1 Tuesday, 21st October, 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. We
4 will have appearances.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, my name is Niemann and I appear
6 with my colleagues Mr. Turone and Mr. Khan for the
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can I have the appearances on behalf of
9 the Defence?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours. I am Edina
11 Residovic, appearing on behalf of Mr. Zejnil Delalic
12 together with my colleague Eugene O'Sullivan, professor
13 from Canada.
14 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning your Honours, I am Mr. Olujic, an
15 attorney from Zagreb, Croatia, appearing on behalf of
16 Mr. Mucic, together with attorney Michael Greaves, from
17 the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
18 MR. KARABDIC: I am Salih Karabdic, attorney from Sarajevo,
19 Defence counsel for Mr. Hazim Delic, together with my
20 colleague Tom Moran, attorney from Houston Texas.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning your Honours. I am John Ackerman
22 and along with Cynthia McMurrey we appear on behalf of
23 the defendant Mr. Esad Landzo.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Where do we start Mr. Niemann?
25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, the Prosecution has a number of
1 witnesses it wishes to call. The witnesses are in
2 response to the subpoenas issued by your Honour. The
3 first witness I wish to call is Fadil Zebic.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Before that witness comes, may I raise a
5 matter with the Tribunal regarding this witness and
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may raise it.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: On October 20th, Mr. Greaves and Mr. Karabdic,
9 on behalf of all Defence Counsel, delivered a letter to
10 the Victims and Witnesses Unit. The basic content of
11 that letter was a request that the Victims and Witnesses
12 Unit advise these witnesses upon their arrival in The
13 Hague that Defence Counsel would like to have an
14 opportunity to meet with them and visit with them prior
15 to their testimony, to conduct interviews of the
16 witnesses, since we have not had that opportunity, and
17 no chance to have that opportunity up until now.
18 We received a response back from the Victims and
19 Witnesses Unit. Let me just read you a couple of
20 paragraphs of it:
21 "The content of the letter has been considered and
22 it is the opinion of the Unit that this is a matter
23 which should, as heretofore, be referred to the Officer
24 of the Prosecutor. It is appreciated that time is of
25 the essence as the witnesses will arrive late on this
1 date and are due to commence testifying on 21 October,
2 197. However, it is considered any intervention such as
3 you have proposed in your correspondence would have an
4 adverse effect on the perceived impartiality of the
5 Victims and Witnesses Unit. Your original letter is
6 returned herewith."
7 They then go on to say they stand ready to assist
8 us in any way they can.
9 The response, to me, is a bit bizarre. These are
10 witnesses that were subpoenaed by this court to give
11 evidence before this court, and it seems to me that they
12 do not belong to any party, but they belong to the list
13 of witnesses to come to give evidence before the court.
14 I am quite certain that the Victims and Witnesses Unit
15 facilitated their meeting with the Office of the
16 Prosecutor, but have taken the position that any mention
17 that we might want to talk to them might affect their
18 impartiality. I think this is totally improper.
19 I think it again shows, as we have seen one time in the
20 past, a connection that exists between the Victims and
21 Witnesses Unit and the Office of the Prosecutor that is
22 improper, because of their announcement that they feel
23 compelled to notify the Office of the Prosecutor that we
24 have made this request.
25 I would therefore ask your Honours that before any
1 of these witnesses testify that they be asked if they
2 would consent to an interview with one or more of the
3 Defence counsel and that we be given that opportunity to
4 interview them before they are called here as
5 witnesses. Thank you.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, Mr. Niemann, have you any reaction
7 to this?
8 MR. NIEMANN: This is the first I have heard of it, your
9 Honours, and I resent any suggestion that there is any
10 improper relationship between the Victims and Witnesses
11 Unit and the Officer of the Prosecutor. These types of
12 allegations are loosely made, it seems to me, by certain
13 members of the Defence. In any event, your Honours,
14 I do agree that these witnesses are free to be
15 approached by the Defence if they wish. If the
16 witnesses are prepared to talk to them, well and good.
17 But I do say that we have here, in The Hague at
18 the moment, all of the witnesses that we sought to
19 subpoena. We are sitting for three days. The witnesses
20 are very -- going to be very lengthy in the evidence
21 they give. The first two witnesses will not be, but the
22 others will be. The possibility of completing the
23 evidence in the three day period is going to be very
24 difficult, and I must say, just having spoken to a
25 couple of the witnesses already, they are not pleased to
1 be here as a consequence of a subpoena and any delay in
2 the taking of their evidence will not in any way make
3 them any happier to be here, and may affect the evidence
4 that they give.
5 So, your Honours, all I can say is that
6 I certainly do not suggest, for one minute, that the
7 Defence are entitled to ask whether these witnesses are
8 prepared to talk to them. If they are, that is a matter
9 for the witness. But there is a matter of convenience
10 of the court in taking the evidence. In my submission,
11 any delay while these witnesses are spoken to can only
12 be detrimental in terms of the business of the court.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, before any determination is
14 made, may I have the floor, please?
15 JUDGE JAN: My impression was that the Defence had tried to
16 contact them while they were in Saravejo. They refused
17 to talk to us, I think that is what you said on the last
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, my learned colleague --
20 JUDGE JAN: We said if you had any interest before we asked
21 them to come over here, before we made the orders for
22 any subpoenas, you said they refused to have any contact
23 with us.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, as far as I understood my
25 learned colleague Mr. Ackerman who spoke on behalf of all
1 the Defence, he said only that the Victims and Witnesses
2 Unit informed us that they cannot arrange it for us.
3 Nobody has told us that this wish has been conveyed to
4 the witnesses. Even Mr. Niemann has not confirmed that.
5 That is why we would like this request to be conveyed to
6 the witnesses. And, of course, as we have done in the
7 past, we will respect the will of the witnesses, whether
8 they wish to have any contact with the Defence or not.
9 But that is not the only reason I have asked to speak.
10 I seem to have heard, or at least that was the
11 interpretation, that the Prosecutor informed us that the
12 witness would be here for three days. Your Honours,
13 these are witnesses of extreme interest for the Defence
14 of my client, Mr. Delalic, and I would not like anyone to
15 limit the right of Mr. Delalic to interrogate and
16 cross-examine this witness. I think no witness,
17 including these -- cannot have the privilege of being
18 told for how long they will be here. I think we have
19 never limited the time of the Prosecution for his
20 witness, and we also will avail ourselves of our right
21 to cross-examine the witness for as long as we consider
22 necessary in the interests of the Defence of
23 Mr. Delalic. Thank you.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose you can call the witness,
25 call your first witness.
1 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please.
2 (10.15 am)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The view of the Trial Chamber is that
4 the witnesses are here and you might be able to make
5 whatever arrangements you can to speak to them; but the
6 Trial Chamber is unable to postpone their testifying
7 before you have interviewed them. If I understand the
8 request of Mr. Ackerman to mean that while he would
9 prefer prior interview with the witnesses, before they
10 testify, we do not think we can do that. But they are
11 available to you for all necessary cross-examination.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there are a couple of practical
13 problems that I need to bring to your attention and put
14 in the record. First of all, these witnesses were
15 acquired at the very last minute, as a result of
16 subpoenas which required them to appear here very
17 quickly after the subpoenas were issued. That gave
18 neither the Defence nor the witnesses time to take any
19 steps that they might have felt important with regard to
20 them being interviewed by us or with regard to any
21 rights they may have, in terms of their appearance
23 The second problem is that the only way we could
24 have access to these witnesses is through the good
25 offices of the Victims and Witnesses Unit; and in the
1 letter that I quoted to you this morning the Victims and
2 Witnesses Unit has indicated that they are not disposed
3 to assist us with an effort to talk to the witnesses.
4 We cannot approach them if we do not know where they
5 are, or who they are, and until the Victims and
6 Witnesses Unit has been advised by this Trial Chamber
7 that they should assist us with our efforts to contact
8 and talk with these witnesses we have no way of doing
9 that. So even though the Tribunal has said that we may
10 do that, it is practically impossible for us because we
11 have no idea where they are, or in my case, at least,
12 I would not recognise them if I saw them. That is the
13 dilemma we now find them in.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually this is your first application
15 to the Trial Chamber for this purpose. If it was maybe
16 before now perhaps I would have considered how to relay
17 that to you before this testimony. Now they are here to
18 testify. Then you can use the opportunity to ask
19 whatever questions you would want. Okay, you can bring
20 the witness in now.
21 FADIL ZEBIC, (sworn)
22 Examination-in-chief by MR. NIEMANN
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may sit down.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Sir, could you please state your full name?
25 A. My name is Fadil Zebic.
1 Q. Where were you born?
2 A. In Jablanica.
3 Q. And where did you spend most of your life, particularly
4 your adult life?
5 A. In Konjic.
6 Q. What was your employment in Konjic.?
7 A. Should I speak about all my jobs, or only the last one
8 I held?
9 Q. Perhaps I will make it more specific. What was your
10 employment in the year of 1990?
11 A. I worked for 35 years in Konjic in a number of
12 companies, and the last one I worked for, starting from
13 1989, was the public utilities company, Standard of
15 Q. What capacity did you have with that company?
16 A. I was a director of the enterprise.
17 Q. And how long were you director of the company? For what
18 period of time? Until what year?
19 A. From 1989 until 1994.
20 Q. And who became director in 1994?
21 A. Emir Dautbegovic.
22 Q. What was the nature of the work of the company? What
23 work did it do?
24 A. The founder of this company was the Konjic
25 municipality. By its decision it defined the activities
1 within our competence.
2 Q. What were those activities?
3 A. To supply the town and surrounding settlements with
4 water, public hygiene in the city and the surrounding
5 settlements, maintenance of parks and greenery,
6 management of market places, and funeral activities.
7 Q. And in relation to funeral activities, what work was
8 performed by the company? What role did it play? Did
9 it do the whole range of activities from autopsies right
10 through to burials, or was there just a part of that
11 work that it performed?
12 A. As far as these activities are concerned, we managed the
13 city cemetery, and we provided the services of
14 transportation and burial of the dead person.
15 Q. I would ask you to look at a document I will now show
16 you, if I may, with the assistance of the usher. This
17 is a document that the Defence will no doubt be aware
18 of, but I ask that one copy be given to them because
19 they are aware of it. There is one copy for his
20 Honour. Might the witness be given a copy? Perhaps it
21 might be allocated the next number in order of
22 Prosecution exhibits.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The document 185.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Mr. Zebic, I would ask you to look at that
25 document and just read through it, if you would,
1 please. Mr. Zebic, have you brought another document
2 into court with you that you have before you, other than
3 the one I have just handed to you? What is the document
4 that you have shown there?
5 A. When I went to come here, I took it out of the
6 archives. It has the same number as this document.
7 Q. Is that an original copy of the document that I showed
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you brought that from Konjic with you, when you came
11 this time?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And have you compared that original copy with the
14 document that I showed you?
15 A. I have. I have.
16 Q. And is the copy that I gave you, Exhibit 185, is that an
17 original or a copy of the original of the document that
18 you have the copy for?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. And can you tell me what the document is that I gave
21 you, Exhibit 185? What is it?
22 A. At the request of the Defence counsel Edina Residovic,
23 in June last year, on 24th June, 1996, we issued this
24 certificate for the services provided in 1992, for some
25 -- in some cases the funeral and transportation and for
1 others only the transportation.
2 Q. And that is in relation to the people whose names are
3 mentioned on this document, is it, numbered 1 to 9?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. Do you notice at the bottom of the document it appears
6 to have been signed by someone with the name Kemal
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who is that person?
10 A. He was the director who came from Ornis, another
11 company, in 1994. He came when Emir Dautbegovic
12 abandoned the company.
13 Q. What was your position in relation to Mr. Dzajic?
14 A. I was the deputy director and he was in charge of the
15 economic and accounting department.
16 Q. And the document that -- you see the signature that
17 appears on the bottom of the document. Did you see that
18 signature being affixed to the document?
19 A. No. It was signed in my presence, and in the presence
20 of Ms. Edina Residovic.
21 Q. So you were there at the time when Mr. Sejic signed the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, the information that is contained in the document
25 in relation to the people mentioned there, where did
1 that information come from?
2 A. In order to explain this, I have to say that in 1992 the
3 War Presidency of Konjic's municipality established the
4 wartime assignment of our firm, and the wartime schedule
5 of workplaces.
6 Q. And --
7 A. Among the other activities that I listed a moment ago,
8 we were assigned other activities, such as market
9 services, the maintenance of parks; but our main task
10 was to provide water supply for citizens and funeral
11 services. This was determined by a decision of the
12 municipal assembly.
13 Q. During the course of 1992, what records did the company
14 keep in relation to its funeral services?
15 A. It is rather difficult to explain now, because under
16 conditions of war our number was limited. We had only
17 13 employees. I was in charge, together with a director
18 and the typist, and we had to leave our offices and move
19 to another building, to the cellar of that building,
20 actually to another section of that building, to the
22 Q. Are you able to tell us what records were kept, in these
23 conditions that you have explained?
24 A. Hardly any. In the case of funerals, a record of the
25 victims of the war was maintained by a municipal
1 commission. I think it was called for the Exchange and
2 Burial of Persons Killed in the War. The War Presidency
3 also formed that commission at the time.
4 Q. So were any records kept of the people that your company
5 dealt with in relation to the funeral services that it
7 A. For these persons who were killed in the war records
8 were kept by this commission. We only kept a record of
9 the transportation of the body, which my workers, in
10 most cases, never saw; and this transport ended with the
11 delivery to the family, or, as in the case under number
12 1, 2, 8 and 9, they were brought to the municipal
14 Q. How did you know that they were brought to the municipal
16 A. The drivers that performed that activity would inform
17 me, and at that time the mortuary was operational, and
18 the register of dead people was kept, so that we have
19 data stating where and under which number in the
20 cemetery and in which part of the cemetery were people
21 buried. Under the number 1, Zeljko, son of Milana
22 Milosevic, also Slavoljuba Pere Susic, Posko Samoukovic
23 and Zeljko Klimenta. The numbers under 3, 4, 5, 6 and
24 7, for those numbers, upon the request of
25 Ms. Residovic, we found, on the basis of the memory of
1 certain of our workers, we found the data. But at that
2 time, early 1993, a shell destroyed our vehicle, the
3 funeral vehicle, and there, in a drawer, half burned,
4 remained the book, the register of all orders for
6 That is how we call it, basically the driver would
7 write down the transportation of a corpse from Celebici;
8 number 3 was in Bradina or in number 4 it was to Donje
9 Selo from Celebici, or from Celebici to Bjelovcina or
10 Celebici to Bradina. The bodies were delivered to the
11 family, or to friends. This was done by my men,
12 together with a member of the municipal commission that
13 I have mentioned a moment ago, and those people kept the
15 From that book that was burned, we tried to
16 reconstruct something, so we managed to find the workers
17 that did the transport, that participated in the
18 transportation and according to their memory we tried to
19 write that down. It was not really any kind of a
20 notebook or a notepad because at that time we lacked
21 paper, so we simply put together with -- and stapled 30
22 or 40 pieces of paper, and that is how we kept our
23 registry. So we put that particular certificate in our
24 archives, and then once we have done that we destroyed
25 the actual order for transportation, because at that
1 time we also moved into another building, the building
2 where we were before we had been shelled, and still
3 nowadays we are in this new building.
4 So, for the people who are registered under number
5 3, 4 and 5 and 6, that is how we established the facts;
6 and the dates were found in the order for
7 transportation. Whether this -- that person had died on
8 that particular day, that is something that me or, that
9 is, my company, cannot affirm.
10 Q. It says "transport Celebici Bradina". The reference to
11 Celebici, do you know where in Celebici the bodies were
13 A. I never left my office, that is the cellar, because we
14 only had one telephone and one line.
15 Q. Did the records suggest to you or indicate where in
16 Celebici the bodies had been collected from, from what
17 you can recall?
18 A. On the basis of this travel order I spoke of, the only
19 locality that is mentioned is Celebici, because we did
20 not use to put in these travel orders where the body
21 came from, not any specified place. They would just
22 mention the town, because simply the transportation fees
23 were paid according to the number of kilometres.
24 Q. Do you know whether or not autopsies were carried out on
25 any of these bodies?
1 A. Not in our mortuary.
2 Q. Do you know whether or not they were carried out in any
3 other mortuary?
4 A. I cannot recall.
5 Q. Was it customary for autopsies to be carried out during
6 the course of 1992? I speak specifically of the summer
7 and autumn of 1992.
8 A. I do not know what was done in the hospital, whether
9 they carried out any autopsies, but in our mortuary, we
10 simply did not have the possibility to do that, neither
11 we did any.
12 Q. Do you know whether any death certificates were issued,
13 particularly in relation to these people?
14 A. We never issued death certificates. In Konjic, what was
15 done in general was if a person died in the hospital
16 then the physician would establish that the person had
17 died, and then inform the family, issue a small
18 certificate, and then the family would go to the
19 municipal department, which I think was called the
20 Registrar of Born and Dead People, and that registry
21 would issue a death certificate. That is how it was
22 done before the war. Whether such documents were issued
23 during the war, I do not know.
24 Q. Do you know a person called, or did you know a person
25 called Simo Jovanovic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when did you know him?
3 A. We went to school together.
4 Q. And did he die, so far as you know?
5 A. I do not know the nature of his death. I really do not
6 know that, but the burial was an ordinary one. His
7 son-in-law, whose surname was Muftic and whose first
8 name I do not know, I cannot recall, but his nickname
9 was Kina. At that time, he was the member of the HVO.
10 So he came to me, and he registered the death, and he
11 transported him to our mortuary, and asked from us for
12 the funeral services, so we carried out the burial. It
13 was done by our company.
14 Q. Did you attend the funeral of Simo Jovanovic?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. And when did you attend that funeral, approximately?
17 A. I cannot remember exactly. It was either at the end of
18 June or in early July.
19 Q. Of what year?
20 A. 1992.
21 Q. And I ask you to look at another document. Perhaps that
22 document can be returned to the Registrar, and with the
23 assistance of the usher, I would ask you to have a look
24 at another document. A copy of this has also been made
25 available for your Honours, and one for the Defence.
1 JUDGE JAN: You should make copies for the judges also, so
2 we can have a look of these documents.
3 MR. NIEMANN: I have one, your Honour.
4 JUDGE JAN: I did not see a copy of the last document.
5 MR. NIEMANN: I made one available for your Honours. It is
6 the same with this one, one copy each for your Honours.
7 There should be an English translation and an original.
8 MR. MORAN: Your Honours, I think we may have been
9 distributed some extra copies of 185.
10 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps the Defence might be able to hand those
11 to your Honour.
12 MR. MORAN: I think we were given the court copies as well as
13 our own. Perhaps we can get someone over here to pass
14 them around.
15 MR. NIEMANN: I would ask that the document that I have now
17 THE REGISTRAR: The document of the Prosecutor is marked as
19 MR. NIEMANN: The new one handed to your Honours now is 186.
20 There should be a copy of both. Your Honour should have
21 a copy of both the Serbo-Croat version and the
22 translation in English. I ask your Honours have that in
23 front of you while I am asking the witness about it.
24 I do not believe your Honours have been given a
25 copy of the Serbo-Croat.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is the certificate of death.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. Mr. Zebic, the document that you have now
3 been shown, document number 186, looking generally at
4 that document, in your experience of the business that
5 you worked in, in Konjic, in 1989 to 1994, is this a
6 document that is familiar to you?
7 A. First of all, it is the first time I see this document.
8 Secondly, as I have said, just a moment ago, before the
9 war, it is sure that this department, the registry,
10 would issue such documents. This is the death
11 certificate. Such a document, with this coat of arms of
12 Bosnia Herzegovina like that, is the first time I have
13 seen it. Nobody has died in my family, so I never went
14 for such a document to be issued.
15 Q. I have no further questions of the witness.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There may be cross-examinations by the
18 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We will proceed in this way, first counsel
19 for Mr. Delalic, second counsel for Mr. Mucic, third
20 counsel for Mr. Delic and fourth counsel for Mr. Landzo.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, taking into account your
22 previous decision, I would like to ask you whether
23 I could ask the witness to talk to me as a counsel for
24 Defence before I start with cross-examination?
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I told you I was not in a position to
1 do that now. That was what I said. That would require
2 postponing the cross-examination until each counsel had
3 spoken to the witness, would it not? That will be the
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I would only like to talk to
6 him for some 10 minutes, and that would not prejudge the
7 lengthening of this trial or the postponing of the
8 cross-examination which I intend to do with this
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Well, I think that will be with the
11 consent of the witness; is it?
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Will you ask the witness whether he
14 would wish to speak to counsel before he is
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That I hear. We can give him 10
18 minutes if he is willing to speak to counsel. We will
20 JUDGE JAN: It is an extraordinary situation, since these
21 witnesses had no opportunity to talk.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, the witnesses arrived last night
23 at 9 o'clock. That was the earliest they could get
25 JUDGE JAN: In the meanwhile I suppose the witnesses can be
1 asked whether they would like to talk to Defence or
2 not. It is only if they agree that we can permit that.
3 MR. NIEMANN: I will undertake to do that.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you very much your Honours.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, it seems to me that if all counsel
6 want to speak to the witness then we should adjourn for
7 sufficient time to permit that to happen rather than
8 come in or come out.
9 JUDGE JAN: I believe you have two company directors
10 relating to funerals. They can be finished in the
12 MR. NIEMANN: As I understand it, counsel wants to speak to
13 every one.
14 JUDGE JAN: Yes, they can. First we have to find out
15 whether the witnesses will talk to them.
16 MR. NIEMANN: We will do that. The point I am making is if
17 all counsel want to speak to this witness I suggest that
18 10 minutes probably would not be sufficient time, if it
19 is going to be on the basis that they want 10 minutes to
21 JUDGE JAN: No, 10 minutes for all.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is awkward. The first witness is
23 willing to, I suppose, you can all meet him together,
24 and discuss whatever you want to, because I do not think
25 the Trial Chamber will be willing to give as many as 10
1 minutes to each counsel to talk to him, going in and
2 out. I think it is necessary for the properness of the
4 JUDGE JAN: So far as this witness is concerned, I think 10
5 minutes for all counsel should be sufficient.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, I think that this matter be
7 accounted fairly easily after we get through this first
8 day. There will be lots of time this evening when these
9 witnesses can be made available to us, those that will
10 be testifying tomorrow. It may be that this can all be
11 accomplished without interfering with the schedule of
12 the Trial Chamber. I know it is a bit awkward this
13 morning, but the witnesses have just arrived. I think
14 it is fair we should be given the opportunity. I would
15 appreciate the court's indulgence in that manner.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will rise and then
17 come back at, let us say, 11.10 we should be back.
18 (10.55 am)
19 (Short break)
20 (11.10 am)
21 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, so far we have spoken to the next
22 witness, Kemal Dzajic. He is prepared to speak to
23 Defence Counsel. And we have spoken to General Arif
24 Pasalic. He is prepared to speak to Defence Counsel on
25 condition that there is a member of the Office of the
1 Prosecutor, namely myself, there during the course of
2 discussion with Defence Counsel. We have spoken to
3 General Ramic and General Ramic is considering the
4 matter. So far we have not been able to speak to
5 General Divjak.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: This experience, we consider what we
7 might do is that we will continue with the
8 cross-examination now; and then all these other
9 interviews can be made subsequently, not interrupt
10 whatever proceedings we have. As long as the witness is
11 prepared to speak to anyone I think he should have the
12 opportunity to do so.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I am wondering what the
15 Tribunal's pleasure is with regard to the normal 11.30
16 break. Mr. Landzo and Mr. Mucic were not allowed to leave
17 the courtroom during this short break and so we are
18 running up against some needs that they have. I just do
19 not what you intend to do.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We could have had a 30 minutes break if
21 we had no interruptions, and then returned at 12. That
22 was the only break we should have had. I do not know;
23 we might still continue until 1 o'clock and then break
24 for lunch, except there is anything pressing.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, Mr. Landzo and Mr. Mucic were not
1 allowed to leave the courtroom during the short break we
2 just had. They have some biological needs we need to
3 pay some attention to, I think.
4 JUDGE JAN: They want to go to the bathroom, I think.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose if you could spare us only
6 five minutes we might then have a short
7 cross-examination break and come back at 12.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: It is totally up to the Tribunal what you want
9 to do with that. We do need one at some point fairly
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: So we can have this witness and then we
12 will break and come back at 12. During that period the
13 Defence might be able, in co-operation with the
14 Prosecution, to have the discussion with any other
15 witness who is willing. This is not an order from the
16 court, but merely observing whether the witness is
17 willing to speak to the Defence.
18 Ms. Residovic, can we have you continue for just
19 five minutes? Then we will break.
20 Cross-examination by MS. RESIDOVIC
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours, for allowing me to
22 contact, even though shortly, the witness. I would also
23 like to thank the witness who was prepared to talk to
24 Defence counsel for Mr. Delalic.
25 Hello, Mr. Zebic.
1 A. Hello.
2 Q. As you know, my name is Edina Residovic and I am the
3 Defence counsel for Mr. Zejnil Delalic. Mr. Zebic, before
4 I proceed with starting questions, I would just like to
5 give you a warning, which is necessary in order that the
6 Trial Chamber and all the others in the courtroom could
7 follow what we are talking. We speak the same language,
8 and I could ask a question to which you could answer
9 very quickly. But interpreters there, sitting in the
10 booths, cannot translate very quickly either what I say
11 or what you answer. So, I would like to ask you to pay
12 attention, through the headphones that are on the table
13 next to you. Through those headphones you can hear the
14 translation of whatever I say of all my questions into
15 English. Only when this has been translated please
16 answer. Have you understood that?
17 A. Am I to change the headphones?
18 Q. No, do not change the headphones. What you are going to
19 hear from the headphones is what I ask, on the ones that
20 you have. The other headphones that are on the table,
21 I am going to ask that the volume is increased, because
22 this is the voice that all the people who do not speak
23 our language listen to. Only when you hear that the
24 translation has stopped, answer my question.
25 Mr. Zebic, you came in front of this court after a
1 subpoena has been issued, is that correct?
2 A. No, it is not.
3 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Zebic, that you were ready from the
4 beginning to answer the communication of this court and
5 come and appear in front of this court as a witness?
6 A. Yes, I was.
7 Q. When you were first asked by the people from the Office
8 of the Prosecutor you gave your statement straight away?
9 A. That is correct.
10 MR. KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. I think you can
11 continue at 12 o'clock.
12 JUDGE JAN: In the meantime they can talk, if the witness is
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I have told him that. The Trial
15 Chamber will now rise and come back at 12.00.
16 (11.30 am)
17 (Short break)
18 (12.00 pm)
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please remind the witness he is still
20 on his oath.
21 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
23 A. I understand that.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ms. Residovic, you can continue with
25 your cross-examination.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours. Mr. Zebic, before
2 we continue, may I draw your attention to the following:
3 I shall try to make my questions brief and precise.
4 I should like to ask you to try to answer them, also, as
5 briefly and as concisely as possible, except when you
6 feel that you need to make a clarification of importance
7 for the Tribunal. Also, should you not understand the
8 question, please feel free to ask me to repeat or
9 re-phrase the question. Have you understood me?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Before the break, you had just told the
12 Trial Chamber, in answer to my question, that from the
13 very beginning you were ready to co-operate with the
14 Tribunal, and to make a statement at the Tribunal's
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In the course of our conversation today, is it true that
18 you told me that your wife is ill, and that your wife
19 fell ill in the course of this last war?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. Is it true that it is very difficult for you,
22 personally, to leave your wife for any length of time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it also true to say, Mr. Zebic, that your wife finds
25 it very difficult to cope with stressful situations, and
1 that you are doing your best to protect her from such
3 A. Yes. In fact, she has been warned by her doctor, her
4 neuro-psychiatrist, that I should be with her as much as
5 possible, that I should not leave her alone.
6 Q. All these facts that you have now stated to the
7 Tribunal, have you conveyed those same facts to the
8 representative of the Prosecution?
9 A. Yes, with the exception of this part about my wife. We
10 did not discuss her.
11 Q. Mr. Zebic, did you ever refuse to testify before the
12 Trial Chamber?
13 A. No, I never refused to testify before this honourable
14 Tribunal. At the beginning of September this year,
15 I was called up from The Hague, I think it must have
16 been by Ms. Wendy -- Wendy Lobwein, I hope I pronounce it
17 correctly. We discussed the problem of my wife. I was
18 supposed to appear at the Tribunal between 9th and 13th
19 September, and I asked this lady to try, with the
20 Registry, to inform the Tribunal of my situation, and
21 I sent a fax requesting if my appearance could be
22 postponed for a certain period, and forwarding all the
23 physicians' findings from 1994 until this year, which
24 was enclosed with this request.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zebic. Is it true, Mr. Zebic, that when
1 you leave Konjic you have to leave your wife under
2 constant medical care?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is that the reason why --
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I am going to object to this.
6 Your Honours, basically my objection is relevance. Of
7 what possible relevance is this? If the witness wishes
8 to address the Chamber in terms of challenging the
9 subpoena on good grounds, that is entirely a matter for
10 the witnesses. The witnesses may do that. It is not
11 for Counsel for the Defence to take it upon themselves
12 to abandon their appropriate responsibilities and then
13 somehow or other appear to act for this witness. In my
14 submission, this is irrelevant and I object to it on
15 those grounds.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, may I continue with my
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think I share his view that it is
19 completely irrelevant to what is here to see. You have
20 your cross-examination, I agree. There are certain
21 circumstances under which most other things not directly
22 relevant could be asked, but I do not think this is
23 necessary with this witness, because I am sure you are
24 familiar with the efforts to get these witnesses, even
25 to get them on video conferencing. I do not see the
1 need for these questions.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, one of the basic rules of
3 this Tribunal is to provide a fair trial and protection
4 of the witness is an important part of our Code of
5 Conduct before the Tribunal. As the Defence attorney of
6 Mr. Zejnil Delalic, as an amicus curiae, I have put
7 certain questions and I think in the interest of the
8 protection of this and any future witnesses of any
9 certain measures that may be taken against them, I think
10 we, the Defence, have the right to put such questions.
11 MR. KARIBI-WHYTE: Questions about his wife's illness and the
12 difficulty of leaving her? Are those the questions you
13 have the right to put.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: No, your Honours. I want to point out that
15 this witness never refused to appear before the
17 JUDGE JAN: He has already said that. Proceed further.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He has said sufficient for that.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: I will ask my second question and last
20 question in this area. Mr. Zebic, do you consider that
21 there were no grounds for this measure to be taken
22 against you on the basis of facts which were beyond your
24 MR. NIEMANN: I object to this question, your Honour, and
25 I object to counsel appearing as amicus curiae. Amicus
1 curiae: something to be granted with leave of the court
2 to come before the court. This counsel is appointed to
3 appear for her client, not as amicus curiae. I object
4 to her putting questions on that basis. It is entirely
5 inappropriate to pursue this line of questioning,
6 notwithstanding your Honour has already pointed out the
7 fact that you consider this line of question to be
8 irrelevant. I object to this question and I object to
9 the witness answering it.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, may I simply rise in the support
11 of the asking of these questions on this ground --
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What grounds?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: On this ground: pleadings were filed before
14 this Tribunal within the last two weeks which indicated
15 that the Officer of the Prosecutor had spoken with this
16 man, that he had refused to come to The Hague and give
17 testimony, and that he had said that the only way he
18 would do that is by video link. I think a serious
19 question arises as to whether or not the Prosecutor was
20 being totally honest and truthful with this Tribunal in
21 making those requests. I think that raises a serious
22 matter that this Tribunal should be very concerned with.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think that has been established
24 sufficiently in his answers, that he had at no time
25 refused to come and testify.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: What he said was he was always willing to come
2 testify. He asked for a postponement when asked to come
3 in September. The Prosecution has advised you in their
4 pleadings that he actually refused to come and therefore
5 had to be subpoenaed and he would only testify by
6 video link. Those things are true.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Those are on record, it is not
8 necessary to proceed like this. We have the records.
9 It has been established. Yes?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I will go on to some other
12 Mr. Zebic, as you have already answered to question
13 of the Prosecutor, regarding 1992, when you held the
14 position of general manager of the public utilities
15 company, Standard, in Konjic, is that correct?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. You also answered that this company engaged, among other
18 tasks, in providing funeral services to all the citizens
19 -- citizens of Konjic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Will you please wait for the interpretation before
22 answering my question?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Zebic, throughout the time of the war you were in
25 Konjic, were you not?
1 A. I was.
2 Q. As a citizen of Bosnia Herzegovina you are aware that
3 on 1st March, 1992, a referendum for independence was
4 held in Bosnia Herzegovina, was it not?
5 A. It was.
6 Q. You also know that all the citizens, all the inhabitants
7 of Bosnia Herzegovina could have, if they wanted to,
8 participate in that referendum and cast their vote?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You also know, Mr. Zebic, that on the basis of the
11 results of that referendum Bosnia Herzegovina was
12 proclaimed an independent state on the 6th April?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. However, you probably know, Mr. Zebic, that it was on
15 that very day that the former JNA, with the assistance
16 of various paramilitary formations from Serbia and
17 Montenegro and parts of the Serbian population from
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed aggression against
19 Bosnia Herzegovina, is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Like the other citizens of Bosnia Herzegovina, you
22 could have, thanks to Television Sarajevo, followed the
23 developments in Sarajevo that look place in front of the
24 assembly building of Bosnia Herzegovina which virtually
25 meant the beginning of the unconcealed aggression on
1 Bosnia Herzegovina. Were you able to see that?
2 A. Yes, I did watch.
3 Q. However, Mr. Zebic, at that time you were actually in
4 Konjic, were you not?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. And you were a witness of the fact that those events
7 greatly disturbed and caused panic amongst the citizens
8 who could not believe that such an aggression could be
9 conducted against our country?
10 A. Yes, we were surprised.
11 Q. As an inhabitant of Konjic you certainly know, and if
12 you do please confirm this, that the town of Konjic was
13 already in mid April 1992 virtually totally surrounded
14 and that it was not possible to leave the town or get
15 into the town, is that true?
16 A. At first I was not aware of that. I was surprised later
17 on when the aggression started and when the war began.
18 I saw that we were indeed surrounded on the north
19 towards Sarajevo and to the south towards Mostar.
20 Q. But also, Mr. Zebic, on the east towards Lake Boridz and
21 Nevesinje too?
22 A. Of course, clearly I forgot to mention that. I did not
23 think that report was important, the route leading to
24 Nevesinje. The Chetniks captured Lake Boridz and they
25 reached the heights near Konjic, 5 kilometres from
1 the centre of the city, the slopes of Borasnica and
2 Kisera, from where they operated and shelled the town of
3 Konjic. That is the southern and south eastern side.
4 Q. You just said that this area in the direction of Lake
5 Boridz, you did not think it was so important. Was that
6 because the main road that you mentioned comes from the
7 north, leading southwards, an area that you also
8 mentioned and which is the only asphalt road linking
9 Sarajevo to Mostar and Ploce?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. Therefore it is correct to say that Konjic is situated
12 on the main road which is of vital significance for
13 Bosnia Herzegovina and particularly for the town of
15 A. Yes. Both in terms of road and rail traffic.
16 Q. As an inhabitant of Konjic, you are also aware that the
17 northern-most point of your municipality and this road
18 leading to Sarajevo is the village of Bradina and
19 through the tunnel, under Mount Istvan you pass from
20 Herzegovina into Bosnia, is that correct?
21 A. It is.
22 Q. Can you confirm before this Trial Chamber that
23 intercepting the road at Bradina, or blocking the road
24 at Bradina, would mean totally preventing the people of
25 Konjic from reaching Sarajevo?
1 A. That goes without saying.
2 Q. Is it true that on the southern and south western
3 approaches to the town, 10 to 15 kilometres in the
4 direction of Jablanica, Celebici and Donje Selo, which,
5 if blocked, prevent leaving Konjic and going southwards,
6 that is towards Zrebnica and Mostar?
7 A. Celebici is 6 kilometres on the rail and main road, and
8 Donje Selo is 3 kilometres from Konjic on the railway
9 line, without any stops in between.
10 Q. Mr. Zebic, in answer to the question of the Prosecutor,
11 you said that your work -- you had a work assignment in
12 your company, is that true?
13 A. I said that the War Presidency had restructured our
14 activities and indicated the most significant
15 assignments we had, and as the manager of the enterprise
16 and according to the wartime schedule of assignments
17 I got a decision on my work assignment, together with
18 some other employees.
19 Q. So, Mr. Zebic, you were aware of the fact that in the
20 state of Bosnia Herzegovina the state of immediate
21 damage was proclaimed already in the beginning of April,
22 is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. On the basis -- on that decision you do know, Mr. Zebic,
25 that there was general mobilisation that was proclaimed
1 in Konjic and the people of military age were not
2 allowed to go out of the town?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Could you confirm in front of this Tribunal, Mr. Zebic,
5 that these were normal decisions of the legal
6 authorities of the municipality of Konjic, taking into
7 account the fact of the immediate war damage -- the
8 state of immediate damage of war that had been
10 A. Bosnia Herzegovina in it official gazette has
11 proclaimed general mobilisation. On the basis of that
12 official gazette the municipality of Konjic and its War
13 Presidency had also proclaimed the state of war.
14 Q. Could you, Mr. Zebic, confirm that your work assignment
15 was in fact a military assignment, in a state of
16 immediate war danger Jablanica?
17 A. Yes, specially because the activities that our company
18 carried out were of special interest to our
19 municipality. It was normal that such a state be
20 proclaimed in our company, because, as one can see from
21 the very name of our company, it was a public utilities
22 company which was created by, established by, the
23 municipality of Konjic. On the basis of that act we were
24 all issued with a work assignment and we had to act in
25 accordance with the requirements of the general
1 interests of our municipality.
2 Q. Mr. Zebic, you have already mentioned that the attack on
3 our country provoked a great surprise and panic. Could
4 you please tell me as an inhabitant of Konjic, were you
5 already in April -- have you heard, through Radio
6 Konjic, the threats made by General Kukanjac that he
7 would shell Konjic?
8 A. Yes. Every inhabitant of Konjic heard that, because it
9 was on local radio and local television; and also the
10 television and radio of Bosnia Herzegovina have also
11 announced this threat of General Kukanjac.
12 Q. Mr. Zebic, as you answered to the questions of the
13 Prosecutor and you spoke about the conditions in which
14 your company operated, you are certainly aware of the
15 fact of the general conditions, the general state in
16 which the town was, and you personally?
17 A. Yes, I was.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, you will allow me to show a
19 video to the witness. These are video films made by the
20 television that had been provided to the Chamber already
21 a long time ago. I would like on the basis of this
22 video to ask additional questions to the witness.
23 I would like to ask the technical booth to show the
24 video film number 1.
25 At the same time, Mr. Zebic, I would like to ask
1 you, in case you have a pen and a paper, please while
2 you are watching the video could you note, in case you
3 can see, what you recognise.
4 (Video played)
5 Q. Mr. Zebic, having viewed the video, could you now tell
6 me, which town have you recognised on this video?
7 A. My town, Konjic.
8 Q. Now that you have recognised the town of Konjic, could
9 you please tell me, Mr. Zebic, whether the first part of
10 the video-- this first video is the threat -- after the
11 threat of General Kukanjac when there was general alarm
12 and have you recognised --
13 A. Yes, I have recognised the new and the old bridge. One
14 of them was, the old one was destroyed in the Second
15 World War and then reconstructed. This was the new
16 bridge, as well as the junction in front of the
17 university, the People's University.
18 Q. After that one could see the cemetery. Could you please
19 tell us whether you have recognised that part of the
21 A. Yes. That was our main cemetery in Konjic, and our
22 company is managing that cemetery, and I recognised
23 others, grounds. First the Muslim cemetery; next to it
24 is the Catholic cemetery and later on towards the south
25 east is the Orthodox cemetery, which is near the
1 Catholic cemetery; and that is all -- in the part that
2 we call Musala in Konjic. This is the cemetery called
4 Q. Mr. Zebic, on that video you also saw a date, the 4th
5 May. Could you tell me, is it true that on 4th May the
6 first shelling of the centre of the town started, when
7 during those shellings there was a very strong shelling
8 of the town cemetery?
9 A. I remember it very well that first day of the shelling,
10 the 4th May. I was in my office in the company, in my
11 company; it is true on that 4th May, which I remember it
12 very well, it was a Monday, on that day the shelling of
13 Konjic started.
14 Q. As the manager of the funeral company you know that on
15 that same day the town cemetery was shelled?
16 A. Yes.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Zebic.
18 Your Honours, as the witness has recognised the
19 video, I would tender them as Defence exhibits and
20 I would -- so I tender them. Has this exhibit been
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: In that case I would like to know the
25 THE REGISTRAR: The video will be D70/1.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Zebic, could you confirm to this Trial Chamber
3 that the shelling of Konjic after the 4th May continued
4 with great intensity every day?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you confirm that as a result of that shelling the
7 town has been greatly destroyed?
8 A. It was one of the towns of Bosnia Herzegovina which was
9 mostly destroyed, especially the old part of Konjic.
10 Q. Mr. Zebic, can you confirm that already in May there was
11 a great number of wounded civilians and also dead
13 A. Yes, because, of course, I was wounded myself at that
15 Q. Mr. Zebic, if I tell you that according to the data of
16 the hospital of Konjic, between 4th May to 26th May
17 there were 27 civilians that came as casualties to the
18 hospital, and also six civilians that had been killed;
19 five wounded members of the TO, plus one member of the
20 TO who had been killed; can you say that this data of
21 the hospital of Konjic are correct?
22 A. I have to accept the correctness of these data, because
23 it is an official institution which gave them, and that
24 is the hospital, the hospital which took care of the
25 wounded people, and also of the dead, because the dead
1 people to start with were brought to the internal
2 mortuary of the hospital, or else they were wounded so
3 badly that they died in this mortuary of the hospital.
4 Q. Nevertheless Mr. Zebic, you lived, at that time, in
5 Konjic, and also had the job that you had. You could
6 certainly confirm that certain persons that were killed,
7 specially in the Serbian areas, were never brought to
8 the hospital but were straight away buried by their
10 A. Yes. On the whole territory of the municipality there
11 were such cases, especially later on during the conflict
12 between the BiH army and HVO.
13 Q. Can you also agree with me, Mr. Zebic, when I say that a
14 number of lighter casualties never asked any help from
15 the hospital?
16 A. I cannot confirm that, but probably there were such
17 cases. Yes, because when I was wounded there were ten
18 of us that were wounded and two people were killed.
19 I think two or three people never went to see a doctor
20 at the hospital. These were just scratches, from parts
21 of shelling and so on. There are probably such cases.
22 Q. So on the basis of your personal experience that you
23 have just given in front of this Trial Chamber you can
24 confirm that in the period of the 1st -- that is 4th
25 May, up to 26th May, the number of dead and wounded
1 could have been even larger than the one given by the --
2 stated by the data of the hospital of Konjic?
3 A. The municipality of Konjic is the fourth, by territory,
4 the fourth largest in Bosnia Herzegovina. At that time
5 it was very difficult to have relevant data for the
6 whole territory of the municipality. So, probably it can
7 be confirmed as a fact to be put in the record.
8 Q. Mr. Zebic, you have already said that as a result of the
9 shelling the whole town was greatly destroyed, both the
10 houses and the industrial facilities, is that correct?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. If you can, Mr. Zebic, could you, please, assess whether
13 what I know -- the facts that I have about the shelling
14 are correct or not; that is, the facts that I was given
15 by various people in Konjic. It was said that during
16 1992, on the town of Konjic, on average there were 60
17 shells that fell on the town every day, that there were
18 days where several hundred shells were fired on the
19 town, and there was one time they remember in 1992 when
20 600 shells were fired on the town. Can you confirm
22 A. As I was the manager of a civilian company as simple
23 inhabitant of Konjic, I can confirm the first part of
24 what you have mentioned because when we were in cellars
25 we were sometimes also counting the shells and trying to
1 conclude when the shelling would stop, because there
2 were indications saying if you could hear two shells
3 being fired then there would probably be a third one.
4 So that is something that I can confirm. And when it
5 comes to these 600 shells that is something I heard
6 recently at a meeting in Konjic. There was a round
7 table that was held and there was a discussion about the
8 aggression and so on and all the parties that
9 participated in the election campaign discussed that.
10 I only learned about that fact recently; but what is
11 sure is that such days that happened.
12 Q. Nevertheless, the results of the shellings were evident?
13 A. As I have said, Konjic was among the towns that was
14 destroyed the most. I think that Konjic is among the
15 five, six or ten most destroyed towns in Bosnia
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Zebic, I would like to show you once
18 again some video clips, made by the Konjic television,
19 which show certain events. So I would like you to watch
20 those videos very carefully, note on a piece of paper
21 whether you can recognise any of it, and then I would
22 like to ask you some other questions.
23 Could you please now show the video film number 3?
24 (Video played)
25 Okay. You can show also this part of the video as
2 (Video played)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ms. Residovic, have you any particular
4 thing in mind?
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, it was that after the video
6 I could ask a few questions to the witness. As the
7 video film has just ended and it might be time for lunch
8 break then the questions I wish to ask the witness
9 connected to this video may be asked after the break, if
10 you agree with that.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. We will have a break for lunch
12 and you can continue your cross-examination at 2.30.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honour.
14 MR. NIEMANN: There is a matter I was going to raise your
15 Honour, but I can do that immediately after the lunch
17 (1.00 pm)
18 (Luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.00 pm)
2 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, just before this witness is
3 brought in, I have a copy of a memorandum which I hand
4 to your Honours. In fact I have two copies; one is a
5 reproduction of the first original and one is a copy of
6 the original. There is a copy there for your Honours,
7 and one for the Defence.
8 This is handed to your Honour to counter the
9 allegation by Mr. Ackerman that I was dishonest and
10 misled the Chamber in relation to this witness.
11 I tender it for that purpose.
12 JUDGE JAN: But you act on instructions, it was not directed
13 to you personally.
14 MR. NIEMANN: That is what I would have thought, your Honour,
15 but it was not the way in which I interpreted what he
16 said; but I certainly do act on instructions.
17 JUDGE JAN: We attach no blame to you at all. In fact you
18 can make a ...
19 MR. NIEMANN: As your Honour pleases.
20 MR. MORAN: Would it be possible for us to see a copy, or
21 each one of us see a copy of that?
22 MR. NIEMANN: I made a copy of that for the Defence.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may continue you. Kindly
24 remind him he is on his oath and then you continue with
25 the cross-examination.
1 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
3 A. Very well. I understand that.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Zebic, immediately prior to the break,
5 we saw a video. Do you remember what we saw before the
6 lunch break?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you, please, tell me whether you recognised the town
9 on that video, and if you did tell us which?
10 A. I recognised Konjic.
11 Q. On the video clip you noticed the dates, the 6th and 9th
12 May. So is it correct to say that these are video tapes
13 from May 1992?
14 A. I saw the date on the screen, so I assume that that is
15 the date and the town of Konjic.
16 Q. From your personal experience, you know that in the
17 month of May the town of Konjic was shelled every day?
18 A. Yes. Yes.
19 Q. Will you please tell me, Mr. Zebic, in some greater
20 detail, if you can recall, which parts of the town did
21 you notice in the clipping that we saw, and also did you
22 notice any housing, apartment blocks or any other
23 buildings in the town of Konjic?
24 A. The video showed almost all the district of Konjic, but
25 I recognised most the main street, Marshall Tito Street.
1 Q. Since you saw almost all the districts of the town of
2 Konjic, is it true that in May, 1992, the town of Konjic
3 was shelled all over, that is all its districts, and all
4 it quarters?
5 A. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a complete answer to
6 that question, because there were parts of the town,
7 such as the Boracko Jezero Street, known as the Luka,
8 which is right next to the railway station, and the
9 Herzegovina Brigada Street, known as Kolonija, and at
10 the beginning of 1992 those areas were not shelled in
11 May and June. I can assert this for Luka, because that
12 is where I live.
13 Q. But all the parts of the town shown in this video were
15 A. With the exception of these two blocks, and the suburbs,
16 particularly near Glavaticevo and Lake Borci.
17 Q. To be even more precise, those two areas that you have
18 mentioned were not shown on this video clip that we saw?
19 A. Yes, they were not shown, close up, but if you show the
20 new bridge then you see the area known as Luka and part
21 of the Herzegovina Brigada Street; and it is true that
22 there were no close-ups of these two areas.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: As the witness has personally recognised
24 the contents of the video, I would like to ask the
25 Registrar to tell us the number of the exhibit.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It is the same number as the previous one,
2 70. This time it will be B, 70B.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I should like to tender this
4 exhibit as an exhibit of the Defence. Is it admitted,
5 your Honours?
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may, for what you think it should
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
9 Mr. Zebic, your enterprise, like the majority of
10 enterprises in Konjic, was working under very difficult
11 conditions in those days?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The building where your company was housed was also
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. That was the reason due to which you had to move to
17 another part of the building, that is the basement, as
18 you told the Prosecutor, is that correct?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. In the second half of 1992, your fixed assets were also
21 seriously damaged, were they not?
22 A. Yes, they were.
23 Q. In fact all your vehicles for the transportation of
24 bodies were destroyed?
25 A. By the end of 1993 they were all destroyed. When the
1 war broke out between the HVO and the army of Bosnia
2 Herzegovina our garage was immediately next to the
3 front-line with the HVO, so that everything that was in
4 the garage was torched with snipers or incendiary
5 bullets. At the end of 1992, two hearses were
6 destroyed. I already mentioned one. This was at the
7 end of 1992. The other one was destroyed at the
8 beginning of 1993. These are the exact data, based on
9 our records. I am not talking about other vehicles, in
10 other departments, which were also destroyed.
11 Q. Is it true, Mr. Zebic, that your workers often buried
12 people, exposing their own lives to danger, at the risk
13 of their own lives?
14 A. Yes. Yes, it was very difficult. Sometimes we carried
15 out the burial at night, especially when the conflict
16 with the HVO broke out.
17 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Zebic, since the period of interest
18 to this Tribunal is the period from May to the end of
19 1992, not to enter into any other details that occurred
20 later on, except if that is essential and linked to the
21 events of 1992?
22 A. I accept the proposal. I was not aware of this fact.
23 Q. Thank you. In answer to a question of the Prosecution,
24 you said that the municipal authorities, to be more
25 precise the War Presidency of Konjic municipality,
1 decided to set up a commission for burials, is that
3 A. It is.
4 Q. Actually, can you tell the court that in view of the
5 shelling and the casualties that they provoked, there
6 were cases of dead bodies or the wounded being left
7 lying in the streets, or in apartments, so that efforts
8 were made to give a dignified burial to all the dead, is
9 that correct?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. I should now like to ask your Honours, in view of the
12 activities of this witness and his testimony, if we may
13 show another video clip. This will be the last that
14 I intend to show to this witness and I ask the technical
15 service to show us clip number 5.
16 (Video played)
17 Mr. Zebic, there is some more, another minute,
19 (Video played)
20 Thank you. Mr. Zebic, after having seen these
21 pictures, can you tell me whether you recognise the town
22 that is being shown?
23 A. It is Konjic again.
24 Q. Can you tell me any of the details that you recognise,
25 which parts of the City?
1 A. This massacre that occurred, it was in the 15th
2 September Street. I think that four persons were killed
3 on that occasion, and our company provided all the
4 services required. Then I saw Varda, where the Orthodox
5 church is situated, which was also shelled, as could be
6 seen. And finally I saw the Catholic church, and a line
7 of citizens who were probably waiting for food; and in
8 the premises of the convent of the Catholic church was
9 where the Caritas Society functioned. It often
10 distributed food to the citizens of Konjic, regardless
11 of ethnicity.
12 Q. You noticed the dates indicated on this video, and you
13 also saw that it was July. Is it correct that these
14 events took place in July 1992?
15 A. After May happened, yes, in June, at the beginning of
16 June, as far as my memory serves me, this case occurred
17 then. I know, I recognise several people, somebody
18 Mahmutovic, who that day came to visit his wife in
19 Konjic, he got killed. Then Ljubovic, and the other
20 two; unfortunately I cannot recall their names.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you also confirm that May -- like May,
22 June, as well as the other months, were months of horror
23 for the citizens of Konjic, that is a period of daily
25 A. The intensity was the same from the 4th May onwards,
1 except for these two districts that I mentioned, that is
2 Luka and the 10th Herzegovina Brigade. The other areas
3 were constantly exposed to shelling. The experts who
4 are more knowledgeable about shelling, and I am not one
5 of them, said that these were smaller calibre shells,
6 and that they -- the -- they came from the village of
7 Bijela, using mortars from 60, 80 and 120 millimetres,
8 and that in particular these 60 and 80 calibre shells
9 could not reach these two settlements.
10 Q. Thank you. Under these conditions, all the bodies of
11 the municipality were operating. That is they were all
12 working under very difficult conditions, is that
14 A. It is.
15 Q. Actually people worked day and night to ensure the
16 minimum requirements for people to be able to continue
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. To be able to bury the people who were killed in this
20 way in the streets, you said that a commission for
21 burial was set up?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is it true that the commission was composed of Jasna
24 Dzumhur, Smajo Previjak, Zoran Kajlovic and Ivica
1 A. Yes. Yes, I saw, on one occasion, the decision of the
2 War Presidency at Jasna Dzumhur's.
3 Q. Mr. Zebic, I have here a rather poor copy of that
4 decision; but since you have already had occasion to see
5 it, would you please take a look at it, and tell me
6 whether this is the decision you are referring to. The
7 decision was disclosed to the Prosecution in January, by
8 the Defence, and I have here a translation for your
9 Honours, and for the Prosecution.
10 This copy is very poor, and especially the heading
11 is not very legible. We gave a better copy to the
12 Prosecution and I will try to give a better copy for the
13 Trial Chamber as well, in case this exhibit will be
14 taken. Could you please have a better look at it?
15 Could you, according to the contents of this
16 document, recognise this is the document that you saw
17 yourself, and that this is the commission you spoke
18 about, answered by the Prosecutor, upon answer of the
20 A. First of all, this commission Jasna Dzumhur, Smajo
21 Previjak and Kajlovic. I did not know the third person
22 was Kajlovic. I also did not know Ivica Vidackovic was
23 on that commission. He used to be the chief accountant
24 in my company. But I know the signature of Mr. Hadzi
25 Huseinovic, who used to be at that time the Chairman of
1 the War Presidency. I suppose that this is real --
2 authentic decision.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Your Honours, since the witness
4 had previously spoken during examination-in-chief about
5 this decision and that he recognised on this decision
6 the signature of the Chairman of the War Presidency, and
7 he also saw the decision in 1992, I think all the
8 conditions are met for this decision to be admitted as a
9 Defence exhibit.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any comments?
11 MR. NIEMANN: No.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you can admit it. What is the
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Can you please tell me, what is
15 the number?
16 THE REGISTRAR: It is D71/1. The English text is 71/1.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
18 Could we go back to the video, Mr. Zebic, now? You
19 said that you could recognise some citizens that were
20 waiting in line in front of the Caritas, is that
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. Mr. Zebic, could you confirm that already in April basic
24 food supplies started to lack?
25 A. Yes, some strategic supplies were missing, especially
1 before the war those that we imported and exported from
2 and to Serbia.
3 Q. Mr. Zebic, can you confirm that the problem of food
4 supplies has become a very important issue?
5 A. Yes. That is correct.
6 Q. Could you confirm that at that time, on several
7 occasions, the bakery was also shelled, the town bakery,
8 which supplied even the open kitchens and the army, so
9 the citizens lacked even bread?
10 A. Yes, the bakery has been hit and shelled on several
11 occasions. In 1995 and 1996 the bakery was rebuilt.
12 When the Prosecutor asked me I told him that I was
13 wounded in front of the entrance to the bakery.
14 Q. Mr. Zebic, could you confirm that already in May, from
15 the surrounding villages, the villages in the immediate
16 surroundings, a large number of refugees started to
17 arrive to Konjic; these were Croats and Muslims expelled
18 by the Serbian forces from these areas?
19 A. Yes, those were the villages along the River Nereiva in
20 the direction of Nereiva, as well as from Borci and Lake
21 Borci, from that part of the population that was
22 expelled from those areas.
23 Q. Mr. Zebic, could you confirm that once the road, M17, was
24 free for circulation again hundreds of thousands of
25 refugees started to come into town from eastern
1 Herzegovina and eastern Bosnia?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it correct that in the town it was impossible to have
4 food supplies and lodgings for all those people?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it correct that people were standing in queues in
7 front of humanitarian societies like Merhamet and
8 Caritas with their lives being in danger in that place,
9 just in order to be able to have something to eat?
10 A. Yes. That was the only way in which the inhabitants
11 could get some supplies, that is correct.
12 Q. There was nothing in the shops and nothing could be
13 bought, is that correct?
14 A. Yes. That is correct.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, since the witness recognised
16 the town of Konjic and all it parts, the people who are
17 waiting in line in front of Caritas, and answered all
18 these questions, I tender this video clip to be admitted
19 as Defence exhibit, admitted into evidence. Has it been
20 admitted into evidence? Under what number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: This video clip is D70C/1.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Zebic, could you tell this court whether
23 it is correct to say that the first help provided by the
24 UNHCR arrived in the first part of August to Konjic?
25 A. That is an organisation I have not heard of, so I cannot
1 confirm if that is correct or not.
2 Q. Mr. Zebic, you have already confirmed to me that once the
3 road, M17, was free for circulation again, thousands of
4 refugees came into the town of Konjic. Can you tell me
5 now whether those were the people who were running away
6 from awful atrocities and crimes done against these
7 people in eastern Bosnia and eastern Herzegovina?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I know that they were refugees from Foca,
9 Kalinovik and Trnovo and also other villages probably in
10 eastern Bosnia and near Drina.
11 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Zebic, that those from the Jelece and
12 from Gacko, that they tell about the atrocities they had
13 to go through and about the massacres in those regions?
14 A. Yes, they were speaking about those things, but
15 personally I never had any contact with those refugees,
16 probably because of the duties I had at that time in
17 Konjic. Most of my time, 20 hours per day, I spent in
18 my company. I know from documents and the press about
20 Q. That is precisely what I wanted to ask you. Were you
21 able on local radio and television in Konjic to hear
22 some of those refugees, or learn about what happened in
23 those areas?
24 A. Yes, we were able to do so via the local television,
25 because we would often see the refugees from those areas
1 speaking on television.
2 Q. Mr. Zebic, if I asked you now, is the daily situation,
3 this everyday shelling, death, hunger, arrival of
4 refugees, and all their stories, has all that caused
5 very serious anti-Serb feelings with a large part of the
7 A. It is a very difficult question, a question to which
8 politicians should answer. I know how I felt towards
9 people of all religions, but there were also people who
10 had such comments and one could hear such things in
11 basements where we were at those -- in that period where
12 a particular crime was identified with a people, the
13 Serbian people. There were such cases.
14 Q. And those cases that you mention, they were reactions,
15 very harsh reactions towards those people who wanted to
16 help the Serb friends, the Serb neighbours who were also
17 suffering, just as they were suffering?
18 A. It is correct.
19 Q. Mr. Zebic, before the war, are you -- you held some very
20 important offices in the municipality. You were a -- on
21 several boards and had important duties in various
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Mr. Zebic, you can certainly say that before the war
25 Mr. Zejnil Delalic never held any office in the Konjic
2 A. Up until the war, yes.
3 Q. Mr. Zebic, you probably knew Mr. Zejnil Delalic and you
4 knew that he was a well known inhabitant who spent many
5 years working abroad, is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. You knew he had a disco club in Konjic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You heard that when the war broke out he was in Konjic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You heard that he was helping the inhabitants and that
12 he took part in finding supplies that were missing in
13 the town and for those inhabitants, is that correct?
14 A. It is correct.
15 Q. Mr. Zebic, you were also aware that Zejnil Delalic was --
16 had a special task; that was to rebuild the rail road
17 and establishing the railway lines from Konjic to
19 A. I can only answer partly to that question because I did
20 not belong to any political military structures. I had
21 my own duties. About the concrete tasks of Mr. Zejnil
22 Delalic, it probably is correct, but I knew nothing of
23 it because the people I knew were neither politicians --
24 were not politicians, so I performed my duties that were
25 given to me by the War Presidency.
1 Q. So, Mr. Zebic, you do not personally know details which
2 were -- what were the tasks and duties performed by
3 Mr. Zejnil Delalic while he stayed in Konjic?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. I would nevertheless like to ask you whether by chance
6 whether in August or September, as an inhabitant of
7 Konjic, did you hear that Mr. Zejnil Delalic went to be
8 some kind of commander at the Igman Mountain?
9 A. Yes, I heard about that some time in August, or the end
10 of August. I do not remember the exact date because
11 every inhabitant in Konjic was talking about this.
12 Q. Mr. Zebic, as an inhabitant of the town of Konjic, you
13 know that the Celebici barracks used to be the barracks
14 of the former JNA and that Celebici is 8 to 10
15 kilometres to the south of Konjic, the area of Karlic,
16 is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. You probably learned that the authorities of the
19 municipality had taken over those barracks from the
20 commander of the JNA and that that was the reason for
21 the threats of General Kukanjac that he would bomb
23 A. I know that the army of Bosnia Herzegovina, which at
24 that time, still to be at that time the TO, that they
25 took over the barracks. Whether Kukanjac threatened
1 because of those barracks, I do not know. I am not
2 aware of that. Whether it happened for these things or
3 because of those barracks I do not know. But, yes, the
4 threats, I knew of the threats because I said so this
5 morning and I also heard it on the radio of Bosnia
6 Herzegovina and also on our local television.
7 Q. You did not take part in any of the war operations or
8 the military operations; you performed your work
9 assignment in your company, Standard, is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. You know nevertheless that in the town of Konjic was
12 also the Croatian Defence Council, or the HVO was an
13 important military structure, are you aware of that?
14 A. Yes, I am.
15 Q. Mr. Zebic, you probably know that Ivica Azinovic was, so
16 to speak, the leading personality of HVO and that Dinko
17 Zebic was the commander of the military branch of the
19 A. I did not know that the Azinovic was the leading person
20 and that Dinko Zebic, who has the same surname, and he
21 was Croat. I knew he was a commander of a brigade, but
22 I do not know the name of that brigade.
23 Q. Can you confirm that in the early days of the war the
24 HVO in Konjic was much better organised and much better
1 A. I cannot really -- I really cannot confirm that. I do
2 not know, because I am not a military expert.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me whether you know
4 that at the beginning some Muslims were members of the
5 HVO in Konjic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Zebic, do you know that the HVO refused to take part
8 alongside the TO members -- members of the TO, to take
9 part in the fighting for the liberation of Borci?
10 A. I have not heard from any officials about that, either
11 political or military, but there was talk about it, that
12 the HVO did not want to take part in the fighting.
13 Probably it came from the politicians or the military
15 Q. Were there also rumours that the HVO did not want to
16 take part in breaking the blockade around Sarajevo?
17 A. This is the first time I heard about it. I never heard
18 of such, of this information.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zebic. Could you tell us whether it is
20 correct that in Konjic, before the war, there was only a
21 small prison, next to the court, for no more than 10
22 people, 10 inmates?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Do you know that because of the horror of the war in the
25 summer of 1992 neither the court nor the Prosecution
1 services were operational in Konjic?
2 A. During the fighting neither the court nor the
3 Prosecution services were operational, but I do not know
4 whether it is true for the period you are speaking of.
5 Q. Mr. Zebic, the court in Konjic before the war was a court
6 where only small offences were tried?
7 A. Yes, it was called the "Basic Court".
8 Q. For all serious offences, or crimes that were made in
9 the area of Konjic, it was the higher District Court in
10 Mostar that was in charge, or else the military court in
11 Mostar that was competent?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Is it true, Mr. Zebic, that the town of Konjic was
14 throughout that period cut off from both Mostar and
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. You explained, Mr. Zebic, this morning, in front of this
18 Trial Chamber, that you -- in which way you gave all the
19 data in the certificates shown to you by the Prosecutor,
20 and you also explained that to the investigator of this
21 Tribunal when he first contacted you and took a
22 statement from you, is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. So your company, in view of what you have said to the
25 court, was left without any records from 1992?
1 A. I said that in the town mortuary there are records and
2 all the people buried in the cemetery of Musala,
3 regardless of their religion, were entered into these
4 records, regardless of whether the fact they died of
5 natural causes or they were victims of war. For whoever
6 we heard, we entered the name into evidence. I also
7 explained how the documents disappeared. I mean, the
8 evidence did not disappear, but we destroyed it, because
9 we simply took all the facts and put them into the
10 certificate, and the death certificate is in the records
11 of our company.
12 Q. Yes. But as you have stated, part of the data was taken
13 from the travel orders given to the drivers and entered
14 them into the certificate and these travel orders were
15 partly burned, is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Mr. Zebic, is that the reason why in that certificate you
18 did not write down that all the data were made because
19 of -- after a full view into the records of the company?
20 A. Yes, that is the reason.
21 Q. Is that true, Mr. Zebic, that you have never personally
22 taken care of a body of any person who died?
23 A. Yes, that is correct, I never took care of the body or
24 saw the body.
25 Q. You also said that you did not carry out any autopsies.
1 Does that mean that your company did not have the
2 competency or the conditions to carry out autopsies?
3 A. That is correct. I said that in the town mortuary we
4 have no possibility to carry out autopsies. We never
5 carried them out either before or during the war.
6 Q. Except for the family of the late Simo Jovanovic, you
7 never had a contact with any of the families of the
8 other persons who -- dead persons?
9 A. Yes, that is correct, because those families had left
11 Q. Mr. Zebic, you do not personally know from which exact
12 location the dead bodies were taken?
13 A. The dead bodies of the people who are mentioned in the
14 certificate? That is true. I never went to the exact
15 location. I was never in Celebici or did not see any of
16 the massacres, because I could not see -- did not see
17 personally any of the bodies, and I cannot stand the
18 sight of the dead man.
19 Q. When you say "Celebici" to somebody from Konjic it
20 basically means the village of Celebici that springs
21 into their mind?
22 A. Yes, it is the village next door, Orahovica, and down to
23 the south of the tunnel. That is the area. This is, in
24 fact, a village which is quite scattered.
25 Q. Thank you. For the inhabitants of Konjic, if one wanted
1 to specify that it was the barracks of Celebici it would
2 have been indispensable to say it is the barracks of
3 Celebici and the village of Celebici?
4 A. Yes, the other inhabitants would accept that was the
5 barracks they were talking about; and I would do that
7 Q. In case one would only mention Celebici everybody would
8 think of the village?
9 A. Yes. That is true.
10 Q. Mr. Zebic, you have no idea whether the persons mentioned
11 in this certificate are ordinary citizens or prisoners?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. You never discussed that with your workers who actually
14 transported the bodies?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. You were never informed of the reasons of death?
17 A. Nobody never informed me, nor did we record that before
18 the war, and so we did not during the war. I said that
19 the municipal burial commission, which was in charge of
20 all the records, did this, and that is why we did not.
21 Q. I have a few more questions, Mr. Zebic, on a different
22 subject. Since you said that you did not participate in
23 any combat operations, I am asking you whether you were
24 aware of the battles for the liberation of Jablinica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At the time you must have known that there were two or
2 three days of heavy fighting in that area?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Like the other citizens of Konjic, you probably knew
5 that a certain number of persons had been arrested and
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. You probably, on the basis of your previous positions,
9 and your personal knowledge, knew that the Ministry of
10 the Interior in the town of Konjic, or the police in
11 fact, were responsible for the arrest and detention of
12 persons suspected of having committed criminal offences?
13 A. Probably so, but I am not very familiar with the
14 structure nor the competencies of those bodies.
15 Q. However, Mr. Zebic, is it true that in the course of 1992
16 you never heard, in Konjic, that prisoners had been
17 killed or tortured?
18 A. I did not hear that.
19 Q. Actually you, like many other citizens of Konjic, could
20 see families of prisoners going by train to visit them
21 and take food for them; could you see that?
22 A. At the beginning of 1992 I could not see that, because
23 I was focusing on my company and its activities. But
24 from the stories told by citizens, and especially
25 persons who were accompanying the trains, that is people
1 in the civil defence, they told me this, that almost
2 every Saturday and Sunday food was being taken by
3 families to Celebici.
4 Q. You, yourself, never visited the Celebici barracks or
5 the Celebici prison?
6 A. Never, never.
7 Q. You have no personal knowledge about that?
8 A. None.
9 Q. You have heard that Mr. Delalic left Konjic at the end of
11 A. Yes, that was the story.
12 Q. At the time the story was he escaped on a Chetnik
13 helicopter, that he was a member of the
14 counter-intelligence, KOS?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Zebic. I have no further
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Olujic, you are the next to
20 MR. OLUJIC: Your Honours, I have no questions for this
21 witness. Regarding the question, the circumstances, the
22 general circumstances, my colleague has exhausted the
23 questions in that area, so that we have no further
24 specific questions for this witness.
25 Cross-examination by MR. MORAN
1 MR. MORAN: May it please the court.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes.
3 MR. MORAN: Thank you, your Honour.
4 Hi, Mr. Zebic. My name is Tom Moran and
5 I represent a man called Hazim Delic who is one of the
6 defendants here. I want to ask you a very few
7 questions. I think we can get this done fairly
8 quickly. Your company was in charge, I understand, of
9 the water supply in the entire Konjic municipality, is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During the summer of 1992, what was the supply of
13 drinkable water like, was there a lot of it, plenty of
14 it, was it short? Were there problems with the water
15 distribution system? Can you tell us a little bit about
16 that? Let us cover the whole municipality.
17 A. For the whole municipality, I cannot tell you, because
18 there are village water supply systems that do not
19 belong, that are not part of the municipal water supply
20 system. There is only the water supply system in
21 Celebici, Bijela and Butrovic Polje and the Borci Lake
22 and the city itself.
23 Q. You would not know anything about the water supply in
24 the village of Celebici, would you, that is outside your
25 competence, is that what you are saying?
1 A. No. No. On the whole, throughout the period of war
2 operations, the town of Konjic had more or less regular
3 water supply, with the exception of many damages caused
4 by the shelling, which, thanks to a donation from the
5 British charitable organisation order, we managed to
6 repair overnight, sometimes even during the day. The
7 water supply system in the Borci Lake, and in the
8 village of Bijela which I forgot to mention, they were
9 occupied by the Chetniks. As far as I know, the water
10 supply in Celebici functioned the -- as it did because
11 there was a shortage of water so that the supply was --
12 water was in short supply. But there was damage done
13 there too, but on the whole the water supply was quite
14 regular in Konjic, in Celebici and in Butrovic Polje.
15 Q. I know you testified a moment ago that you have never
16 visited the Celebici camp, but have you driven past it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Sir, in front of you, I do not know if you have seen it,
19 there is a model of the camp. If you want to take a
20 look at it. The question I want to ask you is just
21 basically this: you can see a fence on the side of the
22 model near the judges. Can you tell the judges what is
23 on the other side of that fence? Is there a road or are
24 there houses or is it just a forest; what is out there?
25 A. Let me make sure I understand you are talking about the
1 fence facing the west, the Jablanica Lake or are you
2 asking inside the fence, inside the compound? I did not
3 quite understand your question.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly go direct to what you -- I do
5 not think it will be leading. Just ask him what you
7 MR. MORAN: Outside the camp to the west what is there?
8 There are houses there, are there not?
9 A. Yes. Yes. There are houses then Lake Jablanica and
10 then across the way the villages, and the main highway
11 that passes through the middle of Celebici.
12 Q. And people on the main highway and people in those
13 houses can see into the camp?
14 A. Yes, they can see the camp but I doubt they can see what
15 is happening inside.
16 Q. They can see there are people around and things like
17 that, can they not?
18 A. Yes, that much, yes.
19 Q. Sure. One other question, and I think that I will be
20 done. The burials that your company handled, when it
21 involved people of Serbian descent your company policy
22 was to treat those people with the same respect as you
23 would treat people regardless of ethnicity, was it not?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 MR. MORAN: Thank you very much, your Honour. I pass the
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. Any other
4 Cross-examination by MS. McMURREY
5 MS. McMURREY: I am sorry, your Honours, we had a little
6 misunderstanding. I have a few questions.
7 Good afternoon, Mr. Zebic.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. There were some questions asked of you earlier when you
10 first came into the courtroom. I would like to continue
11 with a few of those questions. There had been some
12 representations in documents by the Prosecution that are
13 part of the record of this case. I just wanted to ask
14 you: if somebody indicated that for personal or
15 professional reasons you were not willing to testify at
16 the seat of the International Criminal Tribunal in The
17 Hague, would that be true or not true?
18 A. I did not understand the question. Could you ask it --
19 make it brief, please?
20 Q. If someone told this court that you were not willing to
21 testify here in The Hague, would that be true or not
23 A. It would not be true.
24 Q. Thank you very much. If they stated that you were not
25 willing to testify except by video link testimony --
1 JUDGE JAN: Ms. McMurrey, why are you pursuing that line
2 now? I thought we had enough evidence on that already.
3 MS. McMURREY: I am coming, I believe, to the aid of my
4 lead counsel, Mr. Ackerman, here.
5 JUDGE JAN: This is no place to get clarifications of this
6 nature in the cross-examination of the witness.
7 MS. McMURREY: Your Honour, if I just might be heard.
8 JUDGE JAN: Let us be more relevant to the controversy
9 before us, instead of getting involved in those little
10 "defts" or whatever you might call them.
11 MS. McMURREY: I believe what has happened, your Honour, by
12 Mr. Niemann saying this witness was not willing to come
13 to testify, is that he has attacked the credibility of
14 this witness. He is saying that by him not being
15 willing to come to testify that this witness'
16 credibility is at issue. Therefore, if it is at issue
17 it is our duty to prove one way or the other whether he
18 is telling the truth or not telling the truth.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I have never heard anything of
20 this sort in my life. It is absurd to suggest that
21 because a witness does not want to testify that that
22 somehow or other affects the credibility of the
23 testimony that the witness is going to give. That is
24 absolutely absurd. I object strongly to this line of
1 MS. McMURREY: I note Mr. Niemann has objected over and
2 again. He is the one who has put this witness'
3 credibility at issue. He is the one who has really
4 impeached his own witness by placing his credibility at
6 MR. NIEMANN: How could it possibly, your Honour?
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let us stop this type of argument. Do
8 not worry about that.
9 JUDGE JAN: He impeached the credibility of his own
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Frankly, this is the type of practice
12 which I deprecate very much. If this is the style you
13 are carrying on --
14 JUDGE JAN: He is like any other witness produced by the
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Will you please carry on the
17 cross-examination in the most decent way? Try to do
19 MS. McMURREY: My only questions of this witness had to do
20 with this line of questioning, so since I am not allowed
21 to ask any further questions on this.
22 JUDGE JAN: You are allowed to ask any question, but I was
23 suggesting that let this -- it does not really help to
24 pursue a particular controversy which has no bearing at
25 all on the facts of this case. You are not being
1 stopped at all. You can ask any other question.
2 MS. McMURREY: Your Honour, I only had questions that were
3 to do with the credibility that the Prosecution had
4 placed at issue. Since I cannot go into the documents
5 that the Prosecution has filed with regard to this
6 witness, I will pass the witness at this time. Thank
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Have you any re-examination?
9 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, at this point may I ask, just for
11 the purposes of the record, that the memorandum that
12 Mr. Niemann presented to the court as we began the
13 afternoon session be made a part of the record and
14 marked as an exhibit and admitted as an exhibit in the
16 JUDGE JAN: How is it relevant?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me explain, if I can, how it is relevant.
18 JUDGE JAN: Mr. Ackerman, why do you want to pursue that?
19 Let us get on with the case, as it is. You have plenty
20 of opportunity with us to examine. Why pursue it
21 further? It is something which does not have any bearing
22 at all on the facts of this case.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I really feel I need to state why I believe it
24 is relevant. The court may disagree with me.
25 JUDGE JAN: I am sure you can meet up together with you
1 friends; and I do not think it will help in pursuing it
2 inside the court.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually I do not think it is necessary
4 to interrupt with it. It has nothing to do with it.
5 JUDGE JAN: As it is already the prosecution have 185
6 documents, you have reached number 70 documents.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You have nothing else, I think. You
8 have no re-examination, I gather.
9 MR. NIEMANN: No.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think that is the end of the
11 examination and I think you do not need him any longer.
12 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The witness is discharged. He is free
14 to go.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the Prosecution calls Kemal
18 JUDGE JAN: Have you had the opportunity of meeting this new
20 MS. McMURREY: Yes, your Honour, I believe we have all had
21 an opportunity to meet with this witness before he has
22 testified. Thank you.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, your Honour, we have had that
24 opportunity. Thank you.
25 MR. GREAVES: I hate to rise and interrupt my learned
1 friend. I am sure he will forgive me for a moment. The
2 memorandum that was provided to us in relation to the
3 last witness, on the face of it, is a document which
4 suggests, or could be taken as suggesting, that either
5 the person writing the memorandum or the witness has not
6 been truthful about the matter we have just been
7 discussing. It may be that there are issues of
8 disclosure that arise in relation to all of the next
9 four witnesses. If similar memoranda exist it may be my
10 learned friend might like to think, it is a matter for
11 him entirely, whether they are matters that ought to be
12 disclosed as a note of a single nature. I hope he will
13 regard that as helpful, rather than my being unhelpful.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you can bring the witness in.
15 KEMAL DZAJIC, (sworn)
16 Examination-in-chief by MR. NIEMANN
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. You can sit down.
18 MR. NIEMANN: Would you please state your full name, sir?
19 A. Kemal Dzajic.
20 Q. On 26th June, 1996, by whom were you employed?
21 A. I was employed in the Unis factory.
22 Q. And for how long were you employed in the Unis factory?
23 A. My -- I was employed for the first time in the Unis
24 factory in 1975.
25 Q. How long did you stay with that --
1 A. Until 1994.
2 Q. Then where did you go in 1994?
3 A. In 1994, or to be more precise on 15th October,
4 I transferred to the public utilities company, Standard,
5 in Konjic.
6 Q. And for how long did you work with that company?
7 A. I worked -- I have been working there to the present
8 day; but I resigned a month ago.
9 Q. Prior to your resignation, what position did you hold
10 with the company?
11 A. I was director of the company.
12 Q. Might the witness now be shown document number 185,
14 JUDGE JAN: Mr. Niemann, I just want to find out who issued
15 this document. It is the signatures. If you were going
16 to prove this document, it bears his signature. This
17 one. Why produce the earlier witness?
18 MR. NIEMANN: The earlier witness compiled the information,
19 your Honour. It will emerge.
20 JUDGE JAN: All right.
21 MR. NIEMANN: Mr. Dzajic, the document I have now shown you,
22 do you recognise that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Does your signature appear on the document?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you prepare the document yourself, or was it
2 prepared by somebody else?
3 A. No. This document was prepared by the director who held
4 that post before me.
5 Q. And what was his name?
6 A. Fadil Zebic.
7 Q. And why is it that you signed it?
8 A. Every document coming out of the company has to be
9 signed by the director.
10 Q. Yes. I tender the document, your Honours.
11 JUDGE JAN: It is already part of the record.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is in evidence.
13 JUDGE JAN: You could have just asked him, "is it a true
14 document, did you satisfy yourself its content was
15 correct before you signed it?". That would obviate the
16 necessity of producing the earlier witness.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, for abundant caution I called
18 that witness. If it has been tendered, I have no
19 further questions of this witness.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any cross-examination?
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, your Honour. We will cross-examine in
22 the following order: first counsel for Delalic, second
23 counsel for Mucic, third counsel for Delic and fourth
24 counsel for Landzo.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, in view of the time perhaps
1 it would be more advisable for me to begin after the
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you. The Trial Chamber will rise
4 and come back at 4.30.
5 (4.00 pm)
6 (Short break)
7 (4.30 pm)
8 MR. OLUJIC: Just before we start, if your Honour pleases, my
9 colleague, Michael Greaves, had to leave the courtroom,
10 so if you allow me to excuse him, because I will be the
11 only one to appear as Defence counsel, without
12 Mr. Greaves today, until the end of today's proceedings.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is barely one hour from now. It is
14 not a long period.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, remind the witness he is on his
16 oath and that he will appreciate it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Sir, I remind you that you are still under
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You will now be cross-examined by
20 Ms. Residovic.
21 A. Just before Ms. Residovic starts, I think, if I may say
22 so, that I made a mistake while answering the first
23 question. The question was where I worked in 1996 and
24 I said at Unis. In fact, I worked in the public
25 utilities company, Standard. Will you excuse me for
1 that, because I was quite confused when I first arrived
2 here. Could you please enter this correction?
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You might now continue with the
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you your Honour.
6 Mr. Dzajic, good afternoon, or almost good evening.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Mr. Dzajic, before I start asking questions, may I just
9 draw your attention to a technical issue. You and
10 I speak the same language, and it would be very easy for
11 us in this cross-examination; I would quickly ask a
12 question and you would very quickly answer it. The
13 Trial Chamber and my colleagues in the courtroom do not
14 speak our language and the interpreters that are in the
15 booths need to translate whatever we say. That is why
16 I would like to draw your attention to the headphones
17 you have on the table in front of you. When I ask a
18 question you will, on those headphones, hear the
19 translation of my question into English. Once it has
20 ended, answer my question. In that case the Trial
21 Chamber will be able to follow what we are saying. Have
22 you understood?
23 A. Yes, I have.
24 Q. Mr. Dzajic, you know my name is Edina Residovic and I am
25 Defence counsel for Mr. Zejnil Delalic. You are, for the
1 first time, in court, Mr. Dzajic?
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. But regardless of that fact you should not fear
4 anything. My colleagues and myself will ask you several
5 questions, and then you will answer these questions
6 according to your own knowledge. I will try to ask
7 questions in a very brief and precise manner. If you do
8 not understand anything, please say so, so I will repeat
9 my question. In case you think that you need to clarify
10 a particular point, you will have the opportunity to do
11 so, but I would like to ask you to be brief, and
12 sometimes even answer just by saying yes or no. Have
13 you understood what I have just said?
14 A. Yes, I have.
15 Q. Mr. Dzajic, from the moment when I, as Defence counsel
16 for Mr. Delalic, asked a particular certificate from you,
17 you have always been ready to say whatever you knew in
18 the interest of establishing justice in front of this
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. And you never refused to come to this Tribunal?
22 A. No, I have not. I have always been ready to say
23 whatever I knew and wanted to say, tell the truth,
24 regardless of what this truth was like.
25 Q. So if somebody had informed the Prosecutor or this
1 Tribunal about a different attitude of yours, that is
2 you refusing to testify, that would not be a correct
4 A. Yes. That is correct.
5 Q. This punishment was very difficult for you and your
6 child has come back home from school crying?
7 A. Yes, that is true.
8 Q. Thank you very much. I will now continue with asking
9 questions concerning your experience from 1992 and
10 onwards. The Prosecutor's question; you answered that
11 in October 1994 you became the manager of the public
12 utilities company, Standard, in Konjic, is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At that time, you started, for the first time, to work
15 for the company, Standard, in Konjic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You confirmed when the Prosecutor asked you, that you
18 signed the certificate, is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You also confirmed, however, that you did that on the
21 basis of what was told to you by your predecessor
22 Mr. Zebic, is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. So you asked to consult Mr. Zebic, because in your
25 company there are no proper records from 1992, is that
2 A. Yes. And the information was compiled on the basis of
3 the facts and some notes made by the employees of that
4 company, so the information was compiled in the way it
5 was by Mr. Zebic.
6 Q. So Mr. Dzajic, it really means if somebody wanted to
7 check the correctness of the information, of the
8 certificate, on the basis of the records that you have
9 at the company, Standard, that person would be unable to
10 do so, because for the most parts the records were
11 destroyed. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. It is.
13 Q. Mr. Dzajic, the funerals of the persons for which you
14 issued the certificates, those funerals are something
15 you have no personal knowledge of, is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You do not know those persons, is that true?
18 A. Well, from all those persons the -- I only knew one
19 person from the whole slightly, one person who is on the
21 Q. Mr. Dzajic, you have no personal knowledge about -- of
22 the Celebici barracks, do you?
23 A. I do not.
24 Q. You have no personal knowledge of the Celebici prison
1 A. No.
2 Q. Mr. Dzajic, you never went either to the barracks or to
3 the Celebici prison, is that true?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. In fact, as all other inhabitants of Konjic, you knew
6 before the war that the Celebici barracks belonged to
7 the former JNA?
8 A. Yes. I know that it was some kind of a military
9 warehouse, that is what was said about it. But I was
10 never there.
11 Q. You stayed throughout the war in Konjic, from early
12 April until the end of the war?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Have you, through the media and the local radio already,
15 in April, heard that a General from the former JNA,
16 General Kukanjac threatened to bomb Konjic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Dzajic, do you know that on 6th April, 1992, Bosnia
19 Herzegovina was proclaimed an independent state?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Do you know that on that day aggression was carried out
22 against Bosnia Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Dzajic, since you lived and worked in Konjic, could
25 you confirm in front of this Trial Chamber that already
1 in mid April 1992 the town of Konjic was completely
2 surrounded and blocked by barricades with armed Serbian
3 patrols there, is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Although the Tribunal is aware of it, but I would like
6 to ask you, as an inhabitant of Konjic, is it true that
7 your town, Konjic, is on the main road linking Sarajevo
8 to Mostar and going further down to the sea, is that
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Is it true that in the northern-most point of your
12 municipality, next to this main road, there is the
13 village of Bradina and from that village, through the
14 tunnel going from, under the mountain of Igman, one can
15 go from Herzegovina to Bosnia?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it true, Mr. Dzajic, that if the road is blocked at
18 Bradina that inhabitants of Konjic have no possibility
19 to take the road and go from Konjic to Sarajevo; neither
20 can anyone come from Sarajevo to Konjic and go further
21 down south?
22 A. Yes, that is true.
23 Q. As a witness of those events, could you tell us,
24 Mr. Dzajic, whether it is true that the Serbian forces
25 have occupied and completely blocked the eastern parts
1 of the municipality on the Pren Mountain near Boracko
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that the barricades with armed Serbian guards were
5 also in the area of Celebici and Donje Selo, which are
6 on the -- to the south of the town?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Dzajic, at that time you were not a member of an
9 official authority or of the particular staff, military
10 staff, in 1992, is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is. I was not a member of no kind of a staff.
12 Q. As you have testified in front of this court, you worked
13 at the company Unis and there you had a work assignment
14 which at the same time was also a military assignment?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In fact, the work and military assignments were
17 established by decision of the authorities of the
18 Republic because the state of the immediate threat of
19 war was proclaimed in the country and in Konjic general
20 mobilisation had been proclaimed, is that true?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you, please, tell me, Mr. Dzajic, whether, at that
23 time, that is in April and May, was it a generally well
24 known fact in Konjic that the Serbian population was
25 being armed and these armed guards were patrolling?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You probably know that the members of MUP, whilst
3 searching through various apartments in the town, had
4 already, in the month of April, found armaments in great
5 quantity, and Chetnik insignia, and similar documents
6 that were stating what was going on in the town and its
7 surroundings, is that true?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. Mr. Dzajic, you were born in Konjic, were you not?
10 A. I come from the suburbs of Konjic, not from the town
11 itself, 7 kilometres from Konjic.
12 Q. You come from the village of Dzajici?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. You have the same surname, which means that your family
15 is quite widespread in that area?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Mr. Dzajic, do you know the area of Konjic municipality
19 A. One could say so.
20 Q. Could you, on the map of the municipality of Konjic, show
21 the location of certain villages that are in the
22 territory of the municipality?
23 A. I think I could show some of the villages, maybe not all
24 of the villages.
25 Q. I would like to ask now that with the assistance of the
1 usher the witness be shown a map of Konjic already
2 admitted into evidence and tendered by the Prosecution
3 when the witness Calic was testifying. Just to remind
4 the witness, because that decision has also been
5 admitted into evidence during the testifying of
6 Dr. Calic, the witness Dr. Calic, so that the witness
7 could, on that matter, where certain villages are marked
8 by circles, that he could, maybe, point to these
9 villages that are mentioned in that particular
11 At the same time, I have got here enough copies
12 both for the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution, but as
13 this exhibit had already been admitted into evidence,
14 I will distribute those maps just to facilitate the
15 testifying; but I will not tender into evidence this
16 particular decision.
17 At the same time, I would like to ask that the
18 witness be shown this map, where I have put circles
19 around certain villages, and that this map be marked;
20 and in case the witness is able to recognise some of
21 those areas, it is only then that I will tender it into
22 evidence, tender it for admission.
23 Mr. Dzajic, I should first like to ask you to look
24 at this map and to tell me whether that is a map of the
25 municipality of Konjic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I should now like to ask you, Mr. Dzajic, as you probably
3 cannot assert the existence of this decision, whether
4 you could point, with a pencil, to the location of the
5 places I am going to read. These are the places from
6 the decision on Serb territories that you have before
7 you. I have indicated in red those places. So will you
8 try to find them and tell me whether they are those
9 places. The village of Bjelovcina. The village of
10 Cerici. Donje Selo.
11 A. This is Donje Selo and Cerici is this one. (Indicates).
12 Q. Vinjiste. Zagorice. Brdjani. Bradina. Blace.
13 Bijela. Boracko Jezero. Borci. I should now like to
14 ask you to look at the blue circles and to identify the
15 following places. Konjic, the centre of town, Pozetva.
16 Gornji Gradac. Polje Bijela. Celebici. Ovcari.
18 A. This is Podorasac. Ovcari was over here.
19 Q. To avoid reading all the localities listed in the
20 decision, could you tell me, Mr. Dzajic, whether all
21 those places that you have indicated and identified are
22 within the municipality of Konjic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you confirm that only the centre of the village has
25 been encircled whereas the actual territory of the
1 village is broader than indicated by the red or blue
3 A. The region is broader than indicated.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Dzajic, as a native of Konjic, if someone
5 from the Konjic municipality were to separate all the
6 places indicated in red and blue, or if all these places
7 were to be armed and blocked, would the town have Konjic
8 then be fully encircled and without any possibility of
10 A. I did not understand the beginning of your question.
11 Q. Mr. Dzajic, if someone, or actually the inhabitants of
12 these regions that I have marked in red and blue, were
13 to claim that those regions belong to another
14 municipality, a Serbian municipality of Konjic, or if
15 those localities were to be armed, would that mean that
16 Konjic would find itself totally surrounded and without
17 any conditions for survival? Would that be correct?
18 A. Yes. It would be under total blockade.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Your Honours, I should like to
20 tender this map of Konjic, on which the witness has
21 recognised most of the localities, be marked and
22 admitted as exhibit of the Defence into evidence.
23 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I do not think we have any
24 objection to it. For the record, it is not clear to me
25 who put the markings on there, on the map. It is
1 certainly not on the original exhibit.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: I stated, quite clearly, for the benefit of
3 the record, that I personally had made the marks, which
4 is a map tendered by expert witness Calic and that I had
5 encircled the localities from the Prosecution Exhibit,
6 also as part of the expert witness' testimony. I just
7 wanted this witness to confirm that these localities are
8 within the bounds of the Konjic municipality, which the
9 witness has done. As the map and the localities have
10 been identified by the witness, I am tendering it as a
11 Defence Exhibit to be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It does not make any difference whether
13 you had waited until now to encircle them. You need not
14 have interfered with the witness before asking the
15 witness to encircle them himself. You could have
16 allowed him to encircle them himself. I do not think it
17 matters but it makes it clearer.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. What is the number of the
19 exhibit, please.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked Defence Exhibit
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
23 Mr. Dzajic, I would like to ask you a few more
24 questions. As a citizen of Konjic throughout 1992, you
25 were a witness of the heavy shelling of the town, were
1 you not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The shelling started on 4th May, and continued on a
4 daily basis, did it not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. There were a large number of killed and wounded in the
7 town every day?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You can confirm that housing facilities, industrial
10 facilities, schools, and even the hospital were shelled?
11 A. Yes. Everything was destroyed. I think that the
12 hospital was not at that time, but the industrial
13 facilities and the apartment buildings, and the
14 residential areas were shelled, heavily.
15 Q. Thank you. You can probably confirm in this Trial
16 Chamber that already at the end of April, and
17 particularly so in May, there were severe shortages in
18 town which lasted throughout 1992, did they not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Actually in May already almost all the shops had been
21 destroyed by the shells, is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The town was deprived of the basic needs for normal
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If I say that the city bakery was shelled repeatedly and
2 that in June it did not produce bread for the army or
3 the hospital for three days, would you agree that that
4 is a correct statement?
5 A. Yes, almost regularly when the town was shelled the
6 shells usually fell around the bakery, or in fact hit it
7 directly, hit the bakery.
8 Q. Actually the people in Konic obtained the little food
9 they had from charitable organisation, Caritas, Merhamet
10 and the Red Cross, is that not so?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And they risked their lives and stood in line to get
13 those supplies?
14 A. Yes, at the time you could see lines of people where the
15 basic food stuffs were being distributed, because they
16 were not available virtually anywhere else.
17 Q. Mr. Dzajic, unfortunately your village was one of the
18 first villages to be hit by the Serb forces, was it not?
19 A. Yes. Mine was the first house to burn.
20 Q. In the first days of May, all the inhabitants of your
21 village were expelled?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You are aware, Mr. Dzajic, that early in May refugees
24 began arriving to Konjic from other places, and
25 especially in the villages in the direction of the Borci
1 Lake, these were Muslim and Croat refugees. You know
2 that they came into town after spending days fleeing
3 from eastern Herzegovina and specially Gacko. Is that
5 THE INTERPRETER: "May I have a five minute break, please?",
6 says the witness.
7 Q. Yes, I shall ask the Chamber to recess for five minutes,
8 because we are all deeply moved when we recall what
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will now rise.
11 (5.15 pm)
12 (Short break)
13 (5.18 pm)
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can proceed, madam.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
16 Mr. Dzajic, before the short break?
17 A. Before Ms. Residovic begins, may I apologise? I feel
18 fine now, but since many members of my family were
19 killed, our houses burned down, and this reminded me of
20 all those things, but I am fine now.
21 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: You do not need to apologise here, you
22 do not need to. We understand quite well.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Dzajic, can you confirm in this court
25 room that the information I received from the body for
1 Refugees and Social Welfare is correct, and that is that
2 during 1992 more than 20,000 refugees passed through the
3 town of Konjic and about 13,000 of them stayed in
4 Konjic, whereby the population of the town was doubled.
5 Are these figures approximately correct?
6 A. I do not know, and I cannot claim that they are correct,
7 but at the time so many refugees passed through the town
8 of Konjic that no one can establish exactly their
9 number. The population of the town of Konjic changed
10 completely at the time.
11 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Dzajic, that these people --
12 Mr. Dzajic, you just said that the population structure
13 changed completely; can you tell me whether this had a
14 very strong impact on the overall supply situation, and
15 the state of welfare of all the citizens of Konjic?
16 A. Of course. Every day there was less and less housing
17 space in the territory of Konjic and every day the
18 number of refugees was going up, so that we had very
19 serious problems finding accommodation for those
20 refugees, and feeding them.
21 Q. Is it correct to say that those people were put up in
22 basements, in school premises, factory halls, because
23 there was no room for them in the housing facilities,
24 for these unfortunates?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is it true that these people recounted the horrors that
2 occurred in the regions of eastern Bosnia and eastern
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Dzajic, is it true that you knew Mr. Zejnil Delalic
6 only as a respected citizen of Konjic?
7 A. Yes. A man who spent a lot of time abroad.
8 Q. Mr. Dzajic, were you aware that Zejnil Delalic happened
9 to be in Konjic during the war?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you probably heard that at that time he was active
12 in procuring things that were essential for the town and
13 the citizens and also the defence forces?
14 A. Yes, at least that was the story among the citizens of
15 Konjic. They were saying that Zejnil Delalic had
16 supplied the town with food and other essentials.
17 Q. Did you perhaps know that Zejnil Delalic, at the time,
18 tried to renew traffic along the railway line to Pazaric
19 so as to facilitate movement of the population in this
20 rather difficult terrain?
21 A. I know that for a time the train operated, but I really
22 do not know who was behind it; probably, yes.
23 Q. So you personally know nothing about the duties that
24 Zejnil Delalic performed at the time?
25 A. No, I do not know. I had a work assignment and the
1 competencies were strictly divided at the time.
2 Q. You personally did not participate in a single combat
3 operation, did you?
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. Mr. Dzajic, from your personal knowledge, can you tell
6 the Trial Chamber whether, at the beginning of the war,
7 there was the Croatian Defence Council in Konjic which,
8 when the war broke out, was better organised and better
9 run than the Territorial Defence?
10 A. Yes, the Croatian Defence Council existed from the very
12 Q. Is it true that for that very reason a significant
13 number of Muslims were within the ranks of the Croatian
14 Defence Council at the beginning?
15 A. Yes, because it seems to me, or at least that was the
16 rumour, that they were given salaries. I do not know.
17 Q. Mr. Dzajic, do you perhaps know that the Croatian Defence
18 Council which, in the beginning, participated jointly
19 with the Territorial Defence in combat operations, that
20 that Croatian Defence Council refused to participate in
21 the battles for the liberation of Borak and in the
22 battles for lifting the blockade of Sarajevo?
23 A. I am not aware of that.
24 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you something that perhaps you
25 have better knowledge of. As a local of Konjic, you
1 probably know that before the war in Konjic next to the
2 court there was a small detention unit, which could not
3 cater for more than 10 people. Is that so?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In Konjic, there was only the Basic Court, which tried
6 only less serious criminal offences before the war?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. For more serious criminal offences, there were the
9 courts in Mostar and Sarajevo?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is it correct to say that, Mr. Dzajic, at the time,
12 in the summer of 1992, even that small Basic Court and
13 the Prosecution was not operational in Konjic?
14 A. I cannot remember. I was working in the factory every
16 Q. Very well, if you cannot remember, that is also an
17 important answer for these proceedings. Thank you. Can
18 you tell me if you can confirm that Konjic, at that
19 time, was cut off from Sarajevo, which was under siege,
20 and from Mostar?
21 A. Yes, Konjic, at the time, was under total blockade, as
22 far as I know.
23 Q. Mr. Dzajic, do you know that when the main highway was
24 deblocked for several days, there were severe battles in
25 the area of Bradina?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Like all the other citizens, you probably heard that
3 some of the inhabitants of that region, who had
4 participated in the fighting, or who had been armed,
5 were arrested?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it true that you never heard, in Konjic, anybody
8 talking about the mistreatment or killing of those
10 A. At the time, I did not hear that.
11 Q. Actually you can testify that at the time, that is in
12 the summer of 1992, family members of these persons
13 could be seen going on a visit. Could you see that?
14 A. I would meet some on Saturdays and Sundays. I would see
15 family members going to visit their relatives. I could
16 not see them on other days, because I did not know about
17 it, I was working, from morning 'til night.
18 Q. Mr. Dzajic --
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Is now such a time that it is
20 convenient for us to close for the evening? Is it
21 convenient for us to close now so you continue tomorrow
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Certainly. Thank you, your Honours.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, may I as a matter of personal
25 privilege just say something?
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: When I arrived here this morning I was aware
3 of the pleadings that had been filed by the Officer of
4 the Prosecutor regarding the unwillingness of these
5 witnesses who have appeared here today to come. Over
6 the weekend, I became aware that they had claimed
7 otherwise in newspaper articles in Sarajevo, and then
8 I was able to confirm that they were claiming otherwise
9 in some interviews that were had with them this
10 morning. I believe that would be something that this
11 Trial Chamber would want to have clarified, that is the
12 reason I raised it. I want to say that if I in any way
13 offended Mr. Niemann or any member of the Prosecutor's
14 staff I apologise for that and also apologise for any
15 way I might have offended the court.
16 I believe that it was a serious matter and
17 I matter that needed to be delved into, both with regard
18 to the credibility of the witnesses appearing here and
19 with regard to what the truth is about how we get two
20 widely divergent and varying stories about this issue of
21 whether witnesses were prepared to come here or not.
22 Obviously, I was mistaken about that and I apologise and
23 thank you for allowing me to say those things.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much for your approach
25 to the matter. I think we are satisfied that Mr. Niemann
1 acted on information which was given to him by members
2 of the Office of the Prosecution, and that was what he
3 relied on in the motion which he filed. I thought that
4 was sufficient for the actual need.
5 JUDGE JAN: Speaking personally, you have not annoyed me at
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Not at all. These things do happen and
8 it does not matter.
9 MR. NIEMANN: I thank Mr. Ackerman for his apology.
10 (5.35 pm)
11 (Adjourned until 10.00 am
12 on Wednesday 22nd October 1997)