1 --- Upon commencing at 10.08 a.m.
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies and
3 gentlemen. Can we have the appearances, please.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, please, my name
5 is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues, Ms.
6 McHenry, Mr. Turone and Mr. Huber for the Prosecution.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, may we have the
8 appearances for the Defence.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours, I
10 am Edina Residovic, counsel for Mr. Zejnil Delalic.
11 Together with me is here, Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan,
12 professor from Canada. Your Honours, I believe that
13 there was a confusion yesterday. The witnesses who we
14 called were on the list of witnesses. I would like to
15 draw your attention to the fact that this list is dated
16 20th of May and they were indicated as Witnesses B and
17 C on that list. These witnesses are actually witness
18 Delalic and witness Ciso and I apologise if we had
19 caused this confusion.
20 MR. DURIC: Today I am sitting in for my
21 colleagues Mr. Olujic and Mr. Tomislav Kuzmanovic who
22 are away from the seat of the Tribunal for professional
23 reasons. On behalf of Mr. Zdravko Mucic, thank you.
24 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, Your Honours, my
25 name is Salih Karabdic, I am an attorney from Sarajevo
1 and I defend Mr. Hazim Delic.
2 MS. McMURREY: Good morning, Your Honours, I
3 am Cynthia McMurrey, along with my colleague, Ms. Nancy
4 Boler. We represent Mr. Esad Landzo.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Well, thank you very
6 much, Ms. Residovic, for your correction. But actually
7 the Trial Chamber was relying on the latest lists of
8 witnesses, so I am happy for your correction. Please
9 invite the witness.
10 (The witness entered court)
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: May I proceed Your Honour?
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Remind the witness he's
13 still under oath.
14 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you
15 are still under oath.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: May I proceed, Your Honours?
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, you may.
18 ISMET CISO
19 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS. RESIDOVIC:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ciso, I hope you've had
21 some rest and I hope that you feel a bit better this
23 A. I feel a lot better, thank you.
24 Q. Yesterday I told you to wait for the
25 interpretation of my question and I would kindly ask
1 you to do so today, again, so that the interpreters do
2 not have to interrupt us and draw our attention to that
4 Mr. Ciso, yesterday you indicated that you,
5 Dzemal Delalic and Elvir, assisted by a young woman, a
6 refugee from Bosnia-Herzegovina that you had put up a
7 so-called, an unedited tape, do you remember saying
8 that before the Tribunal yesterday?
9 A. Yes, I remember saying that.
10 Q. Could you tell us what you did with these raw
11 copies of the videotape?
12 A. These two or three unedited tapes were taken
13 by myself and Sefik to Zagreb and we handed them over
14 to the journalist, Ekrem Milic. And Sefik took that
15 opportunity because he, himself, had taken part in the
16 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so he took this opportunity
17 to clarify a number of things that were quite
18 significant for journalist, Milic.
19 Q. Ekrem Milic, did he believe at that time that
20 he had enough material and what was his idea as to how
21 you should proceed with the tape?
22 A. Ekrem Milic told us that he would have a look
23 at these raw copies. That it was easier for him to
24 work with two or three tapes instead of twenty or even
25 thirty tapes, so he took these tapes with him and he
1 told us that he would inform us later on, through Vaso,
2 what he had done with the tapes. And he also indicated
3 that he would make, he would compose a text to go with
4 these video recordings. And we were supposed to edit
5 the texts, together with the tape in Vienna later on.
6 And put up a final version of the tape.
7 Q. Mr. Ciso, what was the purpose of that tape?
8 A. Well, first of all, that tape was supposed to
9 be some kind of denial to the negative articles that
10 had appeared in Croatian press about the Town of
11 Konjic, about Mr. Zejnil Delalic himself and about the
12 general situation in the area. It was supposed to be
13 some kind of counter campaign to these negative texts
14 of the media in Croatia.
15 Q. Your involvement with that tape, was it
16 completed with that conversation in Zagreb or were you
17 in any way involved again in the edition of this tape?
18 A. My involvement did not stop at that point,
19 but our work in Vienna had almost been completed. We
20 were waiting for a report and for professional editing
21 of that tape from Mr. Ekrem Milic, which happened very
22 soon after that. And Dzemal told me, maybe after 10
23 days, Ekrem sent the tapes back, together with his
24 comments on them, comments that were supposed to go
25 with the video recordings and with the text that we
1 were supposed to insert in the final version of the
2 tape. He wrote us as to how we should proceed with the
3 editing of the tape.
4 Q. Did you follow the instructions that you had
5 received from Mr. Milic and who did that and where?
6 A. We fully complied with the instruction given
7 to us by Mr. Milic and we trusted him. We trusted that
8 it had been done in a professional way because this is
9 a journalist task. So as soon as we received the
10 materials, we went to the premises of Inda-Bau company,
11 where we had all the necessary technical equipment
12 available to edit the final version of the tape.
13 And Dzemal, Elvir and myself and this young woman that
14 I mentioned and whom we had asked to read the text, we
15 started putting up the final version of the tape.
16 Q. Mr. Ciso, can you remember today the text
17 that you inserted in the videotape?
18 A. Well that tape was not such an important
19 subject in my life. I know it has become important in
20 these proceedings, but it's very difficult for me to
21 remember all the details. However, there are certain
22 things that I do remember. The most significant parts,
23 the most significant segments of the texts, for
24 example, which to me as a lay person sounded a bit
25 pompous. Let me give you an example. For example, Mr.
1 Delalic, he was accused of being a Serb spy and he had
2 fled in a Chetnik helicopter and so on. Those had been
3 the allegations and Ekrem Milic, in order to counter
4 such a propaganda, wrote that he had detained Serbs in
5 prisons in that area. So I, again, as I say, it
6 seemed, for me it was difficult to accept because I am
7 a lay person, I don't know anything about that. But I
8 cannot tell you more about the details in connection
9 with this tape.
10 Q. Mr. Ciso, could you remember what was
11 suggested as the ending of the tape?
12 A. I would rather start with the beginning of
13 the tape. You must remember that this was also the
14 beginning of the creation of our state and Ekrem, as a
15 person who knew about editing, told us that we should
16 insert a scene with the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
17 that this should be the beginning of the tape. And the
18 end, he said should be Zejnil's first arrival from
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the meeting in Inda-Bau company
20 because it was a very emotional event. So he thought
21 that this should be a suitable moment for the ending of
22 the tape.
23 Q. In relation to this suggestion, as to how to
24 finish the tape, did you also follow the instructions
25 of Mr. Milic, or did you add something yourself?
1 A. I didn't add anything. I didn't make any
2 proposals in connection with the tape because I believe
3 that it had been done in a professional way. However
4 Dzemal Delalic had a video recording of a very brief
5 statement made by Mr. Zejnil Delalic, which had been
6 given to him by Zejnil. And which he thought, which he
7 wanted, as he had told me, which he wanted to send to
8 Sarajevo in order to express his dissatisfaction with
9 the general situation in the area at that moment. So
10 Dzemal said that this should, perhaps, be the best
11 ending of the final version of the tape, which we did,
12 which we accepted.
13 Q. Mr. Ciso, did Dzemal tell you when Zejnil
14 Delalic had recorded that statement? The one that was
15 suggested by Dzemal as the ending of the tape.
16 A. I didn't ask him about that and I don't know
17 when that video recording was made, but I assume that
18 it was done after his arrival in Vienna.
19 Q. After you had edited the tape, according to
20 Milic's instructions and after you had inserted that
21 portion suggested by Dzemal, what did you do with the
22 tape afterwards? If you can tell us that. If yourself
23 took part in it.
24 A. Yes, I did take part in the editing of the
25 tape. We took it back to Ekrem Milic in Zagreb. We
1 wanted him to see the tape and to give his assessment
2 of the quality of our work. We wanted to know whether
3 we had managed to follow his instructions in making up
4 the tape.
5 Q. Were there any objections?
6 A. A few days later Ekrem was in touch with us
7 and he said that we had put significant effort in
8 editing the tape. However, he thought that the final
9 product was an amateur tape and that he didn't quite
10 appreciate the way the text was read. He thought that
11 this should have been done by a professional, a radio
12 reporter, for example. And he thought that the tape
13 could fulfil its purpose, but he said that he didn't
14 want to do that without the approval of Zejnil Delalic
16 Q. Did you yourself ask Zejnil's approval? That
17 is, did you ever show him the tape?
18 A. No. When Ekrem Milic returned the tape to
19 us, he had sent it by coach from Zagreb. Dzemal and
20 his wife Suada took the tape and went to Munich to see
21 Zejnil. I would have probably gone myself if I had had
22 a visa, but it was very difficult for us to go to
23 Germany from Austria, in spite of the fact that I was
24 employed in Austria. Anyway, Suada and Dzemal took the
25 tape to Zejnil in Munich and they wanted him to review
1 the tape.
2 Q. Do you know what Zejnil thought about the
4 A. On the same day, in the evening, Zejnil
5 called my apartment and he told me that he was really
6 moved by our attention and by our attempts to fight the
7 media. However, he expressed his opinion as to the
8 tape itself and thought that the tape did not really
9 correspond; did not meet standards, technical
10 standards, and was not true in terms of comments. He
11 thought there were lots of exaggerations in the
12 description of the events and so on.
13 He said that he did not want the tape to
14 reach the public; however, he said that he would try
15 and use some other methods to defend his respect and
16 his integrity. He was thinking of hiring lawyers and
17 taking some kind of legal action.
18 Q. Did you accept such a position of Mr. Zejnil
19 Delalic and was it at the end of your involvement with
20 the tape?
21 A. Well, this is something that you had to
22 accept because it was a personal thing of Mr. Zejnil
23 Delalic. I mean, we would have been liars again if we
24 had released such a tape without his approval. So of
25 course we heeded his advice, and that's how we
1 proceeded, that is, the tape remained as a souvenir to
2 a couple of us who were working on it, and this is
3 something that I have at home in my private videotapes.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ciso, after your involvement
5 with the tape, did you later on, at any point in time,
6 meet with Mr. Zejnil Delalic and when was that?
7 A. After our last meeting in the premises of
8 Inda-Bau in Vienna, I met with Zejnil Delalic. I
9 cannot tell you the exact date, but I know that it was
10 after the funeral of his brother Sefik in Vienna. It
11 was his personal tragedy. He lost two brothers on the
12 same day, Sefik in Vienna and Vejsil in Zagreb. They
13 both died of natural causes within the time frame of
14 two hours.
15 Q. Were you, Mr. Ciso, present at these funerals
16 and was Mr. Delalic also present at these funerals?
17 A. Yes, I was present at the funerals. The
18 first one was held in Zagreb when Vejsil was being
19 buried. We from Konjic, friends of the family,
20 acquaintances, attended. We went to Zagreb, but Zejnil
21 didn't go to the funeral in Zagreb because that was the
22 time of the fiercest conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian
24 Defence Council, so that he stayed behind in Vienna and
25 we attended the funeral which was fully secured by
1 members of the military police of the HVO and by the
2 Croatian police as well. Probably Mr. Zejnil Delalic's
3 arrival was expected and he would have probably been
5 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Ciso, since you met him
6 at his brother's funeral at Vienna, so this is the
7 other funeral that Zejnil Delalic did attend in Vienna;
8 did I understand you well?
9 A. Yes. At the funeral in Vienna, Zejnil
10 Delalic was present, and that was the first time I saw
11 him after our last meeting in Inda-Bau when he had
12 returned from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Mr. Ciso, did you cooperate with Mr. Delalic
14 later on and did you come across one another in
16 A. Yes, I would meet with Mr. Zejnil Delalic in
17 Vienna, and our contacts were particularly close when a
18 new society of Bosnia-Herzegovina was being
19 established, a society of the citizens of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Austria, which was inaugurated in
21 the summer or the beginning of the autumn of 1993 in
22 the Taubergasse Street number 15 in the 17th Vienna
24 Q. Did you have any position in that club?
25 A. Yes. From the very foundation of the club,
1 which numbered 400 to 500 members, I was a member of
2 the main board from the very outset, the Vice-President
3 of the BH society and president of the executive board
4 of the BH society in Vienna.
5 Q. What were the activities of that club?
6 A. Let me emphasise that we are an Austrian
7 society registered in the Republic of Austria as our
8 host country. The aim of the society upon its
9 registration was humanitarian, sports, cultural and
10 other activities of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 in Austria, regardless of religion, as well as of
12 Austrian citizens who were sympathisers and members of
13 this BH society.
14 Q. Could you tell us, Mr. Ciso, whether any
15 events from Bosnia-Herzegovina were reviewed and
16 discussed and was relief collected for
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina in that club?
18 A. Yes, the BH society became one of the most
19 powerful societies in Austria and even in Europe. We
20 organised various cultural events like art exhibitions,
21 evenings of films. We organised demonstrations when
22 any current developments in the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina required it. The events in
24 Srebrenica and so on, all this with the approval of the
25 Austrian authorities. We were privileged to have
1 distinguished visitors attend our events, that is,
2 citizens of Austria such as, for instance, Mr. Simon
3 Wiesenthal at an art exhibition. In the area of
4 sports, we formed a football league and so on.
5 Q. I think that is sufficient for us to have an
6 idea of the activities of the club. Tell us, Mr. Ciso,
7 was Zejnil Delalic a member of the club and of the main
9 A. Yes, Zejnil Delalic was a member of the
10 club. He was a member of the main board, and I think
11 that he headed the department for relations with other
12 societies and organisations in Bosnia-Herzegovina --
13 no, in Europe.
14 Q. You said that you organised fund-raising. Did
15 you send those funds to Jablanica and Konjic and other
16 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. What we cared about most was that the relief
18 should reach Bosnia-Herzegovina. We did collect funds
19 and the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina reported about our
20 activities. We bought hospital beds, wheelchairs,
21 assistance for the nurseries and so on.
22 Q. Did you, personally, sometimes carry that
23 relief to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Yes, I did. I had the pleasure and
25 satisfaction immediately after the conflict between the
1 BiH army and the HVO to drive relief to the Electro
2 Konjic in Konjic. This company had very serious
3 problems. They could not provide electricity for
4 hospitals and maternity wards. I don't remember
5 whether it was October or November, but I drove a truck
6 full of humanitarian aid that I presented to the
7 electricity supply board in Konjic.
8 Q. I'm sorry. I just read in the transcript
9 that this was immediately after the conflict between
10 the army and the HVO. Is that a mistake in the
11 translation or is that what you said, after the end of
12 the conflict?
13 A. Yes, after the end of the conflict, otherwise
14 we couldn't have reached them at all.
15 Q. Did your society have videotapes and did they
16 lend them out for other members of the group?
17 A. We did all kinds of things. We had certain
18 media significance. The whole of the Republic of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina knew about us, and it was a society
20 for all citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina wherever they
21 came from, so that many came to visit us, people
22 engaged in logistics, representatives of the
23 authorities, refugees, people who were there and who
24 had managed to escape, so that we received quite a
25 number of such tapes which we would show in our
2 Hosts of people would come to view their
3 country, the suffering of their people, their
4 relatives, the members of their family, friends, so
5 that with the assistance of our sponsors, we managed to
6 copy those tapes and even to send them on to societies
7 in Linz, Salzburg --
8 Q. Thank you. Tell me whether the Inda-Bau
9 company was one of your sponsors for this kind of
11 A. Yes, the Inda-Bau company was one of the
12 sponsors of the BH society from its very
13 establishment. Then there's the company Septor
14 (phoen), many construction companies. Inda-Bau was our
15 sponsor when it came to technical facilities, the
16 copying of tapes, copying of various kinds, because
17 this was of great assistance to us. They provided all
18 kinds of crucial support for us.
19 Q. Tell me, Mr. Ciso, did a part of those tapes
20 and some of your own documents; were they sometimes
21 placed in the premises of the Inda-Bau, either
22 permanently or temporarily?
23 A. Yes. Inda-Bau was, in a sense, a kind of
24 forward outpost or a depot. With the arrest of
25 Mr. Zejnil Delalic by The Hague Tribunal, we learned
1 after that that a certain quantity, a certain number of
2 our tapes had disappeared, as well as other
3 documentation. We reacted immediately to this by
4 addressing the Inda-Bau company and asking for an
5 explanation for the disappearance of this material
6 which we considered to be of vital importance for our
7 future work.
8 You yourself, Ms. Edina Residovic, as Defence
9 counsel of Mr. Zejnil Delalic, was addressed by us, but
10 to this day, we haven't regained possession of the
11 materials and the tapes, and you have explained to us
12 that you were not in a position to assist us in that
14 Q. Mr. Ciso, yesterday during your testimony,
15 you said that you were in Konjic twice in the course of
16 1992 and later on, probably in '94, after the end of
17 the conflict that you referred to today. In 1992 when
18 you visited Konjic, did you visit the Celebici barracks
19 on that occasion?
20 A. No, I never visited the Celebici barracks.
21 Believe me, I never had even time to think about it and
22 it was in no way of any interest to me, nor did I visit
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: Mr. Ciso, thank you. Your
25 Honours, that ends my examination-in-chief of this
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, too.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any cross-examination?
4 MR. DURIC: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please proceed.
6 MR. DURIC: May it please the court.
7 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. DURIC:
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ciso. My name is Nico
9 Duric, and I'm appearing today on behalf of Mr. Zdravko
10 Mucic known as "Pavo." Tell me please, do you know
11 Mr. Mucic?
12 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Mucic as a co-citizen of
13 mine and a colleague from work, during a certain period
14 of time in Austria.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know his family?
16 A. Yes. I know his son Zoran, his daughter
17 Sandra and his ex-wife Alisa.
18 Q. Tell me, in September 1992, did you see
19 Mr. Mucic?
20 A. Do you mean in Austria? It was most
21 refreshing for me to come across Mr. Zdravko Mucic when
22 he came to Austria because he brought me greetings from
23 my family, my ill parents. During that stay, he was my
24 guest in my home and he spent the night in my
25 apartment. This was in September 1992.
1 Q. Tell me, do you know how much time he spent
2 in Vienna at the time?
3 A. Quite a bit because he wouldn't let me sleep
4 at night. We would stay awake talking but I can't
6 Q. Thank you. Could you tell the court what did
7 you do for Mr. Mucic at the time? Did you look for an
8 apartment for him or something like that?
9 A. Mr. Mucic told me that his children were not
10 cared for, that he was looking for an apartment for
11 them, that he would like to enrol them at school,
12 because he already had the status of a temporarily
13 employed worker in Austria. So I think that during
14 that visit, he managed to find an apartment for his
15 children in the 16th or 17th district.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you do the official
17 registration for him in Vienna at the time?
18 A. Yes. I can't really remember whether it was
19 myself or my son, but he wasn't very lucky on that
20 occasion too because the police said his tires were not
21 in good shape, so he paid a heavy fine.
22 Q. Tell us, Mr. Ciso, on the 27th of July, what
23 does that date represent in the former Yugoslavia?
24 What did it represent?
25 A. I think it was the insurrection day of the
1 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the former
2 Yugoslavia. I think so. I'm not a very good
4 Q. You will agree with me that in those days it
5 was a rather important holiday?
6 A. Sufficiently important to be declared an
7 official state holiday.
8 Q. Tell me, Pavo, was he with you on that day in
9 1992 and where?
10 A. I am unable to remember. Perhaps you could
11 refresh my memory.
12 Q. Was he with you in Vienna on that day?
13 A. He did stay with me in Vienna but I couldn't
14 remember exactly the date.
15 Q. But you could confirm that he was in Vienna
16 at the end of July?
17 A. Yes. More or less every time he came, he
18 would call and we would spend time together.
19 Q. Thank you. Could we agree, the two of us,
20 whether Pavo, in 1992, spent more time in Vienna than
21 in Konjic?
22 A. Believe me, he made quite a number of trips,
23 probably on account of his children, to provide for
24 them, to enrol them at school. I think he came to
25 Vienna several times, I can't remember exactly. But he
1 would always be helpful because I would send food and
2 medicines to my parents through him to Konjic.
3 Q. But that was very frequently in 1992?
4 A. Quite frequently, yes.
5 Q. Would you tell me, please, whether Pavo was a
6 good friend of Mr. Sefik Delalic's?
7 A. How good a friend he was, I don't know, but I
8 know that they knew one another and that they would get
9 together occasionally.
10 MR. DURIC: Thank you very much, Mr. Ciso.
11 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any other
13 MR. KARABDIC: The Defence of Hazim Delic has
14 no questions for this witness, Your Honour.
15 MS. McMURREY: The Defence of Esad Landzo has
16 no questions for this witness, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Cross-examination by the
19 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS. MCHENRY:
21 Q. Sir, good morning.
22 A. Good morning, Madam.
23 Q. My name is Theresa McHenry, and on behalf of
24 the Prosecution I'm going to ask you a few questions.
25 I ask that you listen carefully to my question, and if
1 you don't understand it, please tell me. Also, when
2 you can, please answer the question with just a "yes"
3 or "no" or "I don't know."
4 Now, Mr. Ciso, what kind of work do you do in
6 A. In Vienna, I had several jobs. My first job
7 was on a construction site. My second one was washing
8 dishes in a hospital. My third was in a warehouse. My
9 fourth, I did all kinds of work in Austria.
10 Q. Have you ever done any type of journalism
12 A. I have never practised any journalism, but I
13 was head of the section for information in the BH
14 society in Vienna.
15 Q. Now, sir, you clearly have a close
16 relationship with the Delalic family. Is your
17 relationship purely personal or do you have any
18 business interest with any members of the Delalic
20 A. I have friendly relations with the Delalic
21 family. First of all, we come from the same area.
22 Then there were some joint business contacts.
23 Q. Sir, when was this video made, the video that
24 you've spoken about?
25 A. It was made, I can't exactly remember the
1 details, but roughly from mid January until the end of
2 March 1993.
3 Q. Can you estimate, just roughly, about how
4 many hours you spent on this project including editing,
5 travel, meetings?
6 A. I couldn't tell you how many hours because I
7 didn't keep any record of that activity, nor on other
8 activities that I engaged in for Bosnia-Herzegovina and
9 various humanitarian efforts.
10 Q. Sir, the young man from Inda-Bau who assisted
11 Elvir, what's his full name?
12 A. The young man from Inda-Bau who assisted
13 Elvir? I don't understand your question. It may have
14 been Elvir from Inda-Bau who assisted us. There is no
15 third person. I think you're probably thinking of
16 Elvir, a young man from Inda-Bau who helped us.
17 Q. I'm sorry. I'm not sure I understand the
18 name. If I may mix it up again, so, if so, please
19 correct me. The person from Inda-Bau who helped you,
20 what is his full name?
21 A. His name is Elvir Rizvanovic and he is a
22 native of Konjic.
23 Q. Was he in Konjic during the war at all,
24 during 1992?
25 A. I think he was not. I think not. I couldn't
1 tell you for sure. I couldn't really give you an
2 answer to that question.
3 Q. The woman from the association who helped
4 you, what is her name?
5 A. Her name is Harisa Prevljak, and later she
6 was the girlfriend of Elvir and later she became his
7 wife, so her name changed to Rizvanovic.
8 Q. Was she in Konjic in 1992, if you know?
9 A. I couldn't say, but I do know that we would
10 see one another before the war. And at the very
11 beginning of the war when refugees started coming, I
12 think that was when she came to Vienna too, but I'm not
13 sure about that.
14 Q. Is she from Konjic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So besides you, Mr. Rizvanovic, his wife, the
17 journalist, Mr. Milic, and Vejsil and Dzemal Delalic,
18 did anyone else work on the project?
19 A. Sefik, the brother, the late brother of
20 Zejnil Delalic, was working on this project with me who
21 went to Zagreb with me once or twice carrying those
23 Q. During all the work you did on this project,
24 including travelling to Zagreb on several occasions,
25 did you pay for those expenses yourself or were they
1 reimbursed in some way?
2 A. Whatever I did for the Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and its citizens, refugees, and
4 considering this too to be my duty as a citizen of the
5 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first place, and
6 also as a native of Konjic, I did all this at my own
7 expense and that is why at the end of this war I have
8 very high credit rates to pay.
9 Q. Mr. Milic, the journalist, did he receive any
10 kind of remuneration for his efforts?
11 A. Mr. Milic, a journalist, I really cannot
12 answer that question. These are personal matters and I
13 think you should better ask him. I didn't pay him, nor
14 did he receive any compensation from me. As for the
15 rest, I don't know.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Milic, you stated he was from
17 Bosnia. Was he from Konjic?
18 A. Mr. Milic, Ekrem, is not from Konjic. He is
19 from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that
20 he originally came from Foca or Eastern Bosnia but I'm
21 not sure of that.
22 Q. If you know, was Mr. Milic in Konjic, during
23 1992, during the war?
24 A. I know that he told me about going to
25 Sarajevo, saying that he was a refugee in Croatia.
1 Whether he was in Konjic or not, I couldn't say.
2 MR. DURIC: May I interrupt for just a brief
3 moment? On the transcript, we keep getting the wrong
4 spelling of the last name of this Mr. Milic. It's
5 M-I-L-I-C, not M-E-L-I-C. It should be changed.
6 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much for
7 your correction.
8 MS. McHENRY:
9 Q. Now, sir, when you were in Bosnia in 1992,
10 were you involved at all in any military activities or
11 did you just bring and deliver things for your family
13 A. My main task, at the time, was to take care
14 of my family and my friends, and I never took any part
15 in fighting or any military operations, and I never
16 spent longer than two or three days in the territory of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina during my visits at that time.
18 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that Dzemal Delalic
19 was in Bosnia in 1992 and was involved in certain
20 activities there. Can you just give us an idea, to the
21 extent you know, of what kind of activities he was
22 involved in? I'm asking things like, was he a soldier;
23 what was his position?
24 A. You mean Dzemal Delalic?
25 Q. Yes, Dzemal, I'm sorry.
1 A. I don't know much about his involvement in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time. All I know is that
3 whenever he went there, he would always be carrying
4 humanitarian aid that we had collected through various
5 organisations. As for his specific involvement in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war, I couldn't tell
7 you anything about that.
8 Q. Did I understand you correctly to indicate
9 that Dzemal mostly lived in Vienna and, like you, would
10 just travel back to Bosnia for short visits?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And how about, and please forgive me if I
13 pronounce it wrong, Mr. Vejsil Delalic? Was he in
14 Konjic at the time of the war in 1992?
15 A. I couldn't give you an answer to that
16 question, I don't know. He was our liaison person in
17 Zagreb, whether he went to Konjic or not, I don't
19 Q. But as far as you know, in 1992, he was
20 basically living in Zagreb, though he may have
21 travelled to Konjic on occasion? Did I understand you
23 A. I know that he was living in Zagreb at the
24 time, whether he went to Konjic and to the Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that, I don't know.
1 Q. And how about Mr. Sefik Delalic, was he
2 living in Konjic during the war of 1992?
3 A. Sefik Delalic had a status of a temporarily
4 employed worker in Austria even before the war. And
5 during the war, he would go to Konjic from time to
6 time, though his family lived in Vienna, his wife and
7 his child. He, therefore, worked there, but he would
8 occasionally travel to Konjic.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, sir, you indicated that
10 Mr. Delalic was the victim of a propaganda campaign
11 after he returned to Vienna and that he was, among
12 other things, accused of helping Serbs. My question
13 is, sir, did you know it was reported by others and
14 acknowledged by Mr. Delalic that he was also being
15 accused in the Serb media of being a war criminal?
16 A. Could you please repeat your question, if
17 it's not asking too much?
18 Q. Certainly, sir. You indicated that when Mr.
19 Delalic returned, he was the victim of a propaganda
20 campaign and you talked about some reports in Croatian
21 papers. I am asking if you are aware that there were
22 reports in the Serb media where Mr. Delalic was being
23 charged with being a war criminal?
24 A. I wouldn't know, I mean I cannot give you an
25 answer to your question. At that time I didn't have
1 access to the Serb media.
2 Q. When you talk about Mr. Delalic and various
3 members were being charged with various things, were
4 you aware that among the things that Mr. Delalic was
5 being investigated or charged with in the media were
6 both allegations of murder and certain events related
7 to the Celebici camp? Were you aware of those
8 reports? And I am speaking about the time that you
9 were involved in this video project.
10 A. Believe me, I have never heard such a piece
11 of information in my life and I have never heard a
12 thing like that.
13 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that even though no
14 one believed the propaganda against Mr. Delalic, you
15 thought that these stories somehow constituted a threat
16 to Mr. Delalic and his family. Were these stories more
17 of a threat than existed, when Mr. Delalic had a
18 significant and a public commanding role in the war?
19 A. I think that these reports would not have
20 been made on that basis. It is a fact that Zejnil had
21 invested a lot of his knowledge, his efforts, his money
22 in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and I think that
23 that was the basic motive. As for his commanding
24 responsibility and role, I don't think so.
25 Q. I am not sure if I made my question clear.
1 My question was specifically whether or not, during the
2 time that Mr. Delalic was actually involved in the war,
3 when he was in Konjic and other areas in 1992, as I
4 understand you, there was no particular threat to him
5 or to his family then, but you believed there was one
6 later because of the negative newspaper articles? Did
7 I understand you correctly?
8 A. Yes, that's true.
9 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that Mr. Zejnil
10 Delalic had a number of tapes, twenty to thirty, whose
11 tapes were they?
12 A. These videotapes belonged to everyone.
13 Dzemal kept bringing in some tapes, Sefik, myself and
14 we used the material from the Konjic TV as well. It
15 has its regular broadcast at that time, Sarajevo TV,
16 Hadzic TV. And some of the materials were recorded on
17 a private basis, so I cannot specify who the owner of
18 the tapes was. Each of us had a number of tapes and we
19 gave them -- we wanted them to be used to make this one
20 final videotape.
21 Q. Do you know, sir, if any of these tapes were
22 Mr. Zejnil Delalic's tapes?
23 A. I don't know. I don't know if any of these
24 tapes belonged to him. I couldn't tell you anything
25 about that. It was not such an important thing for me,
1 you know.
2 Q. That's fine. There's nothing wrong to say
3 you don't know when you don't know. You don't have to
4 explain why. Were these tapes labelled or organised or
5 did they have their own narration explaining what was
6 going on. Can you just tell me a little bit about how
7 they were organised?
8 A. Well, every tape had a title, more or less,
9 so that the owner could remember that it was his tape
10 and so that we can remember the contents of the video.
11 We would use stickers, so I believed that each of the
12 tapes had a label on.
13 Q. And do you remember, did any of the tapes
14 have narration on them? For instance, if they were of
15 a battle, somebody is in the background telling you
16 where the battle is taking place?
17 A. Yes, these voices belonged to various radio
18 reporters. I don't know, I am not quite sure I
19 understand what you mean.
20 Q. Sir, what happened to those tapes? Do you
21 know where they are now?
22 A. A number of tapes remained with the BH
23 Society. And then certain tapes were at the Inda-Bau
24 company and some of the tapes are in the possession of
25 all of us. I mean, they are part of our private
1 collection. But most of them remained at the Inda-Bau
2 company because that is where we made the editing.
3 Q. Were there any tapes of Celebici camp?
4 A. I don't remember any tape that would show
5 something more than it was shown by the official TV.
6 And here I am referring to the official Konjic TV. I
7 haven't seen any tape that would provide more
8 information about the Celebici facility.
9 Q. Now, sir, if I understood you correctly, and
10 please correct me if I am wrong. That, in fact, the
11 actual editing of the videotape was in the recording of
12 the audio portion of the video was done by you in
13 Inda-Bau with the equipment in Inda-Bau, is that
15 A. No. The editing was made by Elvir, Dzemal,
16 myself and Harisa, who was the announcer.
17 Q. I'm sorry, sir, was it correct that the
18 editing and the recording was all done by using
19 Inda-Bau's microphones, video equipment, cutting
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. And what kind of business is Inda-Bau?
23 A. Inda-Bau is a construction company, which was
24 involved with all kinds of construction works.
25 Q. Now, sir, with respect to the editing job
1 that you and the others did at Inda-Bau, you must have
2 done a good job because -- well, let me just ask you.
3 Is the video footage that you prepared, and when I say
4 "you", I mean the group at Inda-Bau, sir, that the
5 group of you prepared, that's the same as the copy that
6 was returned for Mr. Milic after he had looked at it,
7 correct? Let me ask my question, maybe in a more clear
8 way. Is it correct that Mr. Milic did not make any
9 additional edits to the video that you provided him?
10 A. No, we edited the tape and Mr. Milic directed
11 it and he composed the text that was supposed to be
12 inserted together with the editing. And we did all the
13 technical part of the work.
14 Q. Now you indicated that after you had edited
15 the tape, you and Mr. Dzemal Delalic went to Zagreb and
16 met with the journalist and Mr. Dzemal Delalic gave him
17 certain information about the tape, is that correct?
18 A. No, you haven't understood me correctly. I
19 said that we took two or three tapes to Zagreb, that is
20 is Sefik and myself, and that we gave them to Mr. Ekrem
21 Milic. And I also said that Sefik had made certain
22 details clear in connection with the war in
24 Q. And when you took two or three tapes to
25 Zagreb, were those two or three copies of the same tape
1 or were the two or three tapes different?
2 A. They were different. There were summaries.
3 And I am talking about raw cuts of maybe twenty or
4 thirty tapes. And we carefully edited with a lot of
5 cutting work, so as to make a final version.
6 Therefore, it was the summary of a number of twenty or
7 thirty tapes and maybe two or three tapes. And this is
8 what we believed to be the most important part.
9 Q. And during the meeting you and Mr. Sefik and
10 Mr. Milic had, about how long did that meeting last,
11 where Mr. Sefik Delalic told Mr. Milic certain
12 information about the war in Bosnia?
13 A. Present there was also Vejsil and we spent
14 maybe two or three hours together.
15 Q. Now, you indicated that you and the others
16 decided to help Mr. Zejnil Delalic by making this
17 video. Now, you would agree with me that another way
18 to counter this negative propaganda would have been to
19 say that Mr. Delalic had no influence or power
20 whatsoever, that there was no way he could not have
21 done these things, was that possibility considered?
22 A. We were sure and convinced that Zejnil
23 Delalic was nobody's spy. That he was a fighter of the
24 BiH army and we were sure that he hadn't committed any
25 crimes and that he was not a war profiteer. And we
1 were convinced that he was an honourable and respected
2 citizen of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Yes, sir. My question was, did you and the
4 others consider, as a way of countering this
5 propaganda, that you could just simply state that Mr.
6 Delalic had no position or power in Konjic and, thus,
7 could not have done the things that he was accused of?
8 Was that possibility considered?
9 A. We did consider the possibility to show
10 certain denials, which would be stronger than the
11 allegations that were being put forward. I don't know
12 how else to answer your question.
13 Q. Well, sir, let me just turn to something else
14 then, maybe we can come back to that later.
15 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Or see the alternative?
16 MS. McHENRY: No, Your Honour, he doesn't
17 tell me --
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He doesn't have to tell
19 you an alternative which he did not choose.
20 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour. If he didn't
21 consider it or if they didn't discuss it, that was all
22 I was asking.
23 Q. Sir, you're aware that during this time that
24 you were involved in making this video, Mr. Delalic was
25 himself involved in countering the negative publicity
1 against him?
2 A. No, I am not aware of that. At that time, he
3 didn't undertake anything. He was weathering a very
4 difficult crisis, emotional and mental crisis. At that
5 time I didn't notice any particular activities that he
6 was undertaking. And I think that what we did was also
7 the result of the state that he was in.
8 Q. Well, sir, were you aware that at some point,
9 Mr. Delalic became involved in countering the stories
10 against him? And that, for instance, he and others on
11 his behalf wrote letters to newspapers and things like
13 A. No, I am not aware of that.
14 Q. Now, sir, when you made this video, who did
15 you plan on sending the video to?
16 A. After we had finished, we had done the final
17 version, we sent it to the requesting person, that is
18 Mr. Milic. And Milic intended, provided that Zejnil
19 agrees after he's reviewed the tape, he intended to
20 organise a press conference to distribute the videotape
21 to various newspapers and TV stations in case we would
22 reach an agreement. That was the intention.
23 Q. And why was it that, rather than getting Mr.
24 Delalic's permission in the beginning of this project
25 before everyone had put in this work, why was it waited
1 until the project was almost completed?
2 A. Well, when a man finds himself in a difficult
3 psychological situation, we wanted to surprise him
4 pleasantly with that work. And we believed that he
5 would agree to our sending this tape, to releasing the
6 tape into the public. However, this didn't happen.
7 Q. Now, you stated when you and Mr. Dzemal
8 Delalic first talked with the journalist, Mr. Milic,
9 the purpose was to -- Mr. Milic, "agreed to help
10 uncover the truth"? I am quoting from what you said
11 yesterday. Was the plan for this video to uncover the
12 truth or not?
13 A. The intention was not to uncover the truth
14 because Ekrem Milic was not in a position to uncover
15 the truth. He was simply working on the basis of the
16 material that we brought him. He didn't have any
17 material or any tapes. He only had information that he
18 had heard from the media. He was simply a professional
19 journalist who was supposed to put the final touch on
20 our work.
21 Q. Was the work supposed to, at the time that
22 you were working on this project, was the work supposed
23 to be truthful or untruthful?
24 A. At any rate, the contents were supposed to be
25 of a documentary nature. And it and was supposed to be
1 truthful. However, Milic thought that this should be
2 somehow exaggerated. I don't know how to explain
3 myself, I am not an expert for journalism. But this
4 too was supposed to be somehow modified so that it can
5 serve that purpose. The events were supposed to be
6 exaggerated and more -- they were suppose to require
7 more significance than they really had.
8 Q. Well, at the time that you were working on
9 this project, do I understand you, you were aware that
10 the project was supposed to modify the truth to serve
11 Mr. Delalic's purposes?
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Now, couldn't you put it
13 this way: The purpose was to deny the falsehood which
14 did allege?
15 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, well, I think I am
16 certainly entitled to ask this witness --
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: So am I entitled to
18 understand what the witness was saying?
19 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE JAN: What he says is that the tape was
21 intended to as a rebuttal to the falsehood that was
22 being spread, so they exaggerated the role of Mr.
23 Zejnil Delalic. So to put it in a --
24 MS. McHENRY:
25 Q. Is it correct that in an effort to help Mr.
1 Delalic and to rebut the charges that you thought were
2 false, you were part of this project which was not
3 going to be a full description of the truth? Is that a
4 fair statement?
5 JUDGE JAN: He hadn't say that.
6 MS. McHENRY: Well, Your Honour, he's said
7 he's modified the truth.
8 JUDGE JAN: You have to tell something to
9 uncover the truth. I think he's probably said that you
10 have to tell a lie to counter a lie.
11 MS. McHENRY:
12 Q. Is that correct, sir, that this videotape was
13 supposed to be a lie to counter what you believe were
14 lies against him?
15 A. The honourable judge gave a precise definition
16 to what I was trying to explain. This tape simply was
17 supposed to blow up the importance of Zejnil Delalic in
18 that area at the time, so as to counter the lies that
19 were being spread.
20 Q. So, do I understand you, that it was supposed
21 to be close to the truth so that it would be believed,
22 but it wasn't exactly the truth so it would help Mr.
23 Delalic. Is that a fair statement?
24 A. The videotape was true, however, the comments
25 blew up the importance and the role of Mr. Delalic at
1 the time. I think that this would be more or less my
2 answer to your questions.
3 Q. Well, let me just make sure I understand.
4 When you say "blow up the importance", do you mean that
5 the information was not correct?
6 JUDGE JAN: He's answered that question.
7 MS. McHENRY: If Your Honour is directing me
8 to go on, I will do so.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Nobody is prodding you
10 to go forward. But when the questions you ask have
11 been answered correctly, I think, it would not be fair
12 for you to press such questions.
13 MS. McHENRY:
14 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that you knew Mr.
15 Mucic rather well, is that correct?
16 A. Yes, all residents of Konjic know each other,
17 it's not a big town.
18 JUDGE JAN: (Microphone not on).
19 MS. McHENRY: Yes, Your Honour, I am just
20 asking him to clarify that before my next question.
21 Q. Now, sir, did Mr. Mucic ever show you any of
22 his videotapes taken from Konjic, during the war?
23 A. No, never.
24 Q. Are you aware if whether or not at any time
25 Mr. Mucic made his own efforts to counter the
1 propaganda campaign against Mr. Delalic?
2 A. No, I am not aware of that.
3 Q. Now, are you aware of any other efforts,
4 besides the video project you were involved in, are you
5 aware of any other efforts made to counter the negative
6 publicity where Mr. Delalic's role was blown up or
8 A. I don't understand your question.
9 Q. I am asking you whether or not, even if you
10 yourself weren't involved in them, are you aware of any
11 other efforts made by anyone to counter the negative
12 publicity against Mr. Delalic where, as part of the
13 effort, the role of Mr. Delalic was exaggerated or
14 blown up? And if you don't know, you can just say I
15 don't know of any.
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think it's right for
18 us to break and reassemble at noon. The Trial Chamber
19 will now rise.
20 --- Recess taken at 11.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.08 p.m.
22 (The witness entered court)
23 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you
24 are still under oath.
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed, Ms.
2 MS. McHENRY: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Sir, I gathered from your testimony that
4 you're aware that a videotape called "The War in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina," the videotape that you were
6 involved in preparing, was seized, was taken. Do you
7 know whose copy it was that was seized by the Austrian
9 A. That copy of the video, I think, that was
10 seized -- the copy that was seized, I think, belonged
11 to the BH society, I think. I'm not quite sure. It
12 wasn't my own private copy.
13 Q. So you had your own private copy and the
14 Bosnian society had their own copy, is that correct, or
15 you don't know?
16 A. I do know, yes. I had a copy and so did the
17 BH society. For me, it is a souvenir, a momento.
18 Q. And who provided the copy to the Bosnian
20 A. We are members of that BH society, so all the
21 people working on the tape were members of the BH
23 Q. Now, Mr. Delalic did not have any connection
24 with the Inda-Bau premises in Vienna, did he?
25 A. I know that he would visit occasionally with
1 his brother Dzemal. What connection he had, I don't
3 Q. Well, he certainly didn't keep any papers,
4 documents or videos there, did he?
5 A. The BH society would leave some of its
6 materials in the Inda-Bau company because our space was
7 limited and this was a safe place to keep this material
8 in. So in addition to videotapes, we kept some other
9 documents that belonged to the Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 society there.
11 Q. I think maybe my question wasn't understood.
12 Mr. Zejnil Delalic did not keep any videos or papers in
13 the Vienna premises of Inda-Bau, did he?
14 A. I'm afraid I'm unable to answer that
15 question. I think you should ask people working in
16 Inda-Bau and people who were in charge of that company,
17 so I don't have any knowledge about such things.
18 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that Mr. Delalic did
19 not support the publication of this video because it
20 was not entirely accurate. Sir, if there are any
21 documents written or signed by Mr. Delalic about his
22 role, you have no information to suggest that what is
23 reported in those documents is blown up or exaggerated,
24 do you?
25 A. Mr. Delalic explicitly and emphatically said
1 "No, this is not a means of struggle that I want to
2 use. I will use other means by engaging a lawyer and
3 the like."
4 Q. Sir, my question is: If there are documents
5 that were written or signed by Mr. Zejnil Delalic, you
6 have no information to suggest that what is in those
7 documents is in any way blown up or exaggerated?
8 JUDGE JAN: First ask him whether he has seen
9 those documents. It's only then he can say whether the
10 accounts therein were exaggerated or not. Ask him if
11 he has seen those documents.
12 MS. McHENRY: Your Honour, if he has no
13 information -- he may information even if he didn't
14 actually see it. If he has no information whatsoever,
15 I assume he'll tell me he has no information.
16 JUDGE JAN: He says he doesn't know whether
17 Zejnil Delalic kept his papers there or not.
18 MS. McHENRY: I'm not asking him about any
19 documents particularly in Inda-Bau or not in Inda-Bau.
20 JUDGE JAN: The other papers not in Inda-Bau,
21 how would he know?
22 MS. McHENRY:
23 Q. Sir, are you aware of any documents written
24 or signed by Mr. Delalic where the information
25 contained in there about Mr. Delalic's role is blown up
1 or exaggerated?
2 JUDGE JAN: Ask him if he has seen any
3 documents first. Only then he can say whether the
4 accounts are blown up or exaggerated.
5 MS. McHENRY: He may have information, Your
6 Honour --
7 JUDGE JAN: Ask him whether he has seen those
8 documents. You're asking him specifically about --
9 MS. McHENRY:
10 Q. Have you ever seen any documents describing
11 Mr. Delalic's role signed or written by Mr. Delalic?
12 A. This question, I don't know. I don't
13 understand. I have no insight into any such
14 documents. I never saw or heard any such things.
15 JUDGE JAN: Have you seen any documents
16 written by Mr. Delalic about his role in the Celebici
18 THE WITNESS: No, never.
19 MS. McHENRY:
20 Q. Are you aware of any other documents because
21 you've heard about them or someone described them to
22 you or you just don't know?
23 A. I'm not aware of other documents, except
24 these videotapes and newspaper clippings.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, if Mr. Delalic reported
1 in a letter that he was sending a videotape that
2 explained what his role in the war was, do you have any
3 information to indicate what videotape was being
4 referred to?
5 A. I don't know about that. I never saw such a
6 letter, nor can I say anything about it.
7 Q. Are you aware of any other videotape that was
8 prepared that describes Mr. Delalic's role in the war
9 in Bosnia?
10 A. I cannot remember exactly all that was seized
11 from Inda-Bau. I know that those tapes were seized as
12 well as recordings of our folk music that we used to
13 use at our gatherings. So I can't really remember all
14 the details, but these particular tapes that we used,
15 those are the tapes.
16 MS. McHENRY: Thank you very much for your
17 testimony, sir. I have no further questions.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you, too.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any re-examination?
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: I have no additional
21 questions, Your Honours. But I should like to notify
22 you that we have our next witness, Salih Ruvic, for
23 2.30. These people arrived late last night after
24 11.00. I haven't seen the witness. I have to explain
25 how this works, and that is why I have informed the
1 Prosecution that we will be calling him at 2.30 to
2 testify. Thank you.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are discharged.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
7 (The witness withdrew)
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The Trial Chamber will
9 rise and reassemble at 2.30.
10 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good afternoon, ladies
13 and gentlemen. Will Ms. Residovic proceed with her
14 first witness this afternoon.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: I call witness, Salih Ruvic.
16 (The witness entered court)
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Please kindly swear the
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: May it please the court?
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed.
24 SALIH RUVIC
25 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS. RESIDOVIC:
1 Q. Will you please introduce yourself by telling
2 the Trial Chamber your full name?
3 A. My name is Salih Ruvic, father's name, Ibro.
4 Q. Counsel, Mr. Ruvic, before I continue with my
5 questions, as I have done in the case of all previous
6 witnesses, I wish to draw your attention to a technical
7 matter. In view of the fact that both of us speak the
8 same language, it would be very easy for you to answer
9 my questions immediately. However, in the booth up
10 there, interpreters are doing a hard job, so would you
11 please wait until you hear the end of the
12 interpretation on the headphones on the table in front
13 of you and only then begin with the answer to my
14 question. In that way, everyone in the courtroom and
15 their honours, in particular, will be able to follow
16 what the two of us are saying. Do you understand
18 A. Yes, I do and I will do my best.
19 Q. Counsel, thank you. Tell me, please, where
20 and when you were born?
21 A. I was born on the 17th of August, 1941, in
22 the village of Drunovici, Municipality of Prozor.
23 Q. Counsel, what schools have you completed and
25 A. I first completed teachers' training school
1 in Sarajevo and then I went on to the university,
2 department for security and defence in Sarajevo and I
3 graduated as an extramural student in May, 1980.
4 Q. What are you by occupation, Mr. Ruvic?
5 A. By occupation, I am a teacher of defence and
6 security, but currently I am not working as a teacher,
7 but in the ministry of defence of the federation of
9 Q. Counsel, Mr. Ruvic, where were you and what
10 were you doing on the 6th of April, 1992, when
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina was declared an independent state
12 and when an aggression was committed against it?
13 A. On the 6th of April, 1992, I was performing
14 my duty as commander of the municipal Territorial
15 Defence staff in Prozor, to which post I was appointed
16 by the commander of the district staff in Zenica,
17 Mr. Dzemo Merdan.
18 Q. The municipal staff of Prozor, of which you
19 were the commander, which was the superior command or
20 the superior commander of the municipal staff of
22 A. I just noted that the municipal staff of
23 Prozor, by order from the staff of the supreme command,
24 was under the command of the district staff of Zenica
25 and the commander of that staff was Dzemo Merdan, as I
1 mentioned a moment ago.
2 Q. Counsel, until when in 1992 was the municipal
3 staff in Prozor subordinated to the district staff in
5 A. The municipal defence staff of Prozor was
6 subordinate to the district staff in Zenica until the
7 beginning of November, 1992, when the 4th corps of the
8 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed, headed by now
9 deceased, Mr. Arif Pasalic, with headquarters in
11 JUDGE JAN: (Microphone not on).
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Yes, unfortunately in a
13 traffic accident, Your Honour.
14 Q. Counsel, Mr. Ruvic, tell me, did you at some
15 point in time in 1992, abandon the post of commander of
16 municipal staff and if you did so, who was appointed
17 commander after you?
18 A. Yes, I was commander for less than two months
19 actually and I gave up that position because I didn't
20 agree with a part of the leadership of the SDA party,
21 which was in an alliance with the HVO. The latter
22 would not accept the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
23 was following orders exclusively from Grude rather than
24 from Sarajevo.
25 Q. Who was the new commander and can you tell
1 the Trial Chamber who appointed him?
2 A. The commander of the municipal staff after me
3 was Mr. Muharem Sabic, who used to be the chief of
4 staff when I was the commander. And he was appointed
5 by the same person as I, that is Mr. Dzemo Merdan from
6 the district staff in Zenica.
7 Q. For how long did Mr. Sabic hold the post of
8 commander of the municipal staff of Prozor?
9 A. The Sabic remained commander officially, or
10 actually the last day was upon the occupation of
11 Prozor, that is the 25th of October, 1992. When he
12 left, the territory of Prozor municipality and did not
13 return again to that same area. So therefore, until
14 the 25th of October.
15 Q. Counsel, Mr. Ruvic, after you stopped being
16 commander of the municipal staff, did you remain a
17 member of the municipal staff of Prozor?
18 A. I continued to be a member of the municipal
19 staff and I was assistant commander for operations and
20 training and my task was to regulate the front-line and
21 to assist the commander in establishing the chain of
22 command over TO units in Prozor municipality.
23 Q. Counsel, after Mr. Sabic left his position as
24 commander, did you, at some point in time, again become
25 commander of the Prozor municipal staff?
1 A. Upon the invitation of members of the supreme
2 command, I visited Konjic on the 2nd of November and
3 was provisionally appointed chief of staff. And on the
4 9th of December of that same day, commander of the
5 municipal staff. I was appointed to this post by Mr.
6 Sefer Halilovic and I received the order by commander
7 of the 4th corps, Mr. Arif Pasalic, who handed it to
8 me. And the document says that the copy is true to the
9 original and it bears the signature of Mr. Arif
11 Q. Counsel, in view of all those duties that you
12 performed, Mr. Ruvic, in 1992, in Prozor, I have a
13 number of questions to put to you regarding the
14 responsibilities and jurisdiction over units in
15 Prozor. First, let me ask you, as the commander of the
16 Territorial Defence staff of Prozor at the beginning of
17 the war, can you tell me what kind of weapon the TO
18 staff of Prozor had in its possession?
19 JUDGE JAN: Is it necessary to go into?
20 Let's confine ourselves to what happened in Celebici or
21 what was being commanded as by general's knowledge,
22 commander of TG-1. Let's confine ourselves to that.
23 We're not interested in the weapons. We've already
24 been told that Prozor's weapons were in the Ljuta and
25 they only got 20 per cent of those weapons, when the
1 Ljuta barracks were taken over.
2 THE WITNESS: 50 per cent.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: In view of the fact that that
4 is an undisputed fact, the witness as one of the
5 regional commanders was able to confirm this fact from
6 the standpoint of his own municipal staff.
7 JUDGE JAN: 50%, 60%, that's really not
8 material for us.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: As you know, these witnesses
10 from Jablanica, Prozor and Hadzici have been called
11 only in the context of the responsibility of the
12 command of the tactical group, so that I won't have
13 many questions relating to Celebici itself.
14 Q. Mr. Ruvic, please, do you know what Tactical
15 Group 1 is?
16 A. I do know what Tactical Group 1 is. It was a
17 part of the command whose task was in July, 1992, to
18 try and lift the siege of Sarajevo from the direction
19 of Pasaric across Mount Igman.
20 Q. Counsel, Mr. Ruvic, while you were the
21 commander or a member of the municipal staff of the
22 Territorial Defence of Prozor, were your units
23 reassigned to Tactical Group 1? If they were, please
24 tell us when.
25 A. At the beginning of June, 1992, we were
1 assigned the task of sending a smaller unit to the
2 front, to seek to lift the siege of Sarajevo. And in
3 mid-June, I personally headed the unit from Prozor,
4 which got as far as Konjic, and from Konjic, together
5 with a unit from Jablanica, and another from Konjic, we
6 went to Pasaric and there we came under the command of
7 Mr. Mustafa Polutak, who was lieutenant colonel at the
8 time and who is now a general of our army.
9 Q. Counsel, Mr. Ruvic, you said a smaller group,
10 can you tell us how many troops that group consisted
11 of, the group you led?
12 A. The exact number was 42 soldiers of whom I
13 was the commander for that particular purpose.
14 Q. Counsel, the other formations of the armed
15 forces of the Territorial Defence of Prozor; under
16 whose command did they remain after you left to carry
17 out this task?
18 A. They remained under their commander of the
19 municipal staff, Mr. Muharem Sabic.
20 Q. For how long was your unit under the command
21 of Mr. Polutak as the commander of Tactical Group 1?
22 A. I think for about six days. I'm not quite
23 sure to the day, but after that we returned to Prozor.
24 Q. Upon your return to Prozor, did those
25 soldiers remain under the command of Tactical Group 1?
1 A. They could not have because they were
2 soldiers belonging to units of the municipal staff, and
3 each one of them returned to their original unit, to
4 the detachment to which they had been assigned
6 Q. Mr. Ruvic, at the time you were the commander
7 and later on, did you know Mr. Zejnil Delalic?
8 A. I knew Mr. Zejnil Delalic but he didn't know
9 me. This may appear a little strange and illogical.
10 You see, Zejnil's brother lives in Prozor. He got
11 married there; he spent many years there, and he would
12 come for holidays because he spent most of his time
13 abroad working there.
14 I personally met Zejnil Delalic for the first
15 time when I spoke to him in person in mid April 1992
16 when we asked him to assist us in procuring weapons and
17 equipment for the army, because this was a wealthy
18 person who had a good position. He placed his services
19 at the disposal of the state and the defence of the
20 country, and it was logical that we should look to him
21 for assistance as he had good connections.
22 Q. Mr. Ruvic, in view of what you have just
23 said, that Mr. Delalic was working for the defence of
24 the country and that he had good business and other
25 connections, how did you at the time in April
1 understand the role of Mr. Zejnil Delalic? Was he
2 civilian and what were the activities he engaged in?
3 A. When I visited Zejnil Delalic together with
4 his brother Zahir known as Zajko, he was a civilian at
5 the time and he engaged in logistic support because, as
6 I said, he was well-to-do and he had the good will and
7 desire to assist the state. We wanted to take
8 advantage of this for him to help us.
9 A moment ago I didn't finish my answer
10 because I wanted to say that we virtually had no
11 weapons. It was stationed in Ljuta in 1990. By
12 orders, all the equipment of the TO was seized and
13 placed in the warehouses of the then JNA in Ljuta.
14 Q. Did you, sir, learn at some time in '92 that
15 Zejnil Delalic had become a military commander?
16 A. I learned that Zejnil had been appointed
17 commander of Tactical Group 1 at the beginning of
18 August 1992 and that he succeeded Mr. Mustafa Polutak.
19 Q. Mr. Ruvic, as you just told us, you were
20 responsible for the combat units in Prozor. Tell me
21 while Mr. Zejnil Delalic was a military commander, were
22 units at that time being reassigned to Zejnil Delalic
23 as the commander of Tactical Group 1?
24 A. As a member of the municipal staff, this
25 never happened, nor were we required to do that, but I
1 would have known because I was assistant commander for
2 operations and training.
3 Q. Mr. Ruvic, could you tell this court whether
4 Zejnil Delalic as commander of Tactical Group 1, did he
5 in any period of time have a superior position over all
6 armed forces in the territory of Prozor?
7 A. This could not have been for two reasons:
8 One was that the HVO did not join in cooperation, nor
9 participate in the TO staff, so that that command could
10 not apply to them. Secondly, the MUP, as a part of the
11 armed forces, also had its own separate chain of
12 command, and he could not have been a superior
13 commander because we belonged to the district staff of
14 Zenica. The commander of that staff was Mr. Dzemo
15 Merdan. Therefore, in view of all this, this was
17 Q. Mr. Ruvic, did Zejnil Delalic at any point in
18 time act as a superior commander to you personally?
19 A. No, he did not, never. He was never my
21 Q. Thank you, you have answered my question.
22 Now we move to another issue and I will be very brief
23 about this. During that time in 1992 while you were a
24 commander at the beginning of that year, what were the
25 relations between the TO and the HVO in Prozor?
1 A. I will have to split my answer in two parts.
2 At the very beginning, the relations were relatively
3 okay until the proclamation of Herceg-Bosna. As soon
4 as Herceg-Bosna was proclaimed, the Croatian community
5 of Herceg-Bosna, differences became apparent because
6 they no longer recognised any state institutions, and
7 the Territorial Defence of Prozor acted exclusively
8 upon the instructions that we received from the
9 competent republic staff of the Territorial Defence and
10 the then minister of defence, Mr. Jerko Doko.
11 Q. Mr. Ruvic, could you please tell me whether
12 between the TO and the HVO in Prozor, whether there
13 were any armed conflicts in Prozor or did you hold the
14 line against the enemy together?
15 A. As of May 1992, the HVO and the army of BiH
16 held the defence line together. It was the line
17 against the Serb Montenegrin aggressor, and the area in
18 question was the territory towards Kupres, the area of
19 Duvno and Gornji Vakuf. We held these positions
20 together. We had our logistics in common, although we
21 had two separate commands and each group had its own
22 commander in the area.
23 Until the 23rd, because the attack on Prozor
24 took place on the 23rd, not the 25th of October, most
25 of the time, over 70 days, I spent on the line near
1 Dolic with my soldiers. As I said, until that time, we
2 used to work together until the critical day when the
3 HVO attacked Prozor.
4 Q. Mr. Ruvic, during that period of time, since
5 you were involved with the units of the Territorial
6 Defence in a most immediate, direct way, did you at any
7 point in time receive any order that would have been
8 issued by Mr. Zejnil Delalic as a commander of Tactical
9 Group 1?
10 A. I never saw such an order, and if it had been
11 issued to the commander of the municipal staff, I mean,
12 I would have been the first person who would have been
13 notified of such an order because I was at the line all
14 the time with my soldiers and together with the HVO.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: I would kindly ask the
16 witness to be shown Prosecution Exhibit 189. I have a
17 sufficient number of copies here.
18 Q. You have indicated that you would have seen
19 any such order had it been issued. Could you now tell
20 us, Mr. Ruvic, if you ever saw this order, if you've
21 ever seen this order?
22 A. This order, the way it is composed and
23 written, I have never seen. I think that Mr. Zejnil
24 Delalic was not in the position to issue such an order
25 simply because he could not order military operations
1 to units who were reassigned, subordinated to a
2 different command.
3 This date here, it is true at that time I was
4 at the position in Dolic, and I would have been
5 advised, I would have known if such an order had been
6 issued, and I would have carried out such an order if
7 it had been issued by my commander.
8 Q. Mr. Ruvic, you were present at the front-line
9 at the time. Did you ever withdraw from that line
10 before the attack that took place in October that you
11 mentioned? Did anyone issue orders to that effect?
12 A. No, not a single unit at that time, not only
13 my unit, ever withdrew from their military assignment
14 until the 22nd of October, that is, the day before the
15 attack on Prozor took place. As I told you, I was at
16 Dolic at the time, and when I learned about the attack
17 on Prozor, when I learned that it would happen, I
18 withdrew with my unit from the positions at Dolic in
19 order to avoid capturing because the order was that we
20 should all be captured.
21 Q. I would now like to ask you a few questions
22 about a different matter, Mr. Ruvic. The commander of
23 the municipal staff, you have already told us who
24 appointed him, was he a member of the war presidency of
1 A. Mr. Sabic could not be a member of the war
2 presidency, especially in Prozor, because the president
3 of the municipality was a Croat and he was very keen
4 upon directives that he received from Grude that he
5 started receiving at the end of April.
6 Q. Mr. Ruvic, you indicated that you were
7 working under the regulations of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina. According to the regulations of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina, was it possible for the commander of
10 the municipal staff to be a member of the war
12 A. According to the decree issued by the
13 presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992,
14 commanders of units and staffs were not members of war
15 presidencies. Therefore, Mr. Sabic could not have been
16 a member of the Prozor war presidency.
17 Q. Thank you. Let's move to another area.
18 After the attack of the 23rd of October, did members of
19 the staff of the Territorial Defence withdraw from the
20 area of the town of Prozor?
21 A. After the aggression, that is, after the 25th
22 of October, all forces of the Territorial Defence
23 withdrew. They withdrew from Prozor on the 24th of
24 October and they were pulled out to the eastern part of
25 the Prozor municipality to the villages of Here, Kute
1 and Scipe. I had already reached the territory of
2 Gornji Vakuf having withdrawn from Dolci. Then from
3 Pridverja (phoen) and Dvorci (phoen), I reported to
4 Mr. Medan in Zenica. I informed him of my positions
5 and I received an order from him to establish a defence
6 line and to go on, to continue with implementing his
8 Q. Thank you. The court already knows about the
9 efforts that were being put forth at that time, but
10 could you tell us whether at that time the population
11 who had been evicted from the area, did they go back to
12 Prozor after that?
13 A. On the 2nd of 1992, a meeting was held in
14 Prozor --
15 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Ruvic, could you please be
17 A. Yes, I'll try to. A meeting was held in
18 Prozor, and from the BiH army, it was Mr. Vehbija Karic
19 who attended the meeting and the Croatian side was
20 represented by Mr. Praljak.
21 Q. Could you tell me whether you took part in
22 any of the groups that were charged with the assessment
23 of the damage that had been done in Prozor?
24 A. Let me just mention one more thing. I was
25 supposed to be there on the said day but I was late for
1 the negotiations in Prozor. However, later on, I took
2 part in the assessment of the damage that was done to
3 the property of Bosniaks in Prozor, and together with a
4 few other members of that group, we assessed the
5 situation. Tens of houses were burned down, including
6 my own, and also a number of houses in the villages of
7 Blace and Memici which is part of the Ogunci (phoen)
8 but the name of the hamlet is Memici.
9 Q. I think there's been a mistake in spelling
10 Mr. Vehbija Karic. Anyway, this can be corrected later
12 Tell me once again but please try to be
13 brief. Could you tell us whether this attack and
14 everything that occurred at that time was also followed
15 by propaganda against respected people, members of the
16 Bosniak community?
17 A. The Territorial Defence at that time was
18 getting stronger, and when Herceg-Bosna was proclaimed,
19 activities in that regard were being intensified, and
20 there was an intensified campaign against leading
21 persons at the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
22 information that we received, we kept receiving at that
23 time, were really ridiculous, such as that Mr. Sefer
24 Halilovic had shelled the Croatian area and so on.
25 Mr. Vehbija Karic, who was at the time in Macedonia, or
1 some other politicians were also attacked.
2 This was supposed to sew hatred between our
3 two communities and this was supposed to confuse our
4 community, the community of Bosniaks so that it would
5 be easier for other forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina to
6 act against us.
7 Q. Mr. Ruvic, were you personally object of such
9 A. Well, not only myself, but a certain number
10 of other prominent citizens in Prozor who were at the
11 time the target of such a campaign. I will give you an
12 example. When I was in the fourth corps, I was shown a
13 document from the HVO whereby it was stated that I was
14 a KOS officer, officer from a former intelligence
15 service, and that I also underwent some kind of
16 training and that I had been in Nis a long time ago,
17 but I had only passed through Nis a couple of times a
18 long time ago while I was serving in the JNA before the
19 war and that was it. I had never been in Nis before
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ruvic, do you know where the
22 Celebici barracks is located?
23 A. I know where the Celebici barracks is located
24 because it's not far from here. It's in the village
25 called Celebici in the direction of Jablanica and I
1 know that that used to be barracks even before the
2 war. Yes, I know that.
3 Q. Mr. Ruvic, did you at any point in time in
4 1992 visit this barracks?
5 A. I had no need to go to the Celebici barracks,
6 and I never went there. My work didn't require such a
8 Q. Was there ever a time in 1992 that you heard
9 or learned that the barracks in Celebici had been the
10 site of some mistreatment against detainees? Did you
11 ever hear that prisoners in the area of Konjic had been
13 A. In 1992, no, I didn't hear anything about
14 that. As I told you, I spent most of the time at the
15 front-line. Yes, maybe later on I did hear something,
16 but that was after that period.
17 Q. Mr. Ruvic, since you were staff commander in
18 Prozor, after all these attempts to resolve the
19 situation, did the situation calm down at any point in
20 time in 1992? I'm referring to the relations between
21 you and the HVO.
22 A. Attempts were made at the beginning of
23 November 1992 to resolve the situation but to no avail,
24 although a number of people returned to Prozor on the
25 basis of a joint declaration which was written at that
1 meeting. On the 13th of January, 1993 when the HVO and
2 the HVO carried out an attack against Donji Vakuf, the
3 village of Here also came under attack as well as the
4 rest of the municipality of Prozor which had not been
5 under the HVO control until that time, so the situation
6 was not settled. Jablanica was also attacked later
8 However, upon an initiative of the European
9 community headed by Mr. Rajmon Glenn (phoen), a series
10 of three or four meetings took place in Prozor at the
11 end of March, beginning of April. I think the first
12 one took place on the 17th of March in Prozor and we
13 tried to find an agreement. However, because of the
14 attacks on Jablanica and later on on Konjic, there
15 could be no talk about any kind of agreement.
16 Former members of the Territorial Defence
17 were subsequently arrested. Over 900 military aged men
18 were arrested and taken to concentration camps in the
19 areas of Prozor, Grude, Capljina, Heliodrom and so on.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you very much. Your
21 Honours, this concludes my examination of this
22 witness. Thank you.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any cross-examination of
25 MR. DURIC: Yes, Your Honour.
1 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. DURIC:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ruvic.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. My name is Nico Duric and I represent here
5 Mr. Zdravko Mucic. Do you know Mr. Zdravko Mucic by
6 any chance?
7 A. No, I don't know Mr. Zdravko Mucic. The
8 first time I heard his name was when his arrest was
9 made public in the papers.
10 Q. You have indicated sometime ago that during
11 1992, the HVO, that is, the relations between the HVO
12 and the Territorial Defence, that is, the forces of the
13 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were
14 relatively good only to be exacerbated later on; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. I was referring to the
17 initial period until the formation of Herceg-Bosna
18 because Croats had voted for Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 before that.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ruvic. Can you tell us now,
21 do you know the village of Ravno? Have you ever heard
22 of that village?
23 A. Wait a minute. There is a village called
24 Ravno in the municipality of Kupres.
25 Q. But do you know a village called Ravno much
1 further down in the area of Dubrovnik also in the area
2 of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. I have heard about that village, but I have
4 never been there and I couldn't tell you exactly where
5 it is.
6 Q. Whose village is it? Do you know if it's a
7 Croatian village, a Serb village or a Muslim
9 A. I'm not quite sure whether I know the
10 structure of the population, but I believe that it was
11 a Croat village by majority. I'm not sure.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ruvic, do you know what
13 happened with that village at the end of 1991,
14 beginning of '92?
15 A. I know that a number of bad things happened
16 in that area. I don't know exactly what. I didn't
17 have access to information. I believe that a massacre
18 took place and that people were evicted from that
19 village. I couldn't be more specific. I don't know.
20 Q. You said "bad things." It seems that you
21 know more about what happened there. Could you be more
22 precise, please?
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He's telling you he
24 couldn't be specific.
25 JUDGE JAN: How are we interested in that
2 MR. DURIC: Well, Your Honour, as regards to
3 the relationship between the HVO and the TO that my
4 learned colleague Edina Residovic was questioning him
5 about, because of the reasons why these -- why there
6 was this worsening of the relationships between the HVO
7 and the TO.
8 JUDGE JAN: But there was evidence that there
9 was a worsening of the relationship. They didn't take
10 part after having agreed in that campaign against the
11 Borci area.
12 MR. DURIC: I'm going at the very outset what
13 sparked the whole conflict, but it does have a bearing
14 on the whole case. I would say so.
15 JUDGE JAN: How?
16 MR. DURIC: Let me just ask a few questions
17 about it.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: About what he hasn't
19 known properly?
20 MR. DURIC: Because it appears that the whole
21 thing just happened out of the blue.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: If he has indicated
23 ignorance in --
24 JUDGE JAN: Don't try to defend Croats or
25 Bosniaks because you're not here for that purpose.
1 MR. DURIC: No, no, I'm not defending them.
2 No, I'm not doing that.
3 JUDGE JAN: We're just not interested in that
5 MR. DURIC: Okay. That concludes my
6 examination. Thank you very much.
7 Thank you, Mr. Ruvic. I have no more
8 questions for you.
9 JUDGE JAN: Don't raise questions here with
10 which we're not concerned. We're concerned with the
11 Celebici camp. If these questions have any bearing on
12 what happened inside Celebici, please do ask.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Do you have any
15 MR. KARABDIC: The Defence of Hazim Delic has
16 no questions for this witness, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Ms. McMurrey?
18 MS. McMURREY: Your Honour, the Defence of
19 Esad Landzo has no questions for this witness either.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Does the Prosecution
22 have any questions?
23 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, the Prosecution does have
24 questions of this witness.
25 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may proceed,
2 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. NIEMANN:
3 Q. Mr. Ruvic, you were shown Exhibit 189 which,
4 I think, is the document that is still in front of you
5 there; do you see that one?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. You said that you would have obeyed this
8 order had you received it, but you don't ever recall
9 receiving it; is that right?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: That is not what the witness
11 said, Your Honour.
12 A. If I had received an order from my commander
13 of the municipal staff, I would have respected it from
14 my TO commander. If I had received it from my
15 commander, I would have obeyed it, but such an order
16 never reached me because I was there on those lines and
17 I stayed there and therefore this had no bearing
19 MR. NIEMANN:
20 Q. Had you obeyed this order if you received
21 this one, particularly Exhibit 189?
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: He qualified it from his
23 commander. If he would have received it from his
24 commander, he would have obeyed it. That's what he
1 A. If my municipal staff commander had received
2 this order from the commander of the district staff for
3 Zenica, as an obedient member of the staff, I would
4 have carried out the order of my superior commander.
5 Q. That's not my question. My question is: If
6 you had received this particular order signed by Zejnil
7 Delalic, would you have obeyed this order?
8 A. I would not have obeyed it because Zejnil
9 Delalic was not a superior to military structures of
10 the Territorial Defence of the municipality of Prozor,
11 but rather it was Mr. Dzemo Merdan from the Zenica
12 district staff.
13 Q. How would you know whether or not this was an
14 order issued directly by him or one that was merely
15 passed on by him from the supreme command?
16 A. Commanders act on the basis of written orders
17 and on the basis of instructions and orders from their
18 superiors. So when somebody issues an order, he has to
19 sign it and stamp it. In this case, there's no stamp
20 of the Zenica district staff and such an order would
21 not have been obeyed even if Sabic had received it. If
22 he had received it, he would have had to inform Mr.
23 Dzemo Merdan in the Zenica district staff to ask him
24 for further instructions, and this was not done because
25 the army did not withdraw and it stayed on at the joint
1 defence lines towards Kupres and Ravno, but not the
2 Ravno counsel was referring to but the Ravno in Kupres.
3 Q. Are you suggesting that there was no incident
4 between Croats and Muslims on that date or round about
5 that date, the 27th and 28th of August of 1992?
6 A. Let me see. On that day, the 27th, the
7 28th -- the 27th, I went to Idovac and I was about 30
8 kilometres from Prozor, the slopes of Mount Idovac.
9 And afterwards I learned that a small group of members
10 of HVO were in Prozor. They attempted to demolish some
11 shops, but the Commander Sabic issued orders that not a
12 single member of the TO may do anything so as not to
13 ignite a conflict, and a conflict did not break out.
14 This group did break in, but the very next
15 day the Croats condemned this damage and expressed
16 readiness to compensate for it, but this had no
17 influence on the cooperation and further activities
18 between the army and the HVO in Prozor at that time.
19 Q. On the 27th and 28th of August, 1992, members
20 of the HVO and HOS attacked buildings and facilities
21 owned by prominent and well-off Muslims in Prozor,
22 didn't they?
23 A. I just told you. That evening, I learned
24 this subsequently because I was in the field, but a
25 group of irresponsible persons, and there are such
1 persons everywhere and in any army and especially so in
2 this war, who tried to deal out justice, but they
3 failed because they were prevented by their own
4 superiors, but this did not upset -- this minor
5 incident did not upset relations between the Bosniaks
6 and the Croats in Prozor.
7 Q. It's not quite the way you're telling it, is
8 it? As a matter of fact, one of the criticisms were
9 that the Croatian officials in the HVO had difficulty
10 restraining their extremists, didn't they? That was
11 one of the complaints.
12 A. I am afraid you didn't understand me well. I
13 said that within the HVO and among the HOS who came
14 from outside, there were individuals who didn't want us
15 to have good relations and to defend the lines
16 jointly. I said that they were denounced by their own
17 people. During the war, any one who was in Bosnia
18 would be able to see for himself that there were
19 individuals who wanted to settle personal accounts and
20 they were out of control.
21 Q. Now very early in the piece, you resigned as
22 commander of the Territorial Defence because of the
23 fact that the HVO wouldn't take orders from Sarajevo?
24 A. At the beginning I said -- if necessary, I
25 can repeat that --
1 Q. You don't have to repeat it in detail, just
2 say "yes" or "no."
3 A. Could you please repeat it once again for me
4 to understand what you're asking?
5 Q. I am saying very early in the piece, soon
6 after you're appointed as commander of the Territorial
7 Defence, you resigned from that position because of the
8 fact that the HVO declined to take its orders from
9 Sarajevo and took its orders from Grude; that's right,
10 isn't it?
11 A. That is right. I said that with the
12 formation of Herceg-Bosna and when orders came from the
13 state presidency to form municipal staffs which had
14 ceased operating in some municipalities, including
15 Prozor, and the deadline for forming staffs was April
16 the 15th, and that was the last day for the
17 registration of municipal staffs. That day is taken as
18 the day of the army of the Republic of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Croats did not wish to join
20 that new staff, and commanders to the HVO were brought
21 from the outside, three of them, until the fall of
22 Prozor came from outside the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were not even citizens of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. After that, even Praljak, who was
25 in Prozor during the HVO attack on Prozor, even he is
1 not a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but is an officer
2 of the Croatian army.
3 Q. Indeed, I think that part of your complaint
4 was that they were not only taken orders from Grude,
5 but from Zagreb as well? A "yes" or "no" answer will
7 A. They were receiving instructions from Zagreb
8 because they tried to establish their authority. They
9 said Prozor had to belong the Banovina, the Split
10 county. In the autumn of '92/'93, they tried to
11 introduce curricular based on Croatian programs which
12 the teachers, Bosniaks, would not agree to.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: I do not see the relevance of
14 these questions, Your Honour.
15 MR. NIEMANN:
16 Q. Now, the SDA party which you argued with and
17 which brought about your resignation, was that the
18 local branch or was that the SDA in Sarajevo?
19 A. It was the local branch, the local branch. I
20 said a part of the party leadership, not all of them, a
21 part of the leadership. If necessary, I can give you
22 the name of the man in question, if necessary.
23 Q. No, it's not necessary. Please tell me who
24 were the members of the Prozor municipal staff, the
25 main members of it? There's yourself and who else?
1 Can you tell me their positions or titles?
2 A. Let me see, the first commander at the
3 beginning, there was me, my deputy was Mr. Hero Mustafa
4 and chief of staff, Mr. Muharem Sabic. In addition to
5 them, there were several others. I don't know whether
6 you need all the names of all the members. If
7 necessary, I can go on.
8 Q. No, no, I am mainly interested in
9 organisations. Was the MUP represented?
10 A. The MUP is a part of the armed forces of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It has its own command, its own
12 chain of command. But in combat operations, MUP units
13 are a regular component part of the defence forces of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but they have their own control and
15 command through the republican MUP.
16 Q. They have their own chain of command, but
17 their actions are coordinated in the field, aren't
18 they, between the MUP and the TO?
19 A. As I said, the MUP is a component part of the
20 armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the parts.
21 It has its own chain of command.
22 JUDGE JAN: It's not part of the TO. It's
23 not a part of the Territorial Defence.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE JAN: It's not a part --
1 THE WITNESS: No, no, they are part of the
2 armed forces. They are not part of the TO. Because at
3 the beginning in '92, the armed forces of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina were comprised of the Territorial
5 Defence, the HVO and the MUP.
6 MR. NIEMANN:
7 Q. Well, can you answer this question for me:
8 When you're conducting a military operation into the
9 field, does the MUP go off and do its own thing and the
10 TO does its own thing or is there some sort of
11 coordinated action?
12 A. Let me tell you, it depends on the order.
13 Whoever is in command of a particular operation orders
14 the use of units, the deployment of units and who will
15 be in command of those units at that point in time.
16 This is not such a strict rule. You see, when an
17 operation in prepared and planned, there is an order as
18 to who will be in command, which are the component
19 units and formations, and who will be in command of
20 them. The assignments are determined by the
22 Q. And is the MUP in command of the TO or is the
23 TO in command of the MUP?
24 A. The MUP was never in command of TO units, but
25 very often in Bosnia-Herzegovina, members of MUP did
1 participate in combat operations as members of the
2 armed forces. As by law, they are a component part of
3 the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. Under certain circumstances, they would come
5 under the command of the municipal TO, wouldn't they,
6 when that was happening, when they were out in joint
8 A. In concrete terms, in the area of Prozor, MUP
9 never participated in the armed forces or the armed
10 operations until the end -- no, until 1995 by when
11 there was the 4th corps, and MUP representatives were
12 given certain tasks by their own commanders and they
13 carried out those tasks in particular areas, front-line
14 operations and so on. But in Prozor, such joint
15 activities by the MUP and the Territorial Defence never
16 took place.
17 Q. Now, when you were participating in military
18 activities in the year of 1992 in the Prozor region,
19 did you at any stage ever take prisoners of war or
20 arrest anyone?
21 A. While I personally was a commander of the
22 municipal staff, we didn't have any prisoners of war.
23 But afterwards in 1993, there were three prisoners, all
24 of them were returned or, rather, exchanged. While I
25 was in command because I was commander of the municipal
1 staff, and then by orders of co-commanders, the
2 commanders of units were appointed and they carried out
3 their combat assignment. So that I did not participate
4 in the commanding of these units after February 1993.
5 When by instruction from Mr. Arif Pasalic, an officer
6 from the 4th Corps, was appointed battalion commander,
7 Vujanovic known as Haja.
8 Q. Is it right to say that during the whole
9 period of 1992 the Territorial Defence of Prozor didn't
10 take one prisoner?
11 A. It is correct. Throughout 1992, the
12 Territorial Defence of Prozor had no prisoners.
13 Q. Now, in the early stages of the war in the
14 early part in April of 1992, were there any volunteer
15 groups or volunteers or Green Berets, people that call
16 themselves Green Berets or volunteers that you know of
17 that were operating in the Prozor area?
18 A. With the formation of the TO staff on April
19 the 1st, 1992, of which I was the commander, all the
20 units that had been self-organised in individual
21 villages placed themselves under the command of the
22 municipal Territorial Defence staff. Outside that
23 staff, after April the 1st, 1992, there were no other
24 units as far as the members Bosniaks are concerned.
25 Q. Yes. That's what I am referring to. The
1 Green Berets were only operational up until the 1st of
2 April, 1992?
3 A. Yes, until then, because then I toured the
4 whole municipality in person, and in some villages like
5 the villages of Here, Kute, Scipe, Donji Kraj, Grevici
6 and some other villages southwards towards Jablanica,
7 they were people who had self-organised themselves
8 because people realised the danger because the
9 aggression had already started on Bosnia-Herzegovina on
10 the 6th of April. All units were placed under the
11 control of the Territorial Defence staff 100 per cent.
12 This is 100 per cent true. Everything else is false
13 and there is ample evidence of that.
14 Q. I wasn't suggesting anything was false, but
15 anyway, we'll move on. Now, you said that you saw Mr.
16 Delalic prior to him becoming TG-1 commander and that
17 he didn't perform a military function. Do you remember
18 saying that?
19 A. I had met Mr. Delalic before August twice,
20 the first time in mid-April, 1992, when we sought
21 assistance from him to help us in obtaining weapons and
22 equipment, which we were short of. And the second time
23 I met him was when we went to Hadzici to try to deblock
24 Sarajevo. And then, I don't know in what capacity Mr.
25 Delalic addressed us in front of the motel in Konjic
1 and wished us a safe journey and success in our
2 endeavour to deblock Sarajevo because Sarajevo was a
3 symbol of the state and it was an honour for me. I
4 considered it to be a privilege to participate in such
5 operations, that is to deblock Sarajevo and Mr. Zejnil
6 assisted us logistically at the time.
7 JUDGE JAN: Just answer the question.
8 MR. NIEMANN:
9 Q. Now when you saw Mr. Delalic on either
10 occasion, was he wearing a military uniform?
11 A. The first time he wasn't, I am 100%. And the
12 second time I am not quite sure because this was six
13 years ago. But I know that he didn't have any military
14 function, any function, which doesn't mean to say that
15 he may not have had any duties --
16 JUDGE JAN: The second occasion he was
17 wearing a uniform, that's the end. On the 1st, he was
18 definitely not wearing and on the second you're not
19 sure. That is the end of the question.
20 MR. NIEMANN:
21 Q. You'd agree with me, wouldn't you, that had
22 you have met Mr. Delalic and he had a military uniform
23 on and he was wearing his insignia of the army of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, then you'd have a totally different
25 opinion, wouldn't you, about whether he had a military
2 JUDGE JAN: (Microphone not on).
3 MR. NIEMANN: But I am asking whether he
4 would because he is a soldier surely he can answer that
5 question, Your Honour. Well, we'll find out.
6 THE WITNESS: I was saying that I cannot say
7 with certainty whether he had a uniform on him or not,
8 but I do not know for certain that he addressed us,
9 that he wished us all the best and that he had helped
10 us in obtaining equipment and armaments and he gave us
11 some clothing and some Motorola’s, which we used as
12 communications equipment. And he did so through his
13 brother who was living in Prozor.
14 Q. Now his brother is Zahir Delalic, is that
16 A. Zahir Delalic, known Zajka.
17 Q. And what role did he play in Prozor during
18 the period of 1992?
19 A. Until the formation of the TO staff of
20 Territorial Defence, Mr. Zahir Delalic was a member of
21 the leadership of the SDA party and he placed himself
22 in the service of the country's defence. And when I
23 abandoned my position, he assisted us logistically and
24 he was a member -- he was not immediately a member of
25 the municipal staff, but after I left, Mr. Sabic
1 appointed him as advisor, as his advisor for certain
2 areas in the municipal staff of Prozor municipality.
3 And there must be a written document about that.
4 Because on one occasion I actually saw that document.
5 Q. Well, you said in your evidence that the
6 deterioration of relationships between the Croatian
7 community, the HDZ and the BiH didn't really happen
8 until late, as late as October of 1992, and I think I
9 am correctly stating the evidence. But, I show you
10 this document now and I ask you to look at it. I have
11 a copy for Your Honours and for the defence.
12 JUDGE JAN: It relates to Prozor?
13 MR. NIEMANN: It does indeed, Your Honour.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Document 247.
15 THE WITNESS: I am afraid that you didn't
16 understand me very well at first. I said that with the
17 formation of the TO staff of Prozor, the Croats would
18 not participate in the joint command, in the joint
19 municipality staff of Territorial Defence, even though
20 they had promised to do so. Because in the night of
21 the 14th to the 15th of April, we sent in our
22 registration. However, the next few days, a joint
23 municipal staff, which was to have numbered fifteen;
24 six Bosniaks and nine Croats, was not formed because
25 they did not agree because they started receiving
1 instructions from Grude, which is an outpost of Zagreb
2 and they did not agree. They told us openly at a
3 meeting, which they convened, they told us, there can
4 be no TO in Prozor. It will be either the HVO or the
5 Chetniks, so it's up to you gentlemen, Bosniaks. And
6 at that meeting held in the parts supply institution, I
7 said that it was a privilege to defend the State of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I said, damn every Bosniak
9 that doesn't defend Bosnia-Herzegovina, it's our only
10 state, the only country we have. And that we accept
11 anyone who is in favour of the State of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina; anyone who is against it is our
14 Q. How many soldiers from the --
15 JUDGE JAN: It's interesting SDS a critical
16 part --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour,
18 the interpreters cannot interpret for the witness.
19 Microphone is not on.
20 JUDGE JAN: It's an interesting document. It
21 refers to a crisis staff of a political party, SDA.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, Your Honour, I don't know
23 the explanation of that, Your Honour. But it seems to
24 be that the SDS was representing, from what I can see,
25 the present municipality.
1 JUDGE JAN: It's an SDA document.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
3 JUDGE JAN: Not to the municipality or the
4 municipal staff. It's interesting from this point of
5 view, that the political party also formed crisis
7 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. How many soldiers were there from the Prozor
9 Territorial Defence allocated to Tactical Group 1? Can
10 you remember? If you can't remember it doesn't matter,
11 because you may not have that information at hand.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honour, the witness has
13 answered this question.
14 THE WITNESS: I said that there were 42 with
15 me, 42 soldiers of whose commander I was. I was in
16 command of those soldiers.
17 MR. NIEMANN: I'm sorry if you answered that
18 part, I apologise.
19 Q. Now I take it you didn't see every order sent
20 to the command of the Prozor Territorial Defence during
21 the time that you were there, or did you?
22 A. I said at first that I saw all the orders,
23 but when I ceased being commander, it was the duty of
24 the commander to brief me about things that concerned
25 me, or which would have helped us to make the right
1 decision, of course, under those circumstances. And
2 all the other decisions that had nothing to do with me
3 and in which I didn't have to participate, it was not
4 my duty to know everything because the commanders may
5 have information which other members of the staff need
6 not have. That is his discretion.
7 Q. -- from the Territorial Defence participate
8 in JUG '92?
9 A. I think you're asking me this for the third
10 time. I said that in 1992, members of the Territorial
11 Defence from Prozor, participated in the attempt to
12 lift the blockade of Sarajevo in Hadzici. When we got
13 there, this unit was placed under the command of Mr.
14 Mustafa Polutak. A couple of days later, he'd
15 returned, each member went back to his former unit and
16 no combat operations until the HVO attack on Prozor
17 until the 28th of October, '92. There were no other
18 attacks until then in which members of the Territorial
19 Defence of Prozor municipality participated.
20 Q. Now, I think you said that Mr. Zahir Delalic
21 was advisor to the Prozor territorial command. Do you
22 know why he went to Celebici from time to time?
23 A. First of all, I know he was an advisor to the
24 commander. The commander would give him assignments to
25 go to Konjic because he is originally from Konjic.
1 Their family was living there. Why he went to see his
2 brother, that is something Commander Sabic should
3 know. I didn't know what his assignments, what his
4 tasks were when he went to Konjic because I didn't need
5 to know that. Anyway, I told you that I spent most of
6 my time in the field with the army on the front lines
7 near Kupres facing the Serb Montenegro aggressor.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we'll have to
9 call a break, except you're winding up. If you're not,
10 we'll break and come back after.
11 MR. NIEMANN: I am not winding up, Your
12 Honour, I have one more question.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Okay.
14 MR. NIEMANN:
15 Q. You said that you heard information or you
16 received information about Celebici, not in 1992, but
17 later. My question is what information did you
18 receive? What did you hear about Celebici later? What
19 was it that you heard?
20 A. Could you please be more specific in putting
21 your question?
22 Q. You're asked a question, whether you'd heard
23 about things that had happened at Celebici and you said
24 you didn't hear anything in the year of 1992, but you
25 heard things later. My question is what it was that
1 you heard?
2 A. This later meant much later. I heard that
3 according to the accusations against the gentleman,
4 there was some kind of concentration camp in Celebici,
5 which it couldn't have been. But what happened there
6 as this is far away, Prozor is 54 kilometres from
8 Q. Okay, that's all I wanted the know, thank
10 THE WITNESS: I don't know. I don't know.
11 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Any re-examination of
13 this witness?
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: No, Your Honours. No
15 re-examination for this witness. This is the last
16 witness the defence has for this hearing, Your
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You no longer have any
19 witnesses that you are calling for today?
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: Not for today, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: We are not sitting on
22 Monday here, there's an United Nations holiday. I
23 think you now see the trend. If you haven't made
24 arrangements to call witnesses for next week to cover,
25 you better take this opportunity to supplement the list
1 of witnesses, so that we should increase them by at
2 least you double the number of witnesses. We are
3 taking at least a minimum of two a day. So that will
4 be able to cover the period between Tuesday and
5 Friday. That should be the pattern all along from next
6 week. I think since we have nothing more...
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: Your Honours, we will analyse
8 the testimony of the witnesses we have heard so far and
9 on Tuesday morning, we will give you a final list.
10 According to our estimate, we will continue reducing
11 the number of witnesses in line with your suggestions,
12 Your Honour. Thank you. For this week, I think we did
13 our best and I think we heard seven witnesses in a
14 week, which I think is the first time since we have
15 been at trial.
16 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: My projection is that it
17 could be even more. You could have up to ten if you
18 really follow the evidence that they are coming to
19 give. If you really follow strictly, you don't have to
20 take a long time for each witness. Because all of
21 these witnesses don't have more than their own
22 jurisdiction to testify to. So when you expand it and
23 include areas which you will get to them, other than
24 areas for which they should legitimately testify to,
25 then we have the problems. It's not only you, also the
1 Prosecution. There are places where you speculate, a
2 person ought to have knowledge, when, in fact, ideally,
3 he does not have the knowledge.
4 JUDGE JAN: There's one thing I would like to
5 bring to your notice here. We had that document
6 whereby your client was made commander of all
7 formations. That document has been slightly
8 differently translated in the documents filed by
9 brigadier, those three volumes. I don't know which
10 translation is correct. Please check up on that.
11 Because yours is all formations and the translation
12 given to us from those documents produced by the
13 brigadier, it says, "All units in the line". That
14 would make a different document all together.
15 MR. NIEMANN: We'll have a look into it.
16 JUDGE JAN: Please.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you, we'll check.
18 Thank you very much for drawing our attention to this,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you. The Trial
21 Chamber will now adjourn until Tuesday at ten.
22 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 4.10 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of
24 June, 1998 at 10.00 a.m.