1 Friday, 3rd April 1998
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies
4 and gentlemen. Could we have the appearances, please.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, your Honours.
6 My name is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues,
7 Ms. McHenry, Mr. Turone and Ms. Udo for the Prosecution.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours.
9 My name is Edina Residovic, Defence counsel for
10 Mr. Zejnil Delalic, along with my colleague, Eugene
11 O'Sullivan, professor from Canada
12 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning, your Honours. My
13 name is Zeljko Olujic, representing the defence for
14 Mr. Zdravko Mucic, along with my colleague Mr. Michael
16 The Defence has a request. Could Mr. Mucic be
17 examined by a physician on Monday. He has several
18 health problems, including spine problems, stomach
19 problems and certain mental problems that arose in the
20 last 48 hours, so we would like to request that
21 Mr. Mucic be allowed to see a doctor on Monday.
22 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, your Honours.
23 I am Salih Karabdic, attorney from Sarajevo, Defence
24 counsel for Mr. Hazim Delic, along with Mr. Thomas Moran,
25 attorney from Houston, Texas.
1 MS. McMURREY: Good morning, your Honours.
2 I am Cynthia McMurrey and, along with Ms. Nancy Boler,
3 we represent Esad Landzo.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
5 With regard to Mr. Olujic's application, I am sure
6 Mr. Mucic knows that there are no obstacles to him
7 seeing a doctor while he is in the prison there. There
8 is sufficient provision made for him to see doctors if
9 he has any problems. That should not be a problem at
10 all, to see the doctors -- the Victims and Witness Unit
11 is there to liaise and make sure that he sees who ever
12 he thinks might be is necessary to assist him. I do
13 not see any problem with that at all.
14 I think it might be more appropriate, if he
15 prefers Tuesday, for a proper examination, which is a
16 holiday, and Wednesday is also a free day here, because
17 we will not be sitting, so he has two full days within
18 which he can get his arrangements made.
19 MR. OLUJIC: We take note of that, your
20 Honours. However, I do not know at this point what is
21 the nature of his health problems, what is his mental
22 state, what is his physical condition. He is suffering
23 from different varieties of pain and he also is not
24 very focused. It all speaks to the fact that his
25 overall condition has been deteriorating. I do not
1 know when he is going to be able to see the physicians,
2 but we take note of your decision and we will try to
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
5 Any time he wants to, he should consult those at the
6 prison so he can see a doctor.
7 Do you have any applications to make?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Just a short matter. Nothing
9 in relation to that -- I thought that matter was
10 resolved. Just, your Honour, that we filed a motion to
11 exclude Defence documents, and I think, basically we
12 have resolved those issues which we envisaged would
13 arise as a consequence of that motion, so we withdraw
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
16 Can we have the witness?
17 Mr. Moran, do you have anything to say?
18 MR. MORAN: We filed a response to that
19 motion and given the fact that the issues are resolved
20 and the motion is withdrawn, the response is withdrawn
21 along with it.
22 (The witness entered the courtroom)
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed. Thank
24 you -- remind the witness he is still under oath.
25 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, Sir, that you
1 are still under oath.
2 THE WITNESS: I understand.
3 MUHAMED VEJZAGIC (continued)
4 Examined by MS. RESIDOVIC (continued)
5 Q. Good morning.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Have you rested from the efforts of
9 A. So, so.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Before we move on
11 to the next area of questioning, I would like the
12 volume III of the files to be given to the witness as
13 well as volume I, because it is in volume I that the
14 expert report of the Brigadier is contained.
15 Brigadier, you recall that at the end of the
16 hearing yesterday we talked about Tactical Groups; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you please find the annex VI/3, there
20 is a chart there and I want to ask you questions
21 regarding this chart. It is in volume III of the file:
22 have you found it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is this the chart of the Tactical Group?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I would like to remind you again that we are
2 not trying to confirm either the authenticity or
3 truthfulness of the chart. We would just like to touch
4 on certain issues relating to the Tactical Group.
5 Brigadier, yesterday, you explained that the black
6 fields signify the soldiers that are subordinated to
7 the Tactical Group?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You see in this chart there is a rubric which
10 says "TO Konjic"?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The black rubric there, would it also
13 represent soldiers that would be subordinated to the
14 Tactical Group?
15 A. Yes, what is in black are the Konjic units
16 that were part of the Tactical Group.
17 Q. These soldiers from Konjic, who were
18 subordinated to the Tactical Group, under whose command
19 were they at that time?
20 A. All parts from all these municipalities that
21 were part of the Tactical Group were directly
22 subordinated to the commander of the Tactical Group.
23 Q. The white areas, according to this chart,
24 would represent the military that is not subordinated
25 to the Tactical Group. Could you please tell me, under
1 whose command would the soldiers who were not part of
2 the Tactical Group be?
3 A. Excuse me, I cannot hear the interpreter, so
4 I do not know when to start. May I continue?
5 Q. Yes, you may. Did you understand my
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The soldiers who were not subordinated to the
9 Tactical Group, under whose command would they remain?
10 A. The soldiers who are represented in white
11 would be under the command of the municipal
12 headquarters and they would be subordinated to the
13 commander of that TO, so, apart from these 300 soldiers
14 who were part of the Tactical Group, the remainder of
15 them would be under the command of the commander of the
17 Q. Brigadier, provided that the information in
18 this chart is true, out of these 2,000 soldiers that
19 Konjic had, to whom would the 1700 soldiers who were
20 not subordinated to the Tactical Group be so
22 A. These soldiers would remain under the
23 municipal staff -- they would not be included in
24 tactical groups and this is clear from this graph --
25 those 300 soldiers, which were represented in black
1 colour, would be a part of the Tactical Group and their
2 commander is a commander of the Tactical Group as well
3 as everybody else who is part of this Tactical Group,
4 whereas this remaining 1700 soldiers keep their
5 positions on the front-lines and they are under the
6 command of the commander of the TO.
7 Q. Brigadier, do you recall yesterday, when
8 explaining the reasons for the establishment of
9 Tactical Groups for the lifting of the siege of
10 Sarajevo, that you said that certain forces from
11 certain areas were going to be reinforced. So my
12 question to you now is: these forces, regardless of
13 the Tactical Groups, existed in the municipal
14 headquarters of the Territorial Defence -- to whom were
15 they subordinated before the Tactical Groups were
17 A. It is normal that these units would be under
18 the command of the municipal headquarters before they
19 came absorbed into the Tactical Groups.
20 Q. This plan of the main headquarters, which at
21 that time was still the main staff of the Territorial
22 Defence, to reinforce certain forces, did it mean that
23 all these units from the -- that all units that
24 belonged to the Territorial Defence would be absorbed
25 into Tactical Groups?
1 A. No, that does not imply that, even though
2 there was a plan to reinforce certain forces in order
3 to lift the siege of Sarajevo, because you cannot pull
4 all the forces from the front-lines, where they were
5 holding positions before the Tactical Groups were
6 established. So part of the forces remained in their
7 positions, because, in a way, these municipalities are
8 threatened at all times and if they left their
9 positions, the enemy could take control over those
10 positions and could threaten the towns that they were
12 Q. Brigadier, is my understanding of what you
13 testified to yesterday and what you just said now that
14 the reinforcing was made in such a way that only parts
15 of the units of the Territorial Defence forces were
16 used in order to establish Tactical Groups -- was that
17 my proper understanding of what you said?
18 A. Yes, that is a proper understanding of what
19 I said.
20 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. In your supporting
21 material, which you provided, with your report, there
22 is an order of 27 July 1992, by which Zejnil Delalic
23 was appointed commander of, as it says, "All forces",
24 so will you please find that document -- it is your
25 annex 6 through 5.
1 A. Yes, this is the document.
2 Q. Brigadier, based on your personal and
3 professional experience, can you tell us, is it
4 necessary for the commander of Tactical Group to
5 receive precise orders as to which units and what
6 equipment is being subordinated to him?
7 A. In any event, when a superior person is
8 tasking a subordinate, he has to be as precise as
9 possible -- as accurate as possible and not place the
10 subordinate into any doubt as to what the order
11 actually contains, so each order has to be clear and
12 accurate so that the subordinate can understand it.
13 Q. Brigadier, according to your overall
14 professional knowledge, does the Tactical Group have
15 authority over the entire area?
16 A. I said yesterday that the concept of the
17 Tactical Group implies a temporary or provisional
18 formation and a limited task, which is either in a
19 particular area, or within the general area, so the
20 commander of the Tactical Group does not have an
21 overall superiority -- he only has authority over those
22 units that have become part of this Tactical Group.
23 Q. Brigadier, yesterday you talked to us about
24 the district headquarters. Where they existed, is it
25 true that these district staffs were superior bodies to
1 the municipal staffs in that area?
2 A. Yes, this is very accurately spelt out in
3 law. That means that the district staff is
4 subordinated to the chief staff -- the main staff --
5 and the municipal staffs are subordinated to the
6 district staffs.
7 Q. Brigadier, you were also very precise when
8 you said to whom the municipal staffs were subordinated
9 where there were no district staffs. However, I am
10 going to ask you whether, both in theory and practice
11 of our army, a Tactical Group had competencies of a
12 district staff at any time under any circumstances?
13 A. No, we should not confuse concepts here. The
14 concept of district staff and of Tactical Groups are
15 two very different concepts. The district staff has
16 authority over all forces in his area, whereas the
17 Tactical Group does not and I think I said that very
18 clearly. It is a provisional formation tasked with a
19 particular task and that means it has to solve certain
20 problems, that means to take a certain area, and it is
21 time limited as well. As soon as the need for its
22 activity is finished, the Tactical Group may be
23 resolved -- the commander may retain -- if there is
24 enough need -- if it is to be used in the future in
25 combat operations, he can retain certain forces.
1 Q. Thank you. So far, Brigadier, we have not
2 talked about corps. Tell me, since we talked about
3 this during the examination of the Prosecution
4 witnesses, in theory and practice of the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did the Tactical Group have, at any
6 time, authorities of a corps or competencies of a
8 A. I believe that from everything I have so far
9 stated, it is clear that the Tactical Group may not be
10 a basis for a formation of a corps. I keep repeating
11 that this is a provisional formation and corps cannot
12 come out of or issue out of Tactical Groups. They can
13 be established from other units that had already been
14 established into brigades, and only by combining these
15 forces, that is, brigades and divisions, corps can be
16 formed. So, there are certain formations that make a
17 corps, so brigades and divisions make the corps but not
18 Tactical Groups, because they are provisional
20 Q. I believe, Brigadier, that you have answered
21 my question, but, in order to make sure that we have
22 complete clarity, I am going to repeat part of the
23 question. So, in the military theory and practice of
24 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were Tactical Groups
25 which were formed in order to lift the siege of
1 Sarajevo -- did they ever have competencies of a corps?
2 A. All Tactical Groups, which were established
3 as provisional formations, had particular tasks. They
4 had no further tasks, or they were never the basis for
5 the formation of corps. Again, I repeat, a Tactical
6 Group is there to complete or to carry out a task.
7 Once the task is carried out, they pull out, they
8 dissolve, so this cannot be a base -- a Tactical Group
9 cannot be a basis for a formation of a brigade or let
10 alone a corps, so I think it is superfluous for me to
11 go on explaining this. There is no question that this
12 was used as a basis for a formation of a corps, if
13 I understood you correctly.
14 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, you also talked about
15 the law on armed forces and other regulations, which
16 regulated the issues of the army and its development.
17 In these regulations, are there any provisions for a
18 formation or duty that would be called a commander of
19 all forces -- of all formations?
20 A. In the regulations used in the Army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there is no such title like a
22 "commander of all forces". That is not clear.
23 "Commander of all forces" means nothing. There are
24 commanders who have certain formations -- certain
25 units, so that is a commander of a battalion. It is
1 clear what it is. He has 500 soldiers, and then also
2 there is a commander of a brigade and so on and so
3 forth. There are such titles, there are such
4 formations, and those are commanders of such units and
5 a "commander of all forces" is a rather vague term.
6 Q. Brigadier, could you please now look at the
7 appointment of the 27 July 1992 and you put it in the
8 section on Tactical Group. So, based on this document
9 and other documents that Zejnil Delalic, as a commander
10 of a Tactical Group in this period, issued, how do you
11 interpret this appointment? Is this an appointment of
12 a commander of a Tactical Group, or, to be more
13 precise, did this appointment change his title of the
14 commander of Tactical Group?
15 A. On the basis of the contents of this
16 appointment, the only thing that is clear is that the
17 area of operation was widened. However, he is still
18 the commander of Tactical Group, and interpretation of
19 all formations is without a basis, because in the area
20 where his appointment as a commander of Tactical Group
21 is concerned, there are other formations -- there is
22 HVO, there are MUP forces, so the HVO forces were at no
23 time subordinated to the staff of the supreme command
24 and then, as well, neither did MUP, so they each had
25 their own chain of commands. So, such an appointment
1 could not have been implemented. It is completely
2 vague -- this should have been spelt out much clearer,
3 or issued a new order as to which forces, what
4 materiel, which equipment were part of this Tactical
5 Group, what its task was. Maybe there are such
6 documents, but I did not see them. However, this is
7 completely insufficient, it is too vague, and it is
8 not implementable.
9 Q. You answered this question yesterday, but,
10 for purposes of continuity, I am going to ask you once
11 again so that we can hear your answer once again. You
12 said yesterday that one Tactical Group was formed in
13 mid May. Who was its first commander?
14 A. The first commander of Tactical Group
15 number 1 was Mr. Mustafa Polutak.
16 Q. Who was the chief of staff of Tactical Group
17 of number 1?
18 A. The chief of staff of Tactical Group 1 was
19 Sucuro Pilica from the beginning of its formation to
20 the end.
21 Q. You said from "beginning to end". Was Sucuro
22 Pilica the chief of staff of TG1 when the commander of
23 TG1 was Mr. Delalic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where was the commanding positions of
1 Tactical Group 1?
2 A. Pazaric, which is about 30 kilometres away
3 from Sarajevo. During the combat operations, it had to
4 be -- the position had to be changed, depending on the
5 fighting, because the commander has to change his
6 positions, depending on the course of the fighting
7 itself. Maybe the headquarters remained in Pazaric,
8 maybe it was moved later on to other places, where the
9 major force was situated, so the commander had to
10 follow the fighting, the combat, and move his troops
11 around accordingly.
12 Q. Brigadier, you said that several Tactical
13 Groups were formed and yesterday you spoke about
14 Tactical Group 1 and Tactical Group Visoko. What other
15 Tactical Group was formed with the task of taking part
16 in lifting the siege of Sarajevo?
17 A. In mid July, Tactical Group number 2 was set
19 Q. Can you tell me what direction of activity
20 this Tactical Group number 2 was entrusted with?
21 A. Tactical Group number 2 was in the region of
22 Mount Igman and oriented its activities towards the
23 field of Sarajevo in four directions -- one direction
24 was towards Igman-Trnovo-Igman; the second was towards
25 Kula; the third was towards Krupac-Kjeste-Tjenje,
1 towards Svenje-Klanac, and one towards the source of
2 Bosna. So those were the four directions under the
3 jurisdiction of Tactical Group number 2.
4 Q. Brigadier, from which compositions of the
5 municipal forces did they recruit, or were soldiers
6 subordinated to for Tactical Group number 2?
7 A. Tactical Group number 2 was much stronger in
8 terms of equipment and manpower. It had over 5,000
9 men, it had an artillery division, it had 25 weapons,
10 it had three tanks, it had about 5,000 men, as I say,
11 from the Ilidza-Trnovo-Hadzic region, so from this
12 area, which gravitates around Mount Igman.
13 Q. Therefore, according to what you have said,
14 Tactical Group 2 subordinated part of the forces from
15 the Hadzic municipality, that is to say, Pazarici and
16 Tarcin and Hrasnica - Ilidza or Hrasnica, from which
17 part of the forces were subordinated to Tactical Group
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you tell me, please, in view of the
21 appointment we spoke about a moment ago, we see the
22 direction towards which part of the forces were
23 subordinated to in terms of Tactical Group number 1.
24 Can you tell me, who were -- to whom were the municipal
25 staff of Prozor subordinated?
1 A. If I understood your question correctly,
2 regardless of the fact that the forces from Prozor took
3 part in this operation, the command -- the municipal
4 headquarters were always linked to the district
5 headquarters of Zenica, whereas the municipal
6 headquarters of Zenica were always linked to Sarajevo.
7 Q. The municipal headquarters of Jablanica and
8 Konjic, where there was no district headquarters, to
9 whom were they subordinated?
10 A. As the district headquarters of Mostar was
11 not in function, they were directly linked -- they were
12 directly under the command of the supreme command.
13 Q. Brigadier, can you tell us whether this state
14 of affairs existed up until the formation of the corps
15 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, that was the situation right up until
17 the formation of the army -- for the given territories,
18 when all the forces in those areas were pulled
19 together, there was an enlargement, a reinforcement of
21 Q. Under the command of which corps did the
22 compositions of the forces coming from the Jablanica
23 and Konjic area come, once the corps had been formed --
24 who were they subordinate to?
25 A. The forces of the municipal headquarters of
1 Konjic and Jablanica became part of the 4th Corps.
2 Q. The composition of which corps encompassed
3 the forces which were to be found in the municipality
4 of Hadzici?
5 A. Hadzici were always within the composition of
6 the Sarajevo region and during the war they belonged to
7 the Corps I. Once the district headquarters were
8 abolished, these forces were incorporated in to the
9 Corps I.
10 Q. Brigadier, I have asked you several questions
11 linked to the formation of TG2 and the formation of the
12 corps: in view of your functions during the war in the
13 staff of the supreme command, is the knowledge and your
14 appraisals and your personal knowledge stated before
15 this court -- did you fulfil your duties within the
16 main headquarters?
17 A. I took part in all these events because I was
18 a member of the chief of staff of the supreme command,
19 and I can say full well that that was how things stood.
20 Q. In your documents and your expert report, you
21 spoke of the formation and Operation South. Can you
22 tell us something about that Operation? I should like
23 to ask you to look at annex VI/9? In fact, it is VI/8
24 and VI/9?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you tell us, please, whether the
2 supreme command at a given time, in order to try and
3 lift the siege of Sarajevo, did it bring in the
4 decision about Operation South?
5 A. As the problem of deblocking Sarajevo was one
6 that was present all the time, the State and military
7 leadership sought ways of dealing with this problem --
8 of lifting the siege of Sarajevo, and, within the
9 context of that problem, we have a decision on the
10 provisional organisation and formation of the units of
11 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina --
12 Q. Just a minute, please, were you convinced
13 that this decision existed in the archives of the
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You may proceed.
17 A. From the decision it can be seen that a
18 provisional command was set up and a decree was passed
19 by which the headquarters would be on Mount Igman.
20 Furthermore, from point 2, we see the composition of
21 the units and of the command.
22 Q. Brigadier, were there appointments for the
23 provisional command of Operation South? Would you look
24 at document VI/9 -- are you convinced that this
25 document exists in the archives of the
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
2 A. Yes, I am.
3 Q. Can you tell us whether this provisional
4 command for the South Group, in its composition, gave
5 certain functions, appointments to Mr. Zejnil Delalic?
6 A. Yes -- under item 3.3, you will find the name
7 of Mr. Zejnil Delalic as an assistant commander, deputy
8 commander, for logistics.
9 Q. Brigadier, does the commander of a formation
10 such as a Tactical Group, for example, can he, in
11 keeping with military rules and regulations, and your
12 professional knowledge in that matter, can the
13 commander of a formation, in addition to the
14 competencies that he has in that particular formation,
15 can he, from his superior officers or superior command,
16 be given an additional special task?
17 A. I believe I said yesterday that this is a
18 different principle -- that another principle testifies
19 to the fact that a subordinate must unconditionally
20 carry out the orders of his superiors, whether those
21 superiors are individuals or are the commands, so every
22 order received by a superior must be carried out by a
23 subordinate unless the order would embody a criminal
24 act, which means that he can be given different orders
25 and he is duty bound to carry them out in addition to
1 his regular duties.
2 Q. Brigadier, can you tell me, please, whether
3 Mr. Delalic, as the commander of Tactical Group
4 number 1, after his appointment -- his nomination --
5 did he have duties to perform as assistant commander
6 for the logistics group for the whole of the Jug South
8 A. Mr. Delalic's appointment to the provisional
9 group of the command of the south did not mean that he
10 ceased to perform his duties as the commander of
11 Tactical Group number 1, so he remained responsible for
12 this unit under his command.
13 Q. Brigadier, does your research show that,
14 within the frameworks of the south, the Jug operation,
15 the forces of Tactical Group number 1 were in their
16 previous composition, or were they reinforced and what
17 was their direction of activity? Were you able to draw
18 any conclusions along those lines?
19 A. Tactical Group 1, which took part in
20 Operation South -- Jug -- for this particular task was
21 reinforced by about 2,000 men from the Fojnica
22 municipality. The direction of its activities was
23 Pazaric and then towards Malo Polje -- that was one
24 direction -- towards Igman -- that is the first
25 direction; the second was from Ormanja across Kocan --
1 I cannot quite remember, but two directions of activity
2 towards Kocan, but for the most part TG1, the direction
3 was towards Hadzici and towards Igman, the village of
4 Lokve, that is the general direction.
5 Q. Was the bulk of the force in that operation
6 located along some other direction, and if so which was
8 A. According to military theory and practice, we
9 have the main force and the auxiliary force. We know
10 that the main force is there to perform the main attack
11 -- the major attack, whereas the auxiliary forces,
12 which are weaker, are backup forces, and if we said
13 that the forces of TG2 were stronger and that they had
14 over 5,000 men, then they were the protagonists of the
15 combat operations towards lifting the siege of
16 Sarajevo, whereas the forces of Tactical Group 1 were
17 in an auxiliary direction and had the task of
18 communication, to link these Serb forces which defended
19 themselves along Hadzici and up by Brezovica.
20 Q. Brigadier, tell me, please, whether this area
21 of Igman, Hadzic, Pazarici was the first liberated free
22 area outside the ring around of the blockade around
23 Sarajevo, with the exception of Hrasnica?
24 A. Yes, if you look at what the free space --
25 this free area was at the time, one of our brigades was
1 in Hrasnica and it kept this free area towards Igman.
2 There were good conditions for the defence there. Part
3 of the other brigade was in Dobrinja -- those were the
4 4th and 5th Brigades, whereas the area -- by clearing
5 up Bradina and Donje Selo we had an area stretching
6 from Jablanica across Tarcin, Pazarici right up to
7 Igman and this was a free area -- it was a sort of
8 channel, canal by which we could communicate with the
9 encirclement around Sarajevo. Hadzici were under the
10 Serb side and this pass -- you were not able to
11 communicate. You had to go across the hills via the
12 village of Lokve across the hills of Igman to Sarajevo
13 and this was -- came to be known as the "road of
14 salvation", because it was the only way to reach
15 Sarajevo and to get supplies and other necessary
16 equipment to Sarajevo.
17 Q. Brigadier, in view of the fact that this
18 court is very well acquainted with the situation
19 regarding Sarajevo, how difficult the communications
20 were for everyone, especially for the organs of power
21 and authority and the military organs with other parts
22 of the territory, and how far these were conditioned by
23 the lack of telephone communications, the lack of gas,
24 satellite communications which were severed frequently
25 and so on, my question is the following: did the
1 supreme command use the commanders who were located on
2 the first lines behind the blockade of the city
3 sometimes to convey information and orders or anything
4 else towards the other commands -- the other
5 headquarters within the republic?
6 A. As far as I know, in Sarajevo, we only had
7 two or three satellite links -- one in the presidency,
8 but there were no satellite links with the units
9 themselves. Second, are you asking me whether the
10 links functioned, whether they were working,
11 operative? No -- everything was destroyed during the
12 war and we used radio communication mostly, short-range
13 radio communication, openly without any
14 crypto-protection, so that if you tuned into that
15 particular wave length, you would be able to hear what
16 was going on. You could even give different commands
17 and use disinformation and we did have cases of
18 disinformation in this way, in the area of the Corps
19 IV, the enemy would give contrary orders.
20 Q. Brigadier, in view of this overall situation
21 which you have described, were there occasions when the
22 commanders, commandeers of Hadzici, TG1 and so on and
23 so forth sometimes used -- conveyed orders which a
24 courier would bring with him. Did this occur in
25 practice, did the commanders and other military
1 personnel at times, were they used to convey orders
2 from the supreme command towards other compositions,
3 other headquarters, did this ever occur?
4 A. Yes, this practice did take place frequently
5 in other parts of the battlefield as well, because, if
6 you did not have a radio station -- a long-range radio
7 station and a message was sent to somebody who was far
8 away, then it had to be relayed by the commanders from
9 their superiors downwards -- it was a sort of
10 transmission, a relay.
11 Q. Brigadier, we discussed Operation South --
12 Jug. Tell us, please, whether this was one of the
13 large-scale attempts to lift the siege of Sarajevo in
15 A. Yes, according to the composition of the
16 forces, in the course of the war, we never had such a
17 large formation, because we know why this was done --
18 there were 7,000 men there, in those conditions a lot
19 of artillery was at their disposal and this composition
20 had the force of an operative group, but the
21 signatories, along with this provisional composition,
22 because it was a provisional composition, could have
23 been called an operative group by virtue of its size
24 and by virtue of its title -- Jug, South. When an
25 operation is formed, it is given a code name, and the
1 code name for this operation was Operation South.
2 There was Vihor or Oluja as the Croats had, and so on
3 and so forth.
4 Q. Brigadier, do you know how long Operation
5 South lasted?
6 A. Operation South was prepared minutely -- it
7 took some time to equip the men with material, to see
8 to supplies, logistic problems -- it is no simple
9 matter to set up as much manpower and equipment as is
10 necessary for combat, and this lasted all through
11 August -- it started on 17, I think -- around about the
12 17th, and went on until 22 September, if I recall
14 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, I would like to ask
15 you now to take a look at annex under V-C/11?
16 A. What was the number again?
17 Q. C/11. Do you have it as an order, in fact a
18 document of 24 August 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You just said that a superior command could
21 task a particular commander or soldier with whatever
22 task. Could you please look at the document you have
23 enclosed in your file and tell me if this is one of the
24 documents that you relied upon when you formed your
25 opinion -- is this a special task issued to a
2 A. I can say the following on the basis of this
3 document. The commander of the facility was directly
4 subordinated to the supreme command and in that
5 capacity he asked his superior, in this case the
6 supreme command, and he asked for assistance, because
7 this facility could potentially be threatened, which
8 meant that certain forces, whether military or
9 paramilitary, may try to take this facility, since a
10 large part of the forces were out on the front-lines, a
11 number of forces were incorporated in the Tactical
12 Group, so he is asking for assistance.
13 This document is addressed to Delalic,
14 because, at that period, the supreme command staff
15 probably could not resolve this problem -- I think this
16 person's name was Zerif Grabavica -- he was the
17 commander of this facility and so he asked to get in
18 touch with this person to try and resolve the problem.
19 He is passing on or transmitting a message to a
20 commander on the ground and is telling him to get in
21 touch with this person and to try to resolve this
23 Q. So, this is a special task which is not part
24 of his duty as a commander of Tactical Group, is that a
25 correct understanding of what you just said?
1 A. This is a subsequent task, because it has
2 nothing to do with his command of particular units, but
3 it is to provide assistance to someone who is directly
4 subordinated to the supreme command.
5 Q. Brigadier, can we just -- can we look at the
6 annex, the attachment you have, marked with V-D/41. Is
7 this document of Tactical Group 1 of 24 August 1992?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Brigadier, based on everything you have
10 testified to so far, can you tell us whether these are
11 the original duties of the commander of Tactical
12 Group 1?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Can you explain this a bit further?
15 A. In the preamble, you can see that the
16 commander of the Tactical Group received this order
17 from the superior command, because it says, "Pursuant
18 to the order of the supreme command of the armed forces
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina" and so on and so forth -- he is
20 turning to the municipal headquarters of Konjic, and
21 telling them what tasks are to be taken by the
22 headquarters in Konjic, so in the preamble he is
23 referring to the order of the supreme command
25 Q. Brigadier, based on your overall professional
1 experience, would this document be part of the basis on
2 which you formed your opinion as to what it means to
3 receive a special order or a task of transmission from
4 a superior command to a subordinate command?
5 A. Obviously, we have a transmission here. The
6 supreme command headquarters had no possibility to
7 resolve this in any other way, so they are using the
8 commander of the Tactical Group and you see the date,
9 24 August. So, by this order, it tasks the commander
10 of the Tactical Group, and I believe this is because of
11 the lack of communications -- he is tasking him to try
12 to resolve the problems listed here with the municipal
14 Q. Brigadier, without this document, that is the
15 provision which you pointed to in the preamble, would a
16 commander of the Tactical Group, given his scope of
17 authority as a commander of a Tactical Group, would he
18 have been able to issue such an order?
19 A. No, not at all. I repeat: the commander of
20 the Tactical Group has an exclusive authority over his
21 own formations, that is, the Tactical Group, and he is
22 responsible for everything that happens within this
23 Tactical Group. He had no authority to issue such an
24 order to the commander of the municipal staff, because
25 that is not within his competence, but, as I said, this
1 headquarters, as well as the headquarters in Jablanica,
2 were all directly subordinated to the supreme command.
3 Q. Brigadier, while we are still at the Tactical
4 Group, does the commander of a Tactical Group have
5 authority, that is, is he in a superior position to the
6 institutions in his area, that is hospitals, schools
7 and such?
8 A. In an area where there are certain
9 institutions that have a logistical role in the
10 operations and these can be different institutions,
11 this could be warehouses, factories, prisons -- we all
12 call them in military terms "institutions" -- they are
13 in a certain territory and they have their own
14 management. Again, I repeat: the commander of a
15 Tactical Group is responsible for his own units. He
16 has no competence over these institutions. They have
17 their own directors or managers.
18 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, earlier on you said
19 that your research has shown that some time in April
20 1992, the facility of the former JNA in Celebici, the
21 Celebici barracks was taken over by the legal
22 authorities. Do you know, from your research, whether
23 this military facility in 1992 also housed a prison?
24 A. According to the documents and through my
25 research of this issue, I did not find information that
1 Celebici was foreseen as a prison. These were depots
2 and it was a fuel depot. It is first mentioned as a
3 prison in the middle of May, after the prison in Konjic
4 was shelled, and I think it housed about 10 prisoners,
5 and because of the danger from shelling, it was moved
6 to this facility, where it was safe from the shelling
7 by the Serb forces, so that I believe that it was only
8 in mid May that it was first mentioned or used that
10 Q. Brigadier, during your research, you also
11 visited the Celebici barracks. Can you please tell us
12 where these barracks are and how big a facility is it?
13 A. The barracks are located in the village of
14 Celebici. It is south, south-west of Konjic along the
15 M17 highway. I think it is set back about 50 or 60
16 metres. It is visible from the road and it was used as
17 a military facility first, as a fuel depot and a depot
18 for some other materiel.
19 Q. Did your research and review of various
20 documents to which you had access, which you mentioned
21 in the beginning of your testimony, serve as a basis
22 for your stating here who were the persons who were
23 detained in the prison which was set up in a part of
24 the Celebici barracks?
25 A. The first persons were those who were
1 transferred there from the military prison in Konjic,
2 due to shelling. And, later, based on the information
3 that I have, persons who were arrested in Donje Selo
4 and Bradina and Brdjani and other villages where the
5 Serbs offered resistance were brought there. These
6 were, for the most part, persons who were armed and who
7 resisted the legal army.
8 Q. Brigadier, with your expert report, you also
9 enclosed various annexes -- VII/2, B/2 et cetera,
10 et cetera. The documents which you provided with your
11 report, did it form the basis for your conclusion as to
12 why these persons were brought to this prison?
13 A. In passing yesterday, I said that some armed
14 Serbian people -- I do not want to call them Chetniks
15 -- near Ostrozac, they surrendered their weapons, they
16 received certificates, and, in those certificates it
17 explicitly states that these weapons are temporarily
18 taken from them and they suffered no consequences even
19 though they had illegal weapons.
20 However, those who took part in fighting,
21 they, for the most part, were armed. According to the
22 research -- and we can see that from the statements,
23 some had thrown away their weapons, some say they did
24 not fight, but they were in those positions. So, they
25 were arrested or taken prisoner in locations where
1 there was fighting, there was shooting, where the
2 soldiers of the army were also being killed.
3 Q. My question is only why they were brought
5 A. They were brought there because they
6 possessed weapons and because they resisted. They
7 fought against the regular army, which, at that time,
8 was looking for a way to lift the siege of Konjic.
9 Q. Brigadier, I do not know if you know this,
10 whether this is within the area of your expertise, but
11 do you know, according to our regulations, who were the
12 competent authorities for detention of persons?
13 A. According to the regulations, the bodies of
14 the Ministry of the Interior were the ones who were
15 competent for that.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, since this is
17 the time that we usually use for a break, and I am
18 about to move on to another area of questioning, would
19 this be a good moment to take a break?
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will
21 now have a break and reassemble at 12 noon.
23 (A short break)
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please invite the
1 witness to return to the courtroom.
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed,
4 Ms. Residovic.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honour.
6 Brigadier, before the break, we discussed the
7 organs who, according to our regulations, are in charge
8 of detaining and taking individuals prisoner if they
9 are suspected of having committed a crime. You said
10 that this was the task of the Ministry of Internal
11 Affairs. Could you tell us, please, whether, in the
12 former Yugoslav Army there was the military police --
13 did the military police exist?
14 A. Yes. According to the regulations of the
15 former Yugoslav People's Army, there was a professional
16 police corps, professional police, which had the task
17 of detaining military personnel in cases where they had
18 committed crimes or violated discipline, or whatever.
19 Q. Brigadier, in the previous period, that is to
20 say, before the war, and at the beginning of the war,
21 according to the regulations that prevailed, did
22 Territorial Defence have a military police?
23 A. According to the existing regulations, this
24 structure of the armed forces did not have a military
25 police, and in case its members during a training
1 exercise in peacetime or wartime had committed
2 violations, or criminal acts, such individuals were the
3 problem of the army police -- came under the competency
4 of the army police. They were sent to army prisons, or
5 civilian prisons, which existed on the territory of a
6 given municipality. So, the Territorial Defence did
7 not have its own prisons or its own police.
8 Q. In your research for your expert report, did
9 you find that, in 1992, after the beginning of the war,
10 the Croatian Defence Council, did it have its own
11 military police?
12 A. Yes, my research shows that the HVO forces
13 did have a military police corps.
14 Q. Does your research provide you with facts and
15 figures, that is, information within the HVO forces at
16 the time, that is to say at the beginning of 1992 --
17 after the initial war operations, were there members of
18 the Muslim ethnicity -- Bosnians?
19 A. Yes, among the ranks of the HVO, the Croatian
20 Defence Council, there were quite a significant number
21 of Bosnians. In part, they took part on the
22 battlefield in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were members
23 of the Muslim nation, and they were within the units of
24 the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council.
25 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, may we now take a look
1 at one of the documents that you have in your dossier
2 -- it is document V-D/42?
3 A. You said number 42?
4 Q. Yes, it is a document of Tactical Group 1
5 dating back to 28 August 1992. Do you have the same
6 document before you? V-D/42?
7 A. The number is 02/349-59 [sic].
8 Q. Brigadier, in view of the explanations you
9 have given us previously, and your expert opinions
10 given, referring to the 24th, I now ask you whether
11 this is also the type of document, the type of order
12 from the commander of the Tactical Group, which is not
13 a component part of his competencies, of his
15 A. From this document, we are able to conclude,
16 according to what the signatory, Mr. Delalic refers to,
17 he refers to a document by the supreme command, which
18 states that, on the basis of the supreme command
19 headquarters, the armed forces number such and such, he
20 is asking for the solution of a particular problem.
21 So, he is not alone -- it was not only the commander of
22 the Tactical Group; it was an order from a superior
23 command, which was the supreme command in this case,
24 and they refer to a particular number, a protocol
25 number, of the document of the particular order to
1 solve the problems that are stipulated under points 1,
2 2, 3 and 4 and that these problems should be solved.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
4 JUDGE JAN: Just a minute. There is a
5 slight error in getting the number of the document --
6 it is not -59 -- it is -58 -- 02-349-58, not -59?
7 A. Yes, it is -58, it is -58, yes.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours.
9 Brigadier, may we now look at the document
10 which you have numbered V-D/43, and IV-D/44 -- it is
12 A. Yes, that document exists.
13 Q. Did you, Brigadier, become convinced in the
14 course of your research that these two documents are to
15 be found in the archives of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. As somebody who worked in the supreme
19 command, do you personally know -- were you aware that
20 there was communication between the headquarters of the
21 supreme command and the municipal headquarters in
22 Konjic and the district staff in Zenica -- headquarters
23 in Zenica -- about relocating the prison in Celebici?
24 A. In this particular case, it was the municipal
25 headquarters of Konjic and they addressed the
1 headquarters of the supreme command and asked that the
2 prisoners from Celebici be transferred to Zenica, if
3 possible. In this connection, the headquarters of the
4 supreme command informed the municipal headquarters
5 that it would be undertaking all measures to solve this
6 problem, the problem to which the document of the
7 supreme command refers. We have the district --
8 information from the district municipal headquarters of
9 Konjic, whereby the supreme command refers to the
10 Zenica district headquarters, in an attempt to try to
11 solve the problem of relocating and transferring the
12 prisoners from Celebici to Zenica.
13 Q. Thank you. Brigadier, does all your research
14 and your personal experience in your work with the
15 supreme command, and your experiences as a professional
16 soldier -- have they led you to a situation in which
17 you are able to tell us whether, in the course of your
18 research, you were able to come by the document whereby
19 the prison of Celebici was established -- was formed?
20 A. Regardless of my efforts to find this
21 document, which I was interested in finding, I failed
22 to find it.
23 Q. In the course of your research, Brigadier,
24 did you manage to find a document appointing the warden
25 of the prison?
1 A. I did not come across such a document. I was
2 interested in seeing who the warden was -- the
3 commander was -- and whether he had the competencies
4 and regulations for regulating matters in the prison.
5 I did not find any document of that kind.
6 Q. Brigadier, in the course of your very
7 intensive and conscientious report, did you come across
8 any data or document by which Zejnil Delalic would be
9 the individual who was the superior commander of the
10 prison -- superior officer?
11 A. I did not come across any such document, on
12 the basis of which I could maintain that Zejnil --
13 Mr. Delalic -- was the superior in the prison.
14 Q. Brigadier, I should now like to ask you to
15 look at your document V-D/45. May we look at that
16 document together?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us, please, who issued this
20 A. According to the document, it was issued by
21 the commission for the exchange of prisoners of war,
22 and the contents of the document --
23 Q. Was the document signed -- is the document
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Whose signature is on the document?
2 A. The President of the commission, Dzumhur
4 Q. Has the document got a stamp?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me now to whom the document refers, this
7 document on the exchange of prisoners of war?
8 A. It has to do with the municipal headquarters
9 of Konjic.
10 Q. And what is the subject of the document, what
11 does it pertain to?
12 A. It is a request that prisoners be relocated
13 -- transferred -- from Celebici to the sports hall, so
14 that that section could be used for the purposes of the
16 Q. Brigadier, does this document contain all the
17 formal characteristics which would to you, as somebody
18 engaged in the study of this problem, would be a
19 document upon which you could base your professional
20 opinions -- is it a valid document in that sense?
21 A. It is a little difficult to say -- I am not
22 an expert in legal matters -- I am not quite sure
23 whether the document incorporates all the legal
24 elements so as to make it binding and make it
25 correspond to the intentions of the document.
1 Q. Does it contain all the formal
2 characteristics, that is to say, the signature, the
3 stamp and the name of the organ issuing the document?
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 Q. Is it customary that documents issued by a
6 particular body be signed -- to be stamped and to be
7 given a protocol number?
8 A. Yes, this document has that particular form.
9 It has the protocol, it has a signature and it has a
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: I should now like to ask you,
12 Brigadier, to take a look at a document which the
13 Prosecutor showed two days ago to the witness
14 Mr. Hadzibegovic. It was the document, the State
15 commission for the exchange of prisoners of war.
16 I would like this document to be shown to the witness.
17 I am not quite sure of the number of the document.
18 Could you help me there, please?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecutor document 214.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: I should like to ask you,
22 Brigadier, to take a look at the document.
24 Q. Brigadier, in the course of your research,
25 did you come across a document of this kind?
1 A. This is the first time that I have laid eyes
2 on this document.
3 Q. Let me ask you: the document that was
4 allegedly signed by the same person as the document we
5 examined a moment ago, according to what is stated
6 here, can you tell us when the document was drawn up?
7 A. Without going into the contents of the
8 document, I can give you my opinion. First of all, the
9 document is not signed -- there is no stamp and, third,
10 you can see that it was drafted on 22 December and it
11 refers to the responsibilities of Tactical Group 1,
12 which did not exist at that time, so, for me, this
13 document is not a valid document -- it is
14 unacceptable. It has three drawbacks.
15 MR. NIEMANN: I object, your Honour. Not
16 more than about three questions back the witness said
17 that he was not skilled in determining questions in
18 relation to these particular types of documents and the
19 criteria. He was then asked to recite whether there
20 were stamps, signatures, et cetera, which he did. One
21 can do that simply by reading the document. It speaks
22 for itself. We do not need to hear that from
23 evidence. Now he has moved on from a position where he
24 says he cannot and is not qualified to comment on
25 authenticity, to giving an opinion, and I object to
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The witness did not say
3 more on that document -- after disclaiming --
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours,
5 I will not proceed on that document.
6 Brigadier, we discussed a document which is
7 evidence before the court dating back to 27 July, which
8 shows Zejnil Delalic was nominated as commander of the
9 Tactical Group for a given direction and, as far as we
10 recall, you said that the document did not change the
11 character of his function as the commander of Tactical
12 Group 1. A moment ago, the Prosecutor sent us another
13 document and, as I have enough copies of that document,
14 I should like to tender it to the court and the witness
15 so that I could ask my questions.
16 MR. NIEMANN: I think there may be a
17 translation error -- because Madam Residovic said "a
18 moment ago", it appears on the transcript as, "a moment
19 ago" and I am sure she does not mean that because we
20 certainly have not given her any documents this week,
21 that I am aware of.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Perhaps I made a mistake --
23 it was the 25th of last month when we received a
24 portion of the documents from the Prosecutor. I think
25 that is the document. Have you seen it? I ask that it
1 be handed around. Have you looked at it, Mr. Niemann?
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is a week ago, is
5 MR. NIEMANN: I can confirm it was 25 March,
6 your Honour.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Defence document D146/1.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Brigadier, would you look at
9 the document? Brigadier, during your research, did you
10 have an opportunity to see this document?
11 A. I see this document for the first time now.
12 Q. Can you tell me whether it is true that
13 according to the document itself it was issued by the
14 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is this document properly registered and
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this document stamped?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Brigadier, since by your interpretation of
22 the appointment of 27 July and analysing all the
23 documents that Zejnil Delalic as commander of the
24 Tactical Group was issuing, you stated that he was the
25 commander of the Tactical Group throughout this period,
1 so on the basis of all this, does this document confirm
2 this conclusion, or can you say something different to
3 the Trial Chamber after reviewing this document?
4 A. I already said that I see this document for
5 the first time, but it corroborates my view that he was
6 never -- that Mr. Delalic -- and this was dated 8 August
7 1992, and it states that Mr. Delalic is commander of the
8 Tactical Group in the area of Konjic and Jablanica and
9 a certain Mr. Maric is also appointed here and here it
10 clearly states that Mr. Delalic is not commander of all
11 forces -- he is a commander of a Tactical Group.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Unlike the other documents
13 which I have tendered, and given the relevance of this
14 document, I tender it as a Defence exhibit.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, it is admissible.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
17 Brigadier, can you tell me whether, during
18 1992, you were personally acquainted with Mr. Delalic?
19 A. I never met Mr. Zejnil Delalic. During the
20 war I was on duty as a staff officer and I was -- and
21 I had no opportunity to do so and I was in different
22 parts of Bosnia during the war, but I never met him --
23 I was never in Konjic. In fact, I do not know who he
24 is today in this courtroom.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I have completed
1 my questioning of this witness and we still have a
2 matter to resolve. That is the tendering of the expert
3 report. I know that you will make this decision at the
4 end of the cross-examination. We would also like to
5 offer the supporting material and my question to you is
6 whether I should tender all these documents, including
7 the report and the supporting material. I would like
8 to tender the ones that were not compiled by this
9 witness. Do you want me, in other words, to go from
10 document to document and have the witness authenticate
11 each one of these documents, or how would you want me
12 to proceed on this matter?
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think you tender
14 documents which you think you can tender through this
15 witness. If you have such documents, then at the end
16 of the cross-examination, you might be able to do
17 that. If you believe this witness can authenticate
18 them and can claim any authority for their production,
19 I think that if they pass through him, you may tender
20 them. Otherwise, you may still rely on them for the
21 purposes of his opinion. It might still be part of the
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: Then, before completing my
24 examination, I would just like to ask the witness
25 whether he personally, through the director of the
1 archives of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, that is, in
2 Konjic, established that the documents marked in his
3 expert opinion under the following --
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Before you do that, you
5 have no difficulties with his report, because that is
6 his own report produced by him. You can directly
7 tender that. But when it comes to documents which he
8 relies on for the purposes, it depends on the source of
9 that report, because then who is entitled to tender
10 them, or, if he created them himself, you might be able
11 to tender them.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: My question to you right now
13 was only whether to tender them now, or after the
14 cross-examination. I thought that your suggestion was
15 after the cross-examination. However, I could -- if
16 I understood you correctly, I would be able to tender
17 the report now?
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: And, as far as my application
20 for the tendering of the supporting materials are
21 concerned, I will proceed in the same manner as I did
22 with the witness Hadzibegovic testimony, that is, after
23 the cross-examination. In that case, your Honours,
24 I have concluded my examination-in-chief.
25 May I just get the number of the last
1 admitted document, please?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D146/1.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Brigadier.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any cross-examination
5 by any Defence?
6 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, your Honours.
7 Cross-examined by MR. OLUJIC
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vejzagic.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. Let me introduce myself. I am Zeljko Olujic
11 and I represent Mr. Zdravko Mucic. You were examined by
12 my learned colleague, Madam Residovic, and, in my
13 examination, in the conversation that I would like to
14 have with you, I would like to remind you what we said
15 in the beginning; since we speak the language which we
16 understand, I would just like you to wait until the
17 question has been properly interpreted and so that
18 everybody in the courtroom will be able to follow what
19 we are discussing.
20 Brigadier, you have very comprehensively
21 answered a number of issues that were of interest in
22 these proceedings. I would like to ask you several
23 questions regarding the preparation for the war as you
24 laid it out in your expert report -- the role of the
25 JNA in Bosnia-Herzegovina and a few things about the
1 situation in Konjic. May we start?
2 A. If I understand you correctly, you are
3 talking about the preparation for the war by the JNA --
4 is that the issue?
5 Q. Yes. Brigadier, that is how you prepared
6 your report -- I am sorry for omitting that it was
7 preparation for the war in SFRY. So, let me start off
8 by asking you, who was the Minister of Defence of SFRY
9 in those years?
10 A. It was Veljko Kadijevic -- he was the Federal
11 Secretary. There was no special ministry, it was
12 called the Federal Secretariat for People's Defence.
13 Q. What was he by nationality?
14 A. I think he was from a mixed -- he was of
15 mixed origin. I think he was half Serbian, half
17 Q. But he declared himself as a Serb?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you mentioned military districts, was
20 the Sarajevo military district dissolved accidentally?
21 A. If you had followed me correctly, armies were
22 dissolved and the districts were established, and the
23 intention was -- the goal was to pull the commands, the
24 military commands, out of the influence of the
25 republican leaderships, so that the republics would not
1 have the influence over the army, and Slovenia
2 especially objected to this when the Slovenian army was
3 dissolved, and then after these armies were dissolved,
4 the districts were established.
5 So, the goal was, the objective was that the
6 republican leaderships, since they had influence over
7 the Territorial Defence, they feared that, if there
8 were a crisis, that there would be a multi-Party system
9 in the country, that Yugoslavia may break up, and they
10 feared that these republican leaderships may influence
11 the military top or the military leadership, and this
12 is why these two districts were formed -- it was
13 Belgrade and Nis and that was transferred to Skopje and
14 the two new ones were established.
15 Q. What you are saying is there were very valid
16 reasons for them to do so?
17 A. Yes, very much so, and then the Territorial
18 Defence was also pretty much broken apart, because it
19 was disarmed.
20 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. During your
21 examination-in-chief, you also spoke of the military
22 coup in March 1991, but do you know anything about the
23 film about the arming of Croatia and about the
24 attempted coup of January 1991?
25 A. If I understand you correctly, you are
1 talking about the importing of weapons with Mr. Martin
2 Spegelj; is that correct?
3 Q. Yes. Can that also be interpreted as an
4 attempt at a coup?
5 A. Mr. Spegelj, being an experienced soldier --
6 he was a commander of the 5th Army Corps in Zagreb --
7 he knew what Belgrade was preparing. He knew what the
8 intentions were, he saw that this might happen, that
9 the Yugoslav People's Army would conduct an attack in
10 order to relieve the leaderships of Slovenia and
11 Croatia, and by a military coup, they may prevent the
12 development of the democratic processes after the
13 elections. They wanted to keep Yugoslavia by any means
14 -- they were prepared to let go of Slovenia and Jovic
15 said so in his book, that there was an agreement with
16 certain republics to leave Yugoslavia and that there
17 would be no obstacles there, and he was a member of the
18 Presidency, who had taken the oath that he would defend
19 the country.
20 He is now betraying it -- he is saying that
21 certain republics were offered to leave Yugoslavia, and
22 that includes obviously Slovenia, which has a
23 homogenous population and such agreement would not be
24 offered to others.
25 A Greater Serbia project was envisioned --
1 wherever there were any Serbs living, that was
2 considered to be Serbian land. So, that was the
3 Karlobag/Virovitica line. You have a map of Greater
4 Serbia which was offered here, and it states, "Serbian
5 brothers, this is your land. We have enclosed this."
6 Only Zagreb would have been Croatian. There is no
7 Dalmatia, and that was the policy of creating a Greater
8 Serbia and Serbs were indoctrinated on this ideological
9 basis, because it says, "Brother Serbs, these are your
11 Q. And, also, there was also a saying, "Wherever
12 there is a Serbian grave, that is a Serbian land"?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let me ask you, who was in command of the
15 Territorial Defence? Was that in the competency of the
17 A. The role of the civilian authorities within
18 the republic was such that they were to organise the
19 Territorial Defence as an armed force. They were
20 organising it, they were training it and equipping it,
21 and also to pay the personnel, which had been
22 transferred from the army to the Territorial Defence.
23 However, republics and their institutions had
24 absolutely no right to use the army. The general staff
25 had a direct command and made decisions regarding
1 Territorial Defence.
2 Q. Let me move to the role of the JNA in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In your expert report and in your
4 testimony you talked about the relationship between the
5 SDS and the JNA. Can we say that the Serbs in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina had to take arms -- take up arms and
7 fight against Bosnia, because otherwise they would be
8 perceived as traitors by their fellow Serbs?
9 A. That is correct. The leadership of the SDS,
10 with the assistance of Belgrade and the Orthodox
11 church, for a long period of time indoctrinated the
12 Serbian population through a number of events, telling
13 the Serbian people that they were threatened, with the
14 goal of creating a perception that this population was
15 threatened, that the only way out for them was to stay
16 in Yugoslavia, and they would discard everything else.
17 In his report, the commander of the second
18 military district, General Kukanjac -- and this is
19 report number 908/1 -- he reports to the Chief of the
20 General Staff, and General Blagoje Abzic was in the
21 position at that time. He is reporting on the
22 situation in Bosnia and he mentions the crisis and
23 among other things he states that the position of the
24 Serbian people is that the first and the only option is
25 Yugoslavia -- they want to stay in Yugoslavia.
1 The second option is a confederal Bosnia. We
2 know what a confederation is, that is, a breaking-up of
3 a statehood. A third option he says does not exist --
4 Serbs are ready to wage war -- it is obvious that they
5 were prepared for war, because in that very same report
6 he states that the 69,190 Serbian volunteers were armed
7 in Bosnia as early as 20 March 1991 and this does not
8 include the Territorial Defence and no member of these
9 forces is in the army.
10 So, there are almost 70,000 armed volunteers
11 in Bosnia who are Serbs at that time.
12 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. Can we say, based on
13 all this, that the majority of Serbs in Bosnia, as well
14 as in Croatia, were reserve forces of the JNA?
15 A. I would not call it "reserve forces". The
16 Serbs did not resist, they were not forced into it.
17 For the most part, throughout 1991, in Croatia and
18 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, those were parts of the
19 17th Tuzla Corps and the Banja Luka Corps, they took an
20 active part in fighting in Croatia -- they were not
21 forced into it.
22 The Serbian Democratic Party, in
23 collaboration with the command of the 17th Corps and
24 the Banja Luka Corps, mobilised the Serbian population
25 and the Bosnian Government objected to that, because
1 they knew that they would go to fight their brethren
2 Croats, and this is why the Minister of Defence,
3 General Kadijevic, sent a very sharp warning to
4 President Izetbegovic not to meddle in military
5 affairs, and we know why the Bosnian Government took
6 such a position, so the issue is that the Serbs were
7 prepared, they were ready to go to fight, and you have
8 the proof of that, that many of them were killed and,
9 also, when the Maribor and Ljubljana Corps were
10 retreating, they were first told to go back to
11 Belgrade, and the 17th Corps suffered quite a few
12 casualties and then they were asked to come and replace
14 Q. Thank you. In Konjic, during the SFRY
15 period, who was in charge there? Were Serbs in charge?
16 A. I do not know -- I did not research this. If
17 you are asking me where the Serbs had a leading
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. They had a leading position everywhere.
21 I think that we need to clarify for the Trial Chamber,
22 Serbs were saying that they were threatened, but even
23 where they were in a minority, in Bosnia, they were
24 only 32 per cent, they were in leading positions in all
25 structures. For instance, in different ministries, in
1 economic institutions, the key economic and industrial
2 structures, communications -- they were not
3 threatened. It is an allegation that was made up.
4 Q. You just mentioned ministries and industrial
5 plants. How about the police and secret services, were
6 they dominant there?
7 A. Mr. Olujic, you are aware of that, that even
8 in Croatia it was drastic, that the Serbian -- the
9 Serbs only made 11 or 12 per cent there, and sometimes
10 in the institutions, they were 60 to 70 per cent.
11 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. When you talked about
12 the level of arms among Serbs in the Konjic area, when
13 the Serbs were leaving villages, was that a signal that
14 the JNA and the Chetniks would attack?
15 A. It was obvious that there was propaganda and
16 psychological pressure on the part of the SDS and the
17 population needed to be pulled out so that people would
18 not be killed in Konjic. This is what they did in
19 Sarajevo as well, so if all Serbs would leave Konjic,
20 then they could shell it, then they could attack it
21 from the air, so that was first propaganda, initially.
22 But the real objective was then to arm them,
23 to create units of them, and then to prevent Serbs from
24 being killed, because, if those towns were attacked,
25 the Serbs may be killed by their own brethren.
1 Q. You talked about Serbs being armed in Bradina
2 and Donje Selo. After they left these villages, did
3 they continue to hide and were they still armed?
4 Brigadier, you described well that people who
5 surrendered arms were not touched. However, those who
6 were found with weapons were disarmed. How about those
7 who were hiding and were armed?
8 A. Yes, there were such cases, and when the
9 ground was searched, it was known that a lot of them
10 have left their positions and some of them were hiding,
11 and the police did searches. Some were found with
12 weapons, some without weapons, and through different
13 witnesses, their degree of responsibility was
15 Q. And did they wear uniforms?
16 A. Some of them did, some of them did not.
17 Q. Did they abide by the international rules of
19 A. I do not know what you have in mind.
20 Q. What I have in mind is when they were
21 disarmed, according to what you know, were they abiding
22 by the international military law? If you do not
23 know --
24 A. I do not know. You mean whether the Serbian
25 prisoners abided by the international military law?
1 Q. Yes, before they were arrested?
2 A. Oh, I meant after they were arrested.
3 Q. No, no, no, before -- those who were armed,
4 those who were hiding, those who were undertaking
5 certain operations against the State, were they abiding
6 by the international military law?
7 A. No.
8 Q. According to your knowledge, those who were
9 detained and arrested, were they in a hierarchical-type
10 of organisation, or was this a sort of an anarchic-type
11 of resistance?
12 A. According to my research, in the area of
13 Bradina, they had -- we heard that they had commanders,
14 some Vojvodas, so there was some kind of organisation,
15 but once they were broken up, I think that it was more
16 anarchic after that.
17 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you. According to the laws
18 of the former SFRY --
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we might
20 adjourn now, and resume at 2.30.
21 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, your Honour.
23 (Luncheon adjournment)
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please kindly remind
4 the witness he is still on his oath.
5 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, Sir, that you
6 are still under oath.
7 THE WITNESS: I understand it, thank you.
8 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you, your Honours.
9 Good afternoon, Brigadier.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. We are almost at the end of my examination --
12 just several additional questions. Before the break,
13 we started on an area which we interrupted. According
14 to the SFRY laws, and the Socialist Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who had authority over prisons?
16 Was this the Secretariat of Justice, later the Ministry
17 of Justice, or was it someone else?
18 A. This is a legal question. I believe that it
19 was the Ministry of Justice, and judicial organs --
20 I am not sure of this.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me whether the
22 military, according to the law, could oversee the
24 A. Which prisons do you have in mind?
25 Q. Civilian prisons?
1 A. No.
2 Q. How about Territorial Defence?
3 A. No.
4 Q. In those days, and when I say "in those
5 days", I mean the period relevant to this indictment,
6 did a whole range of different formations, some wearing
7 uniform, some not, roam in the Konjic area?
8 A. I was not in the Konjic area, so I do not
9 know that.
10 MR. OLUJIC: Brigadier, I have no more
11 questions for you.
12 Your Honours, I have no further questions for
13 this witness. However, I have a request. We only
14 received a very comprehensive amount of materials --
15 three volumes -- and I have not had an opportunity to
16 review all the documents, so may I reserve the right to
17 add potentially some additional questions for this
18 witness on Monday? Again, I repeat that it is
19 voluminous material -- to be honest with you, I was
20 only able to review the first half, approximately, of
21 the documents. Over the weekend I will try to attempt
22 to review the rest of them, so should I have any
23 additional questions that come from that second part of
24 the documents, may I have your leave to ask several
25 additional questions? I thank you in advance.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That will be
2 satisfactory, before the Prosecution starts. We might
3 be able to accommodate that.
4 MR. OLUJIC: Thank you, your Honours.
5 MR. MORAN: May it please the court.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed,
7 Mr. Moran.
8 Cross-examined by MR. MORAN
9 Q. Thank you, your Honour.
10 Good afternoon, Brigadier?
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 MR. MORAN: Brigadier, I have a few questions
13 I would like to ask you and some of them will be
14 general questions and I am going to ask that the usher
15 give you volume III of the documents, simply because
16 I am going to use some documents in here just as
17 examples of things, and then I will ask you a couple of
18 specific questions and I think that that may be it --
19 at least I may be able to let you go home for the
20 weekend or take the weekend off.
21 The first thing I would like to chat with you
22 about, Brigadier, is the law of command and the right
23 to command and how command worked, both in the old JNA
24 when you were an officer there, and then in the armed
25 forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as existed
1 in the months immediately after independence, so May,
2 June, July, that part of 1992. Now, you testified,
3 I guess it was yesterday, that in any command and
4 control system there has to be one commander who makes
5 the decisions and is responsible for his unit; do you
6 recall that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. That would be one of the principles of any
9 military anywhere in the world, would it not, or at
10 least any efficient military?
11 A. It is one of the principles, that is, command
12 and control. It is called single command. I do not
13 know how it is in other armies. I believe it has to be
14 similar. A single commander issues commands and is
15 responsible for his decisions so that means that a
16 single commanding officer, so I do not know about the
17 other armies, but we had it that way. There is one
18 commander who is responsible for the use of his units.
19 He can delegate his authority to his subordinates, but
20 he cannot pass on the responsibility for what happens.
21 Q. And in fact he can delegate as much or as
22 little authority as he wants, can he not, Brigadier?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So I will bet some time in your military
25 career you worked for a commander who would say, "Get
1 this done" and he would let you do it anyway you wanted
2 and I bet you also worked for a commander at some point
3 in your military career who would tell you exactly how
4 to do things, and not give you the freedom to choose;
5 is that correct, Brigadier?
6 A. If you delegate your authority to your
7 subordinate in order to solve a problem, so within the
8 framework of such a decision by the commander, the
9 subordinate may carry out this task, but will not bear
10 any responsibility for the consequences that may arise
11 in the process of carrying out this task.
12 Q. I guess what I was getting at was more along
13 the lines of different commanders would have different
14 styles, some commanders would allow their subordinates
15 a lot of leeway in how to accomplish tasks and others
16 would give them little tasks, or supervise them very
17 carefully, and it is just a matter of the style that
18 the commander has -- is that fair?
19 A. I am sorry, I did not hear the interpreter,
20 so I am not sure when the question has been fully
22 Q. Okay. Let me just start over. It might be a
23 little bit easier. Different commanders that I worked
24 for and I suspect different commanders that you worked
25 for had different styles of the way they did things,
1 so, for instance, a commander may just generally give a
2 task to a subordinate, and a different commander, when
3 he wanted the subordinate to do things, would be very
4 specific in how he would tell them how to do it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And, one of the things, just to be upfront
7 with everybody, we have talked several times -- there
8 is no surprise that you and I have had conversations?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And yesterday, when we were having a
11 conversation, we talked about the right of someone who
12 is not a commander -- the power of someone who is not a
13 commander -- to give a binding order to another member
14 of the military and the example that we talked about
15 was someone who may be not a commander but is, say, a
16 major in the army and would he have the right and the
17 power to give a binding order to someone who was a
18 lieutenant simply because of his rank, and you said,
19 "No, he would not"; is that correct?
20 A. There is no such right of command -- issuing
21 commands to another. One cannot just meet someone and
22 issue an order, because he is not his superior, so a
23 subordinate only listens to and carries out the order
24 of his own superior officer.
25 Q. When you say "superior", you mean someone who
1 is in, if you would, the chain of command?
2 A. Yes, in the chain of command he can be -- for
3 instance, if he is my superior, he has the right to
4 issue orders to me. However, if I go somewhere and
5 I am met by a general, say, and he tasks me with
6 something, I do not have a duty to carry out a task
7 given to me by him, even though he has the rank of a
8 general, because he is not my superior.
9 Q. Okay, thank you very much. Let me go on to a
10 different subject. By the way I am going to say
11 "general" at some point and I am going to promote you
12 and I hope you do not mind -- and if I could arrange
13 it, I would have you get the pension for a general
14 rather than the pension for a brigadier.
15 A commander, of course, cannot function alone
16 -- he has deputies and he has staff members and other
17 people that work for him and help him carry out his
18 functions; is that not correct?
19 A. A commander of a district, let us say the
20 second Sarajevo district, that is a very large command
21 -- 400 strong, so it is a very large apparatus -- it
22 has its structure, it has its assistants, it has its
23 own headquarters. It is a fully developed command
24 numbering 300 to 400 personnel, and, in the command
25 structure, regardless of the size of the apparatus, the
1 commander is the only one who has the authority to take
2 decisions and only such commands -- those commands can
3 be carried out or may be carried out. Let me
4 elaborate. Let us say when a commander receives an
5 order, let us say, in a state of war, he gathers his
6 narrow circle -- that is, the group of deputies and he
7 tries to find out how to carry out this task.
8 He also has to be able to listen to his
9 collaborators. Regardless of his experience, his
10 training, his education, he cannot know all the arms,
11 all the branches and he cannot know how to most
12 efficiently use the forces that he has at his
13 disposal. So, the engineers, the logistics,
14 communications and so on, so he receives their input
15 before he reaches his final decision. When he is
16 satisfied that he has received all the information,
17 then at one point he decides. He can adopt certain
18 proposals or not, but he is responsible for the
19 decisions that he has adopted -- not, let us say, a
20 chief of artillery.
21 Q. And sometimes people who are subordinate to
22 the commander, people who are on the staff, or maybe
23 their adjutant will act for the commander, is that not
24 true? I will give you an example of what I am talking
25 about. If you look at document V-D/46, which is on the
1 -- the Bosnian is on 831 and the English is on page
2 832 of volume III. I am just using this as an example.
3 If you look at the signatures, the signature
4 block down at the bottom, it has "Commandant, Army
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Konjic," and a Major, followed by
6 the Major's name. But if you look below it, the
7 signature -- it looks like it is a different name, it
8 looks like somebody else signed it for the commander?
9 Do we have the same document -- it is an
10 appointment --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That would be the kind of thing that would
13 occur in your army or my army, I guess in any army, is
14 it not, that it was not -- whoever it was who signed
15 that, that was making these appointments, it was the
16 commander who was making the appointments?
17 A. My apologies, let me just find the
18 signature. I see that it is a major, I see that it is
19 a commander of the municipal headquarters in Konjic.
20 I am not sure about his signature, so let me try to
21 double-check it by comparing it with signatures on some
22 other documents.
23 Q. Actually the next thing I was going to ask
24 you to do was look at document 50, which is a few pages
25 back on page 843 in Bosnian. It is another
2 A. I do not have it paginated here. Can you
3 please tell me again?
4 Q. Document number D/50. It is about 20 pages
5 behind -- go the other way -- 20 pages further on than
6 the one you were just looking at.
7 A. So D -- which number, please?
8 Q. 50.
9 A. 50?
10 Q. Yes, General.
11 A. I see it now.
12 Q. You can see they appear to be the same
13 commander, just that one is -- it appears that someone
14 signed for one of them?
15 A. Yes, you can see two different signatures
17 MR. MORAN: And that would be a reasonable
18 thing to do if, for instance, this commander, whatever
19 his name is -- how would you pronounce it -- Catic,
20 Caric -- however you pronounce the Major's name.
21 JUDGE JAN: The name is also written
22 differently -- it is Mirsad Catic and the other is
23 Catic Mirsad. Maybe they are two different people.
24 MR. MORAN: Would they be the same people or
25 is it different person?
1 A. It is one person.
2 JUDGE JAN: He describes himself
3 differently. One appears as the surname and then the
4 first name and it is the opposite in the other
6 MR. MORAN: Yes, your Honour.
7 A. Yes, the order is different.
8 Q. But it is in all likelihood the same person
9 -- we are talking about the same rank, the same name,
10 the order signed a few days apart and all I am getting
11 at is that it would not be uncommon for a commander to
12 make an appointment, as is made in document number 46,
13 assigning several people to new duties, and have
14 someone other than the commander sign for the commander
15 to make the order official?
16 A. In this specific case I see there are two
17 signatures there, so that means they were not signed by
18 the same person. I do not know where the commander
19 Catic's signature is. That is not the right way of
20 doing it. If somebody else was authorised to sign this
21 document, it should have stated, "For the commander",
22 so, where you have the line where it
23 states "Commander", you say, "For the commander", if
24 this person is authorised.
25 I do not know -- in the previous document you
1 can see that somebody else signed it. You see, I do
2 not know the Commander Catic's original handwriting, so
3 I cannot tell. So, you have to put in front
4 of "Commander", "For the commander" and that means that
5 this person was authorised to sign it on behalf of the
7 Q. That is what I am getting at. I am just
8 using these as examples and that someone, may be an
9 adjutant, could sign an order for the commander, even
10 though -- when in fact the commander had made the
12 A. Yes, the commander can be on holiday, for
13 example, for 30 days and then he writes the order and
14 delegates somebody to represent him and to command the
15 unit or anything else -- if the commander is absent for
16 any longer period of time, then he designates somebody
17 else to act in his -- on his behalf.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Moran, if
19 I understand you, you have not been against delegation
20 of duties.
21 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, all I am trying to
22 get at is you can delegate duties but not
23 responsibility and that people can sign for the
24 commander, but it is within the parameters that the
25 commander has -- has given.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Your argument has
2 always been one of delegation of responsibilities.
3 MR. MORAN: Of course, the General has just
4 testified that we can never delegate responsibility,
5 just authority.
6 For instance, General, a chief of staff or a
7 deputy commander has no independent authority in his
8 own right and all the authority he has to issue orders
9 and to command people or to tell people what to do is
10 based on the authority that is given to him by the
11 commander; is that fair, general?
12 A. Yes, it would. The commander can authorise
13 his helpers or deputies, or whoever, to, in given
14 situations, perform tasks on the basis of his
15 decision. However, the person to whom these
16 authorisations have been delegated cannot be
17 responsible for the outcome of a decision made by the
18 commander -- it is always the commander who is
19 responsible, and that is what I talked about when
20 I spoke about "principles". It is one individual -- it
21 is understood that one individual is always the
23 Q. And, General, in the Bosnian army or the old
24 JNA, did anyone other than a commander have the
25 independent right to punish people?
1 A. It depends. It is regulated by the
2 regulations governing the service. In addition to the
3 units there were the departments led by the department
4 heads, chiefs and they used their authority according
5 to rank, so they were not in the army, but there were
6 the different departments and the rank of a division
7 commander, for example, if we are talking about a
8 soldier, usually they did not have soldiers in these
9 units, but they did use the right of rank. So the
10 commander would be, for example, a colonel, and if he
11 was head of a department, then he would use the rights
12 vested in the colonel of such a unit -- the head of
13 such a unit.
14 Q. Let me come at it this way. The deputy
15 commander, or the chief of staff of a unit, would he
16 have the independent authority to punish members of
17 that unit?
18 A. Usually he would not punish members of his
19 unit. He could use his rights in the case when a
20 commander -- given commands by the commander and he did
21 not carry these out and so, on behalf of the commander
22 he can do this, he can avail himself of this right
23 given to him by the commander whom he represents at
24 that time.
25 Q. Anything a non commander does, be it order
1 people, carry out duties, punish people, whatever, is
2 based completely on authority that is given to him by
3 the commander?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Regardless of that person's rank?
6 A. He cannot use the right of a rank of the
7 commander -- only if the commander is absent and he is
8 performing the function of commander then he uses the
9 same rights. For example, the commander of a division,
10 if he has left on holiday, then his deputy will use the
11 rights of the commander at that particular time, so he
12 can punish the members just as if he were the division
14 Q. Because he is basically the acting commander?
15 A. Yes, that is right.
16 Q. General, a few quick questions specifically
17 on Celebici and if you do not know, "I do not know" is
18 a fair answer. Do you know whether the staff of
19 Celebici were members of the regular army of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time that is relevant to the
21 indictment from May through August or September of
23 A. If that was the period, then, yes of course
24 they were members of the regular forces, whether we are
25 talking about the HVO or the Territorial Defence.
1 Q. But they were legally constituted by the
2 sovereign Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. I am not quite sure what you are talking
4 about. I did not understand.
5 Q. Sure. The Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 which was a sovereign State, legally constituted the
7 forces that provided the guards for the Celebici camp
8 -- the staff for the camp?
9 A. It is not up to the Government to decide
10 about that particular staff. The Government has other
11 competencies. We are dealing here with a case in
12 point, a concrete case. It was a prison and the
13 Government cannot determine the guards and staff of the
14 camp. That is not something that is up to the
15 Government to do.
16 Q. I understand, General, that the supreme
17 command in Sarajevo did not decide where every private
18 was going to be assigned. What I was -- I guess I did
19 not make my question as clear as it could have been --
20 these guards were either members of the TO or the HVO,
21 and that those were legally constituted parts of the
22 armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. And where is your question?
24 Q. I was asking whether that is true?
25 A. If I have understood you correctly, your
1 question refers to the staff that was determined to
2 cater to the prisons, to the camp. In that case, the
3 staff assigned to the camp -- it is not subject to the
4 discipline from his superior. Let me give you an
5 example of my battalion. In my battalion I was asked
6 to give soldiers -- 10 soldiers in staff for the camp.
7 Q. I think I did not ask the question right.
8 Let me try it again. That is not what I was getting
9 at. Basically what I want to know is, you testified
10 that these people were members, based on your research,
11 that the staff of the Celebici prison were members
12 either of the TO or the HVO?
13 A. At the beginning, the police as well.
14 Q. Or the MUP, okay. Regardless of whether the
15 TO -- these individuals were members of the TO or the
16 MUP or the HVO, they were part of the legally
17 constituted authorities and organs of the republic?
18 A. That is correct.
19 MR. MORAN: Thank you very much. General.
20 Your Honour, again, like Mr. Olujic and I think
21 Mr. Niemann, I have been presented with more than a few
22 documents, and with the court's leave, I would pass the
23 witness now, but I would like to be able possibly to
24 come back, whenever he comes back for
25 cross-examination, and, prior to the start of the
1 Prosecution's cross-examination, if there are any
2 questions I have of the documents, I would like --
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You appear to be
4 complicating the whole thing. You mean everyone passes
5 the witness, waits for the Prosecution to cross-examine
6 and then you come back?
7 MR. MORAN: No, heaven's no.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: This is what you would
9 appear to be doing.
10 MR. MORAN: All I would ask, whenever the
11 Prosecutor is going to cross-examine, if, before the
12 start of the Prosecutor's cross-examination -- so
13 I would go before the Prosecutor -- if there are some
14 questions based on these documents, if I could ask
15 those questions -- I do not think that the Prosecutor
16 would have any objection to that.
17 MR. NIEMANN: No.
18 MR. MORAN: It is just a matter -- there is
19 about 1,000 pages of documents here and every time I go
20 through them, I find something I did not find the last
21 time I went through them.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I thought you did not
23 have too many reasons to ask any questions, except you
24 think you should.
25 MR. MORAN: I am afraid that if I go home
1 this weekend and open up one of these books, I am going
2 to sit there and see something I saw that I have not
3 seen yet and wish I had asked about it.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That is what life looks
6 MR. MORAN: That is true. But because we
7 have had these for such a short time, I do not
8 anticipate having any other questions, but I may --
9 depending on what is in this voluminous amount of
10 documents, I may have something. Again, I do not think
11 that the Prosecutor would object to that.
12 MR. NIEMANN: No.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You need to some of
14 your examination until after you have asked -- because,
15 if the Prosecutor first indicated his inability to
16 cross-examine, because of the volumes you have of them
18 MR. MORAN: I have exactly the same problems
19 that Mr. Niemann has and all I would ask is that I get
20 the same -- rather than having to ask for a delay,
21 I wanted to get what I thought was my cross-examination
22 out of the way.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You reserve the right.
24 MR. MORAN: Yes, if it is okay with the
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If it becomes
3 MR. MORAN: If it becomes necessary. That is
4 fine. Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any other
7 MS. McMURREY: Yes, I have a very few
8 questions. May it please the court.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may continue.
10 Cross-examined by MS. McMURREY
11 Q. Brigadier, my name is Cynthia McMurrey and
12 I represent Esad Landzo. We had a short chance to
13 visit at the early break this morning, did we not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I want to discuss with you something on a
16 different -- it has nothing to do with command
17 structure of the Bosnian army or the JNA, but,
18 basically, a tactic that may be used by all armed
19 forces involving the use of young 18- and 19-year-old
20 recruits. Can you tell me why it would be advantageous
21 to utilise the young 18- and 19-year-old recruits, say,
22 in the infantry and for the use in the armed forces?
23 Can you describe the psychological makeup of these
24 young men and why they are desirable to be in the armed
1 A. Well, if I have understood you correctly, you
2 are talking about soldiers who have just come for
3 training, that is, to say, young recruits.
4 Q. Yes, that is correct?
5 A. It would be a crime to use young people of
6 this kind in an armed struggle -- that is, those who
7 have not mastered elementary military skills -- the use
8 of weaponry, and conduct on the battlefield. What
9 I want to say is that, in this war, too, although it
10 was a very ghastly war, from the first days, we formed
11 training centres and we did not allow these young
12 recruits, these young men who had not had any military
13 training, we did not allow them to go to the front, we
14 did not send them to the front. Therefore, all those
15 who were included in the fighting, without previous
16 training, could easily have been subjected to injury or
17 death, because they knew nothing about the principles
18 of command, they did not have any essential knowledge
19 of conduct on the battlefield, how to avoid artillery
20 fire and shelling, and there was always the danger that
21 young recruits of this kind would be killed, or
23 This means that the recruits who were not
24 trained and had not done their military service had to
25 be prepared in some way through at least several months
1 of training. In our programmes, this was usually
2 between three and three and a half months -- the
3 training programmes lasted that long so that they could
4 master the elementary skills of warfare, to help the
5 soldiers find their way around on the battlefield,
6 because an untrained soldier, a recruit who knows
7 nothing about the enemy, he will undergo great stress,
8 because it is something that is unknown to him and
9 every unknown factor leads to fear -- fear of the
11 He does not know how to behave or indeed how
12 he will behave, and, in situations of this kind, he
13 might behave in quite an unnatural manner, especially
14 if he has beside him a wounded colleague, or if
15 somebody has died next to him -- what can happen is
16 that he can just leave the battlefield and flee. He
17 can be quite frustrated and undergo great shock and, as
18 I say, a young recruit of this type should not be sent
19 to the armed struggle.
20 Q. But at the time, in April and May of 1992,
21 while you were forced to defend yourselves while being
22 attacked by the Bosnian Serb forces, you did not have
23 the luxury to send these young men to a three-month
24 training camp, did you -- you had to use what was
25 available at the time?
1 A. In the first days of the war, we formed
2 centres, but many of these young recruits were not able
3 to attend as members of units undergoing training, so
4 there were those who, together with senior officers,
5 were present and they had to grow accustomed to the
6 battle front and to get experience and to know what a
7 grenade means and that not every grenade means death.
8 This was his sort of initiation. He had to adopt
9 himself to the situation as he saw it on the
11 There were cases in the war, in Sarajevo and
12 in all parts of the battleground, where some of these
13 young people, some of these brave and courageous young
14 men quite simply could not restrain themselves and, if
15 you give them weapons, they would be ready, they would
16 show courage and advance like a lion and young men of
17 this kind showed great courage at the beginning and
18 many of them lost their lives through that bravery.
19 We had cases where they would just march
20 towards a tank. Can you imagine a young man with a
21 rifle advancing towards a tank, because in fact he did
22 not know what a tank meant? We had many misfortunes.
23 We did not have the necessary professional cadres in
24 the army and we were forced to send to command posts
25 individuals who were not professionally trained. The
1 army was not their profession. They did not have the
2 elementary knowledge and skills necessary for
3 officers. So, you would give him a company of 50 or 60
4 members, for example, and he had no idea of what to do
5 with them, how to command them, how to line them up.
6 He did not know how to organise the fighting, once he
7 had received his orders and how to solve the problem
8 that he had in hand and, for that reason, we organised
9 a school, very early on, for the training of cadres.
10 We had crash courses for our commanding
11 officers so as to train them and equip them to be able
12 to fight more successfully and to lead their units with
13 as few casualties as possible.
14 Q. In fact you can identify with what was
15 happening in Konjic in 1992, even though you were not
16 stationed in that area, because you were there in 1942,
17 defending the same Konjic area basically under the same
18 circumstances in the "Battle of the Wounded", is that
19 not true?
20 A. Yes. I was a young man, too, in 1942.
21 I knew nothing about warfare. I was given a rifle and
22 my first -- I was given ammunition and we went to
23 Tomislavgrad and we had five bullets. We were told not
24 to shoot, to stay with our senior colleagues and to
25 experience that night and to see what fighting looked
1 like at night and in the Second World War we had no
2 commanding officers to train us, but we had to gain our
3 experience through practice and learn from our older
4 members, who had joined the Partizan army previously.
5 Of course, we also experienced fear and
6 stress and we had to learn by trial and error, in
7 practice, during the combat operations.
8 Q. Now, you testified yesterday that one of the
9 main problems of this outbreak was that you had no
10 weapons, you had no ammunition, but most of all you did
11 not have any trained officers to take command in the
12 lower echelons of the forces in the Konjic area, so to
13 summarise what you testified just a while ago, what you
14 were saying was that, because you did not have people
15 who had leadership training, you did not have people
16 who had been formally trained in the JNA as officers;
17 these people that were formerly electricians and
18 mechanics were now in the position of leadership of a
19 deputy commander and that kind of title, and they did
20 not have any training in order even to train these
21 young recruits with no military training, so it was the
22 blind leading the blind, basically?
23 A. Well, yes, the situation was similar to the
24 one you have just described. Practice, life, the war,
25 made us use fighters who had shown courage and an
1 elementary sense of organisation -- they were selected
2 to be officers, whereas they might have been
3 electricians or mechanics or whatever, so he was given
4 a company to command, or a platoon or whatever. This,
5 of course, was not a good thing, but it was born of
6 necessity -- we had no choice in the matter, and in the
7 initial fighting, in the initial operations, we had a
8 lot of problems. We had more dead and wounded than we
9 had trained professional officers, who knew something
10 about warfare.
11 Q. I want to ask you about possibly the lowest
12 ranking soldier on the totem pole which would be
13 possibly a prison guard, and when a prison guard is
14 assigned to a barracks, does he have any authority to
15 change the structure or the command or the conditions
16 of the barracks that he is in?
17 A. I did not understand your question fully, but
18 I think I know what you want to ask me. The lowest
19 echelon in the army was the rank of private -- a
20 private first-class, whereas the others were the
21 non-commissioned officers, so these privates could only
22 have the duty of replacing the guards, which means that
23 a facility, say, had perhaps 10 guards in position,
24 which means 10 guards in one shift, 10 guards in
25 another shift and so on, and this would form a guard of
1 some 30 guards. So that would be the unit, the guard
2 post, and the private, if it is winter, he would bring
3 in new guards every hour or every two hours.
4 He has no other authorisation -- just to see
5 that the guard system was rotated and that the guards
6 replaced each other after a set amount of time. He had
7 no other authorisation or competencies.
8 I do not know whether that answers your
9 question. I do not know if I understood you correctly.
10 MS. McMURREY: I think it answered all my
11 questions. I want to say your testimony has been most
12 interesting and instructive and I really thank you very
13 much. I pass the witness, your Honour. I do not need
14 any time to go through any volumes. Thank you.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Niemann, will you start your cross-examination?
17 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, if I may, I would
18 like to renew the application that I made at the
19 beginning of the week in relation to the
20 cross-examination of this witness. My position is --
21 I have been in court all week and have been dealing
22 with the other witness and the material in relation to
23 that witness. I would ask that the cross-examination
24 by the Prosecution be put off until the close of the
25 other witnesses, which were scheduled, or Thursday,
1 whichever comes first.
2 I believe, your Honour, it would be a much
3 more efficient way of dealing with it, because I can
4 consider that if I have more time to prepare, I will be
5 able to reduce the amount of cross-examination rather
6 than extend it.
7 Your Honours, I understand there are other
8 witnesses ready and waiting to come into court. There
9 would be no loss of time as far as the court is
10 concerned. It is my application that when confronted
11 with all this material, it really needs to be studied
12 in detail and I wish to do that before I embark upon
13 cross-examination and, as I say, we only received it a
14 day and a half working days before court started this
15 week, which is on Thursday afternoon, so we really have
16 not had the time -- I have not had the time that
17 I would need to devote to it, to effectively devote to
19 So that is my application, your Honour, that,
20 if we can proceed with the other witnesses that are
21 available and ready to testify, then Thursday would be
22 a good day to complete all the cross-examination and
23 I would certainly complete it in that time and leave
24 sufficient time for some other questions from counsel,
25 should they arise, and any re-examination on that day.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much,
2 Mr. Niemann.
3 Ms. Residovic, can you proceed with your next
4 witness, if possible, now so --
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, have I heard
6 your decision yet, given that this witness has been
7 examined and cross-examined for quite a while, and his
8 overall condition is such that it would be better if he
9 came back on Monday, and, as I was not aware of how
10 long my colleagues would be cross-examining, I have not
11 called my next witness until 4 o'clock, so the next
12 witness would be ready at 4.
13 I would also request that the witness
14 Vejzagic be brought back Monday to be cross-examined by
15 the Prosecution and any other cross-examination by my
16 colleagues, so as for the other witness, I called him
17 at 4.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If you would prefer to
19 come back at 4 for the next witness, if we are able to
20 finish with this witness by Monday, I suppose we might
21 be able to take the cross-examination then. That would
22 be a good arrangement. We will rise now and come back
23 at 4pm.
25 (A short break)
2 MR. NIEMANN: Before the witness comes in,
3 I just wish to raise again the matter that I raised
4 beforehand, because I was not sure what our position
5 was in this. My position was, your Honour, at the
6 beginning of the week, that I really do feel that
7 I will not be in a position until the end of the first
8 three witnesses and, if they are finished on Monday, by
9 all means I will be ready to start my
10 cross-examination, but I would think that is unlikely
11 so that would make it Thursday, bearing in mind there
12 are two days off next week. I re-emphasise the fact
13 that we were given this vast amount of material at the
14 eleventh hour, which really did preclude us from being
15 in a position to prepare.
16 I might just go on and say we have now been
17 given another bundle of material, five minutes ago,
18 literally, in relation to the next witness. Your
19 Honour, it is impossible to prepare a proper
20 cross-examination of a witness in circumstances where
21 we are given material this late. Goodness knows how
22 long Madam Residovic has had this material, but it
23 makes really quite a mockery of the provisions in the
24 Rules which talk about reciprocal discovery and bearing
25 in mind all the things they have said about us during
1 the course of the Prosecution case and never we were so
2 egregious as to present this amount of substance at
3 this sort of late hour, so we do protest.
4 And I am not at all sympathetic to a
5 situation where Madam Residovic says, "Well, the old
6 gentleman has been here for a long time. Monday
7 morning he should be able to finish his evidence."
8 Madam Residovic should have thought of that well in
9 advance of discovering so late that no party could be
10 in a position to be prepared. Really, it does make the
11 case so much more difficult if this sort of procedure
12 is allowed to continue time and time again in relation
13 to the witnesses.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, after the last
15 comments by my learned colleague Niemann, which
16 I believe are not merited, I think that it would be
17 appropriate for you to advise Mr. Niemann not to address
18 me in this manner. I think that we need some basic
19 decency here and talking about matters of principle, as
20 far as the obligations of the Defence counsel are
21 concerned, I have already stated that I have
22 immediately turned over the documents that we received
23 and, if the Prosecutor's Office checked their files,
24 they will see that they have more files than they have
25 ever received from any international organisations.
1 If the Defence had received the documents
2 five days ago and sent it for translation and have
3 received it back today at 12 o'clock, then we have
4 completely abided by our obligations and I do not
5 appreciate the comments being made about me.
6 I am not saying that we have never received
7 anything in a timely way by the Prosecution, but
8 sometimes we would be given some directly here at the
9 bar, and I would just one more time like to point out
10 we need to have some kind of equity here. We do not
11 have all the arms, we do not have all the available
12 resources that they do.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I would have thought
14 the problem should be over by now. You have been
15 together for quite some time. If there is any
16 misunderstanding, one could have ameliorated it with
17 smiles and jokes instead of getting so cross and bitter
18 about it. I know occasionally these things do happen.
19 One supplies certain things late, but I think you can
20 still carry on despite such a late service of some of
21 these things.
22 You might as well call your witness and let
23 us carry on and see how far we go.
24 (The witness entered court).
25 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
1 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
2 the truth.
3 SENAD BEGTASOVIC
4 Examined by MS. RESIDOVIC
5 Q. Good afternoon, Sir.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. Even though you know me, I am going to
8 introduce myself. I am Edina Residovic, Defence
9 counsel for Mr. Zejnil Delalic. Sir, would you please
10 introduce yourself to the Trial Chamber by stating your
11 full first and last names?
12 A. My name is Senad Begtasovic.
13 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, before I ask any questions of
14 you, I am going to ask you to just let me give you a
15 technical advice. You and I speak and understand the
16 same language. However, the things that you and --
17 what you and I talk about, the others can only receive
18 through the interpreters, who have a very responsible
19 and difficult task. So, I would like to ask you,
20 whenever I pose a question, please do not answer it
21 immediately. You have a headset on the desk next to
22 you. Please listen there until the interpretation is
23 complete and only then proceed with your answer. It is
24 the only way in which everybody will be able to
25 follow. Did you understand that?
1 A. Yes, I understood that.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Begtasovic. Mr. Begtasovic,
3 when were you born?
4 A. I was born on 1 January 1952.
5 Q. Where were you born, Mr. Begtasovic?
6 A. I was born in Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. Where do you live, Mr. Begtasovic?
8 A. I live in Konjic.
9 Q. What is your citizenship, Mr. Begtasovic?
10 A. It is -- I am a citizen of
12 Q. What are you by profession?
13 A. An attorney.
14 Q. What is your education?
15 A. I graduated from the law school in Sarajevo
16 in 1975.
17 Q. After graduation from law school, did you
18 take special exams which are a requirement for acting
19 as a judge and as an attorney at law by the laws of
21 A. Yes, it is a bar exam which is a requirement
22 for working as a judge or prosecutor or a lawyer and
23 I passed it in 1976.
24 Q. Before becoming an attorney at law, which is
25 your current position, did you also work in any of the
1 positions for which you had qualified by taking the bar
3 A. Yes, between 1976 and 1995, I was a judge at
4 the basic court in Konjic.
5 Q. Since when are you an attorney at law?
6 A. Since 1 February 1995.
7 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, as a judge, and as a lawyer,
8 were you involved in criminal cases?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, could you tell the Trial
11 Chamber where were you in early 1992, more specifically
12 in April of 1992?
13 A. In April 1992 I was in Konjic and I held the
14 post of the president of the court in Konjic.
15 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, do you know when
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed its independence?
17 A. Yes, in 1992.
18 Q. After the declaration of independence of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina on 6 April 1992, did the war start
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, with the exception of your
23 years when you studied in Sarajevo, did you spend your
24 entire life in Konjic?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. In terms of ethnic groups, who lived in
2 Konjic and who continues to live in Konjic?
3 A. Konjic was a typical multi-ethnic
4 Bosnia-Herzegovinian town. Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats,
5 Jews, some Hungarians, some Czechs and some gypsies
6 lived there.
7 Q. What were inter-ethnic relations before the
9 A. They were very harmonious. Very few people
10 in my town considered the ethnic background as
11 something that sort of gives them a dominant stamp.
12 Mixed marriages were very frequent. I come from a
13 mixed marriage -- I am sorry, I am married to a Serb
14 woman and my children come from a mixed marriage.
15 Q. Even though the ethnic background was not
16 very important, did we still know before the war, and
17 did we take care that in different institutions in the
18 local government members of all ethnic groups were to
19 be represented?
20 A. Yes, that was the official policy.
21 Q. Since you worked in the court, Mr. Begtasovic,
22 can you tell me whether the composition of the court
23 also reflected the ethnic -- the distribution of
24 different ethnic groups in town?
25 A. On the eve of the war, there were 10 judges
1 in the court in Konjic. Three judges were of Serbian
2 background, three of Croatian background, and four,
3 including myself as the president of the court, were of
4 Bosniak background.
5 Q. You said that you were a judge and later the
6 president of the court in Konjic. Can you please tell
7 me, what kind of a court was it, in other words, what
8 are the competencies of this court?
9 A. The primary court, besides the civil cases
10 that it tries, also tries criminal cases which envisage
11 the sentences for up to 10 years. For criminal cases
12 which give a higher sentence, the authority is in the
13 court in Mostar.
14 Q. Can you tell me under whose jurisdiction was
15 the establishment of courts in our republic in those
16 days, according to the law?
17 A. It was the competence of the republican
19 Q. Who was appointing the judges of your court?
20 A. It was the republican assembly of
22 Q. Did the laws about the establishment of
23 courts and the appointment of judges change up until
24 the Dayton Accords in 1995?
25 A. No. No, they did not change.
1 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, as a citizen of Konjic, you
2 can surely -- you will surely be able to answer the
3 following question: were you in Konjic in April?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did there come a time in April 1992 when
6 Konjic was surrounded?
7 A. Yes, Konjic was surrounded.
8 Q. Can you tell me what it means to you that it
9 was a surrounded town -- what happened?
10 A. From the south-east there is a village of
11 Borci -- in the surroundings of which there were SDS
12 paramilitary formations. The highway leading to
13 Sarajevo was cut off at the village of Bradina, so that
14 the communication line between Konjic and Sarajevo was
15 cut off. The highway leading to Mostar was also
16 blocked, because, in the area of Donje Selo, which is
17 the area that controls the M17 highway, and from this
18 area this road to Mostar can be very effectively
19 controlled, so the town was surrounded in the sense
20 that you could not go either to Sarajevo or to Mostar.
21 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, do you know whether patients,
22 that is, sick people, were unable to leave Konjic after
23 the second half or the latter half of April 1992?
24 A. Nobody could leave Konjic, including the sick
1 Q. Can you tell us, how did the citizens of
2 Konjic respond to the beginning of the war in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and to the developments in Sarajevo
4 and to this surrounding of their own town?
5 A. I can say that, at first, a panic struck.
6 None of us, like any other Europeans, had any
7 experience of shelling of a town -- the dangers of
8 walking in the street and the beginning of a great
10 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, let me ask you some questions
11 that are closer to your professional concerns. We have
12 heard on issues that we have discovered from some other
13 witnesses. Apart from the primary court, which was in
14 Konjic before the war, was there a military court in
15 Konjic at any time before the war?
16 A. No, until the war there was no military
17 court. Such a court was in Sarajevo.
18 Q. If, in the area of Konjic, a serious crime
19 were committed which was under the competence of your
20 court, where would such a crime be investigated?
21 A. The investigation of such a crime would be
22 conducted in the higher court in Mostar, or in the
23 military court in Sarajevo, if such a crime was within
24 the competence of that court.
25 Q. Was there a prison in Konjic?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Where would persons who committed serious
3 crimes be detained -- such persons that should have
4 been detained in a prison during the investigation
6 A. Such persons would be detained in the
7 district prison in Mostar and in the correction centre
8 in Zenica and (INAUDIBLE).
9 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, was there in Konjic anybody
10 that could change the competencies of your court?
11 A. No, because the change of competencies of our
12 court was a part of the authority of the Parliament.
13 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, does this refer to both the
14 real and the local competence of your court?
15 A. You are correct -- to both.
16 Q. You said that at the beginning of the war on
17 6 April 1992 you were the president of the court.
18 Mr. Begtasovic, was there a period of time after the
19 beginning of the war in Konjic when your court was not
21 A. Practically speaking, the court in Konjic did
22 not function throughout 1992.
23 Q. Could you tell us some of the reasons for
24 this situation in the municipal court in Konjic?
25 A. Practically a daily shelling of the town of
1 Konjic prevented reporting to duty -- not only of the
2 personnel of the court, but also arrival of witnesses,
3 parties in lawsuits -- all participants.
4 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, did a certain number of judges
5 from your court leave Konjic at the beginning of the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How many judges were there to try criminal
10 A. I was the only one.
11 Q. Criminal court judge?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You mean you stayed in Konjic -- you were the
14 only one who remained in Konjic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Begtasovic, that
17 throughout 1992 your court was not able to function,
18 even for the types of crimes for which it was there to
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. A moment ago you told me that, in Konjic,
22 there was no prison and that individuals who, in the
23 Konjic locality, had committed crimes were taken to the
24 prison of the district court in Mostar. Tell me,
25 please, Mr. Begtasovic, do you know, according to our
1 regulations, who had the authority over those prisons?
2 A. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina was the authority for the prisons
5 Q. Were these prisons under the authority of the
6 Ministry of Justice, and general management? Can I
7 hear your answer, because by nodding your head we will
8 not be able to translate you, so please put it in
10 A. Yes, you are right, it was under the
11 competence of the Ministry of Justice.
12 Q. In view of the fact that you were a witness
13 to all these events and that you were a professional
14 and had knowledge of these events, please tell me
15 whether, in the course of 1992, whether throughout 1992
16 conditions existed for transferring detainees from
17 Konjic to Mostar or Sarajevo?
18 A. In explaining the town's encirclement
19 I mentioned the approach to Mostar from Konjic was not
20 possible and you were not able to approach Sarajevo
21 from Konjic, either. In that way, it was impossible to
22 take the detainees -- people who were believed to have
23 committed a crime, to these prisons -- the prisons that
24 you mentioned.
25 Q. Was this impossibility directly linked to the
1 war operations in the area -- in those areas?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You said that it was not possible to transfer
4 the prisoners to Mostar and Sarajevo. I think that the
5 circumstances through other evidence are well known to
6 us. Please tell us now whether there was the
7 possibility of transferring the prisoners to other
8 areas, and I have in mind here both legal possibilities
9 and actual possibilities?
10 A. No, there was no such possibility whatsoever.
11 Q. Tell me, please, whether there were attempts
12 to change the competencies and to have prisoners from
13 Konjic in the autumn of 1992 transferred to Zenica?
14 A. I do not know whether it was in the autumn of
15 1992, but I do recall there were attempts of that
16 kind. At one time, I had contacts with General Divjak
17 and Kukanjac. When that was exactly I am not sure, but
18 in my conversations with them I learnt there were
19 attempts to change the competencies, that is to say, to
20 create a military court for the Konjic locality.
21 Q. In 1992, were there any regulations which
22 enabled the creation of a military court in Konjic?
23 A. In 1992, there were no regulations of this
24 kind -- no possibilities of this kind.
25 Q. Can you tell us when the legal prerequisites
1 emerged for a military court to start functioning in
2 Konjic -- a department of the military court to begin
3 operations in Konjic?
4 A. A department of the district military court
5 in Mostar, which was located in Konjic, started
6 functioning as far as I remember in the autumn of 1993.
7 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, was that the earliest possible
8 time to bring before a court in Konjic criminal
9 investigations for individuals who had committed
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, in view of the fact that there
13 were no courts, tell me, please, if there was any doubt
14 that somebody had committed a serious crime, does the
15 absence of a court -- did the absence of a court mean
16 that these people were not taken to prison?
17 A. It would be impermissible to propagate an
18 attitude of this kind. If a crime has been committed,
19 the perpetrator must be taken prisoner, regardless of
20 whether a court exists -- arrested -- a court that
21 would bring him to justice.
22 Q. Which organs in Konjic were authorised organs
23 to perform arrests -- who were these organs?
24 A. They were members of the Internal Affairs
25 Ministry, quite definitely and the military police,
1 later on, of the Territorial Defence, the TO -- the
2 military police of the HVO.
3 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, when you look back to those
4 days, did you as a citizen of Konjic and as a judge
5 yourself in Konjic, in the summer of 1992, think that
6 the war would end very quickly?
7 A. We all thought that the war would not last
8 until the autumn.
9 Q. Did you expect anybody's aid and assistance?
10 Did you think that somebody else should help a country
11 attacked in that way and a member of the United
13 A. Well, we just could not encompass anything of
14 that kind, that is, that at the end of the 20th century
15 in the heart of Europe -- and Bosnia is the heart of
16 Europe -- that a war could be waged and that somebody
17 could shell towns, just like that. We thought that
18 this was absolutely impossible.
19 Q. Did you consider it normal for the world to
20 stop a war of this kind?
21 A. Absolutely.
22 Q. However, Mr. Begtasovic, I am sure you did not
23 wait in Konjic, but do you know whether the competent
24 authorities in Konjic reacted to this state of affairs
25 in April 1992 and did they take the necessary steps for
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was a general mobilisation of the citizens
4 proclaimed in Konjic?
5 A. Yes, general mobilisation was proclaimed in
6 April -- I think it was around 20 April.
7 Q. Did all the citizens -- were all the citizens
8 of Konjic duty bound to respond to the call for a
9 general mobilisation?
10 A. Yes, or to go to their working duties, or as
11 members of the Civil Defence units, or as members of
12 the army, that is, it was the Territorial Defence at
13 the time.
14 Q. If anybody failed to respond to this call for
15 mobilisation, did this represent a criminal act
16 according to our laws?
17 A. Yes, it was considered a criminal act.
18 Q. Did a substantial number of the Serb
19 ethnicity, your co-citizens, fail to respond to this
20 call for mobilisation?
21 A. It would be correct to say that a very small
22 number of the Serb ethnicity joined in the general call
23 for mobilisation.
24 Q. Do you know, Mr. Begtasovic, which forces,
25 after April 1992, considered themselves to be the
1 defence forces of Konjic?
2 A. They were the units of Territorial Defence
3 and, later on, as of June 1992, they were the units of
4 the Croatian Defence Council, because the armed forces
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to a law enacted in
6 May pertaining to the armed forces, were made up of the
7 units of Territorial Defence and the HVO units.
8 Q. The units of the internal affairs units, were
9 they a component part of the defence forces?
10 A. Yes, you are right, and the units of the
11 Internal Affairs Ministry.
12 Q. Do you know whether, apart from these defence
13 forces in Konjic in that period, any other paramilitary
14 units existed?
15 A. I heard of the existence of similar
16 paramilitary units, which were organised by the SDS,
17 but I do not know any particulars, because I was not
18 personally informed of this.
19 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, as a citizen of Konjic, did
20 you hear that there were some private armies in Konjic,
21 in existence in Konjic?
22 A. Apart from the SDS units, I did not hear of
23 any other units.
24 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, do you know whether, in the
25 course of May, in order to lift the siege of the town,
1 that is, in May 1992, some combat operations took place
2 -- did these combat operations take place to lift the
4 A. I heard about this, but I was not acquainted
5 with any of these military operations. At that time,
6 I was outside the realm of these matters.
7 Q. Do you know, Mr. Begtasovic, that the town of
8 Konjic -- that it was not only encircled, surrounded,
9 but that it was intensively shelled -- began to be
10 shelled intensively?
11 A. From the beginnings of May 1992, grenades
12 fell on Konjic daily.
13 Q. Do you know, Mr. Begtasovic, whether, from the
14 surrounding villages, the population was expelled and,
15 if it was, could you tell us who expelled the
16 population and which population was expelled?
17 A. I know that near Boracko, the lake of
18 Boracko, the Bosnian population was expelled from the
19 village of Gakici. I know that, from Bijela, the
20 Bosnian and Croatian population were expelled, and some
21 Bosnians from the Donje Selo area and Bradina.
22 Q. Tell me please whether at that period, in May
23 1992, essential means for livelihood were lacking in
24 Konjic -- were supplies lacking, were there general
1 A. Yes, because all the shops from April 1992
2 were closed, and the population could gain supplies
3 only in the Mehmamet, in Caritas and other
4 organisations of this kind -- charity organisations.
5 Q. Do you know when the first convoy of the
6 UNHCR came to Konjic with certain quantities of flour
7 and other food supplies?
8 A. It was either in August or September 1992 --
9 I cannot quite recall.
10 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, you said that you heard about
11 certain combat operations for lifting the siege of
12 Konjic, but I would like to ask you something else
13 now. Did you, as a citizen of Konjic and as a judge,
14 ever hear that, after these combat operations, a number
15 of individuals were arrested and detained?
16 A. I did hear about this, but not with enough,
17 sufficient detail.
18 Q. Then I do not think you will be able to
19 answer my next question with any precision, but I am
20 going to ask it anyway. Tell me, please, as far as you
21 know with the details that you recall, some individuals
22 were arrested on suspicion of having committed crimes,
23 where they were placed, where they were taken to?
24 A. Well, I know that some of these individuals
25 were sent to Celebici.
1 Q. Do you know who performed these arrests --
2 who detained these suspects?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you, Mr. Begtasovic, in 1992 -- were you
5 ever in the barracks or prison of Celebici?
6 A. Never.
7 Q. Did you, Mr. Begtasovic, have any knowledge of
8 these individuals, these suspects, and the proceedings
9 brought against them?
10 A. During which time -- when?
11 Q. After they had been detained?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, did you have any knowledge of
14 whether a commission was set up to investigate the
15 responsibility of these suspects?
16 A. At the end of 1992, or perhaps the beginning
17 of 1993, the municipal headquarters of the army set up
18 a military investigating committee to investigate and
19 it investigated over 100 cases, over 100 suspects who,
20 at the time, were in the sports hall in Musala in
21 Konjic. These individuals, these detainees, as far as
22 I recall, were held in Celebici previously. I was a
23 member of that military investigating committee, and
24 I repeat, it was set up by the municipal headquarters
25 of the army following orders by the commander of the
1 4th Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would now like to ask if we
3 may show the witness evidence D7/1. (Handed). .
4 Mr. Begtasovic, would you please look at the
5 document --
6 JUDGE JAN: Do you have copies for us?
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, at this present
8 moment, I do not have any copies, because I thought
9 that I was using evidence from the evidence and
10 documents you already have, but we can supply you with
11 a copy. I will copy the evidence every time, but
12 I think this is evidence that has already been
14 THE REGISTRAR: It has not been admitted.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Then I apologise, I thought
16 that it had been admitted. Then I should like this
17 document to be withdrawn, although I did think that it
18 had been admitted. I am going to show it to the
19 witness later on, when I have the possibility of
20 presenting you all with a copy and its translation,
21 because the translation of the document exists and we
22 did submit it to the court.
23 So I am going to carry on my examination of
24 the witness, until we are all able to have a copy of
25 this document before us.
1 Mr. Begtasovic, as you said earlier on, at the
2 end of 1992 or the beginning of 1993, you became a
3 member of the committee. What was the task of that
5 A. The basic task of the committee was to
6 investigate over 100 cases, that is to say, individuals
7 who had been detained and who were suspects. They had
8 been suspected of committing serious crimes of armed
10 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, did you personally hear these
12 A. It was a five-member committee, if I recall
13 correctly, and, if I remember, I heard these
14 individuals for the most part. Perhaps a number of --
15 some of the 100 were heard by another member of the
16 committee, but, at all events, I did most of the
17 hearing. I looked into most of the cases in the
18 presence of all the other members of the committee.
19 Q. Did you make records of this hearing?
20 A. Yes, all the individuals I questioned,
21 records and minutes were taken.
22 Q. Were these proceedings -- did these
23 proceedings follow the letter of the law?
24 A. All the individuals were questioned according
25 to regulations governing criminal procedure which was
1 positive at the time.
2 Q. In the course of your work within the
3 committee, did you have occasion to see the previous
4 dossiers, files, on these individuals -- the
5 individuals that you yourself questioned?
6 A. Yes, I was acquainted with their files. They
7 were questioned by a committee which questioned them
8 before my particular committee, and I did have occasion
9 to see the files, although I did not devote any great
10 attention to the files.
11 Q. Can you tell me, Mr. Begtasovic, whether these
12 hearings, these previous hearings, whether they were
13 hearings which were performed by individuals whom you
14 yourself personally knew?
15 A. Yes. For instance, I remember a colleague
16 and a friend of mine, Goran Lokas. I recall the name
17 of Miroslav Stenek. I recall the last name, that is,
18 Mladen, Zovko, and right now those are the only names
19 that I can recall.
20 Q. While questioning individuals, those 105, or
21 however many persons were there, were you making
22 regular records of their questioning?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were these records signed by the members of
25 the commission, that is, the individuals who were in
1 charge of questioning these individuals?
2 A. They should have been signed by them and
3 I believe they were signed by them.
4 Q. Were these records also signed by the persons
5 who were questioned?
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Can I ask the usher's
8 assistance to show the witness a certain number of
9 records of questioning of suspects and I have
10 sufficient copies for everybody in court and I have
11 already provided copies for the Prosecution. May
12 I have each of these records marked individually and
13 then I will ask the witness to identify each one of
14 them as a record of his individual questioning of each
15 of these individuals. (Handed).
16 A. Yes, this is a record.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Would you please wait so the
18 judges may receive their copies.
19 MR. TURONE: May I ask that the Registrar may
20 give us the numbers of every single one of these
21 records so that I can put my number on every single
22 record. Thank you very much.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Every single record will
24 have a separate number. The record of 9 January 1993
25 is Defence Exhibit D147/1.
1 MR. TURONE: I beg your pardon -- you should
2 state the names of the interviewed persons, because
3 many records are of the same date.
4 THE REGISTRAR: The witness can tell you
5 the name, because I do not have my copy.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, could you tell
7 us the record of whose suspect's interview is this, so
8 that the Prosecutor is able to follow what we are
9 talking about?
10 A. This is the record of the interview with the
11 suspect Dusko Bendzo, that is Dusko Bendzo.
12 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, will you please tell me
13 whether, in the heading of this record, there is a name
14 of the body whose member you were, and which was
15 authorised to conduct the questioning of these
17 A. Yes. It is the Military Investigating
18 Commission of the 4th Corps and it is dated 9 January
19 1993 regarding the questioning of Dusko Bendzo.
20 Q. Will you please turn to the page with the
21 signatures and can you tell me whether you recognise
22 the signatures?
23 A. I recognise my own signature.
24 Q. So, you can confirm before this Trial Chamber
25 that this is a record that you personally signed?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: Since the witness has
3 recognised and identified the document which he himself
4 has helped compile and he has signed, I tender it into
6 MR. TURONE: Your Honours, we have to object
7 for the time being, at least, because we did not have
8 any time to study these documents, so we kindly request
9 that the question of the admissibility be postponed
10 after cross-examination so that the Prosecution may
11 study the documents, which arrived on this desk only at
12 5 minutes to 4, so that we can decide our position,
13 whether to object or not.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What is the basis of
15 your objection -- because you have not studied the
16 document, is it?
17 MR. TURONE: We did not study the documents
18 and, for instance, we might not object to the fact that
19 this is a document signed by the witness, but we might
20 object depending upon the specific contents of every
21 single record. So, I would kindly request to
22 postpone --
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not think these
24 are sufficient reasons for objecting to it, because he
25 is one of the parties to this document. He is entitled
1 to put it in evidence.
2 MR. TURONE: In our opinion, a document like
3 this is not admissible simply because it was signed by
4 this witness. There are others --
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If there are any
6 disqualifying elements, let us hear them.
7 MR. TURONE: As a matter of fact we do not
8 know whether we can find any disqualifying element. It
9 depends upon the contents of every single statement,
10 which we have to be in a position to read before
11 deciding our position. This is an investigator who
12 signed a witness statement, so there is some --
13 JUDGE JAN: Even if you read it, what
14 objection could you have? This is a record prepared by
15 one of the persons who recorded the statement.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I would just
17 like to add that, during the proceedings, we attempted
18 to show to the representatives of the Prosecution
19 similar records, and we were advised by the court to
20 try to bring a witness who had actually questioned
21 these suspects. So, I see no problem in all this.
22 MR. TURONE: Your Honours --
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You can indicate you
24 have objected to it, but we will admit it into
1 MR. TURONE: If we do not know exactly the
2 contents -- we know there were some witnesses of the
3 Prosecution who say that many of -- well, some of these
4 statements were taken under duress. We have --
5 JUDGE JAN: You can cross-examine them in
6 that regard.
7 MR. TURONE: If we cannot examine these
8 records, we cannot know whether any of these
9 records --
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
11 I agree with you but we will admit it on the caveat
12 that you objected to its admissibility.
13 MR. TURONE: Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, your Honours. Can
16 the witness please be shown the next record?
18 Can you please give me the number of the
19 record which you have just given to the witness and --
20 THE REGISTRAR: The statement of Vukalo
21 Risto made on 15 January 1993, Defence Exhibit D148/1.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: Can I have copies of this
23 record to be passed on to the judges so that I may
24 proceed with the questioning.
25 Mr. Begtasovic, is this a record of the
1 commission in whose work you participated during the
2 questioning of this individual?
3 A. This is a record of an interview of the
4 Military Investigating Commission of the 4th Corps on
5 15 January 1993.
6 Q. Is the record signed by members of the
7 investigating commission?
8 A. Yes, it is signed and I recognise my own
10 Q. Where is your signature?
11 A. It is the fourth from the top.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I tender this
13 record into evidence as Defence exhibit.
14 MR. TURONE: The Prosecution renews the
15 objection, given that the Prosecution was not given
16 time to read the document. Thank you.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think this -- it is
18 admitted into evidence.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. May the witness
20 please be given the next document. Can we please have
21 the next --
22 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D149/1;
23 the name is Mrsic Radovan, dated 12 January 1993.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, is this a
25 record of the commission whose member you were and
1 which conducted the investigation of this person?
2 A. Yes, this is a record of the investigation of
3 the Military Investigating Commission of the 4th Corps
4 and I was a member of it.
5 Q. Was this document signed by members of the
7 A. Yes, I can see signatures of the members of
8 the commission on this record and I recognise my own
10 Q. Mr. Begtasovic, was this witness questioned in
11 a legal way?
12 A. I do not recall the questioning of this
13 witness. It was a long time ago, but I say that all
14 these individuals were questioned in a legal manner.
15 Q. Is there a comment at the end of this record
16 that the person who was questioned here gave this
17 statement of their own free will?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: I move to tender this record
20 which the witness has identified as his own.
21 JUDGE JAN: You omitted to ask one question
22 -- was it signed by the person who gave the statement
23 in his presence?
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: You heard the question.
25 Would you please answer His Honour? Were these records
1 or statements signed in the presence of the person who
2 was questioned?
3 A. After questioning of a witness, all records
4 were signed by the members of the investigating
5 commission, by the record taker and by the questioned
7 MR. TURONE: I raise the same objection for
8 the record, thank you.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted into
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Can the witness be shown the
12 next record and can the number and the name of the
13 person who was questioned be given?
14 THE REGISTRAR: The record of the statement
15 of witness Kuljanin Marko, dated 11 January 1993,
16 Defence Exhibit D150/1.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I hope you are not
18 going through the 105 witnesses.
19 JUDGE JAN: How many statements do you
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Unfortunately, during my own
22 investigation, I was not able to collect all 105.
23 I think I have about 10, so there are not that many
25 Mr. Begtasovic, do you recognise in this
1 record a record of the commission of which you were a
2 member when you were questioning this person?
3 A. Yes, I recognise a record of the Military
4 Investigating Commission of the 4th Corps of which
5 I was a member of 11 January 1993.
6 Q. Is this record signed by the members of the
8 A. The record was signed by the members of the
9 commission, and I recognise my own signature.
10 Q. Was this witness questioned in a legal way?
11 A. Let me repeat that all witnesses were
12 questioned in a legal way. I do not recall the
13 questioning of this witness, either, but I say that he
14 was questioned in a legal manner.
15 Q. And, as His Honour Judge Jan asked a moment
16 ago, was the witness, that is, the suspect -- was the
17 suspect present as you were signing this record?
18 A. Yes, you are right.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. Since the witness
20 recognised his own signature.
21 JUDGE JAN: Did the suspect sign the
22 statement in his presence -- that is the question. You
23 just put it a different way -- whether he was present
24 while you were signing it -- whether in fact he signed
25 the statement in his presence.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Did you understand the
2 question of His Honour? Did the suspect sign the
3 record in your presence?
4 A. I did understand the question of His Honour
5 and I can say that, as far as the procedure about
6 signing of records, out of all the listed persons, that
7 is, the members of the commission, the record taker and
8 the suspect, as a rule, the suspect was always the
9 first who signed the record -- only after this person
10 would sign it, then members of the commission would
11 sign it themselves.
12 Q. I just want to specify this: does that mean
13 that all persons who signed these records, did they all
14 sign it in your presence while you were there?
15 A. Yes.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
17 I tender this record into evidence as well.
18 MR. TURONE: Your Honour, let me state again
19 and let the record reflect that the Prosecution was not
20 given time to read the document. Thank you.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The elementary things
22 are clear -- you can raise your objections as to their
23 validity. Nothing stops you doing that. If you can
24 demonstrate that they have not complied with the Rules,
25 you are entitled to exclude it. They are admissible on
1 the face of it. Everything is regular.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: May the witness be shown the
3 next document and if you could please state the usual
5 THE REGISTRAR: The --
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I do not know whether
7 the multiplication makes any difference at all, other
8 than showing a particular thing happened -- the
9 statements were taken regularly by persons to whom they
10 were read over by who took them. You can carry on and
11 complete the number of statements you wish to tender
12 but I do not think it makes any difference. It
13 normally does not really matter.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I can only ask,
15 since all the statements are marked individually, they
16 could all be given to the witness as a batch. He can
17 review them and he can confirm them or not, and they
18 can then all be admitted into evidence. We do not have
19 any additional ones. Maybe it would be the best thing
20 if the witness just reviewed all of them at one time
21 together and then they could be admitted.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are admitting them
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think that is
1 sufficient for their admissibility -- they have all
2 been admitted into evidence so far, those which you
3 have tendered.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, your Honours, but I did
5 not understand you. Were you asking whether I needed
6 to continue -- I have another five or six of them.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may, if you
8 consider they are relevant to your case.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes. May the witness please
10 be shown the next document.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Statement of the interview
12 with Mrkajic Goran dated 14 January 1993, the Defence
13 Exhibit D151/1. (Handed).
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, I have the
15 same question for you. Do you recognise this as a
16 record of the commission of which you were a member?
17 Was this record signed, do you recognise your
18 signature? Is the person who was interviewed -- did
19 the person who was interviewed sign it in your
21 A. I recognise the record of the Military
22 Investigating Commission of the 4th Corps of 14 January
23 1993. On the record I recognise my own signature. It
24 is fourth, but under number 5. I also see the
25 signature of the interviewed person on the record.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I tender this
2 record into evidence.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Please, may the witness be
5 shown the next document.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Record of interview with
7 Kuljanin Radovan, made on 14 January 1993, Defence
8 Exhibit D152/1.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, please review
10 this record and I have the same set of questions for
11 you. Is this a record of the commission of which you
12 were a member? Did you interview this person? Was
13 this record signed? Do you recognise your own
14 signature? Did the person who was interviewed sign it
15 in your presence? Was it a legal procedure?
16 A. This is a record of the commission of which
17 I was a member and I recognise my own signature as
18 fourth from the top. I also see the signature of a
19 person who was interviewed and I also assert that this
20 person was also questioned in a legal manner.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I tender this
22 record into evidence. Is it admitted.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted, yes.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: May I have the next record
25 shown to the witness please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The record of the interview
2 with Kuljanin Jovo made on 18 January 1993, Defence
3 Exhibit D153/1.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, please, can
5 you answer the questions which are the same questions
6 asked before. Was this a record of your commission?
7 Did you sign it? Was this individual questioned in a
8 legal manner? Did he sign the record in your presence?
9 A. This is a record of the Military
10 Investigating Commission of the 4th Corps of which
11 I was a member and, as I can see it, it was made on 18
12 January 1993. I recognise my own signature as fourth
13 from the top. I see that the person who was
14 interviewed did sign it and I assert that this person
15 was questioned in a legal way.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I tender it into
17 evidence, please as a Defence exhibit.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, shall
20 I continue with a few records that I have left, or have
21 you reached the time --
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let us complete this
23 process. We will adjourn after this process.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
25 Please would you show the witness the next
2 THE REGISTRAR: Record of interview with
3 Kuljanin Dragan made on 18 January 1993, the Defence
4 Exhibit D154/1.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, could you
6 please answer -- is this a record made by your
7 commission? Has it been signed? Was it produced
8 through a legal procedure, and did this person sign it
9 in your presence?
10 A. It is a record of a Military Investigating
11 Commission of the 4th Corps of which I was a member of
12 18 January 1993. I recognise my own signature fourth
13 from the top and I see that the questioned person did
14 sign it and I assert that the person was questioned in
15 a legal manner.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I tender it into
17 evidence as a Defence exhibit.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: The next record, please.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Record of interview with
21 Kuljanin Danilo made on 14 January 1993, the Defence
22 Exhibit D155/1.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, is this a
25 record of the commission of which you were a member?
1 Was this record signed? Did you sign it? Did the
2 interviewed person sign it in your presence?
3 A. This is a record of the Military
4 Investigating Commission of 14 January 1993. I signed
5 this record, fourth from the top. I see that the
6 interviewed person did sign this record and I assert
7 that this person was questioned in a legal way and that
8 following the questioning he signed it.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Can it please be admitted
10 into evidence.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, it is admitted.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Please can you show the
13 witness the next document.
14 THE REGISTRAR: The record of the interview
15 with Gligorevic Bosko made on 13 January 1993, the
16 Defence Exhibit D156/1.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, would you look
19 at the record? Can you tell me, is this a record of
20 the commission of which you were a member? Was the
21 record signed? Do you recognise your own signature?
22 Did the questioning -- was the questioning conducted in
23 a legal manner and did the questioned person sign the
24 record in your presence?
25 A. I am looking at the record of the Military
1 Investigating Commission compiled on 13 January 1993.
2 I recognise my own signature on it, it is fourth from
3 the top, and I see that the record was also signed by
4 the interviewed person and I assert that the person was
5 questioned in a legal way.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I tender this
7 into evidence as a Defence exhibit.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Can the witness please be
10 shown the next record?
11 THE REGISTRAR: The record of the interview
12 with Bozic Miroslav made on 13 January 1993, Defence
13 Exhibit D157/1.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, can you tell
16 me whether this is a record of the commission of which
17 you were a member? Did you sign this record? Was the
18 record signed by the questioned person in your presence
19 and was the procedure conducted in a regular legal way?
20 A. This is a record of the military commission
21 of which I was a member. I recognise my signature as
22 fourth from the top at the end of the statement -- the
23 interviewed person did sign the record and I say that
24 he was questioned in a legal way and that he signed the
25 record after the questioning.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I move to admit
2 it into evidence.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: May the witness please be
5 given the next record.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Record of interview with
7 Stevan Gligorevic made 14 January 1992, Defence Exhibit
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Is this a record of the
11 commission of which you were a member? Was the person
12 interviewed in a legal way? Did you sign the record?
13 Did the interviewed person sign the record in your
15 A. This is a record of the Military
16 Investigating Commission of which I was a member.
17 I recognise my own signature. It is fourth from the
18 top at the end of the statement. The record was also
19 signed by the interviewed person and I assert that the
20 questioning was conducted in a legal way.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I move to tender
22 the document.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: May I have the last document
25 shown to the witness.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Record of interview with
2 Kuljanin Jovan, made 11 January 1993, Defence Exhibit
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Begtasovic, can you tell
6 me whether this is a record of the commission of which
7 you were a member, whether the person was interviewed
8 in a legal manner, whether you signed the record, and
9 whether the person signed the record in your presence?
10 A. This is a record of the commission of which
11 I was a member. I recognise my own signature. This
12 record also has my signature as fourth from the top --
13 at the end of the statement I see the interviewed
14 person also signed the record. I assert that this
15 person was also questioned in a legal way.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I move to admit
17 this document into evidence.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is admitted.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, may this be an
20 appropriate time to recess?
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. I think we will
22 stop here and adjourn until Monday for a continuation.
23 The Trial Chamber will now adjourn.
24 (At 5.40pm the matter adjourned until
25 Monday, 6 April 1998, at 10am)