1 Monday, 25 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you following the proceedings in a language that you
11 can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies
13 and gentlemen, yes, I can.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours, and also good afternoon
17 to the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution,
18 I am here together with co-counsel Ms. Patricia Sellers, and Ms. Joanne
19 Richardson, as well as our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Good afternoon to you and your team.
21 Appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
23 Vasvija Vidovic and Mr. John Jones, appearing on behalf of Mr. Naser Oric.
24 We have with us today is our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, as well as
25 our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic, and good afternoon to you
2 and your team.
3 So I understand there are some preliminaries.
4 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
5 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. Just to update you further and the
6 Defence team, we would like to provide you with a new updated witness list
7 for the weeks to come. May I ask the assistance of the usher, please.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This chain of custody evidence, what is it about?
9 Which chain of custody are you referring to? Witnesses 40 -- witnesses
10 50, 51, 50, 52 --
11 MR. WUBBEN: And 53, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And 53.
13 MR. WUBBEN: 50. These are all documents already put into
14 evidence in which the Defence team has questions and argued that chain of
15 custody didn't show information to the full extent with a view to the
16 chain. When it comes to 52, 53, it is the Sokolac collection, and 50 it
17 is the Banja Luka collection documents.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I was -- I was thinking -- obviously I don't know
19 how much information is entailed, although I see three hours, three hours,
20 three hours, three hours. But why don't we do it in a different way? Why
21 don't you prepare written statements -- these persons are available here
22 or -- in The Hague or are they --
23 MR. WUBBEN: They are available for -- well, this is of course our
24 tentative list. We have to schedule for --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But what I was going to suggest, Madam Vidovic and
1 Mr. Jones, that these three, four witnesses -- three or four, I don't know
2 whether they are three or four --
3 MR. WUBBEN: Yeah, three, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Three, will make a written statement which will be
5 filed and presented under the Rule 92 bis. And then if they are made
6 available in good time, you will just indicate whether you want to
7 cross-examine these either -- any or all of these three witnesses. I
8 reckon instead of having three days, we can do this probably in one day,
9 if it is agreeable to you. I mean as far as Rule 92 bis statement
10 examination-in-chief in the form of a statement is concerned, it's up to
11 you. I mean, I can't enforce it of course. I can enforce it if I want
12 to, but I don't mean to enforce it unless you really want to do it. And
13 provided it is acceptable also to -- to the Defence, who can then limit
14 their cross-examination to the basis -- if at all necessary, because you
15 might come to the conclusion that there is enough information that you
16 don't need to cross-examine any or all of these witnesses. That's up to
17 you. Think about it, Mr. Wubben. I mean, I know --
18 MR. WUBBEN: We'll think about it.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: -- I have caught both of you maybe on the wrong
20 foot, so I don't surprise anyone or expect an answer today. We'll talk
21 about it tomorrow. But I think it can be done, I mean, without any
22 problems at all.
23 MR. WUBBEN: We will do, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
25 Yes. We will continue with this witness now.
1 May I refer you to witness number 44 on this list that you have
2 just filed and remind you that if you are seeking the -- to keep in place
3 the protective measures that were granted to this witness in the
4 beginning, you need to file a written motion.
5 MR. WUBBEN: In that respect, we will do so. Thank you, Your
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But please do notice that if this witness is
8 due to start supposedly on the 2nd of May, you need to do that fairly
9 quickly. All right?
10 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 Usher -- I'm sorry, are there any preliminary issues that you
13 would like to raise, Defence?
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] There are none, Your Honours. But
15 we would like to ask the OTP to do whatever is within their power to give
16 us as soon as possible the testimonies of these witnesses, especially
17 Witness Number 51, and to provide these in the Bosnian language as soon as
18 possible, namely we need to consult our client on these matters
20 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I'm saying maybe you can deal with 50,
21 52, and 53 in a -- in the format that I suggested because 51, I would
22 imagine, is a very important witness, and you will probably need much more
23 than the five hours that you are indicating here.
24 Anyway, it's up to you. Tell us -- come back to us tomorrow.
25 Let's see what happened to the witness.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, for cross-examination, Madam Vidovic, how much
3 time do you require? Today for sure and tomorrow?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it depends on how many
6 documents or new matters will be raised by the Prosecution. My idea was
7 for this cross-examination to be brought to an end within three and a half
8 or four hours. However, if the OTP introduces new documents, raising new
9 issues, that probably means I'll take longer than I expected to
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Madam Vidovic.
12 Good afternoon to you. Welcome back. Again, two things: Please
13 do -- I am reminding you that you are testifying under oath. Secondly, if
14 there are problems with interpretation, let me know straight away. You
15 may sit down, and we will start immediately so as not to lose more time.
16 Yes, Ms. Richardson, how long do you think you will need to finish
17 your in-chief?
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I assured the Court that I will move
19 expediently and I will try to wrap up --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Expeditiously.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Expeditiously as well, Your Honour. And I will
22 try to wrap up before the next break.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that means the witness will be here
25 Okay. Let's -- I'll stop you if I think you're covering areas
1 which we've covered already or which don't need as much coverage as you've
2 been giving some.
3 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
4 WITNESS: IBRAHIM BECIROVIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examined by Ms. Richardson: [Continued]
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Becirovic. Last Thursday you were testifying
8 about the use of the radio IC-745 which communications or messages were
9 sent -- which radio was located in the PTT building. I'd like to draw
10 your attention to this specific matter and ask you whether or not members
11 of the Territorial Defence used this radio while you were at the PTT
13 A. The radio that was used there was 751. I think you said 745 --
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. I must say that members of the Territorial Defence, in cases where
16 they tried to stay in touch with their families using this equipment,
17 their families that were this Tuzla further afield, had the chance of
18 using the equipment under my control, if I may put it that way.
19 Q. Which members of the territorial staff used the equipment? Please
20 give us their names.
21 A. No exception. All of them had an opportunity to make use of the
23 Q. Could you give us the names of the individuals that you recalled
24 who used the equipment?
25 A. For example, Mr. Naser Oric used my services to keep in contact
1 with his family. His family was in Slovenia at the time.
2 Q. And when -- could you tell us about the circumstances surrounding
3 the use of Mr. -- of the radio by Mr. Naser Oric to contact his family.
4 First tell us when did he come to the PTT building, if that's where this
5 in fact occurred?
6 A. I can't remember all the dates. It occurred every once in a
7 while, perhaps once a month or even less. That's how often he came to get
8 in touch with his family.
9 Q. Do you recall what month and what year?
10 A. If I remember correctly, the first time was in the month of
11 August, but I can't be sure. It may have been September 1992 as well. As
12 time went by and depending on the situation that prevailed in Srebrenica
13 municipality, he came less and less often. I suppose the reason was that
14 his presence was far more required elsewhere.
15 Q. Let's talk about when the first time -- when was the first time
16 that he came to the PTT building. Could you tell us about the
18 A. He said he wanted to call his family. I don't think he knew at
19 the time how the radio device was supposed to be operated or how
20 communication could be established using the radio. I had the feeling
21 that I could be of service to him the very moment he came, and I think he
22 was surprised when I explained to him that this was in fact not the case,
23 when I explained how this equipment functioned, that I should first locate
24 a ham radio operator based in Slovenia who was willing to make a phone
25 call to his wife to make contact, or maybe tell his wife to come and see
1 him at his flat, this ham radio operator's flat, depending on where he
2 worked from, where he was based. Then a time was to be set. This ham
3 radio operator was supposed to inform my -- me as the communications
4 officer on our side, and then I would tell Naser Oric when communication
5 could be established.
6 Naser Oric was perhaps puzzled at the time to hear this
7 explanation, but he accepted it as a fact. It was soon after, perhaps two
8 or three days after, I really can't remember, it took me a couple of days
9 to arrange this and get in touch with the ham radio operator in Crnomelj
10 called Miralem. Miralem said that he was willing to do this. He made a
11 phone call to Mr. Naser Oric's wife. He agreed with her for her to go
12 from Ljubljana to Crnomelj. He informed me about this and then I in turn
13 informed Naser Oric that two or three days later was the time, and we
14 should set a specific time for him to talk to his wife, and that was what
16 Q. And how often did he come to the PTT building to establish
17 communication with his wife in Ljubljana?
18 A. It's been a long time. My impression is once a month or less, but
19 I can't be certain.
20 Q. Did Mr. Oric use the radio to contact anyone else?
21 A. In 1993, I think February of 1993, he once used the radio to get
22 in touch with a person called Munja who was in Tuzla. And once he used it
23 to get in touch with President Alija Izetbegovic, the president of the
24 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. Let's take this one at a time. Regarding his communication with
1 Munja in Tuzla, could you tell the Trial Chamber about those set of
2 circumstances when he contacted this individual? And please also tell us
3 the year. I believe you've already said February of 1993, excuse me, so
4 just tell us about the circumstances.
5 A. This happened at a time when the Serbs were carrying out a heavy
6 offensive against Cerska, Kamenica, and Konjevic Polje. Naser Oric called
7 Munja from Konjevic Polje following a request by Munja through his club
8 4-BMN. Nada sat next to the radio equipment in Tuzla. They talked once
9 or twice, I'm not sure. Munja wanted to know about the situation in
10 Konjevic Polje and Srebrenica. If I remember correctly, and I believe I
11 do remember the gist of their conversation, Naser requested that the armed
12 forces from Tuzla and the broader Tuzla region get involved a bit more
13 seriously in trying to lift the blockade of the free territory of
14 Srebrenica; that was the crux of their conversation.
15 Munja appeared to be hopeful that something could be done, but we
16 now know that nothing in fact happened at the time except what Munja tried
17 to explain, what he in fact said.
18 Q. And who is Munja? Do you recall who he was? Any position that he
19 held in Tuzla and any organisation he was affiliated with?
20 A. I'm not sure about his real name. I only know the person's
21 nickname, Munja. I don't know what his affiliations were, but based on
22 the promises he made back then that the army based in Tuzla would do
23 something about the Srebrenica situation, my assumption was that he may
24 have been a member of the armed forces in the Tuzla area. But I must say
25 this again, I simply don't know whether he was or not.
1 Q. And you testified that he contacted or -- let me rephrase the
3 Was he the one who initiated contact with Naser Oric and could you
4 tell us how it was that he did that?
5 A. Yes. Munja initiated contact -- this is how it happened. Nada
6 from 4-BMN, it was a radio club in Tuzla, called me to tell me that there
7 was a gentleman who requested to talk to Naser.
8 Q. And how did you learn his name was Munja?
9 A. Nada told me. She was the one who told me. She said, Munja is
10 the person. First she asked me, that's if I remember correctly, if I knew
11 who the person was. And then as we continued -- when we got in touch,
12 when we introduced himself, he said that his nickname was Munja.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the word actually means
14 lightning, a bolt of lightning.
15 MS. RICHARDSON:
16 Q. And who scheduled the time for the telephone -- excuse me, for the
17 discussion between Munja and Naser Oric?
18 A. I really can't remember all the details now. One thing I can say
19 though is the moment someone asked me to get in contact with Naser or
20 anyone else, I was not given to promising anything, or the other way
21 around. It may have been the case the if Naser said that he was in a
22 position to be near the radio device at a given time, that he was the one
23 who actually set the time for their contact.
24 Q. Was Naser Oric known by any other name during this time that
25 you -- that he used the radio?
1 A. Yes. I think at the time the nickname he was using was Gazda,
3 Q. And did Nada or anyone else refer to him by this name?
4 A. There was no need for Nada to talk to Naser. Whenever Nada and I
5 established a line of communication, we'd just hand the mikes over to
6 Munja on Nada's side or Naser on my side, and they would do the talking.
7 Q. When was this name used, Gazda?
8 A. Throughout this conversation.
9 Q. What, if anything, did Naser Oric say to Munja?
10 A. I explained a while ago that Naser had asked Munja that the armed
11 forces from Tuzla do something to help lift the blockade of the three
12 territories of Cerska, Kamenica, Konjevic Polje, and Srebrenica in order
13 to make life easier for the people who remained in the area.
14 Q. How many conversations did he have with Munja to your knowledge
15 and was it all -- was this all in February of 1993 or some time the next
17 A. I think two or three, possibly four but not more. All of their
18 conversations occurred within a single month. Those were brief
19 conversations, and I didn't realise at the time that they had led to
20 anything. It was necessary to try to do something to help the people who
21 had been subjected to heavy attacks in the area of Konjevic Polje, Cerska,
22 and Srebrenica, and that's what I believe the conversations were actually
24 Q. You testified that he -- that Naser Oric also contacted
25 Izetbegovic. Could you tell the Trial Chamber about the circumstances of
1 that communication and when that in fact occurred?
2 A. Again, I can't give you a date, I think it was in early March 2003
3 [as interpreted]. There was an enemy offensive against Srebrenica, a
4 furious one at the time. Many women, civilians, and soldiers or killed.
5 There was a great number of casualties and a general state of confusion
6 where it was impossible to tell whether you would make it to the next day,
7 whether anyone would. So those were the circumstances when Naser talked
8 to President Izetbegovic.
9 In this conversation, he told the president about the situation in
10 Srebrenica and asked for help. I'm not sure if he actually defined the
11 kind of help that he was seeking, but I think he said any sort of help
12 just to stop the attacks and to stop the killing.
13 Q. And did there come a time -- how many conversations did he have
14 with Izetbegovic?
15 A. There was just one conversation.
16 Q. And did there come a time, Mr. Becirovic, that you arranged for
17 another conversation -- another contact wherein Mr. Oric had a
18 conversation with someone in Sarajevo?
19 A. Naser Oric never talked to anyone else in Sarajevo, with the
20 exception of President Izetbegovic. Had it been necessary, it would have
21 been possible to arrange.
22 Q. Other than in -- in 1993, other than President Izetbegovic, who
23 else did he speak with, other than Izetbegovic and Munja; do you recall?
24 A. Yes. I apologise, Your Honours. There was another contact that
25 Naser Oric made. He got in touch with Sefer Halilovic. It escaped me a
1 while ago when I said he hadn't talked to anyone else. I think this was
2 also in March, early March, I think, 1993. The gist of the conversation
3 was the same as the one with President Izetbegovic. There was a difficult
4 situation and one had to find a way to overcome this situation and to help
5 people in the Srebrenica area, in part of the Srebrenica area. People
6 needed help in order to survive, because February and March are known as
7 months when people starved in the area. The situation was worsening
8 severely concerning hygiene, and there were continual onslaughts by the
9 Serb forces. There were artillery attacks and infantry attacks, and
10 infection spread throughout the area as well. It was a situation that
11 could no longer be allowed to continue.
12 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber about the -- could you tell the
13 Trial Chamber what was discussed between Naser Oric and Mr. Halilovic?
14 A. As I said a while ago, the gist of the conversation was the same
15 as the one that he had with President Izetbegovic. It was an appeal for
16 help, it was an appeal to stop the killing and to put an end to this state
17 of chaos.
18 Q. When you say "an appeal for help," was there any specific request
19 made by Naser Oric or any specific response?
20 A. I said any sort of help, any form of help, which would not have
21 precluded the possibility for the armed forces in the area of Tuzla to set
22 out and try to help lift the blockade of Srebrenica. This was seen at the
23 time as the best way, but perhaps there were other ways that people had in
25 Q. Was it a request for food, do you recall? Did that request
1 include food? Or was it only military assistance?
2 MR. JONES: Sorry -- he said it was an appeal for any help, so I
3 don't see how it could be a request which was only for military
4 assistance. The request is already as broad-ranging as it can possibly
5 be. I don't object to the first part of the question whether food as
6 requested, but it wouldn't be correct to characterise what has been said
7 so far as a request only for military assistance.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones is correct.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, believe I phrased the question as
10 an "or." Food or military assistance. And I believe based on what --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but you're limited. In other words, you are
12 just -- while the witness said "any form of help," and he repeated it
13 twice, and any kind of help that would try to help lift the blockade of
14 Srebrenica, you're just limiting it to food or military assistance, which
15 is not right. I mean, just --
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I can rephrase the question.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, okay. Thanks.
18 MS. RICHARDSON:
19 Q. What kind of help was discussed or requested or promised, if that
20 was the case?
21 A. As I said, Mr. Naser Oric briefly described the situation that
22 prevailed in the three municipalities of Bratunac, Zvornik, Vlasenica, and
23 Srebrenica. In view of the fact that there was a great number of
24 casualties, wounded and killed, the humanitarian situation was severe.
25 There were no medications in the area. He sought any kind of help that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 could be provided. He wasn't asking for anything in particular. At the
2 time, the president of the War Presidency hailed in Avdic often sent out
3 appeals for assistance in writing and in direct communication, oral
4 communication, with President Izetbegovic.
5 The requests that were written were sent to the highest
6 international authorities as well, such as the Security Council. Our
7 intention was to send out information on how critical our situation was.
8 In addition to the civilian bodies of government of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, these appeals were also sent to the high commission for --
10 commissioner for refugees. The numbers of refugees increased in the area.
11 Those who had arrived in 1992 were joined by a new wave of refugees from
12 the occupied territories of Kamenica, Cerska, and Konjevic Polje later on.
13 In the second half of March, Srebrenica was a town holding as many as
14 25.000 of them.
15 Q. All right. Mr. Becirovic, let me stop you. With respect to the
16 areas you were going into, I would like you to focus in on the
17 communication aspect now.
18 Could you tell us where Naser Oric was when this conversation took
19 place with Mr. Halilovic?
20 A. This conversation took place in Konjevic Polje. Mr. Naser Oric
21 was in Konjevic Polje. There was a heavy Serbian attack underway on
22 Konjevic Polje; Naser Oric was there. I was there, too, and that was
23 where contact was made.
24 Q. Could you tell us what the means -- what communication equipment
25 was used during this conversation?
1 A. A short wave radio, Atlas 210X. It had been sent over to Cerska
2 sometime previously in order to send information from Cerska to
3 Srebrenica, and this information could not be sent out to the public and
4 the bodies of government. There was a need for a piece of equipment to be
5 sent to that area because there was none in the area. It was used to send
6 information to the civilian bodies of government from the Cerska area and
7 primarily to the general public, the media, the television. This is what
8 the equipment was used for. There was an operator in Cerska who was in
9 charge of the equipment, but he was not sufficiently skilled to be able to
10 use it properly.
11 There was an offensive underway, and I travelled to Cerska in
12 order to teach the operator how to use the equipment, to teach him the
13 skills that he lacked. In the meantime, Cerska had been occupied and this
14 piece of equipment had been transferred to Konjevic Polje. So it was from
15 Konjevic Polje that contact was made.
16 Q. If you can briefly recall if any other members of the Territorial
17 Defence contacted -- used the PTT building and the IC-751 to make any
18 contacts during the period of time that you were in Srebrenica, if you
19 could recall the names just briefly?
20 A. At the outset, I said that anyone who wished to get in touch with
21 their families meet in Tuzla, Croatia, Slovenia, or elsewhere would be
22 granted access and given an opportunity to establish communication. I
23 provided my services. This in no way meant that members of the TO had any
24 sort of priority status or indeed that they were the only ones who were
25 allowed to use this equipment. Having said that, members of the
1 Territorial Defence also used my services and also used this piece of
2 equipment that I had.
3 Q. Without going into the details of the conversation, could you tell
4 us whether any international organisations were able to use the PTT
5 building and the radio to communicate?
6 A. When General Morillon arrived in Srebrenica, he installed his own
7 staff in Srebrenica. He explained to the people that he wanted to stay to
8 help them.
9 While General Morillon was in Srebrenica, he established several
10 contacts. At that time, I was informed that these contacts were
11 established in order to provide information to the French television, and
12 this was done with the help of the ham radio operators from Zagreb. In
13 addition to the French television, General Morillon also established
14 contact with some journalists from various papers who were stationed
15 either in Sarajevo or in Zagreb.
16 In addition to General Morillon, an official of the international
17 organisation of Medicins Sans Frontieres, also used the services of our
18 radio. He talked to people in Split. As I believe that there was an
19 office of the organisation down there in Split, I believe that he talked
20 to them about his requirements for medical supplies in Srebrenica at the
22 This equipment was also used by a photographer from Germany who
23 arrived in February 1993 in Srebrenica. His name was Philip
24 von Retenhousen [phoen]. He spoke to ham radio operators from Berlin in
25 order to convey messages to Reuters. Some other newspapers also used the
1 same service in order to find out what was going on in Srebrenica.
2 I would like to repeat that the IC-751 radio equipment was used to
3 establish a number of contacts with Tillman Zilh, who was the president
4 for the association of threatened nations in Germany, and the gist of the
5 information was the same, the situation in Srebrenica, the humanitarian
6 situation, the -- and any other such information. After the
7 demilitarisation, there were contacts with other subjects, primarily with
8 the UNHCR.
9 Q. All right. Let me stop you there. Thank you, Mr. Becirovic.
10 As far as you know during the time you were in the PTT building,
11 did any of the other operators or yourself use the radio to discuss
12 matters of exchange, exchanges of prisoners, with any of the Serbian
13 authorities or anyone else for that matter?
14 A. I never used the radio to talk to anybody about exchanges. I
15 don't know that any of the operators who worked with me did that.
16 Q. I'd like to bring your attention back to your earlier testimony
17 when you described for the Trial Chamber the equipment that you recovered
18 in the information centre, and I believe you also mentioned the MUP as
19 well. Did you recover any communication equipment that necessitated the
20 use of codes?
21 A. I found a piece of equipment in the early information centre that
22 was used before the war for coding and decoding of written information.
23 However, that piece of equipment was not used after the war started.
24 Q. Did you conduct any type of prewar procedure with respect to this
25 piece of equipment?
1 A. I don't understand. What procedure do you have in mind? But I
2 would like to respond by saying that I offered to the regional information
3 centre to an official who worked there whom I knew personally to use this
4 equipment if they wanted to. I gave them that option. However, in
5 Srebrenica I never received any answer to that. Nobody ever told me to
6 use it or not to use it.
7 Q. Who in Srebrenica knew you were in possession of this equipment?
8 A. I can't remember that any of the people who were in Srebrenica at
9 the time even knew what the purpose of this equipment was, if we're
10 talking about this piece of equipment for coding and decoding, for
11 encryption. Because all the people who knew how to use it had left
12 Srebrenica before the 17th of April, 1992.
13 Q. Other than the people who knew how to use it, did you tell anyone
14 when you first found the equipment that -- that it was there, that you
15 found it?
16 A. When I found it, it was intact. I told Akif Ustic that this piece
17 of equipment was there. I explained to him what its purpose was. I can't
18 remember what he said to me. I took the opportunity to give him and give
19 the regional centre for information in Tuzla an option to use this
20 equipment. I suppose that it is possible that he might have agreed with
22 Q. Were you able to determine whether this piece of equipment was
23 working, operational?
24 A. The equipment was operational. Why am I saying this? The room
25 where it was found had never been broken into. And also, its condition
1 was good. I had used it before the war and I was in a position to know
2 whether it was operational or not.
3 Q. And with respect to this piece of equipment, do you recall
4 conducting any prewar procedures regarding its operation, its ability to
5 be operated?
6 A. No, I didn't. There was no need for me to do that. Let me just
7 put it simply: I didn't check it.
8 Q. I'd like to bring your attention again to some of the other type
9 of equipment that was recovered. You mentioned an Atlas that was sent to
10 Cerska. Could you tell us a little bit more about this Atlas and tell us
11 how many of them you recovered.
12 A. In the information centre, we found two Atlas 210X pieces of
13 equipment. One of them was transferred to Cerska and the other was not
15 Q. When you say "not used," was it operational and where was it
16 taken, if any place?
17 A. I believe that it was operational. It could be used, somebody
18 could use it, but nobody ever did. It was found, as I've already told
19 you, in the information centre, communications centre.
20 Q. And was that where it was kept during 1992 and 1993?
21 A. Yes. Up to the second half of 1993 it was kept there.
22 Q. Could you tell us approximately how big this Atlas is?
23 A. If my memory serves me well, its front panel is rectangular, it's
24 about 50 centimetres wide, maybe some 20 centimetres high, and it's about
25 35 to 40 centimetres deep or long.
1 Q. Other than the Atlas, what other type of communication equipment
2 did you recover? And I believe you've already -- we've already covered
3 the IC-751, the 745. Anything else that you recall?
4 A. There were three other radio sets that had been used by the
5 civilian protection before the war. They were very small pieces of
6 equipment with very short range of barely a few kilometres. They were a
7 bit outdated.
8 Q. And where was this piece of equipment kept?
9 A. Jusuf Halilovic took over those pieces of equipment. Before the
10 war he was the Chief of Staff of the civilian protection, and he continued
11 performing that duty throughout the war.
12 Q. Any other type of equipment you recall recovering? I'm not sure
13 if you testified to this earlier, so you can correct me if I'm wrong. Do
14 you recall recovering an Iskra?
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he mentioned this last Thursday or Wednesday
17 or whenever --
18 MS. RICHARDSON: I'm just trying to determine if that's the case,
19 Your Honour --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He did mention it already.
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. If you did in fact recover this piece of equipment, where was it
24 A. Which particular piece of equipment are you now referring to?
25 Q. The piece of equipment that Your Honour just mentioned, the Iskra.
1 A. There was an Iskra equipment in the information centre, and it
2 stayed there. Throughout the war, it was never used.
3 Q. And was this piece of equipment also operational?
4 A. I suppose so. If it was operational before the 17th of April,
5 1992, there is no reason for it not to be operational after that. It used
6 the 220 volt energy, and when there was no electricity as of June 1992 it
7 could not be used for that reason. And if you're asking me whether
8 theoretically speaking it was operational, yes, it was operational.
9 Q. I'd like to just take you to another series of questions regarding
10 communication equipment and ask you if you are familiar with whether or
11 not the Territorial Defence in the surrounding areas of Srebrenica used
12 any type of communication equipment.
13 A. I am not aware of any piece of equipment used for communication
14 around Srebrenica. I only know that there were no such pieces of
15 equipment. So if there weren't any, that means that they couldn't be
17 Q. Prior to the war, did the Territorial Defence -- were they in
18 possession, as far as you know, of communication equipment?
19 A. Yes. There was some equipment that had been used by the
20 Territorial Defence.
21 Q. And are you -- could you tell us what types of equipments they
22 were in possession of prior to the war?
23 A. Those were UKT, the ultra high-frequency types of equipment called
24 RUP-12, RUP-2B, and RUP-2/2/K.
25 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, at this time I would like to have
1 the witness look at some photographs and have him tell us whether or not
2 he can identify what's in the photograph.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, does the witness know where these
4 radios or these high frequency types of equipment were kept in prewar?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the war they were kept in the
6 storage of the Territorial Defence Staff in Srebrenica. And as soon as
7 the war broke out, they were transferred to the old primary school in
8 Potocari. On the 18th of April, when the shelling started, this equipment
9 suffered a certain degree of damage because the old primary school was
10 shelled and it -- as a result of that, it was partly destroyed and partly
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, first I'd like to start with
13 Prosecution's Exhibit P499, which is in Sanction, and then have the
14 witness shown two new exhibits.
15 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you could take a look at the screen in front of
16 you and tell the Trial Chamber whether you recognise this piece of
17 equipment that's before you.
18 A. This photo is not very clear. If I can see well, this could be
19 the front panel of one of the radio -- radios that I have mentioned, but
20 it is very hard for me to conclude which one of them it would be, just
21 looking at this photo.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I quite agree with you.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps I don't think whether technically it is
25 possible, dealing with Sanction, can we make it appear lighter, much
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I think have another suggestion If I
3 could have the registrar's assistance.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have one in colour.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. If we could show the witness that. I think
6 it's much clearer -- it's black and white. I stand corrected. If we can
7 show the witness this photograph, it's much clearer. Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Because this is indeed dark, very dark, at least on
9 the screen, on the monitor.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, again the photo is
11 blurred. It's very hard for me to tell you exactly what type of equipment
12 it depicts.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 MS. RICHARDSON:
15 Q. If you look at the photograph, is it similar to what you described
16 as the RUP-12, although I know you've indicated that it's a bit dark?
17 A. If we know that the front panel of this equipment has three switch
18 buttons to determine the frequency, that it does have a switch for the
19 antenna and that there's also the area where you mount the antenna, the
20 area where you mount the microphone. It is possible that this is RUP-12.
21 However, if I can remember well, I have not seen this type of equipment in
22 a long time, but I remember that it did have these switches. Then it is
23 possible that this looks similar like that equipment, but I can't be sure
24 of that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's not lose more time on this.
1 Please --
2 MS. RICHARDSON: All right --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: If you can hand the witness the other two photos
4 we'll mark them later.
5 And could you tell us whether you recognise the equipment shown on
7 Put them on the ELMO, please.
8 Let's start with that one. Do you think you can tell us what
9 equipment that is?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the right lower
11 corner it says 2/2K, so this is the type of equipment.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. And it's an RU, again?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And for the record, this photo is being
15 given -- is being marked as Prosecution Exhibit P?
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] P533.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: P533.
18 Next one. Do you recognise this equipment? It seems at the
19 bottom there is RT or something, 10.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] RT-20TC -- 4, I believe.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you familiar with this equipment? Was it
22 amongst the equipment that the TO had before the war?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. This piece of
24 equipment -- I can't remember -- I believe that this type of equipment,
25 judging by the number, the markings on it, belonged -- or was used by the
1 civilian protection.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So this document will be marked as
3 Prosecution Exhibit P534.
4 So you've got two answers in one, Ms. Richardson. Let's proceed.
5 MS. RICHARDSON:
6 Q. Mr. Becirovic, you mentioned that Potocari had an RUP-12. Could
7 you tell us whether -- when they obtained this RUP-12?
8 MR. JONES: Sorry -- first of all, Potocari is a village. I don't
9 know particularly whether that means that Potocari had an RUP-12. But I
10 don't recall the witness mentioning that Potocari had an RUP-12. Perhaps
11 he could be directed --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness said that after the war, as soon as the
13 war started all the transmitters or radio equipment that the TO had before
14 the war was transported to the Potocari school. That's what he said.
15 MR. JONES: Oh, I see, okay so. It refers to the location of --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: School in Potocari. So I take it that what
17 Ms. Richardson is seeking now is to establish when this transportation --
18 MR. JONES: I think the danger is suggesting that Potocari as some
19 sort of entity possessed these things.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, you are right. But, okay, we all
21 understand that it isn't.
22 Yes, when were they moved from Srebrenica to Potocari, the TO
23 equipment, transmit -- radio equipment?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember it was one
25 or two weeks before the 17th of April, 1992.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
2 Okay. Yes, Ms. Richardson.
3 MS. RICHARDSON:
4 Q. And what, if anything, happened to the equipment that was taken to
5 the school?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's already told us that it suffered
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. And the equipment that suffered damage, do you recall if anything
10 was done with the equipment?
11 A. After the demilitarisation, several such pieces of equipment which
12 were not in the working order were used to put something together that
13 could be used, that could be operational. And I believe that four or five
14 or maybe even six such new pieces of equipment resulted from that
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but in the meantime you've left empty an
17 entire year; in other words, two weeks before the 17th of April, 1992, to
18 the demilitarisation, which happened roughly a year -- a year later.
19 So during that year, April 1992 to April 1993, what happened to
20 this equipment that had been taken to Potocari? Was damaged, you said, or
21 part of it was damaged. Was it left there? Was it never used to your
22 knowledge? Or was it used, and if it was by whom, and for what purpose?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, nobody used that
24 equipment. That equipment was partly destroyed. It was amongst the
25 rubble of the school. And due to the lack of personnel that could use
1 it -- I believe that nobody even -- it never occurred to anybody to use
2 it. I went to the school in Potocari, having my reservations about the
3 information that had reached me. I was hoping that some of this equipment
4 may be rendered usable. However, when I saw the equipment I realised that
5 it wouldn't be possible. I just took one piece of equipment to the
6 information centre. It was not operational. I could not make it
7 operational. And I believe at the time that without the skills of skilled
8 persons, it would be impossible to use the equipment or to take two or
9 three pieces to make one operational piece.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Ms. Richardson.
12 MS. RICHARDSON:
13 Q. The radio -- the equipment that you said was destroyed in
14 Potocari, did there ever come a time that an RUP was -- was fixed or made
16 A. As far as I know in the village of Pale there was an RUP-12 that
17 was operational. For the most part, it was used to listen in to whatever
18 was going on on the Serb side.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But the whole gist is: Was this radio or
20 transmitter or receiver, RUP-12, in Pale constructed out of the bits and
21 pieces of the other radios that had been destroyed in the Potocari school,
22 or was it something -- are you talking of something completely different?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to the extent that I'm
24 aware, this piece of equipment had been removed from the elementary school
25 earlier on. I was not aware of this device until as late as 1992. I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 didn't know it was being used. In 1993, I had more information on this.
2 I had more information on why it was used and how it was used.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it strange --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
6 Ms. Richardson, if you want to pursue this matter, of course feel
7 free to but I don't think it's that important.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I just have a follow-up question.
9 Q. So that we're clear, the RUP-12 that was in Pale was as far as you
10 know operational in 1992?
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Based on the information that
13 I received later, it was operational. I told you about the purpose that
14 it was used for, to listen to the Serb side, to use it to find out what
15 was going on around Bratunac.
16 MS. RICHARDSON:
17 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Becirovic, that other RUPs were
18 captured by the Muslim forces that you know of during 1992 or 1993?
19 A. I can tell you what I know. At Zaluzje, another RUP-12 was found
20 that had been damaged by the Serbs. They fired bullets at this piece of
21 equipment. In the second half of 1992, some spare parts belonging to this
22 bit of equipment were used in addition to those that had been found in the
23 ruins at Potocari to try and piece together a proper radio device.
24 Q. And was that done?
25 A. Yes. I said it was in the second half of 1993, yes.
1 Q. And as far -- I'll rephrase the question.
2 Was this -- was -- you stated that there were a number of RUPs
3 that were fixed, and I believe you mentioned -- or could you tell us what
4 areas were in possession of these RUPs and what year?
5 A. By the end of 1993, several bits of equipment had been mended,
6 four or five or six of them if I remember correctly. There was one in the
7 Potocari area, one in the Suceska area, two in the area of the town
8 itself, and one was always kept as a spare option.
9 Q. Was the PTT building used to assist with repairing these radios,
10 meaning your services or the services of other people in the PTT building?
11 A. Yes. Following demilitarisation, an electrical engineer Adem
12 Bulbucovic - I think he's close to number 10 on the list that we looked at
13 earlier - came to the PTT building and he fixed things as far as he could.
14 He fixed the equipment. That's why it was necessary for all the bits of
15 equipment that were out of order to be brought to one place so that the
16 still-operational bits could be used to try and fix the other pieces of
18 The premises of the PTT building were used for the simple reason
19 that at the time, military observers of the UN and the UN police forces
20 were stationed there. They allowed us to use 500 kilowatts of electric
21 power. We used this electric power so that the technician could use the
22 welder and any other bit of equipment that he needed. He needed power.
23 Q. Now, were these radios -- was it necessary to recharge these
24 radios? I think you may have alluded to that. Could you tell us whether
25 all of the areas brought their radio to the PTT building to be recharged?
1 MR. JONES: Can we just fix the time period because we seem to be
2 talking about after demilitarisation, and it's important for that be
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what the witness said. If he's going to move
5 from that period of time and include some other period of time, then he
6 must tell us.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second half of 1993, and just
8 before the end of 1993 the need arose to try and use communications to
9 create links between the various areas of the Srebrenica demilitarised
10 zone. That's when the idea occurred to someone as of August 1993, I
11 think, to collect all the radios that were not in good working order from
12 the ruins, bring them to one place, and try to re-use them or re-use their
13 spare parts that were still operational to maintain contact with areas
14 that were outside the town itself.
15 I can't remember the specific date when these devices were in fact
16 mended and when they were distributed across the area, but I think it was
17 back in December 1993, or maybe early 1994. I can't be sure about this.
18 I know that we faced a great deal of trouble because we could not have
19 direct communication from the Suceska area on account of the lie of the
20 land. A mediator was needed to establish contact, and the device that was
21 at Pale was used as a mediating piece of equipment.
22 Q. Was there an RUP kept in the Territorial Defence headquarters in
24 A. Yes. From the end of 1993 there was one.
25 Q. Now, you mentioned that the radios were used for listening. Do
1 you know if the radios were also used, the RUPs were also used by the
2 Muslim forces to communicate with each other?
3 A. I said that in the second half of 1993 or just before I found out
4 that there was a radio at Pale. I was told that this radio was mostly
5 used for listening, or rather for listening only and that it was not being
6 used for communication between members of the Territorial Defence. The
7 simple reason was, there was no other equipment. In order to have proper
8 radio communication, you must have two sides, two ends, so to speak at
9 least, two participants.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Becirovic, do these RUs, do they work on AC, DC,
11 or both?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these could only be
13 used on DC, 12 volts.
14 MS. RICHARDSON:
15 Q. Mr. Becirovic, at the --
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I know we're approaching a break.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and -- okay. Let's have the break. How much
18 more, Ms. Richardson?
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, another 20 minutes at most, if
20 not 15.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's have a 25-minute break starting
22 from now. Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's continue and finish, Ms. Richardson.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you will, I would ask you to keep your answers
3 short so that we can conclude the examination-in-chief.
4 Just quickly with respect to the Iskra, as a general matter, is it
5 possible for -- well, I'll rephrase the question.
6 You mentioned that there was one in Srebrenica, one was in
7 Konjevic Polje. Was there one in Potocari as well?
8 A. Each local commune that was part of Srebrenica municipality before
9 the war had at least one of these, so I believe there had to be one in
10 Potocari as well.
11 Q. And during 1992 and 1993, as far as you know, was there one in
13 A. Not that I know of, not from April 1992.
14 Q. And with respect to the Atlas, as a general matter, was it
15 possible for communications to be conducted between Srebrenica and Cerska
16 using this -- this radio?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to move to another area and ask if you recall
19 the use of any other type of communication equipment being used by any
20 member of the territorial -- of the TO, Territorial Defence, other than
21 the ones we've already mentioned?
22 A. I'm not aware of any of the members of the TO using any other type
23 of equipment other than the ones that we have referred to. Maybe your
24 question was about whether it was possible. I remember that in September
25 1992, Naser Oric used a hand-made [as interpreted] radio, or rather he was
1 carrying it around. It's a very small radio that you could put in your
3 Q. Is that hand-made or hand-held?
4 MS. RICHARDSON: The transcript, Your Honour, reflects hand-made.
5 I just want to check.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. In this age, day and age, I wouldn't be
8 It's a hand-held radio that you are referring, not hand-made? I
9 mean, let's take it for granted that it is not hand-made. I mean, come
10 on. I mean, it's --
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'm only --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Hand-made radios we used to make with crystals when
13 I was 8 and 9 years old, and that time is a long passed now.
14 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'm only seeking to clarify to make
15 sure it's not a mistake in the transcript or translation.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no.
17 MS. RICHARDSON:
18 Q. So could tell the Trial Chamber when it was that you observed -- I
19 believe you've already said it, but could you tell us how many times you
20 observed Naser Oric with this hand radio?
21 A. I said earlier that I only saw Naser Oric very rarely. There were
22 no details of note as far as I was concerned in relation to communications
23 equipment, except perhaps, as I said, in September 1992 when I noticed
24 that he was carrying this hand-held radio.
25 Q. Could you tell if this radio was in use, operational? Was he
1 using it at the time?
2 A. I'm not aware of that. If he used it, I was never around; that
3 much is certain. He didn't use it in my presence.
4 Q. And other than September, did you see him with it at any other
5 times during 1992 or 1993?
6 A. From time to time when Naser Oric wished to talk to his family in
7 Slovenia, he would come to the PTT building and he would make contact.
8 This happened once a month or less, once every two months, depending on
9 the situation that prevailed in town.
10 Q. I'd like you to concentrate on his use of the hand-held radio.
11 Did this only happen in September or did you see him some other time using
12 this radio or possessing it?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The witness
15 was crystal clear. He said he had never seen Mr. Oric use this equipment.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In fact, to a specific question that you asked
17 earlier on, whether it was in working order, he gave you a very categoric
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I can rephrase the question.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. Other than September of 1992, did you ever see Naser Oric in
23 possession of this hand radio?
24 A. I can't remember any details. I can't remember the details of
25 every time we met. It's possible that he carried this radio around. It's
1 possible he had it on him every time he came around. I simply don't
2 remember any details. What I do know is he didn't use it in my presence.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you know the make of that radio? Because you
5 seem to be quite familiar with the makes, types, of all kinds of radios.
6 So perhaps getting a glimpse of it you would know immediately what radio
7 it was.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, I didn't recognise the
9 make. Judging on what the situation was like following demilitarisation,
10 it must have been 2G at the end, and it was a Japanese device.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
13 Q. And other than Naser Oric, did you see any other members of the
14 Territorial Defence in possession of one of these hand radios?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's be specific --
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Hand-held.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Because one of these hand-held -- you need to be
18 specific. Exactly the same or any kind of hand-held radio?
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
20 Q. As Your Honour just pointed out, either the one similar to the one
21 that you observed Naser Oric with or any other type of hand-held radio?
22 A. I also saw Ibrahim Mandzic carrying around a similar radio. But
23 no one else except the two of them, not before the end of 1993. I did not
24 notice anyone else carrying around these very small portable radios.
25 That's why I referred to it as a hand radio because it's hand-held.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, at this time I would like have to a
3 video shown to the witness. They are approximately three clips, and
4 they're two minutes each, so we can go through it quickly.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MS. RICHARDSON:
7 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you -- you just observed the video. Can you
8 identify who's in the video. Do you see Naser Oric?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You asked him if he could identify, why don't you
10 leave it at that, Ms. Richardson?
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I was trying to avoid everyone else
12 being identified in the interests of time. But I understand. I can
13 just --
14 Q. Mr. Becirovic, I'll rephrase the question.
15 In this video you're looking at at the moment, can you identify
16 anyone in the video?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, make sure -- have you received
18 interpretation, Mr. Becirovic? Yes.
19 So -- usher, could you please make sure that the witness has a
20 picture, because from what I can see from the reflection, he doesn't have
21 that, he has got something else.
22 Yes. Do you recognise anyone in that still?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that the person to the left
24 of the civilian wearing a red jacket could be Naser Oric.
25 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'm not --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, to the left of the person wearing the red
2 jacket. Yes. Do you see an arrow now pointing to a person on the screen?
3 Is that the person -- is that the person you're telling us, according to
4 you, is Naser Oric?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this could be Naser Oric.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes. You don't need to tell us about
7 the others for the time being.
8 Yes, Ms. Richardson, next question.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: I apologise. Just for the record, I'd like to
11 indicate on the video the time is 39.13.4.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And that the arrow was pointing the -- to the
13 second person from the left.
14 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may, I think we may need to go
15 back. I'm not sure the witness --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, do what you like.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: I'm not sure if he saw the beginning.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MS. RICHARDSON:
20 Q. Mr. Becirovic, the piece of equipment that you see Mr. Oric
21 holding in this video, is that similar to the one you saw him with in
22 September of 1992?
23 A. Yes, it is similar. Actually, judging by the antenna that I can
24 see in Naser's hand, I believe that this is a radio equipment, a piece of
25 radio equipment.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: We can move to the next clip.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MS. RICHARDSON:
5 Q. Do you recognise this person depicted in the video?
6 A. Yes, this is Naser Oric.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And for the record we are at 5 -- is it
8 5 or 6 that?
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I believe it's a --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: 5 --
11 MS. RICHARDSON: I believe it's a 5.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: 5 minutes, 55.5 seconds.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: We can continue the clip.
14 [Videotape played]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Are the words important, relevant, or not?
16 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour, they're not.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So why don't we -- let's come to the question
18 because --
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, we'll move to the next clip.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So you don't have any questions on that part of the
22 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour. No.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MS. RICHARDSON:
25 Q. Okay, Mr. Becirovic, if you could look at the person that's
1 depicted on your screen. Could you tell us if you could identify that
3 A. I believe that this is Naser Oric.
4 Q. The device that he's holding in his hand, does that appear to be
5 similar to what you observed him with in September of 1992? And perhaps
6 we can let the video play for a moment before you respond.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is similar.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't have any more
10 questions with respect to this video. Just for the record, it is
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
13 MS. RICHARDSON:
14 Q. Mr. Becirovic, other than the radio communication that you've been
15 testifying over the last two days, could you tell us if there were other
16 means of communication in Srebrenica that you were aware of?
17 A. Not to my knowledge. I was not aware of anything else existing.
18 Q. Other than the radios themselves, were messages relayed in any
19 other manner?
20 A. Not to my knowledge, Your Honours.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'd like the witness to be shown
22 Prosecution Exhibit 3, with the usher's assistance.
23 Q. Mr. Becirovic, the document that is before you, I'd like to direct
24 your attention to paragraph 2, number 2. Just for the record, it is dated
25 18th October, 1992. And I would ask you to read that paragraph to
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, your question.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Becirovic, are you aware of the use of couriers to relay
5 messages -- or to communicate, I should say, in Srebrenica during this
6 period of time?
7 A. I am not aware that couriers were used as such, Your Honours.
8 Q. This is the first time you've -- you're hearing about the use of
9 couriers, upon examination of this document?
10 A. This is the first time that I hear that couriers were used. I am
11 not aware of the existence of any such service in the territory of
12 Srebrenica during that period of time.
13 Q. So during this period of time -- well, I -- let me rephrase the
15 Were you aware that individuals were used to relay messages with
16 respect to any matter?
17 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: If I could have a moment, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Becirovic, I just have a couple more questions for you and
20 then I will complete my examination.
21 You've testified that there were various means of communication by
22 radios, whether it's the RUPs, Iskra, Atlas, et cetera. And I'd like you
23 to take a look at the next document, Prosecution Exhibit 208.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, I'm advised that we will also
25 be handing out English translations as they weren't part of the exhibits
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you say 208 or 28?
3 MS. RICHARDSON: 208, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: 208. Okay, thank you. I just wanted to make sure.
5 MS. RICHARDSON:
6 Q. Mr. Becirovic, please read that document that's before you. Now,
7 with respect to this document --
8 MS. RICHARDSON: For the record it is ERN number 03721371,
9 03721371; it's actually one page. And I neglected to put the ERN for the
10 last exhibit, Prosecution's Exhibit 3. Your Honour, if I can be permitted
11 to do so now. For the record it is 0092-6461.
12 Q. Mr. Becirovic, are you familiar with this document?
13 A. No, Your Honours, I've never seen this document before.
14 Q. Now, with respect to the author of this document, are you familiar
15 with Ramiz Becirovic?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has already told us about that.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I can move through this.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Just ask him whether this is his brother because he
19 has explained this to us.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I can go through it quickly.
21 Q. Is this person, Ramiz Becirovic, your brother?
22 A. It is possible.
23 Q. And did he work with the territorial staff and with Naser Oric
24 during 1992 and 1993?
25 A. Towards the end of 1992, he did.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And is he a former JNA officer? Do you remember his rank?
2 A. Before the war, he was a reserve officer of the JNA and he was a
3 captain, a reserve captain. He never completed a military academy. After
4 having served his compulsory service, he was recruited to become a member
5 of the reserve. That's how things were done in the former Yugoslavia.
6 Q. Right. Now, having read this document, does this confirm and
7 reflect the communication -- that communication existed among the Muslim
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. JONES: I don't think this witness can speak to that really.
11 It's not a document either sent by him or received by him. If the Chamber
12 is to draw any inferences about this document, then the Prosecution can
13 invite you to do so at the appropriate time, but I don't see how this
14 witness is going to give helpful evidence on that point.
15 I also wanted to note that it was a bit of a liberty of my learned
16 friend to insert Ramiz Becirovic there when, according to the English,
17 it's illegible. That evidence has been given by the Prosecution, that
18 it's Ramiz Becirovic; the witness hasn't said that. That's my first
19 objection. That stands.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go to the crux of the matter. This
21 document says: "As agreed with Naser, do not prepare anything. Be on the
22 alert if Naser needs you and wait for further orders."
23 The important part to the Prosecution: "Put the radio station
24 into operation in immediately and keep regular contact by means of
25 communication. This order has been received through radio communication."
1 Let's take the second part, the second sentence: "Put the radio
2 station into operation immediately and keep regular contact by means of
4 Can you give us any information on what this could possibly mean?
5 What were they referring? What was the author or signatory referring to?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know, Your Honour.
7 I'm really not clear on this, especially this second sentence where it
8 says: "Put the radio station into operation immediately and keep regular
9 contact." And this order was received by radio communication.
10 I don't know whether the reference is made to the contents of this
11 text or some other order. And if the reference is made to the contents of
12 this text, I don't know why this was done. But what I know is that during
13 this period of time there were no communications means, and I don't think
14 that it was -- I don't think that it was possible to send any information
15 by any communication means.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was the brigade commander at the time, Karadzic,
17 a person by the name of Karadzic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that at that time there
19 were brigades. At that time there are just poorly organised groups of
20 people, so I really don't make any sense of this address where it says
21 that the letter should be sent to the brigade commander.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The brigade commander, Karacici, would that mean the
23 brigade commander at Karacici or the brigade commander named Karacici?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is a village in the territory
25 of Srebrenica municipality, the name of which was Karacic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Were you aware that there was a radio station at the
2 disposal of the brigade commander in that village?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not aware of the existence of
4 radio stations at that moment.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. The last sentence in this document
6 says: "This order has been received through the radio communication."
7 And it is then -- says: "By authorisation from the commander."
8 Have you got an idea as to how the commander could have communicated with
9 Ramiz Bec -- whoever it is?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't know, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, your questions, Ms. Richardson.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'll be brief.
13 Q. Mr. Becirovic, were you in the field during the various actions
14 taken by the Muslim forces during 1992 and in 1993?
15 A. Save for the period when I went to Cerska, I did not leave the
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour, that was my final
19 And I would like to put on the record, the video -- the video
20 clips that were used, Prosecution --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: What exhibit is that?
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Prosecution's Exhibit 318 and Prosecution's
23 Exhibit 434. I believe there's another one, if you could give me a
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Two, two. We saw two.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, just two.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't have any further
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, Madam Vidovic. So for the record
6 you've been cross-examining [sic] this witness eight hours and 20 minutes,
7 22 minutes, Ms. Richardson. Three hours and 20 minutes more than you had
8 told us you would be examining him. Anyway, we'll come to that later on.
9 Which leads me to confirm to you, Ms. Vidovic, that you can take all the
10 time you need to finish your cross-examination. But after your
11 cross-examination, after this witness, then we are going to tell you, both
12 sides, how long each witness is going to be in the box. And there will
13 not be one single concession to either of you after this, because on this
14 score if we allow things to happen in the same way they have been
15 happening all along - we've been very liberal and open-handed - we won't
16 finish before July, my anticipation.
17 So Madam Vidovic -- what's going to happen now, Mr. Becirovic,
18 because I am not quite sure that you are familiar with court proceedings.
19 Ms. Richardson has finished with her examination-in-chief. She might have
20 some further questions to you after Madam Vidovic has finished with her
21 cross-examination. But now we are going to start with the
22 cross-examination. Madam Vidovic is defending Mr. Oric, and she has every
23 right to put all the questions that she needs to you. And you have the
24 same responsibility in -- pursuant to the oath that you've taken to answer
25 all the questions that are put to you truthfully and fully and precisely
1 as much as possible.
2 Okay. Yes, Madam Vidovic. If you want to sit down, you may sit
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This would
5 certainly help.
6 Cross-examined by Ms. Vidovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Becirovic, good afternoon.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. I will put a number of questions to you and I would kindly ask you
10 to reply by yes, no, or I don't know whenever you can. This will help us
11 to save time. Obviously this is only on a condition that you are able to
12 give such an answer.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 Mr. Becirovic, you've told us that you were born and raised in the
16 territory of Srebrenica?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Before the war you resided in Srebrenica?
19 A. From December 1984, and before that I lived in my native village.
20 Q. Thank you. Your native village is Opetci, which is in the local
21 commune of Suceska. Isn't that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Before the war and during the war, your parents resided in the
24 area of Suceska?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. During the months that preceded the war in February, March, and
2 April 1992, you visited your parents in Opetci. Isn't that correct?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. The local commune of Suceska borders on Vlasenica. Isn't that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. It is true, isn't it, is that as early as autumn 1991 in the
8 forests around Vlasenica and Milic, it was forbidden to fell timber
9 because of the number of soldiers and ammunition that were deployed in the
10 area. Are you aware of that?
11 A. No, I'm not aware of that directly. However, from the beginning
12 of 1992, the -- it was said that in the municipality of Vlasenica, all the
13 felling had stopped, and this is the area bordering on the local commune
14 of Suceska.
15 Q. The persons from whom you heard that, did they tell you that this
16 had something to do with the soldiers that were deployed there and the
17 arms that had arrived in the area at the time?
18 A. I learned this from my parents, who had learned that something
19 like that was happening, that all the felling had stopped. At that time,
20 there were -- there was suspicion that there was military training taking
21 place in the vicinity of Milici and that there was a lot of weapons to be
22 had there.
23 Q. It is true, isn't it, that from the woods in the vicinity of
24 Milici, between Milici and Suceska, one could hear constant shots that
25 indicated that there was training going on in that area. Is that correct?
1 A. My parents would tell me that shooting intensified at the
2 beginning of 1992, maybe in February.
3 Q. Did they make any sort of connection between the shooting that
4 they heard and the Serbs?
5 A. Yes. There was a certain degree of fear because it was a
6 well-known fact that in Milici there was an armoured unit of the former
7 JNA that had probably arrived from Croatia and was deployed in Milici. I
8 don't know exactly when that happened.
9 Q. In March 1992, the Serbian Democratic Party made a decision on the
10 division of the municipality of Vlasenica into the Muslim part and the
11 Serbian part; that was a generally known fact. Are you aware of it?
12 A. Yes. This was a well-known fact.
13 Q. At the same time the police forces from Milici and Tisca together
14 with the brigade from Sekovici set up check-up points in the area. Are
15 you aware of that?
16 A. Yes. As early as April -- I apologise, February 1992, the Serbs
17 started setting up checkpoints in the places where they had majority.
18 Q. They could stop people, check people, and they started mistreating
19 Muslims, specifically, too, didn't they?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. A while ago you referred to the armoured mechanised brigade, which
22 you said had arrived from Croatia. It's true, isn't it, that this brigade
23 was deployed in Sekovici and Lukic Polje?
24 A. I'm not sure about how this unit was deployed. It is a fact, to
25 my knowledge at least, that part of it was in Milici and part of it in
1 Lukic Polje. There was an armoured unit of the former JNA there.
2 Q. In February and March 1992, this was something that you could see
3 everyday along the Sekovici-Milici-Rupova Brdo road, tanks and APCs moving
4 along the road. Wasn't this the case?
5 A. All civilians who as early as May 1992 had fled to the local
6 commune of Suceska who were saying that the manoeuvres of the Serb
7 armoured units had been stepped up since about a month or two near the
8 bauxite mine in Podravanje and this is the road that runs just next to the
9 Suceska local commune.
10 Q. People said that the soldiers you could see on tanks and APCs wore
11 uniforms and also wore Chetnik insignia from World War II. Is this also
12 something you heard?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In your testimony you mentioned that before the war the reserve
15 units of the JNA were trained in Milici. My question is about this:
16 These reserve units were actually local Serbs from the area, weren't they?
17 A. Yes. The Muslim employees of the bauxite mine were saying that
18 ever since the beginning of 1992 their Serb workmates had stopped coming
19 to work and that they were being mobilised into the reserve units of the
20 former JNA.
21 Q. This training did not comprise Muslims, did it?
22 A. No. The Muslims carried on with their daily jobs at the bauxite
24 Q. Therefore, the Serb population in that area, as early as April
25 1992, had already been mobilised and armed. Would I be right in claiming
2 A. Yes, you would be.
3 Q. You also heard that weapons had been given even to boys and to
4 elderly men. Isn't that correct?
5 A. People, refugees for the most part, those who had been expelled
6 from the Muslim villages after these villages had been burned, that when
7 the Serbs first attacked and started torching villages they also saw
8 children carrying firearms.
9 Q. Thank you. On the 21st of April, 1992, in Vlasenica, the Serbian
10 authorities were established as well as a Serb police station. Isn't that
11 a fact?
12 A. I'm not familiar with the date, but it is a fact - and this
13 applied to all the other municipalities that there were - that the Serbs
14 established their own so-called Serb bodies of authority.
15 Q. The Serb police force led by Rade Bjelanovic and the Serb
16 Territorial Defence, with the support of JNA units, set out to disarm the
17 Muslim villages. Is this something you would agree with?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
20 now, please. I would like to show the witness a map. This is Prosecution
21 Exhibit P520.
22 Your Honours, we shall not be asking the witness to mark anything
23 on the map, but we want him to show the Chamber around this map so that
24 the Chamber can follow.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Vidovic.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, this is the same map that you used the other day to show
3 the Muslim villages around Srebrenica when prompted to do so by the
4 Prosecutor. I will now ask you to show some other villages. If you can
5 please use the pointer and --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Madam Vidovic. Bear with me, please.
7 Usher, I think we will need to put it on the ELMO.
8 The only thing we require from you, Madam Vidovic, is more or less
9 since the map is pretty big in size, let's divide it into four parts and
10 you just indicate which part -- which quarter the usher needs to
11 concentrate upon, whether it's top, right, left, left-right, or bottom
12 left-right, left-right.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the left part of the map,
14 and the witness is familiar with the area, the area around Milici and
15 Suceska. That is in the middle of the map and to the left.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, we have it. But -- usher, do you have
17 problems? Because if you do have problems, bring it here and I will
18 indicate to you which part you need to concentrate on.
19 Yes, can you put the witness's --
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, please, you can give us a hand here. You're familiar
22 with the Milici area, aren't you?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, we have to move -- yeah, further to the left,
24 Madam Usher, please. Yes. Just a little bit further to the left, please.
25 You see Milici there where the two lines intersect. Yes, all right. Now,
1 if you can -- if you can centre that and then we start zooming in. All
2 right. You need to bring it down. Yes, perfect. We are almost there.
3 Thank you. And then you can push it a little bit to the left and -- yes.
4 Ms. Vidovic, go ahead, if we can go ahead.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness --
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I believe we can go ahead now.
8 Q. Witness, can you please now show Nova Kasaba.
9 A. [Indicates].
10 Q. Nova Kasaba. Suceska.
11 A. This would be the Suceska area, roughly speaking.
12 Q. Then Milici.
13 A. This is Milici.
14 Q. And if you see Zaklopaca on the map, please show it. If not,
15 please show where you would expect it to be.
16 Do you agree with me that Zaklopaca is at the very entrance of
18 A. Zaklopaca is more towards Vlasenica, the distance from Milici is
19 seven or eight kilometres.
20 Q. Thank you for this clarification.
21 Can you please show Opetci, your own native village, on the map?
22 A. Here it is.
23 Q. Nurici?
24 A. Nurici, Vlasenica municipality, if I can explain. You have the
25 Srebrenica municipality facing Vlasenica here, and then you have the Jadar
1 River canyon right here. And to my right you see Vlasenica municipality,
2 and to my left you see Srebrenica.
3 Q. Thank you for this explanation, Witness. Can you now please show
5 A. It's near Nurici.
6 Q. Pomol.
7 A. Pomol is just above Derventa.
8 Q. Stedra?
9 A. Stedra.
10 Q. Gornje and Donje Vresinje. Johovaca?
11 A. Donje Vresinje, I can't see it on the map, but it's right next to
12 the road. When you travel from Milici to Dobravanje [phoen] --
13 Q. Here and Dzile.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note the witness is off the mike.
15 We can't hear a thing he is saying.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here and Dzile.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you very much. I'll ask you about some other villages, too,
19 later. If you can't see them on the map, you can just put a mark where
20 you think they should be.
21 The Serb police and the Serb Territorial Defence carried out
22 coordinated attacks against Muslim villages around Nova Kasaba and around
23 Suceska in April, May, June, and July of 1992. Would I be right in saying
25 A. Yes. Kasaba started a little earlier, but Suceska happened on the
1 1st of May. There was an ultimatum for the Muslim population of Suceska
2 to hand over their weapons.
3 Q. After Vlasenica was taken, the Serb police started to bring people
4 in, beat them, and kill them, I mean the Muslims, in this area. Am I
6 A. Yes, quite right. It's a well-known fact that in the vicinity of
7 Vlasenica there was a camp that was established, the Sucice [phoen] camp,
8 where many of the -- of Vlasenica's Muslims were killed.
9 Q. We're talking about hundreds of Muslims that were killed in the
10 camp, aren't we?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the 16th of May, 1992, an atrocious crime -- a horrific crime
13 was committed in the village of Zaklopaca, the village that you've shown
14 us a while ago near Milici, when about 100 civilians were killed,
15 including women and children. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. The entire Muslim population of Zaklopaca was killed in a
17 single day.
18 Q. On the 18th of May, 1992, the following villages were torched:
19 Piskavice and Dzandzici. Is that correct?
20 A. The villages you've referred to are near Vlasenica, near Vlasenica
21 town. I heard about this because I met people from the area. I met
22 people who had fled the area in order to avoid being arrested. First they
23 went to Cerska and eventually they arrived in Srebrenica.
24 Q. As for the fate of the Muslims of Vlasenica, this is something
25 that people in the Srebrenica area, especially in Suceska area, were quite
1 familiar with, weren't they?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In late May and early June 1992, the following villages were
4 torched and destroyed: Durici, Sadici, Gradina, and the Muslim population
5 of the village of Torina was killed. Am I right? Do you know about this?
6 A. Yes. All the Muslim villages around Vlasenica were torched at
7 this time. And those inhabitants who had not managed to escape were taken
8 to the concentration camp at Suceska.
9 Q. The village of Opetci where you grew up and where your parents
10 lived is in the immediate vicinity of the Muslim villages of Nurici,
11 Basta, Tomo, Stedra, Gornje and Donje Vresinje, Johovaca, Here, and Dzile.
12 Would I be right in stating that all these are in the vicinity of Opetci?
13 A. Yes. I could see most of those villages with the naked eye. The
14 Jadar River was the only natural line of division in the area. You could
15 see from one hill to the next.
16 Q. In your testimony you referred to all these villages, saying that
17 they had been torched. These were Muslim villages, which throughout June
18 1992 were torched by the Serb forces, weren't they, throughout May and
19 June in fact?
20 A. These villages were torched in early May 1992. The torching
21 started on the 2nd of May and continued several days later. Within less
22 than a fortnight, all the villages had been torched.
23 Q. The inhabitants of Suceska could actually see the Serbs torch and
24 loot these Muslim villages, couldn't they?
25 A. Yes. I was one of those who could see, unfortunately.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Did I understand you correctly, you said you stayed in the village
2 of Opetci between the 18th of April, 1992 and the end of May that same
3 year. Would it be right in saying that?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. Therefore you personally witnessed those Muslim villages burning,
6 you personally witnessed the looting of property from those villages. Am
7 I right when I say that the looting was done by the Serb population of the
8 surrounding areas?
9 A. Yes. People who were trying to escape had managed to identify
10 their neighbours, their former neighbours, or their workmates.
11 Q. In other words, all this Muslim property, including livestock,
12 would end up in nearby Serb villages and areas such as Podravanje,
13 Ruda Brdo, Rupovo Brdo, Milici, Derventa. Would I be right in saying
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The Milici-Podravanje road passes near the village of Opetci,
17 doesn't it? Can you please show this road on the map, the
18 Milici-Podravanje-Derventa road, if you could use the pointer, please, and
19 show the road on the map.
20 A. This is Milici. This is the road. Derventa, 10 kilometres from
22 Q. Podravanje?
23 A. This is the road to Podravanje.
24 Q. You were in your native village in the period of time that I've
25 just defined. You were in a position to see that this road was being used
1 on a daily basis by tanks, APCs, and other military vehicles of the Serb
2 forces. Is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you please tell me, what is the distance between Derventa and
6 A. The local commune of Suceska begins at one of the entry points to
7 Derventa, and if you look at this bit here, that is already the local
8 commune of Suceska.
9 Q. In other words, the town of Derventa is in the immediate vicinity
10 of Suceska, isn't it?
11 A. Yes. I completed my four years of primary school in Derventa
13 Q. The town of Derventa right from the very beginning of the war and
14 throughout 1992 and later was used as a stronghold for the Serb army, and
15 a large number of armoured units and artillery were stationed there.
16 Isn't that correct?
17 A. That's quite correct. There was a well-known story that the local
18 population of Derventa and the surrounding Serb villages volunteered to go
19 to Croatia and to join the war there, or they went as reserve forces,
21 Q. In other words, the Serb population in the vicinity of Suceska
22 greeted the war well-prepared, well-trained, and well-armed. Would I be
23 right in saying that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were anyone to say that those were local village guards that the
1 Serb population had in the area, that would by no means square with the
2 truth, would it?
3 A. Well, the very fact that Serbs used to walk around in uniforms at
4 the time, they were marching around with their tanks and armoured
5 vehicles -- as I say, this very fact indicates that those were by no means
6 regular village guards. Those were well-armed and well-trained people.
7 Q. The Srebrenica area alone -- the Srebrenica area itself was in
8 total isolation as far as the media were concerned from the rest of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina. Am I right?
10 A. We could not watch the Bosnian TV, but we could listen to the
12 Q. You could only watch Serb TV stations, couldn't you?
13 A. Yes. TV Belgrade and TV Novi Sad.
14 Q. Mr. Becirovic, it's true, isn't it, that while the Muslim villages
15 were ablaze in April, May, and June, the Serb media reported that the
16 Muslim forces had been torching Serb villages. Is that correct? Do you
17 know anything about that?
18 A. Yes, that is true. On the 2nd of May, as the village of Pomol was
19 burning, which is near Derventa, it's a Muslim village. Its population
20 was entirely Muslim. At 5.00 in the afternoon, I watched the TV Novi Sad
21 news. Soon after, I realised that Pomol was on fire. I heard the
22 anchorman on the TV Novi Sad say that Muslim forces had torched the Serb
23 village of Pomol. I was greatly surprised, to say the least, and couldn't
24 make heads or tails of this, except to chalk this down to Serb propaganda.
25 Maybe there was some people among the Serb population who had refused to
1 take part in combat, and maybe this was their way of trying to get those
2 people, to persuade those people as well, to join the torching and all the
3 other misdeeds that were being committed.
4 Q. Thank you, Witness. And in May 1992 you were staying in the
5 Suceska area and you actually talked to refugees who had been expelled
6 from the Muslim villages, that we've referred to, Nurici, Pesici [phoen],
7 Dzile, and so on and so forth. Am I right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It's true, isn't it, that the Serb units had reached the
10 elevations in the area already in April 1992 and placed their artillery,
11 tanks, and mortars there?
12 A. Yes. Starting with Podravanje and then moving on to Milici, all
13 the hilltops near the Serb villages had mortars positioned on them. And
14 prior to the 1st of May, there would be nighttime firing for the most part
15 on the villages of the Suceska local commune. Bursts of fire from small
16 arms could also be heard very frequently.
17 Q. Did you ever see or hear at the time that on Basta, Brdo, and
18 Podravanje, there were lots of Serb infantry forces stationed?
19 A. Yes. The places that you have referred to did have Serb forces
20 and artillery placed there.
21 Q. It was as early as April 1992 and onwards that artillery fire was
22 being opened on the civilian buildings in Suceska and Srebrenica itself
23 from the positions. Am I right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you now please show the Trial Chamber Rogac.
1 A. This is Rogac hill.
2 Q. Then Milica hill.
3 A. I can't see it on the map, but it should be around here, between
4 Rogac and Milici.
5 Q. Thank you. Koprivno?
6 A. The village of Koprivno and Koprivno hill right next to it.
7 Q. Thank you. The Suceska area was under siege by Serb military
8 forces that had arrived from Milici on the one hand and from Rogaci, Milic
9 hill, and Koprivno on the other facing Konjevic Polje. Would I be right
10 in saying that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Rogac, Milica hill, and Kopriva had heavy artillery and multiple
13 rocket launchers deployed on them, and these shelled the civilian
14 population of Suceska and Srebrenica?
15 A. Yes. The Rogac elevation is notorious in the area. The Serbs on
16 Rogac shelled the town and the places around Srebrenica every day,
17 randomly, not targeting anything particular.
18 Q. Thank you. It is true, isn't it, that this area - and I am
19 referring to Suceska in particular as well as Srebrenica - was constantly
20 shelled from the airplanes that flew from Serbia and the airport near
21 Bratunac in the area called Ade Stale, or Stale. Am I right?
22 A. Yes, you are.
23 Q. And now let me ask you something else. Since you are a native of
24 Suceska, you hail from that area, you knew the population of the
25 surrounding villages, including the villages that belonged to the
1 Vlasenica municipality but were bordering on the territory of Suceska. Is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes. When I attended at the primary school in Derventa, I got to
4 know a number of people that belonged to my generation. They all went to
5 school with me. All the children from these villages went to the primary
6 school in Derventa.
7 Q. You are aware of the fact that refugees from Vlasenica in the
8 territory of Suceska towards Zepa rallied around Becir Mekanic and the
9 prewar commander of the Vlasenica police station, Fadil Turkovic. Did you
10 ever hear of these people?
11 A. Yes. While I was staying in Suceska towards the end of April
12 1992, the refugees that arrived from the burned areas were saying that in
13 the vicinity of Besic hill or even higher up in the woods, people rallied
14 around these two persons, that each of them rallied a group of people
15 around them, as they expected that the war would end soon and that they
16 would be able to go back to their homes.
17 Q. It is true, isn't it, that these groups were armed? Did you hear
19 A. Yes. It was mostly the weapons that belonged to the reserve
20 troops of the civilian police or hunting rifles that people had from
21 before the war.
22 Q. It is true, isn't it, that these groups were independent and they
23 had nothing to do with Zulfo Tursunovic group in Suceska, but they shared
24 the same area?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. These groups also struggled to obtain food and arms, and they
2 fought for those with the local Serbs from the surrounding villages?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On the 18th of April, 1992, or around that time, you were in
5 Potocari when the shelling of Potocari and Srebrenica started?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Srebrenica was occupied on the 17th of April, 1992. Many people
8 were killed there. Isn't that correct? Are you aware of that?
9 A. Yes, I'm aware of that. The ultimatum was given on the 18th of
10 April, 1992.
11 Q. By the 9th of May, 1992, many people who stayed there, the
12 elderly, women, and children, were killed. Over 80 houses were torched.
13 Am I right?
14 A. Yes, you're right. In the town itself one street which had over
15 80 houses in it was completely torched. In those houses, the elderly
16 people found their death.
17 Q. The property of the Muslims of Srebrenica was looted, and this
18 also includes the property of state institutions. The Serbs looted the
19 Muslim property and the property of the state institutions of Srebrenica.
20 Am I right?
21 A. Yes, you're right. Whatever could be taken from Srebrenica was
22 taken within a very short period of time. Everything was looted, whatever
23 could be looted.
24 Q. After the death of Goran Zekic, the Muslims returned to
25 Srebrenica; you were among them. Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is correct.
2 Q. You have described the military situation in the territory which
3 was held by the Serbs around Srebrenica. You will agree with me, won't
4 you, that when it comes to the level of equipment for fighting, what the
5 Muslims in the area had and what you saw them having was far below what
6 the Serbs had?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. In other words, the Muslims had very little weapons and uniforms?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. There were very small groups that had uniforms and weapons, am I
11 right, and particularly uniforms?
12 A. When it comes to uniforms, very few people had uniforms. I can't
13 give you an estimate, but I can only say that there were very few men
14 wearing uniform at the time.
15 Q. Intellectuals had left Srebrenica or more educated people?
16 A. Yes, you're right.
17 Q. There were very few people who had any military education
19 A. You're right.
20 Q. You've told us that in the course of 1992, the Muslim villages of
21 that area had only those organised armed groups that defended their own
22 respective villages. Is that correct?
23 A. I called them poorly organised or armed groups. The fact is that
24 they were few and far between and that they did not comprise of many men.
25 Q. Thank you. In addition to that, they were intercepted by the Serb
1 villagers and the Serb forces and they were isolated from Srebrenica.
2 They were cut off from Srebrenica. Am I right?
3 A. Yes, you're right.
4 Q. There are entire Muslim villages which were cut off from
5 Srebrenica throughout 1992. Isn't that correct?
6 A. Yes, you're right.
7 Q. I would kindly ask you to show the Trial Chamber the area that you
8 are familiar with, Skenderovici, Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen and
9 Brezovice. This is the area in the vicinity of the village of Ratkovici.
10 A. Brezovice, Skenderovici.
11 Q. Poznanovici?
12 A. Poznanovici.
13 Q. Dedici? You will agree with me that Dedici and Podkorjen are in
14 the vicinity of Poznanovici even they may not be on the map.
15 A. You're right.
16 Q. And now could you please show the Trial Chamber the villages of
17 Pribicevac and Spat?
18 A. This is Pribicevac and this is Spat.
19 Q. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber what are Pribicevac
20 and Spat. Am I right in saying that these are actually elevations?
21 A. Yes, these are elevations. The two elevations that are famous for
22 the fact that during these two locations, in the course of 1992 and 1993,
23 from April 1992 up to demilitarisation and even after that, from
24 Pribicevac, the shelling of the town Srebrenica and the Muslim villages
25 continued from there and from the oppose side.
1 Q. So Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen, and Brezovice were cut off from
2 Brezovice by Pribicevac and Spat that were very, very famous Serbian
3 strongholds. Am I right?
4 A. Yes.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a very important correction in
6 the transcript. I asked the witness Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen, and
7 Brezovice were cut off from Srebrenica by Pribicevac and Spat, and the
8 witness said, "Yes, you're right." And it says here cut off from
10 Q. Witness, please, am I right in saying that these villages that I
11 have just listed were cut off from Srebrenica by Pribicevac and Spat. Am
12 I right?
13 A. Yes, you're right.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Vidovic.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, maybe this is a good
16 moment for a break.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We will have a 25-minute break starting
18 from now.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Becirovic, these Muslim villages that we have just mentioned,
24 I've mentioned, Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen, and Brezovice are villages
25 which were in the closest vicinity of the area of the village of
1 Ratkovici. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In the course of 1992, as you know, many people fled Glogova after
4 the massacre in Glogova and they ended up in the area of Cizmici. That
5 was in May of that year. Were you aware of that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. That was a large group of people led by Ejub Golic. Is that
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. You also know, don't you, that large groups of refugees lived in
11 the forests around Voljevica, Zaluzje, and Biljaca. Am I right?
12 A. Yes, you are.
13 Q. These people were armed, some of them were armed, weren't they?
14 A. Yes, some of them were armed, but a smaller number of men were
16 Q. The expelled Muslims from the Skelani region, including Tokoljaci,
17 lived in the forests throughout the summer and autumn up until the winter
18 of 1992. Are you aware of that?
19 A. Throughout the winter of 1992 and 1993, there were two camps in
20 the vicinity of Tokoljaci. One was Tokoljaci and the other one was
21 Sulice. Those were improvised huts in the forest where the civilians from
22 the territories of Skelani and Osat lived.
23 Q. These groups -- in these groups there were also men with weapons
24 who fought the local Serbs in order to get some more food and some more
25 weapons. Am I right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In your testimony you mentioned four large armed groups of
3 Muslims. You mentioned Naser Oric's group, Zulfo Tursunovic's group,
4 Hakija Meholjic's group and Nedzad Bektic's group?
5 A. And also Akif Ustic. I didn't mention Nenad Bjekic. I apologise.
6 Q. You didn't. Generally speaking, you did have contacts with some
7 of the men from these groups?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. According to your information, these groups were also not
10 organised, they did not communicate with each other or their communication
11 throughout 1992 was rather restricted?
12 A. Yes. These were poorly organised groups which did not communicate
13 with each other.
14 Q. It is true, isn't it, that in addition to these groups that you
15 have mentioned, the four groups, that is there were also many other armed
16 groups that fought against the local Serbs absolutely independently and
17 had nothing whatsoever to do with these four groups throughout the year
18 1992 up to the demilitarisation. Am I right?
19 A. Yes, you are.
20 Q. You were in Srebrenica in late June and early July 1992. Is that
22 A. Yes. I was in Srebrenica during that period of time.
23 Q. You tried to gather information about what was going on in the
24 territory of Srebrenica. Is that correct?
25 A. After the month of July, I did. I made an effort to gather
1 information about what was going on in the territory of the municipality
2 of Srebrenica.
3 Q. You will then remember that before this testimony, you gave your
4 statement to the investigators of the OTP. Do you remember that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. You said that you had not heard of the attack on Ratkovici until
7 the moment you arrived in The Hague. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In conversations with people from various areas about the
10 situation during the summer and autumn 1992, you obtained information that
11 every single Muslim village was under a lot of pressure to bear from the
12 far more powerful Serb force?
13 A. That is correct. I heard that from the wounded who were brought
14 to the hospital in Srebrenica.
15 Q. Every single Muslim village in the vicinity of Srebrenica and
16 Bratunac struggled to survive. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct. People defended their families, their
19 Q. And they fought a far stronger enemy who were their neighbours.
20 Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. People from these Muslim villages wanted to help each other in
23 their joint struggle for survival. Is that correct?
24 A. It actually depended on the good will of these people in those
25 groups, whether they would help other groups or not. Or better say, if
1 their own villages were not under attack, there were cases of these people
2 going to help some other places that did come under attack. There were
3 very few weapons, and that is why people who did not carry weapons could
4 not be used if they wanted to help.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may, I'm looking at the
7 transcript, hearing the testimony. We're hearing about the Muslim
8 villages without any specifications about which ones. So perhaps we could
9 have some type of concrete information about which particular Muslim
10 villages this witness is referring to. He's used the map --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, point taken, Ms. Richardson.
12 Madam Vidovic, I think that needs clarification from you by means
13 of a further question. Or now that the witness himself has heard the
14 exchange from him directly.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes.
16 Q. I was referring to the villages in the vicinity of Srebrenica and
17 Bratunac. Isn't that so, Witness? Is that the way you understood me?
18 A. Yes. That is precisely the way I understood your question.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that, Ms. Richardson?
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Well, Your Honour, in light of how many villages
21 were discussed, I don't think it would do any harm at this point for the
22 village -- for the witness, excuse me, to give us examples of some of the
23 villages in the vicinity of Srebrenica and Bratunac.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Fair enough I think that's a fair -- a fair
25 request and comment.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Yes, Witness, could you give us some instances in support of your
2 previous testimony. Mention some of these villages to us.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Muslim villages.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, of course.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The villages of Bljeceva, Cizmici,
6 Potocari, the villages in the local commune of Suceska. These are the
7 villages that I was referring to.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Also I've asked you about the villages from the area of Ratkovici,
10 such as Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen. Did you have these villages in
11 mind as well when you answered my question?
12 A. If I understood you question well, and that was whether people
13 helped each other, I would be more familiar with the area of Potocari and
14 Cizmici, as well as the area of Bljeceva, the area of Suceska. At that
15 time I was not so familiar with the events that took place in the vicinity
16 of Ratkovici, Skenderovici, and other Muslim villages in that area, such
17 as Brezovice. At that moment, I was not familiar with the details of
18 whether people in that area helped each other.
19 However, soon after the demilitarisation, I had an occasion to
20 talk to people as to what had been going on in these areas. They would
21 also tell me that if they had an occasion to help each other, if one
22 village came under the attack and the other didn't, then they helped each
24 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
25 The struggle for survival in the Muslim villages that you have
1 mentioned as being familiar with was a very hard struggle, wasn't it?
2 A. Yes. Those villages were subjected to shellings by Serbs on a
3 daily basis and people were killed every day.
4 Q. Thousands of refugees were killed in a bid to return to their
5 villages under cover of the night in order to get food. Isn't that a
7 A. Yes. It's a well-known fact that the inhabitants of Glogova went
8 from Bljeceva and Cizmici in an attempt to go back to Glogova and get
9 food. Many were killed. Likewise, the inhabitants of Voljevica tried to
10 go back to Voljevica during the night in order to bring back food for
11 their families.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, just briefly, if we could have a
14 time period as to these events that the witness is testifying to, and it's
15 been some time since we've referred to time.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 These two incidents that you've just mentioned, the Glogova and
18 Voljevica, when did they occur?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was several months, maybe one
20 or two months after the occupation and after the population was expelled.
21 The general idea was that the war would soon be over, and people believed
22 that they would soon be able to go back to their homes. However, the war
23 dragged on. And the food situation in these villages was very poor.
24 Therefore, these people tried to obtain some food to feed their families
25 by going back to their own native villages. These attempts became
1 frequent in November 1992 and continued in December 1992.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. These people from certain Muslim villages that you have mentioned
4 had to walk dozens of kilometres in order to reach a place where they
5 could get food and thus survive. Is that right?
6 A. Yes, you're quite right. And very often they came across
7 minefields where many of them were killed. The Serbs had noticed that
8 people were undertaking forages to go and find food, and they would lay
9 minefields along the routes.
10 Q. They also ambushed these groups and killed people?
11 A. Yes. People were killed in ambushes, too.
12 Q. Thank you. We'll now move on to a different subject.
13 Mr. Becirovic, in late May 1992 you got in touch with Akif Ustic.
14 You inspected the communications centre of Srebrenica municipality and
15 found some equipment there. Isn't that a fact?
16 A. Yes, the information centre you mean?
17 Q. Yes, the information centre, that's the one I mean. Thank you for
18 setting the record straight.
19 You found the KTIC5 and the KTIC-751 there, the equipment that you
20 found later. Isn't that a fact?
21 A. Yes. It was at the information centre that I found the IC-745 and
22 later at the public security station I also found the IC-751.
23 Q. You have described the equipment you found. This was in late May
24 or June 1992. What, if anything, was operational, the two radios, would
25 that be a fair statement?
1 A. Yes. The first one I used was IC-745, and later on I think it was
2 in July I also started using IC-751.
3 Q. No other pieces of equipment that you ever found in 1992 were in
4 fact operational. Would I be right in saying that?
5 A. Yes, you would be quite right. There was no other single piece of
6 equipment in Srebrenica that was operational.
7 Q. Phone lines out of Srebrenica were only operational for as late as
8 the first half of July 1992. Am I right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Following that, the IC-751 and the IC-745, that's after the phone
11 lines to Tuzla were down, these two pieces of equipment were the only
12 lines of communication to Tuzla?
13 A. Yes, that was the case.
14 Q. In your testimony you also said that you found some encryption
15 equipment as well as a fax machine. Is that right?
16 A. Yes, a teleprinter or a telex. Yes, that's true.
17 Q. Therefore you tried to have encrypted, protected, communication
18 with Tuzla but there was no reply from Tuzla. Is that not a fact?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Throughout August 1992, you received a set of rules on how to set
21 up encrypted communication with other corps, how to use the encryption
22 methods. Am I right?
23 A. No. I did not receive any documents from Tuzla. For a while, I
24 had communication with the Territorial Defence district staff in Tuzla,
25 but I used documents from before the war that were at the information
1 centre already, ones that I found there.
2 Q. Thank you. I would like to show you a document now.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
5 Q. It's a document by the District Defence Secretariat in Tuzla dated
6 the 23rd of August, 1993, and signed by the deputy secretary, Nusret
8 Witness, if you could please have a look. This is about
9 organising the encryption of confidential information in the Tuzla
10 district. The date on the document is the 23rd of August, 1993. I will
11 quote a brief portion, the brief relevant portion of the document. It
12 says in a telex dispatch sent in August 1992, the republican minister of
13 defence repealed the system of encryption of written information in the
14 territory of the Republic of BH. The decision was based on reasons that
15 were easy to understand, given the fact that the aggressor, too, had
16 special documents for encryption, hereinafter KZ, and the system as a
17 whole was abandoned.
18 It goes on to say: "The encryption system for confidential
19 information used telegraphic wire -- telegraphic lines that were almost
20 entirely useless."
21 Witness -- so, Witness, this document appears to show that the
22 republican defence minister decided to stop using the encryption system.
23 I have this to ask you about it: It is true that encryption telexes and
24 the entire encryption system in relation to written information could not
25 be used for communication with Tuzla from August 1992 onwards. Would I be
1 right in saying that?
2 A. Yes, that's a fair statement. Ever since the second half of July,
3 that's when the phone lines were disrupted, the encryption system could no
4 longer be used.
5 Q. So I understood you correctly, when you said that you had not used
6 the encryption system even in the run up to August 1992. Is that a fair
8 A. Yes, that's a fair statement. We never used the encryption system
9 at all.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document
12 into evidence, please, and for it to be assigned a number.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, this will be Defence Exhibit D?
14 THE REGISTRAR: 261.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: 261. Thank you.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. IC-745 was returned to the radio club in order to help maintain
18 the civilian phone lines that had been disrupted. And ever since it was
19 returned, it was only used for that purpose, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. People in Srebrenica faced constant problems with the power
22 supply, and that's why the IC-745 was placed in the PTT building on the
23 first floor in a room that was referred to as the switchboard. Is that
25 A. Yes. Among other reasons there were no stable sources of
1 electricity. However, initially this radio, IC-745, was used by people to
2 keep in touch as well as to keep in touch with the other station and the
4 Q. Thank you, Witness, but I want to ask you about something else.
5 Please explain to the Trial Chamber what the switchboard is and what it's
6 used for.
7 A. It's something you have in every post office. It's a separate
8 room containing a large number of cables used to -- used for automatic
9 telephones in the area that the post office is in charge of. There is an
10 automatic switchboard at the post office that caters for these telephones.
11 In order for two such telephones to be able to communicate, if we are
12 talking about a wire link, there had to be a cable from the post office to
13 one phone and from the phone back to the post office.
14 Q. Thank you. Therefore, anyone who walks into that room would
15 immediately spot on one of these walls some sort of a board, some sort of
16 a device, and this would be the switchboard, wouldn't it?
17 A. Yes. There was a part of the switchboard, something called a --
18 the inspection table. And it was from this inspection table that you
19 could check whether phone lines and telephones were in fact operational in
20 order to save time for the operator, because otherwise they would have to
21 make the rounds, go through the entire area and check every phone
22 individually, and this way they were able to use this inspection table.
23 Q. The IC-751 was in fact placed on a table that was right in front
24 of the switchboard, or rather the switchboard was behind any person that
25 operated the IC-751. Am I right?
1 A. When I say "switchboard," I mean two things, but this inspection
2 table was behind the operator's back. And the way the cables were placed,
3 that was in front of the operator.
4 Q. Another question in relation to this. If someone who was not
5 conversant with this sort of equipment or not sufficiently conversant at
6 any rate walked into this room, all they would see is a large number of
7 sockets. Right in front of the person sitting there they would see
8 something behind the person's back three by two metres roughly speaking.
9 Am I right?
10 A. I can't quite visualise every single detail. The inspection table
11 or the size of the inspection table was two by one and a half or three by
12 one and a half, not more than that. And the cables, this bunch of cables
13 looked fantastic to me at first sight. It looked like a fantastic thing.
14 Q. Witness, this switchboard and the inspection table had nothing
15 whatsoever to do with the IC-751 piece of equipment that was actually
16 being used. Am I right?
17 A. You're quite right. Those devices were entirely unrelated and
18 could not enhance any operations performed by IC-751.
19 Q. The radio device itself, the IC-751, was not a particularly
20 powerful or sophisticated radio and it wasn't considered as such, even at
21 the time. Am I right?
22 A. Yes, you're right.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not sure how much
24 time I have.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You have exactly 12 more minutes, but regulate
1 yourself -- probably you have the entire day for tomorrow because I don't
2 think you have another witness lined up for tomorrow.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour, that is the case.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So you're free -- I told you, we exceeded the
5 Prosecution time by a good number of hours. So you have the entire day
6 for yourself tomorrow. So if you prefer to stop now, we can stop now. I
7 mean, it's up to you to choose, Ms. Vidovic.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Maybe I could ask another three or
9 four questions. I have one document to show.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We can stay until 7.00 or stop any time it's
11 convenient for you. All right.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Can I have the usher's assistance now. I would like to show the
14 witness a document. This is a document produced by the 2nd Corps in
15 Tuzla, the date is the 2nd of March, 1993. The document was signed by
16 commander Hazim Sabic, and the document was addressed to the supreme
17 command staff communications section.
18 Q. Mr. Becirovic, if you could please have a look. I will quote the
19 first two passages, the first two relevant passages in this document. It
20 says: "With regard to your telegram number 02/30-10 of the 28th of
21 February, 1993, we hereby inform you that we still have not activated the
22 document using the SS-1 code with Srebrenica because the document numbers
23 do not match. And following your opinion, we will not work on this
25 "As far as the application of KZ in the CV in Eastern Bosnia is
1 concerned, we only have shortwave communication using code tables with
2 Cerska and Srebrenica."
3 Mr. Becirovic, would I be right in saying that this document
4 indicates that in 1992 you only had communication with Tuzla, that's the
5 only communication you had was this KT communication?
6 A. Yes, you're right.
7 Q. In actual fact, you did not use codes before the 22nd of March,
8 1993, rather you used open-line communication to talk to them?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. Even after the 20th of March, 1993, I never
10 operated any piece of equipment that could be used to pass on written
12 Q. Thank you for this clarification. It's true, isn't it, that this
13 line of communication was used to pass on brief situation reports and
14 appeals for help?
15 A. I wouldn't exactly call them reports unless what you have in
16 mind --
17 Q. Situation reports.
18 A. Unless you mean reports as in a newspaper report or a public
19 announcement. All the information that was passed on from Srebrenica only
20 had to do with the difficult humanitarian situation, with the spreading
21 infections, and with the difficult medical situation throughout the area.
22 Q. In other words, Mr. Becirovic, no orders were issued by Tuzla, no
23 regular military or other reports were ever sent there. Isn't that a
25 A. Yes, that's right. I never for a moment said that the military
1 authorities in Tuzla ever tried to get in touch with anyone in Srebrenica.
2 This was a one-way affair. Srebrenica was passing on information to
3 Sarajevo and in part to Tuzla. Such information, as I have explained,
4 usually information of a public nature and information meant for the
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document
8 please be assigned a number?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document bearing ERN 01856771 and the
10 Serbo-Croat version and its -- will -- is being tendered and is being
11 marked as Defence Exhibit D262.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Becirovic, in relation to Major Velid Sabic from
14 Konjevic Polje, you said you had only sent to Tuzla a single document
15 produced by him. Isn't that the case?
16 A. Yes. I explained about that yesterday or the day before.
17 Q. It's true, isn't it, that he personally handed this document over
18 to you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It was not handed over to you by Hamed Alic, nor did you request
21 or obtain from him approval to send this document on. Would I be right in
22 saying that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. There were no other documents or reports by the Bratunac
25 Territorial Defence or by the Bratunac Crisis Staff that you forwarded in
1 1992 and up until March 1993?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this completes
5 this round of questions, and I would like to call it a day at this point.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic.
7 Mr. Becirovic, we are going to stop here and we will continue and
8 finish tomorrow. I thank you for bearing with us and see you tomorrow in
9 the afternoon, 2.15, in this same courtroom. Thank you.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
12 April, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.