1 Monday, 23 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.34 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-01-48-T, the Prosecutor versus Sefer Halilovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Before we have in the witness, there's just one matter I would
10 like to seek to a response from the Prosecution. Last Friday we received
11 a new expert report, and today the Defence filed their objections for the
12 tendering of this report. I wonder whether the Prosecution would like to
13 make a reply at this stage.
14 Yes, Mr. Re.
15 MR. RE: I would. The difficulty is that I sort of got this
16 almost as I was coming into court and I haven't really had time to digest
17 it. It won't take that long. Would it be -- could I do that at the next
19 JUDGE LIU: Of course. You know, of course you are entitled to
20 have some time to digest it and to make your positions at a later stage,
21 but I have to remind the parties that we have to make a ruling as early as
23 Yes, could we have the witness, please.
24 Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, there are in fact a number
1 of matters that I have to raise before we move to the witness.
2 Your Honours, there -- the first one is one which we were going to
3 deal with at the start of today's proceedings, but Ms. Chana, I'm told, is
4 unable to be here, and that is the matter of the outstanding exhibits that
5 had been offered for tender. Now, she's not here and I'm just simply not
6 sure what the position is about Ms. Chana. So I don't know that my
7 learned friend is in a position to respond from what he's mentioned to me.
8 Perhaps the Prosecutors can tell you what the position is about that in a
9 moment. In any event, the Prosecutors not being in a position to respond
10 to that, I don't think -- well, I don't know what Your Honour wishes to
11 have done about that. Because we had in mind to finish that, Mr. Delalic
12 having finished his evidence last week, we didn't do that. There was on
13 the Defence side three outstanding letters and on the Prosecution side,
14 there was two documents. I don't think we can do those now, Your Honour,
15 because Ms. Chana is not here.
16 JUDGE LIU: Could I ask you whether you have changed your
17 positions concerning of the two documents tendered by the Prosecution?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, it really was pending a further discussion
19 with my learned friend, unfortunately, and she's not here. At this stage,
20 yes, no, we still do, we reserve our position about this. There's
21 something that I have to clarify with her, and it really depends -- not
22 that it's negotiating, Your Honour, but we have to have another discussion
23 before we say.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe we could deal with it at a later stage.
25 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
1 Okay, Your Honours, the next matter that has to arise is another
2 one concerning Mr. Ramiz Delalic, Celo. There was, as you'll recall, a
3 request in for extra material concerning Mr. Delalic. And as the
4 cross-examination unfolded you will remember hat it became clear that he
5 had given statements which we don't have to two different sets of
6 Prosecution investigators; those in 1996 and of course Mr. Mikhailov in
7 1998. We don't have those statements. In addition, there was a third lot
8 of statements which we don't have and that is those which are referred to
9 in the indictment, which we tendered. Your Honours will remember there
10 was an indictment raised and in fact a judgement entered -- I don't think
11 we even tendered the indictment, I'm sorry, I apologise for that. We
12 tendered the judgement. It was the one where it all proceeded in front of
13 Judge Hadzic and there was a little bit of trouble in the court on that
14 occasion, Your Honours, and on that occasion, in the judgement at least
15 two other statements are referred to in the course of the judgement
16 because there was an occasion where Mr. Delalic came into the court, the
17 things happened which were the subject of the indictment, and then he
18 signed. And that was in April. That's not the document that we've got.
19 So that's -- would appear to be three different occasions when
20 Mr. Delalic has said something to investigators of various sorts, and we
21 don't have any of those. So the Defence has requested from the Prosecutor
22 those statements and an account, if they haven't got them, of what
23 happened to them. And I was rather hoping today that we might get a
24 response from the Prosecutors there, but Ms. Chana is not here so we might
25 not. But I think perhaps we'd better clarify with the Prosecutors what
1 the position is about that, if that's possible, before I say anymore about
2 it, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re, are you in a position to answer the
4 questions put to you by Defence?
5 MR. RE: I'm not. We just have a difficulty today and perhaps --
6 I don't know for how long throughout the week. Ms. Chana isn't here --
7 could we just go into private session for one moment?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
9 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Very well, the expert matter we'll leave, as Your
8 Honour's indicated.
9 Now, there's one more matter of general concern that I have to
10 raise, and that is concerning one document that the Prosecutor proposes to
11 tender here. It's document 65 ter number 150. And it's a document that
12 makes an allegation -- it's one of those operative information sort of
13 documents and it's going to be put to this witness in some form or other.
14 Now, Your Honours, we were very concerned with what happened to
15 Mr. Delalic, that unanswerable allegations were made, that if we were to
16 try to answer them all, we would be here until this time next here because
17 Mr. Halilovic has plotted to kill the president -- sorry, to kill the
18 commander-in-chief of the army, and there's numerous of those sort of
19 things and many of them we didn't deal with on a step-by-step basis. Now
20 we're about to get a new one, a new piece of information, and it just
21 places the Defence in a position, Your Honours, where we can't control the
22 allegations that are coming out now, they're flying thick and fast in a
23 way -- we'll address you about them, of course, very strongly at the end,
24 but we need to have some sense about what we have to answer and what we
25 don't have to answer, because in looking at the Defence case now, we are
1 considering whether we need to answer an allegation that Sefer Halilovic
2 planned to kill Rasim Delic, which has never been said until we got here
3 before. Now we have this document D150 which concerns Ramiz Delalic, an
4 alleged joint criminal enterprise between Delalic and Sefer Halilovic,
5 which is contained in there.
6 Now, it's another one of these allegations which, Your Honour, it
7 really places us in a difficult position to know how to answer it because
8 it's got no direct connection at all to what happened here. As you'll
9 see, it was not put at all to Mr. Delalic, who's just been here. But now
10 in his absence something else is going to be put. Now, it really is for
11 the Prosecutor to put the document as they see fit; it's up to them to run
12 their own case, but it's a matter of to the Defence, and in my respectful
13 submission it's a concern to the Tribunal as well, because if you have
14 this spreading web of allegations, there could be all sorts of reasons for
15 it. You might be dealing with the devil, Your Honours, but you might not
16 be. But it places the Defence in the position of having to answer a
17 multiplicity of allegations not pleaded in the indictment, way outside the
18 indictment, poisonous and prejudicial if not answered, time-wasting and
19 irrelevant if they are answered. If we prove that Sefer Halilovic didn't
20 plan to kill Rasim Delic, we're no closer to an acquittal. It's just an
21 irrelevant thing out there, but it's prejudicial. When that document
22 comes, 150, it's a matter for the Prosecutors whether they seek to lead it
23 or not, but I just raise this, that we will object to it, and I want them
24 to know that because it's only recently we got the proofing notes, and
25 obviously we're preparing this as we go. That document is going to be
1 objected to, and when it is, Your Honour, that's going to be the chief
2 thrust of it, that this material is just too remote, too far gone and too
3 difficult to answer at short notice and outside of the indictment, and all
4 of those matters. So I don't ask you to rule on it now and I hope the
5 Prosecutors will reconsider using it, but if it comes, then that's the
6 nature of the objection that's coming.
7 The final matter is that we could ask for some indulgence of the
8 court in terms of the timing of cross-examination here with this witness.
9 In respect of this witness, there is a great deal of documentary
10 background that may - and I stress the word "may" - become relevant
11 depending upon what he says in court here. Now, we have been -- our
12 resources have just been stretched too thinly to prepare that properly and
13 I feel at the moment not sufficiently on top of the documents that I have
14 to be ready to proceed. I want to take some instructions from
15 Mr. Halilovic on certain aspects. The fact is we can't see him on
16 weekends; it's not a facility that's available to us. So, Your Honours,
17 what I ask is that depending on the progress of cross-examination --
18 sorry, evidence in chief here, that we not be called upon to cross-examine
19 him today. I could deal with some aspects of it. If it appears that I
20 would be comfortable to deal with those, I will advise the Court and say
21 I'm happy to start, but I frankly do concede a sense of being unprepared.
22 There's a variety of reasons, and preparedness actually saves time. So
23 can I just foreshadow that I'm likely to ask that when the
24 cross-examination time comes, we're going to ask that it be -- that we
25 have an indulgence of some period of time and I'll see how it unfolds
1 before I put a figure on that.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. MORRISSEY: Those are the matters I wish to raise, Your
5 JUDGE LIU: I believe the last request is reasonable, but however
6 we will make our ruling depends on the progress of the direct examination
7 and how it goes. And please remind us if you really feel it's necessary
8 to have a short break for you to prepare your case.
9 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. Well, I would be grateful for
10 that, and we'll see how the evidence unfolds.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 So I believe it's high time for us to have the witness.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
15 I can't hear you. I'm sorry. Would you please repeat your
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
19 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
23 Yes, Mr. Re.
24 WITNESS: BAKIR ALISPAHIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Mr. Re:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Alispahic.
3 A. Good afternoon to you.
4 Q. Your full name, please.
5 A. Bakir Alispahic.
6 Q. Is your date of birth the 1st of October, 1956?
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the 1st of October, 1956, born
9 in Sarajevo.
10 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry. You may proceed, Mr. Re.
11 MR. RE: May it please Your Honour.
12 Q. Are you a Bosniak?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And are you a businessman?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you have a -- are you an authorised Volkswagen dealer in
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Do you have a coffee roasting business?
20 A. It's a business relating to espresso machines, but in essence,
21 yes, that's what you said.
22 Q. Are you involved in any other business activities at the moment?
23 A. No, that's all that I'm involved in currently.
24 Q. Did you do your JNA service in 1977 and 1978?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What diploma do you hold?
2 A. I have a BA in political sciences and I majored in defence and
4 Q. From where?
5 A. In Sarajevo, faculty for political sciences.
6 Q. And from 1978 until 1984, did you work as a security officer for
8 A. I can confirm that that's true, although the formulation could be
9 somewhat amended. I was an officer -- security officer, yes.
10 Q. From 1984 until 1992, did you work in state security in Bosnia, in
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. In -- just generally, which area did you work in?
14 A. Well, I worked at the service. The scope of my work at the time
15 was what was then known as the issues related to the Ustasha immigration.
16 Q. And in spring of 1992, were you appointed to the position of the
17 chief of police in Sarajevo?
18 A. That's right, although the full formulation was chief of the
19 security services centre in Sarajevo.
20 Q. And did that mean, the full formulation, that you were the police
21 chief of the Sarajevo area?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. What were your responsibilities and duties, as briefly as you can
24 possibly tell us.
25 A. The security services are -- deal with public security, meaning
1 everything relating to the security of the citizens. That also involved
2 criminal investigations, and they have criminal investigation policemen
3 working for them. So everything that covers public security; security of
4 facilities, citizens, and everything else that the term encompasses.
5 Q. Was that within the responsibility of the Ministry of the
7 A. The security services centre is an organisational unit of the
8 Ministry of the Interior, and the minister was my superior. Not just mine
9 but also he was a superior of all other chiefs of other services.
10 Sarajevo centre was just one of the centres.
11 Q. How many police did you have working for you when you were the
12 police chief in Sarajevo?
13 A. At the time, there were somewhere up to 1500 policemen. Later on,
14 that number increased sharply, in view of the developments in Bosnia at
15 the time, meaning that the reserve police forces were augmented in terms
16 of the numbers.
17 Q. In June 1993, were you appointed as the minister of the interior?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Did you hold that position until 1995, when you were appointed as
20 the director of AID, which was the Bosnian State Security?
21 A. I remained minister of the interior until the end of 1995 and was
22 then appointed director of AID.
23 Q. Did you remain in that position until March 1996, when you were
24 made an assistant to the minister for foreign affairs, a position you held
25 until 1997?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. Perhaps it was 1997 to 1998 that I worked at
2 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as assistant minister for consular and
3 visa affairs.
4 Q. What were your duties as the minister of interior from June 1993
5 onwards? What were your areas of responsibility?
6 A. At the time, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were two
7 segments, two fields; dealing with public security and state security.
8 Within the field of public security, as I've already told you, there were
9 the security services centres, whereas within the state security field
10 there was the chief of the service who had -- who was quite powerful
11 within that level.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the end of the
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. Mr. Alispahic, can you just repeat the last part of your answer.
16 The interpreters didn't quite catch it.
17 A. As I've said, the chief of the secret service was an official who
18 was quite autonomous, had a large autonomy within his work in commanding
19 the work of secret services. He had to consult with the minister only on
20 certain issues that are regulated by the rules of the secret service.
21 Q. Were you responsible to the -- or report to the Presidency of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina as the minister for the interior?
23 A. Yes. At the time, in view of the fact that the war had already
24 started, I was directly responsible to the Presidency of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina and in accordance with the then-regulations, there was a
1 system of armed forces, including the Ministry of the Interior, and all of
2 them were subordinated to the Presidency, which had command authority over
3 these services. Although all other issues relating to status, logistics,
4 and so on were dealt with by the government, by the state government. And
5 I as a minister was also a member of the cabinet, a member of the
7 Q. Were you also a member of an enlarged Presidency during that time
8 in the war?
9 A. That was an unwritten rule. This issue was not regulated by any
10 actual provisions. It is just that as a result of the war, ministers had
11 to inform the Presidency, brief the members of the Presidency on certain
12 issues, and so on, although, at the time, there were no regulations
13 providing that this is how it ought to be dealt with.
14 Q. Did you attend meetings of the Presidency at all?
15 A. Upon invitation. When asked by the Presidency to attend, I would
16 attend meetings. Not every single meeting, I would not attend them
17 regularly, but would come only upon invitation.
18 Q. Why did the Presidency require your presence at some meetings?
19 A. I suppose that the reason for that was that certain issues were
20 discussed, the issues that fall within the scope of authorities of police
21 or Ministry of the Interior. For example, when they needed to be briefed
22 on the security situation, on the situation on the ground, on the human
23 rights violations, or other issues that fall within the jurisdiction of
24 the Presidency and that the Presidency needed to decide upon.
25 Q. Now, during the war were police used in combat in coordination
1 with the military?
2 A. During the war, police was always an active participant in the
3 defence of the country, and it was used, police forces were used, together
4 with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in concert with them. And in
5 that context, the police organised itself in parallel as these events were
6 unfolding. Special units were established within the Ministry of the
7 Interior which were most often used in combat operations. And in those
8 combat operations, these police units would always be resubordinated to
9 the army, meaning that the army was always in command. They would plan,
10 organise, and command all combat operations.
11 Q. What was the process of transferring subordination of the special
12 police units to the command of the army?
13 A. It was simple: There would be a document to indicate that a unit
14 was resubordinated to the army. The unit commander would receive some
15 sort of document that would indicate who he should report to about that,
16 so that was that. Obviously there would be a previous agreement and a
17 request that had been made by the army.
18 Q. Was your signature required to subordinate -- I'm sorry, to
19 transfer the police units to army command or could you delegate that?
20 A. In principle, the assistant minister for police would have been in
21 charge of the police. He could have issued an order, having previously
22 consulted with me and other bodies within the army, to send a unit to
23 carry out a certain mission or to go to an area. The assistant minister
24 for police would have been authorised to do that, but the minister would
25 always be informed that a certain unit was being sent to carry out a
1 mission, especially if this was a MUP unit. The Interior Ministry had a
2 special police squad called Bosna. They were often involved in combat
3 operations. When something like this occurred, the minister would have
4 been told the kind of missions and tasks that the unit was carrying out.
5 Q. What was the strength of this Bosna unit?
6 A. It grew in the war. At first it had several hundred members, and
7 towards the end of the war it had nearly a thousand men, including the
8 reserve forces. So this is a ballpark figure for both active and reserve.
9 Q. What about a unit called Laste? For the transcript, that's
10 L-a-s-t-e. What was that unit?
11 A. That was another special unit of the security services centre
12 Sarajevo. All the others, the security service centres, had the same kind
13 of unit; Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, the whole lot of them. And this was
14 something that was organised by the Interior Ministry.
15 Q. What was the strength of the Laste Unit?
16 A. This also changed over time. I think when it was first
17 established it had about 50 members. Gradually it grew to comprise about
18 as many as 100 or possibly 150.
19 Q. What was its function in Sarajevo?
20 A. First and foremost its function in Sarajevo was in its capacity as
21 a special unit. When it was first used, it would be used by the police
22 and used to protect citizens and property; to protect law and order, to
23 protect citizens and property. And if necessary, it could also be used
24 for combat operations.
25 Q. When and how was it formed?
1 A. By coincidence, I had only just arrived from Sarajevo. I think it
2 was formed on the 15th of May, 1992, in Sarajevo. Having previously
3 obtained authorisation from the minister of the interior, I signed the
4 decision on the establishment of this unit. So that's how the unit came
5 into existence.
6 Q. What sort of equipment did this unit have?
7 A. In peacetime, before this unit was established, we had another
8 unit that was very much like this unit. It had the same sort of equipment
9 that this new unit would later have. As for this new unit, it had
10 whatever it could be given at the time. And the equipment it was given
11 was a bit newer and a bit better, and this was on account of the sort of
12 tasks that it was facing. It had to deal with certain individuals and
13 certain groups, and it was very often deployed along the front line to
14 keep the enemy forces from getting closer to Sarajevo. It had a bit more
15 equipment and a bit more weapons than the regular police forces, which
16 went about a very different set of tasks and duties.
17 Q. What sort of weaponry did it have in comparison to the regular
18 police forces?
19 A. They had long barrels, rifles, automatic weapons, whereas the
20 police units for the most part had pistols and whatever was at hand. And
21 this was sufficient for them to go about their duties.
22 Q. How often was the Laste Unit used in combat by the military?
23 A. Bearing in mind the fact that this unit comprised highly trained
24 people, dedicated people, brave people, brave fighters, well, you have to
25 know that these men were trained as the unit was being built, but the
1 human resources were very good and this was soon recognised, the fact that
2 this unit was able to hold certain lines to keep the enemy from breaking
3 into Sarajevo, so that whenever necessary this unit was used. Quite
4 often, in fact.
5 Q. Was it used outside of Sarajevo?
6 A. The unit was used outside Sarajevo whenever the need arose, and it
7 gave a great contribution. I think if you look at the statistics, I can't
8 give you the statistics off the top of my head now, but I think this unit
9 had a lot of numbers -- a lot of members who were killed.
10 Q. How did the military use this particular unit, the Laste Unit,
11 when they were used in combat?
12 A. In principle, which was perfectly all right, the military would
13 ask for help in order to perform combat operations. I don't wish to speak
14 about the Laste unit separately, because there are other units that should
15 be considered. For example, the MUP special unit. I don't think the
16 Laste unit merits being singled out for special treatment because all the
17 units had the same treatment and all the units were used in combat
18 operations. So that, for example, whenever the 1st Corps or another unit
19 of the military required the assistance of this unit for combat
20 operations, whenever the unit was available, whenever its members were
21 sufficiently rested, whenever it had sufficient equipment and weapons,
22 there was no need not to resubordinate this unit for whatever purposes its
23 assistance was requested.
24 Q. Did your job as minister of the interior involve travel outside of
1 A. It was my job and my duty and also my personal desire to be
2 involved in all the organisational units of the Ministry of the Interior
3 on account of the wartime circumstances. And to the extent that I could,
4 I would travel further afield, meet the heads of the various centres and
5 help them resolve any problems that they had. Therefore, I can say that I
6 travelled all over Bosnia, far and wide throughout the war.
7 Q. Did you ever travel with the special units when they went to
8 combat with the military?
9 A. The -- let me put it this way: I never travelled with them using
10 the same vehicle or exactly at the same time as they were travelling, but
11 I often went to see where these units would be deployed and where they
12 would be fighting in order to help them, especially with people I knew,
13 the police chiefs, to help them in terms of logistics, in terms of
14 supplies, in terms of accommodations, so that the units would face as
15 little hardship on the ground as possible. I travelled between Bihac,
16 Central Bosnia, and all the way to Mostar with these units. I covered a
17 lot of ground with them.
18 Q. Did you ever meet the army commanders to whom these units were to
19 be subordinated in combat?
20 A. I don't know. I think we all kept meeting all the time. It
21 wasn't an area large enough to allow you not to meet certain people. It
22 was a relatively small area, a relatively small area with lots of combat
23 operations going on. So those of us who moved about that area would often
24 meet, talk, exchange our opinions and experiences in order to find better
25 solutions and get better results and in order to find solutions that would
1 be best for everyone.
2 Q. Do you know the accused, Sefer Halilovic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How long have you known him for?
5 A. I think we met just before the war. Roughly speaking, that was
6 the time we met.
7 Q. In general terms - and I'll move to the specifics a little later -
8 what was the relationship like between army units stationed in Sarajevo in
9 1993 and the MUP?
10 A. I don't think I can say anything good about the relationship.
11 You're asking me to assess what the relationship was like. There was a
12 lot of tension, especially out in the field. The units were armed, there
13 were all kinds of persons in these units, all with their own traits and
14 natures. Some of them were aggressive. There were a lot of problems
15 which made the relationship between the police and the BH army quite
16 complex at times.
17 Q. What was the cause of the tension -- I'm sorry. A moment ago you
18 said the units were armed. Were you referring to the army or the police?
19 A. Both. Both were armed to the extent possible, respectively. Both
20 the army and the police were poorly armed to begin with. They had what
21 they had.
22 Q. What was the cause of the tension between the army and the police
23 in Sarajevo?
24 A. Incidents were frequent. Certain members -- if you look at it
25 from my point of view as someone who was the chief of the Security
1 Services Centre at the time, certain members of the army wanted to loot
2 certain areas of town, certain shops, to raid certain flats. There was a
3 lot being done by individuals at the time who were trying to take over
4 some of the police tasks which they believed they should have been doing.
5 This was something that the police, as an institution, could no longer
6 tolerate. So there were certain differences which resulted in incidents
7 and clashes. Sometimes these were major incidents, sometimes not so
8 major. This is something that was dealt with by the command bodies, but
9 the fact remains that these clashes and incidents did occur. I think a
10 lot was done about that by the former minister, Jusuf Pusina, and General
11 Sefer Halilovic to resolve these matters, but the situation was very
12 complex and things kept on happening.
13 Q. From which units were the members of the army that were involved
14 in attempting to loot certain areas of town, certain shops, raiding
15 certain flats, and so on?
16 A. Generally speaking, there were many such individuals, but such
17 incidents were particularly frequent in the case of this unit. It's been
18 a long time, so I may not get the unit right, but I think it was Ramiz
19 Delalic's unit, it was Caco's unit, it was the unit led by Jusuf Prazina.
20 For the most part these were the units causing most of the incidents and
21 trouble around town.
22 Q. What was Jusuf Prazina's unit known as?
23 A. One must have a lot of respect for the military contribution of
24 his unit also. Just because there were certain misfits in his unit, no
25 one can deny their military contribution and the protection they afforded
1 the town to a certain extent. But some members of that unit acted as some
2 sort of a paramilitary unit, which did whatever it pleased. Prazina
3 himself had no respect for anyone in high positions; the president,
4 General Halilovic, or myself, for that matter. He had no respect for
5 anyone. He was a renegade and a renegade from reason, if I may put it
6 that way, and this is precisely the way he acted.
7 Q. How did you become aware of the activities of members of Caco and
8 Celo's -- sorry, Ramiz Delalic and Caco's units?
9 A. In the end, it was all very simple. When incidents occurred
10 related to the ID'ing of the perpetrators, information was obtained based
11 on their statements that they belonged to such-and-such units. The
12 citizens themselves, after all, very often would come and report certain
13 matters, usually very bad things done by these people. They would take
14 people trench-digging of their own accord, they would mobilise people of
15 their own accord, they would search flats of their own accord, without any
16 proper authorisation, and they were involved in criminal activities also.
17 This was regularly indicated by various police reports which, as a rule,
18 reached me. This was something that was generally known in Sarajevo at
19 the time.
20 Q. Did the Ministry of the Interior communicate with the military
21 about these criminal reports the MUP was receiving?
22 A. We did communicate, yes. A procedural decision was taken to do
23 this through certain bodies. The security service centres -- or rather,
24 the Ministry of the Interior would send written reports to the army
25 command, to the Presidency, and to other relevant bodies. There was a
1 need to familiarise these bodies so that they could get involved in
2 solving these matters. There was communication and information was
3 definitely passed on.
4 Q. Were there any meetings between MUP representatives and
5 representatives of the military about these criminal activities?
6 A. We had a number of meetings. The situation was really quite
7 cumbersome on a account of a number of internal problems, plus we were
8 facing a massive enemy offensive which jeopardised the existence of
9 Sarajevo and its citizens. You must bear in mind the fact that Sarajevo
10 was shelled on a daily basis, which means you have problems. So meetings
11 were held in a bid to find solutions, but the whole thing took a long time
12 and I think eventually proved very damaging for us.
13 Q. You said, "We had a number of meetings." Did you ever attend any
14 meetings with the military about these matters?
15 A. At the time when I was chief of the security services centre, I
16 may have met a few times with the minister of the interior and General
17 Halilovic. We reviewed this situation, this cumbersome situation, and we
18 looked at solutions, but we didn't have a clue at the time, precisely on
19 account of the fact that there was intense fighting activity going on and
20 we were facing a problem to which we knew no solution. In my capacity as
21 chief and based on the information I received, that would be about it.
22 Q. The meetings with General Halilovic, were they when he was chief
23 of the Main Staff; that is, the number one person in the army?
24 A. At the time, I was chief of the security services centre, and he,
25 the general, was the number one man in the army.
1 Q. Did you make any suggestions as to what could be done to resolve
2 the problems of criminal activities by members of the military in
4 A. As far as I remember, we talked a great deal and reviewed a number
5 of options. Any option would have entailed a great deal of risk once we
6 decided to tackle the problem. There was immediately the danger that the
7 enemy units would seize Sarajevo while we were trying to resolve our own
8 internal conflict, be it crime or scandalous behaviour by certain members
9 of the army. So the situation we faced is that in dealing with these
10 internal problems, we faced the risk of losing the town. The environment
11 being what it was at the time, it was very difficult to take any
12 decisions. I think once in particular we considered this, but no one came
13 up with a specific proposal on what to do. There was an idea floated that
14 people should be arrested on the way out of Sarajevo, so that would be a
15 situation where it was easier to arrest them. It would have been easier
16 to arrest them outside Sarajevo than inside Sarajevo; that was the idea.
17 But still, you didn't know what would happen in Sarajevo in that case. So
18 these were the sort of ideas that were floated and the ideas and proposals
19 that people had at the time.
20 Q. Just on that, you said, "There was an idea floated that people
21 should be arrested on the way out of Sarajevo." Which people are you
22 referring to?
23 A. That -- that included the key people; Caco, Celo, and some others,
24 and their people from the units; "their."
25 Q. You said that was an idea or a proposal that was floated at the
1 time. Was that floated in a meeting between you and Mr. Halilovic?
2 A. I think that we started that issue together. At the time, I
3 believed that that was a problem that he saw, the problem of the situation
4 in town. There was a problem and we needed to resolve it. We proposed to
5 General Halilovic certain options in order to resolve that problem, and as
6 to particular roles and who exactly needed to do what exactly, that's a
7 different issue.
8 Q. What were the options you proposed to General Halilovic?
9 A. We as police tended to believe that the criminal activity of these
10 people needed to be terminated and that this negative criminal trend
11 needed to be dealt with firmly because it presented just as great a danger
12 to Sarajevo as the enemy activity. We had numerous complaints from the
13 citizens of Sarajevo who wanted to leave the town precisely because of the
14 situation. Some people at the time disappeared. We as police could not
15 simply tolerate that. So we made proposals, we as civilian police at the
17 Q. What were these proposals or options that you proposed to General
18 Halilovic? That's all I want you to tell us at the moment, if you could.
19 A. I don't know. I think that it was then that we gave a proposal to
20 use an occasion when these people would leave Sarajevo and arrest them
22 Q. And what was General Halilovic's response to that particular
24 A. I can't recall now what exactly the general said at the time. But
25 at the time, we presented this as a problem and as a proposal, and General
1 Halilovic did not have to state his opinion to us. This was the army
2 problem, not a police problem. So we did not receive a specific answer
3 from him; however, I took it that he understood the situation, that he
4 wanted to resolve the problem himself. I know that this problem was
5 raised at the highest level, the Presidency level, that the Presidency
6 discussed this problem at various meetings based on the information
7 supplied to them.
8 Q. Were you ever present at meetings of the Presidency when that was
9 -- this particular problem was discussed?
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. Were members of the military present at any meetings of the
12 Presidency when this particular problem was discussed?
13 A. I think that they attended some meetings. We as police also held
14 some meetings, asking that the problem be resolved. This was done
15 independent from the army because we were part of the civilian
16 authorities, and as such, we had a duty and a right to ask that the
17 problem be resolved.
18 Q. Are you able to say now in relation to Operation Trebevic, which
19 was in late October 1993, when these meetings -- sorry, when these
20 problems were discussed at meetings of the Presidency which you attended?
21 A. At the time, I was already minister of the interior, and in that
22 capacity I attended these meetings where the plans, the proposals were
23 reviewed in order to solve the problem. I think that the entire
24 Presidency, and not just President Izetbegovic, participated in this
25 problem in analysing it and deciding on it. There was a vast amount of
1 information requiring that we do something about it. There were many
2 incidents, murders, which were unresolved. And I think that the
3 Presidency understood the entire situation, and that in the end we offered
4 a plan to the Presidency. Later on, the plan was expanded. We had a
5 coded name for the plan. The plan was known as the Trebevic plan and it
6 offered a way to deal with the problem.
7 Q. A few moments ago in one of your previous answers you said:
8 "Some people at the time disappeared. We as police could simply not
9 tolerate that."
10 What did you mean? What were you referring to when you said
11 "people disappeared"?
12 A. Specifically, we had a complaint from some people. A woman,
13 somebody's wife, would come in and say, "My husband was taken away. The
14 soldiers came, took him away and my husband did not return. I know
15 nothing further." So we received these types of information. And we had
16 similar cases, registered cases, and it was our duty to search for these
17 people. Sarajevo was under siege at the time, and it was very difficult
18 to conduct an investigation under those circumstances. We didn't even
19 have complete records, for example. People were leaving Sarajevo en masse
20 at the time. Some people applied to join the units, and we don't know how
21 reliable the records of the units were, whether they were complete and so
22 on. And all of this made our job more difficult. So we simply registered
23 what the problem -- what the source of all the problems was, and it seemed
24 that the commands of these two units were the source of the problem. And
25 it seemed that the solution, the best solution, would be to appoint new
1 people to the command of these units.
2 Q. The commands of which units -- are you still referring to Caco and
3 Celo at the moment?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And how often were you receiving reports that soldiers had taken
6 civilians away and had not returned?
7 A. We in the ministry, or rather in the CSB, in the security services
8 centre, have records where all of this is registered. So all of the
9 complaints are recorded. I don't think that the number of these persons
10 is as high as the number of persons who were mistreated and so on, or as
11 the number of robberies and so on.
12 Q. What were the records -- I'll withdraw that.
13 What reports did you receive of mistreatment, just in general
15 A. Frequently that would entail physical mistreatment, beatings,
16 arrest, and so on.
17 Q. And in that answer are you referring to members of Caco and Celo's
18 units or other units?
19 A. This applies mostly to these units, although at the time we also
20 had a unit of Juka Prazina and some other units in one part of the town.
21 However, the focus of our attention and efforts was directed at these two
22 units because they created much greater problems than some smaller units.
23 Q. You also, a few moments ago in one of your answers, referred to
24 murders. Can you explain -- can you elaborate on that, please. You said,
25 "There were unresolved murders."
1 A. I couldn't give you any details regarding this, but what I had in
2 mind were the murders that we investigated in Sarajevo in the course of
3 the operation called Kazan. Most of the unsolved problems fell under that
4 category and we tried to resolve it in conjunction with the army and the
5 organs of the judicial system.
6 Q. When was Operation Kazan?
7 A. I think that, using the operative police terms, it started before
8 the Trebevic operation and was completed -- was completed with the aid of
9 information obtained through the Trebevic operation. What I received, the
10 information that I received, helped resolve a lot of other matters.
11 Q. Who was -- which group was the target of Operation Kazan?
12 A. I don't know whether you could repeat the question. I'm not sure
13 I understood it properly. I don't know what you mean by the word
14 "group"; whether that means citizens or the army.
15 Q. Who --
16 A. But all right. In relation to that, I can give you my point of
17 view. I think that through the problem that we called Kazani, we learned
18 that there were some corpses of the people of all ethnic backgrounds,
19 although the dominant group was of Serbian ethnicity. There were also
20 Bosniaks and Croats who were mistreated by a group of people, and the
21 group of people was linked to the Caco's brigade.
22 Q. Was this particular problem, called Kazani, ever discussed in
23 meetings with the military that you attended?
24 A. Regarding Kazani --
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. -- or the situation?
2 Q. Kazani.
3 A. I think that the Trebevic plan planned also for that activity
4 which was planned together with the army and entailed the participation of
5 both the police and the army. The army was to play the main role because
6 this involved or was aimed against the army members. They needed to
7 provide certain resources, whereas the equipment and the expertise was
8 provided by the Ministry of the Interior, and the case has been resolved.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Morrissey.
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Thank you. Well, Your Honours, I have an
11 objection to this line of questioning now, and in fact it's an objection I
12 made about a month ago as well in relation to this. Your Honours, the
13 evidence as it's now fallen in this case makes it perfectly plain that
14 there's no evidence at all of 10th Brigade participation. Now, we have no
15 more crime scene witnesses to come, as I understand the position.
16 Therefore, leading the evidence about Kazani -- I didn't interrupt this
17 witness now because he was giving an account and he's entitled to give the
18 account that he gave uninterrupted, I think, but the evidence now is
19 absolutely lacking that the 10th Brigade had anything to do with the crime
20 at Grabovica, and of course no one suggests that they were involved at
21 Uzdol either. So now I object on the grounds of relevance to leading
22 evidence about the 10th Brigade and whatever activities they might have
23 been suspected of or indeed might have been proved at a later time to have
24 been involved in. Because in the past my objection was met by a
25 statement, which was quite a correct statement, frankly, that we haven't
1 got to the end of the evidence yet as far as the crime scene goes, but I
2 think we have now, Your Honours, and the 10th Brigade just haven't been
3 proved to have been involved in the killings at Grabovica. Therefore, I
4 object to any further evidence being led on that topic.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the 10th Brigade was not involved in the
6 killings in Grabovica, but if my memory is long enough I remember that
7 someone from the 10th Brigade was involved in the burning of the bodies in
8 Grabovica, which could be regarded a part of the murder actions. To be on
9 the safe side, we'll allow the Prosecution to proceed with the issues
10 concerning of the 10th Brigade, and later on, after the Prosecution
11 finished the presentation of its case, we'll consider your objections.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court --
13 JUDGE LIU: We understand that your objections always stands
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, as Your Honour pleases.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 You may proceed.
18 MR. RE: May I add, it also goes to the accused's mens rea. It's
19 always been our case that the use of those troops, if known to have
20 criminal propensities, both the 9th and the 10th, goes to his mens rea in
21 using those troops.
22 JUDGE LIU: I'm not going to debate on this issue at this stage.
23 Let's continue with the testimony of this witness and maybe we could take
24 a break at 4.00.
25 MR. RE: Of course.
1 Q. I want to move to another incident, Mr. Alispahic, and that is
2 involving Senad Pecar. Now, what happened to --
3 A. Pecar.
4 Q. Now, what happened to Senad Pecar?
5 A. In view of the time that has passed, I can't tell you
6 specifically, but it was sometime during the summer, July or August, when
7 a need arose to interview Senad Pecar about the criminal activity of
8 himself and his associates. As a result of that, he was taken into
9 custody and was -- by the military police, if I remember correctly. I
10 couldn't tell you exactly where he was taken, but the reaction to his
11 arrest was such that the 9th Mountain Brigade blocked the entire town,
12 paying special attention to the old part of the town where those units
13 converged. It was difficult for the citizens to move about the town.
14 Certain facilities were blocked by the members of that unit who were
15 armed. And the situation was such that we needed to resolve the problem.
16 Q. Who was Senad Pecar?
17 A. Senad Pecar was assistant or deputy, I'm not sure which, but he
18 was within the command of the 10th Mountain Brigade.
19 Q. Which facilities were blocked by members of the 9th?
20 A. In addition to main thoroughfares, I think that the operative
21 staff of the Supreme Command was blocked, the army hall was blocked as
22 well, and that was it. They demanded to speak to somebody in order to
23 resolve what they saw as problems. Their demand was accepted.
24 Q. I apologise for speaking over the interpreter. Who was "they"?
25 A. Members of these brigades and their leadership; Caco, Celo. They
1 were -- there were also members of the Delta Unit as well. So there was a
2 certain number of members of these units who believed that they had the
3 identical problem or a similar problem, and they demanded that they meet
4 with somebody in order to resolve the problem.
5 Q. How was the situation resolved?
6 A. It was resolved in such a way that we had to enter the building.
7 Q. And who's "we"?
8 A. I think the army hall, because the name of the building kept
9 changing. So I think at the time it was called the army hall. General
10 Delic and I were supposed to come to the meeting in order to respond to
11 the demands that they placed before us. The commands of these two units
12 said that they had certain problems, they wanted the problems to be
13 resolved, and that it was the commander of the army and perhaps the head
14 of the MUP who were supposed to resolve the problem in case where certain
15 issues fell under the Ministry of the Interior, the issues relating to
17 Q. Are you saying there was a meeting in an army hall between you and
18 General Delic, Caco, and Celo?
19 A. There were some other senior officers from those units there as
20 well. I can't remember them right now. There were a lot of troops there.
21 The entire army hall was blocked by them.
22 Q. What about the Delta Unit, were the commanders of the Delta Unit
23 there as well?
24 A. I think that one of the commanders of the Delta Unit was present.
25 Q. Did, to your knowledge, Mr. Halilovic have anything to do with
1 this meeting?
2 A. I can't remember that he was involved in any way. I don't think
3 that he was. I don't think that General Halilovic was present at the
5 Q. You referred to facilities being blocked. What about the police
6 station in Centar?
7 A. The police station in Centar - I can't remember the name of the
8 street - was also blocked by these members. This was a result of the
9 antagonism that prevailed between the police on the one hand and the army
10 on the other at the time. The police station was held for a couple of
11 hours, was kept under blockade, then the commander came. They disarmed a
12 number of police officers, about a dozen of them were taken away to dig
13 trenches. Some were physically mistreated and abused and we had to bring
14 in stronger police forces to re-take the station, the police structure,
15 and to bring it back under the MUP.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's take a break. We'll resume at 4.30.
17 --- Recess taken at 4.02 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.32 p.m.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re, please continue your direct examination.
20 MR. RE:
21 Q. Just before the break, Mr. Alispahic, we were -- you were telling
22 us about the re-taking of the police station by better-armed police. How
23 many of them were required to re-take the police station?
24 A. By then the situation was complicated. The military, in a way,
25 took the police station. They were physically inside the station. They
1 had disarmed the police officers and the commander had surrendered. 20 or
2 30 police officers went there to re-take the station, in a manner of
3 speaking, and reclaim it for the MUP. Their determination and their
4 numbers simply resolved the problem because there was eventually no armed
5 conflict when the station was re-taken. There was no casualties and no
6 wounded. That's how the situation was resolved.
7 Q. Was that on the same day?
8 A. I think so.
9 Q. And do you remember whether it was before or after the meeting you
10 and Mr. Delic had with Caco, Celo, and units from -- people from the Delta
12 A. I think it all happened on the same day at more or less the same
13 time. It was a critical problem being faced by the entire town, faced by
14 all those who were in charge of tackling this problem. Delic and myself
15 tried to do so because some people had asked us to come, and the chief of
16 the centre, meanwhile, was solving this problem with the police. I think
17 it more or less coincided in terms of time.
18 Q. Which units had taken the police station?
19 A. I think the units under Caco's command.
20 Q. I'm going to ask you about some specific incidents.
21 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown exhibit which was MNA
23 Q. I'm going to ask you about a document which bears your name,
24 signature, of the 2nd of June, 1993, which will come up on the computer
25 screen to your left there.
1 Now firstly, is that a document -- is that a document of which
2 you're the author and have signed, the date of the 2nd of June, 1993?
3 MR. MORRISSEY: May I just indicate I haven't got that on the
4 screen - I'm sorry, Your Honours - at the moment.
5 JUDGE LIU: I believe it is coming.
6 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, if I'm not the only one, I'm happy, Your
8 Your Honours, I think the Bosnian version is on the screen now,
9 for those who have got that channel, but unfortunately --
10 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Morrissey, I think it has to be released by
11 the Prosecution. I think they have done it now.
12 JUDGE LIU: Now we have it. You may proceed, Mr. Re.
13 MR. RE: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Alispahic, is that a report or a communication which you wrote
15 to the military, the Main Staff, the 2nd of June, 1993?
16 A. This is one of the ways in which we communicated and one of the
17 ways to address these institutions, the Defence Ministry, the Main Staff,
18 and other bodies that were in charge of tackling the problem. The
19 minister of the interior, the minister himself, the 1st Corps, and so on
20 and so forth, this is a summary, so to speak, of the incidents caused by
21 Ramiz Delalic. I drew up a brief report and had it delivered to these
22 addressees. I signed the report, and this is information that we obtained
23 through our police system. We submitted this information to other people
24 and asked that steps be taken, that assistance be provided, to deal with
25 these matters.
1 The situation was difficult. There were a great many incidents.
2 By way of an example, Delalic never agreed to have any communication with
3 the police. He never wanted to pull over whenever he was stopped by the
4 police. The result of these things was that he was pulled over by a
5 police patrol once, and when the police officer searched his car they
6 found no documents, no personal documents, and none of the car's
7 documents. There were a number of incidents, and this is a report that
8 speaks about them.
9 Q. The report says: "On that occasion he insulted the police and the
10 heads of the centre and the secretariat and threatened to blow up the
11 police station."
12 Which police station did he threaten to blow up?
13 A. Well, first of all I'd like to say that this was his usual mode of
14 behaviour and communication; secondly, I think he was referring to the
15 station to which he had been taken or the police station whose members
16 they -- whose members controlled him at this point in time; traffic police
17 in other words.
18 MR. RE: May that be received into evidence?
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I think we object to this
20 being received into evidence. The witness has given an explanation for it
21 which is, frankly, a suitable one to have it admitted into evidence, so
22 the objection is quite a narrow one, and that is that Mr. Delalic was here
23 last week and why wasn't it put to him? Now, it wasn't put to him at
24 all. And in fact it has to be commented that the Defence -- the
25 Prosecution case wasn't put to him, so it's really a question of the
1 Prosecution putting documents to a witness who's got something to say
2 about that document that really should be acceded to.
3 Now, otherwise, this witness is plainly qualified to look at this
4 and say it is his document. Plainly it should be admitted in the normal
5 course of events. In this case I object to it not because of anything
6 that Mr. Alispahic says but because it was never shown to Mr. Delalic last
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think your objection has some point in it, and
9 the -- but however, I believe this document was drafted by this witness
10 and this witness testified to that effect. We have no doubt to believe
11 that this document is relevant and has some probative value on that.
12 As for the question why this document was not put to the previous
13 witness, we assume that it's something within the strategy from the
14 Prosecution, it's their way to present their case. But on the document
15 itself as well as the testimony of this witness, we see no problem for it
16 to be admitted into the evidence. So it's admitted into the evidence, and
17 the --
18 MR. MORRISSEY: As the Court pleases.
19 JUDGE LIU: -- Court Deputy will assign a number to this document.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P204, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown the next document,
23 which is Prosecution 65 ter 165, which is ERN 0403-4969.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI 429.
25 MR. RE: I just note that the English translation, I just noticed,
1 appears to have missed the date of the document, which is the 28th of
2 June, 1993. On the Bosnian version -- sorry, the Bosnian original has a
3 date of 28/6/93 under the number 17-1/01- handwritten 29th of June at the
4 top. So if that could just be corrected for purposes of the record.
5 Q. Just have a look at that document, Mr. Alispahic, and the
6 information in that document. Firstly, is that a Ministry of the Interior
8 A. Can we have the whole document shown, please? This document
9 belongs to the Ministry of the Interior, security services centre.
10 Q. There's a signature --
11 A. Sarajevo.
12 Q. Sorry. There's a name or a signature on the bottom. It starts
13 with Munja and then it says "illegible." Whose signature is that?
14 A. Alibabic, the former chief of the security services centre,
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak up.
17 MR. RE:
18 Q. Mr. Alispahic, could you please speak up for the interpreters,
19 speak a little more loudly.
20 A. The name is Munir Alibabic.
21 Q. Thank you. And was he the person who succeeded you in the job as
22 chief of the Sarajevo police?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you remember seeing this person document or hearing or knowing
25 about the information contained in it -- okay, one question at a time. I
1 understand the objection that's coming.
2 Starting over again, Mr. Alispahic. Are you aware of the
3 information which is contained in this document?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember seeing this particular document at the time?
6 A. I can't say that I saw the document at the time, but I'm familiar
7 with the information contained in this document, the incidents that
8 occurred, as well as this incident at the clinical centre in Kosevo in
10 MR. RE: Is there an objection to the document? I mean, I can
11 have the witness give the evidence orally or the document can be tendered
12 if he says it's accurate.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, there is an objection to the
15 document. If it's going to assist the Court, the witness may say what he
16 knows about it, so long as it's not too remote. That's a matter for the
17 Court what level of hearsay you wish to hear, frankly. We don't know what
18 level of hearsay it is now. The witness may have heard something, and it
19 would be best to see where he got the information and then it may be that
20 it would be admissible.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re, you can ask some questions concerning
22 this document to this witness.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. You said a moment ago that you were familiar with the information
25 in the document. Where did you obtain your information from?
1 A. All the information in relation to any of the incidents that
2 occurred in the town of Sarajevo at the time was part of the collective
3 information obtained by the Ministry of the Interior. A summary is made
4 to indicate that such-and-such thing happened at such-and-such time in
5 such-and-such place. You don't go into detail, you can always check this
6 with the Ministry of the Interior. This is the terminology of our work.
7 It was in this way that I obtained any information, and the same applies
8 to this particular piece of information. Very often it was in direct
9 communication with the chief of the centre, specifically Mr. Alibabic.
10 Q. What do you remember about this particular incident, that's the
11 one of the clinical hospital? It says there on the 26th of June, 1993.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honour, before the witness is permitted to
13 answer that question, it should be established where he learned this
14 particular information, if he can remember that - it may be that he can,
15 it may be that he can't - and if he got it from Mr. Alibabic. The next
16 question is: Where did Mr. Alibabic get it from? It may be that there's
17 no valid objection to this being given but it may be that there is. It
18 would be important to establish what level, as I said earlier, of hearsay
19 we are dealing with.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you read carefully the answer of this witness
21 to the previous question, I believe that the witness testified that he
22 learned of this information as a part of the collective information
23 obtained by the Ministry of the Interior.
24 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, indeed. I -- well, I agree with that, Your
25 Honour, and that's why I raise the issue that he may know more than that.
1 But it really depends, Your Honours. If Your Honour sees that as a
2 sufficient basis for him to say what the information was that he learned
3 through operative channels, well, then I don't have an objection -- I
4 don't have a valid objection if that's your ruling.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we believe that is enough, so this document is
6 admitted into the evidence.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P429.
8 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown Prosecution 65 ter 152,
9 0147-4761. Now, this is a document dated, for the record, the 6th of
10 July, 1993, headed "Certain intelligence connected to the incident between
11 a number of soldiers from the 10th Mountain Brigade and members of the BH
12 MUP in Stari Grad area."
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI 430.
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. First question is: Is this a document from the minister --
16 Ministry of the Interior, the state security part of the Ministry of the
18 A. The document is somewhat illegible in the sense that there's a
19 shade right on top. But this is a document produced by the state security
20 service, one of the segments of the interior. It's to do with the work of
21 the secret service.
22 Q. What --
23 A. Can you please scroll down?
24 Q. What sort of document is it?
25 A. It says, "Information."
1 Q. Do you -- if you've having difficulty reading it, do you want --
2 would a paper copy of this particular document be clearer for you?
3 A. If it's no problem.
4 I can say that this is a document produced by the Ministry of the
5 Interior; more specifically, state security service.
6 Q. What sort of document is it, though? In what category does it
8 A. I think there should be an attachment to go with this document to
9 indicate who the document was addressed to and at whose request it was
10 produced, who it was for. According to the method employed by the secret
11 service, this document would be entitled "Information." If you have a
12 document with that status, that means it analyses certain events and
13 certain forms of behaviour on the ground. As a matter of principle, a
14 document like this should comprise verified information. Everything
15 that's in it should be verified because the end user of this document must
16 enjoy the privilege of full information. And we know who the users of
17 these documents were at the time; the president of the -- the Prime
18 Minister, Hadziefendic, and some other officials, I think. So this is a
19 report which has an objective. The objective is to give a summary of
20 security-related information in the area of Stari Grad municipality. And
21 this again has to do with the commanders of the 9th and 10th Brigades,
22 their behaviour, and their actions within this environment. At the time,
23 Jozo Jozic was the chief of the SDB, state security service, and I think
24 he signed this report. In the lower right-hand corner of the document you
25 can see his signature and a remark that he added.
1 Q. What does the remark say? Can you read it?
2 A. If we can zoom in, then perhaps I can say. I think it says here,
3 "For Vikic, Dragan Vikic." This is about certain threats made against the
4 commander of the special unit Vikic, then on the right-hand side you have
5 Jozic. That's what it says -- excuse me.
6 Q. What does, "For Vikic, Dragan Vikic" mean?
7 A. Just a minute. There's a reference to it in the main body of the
8 text. If I can have a minute to read through it.
9 I think this particular passage next to the remark that was added
10 is important for one reason. There was operative information available
11 that there had been an information leak among the military bodies that
12 some things would happen or that there would be replacements in those
13 units. So people were advising each other on how to act in that
14 situation. It says that some of the members should transfer to Musan
15 Topalovic, Caco's, unit in order to feel safer.
16 Q. Mr. Alispahic, are you familiar with this type of document from
17 your position as the minister of the interior?
18 A. The content of the document I'm familiar with, the form of the
19 document, the information contained therein.
20 Q. Do you -- was that the sort of document you would have ordinarily
21 seen in the course of your work as the minister of the interior?
22 A. Certainly. I had to have been informed with this document, with
23 its contents, in view of the office I held, especially since this document
24 speaks of the situation that existed at the time.
25 Q. On page 3 of the English, and I don't have the Bosnian in front of
1 me at the moment, it says: "We also have significant intelligence that on
2 the 3rd of June Sefer Halilovic held a meeting with Ramiz Delalic and the
3 command staff of the Delta Unit. On that occasion, they advocated an
4 attack against the Presidency of the republic and the capture of some
5 Presidency members."
6 Now, a moment ago you said you were familiar with the information
7 in the document. Are you aware of the source of the information for that
8 particular portion of the document?
9 A. When it comes to the state security service, the sources of the
10 information could be as follows: The information could come from an
11 associate, it could come from the mass media or some other source.
12 MR. RE: Is there an objection to the tender of this document? I
13 anticipate there might be.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, there is, Your Honour. Once again, Your
16 Honours have ruled against me in relation to operative-information type of
17 documents. I won't repeat my argument there. I'll just simply say I
18 object to it on that ground, say no more.
19 With respect to this document, it goes a little bit further. I
20 take it these documents are being led as operative information, simply as
21 a matrix of information that was available to the authorities at the time,
22 rather than as to the truth of their contents. Now, if that's the case,
23 what I'd submit is that this particular document is of relatively limited
24 weight, and that's a matter for Your Honours to weigh. If it's being led
25 as to its truth, well, I object to it absolutely, of course. But the
1 Prosecutor could say that it's being led as operative information only, in
2 which case I have the objection that it's remote and not probative.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Re, would you please ask this witness
4 whether this witness has seen this document before and when was that,
5 especially in 1993.
6 MR. RE: His answer a moment ago was: "I had to have been
7 informed with this document, its contents, in view of the office I held at
8 the time."
9 Q. Mr. Alispahic, do you remember now specifically seeing this
10 particular document at the time?
11 A. I will repeat once again. I cannot confirm that I saw this
12 document in its current form, but it is certain that I read this document
13 and that I'm familiar with the contents of the document. The document
14 originated in the state security service, not as an operative document as
15 you seem to understand it. A document can be composed on the basis of
16 several sources and information, the majority of which must come from very
17 reliable sources such as communication means, reliable sources of
18 information, various associates, and so on. I think that this is the
19 document of the state security service, that it dealt with the burning
20 issue at the time, and that it definitely reached the end users in the
22 Finally, I think that if you looked around, this document should
23 also exist in the BH army, or rather in the military security services,
24 and also with some political establishments.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, after hearing the explanations by this witness,
1 we decided that this document is admitted into the evidence, while bearing
2 in mind that certain information contained in this document is not
3 necessarily true, especially for some allegations which are not pled in
4 the indictment. It is so decided.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P430.
6 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit P207. For the
7 record, to make the transcript easier, that's a report of the 19th of
8 September, 1993, of the Ministry of the Interior state security service in
9 Sarajevo, referring to an incident on the 8th of September, 1993.
10 Q. Just have a look at that document, Mr. Alispahic, which is signed
11 by Jozo --
12 A. Could you please go back to the beginning of the document, to the
13 upper portion of the document. This is the signature of Jozo Jozic.
14 Q. I just want to ask you briefly: Are you familiar with the
15 document and the contents of the document?
16 A. Similar to many other documents, it is hard to say that I am
17 familiar with this document. In view of the office that I held, I could
18 retain certain information, verify, solve problems, and so on. I am
19 familiar with this incident. It took place near Pazaric, Pazarici. In
20 the morning when this incident took place, Jozo Jozic and many -- Alibabic
21 reacted to this incident. We informed the military security service
22 regarding this. And what actually happened was that Ramiz Delalic, Celo,
23 attacked the policemen. A fight broke out, in the course of which I think
24 one policeman was gravely wounded. I think that it almost erupted into a
25 firearms incident. The chief of the military security service was
1 informed about this incident which was started by Ramiz Delalic, Celo.
2 Q. Was anyone else in the military, to your knowledge, informed about
3 that besides Jusuf Jasarevic?
4 A. I couldn't say -- I couldn't say whether anybody else was
6 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown 65 ter Exhibit 150,
7 which is 0218-2500. The document, for the purposes of the record, is
8 dated the 15th of June, 1993, is headed "Official Note," and purports to
9 emanate from the SBD Sarajevo, security services centre, SBD of the state
10 security service.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI 431.
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, can I indicate this is the document
13 I raised at the start of proceedings today, and I will be taking an
14 objection to it. But it will be necessary, I suppose, for Your Honours to
15 rule on it, that you know what's in it.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think at this stage we'll allow this document
17 to be used, then we'll see whether we should have it admitted into
18 evidence or not.
19 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
21 MR. RE: Is this a document from the -- emanating from the
22 Ministry of the Interior when you were the minister of the interior?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. It's headed "Official --"
25 A. This is the document of the security services centre, the Sarajevo
1 SBD sector.
2 Q. It's headed "Official Note." What sort of document is this?
3 A. This document is, in accordance with the classification that
4 existed, the lowest-ranking document in terms of its reliability, which
5 means that the information contained here had to be further verified. The
6 note was composed on the basis of information received from a source, from
7 an associate. So the information was compiled on the basis of what was
8 received from that source, and the information needed to be further
9 verified and confirmed from other -- needed to be confirmed on the basis
10 of other sources or other material that had already been verified. The
11 document describes certain incidents which took place in the Jablanica
12 sector and involved certain members of the BH army.
13 Q. Are you familiar with the contents of the document?
14 A. I am familiar with the contents. I read the document. I know
15 that there was a vast number of incidents taking place down there caused
16 by the army members who were stationed there. This is what I know based
17 on the information that I received. I don't want to go into details
18 regarding any single incident but will simply say that on account of these
19 incidents, the members of these units were returned to Sarajevo. I think
20 that it would be very difficult to say that the information contained in
21 this document is fully reliable, because it speaks about rapes and some
22 other grave incidents, but other information could be reliable. The
23 official note, in accordance with the method adopted by the Ministry of
24 the Interior, does not normally reach the minister.
25 Q. Do you know whether the information in that was further verified
1 or confirmed from other sources?
2 A. I think that in accordance with the regular procedure, the
3 allegations contained in the notes are normally verified. I think that
4 there was a lot of accuracy here regarding these incidents, and I think
5 that because of that these units were sent back to Sarajevo because they
6 engaged in misconduct while being outside of their area.
7 Q. What was the source of your information that the members of the
8 Delta Unit and Ramiz Delalic's Sabotage Unit were sent back to Sarajevo
9 because of some of the things mentioned in this note?
10 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I object to this. Now what
11 the Prosecutor's trying to do is to make this true. He's now asking
12 whether this has been verified. Now, Your Honours, I object to this, and
13 again without prejudice to what the witness is saying about his
14 perceptions. It could not be relevant to the case, Your Honours, in this
15 document because it refers specifically to Sefer Halilovic. And don't
16 forget what it says. It says here - this is source SS saying this - that
17 Ramiz Delalic -- sorry, that the -- a unit burned the village to the
18 ground and the order for the destruction of the village of Klis was issued
19 by Sefer Halilovic. If you look over the page you'll see that there's
20 another one, that Mr. Halilovic has been planning another one. Now, I'm
21 not criticising the witness in this regard. This is material which he's
22 given plain evidence now, an Official Note, would not normally have
23 reached him. But is it the Prosecution case now for the first time in
24 this Court that Halilovic did these things? Now, that has to be
25 clarified. Now, if that's what they're saying, they better announce that
1 that's what they're saying.
2 JUDGE LIU: Now -- well, however, we'll give the full opportunity
3 for the Prosecution to exhaust their case, which means that they could ask
4 some questions to establish the reliability of this document. And as I
5 have already said, that at this stage we are not in a position to make a
6 ruling concerning the admission of this document. First of all, we find
7 that the witness testified that the need -- that information was in need
8 of the verification and the confirmation further. And later on he also
9 said there are lot of inaccuracies concerning some of the information
10 which is not quite clear to us. Secondly, the allegations in this
11 document is a very serious one. It's directly related to Mr. Halilovic,
12 the accused of this case, and there are murders, slaughtering of the
13 civilians, as well as rape. So it's a very serious one. And thirdly, I
14 wonder if these kind of allegations were really pleaded in the indictment
15 or not.
16 But since this document is in use now, we'll allow the Prosecution
17 to ask some questions concerning this document. Of course, in the
18 cross-examination the Defence has the full opportunity to ask some
19 questions concerning with this document. And later on, I believe we'll be
20 in a better position to make a ruling on the admission of this document.
21 You may proceed, Mr. Re.
22 MR. RE: Thank you.
23 Q. My question, Mr. Alispahic, was related to the source of your
24 information that members of the Delta Unit and Ramiz Delalic and his
25 Sabotage Unit were sent back to Sarajevo because of some of the things
1 mentioned in this particular document. What I want to know is: What did
2 you hear or how did you come to find out they were sent back because of
4 A. There are two questions posed here. One has to do with the
5 document, and the other deals with how I found out about these things,
6 about the incidents and the problems taking place there on the ground and
7 the members of the army who were there in the field. At the time when
8 this document was created, I never heard from my associates or through any
9 other channels about the allegations contained here regarding General
10 Halilovic. Further, the problems posed by the army members named here in
11 the document, I learned of that through police chiefs in Jablanica and
12 other places through regular briefing and reporting. Members of certain
13 units -- and I have to say that this refers to individuals. The army at
14 the time was involved in defensive operations, and these incidents were
15 caused by individuals. I received information about incidents. They told
16 me that these army members were down there creating trouble for Bosniak
17 and Croatian population, that they were causing disorder down there in
18 that entire area. From the same sources, from police sources, I learned
19 that they had been sent back to Sarajevo.
20 I think that the source who wrote this document which deals with
21 the murders, burning of villages and some other grave events either
22 augmented it or even invented some of the things mentioned here, because I
23 cannot believe to this day that General Halilovic would have issued any
24 such instructions to these individuals.
25 Q. A moment ago you said, before the discussion between the Presiding
1 Judge and Mr. Morrissey that: "I don't want to go into details regarding
2 any single incident but will simply say that on account of these incidents
3 members of the units were returned to Sarajevo. I think it would be very
4 difficult to say that the information contained in this document is fully
5 reliable because it speaks about rapes and some other grave incidents, but
6 other information could be reliable."
7 Based upon what you heard at the time through your own sources,
8 which -- and you've already said that you don't believe that Mr. Halilovic
9 ordered the things described there. Based on the information you had at
10 the time through your own sources, what is your assessment of what is
11 reliable or could be reliable in that document?
12 MR. MORRISSEY: Well, Your Honours, I now do object to this. To
13 ask a witness what he thinks could be reliable about a document that he
14 might have seen is really way to remote, and I object to it on that simple
15 ground alone.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the word "could" is not properly used, but
17 I believe that Mr. Re is entitled to ask what is reliable in this
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. What do you consider, Mr. Alispahic, based upon your sources, what
21 you heard at the time, to be reliable in that document?
22 MR. RE: And I'm qualifying that question to be as fair as I
23 possibly can to the Defence.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that based on the entire
25 document except for matters relating to General Halilovic and him ordering
1 -- I think that it says in there ordering for villages to be burned down
2 and people to be killed and so on, other than that, everything else is
3 pretty accurate. What is accurate is these army members engaged in
4 vandalism, in mistreatment, that they got drunk, that they caused damage,
5 that they also damaged their own reputation and that of the BH army. I
6 can't tell you anything further than that because at the time I did not
7 have the information at my disposal, but I can tell you now that I don't
8 believe that what is stated about the general in the document is true.
9 MR. RE: And just for the record, the sake of the record, the
10 document is referring to incidents in the territory of Jablanica and
11 Konjic in May 1993, particularly in the village of -- Croatian village of
12 Klis, K-l-i-s.
13 It's on our list. I note the Defence objection. I won't move to
14 tender it at the moment, because I understand there will be an argument
15 about it, and I'll move on, if that's acceptable to the Trial Chamber.
16 Q. I want to ask you about an incident in October 1993 involving
17 shelling of the Ministry of the Interior building. What happened?
18 A. This incident is perhaps one in a series of certain types of
19 incidents. Some incidents were verbal, some incidents could be qualified
20 as provocations, and some incidents involved the threat of firearms use.
21 Caco's people had an aversion -- a high level of aversion towards the
22 Ministry of the Interior and its members. Perhaps they even felt somewhat
23 unsafe in view of all of the things they had committed. And as a result,
24 they themselves caused these incidents. One of such incidents involved
25 two grenades of a small calibre fired from the city itself. This was all
1 established on the basis of the on-site investigation. Based on our
2 information, such grenades at the time were -- existed only in Caco's
3 unit. This is one of the recorded incidents. I mean the information
4 regarding it is recorded in our service and was investigated and the
5 factual situation was established. This information was further
6 investigated by the security service. This is all I can say about this
8 Q. Just to clarify what you said, I asked you about an incident
9 involving shelling of the MUP building in October 1993, and you said that
10 there were two small-calibre -- two grenades of a small calibre fired from
11 the city. Are you saying there that two grenades were fired at the
12 ministry building from within Caco's area?
13 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry, before the witness answers that question --
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. MORRISSEY: -- could I just point out that this incident is in
16 October of 1993 and it couldn't be relevant to Mr. Halilovic's guilt. I
17 don't understand it's being put that he fired those missiles, Your
18 Honours, and in my submission it's just irrelevant to the charges before
19 the Court.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage I'm not quite sure when
21 Mr. Halilovic was released from the post because of the Trebevic
23 MR. MORRISSEY: I think the evidence is already admitted that he
24 was arrested on the 26th of -- or the 27th of October, and I believe it to
25 be the 1st of November. And I think there's an order already in evidence
1 about that, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE LIU: I see. I -- at this moment, I fail to see the point
3 from the Prosecution. Maybe if we allow the Prosecution to ask a few more
4 questions, the picture will be more clear.
5 MR. MORRISSEY: Your Honours, it may be so. I am obliged to take
6 the objections when they arise. I'm certainly not doing so to be
7 difficult. I just have to take them now. I can't play a violin later on,
8 I must take them now, so I do take the objection now. I hear Your
9 Honour's ruling about it.
10 JUDGE LIU: Let us see how far the Prosecution could go. If they
11 are really irrelevant to our case, I think this kind of evidence should be
13 You may proceed, Mr. Re.
14 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Alispahic, I was asking you just to clarify what happened,
16 just to summarise what happened. Are you saying that from within the area
17 of the 10th --
18 MR. MORRISSEY: I'm not sure that the -- let me stop there. I
19 think he said from the city, from my recollection, Your Honours. Perhaps
20 I've missed something in the evidence, but I don't think I have.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's from the city. But the witness also
22 testified that that kind of special hand grenade was only available in the
23 10th Brigade.
24 MR. RE:
25 Q. I'm just seeking some clarity from what you were saying to -- are
1 you saying -- perhaps I could ask it this way: Are you saying that two
2 special grenades, of only a type that Caco had, were fired at the Ministry
3 of the Interior building?
4 A. I'll define it like this: We at the Ministry of the Interior
5 viewed this as two shells that were fired from positions occupied by
6 members of the 10th Mountain Brigade, Caco's brigade. This was preceded
7 by certain actions, an on-site investigation obtaining operative
8 information, and then based on all of these findings and investigations,
9 the MUP took the position that I've described. That was the position of
10 the Ministry of the Interior then and it still is. As I said, those
11 grenades were no special grenades. We had very few anyway. These were
12 rather low-calibre grenades which were seen to be for what they were.
13 They caused a minor amount of damage. And with the benefit of hindsight
14 and knowing what weapons were around, those low-calibre shells could not
15 have arrived from more distant positions. It was ascertained that the
16 shells had arrived from that direction, both on the operative level and by
17 an on-site investigation. We at the Ministry of the Interior have a
18 special department for counter-sabotage protection. Those were qualified
19 people doing their job, and that's all I'm saying, nothing more.
20 Q. When was that incident?
21 A. That incident occurred at the same time as everything else we're
22 talking about, these recurring incidents between the police on the one
23 hand and some members of the army on the other, but I can't give you a
24 specific date. It was prior to the Trebevic operation.
25 Q. Are you able to say approximately how long before Trebevic, which
1 was in late October 1993, that this happened?
2 A. Not long before. Roughly about the same time.
3 Q. I want to move now to the area of Operation Neretva and the
4 operation in Herzegovina in 1993. You've already given evidence earlier
5 that special police units were used in combat fairly regularly by the
6 army. Did you attend a meeting in Zenica involving military -- high
7 military officials?
8 A. I gave a statement in 2001 and I said something about this
9 question that you're asking me. I think it was back in 2001, roughly the
10 same time of the year as now. I think it was an expanded meeting of the
11 military leadership that took place in Zenica. The meeting was about the
12 situation as it then prevailed throughout the army and on the ground and
13 in relation to combat operations. All the senior officers who were able
14 to attend were there. As far as I remember, among those unable to attend
15 was the senior officer from the Bihac Corps. Bihac was surrounded at the
16 time and I don't think he was able to make it. There was Rasim Delic,
17 there was General Sefer Halilovic, Hadzihasanovic, and other officers in
18 command -- corps commanders. I was also there in my capacity as the
19 interior minister. I had been invited to attend the meeting.
20 Q. Why were you invited to attend?
21 A. I'll give you my opinion as to why I was invited and why I
22 attended. I think after Delic became the number one man in the army, he
23 wanted to have this meeting. He wanted to ensure that there would be
24 progress, in a manner of speaking, in the army, regardless whether it was
25 concerning combat operations or the other segments. There were a lot of
1 problems in Sarajevo; the incidents that we've spoken about and the
2 difficult situation that prevailed. The situation at the front line was
3 no less difficult. We had a situation where there was intense fighting
4 going on with the HVO on the one side and the Serb aggressor army on the
5 other. The situation was critical, and I think I was invited to that
6 meeting because I was the interior minister at the time and because the
7 Ministry of the Interior by resubordinating their own special units, which
8 may to some extent have been merely a symbolic act, paid a great
9 contribution to defending Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think that was the
10 reason, or rather those were the reasons I was invited to attend and help
11 on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior in whichever way I could, give
12 assistance to the overall effort made by the BH army in defending Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Mr. Alispahic, do you remember the date of that meeting?
15 A. I can't remember the exact date, but it was mid-August 1993,
16 perhaps second half of August, thereabouts.
17 Q. How many days did you attend this meeting?
18 A. I remember I was there for the first day when most of the matters
19 were raised, most of the problems brought up by those attending. Senior
20 officers, Supreme Command staff, corps commanders, they spoke about
21 certain problems. There was a debate following their contributions. It
22 was clear that the priority was combat, to liberate all the territories
23 where it was possible to do something. I was there on the first day, and
24 I know from my conversations later with General Delic and other officers,
25 because we were frequently in touch and we frequently socialised, that the
1 meeting went on to define everything that was said on the first day. But
2 there was no longer any need for me to be there.
3 Q. I just want to show you the front page of one document, P1 --
4 Exhibit P109. And while that's being found I'll ask you about things that
5 were discussed at the meeting. Mr. Halilovic -- did you say Mr. Halilovic
6 was present?
7 A. Yes, I think he was. All of the army's commanders were there, the
8 whole Supreme Command staff; the inner sanctum plus the corps commanders,
9 with the exception of the Bihac commander.
10 MR. RE: Was Your Honour motioning for a break?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. I think we have to take a break, and we'll
12 resume at 10 minutes past 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Re, we are at Zenica meeting.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. Do you have a document in front of you which is P109 just to your
18 left there? I just want you to comment -- it's got a date of the 21st and
19 22nd of August, 1993, in Zenica a meeting was held with the topic "Most
20 Prominent Achievements." It goes down a bit and says, "The first day of
21 the meeting, Minister of the Interior Bakir Alispahic was also present."
22 Is that document referring to the particular meeting you attended
23 in Zenica?
24 A. I think it must be that meeting. I've never seen this document,
25 but the names given in this document indicate that it must be the same
1 meeting. I couldn't comment on this document as such, but I can say what
2 I've just said.
3 Q. All right. I want to ask you --
4 A. Excuse me. Its substance or anything related to this document.
5 Q. That's why I'm only showing you the first page, only the dates and
6 the participants, that's all I'm interested in in relation to that
7 particular document.
8 A. [In English] Okay.
9 Q. Now, I just want to move to things that were discussed at that
10 particular meeting. You said that Mr. Halilovic was there. Were any
11 forthcoming military operations discussed when you were there on the first
13 A. [Interpretation] Certainly. There was a lot of discussion, but
14 the focus was on military operations, what to do, which operations to
15 carry out, which were realistic and which were not in terms of what the BH
16 army could manage. General Halilovic and everyone else discussed this.
17 Q. Were there any forthcoming military operations involving special
18 MUP units discussed?
19 A. It was said that an operation should be prepared. Prepared. What
20 does that mean? To carry out the necessary steps within the army, to draw
21 up a plan for an operation near Mostar, because that was the area that was
22 in jeopardy at the time and the jeopardy could have become even greater
23 and the situation more complex. The road between Jablanica and Mostar had
24 been cut and it was necessary to take steps. The assessment given at this
25 meeting was that it was necessary to carry out military activities in that
2 Q. And what was the involvement, if any, of special MUP units to be?
3 A. It was for the purposes of this operation that I was requested to
4 send the Laste special unit as well as sufficient equipment in order to
5 relieve the army of those duties. The idea was to supply them with some
6 amount of equipment for the first actions. In military terms it's called
7 a combat set, for the unit to be given equipment, a combat kit, and for
8 this unit to be resubordinated to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 within the framework of this operation.
10 Q. Who made that request of you?
11 A. I think it was also made by General Halilovic as well as by
12 General Delic, which I considered to be perfectly normal.
13 Q. Why did you consider it to be normal?
14 A. I considered it to be normal because I based myself on my
15 experience of cooperation between the army and the police. Previously,
16 the police was involved to the extent that it could in terms of the police
17 officers that were available or equipment. The police always joined
18 combat activity whenever possible. And this operation that was to be
19 carried out implied that my ministry should give whatever assistance it
20 could, and this is how it was presented, as a serious plan. The area was
21 in jeopardy, and it was for these reasons that I considered their request
22 to be a perfectly reasonable one. I agreed and complied with their
24 Q. Was the operation given a name or did it go by a name at that
25 particular point, do you remember?
1 A. I really can't remember right now. The day when I was in Zenica,
2 there was some speculation regarding the name of that operation. In
3 military terminology, all these operations and actions, to the extent that
4 I understood, were given a name. And then this name is used to cover a
5 whole range of activities. But I can't be certain that I obtained that
6 kind of information in Zenica at the time. The only thing that did happen
7 is I agreed that I would resubordinate my special unit to the army for the
8 purposes of that operation.
9 Q. Did you later learn of the name of that particular operation?
10 A. Later, based on my contacts and conversations with different
11 people, with different police officers, based on what I learned from the
12 media, I learned that the name was Operation Neretva. I never considered
13 whether this was an official name that was designated because it was in
14 the Neretva River valley or just down the river from there. I considered
15 the name to be a logical choice and came to the conclusion that it was the
16 official name.
17 Q. From what was said at the meeting and the request of you for your
18 Laste Unit, what was your understanding of who was to command that
19 particular operation towards Mostar?
20 MR. MORRISSEY: Just a moment, Your Honours. That's a compound
21 sort of a question. It should be made clear whether or not this witness
22 is saying that a commander was appointed or foreshadowed at the meeting,
23 not mixed between that and something that was later heard.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's take it step by step.
25 MR. RE: My question was directly directed towards what was said
1 at that meeting and it's confined only to that meeting, Your Honour, at
2 the moment. It's not --
3 JUDGE LIU: It seems to me that there's two questions in your
4 question. So you may ask one, then another.
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. Who was to command the operation?
7 MR. MORRISSEY: Sorry --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I knew, General Sefer
9 Halilovic commanded the operation.
10 MR. RE:
11 Q. When did you learn that?
12 A. I think I learned this and understood this at the meeting itself,
13 based on what people were saying, based on what we were talking about as
14 to what was to be done. It was known that the special police unit was a
15 good, well-trained unit, and he asked personally for this unit to be
16 re-assigned to him for the purposes of this operation.
17 Q. Was that unit actually assigned to that operation?
18 MR. MORRISSEY: Stop there for a moment, please.
19 Your Honours, that question in military terms is not capable of
20 being meaningful. Units aren't assigned to an operation; they're assigned
21 under the command of a person. And for the purposes of Mr. Halilovic's
22 charges, it should be asked -- that should be related to him; was it
23 actually assigned to him or to some other person.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the word is not a proper word. Maybe
25 Mr. Re could change for another word to convey your idea. I'm not a
1 military man. I don't know.
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. Mr. Alispahic, you used the word "re-assigned." Did you mean - at
4 the risk of leading - resubordinated?
5 A. In military terminology, yes, if I accepted that a police unit
6 would be given to the army to use, then this unit would be under the
7 command of the army and not under the command of the police, if that's the
8 explanation you're seeking. It was to be resubordinated, and it was
9 military bodies that would then be in command of these -- this unit.
10 Q. What --
11 A. My apologies. This is how it works in practice, and there were
12 situations like this, both before and after.
13 Q. What I'm actually interested in is what happened. You used the
14 word "assigned," that I understood you to mean was sent to the military.
15 How were they sent to the military? What was the process? Was an order
16 given? Did you give an order? What happened?
17 A. Certainly based on our agreement, an obligation was defined and
18 then the ministry issued an order, a document that must still be somewhere
19 in the ministry, to send this unit to the area of combat operations and
20 resubordinated the unit to the BH army. There's a document that indicates
21 a list of police members and specifies the number of police members that
22 would be reporting to a predetermined location, and that's what our
23 agreement implied.
24 Q. Apart from your involvement in the meeting at Zenica, did you have
25 any further involvement in the planning or the preparations of that
1 particular operation, that is Operation Neretva?
2 A. No, I was in no way involved.
3 Q. What about in relation to the participation of the police units?
4 Did you ever have any discussions with any of the people at the Zenica
5 meeting after the meeting about their participation?
6 A. I don't think so. I don't think there was any need. The
7 relationship between the army and the police was a well-known one.
8 Everything was defined. A unit would have its commander. The commander
9 would have his deputy commander. All the weapons would be there and all
10 the equipment. This unit would then be sent to an area and report to one
11 of the local commanders, who would then use the unit as they saw fit and
12 according to their own plan that was being implemented. There was no need
13 for me to intervene, because that would have meant interference with the
14 matters of the army.
15 Q. Was the Laste Unit actually sent to Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you in the Herzegovina area when the Laste Unit arrived
19 A. Yes, I was in Herzegovina.
20 Q. What were you doing there?
21 A. In the context of my own plan -- first of all, let me explain that
22 the Laste Special Unit, in terms of its establishment, was part of the
23 security services centre in Sarajevo; my position at the time was the
24 minister of the interior. Within the framework of my duties, my plans, I
25 visited Herzegovina, knowing, among other things, that the unit would be
1 used, that an operation would take place, and that combat activities would
2 be carried out. It was my intention, if necessary, to seek assistance
3 from other police bodies, should they be approached for help by be it the
4 special unit, be it the army, so that they would help whenever it was
6 Another thing I planned was to visit the Konjic police station,
7 the Jablanica police station, the Mostar security services centre, and
8 this was my first visit upon becoming minister. It was the first time
9 that any of the government officials visited Mostar because Mostar was
10 physically isolated. I'm not talking about official representatives of
11 the government; I'm talking about army members. That's what I did in
12 Herzegovina, and these were my whereabouts in the area.
13 Q. How did the Laste Unit get to Herzegovina and where did it go to
14 upon arrival?
15 A. The Laste Unit was sent on behalf of the security services centre
16 in Sarajevo. Once this was approved at the ministerial level and once
17 this was endorsed by me following our agreement with the army leaders, the
18 Laste Unit received a written order to go to Herzegovina. This written
19 order detailed who the unit commander would be, who the deputy commander
20 would be, where they should go, and who they should report to. So the
21 Laste Unit being in Herzegovina on the one hand and the minister being
22 there on the other, these are two unrelated matters. The Laste Unit was
23 involved in a military activity, and the minister was going about his own
25 Q. How did they get there?
1 A. First of all, as far as I know, the Laste Unit was made up out of
2 two formations of that unit. One formation had left the besieged
3 Sarajevo, and the other one was already in Tarcin. This is where these
4 two formations linked up. The unit was united, so to speak, and was sent,
5 deployed, to Konjic, albeit its final destination was Mostar.
6 Q. What was the strength of the two units combined?
7 A. Actually, this is one single unit, it is just composed of two
8 segments, and there were about 50 police members in it.
9 Q. You said they linked up in Tarcin and it was deployed to Konjic
10 and the final destination was Mostar. Did the unit go to Mostar?
11 A. I must emphasise here that the time of my departure and the time
12 of the departure of the unit did not coincide, meaning that they needed
13 more time to depart as a unit and to unite. I linked up with the unit in
14 Jablanica, intending to arrive in Mostar together with them. I can't
15 remember the names of the villages, but it was in the vicinity of the
16 mountains near Jablanica that we were at the time. We walked. We had no
17 means of transportation, and our trip took about 16 hours before we
18 arrived in Mostar.
19 Q. Are you saying you accompanied the unit from the mountains near
20 Jablanica to Mostar on foot?
21 A. Yes. We walked together on foot. It so happened that I walked
22 with them the entire time. The trip was an arduous one. It was very
23 difficult. We had to travel during nighttime. We couldn't travel during
24 daytime due to the enemy activities. So we started during the night.
25 Some part of the trip we covered during the day, but the critical one took
1 place at night. The unit went to the location where they were supposed to
2 report to, to rest from the trip in order to prepare for combat
4 Q. Who was in the -- in command of that unit when you were
5 accompanying them on foot from Jablanica to Mostar?
6 A. I think that the commander's name was Zeljko, and the deputy's
7 last name was Tufo. It was quite a long time ago, but these two people
8 were the commanders of the unit.
9 Q. Were you wearing a uniform or in civilian clothes when you
10 accompanied this unit, do you remember?
11 A. I think that I was in uniform then. Most of the officials from
12 the civilian organs at the time wore uniforms for practical reasons.
13 Police members do know -- do wear uniforms very frequently, and I myself
14 spent quite a lot of time in a uniform during the war. It was practically
15 impossible to go to Mostar wearing civilian clothes.
16 Q. Was that a police uniform or a military uniform, or was there a
18 A. I think that at the time they did not differ at all. The insignia
19 was different. It was very difficult to obtain uniforms, so the uniforms
20 were the same. I don't know, how should I qualify this uniform? This was
21 a type of a camouflage uniform.
22 Q. You said the unit went to the location where they were supposed to
23 report to prepare for combat. Where was that and who did they report to?
24 A. I think that they went to the command of the corps in Mostar. I
25 think that it was the 4th Corps at the time. Arif Pasalic was the
1 commander, the corps commander. I know that I met him on that occasion.
2 We had meetings and discussed the current issues. So the unit reported to
3 the corps command. I also had a meeting with the chief of the security
4 services centre in Mostar; his name was Ramo Maslesa. We discussed police
5 problems and other issues from the police domain.
6 Q. From when was the Laste Unit subordinated to the military? Was it
7 from when you got to Mostar or from some other point?
8 A. In order to avoid any confusion, let me just reiterate that I am
9 not a military expert. However, I believe that when the order was issued
10 for the unit to be deployed and to report to a certain command, that that
11 in itself was an act of resubordination, which meant that from that moment
12 on that unit was a part of the military.
13 Q. Did the Laste Unit go into combat as part of Operation Neretva
14 after having arrived in Mostar?
15 A. As far as I know, there was a very difficult situation in Mostar
16 at the time as well in the military sense. Based on the information I
17 received from Ramo Maslesa and from the security services centre, the
18 Laste Unit was given very difficult positions somewhere in the vicinity of
19 Santiceva Street. And these positions were difficult because they were
20 frequently subjected to heavy fire, and the unit was thus assigned a very
21 difficult task. In the very beginning, some members were gravely wounded
22 and I think that one member of the unit was even killed.
23 Q. How long did you stay in Mostar?
24 A. I think I stayed there very briefly. Based on my recollection, I
25 can tell you what activities I had there to give you an idea of the -- of
1 how much time I spent there. We had to go back during nighttime,
2 therefore I think that I spent just one day in Mostar. That means that we
3 arrived in the morning hours. During the day we had meetings. We rested
4 to the extent possible. And as it was summertime and the days are longer,
5 we had to wait in order to leave after the nightfall, to cover the area
6 that was dangerous. I must say that both when entering and leaving
7 Mostar, we were exposed to the enemy fire of the HVO. The vehicle that I
8 was travelling in was hit by the HVO fire. We had to stop and we had a
9 small crisis.
10 Q. Who were you with?
11 A. Since I was travelling together with the unit, I only had my
12 escorts with me. I had a driver and one security officer.
13 Q. And you said you were in a vehicle. You left Mostar in a vehicle.
14 Where were you travelling to?
15 A. Unfortunately, we were unable to travel any large distances by
16 car. That means that apart from 10 to 15 kilometres that we travelled in
17 vehicles, everything else we had to walk. We walked through the
18 mountains. And from Mostar to Jablanica, we travelled in the same way.
19 Q. What did you do when you got back to Jablanica?
20 A. In principle, the minister of the interior normally visits police
21 stations. This is the first place that they report to to see what the
22 situation is like in the police. This is where they are briefed, this is
23 where they receive certain information, this is where they get acquainted
24 with the work conducted by the police. Every police station normally
25 receives a dispatch announcing that a minister would arrive for a visit.
1 This is something regulated by the ministry regulations. That means that
2 there is some type of a control of movement of the highest officials.
3 Police stations are always informed about this in order to provide
4 security or any assistance the officials may need.
5 Q. Did you visit the police station in Jablanica?
6 A. Yes, I went to the police station, both in Jablanica and Konjic.
7 So when I'm discussing these matters, I mean to say that I visited all
8 police stations. At the time, I visited the Jablanica police station and
9 met with part of its commanding staff. The commander of the police
10 station then was Zebic. Since Jablanica -- Jablanica and Konjic are quite
11 near, sometimes the police chief from Jablanica would come to Konjic or
12 vice versa, because these two places are very near each other and both of
13 them have police stations.
14 Q. What's the distance between the two places?
15 A. Since this is not far, one could cover the distance in a car. I
16 think it's only 50 kilometres.
17 Q. Who was the commander of the Konjic police station then?
18 A. I remember only the chief of the police station, who was Jasmin
19 Guska. And in Jablanica it was Zebic, Emin Zebic. So the chief of the
20 police station is the number one person and the commander of the station
21 is someone who is below him. I think the name is Emin Zebic, E-m-i-n, who
22 was the chief of the police station.
23 Q. Did you see Mr. Zebic -- Mr. Emin Zebic, did you see him when you
24 came to a police station after your return from Mostar?
25 A. Yes, I had a meeting with him.
1 Q. Where and when was that?
2 A. At the police station in Jablanica.
3 Q. What was the meeting about?
4 A. When I arrived there, I think that Zebic was there and perhaps a
5 few more people. Emin Zebic and perhaps a couple of his associates were
6 there. Zebic told me then that they had certain problems, major problems,
7 and he wanted to hear my opinion as to what should be done. Then further
8 into the conversation, he said that there had been operative information
9 to the effect that the army members from Sarajevo - that's what he said -
10 or perhaps members from Celo's and Caco's unit, had killed some civilians,
11 committed a massacre in a village, and this was the information I received
13 Later on, Zebic explained, once we started discussing the problem,
14 that he had sent his policemen to the area to establish what had happened,
15 to identify the problem; however, his policemen encountered the police
16 patrol who banned them from entering the area, saying that the area was
17 under their control and that these policemen could not conduct any kind of
18 an investigation there. That was the attitude of the people manning the
19 checkpoint in the area where all the events had happened. Since he knew
20 about certain incidents, he knew about this also based on our
21 communications, he knew that members of these units were involved in these
22 incidents, therefore he did not dare enter into a conflict with them and
23 insist upon entering the area because there would have definitely been an
24 armed conflict.
25 Zebic knew, just as I knew, that in the area of combat operations
1 where army is conducting combat operations, police has no access and that
2 these tasks are normally carried out by the military police. Therefore,
3 Zebic, at his own initiative and also pursuant to my instructions, tried
4 to gather some information, tried to establish whether the information
5 that they had was true. I supported him in his efforts and I tasked him
6 with collecting as much information as possible and uncovering as much as
7 possible, and then informing the Ministry of the Interior about that so
8 that upon my arrival in Sarajevo I would have as much information as
9 possible about the security information.
10 That's all I can tell you regarding this incident. In addition to
11 that, we also went into some other problems. Zebic complained that he had
12 certain problems because there was a large number of refugees in
13 Jablanica. The refugees were from the Stolac area and from Herzegovina.
14 They had many problems in finding accommodation for the refugees,
15 providing food for them. I think that the security situation deteriorated
16 there. He complained about these problems. I think that we tried at the
17 time to ask the civilian authorities in Jablanica municipality to assist
18 us in finding solutions in order to avoid further complications.
19 Q. Thank you. I just want to clarify one thing before we stop, and
20 that's a moment ago you said Zebic told you his police had encountered the
21 police patrol who banned them from entering the area. Did you -- it may
22 be the transcript, but did you actually say a police patrol or something
24 A. Yes. I said that the policemen were prevented from reaching the
25 area where the incident had taken place. They were prevented by the
1 military patrol, or rather, the patrol of the military police. I can't be
2 more specific than that now. I can't tell you whether these were just
3 ordinary soldiers or members of the military police. They were soldiers,
4 members of the unit stationed in that area.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Alispahic.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 Well, Witness, we have to stop now for today. And as I did to
8 other witnesses, I have to remind you that during your stay in The Hague
9 you are still under the oath, so do not talk to anybody and do not let
10 anybody talk to you about your testimony. Madam Usher will show you out
11 of the room. I will see you tomorrow.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe that the Defence has something to
15 MR. MORRISSEY: Yes, Your Honour. Could we just move briefly to
16 the private session, please?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Page 75 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 76 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 77 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
4 MR. RE: Thank you. As briefly as I possibly can respond, and
5 talking as slowly as I can for the interpreters, the Prosecution rejects
6 almost everything that is in the motion that was filed today. The first
7 thing they object -- the Defence objects to is the expertise. We've
8 already made our position as clear as we possibly can, that the general is
9 as qualified, we say, as any other general who can give evidence on this
10 -- an opinion on this important point. From my own experience here in
11 cases I've been in, in the Strugar case there were three military experts
12 called. One is a shelling expert, that was Colonel Poje. General Zorc
13 gave evidence from the Slovenian army, General Pringle gave evidence for
14 the Prosecution from the British army. In the Hadzihasanovic case,
15 General Reinhardt, from the German army, gave evidence; and of course
16 General Karavelic gave evidence for the Defence in that case. These are
17 all people who are giving opinions in 7(3) cases on command and control
18 responsibilities and the duties and what a commander can reasonably be
19 expected to do in circumstances. That's where we lead it -- that's the
20 basis upon which we seek to lead the very brief report of -- or expert
21 opinion of General Ridgway.
22 They also attack his qualifications. I know -- his CV doesn't
23 quite point it out, but he has a master of philosophy in international
24 relations in -- from Cambridge. He told us on Friday that he -- part of
25 that was international law. So, I mean, that's an extra qualification.
1 His CV only refers to Cambridge but that's what I'm told he actually did
2 at Cambridge. His length of experience and his position there now must
3 qualify him as someone who is entitled to give an opinion on -- an opinion
4 -- and it's only an opinion on command and control. Again they say it
5 invades and usurps the role of the Chamber. We just don't see it. He's
6 not saying whether Mr. Halilovic is innocent or guilty or fulfilled his
7 duties, all he would be saying is: This is what a commander should do,
8 would be expected, would be reasonable in certain circumstances. That's
9 all. It's up to the Trial Chamber to apportion weight or to believe him
10 or to disbelieve him.
11 And the report of Mr. Ridgway could well certainly assist the
12 Defence -- sorry, I withdraw that. The only -- the only complaint, in our
13 submission, which could have any legs is that of timing. All the other
14 matters we've discussed -- we've answered, and the continued complaint
15 about which part of international law we're relying on, I think Your
16 Honour Judge Liu dealt with that at the Status Conference. I can't say
17 anything else about international humanitarian law, we all know where
18 we're going with that, but the only complaint we say which could be
19 justified would be timing. But our response to that is they have the
20 report, they must know, they must have their own view based upon their own
21 experts, Brigadier Dzambasovic, Mr. Mettraux who's written a book in the
22 area, and their own expertise in the Bosnian army, consultancies over the
23 last few years as to what they say Mr. Halilovic's duties were, assuming
24 you're in command. They can't be taken by surprise by anything that
25 General Ridgway is saying at this point. There's nothing new, there's
1 nothing novel, it's just to fill a gap in the Prosecution case to provide
2 the Trial Chamber with an opinion which we say will assist. And we say
3 that they've had the report since last Friday. There must be sufficient
4 time to cross-examine now. If there isn't, well, let's deal with it when
5 it comes to it, when he gives his evidence. And the general has said he
6 may be available on the weekend. He said anything's possible. It may be
7 possible to schedule a weekend session if it comes to that.
8 So in our submission, it's there, we're ready to go with it, the
9 Defence should be ready to meet it, and we'll assist the Trial Chamber.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your timely reply to the
11 motions filed by the Defence. I think at this stage this Bench is not in
12 the position to make the rulings on the spot. We'll consider the
13 submissions by both parties, and I hope tomorrow after we hear the witness
14 we'll be in a better position to do so.
15 Well, we're about seven minutes past 7.00, so I apologise to the
16 interpreters and to all the people working for this trial. The hearing
17 for today is adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of
20 May, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.