1 --- Upon commencing at 11.06 a.m.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies and
3 gentlemen. We're back to business as usual after,
4 almost, one month of vacation.
5 MS. McHENRY: Good morning, Your Honours, I'm
6 Teresa McHenry for the Prosecution. I appear here,
7 with Mr. Turone and Ms. Udo for the Prosecution. I
8 would also like to inform Your Honours that Mr. Niemann
9 is scheduled to be in a number of different courtrooms
10 in the next two weeks, so he has asked for Your
11 Honours' indulgence for not being here. He will be
12 here at various times. Because he's not here, we also
13 have Mr. Jim Cowles for the Prosecution who will be
14 assisting us. Thank you.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can we have the defence
16 presentation, please?
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning Your Honours.
18 I'm Edina Residovic, defence counsel for Mr. Zejnil
19 Delalic, along with my colleague, Eugene O'Sullivan,
20 professor from Canada. I hope Your Honours, the
21 information we just received from my learned colleague,
22 Ms. McHenry, is not going to affect the
23 examination-in-chief or the cross-examination of the
24 witnesses which we have just called.
25 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning, Your Honours, I'm
1 Zelko Olujic, an attorney from Croatia. I would like
2 to introduce Tomislav Kuzmanovic, an attorney from the
3 US, who along with me today is also representing
4 Mr. Mucic. Thank you.
5 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 My name is Salih Karabdic. I'm defence counsel for Mr.
7 Hazim Delic along with my colleague Thomas Moran,
8 attorney from Houston, Texas.
9 MS. BOLER: Good morning. I'm counsel for
10 Esad Landzo. Ms. McMurrey is not here this morning.
11 She is still in the States attending a funeral and
12 perhaps I can tell you tomorrow when she'll be back. I
13 haven't spoken to her, having just flown in from
14 Sarajevo and Vienna this morning.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much for
16 your great effort in getting here.
17 MR. MORAN: The LiveNote computers are not
18 working for Mr. Moran and myself. Perhaps someone can
19 check on that.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Can you see if they can
21 get the computers to work, please?
22 We have observed that counsel has not
23 completely complied with the order we made as to
24 submission of witnesses and the evidence they are
25 likely to give.
1 Apart from this one, I know counsel, for
2 second accused, I'm not sure I received anything from
4 MR. MORAN: On behalf of Mr. Delic, we had a
5 miscommunication between Sarajevo and Houston. It just
6 didn't get done and we are going to do it tonight. I
7 will file it with a motion and request to file late,
8 and I have already talked to the Prosecution about it
9 and it will be an unopposed motion. My apologies to
10 the court. Frankly, e-mail between Sarajevo and Houston
11 was just -- we had a miscommunication and I'll take
12 full responsibility for it, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I believe that
15 on the 15th, we have furnished a complete list in
16 compliance with your order.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. My
18 attention has just been turned to it.
19 Mr. Olujic, you have not submitted a list
20 with your witnesses.
21 MR. OLUJIC: Your Honours, we sent a witness
22 list and we had provided it within the time frame that
23 was provided by you on the 14th of April.
24 JUDGE JAN: We have not been given a summary
25 of their evidence.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Is the list I see here
2 supposed to mean that these are the witnesses you
3 intend to call?
4 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, at this point, yes. That
5 is the witness list, which the defence of Mr. Zdravko
6 Mucic is providing.
7 JUDGE JAN: It was to be a summary of the
8 evidence of each witness, separately. That was the
10 MR. OLUJIC: Your Honours, in our submission,
11 we have provided what we understood the essence of the
12 witness's testimony is going to be. However, if it is
13 necessary for us to provide a summary of each
14 individual witness's testimony, that may end up being
15 an entire volume.
16 Now, if the Trial Chamber so insists, we will
17 provide that, but from our submission, we have given
18 the overview of witnesses in terms of those who were
19 qualified witnesses and those who were kept and
20 detained in the Celebici collection centre.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber
22 assumed you were dealing with counsel, that is what we
23 assumed, who are trying these cases.
24 JUDGE JAN: You have given such a long list,
25 the impression is it is an attempt to separatise the
1 whole trial. Therefore, we want to be satisfied that
2 the witnesses you mentioned are really relevant, so
3 please supply us with a summary of the evidence of each
4 witness separately.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Anybody who you remember
6 was passing by could be a witness or the whole city
7 could be witnesses. That's why we thought we were
8 dealing with counsel who are involved in this case and
9 who understand the case they are dealing with and who
10 know the accusations against the accused persons and
11 who have offences against them, not those who are
12 playing. We are not here for a joke, you know. These
13 are very serious matters.
14 MR. OLUJIC: Certainly, Your Honours, but my
15 client is responsible for certain actions that are
16 based on the indictment, and if the Prosecution has
17 offered a number of witnesses but may have also
18 interviewed an additional number of witnesses which may
19 have had exculpatory statements regarding my client,
20 then we reserve the right to bring any witness who
21 can shed some light.
22 I don't know whether this is going to be 5,
23 10, 50 witnesses. We do not know at this stage, but we
24 believe that all these witnesses are relevant to the
25 very charge of the objective responsibilities. So the
1 Prosecution has brought on dozens of witnesses and they
2 have also interviewed hundreds of witnesses. If they
3 were given freedom to go about their case in a way they
4 saw fit, then we do not feel that 99 witnesses, which
5 may all, to some extent, be relevant or speak to the
6 facts of the case be brought here. We believe, and our
7 client believes, that it would not be out of place to
8 call this many witnesses.
9 JUDGE JAN: In view of such a large list, we
10 want to be sure they are relevant. In order to save
11 time at the Tribunal and the expense, you must write us
12 with a summary of the evidence of each witness.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: This looks very much
14 like a nuisance. This is not a list of witnesses.
15 How far have you gone with getting the
16 computers working? Is it working now?
17 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, the technical people
18 have told me we're going to have to wait until the
19 break. I can live with that. If it's okay with
20 Mr. O'Sullivan, it's okay with me. I remember how to
21 take notes. I still know how to do that.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If you can bear with us
23 for the short period?
24 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour.
25 MS. BOLER: This is new for me speaking into
1 a mic. I noticed that in my translation, large hunks
2 of what I said was not there. Perhaps it was because I
3 didn't have the microphone on, although Cynthia had
4 warned me that I must do better with my Texas accent or
5 no one will be able to understand me.
6 Let me just say that the only information I
7 have -- I understand that Cynthia McMurrey has
8 submitted something to the court in response. Just
9 this morning, the taxi driver gave me a fax that came
10 to the hotel from Cynthia saying that she would try to
11 call me last night, but obviously we weren't able to
12 get out of Sarajevo and did not arrive until this
13 morning. So if I can ask the court for another day, I
14 will speak to her tonight and hopefully be able to
15 respond better in the morning. Thank you.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we might as well
17 continue with the cross-examination of our last
18 witness. Ms. Residovic, I think we are still on your
19 last witness.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, it is Mr. Enver
21 Tahirovic, and his testimony is to be continued, his
22 cross-examination, actually.
23 (The witness entered court)
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please kindly swear the
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please take your seat.
5 Mr. Olujic, I believe you are cross-examining.
6 MR. OLUJIC: Yes, Your Honours. I have no
7 further questions of this witness. Thank you.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any other
10 MR. MORAN: No questions from us, Your
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any other
14 MS. BOLER: No questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any cross-examination?
16 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour, we do have
17 some questions.
18 ENVER TAHIROVIC
19 Cross-examined by Ms. McHenry
20 MS. McHENRY:
21 Q. Good morning, sir, my name is Teresa
22 McHenry. I'm going to be asking you some questions.
23 If you don't understand my question, please just tell
24 me and I will repeat or rephrase it.
25 Sir, you testified that -- can you hear me,
2 A. Yes, actually, even a bit too much.
3 Q. Sir, you testified that in April of 1992, you
4 were senior advisor for All People's Defence in the
5 health centre in Konjic and that you held that position
6 until the 18th of May. When did you first become
7 senior advisor for All People's Defence in Konjic?
8 A. Perhaps you did not understand me correct. I
9 finished the studies of All People's Defence in Konjic
10 and this kind of education existed only in the former
11 Yugoslavia. There was a faculty, a school for All
12 People's Defence, and I became a professor.
13 After I graduated in 1980, I got a job at the
14 health centre in Konjic where I was an advisor for the
15 All People's Defence, that is, I was to consult the
16 health centre on the issues of All People's Defence in
17 case of war.
18 Q. Was that position a military position, a
19 civilian position or did it have elements of both?
20 A. This was not a military school, military
21 academy. I was a civilian throughout this time, but I
22 finished this kind of school, and it was -- it only
23 existed in the former Yugoslavia. Every institution,
24 every company in the former Yugoslavia had to have a
25 person of that education that was to be in compliance
1 with the Marxist theory of the armed population. So
2 most of the institutions in the former Yugoslavia had a
3 unit or some kind of a group that worked on the issues
4 of defence. But throughout this period, I was a
5 civilian. I was not a military person.
6 Q. As part of the All People's Defence, until
7 18th of May, were you considered part of the TO, in
8 any way?
9 A. From the day the mobilisation was called in
10 my country, I put myself at the disposal of the TO
11 staff, but right away they said that I should stay in
12 the health centre so we could complete the preparations
13 so that the health centre would be prepared, that it
14 would be ready to receive the injured, the sick, and I
15 stayed there until 18 May, and so I was involved in the
16 defence of my country in that position.
17 Q. Thank you. After you took a position with
18 the TO staff on the 18th of May, did you have any
19 duties as part of the All People's Defence?
20 A. No. When I moved to the TO staff, that is
21 the joint command at that time, I became an officer in
22 the operations body. And this is a body which really
23 was involved in preparations for combat actions and on
24 the basis of these preparations, a proposal would be
25 sent to the commander on what to do. But I believe
1 that this was all within the All People's Defence
3 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, within the TO staff,
4 what exact positions did you hold between the 18th of
5 May and your appointment as head of municipal
6 headquarters in January of 1993?
7 A. When I came to the TO staff, I was an officer
8 in the operations body. Then, sometime in October, I
9 was appointed chief of staff and we're talking about
10 1992. In the middle of 1993, I was appointed commander
11 of the staff.
12 Q. In the summer of 1992, during the Oganj
13 operation, you would agree with me that you function as
14 commander of town security, wouldn't you?
15 A. It was more like officer on duty at the
16 staff. In the statement that I gave to the Defence, I
17 already said that at that time, in the territory of
18 Konjic municipality, there were already certain
19 misunderstandings with the HVO, so somebody had to stay
20 behind and take care of things. We still had defence
21 lines against the Serbs, and so somebody would have to
22 ensure, and I'm not sure how much you have a picture of
23 where we were, we were attacking from sort of this side
24 over here and under here.
25 Q. Let me just ask you, with respect to a number
1 of questions, it may be that the answer need only be
2 yes or no, and so sometimes we don't need detailed
3 explanations. So is it correct that whatever your
4 official title was, in effect, what you were
5 functioning as was commander of town security?
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: Objection. The witness said
7 that he was an officer on duty.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually, what counsel
9 was asking was his specific duty was. I think if he
10 knows what his specific duty was at that time, he
11 should be able to say it. His duty, but what was his
12 specific duty, this is what counsel was asking, and I
13 don't see the need for objecting to him telling the
14 Tribunal what his specific duty was. I hope I've made
15 myself clear.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you. I understand. I
17 heard the counsel's question asking whether he was a
18 commander of the town, and this is the only thing that
19 I reacted to, but I take your comment. Thank you.
20 MS. McHENRY: I believe the witness had
21 answered the question, but the answer was not
22 translated. If the translators remember, if they could
23 give us the answer, otherwise I will repeat the
25 THE INTERPRETER: He said yes.
1 MS. McHENRY:
2 Q. Sir, is it also the case that later on you
3 had command of military units while you were in the TO
4 staff, before you were appointed chief in January of
5 1993, before that time, at various occasions, you had
6 command of military units, didn't you?
7 A. Yes, this was a period in July when I was at
8 Mount Tisavica.
9 Q. Sir, I don't really need an explanation, just
10 confirm it with a yes, that's a fair answer, I don't
11 need you to explain it. And I fact, I think we'll get
12 through it quicker. There may be some things that I'll
13 ask you to explain, but otherwise, if you can just
14 answer yes or no fairly, that's fine. Now, sir, you
15 stated in May that you were offered a job as commander
16 of Celebici and you turned it down. Starting with the
17 later part of May and going until the time the Celebici
18 camp for Serb prisoners closed, who was the commander
19 of Celebici prison?
20 A. Believe me, I don't know exactly. Perhaps,
21 sometime around the end of August when it was the OECD,
22 we called it the camps. When I went there, I think I
23 saw Mr. Zdravko Mucic there. I think this was the end
24 of August, beginning of September. Because prior to
25 that period there was combat all the time, so that I
1 didn't go there often, I went there very rarely to the
2 Celebici prison. The part where the ammunition, food
3 and equipment was stored for our units.
4 Q. Is it your testimony that, prior to the end
5 of August, you do not know who the commander of
6 Celebici camp was?
7 JUDGE JAN: That's what he said.
8 MS. McHENRY: I just want to confirm there is
10 THE WITNESS: I did not. I didn't know
11 before that time.
12 MS. McHENRY:
13 Q. Sir, you mentioned previously a statement you
14 gave to the Defence. You would agree that in the prior
15 statement to the Defence you stated and I quote, "I
16 know that Zdravko Mucic, called Pavo, was appointed to
17 the post of prison commander late in May or in the
18 beginning of June? You would agree with me that you
19 have previously said that?
20 A. Would you please read it? Could you please
21 read exactly what I said word by word?
22 Q. I know that Zdravko Mucic called Pavo was
23 appointed to the post of the prison commander late in
24 May or in the beginning of June.
25 A. I think that I also said that I saw commander
1 Omer Boric decision saying that I was appointed deputy
2 and Mucic commander of the Celebici barracks. That is
3 what should be stated there. So I don't know whether
4 Pavo was appointed. I saw a draft in handwriting of an
5 order -- I saw this order being prepared. The order,
6 according to which Pavo Mucic was to be appointed
7 commander of the Celebici barracks and me as deputy. I
8 rejected that and I remained in the operations
9 department. Whether Mr. Mucic was, in fact, appointed
10 commander at that time, I really do not know. On June
11 the 2nd I went to visit my family on the seaside on the
12 island of Korcula. And when I came back the commander
13 was Esad Ramic. So I never saw an order or read an
14 order whereby Pavo Mucic was appointed commander. I'm
15 sorry, not Pavo, Zdravko.
16 Q. Just to verify, when you say that you came
17 back from visiting your family on the seaside and Mr.
18 Ramic was commander, you mean Mr. Ramic was commander
19 of the TO, not of Celebici barracks, correct?
20 A. Yes, yes, yes.
21 Q. Were you presenting at the meeting where Mr.
22 Delalic proposed that Mr. Mucic be commander of the
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. Mr. Mucic and Mr. Delalic have a close
1 personal relationship before the war?
2 A. I really don't know.
3 Q. Was Mr. Mucic a part of the TO, the HVO, the
4 MUP, the war presidency?
5 A. I did see Mr. Mucic in uniform, but I don't
6 know whether he belonged to the TO or the HVO because
7 the uniforms were the same and we didn't have insignia
8 on our sleeves. I may have seen him two or three times
9 at the joint command, not after that. As I told you,
10 the first time I went to the prison, the area where the
11 prisoners were kept in detention, that is when I saw
13 Q. You saw Mr. Mucic in August of 1992, do you
14 know at that point if he was a member of the TO, HVO or
15 some other body or none of those bodies?
16 A. I and Major Kevric, now colonel, were sent
17 there with this team that wanted to visit the prison.
18 And at the entrance to the prison, we were met by Mr.
19 Hazim Delic and Mr. Zdravko Mucic. Our visit had been
20 announced by telephone so that I really don't know at
21 that moment whether he was representing the HVO or the
23 Q. Thank you. Sir, you testified that in May of
24 1992, Mr. Ramic was placed in a room in the health
25 centre because of his heart problem and because he
1 needed quiet, when exactly was this as best you can
3 JUDGE JAN: Is that really relevant?
4 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour, I believe
5 some limited discussion of the 40 in Konjic at this
6 time and how there was -- this is relevant. Because we
7 believe it's relevant how Mr. Delalic was able to get
8 authority in fact.
9 JUDGE JAN: Authority over what?
10 MS. McHENRY: Authority over Celebici.
11 Q. When was it that Mr. Ramic was placed in the
13 A. I cannot remember exactly the date, but I
14 think it was a day or two before I joined the joint
15 command, so it must have been the 16th or the 17th of
16 May. I assumed that was the date because I spent,
17 perhaps, one day with him in that room where we stayed
18 and then I went to the meeting of the joint command and
19 did not come back to the Konjic's Hospital to work
20 there, but rather I stayed in the joint command
22 Q. Do you know whether or not Mr. Ramic
23 performed any duties for the TO during the period he
24 was in the hospital?
25 A. At a meeting we held, after the meeting at
1 which the joint command was formerly established, he
2 was appointed to the post of assistant chief of
3 department for operative and educational affairs. He
4 was my immediate superior. But for a time he did not
5 perform his duties because he was sick and the
6 commander was Ahmed Boric at the time.
7 Q. Now, sir, you have testified that you were
8 present during the meeting on the 18th of May between
9 the war presidency and the Defence forces and you've
10 also testified that it was on that date that you and
11 Mr. Delalic were appointed. My question is, did you
12 ever, yourself, see Mr. Delalic's formal appointment?
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I don't think
14 this is a fair question. I think the witness never
15 said that at that meeting, Delalic was appointed as
17 MS. McHENRY: Well, let me go back. Let me
18 just ask the question.
19 Q. Did you see Mr. Delalic's appointment at any
21 JUDGE JAN: His appointment for what?
22 MS. McHENRY: His appointment as coordinator,
23 thank you, Your Honour.
24 THE WITNESS: You mean the actual document,
25 the paper on which it was stated?
1 MS. McHENRY: Correct.
2 THE WITNESS: No, no, I had just heard that he
3 had been appointed coordinator.
4 MS. McHENRY:
5 Q. And a few days after Mr. Delalic's
6 appointment, did you and Mr. Delalic's and some other
7 people have a meeting in Mr. Delalic's house where he
8 informed you about his appointment?
9 A. If there was any such meeting, I didn't
10 attend it.
11 Q. Now, sir, going back to the meeting of the
12 18th of May, you would agree with me that a reason for
13 the meeting on the 18th of May was to discuss the need
14 for the organisation of the defence forces?
15 A. Is that a question?
16 Q. Yes, sir.
17 A. Would you repeat it, please, something must
18 be wrong with the translation.
19 Q. You would agree with me, sir, that a reason
20 for the meeting on the 18th of May, was to discuss the
21 need for the organisation of the defence forces of
23 A. I don't know how you will understand what I
24 am going to say. It was a meeting that was to deal
25 with a certain number of problems regarding the
1 competencies of individual people. What were the
2 competencies of the military bodies and what of the
3 civilian ones. Who should ensure food supplies, who
4 should bury the dead, who should take care of other
5 civilian affairs and who should defend the state.
6 Q. Let me ask you more specifically. You would
7 agree with me that a reason for Mr. Delalic's
8 appointment as coordinator was to settle the disputes
9 that had been occurring between the TO and the HVO?
10 A. Not at the time. At that time, the relations
11 were very good and correct. There was no conflict
12 between the TO and the HVO at that time because we had
13 just formed the joint command and filled in the
14 vacancies after its formation a couple of days before.
15 There was no conflict between the TO and the HVO at
16 that time.
17 Q. Sir, wouldn't you agree with me, that in a
18 prior statement, you talked about the disputes between
19 the HVO and the TO and you then went on to say in order
20 to settle those disputes, the war presidency of the
21 Konjic municipalities, appointed Zejnil Delalic to the
22 post of coordinator among the war presidency, the HVO,
23 the TO and the MUP?
24 A. Yes, between the war presidency and the
25 military structures, but not between the HVO and the
1 TO. So between the military bodies and the civilian
2 bodies and the link between the two, between the
3 military and the civilian.
4 Q. Let me then read to you the paragraph
5 beforehand, which refers to those disputes. And tell
6 me if this is what you have previously have stated,
7 "This body, the joint command, were supposed to have
8 the following chain of command: Esad Ramic was
9 superior to us, the operation officers, whereas Dinko
10 Zebic and Omer Boric were superior to him. Thus, the
11 HVO units would not be subordinated to the authorities
12 in Grude. However, it soon became obvious, in everyday
13 life --
14 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: Please slow down.
15 MS. McHENRY:
16 Q. The HVO was obeying only their own chain of
17 command and disputes began to arise. In order to
18 settle those disputes, the war presidency of the Konjic
19 municipality appointed Zejnil Delalic to the post of
20 coordinator. Is that what you previously have stated,
22 A. I really don't know whether that is exactly
23 what it says in my statement and whether I said that,
24 maybe the lady taking the statement put it down by
25 mistake, but I don't know that Zejnil Delalic was
1 acting to prevent any misunderstandings between the HVO
2 and the TO. As far as I know, he didn't even attend
3 every meeting. He attended a couple when problems were
4 discussed, logistical problems, because you must see,
5 we were an army in the process of being formed. We had
6 no warehouses of our own, no equipment, no ammunition.
7 And the roll of logistics was taken over by the
8 civilian authorities because that is their duty
9 according to the Constitution. And a link was needed
10 between them and us as the military structure, so that
11 everything should function as well as possible. And
12 that is the post of coordinator.
13 Q. If Mr. Delalic stated that one of his
14 functions was to resolve disputes between the HVO and
15 the TO; that would be different than our understanding
16 of his functions, is that correct?
17 A. I really don't know what Mr. Delalic said,
18 but my understanding of the roll of coordinator and
19 what I saw at the time had to do with what I have just
20 said because there were no real conflicts. There were
21 misunderstandings. There are disagreements in amongst
22 us even. We are different people and disagreements
23 arise. But the HVO was directly subordinated to the
24 headquarters in Grude. We had an inferior position in
25 relation to our main headquarters and the MUP had its
1 chain of command leading to the republican MUP. And
2 all of us together were turned towards our war
3 presidency at the time and we needed a link to combine
4 all this together to make sure that the defensive
5 preparations are done properly and that we are able to
6 accomplish our task and that is the defence of the
8 Q. Sir, going back for a moment to the minutes
9 to the 18th of May meeting, the minutes of that meeting
10 state that all commanders must have exactly established
11 lists of their units and that all members of the
12 military should be clearly marked by signs on their
13 uniforms. Was this conclusion implemented and, if so,
15 A. As far as the marks are concerned for members
16 of the TO, throughout the war -- we were not able to
17 carry out before the end -- before 1995 because we
18 didn't have a chance to produce proper insignia. Some
19 people had some, some others, but the army was not
20 properly formed and structured and marked. Even now,
21 you can see members of the army, of the federation,
22 without insignia because this is an army in the process
23 of formation.
24 Q. Now, sir, just a minute ago and also during
25 your direct, you sometimes refer to the official or the
1 legal position. Now, sir, you would agree with me that
2 at least on some occasions, the legal or official
3 position was not the position in fact in Konjic?
4 A. Madam, I am really not a jurist and I don't
5 really understand what you want to ask me.
6 Q. Well, sir, let me just ask you more specific,
7 you would agree with me that the HVO was not legalised
8 as an official component of the armed forces of Bosnia,
9 but it was treated as such during this time?
10 A. Yes, until the middle of May. As of mid-May,
11 it officially became a component part of the defence
12 forces, so that our name was the Armed Forces of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and this included both the HVO and
14 the army. So at the very beginning of the war, because
15 of their wish to join in the defence of the country,
16 they were legalised by us, in Konjic, and as of
17 mid-May, they were formerly legalised by law as part of
18 the defence forces of our country.
19 Q. And when they were part of the defence forces
20 of the country, did they report to the same chain of
22 A. They never officially recognised our supreme
23 command. Their command, throughout the war, was in
24 Grude and in Mostar, that is Herceg-Bosnia.
25 Q. Sir, you would agree with me, that
1 officially, according to the set-up of the joint
2 command, the head of the TO were supposed to be
3 superior to all the HVO soldiers, but that was not the
5 A. Maybe there's a mistake in the translation, I
6 got T V O -- I'm sorry, could you please repeat the
7 question, I didn't quite get it.
8 Q. You would agree with me that after the joint
9 command was officially set up, Mr. Ramic was supposed
10 to be officially, the head of all the troops in Konjic,
11 including the HVO troops, you would agree with me that
12 that's the way it was officially?
13 A. Except MUP units.
14 Q. You would agree with me that officially Mr.
15 Ramic was the superior to the HVO units. You would
16 also agree with me that that was not the reality? Do
17 you agree with both those statements?
18 A. In reality, according to the chart, that is
19 how it should have been. However, no order that was
20 not signed by both Ramic and Dinko Zebic and latter
21 Zdravko Sagolj was not valid for both structures, the
22 TO and the HVO, unless the signatures of both
23 commanders figured on those decisions.
24 Q. Thank you, sir. When was the war presidency
25 formed in Konjic?
1 A. I don't know. I don't know if you'll believe
3 Q. Now, sir, you stated in your direct testimony
4 what the law was regarding the appointment of
5 commanders of the TO. You would agree with me, that
6 until very recently, you did not know what the
7 provisions of the law were, regarding the appointment
8 of commanders of the TO?
9 A. What do you mean, until recently my position
10 was such that I had to be familiar with the law an all
11 people's defence, that was my job. At the time that
12 the Yugoslavia people's army existed and the
13 territorial defence, as a separate component, that was
14 part of the armed forces in the event of war, the
15 commanders were appointed by the presidency or rather
16 the presidency and the executive board at the time.
17 With the formation of the territorial defence as the
18 actual army of our state, we no longer had the JNA as
19 our army, the JNA proved to be the aggressor, so the
20 territorial defence could have immediately been called
21 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it inherited the
22 name and the commanders of the staffs could be
23 appointed only by the supreme command, of course, at
24 the proposal of the presidency of that town, from which
25 the commander of the municipal staff is to be
2 Q. Sir, you would agree with me that until
3 recently you thought and, in fact, you stated that in
4 the beginning of its existence, the war presidency both
5 appointed and dismissed military commanders?
6 A. I'm not aware of having said that, because I
7 know that I, too, was appointed by the commander of the
8 fourth corps to the post I held in January 1993.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Do you still have some
10 further questions to ask?
11 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour, if I can just
12 have one second to find something.
13 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that in your
14 prior statement, you stated that before the direct link
15 was established with the supreme command of the armed
16 forces, that, the appointment and dismissal of
17 commanders, was done by the war presidency of the
18 Konjic municipality?
19 A. As I said, I really am not aware of having
20 said something like that, because the moment I was
21 appointed chief of staff and when the new commander was
22 appointed, Mr. Catic, this was not by the war
23 presidency, and this was in October 1992.
24 Q. Now, sir, was Mr. Delalic a member of the TO?
25 A. Mr. Delalic, at a certain point in time, was
1 in a military function and that is during the execution
2 of Operation Oganj, when there was a bridge, a logistic
3 bridge, to the units between Konjic. Mr. Kevric,
4 myself and the units who were on the lines. That is
5 the only military role that I'm aware of, and later as
6 commander of TG1.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The question was, was he
8 a member of the TO? That is the question. It's a
9 simple one.
10 A. I think I have answered that question, sir.
11 In June during the Operation Oganj, he did have a
12 military function. He was in the TO. Later, he moved
13 to TG-1, and until the end of his stay, in Konjic,
14 until he left, he was in the TO because TG-1 is also
15 part of the TO.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Your answer suggests
17 that he was a member of the TO before he was appointed
18 commander of TG-1.
19 A. It can be said that he held a military
20 function in Operation Oganj.
21 MS. McHENRY:
22 Q. Just to clarify, Operation Oganj was before
23 Mr. Delalic was appointed commander of Tactical Group
24 1? You have to say something so that the --
25 A. About one month before he became commander of
1 Tactical Group 1, which is the 27th of June, and TG-1
2 was at the end of July, beginning of August.
3 Q. Now, sir, going back to the operations, the
4 military operations regarding Donje Selo and Bradina,
5 you would agree with me that Mr. Delalic helped
6 coordinate those operations, didn't he?
7 A. I cannot agree. I stated this when asked by
8 the Defence. I'm certain that I never saw him during
9 the operation at Donje Selo, nor did I hear him in
10 communications, and I did not hear him during the
11 Bradina operations either. I assumed that he was in
12 Konjic. I presume that he could have been there.
13 During the operations at Donje Selo, he was certainly
14 not there, because I may have heard him during the
15 Bradina operations, that he was there, I made have
16 heard it from someone, but not at Donje Selo. As far
17 as the coordination of such activities, no, not at all.
18 Q. Well sir, would you agree with me that the
19 operation regarding Donje Selo and Bradina, in
20 particular, let me just refer to Bradina, that was an
21 operation to deblock the road to Sarajevo?
22 JUDGE JAN: To block or open?
23 MS. McHENRY: To deblock.
24 A. Yes, to deblock, that is, to lift the
25 blockade, to open up the road towards Sarajevo. That
1 was the basic tenet.
2 Q. Units from outside Konjic took part in that
3 operation, didn't they?
4 A. Yes, some units from Tarcin and Pazaric, that
5 is, from the upper side.
6 Q. Now, sir, would you agree with me that in
7 your prior statement, referring to the operations to
8 free the road to Sarajevo, you state: "I do know it
9 was finally agreed that units from Konjic, Pazaric and
10 Tarcin would take part, and some of the coordination
11 was done by Zejnil Delalic." Sir, is that previously
12 what you stated?
13 A. This could have been only part of the
14 coordination to have the units supplied with ammunition
15 of a roundabout way, because we had enough of an
16 ordnance in the Igman factory, and we had more than
17 everybody else in Sarajevo, even Bosnia had at that
18 time. I may have said it, but please understand, a
19 number of years have passed and I cannot recall every
20 single detail. I think that there have been more than
21 two years since I made this statement.
22 Q. Am I correct that you don't remember all the
23 details about what Mr. Delalic did and did not do
24 because of the passage of time?
25 A. Not all details. I cannot -- if you will
1 believe me, sometimes I cannot recall even the exact
2 dates of where I was in certain periods, and I think
3 that it's kind of normal for a person not to be able to
4 remember every single detail.
5 But as far as the period of 1992, I did not
6 think about it very much, but when I found out that I
7 was going to come here, then I reviewed certain
8 documents, those certain documents that are in my
9 possession, certain other documents that I had access
10 to, so I did refresh my memory regarding this period of
11 time that I'm testifying to. But, you know, once you
12 start, you know, the tape starts rolling, as it were,
13 and then you start remembering all kinds of details.
14 Q. Sir, those documents that you reviewed to
15 refresh your recollection, where are those documents
17 A. Most of these documents are in my possession,
18 as my personal archive, things that were sent to me as
20 Q. Physically, are they in The Hague now or are
21 they in Bosnia?
22 A. They are not here in The Hague. I did not
23 consider it necessary to bring them along with me. It
24 is my personal archives. These are my personal
1 Q. Sir, given that you've used these to refresh
2 your recollection, would you provide the Office of the
3 Prosecutor access to those documents so that we may
4 also review them, not necessarily now, but when you
5 return? You have to say "yes" or "no."
6 A. If what I have, some of it is personal, so I
7 don't think that all of it would be available, but the
8 majority of it, yes, it would.
9 Q. Now, sir, with respect to what you do and do
10 not remember, you would agree with me that you do not
11 know whether Mr. Delalic took part in the operation of
13 A. As far as I can tell, as far as I know, and I
14 know something about that situation because I had just
15 joined the staff, I believe that he did not take part
16 in the Bradina operation. I very often was present
17 physically in the staff, and had he been present there,
18 I think I would have heard his voice on the
19 communications lines, because that is where the centre
20 was. This is where the joint command was, a Rudar
21 company. So I believe that had he taken part in this
22 operation, I would have heard him at least once.
23 Q. Is it correct that in your prior statement,
24 you stated with respect to Bradina, "I really have no
25 idea whether Zejnil Delalic took part in the actual
1 combat operation." Did you say that in your prior
3 A. If this is what it says, if that is stated
4 there, I probably said it.
5 Q. And it's correct that you, yourself, don't
6 know whether or not Mr. Delalic participated in the
7 Bradina operation; correct?
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, the witness
9 already replied twice to this question.
10 MS. McHENRY: I'll move on, Your Honour.
11 Q. Sir, you testified that Mr. Zvonko Zovko was
12 the commander of the operations in Bradina at the end
13 of May; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What was the position of Mr. Zovko in the
16 joint command?
17 A. Mr. Zovko was not a member of the joint
18 command at that time. He was commander of a unit which
19 numbered -- it was the largest unit in Konjic. That
20 was the Podrasac or the Zubcanik. It was 800 strong
21 and about 95 per cent were Muslim, because that was the
22 composition of the local commune from which the unit
24 Q. He was given authority over the Bradina
25 operation, even though he was not a member of the joint
1 command; correct?
2 A. He was a field commander who was tasked with
3 this job, with these additional units, and so he was
4 the responsible commander in the field in that
6 MR. OLUJIC: Excuse me, Your Honours,
7 Mr. Mucic requests your permission to leave to go to
8 the restroom for two minutes. Thank you.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We will grant that. He
10 can go and come back.
11 MS. McHENRY:
12 Q. Sir, with respect to the arrest of persons
13 after the operations in Bradina, you stated that the
14 bodies that would typically be charged with such
15 matters would be the MUP and the military police. Sir,
16 you would agree with me that you are not in a position
17 to know whether, in fact, members of the TO also
18 arrested persons after the operations in Bradina?
19 A. At that time, the TO's military structure did
20 not have its own military police. There was a number
21 of Bosniak Muslims who were members of the HVO military
22 police, but there was a MUP and there was the HVO
23 military police who were in charge of arrests,
24 detentions, because, according to the law, they were
25 the only ones who could do these arrests, who could
1 execute these arrests.
2 Q. Sir, regardless of the law, you would agree
3 with me that you don't know whether or not, as a matter
4 of fact, certain members of the TO also arrested
5 persons after the operations in Bradina?
6 A. It is very likely that it could have
7 happened, but maybe it could have been 15, 20 days
8 later when the people, that is, the Serbs who were
9 fleeing across mountains, would be captured. Then they
10 would be captured by the military personnel at Igman,
11 and then they would turn them over to the military
13 If someone is captured, let's say if somebody
14 jumps into a trench and captures someone, it is obvious
15 that he would capture him, and then he would turn him
16 over to the military police or to the police. If you
17 find someone in a trench, you have to disarm the person
18 and you have to keep them in some kind of detention
19 until the proper legal authorities come and take over
20 this person.
21 Q. Now, sir, you testified in direct examination
22 and earlier here this morning that you saw orders that
23 were signed by both the TO and the HVO commanders.
24 During the time that Mr. Delalic was coordinator, did
25 you also have occasion to see orders signed by
1 Mr. Delalic?
2 JUDGE JAN: As coordinator?
3 MS. McHENRY:
4 Q. As coordinator?
5 A. Two or three orders, perhaps, concerning
6 logistic needs and when the train started running, and
7 anything that related to what I was trying to explain
8 to you before, something that had to do with our
9 requests of the war presidency and what related to the
10 war presidency's request in our regard.
11 MS. McHENRY: May I ask that the witness be
12 shown Prosecution Exhibit 210, 213, and I think those
13 should be sufficient for this present purpose.
14 Q. Sir, my question is very simple. When you
15 were part of the TO, did you see those documents,
16 Prosecution Exhibits 210 and 213?
17 A. This order of appointment I have never seen.
18 I don't know what this is. And where Enver Redzepovic
19 is mentioned, no, that order, I have never seen
20 before. I have seen this other order, but I believe
21 that this order was never fully implemented because
22 Dinko Zebic's signature is missing, and this is what I
23 said at that time. This is regarding the unit in which
24 most personnel were actually Bosniak Muslims and their
25 commander was Zvonko Zovko.
1 Q. Just so the record is clear, the witness has
2 indicated he has never seen Prosecution Exhibit 210
3 before, but has seen Prosecution Exhibit 213 before.
4 Now, sir, in addition to the HVO and the TO
5 and the MUP forces in Konjic, were there also HOS units
6 in Konjic?
7 A. Maybe in the latter part of August, HOS units
8 may have appeared in the territory of the municipality
9 and placed themselves under the command of the TO staff
10 at that time.
11 Q. And how about the Split Brigade, was there a
12 brigade called the Split Brigade in Konjic?
13 A. At the beginning of the war, there was a
14 brigade, and it may have numbered about 100 to 200
15 men. In fact, these were local Croat people and some
16 Muslim people who volunteered and placed themselves at
17 the disposal to the Territorial Defence for the defence
18 of Konjic. Soon thereafter, they left Konjic. In
19 other words, they stayed in the Konjic area a very
20 short period of time.
21 Q. Sir, moving forward now to Tactical Group 1,
22 you talked about Tactical Group 1. Did you, yourself,
23 ever see any order or orders appointing Mr. Delalic as
24 commander of Tactical Group 1?
25 A. No, I never saw it. I only heard of it.
1 Q. Sir, you would agree with me that during the
2 summer and fall of 1992, the lifting of the siege of
3 Sarajevo was the main military goal for the defence
4 forces of Bosnia?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Sir, are you aware that Mr. Polutak had a car
7 accident in August of 1992?
8 A. I'm aware of it from the fact that Zejnil
9 Delalic was appointed to his position, but I don't know
10 whether this was in August or July. So I do not know
11 the exact period of time when this happened, but I know
12 that Mr. Zejnil Delalic assumed his position.
13 Q. So if Mr. Polutak was to state that he had
14 his car accident after Mr. Delalic was appointed
15 commander of Tactical Group 1, that would be different
16 than your understanding?
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I don't
18 understand this way of questioning. Mr. Polutak was
19 never called as a witness, so I object to this way of
20 framing the question.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The witness understands
23 Did you misunderstand the question?
24 A. I'm not exactly sure what the question was.
25 I think that it was a car accident of Mr. Polutak and
1 the appointment of Mr. Delalic to the post of commander
2 of TG, I don't know which came first. I believe that
3 it could have happened in July. I could not swear on
5 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
6 Q. Sir, when Mr. Delalic was commander of
7 Tactical Group 1, who was part of the Tactical Group 1
9 A. I do not know this.
10 Q. Sir, you mentioned that in June of 1992,
11 Mr. Sead Padalovic was commander of a unit that was
12 sent to Tactical Group 1, which was then under the
13 command of Mr. Polutak. My question is: For what
14 period of time did that unit remain a subordinate part
15 of Tactical Group 1?
16 A. I believe seven to ten days at the most,
17 because during the combat, during the fighting near
18 Hadzici, we had four or five dead. Our unit came back
19 and Commander Padalovic was also wounded during that
20 fighting, and I think that that would mean that it
21 would have been five to seven days all together.
22 Q. During 1992, did you ever have occasion to
23 see written orders from Mr. Delalic to the Konjic TO?
24 A. I believe that it was only at the time when
25 the supreme command transmitted this message regarding
1 transfer of the Serb prisoners to Zenica. I think that
2 that was the only time when I saw it, but if I saw a
3 copy of the order, maybe I would refresh my memory. As
4 it is right now, I really cannot state it with any kind
5 of certainty.
6 Q. Let me just move on, sir. You testified, in
7 your direct, about a tension been the Konjic TO and
8 Tactical Group 1 about a particular weapon. Can you
9 tell us approximately when that dispute arose?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Excuse me, Your Honours. The
11 witness did not testify to this in the
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think in
14 cross-examination, you can ask certain questions which
15 can draw other answers. It's not necessarily limited.
16 MS. McHENRY:
17 Q. Sir, did you testify about some tension
18 between the Konjic TO and Tactical Group 1 about a
19 particular weapon?
20 A. Yes, there was a brief misunderstanding
21 because we considered this gun, 130 millimetre, was
22 very important for the defence of Konjic. But after
23 Sefer Halilovic's order came, he was, at the time, the
24 commander of the armed forces, after his order came, we
25 had to give it up, and this piece of weapon, this
1 artillery piece, did leave the Konjic area.
2 Q. Do I understand then that Sarajevo resolved
3 the dispute by giving a direct instruction to municipal
5 A. We only heard that we were to turn in this
6 gun. And then we realised that when it was placed on a
7 new position, that it would be too far to be part of
8 the defence of Konjic.
9 Q. Sir, am I correct that during the summer and
10 fall of 1992, Sarajevo was able to communicate directly
11 with Konjic municipal headquarters?
12 A. We received most of the orders from the
13 supreme command through TG-1 or TG-2, some through
14 Hadzici, because through Mount Igman, there was a
15 direct link with Sarajevo, and this was a way of
16 communicating messages to the municipal headquarters.
17 Q. Sir you mentioned that some soldiers from
18 Konjic participated in Operation Oganj, and I believe
19 you specifically mentioned that these soldiers were
20 subordinate to the command of Tactical Group 2; is that
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. What units were these?
24 A. You said, "Which units were these?"
25 Q. Correct.
1 A. These were the units composed of several
2 other units in the territory of municipality.
3 Mr. Zlatan Redric was their commander, who after a
4 brief preparation of this unit, led this unit to the
5 area controlled by TG-2, and this unit took part in the
6 liberation of the town of Trnovo and was very
7 successful there.
8 Q. Were you part of the units that were
9 subordinate to Tactical Group 2?
10 A. No, I was not a direct participant, but I did
11 work on preparations of this unit, when it was leaving
12 for this particular task and I was there to see them
14 Q. Was Mr. Ramic part of the units that were
15 subordinate to tactical group 2?
16 A. No, never.
17 Q. Who gave the order that these troops should
18 be subordinated to tactical group 2?
19 A. This was on the basis of an order of the
20 supreme command. Because, at that time, the supreme
21 command was sort of making assessments where they
22 needed troops. We -- they asked of us for certain
23 units and this was similar to the case of Mr. Padalovic
24 and his unit, so, TG-2. It is probably the TG-2
25 command that asked for a certain number of soldiers and
1 then probably the order was issued to us to fill the
2 need of them with a number of soldiers from our area.
3 Q. When you say "probably", I assume you don't
4 know as a matter of fact how it happened, is that
6 A. I cannot say that I know whether this was
7 planned in the supreme command headquarters, but I know
8 exactly on which requests, on whose request we send the
9 units. And I am not aware of the communications
10 between the supreme command and TG-1, but I know that
11 we received the order of the supreme command
12 headquarters to set aside some units and transfer them
13 to the area of TG-2's responsibility.
14 Q. Is it the case, sir?
15 KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. McHenry, we would like to
16 break now and reassemble at two o'clock for you to
17 continue with your cross-examination.
18 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 a.m.
1 --- Upon commencing at 2.04 p.m.
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the
4 witness he is still under oath.
5 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you
6 are still under oath.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Take your seats and then
8 the Prosecution will now continue with its
10 MS. McHENRY: Thank you Your Honours.
11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tahirovic.
12 Mr. Tahirovic, you talked a little bit this morning
13 about how the Konjic municipal headquarters normally
14 received orders. Can you tell us, did the orders from
15 the supreme command to Konjic headquarters, were they
16 usually transmitted through Tactical Group 1 or
17 Tactical Group 2 or did the orders usually go directly
18 to municipal headquarters?
19 A. At first, it would happen that some orders to
20 the municipal staff would arrive through Fojnica,
21 through Zagreb, and, if you can believe this, from the
22 United States as well.
23 Q. Well, starting in the end of July going
24 through November, were the orders to municipal
25 headquarters normally transmitted through Tactical
1 Group 1 or 2 or were they normally directed, directly
2 to municipal headquarters?
3 A. When there was a possibility to cross the
4 runway in Sarajevo, we would receive some of those
5 orders, but a large number of these orders also were
6 received through Tactical Groups 1 and 2. In other
7 words, when the couriers were able to get the messages
8 across the runway in Sarajevo, we were then able to get
9 those messages.
10 Q. When was Tactical Group 2 created?
11 JUDGE JAN: Before you go to that, what sort
12 of orders do you have in mind which went to TG-1.
13 There may be different types of orders. Some may be
14 coming through TG-1. Some may be coming directly. You
15 have not clarified that.
16 MS. McHENRY:
17 Q. Sir, were was there any kind of distinction
18 between the kind of orders that would go through
19 Tactical Group 1?
20 A. Those were different kinds of orders and
21 there was no clear distinction which come through
22 Tactical Group 1 or 2. There was no selection of that
24 Q. When was Tactical Group 2 created?
25 A. Tactical Group 2, I think, exists as long as
1 Tactical Group 1 on Igman, and the first commander as
2 far as I know was Mirsad Tatic. Upon the liberation of
3 Trnovo, Tactical Group 3 was formed. All of it was
4 aimed to improve conditions for lifting the siege of
5 Sarajevo. I don't know whether you know, but until the
6 end of the war, we were trying to lift the siege.
7 Unfortunately, we didn't manage through military
8 means. It was done through political means.
9 Q. I'm sorry, sir, did I understand that to your
10 understanding, Tactical Group 2 was created at the same
11 time as Tactical Group 1?
12 A. Tactical Group 1, there was Tactical Group
13 Visoko, then there was one in Pazaric. There was one
14 in Igman. That is Tactical Group 2, whose area
15 extended roughly from Igman, but the people who were
16 involved would know better. The road across Igman,
17 overlooking Sarajevo, that was Tactical Group 2.
18 Pazaric was mount Orman and the area towards Kiseljak,
19 that belonged to Tactical Group 1, and there was
20 Tactical Group Visoko around the town of Visoko.
21 Therefore, all the forces involved in lifting the
22 blockade of Sarajevo were divided in this way, to
23 facilitate command and control of units participating
24 in lifting the siege of Sarajevo.
25 Q. I'm sorry. Do you know whether or not
1 Tactical Group 2 was created at the same time as
2 Tactical Group 1? If you don't know, you can just say
3 I don't know.
4 A. I don't know. I don't know.
5 Q. Where was the headquarters of Tactical Group
6 1 located?
7 A. Pazaric.
8 Q. Was Mr. Delalic's house in Konjic also used
9 and referred to as Tactical Group 1 command?
10 A. No, as far as Mr. Delalic's house is
11 concerned, I'm very familiar with that because I later
12 became commander and after some unfortunate
13 circumstances when some things were stolen from that
14 house, I reacted and restored the house to the family.
15 In the lower part of the building was a high quality
16 communications centre with several Motorolas,
17 stationary, radio transmitters of ultra short-wave and
18 short-wave transmitters. This communication centre was
19 there, and to protect the building, we accommodated our
20 military police there, so that nobody should
21 appropriate the house, but despite that, this happened,
22 and I ordered when I became commander, that the house
23 be restored to the rightful owners and I apologised to
24 the family and the owners because of the things that
25 had been stolen.
1 Q. Was the communication centre a communication
2 centre for the municipal headquarters, for the Tactical
3 Group or both?
4 A. We also had a separate communication centre
5 in the The Third of March School and later in the
6 hotel, but because this was high quality, the equipment
7 was very good, it was kind of a relay station between
8 us and our units. Until we captured Mount Zlata
9 (phoen), we were not able to communicate well with
10 Glavoticevo and other areas, with our units, so this
11 centre was something we used very frequently, and the
12 people manning this centre would convey to us, very
13 often, the messages sent to them from our units on the
15 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask that you listen very
16 carefully to my question. If it can be answered simply
17 with a yes or no, please do so and don't explain unless
18 somehow it's necessary to answer the question.
19 My question was: Was the communication
20 centre used by the TO, the Tactical Group 1 or both?
21 A. I think I've answered that question. Both.
22 Q. Thank you. May I ask that the witness be
23 shown Defence Exhibit 108/1. This is already in
24 evidence, but I have extra copies for Your Honours.
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What is this called?
1 MS. McHENRY: It's a document about
2 Mr. Delalic's house in Konjic.
3 Q. Now, sir, first of all, this document, the
4 typed signature says Commander Catic. Tell me, do you
5 recognise whose signature is actually on the document?
6 A. This is my signature.
7 Q. Thank you. Sir, you would agree with me that
8 this document refers to Mr. Delalic's house and refers
9 to it as the facility of the formal Tactical Group 1
10 command. Would you agree with me about that, sir?
11 A. It's probably an error, that it has not been
12 said that the communication centre was in this part of
13 the house. He does, indeed, say here that it is the
14 command of TG-1, but it is a communication centre. If
15 you have other documents, then you will see from the
16 inventory that this was, indeed, a communications
17 centre from Harrison, Motorola and the other equipment
18 held there.
19 Q. Now, sir, did I understand you correctly that
20 other than the brief period of time when
21 Mr. Padalovic's unit was subordinated to Tactical Group
22 1 under Mr. Polutak from May to December 1992, there
23 were never any other units from Konjic, who were
24 subordinates to Tactical Group 1?
25 A. That is the only unit from Konjic that was
1 subordinated to Tactical Group 1.
2 Q. Is that the only unit -- I'm sorry. Is it
3 the case that all the troops from Konjic who
4 participated in JUG '92, were subordinate to either
5 Tactical Group 1 or Tactical Group 2?
6 A. A Tactical Group. I think this has been
7 explained here, at least judging by the people who came
8 here before me, is a temporary formation set up for a
9 particular operation. If you want me to answer with
10 yes or no, then I would say that not a single unit was
11 subordinated to Tactical Group 1 or 2, except when it
12 was formed to perform a particular task. If I may
13 clarify this, throughout the time of the war, we had
14 our front-lines, which was about 100 to 150 kilometres
15 long, to defend the Konjic area from the SDS, armed
16 bands and later the HVO. So that we had very serious
17 problems. And in spite of so many troops, sometimes we
18 had fewer troops than we needed, so that we could not
19 afford to give our units to someone else, to have
20 command over them, except if this was ordered by the
21 supreme command for a particular task. Because the aim
22 of all citizens, and especially us in Konjic, was to
23 lift the blockade of Sarajevo so as to be able to link
24 up with our leadership and the capital of our country.
25 Q. First of all, sir, let me ask. What did you
1 mean by saying judging by the people here before you?
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What are you driving
3 at? Let's get to that.
4 MS. McHENRY: My question is: Is it the case
5 that all the troops from Konjic who participated in JUG
6 '92, at the time they were participating in JUG '92,
7 were they subordinate to either Tactical Group 1 or
8 Tactical Group 2?
9 A. Only the unit under the command of Zlatan
10 Redzic. However, all of us had certain tasks assigned
11 to us by the supreme command, that is, to strengthen
12 the defence lines, to take care not to allow the
13 Chetniks to attack our units from behind, and we were
14 under the command of our staff, the TO staff. Only the
15 unit and a Captain Zlatan Redzic were directly
16 subordinated, whereas, the other units carried out
17 tasks which contributed to a certain degree, to the
18 execution of operations successfully in the direction
19 of Sarajevo.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Now, let's get your
21 answer clear. Which of the units in the Konjic area
22 was subordinate to TG-1, because you've indicated all
23 of those in separate ways were carrying out the
24 instructions of the supreme command. Which was
25 directly subordinated to TG-1?
1 A. In operation south, as madam has asked, JUG
2 '92, not a single unit was subordinated to Tactical
3 Group 1 but to Tactical Group 2, and this was the unit
4 headed by Mr. Zlatan Redzic.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That's the question.
6 MS. McHENRY:
7 Q. Is it the case that other than this one unit
8 that you have referred to, that was headed by
9 Mr. Redzic, other than that, were there other units
10 from Konjic who participated in JUG '92?
11 A. From Konjic, no.
12 Q. Can I ask that -- just may I ask that
13 Prosecution Exhibit 99-10 be shown to the witness?
14 99-7-10. Sir, I'm going to direct your attention to
15 paragraph 5 of the order from Mr. Delalic dated 24th
16 August, 1992. First of all, let me ask, have you ever
17 seen this order before?
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. Did you see it in August of 1992?
20 A. Probably, yes. I've seen it but I don't know
21 exactly when. If this is the date, the 24th of August,
22 that I didn't see it at that very time, because from
23 the 24th until the 30th, I was absent. I was visiting
24 my family, but after that, I'm sure that I did see this
25 order because I was working on the preparation of this
1 unit for going in the direction of Tactical Group 2.
2 Q. Sir, do I understand you to mean to say that
3 you assumed you must have seen this, but at the present
4 time, you don't have any specific recollection of
5 having seen it; is that correct?
6 A. I have seen it. I just can't remember the
7 date when I saw it.
8 Q. Fine. Directing, sir, your attention to
9 paragraph 5 of the order. You would agree with me that
10 that indicates that troops from Konjic are to be used
11 as part of operation JUG?
12 A. As far as I remember, I explained a moment
13 ago the role of the other units within the territory of
14 Konjic municipality linked to the operation JUG. We
15 provided security support for the rear and the sides of
16 the units participating in operation JUG. Those were
17 our lines anyway, lines that we held, but we just had
18 to reinforce fire power on the basis of this order to
19 engage enemy forces and prevent them from being
20 transferred to Tactical Group 1, 2, and other Tactical
21 Groups that were on the offensive around the town of
23 Q. Sir, tell me if I've understood you correctly
24 and this is a fair summary, that, to your knowledge,
25 there were no troops that were specifically assigned to
1 be subordinate to Mr. Delalic, but that all the troops
2 in Konjic were used in some way as part of operation
3 JUG; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, but on the basis of the order of the
5 supreme command, all the units in the territory of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina had such a task. This happened
7 repeatedly and it was our duty to engage enemy forces
8 through higher fire power, to pretend that we would
9 attack and, in fact, we would attack elsewhere. This
10 is a well-known practise in all the armies of the
12 Q. If you would agree with me, that in
13 supporting Operation JUG, in the way you've just talked
14 about, the Konjic troops were responsible to
15 Mr. Delalic for the carrying out of those orders?
16 A. No, but to the supreme command.
17 Q. But, sir, let me direct your attention to the
18 last sentence of that order and does it not say that
19 Mr. Ramic is responsible to Mr. Delalic for
20 implementation of the order? Is that what it says?
21 A. I understand this order as a transcript of
22 the order of the supreme command. This is what we
23 would receive through TG-1 and through TG-2 and in
24 other similar ways we would receive orders of this
1 Q. Sir, my specific question was, you would
2 agree with me that the order states that Mr. Ramic is
3 responsible to Mr. Delalic for implementation of the
4 order, correct?
5 A. That is what it says here, but it cannot be
6 correct. It must be a mistake.
7 Q. Sir, I am correct that the supplies and the
8 equipment for tactical Group 1 were kept in Celebici,
9 weren't they?
10 A. A part of the equipment and supplies, not for
11 Tactical Group 1. We were assisting them. We would
12 give them our equipment. As a tactical group they
13 didn't have their own equipment, they didn't have their
14 own units. But very frequently we would assist them
15 with the reserves that we had. I told you that at the
16 beginning of the war in Konjic, at the factory, there
17 were several million bullets.
18 Q. Sir, during the later part of July, August,
19 September and October of 1992, how frequently did you
20 yourself, have contact with Mr. Delalic?
21 A. I wouldn't -- I hadn't seen him at all. In
22 July, maybe once or twice I spoke to him over the radio
23 links. On one occasion, Major Kevric when we need to
24 equip an anti-aircraft unit which was to have been
1 Q. I don't really need you to explain your
2 answers, I just need you to answer the question. Now,
3 sir, during its existence from May to December of 1992,
4 was Celebici a military prison, a civilian prison or
5 something else?
6 A. It is very difficult to explain in
7 hindsight. It wasn't civilian in the sense that
8 civilians would detained there. But it was civilian,
9 because the MUP, even though it was an armed component,
10 was in control. Then, for a time, it was under the
11 control of the HVO. And then for a time we were
12 together. So it's very difficult to say. People were
13 held in Celebici, who, upon capture, had arms on them.
14 In other words, they were soldiers. So it cannot be
15 considered a civilian prison.
16 Q. Now, sir, you already talked about who was
17 the commander of the camp and your lack of knowledge
18 about it in June and July of 1992. How about for the
19 period from August until November, who was the camp
21 A. I told you a moment ago when you asked me
22 that upon arrival and that was the first and only time
23 I entered the area where prisoners were held that we
24 were welcomed by Hazim Delic and Mr. Sdravko Mucic.
25 And, as far as I remember, no, he was in fact
1 introduced to me at the end of August, beginning of
2 September, as the prison commander, or actually,
4 Q. What was Mr. Delic's position?
5 A. I really don't know.
6 Q. Are you familiar with Mr. Esad Landzo?
7 A. I met Mr. Esad Landzo later, though he lives
8 in my neighbourhood. He's a brother, who at the time
9 resembled one another. I don't know whether they're
10 really twins, but they were so alike that I couldn't
11 distinguish between the two. His brother is still
12 living in Konjic and now when I look at Esad Landzo you
13 can tell the difference. But in those days, his
14 brother is still thin and he has gained weight, so his
15 face has changed, but I met him somewhere in '93 when I
16 became commander and when the prison was set up in Unit
18 Q. I'm sorry, how did you meet in 1993 when the
19 prison was set up?
20 A. I don't understand, are you talking about
21 August '92? Are you asking me who I met then in
22 August, '92, when I went there?
23 Q. You just said that I met him somewhere in
24 1993 and I am asking whether or not you're asking about
25 Mr. Esad Landzo or his brother?
1 A. I am talking about Esad Landzo. I know that
2 it is Esad Landzo, but physically throughout the war I
3 could not distinguish between the two. And as I was
4 just saying, when I look at him now and brother then, I
5 can tell the difference. But they were so similar in
6 those days.
7 Q. Would you point out by identifying an article
8 of clothing that he's wearing who Mr. Esad Landzo is?
9 KARIBI-WHYTE: I don't really understand, he
10 says he can know the difference, but at that time was
11 difficult to distinguish two, what are you asking that
13 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, I am just trying
14 to clarify that this person this witness knows is Mr.
15 Esad Landzo.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He told you, he had
18 MS. McHENRY: Fine, Your Honour, I'll move
20 Q. What is the name of Mr. Esad Landzo's
22 A. I don't know. I know him by his nickname,
23 Zenga - that is Esad Landzo. And I still don't know his
24 brother's name. From the papers and all these things.
25 Q. Now, sir, you testified about your opinion
1 that Mr. Delalic did not, as far as you knew, have a
2 position of superior authority regarding the prison. I
3 presume then that you are in a position to know who did
4 have superior authority and I would just ask that you
5 tell us every person who was a superior with respect to
6 the Celebici prison from May to December of 1992.
7 A. I really can't tell you by name because I
8 don't know. I told you that Mr. Delalic, in view of
9 the posts he held, he could not have been the commander
10 or the superior for the Celebici camp. I told you at
11 the beginning of the war, a MUP unit was based there.
12 Q. Sir, is it the case that you can't give us
13 the name of any person who was a superior with respect
14 to the Celebici prison from May to December of 1992?
15 JUDGE JAN: You spoke about the commander and
16 now you're speaking about something about the
17 commander. He was responsible for setting up the
18 prison and he was responsible for the protection of the
19 prison and the prisoners.
20 MS. McHENRY: That's correct.
21 Q. Can you please give us the name of every
22 person who had authority besides the camp commander who
23 you have already mentioned who had authority over the
24 Celebici prison? And if you don't know the names, just
25 tell us that.
1 A. I don't know because it was not within the
2 domain of work and my responsibilities. And I told you
3 what my job was, it was preparation for combat
4 activities and training for combat operations. So I
5 was very busy and I did not know at that time, nor did
6 I have particular interest in who was the commander of
7 the, of the camp or the prison Celebici and who was in
8 charge there.
9 Q. Okay. Well, please tell us exactly what
10 entity or entities had responsibility for the Celebici
11 prison between May and December of 1992. And, please,
12 if you specify for what period of time any particular
13 entity had responsibility for the Celebici prison, if
14 you know. If you don't know, just please tell us you
15 don't know.
16 A. As far as MUP is concerned, I really don't
17 know which parties at the MUP were in charge of these
18 duties. As far as the TO and the HVO are concerned, it
19 is really the security body, it is the only body that
20 can be in charge of such things.
21 Q. I'm sorry, sir, can you tell us for what
22 period of time between May and December 1992, the MUP
23 had some involvement, had some responsibility for the
24 Celebici prison?
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually, were you
1 satisfied with that answer? Because he hasn't said
2 definitely anybody was in charge. Is it any news that
3 the security branch might be in charge. He didn't say
4 they were in charge.
5 MS. McHENRY: Sir, do you know what entities
6 had responsibility for Celebici prison or not?
7 A. I just told you how it was supposed to have
8 looked, but in reality I do not know who was
9 responsible. I don't know the hierarchy at the MUP. I
10 don't know the departments there, the structure. I
11 don't know how it is structured. And in the joint
12 command, that is the joint TRNA command (phoen), it is
13 only the security body that could have been in charge
14 of that.
15 Q. Let me stick with MUP first. I am not asking
16 you for a particular name or even a particular division
17 within the MUP. But is it your testimony, sir, that
18 for some period of time the MUP was involved and had
19 responsibility for the Celebici prison camp? If you
20 know for a fact?
21 A. Yes, certainly, they had to. Yes, I know
22 that as a fact.
23 Q. And when did the MUP have responsibility for
24 Celebici? For what period of time?
25 A. I know that this was early on, but I don't
1 know until when and I don't know when this
2 responsibilities were transferred.
3 JUDGE JAN: You a security wing and similarly
4 the joint command of the security wing, which of the
5 two, or jointly the two, had the responsibility? MUP
6 had a security branch, so has the joint command of the
7 TO and HVO?
8 THE WITNESS: I know that in the period --
9 during the period when I was offered to become
10 commander at Celebici, I know that there was a special
11 MUP unit was stationed there, deployed there and --
12 because there were certain Serbs with whom certain
13 illegal weapons were found. I know that this was a MUP
14 type of activity, so I did not want to become involved
15 in that. And -- but now I cannot say when this
16 responsibility may have -- been transferred from MUP to
17 someone else. By the time that I joined the TO
18 headquarters, we had nothing to do with the Celebici
19 prison. And I don't know at what point, the 43rd
20 brigade took over control. I don't when it became --
21 it had been and the 4th quarter became in charge of
22 it, so I really cannot speak to that and I really
23 can't tell you at which point in time any of this
24 transfer of authority took place.
25 JUDGE JAN: This prison at Celebici is not a
1 private prison, it's a prison of the state, so somebody
2 must be responsible for that.
3 THE WITNESS: I also believed that somebody
4 had to be in charge, but I don't know about that. Only
5 people who are specialists in military things, they can
6 tell you. But the positions that I had, oh, yes, was
7 one of the busiest ones because it involves all the
8 preparations of all the units. So, at that time, I was
9 very busy doing that and I was not paying much
10 attention to which body was in charge of that. And
11 also, I just cannot tell you when it was transferred,
12 that responsibility from whom and to whom. And I
13 really cannot say when it happened. Somebody else may
14 have this information, but I certainly do not.
15 MS. McHENRY:
16 Q. Sir, can you tell us whether or not at some
17 point and, if so, when, the HVO had some responsibility
18 for the Celebici prison?
19 A. The TO did not have its own military police.
20 I'm sorry, I keep confusing the army and the
21 territorial defence. The territorial defence
22 established its military police in the later half of
23 August -- well, actually in the beginning of August.
24 So in early August we did not have our own military
25 police. And throughout this period, among the people
1 who were working in -- as security in the Celebici
2 barracks, these were the TO people and the HVO people.
3 And I don't know -- they had to have something because
4 they had units who were equipped for such attacks.
5 That is, they did have military police.
6 Q. I'm sorry, sir, are you saying that at
7 various points, both the TO and the HVO had
8 responsibility for Celebici, but you have no idea when
9 and you have no idea how it worked in reality?
10 JUDGE JAN: He answered that question, he
11 said he was too busy.
12 MS. McHENRY: I am just trying to confirm
13 since in his direct testimony he made some much broader
15 Q. Sir, is it correct that you're saying at
16 various points, both the TO and the HVO had
17 responsibility for Celebici prison, but you have no
18 idea when and you have no idea how for the
19 responsibility worked and practised?
20 A. Yes, for a while, it was the case and, as I
21 told you, throughout this period, there were, the TO
22 and the HVO members who were working at the Celebici
23 barracks in security.
24 Q. And, sir, I assume you have no information
25 about to whom the camp commander reported in
2 A. No, I do not.
3 Q. Sir, you would agree with me in 1992, there
4 were no regulations governing the setting up and
5 operation of prisons of military prisons such as
7 A. In the law on people's defence of the
8 Yugoslavia, the TO could not have prisons, only the
9 Yugoslav people's army could have prisons. And whoever
10 the territorial defence members would capture, they
11 would turn them over to the jail. In other words, at
12 that time, by regulations, the TO could not have its
13 own prisons.
14 Q. That's correct, sir. And you would agree
15 with me that as the TO was turned into the Bosnian
16 army, that there were, at least in 1992, there were not
17 regulations set up to resolve how military prisons
18 should be handled?
19 A. I really don't know. I know that the
20 Prosecutor's office, the court in Honacu (phoen) did
21 not function. And we did not have a military court, it
22 was in Sarajevo. We had a basic court in Konjic. We
23 have a district court in Mostar. But I know for my
24 studies, we had a course in this, so I was aware of it.
25 Q. Let me see if you would agree with this,
1 sir. You would agree that in 1992, in May to December
2 of 1992, the matter of who ran the prisons was resolved
3 as a matter of practice rather than as a matter of law
4 or regulations?
5 A. Believe me, I do not know. It is possible,
6 but I do not know that.
7 Q. Fair enough, sir. You testified in direct
8 that you and others repeatedly drew attention to the
9 Konjic soldiers to the need for respect of the law and
10 humane treatment of all persons. What was done to
11 ensure that the persons who worked in Celebici
12 understood the need to respect the law and treat the
13 prisoners humanely?
14 A. I don't know how that is connected with
15 Celebici. I know when preparing for combat operations,
16 I know that one of the orders was always concerning the
17 treatment of prisoners.
18 Q. Sir, if you don't know with respect to
19 Celebici, which is what my question was, all you have
20 to say is, I don't know, with respect to Celebici.
21 Thank you. Now, sir, who on the TO staff had the duty
22 to investigate and report on what was happening in
24 A. I never heard of any report with respect to
25 Celebici that is during the meetings of -- on different
1 kinds of preparations, which I attended.
2 Q. Was Celebici considered a matter of some
3 significance to the command of the TO or to the joint
5 A. I don't think that it was supposed to be
6 anything very significant.
7 Q. Now, sir, you testified in direct testimony,
8 something about the capture of Dr. Grubac, do you know
9 why Dr. Grubac was in prison in the camp?
10 A. I know that he fled his post in the health
11 centre and he went up to Bradina where his
12 father-in-law had a summer house. This is what they
13 told me in 1993. They told me that they were captured
14 on Mount Igman and that from there, they were brought
15 to Celebici. This may have been ten days after the end
16 of the Brighton (phoen) operation. He and his
17 brother-in-law, Dobrivoje Dordic.
18 Q. Are you saying that the reason Dr. Grubac was
19 in prison in Celebici was because he fled his post in
20 the health centre and went to Bradina? Sir, my
21 question had been --
22 A. That's not what I said. He was already in
23 Bradina when the combat operations start. When we
24 captured Bradina, he attempted to escape and he was
25 captured in Mount Igman, so he was a soldier by then,
1 not a physician who he was when he left the health
3 Q. And how do you know he was a soldier?
4 A. How do we know if somebody was a soldier?
5 What would somebody, especially a Serb, what would he
6 be doing behind our forces? So it is quite possible, I
7 say, that he or his brother-in-law may have carried
8 weapons at that time. And that's how you recognise
9 whether somebody is a soldier. He wouldn't have been a
10 hunter in May and June of 1992 if he were found with
12 Q. Do you know whether or not Dr. Grubac was
13 found with weapons, sir?
14 A. That I do not know.
15 Q. Who released Dr. Grubac from Celebici camp?
16 A. No.
17 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the answer?
18 JUDGE JAN: He said he doesn't know.
19 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
20 Q. (redacted)
21 camp, wasn't he?
22 A. I am not getting an interpretation.
23 Q. (redacted)
24 A. Yes, I worked with him in health centre in
25 Konjic. He was an ear, nose, eye specialist.
1 Q. He was detained in Celebici also, wasn't he?
2 A. Yes, he used to live close to me and we
3 talked. I saw him one day during that summer. He told
4 me that he was captured and then that he was released.
5 But he also did not tell me who released him.
6 Q. Sir, were there women detained in Celebici?
7 A. I do not know of that.
8 Q. Sir, is it your testimony that from May to
9 December of 1992 you heard no reports or rumours of
10 mistreatment of detainees in Celebici?
11 A. I never heard of that.
12 Q. Did you see Mr. Delalic interviewed on
13 television about the reports of mistreatment of
14 detainees in Celebici?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Sir, you would agree with me that it was
17 known by persons, including yourself, that Celebici was
18 not a safe place for the detainees?
19 A. Safe in what sense? Safe from shelling or...
20 Q. That the persons detained in Celebici had
21 reason to fear for their bodily safety?
22 JUDGE JAN: He answered your question and he
23 asked you to explain that.
24 MS. McHENRY:
25 Q. You would agree with me that it was known by
1 persons, including yourself, that Celebici was not a
2 safe place and that persons might physically mistreat
3 the detainees by beating them or torturing them or
4 killing them?
5 A. I don't know of that. I know that they were
6 transferred to Celebici in the beginning specifically
7 for safety reasons because the prison at Musala, which
8 was the MUP's prison, that this was constantly shelled,
9 and so they were facing much more danger, whereas in
10 Celebici, they were far away from the shelling. As far
11 as I could tell, they were quite safe over there.
12 Q. Well, sir, you would agree with me that you
13 intervened to protect Miro Golubovic because you
14 believed he was in danger while in Celebici?
15 A. But not dangers from within. See, he had
16 just come back from Tisovica, and this gentleman,
17 Mr. Sadil Dzumhur told me, after the death of our nine
18 soldiers, that is policeman at Bradina, the anti-Serb
19 mood in the town had risen and that some old wounds
20 were re-opened.
21 And certain friends of Mr. Niksic and
22 Mr. Boric had been killed and wanted to go there and
23 Miro Golubovic was fingered as one of the persons, who
24 was suspected as one of the persons, who may have been
25 involved in that. So I went to protect him because
1 there was a danger for him from outside, not from
2 within. Because when we heard while at Tisovica of
3 this case, immediately, it was said that the Chetniks
4 had done it. We heard this on the radio, and since
5 units that were out of my command in Sunji, and Zukici,
6 they immediately wanted to go there, a very bad climate
7 was created. Imagine if nine people perished in such a
8 way under circumstances that were not very clear.
9 Q. Sir, you would agree with me that the
10 detainees in Celebici were known to have reason to fear
11 for their safety, in that persons from outside the
12 camp, would be allowed into the camp to mistreat them;
14 A. No, that did not happen, but you could not
15 preclude a possibility that somebody would be able to
16 do that. We wanted to make sure that whenever somebody
17 was captured or taken prisoner, and this is what we
18 cared about a lot throughout the war, we did not want
19 to come into a situation when something unforeseen
20 would happen, but that everything would be done in
21 accordance with the Geneva conventions. Everybody had
22 that flyer with those rules, but you could not control
23 individuals. If somebody lost someone close to him,
24 you could not preclude a possibility. This would be a
25 concern that would also relate to the Serbs who had
1 stayed in town and those in the Celebici prison
3 Q. I'm sorry. Sir, you would agree with me that
4 the reason Mr. Golubovic was in danger was because of
5 the possibility that other persons from outside the
6 prison camp might come in and do him serious bodily
7 harm. You would agree with that?
8 A. Madam, they were members of the special
9 police of the MUP, very well-trained and capable
11 Q. Sir, my specific question, and I ask if you
12 can answer it with a yes or no --
13 A. I have given you a specific answer, those
14 people could, probably could and, who knows, maybe they
15 wouldn't succeed, but I didn't want to leave anything
16 to chance. Maybe they wouldn't have done anything, but
17 I didn't want this to happen because this was an
18 acquaintance of mine, and I consulted my superior
19 commander and that was the decision we took and I've
20 already explained to the Defence how we dealt with it.
21 Q. Sir, at this time, surely you didn't think
22 Mr. Golubovic was the only person in the entire camp
23 who was in danger, did you?
24 A. I heard of him only. I didn't hear of anyone
25 else, nor did I hear any rumour about anybody else
1 being at risk. I must tell you that later, I learned
2 of the killing, that is, the only death I learned of,
3 Mr. Klimenta, because that too was a friend of mine,
4 and an acquaintance, but I heard that this was an
6 Q. Let me go back to Mr. Golubovic. If I
7 understood your testimony, it was your belief that
8 Mr. Golubovic was the only detainee in danger in the
9 camp; is that correct?
10 A. Madam, that was how I was told.
11 Q. Now, you said you went to talk to Mr. Cerovac
12 who told you you should send certain forms to his
13 command post, about Mr. Golubovic. When was this, as
14 best you can recall?
15 A. Well, you see, I didn't go to talk with
16 Mr. Cerovac. I spoke to him over the radio because he
17 was very far away from me. This could have been the
18 second half of July, because I spent four or five days
19 at Tisovica and I left around the 10th, I think, and
20 when I came back, I learned about it. So this must
21 have been mid-July or the second half of July.
22 Q. Was this during the time that Mr. Delalic was
23 coordinator or the time he was commander of Tactical
24 Group 1, if you know?
25 A. I think Mr. Delalic was still at Vranske
1 Stijene when that happened.
2 Q. Would that have been during the period he was
3 coordinator, according to your information?
4 A. While he was at the Vranske Stijene, he was a
5 soldier of the Territorial Defence, I've already told
6 you, responsible for logistics and radio relay
7 station. Because, in view of where he was, he couldn't
8 coordinate anything. He had to have contacts again via
9 radio and through us.
10 Q. Is it your understanding that when
11 Mr. Delalic was at Vranske Stijene, he was no longer a
13 A. All I can do is make an assumption. I know
14 that his role was a logistics man or somebody working
15 in the rear at Vranske Stijene. I know of his role
16 that he had when we had any contact. And according to
17 the tasks he performed, that is all he could have been.
18 Q. Sir, what exactly did you do after your talk
19 with Mr. Cerovac with respect to the release of
20 Mr. Golubovic?
21 A. I just took the papers from the headquarters,
22 two papers. I can't remember exactly what was written
23 on them, and I sent them via a messenger to Vranske
24 Stijene. No, not Vranske Stijene. I think Mr. Cerovac
25 was at Glavotic then.
1 Q. Where exactly did you get these papers?
2 Where was the headquarters that you got these papers
4 A. The staff at that time was headquartered in
5 The Third of March Elementary School. These were joint
6 premises. Some were separate but this was in the
7 headquarters where all the other papers are kept; clean
8 paper and other papers ready for further processing.
9 They were responsible for copying them and that sort of
11 Q. Did the TO commander, to your knowledge, have
12 authority to release prisoners from Celebici at this
14 A. I don't know what Mr. Cerovac did with those
15 documents afterwards, but all I know is that two or
16 three or five days later, I saw Mr. Golubovic who came
17 to the street where I lived.
18 Q. Did he tell you that it was Mr. Delalic who
19 signed his release document?
20 A. No. To tell you the truth, I didn't have any
21 more contact with him because very soon after that,
22 this man left Konjic, and the assumption is, that with
23 the help of the HVO, he crossed Kobiljaca and went into
24 Serb-held territory.
25 Q. Besides talking with Mr. Cerovac, did you
1 talk to anyone else about Mr. Golubovic or the
2 conditions in the prison, such as the head of the MUP
3 or the war presidency or the camp commander?
4 A. I didn't. I asked my superior for his advice
5 because I didn't have the authority to do that. My
6 competencies were very clear. I was involved with the
7 defence of the town. This was more of a private
8 initiative on my part, than my official duty.
9 Q. Was something done to advise the head of the
10 MUP that his soldiers were believed to be putting
11 detainees in Celebici at risk?
12 A. I couldn't inform the head of the MUP because
13 this was a story told by Mr. Diksa, which was not
14 verified, and as I didn't want to leave anything to
15 chance, that is why I reacted. I couldn't accuse
16 anyone without proof. I just wanted to prevent the
17 possibility of any such thing happening.
18 Q. Now, sir, you said that you escorted members
19 of a delegation, you believe members of an OSCE
20 delegation to Celebici and that your driver made a
21 remark about the prisoners looking like actors. Did
22 the driver accompany you and Major Kevric during the
23 tour of Celebici?
24 A. We were driven by Major Kevric's driver,
25 Alic, and escorting this delegation was an HVO
1 policeman from Mostar, and it was he who said that.
2 Q. I did not understand the remark about looking
3 like actors. How did you understand the remark about
4 the prisoners looking like actors?
5 A. I understood it to mean that their appearance
6 was normal, they hadn't been beaten. They were not
7 bruised. They were not in tatters. They had went to
8 sleep and he just said if only you could see ours, then
9 you would understand. The point was that their
10 appearance was normal. Just when we arrived, about ten
11 of them were shaving.
12 Q. Sir, you would agree with me that previously
13 in June of 1996 when you gave your statement to the
14 Defence, you did not know the identity of the
15 delegation, and you thought it was probably Helsinki
16 watch. Why do you now know or believe it was an OSCE
17 delegation rather than Helsinki watch?
18 A. You see, I made my statement within ten
19 minutes, and I couldn't really mention all the
20 details. I explained to you a moment ago, I've been
21 thinking hard about this situation for the past two
22 years, and especially so, the last two months, because
23 for all of us coming here, this is a great stress, all
24 of us who have never had anything to do with a court or
25 the police. So I have hardly been sleeping this past
1 two months. So I wasn't quite sure whether it was a
2 humanitarian organisation or something like that, and I
3 think that is what I said in my statement.
4 The leader of the group was a tall,
5 well-built dark-skinned man. They said he was an
6 American, and I remember him because of his figure, and
7 he stuck in my mind. He appeared to be in charge of
8 that group of people who came.
9 Q. Did someone suggest to you that it was an
10 OSCE delegation, rather than a Helsinki watch
12 A. When they came, they probably introduced
13 themselves. I don't know how I...
14 Q. Sir, I'm trying to find out why in June of
15 1996, you thought it was Helsinki watch and now you
16 believe it was OSCE. My question is, did someone
17 suggest to you that it was an OSCE delegation and not a
18 Helsinki watch delegation?
19 A. No, no. Nobody suggested it to me, no. I
20 said no.
21 Q. So it just came to you of your own accord
22 that it was OSCE?
23 A. Even when I made that statement, and I think
24 the investigator will confirm that I wasn't sure. I
25 mentioned OSCE and the Helsinki watch. I didn't think
1 it was very important. The important thing was that
2 there was a delegation and that was the first time I
3 had entered the prison. I didn't think that to be
4 important or less important, because Helsinki watch is
5 also concerned with human rights protection. So, I
6 wasn't sure even then, I was hesitant, and then I left
7 this word, the name of the Helsinki watch.
8 Q. Are you aware that Helsinki watch also
9 published a report, very critical of Celebici camp?
10 A. I have not seen anyone's report of the
11 Helsinki watch, the OSCE or the Red Cross. Later on, I
12 frequently had contact with someone, I know he is
13 Swiss. He would come often for a cup of coffee at the
14 motel where our command was. But no one ever said
15 anything, nor did I see any written document or a
16 report on bad conditions because that wouldn't
17 correspond to the truth. If anybody were to say that
18 the conditions were bad, that would not correspond to
19 the truth, at the time in particular.
20 Q. Sir, how do you know what the conditions in
21 Celebici were?
22 A. Madam, I entered the hangar with that
23 delegation. And I saw how the people looked. I saw
24 blankets folded in the form of beds and I may have
25 stayed there five or six minutes in that hangar. After
1 that, I and Mr. Kevric were asked to go out because
2 they wanted to talk to them alone.
3 Q. Sir, who arranged for the visits of the Red
5 A. I don't know who organised it. I just know
6 about the later period when this Swiss gentleman
7 visiting Musala would come by to the command building
8 to have a coffee. There was a young lady with him from
9 Mostar, an interpreter, so we would meet quite often to
10 have coffee together, rather than dealing with any
11 difficulties, but that was afterwards, after the
12 transfer from Celebici to Musala.
13 Q. Was the TO ever unwilling to let the Red
14 Cross into the Celebici camp?
15 A. I think that we had nothing to conceal in the
16 Celebici prison. I'm not aware of any such
17 possibility, because in the BiH army, I later had the
18 position of liaison officer with such organisations,
19 and I can tell you that a large number of parcels went
20 through me and then to Musala, and very often, every
21 week, a Red Cross team would come from Sarajevo to
22 visit them, bringing them food and clothing and...
23 Q. I'm going to ask that you listen to my
24 question and just answer my question. Between August
25 and November of 1992, to whom did the Red Cross send
1 their reports about Celebici camp, if you know?
2 A. Either the Red Cross of Konjic or the
3 international Red Cross, which one?
4 Q. The international Red Cross?
5 A. Probably to their own superiors. How do I
6 know? I suppose they have their own superiors. I
7 don't know. My short answer is I don't know.
8 Q. Sir, in your direct examination, you stated
9 in answer to a question by His Honour Karibi-Whyte,
10 that the TO received an order from the supreme command
11 to speed up the process of the interrogation of the
12 Celebici prisoners. Do you remember that? You have to
13 say yes.
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. When approximately was this?
16 A. I think it was either mid-September or the
17 second half of September.
18 Q. From whom did you receive this order?
19 A. From the supreme command staff, as far as I
21 Q. Well, sir, do you know for sure or is that
22 just an assumption of yours?
23 A. I know for sure that it is from the supreme
24 command. Whether it came to me through TG-2 or TG-1, I
25 couldn't tell. If you have a document and show it to
2 Q. May I ask that the witness be shown --
3 A. Here it is. Is it this one?
4 Q. Yes, sir.
5 A. It says TG-1 and I think I've explained.
6 Q. My question is: Is that the document you're
7 referring to, the order to speed up the process of
9 A. Yes, under point 1 of this order.
10 Q. Sir, that document from Mr. Delalic orders
11 the TO to immediately conduct interrogations. Can you
12 please tell me what the TO did in response to this
14 A. As this is an order of the supreme command, I
15 know that we answered to the supreme command that we
16 couldn't do it, and we asked that those prisoners be
17 transferred to Mostar or Zenica where there are
18 spacious prisons, where there are courts operating,
19 that they should be dislocated there, that a final
20 investigation be carried out, a trial to be organised,
21 and the supreme command answered that it would be
22 Zenica, that Mostar was exposed to shelling and the
23 situation had already worsened, in relations between
24 the TO and the HVO in Mostar. But I know that we
25 didn't manage even then to transfer the prisoners to
1 Zenica because the HVO held Kiseljak and prevented the
2 movement of our forces.
3 Q. Now, sir, when the TO was responding to this
4 order of August 24th, did they respond through Tactical
5 Group 1, since the document came from -- since the
6 order came from Tactical Group 1?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Sir, why couldn't the interrogations be
9 speeded up?
10 A. We, in Konjic, did not have any judicial
11 bodies to do that, because I said at the very
12 beginning, the military investigating commission was
13 formed, headed by its president, Goran Lokas who was
14 then responsible for security in the joint command.
15 Why they didn't do that and how, I really don't know.
16 Q. May I ask that the witness be shown 99-7-11,
17 which is the order of 28th of August? Sir, this is the
18 order dated the 28th of August from Mr. Delalic to
19 Mr. Mucic. Did you see that document in 1992?
20 A. I didn't. I told you at that time I wasn't
21 there and that also is an order of the supreme command,
22 and if it had to do with the manager of the Celebici
23 prison, then it must have been passed on to him. I
24 haven't seen it before.
25 Q. Now, sir, you talked about this commission
1 set up, the military investigation commission. You're
2 aware that Mr. Sacir Pajic was a member of the military
3 investigation committee, that had been created in June
4 of 1992; correct?
5 A. No.
6 Q. You weren't aware that Mr. Pajic was a member
7 of the military investigation committee set up in June
9 A. I heard of Mr. Pajic, only just before the
10 beginning of the war, that he was the first soldier in
11 the Yugoslav war to be wounded in Slovenia as a lower
12 ranking officer and of the JNA, and he was undergoing
13 treatment somewhere and I met him much later.
14 Q. Sir, I understand then that in June of 1992,
15 you were not aware that Mr. Paic was a member of the
16 military investigation committee; is that correct?
17 A. I would see him in the joint command
18 headquarters, but I didn't know that he was on the
20 Q. But you did know that Mr. Paoic was a member
21 of the joint command, correct? You have to answer
23 A. Yes, yes, I'm sorry. He was present in the
24 headquarters. I was there, perhaps, most frequently
25 because of my job, but people would come and go and I
1 assumed he was a member of the joint command.
2 Q. Well, sir, let me just ask you. In direct
3 examination you authenticated a chart shown to you by
4 Ms. Residovic, Document 166, in which Mr. Paoic's name
5 was mentioned. I assume then that you, in fact, don't
6 know whether or not this chart is correct or not
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What, did want him to
9 say, to authenticate the chart to somebody? He has
10 already done that.
11 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, this witness,
12 himself, did it and I am just bringing out that, in
13 fact, although this witness authenticated, he is now
14 stating that he doesn't know whether or not certain
15 people were or were not a member of the joint
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He's authenticated it,
18 then that's sufficient.
19 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour, he did.
20 THE WITNESS: Madam, I do apologise. Yes,
21 but those changes occurred frequently, so I cannot
22 claim whether he was in the military investigations
23 commission, but he was in the building and he was
24 there. And for as long as there was a municipal staff
25 and the brigade, he was always in the commands. Even
1 the two of us worked together in the 4th core and in
2 the 6th core, so maybe at that particular time he held
3 some other post. I am not sure whether he was just
4 then appointed to the military investigations
5 commission. That's all I wanted to say because there
6 are people there who were killed. Then there were
7 people who held one position at one time and then they
8 were moved to another position. And I said that in
9 answering my question and in authenticating the
10 document because even the commanders, I am the 7th
11 commander, the 7th.
12 Q. Sir, are you aware that Mr. Delalic worked
13 together with the military investigating committee in
14 June of 1992?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And if I understand you correctly, you have
17 no idea why Mr. Paoic and the other members of the
18 military investigating committee decided that they
19 could not continue their work in Celebici?
20 A. Believe me, I don't even know that they
21 decided not to continue working until this order of the
22 supreme command came to finish things.
23 Q. Well, when the order came from the supreme
24 command to finish things, I assume that some inquiry
25 was done to find out why the first committee had not
1 finished things, is that correct?
2 A. Madam, somebody probably did that and what
3 they did and how they did it, I am unable to say here
4 now. We all had our own tasks. I couldn't interfere
5 with somebody else's work. There were things
6 discussed at joint meetings, but most things that were
7 happening in other bodies, I was not familiar with, if
8 they were less important or had their normal course of
10 Q. Who was it who decided within the TO
11 headquarters that the interrogations could not be
12 speeded up?
13 A. At the end it was the commander who decides,
14 but in agreement with the other members of the staff.
15 So the decisions are taken at briefings and meetings,
16 but in the final analysis every decision has to be
17 taken by the commander upon the proposal of his.
18 That's why these services exist, to help the commander
19 in his work. So probably at the proposal of one of
20 these services, probably the security service, and he
21 decided that this could not be done.
22 Q. Well, sir, when you say "probably", does that
23 mean that you, in fact, don't know how it was decided
24 or who decided it?
25 A. I cannot tell you explicitly, I am just
1 telling you what the procedure is. I can't know
2 everything, every single detail as to what happened at
3 that time. Maybe I didn't attend one of those
4 meetings, but I know most of the documents because I
5 saw them. But who exactly passed a certain document, I
6 don't know.
7 Q. Well, sir, even later on in December of 1992,
8 there was another commission set up to conduct military
9 investigations, correct, of the prisoners in Celebici
10 and Musala?
11 A. I think in January '93 because I know an
12 order came from the 4th core command, which had already
13 been formed in the meantime and the prisoners were all
14 transferred from Celebici to Musala.
15 Q. And you were involved with that commission,
16 setting up that commission, weren't you?
17 A. Not directly. You see, upon the formation of
18 the staff when Mr. Musad Catic was appointed, a post
19 was in the search for a deputy commander and Mr. Dragan
20 Andric held that post. And I had the post of chief of
21 staff. And I was mostly responsible for combat
22 operations and he stood in for the commander. Our
23 commander was wounded and he was absent frequently. He
24 was wounded in the leg and he was absent. So maybe in
25 his absence I may have signed a document or two, but as
1 we see on this document about Zejnil Delalic's house,
2 it says for or on behalf of the commander of the TO
3 staff or perhaps Mr. Mucic at that time was
4 participating in a new attempt to deblock set him.
5 Q. May I ask that the witness be shown --
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we're about to
7 rise and come back at 4:00 p.m. to continue.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
10 MR. MORAN: I apologise for being a few
11 minutes late. I had to speak on another matter.
12 (The witness entered court)
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the
14 witness he is still under oath.
15 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you
16 are still under oath.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Take your seat.
18 Yes, Ms. McHenry?
19 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. Sir, you were aware in November 1992,
21 Mr. Delic took over as commander of Celebici camp,
22 aren't you?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Sir, you would agree that starting in the
25 latter part of November and the beginning part of
1 December that the municipal headquarters of the TO
2 began to be actively involved in Celebici and Musala?
3 A. The 45th brigade had already been established
4 under the name of Neretvica (phoen), and I know that
5 after the fourth corps was established, it took
6 responsibility for providing security for that portion
7 of the Celebici barracks. We received an order by the
8 command of the fourth corps since this was to become a
9 real barracks in every sense of the word, that these
10 persons should be transferred from Celebici to Musala.
11 So that with the assistance of the Red Cross, we
12 converted the locker rooms in the Musala sports hall
13 for prison use. In December 1992, Celebici were
14 evacuated, that is, all the prisoners from Celebici
15 were transferred to Musala.
16 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that in the
17 latter part of November, you, yourself, had a
18 conversation with Mr. Delic where Mr. Delic indicated
19 to the effect that, "Since I'm now under the command of
20 the Territorial Defence, what are we to do with the
21 prisoners?" Do you remember have a conversation like
22 that with Mr. Delic?
23 A. I cannot say that this conversation did not
24 take place, but I personally do not recall it.
25 Q. Well, sir, would you agree with me that in
1 the latter part of November, a commission was sent into
2 Celebici to ascertain the state of the prison and
3 ascertain, among other things, the health of the
5 A. I know that the fourth corps command in the
6 latter part of November or early December established a
7 commission which investigated some other things in the
8 Konjic municipality. People from Mostar came to
9 investigate the unsolved murders of nine policemen, the
10 wounding of Mr. Mirsad Catic, certain looting and
11 robberies, and I'm not aware of the fact of this
13 Q. Let me just direct you to the question. Are
14 you aware that in November of 1992, a commission was
15 sent in from municipal headquarters, was sent in to
16 Celebici to ascertain the state of the prison and the
17 state of the health of the prisoners? Were you aware
18 or not aware of that fact?
19 A. You mean a medical commission? Was this a
20 medical commission you're referring to? I think that
21 this could have happened after the order of the fourth
22 corps commander, when the order was issued to transfer
23 the prisoners to the sports hall.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ms. McHenry, I think in
25 cross-examination, you are allowed to lead him. If you
1 want a particular answer and think he have that, I'll
2 permit a leading question.
3 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour.
4 Q. May I ask that the witness be shown from the
5 Defence exhibits an attachment 5D/51, and I have extra
6 copies if that would assist things.
7 Sir, I ask you, first of all, do you
8 recognise whose signature that is?
9 A. If I'm not mistaken, this is a signature of
10 Mr. Esad Senic who, at the time, was on duty. Let's
11 see, 5 December, I think this is some kind of a mistake
12 because I think at this time he already was with the
13 45th brigade.
14 Q. Sir, did you see this document in 1992?
15 A. No, but this could be what I was referring
16 to. This is the transfer of responsibility of the
17 prisoner between the 45th brigade of which Mr. Memic
18 (phoen) was a commander and the municipal
19 headquarters. This is to identify the -- it says to
20 establish the state of affairs. That may not mean only
21 the prisoners. It means all the equipment of the
22 facilities, things like that. So it could mean the
23 transfer of control of the prison between the 45th
24 brigade and the municipal headquarters.
25 Q. Well, sir, did you see the report created by
1 this commission which refers to the equipment and to
2 the health of the prisoners? Did you ever see the
3 report that this commission came up with?
4 A. I did not see the report, but I see that the
5 late Dr. Stojanovic also examined all the prisoners,
6 because within a day or two, they were transferred from
7 Celebici to Musala, so probably this is why this
8 commission was established.
9 Q. You would also agree with me, sir, that in
10 January, a decision was made that the prisoners'
11 interrogations should finally be completed; is that
13 A. I believe so, yes.
14 Q. I'd like the witness to be shown Defence
15 document 7-1. I have extra copies for Your Honours,
16 since it's been awhile since we had this exhibit.
17 Now, sir, whose signature is that under where
18 the commander normally signs? Whose signature is that?
19 A. This could be my signature, but it looks more
20 like a bad imitation of my signature, but I'm aware of
21 the fact that such commission was established, but I'm
22 not aware of the report because I was appointed
23 somewhere between the 15th and the 18th, but I never
24 received a copy of a report of such a commission.
25 Q. I'm sorry, sir, are you able to state whether
1 or not this is your signature or whether or not this is
2 a forgery?
3 A. I'm not a graphologist, but this doesn't look
4 like my signature; however, the order could be an
5 authentic one because I know that a commission did
6 exist, and I recognise the names of all the individuals
7 who were appointed as members of this commission. They
8 are all local persons from the Konjic area, and this
9 report does look authentic.
10 Q. Sir, do you remember whether or not you
11 signed this document?
12 A. I do not remember signing it, but I do recall
13 that a commission did exist.
14 Q. So this could be your signature; is that
16 A. It could be my signature. It looks like my
17 signature, but it's not as well written out as I
18 usually make it.
19 Q. Now, sir, you would agree with me that the
20 interrogations of the prisoners were attended to, among
21 other things, determine who was to be considered a
22 prisoner of war and who was a civilian?
23 A. That should be the role of the commission,
24 that should have been -- but not about war or non-war,
25 but it's more the degree of responsibility or guilt
1 because, in most cases, these were people who were
2 caught carrying weapons. Otherwise, they wouldn't have
3 been there.
4 Q. Well, sir, would you agree with me that the
5 detainees were protected under the third Geneva
6 Convention for prisoners of war?
7 JUDGE JAN: That's a legal question. How can
8 he answer?
9 MS. McHENRY:
10 Q. Let me ask another question. Sir, you would
11 agree that the Bosnian army considered that these
12 persons were protected under the third Geneva
13 Convention for prisoners of war?
14 JUDGE JAN: Explain to him "the third."
15 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, I believe that
16 this witness already knows, but if he tells me he
17 doesn't know, I certainly will.
18 JUDGE JAN: Ask him if he knows about the
20 A. I don't know what the third convention
21 provides exactly, but I'm sure that these persons were
23 MS. McHENRY:
24 Q. Sir, let me ask that this document be shown
25 to you. It's a document given to us by the Delalic
1 Defence. I have extra copies.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution document 238.
3 MS. McHENRY:
4 Q. Sir, first of all, whose signature is on that
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honours, could I ask my
7 friend to wait until we have received the copy,
9 MS. McHENRY: Yes, I can.
10 A. This should be my signature.
11 MS. McHENRY:
12 Q. When you say this should be your signature,
13 does that mean it is your signature?
14 A. Madam, I truly do not recall seeing this
15 document, but any expert could probably testify to it.
16 But as far as the signature is concerned, yes, it does
17 look like my signature, so probably it is my signature.
18 Q. Sir, you would agree with me that this
19 document indicates that the detainees in the prison
20 were protected under the third Geneva Convention for
21 prisoners of war?
22 A. That is probably correct. If I probably
23 signed it as a chief of staff, I had people who
24 prepared such documents for me. And somebody probably
25 knew precisely what the provisions of the third Geneva
1 Conventions are and, at that time, I may have known
2 that myself. I think it concerns human rights and
3 protection of war prisoners.
4 Q. Now, sir, with respect to the last
5 documents --
6 MS. McHENRY: The Prosecution would ask that
7 this document be admitted into evidence, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, I think it's
10 MS. McHENRY: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, sir, these last documents refer to
12 investigation commissions. Is it your testimony that
13 even though you were involved in these documents, no
14 one ever attempted to ascertain what happened to the
15 investigation committee that had operated in June of
17 A. Will you please repeat the question? I got
18 an incomplete interpretation of your question.
19 Q. I'm sorry, sir, could you please repeat your
20 answer, I believe there was a --
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It was not the answer,
22 you repeat your question.
23 MS. McHENRY: It's me, I'm sorry, I
25 Q. Sir, these last documents refer to the
1 investigation commission that was being set up to
2 interrogate the prisoners, is it your testimony that
3 even though you were involved in this, the subsequent
4 investigations, you never made any inquiry into what
5 happened to the June, 1992, investigation commission?
6 To find out what happened to them or their results?
7 A. If the 4th corps command, which would have
8 been the appropriate authority were ordering me to tell
9 me what I should do, it is not my job to question and
10 inquire about the reasons. I have no reason to do
11 that. In the last analysis, I had a commander and
12 myself or Mr. Dragan Andric would often substitute for
13 him, but we were not the ones who made any
14 determination in this regard.
15 Q. Well, sir, with respect to the commission
16 that was set up on January 5th, the document that you
17 recognised, that indicates that the commission is to
18 give a report, did you receive that report?
19 A. No, again, let me tell you, the municipal
20 headquarters was transformed again. It was actually
21 changed because the Sirag (phoen) 7th brigade was
22 established and then the 45th brigade was established
23 and a number of people from municipal headquarters went
24 to positions there. And in January, a new municipal
25 headquarters was established with completely new
1 personnel. Very, very few people were left from the
2 old one. So there was no continuity with respect to
3 what the old municipal staff was doing. And then
4 immediately after that you have Gordnia Pacov (phoen)
5 and the conflict between the HVO and the TO and then it
6 went on until -- this way until 1994, when you had the
7 final exchange.
8 Q. Sir, if I understood your testimony, on
9 January 5th of 1993, you signed an order appointing a
10 commission and ordering the commission to give a report
11 showing the following, who is was subject to court, who
12 is not, et cetera, correct? You have to say.
13 A. Based on these documents, yes, that is how it
14 looks look like.
15 Q. And on January 15th, some 10 days later, you,
16 yourself, are appointed head of municipal headquarters,
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And, sir, so my question is, did you receive
20 the report from the commission that you appointed on
21 the 5th of January?
22 A. Madam, the competence or the authority over
23 the prison which I had while I was substituting for the
24 commander was taken away from me, so the municipal
25 headquarters was no -- had no longer any authority over
1 the prison. The authority passed to the brigades. So
2 I could not have received such a report any more. I
3 was not -- and I was not a person who could have been
4 in charge of that. Either of this commission, and I am
5 referring now to the period when this new municipal
6 headquarters was established. The authority over the
7 prison was transferred to the brigades. It was not
8 with the municipal headquarters any longer. So if this
9 report was ever sent, it may have been sent to one of
10 the brigades, not to the municipal headquarters.
11 Q. Sir, I'm sorry, did I understand you that in
12 January, the authority over prisons was, including
13 Musala prison was taken away from municipal
14 headquarters entirely?
15 A. Without Musala, that was the only prison
16 where the -- where the prisoners were still being held
17 and the municipal headquarters did not have any
18 authority over the Musala prison after January.
19 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, I have no further
20 questions for this witness, thank you.
21 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, they got into
22 some new areas on cross-examination, and pursuant to
23 the order of the court, I would like permission to
24 explore these new areas. The order, I think, said that
25 if we requested that, it would be fairly freely
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There aren't any new
3 areas which are disclosed. Now cross-examination.
4 MR. KARABDIC: Your Honour, he could start
5 with this man's expertise as an international lawyer on
6 the Geneva conventions. He actually testified, though,
7 that there were certain people that had certain legal
9 JUDGE JAN: He was talking about being in
10 expressed by the command, if you read the order. It is
11 ordered that in the proceedings, proceeded the
12 provisions, it has been ordered to treat it as such.
13 Not that he says it was his own opinion.
14 MR. MORAN: Also, Your Honour, he
15 testified that certain persons had the status of
16 prisoners of war. He directly testified to that -- .
17 JUDGE JAN: He is merely reproducing what is
18 in the order.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: They were so described.
20 MR. MORAN: Again, I don't want to argue
21 with the court. Could I have five minutes of the
22 court's time, it's all I ask.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: No, unless it arose out
24 of it, but I don't think it did because they were
25 merely discussing the contents of the order.
1 MR. MORAN: Well, Your Honour, prior to
2 that, he was asked directly the status, there was
3 commission to decide upon persons who were held in the
4 camp and whether they were prisoners of war or
5 civilians and he made the flat statement that they were
6 prisoners of war and that is the area I would like to
7 explore, not what the order says.
8 JUDGE JAN: They've been treated as such.
9 Whether they were inside that prison or not is a
10 question of law.
11 MR. MORAN: I agree with the court
12 wholeheartedly. I just wanted to make sure that that
13 was clear, that he is not making that decision.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He did not. If you look
15 at it absolutely, it's there, clearly states it. Even
16 the fact of the Geneva Convention, everything was
17 stated there, and regarding them as war prisoners was
18 stated there, not that he was volunteering that
19 opinion. It's not --
20 JUDGE JAN: I think the person to answer that
21 question was the General Kevric when he appeared in the
22 witness box.
23 MR. MORAN: I recall that testimony. I
24 just didn't want this man's testimony to be given legal
25 weight as opposed to factual weight.
1 The court has obviously found my
2 reservations, and the court's obviously found my
3 reservations and I think that's all I need to do so
4 thank you very much, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any re-examination?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, if I may be
7 allowed, may I just say something in connection with
8 this document? If you follow it carefully, I don't
9 know how it has been translated, it says that we have
10 been ordered, and that is the municipal staff, the
11 command of the 4th corps has ordered us to act in
12 accordance of the provisions of the third Geneva
13 Conventions. None of us are experts of international
14 law. It is the command that gives us orders to act in
15 accordance with those provisions.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: What the court is
17 saying, it was not your opinion that you are obeying
18 this Geneva Convention or not. It was the order which
19 states what you should do.
20 Now, Ms. Residovic, what is your
21 re-examination, if there's any, in respect of areas
22 that have arisen from the cross-examination?
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: I will have some brief
24 questions, but before that, before addressing the
25 witness, the last documents tendered by my learned
1 friend, Ms. McHenry into evidence, according to my
2 translation, I heard that it was the last orders shown
3 to you, so I don't know whether you're referring to the
4 order of 5th January, 1993. If that order is included,
5 I just wish to note that this order has already been
6 admitted into evidence through the witness Bektacovic
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It was given number 238,
9 and its own requests, it's date 29th December, 1992.
10 It's quite different from that of the 5th of January,
11 if you notice it.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Because I have been given
13 another document of the 29th of December, '92 and as it
14 wasn't quite precise, and to be able to keep track of
15 the evidence, could my learned friend check whether
16 these are the documents we are referring to? I am
17 doing my best to follow, but I feel there is a little
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Why do you think it's
20 fair? If you have areas in issue, pursue that, and if
21 there's any ambiguity, we will clarify that. If you
22 have any re-examination arising out of the
23 cross-examination, if you have none, we know this
24 witness is concluded, his testimony, and then we'll
25 decide what to do.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: I will have some
2 re-examination related to the cross-examination by the
4 Re-examination by Ms. Residovic
5 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, you said that at one point in
6 time in July 1992, you took over command over a unit in
7 the area Tisavica. Will you tell me, please, under
8 whose order did you take over command of a combat unit?
9 A. By orders of the commander Esad Ramic.
10 Q. Thank you. During the cross-examination, you
11 also said that towards the end of June, Mr. Delalic
12 became a member of the TO and went to Vranske Stijene.
13 My question is: In executing this task, did Mr.
14 Delalic have any command military function or was it
15 the function of an ordinary soldier?
16 A. He had the function of an ordinary soldier
17 and I think that is what I said.
18 Q. Mr. Tahirovic, you said that that was the
19 first time, and that is a month before he became
20 commander, that was the first time that Mr. Delalic
21 became a member of the Territorial Defence. Tell me,
22 from April until he went into the Oganj Operation, was
23 Mr. Delalic a civilian or a military man?
24 A. A civilian.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Tahirovic. I
1 have no further questions. Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think you're
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, may I address the
5 court with a request, please? Just one minute, a
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If you have any good
8 reasons for doing so, because you're no longer a
10 THE WITNESS: I believe it need not be as a
11 witness, it is not directly related, but it is related
12 to my testimony here last time.
13 At one of the satellite programs, there is a
14 daily Hague report, and the picture is probably
15 broadcast from here. Asked by Ms. Residovic whether
16 Mr. Zejnil Delalic was ever a commander of the
17 Territorial Defence, my answer is no, and actually what
18 is shown is a recording which should disprove what I
20 Afterwards, that tape was shown on Belgrade
21 Television. I think that, in a sense, this is
22 extremely incorrect with relation to me and my personal
23 integrity and the position that I took here in this
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Was part of your
1 evidence before the Tribunal also recorded and shown,
2 part of your evidence before the Tribunal?
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes. Just when Ms.
4 Risedovic asked me whether Zejnil Delalic was ever a TO
5 commander, and my answer is no. And after that, a
6 recording is shown which should prove that I am lying.
7 I think that this is not fair and I think we should pay
8 attention in the future because these are programs
9 watched by the whole world and I consider it insulting.
10 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Recordings are
11 authenticated, and I am sure your counsel knows about
12 the recording. If it's inaccurate, I am sure they
13 would have objected to it.
14 In any event, I suppose we have heard you.
15 I'm not aware of any such confusion. Thank you very
16 much for your assistance. I am grateful for pointing
17 out, perhaps, any such error.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you too.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, linked to the
20 remark made by the witness, the Defence has heard from
21 many quarters that this part of the proceedings is
22 being incorrectly reported, and I wish to inform you
23 that we will address the registry of the Tribunal and
24 ask to see these recordings and request that this
25 Tribunal insist on objective reporting on what this
1 Tribunal is doing.
2 I didn't consider it necessary for me to
3 speak because I was not aware of what the witness was
4 going to say, but I do wish to inform you that the
5 Defence counsel will address the registry which is
6 responsible for objective reporting.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I have already mentioned
8 it to him and I mentioned what could be done. Thank
9 you very much, Witness.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you too.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If you have any other
12 witness, let's have him.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: The Defence calls witness
14 Midhat Cerovac.
15 (The witness entered court)
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much for
17 complying with the order of the trial chamber, but I
18 still observe a lot of duplication of your witnesses
19 and far more than that. I don't know what you're doing
20 by that type of approach. It's a very difficult thing
21 for one to hear the same thing four, five, six times.
22 As I said last time during our status
23 conference, I don't think a number of times for which a
24 thing is said makes any difference to its voracity or
25 its acceptability by the Trial Chamber, but you might
1 still discuss further at the status conference what is
2 besetting the Trial Chamber.
3 JUDGE JAN: Ask this witness to show the role
4 and responsibility of a coordinator and TG-1 commander,
5 and you also were examining Hadzihuseinovic in this
6 regard. Why don't you pick one of them on the same
7 subject? In fact, I think Hadzihuseinovic probably
8 would be in a better position to tell us. He was the
9 president of the war presidency. What precisely was
10 the role assigned to him as a coordinator?
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours --
12 JUDGE JAN: The number of witnesses isn't
13 what proves the point. It's the quality of the
14 evidence that is important. One witness may be
15 sufficient if his evidence is really reliable, but
16 you're examining at least two witnesses, one and two,
17 on the same subject. Maybe you can keep those
18 questions for Hadzihuseinovic who was the president of
19 the war presidency.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes. For those reasons, we
21 called the witness Hadzihuseinovic, but you are well
22 aware of the charges against my client, and the
23 Prosecutor has not changed those charges to this
25 I also do not think that the number of
1 witnesses may prove a fact to be true or not, but so
2 far during the testimony of the prosecution witnesses,
3 we have only heard and seen witnesses who have
4 indirectly spoken about the situation in Konjic and the
5 functions of my client. You drew our attention, during
6 the expert witness testimony, that some documents may
7 only corroborate an opinion, but that those witnesses
8 cannot authenticate a document because they were not
9 familiar with them at the time, nor can they be fact
11 Now, in order to give the Trial Chamber an
12 opportunity to make a fair judgement, but also for the
13 Trial Chamber to really learn about what happened
14 there, even though it may have been very complicated in
15 conditions of war, we're calling eyewitnesses who were
16 on the spot, who held certain positions. We will call
17 people, the chief of staff of the tactical group and
18 first commander of the tactical group, if necessary,
19 because we want you to know what happened there.
20 It is not the same when you hear things from
21 somebody who was never there or who came there after
22 the events or, rather, someone who was a direct
23 participate in those events. And that is for those
24 reasons that we feel it may be for you to hear even
25 three times that people didn't have enough to eat,
1 because we have heard at least 50 times that people
2 only got one slice of bread.
3 I don't say that the number of repetitions is
4 important, but an assessment of what the previous
5 witness said will probably depend on what you hear from
6 this witness. Maybe ten witnesses are sufficient to
7 cover all areas, but if we bring 20 who will complement
8 one another because each one of them does not have the
9 same duties. Because I still remember the suggestion
10 of the president that the court has to establish the
11 truth, and I know that a criminal court has to see
12 whether the prosecution has proven the charges or not.
13 But when a court has to assess what happened
14 in Konjic and why it happened, I think that the facts
15 are also important. The moment when you tell us that
16 this fact has been cleared up from the standpoint of
17 the Trial Chamber or if the prosecution quashes
18 account, we would no longer need to call so many
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. I
21 think we understand you. I indicated during the course
22 of the week we're likely to have a status conference
23 to, perhaps, flesh out some of these difficulties. We
24 might as well carry on with this witness until such a
25 time as a proper action has been taken.
1 Let's swear him and carry on with the
2 evidence that you are presenting. Thank you. Swear
3 the witness, please.
4 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please take your seat.
8 MIDHAT CEROVAC
9 Examination by Ms. Residovic:
10 Q. Sir, will you please introduce yourself to
11 the Trial Chamber by telling us your first and last
13 A. My name is Midhat Cerovac.
14 Q. Mr. Cerovac, before I continue with the
15 examination, it is my duty, for your own benefit and
16 the benefit of the Trial Chamber, to warn you that we
17 speak the same language, so we may tend to speak very
18 quickly, but we need to make ourselves understood in
19 this courtroom. So, please, when I put a question to
20 you, please listen to hear the end of the translation
21 on the headphones on the table. When you hear that the
22 translation is over, only then answer the question
23 because, in that way, all your answers will completely
24 be translated.
25 Please, turn up the volume on the headphones,
1 and when you hear the end of my translation, answer my
2 question. I apologise for wasting time on such
3 technical matters, but I think it is important.
4 Mr. Cerovac, will you please tell the Trial
5 Chamber when you were born and where?
6 A. I was born on the 18th of October, 1940 and
7 I'm a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- 1960, sorry and
8 I'm a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Will you tell me what is your educational
10 background and your occupation?
11 A. I completed primary and secondary school in
12 Konjic and my studies in Sarajevo in 1983.
13 Q. Where were you and what were you doing in
14 April 1992?
15 A. In April 1992, I was working as a head of
16 security and intelligence in the municipal staff of the
17 Territorial Defence of Konjic.
18 Q. Mr. Cerovac, could you tell the court what
19 were your duties in 1992?
20 A. In 1992, I had the following duties: I said
21 that when the war started, my position was in the
22 municipal staff as head of security and intelligence
23 matters. When the war broke out, I was an operations
24 officer in the municipal staff. I was chief of staff
25 of the municipal staff. I was an officer for
1 operations and training in the joint command of the TO
2 and the HVO, and I was also assistant chief of staff
3 for operations and training and assistant chief of
4 staff in the joint command. At the end of 1992, I took
5 over the post of brigade commander.
6 Q. When were you demobilised from the army of
8 A. I was demobilised in August 1995.
9 Q. Mr. Cerovac, were you wounded during the war
10 and do you have certain traumatic consequences from the
12 A. Yes, I was wounded in 1994. I was very
13 seriously wounded in the immediate vicinity of the town
14 of Konjic.
15 Q. Regardless of those traumatic experiences,
16 you can speak frankly before this Tribunal about the
17 facts you are familiar with; isn't that so?
18 A. Yes. I shall do my best to convey to the
19 court all facts so that it may establish the truth.
20 Thank you.
21 Q. I have been told by the interpreters to ask
22 you to slow down a little bit, and so please do that.
23 A. In view of those duties that you performed in
24 the course of 1992, could you tell us what was
25 happening in the territorial defence in Konjic in April
2 JUDGE JAN: In what respect? In what
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: I have no translation.
5 JUDGE JAN: Please specify which field you
6 have in mind when you are talking about changes.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: We are talking about changes
8 in the reorganisation of the Territorial Defence and
9 its transformation into the army. I think the witness
11 Q. Do you understand my question? Do you know
12 what was happening? As a member of the staff in April
13 1992, did any changes occur in the Territorial Defence
14 of Konjic?
15 A. Yes. According to our chain of command
16 structure, we were subordinated to the district TO
17 staff, and then the vertical chain of command and
18 control went towards the republican staff of the TO
19 based in Sarajevo.
20 Sometime in the first half of April, the
21 presidency of the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina passed
22 a decree on Territorial Defence making certain
23 corrections in the sense that the republican TO staff
24 was being abolished. And republican staff of Territory
25 Defence was being formed so that all the municipal and
1 district staffs in the system of control and command
2 have to be subordinated to, as I just said, the newly
3 formed republican staff of the Territorial Defence of
5 Q. Mr. Cerovac, did the municipal TO staff
6 organise itself in accordance with these instructions
7 coming from the presidency?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you tell the court when this happened?
10 JUDGE JAN: He said "middle of April." The
11 middle of April, he has already said that.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Very well. The witness said
13 when the regulations were passed.
14 Q. But my question is whether they acted in
15 Konjic in accordance with those regulations.
16 A. Yes. We did act in accordance with those
17 regulations because we had to respect the decisions of
18 our presidency. I know that at a meeting of the
19 municipal assembly of Konjic, a proposal was made for
20 the new commander of the municipal TO staff and the
21 municipal assembly proposed as the new commander,
22 Mr. Enver Redzepovic. He is a former officer of the
23 Yugoslav People's Army who abandoned, who deserted,
24 from the JNA.
25 MR. OLUJIC: Your Honours, with your
1 permission, Mr. Mucic begs to be excused for a few
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes. You may be excused
4 for a few minutes. Carry on.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC:
6 Q. Mr. Cerovac, in accordance with those
7 provisional instructions, was the municipal staff
8 subordinated to the district staff in Mostar and, if
9 that did not happen, who was it subordinated to?
10 A. We were not subordinated to the Mostar staff,
11 our immediate superior command, because in Mostar, no
12 district TO staff was formed, so we were subordinated
13 directly to the republican TO staff.
14 Q. Mr. Cerovac, that level of subordination
15 between the municipal and the republic staff, did this
16 situation remain until the fourth corps was formed?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. After the decision to act in accordance with
19 the provisional instructions, did some members of the
20 staff --
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, you said
23 JUDGE JAN: This has already come on the
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Several times.
1 JUDGE JAN: There was no district staff in
2 Mostar. Therefore, it was subordinated directly to the
3 ministry of defence, the republican staff. That has
4 already come on the record, so it's just a repetition
5 of the same. It doesn't add anything to our
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There has been no
8 challenge of that sequence. Nobody has opposed that
9 structure which has been accepted by everyone.
10 JUDGE JAN: As long as you have in mind the
11 resolution of the municipal assembly, where they
12 appointed a person as a commander of the TO, but your
13 position is that is merely a recommendation and the
14 appointment was being made by the superior command, the
15 republican staff?
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, that is our
17 position, but you also are saying that nobody is
18 disputing that. However, the Prosecution is saying all
19 this time that this was only on paper and that the
20 actual relationships were different. This is a fact
21 witness here. We are bringing here witnesses who are
22 going to say what had come into effect when.
23 JUDGE JAN: Just this morning, Ms. McHenry
24 did ask the question, that the appointments were being
25 made by the municipal --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Judge
3 JUDGE JAN: But we have also evidence that
4 all his appointments were being made by the superior
5 command in Sarajevo.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to Judge Jan,
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I did not get
9 the interpretation of your question because the
10 microphone kept going off and on.
11 JUDGE JAN: It's not important.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Don't be unduly nervous
13 and sensitive about these things. What we're saying,
14 quite a number of the evidence that you are now leading
15 remains unchallenged from earlier witnesses and
16 accepted. Obviously, even if counsel --
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, I apologise.
18 I'm not getting any interpretation, and my English is
19 really not good enough for me to be able to fully
20 comprehend what you're saying.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You were referring to
22 Ms. McHenry's suggestion that most of these things were
23 on paper and there was something different on the
24 ground --
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: Sorry, Your Honours. I'm
1 really not getting an interpretation.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: There might be some
3 difficulty with --
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: Very well. I think that it's
5 working now. I apologise to you, Your Honour. I
6 really was unable to follow your comment.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Your apprehension that
8 it was argued that all that has been said on paper, and
9 that a different arrangement was going on on the
10 ground, it was immediately rejected by the witness
11 himself. I don't see why you should have even
12 bothered. The witness himself said what he has stated
13 is what has been happening. Why are you too nervous
14 about anybody suggesting something like that? You
15 don't have to be. Rely on the evidence and go ahead
16 with the witness you have and are tendering to this
17 Trial Chamber. That is your case. The Prosecution can
18 put up whatever case it likes, but that is a different
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I
21 believe that I have enough presence of mind and balance
22 here to present all my evidence here. My insecurity
23 may come from certain points that, by now, have become
24 clear to me sufficiently, but I take heed of your
25 comments, and I will continue and try to be as concise
1 as possible.
2 However, as regards this witness and
3 Mr. Hadzihuseinovic, this is not going to be as easy
4 because they have both been involved with this area and
5 they may have a number of things to testify to. So I
6 beg for your indulgence in trying to get to the bottom
7 of it.
8 Q. Mr. Cerovac, during this period, that is, in
9 April of 1992, when you were in the process of
10 reorganisation of the Territorial Defence to comply
11 with the new regulations, did someone come there from
12 the staff of the Territorial Defence in Konjic to help
13 you with your reorganisation?
14 A. Yes. I believe this was sometime, maybe
15 several days, after the municipal assembly meeting when
16 the new appointment for a commander was discussed. A
17 gentleman who introduced himself as Mr. Asim Dzambosovic
18 (phoen), who said he was coming on behalf of the
19 general staff to help us reorganise the municipal
20 headquarters, and he also introduced himself to me as a
21 former lieutenant colonel of the JNA.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Cerovac, were there any
23 orders by the newly created state or any of its bodies
24 to the effect that all significant, but especially all
25 military, facilities would be placed under its control,
1 those facilities which were in the territory of the
3 A. Yes. For us, in practical terms, this meant
4 creation of a state army and assuming full control of
5 the facilities that are important for the defence of
6 the country and that were defined, as such, by the
7 former secretariat of People's Defence of the former
8 country. So we felt obliged to carry out this order by
9 the supreme body of our new state.
10 Q. In which way did you try to take control of
11 these facilities in the territory of the municipality?
12 A. Our starting point in taking control of these
13 bodies was to do it in a peaceful way. We did not want
14 conflicts with the JNA. We considered that the troops
15 of the JNA were very young. We did not want to create
16 any unnecessary bad blood.
17 Q. Mr. Cerovac, did any military facility come
18 into your possession during April 1992?
19 A. We took control of our first military
20 facility in the territory of Konjic in April. This was
21 the former JNA barracks in the village of Celebici. I
22 personally took part in taking control of this
23 facility. I was in a group and I led a group, which
24 was tasked with, in cases of unforeseen circumstances,
25 engaging in combat.
1 Q. Mr. Cerhovac, was previously an agreement
2 reached to take control of this facility in a peaceful
3 way and did any fighting take place during this
5 A. The former commander of the municipal
6 territorial headquarters, Mr. Smajo Prevlak, who was
7 there before Mr. Redzepovic, told me that it was done
8 in a peaceful manner, but he did not elaborate. When I
9 entered the barracks, I realised that an agreement had
10 been reached, that there would be no unnecessary
11 blood shed in the take-over.
12 Upon the completion of this operation, I
13 talked to a group of young men. They were all about 18
14 years of age, who were rank and file soldiers in the
15 JNA and were in charge of the Celebici barracks.
16 Q. Mr. Cerhovac, certain details may not be
17 important for this facility. I would just like to ask
18 you about these young men. Were these men sent home in
19 a safe manner?
20 MR. OLUJIC: Your Honour, my apologies, but
21 this witness has been identified as "Tahirovic"
22 throughout, ever since he started testifying, and his
23 name is "Cerovac," and so we have consistently missed
24 the identification of this witness. I would just like
25 to point it out.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: That's correct. I think
2 the error should be corrected all the way through.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC:
4 Q. Mr. Cerovac, I'll repeat my question. Were
5 these young men sent safely back to their homes?
6 A. Yes. These young men were sent away safely,
7 and I believe that civilian authorities did provide
8 money and even civilian clothes for these young men to
9 be properly dressed, and I think it was Mr. Redzepovic
10 who was in charge of that. He escorted them to
11 Jablanica by bus, and I believe after that they were
12 sent on in the direction of Split.
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Cerovac, in this group which
14 entered the Celebici barracks that evening, was
15 Mr. Zejnil Delalic among them?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell me what was the task of
18 Mr. Zejnil Delalic in that group?
19 A. Zejnil Delalic was in a group which was
20 tasked with bringing out the material, and I think that
21 it was actually some weapons and some ordnance. He was
22 also tasked with providing security, to secure a truck
23 to transport these things to a warehouse or depot.
24 Q. Mr. Cerovac, were other military facilities
25 taken over in the Konjic municipality, Ljuta, Ark,
1 Zlata, I'm just mentioning them because the Trial
2 Chamber already is aware of what the military
3 facilities were there in Konjic itself?
4 A. Yes. There were three further facilities of
5 the JNA. It was Ljuta, Zlatar and a facility called
6 D-0 or Ark. We also tried to establish contact with
7 commanders of these facilities because we also knew
8 that there were young men serving their military duty
9 from different parts of Yugoslavia there, and their
10 superior officer was Officer Velici (phoen).
11 Q. And was a peaceful take-over agreed to?
12 A. With a demonstration of force, that is, by
13 using fire, they pulled back to a place called Delica
14 Polana (phoen).
15 Q. Mr. Cerovac, when were the last military
16 facilities in the territory of Konjic placed under
17 control of the legal authorities?
18 A. All these facilities were placed under
19 control of the authorities in the course of the month
20 of May, by the end of May.
21 Q. Mr. Cerovac, was Mr. Delalic taking part in
22 any operations for the take-over of any of these
24 A. He did not take part in the take-over of the
25 facilities at Zlata, Ljuta or Ark.
1 Q. Mr. Cerovac, do you know where Mr. Zejnil
2 Delalic was at the time?
3 A. For the most part of the month of May,
4 Mr. Zejnil Delalic spent in the republic of Croatia.
5 Just before his departure, we had a conversation. He
6 said that he was in a position to acquire some things
7 for the Territorial Defence. Since I knew what weapons
8 we needed, he asked me what it would be and I told him.
9 Q. Can you tell me, in early May when these
10 facilities were taken over, as you testified, who was
11 the commander of the TO headquarters?
12 A. It was Mr. Esad Ramic.
13 Q. I'm not going to ask you about the situation
14 in Konjic and the blockade there because a number of
15 witnesses have already testified to that. I'm just
16 going to move on to the question, whether, in the month
17 of May, there were any combat operations in order to
18 lift the blockade off the town of Konjic?
19 A. We received an order from the superior
20 command in the municipal headquarters of the TO of
21 Konjic. We received it from the republican TO
22 headquarters to prepare a unit which would be 200
24 Q. Mr. Cerovac, before we talk about this unit,
25 I would like to ask you whether there was a time in May
1 when there were some combat activities in the territory
2 of Konjic municipality on the roads which had been
4 A. If we are talking about the territory of the
5 Konjic municipality, yes, there were some very
6 significant events going on which affected the whole
7 municipality. On Highway M-17, we were blocked on the
8 northern end by the Serb forces and also in the
9 north-western area. We were also blocked by the Serb
10 forces in the area of villages Doni Selo and
11 Blalovicina (phoen).
12 As far as the combat operations are concerned
13 in the areas that I just mentioned, the representatives
14 of both the military and civilian authorities did try
15 to resolve the conflict peacefully. I know personally
16 that with respect to Bradina and the Serb forces there,
17 the negotiations were taking place in Podorasac, and I
18 know the person who was in charge of --
19 Q. No. We don't need those details. Could you
20 just tell me whether there were some combat activities
21 that followed in order to lift the blockade of these
23 A. Yes, because these negotiations failed, and
24 on 20 May, there were combat activities around Doni
1 Q. Do you know who signed the order, who issued
2 the order, for this combat operation to lift the
3 blockade at Doni Selo, since, at that time, you were
4 both at the municipal staff and in the joint command?
5 A. The order was prepared and all the documents
6 were prepared in the joint command. The commander at
7 the time, Mr. Omer Boric, and Mr. Dinko Zebic who was
8 the chief of staff of the joint command both signed it.
9 Q. Mr. Cerovac, before they combat operations
10 for the lifting of the blockade of the town of Konjic
11 from the northern side?
12 A. Yes. This was in the area of the village of
13 Bradina and preparations were also conducted in the
14 month of May. The operations took place between the
15 25th and 27th of May.
16 Q. Was any armed resistance offered to the
17 Territorial Defence units during this combat operation?
18 A. Yes. The Territorial Defence units had
19 casualties, both in terms of men killed and wounded.
20 Q. Mr. Cerovac, can you tell me, do you know,
21 given the position you held at the joint command, who
22 issued the order for this combat operation and, if you
23 do, who was the commander in charge of the combat
24 operation in the area of combat?
25 A. The order for the lifting of the blockade of
1 the M-17 Highway in the area of Bradina was issued by
2 the joint command, and it was again, signed by Mr. Omer
3 Boric and Mr. Dinko Zebic. The commander who was in
4 charge for carrying out this combat operation was
5 Mr. Zvonko Zovko and, if I recall correctly, his call
6 name was Vojo.
7 Q. Mr. Cerovac, did Mr. Zejnil Delalic have any
8 military position or military task in these combat
9 operations in Doni Selo and Bradina?
10 A. No, not even in theory, let alone in
11 practise. As far as Doni Selo is concerned,
12 Mr. Delalic was in Zagreb. This was May 20.
13 Q. Mr. Cerovac, after this period of combat
14 operations in Doni Selo and Bradina, were any other
15 combat operations conducted, that is, did any fighters
16 from Konjic take part in any combat operations outside
17 of the town of Konjic?
18 A. Yes. In that month, members of the
19 Territorial Defence of the Konjic municipality, for the
20 first time, left the territory of the Konjic
21 municipality to engage in further combat operations.
22 We received an order from the command headquarters in
23 Sarajevo to establish a unit 200 strong, to
24 logistically support it, and to subordinate it to the
25 Tactical Group 1 commander, Mr. Polutak. The itinerary
1 that this unit was to go on was Konjic Pazaric.
2 Q. Did the municipal headquarters carry out this
4 A. Absolutely.
5 Q. At the time when this unit called Girat
6 (phoen), which was sent from Konjic to be placed under
7 command of Tactical Group 1, that is, its commander,
8 Mustafa Polutak, who was the commander of the municipal
9 headquarters in Konjic?
10 A. It was Mr. Esad Ramic.
11 Q. Who issued the order establishment of the
12 Girat unit numbering 200 men, as you mentioned?
13 A. It was the commander of the municipal
14 headquarters, Mr. Esad Ramic.
15 Q. Mr. Cerovac, can you say what was the role of
16 Mr. Zejnil Delalic with respect to this unit and its
17 departure for Pazaric?
18 A. The municipal headquarters received this very
19 difficult task of equipping 200 men combat-ready. We
20 tried to assess the situation to figure out how we can
21 bring together such a force because we had a lot of
22 defence lines around the town.
23 We selected a group from an area called Klis
24 (phoen). However, our logistics support was very
25 deficient. We did not have quality equipment. We did
1 not have uniforms, communications equipment, and that's
2 where Mr. Zejnil Delalic did a very good job by
3 providing good quality uniforms, warm uniforms, to the
4 unit and communications equipment and cigarettes and so
6 Q. Very well, Mr. Cerovac. Since this was the
7 first group of soldiers that left the territory of the
8 municipality, how were they sent off by the municipal
10 A. We had a morning briefing at the municipal
11 headquarters and we adopted a decision to make it a
12 little more of a ceremony. I know that we agreed that
13 the president of the war presidency was there, the
14 commander of the headquarters would show up, that they
15 would address the soldiers, the citizenry would show
16 up. Also, a position was taken regarding Mr. Delalic's
17 participation in this because he provided really good
18 uniforms. At that time, every soldier desired to be
19 properly clothed.
20 Q. Very well, Mr. Cerovac. I know that the
21 Trial Chamber is fully aware of the difficult situation
22 at that time, but what was Mr. Delalic's role there?
23 Did he have any command role with respect to this Girat
25 A. Mr. Delalic had no command role. He could
1 not have any command role because he was not appointed
2 to any command duty in the municipal headquarters. It
3 was Mr. Sead Padalovic who, unfortunately, is no longer
4 with us who was in charge.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: Is this the right moment to
6 break off for the day or do you have another
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: All right. We can break
9 now and continue tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 5.31 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day of
13 May, 1998 at 10.00 a.m.