1 Tuesday, 28th October 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Morning, ladies and gentlemen.
4 Appearances, please.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours please, my name is Grant Niemann,
6 I appear with my colleagues Ms. McHenry, Mr. Turone and
7 Mr. Khan for the Prosecution.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can we have the appearances for the
9 Defence, please.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours my name is Edina
11 Residovic, Defence counsel for Mr. Zejnil Delalic,
12 appearing together with my colleague Eugene O'Sullivan,
13 professor from Canada.
14 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning, your Honours. I am Zeljko Olujic,
15 appearing on behalf of Mr. Zdravko Mucic with my
16 colleague, Michael Greaves.
17 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, your Honours. I am Salih
18 Karabdic, attorney from Sarajevo, defending, with
19 Mr. Thomas Moran, attorney from Houston, Texas, Mr. Hazim
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, your Honours, I am John
22 Ackerman, I appear on behalf of Mr. Esad Landzo and with
23 me as co-counsel is Ms. Cynthia McMurrey.
24 MS. McHENRY: Good morning, your Honours.
25 MS. McMURREY: Before the witnesses is brought in, may
1 I ask the court to cover one little matter? I think
2 about two weeks ago Mr. Landzo had filed a motion for a
3 hearing on a memorandum sent around by the Registry on
4 October 15. I was wondering whether it would be
5 possible for us to schedule some kind of hearing between
6 now and November 6th at your convenience of course.
7 I want to remind the court we were requesting a hearing
8 on the matter.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Discuss it with the legal officer and
10 they will react appropriately.
11 Can we have the witness?
12 MS. McHENRY: While the witness is being brought in, may
13 I ask for the court's permission to have an analyst and
14 the translator present in the video booth for portions
15 of the testimony, because later on I will be showing
16 this witness some excerpts from video. I understand
17 your Honours have to give permission for anyone other
18 than court staff to be in the room. I believe we did
19 this once before. If I could ask your Honour's
20 permission to have an analyst and interpreter in the
21 video booth.
22 MR. MORAN: As long they are not going to be witnesses in the
23 case we have no objection to it.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: They could not be witnesses if they
25 have already performed such a role.
1 MR. MORAN: We agree, your Honour, with you. Our position is
2 exactly yours, I believe.
3 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, your Honours.
4 (Witness enters court)
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the witness that he is
6 still on his oath.
7 THE REGISTRAR: I am reminding you, sir, that you are still
8 under oath.
9 GENERAL JOVAN DIVJAK (continued)
10 Examination by MS. McHENRY (continued)
11 A. Good morning to you all.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning.
13 MS. McHENRY: Good morning, sir. I believe when we left
14 yesterday you had just finished giving a brief
15 explanation of your career; may I ask you now to
16 describe briefly how the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
17 created, and how it developed between April and the
18 beginning of December 1992?
19 A. First of all, I have to say that there was an aggression
20 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which followed the
21 aggression against Croatia, the aggression started by
22 the Yugoslav People's Army, which was joined by
23 paramilitary formations from Serbian Montenegro and
24 paramilitary units of the SDS Party, the party of the
25 Bosnian Serbs. When I say that the first aggression was
1 by the Yugoslav People's Army, I corroborate this by the
2 fact that virtually the entire armaments and military
3 equipment that was in Croatia in 1991 after the
4 agreement on a cessation of hostilities in Croatia
5 reached by Milosevic and Tudjman on January 1st, 1992,
6 units of the Yugoslav People's Army were deployed in the
7 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Bosnian Herzegovina at that time took steps to be
9 recognised as a state, both by the European Community
10 and the United Nations organisation. The run for
11 Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of
12 Yugoslavia -- in the work of which for half a year
13 representatives from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia
14 Slovenia and Macedonia did not participate -- at the end
15 of 1991 decided to engage the Yugoslav army to protect
16 the rights of the Serbs in the same way that it had done
17 previously in Croatia, so it now decided to do the same
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 As for the arguments in support of this, I refer
20 to the statements of the President of the Presidency of
21 Yugoslavia at the time, Mr. Jovic, and the Chief of Staff
22 of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time, who speak of
23 the decisions to protect the Serbian people who are in
24 jeopardy in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 When talking about the threats to the security of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I also wish to refer you to the
2 first aggression committed against Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 that is in the village of Ravno, which belongs to the
4 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The attack was carried
5 out at the end of September, 1991, on the pretext that
6 in the village of Ravno the Croatian army had been
7 deployed and in their assessment the territory of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina needed to be protected against attack
9 by the Croatian army. There are documents to show that
10 in September voluntary units or units of volunteers from
11 Montenegro and Serbia and units of the Yugoslav People's
12 Army from the Podgorica and Uzice Corps, with the
13 enthusiastic support of the SDS Party and their
14 followers in the area of Herzegovina, reached as far as
15 Mostar by the end of the year.
16 I apologise for going into these details, but
17 I need to explain why, due to such relationships, the
18 state of Bosnia-Herzegovina had to organise its defences
19 and how it proceeded to do so. It is important for an
20 understanding of the situation, to say that already at
21 the end of 1990 and the beginning of 1991 from the
22 depots of the Yugoslav People's Army, some members of
23 the Serbian Democratic Party were armed by JNA barracks
24 and trained there.
25 When talking about these arguments, there are
1 documents in our Institute for War Crimes dealing with
2 these matters and which were captured by the second
3 military district during the war. It is noteworthy that
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina accepted its authorities and its
5 Presidency while the members of that Presidency and
6 those authorities representing the Serb people
7 obstructed its work. Already in November they set up
8 parallel authorities to the legal authorities in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They formed their own Assembly in
10 February 1992. They passed their own constitution and
11 they sought to impose their own authority.
12 At first in the municipalities in which the Serbs
13 constituted a majority, and as of September with the
14 actual supports of units of the JNA, they established
15 their authority in places where they were not in a
16 majority, such as was the case in Foca, Visegrad,
17 Zvornik. Mostly in all settlements bordering on the
18 territory of Serbia and Montenegro. At the end of 1991
19 and the beginning of 1992, with the support of tanks and
20 artillery from the barracks in Sarajevo, they withdrew
21 and established positions that overlooked the city and
22 that dominated the city.
23 The armoured and mechanised units of the Yugoslav
24 People's Army were deployed in areas where they never
25 were stationed before. These were strategic directions
1 of action which lead from Croatia and Serbia towards
2 Sarajevo. In view of such a situation, the political
3 leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina continued to seek
4 peaceful ways to achieve -- there was some discussion
5 over a federation and in these negotiations a prominent
6 role was played by the Izetbegovic and the President of
8 However, in view of the fact, and there is
9 evidence of this too, that the plan to create a greater
10 Serbia, which applied to the territory of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been in existence for at least
12 200 years and this was an opportunity for extremist
13 forces in both Serbia and among the Bosnian Serbs to
14 fulfil that aim. On 6th April, 1992, the European Union
15 accepted or recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state
16 within its historical boundaries. It accepted the
17 organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as it was set up at
18 the time, with the structure that was formed at the 1990
19 elections. On that day, the 6th April, Bosnia acquired
20 statehood but it did not have armed forces to defend
21 what Europe had recognised -- that is, its statehood.
22 May I make a brief digression? In Yugoslavia
23 there were two organised armed forces. There were the
24 armed forces within the Yugoslav People's Army, and
25 there was the Territorial Defence. The Yugoslav
1 People's Army had as its duty to protect the
2 constitutional system and territorial integrity of
3 Yugoslavia. Each Republic organised its Territorial
4 Defence, the main aim being to combat what was then
5 known as the internal and external enemy, or rather it
6 was a force which in situations, in crisis situations,
7 was to ensure, for Yugoslavia and for Bosnian
8 Herzegovina, stability.
9 According to the constitution of Yugoslavia, the
10 Republics were in command of the Territorial Defence.
11 However, in 1990, the Presidency passed a decision to
12 withdraw weapons and material from companies and other
13 state-run institutions, and to put them in the
14 Territorial Defence warehouses, and to support my claim
15 that the plan on the aggression against
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not made in 24 hours but that it
17 took longer, I offer the fact that on 8th May 1991 the
18 Presidency of Yugoslavia -- again, I must say that it
19 was a rump Presidency, because four Republics were not
20 represented in it -- passed the decision for the entire
21 equipment of the Territorial Defence should be stationed
22 in the Territorial Defence warehouses.
23 This was a way for the JNA to exclude the
24 possibility of the Republics defending their territorial
25 integrity. So, on 6th April, without their own army,
1 and with the Territorial Defence, which was without arms
2 and ammunition, the Presidency in such a traumatic
3 situation decided that the Territorial Defence of the
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina should be formed, the
5 main aim being to defend the territorial integrity and
6 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina where for
7 thousands of years Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, Jews and
8 Romanies had lived.
9 We in Bosnia-Herzegovina had a locality known as
10 Prnjavor, where 24 different ethnic groups were
11 represented. On 6th April, when the decision was taken,
12 the TO staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed. I recall
13 that I said yesterday that the main aim of the
14 Presidency was the staff to reflect the percentage share
15 of the population in terms of ethnicity who at that
16 moment were in favour of the idea contained in the
17 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 When the TO staff was formed, it sent to its
19 subordinate staffs or, to be more precise, every
20 municipality in Bosnian Herzegovina had its own TO
21 headquarters. We asked the municipal staffs to state
22 whether they supported the newly formed TO staff. All
23 those staffs in which the Serbs were not in the majority
24 confirmed in writing their support and sent lists of
25 names of people who endorsed the staff of Territorial
1 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina and who supported the
2 decision of the Presidency to set up that Republic's
3 TO. Out of the 109 municipalities prior to the
4 aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina, 73 municipal
5 staffs signed and expressed their support for the
6 Presidency and the Territorial Defence of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina being the institution that enjoyed
8 their support.
9 Parallel with the formation of the municipal
10 staffs, groups of patriotic citizens of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina were formed. The best organised and
12 most numerous was the Patriotic League. Then, side by
13 side with them, were the groups known as the Green
14 Berets and the police of Bosnia-Herzegovina was fully
15 committed, and I must give an explanation; namely, the
16 Serbs who were members of the joint police force
17 abandoned it when the parallel authorities were set up
18 by the Bosnian Serbs, so that in the police stations
19 only members of the Bosniak and Croatian peoples
20 remained. As in the case of the TO at the beginning and
21 later in the BiH army, a number of Serbs stayed with the
22 police and the army.
23 On 15th April, 1992, the Presidency passed the
24 decision according to which all these combat groups
25 patriotic groups had to come under the umbrella of the
1 Territorial Defence, so as to combine the activities of
2 all units within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 In May the Presidency passed the decision to set
4 up the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the same time a
5 law on defence was adopted, according to which in the
6 course of the war the armed forces were formed which
7 were to comprise the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
8 Croatian Defence Council, the police, units of the
9 Ministry of Internal Affairs, that is the police, and
10 armed formations of enterprises or companies that had
11 their own units.
12 Briefly, with reference to the HVO, I must point
13 out that politically among the Croatian people in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina there were extremists and towards the
15 end of 1991 the desire was expressed for the Croats to
16 finally, after a thousand years, should have a chance to
17 form their own state. There are documents in which the
18 leaders of the HDZ at the time expressed their wishes
19 and aspirations. You will probably be discussing one
20 such political statement with one of the people who will
21 be present at future hearings.
22 Rather like the Serbs, they formed their own
23 parallel authorities. They formed the Croatian
24 Community of Herceg Bosna and units of the Croatian
25 Defence Council. The law on defence of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina stipulates that the HVO is part of
2 the armed forces; however, regrettably, with the
3 exception of HVO units in Sarajevo and in the Posavina
4 region those units later implemented the policies of the
5 HDZ, which was not in accordance with the law on
7 MS. McHENRY: Sir, let me ask you, with respect to the HVO,
8 in 1992 in particular, April to December of 1992, even
9 if officially they were supposed to be under the
10 authority of the municipal headquarters, do you know
11 whether or not in fact they were often under the
12 authority of the municipal headquarters, in fact?
13 A. Yes. They were under the authority of the municipal
14 headquarters, but in the Croatian Community of Herceg
15 Bosna, that is in the settlements and the municipalities
16 where the Croatians, the Croatian community, they were
17 under the authority of the Croatian community. But
18 those who were in Posavina, first they were under the
19 command of the Territorial Defence and later under the
20 command of the army of Bosnian Herzegovina. It is
21 important to make a comparison here. Just as the
22 Serbian people in Bosnia formed their own authority and
23 their own military units, in the similar way the
24 Croatian extremists formed their own authorities and
25 military units.
1 Q. Did I understand you -- do I understand your answer,
2 sir, then, to mean that in the period of 1992 there were
3 some areas where the HVO did not act under the
4 authorities of the municipal headquarters, even if
5 officially on paper they were supposed to. Is that what
6 you are saying, sir?
7 A. I repeat, they were under the command of the municipal
8 headquarters where the majority of the population was
9 Bosniak, and where they were -- they worked together
10 with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were part of
11 the units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and not
12 under the command of the municipal headquarters.
13 Q. Did I then understand you that in some areas the HVO did
14 act in fact under the authority of the municipal
15 headquarters, and in other areas where the Bosnian
16 Muslims were not in the majority they did not
17 necessarily act under the authority of the municipal
18 headquarters, is that correct, sir?
19 A. The first part is correct, the second is not, because
20 where the Bosnians were in majority they formed part,
21 together with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There
22 were -- they all had an equal status and formed mixed
23 units, or were under the command of the Supreme
24 Commander within that area, that is in a municipality.
25 Q. Let me go back a minute, sir. You indicated that some
1 time in May in Sarajevo there was, the law was changed
2 to create the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Could you,
3 please, just explain a little more, in fact, how the TO
4 was transformed into the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 including whether or not it all happened in May,
6 immediately upon the law being passed or did it take
7 some amount of time?
8 A. Taking into account that the Territorial Defence was at
9 first conceived to continue with the tasks and duties
10 that it had originally, due to the threat to
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina throughout its territory, and with
12 unification of all groups in mind, a decision was
13 adopted to establish the army of Bosnian Herzegovina as
14 a new way of defending Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this way
15 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina got a strong command
16 structure and the relation, the clear relationship of
17 seniority was established. The army became a much more
18 coherent force than was the Territorial Defence. At
19 first, the Brigades were established.
20 Q. Sir, when were the Brigades established, approximately?
21 A. It depended on different parts. One of the first
22 Brigades, and there is a little bit of rivalry there in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, are -- the first one was formed in
24 late May and early June in Zenica. Those who were
25 organising the defence in Tuzla also claimed that they
1 formed their own around this same time, and by September
2 the Corps were already established.
3 The establishment of the army was made possible
4 because certain amount of arms and ammunition was
5 procured and the question may be asked, in what manner?
6 Our weapons were in the depots of the JNA. The
7 President of Bosnia-Herzegovina demanded that the arms
8 that belonged to the Territorial Defence of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina be returned to the population of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was not done. A part of the
11 weaponry in the JNA depots was blocked by the TO and so
12 the Territorial Defence armed itself. Later, during the
13 combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in May through
14 July, part of the weaponry and ammunition was captured
15 from the aggressor.
16 Q. Sir, is it the case that when the TO was being
17 transformed into the Bosnian army that there was a name
18 change, that so instead of the TO within a municipality
19 it became the municipal headquarters of the Bosnian
21 A. The structure was changed so that at first the municipal
22 headquarters, which had maybe larger authority than
23 after the army was formed, was renamed into the army
24 headquarters, because it was supposed to unify the
25 police and the HVO and the Territorial Defence and the
1 army units. However, since this was not functioning in
2 a satisfactory manner at the level of the municipal
3 headquarters, their role was diminished and after the
4 Brigades were established, and especially after the
5 Corps were established, their duties were reduced to
6 practically two; first, to work on the mobilisations,
7 and second, to provide logistical support for the units
8 that had been formed.
9 Q. Sir, who had the authority to appoint the TO Commanders,
10 both in the beginning, in the very beginning of the war,
11 and then as the TO was changed into the Bosnian army?
12 A. At the level of the municipal headquarters, at the
13 Republic headquarters, it was the Presidency who had the
14 authority. Often it happened that on behalf of the
15 Presidencies, and this is dependent on the situation on
16 the ground, the Chief of Staff of the Territorial
17 Defence, and later the Bosnian army had the authority to
18 sign appointments. Later the municipal headquarters
19 would propose appointments and the Chief of Staff would
20 sign them or approve them.
21 Later, after the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
22 established, part of the authority to appoint the
23 command staff was transferred to the Corps commands, and
24 the Brigade commands.
25 Q. Sir, in the beginning, to whom were the TO Commanders
1 responsible, particularly in areas where regional
2 headquarters did not exist?
3 A. They were directly responsible to the main headquarters
4 or the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In
5 other words, there was a direct link, chain, between the
6 main headquarters and the subordinate headquarters in
7 the municipalities.
8 Q. And when you say "the main headquarters", you mean the
9 main headquarters in Sarajevo, is that correct?
10 A. Yes, in Sarajevo. And it would be the Commander and his
11 deputies. Within the structure there is a chain of
12 command, and there are deputies, depending whether there
13 was sort of logistics, communications, political officer
14 and the things like that, and they were a subordinate.
15 Q. Were there military police that were part of the TO and
16 then later on part of the municipal headquarters?
17 A. This is going further into the details of the
18 organisation of the formations. One is to bear in mind
19 that within the municipal headquarters and that first in
20 the Republic headquarters there was a body which had the
21 task to protect the units and individuals and facilities
22 from the enemy operations and that was called the
23 security body. It formed its own commands for
24 protection of documents, facilities, and in principle
25 all the units, from the municipal headquarters up to the
1 Brigades, established their own police.
2 For instance, in May 1992 we established a
3 battalion of the military police, which was part of the
4 Republican headquarters of the Territorial Defence, and
5 its main duty was to protect the facilities and persons
6 who were in top positions of authority within the
7 headquarters. Such a body was supposed to be formed at
8 the level of the municipal headquarters and the police
9 was supposed to be involved in those duties.
10 Q. Thank you. Sir, you have mentioned before the problems
11 on the ground. Let me ask you: during the beginning
12 period, after the war started, were there sometimes
13 problems in following the proper procedure according to
14 the law or according to official orders because of,
15 among other things, problems on the ground?
16 A. One is to look at the situation comprehensively to
17 understand fully the organisation of the defence of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the one hand, there were laws
19 and regulations, which in that period, in my view, did
20 regulate the system of, and the chain of command rather
21 well. However, predominantly based on objective
22 reasons, sometimes even subjective, this system was
23 unable to function, and I will point to an example; for
24 instance, we said that in the law on defence the defence
25 forces are comprised of the army, the HVO, the police
1 and the armed groups that were supposed to protect, save
2 facilities. However, rarely was that implemented on the
3 ground. If I look at my own experience, very rarely if
4 there was a request by the Commander of the Republic's
5 headquarters, the police units very rarely participated
6 in any combat activities, even though the police in
7 Sarajevo was the first one to be exposed to the
9 Also, unfortunately, the HVO's participation,
10 together with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
11 ground, did not happen always. My own, for instance,
12 experience is that there was an attempt to break the
13 siege of Sarajevo in June of 1992. I even had an
14 opportunity to announce on Radio Sarajevo that some of
15 the Territorial Defence units of peasants, together with
16 the HVO, were coming through Kiseljak to Ilidza.
17 However, very shortly following this information we
18 received information that in Kiseljak they did not get
19 permission from the HVO to pass through and so this
20 first attempt to break the siege fell through.
21 Also one of the first targets of the aggression
22 was the telecommunications system. I just want to point
23 this out because it was not possible to use the
24 electronics communications to pass information in a
25 timely fashion to the subordinate staffs. It happened
1 that certain information or certain orders would take
2 several days to get through via messengers.
3 Q. Sir, as part of problems on the ground, including
4 communication problems that you have just mentioned, is
5 it the case that sometimes municipalities operated more
6 independently of Sarajevo? For instance, do you know
7 whether or not on some occasions the War Presidency
8 appointed persons to military positions, such as TO
9 Commanders, without the authorisation or appointment
10 from main headquarters in Sarajevo or the Presidency in
12 A. I do not have any personal experience, but in principle,
13 given the fact that there were two parallel chains of
14 command, the Presidency and the War Presidencies in the
15 municipalities, and then there was the military
16 structure, it was -- it could not happen that somebody
17 would be appointed but that it would not be known to the
18 Commander of the headquarters.
19 I will try to explain this. There were daily
20 reports submitted to the Commander of the Territorial
21 Defence and later to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In
22 other words, there is the Supreme Command and there is a
23 Supreme Commander, which consisted of the Presidency of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Minister of Defence, the
25 Minister of the Interior, and some other individuals who
1 had the authority to organise and conduct affairs of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. At first it was the Crisis
3 Presidency then the War Presidency in the
4 municipalities, comprised of a combination of the
5 military and the civilian authorities. They could make
6 proposals to the Presidency, and since the Commander
7 daily reported to the Supreme Commander, they could
8 decide whether somebody could get appointed or not.
9 And now these are my own views: I think that a
10 significant role in the establishment of the command
11 staff or proposals for the appointments of command staff
12 was also played by the SDA Party, and this is with
13 respect to the Bosniak staff members. It took into
14 account the results that certain individuals achieved in
15 the defence of a certain part, area, or even of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But I have no information that
17 anybody would appoint local Commanders and that the
18 Supreme Commander and the Supreme Command of the army of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not consulted on it.
20 Q. Sir, was there a time in 1992 when you went to Konjic,
21 the municipality of Konjic?
22 A. Yes. I happened to be there on 17th October, 1992,
23 first in the municipality of Jablanica and on that same
24 day in the Konjic municipality. I must explain how
25 I happened to be there.
1 Q. Sir, can I go backwards, before you get to the part
2 about why you were there? Is it correct that the first
3 time you were in Konjic since the war started was on
4 17th October, 1992? In other words, you had not been
5 there prior to that time.
6 A. I had not been there prior to that date. I repeat, it
7 was the 17th of October, in the afternoon, around 6 pm,
8 I was in the territory of Konjic municipality. The 17th
9 October, 1992, for the first time.
10 Q. Referring to that time, before you arrived in Konjic,
11 and I am specifically referring to the period between
12 April and October 16th, am I correct that you do not
13 know how the situation in Konjic was on the ground,
14 including how the forces in Konjic were working?
15 A. No, I did not know anything, for the simple reason that
16 within the framework of the headquarters of the BiH army
17 there were specific competencies of people, and bodies
18 whose task it was to monitor the situation throughout
19 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In view of the
20 fact that at the time I was Deputy Commander of the
21 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of the army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, my principal duties were focused on
23 Sarajevo and the surroundings. The information that we
24 received from the ground was concentrated in the
25 operational department and at briefings the Commander
1 was informed about them. I had no information from that
2 period which was significant for myself in view of my
4 Q. Is it correct, then, sir, that for instance you would
5 not know who the various TO Commanders in Konjic were,
6 for the period before you got to Konjic?
7 A. I did not know, but I tried to explain that at the time
8 my scope of activity was not at the level of municipal
9 staffs but it was at a higher level.
10 Q. Just for an overview, sir -- I am going to go back in a
11 minute and ask you about your time in Konjic, but, just
12 for an overview, can you say how long it was that you
13 remained in the Konjic area, after the 17th October?
14 A. Counting the little free time I had -- I am joking,
15 I spent 40 days there, plus for 28 days my people in the
16 army protected me, so that somebody would not kill me,
17 so that in all I spent 42 days in the territory of
19 Q. Can you please tell us why in October you were sent to
20 Konjic and what your duties and responsibilities were?
21 A. In view of the fact that we were not satisfied with the
22 way in which defence was being carried out in the
23 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Presidency decided
24 to relocate the main headquarters of the BiH army to the
25 area of Igman. This meant that the Chief of Staff of
1 the Supreme Command, together with several of his
2 assistants, needed to be in command of the armed
3 struggle from the area of Igman, an area that was free
4 and under the control of the BiH army.
5 In view of the fact that at the time I was a
6 member of a delegation of the state of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina at a session of the United Nations in
8 September, 1992, and that I took advantage of the
9 opportunity to convey at both a press conference and in
10 contact with people from the American military
11 establishment, the facts about what was happening in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, about the aggression committed,
13 about the genocide of the Bosniak people, as well as the
14 Serbs and Croats who do not support the SDS or HDZ
15 policies, and that as a representative of the Supreme
16 Command, I was a Serb, it was necessary, upon my return,
17 for us to meet at Igman with the Chief of Staff of the
18 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 So that, out of incomprehensible reasons, I had to
20 take a taxi to get through so that allegedly I should
21 not be caught by someone, and thus I reached Konjic,
22 intending to provide accommodation and the necessary
23 resources for pulling out the Chief of Staff of the
24 headquarters, and at the same time to gain insight into
25 the operational situation and to brief the Chief of
1 Staff about it once he was pulled out of Sarajevo.
2 Q. Before you went to Konjic did you know Mr. Zejnil
4 A. No.
5 Q. When you went to Konjic did you have occasion to meet
7 A. You mean before?
8 Q. No, I am sorry, sir, when you went to Konjic, in the
9 period from October 17th forward, did you ever meet
10 Zejnil Delalic?
11 A. Yes, I met him for about 10 times.
12 Q. And during the time you were in Konjic, what position
13 did Mr. Delalic hold?
14 A. For me at the time he was Commander of Tactical Group 2.
15 Q. And do you know who appointed him to the position of
16 Tactical Group 2?
17 A. A moment ago, when I said that for me he was Commander
18 of Tactical Group 2, until that moment and until he
19 introduced himself to me I was not aware of this
20 appointment. I think I did not see the document to that
21 effect, but he, I think he was appointed by the
22 Commander or the Chief of Staff, because according to
23 the principle I referred to a moment ago it should have
24 been the President of the Presidency of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But I did say that under certain
1 conditions the President of the Presidency could
2 transfer some of his powers directly to the Chief of
3 Staff of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. And who was the Chief of Staff of the Bosnian army at
5 that time?
6 A. Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
7 Q. Now, sir, if I understood you correctly, you said
8 Mr. Delalic was head of Tactical Group 2. Do you
9 remember the number of the Tactical Group that
10 Mr. Delalic was in charge of, and in particular, do you
11 know whether -- who would have been the head of Tactical
12 Group 1, and could that have been Mr. Delalic?
13 A. I apologise, I did not --
14 MR. GREAVES: The answer was he was Commander of Tactical
15 Group 2; she cannot now lead him into a totally
16 different answer.
17 A. If I may, your Honour, I did not understand a part of
18 your question, whether you asked me whether there were
19 several Groups. Is that your question?
20 MS. McHENRY: I am asking you, sir, whether you are sure
21 the number of the Tactical Group Mr. Delalic was in
22 charge of was number 2, or could it also have been
23 another number?
24 A. I said Tactical Group 2; however, what I do not know is
25 the composition of the units belonging to his Tactical
1 Group 2. If I may be allowed to say, a Tactical Group
2 is, according to the theory of tactics, a provisional
3 formation which comprises a varying number of units of
4 different organisational structure and composition. It
5 is the size of a strengthened battalion, roughly, which
6 may contain, in addition to infantry units, artillery,
7 armoured units, engineering units, signals units and so
8 on. I did not enter into the composition of that group
9 and am not aware of the strength of the forces under his
11 Q. Was being head of a Tactical Group a senior position
12 within the Bosnian army?
13 A. I can say that as these are temporary formations,
14 command over a Tactical Group could be entrusted to an
15 officer of different rank, because a Tactical Group is
16 formed for a particular mission, for a particular time,
17 and upon the completion of the mission it is abolished.
18 Since we are talking about a battalion, a
19 strengthened battalion in terms of size, the practice in
20 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina differed from theory. At
21 the time, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have
22 ranks. The people who came from the former Yugoslav
23 People's Army, though most of us renounced those ranks,
24 we were addressed by the ranks that we had in that
25 army. However, the rest were addressed according to the
1 positions they held, so that they were referred to as
3 "Leader", "Chief of Staff"; and I think that at that
4 time Zejnil Delalic did not have any rank.
5 As for what rank a Commander of a Tactical Group
6 may have, let me convey an experience I had in Sarajevo,
7 which may be of assistance. It could happen in Sarajevo
8 for a Brigade Commander to have the rank of Brigadier
9 and another one to have the rank of Major, so that to
10 say what rank the Commander of Tactical Group 1 would
11 have, that depended. If at that time he had the rank of
12 Colonel he would be Colonel, or if he had the rank of
13 Captain, he would be a Captain. There were no ranks at
14 the time.
15 Q. Do you know who Mr. Delalic's superior was?
16 A. According to this system of command and control, as the
17 Commander of Tactical Group 1, his superior would have
18 to be the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of the
19 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. Sir, can you just indicate, do you know whether
21 Mr. Delalic was head of Tactical Group 1 or Tactical
22 Group 2? I am not sure if I have --
23 MR. GREAVES: With respect, that question has been asked
24 twice. She is desperately trying to get the different
25 answer. She cannot cross-examine her own witness.
1 MS. McHENRY: If I may respond. In his answer the witness
2 has stated Mr. Delalic was head of Tactical Group 1.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can leave this, if it is necessary
4 for re-examination. Leave it for the time being.
5 MS. McHENRY: Fine, your Honour.
6 Sir, can you -- do you recall where and when you
7 met Mr. Delalic for the first time?
8 A. On 17th October I was in his house to deal with the
9 problem of one of the undisciplined Commanders of the
10 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Juka Prazina.
11 Q. Can you describe in some more detail the first occasion
12 when you met Mr. Delalic and what happened during that
14 A. As I was brought from Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina in a
15 manner that was inappropriate, in my view -- when I use
16 this term I am referring to the fact that I was Deputy
17 Commander, or rather Deputy Chief of Staff of the main
18 command of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that the
19 people who should have respected this fact did nothing
20 for a man with such a position. To reach Igman, as had
21 been agreed, when I left Sarajevo on 20th September,
22 1992, I have already told you that I was transported by
23 taxi, along round about routes via Posusje to
25 When I was talking to the Commander of the
1 Jablanica Territorial Defence, I was called up from
2 Konjic, where I was told I should report urgently
3 because of problems that have cropped up at that very
4 moment. I did not know what it was about. I was driven
5 to the building where Delalic was and several men, among
6 whom I recognised two. The one I knew was Mr. Juka
7 Prazina, who was at the time Commander of a Special
8 Brigade of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there was
9 also Dragan Andric. I know Dragan Andric from before
10 the war. Delalic I met for the first time then. He
11 surprised me by his strength and size, because at the
12 time much was going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina and there
13 were few people who were in such good physical shape.
14 He showed me a document in which the Chief of
15 Staff of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina gave
16 instructions to investigate the case of the Commander of
17 the Special Brigade of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
18 the time. Actually, Juka Prazina came to Igman for the
19 first time on 15th October. He entered the command, the
20 headquarters of one of our units. He physically
21 assaulted the members of the staff.
22 JUDGE JAN: Are you requesting these details?
23 MS. McHENRY: Sir, if I may, let me direct me a little bit
24 more narrowly, sir.
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Is it the case that when you met Mr. Delalic he gave you
2 a briefing on the situation of Konjic, or asked someone
3 to do so on his behalf?
4 A. I will tell you about that later. He did not on that --
5 at that point of time, because I had come there to deal
6 with a specific problem, without previously being
7 informed of what was happening in Konjic. Allow me to
8 say two more sentences only.
9 So the Chief of Staff had given instructions to
10 deal with the problem of Juka. What was necessary was
11 to interrogate all the people who had been eyewitnesses
12 of that incident, and our decision was that he should be
13 temporarily detained, so as to establish the facts of
14 the matter, as to what had happened in Igman. But that
15 is not essential for this, so I will go on.
16 The next day, on the 18th, Mr. Delalic called
17 Dragan Andric, who was an operative officer in the staff
18 of the Territorial Defence of Konjic, and asked him to
19 brief me on the military situation in the area of
20 Konjic. It was then that I was informed about facts
21 that were relevant for the military situation. Briefly,
22 you know very well that there is a certain order of
23 information, the deployment of the aggressor or enemy
24 forces, the deployment of our own forces, of the units
25 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the MUP, the HVO, all
1 the units that were stationed in that area. He informed
2 me of the decision of the headquarters regarding the
3 defence of Konjic, and he presented the problems that
4 existed in Konjic at the time.
5 Q. Sir, during the time that you were in Konjic did you
6 ever see Mr. Delalic meeting with other representatives
7 from the Supreme Command from Sarajevo?
8 A. Yes. This was later, somewhere around the beginning of
9 November. While I was there, I do not know about the
10 situation before, people from the Supreme Command of the
11 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina would come there and their
12 task was to prepare the lifting of the blockade of
13 Sarajevo. At that time, as representatives of the
14 Supreme Command, there was Mr. Vehbija Karic, Alija
15 Ismet, Mirsad Causevic, and many others who passed
16 through Konjic on their way to other assignments.
17 However, I was not present if there were any meetings or
18 discussions with those people.
19 Q. Thank you, sir. Do you know whether or not Mr. Delalic
20 ever made any written reports to the headquarters,
21 written or oral reports to headquarters in Sarajevo,
22 concerning the situation in Konjic?
23 A. I do not know whether he was in regular contact with the
24 headquarters, and it would have been normal for him to
25 do so as Commander of a Tactical Group. I know that
1 once he showed me a report relating to the situation
2 that had set in because of the operations of the HVO in
3 the area of Prozor. It was a dramatic situation in
4 which it could have been seen from the report he
5 requested assistance to deal with the problem.
6 Q. Sir, can I just clarify, was this report to the Supreme
7 -- to the headquarters in Sarajevo?
8 A. It was prepared, and how it was transmitted to the
9 headquarters, I do not know, but I know that it had been
10 prepared for sending. The main problem was that on the
11 18th and 19th the relations between the HVO and the
12 citizens, the Bosniaks of Prozor, were aggravated and on
13 the night between the 23rd and the 24th a military
14 formation of the HVO appeared. We later assessed that
15 they belonged to the Croatian army. They appeared
16 together with tanks, and the Commander of that armoured
17 unit was Smidt.
18 Q. Sir, I think it might be more helpful for the judges if
19 I try to, sir, just direct your questions. At the end
20 if you think there has not been enough of an explanation
21 you can inform me of that.
22 Let me just then sir, if I may, ask you: during
23 the problems in Prozor that you have mentioned was there
24 ever a time when someone from the municipal headquarters
25 of Prozor reported to Mr. Delalic about these problems?
1 A. I am not familiar with any report, but the Commander of
2 the municipal headquarters of Prozor, I think Mr. Sabic
3 or Sadic, did come, and he -- I happened to be present.
4 He briefed us on what was happening to the Bosniaks in
5 Prozor, in dramatic terms. According to his report, on
7 Q. I am not going to ask you at this point about the
8 details of what was going on in Prozor. Let me ask you:
9 was there an occasion later when you and Mr. Delalic were
10 interviewed by TV journalists, where the problems in
11 Prozor were discussed?
12 A. I do not know about the details, but I did grant an
13 interview for the simple reason that the public of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina needed to be informed about what was
15 happening in that area, and it had to do with HVO
17 Q. Was Mr. Delalic also interviewed at the same time, as
18 part of the same programme?
19 A. I think he was, but I am not quite sure. If you have
20 the recording, I think that Karic was there as well when
21 we were interviewed. I know that the journalists -- the
22 reporter was Maric. Maybe he can testify about it.
23 I do not recall.
24 Q. Later on I will be asking you to view an excerpt of a
25 video. For now, let me stay with Konjic itself, sir.
1 During the time you were in Konjic did you ever go to
2 any military warehouse to view supplies?
3 A. Yes, but not only military warehouses. I was interested
4 in the overall situation regarding defence, so rather
5 what were the chances, what were the military chances
6 for the units of Jablanica, Konjic and Mostar to assist
7 in the lifting of the blockade of Sarajevo. I toured
8 the military warehouses and established the situation
9 with respect to armaments and material. I was
10 disappointed, because I believe that there was
11 sufficient equipment in those warehouses to undertake
12 something significant.
13 Q. Sir, let me direct you more specifically. Did you ever
14 go to any warehouse that was located in the Celebici
16 A. Yes, it is a military warehouse, as I see something like
17 it here. I think it is this building over here that is
18 marked H, I think. (Indicates). I think that could be
20 Q. Sir, whose warehouse was this? Who controlled it?
21 A. As far as I knew, it was under the control of Tactical
22 Group 2.
23 Q. And who brought you to this warehouse?
24 A. The Commander of Tactical Group 2, no one else could --
25 or more specifically, Mr. Delalic.
1 Q. When you were there, did you visit the facilities within
2 Celebici where the prisoners were kept?
3 A. I did not know that there were any such facilities in
4 Celebici. I did not visit them. My aim was to see the
5 warehouse. Whether they were there and where, I do not
7 Q. Sir, you have talked before about your understanding of
8 a Tactical Group. Who determined, sir, the parameters
9 of the authority of a particular Tactical Group?
10 A. The main staff of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. Sir, is it correct that a Tactical Group could have
12 authority only over certain units assigned to that
13 Group? Is it also true that a Tactical Group could also
14 have territorial responsibility, meaning authority over
15 geographic area, including all the units in that
16 territorial area?
17 A. Only what was assigned to him under his command by the
18 main headquarters. Only those units were subordinated
19 to him, and no others in principle or in theory.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ms. McHenry, we might have to break
21 here and reassemble at 12.00. The Trial Chamber will
22 now rise.
23 (11.30 am)
24 (Short break)
25 (12.00 pm)
1 (Witness enters court)
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Will you kindly remind the witness that
3 he is still on his oath?
4 THE REGISTRAR: I am reminding you, sir, that you are still
5 testifying under oath.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed, Ms. McHenry.
7 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, your Honours. Thank you, sir.
8 Sir, within a Tactical Group who was responsible
9 for maintaining the order and discipline among the units
10 and soldiers that are part of the Tactical Group.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, there is no feed to the booth.
12 There is no sound.
13 Q. I am sorry, I think there is some problem with this.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, the interpreter is saying there is no
15 sound feeding into the English booth. I see that the
16 microphones are on, but there is no feed into the
18 Q. There is a problem with the technical equipment. Can
19 you say one, two, three, four into the microphone?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Still there is no feed.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Check with the technicians whether they
22 can come or not. Let the technicians come and check
23 it. (Pause). Okay, we will rise for 10 minutes so that
24 they will come to check it.
25 (12.05 pm)
1 (Short break)
2 (12.15 pm)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We have come to an arrangement whereby
4 we continue to about 1.15 instead of 1.00 and then,
5 still not cheating ourselves, return by 2.45. Therefore
6 we are still not losing the time.
7 (Witness enters court)
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Are you comfortable now?
9 You may proceed, Ms. McHenry.
10 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
11 Sir, I understand that the technical problems have
12 been fixed, and although you answered my previous
13 question, because your answer was not in interpreted let
14 me ask it again, please. Sir, who was responsible for
15 maintaining order and discipline among the units and
16 soldiers who were part of a Tactical Group?
17 A. For the overall situation, it was the Commander of the
18 Tactical Group. But at a level of each unit it would be
19 the Commander of the unit, at platoon level the
20 Commander of the platoon, at the company level the
21 Commander of the company, and they were subordinate to
22 the Commander of the Tactical Group. So it is through
23 these subordinate commanders that the Commander of the
24 Tactical Group maintained the order and the Commanders
25 of the units were subordinate to the Tactical Group
1 Commander, and because directly the Tactical Group
2 Commander has no particular responsibility to any single
3 individual soldier.
4 Q. And, sir, who was responsible for ensuring that a
5 reporting system, or a system for transmitting
6 information, existed from the intermediate command
7 levels to the head of a Tactical Group?
8 A. Within a system of command one of the elements is
9 reporting; that is, the subordinate Commanders are --
10 had a duty to report to the Commander in the morning, if
11 this is a combat assignment or if there is anything
12 pressing, so the Commanders of the subordinate units are
13 reporting to the Commander of the Tactical Group.
14 Q. Sir, you indicated previously that the authority of a
15 Tactical Group Commander would depend on what was
16 assigned to him under his command by the main
17 headquarters. With the Registrar's assistance, I would
18 like to have you look at two documents, Prosecution
19 Exhibit 99-7 annex 9 and Prosecution Exhibit 99-7
20 annex 7. We have extra copies for the judges. These
21 documents are already in evidence.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I wonder if the Prosecutor also
23 has extra copies for Defence counsel?
24 MS. McHENRY: Yes, we do.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
1 MS. McHENRY: Defence counsel, have you been given them?
2 I think there were extra copies there for Defence
4 May I just clarify with the usher that both annex
5 7 and annex 9 have been given to the witness, two
6 different annexes?
7 A. Yes, 9 and 7.
8 Q. Sir, I would like to direct your attention first to the
9 document dated 11th July, which is annex 9, and --
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: I apologise, can I also get a copy of the
11 document in Bosnian, please?
12 MS. McHENRY: Sir, I would like to direct your attention to
13 annex 9, which is the document dated July 11th. Can you
14 please indicate what this document indicates as the
15 authority given to Mr. Delalic?
16 A. My interpretation is that this document appoints
17 Mr. Zejnil Delalic to the Commander of the Tactical
18 Group. I do not know, it states Tactical Group 1. I do
19 not know if that is a typo or something, but it is not
20 clear what units are enter, are part of this Tactical
21 Group. Here it refers to the areas of Hadzici, Konjic
22 and Jablanica, and that would imply that the units from
23 those areas would comprise this Tactical Group. It
24 cannot be gleaned from the document which units these
25 are, but as Commander, Zejnil Delalic had to have known
1 which units comprised this Tactical Group. I do not see
2 such a document stating that.
3 Q. Sir, going forward now to the document dated 27th July,
4 which is annex 7, can you indicate, does this document
5 state what the responsibility of Mr. Delalic is?
6 A. It is similarly as with the previous document. It is
7 not clear what units are -- that comprise this Tactical
8 Group that is responsible for the area of Dreznica,
9 Jablanica, Prozor, Konjic, Pazaric, Hadzici and Igman.
10 This is a good example of what I have already tried to
11 point out to the Trial Chamber. As I repeat, the law of
12 defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina provides that the armed
13 forces consist of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
14 HVO, the units of the Ministry of the Interior, or as we
15 used to call them, the police, and the units of the
16 organisations within the companies or state
17 institutions. So, from this -- from this document,
18 I cannot see what formations are included, so the
19 document is not precise, and it is not -- does not fall
20 within the framework of the documents that were produced
21 for the combat operations. So, what it says also is
22 that the previous appointments for this area are null
23 and void. Because this is not an order, this is just an
24 appointment of Zejnil Delalic to the post of Commander,
25 but it does not specify which formations, which units
1 are under his -- are being put under his command.
2 Q. Does the document say anything about what formations are
3 put -- in particular, let me ask you what "Svih" -- can
4 you please indicate what the document says about what
6 A. Neither of these two documents does not specify any of
7 the particular units in the areas of Pazaric, Hadzici,
8 so from neither of the two documents is it clear which
9 are the units that are under Mr. Delalic's command. And
10 had it been done then, at the time, it would have been
11 very good if all the formations that were targeted to be
12 a part of the armed forces were in reality part of
13 them. Here I speak not for the region of Konjic but the
14 entire Bosnia-Herzegovina. I am trying to say that it
15 is, should also be specified which units are put under a
16 particular Commander's command.
17 Q. According to this document, what does when the document
18 says-- first of all, let me ask you, directing your
19 attention to the first line of paragraph 1, when it says
20 "Svih", what does "Svih" mean?
21 A. That would mean that you take the law of the defence and
22 read, and in there you read "all", all, all. But the
23 Commander did not order that the HVO, the police, all
24 units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina be included. So
25 that is just a general term, "all", but in the military
1 documents it has to be specified. All units have to be
2 specified, because it is not the authority, or it is not
3 the responsibility of the Commander in question to
4 specify the units. So he is not responsible for
5 ordering these municipal -- so it is not his
6 responsibility to order any particular unit to be put
7 under his command unless it was specified by the Supreme
8 Commander of the main headquarters.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. Sir, am I correct that in traditional
10 military structures the individual units are part of
11 larger entities such as battalions or Corps?
12 A. Yes, you are right. The basic tactical unit is the
13 battalion, and the first joint unit is a brigade.
14 During my time this was the period when the brigades and
15 Corps were being established, and in the area of
16 Sarajevo the brigades had already been formed, as well
17 as the Sarajevo Corp.
18 Q. Do you know, at this time -- excuse me one minute. And
19 do you know, at this time in Konjic had brigades and
20 Corps already been formed?
21 A. No, the Corps was not, but the brigades were in the
22 process of being formed, because one of my main tasks
23 which I received on 2nd November, 1992, from the Supreme
24 Command, was to assist in forming of the brigades in
25 Neretvica and Jablanica. At that time, the Konjic
1 Brigade was in the process of being formed, but the
2 formation was not completed.
3 Q. Did the fact that these larger entities did not then
4 exist create certain problems in using and co-ordinating
5 and controlling the actions of the different
6 municipalities for the task?
7 A. The question is not entirely clear to me, but I will try
8 to answer it to the extent that I have understood it.
9 There was a certain latitude in decision-making within
10 the overall task that the headquarters of the municipal
11 headquarters received from the superiors. The orders
12 that were received by the Commander of the Tactical
13 Group, which is not clear here, since the basic task of
14 these units at the time when I was in Konjic was the
15 preparation for the lifting of the blockade of Sarajevo,
16 all headquarters and the Tactical Group were working on
17 the preparations, which included preparing the equipment
18 and staffing for the lifting of the blockade. There was
19 latitude within the scope of preparations, and so the
20 mode of preparation, on the part of the Commanders of a
21 Tactical Group, but not in terms of the timing and
22 preparing and bringing the required troops for the
23 execution of the task.
24 Q. Sir, do you know when the Tactical Group headed by
25 Mr. Delalic was disbanded? Even if you do not know the
1 exact date, can you give the approximate date?
2 A. I would not know the date even approximately. The last
3 time I saw the gentleman was November 23rd, and later
4 activities in the area of Konjic I was not familiar
5 with, because I was cut off, as I said, and as my
6 friends Croats would say, I was arrested by a unit in
8 Q. Sir, before your arrest, during the time you were still
9 in Konjic in November, did the Tactical Group, to your
10 knowledge, headed by Mr. Delalic, still exist?
11 A. As far as I know, it did.
12 Q. Sir, you have previously testified concerning your
13 contacts with Mr. Delalic during this time and I am
14 specifically referring to your testimony that the
15 Commander of the Prozor headquarters came to Konjic to
16 brief Mr. Delalic concerning the problems in Prozor.
17 Sir, my question is: was this behaviour consistent or
18 inconsistent with Mr. Delalic having authority over the
19 municipal headquarters of Prozor?
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I have an objection. The
21 witness did not say that the Commander of the Prozor
22 headquarters came to inform Zejnil Delalic, he just said
23 that the Commander of the TO Prozor came to report about
24 the events, but not to report to Zejnil Delalic.
25 MS. McHENRY: Let me clarify, if I have misunderstood or
2 Sir, let me go back for a minute. Do you know why
3 the Commander of the Prozor headquarters came to Konjic
4 when you previously -- when you were testifying about
5 that? In other words, what was he doing when he went
7 A. The Commander of the municipal headquarters of the armed
8 forces of Prozor, in my assessment, abandoned his unit,
9 not to use a more explicit term, came to Konjic to
10 report on what had happened in Prozor in the period from
11 roughly 18th or 19th until he reached us on the 25th of
12 October, 1992. He reported to Karic, who then came as a
13 representative of the main staff of the armed forces to
14 Konjic, and I mentioned some other people. I was
15 present and General Delalic was present when he informed
16 us about the way in which the HVO had acted, as well as
17 units of the Croatian army, whose Commander of armoured
18 forces was Smidt.
19 MS. McHENRY: Sir, let me --
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually, let us get this clear. Who
21 was he reporting to when he came there?
22 A. He was reporting to representatives of the main staff of
23 the armed forces, and also present was the Commander of
24 Tactical Group 2, Zejnil Delalic. So on behalf of the
25 main staff it was Mr. Karic and myself and Zejnil
1 Delalic. So it was not to Zejnil Delalic as the
2 Commander, but to Zejnil Delalic who was Commander of a
3 Tactical Group in that area, a group which was the best
4 organised as a unit in that area.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
6 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, your Honour.
7 Sir, I am going to ask you to view an excerpt from
8 a videotape and ask you if you recognise this as an
9 excerpt of the interview given by you and Mr. Delalic.
10 I would ask the technical people that the excerpt
11 from I25, which is marked as Prosecution Exhibit 115, be
12 shown. After it is shown, I will have a question for
14 (Interview played)
15 THE INTERPRETER: (translating video).
16 "Mr. Delalic, these conflicts also occurred in the
17 municipalities which are in your zone of
18 responsibility. Mr. Karic just said he was an optimist
19 and that a number of things have been agreed on, in
20 other words that good progress has been made. Could you
21 briefly tell us whether the things that have been agreed
22 and decided upon are being implemented?
23 "Answer: This is still quite fresh. We only sat
24 down together several days ago, but today is the day
25 when we are beginning to see the first results. There
1 is a feeling in the population, among the soldiers of
2 both of these formations, a spirit of friendship, a
3 lessening of tensions which have existed for months. We
4 are in a broad area between what until very recently was
5 still called rather unclearly the new state or province
6 of Herceg Bosna and pure Bosnia, so to speak, so that on
7 both sides we were often the black sheep.
8 "Obviously, because the politicians had not worked
9 out certain things in a timely fashion, and which the
10 military has now, how shall I put it, tackled it in a
11 more serious and active way, and I believe has been very
12 successful in resolving them. The positions are being
13 mixed again. The soldiers of the HVO formations and our
14 units are meeting again as they did previously. We
15 witnessed them kissing and embracing and so forth.
16 Suddenly, it has been understood that this is a very
17 clear struggle against a very clear and specific enemy."
18 MS. McHENRY: Sir, let me ask you, when the interviewer
19 reported that the problems in this area were within the
20 municipalities which were within Mr. Delalic's zone of
21 responsibility, is that an indication, sir, that
22 Mr. Delalic had territorial authority over certain areas?
23 A. From this clip of his interview, that cannot be seen,
24 nor did he have authority in that area. What Mr. Zejnil
25 Delalic is referring to was 10 or 12 days after the
1 attack by the HVO and the Croatian army on Prozor. He
2 is speaking about the settling down of the situation
3 when a joint commission was formed on 26th or the 27th
4 October, in which, as far as I can remember, Mr. Pasalic,
5 Mr. Karic and, on the part of the Croatian army, or
6 rather the HVO, Mr. Kalik were members. With their
7 appearance in Prozor and the tour of the units of the
8 HVO, and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the situation
9 calmed down. That is how I interpret this statement by
10 Mr. Delalic. One cannot see from this, nor did he have
11 authority at the time over the municipal staffs of the
12 armed forces of Prozor.
13 Q. And sir, how do you interpret, let me move forward with
14 another question and I would like to ask you to show a
15 document, Prosecution Exhibit 189.
16 A. If I can just add that I remember that this interview
17 took place between the 29th October and the 1st or 2nd
18 November, so that the situation was quite different from
19 the one we were discussing, that is the situation in
21 Q. Sir, am I correct that this document orders municipal
22 staff of the Bosnian armed forces of Prozor to withdraw
23 all units from their current position and form a line of
24 defence in another position?
25 A. That is what it says in the order, to withdraw the armed
1 forces of the Prozor municipal staff to a new line of
2 defence immediately below the town. Whether this was
3 under instructions from the superior -- that means the
4 Commander -- of the Chief of Staff of the main
5 headquarters, I am not -- I do not know.
6 Q. Sir, does this document give any indication whether or
7 not from some source Mr. Delalic has been given authority
8 over the Prozor municipal staff?
9 A. One could make the conclusion that he was given a task
10 on the basis of consultations with the Supreme Commander
11 of the armed forces, that is the Chief of Staff of the
12 main staff of the armed forces, as is stated in the
13 preamble. The way in which it is written, he was
14 authorised by the Chief of Staff of the armed forces to
15 assist in dealing with the problems that had arisen in
16 relations with the HVO on the 27th August, 1992. So it
17 can be concluded from this that he had consultations
18 with the headquarters in Sarajevo.
19 Q. Sir, is this document consistent or inconsistent with
20 the 27th July order, stating that Mr. Delalic has
21 authority over all units, all of the Bosnian army in
22 areas which include Prozor?
23 A. Yes, I understand. I think that this -- by this order
24 the Chief of Staff of the main headquarters is trying to
25 clearly define the area of responsibility and the forces
1 that could be, at a given moment, under the command of
2 the Commander of the Tactical Group, because if I may
3 refer to my analysis of the 27th July, I said that it
4 was not indicated which unit Zejnil Delalic could
5 command. This is a specific assignment that can be
6 given for a particular time period.
7 MS. McHENRY: Sir, I would like you, now, to look at
8 Prosecution Exhibit 99-7 annex 10, which is also
9 previously in evidence. We have extra copies for your
10 Honours, and if Defence counsel do not have their prior
11 copies, we have extra copies for Defence counsel.
12 Sir, I would like to specifically direct your
13 attention to the paragraphs, at the present time, 4 and
14 5 of this document, and, sir, am I correct that this
15 document orders the municipal command of the
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina armed forces in Konjic, it orders the
17 municipal headquarters and the Konjic military police to
18 introduce a duty roster, and it orders an offensive to
19 be launched?
20 A. If I may be permitted, I should first like to mention,
21 again, the preamble, which says, "pursuant to the orders
22 of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina", which means that again
24 he received an order, and we do not know what that order
25 is from this document, and he is then ordering the
1 command of the municipal command of the armed forces of
2 Konjic to regulate these things as you have said, that
3 the military police should introduce the duty roster and
4 the next thing that you said. So, the Supreme Command
5 has transferred to him, because you see some expressions
6 are being used which show that they did not reach the
7 subordinated staffs, because this was the Chief of Staff
8 of the Supreme Command, not the Supreme Commander, and
9 that an offensive be launched immediately using forces
10 deployed in Bjelimici against Kalinovik. I do not know
11 as to the Operation Jug or South at the time, but he is
12 probably ordering those units in the Konjic municipal
13 staff, which are not within a part of his Tactical
15 If I may ask your Honours, I notice that I made a
16 slip in using Tactical Group 1 and Tactical Group 2; as
17 you yourself noticed, I said Tactical Group 2. So in
18 effect it is Tactical Group 1, and this document shows
19 that it was preceded by an order received from a
20 superior and that superior is also the Chief of Staff of
21 the armed forces, that is Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
22 Q. Does this document indicate that at some point
23 Mr. Delalic was given authority over the Konjic municipal
24 headquarters, and is this document consistent or
25 inconsistent with the authority given Mr. Delalic over
1 all formations in the 27th July document, for an area
2 including Konjic?
3 A. I am reading the order to mean that he was given a
4 specific task, not that it shows that he is the
5 Commander of all the armed forces. He is being given a
6 specific assignment, as we have already indicated. But
7 this document is addressed to the War Presidency of
8 Konjic, more as a report than as an order. So it may be
9 a little confusing that he is extending his authority.
10 I do not see from this document that his authority,
11 defined in previous documents, has been expanded, but
12 they are only expressed in specific terms. I apologise,
13 we saw that a moment ago linked with the order for
15 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
16 Your Honour, at this time now I would be turning
17 -- I may return back later to this document, but for
18 now I would be turning to -- excuse me, excuse me, your
19 Honour, I forgot your prior direction, excuse me.
20 Sir, let me turn now to a different area.
21 Previously there was a discussion of Celebici. Could
22 you please report when the first time you learned that
23 there was a prison in Celebici?
24 A. At a briefing on 18th October, 1992, when there was a
25 briefing on the general situation in Konjic. It was
1 stated that there were two prisons in which the people
2 who participated in the attack on Konjic were being
3 detained, that is military personnel. So that was
4 within the framework of a briefing. It was said that
5 these facilities existed in Celebici, and I think a
6 sports hall in Konjic, somewhere in the old town.
7 Q. During your time in Konjic did you come to learn who the
8 Commander of this prison was?
9 A. At one point, while I was in the premises where the
10 municipal staff of the armed forces of Konjic was
11 housed, because that is where my premises were also, at
12 the end of October, I was told who the Commander was,
13 and shown -- that was once, and I saw him once again
14 later, but nothing special -- there was nothing special
15 about it which would attract my attention to the
16 Commander of the military prison in Celebici.
17 Q. Do you know the name of the person you learned was the
19 A. Five or six years later, if you are thinking of
20 Mr. Mucic, if that was what he was at the time. I think
21 so, but I cannot be very definite. One forgets names,
22 they fade out.
23 Q. Did you have any dealings with or any conversation with
24 the camp commander concerning the prison?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you ever see the camp commander and Mr. Delalic
3 A. Not together, not together, but I said that I saw the
4 gentleman where his place was, that is within the staff
5 that was in control of him and the prison.
6 Q. And where was this place that you have referred to, sir?
7 A. That is in Konjic, the motel which was used by the
8 municipal staff and its bodies and where I had my
9 office, and where I spent my time while I stayed in
10 Konjic. I spent part of the time there and part of the
11 time in a military facility in the army of
13 Q. Sir, during the time that you were in Konjic, did
14 Mr. Delalic ever say anything to you about Celebici, the
15 prison in particular?
16 A. We did not discuss that subject in particular, but on
17 one occasion, this must have been somewhere in mid
18 November, he was talking about problems in general that
19 he was having as a Commander, for the simple reason that
20 relations were worsening with representatives of the
21 Croatian people. He spoke about threats that he had
22 been subjected to, and on that occasion he mentioned a
23 detail, that is an attempt, and I remembered the name.
24 This may be because the same man had pointed a pistol at
25 me, that is Mitke Pirkic, who had tried to enter the
1 prison by force, and said that he was simply worried
2 that someone might place in jeopardy the persons who
3 were being interrogated. That is all that -- all the
4 discussion that the two of us had linked to the military
5 prison in Celebici.
6 But if I may convey some more observations of
7 mine, something that I learned touring the units and
8 talking to the soldiers. Several soldiers expressed
9 their dissatisfaction with the fact that those who were
10 in prison had three meals a day, whereas the soldiers
11 who were defending Konjic received food only twice.
12 This surprised me a little, not this difference between
13 two and three meals, but why they were telling me about
14 it, and I realised that in a situation in which they
15 were short of weapons and ammunition and spending 40
16 hours and more on the front-lines, continuously, they
17 responded perhaps with some insufficient control, saying
18 why people who had participated in the attack on the
19 town should be treated in such a way, whereas the troops
20 who were risking their own lives had such poor
22 Q. During the time you were in Konjic, do you know if the
23 Red Cross visited Celebici?
24 A. I am not familiar with the details, but one evening
25 I remember coming for a brief visit and since I saw him
1 12 times, sometimes we had coffee together, and
2 I remember that in front of the facility was a Red Cross
3 team and Zejnil Delalic told me then that they had
4 visited it, that the instructions had come from
5 Sarajevo, and, according to the information conveyed to
6 me by Delalic at the time, they had found the situation
7 to be satisfactory. That must have been between the 2nd
8 or 3rd and the 5th November, 1992.
9 Q. Sir, when the Red Cross went into an area, who generally
10 authorised the Red Cross to go to a particular prison?
11 My question is both directed on the Republic level and
12 in the more local level where the prison in question was
14 A. At the time I was in Konjic, I was not familiar with the
15 system of decision-making, but later on, in 1993/94 and
16 during the time I was assistant commander for
17 co-operation with civilian authorities, I learned about
18 the system, the system of control carried out by the Red
19 Cross. They could go to prisons after receiving
20 permission from the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 which transferred its authority in the case of military
22 prisons to the Supreme Command of the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina; and the Supreme Command would then
24 give direct orders to subordinate headquarters, if there
25 were any such problems to allow the Red Cross to visit,
1 so that this decision always went from the top down to
2 the subordinate staffs and units.
3 Q. Showing you an excerpt, sir, from a video. It is
4 Prosecution Exhibit 115, tape I25. I do not believe
5 there is any text on this, it is just a photo, sir.
6 I ask if you can look at that and tell what is being
8 (Video played)
9 A. International Committee of the Red Cross to the
10 Commander, Zejnil Delalic.
11 MS. McHENRY: I would now like, sir, to show you a
12 document, and I ask the assistance of the usher to have
13 this marked for identification. We have extra copies
14 for your Honours. It has previously been provided to
15 the Defence. If they need it, we have extra copies also
16 for them.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 192.
18 MS. McHENRY: Sir, I am asking you -- I am sorry. Sir,
19 I am asking whether or not --
20 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, I object here. It appears we
21 are talking about a newspaper report, which is obviously
22 hearsay, as a general rule I think these reports are
23 considered hearsay.
24 The second objection I have is to the relevancy of
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let me hear your question first. What
2 is your question?
3 MS. McHENRY: Is it the case that the video excerpt you saw
4 and this document, Prosecution Exhibit 192, are --
5 would such Red Cross submissions to Mr. Delalic be part
6 of the normal procedure, given his position at that
8 A. As far as I know, no, because I said what the principle
9 was. This applies to the prison in Konjic, so it is not
10 the prison in Celebici, and the fact that it was
11 probably addressed to Zejnil Delalic, because at the
12 time he was co-ordinator, who could have had the role
13 within the authority that he had to co-ordinate those
14 activities with the International Committee of the Red
15 Cross, within the framework of the War Presidency, but
16 whether he had such authority, I do not know. So this
17 has to do with the protection of the persons held in the
18 sports hall in Konjic, that they need to be protected
19 like the other citizens, because the facility was
20 exposed to mortar fire.
21 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
22 JUDGE JAN: One thing. What does the expression "C/O"
23 mean? It is addressed to whom?
24 MS. McHENRY: Sir, who is this document addressed to?
25 JUDGE JAN: It does not appear from the document. I was
1 asking you, whom was this document addressed to?
2 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, I believe that "C/O", that is
3 what I wished to ask the --
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is "care of", it is well known, but
5 the address is not there.
6 JUDGE JAN: Who is the addressee?
7 MS. McHENRY: I can ask the witness.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He did not write the letter.
9 JUDGE JAN: It is not his document. You should know.
10 MS. McHENRY: I can give you my opinion as to who it is
11 addressed to.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What is your position about this?
13 MS. McHENRY: My opinion is that it is addressed to
14 Commander Zejnil Delalic, co-ordinator of the army of
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Why does it say "care of"?
17 MS. McHENRY: I believe that was the procedure.
18 JUDGE JAN: This document, you need to know to whom it is
20 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, the Prosecution believes
21 reasonable inferences can be made, and, taking the
22 document as a whole, the Prosecution believes that is a
23 reasonable inference, particularly also when you take
24 the video excerpt and you take what the witness has
25 already stated about his conversation with Mr. Delalic
1 concerning the Red Cross visits later.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is stretching it a bit too far.
3 Why did he not address it to him, instead of putting it
4 in his care? He might know who he would give it to. It
5 does not show it was a letter addressed to him.
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I have to object. Again we have --
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Why do you interrupt when perhaps we
8 can hear a point which is relevant to what is being
9 done? What we are saying is that it is not addressed to
10 the person it is claimed to be addressed to. It is put
11 in his care, so there is nothing on the face of the
12 letter to indicate that it is addressed to him. It is
13 copied to Pavo Mucic; it is more impressive that there
14 is a copy sent to him, not that the letter is addressed
15 to him.
16 JUDGE JAN: Copy addressed to the President also,
17 representative of the President of the Republic. It is
18 not directly addressed to him, it seems.
19 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, the Prosecution has no
20 additional evidence concerning this document, so
21 I cannot tell you, other than reasonable inferences can
22 be made, and whether or not it is "care of" meaning it
23 was addressed to someone else, or whether or not
24 Mr. Delalic is given -- just given a copy of it.
25 JUDGE JAN: Nobody is addressed "care of" Commander who has
1 been described as co-ordinator of the army of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina", not as a commander of Tactical
3 Group, or Commander of all the formations.
4 MS. McHENRY: It may well be, and the Prosecution would
5 still believe it has evidential value, whether or not it
6 is addressed to Mr. Mucic and then sent care of
7 Mr. Delalic, or whether or not it is sent to Mr. Trnka,
8 care of Mr. Delalic. Either one of those, we believe,
9 would be of some evidentiary value.
10 MR. GREAVES: There is no evidence that it was sent as an
11 addressee to Mr. Mucic. It quite plainly states "copied
12 to"; that is different from it being addressed to and
13 directed to Mr. Mucic.
14 JUDGE JAN: We have to determine the relevancy. This
15 document is addressed to some person who has some sort
16 of a control over this detention centre in Konjic. Who
17 is that person? Apparently, from the letter, it is not
18 Zejnil Delalic, because the letter has been sent "care
19 of". It has been sent to someone else who has authority
20 over the movement of the prisoners, over the detention
21 of the prisoners.
22 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, it may be that Mr. Delalic is
23 sent this document --
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we will have to forget this
25 argument. It could not be admitted the way it is. In
1 any event, we will have to break and come back at a
2 quarter to 3. You cannot stretch arguments which are so
3 obvious. When an argument is so obvious, I do not like
4 stretching it.
5 (1.22 pm)
6 (luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.45 pm)
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, would you excuse Ms. McMurrey
3 for just a minute or two to retrieve some documents that
4 she forgot to bring?
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please remind the witness he is still
8 on oath.
9 THE REGISTRAR: I am reminding you, sir, that you are still
10 testifying under oath.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you can continue.
12 (Witness enters court)
13 MS. McHENRY: Your Honours, as you know, for those of us
14 who do not speak Serbo-Croatian or Bosnian there
15 continue to be interpretation issues. Immediately prior
16 to the break I was not permitted to ask this witness
17 what "NR" meant. I have now been given a memorandum
18 from the translation section and have given copies to
19 the Registrar indicating that "CO" meaning "care of" is
20 an inaccurate translation of "NR". I ask that the
21 clarification by the interpretation section be made part
22 of the record and be made part of the exhibit. Given
23 the clarification by the interpretation section, I no
24 longer believe it is necessary for me to ask this
25 witness anymore what "NR" means.
1 I will turn to another subject.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can do so.
3 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
4 Sir, you indicated previously that you had gone to
5 a military warehouse in Celebici. Can you say anything
6 about what kind of equipment was in that warehouse?
7 A. It was a combination of the quartermaster equipment,
8 ammunition and weaponry, but it was arranged according
9 to the regulations, that is the weaponry and ammunition
10 were separated, and they did not pose a threat to the
11 facility where it was being stored.
12 Q. Did you ever go to any other military warehouses with
13 Mr. Delalic?
14 A. No, I did not even visit the units with Mr. Delalic,
15 because the -- because I visited those units with the
16 immediate superiors, that is with the Commanders of the
17 specific units of the armed forces of Konjic.
18 Q. When you met Mr. Delalic the 10 or 12 times that you
19 indicate you met him, in addition to what you have
20 already specifically testified to, where was it that you
21 would see Mr. Delalic? For instance, would it be in
22 Konjic itself? Would it be outside? Where in Konjic?
23 A. Once it was in Jablanica, three or four times on the
24 premises where he lived, and the rest was at a time
25 where I was staying and that was in the motel in Konjic.
1 Q. And where is the motel in Konjic, in relation to
2 Mr. Delalic's house?
3 A. It is located about 400 metres from the house or maybe
5 Q. And was Mr. Delalic's house used for anything besides his
6 living quarters, when you were in Konjic?
7 A. Yes. His apartment was used, his private apartment was
8 used as the living quarters but a part of the premises
9 were used for the communication centres for the
10 Territorial Defence, and from there information was sent
11 to the superior headquarters. That means in his
12 apartment itself there was nothing that would have made
13 it a military premises or installation.
14 Q. When you went to the Celebici facilities, did you meet
15 anyone from the camp there?
16 A. No, I did not meet anyone. I passed by in a car, and in
17 passing I saw a person whom I knew from before who was a
18 member of the municipal headquarters of the Territorial
19 Defence before the war. But otherwise I did not see
20 anyone and I did not contact anyone.
21 Q. And who was the person that you met that you knew from
22 before the war? What was that person's name?
23 A. I have been trying ... Mrksic, Mrkic, something like
25 Q. Do you know whether or not when you were there, was
1 Mr. Mrksic still a member of the Territorial Defence, or
2 was he a detainee in the prison?
3 A. Neither of the two. At that time he was not a member of
4 the Territorial Defence in Konjic, at that very point.
5 I saw him at work, and it made me believe that he
6 belonged to these facilities where these warehouses
8 Q. Sir, is it -- are you testifying that at the time you
9 saw Mr. Mrksic you did not believe that he was detained
10 in the camp?
11 A. At that moment, no. No, he was working at -- in a way
12 that did not suggest anything but that he was part of --
13 that he somehow was part of that military facility.
14 Q. Okay. How did you know that Mr. Mrksic was no longer a
15 member of the Territorial Defence at that time?
16 A. I did not know, but when I received information at the
17 municipal headquarters of the Territorial Defence there
18 was -- I inquired about some people who were members or
19 who worked in the Territorial Defence headquarters,
20 because in the period between 1984 and 1989 I was the
21 Commander of the Territorial Defence of the Mostar
22 district, and I knew a certain number of people who
23 worked in the municipal headquarters. I was not given
24 information about him or about some other people and
25 I did not know whether they were still members of the
1 municipal headquarters in Konjic.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. The Prosecution has no further
3 questions for this witness.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Which way is the Defence proceeding in
5 the cross-examination?
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: This way; first counsel for Mr. Delic, second
7 counsel for Mr. Mucic, third counsel for Mr. Delalic and
8 fourth counsel for Mr. Landzo.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
10 Cross-examination by MR. MORAN
11 MR. MORAN: Good afternoon, your Honours, may it please the
13 Good afternoon, General.
14 A. Good afternoon, but you should say the retired General
16 Q. General, I am about -- we, of course, have met before,
17 and besides meeting here in the Tribunal we have met,
18 what, twice in the hotel we share, long enough to shake
19 hands, is that it? But I do not think we exchanged very
20 many words, because you do not speak any English and
21 I do not speak any Bosnian, is that correct, General?
22 A. Yes, and you do not speak French.
23 Q. No, I do not. That is correct, I am an American who
24 speaks English and is ashamed that he does not speak any
25 other languages.
1 To introduce myself a little bit more, you of
2 course know my name, I am Tom Moran, and I represent a
3 man called Hazim Delic -- by the way, do you know Hazim?
4 A. I may have seen him once, but it was a long time ago,
5 but really I do not know.
6 Q. Okay. And General, let me tell you what I want to do
7 while I am up here, so there are not going to be any
8 surprises to anybody. I want to talk to you a little
9 bit in general about military and military operations.
10 To preface that a little bit, I spent 21 years on either
11 active duty or in the reserves in the commission service
12 in the United States army. I know a little bit about
13 NATO operations and you do also?
14 A. Yes. I guess you were not in Vietnam.
15 Q. Actually I was commissioned about two weeks after the
16 war ended and I was not involved with that disaster. So
17 General, with that --
18 A. Luckily.
19 Q. By the way, I am used to being asked questions by
20 general officers, not asking hard questions of them. If
21 you do not understand something I say, if my question is
22 not clear, please stop me.
23 I want to start talking about Tactical Groups just
24 in general terms. I do not want to talk about Tactical
25 Group 1 in specifics or Tactical Group 2 in specifics,
1 just how these things worked and make sure it is clear
2 in my mind. I may ask you some questions that sound as
3 if I am saying something with a question mark at the end
4 of it. As I understand what Tactical Groups are, is
5 there a temporary headquarters that has various units
6 attached to it that are tailored to perform a specific
7 mission or a specific task?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. For instance, taking it down to the battalion level, you
10 might have a battalion of armoured tank troops and the
11 higher headquarters would determine that they would need
12 a company of infantry with them to perform their
13 mission, and you might form a Tactical Group to be this
14 tank battalion plus an infantry company?
15 A. Yes, but you add the engineers, the artillery and
16 signals, so then you have a reinforced unit with all the
17 additions that you mentioned.
18 Q. And typically what you would have would be instead of a
19 Tactical Group being in charge of a geographical area,
20 the Tactical Group headquarters would be in charge of
21 specific units, the tank battalion we talked about, that
22 mechanised infantry company, the engineers, the signals,
23 the quartermasters, the medics, is that right?
24 A. That is how I explained it earlier too.
25 Q. Sure. And typically, when a Tactical Group is set up,
1 what you would get would be an order from whatever
2 headquarters is setting up the Tactical Group saying,
3 "Tactical Group 27 is hereby created, it will consist
4 of ...", and then list whatever units it consists of,
5 and then it would say, "its mission is to do this ..."?
6 A. My apologies, but all this has been already said, so
7 this is what I can confirm now, that a Tactical Group
8 does receive a specific task mission and it also gets
9 the borders. Usually it is four points, so it is the
10 width of space and the depth of space and all this is
11 usually received by the superior officer. If we talk
12 about the specific Tactical Group it has to receive the
13 formations, what units consist of and what is the size
14 of them and who is in charge. The Tactical Group does
15 not have its own logistics, but the Superior Command can
16 also order it to establish one and this can be formed in
17 various ways which we can further discuss.
18 Q. When it has this specific mission if it accomplishes
19 that mission the higher headquarters may dissolve the
20 Tactical Group or give it a different mission?
21 A. Yes, both in theory and practice.
22 Q. And so, for instance, again, that armoured battalion we
23 were talking about, the mission may be, "take hill 573
24 and be prepared to attack to the next objective", and
25 then the mission might be changed to take the next
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Also would it be common for a Tactical Group to be given
4 some kind -- one that has been in existence for a while,
5 that was fairly well established -- to be given specific
6 tasks outside of its normal mission. Let me give you an
7 example. Would it be within the doctrine, military
8 doctrine, of either the former Yugoslav army or the BiH
9 army, both as it existed in 1992, prior to that and
10 before -- for instance, you have a Tactical Group that
11 has been around for a while, Supreme Headquarters
12 determine that there is going to be some visitors in the
13 area, per chance a senior officer, possibly some foreign
14 observers, and that that Tactical Group Commander would
15 be given the commission of taking care of those foreign
16 visitors or that senior officer, even when they are in
17 units, and units that do not have anything to do with
18 this Tactical Group?
19 A. That is a decision for someone who knows the situation
20 in the area, where the defence system is in operation.
21 A Commander of the Tactical Group can, outside of the
22 scope of his authority, also perform other missions and
23 tasks. So a Tactical Group Commander also may get the
24 task to seek the accommodation and to participate in
25 other activities on behalf of the main headquarters of
1 the armed forces that lead to the preparation of further
2 operations, so that involves not only his Tactical Group
3 but all forces in a certain area.
4 Q. So it would not be unheard of, for instance, for a
5 Tactical Group Commander to get a message from the
6 Supreme Headquarters that there is a mission from the
7 United Nations coming in, and, "I want you to feed this
8 United Nations mission and to take care of them and to
9 show them around the Konjic area", even though the
10 Tactical Group Commander may not have responsibility for
11 the entire Konjic area?
12 A. Your Honours, I have been trying through my statements
13 so far to explain that the subordinate commander carries
14 out orders that he receives from his superior; that is,
15 if you talk about the temporary formations like Tactical
16 Groups, outside of its primary or initial task, he also
17 carries out tasks that he receives from his superior.
18 If he carries them out outside of the orders he had then
19 overstepped what he had been given as the combat task
20 for that particular Tactical Group.
21 Q. Well, let me ask you to take a look at one of the
22 documents that the Prosecutor showed you, which is
23 Prosecution exhibit -- in fact two of them, Prosecution
24 Exhibit 99 annex 10, and Prosecution Exhibit 189.
25 I want to see if I can use those as an example of what
1 we are talking about.
2 A. That is 11th July, 28th July?
3 Q. One of them, Prosecution Exhibit 99 annex 10, is dated
4 24th August, and the Prosecution Exhibit 189 is dated
5 28th August. By the way, General, I am just -- I am
6 trying to clarify some things in my own mind. It is not
7 that I am -- okay. Which one have you got there, which
8 ever one, we can pick which ever one is top and we will
9 talk about it first?
10 A. The last two numbers are -- it is the 24th August, 1992.
11 Q. That will be Prosecution Exhibit 99 annex 10. In this
12 there are some orders purportedly from Mr. Delalic, that
13 he is ordering various things to occur, and at the very
14 top it says, "pursuant to the orders of the Supreme
15 Command of the Republic of BiH". That be -- would that
16 be an example of one of these extra missions that could
17 be laid on to a Tactical Group Commander outside of his
18 normal responsibility?
19 A. Yes, I again repeat what I have stated before, that a
20 Tactical Group Commander received an order from the
21 Supreme Commander outside of his primary task to
22 regulate certain relationships in a zone of
23 responsibility of the municipal headquarters in Konjic;
24 and within this authority, which is an expanded task, in
25 the role of Tactical Group Commander, he is passing the
1 orders of the Supreme Commanders to the War Presidency
2 in Konjic.
3 Q. So basically he is just acting as a conduit between
4 Sarajevo and the civilian authorities in Konjic, just
5 passing information and making sure that the Supreme
6 Command's orders are carried out?
7 A. In this document he does not pass an order, he orders,
8 because he orders to the War Presidency in Konjic and he
9 orders it -- he issues this order on behalf of the chief
10 of the main headquarters of the armed forces of Bosnian
11 Herzegovina. This can be interpreted in two ways, this
12 Supreme Command, because the Supreme Command of the
13 armed forces of Bosnian Herzegovina, as explained,
14 consists of the members of the Presidency, the Minister
15 of Defence, Minister of the Interior, and additional
16 persons, and I do not know who they were. From this, on
17 the basis of this document, or this document can be
18 understood to mean that, he was ordered this by the
19 President of the Presidency.
20 Q. Okay. And similarly Prosecution Exhibit 189, which is
21 the document dated 28th August, let me -- this is about
22 the incident in Prozor, and again let me call on your
23 military expertise. As you said that a Tactical Group
24 has a left flank, a right flank, a front line and a rear
25 line, that is what it is responsible for. Now, would
1 not a Commander of a military organisation like that
2 have to co-ordinate with other units surrounding the
3 units to his left, the units to his right, the supply
4 units, the logistical units, the artillery units that
5 are supporting him?
6 A. First of all, as I see things, this was not an incident,
7 it was an attack on Prozor. It was not an incident, it
8 was a military operation, so let us make that clear.
9 Q. I understand. If I use the wrong language and the wrong
10 words, General, I apologise.
11 A. Secondly, the order I have before me does not refer to
12 the neighbour to the left, to the right, in front and
13 behind, logistics and so on, as you have referred to
14 them. It can be seen from this document again that on
15 behalf of the Supreme Command he is participating in
16 dealing with the problem that occurred following the
17 attack on Prozor municipality; and he is ordering that
18 the population should withdraw the Bosniaks because they
19 are under threat of a massacre. So here he appears in
20 the role of commander, or rather passing on the orders
21 of the Commander from Sarajevo. In this case he is not
22 his neighbour to the left or to the right, as you have
23 explained very well, he is actually transmitting the
24 wish of the Supreme Command to preserve the Bosniak
25 population of Prozor, and as it is signed and ordered
1 the Commander of the municipal staff of Prozor must
2 carry out these orders.
3 Q. General, I think I may have been a step ahead of
4 myself. You testified in direct about how you and
5 Mr. Delalic had gone to a briefing about this attack;
6 what I was trying to get at is this: would it not be
7 reasonable for a Commander of a combat unit, if there
8 was some kind of problem in his rear area outside of his
9 area of responsibility, be it a flood, or be it an
10 attack in his -- to the areas behind him or to the left
11 of him, to the right of him, want to know about what is
12 going on?
13 A. I will answer your last question, though you have put
14 some other questions first. This document dated 28th
15 August came almost a month before there was any talk of
16 the report of the commander of the municipal staff of
17 Prozor. Secondly, Delalic and myself did not go
18 anywhere to be reported to but the Commander arrived and
19 found us together, Mr. Karic, myself and Delalic, and
20 then he then he told us about the situation that the
21 Bosniaks in Prozor were in.
22 In answer to your question, let me say that within
23 the framework of combat operations each unit has its own
24 neighbours, and all activities are directed towards the
25 goal set by the Superior Commander, and the Commander of
1 a Tactical Group, of the Tactical Group, must have known
2 or should have known the situation in the neighbouring
3 units, such as the Commanders of the municipal staffs of
4 Prozor, Jablanica, Hadzici, who had to know the
5 situation in units that were neighbouring theirs, and
6 they assisted one another logistically.
7 I have already explained that within the framework
8 of the Tactical Group we had logistics that the
9 headquarters bordering on the Konjic municipal staff
10 relied on. What I am trying to say is that within a
11 given area, in this case the Neretva River valley, it
12 covered all municipal headquarters of the armed forces
13 that were neighbouring on Konjic.
14 Q. Okay. Let us -- I would like to talk now a little bit
15 about, and again this is just in general terms, command;
16 not the command of any specific unit but a command. In
17 almost every army I have ever been around commanders
18 are, if you would, special people. They have special
19 rights, they have special privileges, they have special
20 powers that other people, even officers of the same rank
21 or even greater rank who are not commanders do not
22 have. Is that the same as the military system you are
23 used to?
24 A. I would add to everything that you have said, and they
25 have all those rights and privileges, but also a special
1 responsibility in relation to others.
2 Q. No question about it. Commanders -- being a commander
3 is special, and in armies that I have been around, the
4 first thing is that -- as I understand -- let me back
5 off just a second. As I understand from one of the
6 other witnesses who testified, and I am not sure I have
7 got it real clear, because it is a little different to
8 what I am used to, you have the commander, be it a
9 Brigade, Battalion, a Company or a Corps Commander, and
10 of course he is going to have his staff working for him
11 because he only has 24 hours in a day and only two
12 hands. So the Commander issues an order and the people
13 working for him, his operations officer, his deputy
14 officer, have what is called "executive command", is
15 that the term that was used?
16 A. Executive command applies to subordinate commanders. If
17 we are talking about a Brigade Commander, the Executive
18 Commander is at the level of Battalion Commanders. Let
19 me give you an example. A Commander intends to capture
20 a particular elevation, 258, and then he informs his
21 staff of his idea. He gives him a certain amount of
22 time to evaluate the situation, and to propose to him
23 what should be done, but the Commander is the one who,
24 regardless of the proposals of his subordinates, makes
25 the decision as to what will be done, and therein lies
1 the responsibility of the commander. It is the
2 responsibility of the staff while preparing the
3 proposals for him, and then comes the question to what
4 extent a Commander is capable of making a decision which
5 affects somebody's life or death. Is he going to
6 command defence or carry out an offensive, because
7 always other people's lives or deaths are involved.
8 Unfortunately, when somebody is defending his own
9 territory, as we were doing, one had to have a large
10 amount of general knowledge, first of all; he had to
11 have a great deal of professional knowledge; he had to
12 be a good psychologist.
13 He had to have full insight not only into the
14 situation in his own territory, but such a Commander
15 also had to be familiar with the situation in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and to be of such a calibre as to
17 know the situation and behaviour of NATO, the Warsaw
18 Pact countries and others --
19 Q. Go on ahead, General.
20 A. So my immediate answer to your question, is that the
21 Commander who shoulders all the responsibility? Yes, he
22 is, but he has his assistants within the level of the
23 staff. At the level of the battalion there is no staff;
24 there is one at the level of the brigade and there is
25 the municipal staff, the staff of the armed forces, and
1 they analyse and propose, "it is our opinion that we can
2 try to capture elevation 352, but we have to do it in
3 such and such a way". If the Commander accepts that
4 responsibility, then his staff should also share in that
5 responsibility. But if the Commander decides
6 independently to go left, to approach the elevation from
7 the left flank, then the responsibility of his
8 associates is reduced, because he did not show
9 sufficient respect for the opinions of other people, and
10 the decision may prove to have been inadequate.
11 Regardless of all that, the Commander bears the
12 responsibility for the decision and how it will be
13 implemented in the field.
14 Q. Now, let us take that, go after attack elevation 352.
15 Presume with me for a second that your Brigade staff
16 pushed together its plan, presents it to the Brigade
17 Commander and the Brigade Commander says, "okay, let us
18 do it". Presumably at that point someone, and in my
19 army it would be the operations officer, would pick up
20 the phone and call the Battalion Commander and say,
21 "take hill 352", and he would tell him how the
22 Commander wanted it done. Would be that the way it
23 would work in your army?
24 A. Of course, not only would he tell him how, but he would
25 tell him also with what means, in what way, who would
1 support him, what the logistics would be. He would give
2 him all the elements so that the Commander may carry out
3 that decision, as in your case, as in all armies, I can
4 tell you that at the very beginning of the formation of
5 the Territorial Defence and the army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina we sought to adjust the rules in
7 force until then, the rules of the JNA, to the rules of
8 NATO, which in many respects coincide, and there is an
9 universal system of control and command in all arms.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Moran, do you think we all benefit
11 by this exercise?
12 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, the next question I was going to ask
13 was going to the heart of it.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think you better do.
15 MR. MORAN: I will, your Honour, then we will move on to
16 something else.
17 When that operations officer transmits that order
18 down to the lower Commander, he is not acting, he is not
19 giving the order himself, he is just passing along that,
20 his Commander's orders, right?
21 A. There is a principle according to which the Commander
22 should directly transmit the order to subordinate
24 Q. What I am getting at, General, is Commanders command and
25 people that are not Commanders do not command. They may
1 pass along orders, but they are not a Commander?
2 A. No doubt about it. The Commander commands and they
3 transmit orders but, depending on the significance of
4 the unit and the task assigned to it, a Commander may
5 form its own operative group which assists the Commander
6 to implement the decision in the way in which the
7 Commander has decided or ordered.
8 Q. Okay. Skipping along to something else. General, you
9 are one of the few General officers who has had to, been
10 forced to create an army, create a country, create a
11 defence structure at the same time you are fighting a
12 war. I do not think that has happened very many times
13 in history. I want to talk to you about the confusion
14 that was going on, if there was confusion. Were there
15 confusing lines of commander early on in the war, say
16 April, May, June, July, August of 1992?
17 A. Yes, I do not know -- of course there was confusion.
18 I do not know what specifically you are interested in.
19 Q. For instance, might a municipal War Presidency take more
20 power than it would normally have under the law and
21 under the regulations?
22 A. I do not have any specific indicators for the area in
23 which I spent 40 days, but I know that in Sarajevo,
24 contrary to our assessments in certain crisis staffs,
25 there were instances of the Presidency and civil
1 authorities being engaged in a way that had not been
2 envisaged by the Supreme Command of the armed forces of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which does not mean to say that a
4 confusion, the confusion created -- because, first of
5 all, the country needed to be defended from what was
6 then deemed to be the fourth army in Europe, because
7 telecommunications were damaged, in most cases
8 destroyed, decisions could not always -- of the
9 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the main staff of
10 the armed forces -- reach the municipal staffs of the
11 armed forces. There was a shortage of material
12 resources for conducting the war, a shortage of food,
13 electricity, water and everything else, particularly in
14 besieged cities, and it was natural that under such
15 circumstances there could be things that eschewed the
16 system of control and command over the armed forces of
18 I am talking in very general terms. More
19 specifically, for this area that we are referring to,
20 I did not experience it in that way. I am talking about
21 October 1992 when I was in Konjic.
22 Q. Again, sir, I am trying to speak in very general terms.
23 In general terms, was the co-ordination between the TO
24 and as it became the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
25 one hand and the HVO on the other hand, especially early
1 in the war, was that co-ordination good or was it bad, or
2 was it weak?
3 A. I shall try to repeat what I have already said. In
4 certain areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina it was very good.
5 The Minister of Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina Jerko Doko
6 participated in the drafting of the law on national
7 defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where it was stipulated
8 that the HVO was a component part of the armed forces of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, I repeat, as I have
10 already said, at the end of 1991 the Croatian Community
11 of Herceg Bosna was formed, which was a parallel
12 institution to the legal authorities of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the same fashion as the SDS acted
14 in the area inhabited by a majority Serb population.
15 In their documents, and this was learned later, it
16 was obvious that they do not accept Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 and consequently they did not join in, in the area of
18 western Herzegovina and central Bosnia in the armed
19 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I gave you some positive
20 examples when the HVO unit, the Tvrtko Brigade in
21 Sarajevo, the HOS unit in Sarajevo, the 109th and 110th
22 Brigade -- I may err with the number in Posavina, in the
23 second Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were
24 together with the Bosnian forces as a component part of
25 the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 I also gave examples when the first attempt was
2 made to break through the siege in June 1992, that HVO
3 units did not participate in that attempt to lift the
4 blockade of Sarajevo, and they prevented a unit of the
5 Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Kiseljak
6 to join in the effort to lift the blockade of Sarajevo.
7 MR. MORAN: General, I would like to take a look, with the
8 help of the usher, at Prosecution Exhibit 99 annex 9,
9 and I do not want you to look at the body of it. What
10 I want you to look at -- your Honours, this is in the
11 original Bosnian that I am going to point out, there is
12 something in writing across the top of the original
13 document in Bosnian, at least the copy I have seen, and
14 see if you can help me with what that is, right across
15 the very top of the page. It looks to me like it is a
16 facsimile transmission report. Is that what it looks
17 like to you, General?
18 A. I am reading the 23rd July, 1992, at 11.23 hours.
19 Q. That looks to me like, and maybe you can help me,
20 because I am not familiar with the use of fax machines
21 in the area of the former Yugoslavia in 1992, but
22 typically where I am from when I transmit a facsimile my
23 fax machine automatically stamps where it is coming from
24 and the time and the date. Is that what that looks
25 like, to you?
1 A. Here you can see where it is coming from, this number,
2 38411271234 in the left-hand corner.
3 Q. In a place called INDA-BAU, right, wherever that is?
4 A. I am not very clever with faxes like yourself.
5 Q. General, I actually at my office have a Xerox machine
6 that is smarter than I am, so I know exactly what you
7 are saying. General, two other quick things and I think
8 I am going to be done and I am going to thank you very
9 much for your testimony. Was it in the early days of
10 the war, again the April through November --
11 A. April --
12 Q. -- was it common to appoint someone to a position within
13 the military where that person would not normally be,
14 just due to lack of military training? So, for
15 instance, would it be common or uncommon to appoint
16 someone with very little military training to a
17 relatively responsible position within the armed forces,
18 simply because you did not have professional soldiers
19 like yourself to fill the jobs?
20 A. We are now entering into a problem of control and
21 command, and personnel policy, that I did not agree
22 with. But as we say in Bosnia. That is water under the
24 Q. That is true. I am just asking whether it occurred?
25 A. Let me explain, let me explain. I will use the example
1 of Sarajevo. There were a sufficient number of good,
2 capable, skilled officers who abandoned the former JNA
3 in September and October 1991 and were appointed to the
4 positions of soldiers, whereas others, to use a mild
5 term, impose themselves in the defence of Sarajevo,
6 without any military and professional knowledge were
7 very high ranking commanders. For example, in Sarajevo,
8 out of the eight Brigades, we had three Brigades the
9 Commanders of which one of them had not even served,
10 done his military service because he was thought to be
11 unfit. Then we had two others who up to the war were
12 held in prison. So this probably suited those who were
13 in those municipalities which we spoke of a moment ago,
14 and unfortunately they had more trust in them than in
15 experienced officers, patriots, Bosnians. I am talking
16 about Sarajevo. I am not familiar with the situation in
17 other parts and allow me to convey my personal view that
18 all those who supported that bear responsibility for
19 appointing people with sufficient or non-existent
20 military professional knowledge to very highly
21 responsible posts. May I remind you that a moment ago
22 you characterised very well what a Commander should be
24 MR. MORAN: General, I thank you very much. Have a good trip
25 back to Sarajevo.
1 Your Honour, I pass the witness.
2 A. Thank you. I would enjoy a coffee with you.
3 MR. MORAN: Any time, General.
4 A. Yes, but with a glass of whiskey to go along.
5 I apologise, your Honours. Please forgive me.
6 Cross-examination by MR. GREAVES
7 MR. GREAVES: Good afternoon, General Divjak.
8 A. Good afternoon, sir.
18 MR. GREAVES: I think we shall move on, shall we?
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may continue, Mr. Greaves.
20 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much, your Honour.
21 I would like to ask you one or two fairly simple
22 things, but I think they may be important, about the
23 duties of superiors and subordinates. You have talked
24 about the duty of subordinates to provide reports to
25 their superiors in a well-trained army; that is the
1 basic theory of what should happen as between any
2 subordinate and any superior, is that right?
3 A. Yes, you are right.
4 Q. I use the word "theory", but I have no doubt you in your
5 experience as a professional soldier have come across
6 occasions when reports have not been tendered as they
7 were required?
8 A. It is the duty of every subordinate at a specific time
9 of the day, now this is the practice between 2000 and
10 2200 hours, to report as to what occurred on that day.
11 This would be the ABC of any manual of command. In
12 extreme situations, when there was no means to using, to
13 communicate because there was a lack of vehicles or
14 something, then a courier would be sent and then they
15 could come late and tender the report.
16 I remember a situation in Konjic when over a
17 period of several days there was a complete interruption
18 of communications, and the messengers were sent over
19 Mount Bjelasnica where there was a relay of Television
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina so that the messages would be passed
21 along to Sarajevo via that transmitter. Neither in
22 theory or practice, I never encountered cases where
23 reports were not being sent, but there were a number of
24 occasions when it did not come in a timely manner.
25 Further, both oral or written orders; it states
1 that during the preparation for a combat operation that
2 reporting can also be done as needed and regardless of
3 the organisation of the system of communications and
4 command; as far as I know, that system was respected.
5 Q. Can I now move on to something that Mr. Moran has touched
6 on in his questions to you, and that was the time of the
7 formation of the BiH army, please. Was the structure of
8 the Territorial Defence, as it were, built on, or was a
9 completely new structure arrived at for the formation of
10 the army?
11 A. At first the Territorial Defence was as it was at the
12 beginning of the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 In most cases, the Commanders of the municipal
14 headquarters were also persons who had already worked
15 for the Territorial Defence. I am talking of the
16 municipal headquarters where the Muslim population was
17 in the majority.
18 A similar situation was also in the headquarters
19 where the Croats had the majority of the population.
20 Taking into account that they were not efficient enough
21 in organising the defence and that the army employs a
22 firmer discipline, then the formation of the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina became imperative, and here we come
24 to our question that Madam Prosecutor asked and when the
25 answer was not -- not full answer was given, about
1 whether this was the formation of the Bosnian army took
2 a longer time to establish. It took fully six to eight
3 months. It was not done overnight during a single day,
4 because the Territorial Defence could not have been
5 transformed into the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in that
6 period of time.
7 If we stated conditionally that the Territorial
8 Defence resembled a civilian structure by the formation
9 of the main headquarters of the army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and by formation of the Corps and the
11 Brigades we arrived at classical organisation of the
12 military such as is known throughout the world, and the
13 system of control and command becomes much firmer. The
14 responsibility of the command structures is much higher,
15 and the results in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 become much more evident.
17 Q. So at the beginning of the war the existing Territorial
18 Defence units which are trained for the purpose of the
19 All People's Defence, it takes a period of nearly to the
20 end of the year to convert that into, if I can use the
21 expression, "a regular army"?
22 A. Yes, a long period of time was needed.
23 Q. And no doubt within that period of six to eight months
24 there were times when that process did not go smoothly?
25 A. It especially did not go smoothly in the areas where
1 there was a lack of professional personnel, and this
2 personnel was replaced even eight and ten months
3 afterwards if there was not enough equipment to -- for
4 combat operations, and there were other things that were
5 missing, technical material, and even in my case when
6 I received the task which was in May at a time when the
7 first Brigades were formed in Zenica and Tuzla, I was
8 given a task to form a Brigade in Jablanica; it was only
9 formed in January and February of 1993.
10 Q. And no doubt in the process of forming the BiH army some
11 units came into being only for a short period of time
12 and then were disbanded again and things like that,
13 would that be right?
14 A. Yes, the first armed groups of patriots were
15 self-organised throughout the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and they prevented the full partition
17 and collapse of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were not
18 dissolved, they were usually incorporated into the
19 larger formations.
20 I would like to remind you that I stated
21 previously, and I am speaking of Sarajevo and probably
22 it was so in other areas, that the groups that were part
23 of the Patriotic League, and those were the units that
24 were formed by the SDA and the Green Berets, and others,
25 the Tigers or whatever they were called, initially
1 operated on their own in the areas where they were
2 formed. Since that was below the command system on the
3 municipal or TO level, on 12th April the Presidency
4 adopted a decision that all such groups had to become
5 part of the Territorial Defence by April 15th, 1992, and
6 we celebrate this day in Bosnia-Herzegovina as the day
7 of the establishment of the BiH army.
8 Unfortunately, even after that date certain groups
9 continued to operate independently, but due to the firm
10 position of the main headquarters and other commands,
11 they were placed under control and incorporated in the
12 system by the end of 1992. But certain experiences from
13 Sarajevo show that even in 1993 certain units in
14 Sarajevo conducted certain combat operations outside of
15 their authority and they were slipping the control, if
16 I can put it that way, of the main headquarters.
17 Q. You referred earlier on to the lack of trained
18 personnel; was the presence of untrained troops in the
19 BiH army, was that a significant problem in 1992?
20 A. I first said, I first mentioned the undertrained or
21 poorly trained commanding staff. It was the patriotism
22 that was the main quality at that time, but I can make a
23 comparison. If you gave somebody a computer who had
24 never seen one before in their life he would not know
25 what to do with it. Unfortunately there were such cases
1 when Commanders were put in positions of leadership and,
2 except for the fact that he could stand in front of his
3 troops and lead them, he was not able to evaluate the
4 situation and conduct an analysis and then reach the
5 appropriate decision.
6 I am now giving you my own opinion, and
7 unfortunately tens of soldiers died in the defence of
8 Sarajevo because of the lack of expertise and
9 professionalism of the people in the commanding position
10 during the defence.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we will now have a short break
12 and come back at 4.30.
13 (4.00 pm)
14 (Short break)
15 (4.30 pm)
16 MR. MORAN: One little housekeeping matter -- I hate to call
17 it that, but that is basically what it is. During the
18 break I noticed that the Prosecution Exhibit 192 had not
19 been admitted into evidence and if the Prosecution does
20 not, is not going to offer it I will move to offer
21 Prosecution 192, the letter, the English translation of
22 the letter, and the portion of the original Bosnian that
23 is the photo of the letter, not the print around the
24 rest of that page.
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I am not sure you could get it in that
1 way. What is the Prosecution's view about it?
2 MS. McHENRY: The Prosecution has absolutely no objection
3 and in fact would be seeking to have all the -- any
4 exhibits shown to the witness that have not previously
5 been admitted, admitted.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Merely showing an exhibit to the
7 witness you admit it? I think that is not a good reason
8 for that. You must have a proper justification for it.
9 MS. McHENRY: At least, your Honour, with respect to that
10 document, the Prosecution has no objection.
11 JUDGE JAN: It can only come as an admitted document,
12 otherwise the letter is written by someone to someone
14 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, I believe if I have the number
15 we are talking about the Red Cross document. I believe
16 that has sufficient indicia of reliability such that it
17 could be admitted.
18 JUDGE JAN: It has appeared in the press, nothing more than
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think, I believe from this errata,
21 the correction the translation gives us. Actually, if
22 Ms. McHenry knew about this minute at this time it
23 would have made a lot of difference. From the
24 translation I find here it says the expression of "nar
25 ruk" literally means "to the hands of", and it is
1 usually translated as "addressed to", which means it was
2 addressed to the person where it was written "care of".
3 That is sufficient for admitting. I think it is all
4 right to do that.
5 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, if necessary I would amend my offer
6 to include that memorandum from the Registry, from the
7 translation staff. I think the Prosecution would agree
8 that they have no problem with that.
9 MS. McHENRY: Absolutely, we would insist on that.
10 MR. O'SULLIVAN: On behalf of Mr. Delalic we would object to
11 this not having proved the authenticity of the
12 document. We also object to the relevancy of it.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, let your objection stand, not by
14 excluding it, but it will be noted there is an objection
15 on grounds of relevance.
16 MR. MORAN: It is admitted.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes.
18 MR. MORAN: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let the witness come in.
20 (Witness enters court)
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please remind the witness he is still
22 on his oath.
23 THE REGISTRAR: I am reminding you, sir, that you are still
24 under oath.
25 MR. GREAVES: General, before we had the break we had
1 discussed briefly the issue of what might be called
2 "irregular" units operating independently. Do you
3 recall that?
4 A. Yes, I was speaking of examples from Sarajevo and
5 examples from 1993.
6 Q. Can I offer another example to you, that of Akrepi, was
7 that such a unit?
8 A. At the time, the Akrepi, as sabotage units, as far as
9 I know, were part of the municipal staff of the armed
10 forces of Konjic. I knew the Commander.
11 Q. That is a Mr. Pirkic?
12 A. Yes, Pirkic.
13 Q. There were a number of difficulties with that individual
14 during your time in Konjic, is that right?
15 A. Not with the unit but with the Commander.
16 Q. Can we just move on to the logistical situation that
17 existed in 1992, General? Would you agree with this,
18 that throughout the initial period of the war until,
19 say, the end of 1992, there were considerable
20 difficulties with logistics throughout the Republic?
21 A. Yes, you are right. These problems were particularly
22 pronounced with the beginning of the conflict with the
23 HVO and the support given to the HVO by the Croatian
24 army, so that certain lines of logistic support were
25 interrupted, a part of the logistic support was even
1 halted in the area of western Herzegovina, and never
2 reached the logistics centre of the army of
4 Q. And did the shortages cover all forms of material,
5 including weapons, food and so forth, and fuel?
6 A. It applied mostly to heavy weapons, which the army of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have in sufficient quantities
8 up to the end of the war even, quantities which could
9 significantly tip the balance of forces between the army
10 and the forces that carried out the aggression against
12 Q. And no doubt the lion's share of supplies went to the
13 combat units, is that right?
14 A. What was intended for them went to the combat units, but
15 there was a certain solidarity between the army and the
16 population so far as food was concerned, so that at
17 times of crisis for the army there were instances of the
18 population, of the little they had, giving something up
19 for the benefit of the troops in the front-lines, and
20 vice versa; when food was in greater supply in the
21 logistics centres of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
22 army assisted families of its fighters; that would mean
24 Q. And as well as shortages of material was there also --
25 you have described a problem of destruction of
1 communication systems; was that a problem throughout the
3 A. One of the prime goals of the attack by the Yugoslav
4 People's Army and the paramilitary formations of the SDS
5 were telecommunication centres. I can tell you that out
6 of the 10 TV centres in Bosnia-Herzegovina already in
7 April and May seven were captured by units of the
8 Yugoslav People's Army. And, your Honours, I take
9 advantage of this opportunity to tell you that a member
10 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina of Serbian descent,
11 Major Petravic, in defending one such facility at Mount
12 Vasolic, together with others, also members of the army
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Bosnia-Herzegovina team,
14 was killed.
15 Q. On a more simple level, such as telephone wires between
16 individual communities, were those badly damaged as
18 A. For example, as we are talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 the central coaxial cable that linked Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina with Europe and the world was cut at the
21 beginning of the war. At the local level, there were no
22 access lines to Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla, Bihac which
23 were not cut, so that if we are talking about the area
24 which is of interest at this moment, that is Konjic, it
25 was in a similar situation. I have already explained to
1 you that they would go to the top of Mount Bjelimici,
2 even TV reporters travelling on foot for eight hours, on
3 sledges, in winter, to broadcast information on the
4 situation in the area of Jablanica, Prozor and all the
5 way to Mostar.
6 As for the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina itself, just
7 as the weapons were in JNA storehouses, so technical
8 means, state-of-the-art devices, radar and radioing
9 equipment and the like, were retained by the Yugoslav
10 People's Army so that the Territorial Defence and the
11 army did not have adequate means, even towards the end
12 of the war, for modern methods of control and command.
13 If you ask me about the beginning of the war, it was the
14 messenger service that functioned the best.
15 Q. Lastly on this topic, General, can I ask this, please:
16 in many armies the least well trained and least good
17 quality soldiers end up doing the more menial tasks,
18 such as line of communication, troops and guard duty; is
19 that the position in the Bosnian army as well?
20 A. I think that in relation to the problems in terms of
21 organisation and personnel, that they performed highly
22 responsible duties, and as far as I was aware, linked to
23 Sarajevo, and the little I saw in the municipal staff of
24 the armed forces of Konjic, these were very capable
25 young men, because they were recruited from two
1 sources. They were people who had either served in the
2 JNA in signals units or -- as far as Konjic is
3 concerned, I know very well, I know the situation before
4 the war, because I said I was Commander of the
5 Territorial Defence for the Mostar district, the radio
6 amateurs of Konjic were among the best known in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in answer to your question when
8 I was in Konjic I was able to witness that radio
9 amateurs who were occasionally used to transmit
10 information of the War Presidency or the crisis staff of
11 Konjic, at the time established dozens of radio amateur
12 links all over the world, on all the continents.
13 When you refer to them as "ordinary" soldiers,
14 they were the main lifeline of the communications
15 system, and if we talk about the contribution of others,
16 not counting the army and the police, in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina we particularly emphasise the
18 contribution made by radio amateurs.
19 Q. General, I would now like you to help us by looking at a
20 map of Bosnia and just help us about the situation of
21 Konjic as a strategic place within the Republic,
23 I wonder whether we might have the Exhibit D74/1,
25 General, it is possible for you to stand up and
1 stand by the microphone and indicate places on the map,
2 if you wish to do so.
3 General, I want first of all to ask you about the
4 position that Konjic has on the road between Sarajevo
5 and the coast. I would just like you to take us through
6 from the coast to Sarajevo and identify on the map each
7 important town as you go from the coast to Sarajevo,
8 please. If you would like to go to the microphone.
9 A. To be able to be helped by Zuko Dzumhur, who described
10 Konjic as the pearl of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course
11 you have asked me a military question, and I will answer
12 it, but as somebody who loves Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
13 especially Konjic, I had to make this remark first.
14 Ms. Sarmaridz says of Igman that it feeds and enriches
15 Konjic, the reference is to the Igman factory.
16 Obviously, it is geographically and strategically
17 important, it is somewhere midway between Herzegovina
18 and Bosnia, the place where for a long time Serbs Croats
19 and Bosniaks lived together much longer than elsewhere,
20 and in the surroundings of Konjic there are many old
21 monuments that testify to the history of these parts.
22 Now you have asked me about the directions along
23 the Neretva River valley, Ploce of Veretniza. Corba,
24 Jablanica, and it reaches Konjic and then from there
25 crosses over the Idbar pass via Idbar, by road, and
1 during the war across Mount Igman to Sarajevo. It is a
2 tactical operative line, which means that in military
3 terms it is possible to use units up to division
4 strength, because of the narrow road. There are greater
5 possibilities to use combat formations around the
6 Neretva. There is a railway line, there are three hydro
7 power plants which if, God willing, as we say, agreement
8 is reached with the Croats, these power plants along
9 Neretva could supply Bosnia-Herzegovina. But you know
10 there is the problem now over the Mostar hydroelectric
11 power plant. No agreement has been reached between two
12 parts, the SDA and the HDZ.
13 There are other directions also leading from
14 Croatia via Posusje through the area of Cursnica,
15 Jablanica and Konjic. It is possible to reach Konjic
16 from the direction of Prozor, of course. One can also
17 reach Prozor from various other directions, even from
18 Split, and in the military we studied these directions,
19 tactical military directions, and it is also possible to
20 reach Konjic around about routes through Fojnica, Prozor
21 or directly to Konjic.
22 At the time, it was important because we are still
23 not talking about 1992, it was in a sense a focal point
24 of material resources that reached Konjic from Croatia
25 through territory controlled by the HVO for as long as
1 relations were close and there were relations of
2 tolerance between the two. But it acquired even greater
3 importance in 93, though that is not the subject of our
4 concern now.
5 Since this is the only direction going from
6 Croatia towards Sarajevo, most of the people who were
7 important at that time would drop by at the War
8 Presidency and they would also visit with Mr. Delalic.
9 We said earlier on a vehicle could be obtained to reach
10 Sarajevo via Igman, and they would come to consult on
11 certain problems. We are talking about logistical
12 support, so that for this part of Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 this was to have been a logistics centre for all units,
14 not just for the units of Tactical Group 1.
15 Q. So, General, would this be right, that to summarise what
16 you have said there are two importances to Konjic and
17 the road through Konjic: first of all, the road itself
18 is capable of carrying the heaviest form of mechanised
19 military units and secondly, there is a major importance
20 to Konjic as a logistics centre?
21 A. Yes indeed, a centre through which not only the material
22 and equipment but also the people who crossed the
23 airstrip leaving Sarajevo to be able to tell the public
24 of the genocide that was taking place. So it was not
25 only a military centre, but also a political centre and
1 a visiting place in the positive sense, the place one
2 went to for consultations.
3 Q. Would you agree with this: that the closure of the road
4 at any point along it, or in particular in the Konjic
5 area, would have had a very damaging effect on the
6 prospects of the BiH Republic surviving its first year?
7 A. Yes, and this was evident in the war of the HVO against
8 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina when two bridges were
9 destroyed, one in village of Bijela and another near
10 Dreznica when the traffic was totally at a standstill
11 for a long time and when our engineering units had to
12 find roundabout routes. Yes, at that time Konjic was
13 important for logistic support of combat operations
14 around Sarajevo.
15 Q. So that -- and we will come to some more detail on this,
16 but one person skilfully placed could threaten the
17 entire security of Bosnia?
18 A. I did not quite understand the question.
19 Q. Yes, one skilfully placed soldier with the right
20 equipment could threaten the entire security of Bosnia,
21 could he not?
22 A. I am sorry, could you please make yourself clearer? A
23 military man who would be appointed, or a man who would
24 attack or jeopardise the security of Konjic could
25 directly jeopardise the security of Sarajevo and Bosnia.
1 Q. It would be possible to close the road, would it not,
2 with a very limited number of troops; even as few as one
3 man could close that road for any period of time, could
4 he not?
5 A. One man, no, but a good sabotage group, yes. One
6 soldier could not because he would need a lot of
7 explosives, a lot of equipment; what was done at the
8 Bijela bridge was not done by an individual but by a
9 sabotage group.
10 Q. Can you help us about this, just so we understand the
11 nature of the topography along the road; are there
12 mountains along each side of the road from Sarajevo
13 through to Mostar?
14 A. Yes, there are high mountains, an altitude of over 2,000
15 metres. There is a canyon there and outside the road it
16 is not -- it is hardly possible to get out of that
17 canyon because there are mountains on either side, and
18 when going from Sarajevo there is a wider area at
19 Ilidza, then Tarcin, then a little at Bradina, then
20 Konjic. These are the areas where the towns developed,
21 but later on along the Neretva River valley it is
22 impossible to manoeuvre with heavy equipment. One
23 cannot manoeuvre them outside the road.
24 Q. And the River Neretva, does that join the road actually
25 at Konjic?
1 A. It is almost throughout the time parallel with the
2 river. The road follows the river, and there are, at
3 several places there are bridges across the Neretva.
4 Q. Perhaps indicating on the map, General, you could show
5 us. I hope I am not teaching you something you already
6 know, the River Neretva, does it actually come in from
7 the mountains and join the road actually at Konjic?
8 Perhaps you could help us by indicating on the map.
9 A. You probably need this because of the court, you have
10 been there so you know very well what it looks like, but
11 let me answer. Like any other river, in principle it
12 comes from the mountains in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Here
13 I am showing you on the map where the Neretva has its
14 source. (Indicates). It is somewhere between Volujak,
15 Zelengora mountains, then, together with the River
16 Bijela, it gains strength, then there is another river
17 from Borci, I think from Lake Borci, and the river
18 bears, goes as far as Konjic, and this road leading from
19 its source at Kalinovik was built in the last 10 year
20 period and there is a good asphalt road between Konjic
21 and Kalinovik. In this part it is possible to walk
22 across the river, particularly in the morning. From
23 Konjic onwards there is Lake Jablanica.
24 Q. Is that a natural lake or a reservoir?
25 A. It is an artificial lake made about 25 or 30 years ago
1 because of the hydro powerstation built at Jablanica.
2 Later, going down from Jablanica there is a series of
3 lakes with another hydro plant, Grabovica, then the
4 hydro power plant at Mostar. Into the lake there is the
5 River Rama that flows into the lake. Across the Rama
6 there is an earth dam and a hydro powerstation too. So
7 that is a reservoir of hydro power and at that time the
8 only thing that functioned throughout the war, I think,
9 within the area of the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was
10 the Jablanica hydro power plant, so that occasionally
11 Konjic and Jablanica had electricity; of course, for a
12 limited number of hours and during the day. Konjic was
13 an industrial town with a very developed military
14 industry manufacturing various calibre infantry
16 Q. And the railway we can see marked as a black line on
17 there, does that follow the road right the way from
18 Sarajevo down to the coast?
19 A. Partly it parallels the road -- we are talking about
20 Sarajevo to Konjic, the road. There is any number of
21 tunnels, a very picturesque landscape, and as far as
22 Konjic is concerned, partially it runs along the right
23 bank, across from the road and only in one, at one point
24 before Mostar, but mostly it follows the right bank of
25 the Neretva River. But since this is the narrow strip
1 along the canyon, between the road and the railroad
2 tracks there is no more than 50 metres. It was electric
3 railroad track, and in the October 1992 when I was
4 staying in Konjic I was surprised when one day that
5 around 1.15 in the afternoon that was a daily
6 occurrence, a train arrived. This is the train that ran
7 between Konjic and Pasalic.
8 Q. Thank you. I am finished with the map for a moment. If
9 you could kindly sit down again. If you need to use the
10 map again, please do not hesitate to do so.
11 General, I would like now just to talk about the
12 concept of the All People's Defence, please, if we may.
13 Please correct me if I get anything wrong, but would it
14 be right to say that that was a concept which had its
15 origins in the partisan movement of the 39/45 war, you
16 would probably call it the 41/45 war?
17 A. The concept of All People Defence is concept and idea
18 and realisation of the Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav
19 People's Army, Tito, which had full support of the
20 Republican bodies because it offered possibility for
21 each Republic in extraordinary situations could use the
22 Territorial Defence for the Defence of the territory of
23 any particular Republic. The mission of the Territorial
24 Defence in the partisan conditions of warfare, the
25 Territorial Defence had the task to carry out combat
1 operations in the aggressor's rear. From the
2 experiences of the World War Two, the partisan warfare
3 was also the core of the Territorial Defence in all the
4 Republics of the former Yugoslavia.
5 Q. Would it be the case that the lesson was learned from
6 the Second World War that even quite small bands of
7 armed troops could tie down very large numbers of
8 opposing forces?
9 A. Like all other armies in the world, the former JNA, both
10 in its training and in the Territorial Defence, did
11 apply and teach the experiences of other people,
12 liberation movements. So we all studied the Vietnam war
13 and the war in Algeria, and central America and so
14 forth. These experiences and the experiences that were
15 gathered in the war 1941 to 1945 were all meant for the
16 territory in which this partisan warfare was to be
18 One of the principles of this partisan warfare was
19 the element of surprise, whereby small well trained and
20 equipped units, in places and at times that are
21 unexpected for the enemy, would attack and inflict
22 casualties in proportions larger than a different
23 formation, much larger formation would be able to do if
24 they were working from a classical front-line. When we
25 trained the members of the Territorial Defence, and
1 again I repeat that I was a Commander of the Territorial
2 Defence of the Mostar district in the period of 1984 to
3 1989, among other things we trained units according to
4 these principles. Therefore, in our organisation and in
5 our formations there were special sabotage units who
6 conducted sabotage operations.
7 These combat operations in principle are deep in
8 the -- are conducted deep in the enemy territory. They
9 share the same mission as the units on the front-line,
10 but they have much more freedom to choose the manner in
11 which they will conduct their operations, the direction,
12 the timing, which all would give a Commander a
13 possibility, since they were deep in the enemy
14 territory, and were not communicating directly with the
15 Commander on the front-line to have -- to provide results
16 that would assist the Supreme Commander on the
18 Q. Is that type of warfare particularly suited to the
19 terrain in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in particular the
20 area around Konjic?
21 A. It is very suitable, especially in the circumstances
22 with the BiH army who was lacking in material,
23 especially the heavy weapons and the ammunition. So the
24 focus in these areas was the sabotage operations.
25 Q. And within the former JNA, was everybody given training
1 of this nature, or was it restricted to certain
3 A. There was no possibility for everyone to be given
4 complete sabotage training. However, every soldier who
5 was given a general sabotage training, there were
6 certain -- lessons and exercises where they would become
7 familiar with certain sabotage equipment, how to use it,
8 and at a level of basic, more basic units, such as
9 platoon and company, it was always the Commander who
10 would form certain combat units for particular tasks
11 which would then be inserted deep into the enemy
12 territory in order to carry out sabotage operations
13 against the command posts, communication systems,
14 logistics centres and if necessary against individuals.
15 Q. Would one function of such units also be the gathering
16 of intelligence on, for example, traffic moving up and
17 down a vital road?
18 A. Every unit, every combat unit also has the duty to
19 collect information together on the enemy, and within
20 battalions and brigades there are special groups, and at
21 these higher levels there are particular services and
22 bodies that are tasked with gathering intelligence about
23 the terrain, the enemy presence, the situation in the
24 area regarding the population, whatever the Commander
25 needs in order to successfully carry out the task.
1 Q. Just approaching it in a slightly different way, is one
2 method of gathering that by sending individuals or small
3 groups of individuals behind the lines to watch a
4 particular road and report on movements of military
5 traffic back to the Commander?
6 A. Not individuals, because for such tasks if nothing else
7 people need assistance. You know, I do not know if you
8 are a hiker, but if you go on a hike in the mountains
9 you need several people, usually. So however many
10 people are assigned by the particular Commander, and
11 they can stay there on the terrain any amount of time,
12 as long as it is needed for the gathering of appropriate
14 Q. Now, bearing in mind the importance of the road between
15 Mostar and Sarajevo that we have talked about, it would
16 be reasonable, would it not, for any possible government
17 to ensure that that road remained open, would you agree
18 with that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Would you agree with this proposition, General, that it
21 would be proper and reasonable for a government to take
22 steps to ensure that people who might cause the road to
23 be closed are prevented from doing that?
24 A. There is in the competence of the authorities which I
25 have already mentioned within the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were bodies within the
2 municipal headquarters and within the units, and I have
3 mentioned them, their task is protection of facilities,
4 the industrial facilities, road facilities, the
5 transportation convoys of the Presidency, or the crisis
6 staff, and the commands themselves, so that will be the
7 direct protection of the command structures, and if this
8 is not carried out the ultimate responsibility goes to
9 the most superior officers in the area, and since you
10 are asking specifically about the areas from Sarajevo to
11 Mostar, every Commander in his zone of responsibility
12 had duty to protect the facilities along the road from
13 Sarajevo to Mostar.
14 Q. Would you agree that one measure which might be
15 necessary in the short term would be the detention of
16 civilians who posed a potential threat to the road?
17 A. Not only individuals but everybody who is assessed to
18 potentially be able to conduct sabotage against these
19 facilities, because during the war all vital facilities
20 in an area are identified as facilities that are
21 military facilities, so they were all considered vital
22 for the protection and for the defence of
24 Q. And of course local people would know best of all which
25 local facilities are most vulnerable, do you accept
2 A. You keep asking me questions in which you are implying
3 an answer; not civilians but soldiers, yes.
4 Q. Anybody who had military training would know the
5 importance of particular facilities, would they not?
6 A. Yes, clearly. Yes. Well, you can know it from everyday
7 life, if a neighbour wants to do damage to his other
8 neighbour what he will do is he will destroy a little
9 bridge over the creek, so anybody who has protection of
10 his neighbourhood, his town, his property in mind, he
11 knows that people with bad intentions will first target
12 and destroy those things that are vital for him; just as
13 the aggressor in Sarajevo did not give us water and gas
14 and electricity, so it was in other areas.
15 Q. Just one final thing, General, if I may, please.
16 I think that some time after you arrived in Konjic in
17 late 1992 you were shown a report about Celebici, is
18 that right?
19 A. I would like to confirm the person who claims that I
20 have seen it and then it was not the late 1992 it was
21 from 17th October, and 2nd December 1992, freely,
22 relatively speaking, and then from 2nd to 28th December
23 I was in Parsovici.
24 Q. So it is clear it is a report of the International
25 Committee of the Red Cross. Do you remember that?
1 A. I spoke of that, but it was not a report. I was given
2 an oral information that a group from the Red Cross,
3 I think that was between 29th October and 1st November,
4 I remember that night it was raining, in front of the
5 facility where Mr. Delalic was living this group from Red
6 Cross which had visited the prisons in the area told me
7 that they had, they had no objections.
8 Q. Thank you very much, General.
9 A. I would only like to request, while you are still on, to
10 add something relating to the system of command. It is
11 the duty of any Commander when he receives an order to
12 report to the Superior Commander whether he had
13 understood the order or not. In other words, the
14 communication is not interrupted between the two
15 Commanders. He has the duty to report that he had
16 understood the order, and it is also very important that
17 the Commander who had received an order, if he is not
18 able to carry it out, he also has the duty to report
19 that to his superior. This is the -- this is a rule
20 within the system of command and, as far as I could see,
21 the Commanders did respect this rule and follow it, but
22 I would just like to add that so that it be known.
23 Q. Thank you very much, General.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
25 I do not think it will be necessary for you to
1 start today.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We might as well start tomorrow morning
4 at 10 o'clock. I think this is all we have for today.
5 We will continue tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
6 (5.30 pm)
7 (Adjourned until 10.00 am
8 on Wednesday 29th October 1997)