just before combat operations in the Herzegovina area? Did
5 you know that fact?
6 A. No, I am not aware of that.
7 Q. Very well. Your -- your -- I have to ask you some questions
8 about your military experience now, apart from fighting. In terms of
9 training for -- for military staffing and -- and similar, you achieved the
10 rank of captain in the JNA. But could I ask you: Did you go through the
11 normal military schools and military training to get to that rank of
13 A. I finished the reserve officer's school and the rank of captain
14 was something I got on the basis of my contract, considering my duties and
15 my other -- and I don't have any other military training in practice.
16 Q. And indeed at the time when you joined the struggle in Sarajevo,
17 the truth was that to your perception the town was in grave danger of
18 falling to the attacking Army of the Republika Srpska; is that correct?
19 A. Certainly.
20 Q. And you fought in your area of town but you are also aware that
21 the 9th and 10th Brigade had important parts of the front line to defend
22 themselves; is that correct?
23 A. Certainly. By all means.
24 Q. And in terms of the 9th Brigade, you were aware that most of the
25 soldiers in that brigade defended the lines they had to defend bravely and
1 loyally; is that correct?
2 A. Certainly, since they managed to defend it, it means they must
3 have defended it loyally.
4 Q. Yes. And your perception was that although you heard some bad
5 rumours about Ramiz Delalic, Celo, and certain people surrounding him,
6 most of the soldiers in the 9th Brigade were just good young men from
7 Sarajevo who were fighting to save their city; is that correct?
8 A. I think that you may have -- might have misinterpreted my words.
9 Most people around him were not good guys, and those who were on the front
10 lines and were defending the city were not around him.
11 Q. Yes. Well, perhaps we're thunderously agreeing and perhaps we're
12 not. I'll just have to make sure we -- we understand each other there.
13 Do you agree that most of -- I'll just take it step by step because I'm a
14 bit slow sometimes. Do you agree that most of the soldiers in the 9th
15 Brigade were just decent young men defending their city?
16 A. I'm certain of that.
17 Q. Yes. Okay. And as to those who were not good people, you have
18 given evidence here about the stories that you heard from other people; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And with respect to Ramiz Delalic, you never met him; is that
23 A. As far as I can remember, yes -- oh, no.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The speaker corrects himself.
25 MR. MORRISSEY:
1 Q. Pardon me. We've just had a bit of a -- trouble there. The
2 answer is you never met him; is that right?
3 A. As far as I can remember, I don't think I've ever met him.
4 Perhaps in passing, but I don't think I've ever met him or talked to him.
5 Q. That's okay. All right. Now, the time at which you were in
6 Sarajevo came to an end at the end of 1992, but when you were at Pazaric,
7 you used to come back in from time to time; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, very often, too.
9 Q. Okay. But late in May and early in June, you became -- the 6th
10 Corps was founded and you were invited to come along and join that 6th
11 Corps as the Chief of Staff; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And thereafter you were based in Konjic; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And it's fair to say, isn't it, that the situation that you and
16 those in -- at the senior levels of the 6th Corps had to face was one of
17 absolute chaos which you had to try and organise in the new corps; is that
19 A. Roughly speaking.
20 Q. And just so that the Tribunal understands what happened with the
21 6th Corps, the 4th Corps used to cover a large area from Mostar right up
22 towards Sarajevo; is that correct?
23 A. Almost as far as, yes.
24 Q. Okay. And just doing the best you can, can you remember where
25 the 4th Corps used to reach to and where the border between the 4th and
1 the 1st Corps used to be?
2 A. The area under the 1st Corps ended in the Turcin area, and the
3 area of the 4th Corps began at Bradina. It's a mountain pass.
4 Q. Yes. Now, at the time when the hostilities with the HVO began,
5 it soon turned out that the 4th Corps was split by the HVO cutting certain
6 roads; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, splitting into many sections, many parts.
8 Q. Yes. Very well. So the 6th Corps had the -- when the 6th Corps
9 was brought into being, it had the role of collecting all of these units
10 and bringing some sort of central organisation to those units; is that
12 A. Roughly speaking, yes.
13 Q. Okay. Now, it's the fact, isn't it, that you had the role of
14 going out onto the terrain and meeting with these units and attempting to
15 bring them into the system of command and control of the 6th Corps; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Precisely. It wasn't only me. The same applied to all other
18 members of the command.
19 Q. I understand that. But you particularly had -- had the role of
20 travelling around like that and being out on the terrain and getting to
21 know the local commanders; is that correct?
22 A. Precisely.
23 Q. Okay. Now, in July of 1993, you became aware that there was a
24 big battle going on in the area of Mount Igman; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. All right. And did some parts of your corps, the 6th Corps, go
2 to Mount Igman to fight and to help stop the Serbian -- the Republika
3 Srpska offensive in that area?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And at that time, did it come to your knowledge that
6 elements of the 9th and 10th Brigade were also sent out of Sarajevo to
7 fight on Igman to stop that advance of the Army of the Republika Srpska?
8 A. I don't know about the specific units, but I know many units left
9 Sarajevo in a bid to stop that.
10 Q. And if other witnesses give evidence in this court that the 9th
11 and 10th -- or that parts of the 9th and 10th Brigade indeed were taken
12 out to Sarajevo -- out to Igman, then you wouldn't dispute that evidence,
13 would you?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
15 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour, I object.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness --
17 MR. SACHDEVA: I don't see how the witness can answer that
18 question. It's purely speculation.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, that you wouldn't dispute that evidence means
20 that the witness is not in the position to say something contrary to that
21 fact, so there's no problem with that. There must be a lot of reasons for
22 that. I believe this question is allowed.
23 Witness, you may answer that question.
24 MR. MORRISSEY:
25 Q. Just so that the witness understands it, I'll put it again,
1 Your Honour.
2 Q. If other witnesses give evidence that -- that the elements of the
3 9th and 10th Brigade did go to Igman to fight, you wouldn't dispute that,
4 would you?
5 A. Why would I dispute that? I myself didn't know about it, but
6 others may know.
7 Q. Okay. And I just want to get a sense of -- did you go back to
8 Sarajevo on -- on any occasions once you took up these busy duties as
9 Chief of Staff of the 6th Corps in -- and the time period I'm asking about
10 here is June, July, August, September. So in those months, did you go
11 back to Sarajevo?
12 A. In those months, I only went back once, as far as I can remember.
13 As I said, I was busy trying to bring order to those units that had been
14 torn apart, but I simply didn't have a lot of time to go back to Sarajevo.
15 Q. I'm not being critical about that. I just wanted to know the
17 And therefore, as to what units were and were not available to be
18 taken down to Herzegovina out of the 1st Corps, you just have no idea what
19 the situation was in Sarajevo in the 4th Corps late in August and early in
20 September; is that accurate? Sorry, I've misspoken there. I've said "the
21 4th Corps." I'll stop that question and I'll ask it again and I'll ask it
22 correctly instead.
23 As far as which units were available to be taken out of the area
24 of the 1st Corps and down to fight in Herzegovina, you yourself cannot
25 comment on who was and was not available in the 1st Corps at that time;
1 namely, late August, early September; is that correct?
2 A. Quite correct, yes.
3 Q. Okay. Now --
4 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honours, it's -- I withdraw that.
5 I'll --
6 Would you excuse me a moment.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Okay. Pardon me. It's a false alarm.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you for that.
10 Now, the village of Grabovica was originally in the zone of
11 responsibility -- area of responsibility of the 4th Corps; is that
13 A. Formally speaking, it never was, because the zone of
14 responsibility, area of responsibility of the 4th Corps stretched as far
15 as Jablanica, which is some way to the north of the village of Grabovica,
16 but at that time there were no units of the 4th Corps there.
17 Conditionally speaking, we were the ones who covered the area, sent out
18 patrols, and did reconnaissance, and so on and so forth. Formally
19 speaking, at least based on those orders that I had inspected, the area of
20 responsibility of the 6th Corps ended at Jablanica.
21 Q. Very well. Well, I've got two questions about that. The first
22 one is: Did you ever see a document that was issued by Rasim Delic,
23 commander of the Bosnian army, on the 29th of August of 1993, which was
24 the conclusions from a meeting of corps commanders at Zenica? Did you
25 ever see that document?
1 A. No, I'd never seen that document.
2 Q. Okay. Well, were you aware of whether or not at Zenica it was
3 ordered by Commander Delic that the line of demarcation between the 4th
4 and 6th Corps was drawn just to the south of the village of Grabovica? Is
5 that something you became aware of or not? And I mean formally drawn, not
6 just as a matter of de facto reality.
7 A. As I have already said, I've never seen that order; therefore, I
8 was not aware of any of that. Nor did anyone at the 6th Corps staff take
9 this into account. We didn't really consider what the line of demarcation
10 was in a formal sense. You must realise how simple it is to draw a line
11 on a map. In practice, however, it's a lot more complicated than just
13 Q. Well, I have no doubt that's correct. But would you agree with
14 this proposition: Whatever the formal position might be, the 6th Corps
15 assumed de facto responsibility for the village of Grabovica, sending
16 patrols there and generally protecting it?
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's beyond dispute.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, I was going to ask counsel to provide a
21 specific time period.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think that's a legitimate request.
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I think it is too, Your Honour.
24 Q. The learned Prosecutor has just asked that we specify the time
25 period there. And I'm talking now about the time period in early
1 September of 1993. And I take it -- well, that's the time period I'm
2 asking about. And in early September of 1993, that was the situation,
3 wasn't it, that the 6th Corps had assumed de facto responsibility for the
4 village of Grabovica? Is that correct?
5 A. Throughout my time with the 6th Corps, as there were no other
6 units, we practically did our best to cover the area in order to prevent
7 surprise attacks from the enemy by that direction, so every now and then
8 we would go to the area and send patrols out. But no units of the 6th
9 Corps before ever actually stationed at Grabovica itself.
10 Q. Now, did you yourself go to Grabovica?
11 A. I went there once. It was about a month after I'd been assigned
12 to the 6th Corps, when people from the command of the 44th Brigade showed
13 me around, showed me where the lines were, where our positions were and
14 those of the enemy. I passed the village, but I did not enter the
16 Q. Okay. Now -- so that was in July approximately; is that an
17 accurate -- you won't have a date, I know, but was that approximately in
19 A. I'd really be hard put to say. It's possible. And in late July
20 as well. It's been 12 years, and I am not very good at timing these
21 events, I'm afraid.
22 Q. Okay. Now, you've indicated that there were two units in the --
23 in the Herzegovina area who you say were not under the control -- or not
24 in the line of control and command of the 6th Corps. You named them as
25 the Black Swans, on the one hand, and Zulfikar's unit, on the other. But
1 apart from those units, you had a responsibility as Chief of Staff of the
2 6th Corps to know broadly speaking whereabouts the other units in that
3 area were based; is that correct?
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: I apologise, but I'd like a clarification as to
7 the units of which corps.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, my --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, if you may.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: I have no difficulty with that, if it's a
11 problem. The 6th Corps. It's in his corps, which I thought I was asking
12 about. By my friend is entitled to the clarification.
13 Q. Okay. I'm sorry, Witness. We have to ask that question again.
14 The question is this: You had a responsibility as Chief of Staff of the
15 6th Corps to know broadly speaking whereabouts your units were based; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. And you came to know that a small unit called Cedo's
19 Wolves, sometimes also called the Igman Wolves, were based right smack in
20 Grabovica on the left bank; is that correct?
21 A. I don't know which specific period of time you have in mind.
22 Q. I have in mind the last two weeks of August and the first week of
23 September 1993.
24 A. At that time, I spent most of my time around Fojnica and Vakuf.
25 This was something that my deputy and Mr. Fazlic dealt with. On account
1 of my other duties in the other half of our area of responsibility, I
2 spent most of my time elsewhere. At times I was not fully informed.
3 Whenever I came, they would brief me, but I must admit my recollection of
4 specific details is not really very good.
5 Q. Okay. So you don't dispute then that Cedo's Wolves were in fact
6 billeted right smack in the middle of that village of Grabovica in the
7 administration building, in fact, of the hydroelectric company some three
8 weeks before the tragedy in -- at Grabovica; is that correct?
9 A. The hydroelectric company is not right in the middle of
10 Grabovica, if that's what you mean. If that's where they were, then they
11 can't have been in the village of Grabovica.
12 Q. Well, did you know whether they were there or not?
13 A. No. No.
14 Q. What about the Handzar Division? Were they accommodated in a
15 house on the right bank of the Neretva in the first week of September and
16 before the arrival of the Sarajevo troops?
17 A. I have already told you, I'm not sure about that period, which
18 units came or went. Mr. Fazlic told me that he hadn't been clear about
19 these things himself, which was one of the reasons I went to see
20 Mr. Delic, to lodge a protest.
21 Q. We'll come to Mr. Delic a bit later on. But is your -- is your
22 evidence to this Tribunal this: That in that three-week period that I've
23 asked you about, you've got no idea whether these units were billeted in
24 Grabovica or not? And by "these units," I mean the Handzar and Cedo's
25 Wolves. Is that your evidence?
1 A. Yes. At that time - I can't emphasise this sufficiently - I was
2 not physically present in the area, which is why I know precious little
3 about what was going on.
4 Q. Yes, but you'll recall the discussion between the Prosecutor and
5 the Court earlier on. You were Chief of Staff of this whole area and you
6 had to receive reports, didn't you, about this topic?
7 A. That's correct. But as I've already explained, I was dealing
8 more with organisational matters, coordination, logistics, that sort of
9 thing. I left the military aspects -- or rather, that's what the
10 agreement was within the corps, to the commander and his deputy. That's
11 how it worked throughout my time there. They covered the military aspect,
12 and I covered the other aspect. This was necessary to cover for my lack
13 of familiarity with military issues.
14 Q. Yes, I understand. Okay. Very well. Now, the situation facing
15 the 6th Corps in August of 1993 was that the 6th Corps had to cover a very
16 long front line; is that correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. You had to cover a front line -- I'm really only going to ask you
19 questions about the HVO part of that front line now. But you had to cover
20 a front line that stretched from Gornji Vakuf, in the north, right down to
21 Dreznica, in the south; is that the fact?
22 A. Yes, and what's more, the area towards Bileticevo, towards the
23 positions of the units of the Army of Republika Srpska that were in
24 Eastern Herzegovina, and also we had within our composition the Visoko
25 Brigade and we had to cover the area of responsibility facing both the HVO
1 and the Republika Srpska. The conclusion is our area of responsibility
2 was in fact far greater than the one you have just described.
3 Q. Yes. Yes. But the fact is that on the HVO front line, which
4 I've -- do you agree with me that the HVO line went from Gornji Vakuf, in
5 the north, down to Dreznica, in the south?
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. All right. Now, you gave evidence here that the 6th Corps had no
8 involvement in the planning of the operation to deblock Mostar. Do you
9 stand by that evidence or not?
10 A. Yes, I do. I stand by the fact that the staff of the 6th Corps
11 planned no such operation. Whether anyone was called in Jablanica, the
12 people who were there, whether any suggestions were made on their part, is
13 something I don't know about. What I am 100 per cent certain about,
14 however, is that no such operation was ever planned by the staff.
15 Q. No, that's right. And, of course, the staff would know if --
16 if -- if any such operation was planned, you would know about that,
17 wouldn't you? Because you were the Chief of Staff. Is that correct?
18 A. Had the staff planned this operation, we would have made
19 proposals as to which units were to be brought in and when the attack was
20 to commence. Seeing as we never did this, that means we weren't planning
21 an operation. The simple truth is at the time we didn't have the
22 resources that this would have required. Once the deputy commanders were
23 informed - although I wasn't there myself, but this is what I assume -
24 they must have --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... just let me stop you there,
1 please. I'm not concerned about what you assumed. But I am concerned by
2 this: Did you go to a meeting at Dobro Polje on the 5th of September
4 A. Dobro Polje? No.
5 Q. You can't comment on any planning discussions that took place at
6 that particular meeting; is that correct?
7 A. That's certainly true.
8 Q. And you, as Chief of Staff, according to you were told nothing
9 about any planning meeting that took place at Dobro Polje; is that
10 correct?, on the 5th of September, 1993?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Yes. Very well. Just excuse me a moment, please.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Could the witness --
15 I'm going to show you a document now. This is 65 ter number
16 D105. Its ERN number is DD00-- sorry, I'll start again, DD000423. We
17 think it's -- the next exhibit is MFI294.
18 Could the witness please be shown that.
19 Q. What's about to be shown to you now is an order, and I want to
20 ask for your comment on this order.
21 All right. Do you have in front of you now in Bosnian -- the
22 Bosnian language an order which purports to be sent to the 6th Corps
23 command and originates from commander of the SVK, Rasim Delic? Have you
24 got that?
25 MR. MORRISSEY: While the witness is looking at that --
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm just wondering now. There's
3 five minutes to go. I just wanted to show the witness the map. But
4 really there's going to be a shortage of time about that, and that's
5 really the next topic I want to move to now. Rather than -- I'll ask the
6 witness a couple of questions about this document, but then I might have
7 to stop, unfortunately.
8 Q. So now, Mr. Tirak, do you -- have you read that order that's in
9 front of you there?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. And do you see that that's an order from Rasim Delic
12 to your corps, of which you were the Chief of Staff, to launch
13 particularly fierce attacks along a particular axis and to attempt to link
14 up to the 4th Corps command? Do you see those instructions given there?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Did you make a plan to put that into being pursuant to
17 Commander Delic's order?
18 A. If this is the order which arrived on the 30th of June, then I
19 can tell you that we were facing great difficulties at that time trying to
20 liberate the road between Konjic and Jablanica and establish some sort of
21 control in the Neretva River Valley. Therefore, we were using all the
22 available forces in that area. That's as long as we're talking about the
23 order which arrived on the 6th -- on the 30th of June.
24 Q. Well, I don't think we're talking about the same order here. I'm
25 a bit concerned about that. Do you see at the top of your order there
1 that it's dated Sarajevo 2nd of July?
2 A. 2nd of July, yes. But it says "Pursuant to order of the 30th of
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Further down. If you can see that. Maybe you should have a
7 At that time, the corps was - how should I put it? - still
8 consolidating, and the best we could do at the time was launch offensives
9 and link the units up and to clear the road between Konjic and Jablanica
10 and secure to the extent that we could the Neretva River Valley. Even if
11 we were so inclined, there was no way we could have got there physically,
12 if that's the period of time you have in mind.
13 Q. Well, the period of time I have in mind is the period that is on
14 the order here, but in any event, is your answer to my -- is your position
15 about all of this that at this time, that is, late in June and early in
16 July, you did receive an order from Rasim Delic but you weren't in a
17 position to draft a detailed plan? Is that effectively what you say about
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. Roughly speaking.
22 Q. But given your answers there, I take it you agree that your corps
23 certainly received this document and knew about it; is that correct?
24 A. I must say that throughout my time there we received a great deal
25 of orders, some of which were quite outlandish. This was the main reason
1 I complained to Rasim Delic. It was quite obvious that the people at the
2 Supreme Command headquarters sometimes did not have truthful or reliable
3 information and they issued orders as an alibi. It was clear to everyone
4 at the time, to the company and to the corps as well, that there was not a
5 cat's chance in hell of anything like this actually being put into effect.
6 Q. Just to explain that a little bit further, you mean that people
7 sometimes issued orders that they knew that they had no chance of having
8 carried out? In order to look as if they were doing something
10 A. I can't say what they knew and what they didn't know, but these
11 decisions or orders were some sort of an alibi and I failed to fathom the
12 purpose behind that.
13 Q. No. But when you say "some sort of an alibi," that's what I'm
14 asking about now. You're saying that you received as the -- as the Chief
15 of Staff of 6th Corps you saw many orders coming out of the SVK and the
16 Main Staff in Sarajevo, and you indicated that you thought that some of
17 those orders were being put forward just as an alibi almost. And I want
18 to ask you about that. What you mean, I take it, is that people would
19 issue orders from Sarajevo knowing full well they couldn't be carried out
20 but creating the appearance that they were active and issuing orders; is
21 that correct?
22 A. I can't say what the purpose was behind them doing this, whether
23 perhaps they wanted, as you say, to create the appearance of doing
24 something or perhaps encourage the people of the 4th Corps to endure the
25 situation, to make it look like something was actually being done, but it
1 is true that on a number of occasions we received orders that were
2 strange, to say the least. As for the purpose, one thing I can say is
3 that I complained to Mr. Delic about these orders as well. The reply I
4 got was that I should stay out of it, this was something I didn't
5 understand, this was a political matter and to be understood in that way.
6 Q. And the final question therefore is that: To your observation,
7 just because an order gets issued doesn't mean it's going to have any
8 effect whatsoever on the people it's issued to; is that correct?
9 A. Unfortunately this was often the case in the BH army.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we have to stop here and you have to
11 stay in The Hague for another day. As I did to other witnesses, that
12 during your stay in The Hague you are still under the oath, so do not talk
13 to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your testimony. Do
14 you understand that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, fully.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 So the hearing for today is adjourned.
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, Your Honour -- sorry, pardon me. There's
19 just one matter I raise. I apologise for doing this late. In fact, I'll
20 do it tomorrow morning.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe the -- maybe tomorrow afternoon would be
22 the best opportunity.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st day of
25 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.