1 Tuesday, 17 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
6 Mr. Court Deputy, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 I understand that before we hear the witness the Defence has
11 something to raise at this stage. Yes.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Thank you very much, Your Honour. Well,
13 there's two matters actually. The first one is that in court today is an
14 individual that I'm not familiar with. He's seated at the back there. My
15 instructions are that's a man by the name of Mr. Fahrija Karkin who is, as
16 we understand it, associated in some way with Mr. Delalic. We no basis
17 for him being in Court whatsoever. We seek some guidance from the
18 Prosecutors as to why he should be here.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MS. CHANA: May it please Your Honours. The Prosecution has been
21 pre-empted in this. I was going to introduce Mr. Fahrija Karkin. He is
22 Ramiz Delalic's lawyer. I have sought permission from Your Honours to
23 have him sit in court behind the Prosecution.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe this request should be granted and
25 Mr. Fahrija Karkin, would you please introduce yourself for the sake of
1 the record.
2 MR. KARKIN: [Interpretation] I am Fahrija Karkin and I am an
3 attorney from Sarajevo.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware of the --
6 of the learned Prosecutor approaching the Court and seeking this
7 permission for this person to be in court.
8 Your Honours, it should be clarified so that the Defence
9 understands what the role of this -- of Mr. Karkin is here and it should
10 be clarified by the Prosecutors as to what role he is going to play in
11 these proceedings and why it is that they have asked and sought permission
12 for him to be here.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honours, Mr. Karkin accompanied Mr. Ramiz
15 Delalic from Sarajevo here. He asked for permission to be accompanied,
16 Mr. Ramiz Delalic by his lawyer, and this permission was granted and he
17 accompanied him and he is asking as Mr. Ramiz Delalic's lawyer in all
18 aspects. In respect to what he is going to be doing in court, he is going
19 to be listening, I don't think there's going to be any other input into
20 the proceedings whatsoever, and Mr. Delalic will be giving his evidence
21 and his lawyer would be present in case there would be any questions of
22 self-incrimination that he would like his lawyer's advice on.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I believe that is the normal practice of
24 this Tribunal.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I have to say we'll have to
1 see how things develop in that regard, but there is some chance that he
2 would end up being a witness. So it's a matter for the Prosecutors,
3 frankly, and for this Tribunal. But based upon what's been led there, the
4 Defence does not -- in any event, I take it Your Honours have issued a
5 ruling about this. I'm not going to seek to canvass that. I've raised
6 what I've got to raise, but I'm going to concede it could cause trouble in
7 the future and when the questions begin that will be apparent.
8 Your Honour's, the next thing I have to raise is the proofing
9 notes that we've received concerning Mr. Delalic. Now, in this trial the
10 pleadings have made it clear -- the indictment's made it clear and the
11 various briefs that have been issued since that time that what
12 Mr. Halilovic has faced up until today is a case as to -- failure to
13 punish the crime at Grabovica. It's been said that he didn't do enough,
14 effectively. It's been said that upon learning of the crime, he reacted
15 inadequately is, I think, the short way of putting the Prosecution case.
16 Now, with the second-last witness in the trial or the third-last witness
17 depending on the expert, Your Honours it appears Mr. Halilovic was in a
18 conspiracy to murder Rasim Delic, that there was a long-standing plan to
19 do this, to have put back in charge of the army. And apparently it's now
20 said by this witness that at all times there was a contingency plan for
21 this witness who's coming along now to kill Delic, if necessary, which
22 this witness offered to do, and that operation Neretva seems to be one
23 step in the campaign of Mr. Halilovic to be returned to his position,
24 according to this set of proofing notes, as head of the army.
25 Now, those allegations are way outside the indictment that we face
1 and they place the Defence in a very unusual position. We haven't dealt
2 with these allegations with witnesses who have come. If we knew we were
3 going to meet an allegation that there was a plan to kill -- which is the
4 allegation here, that there was a plan to kill Rasim Delic, if needs be,
5 and return Halilovic to the head of the army that way, then there are many
6 questions one might have asked many witnesses on that topic.
7 Now, we note that there is a reason now at this time, we note that
8 it is not in the pleadings, we note that it places the Defence in a very
9 unusual position of having to either deal with it on the run, which I want
10 to say in advance we are going to cross-examine this witness and we are
11 not going to seek any delays or adjournments now; he's here, and we are
12 going to deal with him. But it places the Defence in a position where we
13 have let witnesses go by who may have been able to comment on this issue
14 because it wasn't raised. And it throws into very sharp relief a problem
15 that I've raised before, and that's this one: What parts of this
16 witness's evidence does the Prosecution rely on? Because it's there case
17 as pleaded in their indictment and as repeated by Ms. Chana at a
18 pre-trial -- at a conference recently that Ramiz Delalic was the
19 commander of these troops, despite his denial of that, and that Ramiz
20 Delalic ordered the burial of bodies. Now, it's not for me to issue
21 attacks on Ramiz Delalic before his evidence begins; I'll cross-examine
22 him in due course. But the Prosecution themselves say that.
23 Now the Defence is in the position where we don't know precisely
24 what parts of this man's evidence the Prosecutor are asking you to believe
25 and which parts they're asking you to disbelieve. It's a trial by ambush
1 and it puts the Defence in the position where they have to decide what to
2 deal with, what allegations to deal with. Do we call -- do we attack this
3 man on materials which the Prosecution do not seek to prove? Is the
4 Prosecution prepared to lead evidence from a witness that they know and
5 they assert is untrue?
6 Now, Your Honours, the reason I raise it now is because -- it's
7 for the final time before this witness gives his evidence. We call on the
8 Prosecutor to say, now, you the Tribunal are entitled to know, and the
9 Defence must be able to know which parts of this witness's evidence the
10 Prosecution say can be believed and do they rely on, and in which
11 particulars is this witness lying, as the Prosecution says he is, as they
12 must be saying he is because that's what their indictment says and that's
13 what they say in the pre-trial materials. So we now call on the
14 Prosecutors to indicate now clearly, as they should, so that we can know
15 how to deal with this witness. In what particulars is he telling the
16 truth and in what particulars is he lying?
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, frankly speaking, it is the first time for me to
18 hear that there is a conspiracy to murder Mr. Delic participated in or
19 organised by Mr. Halilovic. So I believe at this stage we also need an
20 explanation from the Prosecution.
21 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours. This transpired at the
22 proofing notes, Your Honour -- at the time of proofing and I diligently
23 wrote down everything which was new, as I'm obliged to do, which the
24 witness had told me in proofing. And this particular topic, Your Honour,
25 arose when we were discussing the closeness of his relationship with the
1 accused in this case. Your Honour, the pleadings have not changed, the
2 indictment has not changed. This goes towards showing the relationship
3 that the accused had with Mr. Halilovic. And this is what the witness
4 said and I wrote it down and I handed it over to the Defence.
5 Your Honour, it is not for the Defence to ask us before the
6 witness has given evidence as to what portions of his evidence that we
7 rely upon. He hasn't given his evidence yet; these are proofing notes.
8 Once Mr. Delalic has given evidence, the Defence will then be in a
9 position to request from us at such time as the closing briefs or at the
10 98 bis stage, in which we will address as to what parts of any witness's
11 evidence we rely on. We have not -- we have not changed the pleadings, we
12 are charging Mr. Halilovic with conspiracy to murder. This all goes
13 towards the relationship of the accused and Operation Neretva. How is it
14 that it came to pass that this operation was conceived? These are all
15 very relevant issues to the case at hand and when the witness comes and
16 gives his evidence it will become very obvious in the context that this
17 piece of evidence will be used. Quite frankly, Your Honour, the
18 Prosecution finds this submissions pre-emptive to the issue. It's quite a
19 case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. If I had not noted that in
20 the proofing notes, I would not have done my obligation to the Defence to
21 note down everything and hand it over to the Defence as to what the
22 accused had said. I mean, I'm sorry, the witness had said.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, but as a rule, Ms. Chana, the evidence you will
24 lead from this witness should be strictly within the scope of the
25 indictment. Here I believe that we are going to address whether
1 Mr. Halilovic is responsible for the Grabovica and Uzdol incidents or
2 massacres rather than something else.
3 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, and part of the Prosecution theory
4 has always been that he brought these troops on to the field in
5 Herzegovina and this witness is giving another explanation as to why these
6 troops were brought in to Herzegovina. It's part of the Prosecution
7 theory, and this is something which was stated in our pre-trial brief, in
8 the opening statement, that these troops were specifically chosen by Mr.
9 Halilovic. The Defence in their pre-trial brief have actually rebutted
10 this issue and said, no, it was not Halilovic who brought these troops on
11 into Herzegovina. It all goes towards that Prosecution theory.
12 Your Honour, I'm advised by Your Honours and I will of course confine my
13 examination-in-chief to the issues at hand.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you. And we also would like to thank the
15 Defence for reminding us of this point and we'll hear the testimony of
16 this witness -- and as for how much weight we should attach to his
17 testimony is a matter that the Bench will consider at a later stage.
18 Well, having said that, could we have the witness, please.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
21 I can't hear you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you very well.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Would you please make the solemn
24 declaration in accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
3 Well, before we start, I believe it is my duty to remind you of
4 the Rule 90(E), which says: "A witness may object to making any statement
5 which might tend to incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however,
6 compel the witness to answer the question. Testimony compelled in this
7 way shall not be used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the
8 witness for any offence other than forced testimony."
9 Do you understand that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand that.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Are you ready to start?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 Ms. Chana.
15 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 WITNESS: RAMIZ DELALIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Ms. Chana:
19 Q. Can you please state your name and your date of birth, please.
20 A. I was born on the 15th of February, 1963. My name is Ramiz
22 Q. Do you have a nickname?
23 A. I do have a nickname. Since my childhood they've called me Celo.
24 Q. And where were you born, Mr. Delalic?
25 A. I was born in the Republic of Serbia, in Priboj.
1 Q. And was there a time that you moved to Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you remember what year that was?
4 A. In 1985 or 1986.
5 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, may I seek permission from the Court to
6 lead this witness on his criminal background?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
8 MS. CHANA:
9 Q. Mr. Delalic, before the war, were you charged for theft but you
10 were acquitted in 1989?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In 1990 there were charges against you for attempted double murder
13 and you were again acquitted. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In October 1993 you were charged with various offences in one
16 indictment, such as using fire weapons in public places and jeopardising
17 the safety of civilians, acts of extortion of money, et cetera. You
18 were --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. -- acquitted for all charges except for refusal to carry out an
21 order --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- and you were sentenced to three years.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you were in custody for seven and a half months?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were pardoned by political decree as there were --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]... for such acts?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I've gone out of chronology. Excuse me for that.
7 In 2000 you were charged with assault on an unauthorised official
8 and you were sentenced to six months imprisonment, which you served?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In 2004 you were charged with violent behaviour in public and were
11 sentenced to six months imprisonment which you completed and you were
12 released on 28th February, 2005?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You have -- you are currently charged with murder --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. -- committed in 1991 and you are out on bail?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What are the conditions of your bail?
19 A. The terms of my bail are of a monetary nature, amount to 360.000
20 convertible marks, Bosnian marks, and I cannot have a passport. But I am
21 on provisional release where I'm mounting my defence. I was held
22 responsible for this murder already in 1996 when the investigative judge
23 and the prosecutor did not pursue further charges. This indictment was
24 re-activated once more in 2001 or 2002.
25 Q. And you have been given special permission to travel to The Hague
1 to give your testimony and your passport has been issued to you for that
2 purpose. Is that correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Delalic. Now, can I ask you about the JNA.
5 Did you ever serve military service in the JNA -- did you do military
6 service, sorry, in the JNA?
7 A. Yes. I served my military term in Tuzla in 1983.
8 Q. Did you complete your military service?
9 A. I was in the infantry. The training lasted for six months. After
10 training, about a month and a half later, I had surgery. I had to have my
11 appendix out and I was temporarily released from the military for a period
12 of four years.
13 Q. Did you ever go back to the JNA?
14 A. After four years I went for tests again, and the military
15 commission discharged me absolutely from the military. So I no longer had
16 to complete my military service.
17 Q. Now, let's go to before the war and before the formation of the
18 Bosnian army. What was your role in the defence of Sarajevo, if any?
19 A. At the beginning of the war or actually a few months before the
20 war the Green Berets were already in existence and I was a member of that
21 group. When the war broke out on the 6th of April, 1992, I happened to be
22 in the Bosna unit where there were -- members of who were Green Beret,
23 Bosna 30 where I was commander of that unit. The unit numbered 30 men,
24 the commander was Sakib Puskar and I was the deputy commander or komandir,
25 however you want to term it. This lasted for several months then I took
1 over the commander of the police for the municipality of Stari Grad, that
2 is a municipality in Sarajevo. After a few months in that post, by a
3 decision of the Presidency and the Supreme Command, I became the commander
4 of the 3rd Mountain Brigade.
5 Q. Yes, before we go to that can you tell us what was your role as
6 the deputy commander of this Bosna 31 unit. What were you doing?
7 A. For the most part, most units in Sarajevo were not large units,
8 these were small units of a maximum of 30 to 40 men. Our function was to
9 defend Sarajevo.
10 Q. When were the front lines in Sarajevo established?
11 A. Right at the start of the war I think, but these were not properly
12 established lines. Only about a month after the war broke out the lines
13 were fortified.
14 Q. And when was the first attack on Sarajevo?
15 A. On the 6th of April.
16 Q. So what exactly were you -- was your duties in respect? Was it
17 defensive? Was it attack? Can you explain a little bit, please.
18 A. It was mostly defence. We really didn't carry out any attacks.
19 We didn't have anything to attack with.
20 Q. Did you become part of the military police for a while, and when
21 was that?
22 A. I don't know the exact date, but I know that I was transferred to
23 that duty sometime in June or July 1992, and I remained there very briefly
24 for a couple of months.
25 Q. And then you said you became commander of the 3rd Mountain
1 Brigade. How long did that last for?
2 A. Also for a few months, since the supreme command and the corps
3 command wanted to make the units larger. The supreme command ordered that
4 the two brigades, the 3rd Mountain and another brigade be joined into the
5 9th Motorised Brigade.
6 Q. Now, do you know when the 9th Motorised Brigade was formed, when
7 the 3rd Mountain Brigade and the 7th Mountain Brigade was merged?
8 A. I don't remember the exact date, but I think that it was sometime
9 at the beginning of 1993 or in late 1992. But I think it was in early
11 Q. And how many men did this brigade then have, when it merged?
12 A. The 9th Motorised Brigade numbered approximately 5.000 men.
13 Q. Now, you said you became the deputy commander of the 9th Motorised
14 Brigade. That's correct, is it?
15 A. Yes, that is correct. I proposed that myself. Since I didn't
16 have a lot of military training and the brigade did number 5.000 men, I
17 suggested that I be appointed deputy commander and Sulejman Imjirevic be
18 appointed the commander.
19 Q. And who did you suggest that to, that you should be appointed
20 deputy commander and not the commander?
21 A. To the corps commander, Vahid Karavelic, who really was quite
22 happy to hear that.
23 Q. Why was he happy to hear that?
24 A. Well, at that time all the commanders were just regular men who
25 had no particular training for commanders of brigades who had no training
1 in carrying out military operations. And in order to lead a brigade you
2 needed a trained person. So the plan was to let the military personnel
3 who used to be members of the former JNA lead the units.
4 Q. Was Sefer Halilovic the chief of the army at that time when the
5 9th Motorised Brigade was formed?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What was his view on the matter that you become the deputy
8 commander and not the commander?
9 A. Well, he wanted me to be in the command post; however, that was
10 difficult to implement because, as I've told you already, I wasn't
11 properly trained for that role.
12 Q. And why did Sefer Halilovic want you to be in the command post?
13 What was his reasons, stated reasons, to you?
14 A. Well, listen, first of all the decision on appointment of the
15 brigade commanders is not made by Sefer Halilovic, it is made by the
16 Presidency. However, the Supreme Command plays the main role in that
17 process. Why is it that he wanted me to be in the command post? I think
18 that he wanted to have somebody that would support him.
19 Q. And when you say "support," can you please elaborate. What kind
20 of support would that be?
21 A. Well, among the former JNA officers, there was a lot of turmoil.
22 In instances where the brigades had several units and several commanders,
23 it was easier for brigade commanders to keep their function.
24 Q. Now, I would like to ask you a little bit about the military
25 structures in Sarajevo in early 1993. Can you tell us a bit about the
1 hierarchy in Bosnia-Herzegovina generally in the military. What was it
2 like? What was the -- from the Supreme Command, the Presidency, et
4 A. Well, there was the president of the Presidency, so there was the
5 Presidency, headed by the president. And following that was the chief of
6 the Main Staff, which was the post of Sefer Halilovic; and then followed
7 his deputies; and then the corps; and then the brigades; and then so on.
8 Q. Which was the corps under which the 9th Brigade fell in Sarajevo?
9 Who -- which corps was in charge of Sarajevo?
10 A. The 1st Corps of the BH Army, commanded by Vahid Karavelic. The
11 9th Motorised Brigade was a part of the 1st Corps.
12 Q. Now, you touched upon this a little earlier. Can you tell us the
13 kind of commanders there were at the beginning? How would you categorise
14 the different kinds of commanders in the Bosnian army at the beginning of
15 the war?
16 A. Well, there was quite a lot of animosity among the commanders who
17 were ordinary people -- or rather, between them and the former officers.
18 Most of the former JNA officers transferred to the BH Army immediately
19 after the war broke out or up to two months after that. And there was a
20 lot of animosity between them and the ordinary commanders because those
21 who were the former JNA members actually took part in attacking Sarajevo
22 before they transferred to the BH Army. In addition to that, there was a
23 lot of mistrust among the former JNA officers and the commanders who were
24 ordinary people.
25 Q. How would you characterise yourself? What kind of a commander
1 were you?
2 A. I was a man of the people; that's the type of commander I was. In
3 addition to that, I did not get along well with the commanders who used to
4 be members of the former JNA.
5 Q. What was -- what kind of a commander was Sefer Halilovic?
6 A. We considered Sefer to be a positive figure because several months
7 before the war he had left the JNA.
8 Q. Would you follow orders from commanders that you did not respect?
9 A. Well, I would follow all of the orders that pertained to the
10 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and most of the other orders, especially
11 the orders issued by Sefer Halilovic.
12 Q. How many battalions did the 9th Brigade have?
13 A. The 9th Motorised Brigade had four combat battalions, one
14 logistics battalion, and several staff units.
15 Q. And what was the area of responsibility and your brigade's
16 principal tasks?
17 A. The area of responsibility of the 9th Motorised Brigade covered
18 almost the entire right bank of Sarajevo. Our tasks were to defend that
19 area of Sarajevo.
20 Q. Now, I'll show you a document about that in a minute, but before
21 we get to that I would like to ask you: How well equipped was the 9th
22 Motorised Brigade?
23 A. The 9th Motorised Brigade, as compared to the other brigades, was
24 very well equipped. Approximately 65 to 70 per cent of the personnel were
25 armed. This is in comparison to other brigades where only 25 to 30 per
1 cent of the personnel was equipped. In my brigade, that percentage was 65
2 to 70 per cent.
3 Q. And how is it that you were so much better equipped than other
5 A. In Sarajevo there were many barracks which used to belong to the
6 former JNA. We received a lot of weapons from there, more than other
7 brigades, and in addition to that we also received money from the chief of
8 the Main Staff, Sefer Halilovic, in order to purchase weapons. We had
9 special channels for procuring weapons.
10 Q. Before we get to those channels, how did you get money from Sefer
12 A. We received it on several occasions. We received money from Sefer
13 Halilovic, or rather from him chef de cabinet. On several occasions we
14 would receive 50.000 to 100.000.
15 Q. And why was it that you were given more money and more equipment?
16 Why were you chosen, your particular brigade?
17 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, at the moment the witness hasn't
18 said that he received more money than other brigades at all. He's just
19 said that his brigade was better equipped and there shouldn't be any
20 leading on that question.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, that's just a little bit leading, but -- well,
22 since you object, yes, maybe you could put your question in another way.
23 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
24 Q. How do you know that the 9th Brigade was better equipped than
25 other brigades?
1 A. We had almost daily meetings at the corps where the brigade
2 commanders briefed the corps commander. When the brigade commanders
3 reported or briefed the corps commander, each brigade commander had to
4 report on the status within his brigade. So they would start by giving
5 the number of personnel, the level of their equipment, the number of
6 weapons at the disposal of that brigade and so on. Therefore, I knew that
7 in comparison to those brigades, my brigade was much better equipped with
8 weapons. And, in fact, my brigade was probably one of the best equipped
9 and best armed brigades in the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. And why is that, Mr. Delalic? Why was your brigade the best
11 equipped in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. As I've just told you, the -- there was a lot of turmoil among the
13 former JNA officers. They were career officers and they were very
14 ambitious and there was always a lot of contention among them, who would
15 climb to a higher post, who would become the commander of the staff and so
16 on. They were less interested in the defence of Sarajevo and more in
17 their own career. And the officer who had more commanders around him
18 could ensure a better position for himself. This is why they were given
19 money and arms from the -- Sefer Halilovic -- from Sefer Halilovic. It
20 wasn't only my brigade who received that; it was also the Delta Unit, and
21 the 10th Mountain Brigade, and the 1st Mountain Brigade.
22 Q. Now, these other brigades, were they as well equipped as yours,
23 Delta, the 10th Mountain Brigade, and the 1st Mountain Brigade? In
24 comparison -- I mean, you said they were better equipped than the others,
25 but in comparison to the 9th?
1 A. No, no, no, they weren't.
2 Q. So were these other three brigades as well equipped as the 9th
3 Brigade -- the 10th Mountain Brigade, let's begin with the 10th Mountain
4 Brigade, how was that vis-a-vis the 9th?
5 A. Well, they were not as equipped as the 9th Brigade, but compared
6 to other brigades they were. The 10th Mountain Brigade did not have as
7 many soldiers as the 9th Brigade, Delta also did not have as many
8 soldiers. But percentage-wise compared to other units, they were better
9 equipped and they had more weapons.
10 Q. How else did you finance your brigade in terms of weapons and guns
11 and ammunition? Where else did the finance come from, if indeed it came
12 from anywhere else?
13 A. In Sarajevo there were a lot of shops which continued operating,
14 cafes, taverns, and so on. There was some business activity. So the
15 brigade collected money from voluntary contributions and through other
16 channels. As there was an embargo imposed on Bosnia and Herzegovina, we
17 had to find some channels and some channels went through the Croats, some
18 went through the Serbs, and so on.
19 Q. And were you authorised to collect money from these cafes and
20 other businesses? Was it official?
21 A. Listen, those were mostly voluntary donations, contributions. In
22 some cases a soldier who had just come back from the front, in order to
23 prevent such people from creating problems, the owners of these businesses
24 would come on their own free will and give voluntary contributions. These
25 people did not serve in the army, and this is what irritated the soldiers,
1 although some of the civilians did have work obligations. But soldiers
2 were irritated by the fact that they didn't have to go and fight. And
3 this is why problems would erupt. So mostly the money was given on a
4 voluntary basis. However, later on as a lot of warehouses and shops were
5 looted in Sarajevo as well as factories where there were certain goods, by
6 way of decree of the Presidency and the Supreme Command, it was ordered
7 that each commander in his own area of responsibility must find those
8 goods and store them in their own warehouses. These goods were later to
9 be distributed within the corps or within the brigade. This was another
10 mechanism for obtaining financial funds for brigades.
11 Q. Now, what was the military background of the men who was in the
12 9th Brigade?
13 A. Let us start with the 3rd Mountain Brigade. The situation was
14 quite poor in that regard. In the 7th Motorised Brigade, the situation
15 was better.
16 Q. Where were they recruited from, the soldiers which came into the
17 9th Brigade mostly? I mean, how were they recruited?
18 A. Most of these soldiers who were members of the 9th Motorised
19 Brigade -- I actually made a mistake. I said "the 7th Motorised Brigade,"
20 but I should have said the 9th Motorised Brigade. So most of them were
21 recruited through military centres of the military department. That means
22 that initially at the beginning -- in the beginning of the war, we had
23 some volunteers but not many of them. The percentage was very low. Later
24 on the process went through military departments, that means that it went
25 through regular channels. However, we should also point out that -- how
1 should I put it? The best and the most honest recruits would be sent to
2 police, whereas the drudges or those who were not good for anything else
3 would be sent to the army.
4 Q. Drudges, can you elaborate for Their Honours what drudges means?
5 A. Well, you know, in the course of the recruitment process the best
6 soldiers would definitely go to police and to some better brigades, staff
7 brigades. And everybody else, the scum, all other recruits who were scum,
8 and scum means they were no good, that they had a tendency to commit
9 criminal offences, all of them were sent to other brigades. However, all
10 of this was done in a regular procedure through the military department,
11 military centres, and so on.
12 Q. Now, what was the ethnic mix of your brigade?
13 A. It was multi-ethnic. That means in my brigade most of the members
14 were Bosniak Muslims. Then there were Croats, the Roma, and quite a lot
15 of Serbs, about 100 of them.
16 Q. And what impact did the break-out of the war have on the ethnic
17 mix in the 9th Brigade?
18 A. It did not have a particular impact, a specific impact, because
19 traditionally in Sarajevo the people led a multi-ethnic existence. That
20 was their style of life. Although there were members of the SDS who had a
21 different view, and many of the SDS party members remained living in
22 Sarajevo and were protected in a way. However, the members of the 9th
23 Motorised Brigade were not really burdened with nationalism.
24 Q. What kind of training was given to your troops, if any?
25 A. There never was any training, at least not within my brigade. If
1 there was some training, then it was conducted by some foreign services,
2 and I know nothing about that. For example, the training of the battalion
3 commanders, company commanders, was nonexistent. The command of the 9th
4 Motorised Brigade appointed people to the post based on their own opinion
5 as to how able they were; however, there was no particular training,
7 Q. Now, what primarily were the duties? Was it more defensive or
8 assault the 9th Brigade undertook?
9 A. The tasks of the 9th Motorised Brigade were mostly of the
10 defensive nature, not of the offensive, although we did conduct some
11 attacks; however, that was very rarely and those were operations of a very
12 limited nature in terms of length, including a very small number of
13 personnel. That means that most of us commanders who were men of the
14 people were against conducting any larger offensive operation because we
15 knew we had no capabilities for that. And this was another reason for
16 disagreement among us who were not members of the former JNA and those who
17 used to be members of the former JNA. We mostly were of the opinion that
18 we needed to defend Sarajevo, whereas they believed that we needed to
19 conduct a large offensive which would mean that a lot of people were
20 killed or were wounded.
21 Q. Did each unit have within it an assault detachment?
22 A. Each brigade, even each battalion, had to have its sabotage unit.
23 When I talked about the composition of the 9th Motorised Brigade, I told
24 you that it had four battalions, combat battalions, and logistics units.
25 And in accordance with its structure, each battalion, each brigade had to
1 have assault units, engineering units, demining units, and so on. That
2 means that each brigade had to have within its composition several
3 sabotage units and several assault units. In addition to that, by order
4 of the corps commander, Vahid Karavelic, the commanders were required to
5 always have at their disposal one unit numbering about 100 men who would
6 be able at any time to come to the aid of another brigade, because very
7 often we would have situations where one brigade was exposed to a very
8 severe enemy attack, so all other brigades had to come to the aid of that
9 brigade, all other brigades which were deployed in other areas but had to
10 have light units, well equipped, who could get to another part very
12 Q. And how would it be decided who would go into action, which units
13 would go into action when the circumstances which you just described
15 A. As for the 9th Motorised Brigade, the brigade within its
16 composition had a sabotage or assault detachment and each battalion had to
17 have a sabotage platoon, which means up to 30 people. And then the
18 command of the 9th Motorised Brigade would select the most capable people
19 for that task or for that operation.
20 Q. Yes. I'd like to now show you a document, and you will be
21 assisted by the court usher, which is D402. Is it on the screen?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, what is this? Can you just tell us what this map is of?
24 A. This map depicts the areas of responsibility of each brigade in
25 Sarajevo. The 1st Mountain Brigade, the 2nd Mountain Brigade, the 9th
1 Motorised Brigade, the 1st Motorised Brigade, 2nd Motorised Brigade, and
2 so on. So this map depicts the area of responsibility of the 9th
3 Motorised Brigade, but I think that the area depicted here is much smaller
4 than it was in reality.
5 Q. So would you say it's not drawn to scale? Obviously it's not
6 drawn to scale; it's been done by hand. No criticism to anyone who drew
7 it. What percentage of the front line was the 9th Brigade holding?
8 A. It had the largest area of responsibility. I couldn't really give
9 you the exact percentage, but when I say to you that it was responsible
10 for the entire right flank or part of Sarajevo, I mean the nucleus of the
11 city, and that was defended by the 9th Motorised Brigade. Now, as to the
12 percentage, it would be 20 to 25 per cent. I'm not sure.
13 Q. Other than that, is this an accurate description of the various
14 brigades and their area of responsibility? Does this map accurately
15 depict the various brigades and the front line of Sarajevo?
16 A. It's more or less like that. This was sketched in hand, so
17 perhaps it's not so precise. As far as my own 9th Motorised Brigade, it
18 seems that the area depicted here is a little bit smaller than it actually
20 Q. Yes, thank you.
21 Now, Mr. Delalic, what was the reputation of the 9th Motorised
23 A. Because of their attachment - how shall I put it? - to the Chief
24 of the Main Staff, Sefer Halilovic, most of the services in Sarajevo
25 wanted to represent the 9th Motorised Brigade as a criminal element.
1 However, I don't believe myself that that was true.
2 Q. So how -- what, according to you, was the truth about the 9th
3 Motorised Brigade?
4 A. Well, judging by the things that happened in Sarajevo, and that
5 means various criminal acts that happened, not only in my brigade but in
6 other brigades, but a commander - and I'm not only speaking about myself -
7 but a brigade commander could not have everything under control, each
8 fighter under his control, especially not in the 9th Motorised Brigade.
9 The commander or the command could not have control over every fighter.
10 My brigade numbered almost 5.000 people, and they all had to be monitored.
11 But judging by the things that happened in the other brigades, for
12 example, the 10th Mountain Brigade where there were a lot of crimes
13 against civilians, or the 2nd Viteska or Knightly [Realtime transcript
14 read in error, "9th"] Brigade which was given that name because it was one
15 of the best brigades. There were a lot of crimes and killings of
16 civilians. Then we can also look at the 5th Motorised Brigade. People
17 were also taken for digging and then they disappeared and so on and so
18 forth. In all the brigades, there were crimes against civilians. In my
19 brigade, there wasn't a single crime against civilians during the war in
21 Q. Was there any other criminality --
22 MR. MORRISSEY: Could I just interrupt for one moment there. I
23 apologise, but there's a possible typographical error here, Your Honours,
24 at line 22. What it says is that the -- the witness said "but a
25 commander, I'm not only speaking about myself, but a brigade commander
1 could not have everything under control, each fighter under his control."
2 He went on to say, especially -- sorry, no, I've jumped too early. If you
3 go down to line -- page 25, line 1, you'll see there it says: "Judging by
4 the things that happened in the other brigades, for example, the 10th
5 Mountain Brigade or where there was a lot of crime against civilians. Or
6 the 2nd Viteska or 9th Brigade. " It says "9th Brigade" there. I think
7 the witness said "Knightly Brigade," and it's been translated as "9th."
8 But that should be clarified because I think it's contrary to what the
9 witness's intention was.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, maybe you could clarify that issue.
11 MS. CHANA: Yes, I'm obliged to Defence counsel.
12 Q. I think, Mr. Delalic, you heard the Defence counsel. Did you mean
13 to say the 9th Brigade or the Knightly Brigade?
14 A. The 9th Motorised Brigade. The other Viteska Brigade that I
15 talked about, which was considered to be one of the most honest and the
16 best brigades according to the criteria of the Presidency in the 2nd
17 Corps, that brigade actually committed a lot of -- or the soldiers of that
18 brigade committed a lot of crimes against civilians.
19 Q. Now, let's talk about the 9th Brigade. What kind of criminality
20 was present there, if any, according to you?
21 A. Of course, just like in any other brigades, soldiers got their
22 hands on different kinds of narcotics, mostly alcohol. Soldiers would
23 have the habit of getting drunk and maybe committing something in that
24 state, but all of these incidents were recorded. But for certain there
25 were no killings of civilians.
1 Q. Right. Now, were you aware that MUP was writing reports about
2 yourself and your brigade and casting your brigade in a negative light?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I'd like to ask you to see one such report, please, and I ask the
5 court usher if they would please put on 65 ter number 153 and the number
6 is 0218-3117.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI 415.
8 MS. CHANA: Thank you.
9 Q. That document will come up on your screen. You had occasion to
10 see this document during our proofing session. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, within this document there are various allegations made
13 against your brigade, and I show you this one by way of example. There
14 are others, as you know. Now, I'll just highlight some of the things
15 which are -- which were said about you and your brigade. "Illegal and
16 unruly actions of Ramiz Delalic have been circulated for quite some time
17 amongst the 9th Motorised Brigade's troops," and they talk about the
18 period of August 1992 and April 1993. "Troops of the aforementioned
19 brigade took away cattle that belonged to civilians," then you have
20 "illegal requisition of civilians' property while searching apartments
21 and business premises," and then there is "estranging the inventory and
22 property of many state-owned and private premises," so basically a lot of
23 theft. You were, "obtained operative intelligence suggests that Delalic
24 usurped a number of luxury apartments in the central part of the city."
25 You've -- there's allegations of stealing a Honda car. There's
1 allegations of physically abusing members of the aforementioned brigades
2 as well as members of other units of the ARBiH, the allegations of
3 assaulting one member of the ARBiH.
4 You carried out or is alleged carried out operations in
5 collaboration with the Chetniks who shelled the HVO positions after
6 Delalic gave them coordinates. You organised the wearing of badges with
7 Sefer Halilovic's picture, which had to be worn by all members of the 9th
8 Motorised Brigade. And various amounts of money, extortion, to purchase
9 guns and ammunition. And of course it ends up talking about the massacres
10 committed against the Croatian civilians in the battlefields of
11 Herzegovina and the various crimes and the killings there.
12 Now, I would like to now give you an opportunity to tell me what
13 you -- how -- what do you say about documents such as this?
14 A. First of all, I would like to ask you to remind me later about
15 this crime against the Croatian population because I would like to say
16 something about that. But I would like to say something else first about
17 these things that you talked before that. This note indicates that these
18 various services that were active in Sarajevo were actually busying
19 themselves with silly things and were busier with who stole what from some
20 apartment rather than those -- with those who killed scores of citizens
21 somewhere else. In my brigade, and if not all of the brigades, but in the
22 majority of the brigades various crimes were committed and these services
23 did not deal with these crimes. It states here that Ramiz Delalic, Celo,
24 took a car, took a television set, took a jar of paprika or peppers and --
25 but did not say that he killed civilians who were innocent. But there is
1 no conviction for any of these things that are mentioned. I don't know
2 who wrote this, who drafted it, but these are just various allegations,
3 information received from someone. But if it exists here, I would like to
4 see an indictment or some kind of sentence or judgement relating to all of
5 these matters that are talked here.
6 Q. So why was it that these things were being written about you and
7 your brigade? Would you like to venture an explanation?
8 A. For example, this allegation was written by Sacir Arnautovic. If
9 I'm not mistaken, he's the chief or deputy -- or assistant commander for
10 security for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But there is another
11 document like this which you showed me yesterday. This is from the
12 Ministry of Internal Affairs. There's a similar document from the
13 Military Security Service. Sefer Halilovic was not on good terms with
14 these services, and even at the beginning of the war there was a quarrel
15 between the minister of MUP, Jusuf Pusina and Sefer Halilovic. Pusina was
16 replaced and Sefer Halilovic remained at his post. So his cooperation
17 with these services was not good, not -- in particular with the military
18 security service where the assistant commander for security at the Supreme
19 Command was a certain person called Muslimovic and the assistant deputy
20 for security was Sacir Arnautovic. So his relationship with them was not
21 good and this was intended to have a negative effect on Sefer Halilovic
22 and not me. That brigade was simply called Sefer's brigade, the 9th
23 Brigade. So I -- this was not something that was supposed to destroy the
24 reputation of the 9th Brigade, but the reputation of Sefer Halilovic.
25 Q. So according to you, is this truthful or not truthful, what is
1 written in these kind of reports, and I gave you this one as an example?
2 A. There are things that are correct, and that is that the soldiers
3 of the 9th Motorised Brigade did commit criminal acts, they stole a car
4 and did other things. All of this is normal. These things were punished.
5 There are records in the 9th Motorised Brigade. We had a very good,
6 strict security and counter-intelligence service. All of these things
7 were recorded and punished to a certain extent and also passed on for
8 further processing.
9 Q. And to your knowledge was Sefer Halilovic aware of these crimes,
10 alleged crimes, of the 9th Motorised Brigade and yourself?
11 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry. Stop there for one moment.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which crimes we're
15 talking about.
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, the witness has just put the
17 question I was going to put. It should be clarified whether he's being
18 asked about the crimes in that document or the crimes that he's referred
19 to as normal crimes that happened. That should be clear.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, crimes is not such an accurate word.
21 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: There may be some disciplinary violations which could
23 not amount to a crime.
24 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, I was actually referring to what the
25 witness has just previously stated, that the crimes that the 9th Motorised
1 Brigade did in fact commit. I was just talking about those.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MS. CHANA: The ones that the witness has --
4 JUDGE LIU: You may clarify that.
5 MS. CHANA: Yes.
6 Q. Now, I'm talking about the crimes that you said that these were
7 normal -- some of the crimes that the 9th Motorised Brigade soldiers
8 committed. And my question was in relation to those crimes only. Was
9 Sefer Halilovic aware of this kind of criminality, the one that you have
10 admitted to, in the 9th Motorised Brigade?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And how do you know he knew that?
13 A. Well, how could he not have known? I'm sure he did know.
14 Q. Did you have various -- did you have any discussions in respect of
15 this kind of crimes committed by -- I know you said that other brigades
16 were also -- committed them, but I'm specifically focussing on the 9th
17 Motorised Brigade.
18 A. Yes, yes. There was talk at the Main Staff about some
19 committed -- crimes committed in the 9th Motorised Brigade. This was
20 discussed in the Main Staff. After that, Sefer called me and we talked
21 about the things that were talked about at the main command. So based on
22 that, I conclude that he did know about that those crimes.
23 Q. Now, did you, as the 9th Brigade, consider yourself within in the
24 military hierarchy? Did you follow orders which were issued to the
25 brigade you were in or were you outside the military hierarchy? How did
1 you perceive yourself?
2 A. Look, there isn't a single order that I did not implement. If the
3 Defence is in possession of such a thing, I would like to see it. All
4 orders from the superior command were implemented by the 9th Motorised
6 Q. Now, what was your relationship with the 1st Corps command, which
7 was your immediate commander?
8 A. I was on good terms with them. We had a good relationship. To
9 the extent that we're talking about combat operations, there were always
10 some misunderstandings there. When an order would come in order to
11 conduct large combat operations when the brigade goes for an attack or
12 several battalions, that is when I would not so much have a conflict with
13 them but I would enter into a discussion in terms of that we shouldn't
14 really be engaging a large number of units because that would always end
15 in a disaster and in the deaths of a large number of soldiers.
16 Q. So what were really the nature of the disagreements that you had
17 with the -- with the command? What kind of things would you disagree,
18 fundamentally disagree, with them about?
19 A. It was mostly these things. Not only I myself, but the majority
20 of commanders disagreed with that. Usually at meetings of the corps
21 command there would be a discussion. This would be a meeting with the
22 participation of the corps commander and all the brigade commanders. We
23 would always have these discussions when we were asked to go on the
24 offensive. I wasn't the only one to argue with the 1st Corps commander
25 and deputy commander. Most of the commanders did that. Mostly we wanted
1 to save the lives of our fighters. That was the reason.
2 Q. So explain to Their Honours why were you against offensive actions
3 and you wanted to confine yourself to defensive actions, which appears to
4 be the fundamental disagreement you had with superior command?
5 A. It's evident that we were right. The war is over. I'm talking
6 about Sarajevo only. We were not able to go out or capture anything and
7 they were not able to enter Sarajevo either. The majority of the
8 officers, I don't know if you want me to mention specifically any of their
9 names here, but very shortly before the war broke out in Bosnia the
10 majority of them took part in the planning and setting up of the various
11 lines around Sarajevo. For example, I'm talking about Hadzihasanovic,
12 Enver Hadzihasanovic, who was stationed in the direction of the airport at
13 Mojmilo. He established that line and shelled Sarajevo. So all of these
14 people are now planning these major combat operations to deblock Sarajevo.
15 We didn't have the means to lift the blockade of Sarajevo. If we know
16 that there was a large number of various heavy weapons situated around
18 We didn't have any of that. We had nothing. We didn't have the
19 means to lift the blockade of Sarajevo. For those same soldiers to
20 ingratiate themselves with the command of the Presidency, they planned
21 these major combat operations, which would imply the deaths of hundreds of
22 people. For them, these were just numbers; but for us, these were our
23 comrades and so on.
24 Q. Did you ever discuss this basic philosophy about offensive and
25 defensive actions with Sefer Halilovic? And if you did, what were his
2 A. When we're talking about Sarajevo, he was for that. It was -- one
3 of the strongest lines was at Sarajevo. You couldn't do anything in
4 Sarajevo. Outside of Sarajevo, the lines were more elastic, so it was
5 possible to carry out operations of a lesser scale. But as far as
6 Sarajevo was concerned, he was of the opinion that we should not embark on
7 any major operations and that we should stick with defensive operations.
8 Q. Now, can you tell us about the 10th Brigade. Who was the
9 commander of the 10th Brigade?
10 A. The commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade was Musan Topalovic
11 nicknamed Caco.
12 Q. What was your relationship with him and what was his relationship
13 with the -- with the 10th Brigade?
14 A. My relationship with him was good, just as it was good with all
15 the other -- just as all the other commanders had a good relationship with
16 him, too. All of them really liked him except for a small number of the
17 former JNA. He couldn't stand former JNA officers, and in his brigade
18 there were no ex-JNA officers at all.
19 Q. And what was the reputation of the 10th Brigade, if you know?
20 A. Look, for a long time nothing was known about the things that he
21 was doing or that he did. Towards the end, sometime in 1993, in mid-1993,
22 it was found out that he was taking civilians away for digging, that some
23 civilians had disappeared, that there was some punishments, but for a long
24 time nobody knew anything about this.
25 Q. Now, you said earlier on in your testimony that you did -- there
1 were disciplinary measures taken against soldiers who committed crimes or
2 disciplinary actions. Did you yourself report any of this to the military
3 security for soldiers in your brigade?
4 A. Well, it's not up to me. I was deputy commander of the 9th
5 Motorised Brigade. It was not for me to report such things, but there
6 were cases of such things being reported. However, in the 9th Motorised
7 Brigade we had a strong military security service. The assistant
8 commander for security was a capable man, Tomislav Juric who was doing his
9 job very well. And all of these things were recorded and punished. There
10 were some cases when if I was the only one who knew about a particular
11 matter and nobody else did, it had to be reported.
12 Q. And who was the -- your chief of military security in your
14 A. Tomislav Juric.
15 Q. Were any prosecutions conducted after the war, to your knowledge?
16 A. I didn't understand the question.
17 Q. For crimes or breaches of discipline. Were any prosecutions
18 conducted after the war against soldiers of the 9th Brigade?
19 A. No.
20 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I'm about to embark on another subject,
21 so perhaps this might be a convenient time to break.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's have a 30-minute break. We'll resume at
23 11.00, sharp.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Chana, please continue.
2 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Now I'd like to ask you some questions about the practice of
4 trench digging in Sarajevo. Now, was there a practice of trench digging
5 in Sarajevo and how widespread was it?
6 A. Well, in some brigades, that was a widespread practice, the
7 digging of trenches. However, in order to prevent that, the Presidency
8 and the supreme command passed a decision for municipalities and their
9 local communes to start collecting people who were fit to work and to send
10 them to the units which had that territory under their area of
11 responsibility in order to dig trenches and so on.
12 Q. So there was authorised trench digging? This was officially
13 authorised to get men to dig trenches. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was there an unauthorised practice, forcing civilians to dig
17 A. In some brigades, yes, that was a practice. In my brigade, that
18 was seldom the case except in certain instances.
19 Q. Now, what was the -- were the consequences to civilians when they
20 were taken to dig trenches?
21 A. There were many cases where people were killed or wounded, the
22 civilians. However, people worked at the front lines. The lines were
23 just several dozen metres away from the enemy positions and, in certain
24 cases, the consequences were tragic.
25 Q. Now, can you elaborate a little bit more. Why was it -- you said
1 because the lines were near the enemy. Why would that make it such a
2 dangerous activity?
3 A. Well, the mere fact that the lines were so close to each other,
4 that meant that the people had to work very close to the enemy positions,
5 perhaps some 15 or 20 metres away from the enemy. The enemy could see
6 them very easily and they would start shelling or perhaps they would throw
7 a grenade on the people who were digging. At that time, most of the
8 soldiers were in so-called huts where they were secure from the shelling,
9 while the civilians dug trenches. The people who worked had to dig
10 communication trenches, had to dig trenches for soldiers, and so on. So
11 it was very easy to see them. They were very visible. Although the work
12 was carried out mostly during nighttime, but sometimes it was done also
13 during the day. So these people were an easy target for the enemy.
14 Q. Now, what was Sefer Halilovic's position in respect of this trench
15 digging, and I mean the unauthorised trench digging?
16 A. Listen, as for this unauthorised, or rather authorised digging is
17 something that the Presidency and the Supreme Command regulated through
18 their decisions. However, there were cases where people would arbitrarily
19 decide to send others to dig trenches, and there were such cases, yes.
20 Q. Now, my question to you was: What was - and that was of course if
21 you know - was Halilovic's position to this unauthorised trench digging?
22 A. Look, there would be verbal orders issued, not written ones but
23 verbal, pertaining to certain people who had businesses in Sarajevo or
24 people who were not on good terms with the people from the Supreme Command
25 or the corps. Orders would be issued to take these people to dig
1 trenches. There were also some people who evaded their war duties who
2 were only interested in profiting from the war and other similar
3 activities, and were considered to be hostile. These people would be
4 taken to dig trenches.
5 Q. To your knowledge, did Halilovic ever give an order for anyone to
6 be taken for trench digging service?
7 A. In several instances, yes.
8 Q. Can you tell us some examples, please, one by one?
9 A. Well --
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Stop here, please.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this -- the case against Halilovic
13 consists of what he knew to be the reputation of the 9th Brigade and this
14 individual as well, this witness as well. There's no case against him of
15 taking people to dig trenches nor has it ever been pleaded, nor was the
16 witness Karavelic asked about any of this. This in my submission, is just
17 character smear, and it is not permitted and I object to the question.
18 It's not relevant to anything that's before this Tribunal.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there are any cases that Halilovic gives an
20 order for someone to be taken for the trench digging, it's very obvious
21 evidence to know that Halilovic has the knowledge of these kind of
23 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, as you know there's been
24 tendered in evidence a number of documents showing that Halilovic was
25 aware of it and issued orders for it to stop. Now, Your Honours have
1 those in evidence --
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, of course. That may be your case. You
3 could elaborate it in your cross-examination of that very point, but
4 however, we'll hear some evidence to the effect that Mr. Halilovic's
5 knowledge rather than his active actions on that.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, as the Court pleases.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
8 MS. CHANA: Obliged, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Delalic, would you please give us these examples and would you
10 just take one at a time, please.
11 A. There were several examples, but let me give you one pertaining to
12 Mr. Cesko, that's how I knew he was called, who had a private business. I
13 personally was given an order by Sefer Halilovic to take him to dig
14 trenches. He stayed there about seven days digging trenches. On those --
15 during that time, this man did not eat for seven days while he was digging
16 trenches. After seven days he was taken to a hospital. He left the
17 hospital on his own. Later on, again a decision, or rather on order was
18 issued and the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Brigade arrested him pursuant
19 to that order and he remained with them for about one month.
20 Q. Any other example which comes to mind?
21 A. I don't know the names of these people; however, there was a
22 gentleman who ran a hotel within my area of responsibility. We took him
23 to dig trenches as well. I don't know other names, but there were such
24 cases where we were issued orders, verbal ones, either by Sefer Halilovic
25 or the commander of the 1st Corps.
1 Q. Was Rasim Delic's son taken to dig trenches to your knowledge?
2 A. No. On one occasion he was taken into custody in the 10th
3 Mountain Brigade and beaten up there. Everybody knew about that. Nobody
4 intervened and there were even some orders issued to the effect that this
5 is the fate that should befall him.
6 Q. Did -- to your -- did Sefer Halilovic, to your knowledge, know
7 about Rasim Delic's son?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And why do you say that?
10 A. I at that time was in the command of the 10th Mountain Brigade
11 when this son of Rasim Delic was apprehended and another person, either a
12 driver or a security officer of Rasim Delic, Caco, contacted somebody in
13 the command as to inquire whether he should be released. The answer was,
14 no, do not release him. I was even present when this man was beaten, when
15 Rasim Delic's son was beaten and the driver. Later on I asked Caco, who
16 did you talk to. He said he talked to the chief of the Main Staff, Sefer
18 Q. Now, when Sefer asked -- ordered you to take this man Cesko and
19 others, was he aware of the consequences to these people?
20 A. Well, based on previous cases he had to know, because previously
21 there were many instances where people who had been taken to dig trenches
22 were killed or wounded.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic, would you please tell the Court, when did you
24 first meet Sefer Halilovic?
25 A. Sometime in the beginning of the war. I met him then. I did not
1 know him before the war.
2 Q. And what was your relationship with Halilovic before the war
3 when -- after you met him?
4 A. I did not know him before the war. I met him in the beginning of
5 the war, and we were on good terms.
6 Q. Now, I would like to take you to 8th June 1993, when there was a
7 shuffle in the army. Can you tell us what that was, please.
8 A. Those were not army shuffles, as you call them. Simply a new
9 position was created. Up until that time there was the chief of the Main
10 Staff position, and later on -- so we did not have the army commander, the
11 supreme commander role was played by Alija Izetbegovic. Later on Rasim
12 Delic came and he was dissatisfied with the fact that he was not appointed
13 to that position.
14 Q. Now, can you tell us why do you say he was dissatisfied. Can you
15 tell us whether you talked to him about it when the news came. Can you
16 please elaborate on that aspect.
17 A. When I learned, or rather I learned from him that a new position
18 was created within the army, that of the army commander, I was called by
19 him to come and see him in his office. I was present when in the building
20 where his office was, Rasim Delic was there with several other members of
21 the General Staff. I saw the gentleman. I saw that he was very angry.
22 He was having an outburst in the office. Several days later, I spoke to
23 him again. We, the commanders, were also somewhat surprised by the
24 creation of this new post and the appointment of Rasim Delic as commander
25 because only about one month later, or rather one month after the war
1 broke out he left the JNA and transferred to the BH Army. He did that
2 only one month after the war broke out, therefore we were surprised as
3 well by his appointment as commander.
4 Q. So did you have any discussions in respect of this matter with
5 Sefer Halilovic?
6 A. Yes. All of us were angry. His physical removal was even being
7 mentioned, the removal of Mr. Rasim Delic. Not only in Sarajevo but also
8 outside of Sarajevo, most of the commanders were dissatisfied with Rasim
9 Delic, as were many members of the General Staff. Therefore, his removal
10 was being discussed.
11 Q. Can you explain to us what you mean about his removal. What was
12 discussed in that respect?
13 A. Well, the physical removal. First we had a plan to issue an
14 ultimatum to the president to remove Rasim Delic from that position and to
15 bring back Sefer Halilovic. If the Presidency failed to go along with
16 that, there were even proposals advanced by some commanders to remove him.
17 Q. Now, which were -- who were these commanders who were supporting
18 Sefer Halilovic?
19 A. Well, roughly majority of the brigade commanders. The most
20 fervent and vocal supporters were -- was the commander of -- or were the
21 commanders of Delta Unit; the 10th Mountain Brigade; 9th Motorised
22 Brigade; Adnan Solakovic, who was the commander of the Independent
23 Battalion within the corps; and so on.
24 Q. Now, who was it that suggested that Delic be removed physically?
25 A. That was mentioned during the conversation, or rather several
1 conversations among ourselves. First of all we wanted to remove him and
2 issue the ultimatum. And following that, his physical removal was
3 discussed. In several instances, Sefer Halilovic himself said that, as
4 did the commander of the Delta unit and finally myself as well.
5 Q. Was any decision taken as to if that was to be the case who was
6 going to be -- who was going to do it, this removing?
7 A. It was said that the Delta unit should take that task upon
8 themselves if things developed in that direction.
9 Q. Did you yourself volunteer?
10 A. Well, in several instances, in various conversations, yes. I
11 applied to carry that out as well.
12 Q. So what was ultimately decided?
13 A. Well, first something had to be done in order to rehabilitate the
14 reputation of Mr. Sefer Halilovic. That meant that we had to plan a very
15 strong operation which would lead to the rehabilitation and restoring of
16 the credibility and reputation of Sefer Halilovic and would, on the other
17 hand, lead to diminishing the reputation of Rasim Delic. That operation
18 was supposed to be called Obrana Prava 93, which was actually the Neretva
20 Q. And what was actually discussed as to what was going to happen in
21 this operation to rehabilitate Sefer Halilovic's reputation and how was
22 the world going to know about it?
23 A. Since the Neretva valley, or rather Konjic-Jablanica-Mostar,
24 people in that area were very unhappy with the appointment of Rasim Delic
25 for commander. That meant that entire part of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 supported Sefer Halilovic and we had to plan a well-organised operation,
2 namely to lift the blockade of the town of Mostar. Mostar was in a very
3 difficult situation and the decision, or rather the decision to lift the
4 siege of Mostar would re-establish Sefer Halilovic to the post of
6 Q. And how was this going to be advertised as well? How were people
7 going to know about these successes?
8 A. There was always an independent journalist around Sefer Halilovic.
9 I think he was a journalist of the Oslobodjenje newspaper and he
10 reported about this operation, the Neretva operation.
11 Q. Do you know the name of the journalist?
12 A. Sefko Hodzic.
13 Q. Did you have occasion to see some of Sefko Hodzic's reports?
14 A. Yes. I did see his reports.
15 Q. And what was your view on his reports?
16 A. Well, they were not proper. For example, at the time it was
17 reported that many features had been taken where -- when in fact that
18 wasn't the case. Then a lot of areas and roads that were supposed to be
19 severed and taken were reported to -- reported as being seized and taken,
20 when in fact it wasn't the case either.
21 Q. And why was that? Why were these reports of military successes of
22 seizing and cutting off roads and seizing territory, why were they
23 reported in that way?
24 A. Well, you see, the idea was to show to the people that the
25 introduction of the new command post, and all of the people saw this as a
1 removal of Sefer Halilovic and saw this as a wrong move, and therefore
2 this was done for that purpose.
3 Q. Now, if you knew, what was Sefer Halilovic's position in respect
4 of President Izetbegovic?
5 A. Well, their relationship was tense, even prior to this removal.
6 And this removal, as it was called, was the culmination of this tense
7 relationship, the relationship between the president and Mr. Sefer
8 Halilovic was really a very tense one.
9 Q. Can you tell us what was the reaction of the soldiers, just the
10 normal soldiers, to this creation of the new position and Delic being in
11 command, instead of Sefer Halilovic, of the army?
12 A. Most of the soldiers in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 supported Sefer Halilovic. And that was visible when they started
14 displaying photographs and posters of Sefer Halilovic in cars, when they
15 started wearing badges with his image, and so on.
16 Q. Now, previously I showed you MFI 415, that document, where it said
17 that it was you who started this badge wearing. Is that true?
18 A. A certain butcher came -- a certain person came -- called Mesar
19 came to my unit and he used to accompany Mr. Sefer Halilovic. For
20 example, when Mr. Sefer Halilovic went somewhere, he would be his driver
21 and his security officer. And he brought a number of badges to my unit
22 that we later distributed to other soldiers. So it's not true that I
23 manufactured those badges; I did not.
24 Q. I'd like to show you another document, please, and this in respect
25 of badges. It's 65 ter number 168 -- oh, sorry, it's P210. I'd like --
1 it's a security administration document and I want to draw your attention
2 to the paragraph beginning with: "The source claims that most of the
3 people ..."
4 Have you got that paragraph? It says that: "Most of the people
5 around Ramiz, a.k.a. Celo, are from the Sandjak and they are mostly
6 members of the Military Police Brigade, and all of them are wearing Sefer
7 Halilovic badges."
8 So it was a fact, these badges were being worn? Well, see, this
9 Kenan Kapur and a certain Brus, they were from Prije Polje [phoen]. That
10 was the birth place of Mr. Sefer Halilovic and they knew him personally.
11 The fact that they wore it, they wore it on their own initiative in
12 support of their commander. There was no order that you had to wear
13 something like that.
14 Q. Now, were there any consequences for those who did support
16 A. No, not at the time; later, yes. Even regular people expressed
17 their support for Halilovic, not just the fighters.
18 Q. When you say "later" they suffered consequences, can you please
19 tell us what these consequences were.
20 A. All that happened later to some units, brigades, commanders, and
21 so on was a consequence actually of all of this support to Sefer
22 Halilovic, meaning that many people were sentenced or condemned as
23 criminals or as being people who were disobedient because of their support
24 that they showed for Sefer Halilovic.
25 Q. Can you give me some examples, please?
1 A. Specifically I'm thinking of Musan Topalovic, Caco. This is the
2 reason why he was killed. I was arrested in 1993 because I gave him
3 support. And it's true, we were misled in a way by this.
4 Q. Now, if Rasim Delic and Sefer Halilovic give an order, which order
5 would you obey?
6 A. Not only I myself, but the majority of commanders in Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina as well as fighters at that time would rather carry out an
8 order from Sefer Halilovic.
9 Q. Do you know a man called Halid Cengic.
10 A. Cengic. Halid Cengic, if I'm not mistaken was the assistant
11 commander for logistics or something like that or he was the person in
12 charge of logistics. He was a very influential person in the BiH army and
13 in the Presidency.
14 Q. What happened to him?
15 A. Nothing happened to him, but his deputy or some person under him
16 was brutally beaten in some village near Jablanica. I can't remember the
17 man's name. You probably have it somewhere. I think his nickname was
18 Efendija or something like that. So I was called by Mr. Sefer Halilovic
19 to go together with him to that place - I don't know the name of it -
20 where this Efendija person was detained. And on that occasion we were
21 accompanied by Mesar, the commander of the Neretva Brigade, some commander
22 called Homeini - I don't know him - and also Sefer's son. On that
23 occasion I personally saw the questioning of this Efendija, this person
24 under the command of Halid Cengic. They were seeking to find some
25 information out from him, whether he was working for Rasim Delic and
1 Cengic, which he admitted how much money they earned while buying and
2 selling weapons and ammunition. They were asking for information about
3 the negative work of Rasim Delic and Halid Cengic. And on that occasion,
4 this Efendija person was brutally beaten, only because he was Halid
5 Cengic's man.
6 Q. Who was it that was doing the beating, just to be quite clear?
7 A. This Mesar person. They took his shoes and socks off and for half
8 an hour they administered a beating on the soles of his feet.
9 Q. Were the others watching that you've just detailed, were these
10 people there watching while this was happening?
11 A. Watching and -- yes, they were watching and enjoying the
13 Q. Now, what was your and the 9th Brigade's relationship with MUP?
14 A. I was on pretty good terms with the MUP. However, in view of my
15 relationship with Mr. Sefer Halilovic, they were always trying to
16 disrespect me, to be disrespectful towards me as a deputy commander of the
17 9th Brigade and as a fighter. Any fighter who committed anything wrong in
18 the 9th Brigade, their acts were ascribed to me.
19 Q. Did something happen on 9th June with yourself and MUP?
20 A. This was not specifically related to the MUP. I don't recall the
21 exact date, but the military security administration whose chief or
22 commander was Muslimovic ordered the arrest of the deputy commander of the
23 10th Mountain Brigade, Senad Pecar, which resulted in unrests later in
24 some parts of the brigades. At that same time, a major assault was being
25 conducted at the -- against the 2nd Viteska Brigade. And during the
1 fiercest period of the attack, they decided to arrest Senad Pecar
2 covertly, knowing what the consequences of all of that would be, knowing
3 what the reaction would be of the commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade.
4 Still, they did arrest him and this later led to unrest and rebellion.
5 Q. Were you informed that you might be arrested?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who informed you?
8 A. After the arrest of Senad Pecar, the commander of the 10th
9 Mountain Brigade went crazy. We both called Mr. Sefer Halilovic. We said
10 what was going on, why was he arrested? He said he doesn't know. This
11 was something that was done by Muslimovic, who Sefer Halilovic hated above
12 all. And he said that it could be very likely that we would also be
13 arrested. I didn't see any reason why I would be arrested, but there you
14 go. That was the information I received.
15 Q. And did Sefer Halilovic call you on this matter again and how many
16 times, if so?
17 A. In terms of this rebellion we did speak on several occasions with
18 Mr. Sefer Halilovic and he -- we said more or less that we wanted
19 Muslimovic's replacement. He was the chief of the security
20 administration. We demanded this later. And he was replaced later.
21 Q. What was it that Sefer Halilovic was telling you in these
22 conversations over this rebellion? What were you supposed to do, if
24 A. As far as the rebellion is concerned, I really don't know. I know
25 that I was in contact with him and that was that. He asked for the
1 replacement of Mr. Muslimovic, which meant that we were actually demanding
2 his replacement. I don't remember whether he requested anything else. We
3 had a meeting after that with the president and others, and we did tell
4 them that we wanted to have Muslimovic replaced.
5 Q. And was he replaced?
6 A. I think that he was replaced later. I know that he was replaced
7 later, that a new deputy commander for security was appointed, and that
8 was Jusuf Jasarevic.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic, I want to take you to another subject matter and
10 I want to ask you, were you present at a meeting in Zenica when Operation
11 Neretva was discussed with some commanders?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: I would object to that one. Your Honours, it's
13 got two questions in it and a proposition the witness hasn't quite gotten
14 round to agreeing to.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's establish that meeting first and then later
16 on we'll come to the contents.
17 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, I was trying to be economical with
18 the time.
19 Q. Mr. Delalic, was there a meeting with Zenica?
20 A. Yes, but I did not attend that meeting.
21 Q. Was there a meeting with the 1st Corps commander, Karavelic, to
22 discuss Operation Neretva?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, when was this meeting?
25 A. At the time when this action was being planned, I was called to
1 see Sefer Halilovic. The commander of the 1st Corps, Vahid Karavelic, was
2 invited to attend, too. They probably talked before that and I concluded
3 that during a later conversation. Sefer Halilovic requested that units of
4 the 9th Motorised Brigade or part of the 9th Motorised Brigade units, the
5 Delta unit, the Adnan Solakovic's Independent Battalion and some units of
6 the 10th Mountain Brigade, around 300 fighters all together, should be
7 completely armed in order to be able to conduct combat operations in the
8 sector of Jablanica.
9 Q. Now, at this meeting --
10 A. Mr. Karavelic was against issuing such an order because he
11 considered that the lines of defence of Sarajevo would be weakened by such
12 actions and therefore he was categorically against such an order. That is
13 why Sefer Halilovic called us in to attend this meeting. He called the
14 commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade, the commander of Delta, Adnan
15 Solakovic, and myself, so that we could tell them that we were able to set
16 aside units which could take part in this action, and that's how it was.
17 Q. So could you tell -- why did Halilovic ask for these specific
18 troops that you have just stated?
19 A. He asked -- well, for example, as far as units of the 9th
20 Motorised Brigade are concerned, that brigade was able to allocate a
21 certain number of fighters completely equipped, which Mr. Sefer Halilovic
22 requested. The other units also were able to do that without weakening
23 the lines in their area of responsibility. They were able to leave. On
24 the other hand, all that we had planned -- according to all that we had
25 planned, these units were supposed to get out and leave.
1 Q. What was Sefer Halilovic's relationship with Vahid Karavelic, to
2 your knowledge?
3 A. From what I could see, it was a formal, official, relationship.
4 For example, Mr. Karavelic was very categorical in regards of having
5 soldiers leave Sarajevo at the request of Mr. Sefer Halilovic, and this is
6 how I could tell. But I also did know that their relationship was
7 strained. They spoke very formally to each other. There was no
8 friendliness or anything like that.
9 Q. And at this meeting, what was the general mood, if you can
10 describe it, please?
11 A. Well, I don't know. This question seems to me a bit -- well, you
12 know about the general mood. But as it seemed to me, Vahid Karavelic was
13 not in favour of soldiers of the 1st Corps leaving Sarajevo in any event.
14 And this was something that was obvious later.
15 Q. Now, I'm going to show you some orders and I will start with P161.
16 You will see it in a minute on the ELMO -- on the -- this is an order from
17 Sefer Halilovic to the commander of the 1st Corps, Vahid Karavelic.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, all these four orders I'm going to show you, are they in
20 accord with what was decided at this meeting about the deployment of the
22 A. Could you please repeat the question. I didn't hear it very
24 Q. These are all deployment orders -- I've just showed you the first
25 one and we are limited in e-court, we can only show you one at a time.
1 Are they in accord with what had been agreed in the meeting with
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, it has to be done order by order, in
4 my submission.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MS. CHANA:
7 Q. Take this first one, what is that order saying? What is the
8 purport of that order, just very quickly? If you look at the order on
9 your screen.
10 A. Before this order, there were meetings where Mr. Karavelic was
11 expressly against any kind of -- of units leaving Sarajevo in any way.
12 Then we have order number 2, which states that if you believe that the
13 defence -- that such redeployment endangers Sarajevo, I am prepared to
14 bear full responsibility. So Karavelic was against having units leave
15 Sarajevo, but Sefer Halilovic then convinced Karavelic and issued -- and
16 then also on the basis of orders, Karavelic did later agree that -- to
17 send out these units.
18 Q. Right. Now, if you would now please look at P382, it will come up
19 on your screen in a minute. This is an order from Halilovic to Karavelic.
20 What is the purport of this order?
21 A. We were supposed to leave originally on the 3rd of September,
22 1993; however, Karavelic did not fulfil that order. We were not prepared,
23 we were not ready. So then this order came to the 1st Corps and sought
24 the urgent departure of the units, but we actually did not leave because
25 Karavelic was not in favour of this.
1 Q. Right. Now if I can show you, please, an order dated 4th
2 September from Karavelic to yourself. Would you look at that.
3 MS. CHANA: P383, Your Honour.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The command of the 9th Motorised
5 Brigade received this order, it's familiar -- is informed about this
6 order, and it implemented this order. There was just a slight problem
7 regarding this order. The oral agreement we had during the meeting with
8 Mr. Sefer Halilovic, the order was made that the unit of the 9th Motorised
9 Brigade should provide around 100 or 150 soldiers; however, the commander
10 of the 1st Corps actually requested two platoons numbering approximately
11 25 fighters each. The command of the 9th Motorised Brigade began to
12 effect or execute this order and it instructed the battalion commanders
13 and some units to allocate this number of soldiers, about 100 to 150,
14 which the Motorised Brigade command did. They assembled in front of the
15 9th Motorised Brigade command; however, Mr. Karavelic came and he attended
16 the line-up or the review of this unit and issued an oral order that the
17 unit should be halved and that 50 men should be sent to the Jablanica
18 sector. On that occasion, Vahid Karavelic personally lined up the unit
19 again and halved it and sent them off to the Jablanica sector.
20 Q. Now I'll show you another order which is P290, an order dated 5th
21 September, 1993, from Karavelic to Mr. Sefer Halilovic. Can you tell us
22 about this order, please. What is this about?
23 A. Could you please turn up the volume a bit.
24 No, I'm sorry, could you please zoom in on the document, if
1 Q. It will be done in a minute.
2 Can you see it now?
3 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this order.
4 Q. Yes. Can you please tell us what this order is about, please.
5 A. The relocation of the units from Sarajevo was not conditional on
6 the time; it was actually up to Mr. Karavelic. So it's not true that
7 there was a major storm. We were not able to leave because the superior
8 command of the corps and the Supreme Staff could not agree amongst
10 Q. So was it delayed, the leaving of your troops?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, as -- we know that Sefer Halilovic was the Chief of Staff.
13 Now, was he authorised to issue such orders to launch an operation like
14 Operation Neretva in your view?
15 A. Yes. Yes, he did have such orders, such authority.
16 Q. Now, can you please tell us what in your view was the structure of
17 subordination of the troops for Operation Neretva? What were you informed
18 about how the subordination was going to work in military terms for this
20 A. In some conversations with Mr. Sefer Halilovic but first of all
21 with the immediate superior, the commander of the 9th Motorised Brigade,
22 Vahid Karavelic, the conclusion was reached that these units should remain
23 for seven days in the Jablanica sector in order to carry out combat
24 operations. And these units from Sarajevo were to provide men for a
25 battalion and then the battalion would have its own commander. I think it
1 was supposed to be Senad Pecar if I'm not mistaken. And they would be
2 immediately resubordinated to the Zulfikar unit, that was the Zulfikar
3 unit, the actually the commander of the unit, Zulfikar Alispago, or
4 actually the commander of the Sarajevo 2 operations group. The units
5 would be resubordinated to them. The commander hierarchy was the
6 battalion commander of the Sarajevo unit, Senad Pecar, then Zulfikar
7 Alispago, and then Zulfikar Alispago was the commander of that axis, and
8 the commander, the final commander at the end of the chain of command was
9 Sefer Halilovic.
10 Q. Now, what date was this subordination to start when it came to
11 your troops, the 9th Brigade, what was the date that they were
12 subordinated to Zulfikar Alispago?
13 A. Look, the mere appointment of the battalion commander meant that
14 from that moment on the commander was to carry out all orders of Zulfikar
15 Alispago. So from the departure onwards, from the time that unit arrived
16 in Jablanica, that unit was under the command of Alispago or Mr. Sefer
18 Q. And how was the command of the axis of attacks configured?
19 A. Well, the entire operation stretched from Prozor, or rather from
20 Bugojno to Mostar, so there were several axes. The command of the entire
21 operation was Mr. Sefer Halilovic. There were several directions of
22 attack, and I don't know who the commanders were there. But in the area
23 where the Sarajevo commanders were was under the command of Zulfikar
24 Alispago. Among others, there were also assistants, or rather members of
25 the General Staff, Rifat Bilajac, Zicro, Vehbija Karic, and so on. There
1 were several there who were members of the General Staff, and their role
2 there was to assist the axis commanders, in terms of the operative
3 portion, the planning, and the execution of combat operations.
4 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, may I request the usher to bring me the
5 Operation Neretva map?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MS. CHANA: I should have said it earlier, I'm sorry.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic, would you look at that map, please. Have you
9 seen that map before?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And when was that? When was the first time you saw it?
12 A. The first time I saw this map was sometime on the second or third
13 day after the crime in Grabovica. I did not see it beforehand, but I knew
14 roughly what areas were to be attacked and so on. So I saw it two or
15 three days upon my arrival in Jablanica.
16 Q. And could you explain to Their Honours, please, the axis of attack
17 for Zulfikar Alispago where your -- members of your unit --
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, there's a leading question there.
19 This witness has admitted to having any involvement with these troops when
20 they're involved in these combat activities at all. And it had better be
21 clarified what the -- is meant by "your unit."
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. The witness testified that he saw this map on
23 the second or third day after the crime in Grabovica, but he knows roughly
24 what areas to attack on. So --
25 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, that's what I understood, Your Honour, and
1 the question seemed to contain a proposition that the witness hasn't
2 agreed to. So it's up to him to agree or disagree.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 Yes, you may clarify that issue.
5 MS. CHANA:
6 Q. Just to clarify my question, was units of the 9th Brigade which
7 has been subordinated to Alispago, which axis of attack were they supposed
8 to be on, if you could point it out, please?
9 A. Yes, this is in very small script, so I can't see it well. But
10 this is roughly in this area towards the area of Vrda. I know the
11 elevations that were to be attacked, Medved and so on. I know the exact
12 spot where action was supposed to be carried out, but this was the axis
13 under the command of Zulfikar Alispago, under those command the units from
14 Sarajevo were.
15 Q. Yes. Can you see the other axis? How many axes are there in
17 A. There was several axes. I don't know how many commanders there
18 were on these axes, but I know there were several. In order to lift the
19 siege of Mostar, one needed to have several axes. What I know is that
20 there was several of them and then I know about the axes under the command
21 of Zulfikar.
22 Q. And you're familiar with that terrain, are you, yourself?
23 A. Well, I'm not exactly familiar with it, but I know some things
24 about it.
25 Q. Can you tell us -- there are two signatures on that map. Can you
1 look at the map and see -- there's a signature on the top left-hand corner
2 and a signature on the bottom right-hand corner?
3 A. Yes, yes, I know both signatures.
4 Q. Whose are they, to begin with?
5 A. The upper one is the signature of the army commander, Rasim Delic;
6 and the lower one is the signature of the Chief of Staff, Sefer Halilovic.
7 Q. Does that hold any significance for you as a military person?
8 A. Well, listen, that means that the commander of the entire
9 operation, or rather the approval of this operation was done by Rasim
10 Delic and Sefer Halilovic. Based on what I see here, this is my
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Delalic. Now, I'd like to take you to the time
13 when your troops -- the actual selection of the troops. Can you describe
14 to us how was it that they were selected, the ones which did go down, and
15 where was this done?
16 A. The selection of the soldiers was conducted in the 9th Motorised
17 Brigade. When such selection is carried out, selection of such a large
18 number of people, commanders of battalions are always invited to select
19 several soldiers and to send them to the brigade command. So the
20 composition of these soldiers was such that they were not all from one
21 unit. They were from different units, or rather, different battalions and
22 staff units. The selection of the personnel was carried out by battalion
23 commanders together with the command of the 9th Motorised Brigade.
24 Q. Did you have any decision-making in this process as to which men
25 actually were to go down to Herzegovina?
1 A. Well, the commander of the 9th Motorised Brigade issues an order.
2 The commander or the deputy commander cannot make selection by going from
3 one soldier to the next and selecting them. No, they issue an order to
4 the battalion commanders or to the commander of the reconnaissance company
5 or an assault company. And out of all those units, a selection is carried
7 Q. I'm sorry to belabour this, but can you tell us, like, physically
8 outside what happened, were the soldiers lined up? Or were they picked?
9 I mean, how exactly did it happen? More specifically, which soldiers were
11 A. Look here, the commander of the corps, when issuing an order to
12 the brigade commander to allocate a company or so many soldiers, this is
13 not something that is done personally by a commander who selects them
14 personally. In the same way, the brigade doesn't do it either. They
15 don't go from soldier to soldier selecting them personally. So the order
16 that we saw here is analogous to the order issued by the 9th Motorised
17 Brigade to commanders to establish a company numbering so many soldiers.
18 For example, commander of the 1st Battalion sent four people; commander to
19 the 2nd Battalion, ten people; commander of the 3rd Battalion sent four
20 people, and so on and so on. So the composition of this unit that was
21 sent to Jablanica was a mixed one, and that was pursuant to the order
22 coming from the corps. They needed infantry soldiers, they needed people
23 experienced in anti-armoured weaponry, they needed reconnaissance people,
24 and so on. So this unit had to be of a mixed make-up.
25 Q. So how many men were ready to -- to set out to Herzegovina at the
1 end of this process?
2 A. Since the first order that we saw here stated that the 9th
3 Motorised Brigade had to send about 100 to 120 soldiers, this is exactly
4 the number that the brigade gathered and lined up in front of the command.
5 However, when Vahid Karavelic came, he did not agree with this and he
6 followed the text of the soldiers, indicating that 50 soldiers were
7 needed. The people were lined up in two lines. Vahid Karavelic tried to
8 select soldiers personally. He first gave a speech to them in strong
9 moral terms about them needing to go to Jablanica to conduct a combat
10 operation. He told them about the situation in Mostar. He told them what
11 they could expect down there, that they could be killed or wounded, and so
12 on. It's a typical speech held by a commander under such circumstances.
13 And then he proceeded to split the unit in half. First he asked for
14 volunteers. He said that 120 was not needed. He asked for volunteers and
15 he said that he needed about roughly 50 people. However, when he asked
16 for volunteers, everybody applied, everybody came forward. And then since
17 the unit was lined up in two rows, he ordered them to stand at attention.
18 They stood at attention. Then he said, "First row come forward." The
19 first row came forward. Then he said, "The first row will go and the
20 second row is dismissed." This is how that unit was made up, the unit
21 that was sent to the Jablanica sector.
22 Q. And of all the people -- of all the men from your particular
23 brigade, out of them how many were of them were from the 9th, these
24 particular men -- sorry, I'll re-ask -- I'll ask -- I'll ask another
1 What was your assignment in relation to this operation, your
2 assignment personally, if you had one?
3 A. My assignment was nothing special. It was nothing that differed
4 from the task of the 9th Motorised Brigade. The task was for the 9th
5 Motorised Brigade. That brigade had to send a unit in order to carry out
6 combat operations in the Jablanica sector. My task specifically was to
7 send not 50 but 120 soldiers because that was the oral order issued to me
8 by Mr. Sefer Halilovic, that was the arrangement. So that was the
9 agreement reached at the first and second meeting, namely to send 120
10 soldiers there.
11 The interpreters keep insisting that I speak slower; that's why
12 I'm making pauses.
13 Q. That's all right. What I want to know, Mr. Delalic, is: Did you
14 have a role to play in Operation Neretva yourself? Were you supposed to
15 accompany your troops to Herzegovina?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. Did you have any role in Operation Neretva personally?
18 A. No. There are orders and there is the naming of the command
19 personnel. And finally I was the deputy commander of the 9th Motorised
20 Brigade. I wasn't the company commander.
21 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, were you signaling for a break at this
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, if it's proper for you --
24 MS. CHANA: Yes, I'm entirely in your hands, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll take a break and we'll resume at quarter to
2 MS. CHANA: Thank you.
3 [Witness stands down]
4 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, before we hear the witness and I saw Mr. Weiner
7 is here in the courtroom, I have a question to put to you concerning with
8 the expert report. I believe on the last Friday we have received the
9 Defence motion concerning use and tendering of the military expert report.
10 I just want to know whether the Prosecution would like to reply to this
11 report or not, and if so when? Because we have to act as soon as
13 MR. WEINER: The Court told us that our response was due today,
14 and that's what they're doing right now, they're responding to the motion.
15 We received it late Friday, but we are responding to it and we met
16 yesterday and also we were in on Sunday, too.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 And another matter is that I believe that I reminded you that if
19 you want to furnish any reports, so-called amended reports, it has to be
20 agreed upon by the expert himself, at least he himself should sign that
22 MR. WEINER: Yes --
23 JUDGE LIU: So that's the basis we could receive it.
24 MR. WEINER: In fact, your legal officer contacted us on Friday to
25 also remind us of that, to get a signature from the expert.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you.
2 I hope we could make a decision this week concerning of the expert
3 report. I don't think the Defence would like to file a reply on that
5 MR. MORRISSEY: No, Your Honour. No, I just wondered if -- I
6 think Your Honour asked a question, but has the witness signed that report
7 as yet or not, is a query we have.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't know. I just reminded them that if they
9 want to furnish us a report and that report should be agreed upon by the
10 expert witness himself.
11 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes. Well, Your Honour's right about that. I
12 just had an inquiry, though, has it been signed yet? That's my question.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Weiner, are you in the position to respond to
14 this question?
15 MR. WEINER: I know we were in this weekend; the expert wasn't.
16 So we are trying to get ahold of him today. We are trying to contact him.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, at least not up to now, right?
18 MR. WEINER: Right.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, having said that, could we have the witness,
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Chana.
23 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic, we were talking about your troops going to
25 Herzegovina. When did they leave to go to Herzegovina, the troops which
1 were designated to go down there?
2 A. Immediately after the line-up of the troops was over, Mr. Vahid
3 Karavelic, the corps commander, ordered the unit to move and to go to a
4 place where the tunnel under the runway was. They had to wait for the
5 dark in order for the unit to pass through the tunnel during the nighttime
6 because there was always shelling there and they were afraid that some
7 soldiers could be killed. So they had to wait for the dark to fall to go
8 through the tunnel. And upon exiting the tunnel, the shelling was
9 constant. And they, for a while, put these soldiers in some premises in
10 order to protect them. However, the trucks that were needed to transport
11 the soldiers weren't ready either, and the soldiers were to be transported
12 in several phases. The trucks were provided for them to take them up to
13 the Igman Mount. The trucks, however, weren't ready. And the problems
14 arose at that point.
15 For a while, the soldiers had to deal with bad weather and they
16 remained there for several hours. I was called to come to Hrasnica, to
17 help with providing the trucks. The trucks or the buses were supposed to
18 be provided by the brigade commander in Hrasnica, Fikret Plevljak, and
19 when I was told that the problems arose, I and my escorts went to
20 Hrasnica. We also had to pass through the tunnel. And I tried to arrange
21 the transportation. The order for me to go there was issued by Vahid
22 Karavelic; it was a verbal order. I was supposed to help them. A lot of
23 soldiers were dissatisfied with their situation and wanted to go back to
24 Sarajevo. Therefore, I was issued an order to go there and to provide
25 assistance and prevent the soldiers from going back to Sarajevo. So my
1 arrival in Hrasnica was meant to ensure that the trucks would be provided
2 as soon as possible, and the troops departed towards Bradina and towards
3 the Igman Mount.
4 When I arrived in Hrasnica, or rather at Igman, which was quite
5 difficult, there were new trucks awaiting the soldiers there. The easiest
6 part of the road is the one leading to Bradina. I went with them in order
7 to prevent new problems from arising en route. The first place where we
8 stopped to rest was Bradina. Bradina is a place right below Konjic,
9 perhaps 10 kilometres below Konjic. The soldiers had a rest there, and
10 then they continued their trip towards Jablanica, or rather towards the
11 base and command of Zulfikar Alispago. We split at that point. I went
12 back to Konjic and the troops, with their commander Senad Pecina continued
13 towards Bradina. What kind of accommodation they were given there and
14 what happened there is something that I don't know.
15 In Konjic I went to see my friend Almir Habibija and his wife
16 Alma. Almir Habibija incidentally was in charge of procuring materiel and
17 technical equipment for the 9th Motorised Brigade, rather for collecting
18 and purchasing various weapons, and occasionally I would go to him to
19 fetch that equipment and take it back to Sarajevo. Therefore, I went to
20 Konjic to see him and to see how much equipment had been collected in the
21 meantime. I spent the night there. On the following day at around
22 10.00 --
23 Q. Mr. Delalic, I'm sorry to interrupt you but I want to take you
24 slowly through this evidence.
25 Okay. Now, you arrived in Konjic, but before you got there and
1 perhaps it will also assist you on the date, I would like to show you this
2 document and this is P207. It's a document from the state security
3 services. Have you got it in your screen now?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This is about an incident which happened on 8 September at 0430
6 hours in the morning. Can you tell us about this? What is this? What
7 are they reporting on?
8 A. Well, you see, as far as I know and as far as I could see, there
9 were several members - I'm not sure whether they were members of the
10 police or members of the army - but at any rate they were there at the
11 checkpoint near Hadzici. I'm not sure what that place is called. They
12 refused to remove from the checkpoint or from this street the obstacles.
13 There was something there that was intended as an obstacle. They did not
14 want to remove it until we produced some documents. These members were a
15 bit -- not a bit, but quite drunk, and the soldiers were irritated by that
16 how -- because the soldiers are the ones who go into combat and can be
17 killed, and then all of a sudden there are these three or four soldiers
18 making trouble for them. That was our checkpoint. I don't know who
19 secured it, whether it was the police or the army.
20 So it turned out that they had a scuffle there. I don't know
21 whether somebody hit somebody else. I'm not sure what happened, but after
22 a brief altercation, they continued.
23 Q. So the important thing to note here is the date, which is 8
24 September at 0430 hours, for that is the time, would you agree, that you
25 were at this particular checkpoint?
1 A. Well, yes. That was in the morning hours, roughly.
2 Q. That's right. And then you said you went to Konjic and you went
3 to your friend's house, Habibija's. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, may I go into private session, please,
6 for a --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's go to the private session, please.
8 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 MS. CHANA:
24 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic, the next morning what did you do?
25 A. My task and job was not to go to the Jablanica sector at all.
1 However, since I had been in the Konjic and Jablanica sector on several
2 occasions before in order to obtain equipment and materiel, a few -- on an
3 occasion -- on a previous occasion when I was out there, I bought an
4 anti-aircraft cannon, a DSK, for which I had paid 18.000 German marks, so
5 I went to purchase that anti-aircraft gun. At the moment there are court
6 proceedings going on in Sarajevo in relation to that matter. I am tried
7 for exceeding my official duties at the time. This is still ongoing. So
8 at that time, I was going to get this weapon, together with the things I
9 would pick up from Almir Habibija, and I was supposed to return to
10 Sarajevo with those things. However, when I came to Zulfikar Alispago's
11 base, I found out about -- I think this was sometime in the afternoon, I
12 found out about the crime which had taken place in Grabovica.
13 Q. Now, when you got to Zuka's base, as you said it was in the
14 afternoon, that would be on the 8th, right, the same day?
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, this leading has got to stop. The
16 witness can say when he arrived and not be told when he arrived by the
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's come to that step by step.
19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I thought the witness had said he went
20 the same day and I apologise if he hadn't. And I will indeed go step by
22 Q. When did you go to Zuka's base?
23 A. I said that earlier. I took my leave of Almir Habibija. I left
24 his apartment around 10.00 or 11.00. It's been a while since then, about
25 12 or 13 years, so I can't really remember everything exactly. But in any
1 case, sometime in the morning at 10.00 or 11.00, I left Habibija's
2 apartment and set off for Zuka's base. When I arrived at Zuka's base, it
3 was the afternoon. And as I said, in front of Zuka's base I met Nihad
4 Bojadzic, Zuka's deputy, the deputy commander of the Zulfikar unit, and
5 Mr. Zulfikar, too, who told me right away that some people not from my
6 unit, from the 9th Motorised Brigade, but from the units which had arrived
7 from Sarajevo committed certain crimes.
8 Q. And this was told to you by Zulfikar, you said?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Who else was there? Can you please tell us the names of all those
11 who were present at Zuka's base when you arrived there, please.
12 A. I parked my car in front of Zuka's base, in front of Zulfikar
13 Alispago's command. The first person who told me of that was Nihad
14 Bojadzic, Zuka's deputy and Zuka himself. Zuka, Nihad, and I went into
15 the office immediately where Mr. Sefer Halilovic was sitting and some
16 members of the Main Staff. This was actually Zuka's office.
17 Q. And do you remember the names of these people from the Main Staff?
18 A. When I say "several of them, I am -- I mean two or three people.
19 I think Vehbija Karic was there, Suljo -- I can't remember the names at
20 the moment. Zicro -- I can't remember the names at the moment.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic, I want to take this slowly. What did Sefer
22 Halilovic say to you, if he said anything at all?
23 A. Zulfikar Alispago and Nihad Bojadzic first told me about the
24 crime. I went inside. Not much attention was being paid to the actual
25 crime, I think, from what I called see at least. Very briefly I saw that
1 they were discussing this crime, this alleged crime that had taken place.
2 The only thing that was known was that some people were -- had killed some
3 civilians there in the course of the night, but no conversation -- the
4 conversation did not actually touch upon what had to be done. It was more
5 about some grenades, mountain cannon, and Howitzers that had to be
6 obtained. That was more the thrust of the conversation when I came in.
7 After spending a brief period of time there, Mr. Sefer Halilovic told Zuka
8 to go to Grabovica and to see what was happening down there. When Zuka
9 left, I also asked for permission to go there because I was interested to
10 know what had happened because there was also mention of members of the
11 9th Motorised Brigade. So in Zuka's Jeep, Zuka and I set off towards
12 Grabovica. At the very entrance to Grabovica as soon as you cross --
13 Q. Mr. Delalic, I still want to go back to that, Zuka's base, if I
14 may. Was there anything in the conversation which suggested to you for
15 how long they had known about these alleged crimes in Grabovica?
16 A. It's possible that they had already found out about it during the
17 night or early in the morning, because some refugees had managed to flee
18 from the scene of the crime and they were perhaps stopped by some fighters
19 of Zulfikar Alispago at the exit to Grabovica. So it's possible that the
20 crime was already known about by morning or in the course of the night.
21 Q. So you said Zuka was asked to go down, and you requested to go
22 down. Is that the position?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you asked to do anything when you got down there? Were you
25 issued with any instructions or orders?
1 A. Nobody issued any orders except to say that we should look and
2 then report back about what had happened and was happening down there.
3 Q. Was there any indication that the killings had stopped?
4 A. I don't know anything about that.
5 Q. Were you ordered to take any action with respect of -- in fact,
6 arrests of any soldiers, isolate them, or do anything when you got there?
7 A. No, no, no, no.
8 Q. Did you ever say to Sefer Halilovic, I don't think you should go
9 down there because it might be dangerous?
10 A. I don't know any reason why I would tell him something like that.
11 Q. Did you think the situation might be dangerous for you?
12 A. I don't know in what sense you mean. Why would it be dangerous?
13 Q. The fact that there had been murders going on in a given area,
14 would you consider that to be a dangerous situation for yourself?
15 A. I didn't consider the situation to be dangerous. I still didn't
16 know exactly what it was all about, other than what I was told, that there
17 was a crime that had occurred there and that members of units that had
18 come from Sarajevo had committed certain killings. I didn't see any
19 danger there for me or any danger for Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
20 Q. So what time did you set off with Zuka to Grabovica?
21 A. In the afternoon sometime. I really can't tell exactly what time
22 it was. Perhaps I can just speculate. Maybe it was about 2.30 or 3.30,
23 something like that. I really don't know exactly, but judging by
24 subsequent events it was probably sometime between 2.30, 3.30, or 4.00
1 Q. Okay. So did you get to the village?
2 A. Yes, we did. It wasn't too far away, maybe some 15 minutes from
3 Zuka's base. We arrived and as soon as we crossed a small bridge from the
4 left to the right bank of the Neretva River, right after the bridge some
5 10 metres away we saw a trail along the street, along the asphalt as if
6 something had been dragged along there, something bloody had been dragged
7 along there. Zuka got out of the car and started to follow that trail.
8 He called me to do the same thing, so we were just following that trail
9 below the road towards the lake. There were one or two bodies very close
10 to the water. We sat in the car right away, and about some 100 or 150
11 metres away from that spot is a village where the soldiers were billeted.
12 On the road there, we met a guard who was guarding that exit at a ramp.
13 We asked the guard -- Zuka asked him if he knew anything about those
14 bodies that we saw, and he said that he didn't know anything about that.
15 He allowed us through and we were walking around amongst the soldiers,
16 asking them if they had heard anything. We couldn't find out anything
17 more than that, other than the fact that some shooting was heard during
18 the night, but none of the soldiers wanted to say anything about it. I
19 don't know whether they were trying to protect each other or something,
20 but we didn't really find out anything much. We didn't spend too long
21 there. We returned and Zuka informed Mr. Sefer that the information was
22 correct, that some Croatian civilians were killed in the village of
24 And after that, nothing was done in order to prevent possible new
25 crimes or to punish them. I stayed there for 10 or 15 minutes and I was
1 informed by a radio that two boys had been found in the woods above the
2 village of Grabovica, so I hurried there. The logistics person who was in
3 charge of the battalion of the Sarajevo units at that point actually came
4 to pick up the food for the soldiers, and I went back to the village of
5 Grabovica together with him and I saw those two children. When they told
6 me everything that they knew --
7 Q. Mr. Delalic, I have to slow you down a little, please. I want to
8 take you back to Zuka's base, when you returned there and you reported
9 what you had seen. Could you please tell Their Honours what did Sefer
10 Halilovic say to you and your report, your findings?
11 A. Zulfikar Alispago submitted the report. He said what it was that
12 we saw and said that there were indications that some killings were
13 committed there. Mr. Sefer Halilovic did not react in the way he should
14 have reacted, meaning that measures which should have been taken were not
15 taken. At no point did I hear an order being issued to locate the
16 perpetrators of those crimes or to inform the commander of the unit to
17 find those persons and to arrest them and so on. All in all, he did not
18 react the way he should have reacted.
19 Q. So you were given no instructions at that time what to do?
20 A. No. The offensive was still the topic of the conversation, the
21 offensive. Neither he nor any of his colleagues from the General Staff
22 took any steps to find out who the perpetrators were or anything like
24 Q. But what was being said about the offensive, Operation Neretva, in
25 relation to this incident? What were they discussing about it?
1 A. When Zulfikar Alispago and I entered the office, Zuka interrupted
2 a conversation that was underway for preparations of the offensive,
3 deployment of long-range weapons, and so on. Because -- also about
4 obtaining some shells from Zenica, all the shells or the grenades came
5 from Zenica. And then Zuka said that he had seen and that also I had seen
6 some bodies thrown near the river. After that, the conversation was
7 halted for a little bit and then it continued again on the subject of
8 planning of the offensive.
9 Q. Now, when you were down in the village, did the soldiers say anything
10 to you about their accommodation at the time you were at the village?
11 A. See, we spent a very short amount of time in the village, perhaps
12 15 minutes or so. I don't know exactly how long, but we were there for a
13 very short time. Most of the soldiers did not have accommodation. We
14 actually found them lying around in the fields, in the grass, and so on
15 because allegedly the hosts of the Croat houses where they were supposed
16 to be billeted wouldn't let them in; that was the story. So a large
17 number of the fighters were actually billeted in front of the houses of
18 some of those people. Some of the soldiers did manage to get
19 accommodation inside the houses, but most of them were sleeping outside
20 and were not able to get the accommodation. Specifically Zuka went from
21 house to house asking about accommodation, but all in all we found out
22 that there was shooting in the course of the night, that there were
23 killings, but nobody wanted to talk about it, nobody had seen anything.
24 Zuka reported to Mr. Halilovic about everything that he had seen.
25 Q Were you ever told about a meeting which was held in Grabovica
1 with the General Staff by the soldiers?
2 A. After the crime I learned that a large number of the fighters
3 objected to the type of billeting in Grabovica, they didn't have any place
4 to stay -- there was no place for them to stay. The owners, the Croat
5 owners of the houses did not want to let them in. Somebody from the
6 General Staff did come by, but what I want found out was that Vehbija
7 Karic was there amongst other things who actually told me why the soldiers
8 were sleeping in front of the houses and that Mr. Karic was quite
9 categorical in saying that if need be they should use force in order to
10 enter the houses and that if there were any Croats who were creating
11 problems in terms of providing the accommodation, should be just thrown
12 into the lake.
13 Q. Did your soldiers say to you that they took these remarks of
14 Vehbija Karic seriously?
15 A. I didn't really ask them about it during those few days. It
16 wasn't logical. But it's very likely that some of the soldiers took that
17 seriously; that was to be expected. It was an expected reaction. Those
18 who planned that had to take into account that these people who were going
19 to attack Croats were supposed to be billeted in Croat homes. Certain --
20 a certain number of incidents should have been expected in such
21 circumstances and perhaps even that some crimes would take place.
22 Q. Did your soldiers ever tell you who was present at the time
23 Vehbija Karic made those remarks?
24 A. Vehbija Karic was there as well as someone else from the General
25 Staff, but I never found out who that was. I recall just what Vehbija
1 Karic said, and that's something that has stuck with me as something
2 characteristic. It didn't make sense to me that any of those people could
3 actually say something like that.
4 Q. Did your soldiers inform you whether Sefer Halilovic was present
5 when Vehbija Karic made those remarks?
6 A. You see, later, the information I had later…I mean, a lot of soldiers
7 said that he had not been there. Some said he had, some said that Zuka had
8 been there as well, and a few other members of the General Staff. I cannot
9 tell you with certainty who was there and who wasn’t. However, like I told
10 you, many soldiers said that he had been there and then again many said that
11 he hadn’t. But what I can recall, and what soldiers probably…what was said
12 by Vehbija Karic.
13 Q. Now, were you aware where your soldiers were going to be billeted
14 when they were released to go into Herzegovina? Had anybody discussed
15 this matter of billeting with you?
16 A. I think that this was discussed in Jablanica -- actually, I think
17 there was talk that they would be billeted in Jablanica. There was never
18 any mention of Grabovica or any Croat villages in that sense. I really
19 don't know anything about that.
20 Q. Were you ever shown Diva Grabovica by anyone as a possible to
21 accommodate troops?
22 A. I really don't remember anyone mentioning it or not, but I don't
23 think that this was mentioned, no.
24 Q. Did you go and look at Diva Grabovica yourself?
25 A. Before the soldiers were billeted there?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. No, never because Diva Grabovica had just been liberated. That
3 village under the control of the Croatian army, so I never actually went
4 there before then.
5 Q. Could you see it from a distance?
6 A. Yes. Some two or three months before that because an action was
7 discussed that my unit could participate in and I went and looked at that
8 place through binoculars from a distance of some 4 or 5 kilometres I
9 observed the village. But you couldn't really say that we saw houses
10 themselves, but we could see some positions of Croat soldiers and I knew
11 more or less what was being discussed. However, I never wanted to take
12 part in that and later Zuka's unit and some other units, I don't know which
13 ones, captured that village and placed it under B and H army control.
14 Q. Were you with anyone at the time you saw this Diva Grabovica
15 through binoculars?
16 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, before that question is answered, I
17 just want it to be made very clear whether this witness distinguishes
18 between the village of Grabovica and the location Diva Grabovica or
19 whether he thinks they're the same thing.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MS. CHANA:
22 Q. Is Diva Grabovica and Grabovica the same place according to you?
23 Are they two different locations or one?
24 A. I really don't know. I don't know if these are two different
25 locations. There is a left side and a right side, though. What's what,
1 I'm not sure. I know exactly where positions of the Croatian army were,
2 and all of that was under Croatian control. But I don't know whether Diva
3 Grabovica and Grabovica are one in the same place.
4 Q. Now, when you saw what we for now will describe as Diva Grabovica
5 through binoculars, were you looking at the village of Grabovica?
6 A. You couldn't really see the village itself. I've already said
7 that. You could only see some points held by the Croatian army and the
8 lines of the Croatian army. It was very hard to see the village itself.
9 Perhaps just the odd house.
10 Q. So you're not quite clear whether these are one in the same
11 thing -- place?
12 A. I really don't know.
13 Q. Right. Now, let's go to when you -- you went back to the village,
14 you said, because you heard that two boys had been found.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Before that question is asked, Your Honour, this
16 has been left in a very unsatisfactory state. There's a map. The
17 question can be dealt with very quickly, and it just leads to unnecessary
18 confusion in this case because the Prosecution have put a cast on Diva
19 Grabovica in their opening statement. I don't want there to be any
20 vagueness about this, and in my submission at the moment, I don't want to
21 paraphrase what the witness says or what he means. But it just has to be
22 made clear whether or not when he talks about the village he saw through
23 binoculars he's talking about Diva Grabovica or is he talking about
24 Grabovica, the village where these events subsequently happened. It's a
25 fairly simple question, but it really needs to be clarified, in my
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, for the purpose of cross-examination was
4 exactly that. The witness has been quite clear. I asked him three times
5 and he's said it very clearly he doesn't know; it was very far away.
6 Perhaps counsel can clarify that for himself during cross-examination. I
7 don't think there's anymore purpose in me continuing with this unless Your
8 Honours would like me to ask him again, which of course I will do.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, if the witness testifies he does not know which
10 one is which, I believe we have to stop here. Maybe in the
11 cross-examination the Defence could explore on that point.
12 Yes, you may proceed, Ms. Chana.
13 MS. CHANA: Yes.
14 Q. Now, I was talking about that -- you saw -- you heard about two
15 boys. Can you please tell us about that. You went back to the village
16 and what did you find?
17 A. In front of one of the houses where the soldiers were billeted I
18 saw several soldiers of the 9th Motorised Brigade. There were soldiers
19 from other units there as well although I did not know them. Together
20 with the two boys whom I later learned were named Zadro Goran and Zadro
21 Zoran, or Vedran or something like that. So immediately upon my arrival I
22 asked them about their names and about their families. The boys were
23 scared. They were cold, they were hungry, they were miserable. Before I
24 started talking to them, I asked the soldiers whether anybody had any food
25 to give the boys. Then I started talking to the boys and they told me a
1 terrible, an absolutely terrible story about how their parents were
2 killed, grandmother and grandfather as well, and their 3-year-old sister.
3 Q. Mr. Delalic, before we carry on with that I would like to show you
4 a picture. Perhaps you will -- then we will of course hear about this.
5 And it's P3, please. You will be asked to mark on this photograph, and
6 you will be assisted. Do you recognise that photograph?
7 A. Yes, roughly.
8 Q. Now, first, can you mark for us where your soldiers told you that
9 they found the children and put a circle around that place.
10 A. The soldiers who found the children said that they had found them
11 above the railway, which was here. You can see it here in the picture
12 above the village. It would be roughly here.
13 Q. Right. So if you can just mark the photograph, please, with a
14 circle and put "found children."
15 MS. CHANA: That's a good clue.
16 Have we succeeded?
17 Q. Yes, if you could just mark that place with a circle or a cross,
18 whatever you like.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And if you can write in that circle, please, "found children."
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Right. Now, can you also now mark for us on that photograph where
23 it is that you found the children, when you talked to them, when you went
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. And can you write in there, please, "talked to children" --
2 "talked." The word "talked" would be good enough.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. CHANA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender that photograph into
6 evidence, please.
7 JUDGE LIU: I guess there's no objections.
8 MR. MORRISSEY: There's no objection, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 It's admitted into the evidence.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P416.
12 MS. CHANA: Thank you.
13 Q. Now, could you please, Mr. Delalic, briefly tell us what the
14 children said to you when you talked to them.
15 A. One of the boys told me that during the previous night some
16 soldiers had come and asked his father and the grandfather to show them
17 the stable. They did that. They went out to the stable. And after a
18 certain period of time they heard shots. The boys had remained with the
19 mother in the room where they were. So after a certain period of time
20 they heard shots, and the mother threw the two of them out through the
21 window and told them to run to the friend's house or perhaps to their
22 uncle's house who lived near the railway in the area that I marked here.
23 I'm not sure. So the boys jumped out through the window and went to these
24 friends or their uncle and aunt's house, as their mother had told them,
25 and found them killed there, found that these people were killed there.
1 The boys hid in the forest, waited until the morning there. They were
2 hungry but stayed there in the forest. They were cold. They were hungry.
3 And as a result of that, they went out to the railway where some soldiers
4 came across them.
5 Q. What was your reaction to what they had said to you?
6 A. The first thing I asked them was whether they knew about what had
7 happened with their parents and children, and they said that all of them
8 had been killed and started crying. I asked them whether -- since I was
9 quite appalled by this story, I asked them whether they could recognise
10 any of the soldiers. And one boy addressed me as "uncle" and said,
11 "Uncle," as long as I live, I will not forget that face. At that point I
12 got up, took my pistol out, took the boy who told me the story by the
13 hand. The other boy kept quiet because he was very scared. He kept
14 crying constantly and did not utter a word. So the boy that told me the
15 story who was more open, I took him by the hand and, as I was angry, I
16 asked him whether he could recognise any of the soldiers sitting around
17 us. As he was unable to recognise any of them, all of the soldiers who
18 were there in the vicinity, I told them to approach us. There were some
19 soldiers that I didn't know there. There was soldiers from the 10th
20 Mountain Brigade, from the 9th Motorised Brigade, and so on. So all of
21 those soldiers, I told them to stand in line, and I was threatening them
22 with my pistol. And I took the boy or the boys by the hand and then we
23 went from one soldier to the next to see if he could recognise them. As
24 I've said, not all of the soldiers were present there. Some had gone out
25 to reconnaissance assignments, some had gone to Jablanica, and the boys
1 were unable to recognise the perpetrators among the soldiers lined up
3 I was prepared to kill somebody right there at the spot, as I was
4 quite revolted by the story. Therefore, I was prepared for something so
5 radical. But at any rate, I got the children -- I put the children into
6 the car and I drove them to Zuka's base. Upon arriving at the base, I
7 took them to the area where Zuka's office was, where the forward command
8 post was, and where Mr. Sefer Halilovic, Zulfikar Alispago normally
9 assembled. In front of that office, there was a conference area and a
10 dining area, and I put the children at the table. They sat down.
11 Zulfikar Alispago and Nihad Bojadzic were there at the entrance, and I
12 told them about the children and briefly described how their parents,
13 grandparents, and 3-year-old sister had been killed, to which Zuka replied
14 that I shouldn't have brought them there but should have killed them en
15 route. I cursed at him quite angrily and I told him if he had a heart to
16 do that, he should do it himself.
17 After that, I entered the office where Mr. Sefer Halilovic was and
18 several members of the Main Staff. Zulfikar followed me into that office,
19 and I told the people assembled there briefly that I had brought with me
20 two children whose family had been killed and that they should see for
21 themselves what to do with the children and that they should hear out
22 their story.
23 After telling the story of the two children, the first reaction of
24 Mr. Sefer Halilovic and everybody else assembled there was that they
25 didn't want to hear anything about any children, that the children should
1 be removed, that dirty laundry ought to be removed, and that the offensive
2 ought not to be endangered and so on. I asked them to let me bring the
3 children in so that they could hear their story, and once again they
4 repeated to me that they were not interested in any of that. And then I
5 brought in the boy who was more open, more social, and he repeated the
6 story. After that, the boy went out and I asked the personnel there to
7 serve some juice to the children and so on, and I went back to the office
8 where there was a discussion with what to do with the children. Based on
9 the conversation with the children, I learned that the children had an
10 uncle and an aunt in Jablanica and they expressed a wish to go to them. I
11 conveyed that to Mr. Sefer Halilovic and to the rest of them, which they
12 categorically refused, asking that the children either be removed or kept
13 at the base until the end of the offensive.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Chana, I believe that is time for us to
15 break, since we have another sitting using this courtroom.
16 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, I was just -- I was waiting for the
17 witness just to have said his last sentence. Yes, this is a good time to
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 Well, Witness, we have to break today and I have to remind you
21 that during your stay in The Hague you are under the oath. So do not talk
22 to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your evidence. You
23 may have a talk with your counsel concerning the legal issues concerning
24 with your rights as well as other administrative or procedural matters,
25 but do not talk to him about the facts, especially those you are going to
1 give tomorrow and you -- what you have already given today. You
2 understand that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 The hearing for today is adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day of
8 May, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.